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The Cherry On Top: Food in the Bedroom

Global Citizen Affirms Fear Guns Are the New Normal



Tisch Alumnus Talks Politically Charged Directorial Debut

Big Tree in the Kitchen



While She’s at School, Her Aunt Battles Kavanaugh Far from the political maelstrom, Christine Blasey Ford’s niece, an NYU student, still feels its effects. By SAKSHI VENKATRAMAN Deputy Managing Editor


CAS Sophomore Haley Peters stands by her aunt, Christine Blasey Ford, despite the criticism her family is facing.

Long before Christine Blasey Ford became a household name for accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, she was simply Aunt Chrissy to her niece, Haley Peters. “Chrissy was definitely the aunt I was closest to,” Peters, a CAS sophomore, said in an interview with WSN. “She’s always someone I’ve been able to trust and rely on, and out of everyone, she has been the most supportive through the different phases of my life. She taught me how to surf when I was younger and helped me with the whole college selection process.” The last few weeks have completely altered Ford’s life. She has been lauded as a hero by some and sent death threats by others. Since coming forward in a Washington Post article, she has been forced to move from her home and hire

private security. Peters, whose mother is Ford’s sister-in-law, says her family has felt the effects as well. “We all found out about [the allegations] at the same time as everyone else — in the news,” Peters said. “I got a random news notification saying someone is accusing Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault. I clicked on it and I read ‘Christine Blasey Ford,’ and it didn’t really register, especially because I always call her Chrissy. And then I scrolled down, and they had her picture. I immediately called my mom and my dad.” In a tense hearing on Thursday, Ford testified before 21 senators, saying she is “100 percent” certain that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when the two were in high school. Kavanaugh, who testified later in the day, vehemently and emotionally denied the allegations. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2

NYU Inches Toward Carbon Neutrality By KRISTINA HAYHURST and ALEX DOMB

News Editors

Immersed in the concrete jungle of New York City, few universities offer less green space than NYU. Undeterred, campus leaders are committed to defying the odds and proving a point: an urban setting need not prevent NYU from becoming one of the most sustainable campuses in the nation. Last week, NYU announced an array of immediate initiatives for the 2018-19 academic year, including the implementation of solar panels on the Elmer Holmes Bobst Library, the reduction of disposable plastics in dining halls and capital commitments to making NYU buildings more energy efficient. “What we’ve done by enhancing the resources of the Office of Sustainability is not only to give greater voice and added emphasis to environmental advocacy, but we’re introducing the right kind of bold thinking into our strategic planning efforts at the right time,” NYU President Andy Hamilton

wrote in a statement to WSN. NYU has steadily increased its focus on sustainability practices since 1982 when the first environmental student group, Earth Matters, was formed. Since then, NYU has developed a recycling program, a sustainability task force, reduced greenhouse gas emission by more than 30 percent in 2007, created a natural gas-fired Cogeneration plant and recently pledged to reduce its greenhouse gasses by 50 percent by 2025. NYU aims to achieve complete carbon neutrality by 2040. Ecoreps coordinator and Gallatin senior Dylan Garcia believes carbon neutrality by 2040 is an achievable goal. “New York City’s plan is an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, so comparatively, NYU’s is more ambitious,” Garcia said. “I think neutral by 2040 is a very reasonable goal, and personally, I think New York City as a whole could do better than [that], given what other cities are doing.” This shift in values to a greener urban campus stems from the voices of NYU students. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2


238 Thompson Rooftop Garden, one of NYU’s landscaping projects, sits on top of the Global Center for Academic and Spiritual Life.

Washington Square News





Journalism Advocates Criticize U.N.


While She’s at School, Her Aunt Battles Kavanaugh CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

Family members of detained Bangladeshi, Shahidul Alam, were present at CPJ’s event at the U.N.


By BENJAMIN TETTEH Contributing Writer Last year, more journalists were jailed for their work than ever before, according to a free press advocacy group. The Committee to Protect Journalists has accused the United Nations of failing to take tougher action against member states that violate reporters’ rights. “Governments are directly responsible for these grave abuses, and the U.N. has a culture of rarely calling out its members,” CPJ’s Executive Director Joel Simon told delegates at a side event at the United Nations General Assembly on Friday. CPJ counted 262 journalists imprisoned, the highest number ever recorded by the organization, in its 2017 report. Of these, Turkey detained the most journalists at 73, with China and Egypt rounding out the top three with 41 and 20 detentions, respectively. These countries accounted for more than half of the total cases of arrests and detentions recorded by the CPJ. But one of the most high-profile cases of journalists detained for their work comes from thousands of miles away. In Myanmar, Reuters correspondents Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo have been imprisoned since 2017. They were arrested by troops while reporting on the massacre of 10 Rohingya Muslim men. The two were found guilty of breaching the country’s Official Secrets Act by acquiring confidential documents. Both pleaded not guilty, claiming that they were handed the documents by policemen in a set-up that led to their arrest. Ultimately, they were sentenced to seven years in prison in what Amal Clooney, who represents the two, described as a “sham trial” and a “travesty of justice.” Clooney held the leader of Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi, responsible for the journalists’ detainment. “[Suu Kyi] knows better than anyone what it is like to be a political prisoner in her country,” Clooney said in her speech at the event. “She has slept in a cell at the prison where Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo now sleep.” A number of nations, including the United States, pushed for the journalists’ release at the Security Council meet-


The committee to Protect Journalists’ event at the sideline of the U.N. General Assembly highlighted the threats facing journalists and the right to free speech.

ing on Tuesday. Clooney joined their call for a pardon. Suu Kyi holds “the key to the liberty [of the journalists]...the key to freedom of the press, the key to truth and accountability,” Clooney said. “History will judge her on her response.” Reuters Editor-in-Chief Stephen J. Adler also took to the podium at the event, describing the two journalists as patriotic citizens who acted in the hope of supporting democracy as promised by Suu Kyi. “Both [of them] chose journalism with a sincere belief that they can advance these goals by impartially uncovering facts and telling the truth,” Adler said in his speech. Adler also called on the government of Myanmar to immediately release them, saying his outlet “will not be intimidated from pursuing these stories despite the unjust prosecution of our journalists.” The side event also called attention to other imprisoned journalists around the world. One of these was Shahidul Alam, a Bangladeshi photographer who was ar-

rested in August after streaming a video of anti-government protests in Dhaka, the country’s capital. Several of Alam’s relatives attended the U.N. event, where they called on world leaders to press the Bangladeshi government to free him. Alam’s cousin, Shamima Khan, told WSN that her relative’s only offense was covering the brutal crackdown on student protests by security forces of the country. “He was picked up under Section 57 of the Information Technology Act and is accused of defamation and speaking against the government,” Shamima said. “We want the international community to condemn his imprisonment, to seek his release, to ask the Prime Minister [of Bangladesh] to uphold the human rights obligations that Bangladesh entered into.” Email Benjamin Tetteh at

After a Friday morning filled with confusion in the Senate Judiciary Committee, members decided to delay a Senate-wide vote to confirm Kavanaugh as a Supreme Court justice pending an FBI investigation into the matter. In Peters’ mind, there is no question as to whether or not her aunt is telling the truth. “There’s the whole argument in the last two weeks that the left has orchestrated this political attack,” Peters said. “Since June or July, she’s been trying to reach several different people, so that automatically disproves that. She was reaching out before he was the nominee.” Not long after the allegations came to light, Ford contacted Peters and her whole family, urging them to keep their names out of it and not to speak to the press. “She said she’s obviously very happy and grateful for the support, but she told me not to insert myself into the public eye for safety reasons,” Peters said. “Everyone she knows who has spoken publicly about it has gotten extremely harassed and publically endangered themselves.” The family heeded the warning at first, but over the last week, her mother and her aunt have both defended Ford on national television. The family even released a letter of support for Ford that Peters signed. But even after being directly contacted by several media outlets, Peters has been more reserved. Her fear for her own safety has kept her from the spotlight. “I know [Ford] has received various death threats and constant harassment, along with my cousins and her husband,” Peters said. “When my mom started doing interviews and posting on Facebook, [she got] a lot of hate messages, which can easily be translated into something dangerous. There’s no doubt in my mind that we’re all in physical danger.” NYU’s campus was abuzz with news of the hearings on Thursday and Friday; Peters described the oddity of listening to students and professors talk about a family member. NYU School of Law classes were even canceled so students and professors could watch. “It’s been very, very frustrating,” she said. “Like trying to just focus in class and trying to check my Facebook for actual news and seeing all these people talking about it. Even my friends don’t know that she’s my aunt.” Nikta Daijavad and Cara Hume are co-presidents of Law Women, an NYU Law student group aimed at promoting women in the legal field. They are trying to provide safe spaces for people to talk about the hearings and the effect Kavanaugh could have if confirmed to the Supreme Court. “Even before the allegations of sexual assault, I think it was really clear to us that Brett Kavanaugh posed a threat to women,” Daijavad said. “He looked like a very different threat to women a couple of weeks ago than he does now. Our thinking was [that] women will literally die if this man gets on the Supreme Court and Roe v. Wade gets overturned.” They say the last few weeks have revealed the pain within the NYU Law community. “Even for women that might not have had experiences like Dr. Blasey

Ford had, it was still incredibly personal to watch this hearing,” Hume said. “It was very removed from politics because of the way women innately live with this sense of vulnerability of potentially being the victim of something like that.” Multiple NYU names have been connected to the hearings throughout the last few weeks. NYU Law Professor Melissa Murray gave scathing testimony against Kavanaugh on the fourth day of the hearings. Meanwhile, Law Professor Richard Epstein spoke to the opposite side of the issue, writing that Ford’s accusations are a political move. Politics Professor Christine Harrington expressed her frustration with the way the hearing was handled. “To see general basic norms being just trashed,” said Harrington, who specializes in public law, “it prevents a dialogue from happening and it was just a flat-out political show. There’s something called judicial temperament and manner, and this was just out of bounds. The conspiracy theory that [Kavanaugh] put forward was just so Fox News-ish and so out of it.” Harrington doesn’t want to make predictions about whether or not Kavanaugh will be confirmed, but she is very clear on what the effect will be if he gets on the Court. “It will be horrific,” she said. Peters watched the hearings through a busy class schedule. “It was amazing how elegantly she could speak about something so painful,” Peters said. “I was really proud of her. I just can’t believe it because we’re regular people. We’re not people that are used to being in the public eye or under scrutiny like that. There’s no reason we should be experts in dealing with the press or dealing with assault publicly.” She was shocked for a different reason when watching Kavanaugh’s testimony. “He was so aggressive,” Peters said. “He called her testimony — which is the hardest thing she’s ever had to do — a national disgrace. I can’t believe how it was handled. How the Senate handled it was kind of an amazing thing and not in the good sense of the word.” Peters hopes that Kavanaugh will withdraw his name from consideration, but she is doubtful that will happen. “If he was suspected of a different crime that didn’t involve sex, like if he was suspected of murder or even a lesser white collar crime, I can say certainly that there would be way less of a stigma around how it was handled,” Peters said. “People would take it seriously.” For her aunt and her family, Peters just wants a return to normalcy. “I don’t know what the ideal is for my aunt moving forward and my other family that has been in the public eye,” she said. “I don’t know how they would go back to their normal life. I’m not sure what the fix is, but I know that something needs to happen or it will just be painful and uncomfortable for the rest of her life and our life. His confirmation would obviously make that so much worse.” Email Sakshi Venkatraman at


Washington Square News | News


NYU Inches Toward Carbon Neutrality


Coffee Missing From Starbucks


In April 2018, the university launched an online forum for students to share their input as to how to make NYU’s campus greener. Garcia emphasized that the ideas gathered from this medium have been integral to new goals. “As an employee of the Office of Sustainability, I can say that the Sustainability at NYU forum that the school put out last semester was instrumental in creating this plan,” Garcia said. “They wanted this to be a democratic process and they carried that out in the best way possible.” According the Vice President for Sustainability Cecil Scheib, switching to a sustainable energy source, such as solar or wind, is the main obstacle to achieving carbon neutrality. The university aims to do this by putting photovoltaic panels on the roof of Bobst that will generate 10 percent of the building’s daily electricity. The panels are meant to serve as a pilot for future initiatives in the hopes of expanding the program on other NYU buildings. However, NYU’s urban campus faces unique challenges that make total solar reliance nearly impossible. “The challenges in New York are that our buildings are tall and skinny,” Scheib said. “It’s not a Walmart with just acres and acres of roof area. Our roofs have a lot of other things already on them: chimneys, vents, mechanical equipment, the top of the elevator and often in New York City buildings shade other buildings.” NYU has committed around $3.5 million annually to ensure all new buildings will achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification; as of 2018, 10 campus buildings are certified, while several others have applied for certification. Renovations are also helping NYU reach its environmental goals; the 2014 renovation of Brittany Residence Hall cut carbon usage by 66 percent, allowed the building to receive LEED certification and has since saved NYU $240,000 each year.

By CRIME BOT Robot Reporter


Paper cups in the Third North dining hall. NYU has started eliminating single-use plastic by providing alternatives.

Scheib lauds the LEED certification system because, on top of carbon and energy usage, aspects such as air quality, water and transportation are considered. “Buildings are more than 90 percent of our carbon footprint,” Scheib said. “If we want to attack our own health and solve our carbon issue and fight climate change, it all starts in buildings.” In addition to renovating campus buildings, there are specific members in the working group helping NYU achieve carbon neutrality through other means. Supervisor of Sustainable Landscaping George Reis is one of the members heading agricultural and recycling initiatives around campus to help NYU reach a zero waste output. “There are different things that we can do to reduce waste in our gardens,” Reis said. “Compost is the most obvious one, but there are others — the way you select plants, the size of plants that you buy.” Gardens and agriculture at NYU are rarely acknowledged, but have a measurable impact on New York City’s carbon footprint. Reis hopes that monitoring the trees’ impact will encourage more green spaces on campus. “Trees sequester carbon and we have about 600 trees here at NYU which no one realizes because they’re so scattered around,”

Reis said. “We did an inventory on them this summer to try and determine how much carbon is sequestered at NYU. Hopefully, it motivates more tree maintenance and more trees at NYU.” Reactions to the initiative from campus leaders seems largely positive. But one student activist group, NYU Divest, feels the university’s efforts don’t go far enough. “Carbon neutrality is important, but it is not sufficient for climate mitigation that is truly effective, comprehensive and just,” NYU Divest wrote in a statement to WSN. “NYU must commit to achieving 100 percent renewable power, heating, cooling, and transportation by 2040.” NYU’s sustainability goals are backed by the top levels of its administration. However, Scheib emphasizes, its goals cannot be achieved without the participation of all members of the NYU community. “NYU is a huge place and the Office of Sustainability is small,” Scheib said. “The Office of Sustainability can’t do it for everyone. We have expertise and we can help and we can influence, but everyone needs to be involved.” Email Alex Domb and Kristina Hayhurst at

Former EPA Admin Speaks at Law School By JARED PERAGLIA Contributing Writer The consequences of being stuck with outdated environmental laws are already far-reaching. Lack of modernization of energy sources is hurting communities — and poor communities are being hit the hardest. This was one of the issues that top legal and environmental policy experts addressed at a conference held Friday in honor of the 10th anniversary of the Institute for Policy Integrity at NYU School of Law opening. The event, held at Vanderbilt Hall, covered topics ranging from natural resource policy to the intersection of economics and environmental policy. Gina McCarthy, former Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, thinks environmentalists and clean energy activists still have significant strides to make in spreading their message. “We work extraordinarily hard because we firmly believe a democracy is by and for the people, but we do a terrible job telling our story,” McCarthy said in her keynote. As the current administration rolls back multiple Obama-era clean energy policies, activists are having a tougher time getting their message across to people. In response, Gina McCarthy highlighted the need for environmental policy makers and activists to know their community’s priorities. “You’ve got to understand what people care about,” McCarthy said. “[We need to] explain health consequences the way people relate to and support grass root organizations.” Cass Sunstein, former administrator of the White House Office of Information and

Regulatory Affairs, explained the hurdle that activists have to get over to reach the public. “People don’t like thinking they’re spending more money than everyone else,” Sunstein said in his speech. “Maybe with accessories or automobiles, but not with energy.” With close to zero support on environmental issues from the federal government, states have had to bucker-up and support local advocacy. The Trump administration has repealed, and not replaced, regulation on a multitude of Obama-era policies such as fracking, offshore drilling and production leading to methane waste. Though her legacy is quickly being erased, McCarthy is not giving up. “We’ve made progress, and we are not ever going back,” McCarthy said. “Get out and march! That’s what we did in the ’60s and ’70s. Information is still power.” But getting this information to begin with is still a work in progress, according to Sunstein. “Many of the issues we perceive as debates about values are generated by absence of proficient information,” Sunstein said of the deficit of scientific research needed to drive environmental policy change. This lack of scientific information has translated to a lack of legislative action. Cheryl LaFleur, Commissioner of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, voiced her frustration with lawmakers’ stagnation on environmental issues. “I had a congressman tell me, ‘We did act on climate change — not voting was our action,’” LaFleur said. “Where you stand depends on where you sit.” The partisan back-and-forth is also contributing to the environmental policy grid-


Gina McCarthy, the former administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under Barack Obama.

lock at the state level. In New Jersey, former Governor Chris Christie pulled the state out of the Renewable Energy Group during his time in office, only to have current governor Phil Murphy put New Jersey back into the group. Among Murphy’s other environmental efforts is his pledge for the state to have 100 percent clean energy by 2050. Hurricane Sandy was a wake-up call for the state — and McCarthy worries communities won’t support environmental policy until they reap the consequences. “It’s not real or it doesn’t matter until it hits your community,” McCarthy said. But the speakers still have hope that there can be deliberate and progressive energy policy if the partisan gridlock holding environmental policies back ends soon. “We need to support good rulemaking,” she said. “No matter who does it.” Email Jared Peraglia at

From Sept. 20 to Sept. 27 the NYU Department of Public Safety received one report of burglary, eight reports of controlled substance violation, three reports of harassment, nine reports of larceny and one report of stalking. Burglary On Sept. 25 at 5:33 p.m., an NYU faculty member reported her iPhone missing from her office in 41 E. 11th St. Police notification was declined, and the case is open and under investigation.

Controlled Substance Violation On Sept. 21 at 9:12 p.m., a resident assistant reported witnessing underage liquor possession in Alumni Residence Hall. Police notification was declined, and the case has been referred to the Office of Community Standards. On Sept. 21 at 9:34 p.m., an RA reported witnessing underage alcohol possession in Alumni Hall. Police notification was declined, and the case has been referred to the Office of Community Standards. On Sept. 22 at 12:13 a.m., an NYU Public Safety officer responded to an allegation of a drug law violation and recovered a small amount of marijuana in Palladium Residence Hall. Police notification was declined, and the case has been referred to the Office of Community Standards. On Sept. 22 at 11:10 p.m., an RA reported witnessing underage alcohol possession in University Residence Hall. Police notification was declined, and the case has been referred to the Office of Community Standards. On Sept. 23 at 12:02 a.m., an RA reported witnessing underage alcohol possession in University Hall. Police notification was declined, and the case has been referred to the Office of Community Standards. On Sept. 23 at 12:32 a.m., an RA reported witnessing underage alcohol possession in Third North Residence Hall. Police notification was declined, and the case has been referred to the Office of Community Standards. On Sept. 23 at 12:40 a.m., an RA reported witnessing underage alcohol possession in Brittany Residence Hall. Police notification was declined, and the case has been referred to the Office of Community Standards. On Sept. 25 at 3:44 p.m., an RA reported witnessing underage alcohol possession in Lipton Residence Hall. Police notification was declined, and the case has been referred to the Office of Community Standards.

Harassment On Sept. 21 at 10:09 p.m., an NYU student reported he was a victim of harassment in Washington Square Park. Police no-

tification was declined, and the case is open and under investigation. On Sept. 21 at 11:15 p.m., an NYU student reported that she was a victim of harassment in Brittany Hall. Police notification was declined, and the case is open and under investigation. On Sept. 25 at 7:57 a.m., two NYU students reported being harassed outside of Lafayette Residence Hall. Police notification was declined, and the case is open and under investigation.

Larceny On Sept. 20 at 10:26 a.m., an NYU contractor reported a tool missing from his tool bag in Meyer Hall. Police notification was declined, and the case is open and under investigation. On Sept. 24 at 9:55 a.m., a Starbucks employee reported missing coffee packages from a display case in Starbucks. Police notification was declined, and the case is open and under investigation. On Sept. 24 at 9 p.m., an NYU student reported his bike missing from scaffolding outside of Elmer Holmes Bobst Library. A police report was filed, and the case is open and under investigation. On Sept. 24 at 10:12 p.m., an NYU student reported that his bike was missing from a bike rack at Schwartz Plaza. Police notification was declined, and the case is open and under investigation. On Sept. 25 at 4:34 p.m., an NYU student reported missing laundry from a dryer in Rubin Residence Hall. Police notification was declined, and the case is open and under investigation. On Sept. 26 at 9:30 a.m., an NYU staff member reported that her earbuds and charger were missing from her office in Bobst Library. Police notification was declined, and the case is open and under investigation. On Sept. 26 at 9:30 a.m., an NYU staff member reported that his charger was missing from his office in Bobst Library. Police notification was declined, and the case is open and under investigation. On Sept. 26 at 7:24 p.m., an NYU student reported his bike missing from scaffolding at Schwartz Plaza. Police notification was declined, and the case is open and under investigation. On Sept. 27 at 4:50 p.m., an NYU student reported that she was the victim of larceny in Brittany Hall. A police report was filed, and the case is open and under investigation.

Stalking On Sept. 20 at 11:51 a.m., an NYU student reported being the victim of stalking on Washington Square South. A police report was filed, and the case is open and under investigation. Email Crime Bot at

Washington Square News






Retaining Faith While Abroad By NATASHA ROY Staff Writer


The Chabad was started by a Jewish couple who provides resources for Accra’s Jewish community.


SPS sophomore Arik Rosenstein goes to the synagogue every Friday and Saturday in Accra, Ghana as part of his religious practices

When SPS sophomore Arik Rosenstein was considering where to study abroad this fall, he knew two things: he wanted to understand how soccer influences the lives of people in another country and he wanted to keep up with his Jewish faith no matter where he was. Rosenstein ultimately chose to spend a semester at NYU Accra, the university’s smallest global site. While he had looked forward to the experience, he was worried about maintaining his religious practices while there. However, he said he knew that a sect of Hasidic Judaism called Chabad sends young Jewish couples all over the world to be a resource for the Jewish community in a country. Luckily, he saw that there was a synagogue right in Accra and reached out to the rabbi. “I mean, there were definitely challenges and things that I keep in New York that I don’t keep here,” Rosenstein said. “It’s definitely not as simple, but I also knew the resources before I came here, that there was a synagogue and that I could go to them and use them … to be able to fulfill my spiritual and mental needs and things like that.” While he said he wouldn’t consider himself to be very religious, he does practice certain parts of Judaism. He keeps the Sabbath every week, during which he goes to the synagogue from Friday at sundown to Saturday at sundown. “It’s actually very nice,” Rosenstein said. “It’s very calm and quiet. Most people that are here... are different types of observants. They wouldn’t necessarily keep the Sabbath, which is every Friday night to Saturday, where you don’t touch electronics or write or use anything that is considered work, so it’s a lot of reading and sleeping and eating and relaxing.”

NYU Accra’s meal plan provides dinner to students every weeknight, and Rosenstein is able to keep kosher via separate meals prepared for him on weekdays he does not go to the synagogue. This often means he does not eat meat unless he goes to the synagogue, where his rabbi sacrifices the animals according to Jewish custom. Rosenstein said the Jewish community in Accra is filled with many expats, especially from Israel — who work in the city — as well as several students

I think, you know, just because you’re Jewish or Muslim or Christian or any other religion, nothing in this world should inhibit you. ARIK ROSENSTEIN SPS sophomore

this semester. “You get lots of interesting people,” Rosenstein said. “Everybody that walks in there has a story, which is kind of cool to experience every Friday.” However, while Rosenstein has several resources and accommodations that allow him to practice his faith in Ghana, he said it is not always easy because he

misses out on weekend trips provided by the school. Furthermore, several Jewish holidays took place in September, and Rosenstein missed nine classes. He said it puts him at a disadvantage because he needs to catch up on work and maintain his academic standing. Still, he believes the negative aspects of it are worth it. “With certain things, it puts my fellow classmates at a disadvantage because sometimes there are group projects, and you’re not able to help because you literally cannot be there,” Rosenstein said. “So it’s not easy, but it is meaningful. It’s not easy, and it’s not convenient to serve what I believe in, but when I do it, I’m doing it with my whole heart. And that’s something I’m happy about — that I get to experience that and I’m happy that I’m able to fulfill what my beliefs are here especially.” Rosenstein said he would recommend studying abroad in Accra to Jewish students in the future, and he is excited to represent NYU Accra when he returns to the Washington Square campus in the spring. “I think, you know, just because you’re Jewish or Muslim or Christian or any other religion, nothing in this world should inhibit you,” Rosenstein said. “There’s nothing that should stop you, and the staff here have been so welcoming. My friends here have been so understanding, and everybody just respects you for who you are — especially in Ghana. Everybody doesn’t ask twice about religion. It’s you and your personal beliefs, and that was something really surprising. I definitely will recommend it when I get back to campus.” Email Natasha Roy at

Does NYU Care About Your Diet? By JIACHEN XU Contributing Writer Everyone grew up haunted by the chilling tales of the fearec freshman 15. It is spoken of so frequently that many consider the unhealthy college lifestyle inevitable, but does it have to be? NYU dining provides a wide range of choices between the 16 different dining hall options, including vendors like Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks. However, students question whether the plethora of choices cater to a healthy lifestyle — or simply contribute to the freshman 15. CAS junior and President of the NYU Restaurateur Club Deniz Basusta sees room for improvement in NYU’s offerings. “I think there are healthy options, but I wish there was more variety,” Basusta said. While places like Maoz in Palladium and Olilo Mediterranean in Marketplace at Kimmel offer balanced meal options, these vendors are directly next to more junk food options such as burgers and fried food. “I certainly think that there could be a larger emphasis on a balanced meal,” Basusta said. Our knowledge of a healthy diet comes from various places: the food pyramid taught in elementary school, our par-

ent’s cooking back home or even wellness influencers on social media. For college students, however, information about a balanced diet in the physical dining halls could be more available and effective. Using residence halls as a platform to educate students on nutritional, healthy diets is an idea that SPS sophomore and Secretary of the Restauranter Club Stephen Jin supports. Jin attributed unhealthy eating on campus to the availability of fast food. “It’s the idea that you’d rather grab a pizza than make a salad for yourself,” Jin explained. He advised NYU dining to trim down junk food and place healthier options, such as fruits or nuts, in its place. “More or less it’s more of making healthy options more convenient to the students,” Jin added. “Because a lot of times they do have the healthy options, but it’s so much more time-consuming than eating the junk food.” Besides fast food, the ease of grabbing an unhealthy snack — a bag of Doritos or a Snickers — isn’t helpful either. “I’ve been to some other universities, and I’ve seen their dining hall layout,” explained Basusta. “In their dining halls, there is not one thing for sale by the door when you’re xswiping. And here, it feels like every single dining hall, they try to get

you to buy some [snacks].” In his opinion, it feels like NYU is simply trying to push for profits instead of attempting to educate about healthy, balanced diets. On the other side, CAS first-year Janu Tatachar believes there are no barriers to eating well on campus. “There is a salad bar every day, so you always have the option of getting that,” Tatachar said. “And if you get bored of that there are things like sushi. If you want a more balanced, more fish and plant-based meal, you can get that.” There are also students who don’t think the responsibility should fall to the school. Steinhardt senior Miles Grossenbacher thinks of healthy eating as a personal choice. “I feel like it’s important that [NYU dining] has the options available. But it’s not necessarily their responsibility to promote specific healthy options over ones that people would deem unhealthy.” One thing that everyone can agree on is that maintaining a healthy diet is an important aspect of self care. “It’s good for your skin,” Tatachar said. “It’s good for your body, and it sets up a positive internal atmosphere for you while you are working.” Email Jiachen Xu at Decorative vegetables on the salad bar in Third North dining hall.


Washington Square News | Culture


Eating Out While Eating In


By CALAIS WATKINS Contributing Writer For anyone who managed to stomach the first two movies in the “Fifty Shades of Grey” franchise, its latest release, “Fifty Shades Freed,” features a moment that is difficult to shake. What has become known as “The Ice Cream Scene” depicts the two characters sharing mint chip ice cream in a different, more sensual way. While most of us don’t have lives like Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele, the combination of food and sex isn’t just for the movies. Aphrodisiacs come in different forms, many of which are normal, everyday foods used by normal, everyday people. Even Sidestein sells mint chocolate chip ice cream.

He started feeding them to me, and I would lick his fingers. LAUREN JEEVANJEE LS sophomore

The topic may seem a bit awkward, and for those who are already too concerned about whether or not to put the sock on the door handle, it can be scary to experiment. But it doesn’t have to be awkward. It doesn’t even have to be sexy. Lauren Jeevanjee, an LS sophomore, used the quintessential chocolate-covered strawberries to experiment with her beaux. “He started feeding them to me, and I would lick his fingers,” she said. “Then I started feeding them to him, and he would kiss my hands and up my arms. It got very sensual very fast.” The story could be intimidating to some who still feel uncomfortable when grabbing a condom from the publicly placed dispensers in residence halls, but lucky for Jeevanjee, she felt comfortable enough with her boyfriend that this food adventure became a highlight of their

sexual experience. Stern sophomore Zoe Van Den Bol, has a story that’s a little less seductive and a lot more laughable, only this time it involves a whipped cream experiment sabotaged by aerosols. “The idea was to spray it on each other and lick it off but the air in the can wasn’t working so it was all liquidy and gross,” Van Den Bol shared. “It ended up being super funny.” Despite a technical malfunction, the experience of trying something new together for the first time can be intimate in itself. Faced with a situation that could have easily found its way into a circle of friends gossiping about their most awkward sex stories, Van Den Bol instead decided to spin things around and focus on the positive. Rather than be embarrassed, Zoe and her partner laughed about their shared experience, bringing them closer together in an unanticipated way. However, aphrodisiacs extend beyond sensuality and comic relief. Many foods are believed to chemically stimulate desire. And don’t worry if you swing a different way, there are vegan options too. Asparagus is high in Vitamin E, an ingredient that triggers the production of sex hormones. Though, for this to be effective, one would have to eat a whole lot of asparagus. Watermelon has an amino acid that relaxes blood vessels in a similar way to Viagra. Worried about that awkward conversation with your doctor to get a prescription? Don’t be. That’s why watermelons exist, kind of. Celery, oysters, pomegranates and many more all have components that make them sexually arousing in one way or another. And then there are the rumors about pineapple and taste. Even if you’re a picky eater, there are a plethora of options when selecting your aphrodisiac of choice. Whether you’re more comfortable getting sticky or if blending together a nice pineapple smoothie is more your speed, there are creative ways you can dabble in the world of aphrodisiacs. But for those comfortable enough with their partner to try something new and risk possible humiliation, don’t be scared to open the fridge and pull out that can of whipped cream. Just make sure you check the expiration date f irst. Email Calais Watkins at


Sending Love From Home By FAITH MARNECHECK Deputy Copy Chief New York City is weird and wonderful and filled with everything a college student could want — well, almost everything. Some things are unique to home, wherever that may be, and once school begins, that means not being able to have one’s favorite homemade treat or hometown specialty. But, there is one solution to this problem: the care package. Care packages are beloved by college students as something that can brighten a day and provide a special reminder of home as many as thousands of miles away in New York City. Cheyenne Quintela, a CAS sophomore, said she receives a care package from her mom every holiday that she is not at home in San Angelo, Texas, and she really appreciates the thought her mom puts into the gifts. “My mom does include things for other people [too]” Quintela said. “For my five best friends, she makes a mini care package for them, and they really appreciate it.” Care packages that include food are a welcome respite from the typical diet of ramen, dining hall food and coffee students tend to subsist on. Receiving this food not only provides a somewhat nutritious boost to a hungry, poor student, it also reminds college kids of happy times spent at home with family and friends. Gallatin first-year Benjamin Kubany especially misses one particular dish that his mom makes and wishes that he could taste the delicious delight here in the city. “My mom makes a killer apple cake that I’ve already [been sent] two of, and I want another two,” Kubany said. While being able to have a little bit of the familiarity of home in the concrete

jungle of Manhattan is lovely, unfortunately mom and dad cannot put every piece of home into a box and ship it. Quintela explained that she still misses some elements of her life in Texas that a care package, sadly, cannot include. “If they could figure out some way to send me sweet tea, that would be amazing, but I know that they can’t because it will go bad by the time it gets here,” Quintela said. Care packages really are not necessarily about the physical objects they contain — the thought and consideration that someone else put into sending them matters much more. Brittany Gilman, a Steinhardt first-year, left her home in Kenai, Alaska for NYU and was quickly reminded recently how much the people she also left behind care about her. “The best care package I’ve ever gotten I received just last week,” Gilman said. “The mothers of my friends from growing up got together with my mom and made homemade care packages for each

of us. I loved it because it had lots of homemade treats and was special to be from so many people who cared about me.” This time of the year seems to be a time when people really miss family members from home. As homesickness starts to set in and classes become harder, the novelty of the city fades a bit, which is precisely the time when students need some cheer. Though the NYU bookstore also sells care packages, they’re not quite as personal. Care packages do not need to just be a special excuse to receive reminders of home and food from mom and dad, though. They can be sent by anyone to anyone just as a way to make the person feel cared about and remembered. So, if you enjoy care packages from home, send one to a significant other, a sibling or a childhood friend. Email Faith Marnecheck at

Some parents send care packages to their children at NYU.


Slimane’s Club Kids Are Canceled By AMANDA BURKETT Beauty & Style Editor A polarizing collection chilled Napoleon’s tomb in Paris this past Friday. Hedi Slimane emerged from the shadows and onto the runway for the first time since 2016 to present his first collection as creative director of Celine. Slimane’s meticulous darkness was once celebrated. His edgy silhouettes at Dior Homme pointed menswear away from decades of oversized clothes; his collections saturated with leather and animal prints gave a new identity to Saint Laurent. Slimane single-handedly introduced a new character into luxury fashion — the club kid.


A model walks at Heidi Slimane’s show.

This kid, skinny and punk — occasionally referred to as bratty — doesn’t match up to the Celine the industry has known and loved. At the hands of Phoebe Philo, the brand produced designs in the vision of the female gaze. She famously reinvented Celine into a refuge for successful women; the serene image of powerful, understated beauty was created through her soft hues, tasteful prints and forgiving silhouettes. The stark mismatch between designer and haus, orchestrated by parent company LVMH, caused a initial social media uproar. Slimane’s collection met all gloomy expectations. Prickly and impossibly petite models stomped through Slimane’s show. His styles left no room to flatter curves. As anticipated, multiple leather jackets stalked through — in typical Slimane style, totally disregarding the seasons. Slimane did a few things that could arguably be perceived as interesting. He included menswear— a first for the brand— and he ignored streetwear trends entirely, setting himself apart from many contemporary designers. It’s no secret that only a few NYU students shop Celine — where pieces are typically at least four figures. But fashion-forward students understand the effects and the larger narrative at hand. The collection articulated a unmodernized wave in fashion that doesn’t coin-

cide with youth. “No one really cares about his brooding heroin chic vision anymore,” LS sophomore Alice Lammers said. “I saw a really good article about how the show came off really arrogant and almost Trumpian,” Lammers shares. “Slimane thinks that he can do the same this over and again without anyone challenging him.” Slimane’s flat darkness is not dissimilar to the darkness of Donald Trump — a comparison that has been made more than once. “More of the same shit,” LS sophomore, Adam Fried, says. “For the people who like the aesthetic it’s great, but to go to a brand new house with such a distinct look and rehash the same ideas from SLP [Saint Laurent Paris] is boring.” Beyond dull repetition, the looks did not always impress. “The looks were bad,” CAS sophomore Cedric Gambill said. “Hedi didn’t understand the brand’s image and gave 94 looks without congruity.” The verdict is in, and students, as well as industry members, are not buying it. Maybe the controversy over the collection is speaking to a larger narrative toward a changing f ield. Fortunately, the public wants the punks out and are ready to make room for the contemporary woman. Email Amanda Burkett at

Washington Square News




Let The Streaming Wars Begin By ETHAN ZACK Contributing Writer Netflix and Hulu are facing competition as your go-to for binge watching TV. With over 160 million combined users just last year, the two entertainment titans have proven to other media companies that streaming services are the future of TV consumption. Now those companies want in. DC Entertainment, CBS and even Disney are launching their own niche streaming services with exclusive content, and as a result, some NYU students believe the market may be getting just a tad oversaturated. “Back when I was younger, we had Dish and that was it,” LS first-year Emily Glass said. “You could watch all these things just by switching the channel. Yeah, there were commercials, but that was just part of it. [Nowadays], if you want to watch this show you have to [get] this app and if you want to watch that show you have to go to that app. The fact that it’s more downloads, more space, more money, it’s just kind of annoying.” Though new streaming services aim to provide collections of exclusive entertainment based on the company, some students, like Nursing sophomore Emily Lowther, plan to stick with basic services like Netflix. Lowther cited the reliability of these older services as a major factor in her decision. “I’ve used [them] for years, I know what to expect,” Lowther said. Lowther noted the appeal of more niche services to fans of specif ic entertainment companies like Disney, but said she doesn’t feel like they are worthwhile purchases for the average consumer.


“It’s a certain type of market,” Lowther said. “There are people that are die-hard Disney fans, obviously they don’t have a problem paying the extra money. But I feel like for the average person who doesn’t care, you’ll watch if it’s on Netflix but otherwise, why would you spend the extra money?” Due to much of the appeal of newer streaming services stemming from exclusive content, certain companies like Disney will be pulling their content from services like Netflix to offer it exclusively on their own service. Tisch first-year Jaylen Axel said he was irritated by this practice as he’d lose access he previously had access to and would have to pay extra to get it back. “I know I like to watch ‘The Cheetah Girls’ a lot,” Axel said. “That was on Netflix but it would get pulled from Netflix and I’m not going to pay for Disney just to watch ‘The Cheetah Girls.’” Glass said she appreciated some of the benef its of having more niche streaming services and explained why she uses Crunchyroll, a service dedicated to anime, as opposed to just sticking with Netflix. “Netflix’s anime selection is kind of bad and they took some of my favorite shows off,” Glass said. Axel concluded that in this market f illed with competing streaming services, people will simply have to choose the ones that house the content they prefer. “It’s kind of like streaming services with music: you take your best pick,” Axel said. “It’s just whatever is tailored for you.” Email Ethan Zack at



Tisch Raps Up Financial Crisis By LILY DOLIN Staff Writer What is the price we pay to achieve our dreams? Do we have to sell out to reach our goals? Is it even worth it at the end? These are some of the questions asked in the musical “Once Upon a Rhyme,” premiering with Tisch Drama Stage and performed by Tisch Drama students. Set in a suburban town called Clifftown in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, “Once Upon a Rhyme” is a visually stunning exploration of human ambition, perseverance and the sacrifices made in the name of success. The story centers around a young man named Prince (Javier Fox, Tisch ‘19), who dreams of becoming a rapper. However, the people in Prince’s life have other plans for him, and often try to force the artist to conform to their ideas of what his future should look like. The show follows Prince’s journey as he struggles to find his own identity and tries to decide what type of person he wants to be. “Once Upon a Rhyme” does a fantastic job of depicting the conflicted psyche of a talented artist facing pressure from family and friends. Fox brings sensitivity, energy and anxiety to his portrayal of Prince. The two-and-a-half hour performance explores numerous tense topics. Toxic masculinity, race relations, family, duty and love are all examined through the eyes of various characters. The concept of masculinity is one of the more fleshed out themes in the show, and often serves as an obstacle in Prince’s road to success. Setting

Once Upon A Rhyme Abe Burrows Theater 721 Broadway, New York, NY 10003 FROM Sept. 27 to Oct. 6 PRICE $14 General / $7 Student

the show amid the 2008 financial crisis works well as it highlights the desperation of people trying to achieve their dreams in a time of stagnation and decline. The rap and hip-hop centric songs in this show are reminiscent of “Hamilton.” The music and lyrics, written by Ronvé O’Daniel, are as intricate and well thought out as those of the revered Broadway show. “Once Upon a Rhyme” treats viewers to a variety of musical styles, from rap battles and upbeat inspirational pop songs to soulful ballads and energetic gospel. Also lending to the “Hamilton”-esque feel of the show is the fact that the choreographer, Stephanie Klemons, is an associate choreographer and cast member in “Hamilton” on Broadway. The dancing in the show is a wonderful mixture of hiphop and lyricism, and every move is meticulous and well executed. The ensemble is filled with talented dancers who’s precision and energy make for an exciting and engaging performance. There were many standout performances in this all-Tisch drama show, including senior Princess Sasha Victomé as Prince’s well meaning mother, and sophomore Maya Thomas as Miss Morgan the dance teacher. Both actors have beautiful voices and delivered stirring emotional


“Once Upon A Rhyme” runs through Oct. 6 at the Abe Burrows Theater.

performances. Also notable are senior Kristopher Saint-Louis as Gary, Prince’s entrepreneurial cousin and senior Ray Fanara as Big Trey. All together, the acting, choreography, staging, set design and music make for a fantastic show. Moreover, “Once Upon a Rhyme” deals with weighty topics that will keep audiences talking long after the show lets out. This fun, high-energy musical has something for everyone, and is a treat for all to watch. “Once Upon a Rhyme” runs through Oct. 6 at the Abe Burrows Theater. Email Lily Dolin at

Champagne on Clive and Collaboration By AVANI JURAKHAN Staff Writer Clive Davis sophomore Chris Tapper is the singer, rapper and producer you need to get behind. Known by his stage name, Johnny Champagne, the musician can be found behind the keyboard, in the studio or onstage projecting his friend’s sounds in his signature clean-cut fit. Champagne’s mother forced him to start piano lessons at the age of seven, yet it was years later he realized his love for the art form. Drawing from the radio, his parents’ playlists and downloaded tunes, Champagne found his passion for music through the likes of rhythm and blues legend Erykah Badu and rapper Drake. To listen to Champagne’s Soundcloud content is to swim through a sea of sounds. And to peek behind the scenes one will find a substantial amount of grind. “[My music] starts on the piano that is looking out of my window, even though it’s on the second floor, I get the vibes playing along,” Champagne said. “I just record ideas and chord progressions into my phone, then I play it into the digital audio workstation logic.” His process follows the bones of chords, melodies and words and the emotional self-expression naturally intertwines itself. When it comes to production, Champagne hears and respects the beat of a song more than any other element. “I love chords that make people go ‘Oooh, that’s nasty,’” he said. “I want a listener to listen to my music and be transported into my world … [I want to]

hypnotize them.” And he does just that. Champagne has a habit of cooking up mesmerizing beats that fall into a repetition he has mastered. “When you find a groove, you really don’t want it to end,” he replied. “I love fading out because when you fade out the song exists past where it actually existed.” The Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music has helped Champagne cultivate his art. There is always a friend to turn to that can help his process whenever inspiration strikes. Collaboration plays a large role in Champagne’s artistic process. Making music with his peers opens up experiences that further his candor. “The culture at Clive is very good at

keeping you aware of your surroundings and growing together,” he said. “The people that I’m around are really helping me work on my weaknesses.” When reflecting on how far he has come, Champagne said he would tell his younger self to avoid comparisons — and focus on his own voice. He wants young musicians with visions to put all their energy into what they believe and release music. “I would give myself more credit, yet work as if I was a lot worse than I was,” Champagne said. Email Avani Jurakhan at


Johnny Champagne, also know as Chris Tapper, is a sophomore in Clive Davis.

Washington Square News | Arts



Tisch Alumnus Talks Politically Charged Directorial Debut By CHRIS DELANEY Contributing Writer “We have to have these diff icult conversations in order to get past them,” writer-director Reinaldo Marcus Green said. His debut feature-length movie “Monsters and Men” won the Special Jury Award for Outstanding First Feature at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Written and directed by the Tisch alumnus, the movie shares the connected stories of three men — a bystander, a police off icer and a teenage athlete — as their Brooklyn community experiences a police shooting of an unarmed black man. Once the video of the killing becomes headline news, the neighborhood grapples with the personal tragedy and its larger social ramif ications. It was in a hotel room in Utah where Green found the inspiration for his award-winning f ilm. Competing in the 2015 Sundance Film Festival with his short “Stop,” Green brought along his police off icer friend who starred in the f ilm. An argument ensued between the two about the aftermath of the killing of Eric Garner. Roughly two months prior, Garner’s death at the hands of law enforcement was one of many instances of police violence captured on video. A short clip showed Garner being choked to death by a white police off icer after shouting over and over that he

couldn’t breathe. As saddening as it was to watch, the lifelong friends had two starkly opposing viewpoints on the nationally covered case.

I knew that if I was uncomfortable, I would be making other people uncomfortable, at least people who feel the way I do. It’s that discomfort that I think we need to get to. RENAILDO MARCUS GREEN ”Monsters and Men” director

“I saw someone who should be alive, while [my friend] saw someone who was resisting arrest,” Green said. “The conversation I had with my friend was uncomfortable, and I

knew that if I was uncomfortable, I would be making other people uncomfortable, at least people who feel the way I do. It’s that discomfort that I think we need to get to. You have to have these uncomfortable conversations to sometimes get past them.” The writer-director was caught off guard by his friend’s perspective, but the uncomfortable discussion prompted him to write “Monsters and Men.” Green hopes to provoke the question, “And then what?” when a problem like police brutality affects not only an individual but an entire community of people. With his feature-length debut released in theaters across the U.S. starting on Sept. 28, Reinaldo Marcus Green is humble about his recent f ilm achievements — especially considering he entered the industry so late in his career. “Life took off once I made the decision with what I wanted to do with my life,” Green said, as he reflected back on his choice to quit his job on Wall Street to pursue his newfound love for f ilmmaking. Ultimately, however, Green credits his brother Rashaad, who exposed him to the medium, for his life-changing decision. Green’s brother was the f irst of the two to enroll in NYU’s Graduate Film Program. Mastering the craft over three years in the program, his brother would often recruit his family as crew members for f ilm projects. Green did not fully realize his ado-


Anthony Ramos and John David Washington in “Monsters and Men.”

ration for the movie industry until he starred in his brother’s short f ilm “Choices” that competed at Sundance. Journeying with his brother to the festival, Green was introduced to the thrill of the business that was too tempting to pass up. By the age of 28, Green had enrolled in the NYU Graduate Film Program and, like his brother, began his journey into solidifying his f ilmmaking style. “I saw f ilms that I would’ve never seen [if I] hadn’t gone to NYU,” Green said. “And my palette changed. My taste for cinema — actually using the word cinema.” The writer-director elaborated that his childhood fondness for

blockbuster movies transformed into an interest in more niche styles like neo-realism. Relating his decision with his movie’s three protagonists, Green emphasized a lack of clear direction in life. “Be brave in your decision [to pursue f ilm],” Green said. “If you invest in yourself because you believe in yourself, then you win either way. And you know there’s no right or wrong path, in the same way in my f ilm there’s no right or wrong path — there’s just your way. And I think having an unrelenting [sic] belief in your abilities is the f irst step.” Email Chris Delaney at

The Gaming Scholarship Only One Student Can Win By JESSICA XING Contributing Writer


The Evo Scholarship is a show of support from the community for individual game designers.

The NYU Game Center, which runs the Game Design bachelor and master degree programs at Tisch School of the Arts, recently announced its 2018 Evo Scholarship. Described on the website as “open to anyone who is passionate about f ighting games and esports,” the Evo Scholarship is a symbol of support for the f ighting games community. Partially funded by players and spectators of the Evo Tournament — one of the biggest f ighting game competitions in the world — the scholarship has for the f irst time allowed one student to attend the center on a full tuition scholarship. The Game Center was approached by Evo co-founder Tom Cannon who wanted to help players f ind a career path after playing games, according to Program Coordinator Dylan McKenzie. Cannon felt that the Game Center had the potential to help gamers who wanted to take on a more creative role and transition from player to game designer. “The f ighting game community is diverse in terms of racial diversity and socioeconomic diversity, but games have a lot of work to do in terms of who are allowed to make them,” McKenzie said. “There are all types of barriers to entry — the scholarship is a chance to open the door to individual designers who might not be able to afford an education at NYU. We are telling people that you can do this, you can be the designer.” The Evo Scholarship was awarded

in 2015, 2016 and 2018 and is funded mostly by contributions made through the Evo Tournament. Brian Chung, a f irst year graduate student and the f irst recipient of the 2018 full-tuition Evo Scholarship, attributed a lot of how he understands game design to the gaming community he’s interacted with at

The fighting game community is diverse in terms of racial diversity and socioeconomic diversity, but games have a lot of work to do in terms of who are allowed to make them. DYLAN MCKENZIE The Game Center Program Coordinator

NYU. Chung has hosted gaming tournaments and meet-ups for other game creators and worked in online gaming communities. Through these

groups and interactions, Chung has learned to prioritize player agency in games and to not let ego get in the way of designing an engaging game. It was the center’s focus on teamwork and community that motivated him to apply for the scholarship. “For me, communities of players or communities of creators have always been at the core of my process personally,” Chung said. “Learning to play fighting games was a lot about learning about player psychology and how and why they make decisions under pressure. That made me think about what goes on behind the screen and what it would feel like to create one myself.” In 2016, fighting game champion Daigo Umehara donated $60,000 of his Capcom Pro Tour winnings to the Game Center to fund the Evo Scholarship. Umehara has served as a guest lecturer and has attended NYU’s annual Spring Fighter gaming tournament. “I would like to donate all my prize winnings from the Capcom Pro Tour Finals to the community,” Umehara wrote in an email to the Game Center, “It’s simply because I would not have existed without community and I owe you.” The Evo Scholarship is a show of support from the community for individual game designers. The Game Center focuses on a holistic approach to game design, in the hopes that people will eventually go into the industry and motivate each other to make games that continue to revolutionize the genre. Email Jessica Xing at

Washington Square News





Edited by JANICE LEE


How NYU Should Approach Free Speech and Trigger Warnings

By SARAH JOHN Contributing Writer People often reduce the campus free speech debate to a trade-off between open discourse and a culture of respect. But truly, we can have both and balance free speech and inclusivity through an apt usage of trigger warnings. Common arguments declare that trigger warnings limit free speech, consequently coddling students and encouraging them to be hypersensitive. Even just

saying the phrase “trigger warning” can lead to eyerolls and mutters of the word “snowflake.” But trigger warnings are not a speech ban or a form of censorship. They can serve a reasonable purpose in creating an environment that is mindful of how course material can impact students of various backgrounds, especially at a university like NYU. For many, coming to NYU was not a choice driven solely by academics — it was about seeking a haven of tolerance and empathy. Before starting school this year, I had previously heard that the campus is sensitive to what might evoke past trauma for students. However, I was surprised by the lack of awareness in a few of my classes. In one class during a discussion on slavery, we were shown a fairly graphic video of a whipping scene with no warning. The clip was a scene from “Roots,” and showed a man screaming

while being repeatedly whipped for refusing to respond to his new slave name. Eventually, he was unable to take the pain. He agreed to respond by the slave name, symbolizing him giving up his African heritage. As an African American with parents from Nigeria, this scene was particularly heartbreaking. While I wasn’t offended per se, I was jarred, as were several other students. I understand that showing graphic content can have academic value, but it is also reasonable to expect that professors will understand that these scenes do affect students. A warning would simply acknowledge potential discomfort, and most importantly, it is a sign of respect. NYU emphasizes sensitivity. As I was applying, much of the admissions material highlights students of color who felt comfortable and included in the school community. So

why is the focus on creating a comfortable atmosphere lost in the classroom setting, when a mere warning posits great benefits? While real life may not have trigger warnings, a classroom environment can and should be a place of above-average decorum. All ideas are welcome, but how we approach the discussion of these ideas matters. NYU should adopt a policy that asks professors to provide warnings as they screen or mention sensitive material in class. To prevent the policy from being too broad, the opinions of multiple faculty members and administration should be taken into account. The variety of thoughts on the topic will help to create a reasonable, balanced policy. This policy should outline trigger warnings only for material that most people would consider graphic. Thoughtful, nuanced discussion can produce guidelines that manage

to create comfort while still encouraging uncensored, free and open discourse. It’s simple. Take Cornell professor Kate Manne. In her piece “Why I Use Trigger Warnings,” she explains how her warnings function as “a quick headsup,” which can be as straightforward as “The reading for this week contains a graphic depiction of sexual assault.” With warnings like these, there is no censorship or loss of information. Above all, NYU paints itself as a beacon of tolerance, one where mental health is prioritized. Its policies should follow suit. The efficient use of reasonable trigger warnings is a small step NYU can and should take to provide the sensitivity it promises to students. Email Sarah John at


Stop Perpetuating Misleading Narratives on Suicide

By NATASHA JOKIC Contributing Writer In a moment that probably surprised nobody, Kanye West has made headlines again. About a week before his recent outlandish Saturday Night Live performance, West published a series of tweets and Instagram posts arguing that social media websites need to get rid of their public-facing follower and like counts.

However, a key part of his argument that went overlooked by many was his statement: “there are people committing suicide due to not getting enough likes.” Despite suicide being responsible for the deaths of a staggering 800,000 people worldwide each year, West is yet another voice in our culture’s dangerously reductionist and misleading narrative on suicide. I’m going to level with you: I know it’s easy for journalists to attack West’s statements in pursuit of catchy headlines. That being said, the lack of backlash he faced for using a fleeting reference to a complex and serious problem says a lot about the way we as a society view suicide. Some brilliant advocacy has already been undertaken which aims to change

this discourse. For example, last month for World Suicide Prevention Day, over 130 people in the British media industry signed an open letter to promote more responsible reporting on suicide. The letter begins by highlighting the level of responsibility that media professionals should take when discussing the subject. Through a number of evidenced risks that their practice may pose, the letter states that it was written so that media professionals would “portray suicide in ways which reflect our modern understanding of this phenomenon.” There is clearly a huge issue with the way that the media discusses suicide, but it’s not just the industry professionals who should be held accountable. Public figures, like Kanye West, have the ability to influence others without a formal media platform. They can just as

easily make damaging statements. So, what is it about West’s statement that is so bad? For one, it’s not really true. Yes, there is some evidence which suggests that smartphone and social media usage has a negative effect on mental health, particularly on young adults. This can be worrying and is undoubtedly worth further discussion. However, poor mental health and suicide are not the same thing. Moreover, expert consensus is still that suicide is generally not caused by a single factor. Portraying suicide as having one key cause has the danger of perpetuating the harmful message that there is no alternative. Samaritans, a U.K.-based charity that offers a suicide telephone hotline, reports that over-simplification of the causes for a suicide “can be misleading and is unlikely to reflect

accurately the complexity of suicide. […] It is important not to brush over the complex realities of suicide and its devastating impact on those left behind.” In an age where we continuously have to fight against misinformation in our social media feeds, we need to strive for a more productive discussion around suicide. Whether that starts with better policies in the media or criticising a rapper’s ill-advised tweets, it needs to change soon. If you are affected by the issues in this article, please call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline toll-free number, 1-800-273-TALK (273-8255) or visit Email Natasha Jokic at


Jeff Flake Is Not a Hero

By MELANIE PINEDA Deputy Opinion Editor This past Friday, Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., did the bare minimum following the testimonies of Christine Blasey Ford and potential Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. He agreed to vote for the Supreme Court nominee on the Senate floor next week only if the Federal Bureau of Investigation looks into the allegations of sexual assault against Kavanaugh. Flake only came

to this decision after he was confronted by a sexual assault survivor in an elevator right before the Senate Judiciary Committee’s vote. Last weekend, he proceeded to joke about the elevator incident at the Global Citizen Festival in New York, and was also hailed as a hero by Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del. But up until Friday, Flake said he would vote in favor of confirming Kavanaugh. Yet in a 60 Minutes interview, Flake revealed that he would not have called for an investigation if he were running for reelection. The real hero of the Kavanaugh hearings is not Flake, a politician acting out of his own self interest. Those we should be continuously praising are the brave survivors of sexual assault who have stood up in front of these men in positions of power. The woman who confronted Flake is Ana María Archila, a sexual assault survivor who is also a leader of the Center for Popular Democracy, a liberal nonprofit

advocacy group. Up until Friday, she had never publicly spoken about being sexually assaulted. But in an opinion piece published on Saturday by USA Today, Archila wrote about the range of emotions she felt on the day of the confrontation, citing the power of survivors speaking up as the true important catalyst for political change. An example of this power was also seen in the emotional testimony of Christine Blasey Ford, which was given in front of a committee made up mostly of old white men. The composition of the committee is eerily similar to the one which Anita Hill stood in front of over 20 years ago, when she accused Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas of sexual assault during his nomination hearings. But in the #MeToo era, these women are continuously speaking up — and finally being believed — as a result of a movement where the prevalence of sexual assault has been given a greater spotlight. They have inspired one

another to bravely recall some of the most traumatizing events of their lives. The backlash against these women, such as the many death threats that Blasey Ford has received, is fueled by sexism. As a senator in the majority party, Flake holds a certain level of power — as well as access to resources and security — that most Americans do not. Flake will likely never have to experience the vulnerability sexual assault survivors expose themselves to when coming forward. This isn’t the first time that Republican senators have been hailed as heroes by liberals for acting against policies that would otherwise harm many. In one of his final acts on the Senate floor, the late Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., was deemed a hero by many of his Democrat colleagues for voting in favor of preserving the Affordable Care Act in 2017. But later that same year, McCain voted for the GOP’s new tax plan which will leave millions of Americans uninsured. McCain’s

second vote essentially cancels out his first one — it’s as if McCain voted to scrap the ACA from the start. McCain was ultimately praised by Democrats for a vote that he himself contradicted, which is echoed by Flake’s current path of action. Flake has nothing to lose regardless of which way he chooses to vote. He is one of the many Republican legislators who have chosen to retire this election year after publicly condemning the Trump administration while still overwhelmingly voting in favor of Trump’s policies. It’s time for Democrats to stop considering Flake and other swing-vote Republicans as their saving grace. Instead, the focus should be redirected to people like Archila, who have sacrificed their privacy and safety for the sake of the judicial future of the U.S. Email Melanie Pineda at

Washington Square News | Opinion




The Middle East Is More Than Just War and Oil

By JASEEM ALZAABI Columnist My family works hard to earn its keep. We don’t benefit from oil sales. I live in the charming and quiet emirate of Ras Al Khaimah in a largely suburban neighborhood devoid of swanky skyscrapers. I’m from a nation that is extremely young, with a high percentage of residents being between the ages of 15 and 30. And despite my fairly normal upbringing, I want to talk about my life in the United Arab Emirates, a nation famous for being an extremely wealthy, oil-rich Gulf state that has been around for less than five decades. Being an Emirati at the Tandon School of Engineering means that I often have to be the first to introduce my peers to the UAE. As a result, it has always been a daunting issue for me to explain where I come from. For several of my peers, their only exposure to the UAE is through NYU Abu Dhabi. Unfortunately, that paints the image of a nation rife with labor abuse, and known for pampering its students while illegitimately barring certain professors from entering. To others who are unaware of the UAE entirely, I’m placed in the awkward situation of trying to position myself geographically for the listener. I often have to resort to keywords and phrases that would allow people to visualize vaguely where the UAE is — one of those phrases being “the Middle East.” The term itself is problematic in discussing ethnic background in everyday discourse. “The Middle East” is an invented phrase used and popularized by the British Navy during the 1940s and, in reality, has no fixed meaning. The territories grouped into this term encompass a wide range of countries, in regions from Asia to North Africa. Lumping together all of these backgrounds is absurd. Although some regional commonalities exist in almost all of these nationalities, they are far from homogenous. The classification of Middle Easterner also conjures the assumption of wealth. Once, when I said that I was from the Middle East, someone asked, “Oh, are you like, an oil prince?” For the record, I am not royal nor do I own an oil field. But this assumption is not uncommon — the concept of a gulf state often evokes a sense of exuberant wealth and unnecessary spending on cars and homes. This assumption has a foothold

in reality; the benefit of having a population of one million allows for a differing definition of middle class. More specifically, it indicates that the economic income that defines middle class in the region is generally higher than that of the globally-assumed average. However, this assumption has been inflated to a fictional level. Economic diversity most definitely exists within the UAE. Yet, when I tell my NYU peers — some of whom are unfortunately burdened by student debt — where I am from, I am cast as someone who cannot relate to that financial struggle, which is a false and lazy assumption. Most Emirati students and professionals in the United States either work or are contracted to work after their studies to pay off their loans. The term “Middle East” also implies conflict. For as long as I’ve been alive, I have observed the media paint the region as an eternally conflicted zone full of sand and rubble that is devoid of reasonable individuals who are capable of agreeing with one another. Due to this portrayal, there exists an assumption that every Middle Easterner is bound to fall into a conflict since they have been in turmoil for as long as the term has been invented, implying that it must be in their nature to be at odds with those around them. It’s dehumanizing to be met with these assumptions. The Middle East no longer refers to a geographic location but rather an ideological archetype of a permanently angry man in a long white dress and headgear yelling in Arabic. It’s comical to me because most people in the supposed Middle East wouldn’t fit that stereotype — most don’t wear traditional garb and some don’t even speak Arabic. This understanding of the Middle Easterner has morphed the term, so that the words “Middle Eastern” conjure up fallacies that are harmful in everyday interactions — and, in some cases, are downright racist. I’m from the UAE, a nation that, despite its youth, has instilled within its citizens a sense of cultural pride. And so next time you ask me where I’m from, I’d be happy to explain what it means to be an Emirati — free from the caricature that is usually associated with the Middle East. An Emirati Abroad offers insight into the social and cultural interactions of the United Arab Emirates population internally and its intersections with the Western world. As a local, Jasem hopes to correct the inaccurate and at times problematic perception of the UAE by shedding light on the important aspects of Emirati life and providing a reflection of the current UAE cultural landscape as he sees it. Jasem Alzaabi is a junior studying Mechanical Engineering at Tandon School of Engineering. Email Jasem Alzaabi at nyunews. com nyunews. com NYUNEWS.COM nyunews. com nyunews. com

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Global Citizen Affirms Fear Is the New Normal This past weekend, a shooting scare shocked thousands in the crowds at the Global Citizen Festival, a social justice-oriented concert held in Central Park that many NYU students attend each year. Someone accidentally stepped on a drink bottle, which created a loud noise that many automatically registered as gunshots, causing panic and fear among the crowd and resulting in a handful of injuries. Initially, the sound of gunshots was thought to have come from a fallen barrier. Upon hearing the popping noise, thousands of people ran to escape the park, leaving behind a litter of blankets, backpacks, shoes and wallets. Young concertgoers could be seen crying and calling their parents while others fell under the stampedes desperately fleeing the scene all for a false alarm. By the time the police confirmed that no shots were fired, crowds of people had already left before the headlining performer The Weeknd. The fear that immediately spread throughout the mob of festival-goers was not so much due to a security problem but rather the issue with guns in the United States overall. Regardless of the position you may take in the gun control debate, the culture surrounding guns in this country is clearly toxic and dangerous and, if not addressed, will continue to strike unnecessary fear into the American people. In 2018 alone, there have been 334 mass shootings in the U.S., resulting in 385 deaths and 1,247 injuries. The debate on gun control seems to be a permanent part of the American political discourse with no end or progress in sight. It is undeniable that guns are a quintessential part of this country’s culture. Whether it be the romanticization of violence during and after the American Revolution, the violent westward expansion of America in the 19th century or the increased militarization of American police in recent years, the firearm has been consistently injected into American life. The strong connection between the American identity — one that is

often viewed as a melting pot and a beacon of diversity — and the proliferation of firearms greatly contributes to the prevalence of mass shootings. It’s worth noting how specific a phenomenon this fear of mass shootings is to the U.S. If we compare America to another Western country, such as the United Kingdom, a starkly different picture emerges. British legislature surrounding firearms is far more restrictive. Ever since the country banned private citizens from owning most handguns in 1996, the U.K. has seen just one mass shooting. Though the U.K. has countless music events throughout the year, a comparable misunderstanding has not happened, likely because many Britons simply do not make the assumption that a loud noise could be a gun. Unlike the U.S., guns aren’t even remotely a part of the U.K.’s national identity. The commonality of guns in the U.S. has resulted in an epidemic of gun violence unique to modern American culture. With the high frequency of school shootings and the gun control debate in partisan gridlock, this false shooting incident speaks to the trauma that we collectively carry as American students. Nearly 190,000 students across the country are survivors of school shootings since Columbine. Surely many of us remember where we were, what we were doing and the absolute horror we felt the moment we heard the news of these school massacres and threats of violence. These tragedies have permeated the political and cultural history of our generation, and this deeply embedded problem grows more and more shameful every day. How can we allow future generations of students to sit in classrooms and learn of how today’s policymakers simply neglected to protect the American people, time and time again, tragedy after tragedy? For the sake of our dignity as a country, something has to change.

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The Wallkill Journal was created and published by individuals incarcerated at the Wallkill Correctional Facility, in collaboration with the NYU Prison Education Program and the WSN staff.

Big Tree in the Kitchen By WAYNE MOSLEY Contributing Writer It’s 5:35 p.m. on a Friday evening when Big Tree walks into the kitchen. Immediately, all eyes focus on him. Big Tree is 52 years old, about 6’8” and weighs about 300 pounds. He towers over everyone. I guess that’s why they call him Big Tree. If you didn’t know better, you might think everyone is watching him because they’re scared. That is far from the case. Big Tree is known around Wallkill for his exquisite cooking, and not a day goes by that he’s not seen with a spatula in his hand. People actually pay him to cook for them. That is how he survives in prison. Big Tree walks straight to the cooking table in front of the stoves and begins to unload bags full of cooking utensils and ingredients. “Ayo, Big Tree. What’s on the menu for tonight?” one onlooker asks. “Just some fish and macaroni with cheese,” Big Tree replies. “Nothing special.” The onlooker’s face is full of skepticism. Everybody knows that everything Big Tree cooks tastes special. Big Tree pulls out a big, round tin pan, fills it with water and sits it on top of one of the burners. The prison won’t allow real pots and pans, so everybody cooks with tin ones. While he’s waiting for the water to come to a boil, he mixes one cup of pancake mix and two cups of flour into a bowl. He adds water and then whips it up until there are no clumps. “Perfect,” Big Tree says. He then pours a pile of corn flakes into a rectangular pan, grinds it down until it’s almost dust and sprinkles in some unknown seasoning. This is the sort of thing that separates him from other cooks. Everybody else usually seasons the batter. “Big Tree, what kind of seasoning is


I give all the credit to my grandmother, may she rest in peace. All I did was watch her. BIG TREE

that?” somebody asks. “Just a little bit of this mixed with a little bit of that,” Big Tree replies. The man has his secrets. By this time, the water for the macaroni is boiling, so Big Tree takes a bag of elbow noodles and dumps them into the water. Meanwhile, he takes out six pieces of pollock and rolls each one around in the pancake and flour mixture. He then puts each piece of fish in the bowl with the seasoned corn flakes and rolls it

around until it’s well coated. By this point, the macaroni is done cooking, so he drains the water and dumps the pasta into a bowl filled with four different cheeses already chopped into near-perfect cubes. He then takes a mixture of Egg Starts and flour and pours it into the noodles. This is to pull everything together. Then, he places two risers on the burners before putting the macaroni and cheese back on the heat. The risers keep the mix-

ture from burning. “It’s showtime!” he says as he prepares to fry the fish. Big Tree takes another circular tin pan and fills it with just enough corn oil to cover the fish. Once it’s hot enough, he slides each piece of fish into the oil with a steady hand. “Oh shit,” Big tree says, “I knew I forgot something.” He’s forgotten to cover the macaroni with aluminum foil to contain the heat

and help the cheese melt faster. He turns around and catches my eye. “Weezy, could you watch this food real fast while I run and go grab some aluminum foil? Also could you flip these pieces of fish for me?” “I got you,” I reply. The sight and smell of that fish frying immediately has my stomach growling. By the time I flip the last piece, Big Tree is back. “Thank you, Weezy,” he says, “I’ll hook you up with a piece of fish and some macaroni when I finish. It should be about 10 more minutes, so I’m going to need your bowl.” Man, I must have made it to my room and back with my bowl in less than 60 seconds. While I was waiting for Big Tree to get done, I happen to notice a few people shooting me envious looks. They probably heard him tell me that he’s going to spread the love. I pay them no mind. Big Tree tells me he’s been cooking for about 25 years. “I give all the credit to my grandmother, may she rest in peace,” he says. “All I did was watch her.” He begins placing the food carefully into bowls. “When she passed, cooking was a way for me to stay connected with her,” he says sadly. He hands me the bowl, and I don’t waste any time. “Mm mmm,” I say. “You definitely should try to get your own cooking show, you’ve got some skills.” “Thank you,” he says. Then his eyes glance up at the ceiling as he adds with a smile, “And thank you, Grandma.” Wayne Mosley is currently enrolled in the NYU Prison Education Program at Wallkill Correctional Facility. This story was approved for publication by a Department of Corrections official. Email Wayne Mosley at

Prison Blues: Maintaining Your Style While Incarcerated By KEITH GOLDEN Contributing Writer


“Ayo, Deuce, I got some new blues for you.” It’s A.D., the housing laundry porter, calling out to me in the dayroom. He is referring to a prison uniform. In particular, a pair of blue Red Kap pants, highly prized because although they are allowed, they are no longer distributed among the prison population. Inmates prefer them because they stand out among the more common state-issued “greens” given to all inmates when they f irst arrive in the system. By comparison, the “blues” resemble street clothing or a working man’s uniform. Obtaining a pair of blues here at Wallkill Correctional Facility is far from easy. There are essentially two ways: either they’re handed down to you by another inmate — probably someone who has been in the facility for some time and received his pair when they were standard issue — or

you have to barter for them. Their scarcity is at the heart of their allure. However, getting your hands on a pair of blues is only half the battle because then you must get them tailored. With so few pairs in circulation, it’s rare to f ind one in your actual size. Making such alterations is off icially prohibited, so in no way are we saying it happens here at Wallkill. Def initely not. No way. Fashion be damned. If, however, it did happen, it might go down like so: in any giving housing unit, one can f ind a jailhouse tailor, perhaps an inmate who works in the prison state shop where they have access to a sewing machine. Others use a hand sewing kit, bought from commissary. The average price to have a pair of jeans tailored is a pouch of Top’s tobacco, which goes for $3.54 at the commissary. “Man, I’m better than the cleaners,” said one such jailhouse tailor, who goes by the name Mr. Natural. Within one week, he said he had

custom tailored at least four pairs of blues, spending a day on each. After receiving my own pair of blues, I asked Mr. Natural to stitch them up for me. He started off by measuring my waist, leg length and width. Then, he took my blues and went to work in his cell, coming back to me shortly thereafter with a pair of skinny jeans just like the ones that everyone is wearing in the streets. We call them the prison Balmains after the popular French designer. Baggy jeans are all the way out of style, and f itted is trending. If you don’t believe me just look at your jeans from 10 years ago and the last pair you bought. Keith Golden is a former student in the NYU Prison Education Program. This story was approved for publication by an official at Wallkill Correctional Facility. Email Keith Golden at



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