The Brandeis Hoot, November 19, 2021

Page 1

Volume 19 Issue 12

“To acquire wisdom, one must observe”

November 19, 2021

Brandeis University’s Community Newspaper · Waltham, Mass.

Univ. hosts booster shot clinic for community

South Asian Student Association hosts Mela By Sydney D’Amaddio and Victoria Morronielllo

By Victoria Morrongiello

special to the hoot and editor


The Brandeis South Asian Student Association (SASA)—a club promoting a safe space for South Asians in the Brandeis community—hosted Mela on Saturday, Nov. 13. Mela—Hindi for Fair— is an annual performance at the university promoting an understanding of South Asian culture, according to a university page. This year’s Mela celebration was called “Saktiya: The Strength in Unity,” according to the events page. “Saktiya is a Sinhalese word that stands for strength, specifically an inner strength that one

The university announced that the Human Resources department will be hosting a booster shot clinic for community members and individuals of the wider Waltham community, according to an email sent by Robin Switzer, Vice President of Human Resources, on Nov. 15. The clinic will have both Pfizer and Moderna doses available. “Please share this information with your family and Brandeis neighbors, as this clinic is open to all eligible adults who pre-register,” wrote Switzer. See COVID-19, page 4

See MELA , page 2


Guest Speaker discusses research and carrer in neuroscience By Anya Lance-Chacko editor

Doris Tsao from the University of California Berkeley took part in a lecture series honoring the legacy of Dr. John Lisman at the university on Nov. 15. Tsao spoke on her career and

research in neuroscience with community members, explaining the neural pathways involved with different stimuli including object and facial recognition. Tsao is known for her work on using fMRI techniques in combination with single electrodes to locate neural areas involved in face and object recognition in

monkeys. Her research has been published in publications including Science and the Journal of Neuroscience. She has been rewarded for her work with numerous awards including the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Pioneer Award and the Alden Spencer Award from Columbia University. Tsao introduced her research

by explaining how her lab focuses on the concept of the method in which the brain makes sense of the visual world, specifically objects, and how they examine this in macaque monkeys. She explained how a lot of the research is focused on the intertemporal (IT) cortex which is responsible for more complex coding of object stimuli

after it receives input from lower-level input in V1-V4 cortices. Within her research as a graduate student, she found regions responsive for face recognition within the IT cortex. She explained how she wanted to explore these regions because of the positive See GUEST, page 3

Ninth annual Heller Startup Challlange By Roshni Ray editor

The ninth annual Heller Startup Challenge produced three winning social impact projects in tenant rights, regenerative seaweed farming and NFTs for fundraising. Running from last Friday, Nov. 12 evening to Sunday, Nov. 14 evening, participants of the challenge formed teams, conducted market research and developed a business model for their mission driven businesses. Ultimately, the Tenant2Tenant

project conceived by Shiko Rugene (GRAD), Alton McCall (GRAD), Sam Aronson (GRAD) and Andy Mendez (GRAD) placed first and was voted the people’s choice in the competition. According to the Heller School Startup webpage, the nonprofit Tenant2Tenant project aims to “challenge the existing power dynamic between landlords and off-campus student tenants” by providing a platform where users can evaluate tenants and connect with other peers. The second place winners See HELLER, page 3

Inside This Issue:

News: Pulitzer Prize winner speaks at Univ. Ops: The argument against Macbooks Features: Conversations with the President Sports: Cross Country women head to Nationals Editorial: Put your mental health first


Quotes you

Page 3 didn’t ask for Page 13 Here’s random things kids Page 10 told our editor this summer Page 7 OPS: PAGE 13 Page 8

The Inside Job Read inside this paper about the job ARTS: PAGE 14


2 The Brandeis Hoot

November 19, 2021

Univ. placed fourth for Gilman Scholarship recipients By Sasha Skarboviychuk editor

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs named Brandeis University as the fourth university in the nation (with fewer than five thousand undergraduate students) for the number of students receiving the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, according to a BrandeisNow article. Since the program was launched in 2001, a total of 129 Brandeis students have received the scholarship. Brandeis was ranked sec-

ond in Massachusetts, with the University of Massachusetts Amherst having the most recipients with 285; Boston College was a close third with 111 recipients. According to the BrandeisNow article, more than 34 thousand Gilman Scholars from the United States interned or studied in 155 countries. The universities that produce the most Gilman Scholars were recognized for their support of accessibility, equity and diversity in studying abroad. “The Gilman scholarship has greatly aided Brandeis students in studying abroad who

might not otherwise have had the opportunity to do so. It aligns with our university’s social justice mission in increasing access and equity for students as they embark on transformative learning experiences on campus and abroad,” said Alisha Cardwell, director of the Office of Study Abroad at Brandeis, according to BrandeisNow. Ten Brandeis students received the scholarship in March 2021, while 16 Brandeis students received it in 2020, according to the scholarship website. The goal of the program is to make study abroad more inclu-

sive and accessible to Americans. This is done by providing scholarships to students who might have not been able to go abroad because of financial constraints. The program aims “to encourage students to study and intern in a diverse array of countries or areas and world regions. The program also encourages students to study languages, especially critical need languages,” according to the scholarship website. The program is funded by Congress, as a program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State; it was named after congress-

man Benjamin A. Gilman. It was his support that helped establish the program, through the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000, according to its website. According to the program website, 57 percent of Scholars were first-generation college students, and 56 percent of students studied a language while abroad. While 80 percent of Scholars acquired job-related skills; 29 percent of students in the program were STEM majors.

In the Senate, Nov. 14 By Sasha Skarboviychuk editor

Starting off their meeting, the Senate heard from multiple clubs petitioning them to be chartered. The first club who presented to the senate was the “Quant Club” or Quantitative Finance and Modeling Club. This club is planning on being an intersection between computer science, mathematics and economics. They are also hoping to work on large projects and hoping to participate in quantitative competitions if chartered. Deliberation began with many questions and comments from different senators concerned about the niche topic of the club, wondering if they would be able to gain and maintain adequate membership. Senators agreed that the presenters had a hard time explaining their club goals and topic in simple enough terms for beginners and those inexperienced in the field to understand. Nicholas Kanan ’23 offered a different perspective and mentioned that the intended members of this club seem to understand the topic, and that is all that matters for the club. After an approximately 20-minute-long deliberation, the senate came to the conclusion that the

Quant Club presenters should return next week with a clearer and more understandable explanation of their club. The senate will decide whether or not to charter the club at that time. The Brandeis Undergraduate Consulting Club Establishment was scheduled to follow the Quant Club but there was no one there to speak on the club’s behalf. Herbicide Free Brandeis then presented to the senate. Herbicide Free Brandeis presented to the senate at an earlier time, but was asked to return with a clearer budget plan. Presenters explained the club mission of advocating for organic land care at Brandeis in order to create a safer and more sustainable environment on campus. Herbicide Free Brandeis is a chapter of a national organization, Herbicide Free Campus. The club is planning on asking for a $2,500 budget per semester to pay for merchandise, event materials, educational movie screenings, workshops, outreach and flyers. Herbicide Free Brandeis is open to all undergraduate students. The senate spent about two minutes deliberating, and Herbicide Free Brandeis was confirmed a chartered club by a unanimous vote by acclamation.

Brandeis Women’s Volleyball Club (BVC) presented. The club’s representative discussed the differences between volleyball clubs on campus, and explained that there is no club for high level competitive play for non-men at Brandeis. The BVC plans to create the same opportunities that the men’s volleyball club has for anyone who doesn’t identify as a man. The club hopes to use funding to pay for support coaching. The representative also mentioned how the club cannot be considered a club sport since there is a varsity women’s volleyball team on campus, which surprised some senators. Deliberation was short once again and the senate affirmed the Brandeis Women’s Volleyball Club’s petition for charter with a unanimous vote by acclamation. Student Union Vice President Courtney Thrun ’22 then moved on to describe upcoming events and updates. Thrun mentioned an upcoming Wellness Day on Friday, Nov. 19 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Additionally, flu shots are available in the Health Center by appointment, and Midnight Buffet will be held on Dec. 8 from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Next were very quick committee chair reports. Dining

Committee chair Ashna Kelkar ’24 discussed the issue of keeping vegetarian utensils separate from utensils used for meat, and that the dining survey sent out to students is due this week. Health and Safety chair Skye Liu ’23 confirmed the refilling of condom dispensers in residence halls on Nov. 21. Charlotte Li ’24, club support chair, mentioned how she is attempting to compile information on club founding dates, and is meeting to work with new clubs. The sustainability senator, Peyton Gillespie ’25, mentioned voicing support for Brandeis Climate Justice’s recent divestment article, and is working with club support to have clubs work on more sustainable practices. Community Enhancement and Emergency Fund (CEEF) chair Camaron Johnson ’25 discussed renovations of the Intercultural Center and mentioned how North Quad beautification is almost finished. Allocations Board (A-board) chair Gonzalo Palafox ’25 updated the senate on A-board matters such as continued preparation for marathon and updating A-board office hours to be both on Zoom and in person. The senate also ex-

plained a new amendment to candidate bio formats. This change would add a link to candidate bios in the official election ballot message, which would make elections more accessible. Voting on this change will occur next week. Finally, a few senators reported on what they have been working on at the end of the meeting. Sahil Muthuswami ’24 returned to the topic of East Quad “dingles” being consolidated from last Sunday’s senate meeting. Muthuswami met with DCL regarding the situation who explained to him there is nothing that can be done by students about this process, and that they have no say in how it is going to work. Muthuswami explained that the only thing students in this situation can do is make sure their new roommate pairing is compatible. Peyton Gillespie ’25 finished off the meeting by discussing a proposed Massell Pond beautification project, planning on potentially planting plants around the pond to deoxygenate it and therefore make it less murky looking.

Students host event and donate money towards Women for Women charity MELA, from page 1

possesses to seek for better. The root ‘Shakt’ is etymologically derived in a myriad of South Asian languages, beautifully indicating that the themes of strength and resilience transcend borders and boundaries within the South Asian diaspora,” according to the page. SASA’s Mela is an annual event on campus, though this tradition was put on hold in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event featured several dances and performances from members of SASA. Student leaders were very excited to be able to celebrate the holiday in person once again and share their traditions with the Brandeis community. “This past year, that goal has been exponentially more difficult to accomplish. But not impossible. Members in SASA have bridged both physical and virtual

boundaries to build community in this past year, and have shown the beauty and flexibility of what we thought were concepts set in stone,” according to the events page. SASA presidents Sabreen Huq ’22 and Supriya Rani Jain ’22 introduced the charity to which all proceeds from the Mela were donated—Women for Women International: Afghanistan. Women for Women International is an organization that focuses on women survivors of war and conflict by connecting them with resources and support to recognize their power, according to their page. The presidents explained how, specifically, women in Afghanistan frequently cope with educational inequality, sexual violence, political and economic insecurity and poor health. Women for Women helps these women know and defend their rights, generate income and lead healthy lives, ac-

cording to the organization’s page. Women in the program were nearly two times as likely to be earning money, and seven times as likely to have savings when compared to women who did not participate, according to their website. Donations from those attending the event for the Women for Women International organization could be sent to @SASA2021 on Venmo—a payment sharing tool. Students and visitors alike attended the event in Levin Ballroom. Tickets were required for entry and were being sold at the ticket booth in the Shapiro Campus Center (SCC), free of charge. SASA also offered a virtual platform to attend the event: individuals who wanted to attend virtually could do it over Zoom. Brandeis students were required to show a green passport, and visitors submitted a modified form

of the Daily Health Assessment to ensure that all attendees of the

event were in compliance with COVID-19 protocols on campus.


November 19, 2021


The Brandeis Hoot

Pulitzer-Prize winner speaks at univ. talk By Emma Lichtenstein editor

In a talk at Brandeis on Monday, Nov. 15, the Boston Globe team behind Pulitzer-Prize winning article “Blind Spot” spoke about the process of creating the article and their experiences in journalism. The Boston Globe staff explained that they knew they had a potentially big story about truck driving when they were “shocked” and “outraged” by the information they covered. Each of the panelists spoke about their individual roles in the process. Brendan McCarthy, Deputy Project Editor, explained that the team was looking into one accident, but learned that it was caused by a driver who should not have been le-

gally allowed on the road. From there, the team explored if this type of situation was common. “We just kept pressing, and quickly opened the door to the scandal,” he said. “ We looked at each other, and said, ‘Wow, this is terrible. But how big is this?’” Matt Rocheleau, the data expert, continued, discussing the various ways information was gathered and analyzed. He explained that they quickly realized that this was far from a one-time occurrence, and that this problem was happening all over the country. “But state by state, as we were asking about this one driver ... we started to learn that they had similar problems … all across the country. It was just pretty startling to learn all these things as the days and weeks unfolded.”

The panelists all agreed that gathering information was a struggle, but that each new challenge in discovering the truth further proved the importance of following this lead. Evan Allen, one of the reporters, also struggled in gathering information. Allen said that she found very little regulation in the industry, both in terms of individual drivers and the companies that employed them. She said that getting on the ground and trying to investigate these circumstances made her concerned because she was “ring[ing] doorbells that don’t work and find[ing] these crappy little churches” where trucking companies are operating out of. This concern helped fuel the team to further expand this story. Vernal Coleman, another reporter, recalls being “shocked”

and “outraged” when learning that, despite the faults of the truckers and the “crappiness” of the companies, the state was doing very little to prevent further deaths from happening. Director of Audience Experience Heather Ciras and Senior Video Producer Caitlin Healy worked to find ways to make this more appealing to readers. Ciras wondered “how are we going to cut through the noise … and show that this is a huge problem?” Healy worked with visual media, even making a trailer for this piece, in order to grab attention, saying that she let the medium of video “do what it does best … to tell a human story.” Reporter Laura Crimaldi provided updates on the impact of the story. She said that there are court proceedings happening for some of the truck drivers high-

lighted in “Blind Spot,” an occurrence that she called “unusual.” The team reiterated that their frustration was what fueled them during the process of creating this story. They all emphasized that the work was hard, but that they knew it would be meaningful if they could bring awareness about an issue that concerned them deeply. They won the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting in June of this year. This event took place in the Gerstenzang Science Library on Monday, Nov. 15. The event was hosted by the Brandeis Journalism Program and co-sponsored by the Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences, Office of the President, Office of the Provost, American Studies Program and School of Arts and Sciences Co-curricular Fund.

Doris Tsao talks on ‘Rosetta Stone’ of brain GUEST, from page 1

implications they could have for the field of neuroscience as they would allow us to “understand the detailed code for facial identity, understand the general principles of object representation, and understand fundamental principles of cortical communication.” Tsao went on to explain in detail how we can know for sure that we have an accurate feature code for facial identity if we can create the expected face or stimulus from a map of neurons. Within her study, they used computer mechanisms in the form of a “Shape Appearance Model”

where there were generated faces that were presented to the monkeys while their brain responses were measured. They were successfully able to accurately reconstruct faces from the mapped-out cells in the monkey’s response to what the monkeys actually saw. To expand their understanding of the IT cortex, Tsao and other researchers examined a region of the IT cortex with an unknown role, “Network X” (i.e. other neighboring regions were specifically defined as being responsible for faces, bodies, scenes, colors). They did this by combining simultaneous fMRI image studies with electrical stimulation. They presented the unknown region

with a series of object stimuli with various orientations and mapped out the responses. Tsao explained how the behavior of the cells in Network X were found to be comparable to the behavior of face cells. By further comparing the response of cells in this region on four axes of stimuli— inanimate/animate and spikey/ stubby—they found that Network X responded mostly to spikey stimuli regardless of if they were animate/inanimate. Because of this they predicted that there was another region that would prefer stubby stimuli regardless of if they were animate or inanimate. Through fMRI tests in response to stimuli, they were able to find

the small regions responsible for stubby stimuli. In the same way, they were able to reconstruct faces. They examined if they would be able to reconstruct arbitrary objects from neural activity maps in the four axes regions of the IT cortex they discovered through a “Generative Adversarial Network.” Although the results weren’t as accurate as the face reconstructions, they bore enough resemblance to be distinctive and imply the distinctive role these regions play in object mapping. Tsao continued to examine the ways she imagined discussing these results with Lisman based on her understanding of his theories from his published

papers. Tsao concluded the lecture with Lisman’s own words, “The philosopher John Locke defined consciousness as ‘the perception of what passes in a man’s own mind’ implying that consciousness depends on a brian architecture in which thought can activate perceptual processes (e.g., imagery or auditory sensation) ... If Locke’s definition of consciousness is correct, understanding the top-down information flow that produces imagery will provide a mechanistic description of consciousness.”

In conversation with Danny Lyon By John Fornagiel editor

Danny Lyon—a photojournalist—joined Waltham High School members and university students in a Zoom session on Nov. 17, to answer questions from students. Lyon discussed his career in photography and different projects of his work with students. After receiving a B.A. in History from the University of Chicago in 1963, Lyon joined the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the main outlet for students in support of the civil rights movement, and worked as their photographer. He was also involved in a motorcycle club called The Chicago Outlaws. Lyon photographed his time during the club and many

of the pictures he took during this time were consolidated into books such as “The Bikeriders.” Lyon also spent time photographing a Texas penitentiary. His work photographing this place was consolidated into a book called “Conversations with the Dead.” During his career, he was also able to take photos that were influential throughout the civil rights movement. Rynn Parrack ’23 asked Lyon what stories and life he was able to capture on camera that he was not able to tell to the full extent that he wanted to. In response, Lyon claimed that photography was more of an organic and evolutionary process. Instead, he stated that for him, he simply took pictures of what he found interesting around him and then later turned it into the stories that are popular today.

Another student asked Lyon to compare photography and videography, and how he can compare the two techniques, particularly, what he can accomplish with one but not with the other. Lyon responded that filmmaking was expensive during the time when he wanted to film in the 1970s compared to today, and that this limited the scope of what he could accomplish during that period. Specifically, he said that he found it exciting when films were beginning to be shown in galleries. A follow-up question asked if Lyon felt that he gave people a platform to tell their stories and express themselves. In response, Lyon said that he was more “cold-blooded” than that. According to Lyon, he sees the individuals that he photographs as subjects, and he can portray

them in whatever manner he wants. As an example, when photographing one of his friends, Lyon said that he saw his friend better than how his friend saw himself. He would subsequently take it as his duty to portray what he saw in his friend to the world. Logan Shanks ’24 asked if Lyon was desensitized to photos on the internet because of how frequently they are found in daily life. In response, Lyon said that generally, photos have tended to have a dehumanizing and desensitizing effect as you are continuously exposed to them. For him, his main response came through a story of pictures that he had seen of a concentration camp in World War II. One of the pictures that he saw was that of a dead girl who starved to death, and he said that he was unable to shake the image out of his

head and that he regretted looking at the picture. By citing this story, he said that he was not desensitized to the power of pictures. Parrack then asked if Lyon had any advice for the activists and photographers of the next generation. Lyon’s advice to these people was that they should go out into the world and spread their voice as much as they can, further claiming that this would not happen on a college campus. He also said that this was part of the reason why he left school. The talk with Lyon ended with him responding to comments made within the Zoom chat. He stated that he was the campus photographer during college and got paid for it. Lyon took great pride in this sayingt it was a reason why he continued taking part in photography.

Social impact from Heller Startup Challange HELLER, from page 1

Beck Hayes (GRAD) and Ariel Wexler (GRAD) developed a startup called VertiAtlas. Their mission was to improve the coastal community quality of life in Latin America through efforts in vertical regenerative ocean seaweed farming. By partnering with women-led cooperatives to provide resources, training and new lanes within the global seaweed market, they can “offer alternative income

streams for vulnerable families with a new and innovative farming practice,” the website reads. The third place winners Douglas Guernsey (GRAD) and Varun Edupuganti (GRAD) used 3D digital models to create artwork to sell to university donors. “We connect students, alumni and donors to the school’s mission by creating unique, interactive NFTs to support fundraising campaigns,” they report on the website. NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are digital files with a unique finger-

print, serving as a digital means of collecting artwork. Winners shared their experience in an interview with The Brandeis Hoot. Aronson is a first year social impact MBA student with a concentration in Sustainable International Development (SID) who contributed to the Tenant2Tenant project. He reports that the main challenge was to decide different avenues for funding for the for-profit and nonprofit models of their startup. “We didn’t de-

cide to become a nonprofit until the very end, making the funding models a moving target,” he wrote. Overall Aronson says that he has grown in his ability to master in-class presentations. Another participant, Wexler, is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPVC) pursuing an MBA with a focus in the SID program. Some of the challenges Wexler faced were not having a larger group to bounce ideas off of and predicting seafood farming financial output.

However, Wexler’s team ultimately decided to base their business off of Chile due to the presence of abundant in-country seaweed processing plants, governmental subsidies for seaweed farming and the right ocean temperature conditions for successful harvest. Wexler wrote that “having to think through all of the facets of a business was an incredible experience. We learned how to be entrepreneurs and think through the feasibility of our project. The experience gave us confidence.”


The Brandeis Hoot

November 19, 2021

COVID-19 dashboards

COVID-19 booster shot clinic •


Total postive COVID-19 cases each week. Last Update November 18, 2021.


Total COVID-19 tests administered each week. Last Update November 18, 2021.

The university will be collaborating with its pharmacy partener—VaxinateRx—to bring the boosters to campus. VaxinateRx is a company that works towards streamlining the vaccination process, according to their page. The university has previously partnered with VaxinateRx to bring the flu shot clinic to campus and the COVID-19 shots available to community members last year, according to previous Hoot articles. Individuals aged 18 years or older will be able to make appointments at the university’s clinic. They will not be providing pediatric vaccination doses for children and minors, according to the email. Both Pfizer and Moderna shots will be offered to community members; in the previous COVID-19 clinic held in spring 2021 only Pfizer was available, according to a previous Hoot article. The vaccinations will be held in Hassenfeld Conference Center, according to Switzer. The COVID-19 clinic will be held on Thursday, Nov. 18; Wednesday, Dec. 8; Thursday, Dec. 9 and Tuesday, Dec. 21. For all of the days, the clinic will run from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. except on Dec. 21 when the clinic will close at 1 p.m., according to the email. Pre-registration is required for the clinic on the VaxinateRX portal; there will not be any walk-ins accepted. The email announced that due to the high-volume expectancy of appointments they can not accept walk-ins. Registration will be on the VaxinateRX scheduling portal, community members will receive a confirmation email once their appointment has been scheduled. The email suggests that those who sign up for their appointments check their spam folders for the confirmation email. On the day of the scheduled appointment community members should come with their COVID-19 vaccination card from their prior doses and their health insurance card, according to the email. The vaccine is free of charge for all individuals whether or not they have insurance. At the clinic, individuals will be asked to sign a consent document as well as stay for at least 15 minutes after receiving the shot in case of any reactions or immediate side effects, according to the email. Those receiving their shot must be wearing a mask, in accordance with the university’s mask policy, and it is recommended that individuals wear a shirt with easy access to the upper arm where they will be receiving the shot. According to the email, passports will be checked at the clinic and they must be either green or yellow. Non-Brandeis individuals receiving their shot at the clinic will have to provide a copy of their Visitor Daily Health Assessment either on their phone or a printed out copy. Individuals from outside of the Brandeis community are asked to follow the visitor policy outlines on the university page. For more information about boosters and which one to get, community members are encouraged to visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

Holiday COVID-19 hours announced and new testing platform ByVictoria Morrongiello editor

The university released its updated COVID-19 testing hours for the week of Thanksgiving break from Nov. 22 to Nov 26. The university will also begin using a new software for ordering tests provided through the Broad Institute, according to an email sent to the community by Morgen Bergman, Assistant Provost for Strategic Initiatives, on Nov. 17. “I wish you all safe travels, a healthy return, and renewed appreciation for the art of gathering and the sense of togetherness that have been elusive for too long,” Bergman wrote in the email. Testing sites will be open Monday, Nov. 22 and Tuesday, Nov. 23 during the normal testing hours from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at both the Shapiro Science Center (SCC) and Mandel Center for the Humanities.

According to the email, testing will only be available on Wednesday, Nov. 24 at the SCC testing site and the hours will be limited. The testing site will close early on Nov 24; the hours will be from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Both testing sites will be closed on Thursday, Nov. 25 and Friday, Nov. 26, according to the email. The testing sites will also remain closed on Saturday, Nov. 27, like it usually is. The regular testing site hours and locations will resume on Sunday, Nov 29, according to the email. Regular Sunday testing hours are only available at the SSC from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., according to the COVID-19 portal. The COVID-19 portal has been adjusted to the new hours of operation in effect for the Thanksgiving weekend, so students cannot sign up for appointments during the restricted times, according to the COVID-19 portal. The testing site hours have been altered due to the

university and the Broad Institute’s holiday schedules for Thanksgiving, according to the email. Regular hours will be in effect until Dec. 10, according to the email. The update from Bergman also included an update on the software used through the Broad Institute. According to Bergman, the Broad Institute will be partnering with Project Beacon, a program that seeks to increase the availability, accessibility and affordability of COVID-19 in the state of Massachusetts, according to their page. Community members should expect an email by the end of the week of Nov. 14 that will provide a link where they can create their Project Beacon account for tests ordered through the university, wrote Bergman. The email address community members should expect to hear from is support@beacontesting. com. Upon receiving the link, community members should follow the directions outlined in the email, the

link provided will expire within 72 hours after receiving the email, explained Bergman. Beginning on Dec. 1, tests collected at the university will be ordered and resulted through the Project Beacon Platform; community members should expect results from them after Dec. 1. Bergman wrote that there will be no other changes to the program despite the fact that the university initially said it would begin pooled testing in the fall 2021 semester, according to a previous Hoot article. Until Dec. 1 community members will continue to receive their results from CareEvolve— the university’s current system provided through the Broad Institute— according to the email. More information will be released closer to Dec. 1, wrote Bergman. Bergman asked students and other community members to check the university’s COVID-19 website to stay up to date on cur-

rent requirements for testing and quarantining after traveling. Students can check for updates on the universities travel policies on their COVID-19 page. “With the holidays nearing, lots of travel and gatherings planned, and finals right around the corner, the COVID positivity rates are climbing in Massachusetts. Despite all of our precautions and incredibly high vaccination rates on campus, we are not immune!” wrote Bergman to the community. Bergman reiterated the university’s current masking policy in indoor facilities including the Shapiro Science Center, hallways, the dining halls, Gosman, classrooms, the library and the Shapiro Campus Center, due to recent reports of an increasing number of students not complying with the masking policy.

November 19, 2021


The Brandeis Hoot 5

Women’s basketball continues early success

By Jesse Lieberman staff

With three seconds remaining in the third quarter on Friday, Camila Casanueva ‘22 created an offense. The senior guard scooped up a deflected pass, took three dribbles to her left and drilled a step-back three as the buzzer sounded, igniting the Brandeis bench and the crowd. Casanueva and the Judges defeated Wheaton College 52-48 on Friday, Nov. 12 and Husson University 63-55 the following day to win the Brandeis Tip-Off Tournament. Casanueva won the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, and junior guard Francesca Marchese ’23 was selected to the All-Tournament Team. The Judges defeated Emerson College 75-53 in their first road game on Tuesday. The Judges are now 4-0, the program’s best start since 2009-2010. Friday, November 12: Brandeis

52 – Wheaton 48 Marchese scored 11 points, and the Judges held Wheaton to 28 percent shooting from the field en route to defeating the Lyons 52-48. With 1:53 left in the fourth, Wheaton’s Greta Minos made a lay-up to cut the Judges’ lead to 49-48. Junior guard Tathiana Pierre ’23 was fouled and sank both free throws to give the Judges a 51-48 advantage with 1:33 remaining. The Lyons had one last chance with under 30 seconds to go but missed two potential game-tying 3-pointers. Junior Emma Reavis ’23 went one-oftwo from the foul line to give the Judges a four-point lead with five seconds left, putting the game out of reach. The Lyons led after the first quarter 20-18 and 25-20 with 7:14 remaining in the second quarter. The Judges responded by closing out the period on a 9-2 to head into the break with a 29-27 lead. With the score tied at 29-29 early

in the third, the Judges went on a 9-0 run spanning over seven minutes. The run gave the Judges a 42-33 cushion entering the fourth. The Judges extended their lead to 11 early in the final period before Wheaton stormed back. Casanueva scored 10 points and grabbed six rebounds, while firstyear Caitlin Gresko ’25 added nine points. The Judges’ bench was a key factor in the win. Sophomore Selenya Gonzalez ’24 scored nine points and first-year Mollie Obar ’25 had 10 boards and played outstanding on the defensive end, forcing several difficult shots. Saturday, November 13: Brandeis 63 – Husson 55 Emma Reavis scored 10 points and added eight assists while Kerry Tanke ’22 had 10 points along with two blocks as the Judges defeated Husson, 63-55, to win the Brandeis Tip-Off Tournament. After Husson’s Maci Beals knocked down a 3-pointer to begin the second quarter; the Judges led 17-13. The Judges went on a


10-0 scoring run for the next six minutes, which included threes from Marchese and Casanueva. The Judges led at the half 28-16, a lead they never relinquished. Husson cut the lead to six points several times in the second half but never got any closer. The Judges used a balanced attack as six players scored at least eight points. The trio of Tanke, Reavis and Gresko led the way with 10 points apiece. Marchese and Obar each hit two 3-pointers and had eight points. Casanueva scored eight points to go along with four assists and six rebounds. The Judges were disruptive on the defensive end in the first half, limiting the Eagles to just 6-of34 (17.6 percent) from the floor. The Judges tallied six steals for the half, resulting in several easy buckets in transition. The Judges limited Husson center Bailey Donovan to just ten points for the game after Donovan scored 25 points against Connecticut College the night before. Husson’s offense came alive in the second half, due in large part to their 3-point shooting. Husson guards Sydney Allen and Vanessa Duarte combined for seven 3-pointers in the second and totaled 25 points. The duo led the game, each scoring 17 points. As a team, the Eagles shot 9-of-23 from beyond the arc in the second half. The Judges controlled the interior, outscoring the Eagles on points in the paint 17-11. For the game, the Judges outrebounded the Eagles 47-45. Reavis’ eight assists tied a career-high she set against Carnegie Mellon in 2020. Reavis and Casanueva each had a game-high three steals. Tuesday, November 16: Brandeis 75 – Emerson 53 Tanke tied her career-best with 15 points and Christina Bacon

’24 added up to 12 points off the bench as the Judges rolled past Emerson 75-53. Trailing 3-2 in with 6:30 remaining in the first quarter, the Judges went on a quick 9-2 run, which included two lay-ups from Bacon. The Judges led the rest of the way, with the Lions getting no closer than seven points. The Judges put the nail in the coffin in the second quarter. Leading 25-18 with 9:50 left in the second quarter, the Judges scored the game’s following 15 points and held the Lions scoreless for over seven minutes. Bacon and Reavis combined for 14 of the Judges’ 22 points in the period. The Judges went into the half on top 44-27. The Judges set season-highs in field goal percentage at 43 percent, 3-point percentage at 40 percent and free-throw percentage at 75 percent. Gresko scored 11 points on 3-of-4 shooting, including 2-of-2 on threes. Reavis scored 11 points and added a team-high six rebounds. Casanueva led the game with four assists, which moves her into sixth all-time in team history. Casanueva also moved into sole possession of third place on the Judges’ all-time 3-pointers made after knocking down two more. The Judges’ defense was effective again, forcing 18 Lion turnovers. The Judges converted those turnovers in 23 points and outscored the Lions in the paint 30-14. The Judges will face their toughest test of the season when they visit number seven Tufts this Saturday at 1 p.m. Editor’s note: Francesca Marchese ’23 is a staff writer for The Hoot and did not contribute to the writing or editing of this article.

Brandeis club frisbee heads to nationals By Justin Leung editor

Between Nov. 13 to 14 the Brandeis men’s and women’s club ultimate frisbee teams headed to regionals. The women’s team is called Banshee and they participated in regionals at Williamstown. The men’s team is called Tron and they traveled to Stonehill College to compete in regionals. Both teams played during the season, but regionals was their opportunity to compete with some of the best teams around and get a chance to head to nationals. This season was different from others but Tron states that they eventually hit their stride. “The season has definitely been strange but also really fun. We’ve gotten to attend so many more tournaments than we normally

would in the fall, which has really helped raise the individual skill level of our players and get us back up to speed after a year without real ultimate. COVID-19 had a huge impact on Ultimate and our team, so there was the hiccup of starting up the season so quickly and getting everybody ready for a competitive fall series as well as building team chemistry.” said Tron player Joshua Wan ’23 in an interview. At regionals the Tron team was ready to compete and vie for a chance to go to nationals. “In regionals, we had our ups and downs, and I think this tournament really highlighted that when we put our minds to it, we can play ultimate at a high level. On the other hand, it also showed that we have to keep our energy up, really want the w, and put in the work to get it.” said Wan when asked about how regionals


went. The Tron team proceeded to win enough games to get a chance to participate in nationals. “Nationals is 17 to 20 of December in Norco, CA. We’ve got a lot to do, but I think if we go into it with the same mindset that we went into the final game of regionals, I think we have the potential to do


really well at nationals.” described by Wan. When asked about what makes Tron so special, Wan answered by saying, “I’d say that the community is what makes Tron so special. It feels good knowing that no matter what, someone will be there for me on the field and even outside of frisbee. Our team is goofy but has a drive and desire to be great.” According to Banshee player Nina Zhang ’24, there were many challenges throughout the season. “We lost both games at sectionals but were still qualified for regionals. I feel like because we lost those first few games, everyone on the team were extremely driven and worked really hard to get the team to where we are now. Without everyone’s effort and dedication, we wouldn’t be able to get as far as we did.” However, according to Zhang, Banshee continued their season and got better over time. “I think the

season went pretty well though there were definitely some ups and downs. Regionals this weekend was pretty fun and stressful at times, but we did it!” The team ended up winning enough games to also make it to nationals. In an interview with The Hoot, Zhang described her excitement toward nationals, “I think to prepare [for nationals] we’re just going to maintain our normal practice schedules and scrims. I’m really excited for the tournament. It’s Banshee’s first time making it to nationals!” Zhang went on to say, “Banshee is really special to me because it’s a welcoming and friendly community. It has a special place in my heart.”. Both teams will proceed to nationals between Dec. 17 to 20 in Norco, California. After a year where competing for ultimate frisbee was difficult, the Tron and Banshee teams practiced and will now compete with the best in the nation.


The Brandeis Hoot

November 19, 2021

Brandeis rakes in the honors from the fall season By Thomas Pickering editor

On Thursday Nov. 11, Lara Verstovsek ’25, the first-year right-side hitter, on the volleyball team was named second-team All-Association selection by the University Athletic Association (UAA). The best offensive player on the team, Verstovsek averaged 2.72 kills per set (the most on Brandeis’ team), placing seventh in the conference, but ranked fifth for her 275 total kills. Verstovsek also ranked among the top five in the UAA in service aces, with 45 total. This put her in third place in the UAA while she also ranked fifth in the UAA for her average of 0.45 per set. Third and fourth in the UAA respectively, she led the team with 346.5 points and 3.4 points per set. On Brandeis’ team alone, Verstovsek finished third with 51 blocks; two of which being solo blocks. With double-digit kills in 15 matches and 10 or more digs in nine matches, Verstovsek finished with six double-doubles on the season. With a 3-2 victory over Emerson on Sep. 9 Verstovsek had her season high of kills, when she had 19 kills to bring the Judges to victory from behind. In that

match, Verstovsek’s top performance in the UAA was when she had 13 kills, 22 digs and a season-high seven blocks. However, that match was a 3-2 loss to Carnegie Mellon. Volleyball head coach Alesia Bennett said of Verstovsek, “She is a fierce competitor which is a great recipe for improvement, every time she steps on the court. She played six rotations as a firstyear, and has proven she can handle a lot. I am excited to see her growth in the off-season and I hope to see her come back even stronger next year.” The honors continue to roll in for the Judges this week as five members from both the women’s and men’s soccer team were all awarded with ALL-UAA honors. On the men’s side, all five honors were the first given to the players. Michael Burch ’22 was a second-team ALL-UAA selection for his strength as one of the top defensive midfielders in the conference this season. Even assisting two crucial game-winning goals for the Judges in tight matches against Emory and Clark University. Andres Gonzalez ’25, Aiden Guthro ’23, Max Horowitz ’24 and Isaac Mukala ’22 were all honorable mention selections.

Gonzalez and Mukala were the iron-curtain of Brandeis’ defense with 12 out of 16 games with one or less goals allowed. Both defenders also scored this season in conference play. Guthro was a leader in the UAA for total saves with 79 saves during the season. Coming in at third and sixth respectively in the UAA Guthro had a 0.832 save percentage and a 0.94 goals-against average. With at least seven saves in a game four times, Guthro let nothing in the net with a career-high 14 saves in the team’s win over Emory on Oct. 29. Horowitz led Brandeis’ offensive this season with six points from his two goals (both goals being game-winners and both goals making him the top scorer for the Judges) and two assists. On the women’s side, Juliette Carreiro ’22 and Caroline Swan ’23 were ALL-UAA first-team selections. Carreiro led the Judges with seven goals and eight assists for 22 points by the end of the season. Carreiro tied for the regular-season UAA lead in assists, placing sixth in points. Her four regular-season game-winning goals also tied for the UAA lead as well as being the highest for the Judges. This is Swan’s second season in

a row where she has been a firstteam ALL-UAA selection. Ending the season with two goals and six assists Swan had 10 points. She finished second for the Judges in assists and fifth in points. With two goals and two assists in UAA contests, Swan had a game-winning goal against Emory on Oct. 29 and was the game-tying score against Chicago on Oct. 15. Daria Bakhtiari ’22, was a second-team ALL-UAA selection. Tying Carreiro with seven goals, two of which from UAA play, Bakhtiari led the Judges in goals. Bakhtiari was an offensive presence scoring the game-winning goal to upset Chicago, and to score first goal in the 2-1 win over Rochester. Bakhtiari was also highly noted for her capabilities as one of the league’s best defensive midfielders. Sophomore forwards Sydney Lenhart ’24 and Yasla Ngoma ’24 received honorable mentions, their first postseason honors. Ngoma scored six goals and had five assists for 17 points, coming in second for the team in scoring, while Lenhart scored four goals and three assists for 11 points. Carreiro was also selected to the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Division III Academic All-District

Soccer team. This is Carreiro’s second Academic All-District selection in a row, making her eligible for CoSIDA Academic All-America honors. This honor recognizes the nation’s top student-athletes based on their participation and success on the field and in the classroom. Criteria for this honor are that the student-athlete must have at least a 3.30 grade-point average and be a significant contributor to their team. As the Judges’ leading scorer this season Carreiro was not only a significant contributor to the team but also a leader. Carreiro has fought to bring the Judges to an 11-4-2 record and into the NCAA Division III tournament, which they have not qualified for in the past two years. When not on the pitch, Carreiro holds a perfect 4.0 gradepoint average while navigating her double major in psychology and biology. Elected to Phi Beta Kappa as a junior, Carreiro has made the Dean’s List every semester here at Brandeis. Outside of the classroom Carreiro volunteers in the Waltham Group with the Companions to Elder Care program and researched at University of Massachusetts Medical Center last summer.

Men’s and women’s fencing win one at Colorado By Francesca Marchese staff

The Brandeis University fencing teams traveled west to the United States Air Force Academy to compete in the Western Invitational against some of the most elite teams in the country. Overall, the Judges were successful, as the men posted a 2-6 mark, defeating Incarnate Word (18-9) and the New Jersey Institute of Technology (22-5). The Brandeis women

By Justin Leung editor

The Brandeis men’s basketball team began the 2021-2022 season with a lopsided win against Rivier University. This first game of the season took place on Nov. 11 with Brandeis as the home team. The first points of the season came from senior forward Noah Hagerty ’22. Hagerty scored a layup after a minute and a half had passed into the game. He would also score the next two points on another layup. The first points of the season that did not come from Hagerty were from a layup by forward Tommy East-

went 0-9, and Maggie Shealy ’23 had the top individual performance of the tournament. Épée, which is the largest and heaviest of the three weapons used in the sport of fencing, was the Brandeis men’s most successful event. Earning two squad wins, the Judges defeated Air Force Academy, led by Junior Ben Rogak ’23 who went 2-1. Additionally, the Judges posted a 5-4 win over Notre Dame, led by Josh Shuster ’23 who went 3-0. Tal Kronrod

’25 was individually successful, going 3-0 against UIW and NJIT; fellow first-year Tony Escueta ’25 won four matches for the sabre squad, including a 3-0 win over NJIT. Shealy outperformed her opponents in the Western Invitational while leading the Judges, as she posted a 13-2 record on the first day and 17-8 overall in the tournament. Shealy had a perfect performance against three of the most competitive teams in the nation—Incarnate Word, Stanford

and Notre Dame—and she also went 2-1 against Cal-San Diego and Air Force Academy. On the second day of the tournament, Shealy faced North Carolina and Northwestern, and defeated both, 2-1. Sammy Shortall ’23 and Alex Mckee ’25 led their foil squad in a close 14-13 loss to Air Force; both Shortall and Mckee went 3-0. As a result of their performance at their first set of dual matches in the Western Invitational, the Brandeis fencing teams had two

players take home UAA Fencer of the Week honors. Facing the toughest competition they will all season, the UAA honored Shealy, who earned her second UAA Fencer of the Week honor of the 2021-22 season and the fourth of her career; Shuster, who led the men’s épée squad to success in the tournament, also received UAA Fencer of the Week honors. The Judges next compete on Saturday, Nov. 20, in the first of two Northeast Fencing Conferences.

man (GRAD). These points came off an assist from senior forward Chandler Jones ’22. The Judges held Rivier scoreless for almost five minutes before a player from Rivier made a layup. Brandeis continued to play solid defense as they built a 19-9 lead. Throughout the rest of the half, the Judges built on their lead as they led 4730 at half time. At halftime, Eastman led the game in scoring with 15. He was 6/10 from the field and ½ from three. Hagerty was right behind him with 12 points but was the team leader in rebounds with five. Eastman and guard Terrence Brown ’23 was tied for the most assists with three. Overall, the team shot very well in the first

half with a 52.5 percent field goal percentage. Brandeis’ first points of the second half came from a three

pointer by Jones on an assist by Hagerty. The second half saw the Judges continue to play good defense, while shooting the ball very well. They built a lead that reached thirty points with less than 10 minutes before the end of the game. As the game progressed, Brandeis did not let up as they pushed forward to the end of the game. Their biggest lead was 32 points after a three pointer by Brown with five minutes left in the game. Ultimately, the Judges won the game 97-71. Haggerty led the team in scoring with 22 points in the first game of the season. He finished the game with seven total rebounds, while missing only two of his 12 shots in the game. Eastman had an allaround solid game with 15 points, six assists and five rebounds.

Brown had five rebounds and four assists along with 12 points. Forward Toby Harris ’25 played in his first game for Brandeis. He came off the bench and scored 13 points in just 19 minutes. Harris shot very well as he was 5/6 from the field and 3/4 from three. He also had two assists and two rebounds. The team as a whole shot 52.7 percent from the field and 30 percent from three, while holding Rivier to just 36.8 percent from the field. Although the Judges had 11 turnovers in the game, they also had 10 steals and four blocks. The Judges will hope to use this momentum as they move on to face Emerson University on Nov. 18 away. They will play one more game at home before the Thanksgiving break on Nov. 23 against UMass Dartmouth.



November 19, 2021


The Brandeis Hoot

Women’s cross country make it to Championship By Sasha Skarboviychuk editor

On Saturday, Nov. 13, the Judges competed at the Regional championships, placing fourth in the East region. The women finished in fourth with a score of 89, competing against 29 other teams. With the win, the Judges were selected as one of the competing teams in the 2021 NCAA Division III Championships. The Judges are currently ranked 26th. Niamh Kenney ’22 was the first among the Judges to finish the race, placing eighth overall with a time of 23:03. She was closely followed by Erin Magill ’23 who finished ninth with a time of 23:09. Natalie Hattan ’22 was the third to finish from Brandeis, placing

13th overall with a time of 23:30. Juliette Intrieri ’24 placed 23rd in the race, with a time of 23:57. Bridget Pickard ’23 finished 37th with a time of 24:32, followed by Zada Forde ’25 who placed 45th overall, with a time of 24:47. Lizzy Reynolds ’24 finished 66th with a time of 25:27. This will be the first time since 2018 that the Judges will go to the NCAA Division III Championships and sixth in its history. The best performances at the competition were in 1991 and 2018, when they placed sixth. There are six teams going to the championship: Emory University, Carnegie Mellon, Case Western Reserve, University of Chicago, Washington University and Brandeis. “I was so proud of how the team


ran yesterday … They all ran really smart and tough. They deserve


By John Fornagiel editor

The Brandeis swimming and diving team swam against the Bentley University Falcons on Saturday, Nov. 13. The Judges men’s team lost out to the Falcons 162-132; the Judges women’s team lost 188-99. Despite this, the Judges won several races against the Falcons and simultaneously obtained several season-best times. The men’s team obtained 11 best times, and the women’s team obtained 17 best times throughout the meet.Brendon Lu ’22 won the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:12.37, with the closest Bentley swimmer Tanner Eisenhut coming in third place completing the event with a time of 2:17.06. Lu also won the 100yard breaststroke event in a time of 59.47, with Bentley swimmer

Zach Papsco milliseconds behind at 59.50. Lu also won the 200yard Individual Medley (IM) with a time of 1:59.93.Sam Dienstag ’24 also won two races throughout the event. Dienstag won the 1000-yard freestyle with a time of 9:50.98, and the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:47.74. Many other individuals on the men’s team won a race throughout the event. Benton Ferebee ’22 won the 100-yard backstroke in 54.46 seconds, while James Barno ’23 was able to complete the 100yard butterfly in a time of 52.97 seconds. Additionally, working together in the 200-yard freestyle relay event, Andrew Ngo ’25, Ido Petel ’24, Dienstag and Ferebee were able to beat Bentley’s relay team with a time of 1:29.51 The women’s team also had several event winners over the course of the event. In Particular, Bailey Gold ’23 won both of her indi-

to be rewarded for their performances all season long. It’s great to be back to championship cross country competition,” said head coach Sinead Evans, according to the Brandeis Judges website. The 2021 Division III Cross Country Championships will be held on Saturday, Nov. 20, at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer Park in Lexington, Kentucky. The women’s race is at 1 p.m., while the men begin at 12 p.m.. Also on Saturday, Nov. 13, the men competed at the Regional championships, placing tenth in the East region. They finished with a score of 331, competing against 33 other teams. Matthew Driben ’22 was the

first of the Judges to finish the race, placing 44th with a time of 27:27. He was followed by Daniel Frost ’25 who placed 49th with a time of 27:36. Willem Goff ’24 was the third Judge to finish, placing 66th, with a time of 28:11. Casey Brackett ’23 placed in 87th with a time of 28:43, followed by Lucas Dia ’25 who placed 90th, with a time of 28:48. Jac Guerra ’22 completed the race with a time of 29:01 and placed 96th. Samuel Kim ’25 finished 104th, with a time of 29:10. There were a total of 234 runners competing. This concludes the men’s season. News Editor Victoria Morrongiello is a member of the women’s cross country team and did not contribute to this article.

back, who had a time of 1:00.22. Additionally, Gold was joined by Monica Iizuka ’24, Olivia Stebbins ’22 and Ema Rennie ’23 in the 200-yard Medley Relay to win against the Falcons with a time of 1:52.53. The Judges will next compete on Saturday Nov. 20 against

the United States Coast Guard Academy and on Sunday Nov. 21 against Tufts University. Both of these meets will be away meets. Editor’s note: Jonathan Ayash is a staff writer for The Brandeis Hoot and did not contribute to the writing or editing of this article.


vidual events and her relay event. Gold won the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 2:10.23, beating out Falcon Mona Rejiritski, who came in second place with a time of 2:15.85. Gold also won the 100yard butterfly in a time of 59.55 seconds, clinching the win over second place Falcon Jordan Nuz-

Women’s soccer 2021 season ends By Justin Leung editor

On Nov. 13, the Brandeis women’s soccer team faced off against Farmingdale State College in the first round of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) division III tournament. The team was previously on a five-game winning streak, so they looked to keep up their recent success. The Judges put the pressure on early with two quick shots from forward Yasla Ngoma ’24. However, Farmingdale State took the lead in the 11th minute and put the Judges behind. Forward Makenna Hunt ’22 tried to even the game up, but her shot ultimately went high. This was the final shot

of the first half. The two teams combined for only five shots in the first half as both teams played strong defense. In the second half, the Judges knew they needed to make a comeback to keep their season alive. Within the first four minutes of the second half, the Judges took four shots. Forward Juliette Carreiro ’22 took two of those shots. However, none of these shots went in. That was until the 71st minute, where Ngoma scored an unassisted goal to tie the game at one. The Judges did not stop there as they continued to put on the pressure. At this point, Carreiro had taken four shots in the game, but none of them went into the net. That was until in the 83rd minute where a pass on a free kick from junior midfielder Caroline Swan ’23 was shot by

Carreiro. This shot went into the net and gave the Judges the lead with seven minutes remaining. As the 90th minute passed, the game ended, and the Judges advanced to the second round of the NCAA division III tournament. Besides the goal in the first half, the Judges played solid defense. Goalie Hannah Bassan ’25 had two saves in the game. The Judges only allowed Farmingdale State to take only four shots in the game, compared to the Judges’ 14. This win had the Judges set to play Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) the next day in the second round. The second-round game did not start well for the Judges. Within the first minute of the game, MIT had taken the lead. This came from a penalty kick

16 seconds into the game. MIT then kept the attack going with multiple corner kicks and shots on goal. Eventually, MIT got another goal in the seventh minute to take a 2-0 lead. The first shot from the Judges came in the 11th minute from senior midfielder Daria Bakhtiari ’22, but this shot was saved by the MIT goalie. In the first half, the Judges had a few more shots but none of them were goals. Brandeis was outshot by MIT 5-7 in the first half, but MIT led by two. The Judges were again behind going into the second half as they prepared to make another comeback. However, MIT kept attacking the Judges’ defense, with multiple shots. The Judges struggled to get anything going in the rest of the game and ultimately were unable to score in the

second half. Their season ended as they lost to MIT 0-2. Bassan overall had a very strong game in goal. She had five saves in the game. MIT outshot Brandeis 128, which included four more shots on goal from MIT. The Judges will retain two of their top five scorers next season, including sophomore forward Sydney Lenhart ’24 and Ngoma. They will also be holding onto Swan, who is second on their team in assists. Additionally, the team will have their goalie, Hannah Bassan, who had a 0.71 save percent for the season. The Brandeis women’s soccer team ended the season with a record of 12-5-2 as they look to improve next season.

8 The Brandeis Hoot

“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 12 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.

CONNECT phone • (781) 330-0051 e-mail • online • facebook • twitter • instagram •

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

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

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



e’re at that terrible time of the year when the sky is dark by 5 p.m. every single night. The days are short, the classes are long and the joy of the holidays seems so far out of reach, but still close enough for you to see. Though everything may seem hopeless, we have some tips for helping combat seasonal depression. One tip is to try to see the sun when you can. Since classes are often during the few hours that the sun is out, this can be challenging, so we encourage you to enjoy all the time you have outdoors. Even that walk up the Rabb steps can be good for the soul with the right mindset. Also helping in the quest for longer days is light therapy, exposure to a bright light throughout the day in order to stimulate the sun. Another way you can help is by other methods of increasing your Vitamin D intake. This can be done with an increase in Vitamin D-rich foods—like seafood or egg yolk—or through supplements. General self care is more important than ever for boosting moods. This includes getting enough sleep, eating well, seeing friends, exercising regularly—any activities that will make you feel better. Don’t be afraid to treat yourself too, maybe ordering in food instead of eating in the dining hall or dedicating an entire evening to relaxation. It can be difficult to set aside time for yourself during this point in the semester.

With deadlines getting closer and work piling up it can be hard to separate yourself from classwork to focus on how you are doing mentally. And it might not feel like a priority but you need to set aside time to check in with yourself. It’s alright not to feel okay all the time, and it’s important to be honest with yourself about where you are so you can do what’s best for you. Even if that means going to sleep early instead of doing that reading or going on a walk instead of finishing your assignment. It can be normal to feel burnt out at this point of the semester; you aren’t alone. It can be scary to admit feeling burnt out, but it is a common feeling. It’s also completely okay to bring your concerns to professors if you need an extension on an assignment. You can go to office hours and talk it out with them. By being honest and upfront about work with professors it can help alleviate any pressure you feel on yourself and allow you to prioritize your own mental health. Professors are also humans and they’ve probably experienced what you are currently experiencing. By opening a dialog with them about your feelings it can allow for a better relationship and work environment. There is also a Wellness Day on Friday, Nov. 19, according to a Brandeis Brief email asking students to come “on Friday, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., in the SCC to enjoy many different kinds of relaxing activities to cele-

November 19, 2021

brate Wellness Day!” We encourage you to check it out. The other option may seem counter-productive: lean into the sadness. Embrace “sad girl autumn.” Don’t be afraid to cry to “All Too Well (10 Minute Version)” on a loop for an hour. Scream into the void. The release will ultimately make you feel better. This, of course, is a temporary fix and should not be frequently. The occasional expulsion of emotions can be a healthy release, but if this is frequently happening, that can be cause for concern. If you feel your seasonal depression is intense, seeking professional help might help. The Brandeis Counseling Center (BCC) offers a wide range of treatments, both on an individual level and group therapy. To learn how to make an appointment with the BCC, please visit their website. As cliche as it may sound, trying to focus on the good can be helpful. Thanksgiving break is almost here; even if you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving itself, just treat yourself to some good food and relax during the days off. After that, we only have a week and a half of classes, and a lot of classes do not have finals this semester, so then you are just done! To those that do have finals: good luck, and do not fear, you are also almost done. This time of year is hard for all of us. But, remember, we’re all in this together. The holidays are almost here; we just have to make it a little bit longer.

November 19, 2021



Rugby team practices under the rainbow


Editor Oliver aka beanboy


Editor Thomas has had enough of us, 11:23 p.m.




3ICS- Editors-in-Chief John, Emma and Sasha matching

Editor Maddie enjoys Deis on Ice


The Brandeis Hoot 9





10 The Brandeis Hoot


November 19, 2021

The Continual Spell of Witchcraft: an Interview with Sociologist Dr. Helen Berger By Ella Amouyal special to the hoot

The idea of Witchcraft spellbinds the world. From the infamous Salem Witch Trials to beloved media like Harry Potter,

magic is an enduring fascination. Dr. Helen Berger, a distinguished sociologist of contemporary Pagan and Witchcraft studies and Affiliated Scholar at Brandeis’ Women’s Studies Research Center, has been pursuing this topic for many years. Her publications


include “Solitary Pagans: Contemporary Witches, Wiccans, and Others Who Practice Alone” and “Teenage Witches: Magical Youth and the Search for the Self,” among other notable texts. In a Zoom interview with The Brandeis Hoot, Berger explained how she began researching the subject. In the 1980s, she gave a series of lectures on the Salem Witch Trials for the Boston Public Library. She wanted to explore modern Witchcraft for her last lecture but struggled to find critical evaluations on the topic. The absence inspired Berger to research the subject herself: “I just started reading like crazy,” she expressed, and retraining her methodology from historical research to “contemporary sociology.” Berger further stated that “[she] really loved this research. And it was more me than historical research was, I could make a more important contribution.” Wicca, the umbrella term for Witch-related religion, greatly influenced America in the 1960s. The counterculture movement, in particular, was attracted to “the lack of hierarchy,” compared to traditional western religions and the “environmental aspect of...worshiping nature,” Berger explained. The femininity of Witchcraft also bolstered its success and popularity: “there is an image of motherhood...of

empowered womanhood...most Witches and Pagans would say they’re feminists.” It boosted its success by around 90 percent, according to her surveys. The 1990s internet boom increased its spread: “many…[witches] are getting trained on the internet” and regularly interact with “blogs” and “chat groups.” When asked whether “Harry Potter” caused an increase in individuals who self-identify as Witches, Berger noted she does not “have any data on that ... but I’m willing to bet that it did.” Yet, while modern Wicca emerged in the 1960s, Berger highlights that, “there’s … never … [been] a disappearance of … spirituality.” The 19th-century Spiritualist movement is a clear predecessor with its engagement with social movements of the day like Abolitionism and Suffragism. Even with stereotypically dour religions such as Puritanism, she explained that there is evidence of mystical, spell-like practices. When asked how magic functions: “you have to start from their mindset, that … magic is real,” she stated, in a forthright tone. But, “magic … [is] a complicated thing ... you’re putting out energy into the universe, to direct … something to happen,” but the spirit world may not always accept your wish. She used an example of a re-

search participant to clarify how magic operates: “When I first started studying this, I met a man who was getting his Ph.D. in math at MIT … I asked him about his belief in the goddess or the God or the divine. He said, Oh, no, I don’t believe in it. But, I’ve experienced it” through ritual and meditation. For him, “this didn’t have to do with … rational proof … one doesn’t have to believe in magic. One performs it and sees it.” When asked what she hopes readers take away from her books and research, she expressed that “Witchcraft is a serious religion.” While it is a “decentered” religion without one “organization or hierarchy,” its practitioners “take it seriously.” Soon after interviewing Berger, the New Yorker published an article on photographer Frances F. Denny. Denny’s recent project, “Major Arcana: Witches in America,” is a collection of moving portraits of women who identify as witches. These portraits of women, young, old, serious, solemn, joyous, and bright, and from a variety of backgrounds and geographic locales all shared an aura of self-assured, powerful, clairvoyance. Maybe, witches enchant the world because of the mystery in their power and the power in their mystery.

An interview with President Ron Liebowitz: part II By Fornagiel and ByJohn Cooper Gottfried Sasha Skarboviychuk STAFF editors

President Ron Liebowitz sat down with The Hoot to help the student body get to know him better. In a half-hour dialogue with The Brandeis Hoot, President Liebowitz gave some insights into himself, Brandeis and his job. Can you explain the university’s divestment plan in more detail? So this might require a little bit of explaining about how the endowment works. So we have a $1.3 billion endowment. Let’s just say for simplicity’s sake, that endowment is divided … we make investments. We don’t purchase equity. We don’t purchase individual stocks. Even though we have an investment office, we enter into private partnerships. And we also then hire fund managers who manage our funds. So I would say about 65 percent of our investments are with fund managers and they manage in by and large what’s called “commingled funds.” Those are funds that are a basket of items. They have a whole bunch of stocks in them, and we don’t know what those fund managers put in those, what they buy. When you have a large share of a fund manager’s portfolio you can sort of influence, dictate, ask for and so forth. But by and large, Brandeis being a $1.3 billion endowment as opposed to a Yale with a $40 billion endowment, it’s not gonna have as much influence, but that’s all incidental. So you have this, this part of combining funds, and then you have

private partnerships. What the board decided in 2018, to go back, was to stop entering into any private partnerships having to do with coal at that point. And that was 2018. That is the only part of the endowment that we control directly more or less. So we vowed to freeze our activities with private partnerships. Now these are long term. You don’t enter them for a year, they take a long time to run their course. So we made that commitment and we said “in three years, we’ll come back and revisit it” because it was controversial within the board. People in the investment world don’t like to put any constraints on investments. That’s one of the big constraints that all of us face when it comes to moving investment policy. So in 2021, we started discussing again, “where are we and what do we want to do?”, and the board decided after a lot of discussion to expand that 2018 decision, not just to coal but also to natural gas and oil. So we continued it and we made that decision. We also said by 2025-2027 these will run out, we’ll have zero percent [of fossil fuels]. We’re letting the ones that we had signed prior to 2018 in coal and prior to 2021 in oil and gas to run out by 2025 and 2027. The commingle funds we don’t have any control over. However, we have committed several things. We’ve committed to engaging our managers; letting them know what our preferences are, screening our new managers to see what their portfolios are and how much they’re investing in fossil fuel, letting them know that we want less. And we also de-

cided to create a tool which will measure the totality of carbon in our $1.3 billion endowment. Not only financial transparency, but it will allow us to then shape our policy in the future for decarbonizing our endowment. That is a leadership position, no one is really willing to step out and do that because the implications are pretty big. Let’s just say we have a lot of stock in American Airlines, it’s gonna show in scope one and scope two investments that they utilize a lot of fossil fuels. So it’s gonna influence us to sort of pull back in that area. So it’s unknown what it’s all gonna lead to, but we are gonna take a lead in there, but as important as all this is, we are not claiming divestment. Even though whatever other school is claiming as divestment is what I just described. In other words, those schools also have a large portion of their endowment wrapped up in a combination of funds and they have no control over those. So to claim their divesting is a little bit dishonest in our view, we can say the same thing because they’re claiming, we’re doing [with] the private partnerships what they’re doing, although we’re even putting a date on it, I think sometimes sooner than the other schools in our area. But what they’re claiming as divestment is not divestment in our mind because they’re not touching the commingled funds. All we can do on that front is to try to influence the fund managers not to purchase anymore in their commingled funds that have to do with fossil fuels. But that’s the bigger picture here, and it’s

something that the divestment activists have not really embraced. … [What] is far more important to me and also to the university is what can we do to reduce our own carbon footprint? You know, even if we can sell our commingled funds or even if our managers do, when we get out of private partnerships, those go right to someone else usually at a lower price also. So it’s symbolic to say, we don’t invest in fossil fuels, but the reality is we’re still using fossil fuels, we’re still polluting, we’re still creating climate change. So the question for us is what is it we can do? And how much of an advancement have we made in this area to reduce our own carbon footprint? So when we have our faculty meeting this week on Friday … we’re gonna have an hour and 15 minutes of this very same presentation, except it’s gonna be done by me and by the investment office and by Mary Fisher, who is the [university’s] environmental sustainability coordinator. She will give a whole presentation on the progress we’ve made in the past five years on sustainability and how we’ve reduced the university’s carbon footprint, and what’s planned for the future. That to me is a million times more important than talking about divestment. We have $1.3 billion, I think it’s about 5.7 percent of our endowment is invested in fossil fuels, that’s all. So we’re talking about between 70 and 80 million total. It’s a lot of money, but it’s not $1.3 billion. Of course, it’s much more important to focus on what we are doing to address climate change. We’re addressing climate change

much more by the things we’re doing on campus than we are by managing our endowment as we are. So of course, but that, that gets lost. They [student activists] don’t know the details of it, and they don’t realize how much of an impact they can make by us invest investing in green, which that’s another thing that the investment office over the last three years, since we made that declaration in 2018, they’ve hired six students to be interns to research only green investments. So we’re spending 25 percent of our research time and money on looking for green investments. And by the way, there aren’t that many good ones in terms of returns. Not yet, but there will be. So we are making those commitments and people need to understand the big picture, not just the issue about what are you doing with the 5.7 percent. The 5.7 percent will shrink down by 2025 and 2027. And the amount left in our endowment will be minimal, but people don’t want to hear that. We’re doing a lot. We’re doing as much as any of those schools that are claiming divestment. That’s the weirdest thing, we could do the same but we chose not to. We’re trying to focus on what contributes to climate change first and foremost. Editor’s note: This is the second part of a series of interviews with President Liebowitz.


November 19, 2021

Lachlan Elam ’22 lets Brandeis see outer space By John Fornagiel and Sasha Skarboviychuk editors

Did you know that the big white dome on top of the Abelson building is a telescope? Well, it is, and the Brandeis Astronomy Club is one of its main users. When Lachlan Elam ’22, president of the Astronomy Club, first arrived at Brandeis in fall 2018, he initially “had no interest in astronomy coming from New York City, where you can not really see the stars too well.” However, within his first month at Brandeis, he “noticed that the observatory never changed orientation,” suggesting that it was not currently in use. According to Elam, that was exactly the case. The telescope was used by the Brandeis Astronomy Club, however it stopped existing when the previous executive board graduated in spring 2018. Elam was interested in reviving the club, and started his journey of bringing it back to life. With the help of Professor John Wardle, who at the time was the head of the Division of Science, Elam was able to learn how to operate the telescope. “[Wardle] found a graduate student who was using it for fun and showed [Elam] how to calibrate it, align it, how to operate the dome safely and in a way that does not damage the telescope,” Elam told The Brandeis Hoot. He has been holding Astronomy Club meetings ever since, and is now the leader of the club. Now, Elam is able to observe planets such as Jupiter and Saturn, and is also able to closely observe the craters of the moon. In videos that Elam shared with The Hoot, he was able to record scientific phenomena such as the redshift and blueshift on the edges of the moon. Elam told The Hoot that he is “still discovering much about the observatory and finding new equipment.” He has been learning more about the telescope on his own as he does not want to leave the next leadership in the same position that he was in, where he basically had to figure out how to work the telescope on his own. He even states that he still “finds random pieces of equipment to enhance resolution of images. Not everything is known [about the observatory], it is a mysterious place.” When asked what his favorite thing to look at is, Elam told The Hoot that his “favorite thing to

view are the moons around Jupiter, of which there are 79! They are always fun to spot and trying to identify them is fun as well.” In the future, he hopes “to see the Andromeda galaxy, hopefully in an area with low light pollution, which will happen one of these days when we take a trip!” Although the Astronomy Club has 500 people on the listserv, meetings average around 15 to 20 people, with around 40 active individuals within the club. Elam tries to “hold meetings on different days of the week to get different people each time.” The club welcomes everyone: attendees do not need any background knowledge on Astronomy, they can just come and enjoy the sightings. Elam told The Hoot that one of the biggest challenges of the Astronomy club is “the weather, [the] clouds affect our visibility and this is made worse by global warming.” Specifically, global warming leads to dense pockets of heat within the environment and air that can block visibility of space. Elam further iterates that “you can only kind of tell how the weather is going to be with the clouds five days out, and even then the forecast is not too accurate.” According to Elam, this is why the Astronomy Club does not meet on a consistent basis every week. The weather is simply too unpredictable to be able to hold consistent meetings. However, Elam says that this has a benefit of “[getting] different people in meetings every week.” In the future, Elam hopes to get involved with other clubs, such as the Brandeis Mountain Club, in order to go star-gazing in an area further away from Boston. “We have some digital telescopes that you can transfer … I was planning to go to a field with low light pollution to look at nebulas.“ In fact, this was an event that was originally planned for this semester that had to be cancelled due to weather-related issues. He is currently undertaking efforts to spread the word out about the existence of the club. Elam also told The Hoot that he is working on collaborating with other clubs, and that any academic groups that are interested in collaborating with Astronomy Club should reach out. At Brandeis, Elam is an applied math major with a minor in economics. Specifically, he works closely with Thomas Fai (MATH) to work on quantifying various aspects of cell biology. Additionally, he is also the president of the Aviation Club at Brandeis.


Interested in writing for Features? Email!


November 19, 2021

Turning to Telehealth: A talk by Ben Kragen By Jahnavi Swamy staff

During the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth went from an unfamiliar concept to the preferred form of healthcare for many Americans. According to Baystate Health’s records, they went from 30-to-50 telehealth visits a month to 45 thousand per month. Baystate Health called it “the biggest change in all-service healthcare provision in American history.” This was primarily a way to enforce social distancing and avoid close contact in hospitals. Ben Kragen (GRAD) is a student at the Heller School studying access to telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic. He defined telehealth as “an electronic platform to exchange health information.” This can be done either synchronously via video and audio, or asynchronously with portals and messages. Contrary to popular belief, telehealth is not designed to replace in-person care, but rather was made as a tool to be used along with it. Kragen said that the main advantage of telehealth is that it can “bring healthcare into people’s homes.” However, the disadvantage is

that it can be used only by those with access to certain technologies. Access problems involve digital literacy, ability to afford devices and internet and most significantly, access to physical infrastructure for the internet. Kragen highlighted two factors that he believed to be major contributors of structural racism within telehealth. First, he talked about residential segregation and the concept of “internet deserts.” While this kind of segregation brings to mind remote areas, this phenomenon happens in cities as well. Kragen said, “One community has access to resources that another community just does not have.” Second, he described workforce segregation, which results in disparities in health insurance, access to technology and work schedule. He noticed that people with high internet connection and flexible schedules had the most options available for telehealth visits, while those who lacked either had more limited options. Workers who are paid a salary have greater flexibility with taking leave for a doctor’s appointment than those who use a timesheet. These disparities in access are likely to impact the qual-

ity of healthcare received by different groups across the country. The Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers reported that about 80 percent of patients used the phone for telehealth, while only 20 percent use video. Kragen noted that while the phone is more flexible and does not require broadband, it does not allow the physician to see the patient or gauge their facial expressions. Another form of disparity he mentioned is through the use of patient portals. To access these portals, you usually need to know English or Spanish, making it less accessible to people who only speak other languages. Kragen believes that it is key that providers use telehealth to “meet patients where they are.” He advised that anyone going into the healthcare field should think about service delivery and access. He believes that we should think about how the structures in our system can be changed with initiatives like the recent $65 billion infrastructure bill designed to improve internet access. From Kragen’s perspective telehealth is a useful tool in healthcare delivery, but like with all delivery sys-

tems, we must be cautious of the


disparities it can create.

Campus dietician improving dining experiences one student at a time By Mia Plante editor

Dining while in college can seem daunting. Students often struggle with the need to both maintain their health and manage specific dietary needs, on top of the many other stressors that being in college brings. Here at Brandeis, there are safeguards in place and people to turn to if dining on campus is not what you need it to be. Nolan Reese, campus registered dietician, is one of these people to turn to. In an interview with The Brandeis Hoot, Reese explained the many different ways he is aiming to improve dining on campus for not only the health and safety of students but also for increased sustainability and to cultivate a sense of comfort and community here at Brandeis. As campus dietician, Reese’s work expands from communication with students and parents about dining needs to developing menus, working on educational events and maintaining truth in menuing and safety surrounding allergens. Simply put, Reese is the link between students and dining staff, stating that “I want to make sure that I’m that bridge to help them [students] feel comfortable and make sure their needs are met.” Feeling more comfortable in the dining halls is the first step in transitioning into college, as food is such a large part of culture and socialization as well as a key aspect of maintaining one’s overall health. Reese recognizes this and aims to give all students adequate meal options so that dining is a source of joy rather than a stressor. He is using his passion for food and health sciences in order to help students get what they need out of their dining experiences. Dining on campus is far from perfect, as touched upon in a previous Hoot article, but Reese is

aiming to improve dining through student feedback, especially for students with specific dietary restrictions or allergies. Reese is available to meet with students “to discuss dietary needs, what things they might be struggling to find, helping to identify what they are looking for in the dining halls and either pointing them in the right direction or taking their feedback to the team so that we can implement … a new menu item or concept.” For example, Reese recently met with a student with a specific dietary restriction and planned specific menu items for them for the upcoming week so the student is able to feel more secure in what they consume in the dining halls. Reese also sits in on the Senate dining committee meetings to take feedback from students to relay to other dining staff. Recent changes implemented in the dining halls and retail locations include an increased focus on vegan options for students. Reese explained that the Rustic Roots stations in the dining halls are almost one hundred percent vegan, and that the dining staff upholds the highest standards when it comes to vegan diets “to make sure we are accommodating all folks who keep the strictest definition” of the vegan diet, as explained by Reese. Additionally, all smoothies at Swirl in Upper Usdan are now vegan as the location has made a switch to oat milk for its health benefits and its lesser impact on the environment as compared to cow’s milk. Lower Usdan also features vegan pizzas daily at lunch as well as vegan yogurts and desserts. Other dietary restrictions are also important to Reese and other members of the dining staff. Reese is attempting to get a focus group of students with food allergies together to meet and discuss their experiences with dining on campus as students with allergies.

Reese states that “it’s always helpful for me to hear it first hand and pass that onto the team. Our team really does take student feedback very seriously and very personally so any feedback that gets shared, we make sure that we make whatever changes are necessary.” Reese emphasized the importance of this feedback, saying that “it’s sort of cliche to say, but we want to treat all students here like they are our own kids, we want to make sure everybody gets what they need.” Additionally, Reese regularly reviews the menu with the dining team to make sure all dietary restrictions are accounted for. While the Simple Servings station at Lower Usdan and Sherman is the home for allergen-free food, Reese also discussed the increased efforts of the dining staff to find alternative recipes to add allergen-free options to other stations in the dining halls. If you are interested in joining the focus group on dining with food allergies at Brandeis keep an eye out for QR codes posted at Simple Servings stations. Recent dining initiatives have included featuring local food sources such as apples and cranberries in the dining halls. “I’m really passionate about bringing local food and local producers of food to the dining hall, I am working with the team to do more of that as well,” Reese stated. On top of traditional benefits of supporting local agriculture, Reese mentioned “I think that bringing food closer to students is really important and can really help students feel like they have a better sense of community while they’re in school.” These events also focus on specific health benefits of the local ingredients they feature and show the variety of different dishes that can be made from them. On the topic of healthy and well-balanced options in the dining halls, Reese pointed to the Simple Servings section. “Sim-

ple servings is our flagship area for doing balanced meals for students with dietary restrictions. It is by design meant to be a balanced meal where you get a protein, a vegetable and a starch, and it is pre-portioned for a reason: to keep it safe for students with food allergies and so that we know it is a complete and balanced meal.” Reese stated that the Simple Servings section gets an “extra level of scrutiny” when it comes to being a balanced meal source. Reese also mentioned that unfortunately this station is unable to serve plant-based protein sources as most of them contain one of the top allergens that the station avoids, but other areas of the dining halls serve plant-based proteins on menu rotation. Recently the dining halls have also cut back on their amount of beef for health reasons and as a move to focus on increased sustainability in on-campus dining. Reese explained that beef is high in saturated fats and has been linked to heart disease when consumed in high amounts. “Also, the production of beef is a pretty huge contributor to greenhouse gases and our carbon footprint,” Reese mentioned. Brandeis University has been able to cut its food carbon footprint by 21 percent since last fall by reducing beef consumption and increasing usage of plant-based protein sources. Nolan Reese’s overall goals for his work with Brandeis dining are hopeful, and he believes his work so far has been beneficial for the community. “Of course my goal is to continue to work with students who have food allergies and dietary needs and just make sure that we are providing as many options and accommodations as possible,” Reese explained. He also hopes to help any students feel more comfortable dining at Brandeis. “I’ll offer any amount of meetings or personal tours,”

he stated, “I’ve taken students into the kitchen before to actually show them what equipment we are using and how the food is getting prepared. Sometimes that really helps to put students at ease.” Reese also emphasized the importance of Brandeis dining’s sustainability initiatives. “I think it’s really important that we do as much as we can because of the footprint that we have in terms of how many meals we serve. We have the ability to move the needle a lot when it comes to mitigating the effects of climate change.” Brandeis dining is a part of the Cool Food Pledge, with a goal to reduce the carbon footprint associated with the dining halls by 25 percent, and according to Reese, it is well on its way to achieving that. Reese’s hope of supporting local agriculture and helping students feel at home through this also aims to assist the sustainability goal. Nolan Reese also utilizes his time at work to enjoy the food he focuses on. In the interview with The Hoot he described a few of his favorite places to eat in the dining halls, including the pho from Lemongrass, the sunshine bowl station, sushi from the kosher side of Sherman and Simple Servings. While looking out for Reese enjoying the spoils of his efforts, be sure to watch for any new dining initiatives by following Brandeis Dining on instagram @brandeis_dining. Reese is hoping to work more with the food pantry on campus, FRESH, to provide potential meal donations in the future. He is also featuring Nutrition Bites events, which he describes as “bite sized nutrition info with a snack.” The next of these events will be on Friday, Nov. 19 in Upper Usdan where Reese will be doing smoothie sampling with students and explaining the health benefits of fresh fruit.

November 12, 2021

By Vincent Calia-Bogan and Cooper Gottfried special to the hoot and staff

Breaking news: most students are using MacBooks. A huge majority of college students, nearly three quarters of them, use or would prefer to use a Macbook, according to TechSpot. At the risk of sounding like massive contrarians, MacBooks suck. For a device that claims to do it all, the functionality of Macs is severely lacking when compared to devices that run on Windows (and many distributions of Linux). According to an Apple device management company survey, 71 percent of college students own or prefer MacBooks. Out of the 71 percent of students who prefer MacBooks, 64 percent choose Mac for the Apple brand, 60 percent for their style, 37 percent for the suite of apps that it can run and 48 percent for durability. In

OPINIONS this extremely biased article, we’ll explain that Windows machines can do almost everything that MacBooks can do, but better. Users love the MacBooks’ style, but similar looking laptops can be found for a fraction of the MacBook’s absurdly high price point. For example, the HP Pavilion x360 2-in-1 is a very simple looking laptop with multiple color options that can be had for as low as $450. Oh, and it also has a touchscreen. This laptop may not be in Apple’s “walled garden,” but it would work great for web browsing and word processing while costing $550 less than the newest model of the MacBook Air. People who took the survey indicated that they love Apple’s suite of apps. As mentioned before, Apple devices exist in a “walled garden.” This is a term used to describe the way that Apple has set up their device ecosystem. All of their devices integrate with each other, and most things within the walled garden follow Apple’s

mantra of “it just works,” and function without too much user intervention. But this walled garden comes at a price. Only certain apps can be loaded onto Apple devices, so some programs that are necessary for school (like ArcGIS Pro) simply won’t run on iOS devices. Additionally, hardware repairs are nearly impossible to make, as Apple has their proprietary repair manuals under lock and key. It is of note that Apple has just announced that they’re beginning to allow limited self service repairs for iPhone displays, batteries and cameras. This is a great step in the right direction, but it remains to be seen if Apple will actually expand this program to include MacBooks and other devices. The last survey response we’ll focus on is durability. Experts on Apple devices, like Louis Rossmann, are highly critical of the durability of Apple devices. To quote Louis Rossmann (who has spearheaded the right-to-repair

movement as we know it), “When it’s any other brand, you will hear people scream ‘I’m never buying X again!’ … But when it comes to Apple products, in spite of how badly they screw the customer, the customer will still continue buying them and they will defend the company that they admit screwed them.” According to a 2019 article, recent models of MacBooks have had problems that include “intermittent popping sounds” with their speakers and “ghosting issues” with their screens. These are some of the smaller issues with modern MacBooks, and they’re hardly the pinnacle of durability that the results of the Apple device management survey make them out to be. To round out this rant, MacBooks are just not high quality machines. While their simplistic design is admittedly pretty, similar designs can be found for much cheaper. They also don’t run nearly the amount of apps that Windows machines can run, which

The Brandeis Hoot 13

can be detrimental to work. They also break easily and are a pain to get repaired. Our recommendations for laptops in the same price range as the $1000 MacBook Air are the $1000 Framework Base Configuration (for its customizability and repairability), the $1000 Dell Inspiron 13 Laptop (for its low weight and great feature set) and the $1100 Dell XPS 13 (for its wealth of MacBook-like qualities). These laptops are not only comparable to the MacBook Air in terms of price and hardware, but offer a larger suite of apps and are infinitely easier to repair. We will admit our bias: we’ve always used Windows devices and currently use a 2021 LG gram 15 (Cooper) and an upgraded 2018 Dell XPS 9570 (Vincent). We love PCs and always will, so we wrote this article as a polite denial of the fact that everyone around us uses and loves their MacBook.

Kids say the darndest things By Thomas Pickering editor

Over the summer I took on a new job which was nothing like my previous one. You see, in high school and for my first year of college I worked at a restaurant because all my friends worked there and we loved the managers. Shoutout to Val’s restaurant in Holden—best chicken Marsala in North America. But, last summer I took on a new job which I have been able to continue throughout the semester—I became a tennis coach and fitness trainer. Although I am not coaching high level professional players, I have enjoyed my time coaching kids of all ages on the court, running fitness programs off of the court and even offering my fitness advice to members of the club where I coach.

Coaching has offered me a new perspective on what work is and can be due to the many differences between it and working in a restaurant. The biggest being the culture shock from working with Greek restaurant owners (who have been in the United States for a few generations) to working with Italians. Not American Italians, or some dude with dark slicked back hair, I mean from Italy always making hand gestures like it is the end of the world Italians. The Greeks threaten you with kitchen equipment for doing a bad job, the Italians just yell really loud (not that I am doing a bad job I just notice it around me). But what I was not prepared for when taking on the coaching job was what I would hear from the people around me. Kids will just say the most random stuff sometimes and I want to rate a few things that I have not been able to forget since they said them

out loud.

“I want to watch this whole place burn down to the ground!” I give this quote a two and a half out of 10 because context is needed here. The fire alarm was going off in the building and it was clear to see the smoke up against the windows from the outside. The building was evacuated and even the tennis courts were evacuated despite them being outside. So, we all sat at picnic tables waiting for this mess to be resolved when this kid stood up on the table and said this. What was far creepier was the joker-like smile he had on his face and when I asked why he said that he just said, “I want to see it all go away.” That kid still haunts my dreams and for that reason I am only giving it a two and a half. “No, I am being serious, my name is Juan.” His name was not Juan as I found out way too late in the summer. I give this

a nine out of 10 because it was funny, I looked like a fool and I am willing to admit in hindsight that it was a good one. This kid spent nearly four weeks with me throughout the summer and for the first two weeks he introduced himself as Juan. He told me time and time again that he had no other name so being the tired and bored coach I was I went with it. I did not find out until I had four days left with this kid that his name was not Juan! I called him Juan to his dad! He fully convinced me and when he told me his real name, I could not get myself to call him anything other than Juan. It was mind blowing that he got me that good so that deserves a nine due to the dedication he had. “*incessant screaming*” This quote gets a negative one out of 10 because this was the same kid that said the first quote. Man, I really disliked this kid. He

would just scream sometimes at my face. It was loud and annoying and just really got to me, but not as much as him pronouncing the game “mafia” as “mu-fee-uh”. Somehow that was worse than the screaming and this gets a negative one. “Thomas, you are so romantic.” This one gets a one million out of 10 because it was not said by a camper. It was said by one of my Italian bosses while he was making the iconic Italian hand gesture and drinking an espresso. I mean it does not get more Italian than that! I felt as if I was in the mountains of Milan, eating a wonderful Bolognese and drinking the day away one sip at a time to a wonderfully aged red Lambrusco. Despite all the random nonsense the kids sent my way, that one moment will live with me as a pleasant key memory for the rest of my life.

Welcome back to the Student Sexuality Information Service (SSIS) column, where we answer any and all of Brandeis students’ questions about sex, sexuality, identity and relationships. If you have a question you’d like answered in our next column, email or leave a question in our Google Form: Any and all questions are welcome: there are no bad, stupid or weird questions! (Note: These answers are good-faith attempts by SSIS to be helpful to the Brandeis community, and are by no means exhaustive or to be taken as universal. If these answers don’t resonate with you, either pay them no mind or reach out to us with suggestions for improvement!) By SSIS special to the hoot

How do you define sexual health? This is a really good question, because sexual health can have a different definition based on who you ask. Sexual health is the state of physical, mental, emotional and social well-being in regards to sexuality. It is important to distinguish this definition from just the absence of dysfunction of disability, which it isn’t, and people with disabilities and dysfunction can also be sexually healthy! Being sexually healthy can lead to a respectful and positive approach to sexual relationships and sexuality, including safer and pleasurable

sexual experiences. It is important to understand that sexuality (or the lack of it) is a natural part of life and involves more than just sexual behavior. Emotional health in regards to sexual well-being includes a couple factors, including feeling emotionally safe in the environment you’re engaging in, feeling joy during sexual experiences of your choosing while allowing yourself to be vulnerable, and taking steps to address issues that have come up from past experiences. Communication is a very important aspect of emotional health, as it leads to open dialogue between partners, creates a safe space for exploring sexuality, and allows for a place to advocate for yourself and your needs, as well as learning about your partner’s. Being open and honest with your part-

ner, as well as listening to what they have to say is very important. Mental health can include feeling affirmed in one’s gender identity and/or sexual orientation. This also includes feeling good about your body; having your sexual rights respected, protected and fulfilled; and moving towards fixing issues that have arisen from past experiences. A good aspect of mental health is having access to sexual health information, education and care. If you’re ever interested in learning more, SSIS has a lot of resources to help you. Understanding physical health in sexual experiences places a focus on understanding your own body, where your own pleasure centers are as well as what is most pleasurable for you. And yes! Sexual health does include pleasure

too. It is also important to consider every aspect of your sexual activity and take precautions (like barrier methods) to prevent STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections). SSIS offers a couple barrier methods, including external condoms (placed on the object penetrating, ex. a penis, dildo), internal condoms (for placing inside the vagina/anus) and finger cots and gloves for manual stimulation. It also includes being aware of what’s normal for your body, and seeing a doctor about changes that concern you. If you are at risk for contracting an STI, you might want to consider scheduling STI tests regularly, as some STIs will have no symptoms. Additionally, it is important to treat STIs or any other infections to keep your body healthy. It is a common myth that people

with a disability are automatically unable to be as sexually healthy as someone who isn’t disabled. Not true! People with disabilities can be as sexually healthy as anyone else. There are many ways that disability can impact a person’s sex life, from chronic pain and fatigue to mobility issues. These, however, do not have to stand in the way of a person having the sex life they desire. One great resource for this is the book “The Ultimate Guide to Sex with a Disability,” available in the SSIS office! If you have any other questions or want to see some of the resources we mentioned in the article, stop by room 328 (on the third floor) of the SCC, email, or leave a question in our Google Form!


14 The Brandeis Hoot

November 19, 2021

‘Inside Job’ shouldn’t stay a secret By Sam Finbury staff

It is a tired cliche at this point to say that any new adult animated series is like “Rick and Morty.” The off-the-wall imaginative adventure of the week chaotic comedy style of series existed long before Roiland and Harmon’s cartoon became the poster boy of the genre. “Futurama” was “Rick and Morty” long before “Rick and Morty” was “Rick and Morty.” And yet, after the trailers for Netflix’s conspiracy theory comedy cartoon “Inside Job” were uploaded to YouTube, the common shared sentiment was, “eh, it looks okay, but I’ve already seen Rick and Morty.” It’s an exhausting and reductive comparison that does a disservice to Shion Takeuchi and Alex Hirsch’s efforts behind “Inside Job.” If that second name rings a bell then you have fine taste, as Alex Hirsch was the mind behind “Gravity Falls,” one of the greatest cartoons of the 2010s. “Gravity Falls” was also a comedy centered around conspiracy theories, and while Hirsch’s experience with the subject translated over to “Inside Job,” it is not appropriate to reduce his new series to simply being “like Gravity Falls.” “Inside Job” is not like “Rick and Morty” or “Gravity Falls.” It lacks much of their energy, memorability and addictive nature. “Inside Job” isn’t particularly like anything and after 10 episodes it still squirms in its own skin trying to figure out how to be the best version of itself. Given more time and seasons it could grow into its own as an outstanding adult cartoon, but for the time being, “Inside Job” must settle for being simply “fun.” “Inside Job” presents a world in which every conspiracy theory is true, from the faked moon landing and reptoids, to the hollow earth

and Atlantis. These many secrets are kept under wraps by Cognito Inc., a shadowy organization who helps control the world for their Illuminati-like masked masters. Cognito’s resident mad scientist is Reagan Ridley (Lizzy Caplan), a living pressure cooker of boiling social anxiety, repressed trauma and workplace frustration, who aspires to rise through the ranks and run the company and by extension the world. Alongside oblivious yes-man Brett Hand (Clark Duke), Reagan wrangles her team of sentient mushroom people, former super soldier experiments and fast-talking PR representatives, navigating from crisis to crisis. In theory, “Inside Job” is a workplace comedy about running the deep-state. In execution, it is a far more sentimental story about Reagan’s personal and work lives. As a main character, Reagan is incredibly engaging and endearing and embodies all the internal stumbling blocks a high achieving introvert may possess. The vast majority of the episodes focus on her exclusively, and her relationship with her paranoid rambling dad Rand Ridley (Christian Slater), who rivals Dr. Jonas Venture and Rick Sanchez for the title of worst father in adult animation. However, while Reagan and Rand’s arc is incredibly well executed, their excessive time in the spotlight comes at the expense of the colorful gallery of other characters and the development of the world as a whole. Reagan is a fun character, but she’s only one of many in “Inside Job,” and though she is the protagonist, the writers would have been well served to spread the appreciation around. The creators of the show also seem afraid to have Reagan fit in with her own world. Despite working for an organization that is morally grey on a good day and downright villainous on a

bad one, Reagan’s motivations are simply to use Cognito to improve society, making people recycle using subliminal messaging and creating a more transparent office environment. The vastly more interesting, if risky, route of having her be both endearing and as morally dubious as her employment may necessitate is utterly skirted around. Equally opaque is the world building of “Inside Job.” Depending on the episode, Cognito could be the deep-state or a separate entity from the government entirely. Sometimes they’re contractors for the Illuminati, sometimes they are the Illuminati and sometimes they are a straight up for-profit business. The nature of the world and its characters bend and morph to fit whatever joke the writers are currently trying to tell. While one can say that, as a sardonic cartoon, this casualty of worldbuilding is less than

dire, with the story constantly trying to get me invested seriously in Reagan and her emotional state, the world she lives in shouldn’t be built on such shifting ground. This isn’t to say the world and conspiracies of “Inside Job” fall flat—quite the opposite. The show excels at brewing up new creative chaos for each episode, churning out devilishly clever twists on played out conspiracy theories. For example, while the moon landing was faked in the show, it was only faked because the real Apollo 11 astronauts refused to come back, creating a socialist hippy utopia in space. The show is jam-packed with clever little subversions such as this, as well as entertaining jaunts into parodying ‘80s nostalgia and an entire episode which does nothing but mock the indictment of the American education system that is the flat earth movement. The

comedy in general has more hits than misses, though the reliance on reference humor is glaring (they reference Tupac being alive so much it could be a dangerous drinking game). And, as is to be expected from a show about conspiracy theories, they do make off-color jokes about more sensitive subjects, so if you still cry at night about the Kennedy Assassination, stay far away. All in all, “Inside Job” is good. Just good. If they had committed to and explored their premise more, then it could have been great. If they had focused on more character-based jokes and gave their cast of kooky weirdos more time to shine, then it could have been fantastic. But, alas, good is all it is. Still, I suggest you tune in, as, with the talent it has behind it and the foundation it has built with its first 10 episodes, “Inside Job” has no place to go but up.


‘The Villainess’ is a must-watch for action-revenge genre fans By Caroline O editor

After watching the action-packed, revenge-genre Netflix series “My Name,” I decided to give “The Villainess” (dir. Jeong Byeong Gil) a shot, mostly because I had heard that those who liked “My Name” would like this film. As this movie had come out

about four years ago, I was already somewhat familiar with the plot but even despite this knowledge and the added reference to “My Name,” I enjoyed “The Villainess” to my heart’s content. This movie has everything that an action-thriller could ask for: an unhinged female protagonist, a scarily soft-spoken antagonist, wildly compelling fight scenes and an


overall solid, satisfying storyline. We follow the trajectory of the young assassin Sook Hee (Kim Ok Bin)’s second chance at life. Now working under the guidance of Kwan Sook (Kim Seo Hyung), Sook Hee lives almost normally—a single mother of her daughter Eun Hye (Kim Yeon Woo), a stage actress—only to assassinate those her boss tells her to. There are no questions asked, no suspicions raised from Sook Hee’s end, mostly because this is something that’s too familiar to her. In a series of flashbacks, the movie reveals early on that before working for Kwan Sook, Sook Hee had a similar role as a younger woman. Only back then, she’d been with Lee Joon Sang (Shin Ha Kyun), a dangerous gang leader who, after promising to help her get revenge on who killed her father, raised, married and eventually impregnated her. If that last sentence hasn’t just made you at least wince in some partial disgust or sympathy for Sook Hee, just you wait. This movie paints a very compelling picture of who Sook Hee is as a person and not just as an assassin. Somehow, in the span of two hours, this action film portrays an excellently well-rounded, sympathetic protagonist who, despite being a stone-cold killer, is also

someone who’s capable of extreme softness. For a few portions of the movie, one can almost forget that Sook Hee knows a million different ways to kill a man—because in the moments she is happy, she’s actually a human. It’s telling that all her moments of true happiness are those when she’s not forced into the role of assassin, like when she’s with her daughter or when she’s with her eventual new husband Hyun Soo (Sung Joon). The same woman who can demolish a gang of twenty men can also give the brightest smile to her daughter as she drops her off to school and as the movie progresses, the audience just can’t help but wish Sook Hee lives a life she wants, not the life that’s been assigned to her all this time. But, perhaps that was the point of the film. Even when Sook Hee lives a somewhat better life, it’s all a lie. She might take some refuge in the joy she has in her family, but in the way all of these movies go, those things can only last so long before she’s forced back into reality. It’s a sad concept but one that’s executed with enough blood and delicious revenge that makes the whole matter feel weirdly worth it. Of course, this review wouldn’t be complete without discussing the action scenes, which were

an absolute delight to watch. From the first-person perspective bloodbath that happens in the first five minutes of the movie to the intense sword fights between Sook Hee and her first assignment to the epic showdown between Sook Hee and Joon Sang, there is literally not a single boring action fight in this entire movie. Sook Hee is an absolutely relentless fighter, walking the thin line between absolute grace and absolute destruction in each one of her scenes. That, combined with the incredibly intriguing camera shots, gives all the action scenes a wicked sense of vertigo that feels right for the genre. The blood spurts on the camera aren’t plentiful, but when they’re there, they’re fun. It also helps that the action scenes are very fast, so if you’re someone who gets squeamish around anything too gory, you don’t need to worry about any particularly gruesome shots lasting too long on the dead bodies. Just enjoy the knife swinging and shouting. Overall, “The Villainess” was a weekend watch that I did not regret a single bit. If you want to delve into this specific genre, then mark this movie down as an automatic classic because it’ll be sure to leave you hungering for more of that sweet, sweet revenge.

November 19, 2021


The Brandeis Hoot

‘Angel’s Egg:’ enigmatic, surreal, beautiful By Stewart Huang editor

Every worthy piece of art demands to be solved, its every aspect analyzed, until all is exhausted and its every secret is unearthed from the veil of its appearances. There is a great sense of joy when that is accomplished, and I take pride in thinking that I am mostly successful in such expeditions, to feel that I have a firm grasp on a piece of art. Yet, there is a film that haunts me to this day. It resists my every attempt at full understanding, but it would not stop teasing me with its surreal beauty, inviting me back into its dark sea of mysteries once again. Directed by Mamori Oshii, whom you might also know as the director of 1995’s “Ghost in the Shell,” “Angel’s Egg” is a 1985 animated film that cannot be adequately summarized. It appears to tell the tale of a young girl (played by Mako Hyodo) caring for a mysterious egg in a lonely, post-apocalyptic landscape, waiting for it to hatch. She meets a strange man (played by Jinpachi Nezu) in a military-style uniform, carrying a crucifix-like device, who wants to know what’s inside the egg. But, the film is not as interested in telling a story—the girl and the man remain unnamed, and there is almost no dialogue save for a few scenes—as much as communicating through its cryptic and surreal visual language. You get a taste of it right away in its opening scenes, which I call “The Hands,” “The Bird” and “The Man.” The Hands: In total darkness, a pair of pale hands rubs against the pitch-dark nothingness. The left hand then retracts out of

sight, while the right hand turns its palm facing up. After exercising its joints for a short moment, it performs a full rotation and quickly transforms into a larger, darker hand. It clutches itself tightly. There is a sound of something being crushed, though the hand isn’t holding anything. Then, everything fades to black. The Bird: Under dark and gloomy clouds, a transparent egg rests above the ground, supported by white branches coming out of a white surface. Within the egg, a bird-like creature lies dormant. Its eyelid twitches. But before it wakes up, everything fades to white. The Man: The man carries the crucifix-shaped device on his back, staring into the crimson sky. Behind him is a heap of strange, enormous machinery and under him are black and white tiles that are not unlike those of a chessboard. The wind howls. An enormous mechanical, spherical eyeball, with countless praying statues occupying its exterior, descends upon him from the heavens. At the top of the construct are steam whistles shrieking away to signal their master’s arrival. The man, overshadowed by the thing, gazes back coldly, as if he is expecting it. Meanwhile, a disembodied voice from the girl asks: “Who are you?” I hope that I’ve recreated the scenes adequately so you get a sense of just how incredibly pregnant with ideas and intention they are. The film is full of these images and yet nothing is really explained. Just one mystery after another. What’s in the egg? Who are the two characters supposed to be? What is the nature of the eye-like construct? The most

common interpretation argues that since Oshii suffered a crisis of faith in Christianity prior to making the film, it must be a religious allegory. No doubt this is true to some extent, as there are explicit references to the story of Noah’s Ark in one of the few scenes with dialogue, as well as other allusions and hints. But, it’s not clear what exactly the allegory is about. Is it a scorn of old beliefs, or is it an affirmation of rekindled faith? In a paper I’ve written, the best conclusion I came up with was that it was ambivalent. In other words, I couldn’t solve it, not to my satisfaction. The visuals, the plot and even the soundtrack all elude my search. They seem to convey opposite attitudes, a mixed feeling of dread and somehow majesty. Perhaps it was trying to utter something ineffable, some deeply private, complex, mystical feeling. Oshii himself stated that not even he knows what the film is about. But I can’t help but feel that all the pieces are already there, waiting to be arranged in the correct places, when I see how certain motifs, such as water and shadows, appear time and time again. They must be emphasizing something, and it is just out of my reach. But just when I thought I’d forgotten all about “Angel’s Egg” and moved on to less otherworldly things, its beauty would suddenly re-emerge in the back of my mind, demanding me to take a look at it again. The characters were designed by Yoshitaka Amano, the legendary artist who illustrates the cover art for every “Final Fantasy” –game. His characters always have this sickly yet divine feel to them, especially so for the girl. Their eyes have an intense gaze, but also give off a sense of

world-weariness. The dark, handdrawn backgrounds form a world that feels utterly lifeless but gorgeous to look at all the same. They contrast so dramatically with the two characters, who both have pale white hair (the girl’s hair was animated in painstaking detail so you can see the movement of individual strands of hair). The soundtrack embodies the film’s ambiguity perfectly, enhancing the oppressive, dreadful atmosphere of a world of unknowns. And of course, the surreal images are the most sublime of them all, as you can see from this shot in “The Man” that accompanies this article. Until I decide to write a book about it, this film will haunt me for the rest of my life. But, I have said enough to stave it off for now. I leave you with its retelling of Noah’s Ark, which I find very striking: “And after seven days the waters of the flood came upon the earth. On that very day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and

the floodgates of the heavens were opened. And rain fell on the earth for 40 days and 40 nights. But the ark floated on the surface of the waters. All flesh that moved on the earth died. Birds, cattle, wild animals, all creatures that creep on the earth, and all men. Only Noah and those with him in the ark were left. Then he sent a dove to see if the waters had abated from the surface of the ground. Then he waited another seven days, and again sent forth the dove from the ark, but she did not return to him any more. Where did the bird land? Or maybe it was weakened and was swallowed by the waters. No one could know. So the people waited for her return. Waited and grew tired of waiting. They forgot they had released the bird; forgot there was a bird. They even forgot there was a world sunken under water. They forgot where they were from; how long they traveled, and where they were going. It was so long ago that the animals have turned to stone.”


Wicked movie cast: Ariana Grande, Cynthia Erivo and hopefully not James Corden staff

If you had told me 10 years ago that Ariana Grande would be cast as Glinda in the movie adaptation of “Wicked,” I would have said, “The movie is still only in pre-production?” This prequel musical to “The Wizard of Oz” premiered on Broadway in 2003. Eighteen years later, this smashing success is still playing eight shows a week. Many people have been attached to the making of this movie, and most of these attempts have fallen through. Release dates have been announced, and those dates have passed with nothing being made, but this may soon change. This past February, Jon M. Chu, director of “Crazy Rich Asians” and “In the Heights” was announced as being attached to this project. On Nov. 4, the casting for the main characters, Glinda the Good Witch and Elphaba the Wicked Witch, were officially announced. Grammy Award winner Ariana Grande was announced as Glinda, and Emmy, Grammy and Tony Award winner Cynthia Erivo was announced as Elphaba. Based on this casting, an exciting movie is certainly coming our way. Ariana Grande is known today for being a contemporary pop music princess, with six songs reaching number one on the charts. This may lead some people to believe that she is not suited for a big movie part like Glinda the Good Witch. Howev-

er, Grande actually got her start in theater. At 15 years old, Grande was in the musical “13” on Broadway (which incidentally also has a film adaptation in production). After this, Grande starred in the hit musical Nickelodeon show “Victorious” for three years. After this, along with singing big hits, Grande appeared in “Hairspray Live” as Penny, showing off her musical theatre talents on television. While it has been many years since Grande has acted, she is certainly prepared for the role of the Good Witch. I have been watching Grande since her days on Nickelodeon, and I believe she is going to do a wonderful job. She is a talented and expressive actress with a powerful singing voice, and these are the necessary traits for Glinda. It is safe to say she is up for the challenge. Over the last decade, Cynthia Erivo has made a name for herself in the acting world. She got her big break in the 2015 Broadway revival of “The Color Purple,” where she won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical. She also starred in the movie “Harriet,” based on the life of Harriet Tubman, which earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Actress, as well as a nomination for Best Song for the song “Stand Up” that appeared on the soundtrack. She also received positive reviews as Aretha Franklin in the third season of “Genius,” an anthology series about great geniuses in modern history. Erivo has demonstrated in the past few years her amazing acting talent and beau-

tiful singing voice. Starring in the highly anticipated “Wicked” may be Erivo’s biggest role yet, and she has definitely earned it. I am excited for her performance in this film because I know she will be excellent. So far, only the casting for the two leads of this movie have been announced and many people have given various opinions on who they want to be cast. There seems to be a consensus that James Corden should stay far from this movie. Corden originally started his acting career in the United Kingdom, but soon moved his acting fame across the pond. Most of his recent acting has been in movie musicals, with audiences less than impressed with his performances. He starred in “Into The Woods” where reviews on his performance were not particularly harsh but also not very great. He was also in “Cats” which received many terrible reviews, with Corden’s performance pointed out as unenjoyable and too much. Then there was “The Prom.” While the film itself got average reviews, many people cited Corden’s performance as the worst part. Corden, a straight man, played a flamboyant gay man, and his performance was seen as a harmful caricature. Because of this history of unlikable performances in movie musicals, musical lovers do not want him to tarnish “Wicked.” A petition on was recently made to keep James Corden out of the movie, and over 90 thousand people have signed it. I personally have found that when I


see Corden in a movie, he makes the film too silly and I cannot see the characters he plays, only him. I hope he is not part of this production. “Wicked” is currently the fifth longest running musical on Broadway, and has gone on many national and international tours. It has grabbed the attention and adoration of millions of people around the world. Naturally, a lot of hype has built up around this film. The announcement of casting for its starring roles shows that this musical will soon reach wider audiences. A release date has

not been announced yet but with actors and filming dates being announced, it seems that there is significant progress being made. Grande and Erivo are both gifted artists that are spectacular choices for bringing this show to the big screen. I’m excited to see who else will be in this movie, as long as it is not the weird James Corden, so he can stop taking over movie musicals. Other than that hypothetical, I think that there is a lot of potential for this film, and I hope we find out more about this wild and fun movie soon.


The Brandeis Hoot

November 19, 2021

‘Red (Taylor’s Version)’ is even more magical than the By Emma Lichtenstein and Caroline O editors

First released in 2012, “Red” was noteworthy for some of Taylor’s most beautiful lyrics and sounds, and it marked the beginning of her transition from the country to pop genre. Now the hottest album of the moment, “Red (Taylor’s Version)” is nothing short of the magical experience that first captured the hearts of so many loyal fans when it first came out. The first song that we have to talk about is “All Too Well,” but specifically the 10-minute version. Coming in as the last track of the album and being so long, it’s a little insane how this song has become one of the most streamed tracks on Spotify. However, that should just give you an idea of the power that is Taylor Swift’s mas-

tery of songwriting. We thought “All Too Well” was already poignant, and yet Taylor made an already beautifully written song even more significant by adding killer lines like “you kept me like a secret, but I kept you like an oath” and “just between us, did the love affair maim you too?” This song is so unreasonably good, it’s truly unfair to even compare it to the rest of the album. It deserves to be in a league of its own. Taylor collaborates with many artists on this album, including, most excitingly, Phoebe Bridgers. We were stoked to find that Bridgers had an entire verse to herself and was featured throughout the entirety of the song. Bridgers’ voice is beautifully heartbreaking, delivering a gut wrenching track about the fear of growing older and what that can mean for a relationship. The chorus features the line, “How can a person know

everything at 18, but nothing at 22?” As college seniors, that line hits particularly hard. We came into college so confident, and now we are ready to leave terrified and unsure what to expect. The entire rest of the song is absolutely devastating though, featuring imagery about constantly crying and falling apart. Now, while the new tracks like “All Too Well” and “Nothing New” are nothing short of gut-wrenching and beautifully painful, there were also new songs that really captured the original happy, free, confused, lonely atmosphere of the album. Caroline’s personal favorite of the happier-sounding tracks is “The Very First Night”; while still ultimately about a break-up, it captures the wistful rush of missing someone you felt you understood better than anyone else. In that sense, “The Very First Night” feels like a reverse of

“All Too Well”—with vivid, intimate images like “danced in the kitchen, chased me down the hallway” and “the note on the Polaroid picture,” this song touches on so many happy memories that it makes Taylor’s missing someone “like the very first night” a particularly heartrending experience, even with the incredibly cheerful guitar and the upbeat pace of the drums. There’s nostalgia here for sure, nostalgia and the longing for the rush that comes with falling in love with someone and still wishing you were in love with that someone, even long after they’re gone. Truly, this is a piece that folks will be listening to whenever they miss their ex but don’t necessarily want to be depressed about it. These rerecordings have given Emma a new appreciation for the album. The vault tracks are all so strong and pull the entire album

together, placing the finishing touches on what was already such a fantastic album. Everything fits together so seamlessly, this time with the full story. Taylor was always concerned about the variety of genres on this album—the phrase “sonically cohesive” will forever be in Emma’s vocabulary—but, with the vault tracks, “Red (Taylor’s Version)” exceeds any sort of genre expectations. Taylor’s more mature voice adds depth to the sadder tracks that Emma had previously questioned. “Red (Taylor’s Version)” adds more depth to an album that we thought we knew. With its new tracks adding so much more to its original heartbreak stories, the album that invented fall in 2012 is now re-inventing it in 2021. With the help of “Red (Taylor’s Version),” we are embracing “sad girl autumn” instead of fighting it.

A conversation with Jesse Sendejas of Days N’ Daze By Lucy Fay staff

Musician Jesse Sendejas is grateful for the life he has. That’s what stood out to me most during our short conversation outside the Middle East, a small venue in Cambridge, this October. Sendejas is a singer and guitarist for the band Days N’ Daze, a thrash grass band from Houston, Texas. Thrash grass, often colloquially called folk punk, is punk music played with bluegrass instruments. Common themes in the genre are anarchism, substance abuse and mental health. Days N’ Daze (DnD) is one of the most popular active thrash grass bands, with nearly two hundred thousand monthly Spotify listeners. But numbers do not matter to Sendejas: “Honestly, I’m happy to play for one person, I’m happy to play for a thousand people. It doesn’t really matter. As long as that one person is having a good time, I’m stoked on it. We’ve literally played a show to nobody in Houston one time and it was a blast, I’m just happy to be here. Just happy to show up.” Sendejas started writing music in high school. He was inspired by bands like Johnny Hobo and the Freight Trains, Mischief Brew and Leftover Crack, all of whom he went on to play shows with.

“When I was like 18, we decided to dip and never really stopped after that. Not touring, just traveling and playing at gas stations for gas and food money; that was the jumping-off point where it was obvious: no going back.” Sendejas has been playing music for the whole of his adult life: “this is literally all I know how to do.” But Days N’ Daze did not gain much recognition until 2013, with the release of their album “Rogue Taxidermy.” So for a few years, he worked an array of retail jobs during the day. He recalled working an early morning shift at Target, saying “I only had a bike with no tires on it so I’d ride rims down the shoulder of the highway to get to work; it was terrible.” He’s now able to dedicate his time to writing and performing with DnD and two other bands. “I started Chad Hates George with my sister just so we could have sibling time and a reason to travel together. And then I have Escape from the ZOO with my wife because I always wanted to have an all-electric band.” Sendejas’ whole family is extremely supportive of his music: “I am so lucky to have the family and friends that I do, my dad’s a music writer in Houston so obviously, he’s on board, and my mom is just like the best of all time, she like the mom-est mom when we’re on tour.” DnD’s newest album, “Show Me the Blueprints,” was released in May 2020. It was the band’s

first release under an established record label, Fat Wreck Chords. “Surprisingly and much to our comfort, it didn’t really change anything at all, they were really kind and patient with us. They knew that we had no clue what we were doing … they put us in the studio to figure out a sound and we were visibly terrified and they were like, okay let’s not do it in a big studio, we’ll go to this little practice space and we’ll set up the laptop in there and y’all can record it like you do at your house in the closet, but with our fancy-ass equipment.” Sendejas and singer/trumpeter Whitney Flynn, who Sendejas founded DnD with, write all the music for their band. Flynn was unfortunately unable to join the band in their 2021 tour. “In my mind, it seems obvious which songs I wrote and which songs Whitney wrote. Hers are very poetic. She’ll come to me with pages of words, and I’m like this is not a song, it’s a novel and we’ll need to condense it. I’ll help her pick and choose and piece together what she wants to write. But if it’s a ska song or a pop punky song, it’s probably me.” He noted that writing is what comes easiest to him in the music-making process and that inspiration always comes early in the morning, “before the stressors and pressures of life begin to crush my soul back down.” Sendejas, no stranger to drugs and


alcohol, insists he can only write while sober. “I’ve heard people say write drunk, edit sober, I don’t agree. I’ve, in the past, written things drunk, and it’s just rambling babbling nonsense. There’s no editing that, it’s just awful.” Recording music poses a much greater challenge to Sendejas. He’s a perfectionist who can spend nearly 10 hours on a guitar part for one song. “I have pretty intense obsessive-compulsive disorder. If something doesn’t feel right, or I was thinking about something weird while I was recording it then it’s bad, bad vibes, gotta do it again. It takes me a lifetime if I’m doing it by myself.” Sendejas expressed that working with a producer from Fat Wreck Chords for DnD’s last album made the process much easier. “Johnny, who was recording us would be

like, nope, that was great, we’re moving on. So that really took the pressure off me.” Sendejas loves the genre he plays in and the people he plays for: “The folk-punk scene as a whole in my experience is one of the greatest, kindest, friendliest scenes I’ve ever had the pleasure of being a part of. I feel very lucky to be a part of it.” The music he plays defines the genre. It is fastpaced, angry, political, but also honest and personal and, more often than not, optimistic. Sendejas was kind and funny and a pleasure to talk to. He recommends listening to DnD’s most popular album, “Rogue Taxidermy,” as a starting point for their music.

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.