The Brandeis Hoot, October 22, 2021

Page 1

Volume 19 Issue 8

“To acquire wisdom, one must observe”

October 22, 2021

Brandeis University’s Community Newspaper · Waltham, Mass.

Univ. releases annual EADA report

Students participate in removal of invasive species

By Sasha Skaboviychuk

By Victoria Morrongiello



The university released its annual Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act (EADA) Data Report, a document that discloses information about gender equity in athletic programs. The document included a breakdown of the Athletics Program’s Participation Rates and Financial Support Data for the 2020-2021 academic year. Lauren Haynie, Director of Athletics, sent an annual notice out to community members on Oct. 15 with the EADA Data Report attached. “You will note that this year’s report is based solely on the

Herbicide-Free Brandeis, a student group focused on environmental conservation and the removal of toxic herbicide use on campus, held October Weeding Days where students could go and remove invasive plants and other weeds around campus, according to an Instagram post on their page. “We will be pulling out invasive/unwanted weeds, getting to know the grounds crew, and learning about the types of plants we have on campus. This is a great way to help promote

See REPORT , page 3


See HERBICIDE, page 2


Astead Herndon discusses with students his journalism career By Emma Lichtenstein editor

Astead Herndon, a The New York Times national political reporter, spoke on Tuesday, Oct. 19, to Neil Swidey’s (JOUR) Long-form Journalism: Storytelling for Magazines and Podcasts

(JOUR 113A) class. Herndon discussed his success with his career and his experience becoming a journalist with students. Six years out of college, Astead Herndon has worked for multiple news outlets, including the Boston Globe and the New York Times. His primary focus was on political coverage, though

he has now switched to working on New York Times podcast, “The Daily,” said Herndon in his discussion with the class. Herndon said that a lot of his success has happened through hard work. “People overcomplicate how to be a successful intern,” he said. Herndon shared with the class

that, “you should start by getting good at the thing they hired you to do.” He added to that, saying that sometimes people are “so focused on hitting a home run, they don’t hit the singles in between.” In the discussion, Herndon gave advice to the students on how to get people to talk to journalists for stories. He advised

students on different ways to increase relations between journalists and their sources. Herndon’s tips included being transparent with their sources, being engaged in what the sources are saying and also acknowledging the source’s potential fears of the media. See HERNDON, page 5

Live music returns to Brandeis with Music at Mandel series By Roshni Ray editor

Live music at Brandeis returns featuring the work of the two person music group BOOMscat. Musicians Asha Santee and Patience Rowe performed at Mandel as a part of a series called Music at Mandel this Tuesday. The return of BOOMscat and the Music at Mandel series marks the continuation of an old tradition after the yearlong pause due to the pandemic; Judith Eissenberg, founder of MusicUnitesUS, a campus-wide organization, notes that

Inside This Issue:

lunchtime concerts have been a Brandeis tradition since the beginning of her career at Brandeis in 1980. The MusicUnitesUS program was founded in 2004 with the mission of furthering the appreciation for numerous cultures through the medium of music, according to their website. Since its inception, the organization has highlighted the musical traditions from six different continents, Eissenberg described in an email interview with The Brandeis Hoot. Brandeis University has been See MUSIC, page 4

News: New sports award established Ops: American cheese is not cheese. Features: Dining holds first inclusivity event Sports: Swim & Dive wins against four teams Editorial: Midterm season self care



Page 3 Men’s Tennis Page 11 tennis ends season by Page 9 Men’s winning MIT invitational Page Page 8 Sports: PAGE 7

Only murders In the Building review. Duh. ARTS: PAGE 1


2 The Brandeis Hoot

By Victoria Morrongiello editor

University president, Ron Liebowitz, wrote an update to community members about the highlights from the October Board of Trustees Meeting, according to an email sent by the president on Oct. 15. Updates were given regarding the university’s commitment to the Anti-Racism Plan and the university’s commitment to increasing sustainability on campus. “Throughout the meetings, members of the Board participated in a variety of thought-provoking and productive sessions and discussions. I remain grateful for their engagement, and I look forward to their continued partnership in our shared work of advancing the mission of our university.,” wrote Liebowtiz. David Fryson, Interim Chief Diversity Officer and Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, has been working with Liebowitz to review the feedback portion of the Anti-Racism Plan, according to the email. The processing of reviewing and revising the plan is continuing, according to Liebowitz, and various departments across campus are working on the revision of their plans based on the feedback they received. The revised plans should be shared with community members later this fall, according to the email. The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee also discussed in the meeting the matter of finding a permanent Chief Diversity Officer, a role which Fryson is currently filling. According to the email, “a search committee has been established and listening sessions with faculty, staff and students have begun to help the committee receive input and feedback on the position”

The board unanimously voted during the meeting to advance the university’s commitment to sustainability. This comes after Liebowitz released a statement regarding the university’s continuation of deepening sustainability on campus, according to an email sent by Liebowitz on Oct. 6. The university intended to build on previously successful initiatives in regards to sustainability, including altering the fossil fuel investment policy of the university which was proposed back in 2018, according to a letter from the Office of the Provost from Nov. 2018. According to the email, the university will work on its sustainability goals to, “distinguish Brandeis as a leader when it comes to combatting climate change.” The Board heard from the Student Life Committee who spoke with Lauren Haynie, Director of Athletics, in regards to more programs and resources being launched for varsity athletes, club and intramural sports participants as well as the entire student body, according to the email. “The committee discussed strategies for developing greater community engagement with Brandeis Athletics, better supporting the specific needs of student-athletes and encouraging students to utilize athletic and wellness programs,” wrote Liebowitz. The Student Life Committee also connected with Shelby Harris, Assistant Vice President for Student Engagement and Campus Life, to discuss goals for “enhancing the advising of student club leaders, facilitating university-wide programming, and generating vibrant campus life through building new traditions, alumni engagement, and high-impact in-person programming,” according to the email. The Department of Public Safe-

ty provided an update to the Risk Management and Audit Committee regarding campus engagement and the Reimagining Public Safety Initiative, according to the email. The Board’s Institutional Advancement Committee gave an overview of the, “FY21 year-end results, FY22 goals, and fundraising progress to date”, according to the email. Liebowitz noted that fundraising results for the first quarter— July 1 through Sep. 30— are ahead of last year’s totals, though he noted that it is early in the fiscal year. This committee also updated the board on the Alumni Relations Strategic Plan for FY22. This project will include initiatives like planning the university’s first-ever volunteer leadership convocation, preparing an analysis for Alumni weekend and ensuring alumni relations programming and clubs consider initiatives through a diverse, equitable and inclusive lens, according to the email, Board members were given an update by Jen Walker, the Dean of Admissions and Finacial Aid, about enrollment trends for the

October 22, 2021

undergraduate student body, graduate schools and professional school programs, according to the email. Board members also heard from Provost Carol Fierke about the profiles of the university’s faculty, including criteria of age distribution, recent hiring numbers, compensation trends and trends in BIPOC faculty recruitment. The board gave their approval for two faculty members to be promoted in rank to professor with tenure, according to the email. Sara Shostak (SOC) and Suzanne Paradis (BIOL) both received the rank due to the “impact of their teaching and scholarship” wrote Liebowitz. A Resources Committee Meeting was held where members discussed, “a report from Human Resources, which included information about return-to-campus trainings and various support services being offered to help employees transition back to on-campus work, as well as an update on key initiatives such as the creation of an Employee Benefits Advisory Council and Performance Management Com-

mittee,” according to the email. The Nominating and Governance Committee updated Board members on the compliance within the board for the fiduciary training program, a required training that trustees must complete under a new Massachusetts law, according to the email. Liebowitz noted in the email the university’s success with pandemic-related policies. According to the update 97% of on-campus community members are now vaccinated, the university also has maintained a low positivity rate, according to the email. “It is my hope that with the continued cooperation of the community with our shared health and safety protocols, we will be able to maintain our success in limiting the spread of COVID-19 on campus,” wrote Liebowitz. The Board of Trustees meeting was held virtually on Oct. 4 and Oct. 5, according to the email. The new Chair of the Board is Lisa Kranc ’75 and she led the meetings.


Students work to remove invasive species and weeds on campus HERBICIDE, from page 1

organic land care and help HFB’s mission of moving away from synthetic herbicides,” according to the caption on the post. The group had two Weeding Days, according to the post, held on Oct. 19 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Oct.21 from 1:45 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Students participating met on the Rabb steps. These two weeding days were the first to be sponsored by the group, according to their Instagram reels. “No prior knowledge is needed,” according to their post, “ just bring a water bottle, closed-toed shoes and prepare to get your hands dirty.” Student members of the group Charlene Duong ’23 and Nikki Krieger ’23 spoke to The Brandeis Hoot about the club’s goals. Duong said that the club is trying to get more student support and engagement but by hosting events like the weeding days they’re hoping that the hands-on experience will allow them to get more support and collaboration with students. Duong mentioned that the club

collaborated with the university’s groundskeeper Chris Gould to host this event. Herbicide Free Brandeis hopes to host more weeding days before it gets too cold, said Duong, they also hope to potentially host a planting day. The club has discussed with Colleen Hitchcock (BIOL/ ENVS) the potential of having a planting day in the new pollinator garden by the rose art museum. According to Doung the garden is still in need of mature plants and there is the potential to get students involved in planting them. “There’s not enough talk about herbicide usage,” Doung said to The Hoot, she continued to say that it isn’t something that people typically think or know about and the club is hoping to change that. Herbicide-Free Brandeis has held other clean-up events earlier in the semester, according to their page. The group got involved off-campus at the Stony Brooke Reservoir, located in Waltham, MA, just outside of campus. Students joined the group to clean up trash left at the reservoir back in September, according to an Instagram post. “It’s very important to make sure that you’re cleaning

up after yourself when you enjoy places like the reservoir. Always take everything you brought back with you and leave a place more beautiful than when you found it,” read the caption of the post. Herbicide-Free Brandeis is a

chapter of a National Non-profit Organization Herbicide Free Campus, according to their page. The organization pushes for the movement to transition to 100 percent organic land management on college campuses

and eliminate the usage of toxic chemicals, according to their page. Herbicide-Free Brandeis was featured on their page for their Weeding Day event. Herbicide-Free Brandeis Launched in March 2021.


October 22, 2021


The Brandeis Hoot

Univ. releases EADA Report, showing expenses on atheltics REPORT, from page 1

the sports that the university competed in last academic year, but a full accounting for all sports is available in the caveat box of the report,” wrote Haynie in her email. The data collected on the sheets noted the cancellation of a majority of sports events due to the COVID-19 restrictions in place last academic year. According to the datasheet in Table 1, the only teams to compete in the 2020-2021 academic year were baseball, softball, outdoor track and tennis.

The report breaks down the number of female and male coaches based on whether they are an assistant coach or a head coach. The report also breaks down the gender of the coaches and the gender of the team they coach. The EADA Data Report also gives the salary breakdowns for part-time head coaches of male and female teams. According to the report, male team head coaches at the university receive an average salary of $48,861 annually, whereas female team part time head coaches receive an average $47,085 annually. This pay is only for coaching duties.

The EADA Data Report also provides the salary breakdowns for assistant coaches for male and female teams. The average institutional salary per assistant coaching position was $18,299 for men’s teams and $12,069 for women’s teams. This pay is only for coaching duties. The total head coaches salaries, according to the report, were $146,583 for the men’s teams and $141,255 for the women’s teams, for a total of $287,838. The total salaries for assistant coaches were $73,196 for men’s teams and $60,345 for women’s teams, for a total of $133,541,

for coaching duties only. The report also showed the recruiting expenses incurred by the teams. For men’s sports the recruiting expenses ended up totaling $18,048, while for the women’s sports totaled $10,253. The operating expenses, which are game-day expenses, are $81,813 for the men’s teams and $49,783 for the women’s teams, for a total of $131,596. The grand total of all the expenses for athletics was $4,434,559, according to the report. The report also offered a breakdown of expenses for teams that did not participate as a result

of cancelled seasons due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The highest expenses were for basketball with $289,763 for the men’s team and $263,417 for the women’s team. Soccer had the next highest expenses, with $202,559 for the men’s team and $168,213 for the women’s team. Women’s volleyball had the third highest expenses, with $116,854. Fencing had the next highest expenses with $81,180 for the men’s team and $84,513 for the women’s team. Swimming & Diving had the lowest expenses, with $79,989 each for both the men’s and women’s team.

Univ. creates the Martin Zelnik ‘61 award By Sasha Skarboviychuk editor

The athletics department at Brandeis university announced that it will create a new award in honor of Martin Zelnik ‘61. It will be presented at the end of the year awards ceremony, to two non-recruited athletes, according to a BrandeisNow article, with the first award being presented in spring of 2022. “The honoree is someone who makes a significant contribution to a varsity team or teams through spirit, enthusiasm, and work ethic to improve their own skills and those of their teammates, epitomizing the camaraderie and loyalty of a Brandeis student-athlete,” said the article. The award comes from a gift from Zelnik, who was a Renaissance man at Brandeis during his time here. Although he was not recruited, Zelnik played five sports during his time at Brandeis: tennis, his primary sport, fencing, basketball, foot-

ball and soccer. With him on the team, Brandeis held a 30-3 record between 1959 and 1961. He later was the coach for the first varsity women’s tennis team at Brandeis. According to Lauren Haynie, Director of Athletics, “the Martin Zelnik Award pays tribute to student-athletes who fly under the radar during the recruiting process … It also recognizes those who realize that they want to pursue playing a varsity sport once they are on our campus. Our coaches and department value the contributions of student-athletes that have a unique path in joining our programs.” After his graduation from Brandeis in 1961, Zelnik studied architecture at Columbia University. He then founded his own firm Panzel Associates, in which he is still involved today. He also taught interior design at the State University of New York, and co-authored three design publications. Zelnik was inducted into the Brandeis Hall of Fame in 2006. He is currently semi-retired, though remains active in commu-

nity action in zoning in New York. According to an interview with BrandeisNow, when asked what originally attracted Zelnik to Brandeis, he said his attraction was two-fold. “My initial awareness of Brandeis was when I was a camper-waiter at a sleep-away camp in the Pocono Mountains: Camp Onibar! The head waiter was Julie Bernstein, a distinguished labor attorney and Brandeis benefactor later on in his life. He had attended and recently graduated from Brandeis - class of 1957. Julie would hold court in the waiters’ bunks, infusing our innocent minds with discussions about civil rights, social justice, the ACLU, and why we should all apply to Brandeis. That waiters bunk produced 5-6 future Brandeisians!” His second factor was a basketball match between Brandeis and New York University, where Brandeis, despite being a small school, defeated NYU. According to Zelnik, at Brandeis he “developed a work ethic that morphed later in life into architecture grad school at Colum-

bia while working part-time and starting a family.” His advice for Brandeis student-athletes is that they should “follow [their] hearts academically and athletically.”

“Take advantage of every activity you can while at Brandeis. If you love a sport and are competitive at it, pursue it for the pure love of playing the game,” he said.


Domestic violence awareness month on campus By Victoria Morrongiello editor

264 purple flags were placed on the great lawn on campus in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Signs were posted with the flags with resources for community members seeking safety if they are experiencing or have experienced domestic abuse or assault. “The blank space in the display represents the trans and gender non-conforming folk who are not included in this statistic based on lack of data,” reads the sign placed in the center of the display. There were 246 flags placed on the lawn for the 264 individuals who reported on the 2015 Brandeis Campus Climate Survey that had experienced abuse in a relationship, according to the sign. In the 2015 Brandeis Campus Climate Survey, of the undergraduate class 5% were men and 9 percent were women, according to the sign, who had experience abuse. One of the signs features a quote from The Network/La Red’s page which defines domestic violence as, “a systematic pattern of behaviors where one person non-consenually uses power to try to control the thoughts, beliefs, actions, body and/or spirit of partner.”

One of the resources listed on the signs was Prevention, Advocacy and Resource Center (PARC) which is an organization on campus that provides confidential, student-centered aid for those who have been impacted by violence. It is also a resource for students who want to contribute to the anti-violence movement, according to their page.PARC provides workshops, events, and online resources for violence prevention education, according to their website. PARC has a chat with a peer advocate feature which is available to students Monday through Friday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. at, according to the sign. PARC also has a 24 hour hotline, open seven days a week, which can be reached at 781-736-3370. Another resource listed on the sign was The Network/La Red, which is an organization against partner abuse led by survivors, according to their page. The Network/La Red works specifically to end abuse in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, SM, polyamorous and queer communities, according to their website. This resource is led with anti-oppression principles and survivor-led values, according to their page, with a

focus in identifing, confronting and taking action against various forms of oppression while encouraging survivors. The Network/La Red has a 24 hour hotline, open seven days a week. You can reach the hotline at 617-742-4911. The final resource listed for stu-

dents on the signs was REACH Beyond Domestic Violence, a program which promotes healthy relationships and works to end domestic violence, according to their website. The REACH program focuses on four key areas of intervention including: safety and

shelter, education and prevention, community based avocacy work and community engagement, according to their website. REACH has a 24 hour hotline, open seven days a week, which can be reached at 800-899-4000.



The Brandeis Hoot

October 22, 2021

The MusicUnitesUs program resumes Music in mandel series after a pause due to COVID-19 MUSIC, from page 1

host to musicians from Azerbaijan, Ghana, India, Korea, Peru, Syria, Turkey and more. The artists use music and storytelling to convey aspects of the history, society and cultural traditions to the public. “There’s something about music that invites empathy--that powerful shape-shifting quality,” Eissenberg wrote in an email to The Brandeis Hoot. The MusicUnitesUS program facilitates the connection between creative projects and academic inquiry, according to their website. For one-week-long periods during the semester, the program hosts artists whose work and background pertain to a certain social, political or cultural setting. These one-week programs are called residencies. Brandeis students can participate in workshops that integrate the curricula of current classes, panels or guest speakers and informal gatherings for the participants. In addition to the residencies, the program organizes concerts such as those performed in Mandel, as well as a final concert in

Slosberg Music Hall. In partnership with the Waltham Public School system, the artists and staff of MusicUnitesUS take part in outreach programs to help propagate the mission of integrating the sharing of diversity and culture through the medium of music. During the pandemic, the residencies were all shifted to a remote mode, Eissenberg explained in her email. Instead of a final concert, the artists created a new film which showcased their work. The event garnered the attention of approximately one thousand online viewers, according to Eissenberg. More live performances are scheduled for later in the semester as a part of the Music at Mandel series . The Brandeis Concert Series page details the upcoming events available for Brandeis community members at the Mandel Center for Humanities. Commmunity members are welcomed to come and listen to the music being performed. “I love the connection between the Humanities and the Arts … and the space is fun!” Eissenberg said to the Hoot via email.


Usdan dining hall reopening

In the Senate, Oct. 17 •

• •



James Feng ’22, Student Union secretary, was confirmed for impeachment after gaining a majority vote for the motion. 17 of the 18 senators voted in favor of impeaching the secretary, Asher Brenner ’24 being the only senator to vote to abstain. With over a two-thirds majority, the motion passed to impeach Feng and the impeachment process will be taken to the judiciary. Executive Senator Joseph Coles ’22 had 10 minutes to give the reasoning for impeachment where he stated, “I have zero confidence in the secretary’s ability to run elections,” deeming Feng’s actions “disorganized and unprofessional.” Coles noted that during the September elections, Feng had provided a set of incorrect candidate names, including duplicates, after surpassing the deadline to submit them to the administration. According to Coles, Feng had issued an incorrect date for the information session that followed and did not post a correction in time, resulting in none of the candidates attending. On top of responding to emails and Slack messages days later, Feng had blamed other senators for his actions during meetings, even telling the Student Union Chief of Staff to tell the Student Union President to “be more efficient in the future.” Coles had asked Feng to resign from his position after failing to be responsive to communications and overseeing the student elections. According to Coles, Feng had refused to accept responsibility for his actions until impeachment was on the table. “I am sincerely ashamed and deeply upset at what I have and have not done both with my unacceptable attitude last Sunday and the various incidents during the special elections,” Feng commented in response to Coles’ speech. Feng claims that he was instructed by the Student Union President to have the election packet prepared but sent it out by Sep. 15, which was his “academic light day.” Feng claims that he was reluctant to reach out for help once the election packet was in, stating, “I thought it was a sign of inadequacy.” Feng claims to have considered resignation but refused to because he would be “unable to address the problems at the core” and said, “I chose to stand before you today to address my issues head-on.” Towards the end of Feng’s speech he quoted “The Lion King,” saying “the past may hurt, you may run from it or learn from it,” after repeatedly asking for the union to give him a second chance. When asked why the position was so important to him by Lia Bergen ’25, Feng responded by saying that he “felt honored and privileged to have a leadership position.” He continued saying that “communication suits [him] well.” Ashna Kelkar ’24 asked Feng to explain his reasons for finally taking responsibility for his actions. Feng replied claiming to have had an epiphany during a soccer practice he attended during the week, which changed his overall mindset. Yael Trager ’24 asked how he plans to show how he would be a better listener to which Feng stated, “I’m sorry for being that brat last Sunday.” - Vimukthi Mawilmada

October 22 , 2021


The Brandeis Hoot

Brandeis announces further commitment to sustainability

HERNDON, from page 1

“I wasn’t very good at journalism, and I was around a lot of people who were better than me,” Herndon admitted to the class. Herndon also said to the class to let people own their opinions. “I don’t try to save people,” Herndon

explained. He went on to say that just because you disagree with someone’s idea, does not mean that the idea is unpopular. “Reporters presume what looks bad and what doesn’t,” he said but warned against assuming morality. “It only looks bad to those who

disagree.” Following that thread, he acknowledged the idea of humility while talking to sources. “You can’t be afraid of being the less smart person in a conversation,” he advised. “‘Dumb’ questions could open up a source more.” He said that sources enjoy


The university announced closure dates for the two testing sites on campus. The sites will only be closed for previously scheduled events but otherwise will maintain regular scheduling, according to an email sent to the community by Morgen Bergman, Associate Provost for Academic & Strategic Initiatives, on Oct. 15. The university will close the Mandel Center for Humanities testing site on Wednesday, Oct. 20, Wednesday, Nov. 3 and Wednesday, Dec. 1, according to the email. On these dates the Mandel Center for Humanities will instead be hosting the Music at Mandel series— a collaboration between the Brandeis Department of Music and the Mandel Center for the Humanities— in the atrium, according to the Music at Mandel events page. On the dates when the Mandel Center for Humanities testing site is closed the Shapiro Science Center Site will remain open with its usual operation hours from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., wrote Bergman to the community. On Monday, Oct. 25 the Shapiro Science Center testing site will be closing early at 2 p.m. instead of 4 p.m., according to Bergman’s email. All testing will take place at the Mandel Center for Humanities testing site after 2 p.m. In the update, Bergman also wrote to community members about travel policy updates. Due to the emergence of new variants and the continuous rise and fall of infection rates, the university will be implementing new policies regarding travel, wrote Bergman. The new policies regard the permission required prior to travel as well as the testing and quarantining process upon returning, according to the email. Community members traveling to countries that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has labeled as a Level 3, high risk of contracting

COVID-19, or Level 4, very high risk of contracting COVID-19, will be required to follow the CDC’s recommendations even if individuals are fully vaccinated. New university requirements for community members returning from travel to Level 3 countries, regardless of vaccination status, requires that they: submit a sample for testing upon return, travel-quarantine until a negative test result is received, wear a mask indoors at all times on campus until a second negative result is received after travel and submit a second sample 72-96 hours after the first sample, according to the university’s Fall 2021COVID Policies page. For students returning from a Level 4 country, regardless of vaccination status, are required to: submit a sample for testing upon return, immediately begin travel-quarantine for seven days, submit a second sample 72-96 hours after submission of the first sample, end travel-quarantine on the seventh day after return from travel and receiving two negative test results, according to the university’s Fall 2021COVID Policies page. Bergman reminded community members in the update to continue to adhere to the mask policy on campus. “Despite our low positivity rates and high vaccination rates, we are still requiring masking in all indoor public settings, including the SCC, Atrium of SSC, Library, Usdan and Gosman, bathrooms, hallways, dining areas when not actively eating or drinking,” wrote Bergman. Community members planning indoor events are reminded to stay updated on COVID-19 policies regarding the guidelines for having guests at events in order to mitigate risk, according to the email. Those seeking their documentation of their Flu shot vaccination are encouraged to reach out to the pharmacists directly at with your name and date of birth, wrote Bergman.

A major difference Herndon mentioned was that “audio loves an arc,” meaning that every feature needs a beginning, a middle and an end. He also explained that the interview process is different for the two types of journalism, with the production team drafting

COVID-19 dashboards

COVID-19 updates on campus By Victoria Morrongiello

teaching journalists about their topics of interest. Though he started in print journalism, Herndon is now working in audio journalism. From his experience in both fields, Herndon said that there are some differences between print and audio journalism.


Total postive COVID-19 cases each week. Last Update October 7, 2021.


Total COVID-19 tests administered each week. Last Update October 7, 2021.

6 The Brandeis Hoot


October 22, 2021

Women’s volleyball vs. Rochester and Chicago

By Francesca Marchese staff

In the final University Athletic Association (UAA) women’s volleyball tournament of the season, the Brandeis women’s volleyball squad secured seventh place after defeating the University of Rochester (UR) 3-2. This closing Round Robin of the season was held at Emory University in Atlanta, GA where Brandeis faced the 18th-ranked University of Chicago Maroons in addition to the University of Rochester Yellowjackets. Overall, the Judges are 6-15 on the season, and after securing their first win in the UAA, the Judges fell to 1-6 in conference play. In the opening match against the UC Maroons, the Judges were unable to take the lead, falling to their opponent 25-14. Taking an early 5-1 lead in the second set, the Judges were off to a promising start against the 18-ranked squad. However, Brandeis began to lose momentum after UC tied the match up, 18-all off of five straight points. A service error by the Maroons gave Brandeis another chance to take control of

the action and Lara Verstovsek ’25 provided a spark, putting two service aces on the board to make it 21-18. While the Judges did give the Maroons a run for their money, the Brandeis squad did lose the second and third sets. Verstovsek led all players with seven kills, while senior leader Stephanie Borr ’22 had five for the game. Ines Grom-Mansenecal ’24 had a complete game, recording a double with 19 assists and 11 digs while successfully killing four of her five attacks. Sophomore Rita Lai ’24 contributed four blocks in the team’s effort against the Maroons. In the second game of the day, the Judges faced the Yellowjackets who took the first two sets, 18-25 and 25-22. However, the Brandeis women were able to regain control of the game in the third set, gaining momentum that carried them to their first UAA win of the 2021 season. Down early in the fourth, 7-2, the Judges successfully took the lead on a kill by Amelia Oppenheimer ’23. While the opponent did respond to the Judges 10-3 run with a 9-2 run of their own, a Brandeis timeout called by Head Coach Alesia Bennett iced the

Yellowjackets; the Judges went on to score eight of the next 10 points and regained the lead on a tremendous kill by Borr. The teams traded the next couple of points, but the Brandeis women won by two, 26-24, forcing a decisive fifth set. After trailing to start the fifth set, 7-2, the Judges scored six in a row, including a kill from Borr, a service ace from classmate Kait-

Borr kept the Judges in the game, retying the match at 15-all after a kill; it was junior Emily Morrison’s ’23 service ace that allowed the Judges to clinch the set, beating the Yellowjackets in five sets. Stephanie Borr led her team with match and career-high 15 kills as one of three Judges to reach double figures. Verstovsek and Oppenheimer each contributed 11 kills, while Ella Pereira


lyn Oh ’22 and a block at the net by Lai. Unable to capitalize on opportunities, the Judges allowed UR to tie the fifth match at 14-all.

’24 also recorded a career-high 28 digs. Borr had 12 digs for her first double-double of the season, while Verstovsek had 11 for

Brandeis women’s soccer Oct. 21 By Jesse Lieberman staff

After outshooting Case Western 17-2 in 2-1 defeat Oct. 9 at homecoming, the Brandeis women’s soccer team traveled to the Midwest, where it faced its most difficult two game stretch of the season. The Judges, eager to earn themselves a tournament berth, bolstered their resume this past weekend, knocking off ninth ranked University of Chicago 3-2 on Friday, and falling to rank 3 Washington University 2-1 on Sunday. The Judges returned home on Wednesday, defeating Bridgewater State University 2-1. The Judges are now 7-4-2, and 1-3 in University Athletic Association (UAA) play. Friday October 15: No. 22 Brandeis 3 – No. 9 Chicago 2: Midfielders Caroline Swan ’23 and Daria Bakhtiari ’22 each scored in the second as the Judges came back from down 2-1 to hand the Maroons their first loss of the season.

Even at 2-2 in the 76th minute, sophomore forward Yasla Ngoma ’24 received a pass from the left side of the field and passed it to Bakhtiari just outside the 18-yard box. Bakhtiari proceeded to rifle a shot just above the outstretched arms of the Chicago goalkeeper to give the Judges a 3-2 lead. The Judges maintained their lead in the remaining quarter of an hour, despite a valiant effort from the Maroons as six of Chicago’s 18 shots came in the final 14 minutes. Brandeis goalkeeper Hannah Bassan ’25 made a fantastic save in the final moments of the match to seal the deal. Senior forward Juliette Carreiro ’22 opened the scoring in the eighth minute, chipping a ball over the goalkeeper from inside the 18-yard box. Chicago scored the next two goals of the match, one in the 32nd minute and the other coming in the 56th minute to take a 2-1 lead. The Judges responded immediately, scoring 81 seconds later to tie the score 2-2. Carreiro played a

her fourth double-double of her career. Setter Grom-Mansenecal added 39 assists and 14 digs in their winning effort against the Yellowjackets, resulting in both her second highest totals of the season and her ninth double double. For the season, the Judges are 2-2 in five set matches. The Brandeis women’s volleyball team will compete in their next non-conference game on

ball from the left to the top of the 18-yard box to Swan. Swan beat the keeper, chipping a shot that just snuck under the crossbar for her first goal of the season. Prior to Friday’s match, the Maroons conceded only four goals all season. For Bakhtiari, the goal was her fifth of the season and 17th in her career. Ngoma picked up her second assist of the year, while Carreiro’s assist was her sixth of the campaign. Sunday October 17: No. 3 Wash-U 2 – No. 22 Brandeis 1: Down 2-0 late in the second half, sophomore Lenhart ‘’24 scored a goal, but it was not enough as the Judges fell to no. 3 Wash U. After a scoreless first half, the Bears opened the scoring in the 66th minute on a corner. Eight minutes later, the Bears doubled their lead on a free kick from just outside the 18-yard box. The Judges answered six minutes later. Ngoma headed a pass to Lenhart who blasted in her third

goal of the season. The Judges had several attempts to even the match in the final 10 minutes, but shots from Carreiro and Makenna Hunt ’22 both missed high. For the Judges, the match was their fourth consecutive against a nationally ranked opponent. Bassan tied her career-high with eight saves. Wednesday October 20: Brandeis 2 – Bridgewater St. 1: Daria Bakhtiari scored a penalty and midfielder Morgan Clark ’23 scored the game-winner as the Judges held on to beat the visiting Bears in the return to Gordon field. Bridgewater State tied the match 1-1 following a fantastic shot from distance in the 71st minute. Less than a minute later, Carreiro sent in a cross from the left side finding Clark near the top of the 18-yard box. Clark took a dribble and placed a shot that bounced off the right goal post into the net. Though scoreless in the first half, both teams had several fantastic opportunities. Bridgewater

the road at Johnson and Wales on Oct. 21 at 7 p.m. On Oct. 22, the Judges host Bowdoin College at 7 p.m.

State had a shot bounce off the crossbar. Brandeis had one-onones with the goalkeeper but couldn’t convert. The Judges opened the scoring in the 55th minute, after Carreiro was fouled inside the 18-yard box. Bakhtiari perfectly executed the penalty for her sixth goal of the season, placing it in the lower right corner of the goal. The Judges had multiple chances to extend their lead following Clark’s goal, but the goalkeeper for Bridgewater State made several outstanding saves to keep the match at 2-1. The goal for Clark was her first this season, and second of her career. Carreiro added to her teamlead with her seventh assist. The Judges will play two more non-conference matches before their final three matches in UAA play. The next home game at Gordon field will be Friday, Oct. 29, at 5 p.m. against Emory.

Men’s soccer wins one and loses one By Justin Leung editor

After a three-game cold streak, the Judges needed to get a win. A week after their homecoming game, they proceeded to play against University of Chicago at Chicago. They played a tough game and ultimately, they were rewarded with a win. The game had action early on as Chicago had a corner kick in the fifth minute of the game. This corner kick resulted in a header that was ultimately saved by Brandeis goalie junior Aiden Guthro ’23. A couple minutes later, the Judges went on the attack and took their first shot on goal. This shot came from senior forward Sammy Guttell ’22, but it was saved by the Chicago goalie. At the end of

the half, Chicago had eight shots to Brandeis’ two. Out of those eight shots from Chicago, only two were on target and they were both saved by Guthro. In the second half there were double the number of shots. The Judges had seven to Chicago’s eleven. Even with all these shots, the game was tied for most of the game. Then in the 87th minute sophomore forward Max Horowitz ’24 became the hero as he scored an unassisted goal. This would end up being the only goal scored in the game. Even though Chicago outshot the Judges nineteen to nine, ultimately only five of the nineteen shots were on target. All five of these shots were saved by Guthro and gave him another clean sheet for the season. Guthro ended with five saves in the game. Surprisingly, Chicago had twelve corner

kicks in the game and Brandeis had zero. The Judges also had four more fouls than Chicago. However, all these statistics do not matter when you get the win. Two days after their win against Chicago, the Judges traveled to Washington University (WashU). This was the last game the Judges would play away in October. In the first half both teams were neck and neck. The Judges had five shots and WashU had eight. However, neither team scored a goal. WashU had two shots on target while the Judges only had one. With the game tied at the half, both teams came firing early. WashU ended up scoring the first goal of the game in the 51st minute. Freshman forward John Loo ’25 got a chance to even the score, but ultimately his shot was saved.

10 minutes later, the Judges had another chance to score as junior defensive back Forrest Shimazu ’23 took a shot on goal in the 67th minute. Although it was a good effort, the shot was saved. Ultimately WashU clinched the game in the 85th minute with a goal. The final score of the game was 0-2. Brandeis out shot their counterparts six to three in the second

half, but they could not get one in the net. The Judges will play Emory University on Oct. 29 at home and then play another game at home against the University of Rochester on Oct. 31. They have won only one game out of their last five, so they hope to win these final two home games.


October 22, 2021

The Brandeis Hoot 7

The Brandeis Hoot

Cross country participates in Connecticut College Invitational By Justin Leung editor

Both men’s and women’s cross country competed in the Connecticut College Invitational on Oct. 16, 2021. These two teams had the tough challenge of facing off against multiple schools nationally ranked in the top 20. Although both teams faced very tough competition this past week, both teams fared well. The men’s team finished 19th out of 26 schools as they finished with 567 points. For the men’s team freshman Daniel Frost ’25 finished first for the team. Frost the 6k 26:59 and he ended up in 91st place. Sophomore Walter Tebbetts ’24 followed shortly after as he finished in 106th. Tebbetts finished with a time of 27:32.4. The next runner from Brandeis finished

in 129th. This was junior Casey Brackett ’23 and he ran the 6k in 28:05.8. Sophomore Willem Goff ’24 finished right behind Brackett with a time of 28:09.6. Goff finished five places behind Brackett in 134th. Senior Jac Guerra ’22, sophomore Samuel Kim ’24 and freshman Lucas Dia ’25 were the final three runners to finish for Brandeis. They finished in 137th, 147th and 151st respectively. The women’s team finished in 7th out of 26 schools and had a score of 180. Senior Erin Magill ’22 led the team once again as she finished the 6k in tenth out 196. Magill had a time of 22:14.3 which was just four seconds behind ninth place. Senior Niamh Kenney ’22 was the next student from Brandeis to finish. Kenny finished in 17th with a time of 22:38.6. Senior Natalie Hattan ’22 was not far behind her as she finished in


25th with a time of 22:57.8. This gave the Judges three runners in the top 25 and two within the top 20. Sophomore Juliette Intrieri ’24 finished in 66th with a time of 23:53.4. Junior Bridget Pickard


By Sasha Skarboviychuk editor

The Brandeis men’s tennis team competed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) 2021 invitational tournament on Oct. 16 and 17. Brandeis’s Jeffrey Chen ’22 and Adam Tzeng ’22 came back as champions of the tournament.

In the first round, Chen and Tzeng defeated the team from Amherst, with a final score of 8-0. In the second round, they played against MIT, winning 8-4. In the semi-finals, they faced off against another team from MIT, which they also defeated with a score of 8-4. In the final round Chen and Tzeng faced off against a team from Tufts, after a close 8-7 match they had to play a tiebreaker, The

tiebreaker, which requires seven points to win, resulted in a win for Chen and Tzeng, with a final score of 7-4. In the singles division, only Simon Kauppila ’23 and Chen made it through the first round. Kauppila won his first match against Amherst with scores of 6-0 and 6-1. However he then lost to Tufts, with a score of 6-2, 7-5. Chen defeated a player from Tufts, with

’23 finished only a few seconds behind Intrieri. Pickard ended up in 71st with a time of 23:58.2. Freshman Zada Forde ’25 was the final runner from Brandeis to finish in the top 100. Forde finished in 99th place with a time of 24:33.4. This was 0.1 seconds in front of the runner from the United States Coast Guard Academy who finished in 100th. This gave Brandeis overall, six runners in the top 100. Freshman Kyra Au ’25 and junior Victoria Morrongiello ’23 were the final runners from Brandeis to finish. They finished in 124th and 149th respectively with times of 25:10.2 and 25:56.9. According to USTFCCCA polls and rankings, the Brandeis women’s cross country team was ranked 35th in the nation. However, at the Connecticut College Invitational, the team proceeded to defeat the 28th

ranked Wesleyan College, the 26th ranked Worcester Polytechnic Institute and the 25th ranked George Fox University. They also finished just 11 points behind the 13th ranked Amherst College. Both teams will next compete on Oct. 30, 2021, at Rochester New York for the University Athletic Association (UAA) championships. “Since our conference is spread out geographically this is going to be a good chance to race against other teams from around the country.” Magill told The Brandeis Hoot when asked about the UAA championships. This will be the final competition for Brandeis cross country for October. Editor’s Note: News Editor Victoria Morrongiello did not contribute to the writing or editing of this article.

scores of 7-6, (7-4) and 6-1. However, he then lost to MIT’s player with a score of 6-3, 6-4. Other teams from Brandeis included Colt Tegtmeier ’22 and Colin Fox ’25, Henter Levine ’23 and Chen Liang ’25. Tegtmeier and Fox won against a team from MIT in the first round, with a score of 8-6. However in the second round, they lost 5-8, not advancing any further in the tourna-

ment. Levine and Liang defeated a team from Tufts with a final score of 8-5 in the first round, however lost against a team from Amherst, with a score of 3-8. This was the last tennis match of the season for the men’s team; the women’s team has already finished. The tennis season will begin again in February.

Swimming and diving open season with wins By Sasha Skarboviychuk editor

The Brandeis swimming and diving team traveled to New York to compete in their first competition of the season, the Hartwick Relays, on Oct. 16 and 17. Both the men’s and women’s teams won against five other teams. The men’s team won with 136 points for the team, followed by Hartwick College and Le Moyne College with 96 points each. Oneonta College took fourth place with 72 points, followed by St. Rose College with 50 points. The women’s team won with 126 points, followed by Le Moyne College with 98 points. St. Rose College came in third with 90 points, followed by Oneonta College in fourth place with 86 points and Hartwick College in fifth place, with 64 points. Of the 21 races held during the competition, the Judges won 15 of them. Brendon Lu ’22 got four wins for the team, in the mixed 200-medley relay, the 400-medley relay, the 3x200 IM relay and the 3x100 breaststroke relay. The four wins was the highest number of wins on the team. Seven others on the men’s team had three wins for the team. Austin Shih ’24, George Zhu ’24, Tal Sector ’24

and Ido Petel ’24 had three wins each. Andrew Ngo ’24 swam in the 850-crescendo relay, the 400-yard medley relay and 3x200-IM relay, which were winning races. Sam Dienstag ’24 swam in the 200-free relay, the 400-medley relay and

the 850-crescendo relay, winning all three races. James Barno ’23 took part in the 3x100 butterfly relay, the 3x100 free relay as well as the 200-yard medley relay. Three people on the women’s team contributed three wins. Bailey Gold ’23 won the 800-medley

relay, the 400-medley and the 3x100 butterfly relay. Olivia Stebbins ’22 contributed wins in the 800-medley relay, the 400-medley and the 3x100 breaststroke relay. In her first collegiate competition, Chloe Gonzalez ’25 also contributed three wins for the

team. She participated in the winning 200-free relay, the women’s 400-medley relay and the mixed 200-medley relay. The Brandeis swim and dive team will have their next competition on Saturday Oct. 23 at the Linsey Pool at 1 p.m.



The Brandeis Hoot 8

“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 Tim Dillon Grace Zhou

Volume 19 • Issue 8 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, Joey Kornman, Josh Lannon, Kristianna Lapierre, Max Lerner, Rafi Levi, Jesse Lieberman, Francesca Marchese, Abigail Roberts, 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.


October 22, 2021

Selfcare during midterm season

n case you were unaware, we are currently in the middle of midterm season, which means everyone, from students to professors are extremely stressed. We would like to remind you all to take care of yourselves. During stressful times, it is very easy to forget about taking care of yourself, however it is very important to not do that. Don’t let studying or stress let you forget to eat. Getting enough food is extremely important, especially when you are putting a lot of pressure onto your body. Don’t forget to eat all your regular meals and snack while you are studying. According to Healthline, the best foods to eat while you study are berries, dark chocolate, nuts, citrus fruit, eggs, avocados, fish and beets. Although beets and fish are not exactly snack foods, you can definitely grab some berries, nuts and chocolate to snack on! Sleep. Just don’t forget to sleep. During midterm season it is especially important to get enough rest;

you are putting a lot of pressure on your body. If you don’t get enough rest, how are you expecting your body to perform well? If you are struggling to fall asleep, try listening to a podcast to get your mind off of stressful thoughts. White noise also helps, if you cannot sleep with people speaking. Adults need at least seven hours of sleep per night, so try to at least hit that figure. Though oftentimes when you are putting your body under a lot of pressure, especially mentally, you require more than seven hours of sleep. Being well rested for your exams is crucial to doing well on them. Of course, studying is important, but it is also super important to take study breaks. Research shows that you need to take short, 5 to 15 minute, breaks after every hour of studying that you do. You also need to take a long break, around 30 minutes, for every two to fours of studying that you do. This prevents you from getting too tired while

studying, keeping you productive and makes sure that you are studying at an efficient pace. If you notice that you are getting tired, take a short break, even if it's just to walk around the room you are in. If you are feeling extremely overwhelmed and feel like you have way too many things to do, communicate with your professors. Most professors understand that this is a very busy time of year, and will be willing to work with you. At the end of the day, everyone wants you to succeed. Overall, just don’t let the stress get to you. Yes grades are important but so is your health, both mental and physical. There are numerous resources at Brandeis that offer support, such as the Brandeis Counseling Center, the Office of Health and Wellness Promotion (HAWP), the Dean of Students Office, among others. To make an appointment at the Brandeis Counseling Center, call 781-736-3730 to reach the front desk.

October 22, 2021


The Brandeis Hoot 9

Professor Sarah Mayorga: understanding inequality and how whiteness shapes Latinx communities By Shruthi Manjunath editor

Professor Sarah Mayorga (SOC), a sociology professor at Brandeis, explains in an email interview with The Brandeis Hoot, that she grew up in Miami and explains that she got involved in sociology because “it helped me understand my experiences as a Latina in a predominantly white college. Studying Latinx populations has always been a central focus for me and understanding racial inequality is a key part of that story.” She took various sociology courses during undergrad that sparked her interest in sociology. Mayorga earned her PhD at Duke University and worked with Eduardo Bonilla-Silva. In 2010, Mayorga interviewed members of the community in Durham, North Carolina to understand more about why they decided to live in this community. Many people said they wanted to live in a racially and ethnically diverse place and also mentioned the term “urban white.” Mayorga wanted to understand more about the relationships between white

By Emma Lichtenstein editor

History was made on Oct. 21. For the first time in Brandeis history, Dining Services hosted an LGBT inclusivity event: a drag show called “Drag Me to the Stein” featuring the drag queen Binx. The Brandeis Hoot spoke to some of the planners—Marketing Specialist Alexander Zolotov from Dining Services, Director of the Gender and Sexuality Center (GSC) Julián Cancino and Coordinator for the Intercultural Center and GSC Julie Le—prior to the event to learn more about the process of putting it together and the importance of a show like this. “For the first time in Brandeis’ history, Dining Services is hosting an LGBTQ-specific event. In partnership with the Gender and Sexuality Center, the event cen-

people and people of color. She found that there was a disconnect between white people and people of color and she did not understand why. She analyzed liberal urban whites in racially diverse areas, such as Creekridge Park, and their words regarding relationships with people of color. Many white residents described the neighborhood as very diverse but did not interact with any people of color. In addition, white people described the relationships between them and people of color as “neighborships” rather than friendships, which was an interesting and strange distinction. Although Creekridge Rark is considered racially diverse, in reality, it is essentially segregated. She wrote about this phenomenon and others in a book called “Behind the White Picket Fence: Power and Privilege in a Multiethnic Neighborhood.” Through her research, Mayorga hopes to understand more about the reality we live in. She hopes that people reading her work are able to more thoroughly understand the world we live in. She highlights, “Once we better understand how inequality works, we can imagine and work towards

different realities.” Mayorga is driven by the belief that the current reality we live in is not the way the world has to be. She is interested in understanding how power works so we are better able to challenge it. While studying communities, Mayorga has found that, “what people say and what people do are not always the same. But rather than call people hypocrites, my job as a sociologist is to understand how words and actions that might seem contradictory actually make sense to individuals. That’s how I came to my understanding of diverse ideology, for example, which is the term I use to describe how we talk about diversity and its disconnect from racial justice. Mayorga has a particular interest in studying white people in multiracial spaces. Whiteness surrounds and shapes everyone, therefore, in her future work, Mayorga plans to look at how whiteness shapes Latinx communities. She hopes to unpack what studying white Latinxs can uncover regarding white supremacy. Currently, Mayorga is working on her second book, which studies how racial capitalism shapes

the life in two working-class neighborhoods in Cincinnati, Ohio. She explains, “I hope it will be a good introduction for people who are interested in understanding how racial capitalism creates everyday harm in cities, but also

ter voices of LGBTQ+ students of color,” wrote Cancino in an email to The Hoot. The timing of this event is also intentional, as October is LGBT history month. Zolotov said that recognizing this timing was important, as typically dining does not get to celebrate LGBT inclusivity with a vast number of students, as pride month is in June. “It’s a perfect opportunity to create that space for students to have pride and see that space for themselves,” said Zolotov in an interview. The event itself is supposed to be a large, intentionally noticeable celebration—”a really ‘in your face’ kind of event that people notice and want to attend,” according to Zolotov. He said that the planning staff tried hard to incorporate many different elements to make the event as grand as possible: Binx, of course, but also the food, mocktail bar, decorations and venue.

In order to do a celebration of this size, many different campus organizations teamed up. “For this event, we are so thankful for [Queer and Trans People of Color Coalition] QTPOCC, Dining Services and the Brandeis Undergraduate Student Union and Student Activities for dedicating a lot of their resources from their time to sponsorship. This event also gave an opportunity for collaborative efforts with offices like GSAS and Student Affairs,” wrote Le in an email. When asked why “Drag Me To The Stein’’ was so special, each planner agreed that celebrating inclusivity was the key component. “‘Drag Me to the Stein’ is a meaningful experience for students because it’s a fabulous reminder that ordinary people can shape history and make a difference in the world,” wrote Cancino. Le wrote, “‘Drag Me to the Stein’ is really special because it brings

together drag brunch culture, ballroom culture and student life —an intersection that can be social and subtly educational. And I think it’s also impactful for students to have a sneak peak at what they can participate in outside of Brandeis or after graduating; it’s an opportunity to understand the expansive scope of the queer community.” “It’s almost like a push for a culture shift towards greater inclusivity in the community in general. People are more understanding of differences people have and … by bringing this to people’s eyes, in some way, you’re exposing them to this environment. It’s this idea of educating people who might not have this education available to them—to see this individuality and expression is what makes us unique and inspires progress,” said Zolotov. He’s hoping that this will set a precedent of inclusivity in dining and inspire similar

how we can imagine and work towards more just alternatives.” Hopefully, individuals can work towards a world where racial inequality is no longer present and everyone lives in harmony.


events in the future. October is home to many LGBT holidays, including National Coming Out Day and Asexual Awareness Week. According to Cancino, “Founded in 1994, LGBTQ+ History Month is a celebration of the victories and reminder of the struggles for LGBTQ+ civil rights. It’s celebrated in October in honor of the historic National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, which took place on October 14, 1979.” This is separate from pride month, which Cancino said focuses more on the Stonewall Inn protests led by transgender women activists like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera. “Drag Me To The Stein” took place from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 21. To learn more about inclusivity on campus, visit the GSC website or sign up for their newsletter.

Interested in writing for Features? Email!


The Brandeis Hoot 10

October 22, 2021

Surviving Midterm Season with Mia By Mia Plante editor

Like most people, I haven’t taken an in-person exam since freshman year (two years ago now). This has increased my test-taking anxiety tenfold this midterm season despite the fact that I have only actually had one midterm exam out of my four classes… As a social sciences or humanities major one exam is still a big deal! My world is full of papers and reading responses, so exams feel like I’m trying to write in another language. It just doesn’t compute. I am literally taking a class with no exams and no papers; my life is such a walk in the park that a single three-question exam can uproot my entire week. But since I am such a natural expert in the topic of surviving the unsurvivable, I feel qualified enough to give everyone tips on how not to hate their lives so much during midterms. Don’t be a STEM major This one is pretty obvious, just don’t do that to yourself. We know you’re super smart and better than everyone else already, why be a bio major to prove it? Obviously I’m kidding. But if you really don’t want to be drowning in exams every October, consider doing maybe psych? Then you can use your mental illness to your advantage! Start early This is also really obvious but

it’s something people rarely follow, including myself. If you have a flurry of tests and papers due in a singular week, start them all at least a week or two prior. Space yourself out. If you start one thing super early, you won’t have to worry about doing everything all at once or at the last minute. This is crucial for papers in particular. I like to start outlining and collecting information for my papers at least a week in advance, this means I can give myself adequate time to mess up in my planning process so when it comes time to write I am fully prepared. Also, this method is great when you know you will spend a few days completely ignoring your assignment: it factors those moments in. Intimidate everyone When people are reviewing for the exam, just sit there in silence confidently. Stare straight ahead, talk to no one, do not blink or move. If there is a curve, use fear to your advantage. If you say anything, make it “why are you guys even studying? Do you not know this already?” Say it genuinely, be a terrifying asshole and fake them out with your faux confidence. This step includes the professor. Do not go to office hours, do not ask questions. Correct their lectures and email them grades. Cry in public This is just a general tip. Don’t make your room a space of sadness, so just cry in public. We have all been there, and I doubt anyone

will bother you if you’re loudly sobbing in the library. This could actually help make you friends if you find someone else who is also crying in public. Actually, save your tears for when you’re waiting for food from Upper. Maybe that will make the workers pity you more and your food will get done faster—if you try this let me know if it works! Only eat mac ‘n cheese Treat yourself during exams! Only feed your body what brings you joy, and obviously that is mac ‘n cheese. So, only eat mac ‘n cheese. Balanced meals are so

September. Also, don’t drink water. Why consume any liquid that isn’t caffeine? Forget about everyone you love Don’t worry about normal earthly problems. It is midterm season, you are above the need for friends and family—you need a 4.0! Stop talking to your roommate, break up with your significant other and change your phone number so no one can contact you. This is the only way you can efficiently study free from all distractions. You speak to no one, you are no one, you are nothing

but a vessel of knowledge that you are going to eat up through studying and shit out into an exam booklet. Don’t be a STEM major I really want to emphasize this. This is actually key to your success in college and in life; take it easy and major in literally anything else (except politics it sucks too). Hope law school admissions reps don’t read this This isn’t really for you. I’m manifesting here.


It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to By Emma Lichtenstein editor

I have made it to my last birthday in college. That’s so scary to think about—the last birthday with all of my friends in the same space. This existential crisis led me to one final conclusion: write an article for The Brandeis Hoot trying to understand my feelings. I never understood why people cry on their birthdays until now. I loved my birthday growing up. I always joked that it was the most important holiday of the year. While I still feel that way, it’s hard to keep the optimism when realizing that the universe could not care less about you. Though 21 is supposed to be one of the most fun birthdays, this is by far the worst birthday of my life. I am always unnecessarily extra about my birthday. It’s the one time of the year that I can be obnoxious and no one can object. I have countdowns and constant reminders and 50 different parties planned. Now it’s my last birthday here and I have never been more overwhelmed with work. I have no choice but to reign in all the fun. A lot of my hopes and dreams are sadly unrealistic given the pressure of midterm season. I had hoped to party my entire weekend—after all, you only turn 21 once—but instead I will be frantically cramming for my finance midterm for a good chunk of it. Now, I’m down to only one celebration with my friends. But, that just means I need to make the most of the time I have with my friends. If I have one party, I’m going to make sure that it’s my ideal birthday party. We’re getting cake and decorations and asking my roommates to wear ri-

diculous birthday regalia (roommates, if you’re reading this, it’ll make more sense tomorrow). I, of course, bought myself obnoxious birthday paraphernalia. Even still, even knowing the joys that are to come, I am haunted by this sorrowful feeling of growing up. Birthdays have always held a heavy weight in my life. As a kid, I was just lost in the attention and the joy of getting presents. Of course, this stops with age. No longer can I bring cupcakes to class or take the day off to relax. So, as I got older, I tried to make birthdays more meaningful, really lean into the idea of a birthday wish—maybe more of a birthday resolution. Not in the New Year’s

resolution sense, where you make a goal to be a better person and then give up after two weeks. Instead I try to think about my intentions for the year. What do I want to do with my life in the age that I have? This year I am faced with a particularly difficult situation. It’s my 21st birthday, the one where I should be able to get absolutely trashed the entire weekend. However, I know I can’t do that without ruining my entire GPA, something I can’t afford to do in my senior year. What intention do I want to set? I thought 21 was supposed to be fun, but as I look ahead, it all becomes increasingly serious. Midterms to finals to my last semester on campus to grad-

uation. Do I pick a classic party for fun vibes or something more somber in preparation for the year ahead? Last year, my birthday was in quarantine. I stayed home for the fall semester, so my birthday was just my parents, myself and a Publix cake. My only thought last year was that things wouldn’t be this bleak forever. Quarantine might be isolating, but soon enough I would be back with my friends. My resolution was to keep doing the best I can; there was a global pandemic, how could I ask for anything more? Perhaps I could stick with that one… Looking back, there is only one other birthday when I’ve felt nearly this conflicted: my 17th

birthday. Maybe there’s just something cursed about senior year? That year, I had been hoping to get some good news, only to find out terrible news the very same day. But, the day after my birthday was one of the most exciting days of my entire life! Maybe this year will be similar. Maybe Friday will be one of the best Fridays of my life. I don’t know what my birthday or this year will bring. It’s terrifying and depressing and my birthday is consumed with math, but perhaps that just proves that there are brighter days ahead. I’ve lost all coherence at this point in my diary entry of an article, but that’s okay. It’s my birthday, it has to be published. ;)


October 22, 2021


The Brandeis Hoot

The problem of racism in Europe By Abdel Achibat editor

While many like to claim that racism does not exist in France and Western Europe, or at least that it does not exist to the same extent as in the US, I have experienced and seen quite the opposite. The French notion of race being a nonfactor to the state correlates to the societal impression held by the public that the French government institutionally cannot be racist. Transcending from this “impossibility” of the French government being racist, it is held that society overall is not racist, and most definitely not as racist as the American “Karen” videos that have gone viral internationally. The idea is that French identity sees no distinction in race and ethnicity, and church and state are always to be separate entities. Being and feeling French is what is important, the French identity does not see color, and establishing yourself as French and feeling French is what entitles you to the “privileges” and rights of Western Europe. What many advocates I have met in France that say this is lacking is that in essence they are agreeing to establish French identity and culture (or other Western European countries) as wholly superior. It is to be the only acceptable identity ultimately. Consequently, a sense of cultural superiority, even if just within the country’s territory, evidently calls for xenophobia and racism to be inherent. It is naive and boldly ignorant to say that simply being colorblind on an institutional level and within conversation means that the problem of racism does not exist. Many like to say that French society - Western European society - is liberal, progressive and adaptive to inclusivity. What I have seen however is a great disdain for Islam, Arabs and a desire for black people to fit wholly into french identity, as well as a lack of understanding for the importance that identity is for many

minorities. Coming from New York City, racism and xenophobia against Arabs is not as widespread as the racism and xenophobia against Latinos and Black people. It exists for sure, but due to the relatively small population of Arabs and muslims within the United States, American society has just not had the opportunity to be as institutionally and societally racist towards Arabs as they have against African Americans and Latin American immigrants. Because of this, I have rarely encountered racism for being Arab in NYC and Boston besides the microaggressive comments stemming purely (at least in my experience, which evidently would be different if I were from a less diverse community) from ignorance. Not so funnily though, even with a population of just one percent for muslims and 1 percent for Arabs, islamophobia still reaches the news and discrimination exists on a disproportionately large scale. In France, however, to my surprise I have been categorized as arab and muslim in ways I have never been before. I have had more racially motivated microaggressive comments made to me than ever before, and have been made aware multiple times of the injustices against Muslim and North African people on a housing level, employment level and police violence level in a way that I simply am not used to being categorized with. I have been in more conversations pertaining to the “problem” of Islam and North African arab immigrants than I have ever before, and have had to bare through discussions placing my identity on a pedestal of radicalism and danger than I have ever had in America. The constant trash talking of the banlieus of Paris, mostly comprised of those hailing from Maghreb (Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia) as being dangerous and ghetto is evidence for me as a clear inherent racism problem within French society that people downplay due to this widespread denial of discrimination based off of racial and ethnic

identity. A white French man even recently told me, very evidently racially motivated, that Marseille (a city in the south of France that is heavily populated with North African Arabs) is barely even considered a “French’’ city by other French people because of how culturally diverse it has become. He went on to describe how disrespectful the people are, how the men prowl the streets, and how it looks like it might as well be Morocco, but still, somehow, racism does not exist. Western Europeans will consistently rely on the same arguments when confronted with whether racism exists or not. They continuously argue on the terminology of what race is, what racism ought to be defined as, and will debate on the sociology of identity. Many will blame the rise of calling out racism as identity politics, funnily very similar to what Republicans will argue. And, many will point out the social safety nets inherent in Western European society and accessible to all as evidence of how these states cannot be racist. Most

peculiarly, they will point out how rampant racism is in America to downplay the existence and role of racism in Europe. While in general, progressive societies, as I have experienced, do extremely well in having discussions and making effective and expansive social policy for social and human rights more so than the bipolar political system that is plaguing civil rights advancements in the US, I feel as if the racism and xenophobia that I have experienced here has been normalized and diluted to the Europeans living here. The microaggressions that I am running into here - which are not so micro especially to the migrants and immigrants that have to establish roots here - is evidence for me that the problem of racism does exist here, it is just not understood, collected or talked about. The european advocates that say Western Europe is not racist, or as racist as America, have a lack of understanding of how distinct the racism and xenophobia I have experienced here is to anything I have experienced in America and ultimately just show me that they

are not listening to the pleas and demands of the arabs and africans that have been saying this long before me. Ultimately, this comes as a huge warning call that being liberal and progressive comes with constant change, it comes with the constant attempt to embrace inclusivity, debate and culture clashes. Liberal social policy riddled with smiles hiding deep denials is an enemy to true progression which runs wild from the US’s left to Europe. If we wish to live in a world where states continue the legacy of ensuring equality, human rights and protection to all citizens, it must be noted that no state yet is as progressively advanced as they say they are until the most oppressed person can have their voices heard and mobilized. As America’s left aims to mirror Western Europe’s socialism and stream further and further into progressivity, I believe that unless the most disenfranchised groups are put onto the stage, no change will ever really be done.


The case against American cheese By Cooper Gottfried staff

We’ve all heard the old adage: “everything’s better with cheese”. For the most part, I agree with that notion. From burgers to chicken to pasta, most foods really do taste better with cheese on them. That is, of course, unless that cheese is American cheese. American cheese is the scourge of the culinary world, and its exit from modern cuisine cannot come fast enough. I think that American cheese is awful. It’s an unnatural plasticky cheese that feels more like a toy than something edible. It feels greasy to eat and to touch, and I will actively avoid food that has American cheese as an ingredient. I make grilled cheeses with cheddar, and anybody who makes them with American cheese has immediately lost all of my respect (sorry, not sorry). To start, American cheese isn’t really cheese. It doesn’t meet the FDA’s minimum curd requirement, meaning that we should really be referring to this sliced abomination as “American pasteurized prepared cheese prod-

uct.” It’s so heavily processed that it looks more like yellow plastic than actual cheese.-, and it has an unnatural sheen too that makes it look like it should be a piece of a lego set instead of a sandwich topping. American cheese is also highly processed. The most popular brand of American cheese, Kraft singles, may be the worst offender. Their plastic-wrapped individual slices of American cheese are made of an astronomically high 17 ingredients. Meanwhile, Tillamook’s (A popular pre-packaged dairy brand) cheddar cheese has only 4 ingredients (Burpy). I have no idea why those other 13 ingredients were deemed necessary, but they certainly aren’t adding to the quality of the product. Kraft’s cheese product also has hydrogenated vegetable oils, which are terrible for heart health, and one Kraft single has 275 mg of sodium (nearly double that of Tillamook’s cheddar). American cheese isn’t just bad nutritionally, it has a troubling history too. The FDA once demanded that Kraft stop calling their cheese “food” because it contained milk protein concentrate, which doesn’t fit the legal

definition of food. Although milk protein concentrate isn’t in Kraft singles now, ingredients like natamycin are. Natamycin is an antifungal medication used to treat fungal infections around the eye, and although it is considered safe for human consumption, I certainly wouldn’t eat an antifungal drug (Drugbank). Kraft also faced controversy more recently, in the summer of 2015. They had to recall 36,000 cases of Kraft Singles, because a “thin strip of the individual packaging film may remain adhered to the slice” according to USA Today. I don’t know how their customers could tell the difference between the packaging film and the cheese, they have the same texture and taste. Nevertheless, the company was forced to recall a ton of its products. Luckily for anyone with taste buds, American cheese is beginning to fade from modern diets. Fast-food chains like Panera bread are swapping American cheese in their grilled cheeses for fontina, cheddar, and smoked gouda. This, no surprise, has led to higher sales according to EatThis. Americans are demanding healthier and more nutritious food, and cor-

porations are starting to take this sliced plastic out of their dishes. Sales of processed cheese products like Kraft Singles declined by 12% in the last decade, and I pray that they keep going down. It’s not just average consumers who are shunning American cheese either. Vox interviewed multiple food experts, and most of them seemed to hate the synthetic cheese almost as much as I do. These cheese-connoisseurs were quoted saying “There are so many really, really wonderful cheeses out there that aren’t loaded with most of [artificial]

ingredients and that have a ton of flavor and melt really, really well.” and “American cheese is crap,” according to Vox. I couldn’t agree with their sentiments more, and I’m so glad the people preparing food every day are starting to change their ingredients. American cheese is not good. At times, it wasn’t even classified as a food under U.S. law. It’s too salty, too greasy, and too processed. American cheese is a trespasser in the food world, and I’m so glad that it’s slowly being phased out of the American diet.



The Brandeis Hoot

October 22, 2021

Tennis scoring for dummies By Thomas Pickering editor

If you are looking at this article that means one of two things: you either are perusing through the paper for something to catch your attention or you are someone who truly wants to learn how scoring in tennis works. Now do not worry, you will not be judged (Brandeis pun please laugh now) for not knowing how the scoring works. Some have described it as needing a masters degree to fully comprehend what is happening when someone says “four one love all”. This is a safe space for you to learn how tennis scoring works which you can then use to mock your friends for not understanding how this very “simple” scoring system works. Tennis scoring works almost like a Russian nesting doll with one score having importance inside the larger shell of another score. If you do not know what a Russian nesting doll is then clearly you do not visit your grandparents enough. A Russian Nesting doll is that little bean shaped wooden doll your grandmother has on her fireplace mantle which can be stored inside one another with the smallest doll being the size of your pinky finger nail. Using this metaphor for tennis scoring let us begin with the biggest doll this is the match. In tennis two players, or two teams of two players, compete in a match against each other and try to win the match by being the first to win three sets (a best of five style of play). A set is the doll inside the biggest doll (the match) and to win one set you have to win six games. No, I am not making this up to confuse you or make you think that you are dumber than you are—but do not get on your high horse just yet because I said you were not dumb. You are at Brandeis, so you obviously were not smart enough to get into Tufts or Harvard on the first go around. A game is the next doll to be found in the stack, hiding in the set doll. To win a game you have

to win five points. The points being the smallest doll in the stack, you begin with zero points, affectionately called “love” when on a tennis court. I do not know why this convention became standard practice but it definitely was not because tennis players needed to get an oxytocin kick to deal with their parents after a loss. Love is zero for points and both players begin with “love” as their point score. Then after winning a rally by successfully hitting a shot that their opponent could not get to or their opponent hit the ball out or into the net 15 is added to their points. So, the score increases from love to 15 and upon winning another rally the score goes up by another 15. Now it has gone from love to 15 to 30. Now, I know what you are thinking, “Thomas, so when I win another point in tennis the score then goes up by 15 again!” Hate to break it to you but this is why you got rejected from Tufts, the score actually increases by 10 upon winning another rally. The score

goes up from love to 15 to 30 to 40 and when you win one more rally you have won one game! Winning six of those games wins you a set and winning three sets makes you the winner of the match under men’s professional rules! But not so fast! That is not the end when it comes to scoring because of course it is not. Why would tennis ever let you think that scoring could be so simple? What comes next is how to decide the winner of possible ties in some cases. Let us first begin with deuce. I am sure you have heard the word before when your one tennis friend explained it to you three years ago but you were not listening because you thought it was dumb. Deuce is how a tie is broken to decide the winner of a game. When both players have 40 points they enter into deuce. To win the game from deuce you have to win two points in a row. To signify who has won the first of two points in a row you call “ad in” after winning the rally to signal that you have the advantage

in the coming rally and are not a beta. If you win the second point after saying “ad in” then you have won the game! But be warned, deuce can take forever to break as it is harder than you may think to win two points in a row. The fun does not stop there as there is one more tie that needs a mechanism for breaking and it is called the tiebreaker. A tiebreaker is played at a crucial moment for deciding who will win the set. To win the set you must win by two games, so the score can be six to four with you winning but if the score is six to five then you enter into some more confusing waters—so hold on Jack. A final game is played in the set, if you win and the score becomes seven to five then the set is over and you have won it (yes, a conventional set would go to six) but if your opponent wins and the score becomes six to six then you enter into a tiebreaker. If you hate yourself then you have memorized these rules or will memorize them after reading this article.

Tiebreaker scoring runs along the number line with each rally won counting as one point with both players trying to win seven and win by two. Both players start at love and for each rally won add a score of one to their total. When one has won by winning seven rallies then the game score becomes seven to six with the player with seven games won as the winner of the set. Tennis scoring can be difficult to learn with all the weird rules and customs and believe me many more articles could be written about that, but that is for another day. For now, take this new found knowledge and write a letter to that college that rejected you and show them how much you have learned as a Judge! Because why would you ever want to be a crimson anyways? That just sounds like a bad rash when instead you are now the proud arbiter of justice on the tennis court!


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

I want to send nudes to my partner. How can I do so as safely as possible? Great question! Sending nudes can be a fun way to spice things up, and it’s definitely valid to want to express affection through this medium. It can be helpful to determine what each other considers nudes--full-body nudes, lingerie/underwear pictures, or videos. Trust is an important part of this exchange and talking to your partner about boundaries is essential to sending nudes safely. While nothing is 100 percent safe, we can give some recommendations to minimise the risk and make this process safer. A couple suggestions to send nudes safely include making sure

you and your partner are not minors, use apps that are password protected or encrypted to store the photos, or use the “hidden” feature on iPhones in your Photos, so other people can’t see them if someone is looking through your gallery app. Additionally, apps that have disappearing chats or let you know if a person takes screenshots may be something to consider if you’d like to keep your photo distribution exclusive. Apps like Surespot, Confide and Wickr don’t use your phone or email to register an account, so these can be something to consider. You can also edit out identifying details of your body, like tattoos or birthmarks, with blurring apps or emojis. Another important aspect to remember is communication. If your nudes are for your partner’s eyes only, a way to make sure of that is communicating about

where your partner is when you send them, if other people can see their screen, or if they have the space to see them in a safe place. Nudes can be saved and distributed, so it really depends what you mean by “safely,” because some people might enjoy other people seeing their photos! If you don’t want others to see your photos, and they still end up being distributed, know that it is not your fault, and there are definitely options to help you in that situation. Watermarking photos with a tag that you can recognise can help you find out where the photos were leaked in the first place. These recommendations may be something you are willing to consider, and, if not, the SSIS office is willing to talk about different options or to listen to your concerns. Happy safe nude-sending!



October 22, 2021

The Brandeis Hoot 13

‘Fresh’ starts and new beginnings


First year at college can be a wild ride, and it is also a time to try new things. This is the premise for the novel “Fresh” by Margot Wood, released Aug. 3, 2021. The novel centers around Elliot McHugh, a freshman at Emerson College, originally from Ohio. She has no idea what she wants to do in life or what she wants to major in. All she knows is that she wants to have a fun time. She wants to take random classes because they sound cool. She wants to go to parties and have wild times. She also wants to sleep with many people, as she believes in the hookup culture and that life is about taking chances. While she does have some fun, there are also mistakes that are made. From fights with friends to doing poorly in classes to not knowing how to find closure with people she sees, Elliot messes up quite a few times. This is what makes her human, and it makes her feel very real. As a freshman myself, I felt connected to this novel. While I’m not having the wild, crazy, sexy times that Elliot is having (not yet at least ;)), I relate to Elliot not knowing what she wants to do. She is figuring it out as she goes and is just taking classes that could lead to potential interests. As someone who is currently undeclared, I am doing this as well as I figure out what I want to do in life. Elliot and I are both making new friends, trying not to get homesick and exploring all that college has to

offer. These are problems like making sure no one steals from your laundry machine, taking advantage of sugary options in the dining hall when you should be eating healthier, stressing about classes and all of the work, figuring out how to make a move on a hot stranger, etc. I loved the character of Elliot with her quirks and flaws. I liked her goofy roommate Lucy, her charmingly nosy friend Micah, her serious yet fascinating residential advisor Rose, her crazy hookups, her weird family and any other character that is introduced. I believe that it is a sign of great writing when all of the characters can draw you in. This novel takes place in first person with the occasional fourth-wall break. It feels like Elliot is just telling this story to someone, which is a great way to draw the reader in. She does this by either saying her thoughts, giving catch-ups to events between chapters, giving necessary background information or giving jokey little hints about what will happen next. She also does humorous “choose your own adventures” where one choice takes someone to the next sentence and the other leads to a hilarious footnote. That brings me to another aspect I enjoyed about the novel: there are humorous footnotes at the bottom of several pages, about 90 footnotes in total. These can give background on a certain detail, say if Elliot is lying or just wants to give her general thoughts on a conversation. Anything from “I will soon learn that not only is

there a cereal bar, there is also a motherfucking WAFFLE STATION. I love college” to “It just occurred to me, just now, right this very moment, that I am incredibly thankful that I don’t get boners.” I find them to be a fun addition that makes the novel unique. The novel spans across Elliot’s entire freshman year. From the day she moves in to the day she moves out, the reader knows what is happening. During this time, there is not really one overarching conflict. There is tension— between her and her residential advisor, Rose, friends she is trying to help out and figuring out what she wants to major in—but there is no main problem that she is trying to solve. In a way, the novel could be split into two parts, one for the first semester and one for the second semester, divided by her trip home for winter vacation. While the characters remain the same, she has some different issues to focus on each semester as she grows. She finds solutions to problems in the first semester as she transitions to the next one. Then there are new problems in store. The novel flows very naturally with this procedure. While some people may not like that there is no major action, I actually liked this. It made the book an easy and comfortable read that I could go right through. She just wants to survive college, which can be a large enough struggle for many people, and that is her problem. I would highly recommend this novel. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Maybe if I read it a few years ago, or in a few years, I may feel differently about it then I do now. I am at the same point in my life as Elliott, and that has made me connect to this book and love it a lot. It shows that everyone has their own struggles in college, but there are some problems that are universal and that can make a person feel not so alone. I was able to finish the 338 pages of the novel in one day—it had been a while

since I started a new book and this was a book I just had to keep reading. This is an exciting story with quirky characters, witty writing, unique storytelling, fun twists and so much more. Even if this is not your typical genre, it has great humor and important lessons that anyone can find valuable. Pick up a copy of “Fresh” today and see your college experience through someone else’s eyes.


Hope for a better tomorrow: returning Superman to his roots by looking towards the future By Zach Katz staff

There’s a wildfire in California. Firefighters swarm in to help evacuate families from the area, but are overwhelmed by the blaze. Things seem hopeless, until something swoops down from out of the sky. It’s Superman! After rescuing a family from the fire, Superman scans the area, looking for the original source. He finds it, a scared metahuman with pyrokinetic abilities who has no memory of how he got there, how to control his powers, or even who he is. Superman, sensing that he is dealing with a victim here and not a new supervillain, steps closer to the man in an effort to calm him down. “Hi,” he introduces himself. “I’m Jon.” The character of Jon Kent is a fairly new addition to the DC comic book. The son of Clark Kent, the original Superman, and Lois Lane was born during an event, Convergence, that only exists because the publisher needed to cover up a gap in publication while they relocated to the West Coast. He was later featured in Peter J Tomasi’s Superman series during DC Rebirth as a ten year old, before Brian Michael Bendis used time travel and alternate reality shenanigans to turn him into a teenager. This change has been met by almost universal revulsion due to fans’ fondness of young Jon, and the general resistance to change that exists within the comic book fandom. After spending some time in the far future with the Legion of Superheroes, Jon Kent is now headlining his

own solo series, titled “Superman: Son of Kal-El,” where he has taken the name of Superman as his own after Clark goes off planet to help a group of alien refugees. What could be a fairly standard new series is turned extraordinary by the hand of Australian comic book author, Tom Taylor. Among comic fans, Taylor is known for writing the comic prequel to the “Injustice” video game, which famously features Superman turning into a dictator after being tricked by the Joker into killing Lois, and “All-New Wolverine,” a series that had Wolverine’s clone/ daughter, Laura, step into the name after his death. The influence of both of these past works is clear in Taylor’s Superman story, despite the fact that the series is only three issues in. Tom Taylor’s previous work, including other series not listed, are also unabashedly liberal. “All New Wolverine” frequently dismantled the toxic masculinity that Logan embodies at times, and a recent issue of “Injustice Year Zero” featured the wedding of that universe’s Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn, much to shipper’s delights. From the first three issues, Taylor builds on Jon’s previously established personality and adds to it. Jon’s version of Superman is acutely aware of his father’s generation’s failings. He’s concerned about the climate crisis, and is trying to figure out how to help. He sees people, not problems, when encountering potential threats. When a group of refugees fleeing from a country that refuses to acknowledge their existence are almost killed during a storm, Jon completely disregards the po-

tential political consequences and swoops down to save them, later allowing himself to be arrested alongside protestors when the government tries to extradite the refugees. The gesture is entirely symbolic, which all of the characters of the book are aware of, but it still makes a statement. This Superman is trying to save the world, and he doesn’t care who he pisses off in the process. Although Tom Taylor’s critics claim that he is needlessly adding politics to a comic book about superheroes, Superman has always been an inherently political character. In his first appearance, way back in “Action Comics #1” by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, Superman stops an abusive husband from beating his wife. Another early issue of Action Comics almost acts as a PSA about the need for social services to help those in need, rather than just throwing them in prison. As Tom Taylor uses Jon to point out in issue #3 of the new series, the original Superman was a refugee, so it would be incredibly ignorant or frighteningly naive to think that Superman wouldn’t support other refugees and immigrants. Starting last week, Tom Taylor began teasing a major announcement on his Twitter account. On Oct. 11, International Coming Out Day, DC Comics made good on that promise by releasing an image from the upcoming fifth issue of “Superman: Son of KalEl” drawn by series artist John Timms: an image that shows Jonathan Kent kissing his new male friend, Jay. DC’s new Superman is officially bisexual. It should be pretty obvious, but that is a huge

deal. No matter how long Jon’s tenure as Superman actually lasts, LGBT kids are always going to be able to look at the biggest superhero in the world and know that he also stands for them. DC also added another chapter to Superman’s political history over the weekend during DC’s Fandome, a virtual convention event, by formally changing Superman’s catch phrase from “Truth, Justice, and the American Way,” to “Truth, Justice, and a Better Tomorrow.” While it is important to note that this is far from the first time the catch phrase has been changed, in the comics it has been informally “Truth and Justice” since last February, that does not diminish the significance of this change. Superman is no lon-

ger fighting for any one country. He is fighting for the future. Issue number four of “Son of Kal-El” comes out this Tuesday, Oct. 26. In around a month, issue number 5 will be out, cementing Superman as a member of the LGBT community, making history and continuing the history of Superman being a politically conscious character. “Truth, Justice, and a Better Tomorrow” is not only a better catch phrase, but it is also the perfect mission statement for Taylor and Timms’ new vision of Jonathan Kent. Jon Kent is a new type of Superman, one who isn’t merely content with the current state of affairs of the world, but willing to not only fight for a better future and inspire us to create one ourselves.



The Brandeis Hoot

By Sam Finbury staff

A good story told badly is an infuriating waste of time, but a great story told only adequately is in many ways worse. These movies are depressing wastes of time. Like ferraris idling in dead-lock traffic, these mediocre movies are garish displays of talent that are never fully acted on and possibly never fully realized. Films like this tease the audience with great premises, directors, actors and scenes and simply toss them all on screen expecting magic to happen. These movies don’t do a bad job, but a job is sadly all they show up to do, rising only to a middling level of competence and acceptance when so much more could and should have been delivered. They are exercises in pleasant forgetability that leave a sour taste in the watcher’s mouth, made more bitter by their overall

non-confrontational sufficiency as enjoyable films, leaving you feeling cheated out of a better time while deprived of the right to complain because of the good time you had. Yes, even their virtues make these movies insufferable. The only true saving grace such films have is that they are rare. Most movies have the proper manners to be definitively good, bad or okay without the promise of higher achievement. If you wish to glimpse one of these rare beasts of aggressive mediocrity, simply seek out “The Last Duel.” Directed by the legendary Ridley Scott, “The Last Duel” recounts the epic true story of the final sanctioned trial by combat in French history, fought by the Knight Jean De Carrouges against his former friend, the squire Jacques Le Gris, after De Carrouges wife claimed Le gris raped her. Told in a triptych, the movie is split into three chapters, each telling the story of the duel from a different perspective. One chapter

is from the view point of the noble De Carrouges (Matt Damon) telling of his many betrayals and slights at the hands of his former friend Le Gris (Adam Driver) and his lord Count Pierre (Ben Affleck), culminating with the rape of his beloved wife Marguerite (Jodie Comer). While Carrouges’ section portrays him as a courragous and virtuous tragic hero, Le Gris’ section retells the same story to show him as a brutish, embarrassing, pig headed joke, with Le Gris as a soulful, romantic intellectual whose rape of Marguerite was a reciprocated crime of passion. The final perspective is Marguerite’s and serves as a feminist indictment of medieval society, showing Carrouges to be a loveless narcissist and Le Gris as a pompous self-serving fool. We watch them wage a war of vanity over her body, to the point where Carrouges forces Marguerite to have sex with him after she reveals her rape, a seciond defilement meant by Carrouges to re-


October 22, 2021

claim his property. While the three clashing versions of the same harrowing tale serve to keep the audience guessing and engaged, resulting in a labyrinthine film of fleshed out characters, this gimmick is never exploited to its full stylistic potential. For example, the Le Gris of Carrouges chapter acts the same as the Le Gris of Le Gris’ chapter, rather than behaving like a cartoonish villain to better show Carrouges perspective on his actions. In a similar way, Marguerite’s rape in Le Gris’ chapter is still potrayed as a rape, despite Le Gris telling the story from a childishly romantisized and defensive perspective, and while this telling crime is far less disturbing than its telling in Margueritte’s chapter, I find myself wondering how much more traumatic Margueritte’s version of the rape would be, if the other version of the scene wasn’t also depicted as a rape. There are minor differences between each chapter that give them different meanings and effects, but for all intensive purposes, you see the same story three times in a row, with extra scenes and context between them. As I watched “The Last Duel,” I couldn’t help but ponder how much more impactful the movie would have been if Scott had gone all out with his three chapter format, giving each retelling a different tone, color scheme, style of shots, set of performances and even genre. The intricacies and complexities of the cast of characters would have revealed themselves through the stark variations in story and storytelling between chapters. But alas, each section is shot the same, in a serviceable,

if banal straightforward format plucked from any other drama: inoffensive but without the bite or stylism that makes period pieces feel mythic. In fact, many characters talk in an unemotive contemporary fashion, without any historically accurate wordings or references big or small, anachronisms that kick the audience’s investment out of the story, out of the theater and onto the curb. Despite this, the performances are overall very good, and Adam Driver once again proves himself to be an actor worthy of his prolificacy, though it’s nothing career-defining. However, there are a number of characters, such as Alex Lawther’s giddy childking Charles VI and Adam Nagatis’s smirking silent wingman to Le Gris, Louvell, who are simply thrown onto the screen with nothing to do, despite how interesting and well executed they are. There is a man, credited only as “The King’s Uncle” played by the incredible Clive Russell (of “Game of Thrones” fame) who only shows up at the final duel and yet expresses a random passionate desire for Caurrouge to win, a left over from an entire arc that must have been excised. This is what is so infuriating about “The Last Duel:” what virtues it has are never numerous enough and its vices are simply what it doesn’t do. With an all star line up of directors, writers and actors, this film has absolutely no right to fall so flat. And yet it does, leaving you feeling like you were served tofu at a steakhouse. Sure the dinner may taste good in the moment, but it’s not what you came for and the second you leave, so will the memory of the meal.

‘Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero’–super expectations By Thomas Pickering editor

At the 2021 New York Comic Con (NYCC), TOEI Animation and Shuesiha finally revealed the trailer for the next movie installment in the Dragon Ball franchise. The last movie to be released in 2019, “Dragon Ball Super: Broly,” was a huge success around the world, raking in $116.5 million and making the film the 11th highest grossing anime film internationally of all time. So, it was only a matter of time before fans from all around the world got to have their Dragon Ball desires met and TOEI executives could rake in the money from another film. The anime world exploded then when the title of the new movie and some of Akira Toriyama’s artwork for the movie had been leaked. We got a glimpse of the possible villains of the movie along with some artwork of Pan, the granddaughter of the main protagonist Goku, grown out of her infant and toddler stage. Fans, including myself, became obsessed with theories as to what this next movie is going to look like, and from NYCC, I can already begin to say that some of my hopes are coming true! To start, let’s talk about side character development. Akira Toriyama and TOEI gave Dragon Ball fans one of the best moments of the franchise during the Cell Games Arc. There we saw Gohan, Goku’s son, take the mantle of Earth’s strongest warrior from his father by unlocking the hidden potential that was inside of him from the beginning of the

Dragon Ball series. Gohan ascended past the level of the Super Saiyan to defeat Cell with one of the coolest Kamehameha waves the franchise has ever seen. It was assumed from that point on that Gohan would be the one to continue the story of Dragon Ball. However, Toriyama had other plans in mind, as Japanese fans wanted to see Goku come back to the series in full force. In the subsequent Majin Buu Arc and then throughout the entirety of the Dragon Ball Super Arcs, Goku has been brought back to center stage, and for lack of a better phrase, it has been the Goku show ever since. Side character development, even for characters as strong and important to the plot as Vegeta have been pushed aside, but at the NYCC, the producers of the film made sure to emphasize the importance placed on those characters in the upcoming film, namely Pan (Gohan’s daughter) and Piccolo. But as a Gohan fan, I hope the film is not limited to just those two characters, as I have been hitting my knees every night praying for the return of a strong Gohan to correct how the franchise deserted him after the Cell Games Arc. Viewers of “Dragon Ball Super” anime and specifically the Tournament of Power Arc saw that Gohan with a little training was capable of fighting with his father Goku when Goku entered into his Kaioken Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan form (I know, a mouthful, but in essence it just means Goku has the power of a god times 20). Gohan is by no means a weak character or one to leave out of the franchise, because as Gohan even said in the anime,

he wants to discover a new Saiyan transformation on his own for him to proudly use in battle. This could be the moment for Gohan to do so! Although I think that ultra-instinct is the most compatible technique for Gohan to learn considering how practical he is, I want to see Gohan have a moment just as he did in the Cell Games Arc and return to the main stage as a serious contender, if not the strongest character in the show. My second big hope for the movie involves Broly. Again, the producers made sure to discuss at NYCC that Broly will be featured in the film and is currently living on a planet besides the one we left him on at the end of “Dragon Ball Super: Broly.” Before Broly was made canon in the “Dragon Ball Super” film, his appearance throughout the Dragon Ball Z films as a non-canonical character always made my heart pound. Here is this ruthless fighter with no off button: he just fights and looks freaking cool as the Super Saiyan of Legend. So, his introduction into the canon

had me excited to finally see him in the official story line, and with his newfound power being even greater than before. Broly in the Z saga was a menace to a Super Saiyan, but in the Super saga, he is now powerful enough to go toe to toe with Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan Gogeta (a fusion of Goku and Vegeta which not only combines but multiplies their power). So, seeing Broly at the 34-second mark in the trailer training with Goku gets me excited to see what a powerful figure he can become in the franchise if he learns to harness his power. Broly has always been a fan favorite, and for him to get more screen time is huge for all the fans who have been waiting for this moment. Now my real final hope for this movie comes down to the “evil organization” presented to us in the trailer. It appears to be, in some form, remnants of the Red Ribbon Army from the Dragon Ball saga when Goku was a child. The Red Ribbon Army is an easy antagonist as they have always been considered “evil” in the franchise.

But I hope that their return is thought out rather than sloppily thrown together, as it has been in past sagas and films. Because at this point, Goku and his cast of friends and family have fought them on a number of occasions. Like the mold in Ziv, they always seem to return, and I hope that this return is symbolic and important rather than some old Red Ribbon Army officer being mad that Goku keeps beating them. “Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero” promises to be an amazing film, and it has high expectations to meet considering how well “Dragon Ball Super: Broly” did with not only fans, but also in the box office. Theoretically, Gohan and the other side characters might not get the limelight, and Broly might be weak, and the Red Ribbon army might have a terrible back story, but you know my ticket is purchased so that I can continue to see my favorite superheroes throw it down with some bad guys again.


October 22, 2021


The Brandeis Hoot

‘My Name’ is brutal, bloody and brilliant (Park Hee Soon). After a few years of training under his leadership, Moo Jin helps Ji Woo assume the new identity Oh Hye Jin, working now as a detective in Seoul’s police force. It is here where Ji Woo/ Hye Jin must take down the leader of the police force Cha Gi Ho (Kim Sang Ho), who’s responsible for her father’s death. Ji Woo/Hye Jin makes the perfect protagonist, balancing intense moments of stone-cold determination with vulnerable anger and grief on the tightrope of this show. Because of her past, she’s absolutely fearless, seething with deadly anger in one moment and then scarily calm in the next. That leads us into another reason why this show is so satisfying: the action scenes. As someone who personally gets very bored with action scenes (you can only see a character punch or kick or slash at a person so many times over the course of a TV show), I was a little wary of how “My Name” would keep up the momentum in interestingly-shot fistfights and knife or gunfights. Needless to say, I wasn’t disappointed. Not once does this show hold back in making an action

By Caroline O editor

The revenge-action genre has always been one of incredible intrigue and entertainment to lots of folks, and for good reason. There’s just something incredibly cathartic about seeing a protagonist finally wreak havoc on those who have wronged them, whether it be through mind games and manipulation or grimy fistfights. There are usually questions about humanity and relationships, and if we’re lucky, then the protagonist might just succeed in their mission to get their revenge. The latest Netflix Korean drama “My Name” hits most of these tropes in its satisfyingly executed story of Yoon Ji Woo (Han So Hee), a young woman who’s searching for the man who murdered her father in front of her door five years ago. True to the genre, Ji Woo is the perfect dead-eyed protagonist who will stop at nothing to seek vengeance. As her father was involved in gang activity, she eventually finds herself under the mentorship of her father’s friend and gang leader Choi Moo Jin

scene as compelling as possible. As typical for most women, Ji Woo is certainly smaller-framed than most of her male opponents, so that forces her to attack vital points, making quick work of taking down all of the goonies that come her way. This makes her fight scenes particularly satisfying to watch as a young woman. Sometimes you just want to see a female character go insane and use nothing but her fists to get through a group of burly men! Sometimes you just want to see a female character get some blood on her face! Equally satisfying are her scenes with her work partner Detective Jeon Pil Do (Ahn Bo Hyun), who’s the very typical jerk-turned-heart-of-gold sidekick to Ji Woo’s own distrusting, hardened self. While the show never loses its focus on the main revenge plot, their relationship is still a compelling one in that they go from grudgingly tolerating each other’s presence to trusting one another. One particularly memorable scene that conveys the meaningfulness of their relationship is when, in an attempt to help Ji Woo, Pil Do literally


handcuffs himself to her—even after discovering that she might not have the clean history he once thought she had. It’s a nice touch, one that’s enhanced by the fact that these two launch into a fight scene against some baddies exactly like that: handcuffed, with Ji Woo and Pil Do fighting back to back. More meaningful than the romance, however, was probably the fact that their relationship was symbolic of another important aspect of the show, and that was the role of trust in the face of something as brutal as revenge. While I can certainly wax poetic about how Ji Woo is such a wonderfully angry, feral force of a protagonist, “My Name” also doesn’t ever let the viewers forget about the sheer loneliness and emptiness that comes with revenge. As she takes on her role as Hye Jin, she closes herself off from the rest of the world. She turns down attempts from her colleagues to eat or drink together—in her line of work, friends are out of the question. The only person she somewhat trusts is Moo Jin, although that’s only because he was friends with her father. Even then, their relationship is rocky and unbalanced, especially given he’s the head of the gang organization she works for. Despite her maelstrom of a life, this loneliness makes


Ji Woo a relatable character. It’s much easier for her to forget who she might have been and who she might be if her life was different. So even as the show gets closer and closer to discovering the truth of her father’s murder, the viewers can’t help but wish she at least gets some kind of family or belonging in the process too. The shots in which Ji Woo does get that hint of belonging—like when she watches the snow with Pil Do, or when she’s given grilled meat by her colleagues—are bound to fill the viewers with a hope that Ji Woo will learn to live happily, even after she gets her revenge. It’s because of all of these balanced elements of the show—this unabashed anger and grief combined with the cold loneliness of being angry all the time—that “My Name” is such a compelling watch, as well as re-watch. I’m currently scheduling a rewatch myself, just because there’s so much more to unpack in the span of this eight-episode show. So if you’re in the mood for some good old-fashioned,blood-soaked fights as well as a gut-punching series about how revenge can affect a person, be sure to bump “My Name” to the top of your watch list this weekend.

Only Selena stans in the building By Victoria Morrongiello editor

TW does include mention of suicide I love murder shows. Not shocking, seeing as I was raised on “Criminal Minds” and “Murder She Wrote.” I love murder shows so much I listen to it as background noise while I do different things: painting, embroidering, running, you name it I probably listen to a murder podcast or show while doing it. You know what they say: murder shows are a girl’s best friend. Another thing you should know about me is that I absolutely love Selena Gomez—always have always will. You can ask my sisters, even as a child I adored her; you can confirm that in the P.S.53 Yearbook of the class of 2012, where I put her down as my idol. I can confirm “Wizards of Waverly Place” was my favorite TV show too. So you’re telling me a show comes out about murder starring Selena Gomez and I’m not supposed to instantly love it? In a way, it’s kinda like coming

full circle with my childhood self, because once again, a show starring Selena Gomez has become an instant favorite TV show of mine. What is “Only Murders in the Building,” you ask? Well, aside from being my Tuesday lunchtime show, it is a story of three strangers (Selena Gomez, Martin Short and Steve Martin) who live in the same hotel building who— like me—are enthralled by murder podcasts. It just so happens that in their building, the Arconia, a death occurs, and while the police rule the death to be a suicide, these three unlikely friends believe otherwise. The victim’s—Tim Kono— death appears to have too many loose ends, and the three work together to solve it. Not only do they solve the mystery behind Tim’s death, but they also unravel secrets about their neighbors from years ago that were long believed to have been buried. While the show does have some serious notes to it, you know solving a murder and all, it still remains very lighthearted and cheerful to watch. Even though you’re invested in solving the murder you become equally—if

not more—invested in trying to untangle the lives of the main characters and why they are the way they are. Each of the three main characters has a detailed past that brought them to where they are during the series. It’s beautiful, the way they use their pasts to understand each other and heal as they move forward. And don’t get me wrong: each character has some major flaws, but they become self-aware of their flaws and acknowledge their shortcomings. It’s also interesting to get a variety of viewpoints throughout the show. Over the course of the episodes, you go back and forth between different points of view, where you can hear each character’s inner thoughts and how they’re processing the situation. This makes you even more emotionally invested in the characters because you’re now not just seeing what they’re going through, but you’re also hearing their thought process. I also need to point out what a star-studded cast this is. You’ve got Martin Short and Steve Martin as two of the main characters, both of whom are comedic leg-

ends. Then, as you already know, Selena Gomez is a star, but I’m totally biased on this one. You’ve also got side characters like Nathan Lane and Tina Fey, who, despite having smaller roles, still make a huge impact on the show.

Overall would I recommend this to a friend? Yes. Am I excited for season 2? Yes. Do I hate how the cliffhanger it ends on is major? Yes. So go watch “Only Murders in the Building!”



The Brandeis Hoot

October 22, 2021

‘Baking Impossible’: A new take on the world of baking By Cyrenity Augustin staff

When I first saw “Baking Impossible” pop up on my Netflix home page, I immediately clicked play. My rabbit hole into baking shows started with the release of “Nailed It” on Netflix, and since then I have consistently clicked on baking shows as they have been released, testing to see if they lived up to my new standards. There have been successes and failures, but “Baking Impossible” was one of the shows that did not disappoint. Baking shows were already in my field of interest, but the idea of adding an engineering element seemed strange, yet interesting. However, after actually seeing the various creations come together, I have to say that whoever pitched

the idea did a wonderful job. The show starts with nine teams, each consisting of a baker and an engineer. Together, the two strive to become “Bakineers” and win $100,000 along with being crowned the winners of “Baking Impossible” and receiving the title of the “World’s Best Bakineers.” As the show progresses, they are given outlandish and seemingly impossible tasks (dubbed “stress tests”) along with a list of requirements that their creation has to include. There are failures and successes (boats that sink, buildings that withstand earthquake simulations and more) but even if their plan doesn’t work out, they learn things that they can use to improve their creations in the future. Though failure of a stress test puts teams at the risk of elimination, the baking side of the show serves as a second chance. Whether an

invention succeeds or fails the challenge, judges still taste and give feedback on the desserts included, which range from cakes to candies to confections. So, even if the engineer’s work falls through (which happens on multiple occasions) their partner has the opportunity to throw out a lifeline. At the end of the day, however, whether they are successful or not, the feeling of excitement at seeing these creations come to life—and the tension when their limits are tested—is phenomenal. Edible structures that can function in the real world bend the line between science and food in a way that inspires wonder. In addition to the engineering allure of the show, the cast provided an element of drama that made the show even more enticing. The nine teams all consisted of partners that had never met each oth-

er before the show. So, going in blind, they had to figure out how to balance each other’s quirks and ideas, and ultimately find common ground. Watching them try to bridge this added challenge was interesting, to say the least. In the beginning, they are just starting to understand one another—their personalities, their style of work. Sometimes the teams meshed together extremely well, and you can see bonds formed in the beginning strengthening over time as they created things that before only seemed able to exist in the imagination. Other times, there were seeds of frustration and annoyance that caused sparks to fly, which led to precarious moments and mistakes in the design. Just like any group work, there is always the chance that people don’t get along. This baking show was no different. So, as viewers watch

‘Campus Life’ Comic

the show, not only is there enough tension that causes them to perch on the edge of their seats, but one also finds themself invested in the relationships. There were multiple teams who I quickly found myself rooting for, and throughout the competition, I cheered for winners and sympathized with teams that were sent home. If you’re considering getting into baking shows, I think that “Baking Impossible” is a good one to start with. If you find yourself bored by the decorating parts, you can skip to the tests and watch creations in motion, with teams both successfully completing tasks and crashing and burning in their attempts. Meanwhile, for those who already find themselves entranced by the world of sweets, the engineering twist only enhances the baking experience.

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