The Brandeis Hoot, November 12, 2021

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Volume 19 Issue 11

“To acquire wisdom, one must observe”

November 12, 2021

Brandeis University’s Community Newspaper · Waltham, Mass.

Kindness Day brings Univ. ‘back together again’ By Emma Lichtenstein and Victoria Morongiello editors

The 2021 Kindness Day Coffee House event was hosted in the Rapaporte Treasure Hall in Goldfarb Library on Nov 8. The event was the university’s kick-off to their kindness day events, according to the Kindness Day events page. The two-hour event hosted eight performances, including five acapella groups with a full crowd. “Honestly, I just hoped that some people would show up,” Makayla Widger ’24 — part of the Kindness Day Event Committee and emcee of the event said she in a conversation with The Brandeis Hoot, “My expectations

were completely surpassed! I am so impressed with everybody who performed, with our turnout, and I’m so happy that people enjoyed it. I just want everybody to have a really good time and support each other, because that’s the meaning of Kindness Day,” she said. Company B opened the night, performing “Dancing in the Moonlight” by King Harvest, engaging the crowd into clapping along to the beat of the song. Following them was Up The Octave, who performed three songs. Their final song was a “2000s diva mashup medley,” featuring artists like Britney Spears, Avril Lavinge and Lady Gaga. See KINDNESS, page 2


Student Union holds second round of special election results By Thomas Pickering editor

The Student Union held its second round of special elections for the Fall 2021 semester on Nov. 4, according to an email sent by Jasmyne Jean-Remy ’22, Student Union Chief of Staff. Students had 24 hours to vote in the elections. The Senate position that was voted for was secretary. The other positions on the ballot which were voted for were five seats on

the Allocations Board. Three of those seats were three-semester seats open to the whole student body, and the other two were one-year seats open for racial minority identifying candidates. Michael Pollard ’22 won the position of secretary over Shivam Nainwal ’22, Ben Topol ’24 and write-in candidates Rick Astley and Cookie Monster. Pollard won with 32.13 percent of the vote in a race against Topol who received one less vote (133 and 132 votes respectively). When asked

about his goals as secretary Pollard said, “right now my goal is to get into a routine and get the union moving smoothly again.” With regard to the position’s opening, Pollard noted, “I plan on taking the seat the same way I’d take it in the absence of controversy. I’m here to do the job by the books regardless of who held the position before me and who will hold it after me. I don’t want to focus on what has been happening amid the controversy because it feels like a distraction

to me performing my duties.” Pollard mentioned that he hopes the network he has forged at Brandeis can aid in moving along the agenda of the Student Union. Noting his experience as president of other organizations Pollard said, “I also understand how an e-board interacts and ideally, the skills and positions are similar enough to be transferable.” The three three-semester Allocations Board (A-board) seats were won by Lauren Rifas ’24, Natalie Saltzman ’25 and Sarah Kim

’25 receiving 29.32 percent, 20.45 percent and 20.15 percent respectively. They ran against Maxim Kovalenko ’25 who received 12.33 percent of the vote and write-in candidates “Weird Al” Yankovic and “Me like cookie!!!” Saltzman expressed to The Brandeis Hoot her hopes to make access to funding more equitable to all clubs. She mentioned how helping smaller clubs get funding to hold events can attract new See ELECTIONS, page 3

Univ. admin release survey on housing for student feedback ByVictoria Morrongiello editor


Inside This Issue:

News: Prof discusses Jewish education Ops: Go vegan for the environment! Features: Student interviews univ. president Sports: Fencng wins 11 medals at Big One Editorial: The union needs to do better

A housing survey was sent out to students on Nov. 8 to get opinions on community members’ housing experience and preference, according to an email sent by Raymon Lu Ming Ou, Vice President of Student Affairs and Lois Stanley, Vice President for Campus Planning and Operations. Students were asked a series of questions regarding housing layouts, features and locations, according to the survey. “We want to hear from you,” reads the email, “We would like to learn about your housing experiences and preferences while a student at Brandeis University.” Students were asked to rank their preferences for living arrangements based on three different floor plans, according to the survey. In the survey, one floor

Women’s Soccer wins

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plan featured an open-concept one bedroom apartment. The room features one bed, a living space, a desk, a water closet and a bathroom with a tub. The next floor plan is an apartment styled with two bedrooms and two bathrooms. The floorplan has identical sides with a bedroom and bathroom on each side and in the center is a kitchen and living area including a mobile island and media unit. The final floor plan is four bedrooms and two bathrooms. This style of apartment is composed of four single rooms with a bathroom on each side. It also features a common area with couches, a dining table and a kitchen. The price ranges for each living set up varied. For the single-bedroom apartment, it would be between $6,745 to $6,875 per semester per person. Comparable housing available to students currently is Charles River Efficiency

‘Eternals’ review

Apartments which cost $6,375 per semester per person, according to the university’s 2020-2021 housing rates page. The two-bedroom apartment featured in the survey is estimated to cost $6,400- $6,500 per semester. Comparable housing available to students currently is Charles River Two bedroom apartments which cost $6 thousand per semester per person, according to the housing rates. The four-bedroom apartment-style is estimated to cost $6,150 to $6,250 per semester per person. The most comparable housing to this floorplan currently available to students is in Ridgewood Quad which costs $6,435 per student per semester, according to the housing rates. The survey also asks community members to pick their top five amenities that would be most im-

Did you kow Kit Harington and Richad Madden were different people? ARTS: PAGE 14

See SURVEY, page 3


2 The Brandeis Hoot

November 12, 2021

Results from the second round of special elections ELECTION, from page 1

members and that that attention to those clubs from the A-board is what can help them grow. When asked about her goals for the position Saltzman said, “My goals for this semester are really to focus on clubs that are struggling to get the funding they need. Bigger and more populated clubs tend to get more fund-

ing for events and meetings, but I hope to focus on those smaller clubs that need more funding to help get them off the ground.” She also noted her excitement for the position, saying “This is completely new and different than anything I’ve done before, but I’m incredibly excited and dedicated to help fund such an important part of student life at Brandeis.” The Hoot reached out to both Rifas and Kim but they did not re-

spond by the time of publication. The two one-year A-board seats were won by Cindy Chi ’25 and Sara Motoyama ’24 with 29.21 percent and 24.75 percent of the vote respectively. They won against Jeff Yu ’25 who received 11.88 percent of the vote and write-in candidate “come on you gunners.” Motoyama told The Hoot that her interest in understanding how the allocation process works drew her into running for the position,

saying, “I believe in celebrating and embracing diversity, and as a member of a cultural club, I thought this position would allow me to further engage with the Intercultural Center and the Student Union in accomplishing their missions.” Motoyama mentioned her desire to advocate for cultural clubs as a person of color and increase cultural visibility within the allocations process. When

asked about her goals for the coming term Motoyama said, “I am excited to work with the team and assist clubs through the allocation process. Especially after coming back on campus after a year, I am pumped to see more in-person club events and have a more active college life!” Chi was reached out to by The Hoot but did not respond by the time of publication.

In the Senate, Nov. 17 By Mia Plante editor

The Senate discussed a few reminders, such as spreading the word about Kindness Day events occurring throughout the week and a reminder to purchase the remaining Turkey Shuttle tickets to Logan Airport. Student Union Vice President, Courtney Thrun ’22, then brought up how Wireless Brandeis Radio Station (WBRS) recently reached out to the Student Union to collaborate on a potential event with them and the Campus Activities Board (CAB). WBRS has a hiphop artist in mind, Cordae, for a Q&A and album listening party. After mentioning this idea, Thrun asked the Senate to brainstorm any other potential artists that may fit the Brandeis community better or if Cordae is a good fit. The Senate discussed Marathon, which A-Board member and Myra Kraft Transitional Year Program Senator, Gonzalo Palafox ’25, explained. Marathon is the deadline for when clubs must decide their budget and pass it on to A-Board, who will decide whether or not to approve the

budget. As of the Senate meeting, clubs have two weeks to submit their budget to A-Board. Ashna Kelkar ’24, dining committee chair, discussed resolving the problem of dirty dinnerware and utensils as well as creating more options for the stir fry station at Rustic Roots. Additionally, Kelkar explained how all hand sanitizers in dining locations will be changed for better scented sanitizers, and the dining team is working on adding a hot panini station at My Zone which will be ready in the next few months. Services and Outreach Committee chair, Shannon Smally ’22, discussed midnight buffet roles and how she will begin ordering materials for the event soon. Charlotte Li ’24, Club Support Committee chair, discussed working with new clubs and potentially taking on a new project with the Department of Student Activities Chair of the Facilities and Housing Committee, Meli Jackson ’25, talked about their work with the Department of Community Living and Student Accessibility Services in making housing more accessible such as adding automatic door buttons in more locations. Chair of the Sustainability Committee, Peyton Gillespie

’25, mentioned continuing previous work and meeting with other senate chairs to make their work more sustainable. Community Enhancement and Emergency Fund Senator, Cameron Johnson ’25, stated his success in getting four proposals approved such as beautification of North and East quads, and the beautification of the Dharmic prayer room with materials representative of the religion. These projects will be finished by March 15, 2022 and will begin following Thanksgiving break. Members on A-Board updated the Senate following the addition of new members from the special election. A-Board is currently preparing for marathon and acclimating its new members to A-Board processes. Thrun moved the Senate along to discuss unfinished business surrounding Midnight Buffet’s senate money resolution. Smally presented the senate money resolution. She went over the vendors for the event and discussed how the event is more expensive than in years past due to an increase in prices because of COVID-19 and vendor’s inability to donate food also because of COVID-19. Smally mentioned

how dietary restrictions will be covered for additional costs, but that a switch to sustainable cutlery and dinnerware saved the Union over $200 since last week’s estimate. The switch to sustainable materials is covered by the Brandeis Sustainability Fund. The total cost of Midnight Buffet fell at $6,082 which was unanimously passed via vote by acclamation on Sunday. During senator reports, multiple senators mentioned a concern regarding housing for East quad residents. Sofia Lee ’24, brought up an issue faced by students living in doubles in East quad alone. The Department of Community Living sent out information to students in these circumstances telling them to consolidate and prepare for potentially moving in with another student in preparation of Midyear arrival. Lee was concerned with how little time was given to students, and the limit they have on who to room with. East Quad Senator Sahil Muthuswami ’24 responded to this concern, stating he is setting up a meeting with the East area coordinator to learn more about why this process is happening and how to go about it. Additionally, Muthuswami mentioned how

these concerns will be discussed further at the facilities and housing meeting on Monday, Nov. 8. The issue of refilling condom dispensers in residence halls was also discussed as both DCL and SSIS members are unable to refill the dispensers. Members of services and outreach are planning on refilling them during their meeting. Other senators discussed continuing their many ongoing projects. Nick Kanan ’23 mentioned his sustainability projects such as working to make the Maker Lab more sustainable. Senator Emily Adelson ’23 was applauded for her work on planning food vendors for Midnight Buffet. Palafox mentioned working on a potential community service project for members of the Transitional Year Program. The Senate meeting wrapped up by discussing the importance of spreading the word about Kindness Day events and Midnight Buffet. Additionally, the work done with Period Activists at ’Deis (PAD) to get free menstrual products in residence halls was emphasized, and the survey of preferred products and locations was shared with members.

Ziva Hassenfeld explores Jewish day school communities By John Fornagiel editor

Ziva Hassenfeld (ED), a Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Assistant Professor of Education, has recently explored the factors that have led families to transfer from public schools to Jewish day schools during the pandemic. To this end, she analyzed interviews conducted by Prizmah, the center for Jewish day schools in New York City in an article published by JewishBoston. According to the article, these interviews closely observed why many families decided to stay in Jewish day schools despite reopening of public schools after the COVID-19 pandemic. These families mostly cited the sense of community, for both the children and the adults, as the principal reason that they stayed in these day schools. Many interviewees claimed that there was a stark contrast in the sense of community between Jewish day schools and public schools, with many families feeling isolated in their previous school systems. In this article, Hassenfeld brings up a common critique against the perception of these parents: why do day schools need to be

communities? Under this lens, Hassenfeld claims that these academic institutions should simply be places of formal learning, and whether a sense of community forms or not is irrelevant. In response to this critique, Hassenfeld writes that she noticed that a large number of events were set up and created by the parents, and joked with these parents that they must “love standing around at playgrounds.” After laughing at the joke, the parent then claimed “that the classes where parents know each other, where they have real relationships, these classes always end up being very strong classes all the way through. Classes where parents don’t, these classes end up being weaker classes. I do this to make sure my kids have the best experience they can.” Therefore, for Hassenfeld, the sense of community within Jewish day schools empower academic institutions to be places for learning. After this conversation, Hassenfeld writes that this is because “when parents know each other, when they’ve had many low-stakes touch points, they are fundamentally better equipped to support their children as learners.” According to the article, this is likely because when all of a child’s support network such as

their parents, teachers, administrations and siblings are all in communication with one another, the students are more easily

supported and benefit. Hassenfeld concludes that this measure ensures that students, and hence the next generation, are set up for

success more than if their support networks were all isolated from one another.


November 12, 2021


The Brandeis Hoot

Frank Bennet and Adrian Krainer win the 23rd annual Gabbay Award KINDNESS, from page 1

When they sang “Toxic” by Britney Spears, many students in the crowd who were orientation leaders began to dance along. Manginah performed next, performing three songs, two in English and one in Hebrew. Widger joked that the group was “manginah-mazing.” Miles Goldstein ’25 then performed two songs with a friend, leading a singalong to “We Shall Overcome” by Pete Seeger. Sophia Koolpe ’24 followed, singing two songs, including an original song called “Two Faced” that featured an electric guitar. She said it was the first time she was performing the track live. Next up was Too Cheap For Instruments, who sang three songs, including “All Is Found” from “Frozen 2.” Jesse Blackman ’22 earned a large round of applause from the audience after a performance of “You’ve Got A Friend In Me” by Randy Newman. Blackman dedicated the performance of the

piece to a friend. She utilized a piano for both songs as she sang. Closing the night was “Starving Artists.” The group performed three songs, ending the night with “Unloving You” by Alex Aiono. The theme of this year’s Kindness Day is “Brandeis Kindness Day: Back Together Again,” according to the Kindness Day page. This theme is meant to recognize and celebrate the “reunification of the Brandeis community after two long virtual semesters,” according to the page. Thursday, Nov. 11 is the university’s 12th annual Kindness Day celebration. “We look forward to celebrating the kindness that exists in the Brandeis community and we want to invite you to play a part! Everyone (faculty, staff, and students) has the amazing opportunity to add to this wonderful event. Kindness … pass it on,” according to the page. In celebration of Kindness Day, the university set up events for community members all throughout the week, from Nov. 8 to Nov.

11. According to the events calendar, events included writing Kindness Cards, the Be Kind to Yourself Fair, Kindness Day Coffee House, Usdan Neighborhood Social, Kindness Day Service Fair and other Kindness Day festivities. Other events happening on campus include club tabling from clubs including: Brandeis Democrats, BeWise, Pre-Dental Society, Brandeis Orthodox Organization and others, according to the events page. The Student Union is offering a friendship bracelet-making event for community members and Brandeis Hillel is hosting a Take-a-Note, Leavea-Note event where community members can exchange kind notes. The Department of Community Service (DCS) is celebrating student volunteers and leaders for Kindness Day, according to the page. To celebrate, they invited students to pick up a gift from their “Box of Sunshine” in their office in Room 201 of the Shapiro Campus Center (SCC). According to the page, DCS wants

“to let [students in service] know that [they] are making a huge difference in these partnerships and are appreciated by [DCS].” Kindness Day was started by a faculty member 12 years ago, according to the Kindness Day page. The purpose of

the event is to promote morale, build community and encourage community members to perform small acts of thanks and kindness, according to the page.


Univ. releases housing survey SURVEY, from page 1

portant to them in new housing. From the survey, students could choose the following physical features: private bedroom, private bathroom, in-unit kitchen, living room, storage closet, fully furnished unit, access to printing, full-sized beds, fitness room, indoor recreation, inunit dishwasher, outdoor recreation, in-unit washer and dryer, secured access, social lounge, group study space, main delivery, convenience store and more. Community members were also asked to rank their pref-

erence on the location of new housing. The options included on campus—near academic buildings similar to Skyline’s location, on the edge of campus—along Loop Road similar to Ridgewood, away from the edge of campus off of Loop Road similar to Foster Mods or off-campus but within walking distance similar to Charles River Apartments. Additional space was left for survey takers to leave additional comments on what they would like to see in housing on campus and any suggestions or recommendations would be accepted. Community members were asked to select the ranges which

they pay for utilities and housing (per month). The survey also asked for preference between suitestyle and corridor-style housing. The survey asked for additional information from the participant to gauge for interest in living in new on-campus housing. It also asked for the respondent to describe their current living situation, including where they were living, how many people they were living with, whether they share a bathroom and whether the unit was furnished. The survey opened on Nov. 8 and will close on Nov. 19 at 11:59 p.m., according to the email. PHOTO FROM BRANDEIS.EDU

Washington Post article features commentary from Brandeis Professor of Politics By Roshni Ray editor

Brandeis Associate Professor of Politics Jill Greenlee (POL) recently co-authored a Washington Post article titled, “Most Americans want Congress to support child care and elder care, our research finds—even many Republicans.” The article was written in response to President Joe Biden’s announcement of the latest revision of the “Build Back Better” bill concerning domestic social policy change. The research conducted by the authors aims to understand American public opinion regarding investments in the care-industry and corresponding infrastructure. In order to investigate this question, the authors submitted an online poll to thousands of people. This was done in partnership with an online platform called YouGov. Considering the data of 2000 respondents from four distinct demographic groups: Asian-Americans, African Americans, the Latinx community and non-white Hispanics. The authors’ results corroborate with that of other national surveys; generally across

demographics and political affiliation, Americans support the need for more care infrastructure. The authors summarize their results, saying that Americans seem to broadly support the implementation of better care infrastructure, however Republican lawmakers are hesitant to promote such social change. “Republican lawmakers’ opposition to such policies [are] at odds not just with Americans generally, but even, at times, with their own voters,” the authors wrote. While the bill has policies that go towards a broad range of topics from mitigating climate change to lowering medicinal costs, there are several key components that pertain to child care in particular. For example, the bill proposes ways to more feasibly accomplish paid family leave, funding to allow for the decrease in child care costs and universal preschool for children of the ages 3 and 4. “These provisions would all help family caregivers, who face a range of challenges as a result of their caregiving responsibilities,” the authors wrote. As of now, the paid leave proposal has been cut from the bill, but the debate is ongoing for the other issues. T h e authors cite several reasons argu-

ing why it is important to institute legislative support for family care needs. One reason is that women—especially women of color— have faced the brunt of economic despair due to the need to decide between earning a living or caring for others. The need to make this decision had “devastating economic consequences,” the authors state. Some economists assert that the lack of care infrastructure in the United States is putting it at a competitive disadvantage compared to other countries of a similar economic state. The authors assess the current perspective of Republican members of Congress, noting that currently all Republican members are in opposition to the Build Back Better bill. When inquired about basic family needs such as the availability of school lunches and summer meals for minors, the authors found that 84 percent of Democrats, 52 percent of independents, and 53.7 percent of Republicans agree that the government should indeed fund these provisions. Understanding public opinion and support from Congress regarding the Build Back Better bill is of particular interest since it will elucidate how well Con-

gress is meeting the needs of the public. The authors conclude the article by writing, “How this legislation turns out matters both

for its effect on families—and for Americans’ understanding of how well their elected officials actually represent them.”



The Brandeis Hoot

November 12, 2021

Author writes about Jewish Indian food traditions By Sasha Skarboviychuk editor

Esther David, Jewish Indian author and illustrator, published a post on the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute (HBI) blog discussing her book “Bene Appetit: The Cuisine of Indian Jews” and her findings while researching the book. David explained that after fleeing the area that is now Israel, many Jews settled in India. In the mid1950s and 1960s there were close to 30 thousand Jews in India. Although they comprise a small percentage of the population, there has been a Jewish community living in India since 75 CE. She continued by explaining that

there are five Indian Jewish communities: the Bene Ephraims of Andhra Pradesh, the Bene Israelis of Western India, the Bnei Menashe Jews of Northeast India, the Baghdadi Jews of West Bengal and the Cochin Jews of Kerala. David noted that Indian Jews from the five different regions have different facial characteristics, since they settled in different parts of India. She pointed out that most Indian Jews chose to live close to bodies of water. However, even though the communities live in different parts of India, they still share both religion and food as a common thread that keeps them together. Many continued with their traditional diets, but integrated Indian habits into their practices. According to David this

resulted in “unique ceremonies and rituals that have been passed down from one generation to another.” Today, there are less than five thousand Jews living in India. For David this presented a need to preserve the traditions that have been disappearing because of “modernization and immigration.” David explained why she wrote the book: “When a community decreases in numbers, its traditional food starts to disappear,” wrote David. The book was a way for her to try and “to preserve the heritage of Indian Jewish cuisine because food is memory and culture. Food is connected with the bonding of families and communities. Food is part of our childhood.” This project began for David

when she got funding from HBI in 2016, with which she was able to study Indian Jewish food traditions. From there came the book and the study on Jews living in India. David said that even in India, most Jews do not mix milk with meat in the dishes that they make. Since yogurt, a staple in the Indian diet, is made with milk, most Jews end up being vegetarian, so they are able to eat Indian foods. Some Jews use coconut milk as a substitute for dairy products, in order to make curries and sweet dishes. Since kosher meat is difficult to come by in India, the various communities found different ways to get around that, which were influenced by the traditions in the regions they settled in. Kosher wine is also not

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Total postive COVID-19 cases each week. Last Update November 11, 2021.


Total postive COVID-19 cases each week. Last Update September 2, 2021.


Total COVID-19 tests administered each week. Last Update November 11, 2021.

something that is widely available in India, so many communities opted for a dried grape sherbet. According to David, it is made with “the women soaking black currants in a vessel of water and washing them, while the men crush, strain and bottle the sherbet.” The recipe for the sherbet is available on the blog post. David is a part of the Bene Israel Jewish community of Ahmedabad, according to the blog. HBI featured her book “Shalom India Housing Society’’ in the 2010-2011 calendar. In 2010, “The Book of Rachel” received the Sahitya Akademi Award for English Literature.

COVID-19 policy reminders

Monique Pillow Gnanaratnam, Dean of Students, and Shelby Harris, Assistant Vice President for Student Engagement and Campus Life, sent out an email to students to remind them of the Brandeis COVID-19 Policies that are enforced on campus. “As colder weather approaches and we begin spending more time indoors, it is more important than ever that we all do our part to keep our campus community healthy. Healthy best practices including hand washing, masking and staying home when sick help to protect the community from a variety of communicable illnesses,” said the email. All people on campus are required to have a mask with them at all times, according to the email. All individuals are required to put on a mask when asked to, regardless of circumstances. One of the specific policies that was highlighted in the email was the testing frequency, which for students and unvaccinated faculty or staff is twice per week, or every 96 hours. Vaccinated faculty and staff should get tested every week, or every 168 hours. The email also reminded students about the masking policy on campus, which requires masks to be worn at all times except in “private offices or residence hall lounges, [with] no more than 4 persons,” according to the policy. Masks are also required at all times on all Brandeis shuttles and vans. They also reminded students that those who have been asked to quarantine or self-isolate are “required to follow the specific instructions given to them by the Health Center’s Brandeis Community Tracing Program,” according to the email. Other COVID-19 policies include limits on international travel, such as students having to register their personal travel with the Dean of Students Office if they are going to a country that is level four (or unknown). Faculty and staff do not have to get permission for personal travel, but are required to follow protocols upon their return. The policies for returning from a level four country are submitting a sample for testing, being in travel quarantine for seven days and submitting a second sample 72-96 hours after the submission of their first sample. Only after two negative test results and the seven days can individuals return to campus. Unvaccinated individuals are required to keep six feet of distance from others and are not allowed to travel outside of the six New England states. Permission to travel outside of them will be given on an emergency basis only. The email also reminded students that they are all expected to follow the expectations that are outlined in the Rights & Responsibilities, which now includes the COVID-19 policies. ”Noncompliance with these policies may result in a student conduct process,” explained the email. - Sasha Skarboviychuk

Guest lecturer Akwaeke Emezi speaks at Eleanor Roosevelt lecture series By Alexis Albert special to the hoot

Akwaeke Emezi is a National Book Foundation “5 Under 35” honoree born in Umuahia and raised in Aba, Nigeria. They were this year’s Eleanor Roosevelt speaker series guest. Emezi, writer of “Dear Senthuran” and “The Death of Vivek Oji,” came to speak at Brandeis about their experience as a Black writer, previewed one of their upcoming books and offered advice for writers of color. The great American novels we celebrate feature white, heterosexual and cisgendered characters, ac-

cording to Emezi. Emezi provides readers with characters that represent them: “Black, queer, and trans people are the center, they are the center of those stories,” said Emezi. Emezi thoroughly discussed many ideas that appear in their memoir, “Dear Senthuran.” Discussing relationships with institutions, Emezi imparted their own growth in relation to these organizations: “you won this prize and that prize … they’re useful because people will improve your quality of life with those accolades.” These designations have a perceivable impact on writers’ lives, said Emezi. “They will literally pay you more because of it.” Because of the belief

we place in these establishments, “we tend to ignore that these institutions are such sites of violence.” During the discussion, Emezi spoke to young writers about their creative process which allows them room to practice their art comfortably. Emezi told student writers from personal experience that “frontloading the work has helped a lot.” According to Emezi, this has been helpful with being patient with themself during the writing process. Emezi is not ignorant of their own motivations for meeting deadlines. Said Emezi, “When people talk about my productivity, I want to be very clear that it is tied to cap-

italism.” They are transparent about how their output was driven by fear. “The only thing that will make you safe is if you are creating product for the market,” said Emezi. Providing young writers with financial insight, Emezi expanded on their philosophy about the economics of publishing institutions. In negotiations, Emezi tells publishers, “I’m going to talk about how much you paid me for this book.” Intended specifically for young writers of color, Emezi disclosed the financial status of their books. “I need them to be able to use this as a benchmark and go ahead and advocate for their own work.” The conversation was introduced

by Brandeis’ Frances and Max Elkon Chair in Modern Jewish History and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies professor ChaeRan Freeze, and moderated by cultural anthropologist and assistant professor of Women’s, Genders and Sexuality Studies V Varun Chaudhry. Emezi presented their lecture on Oct. 26. The Eleanor Roosevelt lecture series was created in 2004 to honor Roosevelt’s commitment to social justice and her important place in women’s history, according to the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies’ page.

Novemeber 12, 2021


The Brandeis Hoot 5

Volleyball ends season at UAA Championships By Justin Leung editor

Between Nov. 5 and 6, the Brandeis women’s volleyball team played three games for the University Athletic Association (UAA) Championships. The first game was a quarterfinal game against second-seeded Emory University. In their first set against Emory, the Judges quickly went down six points to start off the set. After a few attack errors from Emory, the Judges slowly started to come back. The closest the Judges got to Emory was 6-9. However, Emory just kept growing their lead from there. The final score of the set was 2514 in favor of Emory. Out of the

kills that came from Brandeis, first-year Lara Verstovsek ’25 had four of the eight. The second set started out much better for the Judges. They started off the set up 4-1. That is where the lead slowly started to slip away. Emory scored four consecutive points and they proceeded to go on multiple short runs to eventually make the lead 11-6. Belle Scott ’22, Ines Grom-Mansencal ’24 and Rita Lai ’24 had kills that brought the deficit to two to make the score 11-13; however Emory just put on more pressure and ended up winning the set 25-14. The final set again started out promisingly with a 4-3 lead for Brandeis. That lead would end up being the last lead they would have for the rest of the game. The Judges would score only five more points, so the final

score was 9-25. This ended the series 0-3 for the Judges. Verstovsek led the team in kills with nine and digs with eight. A few hours later, the Judges played in the consolation semifinals against Case Western Reserve University. The first set had the Judges behind the entire time. Although the Judges had the set close, especially when the score was 13-16, ultimately, they could not come back to win the set and lost 18-25. The second set saw the Judges turn the entire game around as they had the lead early. Once the score was 10-8, the Judges went on an 11 to five run as they fought to win their first set of the weekend. CWRU brought the game back to cut the lead to four, but the Judges then scored four consecutive points to close their first set win of the weekend.


The third set saw both teams neck and neck. Sophomore Ella Pereira ’24 had many key kills during this back and forth. After both teams traded short runs, the score was 19-19. CWRU then proceeded to try to close out the set with three consecutive points. Pereira tried to stop the moment with a kill, but this ended up accounting for nothing as CWRU scored three more points to win the set 20-25. In the final set of the series, the Judges again started out strong. At one point, they had a five-point lead. However, CWRU wanted to close out the series with this set, so they kept clawing away at the Judges’ lead. CWRU eventually caught up and brought the score to 22-22. With the series on the line the Judges threw everything they had, but CWRU held up and scored the final three points to end the series. Verstovsek once again led the team in kills with 13. Pereira had a great game as she had nine kills and 17 digs. Kaitlyn Oh ’22 led the team in digs with 30. In the Judges’ final game of the season, they faced off against the University of Rochester for the seventh place match. The Judges started their first set off against Rochester even with them. Ines Grom-Mansencal kept the score even at six before Rochester went on a run that lasted for most of the game to make the score 25-17 in favor of Rochester. The second set was again back and forth. Verstovsek had a few kills that kept the game in reach for Brandeis. Eventually, the score was tied at

24. The serve came from Brandeis but ultimately Rochester would score the point to take the lead at 25. An attack error from Lai ended up closing the set up as Rochester to a 2-0 series lead. The third set was the make or break set for the Judges. They started off strong as they took a convincing 10-4 lead. Although the Judges scored a few points, Rochester made a huge comeback to take the lead at 18-17. Kaisa Newberg ’22 quickly cut the Rochester momentum with two kills. The two teams traded points before the score was evened at 23-23. Verstovsek and Scott then proceeded to end the set with back-to-back kills. Set four was a set full of runs. Each team traded off three- to four- point runs until the Judges took a 20-15 lead. Then Rochester nearly tied the game up before Lai had a service ace to halt their comeback. Even though the ace slowed the game down for a moment, Rochester proceeded to end the game on a 5-1 run and therefore end the series. Verstovsek once again led the team in kills with 10, while Newberg was right behind her with nine. Oh led the team in digs with 25. The Brandeis volleyball team ended the season with an 8-20 record. As a first-year, Verstovsek led the team in kills with 275. Pereira led the team in digs with 358. Next season the Judges will continue to have three of their top five scorers and one of their top defenders as they look to build off the 2021 season.

Women’s basketball start the season with a win By Jesse Lieberman staff

With under two minutes remaining in the second quarter, senior guard Camila Casanueva ’22 had the ball in the right corner. She took a jab step, sending her defender back several feet and proceeded to hit a three, sending the packed house at Red Auerbach Arena into a frenzy. Casanueva, the team’s leading scorer from 2019-2020, picked up right where she left off two years ago, tying a single-game school record with seven threes as the Judges went to a 77-55 win against UMass Boston in the team’s season opener on Monday. Leading 33-24 with 2:43 remaining in the second quarter, the Judges used a 13-0 scoring run to close out the half. Casanueva was at the center of it, knocking down three consecutive three-pointers. The Judges went into the half

By Francesca Marchese and Sasha Skarboviychuk staff and editor

The Brandeis University men’s soccer team traveled to New York to defeat their University Athletic Association rival New York University, 1-0, in the Judges final game of the 2021 season. With the win, the Judges finished their season with a 6-7-3 record, 3-2-2 in the UAA. Following two early shots on goal from Skylah Dias ’22, the Judges scored in the 10th min-

leading 46-24. UMass Boston would get no closer than 15 points the rest of the way. Casanueva continued to pour it on in the third quarter. Leading 54-36 with 2:54 remaining in the quarter, Casanueva scored the Judges’ following eight points. Casanueva capped off the quarter by assisting freshman Mollie Obar on a three as the buzzer sounded, giving the Judges a 6740 lead heading into the final period. For the quarter, Casanueva had 11 points, going 3-of-4 from beyond the arc.Casanueva finished the game with 25 points on 8-of-10 shooting to go along with eight rebounds. Her performance was her fourth career game with at least 25 points. Her seven made threes ties Jessica Chapin ‘10, who accomplished the feat against Carnegie Mellon in 2010.The Judges’ played stifling defense, forcing 20 turnovers, which led to 22 points. The Judges shot 35 percent on threes and held the

Beacons to just 16 percent from beyond the arc. Sophomore guard Selenya Gonzalez ’24 had a gamehigh with two steals.With several injuries, a key question heading into the season for the Judges revolved around their depth in the frontcourt. Freshman Caitlin Gresko ’25 and senior Kerry Tanke ’22 proved the Judges are just fine. Gresko, making her first collegiate appearance, scored ten points which included two threes. Tanke scored a career-high 15 points on 7-of-13 from the field to go along with eight rebounds. The Judges controlled the glass, out rebounding the Beacons 46-35 and 16-6 on offensive rebounds. The Judges’ success on the offensive glass paid off, as the team outscored the Beacons 16-2 on second-chance points. On offense, the Judges looked fluid, moving the ball and getting quality shots. The Judges tallied 16 assists, six of which came from junior Emma Reavis ’23. Reavis also

scored seven points and grabbed five rebounds.The Brandeis bench provided a much-needed boost, outscoring the Beacons’ bench 17-8. The Judges’ deep rotation enabled them to play at a fast pace. The Beacons, who came into the game with just nine active players,

couldn’t keep up with the Judges’ speed. The Judges will look to build off their strong showing on Friday, Nov. 12 at 5 p.m. when they face Wheaton College in the first round of the Brandeis Invitational Tip-Off Tournament.

ute of the game off of a corner kick. Jared Panson ’22 assisted senior classmate Jake Davis ’22 who scored his first career goal to round out his collegiate career at Brandeis University; Panson concluded his career with his eighth assist. Davis’ goal was the only goal the Judges would need offensively, as defensively the Judges earned their sixth shutout of the season. While NYU did outshoot the Judges, 14-4, the Brandeis men remained in control. The reigning Division III National Player of the Week by United Soccer Coaches, Aiden Guthro ’23, made seven saves to successfully

shutout the Violets. With their defeat over the Violets, the Brandeis men conclude their season on a high, resulting in a 2-0-1 record, all against nationally ranked teams—either currently ranked, or began the season ranked. The Judges finished in a tie for fourth place in the final UAA standings. Overall on the season, the men finish with six wins, seven losses and three ties. They played 16 games, in which they scored 11 goals. Their shooting percentage, which is the number of goals per the number of shots on goal, is 0.469, down from 0.632 in the

2019-2020 season. Their number of goals per game also decreased from the previous season, falling from 1.47 goals per game to 0.69 goals per game. The Judges averaged 10.8 goals per game, as opposed to 15.5 in 2019. Their goals against average (GAA), which is the number of goals per game that the goalkeeper allowed, is 0.94, up from 0.7 in 2019. The Judges made 173 shots this season, with 72 of them being on goal, resulting in a shots on goal percentage of 0.416. They took 64 corner kicks and had six shutouts against other teams. The team ended with 21 yellow cards, and

no red cards. In the conference, the men had three wins, two losses and two ties, with a PCT of 0.571. The 2020-2021 season was cancelled due to COVID-19. Aiden Gurtho ’23 was also selected as the UAA Defensive Player of the Week for the week ending Nov. 8. This is the fourth time this season that Guthro has earned the title; he has a total of 79 saves. In the conference, he is ranked sixth in goals against, with a rate of 0.94, and third in the save percentage, with 0.832. The Judges return to action in fall 2022, when their 2022-2023 season begins.



The Brandeis Hoot

Novemeber 12, 2021

Brandeis women’s soccer wins three in a row By Jesse Lieberman staff

Heading into their final three matches of the season, the Brandeis women’s soccer team needed a strong showing to improve their chances to qualify for the NCAA tournament. The Judges defeated then-no. 18 Emory University 1-0 on Oct. 29 and the University of Rochester 2-1 on Oct. 31 on senior day. The Judges concluded the regular season with a 2-1 victory at NYU on Saturday,

Nov. 6. The Judges are 11-4-2 and 4-3 in University Athletic Association (UAA) play, good for third place. Additionally, Brandeis rose in the rankings to no. 20, according to Friday, Oct. 29: No. 23 Brandeis 1 – No. 18 Emory 0 Caroline Swan ’23 scored and Hannah Bassan ’25 made two saves late as the Judges held on to defeat Emory 1-0. In the 30th minute, sophomore forward Yasla Ngoma ’24 won the ball from an Eagle defender in Emory’s defensive third. Ngoma

passed it back to senior Juliette Carreiro ’22, who sent in a cross from the left side. Swan made a perfect run and tapped in Carreiro’s cross to give the Judges the lead. Emory had several chances to score in the second half, with the Eagles’ best opportunity coming in the 83rd minute. An Emory player took a shot, following a deflected shot. Bassan dove to her left to make the save, allowing the Judges to maintain the 1-0 advantage. Swan’s goal was the second of


By Justin Leung editor

On Nov. 7 Brandeis men’s and women’s fencing competed at New England Intercollegiate Fencing Conference Fall Tournament at Vassar College. Out of the six events combined between the men’s and women’s team, the teams had 11 total medals (finish within the top eight). They won one gold medal and two bronze medals. In the men’s épée there were 11 members from Brandeis. This includes Ben Rogak ’23, who was the 16th ranked player for men’s épée competition. Rogak proceeded to win three consecutive matches before losing in

the round of 16 against the one seed from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Mark Shamis ’25 played his first match against Elliot Morgenstern ’22. Shamis ended up winning his first match against his own teammate. After winning one more match, Shamis ultimately fell to the fifth seed from Northeastern University in the round of 16. Josh Shuster ’23 was the third ranked fencer in the competition. He proceeded to breeze through the first three rounds of the competition before he was defeated by the 35th seed. Ben Wang ’24 also passed through the first three rounds. However, he continued onto the round of 16 before being defeated by the 35th seed. Senior Garrett Tordo ’22 was the eleventh seed in

the competition, and he proceeded to four consecutive matches to get into the round of eight. Tordo was then beaten by the 35th seed as well. Harrison Kaish ’22, Ethan Hortelano ’25, Tal Kronrod ’25 and Zachary Zhang ’25 rounded out the rest of the men’s épée players from Brandeis. Kronrod made it to the round of 16 before falling to the second seed. The men’s saber competition saw three students obtain a medal. Both Tony Escueta ’25 and Berwyn Lu ’24 finished in third place to obtain bronze medals. Lucas Lin ’22 finished just behind them in fifth. Joy Qiu ’25 finished just out of reach for a medal as he ended in ninth place after being defeated in the 16th round by Escueta. Qiu’s only match win of the

the season. For Carreiro her assist was her eighth of the season, putting her in a tie for the UAA lead. Sunday, Oct. 31: No. 23 Brandeis 2 – Rochester 1 Daria Bakhtiari ’22 and Juliette Carreiro each scored as the Judges celebrated their seniors in style, defeating Rochester 2-1. Even at 1-1 in the 64th minute, Ngoma received a pass in the Judges’ attacking third. Displaying great skill to keep the ball from rolling out of play, Ngoma dribbled back inside and sent in a cross to the far post, which Carreiro redirected into the back of the net. The Judges limited the Yellowjackets to just three shots in the final 26 minutes of play. The Yellowjackets had an attack building in the 87th minute, but junior centerback Ruby Siegel ’23 cleared the ball away. Bakhtiari opened the scoring in the 24th minute. Sophomore forward Sydney Lenhart ’24 beat several defenders and sent in a cross from just inside the 18-yard-box. Ngoma lured in the Rochester goalkeeper and tapped in on to Bakhtiari, who scored her team-leading seventh goal of the season. Rochester opened the second half with renewed energy, equalizing the game at 1-1 in the 47th minute. The Yellowjackets had several breaks, including a shot deflecting off the crossbar in the 57th minute. Carreiro’s goal was her sixth of the season. Ngoma, who also assisted Bakhtiari’s goal, picked up her fourth and fifth assists of the

year. Before the match, the Judges honored the nine members of their senior class: Midfielder Kari Wismar, forward Juliette Carreiro, midfielder Lauren Mastandrea, defender Ashley Pettet, forward Makenna Hunt, midfielder Daria Bakhtiari, midfielder Sabrina Salov, defender Ali LaPioli, and team manager Beck Gold. Saturday, Nov. 6: No. 20 Brandeis 2 – NYU 1 Sydney Lenhart and Ruby Siegel each scored as the Judges held on to win their fifth straight match. Brandeis got on the board in the 25th minute. Caroline Swan sent in a corner. The ball bounced around in a crowd in the 6-yardbox, eventually falling to Lenhart, who blasted in her fourth goal of the season. The Judges added to their lead in the 50th minute on a corner from Lauren Mastandrea. Siegel headed in the delivery for her first goal this season and the second of her career. After the Violets scored in the 64th minute, the Judges kept NYU at bay. The Violets tallied just three shots in the remaining 26 minutes of play. The only shot on goal in the span was a lofted ball that Bassan routinely snagged. On Monday, Nov. 8, the NCAA released the bracket for the NCAA tournament. The Judges qualified and will take on Farmingdale State this Saturday, Nov. 13, at 1:30 p.m. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). With a win, the Judges would play the winner of MIT and Maine Maritime.

tournament was against senior Paul Sablone ’22 from Brandeis. Gabe Lobo-Berg ’23 won his first match before losing in the round of 32. Nick Quan ’24 cruised through the first two rounds before facing his teammate Lin. Lin proceeded to knockout Quan to end his day. Men’s foil saw seven Brandeis students participate. The team had two medal winners as Elliot Siegel ’23 finished in fifth and first-year Alexander Ma ’25 finished in sixth. Luke Ritchie ’24 was tied for the number one seed in the competition, but he fell in the round of 16 to a student from MIT. Chaemin Daniel Lee ’24 won his first match but lost his second. Griffith Werwa ’25 and Jake Hempe ’23 faced off against

each other with Hempe coming out on top. Hempe ended up losing in the following round. Drew Miller ’23 also won in the first round but lost in the second. Women’s foil had four students from Brandeis. Alex McKee ’25 had an impressive debut as she started her Brandeis fencing career with a sixth-place finish. This was her first medal of her career. Ellen Zhen ’25 started her career with a match win but ultimately fell in the second round. Alexander Wicken ’23 was the 14th seed and he proceeded to win two rounds to reach the round of 16. He then fell to the third seed from MIT. Rachel Liu ’23 was eliminated in the second round. For women’s épée the team had two people win a medal. Bronwyn Rothman-Hall ’25 and Calla Lee ’25 both finished in the top eight to win a medal. Paula Thornton ’23 was the eighth seed but lost to her teammate Lee. The 18th seed was Monica Aponte ’23 and she started off with a win against a student from Northeastern University. She then lost to a student from Boston University. The final event of the day was women’s saber. Maggie Shealy ’23 won the entire competition. Shealy won the only gold medal for Brandeis while being the second seed. In her first competition, Kayla Turnof ’25 won two matches to advance to round of eight. It took the one seed from MIT to defeat her. Jada Harrison ’22 won her first two matches but lost to a student from MIT. The two teams performed well overall with eleven total medals. Their next competition is for the Western Invitational at Colorado Springs on Nov. 13.



November 12, 2021

“To acquire wisdom, one must observe.”

Editors-in-Chief John Fornagiel Emma Lichtenstein Sasha Skarboviychuk Copy Editor Madeline Rousell News Editor Victoria Morrongiello Deputy News Editor Roshni Ray Arts Editors Stewart Huang Caroline O Opinions Editor Thomas Pickering Deputy Opinions Editor Mia Plante Features Editor Shruthi Manjunath Sports Editor Justin Leung Layout Editor Anya Lance-Chacko Editors-at-Large Abdel Achibat Grace Zhou

Volume 19 • Issue 11 the brandeis hoot • brandeis university 415 south street • waltham, ma

Founded By Leslie Pazan, Igor Pedan and Daniel Silverman


Cyrenity Augustin, Logan Ashkinazy, Jonathan Ayash, Lucy Fay, Sam Finbury, Cooper Gottfried, Zach Katz, Sarah Kim, Joey Kornman, Josh Lannon, Kristianna Lapierre, Max Lerner, Rafi Levi, Jesse Lieberman, Francesca Marchese, Vimukthi Mawilmada, Abigail Roberts, Rachel Rosenfiled, David Shapiro, Matt Shapiro, Jahnavi Swamy, Luca Swinford 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 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.

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The Brandeis Hoot 7

The Student Union needs transparency, now

ames Feng ’22, the former Student Union secretary, was impeached from his position on Oct. 27 due to neglect of his responsibilities, according to a previous Hoot article. Feng believed that the other members of the Student Union chose to hold him accountable for his mistakes that he made due to internal political bias. A thorough description of Feng’s impeachment can be found in the Hoot article covering his impeachment and an article covering an interview with Feng. However, our current concern is not with Feng; he is gone from the Union, and we wish him well. We would like to turn our attention to the rest of the Union. In the original email that went out to the student body, did no one else in the union see the mistake that occurred? It is the duty of the president to oversee what goes on in the union, and either prevent or mitigate these kinds of errors. This includes checking whether the proper seats will be filled. This begs the question: what was going on in the time between when the original mistake was made and now, when the special elections were actually held? There was around a monthand-a-half-long period where clubs on campus were without emergency

funding. Almost every single club on campus relies on the Allocations Board (A-board) for funding, so the breadth of this issue is very wide. We know of many cases in which either reimbursement fees have gone unpaid for months or clubs that need emergency funding haven’t received it. If it took the Union a month and a half to find out about this issue, then that was negligence on the part of Student Union leadership. But if they knew about the issue, what were they doing during this month and a half? Why were special elections not conducted sooner? It appears as though action to conduct elections to fill the vacant A-board spots only happened after Feng was gone. In response to this, The Brandeis Hoot conducted an email interview with members of the Student Union. One of the questions asked was whether Feng asked to host a third round of special elections in early October prior to his impeachment to make up for his previous mistakes, and whether the request was turned down or not despite A-board saying that they needed assistance. The Student Union dodged the question by claiming that they “are focused on the future and choose to move forward.” Moreover, they never direct-

ly answered whether or not Feng proposed to host a third round of elections in early October. Instead, they stated that they would hold “an election to fill the vacant position of Secretary as well as fill open Allocations board seats concluded on Nov. 4 and we are excited to see so many candidates seeking to join the Student Union.” Moreover, when questioned whether an ultimatum was presented to Feng on whether he would have to “resign or face impeachment” on Sunday Oct. 3, they again deflected to a “Statement” that never directly answered the question. After numerous issues with the Union in the last few years, many current members ran on the platform of transparency. Now we ask where is that transparency? Why is the Union refusing to answer these questions under the pretense of “focusing on the future?” How can we trust the union with our future if they are unable to own up to the mistakes of the past? We urge the Union to be honest with its constituents; as it stands now, the Union gets a vote of no confidence from us. We strongly urge the Union to respond to these issues. Editor’s note: News Editor Victoria Morrongiello did not contribute to the writing of this editorial.

The Brandeis Hoot 8


November 12, 2021

Jaime Black speaks about the REDress project By Sarah Kim staff

On Nov. 2, students in CAST150B: Introduction to Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation hung sixteen red dresses across campus for an installation by Jaime Black. The REDress project is an “aesthetic response to the more than 1000 missing and murdered aboriginal women in Canada” according to her website. To accompany the dresses hanging outside from trees, an exhibition called “Between Us” in the Kniznik Gallery displays Black’s photography and poetry. The Canadian artist spoke to the class, led by Professor Shapiro-Phim, through a Zoom call on Oct. 5 to discuss the logistics of installation and answer questions. Black introduced herself and expressed her deep personal

connection to the project. “This work is really close to my heart,” Black stressed. “I just thought it was really important that I use my talents as an artist to give back to the community and create a space where we can all gather together and create circles of solidarity.” Black identifies as Métis, a mixture of Anishinaabe and Finnish descent. The 11 year project has connected her to Indigenous communities, particularly to Native women who have experienced sexual violence. The Association on American Indian Affairs states that “84.3 percent of American Indian and Alaska Native women have experienced violence in their lifetime.” Black stressed that these high levels of gendered violence stem from “colonialism specifically.” The Métis artist-activist created the REDress project to accentuate the lingering impacts of settler colonialism on Indigenous women. It has gained traction over the past decade—supporters have donated over 400 dresses to her installations in Canada, and more recently, in the US. Among instances of the project’s expansion was Black’s 2019 installation at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. “[The REDress project] grew beyond what I ever would have imagined,” Black said. At first, her knowledge about the crisis of missing Indigenous women was limited, but speaking to elders, activists and community leaders

has been illuminating. “It was very much an intuitive process to create the work, and then it carried me and educated me as I went,” said Black. “I just really wanted people to encounter those dresses over and over and over, so they could not ignore and erase our presence as Indigenous women.” Black sees the red dresses as a dialogue starter, art that facilitates space for healing and learning. She likens installing the dresses in semi-public spaces to a “social experiment.” In the past, passersby have demonstrated overwhelming respect towards the pieces, re-hanging those that fell and leaving their own red dresses near the installation as anonymous offerings. Still, there have been a few instances where people have become aggressive, tearing dresses from their hangers. “Of course that’s what we worry about,” Black sighed. But she’s grateful for the reverence most people display towards the pieces. If anything, opposition to the installation is indicative of the political landscape of areas, which “becomes part of a story” that needs to be told, according to Black. There is an image taken of Black in a red dress that illustrates how her work has evolved over the years. Black dances in a barren, snow-laden forest, the ruby garment floating dynamically around her shoulders like a puff of red smoke. Black differentiated the presence of a body inside of the

dress from installations of empty red dresses. “What does it look like when we’re present instead of absent as Indigenous women?” Black considered. By depicting these women and their communities inhabiting their bodies with power, Black reshapes a narrative that so often centers trauma. This week, “Between Us” was finalized at the Kniznik Gallery. The centerpiece of the exhibit? Four red dresses facing the cardinal directions, accompanied by stones and twigs. They underscore the Indigenous connection to the natural world, a theme that surfaces in Black’s photography adorning the walls. Imagery of red ribbons represents the “lifeblood” of Native people, particu-


larly as they interact with water in the videography showcased in the gallery. Black has connected profoundly to the color red since she was 17, when she would tie red string to trees. It’s the color of spirituality and reclamation for many cultures—one Dakota woman told Black that “red is the only color the spirits can see.” In the same vein, the red dresses are an opportunity to make Indigenous women noticed in society.

In remembrance of those deported from Hamburg By Shruthi Manjunath editor

In an event titled, “80 years after Deportations from Hamburg,” Stefan Wilbricht discussed “Hannoverscher Bahnhof,” the center where many Jewish people were deported from Hamburg, Germany. Wilbricht is the curator of a documentation center that is being created to honor those who were deported. Currently, a team of nine is working on an exhibition to commemorate those who were deported. There were four transports from Hamburg that happened in 1941. The transport on Nov. 8 sent individuals to

Minsk, Belarus. The deportations began only a few weeks after World War II started, with many people being transported or deported. Many people were deported to Eastern Europe. The Jewish and Romani people were specifically targeted. Specifically on Nov. 10 and 11, many Jewish men were arrested and sent to concentration camps. Wilbricht specifically highlighted a letter that Rudolf Querner wrote to his friend Karl Kaufmann regarding the deportations. The deportation on Nov. 8 was supposed to happen eight days earlier, however, it was late due to lack of supplies, therefore people were given more time to

pack. Before people were transported out of Hamburg, the ones who were being deported had to gather in front of a lodge house. Wilbricht highlights how no one intervened to stop these deportations and those who were not deported actually benefited from the deportations as they could find jobs and had more resources. Wilbricht displayed the tombstones of those who were deported, along with a memorial site for people who were deported that was inaugurated in 2007. It was built at the site where the train that deported these people used to be and includes a plaque of those who were deported. Wilbricht also showed an interview with Lucille Eichengreen, a survivor of the Łódź Ghetto and multiple Nazi concentration camps. Eichengreen explained that the Gestapo delivered a letter to her family and other families living in the same house that they were being deported. She took a coat, clothes and letters. Over one thousand people were deported along with her and put into cars with wooden benches. She highlights that “the trip was quiet except for whimpering children.” They had to bring their own food and arrived at their destination after two days. Eichengreen stands for those who cannot tell their stories because they were murdered. After a question from Professor Sabine von Mering (GER/WGS) asking about why the deportations never received much attention, Wilbricht explained that the most important part in the first few years after the war was remembering those who died. Therefore it took some


time before people thought about the deportations and took action to remember those who were deported. Wilbricht explains that he got involved in this line of work when he got an internship where he got in contact with survivors of a concentration camp. He realized that these stories were important and

he wanted to make the stories of these survivors accessible to others. Wilbricht explains that we have to look to the mechanics of why this happened. The stories of those people open doors into understanding how the families of those who were deported have dealt with this trauma.

The Brandeis Hoot 9

November 12, 2021

An Interview with President Ron Leibowitz staff

President Ron Liebowitz sat down with The Brandeis Hoot to help the student body get to know him better. In a half-hour dialogue with The Hoot, President Liebowitz gave some insights into himself, Brandeis and his job. This will be the first part of a three-part series on this interview. Why Brandeis? Well, for me personally, I had no interest in a second presidency. The first one was 11 years and that was enough. And I was on a very interesting research project with my wife during my leave. And even when … the presidential search committee called, I wasn’t interested at all. But some friends got ahold of me and said “It’s a fascinating place,” “It’s a different type of place,” “It’s worth looking.” So I agreed to have a meeting with the search committee, but before that I went across the street to Boston College’s library—we live right across the street from Boston College—and read the only three books that were written about Brandeis in the stacks: one by the founding president, one by Rabbi Goldstein who started the whole idea back in the thirties in New York City and one by Steve Woodfield, a professor of American studies who wrote a book on Brandeis. And after you read those books, you would be inspired to be at Brandeis because the history, the founding, the reasons for its founding, how it was founded, how President Sachar managed to do what he did is just incredible. So that brought me in. What do you want Brandeis to be? More like a “Little Ivy” or a liberal-arts school? Neither. I want Brandeis to be Brandeis. Brandeis is … unique,

it’s an interesting place in higher education. I like to say … it is this combination both of a research [tier] one and of a small, I call it student-focused undergraduate liberal arts education, and no other school is like it. I mean, you can look up and down and try to find other schools like it. Maybe Rice, not really. Maybe Dartmouth, not really. So it’s a unique space and I think it’s an amazing place to be. It gives undergraduates like yourself great opportunities that students at Middlebury don’t have. It’s expensive and it’s difficult, and it’s hard to find faculty who want to do both missions. We call it a dual mission, but I think it’s very worthwhile and it’s really unique in higher education. What are your hopes for the engineering program? Well, great hopes! I think it’s an amazing proposal. Faculty have been working on it for 10 years, and they stuck with it, which is really challenging, especially in this environment both coming out of the recession and then also with COVID-19. But the faculty passed it and the board approved it, and it’s an important part of the curriculum going forward, mostly because if you look at the schools to which we lose, most of our students who are accepted here, I think the first seven schools all have engineering. And it’s become a very important area of the curriculum for students. Your generation seems to like engineering. But it’s also engineering Brandeis style. So it’s not going to be a standalone department or standalone school. It’s going to be superimposed over multiple departments here. And it also pledges to have relationships across the whole university with the humanities,


with the arts, with the business school and with the Heller school. So it looks to be a very Brandeisan type of engineering program, not sacrificing any of the science or engineering either by the way. So I think it’s gonna hold a lot of promise, it’s going to take a while to get up and running, because we have to fundraise for new positions. It’s a very exciting addition to the curriculum. This one is unique in the field of engineering. In other words, it’s not atypical to find interdisciplinary programs in higher education, but to find an engineering program just like this would be very difficult. So it does have that “Brandeis stamp” to it. What’s a typical day like in your life? So in my new calendar I’ve devoted now Mondays and Fridays to be here [on campus and] Tuesday[s], Wednesdays and Thursdays to be open for travel, fundraising mostly. Normally that would involve going all over the place, including usually annual trips to Israel and at least biannual trips to China. With COVID I’ve been limited to New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, New York and Chicago. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, I’ll go on development calls, I’ll visit old friends who have supported the university, trying to create new friends for the university, visiting parents and so forth. Monday and Friday, I pack in my staff meetings. So we have my two executive vice presidents who are the Provost and the EVP for Finance and Administration; I meet with them on Friday. Usually faculty meetings are once a month on Friday. So I reserve that for that and then all my other meetings that have to be scheduled. You get requests for meetings all the time, you try to pack them in on Monday and Friday. So that’s basically it. Weekends if there’s something going on here on campus from family weekend to homecoming, whatever sporting events, as many as I can get to, I try to go to. And that’s about it at least for my week. It’s become more routine this year than has been in the past where it was just up and down, it was more random meetings with people all the time. And prior to COVID-19, my wife and I hosted a weekly lunch here in this office every single week for three years so we got to see more than

a thousand people come through for lunch. And that’s how we got to know Brandeis through the eyes of faculty, students and staff at these lunches. We haven’t done that since COVID-19. We hope to get back to something like that, and those will be on Monday or Friday. What is the most challenging part of your job? Being a university president these days is probably challenging because you’ve got COVID-19 to deal with. It’s a whole new thing, no one’s ever dealt with it. You got the financial issues that most universities have to deal with even before COVID-19, but this on top is an issue. But I think the most challenging thing is understanding and trying to work with nine different constituencies. So a university president typically works with students, faculty, staff, trustees, alumni, parents, townspeople, regulators and prospective students. Those are the nine constituencies. And so, the joke is if you can keep on the good side of five at any one time, you’re in good shape because none of them ever agree with each other. So I think trying to balance all those things and taking the institutional perspective [is the most challenging]. So when I’m sitting in a staff meeting like this morning, and you have vice presidents who feel very strongly about an issue they’re usually seeing it through the eyes of one or two constituencies. And I have to step back and say, “Okay, let’s think about this from a university perspective.” So I think that’s the most challenging thing, and getting used to that and understanding all those constituencies is probably one of the biggest things. In the end you’ve got to do what’s best for the university, even if it’s unpopular. What is your favorite part of your job? Two things. Probably students. Meeting students because I think that’s been, I don’t wanna say it’s been the biggest surprise, I would sound like I had low expectations for Brandeis students, but I find them incredible. They’re a lot more interesting than I thought. And again, … students at Middlebury by the way, are phenomenal students. But the Brandeis students are different. There’s a different pool of students. They’re very dedicated to their academics

and deeply involved in social issues. Always looking for a protest or asking for what they can protest. And also they have multiple interests. So for example, these double and triple majors, which I usually don’t like, I don’t think it’s a great idea, but now I’m more or less neutral on it because students here combine them in the most interesting ways. For example … it’s not typical to see economics amd business, but you might see studio art and physics, or you might see chemistry and economics. I mean, you could see the breadth of interest that students here have. So I really appreciated that. And I also think you know, there’s something gritty about Brandeis, it’s an edgier, grittier institution than many of the schools in our peer group. So I find that interesting. So that’s one thing and the other thing, believe it or not, is being on the road and fundraising at the presidential level. You typically only see the highest end donors. You see the ones who have made it to the point where the president can go ask for support. That usually means they’re very successful. In other words, for some reason, they’ve gotten to the zenith of their careers. So you learn something every time you have this engagement with people who have been successful or who support Brandeis. It turns out to be a learning opportunity and that’s been a lot of fun too. What do you want to see in Brandeis’ student culture postCOVID? I think they’re starting to return to pre-COVID-19. In other words, I see the energy in the student body. I was in Sherman and you know, you would never know that there was COVID-19 when you look at the density and how people were interacting energetically over lunch. So I hope they can return to that, and I also know that mental health has been a real issue on campus. It’s been on every campus, that’s been the topic of conversation. Every other week at our presidents’ meeting, we have 55 presidents on a phone as a Zoom every other week, and mental health has taken up a lot of our time because of the impact it’s had. So I wish for a return to better mental health sooner than later for students as well. Really just happiness, to be happy again.

The Brandeis Hoot 10


November 12, 2021

Why Brandeis was the 6th happiest university in 2012 By Vincent Calia-Bogan special to the hoot

In 2012, Brandeis University was ranked number six by Unigo for the happiest universities in the United States for the 2012-2013 year. Don’t believe me? I don’t either. Yet, it’s on the university Wikipedia page, and more importantly, a skilled user of the wayback machine can find it on Unigo itself. Naturally, I am not inclined to believe this arbitrary measure (nor should you). Now, I could simply disagree with a nine-year-old measure, as I would if it had been declared by an actual nine-year-old, and happily do my chemistry homework. But, Brandeis University’s motto is Truth Even Unto its Innermost Parts. So, as a freshman trying to be both a good student and a Proper Brandesian (with a capital P), I felt compelled to discern the innermost truth to this metric. Besides, the rare and accidental insight of nine-year-olds is not something to be ignored; they just need to be investigated. So, let’s start from the beginning. Brandeis University was founded on the principles of justice and equal opportunity to education (unless you’re an engineer—more on that later). Though the university hasn’t always kept to this commitment (prohibitively expensive tuition), since the mid 1970s the administration has been remarkably faithful to the founding principles (if you ignore tuition). But unlike some schools, which appear to be charging their students $50 thousand a year and their souls, Brandeis seems to be trying to charge $50 thousand a year and save the souls of at least some of their students. I should point out that the business of saving students’ souls is far easier for a

university when it doesn’t have an engineering department. However, Brandeis does have a computer science (COSI) department, and in it, many salvageable souls. To this end, the university and COSI department have come up with an ingenious solution. I’m talking about a specific course, arguably the most important course offered here—COSI 45a: Effective Communication for Computer Scientists. Even the University Registrar agrees with the COSI department and thinks the course is important—COSI 45a is offered every semester and is required for the COSI major. Generally speaking, I consider this course a keystone in the COSI degree path, and for that matter, any degree path—effective communication is the singular most important skill anyone in this day and age can have. There are plenty of undergraduates that are aborid at communication; those older than us will proclaim it a trend with our generation (to which I say: tbh idrk and idc). That being said, there are two groups of students who stand out as, on average, being worse than normal communicators (though only the latter is at Brandeis): engineering students and COSI majors. Regardless, this discovery does nothing to solve my original question: Why was Brandeis considered within the top 10 happiest universities? Let’s go a little deeper. Now, full disclosure. I’m a prospective neuroscience major. I haven’t decided yet, but COSI might just fill the void that a lack of bioelectric engineering left. Anyways. First and foremost, my discovery of COSI 45a reinforced the overall undergraduate stereotype that computer scientists, especially COSI students, are (on average) more socially inept. Though this

conclusion was met with dismay from my COSI friends (and bouts of laughter from everyone else), my older sister, who is graduating from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (an engineering school) with a degree in computer science, had one thing to say: “That’s one hell of a weed-out class.” Secondly, more digging into third party statistics found that around seven percent of the undergraduates at Brandeis are COSI majors. By extrapolating national COSI degree and enrollment trends from 2012 to present day and regularizing them for enrollment numbers for COSI majors at Brandeis, since 2012, I estimate the amount of COSI majors at Brandeis to be around four to 10 percent of the student body. Furthermore, by 2012, every self respecting engineering college and university had a well established and growing COSI department, even if they outright lacked an engineering department, or in one notable case (Brandeis), seemed not to even have a plan to start one. (In case you’re on the edge of your seat, engineer a way to get comfortable waiting till 2025). Now, there’s still one critical piece of the puzzle missing: timeframe. Did COSI 45a exist back in 2012? The answer, surprisingly, is yes (though not in its current form). With my personal delorean, the Wayback Machine, I discovered COSI 45a’s direct predecessor circa 2012—itself an approved elective for the COSI major— LING 140a: Architecture and Pragmatics: The Discourse of Conversation. (Shockingly, “Effective communication for computer scientists” is a less insulting name than this). Realistically, this course was an elective in name only: it (and only it) fulfilled the Oral Communication require-

ment for COSI degrees at the time (the existence of which I think is as hysterical as it is damning for COSI majors). The COSI department and University Registrar wanted people to take it so badly that they made it a one-hundred-level course with absolutely no prerequisites, and it was taught in the same building as the other COSI classes at the time. It was clearly a class by computer scientists for computer scientists: The class page displays a particularly linear exchange from Alice in Wonderland. (Frankly, the page is a work of art). Now, you’re probably wondering about how I’m gonna fit this under a main loop that defines how COSI 45a and LING 140a relate to the happiness of the university. You’re probably wondering if I still have all my marbles after this (the answer is: maybe?), or if my chem lab report is overdue (probably). You might even be feeling a little targeted up to this point—which means you’re probably a COSI major. Here’s how this all works. As my sister and Brandeis itself seem to confirm, the average computer scientist isn’t the most socially adept person on the planet. Engineers have a similar reputation. Being socially challenged (NOT that I would know anything about that…) is a pretty stressful thing to be, especially at a school like Brandeis. Curiously, COSI 45a and LING 140a seem to be exclusive to Brandeis—not one of my engineering friends from Yale, Boston University, Boston College, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Rochester Institute of Technology, Cornell or Worcester Polytechnic Institute could immediately think of a course similar to ours in their general offerings. (That being said, I would not be surprised if parallels exist

in at least a few of those schools). Additionally, the earliest recorded mention of LING 140a or anything related being offered at Brandeis to it was in—you guessed it—2012. So, in 2012, it seems like Brandeis decided it was time to teach their COSI majors (and engineering majors if applicable, which for Brandeis it wasn’t) how to have a conversation with people (scary, right?). They probably figured it would boost postgraduate opportunities and the overall strength of the COSI department, which it undoubtedly achieved in spades. However, in a stroke of accidental and (for a university) unusually innocent genius, they also gave a major boost to morale for somewhere between four to 10 percent of the student population by strengthening the tools required to intermingle with everyone else… which likely had a domino effect and raised the morale of the entire student body in a small but noticeable way. In other words, Brandeis unwittingly (and seemingly successfully) created a new, cutting edge type of COSI major that existed at no other university at the time: the sociable COSI major. (If I get any angry emails from COSI in my inbox, I’ll know for sure their strategy has worked. If you’re a COSI professor, from the bottom of our collective hearts, thank you). Here we arrive at what I think is one of many innermost truths concerning the 2012 ranking of sixth happiest universities—for one glorious year, Brandeis led the pack in quality of students by looking after its own students and doing a uniquely Brandeis thing: unintentionally (but successfully) overachieving in the process of doing so.

Food is love: going vegan for the planet By Maggie Del Re special to the hoot

Growing up, love tasted like bagels and lox at Uncle John’s apartment in the Bronx, Nai Nai’s homemade sticky rice with pork over stories about her childhood in China and Poppy’s angel hair with white clam sauce after a day at the beach. Food is how we show love, and it’s at the heart of all our family gatherings. So, you might imagine the controversy when I refused Grandma’s spaghetti for the first time and took my budding environmentalism a step further by announcing I was going vegan in seventh grade. In 2010, the United Nations (UN) warned that humans must shift towards a vegan diet to save the world from hunger, fuel poverty and the worst impacts of climate change. Makes sense when you consider that about 70 percent of the grain grown in the US is used to feed livestock, and plant-based replacements for animal products can produce twenty-fold more nutritionally similar food per unit of cropland: enough food to feed 350 million more people. In fact, there simply is not enough arable farmland to produce enough meat for all people on earth to consume the average American diet. To me, that is the clearest signal that a dietary shift

in America is essential. Don’t get me wrong: I still struggle to stomach the look on Aunt Christine’s face when I won’t eat the beefsteak she cooked to serve over her Nom Hoa Chuoi. Food is important to culture. But I also know that coastal Vietnam—the region where Aunt Christine was born and raised and learned to cook so well—is particularly vulnerable to the natural disasters expected to worsen in coming years due to climate change. I question how I could sit in an American suburb and justify eating red meat by claiming it is important to my family’s culture when doing so contributes so heavily to the environmental degradation that threatens the very people and cultures I seek to preserve. What makes my taste buds special enough to justify eating foods that take so many resources that it would be impossible for the rest of the world to match my consumption? Culture should not justify environmental exploitation when the consequences will be felt by populations across the globe! I have the immense privilege of enjoying access to a wide variety of different foods, as do most Brandeis students. It is a privilege to be able to adopt a fully vegan diet, but luckily, as more people adopt plant-based diets, more products and recipes arise

that make cutting back on meat easier and more affordable. You can use your consumer power to play your part in the transition to plant-based eating by choosing vegan meals whenever you can because the more demand there is for vegan products, the more accessible they become. Thanks to the vegans of the past, by today, vegan meat and dairy replacements now line the shelves not only at specialty stores but at affordable staple shops like Market Basket or Trader Joe’s. We should use our privilege to protect those without the luxury of choosing between endless grocery isles of foods, each with different environmental consequences, by making sustainable decisions when piling our plates. For recipe inspiration, there’s a whole litany of badass chefs who make their favorite cultural dishes approachable to amateur cooks while educating viewers on the cultural significance of the dishes and the reasons they cook vegan. Some of my favorites on TikTok are @DorasTable, who shares veganized Mexican recipes including a dairy-free tres leches cake, @ theCanadianAfrican, who shares veganized food from Ghana and the rest of the African continent like her green peanut soup or her tomato stew and @PapayaPetite who shares vegan recipes from Southeast Asia including vegan


Pad Kee Mao aka drunken noodles. Of course, substitutes can never perfectly replicate real animal products, but they can fill the void when you have a specific craving, and you’d be surprised how quickly your taste buds can adjust to life without meat if you stick with it through the admittedly more difficult transition period. Of course, giving up meat is far from a cure-all for climate change, but you don’t even have to completely cut out animal products to have a big impact! Just reducing your consumption, particularly of red meat, can reduce your ecological footprint. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with occasionally enjoying animal products, but

there’s no excuse for basing your entire diet around meat, dairy, and eggs—as many Americans do. Since disowning meat in seventh grade, food is still at the center of my family life, but now love tastes like pizza with cashew cheese on my Uncle Max’s roof in DC, Aunt Pat’s roasted garlic while we listen to Natalia Laufourcade and Nai Nai’s sticky rice—without the pork. Going vegan taught me to love food and connect with my family in a new way, and I can feel good knowing that the way I eat is helping move us towards a more sustainable environmental future. I urge you to share some delicious vegan meals with your loved ones too!

November 12, 2021


The Brandeis Hoot

The real Brandeis housing survey By Thomas Pickering editor

On Monday, Nov. 8 the student body received what I would consider to be one of the least and most important emails we may ever get—a housing survey. My eyes watered at the thought of being able to rip Brandeis a brand new one as I would tear the survey apart and criticize every part of my residential experience. Much to my dismay, I was shocked to see that the survey was really about future housing on campus that would impact soonto-be-Brandeisians who are still in elementary school. Who knew Brandeis had foresight and was using it? Not me. But as I was taking the survey something just did not line up in my head. The hypothetical apartments seemed too nice for anything Brandeis could reasonably accomplish. So, I have taken it upon myself to adjust the survey accordingly to something more… let’s just say, truthful. 1. Not that we care since you pay us no matter what, but pick the phrase that best describes your class year: a. Wait, you guys had to wear masks outside on campus? That’s crazy, I don’t even wear mine inside. b. Not only have I had a single throughout my entire college career, I am also single and do not know how to socialize! c. Please if there is a God make the pandemic worse so I can keep waking up for zoom class and then going back to bed with the camera off. d. How has the student body become more attractive? What happened to good old Brandeis? 2. Where are you living? (Don’t worry, we aren’t going to find you and hunt you down.) a. Off campus, because I have a brain and it is cheaper and better than the dungeons we call on-campus housing i. But is it a house though? ii. Maybe a sexy little apartment? iii. Does it get mice? b. On campus, where I inhale the fresh mold—I mean air, the fresh air! c. At home like a dweeb who’s fiscally responsible (Geez, imagine caring about your family) 3. Now if you live on campus, how would you describe your living experience? a. Moldy b. Really moldy c. Extremely moldy d. Super moldy e. I keep hearing my neighbors having sex but at least there is no mold! 4. How interested would you be in living in new Brandeis-built apartments that we will flaunt on tours, but that only like three people will actually get to live in? a. Yes, anything is better than East. b. Yes, there is no other option we are doing this no matter what #IllusionOfDemocracy. 5. Now what kind of apartment best suits your needs? (Adjusted for the Brandeis budget and by the campus’s construction history) a. This first option we think is a real step up because it will give students fresh water, tons of natural light and a very square space

to live in. This option is a moving box we stole from the Storage Squad boys and put in the middle of Fellows Garden. But wait there’s more! We made sure to put it right in front of a sprinkler so that right at 7 a.m., you won’t even need an alarm. Just wake up to the rush of 100 gallons of water slowly pushing your box, I mean dorm, and making it all nice and soggy. b. The second option. Now this one we are really excited for as it will change the skyline of campus and be sustainable due to material reuse! This option is to live in the rubble of East as it falls apart. I mean, so many students in every class live in East, and why would we want to take that experience away from incoming students? Enjoy the memory-rock beds you’ll be able to find in the rubble, but we heavily advise bringing a tent to campus for this housing option because you may want some cover to conceal yourself from the judgmental people who live in Skyline. c. Our third and final option is really impressive for us here at Brandeis since this one is really for the students. We are going to build two-bedroom apartments on campus with a common room, bathroom and kitchen. The truly progressive idea around this option comes with updates to the appliances and features of this housing option. Did you hate the transition week here where AC went off and heat went on? Well for your convenience we added windows which open and an eternally burning fire in the middle of the common room. Need to get warm? Get closer to the fire. Need to get colder? Move further away from it. You do have feet which freaking move after all. Worried about the fire alarms going off due to this fire? No worries! We made sure to not put batteries in the alarms so that they won’t go off as the flames warm you up. Want to take a warm shower? Our newest knobs only have boiling hot and hypothermia for temperatures. Why compromise for warm showers when you can experience either end of the spectrum. Then, we know what really makes a Brandeis dorm home— mold. We will personally put tons of mold in the bathroom and ceiling so that right when you walk in, look around and take in a big deep breath you think “Yup, this is Brandeis alright.”




6. We will not even ask how you rank these options because we know you love all of them so much and that it would be like deciding between your children. 7. And finally, where would you want this option to be? a. On campus (ha we put this here as a joke, loser! Good luck, we don’t have the space for it on campus) b. Off campus (but like near Grad, but really on the other side of the Charles, but you can only swim to the other side because we cannot afford a bridge) c. Out of state, but like not even Rhode Island or New England. It is actually in Kentucky (You will still need to fill out the Daily Health Assessment and BranVan timing will not be consistent). d. Out of the country, Kazakhstan to be exact. Everyone loves Borat, why not become him?



The Brandeis Hoot

November 12, 2021

Wendy’s new ‘hot and crispy’ fries By John Fornagiel and Sasha Skarboviychuk editors

Wendy’s recently decided to take on soggy fries, solving a true societal issue. According to Wendy’s website, “Fries should be hot AND crispy. Period. That’s why we guarantee our new fries will be both of those things. And they are significantly preferred over McDonald’s fries.*” The note next to the asterisk read: “Taste preference based on a national taste test by an independent research company. If your fries aren’t hot & crispy, we’ll replace them. At participating U.S. Wendy’s.” The

statement ended with “so, to be clear, if we somehow give you fries that aren’t both hot AND crispy, we’ll get you some that are. Period-but-this-time-with-evenmore-emphasis.” Wendy’s is making some bold claims here. From the fact that their fries will be both hot and crispy (a difficult task for fries that are not made-to-order), to the fact that they are better than McDonald’s fries (an industry classic). Can we also talk about the fact that they are allowed to call out their competitors like that? Anyway, of course, being the avid Wendy’s lovers we are, we had to try their new fries. The fries cost $1.19, $1.99, $2.39 and $2.79 plus

tax for a junior, small, medium and large respectively. John So Wendy’s has been giving out some sweet deals over the last week by giving out some free food to promote their new french fries. One of these deals was a free classic chicken sandwich with the purchase of a medium fry, so of course we had to go and try it (at least if we didn’t like it we got a free chicken sandwich, right?). Anyway, I know that Sasha disagrees with me but I think that the fries were great! I definitely do think that they were a little bland and probably could have used a bit more salt, which is weird for


me to say since I usually think that fast food fries are too salty. But the new Wendy’s fries do live up to their promise: they were hot, and oh yes they were crispy. To be honest, when we first got them they were maybe a bit too hot. You know how when you get hot Dunkin’ Donuts coffee and it basically burns your tongue off and you have to wait like an hour to actually start drinking the coffee? Yeah, think of that, but less extreme. But on the bright side, the fries were not soggy at all and were super crispy and really did seem fresh! I feel like so far, I have focused on mostly the negative aspects about the fries, but overall they were definitely great! I think that the benefits (crispiness and hotness) definitely outweigh the costs (blandness), though it would be nice to unify the benefits of both. However, while this definitely does not compare to the KFC fries (which are so underrated, they are so good) I still think that they are an improvement from the old french fries. I just might need to, for once in my life, make use of their packets of salt to improve the flavor a little bit! Overall, I would give them a solid eight out of 10, an improvement from the old ones! Sasha Hot and crispy? More like mouth burns and blandness guaranteed. I should start this off by saying that I’m not a huge fan of fries. I’m not big on potatoes in general, I’d take rice or pasta over them any day. Even if I get fries with my meal, usually John will be the one to eat them. The only exception I can think of is KFC: their fries are great. I was hoping that these fries

would join the ranks of KFC’s as fries I would actually eat. The fries were definitely hot, so much so that I still have burns in my mouth 48 hours later. I guess they did promise me “hot” fries so you get what you pay for I guess. In terms of crispiness, well it was hard to judge because we were eating the fries right after we got them, so they did not have time to get soggy. But they definitely were crispy like promised. So Wendy’s definitely delivered on their two promises: hotness and crispiness, unfortunately for them, it takes more for fries to be good. The fries were bland. Like no flavor whatsoever. I was just eating hot. I never dip fries into sauces, but I actually asked for a sauce for these because they were just so bland. Usually my issue with American food is that there is too much salt (or other seasonings) on food, but these guys didn’t even seem to remember what salt is. Seriously, these didn’t taste like fast food fries, these tasted like those soulless fries that health conscious restaurants make. Overall, I would rate these a four, and would like to remind Wendy’s what salt is. I will definitely not get these again, and won’t even recommend you to give these a try. Go to McDonald’s (or KFC) instead. While Sasha may be upset with the new fries, this is definitely good news for John. This means that when we order food that comes with french fries, this means that he will get some extra fries! Who can say no to that? Additionally, while this will not stop us from going to Wendy’s by any means, we do both wish that the fries were a bit more flavorful and had more salt to them.

Unexpected Berlin By Abdel Achibat editor

Going into Berlin, I was filled with excitement and expectations of a lively city with a grunge vibe renowned all over Europe. Even in America, I heard time and time again that Berlin’s scene was just vibrant, mysterious, interesting and weird; all aspects of a city that I look for and thrive off of. I was excited to see art galleries, the techno scenes, graffiti and a city vibe known for being edgy. Disappointingly, this was not my experience at all. First off, within the first day arriving, I had three encounters with German people that were just unwarrantedly rude; in fact it was so uncalled for it made me think perhaps there was a racial undertone to it. Within every city I go to in Europe, the nicest, most generous people to me have always been Arab men and Black women. In the countries where I do not speak the language, they have always been the first to do their absolute best to give me recommendations, offer local goods and engage with me in a way that just gushes with hospitality. At the same time, the rudest people to me are always white workers and professionals. Numerous times, it is these white workers that are abnormally microaggressive when I pay for a service or food or ask for directions or recommendations, or simply just ignore me or dismiss me in ways I see they do

not to other white tourists. Additionally, in talking to some white tourists at my hostel, it came up that while in every establishment I entered I was asked to present my COVID-19 vaccination documents, they never were. These miniscule differences in treatment add up, and they ostracize and embarrass you when others around you see it. At one airport, a security guard said I had to take off my shoes before I entered the security screening. He said this to me and no one else. Some members of a family in front of me began to take off their shoes too as they heard that but looked around and realized that no one else ahead of us had to do so too. They then stopped taking off their shoes and continued on in the line, all giving me weird glances. Given this and the fact that central European countries are extreme sticklers when it comes to rules and policies, my entire experience kept being spoiled when having to engage with these white workers who would enforce certain rules on me in ways that signaled discrimination. While touring the actual city itself, I was disappointed to see how un-aesthetically pleasing it looked compared to most other European touristic cities. There just was not that city charm I look for, and it was truly only the occasional graffiti that added some color and beauty to the overall atmosphere. The historical sites were also strangely underwhelming. The Berlin Wall is not as expan-

sive and big as I thought it was, and the artwork was strangely not impactful. That being said, walking the length of what remains of the Berlin Wall was probably one of the most surreal moments I had in Berlin. It was a moment in which it felt very real that this wall used to once signify an absolute hindrance to freedom. And the fact that today I am able to see it with artwork on it and half destroyed is in itself powerful. Other sites like the Brandenburg Gate, Gendarmarkt, Alexanderplatz and the areas in which there was a concentration of landmarks and museums were just simply underwhelming. There just was nothing else to it but the site itself, there was little to no vibe and energy the way I have found it in most other places in Europe. The Berlin Wall memorial where black stones signal the Jews murdered during the Holocaust was most definitely impactful in its intentional design to make you feel claustrophobic, but also added to my overall consensus that there exists almost a dark cloud looming over the city. The trendy neighborhoods supposedly iconic for conveying Berlin’s grungy scene also were not as lively as I thought they would be. I feel like I have to chalk up the lack of energy to the weather being cold. I feel as if during the spring and summer where there’s more warmth, there just has to be more people out, giving the city very-much-needed vibrance. Ultimately, it was the clubs I went to that had me absolutely reju-

venated. The venues, the music and the energy inside them were completely unlike the outside, making the clubs feel like truly a different world. In my eyes, the clubs, alongside the incredible Turkish food, were the savior of the city. They gave me a glimpse into the liveliness and creativity of Berliners. The way they transformed huge factories, warehouses or parking lots into lavish clubs was simply beautiful and exciting. The colors, the venue setup, the interior planning for these clubs all were just very intentional in

creating an experience. Overall, I would never flat out say that Berlin should not be a destination city for you, but I think it’s important to know that the hype does not really match the reality. In talking to some friends in Europe who have visited Berlin before, they’ve said Berlin is transformed around Christmas, more throughout the summer and during really big events. Keep that in mind, but ultimately, if you truly want to see the life and heartbeat of Berlin, I say head straight to the club.



November 12, 2021

The Brandeis Hoot 13

‘We Couldn’t Become Adults’ is a time capsule worth visiting By Caroline O editor

I don’t think I’ll ever get enough of movies about middle-aged people reflecting on their pasts before having some huge epiphany about the way they’ve been living their lives. Admittedly, some of them walk that thin line between profound and purposely convoluted—but the Netflix film “We Couldn’t Become Adults” (dir. Yoshihiro Mori) thankfully fits the former rather than the latter. Following the memories of forty-something graphic designer Sato (Mirai Moriyama), this film captures the loneliness and melancholy that comes with feeling as though you haven’t done much with your life. As such, the film basically takes us back in time, starting with the most recent years and going backwards as we examine exactly how Sato spent his prior years. He goes through some relationships with women whom he never plans to marry, which, at least to his credit, he tells them later in the relationship. When asked why he says no to marriage, his answer is always the same: “It just seems so ordinary.” But then we go deeper into Sato’s memories, back to why he truly is as sad as he is, and why he seems to look down on the “ordinary” so much, despite be-

ing very ordinary himself. Enter Kaori (Sairi Ito), a young woman who meets Sato when he’s 21 years old. They bond with one another initially over letters regarding a shared admired artist before eventually meeting each other in person, thus starting what seems to be an enviably happy relationship. Kaori is adventurous compared to Sato’s more reserved self, intelligent with a clichéd tragicness in the way that many of these female love interests for sad male characters of this genre tend to be. A good portion of this movie is all about Sato’s falling in love and eventual grief over the loss of this relationship with Kaori. Like a telescope coming into focus, you start to make sense of all the parts of Kaori that Sato carries into his later adult years: his quiet “it just seems so ordinary” comments are all nods to Kaori’s own determination to be extraordinary, his knowledge of certain philosophies goes back to Kaori and if this movie were made any less beautifully or thoughtfully than it was, I’d say that this whole hangup with an ex from 20 years ago is pathetic. (Like, come on man. Move on!) But by some lovely miracle, the characters and the movie as a whole are crafted in a way that never feels overbearingly pretentious or moody. As each shot— each memory—grows steadily

brighter in saturation and happiness, the audience themselves are drawn into a past where the future still feels hopeful. One particularly beautiful shot that captures this theme is when Kaori and Sato lay together in their favorite room of a love motel, one that has a ceiling of stars. When Kaori says, “your body is filled with words waiting to go to heaven. I’m sure of it… you’re interesting,” the audience won’t feel as though she’s only speaking to Sato. In that briefly captured brightness, the audience too will feel a glimmer of hope that’s so often characteristic of youth, that perhaps you can become something, and it’s only just

waiting to take form. This is what ultimately makes present Sato—in his 40s, still not feeling particularly interesting— sad. He hasn’t become that “interesting” someone that he quietly wishes himself to be, nor the person Kaori might have wanted him to be. Instead, in the short moment the audience finds him in the present, he’s still wondering exactly how he got to this ordinary life. Whether the movie gives us a satisfying conclusion to that kind of wonderment is an open question. As typical of this genre of movie, I suspect that viewers will feel differently about the

film in varying moments of their lives. Perhaps the perspective of a college senior such as myself will change when I revisit this film as a late twenty-something or thirty-something or a forty-something myself. But for now, as I have not yet hit my forty-something years, I can say that the movie, in its odd way, left me with some hope. As Sato walks out to the new dawn, there will be at least a few viewers who feel as though they’re ready to walk out with him: still confused, still feeling perhaps a little lost, but maybe just one iota more grounded than they had been two hours ago.


Live From New York...Kieran Culkin! staff

With 23 nominations and nine wins in the past two years, “Succession” is certainly the hot television show at the moment. The wildly popular business drama is currently releasing episodes of season three, and this is what led to one of its stars hosting the most recent episode of Saturday Night Live. Kieran Culkin, brother of former child star Macaulay Culkin, has previously had great success in his acting career, but “Succession” has propelled him to new heights. On Nov. 6, Culkin came to 30 Rockefeller Plaza for a hilarious hour and a half. While he has mostly done dramatic acting, Culkin certainly brought his comedic chops last Saturday

night. The night started off with the cold open that lampooned the news. This was demonstrated in a parody of the Fox News show “Justice with Judge Jeanine,” with Cecily Strong doing an over-thetop impression of Jeanine Pirro interviewing guests. A standout of this cold open was James Austin Johnson’s impression of Donald Trump being interviewed. This was the first time Johnson had done his impression on the show and he was fantastic: less cartoonish than when Alec Baldwin did the impersonation, while showing the right amount of buffoonery. Next up came Culkin’s monologue. He started off with fun jokes about “Succession” and his life. Then he talked about his brother, Macaulay, hosting the show 30 years ago and how he


got to do sketches with him. He talked about how his brother got lifted up at the end-of-the-night thank-yous, and how Kieran Culkin wanted to be lifted too. Spoiler alert: he got lifted during the thank-yous at the end of this show. It was a fun monologue that set the tone for the rest of the show. It showed that Culkin is a hilarious guy and I was delighted to learn about his childhood. After the monologue was a sketch about cancelling cable. A man, played by Culkin, called Spectrum cable so that he could cancel his cable. The problem was no one could do that for him and he kept getting transferred to various unhelpful people, including Domino’s Pizza. Most of the SNL cast members were in this sketch and they played different kooky customer service representatives that were all amusing in their own ways, such as getting mad at Culkin’s character when they were wrong, asking security questions about his mom’s virginity or just crying about having an awful day. This sketch felt like a documentary detailing the real horrors of calling a cable company’s customer service department, and that was what made the sketch a standout. Then there was the Dionne Warwick talk show, a recurring sketch. Musician Dionne Warwick, played by Ego Nwodim, hosted her own talk show where she asked celebrities goofy questions that they did not always know how to answer. This was the third iteration of the sketch, with Miley Cyrus, played by Chloe Fineman, and Jason Mraz, played by Culkin, as guests. Dionne’s weird questions ranged from how to get Apple TV to curiosity about why her guests were famous. I have always looked forward to seeing what amusing questions are brought

up because I have never known what to expect. Nwodim’s eccentric impersonation really made this sketch a success. This sketch peaked at the end when the real Dionne Warwick came out on stage, presented as if one Dionne was interviewing the other. Looking fantastic at 80, the real Dionne radiated during this sketch, which made a wonderful time for the audience as they got comedy and the chance to see a legend. I believe this sketch flowed very well and I enjoyed the fun performances of everyone on stage. Another highlight of the night was a sketch about the awkwardness of the men’s bathroom. We heard the inner thoughts of a bunch of confused coworkers as they went about their “business.” Bowen Yang did not understand the weird jokes he was making, Chris Redd felt he was uncharacteristically loud, Culkin regretted picking the urinal right next to Redd, Andrew Dismukes asked about summer plans in November and Alex Moffat thought about how he once killed a man. The different perspectives on this common experience is what made me crack up at this sketch. These are all actors who know how to time their jokes and how to say a normal phrase in a way that destroyed the audience with humor, which is what made this a winner. Another hilarious sketch was a music video about a guy, played by Culkin, who rode a horse like a skateboard, and it was just as wild as it sounds. This was told in a late ’90s ska punk style song, which featured wind instruments and horns like saxophones and trumpets. We heard about how a skateboarder landed on a horse and skated on that horse to win many races, and how the unlikely duo toured the United States. This sketch was very random and

crazy in a way where you wonder how someone came up with it. That is what made me burst out laughing at this sketch and the catchy tune has been stuck in my head for days. Then the Weekend Update came, where Colin Jost and Michael Che dispensed humorous jokes about the week in news. This is always guaranteed to provide some laughs, but the most memorable moment of Weekend Update was Cecily Strong as special guest Goober the Clown, who had an abortion when she was 23. She talked about what it was like to get an abortion, what the after effects were like and what it was like to talk about it, all while she pulled off clown shticks. As the segment went on, it appeared that this was Strong talking about her own abortion story, hidden behind humor. Everyone, myself included, laughed at the crazy clown hijinks, and our heartstrings were also pulled as we learned about her experience. It was a fantastic segment that showed Strong’s talents and ability to show vulnerability. This was a night with many hits and very few misses. Culkin rarely does comedy, but he performed like a professional comedian. I did not have many expectations for him, but he absolutely killed. I hope he hosts again in the future, because he really gave it his all. He was not afraid to be silly and was able to make so many different characters believable. That being said, Culkin was not the only person that stood out. As always, the cast and the writers showed off their comedic brilliance. It is amazing how many terrific sketches these people wrote in a week, and I applaud them. This was a wonderful episode, and I cannot wait to see what this show has in store for next week.


The Brandeis Hoot

November 12, 2021

‘My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission:’ A new but successful focus for the ‘My Hero Academia’ By Cyrenity Augustin staff

When I heard that “My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission” had received its American release date, I immediately planned to go see it in theatres. I had seen the first two movies of the My Hero Academia franchise years after they had come out— having been late to the series, I was late to the franchise. Therefore, I was ecstatic to learn that I would be able to see the next installment on time. The movie did not disappoint. The film follows Izuku Midoriya (Daiki Yamashita)—the main character of the franchise—and Rody Soul (Ryô Yoshizawa)—a smooth-talking criminal—who end up tangled together after a chase through the city over a stolen case of jewels. However, the two suddenly find themselves being tracked down by Humarise, an evil organization led by Flect Turn (Kazuya Nakai) dedicated to eradicating the world of people with quirks (a term used to refer to special abilities) and making a world with just quirkless individuals. The two protagonists quickly learn that they fell victim to an

accidental case swap, and are now holding onto the case belonging to Humarise. Because of this, the hero and criminal find themselves on the run not only from the organization but from the law, as they are tasked with cracking the mystery behind the case and stopping Humarise before they wipe out thousands of innocent people around the world. Though I was excited about the movie, I didn’t have many expectations. This was not due to a lack of caring about the film, but rather because I didn’t see much in regards to the plot of the film in the trailers I saw. Therefore, I went in not sure what to expect. However, when I did finally sit down and see the film unfold, the central focus of the plot caught me by surprise. Rather than throw the viewers into fight scenes—though it does contain a few wonderful ones—the movie mainly focuses on developing the relationship between Rody and Midoriya, which is a different route than the other two films. However, by making this choice, we are able to see the impact of Midoriya’s actions on a deeper level and see the emotional connections, in turn making me root for their success even more.

This development from a more plot-based focus to a character-based focus—though it caught me by surprise—-was a rather smart decision. For example, the establishment of Rody as the companion—a cynical character who could care less about anyone outside of his family—created an interesting effect. He makes it pretty clear at the beginning of the film that he doesn’t have much hope in heroes, and while this isn’t the first time that this has happened in a “My Hero Academia” film, the previous example of this character archetype had someone else to balance out their negative feelings. In this film, not only does Midoriya have to deal with the external conflicts from Flect Turn and his organization, but he has to deal with Rody’s priorities and disbelief in heroes, super and not. In terms of whether or not I would recommend the film, I give two thumbs up! If you’re more a fan of plot rather than character, I will say that there is a chance that you won’t really become invested in the story until the second half of the film. However, I will say that the fight scenes are rather intense, making up for the lack of action earlier on in the film. Meanwhile, for those who are more interested

in character-driven stories, this movie will not disappoint. The only thing to take note of is the information described in the series that isn’t elaborated on in the film. For the most part, however, the film does a good job of standing on its own. There are a couple

of spoilers (which are discussed in season five), but if someone with no prior knowledge of the franchise decided to watch the movie, I can see them having little to no trouble understanding and enjoying the film.


Was ‘Eternals’ worth the wait? By Victoria Morrongiello editor

*SPOILER WARNING* Last Friday, the newest installment to the Marvel Cinematic Universe was introduced to the world: “Eternals.” Now you could go to official movie reviewers and get a far more holistic and comprehensive review of the movie but why would you do that when you have us, your friendly neighborhood uninformed idiots? Sure, neither of us has ever taken a film class, nor have we ever wanted to, but we have at least seen a few movies in our day and we are positive that that is more than enough experience to make us reviewers. If cheating once makes you a cheater, then we are mediocre cinephiles at best and that basically makes us Brandeis film majors. On that note, let’s dive in. Victoria: Four words for you—Kumail Nanjiani finger guns. If that doesn’t make you want to see this movie I don’t know what will. I mean come on, it’s kind of amazing that it’s 2021 and the best way to portray lasers coming out of someone’s hands without computer-generated imagery (CGI) is making finger guns with your

hands. This was honestly my favorite part of the movie. Does this say something about the movie? Maybe. Does it say something about my personality? Most definitely. Does the movie have a low Rotten Tomatoes score, yes. But I think it’s important to keep in mind the standard that people hold Marvel to, since it is much greater than any regular movie or heck any DC movie. So a good movie can get written off as an awful Marvel movie. Remember when everyone hated “Captain Marvel?” And then it turned out the people reviewing it were just sexist and wanted Brie Larson to smile more. I think a similar narrative is being written for “Eternals” where you have this diverse cast and then there are those Marvel fans who are getting too nitpicky about who was cast rather than the content of the movie. That being said, was the movie confusing? Yes, yes it was. I left with more questions than I came in with. But another thing about the Marvel franchise is that nothing (and I do mean nothing) is intended to be stand-alone. Everything in the MCU connects in some way. And I think, or at least I hope, that the plot holes in this film are going to be filled out over the next couple of years as we continue into phases four


and five. This is one of the great things about Marvel—things can be brought up in one film and then not returned back to until 10 films from now. They always find a way to tie things in and make it make sense. But I genuinely liked the film. Not love, but like. I got what I went for, which was laughs and action, which is what I expect from Marvel movies. “Eternals” had a good mix of comedic relief and dope action scenes and I found myself enjoying my time not ready to rush out of the theater. Was it as good as “Shang-Chi?” No. But it was alright. I think this film will also suffer from more negative reviews because of all the hype that surrounded it due to the star-studded lineup they have for the cast. I don’t think it fully delivered on the hype but it most certainly wasn’t a flop. In fact, I would say that this movie made me more hooked to see what the MCU does in the next phase and theorize what could potentially be brought into the MCU. A common critique of this movie that I’ve seen is that the producers didn’t choose a villain, that the film couldn’t make up its mind on who is good and who is bad. But I think that’s kind of the point of this movie, since they aren’t fighting some physical villain: It’s a dilemma of morals. It’s like the trolley problem in psychology: do you move the trolley onto a set of tracks where you only kill three people or do you not move it and instead kill 20 people on the tracks because that’s the trajectory it’s on? The protagonists of the film are deciding whether to let Earth die to create new life, or to save the Earth and prevent that new life from being born, thus breaking the cycle of the universe. Who is to say which is right or wrong? And I think that by making the lines blurred on who is “good” and who is “evil” speaks volumes. Final opinions for you: Druig (Barry Keoghan) and Makkari (Lauren Ridloff) are my new favorite Marvel couple (sorry Wan-

da and Vision); making Ikaris (Richard Madden) fly into the sun was hysterical; Sersi (Gemma Chan) does in fact have a type; swords are dope af and I did think Kit Harrington and Richard Madden were the same person for the first 30 minutes. Thomas: When I was purchasing the tickets for the movie I was shocked to see that they were only priced at $11 a ticket. I mean on opening night? That is a freaking steal if I ever have seen one and I was preparing for the worst. Needless to say, I was right in preparing that way for this film. The opening fight sequence between the Eternals and the Deviants got my blood pumping and my heart racing. I thought that it could only go up from there! I mean hey, watching superhero throwdowns is one of the biggest pulls for superhero movies and the opening did not disappoint—but the beginning was where it peaked for combat action in my mind. After that sequence, the movie becomes a sloppy superhero soap opera. The film then has to portray the day-to-day tasks of the Eternals as they assume “human” lives and to follow all of them becomes a bit of a mess. The plot was pretty sloppy, just like the desert sex scene that was seemingly thrown in just to have one between Ikaris and Sersi. I mean why? Sand is going to end up everywhere! That just seems like a chafing accident waiting to happen when they put their skintight superhero suits back on. But as we navigate the lives of the Eternals throughout the film, we learn that one of the Deviants can absorb the powers of the Eternals that it manages to catch. How? Why? I don’t know. The film never explains why this one Deviant was able to evolve and they then kill him off like it was nothing. This Deviant was making Ikaris look like a little boy with his pants down but Thena (Angelina Jolie) was able to kill him like it was nothing? It just did not make sense because of the an-

swered questions and it was only amplified in confusion because it was not the only plot—there were two. The second plot saw the Eternals trying to stop the emergence of a Celestial from the Earth’s core that would destroy the planet. Both plots were half baked as the indecision concerning what plot to explore deeper became more and more evident. To make matters worse, Ikaris then just flew into the sun! Was the whole movie a set up for the worst joke based on a fable ever? I cannot even discern anything from the film to take away from it except that Harry Styles is somehow an Eternal and Thanos’ brother? Just like Victoria said, I am truly hoping that Marvel pulls everything together because this confused me to no end. Final thoughts: This movie seemed more like an X-Men movie to me. It is in the MCU but does not really involve the Avengers plot a whole lot, especially since the Eternals cannot interfere in human matters. So where do they go in the next arc if they cannot interfere? It truly seemed as if this film followed the X-Men format of being in the MCU. The plot was messy and character arcs seemed off. What pulled me into the MCU over the DC Universe is that the MCU is full of people trying to understand their place in the world with their superhero qualities. Iron Man, Spiderman, the Hulk, Captain America: each and every one of them are struggling to live in a world which does not include them. That is what makes us look up to them: they face adversity and find a way to overcome it. “Eternals,” burdened by a messy plot, follows gods attempting to live among men, and it did not deliver. But was it cool to watch? Yes! Did I get to see as much of jacked Kumail Nanjiani as I wanted? No, but no one comes to me for advice on that. All in all, I am holding onto the hope that knowing Marvel, the next “Eternals” movie should hopefully bring it all together.

November 12, 2021


The Brandeis Hoot

By Zach Katz staff

Now is a great time to be a “Star Trek” fan. The franchise’s first kids’ oriented series “Star Trek Prodigy” is currently airing, “Discovery” is about to premiere its fourth season, “Picard” is about to reintroduce a fan favorite antagonist in Season 2, “Lower Decks” just finished an incredible season, and new shows such as “Strange New Worlds” are on the horizon. But despite this new golden age of Star Trek in television, there is an unfortunate casualty for Star Trek fans: the Star Trek Literature canon that has existed for around 20 years. This should be a familiar song to science fiction fans, as it has happened before. A popular sci-fi franchise is off the air for an extended amount of time, theoretically forever. In the absence of any new official stories, various authors came in and began writing books. An entire continuity that extended past the source material, full of original and fan favorite characters, was developed, only for the plug to be pulled once production on a new project begins. When Disney bought Lucasfilm and put “The Force Awakens” into production, one of the first things they did was declare all the “Star Wars” novels as part of a “Legends” continuity. In short, they no longer counted. The fan reaction to this change was largely detrimental and is something that the Star Wars fandom still has yet to fully recover from. Once “Star Trek: Picard” was announced in 2018, Dayton Ward, author of various “Star Trek” novels saw the writing on the wall. The “Star Trek” book universe, colloqui-

ally known as the “Litverse” or “Beta Canon,” was heading towards a similar fate as “Star Wars Legends.” So rather than just get shunted off to the side, he, along with other “Star Trek” novelists James Swallow and David Mack, decided to send the Litverse off with a bang in the new trilogy, “Star Trek Coda.” The first two books of “Coda,” “Moments Asunder” and “Ashes of Tomorrow,” are something unique for “Star Trek.” Typically, “Star Trek” is one of the more grounded of popular sci-fi series. There’s no metaphysical “Force” or overriding destiny that the characters face. Sure, there’s the occasional temporal anomaly, and alien gods, but “Star Trek” generally at least pretends to be hard sci-fi when compared to some of the competition. “Coda” changes all of that. Ward describes the birth and growth of the Litverse in the afterword of “Moments Asunder,” his contribution to the trilogy. The books originally grew out of the series that aired in the late 80s and throughout the 90s, “The Next Generation,” “Deep Space Nine” and “Voyager.” But within the books, characters were able to do something they never could have in 1990s era television. They were able to grow. Will Riker and Deanna Troi from TNG were given their own series, detailing their adventures on Riker’s new command, the USS Titan. Ezri Dax from DS9 was also given her own ship, the Aventine, and main characters from DS9 had their entire command structure upended. Captain Janeway from “Voyager” was killed off, and the ship and crew were sent back to the Delta Quadrant on a mission of exploration. Characters grew and

suffered in ways that would have been impossible for their parent TV shows to incorporate. Several important events took place, such as a massive Borg invasion in the “Star Trek Destiny” trilogy, written by Mack, which resulted in countless losses for the Federation and the dissolution of the entire Borg Collective. Of course, this would have been too big an event to simply mention as something that took place off screen in “Picard,” which takes place after the invasion would have happened, so the show’s writers had to split the timeline. “Moments Asunder” takes place in 2387 of the Litverse timeline. The Enterprise-E, still under command of Jean-Luc Picard finds itself drawn into a conflict across millenia when an old friend mysteriously reappears. The crew realizes that the new threat is being caused by an old enemy, and when they, with an assist from the Aventine venture four thousand years into the future to find the truth, they discover a threat that is nearly impossible to comprehend, let alone face. Every possible timeline is at stake. “Ashes of Tomorrow,” written by Swallow, picks up where “Moments Asunder” left off. Picard now knows what the threat to all of reality is, and tries to force the leaders of the Federation to help him fight it. Unfortunately, the bureaucrats, who now include Riker, who is unknowingly being affected by the collapsing timelines, feel other matters are more pressing. Picard and crew members of both the Enterprise and the Aventine go rogue, and wind up connecting with characters from DS9 in a truly surprising way. The ending of this novel is shocking, and leaves enough

room for the upcoming third book, “Oblivion’s Gate,” written by Mack, to conclude the series in a phenomenal fashion. I’ve been intentionally vague about plot points from “Coda” up to this point, because these are books that honestly just need to be experienced. That changes now. “Ashes of Tomorrow” ends in a dark place. The Enterprise has been impounded, Aventine arrested, Deep Space Nine destroyed, and Voyager is currently exploring the intergalactic void, hopefully being saved for an eleventh hour appearance. All of the


active characters are left on the Defiant, trying to face down the end of time while being hunted by Riker on the Titan. Timelines are crashing together; it’s been heavily implied that the Litverse will not survive the end of this trilogy, or will be supplanted by the timeline seen in “Picard.” “Star Trek Coda” is shaping up to be a truly legendary finale that acts as a love letter to Trek both new and old, especially since “Ashes of Tomorrow” final sentence should send a shiver down any “Star Trek” fans’ neck. “There is somewhere we can go… into the mirror.”

We are both dreading and anticipating ‘Riverdale’ season six By Emma Lichtenstein and Sasha Skarboviychuk editors

“Riverdale” has been a questionable show at best since season two. As you can imagine, by season five, “Riverdale” is beyond insane. Somehow, we’ve gone from a small town murder to war, an endless slew of serial killers and, of course, constantly shifting relationship dynamics. Any semblance of a plot was replaced by singing in basically every episode. This season had two musical episodes, each as bad as the ones from earlier seasons. The musical episodes weren’t amazing to start with, but now that they sing at every opportunity you can’t help but press the fast forward button. The subpar singing didn’t stop them from trying to cover Celine Dion, which was just a sin in itself. I get it: since the show no longer has a plot they need to fill in time with something. Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch) now runs a church, where she sings with Kevin (Casey Cott). What? And then they let her foster a high school kid. What? That’s like giving a cat a mouse. Cheryl remains an odd character; she’s a mean girl, but it’s almost like the writers insert her into things just to have her there. She was at her best when she was in a slightly

toxic relationship with Toni Topaz (Vanessa Morgan). Now that the two are broken up they don’t know how to act around each other, a result of the writers clearly not knowing how to handle their best ship falling apart. Veronica Lodge (Camila Mendes) and Archie Andrews (KJ Apa) got back together—but only after she got a divorce, since Archie suddenly is super moral— and then broke up again because their futures are just too different. So much for “we’re endgame.” Veronica is now exploring bigger and brighter futures with Reggie (Charles Melton), which we’re excited about. She’s so much less annoying when she’s away from her “Archiekins.” You’ll never guess who Archie went to as soon as he broke up with Veronica. Yup, the girl next door. We’re having season one deja vu. A Barchie plot out of nowhere? Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart) and Archie start the season as friends with benefits, go back to just friends while he dates Veronica and then suddenly start something intense in the final minutes of the season. Literally none of this makes sense. Neither of us love the two together, but we absolutely hate Veronica and Archie together, so this is a win. Let’s pray for less unnecessary and awkward sex scenes in season six. Archie’s never-ending identity

crisis has led to him reopening his father’s construction business: a noble act if he hadn’t changed career paths like 50 times already. In this season alone, he has been a firefighter, a miner, a teacher and a football coach (because the show always needs “the epic highs and lows of high school football”)—all while trying to rebuild Riverdale. We have no idea what to even expect for season six. One can hope for less singing, but that’s obviously unlikely. Betty really needs a personality outside of obsessing with murders, it’s really getting old. She was so interesting in the early days, and now

she’s a bunch of walking tropes tied together with a half-ponytail. Veronica needs to get over her daddy (and Archie) issues and become the badass woman she has the potential to be. Jughead (Cole Sprouse) needs better plotlines; he’s such a great character but that’s ruined by the fact that he’s a hot mess. We hope he says goodbye to his drugs and considerations of plagiarism in season six. Season one Jughead would never be this stupid. Because, above all things, Riverdale is about lust, we expect the couples to develop heavily in season six. We hope Cheryl finds a new girlfriend, someone who can

match her level of derangement. Kiernan Shipka is randomly guest starring in season six, playing Sabrina Spellman from “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.” We’re not sure why this is happening, and we’re sad to see Shipka get caught up in this mess. Overall, we really hope that “Riverdale” is a satire. The writers cannot think that what they’re writing is realistic or reasonable. This show is a literal dumpster fire and we cannot recommend it in good faith … but if you’re curious, season six premieres at 9 p.m. on Nov. 16 on the CW network.



The Brandeis Hoot

November 12, 2021

Head down to ‘Hadestown’

By Claire and Madeline Rousell special to the hoot and editor

“Hadestown,” a Broadway musical adaptation of the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, is currently on tour. One of our editors (Maddie) caught it with her sister (Claire) on Nov. 5 in Boston; read on for their thoughts. Claire As a theater tech nerd, I have to point out the spectacular lighting in this show. The lights were beautiful and dynamic, creating a distinction between different settings such as the under- and over-world and between different moods and characters. I really enjoyed the unique lamps that swung over the stage during the song “Wait for Me.” As for the set, I liked how most of the band was situated on stage. They were fun to watch, and it really brought you into the performance. The turntable was also utilized very well in the choreography, and dry ice added to the overall dramatic effect of many scenes. An instance of this set change I loved was during the song “Wait for Me” to reflect Orpheus’ descent into the underworld. One thing (out of many) I liked about this show was its use of silence. Whether it’s a pause with a turn to the audience at the end of a toast—“For the world we dream about … And the one we live in now”—or the tragic moment

when Orpheus turns around, the cast made room for silence to really let the emotional weight of the scene set in. Some standouts in the cast for me were Nicholas Barasch as Orpheus, Morgan Siobhan Green as Eurydice, Kimberly Marable as Persephone and Levi Kreis as Hermes, as well as all five members of the ensemble. Their dancing and singing were both topnotch. Everyone embodied their characters so well, which is always a treat to watch. I like how there’s not much dialogue in between songs, because this musical is sung-through. This keeps the momentum and excitement going throughout the show and keeps it interesting. Some of my favorite songs (although it’s hard to choose) were “Road to Hell,” “Any Way the Wind Blows,” “Come Home With Me,” “Way Down Hadestown,” “Chant,” “Wait for Me” (and its reprise) and “Why We Build the Wall.” Many of the lyrics contain heavy symbolism and foreshadowing, intertwining plot points and really bringing you into the story. This isn’t just a musical about Greek mythology though—many of the songs are metaphors about or commentary on topics like capitalism and climate change. Overall, it was an amazing experience and I would really recommend it! Maddie In the rush to get to the theater and find our seats, I hadn’t considered what it would feel like to attend a live theater performance again. But the excitement kicked

in when we saw the members of the band walk on stage, signaling the start of the show even before the house lights went down. I enjoyed seeing the band on stage instead of down in the pit; it was like they were inviting us to listen in on their jam session. We got to see the actors and the musicians themselves really enjoy the music they were playing, and everyone seemed to relish being able to play and listen to live music together again. The set was just as beautiful as the theater itself, and it shifted to fit the tone of each scene. The walls of the set moved back to represent the expansion of Orpheus and Eurydice’s world. This was subtle and unnoticeable at first, echoing Orpheus’ gradual journey to the underworld. Another part of the moving set that I loved was the door that opened in the back to let Hades into the over-world. Bright lights shone through from behind the wall, and it was unclear, especially from our seats, what exactly Hades was walking out from, but I imagined a giant steam engine about to barrel through the now-flimsy-seeming walls of the over-world set. The opening of the door was accompanied by a deep rumbling noise, which added to the ominous feeling Hades brought with him when he entered a scene. I agree with Claire’s standout picks; I wish there was a recorded version of the tour cast so I could relive Barasch’s clear falsetto and Siobhan Green’s powerful belt. The ensemble cast was phenom-


enal as well. They were only five members strong, but I think it was the perfect amount to tell the story—there were enough to signify the large numbers of workers in Hades’ factory, but I was also able to focus on individual ensemble members and empathize with their struggle. Also, as a dancer, I have to applaud the choreography. Like the rest of the show, it was simple but very effective and moving. As someone who’s minoring in Social Justice and Social Policy (SJSP) and Climate Justice, Science and Policy (CJSP), I appreciated the story’s connections to climate change and capitalism, including how capitalism has laid the groundwork for climate change to occur. However, the references to these topics weren’t too heavy-handed—the show maintained a good balance between


this commentary and the two love stories. There were a couple moments of silence in the show that made me catch my breath. Of the thousands of people sitting in the audience, not one made a sound as we were spellbound by the artists telling this tale before us. Moments like these, when you can feel everyone around you experiencing the same feelings at the same instant that you are, are why I love live theater. Overall, we had a great time and we recommend “Hadestown” to anyone in need of a new story to dive into, or even just some catchy songs about love and/or capitalism. “Hadestown” will be on tour in Boston until Nov. 14, but if you’re unable to catch it we encourage you to watch clips of the show or listen to the cast recording.

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