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Puppy With a Purpose: NYU’s New Therapy Dog

NYU Must Do More About Food Insecurity



‘Game of Thrones’ Premiere Trades Plot for Predictability

Avenatti’s Not the Story. Nike Is.


MONDAY, APRIL 15, 2019

BDS Movement Co-Founder, Set to Speak at NYU, Denied Entry to US Student activists are urging the university to condemn the U.S. government’s actions.


Co-founder of the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement Omar Barghouti was slated to speak at NYU on Monday. Instead, he was detained by U.S. Immigration at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv and will phone in to speak.

By VICTOR PORCELLI and MEGHNA MAHARISHI News Editors A prominent Palestinian rights activist, scheduled to speak at NYU, was denied entry to the U.S. on Wednesday. Omar Barghouti, slated to give a talk on Monday, is the co-founder of the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement. The movement primarily emphasizes economic pressure on Israel through initiatives such as sanctions and divestment from Israeli companies because of the country’s treatment of Palestinians. At NYU, Barghouti was supposed to speak at “Jim Crow to Jerusalem: Time to Break the Silence on Palestine,” an event to be co-hosted by two main activist groups — Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voices for Peace — which advocate for BDS on campus. Now, he will phone in to the event. Barghouti was also supposed to speak at an event at NYU D.C. on Thurs-

day, at Harvard University as part of Israeli Apartheid Week and attend his daughter’s wedding in Texas while in the U.S. In the U.S., the BDS movement has come under increasing scrutiny, with 27 states, including New York, passing laws that would punish companies that support the movement. Such punishments include losing out on government contracts. The U.S. Senate passed a resolution in February that gave states the right to oppose the boycott, although some people like former U.S. president Jimmy Carter have argued that legal decisions regarding the boycott limit free speech. According to The New York Times, others believe that opposition to BDS fights anti-Semitism and protects Israel. Barghouti wrote in a press release, sent to WSN and posted to the BDS website, that his entry denial was reflective of the recent criticism BDS has faced in the U.S. “This U.S. entry ban against me, which is ideologically and politically motivated, is

part of Israel’s escalating repression against Palestinian, Israeli and international human rights defenders in the BDS movement for freedom, justice and equality,” Barghouti wrote. “Israel is not merely continuing its decades-old system of military occupation, apartheid and ethnic cleansing; it is increasingly outsourcing its outrageous, McCarthyite repression to the U.S. and to xenophobic, far-right cohorts across the world.” The BDS movement has been a hot topic on NYU’s campus in particular. In spring 2018, 50 student groups pledged solidarity with the BDS movement in a letter of support, led by NYU Jewish Voices for Peace and NYU Students for Justice in Palestine — the two groups hoping to host Barghouti on Monday. A semester later, student government members, including President of JVP and CAS senior Rose Asaf, began efforts to get a resolution passed that she told WSN was explicitly part of the BDS movement. The resolu-

tion passed the Student Government Assembly in the fall and has since been revised to exclude mention of BDS, though it has maintained its broader ask for a socially responsible investment policy. Asaf voiced her disapproval of Barghouti being denied entry via Twitter, and shared a petition that the greater JVP organization and the Arab American Institute plans to send to the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs and Judiciary Committees. “It is an outrage that Omar Barghouti was denied entry into the United States,” Asaf said in a tweet on Thursday. “This was an intentional move to silence the movement for free Palestine and BDS. Please sign and share this petition to demand accountability and justice.” In their letter, the two groups — JVP and AAI — demanded that the committees reinstate Barghouti’s ability to travel to the U.S. and investigate why he was denied entry in the first place. Since his denial, the

NYU chapter of SJP has worked to ensure that Barghouti will be able to attend the event virtually. Professor of Media Studies and Urban Education at Temple University Marc Lamont Hill and Executive Director of the JVP organization Rebecca Vilkomerson are still expected to speak at Monday’s panel event. In a public statement, SJP asked NYU to condemn Barghouti’s denial. “NYU SJP calls on the administration of New York University to condemn this new instance of the U.S. government using immigration to curb free expression and debate,” the statement reads. “This issue is one of freedom of expression on college campuses nationwide, and we demand the NYU administration to rebuke Omar Barghouti’s denied entry.” The university did not respond to a request for comment in time for publication. Email Victor Porcelli and Meghna Maharishi at

Washington Square News


MONDAY, APRIL 15, 2019




Researchers Combat Anti-Vax Myths After Measles Outbreak

A vial and syringe, used to administer vaccinations.

By MARIE-LOUISE ONGA NANA Contributing Writer After a months-long measles outbreak, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a public emergency in Brooklyn and made vaccines mandatory last week. Of the 465 cases reported in the U.S. just this year, 285 have been in the New York City area. The measles outbreak is part of a larger trend in the growing anti-vaccination movement in the U.S., which has spread unsubstantiated claims on vaccines and has led to a recent resurgence in diseases that were almost eradicated.


At the NYU School of Medicine, a group of researchers formed the Vaccine Ethics Project to combat this growing anti-vaccination movement and conduct research on the effectiveness of such a policy change. Board member of the VEP and Head of the Division of Medical Ethics under the Department of Population Health Arthur Caplan understood why de Blasio made vaccines mandatory but does not believe that the initiative would properly address the issue. “You have to realize there is a lot more noise than reality when [de Blasio] says

that because figuring out who isn’t vaccinated is almost impossible,” Caplan said. “We all don’t walk around with vaccinated cards. That means if you had an outbreak in a school and you could prove that somebody caused it because they didn’t vaccinate then you would get the fine. But it’s not like people are going to run up to you and give you a ticket.” New York City’s decision to make vaccines mandatory in parts of Brooklyn was seen as one of the toughest stances taken on vaccinations in the U.S., on par with Philadelphia’s use of court orders to enforce mandatory vaccinations for children in 1991. The measles outbreak in Brooklyn was partly attributed to the anti-vaccination stance in Brooklyn’s ultra-Orthodox community. This sentiment within the community was exacerbated through a handbook that spread misinformation on vaccines. The handbook claimed vaccines contradict Jewish kosher dietary laws because they contained traces of monkey, rat and pig DNA, which is untrue. New York is one of the many states that allow religious, medical and philosophical exemptions from vaccinations. Doctoral student in the College of Global Public Health Rachael PiltchLoeb researches how public health and government officials communicate emerging disease threats to the public. She believes that prominent community officials, instead of government officials,

should be used to relay accurate information on vaccines and combat the anti-vaccine sentiment in Brooklyn’s ultra-Orthodox community. “I think that identifying community allies in Brooklyn that are rabbis, or leaders of mothers groups, or teachers and people who are trusted within the community who can help to share the message and engage in an effective dialogue is important.” Piltch-Loeb said. Caplan said that the religious exemption could be revisited in the near future to prevent outbreaks like the one in Brooklyn. If the exemption was removed, New York would be following suit of states like Mississippi, California and West Virginia where only medical exemptions are allowed. At NYU, students are required to submit their vaccination records to the Student Health Center before the start of their first year. In 2015, when New York was experiencing a similar outbreak, the university released a statement urging students and visiting students to get vaccinated. Locally, Board member of the VEP and Head of the Division of Medical Ethics under the Department of Population Health Arthur Caplan has pushed for a policy at NYU that would require vaccinations for all university medical care employees. The vaccination rate of employees increased by 24% as a result. LS first-year Lisette Guacamaya, who plans to study nursing, said she feels as if the anti-vaccination movement has grown

in popularity through its use of social media to push unsubstantiated claims on vaccines. Some sites such as GoFundMe, Facebook and Instagram have begun to ban misinformation about vaccines. “[Those in the anti-vaccination movement] use tactics to deceive the public by making false claims without any sort of proof as back up and attacking those opposed to their opinions,” Guacamaya said. “Everyone deserves to voice their opinions, but they should be honest and unbiased.” Steinhardt first-year Awura Gyimah, who is on the pre-health track, said she understood why some people were against vaccines, although she has never missed a vaccination herself. “I get why people are pro-vax and also why others are anti-vax,” Gyimah said. “While one group argues that vaccines are 90 to 99% effective in preventing disease, the other group argues that vaccines carry a risk of anaphylaxis.” While some anti-vaxxers have pushed the claim that vaccines cause anaphylaxis, which is an allergic reaction to the vaccine, researchers say that this is extremely rare if the vaccine is administered properly. Currently, the VEP is analyzing the effectiveness of a 2015 California law eliminating personal-belief exemptions from vaccines and strategies to increase public confidence in the HPV vaccine. Email Marie-Louise Onga Nana at

Washington Square News | News

MONDAY, APRIL 15, 2019

Student Covers Washington Square Park With Catcalls By EMILY MASON Deputy News Editor Colorful words littered the ground of Washington Square Park on Saturday, but the vibrant chalk letters didn’t convey messages as bright. CAS senior Sophie Sandberg is the owner of popular Instagram account catcallsofnyc. Last summer, she joined forces with Holly Kearl, founder and CEO of Stop Street Harassment, to host her first chalking event at Washington Square Park. This past weekend, she aligned her second chalking event with Kearl’s International Anti-Street Harassment Week. Kearl started International Anti-Street Harassment Week in 2011 to raise awareness about street harassment by coordinating events with activists around the world. This year, 32 countries participated. Sandberg started her project three years ago as an NYU first-year. Growing up in New York City, Sandberg was exposed to street harassment from a young age, so when a first-year writing course asked her to immerse herself in a topic and document it on social media, she chose catcalling. She started chalking phrases on the sidewalks where they were first yelled at her and posted them to her Instagram. Sandberg began with her own stories, then her friends’, and soon people were sending in their experiences to the account. Currently, the account has 106,000 followers and has inspired similar pages around the world. “The more that I raise awareness about [catcalling] and the more people know

When NYU released its breakdown of the accepted Class of 2023, some students were missing from the data. Spring admits — students accepted to the university who start a semester late — don’t receive a thick envelope in the mail and aren’t included in the acceptance rate that has dropped in recent years. Three years ago, NYU started a program meant to give more students the opportunity to study at the university. Students who apply for fall admission but are not initially accepted are sometimes given the option to start in the following spring semester. Instead of coming to NYU, some students take classes at other colleges or work jobs as they wait to make their way to Washington Square. LS first-year Amanda Curtis is one of those students. She applied to NYU Early Decision II but was deferred. “After being waitlisted during Regular Decision, I reserved my spot,” Curtis said. “On May 10 [2018], I received an email that told me I was accepted to the Liberal Studies Core program in the spring.” During the fall semester, Curtis took classes at Austin Community College in Texas. She transferred eight credits from her classes there. NYU defers some of its early decision applicants to determine how their applications compare to stu-


Tide Pods Missing From Othmer Hall By CRIME BOT Robot Reporter From April 2 to 12, the NYU Department of Public Safety received one report of criminal mischief, one report of criminal mischief / liquor law violation, two reports of criminal trespass, one report of drug law violation, one report of fondling, one report of fraud, 10 reports of larceny and four reports of liquor law violation.


Quotes from catcallers written in chalk remain from an event held by Catcalls of NYC for Anti-Street Harassment Week.

about it, I think it could become less normalized,” Sandberg said. “Really the goal of the project is to raise awareness and educate people so that they become active bystanders to help people who are facing it and then also call out people who are doing it.” Sandberg and Kearl want anyone who has experienced street harassment to find a supportive community and feel empowered through chalking their stories. “It can be cathartic to say this happened to me here, and you’re acknowledging it and saying, ‘I reclaim this space,’” Kearl said. “You’re making a statement and a choice to not be bullied by those harassers and still go to those places.” Gallatin senior Sarah Bonavich participated in this past weekend’s chalking event and appreciated the opportunity to feel seen.

“It feels nice to put it on display and not hold it for yourself internally and kind of make the rest of the world look at it too,” Bonavich said. “For me, there’s a kind of satisfaction when I see a man walk by and look at a catcall and [I] think maybe that’s going to teach him something.” Kearl also commented on the importance of fostering an activist community that combats street harassment. “I think there is a lot of isolation in activism on this issue and victim blaming,” Kearl said. “So being able to come together with like-minded people who are also passionate about this can help you feel less alone and give you the motivation to keep speaking out.” Email Emily Mason at

Welcome to NYU! But Wait a Semester By ALEXANDRIA JOHNSON Staff Writer


dents who apply through Regular Decision. Assistant Vice President of Admissions Jonathan Williams explained in an email to WSN why the university began the spring admission process three years ago. “Spring Admission was developed as a way to offer more opportunities for students to enter the [first-year] class,” Williams wrote. “We can accommodate them in the spring because of the number of students that take advantage of study away programs during the spring semester.” Students admitted in the spring are required to take summer classes in order to graduate with their peers accepted in the fall. The Liberal Studies Program; the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development; and the Tandon School of Engineering are the only programs that admit in the spring semester. Like Curtis, LS first-year Christina Strippoli was accepted from last year’s waitlist. Strippoli worked at a bakery in addition to taking classes at SUNY Old Westbury as a visiting student before going to NYU. After coming to NYU in the spring, she said it took some adjusting to get used to the university. “I think NYU is a really diverse environment, but it can get a little overwhelming sometimes,” Strippoli said in a text message to WSN. “The lack of a traditional campus is something I miss, but it makes up for it with all of the different programs it offers.” Liberal Studies had an orientation in January during which spring

admits were told they would be required to take Cultural Foundations I, Social Foundations I and Writing I in the spring — classes that LS students typically take in the fall semester. Spring admits in the LS program have access to advising groups, where they form connections with their academic advisor in addition to their peers. Academic advisors help students prepare for their class registration deadline in November, before they arrive at NYU. If a student wants the chance to be admitted in the spring, they must take into account that they can only choose from a select number of majors. In Steinhardt, students can choose Nutrition and Food Studies, Applied Psychology or Media, Culture and Communications as their majors. Tandon first-year Ben Guirakhoo wanted to pursue Mechanical Engineering, but was advised to major in Civil, Computer or Electrical Engineering — the only tracks available for spring admits. Guirakhoo worked part-time at his high school during the fall. As a spring admit, he wondered if he would be able to find his community. “I was worried, but I didn’t realize how many spring students there were,” Guirakhoo said. “Now that I’m here, I definitely feel like I have a better experience.” Email Alexandria Johnson at

Criminal Mischief On April 10 at 11 p.m., resident assistants reported witnessing spray-painted stairwells and furniture in Founders Residence Hall. Police notification was declined. The case is open and under investigation.

Criminal Mischief / Liquor Law Violation On April 5 at 10:30 p.m., an RA reported vandalism in the hallway and witnessing underage alcohol possession in Lipton Residence Hall. Police notification was declined. The case was closed and referred to the Office of Community Standards.

Criminal Trespass On April 9 at 7:30 a.m., a student reported witnessing an unknown person in her dorm room in Lipton Hall. Police notification was declined. The case is open and under investigation. On April 8 at 6:42 a.m., a student reported witnessing a criminal trespass in her bedroom in Lipton Hall. Police notification was declined. The case is open and under investigation.

Drug Law Violation On April 11 at 12:21 a.m., an RA reported a potential drug law violation in Brittany Residence Hall. Public Safety recovered a small amount of marijuana. The case was closed and referred to the Office of Community Standards.

Fondling On April 10 at 2:10 p.m., a student reported a fondling outside of University Residence Hall. Police notification was declined. The case is open and under investigation.

Fraud On April 2 at 5:45 p.m., an NYU staff member reported a fraud in the Global Center for Academic and Spiritual Life. Police notification was declined. The case is open and under investigation.

Larceny On April 11 at 9:45 a.m., an NYU staff member reported missing SD card holders in Schwartz Hall. Police notification was declined. The case is open and under investigation. On April 10 at 5 p.m., two students reported missing money from their dorm

room in Founders Hall. Police notification was declined. The case is open and under investigation. On April 10 at 10:36 a.m., an NYU staff member reported money missing from his desk in Meyer Hall. Police notification was declined. The case is open and under investigation. On April 10 at 9:10 a.m., an NYU affiliate reported money missing from his wallet in 19 W. Fourth St. Police notification was declined. The case is open and under investigation. On April 9 at 12 p.m., a student reported a missing bike from the bike racks at Palladium Residence Hall. Police notification was declined. The case is open and under investigation. On April 9 at 8:50 a.m., an NYU staff member reported missing laptops from the Dibner Library. A police report was filed. The case is open and under investigation. On April 9 at 5:59 p.m., a student reported missing packages from outside her dormitory in Broome Street Residence Hall. Police notification was declined. The case is open and under investigation. On April 7 at 11:05 p.m., an NYU affiliate reported cash missing from a locker in 14 W. Fourth St. Police notification was declined. The case is open and under investigation. On April 8 at 12 a.m., a student reported that his laundry bag and tide pods were missing from a laundry room in Othmer Residence Hall. Police notification was declined. The case is open and under investigawtion. On April 7 at 7:30 a.m., a student reported that money and credit cards were missing from his wallet in University Hall. Police notification was declined. The case is open and under investigation.

Liquor Law Violation On April 12 at 9:41 a.m., an RA reported witnessing underage alcohol possession in Lafayette Street Residence Hall. Police notification was declined. The case was closed and referred to the Office of Community Standards. On April 6 at 11:10 p.m., an RA reported underage alcohol possession in Lafayette Hall. Police notification was declined. The case was closed and referred to the Office of Community Standards. On April 5 at 11:50 p.m., an RA reported underage alcohol possession in Third Avenue North Residence Hall. Police notification was declined. The case was closed and referred to the Office of Community Standards. On April 5 at 11:11 p.m., an RA reported witnessing underage alcohol possession in Third North. Police notification was declined. The case was closed and referred to the Office of Community Standards. Email Crime Bot at

Washington Square News @nyunews @nyunews

Washington Square News


MONDAY, APRIL 15, 2019




Stern Alumna’s Ice Cream Shop Opens in Brooklyn By BELLA GIL Staff Writer Combining flavors from her home with well-loved basics, Pooja Bavishi’s ice cream company and shop, Malai, transforms ice cream into a new type of dessert. Stern alumna Bavishi began her company after graduating in 2015 and defines it on her website as a brand of luxury ice cream with Asian-inspired flavors. She opened her Carroll Gardens shop in Brooklyn at 268 Smith St. in March. Malai is different from typical ice cream shops because Bavishi incorporates her Indian heritage into every flavor. Examples include Masala Chai, Orange Fennel and Carrot Halwa. Bavishi credits her inspiration for this unique spread to her background. “My parents immigrated here from Western India, and a lot of the flavors that I grew up with weren’t really represented in the mainstream market,” Bavishi said. “I also noticed that ice cream had not really reached a luxury scale the way that other com-

mon desserts have. I saw a gap in that market and I was excited to showcase these flavors.” During her last year at Stern, Bavishi initially found herself stuck. She wasn’t passionate about the jobs during on-campus recruitment and sat down to talk with one of her professors. “He kind of took a step back and he was like ‘Tell me what you want to do. Do you want to be in marketing, do you want to be in strategy, do you want to be in finance, what do you want to do?’” Bavishi recalled. “And I said, ‘I want to do it all.’” What gave her the final push to start a business was when she hosted a Friendsgiving while still in her masters program at NYU and made Indian-inspired ice cream for dessert. It was a hit. For Bavishi, one of the most rewarding aspects of opening Malai is rooted not only in the way her food connects strangers, but also in the emotions her one-of-a-kind flavors evoke when first sampled. “What’s really cool about food, in

Puppy With a Purpose: NYU’s New Therapy Dog

general, is that it really connects in a way that other things don’t,” Bavishi said. “We often get that from many of our flavors.” Romy Raad, a customer at Malai, was enjoying a rose cinnamon and sweet milk cone while sitting down at one of the wooden benches inside the store. Raad lives in Brooklyn and she says that Malai is the perfect walking distance for a sweet treat. “Pooja is actually a close friend of mine,” Raad said. “It’s so amazing to see all her hard work come together here as a storefront.” According to Bavishi, the most popular flavor is the rose cinnamon roasted almond. She says that her favorite part of being in the food industry is being able to surprise her customers with unique flavors. “Combining her culture with an economic ambition to create a unique flavor of ice cream is really inspiring because it shows that anything can be achieved if you set your mind to it,” Stern first-year Emma Lin said. “It gives me encouragement to pursue my interests so that I can share my passion

with others, just like Malai is doing.” With success, challenges are inevitable. Bavishi emphasizes how with any business, goals are going to be constantly changing, as are the ways to achieve them. “I wasn’t in any kind of culinary field when I started this business, so


By KYLIE KIRSCHNER Staff Writer He’s hardly more than five pounds, but he’s training to serve a big purpose. Archie, the 6-month-old puppy now working with the NYU Department of Public Safety, is in training to become a certified therapy dog. “He will be in my office when I meet with victims, or anybody in the NYU community who needs help,” Assistant Vice President of Field Operations in the NYU Department of Public Safety Karen Ortman said. “That will be his purpose. He’s here to provide comfort to people.” Named after the Washington Square Arch, the Maltese-Yorkie mix has just completed American Kennel Club’s S.T.A.R. Puppy training program. This course prepares puppies for Canine Good Citizen,

the final AKC program that will enable Archie to be certified as a therapy animal once he turns 1 this upcoming October. NYU Senior Vice President of Campus Services and Safety Marlon Lynch brought Archie in to fill NYU’s need for animal-assisted therapy. Unsurprisingly, everyone was for it. “Being a dog lover, I jumped on it,” Ortman said. Not only did she jump on the idea, but as Archie’s handler, Ortman brought him in to live at home with her along with three other dog brothers and sisters. During the week, the pup tags along with Ortman to work. Now, as NYU students experience ups and downs, they’ll have a furry friend to help them through it. Email Kylie Kirschner at

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A newly opened location of Malai Ice Cream, where a Stern alumna has launched her global fusion ice cream brand.

Fighting Senior Citizen Isolation, One Manicure at a Time By JORDANA BORNSTEIN Contributing Writer

Archie, NYU Public Safety’s new therapy-dog-in-training, tags along with Karen Ortman to work at her office.

the learning curve is super steep and it doesn’t shallow out,” Bavashi said. “You do have to learn things and you have to surround yourself with people who know a certain field or area that can help you out.”

The Woodstock Senior Center in Midtown buzzed with excitement when six students from the NYU GlamourGals chapter began setting up, transforming the small multipurpose space into a first-class manicure salon. Within minutes, every chair became occupied and conversation filled the room. Senior citizens gleefully shared stories of their childhood, their own college experiences and adventures around the world while the students prompted them with questions, listened intently and polished their nails. CAS senior and GlamourGals chapter president Prianka Koya explained that because manicures force people to face one another for almost 30 minutes, it is the optimal setting for one-on-one conversations. “Some seniors are very talkative and share their experiences,” Koya said. “Others are more curious and ask questions, like why you decided to paint nails on a Sunday. You hear stories that you would never hear otherwise, meet people you never would have run into on your own and volunteer with a great group of students who also choose to spend their time volunteering.” A 2017 report by the New York City Comptroller stated that between 2005 and 2015, the city’s population of adults over 65 increased by more than 19% from approximately 947,000 to 1.13 million. Another 2017 report published by the NYC Department for the Aging claimed that an estimated one in five seniors feel affected by social isolation, a proven cause of negative mental and physical health. GlamourGals is a nonprofit organization that gathers student volunteers to give makeovers to residents at local senior care centers in order to combat social isolation.

NYU has had a GlamourGals chapter for seven years, during which time students have visited hundreds of seniors. According to Koya, the NYU chapter has about 100 students on its mailing list, and the group visits senior centers twice a month. The difference that GlamourGals makes goes far beyond giving a senior citizen a fresh coat of purple nail polish. Koya recalled a particular anecdote that demonstrated the unique impact of the club. “I remember asking a senior if she wanted to get her nails done,” Koya said. “She seemed surprised but joined us. Then during the manicure, she told me she had stopped at the center only to use the restroom and if she hadn’t had this manicure, she would have gone back to her bedroom and watched TV all evening. We spent the next hour talking about her children, grandchildren and husband who passed away. As she left,

she smiled at me and said, ‘This manicure really made my day.’” Stern senior Jacob Swe is a frequent volunteer with GlamourGals and says these visits are a way to give back to the New York City community. “Here at NYU, we are so privileged,” Swe said. “It is valuable to me to be able to use my privilege give back in some sort of way.” CAS junior and GlamourGals NYU Vice President Rima Mazumdar emphasized the personal connections made between students and senior citizens. “We aren’t just like any other community service organization,” Mazumdar said. “We really focus on the idea of self-love at any age and allowing these seniors to feel pampered and heard and connected to the community, no matter the age gap.” Email Jordana Bornstein at


A woman shows off her new manicure, courtesy of NYU’s GlamourGals.

MONDAY, APRIL 15, 2019


Washington Square News




‘Satan & Adam’: A Film About Blues, With Soul


A promotional still from “Satan and Adam,” a musical documentary.

By ELIZABETH CRAWFORD Staff Writer Satan and Adam. The biblical allusion is too obvious to ignore. The juxtaposition suggests diametrically opposed morals, a polarity of virtue, but this could not be further from the truth. The titular pair — Sterling Magee, aka Mr. Satan, and Adam Gussow — are

MONDAY, APRIL 15, 2019

indeed antithetical in their upbringings and lived experiences, but their love for music, and specifically for blues, supersedes all that. These two men are motivated, foundationally and exclusively, by the very same passion. However, viewers don’t know this from the outset. We don’t know the transcendental power of blues and its ability to reach beyond racial and class lines to connect people. Our innate skepticism takes hold, and through this lens, the account of Mr. Satan and Adam’s first meeting appears to be a case of white cultural vagrancy. Adam is a Columbia University graduate student looking to remedy a heartbreak. He visits Harlem one afternoon and comes across an absolutely magnetic street musician. It’s Sterling Magee, the self-proclaimed Prince of Darkness, commanding his throne — a polyamorous musical setup including hi-hats, a guitar and his killer voice. Adam, with a degree of ignorance surprising coming from an Ivy-educated man. returns the next day, harmonica in hand, and asks to sit in with Mr. Satan. Adam “Promises not to embarrass him” and, rather open-mindedly, Mr. Satan lets him play. An indubitably rare sight, the duo draws a crowd. And every subsequent day, the numbers grow. They soon get noticed by producers and agents, and before long, Mr. Satan and Adam leave their sidewalk stage to cut studio records and play music festivals. Like today, the late ’80s was a tumultuous

time for race relations. Given this, Adam’s initial request seems much like an intrusion, an exercise in entitlement. It isn’t until you actually hear their music that your distrust slowly falls away, and you begin to realize just how symbiotic Mr. Satan and Adam’s relationship is. They play off of each other’s energies, creating the beautiful and indescribable with each and every riff. Together, their music is more powerful than anything either could have dreamed of producing on his own. Though the film’s cultural context feels a bit spoon-fed at times, “Satan & Adam” doesn’t pretend to be some fantastical tale of racial harmony. Director V. Scott Balcerek captures not an interracial friendship, but a friendship, in all its complexity. The film spans multiple years, showing us the universally devastating realities of infirmity. Mr. Satan suffers a stroke, Adam a heart attack. Mr. Satan loses mobility in his fingers, and with it, his ability to play. It’s a momentous loss, a tragedy beyond words. The chapter seems to close on blues, but wonderfully stubborn as they are, Mr. Satan and Adam will not go out with a whimper. They’ll continue to play, regardless of their ability, for it’s their spiritual necessity. “Satan & Adam” understands that music isn’t some magic bullet, but it reminds us that there exists more to unify than to divide. Email Elizabeth Crawford at


‘Game of Thrones’ Premiere Trades Plot for Predictability By ABBY HOFSTETTER Instagram Editor The following review contains spoilers of the April 14 episode of ‘‘Game of Thrones.”

Sunday night’s “Game of Thrones” episode marked the beginning of the end. The first episode of the final season is undoubtedly fun, featuring a minutes-long dragon ride, a long-overdue family reunion and a massive revelation. The premiere is chock-full of moments that viewers have been waiting for since the series’ inception. However, the episode also implies that the eighth season will be used mainly to pander to the show’s fans, as it’s filled with reunions of characters who have been separated for seasons on end, multiple dei ex machina and a script comprised almost entirely of pull quotes. The seventh season ended with many loose ends left untied. To name a few, Arya (Maisie Williams) and Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) joined forces to kill the manipulative Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen); Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) parted ways when the queen chose to fight against Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) rather than the White Walkers; Jon Snow’s (Kit Harington) uncle Benjen Stark (Joseph Mawle) sacrificed himself to the White Walkers so Jon could live; the audience discovered that Jon is not only Daenerys’ nephew, but is also heir to the Iron Throne; and the Night King (Vladimir Furdik) and his army broke through the Wall and began to approach Westeros. Since the seventh season ended in August 2017, fans have been waiting for the eighth season to either confirm or deny their theories. Some of these subplots are overtly addressed in the premiere: Jon learns of his heritage from Samwell Tarly (John Bradley), and the White Walkers murder Ned Umber (Harry Grasby) and display his body on the wall as a sign to the band of Northerners hunting them. However, many points are left unsettled: Jon arrives in Winterfell without a word of his uncle’s death, Jaime doesn’t appear onscreen until the last seconds of the episode and Littlefinger’s death isn’t mentioned at all, which is surprising considering that he was one of the few characters that maintained relationships with people from all Seven Kingdoms. The initial scenes of the episode seem

almost like the reboot of a late ’90s sitcom. When the camera pans to reveal a wide-eyed Arya watching Daenerys, Jon, Sandor Clegane (Rory McCann) and Gendry Waters (Joe Dempsie) march through Winterfell, the applause from the nonexistent live studio audience as they see their favorite characters reunite are nearly audible. When Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) and Lord Varys (Conleth Hill) sit in a stagecoach, cracking jokes about each others’ genitals, it seems as if the scene needs a laugh track. When Sansa and Daenerys first make eye contact, the tension between the two is jaw-dropping. The script seems artificial, as if the actors are performing lines that have been written for other characters on other shows. “Game of Thrones” is a show about constant power shifts, and it seems that the upcoming season will play into this notion more than ever before as the series nears its end. In the season’s premiere alone, power shifts from one character to another 10 times. Each of these subtle subversions ostensibly sets the stage for another season-long subplot: Euron Greyjoy’s (Pilou Asbæk) knowledge of Cersei and Jaime’s affair has already begun to lead to blackmail; Jon’s new knowledge of his ancestry means that a Targaryen-Stark battle for the throne is almost inevitable; even a subtle weather change at the beginning of the title sequence suggests a dramatic reckoning as the North begins to freeze over due to the White Walkers’ imminent arrival. While it’s exciting to see these subplots set themselves up, the episode frequently lacks direction due to the constantly shifting focus. George R. R. Martin, the author of the books “Game of Thrones” is based on, has an infamous affinity for red herrings, so his lack of involvement in the development of the eighth season is evident. The series used to be subtle and unpredictable, but this episode is anything but — each glance, snarky comment and seemingly chance encounter is blatantly intentional and meant to be interpreted that way. Maybe the showrunners are tricking fans and intentionally making the show look predictable just to sweep the rug out from under their feet at the last moment. For now, season eight looks to be predictable, incohesive and utterly out of character — but the dragon rides sure are exciting. Email Abby Hofstetter at


Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) of “Game of Thrones.” Its eighth season premiered Sunday on HBO.


MONDAY, APRIL 15, 2019

Anderson .Paak Releases an Ode to Old


Musician Anderson .Paak performs his new album “Ventura” at a concert.

By ETHAN ZACK Staff Writer In a turnaround so quick it might have given his fans whiplash, rhythm and blues artist Anderson .Paak released his fourth studio album “Ventura” just months after his third, “Oxnard.” The musician has referred to the 11-track project as “a celebration of life,” and after a few listens, it’s hard to deny that the album absolutely delivers on that positive tone. Mirroring the real-life proximity between the two California towns of Oxnard and Ventura, .Paak’s albums are meant to be companions. The musical connection ends there, though, as the focus on a more retro, soul-infused R&B feel for “Ventura” differs greatly from the modern, hip-hop beats of “Oxnard.”

The latest album upholds .Paak’s hallmark sounds, most notably his distinctive raspy-yet-smooth vocals, romantically rhythmic groove and permeating hazy atmosphere. There’s something about the production value here that makes .Paak’s creativity feel even more effortless than usual, as though he sauntered into the studio one day and recorded the album on a whim. There’s no pretentiousness, just well-crafted, dizzyingly catchy tunes. As an album, “Ventura” functions as a cohesive whole, which gives it more of a singular identity than a collective one. It feels like an album that’s supposed to be listened to in its entirety, a vinyl in a sea of digital singles. If you’re not watching the tracks play, it can be difficult at times to discern exactly when one track switches to the next, as they flawlessly segue

into each other. On the other hand, the album can, at times, border on homogeneity, and while none of the songs are particularly poor, some of them might not stand out to the listener once they’re finished. Perhaps the most uniquely memorable moment of “Ventura” occurs on the first track, “Come Home,” where featured rapper André 3000 belts out a jaw-droppingly fast-paced verse. .Paak himself is in top lyrical form throughout the 11 tracks, interweaving timelessly catchy hooks with clear-cut social commentary. The greatest example is on the first single released for the album, “King James,” where .Paak sings “We couldn’t stand to see our children shot dead in the streets / But when I finally took a knee, them crackers took me out of the league.” The verse references the 2016 Colin Kaepernick controversy, when the ex-quarterback kneeled during the national anthem to protest police brutality against black people and was never signed by an NFL team again. .Paak’s smooth delivery of lines like these might cause them to nearly flow past the listener, but a closer examination adds another layer of richness and depth to the songs. While “Ventura” is more consistently pleasing than its predecessor album, it could have done with just a bit more of the experimentation that made “Oxnard” shine. As it stands, though, .Paak’s latest outing is nothing if not feel-good, and proudly demonstrates that some old-fashioned soul is always welcome. Email Ethan Zack at

Ghosts Face Gentrification in ‘Where Do All the Ghosts Go?’


Sarah Teed and David Leeper in “Where Do All the Ghosts Go?” The new play, running at Theater for the New City, follows the ghosts of five historical figures who haunt a soon-to-be-demolished building.

By JULIE GOLDBERG Staff Writer In a historic building just south of Union Square, modernist artist Marcel Duchamp (David Leeper) and Wild West showman Buffalo Bill (Christopher Lowe) play a game of invisible chess, while the French stage actress Sarah Bernhardt (Steph Van Vlack) laments over the fact she was played by an Englishwoman — the horror! — in her biopic. Written and directed by Barbara Kahn, “Where Do All the Ghosts Go?” places five ghosts, all of whom have faced some kind of adversity in life, in one room of the St. Denis building. Kahn was inspired by the news of the edifice’s impending demolition. Residing on the corner of 11th Street and Broadway, the building was built in 1953 and is, as Kahn puts it, “a recent victim of the gentrification that erases our historic legacy.” “I felt angry and helpless at the impending demolition,” Kahn said in the press materials, “but decided to rescue some of the history by writing a play about it.” “Where are the living?” laments Sarah in the opening scene of the play, surveying the dilapidated room, unaware that the building is soon to be leveled. When a young married couple — Jos and Frances Frankie (Fleur Voorn and Ashley Versher) — come storming in, searching for a scarf Jos believes she left behind after their last therapy appointment, the ghosts must convince the two living women that they are real, and find out what is going to happen to them after the building is torn down. Jos and Frankie’s marriage, meanwhile, is on the rocks. Frankie is fed up with Jos’ passive-aggressive behavior, and Jos, a fantasy writer who can’t seem to work through the third chapter of her novel, is convinced Frankie doesn’t even read any of her best-selling books.

The first act of the show, while a bit slow, is endearing and often rather funny, as the ghosts must convince Jos — who writes about ghosts in her novels but doesn’t really believe in them — that they are real. The ghosts also continually refer to Frankie as her friend rather than her wife, a point of contention which is never fleshed out further. While Frankie is not fully convinced of the ghosts’ existence until the end of the show, she still agrees to pull out her iPad and Google each character, scavenging the internet to piece together a history of each individual’s life that will give them some clue as to where they may be best suited to dwell once the St. Denis is demolished. The second act grows a bit tiresome, however, as we see each ghost make amendments to the internet’s account of their lives. Then, one by one, they walk offstage as the lights black out and we hear a voiceover of their final adieu to the St. Denis. By the end of the show, everything is resolved rather predictably, as each character has found a new home where they are happy. Jos and Frankie seem to have put their differences aside, though nothing actually takes place in the story to indicate that they have worked through any of the problems they were dealing with in the first act. Still, the actors all give stunning performances which distract from some of the predictability of the plot, with Van Vleck offering an especially convincing portrayal as Bernhardt. “Where Do All the Ghosts Go?” artfully places figures of the past in conversation with the present, and tackles the ubiquitous threat of gentrification. “Where Do All The Ghosts Go?” is running at Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave., through April 28. Email Julie Goldberg at




Washington Square News | Opinion


MONDAY, APRIL 15, 2019




We Need to Keep Fighting for Latinx Representation on TV

By EMI BONET Contributing Writer When I first heard Netflix’s “One Day at a Time” was cancelled after three seasons, I immediately picked up the phone and called my mom. It is the show we would always binge-watch together whenever I came home during breaks. We always laughed a little harder at the jokes, because as Cuban Americans, we knew how accurate they were. The show’s cancellation meant my mom and I were losing some-

thing special, something that deeply resonated with us. Though many celebrities and the cast and crew of the show are trying to save it, the fate of ODAAT is still up in the air. There are even other outlets trying to pick up the show to save it, but Netflix doesn’t seem to be budging. The show’s cancellation affects more than the Latinx and Cuban communities it represents. Its funny and heartfelt storylines are something all audiences can enjoy. The show talks about issues like PTSD, substance abuse, anxiety and depression. It also features a main character who is gay, along with her gender-nonconforming significant other. According to GLAAD’s report on LGBTQ inclusion for 2017-2018, there are only 70 LGBTQ characters on streaming services’ original series, and of those 70, only 1% are gender-nonconforming. In addition, “One Day at a Time” portrays these groups of minorities in a positive light. According to The Guardian, 50% of Latinx immigrant characters on TV have

committed some sort of crime, further perpetrating a negative stereotype. There are a lot of sitcoms that make us laugh or cry, but rarely ones that discuss these groups and more, let alone one that centers around a Latinx family. And there continues to be a limited amount of Latinx representation on television as a whole. In 2014, there was a show called “Cristela,” which had Cristela Alonzo as the first Latinx actress to ever to create, produce, write and star in her own show. However, this show was also cancelled after only one season. In an age where Latinx representation is so limited, having a show that talks about all these things in a way that does not feel forced — and at the end of the day makes you feel included in a broader conversation — is important. “One Day at a Time” makes the topics it discusses intersectional; it depicts a Cuban family going through very real issues, such as mental illness, that are not often addressed. There are certainly other Latinx shows on Netflix, such as shows like “On

My Block,” but they greatly dramatize storylines in attempts to appeal to mass audiences. While these are still great shows, the reason ODAAT is so appealing and so important to me is because it portrays an average family going through what all families experience: love, happiness, heartache and struggle. While this show represents me and my family, it also speaks to many other communities. It makes visible in everyday settings the LGBTQ community, those affected by substance abuse, those with PTSD and people who have anxiety and depression. While it may seem like overkill to address so many demographics in one show, “One Day at a Time” does so simply because it is realistically capturing what the United States looks like today. I hadn’t seen a Cuban family on a TV show before ODAAT. The little things on the show that reminded me of my parents and grandparents — such as the overprotectiveness and delicious Cuban coffee —

comforted me when I first left home for college, a time I needed it most. Its accurate depiction of a typical Cuban household reminded me of my favorite parts of my childhood. For example, Rita Moreno’s character, Lydia, reminds me of my own Catholic grandmother who prayed for just about anything. And when she wasn’t praying, she was cooking. The cancellation of “One Day at a Time” is more than just a cancellation of a show that made me laugh or that had a riveting storyline. It is a cancellation of a series that represents my family and our story, one that deserves to live on and deserves to be told. It is important to continue to represent this community in a genuine, heartfelt way. The only thing I hope for is that this show is saved somehow, so that I can keep laughing with my mom while sipping our own cafecito. Email Emi Bonet at


A for Art, B for Best

By JOHANNA STONE Columnist I spend all day in acting school trying not to care what other people think of me, trying not to be afraid of making mistakes, because art school is the place where you are technically allowed to mess up your art. Meanwhile, my teachers sit in the corner with their notebooks, observing my work while entertaining imagined objectivity. In these classes, where my artistic freedom flourishes, a lettered scale of judgment looms over us. I find myself in classes multiple times a week with teachers telling me not to worry about doing

it right. There’s little rhyme or reason to what makes something good within any inherently subjective art form. But it’s difficult not to feel pressure to do something right when you are held to a pass/ fail standard. You may have heard that college grades don’t matter, especially for an arts major — I’ve heard as much from fellow students and even a couple of teachers. But when it comes to getting a job after graduation, your GPA may factor into your ability to be hired for a business-oriented internship or assistant position, which many students with a degree in the arts opt for after school. The difference between an A and a B in a somewhat ambiguously evaluated art class could potentially negatively affect your GPA and therefore the ability to secure the sort of financially supportive side job that an upand-coming artist often initially needs. However counterintuitive they may be, assigning grades in art school is not a solely negative practice. Part of the opportunities that come with attending a pres-

tigious art school like the Tisch School of the Arts are from its ties to a larger private university which requires grades to be assigned. Art teachers are generally aware of this paradox and are careful to evaluate based on factors that are less centered around raw talent. They focus more on how much a student is contributing and how they are applying themselves to their artistic medium. The competitive nature of grades, which are occasionally assigned on a curve, can also be a motivator for artists to put forward their best creative effort. Though they may not always be accurate, grades can be helpful for an art student to gauge the effectiveness of their own creative choices in front of an artistically attuned audience and to push themselves to exceed what is expected of them. “I think awards are sort of a necessary evil in the art world,” Tisch drama sophomore Michael Crowe said. “I think by setting benchmarks with awards, it encourages all [artists] to surpass and continue pushing art forward.” Art projects can be compared, dis-

cussed and criticized, but it is impossible to objectively rank creative expression. This does not prevent people from trying — in art school and beyond. Major award shows like the Grammys, Emmys, Academy Awards and Tonys annually attempt to applaud the best of the best in music, acting, writing and design. Like art school grades, award show nominees and winners can be a great indicator of efficacy in one’s endeavors, but they are ultimately decided by a limited committee of judges whose own biases and creative opinions influence what they will deem to be the “best” in any category. Perhaps the steadily declining viewership of major award shows in the last decade, along with the niche culture of the internet, will steadily increase awareness of the subjectivity of all art and the contradictory nature of hierarchical artistic awards. For many students pursuing arts degrees, college is the first frontier where they will receive grades for their performance of and competency in their work. So how much credence should students

give to their grades on creative tasks, projects and pieces? Ultimately, young artists should focus on projects they find personally rewarding and not worry so much about chasing accolades. They should listen to the feedback they receive and attempt to understand any critiques, but remember that the most helpful response may not always come from higher-ups. There will always be people taking notes, but it is ultimately the creator who has the power to choose whose opinion is relevant to them. “The Art School Report” is a column about the trials and tribulations of art school and the New York City art scene at large. Johanna aims to document the experiences and opinions of Tisch students and the terrifying thought of graduating into the world with an arts degree. Johanna Stone is a sophomore in Tisch studying Drama. Email Johanna Stone at


The Dangerous Impact of the Far-Right in Japan

By JUN SUNG Contributing Writer Recently, Japan has seen a rise of far-right groups, or “uyoku dantai.” Their nationalist agenda advocates for policies such as replacing the current pacifist constitution, denying Japan’s wartime atrocities and strengthening the country’s armed forces. Around 900 of these groups regularly protest in

front of foreign embassies and government buildings. The uyoku dantai also have a history of racism towards Korean and Chinese ethnic communities, such as referring to Koreans as maggots and cockroaches in a 2018 protest. Each of these elements points to a far-right movement that harkens back to World War II-era imperialist Japan. It is important to recognize the detrimental effects that this movement will have on East Asia if the uyoku dantai continue to influence Japanese politics. The influence of the Japanese far-right will only exacerbate the growing tensions in U.S.-China relations, as well as the situation on the Korean peninsula. Last year, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Liberal Democratic Party, the ruling conservative party,

sought to revise the constitution and its pacifist stance on the military. Though this resolution was abandoned, Abe has continued to pursue the idea of constitutional revision, showing the creeping influence of the far-right into mainstream Japanese politics. Furthermore, the far-right has been exerting its influence on education in Japan since 1982, when the government first started censoring school textbooks. Since then, textbooks have barely covered the issue of comfort women and the mass Okinawan suicides of 1945 — human rights abuses committed by the Japanese government during World War II. Government-led historical revisionism in schools and increasing calls for a stronger military are signs of the far-right’s growing power among politi-

cians and citizens alike. Another sign of the rise of the uyoku dantai’s ideas is the growing power of the Nippon Kaigi. The organization is the largest far-right group in Japan and has heavy lobbying clout with the conservative LDP; 18 of the 20 members of Shinzo Abe’s cabinet were once members of the group. Abe himself is a special advisor to Nippon Kaigi and has implemented their ideas of constitutional revision, change in educational content and increased military forces in his own proposed policies. Currently, China and the U.S. are the two main players battling to gain influence in the region. The infiltration of far-right ideas into mainstream Japanese politics, however, will completely change this dynamic. A third milita-

ristic nation would certainly put more pressure on the two Koreas in their denuclearization negotiations and possibly hinder any peace process. Given Japan’s history as an imperialist power, a combination of increased militarization and far-right ideology will be another step back to the past. The country’s recent tendency of historical revisionism in school textbooks is another sign of this trend. In order to avoid creating an even more hostile situation in the East Asian region, the rise of the Nippon Kaigi, as well as the smaller uyoku dantai, must be recognized. Ignoring the issue will exacerbate regional issues, and therefore influence problems at home. Email Jun Sung at


Washington Square News | Opinion

MONDAY, APRIL 15, 2019


When It Comes to Self-Care, One Size Does Not Fit All

By HOPE RANGASWAMI Columnist What comes to mind when you hear the term self-care? You’re probably imagining someone slapping on an expensive face mask, sitting in a bubble bath and sipping on a glass of wine. Or maybe you’re thinking of the #selfcare posts on Instagram — a sea of salads, skincare and scented candles. Though tropes like these aren’t necessarily excluded from the category of self-care, they constitute only a very small part of it. The reality is that self-care can be a little more complicated than what we see on social media. Each of us have different parts of ourselves that we need to take care of and different methods of carrying out this care. One size doesn’t — and shouldn’t — fit all. Though self-care’s rising popularity may seem positive — if self-care becomes more normalized, mental health becomes less stigmatized — there are negative consequences. As the term has entered the mainstream, we have drifted further away from its actual meaning. Suddenly anything and everything can be labeled self-care, from skipping class to seven-hour Netflix binges, rendering the term almost meaningless. There is no point in trying to define an all-encompassing form of self-care. By doing so, we’ve lost sight of the core principle of self-care: listening and tending to the needs of our minds and bodies. The problem with online self-care suggestions is that they rob us of our ability to be in tune with our specific needs. Rather than paying attention to our individual experiences, we’re directed by someone else’s ideas of what selfcare should look like. A recent study found that students often turn to the internet to locate self-care strategies. But no one else knows what you need as well as you. This is especially true in a time when the sources telling us how to care for ourselves may not have our best interests at heart. Many social media influencers promote self-care in sponsored posts, pushing us towards all kinds of products promising to lead to happiness. Given that self-care is a $10 billion industry in the U.S., it seems that money has become the priority, rather than mental health. We’ve forgotten that self-care is about what we need to practice, not what we need to purchase. A common misconception underlies the commodification of self-care, namely that self-care is synonymous with self-indulgence. When we associate self-care with expensive skincare and stacks of self-help books, we start to see

Submitting to

taking care of yourself as an unnecessary extravagance. This is far from the truth. Audre Lorde said it best: “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation.” While caring for yourself is a luxury, it can also be necessary — both for your own health and happiness and also for your ability to be compassionate towards others. Here lies the crucial difference between indulgence and self-care: the former provides an escape in the short-term, while the latter shifts your relationship with yourself and others in the long-term. When we realize that self-care is more than pampering ourselves, we confront a difficult truth: self-care requires work that looks a little different for everyone. Self-care might mean admitting that you can’t heal alone and allowing yourself to accept help. It might mean setting boundaries, and learning that it’s okay to say no to requests you aren’t comfortable with, or it might mean saying yes to new experiences and expanding your comfort zone. It might mean replacing toxic habits with healthier coping mechanisms, like meditation or exercise, or it might mean letting yourself eat an entire tub of ice cream without feeling bad about it. It might mean choosing eight hours sleep over watching another episode on Netflix, or it might mean watching another episode on Netflix over getting eight hours sleep. All, some or none of these things might work for you — what matters is focusing on what feels right for your needs. Once we accept that self-care takes time and requires real commitment, we can learn to be more patient with ourselves and trust the process. The benefits of this mindset are hard to ignore, including elevated mood, increased productivity, lower blood pressure, improved heart health and a more balanced, happier life. Self-care isn’t about letting someone else tell you what you need. It’s about valuing yourself enough to listen to your unique needs and tending to those needs in a way that works for you. The process might be hard, take time and look different from what you see online. Don’t let that deter you. When you commit to the process of self-care, you’re making an investment. You’re investing in your validity, your health and your happiness. That’s definitely worth the work. We hear the term “self-care” all the time, but what does it really mean? To whom is it available and in what ways is it attainable? “The Pursuit of Happiness” will explore practical ways for NYU students to take care of themselves, proving that being broke and busy isn’t a barrier to self-care. Hope Rangaswami is sophomore in CAS majoring in English and Environmental Studies. Email Hope Rangaswami at


NYU Must Do More About Food Insecurity More than a fifth of students reported financial hardship affording food, according to the Being@ NYU survey in October 2018. This gives us a glimpse into the problem of food insecurity at NYU — but the problem doesn’t end with our university. A recent study shows that nearly half of two-year and four-year undergraduate students face food insecurity — being without reliable access to affordable, nutritious food — from a sample of 30,000. In response, large universities like Rutgers and CUNY have conducted large studies to better understand the problem. NYU has yet to follow suit. Despite taking recent steps to increase measures against it, one thing remains clear: NYU could do much more to fight food insecurity. At a minimum, conducting a university-wide survey gives NYU the information it needs to start adequately addressing food insecurity. The university’s response to food insecurity has been lackluster at best. In the 2015-2016 school year, NYU created the Food Insecurity Workgroup, which created the Courtesy Meals Program, offering 75 Dining Dollars to students who find themselves unable to afford their next meal, no questions asked. However, the university did not publicize the program until recently. In a statement to WSN last September, Senior Vice President for Student Affairs Marc Wais, who convened and chaired the Food Insecurity Work Group in spring 2016, said the decision was made because the university feared students would “view this as an entitlement or exploit the program.” Just over 30 students had used the program in each semester since its creation, except for last fall, when 1,165 unique students did so — after the university publicized the program. This cohort more than likely overlaps with the over 3,000 students who reported being unable to afford food on the Being@NYU Survey. In November, NYU Student Government hosted a town hall discussing food insecurity at NYU, following results from the Being@NYU survey. The presentations featured Steinhardt graduate student Jon Chin, who founded Share Meals, an organization which allows students to share leftover meal swipes with those who might need them. There were also conversations about students — particularly international and undocumented students — who might not have access to the funding necessary to alleviate food insecurity. In light of the growing awareness about food insecurity, both here at NYU and across the nation, the

need for more comprehensive solutions is becoming clear. This problem has become more apparent amidst the recent announcement of a change in food service provider, which raises more questions about food accessibility on campus. NYU says it required Chartwells, the new food service provider, to specifically address food insecurity and food waste in their programs, although the details remain unknown. As mentioned above, NYU can look to the examples of other universities breaking ground in this territory. Universities like CUNY, Rutgers and Harvard have published studies analyzing food insecurity at their respective universities in order to bring the issue to light and brainstorm potential solutions going forward. In their study, a group of professors and university administrators at Rutgers determined how their findings will allow them to consider additional programs, like expanding the Rutgers Student Food Pantry — an initiative created specifically for students, faculty and staff. The study advocates for training sessions to raise awareness of the issue and services available for everyone on campus, training students, in particular, to help one another in seeking out resources. As the increase in students using NYU’s Food Insecurity Program last semester shows, the awareness of resources is integral for progress. The study also note the crucial institutional changes necessary to combat the epidemic of food insecurity, including raising minimum wage on campus and increasing state and federal investments in combating food insecurity. CUNY, on the other hand, aims to partner with food companies to provide discounts on healthy foods for students, give students on CUNY campuses more access to New York City food assistance programs and create on-site food pantries. These are models that NYU can pursue. It is crucial that our campus open up the forum for more discussion in order to analyze, explore and interpret potential solutions with contributions from a variety of directions. As these studies point out, progress will require a monetary investment, whether it comes from the university administration or government funding. This is undoubtedly a worthy allocation of funds. For a school as prestigious as NYU to neglect the issue of hungry students on campus, while charging such exorbitant prices for tuition and meal plans, is an extreme oversight. The NYU administration should take the steps necessary to address this crisis, which has been relegated to the background for far too long.

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Washington Square News

MONDAY, APRIL 15, 2019





Avenatti’s Not the Story. Nike Is.

Washington Square News Staff Editor-in-Chief

Sakshi Venkatraman Managing Editor

Sam Klein DEPUTY Akshay Prabhushankar, Bela Kirpalani Priya Tharwala, Sophia Di Iorio Copy Chiefs

Joey Hung, Andrew Ankersen DEPUTY Kate Lowe, Lauren Gruber, Sam Brinton, Paul Kim Multimedia

Alana Beyer DEPUTY Jorene He PHOTO Alina Patrick DEPUTY PHOTO Julia McNeill DEPUTY VIDEO Min Ji Kim SENIOR Veronica Liow Social Media

Akiva Thalheim Abby Hofstetter


By BELA KIRPALANI Deputy Managing Editor Earlier this month, celebrity attorney Michael Avenatti — after being arrested on extortion charges — tried to single-handedly take down Nike for its alleged bribery of the families of high school athletes “to attend ‘Nike’ colleges.” Nike said in a statement that it “Will not respond to the allegations of an individual facing federal charges of fraud and extortion and aid in his disgraceful attempts to distract from the athletes on the court at the height of the tournament.” The company, however, is part of an federal investigation into corruption in college basketball. While Avenatti is clearly not the most virtuous or trustworthy source, it is important that his claims about the shoe giant do not get swept under the rug. Just last October, two Adidas executives and an aspiring NBA agent were found guilty of fraud charges for their roles in a payfor-play scandal that pulled back the curtain, for a moment, on the basketball black market. However, it seems that after the public’s initial shock over the news subsided, the rest of the world forgot — or simply didn’t care enough — about the corruption that runs rampant in high school and even lower-level sports. The Elite Youth Basketball League — subpoenaed by the FBI in 2017 — is Nike’s grassroots league, a summer basketball circuit that prepares high school players for the college game. Nike, Adidas and Under Armour each have their own leagues which allow them to gain leverage and influence over the next generation’s star athletes. McDonald’s All-American shooting guard Brian Bowen played in Nike’s EYBL and in 2017, news

broke that his family reportedly received $100K to attend Adidas-sponsored University of Louisville. A New York Times article detailed how grassroots basketball has long been an environment where brand executives are connected with parents of top recruits and how money flows between them to ensure that the players commit to college basketball programs that the company sponsors. Sometimes this can even lead to an endorsement deal with the company after the player turns pro. As things stand, it seems like grassroots basketball isn’t going away anytime soon. After all, everyone benef its — the players get exposure, the shoe brands get deals and the NCAA gets top talent who have been hyped up by the media and fans for years. However, the federal investigation has made waves in college basketball circles, and it’s even caused an NCAA commission to recommend reforms to the “youth basketball-industrial complex.” This is good from the NCAA, but don’t be fooled by the attempts of some in college basketball to pin all corruption on the grassroots circuit and Amateur Athletic Union basketball. As we’ve seen, college basketball programs are not exactly bastions of integrity. “The corruption we observed in college basketball has its roots in youth basketball,” former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who headed the NCAA commission, said. In the Adidas trial, four college assistant coaches and several f igures on the grassroots circuit — sometimes called street runners, or people who are the go-betweens for shoe companies — were charged. Merl Code, the Adidas off icial who was arrested, charged with wire fraud and wire fraud conspiracy and received a six-

month prison sentence, is a former Nike off icial. The Adidas case was the biggest example of the corruption that plagues sports. But it was also an outlier. When investigations end and charges are f iled, it’s often only the families and players that are punished. Now, of course you can say that they shouldn’t have taken the money or allowed themselves to get swept up in the storm of corruption that surrounds high school sports. But when every kid wants to make it to the next level, being exposed to that world is inevitable and following the crooked ways of big brands seems like their only chance to make it big. And we are talking about Nike, Adidas and Under Armour — billion-dollar companies that know what they are doing and know that the odds that they get caught are slim. After Avenatti accused Nike of bribery, sports attorney Darren Heitner dismissed claims that Nike could f ind itself in a situation similar to the one Adidas faced in 2017. “Nike has little or nothing to be concerned about,” Heitner said. “If there were illegal payments being made [...] the individuals who were engaged in that activity have cause for that concern. There’s nothing from a criminal standpoint that this corporate entity has to be worried about.” Avenatti may not be the right person to hold Nike to the letter of the law, but someone else needs to just do it. The Sports Girl is a weekly sports column that will feature a girl’s take on sports. Yes, a girl. Yes, on sports. Email Bela Kirpalani at


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