The Brandeis Hoot, May 6, 2022

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Volume 20 Issue 11

“To acquire wisdom, one must observe” www.brandeishoot.com

May 6, 2022

Brandeis University’s Community Newspaper · Waltham, Mass.

Univ. president speaks on returning to founding roots Victoria Morrongiello editor

University president Ron Liebowitz spoke with The Brandeis Hoot and The Justice on plans to return the university to its Jewish identity. The president has been in many conversations with community members on how best to return to the university’s founding principles and Jewish values, Liebowitz said during the interview. Liebowitz said that with the students he has had conversations with regarding Jewish identity, many expressed interest in knowing more about the university’s founding and history. Students, according to Liebowitz, were not aware of the university’s founding and noted that it should be a point of pride. In the interview, Liebowitz noted that the university is different from other universities in that it was not founded in the 1700s or intended for men, members of the clergy or the wealthy elite. The university was founded in

1948, according to the Our Story page on the university’s website, and, “welcomed talented faculty and students of all backgrounds and beliefs. From the outset, Brandeis focused on undergraduate education, while building a pioneering research enterprise.” According to Liebowitz, the university’s first president Abram L. Sachar welcomed faculty members of all different backgrounds who were being turned away from other established universities on the basis of gender, race and political opinion. According to the university’s website, ethnic and racial minorities, as well as women— who were discriminated against in higher education— were allowed to enroll at Brandeis. From readings provided by Liebowitz before the interview, the university, “must reaffirm the major principles underlying its trailblazing founding: to be open and welcoming to all academically qualified students regardless of their backgrounds, religions, and beliefs, and to be committed to the American

Jewish community, which established the university in 1948. Liebowitz explained during the meeting that he wants to incorporate the university’s past in its future. By projecting the past into the future, the university can return to its founding principles. There are four main pillars to Liebowitz’s idea: academic rigor, critical thinking, repairing the world and being an open environment. The university is known for its academic rigor, Liebowitz noted during the meeting, and when he first became president he didn’t try to fight the fact that students were double and triple majoring. Liebowitz said that the university is trying to maintain the balance of academic rigor while also preserving student mental health. The Wellness Day held earlier this semester for students would have been “laughed out of the office” if proposed five years ago according to See Liebowitz, page 2 PHOTO FROM BRANDEIS.EDU

Liebowitz releases email on Board of Trustees update ByVictoria Morrongiello editor

University president Ron Liebowitz sent an email to community members with updates from the April Board of Trustees meeting. Liebowitz updated the community on multiple initiatives the

Board of Trustees has undertaken. The Board elected Lisa Kranc ’75 to a three-year term position on the Board, serving as a chair. Kranc held this position as interim chair since May 2021, and will be the first woman to hold this position, according to the email. The Board also inducted another member Dan Rueven ’09, accord-

ing to Liebowita, Rueven has a “deep engagement to his alma mater” and he will bring “expertise in the fields of environmental sustainability and green investment.” The Board of Trustees also analyzed the budget for the 2023 fiscal year. In the budget they included a proposal to “leverage the university’s debt capacity to

address Brandeis’ core needs and priorities, notably the construction of Science Phase 2A.” The first phase of the science complex began in the 2000’s with the building of the Shapiro Science Center (SSC) but the university did not continue building after the recession in 2008. The budget was approved by the Board mem-

bers and includes a $150 million in tax-exempt debt which can be used to fund the projects involved in the Science 2A plan along with other “critical” capital projects “This vote marks a formative step toward realizing Brandeis’ vision for investing in the physical See BOT, page 3

Brandeis students showcase research and creative projects By Roshni Ray editor

Brandeis students showcased the culmination of their summer and academic year research and creative projects at the annual Undergraduate Research and Creative Collaborations (URCC) Symposium. This is the Symposium’s second year, following last year’s virtual gallery format. Director of Undergraduate-Faculty Research Partnerships Margaret Lynch commented on the transition from virtual presentations to this year’s in-person

Inside This Issue:

celebration in an email with The Brandeis Hoot, writing, “After a successful remote event in 2021, in 2022 we transitioned the Undergraduate Research and Creative Collaborations Symposium to the Hassenfeld Conference Center on campus. Despite the convenience of online events, nothing quite replicates live, in person interactions. There is an uplifting energy to a room of people engaging in conversation and community. The Symposium showcased projects from a wide variety of disciplines in the Social Sciences, Creative Arts, See URCC, page 3

News: covid-19 policies updated Ops: a send off to our seniors Features: springfest back in person Sports: tennis hits balls over net Editorial: a year in review

Page 4 Page 12 Page 8 Page 5 Page 7

PHOTO COURTESY SIMON GOODACRE

Senior ops are here

literally screaming crying & throwing up OPS: PAGE 9

a full circle Caroline reviews Kenobi in a full circle moment on the paper ARTS: PAGE 15


NEWS

2 The Brandeis Hoot

May 6, 2022

Brining the university’s past into its future Liebowitz, from page 1

Liebowitz, but it was able to happen this semester because the university is prioritizing student wellbeing. For critical thinking, Liebowitz wants to take this pillar and also turn it inward to criticize the university to see where it needs to improve. Under the social justice pillar, going into the future, the university wants to expand and become less insular to do good for the world and the greater community. The social justice commitment is meant to repair the world, Liebowitz explained. This commitment to return to our social justice principles comes after the closure of the Social Justice and Social Policy Program (SJSP) and Peace, Conflict and Coexistence Studies (PAX) mi-

nors—both founded in social justice principles. When asked about their closure, Liebowitz said that the programs had, “great ideas on a scale too small to thrive.” Finally, to be an open environment, Liebowitz explained that we must, “never forget what it is like to be a stranger.” By making the university an open space it allows for everyone to feel welcomed even if they are new. By remembering what it is like to be a stranger it serves as a reminder for how we should treat those around us, Liebowitz explained. In reviewing how to propel the past into the future, Liebowitz said that the university’s history should be a source of pride of alumni and movements that have happened on campus including Ford Hall in 1969 and alumnus Abbie Hoffman, Liebowitz cited as examples.

From the readings, “Too few members of the community are aware of Brandeis’s history and the unique position it holds within higher education. The university needs to orient new students, faculty, and staff more deliberately about its history. And, in light of the dramatic rise in antisemitism and the targeting of Jews on many campuses, the university must be more deliberate in its support for Jewish life on campus as we pursue plans to provide greater support to Black, Muslim, LatinX, Asian, Asian-American, Native American, international, LGBTQ+, people with disabilities and other groups of students.” Liebowitz noted that Jewish values are more than just a religion, it is also a culture. In the Framework for the Future, Li-

ebowitz said that the Jewish values weren’t about religion but rather culture since the values are “practical and universal.” Liebowitz also noted that many other universities are trying to adopt these values, and Brandeis differs since it was founded on these values. A big takeaway is that Jewish values shouldn’t be seen as distinct or separate, Liebowitz explained, since they are a part of everything the university does. The most obtainable goal Liebowitz said was to find a balance between being respectful of our history by not abandoning its values and contemporizing those values for the future. Liebowitz noted there will likely not be agreement amongst all stakeholders and there will be those in favor of minimizing the past and those who want to

enhance it. With those opinions, they must come to a middle ground, Liebowitz explained. Another obtainable goal is bringing attention to Judaic Studies at the university. Liebowitz noted that the university’s Judaic Studies program helped create the field and was a pioneer. In the meeting, Liebowitz noted the “talented faculty” of the department have contributed towards “rich” academic programs and research. He wants the department to turn its gaze outward to be more integrated with academia instead of keeping its gaze inward. In order to retain rich jewish life on campus this initiative—according to Liebowitz—will create a welcoming and thriving environment for those who identify as Jewish.

Charles Chester discusses Y2Y Land Conservation Initiative By Roshni Ray editor

Brandeis lecturer in Environmental Science and U.S. Chair of the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y) Charles Chester (ENVS) recently co-authored an article in The Conversation regarding the importance and impact of large-scale land conservation. The article details recent findings about how the Y2Y Initiative has facilitated habitat restoration and migration patterns of local wildlife, and has promoted land conservation efforts across the U.S.. In an interview with The Hoot, Chester elaborated on Y2Y’s efforts and the need for large landscape conservation. With the rising pace of human development, few ecosystems remain unaffected by the presence of human-made impediments like highways or cities. To allow ecosystems to thrive, animals must be able to follow their traditional migration patterns and respond to changes spurred by climate change. Since its conception in 1993, the Y2Y Initiative has knitted together smaller regions of natural landscapes ranging between the Yellowstone Park in

Wyoming and the Yukon Territories in Canada. To accomplish the coalescence of ecosystems in the region, the Y2Y Initiative installed more natural infrastructure, such as 117 wildlife crossings for grizzly bears and thereby partitioned human-made obstacles from wildlife habitats, making roads safer for humans and animals. Now, Y2Y is considered to be a paradigm example of how large-scale land conservation can be implemented alongside human advancement, according to the article. The authors of the article note the importance of assessing the impact of land conservation after the development of new features. Quantifying dynamic ecosystems over sprawling areas of land posed challenges; in an interview with The Hoot, Chester described how it would be difficult to gain insights about causality by using purely numbers. Instead, Chester surveyed about five thousand conservationists in the Y2Y region for his dissertation work to gain a qualitative understanding of the impact on the conservation community. Moreover, by undertaking a counterfactual approach, the authors compared conservation trends and wildlife impact be-

fore and after the formation of Y2Y. Ultimately, they found that endangered grizzly bears had expanded south into the U.S. region, private land conservation increased and conservation biologists viewed Y2Y as a model for large-scale conservation. In the article, the authors write, “In our view, perhaps Y2Y’s most significant accomplishment has been expanding the conservation community’s conception of how to do large-scale conservation effectively and equitably.” Chester asserts the importance to note and act on the displacement of indigenous groups in landscapes and the current inequities in conservation efforts, saying that the protection of indigenous groups “has become more of an issue that the conservation community has embraced as one that has to do with human rights [and] sovereign rights…One thing we know about indigenous communities is that they have a far better track record of protecting biodiversity than settler colonial sovereign nations.” Furthermore, Chester describes how preserving biodiversity factors into the impact of large-scale wildlife conservation. Diverse ecosystems have generated many chemicals and biological tools

A) Around 12:18 a.m. on April 29, students living in Village were woken by a fire alarm. Students were moved from their dorms as emergency responders handled a small fire in a student’s dorm room.

that are now ubiquitous in current medicine and biotechnology. Chester cites the importance of the discovery of Thermus aquaticus, an extremophilic bacteria that is found in the mineral-rich hot springs of Yellowstone National Park, in the advancement of Polymerase Chain Reaction or PCR. Other examples of useful findings from nature include compounds from the Yew Tree, which is one of the most popular naturally derived cancer treatment drugs. Chester explained that these examples “are really important from an educational and an advocacy standpoint… and [they] make biodiversity relevant to people who don’t see any use in protecting the rainforest or don’t see why the coral reefs in the tropics have any relevance in their lives whatsoever.” In other words, given the prominent role of diverse ecosystems in generating substances applicable to human wellbeing, the conservation of land is not only imperative for wildlife, but also for humans. Moving forward, Chester shared that in addition to the Y2Y Initiative, national parks across the U.S. are aiming to connect to form larger landscapes. As detailed in Chester’s research and academ-

ic website, national parks on the east coast such as Acadia National Park and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are now using Y2Y as a model to accomplish landscape conservation. Furthermore, a recent initiative called Algonquin to Adirondacks, or A2A, has been formulated to connect the two conserved regions. At Brandeis, Chester shares how Professor of Environmental Studies Brian Donahue (AMST) is involved in a group called Wildlands and Woodlands, which investigates the interconnection of New England landscapes and how to knit them together. Chester’s article proposes how international initiatives regarding land conservation could truly incorporate large scale change. During the upcoming fall, international negotiators will meet in China for the 15th Conference of the Parties to the Biodiversity Convention. The goal of the meeting will be to draft a strategic plan for biodiversity preservation over the next decade. The authors state that initiatives like the Y2Y will serve as proof that achieving large landscape conservation is attainable and imperative.

B) Multiple emergency vehicles responded to the fire in the early morning on Friday, April 28. Students were evacuated from their dorms and were instructed to move away from the buildings as they handled the situation.


May 6, 2022

NEWS 3

The Brandeis Hoot

Univ. announces Board of Trustee committee reports BOT, from page 1

infrastructure that supports the quality of the university’s interdisciplinary research in the sciences. Planning and preparations for the building are underway, with a targeted date for the groundbreaking occurring early to mid-2024,” wrote Liebowitz to community members. During the meeting, Board members went into executive session where they listened to a presentation from Carol Fierke— Provost—and Stew Uretsky—Executive Vice President—where they showed initiative they proposed, “to define, measure, and pursue the most critical priorities for the long-term success of Brandeis.” After their presentation, Liebowitz showed the board an update on the progress of the conversations regarding the contemporizing of the university’s Jewish identity and founding values. Liebowitz had these conversations with multiple groups of community members throughout

the course of this semester. The idea was originally brought to the Board by Liebowitz in October 2021, according to the email. “I also spoke about some of the ways by which the university is strengthening its commitment to these values, including Brandeis’ Initiative on Antisemitism, which will launch with a concert at Slosberg Recital Hall by acclaimed pianist Boris Berman on May 7,” Liebowitz explained in the email. Later in the meeting, Liebowitz updated the Board on his plans to “strengthen the university’s relationship with the Waltham community.” In his plans to strengthen ties with the community Liebowitz shared the initiative he is planning for the university’s 75th anniversary. According to Liebowitz, the celebration is still in the planning stages but is intended to incorporate, “ a variety of communications, events, activities, seminars and installations that will engage all members of the Brandeis community, including alumni, faculty, staff,

students, parents and friends and members of the Waltham community,” wrote Liebowitz. The Board of Trustees also approved amendments proposed to the bylaws regarding continued faculty and student involvement on the Board. The proposed amendments, “reflect the best practices recommended following our governance review led by outside experts,” wrote Liebowitz. From this review, the major goal was to enhance communications between stakeholders and maximize effectiveness of decision making made by the Board. Tenure and promotions were granted to the following faculty members including: Charles Golden (ANTH), Alice Hsiaw (IBS), Alexander Kaye (NEJS), Jean-Paul L’Huillier (ECON), Siri Suh (SOC), Benjamin R. Shiller (ECON), Brian Swingle (PHYS) and Ilana Szobel (NEJS). The board committees also gave highlights of what they have been doing. The Academy Committee members heard a presentation

from Dean Dorthy Hodgson regarding various initiatives including: anti-racist plans, programming and infrastructure. The plans are intended to support faculty of color through efforts to increase “inclusion and belonging.” The committee also voted to discontinue the one-year masters program in musicology. The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee heard presentations regarding programs hosted during DEIS Impact from Julian Cancino—Director of the Gender and Sexuality Center and Habiba Braimah—Director of the Intercultural Center (ICC). The Institutional Advancement Committee received updates on the progress in fundraising from the 2022 fiscal year. According to the email, “fundraising continues at a promising pace, with new gifts and pledges, cash revenues, and unrestricted operating cash totals all significantly ahead compared to last year.” The committee also discussed an update to

the campaign planning work. The Nominating and Governance Committee discussed altering the process currently in place to recruit new members to the trustees. The refinement would be used to identify gaps in the Board membership and how best to recruit. The Resources Committee approved the budget proposed for the 2023 fiscal year. The Risk Management and Audit Committee, “reviewed and approved the IRS Form 990, the annual tax filing that most tax-exempt organizations must file that gives the IRS an overview of the university’s activities, governance, and detailed financial information,” according to the email. The Student Life Committee received updates from multiple groups on campus including the Hiatt Career Center, the Brandeis Counseling Center (BCC) and the Division of Student Affairs. The board of Trustees meeting was held virtually on April 11 and 12, according to the email.

Student Union holds State of the Union address By Sasha Skarboviychuk editor

Following the Midday Buffet on Tuesday, May 3, Brandeis Student Union President Krupa Sourirajan ’23 gave the State of the Union address. Sourirajan began by congratulating everyone who made it this far, as the day marked the last day of classes for the spring 2022 semester and the 2021-2022 academic year. The day also marked Sourirajan’s last day as Student Union president. Every semester comes with a set of challenges, not only in the face of COVID-19, but “the resilience everyone in this community had is remarkable,” said Sourirajan. Being the president of the Union, Sourirajan serves as the point of communication between the students and the administration, she said. “Although it had its ups and downs, this semester had a lot of accomplishments.” Sourirajan then announced the beginning of the pilot student leaders payment program. Student leaders are very important members of the community and dedicate a lot of these activities, in addition to being full time students. Because of the time these roles take, there is a significant financial barrier to taking on these roles, Sourirajan explained. This allows equal opportunity for students to get involved. Sourirajan herself works three jobs on campus in addition to being president, so from her own experience she says that this program will help future students not have to spread themselves so wide. This program was developed with Kendal Chapman ’22, former student union president as well as student affairs staff, to make some of the more demanding positions in student leadership on this campus more accessible. The hope is that the program will be expanded in years to come, as Sourirajan recognizes that everything can’t happen all at once. “I would like to thank Kendal Chapman for all of her hard work on this last year,” added Sourirajan. “I am excited to see what the university along with the student union accomplish in the coming years.” Sourirajan also went through the projects that the student

union completed this past year. When students needed better access to masks, the union purchased and distributed over a thousand KN-95 masks to those in need. They also used their communication channels in order to better explain and inform students on COVID-19 policies at the university, including spreading information about getting rapid tests before spring break. The union also met with President Liebowtiz about the university’s founding values, and how those values relate to the university’s future. This allowed them to communicate student’s voices to Liebowtiz directly, according to Sourirajan. In regards to transportation, currently the Student Union and the Hiatt Career Center provide a subsidy for all commuter rail tickets for students, thus removing any barriers to internships outside the waltham area. She thanked the leadership of the Hiatt for making this program even wider and more accessible to all students. The new model will run in fall of 2022, and then be evaluated in December of 2022. Following Sourirajan’s speech, the rest of the members of the executive board of the Student Union gave updates on their work. First were Inaara Gilani ’23, Junior Representative to the Board of Trustees and Sonali Anderson ’22, the senior Representative to the Board of Trustees. They discussed the recent decision of the Board, beginning with how their job is structured and what meetings they attend. They discussed how they as student representatives have felt silenced, “our schedules have not been taken into consideration so we are in class and cannot attend meetings,” said Gilani. They were also not allotted time to speak or provide input on what to discuss, which causes them to have to interrupt board members in order to get a chance to speak. They were also then informed that the decision was made that the board no longer wanted to include the undergraduate and graduate student representatives in the plenary meetings, which have all the board members present. All the students’ representatives were against this decision. Being on the board of trustees is one of the only

times where students can provide their live experiences of going to Brandeis, said Anderson. She also believes that issues brought up to the board get a response faster than through regular advocacy. Afterwards, the students heard from Ashna Kelkar ’24, the executive senator and interim Vice President of the Union. She reported on the progress of the Senate, saying she is “so proud of what they have achieved.” The health and safety committee finished five projects, including the distribution of fidget toys and menstrual products. The SOJO committee planned the DeisImpact this year. The dining committee worked closely with Sodexo to provide student’s feedback on their dining experience. The Club Support committee spent the year helping newly created clubs succeed and current clubs with constitutional changes as well as other challenges. A-Board this semester finally had a full board, said chair Emma Fiesinger ’23, so they were able to hit the ground running, granting emergency requests and helping clubs have events. This semester the allocations board also has their first competitive election in a while, with three people running for two seats. They also processed over 500 marathon requests as well as 45 appeals requests. The amount of change we have been able to make over the last three years is fantastic, said Fiesinger. Bonnie Chen ’23, Director of Academic Affairs, who discussed the Take your Professor to Cof-

fee initiative, which allowed over 150 undergraduate students to spend time getting to know their professors, connecting with them outside the classroom. She also planned the faculty and staff appreciation week, which allowed students to show their gratitude. Francesca Marchese ’23, the director of Media and Outreach, said that the amount of engagement on the Student Union accounts have increased since she took over the role. Overall she aimed to reach more students with important information and reinforce the transparency between the Union and the students. She also started the Student Union take-overs and spotlight of a member in the weekly newsletter. Clay Napurano ’24 Director of Health and Wellness, said he collaborated with the Brandeis Counseling Center (BCC) and the Accommodations office. Advocate for something for the mental health of all the students. This academic year, he helped with Wellness Days, in order to help students alleviate stress. Additionally, he tried to bring more therapy dogs on campus, which the students tend to enjoy. Currently, he is working on Stress Busters for finals. Shelley Polanco ’24, Diversity and Inclusion Director, worked with the intercultural center in order to create more inclusive spaces on campus, to show students the power of uniting. She said she is excited to continue such initiatives already. She planned seven different events for the Intercultural

Center (ICC)’s 30th anniversary. Scarlett Ren ’24, Director of Community Engagement, has planned and executed multiple events, including “Meet the Union,” and tabling for Kindness day. She has also collected feedback from students about the various events held on campus. Jasmyne Jean-Remy ’22, Chief of Staff, said that she also is the head of the Community Enhance and Emergency Fund (CEEF). CEEF was able to fund the ICC renovation, get KN-95 masks for the students, purchase for the Daramit Prayer room and get more picnic tables for the freshman quad. Sala Vikle ’22, Director of Climate Justice and Sustainability, worked on the shuttles to Logan Airport and back, as well as to reduce the amount of plastics used by clubs. She also worked on a subsidy for public transportation for students who are not able to afford the commuter rail. Emily Zhu ’23, Director of Residential Life, worked with the Dining committee and the Facilities, Housing and Transportation Committee to highlight and address the concerns about residential life at Brandeis. Eamonn Golden ’23, Chief Justice, said that the Judiciary heard a case and worked with the Rules Committee on various bylaws. Editor’s Note: Francesca Marchese and Scarlett Ren are staff members of The Brandeis Hoot, and did not contribute to the writing or editing of this article.

PHOTO FROM BRANDEIS.EDU


4 NEWS

The Brandeis Hoot

May 6, 2022

Univ. ending testing for asymptomatic students at the end of the Spring 2022 semester By Victoria Morrongiello editor

The university announced that it will be ending its asymptomatic testing of students beginning on May 20, according to an email sent to community members on May 4. After the 20th, community members will be able to test for COVID-19 if they are symptomatic. “Thank you for your attention to our COVID-19 guidelines throughout the semester and year. We are writing today with updates about how we will transition as the Spring 2022 semester concludes,” wrote senior administrators Carol A. Fierke, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Stew Uretsky, Executive Vice President

for Finance and Administration and Raymond Lu-Ming Ou, Vice President for Student Affairs. The university’s testing hours at the Shapiro Science Center (SSC) will be shortened from May 1620, during the finals period, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. instead of closing at 4 p.m. which is its current closing time. \Beginning on May 21, students who are symptomatic or who are contact traced can receive testing from the Health Center by appointment, according to the email. For faculty and staff, they can receive testing through Occupational Health if they begin having COVID-19 symptoms or are identified as a close contact. Occupational Health will arrange testing through their primary care provider, according to the email. For community members who test positive after May 20, they should self-isolate and contact the

Brandeis Contact Tracing program. According to the email, the contact tracers can be reached via email at bctp@brandeis.edu for instructions on how to return to campus activities. For community members who test positive, they are required to isolate themselves in their homes and not come to campus, which follows the guidelines set by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, according to the email. For students living on campus, they will be expected to isolate in their residence halls, rather than in isolation housing which was previously used. The university will maintain its current “soft quarantine” policy for vaccinated individuals which they updated earlier this semester, according to a previous Brandeis Hoot article. However, unvac-

cinated individuals will have to observe a full quarantine and will not be allowed to resume campus activities until after their quarantine period has ended. “We thank you all for your participation in our COVID-19 guidelines and requirements this year, and for your flexibility, as restrictions were tightened and loosened as the Delta and Omicron variants called for frequent adjustments to our approaches,” reads the email. The university will also be retiring its colored Campus Passport program which designates what individuals are allowed in public spaces on campus. The passport portal will still be u sable, however, there will be no, “color-coded status for our community members,” reads the email. Community members may access their passports in order to

review their testing history and to connect to the Daily Health Assessment tool in order to attend an event on campus which requires it. The university also intends to retire its COVID-19 dashboard on May 19. Masking policies however will remain in place through the end of finals, according to the email. “We would also like to thank the staff members who were involved with our COVID-19 response planning, testing and tracing, who worked so hard to keep our community as healthy and safe as possible,” reads the email. Community members will receive further updates on COVID-19 protocols and procedures as the university begins to welcome guests to commencement at the end of May, according to the email.

Students present work at research event URCC, from page 1

Humanities and Creative Arts. These were integrated together in the same space to increase the chance that attendees and pre-

senters would interact with someone in a field outside their expertise and learn something new and thought-provoking. On behalf of the URCC, I am deeply appreciative of the support of the Davis Educational Founda-

tion, which helped support this event, as well as the support of the entire Brandeis Community.” One student research Adah Anderson ’24, described her takeaways from the Symposium in an interview with The Hoot, saying,

“I think it was very well organized and I really enjoyed talking to everyone … I think if was a good opportunity to show off my research and see everyone else’s hard work.” The abstracts and descriptions

of student projects from this year and the past summer have been documented in a virtual booklet on the URCC website. More information about the services the URCC offers can be found on their webpage.

Judiciary releases opinion on Feng case By Sasha Skarboviychuk editor

On Thursday, April 28, the Brandeis Student Union Judiciary released its ruling on the case of Feng v. Sourirajan and Coles. “In a vote following the hearing, the

Judiciary found 5-0 that none of the alleged violations constituted a breach of conduct, and consequently Petitioner Feng’s resolutions will not be adopted,” wrote Chief Justice Eamonn Golden ’24. In the hearing, Feng argued that ever since he was elected, Sourirajan and Coles had animosity against him and, in their treat-

ment of him, violated the code of conduct. He said that Sourirajan and Coles had political biases against him, which resulted in their move to impeach him. Coles, who represented himself and Sourirajan, responded by saying that all the issues Feng had experienced were due to his own communication failures. Their

official response to the case read, “the Complainant failed to perform the duties of his office, and he was impeached. There were no ulterior motives or improper conduct; in fact, a conscious effort was made by the respondents to be as polite and courteous as possible.” In response to the case, Coles

told The Brandeis Hoot in an email that he is “disappointed that Feng brought this case forward but [is] gratified that the Judiciary unanimously rejected his claims.” Feng responded by saying that he “would like to wait to see the official written documents prior to commenting,” in an email to The Hoot.

New space for student-athletes in Gosman By Victoria Morrongiello editor

The Athletics Department announced an initiative to raise money for the Barry Harsip ’73 student lounge. The new student lounge will be located in Gosman near the main entrance. The lounge is named in memory of Harsip who was a member of the university’s men’s soccer team in the 70s Harsip was named to the Hall of Fame in 2019, according to the crowdfunding page

By Victoria Morrongiello editor

The Vice President of Student Affairs, Raymond Lu-Ming Ou, will be stepping down from his position at the end of June 2022, according to an email sent to community members by university President Ron Liebowitz. Ou joined the university as Vice President of Student Affairs in fall 2019, just before the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the email. During his time, he contributed

for the lounge. According to a Brandeis alumni article, Harsip, “was kind, spirited and generous, and these qualities helped to define his life and legacy, both personally and professionally.” Harsip passed away in 2020. “The athletic department has been thankful to partner with Barry’s wife, Lisa Harsip, and several of Barry’s friends and former teammates including John Fobia ’73, Mark Volk ’74, David Goodman ’74, Jeffrey Bender ’75 and Mark Scheier. This generous group of individuals has made

a pledge large enough to cover the basic construction costs of the new student lounge, but we NEED YOUR HELP to finish the job and perfect our new space in Gosman!” according to the crowdfunding page. The campaign goal is to raise $50 thousand, at the time of publication there was $22,378 raised for the lounge. The crowdfunding campaign lasted for 48 hours, according to the Brandeis Judges page. Individuals were encouraged to donate on May 3 and 4. “Your gift will make an imme-

diate impact on our student-athletes lives by outfitting our new student lounge with furniture, electronics, artwork, fixtures and more,” according to the page. The student lounge is set to open in the 2023 academic year, according to an article from the Brandeis alumni page. Current student-athletes, according to the article, have expressed struggling with managing their academic and athletics. The hope is that the student lounge will remedy issues students have with managing their schedules, according to the

article. The space will “feature ample furniture for studying and relaxing, as well as a refueling station where students can access sports drinks, healthy snacks and more,” according to the article. The space is intended to give, “student-athletes a place of their own to focus on their studies, unwind between practices and refuel on healthy snacks,” according to the article.

towards many of the university’s, “most critical student-facing departments in providing comprehensive support of students both on and off-campus throughout this difficult time,” wrote Liebowitz. In this position, Ou became, “the liaison to the new Student Life Committee on the Board of Trustees, working with stakeholders on addressing critical issues including student mental health, Title IX in athletics, crisis management, student programming, and career advising,” according to the email. In his work he dis-

cussed with student leaders on issues regarding student life on campus. He also helped implement and create, “a contemporary divisional leadership model and launched a comprehensive strategic planning process aligned with best practices in the field,” wrote Liebowitz. According to Liebowitz, it is because of Ou’s work that the university’s Division of Student Affairs is “stronger” due to his “innovations and efforts”. According to the email, while Ou has “loved his work here and has enjoyed getting to know so many

students, faculty, staff, and alumni during his time at Brandeis,” he decided to make the decision to leave to finish his doctoral dissertation. Ou, according to the email, received an upcoming deadline during the summer for the dissertation and wanted to focus his efforts towards it. “Raymond developed a stable, capable senior leadership team in Student Affairs during his tenure,” wrote Liebowitz.To fill the position of Interim Vice President of Student Affairs—Andrea Dine will

be taking the role. Dine is currently working as the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and will be taking over as Interim Vice President of Student Affairs beginning on July 1. Liebowitz wrote in his email that he is, “confident that Student Affairs will be very well led under the leadership of Andrea [Dine].” Taking over Dine’s former role will be Shelby Harris who currently serves as the university’s Assistant Vice President for Student Engagement and Campus Life. Student Affairs is selected.


SPORTS

May 6, 2022

5 The Brandeis Hoot

Tony Escueta’s ’25 journey to nationals By Sasha Skarboviychuk editor

Even though Tony Escueta ’25 only started fencing when he was 12, he was one of two Judges who made it to nationals this season, and the only first year. At the tender age of 12, Escueta and his friends read about Fencing in an online article and found out that “a large percentage of those who fence in high school fence in college,” he told The Brandeis Hoot in a Zoom interview. “It was a great opportunity for me to compete at the [National College Athletic Association] NCAA level,” he continued. Escueta chose saber because he “was best suited to fence this weapon because of [his] height and flexibility,” He added that the fast space of the weapon made it a lot more exciting to fence than the other two weapons. “In saber you can score with the edge of the blade slash and stab, while with the other two weapons, the competition progresses a lot slower.” In Saber, the target area is anywhere above the waist, which also adds scoring possibilities. When it came to looking for

By Jillian Brosofsky staff

After 19 matches, one cross-country trip and many COVID-19 quarantines, the women’s 2022 tennis season came to a close this week. Ending with a 6-13 season record, the Judges dominated their latest match with Endicott College on Sunday.

colleges, Escueta was hoping to find somewhere where he could compete at the NCAA level. When he came to Brandeis, he found that there was “amazing team chemistry and couches who helped foster that.” “It felt like they were invested in recruiting me; they wanted me not as a name on a rooster but as part of a family they had,” said Escueta. The team felt the same way about him: “he came into the program and embraced everything we stand for here at Brandeis,” team captain Maggie Shealy ’23 told The Hoot, “if he was an Uber driver I’d give him five stars.” At the beginning of the season, Escueta was concerned about securing a travel spot to be able to compete against Division 1 teams. “He is an incredibly hard worker and he’s so humble,” added Shealy. As the season progressed, he was given a travel spot, so Escueta became more and more competitive. His new goal was to make it to regionals. And when that happened, his new goal was to go to the NCAA championships. “Going in I had low expectations but thanks to the support of the team and coaches I was able to attain these unexpected goals and

achievements,” said Escueta. His mindset changed many times. Overall, the season was great for Escueta; “it seems like we have still maintained our sense of comradery and family that we have, [we] returned to as normal of a season as we can get.” He particularly enjoyed getting to practice with the entire team. Shealy added that Escueta is a great addition to the team, and is everyone’s “biggest cheerleader ever [who] brightens up the room when he comes in.” The day Escueta finished regionals, about 30 minutes after, the coaches told him that “they did the math and [he] qualified.” “I was ecstatic, I did not expect to qualify … I gave everyone a hug,” recalled Escueta. “He is a great addition to the program,” emphasized Shealy, “It is a privilege to be his team captain and teammate.” Going to nationals as a first year added to the shock and surprise that Escueta felt. “At nationals I was one of three first years in my group … it was great to see that I was one of the only ones,” he said. It appears that the spot was very well deserved; “when it’s go time to work he’s there and he’s always one of the first to re-

spond to anything,” added Shealy. Once at nationals, he was very nervous, since it was the toughest competition he ever competed in. The added challenge was that it was two consecutive days of competition against the 24 best competitors in the country. “Although I was nervous, I was doing well the entire season, I ignored who I

As many students prepared for a day of live music, free food and sun at Springfest, the women on the tennis team celebrated Ana Hatfield ’22, Olivia Howe ’22 and Summer Quinn ’22 on their senior day before their final home match of the season. And what a way to go out. Brandeis beat the Endicott team 8-1. Hatfield had a great week on and off the court. In both her fourth singles and second dou-

bles matches, she lost a combined two games. After the Judges dominated in the doubles, losing only two games in all three matches, and Sabrina Loui ’25 beat her opponent with a bagel and a breadstick score, Hatfield secured the win for Brandeis. Besides her impressive showing on court, Hatfield was also named a UAA Athlete of the Week on Wednesday. Elsewhere on the courts, Bhak-

ti Parwani ’25 and Loui finished their impressive first season. While their doubles team went 12-5 across all their matches at number one, individually they excelled on the court with 10-5 and 8-9 season records respectively. Though Nikita Salkar ’24 at fourth singles edged through a close match eventually winning in a pair of 6-4 sets, the largest challenges for the Judges came at fifth and sixth singles. Howe

was fencing and I just did the best that I could,” continued Escueta. Next year, “ideally I would love to not only qualify again, but also place within the top 12 so I could earn All American Honors” said Escueta. “Fencing was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made; I am able to compete and enjoy the sport,” he concluded.

PHOTO FROM BRANDEISJUDGES.COM

played a nailbiter of a match eventually winning 7-5, 7-5. The single loss came as Quinn fell in a tight match 5-7, 3-6. With that, the rocky season ended on a high note with a dominant performance by Brandeis. Though the seniors saw great success playing tennis for Brandeis, the young team will continue to hone their skills next season and beyond.

Track sets new personal records at Brown By Francesca Marchese staff

The Brandeis Men’s and Women’s Track and Field Teams competed in the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) Capital District Classic and the Brown Springtime Invitational. Overall, the men and women were highly successful, as they both placed 10th at the RPI Classic, with 10 and four points respectively. On Sunday, the women earned Bronze at the Brown Spring Invitational with a total of 89 points, tying Providence College. On the men’s side, Providence edged out the Judges by seven points, leaving the Judges fourth in the men’s division with a total of 83 points. In the Women’s 5000, Zada Forde ’25 placed fifth overall, with an impressive time of 19:54.11. Kate Hurlbert ’25 faced some fierce competition at the RPI Classic, but effectively put the Judges on the board, placing 17th in the women’s discus throw with 23.69m and 14th in the javelin event with 18.50m. The men placed in discus, hammer, javelin and shot put. Zachary Reynolds ’23 earned fourth with 40.23m in discus throw, while Jonathan Hau ’23 placed seventh, 35.86m and Cam Pierce ’25 14th with 31.59m. In hammer

throw, the Judges took 11th, 12th and 13th place with Thomas Vandalovsky ’23 throwing 39.93m, Hau 37.29m and Reynolds 36.11m. Hau and Reynolds did not disappoint in the javelin event, as Hau earned seventh and Reynolds earned 11th. Shot put was the second most successful event of the day for the men’s squad, as Vandalovsky and Peirce both placed in the top 10—fourth and ninth, respectively—with Vandalovsky throwing 12.52m and Peirce 10.84m. The Brown Springtime Invitation was highly competitive, as Brown, Boston College, Rhode Island, Providence, Boston University and, of course, the Brandeis Judges, battled it out in a series of events. While the Brandeis Women competed and placed in a variety of events throughout the day, these are just a few of the Judges accomplishments that earned them 89 total points and third place on the day. In the 100 meter, Devin Hiltunen ’22 placed second with a time of 12.69, while teammate Smiley Huynh ’24 placed 4th with a time of 12.03 in the first heat. In the second heat, Anna Touitou ’22 placed second in 13.233 seconds, while teammates Gabby Tercatin ’22 and Sonali Anderson ’22 tied for third in 13.38 seconds.

The Judges continued to keep pace with one another as Ianna Gilbert ’25, Anderson and Tercatin tied for third in the women’s 200-meter event in 28.28. In the women’s 1500 meters, Bridget Pickard ’23 led the Judges with a first-place finish with an impressive time of 4:53.97. Anderson and teammate Aliya Campbell ’24 represented the Judges in the 100m hurdles, with Alya taking the gold in 15.13 and Anderson earning bronze in 15.74. Smiley proudly represented Brandeis in the women’s pole vault earning first with an impressive height of 11’1.75”. In a similar fashion, the Brandeis men’s track and field squad competed in a variety of events

throughout the Invitational. The Judges found the most success in 100 meters, where first year Danny Krigman ’25 earned first in 11.51 seconds, while teammate Parker Jones ’24 finished 0.01 seconds behind him. Teammates Jordan Colon ’25 and Dean Campbell ’23 tied for third in 11.75 in the same heat. The men’s 200 meter was additionally successful for Brandeis, as Krigman earned first again, followed by Colon, and then Taylor Diamond ’23; Daniel Chodorow and Campbell tied for fourth place, allowing the Judges to sweep the standings. Four more Judges tied for third place in the first heat of the men’s 200-meter event with a time of 23.40 sec-

onds—Jamie O’Neil ’22, Reese Farquhar ’22, Dean Carey ’25 and Jones. The Judges excelled in triple jump, with three Brandeis athletes tying for first place, along with a triple jumper from the University of Rhode Island; Jones, Lin Lin Hutchinson ’25 and Ori Slotky ’24 jumped 46’8.25”. Ultimately, the Judges faced stiff New England competition in both the RPI District Classic and the Brown Springtime Invitational. Both the men’s and the women’s track and field teams will travel to Williamstown, Massachusetts to compete in the New England Division III Championships on Friday, May 6 and Saturday, May 7.

PHOTO FROM BRANDEISJUDGES.COM


6 The Brandeis Hoot

The Brandeis Hoot

By Jesse Lieberman staff

The Brandeis baseball team concluded its season this week, going 1-4 in its final five games. Brandeis played a home and home against Tufts University, falling 16-4 and 12-3 on Friday and Saturday respectively. On Sunday, the Judges split a doubleheader on Senior Day against Suffolk University, winning game one 10-5 and losing in game 2 8-7. Brandeis hosted Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) on Tuesday in the season finale, falling. 5-4. The Judges ended the year with an 18-16 record, marking the third straight year Brandeis ended with a winning record. Friday, April 29: Tufts 16 – Brandeis 4 Tied 3-3 heading into the top of the seventh, Tufts scored 13 runs in the final three innings to cruise past Brandeis 16-4. Trailing 3-1 in the bottom of the sixth, Mike Khoury (GRAD) and Luke Hall (GRAD) each singled. After back-to-back flyouts and junior Brian King ’23 hitting, Khoury and Hall executed a double steal, moving Khoury to third and Hall to second. King then singled to left, driving in both runners, and tying the game. In the top of the seventh, Patrick Solomon of Tufts led off with a bunt single. Brandeis starter Asher Kaplan ’23 recorded the next two outs via a sacrifice out and then a strikeout. However, the Jumbos strung together five consecutive hits, scoring five runs, and knocking Kaplan out of the game. Lefty Cam Roberts ’22 recorded the final out of the seventh and pitched a scoreless eighth but ran into trouble in the ninth. Tufts scored eight runs in the inning, highlighted by a grand slam. King and Khoury paced the Judges with two hits a piece. Be-

fore the seventh, Kaplan had been efficient, allowing three runs across six innings. Gavin Dauer ’22 pitched a scoreless inning in the ninth after relieving Roberts. Saturday, April 30: Tufts 12 – Brandeis 3 King drove in two and Mason Newman (GRAD) pitched five innings, but Brandeis couldn’t overcome a strong Tufts pitching performance, losing 12-3. Tufts opened the scoring in the bottom of the third, scoring three runs on a sacrifice fly and then a two-run homer. Brandeis answered in the top of the fourth with two runs on a King single. However, Tufts scored four runs in the bottom of the fourth, extending its lead to 7-2. The Judges’ only other run came on a Victor Oppenheimer (GRAD) groundout. Brandeis managed just six hits, all singles, on the day. M. Newman started for Brandeis, allowing nine runs on 11 hits. Sean Decker-Jacoby ’24 pitched three innings in relief with three strikeouts. Sunday, May 1: Game 1: Brandeis 10 – Suffolk 5 (7 innings) Hall had four hits and drove in three and Brandon Musto (GRAD) pitched five strong innings as the Judges took the doubleheader opener 10-5. Brandeis struck first, scoring three times in the bottom of the first. Sam Nugent ’23 hit a single to right and scored on a Hall double to left. Dan Frey (GRAD) drove in Hall with a single to right. Frey stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch before scoring on an Oppenheimer groundout. Brandeis scored three more runs in the fourth. Nugent plated Aneesh Avancha ’22 with a single. Khoury drove in Nugent by doubling to left and scored on another Hall double. The Judges scored two runs in both the fifth and sixth innings. Jakob Newman ’23 recorded the final six outs to secure the victory for Brandeis. Hall finished the game going

4-for-4 with three doubles and two runs scored. Drew Michaud ’23 hit his second homer of the season. Musto allowed three runs on nine hits while striking out three. Before the game, Brandeis honored its 14 seniors and graduate students. Sunday, May 1: Game 2: Suffolk 8 – Brandeis 7 (7 innings) Frey and Roberts each homered, but Suffolk scored five unanswered runs to split the doubleheader. Trailing 8-7 in the bottom of the seventh, Frey drew a walk with one out. Frey advanced to second on a wild pitch. Oppenheimer hit a sharp line drive, but it was caught by Suffolk third baseman Christian Seariac. A King flare to right was caught on a dive by Suffolk’s Luke Harder to end the game. Leading 7-5 in the bottom of the fifth, Brandeis loaded the bases with no outs. However, the Judges could not score, after a foul pop-out and a double play. Suffolk scored twice in the sixth to even the game at 7-7. In the top of the seventh, Suffolk’s Blasé Cormier reached on an error and advanced to second on the errant throw. Dylan January then doubled to center, bringing in Cormier and the go-ahead run. Both Frey and Roberts homered to right. For Frey it was his seventh homer of the season, while Roberts hit the first of his career. Nugent added two hits and stole a base. Reid Latham ’23 started the game going pitching into the fifth. Latham allowed five runs on six hits while striking out three. Donnie Weisse III (GRAD) pitched a scoreless inning in relief. Tuesday, May 3: WPI 5 – Brandeis 4 Nugent was a homer shy of the cycle and Decker-Jacoby was masterful out of the bullpen, but the Judges fell to the Engineers 5-4. Trailing 5-3 in the bottom of the sixth, Hall led off with a single. Frey then doubled off the

March 6, 2022

wall in center. Brandeis third base coach Peter Allain waved home Hall, but WPI’s Michael Fraser received the relay throw from centerfielder D.J. Brooks and made a spectacular throw from shallow center to nail Hall at the plate. Nugent led off the eighth with a triple to right and scored on a Khoury groundout. Michaud singled to right with two outs in the ninth, but senior Liam Kennedy struck out to end the game. WPI scored two runs in the first and three more in the second all off Brandeis starter Marc Maestri ’22. The Judges’ bullpen combined to throw 7.1 scoreless innings, allowing just one hit, and striking out nine. Decker-Jacoby was fantastic in relief of Maestri, striking out six in 5.1 innings. Senior Christian Petrisko ’22 pitched a scoreless eighth and J. Newman pitched a scoreless ninth. Brandeis’ 18 wins this season are the program’s most since 2015 and the second most since 2011. Offensively, Khoury led the Judges with a 0.401 batting average and 11 home runs, while Frey led the team with 25 ex-

tra-base hits and 48 runs batted in. On the mound, M. Newman led Brandeis with 53.2 innings pitched and 37 strikeouts, while J. Newman was excellent in relief all year, with a 2.52 earned run average and a team-high three saves. Despite some major contributors graduating this year, the future for the Judges looks bright. Offensively, Brandeis will return King, Nugent, and Steven Simon ’23 next year, all of whom hit over 0.300 this season. In terms of pitching, Kaplan seems entrenched as the ace of the staff. J. Newman, Decker-Jacoby, Latham and Christian Tejada ’23 could also vie for spots in the rotation. The group of 14 seniors and graduate students have a lot to be proud of. In 2017 and 2018, Brandeis combined for nine wins. Through strong leadership and perseverance, the group set a standard for excellence, culminating in a successful season this year. Brandeis defeated WashU in a season series for the first time in school history. This group has laid the foundation for the future of Brandeis baseball.

PHOTO FROM BRANDEISJUDGES.COM

Softball ends season against Tufts By Justin Leung editor

After playing four games at New York University (NYU), Brandeis softball returned home to play their final two games of the season. They faced Tufts University in a two-game series on Wednesday, April 27. In their previous series against NYU, the Judges won two and lost two games, so they looked to end their season on a high note. In the first game, Brandeis fell behind early. Tufts scored three runs in the top of the first inning to give them the early lead. Third baseman Haley Nash ’24 got the Judges’ first hit of the game when she led off the second inning with a single toward first base. That would end up being Brandeis’ only baserunner until the bottom of the seventh inning. Meanwhile, Tufts scored two more runs in the top of the sixth inning and one run in the top of the seventh. So, Brandeis was faced with a 0-6 deficit going into the final half inning of the game. Center fielder Melissa Rothenberg (GRAD) got on base to start the inning after getting hit by a pitch. After two outs, left fielder Amidori Anderson ’22 stepped up to the plate with one runner on base. Anderson proceeded to hit the ball right down the right field line. As the ball rolled up

toward the wall, Anderson was sprinting around the bases as she saw an opportunity to score. She rounded third and ran toward home plate. As she crossed the plate, Anderson was indeed safe with a tworun inside the park home run. Unfortunately, the comeback was halted as Brandeis lost the first game of the final series 2-6. Nash and Anderson were the only two players to have hits. Shortstop Jolie Fujita (GRAD) had a walk in the lead off position. Pitcher Alex Cohen ’24 pitched four innings while allowing three runs and four hits. She also struck out five batters while walking only one. Senior Sydney Goldman ’22 finished the game, pitching three innings while allowing six hits and three runs. Goldman walked two batters but also struck out five. Game two saw Brandeis once again fall behind early. Tufts scored one run in the first inning and two more in the second. The Judges were held scoreless until Fujita got the team on the board with a solo home run to center field in the bottom of the third inning. Neither team scored in the fourth inning, however the Brandeis offense came alive in the bottom of the fifth inning. Anderson and freshman Fiona Doiron ’25 led off the inning with back-toback singles. After two outs, Fujita came up to the plate with runners on second and third and two

outs. She proceeded to hit a clutch single to score both runners and cut the deficit to one run. Cohen in right field then walked, setting the table for another two out hit. Senior second baseman Marley Felder ’22 hit a single into right field allowing Cohen and Doiron to score. This gave Brandeis a 4-3 lead at the end of the fifth inning. Tufts didn’t give up as they quickly answered in the sixth inning with two runs. The Judges had another opportunity to score after getting two runners on base in the bottom of the sixth inning, but they could not get that clutch hit they needed. Tufts ultimately scored four more runs in the seventh inning, while Brandeis didn’t score any more runs. Fujita, Anderson and Doiron led

the team in hits with two. Felder and Fujita both had two runs batted in (RBI) for the game. Pitcher Rebecca Guerci ’24 pitched five innings while allowing nine hits and five runs. She walked one batter and struck out one batter. Pitcher Chandra Penton ’23 came out to finish the rest of the game. She struck out two batters and allowed four runs on four hits. In the final game of the regular season, the softball team was defeated 4-9. The team’s final overall record was 22-18, while going 8-12 in conference games. As a team, they hit 0.274 with an on base percentage of 0.328. The Judges scored 159 runs while allowing 159 runs. Cohen and Felder tied the team lead in hits

with 42 for the season. Nash led the team in home runs with seven, while Anderson was just behind her with six. Anderson and Rothenberg both had 21 RBIs for the season, but Nash led the team with 24 RBIs. Cohen led the team in innings pitched with 91 and strikeouts with 107. She struck out 7.63 batters per seven innings. Penton had the team’s lowest earned run average with 2.18, but Cohen was right behind her with a 2.40. Next year the team will be without infielder Alyssa Renskers ’22, Fujita, Felder, infielder Ashleigh Fultz ’22, Anderson, Goldman and Rothenberg. However, the team looks to be in good hands behind Cohen pitching and Nash on offense as they look to improve even more next season.

PHOTO FROM BRANDEISJUDGES.COM


EDITORIALS

April 29, 2022

“To acquire wisdom, one must observe.”

Editors-in-Chief John Fornagiel Emma Lichtenstein Sasha Skarboviychuk Deputy Copy Editors Logan Ashkinazy News Editor Victoria Morrongiello Deputy News Editors Vimukthi Mawilmada Roshni Ray Arts Editors Stewart Huang Caroline O Deputy Arts Editors Cyrenity Augustin Lucy Fay Rachel Rosenfield Opinions Editor Mia Plante Deputy Opinions Editor Cooper Gottfried Sports Editor Justin Leung Photos Editor Grace Zhou Editors-at-Large Abdel Achibat Thomas Pickering Madeline Rousell

Volume 20 • Issue 11 the brandeis hoot • brandeis university 415 south street • waltham, ma

FOUNDED BY Leslie Pazan, Igor Pedan and Daniel Silverman

STAFF

Sam Finbury, Sarah Kim, Josh Lannon, Kristianna Lapierre, Max Lerner, Rafi Levi, Jesse Lieberman, Francesca Marchese, Abigail Roberts, David Shapiro, Matt Shapiro, and Alex Williams

MISSION As the weekly community student newspaper of Brandeis University, The Brandeis Hoot aims to provide our readers with a reliable, accurate and unbiased source of news and information. Produced entirely by students, The Hoot serves a readership of 6,000 with in-depth news, relevant commentary, sports and coverage of cultural events. Recognizing that better journalism leads to better policy, The Brandeis Hoot is dedicated to the principles of investigative reporting and news analysis. Our mission is to give every community member a voice.

SUBMISSION POLICIES The Brandeis Hoot welcomes letters to the editor on subjects that are of interest to the community. Preference is given to current or former community members and The Hoot reserves the right to edit or reject submissions. The deadline for submitting letters is Wednesday at noon. Please submit letters to letters@thebrandeishoot.com along with your contact information. Letters should not exceed 500 words. The opinions, columns, cartoons and advertisements printed in The Hoot do not necessarily represent the opinions of the editorial board.

CONNECT phone • (781) 330-0051 e-mail • eic@thebrandeishoot.com online • brandeishoot.com facebook • facebook.com/thebrandeishoot twitter • twitter.com/thebrandeishoot instagram • instagram.com/thebrandeishoot

ADVERTISE Advertising in The Brandeis Hoot helps spread your message to our readers across the Brandeis campus, in the Waltham community and beyond through our website. All campus organizations receive a 25-percent discount off our regular prices. To reserve your space in the paper, e-mail us at ads@ thebrandeishoot.com.

GIVE A HOOT, JOIN THE HOOT! Writers, editors, photographers and graphic artists wanted to join The Brandeis Hoot, your weekly community newspaper. To learn more, send us an e-mail at join@thebrandeishoot.com, or visit our website http://brandeishoot.com/join.

UNSOLICITED SUBMISSIONS We welcome unsolicited submissions from members of the community sent by e-mail to eic@thebrandeishoot.com. Please limit submissions to 800 words. All submissions are subject to editing.

W

e have seen a lot of interesting things and changes at Brandeis during our last four years. From people threatening to sue us, to someone trying to shut us down, to a bomb threat our junior year. There was also the case of cyanide in Mods, the mice in Ziv, the fire in Village. Every day just got something new. It has been a wild ride. Our Hoot journey started a little rocky, with a campaign to shut us down from a senator on the Student Union. This club in which we had all found a home was suddenly in jeopardy. All we can say is that we are happy that he failed in his mission, or else we would not share so many memories and a Hoot family! We also have some fond memories of drama in the Student Union, such as “pianogate.” Shout-out to Alex Chang ’22 for getting pianos in the freshman dorms; it truly made our freshman year memorable. We can’t tell you how many times these memories of freshman year have come up, always fondly of course. And then the elephant in the room came: the coronavirus pandemic, in the middle of spring 2020. That re-

The Brandeis Hoot 7

3IC says goodbye ally changed the way the rest of our college careers went. We went from mid-day drinking in the library to sharing an office with our parents, as we tried to go to class and work from home. It definitely presented a lot of new challenges to students, from incoming first years not being able to make friends, to a lot of clubs having a near-death experience, to not being able to socialize in the dining halls, to being stuck in our rooms for our classes. Zoom classes were quite the experience, though we can all be grateful for Zoom meetings that we do not have to get out of bed for. Coming back from COVID-19, The Hoot was in a difficult place. We had a board with only four people knowing how to do layout, a crucial part of putting the paper together. Moreover, we had several new editors who had never actually put together an entire paper. However, throughout the weeks, each and every editor has gracefully met and exceeded every challenge thrown their way. We want to emphasize that we would be nothing without our incredible board: To each and every one of

you, you have our deepest thank you. You will all always have a special place in our hearts.This year we embarked on the crazy experiment of 3IC. For the first time in Hoot history, there were three Editors in Chief. We didn’t know what to expect, but we think the three of us have really been able to create something special. We upgraded all of our equipment, finally getting new computers and a new website. The Hoot is definitely in a much better place than we have ever been. Our board is one of the strongest boards in our history, consistently putting out over thirty articles per week. We actually leave the BMC before 11 p.m.. We don’t have issues that are 80 percent written by editors. Most of all, we have an amazing social environment and have created a place that we can call home, and a group of Brandeis students that we can call our family. Needless to say, The Hoot is way more than a newspaper club for us. We hope the future generations of editors continue our legacy, and continue to provide coverage of everything that happens at Brandeis.


8 The Brandeis Hoot

FEATURES

May 6, 2022

Interviews with Brandeis University’s academic leadership: the GRALL department By Cooper Gottfried editor

The chair of Brandeis University’s GRALL (German, Russian and Asian Languages and Literature) department, Professor Robin Miller, sat down for an interview with The Brandeis Hoot to shed a little light on the GRALL department, its future and herself. This interview is part of a series of interviews with the chairs of a plethora of different academic departments and programs at Brandeis. Why did you choose to come to Brandeis? My choices were not exactly typical, because my husband was here first. He’s a biochemist. … He just retired recently … but he was the chair of biochemistry [at Brandeis] for a long time. So he was here and I was kind of here, there and everywhere. I taught at Harvard, I taught at Cornell … but finally, we both got offers at Duke. The result was that Brandeis coughed up an offer for me as a spousal hire. That was in the early days, “spousal hire” wasn’t even a phrase in those days. What do you wish that students knew about the GRALL department? We read each other’s work and we have frequent colloquia, but we are not a [single] discipline. Yet, we are perceived as a [singular] department. The problem is that our many outstanding courses, students don’t find them easily. It’s a tremendous problem for us, because … we have outstanding faculty, most of whom have national and international reputations. We’re sprinkled all over the map; we have a major in German, we have a major in European Cultural Studies, we have a major in Russian and a big chunk of our faculty is teaching in East Asian Studies. … It’s frustrating because

the average student who comes to Brandeis who wants to study literature thinks “I should go to the English department.” But in fact, most of our upper level courses are taught in English. So that is something that we don’t know how to get the word out about, especially with the new Workday system, which has basically buried us underground. Students are telling us that they go to sign up for a Japanese course and they get a German course. On GRALL’s website, German and Russian are both classified as “studies programs”. Korean, Japanese and Chinese are classified as “language programs”. Why is that? It used to be a major in “Russian [or German] Language and Literature,” and we changed the name of those majors to broaden out the requirements for those majors for students so that they could take a history course or a music course and have it count for a core part of their major. … Chinese, Japanese and Korean are languages that are taught here, but there is no Chinese major, Japanese major or Korean major. But, there is an East Asian studies major where you can focus on one of those. The other thing I would say about Russian Studies and German Studies, is that the names of these majors are confusing, because they’re not interdepartmental majors. They are housed in the GRALL department and always have been. What do you think that the GRALL department does right? I think that all of our faculty, without exception, are devoted to the students. There’s no exception to that. There’s nobody for whom I would say, “you might want to steer clear of that course.” I think that each of us in the department are also really engaged in research. … We all wear many hats. We’re affiliated with different departments, we teach in different programs, we’re on important univer-

sity-wide committees. One of our department members, Harleen Singh, heads the Women’s Studies Research Center. I’m on the Tenured Promotions Committee. Sabine Von Mering does all of this climate stuff. We’re out and about. Is there anything that the GRALL department could do better? Announce ourselves to the broader student population more effectively. I think that the faculty recognizes us, but I don’t think the students quite know that we’re here. We talk about ourselves as a global university and caring about global things, so what is more important than knowing the languages and cultures of other places? Many programs rely on English, and that becomes a kind of new imperialism in a sense. … So I feel that that’s something we need to do better at. What is your favorite class to teach? It’s hard to say which is my favorite. I think if I had to choose my two favorites, I would say the course I’m doing right now, which is called “Tolstoy and Dostoevsky: Confronting the Novel” where we read War and Peace and The Brothers Karamazov, two huge novels. We look at their notebooks, the genesis of the novels and why both Tolstoy and Dostoevsky felt they were not really writing novels [but instead felt that] they were doing something different. The other course is one that I teach with my amazing colleague Susan Lichtman from the Fine Arts department. … She and I have a course called “Drawing Upon Literature,” and it’s very hard for us to be able to teach it, because … if she teaches it, we have to get a replacement for her drawing class [FA-3a Introduction to Drawing I/II]. … But in “Drawing Upon Literature,” we really try to create a new vocabulary for responding to and commenting upon works of literature.

PHOTO FROM BRANDEIS.EDU

The course is half reading poems and short stories … and [half] a series of studio art assignments for each reading. … For me, it’s been one of those courses, and I think it’s been that for Susan as well, that has really expanded my own way of thinking about things. For example, Susan came up with one assignment where we read an amazing group of stories by Chekhov, … and then each student had to make a video based on one of the stories [without any words]. What did your time as Brandeis’ Dean of Arts and Sciences teach you about the university? I left the position in absolute awe of our faculty and what they do. In those days, there was no Graduate Dean and the Dean of Arts and Sciences also oversaw the tenure cases for the business school and The Heller School. The result was that I had a sense of what people were working on and what courses they were offering. It was dizzying to see this

community of people all doing so many interesting things. Of course, it’s not just the tenure track faculty, it’s the contract faculty as well. We have faculty in our department who are not on the tenure track, who are recognized for their innovative language teaching and for the programs that they have developed. So that was a great part of the job; reading the faculty activity reports and seeing what was happening here. What frustrations did you face as Brandeis’ Dean of Arts and Sciences? There were perennial problems, like how to fix academic advising, how to improve salaries, how to improve the relationship with the board and find a way for the board to really see who we are. … I didn’t always agree with the priorities that were set; I would’ve had a different list of priorities. But that’s the case in any administration, and people have to learn to be a team and work together.

Behind the scenes of Springfest By Emma Lichtenstein editor

It’s safe to say that Springfest is one of the most anticipated days on the Brandeis campus. It’s one of the few days of the year that Brandeis students are willing to go all out: from the fashion to the parties to the general positive vibes. But what goes on behind the scenes of Springfest? This is one of the most attended events on campus, but very few know how it all came together. Sidonia Ohringer ’22, the concerts chair of the Campus Activities Board (CAB), explained the planning process of this music festival event. “I started looking for a committee for Springfest in September, and we had our first meeting in October,” said Ohringer in an interview with The Brandeis Hoot. Ohringer explained that CAB picks the headlining artist first, and then builds the rest of the show around them. As each artist has a different performance fee, the cost of the headliner will affect the amount and type of openers CAB can afford. But, they look into more than just

budgets in their selection process. “We spent a lot of weeks thinking about who will represent the student body the best,” said Ohringer. “We wanted to do something for the girls, gays and theys!” This year’s Springfest was on Sunday, May 1. Flo Milli headlined. Slayyyter, Kash Doll and Young M.A opened for her. Though these artists provide a wide variety of styles and sounds, not everyone at Brandeis was happy. The announcement post for Kash Doll has over 200 comments. The original mean comments were taken down, instead leaving the slews of Brandeisians defending the quality of these artists. Ohringer confided that CAB did receive some nasty feedback from students, but that the positive feedback was greater than the negative. “Despite all those comments, we got support from the majority of students, because we’re doing this [festival] for the majority of the students.” The show itself went relatively smoothly, but had a few hitches along the way. Ohringer said that her day started at 6 a.m. when she had to start gathering the rest of CAB board

for setup. Her day-of activities included setting up dressing rooms, keeping artists happy and making sure everything was running smoothly. Perhaps the most noticeable issue was that the Springfest schedule was running about half an hour late. The cause of the delay? Kash Doll had to change her shoes, Ohringer revealed. But, this seems to be standard practice for an event this large. “Our hard cut-off time is 7:30,” said Ohringer. “We know that there are always going to be little issues during the actual event.” One thing Ohringer wishes that people knew about the planning of Springfest is that CAB themselves has limitations on what they can provide for the show, in terms of “food, artists and availability.” Ohringer explained that this show is planned by students, who are also busy with classes. They also have a very strict budget from Brandeis, which restricts the artists that they can get to campus. Requested people like Doja Cat are too expensive to get, she said. As concert chair, Ohringer is leading the team who put Springfest together, but she did not work alone. She credited a lot of the

work to her fellow CAB members. Also working the event were Valeria Ayala ’25, Raven Sead ’24, Abigail Winter ’22, Douglas Vantran ’22, Emma Knego ’22, Markia Neufville ’22, Amanda Lui ’23, Zoe Pearce ’22, Steph

Orlic ’22, Madeline Toombs ’23, Aaron Kelly ’24, Rebecah Kennedy ’22 and Ian Gachunga ’24. “It’s a team effort. Everybody works together in order to make Springfest amazing,” said Ohringer.

PHOTO BY GRACE ZHOU/THE HOOT


OPINIONS

May 6, 2022

The Brandeis Hoot 9

Hoot nation is thriving By Emma Lichtenstein editor

I sat down to write this intro a thousand times. Even though I’ve been preparing myself for this moment all year, I still can’t quite believe we’ve made it here. Yes, we: me, the rest of the Hoot editors, anyone who cares enough to read this, all the besties. I’ve known all year that I had to say goodbye, and still I find myself hesitant to let go. As embarrassing as it is to admit, Brandeis was my dream school. I liked that it was small, that it catered to the Jewish holidays, that it was in Massachusetts. Everyone back home warned me that I wouldn’t know anyone, but that didn’t bother me. That’s what college was for: a fresh start. Turns out, I was right in my confidence as these last four years have allowed me to be part of an incredible community. That community goes beyond just my friends. Yes, obviously I love my friends (shoutout to all my roommates, you better all be reading this). But outside of them, I have still found incredible people and opportunities in almost all aspects of my involvement here. Despite just joining this year, the journalism department has welcomed me with open arms. Though my relationship with band is #toxic, I did solidify some of my most cherished friendships in those ensembles. Orientation was probably the craziest week of my life—but an undeniably rewarding experience. Each of

these pieces have built me into a stronger person. But there’s one big standout from my time here. The Hoot was an unexpected blessing. For about three and a half years, The Hoot’s been like half of my personality (with the other half being Taylor Swift, obviously (Come on, we all knew she had to get mentioned at some point. Just be glad it wasn’t a “Long Live” quote)). I joined The Hoot at the activities fair after a member of eboard ambushed me, asking if I was interested in student journalism. Thinking I wanted to go into editing, I said yes and joined their email list. I wish I remembered who brought me in, because they unintentionally changed my life forever. Though I swore I was going to never ever ever write ever ever, I caved after just four months. Looking back, my first Hoot article is terrible. Just thinking about it makes me cringe. But everyone was so nice, everyone encouraged me to take a bigger role in the paper. And so I did. Here is where I have to properly thank Celia Young ’20 and Jonah Koslofsky ’20. Celia taught me how to write an article. I use that advice every day, and it’s the same advice I pass down to new generations of The Hoot. Jonah taught me how to write a good article. The foundations were there, but I still needed a lot of help. Jonah was kind enough to pass the Arts section torch to me and the wonderful Aaron LaFauci ’21. Through the Arts section, I found a true love of writing— and yes, editing. There was something magical about seeing a piece

grow; something amazing about seeing how a blank Word doc can become something incredible. Now I’m an Editor in Chief, a journalism minor and actively seeking a writing job post graduation. Being EIC has been a wild ride. This paper has had ups and downs—epic highs and lows of college journalism, if you will— but each success and struggle has made me think a little differently. I now know what it is to lead with compassion, and that it is certainly better than leading with fear. I understand what it is to make hard decisions, and, though I’m

still working on it, how to handle the aftermath. I learned to stand up for myself and when to pick and choose my battles. I’ve learned a lot about the kind of person I want to be, and for that, I’m nothing but grateful. I can say with certainty that the freshman year version of myself would be shocked at the senior year. I always dreamed of being EIC—it became a hope in my heart during my first month on this paper—but never in my wildest dreams would I have expected myself to grow like I had. Despite being an English major, I came into Brandeis believing I was, and

would always be, a terrible writer. Look at me now. No senior op is complete without a slew of shoutouts so here we go. Caroline and Stewart, you guys have made me so proud as this year’s arts editors. Rachel, Lucy and Cyrenity, I’m sure you will carry the arts legacy beautifully. Arts section, best section! Victoria, Thomas and Maddie, I know I’m leaving this paper in good hands. I can’t wait to see what you guys do next year! 3IC, we were a crazy experiment. Cheers to making history. Now, one last time before I go: HOOT NATION IS THRIVING!

SENIOR YEAR

FRESHMAN YEAR

‘Tis an honor being a geek with you all By Caroline O editor

When I was a silly sophomore who was just starting to use Instagram for the first time, I discovered the joy of social media stories. I used the Instagram Story feature liberally, mostly on my more personal Instagram page (not my main, which is strictly used for showing my associates and distant classmates how in-

sanely, enviably cool I am). No, my personal Instagram account was (is) used purely for my own cringey purposes, which is to spam people with the latest reactions on whatever the hell I was watching. Was I annoying the hell out of my friends? Probably, which might have been the reason why one of our old Editors-in-Chief, Candace Ng ’20 (if she’s reading this by the way, lol love u candace) slid into my DMs and asked why I didn’t just write for The Hoot,

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where I could actually air out my opinions productively. It’s worth noting now that I’ve never actually written in a school newspaper before. When I thought of school newspapers, I mostly thought of uppity teenagers who were interested in nothing but politics and Pulitzers. Of course, these kinds of interests are admirable in their own right—but that wasn’t really my scene. But because I was a curious sophomore, I wound up writing an article. My first one was about

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diet culture (lots of opinions on that), but the section that I stuck with was ultimately Arts—my first article ever being about “Star Wars: the Clone Wars.” But what meant even more to me was the fact that—get this!—the Art Section editors at the time (Jonah Koslofsky ’21, Emma Lichtenstein ’22 and Aaron LaFauci ’21) were actually weirdly supportive. Maybe this is part of the scheme to amp up the page count for the section (Arts Section is the best section, duh), but sophomore Caroline appreciated the genuine interest. Now as a senior, I still get so much joy out of finding this little community where I can write about my latest favorite watches and feel mostly not judged for it—which, not to get all sappy and shit, but I think it helped me appreciate myself a little more too. Because as I grew into my own editor role (because what the hell, I somehow became the Arts Editor), I learned that I love seeing the writers’ enthusiasm come to life in print. Whether the latest article is about the greatest or worst movie/show/book (and okay, fine, games too I guess) of all time, I love the energy that the Arts writers specifically bring to the table—and as I bid my adieus to Brandeis, I feel sad thinking it might be a bit harder to find that same unpretentious joy that I get the pleasure of reading and editing on a weekly basis. But that’s only one part of my reflection as a senior in The Hoot. I can’t quite finish this piece without expressing gratitude and love for the whole Editorial Board. Whether I’d known them since

my sophomore year when I first started writing, or only in my senior year as an Arts Editor, they’ve each been nothing short of fantastic. Thank you guys for making my senior year feel a little brighter. Special thanks to Stewart Huang ’22, my co-Arts Editor for being an awesome partner in both editing and the occasional weirdly philosophical discussion about death that one time in Prod Night. And thank you to our awesome deps—Lucy Fay ’24, Rachel Rosenfield ’25 and Cyrenity Augustin ’24: I personally feel fine knowing you guys are taking up the Arts section. Y’all are gonna rock it. Oh, and I guess—not to play favorites with the 3ICs or whatever—thanks Emma Lichtenstein ’22, for sending me a stream of “love and light” text messages whenever I was about to go into Full On Insane mode over whatever I was (re)watching. And also nudging me into the Editorial Board in the first place. I literally had no idea the girl I met in freshman year with the Taylor Swift bedspread would turn into both my Editor-in-Chief as well as friend, and honestly, I’m really happy it happened. That leaves us with the ending of this op, which is really quite a shame, because I suck at endings. So instead, I’ll say see y’all on some Thursday night. Maybe not next week but—on some eventual Thursday night, sure. I’ll meet you then!


10 OPINIONS

The Brandeis Hoot

May 6, 2022

A tumultuous and rewarding Brandeis experience By John Fornagiel editor

Needless to say, our experience at Brandeis was very unique and unlike many of the years that came before us, mostly as a result of COVID-19 and its unfortunate consequences that it has had on our college careers. Regardless, I would still like to emphasize the positive aspects of my Brandeis career, rather than the unfortunate pandemic. To start, one of the best things to come out of Brandeis for me is undoubtedly Sasha. Ever since I first came to the Brandeis campus in August 2018, she was one of the first people that I met and one of the first people who I really got to know well. While there were many ups and downs throughout my Brandeis career academically, socially, and emotionally, she was always my rock and will continue to be my rock. Quite frankly, I am unable to express my gratitude at how happy I am to find someone that I click with so well. While I am happy that I met her at Brandeis, I am even more ecstatic that she will continue to be part of my life post-Brandeis, and I could not thank Brandeis more for providing the ground and circumstances where we met. However, even though I met Sasha at Brandeis and this overshadows any negative feelings I have of Brandeis, another pervasive concept throughout my Brandeis career was COVID-19. I can distinctly remember first hearing about us going online for

two weeks. I was in Bio Lab when we received an email about going online for two weeks. At this point, in my head, I was just happy to get a two-week vacation. But, little did I know how much this virus would impact my college career and that this was nothing to be happy about due to the harm and destruction that it has caused. Although I feel selfish honing in on this aspect of COVID-19 since there are people who have lost family members and friends over this virus, starting in Spring 2020, we were essentially fully remote for a year and a half, basically splicing out my entire junior and half of my sophomore year from existence. To be honest, I barely remember anything about this year and a half. I was in remote

classes, but it all mostly feels like a blur, where online classes blended together and I had the exact same routine each and every day. Not to mention, every club that I was in held only remote meetings, which made it difficult to socially connect with my peers. However, interestingly enough, for me, I don’t think that COVID-19 was not all bad from my perspective. I started working at the Brandeis COVID-19 testing site at the beginning of my senior year, where I met a bunch of fun people and made some really solid connections. It was also a great job socially: basically everybody on Brandeis campus came to the COVID-19 testing site twice a week, so it was a great way to get to meet people and form new re-

lationships. While I am sad that the testing site will likely be closing for the foreseeable future barring any unforeseen circumstances, of course all great things must eventually come to an end. One of my major milestones at Brandeis was finding and writing for The Hoot, which was a great way to connect to campus life and also meet a bunch of awesome people who I am proud to call my friends. It seems weird, having a pre-med be one of the EICs of the paper, but I could not ask for a better club to have joined. Thank you for making me more of a “Gen-Zer,” and teaching me “cool kid talk” such as “Bussin” and “yas queen slay;” those will be in my vocabulary forever. I also want to take a second to

shout-out all the senior staff writers who have contributed to The Hoot over their Brandeis careers: Sam Finbury ’22, Josh Lannon ’22, Zach Katz ’22 and Jesse Lieberman ’22. You guys have fueled The Hoot will all of your amazing work; we (the 3ICs) are very thankful to you guys and wish you luck in all your future endeavors! All in all, I am sad to be closing this chapter of my life, but I am excited for the future. I hope to see all the great things that will come out of The Hoot, and I wish the rest of the board luck. To Brandeis itself, well, Sasha said it better, so you can read my message to it in her op.

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SENIOR YEAR

On my brandeis experience: I am glad this is the end By Sasha Skarboviychuk editor

It is now 5:22 p.m. on Thursday, May 5. The official deadline for this article was at 12 p.m.. The hard deadline (which I myself insisted on) was at 2 p.m.. And here I am, sitting here, not knowing what to say. I read the senior ops of the other seniors, hoping that they would inspire me to say something nice about brandeis. Nope, I am still the bitter bitch I

was 30 minutes ago. But what will they do, fire me? I could also talk about all the wonderful professors I had here. All the professors who have put me on the spot the last 70 days, making coming to class so much harder. Yes, I clearly want everyone around me to know that my home is getting destroyed. That my family is getting killed. That my sisters are getting raped. That my brothers are getting tortured. Maybe those wonderful professors will also tell everyone that I cry in the bathroom in between

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classes? People come up to me and tell me how impressed and proud they are that I held it all together. That I finished this semester (with good grades at that). That makes me want to scream. I am nothing but the pathetic remains of a human being that was once hopeful. You should not be proud of me. I didn’t do anything. I am nothing but a broken person, with a severe case of survivor’s guilt and nightmares that will never seem to end. I keep thinking about the fact

that this will end up on the internet, as well as in 750 physical copies. This is my last ever article for The Hoot after all. But I don’t even care. I hope everyone knows how much brandeis has failed me. Over and over again. I hope brandeis doesn’t ever get another Ukrainian student again—even with the free tuition at the International Business School, it is not worth the damage this school has done to my mental health. This is the school that allowed a club and department to fundraise for

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BOTH russia and Ukraine afterall! Oh and the school where a dean proudly told me that another student put up a Ukrainian flag, and the administration took it down. But let me interrupt my toxicity for a second to shout-out the good things about brandeis. It’s funny, the only organization I have nothing bad to say about is the COVID-19 testing site, and that will soon be gone too. But I have to say, I have met some great people at brandeis, for whom I will always be grateful. Thanks for not being awful, guys. Oh and shout-out to the Graduate Student Association: thank you for always having free alcohol to make this school more bearable. All in all, coming to brandeis was probably the worst decision I have made in my entire life. To students considering brandeis: don’t come here. To the sophomores and freshmen: it is not too late to transfer. To the juniors and seniors: try to leave this sinking ship as soon as you can. Maybe I am sorry that I am leaving brandeis with nothing but hatred in my heart, but honestly, it deserves it. Maybe if I wrote my senior op last year, with the class of 2021, this senior OP would be better. Maybe I’d tell you nice things about brandeis. But right now, I cannot. I was broken 70 days ago. brandeis did nothing, except break me even more. So I cannot say anything, except I hope this place burns down to ashes. Maybe then the people I interview with will actually know what brandeis is.


May 6, 2022

OPINIONS 11

The Brandeis Hoot

This is cheesy; I’m lactose intolerant I fear By Grace Zhou editor

When I took Sociology of Body and Health back in fall 2019, Professor Shostak assigned us a project to change one aspect of our bodily practices for a week and write an ethnography about the experience. So, not unlike many of my peers who chose to play around with colorful hair dye, fake piercings, or temporary tattoos, I experimented with new makeup. For seven days, I woke up early before class to appliqué coin-sized rhinestones around my eyes, dust glitter into my brows, and adorn my cheeks with multi-colored stickers. And for seven days, I walked around campus withstanding not-so-sub-

tle stares and whispers from acquaintances and strangers alike. (Admittedly, the kind of makeup I was doing was more appropriate for a Walmart Euphoria than 10 a.m. Intro to Psych.) Looking back, that week is (1) an extremely funny anecdote and (2) truthfully also the spark for a small identity crisis of mine. In college, ego death is no rare commodity, but somehow this experience stands out to me. After all, there’s something so vulnerablizing about change, even something so simple as changing physical appearance. It shattered a self-held comfort that I could slip through life unnoticed. It invited observation and commentary, both that of other people and my own. To change, even in this seemingly insignificant way, felt like bullhorning my existence to

the world. I have always hesitated at others’ judgment. It’s not that I can’t hold my own in the face of mean comments; rather, the idea that other people are misunderstanding me has always been oddly discomforting. In this sense, to be judged––to be misunderstood, really––feels like a deep jab at identity. And if not for fear of being misunderstood by others, then trying new things can be scary for fear of letting go of the self-imposed categories and concepts used to define myself. “I should be/do/act like ___ because I am ___.” But others’ misunderstandings of me are illusory, at least in the sense that they actually have little to do with…me. The truth is, the more we put ourselves out there and allow ourselves to take

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up space, the more likely it is that others will form a perception of us that exists outside of our control. If you had told me this freshman year, it would’ve sounded like an end-of-days siren. But, as I have come to learn, the good thing is, if we are gracious with ourselves, if we allow ourselves an authenticity and honest expression that exists beyond the opinions of others, we can make peace with how others may (mis)understand us. At least when it has come to questions of self expression and identity, I have relinquished my fixation on others’ perceptions of me. To be misunderstood can be alienating, without a doubt. It doesn’t, however, have to be earth shattering. And the other part of being gracious with myself has entailed doing things that I once believed “I could never do” and

allowing myself to flirt with who I would like to become. What in life doesn’t change? Denying ourselves change will neither stop it from happening nor shield us from judgment when it does. When I began to relinquish my fixed sense of self, I actually gave myself space to grow. So I’m happy to report that the latter half of my Brandeis experience has been marked by more change and more courage on my end: getting that septum piercing I’ve always wanted (not to backpedal on my own advice too much, but I will apologize to my parents for this one––sorry, mom and dad!), studying abroad in Nice after a whopping four-year hiatus in my French studies (actually, I’m also going to apologize for this one. Sorry, Macron) and, yes, as trivial as it may sound, doing my makeup how I want. On days when I feel like it, I’ll still dot some pearl stickers around my eyes, sweep glitter across my lid, or pencil some colorful liner into my lashline. That sophomore year project was not all for naught. So if you’re looking for encouragement to try something new or else make the most of your time at Brandeis, consider this it. Alternatively, you can always take Sociology of Body and Health with Professor Shostak.

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A review of the Brandeis faculty club and dining experience By Jamie Trope staff

You’ve seen the chaos of lower Usdan during lunch, but professors do not subject themselves to that experience—they dine at the Brandeis Faculty Club, which I can now confirm has no bucket to collect the water drops falling from the ceiling. With the semester wrapping up, Sodexo’s contract with Brandeis ending (and therefore my job working for Sodexo as a chalkboard artist/marketing intern), I had the opportunity to eat at the Faculty Club. I can only describe the outside of the Faculty Club as a mix between a modern loft house and a villain’s secret hideout. Like all aspects of Brandeis architecture, the outside is a confusing visual experience and one that I do not have the ability to properly explain. It has a funky design that looks as if I could definitely assemble it myself from only pieces at IKEA. I highly recommend walking by the building if you have the time, perhaps on your way to enjoy a Sherman lunch. After careful deliberation of the building’s outside, I walked up the stairs to the entrance—up until this point, a typical Brandeis experience—and then went inside the building. Brandeis undergraduates are typically not allowed to eat at the faculty club, so I am grateful for the opportunity to do so. Upon entering the building, there is a waiting area with a few chairs. To the left, you will find a private dining area (I presume for lunch meetings), and to the

right, you will find the main dining area. Nobody asked to see my passport, and I did not have to use a meal swipe. The Faculty Club serves the food buffet style, and almost everything I saw is what I encounter when eating at either Usdan or Sherman. However, and most very notably, the Faculty Club does have egg salad—and as someone who usually assembles egg salad from the ingredients available in the dining hall—I was very impressed. No more getting cold egg slices from the salad bar and mixing it with mayonnaise and salt and pepper! At the Faculty Club, they make the egg salad for you. Though the Faculty Club may not have the same variety as your average Brandeis dining hall, it

makes up for it by having rare ingredients that rarely come by. Also noteworthy is the fruit selection. I found apples, purple grapes, pineapple, blueberries, strawberries, and watermelon. Very impressive and a nice distraction from the usual green and orange melon of the dining hall. The buffet had a salad bar, a soup section, and a selection of food I have definitely seen before in the simple servings area in Usdan. After assembling a plate of food (mashed potatoes, chickpeas, broccoli, fruit, egg salad and pita chips), I headed to the seating area. It is unlike any dining experience an undergraduate will have on campus. The dining area overlooks the Lights of Reason and with all of the spring foliage

surrounding it, I felt as if I was at a true scenic dining experience. All of the tables had white tablecloths, blue cloth napkins, and wine glasses. (I had water, and I was also informed that professors are able to have wine or beer upon request). I felt so pampered eating on Brandeis campus while not drinking out of a plastic cup (and the water came with ice cubes! No worrying about accidentally getting a mix of water and blue Powerade in your cup either. Someone will fill up your glass for you as if you were at a real restaurant). The cutlery and plates and bowls were also different. The fork and knife were much sleeker in design, and interestingly enough, the plates were much larger, and the bowls were much smaller than in the

undergraduate dining halls. Baffling. Overall, dining at the Brandeis Faculty Club was a novelty experience. Imagine getting a green container from Sherman, filling it up with food, going to a fancy restaurant, and eating the food there. The food is no different to what students eat, and so rest assured, that when you go to a lecture after lunch, your professor will likely have eaten the exact same food as you that day. Would I go again for the cloth napkins and fruit variety, though? Most definitely. Bonus points for seeing one of my professors at lunch two tables away from me.

PHOTO FROM BRANDEIS.SODEXOMYWAY.COM


12 OPINIONS

The Brandeis Hoot

May 6, 2022

Thank you to our seniors special to the hoot

The end of the semester has come and we couldn’t send you off without saying how grateful we are for each and every one of you. Sometimes we get a little caught up in making the paper and we forget to say how thankful we are for the people who came before us and taught us everything that they know. From how to calm down when In-design just exists, to how to handle angry emails “sent from my iPhone,” you were there to hold our hands and get us to laugh about it somehow too. The paper is a love-hate relationship most of the time, and it is the people who are there that make it worth staying. So to our Editors-in-Chiefs, Editors and friends here are your send-offs. Victoria Morrongiello I’ve never been short of having sisters, I was lucky to grow up with three. Being away from them can be really difficult so I’m grateful to have Sasha and Emma who act like my sisters. Emma, thank you for bringing the OL energy to the Hoot room when it starts getting low towards 11 p.m. Nothing beats when the paper is nearly done on Thursday nights and you’re blasting Taylor Swift so we can just mess around. Thank you for encouraging my book addiction as well, and for reading some of my recs so we can rant about them. Sasha, brother, where do I begin? We fight like sisters, unfiltered and brutally honest, but no fight has ever come between us. You took me under your wing and helped me become more confident in myself as a writer and editor. Thank you for encouraging me to write less and worry less, I know I don’t listen but it means more than you know. I’ll take good care of Jackie next year. You guys better not move too far away, I hope we make you proud next year! (Except you John. Not you. Walnut.) Mia Plante I started my Hoot career pretty late in my time at Brandeis but I’ve never felt isolated. The Hoot is my home, thanks to the seniors especially! To Caroline and Stewart, you guys are so put together it was inspiring to me. Although I will

never get to your level of organization, and I will never do the editing thing you guys do (I’m way too harsh), you have given me a great example to never live up to. Caroline specifically, thanks for answering my questions about law school stuff, you’re going to do amazing in law school! To Grace, you are so stunning inside and out. I don’t know you very well, but I don’t think I need to in order to know this. You are so kind and friendly, I have absolutely loved seeing you around this past semester. You always happen to brighten my day somehow by just saying “hi”. Also, thank you for being perfect near me. To the EICs, you guys are insane and kinda messy but it made The Hoot more fun for me sometimes! To Emma, I appreciate your understanding of hot girl stomach issues and your easy going bubbly personality. It makes entering The Hoot that much more welcoming. To John, you are like Hoot Dad, always saying weird stuff but also always smiling and laughing. Perfect vibes all around. Also, I love how you are friendly with my roommate, it’s adorable and also that’s how I learned about taking the MCAT in a diaper. To Sasha, thank you for being the picture of hard work this year. The amount of time that you put into The Hoot is clear, and your work does not go unnoticed and unappreciated. It’s wonderful knowing that my OPs grandmother is also terrifying, I will ensure that any other OPs ladies that join our lineage are wonderfully scary too <3 Thank you all for being such a great break from my academics. I always feel like I’m learning something at our meetings, but it’s also always so much fun. Cooper Gottfried I’ve only been at The Hoot for a short time, but all of you made me feel immediately like a part of something special. When I went to that first production night in the library, I knew this was a group of people that I wanted to spend time with. That feeling came in large part from your leadership. Sasha, thank you for my favorite pair of socks and a scarf that I’ll never figure out how to properly wear. John, thank you for helping me popularize the name “Coopie.” Emma, bestie, thank you for showing me that I don’t have the worst music taste at The Hoot. To all of the seniors, thank you

for helping make my first year at Brandeis so amazing and thank you for welcoming me into The Hoot family with open arms. I hope you all have an amazing time with what you pursue after graduation, and I know you’ll all be successful in whatever you choose. Thomas Pickering I’ve never been good at goodbyes. Heck, I hardly know how to process them sometimes if I am being honest with myself. As a child I always broke down into tears when family would leave and even in high school when the class above me graduated I never got over it. I always felt as if I was waiting for them to turn the corner and rejoin all the activities I did with them. I idolized them, worked hard to prove myself to them and felt like they were family. This is no different. To Emma, John and especially Sasha. I never knew what I was getting into when it came to The Hoot. I was expecting it to be some club I tried out for a little while and then never came back to, but instead, I found a family from it. You all have given me so much when it comes to friendship, advice and laughs in the BMC. You have nourished my growth and honestly made me the man I am today (for better or worse) and I will always be grateful. I dread being an ocean away and not being able to tell you all in person but I will always look up to you all. I will always strive to make you guys proud no matter where you end up or how far you go from Waltham. You all made me feel like a part of this family and just know that it will always be there for you guys and your future endeavors. To Sasha, you will always be my Hoot mom and for that I am forever in your debt. From long facetime calls to sending me skeleton gifs to disliking certain IR professors we have been through a lot together. You are the kind of person I want to be as I continue to grow as an individual. Your passion, dedication, upfrontness and charisma are all things I look up to and wherever we are I want you to know that I will always be there for you and always striving to make you proud. I only wish I was there to tell you in-person, but until then–I will always be your child and I will always be your most loyal OPs writer.

Justin Leung Even though I have been with The Hoot for a while, this year was really the year that I got to properly get to know all of you. At first I had no idea what I was doing but you all were very helpful in terms of learning how to be a better editor and just being acclimated in The Hoot environment. John, I still can’t believe your favorite meal is breakfast and there is no way I will ever forget it. But I also won’t forget all those times you helped me out with layout in the fall when I pretty much had no idea what I was doing. Stewart, I have no idea how, but you always got the faster computer. Sometimes even then I would finish layout faster. Most of that was because you helped clarify all the small things, and for that I thank you. Emma, my friend that I met three times. Even though your sports knowledge may be a little lacking, you will forever be my sports buddy because you stayed around in sports journalism. Sasha, you almost single handedly kept the sports section afloat for the past year. I think my favorite part about all of that was how you actually made an attempt to learn the sports. The sports section will for sure miss you and that’s not just because you write a third of the articles. Rachel Rosenfield I haven’t been with the Hoot for that long, but I knew my time here would be special as soon as I started writing. I have loved getting to know all of the seniors of the paper and I am going to miss you guys so much next year. Our paper will not be the same without you guys and I wish the best for all of you. Emma you have been so fun to be around and I have loved getting to know you. You are an awesome TA for my journalism class and I’m not just saying that because I’m nervous about my final project and I want to be on your good side, lol. I can’t wait for you to take the journalism world by storm. Sasha, you are the glue holding this paper together. You are an excellent leader and I love reading your wide variety of articles. I wish we got to talk more, but you’re awesome. John, you’ve always seemed like a chill dude and you’re an underrated member of the EICs. You’re a talented writer and a nice guy, keep it up. And I can’t forget my arts editors, Caroline and Stewart. They took me under their wing and helped me be the arts dep that I am today. Without their edits, my articles would just be a bunch of random words in a crazy stream of thought. They helped me figure out layout, writing, and sending out emails. I’m gonna miss them

next year and the arts section will not be the same. I know you guys both have great futures ahead. To all of the senior staff and editors on the Hoot, you were all awesome journalists and made the Hoot what it is today. You all worked hard and we all looked up to you. Good luck next year! Socially distanced hugs and kisses to you all!! Roshni Ray Where did the seniors find the audacity to graduate and leave us behind after this incredible year working together? :) I’m going to miss each and every one of you so much! You guys made Production Night such a fun, goofy, special place to be each Thursday night. I’m so grateful to you all in helping me navigate the process of producing a 16+ page newspaper each week. I’ve learned so much from you and I can’t wait to see where the future takes all of you. Hoot hoot, toot toot, and off you go! <3 Maddie Rousell It feels like just yesterday that I was attending my first prod night as a freshman, not knowing anyone on The Hoot (but that girl with all the stickers on her laptop looked friendly!). Two and a half years later and my time at Brandeis wouldn’t be complete without The Hoot, which wouldn’t be what it is without the graduating seniors, including our wonderful 3ICs, Emma, John and Sasha. You all have made the hard times fun, like when we had to do prod night in the library for the first few weeks of this year, or when Sasha made learning fun by handing out copy editing quizzes, which were really a nice way of saying “please save Maddie from fixing all your numbers and apostrophes.” Emma, I’m going to miss having another Swiftie around, and will miss you ruining my life by recommending me shows through Arts articles that eventually get canceled. And somehow, I feel like I’m going to be the John of next year’s 3ICs: the chill one. A huge thank you and congratulations to all our other graduating seniors, I will miss your faces each Sunday and Thursday in the BMC and your misguided beliefs that your sections are the best (you’re all wrong, by the way, copy editing has been holding the paper together for years). I wish you all the best of luck in the future, and know you will always have a home here at The Hoot.


May 6, 2021

OPINIONS 13

The Brandeis Hoot

Leaked U.S. Supreme Court draft decision has poor legal reasoning and terrifying consequences By Mia Plante and Cooper Gottfried editors

With Roe v. Wade’s imminent nullification, 26 U.S. states are set to place bans on abortion. This blatant attack on bodily autonomy places more than half of U.S. states alongside the 24 other nations that have banned abortion entirely. When Roe v. Wade is overturned, it will be yet another human rights violation committed by the United States government. By adding to the 90 million women of reproductive age worldwide who have been stripped of a fundamental right, the U.S. government is once again showing how little it cares about its citizens’ rights, wellbeing, and liberty. By effectively banning abortion in more than half of the United States, the Supreme Court will be exposing lower income families to unnecessary and unwanted financial hardship. Many families are spending up to 20 percent of their earnings on childcare, and childcare costs are up 41 percent since the start of the pandemic. The overall cost of raising a child until the age of 18 was estimated to be $233,610 in 2017, and that doesn’t include the massive expense of a college education. By restricting abortion rights, American citizens will be forced to bear the massive financial burden of raising a child. Like a Colorado GOP group said, “Republicans hate poor people,” and lower income families will be even more affected by the impending abortion ban as they may not be able to afford having a child. Despite what certain fascist propaganda machines may tell you, the Court’s draft decision to overturn Roe v. Wade flies contrary to what most Americans want. More than half of Americans feel that Roe v. Wade should be upheld, and only about a quarter of Americans believe it should be overturned. One of the many reasons that the American public is up in arms over the leaked draft decision is the massive disconnect between government and citizen that this draft decision epitomizes. The Supreme Court, while not intended to be a political body, certainly is one. Its recent actions make it clear that the U.S. government does not act on behalf of its citizens. Now, the Court plans to overturn a ruling that provided a fundamental right to every per-

son in this country with a uterus? It’s embarrassing to see this nation stoop so low. If this draft decision becomes official, it would needlessly condemn thousands of women to death. The United States has the highest maternal mortality rate out of all developed nations, with about 17 maternal deaths for every one hundred thousand live births. It’s estimated that that banning abortion would raise maternal mortality by 21 percent nationwide. Many of these deaths are preventable with an abortion, but this draft decision is shutting down that possibly life-saving option for hundreds of thousands of women. Furthermore, when abortion is not legal, geographically reachable or non-discriminatory people often turn to unsafe abortions. It’s been estimated that about 45 percent of all abortions worldwide are considered unsafe, although that number will certainly rise if Roe is overturned. In developed nations, about 30 women out of every one hundred thousand die from having an unsafe abortion performed. By overturning Roe, the Supreme Court is announcing to the world that they support the deaths of thousands of women each year. It’s disgraceful. The legal reasoning behind this draft decision is just as painful to legal scholars as the social implications of its outcome are. The draft decision written by Justice Samuel Alito states that, “the Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision, including the one in which the defenders of Roe and Casey chiefly rely—the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.” The justice’s reasoning for this position is clear—religious and political beliefs—but the opinion operates under the guise of impartiality and objectivity that the Supreme Court is known for. Throughout the draft, Alito makes reference to a case that determined that a state’s ban of physician-assisted suicide was constitutional, Washington v. Glucksberg, in order to prove his opinion has a basis in legal reasoning. Glucksberg states that rights must be “implicit in the concept of ordered liberty” and must be “objectively, deeply rooted in this nation’s history and tradition.” From a first reading of this idea alone, it’s clear that the author

of this opinion had a traditional stance on Constitutional interpretation, which favors older ideology to modern socio-political changes. This decision essentially argues that for a right to be considered truly a Constitutional right, it must be clearly upheld throughout the nation’s history—which is problematic for numerous obvious reasons. This statement assumes that U.S. tradition and history is always correct, and therefore must be upheld, which leaves room for concerning cases in the future to use this same reasoning, and no room for ideological growth that is natural throughout the aging of a nation. Ironically, though, the opinion goes on to argue almost the exact opposite of this idea during its discussion of stare decisis. Alito writes that stare decisis, which means the legal principle of determining a case based on precedent, is not a required command to follow but a suggestion. Does this not entirely undermine their previous point of both following a select few cases that work with their opinion, but also that national tradition may not be the answer? Alito name drops Plessy v. Ferguson as an example of previous precedent that was overturned by Brown v. Board, but at that time wasn’t racial segregation and violent discrimination an idea “deeply rooted in this nation’s history and tradition?” Additionally, couldn’t this exact same line of reasoning be used to claim that racial segregation was also “implicit in the concept of ordered liberty” by the racist proponents of segregation? Later in the decision is the determination that “the inescapable conclusion is that a right to abortion is not deeply rooted in the Nation’s history and traditions. On the contrary, an unbroken tradition of prohibiting abortion on pain of criminal punishment persisted from the earliest days of the common law until 1973.” This is terrifying to read as it essentially argues to states that criminalizing abortion is acceptable as it is common tradition in many cases. This claim about criminalizing abortion is backed up by nineteenth-century laws and legal doctrine dating back to the thirteenth century—which, to these Justices, somehow still has an say on modern law. This is horrifyingly backwards. Justice Alito also sort of said “trans rights” in his argument that

M

IMAGE FROM WASHINGTONPOST.COM

CARTOON FROM THE NEW YORKER

“abortion is not a sex-based classification,” but obviously this was unintentional and instead done to ignore the undue burden and clear discrimination that bans on abortion place on women. Alito noted that because abortion doesn’t fall under a sex-based classification, it isn’t subject to “heightened scrutiny” that applies to sex-based classifications. Alito writes that this classification is only triggered when something is “designed to effect an invidious discrimination against members of one sex or the other,” which overlooks the obvious instances of discrimination against women that occurs from one carrying a child, giving birth, and so on, as well as the instances of discrimination that lead up to an individual requiring an abortion. Alito utilizes the arguments of amicus briefs in favor of his opinion to claim that instances of abortion restriction does not entail discrimination. Writing that “attitudes about the pregnancy of unmarried women have changed drastically; that federal and state laws ban discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, that leave for pregnancy and childbirth are now guaranteed by law in many cases, that the costs of medical care associated with pregnancy are covered by insurance or government assistance; that States have increasingly adopted ‘safe haven’ laws, which generally allow women to drop off babies anonymously and that a woman who puts her newborn up for adoption today has little reason to fear that the baby will not find a suitable home.” These claims are shallow and not indicative of the larger issues at hand. “Attitudes” about unmarried pregnant women changing does not mean that these women’s lives are therefore easier or better. Discrimination on the basis of pregnancy still occurs despite laws in place attempting to prevent it, additionally just because parental leave is often guaranteed by law the length of the leave is inadequate in many cases and these leaves are still often unpaid. This falsely assumes that the individual who has given birth to a child will be able to recover in the amount of time given, and will be able to care for their child without income. Most notably is the statement that “a woman who puts her newborn up for adoption today has little reason to believe that the baby will not find a suitable home,” this is only true for healthy white babies. Any child that is not a picture of perfection to the white couples looking to

adopt likely will be out of luck despite the number of individuals on an adoption waiting list. This also ignores the number of children older than twelve months within the foster care system who are overlooked in favor of babies they can mold themselves, and who don’t have any childhood trauma the adoptive parents would have to address. “We must guard against the natural human tendency to confuse what that Amendment protects with our own ardent views about the liberty that Americans should enjoy,” the draft writes almost comically. “We do not pretend to know how our political system or society will respond to today’s decision overruling Roe and Casey. And even if we could foresee what will happen, we would have no authority to let that knowledge influence our decision. We can only do our job, which is to interpret the law, apply long standing principles of stare decisis, and decide this case accordingly”. This has to be a joke, as if it wasn’t insanely obvious this entire decision was a long-term plan to enforce the conservative Christian values that are losing steam in modern U.S. politics… Legal scholars and those who have been following the Supreme Court’s move to overturn Roe v. Wade are not surprised by the draft opinion leaked on Politico which called the Roe decision “egregiously wrong from the start.” Since before the court essentially ignored the Texas Heartbeat Act in September, Roe’s status as solid precedent has been slowly chipped away at. The selection of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health for the court’s docket was intentional and timely for their goal of controlling women’s bodies and utilizing faux-religious doctrine as the law of the land. Authors’ Note: While this article uses mainly terms associated with cisgender women, it’s important to note that not only cis women get abortions but trans men, non-binary people, etc. The right to abortion is important for everyone.


ARTS

The Brandeis Hoot 14

May 6, 2022

A new hope emerges in series ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ By Caroline O editor

With final examinations, projects and papers looming down on Brandeis students, May is perhaps one of my least favorite months of the year. Too many things are happening, none of them particularly exciting, but if there’s one thing I’m looking forward to, it’s the long-awaited Star Wars series “Obi-Wan Kenobi.” First announced back in the D23 2019 Expo by Lucasfilms President Kathleen Kennedy, this series is meant to follow the iconic character Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) in the years after “Revenge of the Sith.” Fans of the Star Wars franchise remember that this particular film ended on a simultaneously hopeless and hopeful note: on the one hand, Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) has fallen to the Dark Side, officially becoming the horrifying Darth Vader. The entire Jedi Order has been killed off, and whatever Jedi haven’t been brutally executed have gone into hiding, leaving the galaxy in darkness. But where there is death and destruction, there is also a glimmer of light—Luke (Mark Hamill) and Leia Skywalker (Carrie Fisher), who will eventually grow to undo the damage done by their father. But for now, the Skywalker children haven’t yet grown into the people they’ll be when they end all that darkness. For now, Leia Skywalker is growing up on Alderaan with her adoptive parents Bail and Breha Organa, and Luke Skywalker (Grant Feely) is just a ten year old farmer boy growing up in Tatooine, a harsh desert planet that was also once home

to his father before him. But of course, he isn’t alone. Somewhere on this planet, Obi-Wan Kenobi lives out his days in exile, keeping close watch on Luke to make sure he doesn’t run into any harm. After all, these are the days in which the Jedi must stay hidden—and if Luke is anything at all like his powerful father, the threats are even harsher. And so Obi-Wan must make sure that the boy is safe, and, more importantly, trained in the face of danger. However, it seems that even in his days in exile, Obi-Wan Kenobi’s life is about to get a bit more complicated. On May 4, Disney+ released the full trailer for this sixpart series, featuring the insidious Inquisitors—Darkside Force users who are sent by the Empire to kidnap potentially Force-sensitive children. Lightsaber and blaster fights seem abound as Obi-Wan dodges from his newfound enemies, all with the hopes that Luke remains protected. Now, given that the original trilogy shows Luke as a relatively innocent and mildly untraumatized kid, it’s possible that the ten-year old Luke of the Kenobi series won’t get fully exposed to the action. Still, it’ll be interesting to see exactly what role Luke might potentially play in this series—hopefully, he’s not just a cameo in the first episode. And to be honest, it would be a bit of a shame if Luke and Obi-Wan didn’t share at least one significant moment that might foreshadow their important teacher-student relationship to come in the original trilogy. Another element of “Obi-Wan Kenobi” that I’m looking forward to is the epic showdown between Darth Vader and ObiWan. Thinking about the insane

resentment and rage that must be bubbling in Darth Vader-thenAnakin Skywalker is a headache. Or the absolute shock Obi-Wan must feel—again, fans of the movies will remember that the last he’d seen his former student-slashbest friend Anakin Skywalker, had been writhing on a lava beach with his limbs chopped off (courtesy of Obi-Wan himself). The kind of intense emotions that must be playing between these two iconic characters is guaranteed to give fans the duel of the century, because how else are we supposed to describe a fight between two people who have known each other for literally years and years before having the most dramatic (and maybe even most tragic) confrontation in the entirety of Star Wars history? The only thing I know for certain is that whatever happens, this duel might be one of the most memorable ones since the famous duel between Anakin and Obi-Wan in “Revenge of the Sith.” But perhaps the thing I’m most interested in when it comes to the Kenobi series is exactly how Obi-Wan might develop over the course of the six planned episodes. For many Star Wars fans, we’ve seen Obi-Wan in largely a secondary character role—in the prequel trilogy, he’s the bratty Padawan turned mildly exasperated Jedi Master. In the original trilogy, he’s the wise sage. We get a bit more of Obi-Wan being alone in the animated “Clone Wars” series (voiced by James Arnold Taylor), where he shows more of his personality (my personal favorite trait being the fact that this man literally does not know when to stop flirting with the enemy). But for the first time, we’ll be really

seeing Obi-Wan Kenobi up close and personal. Where the movies were much more focused on the overall plot and the “Clone Wars” series was more interested in an ensemble cast, “Obi-Wan Kenobi” will be turning the spotlight solely on this character who’s so closely tied to the mess of the Skywalker family. Oftentimes, Obi-Wan Kenobi is the voice of reason in this disastrous lineage—and yet, he is also another voice of hope in the Star Wars franchise. After

all, he’s one of the last survivors of the prequel trilogy. He’s the one who warns the other Jedi to stay hidden—and to wait, because in his words, “in time, a new hope will emerge.” And so Obi-Wan Kenobi emerges too, once again a quiet message of perseverance and hope when the state of the world seems to be anything but. So on May 27, get ready: Master Kenobi’s got one more lesson to teach us.

PHOTO FROM GAMESRADAR.COM

‘Heartstopper’ is the feel-good LGBT coming of age show we needed By Mia Plante editor

Based on the graphic novel series of the same name by Alice Oseman, “Heartstopper” very literally stopped the hearts of viewers when it was released on Netflix on April 22. The British TV show follows the lives of queer high school students as they come into their own, recognize their identities and grow as individuals despite their struggles. To me, these types of shows typically elicit a feeling of cringe every time I watch them. These kinds of teen shows often feel like they were written by out-of-touch adults trying their best to seem woke while throwing around out-dated and tired slang. Modern youth culture moves very fast, and for someone to get it on the nose is very difficult, but ‘Heartstopper’ is the most realistic depiction of real-life high schoolers that I’ve seen. Although, there are still places I felt the cringe coming on, it wasn’t enough to overshadow the joyous masterpiece that is “Heartstopper.” While there is some dissonance between American and British culture, international audiences can easily follow along, and the story is just as touching to those who haven’t experienced the exact struggles of the characters. Charlie Spring (Joe Locke) is a 10th year student at an all-boys

school who was recently outed as gay. While the show doesn’t focus on Charlie’s story of being outed, it’s discussed in passing that Charlie was severely bullied because of it. Charlie’s character is riddled with feelings of not being good enough due to his experiences with being bullied as well as experience “dating” which included being hurt by another student who wasn’t out yet. Despite this turmoil, “Heartstopper” focuses more on the positives and follows Charlie as he falls in love with popular rugby star, Nick Nelson (Kit Connor). Nick Nelson is the perfect example of an absolutely stellar character. Prior to meeting Charlie, he wasn’t fully himself. He was surrounded by gruff rugby boys who bullied Charlie and his friends, but deep down Nick was never anything like his “friends.” Slowly, Nick and Charlie become best friends, and soon more. Nick’s story focuses on his struggle with his sexuality and identity within his group of friends. I don’t see many examples of bisexual male characters in media, and Nick Nelson is an exemplary depiction of the bisexual struggle. From the Googling of “am I gay?” to the bisexual panic of seeing Orlando Bloom and Kiera Knightley in “Pirates of the Caribbean,” Nick Nelson is every bisexual softie to a T. Charlie’s friend group adds another layer to the story, intro-

ducing us to the characters of Tao Xu (William Gao), Elle Argent (Yasmin Finney) and Isaac Henderson (Tobie Donovan). Isaac Henderson is fairly elusive throughout the show but provides comic relief at times. Isaac is asexual according to the comics, but this isn’t discussed within season one. Tao Xu is the group’s token cis straight friend who adamently fights for his friends—he is a perfect ally despite being super hotheaded and stubborn (and also having an unforgivable haircut). Elle Argent is a transgender girl who previously went to the same school as Charlie, Tao and Isaac. She transferred to an allgirls school to be more safe and supported during her transition, and the outcome of her transfer is very positive. This is one key aspect of “Heartstopper” that I love, it doesn’t focus on the character’s traumatic histories surrounding their queerness. Rather, the show touches upon them—since they are always there—but focuses on their individual storylines outside of that. For example, Charlie’s story is picked up after being outed and Elle’s is picked up after she enrolls at a gender-affirming school. Additionally, the show has no seriously upsetting transphobic plotlines surrounding Elle. Instead, she is welcomed into her new school and makes great friends with ease. For example, Elle befriends Tara Jones (Corinna Brown) and

Darcy Olsson (Kizzy Edgell), who put the L in LGBT. Tara and Darcy are secret girlfriends for the first half of season one. Their relationship is strong and healthy, and they both are confident in who they are. But when they decide to make their relationship public, homophobic comments from other students causes their relationship to falter a bit. Despite their struggles, the two end the

season as a strong and empowered lesbian couple. “Heartstopper” focuses on a realistic but positive depiction of teen LGBT struggles and triumphs. Simply put, the eight-episode season is a lighthearted take on an often painful reality, and viewers such as myself really needed this little bit of queer joy on their screens.

PHOTO FROM NETFLIX.COM


May 6, 2022

ARTS 15

The Brandeis Hoot

Hold Thy Peace’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ was a night of magical storytelling editor

Fairies, lovers and donkeys, oh my! “A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream” is one of William Shakespeare’s most well known plays, and this classic comedy was recently brought to Brandeis. Hold Thy Peace, Brandeis’s Shakespeare theatre group, put on a production of this play, directed by Sabrina Goldsmith ’25 and assistant directed by Laurel Davidoff ’25, from April 28 to May 1. For three performances, audiences laughed at the hijinks and fell into a magical world where anything is possible. From the acting to the costumes to the set design and everything in between, this play was very well put together. Not to mention that audience participation added more fun to the show. Not including the senior festival, this is the last show of the school year and our theatre department has really gone out of this year with a bang. This classic comedy takes place in a forest. The fairy king and queen Oberon and Titania are fighting. With the help of the trickster fairy Puck, Oberon wants to embarrass Titania with magic as revenge for her leaving him. However, that is not only the place where his magic is going. One story centers around a

group of young lovers. Hermia and Lysander want to get married. However, Hermia’s father wants her to marry Demetrius. Helena, Hermia’s best friend, is in love with Demetrius even though he loves Hermia. They all go out in the forest one night and Oberon and Puck try to help solve their problems, but this does not turn out well. There is also a group of actors who are rehearsing a play in the forest. The most theatrical of the group is Bottom and this is who Puck decides to have some fun with. He turns Bottom into a half donkey half human creature without him knowing. Then to mess with Titania, Puck makes it so that she falls in love with the deranged donkey Bottom. It is a night of chaos in this forest, but it is also a night of love. This production is one that really proves the saying that there are no small parts, only small actors. I particularly enjoyed Eli Issokson ’24 as Oberon/Theseus. He controlled the stage both as an Athenian king and as a fairy king and brought a lot of energy to the roles. Whether he was arguing with the fairy queen or using love potions on humans, he was very enjoyable to watch. I also liked Kat Roberts ’25 as Bottom. This is historically one of Shakespeare’s most memorable comedic characters so it requires a talented actor. Roberts

was definitely the right amount of exaggerated and theatrical to sell this part. She sang in the forest as a donkey and gave a dramatic performance in a play within a play. Bottom has the most memorable parts of the play and Roberts did those parts justice. The role of Puck is also a famous comedic character and Kaija Grisham ’24 did an excellent job. The character brings a lot of fun mischief and gives the final monologue. They turn people into donkeys, make people fall in love or make jokes during other people’s scenes. Grisham did a great job as the unhinged little fairy with great comedic timing and they brought a lot of fun and liveliness to their scenes. I would not say there was a bad performance in the entire show and everyone brought their own dramatic flair, which is what made the play special. I also appreciated the non-acting parts of the play, such as costumes and sets. The costumes felt Shakespearean, but also with fun modern twists. From Helena and Hermia’s well designed dresses in the forests, as well as their wedding dresses to Oberon and Titania’s fairy outfits that were both fancy dresses and rockstar king in a vest. Everything felt classical and magical. There was also Puck’s donkey head which was very well made and made

the audience erupt in laughter as soon as they saw it. It looked just like a donkey. There was also the lovely set, which was simple but made the setting clear. When people were in Athens, we saw backgrounds of a fancy castle and golf course. When we were in the forest, those sets turned around to look like a forest. I think I would have liked for there to be something bigger for a more dramatic effect, as those backgrounds were the only sets, but I think this still looked nice. This is also where the audience participation came in. In everyone’s playbill was a glow stick, the type where you have to bend it so that it turns on. As soon as the play first entered the forest, everyone in the audience was instructed to bend their glow stick and raise it in the air. The glowing audience got to participate in creating a magical forest with these sticks. I thought that was a cool touch and made this production unique. There was also audience participation towards the end of the play when the people playing the group of actors performed their play within a play. Hats were thrown into the audience and if you caught a hat, you got to go up on stage and watch that play within a play as if you were actually in attendance. These creative touches helped the audience connect with this show.

While I liked this rendition of the show, there could have been some more innovation. For example, Hold Thy Peace’s production of “Macbeth” in the fall felt more creative in its choices, such as the mood lighting in deep reds, dramatic sounds through music and the horror aspect with zombies. Those types of things may not fit into the light comedy of “ A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” but a little more stylistic originality could have been nice. This is not to say I did not have fun at the show, just that it could have been more exciting. Maybe this is a criticism of how mainstream this play is, but that is not really criticizing this production, mostly just a criticism of humanity . Overall, I applaud everyone involved with this show, from the actors’ comedic chops to the people behind the scenes who brought this mystical world to life. I was glued to my seat the whole time and I was laughing during most of the play. It was very clear that a lot of effort was put into this production. There were no mess ups or snafus the whole show, everything went smoothly. This was a wonderful production and I look forward to Hold Thy Peace’s next performance in the fall.

‘Ozark’ Season 4 Part 2: A good enough end to a good enough series By Sam Finbury staff

To say ‘endings are hard’ is probably the greatest understatement in all of writing. A story IS its ending. Endings are the culmination of all the emotion and time and detail invested into the narrative; the greater tapestry revealed after all of the individual threads when been carefully woven together. A good ending elevates a story to immortality ala “Breaking Bad” while a poorly constructed ending can poison the series down to its roots, making it unpalatable even in its virtues, ala “Game of Thrones,” “Dexter,” “How I Met Your Mother,” “Lost,” etc. As you can tell, there are more geese than swans when it comes to TV show endings, mostly because climaxes are demanding little narrative maws, having to simultaneously satisfy our narrative desires and keep us on our toes with surprises. In essence, we want our endings to give us what we expect in an unexpected fashion, a feat of high stakes narrative gymnastics that most writers can never quite stick the landing on. Of course, it’s easier to land on your feet when the bar you’re balancing on

is lower. Ending a long running dramatic series in a sloppy or rushed manner can be cataclysmic. However, when said series has been spinning its narrative wheels for a couple seasons, introducing new threats and crisis’ on an episode to episode basis to the point where it might was well be a Seinfeld-esque self contained situational drama show, the standards we hold the ending to are far lower and much more forgiving. And so we come to “Ozark” season four, part two, released on April 29. As an ending to the six year old star studded nail biter series, it’s fine, and I am fine with how agonizingly, stuck-in-themud, fine it is. I feel like I should have expected more as a fan, but this show has been marching in place so much, the fact that it finally finished shuffling its feet is all I could have hoped for. Picking up where the first half of the season cut off, the foul mouthed, trailer trash firebrand that is Ruth Langmore (Julia Garner) reeks bloody revenge on the cartel boss who killed her beloved cousin. As usual, beligured money launderers Marty and Wendy Byrde (Jason Bateman and Laura Linney) are forced into desperate damage control, attempting

to salvage their long term plan’s of securing the cartel’s legitimacy in America, while simultaneously trying to cover up Ruth’s crime and counteract her rash plans of sabotage against them and their interests. It’s nothing particularly new. As I mentioned in my review of the first half of this season, “Ozark’’ is a show that revels in keeping you constantly on edge to the point where your stress response goes numb from overuse. Every episode is a new fire for the characters to put out, characters who have been walking the cliff ’s razor edge for so long that you want them to either sit down or jump off already. Nothing changes in “Ozark,” which is kind of the point. Spoiler alert, but at the end of the series, evil wins, with Marty and Wendy Byrde, along with their family surviving their years long dalliance with cartel politics and backwoods corruption. Despite all the lives they’ve ruined and bodies they’ve stepped over, the Byrdes get out scott free. In all honesty, while comeuppance would have been karmic, the ax blade has been so constantly at the necks of the main characters throughout the shows run that to have it actually swing down would have felt unrealistic, es-

pecially given the Byrde’s penchant for impossible and absurd skin-of-the-teeth escapes and plans. “Ozark” has never been a program filled with long drought conflicts and well sculpted arcs. If the Byrde’s were going to die in the finale, it would have been from a problem introduced in the last episode or two, as per usual. To have them get away with everything lets the audience finally exhale and unclench our shoulders after four seasons and is far more in tune with “Ozark’s” brand of grit and pseudo realism. In fact, the Byrde’s infuriatingly escaping the consequences of their crimes is likely the most realistic thing about the entire show. Though their victory certainly isn’t a clean one, as it is made soberingly clear that their children have been tainted by their exposure to the cartel business, their morals degraded to the point where returning to normalcy is a laughable fantasy. Their cycle of corruption and cruelty is doomed to repeat itself in the children they strove to protect, which is a karmic punishment for the Byrdes all on its own. While there isn’t anything too new under the dreary blue tinted “Ozark” sun, this final season does shake some things up. Reso-

lutions to Wendy and Marty’s tumultuous marriage are explored, Wendy’s moral degeneracy surrounding the death of her brother and the abuse of her father are a centerpiece of this season and Ruth finally gets to shine as a player all on her own. And it goes without saying that the performances are impeccable across the board. However, as is to be expected from “Ozark,” such virtues lose their luster over time. There are only so many times I can see Jason Bateman act his guts out over the same emotions over different seasons before his scenes stop hitting hard. Every season of “Ozark” is like the same great song played on repeat. It never stops being good, only interesting, with nothing ever changing and no fallout ever sticking close to the character’s skin. I’m not disappointed, because, despite my love for the show, I had no expectations, and perhaps the fact that such an objectively good series leaves so little impact, good or bad, on the viewer means it was an unsatisfying ending after all.


16 ARTS

The Brandeis Hoot

May 6, 2022

BookTok worth it or not: the nots By Victoria Morrongiello editor

For our final edition, I’m back and ready to go. Let’s get into it: I read books I find on BookTok, I review them, I tell you whether to read them or not. Except I realized in my last review that I have never written a review for my not list, and I deduced it was because I simply do not have the energy to review a book I already disliked. But on top of that, I feel bad saying I didn’t like a book because someone else may very well enjoy it— though I understand the inverse will also be true and books that I enjoyed people may not like. Anyway, neither here nor there, it is our last edition and there are many books I have yet to review so here is my list of not books. “The Firekeepers Daughter” by Angeline Boulley I read this book in quarantine and it definitely did its job of keeping me entertained. That

being said, I don’t know whether I would recommend this book if you aren’t stuck in your room for five days. It’s an interesting plot that weaves genres and brings up important issues regarding othering and racial identities. The book centers around a young girl—Daunis Fontaine—who is a biracial tribal member trying to unearth the corruption in her Ojibwe community. Daunis is conflicted by family obligation and going for her dreams and it shows the clash between wanting to be there for your family and wanting to go off into the world. There is also the scandal that follows Daunis from first being the child of a scandal since her parents were not married, and then the recent death of her uncle who is believed to have overdosed. It is an interesting plot but also there were a lot of points where I had to put down the book to be like “wtf just happened.” It’s got a mystery aspect to it so at every turn you never know who is lying and who is telling the truth. And

then just when you finally start to trust that someone is good, BAM, narrative flips. Overall like a five out of 10, I guess. I liked the book, I just can’t rave about it. This could also be because it’s not necessarily the genre I would choose for myself. My friend lent me the book so I didn’t pay for it, but it is definitely not a book I would go out to get to add to my collection. “The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle” by Stuart Turton Before I begin, no this is not the book “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” by Taylor Jenkins Reid—aka the book with the lady in the green dress on the front cover. Yes, I agree it is trippy that both have the number seven and the name Evelyn with the last name starting with ‘H’ in the title but what can you do? This was the trippiest book I have ever read. I mean seriously. Time isn’t real, characters are impermanent. You can trust nothing the author tells you. Turton does a great job of making the reader feel exactly like the

main character, who is confused about what is going on for 90 percent of the book. This is a cool literary effect because you know just as much as the main character but its difficult to then understand what is happening. Though the ending is really interesting and poses a very large moral question for the reader to sit with. The plot twists give off “Black Mirror’’ and “Twilight Zone” vibes, which is fun, but it’s a very long road to get to the final twist. This book requires a lot of focus and attention because you are piecing together a murder going off of literally knowing nothing. The book takes place over the course of like seven days but you’re constantly hopping back and forth between different days which presents in a non-linear fashion but it actually is linear for the main character. That doesn’t make sense but I swear that’s how it’s written. It takes a while to pick up on the fact that while we are jumping through time the main character is also jumping through time and this isn’t the author just

omitting information. I don’t think I could describe this book other than a complete mind-fuck and you have to read it to understand that. You need to be fully invested in putting your brain towards this and it’s certainly not a light and easy read. Overall like a six out of 10 because the ending is redeeming, I’m just not sure if the ending is worth all the effort it takes to get there. (That’s what she said.) Other books for honorable mention: “All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr. Good book, but depressing. Didn’t love his writing style and ends on a very sad note. “A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Mayhem” by Manda Collins: cutesy book, good escapism not my favorite book though. “The Last Letter from Your Lover” by Jojo Moyes: nothing like the movie, I think I liked the book better but also kinda crushes your soul and the freaking miscommunication troupe kills me.

‘Legends of Tomorrow’ is over, but true legends never die By Zach Katz staff

“DC’s Legends of Tomorrow” has always been a weird show. Its first season took many characters who originated on either “Arrow” or “The Flash” and placed them in a time traveling adventure facing off against an immortal madman. The two highest profile characters on it, Hawkgirl and Hawkman, were easily the worst characters. Then, at the beginning of season two, something began to change. The show became something fun, something special. Now, after seven seasons, the journey of the Waverider’s crew has been unceremoniously cut short. “Legends” was always a show that managed to buck the norm and do something truly fantastic. Starting in season two, the team, now led by Sara Lance, played brilliantly for almost 10 years by Caity Lotz, was consistently out of their depth when traveling to new time periods in an effort to prevent new paradoxes and aberrations. This became a running joke throughout the series, first with the Reverse Flash (Matt Letscher) commenting that he was fighting against idiots, and later with each new season’s threat occurring as a

result of the Legends’ actions the previous season, whether it be through breaking time or releasing magical creatures or aliens throughout the timeline. Despite this, the show never punched down. Characters were able to learn and grow, with Sara turning from an assassin into a natural leader, and Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) and Nate Heywood (Nick Zano) forming one of the most genuine friendships on network TV. The show also wasn’t afraid to take risks. The doors of the Legends’ timeship were always revolving, allowing characters like John Constantine (Matt Ryan) to have a new life after his own NBC TV show was canceled, and more importantly, letting characters leave once their story was complete. One beloved character, Zari (Tala Ashe) was even erased from the team’s personal history and reintroduced the next season with a totally different personality. The show also wasn’t afraid to be weird. What other show on television would use a zombie apocalypse during the Civil War to teach a character how to be a leader while simultaneously exploring the real life struggles of slaves during that time period? Or have an episode featuring Shakespeare deciding to start his own superhero universe with ev-

ery character teaming up to defeat Richard the Third only for the episode to transform into a beautiful thesis on the nature of friendship and growing apart from those you love? And, of course, if the show creators had been afraid of a little weirdness we never would have gotten one of the best moments in “Legends” history: the team merging together like Voltron to form a giant Tickle Me Elmo-esque doll to fight a time demon. “Legends” was also great when it came to representation. Zari and her brother Behrad (Shayan Sobhian) are both Muslim. Professor Stein, played by Victor Garber in the show’s first three seasons, was Jewish. During the show’s now final season, half of the team’s lineup is queer. Season six ends with its bisexual main character, who is now an alien/human hybrid clone, marrying her wife, also a clone, in the 1920s, with no trace of homophobia in sight. The Legends as a team are consistently a group that refuses to allow anyone other than themselves to define them. When faced with multiple monolithic organizations attempting to fix or control time, they break away, determined to protect the timeline while also respecting individual beliefs and human rights. They fight for each other and oth-

ers who are oppressed, even when doing so puts the timeline at risk. The final season pulls the Legends out of their usual setting by forcing them to be trapped in one time frame for a significant part of the season. While at first the team tries to prevent changes, they find themselves unable to stand the injustices of the 1920s, putting them in the crosshairs of an evil version of their AI turned human team member Gideon (Amy Louise Pemberton) who sees their humanistic view of the timeline as an unnecessary risk. The Legends argue against this, culminating in a finale where they brave the horrors of World War One on the small chance that they will be able to save a teammate’s loved one. By season seven, the Legends are more than a team. They have become a family, with each character being more than willing to admit their love for each other. The character relationships grew throughout each season of the show, with each unique temporal setting being a place that drives the characters somehow rather than being a simple gimmick. Ultimately, that is why this show means so much to so many different people. “Legends of Tomorrow” told its audience not only that it was ok to be a weirdo who doesn’t fit in anywhere, but

that they should be celebrated for it. The Legends were originally a group formed because they could be removed from the timeline without changing anything. They were disposable. Now, they have made themselves indispensable to both the fictional timeline of the Arrowverse and to the millions of fans who have joined them for the journey. Even though the show has been canceled, “Legends of Tomorrow” will still live on through the fans. There are already online campaigns and petitions to save the show. This week, the comic “Earth Prime #3” was released, which features retired members of the team joining together for a new adventure and also acts as a touching and unexpected epilogue for the series. With the rest of the Arrowverse seemingly starting to come to an end, “Batwoman” was also canceled leaving “The Flash” and “Superman and Lois” as the last two standing, although the jury’s still out on “Stargirl,” the old adage from “The Sandlot “seems to be becoming true. “Heroes get remembered, but Legends never die.” As long as the fans of the TV show keep it in their hearts and we remember the lessons we’ve learned from it, “Legends of Tomorrow” will never truly be gone.

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: ‘BEDROOM’ BY JENNIFER PODHORZER AND ‘DRAGON’ BY LAUREN PODHORZER


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