LET’S TALK ABOUT
Students discuss fatphobia on campus and reclaim the word “fat” as their own. | pg. 41
Dear readers, It has been a long time since you’ve held a new NBN magazine in your hands. Over a year to be exact. It has been a year of loss and deprivation, but also a year of resistance and resilience. As in every quarter, we fought to put the activities, struggles and triumphs of the Northwestern and Evanston community into words. And for the first time in three quarters, that record will be physically printed and distributed to our community. The reason I and so many of my fellow staff members joined the magazine is that we believe wholeheartedly in the power of words made physical. There’s really nothing quite like opening that first ridiculously heavy cardboard box, smelling the freshly printed ink and feeling the glossy cover of a magazine that took months to produce. Even better, though, is handing the magazines to you, our readers. Ultimately, we write to share what we ourselves have spent countless hours learning. The interactions that are only possible from physically distributing our magazine on campus and throughout Evanston are what make all of that time and effort worthwhile. Thanks to the amazing work of our designers, editors, writers and photographers, we are able to produce the magazine you now carry. In Pregame, we discuss the negative impact the pandemic has had on our social skills. We talk to Asian students who find a taste of home and culture in their local barbershops. In Dance Floor, we look outward toward the Evanston community, from the independent bookshop leading the fight against Amazon to long-time residents exposing the flaws in the city’s supposed “reparations” plan. In Features, we take a hard look at how this university treats its students. We explored the ways fat-identifying students on campus face discrimination and find acceptance within themselves. We hear the stories of female studentathletes and students struggling to meet their workstudy allotments. And no NBN magazine would be complete without that final dash of humor in Hangover where we sample the finest chocolate chip cookies in Evanston (high, of course), and tell you definitively which Lakefill hammocking stereotype you embody. This magazine is truly a reflection of this moment in time when everything is in transition, and we all need to take a hard look at where we want to be on the other side of this pandemic and point in history.
- SYLVIA GOODMAN
contents 05 36 PREGAME
Springing into action 06
I forgot how to talk to people 08 Northwestern in three words 09 The culture behind the cut 10
DANCE FLOOR Vaxxed vacation 14 RE: Morty’s legacy 16 The consulting craze 18 Serving from afar 21
One step forward, two steps back 30 Bezos v. Bookends & Beginnings 33
All work & no play? Some students find that work-study jobs interfere with a full-time education and college experience.
PHOTO STORY 52
La Cocinita is rolling your way The Venezuelan-style restaurant’s food truck drives business during the pandemic and helps serve the community.
Dating despite the distance 24 Paging Doctor Zoom 28
Let’s talk about fatness. Students discuss fatphobia on campus and reclaim the word “fat” as their own.
All the world’s a stage 12
Uneven playing field Amid reports of sexism in the NCAA, Northwestern’s female athletes weigh in on their treatment at home.
Fake it till you make it
Bringing sexy SPAC
northwestern NORTH BY
“How would you describe Northwestern in three words?”
PRINT STAFF EDITORIAL
PRINT MANAGING EDITOR Sylvia Goodman ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITOR Maggie Galloway EDITOR-AT-LARGE Elise Hannum SENIOR FEATURES EDITORS Jenna Greenzaid, a mixed bag Teresa Nowakowski, Grace Snelling ASSISTANT FEATURES EDITORS Brendan Le, Kyra Steck SENIOR SECTION EDITORS Annie Cao, Emma Chiu, Sarah Meadow, Tessa Paul ASSOCIATE EDITORS Eva Herscowitz, overworked, Rayna Song, Tabor Brewster, Andrew Kwa overwhelmed, ASSISTANT EDITORS Jimmy He, Joseph Ramos, overpriced Maddy Rubin, Mia Walvoord
midterms every week
memories, growth, purple
CREATIVE DIRECTOR Maren Kranking ASSISTANT CREATIVE DIRECTOR Alisa Gao PHOTO DIRECTOR Carly Menker ART DIRECTOR Sooim Kang DESIGNERS Emma Estberg, Juntang Qian, Melissa Santoyo, S. Kelsie Yu PHOTOGRAPHERS Victoria Benefield, Chiara Dorsi
WRITERS Julietta Thron, Olivia Alexander, Julianne Sun, Stephanie Zhu, Russell Leung, Izzy Mokotoff, Annie Howard, Rose Newmark, Gabrielle Nadler, Maria Caamaño García, Felix Beilin, Jenna Anderson, Julia Lucas DESIGNER Stephanie Zhu
WEB STAFF MANAGING
north by EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Olivia Lloyd northwestern EXECUTIVE EDITOR Giovana Gelhoren MANAGING EDITORS Grace Deng, Gabrielle Nadler, Melissa Santoyo, Linda Shi ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITORS Shannon Coan, Teresa Nowakowski
NEWS EDITOR Emma Chiu stressful POLITICS EDITOR Trent Brown ASSISTANT POLITICS EDITOR Ali Bianco CREATIVE WRITING EDITOR Jimmy He FEATURES EDITOR Felix Beilin SPORTS EDITORS Coop Daley, Jordan Landsberg ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR Harris Fermaglich LIFE & STYLE EDITORS Jordan Hickey, Anto Mufarech OPINION EDITORS Sam Alvarez, Kexin Wang ENTERTAINMENT EDITORS Jayna Kurlender, Bailey Richards AUDIO EDITOR Maria Caamaño García ASSISTANT AUDIO EDITOR Trevor Duggins PHOTO/VIDEO EDITOR Christine Potermin GRAPHICS EDITOR Jess Chen INTERACTIVES EDITORS Amy Guo, Nathanial Ortiz
SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR Jordan Hickey SOCIAL MEDIA EDITORS Maya Mojica, Sammie Pyo, Linda Shi
CORPORATE PUBLISHER Tina Huang DIRECTORS OF MARKETING Sammie Pyo, Hannah Song DIRECTOR OF AD SALES Julianne Sun WEBMASTER Beck Dengler DIVERSITY & INCLUSION EDITOR Ali Bianco FUNDRAISING CHAIRS Christine Bae, Michael Savo-Matthews
COVER PHOTO BY CARLY MENKER COVER DESIGN BY MAREN KRANKING
good vibes (mostly)
SPRINGING INTO ACTION 6 I FORGOT HOW TO TALK TO PEOPLE 8 NORTHWESTERN IN THREE WORDS 9 THE CULTURE BEHIND THE CUT 10 ALL THE WORLD’S A STAGE 12
PHOTO BY VICTORIA BENEFIELD
Springing Into Action Warm weather welcomes a budding number of outdoor activities for on-campus students. WRITTEN BY OLIVIA ALEXANDER // DESIGNED BY JUNTANG QIAN
s the weather grows warmer, Northwestern students are slowly emerging from the dorms, apartments and houses they’ve hibernated in through Winter Quarter. Whether it’s relaxing by Lake Michigan or engaging in friendly competition, students are spending more time outdoors as vaccination appointments open up and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines ease. Friends sit in wooden rocking chairs and catch up over Trader Joe’s snacks and an occasional can of LaCroix as Taylor Swift’s recent releases play faintly over a laptop speaker. Monday afternoons at 3 p.m., Willard Hall firstand second- years gather around the fire pit for Coffee Hour. Weinberg second-year Josephine Ward, the current Coffee Hour co-chair of Willard, attests that her event benefits from sunny weather. On cloudy days, the meetup is moved indoors to the Willard first floor lounge, but on clear afternoons, Ward says relaxed COVID-19 guidelines mean students can “actually hang out” instead of picking up their food to take back to their dorm rooms. “The weather is nice. The sun is great. Being outside … it’s a good study break,” Ward says. “[It’s] a time to just chill out, get some good food, hang out [and] talk to people.” Ever spot an array of shallow black and yellow nets scattered across Long Field? If so, you’ve seen the Northwestern club Spikeball team engaging in one of their three weekly practices. Weinberg first-year Kenny Such says the activity helps him be social while staying in shape. He especially appreciates the opportunity to connect with upperclassmen friends who share stories about the University prior to the pandemic. “It’s a good social activity,” Such says. “I met some people who otherwise I would not have met.” Whether it’s venting about Zoom fatigue or listening to upperclassmen recount preCOVID-19 stories, outdoor activities like Spikeball offer the benefits of physical activity and new friends.
It’s “first come, first serve.” Any student or faculty member can walk onto Northwestern’s outdoor tennis courts, says SESP first-year Sally Kim. In the winter, SPAC reservation requirements and a far walk from South Campus limited opportunities to play. Now, Kim plays tennis outdoors and says it’s a great way to meet people during pandemic closures. Kim says she appreciates the nice weather, good friends and, of course, competition. She’s planning to try out for club tennis when the pandemic is over and the team plays more games, but until then, Kim says she enjoys playing with other students with similar tennis experience. For the moment, she’s just appreciating the opportunity to interact and socialize with people in person. “It’s still the pandemic,” Kim says. “There’s not really a lot we can do. Just the fact that we can be outside in nice weather and have a little bit of a social event while doing tennis is also nice.” McCormick second-year Marco Contreras is the Residential College Board co-vice president of inter-college relations. His role involves facilitating inter-college events like Field Day and intramurals that nurture relationships between the University’s 10 residential colleges. Throughout the pandemic, Contreras says virtual intramurals took the form of Xbox or PlayStation team tournaments of games like Madden NFL 21 and Rocket League. During Spring Quarter, they’ve returned to Long Field in the form of softball, ultimate Frisbee and soccer, sports that Contreras says can be played with proper COVID-19 precautions. He says students are enthusiastic about competing in-person again. “One thing that I love about playing outdoor sports is the benefits of fresh air. You get the benefits of the sun, and it makes your mood better,” Contreras says. According to Contreras, students are looking for in-person connection once again, and playing intramural sports can offer that. Weinberg first-year Emilya Ershstein says she’s seen more roller skaters around campus since the start of Spring Quarter. During the cold winter months, even if it wasn’t snowy, the pavement was wet — not suitable for skates — and for a month straight, she couldn’t skate at all. Now that the weather is more skater-friendly, she says the activity helps her to maintain well-being and flow. “For me, being in a state of mind where I’m just focused on trying to improve on something, usually like sports, is something that makes me happy,” Ershstein says. In April, Ershtein discovered the North Shore Channel Trail, connected to a park that’s a five minute skate from her dorm Willard. She found the trail by making a turn onto Noyes and going down until she reached a small park with a trail entrance. Ershtein says it’s a nice place to skate and stretches about 13 miles south. PREGAME
fter a year of Zoom University, some students are experiencing a surprising shift: With restaurants, bars and schools opening back up, suddenly the thought of having to see classmates in person sounds more like a chore than a privilege. Students are less likely to be crowding the halls of Bobb Hall or 560 Lincoln St., nightlife is all but nonexistent and the only interaction most people get is a shy wave from six feet away. As vaccines inaugurate a “new normal,” the ways in which we abide by social protocols, make new friends, maintain the old ones and interact in social settings will continue to shift. Northwestern students might find themselves walking through Norris University Center or studying at Un i v e r s i t y ( M a i n ) Library feeling more cautious about things that they previously hadn’t thought twice about. “I think the act of S n e ezing , coughing and even human touch have all suffered
during this time,” Medill fourth-year Nia Harris says. “I always worry if I sneeze in public, people are going to look at me as if I am the disease.” Due to the pandemic, usual greetings like handshakes, hugs and even kisses have been put on pause. “In Latin cultures, you kiss your relatives on the cheek when you greet them,” Harris says. “My family lost this embrace when the pandemic hit, and it was so strange. As everyone started to understand COVID-19 better and knew who was quarantining, we started to feel safer doing it.” Friendships have also suffered some unexpected changes. Before, friends were made at frat parties, Norris, Mark 2 Lounge (aka the Deuce) and even while simply walking to the Technological Institute (Tech). Now, the pandemic has compromised these typical occurrences, and many students say they’re struggling to connect with peers in-person and online. “I find I make friends less when I have to rely on texting and reaching out on social media instead of just striking up a conversation with somebody in person,” Weinberg third-year Cherish Anderson says. Anderson isn’t the only one who feels this way. Weinberg second-year Rowan Lapi, who plays on the women’s soccer team, says that her friendships have also suffered, as Northwestern Athletics prohibited athletes from seeing anyone outside their team. “Maintaining friendships with my non-athlete friends has been hard because we’re not in the same bubble,” Lapi says. Since the pandemic began, Harris says she’s struggled to make friends through class and social gatherings, as Zoom doesn’t facilitate the same sort of spontaneity present in a classroom setting. “We all know how breakout rooms can go,” Harris says. “They’re either
wonderful or a time of complete awkward silence where all you see are first and last names on a screen.” Isolation, stress and loneliness have characterized the past year, causing students to subconsciously or consciously narrow their group of friends.
We all know how breakout rooms can go. They’re either wonderful or a time of complete awkward silence where all you see are first and last names on a screen.” Nia Harris, Medill fourth-year
However, while Weinberg firstyear Ingrid Falls says it’s been hard to branch out to new people, she also believes the pandemic has brought students together. “The presence of COVID has forced different communities to interact in new ways and allowed people to learn more about themselves, which has led people to find new passions and meet people with similar passions,” Falls says. Perhaps the most memorable dayto-day pandemic experience that has limited social abilities, though, has been mask-wearing. “Our masks cover a huge part of our emotion, and the random smiles to strangers on the street have really lessened,” Harris says. “I think this disconnection was happening with our phones. Now, we have phones, masks and the underlying fear of the spread of COVID.” Since vaccine distribution began in the U.S. on Dec. 14., more than 40% of the population has received both doses, and the Centers for Disease Control and Infection has lifted some mask mandates for fully vaccinated residents. But some students say they aren’t keen on losing their protective garment yet — or going “back to normal” at all. “I’m guessing that some COVID guidelines will stay in place for a while because of the lingering concern about the dangers of the virus,” Falls says.
three words Students reflect on the highs and lows of their Northwestern experience.
Most frequently used words:
WRITTEN AND DESIGNED BY STEPHANIE ZHU
uzzing with excitement while walking through the Arch for the first time. Spending countless hours at the library studying (or maybe just chatting). Witnessing yet another snowy day just when you thought spring was finally here. The college experience is already a roller coaster — but now it has even more loops and turns thanks to the pandemic. How can something so complicated be condensed into just a few words? We collected over 100 student and recent graduate responses to the question “How would you describe your Northwestern experience in three words?” Here’s what they said.
challenging 13 responses
Editor’s Note: Because of space constraints, not all 100 responses are included; similar responses were condensed.
“I battled cancer from the ages of 1317, and I would say attending school here was mentally and emotionally challenging in similar, and sometimes even more difficult, ways.”
“Although the workload given has been slightly overwhelming, I have loved all the people I have met.”
fast-paced 10 responses
“Northwestern has instilled in me the desire to always keep learning and growing in my life long after I graduate.”
Editor’s Note: Students’ names have been omitted due to anonymous surveying.
t e Th Cu ure l b t u e e C h re hind the T ur behind the eb ehind the
WRITTEN BY JULIANNE SUN // DESIGNED BY ALISA GAO
Cut Cut Cut
Asian students find cultural connections and affordable haircuts at Evanston and Chicago salons.
ver since Weinberg second-year Aaron Zheng arrived on campus last year, he has hopped on his bike every few weeks to make the 14mile, hour-long journey to Chinatown for a haircut at the local salon. “When you walk into an American barberstore, it’s just, ‘What size do you want, do you want a fade or do you not want a fade?’” Zheng says. “Whereas it doesn’t matter the quality of the Chinese barberstore, it’s always going to be ‘Oh, what style do you want, how do you like it?’” To Zheng, it’s not just about the quality of the cut; it’s also about the comfort of entering a bubble of Asian culture. Although Asian hair types, textures and styles might not be strikingly different from stereotypically white hair types, there’s something special about Asian hair salons that non-Asian ones can’t replicate. They function as cultural cornerstones where Asian Northwestern students can freely speak a language other than English, listen to Asian pop music and benefit from the expertise of a stylist familiar with Asian hairstyles. Zheng had already been biking to Chinatown for the Chinese food, but after realizing his need for a haircut and a bit of Googling, he decided to try out Joe Moy’s Hair Salon.
Unlike most mainstream businesses, some Chinese places give off an unappealing first impression, says Zheng. As he puts it, “You walk in, and it looks shitty.” Joe Moy’s dilapidated storefront might seems unwelcoming, but the married couple that runs it has a wealth of experience and Chinese familiarity. It’s a two-person operation: The wife washes customers’ hair, and the husband does the haircut. “Usually when I go in, there’s two or three other really old people who speak a variation of Cantonese that I don’t understand,” Zheng says. “It’s just really fun to see because they’re still keeping this close community outside of wherever they’re from.” Although Joe Moy’s haircuts aren’t always perfect, Zheng prefers them to the non-Asian salons he used to go to when attending high school in
Pennsylvania. His experience with haircuts given by white people led him to the conclusion that “White people suck at giving haircuts.” He chalks it up to their lack of familiarity with Asian hairstyles and textures, since Asian hair tends to be thicker. For students that don’t want to make the trek to Chinatown, the Asian-owned Kami Salon in Evanston is a closer option, particularly for students that want to maintain shorter hair styles. “Anyone who’s been on campus for at least a year, I would bet a decent amount of money that at least 75% of them, if they’re Asian guys specifically, will go to Kami or have been at least once,” says McCormick fourth-year Alex Li. Li has been a loyal customer of Kami since his freshman year and, as a member of the Refresh Dance Crew and Fusion Dance Company, has taken four of his first-year dance team members to get their hair done at the salon in the past year. Li’s preferred barber at Kami is Ken Yeung. He usually calls ahead to make sure Yeung is available when he goes in for a haircut, as they’ve built up a steady barber-client relationship since his first year. “By now they recognize me, so everyone will say
hi,” Li says. “Whenever I go in, I speak Chinese with [Ken]. It’s one of the rare instances away from home where I get to do it and not feel weird.” In addition to the staff, the general atmosphere of Kami feels welcoming for Asian students like Li. “There’s always a fun mix of Chinese pop songs playing, and I’m like, ‘Hey, I recognize some of these from when my mom would play these in the car,’” Li says. “It’s definitely very familiar and comforting every time I walk in.” McCormick first-year Chris Woodard, a member of Refresh Dance Crew, was one of the dance team members Li took to Kami. Typically, Woodard would go to the chain salon Supercuts back home in Houston. “All they do is they cut your hair and you’re out,” Woodard says. “But at Kami, before they even cut your hair, they first wash your hair, and then dry it, and then they cut your hair, and then wash it again and apply any products you want to use. They also take your coat and have these lockers for your belongings.” Weinberg fourth-year Emmy Khawsam-Ang wasn’t as lucky as Woodard and didn’t have anyone to help her navigate hair salons in the area. At first, she went to Steven Papageorge Salon because it had good reviews. While there wasn’t anything wrong with the salon’s quality, she felt that the prices were a bit too high and that she was “more comfortable in non-white spaces nowadays.” “I just feel like there have been so many microaggressions that I’ve experienced in the past within the Evanston area,” Khawsam-Ang says. “When I’m walking into a store, people don’t treat me as nicely or are rude to me when they aren’t to my white friends. But when I go to the hairdressers with my boyfriend, we are in an Asian space, so we both don’t experience that.” Her second try, as recommended by her Korean boyfriend, was Park Jun Hair Salon in Glenview. PHOTOS BY VICTORIA BENEFIELD
“I suddenly wanted to dye my hair during the pandemic, as one does,” Khawsam-Ang says. “[My boyfriend] had to translate a lot of times because they couldn’t speak English well and I don’t speak Korean, but it ended up working really well.” There is a certain level of cultural comfort students identified with Asian haircuts. The bottom line isn’t that the barbers are Asian; it’s that they provide an accommodating and safe environment for Asian students. Given the racial tensions around COVID-19, Khawsam-Ang says the home-like environment of Asian salons makes them the optimal choice for hair cuts. “They know what you’re going through, and they’re people who I would feel safe around,” she says.
Barbers at Kami Salon are busy at work on May 28.
They know what you’re going through, and they’re people who I would feel safe around. Weinberg fourth-year Emmy Khawsam-Ang PREGAME
All the world’s S
eventy choral singers stood on the Lakefill grass holding black megaphones. They sang under the full moon in the first live Bienen performance in over a year. Audience members walked through at their own pace on a set trail weaving through the singers, so they could fully experience the natural and auditory beauty around them. They stood 22 feet apart from the singers, but the megaphones and quiet night allowed audience members to hear even whispered melodies. Donald Nally, a Northwestern professor of conducting and ensembles, and Kevin Vondrak, a 2017 Northwestern graduate and conductor/collaborator, composed the piece, titled “Eclipse,” with the intention of putting on a socially distanced performance with a live audience. “That kind of unspoken relationship between singer and audience member … it’s a vital part of what goes on,” Nally says. “The absence is felt by the audience members, staring at the Zoom screen. It is also felt by the performer who’s looking into nothing … So the question is, how do we do [it]? How do we connect? How do we sing? And have people experience it live? And this has been our solution.” For three academic quarters, COVID-19 restrictions have confined student performers to Zoom screens and pre-recorded videos. But as vaccines become commonplace, some Northwestern performers are adapting to outdoor spaces to showcase their talents live. These performances not only reestablish audience connections but also energize performers and viewers. Other performance groups on campus will continue to only livestream their work due to safety concerns. Boomshaka, a group that combines the energy of drummers with dance, has been practicing and performing over Zoom for the past three quarters. Weinberg third-year Kati Guerrero, who serves as both a drummer and the social chair of Boomshaka, says working almost exclusively through video can be depressing. “You come to Zoom rehearsal, and it just reminds you of how
Performers take their stage outdoors in the pursuit of live audiences. WRITTEN BY SYLVIA GOODMAN DESIGNED BY S. KELSIE YU far from the real thing that is. Or you’re preparing for a videoed spring show, and you can’t find rehearsal space, and it just feels very distant from what you hoped it would be,” Guerrero says. Though the group has decided that it’s too soon for live audiences, they have begun practicing outside in small teams of 10 or fewer. They flock to parks and open spaces, practicing their rhythms and timing the dances. “Every rehearsal I had, there’d be some little kid [who’d] toddle up to us and stare at us for 30 seconds and leave. That was so nice,” Guerrero says, laughing. “I really missed that — just having people perceive us.” The interactive aspect of a live audience is key to many performance groups on campus and something many feel they’ve been lacking. “Half the fun of performing is sharing the appreciation for what you’re doing with the audience,” Guerrero says. “If they’re supposed to laugh, if they’re supposed to go crazy, if they’re supposed to applaud, I feel like [that] just feeds back into the energy of a performance.” That audience feedback is what led shows like Sit & Spin Productions’ “The Secret in the Wings” to work closely with the administration to have their outdoor performance approved. “The Secret in the Wings” was still struggling with the administration a few weeks before opening night, as the crew worked through safety logistics. The choreography for an outdoor performance is also a unique challenge, since performers must social distance and wear masks throughout. Emily Brooks, the choreographer for “The Secret in the Wings” and Communication third-year, says that it is the perfect play to use safety limitations creatively. “The Secret in the Wings” explores lesser-known fairy tales and legends in alternating scenes that shift through time and space. Since none of the actors can touch, Brooks says they have to get creative and will be using floodlights and a white backdrop to simulate a kiss through shadows. “The heightened world that the show lives in allows the choreography to also live in an abstract space,” Brooks says. “That works better for the six-foot distance format.”
The cast of “Secret in the Wings” perform a group scene with interpretative movement. Their rehearsal was conducted outside Scott Hall courtyard on South Campus.
PHOTO BY CHIARA DORSI
14 VAXXED VACATION 16 RE: MORTY’S LEGACY 18 THE CONSULTING CRAZE 21 SERVING FROM AFAR 24 DATING DESPITE THE DISTANCE 28 PAGING DOCTOR ZOOM 30 ONE STEP FORWARD, TWO STEPS BACK 33 BEZOS V. BOOKENDS & BEGINNINGS
PHOTO BY CARLY MENKER
As vaccination rates go up and masks come off, students look forward to summer.
cCormick first-year Marcos Rios returned home for his brother’s graduation the first weekend of May and was overjoyed to safely hug his grandparents for the first time in over a year. Rios’ immediate family had been socially distancing from his grandparents since last March when the
WRITTEN BY ROSE NEWMARK // DESIGNED BY MAREN KRANKING Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urged Americans to avoid interacting with anyone outside of their household for fear of contracting COVID-19. At the end of a seemingly endless year, Rios and his family were finally able to safely see his grandparents thanks to the several COVID-19 vaccines. According to the CDC, the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are all effective in protecting vaccinated people from becoming infected and spreading the virus to others. As COVID-19 cases decrease nationally and vaccines become more widely available for all ages,
Northwestern students are evaluating the safety and benefits of their potential summer plans while still following COVID-19 guidelines. As of May 12, the CDC accepted an FDA recommendation and announced that all citizens over the age of 12 are eligible for the Pfizer vaccine. In addition to reducing the likelihood of contracting COVID-19, the vaccine also prevents deadly infection. As a result, friends and loved ones have been able to reunite after social distancing for over a year. Rios followed COVID-19 precautions, including double masking when the CDC said it provided further protection from the virus. He also received both doses of the Moderna vaccine in preparation for the summer and encouraged his friends and family to do the same. This summer, Rios will be conducting independent
research on campus through a grant he received from the Transportation Department. In addition, he plans to travel to New York to visit friends. “The CDC said that I am safe and I am at a much lower risk of transmitting it to others,” Rios says. “If I’m at an outdoor event with all of my friends, it’s not my problem at that point.” Travel restrictions are loosening, and the European Union recently announced that fully vaccinated Americans will be able to travel to Europe this summer. According to research from the data identity company Adara, summer flight bookings have experienced a sharp increase in recent months. However, Medill first-year Mya Franklin is still practicing some restraint when it comes to her air travel this summer. “I will probably take a red-eye flight so there’s not too many people on the plane and go crazy with the masks and the face shield and everything,” Franklin says. Franklin is fully vaccinated and will stay with family in Chicago this summer, though she plans on flying home to Houston in August to visit her mom and friends.
Both Rios and Franklin emphasize the importance of protecting those around them who are more susceptible to the perils of COVID-19, such as service workers and other non-student employees around campus. “As students, we get regularly tested, but service workers, like people who work at Lisa’s and people who work in the dining halls and people who work at the testing facilities, do not have access to the same resources we have, and they are not getting regularly tested,” Franklin says. Franklin says her vaccination makes her feel a little safer in terms of protecting those essential workers. While Rios now feels comfortable because of his vaccine, he also expressed concern that the country was opening up too quickly, citing issues regarding vaccine accessibility. As of May 29, NPR reported that 41% of the US population is fully vaccinated and on track to have 85% of the population fully vaccinated by early December. But according to a recent survey from the
Kaiser Family Foundation, 20% of Americans would “definitely not” get the vaccine or would do so “only if required.” However, the survey also found that 21% of employed adults who have yet to get the vaccine say they
reopening the country seems stable so far and says that people will not wait until everyone in the country is vaccinated to make summer plans. Bryant plans to work as a counselor at a girls’ overnight camp in northern Wisconsin
“THE CDC SAID THAT I AM SAFE AND I AM AT A MUCH LOWER RISK OF TRANSMITTING IT TO OTHERS. IF I’M AT AN OUTDOOR EVENT WITH ALL OF MY FRIENDS, IT’S NOT MY PROBLEM AT THAT POINT.” McCORMICK FIRST-YEAR MARCOS RIOS would be more willing if their employer gave them paid time off to get the vaccine and recover from side effects. The survey also suggested that incentives for vaccination, such as free transportation to vaccination sites from ridesharing companies, could increase vaccination rates among Hispanic, Black and low-income people and help close the current racial and socioeconomic disparities in distribution. However, vaccination accessibility isn’t stopping students’ summer plans as the country reopens. Weinberg second-year Elizabeth Bryant believes that the pace of
which she attended as a child. She explains that the camp does not have any vaccine requirements, but it will have mandatory testing and quarantine periods to ensure everyone’s safety. They will also require people to wear masks inside and when around people outside their “bubble” of immediate cabin members and counselors. If all goes according to plan with vaccine rollout, the country is likely to return to some sense of normalcy by late summer or early fall, according to a statement from Dr. Anthony
Fauci in March. In support of Fauci’s predictions, the CDC announced on May 13 that fully vaccinated Americans no longer need to wear a mask or practice social distancing except where they are required to by law, including workplaces or local businesses. Northwestern, along with hundreds of other universities, has mandated that all students must be fully vaccinated by the beginning of the 2021 Fall Quarter, and data predicts that COVID-19-related deaths and hospitalizations will significantly decrease by September 2021 due to increased vaccine availability. Rios emphasized the importance of respecting the health of those around him while still acknowledging his own protection from the virus. He is looking forward to making up for lost time with his friends and family, specifically his grandparents: “They’re vaccinated, and knowing that I can be with them safely is the greatest joy of my life.”
ince the pandemic began, President Morton Schapiro’s legacy has entirely transformed. This striking change in perception can be attributed, in large part, to a change in campus culture at Northwestern. Unlike older classmates or alumni, I haven’t had the opportunity to meet President Schapiro. Many students revere President Schapiro as a legendary campus fixture and remember him as the devoted professor who skipped out on the White House to teach an economics class. Honestly, I don’t know President Schapiro well enough to have developed a personal attachment.
I joined the Wildcat community after a revolutionary summer of social unrest. The creation and growth of abolition organizations like Northwestern Community Not Cops, Abolish NU Greek Life and Fossil Free Northwestern brought social transformations to campus. Many students in such organizations, feeling as if the Northwestern administration diametrically opposed their values, sought to oust leadership figures like President Schapiro. I admire members of our student body for working toward equity at Northwestern. It’s worth noting,
Three students on how they will remember our outgoing president Morton Schapiro — in 250 words or less. DESIGNED BY EMMA ESTBERG
however, that our campus no longer feels united nor cohesive. Often, I worry that the contentious last years of the Schapiro presidency resulted in a campus culture that leaves little room for nuance and dialogue. Truth be told, I won’t remember President Schapiro as a person. I’ll remember him as a symbol of a seemingly permanent shift toward a hyper-critical and obstinate student body. The Schapiro administration leaves behind a legacy of a polarized campus, one that I hope will soon feel whole again. WRITTEN BY IZZY MOKOTOFF
’ll never forget my one interaction with Morty. After Black students interrupted a 2015 ribbon-cutting ceremony for the $270 million Ryan Fieldhouse, protesting the school’s ongoing indifference to their needs, Morty sent out a predictably placating email about the “increasingly troubling events” at Northwestern and elsewhere. In a fit of youthful insouciance, I sent an over-the-top response capped with this uncertain threat: “Own up for your complicity, and make this a better place. You’ll be hearing from all of us if you don’t.” In response, Morty sent this gem: “Own up to my complicity? If you knew me, you would realize that I’m not just a symbol but am actually a real person — someone who cares deeply for the community and will never stop working to improve it for all of our students.” Perhaps it’s helpful that Morty responded directly to this kind of student email, as indignant as it was. Then again, I’m not convinced that he understood why students were upset. Yes, Morty, you are a real person, someone with incredible power to sway the direction of the University. Especially after seeing images of militarized Evanston police last summer, I see a university president unwilling to admit his authority. Whoever replaces him in 2022, I hope Northwestern might find someone more willing to meaningfully understand that power rather than someone who hides behind empty platitudes to avoid change.
orty has always tried to endear himself to students as a man of the people. He signs off his emails with “President and Professor.” Despite being Northwestern’s president, he emphasizes that he frequently hangs out with undergrads and is consequently “one of the guys.” The top photo on his webpage is him, decked out in sunglasses, giving a high-five to a student marching through the Arch. He’s even a big fan of Northwestern’s football team! But despite his projected image as a populist president, my opinion of Morty has sunk throughout the year. I’ve never witnessed his “fun” personality –– only his stodgy executive side. Start with the bungled announcement, days before move-in, that first- and second-years were staying home for Fall Quarter. Although I wasn’t planning to live on campus, that email was a harbinger of the turbulent year to come. Since then, Morty has only sparked further controversy. In one email, he broadly smeared NU Community Not Cops protesters: “I refuse to engage with individuals who continue to use the tactics of intimidation and violence.” On other subjects, like labor rights, he’s conspicuously silent. This approach is unsurprising given his powerful position, but it signals a lack of care for students. He seems more concerned with his reputation than our wellbeing, and it’s frustrating. Morty’s distantness is how I will remember him. His legacy, from my perspective, is mostly cold emails and repeated missteps. Forget man of the people; he’s a stranger to me. WRITTEN BY RUSSELL LEUNG
WRITTEN BY ANNIE HOWARD DANCE FLOOR
Consulting Craze The
Why Northwestern students are drawn into consulting jobs year after year WRITTEN BY JOSEPH RAMOS // DESIGNED BY SOOIM KANG
club members, worked on projects for clients like a New York waffle café that wanted to launch a new product in grocery stores. Wang says this hands-on work in the Northwestern consulting community helped her understand what the job entailed. In the years since, Wang decided she wants to pursue consulting as a career, and she is now co-president of Lambda. This summer, she is interning at McKinsey & Company, one of the top consulting firms in the world. “If I hadn’t gone to Northwestern, where there is such a big following within consulting, I might have gone down a different path,” Wang says. As a profession, consultants give advice to organizations to help them run as profitably and efficiently as possible,
according to Vault.com, a job search website used by Northwestern Career Advancement (NCA). Consultants are essentially problem-solvers for hire and work on months-long projects to advise an organization on how to fix a particular issue. Consulting firms can vary in size and scope, but most focus on business management, like improving an organization’s structure, or financial advice, such as how to best allocate money and resources. Thousands of firms exist to help all groups, from nonprofits to government agencies, though the best known are McKinsey & Company, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Bain & Company. Fifteen percent of Northwestern’s 2020 graduates went into consulting
hen Weinberg third-year Mimi Wang arrived at Northwestern in 2018, she had no idea what consulting was. Before her first-year roommate proposed that they both apply for Lambda Strategy, one of the school’s student consulting clubs, Wang saw consulting as just a profession many of her classmates talked about pursuing. Wang was accepted to Lambda, but when she entered the glass doors of the Kellogg School’s Global Hub for her first meeting, she says she felt “like a fish out of water.” Though her peers were wellversed in what Lambda did in the realm of consulting, Wang still did not fully understand what a consultant does. She joined the communications committee and, with the help of other
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after graduation. That number has stayed above 14% every year since 2015, per NCA’s post-undergraduate survey. This statistic is slightly higher than the 13.57% average among top 10 universities, excluding the California Institute of Technology, according to data from schools’ postgraduate surveys. NCA’s survey also shows that consulting has attracted the second highest number of Northwestern students since 2015, following only business and financial services. Why does such a tie between Northwestern and the consulting industry exist? To students and alumni, the profession’s prominence on campus, a wide range of available NCA resources and an involved alumni network have all helped build the connection. Hannah Caplan, a SESP third-year, knew she wanted her career to focus on social impact when she started college. As a first-year, Caplan joined Students Consulting for Nonprofit Organizations (SCNO), a club that offers strategic consulting to Chicagoland nonprofits. Now SCNO’s president, Caplan says she was drawn
to the club’s work because it let her use analytical thinking to directly resolve issues. “[I] saw consulting as a way to help people on a higher level,” Caplan says. SCNO — along with clubs like Lambda and Consultants Advising Student Enterprises (CASE) and business fraternities like Alpha Kappa Psi and Delta Sigma Pi — has frequently been a gateway for students into the world of consulting. These clubs provide a space to work with actual clients and develop skills like business judgment and project management. Within consulting-focused clubs, members go through the recruitment and internship application process for consulting firms together. Applications are typically due in the fall of students’ third year, and preparation begins in the spring and summer of students’ second year. As Wang and her friends in Lambda prepared for the interview process, they would practice cases with each other. A case, according to Wang, is a scenario that a hypothetical company is turning to a consulting firm for help with. Firms
present applicants with cases during interviews, and applicants are expected to answer questions about how they would approach helping the company. One practice case Wang frequently used with classmates came from McKinsey & Company’s Careers website. The case involves a beverage producer called SuperSoda that has asked McKinsey for help launching their new sports drink, Electro-Light. An interviewee is asked questions about what market factors the company SuperSoda should consider when launching Electro-Light, how to find the share of the market that it should aim to take up and how SuperSoda should distribute Electro-Light to take over the desired share of the market. “[When] casing someone else, you can learn from that other person just as much as you can when you’re actually practicing a case,” Wang says. “The feedback that your partners are giving you is something that can be really valuable as you’re learning.” Having had multiple casing partners and a strong student network of support, Wang says her overall experience with
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Northwestern’s consulting scene has generally been more collaborative than competitive. However, CASE copresident Sonia Bhattacharyya says while students tend to work together, the rejections she faced while applying for consulting internships showed her the industry and its following at Northwestern can be cutthroat. “People at Northwestern, as much as I love them, are pretty intense when it comes to their future careers,” Bhattacharyya says. “We all know these consulting companies can only take so many Northwestern students. You definitely know that you’re competing against people who are in your classes who are very bright and very resourceful.” According to Wang, Caplan and Bhattacharyya, NCA is a key resource for accessing the consulting industry. Mark Presnell, NCA’s executive director, says it is a place where students receive career counseling and advising. This includes help with everything from choosing a career to editing resumes and cover letters. For consulting, NCA offers tools like CQ Interactive, an online casing trainer, and hosts mock case interview programs. It also frequently posts job and internship opportunities to Handshake, a general employment website meant for college students. Caplan found her internship in strategy consulting for this summer on the platform. Presnell says NCA also helps consulting firms recruit by providing information about the school’s student body. Every major consulting firm, according to Presnell, recruits at Northwestern. They use school-specific representatives, meet-and-greets like coffee chats and presentations explaining what their brand of consulting is to garner student interest. NCA also has a detailed four-year plan for students going into consulting available on their website, complete with details like reading The Economist and other business publications and creating profiles on employer websites. The majority of industries that NCA has resources for do not have such a plan. While NCA’s consulting resources appear greater than what it has for most other professions, Presnell maintains that NCA serves all career tracks with the same success. “NCA is going to support every
student’s career goals and objectives, including in consulting,” Presnell says. “We have a strong track record of supporting students through the application process, we have a track record of companies recruiting here on campus and a track record of successful placement, but I can say that in a lot of fields, not just consulting.” Since Northwestern has consistently sent high numbers of graduates into consulting, there is an expansive alumni network that students, NCA and consulting clubs can utilize. Though not consulting-specific, NCA offers programs like the Northwestern Externship Program (NEXT) where students can shadow an alum for one day at work. Groups like CASE and Lambda host alumni speaker events and have LinkedIn networks with club alumni through which members can
“If I hadn’t gone to Northwestern, where there is such a big following within consulting, I might have gone down a different path.” Mimi Wang, Weinberg third-year make connections. To John Hruska, a Weinberg graduate in the class of 2019 who is now an associate at BCG, the University’s alumni network is a key factor that lands many students at major firms after graduation. “It’s a sort of chicken and egg situation where having alums results in a general taste for the alumni of that school to work at the company,” Hruska says. “I’m sure [alumni] make a concerted effort to find potential recruits from said school.” Recent graduates typically start at firms as associates, and, according to Business Insider, earn somewhere between $60,000 and $90,000. These base level jobs can require long work weeks of up to 70 hours with frequent travel.
Hruska says associates perform most of the data analysis for projects and use software like Excel to inform a summary of a client’s data. Students say the near immediate involvement in projects is a sizable appeal of going into the field. “Being able to have that type of impact right out of college, in a beginner role where you are still learning so much, is a very cool experience and very satisfying early on,” Caplan says. “In a lot of roles, it takes a lot longer to get to a place where you can have a meaningful impact.” The consulting industry is not without its issues, though. McKinsey, which is seen as the industry’s top firm, has been involved in scandals like advising the Trump-era Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) to save money by cutting spending on food and medical services for detained migrants. The firm also advised Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, on how to significantly bolster its sales during the U.S.’s opioid crisis. Such scandals have led to increased criticism of the profession. An April op-ed in The Daily Northwestern titled “The Consultant Trap” referred to consultants as “high priests tapped by executives to make impersonal decisions in the name of our most secular deities: Efficiency, Profit and Optimization.” The industry is also characterized by a lack of diversity. About 73% of consulting firms’ employees are white and just 23% of all junior consultants are female, according to a 2020 report by the Diverse Asset Managers Initiative. Many Northwestern students interested in consulting say these critiques are valid but feel this dark side of the industry does not represent the morals of students looking to enter it. Consulting club leaders like Bhattacharyya say the students leaving their organizations for the professional world can best reckon with firms’ flaws by working to change them. “The best tiles for change is probably to work from the inside and understand [the industry], and then once you work in it, try to make it better,” Bhattacharyya says. “There’s always going to be two sides of the coin, and not everything is going to be perfect morally either, which is just something you have to accept, but you also know you can change it.”
Serving from afar What volunteer-based clubs did to navigate a virtual year WRITTEN BY FELIX BEILIN // DESIGNED BY EMMA ESTBERG
o student organization has found itself fully immune from this year’s COVID-19 restrictions — not even those which offer some of the most urgent and essential services to their communities. Service trips turned to Zoom calls, and onsite volunteering moved to virtual platforms. A number of Northwestern volunteer-based student organizations were forced to significantly alter their operations this year and recalibrate their goals throughout a long period of remote and virtual programming. But with in-person work again on the horizon, Northwestern’s volunteer clubs are emerging from COVID-19 with new resilience, introspection and communities to serve.
Undergraduate Prison Education Partnership The Undergraduate Prison Education Partnership (UPEP) hasn’t worked inperson with incarcerated students for a year. Stateville Correctional Center is located an hour and a half away from Northwestern’s Evanston campus, just north of Joliet, Illinois. It’s where UPEP, the undergraduate affiliate of the Northwestern Prison Education Program (NPEP), tutors about 40 men seeking associate degrees. Typically, Northwestern undergraduates visit Stateville twice a week, organize more thorough workshops once per quarter and ferry learning materials between Evanston and Stateville as needed. But Stateville and other correctional facilities are some of the highestrisk locations in the United States for COVID-19 transmission. At times, Cook County Jail, where NPEP also provides coursework, recorded more than 300 cases per day. By June 2020, according to the Chicago Tribune, 12 incarcerated men at Stateville had died of COVID-19. Conditions ripe for transmission and lack of available PPE have meant that access to the prison for outside
organizations like UPEP has been extremely limited. When the pandemic initially hit, UPEP rushed to gather PPE for its students. Tutoring seemed to be an afterthought for the time being. “We were doing wall-to-wall social media posts and other types of fundraising work,” says Weinberg third-year Caleb Young, UPEP’s outgoing co-president. In the year since, an NPEP member delivering PPE supplies has been the only Northwestern affiliate permitted entry into the prison. Until recently, Stateville students lacked internet access. As a result, tutoring has been done exclusively by letter writing. “There have been two general types of letter writing,” Young says. “Incarcerated students would send out copies of their work and would get back in letters that are basically giving them feedback on that work or answering questions.” The other letters are a little more personal and a little less scholastic, says Ji Hye Choi, one of UPEP’s new co-presidents.
“We had one of our letter writing initiatives back in Winter Quarter. We coordinated it as a little gift surprise to them, something for the holidays,” Choi says. “It was really nice to write a little ‘Hey, congratulations for getting through the quarter!’” Although the letters help, keeping academic community around has been a serious challenge for UPEP. Choi and Young hope that recent acquisitions of laptops will make virtual study halls consistently possible. UPEP members anxiously await the end of remote modality. Formal membership in the club is up this year, Young says, but a lack of in-person activity “has been hard on both exec and just on general members to keep doing the work that we do while constantly adapting to whatever the new guidelines are, and that’s been a suppressor of involvement.” A return to Stateville may require some patience, Choi added. More than anything, she says, “We don’t want to put that population in danger. It’s really dangerous, especially now.” DANCE FLOOR
Chinatown Health Initiative On a normal weekend, unconstrained by COVID-19 regulations and risk of exposure, Weinberg third-year Larry Wang might lead a group of four Northwestern students to the Midwest Asian Health Association (MAHA) clinic in Chinatown. The clinic primarily serves Hepatitis B patients in the Asian and Pacific Islander community, particularly those it considers at-risk and hard to reach. Wang and his committee would arrive just after 8 a.m., meet up with a volunteer medical student from the Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine and then get started seeing a day’s worth of patients. “It’s a lot more intimate,” Wang says. “It’s just the patient and the doctor. We go in, one at a time, to interpret what the doctor and the patient are saying.” Wang is co-chair of the clinical committee of the Chinatown Health Initiative (CTHI), a student organization at Northwestern that works to improve the health outcomes of residents in Chicago’s rapidly growing Chinatown. Another one of CTHI’s committees, the health education committee, sets up booths at a library in Chinatown to answer patrons’ questions about access to physical and mental healthcare. This would be Wang’s agenda on a normal weekend. But the last time Wang led a group of student volunteers to Chinatown was last spring, before COVID-19 restrictions forced the MAHA clinic to significantly alter its operations.
Meanwhile, the need for health services in Chinatown hasn’t abated. When in-person clinics shut down, MAHA shifted its primary attention to the mental health of the community, as it found mental health interventions to be easier to host online. “A lot of the Chinese elderly are exhibiting really poor mental health because they’re very lonely, and they’re very, very scared to come out,” says Anny Yang, the president of the CTHI. Meanwhile, Chinatown has been among the least prioritized neighborhoods in Chicago for vaccine distribution, as its population maintains low case and fatality rates, according to an analysis by WBEZ. The Population Study of Chinese Elderly in Chicago, conducted in part by researchers at Northwestern, confirmed that fear of contracting COVID-19 has caused elderly residents of Chinatown to put off important medical visits. Given that an estimated two in three Asian Americans with Hepatitis B don’t know their positive status, according to the CDC, many elderly residents of Chinatown may be in trouble — and CTHI’s hands are tied, for now. “Throughout the year, we’ve been trying to communicate with [the MAHA clinic] and see if we could do a virtual interpretation or virtual clinic,” Wang says. “But they’ve actually been really, really unresponsive.” But Wang and Yang managed to find a silver lining. Yang says CTHI was overdue
for some self-reflection about how they did their volunteering, which had been hard to squeeze in given the frequency and intensity of normal volunteering. “One fault that we had found, even before COVID, was that we didn’t think [about] our proficiency and ethics training — it wasn’t good enough,” Yang says. “We basically said, ‘It’s fine that we don’t have volunteering, and this is really our time to make our internal logistics better and have real training materials and prepare ourselves for the next time we can volunteer.’” CTHI has updated their brochures and posters, as well as the medical information they disseminate through their health desks. Additionally, CTHI has recently attempted social justice activism. Yang referred to a forum that CTHI opened where students can log experiences of anti-Asian sentiment or “if they felt any kind of judgment” at Northwestern. Yang hopes the forum, which remains an ongoing process, will provide insights into whether the University sufficiently supports its Asian community. CTHI, though, doesn’t appear to be a group distracted by the changed circumstances of the last year. “Throughout the summer, it’s going to be a huge priority to be communicating and seeing if MAHA has any updates,” Wang says. In terms of getting back to directly helping patients again, Wang is definitive: “We’re hoping for the fall.”
Evanston Young Artists Evanston Young Artists (EYA) usually meets in Parkes Hall on Northwestern’s campus on Saturday afternoons. The group provides music instruction to students who qualify for free and reduced lunches in the Evanston area. These students are often able to receive funding for string instruments from their schools but have lacked the ability to capitalize on their talent during the last year of remote learning and performance. David Cao, the founder and CEO of EYA, says EYA’s pre-pandemic routine involved 40-minute lessons and 50-minute group classes of 16 students, which filled the whole afternoon. But when COVID-19 became a factor, the group classes had to be cut, and the individual lessons went online. “Music and music lessons are such a visceral, in-person experience. There’s a lot of correcting posture, correcting positions, that sort of thing involved in lessons,” Cao says. “You can’t reach out to someone through the screen to correct their bow.” Because of the socioeconomic status of some of EYA’s students, the medium for providing individual lessons sometimes posed an obstacle. Difficulties with
sound quality and internet reliability could make delivering instruction frustrating, Cao says. As a result, EYA lost about half its students throughout the last year, which EYA largely attributes to the pervasiveness of Zoom fatigue. But for those who stayed, EYA was able to fill an additional need for parents who suddenly found their young children at home twice as often as usual: childcare. “The families who stayed with us saw this as an opportunity,” Cao says. Over the last year, Cao recalls parents saying, “This is a great way to keep my student occupied or to keep them interested, because school and home learning becomes repetitive and bland.” EYA was also able to expand its operations amid the pandemic. Last fall, Cao started the “Practice Buddy Program” with the Chicago Music Pathways Initiative (CMPI), a well-established music advancement program for underrepresented youth in the Chicago area. Through the program, one of CMPI’s fellows is paired with an EYA volunteer mentor who provides instruction. Javier Irizarry, a sophomore at Highland Park High School, is a CMPI fellow that Cao started teaching. For him,
EYA has been an opportunity to build on his work with Desirée Ruhstrat, a lecturer at Northwestern’s Bienen School of Music who works with CMPI and is Javier’s private instructor. “Sometimes Desirée might not do scales with me or might not get to something in the lesson, so David will help me with my scales or other repertoires that I’ve not gotten to. It’s really nice to have,” Javier says. Through CMPI, Javier has set himself on a career in violin. EYA’s assistance has been important in helping him gain an edge before orchestra auditions, says Javier’s mother, Wren Williams. “We feel so fortunate that Javier gets this extra session with David every week,” Williams says. “I’m just so happy that he’s able to have that extra help and support and focus from David. The work they do is wonderful.”
Dating Despite the Distance How love has sparked and survived during the pandemic WRITTEN BY GABRIELLE NADLER // DESIGNED BY S. KELSIE YU
he pandemic spurred a new phenomenon of “turbo relationships” — relationships becoming serious more quickly. According to a June 2020 report from eharmony and Relate on adults in the UK, 59% of people in relationships feel more committed to their partner than ever before and 36% of people feel that two months in isolation together is equivalent to two years in a relationship. While COVID-19 forced many couples apart, for some, it was the force that ultimately brought them together. Communication second-year Catie Moore thinks she wouldn’t be in her current relationship if not for the pandemic. She is from New Mexico and currently in a long-distance relationship with her boyfriend who is from Los Angeles County. Moore matched with her boyfriend on Tinder in June of 2019 while waiting out a two-hour layover in Los Angeles before her next flight to Taiwan. As she waited for her flight, Moore swiped on Tinder and came across her now-boyfriend’s profile. She remembers noticing a Drake and Josh meme, which she mistook for a childhood photo of him, his music taste was similar to hers, and that his listed occupation was Percy Jackson fan account. Moore proceeded to ask who his godly parent would be, to which he answered Apollo, and a conversation sprung from there. He asked Moore if he could give her his number shortly into the conversation. Moore said yes, but warned him she was about to board her plane. When she landed several hours later, he’d sent his number and the conversation seamlessly transitioned to text. While Moore was in Taiwan for the next two weeks, the 15-hour time difference with Los Angeles did not stop the two from staying in touch. “He would stay up late and wake up early to text me, which I thought was very sweet,” Moore says.
“It made quarantine a lot less scary, to have someone there.” - Sadd Sadd, Communication second-year
Although Moore and her boyfriend are from different states, after she got back from Taiwan, they continued to get to know each other through text, Snapchat and FaceTime. Once everyone was sent home and in quarantine, Moore and her nowboyfriend became much closer. “Because we were both home, we had more time to put energy into talking to each other more and developing that friendship and relationship,” Moore says. Later, Moore spent fall quarter in Iowa with some friends, and her boyfriend came to visit her there. Moore drove two hours from where she was staying to pick him up at the closest airport. After meeting in person for the first time, a few days went by before they began officially dating. He had already told Moore how he felt about her in a letter, but she was still unsure. “I felt a little apprehensive about entering into something that was just inherently long distance,” Moore says. Spending time together platonically helped Moore realize that she wanted to be with him, and the distance between them didn’t matter. Although maintaining a long-distance relationship has its inevitable challenges, Moore feels that in some ways the pandemic made this process easier.
“I feel like quarantine was kind of an equalizer,” Moore says. “Everyone had to sort of go through long-distance, not even just with relationships, but with friendships and family members.” Meeting online has also helped Moore and her boyfriend become accustomed to communicating remotely. “Because the way that we got to know each other started through long distance, it’s a lot less difficult,” Moore says. “One of the things that I think makes us work well is that we’ve established our communication in the periods where we are long distance, and we’re not reliant all the time on the next time that we’re going to see each other.” Although Moore started talking to her significant other before COVID, Northwestern students have also formed new connections throughout lockdown. McCormick second-year Catherine Zdunek met her current boyfriend in late August 2020 through a mutual friend, her now-boyfriend’s roommate. The two bonded over both being chemical engineering majors, their love of video games and their similar tastes in music. Zdunek had been hesitant about getting into relationships with other people in the past, but when her now-boyfriend asked her if she wanted to date in mid-October, she changed her mind.
“I was just like, ‘I’m going to stop being a scaredy cat,’” Zdunek says. “I had never met somebody I thought that I really felt similar to and thinks the same way.” Zdunek is thankful for the additional downtime online classes afforded her relationship. Zdunek says she “definitely had a lot more free time in this quarter, which is nice because you have more time to get to know someone.” Overall, though, Zdunek believes the pandemic has not had a large impact on her relationship. “If I met him in a nonpandemic sense, I would definitely still like him a lot,” Zdunek says. Communication second-year Sadd Sadd also met his former girlfriend during the pandemic. He saw her profile on Tinder at the beginning of fall quarter and was immediately interested. “She’s basically the epitome of my type,” says Sadd, noting her profile had plenty of “cottagecore” photos. He reached out with a cheesy pick up line he no longer remembers and once they started talking, he liked her even more. They both had the same sense of humor and soon started texting each other long paragraphs about their days. For two weeks, they stayed up texting every night until around 3 a.m. before finally meeting up. They went on a masked walk on the Lakefill and
talked for two hours. “It was even better in person having conversations,” Sadd says. For their first “actual” date they had a picnic in the Civic Center and, after running it by their respective roommates, were able to hang out inside together. Similar to Moore, Sadd does not think the relationship would have happened if not for the pandemic. When he arrived at college, Sadd was hesitant about getting into a relationship and made a deal with himself to stay single. “I think that quarantine really did break me down, and I felt the need for companionship in that way — for closeness with another person,” Sadd says. Getting in a relationship ended up helping Sadd build up his confidence and endure the tumultuousness of the pandemic. “It made quarantine a lot less scary, to have someone there,” Sadd says. The pandemic also made Sadd more open to forming connections with people online. “I sort of always had this preconceived notion about dating people over apps, thinking that you wouldn’t be able to make a genuine connection with people if you never met them,” Sadd says. “I was definitely wrong. I think our relationship was not any weaker because it started over an app.” Sadd and his girlfriend broke up at the beginning of spring quarter, but he is still grateful for quarantine affording him the experience. Since his girlfriend attended Loyola University and lived an hour away from him, Sadd does not think the relationship could have lasted with in-person classes. “Even though our relationship really probably could have only ever existed during quarantine or during this pandemic, I don’t think that that made it a bad relationship,” Sadd says. “I think it was a really special opportunity that we got to experience that relationship with each other for the time that we had.” The pandemic has induced plenty of suffering and loneliness for many, but COVID-19 relationships were able to provide a silver lining for some during these dark times, giving people like Sadd a new perspective on dating. “It showed me that you can find someone who’s a total stranger who has no connection to anything in your life,” Sadd says, “and also have this beautiful relationship with them starting from literally nothing.”
Q&A WRITTEN BY MARIA CAAMAÑO Professor Alexandra Solomon is a clinical psychologist who focuses on love, sex and relationships. She’s a therapist, a teacher and what she calls a “translator” of sex and relationship education to the public. At Northwestern, Solomon has taught the popular Marriage 101 class for 21 years. With the pandemic altering relationships, NBN spoke with Solomon to gain insight. Editor’s Note: The following interview has been edited and condensed for length and clarity. Q: There’s a rumor that couples who take your class together break up by its end. Do you have any insight? A: Three or four years ago, on the last day of class, students were approaching me to say goodbye. And one gal looked at me and said, “Thank you so much for this class. I realized that my relationship is unhealthy, and I broke up.” And the next student came up to me and said, “ Through this class I realized how healthy my relationship is, and I feel more committed than ever.” [The class] can take us more deeply into our current choices, reminding us why we’re doing what we’re doing. Or it can shake us awake, and we can realize, ‘I do want something different.’ It was a rumor [that the class invites breakups]. Q: What are your thoughts on relationships that began during the pandemic? A: I want people to push back against this idea that if your relationship began or solidified in a pandemic, somehow it’s a doomed relationship. Every relationship has an origin story. There’s a temptation to create this hierarchy [of] doomed or blessed origin stories. I
don’t believe in that. I have a worry that people will come out of the pandemic like, ‘Are we only together because this is the person who I FaceTimed with every night when we were in that hard chapter?’ When there’s an equally beautiful story of, ‘Of course I’m with this person. We FaceTimed every night in the pandemic, and I really got to know them.’ Q: Now that people are vaccinated, do you think we’ll see a summer of hookups? A: Hot vaxx summer? Q: Yes. A: When a college student is committed they feel like, ‘Oh, I’m missing out.’ When a college student is single, they often feel like, ‘This hookup scene sucks. I wish I had a committed partnership.’ That’s a normative feeling to have. The nature of being a college student is whatever side of the fence you’re on, you can be completely aware of what everybody else is doing on the other side. So what is the summer going to be like, with everybody now like, ‘I can kiss anybody. And I’m only kissing this one person?’ I think it’s just an amplification of something college students always feel.
embodied. And we’ve all been through lowercase-t trauma, which is surviving a freakin’ pandemic. So our bodies may be like, “We’re not kissing somebody. We spent 15 months wearing masks.” If your body is full of anxiety at the idea of kissing somebody, then you don’t have to. This is an invitation to college students to do [what] they should have been doing, which is talking ahead of time about boundaries. I understand why it’s so difficult to talk ahead of time about sexual boundaries because sex education is so freakin’ paltry in our country. My hope is that the pandemic [solidifies] that if you can’t talk with a partner about the sex we’re gonna have, maybe we aren’t ready to have that kind of sex. The boundary negotiation happens so when we start, we can both fully engage in giving and receiving pleasure. Pleasure can’t happen unless there’s safety. Whatever someone needs to feel safe is what they need to be asking for.
Q: Do you have any advice on how to approach having safe sex this summer? A: Sometimes we got to accommodate anxiety to make everybody feel comfortable. Your vaccine status and what your body is ready for may not be the same thing. Just because you can hook up does not mean you should. Our minds are very rational, like, ‘I am vaccinated, and therefore I can make out.’ But bodies — trauma is PHOTO BY CARLY MENKER
Paging Doctor Zoom Students reflect on how the pandemic has impacted their experience on the pre-med track.
WRITTEN BY MIA WALVOORD // DESIGNED BY SOOIM KANG
t’s been over a year since Northwestern students on the premed track walked through the doors of The Technological Institute (Tech) on their way to lab. Many first-years have never even set foot inside a college classroom. Second-, thirdand fourth-years now experience lab time through a screen, watching someone carry out experiments for them, wearing the white coats, goggles and glasses they used to don during inperson classes. During Fall Quarter, Weinberg second-year Grace McDonnell would log onto Zoom once a week for biology lab time. Each time she clicked “Join meeting,” she wished that she was setting up beakers in Tech instead. “While there are discussion posts online that you can ask questions in, it’s not the same as … running into people you know and then making the decision to study together or meeting people in study rooms if you stay for office hours after lab,” McDonnell says.
Communication third-year Shreya Sriram has taken organic chemistry and biology both in person and online. Following the switch in setting, she and her fellow classmates noticed a shift in their understanding of the material. “We felt like there was just a general lack of motivation, so it was harder. Biochem is also one of the subjects where you really need to take notes carefully; you need to know the figures, [and] you need to know the structures and molecules,” Sriram says. “It was hard to do all that virtually for sure. A PowerPoint slide is hard to get involved with.” Many underclassmen, especially first-years who have never experienced a Northwestern lab environment, are anxious about their lack of knowledge of lab protocols and how it will affect their performance in more advanced courses. Weinberg first-year Sammy Mustafa is in Northwestern’s seven-year BA/MD program, Honors Program in Medical Education (HPME). Much of his time this year has been spent
chipping away at his core pre-med classes. While he acknowledges that Northwestern professors are doing all they can to convey the foundational information in these courses, he believes that his experience has been negatively impacted by the transition to online learning. “Being in person would help you stay more engaged and actually have you focus on your work, because right now, I feel like I kind of doze off during classes,” Mustafa says. “Sometimes I don’t really focus enough. I have to make up for that outside of class, and that’s just more time on my part.” He has even stronger feelings when it comes to online lab courses. In a normal year, labs would have prepared students like Mustafa for their summer research and lab work with professors. Without in-person lab opportunities, Mustafa will have to learn proper procedures before the summer begins. “In-person and online experiences are completely different things,” Mustafa says. “While [professors] do have the recordings of procedures, it doesn’t prepare you at all.” McDonnell, who has experienced labs both in person and online, agrees with Mustafa. She recognizes there is a difference between the two, especially when it comes to important skills required for research experience. “I definitely prefer doing the [labs] in person ... I think being in person has given me a level of comfort that online didn’t really give me,” she says. “I feel like online is so much more about analyzing data, which is great, but it didn’t give me basic lab skills that I’m hoping to acquire in order to do research outside of class.” The isolating conditions of the pandemic have also contributed to Mustafa’s appreciation of his classmates, especially those who are in his HPME group. They often study together and go to each other for emotional support when struggling with the course material. He says many of the upperclassmen he’s come into contact with are surprised at how close this freshmen group is, as their own groups were never as tight-knit. “I feel like the community of students is the best part of the program so far. Coming into this quarter, it was hard to make friends,” Mustafa says. “I always had them to lean on as friends but also
as classmates who are in the same classes and situations I’m in. They’re all really collaborative, and I think that helps.” The pandemic has emphasized the importance of medical professionals and has motivated many students to work hard to prepare for medical school. However, it has also somewhat impeded aspiring medical students’ ability to properly prepare for these roles. Sriram spent all of this March and April studying to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). She felt the lack of focus she had during her online biochemistry course in her second year negatively impacted how she was forced to spend her time preparing.
“In-person and online experiences are completely different things. While they do have the recordings of procedures, it doesn’t prepare you at all.” Sammy Mustafa, Weinberg first-year
“That screwed me over for the MCAT because biochem is a huge part of the MCAT, and I basically had to relearn all of it,” Sriram says. Despite the inherent difficulties and resulting dissatisfaction that comes with online pre-med courses, students feel that some modifications should be retained following the University’s transition to post-pandemic life. Both Mustafa and McDonell appreciated the around-theclock accessibility of online learning. “I do wish all lectures in the future would be recorded because I just think that it’s made the experience so much easier. If I don’t understand something, I can go back and rewatch it a bunch of times,” McDonnell says.
Sriram also found the online format to be advantageous for some of her premed courses. For example, biology and physics worked better online because of her professors’ use of PowerPoint slides, which were available for students to use as well. “The way that we learned in bio and physics [pre-pandemic] was like, we would go to class, and we would record the lecture on our phone in voice memos, and then we would listen to the lecture afterwards,” she says. In addition to academic benefits, some students found the pandemic assisted them with their medical career plans. Sriram found that her time spent in quarantine with her parents helped narrow the focus of her future medical aspirations. Sriram’s mother has had numerous ear and throat issues throughout her life. During the pandemic, she had a severe case of strep throat that turned into an ear infection, and now she has tinnitus. Consistently hearing about her mother’s pain led Sriram to research ear, nose and throat (ENT) topics online. She eventually felt motivated to buy an otoscope off of Amazon and take a look at her mother’s ears herself. “I don’t think I really wanted to go into ENT during the pandemic, but throughout my pure exposure to all of this with my mother, I’m learning about it. And my major is CSD [communication sciences and disorders], so that’s about the auditory and speech pathways,” Sriram says. “Learning about that and putting it together with spending so much time around my mom was really impactful in terms of me deciding that I want to pursue ENT.” Students like Sriram are not deterred by the pandemic-related obstacles and look forward to the return of in-person lectures and lab. For others, the pandemic has only strengthened their resolve. “We’ve seen a lot of pressure and stress on medical professionals. That’s made me really take a hard look at the profession. This is going to be a field where I’m going to be challenged constantly, and [I’m] just making sure that I want to rise to the challenge,” McDonnell says. “And I would like to rise to that challenge. Seeing [the pandemic] makes me want to be someone who goes out and helps.” DANCE FLOOR
ONE STEP FORWARD,
TWO STEPS BACK Evanston residents grapple with a reparations bill that does little to repair more than a century of harm. WRITTEN BY TESSA PAUL // DESIGNED BY MAREN KRANKING
ennett Johnson didn’t fully realize what it meant to be rejected because of his race until he moved to 570 Milburn St. in Evanston. He first came to Evanston in the 1930s at the age of two and lived in a tight-knit Black community, but after moving to Milburn Street, he became aware of the segregationist policies the city implemented. His home was only two blocks away from Orrington Elementary School, but he was not allowed to attend because he was Black. “We had to walk over a mile to Noyes School which was integrated because white kids go to Orrington,” Johnson says. He says the Black community was restricted to a western part of the city called the 5th Ward, so they had to start their own businesses to serve Black customers. “It was such a compact community,” Johnson says. “We had a grocery store… We had a hardware store. We had an ice cream parlor. It was a self-contained community.”
Evanston has a long history of segregating its Black residents, many of whom still reside in the city and remember its racist past. This segregation often involved redlining, a process through which Black residents were refused financial services such as housing mortgages to prevent them from moving into certain neighborhoods because of their perceived financial status, often based on stereotypes. “We were the first Black children that were bussed,” says Rose Cannon, an Evanston resident of almost 73 years. “They used to watch us to make sure the socialization wasn’t too much. That’s really the first time that the segregation got to be painful, and I was painfully aware of it.” In 2019, the Evanston City Council passed a historic reparations bill, the first of its kind nationwide. This bill was designed to address Evanston’s discriminatory history and repay Black residents for the racist policies
they faced. This past March, the City Council voted 8-1 to begin releasing funds for the reparations. But with the bill’s reintroduction into the public eye, concerns about its effectiveness reappeared. Some Black Evanston residents realized that the reparations bill did not include cash payments and that the plan only had enough funds to pay $25,000 each to 16 families — significantly fewer than the number of Black residents harmed by redlining and other discriminatory housing policies. The bill will take revenue from a 3% tax on recently legalized cannabis sales and redirect it toward assistance for housing loans. The program will dedicate $400,000 from this tax to Black Evanston residents who can prove that they or a direct ancestor lived in the city between 1919 and 1969 and faced housing discrimination. “I qualify for it. I’m what you call a legacy resident who can trace my roots all the way back here,” Cannon says. “I
KEY POINTS OF THE
EVANSTON REPARATIONS BILL 30
Revenue from a 3% cannabis tax will contribute
in reparations payment for Black Evanston families.
won’t apply for it because, first of all, it’s not reparations.” Cannon is not alone in believing that the reparations bill is flawed and not truly reparations. She noted that the bill was not truly reparations because there is no cash payment option. The money goes through a mortgage company and is never in the hands of the actual applicant. As a result, she started looking for a platform to share her criticism and connect with other Black residents who felt the same way.
immediately gained attention, boasting over 600 followers by April. Nalls, a former mayoral candidate and Evanston native, says that it was a surprise to many residents that the reparations program was coming up for a vote, given that many in the Black community had not been informed about the program in the first place. “We formed with the intention to educate residents about the program, what we felt was wrong with it, what could be expanded on [and] what are the
“RESIDENTS SHOULD BE ABLE TO CHOOSE WHAT THEY WANT TO DO WITH THE MONEY. THEY SHOULDN’T BE BOXED INTO HAVING TO BUY A HOME OR ANY OTHER SOCIAL EQUITY PROGRAM.” EVANSTON RESIDENT SEBASTIAN NALLS “When I decided in my heart that I no longer wanted the $25,000 to put as a down payment and I wanted cash, that’s when I started really flipping and looking for people,” Cannon says. On February 28, Cannon formed the “Evanston Rejects Racist Reparations” Facebook group alongside Sebastian Nalls and Kevin Brown to better educate the community about the inadequacies of the housing program. The page
actions that the current City Council could take,” Nalls says. On the Facebook page, members could talk about the faults they saw in the housing program. Some highlighted the lack of input from Black residents when the City Council created the housing program, the restriction of financial compensation as housing assistance rather than direct cash payment reparations and the program’s
This will be split among
who will receive
minimal impact on Evanston’s wider Black community. “Residents should be able to choose what they want to do with the money. They shouldn’t be boxed into having to buy a home or any other social equity program,” Nalls says. “If they want to take that money and put it into a college tuition fund for their son or daughter, let them go do that. If they want to go on a three-month-long vacation in Europe or travel to Africa, let them go do that. It’s not up to the city of Evanston.” There are only three ways applicants may use the $25,000 from the housing program: pay for a loan application to purchase a new home, use the money towards improving one’s house or pay down the mortgage on one’s current residence. According to Brown, a Northwestern 1981 graduate and Evanston resident for 35 years, this minimizes the benefit of the reparations because applicants cannot receive cash payments and have to process the applications through banks, a white institution that Brown says has a long history of harming Black residents. Banks refusing loans to certain neighborhoods with higher minority resident populations have had long-term adverse effects, including unequal access to healthy food, less access to green spaces and more exposure to pollution. “This housing program deals with [banks] that have been racist in the past and were the perpetrators of racist policies such as redlining,” Nalls says. “These entities that were responsible for the damage done are now receiving a benefit from the repair that their damage caused.”
The reparations can be used in three ways: for a loan application for a new home, to improve one’s current home or to pay down one’s current mortgage. DANCE FLOOR
This is why the Facebook group name uses the term “racist” to describe the reparations bill. Anyone who qualifies for the program will never physically be able to handle their own money. Instead, it is handled by banks, contractors or a mortgage company — all organizations that have discriminated against Black residents in the past. According to a 1995 study entitled “Racial Discrimination in Housing Markets: Accounting for Credit Risk,” “the probability of loan denial is 12% higher for Blacks than for whites with equal borrower and loan characteristics and equal predicted credit risk in equivalent equal neighborhoods.” Brown explains that all of the rules of applying for a housing loan also apply to the reparations application, including having a high enough credit score to be
the present day might increase in value to be worth $800,000. That Black family missed out on a $750,000 gain in value on a home they could have owned if not for discriminatory housing practices. “For you to tell me that for the injury I recieved, a $25,000 payment is going to repair me?” Brown says. “That’s what reparations means — repair the harm. How is that repairing?” Redlining and housing discrimination was a common experience among Black Evanstonians. Cannon has had first hand experience with housing discrimination. In the late 1940s, when Cannon and her husband began looking to buy a home in Evanston, she noticed the real estate agents kept trying to only show homes in the 5th Ward, where the Black community was concentrated.
“YOU CAN’T SIT AT THE TABLE WITH ME AND DECIDE WHAT WILL REPAIR ME AND WHAT AMOUNT OF MONEY THAT I SHOULD GET.” EVANSTON RESIDENT ROSE CANNON considered financially secure. “I simply don’t believe that you should have to have a good credit score to receive the reparations for a harm that was committed by the industry,” Brown says. Brown says that the amount of $25,000 per applicant, which will only allow for 16 families to receive financial assistance, has been established without any analysis on how many people qualify. He explains how the $25,000 is insufficient to properly address the harm caused by redlining. Brown provides the theoretical example of a home in Evanston back in 1950 that was worth $50,000. Suppose a Black resident was financially able to purchase that home, but because of redlining practices, was refused the right to purchase it and had to move to a less financially advantageous neighborhood. Then, that same house in
“At that time, it was awful looking for a house because the real estate agents would make a conscious effort to steer you to the south of Evanston,” Cannon says. “That’s where there were Blacks at the time because the houses are smaller … It’s not the same stuff as you get up in the north end of Evanston.” Despite the blatant housing discrimination and other forms of racial discrimination Black residents have faced, Evanston still boasts about its diverse background. Under the History and Demographics section on Evanston’s webpage, the city describes itself as “a vibrant community comprising many strong neighborhoods, races, religions and levels of income.” “Although it calls itself liberal, it hasn’t really been liberal until recently,” Johnson says. “There has been change because of the Black Lives Matter
movement, but there still is racism ingrained in the DNA of our country.” Nalls attributes the term ‘performative activism’ to Evanston because he notices that the city does a lot to release information or resolutions to condemn racism but very rarely follows through with their statements. While the activism of Evanston’s white residents can have performative attributes, some residents are seeking ways to better understand their white privilege and the issues Black residents have endured. Although the City Council’s reparations bill is severely flawed, according to the administrators of the “Evanston Rejects Racist Reparations” Facebook Group, Black residents will continue to use their voices to speak out on issues with the housing program and offer suggestions to better help their community. If he were to create his own policy, Brown says he would start by following South Africa’s example, where they set up a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to help towards repairing the harm of apartheid and directly naming the damage that occured. He would also allocate resources to communicate with the Black community in order to find out what they actually believe is the best form of reparations. “Black people in Evanston have suffered from racial discrimination, from housing discrimination, from all forms and manners of discrimination that we can think of,” Brown says. “To really help people to understand why this is the right thing to do, you have to educate them about what actually occurred, and that process was skipped.” Cannon says that there are white allies in Evanston who want to help change the city and have come to her seeking advice on how to better help their Black neighbors. She tells them that they can’t talk over Black voices and they have to listen to their experiences. “You can’t sit at the table with me and decide what will repair me and what amount of money that I should get,” Cannon says. “And if I’m telling you my story, you can’t talk over me because this is my story, and this is what I’ve lived.”
WRITTEN BY ANNIE CAO // DESIGNED BY EMMA ESTBERG
Bookends & Beginnings fights for the survival of the independent bookstore in court.
Nina Barrett, owner of Bookends & Beginnings, outside of the bookstore on May 22.
ina Barrett hasn’t made a purchase from Amazon in two years. As the owner of independent bookstore Bookends & Beginnings in downtown Evanston, she has spoken out against the corporate giant many times. But she never thought she would be able to take a leading role in a lawsuit against the company that could have an impact in restructuring the independent bookstore industry.
In March, Eamon Kelly, a partner and litigator at Chicago-based firm Sperling & Slater, P.C., approached Barrett about joining a class-action lawsuit against Amazon and five major book publishers. The lawsuit claims these companies intentionally fixed the price of trade books, which are books published for the general public, leaving independent bookstores unable to compete with their prices.
PHOTOS BY CARLY MENKER
“I honestly felt very honored and very lucky that this had come to me,” Barrett says. “If you’re looking for somebody to be the face of what this lawsuit is fighting for, we are it.” Two law firms, Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP and Sperling & Slater, P.C., filed the lawsuit on March 25 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The defendants in the case DANCE FLOOR
include Amazon and the five largest book publishers in the United States, known as the “Big Five” –– Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, Macmillan, Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster. Together, the Big Five account for about 80% of U.S. trade book sales while Amazon accounts for about 90% of digital print book sales. According to the official complaint filed by the plaintiffs, Amazon and the Big Five have used restrictive clauses in their distribution agreements to hinder competition in the sale of print trade books. These clauses ensure that other booksellers are unable to compete with Amazon’s prices. The plaintiffs also claim that Amazon has acquired “monopoly power in the U.S. online retail trade book market” and are seeking monetary recovery and a termination of the unfair business practices through the lawsuit. Although independent bookstores are permitted to sell books at discounted rates, Barrett says that between store operating expenses and book publishers’ prices, constantly selling books at discounted prices wouldn’t be sustainable for her business. Meanwhile, corporations like Amazon have the resources to sell books at a lower price, particularly since they have other sources of revenue. Barrett has also noticed that publishers are selling books on their websites for less than the price printed on the book covers. These pricing differences mean that Barrett sometimes has to explain the disparity to her buyers and convince them of the added value of purchasing books in her store. “Essentially, we have to make every book sale by arguing to the customer that when they pay us more money for a book, they’re getting some kind of value that’s worth that money,” Barrett says. “That is a really awkward position to be in.” Part of that value is having the ability to go to a space and physically look at books and browse the shelves. Barrett says that especially with lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic, customers are eager to experience a change of scenery and venture outside of their homes.
Barrett also says Bookends & Beginnings is strongly embedded in the Evanston community. Before the pandemic, the store hosted weekly events including book signings and book launches for local authors. It has also worked to fundraise and supply books for community organizations such as the Evanston Public Library, local Evanston schools and Young, Black & Lit, a nonprofit organization that donates books featuring Black main characters to schools and organizations in Cook County. Although the lawsuit is recent, Bookends & Beginnings has long been wary of Amazon’s influence in the bookselling industry. In the fall, the store participated in the American Booksellers Association’s “Boxed Out” campaign. Employees designed the storefront as an Amazon box, with the message not to “box out” independent bookstores by ordering from Amazon. Barrett says her involvement with the lawsuit has given her the opportunity to talk to her customers about the challenges of competing with the large corporation.
Barrett’s love for literature and bookstores started decades before she opened Bookends & Beginnings. She moved to Evanston in the 1980s to pursue a graduate degree at Medill and decided to stay in Evanston after graduating. Soon after, she began her career as an author. “I was raising young kids, and I was working on books, and those are both two very isolating activities,” Barrett says. “I started to moonlight in an independent bookstore [Women & Children First in Chicago]. I would just work there one day a week, just for social exposure, just to talk to people.” Through working at the bookstore on and off for 15 years, and at one point taking a managerial role, Barrett learned the bookstore business. But by the late 90s, the rise of chain bookstores left independent bookstores struggling to survive, Barrett says. “I sometimes refer to it as the massacre of the independent bookstores because there was something like three or 4,000 bookstores that were driven out of business by the chains,” Barrett says. Women & Children First in Chicago, the bookstore where Barrett was working, was no exception. Due to low sales, the store management had to let go of their entire staff. “That is the point at which I didn’t think there was going to be any more independent bookselling,” Barrett says. “I went off to culinary school to get a chef’s degree because I thought I would like to open a restaurant. I would definitely not have opened any independent bookstore at that time.” For the next decade, Barrett focused on food and writing. She worked on several nonfiction books and won a James Beard award in the radio show/audio webcast category in 2012 and 2013. But at the end of 2013, she heard that Bookman’s Alley, an independent bookstore in Evanston that sold used, rare and antique books, was going out of business and that their space would soon be available. Around this time, chain bookstores across the country were becoming frail, Barrett says. Barnes & Noble,
“As a consumer, the dollar that you’re holding in your hand or the credit card that you’re holding in your hand is your power, and the way you choose to spend that money is a vote.” Nina Barrett, Owner of Bookends & Beginnings
Barrett says that along with devaluing book prices, Amazon is also devaluing the experience of discovering and buying books by interacting with booksellers in a physical space. “You’re destroying an entire ecosystem of people who publish books, who care about books, who write books, who are all in the industry out of passion,” Barrett says. “Literature is the thing you ought to be passionate about and you ought to care about.”
Inside Bookends & Beginnings.
for example, faced competition from Amazon, and the company’s decision to disinvest in printed books and invest in Nook devices (which Barrett says was a flop) left the bookseller struggling to compete. As magazines, Nooks and CDs began to populate the floors of these stores, Barrett says, more independent bookstores started to open. “I thought that it was an opportunity. I believed in the Evanston community as a demographic that would really support an independent store,” Barrett says. “I wasn’t afraid to compete with the Barnes & Noble [which is now closed] because I just didn’t think it was a very good bookstore… I just thought [Bookends & Beginnings] is going to be a very different kind of bookstore.” In 2014, Barrett opened Bookends & Beginnings in the alley behind Sherman Ave. which was formerly occupied by Bookman’s Alley. Due to the location of the bookstore, Barrett says it took a few years for Bookends & Beginnings to develop a strong clientele. But eventually, knowledge of the store spread throughout the community, and on January 23, they expanded to a storefront on Sherman Ave. “Getting the new space on Sherman Avenue was exactly what we needed because now we have this visibility on the street,” Barrett says. “People are finding us; the people who used to shop
at Barnes & Noble have found us now, and it’s been very good for business.” In addition to the new storefront, news of the lawsuit against Amazon and the Big Five has also spread awareness of the store and generated support for Bookends & Beginnings within the Evanston community. On Independent Bookstore Day on April 24, Barrett met customers who first heard of the store through reading about the lawsuit. Even with COVID-19 capacity limitations in place, Bookends & Beginnings had the single best sales day in its history. Increasing community awareness and having the chance to talk to customers about the issues of book pricing and competition from Amazon is one good outcome of the ongoing lawsuit, according to Barrett. Moving forward, she hopes for a reform of business practices regarding pricing issues and possibly a financial reward for the plaintiffs to compensate for Amazon’s financial impact. Barrett isn’t expecting a miracle, but she views the lawsuit as a first step in initiating lasting change. While the plaintiffs in the lawsuit are exclusively independent bookstores, Barrett recognizes that competition from Amazon and other large companies extends to other businesses too. “It’s not just bookstores that are being hurt by this; it’s all brick-and-mortar retail,” Barrett says. “If you walk around
downtown Evanston and see all of those empty storefronts, that’s because people who might want to have a little shop that sells wonderful, interesting things can’t sell enough of those things to pay the rent anymore.” To support independent bookstores like Bookends & Beginnings and other independent businesses, Barrett encourages customers to rethink the convenience of buying from places like Amazon. “I would just ask people to think about what does convenience even mean,” Barrett says. “For me, it’s very convenient to run into the grocery store and buy some toilet paper. It’s right there. I don’t even have to wait for the next day for it to be delivered.” Barrett understands that Amazon might be the only available seller for some items like obscure or out-of-print books. But she says the main thing consumers can do is to make commitments to the businesses they care about and want to see survive. “As a consumer, the dollar that you’re holding in your hand or the credit card that you’re holding in your hand is your power, and the way you choose to spend that money is a vote,” Barrett says. “It makes a difference the same way voting does. Maybe one person… doesn’t make a difference, but if enough people make a different choice, then you can have a different world.” DANCE FLOOR
Amid reports of sexism in the NCAA, Northwestern’s female athletes weigh in on their treatment at home. WRITTEN BY JENNA ANDERSON // DESIGNED BY ALISA GAO
hen Communication fourth-year Jordan Hamilton and her team walked into the women’s gym at the 2021 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I basketball tournament, all they found was a “petite” rack of dumbbells weighing up to 25 pounds and a stack of yoga mats. Meanwhile, their male counterparts were given a fullscale gym with rows of pristine weight lifting equipment from wall to wall. “They said that there wasn’t enough room for a weight room,” Hamilton says. “But you could park about 50 cars in there. It was ridiculous how big it was.” Hamilton arrived in San Antonio, Texas, excited for her last run at a March Madness victory, but she was shocked and disappointed by the inequality of the weight room, food and merchandise between the men’s and women’s teams. For food, Hamilton’s team was given pre-packaged meals provided by the hotel, while the male athletes ate buffets. Although Hamilton says the quality of the food improved over time, she was still taken aback by their initial treatment. “It was like eating dog food,” Hamilton says. There were also disparities between the quantity and quality of the “swag bags” provided for the male and female athletes. The women received a t-shirt, hat, small towel, two water bottles and a few other small items. The men received all of that and more, including a hoodie and a blanket. These differences went viral on social media — specifically from the TikTok videos posted by Sedona Prince, center for the Oregon Ducks women’s basketball team. After receiving immense backlash, the NCAA tried to remedy the situation by setting up a new women’s weight room, allowing teams to cater food and giving the women a few more pieces of merchandise. But for some players, the damage was already done. Hamilton’s teammate Claire says she was thrilled to be at the tournament, but the disparities were disappointing. “At the end of the day, I don’t think it’s really necessarily about what we got or what we didn’t get or the swag bags, whatever it may be. It’s more about the principle of the thing,” Claire says. “It just felt like, do they really want us here?” Some female athletes at Northwestern say the inequality in amenities at March Madness this year reveals that the NCAA values their men’s teams more than their women’s teams. The treatment of female athletes on campus has also come under greater scrutiny in recent months. McCormick first-year and basketball player Paige Mott says that although she thinks Northwestern has treated her team equally to the men’s basketball team, she has noticed that men have fewer dress code limitations, whereas women are required to wear their practice jerseys and an extra undershirt. “I just feel like they’re allowed to do more,” Mott says of the male basketball players. Weinberg first-year and fencer Emma* expresses similar sentiments to Mott about overall equality in treatment from Northwestern, but notes several differences in the general attitudes of some students and athletic staff. “They definitely value their female athletes, but there are certain men’s teams that make all the money for the department,” she says. “When you’re not a money-generating team, you’re less of a priority.
PHOTOS BY MAREN KRANKING
You get the same support, but in the end, it doesn’t matter as much to the school.” According to Emma, there is a different standard for male and female athletes in the weight room. She says it’s enough for men to be focused and working hard, but women need to do all that with a smile and an upbeat attitude. “There was a point a couple months ago when our strength training coach told us that we needed to have ‘better energy’ in the weight room if we wanted to be taken seriously as a team,” she says. “Even though I’m wearing a mask all the time, I’m constantly asked if I’m okay, if I’m being too quiet or don’t look happy enough.” Emma also believes that other student-athletes don’t seem to take the female fencers seriously. In one instance, she says a football player called her teammate a “non-athlete.” Even the University’s social media platforms seem to disregard them — specifically the Northwestern sports Instagram account, Emma says. “For some reason, they hate the fencing team, and I don’t know why. They never post about us,” Emma says. “Fencing is a cool sport. It’s harder to understand than a lot of sports, but they just don’t post about us at all — maybe once or twice a year.” For example, Weinberg firstyear Sky Miller finished second in saber at the 2021 NCAA Fencing Championships, but Emma says her teammate’s accomplishment went largely unrecognized. “There’s always the underlying attitude from people that men’s sports are more important, not that people would ever admit that,” Emma says. “It’s more internalized misogyny. Male walkon athletes get much more respect for pursuing their sport here than very highachieving athletes on lesser-known teams.” Despite these inequities, Emma says the fencing team’s supportive environment has made her athletic experience at Northwestern mostly positive. McCormick third-year and lacrosse player Madison Doucette has loved her experience playing for Northwestern so far.
“At Northwestern, especially with the prestige of our program and the overall culture of the athletic department, I [haven’t experienced a ton of inequality there], which is extremely positive,” Doucette says. However, despite the support she’s received from Northwestern sports, Doucette feels that she cannot speak for all female athletes. Doucette’s lacrosse teammate, Medill first-year Leah Holmes, felt angry when she heard about the inequality at March Madness. “It really exposes this darkness and inequality that people can’t ignore anymore,” Holmes says. “When you’re an athlete, I think it hurts more because you know how much work you put in. You know that some of your women’s teams are more successful than your men’s teams, and they still don’t get the proper feedback or hype from universities.” Holmes started playing lacrosse for Northwestern in the fall of 2020. Despite the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic, she says she’s had a positive experience on the team. “I haven’t experienced any firsthand inequality,” Holmes says. “I think that Northwestern has done a really good job trying to educate both coaches and staff as well as players in treating everyone equally regardless of gender, race [and] sexual orientation.” When the inequality at March Madness was exposed on social media, the women’s lacrosse coaches spoke to their players about how unacceptable it was. “Whenever we hear about something that’s discriminatory, it really sends a ripple through all of the women’s teams,” Holmes says. “When that March Madness thing happened, my coach gave us all a talk about how unacceptable it was and how women should be treated just as men should be treated. I think it’s really important that our coaches have been setting aside time to talk to us about the inequalities that have been going on around the country and to let us know that we are important.”
FACULTY FIGHT BACK On May 8, over 200 protestors — many of them Northwestern undergraduates — marched from the Rock to Northwestern
President Morton Schapiro’s house carrying signs that declared, “Up with the cheerleaders! Down with purple tie governance!” and chanting in unison. Female faculty members led the protest in response to Northwestern’s appointment of Mike Polisky, former deputy athletic director for external affairs, to the role of athletic director. Polisky had previously been implicated in multiple lawsuits filed against Northwestern. Weinberg fourth-year and cheerleader Hayden Richardson filed a sexual harassment lawsuit in December 2020 against Northwestern University and named former head coach Pamela Bonnevier and three Northwestern faculty, including Polisky, for failing to take action when she brought up her concerns. In the lawsuit, Richarson alleges that Polisky specifically accused her of fabricating evidence when she came forward. Richardson’s initial allegations in the lawsuit include that cheerleaders were forced to wear “skimpy” uniforms at fundraising events and tailgate parties to “titillate” donors. Richardson also alleges that, after bringing concerns to Bonnevier of specific instances of sexual assault and harassment by fans and alumni, she was told to “take it.” Richardson allegedly sought support from the athletic department and Title IX office but was largely ignored. The lawsuit concludes that “Northwestern was willing to silence and sacrifice the well-being of its female athletes in order to keep its donors happy.” Instances of alleged racial discrimination were brought to light by Erika Carter, a Black member of the cheer team from 2016 to 2018, when she sued Northwestern. Carter told The Daily Northwestern that Bonnevier forbade her from wearing her hair in braids at games and discouraged her from showing her natural curly hair. Carter also says the racial discrimination goes past Bonnevier to the “higher-ups” in the athletic department, since they claimed to embrace diversity but forced Black cheerleaders to assimilate. The “nobraids” policy was eventually removed, but no apology or statement was issued from the athletic department to the cheerleaders.
While Polisky was part of the investigation and termination of Bonnevier, former cheerleader Antoinette White told The Daily Northwestern that Polisky initally defended Bonnevier and didn’t take the accusations of racial discrimination seriously. McCormick first-year and cheerleader Sarah says Bonnevier made a comment about her hair when she tried out for the team in May of 2020. “It was something along the lines of, ‘Oh I noticed your hair is curly. What are you planning to do about that?’” says Sarah, who identifies as mixed race. “The white beauty standard is really present in cheerleading in general. I just figured at a university that’s really progressive like Northwestern that was something they would make sure wouldn’t be in their system.” When Sarah arrived on campus in the fall of 2020, a senior cheerleader gave her a word of caution about Bonnevier. “Me and another freshman were given warnings against being trusting towards Pam,” she says. “That was the general thing of ‘Be careful. She doesn’t have your best interest in mind.’” Once the lawsuits came out, Sarah learned the full extent of the truth to their advice. “There’s a lot of instances of sexual harassment and assault and racial discrimination in cheerleading and gymnastics because they’re sports about presentation,” she says. “But I had never heard anything to the extent of a coach willingly being okay with putting people in that position.” Despite his involvement in both cheerleading allegations, Mike Polisky was named the new athletic director on May 3. “The administration that had told Hayden, ‘Okay, we’ll compile evidence and we’ll do something about this’ were the same ones that told her she had made everything up,” Sarah says. “I thought that was very disgusting.”
The controversy surrounding Polisky led to backlash from students and faculty over the University’s decision to name him athletic director. In February, more than 80 women faculty signed a letter demanding an apology to the cheer team and increased effort from Northwestern in terms of accountability and transparency in light of the cheerleading allegations. One of those faculty members was Medill Professor Ava Thompson Greenwell, an African American woman,
decision. They noted the hypocrisy of the decision compared to statements from Northwestern of becoming a “national leader on diversity, inclusion and equity issues” and other similar sentiments. The Chicago Tribune revealed that the other top three candidates for athletic director were qualified women, including two women of color, heightening faculty and student frustration over the decision to choose a white man. Greenwell was “somewhat surprised” and disheartened when she heard about the decision.
“I THINK IT’S REALLY IMPORTANT THAT OUR COACHES HAVE BEEN SETTING ASIDE TIME TO TALK TO US ABOUT THE INEQUALITIES THAT HAVE BEEN GOING ON AROUND THE COUNTRY AND TO LET US KNOW THAT WE ARE IMPORTANT.” - LEAH HOLMES, FIRST-YEAR LACROSSE PLAYER who says she was especially concerned over the issue of hair. As a former television news reporter, Greenwell says she understands how Black women are forced to suppress who they are when it comes to hair. “Hair is a very personal thing. It’s a political thing. It’s a cultural thing,” Greenwell says. “When you tell a person they can’t wear their hair in styles that they want to wear, then you’re really disturbing their identity.” Greenwell says she understands that cheerleaders are supposed to look uniform, but she believes the restrictions went too far. “This is a game. This is an extracurricular. This is not something that is going to make or break somebody’s career. Why are we requiring them to wear hair in a certain way?” she says. “This was purely cosmetic, and it was purely somebody else’s decision on what’s considered acceptable. The individual should decide how to wear their hair.” After Polisky’s promotion on May 5, six female faculty members signed an open letter expressing their dismay over the
“I can’t believe we had three women candidates and one male candidate, and the male candidate got it,” Greenwell says. “The women had a 75% chance of getting the job, and they still didn’t get it. Those numbers just don’t add up.” At the faculty protest on May 8, Carter spoke to the crowd, saying Polisky failed Northwestern’s Black and female athletes miserably. As the protesters marched down Sheridan, leaders led call and response chants such as, “What do we want? Transparency! When do we want it? Now!” “Maybe it turns out [Polisky] did nothing wrong. If that’s the case, then he goes into the pool just like everybody else goes into the pool. But because that finality was not there initially, I think that’s what really unnerved people,” Greenwell says. On May 12, Polisky released a statement that he is stepping down as athletic director and leaving Northwestern. He wrote, “Over the last 10 days, it has become clear that the current challenges will not allow me to effectively lead our department, especially during these unsettled times FEATURES
in college athletics.” Polisky did not respond to NBN’s multiple email requests for comment. “My reaction was less about him stepping down and more about the power of students and faculty members coming together and organizing on this issue,” Greenwell says. “It really said that kind of organization can make a difference.”
FINANCING WOMEN’S SPORTS In the 2018-19 season, Northwestern’s football team spent about $33 million, according to data from the U.S Department of Education as of May 28. That’s more than the total expenses of all women’s teams combined. “It’s easy to be jealous of football because they get so much, whether it’s priority or hype or gear or whatever it is,” Holmes says. “You can be jealous of that, but then they also bring in all the money, and they allow our sports to function.” That same season, football brought in $59 million in revenue. The second highest earning team was men’s basketball with $9 million in revenue, a fraction of football’s gains. Without football and basketball, the revenue generated by all other Northwestern sports is fairly even between the men’s and women’s teams: about $850,000 and $1 million, respectively. “When I think of men versus women, I don’t see inequality. I only see inequality between football and everyone else,” Holmes says. “And honestly, if that’s gonna happen, that’s okay, because football is always gonna be the sport that draws people to schools and makes the money. It just so happens that it’s a men’s sport.” While football is ahead in revenue and media attention, it is not Northwestern’s highest performing team. After the fall 2020 season, Northwestern’s football team is ranked 10th in the NCAA with a 7-2 record — their best ranking since 1995 — and a Citrus Bowl victory. Meanwhile, women’s lacrosse is ranked seventh in the NCAA with Big Ten Tournament wins in 2019 and 2021 and a victory in the Big Ten Conference this season. In basketball, Northwestern’s women’s team made it to the second round of March Madness with a close loss to a second-seed team, while the men’s
team didn’t make it to the tournament at all. “It’s disheartening. The NCAA is always gonna love the men more than us,” Mott says. “We get treated like men’s basketball is better.” Claire says there were more giveaways to draw crowds to the men’s games than to the women’s games. “Being a woman in sports in general, I feel like you’re always kind of a step below the men,” Claire says. In the 2018-19 season, the budget for the men’s NCAA Division I basketball tournament was $28 million, about double the women’s budget of $14 million, according to ESPN. That year, the men’s tournament generated about $864.6 million in net income, while the women lost about $2.8 million. While some may criticize the loss of cash, most NCAA tournaments aren’t profitable. In fact, according to the NCAA financial information, only five of their 90 championships generate a profit. While the men’s NCAA basketball tournament draws more television viewership than the women’s tournament, their ratings decreased this year from the last March Madness in 2019. On the other hand, the women’s games saw an increase in viewership. For the women’s Sweet Sixteen round, overall television ratings were up 67% since 2019. Communication firstyear and basketball player Jasmine McWilliams says she believes the women’s teams are capable of making more money if they are given more exposure. “If you’re giving women the same platform and you’re giving them the same funding, of course you’re gonna get better results,” McWilliams says. McWilliams is hopeful that the inequality at March Madness can help change the future for female athletes. “It’s calling attention to a lot of issues, and I think in the future they’re definitely going to be forced to make changes because so many people are paying attention to it now,” she says. “We’re headed in the right direction, but we have a long way to go.” *Names have been changed to preserve anonymity.
Byrdy Galernik, Northwestern Women’s Basketball
Let’s talk about fatness. Students discuss fatphobia on campus and reclaim the word “fat” as their own. Content warning: This article discusses eating disorders, dieting and instances of anti-fatness. WRITTEN BY MAGGIE GALLOWAY DESIGNED BY EMMA ESTBERG
harlotte Oxnam loves roller coasters. As an incoming freshman at Northwestern, she was looking forward to the Six Flags trip at the end of Wildcat Welcome. She traveled to the park in buses packed with all her new friends and classmates, riding high after an exciting week of orientation. That was until she got on the first ride. Once she sat down in the roller coaster car, the ride operator told her she wouldn’t fit and kicked her off. She says it felt like a kick to the gut. “I will never forget getting kicked off this ride in front of all these people who I just met three days ago and was trying to become friends with,” says Oxnam, currently a McCormick second-year.
PHOTOS BY CARLY MENKER Charlotte Oxnam (top left), Karina Karbo-Wright (top right) and Morgan Frost (bottom).
She tried to go on two other rides, but each time, she was told she couldn’t ride because of her size. Oxnam spent most of the rainy night crying alone in an empty pavilion until her Peer Advisor found her. “This whole thing … was supposed to bring me together with my new classmates. Instead, I was being completely isolated,” she says. According to Oxnam, the worst part is she blamed herself the next day for not predicting this or researching the park beforehand. “I truly believed that the impetus was on me to make sure that the world fit me versus the impetus being on the world to make sure that they fit all people,” she says.
Oxnam identifies as plus-size, and this was not the first nor the last time she would feel excluded or marginalized because of her body. This othering of individuals who identify as plus-size or fat is typically known as fatphobia, antifat bias or anti-fatness. Fat activist and writer Aubrey Gordon, who writes under the pen name Your Fat Friend, defines anti-fatness as “the attitudes, behaviors, and social systems that specifically marginalize, exclude, underserve, and oppress fat bodies.” Even though fatphobia might be more widely known, Gordon prefers anti-fatness or anti-fat bias because she believes fatphobia implies that the discrimination people face can FEATURES
be written off as a fear or phobia of fatness rather than a form of hatred and oppression. The movement against antifatness began in the 1960s, and fat people of color and fat queer people led the way. Today, fat activists continue to push for a change in the way society views fat people, using new avenues like social media to raise awareness. Some students who identify as fat and plus-size have found healing and body acceptance while at Northwestern, but they have also experienced instances of anti-fatness at the hands of University staff, peers and even friends. Students like Oxnam want anti-fatness to be seen as a legitimate form of discrimination and encourage others to educate themselves so they can be allies in combating it.
“What being fat means” When Oxnam arrived on Northwestern’s campus, she was thrilled to see other students who looked like her, especially because she was the only plussize person in her grade at her boarding school in Delaware. However, when she entered the social scene, Oxnam found that diversity didn’t mean there wasn’t anti-fatness on campus. If Oxnam wanted to go to a fraternity party, she made sure she was with her conventionally attractive friends because she was worried they wouldn’t let her in if she went alone. Her fears were confirmed one night during the fall of her first year when she arrived late to a Halloween party at the Sigma Nu fraternity. All her friends were already inside. When she tried to enter, the fraternity member at the door told her the party was full. Charlotte Oxnam
“Then a really pretty, skinny, blonde girl from behind me came in, and all of a sudden, there was a spot in the room,” she says. Karina Karbo-Wright, a Weinberg thirdyear who uses she/her and they/them pronouns, was bullied as a child for her size. However, it wasn’t until college that she began to understand it as anti-fatness. “I think I was almost like, ‘Oh, this is what happens to fat people. This is what being fat means,’” Karbo-Wright says. At Northwestern, Karbo-Wright saw more diversity in body shapes and sizes and felt more comfortable — that is, until she started dating her current partner as a first-year. He’s a varsity athlete, and she says he was considered very “desirable and attractive” among her circle of friends at the time. When they started dating, she says her friends’ reactions were horrible. “People would bring up to me all the time, like, ‘Oh, he’s probably going to cheat on you because there’s … other girls here,’ but we know what that connotation is,” Karbo-Wright says. Some of her former friends would make small remarks regarding her size. Karbo-Wright says it was the little things they didn’t even realize were microaggressions, like saying, “Oh, we’re the same size?!,” “Oh my gosh! My shirt fits you?!” or expressing surprise that they shared a bra band size. “It’s so little … but the impact stays with you,” Karbo-Wright says. “I’m telling you now about things that are arguably almost three years ago, and they stay with me because of how harmful it is.” Sometimes anti-fatness comes in the form of small, thoughtless acts of exclusion. Both Oxnam and Karbo-Wright cite student group merch selection and distribution as a particularly stressful time. Karbo-Wright has a pet peeve when straight-sized people, or people who are not plus-size, choose a bigger size for an aesthetic, “baggy” look because it could mean there aren’t enough of the size she actually needs. Sometimes student groups don’t think about getting plus-sized apparel in the first place, even when they have plussize members. Before her sorority voted to disband, Oxnam was a member of Gamma Phi Beta, a space where she felt accepted and comfortable in her body. However, during Oxnam’s bid night, they
On an institutional level Oxnam and Karbo-Wright have not only experienced anti-fatness at the hands of their peers, but also by University staff. Karbo-Wright works in the Walter Athletics Center, the gym for varsity athletes connected to the Ryan Fieldhouse. During Winter Break last year, Karbo-Wright was locking up a room at night when members of the athletics department administration stopped her. She says they trapped her in the room and asked, “Do you belong here?” before grilling her about her job. At the time she felt it was motivated by racism and antiblackness and ended up reporting it to the Office of Equity. But looking back on the experience, she wonders if it could have been motivated by anti-fatness as well. “It was also like the ‘not belonging here’ felt a little bit heavier because there are black athletes [in Walter],” KarboWright says. “So it’s interesting that that was the choice of words.” Morgan Frost, a Communication firstyear, only started identifying as plus-size in April when she was interviewing for student theatre boards. She was asked what issues mattered to her and said that as a plus-size person, she wanted to see more fat people onstage. That was the first time she called herself plus-size. For a long time she did not want to admit she was plus-size because she always thought she would be skinny one day and identifying as plus-size felt permanent. Frost believes that professors and students in the theatre department have biases against fat people, especially when it comes to casting romantic leads. This prejudice has impacted the way she views her own abilities. “I feel like I put a lot less worth in my talent than I should because of the body that it comes in,” she says.
Lack of accessibility for those who identify as fat and plus-size is also built into the campus itself. Several students cite how the size of Northwestern’s desks and chairs, especially those in large lecture halls, are inaccessible to those with bigger bodies. Frost hates getting a COVID-19 test at the Donald P. Jacobs Center because she doesn’t fit into the lecture hall seats to complete the test. “I can barely fit in them … They were not built for me,” Frost says. People who identify as fat or plussize also often report instances of antifatness from medical institutions and professionals. Oxnam was in sixth grade when she was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a hormonal condition affecting 6% to 12% of US women. A common symptom of PCOS is weight gain and difficulty losing weight.
telling me to try this diet? Interesting,” Oxnam says. Oxnam was also frustrated that no one had ever asked her if she felt healthy or had any interest in losing weight. In high school, Oxnam was a three-sport varsity athlete who trained at least two-and-ahalf hours a day for six days a week. She says the doctor did not stop to ask her about this once. Oxnam’s experience with NUHS was by no means unique — she has reported and switched doctors numerous times for behavior like this — but it’s still frustrating every time it happens. “No one asked me if losing weight was actually what I wanted to do … I’ve just been told that it was like a medical necessity,” she says. “I’ve been fine my whole life, and I’ve been fat my whole life. So what medical thing are we worried about here?”
I truly believed that the impetus was on me to make sure that the world fit me versus the impetus being on the world to make sure that they fit all people.
Charlotte Oxnam McCormick second-year Doctor after doctor has suggested that Oxnam lose weight to manage her symptoms. However, there are other forms of treatment, and Oxnam says she doesn’t have any medical issues that stem from her weight. Some doctors even suggested gastric bypass surgery, which induces weight loss by removing a part of the stomach. At one point, Oxnam was referred to a doctor from Northwestern University Health Service (NUHS) at Searle Hall to discuss her hesitations around the surgery. When Oxnam visited NUHS, the doctor advised against gastric bypass surgery due to Oxnam’s age but still told Oxnam to try keto because it had “worked for her.” In the same visit, the doctor also gave her an anti-dieting book. “You’re giving me a book to read about why diets are bullshit, but you’re
didn’t have a bid t-shirt that fit her. The biggest size was a unisex large. “It fit me so terribly. It was so skintight,” Oxnam says. “But I squeezed myself into it because I didn’t want to be the only one not wearing the shirt.” When she asked the sorority leadership about it, they said they didn’t even think to order a shirt in her size, or any size above a large for that matter.
Elizabeth Curtis, a SESP fourth-year who uses they/them pronouns, had a similar experience to Oxnam when they sought care at NUHS this past summer for acid reflux and stomach issues. They scheduled a phone appointment because the medicine NUHS had given them had not alleviated their symptoms. The doctor asked for their height and weight and later proceeded to tell them to go on a diet and eat less without ever asking them what their habits already were. “It feels like pseudoscience,” Curtis says. “They’re telling me to do these things without actually examining what is happening in my body. They’re just making assumptions.” Curtis is also Black and says that their mistreatment was not only an instance of anti-fatness, but also racism and anti-blackness. FEATURES
“I know that my fatness contributes to the dehumanization of my blackness at the same time, and they play off of each other,” Curtis says. They say that NUHS does not take Black people — especially fat, Black people — seriously. Along with others, Curtis has resorted to seeking outside care. “While the way that I think that fat people across the board get treated by doctors is really unacceptable, it is definitely compounded for people of color and especially fat, Black people,” Curtis says.
Health is different for everyone Kate Merkle is a registered dietitian nutritionist, social worker and founder of Nourishment Works, a Chicago-based dietetics group practice. Nourishment Works embraces an approach based on intuitive eating and Health at Every Size (HAES), a movement that embraces body diversity and self-care and challenges scientific and cultural assumptions about size. Merkle has worked with straight-sized clients who have health concerns such as diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Rather than being told to lose weight, doctors offer straight-sized patients options for treatment. The same does not often happen for those who identify as plus-size or fat, Merkle says. “Those things do not get reviewed with people in larger bodies, because the answer is … ‘If you lost weight, it would help your blood pressure,’ and that’s not always true for the clients I work with,” Merkle says. According to Merkle, requiring patients to lose weight before prescribing treatment, such as high blood pressure medication or knee replacement surgery, is neglectful and essentially withholding medical care. She says the mistreatment of those with bigger bodies has a greater negative impact on mental and physical health than problems supposedly arising from bodies themselves. “Your body isn’t the problem. It’s the way our world treats different bodies, neglects different bodies, mistreats certain bodies,” she says. “That’s what affects our health negatively.”
Merkle is very clear that diets are harmful and have the potential to spark or retrigger eating disorders. She also notes they are generally ineffective, a sentiment supported by numerous studies, including a 2011 study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. The study showed that dieting predicted an increase in binge eating and was correlated with an increased Body Mass Index (BMI) in both male and female adolescents. Frost began dieting in order to lose weight during her junior year of high school and continued for two years until her doctors became concerned because she had lost about 20 pounds in a month. They referred her to a nutritionist who indicated she had an eating disorder. Even though Frost’s doctors were concerned about her rapid weight loss, they also praised her for being “healthier.” “Everyone in my life was like, ‘No, you’re doing a great job. You’re eating your 1200 calories and losing weight, and you look good,’” she says. Frost believes that she’s much healthier now that she’s in recovery and gained some of the weight back. “Why do we equate weight loss with being healthier? I was not healthy before,” she says. Merkle stresses that no one should be treated as lesser if they do not meet or are not trying to meet the societal standard of “health.” “You don’t have to be in pursuit of health to be treated appropriately, to be worthy of love and belonging,” Merkle says. “Health is going to look different to different people.” Oxnam thinks the biggest reason body size isn’t taken seriously as a marginalized identity is because most people assume that someone’s size is directly linked to their life choices — that “if they didn’t want to be their size, then they should change their lives.” “I will never naturally become a size six, and having the assumption that I could do that, and that it’s just me being lazy and choosing not to, I think allows people to see issues around support and accessibility for plus-size people being not a priority,” Oxnam says.
Despite the trauma they’ve experienced because of anti-fatness, Karbo-Wright and Oxnam have both grown in terms of body acceptance while at Northwestern. Karbo-Wright identifies as fat, but it wasn’t always that way. Before coming to Northwestern, she had never met people who were happy being fat or had the vocabulary to talk about it as an identity. Meeting people in social justice and activist circles her first year helped her use “fat” to refer to herself. “Those words are just regular words that can also be used to insult people … but they’re so important to me because they’re a part of my identity,” Karbo-Wright says. “It clearly shapes how I conceptualize things and what I think about, and so it has that same weight as all my other identities.” Even though Karbo-Wright identifies as fat, she still feels uneasy around the word because of how it’s been weaponized in the past. She winces if a straight-sized person uses the term to identify her, even if they’re not using it negatively. While Oxnam more often uses the term plus-size, she is also comfortable describing herself as fat, and like Karbo-Wright, is uneasy when others use it.
“That’s my place to say if it’s okay to call myself fat,” Oxnam says. “But nine times out of 10, if someone out of the blue is using that term for me, they’re not using it as just a descriptor, and that’s where I have an issue with it.” While Karbo-Wright started using the word “fat” freshman year, it wasn’t until the COVID-19 pandemic that she really internalized it as part of her identity. Karbo-Wright had been steadily gaining weight throughout college, but she was also eating healthy throughout and in recovery from an eating disorder. During quarantine, she reached the same size as her mom.
Her home in Minneapolis, Minnesota is only a few blocks away from where the police murdered George Floyd. Looking at the climate of racial injustice and an ongoing pandemic, she understood that it was natural for her body to change as she was emotionally processing. “I realized I really need to just allow my body to make the changes that it needs to make,” Karbo-Wright says. After that moment, she decided she would truly incorporate it into her identity. Now Karbo-Wright thinks of “fat” as just a descriptor, the same way she would say she’s Black, bisexual or poor. In December of 2019, Oxnam started a blog called Cue the Curves, which was originally meant to be a directory for women to find plus-size clothing. She likes to refer to Cue the Curves as a “letter to middle school me” because it was so difficult to find plus-size clothing growing up. The blog quickly morphed into a forum for women to not only find cute clothes, but also talk to other plusMorgan Frost size women. Oxnam started Cue the Curves Communication first-year through The Garage’s Propel program, which gives female “I reached a size … that I told myself students networking and mentorship when I was younger I would never go to,” opportunities to help nurture their ideas. Karbo-Wright says. “I was always like … ‘If With The Garage’s Jumpstart program, I’m not her size, I’m still okay.’” Oxman and her team will receive Reflecting during quarantine, Karbo- $10,000 to work full-time this summer Wright was able to see her weight gain on turning Cue the Curves into an app. as her body reacting to current events. They already have a version in beta.
Journey to body acceptance
Why do we equate weight loss with being healthier?
The messages and comments Oxnam receives online show her the worth of Cue the Curves. Nine months ago, Oxnam posted about her prom shopping experience and tips she had for others. Afterward, a teenage girl direct-messaged her on Instagram thanking her because she was terrified to go prom dress shopping before seeing Oxnam’s post. The girl said that her post allowed her to have a positive experience prom dress shopping with her mom and friends. “I think those are really, really powerful moments for me because I know exactly how it feels to feel so alone … so the fact that I made someone not feel alone just warms my heart,” Oxnam says. “One DM every three months, and I’m fueled to keep going.”
Education and reflection Looking back at their experience so far at Northwestern, both Oxnam and Karbo-Wright wish the University and the people around them were more mindful about anti-fatness. Karbo-Wright says reading books about anti-fatness and educating yourself is a good first step in being an ally. She
suggests “Fearing the Black Body: The Racial Origins of Fat Phobia” by Sabrina Strings, and Curtis suggests Aubrey Gordon’s book, “What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About Fat.” Karbo-Wright says it was hurtful when her straight-sized friends would constantly say “I’m so fat” while in her presence freshman year. Oxnam also asks that if you’re straight-sized, do not call yourself “fat” or say how much you need to lose weight in the presence of people who identify as plus-size or fat. “What you’re actually deep down saying is ‘The worst thing I could imagine right now is looking like you,’” Oxnam says. “That cuts like a knife.” Renee Engeln, a psychology professor at Northwestern and creator of the Body and Media Lab, wrote in an email to NBN that while it’s normal to struggle with body image, it’s important to consider how you voice it. She says that engaging in negative body talk risks pulling others into a downward spiral because it’s hard to avoid thinking about your own body when someone else is complaining about theirs. “A lot of people say, ‘Well, I didn’t mean to be anti-fat when I talked about how I need to lose weight. I just meant it to be about me, not other people,’”
From left to right, Karina Karbo-Wright, Charlotte Oxnam and Morgan Frost
Engeln says. “If you find fat on your own body to be disgusting, how is someone to trust that you don’t find fat on their body disgusting as well?” Oxnam says you can still express insecurities about your body in front of others, but it’s better to be specific and avoid using the word “fat.” “You can tell me, like, ‘Wow, I feel really self-conscious about my legs, and they’re really showing in this dress.’ That’s fine. We can talk about that,” Oxnam says. Frost, however, finds talking about reverse anti-fatness or fatphobia is missing the point. “It really bothers me when people say there’s skinny-phobia too,” Frost says. “Everyone has body insecurities, but your body insecurities won’t prevent you from getting health care and getting a job.” Karbo-Wright also just wants to be treated normally — to have people celebrate her the same way they might for a straight-sized person. “It makes me know that the people around me don’t just see me as a fat person in a negative connotation,” Karbo-Wright says. “They see me as a fat person who is all the other things that I am too.”
WRITTEN BY MADDY RUBIN // DESIGNED BY ALISA GAO
Some students find that work-study jobs interfere with a full-time education and college experience. FEATURES
ne weekday morning last September, Weinberg third-year Timothy Lin woke up, confused, with the carpet of University (Main) Library pressed against his cheek. Momentarily, he wondered how he had ended up there. Remembering two looming finals and 17 hours worth of weekly shifts at his two jobs, his confusion waned. Slowly, he rose to start his day. “I stayed up all night. I passed out on the library floor, and I got up and I just had a series of mental breakdowns the next day at 9 a.m.,” Lin says. “It was so, so much.” As a participant in the Federal WorkStudy (FWS) program, Lin works to access a portion of the financial aid that helps fund his education and living expenses. He says his work-study hours can be flexible and acknowledges that they weren’t the sole cause of his near-sleepless night in the library. But the amount of money in his annual allotment from the Federal Work-Study Office isn’t enough to meet the cost of living off-campus. The Federal Work-Study Program, run by the U.S. Department of Education, offers students need-based jobs onand off-campus to offset the cost of higher education. Around 570,000 undergraduate students at 3,078 U.S. institutions depend on annual workstudy allotments, according to the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators 2020 report. Students can work a maximum of 15 hours per week until they earn the amount of money in their annual allotment. The size of an allotment is dependent on a student’s level of need, the amount of funding their school has to distribute and when the student applies for financial aid, as work-study positions are first-come, first-serve. Approximately 2,000 Northwestern
undergraduates — nearly 24% — participate in work studies. Some reap the intended benefits of the program: Employed in positions related to their studies, they make money while gaining valuable experience. Others, though, spend four years grappling with a program they believe requires they give more than they get in return.
Weinberg third-year Orie D’Angelo, who uses he/him and they/them pronouns, has qualified for a workstudy position every year he has been at Northwestern. However, until this spring, his job search was unsuccessful. D’Angelo wanted to work, but available jobs were limited. Between the winter of his first year and the fall of his second year, D’Angelo applied to several jobs and never heard back from any of them. In January 2020, he sought help from Student Enrichment Services. Staff members recommended he visit the work-study website and apply for positions listed on their open jobs page — exactly what D’Angelo says he had been doing all along. “I have not done a great job of actively looking for resources that aren’t just the work-study website,” D’Angelo says. “But I wish that there were more easily available resources for getting workstudy [jobs]. And then obviously it was frustrating to, for several years, fail to get a job.” One caveat of the FWS program is that students must find employment themselves. The Northwestern WorkStudy Office’s website is explicit: “We do not place students in jobs, nor can we guarantee a job,” it says. While
many students have successfully found work-study positions, others who struggle to find employment cannot access their allotted funds. The Work-Study Office hosts an annual job fair at the start of Fall Quarter to advertise a variety of employment opportunities, from research assistant positions to desk jobs. This year’s fair was virtual, and it was unclear how many positions were available. The Northwestern Work-Study Office declined to comment multiple times. D’Angelo recalls attending a workstudy information session during Wildcat Welcome to learn about job applications. He says that adding onto his schedule at the time, however, felt “completely overwhelming.” Since beginning his first work-study job this spring as an aide for a Kellogg School of Management assistant professor, D’Angelo says he dropped one of his four classes. The time commitment of his work-study position factored into the decision. Adjusting to college while working can pose challenges for many students. A 2017 Center For Analysis Of Postsecondary Education And Employment (CAPSEE) study estimated that work-study participation caused a 4% decrease in the GPAs of first-years at private, nonprofit universities.
Work-study students of all years the Medill School of Journalism, Media, can face difficulty juggling school and Integrated Marketing Communications. work commitments. After four years Lin says his jobs leave him with less time in the work-study program, Weinberg to hang out with friends during the week, fourth-year Imani Minor says she’s limiting his social life. He also had to quit enjoyed her positions as a Concerts at writing for Out Da Box, a sketch comedy Bienen employee and a manager for the group, and volunteering with UStrive, a women’s basketball team. However, one student mentoring program. of the drawbacks was less time for activities related to her academics. “In terms of going to office hours and stuff like that, I wasn’t able to build as much of a rapport with faculty members as I would have theoretically liked to just because I was working,” Minor says. Communication thirdyear Anthony Beerswing, who uses he/him and they/them pronouns, has WEINBERG SECOND-YEAR CHRISTINE worked at Concerts at Bienen for three years as both an usher and monitor for facilities. “In terms of career professionalism, I Though the pandemic altered their work feel like I’m a step behind everyone else schedule, a typical work week during because I’m not in all these clubs. I don’t their first year involved multiple two to have all these leadership roles,” Lin says. three- hour night shifts, adding up to a “And a lot of that’s because I’m working.” total of 14 to 15 hours a week. Weinberg second-year Christine “There’s definitely been times where Potermin’s first work-study job was in I’ve been at work and I’ve been at some the prop shop, a labor-intensive position concert or something, and I’ve thought, where each shift required her to spend at ‘Oh my god, I have all this homework to least two hours on her feet. With juvenile do, and I have no time to do it here. I’m arthritis, an autoimmune disease that going to be at this job until 10, and then causes joint pain, and medicine that I have to stay up and finish all this work causes fatigue, headaches and nausea, after that,’” Beerswing says. Potermin says she worked at the expense Some students find their financial aid of her health. isn’t enough to cover their full need and “Sickness hits really intensely for me are forced to balance second or third jobs because of my chronic illness. I would on top of work-study, schoolwork and go to work sick all the time and then be other obligations. Lin now works three doing manual labor while having a fever,” jobs and up to 25 hours a week between Potermin says. “I took so many days off his job at the Global Poverty Research from that job because of sickness, and Lab, his tutoring side business and his then that meant I didn’t get paid, and then work-study position as a research aide in that meant I was stressed about my bills.”
Potermin now works as a tutor and babysitter outside of her two work-study positions as a research assistant in the Center of Communication & Public Policy and the Learning Sciences Department. Her new jobs require less physical labor but more overall hours. Income from all three of her jobs directly funds her living expenses— opting to work fewer hours would be financially straining. During midterms this spring, Potermin says balancing her priorities was particularly overwhelming. “Everything kind of hit me like a truck,” Potermin says. “I missed class a couple times because after working and not taking care of myself, I was just too tired, and I physically could not go to class.” These unintended consequences of the FWS program — lack of sleep and time to devote to academics, social life and career pursuits — disproportionately impact low-income Northwestern students, as financial need is a qualification for workstudy aid. “It’s slightly elitist,” Minor says. “Just because the people who need money have to work for it, meaning they don’t have as much time to do other things… At Northwestern, the people who are on work-study typically don’t have as much money as the other wealthier kids, [so] I think that just having more opportunities for them would just be very helpful.”
EVERYTHING KIND OF HIT ME LIKE A TRUCK... I MISSED CLASS A COUPLE TIMES BECAUSE AFTER WORKING AND NOT TAKING CARE OF MYSELF, I WAS JUST TOO TIRED, AND I PHYSICALLY COULD NOT GO TO CLASS.
When the University announced on March 11, 2020 that students would not be welcomed back to campus after Spring Break and would instead take Spring Quarter classes remotely, Lin had no idea what the future of his work-study position would be. Until April, Lin heard nothing from his employers or the Northwestern Work-Study Office. “I didn’t know what I would be doing, if I would be doing anything at all,” Lin says. “Their communication was honestly pretty terrible.” On April 1 — three weeks after the initial decision to close campus — the Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid announced their plans to pay work-study students their Spring Quarter wages. In place of actual hours worked, they paid students based on the total hours they worked in Winter Quarter of 2020, up to their maximum award. Students were notified of their exact allotment on April 13 and paid one lump sum on the day they would have received their first paycheck. Once he received his money, Lin was content with the University’s decision. However, for three weeks, he says he was “in a state of limbo.” Returning work-study students remained unsure of what their jobs would look like in Fall 2020 for much of last spring. Several jobs eventually transitioned to a remote format. Others returned in-person, with restrictions in place. And others, like Potermin’s, disappeared entirely. Lin’s research aide position in Medill eventually returned to in-person work, but with fewer available shifts and tasks to complete. In their positions at Concerts at Bienen, Beerswing and Minor
also returned to an altered schedule. Before the pandemic, they worked multiple short shifts a week. In the fall, shifts were lengthened, but fewer were available per week. Beerswing estimates they worked five more hours each week before the pandemic, and reduced hours decreased the amount they were paid. While Beerswing’s schedule returned to normal hours during Winter Quarter, Minor’s remains altered. “It’s drastically less time in the office,” Minor says. For first-year students who weren’t permitted to live on campus in the fall, remote work-study positions were the only option. Weinberg first-year Elizabeth Dudley says she considers her work-study an important portion of her financial aid and applied to multiple remote positions. When Dudley was accepted to none, she had no way to access her work-study award. Dudley says she remained financially stable in the fall due to income from a part-time job in her hometown, but she made applying to work-study positions in winter a priority. She found available jobs and applied to roughly 10. The problem, she says, was the qualifications these positions required. “A lot of the positions were [research assistants], which I understand and that’s great for upperclassmen students. But I had completed one quarter of classes, and I had no formal training in any statistical software or any tools, so that took out a lot of the remote pool for me,” she says. Dudley eventually found a position as a general assistant within Medill’s Integrated Marketing and Communications (IMC) program. She went through the application process on her own, using the Northwestern work-study website’s list of open jobs. She received little direct communication from Northwestern’s Work-Study Office
about available positions or how to find them, she says. “Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful to have [my work-study], and I’m grateful for the experience,” Dudley says. “But the fact that it’s an expectation, otherwise you lose that money — that can be frustrating.”
According to the Brookings Institute, the average Federal Work-Study award in the mid-1970s covered close to 90% of tuition and fees at most four-year public universities. Now, the national average award of $1,550 covers only 16%. Northwestern’s awards range from $2,200 to $3,300 for the academic year, covering just 3 to 4% of tuition and fees. The allotment is not a salary but rather an earnings limit — if students do not work enough hours to reach their allotment, they do not receive leftover funds. Reaching this allotment can be difficult. Some students don’t work the maximum 15 hours per week due to the constraints of class schedules. Others can’t work enough shifts to max out on hours because their employers have too many students to schedule and not enough work for them to do. “The jobs I have aren’t enough hours to fill my allotment, which kind of sucks. And even if they did provide enough hours to fill my allotment, that would just be a lot of hours,” Potermin says. “I don’t hit my allotment, and it’s hard for sure. I do feel the need to compensate in other ways by working outside of work-study.” Because she can’t work 15 hours each week in work-study shifts alone to access her full allotment, Potermin works closer to 25 weekly hours with the addition of her third job. Without her third job, she says, meeting living expenses would be more strenuous.
Lin’s job allows him to work enough shifts to meet his allotment. This April, when he reached his earnings limit, Northwestern’s Work-Study Office granted him a one-time add-on to his allotment. Lin did not request this addon because he was not aware that he had reached his award limit, and the WorkStudy Office declined to comment. Still, Northwestern’s allotment maximum is not sufficient for him. Living in an off-campus apartment, Lin’s rent with utilities costs $600 a month. His work-study allotment, he says, covers less than seven months of his annual rent. “Maybe this is a very uniquely me thing, and there’s nothing Northwestern can do about this. I just wish they would increase the allotment a bit,” Lin says. “I do it because it’s part of my aid package, and I do it to get the money, but it’s not a lot of money.” Nationally, the FWS program is intended to primarily serve low-income students. The allocation of funds, though, disproportionately benefits highincome students and private four-year universities. These institutions receive 38% of work-study funds, but enroll only 14% of all undergraduates, according to a CAPSEE report. A Washington Post analysis shows that private university students in the highest income bracket are more likely to receive work-study funds than community college students in the lowest income bracket. Another goal of the FWS program is to offer work experience that connects to students’ academic and career aspirations. Some students, like Medill first-year Mikayla Denault, have benefited greatly from professional development in work-study positions. Denault, a first-year work-study student who was able to find remote employment in fall 2020, works as a communications and editorial assistant
in the political science department. With plans to double-major in political science, she says her job has provided her with valuable experience and contacts within the department. Her hours are flexible, and when she hit her award limit, the political science department hired her temporarily as a regular employee so she could still be paid. Denault says she gets to have “the best of both worlds” in her position because she is learning while obtaining financial aid. She does, however, feel that she is an outlier among work-study students. Minor says her Concerts at Bienen job had no relation to her professional pursuits as a psychology major. While she gained valuable friendships and feels “blessed” to have worked as the women’s basketball manager, that position also did not directly connect to her career goals. Her experience is on par with a growing national trend: Only 28% of current work-study students say their job is related to their major, according to The Brookings Institute. As the cost of tuition continues to increase nationwide and the work-study allotment remains unchanged, the future viability of the program is in question. At one institution, students’ work-study experiences can vary drastically — some, like Denault, are content; others, like Potermin and Lin, are less satisfied. Potermin says, “Right now is a time when I really wish I didn’t have to work three jobs, so I could take care of my family, take care of myself, and take care of my academics.”
IN TERMS OF CAREER PROFESSIONALISM, I FEEL LIKE I’M A STEP BEHIND EVERYONE ELSE BECAUSE I’M NOT IN ALL THESE CLUBS; I DON’T HAVE ALL THESE LEADERSHIP ROLES. WEINBERG THIRD-YEAR TIMOTHY LIN
IS ROLLING YOUR WAY The Venezuelan-style restaurant’s food truck drives business during the pandemic and helps serve the community. WRITTEN BY MAREN KRANKING & CARLY MENKER DESIGNED BY MAREN KRANKING // PHOTOGRAPHED BY CARLY MENKER
Benoit Angulo and La Cocinita employee Carlos Martinez take orders and prepare meals in the food truck.
t’s late afternoon on May 23, and Benoit Angulo is driving La Cocinita’s distinctive red food truck down the streets of Evanston. The co-owner of the restaurant began event preparations with his crew hours ago, loading up the truck with arepas, salsa and guacamole and checking the vehicle’s propane and gas. But instead of heading to a large venue, where many of their prepandemic events were held, he turns down a neighborhood street and parks in front of the catering location: a house where a 20-person graduation party is taking place. For Angulo and his wife, Rachel, co-owners of Evanston’s Venezuelan-inspired restaurant La Cocinita, this is the new normal as
they navigate running a restaurant in a global pandemic. In the past year, COVID-19 has taken a steep toll on the restaurant industry. The National Restaurant Association estimates that 110,000 restaurants permanently or temporarily closed in 2020, and industry sales were $240 billion below expected levels for the year. In order to survive, restaurants have been forced to adjust their operations to promote public health and safety. In La Cocinita’s case, this meant halting indoor dining and relying on delivery, takeout and catering to keep their doors open. Especially in the early months of the pandemic, the Angulos struggled with a sharp plunge in patronage.
“During the pandemic, there were days when we only had 10 orders — $100 in the register from all day,” Benoit says. “Oh my god, I’m so glad we’re not there anymore.” La Cocinita’s food truck has been particularly helpful in keeping the business afloat during the pandemic, as it can serve food at socially distanced outdoor events in a safe manner. Though the size of events has yet to return to pre-pandemic levels, the truck is now catering as many as 15 events a week and sometimes up to three events a day. For the Angulos, catering is nothing new — La Cocinita got its start in 2011 as a food truck in New Orleans. Benoit
Benoit Angulo hands a meal to a customer from La Cocinita’s food truck.
Benoit Angulo hands a churro to a customer from La Cocinita’s food truck.
pitched the idea to Rachel, inspired by the rows of food trucks that would congregate in his hometown of Caracas, Venezuela, on the street known as the Calle del Hambre, or “street of hunger.” When the couple moved to Wilmette in 2014 to start a family closer to their relatives, they established another food truck to serve the Chicago area, in addition to their New Orleansbased truck. In 2016, they opened their first storefront on Chicago Avenue. Because of the restaurant’s roots in grab-and-go dining, the transition away from indoor service in the past year has been relatively smooth. “This is the way that we envisioned La Cocinita from the get-go,” Benoit says. “We always knew we wanted to be in that fast-casual middle range, with boxes of food and paper trays from the food truck.” At the graduation event, Benoit worked on the truck with crew member Carlos Martinez to serve party-goers. Benoit says the crew on the truck is usually no more than two or three people – one taking orders, another cooking and a third garnishing the food or helping with other tasks. The menu for each event depends on the client, who picks from entrees including tacos, rice and bean bowls, arepas, quesadillas and patacones. The food is prepped prior to the event, and then everything is cooked to order on the truck. The restaurant’s most popular menu item is its “El Pabellon” arepas. Inspired by the Venezuelan Rachel Angulo collects boxed meals for delivery and takeout from the restaurant.
National Dish, it includes brisket, black beans, sweet plantains, queso fresco and cremita. In addition to catered events, the Angulos have used the food truck to help the community. Last year, La Cocinita started a partnership with Connections for the Homeless, a nonprofit organization that has provided housing aid and resources to those facing homelessness and housing insecurity during the pandemic. Customers ordering food through the restaurant’s website can add a donated meal to their order, and when a substantial number of meals are reached, the Angulos hold a partnered event with the organization. Since the pandemic began, La Cocinita has donated over 10,000 meals to Connections for the Homeless, nonprofit organizations and frontline healthcare workers. The restaurant’s decision to donate meals was in part led by Rachel’s previous career as a social worker. “Being able to weave in the nonprofit aspect of my original passion with what we do now has been really meaningful to me,” Rachel says. “If we could sustain our businesses in a way where we did a lot of donated meals and nonprofit partnerships and that kind of thing alongside what we do typically, that would be our ideal business model.” Benoit and Rachel have also noticed the community rallying around their restaurant with the increase in awareness about the importance of supporting local businesses during the pandemic. Providing masks and other PPE to workers, as well as increasing wages in response to labor shortages, have caused business costs to rise, Benoit says. With these additional expenses, he appreciates the extra support from customers. “People are seeing some of their favorite restaurants and businesses closing, so they understand the need to support them,” Rachel says. Indoor dining at La Cocinita is not likely to return for the remainder of the year, Benoit says. But as reopening efforts increase nationwide, the restaurant has already seen an uptick in orders and events. The couple is also excited at the prospect of continuing the nonprofit partnerships they picked up during the pandemic. The Angulos are optimistic about the future of La Cocinita and eager to return to normal operations. They miss making connections with customers, welcoming newcomers to the restaurant and serving regulars their usuals. “My favorite thing is just getting to share our story with people and getting to hear more about their stories,” Rachel says. “[I miss] developing that relationship.”
Finishing touches are added to a meal on the food truck.
An employee at La Cocinita holds the restaurant’s popular arepas, a staple of Venezuelan cuisine.
Towers of takeout boxes line the restaurant’s kitchen and dining area, as La Cocinita has shifted its operations to delivery and takeout only.
57 FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT 58 FRESHLY BAKED 60 BRINGING SEXY SPAC 62 SCHOOL SPIRITS 63 SWINGERS!
PHOTO BY VICTORIA BENEFIELD
Fake it till you make it McLovin’ it or McLeavin’ it? Fake IDs and their real consequences WRITTEN BY JULIA LUCAS // DESIGNED BY ALISA GAO
Editor’s note: Because the first cardinal rule of college and life is “snitches get stitches,” all student sources will remain anonymous.
nderage college students looking to get “Wildcat Wasted” are faced with a timeless challenge: how to acquire alcohol. One of the most popular routes is by getting a fake ID. The cinematic masterpiece “Superbad” not only teaches us that fake IDs can be the ticket to ultimate party coolness, but also that they are accompanied by unique challenges and inevitable mishaps. This wisdom holds true at Northwestern. According to Northwestern students, step one of fake ID acquisition is to consult the fake ID gods, or more accurately, IDGod.org. Students daring to dip their toes into the black market of fake IDs will find that IDGod imposters are rampant, trying to capitalize on their underage drinking monopoly. Idgod.ph, idgod.to, idgod.com and idgod.ph are all sites claiming to be the “OFFICIAL IDGOD.” These sites are barely navigable and largely indistinguishable from each other, making scamming teenagers all too easy. This is not to mention their questionable reliability. An anonymous source going by the pseudonym “Cuervo” shared that their ID was confiscated by U.S. customs, costing a steep $90 sacrifice and anxiety over the possibility that the feds might send a strongly-worded letter to their parents. Another source, nicknamed Svedka, found success with IDGod’s shipping and handling services. Svedka received the standard set of two IDs “sent in a pair of oven mitts,” carefully hidden under the innocent and believable guise of a first-year with a passion for baking. Having overcome the preliminary ID obstacles, underage Wildcats
yearning for the sweet effervescence of a White Claw face a new trial: using their fake ID. Some patrons begin their underage drinking career fearlessly, like anonymous source “Tito,” who recalls feeling “like a total badass walking out” of the liquor store the very first time. Others confess intimidation. Anonymous source Cuervo felt “terrified, like the hand-shaking type of shit” visiting that first liquor store. Nerves are an underage drinker’s krypronite, a fact corroborated by a source at Austin Liquors in Skokie, where the source says fakes are “very easy to spot,” much like their underage holders. Establishments like Austin Liquors take advantage of key details that fake ID holders often miss. The source says, “You can ask them their date of birth and half don’t know it,” or “if they’re from out of town …what their area code is.” Other deceptive questions might include what your zodiac sign is, or which major highways run through your state of choice. Clearly, nerves of steel can only get you so far unless you’ve memorized
your fake birth chart and some Ohio trivia. Ultimately, the source concluded, it “doesn’t matter, even if they’ve got the ID. If you don’t look 21, I’m not gonna serve you.” So good luck, baby-faced Wildcats — those youthful looks may just be your downfall. The real make-or-break for fake ID users is confidence. Anonymous source Tito managed to keep their fake even as friends lost theirs by ad-libbing, “Don’t worry officer, they’re with me” and bungling the name of an Alabama college they claimed to attend. So keep your improv skills at the ready. Who knows, that theater degree may yet prove useful! The rush of high-stakes improv isn’t universally enticing, as the consequences of failed routines are severe. Most establishments take the route of confiscating the ID and kicking the attempted customer out. Austin Liquors even goes a step further, saying, “the easiest way to handle it is to call the police.” So to avoid an altercation with the cops, hand over that fake and take your place on the wall of shame. Even successful fake ID adventures eventually yield an inevitable question. Anonymous source Svedka explains, “When I actually turn 21, should I keep using my fake at places I usually go, or should I throw ‘em for a loop and just swap out for my real ID?” Well, valued drinker, you’ve been throwing the legal system for a loop for years, and your successors will do the same. But proceed with caution, young Wildcats. The ultimate authority of alcohol.edu, the student handbook and Evanston local alcohol laws still have you by the legal balls for at least a couple more years. HANGOVER
Freshly Baked A (high) trip through Evanston’s chocolate chip cookies WRITTEN BY JACQUE O’LETCHIPPE // DESIGNED BY MELISSA SANTOYO & S. KELSIE YU
ave you ever gotten high and wondered what the best chocolate chip cookie in Evanston is? I found myself having this same query, and as the annoying Medill student I am, my next question was: how can I turn this into content? For the sake of journalism, I went on a quest to find the best chocolate chip in Evanston armed with a friend, 8mg THC and some very entertaining voice memos.
Bennison’s Bakery I had never set foot in Bennison’s before, so I can’t speak to its ambiance when sober, but I can say that I was VERY into its vibe while high. The lighting was warm and inviting, giving me big oldschool bakery realness.
Final Score: 6.4
Appearance: 3 The cookie wasn’t actively bad, but we weren’t wowed by the appearance. It was a decent size (think diameter of a grapefruit) but fairly pale with a uniform look. She was, in fact, just like other girls.
Texture: 6 It was a lot crispier than its appearance would suggest. I would have liked a bit of softness in the middle, but my friend respects that Bennison’s committed to crispiness because, in her words, “I don’t like a cookie that doesn’t commit.”
Chocolate Ratio: 9 Despite an average to lackluster performance on appearance and texture, chocolate ratio is where Bennison’s shines. The cookie is chock-a-block with chocolate, and I would’ve given it a perfect 10 if it had more variety in chunk size.
Size and Value: 8 For $1.80, you get a nice-sized cookie that isn’t half bad.
Overall Yumminess: 6
It’s nothing to write home about, but if you’re high and want a warm atmosphere and something crunchy, Bennison’s is the place to go.
For the sake of journalistic integrity, I should disclose that my friend and I have a bit of a Hewn bias. The rustic yet pretentious aesthetic reminds me of my Bay Area roots and makes me feel right at home. We had very high expectations for their chocolate chip cookie. Boy, were we disappointed.
Final Score: 5.4
Chocolate Ratio: 8
It was pale and grapefruit-size and with flakiness that signals a lot of butter, which I appreciate. This made the cookie look more homemade, but it wasn’t enough to save it. When we broke the cookie in two, it was absolutely silent, which was not a good sign to two crispy-leaning judges. My friend appreciated that Hewn was fully committed to softness but wasn’t sure she “loved the direction it committed in.” It was solid but slightly less so than Bennison’s.
Size and Value: 7
It was a nice size, but for $2.25 a pop, its price didn’t really match the quality.
Overall Yumminess: 4 We both agreed the flavor was odd. Not necessarily bad, but it did catch us off guard in a way we didn’t like. Overall, we felt very let down. Will we still go there to buy a $5 croissant? Absolutely. But we know they can do better.
Beth’s Little Bakeshop I had no idea what to expect from Beth’s Little Bakeshop, having never been there. It’s a small space but has a cute interior. Their salted chocolate chunk cookie was labeled as Beth’s favorite, though, so we knew what we were in for.
Final Score: 9.6
This is one fine-looking cookie. It had the perfect gradient of dark outside to light inside. There were big pools of chocolate and flaky sea salt on top which made us feel very ~fancy~.
Texture: 10 This cookie had ideal crunchy edges with a little bit of softness in the middle. Its exterior had a a lot of wrinkles and folds, which gave it a homemade feel.
Chocolate Ratio: 10 Let’s talk about the perfect stratigraphy. When you bite into this cookie, there are thin, evenly distributed layers of chocolate. The Grand Canyon could never.
Size and Value: 8 For $2.25, you’re getting your money’s worth. Had it been a little bigger or a little cheaper, it probably would have gotten a perfect 10.
Overall Yumminess: 10 This was by far the closest to our ideal cookie, making Beth’s the dark horse in our cookie tasting. If you’re a fan of chocolate chip cookies, or just delicious things in general, then you need to head to Beth’s.
Tag’s Bakery After a true Cinderella story from Beth’s, it was time to head to Tag’s Bakery. We had a mini panic attack when we thought that they were out of chocolate chip cookies, but luckily we snagged the last one (spoiler alert: not worth it).
Appearance: 2 The cookie was quite small, thin, pale and overall, lackluster. It was downright pasty. My friend said, “It’s like how a kid draws a chocolate chip cookie.”
Texture: 1 The short version is that my friend felt the cookie reminded her of the product of the PlayDough cooking set. Enough said.
Chocolate Ratio: 6 The chocolate ratio wasn’t horrible, but wasn’t great either.
Final Score: 3.2
Size and Value: 5 For $1.27 it was by far the cheapest cookie of the day, but to be honest I wouldn’t pay money for it. If this cookie was free and I was high, I would not turn it down, but then again, who’s going to turn down a free cookie?
Overall Yumminess: 2 We did feel bad for raking Tag’s over the coals, but everything else in the bakery looked absolutely delicious. The service was excellent and the ambiance was nice. Just please, for the love of God, don’t get the chocolate chip cookie.
Insomnia Cookies Finally, it was time to make the long haul back to downtown to visit Insomnia Cookies. There was no way I was going to walk 30 minutes back, so we caught the bus. If you haven’t ridden the 201 high with a bag of half-eaten chocolate chip cookies and an open container of milk, can you really say you’ve had the full Northwestern experience?
Final Score: 8.2
Appearance: 9 Though they were the smallest cookies so far, they were much thicker and had an even mix of big and little chunks of warm, melty chocolate.
The cookie’s texture was craggy, and while it was soft, that’s what you would expect and crave from a warm cookie. The edges did have a little bit of a crunch which was appreciated. Even for two mostly crispy cookie lovers, this was our ideal soft cookie.
Chocolate Ratio: 8 There could be a little bit more chocolate, but we appreciated the variety in chunk sizes.
Size and Value: 7 We felt the cookies could have been a little bigger for $2 each, but they were also thicker, and we by no means felt cheated.
Overall Yumminess: 9 We would have given them a full 10 for overall yumminess if the cookie was just bit crispier, but overall Insomnia knocked it out of the park. Nicely done, Insomnia. HANGOVER
Bringing Sexy SPAC NBN’s guide to working out (kind of ). WRITTEN BY JULIA LUCAS // DESIGNED BY MELISSA SANTOYO
he Henry Crown Sports Pavilion, colloquially known as SPAC — or, as I like to call it, the building blocking my room in Bobb from having a lake view — has been staring me down ever since I first set foot on campus. I’ve intentionally avoided our free, easily accessible, state-ofthe-art workout facilities for months now. Why, you ask? Well, my aversion to the gym could be credited to many things, like my recent three-year stint on the nocut high school freshman tennis team or my soccer career record of one goal scored (on our own goal). Perhaps, most importantly, I have no idea how to go to the gym. Ironically, this is the very curiosity that finally forced me through the shining glass doors of the Henry Crown Sports Pavilion. To give some context for my pre-SPAC routine: I woke up, downed two Frosted Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tarts (my body is a temple) and spent the hours leading up to my 4:30 p.m. appointment for the secondfloor fitness space fending o f f visions of the Chloe
Ting protégés and preworkout enthusiasts waiting for me within. 4:30 was the appointment time with the fewest slots taken, ideal for the inexperienced and anxious gym-goer. All hail online booking! When 4:30 rolled around, I hit my first snag: shoes. Everyone knows the most important part of going to the gym is your outfit, and I had my “I come here often” look down to a T, except for the shoes. Is i t sacrilege to wear dirty AF1s to the gym? Probably, so I broke out my untouched New Balances and took off in the direction of my destiny. I was welcomed into SPAC with startling efficiency, no time for small talk with the desk attendants about “gains,” “getting swole” or our favorite protein shake recipes. To my chagrin, my gym-bro Urban Dictionary research proved unnecessary. Upon entering, I immediately took a wrong turn, got lost and had to backtrack. I eventually ended up on t h e s e c o n d f l o o r, s t a r i n g down an assemblage of unfamiliar machiner y.
The key to a successful gym performance — besides the outfit — is the soundtrack. So I set my Spotify to private listening mode to preserve my music superiority complex and, in the spirit of imitating a real gym-goer, queued up the Spotify-curated “ Wo r k o u t Twerkout” playlist. I hate to say it, but that playlist, which is chockfull of TikTok anthems like “Asthma Pump” (How fitting!) by Tay Money, does the job. I had only ever heard snippets of Cardi B’s “Up” from the room next to me, followed by “Oh my God, that’s gonna go viral,” but in lieu of the natural urge to blast my abs, it provides ample motivation. I started out on the elliptical. I know it is by far the lamest choice when trying to explore the gym, but I had the most fun on it. I embarked on a virtual hiking course, a picturesque journey through one of New Zealand’s geological wonders: the Pancake Rocks. I chose this trail for the name, obviously. I was dreaming of fluffy, buttery carbs before I even set off on my computer-automated hike. Unfortunately, the 5-by-3-inch screen is not conducive to selfies at the vistas.
After my elliptical journey and a quick foray on the StairMaster (I kept tripping up the stairs), I was ready to be back on solid ground. So, I headed to the weights section (Is that even what it’s called? I’m just making shit up). There is no start button in the weight room, so you really have to know what you’re doing. I headed for a bench because I like to sit. Head down, shoulders hunched to hide my screen and my weight room ineptitude, I furiously searched for “weights
workout” and then “weights workout easy” and then “weights workout bench easy.” The easiest part was choosing a weight. I stuck with the lightest available option: a 10-pound dumbbell. The hardest part was staring down my reflection in three separate mirrors that documented every angle of my ill-informed recreation of stepby-step drawings I pulled from Google Images. That being said, my formal recommendation for second-floor weight room rookies is to come with a plan. Next, I turned the corner and approached the intimidating line of treadmills. After struggling to find the power button, the ground took off from beneath me, and I was on my way at a strange medium between walking and running. I upped the pace to overcome this awkward transitional speed, and suddenly I was an antelope, speeding away from the cheetah that was my doom should I misstep and fly off the track. I kept my feet moving by picturing the things I’m most afraid of chasing me: a giant spider, my sophomoreyear chemistry teacher, a suspiciously energetic group of PAs during Wildcat Welcome and the Theta sisters. It worked, but is intentionally subjecting myself to that kind of fear worth
it? I think runner’s high is made up by runners to make their sport seem cool. And almost as soon as my gym foray began, it came to a close. I wiped down my last machine, taking a final glance at the conglomeration of metal and handles and a trampoline that read “Please use EXTREME CAUTION when using the rebounder on the Synrgy
360.” I followed this guideline and used extreme caution b y not even approaching it. Finally, to my fellow anti-SPACers, fear not, for there is a gym shark in all of us. More importantly, check which reservation slots are least populated. And to m y S PA C enthusiasts, I respect you, but I no longer envy you. It is literally so boring in there.
A curated cocktail menu for each and every Northwestern school WRITTEN BY TABOR BREWSTER // DESIGNED BY JUNTANG QIAN
n an era of being sad and lonely in our dorms and apartments, we NERDwestern students might find ourselves needing a special NorthWASTED pick-me-up to take the edge off. Fear not, dear reader, for we mixologists at NBN have compiled a recipe book of the perfect cocktails for each Northwestern school.
Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences The Weinberger Bomb A dash of overconfidence, shaken, not stirred 12 oz. beer or seltzer of choice 1 1/2 oz. whiskey, rum or vodka in a shot glass
For a school with as many majors as Weinberg, it’s only fitting that we choose a drink that encompasses many tastes. Weinberg students, we recommend that you kick back with something simple yet satisfying, like a beer or seltzer. A beer? That’s it? We’re more interesting than that. Okay, okay, we get it, you like to party. Introducing the Weinberger Bomb! Grab your favorite beer or seltzer of choice, accompanied by a shot glass of either whiskey, rum or vodka. Pour the canned beverage into a glass, then get ready to drop your “bomb” of hard liquor in (just like how you dropped that fourth class in the second week of Spring Quarter — kaboom!).
School of Communication The School of Comm Cosmo Your show tune of choice, to chase 1 1/2 oz. fruit-flavored vodka 1 oz. Cointreau 1/2 oz. lime juice 1/4 oz. cranberry juice
For all the thespians, dramatics and Hollywood hopefuls in the School of Communication, we had to create something with enough star power to really blow you away (and with enough kick to ease that awkward sexual tension within your a cappella group). Introducing the School of Comm Cosmo. What’s better than a cosmopolitan to encapsulate the drama of Comm, served well-chilled and in a martini glass?
McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science The McCorpse Reviver No. 3
Bienen School of Music The Bienen Colada
A sprinkle of sadness, for garnish
Ready to kick Soft saxophone, to accompany back and pretend your practice space 6 oz. pineapple juice in Ryan overlooking 3 oz. coconut cream Lake Michigan is 1 1/2 oz. light rum actually a room on 1 1/2 oz. crushed ice a Royal Caribbean Cruise? Well, hopefully your practice room comes with a blender, because you’re going to need it for the Bienen Colada. Mixologist’s tip: Share it with your entire Latin jazz combo for that authentic feel that you’ve been trying to get for weeks.
Do you McCormick students often find 1 oz. Italian yourselves barely vermouth alive, almost entirely lacking a pulse, as 1 oz. Cointreau your dinosaur of a computer science 1 oz. lemon juice professor drones 1 dash absinthe on and on about who knows what? Well, for all you budding scientists, mathematicians and engineers, we’ve prepared a drink to revitalize your day and get you going just like the pre-pandemic party animal you used to be! Introducing … the McCorpse Reviver No. 3.
School of Education and Social Policy The SESP Appletini
Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications The AP Style Adios Motherfucker
A splash of mystery, to top 1 oz. apple juice 1 1/2 oz. vodka 1/4 oz. lemon juice 1 1/4 oz. green apple schnapps
Little is known about SESP other than, I guess, teaching? For this reason, we decided to warm you all up to the idea of eating apples every day of the rest of your lives (What’s with teachers and apples, anyway?) and give you the perfect teacher’s cocktail: the SESP Appletini. Enjoy this drink while you turn off your Zoom camera and secretly get hammered during office hours. Woohoo!
1 oz. gin
As you Medill Pen and paper, for notes 1/2 oz. vodka students continue to 1/2 oz. rum bombard innocent 1/2 oz. tequila bystanders with your 1/2 oz. gin constant questions, 1/2 oz. blue curaçao interviews and 1/2 oz. simple syrup 1/2 oz. lemon juice blabbering (All for 1 oz. Sprite the sake of what? Journalism? Ew.), consider taking a moment to try a cocktail nearly as aggressive as your interview methods: the AP Style Adios Motherfucker. This new take on a classic Long Island iced tea is surely complicated, yet not quite as complicated as whatever the hell a nut graf is.
Which Lakefill hammocking stereotype are you? WRITTEN BY ELISE HANNUM // DESIGNED BY S. KELSIE YU How can you tell spring has sprung at Northwestern? The sheer number of hammocks on the Lakefill. Even if you don’t own one, deep down, we’re all a certain type of hammock person at heart. Not to worry, NBN ’s got it all figured out.
Hammocking time! Where are you setting up on the lakefill?
South, to get that view of the city
Wherever there’s space — it’s packed!
How will you see it if you’re all wrapped up?
TBH I’ve got an even better view
My s/o ;)
The trees and the sky :)
You’re hanging (haha) out with your friends all right — watching them from the comfort of your ‘mock while they sit on the ground. You know there’s a perfectly good Facebook Campus towel sitting in the back of your closet, yet there you sit. It’s okay, though — your friends still love you even if you ask them to repeat everything they’re saying. You just can’t hear them from your synthetic throne.
Social vibes... What else are you up to?
Why didn’t you come earlier?
Uh.... hadn’t thought about that
North, tons of trees to put hammocks together. Might see an athlete!
I was already at the beach #noregrets
I thought I’d be early enough!
Amazing. Attempting a hammock stack?
Which way are you sitting?
Listening to Tame Impala
Already sharing my hammock!
Ah, young love. There’s nothing more romantic than swaying in a nylon sack together in front of the entire campus. Sure, the extra weight from two people curves the hammock enough so you get a little privacy, but when a passer-by sees two forms wriggling around, they’ll definitely know what’s up. It’s like hooking up in the tent at the Rock, just with much less privacy and gravity working against you.
Sweet child. You are only a few inches off the ground. If you move too much, your butt fully makes contact with the damp grass. But you are determined to become a “hammock person,” so you stay put like a captain that refuses to abandon their ship or that string quartet in Titanic. Maybe next time whip out the WikiHow guide.
Online School :(
Why risk the lakefill WiFi?
Doesn’t everyone do this?
Sucks less with friends
You’ve been slinging yourself up into the trees since way before you got to college. Your Birkenstocks peek out just enough for us to know you mean business, and you’re undaunted by more advanced maneuvers like the hammock stack. Not even the Northwestern gnats can ruin your perfect GORP-core vibe.
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The spring 2021 issue of North by Northwestern magazine, published by Print Managing Editor Sylvia Goodman and Creative Director Maren Krank...
Published on Jun 27, 2021
The spring 2021 issue of North by Northwestern magazine, published by Print Managing Editor Sylvia Goodman and Creative Director Maren Krank...