The Brandeis Hoot, October 29, 2021

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Volume 19 Issue 9

“To acquire wisdom, one must observe”

October 29, 2021

Brandeis University’s Community Newspaper · Waltham, Mass.

Univ. admin discuss sustainability update By Roshni Ray and Emma Lichtenstein editors

Nick Warren, Brandeis’ Chief Investment Officer, Mary Fischer, manager of Sustainability Programs and Assistant Vice President of Communications Julie Jette discussed Brandeis’ new efforts regarding sustainability on campus in a Zoom interview with The Hoot. The three representatives discussed the timeline for efforts made towards greater sustainability as well as the changes made since the last update. In 2019, Brandeis University invested in the work of a specialized sustainability taskforce to help rewrite their current climate action plan, Fischer explained. One of the efforts made was to use the newer, more insightful tools developed to evaluate the university’s carbon footprint. Another product of the creation of the new taskforce

was the decision to stop investing in fossil fuels in the future, and reaffirm previous goals outlined in the climate action plan. Additionally, Mary highlights improvements made to dining. “We are reducing the carbon footprint of our food and we’ve done that by 20 percent so far... It’s a really big deal.” According to the Office of Sustainability website, Brandeis intends to increase this to 25 percent in 2030 through joining the Cool Food Pledge. Jette adds that Brandeis University was one of the first universities to join the Cool Food Pledge. “We’re definitely among the first 10,” Mary says. Mary also notes that all of the financial decisions made by the committee are published online in an effort to promote financial transparency. She noted this as significant, as students in the past have emphasized a need for financial transparency. See SUSTAINABILIY , page 4


Union Secretary impeached By Vimukthi Mawilmada staff

The university announced Peter C. Frumhoff, a climate scientist, as the recipient of the Richman Distinguished Fellowship in Public Life award, according to the award’s webpage. Frumhoff is the Chief Climate Scientist at the Union of

Concerned Scientists— an independent non-profit focused on climate change and creating “combine technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for a healthy, safe and sustainable future”, according to their page. Frumhoff ’s work primarily involves leading various initiatives to inform the public on scientific expertise. His work in-

volves “understanding and motivating public policies; guides science, equity and innovation post-doctoral fellowships; and serves as senior liaison with the scientific community, policymakers and media,” according to the Current Fellow page. Frumhoff has published varSee IMPEACHMENT, page 2

Univ. Transport Survey By Daniela Zavlum and Nataniela Zavlum special to the hoot

Campus Planning and Operations Vice President Lois Stanley and student intern Feigele Lechtiner ’23 held a Zoom meeting to discuss findings from the 2021 Campus Transportation Survey on Tuesday, Oct. 26. Last spring, Lechtiner and a few other students started to get involved in urban planning specifically looking at the campus transportation and approached Stanley. The students requested that the university take a closer look at how campus transportation services could be improved. This project continued into the summer, and so far has yielded a change in the leadership of the campus transportation department, as well as the results of this survey. In the meeting, Lechtiner presented information on the impact of student transportation on student life, the current transportation network, problems with the current transportation system, what has already been done to address them and the next steps for

service improvements. Lechtiner started off the presentation by explaining that Brandeis currently offers two kinds of shuttles that go to Waltham: Waltham BranVans— which have 10 spots and are driven by students— and Joseph’s Waltham Shuttles— which are buses that have approximately 30 spots and are driven by hired drivers. The Brandeis transportation network also includes Boston/Cambridge shuttles. Lechtiner compiled a schedule of the different shuttles, their routes, and notes for each shuttle in a chart included in the presentation slides, which can be found on the Public Safety’s van and Shuttle services page. Lechtiner then broke down the results of the 2021 Campus Transportation Survey, which consisted of results from 841 students, 578 of which were undergraduate students and 261 of which were graduate students. A full rundown of the survey response rate can be found here. Of those who responded, 19 percent of undergraduate students said they used the Campus BranVan daily. 19 percent


Inside This Issue:

News: Student Union secretary impeached Page 2 Women’s Ops: Brandeis unsafe zebras (sidewalks) Page 11 Soccer Features: Brandeis Has Got talent returns Page 9 Women’s soccer beats the Sports: Women’s soccer beats the crap out of team Page 6 crap out of Springfield Editorial: A-Board concerns Page 8 Sports: PAGE 7

Hoot recommends Halloween videogames and movies edition! ARTS: PAGE 15

See SURVEY, page 2


2 The Brandeis Hoot

October 29, 2021

Univ. discusses results of 2021 Transportation Survey REPORT, from page 1

of respondents said they rode the campus BranVan one to two times a week and 18.5 percent of respondents said they rode the campus BranVan a couple of times a month. According to the survey, Joseph’s campus shuttle had slightly lower ridership rates among undergraduate students and higher ridership rates among graduate students. In contrast, Waltham shuttle ridership rates were much higher, with 80 percent of undergraduate respondents stating that they have used the Waltham BranVan. The daily and weekly ridership for the Waltham shuttles was highest for graduate students who live off campus, according to the survey. For the Boston/Cambridge Shuttles, the survey results showed that 49 percent of undergraduate respondents use the Boston/Cambridge shuttle at least once a weekend and 26 percent of graduate respondents use the Boston/Cambridge shuttle at least once a weekend. In the summary of student responses to the impact of transportation on student life, many students wrote that Brandeis’ transportation services alleviated some issues related to balancing on and off campus life. “I really appreciated that the Waltham shuttle was in service this winter as someone who worked on campus,” one student wrote. “I am able to participate in campus life because I have a way of getting home,” another student added. Additional positive impacts of campus transportation services included in the slides were that they improved sustainability since fewer students were driving cars, they reduced the “parking crunch on campus” as well as spending on transportation and made transportation easier for mobility-impaired students. “Multiple students wrote that they would not have been able to have the experiences they did, socially, professionally, or academically, were it not for these shuttles,” said Lechtiner during the information meeting.

However, students responding to the survey also noted that their dependence on the university’s transportation services has hindered their student life when the transportation system doesn’t function effectively, citing a lack of available information, issues with tracking the vehicles and the inconsistency of the shuttle arrival times. “I have had to miss meetings with professors and meal times because of the unreliability of the shuttles,” read one student’s response. Another student wrote, “I couldn’t use the Waltham shuttle after work in the winter because I couldn’t stand outside in the cold to wait and see if it was running or not and tracking was not available.” The survey also revealed that most students learned about the campus transportation system “through word of mouth.” Some students were unaware of different modes of university transportation that they could have benefited from, and others were confused about how these services were supposed to be used. Some of the confusion stemmed from the reservation system as well as from the hand signals used indicating whether the shuttle was for campus or for the Waltham area: “C” for campus and “W” for Waltham. According to the results of the survey, another concern students have about the current transportation system is their safety. 48 percent of survey respondents said that they felt unsafe while waiting for campus transportation, and 19.1 percent reported that they felt unsafe while riding campus transportation. Most written responses to this question cited the unreliability of the transportation services and waiting for transportation at night as reasons why they felt unsafe, leading Lechetin to conclude that the lighting at campus stops and information about shuttle estimated time of arrival (ETA) needed to be improved. Students with disabilities are also impacted by the unreliability of campus transportation, many opting to use their own cars instead of the Ac-


cessible Transport (AT) Van. “AT Van only helps if you have a set schedule and ample time to wait. It was not an accessible form of accommodation. I simply had to use my own car and pay a lot of parking tickets,” wrote one student. 76 percent of survey respondents reported that they had not even heard of the Accessible Transport Van, 9 percent of whom also responded that they would have benefitted from the service. To develop solutions for these various issues, the survey asked students what they would improve about the Waltham Shuttle Service, the Boston/Cambridge shuttle and the lack of communication about the shuttle services. Common responses included providing more information about the location of shuttle stops, improving shuttle tracking on the Branda app, increasing how frequently the shuttle runs or how many shuttles are running and fixing the reservation system so students are sure that the BranVan will have enough space for them. Survey respondents also ex-

pressed that they would like information about the schedules of shuttles, locations of stops and who to contact if they’re experiencing a transportation issue to be made more widely available. Popular platforms that respondents selected to receive more information about university-sponsored transportation included the Branda app, a regularly updated Instagram account and an updated website. Campus Planning and Operations has begun to address some of these concerns by posting shuttle times and maps of the different routes shuttles are taking on Instagram regularly and providing the shuttle schedule, details, live tracking and digital route map for each shuttle service on the Campus Shuttles and Van Routes page, last updated on Aug. 30. This section also includes information on campus transportation service changes for the fall semester and an updated schedule for the Boston/Cambridge shuttle, last updated on Sept. 17. Information about these changes can also be found on the

Branda app, according to the website. They have also begun implementing a signal system whereby drivers hold up hand signals “C” or “W” to indicate whether they are a campus or Waltham shuttle. “We also include information about [campus transportation] in the orientation process for new students and for graduate students now … so that’s probably how we get the word out generally, though most students that need our services are using other accommodations so they communicate to us through that, but we need to do more about orientation and social media,” said Stanley. “The first thing [we] need to do is take a look at how the resources are deployed now and to see if they are being deployed in the most efficient fashion to achieve the goals that we’re most interested in.” Campus Operations can be contacted at for further information.

Secretary of Student union, James Feng ‘22, impeached by judiciary SECRETARY, from page 1

senate that he was going to be impeached. “If the Union could have been more specific it would have been helpful,” said Feng after claiming that he was only notified over a text from the Student Union President and a Slack message. Student Union President Krupa Sourirajan ’23 had sent him a text message saying that they needed to talk. Feng claims to have wanted a follow-up from Sourirajan on how he could have improved and that he was not warned of the consequences. Feng also claims to have consulted with the Director of Student Activities and the Assistant Dean of Student regarding the impeachment to which they both apparently agreed that Feng should have been informed. Joseph Coles ’22 had added that

there is no mention in the constitution that states that a specific information channel is required for the notification of impeachment meaning the notification over Slack was justified.“I want to take this opportunity to take ownership of what happened,” said Feng towards the end of his speech. Feng asked the Judiciary for another chance, promising he would respond to all senate emails and messages within a twentyfour-hour period and would accept responsibility for his actions in the future. After the Judiciary’s careful consideration of the violations of the constitution, James Feng was impeached from the Union. The Union will be holding special elections for the positions of Secretary and a few seats in the Allocations Board for Member of Racial Minority students and Member for a three-semester seat.


October 29, 2021

Union hosts Special Elections By Victoria Morrongiello editor

The Student Union will be hosting its second special election of the semester. These special elections come after the impeachment of Student Union Secretary and Cheif of Elections, James Feng ’22. “We will be having one more (and hopefully last!) round of elections this semester,” wrote Jasmyne Jean-Remy, Student Union Chief of Staff, in an email sent out to community members on Oct. 25. The Student Union will be holding a special election to fill the positions in the Executive Board and in the Allocations Board. The Executive Board position available is the Secretary position, formerly held by Feng. This position is only one seat and is open for any individual in the student body to run for it, according to Jean-Remy’s email. The Allocations Board positions available are Allocations Board Member for Racial Minority Students. This position is a one-year seat and there are two seats open. Students intending to run for this seat must identify as a part of a racial minority, according to Jean-Remy’s email. The other seats available are as Allocations Board Members.


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This is a three-semester seat and there are currently three seats open. Any member of the student body is allowed to run for this position. A virtual information session regarding the positions was held on Tuesday, Oct. 26, wrote Jean-Remy in the email, for students to learn more about the role and responsibilities of the positions. Students with the intent to run for any of the positions had to submit an intent to run and candidate bio to Jean-Remy. Intents to run were due on Tuesday, Oct. 26 and Candidate bios were due on Wednesday, Oct. 27. The special elections will take place all day on Thursday, Nov. 4, according to the email. The polls will be available for students starting at 12 a.m. on Nov. 4 and will close 24 hours later. Part of the reason for Feng’s impeachment involved errors in elections held earlier in the semester, according to a previous Hoot article. Feng failed to provide a set of correct candidate names, including duplicate errors in the documents, after surpassing the deadline to submit them to the administration. There was also an error in providing the correct meeting time for the candidate information session, according to the article.

In the Senate, Oct. 24 •

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In their Oct. 24 meeting, the senate voted by acclamation in favor of The Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students (MAPS), an organization dedicated to providing a supportive environment for unrepresented pre-med students. This was a club constitution change unanimously agreed upon by the senate. The senate approved two clubs. Nah Qashoa {YEAR} served as a representative of the Brandeis Network of Arab Students (BNAS). BNAS serves as a network for Arab students at Brandeis, offering a space for community members to gather and have open discussions about their unique cultures, and how they connect to different diasporas. Ali Albalakhi ’22, a second BNAS representative, spoke about their plan to host ‘country spotlights,’ where people from different Arab nations would have the opportunity to present their country and culture. The club would also like to connect with Arab influences and plan events that “amplify the voices [and experiences] of Arab Americans.” The senate voted by acclimation and unanimously approved the club Alex Ross ’22 and Jesse Rips ’22 or ‘’23 , representatives of the Fireside Theater Company, also presented their club to the union. Ross and Rips explained that the club produces student and alumni-written shows, releasing an online form where aspiring producers can submit their scripts and scores for review. Committed to uplifting Brandeisian voices, Ross and Rips emphasized that the Fireside Theater Company would greatly “enrich the campus.” Their first planned production, Our Day Will Come, which is set in 1970s Northern Ireland, will be on Dec. 2 - 5. When asked by the senate about what inspired them to start their club, Ross stated that it was created on the shoulders of the pandemic, as well as the challenges it created for performers and aspiring performers. The club name - ‘Fireside Theater Company’ - was fashioned by Ross and Rips. They “wanted to do something that symbolizes new work,” “igniting new works and creativity,” alluding to the creative comfort of writing beside a fire. Following the presentation, the senate had a discussion over whether to approve the club. Joseph Coles spoke first, mentioning that with so many other theater clubs on campus, having yet another one would be redundant. Other senators, however, came to Fireside’s defense, arguing that it provides students with more opportunities to join niche clubs, a campus-enriching fact that outweighs any redundancies. In the end, the senate voted to pass the motion. The Student Union E-board announced that the turkey shuttle service, provided by the university, will resume operations this semester. The shuttle will run to and from Logan Airport, and it will even go as far as New York City and New Jersey. The Student Union announced that Midnight Buffet will be on Dec 8. This is one of the biggest student union events of the semester. The Student Union will be hosting a special election for secretary and allocations board positions. This comes on the heels of the impeachment of Former Secretary of the Student Union, James Feng ’22. In the Senate Committee Chair reports, Senator Nick Kanan ‘23 reported on the development of a contact chain between the senate and CAs. Kanan is currently in touch with Village Quad’s CAs, having productive discussions about student affairs, and community living in general, seeking to enrich and refine the Brandeis living experience. - Jacob Gehtman and Victoria Morrongiello

Charles River Apartments loses power By Victoria Morrongiello editor

The Charles River Apartments lost power on Oct. 26 during a rainstorm. All four Charles River Apartment buildings were impacted by the power outage; university facilities and other campus partners were able to resolve the issue within the day. The power went on in the dormitory buildings around 2:42 p.m. on Wed. Oct 26. The Department of Community Living (DCL) emailed students at 3:24 p.m. to inform students that the department was aware of the power outage and that they were working to resolve the problem, according to an email obtained by The Brandeis Hoot which was sent to students living in the Charles River Apartments residence halls. “At this time, we know Charles River Quad is experiencing a power outage. Brandeis University Facilities and other campus partners are aware of the situation and are actively working to fix it,” read the email sent to students. Students reported hearing a loud boom before the power went out in the buildings, according to several student sources reporting to The Hoot. Students who lost power were provided additional support from DCL staff. Due to the power outage, the swipe access to enter the buildings was affected, preventing students from reentering their residence halls. “We also know that at this time the exterior stairwell

doors are not able to be opened via swipe access. Community Living Staff will be present to help residents into their stairwells until this problem is fixed,” read the email sent to students from DCL. “ [The power outage] could not have come at a more inconvenient time. It completely neutered

my ability to do any and all of my work,” said student Matthew Colbert ’23, who lives in one of the Charles River Apartments. DCL also had Health and Safety Inspections planned for Oct. 26, but due to the power outage had to postpone the inspections, according to an email obtained

by The Hoot sent by Charlie McBurney, Area Coordinator of the Charles River Apartments. “Due to the power outage yesterday, the Health and Safety Inspections that were scheduled in 110 Angleside Road/Charles River 111 and 164 Charles River Road/Charles River 114 had

to be canceled,” read the email. The Health and Safety Inspections for 178 Charles River Road (Charles River 114) were rescheduled for Thursday, Oct. 28. Inspections for 10 Angleside Road (Charles River 111) were rescheduled for Friday, Oct. 29.



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October 29, 2021

Frank Bennet and Adrian Krainer win the 23rd annual Gabbay Award By Roshni Ray editor

The university celebrated the work of scientists Frank Bennett and Adrian Krainer on Thursday Oct. 21 at the 23rd annual Jacob and Louis Gabbay Award ceremony. Dagnar Ringe, Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry, administered the award and gave congratulatory remarks at the ceremony. Bennett and Krainer received the award based on their research, which has led to a novel approach to treating a rare genetic disorder afflicting young children. Bennett is the current senior vice president of Ionis Pharmaceuticals, a company that specializes in discovering and developing RNA therapeutics, according to their page. Krainer is a professor at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory—a lab focused on

biomedical research, according to their page—with a focus in molecular biology and genetics. The two scientists collaborated in order to produce the therapeutic treatment Spinraza, an injection-administered treatment for SMA, or spinal muscular atrophy. The Gabbay Award recognizes research that adds value to the field of biomedical science. Ringe clarified the distinction between the recently awarded Rosenstiel Award and the Gabbay award in an email with The Brandeis Hoot. The Rosenstiel Award focuses primarily on basic research, or research that aims to understand natural phenomena. On the other hand, the Gabbay award targets research that has a distinct application from its basic science roots. Recipients of the Gabbay Award win either $25,000 if there is a sole winner or $30,000 dollars split between multiple winners.

SMA is a genetically transmitted neuromuscular disease that weakens voluntary muscular movement by weakening the neural connections in the spinal cord, according to the United States Library of Medicine. It is typically apparent in children below the age of two. Spinraza treats this condition by correcting gene expression of a crucial gene SMN2. Spinraza became the first FDA approved drug to treat all types of SMA: Type 1, Type 2 and Type 3, according to a SMA News today article. While the disease is more common and appears in children, it can also be used to treat adult cases. The treatment is approved in more than 50 countries, including China, Canada, Japan, Israel, Turkey and Korea. Spinraza is an antisense oligonucleotide drug that targets protein production in the gene of interest. Humans have two

genes encoding the gene pertinent to SMA called SMN1 and SMN2. In cases of the SMA disorder, the SMN1 gene contains mutations that lead to little to no protein production. While the other SMN gene, SMN2, can produce protein, it forms a protein that is easily degraded in the cell. Spinraza works by increasing the SMN2 gene’s ability to produce a viable protein by attaching molecular tags that indicate the cell machinery not to break it down. Ringe asserts that “basic research drives the innovations that allow new technologies to be developed, thereby improving our lives.” He cites the example from last year’s Rosenstiel Award winners, who won for their pioneering work on mRNA vaccine technology. This technology proved to be crucial for the development of the COVID-19 vaccines. Ringe also comments on why

awards and prize money from foundations like the Gabbay Foundation and the Rosenstiel Award are important to science. “Any award is important: recognition of unique and singular achievements is a statement of the importance of the work being recognized. In addition, an award is a form of a ‘thank you’ to the researchers for their efforts on behalf of the global community,” he wrote in the email to The Hoot. Ringe imparts the following notion to students pursuing degrees in the sciences: “Science is a unique opportunity to learn about us, our planet and our universe. Understanding our environment is essential if we are to appreciate it, protect it and make it safe for generations to come. Many disciplines are necessary for that end: biology, chemistry and physics.”

Univ. announces Richman Fellow award winner By Victoria Morrongiello editor

ious literature regarding climate science and policy, according to the page. His work has involved, “the role of tropical forests and land use in climate mitigation, the climate attribution of extreme weather events, the climate responsibilities of fossil fuel companies, the governance of solar geoengineering research and the water demands of energy in a changing climate,” according to the page. According to the page, Frumhoff serves on numerous boards including the Board of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) and the Board of Editors of Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene. Prior to his involvement with these boards, Frumhoff worked on the Board of Directors of the American Wind Wildlife Institute, the Advisory Committee on Climate Change and Natural Resource Science at the United States Department of the Interior and the Board of Editors of Ecological Appli-

cations, according to the page. Frumhoff was apart of the NASEM team that wrote the 021 report on Reflecting Sunlight: Recommendations for Solar Geoengineering Research and Research Governance, according to the article. He also was the lead offer on a report for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) called the Fourth Assessment Report. He was also the lead author of the IPCC Special Report which discussed Land Use, Land-use Change and Forestry effects on global climate. Frumhoff is has also been involved in multiple regional climate impacts assessments, acting as guide for these reports, according to the page, he was involved in the Northeast Climate Impacts Assessment (NECIA). The Richman Distinguished Fellowship in Public Life award is given to individuals who are, “ active in public life [ and] whose contributions have had a significant impact on improving American society, strengthening democratic institutions, advancing social justice or increasing opportunities for all citizens to realize and share in the benefits of this

nation,” according to the page. The award was created by a Brandeis alumna, according to the page Carol Richman Saivetz ’69, according to the page. Saivetz along with her children who are also Brandeis alumni, Michael Saivetz ’97 and Aliza Saivetz Glasser ’01, named the award in honor of Fred and Rita Richman, the Saivetz’s parents and grandparents, respectively. The funding of the award is provided by the Richman and Saivetz families, according to the page. The Richman Distinguished Fellowship in Public Life is hosted by the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life — a program at the university that provides responses to conflict and injustice, according to their page. The center hosts the event on behalf of the Office of the President as well as the office of the Provost, according to the page. Frumhoff ’s residency will be from March 29 to March 31 in 2022, according to the page.


Admin claims univ. is a leader in ‘enviromentally friendly movement’ SUSTAINABILITY, from page 1

need for financial transparency. The finances for the upcoming projects have yet to be released, as they have yet to be finalized. “If we move towards net zero [emissions], there will be a cost. But first we need to understand what that cost will be,” Warren says, emphasizing the importance of using accurate carbon footprint tracking tools. The team is still trying to assess what the financial cost is. Warren said that costs and technology are changing constantly, which means that evaluating costs is a challenge. As for the stoppage of investing in fossil fuels, the finances for Brandeis are expected to increase, according to Warren. He

repeatedly stressed his excitement about investing in more environmentally friendly, as the investment office expects to “generate very good returns for the university. I can see it becoming a material portion of our portfolio.” The two biggest things that have timelines are making investments are technologies in items that have a lower carbon footprint and finding people to manage those accounts, said Warren. He said that accomplishing the task of effectively measuring Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions will require a lot of labor, as right now they are working on a better tracking system than “pull[ing] out every single holding in our portfolio.” He said right now the university is looking into hiring people to help make this process

efficient, as well as staff who can understand the data pulled. He emphasized that this is new data and new technology, and that any findings will be found within a margin of error, the details of which are still being researched. All three panelists agreed that Brandeis is not falling behind in terms of sustainability, as compared to other schools. All three argued that Brandeis is actually a leader in an environmentally friendly movement. According to Warren, Brandeis stopped investing in fossil fuels long before Harvard did. Jette encouraged community members to focus on the achievements of Brandeis, regardless of other schools. “[Sustainability] is a process we all need to be engaged in. I don’t know if

setting it up as a race is useful.” Fischer called the process of tracking Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions “cutting edge.” She also said that President Ron Liebowitz

has committed to making the university less reliant on natural gas, something she is excited about. To learn more about sustainability on campus, visit the website.

October 29 , 2021


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Dean releases October newsletter By Sasha Skarboviychuk editor

The Dean of Arts and Sciences released the October newsletter on Tuesday, Oct. 26, outlining what has been happening in the undergraduate school of Arts and Sciences. The email outlines how the school is implementing the anti-racism plan, the undergraduate book forum, among other things. With regards to the anti-racism plan, the School of Arts and Sciences is currently working on incorporating the feedback that they received; Dean Dorothy Hodgson thanked all the students that were involved in the process, providing feedback. Hodgson also reminded students that they are still in the early stages of implementing the changes, which fall into five categories. The first category is people, which includes hiring and accepting more BIPOC students, faculty and staff. Secondly, they hope to “develop ways to ensure that everyone feels welcome, included, affirmed, and represented in every part of the School of Arts and Sciences,” according to the email. The School of Arts and Sciences is also going to “ensure that the curriculum, major/minor requirements, and pedagogical practices like assessment are inclusive, equitable and represent the full

richness of diverse perspectives,” said the email. Furthermore, the school is also planning more events that ensure that the lectures reflect the diversity of perspectives and people on this campus. Finally, they are also hoping to improve accountability in the school, such as recognizing all individuals for the work that they do, particularly, “for anti-racist work, especially ‘hidden labor’ performed by many BIPOC faculty and staff,” according to the email. The anti-racism plan for the School of Arts and Sciences is available on the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion website; there is also additional information about the five pillars. The email also reminded students about the Undergraduate Department Representatives (UDRs), who are “peer advisers who have been selected to strengthen the undergraduate learning experience and community within their departments and programs.” Each major or minor in the school has at least one representative, who provides various services to students, such as providing information about the academics in their field as well as potential career opportunities. They also “organize meetings with students and/or group informational sessions on topics

related to their program (outside speakers, alumni/career panels, internships, research opportunities),” according to the email. The email also reminded students about BIPOC Creator Grants which aims to “support Brandeis undergraduates whose creative work amplifies the voices of BIPOC people.” They can be used for “equipment, materials, studio time, lessons, workshops and so forth for creative arts disciplines such as (but not limited to) music, photography, curating, filmmaking, design, poetry, spoken word, etc.” The guidelines and application can be found on the Brandeis Arts Engemenet website. Hodgson also reminded students about the Undergraduate Research and Creative Collaborations Office (URCC), which is a resource to help students who are interested in doing research or creative projects. The office would be able to provide students with a new database called ForagerOne. This will provide students with the “chance to collaborate with faculty members on original research and find funded opportunities to participate in the creation of new knowledge,” according to the email. More information can be found on the URCC page. There will also be an event on Oct. 29, titled “Creative Resi-


Vivekanand Pandey Vimal, a researcher at the university, was awarded a grant from NASA to study the effects of disorientation on piolets and astronauts in space, according to a Boston Herald article. Vimal’s work specifically looks at the overall health and performance of individuals operating aircraft carriers. Vimal’s work with the grant funding will begin late next month, according to the article. His work will be focused on creating a connection between humans and the machines they are operating. He is looking in this area in order to, “ help astronauts maintain control during the split second when they don’t even know which way is up,” according to the article. Vimal’s proposal for the grant was one of 58 other research proposals, according to the article, and Vimal’s proposal was the one selected for this grant. Vimal originally began theorizing about vibration technology more than a decade ago, while working as a teacher at Waltham High School, according to the article. Disorientation during flight has led to fatalities of many piolets and astronauts in space, according to the article, due to a loss of control of the aircraft they are operating. This research would be centered on finding solutions to their disorientation. “The vibration technology could help those pilots, and could also be used in rehabilitation settings to assist people with medical conditions that affect their balance,” according to the article.

In his work, Vimal will look into how the use of vibrational signals, sent through devices attached to the piolets’ skin, can aid when the piolet begins to veer off course by drifting, tilting or losing control, according to the article. The vibrations would indicate to the pilot how to stay on track and prevent disorientation. In the study, one group of participants will be asked to train with the vibrotactile devices and will then be observed in a multi-axis rotation system. This is to observe whether a relationship is built between the machine and the human, according to the article. While the other group will not receive training in using the device before being asked to use the multi-axis rotation system with the vibrotactile device. Vimal’s prediction for his experiment is that those who receive training with the vibrotactile devices will perform better than those who did not. The implications if his hypothesis is proven through his experiment could potentially be implemented in future NASA missions in space including voyages to the moon and Mars, according to the article. Vimal has worked at the university for ten years at a lab that is funded by the Translational Research Institute for Space Health, according to the article.

multi-faceted, and comprehensive experience that begins with theory and ends with practice.” The email also called for nominations for the 30th New Student Book Forum. The selected book will be sent to the first years to be read over the summer; the book will then be discussed when they come to Brandeis. According to the email, the selection for 2022 is “On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous” by Ocean Vuong. Nominations are due on Oct. 31.


COVID-19 dashboards

Univ. researcher receives funding from NASA By Victoria Morrongiello

dency Introductory Session” led by Jennine Willett. The Creative Residency itself will take place in the spring. Willett is the Third Rail Projects Co-Artistic Director; she is an educator, director, choreographer and creative consultant. According to the email, the residency “will share the methods and practices at play when making an immersive and site-specific performance. The journey of researching, conceptualizing, generating, developing, rehearsing, and performing in the project will offer a hands-on,


Total postive COVID-19 cases each week. Last Update October 28, 2021.


Total COVID-19 tests administered each week. Last Update October 28, 2021.

6 The Brandeis Hoot

SPORTS World Series overview

By Justin Leung editor

The Championship Series in both the American League (AL) and National League (NL) was full of surprises. Last year’s World Series champions, the Los Angeles Dodgers, fell to the Atlanta Braves in six games. The underdog Boston Red Sox put up a good fight but could not find successful pitching against the Houston Astros and this led to their downfall after six games. Ultimately this leaves the Astros and the Braves for the 2021 Major League Baseball (MLB) World Series: two teams that were pro-

how the Dodgers were getting ready for back-to-back World Series titles. The Dodgers were very much favored going into the series. This Dodgers starting lineup had seven All-Stars and two Most Valuable Player (MVP) award-winners. According to Baseball Reference, their pitching staff had at least six All-Stars. This was one of the greatest teams ever assembled. However, they were clearly shown to not be invincible in the first two games of the series. In game one and two, the Braves walked the Dodgers off in the ninth inning. For game three, the Dodgers barely came back as outfielder Cody Bellinger hit a clutch three-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning to keep

hits in the two games he played. Although Pederson did not have a good series overall, he did hit a big home run against his former team. In addition to these three players, the Braves have a very solid infield. Duvall just drives in runs. Third baseman Austin Riley has been one of the best hitters in all of baseball this year. Second baseman Ozzie Albies was third in the league in runs batted in (RBI) this season. First baseman Freddie Freeman was the NL MVP winner last year and this year he already sent the Milwaukee Brewers home with a go ahead home run against an unhittable pitcher. Their offense is great all around. Their pitching is good but not great. The starting rotation


jected to be solid teams throughout the season, but not World Series favorites. Firstly, a recap of the AL Championship Series. The Red Sox’s weaknesses finally caught up to them. In the Wild Card game and the Division Series, the Red Sox had gotten wins because their offense had truly carried the load. Their offense did not have many games where they completely got shut down. This was important considering their pitching was not great. However, in the Championship Series, their pitching weakness came back to hurt them. In game one, the game was close. Their pitching had kept them mostly in the game, but the four runs they scored did not end up being enough, as the Astros broke through with home runs from second baseman Jose Altuve and shortstop Carlos Correa. After a close game one, the Red Sox did what they did best: they scored runs. According to MLB. com, the Red Sox outscored the Astros 21-8 within games two and three. Although they scored 25 runs in the first three games of the series, they ended up scoring only three in the final three games. They scored zero runs in the elimination game. This is where credit needs to be given to the Astros pitching. They did an incredible job neutralizing the Red Sox hitters. Before the start of the NL Championship Series, people were already talking about

the team in the series. The Dodgers then got blown out in game four, before blowing the Braves out in game five. At this point the Braves were up one game while needing only one win to take the series. Even though the Braves led for most of the series, the Dodgers continued to be favored to win. After incredibly clutch pitching from the Braves and a home run from outfielder Eddie Rosario, they knocked out the Dodgers to proceed to the World Series. This leaves the Braves and the Astros. The Braves’ starting lineup is missing one of the best players in the league. Outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. tore his ACL in the middle of the season and led many people to underestimate the Braves. The Braves proceeded to replace Acuna Jr. with outfielders Eddie Rosario, Adam Duvall, Joc Pederson and Jorge Soler. All four of these players have come in clutch so far in the postseason. Rosario was the NL Championship Series MVP. After being traded for almost nothing, MLB. com describes how Rosario proceeded to hit 0.560 and he had 14 hits in the NL Championship Series. He also had incredibly three very clutch home runs in the series. Rosario is possibly the second hottest player in all of baseball. Soler was out for most of the Championship Series due to COVID-19, but he still had two

mostly consists of Max Fried, Charlie Morton and Ian Anderson. Fried was very good in the second half of the season but inconsistent so far in the postseason. Morton has been average during this postseason, but he has a large amount of experience in the World Series. Anderson has been one of the best postseason pitchers in recent years. Their bullpen has been good. Reliever Tyler Matzek has been in the spotlight with his incredible pitching performances against the Dodgers. Pitcher Luke Jackson has not been consistent so far in this postseason, but he was one of the best relievers in all of baseball during the regular season. Finally, closer Will Smith has surprised many by being elite so far this postseason. According to MLB. com, Smith had six blown saves and a 3.44 earned run average (ERA) in the regular season. He was far from elite during the regular season. However, in the postseason so far, Smith has pitched seven innings and allowed only three hits and no runs. Additionally, he has converted on all three of his save opportunities. The Astros also have a very well-rounded team. Almost everyone on the team can hit. Designated hitter Yordan Alvarez is the hottest hitter in all of baseball. According to, Alvarez hit .522 in the AL Championship Series and had

four hits in the final game against the Red Sox. In that important game, he had two doubles, a triple and a single. This led him to win the AL Championship Series MVP. First baseman Yuli Gurriel had ten hits and a batting average of .455 in the series against the Red Sox. Outfielder Michael Brantley had an average series, but he still hit over .300 in the regular season. Third basemen Alex Bregman, Altuve and Correa did not have incredible games against the Red Sox, but they have a very good postseason track record, even though it may be clouded with cheating. Finally, outfielder Kyle Tucker led the team in RBIs and home runs. Their offense is good, but their pitching may be even better. Although their starting pitching got roughed up in the series against the Red Sox, they were very good in the regular season. Pitcher Luis Garcia struggled in his first start against the Red Sox but was nearly unhittable in his second start. José Urquidy did not do well in his one appearance against the Red Sox but this season he has been above average. In game five, starting pitcher Framber Valdez allowed just three hits and one run through eight innings. He was nearly untouchable. Their starting pitching may be good, but their bullpen has been even better. According to, relievers Ryne Stanek, Kendall Graveman, Christian Javier, Ryan Pressley and Phil Maton have all pitched in at least six innings and have allowed one run or less. This means that if the Astros have the lead going into the fifth inning, it is going to be tough for the Braves to come back because the back end of the Astros bullpen has been lights out so far this postseason. Which team gets the edge? Let’s go position by position to see. In the catcher position both teams have not had great hitters. Braves catcher Travis d’Arnaud was unable to replicate his performances from previous years and catcher Martin Maldanado of the Astros has also been disappointing as a hitter. However, Maldanado is better defensively which gives the edge to the Astros. The first baseman edge goes to the Braves. While Gurriel may hit for a higher average than Freeman, Freeman is the better overall hitter. Freeman beats Gurriel in almost every hitting category and has clearly shown how clutch he is after hitting the home run off Brewer’s pitcher Josh Hader. Gurriel is a great first baseman, but Freeman has been one of the best first baseman in all of baseball for the last ten years, so the edge goes to the Braves. Second base is less obvious, as Albies and Altuve are both great players that have struggled as of late. This season Altuve was slightly better offensively, so the edge goes to the

October 29, 2021

Astros, but only slightly. Shortstop is a star-studded position and on these two teams it is no different. Although Dansby Swanson of the Braves is a very solid player, Correa is a superstar in the making. Correa has an incredible postseason history and is a better overall hitter and fielder than Swanson. This gives the edge to the Astros. For third base, the competition is close. Bregman was a former MVP candidate, but Riley is an MVP candidate now. Riley is one of the better hitters remaining in the postseason, which gives the Braves the edge for third base. Left field is hard to compare. Rosario is better than Brantley, who has primarily been playing left field for the Astros, but Alvarez may be playing left field because there is no designated hitter for the NL. Alvarez is the best remaining hitter and even though Rosario is incredibly hot, Alvarez has been a top hitter since he has come into the league. This gives the edge to the Astros. Center field is a clear landslide for the Braves as Adam Duvall has been a far better hitter than Chas McCormick. Although Soler and Pederson have had their moments, Tucker has been a top outfielder in the league this year. This gives a big advantage to the Astros. Starting pitching is even for both teams. They both have pitchers who have been strong in the regular season but inconsistent in the postseason. So, there is no advantage to either team. In the battle of the bullpens, the Astros come out on top. Even though Smith and Matzek have held down the fort, the rest of the bullpen for Atlanta has not been nearly as consistent. The Astros, on the other hand, have had a bunch of very solid relievers. Overall, the final tally gives four position advantages to the Braves and five to the Astros. The slight difference in advantages by position indicates that this World Series is going to be a close one. Both teams exhibit well-rounded teams overall and they each have hot hitters. However, the series is likely going to be decided on the consistency of the starting pitching. Consistent starting pitching can bypass any positional advantage a team may have. Without knowing how well the starting pitching will be, the Astros are favored in this year’s World Series. According to Vegas Insider, the Astros are currently the betting favorites to win the World Series. Although the Astros are the favorites, the Braves have not been favored at all in the postseason, whether it was against the Brewers or the Dodgers, yet they have continued to win. Can the Braves continue to defy the odds and win the World Series?

Women’s soccer wins again By Jesse Lieberman staff

Senior forward Makenna Hunt ’22 scored a goal and assisted another as the Judges cruised to a 4-1 non-conference road victory against Springfield 4-1 on Saturday. With the win, the Judges have won two in a row, and three of the past four. Brandeis now has a record of 8-4-2 overall and 1-3 in University Athletic Asso-

ciation (UAA) play. In the fifth minute, junior midfielder Morgan Clark ’23 sent in a cross, which Hunt sent to the back of the net. Hunt then assisted senior forward Juliette Carreiro ’22 in the 11th minute to give the Judges an early 2-0 lead. The Judges added another goal before the half courtesy of junior Jess Herman ’23 who chipped in a shot from inside the 18-yard box in the 34th minute. Sophomore midfielder Lexi Krobath ’24 scored the

Judges’ fourth and final goal of the match, and her first collegiate goal, in the 74th minute. For the match, Brandeis outshot Springfield 19-10 and 12-5 on shots on goal. Goalkeeper Hannah Bassan ’25 made two saves and earned her seventh victory of the season. Clark picked up her first assist of the year, while Carreiro’s goal was her fifth this year. Carreiro is tied for the league-lead with seven assists, and Bassan ranks third in the UAA with 34 saves. The Judges re-

entered the rankings this week as the number 23 team in the nation according to Judges hope to be selected for the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2018. The Judges’ resume features one of the most difficult schedules in all of Division-III, which includes UAA matches. Brandeis is one of six teams from the UAA in the most recent top 25 rankings. The Judges also drew no. 8 Massachusetts Institute of Technology in their

season opener 2-2. Brandeis was slated to travel to Providence and take on Johnson & Wales on Tuesday, Nov 2. However, the match was canceled due to inclement weather. The Judges will conclude the regular season with their final three matches in UAA play. Brandeis will host no. 18-ranked Emory on Friday, Oct. 29 at 5 p.m. and then University of Rochester on Sunday, Oct. 31 at 11 a.m. The Judges’ season finale will be at New York University on Nov. 6.

October 29, 2021

The Brandeis Hoot 7

The Brandeis Hoot

Women’s volleyball plays back-to-back matches By Justin Leung editor

After a win against the University of Rochester, the Judges looked to take that momentum into games on back-to-back days. On Thursday Oct. 21, the Judges faced Johnson & Wales University (JWU) and then immediately played Bowdoin College the day after. In their game against JWU, they played an incredibly close game that came down to the final set. In the first set, Brandeis and JWU went back and forth. After many kills and attack errors,

by various attacking errors from JWU. Brandeis led 12-8 and 1411 at points within the first set but ultimately after they scored their 14th point, JWU went on a ninepoint run to put Brandeis behind by seven. The huge run from JWU, ended up leading to a set one loss of 16-25 for the Judges. Set three did not start off well for the Judges. JWU started the set with a 4-0 run which caused the Judges to call a timeout. After the timeout the Judges surrendered another two points before scoring their first point on a kill by senior Kaisa Newberg ’22. Then the Judges slowly began to crawl back into the game. Key


the score was 24-18 in favor of Brandeis. Then JWU went on a quick run to make the score 2421. Freshman Lara Verstovsek ’25 ended that JWU momentum by having a kill to close the set and give the Judges a 1-0 series lead. In the second set against JWU, the Judges were even for the first half of the set. A kill from senior Emerson White ’22 got the team on the board and was followed

kills from senior Belle Scott ’22 and a service ace from sophomore Gracie Lerian ’24 eventually brought the set to be tied at 14-14. The two teams traded scoring up until when the score was tied at 21. JWU then proceeded to close out the set with a 4-0 run to give them a 2-1 series lead. With their backs against the wall, the Judges came out firing with a quick 6-2 lead at the start of set four.


The two teams then continued to trade points back and forth like how they had been playing for the entire series. Once the score reached 20-18, the Judges had the series tie in their sights. Unfortunately, JWU went on a run to take the lead 20-23. The match was slowly getting away from them, until Newberg had a clutch kill. After a bad set from JWU, junior Emily Morrison ’23 tied the game with a service ace. Senior Kaitlyn Oh ’22 then led the charge with a service ace to win the set 26-24. In the final set of the match, the Judges were even with JWU for four points. Then JWU went on a 9-1-point run. The Judges ended up stopping this run to make the score 6-13, but by that point the damage was done as JWU closed the match with the set win 15-6. Verstovsek and Newberg led the team in kills with seven. Sophomore Ella Pereira ’24 led the team in digs with 24. The next day, the Judges came back home to face off against Bowdoin College. They started the first set off strong with a 5-1 run to start the game. Ver-

stovsek had two kills in that run. Brandeis scored one more point before Bowdoin scored five consecutive points to tie the game at six. After tying the game at six, Bowdoin proceeded to score another six points before another point from Brandeis. Eventually, Bowdoin began to close the first set with the score being 20-10. The Judges made the set interesting in the end to make the score 17-23, but Bowdoin ended up winning the set 25-17. In the second set, the Judges once again started off strong. Sophomore Ines Grom-Mansencal ’24 had two service aces to contribute to the 5-0 Brandeis start. Bowdoin then started their comeback and Brandeis could not hold them off. The score was eventually tied at nine. After tying the game, Bowdoin took the lead and never looked back. While Brandeis was keeping up with Bowdoin, Bowdoin never gave up the lead. When the score got to 24-20 in favor of Bowdoin, junior Amelia Oppenheimer ’23 and Newberg tried to turn the tides with kills and a

block. They brought the score to 23-24, but Bowdoin ended the comeback with a kill to give them a 2-0 series lead. Just like every set one and two, the Judges started off the third set strong with a 6-1 lead. Then the lead slipped away, and the score was eventually tied at eight. The set went back and forth with Verstovsek having an incredible set. Towards the end of the set the Judges led 22-21. Their 22nd point ended up being their last point as Bowdoin scored four consecutive points to win the match 3-0. Verstovsek led all players in the match with 12 kills. Pereira again led the team in digs with 19. Brandeis started every set strong, but they could not maintain their lead. They were very even for most of the match, but Bowdoin was very good at closing sets which is why Brandeis could not win a set. The Judges will play two more games in October, one against Wellesley College on Oct. 28 and another game against Springfield College on Oct. 30.

Brandeis Swimming and Diving takes another win By Francesca Marchese staff

After an opening meet against the Vassar College Brewers, head coach of Brandeis men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams Nicole Carter spoke proudly about her team’s efforts, saying, “The team has worked tirelessly to develop a level of trust and comradery that allows them to work to their fullest potential and achieve our values of grit, grind and gratitude.” Winning 25 of 32 events on the day, the Judges men beat the Brewers by a score of 182-89, while the women beat the Brewers 146-121. Bailey Gold ’23 was the Judges women’s leader, winning three races against the Vassar Brewers. Individually, Gold won the 100-

yard butterfly in 59.53, in addition to the 200 in 2:11.93. She was also a part of the winning 200 medley relay team who swam 1:53.51 to finish 1.17 seconds ahead of Vassar; her teammates were Anastasia Bekou ’25, Olivia Stebbins ’22 and Ema Rennie ’23. Chloe Gonzalez ’25 competed in her first collegiate meet of her career, where she won two individual races; Gonzalez took the 200 free in 1:59.41 and ninth on the all-time list, in addition to winning the 100 free in 55.17 seconds. The Judges had some single race winners, too, including Abbie Etzweiler ’22 who competed and won in the 1000-yard freestyle with a time of 11:58.53. Rennie won her event, the 50 free, with a time of 25.62 seconds, a 0.15 second margin over Gonzalez. Abbie Murphy

’24 also contributed to the team’s overall win against the Brewers, as she won the 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:40.56. Gazelle Umbay ’22 won the 500-yard free by a margin of three seconds, finishing in 5:39.70. The Brandeis men’s swimming and diving team was led by sophomore All-American Sam Dienstag ’24, who won three individual freestyle races and one relay. Dienstag captured the 200-yard freestyle in 1:46.49 by a margin of 0.38 seconds; the 500 in 4:46.96 by a margin of eight seconds and, finally, the 1,000 in 9:52.98 by an incredible margin of 20 seconds; Dienstag finished off his incredible performance by swimming the second leg of the winning 4x10 freestyle relay. Saturday’s meet was also an incredible success for Andrew Ngo

’25, as he won in four races for the men, two individual and two relays. Finishing the 100-yard freestyle in 49.37 seconds and the 200-yard individual medley in 1:59.69, Ngo was just shy of Brandeis’ all-time Top 10 fastest times. Ngo also helped his team to victory in the 200 medley and the 400 freestyle relays. Seniors Brendon Lu ’22 and Benton Ferebee ’22 were equally as successful in their individual events against the Brewers. Lu won the breaststroke events in both the 100 and 200; his 100 time was 1:00.25 and his 200 time was 2:12.37, ranking him eight and seventh, respectively, among Brandeis’ career Top 10. Ferebee competed in the backstroke events, sweeping his competition, taking the 100 in 55.71 seconds and the 200 in 2:04.71.

Gerald Deng ’25 captured the win in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 2:01.20, while teammate George Zhu ’24 won the 50 freestyle by a margin of 0.98 seconds. James Barno ’23 flew through his race—the 100-meter butterfly— in 53.75 seconds. The Judges men outswam their opponent in the 200-yard medley relay and the 400 free relay; Ngo, Lu, Deng and Zhu finished with a time of 1:38.38 in the 200, while Zhu, Dienstag, Ngo and Ido Petel ’24 won the 400 in 3:15.86. The Judges return to action on Friday evening, Nov. 5, at WPI in a dual-meet with the WPI Engineers and the Babson Beavers at 7 p.m.

Get rewards for attending home games By Sasha Skarboviychuk editor

Did you know that you can get prizes for attending home games at Brandeis? “We the Jury” is an app where Brandeis students can log what games they have attended, earn coins which can later be exchanged for prizes. The app can be found on the App Store or on the Galaxy Store. You then create an account with whatever username you want. The app has an events tab, where you can see all the upcoming home games and the number of coins you get if you attend that game. Usually games are 20 coins.

In order to get the coins, you need to check in at the venue during the game. Sometimes there are featured matches, and you can get more coins for attending that event. According to the app’s FAQ, “each semester, anywhere from 8-12 events will be designated as ‘Featured Events.’ These are games that are generally deemed big games such as rivalry games, home openers, or home playoff games.” Usually during those featured events there is free food and giveaways (though this isn’t always the case, look out for emails from the Athletics department to see

when there will be food). The previous featured game was Women’s volleyball on Oct. 22; at the event students got free pizza, stress dice and foam gavels. Attendees can get 25 coins in the first half of the game and an additional 25 coins in the second half of the game. The prizes for under 100 coins include a phone wallet for 60 coins, stress dice for 80 coins and a five dollar bookstore giftcard or texting gloves for 100 coins. For 175 coins, you can get a $10 Chillbox gift card or a $10 giftcard to The Prime Deli. For 200 coins you can get a long-sleeve judges shirt. 225 coins will get you a $25 giftcard to either

The Chateau or to Jake & Joe’s. You can get a “’Deis” hoodie for 250 coins. 300 coins will get you two AMC yellow movie tickets, while 350 coins will get you a 24 oz Hydroflask. For 400 coins, you can get a $50 giftcard to Jake & Joe’s. Brandeis sweatpants cost 450 coins. The largest prize on the app is an Amazon Echo Dot, which will cost you 600 coins. There is also a Fan Cam, where people can post pictures of themselves at the games. Others can see the photos and like/share them. There are also sometimes competitions in the Fan Cam section, where you can get bonus coins

for sharing photos. You can see the leaderboard, which shows the ranking of the users by number of coins. According to the app, “prizes may be picked in the Gosman Athletic Center anytime from Monday-Friday during business hours. Please confirm a time to pick up your item by emailing Andrew Vatistas.” Both undergraduate and graduate students are able to participate. Right now, you can enter the code “DEIS2021” to get 40 bonus coins. Happy cheering!


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 9 the brandeis hoot • brandeis university 415 south street • waltham, ma

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October 29, 2021

A-Board needs to bring their "A" game

or all clubs to receive funding on Brandeis’ campus they must all adhere to one stipulation: they must be all-inclusive. But as practice from this semester shows, no matter how inclusive a club may be, no one is getting funding! The Allocations Board has been all over the place this semester and clubs, no matter what they do and where they go, are suffering. For clubs to offer full services to students on campus funds are needed to provide adequate equipment and supplies. It is central to the Brandeisian club model that everyone is able to participate but as treasury and A-board currently stands, only students with the proper equipment can partake in those clubs. This fundamentally challenges the university's key tenet of inclusivity and limits the extent to which current club members can partake in the activities which they hold so dear. A-board needs to step up because clubs and consequently one of the strongest centers of social life on campus is suffering. Student Union Treasury has done their best in creating a task force and working hard around their own classes and activities, but like a virus, any slow down in the financial system impacts the entire system set up around it. This issue with this system first comes down to the staffing of it. At the moment there are only four members of A-board, while it should be more than double this number. While it is not those members’ fault that the system is as clogged up as it is, at the moment it is simply not okay that only four of them are working at a single time. Especially in the year coming out of the more serious lockdowns of the pandemic, clubs are trying their best to be active and get out again. For this to properly be made possible, more

than four members are needed to adequately distribute funding and make sure clubs can partake in their respective activities. Those four are overworked and need more support to carry out this job because as students they have their own physical and mental health needs along with working for their education. This simply comes down to the fact that elections were mismanaged and the correct number of A-board members were not properly elected. Secondly, the treasury training and office did not begin as early as it was supposed to with emails of training coming out in mid-September. How are clubs with specific needs for equipment on day one supposed to get what they need in time if they physically do not have the mechanism to access their funds until the semester is four weeks over. This has placed an incredible burden on the leadership of clubs to pick up the slack where A-board has been lacking and front money for the needed equipment and materials. Clubs should not be dependent on their leadership to support them financially since the university has it within the club stipulation that they will be provided for. Because of this however, clubs have had to fill out more reimbursement forms than they have in past semesters. This is effectively inundated A-board and treasury with forms which they would usually not have to approve of as often so that clubs can be properly reimbursed for the equipment they've had to purchase on their own. This has slowed them down on their own time and it has backed up the entire system a considerable amount. Clubs are unable to use the funds they have to buy equipment and materials and when they put their own money

forwards they are simply not being reimbursed in a timely manner as some clubs have been waiting since late September for reimbursement checks. To make matters worse, the training that was presented to club officers and particularly treasurers of clubs was not sufficient enough for them to understand how the system of Presence works. The system is not user-friendly and if we are not trained properly it is easy to see why so many students do not know what forms they need to fill out to properly access their funds. In fact, in a recent email from the Dean of Students Office they made sure to tell students not to fill out certain forms because they are not appropriate in being able to access the funds they are trying to use. Clubs are not only unable to use the funding they have but they simply do not know how to access it. When trying to promote a club culture on campus which is all inclusive a huge hurdle to that is being able to understand the system in place so that students can access the proper materials they need. The training has to be more substantive for it to be effective in teaching students how it works. It is almost November and it is utterly shameful to see how improperly A-board has been handled. Clubs have been unable to access funds. Club leadership has had to front the cost for their own clubs’ activities and A-board has been unable to properly reimburse them. On top of that, the general misunderstanding of how Presence works is a massive hurdle to clubs getting their activities going. A-board and the university need to get their act together because so long as everything remains as it is at this moment, it flies in the face of every word they speak about being all-inclusive.


October 29, 2021

The Brandeis Hoot 9

Ulla Lenze’s debut into American literature By Shruthi Manjunath editor

In “Authors in Conversation: Ulla Lenze and Marshall Yarbrough, The Radio Operator (Der Empfänger),” author Ulla Lenze and translator Marshall Yarbrough discussed Lenze’s newest novel, “The Radio Operator.” This novel represents Lenze’s debut into American literature and depicts the life of German immigrants living in the U.S. right before the start of World War II. The novel is based in New York City in the 1930s and is based on the life of Lenze’s great-uncle, Josef Klein, a German immigrant who came to New York. He became part of the Duquesne spy ring in the late 1930s. He was recruited by Nazis using threats against his family in Germany. He complied with their demands,

and used a shortwave radio to report information to Nazi Germany. He eventually found joy through his shortwave radio by connecting with others, including a love interest known as Lauren. Josef eventually confessed to the FBI about his connections to the Nazis and was detained at Ellis Island and eventually deported to Germany. Josef attempted to go back to the United States; however, the closest he got was South America. The novel begins with Klein returning to Germany after he was deported from the United States. During the event, Lenze and Yarbrough discussed various important parts of the novel and how these parts impacted the story. Lenze and Yarbrough read various parts of the novel in German and highlighted the importance of these parts. Lenze also showed pictures of her great-uncle Josef Klein. She specifically showed a

picture of his radio station, which is what the FBI found in his apartment, along with a photo taken by the FBI when they found out he was a spy. Lenze’s mother was very generous and supported her in analyzing Josef Klein’s story. Lenze was able to find 180 letters from 1946 to 1955 between Klein and her grandfather and learned about relationships between these two brothers. Through these letters, she learned about her grandfather, who she previously knew very little about. This gave her insight into the relationship between Klein and her grandfather. She used very little content from these letters as, she explains, “novel language is not how people talk.” This made it difficult to incorporate the content from these letters into the novels. She highlights that she probably only used one sentence from the letters;

however, they were influential in allowing her to understand Josef ’s perspective. Lenze did not perceive Klein as a stereotypical bad guy who betrays a country: he was sensitive and just wanted his peace and quiet. She wanted to explore the psychological aspect of this character. She wanted to create a story where someone who is a good person does the wrong thing. One of the excerpts that Yarbrough read depicted the moment when Josef is recruited into the Nazi service. The excerpt highlights how Josef feels uncomfortable in the presence of others. He feels as if this is not where he should be. Yarbrough explains that the biggest surprise for him was the scale of the German American Bund. In 1939, there was a Nazi Rally in Madison Square Garden and many people participated in this rally, which was surprising to Yar-

brough. Lenze was also surprised that there was a Nazi network infiltrating the United States. She explained that the German press did not highlight this fact at all. Yarbrough also highlighted that punctuation causes pain to the translator and the copy editor, describing how translating from German to English was difficult but interesting. The story of Josef ends with him moving to South America. He stayed in Buenos Aires for two years and desired to go back to the US. He acquired a visa; however, while traveling in Costa Rica, people noticed his papers were fake and put him in jail. He had influential friends who got him out of jail and he lived in Costa Rica for the rest of his life. The story of Josef Klein is one that highlights how good people can sometimes do bad things.

Professor Joel Christensen: Collective trauma and going to war By Cooper Gottfried staff

Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs in the School of Arts and Sciences Joel Christensen (CLAS) wrote an article about the relation between the 9/11 attacks and ancient warfare for The Conversation, a news organization with articles by academic experts for the general public. In an interview with The Brandeis Hoot, Christensen expanded on the views expressed in the article while also commenting on how the American response to 9/11 unfolded. In the article, Christensen describes the idea of “collective trauma,” defining it as the shared experience of and reactions to a traumatic event by a group of people. Through his studies of ancient Greek history, he was able to find how both societies “created cultural memories that helped them find reasons for rushing into war.” Christensen likens the

Persian invasion of Athens in 480 B.C. to the 9/11 attacks: both attacks targeted cultural icons (the Athenian Parthenon and the twin towers), and both attacks led to a hasty military response. Similar to the American response to the events of Sep. 11, the Greek response to the destruction of the Parthenon justified “imperial expansion [and] violence,” according to Christensen. Christensen also laments the fact that the loss of life on Sep. 11 often overshadows the horror caused by the subsequent war on terror.” Although 2,977 Americans died on Sep. 11, more than 800 thousand Iraqis, Afghans, Syrians, Yemenis and Pakistanis died in the subsequent war. He was deeply upset by the number of civilians who were extrajudicially killed, but understands that Americans are “used to extralegal use of American military force.” When speaking on this subject, Christensen also lamented the normalization of violence in our current political landscape. He recalled with displeasure the

scene of then-presidential-candidate John McCain singing “bomb bomb Iran” to the tune of the Beach Boys’ “Barbara Ann” as an example of how politicians have trivialized violence. Christensen also acknowledged the harmful rhetoric present in ancient politics, mentioning how “the statesman Cato the Elder used to shout ‘I think Carthage must be destroyed’ at every meeting of the Roman Senate.” When asked what makes an effective pro-war mantra like Cato the Elder’s, Christensen identified “insistence, persistence, and clarity of thought” as the three most important elements of such chants. Christensen expressed how harmful he feels this rhetoric can be, explaining that “the more we say things, the more people are casualized to the idea even if it’s false.” The casualization of war in American politics has become mainstream, and Christensen believes that “We are no longer at a point where you can choose a political party that’s anti-war.” Christensen then turned to the

effect that 9/11 had on the American psyche and the lingering effects that it continues to have. He mentioned that “The 9/11 attacks shattered collective American confidence in its safety and sense of place in the world.” In an attempt to live with that trauma, monuments to the attacks began to crop up all over the nation as far away from the attacks as San Antonio. Christensen, as a witness of the attacks, found some memorials to be profoundly moving. But for millions of younger Americans, these memorials serve a much different purpose. Christensen acknowledges this fact, and said that these memorials are meant to “Create a sense of identity in lieu of a significant memory.” He also posits that these memorials can be propaganda-like for younger generations. For those who have no emotional connection to the attacks, these memorials cast Americans as heroes without flaw. The way that Americans venerate the wars that came after 9/11 furthers Christensen’s

idea that “Repetition casualizes,” and has helped to advance the normalization of violence in our politics. Thousands of Americans lost their lives on Sep. 11, but hundreds of thousands of innocents and combatants lost their lives in the subsequent military conflict. Christensen believes that America’s military response was guided by our nation’s collective trauma. To avoid a similarly terrifying response in the age to come, Christensen advocates for education. He wants younger generations to be educated on “how to make decisions that are not just just, but are in our own interest.” Christensen is currently teaching multiple classes in the Classics Department at Brandeis, has recently published a book called “The Many-Minded Man: The ‘Odyssey,’ Psychology, and the Therapy of Epic” and has forthcoming books on the societal importance of the narrative.

The return of ‘Brandeis Has Got Talent!’ By Sarah Kim staff

The university held its “Brandeis Has Got Talent!” event on Saturday Oct. 16 in Spingold’s Mainstage Theater on campus. The annually recurring Family Weekend event was not held last year due to COVID-19 health risks. Performances this year were limited to members of official Brandeis clubs in the past, but the Department of Student Activities (DSA) transformed the tradition this fall. “We wanted to showcase individual performers and talents this year as well,” said Dennis Hicks onstage before the first act. Hicks has been the Director of the DSA since the spring of 2018. According to the Brandeis website, “if you visit his office you’ll always find him listening to music. His

favorite musician of all time has always been Prince.” Hicks, a music enthusiast, organized the entire show—he recruited performers, produced the schedule and served as the host. The DSA director wore a blue “Shine Your Light” tee-shirt under a crisp black blazer, announcing each act in front of the auditorium’s red velvet curtain. “It was the first time we’ve been in that space for this particular show,” said the DSA in an email exchange. The Spingold is a capacious performance space often utilized by the Theater Arts Department. The DSA claims that over 400 people attended the talent show, packing the auditorium. “It was pretty full,” said Eli Dunn-Feiner ’25, a first-year at Brandeis. The audience members sat close together and were required to wear masks, unlike the performers that night.

Dunn-Feiner mentioned that there were “a lot of people coming to see their kids perform, [and] a lot of kids coming to see their friends perform.” Dunn-Feiner attended the event to support his friend singing with VoiceMale, and like many other students, he brought his parents along. Twelve acts performed over the course of an hour and a half, including groups like Hooked on Tap, Rather Be Giraffes (RBG), the Brandeis Ballroom Formation Team and Manginah. Dunn-Feiner particularly appreciated RBG’s set. “It was my type of music,” expressed Dunn-Feiner, “a mix of old classics, a lot of ’80s. It just made me feel kind of in my element.” During “Walk Like an Egyptian” by The Bangles, the acapella group bopped with vigor, each member contributing to an infectious musical energy.

It was a “pleasant surprise” for Dunn-Feiner to witness the talent of numerous acapella groups at Brandeis. Daniel Hahn ’25 was more enthusiastic about the tap dancing. “It really stood out,” Hahn said about Hooked on Tap’s performance. The group wore purple and yellow tops with uniform black tights. The sixteen tap dancers performed second, clicking their heels rhythmically and fanning out their arms. “I thought the talent show was pretty entertaining. Although there was a little more than enough singing, it still showed a variety of talent,” admitted Hahn, who watched the talent show because his roommate was performing. In addition to the group acts, six solo performances were showcased. Students brought standup comedy, a choreographed dance

and original music to the stage. When the show came to a close, applause echoed through the theater. Hicks offered a few closing remarks, thanking parents and students for attending. “We look forward to seeing you tomorrow as we close out family weekend,” said Hicks before placing his microphone back in its stand. Along with the talent show, the DSA scheduled a slew of events for visitors on Saturday and Sunday, including faculty presentations, bingo and a fall crafts corner. “Brandeis Has Got Talent!” served as a centerpiece for Family Weekend—an opportunity to gather and appreciate talent on campus. It was a chance for students to unwind for an hour and a half during midterm season. “It was fun to see how the community reacted to an opportunity to perform,” said Dunn-Feiner.

The Brandeis Hoot 10

OPINIONS The Great Brandeisian Facade Accessibility on crutches

By Thomas Pickering editor

Despite the hard-earned academic acclaim Brandeis receives as an institution it has continuously sat at #48 on the list of ugliest college campuses in America. As described by the college reviewers from COMPLEX magazine, despite Brandeis hiring one of the most renowned modern architects of the twenty first century, Eero Saarinen, his skill was not enough to pull the campus together and make it beautiful. COMPLEX even wrote, “… Brandeis mixed these Modernist buildings with bland, brick structures and a castle to come up with their current campus. This jumble of styles and aesthetics leaves the school looking disheveled and incoherent.” If only those writers were able to see the inside of those buildings and what complicated, dated and in some cases unsafe methods they take to foster student life on campus; it is safe to say that their conclusion of the university may be more scathing than just “disheveled and incoherent.” In this edition of the column, I would like to revisit the topic from “The great Brandeisian facade: Building accessibility” from a new angle—one of someone who has been facing accessibility issues recently. Leah Beltran ’23, a current junior at Brandeis and member of the women’s rugby team, twisted her knee during competition and was in need of crutches and a brace to maneuver around campus. Recently and in good news, she was allowed to walk on her brace without crutches by her doctor. However, relying on crutches and a brace to navigate campus forced Leah to deal with some of the major issues Brandeis faces with regards to accessibility. After Leah’s injury was managed by Brandeis Emergency Medical Corps (BEMCo) she

reached out to the Student Accessibility Services on campus. They put her in contact with the student-run accessibility van and provided no other accommodations as her classes were still being held in buildings without elevators. Fortunately, professors were accommodating of the situation, allowing for Leah to Zoom in when necessary and understanding when Leah arrived late or had to leave early. But while accessibility to classes may be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of this topic in relation to college education, the most difficult parts of needing accessible options come outside of the classroom. On the topic of her daily routine, Leah expressed, “My routine has changed a lot, I often don’t get to the dining hall since Sherman does not have an elevator, only the wheelchair lift which I’m pretty sure you aren’t allowed to use unless you have permission (I could be wrong though). So, getting food is a lot for me, I often just don’t get to the dining hall.” Being able to take care of yourself should never be a question on a college campus when education should be everyone’s primary concern. The lack of accessibility into the dining halls, Sherman in particular as Leah noted, is beyond dangerous. There should be no world in which a campus exists where a student has to budget time and access over being able to feed themselves. Food is not the only concern on campus when you are in need of accessible options to move around. The seemingly simple task of opening doors to enter and exit buildings becomes a herculean accomplishment when you are able to fully open them. This is due to the weight of some of the doors: it can be incredibly difficult to open them without help, and if you are on crutches like Leah, it can take throwing yourself at them to get them to move even the slightest amount. Mechanical

door openers can be found on campus, but as Leah noted, “…a lot of the buttons don’t work unless you press them at a certain angle and I don’t have time or energy to scan every QR code to tell Brandeis the buttons aren’t working.” To enter and exit buildings can be a task within itself that goes largely unnoticed if you are not a student with accessibility needs, but for those who are aided by those systems, they become necessary. Most buildings on this campus do not have elevators, but to include mechanical door openers would be a large improvement as described by Leah. Entrances and exits are in need of work, mobility when inside buildings such as the dining halls and academic buildings without elevators is in need of work, so does navigating the physical campus of Brandeis need work as well? That question can be answered in a number of ways because in a perfect world the answer would be yes. But since Brandeis inherited Middlesex Community College’s land which exists on a hill it is simply impossible to restructure the physical layout of campus. Hence, other solutions must come into the fold as navigating campus when in need of accessible options can be simply impossible. For Leah on crutches, she did not walk on campus unless it was between close buildings such as Usdan and the library or from Village to the Shapiro Campus Center (SCC), which still took her half an hour on her first night on crutches. The hill of campus is a true impediment to accessibility and makes the accessibility van a necessary service on campus. However, the accessibility van is student-run, meaning it can be impossible to get a ride in the morning or on the weekends around campus. As Leah made sure to note, “this is not to say they are lacking on their end, but rather they aren’t supported by the university and students who

drive the vans are students as well and have to take care of themselves and have a certain amount of time they can give to driving the van.” Because the van is student run it can only be useful during certain hours and it forces accessible students to spend a lot of time simply planning how they will get from point A to point B rather than focusing on the education they are here to cultivate. The accessibility van as a physical van also comes with its own accessibility issue: it is a raised van. The accessibility van is a “Branvan” for all intents and purposes, which means riders need to take a step or two up to enter the van at its height. For those like Leah, it just poses another inconvenience in the struggle of making it around campus which takes time and energy to work out. Brandeis’ campus is hardly an accessible one which even the untrained eye can discern, but when looked at from the perspective of someone in need of accessible accommodations the red flags fly at an even higher rate than imagined. From buildings not having elevators in them to provide access to vital necessities such as food, to doors being too heavy to open without mechanical openers (which are in need of maintenance), to the student run accessibility van in need of more support and to the arbitrary steps around campus (as discussed in the article mentioned above), Brandeis has a grocery list of things in need of improvement before it can ever consider itself an accessible cam-

October 29, 2021

pus. But rather than ending this edition as usual, stating some words reviewers could use about the university, I would like to end with two thoughts shared with me by Leah: “If the university remains as it is, it needs to be willing to provide transportation and options for students to get around, not just during the weekdays, but weekends as well. I want to see support from the administration, not just SAS or other students. Where is the funding going if not to help students navigate their own campus?” “It is really important to remember that this is not just about getting around, but students’ mental health and needs. For me this is not permanent, but for some students this is lifelong. Brandeis makes a promise to support its students, but has such an ableist mindset that it leaves behind those who are disabled. This isn’t a problem for people to ignore. We need to create a safe, accessible place, and asking for more elevators, buttons that work, and reliable transportation should be something Brandeis can do. I can only speak on my behalf about what I have encountered, but I know there are many more students who have not said anything, or have but have not been listened to.”


How to celebrate Halloween without being problematic By Mia Plante editor

Halloween is obviously the best holiday ever. This is an uncontested fact. This year, after a long (still ongoing) pandemic, it seems obvious that people are going to go extra hard on Halloween in order to make up for the holidays lost. I have three costumes planned and three nights of activities ahead of me this weekend, so I will be a part of the group of Halloween extremists this year. While Halloween has an air of nostalgia for many of us, and gives us the opportunity to be someone entirely different for a night (or three), it comes with a few potential problems. The obvious one to avoid is dressing up as a different culture or race. It is 2021, so it is depressing that I even have to discuss this, but if you are dressing up as a character that isn’t the same race as you, you do not have to change your features to look more like that race. That is very obviously problematic. Doing blackface or brownface isn’t the only thing you must

avoid, but you should also steer clear of things like changing your eye shape to mimic East Asian features and donning feathered headdresses to be an Indigenous person for the holiday. Other cultures and races, especially those that have been systematically persecuted by white people, are not costumes. On top of this, costumes shouldn’t be judged unless they are harming someone or portraying a different race or culture. Halloween is notorious for skimpy costumes, and sexy versions of almost anything you can imagine. Don’t be the lame person slut shaming someone for wanting to wear nothing but cat ears and lingerie. Once again, it’s 2021, let them enjoy their night without it being an issue for you! On the same note, do not harass, assault, touch or make sexual advances towards someone simply because they are wearing something more revealing than is traditional. Women and femme-presenting people sometimes just want to dress revealing because it’s a special occasion and it is fun. Do not assume that anyone on Halloween

is dressing a specific way in order to get your attention, because the vast majority of people are doing nothing of the sort. Don’t flatter yourself like that! (This obviously also goes the same for men and masculine-presenting people wearing revealing clothing, it’s just a far more systemic issue for women and femmes.) Wearing a costume is not consent, and if you take it to be the same thing you’re genuinely the scariest part of Halloween… A key part to not being problematic on Halloween—and every holiday—is to stay safe and to not endanger others. Partake in whatever you choose to partake in so long as you don’t drive under the influence, do not pressure anyone to take or drink anything they do not wish to take or drink and keep an eye on your friends or anyone who may need help throughout the weekend. Being unproblematic is being a friendly and safe person to go to when someone is in need, and recognizing when someone (whether you know them or not) is in danger. I know, no one wants to think about this stuff before going out to parties or

clubs on Halloweekend, but it is important to always have it in the back of your mind. If you are someone who does not get as into Halloween as others may, don’t make fun of them for being excited. No one cares that you aren’t wearing a costume, or you’re wearing an ironic t-shirt. Don’t judge someone for putting in effort just because you didn’t feel like it. Let everyone enjoy their Halloween how they wish to. Please just be socially aware on Halloween. Unfortunately this

amazing holiday breeds situations where people are unsafe and unaware, but being someone who prevents these situations is key in being a fun friend on Halloween. Also don’t be homophobic or transphobic on Halloween! That should be a given. Enjoy your weekend safely and while being respectful towards others, be it their appearance or their race/culture. Everyone should be allowed to celebrate without being afraid of what may happen to them and without being upset at someone’s racially insensitive costume.


October 29, 2021


The Brandeis Hoot

Brandeis zebras are a safety hazard By Sasha Skarboviychuk editor

Driving on campus is a nightmare: there are students everywhere (who jump out from behind cars), random roads and visitors who do not know how the roads on campus work. And when there is bad visibility? Forget it. But there is one place in particular that is the worst on campus: the part of Loop Road that goes in between Skyline and East Quad. There are two zebra crossings (crosswalks) on that road, which are insanely dangerous for both drivers and pedestrians. Why are they dangerous? Because people are allowed to park right next to them, which drastically decreases visibility. The marking of the parking spots are less than 10 centimeters away from the actual zebra lines. I really could not believe that this was legal. How can you allow cars to park right next to the zebra?! Well I decided to check whether it was. I was very surprised to find out that according to the Massachusetts Driver’s Manual, you cannot park “in a crosswalk, in front of a driveway, or in front of a handicap-access ramp” or “within 20 feet of an intersection” (this can be found on page 108 of the 2021 edition). What the f*ck. So I guess Brandeis gets away with this because these zebras are not at an intersection, and as long as drivers don’t park on the actual thing it’s legally okay. Well let me tell you that this law is unsafe and just stupid. To

the state of Massachusetts: I am disappointed in you. If someone is parked not on a zebra, but just 10 centimeters away, a driver cannot see pedestrians that are about to cross. Yet again I find myself saying that laws in Ukraine are better than they are here: you cannot park within 10 meters (30 feet, for people who do not know normal people units) of a zebra, on both sides. You know what that allows for? Visibility for the drivers. I am not here to fight the laws in Massachusetts, but Brandeis, you should definitely do better. I understand that there is already a parking shortage, especially on upper campus, but come on. Those two parking spots won’t change anything majorly, but they will make driving on Loop Road (and crossing it) a lot safer for both the drivers and the pedestrians. Shouldn’t Brandeis care about the people on this campus? Even if I am driving 10 miles per hour there, if someone comes out from behind the car, chances are, I might just not have enough time to react and stop. Though I have good news for you pedestrians too: you have a 90 percent chance of survival when struck by a car travelling at 19 miles per hour (or below), so pray that the drivers are going at less than that while you cross Loop Road from the hell-hole that is East. And I am super cautious when I am driving there, so I should really not be that stressed when driving there. However there are plenty of people that go way too fast there; I have even gotten honked at for slowing down near the zebras. Even if you are going at the speed limit there, if

someone comes out from behind a parked car, you still might not have enough time to stop. You think I am being dramatic? Let’s take a look at the photos near the bottom zebra on that road. Exhibit A shows the view from the driver’s side of the car when the car is two to three parking spots away; if there was a person standing on the sidewalk waiting to cross, I would not see them at such a distance. Even in Exhibit B, where I am one parking spot away from the zebra, there is still a chance that I would not see the person. If the person was shorter and standing on the left side, then I would not see them even being about three meters away. And these photos were taken in the middle of the day, on a clear day. With questionable visibility even during the day, imagine this area at night? Or if there is bad weather? You will not be able to see someone crossing. Now take a look at Exhibit C, where there is no car parked on the parking spot closest to the zebra. Even being more than three parking spots away, you can clearly see the pedestrian on the sidewalk; makes you feel a lot better about driving there, huh? And that photo was taken in worse weather conditions than the first few. This is the change that one parking spot can make. Wouldn’t that be so much better for literally everyone? The same thing goes for the zebra that is a little higher up the road. Right now there is literally no good place to exit East! I am really surprised that no one has gotten hurt there yet. Do better, Brandeis.





I was enchanted to meet Taylor Swift By Emma Lichtenstein editor

What do me, the Haim sisters and Jack Antonoff all have in common? Easy, we’re all Jewish and we’ve all been invited to Taylor Swift’s house for a secret session. Sure, their invites may have been because they’re best friends with Taylor—but for a moment, Taylor made me feel like I was one of her besties, too. I was lucky enough to attend a secret session, an event where Taylor invites fans to her house and plays her album early. Attendees get to spend hours in her house, mingling with other Swifties, eating good food and essentially getting a one-on-one meet and greet session with Taylor. I visited her home in Nashville in October 2017, where I got to hear “reputation” a few weeks

before it was released. It was definitely the highlight of my senior year! Getting invited was a wild process. Disclaimer: I have no idea why I was chosen. She did follow me on my old Tumblr in 2015, and she did like a lot of my posts, but that hardly makes me unique in the Tumblr landscape. She followed thousands of people exactly like me. I don’t know how I caught her eye, but I’m endlessly grateful I did. When I got the DM from her team, @taylornation, on Oct. 14, my heart had never been so full. So, I was pretty annoyed when they ghosted me only to tell me I was rejected from the event on Oct. 21. Yeah, they messaged me on my BIRTHDAY. It was pretty devastating. But, the very next morning, at noon in the Trader Joe’s parking lot, I got a call from an unknown New York number: finally, my secret session


invite was here. Any past mistakes were ignored, all that mattered was that I could be meeting Taylor in a little over 72 hours. I booked a flight for Nashville and three days later I was waiting in a conference room in a hotel downtown. We had to leave all of our stuff there and had to prove we had no way of hiding recording devices. One girl wasn’t allowed to bring her eyeliner because it was too suspicious! It definitely felt a little bit like we were about to be kidnapped, but it was totally worth it. Pulling up to those gates of her house… the entire bus seemed to be charged with excited energy. Actually being at her house was unreal. Dinner was provided, a mixture of all different goodies— chicken nuggets, sushi, pizza, custom cookies and M&Ms. We hung outside for an hour or so before we made it inside where we got to meet the one and only Taylor Swift. Before Taylor walked in the room, her team members passed out boxes of tissues to the crowd. They were definitely necessary when Taylor walked in. For me, and likely everyone in that crowd, I was getting to live my most farfetched dream. When we calmed down, the actual secret part of the secret session happened. We got to hear the “reputation” album all the way through, with Taylor taking the time to explain the background for each song before she played it. It was surreal. We learned about everything from inspiration to the production process. When we got to “Look What You Made Me Do,” Taylor came around to have a dance party with us. She held


my hand while we danced, and I sadly remember that my immediate thought was “I can never wash this hand again!” Thankfully I got over that, as later that night, Taylor enveloped me in the biggest, warmest, most comforting, best hug of my life. (Sorry, Mom, yours are good too!) She smelled better than anyone I had ever met—don’t worry, I bought the perfume afterwards. In my nervous state, I babbled at her for about five minutes, saying super intellectual statements like “happy birthday ‘Enchanted’!” and “my dad isn’t cool enough to be in our picture.” Taylor was gracious about it, laughing at my awkwardness and letting me take two pictures, one with and without my dad. When I asked her if we could “hug like best friends,” she agreed with no hesitation, once again throwing her arms around me. She even squatted

down to my height! It’s an extra impressive feat considering she was in heels, making her a full foot taller than I was. But that’s Taylor: always willing to go above and beyond to make her fans feel special. On top of the magical experience, she gave each guest free “reputation” merchandise (that I still have to this day!). She also “Tay-lurked” me right after the session, going through my Tumblr and liking my recounts of our night. A cherry on top to a perfect evening. I was enchanted to meet Taylor. I had the best day. I had the time of my life fighting dragons with her. Insert any other similar lyrics you prefer, because they’re all true. I still can’t fully wrap my mind around Oct. 25, 2017 being a real day. But, there are two photos and an endless slew of my cringey Tumblr posts to prove it true.


12 The Brandeis Hoot

October 29, 2021

The Start of a new epic


Have you ever wondered what it must have been like to walk out of the theater after watching “Star Wars: A New Hope,” having witnessed the start of a franchise that would change cinema forever? Or, have you imagined buying a ticket for “Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” not knowing you are about to see a movie that would leave its mark on cinema history? I have. And after seeing “Dune” last week, I know exactly what it feels like. Dennis Villeneuve’s long-waited epic hit the theaters on Oct. 22 after more than a year of delay. When Warner Brothers first announced they were adapting Frank Herbert’s 1965 sci-fi epic “Dune” to the big screen, one couldn’t help but think about the two failed attempts in the past. After Alejandro Jodorowsky’s crazy mid-1970s fantasy that never got made and David Lynch’s 1984 adaptation that flopped massively at the box office, this seemed like a very risky call. Even though Dennis Villeneuve was already a well-established director at the time of the announcement, both Jodorowsky’s and Lynch’s history showed the industry that adapting “Dune” is a big challenge, no matter how talented the director is. That, combined with Warner Brothers’ infamous past of handling big franchises like the DCEU, casted a shadow of a doubt over the studio’s 160 million dollar investment. I also had

my own doubts with the choice of Dennis Villeneuve, because his style did not quite seem like it was a good fit to capture the essence of Herbert’s “Dune” accurately. His greatest trademark was to explore the internal conflicts of his characters, isolating them from the external conflicts they were going through. Even “Blade Runner: 2049,” Villeneuve’s biggest movie until “Dune,” was more about the existential crisis of K than the mechanics of the dystopian world. While Frank Herbert’s novel deals a lot with the growth and internal struggles of his characters, covering the politics of the complex universe of “Dune” was much more crucial. Fortunately, benefiting from the advantage of splitting the book into two (potentially three) parts,Villeneuve creates a narrative that both satisfies the fans of the novel and introduces the dynamics of the universe to newcomers. Villeneuve’s greatest strength is, as always, his visuals. Instead of working with his long-time collaborator legendary director of photography Roger Deakins, Villeneuve partners up with Greig Fraser (“Lion,” “Rogue One,” “Zero Dark Thirty”) as the cinematographer. Their collaboration in visual direction combined with Hans Zimmer’s magnificent score do justice to the universe that Herbert created in 1965. That is mostly why “Dune” will be compared to franchises that changed the course of cinematic history like “Star Wars” or “Lord of the Rings.” The technical work in “Dune” is groundbreak-

ing and it will certainly influence the sci-fi movies to come. It is likely that by the time Villeneuve completes this saga, it will have as much influence on the industry as “Star Wars” did. The technical work helps Villeneuve to immerse his audience into the universe. The slow pace, often the most common criticism Villeneuve receives for his filmography, doesn’t seem to be an issue in ‘‘Dune’’ as the visuals on the screen are engaging enough to keep the audience asking for more. Even though ‘‘Dune’’ also falls on the slower side of the narrative pace spectrum, I would definitely keep watching if there was another three hours of it. On the narrative side, “Dune” is not as grandiose as its visuals though. The stellar cast putting the most popular names in Hollywood like Jason Momoa, Timothee Chalamet, Zendaya and Dave Batistuta together with veteran actors like Oscar Isaac, Stellan Skarsgard, Rebecca Ferguson, Javier Bardem and Josh Brolin bring Herbert’s characters to life pretty successfully. While nothing is essentially wrong with the story, it doesn’t reach its peak because it’s incomplete. The fact that this is only the exposition of the cinematic “Dune” saga makes the ending feel somewhat anticlimactic. It is not anyone’s fault, but you know the coming movies are going to be much more satisfying, just as “The Return of the King” was the best of the LOTR trilogy. Even though “Dune” is truly majestic on its own, the best of storytelling is yet to come. Which

brings us to an important point. Even though “Dune” was one of the most anticipated movies of the last few years, Warner Brother gave the official green light for Part Two only on Oct 26. Two part movies like “Deathly Hallows” or the “Avengers: Infinity War/Endgame” are usually written at the same time and shot consequently to cut costs. This will obviously not be the case with Dune. This puts greater pressure on ‘‘Dune: Part Two’’ in two separate ways. First, the sequel will be released in at least three years given the intricacy of the production which means the movie will fade away from the audiences’ memories by the time the sequel is released.

Second and more importantly, two separate production cycles will increase the budget significantly. It would be a miracle if “Dune: Part One’’ can even manage to break even with its production budget in the pandemic era, let alone turning out to be a profit, so the sequel has to not only equal its production budget but also cover the loss of the first movie. This will be a significant challenge with the inflated costs of running two separate production cycles. Regardless, Warner Brothers has an asset that can leave its impact on history. I hope they don’t mess this up as they did with the DCEU.


‘Dune’ tries to do too much at once staff

The latest attempt to adapt Frank Herbert’s legendary scifi novel “Dune” to film is a great attempt at a faithful adaptation to the source material. The film is ambitious and visually stunning. But it tries too hard to recreate that magic of the original novel, which is nearly impossible to do on the big screen. The original “Dune” novel, published in 1965, is one of those stories that completely envelops you in both its narrative and its world. Its complex political intrigue and monumental worldbuilding make it difficult to adapt into a visual medium. For example, chapters in the novel usually start with a foreword from a piece of in-universe fiction written far after the events of the novel. These forewords often shed light on the political ramifications of the chapter’s events, and are often written by characters that have yet to have been introduced into the story. This concept would be almost impossible to adapt verbatim into a film as it is, not to mention the massive Tolkien-esque levels of world building that a truly faithful adaptation would have to somehow implement in a reasonable run time. The 2021 “Dune” film follows the event of its source material but glosses over some of the more intricate world building and political machinations. The film attempts to follow the events of the novel to its own detriment, due to the scope of the source material the film only adapts part of the original novel. The film makes it abundantly clear from the beginning that this is part one of a

series of films. In the age of cinematic universes and trilogies, established franchises often leave plot points and character arc unresolved for future films to pick up on. “Dune” follows this trend. The choice to split up the movies is a logical one because it would be impossible to adapt the entire novel into the span of even a two hour film. However, this also leaves the film feeling incomplete. For the most part, the film follows the plot of the novel. The protagonist, Paul Atreides, played by Timothee Chalmet, and his father the Duke Leto Atreidies played by Oscaar Isaac are ordered to take over the dangerous but resource rich desert planet Arrakis from their rival nobles House Harkonnen. The Harkonnens later orchestrate the downfall of the House Atreides and Paul flees to the native Freman of Arrakis to hide and plan a counter attack on the House Harkonnen. This story makes up only the first act of the novel. While the film is painstakingly accurate to that portion of its source material, it does leave off on a cliffhanger. There is very little doubt that we will see a continuation of this story, but on its own the film lacks a complete story or a satisfying resolution. Despite the film’s flaw of being part one, it does succeed in capturing the audience’s imagination and immersing them in the world of “Dune.” The film forgoes the intricate world building of the novel in favor of world building through visual storytelling. Much of the movie consists of setting up the intriguing and dangerous world of Arrakis and the universe in which it takes place. The audience is shown an odd yet compelling mixture of sci-fi aesthetics, reli-

gious imagery and medieval elements. There are spaceships and great machines, but also scenes of ritual sacrifice and a religious prophecy of a messiah who will save the people of Arrakis. There are no guns and fighting takes place with swords and high powered personal shield generators. This film’s dedication to its unique aesthetic is a testament to its clear love of the source material which shares its unique sci-fi imagery. While the film is visually spectacular, there is a distinct lack of context for most of it. The most we learn about the greater lore about the world pertains to the mythical Spice that is produced on Arrakis and makes space travel possible. Other aspects of the world of “Dune” are shown but not explained. For example, fans of the novel would recognize the characters of Thufir Hawat and Piter de Vries, played by Stephen Mckinley Henderson and David

Dastmalchian. The characters are “mentats” who are essentially human supercomputers developed to replace the outlawed thinking machines. In the film, none of this is mentioned or brought up. This is both the right and wrong choice to make. On one hand it would take up too much time to explain what a mentat is and the history behind them. On the other hand, we don’t really get a good idea of either character’s background or capabilities in the film. The lack of context is most apparent in the character of Doctor Yueh played by Chang Chen. In both the film and the novel, Yueh plays an essential role as the spy for House Harkonnen within House Atreides. The novel peeks into Yueh’s perspective and examines his personal motivations and his relationship with the other members of house Atreides, whom he will eventually betray. The film does not have the same

ability to shift perspective, and as a result, Yueh’s betrayal has less emotional impact and his actions seem out of place. Yueh is one of many characters in “Dune” who lack the depth of their literary counterparts. Although the film imagery is amazing, without the proper context and world building, the plot feels shallow. Someone who has read the book would most likely recognize the major story beats and the significance of certain characters because the film goes out of its way to stay truthful to the events of the original novel. But to the everyday movie goer, the film lacks substance. It should be praised for its dedication and clear admiration for its source material. However, its ambitious attempt to re-create the world of “Dune” on the big screen falls short as an individual film due to the overwhelming complexity of what it was trying to adapt.


October 29, 2021


The Brandeis Hoot

‘Halloween Kills’ is a massive disappointment in a series that constantly disappoints staff

“Halloween Kills” is the third sequel, second threequel, 12th Michael Myers feature and 13th installment in the “Halloween” franchise. This franchise has always been a mess, and yet the undeniable impact of “Halloween” (1978), aided by its iconic killer and score, as well as two or three pretty good sequels has kept the series relevant for forty years. “Halloween Kills” may put an end to that relevance. “Halloween Kills” takes place immediately following “Halloween” (2018) with Laurie Strode

(Jamie Lee Curtis) recovering in the hospital, Michael Myers (James Jude Courtney) still on the loose, and a town full of unimportant characters from the original “Halloween” thrust to center stage. The film follows the townsfolk of Haddonfield, Illinois in their hunt for Michael Myers as the famed antagonist delivers a record-breaking killing spree. This excitement is broken up by scenes of two old people in hospital beds quietly reminiscing about the first massacre. A large body count is rarely a bad thing in a slasher film, and Halloween is no stranger to capturing 10-plus deaths per film, but the 30-plus body count in


“Halloween Kills” was both excessive and ultimately uninteresting. Michael Myers’ profile as a serial killer revolves around stalking isolated targets, not massacring groups of people. He acts like a predator, subtly taunting his victim and then blitz attacking when the moment is right. This formula is what makes him so terrifying and the movies so tense. It also means, when faced with a group of 12 firefighters or a half dozen weapon-wielding civilians, Michael Myers should not escape victoriously. It is not in his nature unless the fight is stacked in his favor. Michael never runs and his only defense is his strength; when faced with more than one or two people, they should be able to subdue him. “Halloween Kills” curbs this issue by taking a page out of every ’80s action movie and choreographing large angry groups to attack the serial killer with superhuman strength, one person at a time, thus ensuring the mob does not stand a chance and preventing the scene from having any realism or gravity. On top of the ridiculousness of Michael Myers killing large groups of people, the amount of people that die in this film strips every death of substance or memorability. No specific death stands out from the rest when the body count climbs this high. They blur together no matter how important or established a character was. None of Michael’s murders are even interesting. There are a lot of neck and face stabbings with a few strangulations but no head explosions or unique stabbing im-

plements. If the murders a slasher film is built on are neither fun, unique or emotional, it is not a good slasher. When looking back on what makes Michael Myers such a compelling killer, nothing stands out more than him standing in the distance, staring. An omen of gruesome death whose silent existence has cost over 150 lives, Michael plays off of subtlety. A simple uniform, a butcher knife and three staccato piano keys were all he needed to be immortalized. “Halloween Kills” disregards Michael’s reputation in favor of scenes akin to a low-quality action movie. Michael does not get the chance to quietly hunt in this film. There are too many plots pulling focus: main characters are bonding and developing while the mob of townsfolk are looking for Michael, and all the while, Michael’s random victims need scenes before they die to give them some humanity. This movie could have used a lot less time creating a backstory for Michael and the citizens of Haddonfield and a lot more time showing Michael just standing and staring. No one asked the 13th Halloween movie to feature a moral grounding. While films like “The Purge” or “Get Out” are built on their deeper meanings and political statements, slasher films have no such requirement. Mindless serial killers who encapsulate evil do not need to be metaphors for anything. Nonetheless, this film chose to make a statement on mob rule, an ancient concept that remains relevant to this day.

It did not do a particularly good job at making its statement. Forty years after a group of teens was slaughtered by Michael Myers, the people of Haddonfield band together to take down the serial killer. In the process, the mob that forms makes some rash decisions. There is a case of mistaken identity, a few people get trampled and large groups find themselves dangerously in the vicinity of Michael Myers. The ultimate point the film tries to make is, in hunting the monster, we become mindless monsters ourselves. The problem with this moral conclusion is, well, Michael is still the bigger monster. He needs to be hunted down and killed, preferably by a large mob. He is not a confused man with a mental illness, he is the epitome of evil who will kill as many people as he is able. All signs point to him being extremely difficult to kill or even slow down, so a big angry group seems like the best option. Maybe in real life, a thoughtless mob blinded by anger hunting down a criminal is a bad thing, but in the Halloween franchise, that is basically the only option. In the grand scheme of the Halloween series, “Halloween Kills” will be a small footnote in a series wrought with failure and poor movie-making. Not schlocky enough to be fun nor clever enough to be memorable, I would not recommend “Halloween Kills” to anyone besides diehard fans.

Live from New York… Sudeikis is back! staff

In 2013, Jason Sudeikis said goodbye to his time as a cast member on Saturday Night Live (SNL). Since leaving SNL, Sudeikis has received critical acclaim for his television show “Ted Lasso,” about a small-time American football coach who has been hired to coach an English soccer team. Due to the show’s popularity, people believed it was time for Sudeikis to come back to SNL as a host. On Oct. 23, eight years after he left SNL, Sudeikis came back to 30 Rockefeller Plaza to host the great sketch comedy show. First was the “cold open”, the political satire of the week. Enter Vice President Joe Biden from the early 2010s, played by Jason Sudeikis, an homage to Sudeikis’s original run on SNL when he played Biden during his vice presidency. The sketch centers around energetic Vice President Biden trying to calm down depressed President Biden, played by James Austin Johnson, with humorous quips about the country. This was a delightful sketch that poked fun at politics in a clever way with great impressions. After the cold open came the monologue. Unlike some hosts, Sudeikis’s monologue had no gimmicks. He was straightforward with what he had to say. He started with cute jokes about SNL and his personal life. Then, he expressed how much this show meant to him and how much it means to so many people. He transitioned from jokes to connecting with the audience. This was a successful monologue that combined humor and heart.

It brought the audience to thunderous applause and I would consider it a job well done. He is clearly a man that is comfortable on a stage. Following the monologue was a fake PBS show “Science Room.” Sudeikis played a science teacher who wanted to teach the children at home about gravity. He had two students, played by Mikey Day and Cecily Strong. The problem was, these students were not bright. When asked what a model of the solar system was, the students just said that they were balls. When asked to point out Earth, they pointed at the sun. When asked what is matter, Day responded, “Nothing, I’m good.” At first Sudeikis’s character is patient with the children, but as the sketch progresses he gets more frustrated and starts yelling at the end. This sketch was filled to the brim with jokes and everyone did a great job. It was simple humor with jokes that can appeal to everyone. This sketch has been done before with different hosts playing the teacher, and Sudeikis was able to bring his own charm and comedic wit to make this sketch unique and hilarious. Then there was a parent-teacher conference. Sudeikis played a teacher talking to a couple, played by Kyle Mooney and Ego Nwodim, about their son. This starts innocently, but soon there is sexual tension between Sudeikis and Nwodim’s characters. She asks if he’s a rule breaker and punisher, and he eats it up. Mooney’s character is uncomfortable, but doesn’t know how to confront the situation. Soon, Nwodim and Sudeikis are making out and Mooney stands there threatening

to do something, but does not go far. This is awkward to watch with your parents, but it was amusing and everyone had great comedic chops. Sudeikis and Nwodim had great chemistry and Mooney nailed playing awkward guys. It may not have been the most creative sketch, but it definitely kept my eyes on the screen and brought a couple chuckles out of me, so I consider it a sketch well done. About halfway through the show was Weekend Update, where anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che made jokes about the news of the week. During each Update, the anchors are visited by a fun correspondent, a wacky character played by a cast member. This episode brought the return of Sudeikis’s classic correspondent character, The Devil. Dressed in all red and making fun quips, this devil is not to be missed. Talking about creating some killer storms, taking the soul of Tom Brady in

exchange for Brady’s success and Rush Limbaugh talking his ear off, it felt like Sudeikis never left. The roaring laughter of the audience after every line made it clear that this is a correspondent to remember. Then came the classic recurring sketch “What’s Up With That.” As always, host Diondre Cole, played by Kenan Thompson runs the show with his dancer, played by Sudeikis, and saxophonist, played by special guest Fred Armisen. Cole has special guests Oscar Isaac, Emily Ratjakowski and Nicholas Braun, but the premise is he never lets his guests speak as he always has an urge to sing the theme song. This is a popular sketch, and with Sudeikis back to host and the ability to fulfill his dancer role, SNL had to do this. Thompson always appears to have the time of his life when he is doing his sketch, and the fun is infectious. Even when they weren’t saying anything, it was fun seeing the celebrity guests

play along with what was happening. Sudeikis as the dancer looked like he was partying on an invisible trampoline and it was comical to watch. This sketch was as funny as it was when it premiered back in 2009. It is always great to have a former SNL cast member host an episode. They know how to succeed in sketch comedy, they mesh well with the cast, and they bring a sense of nostalgia for the fun sketches and characters done during their tenure. Sudeikis certainly did not disappoint. He gave his all in every sketch and you could tell that he was having a great time, which made for a great show. I was laughing throughout the night and a lot of the sketches were very memorable and comical. Overall, everyone from the cast members to the writers brought their A-game and Sudeikis did a stellar job in his big return.



The Brandeis Hoot

October 29, 2021

Hayden Christensen reprising his role as Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars ‘Ahsoka’ live action series editor

Despite the major trilogy coming to a close in 2019, the Star Wars franchise has made it clear that it’s here to stay, with incredibly exciting shows lined up for the next few years. By now, both old and new fans are well-aware of the smash hit that is the Disney+ TV series “The Mandalorian,” and fans of the animated side of the franchise will recall the release of “The Bad Batch’’ and “Star Wars: Visions” earlier this year. Even with all these shows, the Star Wars franchise is only just getting started, as they also plan to release more exciting series, like “The Book of Boba” (following the famed bounty hunter Boba Fett), “Obi-Wan Kenobi” (following the iconic Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) in his

exile after the events of “Revenge of the Sith”) and, perhaps most interestingly to many fans, the live action series “Ahsoka,” which will follow the story of the beloved Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson), Anakin Skywalker’s former apprentice. Recently, Hollywood Reporter and Rosario Dawson (in a now-deleted Instagram post) have confirmed that Hayden Christensen will be returning to the small screen as Anakin Skywalker in the “Ahsoka” series, thus sending fans into a tizzy. So, let’s get into why we’re this excited. Unlike the majority of the characters that are now getting their own spin-off series, Ahsoka Tano was introduced to the larger Star Wars franchise not as a live-action character in the original or prequel trilogies, but actually as a cartoon character in the 2008 animated series “Star Wars: The Clone Wars.” Voiced by Ashley

Eckstein, Ahsoka came into the story as a reckless 14-year-old girl now under the guidance of Anakin Skywalker (Matt Lanter, but played by Hayden Christensen in the live-action prequel trilogy). Ahsoka’s character was special for multiple reasons: firstly, that she was a child, which made her easily identifiable with a new generation of Star Wars fans, and that she was a girl, which helped other young girls at the time (like myself!) feel just as likely to be a brave Jedi. Over the course of the seven seasons, fans witnessed Ahsoka go from the brash kid to the mature, clear-headed 17-yearold leader that survived the tragic Order 66, the mass execution of the Jedi Order. Outside of Ahsoka being a lovely character as a whole, she’s also memorable for her sweet, sibling-like relationship with the iconic Anakin Skywalker, who’s only 20 years

old when he first becomes her teacher. Like Ahsoka, Anakin’s still on the brash side, and just as much as Ahsoka has to learn how to become a proper Jedi, Anakin has much to learn about how to become a good mentor. Ultimately, their relationship is the heart of “The Clone Wars:” they go from being exasperated and annoyed with each other’s presence to seeing each other as family, so much so that Ahsoka even calls Anakin her older brother in one of the later episodes. As someone who’s a prequel trilogy apologist, I can confidently say that the relationship Anakin has with Ahsoka might be the healthiest relationship he might have ever had, which is what makes Hayden Christensen’s role in the “Ahsoka” live action series all the more exciting. As Hayden Christensen played Anakin Skywalker in the prequel movies “Attack of the

Clones” and “Revenge of the Sith,” it’ll be interesting to see how he’ll translate the iconic interactions of Matt Lanter’s Anakin Skywalker from “The Clone Wars” into the “Ahsoka” live action show. Very much like his colleague and the star of the “Ahsoka” series Rosario Dawson, there’ll need to be plenty of work in how to still capture the spirit of the characters the way they were presented in “The Clone Wars,” but also present the novelty of seeing these characters interact with each other in live-action form. That said, however, a longtime Star Wars fan like myself is excited for Christensen’s return to the universe. For many young fans, he’s the first Anakin Skywalker, so it makes sense for him to reclaim this character in this series. Fans of a galaxy far, far away simply cannot wait enough for Christensen to make his iconic return.

‘Optimist:’ addictive songs to feed your sadness special to the hoot

“Optimist” is Finneas O’Connell’s debut studio album, and it’s about time. FINNEAS is an established producer, song-writer and eight-time Grammy winner. However, he is perhaps most famous for producing and co-writing the albums of his sister, the one and only Billie Eilish. With that in my mind, FINNEAS has a rather high standard to meet. In “Optimist,” he stretches himself to the occasion, producing, writing and playing most of the instrumentals himself, not to mention the singing itself. What’s most impressive is how natural it is; neither the production nor the instrumentation interfere with the flow of the record. “Happy Now?” is the first highlight of the album. It manages to

balance out the feelings of loneliness that are so prevalent in FINNEAS’ projects. Despite the lamentful title and the haunted choruses, the song carries on an almost playful vibe. In between choruses, he jokes about driving around town in “my douchebag car … like the superstar I pretend to be.” Rather than losing relatability through the classic “I’m successful, but I’m still sad” song, FINNEAS is surprisingly selfaware. Although he is exceedingly successful, he isn’t exactly a superstar either. The upbeat instrumental dances off of FINNEAS’ vocals. Overall, it’s a refreshing take on a sad song. The album hits its stride in “The 90s,” the fifth song of the album. The song seems cookie-cutter at first; the first verse is about FINNEAS complaining about the internet. Maybe you get lulled into a few eye-rolls. That’s when FIN-

NEAS gets you. With each repetition of the chorus, the aggression of the instrumentation creeps up until you’re hit with straight blaring sirens. His vocals are so overlayed with auto-tune and production at this point that it’s hard to hear where the singer ends and the computer begins. The excessive autotune may be a hard sell for some, but to me, the descent into musical chaos is nothing short of euphoria. Hyperbole aside, the thematic content of the song was deeper than I expected. Rather than overcooked nostalgia over the past and complaints about things like “technology” and “trap music,” FINNEAS sings about his struggle with privacy as a celebrity, hating “how easy they can find me, just by looking up my Mom’s address.” He reveals that his nostalgia for the ‘90s is not based on the actual merit of the time, but upon the “beautiful

and shiny” possibilities that have been chipped away as his career took off. In my opinion, the album loses a great deal of energy by the tail half. “Only A Lifetime” is a prototypical FINNEAS sad song, but it falls short of the charisma or content needed to take it further. On the other hand, “Peaches Etude” is a piano instrumental by FINNEAS, dedicated to his puppy Peaches. While short, it might be the wholesome break the album needs from its somewhat muddled cluster of sad songs. Despite the duds, FINNEAS finishes strong with yet another sad song. Finneas’ self-doubts come out in “Someone Else’s Star” scathingly, and often at the expense of his own feelings. He refers to himself in the second-person, saying “you became someone else’s star” because he sold out to the wishes of the industry and the

masses. FINNEAS does not pull any punches on himself, describing his memories as “more like films … put ‘em on to see which ones still kill.” He feels that he has lost his individuality completely, and his identity is closer to a collection of films rather than reality. The production is lightly done, but the instrumental swells perfectly with vocal changes. His vocals here are the best I’ve ever heard from him and had me enveloped in the embrace of his sadness. Overall, FINNEAS’ debut project is a largely, if not holistically enjoyable experience. While the album stalls vocally and thematically at times, the highlights are polished and carefully crafted from the production to the vocals. I’m a very casual pop enjoyer, but I found myself enjoying a lot of the album. Here’s to many more.

Hoot Recommends: spooky Halloween edition Stewart Huang: Try “Dark Deception,” a first-person horror twist on “Pac-Man” where you are chased by spooky monsters like giant monkeys in elaborate mazes while collecting purple shards. It’s an intense arcade experience that will have you on the edge of the seat the entire time. And it’s quite an addictive and challenging game, featuring various mechanics like teleportation and the ability to stun enemies. The first chapter of the game is free, so you should have no excuse not to try it, unless you’re too scared. Caroline O: (Trigger warning for suicide) If you want a spooky show that makes you feel less alone in all the best and worst possible ways, look no further than “The Ghost Detective.” This 32-episode Korean drama is about, you guessed it, the ghost detective Lee Da Il (Choi Daniel)

and his partners Jung Yeo Wool (Park Eun Bin), Han Sang Seob (Kim Won Hae) and Gil Chae Won (Lee Joo Young) trying to understand the chilling nature of recent suicides. Early in the show, they discover that each of these suicides were the result of the ghost Sun Woo Hye (Lee Ji Ah) persuading them into doing the deed. Desperate for this to not happen again, our protagonists try to catch the ghost. Given these themes, one would think that this show is equally depressing—but that is not quite the case. Our protagonists learn to quite literally shut out dark thoughts, instead choosing to listen to their own desire to live and, more importantly, live happily. So come here for the spooky Gregorian chants and dead-eyed angry spirits, but stay for the themes of healing and living despite the chances. Mia Plante: I am a huge fan of the classics that can be watched over and over again every year. So obviously I have to recommend

“Beetlejuice,” “Hocus Pocus” and the slightly less classic “Jennifer’s Body” for your Halloween viewing. Also I’ve been absolutely obsessed with “The Haunting of Hill House” and its partial sequel the “Haunting of Bly Manor” the past few years. These shows are eerie, involve ghosts and murder, feature some psychological twists and have Victoria Pedretti! What else could you ask for? Finally, I feel compelled to bring up “Dragula,” the weird cousin of Rupaul’s Drag Race that has a new season airing right now. “Dragula” is a drag artistry and performance competition focusing on all things horror and gore as compared to the glamorous side of drag that is traditionally centered in media. On their fourth season, The Boulet Brothers’ “Dragula” is everything you need to inspire a terrifying last minute Halloween costume and may even compel you to pull out some gory stunts on Halloweekend. This show is not for the faint of heart though,

as the bottom two contestants of each episode must participate in fear-inducing “exterminations” that have included skydiving, being buried alive and drinking cow’s blood. Emma Lichtenstein: The best movie to watch during Halloween is “Girl vs. Monster.” This 2012 Disney Channel Original Movie is truly one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen, but it leans so deep into the bad that it almost becomes good. Like any Disney movie, the chosen one, Skylar Lewis (Olivia Holt) finds out that her parents are secretly monster hunters— and that it is up to her to save the town from being attacked by an evil creature that’s been accidentally released. Luckily Skylar and her two best friends, because no Disney lead can ever have more than a handful of friends, are on the case. The animation of the monsters is pretty terrible, but that only adds to the tacky charm. The savior of the movie is the soundtrack. Every song is unrea-

sonably catchy. Even though some of them are performed by people who cannot sing—looking at you, Kat McNamara—the tunes will stay stuck in your head forever. I’m embarrassingly into “Had Me @ Hello.” Break out the popcorn and embrace the cheesiness of Disney’s worst Halloween movie! Sasha Skarboviychuk: Video games and movies and cool stuff, but let’s turn our attention to the actual best part of Halloween: the candy. During what other time of year is it socially acceptable to eat seven pounds of candy in one evening? You have to love Halloween just for that (unless you’re a monster that doesn’t like candy). So my recommendation for you this Halloween, whether you’re going to watch movies or play video games, is to stock up on your favorite candy and devour it all in one night.

October 29, 2021


The Brandeis Hoot

Ms. Nosnam’s Dinner - a Halloween short story special to the hoot

“Remind me where you found her?” Cher asks Tai, squinting at him from the passenger’s seat. “Craigslist. Mureum Nosnam” Tai replies, avoiding Cher’s gaze. “Craigslist... Craigslist...” “That’s what I said.” “Baby, ” Cher began sweetly, “Craigslist is for f*cking pedophiles! ” “Watch ya’ mouth-” “Poor Ana. She’s hogtied-” “What the f-” “What if they try and sell her organs to the black market-” “They’re not-” “What are they feeding her?! Unseasoned chicken. My poor baby-” “SHUT UP! Why can’t you trust my choices? Huh? I wish you’d put a little bit of faith in your husband. I’m trying.” “How can I put trust in someone who’s unemployed?” “You’re really gonna do that?” “You can barely keep a job, how the hell you gonna keep my daughter safe?” “Did you schedule a babysitter for our anniversary or did I? Are you forking up money to the landlords? So damn overbearing.” “I just can’t. I work all day. The people at the law firm hate me, and I come back home, and I don’t even know where my daughter is.” Cher sniffled, burying her face in her palms. Her tears slowly welled up in her hands, it felt like she had bricks of stress tethered to her ankles. She slumped over on the dashboard, her sobs infectious. Tai’s hold on the driver’s wheel tightened, his teeth gritting, but the sound of Cher’s sobs made his grip soften. His eyes grew moist, feeling his wife’s pain embrace his own. He took one hand off the wheel, resting it in Cher’s lap. Rubbing her thigh, he sighed, Cher intertwining her fingers with his.

“Stop worrying so much, Anayra is fine, baby.” “I hope so.” The Honda Civic 2009 whipped around the corner, rolling down an unmarked, concrete two-way. The wheels kicked the stranded pebbles off the road and into the raveen beside them, a plume of dust lifted in the car’s rear, blocking the sign-botched by the mass of snow and dirt clung to it. “Welcome to Snaleville” The surrounding mountains were blanketed in frosting, piercing the clouds. The breeze was brisk, the forestry void of all animal life. The tree-leaves were painted over white, yet the branches hadn’t withered in the unforgiving cold. The gorgeous trees eerily loomed over the icy road. They drove further down the road, the snow and plant life suddenly disappearing. It was as if winter became summer, the heat abruptly pounding down on the couple. “Global warming’s really doing its work.” Tai states. Cher was bewildered by the weather phenomenon, looking in the rearview mirror and back at the road ahead, off put by the contrast. Bleak white houses filled the town, every single lawn, fence and porch identical to the next, the only difference being the address numbers on the door. Tai pressed a button, making the windows slide down. There were no grocery stores or parks or cars. The children played in the fire hydrants jovially, the old widows watered their rainbow-hued flowers, the mothers vigorously stirred pots of gourmet meals, the fathers watching their kids frolic. The noise died the moment the couple arrived, one may have been able to hear a feather hit the ground. The townsfolk all stopped in unison, staring at the car. They were smiling marionettes, every movement as robotic as the last. They waved at once, silently. Their eyes were black pearls, their fa-

cial structures perfect. It was as if they were molded into a greco-roman sculpture. Cher fanned herself, skeptically glowering at the homes they drove by. “What in the suburban hell?” Cher muttered under her breath. “It’s their way of greeting us,” he rubbed her thigh once more, “We’re almost there babe.” Cher uncomfortably leaned back in her chair, trying to ignore the beady-eyed townsfolk meanwhile Tai shrugged it off as customary. Tai pulled up to Ms. Nosnam’s driveway, taking the keys out the ignition. He rests his head against the seat cover, letting out a sigh. “Didn’t notice a driveway when I first came. Anywho, let’s get Anayra.” He says, planting a kiss on Cher’s forehead. Cher leaned in towards his lips, her face still ridden in distress. “Baby, we’ll eat dinner together, I promise.” “That- I’d like that.” They joined hands, walking towards Ms. Nosnam’s door. Her lawn was plastered with flowers just like her neighbors. It was an artificial beauty, masking the sinister aura shrouding the house. Tai raised his hand to knock on the door, but the lock clicked, a woman appeared out of the darkness. Atop her head was a red mushroom hat with baby blue spots, her torso covered in a yellow chef apron, hardly holding her hazel curls in place. She wore tight, black stockings that strangled her lower half, fuzzy bunny slippers on her feet. She tied an orange baby bib about her neck, with their daughter’s name on it. Like the rest of the town, Ms. Nosnam’s eyes were wide and beady, her cheeks were lifted by youth. Her freckles were strawberry seeds, spotting her all over her porcelain face. Her eyelids weren’t baggy from sleepless nights, they were firm. Her arms were tone enough that she’d pass as an athlete with a healthy diet. She folded her

hands together, softly smiling at the couple. She bowed, taking a knee before shaking each of their unraised hands. “Cheerio. Salutations Mister and Missus Douglass. Missus Douglass, I’m Ms. Nosnam.” She said, looking directly in Cher’s eyes. Uneasy, Cher returned her handshake, her brow raised in disbelief. Ms. Nosnam’s posh nature rubbed her the wrong way however Tai gladfully returned the gesture. Cher stared at her baby’s bib, about to open her mouth, but the babysitter blissfully interjected. “Worry not. Please come in. Anayra is asleep, and I prepared goodies!” Pulling the two into the darkness of her home, the door closed behind them autonomously. Clicking her tongue twice, the lights all turned on at the same time, revealing the stained glass chandelier of Orion’s Belt and marble square-tiles under their feet. Along the quartz walls, portraits of each individual planet in the solar system were framed, Ms. Nosnam jittery with each painting she skipped past. “Art is exquisite, isn’t it?” Her head snapped towards the couple behind her, robotically. “Nah, these are nice Ms. Nosnam.” Tai agreed. “Did you make these?” Cher asked, squinting at Nosnam. “Yes, I drew every single one in person! Space is a wondrous place.” “So you’ve been to space before?” “No. No. No. ’Twas on a VR simulator. Teehee.” Nosnam’s neck snapped forward, leading them to the next room. Cher glanced at Tai, narrowing her eyes. Tai rubbed her back, lightly whispering in her ears, “Stop being so judgemental.” Cher hooked her arms around Tai’s, indignantly huffing. A visible stream of steam emanated out the

kitchen, the fresh aroma of sweet baked goods danced in their noses. Both of their eyes lit up, Tai’s more so than Cher’s. Arriving in the next room, Ms. Nosnam laid out a ruby tablecloth over a quartz table, filled with brownies, breads, fruits, and wine. The couple pulled out chairs beside each other, Ms. Nosnam sitting across from them. Tai immediately took a bite out of a brownie while Cher hesitantly bit into her own. Ms. Nosnam beams radiantly, watching the two dine. The babysitter licked her lips, watching Tai gorge down her goodies. She peered at Cher prodding her food reluctantly. “Go on sweet thing.” The sitter’s devilish grin widened, “Take a bite.” Cher sucked her teeth at Tai scarfing down brownie. She lifted it to her lips biting into the chocolatey brownie. Tai’s eyes widened with delight, biting down again. “Succulent, isn’t it Mrs. Douglass?” The thunderous crack of bone and splitting of skin scraped the couple’s ears. Ms. Nosnam’s human shell squelched, a green creature spotted in purple polka dots emerged. Her stomach unfurled itself like mandibles, four tendrils riddled with holes stretching outwards. At its center was a maw with countless rows of canines, crimson pasted along their surface. It was a void where no life returned. The couple slowly looked up from their food, struck by terror, yet they were mesmerized. Cher felt something get stuck between her teeth. Reaching into her mouth, pulling out a severed finger. Her baby’s severed finger. Tai couldn’t lift a finger. Cher screamed but there was no sound. In the void of the alien’s jaw, a silhouette of her baby’s head stared back at her. “Mama … Papa?” Anayra weakly whispered.



The Brandeis Hoot

October 29, 2021

‘Once Upon a Time’ is still magical, even 10 years later By Emma Lichtenstein editor

“Once Upon A Time” may have come out an entire decade ago, but it is still just as magical now as it was back then. Oct. 23 marked the 10 year anniversary of the pilot episode airing. The pilot is gripping and well-written and wonderfully paced, proving that the show stands the test of time. The premise of the show is a bit hard to believe in: fairy tale characters living in our world in the United States. The Evil Queen (Lana Parrilla) casts a curse upon the Enchanted Forest and all its citizens; everyone is sent to Storybrooke, Maine—a land without magic. Here, time remains frozen as long as the curse is active, and no one can remember their true

identities. Nothing ever changes, until Henry (Jared Gilmore), the Storybrooke mayor’s adopted son, goes on a quest to find his birth mother, Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison). He was given a book of fairy tales that reveal the truth: the curse is real and can only be broken by Emma, the daughter of Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Prince Charming (Josh Dallas). A woman named Emma as the savior? Yeah, you can consider me hooked. In the pilot, we get to see our heroes fall in love before they are torn apart from each other by the curse. We are dropped into the whirlwind of true love and the heartbreak of being separated. We despair as the curse looms ahead and rejoice as Emma decides to stay in Storybrooke. Though she doesn’t yet believe in magic, she is willing

to stick around to appease Henry, and his joy is felt even through the screen. There’s an overwhelming sense of hope. Outside of magic, it is incredibly funny to me to see the various small-town jobs that each character has. They match personalities so well. The Evil Queen is now the mayor; Snow White is a teacher; Granny (Beverly Elliot) and Red Riding Hood (Meghan Ory) co-run a diner; Jiminy Cricket (Raphael Sbarge) is a therapist. Perhaps most fitting is the mysterious Mr. Gold (Robert Carlyle) aka The Dark One aka Rumplestiltskin aka The Beast (yes, as in the one who marries Belle). He runs a pawn shop in town and plays the role of a strange rich man who can’t mind his own business. Mr. Gold’s inability to mind his own business, and his knack for making deals,

runs through the show, allowing him to adopt all of these compounding identities. Throughout his life, he has visited every single fairy tale. He is quite literally the single thread of gold tying everything together. Each character we meet in season one is complex and interesting, truly a feat when they are introducing a new fairy tale character in almost every episode. The most exciting cameo for me was The Mad Hatter, played by Sebastian Stan. Each episode takes us into tragic backstories both in the Enchanted Forest and in Storybrooke. But, no matter the issue, Emma is there to save the day. With her beat up yellow Volkswagen Bug and her trusty red leather jacket, she is unstoppable.The pilot and the entirety of the season set up the show for great success. Sure,

‘Campus Life’ Comic

it’s not perfect—season four is terribly boring and season seven is riddled with plot holes—but overall, it is such a fun show. It proves that anyone, and I mean anyone, can become a hero if they try hard enough. “Once Upon A Time” shows that true love is real, but soul mates are made, not found at first sight. It proves that being a good parent is hard, but perhaps the most honorable thing a person can do. Most of all, the show emphasizes that good will always defeat evil, as long as there is hope. So, if you need some hope in both yourself and humanity during midterm season, open up Disney+ and dive into the magical world of “Once Upon A Time.”

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