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NYU’s Independent Student Newspaper | est. 1973

Monday, April 16, 2018

Volume L, Issue 12





Gallatin Arts Festival Sheds Light on Star Students

Sigma Gamma Rho Creates Space for Women of Color

Minimize the Microaggressions in Tisch

Brandeis Coach Fired for Racist Comments






Students Raise Awareness on Refugee Crisis By NATALIE CHINN Deputy Features Editor



Members of the NYU community marched down Broadway to City Hall during this year’s annual March for Science on April 14.

March Calls for a Scientific Solution By KRISTINA HAYHURST Deputy News Editor


undreds of voices echoed down Broadway last Saturday as students, teachers, scientists, activists and New York residents came together to support “Science Not Silence.” Those leading the voices from Washington Square Park to City Hall were the organizers of this year’s March for Science, composed of members from the NYU community. Ingrid Paredes, a doctoral candidate in the Tandon School of Engineering, started organizing the march when she approached fellow

Tandon doctoral student Omar Gowayed in order to gain NYU’s support. When the pair realized that no one was planning anything for this year’s March for Science, they took matters into their own hands. “Once Ingrid and I noticed that the March for Science NYC group hadn’t organized anything yet, and they were not responding to us, we thought … why not?” Omar wrote in an email to WSN. “We presented the idea in a short PowerPoint presentation to the Student Senate — and that is when our growth started snowballing.” After a few weeks, 11 members of the NYU community were working

to co-organize the event, including Professor of Biology and Neural Science Carol Reiss and Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies David Kanter. The two-part event started with a rally and teach-in in Washington Square Park. Throughout the morning, the small crowd in front of the arch began to grow under a cloudless sky and momentous spring sunshine. The Square welcomed more than 15 speakers, various actors and musicians and multiple research and activity stations around the fountain. The event kicked off with a speech from NYU President Andrew Hamilton.

While last year’s march was focused on policy, many of the speakers on Saturday emphasized the importance of allyship between activists and scientists. Associate Professor of Neural Science and Psychology Wei Ji Ma spoke to how his skills as a scientist can contribute to affecting change. “For as long as I can remember, I have cared about science and for as long as I can remember, I have cared about activism for social causes,” Ma said. “However, I long thought that those two passions were incompatible. This march shows that this is a myth. CONTINUED ON PAGE 3|

he global refugee crisis often feels like it’s happening a million miles away, on another planet. But it’s not. A group of NYU students learned this first hand while working with refugees in Berlin, Germany over spring break. After this eye-opening service trip, four of the students decided to organize a series of events to bring enlightenment to the NYU community on topics regarding migration, human rights violations and identity. Previously known as Syrian Refugee Awareness Week, Refugee Week will consist of five events from April 16-20. There will be panel discussions, a poetry slam, a vigil procession and a documentary screening of “Stranger in Paradise.” For the panel, the organizers were able to secure distinguished speakers like Mayor Mohamed Khairullah and Kwame A. Appiah, who was named one of the world’s most powerful thinkers by Forbes. “We took this task on last-minute, following our trip to Berlin,” said Mohammed Ali Hojaij, a Gallatin sophomore and the director of events and organization for Refugee Week. CONTINUED ON PAGE 6|

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Washington Square News | Monday, April 16, 2018


Edited by Sakshi Venkatraman and Mack DeGeurin

Professor Thinks Chimpanzees Should Be Legally Considered People By SARAH JACKSON Deputy News Editor

Director of the Animal Studies Master’s Program Jeff Sebo is one of several professors in the United States and Canada making a case for chimpanzees to be recognized as persons under the law. In an amicus brief filed Feb. 23 by animal rights group Nonhuman Rights Project, Sebo and 16 others argued that chimpanzees Kiko and Tommy, who are currently being held in isolation from other chimpanzees, should be granted legal personhood. The amicus brief is the latest in a series of petitions and hearings regarding the current legal classification of the chimpanzees. In December 2013, the Nonhuman Rights Project filed petitions in the New York State Supreme Court for Kiko and Tommy to be immediately released from their respective detentions. “Chimpanzees possess such complex cognitive abilities as autonomy, self-determination, self-consciousness, awareness of the past, anticipation of the future and the ability to make choices; display complex emotions such as empathy; and construct diverse cultures,” the multiple petitions read. “The possession of these characteristics is sufficient to establish common law personhood and the consequential fundamental right to bodily liberty.” Both petitions were denied in court. The Nonhuman Rights Project has since filed several motions to appeal the decisions and reargue the cases. Sebo signed the latest amicus brief because he thinks that, while qualities like consciousness, emotions and bonds of interdependence define persons, they are not exclusive to humans. “I think that personhood should be based on features such as conscious experience which are widely shared on the phylogenetic tree, which many non-human animals have, independently of how intelligent they happen to be or how similar to humans they happen to be,” Sebo said. Tommy is currently being held in a cage on the premises of Circle L Trailer Sales, a trailer dealer in Gloversville, New York that is owned by Diane and Patrick C. Lavery. Kiko currently lives at The Primate Sanctuary in Niagara Falls, New York with owners Carmen and Christie Presti. The amicus brief was brought against all four owners. “If they [Kiko and Tommy] count as things, then their ability to be with other chimpanzees will depend entirely on our own willingness to put them in that situation,” Sebo said. “Whereas if they have a legal status of persons, then there will be a legally recognized right that they have to live a good chimpanzee life and we would have an obligation to respect that right independently of our own preferences.” Another leg in their argument, which Sebo addressed in a New York Times op-ed, rests on the question of whether the existing legal classification of all beings as either person or thing is sufficient.


Unidentified Man Graffitis Washington Mews By ALEX DOMB Deputy News Editor

From April 7 to April 12, the NYU Department of Public Safety received seven reports of controlled substance violations, two reports of criminal mischief, one report of fraud, one report of an illegal weapons violation, seven reports of larceny and one report of rape. VIA PIXABAY.COM

NYU Professor Jeff Sebo believes that chimpanzees deserve to be classified under the law as more than just “things.”

“Honestly, I am skeptical that those two categories are adequate to capture all of the beings who exist, which is why we put the point by saying that, if we insist on classifying every being as either a person or a thing, then Kiko and Tommy are persons,” Sebo said. “But if instead, we challenged the person-thing binary and create a richer conception of the types of moral and legal statuses that individuals can have, then that would be a different story.” Another author of the amicus brief, Kristin Andrews, the research chair in Animal Minds at York University in Ontario, Canada, proposed a clarification of the legal term “person” in response to the existing person-thing dichotomy. “If there are three positions, it would be non-person, person, and responsible person,” Andrews said. “We call threeyear-olds and 15-year-olds persons even if they’re not legally responsible for what they do. We’re just trying to get chimpanzees into that position.” Sebo thinks clearing up the distinction between rights and responsibilities would eliminate a major speed bump on the road to accepting nonhuman personhood. “I think a lot of people are skeptical that chimpanzees can be persons because they think that in order to be a person, you have to have duties and responsibilities in addition to rights, and this is simply false,” Sebo said. “Under U.S. law, you can be a person without having duties and responsibilities. All you need in order to be a person is to have rights. So, chimpanzees and other animals can have rights whether or not they also have duties and responsibilities.” Andrew Fenton, assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada and a co-author of the amicus brief, adds that people can even look to religion as a rationale for acknowledging chimpanzees as persons, which he defines as rational, autonomous and social beings. “The notion that other animals might be persons is actually a widespread notion in world philosophy,” Fenton said. “All world religions, no matter if you talk about Christianity to Hinduism, believe that God is a person, but God is usually not human. Think of beings that are popular in different theology, think of angels, think of demons, think of spirits, these are all individuals that are not human.”

Fenton speculates that evolution may be responsible for driving a wedge between humans and the animals they once lived alongside peacefully. “I think because we’re the last of our genus standing, it gives us a sense that we’re somehow apart from other primates or other mammals or other vertebrates,” he said. Fenton hopes that this debate can be the beginning of a meaningful conversation about the proper treatment of animals, especially when they face drastic population decreases: chimpanzees are currently listed as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, and a 2017 study showed that the western chimpanzee population declined by 80.2 percent from 1990 to 2014. “The big question is how is to coexist with them better in the world when they are facing extinction — where their capacities [can] comfortably overlap with the capacities we see in our own communities,” Fenton said. The Laurence A. Tisch Professor of Law at NYU Law, Richard Epstein, is not convinced that chimpanzees meet sufficient criteria to be considered persons. He added that the legal implications of chimpanzees gaining personhood under the law would be dramatic. “It becomes very difficult because you’re talking about political participation, right to vote, right to hold office,” he said. “For example, we do one person, one vote, right? So, now what we do is re-district; we take into account the number of chimpanzees or monkeys you have?” Vice President at The Primate Sanctuary Carmen Presti is not concerned about the amicus brief being brought against him. “They’ve been trying for the past, 2013, they’ve lost every case in court, and it’s just a waste of my time and taxpayers’ money,” Presti said. “It’s beating a dead horse. They keep trying different angles, and they just keep losing.” The Nonhuman Rights Project and the individual signees have yet to hear from the courts if their amicus brief will be approved or denied. Email Sarah Jackson at


On April 7 at 12 a.m., a resident assistant reported that during rounds, he recovered alcohol from one of the dormitories in Third North Avenue Residence Hall. Police notification was declined, and the case has been referred to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Services. On April 7 at 12:10 a.m., an RA reported that during rounds, he recovered alcohol from one of the dormitories in Third North. Police notification was declined, and the case has been referred to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Services. On April 7 at 12:54 a.m., an RA reported that during rounds, he recovered alcohol from one of the dormitories in Third North. Police notification was declined, and the case has been referred to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Services. On April 7 at 12:10 a.m., an RA reported that during rounds, she recovered alcohol from Third North. The RA also confiscated a vape pen with a small amount of marijuana inside. Police notification was declined, and the case has been referred to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Services. On April 7 at 11:50 p.m., an RA reported that during rounds, he recovered alcohol from one of the dormitories in University Residence Hall. Police notification was declined and the case has been referred to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Services. On April 12 at 12:10 p.m., an RA reported that during rounds, she recovered alcohol from a dormitory in Othmer Residence Hall. Police notification was declined and the case has been referred to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Services. On April 12 at 8 p.m., Public Safety responded to a report of an alleged controlled substance violation in Third North and recovered a small amount of marijuana from the residence. The case has been referred to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards.


On April 10 at 12:35 a.m., an Aramark employee reported witnessing an unidentified man painting graffiti on a building at the Washington Mews. A police report was filed, and the case is

open and under investigation. On April 11 at 4:24 a.m., an RA reported that graffiti was found in a Lipton Residence Hall elevator. A police report was filed, and the case is open and under investigation.


On April 9 at 5:25 p.m., an NYU student reported being a victim of fraud on Washington Place. New York Police Department was notified. An arrest was made and the case is open and under investigation.


On April 9 at 7 p.m., an illegal weapons violation was reported at Clark Street Residence Hall. NYPD was notified, an arrest was made and the case is open and under investigation.


On April 10 at 12:15 p.m., an NYU Bookstore employee reported that a person attempted to steal an item from the bookstore. The item was retrieved and the person was escorted out of the building. Police notification was declined and the case is closed. On April 10 at 2:15 p.m., an NYU employee reported that his hard drive was missing from 19 University Pl. Police notification was declined, and the case is open and under investigation. On April 10 at 11:40 p.m., an NYU student reported money missing from a locker at the Palladium Athletic Facilities. Police notification was declined, and the case is open and under investigation. On April 12 at 11:15 a.m., an NYU student reported that her wallet was missing from a locker in the Basic Science Building. Police notification was declined, and the case is open and under investigation. On April 12 at 3:43 p.m., an NYU student reported that her laptop was missing from a locker in the Basic Science Building. Police notification was declined, and the case is open and under investigation. On April 12 at 3:20 p.m., an NYU student reported that his bike was missing from the Tisch bike racks. A police report was filed, and the case is open and under investigation. On April 12 at 4:40 p.m., an NYU student reported that his backpack was missing from a classroom in Tisch Hall. A police report will be filed, and the case is open and under investigation.


On April 11, an NYU student reported that she was a victim of rape in Gramercy Green Residence Hall. The case is open and under investigation. Email the News Team at

Washington Square News | Monday, April 16, 2018

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Edited by Sakshi Venkatraman and Mack DeGeurin

Students and Scientists 92 Professors Condemn Administration for Threatening Student Activists March for Science | CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

You don’t have to shed your objectivity, you don’t have to be partisan in order to put your knowledge and skills as a scientist to use for social causes you believe in. Science and activism can go together, and they should.” In the crowd, the NYU community also dominated, as many students came out to support empirical research and the need for scientifically-backed policy. CAS senior Gabby Carmine said that research, as well as the communication of it, is paramount to affecting change. “It’s really important to not only get your research taken seriously but also for it to be communicated well,” Carmine said. “If you have research that has the potential to affect policy, you must have research that’s evidence based.” Carmine emphasized that she marched in order to make these claims heard.

“You can’t have evidence based policy if no one’s listening,” Carmine said. After the speakers finished, the march from Washington Square to City Hall commenced. The crowd formed a line that covered more than five blocks in its entirety. People joined from all sides as the group made its way down Broadway; chants rose and died all through the line, to the tune of “Hey, hey. Ho, ho. We won’t let our planet go,” and “What do we want? Peer review. When do we want it? Now.” The march ended with more protest outside City Hall before the crowd dispersed to enjoy what seemed like the first sunny afternoon in weeks. The final moments echoed Hamilton’s opening statement. “The sun shines on the righteous, and the cause of science is righteous.” Email Kristina Hayhurst at


Members of the NYU community marched down Broadway to City Hall during this year’s annual March for Science on April 14.

By ALEX DOMB Deputy News Editor

In response to recent disciplinary threats levied against activists from the Student Labor Action Movement and NYU Divest, 92 professors released a letter on April 13 criticizing NYU’s administration. “Peaceful occupation of university space is an exercise of that right [to free speech and assembly] and respecting that right is vital to preserve academic freedom and open dialogue in a university setting,” the letter read. “[NYU] has a clear responsibility to nurture and protect academic freedom, inclusive of student voices even, or especially when, they are critical of administrative policies.” Professors who signed the letter teach at various NYU schools, including the College of Arts and Science, Tisch School of the Arts, Tandon School of Engineering, Gallatin School of Individualized Study and Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development. The letter criticized NYU’s decision to contact parents to threaten those who receive financial aid or live in university housing with especially harsh punishments. “In effect, the administration is communicating that not all student voices are respected equally, and that those most vulnerable will face the harshest sanctions,” the letter read. “These actions set a dangerous precedent. We fear that the long-term impact


SLAM and NYU Divest activists occupied Kimmel overnight on the night of April 9.

will chill the campus culture of free speech and deter student activism at a time when nationally, many diverse populations are raising their voices against unjust policies.” NYU spokesman John Beckman said that students were disciplined not due to the content of the protests but due to their occupation of a building past its closing time. “In line with NYU’s long-standing policies, disrupting university operations — and that includes forcing the university to staff a building that routinely closes at 11:00 p.m. — is not the same thing as dissent, and it does subject students to disciplinary proceedings,” Beckman said in an email to WSN on April 12.

Professors concluded the letter by impelling NYU to not threaten students involved in any similar future occupation. “We demand that you guarantee that no student involved in the occupation of Kimmel [Center for University Life] loses their housing or financial aid and that this will not be a tactic used in response to future student actions on campus,” the letter read. “In doing so, you will be displaying an unequivocal commitment to academic freedom and free speech within the NYU community.” Email Alex Domb at

Jewish Voice for Peace Protests Gala Celebrating Pro-Israel Supporter By SARAH JACKSON Deputy News Editor

NYU Jewish Voice for Peace was one of several chapters of the organization that gathered late Sunday afternoon to protest outside of the Ziegfeld Ballroom where Trump campaign donor and pro-Israel billionaire Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam, were honored with the Guardians of the Jewish Future Award. The event was the 18th annual gala held by Birthright Israel Foundation, which offers free 10-day trips to Israel for young Jewish adults. Adelson has donated at least $160 million to the organization over the years. He has also previously spoken out against Palestinians, saying they are an invented people whose sole purpose is to ruin Israel. LS first-year and NYU Jewish Voice for Peace Treasurer Ethan Fraenkel thinks the Birthright Israel Foundation masks the historical Israeli-Palestine conflict. “A lot of people see Birthright as just a

free trip, but we know that there’s a moral cost to it,” Fraenkel said. “It’s a big reason why young people are kind of indoctrinated into accepting Zionism, into promoting Israel and not recognizing the crimes. Birthright presents this very sanitized, Disney-fied version of Israel-Palestine. For instance, it doesn’t recognize that a lot of the cities people go to were originally on the site of destroyed Palestinian villages that were destroyed by Israel and ethnically cleansing.” At its peak, a crowd of nearly 150 students from Oberlin College, Vassar College and other universities gathered to hear from speakers, including Palestinians, recounting stories of being unable to return home. The crowd protested outside the venue, with a small group of counter-protesters waving Israeli flags across the street. Among their chants were “Birthright, birth wrong, the land was stolen all along,” and “Birthright, Birthright, you can’t hide, stop whitewashing apartheid.” Several attendees of the gala yelled obscenities and flipped off the JVP members.

Amid a heavy police presence, two counter-protesters confronted the JVP members, calling them “stupid” and “morons.” Gallatin first-year and JVP member of the NYU chapter Sophia Gallagher points


JVP demonstrators protesting against birthright in front of Ziegfeld Ballroom in Midtown on Apr. 15.

out the disparity of free birthright trips while many Palestinians are still not able to return to their homes in the country. “It’s very unfair that we are allowed to go there for free while people who are forced out of their homes can’t go there,” Gallagher said. “Palestinians should be able to have the right of return, and they should be given equal rights in the area.” She adds that the Birthright Israel Foundation missed the mark in deeming Adelson helpful to the Jewish community. “A free trip on stolen land is not what I would describe as something that’s helping the Jewish future,” she said. Several members of the JVP chapters are also part of Return the Birthright, a group of young Jews who are eligible to receive the free Birthright trip but refuse on the grounds of the ongoing occupation of Israel and the human rights violations occurring in Palestine. The gala comes after news that dozens of people have been killed and hundreds more injured during recent protests in Gaza, a highly contested area between

Palestinians and Israelis. In addition, this year marks the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, a diaspora that displaced approximately 700,000 Palestinians from their homes due to war and the carving out of Israel as a nation for Jews fleeing persecution in Europe. In commemoration, the crowd read the names of villages destroyed on that day 70 years ago, and placed stones for them as a traditional sign of mourning. Moving forward, Sonya Meyerson-Knox, the media program director for the national chapter of JVP, said there is only one way to resolve the tensions between Israel and Palestine. “Israel cannot continue to occupy land, Israel cannot continue to be a state that has human rights abuses and bigotry and apartheid systems, but rather has to be a system where human rights of Palestinians and Israelis are equally protected,” Meyerson-Knox said. Email Sarah Jackson at

Washington Square News | Monday, April 16, 2018

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ARTS Edited by Ryan Mikel

Remembering Dr. King with Producer Trey Ellis By CARTER GLACE Staff Writer

HBO’s new documentary “Into the Wilderness” focuses on the last three years of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life after Birmingham, “I Have a Dream” and Selma. Zooming in on this less publicized time in King’s life, the documentary seeks to evolve the national narrative on the late Reverend. In conjunction with the Center for the Study of Transformative Lives at NYU, the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts hosted a screening of the documentary on April 9. Afterwards, NYU’s Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Lisa Coleman and historian David Levering

King, and those close to him were ecstatic with the opportunity to set the record straight. As the interviews were recorded and transcribed, it became clear that King’s personal politics were much more progressive and radical than previously thought, according to Ellis. He talked about the fact that some of the biggest issues King tackled in his final years were poverty in all forms and the growing fear of militarism — efforts that have been sanitized from public discussion. But it is what Ellis learned about King’s personal life that proved much more striking. “His loneliness, his depression, the pressure he was under … all of his associates talked about how it

We started working on the f ilm right after the election, and it struck us that his true message has never been more relevant and that we could activate people. TREY ELLIS

Lewis sat down with the show’s Executive Producer Trey Ellis to discuss “Into the Wilderness” and its subject’s gargantuan legacy. WSN spoke with Ellis after the packed event, and the producer was able to delve into details not covered in the talk. For the documentary, Ellis was lucky enough to have interviewed many of King’s closest allies. He hoped to bring a fresh perspective on the icon and capture what he calls “the ghost of Dr. King.” Ellis had a drive to find the real

hurt them that they couldn’t take his weight off,” Ellis told WSN. The way Ellis described King’s life in those final years was almost harrowing, giving tangible weight to the burden of being a legend. As with many history-shaping figures, King’s life, achievements, beliefs and humanity have been simplified, sanded down and whitewashed into a simple, digestible vision. Textbooks have very little room for nuanced men and women, but they have plenty

of room for archetypes, heroes and inoffensive versions of radical, groundbreaking people. Ellis hopes that by making “Into The Wilderness,” Martin Luther King Jr. — the person and the radical progressive — can be written back into the textbooks. “We started working on the film right after the election, and it struck us that his true message has never been more relevant and that we could activate people,” Ellis said. “He was not perfect, but he did all of this work, so what is our excuse?” For Ellis, the experience was transformative. He described meeting with Jesse Jackson, a civil rights activist and Baptist minister, and other close friends of King. Ellis had never seen these influential figures so up close and personal as Jackson reflected on the final nights of King’s life and Diane Nash, another civil rights activist, recalled meeting Ellis’ parents at Howard University. “I feel like I developed a sort of personal relationship through talking to his friends,” Ellis said. “Every time I watch the film, I feel his loss on a personal level.” “Into the Wilderness” looks to break King out of the mold that pop culture has forced his memory into. It allows audiences to see him as the nuanced, difficult and inspirational human that Jackson and Nash knew him to be. History and textbooks simplify our heroes and leaders to make them easier to understand. In our political climate, seeing a real, tangible human who fought for what was right might be exactly what we need to get out of the wilderness. Email Carter Glance at


A screenshot from “Into the Wilderness” in which Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Stokely Carmichael march in the Meredith March.


The “Shot by AR-15” campaign at the 23rd Street subway station.

Student ‘Shot by AR-15’ Subway Campaign Challenges Gun Violence By NATASHA ROY Managing Editor-at-Large

School of Visual Arts seniors Ji Kim and Andy Koo wanted to raise awareness about gun violence — specifically at the hands of the AR-15. As two students in art school, they decided the best way to circulate their messages was through an art project. During the March for Our Lives last month, the two students printed posters of people mourning after instances of gun violence and wrote “Shot by AR-15” underneath the photos. The posters, pasted in subway stations at Times Square, Union Square, Madison Square, SoHo and Chelsea, were a play on Apple’s “Shot on iPhone” advertisements. “We thought it was ridiculous that AR-15, a weapon of war, was used in most of the recent mass shootings in the United States,” Kim said in an email to WSN. “And we were thinking about what would be the most powerful way to raise awareness on AR-15, and we decided to give a twist on ‘Shot on iPhone’ ads because the word ‘shot’ has two different meanings.” Kim and Koo originally created the campaign to support the March for Our Lives because it is a movement led by students. “Putting these posters to raise awareness on gun violence was our way to support them as art school students,” Kim said. According to the New York Daily News, the pair created 12 different designs and printed each one more than 80 times. They went live on March 24, but many have since been taken down. Regardless, the project has gained significant traction on social media, with some people mistaking the posters for real iPhone ads, according to Kim. Steinhardt junior Anastashia Saminjo scrolled past a photo of the “Shot by AR-15” project on Instagram and said she found the campaign to be clever and strong. “Not only has the use of the word ‘shot’ been manipulated, but also using that Apple ad as a template to project a journalistic photograph

instead of a selfie, the relationship between ads and news is also notable,” Samijo said in an email. “I could really go on talking about how powerful Koo and Kim’s artwork is because I really think that political art is an important means for news consumption and not taking things at face value or by a mere headline.” Saminjo studies Studio Art and said she loves the intersection between art and politics, which she has especially noticed at political marches. Even though many people outside of the art world seem to have the rigid view that art is aesthetically pleasing and beautiful, Saminjo believes there is lost potential in restricting art to just aesthetics. “Art can definitely make social impacts even when it’s just an expression or reflection of a situation,” Saminjo said. “Of course, the Renaissance period had its fair share of religious paintings, and you could look back at different periods of art and box it down to one style, but I think that a lot of contemporary artists are making art about politics and their relationship with it.” Steinhardt Studio Art sophomore Tina Zhou believes that all art is political. “I think the idea of art has evolved so much within the past few decades, and the intersectionality between art and politics has definitely become stronger,” Zhou said. “Contemporary art is no longer a pretty ornament you hang in your bedroom but truly something with a meaning that provokes you to think. A good artist must consider how their art interacts with the social climate and how the latter affects the artwork itself. We can’t make art in a vacuum.” She shared a similar sentiment to Saminjo in regard to the intersection of politics and art, saying that art can make people reexamine themselves and has the power to make people feel things that words and data cannot. “It draws attention to what matters,” Zhou said. “Art might not be the solution for everything, but it’s a start.” Email Natasha Roy at

Washington Square News | Monday, April 16, 2018

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Edited by Ryan Mikel

Program Board Launches New YouTube Series By ANUBHUTI KUMAR Highlighter Editor

Diversity is a refrain that NYU often touts, whether through admissions letters, Weekend on the Square, convocation or commencement. As a global university, NYU has campuses in 13 international locations and students from 83 countries. NYU clearly has plenty of geographical diversity, but what diversity of thought exists among the student population? In accordance with its mission to host free entertainment for the NYU community, NYU’s Program Board explores this question. explores this question with its YouTube series “NYU PB ASKS.” Program Board Lectures Chair and CAS senior Kavi Wijayaratne visits locations around campus –– from the seventh floor of Kimmel Center for University Life to the middle of Washington Square Park, explaining diversity of thought at the university. Wijayaratne hosts the series as Gallatin first-year Julia Cruz sits behind the camera and edits the footage for the channel. How are NYU students entertaining themselves? What kinds of artists are they interested in? Wijayaratne asks these questions on behalf of the Program Board. “With NYU being so large and spread out, I wanted to gauge what students like and find out the spectrum of interests that exist,” Wijayaratne told WSN. “I also understood

that the international population at NYU is enormous, and I wanted to represent them as well. With this series, I hope I can create a broader sense of community.” Program Board hosts events like the Mystery Concert, Violet 100 and Strawberry Fest annually, as well as other programming for the community with committees such as arts, lectures and film. Program Board has brought artists such as Chance the Rapper, Future, 21 Savage and most recently, Young Thug to campus. In order to effectively carry out this undertaking, Program Board’s chairs must maintain an acute understanding of what waves the NYU community is riding. The first two episodes of Wijayaratne’s YouTube series asks students what they watch on Netflix and what music they listen to. “I think music and Netflix are things most, if not all, students like so I thought, ‘Hey let’s just ask what people think,’” Wijayaratne said. “I don’t want people to feel shy even if their interests are old, weird, foreign or whatever else that does not fit in the mainstream.” Program Board specializes in not fitting into the mainstream by securing artists on the verge of blowing up. Wijayaratne’s senior status restricts him from continuing the series he launched this year, but he hopes current and future Program Board members will continue to post installments. He sees it as necessary to Program Board’s mission of catering to students’

By EMILY FAGEL Theater and Books Editor


NYU Program Board Lectures Chair Kavi Wijayaratne in WSP filming “NYU PB ASKS,” where Wijayaratne asks NYU students what they are binging and listening to.

interests and Program Board’s tradition of archiving the artistic interests of the student body. “I wanted to really understand the students that go here because I think their artistic interests are important,” he said. “The people that graduate from NYU are usually very successful whereever they end up so documenting them during their time here made sense. I want to watch my videos 20 years from now and say, ‘I look f-cking weird but this is what NYU was like in 2018.’” From “Insecure” to LCD Soundsystem and “Shameless” to the Red Hot Chili Peppers, students’ answers to these questions are as far reaching as NYU’s endless campuses, making for a complicated yet captivating community. Email Anubhuti Kumar at

Fusion Film Festival Highlights Women


Fusion Film Festival is an annual festival run by Tisch students and faculty that promotes women in the film industry.


In 2018, it has become more common to celebrate women in film. However, Fusion Film Festival –– an annual festival run by Tisch students and faculty that promotes women in the film industry –– has been doing that for 15 years. The festival’s motto for this year was “Where Change Begins” and the events it hosted, from April 5 to April 7, proved true to this phrase. Panels full of professional directors, producers and writers illustrated the power of women in the film and TV industry. Fusion Film Festival worked to not only showcase undergraduate and graduate student work, but to facilitate a discussion of what being a successful

woman in the industry looks like. Prominent women in film engaged with the audience to give insight into what they do and how they’ve achieved success. A clear highlight was Friday night’s “Artists & Activists” panel. It featured Raeshem Nijhon, the co-founder and executive producer of Fictionless; Brittany “B.Monét” Fennell, an NYU Film & TV graduate thesis student and creator of the show “Q.U.E.E.N”; documentary filmmaker Nneka Onuorah, among other accomplished women. The members on the panel discussed their work and how they’ve found a way to be activists in different areas despite the sexism they’ve faced in their work environments. Besides answering general questions, the filmmakers spoke to ideas that were important even without a Film & TV background, also discussing the recent re-emergence of the #MeToo movement. One of these was the idea of a supply chain and how individuals care about where certain products come from and not others. “Why don’t we care as much about our content and who makes it?” Nijon asked. On Saturday morning, NBC’s Karen Horne, senior vice president of Programming Talent Development & Inclusion, talked to a group about her work and what led her to influ-

Gallatin Arts Festival Sheds Light on Star Students

ential position in the industry. When discussing breaking into the industry, Horne gave the audience a new sense of confidence about suceeding in a competitive environment. The festival closed with the screening of the festival finalists’ works, followed by an award ceremony to hang the winners. This event was the biggest of the festival, and excitement and passion radiated through the room. The winners included the graduate film “Shelter” by Tisch graduate Na’ama Keha, the undergraduate film “Sampaguita” by Tisch senior Shalemar Colomathe, animated film “How Can You Know Where to Go if You Do Not Know Where You Have Been” by Tisch alumna Mizuki Toriya, the Sight and Sound film “Pricks” by Tisch student Carolina Diz, the music video “IUD” by Tisch alumna Mia Cioffi Henry and the web series “Michael & Anwar” by Tisch student Isabel Mitchell. Showcasing the work of diverse women not only gave them the credit they deserve but worked to prove Fusion’s motto “Where Change Begins” true. Email Brooke LaMantia at

Last week, the 2018 Gallatin Arts Festival showcased student talent across multiple disciplines. The festival, which originated almost three decades ago, featured both visual and performance art from students within the Gallatin School of Individualized Study. According to its program, the festival is intended to serve “as a galvanizing force and springboard for action and discussion through the creation and presentation of artistic work.” The weeklong celebration, Gallatin’s largest public event, featured thought-provoking student works, varying in nature and subject, but all provocative nonetheless. GAF’s visual art component in the Gallatin Galleries drew students to the festival’s opening night on April 9. Featuring work from over 30 students, this element of the festival explored diverse, incensing subjects. The small gallery at 1 Washington Pl. held artwork examining wastefulness, youth, protest signs, vanity and even monstrosity. A series of performances took place in the Jerry H. Labowitz Theatre for the Performing Arts during the following four days, with comedy, music, dance, theater and spoken word performances treating audiences to a variety of student work. “The Optic Trilogy,” a Singaporean play selected and directed by Singaporean Gallatin freshman Kai Sundermann, headlined Wednesday night’s showcase. In the play, Tisch junior Yan Ying Sim’s sassy wit and Tisch alumnus Nishad More’s affable charm hung in perfect balance onstage. The content of the show highlighted the unique struggles of Singaporean city life, and with both featured actors having Singaporean roots, the issues dealt with felt authentically portrayed. “One of my core aspirations has always been to showcase Singaporean cultural production on a global stage, an arena often dominated by Euro-American works with Southeast

Asian works often being relegated to more ‘traditional’ rather than contemporary forms,” Sundermann said. “At the same time, I think that the explorations of what it means to live in an ever-changing metropolis as well as the contours of urban loneliness are things that resonate as strongly in New York as [they do] in Singapore.” The festival concluded on April 13, and one of the evening’s featured events was two hours of music performed by five separate Gallatin artists. Graduate student LaTasha Barnes explored vernacular jazz, first-year Sylvia Coopersmith performed her “Biology Bops,” senior Leah Lavigne shared feelings of sadness and exchange student Matthieu Marcelin’s act was called “Cubist Jukebox.” Gallatin sophomore Austin M. Christy performed three songs at the event, which was simply titled “Music” in the festival’s program. The opportunity meant a lot to the budding artist, who asked fellow musicians who share his vision group — Peter Cat Society — to perform with him. “[It] was the first time I played my songs with a band in front of more than three people,” Christy said. “[GAF] was the perfect opportunity to bring my collaborators together and show friends what I’ve been up to. Everything went according to plan — Peter Cat Society killed it.” According to CAS sophomore Jared Rosamilia, who played bass guitar for Christy at the event, the final night of the festival was very special. “The atmosphere was really supportive and focused on the music,” Rosamilia said. Creative energy hummed throughout the first floor of the Gallatin building for the duration of 2018’s festival. The annual celebration of student art brought to light art pieces of many unique forms and focuses and was enjoyable for performers and audience members alike. Email Emily Fagel at


The Gallatin Arts Festival is a week-long, community-wide celebration of the unique artistry and interdisciplinary scholarship of students at NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Studies.

Washington Square News | Monday, April 16, 2018

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Edited by Yasmin Gulec

Students Raise Awareness on Refugee Crisis | CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

“We changed the name to Refugee Week to encompass those who are underrepresented in the global refugee crisis.” Hojaij and the three other student organizers of Refugee Week felt inspired to spread awareness about refugee experiences after returning from Berlin, where they worked with organizations such as Moabit Hilft, One World Basketball and Give Something Back to Berlin. These non-profits help displaced migrants, refugees and immigrants from war-torn countries settle into their new homes. “[The trip] really made me think about my position here, in a secure country that provides so many resources and institutions for our use,” Hojaij said. “We never feel threatened as if we might lose our homes tomorrow, or lose a family member, or quit school or take up arms in the army. We don’t feel this.” While Hojaij acknowledges that those who haven’t experience it will never truly understand the traumatic and heartbreaking experiences of refugees, he hopes the events generate thought-provoking conversation. “We just hope to bring the conversation here to NYU, to make people aware and inspire them to take action,” Hojaij said. “Through discussions, through our amazing speakers, we hope to translate some sort of knowledge, some sort of experience, some sort of narrative to others so that they’re able to understand.” In preparation for Refugee Week, the team reached out to speakers, created a social media presence and connected with on-campus organizations like Model United Nations, UNICEF and Mosaic. According to Hojaij, these groups have been incredibly helpful in promoting their events and supporting with volunteers. With the help of these organiza-

tions, Hojaij hopes to establish Refugee Week as an annual event. Outreach Coordinator and LS first-year Aya Ouda looks forward to seeing their vision for Refugee Week come to life, especially after the countless hours of planning. She can’t wait to hear the opinions and narratives of NYU students at the slam poetry event, which she organized. “I’m going to be performing a poem about one of the refugees I met in Berlin,” Ouda said. “Something that the refugees really emphasized when they were speaking with me was how I can help. I asked them, ‘What can we do to help from America?’ and they said, ‘Tell our story.’” The team really took this concept to heart when organizing their events. Both the student panel on Monday and the “Ethics, Rights and Duties” panel on Wednesday will use refugee stories to create discussion. Steinhardt senior Sarah Yunus, one of the outreach coordinators, is looking forward to hearing from student speakers at the first event, many of whom are leaders in on-campus clubs and advocacy groups that work to bring awareness to and aid the refugee crisis.

“It’s exciting to hear those voices because it can encourage others students to do their part,” Yunus said. The organizers hope participants in the events leave with a more whole picture of the refugee crisis and a desire to get involved. For Yunus, it’s essential for people, as global citizens, to understand their roles in international issues like this. “In Germany, they’re one of the only countries in Europe that takes in so many refugees,” Yunus said. “Whereas in the United States, we don’t take in as many refugees as others. It’s just something to think about. What are we doing? What’s our role? How are we helping this crisis?” For this small group of organizers, Refugee Week’s role is to help bring humanity to a crisis that may seem distant to us. “When we think about refugees, we don’t really think about the people behind that word,” Ouda said. “It was very awakening to hear these people’s stories and their lives outside of being a refugee.” Email Natalie Chinn at


An NYU Student tables for Refugee Week 2018.

Dining in the Age of the Internet By SCOTT HOGAN Staff Writer

Forget Yelp and Zagat. Young people are turning toward their Instagram Explore pages to discover which foods to go out and try next. For many, a restaurant’s social media presence indicates success and popularity. In fact, some of the most popular places to grab a bite to eat in New York are those that have been able to successfully market themselves on social media. Opening up restaurants in New York is a make or break situation. With the costs of rent, employment and upkeep, it is extremely difficult to make a profit even if the restaurant is successful, and many restaurants find themselves closing their doors with a shocking 80 percent fail rate in New York City. One restaurant, FryGuys, described by owners McKenzie Foster and Marco Lanuto as a one-stop shop for all things potato, has managed to defy those odds. But how are such young and relatively inexperienced restaurateurs, such as Foster and Lanuto able to gain almost instant success in such a cutthroat environment? To them, one of the most important aspects of their business is social media. “Our social media is very successful and it’s successful because we are our own consumer, and if you’re your own consumer you know exactly how you want to be marketed to,” Foster said. “Social media for us must bring in over 50 percent of our customers.” While restaurants used to rely on just quality food and atmosphere, social media is now playing a large role in the success of new restaurants and Foster and Lanuto were not blind to this when building FryGuys. “We definitely had in mind while we were designing our business that we knew everything we have has to be its own Instagramable moment, whether it’s the space itself, the food or the exterior,” Foster said. A huge allure of the restaurant is the opportunity for visitors to come in and use the engaging backdrop to update their social media pages. FryGuys has


The outside of FryGuys, a trendy East Village french fry shop.

turned its space into a vintage Lisa Frank fever dream, with disco balls, record players and vibrant graffiti adorning the walls. With over half the customers coming in based off of what they see online, the atmosphere is essential for the vitality of the business. “Atmosphere was what created the business,” Lunato said. This emphasis on social media and their efforts to make the restaurant Instagramable has not gone unnoticed. Stern first-year Millind Sundaram took a look at the FryGuys social media pages and reverberated the message the company aims to send. “The Instagram is really colorful, like a psychedelic explosion,” Sundaram said. “I could see it lasting, but in New York, everything is constantly changing, so they’d have to keep up.” Trends come and go, making it necessary for businesses like FryGuys to ensure they don’t become yesterday’s news. Every time its food or store shows up on someone’s Instagram feed, it generates interest, and if these appearances dwindle, fewer people will be talking or thinking about the store. Restaurants need to understand the mindset of the consumer, recognizing what can make their store stand out on a social media feed. “Instagram these days is about what grabs people’s attention,” Foster said. “Color, and size and creativity and extravagance is what brings people in.” Email Scott Hogan at

Où Est Mon Portable? (Where’s My Phone?)

By KAITY BERG Contributing Writer

It’s easy to get caught up in life abroad — so much so that students often forget about the everyday dangers in their new cities.


A Paris tram in the afternoon.

During my first year in London, we were briefly warned to be cautious of pickpockets. This, along with the warning that using pepper spray was illegal, was a vital ingredient in the classic recipe of a “be safe” orientation. I never felt paranoid, though. It wasn’t something that was constantly on my mind. But as a junior in Paris, it’s a totally different story. During orientation, the NYU staff drilled into our heads that pickpockets are roaming the streets. They told us which metro stations to avoid because of the high risk of theft. They told us horror stories about what people have lost in the past — documents, passports, large sums of money. You name it, someone has lost it. Unfortunately, I got too comfortable during my second semester. I decided to wear leggings and a coat without any zipper pockets. My phone and all of my

cards were hastily thrown into a pocket before boarding the tram with my bags full of groceries. The first warning sign should have been the number of people cramming into the tram. Two stops later, when the tram finally emptied enough for me to breathe, I went to grab my phone out of my pocket only to discover it was no longer there. Giving Paris the benefit of the doubt, I thought it had merely fallen out of my pocket. The friend that I was with went back to the original station with me, but my phone wasn’t there. Someone must have taken it out of my pocket before the doors of the tram closed. Thankfully, they didn’t notice the card holder in my pocket. So, what do you do if your phone is stolen? Android users, I won’t be of much help. I don’t know how to go about locking down the phone. But, for those iPhone users, immediately go to Find My

iPhone and put it in lost mode. As soon as it’s connected to internet, the phone will lock, and whoever has it won’t be able to use it. That’s step one. The next step is to change every single password. I’m not kidding — if you had the account on your phone, change the password — including the one for that old, abandoned Tumblr account. If possible, grab the nearest computer and disconnect the accounts from the phone — Facebook, Twitter, Venmo and any Gmail account. Then, stop your cellular service. In Paris, it was easy for me to go online and request a new SIM card while deactivating my number until I activated the new SIM. Other companies may require you get an entirely different number, but regardless, make sure to get in contact with your phone company as soon as possible. Different companies have different procedures for lost phones/SIM cards.

Then, let your academic center know what’s happened. They can help you write a police report or help you reset your life. Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence in Paris. There’s not much that the police or NYU could do. Still, it’s best to report it for statistics and to help the academic center warn future students. The final step is to get a new phone if you can. Call the abroad number for your IT Department and get a code so you can access your NYU accounts — because the Multi-Factor Authentication system makes life impossible without a phone. Hopefully this doesn’t happen to you, but just in case it does, know that you’re not alone. It may seem like the world is ending for a few days, but it’ll get better. À tout à l’heure mes amis. Email Kaity Berg at

Washington Square News | Monday, April 16, 2018

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Edited by Yasmin Gulec

Sigma Gamma Rho Creates Space for Women of Color


Members of the Tau Epsilon chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. pose with their Sigma hand sign after co-hosting an event in Kimmel on Tuesday.


During her sophomore year at NYU, Gallatin senior Wendy Koranteng had every intention of transferring. For Koranteng, the transition from her underserved Bronx high school to NYU was jarring and lonely. “For the most part, at the [high]

school I went to, everyone was black and brown, so I was very comfortable,” Koranteng said. “Coming to NYU was like a huge culture shock, and I definitely wanted to transfer.” Koranteng is one of countless students of color who feel disillusioned by NYU’s predominantly white community despite the university’s reputation for diversity. Unlike many of

these students, Koranteng eventually managed to find a community on campus: the Tau Epsilon chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., the only one of the four historically black sororities chartered on campus. Despite having once been both the chapter’s president and only member, Koranteng helped the organization grow to include 14 female undergraduate students, one graduate student and seven alumni. In the fall, they will move into one of the penthouse suites reserved for fraternities and sororities in Lafayette Residence Hall. In the meantime, the chapter is focusing on increasing its presence on campus to help other black women find community, according to College of Nursing junior Gabrielle Babson, who will serve as the chapter’s president next year. “Our priority and what we try to facilitate is depicting what black

women are capable of at a [predominately white institution] and so all the work that we do in terms of events — it’s really just us trying to get the word out in that sense,” Babson said. “Whether it’s community service or we’re co-sponsoring with other organizations on campus, it’s just us trying to kind of give other black women an idea of what could be.” For CAS junior Sobrel Okpo, her sorority sisters in Sigma Gamma Rho are more than just her support system — they’re her career coaches, too. “Prior to joining, I knew the women that were involved, but to see them as leaders in Sigma Gamma Rho and how they were able to perpetuate sisterhood and the scholarship was a great experience,” Okpo said. “It’s priceless for me, and I will definitely say that the girls that I joined with this year are my mo-

tivation ... I’m taking on leadership positions myself and I feel like if I had not joined Sigma, I would have never taken the initiative.” While the chapter plans to continue its philanthropy work and to begin working with underprivileged high school students, Koranteng is sure that it will not stray from its original purpose at NYU: providing community for women of color who are otherwise overlooked. “Sigma Gamma Rho was my home and is my home, and on a predominately white campus, students like us really needed things like this,” Koranteng said. “I personally really needed Sigma Gamma Rho, and I know that a lot of members in this chapter really feel the same way.” Email Taylor Rogers at

A Growing, Fast Casual: Minigrow By SAVANNAH GUY Contributing writer

It’s fresh, seasonal, wholesome and now officially in Midtown — minigrow has found its third spot in Midtown at your convenience. Minigrow is the sister restaurant of honeygrow, a fast-casual food chain from Philadelphia, featuring a smaller, more curated version with an assembly-line style process. Honeygrow was started in 2012 by New York native Justin Rosenberg. Since its inception, honeygrow has branched out­­ — securing 32 locations in total with one honeygrow and three minigrow locations in New York City alone. As part of the wave of fast-casual restaurants that’s been sweeping New York over the last few years, honeygrow and minigrow’s unique

selling point is the emphasis placed on fresh ingredients in the noodles and salads. The menu highlights its “Damn Good Noodles + Greens” going from base, sauce, protein, topping and garnish. The combinations are interesting and unexpected but nonetheless successful. Rosenberg experimented with cooking a new, plant-based diet and was disappointed by the relatively bland plant-based options offered by other fast restaurants. Following his passion of “creating awesome things through the lens of nourishing foods” according to honeygrow’s page, Rosenberg left his office job and started honeygrow. This vibrant, creative energy is clearly seen in the bold combination of flavors on the menu. When I ventured to the minigrow location near Grand Central Sta-

tion, I got an example of this in the signature dish, The Chicken Jawn. This dish is a great example of the different goals at minigrow coming together. The Chicken Jawn is made up of fresh two wheat noodles, whole roasted chicken, sweet and sour onions, black truffle, miso corn, chives and parmesan. Noodles, corn and onions are not traditionally what come to mind as the classic fast-casual dishes, but I was extremely pleasantly surprised. The noodles had a subtle, peppery taste of truffle and were definitely the best part of the meal. While the chicken was tasty, the other elements were what really made it come together. The onions were caramelized, thus adding a great tangy sweetness that make the dish interesting to the palate. Although this may be the restau-

rant’s signature dish, the menu offers a multitude of protein and sauces which allow you to customize a personal palette. Minigrow offers fresh spinach noodles and raw zucchini noodles as well as a wide array of protein options such as marinated tofu and crab. Toppings like seaweed kimchi and sesame cucumbers also offer a perfect punch of flavor. I really enjoyed the lemonade that I tried. However, minigrow offers a selection of juices and Maine soda made with real sugar. There are four different juices packed with vegetables and fruit in case you needed an even greater serving. The lemonade had a strong lemon flavor while not being overly saccharine. It complemented the elements of the dish. Minigrow and honeygrow are clearly great options for the person on the go who wants quality food that

is filling, pleasantly surprising and tasty. The well-curated menu allows for a great combination of flavors and the fresh ingredients are sure to make you feel refreshed. Email Savannah Guy at


The minigrow signature Chicken Jawn with fresh noodles and black truffles.

Full-Time Student, Part-Time Server

Waiters exchange pleasantries and relay your order to the cooks, cooks add your order to their to-do list, bussers run your food to you and clean up when you leave, and hosts keep track of who is sitting where. Multiply that by, say, 20 tables in a restaurant and repeat the process for eight hours straight without making a mistake. Sound stressful? Life in the restaurant industry is unSTAFF PHOTO BY ECHO CHEN predictable. Sometimes customers are A server working at a diner in rude, sometimes coworkers don’t do their jobs and sometimes the restaurant Chelsea. just breaks down. Regardless, I love the industry and it has shaped me into the By GEORGE CAMPBELL person I am today. Contributing Writer The first restaurant job I got was working as a cook making salads and appetizGeorge Campbell is a CAS sophomore ers. About two months in during a busy studying Journalism and Psychology. Saturday night, I completely ran out of He’s worked in many restaurants and lettuce. Since more than half of my job reshares what he’s learned at each. volved around manipulating and dressing When you sit down to order food at a lettuce, I freaked out. I went to the general restaurant, an invisible machine fires up.

manager with my tail between my legs to deliver the news, expecting to be fired on the spot. Instead, he laughed, assured me it wasn’t my fault, and instructed the wait staff to “86 lettuce,” that is, declare that an item is out of stock for the night. Enter life lesson number one: ask for help when you need to. While my first main lesson came from a place of love, my second did not. In June 2017, I walked into a job interview at an upscale restaurant on the coast of Lake Washington. Within the first 10 minutes, I knew something was off about the place. My soon-to-be-boss, when asked about what my tip payout was going to be, responded with something along the lines of: “whatever those money-grubbing whores will leave you,” referring to his own waitstaff, which was comprised entirely of women. I should have walked out right then, but I stayed. I stayed through taunts, I stayed though 14-hour shifts that were

supposed to be six and I stayed even when I and everyone else in that restaurant was miserable. Finally, a few months in, I’d had enough and quit in the middle of my shift. Enter life lesson number two: don’t stay at a job you hate. It’s not worth being miserable and a bad boss doesn’t deserve your loyalty. Surprisingly, despite the high-stress reputation of New York City restaurants, I’ve had a fun time working in the city, at least for the most part. Last semester I worked as a server at a new burger bar in the East Village, and it was great. My coworkers were nice, the money was good and most importantly, I’d learned when to say no to a shift when I didn’t have the time. I no longer work there, but I still check in on the place when I pass by. Enter my final life lesson: life is chaotic, plain and simple. An organized chaos maybe, but chaos nonetheless and if there’s one thing that

the restaurant industry has taught me, it’s how to work within chaos. I’ll never forget those lessons, no matter how far I stray from serving food. If you’re ever looking for some extra income, I highly recommend considering a restaurant job. It’ll be stressful, but you’ll meet interesting people and come out of it with some great stories. If you don’t end up working in the industry, at least tip your server. Nowadays when I’m eating in a restaurant, I can’t help spying on the staff and seeing what kind of madness they’re dealing with that night. Like Pavlov’s dog, I too subconsciously respond to the calls of the kitchen before realizing that I’m not on the clock and that I should probably pay attention to my friends, rather than the customers. Email George Campbell at

Washington Square News | Monday, April 16, 2018

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Edited by Tyler Crews


Racial Purgatory: Between Black and White By ALEJANDRO VILLA VÁSQUEZ Copy Chief

I recently saw a tweet about how if “y’all [Latin Americans] had papers y’all would be good[.]” Due to righteous backlash from Latins of all races and ethnicities, the girl who originally posted the tweet took it down. Offended and consumed by anger, I began to think about the way the Latin American experience in this country is often reduced and effaced. It is a twofold effect, that both harms and weakens our efforts as people of color trying to dismantle white supremacy. It’s true many of the struggles faced by Latin Americans do stem from displacement and migration. But I think people — especially non-Latin people of color — underestimate how insurmountable everyday challenges become when you suffer a significant lack of socioeconomic capital. Most are ignorant as to how difficult resettlement can be, considering the loss of familial support and language barriers that prevent the very

attempt to establish oneself, socially and economically, in this country. But I refuse to play the Oppression Olympics. I only suggest that we redirect our scrutiny to the real problem. The black-white binary is intangible. It’s a lens that functions insidiously and perniciously by governing American racial discourse, causing people to efface the identities and struggles of people of color by wrongfully thinking that there are only two true races: black and white. It disregards all ethnic, cultural, linguistic identities of many Latin Americans, indigenous people and Asians, and either evaluates their struggles in terms of black suffering or erases them via accusations of assimilation into whiteness. The problem of thinking simplistically in terms of black and white is that the solutions developed in response to white supremacy, racism and xenophobia will be just as reductive, leaving many groups without a say because so many are seen as white for not being of African ancestry and brushed off as racially other for having physical characteristics not befitting of whiteness.

But colorism also dominates societies all over the world, to be perfectly candid. I myself will never deny that colorism has worked in my favor and in favor of people that look like me. But that will never change the fact that we have been profiled and mistreated for being brown. White people look at me and recognize that I am different from them. In fact, before coming to NYU, the thought of me being labeled as white was never even a thought, considering my lack of any European features or white skin. I am approaching the end of my first year, and can recall in these past six months several situations in which I was labeled as white, never by anyone white themselves. The most recent incident was at an immigration

lawyer’s office while I was filling out paperwork to become a citizen — which costs $1,100 per person, by the way. The person filling out my paperwork, an Afro-Dominican woman, looked at me and quickly marked me as white on my application. I was offended, but I tried to figure out what caused her to think this way instead of blaming her. A quick Google search revealed that the naturalization application has a section where you can check your ethnicity as either of Latin origin or not, and, as expected, a race section with spots for white, black, Asian, Pacific Islander and Native American. I speak for a huge amount of brown people, both Latin and not, that do not fit into these categories. This form of identification on official government documentation only reinforces the black-white binary, and thus identities and experiences are further effaced. It’s in the best interest of people of color to be wary of falling into this trap. Trying to erase my experience will never makes yours better. Intersectionality is our friend. It’s a

framework that allows us to consider the way our identities overlap and many times determine how we cope with structural racism, classism and xenophobia. That being said, never let anyone ignore the colorist tendencies of society. Yes, the lighter you are, the closer your proximity to whiteness and therefore your likelihood of benefitting from colorism. But there are also many daily challenges caused by displacement and migration, making citizenship status, at times, feel like the least of one’s concerns. There is also a Eurocentric phenotype that many Latin Americans and Asians do not fit, but due to their lighter skin are at risk of being lost in the black-white binary. We want to avoid this divisiveness. It distracts us from finding a solution to the behemoth of white supremacy. We can’t let this racist notion of whiteness divide and conquer us the way it has in the past. Email Alejandro Villa Vásquez at


Adam Rippon Is a Marketable Gay

By JOEL LEE Staff Writer

As I scrolled through my social media feeds, looking for well-executed examples of the gay agenda, I was surprised to find the same face and name popping up over and over again: Adam Rippon The sharp-tongued 28-year-old first gained public attention for being one of the first openly gay athletes to compete at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. Following his controversy with Vice President Mike Pence, in which Rippon flamed Pence’s stance on gay rights, including his support for conversion therapy, Rippon glided into the spotlight, bringing home bronze for the United States in the figure skating team event and becoming a gay icon in the process. As much as I’m all for LGBTQ+ representation, I sit uncomfortably with the

fact that Rippon is being tokenized as the gay icon, so companies can make money off of his naturally sassy demeanor. There is no doubt that Rippon deserves all the medals and the attention that he’s been receiving. His visibility as an openly gay man is something to celebrate in the LGBTQ+ community. However, I question the borderline-obsessive reception to Rippon by the public and the media. But what’s not to love? He’s an attractive, white, sassy, gay athlete killing it in his field. Basically, he’s fabulous, and that’s exactly what people want. Since the Olympics, Rippon has dominated pop culture, appearing in videos like Buzzfeed’s “How Gay Is That?” and InStyle’s “Give Me The Gossip Adam Rippon.” Despite their lighthearted nature, these videos monopolize on Rippon’s personality as the gay best friend you’ve always wished you had. To the

masses and corporations, he perfectly fits the stereotype of the sassy, side-eyeing, not-afraid-to-spill-the-tea gay persona. However, another openly gay Olympic medalist, freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy, has not accrued the same explosion of media attention. Back in 2014, when Kenworthy first came out, the response was huge, but the media focused on his coming out and didn’t turn him into a social media novelty. Why did Rippon become a gay media icon while Kenworthy continued to be

viewed as just an athlete? I argue that the lack of attention Kenworthy has gotten is because he doesn’t have that feminine personality and expression that drives the masses wild. His personality isn’t the type that can be profited off of. Pop culture rewards those that can be molded, neglecting those that don’t fit the mold. At the end of the day, pop culture will highlight and capitalize on people who accumulate the most views. If one searches and compares the YouTube search results with the highest number of views for “Adam Rippon” and “Gus Kenworthy,” Rippon’s first five results each broke one million views in less than two months. He is clearly bringing in the money. This is not to say that there is a right way or wrong way to be gay. There is no such thing as being “too gay” or “not gay enough.” But the media often creates stereotypes and expectations to define

people, thrusting those into the limelight that exemplify those characteristics. My argument is not that something is wrong with Rippon or that his presence in popular culture isn’t an achievement for the LGBTQ+ community, rather, we should be aware that his exposure isn’t necessarily for the sake of representation. It’s to make a profit. What Rippon’s rising fame does allow is the validation for gay youth to be unapologetically themselves whoever that may be and give greater LGBTQ+ representation in sports. Although personalities like Rippon’s are the most visible and profitable narratives, it’s important to remember that there is an entire spectrum of diverse LGBTQ+ people and stories waiting and worthy of being heard and lauded. Email Joel Lee at


By KATIE PEURRUNG Deputy Photo Editor

Companies are, with increasing frequency, using buzzwords like “wellness” and “lifestyle” as a branding tactic. They promise consumers zen and tranquility but with the caveat that you have to empty your wallet first. Gwyneth Paltrow’s own self-proclaimed lifestyle brand, goop, is the picture-perfect example of a company making wellness non-accessible. Some prices exceed hundreds of dollars even for small vials of skincare products. Want inner beauty? That starts at $35. I first became acquainted with the skyrocketing price of wellness when I went shopping at a Whole Foods Market for the first time. I knew it had a reputation for being an upscale grocery store but

The Monetization of Wellness

was surprised to find the same products I’d bought elsewhere to be nearly twice the price. I ended up returning some of what I bought, and went home shocked to think that a run-of-the-mill grocery store had prices that could make eating unaffordable. While I don’t have a problem with some stores charging more than others, I found it disheartening to see Whole Foods and similar companies flying some sort of health-superiority flag over other stores. Advertising healthy food and a balanced lifestyle is one thing, but these wellness retailers are encouraging the idea that if you want to stay healthy, you have to pay up. This dangerous monetization of the wellness industry extends much further than just the grocery store. The health care system as a whole suffers

from unaffordable prices, which leads many to sacrifice their personal health. This dangerous ideal is prevalent in more than just United States retail. Healthcare is also under constant fire with Republicans in Congress repeatedly attacking federally-funded services and plans, as well as laws regarding women’s health care. Health care reform seems more like a health care crisis with issues like the price of medicines skyrocketing,

the current opioid crisis, above-average mother mortality rates and obesity-fueled health issues. I repeatedly see articles where a U.S. family was billed an ungodly amount for a simple service; and I can’t help but notice parallels with own experience. I am lucky enough to have insurance, but even with it, I spend thousands of dollars on doctor visits and medication every year. A 20 minute conversation with my psychiatrist runs a cool $300. When my insurance refused to cover my monthly medications, I had to shell out $120 or go without my daily medication for a few weeks until they could mail them to me (a package that never arrived). Still, I can’t even begin to imagine what it would be like to have to navigate the American healthcare system without insurance.

Ultimately, I am tired of the idea that to be healthy, you have to shell out. Health should not be a privilege, but a right. I am tired of the good choice being the expensive choice; I am tired of feeling bad for seeking the medical attention I need, just because it comes with a high bill at the end. I am infinitely lucky to be able to afford the healthcare I do and make healthy choices I feel confident about. Nevertheless, health should not be tied to economic class, or anything except a genuine desire to be healthy. These choices should be accessible to everyone, not just those who can pay the price tag. The people of the U.S. deserve access to a healthy life. Email Katie Peurrung at

Washington Square News | Monday, April 16, 2018

Page 9


Edited by Tyler Crews


Why I Marched for Science

By TYLER CREWS Opinion Editor

This past Saturday, I marched with thousands of New Yorkers on the streets of downtown Manhattan, yelling at the top of my lungs for something I never thought I would care about: science. I have been a self-proclaimed humanities student since the seventh grade and have since attempted to avoid interaction with any and all sciences — until now. It’s not that I didn’t like the subject. I simply never understood it, and, for that reason, the world of science terrified me. I remember being in my eighth grade science class and learning that my body is composed of more space than actual matter. This fact shook what I had believed to be true and challenged me to expand my view of thinking — a daunting task for anyone. Science is scary; it presents you with truths that you would rather ignore, and concepts that infringe upon your comfort. However, I have learned that we can’t allow fear to turn us away from science and discovery. In fact, if we continue to ignore science and attempt to lead our lives without it, the alternative is much scarier. The March for Science aims to promote science as a source of direction for political leaders and policymakers. Speakers at the march advocated for evidence-based policy, increased funding for scientific orga-

nizations and research, equality within scientific professions and acknowledgement of climate change. While these goals may seem evident to everyone who shares my worldview, the sad reality is that with our current partisan political climate, it is necessary to spell them out — or shout them out — clearly from the streets of cities across the world. Recently, the Federal Emergency Management Agency — the agency tasked with responding to disasters — expelled the term climate change from its strategic plan, even though studies show that the record rainfall from Hurricane Harvey, which cost around $125 billion to recover from, got a 15 percent boost due to climate change. Climate change is responsible for both severe weather events and the changes that we take note of daily, like when 50 degree weather flips to snowfall the next day. The last four years have been the hottest on record. Congruently, we are currently facing a species extinction rate that is over 1,000 times the natural species


extinction rate. Yet somehow, this is not enough for people to believe that climate change is real and will undoubtedly have an impact on their lives. Of course, a large part of this disbelief can be credited to our country’s environmental leader. Scott Pruitt, the current head of the Environmental Protection Agency, had major ties to the fossil fuel industry and no scientific background and refuses to acknowledge climate change. He has also attempted to push forward efforts against using essential scientific data in the EPA’s policy making. Now, with President Donald Trump looking to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement without proper environmental diplomats to renegotiate, the United States is clearly regarding the environment and science with a blind and ignorant eye. I am not a scientist, and sadly, I don’t think I will ever be one. However, as a college student, I am constantly told to do research and cite my sources. I am taught to back my arguments up with evidence and evaluate all sides of the issue before I choose my own. And, when I don’t know the answer to something, I look to someone who does. This is why I stood among others to call for my political leaders to do the same, no matter how afraid they may be. Email Tyler Crews at


HIV Status Part of Entitled Privacy By WAYNE CHEN Staff Writer

Internet users worldwide have been through the wringer with a series of questionable wrongdoings surfacing: Mark Zuckerberg was put on the spot and questioned about Facebook’s efforts in protecting personal information, and the Chinese government was accused of encroaching on Chinese citizens’ sensitive personal data. Privacy online for users all over the world seems to be in jeopardy. However, it does not stop there, as Grindr — a dating app catered toward gay, bisexual and queer men — admitted on April 3 that it has been sharing its users’ HIV statuses and their most recent testing date to Apptimize and Localytics, who were hired by Grindr to analyze its usage. Such sensitive information should never be shared without the consent of users — no matter how valuable it might be. Grindr is recognized as the go-to geosocial networking app for non-heterosexual men worldwide, with 3.6 million users active on a typical day. It has a presence in every country worldwide. Unlike other popular dating apps like Tinder and Bumble, Grindr is highly confidential, and users rarely display their real name or other social media profiles for potential


matches to look at. Its popular use as a hookup seeking app means the information users share on the platform is even more sensitive than what they would on networks like Facebook and Instagram. The leak of Grindr users’ HIV statuses was exposed by SINTEF, a Norwegian non-profit research organization. According to the released information, the HIV status of users can be pinpointed to each individual. Additionally, the GPS location, phone number and email address of each user, which are shared with the app upon signing up, were all leaked. If statistical information about users’ HIV statuses was released in the form of a percentage, it may have been excusable, yet the amount of details supplied here is shocking and completely outrageous. The Aetna insurance company case, in which thousands of customers’ HIV statuses were revealed, is enough to prove that HIV status is entitled private

information that, if exposed improperly, can be an illegal offense. In a world still permeated with serophobia — fear of HIV-infected individuals — outing an individual’s HIV status will put their social well-being at risk, as the stigma surrounding HIV could lead to repercussions that are not easily reversed. Even worse, Grindr defended its actions, stating that by choosing to “include this information in your profile, the information will also become public.” Granted, Grindr did not make a profit from sharing such data, but as Grindr defends itself, it is important to note that it is wrong for it to fundamentally misclassify the app as a public forum when the app’s nature is still highly private. LGBTQ users have historically faced limited options and discrimination in dating practices. With Grindr being one of the most-used dating apps for non-heterosexual men and dominating the market, sharing HIV statuses to a third party is unethical and completely wrong. Yet, perhaps the greatest injustice is that users have few alternative choices and so must continue to use the very app that wronged them. Email Wayne Chen at

Minimize the Microaggressions in Tisch

Racial insensitivity in the Tisch Drama Program has come to light, as nine black students bravely came forward to share their stories of facing microaggressions and outright racism. Now, it is important for us at NYU to seek ways to solve these problems. While it is imperative that we identify problems and educate the community, it is crucial to move forward with a plan for long-term betterment. Multiple programs are already in place intended to help improve such situations, but it seems they have been unsatisfactory thus far. However, realizing that those issues exist is the first step, and the recently appointed Chair of the Tisch Drama program Ruben Polendo has recognized the racial issues within the school and is working toward creating a more educated and accepting environment. One way he is doing so is, in conjunction with the Center of Multicultural Education Programs, starting a year-long investigation into each of the 10 drama studios that make up the Tisch School of the Arts. Additionally, Tisch is home to the Diverse Faculty Mentoring Program. The program pairs alumni of the program with faculty to better prepare the mentors — the alumni — for teaching diverse classes of students and of curriculums. Although it does not directly impact NYU as a whole, this program supports the effort to increase the diversity of faculty in the Drama program. These efforts are steps in the right direction, but clearly there is more to be done. These efforts should start with listening so that we an draw most of our suggestions from those students who initially voiced their concerns — what they believe to be the biggest problems and what they believe to be the possible solutions. We know from one student’s account that conversations like the “Community Call-In’s” often serves as a space for privileged students to voice their thoughts, rather than a step-backand-listen. Increased conversations between the program’s faculty and students are necessary, which is why we encourage Tisch Drama to implement mandatory Justice Zone trainings that will be tailored to Tisch Drama specifically and taught by members of CMEP, an NYU organization that Polendo is now working with to combat the issue. Justice Zone aims to help the NYU community look at concepts through a lens of race and racism in order to encourage critical consciousness. Additionally, students and faculty should attend extracurricular activities to educate themselves on the challenges that their peers and students face. Currently, the responsibility falls on victims of microaggressions to educate their professors and peers — this should not be the case. Students and faculty should seek out ways to better understand the issues that affect their peers or students on a daily basis. Whether it be spending time at CMEP events like Take a Break on April 27 or supporting art created by people of color, more steps need to be taken to ensure that a student of color does not need to be a teacher as well. As for members of the NYU community not involved in Tisch Drama, we must look into our own different programs and identify instances of bias and discrimination. While Tisch is currently the school with the most exposure on the subject, we have to note that Tisch is not isolated from our community, and thus the problems identified ultimately reflect the culture and issues of NYU as a whole. Email the WSN Editorial Board at EDITORIAL BOARD: Tyler Crews (Chair), Paola Nagovitch (Co-chair), Victor Porcelli (Co-chair), Alison Zimmerman (Co-chair) STAFF PHOTO BY ANNA LETSON

Send mail to: 75 Third Ave. #SB07, New York, N.Y. 10003 or email: WSN welcomes letters to the editor, opinion pieces and articles relevant to the NYU community, or in response to articles. Letters should be less than 450 words. All submissions must be typed or emailed and must include the author’s name, address and phone number. Members of the NYU community must include a year and school or job title. WSN does

not print unsigned letters or editorials. WSN reserves the right to reject any submission and edit accepted submissions in any and all ways. With the exception of the staff editorial, opinions expressed on the editorial pages are not necessarily those of WSN, and our publication of opinions is not an endorsement of them.

Washington Square News | Monday, April 16, 2018

Page 10

SPORTS Keeping up with the


New Hirings Lead Women’s Volleyball Revamp


Andrew Brown, new head coach of the women’s volleyball team.

By BELA KIRPALANI Deputy Sports Editor

After finishing a disappointing 2017 season with a 7-20 overall record, NYU Athletics hired new Head Coach Andrew Brown and Assistant Coach Rachel Bello to lead Women’s Volleyball. Brown was hired in January after spending the past three seasons as head coach of the women’s volleyball team at Union College, where his team produced an overall 66-37 record and earned second and third place finishes in the Liberty League. NYU Director of Athletics Christopher Bledsoe said he is proud to have an experienced coach like Brown join the women’s volleyball program. “In our conversations, it was clear that Andrew understands what makes NYU and our student-athlete experience special,” Bledsoe said. “His experience tells me that he is prepared to connect with our volleyball student-athletes and begin the process of improving all facets of NYU volleyball and reestablish our competitive place in the University Athletic Association and the NCAA.” Coach Brown said his vision for the future of the volleyball program is to create a unique style of play that will guide the Violets to success. “I think right now the big focus is creating a sense of NYU brand volleyball that everybody from an outside perspective can see and correlate to our style of play,” Brown said. “Right now we’re making sure to establish those concrete systems and foundations that we can then build upon in the future.” Bello was hired in late March, and she has a multitude of coaching and playing experience, including the 2011 season she spent as a professional player in Austria. When given the opportunity to bring on another coach to help kickstart his career at NYU, Brown opted to choose Bello as an assistant. Brown and Bello have coached together on multiple occasions and are close friends. Brown has long admired Bello’s work ethic and her volleyball brain. “Just her overall experience and the fact that she’s an asset to everything she’s a part of, whether it’s as a former player or as a coach — everyone really rallies around

her and really understands her coaching mindset in terms of what she brings both strategically and technically to the game,” Brown said. Assistant Coach Bello believes her experience as a player will prove to be a valuable asset during her time as assistant coach of the women’s volleyball team. “I think it’s important that as you coach, you’re still in touch with the sport,” Bello said. “So I think that my passion for playing also helps me become a better coach, and I can identify with a lot of the problems players have on the court.” Middle blocker and CAS sophomore Kelsey Kraetz hopes the team can boost its performances next season, especially in the University Athletic Association Conference, where they only won one out of seven games in the 2017 season. “In the past couple seasons, we’ve done well in our regional play,” Kraetz said. “But our conference is really strong — we play teams like [Washington University, St. Louis], Emory, Chicago and in past seasons it hasn’t really been a competition when we’ve played them — we lose to pretty much all of them. So, this year I think it would be really great if we could surprise the teams in our conference and play really well against them.” Coach Brown has started to identify a few areas that he would like the team to develop in. “We definitely want to increase our productivity both offensively and defensively,” Brown said. “By focusing on those two areas, we are going to automatically improve our ability to compete both regionally against very strong teams in the New York region, but then also within our conference, which is one of the toughest conferences in all of Division III.” Kraetz appreciates Brown and Bello’s experiences and thinks their combined tactical expertise has already started to help the team. “They’re just really smart when it comes to volleyball, they know what they’re talking about,” Kraetz said. “They pay a lot of attention to detail.” The team has been practicing together during the offseason, doing a combination of drills and scrimmages in order to improve before the start of next season. Assistant coach Bello has only been at NYU for a short period of time but has already noticed the strong bond and friendships within the team, both on and off the court. “It makes me excited every time I go into practice that they’re happy to be there and to work hard,” Bellod said. “They really want to achieve what we’re asking of them and to get better all the time.” The Violets’ 2018 season will begin in the fall, and they’ll be ready to step onto the court with a fresh perspective and new strategies. Email Bela Kirpalani at

Edited by Maddie Howard

Softball April 17

Baseball April 18

Track and Field April 21

vs. College of Mount Saint Vincent

vs. John Jay College

vs. Vassar College Invitational

WEEKLY SPORTS UPDATE April 8 to April 15



On April 8, the NYU softball team split a doubleheader against the College of Staten Island, winning the first game 7-4 before losing 6-2 later that day. The Violets split another doubleheader on April 11, this time against Manhattanville College in Purchase, New York. NYU won the first game 5-2, with Stern junior and catcher Jacqueline Finn leading the way with three hits including a three-run homerun. In the second game, NYU fell to Manhattanville 14-6. The softball team played its first University Athletic Association game on April 13, hosting Case Western Reserve University for another split doubleheader at Bahoshy Field in the Bronx. NYU came back to win the first game 6-4, with Steinhardt junior Diana King’s twoout solo home run in the fifth inning giving NYU the lead. NYU lost the second game 9-1. NYU softball faced CWRU again on April 14 in its second doubleheader in two days. The Violets fell to the Spartans 9-2 and 6-0. The NYU softball team’s overall record is now 12-12. Next week on April 17, the Violets welcome the College of Mount Saint Vincent for a doubleheader.


The NYU baseball team split a doubleheader against CWRU on April 13, winning game one 12-3, before losing the second game 13-3. In the win, SPS senior and starting pitcher Cameron Serapilio-Frank went seven innings and allowed just two runs to improve to 7-0 on the mound this season. On April 14, NYU baseball played CWRU in another doubleheader, this time losing both games 7-5 and 3-4, respectively. The three losses pull the Violets’ record down to 21-7. NYU baseball’s next game will be played on April 18 against John Jay College.


On April 8, the men’s tennis team broke its four-match losing streak with a 6-3 win over the College of New Jersey in Ewing, New Jersey. CAS senior Umberto Setter and CAS sophomore Zeb Zheng came out on top in a tight 8-6 victory in first seed doubles. Stern sophomore Vishal Walia and CAS first-year Rahul Das won their third seed doubles match 8-5. The Violets also won four out of six matches in singles.

The Violets were defeated by Stevens Institute of Technology on April 11, coming up with only one doubles win and two singles victories. On April 14, men’s tennis defeated UAA rival University of Rochester 6-3. Stern junior Benedict Teoh and CAS junior Shrikar Kundur, who made his season debut, defeated their opponents 8-3 in second seed doubles, while third seed doubles partners Walia and Das won 8-4. In singles, Setter won first seed singles (6-0, 6-7, 6-3), Stern first-year Stefan Rodic (3-6, 7-5, 6-4) edged out a narrow victory in third seed singles, and Walia came out on top in his first singles match as number two seed (6-4, 7-5). The Violets saw their overall record drop to 4-6 this season, after losing to Hobart College on April 15 in Geneva, New York. The Violets will return to the court on Saturday, April 21 to face Ohio Wesleyan University, in Cleveland, Ohio.


Fourth-seeded NYU men’s volleyball team defeated fifth-seeded Elmira College in straight sets (2523, 25-14, 25-17) in the opening round of the 2018 United Volleyball Conference Tournament at the Sportsplex in Manhattan on April 13. Stern sophomore Alex Li led the team with 17 kills, while Stern sophomore Matin Bikdeli produced a match-high 33 assists. NYU moved on to play host and top-seeded Stevens Institute of Technology in the UVC semifinals, but fell just short, losing 3-2 (29-31, 25-19, 25-17, 19-25, 15-12). Li produced a match-high tying 18 kills, while Tandon sophomore Neil Ferraro led all players with six blocks, and Bikdeli dished out a match-best 43 assists. Saturday’s match concludes a great season for the Violets, whose overall record ended at 16-9.


The women’s tennis team shutout the University of Rochester 9-0 on April 14 to continue its undefeated season with a 7-0 record on the season. The double teams had strong performances with wins by Stern juniors Flyora Shiyanova and Vanessa Scott (8-4), Stern first-year Anna Maria Buraya (8-1) and CAS sophomore Coco Kulle and Stern sophomores Judy Kam and Rupa Ganesh (8-7). The Violets carried over their success from the doubles competition with single wins by Kulle, Ganesh and Kam.

WOMEN’S TRACK & FIELD The Violets competed at the Coach Pollard Invitational at Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania on April 14. Steinhardt senior Morel Malcolm stood out for the Violets with a first place finish in the 3,000 meter steeplechase with a time of 11:54.44. In her outdoor season debut, Tandon junior Justina Sanders-Schifano captured first place in the 400 meter hurdles with a mark (1:02.39) nearly two seconds quicker than the runner-up (1:04.26). The team will split its roster on April 21 with athletes competing at both the Vassar College Invitational in Poughkeepsie, New York and Greyhound Invitational at Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.


The men’s track and field team travelled to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania on April 14 to compete in Coach Pollard Invitational at Moravian College. Three Violets recorded top ten finishes in the 3,000 meter steeplechase with Steinhardt senior Jordan Reyes finishing in third, Stern senior Sam Praveen in sixth and CAS sophomore Yuji Cusick in ninth. The 5,000 meter event also had multiple Violets in the top 10 with a third place finish by CAS first-year Dillion Spector, fifth place finish by SPS junior Julian Marrufo, ninth place by CAS senior Grant Allington and 10th by CAS senior Robert Beit. Stern senior Karn Setya put up his best mark of the season in the 1,500 meter event with a time of 4:01.80 that secured him a fifth place finish. Other notable finishes include a fifth place finish by SPS senior Malcolm Montilus in the 400 meter dash and sixth place finish by CAS junior William Lee in the high jump. The team will join the women’s track and field team on April 21 at the Vassar College Invitational in Poughkeepsie, New York and Greyhound Invitational at Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.


The women’s golf team took first place at the Vassar College Invitational in Poughkeepsie, New York on April 15. Due to poor weather conditions, the Violets’ 319 in the first round was enough to secure first place after the second round was canceled. Email the Sports Desk at

Washington Square News | Monday, April 16, 2018

Page 11


Edited by Maddie Howard

Brandeis Coach Fired For Racist Comments By WARNER RADLIFF Deputy Sports Editor

On April 5 the intersection of race and sport made its way into the headlines again as NYU’s University Athletic Association rival Brandeis University announced that men’s head basketball coach Brian Meehan had been fired following an investigation into complaints against him over racial discrimination. In anonymous interviews conducted by the sports news website Deadspin, three current and former Brandeis players claimed that Meehan’s racist and abusive behavior had been known by the university for five years prior to his termination and said that players’ complaints were disregarded by Brandeis Athletic Director Lynne Dempsey. The players said that the majority of the complaints involved racial discrimination by Meehan, particularly against

black players. In their interviews, players alleged that the coach asked a trio of black players to depict the “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” monkeys, told a black player on Martin Luther King Jr. Day that being white must be a “dream come true” and also verbally threatened a player from Africa by saying, “I’ll ship you back to Africa,” and later commented on the same player, “I don’t want to sit next to him because I’ll get Ebola.” Additionally, players mentioned Meehan had a tradition of unexpectedly cutting black players from the team. One player who had been suddenly cut after making the roster told Deadspin that Meehan and Dempsey refused his request for a meeting to discuss what he described as “unfair and discriminatory treatment.” Having reached a breaking point in

May 2017, the players directly brought their complaints to the university’s Human Resources department which led to a six month investigation on the matter. Once completed in November 2017, players claimed that the results of the investigation were not disclosed and Meehan went on to coach the 2017-2018 season. Following Brandeis’ season, a new complaint against Meehan resulted in the coach being placed on leave and later fired following what Brandeis President Ron Liebowitz described as a “thorough examination and review of the prior incidents” in a letter addressed to the Brandeis community. In addition to the letter, Liebowitz hosted a town hall meeting on April 11 where he discussed racial discrimination and transparency at the university with students, staff and alumni and announced the university’s decision to


Brandeis University’s former men’s basketball head coach Brian Meehan.

review the rules by which they handle such issues. The Brandeis Hoot reported that a group of students protested the culture of racism at the university the day after the town hall meeting. Although prompted by the university’s handling of the complaints against Meehan, the breadth of the protest went beyond Meehan and

students voiced their discontent with the lack of diversity, unequal pay and racial profiling exhibited on campus. Several members of the NYU sports community declined the opportunity to comment on the Brandeis incident. Email Warner Radliff at


Edited by Echo Chen

March for Science By VERONICA LIOW Assistant Managing Editor

On April 14, people came together at Washington Square Park for the March for Science, an organization focused on empowering the voices of scientists and advocating for evidence-based policy.

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About WSN: Washington Square News (ISSN 15499389) is the student newspaper of New York University. WSN is published in print on Mondays and throughout the week online during NYU’s academic year, except for university holidays, vacations and exam periods. Corrections: WSN is committed to accurate reporting. When we make errors, we do our best to correct them as quickly as possible. If you believe we have erred, contact the managing editors at or at 212.998.4302

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Washington Square News April 16, 2018  
Washington Square News April 16, 2018