The Brandeis Hoot, October 28, 2022

Page 1

Carol Anderson receives 2022 Gittler Prize

Brandeis University recently hosted the 2022 Gittler Prize award ceremony at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management for this year’s recipient Carol Anderson. e award ceremony consisted of a public lecture given by Anderson regarding the consequences of racist rhetoric in American politics and the biases from which they originate.

e Joseph B. and Toby Gittler Prize recognizes outstanding scholarly contributions in regards to racial, ethnic and/or religious issues. Anderson was cho-

e Student Union sent an email to students on Oct. 26, announcing the ballot had opened for the rst round of special elections. Voting

sen for her work regarding structural racism and racial history in the United States. She is the author of several books, including White Rage: e Unspoken Truth of our Racial Divide, Eyes

O the Prize: e United Nations and the African-American Struggle for Human Rights and One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression is Destroying our Democracy. Currently, Anderson is the Charles Howard Candler Professor of African American Studies at Emory University. Anderson rst addressed the

See PRIZE, page 2

Student Union holds special elections

will close on Oct. 26 at 11:59 p.m., according to the email.

e positions available are: Allocations Board (one seat), Undergraduate Curriculum Committee (two seats), Community Emergency and Enhanced

Funding (CEEF) Representative (one seat), Senator at Large (three seats), Class of 2023 Senator (two seats), Class of 2024 Senator (one seat) and East Quad Senator (one seat). Running for the Alloca-

tions Board seat is Aaron Klein ’26. According to Klein’s candidate bio, he hopes to “try and help everyone access all the opportunities that Brandeis has to o er.” Klein wrote that one of his goals is to

get greater university backing of student groups and organizations on campus. ere are two seats open for the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee; Mar

See UNION, page 3

Brandeis ends the use of meal periods

In an email sent to Brandeis students on Tuesday, Oct. 25, Brandeis’ Campus Card O ce announced the end of meal periods.

“E ective Monday October 31, 2022,” the email reads, “students with a Traditional Meal Plan (10, 12, 15, 19) will no longer be restricted to only one meal per meal period.”

According to an online conversation with e Brandeis Hoot, Student Union Director of Media and Outreach Carol Kornworcel ’26 said that this “improvement [was] pushed by the Student Union Dining Committee and the Director of Residential Life.” She credited Lotem Sagi ’24, the Student Union’s Director of Residential Life, and

We’ve got some scary, and not so scary, shows for you


Volume 21 Issue 8
Brandeis University’s Community Newspaper · Waltham, Mass. October 28, 2022 Inside This Issue: News: Turkey Shuttle to NY and NJ canceled Ops: Our worst ever Halloween Costumes Features: Meet the club! Sports: Swim and Dive brings the heat Editorial: Stay safe during Spooky season Page 2 Page 10 Page 8 Page 4 Page 7 Year of Climate Action Column How are our fashion choices a ecting the planet? OPS: PAGE 9
R eccomends on Netflix
“To acquire wisdom, one must observe”
See DINING, page 2

Brandeis dining transitions from meal periods

dow of opportunity because their previous meal was recent enough that the rules preclude it.”

James Brosgol ’25, Chair of the Student Union Dining Committee, for spearheading this change. Brosgol said in an email exchange with e Hoot that when meal periods are in place, students are not given proper exibility. “Whether it’s class times, meetings, athletic practices, other obligations, or one’s personal preference, people have all sorts of stu going on that shapes if/ when they are able to eat during the day,” he said. On the chance that students’ meal access is restricted, they “may be le unable to get a meal during their win-

In the same email exchange, Sagi added that “students using the traditional meal plans (a certain number of meals per week that are reset) pay for a number of meals per week. If they are unable to access the dining hall, they often don’t use the amount of meals they pay for, which is a problem.

According to the Campus Card

O ce’s website, “a guest meal or points [would have been] deducted as payment for a second or third meal during the same meal period” while the meal swipe period system was in place. Sagi mentioned that students with traditional meal plans “will [still] have the same amount of meal

swipes per week, but will now be able to use them whenever the dining halls are open. For students who have block plans, there will not be any change.”

e meal periods ran from 7-9:59 a.m., 10-10:59 a.m., 11 a.m.-2:29 p.m., 2:30-4:59 p.m., 5-9 p.m. (Friday ends at 8 p.m.) and 9:01 p.m.-3 a.m. on weekdays. ey lasted from 9:30 a.m.2:29 p.m., 2:30 p.m.- 4:59 p.m., 5 p.m. -7:59 p.m. and 8 p.m.-3 a.m. on weekends.

e email asks that students “Be aware that as you use your meals during multiple periods you may run out of meals quicker than in the past,” and recommends “monitoring your transactions in GET.”

Brosgol added that the discontinuation of meal periods has

been “in the works for 2-3 weeks,” and Sagi added that “this change came about faster than [they] expected.”

Brosgol summarized the change by saying that “the crucial improvement is that people who want or need to eat at closer intervals now can, and that people with meal swipes le over at the later end of the week can now use them rather than let them go to waste. Moving forward, timing can no longer prevent a student from getting into the dining hall if they have the meal swipes to do so. is policy change institutes a crucial element of personal freedom and choice that eliminates the possibility of students being locked out.”

“In terms of food access, health,

and cost, this change was extremely necessary,” Sagi concluded, “and I’m really happy we could make it happen.”

According to another email sent to Brandeis community members on Oct. 26, Harvest Table is now technically unable to make this change. e email reads “We apologize for the miscommunication, but due to a system issue we are unable to modify the meal period restrictions as originally intended. Please know we are exploring additional options to correct the ordering issue students are currently experiencing when placing orders with the Starship App. We will provide updates as we are able. ank you in advance for your anticipated understanding.”

Mellon Foundation grant awarded to Mandel Center

e Mellon Foundation has awarded a grant to the university, according to a BrandeisNOW article published on Sept. 23. e grant is described as a 15-month $150,000 grant to re-envision the “Role of the [Mandel] Humanities Center in the 21st-Century University,” according to the Mandel Center’s page.

(ENG)—the director of the Mandel Center for the Humanities— is leading this project by connecting with leaders in the humanities across institutions to understand how to address challenges facing the university today, according to the article.

Some of the issues that will be addressed include the need to advance the scholarship of historically underrepresented groups and the relationship between liberal arts and practical education. e grant will be targeting four

“critical challanges,” according to the article. e challenges are “the need to advance the scholarship of and by historically underrepresented groups, the relationship of the university to surrounding communities, the relationship between liberal arts and practical skills and the future of liberal arts and doctoral education at Brandeis,” according to the article. Upcoming events at the Mandel Center include a Mandel Lecture in the Humanities with drag artist LaWhore Vagistan on Oct. 28 and

another lecture on Divas, Drag Queens, Aunties and Other Academic Personas on Nov. 1. is is not the rst grant the university has been awarded by the Mellon Foundation. e Foundation, whose mission is to “seek to build just communities enriched by meaning and empowered by critical thinking, where ideas and imagination can thrive” through grantmaking in the humanities, arts and culture, public knowledge and higher education, has awarded Brandeis

SSIS holds annual ‘Sex in the Dark’ event

On ursday, Oct. 20, Brandeis’ Student Sexuality Information Service (SSIS) held their annual Sex In the Dark event in the Rapaporte Treasure Hall from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. e student-run event consisted of four panelists answering attendees’ anonymously texted-in questions. is year’s panelists were Cassandra Corrado, Martin Henson, Joanna Mann and Anne Culhane. Corrado, known as @feministsexed on Instagram, is a professional sex educator who “works with adults to unlearn the harmful myths [about sex] we learned when we

were younger,” reads her bio on the SSIS Instagram. Corrado addresses topics such as feminist empowerment within sexual pleasure, queer issues and everything sex and sexual health related. Henson is an advocate and leader for Black men and a part of the BMEN Foundation. Henson has experience as a therapist and brought an intersectional and male-identifying perspective to the event’s discussions. Henson is “on a mission to share how [he] found success building a world that can support the black community and address the systems of harm that impact us all,” according to his bio on the SSIS Instagram page. Mann is an expert in mental healthcare, relationships

and gender and sexuality. Mann works to “unpack shame and stigma through sex-positive education,” according to her bio on the SSIS Instagram. And Culhane, a nurse practitioner at the Brandeis Health Center, is certi ed in women’s health and “passionate about helping students receive accessible and patient-centered care for all things related to health including sexual and reproductive health,” according to her bio on the Instagram page. At the event, over 50 students sat in the dark— as the name suggests—and sent anonymous questions to the SSIS text line for the panelists to answer. e four panelists addressed a variety of topics in the two-hour session, including how to balance

and uphold one’s feminist ideals in a culture of hyper-sexualization without giving up on pleasure, UTIs, the newest sex toys on the market and how to handle various situations within romantic and sexual relationships. Students who attended the event received glow sticks and condoms; some who arrived early enough also received a T-shirt.

e Hoot reached out to SSIS member Sydney Padgett ’23 to discuss the history and motivation of the event. Padgett explained that “Sex in the Dark has been held [at Brandeis] since at least 2017, but this type of event is quite common and events of the same name and style have been held at many other schools

University over $13 million in 27 grants since 1975.

Some grants include one for developing programs in arts and sciences awarded in 1991 and one supporting a Sawyer Seminar on the Comparative Study of Cultures entitled “Rethinking the Age of Revolution: Rights, Representation, and the Global Imaginary” in 2012, according to the Mellon Foundation’s webpage.

besides Brandeis.” Padgett also explained that the event has been put on by SSIS “so that students can freely (emotionally and monetarily) interact with and learn from sex educators who might otherwise be behind a paywall or emotional judgment wall.” By giving students this free opportunity to ask anonymous questions SSIS is hoping to “reduce stigma” to “empower the Brandeis community and community members to embrace their sexual health and pleasure and their agency within that,” Padgett told e Hoot. SSIS’ o ce hours, along with their many resources can be found on their website and on Instagram @ssisbrandeis.

Student Union cancels Turkey Shuttle to NYC and NJ shuttles to Logan Airpoort $5

e Student Union announced via Instagram on Tuesday, Oct. 25 that it will be sponsoring $5 airport shuttle tickets to Logan Airport. e trips will be scheduled around school breaks.

However, the Student Union is no longer o ering the Turkey Shuttle from the university to Penn Station in New York City and to New Jersey. Turkey Shut-

tles were o ered to students in 2019 and 2021, but not in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

e rst round of shuttles are scheduled for the November break for anksgiving, according to the post. Buses will leave the university from the Admissions building on lower campus.

In order to board the shuttle, students must present their ticket, reads the post.

On Tuesday, Nov. 22, the shuttles will leave from the university at 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. according

to the post. On Wednesday, Nov 23, there will be more shuttle slots open at 6 a.m., 9 a.m., 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Shuttles will also be o ered coming back from Logan Airport on Sunday, Nov. 27 at 9 a.m., 2 p.m. and 10 p.m., students must purchase tickets for going to the airport and coming back. More information about ticket sales will be coming soon according to the post.

e Student Union also conrmed in the post that there

would be $5 shuttle tickets to Logan Airport for the winter break as well. According to the post, there will be trips to Logan Airport departing from the admissions building on both Dec. 13 and Dec. 16. ere will be a shuttle leaving at 5 p.m. on Dec 13. On Dec. 16 there will be shuttles at 8 a.m., 12 p.m. and 5 p.m., according to the post.

e return trip from Logan to campus will be o ered on Jan. 16 at 9 a.m., 2 p.m., and 10 p.m., according to the post.

e caption of the post notes that tickets are not yet available for purchase but sale information will be coming out soon to students.

Students asked in the comments section of the post whether there would be shuttles to Penn Station and Newark, NJ and the union responded saying the shuttles would not be happening this year.

NEWS 2 The Brandeis Hoot October 28, 2022
DINING, from page 1

Carol Anderson gives lecture on race and politics

PRIZE, from page 1

myth that the 2020 election of President Joe Biden was fraudulent. is claim was rst pronounced by Russell J. Ramsland Jr., a Republican from Texas who ran for a position in o ce as a congressman of the 32nd Texas Congressional District but ultimately failed. He is currently a cybersecurity analyst at Allied Security Operations Group and has led numerous unsubstantiated election-relation lawsuits against the 2020 election.

According to a Washington Post article, when the Republicans faced midterm losses in Texas in 2018, Ramsland proposed

the myth to numerous Republican politicians, including Don Hu nes and Pete Sessions. However, the notion of a stolen election mainly gained traction a er former President Donald Trump lost the election in 2020 and was perpetuated largely by Trump supporters.

Anderson cited that about onethird of Americans today still believe that the election in 2020 was illegitimate. She posed the following question in response: “How do you have a democracy when such a large swath of people don’t believe in a democracy?”

Anderson described how Republicans who believed the 2020 election was stolen, such as Newt Gingrich, cited that voters from Atlanta, Philadelphia and Mil-

waukee stole the election—cities that all have a sizable Black population. She drew the conclusion that Trump supporters speci cally “don’t believe in a mutliracial, multiethnic, multi-religious, multilingual democracy.” Another idea that Anderson imparted was the relationship between gun violence and white supremacy. In her book “White Rage,” she asserts that the foundation of the Second Amendment is in anti-Blackness. “Its foundation is in identifying black people as inherently criminal, inherently violent, inherently dangerous and an inherent threat to the white community,” she explained during her lecture. Anderson explained the correlation between Americans that subscribe to this

belief about Black people and their support for the right to bear arms. She noted that due to this stance, “As a nation, we have been willing to accept being unsafe in our schools. We have been willing to accept being unsafe in our grocery stores, in our theaters, in our amusement parks, because of this overriding fear, because of this anti-Blackness, our unwillingness to begin to rethink what real security looks like, what real safety feels like.”

At the conclusion of her speech, Anderson emphasized, “We should not be afraid of democracy. We should not be afraid of the people who are voting. We should not be afraid of not being afraid.”

In addition to the Gittler Prize award ceremony, Anderson has

taken part in visiting classes at Brandeis and giving talks regarding media about her work. Some of the classes Anderson visited include Introduction to African and African American Studies (AAAS 5a), Civil Liberties in America (POL 116b) and Power and Violence (ANTH 156a).

Overall, Anderson’s reception of the Gittler Prize and her participation in campus events has generated scholarly discourse about the interconnection between anti-Blackness and trends in American politics, as well as actionable steps to preserve a democracy that values diversity.

Search committee for Dean of Arts and Sciences launched

Carol Fierke—Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic A airs—announced the launch of the search for a new Dean of Arts and Sciences, in an email to community members on Oct. 25. e position will be le vacant in June 2023 and will need to be lled.

e search committee has been formed to nd a replacement for Dorothy Hodgson, Dean of Arts and Sciences, who announced she would not be renewing her posi-

tion in April 2022, according to a previous Brandeis Hoot article.

Hodgson is responsible for overseeing “the academic life of all [Brandeis] undergraduate students and the faculty who teach them, as well as the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences,” according to an email sent by Fierke in Spring 2022.

e search committee will be chaired by Issac Krauss (CHEM) and Harleen Singh (GRALL, WGS), according to Fierke’s email. e other arts and sciences faculty on the search committee are Sheida Soleimani (FA), Eugene Sheppard (NEJS), Piali Sen-

gupta (BIOL), Linda Bui (ECON, IBS), Sara Shostak (SOC, HSSP) and Rebecca Torrey (MATH).

e committee will also feature Maria Madison, the interim Heller School Dean and Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Lee Bitsóí. According to the email there will be an alumni representative, Lewis Brooks, and a graduate student representative, Víkko Suárez.

In addition to these stakeholders, there will be an undergraduate advisory committee formed with representatives from student government and other areas of student life who can meet candi-

dates for the position and provide feedback from a student perspective, Fierke included in the email.

To ll the position, the university has hired Spencer Stuart, a consulting rm that helps provide insight and informed decisions before hiring leadership positions, according to their website. e rm will be meeting with the committee as well with other individuals and groups, according to Fierke’s email. e rm will hear thoughts on potential challenges and opportunities they will deal with in the selection process for Hodgson’s successor as Dean of Arts and Sciences.

“If there are candidates that you think would be particularly well suited for this position, I would encourage you to send a note to the chairs of the search committee,” Fierke wrote in the email. Hodgson joined the university in 2018, according to a previous Brandeis Hoot article. In her time at Brandeis, Hodgson has been a part of the creation of the engineering major set to launch no later than 2026 and has helped move Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies from a program to a department, according to a previous Hoot article.

Special elections from Student Union

AWARD, from page 1

Manolioudaki and Tasha Epstein are running for the seats. Manolioudaki wrote in her bio that she believes “students’ voice is essential for having e cient and adequate educational/curricular activities.” If elected to the position, Manolioudaki plans to advocate for students to make a better education experience. She also wants to expand study abroad options for students, according to her candidate bio. Epstein is also running for the position because she “wants to help make the voices of undergraduate students heard in developing and evaluating academic regulations and curricular activities,” according to her bio. Epstein has previous experience in advocacy and leadership which she believes makes her quali ed for the position.

Running unopposed for the CEEF Representative position is Ariel Schultz ’25. Schultz wrote in his bio that he is from Brooklyn, N.Y. and in his free time he enjoys, “playing sports, acting in theater and hanging out with friends,” according to his candidate bio.

ere are ve students running for the Senator at Large position, which has three seats available. In the running are Stephen Gaughan ’26, Lyla Chereau ’25, Chloe Doonan ’26, Toko Mikhelashvili ’26 and Adira Muskrat ’26.

Gaughan noted that while he has not been involved in student government at Brandeis, at his high school he was a leader in many clubs which has given him the experience of coordinating meetings, dra ing reforms and

representing student populations.

“As your senator, I’d gladly work and speak with anyone to enact the policies that matter to you,” Gaughan wrote in his candidate bio.

Chereau wrote that her experience being on her high school student council quali es her for the position as Senator at Large. In this role, she led an initiative to unite the multicultural community of her school. In the position, she would like to focus on initiatives like “promoting Mental Health, Sustainability, Multiculturalism, and Women in STEM throughout the Brandeis community, “ according to her candidate bio.

Doonan wrote in her candidate bio, “With your help, I will work my hardest to ensure there is representation for every student by voicing each and every one of your concerns.” If elected to the position, Doonan wrote that she wants to advocate for more mental health awareness and resources on campus and would like to help build community on campus, according to her bio.

Mikhelashvili is running for the position because she wants to launch initiatives that would help social life on campus. For example, she would like to launch an app that students can use to track activities happening throughout the week. According to her bio, she would also like to increase outdoor study space, x the inconsistencies in the BranVan shuttle times, work with dining on days with traditional food from di erent cultures and have a greater variety of food in the dining halls.

Muskrat wrote in her bio that

she was in mock trial in high school and volunteered on Joshua Lafazan’s campaign—who ran for the House of Representatives— which has given her experience she can use if elected to this position. “Some changes I will implement during my term are advocating for air conditioning to be installed in all dorms on campus, improving the dining system and increasing the nancial transparency as to how the budget is allotted. Additionally, I would like to facilitate more student networking opportunities with local ocials,” Muskrat wrote.

ere are two seats open for the Class of 2023 senator position, with only one candidate running for the seat: Jessie Wu ’23. Wu explained she is running for the position because she wants “both domestic and international students’ voices to be heard and to advance policies which can bene t students, including dining halls[’] food improvement, class schedules, and so on,” according to her candidate bio. A goal of Wu’s if elected is to enhance the bond between current students and alumni.

ere is one seat open for the Class of 2024 Senator position and only one student is running for the position—Zev Carlyle ’24. is is Carlyle’s rst time running for a position in student government which gives him a “fresh perspective,” according to his candidate bio. Carlyle’s initial policy goals include: transportation to outside events for students to enjoy in Boston, creating a compiled list of resources on campus for students to know what resources they have available to them, making a station with portable

charging units for students to study outdoors with ease and establishing a bike sharing system.

ere is one seat open for East Quad Senator and three students running for the position: Maddie Bagdade ’25, Andrew Zeiler ’25 and Casey Shea Dinkin ’26.

Bagdade wrote in her bio that through discussions with other students living in East she has identi ed some problems she would like to tackle in the quad. Her overall goal is to make East Quad, “more comfortable, more accessible, and generally, more amenable to our community needs.” One of the problems she has identi ed is nding a way to get access to more clean water to the building since there are two water fountains that service all of East. Bagdade would also like to nd a way to make the steps and hill safe and update the bathrooms to include the environmentally friendly ush which is seen in many of the newer buildings on campus.

Zeiler is also running for the position; he noted his experience doing political work in Massachusetts would be helpful in this position. Zeiler also has a list of

problems he would like to see xed in the quad if elected to the position, including inconsistent water temperatures in the showers and xing the outdoor railing which was broken o by a car earlier this semester. “I will listen to and take everyone’s wants and needs into consideration with my every decision to allow for the best solutions for all of Brandeis. Together we can make Brandeis an even better place,” wrote Zeiler in his candidate bio.

Shea Dinkin wrote that he is running for East Quad Senator because a er a month on campus, he is “frustrated with how much better student life could be if we changed just a little bit.” If elected to the position, Shea Dinkin wrote he would use the platform in order to better the community and make it a better place for community members. Some criticisms Shea Dinkin noted were the dining hall and library hours on the weekend, lack of vegetables in the Stein and services for disabled students in clubs, not just for classes, according to his bio.

October 28, 2022 The Brandeis Hoot NEWS 3

Women’s soccer beats Southern Maine SPORTS

e Brandeis women’s soccer team traveled to Gorham, Maine, where they twice overcame a de cit to defeat the University of Southern Maine 5-3. For the game, Brandeis outshot the hosts 26-11 and rst-year keeper Ella omson ’26 tallied three saves, improving to 3-2 on the season. Graduate transfer Bailey Cullen (GRAD) dominated o ensively earning University Athletic Association (UAA) O ensive Player of the Week honors in her outstanding non-conference performance; Cullen helped the Judges defeat the hosts with a hat trick—the rst for a Brandeis woman since October 2017. e Judges advanced to 7-6-1 with this non-conference win, snapping the Huskies’ 12game winning streak. In the seventh minute of the game, Southern Maine opened the scoring, but the Huskies’ lead lasted all of 12 seconds, as Cullen crossed the ball to junior Sydney Lenhart ’24 who secured the goal, equalizing the match. In the 19th minute, Southern Maine converted a throughball, regaining their advantage, but before heading into hal ime,

senior Caroline Swan ’23 sent the ball into the box on a long free kick where Cullen corralled the ball o a de ection for her rst goal of the game and Judges’ second. A er failing to clear the ball early in the second half, the Huskies su ered the consequences, as Cullen hammered it home, giving the Judges the lead for good in the 51st minute of the game. Juliette Carreiro ’23 recorded an assist in the road win against the Huskies, as she crossed the ball to Cullen who completed the hat trick in the 64th minute. While the Judges had a 4-2 lead, Southern Maine did not surrender and successfully scored from distance in the 84th minute, banging a high shot o the far-right post to decrease the two-goal de cit. Yasla Ngoma ’24 recorded the last goal of the game with just under two minutes to play; Ngoma’s third goal of the season secured the Judges win on the road, 5-3, while also putting an end to their ve-match losing streak. e Brandeis women’s soccer squad start a three-match UAA homestand on Friday evening at 7:30 p.m. against Washington University. e Judges look to pick up three consecutive conference wins on Gordon Field.

Men’s soccer back to winning

A er a few tough games, the Brandeis men’s soccer team looked to turn things around against St. Joseph’s College (SJC). SJC was 11-3-1 before the game, so it was going to be a di cult game for the Judges. e game started at 2:00 p.m. on Oct. 22 at Gordon Field. Senior goalie Aiden Guthro ’23 made an early stop to make sure SJC didn’t take a quick lead. Brandeis’ rst shot came from rst-year mid elder Nico Beninda ’26. His shot was on target but saved by the SJC goalie. First-year forward Elan Romo ’26 had his own shot a few minutes later, but it sailed high over the goal. Beninda and Romo kept the pressure on the SJC goalie with a shot on target each in the 18th and 23rd minute. Both shots were saved, but it was a good start for the Judges. Shots from junior forward Roee Maor ’24 and sophomore forward Henning Dierks ’25 continued to keep SJC on their heels. Finally, something gave as the Judges scored in the 37th minute to take the lead. A pass from sophomore forward John Loo ’25 set senior forward Sancho Maroto Tobias ’23 up in a position for a

shot. His shot went o the right post and into the net for his sixth goal of the season. Loo’s assist was his rst of the season and career. SJC had back-to-back corner kicks to end the rst half, but they did not score. So at hal ime Brandeis held a 1-0 lead. e Judges outshot SJC 9-1 in the rst half, as the Brandeis defense held strong. e second half started with another early shot from SJC, but another save by Guthro.

Romo had a free-kick opportunity in the 52nd minute but his shot was saved by the SJC goalie. A er that, it was a lot of back and forth between the two teams as both teams continued to get shots o . However, it wasn’t until the 71st minute before another goal was scored. A er an SJC foul, Maroto Tobias stepped up to take a 20 yard free kick. His shot went toward the near-right post and into the net to give Brandeis some insurance. It was Maroto Tobias’ seventh goal of the season and the second of the game. SJC had one more shot before the end of the game, but it went over the goal. A er a few consecutive losses, the Judges were back on track with a big 2-0 win against SJC.

Brandeis outshot SJC 18-6 while having nine shots on goal compared to SJC’s two. Both

of those shots on goal from SJC were saved by Guthro, giving him his fourth shutout of the season. It was also the 10th shutout of his career. e two teams were even on corner kicks at four each. Brandeis played aggressively and ended up having more fouls than SJC with 16 compared to SJC’s 10. Maroto Tobias scored both goals

in the game. He has now scored two goals in a game in two consecutive games. is matchup was the rst time the two teams had faced each other since 2016 in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III Tournament. Similar to this game, the Judges defeated them 3-0 in the second round. Brandeis now sits

at 5-6-2 for the season. e last three games of the season will all be home and will all be University Athletic Association games. Game one is against Washington University on Oct. 28 and game two will be two days later on Oct. 30 against the University of Chicago.

Swim and dive Vassar opener recap

On Saturday a ernoon, Oct. 22, the Brandeis University men’s and women’s swim and dive teams traveled to Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York for their rst dual meet of the year. e men won their matchup 183.5 to 97.5, while the women’s score was 165-119 in favor of Vassar. On the men’s side, the Judges won 12 out of 16 events. eir

standout performers were junior Sam Dienstag ’24 and sophomore Allen Hawkins ’25. Dienstag swept the distance events on the day. With times of 4:37.32 in the 500 free and 9:32.48 in the 1000 free, Dienstag is ranked rst in the country in both of those events at the moment. Dienstag was also a member of the winning 200 medley and 400 free relays. Dienstag was joined by senior Benton Ferebee ’22 and rst-years Benjamin Lee ’26 and Eric Xiao ’26 for both relays.

e 200 medley relay team nished with a time of 1:39.35, and the 400 free relay nished with a time of 3:16.82. Hawkins swept the breaststroke events for the rst time in his career, winning the 100 breast with a time of 1:04.57 and the 200 breast with a time of 2:21.12. First-year diver David Zavala ’26 competed for the rst time this season, coming in second with a score of 105.55.

On the women’s side, the Judges won six out of the 16 events. eir standout performers were senior

Bailey Gold ’22 and rst-year Nicole Caruso ’26. Caruso swept the distance events in the rst dual meet of her Brandeis career. She won the 1000 free with a time of 11:02.75 and the 500 free with a time of 5:24.71. She was also a part of the second-place 400 freestyle relay with junior Monica Iizuka ’24, senior Ema Rennie ’22 and fellow rst-year Jenna Wild ’26, nishing with a time of 3:45.25. Gold swept the y events. She won the 200 y with a time of 2:11.23 and the 100 y with a time

of 59.85. She was a part of the winning 200 medley relay with Iizuka, rst-year Jasmine Huang ’26 and Rennie. First-year diver Summer Coronesi ’26 also competed for the rst time this season, coming in second with a score of 175.75.

e Judges are back in action Friday, Nov. 4 when they travel to Worchester Polytechnic Insitute (WPI) to take on WPI and Babson College in a tri-meet.

4 The Brandeis Hoot October 28, 2022

A er a tough set of games, the Brandeis volleyball team looked to nish the season strong. is started with a home game against Johnson and Wales University (JWU) on Oct. 20. Last year, the Judges barely lost to JWU in a close 2-3 battle. JWU started set one on a quick 4-0 run to take the lead early. However, the Judges recovered fast as Sydney Bent (GRAD) and sophomore Tatiana Wainer ’25 had kills to help even the game. e two teams went back and forth for a little bit before the Judges went on a 6-1 run to take a 15-9 lead. en, almost as if on cue, JWU went on a huge run of their own to take the lead back. e 9-2 run gave them an 18-17 lead. JWU would score a few more points and get to 20 points rst, however Brandeis once again turned around and went on a run to take that lead right back. A 5-0 run fueled by kills from junior Rita Lai ’24 and Bent gave Brandeis a 23-20 lead. It was truly going to go down to the wire. JWU stopped the run to make it 21-23, but Brandeis refused to lose the set. A kill from sophomore Lara Verstovsek ’25, followed by a service ace by Gracie Lerian sealed the 25-21 set win. Set two had Brandeis in control almost the entire time. ey were never behind throughout the entire set. A strong 9-3 start for the Judges set the pace. e Judges held multiple six-point leads throughout the set, and that would be the biggest their lead

Volleyball breaks tough streak

would get. ere were a few times when the set got a little tense for the Judges. A er being behind 7 they went on a 5-1 run to tie the game at 14-14. However, Brandeis slowly built a lead back up and eventually won the second set 2519. e start of set three was very competitive. Bent helped the team stay in the game early, in addition to the kills from Verstovsek.

A er a service error from JWU, the score was tied at 6-6. en Brandeis took the lead and never looked back. ey proceeded to go on a 5-0 run and then slowly just scored in short bursts. e Judges won set three 25-20 and broke their seven-game losing streak.

Verstovsek led the team in total kills with 16. She also tied for third on the team in blocks with eight. Bent had an all-around great game as she nished second on the team in kills with 14. She also had 19 digs for a team lead.

Junior Ines Grom-Mansencal ’24 led the team in assists with 38.

e Judges then played an away game against Tu s University on Oct. 26. Last year, Brandeis fell to Tu s in a tough 0-3 match. Set one was a tough bout between the two teams. e two teams went back and forth for the entire set.

Tu s looked like they were going to take the set as they led 23-20, but the Judges proceeded to score three straight points to tie the set. Verstovsek and senior Emerson White ’23 helped lead the team down the stretch. e Judges proceeded to win the crazy set 29-27 a er scoring three consecutive points. In the second set, Tu s took an early 4-1 lead and never looked back. From there, Tu s

continued to build their lead as Brandeis trudged behind. Tu s ended up winning the set 25-14. Set three once again saw Tu s get out to an early lead. However, this time Brandeis came back from their 5-10 de cit to tie the game at 13-13. e rest of the set had Brandeis just behind Tu s, but still within striking distance. ey held o three set points, but ultimately, Tu s took the set 28-26. Set four was very close to start, with Brandeis having the lead. eir biggest lead was 9-6 a er Verstovsek had a service ace. However, Tu s

answered with a 13-3 run that the Judges could not overcome. Brandeis tried to make a comeback, but Tu s held on and won the set 25-16 and the match 3-1. Verstovsek had a great game with 23 kills and 15 digs as she had her sixth double-double of the season. She led the match in kills, and it was her second match of the season where she had over 20 kills. Bent also had another strong game with 12 kills and 28 digs, which led the team. is was her ninth double-double of the season. Grom-Mansencal led the team in assists with 37 assists. She

also had 11 digs, as she posted her 10th double-double of the season. Up next is the team’s senior night on Oct. 27 against Wellesley College. Last year, the Judges beat Wellesley 3-0 in their late season matchup. Brandeis will then play one more away game against Spring eld College on Oct. 29, before starting the University Athletic Association Tournament on Nov. 4 against New York University. e Judges’ current record sits at 10-13 overall and 0-7 in conference.

Boo Yankees

Victoria: I say I was raised a Mets fan because I was; my father is a huge Mets fan and he instilled that value in his daughters. We even have a sign outside of our house that says Mets Fans Parking Only—this is not a joke. But we aren’t actually all Mets fans. My mother was raised— and still is—a Yankees fan. She never converted to being a Mets fan, and it’s not that she is terribly fond of baseball. I think she still roots for the Yankees to spite my dad. Which is such a girlboss move. is is a fun anecdote for me to segue into the politics of baseball in New York City.

Living in New York City, the boroughs are pretty divided over what baseball team they root for. Little geography fact for you, New York City is made up of ve boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island. I think the divide in fans has to do with the history of baseball in New York City, especially considering that there was a time when there were not one, not two but three baseball teams— e Yankees, e Dodgers and e Giants. e Dodgers and e Giants have both been moved to di erent cities and e Mets were brought in in ’62.

If you’re from Queens you’re most likely a Mets fan; same with Brooklyn. e Mets’ home stadium, Citi Field, is in Queens, so fans being from there just makes sense. en people from Brooklyn were most likely Dodgers fans but then the team got moved in ’58 so they became Mets fans

because it was better than trading to become a Yankees fan. en Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island are a majority Yankees fans. e Staten Island Minor Leagues Baseball team used to be called the Staten Island Yankees until they announced a name switch and o ered a vote. Staten Islanders, being Staten Islanders, decided to troll the ballot and voted for the Staten Island Pizzarats—that was their mistake for making a write-in option. at name was too embarrassing so we changed it to the Ferryhawks, still not grand but better than the Staten Island Yankees because

1. Unoriginal and 2. Embarrassing when you’re a Mets fan.

Anyway, back to the point of this article—shitting on the Yankees. I’ve never had much ammunition as a Mets fan to say I hated the Yankees growing up in a place where my opinion was in the minority. It was wonderful coming to Brandeis and nding that Red Sox fans also hated the Yankees. You know what they say, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

I can’t really talk stats; if you’ve read any of my baseball articles you know I’m not a great source on that front. I can, however, speak to the cultural side of it. It’s just the fact that Yankees fans think they’re soooo much better than us Mets fans. Ohhh you had Derek Jeter, ohhhh you have Aaron Judge. Yeah, not for long seeing as he is a free agent. Also, why don’t they have a mascot? Do they not like fun or something? Do you think you’re above having a mascot? I actually looked up if the Yankees ever had a mascot and maybe it’s a good thing they don’t ’cause that thing is TERRIFYING. I mean its

name is Dandy and it’s the shape of a bowling pin with pinstripes on it. I’m not entirely sure what I’m looking at but it has an orange mustache and I don’t like it and I’m now deleting my search history. Okay last point: sure the Yankees have been around longer. But do you know what the Mets colors are? Blue and orange. Blue for the Dodgers, orange for the Giants. e colors blue and orange are also signi cant to New York City’s ag. e Mets have more heart, they’re the underdogs and our stadium is cooler.

I’m really grasping at straws here but hey you get the picture: boo Yankees.

Justin: So I don’t really have any beef against the Yankees. I am a Washington Nationals fan so there are no relations with the Yankees. However, similar to the Mets, the Yankees are a staple joke team of Major League Baseball (MLB). It’s probably because both teams are in New York and they get so much media attention. Anyways, the Yankees lost to the Houston Astros in four games and it honestly was not close at all.

In the series, the Yankees had a whopping .162 batting average. at is only slightly worse than the .173 that they had for their entire postseason run. eir offense was absolutely atrocious throughout the postseason and that carried on against the Astros. ey only made it that far because their pitching was actually decent this year. Contrary to what lots of Yankees fans think, pitcher Gerrit Cole is really good. He pitched in three games this post season and allowed just six runs. So don’t blame any of the losses on the pitching. Blame it on the o ense.

I am going to start with the ob-

vious one: out elder Aaron Judge. Judge had an incredible regular season. He set the regular season American League home run record at 62. He led the league in most o ensive categories. He is probably going to win the Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award, even though he shouldn’t. en who the heck knows what happened. In the series against the Astros, he had one hit in 16 at bats. A guy who is vying for one of the biggest contracts ever, just had an insane choke job in the biggest series of the season. We can also talk about third baseman Josh Donaldson. e Yankees traded Gio Urshela to the Minnesota Twins for Donaldson. Urshela was ne during the regular season, but Donaldson was terrible. He was 6% worse than the average hitter and he got paid $21 million to do so. Now let’s take a look at his stats against the Astros. He had 13 at bats and 10 strikeouts. Similar to Judge, he also had one hit in the entire series. Donaldson became the second player ever to strike out in seven consecutive postseason games.

e rest of the guys weren’t as bad. Out elder Harrison Bader was surprisingly good considering they traded for him because he was good at defense. He was by far their best o ensive player.

Something I found hilarious was how much the Yankees were complaining. In game two, the Yankees players were complaining about how one of Judge’s youts should have been a home run. e ball was de nitely hit hard enough and high enough, but for some reason it fell just short. Yankees players and fans complained that it was because the roof of the stadium was

open. You read that correctly. e players literally complained about it. Yankees manager Aaron Boone said, “I think the roof open kind of killed us … I didn’t think, like, he smoked it, like, no-doubter, but it felt like his homers to right.” ey were just making up excuses at that point. Another fun idea that came up from the loss was about how bad general manager Brian Cashman was these past couple years for the Yankees. Cashman has been the general manager for the Yankees since 1998. Overall he has been okay, but these past couple years have been rough. He decided to not sign out elder Bryce Harper. Harper is now on the Philidelphia Phillies in the World Series, a er winning the National League Championship Series MVP. ey could have signed in elder Manny Machado during the same free agent class. Nope. Machado is a contender to win this year’s National League MVP award. ey traded for Donaldson and in elder Isaiah Kiner-Falefa. Well I already said Donaldson was bad, but Kiner-Falefa was even worse o ensively, as he was 16% worse than the average hitter. I think Yankees fans are ready for a change.

I have to admit, the Astros are really good this year. ere is no shame in getting swept by them. But there is shame when you don’t even put up a ght. On a ticket resale site, the cost of a ticket for the nal game of the series was $18. Even the fans were fed up at that point. You’re the Yankees; you can’t be embarrassed like that. Now Judge is going to leave and everything is going to be even more sad. So overall boo Yankees.

October 28, 2022 The Brandeis Hoot The Brandeis Hoot 5

The Astros are so good that they’re going to lose

ere are two very di erent teams in the World Series this year. On one hand you have the Philadelphia Phillies, who had 87 wins this season and made the playo s as a Wild Card team.

eir opponents are the Houston Astros, who nished rst in their division with 106 wins. e Astros were one of the best teams in all of baseball this year and they demonstrated that throughout the playo s. In the two series they played, they didn’t lose a single game. e Phillies, on the other hand, had a terrible start to the season but nished just good enough to make the playo s. ey weren’t as perfect as the Astros, but they did go 9-2 through the postseason so far.

e Phillies, though, are surprisingly not that great. In the regular season, the Phillies were top 10 in the league in hits, but also in the middle of the league in terms of runs allowed. ey weren’t some crazy powerhouse team like the Astros. But the Phillies for some reason seem like this team of destiny. ey remind me of the 2019 Washington Nationals, a team that also started in the Wild Card round and made it to the World Series. at team also wasn’t that great but they just kept winning.

e Phillies are very top-heavy in pretty much every position.

eir rotation has two very good starting pitchers and a few wild cards. Starting pitchers Aaron Nola and Zach Wheeler are some of the best pitchers in all of baseball. In the postseason so far, Wheeler has pitched in 25.1 innings in four games, and allowed just ve runs. Nola had one rough outing but still allowed just

six runs in 17.1 innings overall. en you have pitchers Ranger Suarez and Noah Syndergaard. As a Nationals fan, I have seen both of them pitch plenty of times and I can say they are very hit or miss. ey have the potential to be unhittable, but sometimes they are just average. eir bullpen is also very top-heavy. ey have Seranthony Dominguez and David Robertson to help close out games. Also, you throw in le -handed pitcher Jose Alvarado, and you have a very strong three pitchers to help shut the door. On o ense, they are led by Bryce Harper. Harper won the National League (NL) Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award last year and had another great year this year considering he was injured for a solid portion of the season. In the postseason this year he has been on another level. His postseason batting average is .419 and he has 11 extra base hits in just 43 at bats. is helped him earn the NL Championship Series MVP Award. en you have Kyle Schwarber and Rhys Hoskins. ese two guys are going to do one of two things: they are either going to hit a home run or strikeout. However, the postseason is about two things. One, how good is your team’s pitching?

Two, can you hit a home run o the other team’s best pitching?

e Astros, on the other hand, are good at pretty much everything. eir pitching is absolutely elite as they allowed the second-least amount of runs throughout the regular season. In the postseason, they have allowed just 15 runs in 72.1 innings. To put that into perspective we can look at the New York Mets. In the 27 innings that the Mets played, they allowed 16 runs. e Astros have great starting pitching in Justin Verlander, Framber Valdez,

Christian Javier and Luis Garcia. Some of these guys can even come out of the bullpen. But that may not even be needed considering their bullpen is absolutely ridiculous. Relievers Ryne Stanek, Bryan Abreu and Rafael Montero all had earned run averages below 2.50 this season. I didn’t even mention some of their wild cards, such as Hunter Brown, who is a rookie that allowed just two runs in 20.1 innings this season. On o ense they got plenty of current or former All-Stars in Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve, Yordan Alvarez, Kyle Tucker and Trey Mancini. Alvarez is probably the best hitter in all of baseball right now. ese guys are great, but rookie shortstop Jeremy Pena is outperforming all of them so far this postseason. It’s scary to think that the guy who is supposed to be struggling the most in the postseason has been their best player. is o ense can do some serious damage. Now that I have gone over the two teams, which team is better? I think most people would agree that the Astros team as a whole is better, but we can compare position by position. Phillies’ catcher is J.T. Realmuto and the Astros split catching duties between Martin Maldanado and Christian Vazquez. e Phillies de nitely win this matchup considering Realmuto is a top ve catcher in all of baseball. On rst base you have the battle between Yuli Gurriel and Hoskins. Gurriel was not great during the regular season, while Hoskins was 22% better than the average. Although Gurriel has been better than Hoskins in the postseason so far, I would probably still go with Hoskins. At second base, it’s between Jean Segura of the Phillies and Altuve for the Astros. Altuve has been absolutely atrocious so far in the postseason. I almost want to give

the position edge to the Phillies, but Altuve has been solid for so long. Yes, he cheated, but even this season he was one of the best second basemen in all of baseball. At shortstop, it’s between Pena and Bryson Stott for the Phillies. No question, Pena is better. ird base is between Alec Bohm from the Phillies and Bregman. Again, no question, Bregman. e Astros out eld mostly consists of Alvarez, Chas McCormick and Tucker, while the Phillies have sent out Schwarber, Nicholas Castellanos and Brandon Marsh. Although Schwarber and Castellanos have the potential to be great, Tucker and Alvarez are just consistently better. e out eld de nitely goes to the Astros. At the designated hitter position, there’s Mancini for the Astros and Harper for the Phillies. I think Mancini is a great player and a tough person overall. e fact that he survived stage three colon cancer and then came back to play baseball a year later is crazy. But I have to give the edge to the reigning NL MVP, Harper. I would say the two starting rotations are even. Nola and Wheeler may be slightly better than Verlander and Valdez, but the Astros have much better depth at the position. e Astros bullpen is without a doubt better than the Phillies bullpen. is may be the biggest discrepancy between the two teams. Philadelphia may have two very good relievers, the Astros have ve, maybe six. So overall, the Phillies are better in three positions and the Astros are better in six. Now that we have established that the Astros are de nitely the better team overall, let me explain why I think the Phillies are going to win the World Series. In 2019, I watched my favorite team, the Nationals, win the World Series. It was an absolutely surreal mo-

The hardest jump in history was landed at Skate America

e 2022-2023 gure skating season o cially began last weekend with Skate America which took place in Norwood, Massachusetts, as the rst station in the Grand Prix of Figure Skating. As the season right a er the Winter Olympics, this season did not seem interesting to gure skating fans: the greatest-ofall-time Yuzuru Hanyu (Japan) announced his retirement in the past summer; the Olympic gold medalist Nathan Chen (USA) and his teammate Vincent Zhou (USA) both took a season o and returned to college; the Olympic silver medallist Yuma Kagiyama (Japan) withdrew from the Grand Prix due to back injury and the Russian skaters were all banned from international competitions due to political reasons. However, the men’s single event at Skate America last week was eye-opening for all the fans. Seventeen-year-old Illia Malinlin (USA) killed the game with his free skate with a di culty that nobody has ever attempted. Five quadruple jumps were attempted and all successfully landed, including the quad axel, the hardest jump in gure skating history. e axel is the only

jump that takes o facing forward and requires a four-and-a-half rotation of the skater in the air. is was the second successful quad axel in history.

e rst one was also landed by Malinlin earlier in September in the U.S. Classics in Lake Placid, New York, a lower-level competition. e quality of the jump was not great, but it earned a positive grade-of-execution, making it the rst successful quad axel recognized by International Skating Union (ISU). e quad axel at Skate America was greatly improved in its quality, earning an almost full-scale grade-of-execution for Malinlin. Previously, Hanyu was the rst skater ever to attempt the quad axel in competition. He went for the jump in the 2022 Winter Olympics but did not land successfully.

Besides the quad axel, Malinlin also landed two quad lutzes, one quad toe loop and one quad salchow. He fell on a triple salchow but followed that up with an extremely di cult combination jump of triple lutz-triple axel. Although a mistake in the short program only ranked him fourth, the spectacular di culty of his free skate put him on the top of the podium with a total of 280.37 points. Malinlin was also the youngest male champion in Skate America history.

In an interview with NBC Sports, Malinlin said: “It came over my mind. Everyone’s watching. I have to go for this. I went for it, and I just landed it, and I was in shock. I mean, the whole building was screaming for at least a couple of seconds a er that. I didn’t even know the music was still playing.” Kao Miura (Japan) ranked second right a er Malinlin. Competing in his rst competition in senior level, 17-year-old Miura had the

highest score for the short program, putting him the last to skate in the free. e pressure from Malinlin pushed him to add a quad loop into his program component, one of the di cult quad jumps. He fell on that loop but nailed his other program components, which together put him on the second place of the podium.

Junhwan Cha (South Korea) was the bronze medallist. Cha is one of the more mature skaters in this

ment because it made no sense. ey won the Wild Card game against the Milwaukee Brewers a er a crazy and lucky hit from Juan Soto. en a Howie Kendrick grand slam against the Los Angeles Dodgers sent them past the best team in the NL. In the NL Championship Series, the Nationals made the St. Louis Cardinals look like a minor league team. en somehow, they won the World Series against the Astros in seven games. e path seemed so improbable. is Phillies team gives me very similar vibes. ey beat the Cardinals in a Wild Card series they were unfavored in. en they beat the New York Mets, who won 101 games. Finally, there was the San Diego Padres, who seemed to be overmatched the entire series. Maybe it’s the energy the team gives o that’s making me lean toward them. Anyway, there de nitely is something di erent about a team that won just 87 games in the regular season. ey have nothing to lose. I personally am not sure who to cheer for. Most people probably want to cheer for the Phillies, because the Astros are always evil since they cheated. But the Phillies are a rival team to the Nationals, so it’s hard to cheer for them. I think overall it’s going to be an entertaining series and I believe that there are two possible outcomes. One, the Astros win the series 4-1. All these vibes mean nothing, and they just get outmatched by a better team. Two, the Phillies win the series 4-3, after playing o of their best players. I am de nitely leaning toward the second outcome, but the Astros are so good that I am hesitant.

competition, with well-balanced skating skills. He is known for his artistry. However, he fell on one of his triple axels in the free skate and also experienced the problem of underrotation in his quads, which lowered his tech score. e next station of the Grand Prix, Skate Canada, will be taking place in Mississauga, Ontario next weekend. We are looking forward to seeing how the skaters will do.

6 The Brandeis Hoot The Brandeis Hoot October 28, 2022

Staying safe during spooky season


Victoria Morrongiello

Thomas Pickering

Madeline Rousell

Managing Editor Mia Plante

Copy Editor Logan Ashkinazy

News Editor Roshni Ray

Arts Editors

Rachel Rosenfield Cyrenity Augustin

Opinions Editor Cooper Gottfried

Features Editor Jenny Zhao

Sports Editor Justin Leung

Deputy Sports Editor Natasha Girshin

Editor-at-large Lucy Fay

Volume 21 Issue 8 the brandeis hoot • brandeis university 415 south street • waltham ma

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It’s Halloweekend and you know what that means—it’s prime time for college students to party all weekend! You’ve nished your midterms—or maybe not, because Brandeis’ midterms season notoriously never ends until nals—and now you can enjoy the fun side of college. While Brandeis might not be the biggest party school like some state schools, we acknowledge that even we nerds throw down on Halloween weekend. It is great to have fun and socialize in college but you should make sure you are doing it safely. Be responsible. ere is this hype around drinking in college, but know your limits. Also, just to make sure we cover our bases—you should not be drinking if you are under 21. at being said, you don’t have to drink in order to have fun, and if you don’t want to drink you should not feel pressured to. If you ever feel you are in a position where you are being forced to drink, we strongly recommend getting new friends—come join us. Some members of our editorial board elect not to drink and we have those who legally can’t drink because they aren’t 21. In being responsible, we also want to look to

the frats and sororities. Watch out for your recruits, they may not be in your sisterhood or brotherhood just yet but you should feel a certain responsibility to make sure they are okay during any celebrations there may be. Remember this is their rst Halloweekend, and maybe try to lend some advice you would’ve liked to hear your rst Halloween on campus. If you do elect to drink, make sure you are cleaning up after yourself. As Re:Wild Brandeis showed us earlier in the semester when they did their reservoir cleanup, the world is not your trashcan. Pick up a er yourself wherever you choose to party. Some people may choose to dress up for Halloween. It's fun and coordinated group costumes are a blast. On that note, a costume does not mean consent. Whether it’s a sheet to be a ghost, or all white to be an angel, the way someone dressed is not a form of consent. An out t is not an invitation and they are most certainly not wearing it for you. We know the statistics from the Campus Climate Survey on sexual harassment on campus. No one should feel scared to dress the way they want to go out

and party. If someone is inebriated and cannot give consent then it is not consent. You would hope that by now we would not have to stress this point and yet we do. Consent is when the person verbally says yes and is aware of the situation they are in. Halloweekend this year also happens to fall on Family Weekend, so maybe that’ll be a sobering thought for everyone. is is a great alternative for people who don’t want to go out and party. You don’t have to have your parents here to go to the events; I know people who went pumpkin carving solo and crushed it. ere are so many fun alternatives that you could do individually or with a group of friends. You could boo someone—where you make a Halloween basket and leave it at someone’s door—or you can watch scary movies—or notso-scary Halloween movies if you aren’t into that—you can paint or carve a pumpkin and eat tons of candy. ere are many ways to have fun this weekend and don’t feel that just because there’s so much hype around Halloween that you have to do something you wouldn’t normally want to do.

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Interviews with Brandeis University’s academic leadership: The classical studies department

e chair of Brandeis University’s Department of Classical Studies, Professor Darlene Brooks Hedstrom, sat down for an interview with e Brandeis Hoot to shed a little light on the department, its future and herself. is interview is part of a series of interviews with the chairs of a plethora of di erent academic departments and programs at Brandeis.

Editor’s Note: is interview was recorded during the 2022 spring semester.

Why did you choose to come to Brandeis?

One of the things that attracted me to Brandeis is that there’s such a clear commitment to undergraduate education as centered within an R1 institution. at was just the perfect blend for me. I think undergraduate education is such a rewarding opportunity to put one’s scholarship into practice …. It just seemed like the perfect place in the perfect time for me and my career to move.

What do you think the classical studies department does right?

We are part of a movement to show why classical studies is not the classical studies of the past. We are, as a faculty, committed to new ways of approaching a eld that has been a gatekeeper of knowledge. All of us work in ways, whether it’s in public-facing scholarship, whether it’s looking at marginalized history and individuals, we are all taking part in creating a new narrative about classical studies.

Is there anything that you think the classical studies department could do better?

One of the things that we want to do is help undergraduates discover some of the things that we’re doing. We are working on new initiatives to help foster classical studies [as] a major of discovery. [We are] showcasing that classical studies is not just an area that’s a traditional approach to the past or a past that just elevates a white narrative of the origins of the ancient world. So that’s what we’re trying to work on: getting that message out. We also need to work with the fact that students come with less familiarity about the ancient world and how to offer courses that are attractive [to them].

How does the classical studies department t into Brandeis’


e faculty have a commitment to supporting students’ interests. A lot of Brandeis students come with very strong convictions in terms of social justice and engagement with the world. I think one of the things that our department does well is that we are very active in terms of our scholarship, as it serves wider communities. Whether it’s archeological work that documents forgotten peoples, whether it’s using public-facing opportunities like Twitter or blog posts to make the past relevant to the present, I think that that is a part of what Brandeis does.

e classical studies department has three main tracks (Classics, Greek or Latin Literature and Classical Archeology and Ancient History). Do you nd those tracks to be unnecessarily restricting or do they a ord the right amount of freedom to students?

I think they create exibility for students, and that’s one of the things that our department is very committed to both on the undergraduate and on the master’s level. We want students to discover their own path through the department, and some students may be drawn to the beauty of language, whether it’s Greek or

Latin. Others may be interested in a di erent view that’s based in material culture. Others may nd that they’re interested in something that’s sort of in between those [two]. So that exibility, I think, allows for students to have agency over their own education.

Classical studies is a liated with many other programs and departments. How do you feel that these partnerships a ect the courses that students take?

Students from other programs take a classical studies course and all of a sudden the insight and the perspective that students have [from] that moment [on] is amplied. You may have a student from history or anthropology or from Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, and their training and their experience in those courses enriches what happens in our classes …. I think that that enriches not only the humanities element of our courses, but also provides new opportunities for students who are in the social sciences as well.

Your Brandeis introduction page mentions that you work in both classical studies and Near Eastern and Judaic Studies. How involved are you in each of those departments?

So my position is half in clas-

sical studies, where I’m the chair right now, and half in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies. Of my four courses, two are in classical studies (but they’re cross listed) and two are in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies. For classical studies, I am currently teaching more of my courses situated historically within Egypt. In Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, my courses are more situated within Christianity. Because religious studies is a program and not a department [at Brandeis], I serve on the steering committee for the [religious studies] program. I also o er courses that count towards religious studies. For example, last fall, I taught a course called “Denial and Desires: Gender and Sexuality in Early Christianity.” at was a course that counted towards [religious studies], which looked at debates within the early church about who Jesus was and how Jesus should be understood.

Brandeis Blockchain Club works to get chartered through increasing its diversity

What is blockchain? e president of Brandeis’ Blockchain Club, Marco Qin ’24, explained it to e Brandeis Hoot in an interview: think about the modeling industry. If you were a model with an agency, the agency would control what you were allowed to do, to post on social media and how much you get paid. If you could get rid of the agency and be a freelancer, you could get better control of your job and get paid instantly. Blockchain works just like how a freelance model works. A host is directly connected to the consumer without an agency. “ at’s why it is called decentralization.” Qin explained.

Brandeis Blockchain Club is one of the hidden gems on campus. Having been founded last

semester, the club was turned down by the Senate due to a lack of diversity. is semester, with a newly established E-Board and semester plans, Qin is planning to revive the club and have it recognized and chartered by the Senate.

According to Qin, the reason why they could not get through the Senate last semester was because the club “was not actively ghting for diversity.” e club did get around 40 signatures with a few from women, but the Senate accused him of being tokenistic. As Qin thought tech was a male-dominated eld and it would take a lot of e ort to recruit groups that were underrepresented, he felt it was worth putting the e ort in. roughout this semester, he has already reached out to ve female-owned female-run organizations that do cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), unique crypto-

currency that can be in the format of anything. He planned to do partnerships with more outside organizations and have them over as speakers.

Qin was hoping to expand the size of the club, invite guest speakers to Brandeis and organize lessons for the members that are new to blockchain. Qin told e Hoot that the club is partnering with Crypto Chicks, a women-founded organization that gives lessons on cryptocurrencies and how to make NFTs. Qin has experience in making NFTs, so he would be willing to teach everyone else about it. He was thinking about making an NFT mascot for Brandeis with the club members.

Qin introduced a past NFT project he has done, Giant Steps, with which people could invest in musicians. “If you’ve spotted Billie Eilish when she had like 600 followers, and then you invest

in her, like physically giving her money and in exchange for some stakes in her music. And when she has six million followers, then people are willing to pay more money for that little stake that you have,” Qin explained how his project worked. “And that’s how you can make money as an investor. And then for the musicians, they get money [immediately] instead of waiting to get a record deal. at makes it easier for them to sustain a living while pursuing their dreams.”

According to Qin, the coolest thing about NFT is that everything can be given a value. “Everyone is a company … You can be a person, a content creator to be invested in. You are your own company. NFT can make that happen … We can give things value without having a big agency to tell you to do it.”

Qin told e Hoot that he start-

ed the club late last semester, so he did not have that many things on his mind back then. Over the summer, he has developed a clearer vision of the club and became more comfortable making NFTs as well as teaching others how to make them. With a reliable and expanding E-Board, he is now more con dent with the club. e club just had its rst meeting this semester last week in the Village A conference room.

“Our top priorities right now are to get members and let people know that this club exists.” Qin said. He regarded his promotion of the club as a “word of mouth” process. Additionally, an Instagram account was also made to promote the club on social media. To nd out updates about Brandeis Blockchain Club, follow @brandeisblockchain on Instagram for more information.

FEATURES 8 The Brandeis Hoot October 28, 2022 PHOTO FROM BRANDEIS EDU

“For me, being a ‘lady painter’ was never an issue. I don’t resent being a female painter. I don’t exploit it. I paint.” - Helen Frankenthaler.

I was never particularly entranced by photography until I saw “House #3, Providence, Rhode Island,” from 1976, by Francesca Woodman. e photograph is strikingly unusual. Woodman utilizes a long exposure time to meld into her surroundings. Her face and body are barely visible; she is part wall, part human, part ghost. e only discernible body part is her leg. e location of the photograph adds to its unusual nature. e replace suggests a home, but the worn oors and peeling wallpaper make the space appear inhospitable.

Many art historians have interpreted Woodman’s disappearing act psychologically. Scholars sug-

gest that Woodman made herself part wall, part human and part ghost because she wanted to disappear, to be small. ey see her as a tragic victim, an art-historical Ophelia drowning in her creative powers. Feminist scholars, in comparison, reject Woodman as a victim. Instead, she radically commented on women’s objecti cation and 20th-century American femininity. Woodman’s artwork becomes a means of understanding Woodman the person, rather than as an artist. is makes her a spectral presence, not only in her own artwork but also in the interpretation of the artwork. Woodman haunts her creative powers rather than actively interacting with them; she is mythologized but never understood. She disappears from her own story. I believe Woodman’s constant disappearing acts bolster her presence rather than diminish it. What is disappearance? Disappearance is the act of something ceasing to be visible, not invisibility. e more I considered “House

#3” it became a compelling metaphor for the status of women throughout art history.

Female artists are always performing disappearing acts. Seventeenth-century artist Joanna Koerten made such beautiful paper cutouts that contemporaries compared her to Michelangelo, as one poet wrote: “When Michelangelo and Apelles wanted to make a painting they made use of paint. But J. Koerten makes a blow with the chisel. In cutting paper, she paints everything according to nature.” ere she is, in the same breath as Michelangelo. e list goes on: Angelika Kau mann was one of two female painters among the founding members of the Royal Academy in London in 1768. Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun made portraits for royalty. Augusta Savage was a pivotal sculptor in the Harlem Renaissance, whose work as a teacher inspired a generation of artists. And yet, these women are rarely acknowledged. e notion that society did not allow female artists any recog-

nition makes them footnotes or part of an alternative canon. We should not see including women in the canon as a gi —begrudgingly given—to align with liberal politics. Women made an impact. You cannot understand art history without them. ere are forces like class and race that allowed some women to succeed more than others, but they existed. We can only see them if we acknowledge that they were once there and if we see the visibility within the act of disappearance. Exclusion from the narrative of art history does not mean exclusion from art production or creative impulses. Marginalized people throughout history have always spoken, but speaking does not guarantee that others will listen. What voices past historians have deemed essential to hear and remember is o en subjective and maddeningly unfair. History’s memory is forgetful and inattentive. e story of history, which people and events historians form into a narrative, is o en ction,

di erent from the vast web of history. People’s daily lives, words said and lost, small successes, moments of joy, once here, now lost—thousands of lives, thousands of creative presences. But disappearing acts, the ghosts of creativity, give me hope because it suggests that something can be re-discovered, re-found, and re-seen even a er one thinks it is gone.*

*Mary Shelley is an excellent example of history’s malleability. She enjoyed an energetic revival of interest with the emergence of feminist scholarship in the ’70s. We now see her as a signi cant gure in Romanticism. “Frankenstein” is on many syllabuses in high schools and colleges. Scholarship on her later work like “ e Last Man,” a book on a global pandemic, abounds.

The Year of Climate Action Column

Environmentally conscious fashion choices

roughout my years in college, as I’ve become more nancially self-su cient, I’ve been focused more on purchasing items of clothing that I’d consider to be investments. I’m in the fortunate position where I have a job and housing security and some assistance from my parents so I am able to save up for “nicer” pieces that are created in a more sustainable manner and will likely last me longer both in the fashion cycles and through many wears.

Not everyone is able to turn to purchase sustainable clothing options, and what makes clothing “sustainable” to begin with? How is shipping and production and waste management all factored into these everyday purchases, and how can we as college students be responsible with where our money goes? In short, we can’t, because we have so little power and so little money, but I am here to inform you on how to buy clothing from an environmentally conscious perspective.

Everyone knows that purchasing from brands like Shein, Princess Polly, H&M, Forever 21,

Fashion Nova, Zara, Uniqlo and ASOS is harmful for our world, but it’s very di cult to get out of the habit of purchasing new wardrobes each trend cycle, especially when you have limited funds to put into said wardrobe. With a turn to thri ing and upcycling being seen as “trendy” and environmentalism being a fashion statement in itself, there are many opportunities for college students to purchase new clothing without giving money to fast fashion brands that overproduce and pollute. In 2018, only 14.7% of textiles were recycled in some way, despite about 17 million tons being produced in that same year. In our culture of overconsumption, college students must ght the urge to consume. I suggest thriing, going to second-hand stores like Plato’s Closet and Global ri (both in Waltham!) instead of searching for a new speci c item on Amazon Closet or Princess Polly.

Additionally, at the end of each year when students move out, many many students leave behind clothing in common areas. If you see this, see what you can recycle or upcycle for yourself, and attempt to donate the rest. In Massachusetts, a state with notorious-

ly brutal winters, nearly 20,000 people are homeless on any given day. Instead of throwing out your sweaters and sweatshirts for new ones, consider donating them to vulnerable populations, both for the earth and its people. ere are clothing donation boxes both behind Global ri on Moody Street in downtown Waltham and near the Foster Mods residence halls on campus— there may even be more around that I just haven’t seen.*

For another way to get a whole new wardrobe without spending a cent and without feeding into the wasteful cycle, arrange a clothing swap with friends if you have similar sizes. What’s old for one of your friends may be the cute top you’ve been eyeing since freshman year, and the jeans you think t you weird may t your roommate perfectly!

If you, like me, are able to invest in more sustainable pieces and still have the urge to purchase new items every once in a while, I suggest doing independent research into the brands you support. Many companies are very good at hiding their reliance on unsustainable practices—and human rights violations! For outdoor wear and cozy sweaters to

last you a lifetime I suggest Patagonia. For workout wear that’s size-inclusive and stylish, I suggest Girlfriend Collective. For classy and trendy everyday clothing I suggest Reformation and Everlane. It’s extremely di cult to get to this point where you only purchase sustainably, and it’s easy to start blaming people for still buying from places like Shein. We must remain kind to each other in our environmentalist journeys, as issues with the environment correlate closely with issues of poverty and the widening wealth gap.

I am not telling readers to stop purchasing for the trend cycles, and I am certainly not policing how and where people spend their own money, I just hope more people purchase with awareness about the impact fashion companies have on our environment.

*Editor’s note: ere is another clothing drop box in south lot and one by Grad, here is a newsletter about them.

OPINIONS October 28, 2022 Th OPINIONS 9
Reconsidering the question of “why have there been no great women artists?”

What’s your worst Halloween costume?

BEEware of Costume

With spooky season in full swing, the members of e Hoot’s Editorial Board are giving our thoughts on the worst Halloween costumes we’ve ever donned. Do you agree with our choices? Disagree? Read on to nd out!

Cooper: The year I was a surfer dude

One time, when I was in middle school, I dressed up as a surfer for Halloween. Pretty tame choice, but I chose to bring a boogie board with me as my candy bag. I duct taped a plastic shopping bag to a boogie board, which I then velcro-strapped to my wrist, and dragged it all over the streets as I went trick or treating. I hated carrying that thing around, but if I had it my way that wouldn’t have been the worst part of my costume. A little voice in my head told me to wear a bathing suit and a swim shirt, because that’s what


You know those Instagram pages where moms dress their kids up in aesthetic Halloween costumes? You have babies dressed as pumpkins or dalmatians and the photos are picture-perfect. en you have my childhood costumes. My mom started o strong with a cow costume for my rst Halloween. But it gets worse from there. I was not a pumpkin or a cat. No, no. She dressed me as a bee. It was a pretty terrible costume. It is only made more ironic because of the fact that I am very much allergic to bees. In fact, bees may be my biggest fear. I don’t care whether I’m bigger than them, they’re scary and I stand by it. e only photos of me in this costume are of me crying so I can only assume two-year-old me hated it too. I guess I was just terri ed of myself for a day.

Mia: My mom is not crafty, but de nitely tried to be Growing up my mom tried her

in as both my best and worst Hal-

tumes, until age 10. For some rea-

iconic, but I would not call myself a Little Monster. Regardless, I decided that had to be my costume. I wanted this to look super cool and out of the box, but I did not have the materials to pull that o I bought this huge long blonde wig that absolutely drowned my head. It didn’t look that much like Gaga, but I guess more than my normal hair. I wore a lot of darklipstick for that dramatic usician look. en I picked some dazzling clothes from my closet that probably looked more elementary schooler than popstar. I thought I looked cool at the time, looking back it was not that great. I might try this again one day, but I now have the memory of my worst holiday costume due to mediocre execution.

loween costume- an Atlanta Girls’ School student. Ta-da…

Natasha: The middle school nightmare

You couldn’t waterboard this information out of me, but here I am bearing my darkest moments. If you remember life in 20152018, you might remember a band named Twenty One Pilots who, in short, being a fan of was my entire personality throughout middle school and parts of high school. eir 2015 album, Blurryface, was my entrance into the fandom and that Halloween I dressed up as the titular Blurryface (for reference, it was similar to what the lead singer Tyler Joseph wore in the Stressed Out music video). I bought the red beanie from the band store and wore the emo getup alongside it. Looking back on it, that was my worst costume. Not because it aged particularly badly, but because who wants to reminisce about middle school, undeniably the most embarrassing period of all of our lives.

surfers do. at night, it was 20 degrees. I did not have a fun time that year: I was forced to wear sweatpants that totally didn’t go with my costume (thanks for not letting me freeze, mom) and lug around a slab of foam the whole night. Not my best work.

best to put my sister and I in cute costumes that kept us warm in the late October New Hampshire air, but o entimes this led her to pull out a hot glue gun and throw something together. Admittedly, I think every costume she put us in was super cute, but maybe a bit all-over-the-place. I don’t have a photo of this one—and wouldn’t put it in the paper even if I did— but one year my sister and I were Dorothy and Toto from “ e Wizard of Oz.” My sister in a cute Dorothy costume with some alterations to make it warmer, and me covered head to toe in a furry black onesie that my mom pulled together. Earlier in life, I had the cutest costumes, of which I will share here, including being a duck (insanely adorable) and a cowgirl. It’s interesting to think how Halloween changes but stays fun for similar reasons as you grow older. en, I wanted to be adorable and collect candy. Now, I want to be horrifying but also hot.

Cyrenity: N/A

So, I actually wasn’t allowed to celebrate Halloween growing up. So, no trick or treating, and no costumes. It got to a point where I would have to “make up” that my school uniform was a costume so that I wasn’t totally le out. It’s as sad as it sounds, yes. So, coming

Thomas: To in nity and every door jam within a 20-mile radius I have to applaud my father when Halloween comes around. Every Halloween he would hand make myself and my brother a new costume that he made entirely from materials from around the house or from a Joann Fabrics. e idea was simple: save money by using his ability to sew by making our costumes. Well one year I wanted to be Buzz Lightyear and darn it did my dad deliver. Everything from the wings to the buttons he was able to make on his own with cardboard, tape, and a few good sews. e issue was never the costume or the design however, the issue when it came to this costume was me! e Buzz Lightyear wings felt like they were a part of and I became something I will resent for the rest of my life—I became one of those kids who made their costume their personality for the two months a er Halloween. I wore those wings everywhere but what I did not have was spacial awareness. I would jam my wings into every door jam like the ree Stooges until one day they broke and my identity along with them. So my worst memory is not of my costume as a child but rather of what the costume made me!

Maddie: The growing pains of matching costumes e one time being a triplet came in handy for my parents was Halloween: there was an endless amount of three-person costumes available for them to choose from. Most are just ne for little kids; we were a pumpkin patch for our rst Halloween out of the hospital, and I was Baby Bear at age three. But as we got older, we stopped coordinating our cos-

son, we chose ings 1, 2 and 3 for our grand return to a group costume; I was ing 2. However, that did not matter much, as we were all dressed nearly identically in red turtlenecks, velour sweatpants and fuzzy slippers, wearing bright blue bobbed wigs on our heads. Now, at rst read this may seem like a nice comfy costume— which it was. e problem came when we had to wear these out ts to our school’s annual costume contest, where children walked half-heartedly around the gymnasium until winners were selected (we might have even won the group costume prize, though I’m sure I found that embarrassing too). e last thing I wanted to be doing at age 10 was rock an electric blue wig that kept sliding around and showing some of my hair underneath. Why couldn’t I be a cute and sassy devil like my friend? I suddenly regretted our textually inaccurate Dr. Seuss reference that now seemed childish, and that was the last time my sisters and I matched on Halloween.

Rachel: Caught in Bad Romance

When I was younger, I wanted to be as creative as possible with my costumes. I was not going to go with your average Party City or Spirit Halloween costume. I had to be di erent. Shout out to my sixth grade costume where I was a zombie tra c light. De nitely my best costume, but I was not going to talk about halloween costumes without mentioning that. I was a little baby weirdo. e problem was, sometimes my ideas were bigger than what I could do. When I was in fourth grade, I thought it would be fun to be Lady Gaga. Was I a huge Lady Gaga fan? Not particularly. She was popular and

Jenny: First time doing makeup was disastrous I feel awkward here because everyone else is talking about their Halloween costumes when they were little. My most memorable costume happened in eighth grade, when I was old enough to be ashamed of it. I was Nico from the anime LoveLive! (not sure if people still watch it now) and it was my rst time doing makeup in my entire life. Middle school Jenny did not know what to put on my face at all, so I ended up going to Target and getting some random stu ere were no YouTube tutorials back then that taught people how to do makeup, so I had to gure out everything on my own. I guess I wanted to look cute, but my eyeliners were literally black circles around my eyes. I also forgot to buy a brow pencil so I used eyeliner to draw my eyebrows. My eyes ended up looking like someone just smashed on them and it was great.


I personally do not like Halloween.


is was my worst Halloween at the moment, but in retrospect it was pretty dope. I was going through my Disney princess phase at the ripe age of ve and my dear mother decided that I wasn’t going to be ~like other girls~. She bought me a pirate costume instead—an oddly realistic pirate costume. So alongside the princesses, pumpkins, animals and cartoons I was a sea-criminal with a sailor’s mouth. Looking back though, the wee hat served.

10 OPINIONS The Brandeis Hoot October 28, 2022

To drink or not to drink water: Interviews around campus

Water is a contentious topic to talk about here on campus. I decided to go out and ask some (very real) students about their thoughts on water drinking.

My rst interview was with Tommy, a senior here who is just not that into water. He is an athlete for the water polo team, and despite that, water has never really been his thing. He is double majoring in philosophy and studio art, with a minor in Latin.

Jamie: It is currently 12:33 p.m. I am here with a non-water drinker. Now, I just have a few questions for you. How did you know that you didn’t like water?

Tommy: Well, one day, I was really thirsty. Um, and I walked down to my fridge, I didn’t see any alcohol, so I decided I’d go for some water instead. I never tried water, I’d heard a lot of good things about it. I grabbed a cup, I lled it with some water and it was really underwhelming.

Jamie: Wow.

Tommy: Yeah, I didn’t really feel a connection. I was displeased. I haven’t had a sip of water since then.

Jamie: Now, your friends. Are they water drinkers?

Tommy: It’s actually interesting because I’m friends with mostly water drinkers. Sometimes the topic comes up, there are disagreements, but that’s what friendship is. Everybody won’t have the same opinion as you.

Jamie: And they’re understanding that you don’t drink water?

Tommy: It’s a little bit of a shock. I do feel a little bit of judgement, but I kinda have to get used to the fact. It’s not very common to not drink water.

Jamie: Did your parents know that you don’t drink water?

Tommy: My mom knows. I haven’t told my dad yet. It was a little hard at rst to tell her, but she’s come around. She didn’t really

Welcome back to the SSIS column, where we answer any and all of Brandeis students’ questions about sex, sexuality, identity and relationships. If you have a question you’d like answered in our next column, email ssis@ or leave a question in the Google Form link on the Student Sexuality Information Service Facebook page. Any and all questions are welcome: there are no bad, stupid or weird questions!

(Note: ese answers are goodfaith attempts by SSIS to be helpful to the Brandeis community, and are by no means exhaustive or to be taken as universal. If

understand at rst, and she’s seeing someone about it actually–a water expert. So she can see this from a non-biased perspective. She’s a big water drinker. Now we can talk about it without any discourse.

Jamie: Has your perspective on water drinking changed since coming to college?

Tommy: What I’ve found is that there are a lot more non-water drinkers than back in my hometown in Texas. It’s really cool to be around like-minded and relatable people now.

Jamie: Is there anything you want to say to the non-water drinkers out there?

Tommy: You’re not alone, and I hear you, I understand you, and if you ever want to talk about it, I’m here for you. ere are other drinks out there.

My next interview was with Francis, a sophomore majoring in chemistry and neuroscience, and double minoring in journalism and psychology.

Jamie: It is currently 12:39 p.m. I am here with a self-proclaimed water enthusiast, and I have a few questions for you. I see you have some water with you today. Could you tell me about it?

Francis: is is liquid water. H (long pause) two (long pause) oh (long pause). Dihydrogen monoxide. (Pauses to take a sip).

Jamie: I see that you have a collection of numerous water bottles in your backpack. Does being a water enthusiast impact your dayto-day life?

Francis: I have water whenever I need it. (Francis proceeds to rustle through his backpack, pulling out a small vial of water). is looks like a hand sanitizer bottle, but it’s actually water in a bite sized pouch.

Jamie: What would you say to people who drink any water they nd and would drink out of the tap?

Francis: I don’t quite understand the lifestyle, but I will tolerate them.

Jamie: Was there any moment in your childhood when you knew you were a water enthusiast?

Francis: It all started when I was born. My parents put me in swimming lessons, and I got a nice gulp of the pool. And ever since then, water and I have been tight.

My third interview was with Sam, a junior who agreed to be interviewed right at the end of the lunchtime rush hour. Sam is an avid bird watcher and likes watching nature documentaries. Sam is majoring in business and economics.

Jamie: It is 12:41 p.m. I am here interviewing people about their opinions on water. What’s your take on it?

Sam: I don’t know man. I’ll drink it, not drink it, whatever. If someone’s serving water, I’ll take a gulp. But I’m not up all night thinking about water like some of the other people here.

Jamie: So you’re saying water doesn’t impact you at all?

Sam: Not at all. I get most of my water from watermelon, quite frankly. I’m not looking for an experience from water, I’m just looking to stay alive.

Jamie: at’s deep man.

Sam: Yeah, I like to think so.

Jamie: Was there a moment from your childhood that made you realize you didn’t care about water?

Sam: e moment I knew that I didn’t care was when I found out that sometimes they put salt in water. Like Dasani water.

Jamie: Do your friends know you don’t care at all?

Sam: I prefer not to talk about it. I’m usually looking to change the subject–it’s just so boring. I don’t want to talk about what kind of water people want to drink. I’m not interested in that.

Jamie: ank you so much for speaking with me.

Sam: It’s nice to be open about it. A lot of people think that you have to like or not like water, and I just want to destigmatize not caring at all. You can just not care


these answers don’t resonate with you, either pay them no mind, or reach out to us with suggestions for improvement!)

How to properly douche? Is it dangerous?

Hi, great question! ank you for writing to the SSIS Hoot column. ere are two types of douching: anal and vaginal. For those who don’t know, douching is using a squeezable tube or bottle to squirt water into the rectum or the vagina to clean them. Most doctors don’t recommend vaginal or anal douching, although the risk of infection is less with anal douching. is is because vaginas have a mix of bacteria (both good and bad) that help maintain a proper pH balance. ese bacterias allow the vagina to “selfclean.” By douching your vagina,

you’re at risk of throwing o the pH balance, which can lead to infections and other health problems.

Anal douching, on the other hand, is safe if you do it properly. People do anal douching for many reasons, including to clean/ rinse their rectum and in preparation for anal sex. Anal douching isn’t medically necessary, and can actually increase the risk for STIs. Douching can irritate and damage the inner mucus lining of your rectum, which makes you more susceptible to infections.

If you choose to douche, though, here are steps to do it safely:

Doctors say that you should douche no more than once per day, and ideally no more than two to three times a week. So, how do you anal douche safely? First, you

about it.

My fourth interview was with Lilah, a fan ction writer who is majoring in creative writing and psychology. Lilah is a junior with an enthusiasm for learning something new.

Jamie: It is 12:47 p.m. I am here with a major water fan.

Lilah: Wow, I’m already getting emotional about this subject–I just love water.

Jamie: So, what got you into water?

Lilah: I joined the water Discord. I had it recommended to me by a friend who said “hey, you already write water fan ction, why don’t you join this group?” I make water fan art now because of it.

Jamie: Now, I’m intrigued. What kind of water fan ction do you write?

Lilah: Oh, the usual. Tap water x water bottle. Dasani x Poland Spring.

Jamie: Do you have any literature about water you would recommend to the readers out there?

Lilah: ere’s this great book called “Water for Dummies,” that teaches you all about how to go to your rst water convention and cosplay as your favorite water character. For my last Water Con, I dressed up as Dasani, but I got booed at.

Jamie: I’m sorry to hear that.

Lilah: I’m doing better now. Apparently, no one likes Dasani. Dasani is my bias.

Jamie: Do your friends know about this water fan ction writing hobby you have?

Lilah: Oh, no. It’s all private.

ere’s such a stigma about the water fandom.

My h and nal interview took a turn that I was not expecting. I interviewed Noah, a sophomore who is a double major in applied math and lm studies.

Jamie: It is 12:49 p.m. I just have some questions for you about water.

Noah: Wait, wait, wait. I’m sorry. Water?

Jamie: Yes, water. What are your

thoughts on it?

Noah: Water, like the clear liquid?

Jamie: Yes.

Noah: I don’t think I’ve ever had water in my life, actually. I’m more of a milk drinker myself.

Jamie: A milk drinker?

Noah: Yeah, like right from the udder. You know, they have these programs where you can go to a farm and pick a cow. I usually go every week sometime a er class. And then you can take some with you back home. My fridge is just stocked.

Jamie: You’re a real milk drinker? I don’t think I’ve ever met one.

Noah: Sometimes it’s hard to talk about. I’ve actually brought a few friends over who weren’t really into milk and going to the farm really turned their lives around. Just because you don’t drink milk doesn’t mean you can’t drink milk, you know?

Jamie: Would you say that people can drink milk and water? Do they have to choose?

Noah: No, no. You can’t drink both. It’s either one or the other. If I had to drink water, I don’t think I could ever drink milk again.

Jamie: And is there any support for the milk drinkers on your college campus?

Noah: I’ve never met another milk drinker. I’ve met people who are doing it for satire, for fun. I really don’t respect that. I don’t drink water, and I don’t go around making fun of the people who do. Just let people drink what they want to drink. I love milk. Please get me some milk, the C-Store just ran out of it.

Special thanks to Ethan Kerstine, Tanner Eustace, David Shapiro and Lauren Podhorzer for their contributions to the ctional interviews.

should only use warm water. You should gently insert the device into your anus. Gentle is the key word here; don’t force it in. at will put you at risk of injuring the area. You can use lube to make the process easier. When douching for the rst time, only squeeze or squirt the water into your rectum for about 10 seconds. It’s a strange sensation at rst, and you don’t need as much water as you may think. Some people suggest clenching your butt and holding your breath for a few seconds to keep the water in. To release the water, you breathe out and relax. Repeat until the water comes out clean.

Make sure that you’re using either water or normal saline for this process. Anything else can harm your gut health and can in-

jure you. Also, make sure that the water or saline isn’t too hot. Aim for lukewarm so that you don’t burn the inside of your body. Our insides are much more sensitive than our skin. ere are multiple types of douches. e safest type is called a eet enema. Fleet enemas are over-the-counter laxative treatments that come in squeezy bottles with a nozzle. Make sure to get the ones labeled “saline.” A er using a eet enema, you dispose of the bottle. e bulb douche is the most popular, and what most people think of when they think of douching. Bulb douches come in a kit with a rubber or silicone bulb and a nozzle. It is very important that you clean the bulb douche between each use to reduce the risk of infections.

PHOTO FROM SSISBRANDEIS COM October 28, 2022 The Brandeis Hoot OPINIONS 11

Brandeis students do a lot. From research to volunteering to partying, we are a busy student body. My friends and I often talk about the “stereotypical Brandeis student”: president of ve clubs, takes six classes and works in seven di erent research labs. Although this caricature of a Brandeis student may not exist, the temptation to embody it is strong.

I feel myself pulled to do everything here. Don’t get me wrong, I do a lot. But the temptation to do more and inevitably overcommit myself to everything is strong. I write for e Hoot, why not join Gravity? I’m a Hispanic Studies UDR, maybe I should consider taking on Hispanic Studies as a third major! I’m doing research with a professor, so starting another on-campus job couldn’t possibly be that much more

Great expectations


Brandeis presents a veritable banquet of things to do every single day. ere’s just so much stu : activities that I sink hours upon hours into each week, terrible food to complain about, friends to see, high school friends to call, family to keep in touch with and so much more (but I can’t list it here or my head will explode as I attempt to do all of them at the same time).

People have di erent ideas on how to approach the massive task of getting the most out of higher education. Upon rst coming to Brandeis, I heard a student tell me their plan for their four years here: “Grab a bag, ll it with as much education as I can and get out.” I’ve even repeated their mantra myself, as I hope to squeeze as much education as I possibly can out of my four years here too. But, as I move through the process of lling my metaphorical bag with as much metaphorical education as I can, I’m nding out just how

harmful that mindset is (metaphorically). I want to be educated; I want to learn about the world around me and how I ought to move through it. I want, even more strongly, to turn the inward lamp and learn about myself. But, the pressure to be a unique, remarkable and multi-faceted individual is so strong that it’s hard to feel like I’m doing enough. I talk about this phenomenon frequently, and I recently received a very thoughtful response from someone close to me a er I asked them if I should take on yet another commitment: “I admire your drive but don’t want you overwhelmed. Nor should you be underwhelmed. Just be ‘whelmed.’”

I like this idea. e idea of knowing that you do enough. Allowing yourself to live with the satisfaction that your e orts are worthwhile and that while you can do more you choose not to because you value your own (fraying) sanity.

I love how I choose to spend my time: the classes I take are fullling, my friends are the kindest people that have ever walked this earth and my days are full with all the right things. But the pressure can be unyielding at times. e pressure to take more classes, to make more friends and to just do more of everything weighs on me sometimes. I want to be whelmed, but there’s a little voice that calls upon me to be overwhelmed, and it grows stronger when I choose to spend my time sleeping in, watching YouTube videos or doing any other pointless activity.

I’m doing my best to be content with being whelmed. Enjoying the quiet moments in my dorm. Watching the occasional YouTube video about a game I enjoy. Spending time with the people that matter to me and letting myself not even think about doing homework while I’m with them. Small victories over the voice that beckons me into the deep dark pit of over-commitment.

My version of a full college experience isn’t de ned by how many classes I take, how many clubs I join or how many volunteer hours I log. It’s de ned by what I learn about myself, and what I do with that newfound knowledge. On some level, I know this. I ght the urge to engage in the Sisyphean task of having enough things to put on my resume and doing enough to make both myself and my parents proud. But it’s hard.

Four years of being an undergraduate o ers new opportunities for exploration into quite literally everything. Maybe I’ll try to capture more of that Brandesian magic someday. But for now, I’ll focus on being “whelmed” with my considerable commitments to friends, classes and clubs.

And that will be enough.

Candy tier list: You know I am right

With Halloween comes a lot of debate! Who has the better costume? Who hosted the best party? Who has the better neighborhood to trick-or-treat in? But most important to all of these debates is the question of what candy bar is best? Long debated by siblings and friends alike of all generations and eras, this question has torn apart friendships, ruined marriages and even caused a number of cavities! So to set the record straight, I am here to serve as Brandeis’ great arbiter of justice when it comes to what candy takes top ranks. Because I do not want to reveal my favorite candy too fast, I am going to write this list in a reverse order, starting with the worst and slowly working up. If you have any issues with my list the answer is simple—you are wrong! So let the ranking begin: D Tier

It would be impossible to start anywhere else but when I think of “D tier” items I immediately think of failed candies and chocolate. e food to be forgotten, the ghosts of Halloween past which will never come back and the hybrids from hell! So let’s start out bold and I think on a foot we can all agree on: 100 Grand bars. Rubbish! All of them! is

chocolate-based candy has a layer of rice on the outside but easily one of the stickiest and grossest amounts of caramel on the inside. Now, I do not mind some caramel in my chocolate, it can be a fun diversion from usual candy, but if the chocolate bar sticks to my teeth more than it melts in my mouth, then we have issues. Every 100 Grand bar I have ever eaten has always made me worried that one of my teeth will be pulled out simply from trying to chew too hard. e coe cient of static friction with 100 Grand bar caramel is higher than any glue or “ ex tape” I have ever seen. Instead of ingesting this stud we should use it to make things like ships and Lower Usdan’s ceiling waterproof. 100 Grand bar—D tier.

C Tier

For this tier we are entering the realm of mis t candy. It is certainly not a piece that anyone desires at rst, but when all the candy is gone and this one is le you still decide to eat it. at’s right, I am talking about the Milky Way bar. It is a reliable candy at the least and a sweet treat at best. e layer of chocolate covering a so nugget inside is classic. It is sweet but it doesn’t stick to your mouth. It goes down easy and gives you a little sugar. Now, it does not o er any sort of kick or real fun side to it which is a major downfall of the candy. It will never be a piece to get excited about nor is it one

you’ll ever actively crave. But when the pickings get slim and the Halloween candy haul slowly dries up these guys are always there to let you down easy.

B Tier

Now this tier is a little di erent and will start a slightly di erent trend from the rest. Here we have two candies holding down the fort of the “B tier” and that is because the tier is for those candies which are consistent, reliable and most importantly good. ese candies you will never say no to but you may never utter an excited “yes!” when you hear them. ese are just old reliables and I do not think it gets any more reliable than a classic Hershey’s bar and M&M’s. Name a more iconic duo, I’ll wait. at’s right, there are none! is duo has been through everything and the Hershey’s company and Mars company have been bitter rivals driving each other to be more creative since day one. ese candies embody the idea of pureness and yes I will explain myself. e Hershey’s bar is the gold standard for what a chocolate bar ought to be. Smooth, consistent and allaround versatile in the kitchen. Likewise, the M&M is the gold standard for nger candy. Grab a handful, does the color matter for avor? No! It is all the same but it revolutionized how we eat chocolate. ese two candies are owed everything when it comes to perfecting candy science. From the perfect chocolate formula for mass consumption in Hershey’s corner and the perfect candy shell in M&M’s these two giants are the great grandfathers on which better candies came from. ere is no dispute—these two take the B tier with grace. ey own this zone!

A Tier

To be an “A tier” candy you have to be a go-to. You have to be calling my name when I stumble into the C-Store late on Friday and Saturday nights with some midnight munchies. is candy makes you happy when it’s there and sad when it is not. But even in its absence you still admire how respectable the candy is and the grip it has on our modern American society. Again with a two-part A tier, we’ve got Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Sour Patch Kids

Watermelon. I mean, c’mon! Are you even going to argue with me on this? Do you even need me to explain why? ese candies are amazing and dare I say that they are nearly perfect! e Watermelon Sour Patch is something I will fully do ungodly things to obtain. e sugar on the outside perfectly compliments the sour kick but then it reels you back in with that sweet a ertaste. I mean how wonderful?? And then of course there is perfection in a chocolate cup. How can you argue with the combination of salty and sweet in one cup? Reese’s got it so right that other companies began making cheap imitations to sell even a cheap copy. at is a true sign of making it right there. For those reasons you cannot argue with the near perfection Sour Patch Kids Watermelon and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups bring to the table (or should I say Halloween bag!).

S Tier

Now this is truly my own opinion. So this category I will rank as the candy that has always had a grasp on me since I was a young one walking around my neighborhood in a Buzz Lightyear costume (See our Hoot Recommends article for a photo of me in it). So I cannot explain why this candy is S tier other than it is my favorite candy. CRUNCH bars. My mouth waters just thinking about the goodness contained within that blue wrapper. It has Hershey’s smoothness in the chocolate. It has the crunch factor coming in from the rice in the bar. e perfect combination of sweetness and a little bit of salt from the rice which pops in every bite. e

CRUNCH bar got it all right on my tongue and I am unafraid to express this opinion. is candy is also helped by the fact that it is not one that you eat all the time. Rarely are you face to face with a crunch bar which makes it all the more exciting. It is a rare occurrence when you are presented with one, and man does it deliver when it’s there. It is, to my palate, the perfect candy.

Honorable Mentions

Now I can feel some of you hating me for not mentioning a few icons of the candy world. Namely: Kit Kats and Twix. Of course I would not go any further without mentioning them. e reason these candies did not make it into a tier is because while they rate highly in my list I am unsure if they t perfectly into a tier as I have designed them. Most likely these bars fall into an intermediate zone between B tier and A tier or if I am feeling generous, between A tier and S tier. Especially the Kit Kat, which perfected the wafer crunch in a chocolate bar and did not need the marketing scheme Twix did with “le and right Twix” to increase sales. But overall, solid pieces of candy right there.

OPINIONS 12 The Brandeis Hoot October 28, 2022

I love scary movies, but I also hate them. It’s quite the conundrum. I like the thrill that comes from sitting on the edge of your seat, but then it is nearly impossible for me to go to sleep at night. It’s a cruel cycle really. It was helpful freshman year when I was living in a triple because my fencer roommate would surely protect me from anything scary. Sadly, without the protection of Maggie, it makes watching anything remotely scary slightly di cult.

I have a very low threshold of scary that I can handle. Lucky for me, Net ix has released a lot of good content in the horror genre that isn’t so scary as to make you lay awake at night and inch at any noise. ese are some great shows to watch while carving a pumpkin or avoiding your midterm exams.

“28 Days Haunted”

What a trip this show was! I mean seriously, really recommend it for anyone who likes “Buzzfeed Unsolved.” Whether you believe in ghosts or not this show was certainly entertaining.

It’s like “Love Island” goes paranormal—not really, but I’ll explain. ree teams of paranormal investigators get sent to three separate locations. ey are blindfolded and taken to the location, given no information about the site. e investigators are then cut o from the rest of society for the next 28 days.

No talking with family, no internet access—nothing. e process is an attempt to replicate the theory proposed by Ed and Lorraine Warren—two famous paranormal investigators who the “Conjuring” movies are based on.

e Warrens proposed that living in a “haunted” place for 28 days would allow investigators to complete the cycle and break the veil between the living and the dead.

It’s a bold statement, but the

investigators are determined to complete the experiment.

Now if someone told me to live in a haunted house for a month with no contact with the outside world I would tell them absolutely not. It’s a no for me. While I don’t know if I believe in ghosts, I really don’t want to experience proof that they are real.

You could say that the show is staged or the investigators looked things up about the locations in advance despite not knowing the location, but I have to say it was eerily accurate what they were getting from the “ghosts” and what actually happened. One medium almost perfectly described what happened to one family in the location they were in. You see vases y o the shelves and cabinets open on their own.

You also see people wear spirit hats and do some other pretty-far-out-there things to “communicate with the dead.”

Whether it’s a bunch of nonsense or not, it’s some good background noise while you’re folding your laundry and not so scary as to keep you up at night.

e Midnight Club”

Mike Flanagan—the writer of Net ix’s “ e Haunting of Hill House” and “ e Haunting of Bly Manor”—is back with another binge-worthy thriller show.

e Midnight Club” is based on a book by Christopher Pike, which centers around a young girl Ilokna (Iman Benson). Ilokna is a bright girl with her whole life ahead of her—until it isn’t. As a senior in high school she gets diagnosed with a terminal form of cancer. With her odds of going into remission dwindling she comes across what is essentially a hospice for young kids with terminal illnesses—Rotterdam Home.

Strange things start happening as soon as Ilonka walks through the front door, and things just get weirder as the show progresses. Ilonka discovers that the other patients of the hospice gather at midnight to share

scary stories. It’s a tradition that they aren’t sure who started. Ilonka hasn’t fully accepted the fact that she is dying, and despite going to the hospice as a way to begin this acceptance, she spends a lot of her time trying to heal herself through natural remedies. ings ramp up pretty quickly, as Ilonka nds out secrets about Rotterdam Home. She nds a hidden oor beneath the building, a book recording previous Midnight Club members and discovers more about a patient who walked

out of the hospice in remission. It just so happens that this patient was diagnosed with the same disease as Ilonka and she begins to obsess over ways to avoid her fate.

Honestly I was kinda confused by the ending, but I believe there is an intent to have a second season, unlike Flanagan’s other series. You’re le with a lot of questions at the end and you don’t get answers on who the ghosts are or why this haunting is happening. roughout the series various occult symbols are used and many of them are le unexplained, which is confusing, but hopefully there is a season two to answer these questions.

Would recommend it if you were a fan of “ e Haunting of Hill House” and “ e Haunting of Bly Manor,” though I don’t think “ e Midnight Club” is as good as either of those series.

“ e Watcher”

I had some background context for “ e Watcher” because it was an episode of “Buzzfeed Unsolved: True Crime.” So warning: yes, this is based on a true story.

“ e Watcher” centers on a family who has just moved from the city to the suburbs of New Jersey. A downgrade if you ask me, but anyway. ey move to 657 Boulevard in West eld, New Jersey. is is in fact the actual address and town in the true story. ey appear to be a pretty ideal family of four: one daughter, one son and a family dog. ey’re picture perfect. en things go awry. e family begins to receive letters in the mail, signed “ e Watcher.” e content of the letters start as creepy but transform into something more sinister. e father, Dean Braddock (Bobby Cannavale), begins to go on this downward spiral as he becomes obsessed with the letters and nding out who the Watcher is. A er the police seem unconcerned by the threatening letters, he seeks out a private investiga-

tor (Noma Dumezweni) to help research the history of the house. ere are a lot of suspects, from the neighbors next door to the police chief. Practically everyone is a subject at some point or another which I think really highlights the complexity of the case. Perhaps the scariest thing about this show is that it is based on a true story. I mean, there is nothing scarier than paying a mortgage for a house and then nding out it is unsafe for your family to live there. Do you know the nancial di culty of that? is show also really plays with your trust issues because you genuinely can’t tell who is lying and who is telling the truth. And while I am sure the show embellishes the story, I cannot imagine having to deal with any of this in real life. e family in real life ended up having to move from the home. But it took many years to resell the home because news had spread of the letters. e family also wanted the next owners to be aware of the letters—a er nding out the same type of letters were sent to the family who lived there before them. e house ended up selling for $400,000 less than they bought it for. Good show; it reminded me a lot of “Criminal Minds,” but be ready it will really mess with your head.

ARTS October 28, 2022 The Brandeis Hoot 13 PHOTO FROM TVINSIDER COM

‘Black Adam’ has perfected the art of the dumb fun movie

Last week, to the delight of Dwayne “ e Rock” Johnson and also me, the newest DC superhero lm, “Black Adam,” was released. Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, “Black Adam” is the 11th lm (and 12th overall installment) of the DC Extended Universe (DCEU). e movie stars Johnson as Teth-Adam, aka Black Adam, a man who was granted the powers of Shazam ( ight, super-strength, super-speed, invulnerability, lightning bolts, etc.) in ancient Kahndaq, a ctional country located in the Middle East, but was thought to have died. Five thousand years later, in the modern day, he has been reawakened by archeologist Adrianna Tomaz (Sarah Shahi) to nd that Kahndaq is under the control of high-tech criminal out t Intergang, the latest in a long line of oppressors the nation has faced since his apparent demise. To quell the chaos brought in by Adam’s resurgence, a team of superheroes from the out t known as the Justice Society, composed of experienced heroes Hawkman (Aldis Hodge) and Doctor Fate (Pierce Brosnan) and rookies Cyclone (Quintessa Swindell) and Atom Smasher (Noah Centineo) is asked to intervene.

So to start o , let me just get this out of the way—”Black Adam” is a dumb movie. It’s not a movie that’ll make you pay close attention to its details, or a movie that you’ll leave the theater thinking about for a long time. But damn if it isn’t fun as hell the whole way through. Collet-Serra’s directing is alright overall but really shines in some of the action scenes, which as you can imagine make up a signi cant chunk of the movie. Some choices, like

certain lines of dialogue, action shots or needle drops are downright ridiculous, but I got a sense that by chuckling at them I wasn’t making fun of the movie but laughing right alongside it, as if it knew exactly what it was doing.

e characters were largely a highlight of “Black Adam.” In the role of the titular anti-hero, the former wrestler Dwayne Johnson gave a slightly—emphasis on slightly—more complex performance than he has in his characters from recent memory. I was glad to see some of his comedic chops come out here, as the stoic Teth-Adam made for a solid straight man for other characters to bounce o . His macho rivalry with Hawkman which plays out throughout the lm was also enjoyable to watch, Hodge’s Hawkman (real name Carter Hall), a bird-themed superhero with mastery over the unbreakable “Nth Metal,” who is also the reincarnation of an ancient Egyptian prince (the latter is not mentioned in the movie), t in perfectly as the no-nonsense team leader with un inching morals, which as mentioned makes him clash o en with the more ethically exible Black Adam. Brosnan’s performance as the magical hero Doctor Fate (a.k.a Kent Nelson) was standout, and he does quite well as the mysterious yet whimsical and sarcastic “old man” of the team. His and Hawkman’s long-standing friendship can be felt quite strongly in their scenes together.

Rounding out our cast of superhumans are the two newbies, Cyclone (a.k.a Maxine Hunkel) and Atom Smasher (a.k.a Al Rothstein). ese two get the least overall screen time of the main cast, but get some good moments and you will likely come out of the lm wanting to know more about them. Of the pair, Swindell as the “Wizard of Oz”-inspired superheroine Cyclone gets a bit more to

do, and they do a good job with what they’re given to portray the smarter, more well-behaved of the young heroes. Cyclone’s wind powers are also quite visually stunning, though maybe not every single one of them required a slow-motion shot of her spinning around. On the other hand, Centineo does an alright job overall as Atom Smasher. In the vein of Tom Holland’s “Spider-Man” performance, the character is more nervous, stammering and clumsy than his windy counterpart. e movie plays into this quite hard, with his power to grow to gigantic sizes o en causing some mishaps, and some of the physical comedy is genuinely funny. One thing to note is that Atom Smasher is a prominently Jewish character in the source material, and this is unfortunately not referenced at all in the lm, a fact which is only soured by the casting of the non-Jewish Centineo in the role. e non-superheroic characters, on the other hand, were not quite as captivating as their ashy counterparts. Tomaz, as well as her superhero-loving son Amon (Bodhi Sabongui) and comic-relief brother Karim (Mo Amer), are kind of just there for most of the movie, like superhero versions of the boring human characters in a “Godzilla” movie. ey do all get their small moments to shine, however, and I do have to commend Sabongui in particular for his performance as a child actor, as well as his chemistry with Johnson. On a small musical aside, the score by Lorne Balfe is also excellent and complements the lm’s tone and characters very well, marking another win for DC’s lms in the music department. e songs that play in certain scenes are also pretty good, though there are some laughably on-the-nose tracks like the Rolling Stones’ “Paint It Black”

and Kanye West’s “POWER” that play during certain ght scenes.

“Black Adam” actually does attempt to go a little deeper than it needed to, though the results of these attempts were somewhat mixed. Black Adam’s debate with the heroes about whether killing as a form of justice against villains rings kind of at, as characters like Hawkman who oppose Adam are portrayed as bumbling idiots with no depth to their morality, but as they are proven to be somewhat correct by the end of the movie, it’s le unclear what exactly the argument was supposed to be. ere is also some reference to US intervention in, and general Western subjugation of nations in the Middle East through groups like the Justice Society and Intergang as well as the US government itself as represented by DCEU mainstay Amanda Waller (Viola Davis). However, whatever message was trying to convey itself got lost fairly quickly in the

heat of the plot and action. But, I suppose it’s nice that that aspect wasn’t completely ignored like it easily could have been. Overall, watching the movie really felt like the lmmakers boiled down what makes a fun, dumb movie to a science, and I don’t really have a problem with that. So, if for some reason you were looking to Dwayne Johnson’s “Black Adam” to see some thought-out thesis about morality in today’s militarized world, maybe this movie isn’t for you. But hey, if you just want to have a blast for a couple of hours, give it a shot.

Oh, and if you’re a big DC fan, you may want to stick around for the post-credits scene…

“Black Adam” is available to view in theaters now.

‘Chainsaw Man,’ a rip-roarin’ good time

People like to believe in big things. Ideology, religion, destiny. It makes us feel important, and gives us a rationale for toughing it out and living on a daily basis in our world. However, what’s lost is that, frankly speaking, most of these are really just complex psychological coping strategies. O entimes, what really compels people in their motivations is some sense of insecurity within themselves. When people have a neglectful childhood, they o en seek power to make up for that sense of total helplessness they experienced. When something tragic happens to someone, they seek an explanation to help contextualize that feeling of “something’s gone wrong.” e thing which is missed by many of us is that tragedy is normal, the default state of living in this world. People miss the bus, get caught in the rain, fail a class or lose their loved ones on a daily basis. It’s not some glitch; it’s a feature. is, of course, is impossible for sentient rational beings, such as us humans, to accept. It is the foil of all the great anti-heroes and antagonists of ction, uniting the disparate goals of Dr. Frankenstein to Dr. Doom; the desire, the NEED, to ‘ x’ the world in the way they

see t, almost always instead leading to their eventual downfall.

On the other hand, nearly all the great heroes of ction (such as Achilles, Odysseus, Hamlet) are missing these ulterior psycho-structural motives for their desires. Sure, while their motives may seem complex at rst (the conquest of Troy, a return to Ithaca, the removal of an illegitimate monarchy from Denmark), at the center of all these desires all they want is what we all want, a form of justice (or at least, some kind of revenge on those who wronged them). is is the key to their heroism, the clarity of their innermost heart, how these ctional individuals have been able to exist for centuries and millennia through recontextualization and retroactive continuity. is trait, I feel, is shared by the main character of the Japanese manga and now anime series, “Chainsaw Man.” Denji, as originally written by series creator Tatsuki Fujimoto, is a somewhat pure character from a motivational standpoint. All he really wants is food, shelter and … uh, let’s say love. It is this relative purity which di erentiates himself from the other, more outwardly ideological characters of the series, many of whom use their motivations to justify truly horrendous acts of malice. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

As you may have guessed from

the name, “Chainsaw Man” follows a young man named Denji (Kikunosuke Toya) who can turn himself into a chainsaw, or more technically has fused with a chainsaw devil which resembles a cute little dog, by the name of Pochita. At the opening of the story, Denji is working as a kind of indentured slave to his town’s Yakuza, who hold him responsible for the huge debt owed to them by his (now dead) father. e Yakuza use him as a “Devil Hunter,” a person who is hired to go a er and kill other Devils who have come to earth to possess other humans.

From the very beginning, we are reminded over and over again that Denji’s life stinks. He lives in a shack in the woods, and because of his debt payments he o en has to survive on single slices of white bread, which he shares with his only friend, Pochita (Shiori Izawa). He has no money, and as a result has no drip and obtains absolutely zero spouses. His life completely, positively sucks. Which is why, when o ered the chance at an even halfway decent living experience working for the Japanese government’s Public Safety Division, he jumps at the opportunity. During this time he also meets some other eccentric Devil Hunters, from Aki (Shogo Sakata), stoic straight man, to a Devil named Power (Fairouz Ai Kadota) who doesn’t shower, to

Denji’s seductress boss Makima (Tomori Kusunoki) (kind of a Cooper Gottfried type).

Obviously the kooky side characters are de nitely a plus, but I think a lot of what has drawn such a mass audience around this property has been its raw, abrasive edge which isn’t afraid to portray morally gray characters in an uninching light. is is something which isn’t hard to nd in western media these days, but still is a bit rare in most anime. For example, I o en nd myself thinking of another favorite anime of mine, “Demon Slayer,” which has a similar premise of people being enlisted to hunt down and kill supernatural demons ravaging the Japanese countryside. However, in that show becoming a demon slayer is actually considered an honor, something to genuinely strive for, which upli s ordinary people into legends and heroes.

e Public Safety Division, on the other hand, is a mostly corrupt and unscrupulous government agency run by an insane, sadomasochistic woman who can make people’s heads explode.

( is is a good time to mention that the manga is really cool and everyone should read it.)

I think that might be the reason why it’s soaked into the public conversation so much, considering that I’ve been seeing memes about it for the past year and a

half. I only began reading it about two months ago, and I have to say it really sucked me in. I attribute this mostly to the fast-paced style of the story, as well as its jet-black dark sense of comedy, which probably contributes to the endless “literally me” memes it’s spawned. ere was a post on some forum a while back talking about how the idea of a “chainsaw man” is so dumb that it feels like it’s existed for a way longer time than it actually has. In my book, that’s usually a good sign. We’ve got some great animation from studio MAPPA, so far I’ve been really satis ed with all the ght scenes, although I have noticed there’s been a little bit of dodgy CGI and weird mouth movements, these have been minimal, and everything considered I really think the show looks nice. I’ve also noticed the exceptional voice acting and sound design; in particular I feel like the music has really stuck out to me as being solid throughout the whole thing.

For real, this is already a very solid show and we’re only three episodes in. I highly suggest everyone who’s interested should check it out. Also, don’t tell anyone I told you this, but I’ve heard that for the English dub they’re bringing in Carlos Mencia to voice the lead of Denji, and Pochita will be played by Sir Anthony Hopkins. SO EXCITED!

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Hold Thy Peace’s ‘Hurricane Diane’ brought some modern comedy to Greek mythology

Most of us are familiar with the many Greek gods and their stories. One god that may stand out is Dionysus, the god of wine and pleasure. In the stories you have read, you are probably used to Dionysus partying thousands of years ago in ancient Greece. What if he was partying in modern-day New Jersey? And the partying involved seducing lonely and bored housewives? is sets the scene for Hold y Peace’s latest play, “Hurricane Diane.” Originally premiering in 2019 at the New York eatre Workshop, this mature comedy has now recently made its Brandeis premiere. On Oct. 22, 23 and 24, Hold y Peace lled the Shapiro Campus Center eater with laughs and gasps from an entertained audience. I did not fully know what to expect going into this show but I certainly had a fun time. It was a small show but it de nitely le a big impact.

“Hurricane Diane” centers around the god Dionysus, except now he has taken the form of Diane (Lyn Stanley ’26), a lesbian gardener. Dionysus has gone through many forms in order to achieve his goal of ravishing women and creating his own bacchae, or cult, of women. e form of Diane lives in New Jersey and plans to redesign the gardens of a cul-de-sac of housewives, as well as have sex with them so that they submit. Diane rst has her eye on the pristine and unhappily married Carol (Rachel Shpunto ’26), who sees Diane as a little eccentric for her, both in gardening and sexually. is just makes Diane want her more. However, she is not the only conquest. ere is Beth (Shelby Levine ’25), who recently got divorced and lost her spirit, Renee (Natalie Kong ’26), a hard worker that loves her husband even if she can’t stop thinking about her college lover

Nadine, and Pam (Abby Roberts ’24), the brash New Jersey stereotype who could probably be taken down a peg. ese women all have their own reasons why Diane could help them out and she is more than willing to take advantage of those reasons. Diane will stop at nothing until this cul-de-sac is her bacchae, but can she get Carol on board? Will this cul-de-sac be the greatest challenge Dionysus has faced yet? is was a truly wild story and I can not say I have been to a play like this one. It was able to take stories about Dionysus’ bacchae and make it new. It was presented in a setting that most of us knew well, and the story was also given a lot of comedic air. e audience was laughing at almost every other line. If they weren’t laughing, they were cheering for some on stage makeouts. While I also had a fun time, I did feel that some of the pacing was a bit o ere were some scenes of people’s conversations that could have bene ted from being a bit shorter. I also felt there were some important scenes that would have been better with a bit more dialogue and detail. e weird timing could use a little bit of work so that the audience could have gotten the perfect amount of details, no more and no less. I was also a little confused by the ending, but I think this was a great play overall. I really enjoyed the story itself and the jokes. While this play is not perfect, I hope it can become big one day.

is is a cast of only ve people, which means that every performance is really important. Luckily, all of the actors knocked it out of the park. Each performance was unique and all of the actors had their moment to shine. e main standout was the main character, Diane. Stanley had to give many monologues and they nailed every single one of them. ey felt very natural and they really gripped the audience.

Stanley also did a terri c job in seducing the many housewives in a believable way that let you know that Diane meant business. I also felt that Shpunto ’s portrayal of Carol was excellent. As soon as the audience meets Carol, we know what type of woman she is—an overworked and undersexed housewife. However, as the show unravels, Shpunto shows that there are many layers to Carol, with a performance big enough to show how Carol could be a threat to an actual Greek god. I also feel the need to shout out the other women of the cul-desac. Levine’s performance as Beth was de nitely comedic as she played the kooky one of the block. She portrayed Beth’s melancholic nature very well and grabbed attention in all of her scenes. Kong was also terri c as Renee in a more subtle performance. is was a character whose layers were slowly peeled back and we saw her passion and desperation as the play went on. Hong did a terri c job at making this transition natural and made Renee a captivating character. en there was Roberts as Pam, which was easily the hammiest role of the show. Roberts nailed the thick accent and was able to control every conversation in a hilarious way. A part like this is not easy, as it requires a lot of comedic talent, but Roberts did wonderfully. All of the actors in this show brought these characters to life in a magical way, and I hope to see them in more Brandeis productions in the future. I was a big fan of the way this show was staged. Even though this was not a play written by Hold y Peace, they were able to present it well and leave their mark on it. I have to single out the set design for this show. In this show, there was only one set, a simple suburban home kitchen. However, this play took place in multiple people’s homes. I found this to be a great visual represen-

tation of the cookie cutter lifestyle that each of these women were leading. en midway through the show, a bright garden appeared onstage to show how Diane was invading their plain lives. is was a brilliant artistic choice.

ere were also some wonderful costumes to help separate each character. ere was Carol’s rich lady chic look, Pam’s loud leopard print, Beth’s casual comfort, Renee’s put together working woman and then there was Diane’s easy transition from gardener to god. All of these out ts matched their respective character’s personality and that is why they all worked.

ere were also some terri c sound design choices, as this show took place during a storm. e appropriate noises put the audience into the scene of this storm, as they could all feel the seriousness of the situation. e people that work behind the scenes can be an underrated part of a play, and I truly admire all of their work.

Hold y Peace typical-

ly puts on Shakespearean shows or other plays that were written centuries ago. e fairly modern “Hurricane Diane” is a change of pace for this theatre group, but they nailed it anyway. e ties in to old Greek myths is what made this play t for HTP, but it might be one of the wildest shows they have put on in a long time. I have enjoyed HTP’s previous productions, but I hope more plays like this one are done in the future. It was very energetic and eccentric, which made it special. e timing and scenes were a little odd at certain points in terms of how it was written, but I have to applaud this production and everyone that put their time and e ort into it. Much like an actual hurricane, “Hurricane Diane” brought a lot of drama, energy and surprises to everyone who witnessed it.

Spooky BookTok worth it or not: The Lost Apothecary

She’s back with another book. Basically, I nd books on BookTok— but really Bookstagram— and I decide whether or not they are worth the hype they receive. is week is going to be a special edition because Halloween is upon us, so naturally I have to do a spooky recommendation.

I should note that the BookTok girlies have been prepping for Halloween reads since July. I mean, seriously, “A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder” by Holly Jackson, “ e League of Gentle Woman Witches” by India Holton, “ e Dead Romantics” (which I loved by the way) by Ashley Poston— these have all been trending on BookTok for a while now. And so has our spooky review of the week… “ e Lost Apothecary” by Sarah Penner.

“ e Lost Apothecary” is set in two di erent time points in England, one in 1791 and one in

present day. In the present day we meet Caroline, who is traveling to England for her 10th wedding anniversary… alone. We don’t nd out right away, but Caroline’s marriage has gone awry and she realizes she has spent her life doing things her husband would want instead of pursuing things that she is passionate about. It is this realization that she has been wasting her life on a future that she may now no longer want that was central to her story. She put her life on hold, stopped pursuing her career in History and did what was practical. It’s heartbreaking. But she takes this solo trip to try and nd herself and put together what she wants. And in trying to nd herself, she also nds Nella from a potions bottle washed up from the ames.

Nella is an apothecary from 1791. She took over the shop from her mother and helps women escape men. She sells poisons to women who are trying to get rid of their husbands. Kinda a girlboss, if you ask me. When we meet

Nella she is getting ready to give a potion to a client— Eliza. Eliza is only 12 and is coming to the shop for poison to kill her Lord. She wants to kill his Lordship a er he tried to get her drunk and take advantage of her— again, she is only 12. She told her Ladyship and together they came up with the plan to reach out to Eliza. Nella gives Eliza two eggs with poison in them and instructs Eliza on how to give them to him. It works, but Eliza begins to think she is being haunted by his ghost so she goes back to Nella hoping to get help.

Nella is working on a potion for another client when Eliza calls upon her. She explains to Eliza that she does not delve in magic. Everything she does is through natural remedies and ingredients— no magic involved. Nella then runs into trouble when the client comes to pick up the potion because she reveals that she does not intend to use it on her husband, but on his female lover.

Nella has a strict rule that she will do no harm to women. e whole

point of her shop is that she helps women escape from men. To avoid a woman getting harmed from her poison she throws the batch into the re. e client gets upset and threatens to expose Nella and her whole shop if she does not create another batch.

Caught between a wall and a hard place, Nella creates another batch with Eliza who longs to be her apprentice. e poison however does not reach its intended victim and somehow manages to kill the lord, her clients’ husband instead.

is is bad for multiple reasons, mainly because he is a prominent gure and his death was clearly a premeditated poisoning. e police will go easy on his wife because of her status but they try extra hard to crack down on the apothecary who prescribed the poison.

Back in modern day, Caroline’s husband has followed her to England without asking her permission and he pesters her. He’s highkey the worst and he’s barely in the story, but for the time where

he is in the story I really hate him and I give Penner a lot of credit for making his character so hateable. roughout the story, Caroline is slowly unraveling the mystery of Nella and Eliza and becomes aware of their secrets. It is a tale of love and women. It shows women supporting women and giving them a choice when they would not typically have one. And we see Caroline nding her own strength to stick up for herself and what she wants in this life.

Great read, 10/10 would recommend it. I read it in one sitting and avoided my work which was fun but I justi ed it because of you, my dear readers.

Until next week, because guess what— I got a copy of “ e Ninth House” by Leigh Bardugo for $10!!!

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We are now o cially past the halfway point of the series, and the tent is giving us a rst: Halloween Week—without 2019 contestant Helena, self-styled “kitchen witch.” JUSTICE FOR HELENA. Ahem. Anyway. On to the episode.

Matt and Noel’s opening sketch gets a weak chuckle out of me—is it possible that they’re improving? e bakers are decked out in their Halloween best: Syabira is a pirate, Sandro is a dark angel, Maxy is a ghost, Abdul is in a full orange NASA spacesuit and Jannusz is dressed as Noel (AKA “Not Fielding”), complete with heels and eyeliner (courtesy of Syabira). Kevin is decked out in a jack-o’-lantern shirt. “If I have to do my leaving speech in this shirt, I’ll be well annoyed,” he deadpans to the camera.

e tent is full of skeletons and balloons and Matt and Noel are leaning heavily into the Halloween spirit of things (complete with zombies, a skeleton onesie and a ghost gerbil), so the challenges will be equally Halloween-y to match, right? Ha! Not with this

Spooky(ish) season

year’s challenge setters. e signature is apple cake. Apparently, apples have been associated with Halloween for centuries. Have they? Have they really? It seems like this week is more of a generic “Autumn Week” rather than properly Halloween-y.

Alas, as always, the producers ignore my gripes and go on with the challenge anyway. Paul and Prue nd approximately 15 ways to say that they want an apple cake that “tastes of apples.”

It shouldn’t be too di cult, but both Sandro and Jannusz manage to overwhelm the apple avor with spices. Syabira, as always, is more adventurous, with chili plum cream cheese ice cream. It shouldn’t work, but it goes down a treat, and Syabira gets her rst handshake. Maxy, who baked a more classic apple and walnut cake, gets her second handshake. Matt is put o by the walnuts, claiming they look like monkey brains. I hate to say it, but I think Matt might be right. Walnuts do look like brains, and now I can’t unsee it. Disaster comes for Dawn and Kevin—Kevin’s streusel cake doesn’t have enough cooling time and the cream cheese frosting (which melts if you so much as look at it funny) slides right o Dawn’s Ukrainian Sharlotka cake

is dull, bland and collapses in the middle.

e technical challenge is also disappointingly non-Halloween: s’mores. A more accurate label may be “sdible s’more-like substance,” because whatever these things are, they are not s’mores. ey are cylindrical monstrosities featuring ganache, digestive biscuits and homemade (unroasted) marshmallows. Abdul’s marshmallow is underset and over-blowtorched, and he produces the only bake that looks remotely like a s’more. Unfortunately, the judges were not looking for s’mores, they were looking for these imposters, and he came last. Maxy also has a wobble, nearly forgetting to add gelatin to her marshmallow, messing up the textures, coming in sixth. Dawn is h, Sandro is fourth, Kevin is third, Jannusz is second and Syabira comes in rst! I’m willing to forgive this dreadful challenge for the sake of Syabira, who is absolutely redeeming herself a er an uncharacteristically shaky showing last week. e showstopper is, mercifully, Halloween-themed. It’s a spooky edible hanging lantern that contains an array of sweet treats. Yes, you read that correctly. Anything that has to hang (like the accursed

biscuit chandeliers of 2018) is a dreadful challenge by default, but apart from that defect, it’s a fun showstopper to watch. It blends the drama of biscuit construction for the lantern with the intricacies of patisserie for the sweet treats. Paul says he’s expecting “eyeballs, ngernails, witch’s hats, noses…” Noses? Paul really said “you can have a sprinkling of accidental antisemitism. As a treat.” Never one to shy away from unusual avors, Syabira is making orange, white tru e and maple syrup biscuits. It would seem very avant-garde, except Jannusz is making cricket tru es. Yes, actual crickets. “Insects are the future,” Prue says to a disgusted Matt. ey taste like bacon!” Jannusz protests. Abdul has also taken a risk with his avors, coating brandy snaps in matcha (a avor that Paul notoriously hates). e challenge is massively difcult, and multiple bakers show signs of stress. Maxy is close to tears, and the top of her lantern collapses. is week is the rst time Maxy has shown any signs of weakness. Dawn’s lantern isn’t neat enough, and she barely assembles it while abandoning hanging it all together. Kevin’s spider lantern is so hideous that even Sandro can’t nd anything nice to

say about it. Only Syabira and Janusz seem unshakeable, and they both produce legitimate works of art, with a light-up spider and horror-themed popcorn bucket respectively. Sandro is also quite cheery throughout the challenge (clearly thrilled with his “skull disco ball” idea) but he struggles with his sweet treats.

During judging, Paul and Prue gleefully smash the bakers’ hard work with orange rolling pins. Most bakers receive a mixed bag of feedback, and by the end of the judging, it’s clear that Syabira has run away with Star Baker, while Kevin and Dawn are in a bit of trouble. Ultimately, it is Dawn’s “basic” lantern and sweet treats that send her home, and Kevin is allowed to ght another week. Syabira is thrilled with Star Baker, and she has managed to achieve the “Bake O ” trifecta—a handshake, rst in technical and Star Baker, all in one episode. Watch out, everyone.

Next time, it’s another “Bake O ” rst: Custard Week, featuring this series’ obligatory ice cream challenge. Can Kevin scrape through another week? Will the challenges nally be half-decent? And whose custard will be scrambled eggs? Join me next week to nd out.

16 ARTS The Brandeis Hoot October 28, 2022
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