The Brandeis Hoot, October 8, 2021

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Volume 19 Issue 6

“To acquire wisdom, one must observe”

Brandeis University’s Community Newspaper · Waltham, Mass.

October 8, 2021

Staying healthy for Flu season By Jacob Gehtman and Victoria Morongiello staff and editor

The Brandeis Health Center staff recommends community members get vaccinated for COVID-19 and the flu when advising the study body on how to approach the cold and flu season while the COVID-19 pandemic continues, said LaShaun Shaw, Administrative Director of The Brandeis Health Center, in an interview with The Brandeis Hoot. The Health Center for the past eighteen months has been at the forefront of Brandeis’ COVID-19 response, making it their mission to provide students with the care

they need, said Shaw in an interview with The Hoot. To stay informed on colds and flus, the Health and Wellness promotion program, offered through the Brandeis Health Center, has a webpage dedicated to the care and prevention of colds and flus as a resource for students, according to the Cold and Flu webpage. The page provides information for students and community members on how best to combat the cold and flu season, while also remaining safe from COVID-19. “The best way to prevent catching a cold or flu is to wash your hands frequently and get your annual influenza vaccination,” according to See FLU, page 4 PHOTO BY THE HOOT

Brandeis announces further commitment to sustainability By Emma Litchenstein editor

University President Ron Liebowitz announced further commitments to sustainability from the Brandeis administration, according to an email sent to the Brandeis community on Oct. 6. In his email, Liebowitz highlighted ways Brandeis will “advance and deepen” efforts of sustainability. The university is not going to make any new partnerships

with fossil fuel companies, continuing the tradition started in 2016, according to the email. “Brandeis has no intention going forward of making any new investment in fossil fuel private limited partnerships. Brandeis has not made any such investments in over five years, and the legacy investments, comprising approximately four percent of our portfolio, will continue to be liquidated as they run off in accordance with their normal life cycle,” reads the email. Lieb-

owitz also stated that Brandeis will develop a toolset that can track the progress and success in reducing greenhouse emissions associated with the university. Moving forward, the university is going to try to “better respond to the threat of climate change.” This program is going to be furthered in the next five years, wrote Liebowitz in the email. “This will be consistent with our target risk and return standards and will include carbon emission reduction technology,

conservation, renewable energy, energy optimization, energy efficiency, alternative and renewable energy, sustainable forestry, and circular economy investments.” The last way the university will become more sustainable is through tracking “Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions.” According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “Scope 1 emissions are direct greenhouse (GHG) emissions that occur from sources that are controlled or owned by an organization (e.g.,

emissions associated with fuel combustion in boilers, furnaces, vehicles). Scope 2 emissions are indirect GHG emissions associated with the purchase of electricity, steam, heat or cooling.” The EPA considers Scope 1 emissions to be direct, caused by operations of an organization, while Scope 2 emissions are considered indirect. According to the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol Scope 2 Guidance See SUSTAINABILITY, page 4

Mold in Village housing removed by facilites By Peter Mitelman

to have been tripped, accord-

special to the hoot

area was cleaned by the HouseStudents reported mold growing on the ceiling of the main tember as well as in the bathHall, according to Assistant have




that was isolated to some insulation on some of the pipes,” said insulation has been removed.” Despite this mold having been reported last month,

Administration and Department of Environmental Health & Safety helped provide him with the information concerning both the growth of the mold Mold has been a recurring isprevious Hoot article, as there have been other instances of it being reported. In 2019, some students claimed to have seen it growing in Deroy Hall, according to another previous Hoot article. Some considered it a safety hazard, and a few students who fell ill around the time of the growth of the mold stated that

how long it had been present. of the exhaust fans were found

Inside This Issue:

See MOLD, page 3

News: Brown water in Gerstanzang Ops: Introducing Herbicide-Free Brandeis Features: Brandeis Police fundraise for cancer Sports: Cross country dominates Editorial: Staying safe during the flu season

Page 2 Page 14 Page 7 Page 6 Page 9


TikTok Talks

Washington Post ‘s TikTok guy, David Jorgenson, speaks on journalism. FEATURES: PAGE 8

In the empty More like out of the full. ARTS: PAGE 19


2 The Brandeis Hoot

October 8, 2021

Unknown cause of brown water in Gerstenzang Science Library By Victoria Morrongiello editor

The bathroom and water fountain located near the entrance of the Gerstenzang Science Library building had brown water on Oct. 4 around 11 a.m., according to photos obtained by The Brandeis Hoot. The university’s Facilities Administration is not sure what caused the water to be brown, according to Lori Kabel, Facilities Administration Director, in an email interview with The Hoot. “The #1 priority for both Facilities and Environmental Health and Safety is the safety of our staff and students. Although we do not foresee this to be a problem, we will monitor the situation and take any actions we need if it persists,” wrote Kabel in an email to The Hoot. Kabel wrote to The Hoot that the Environmental Health and

Safety team went to investigate the issue upon hearing of the brown water; however, during the inspection they did not notice any brown water. Despite not seeing any brown water, the university’s plumbers do flush the systems if any issues are reported or if there is work being finished. “Flushing is the process of cleaning the water pipes by sending a rapid flow of water through them,” wrote Kabel. Water is run through the pipes for about 15 minutes, which allows the water to move systematically through the distribution system. As it moves through the system it can clean the lines and inner walls of the pipes that may have natural buildup of sediments and debris, according to Kabel. Brown water can be caused by multiple things, wrote Kabel, including a break in the waterline causing sediment to get in, a backup of water due to drain

overflow or corrosion in the iron pipes. In all instances when the water becomes brown the solution is flushing the lines, according to Kabel. If this problem persists in the Gerstenzang Science Library, Kabel wrote that Facilities will once again flush the lines. In addition, a follow up will be done by the Environmental Health and Safety team where they will run precautionary tests to see if there are any contaminant levels which could be the cause. If the tests come back with contaminant levels higher than the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) actionable levels, facilities will close the fountains until the problem is completely resolved, according to Kabel. No signs were posted on the water fountain on Oct. 4 to prevent community members from using it and the women’s restroom also remained in use with no facility restrictions.


New ForagerOne platform provides central source for research and funding By Roshni Ray editor

A new research platform called ForagerOne has recently been launched to support Brandeis students in finding paid research and creative project opportunities. The news was shared in a recent school-wide email from Margaret Lynch, Director of Undergraduate-Faculty Research Partnerships in the School of Arts and Science. Supported by a grant from the Davis Educational Foundation, the ForagerOne platform has been developed by the Undergraduate and Research Creative Collaborations (URCC) office, which seeks to “support Brandeis students who are interested or engaged in research or creative projects with faculty mentorship,”

according to the email. The platform is available for use during this forthcoming academic year. While Workday lists many research positions available with Brandeis faculty, it is not the only platform where students are able to find on-campus research. Many research opportunities are also cited on Brandeis faculty pages on the school website. The ForagerOne project “extracts and aggregates all paid research opportunities from Workday and displays them with the most recent positions listed first,” the email reads. In doing so, Forager one supplies students with “a single central site through which Brandeis undergraduates can search for and contact faculty,” reads the URCC website. In addition to finding research positions alongside faculty men-

tors, students who are already engaged in research can use the platform concurrently in order to find funding opportunities. “No student should be excluded from research due to lack of funding,” Lynch writes in the email. Moreover, the ForagerOne platform supports students who wish to connect with faculty to discuss research in their area of interest, the email describes. To begin, students must use their Brandeis credentials to make an account. Information such as intended major, minor and year of graduation are used to narrow the scope of research and funding opportunities to cater to the interests of each student. The “Search” tab will navigate to a feed displaying current research positions available for students. Students can then navigate to the

“Stipends and Project Related Support” to view opportunities for funding. The site also filters funding for certain criteria, such as the academic department or division, summer funding, senior thesis funding, funding for specific research projects and more. More information about the ForagerOne platform can be found on the Brandeis URCC webpage. The site also includes information about submitting job


journey as a writer

By Roshni Ray editor

Pulitzer Prize winner Margo Jefferson ’68 spoke to the Brandeis community about her journey as a writer in a recent Zoom webinar hosted by the Brandeis Women’s Network. The conversation was moderated by Brandeis alumni Trustee Barbara A. Dortch-Okara ’71, a retired Massachusetts Superior Court Judge. Both members are recipients of the Brandeis Alumni Achievement Award. The webinar sought to provide a “thought-provoking conversation” about growth, mentorship and scholarship, according to the Brandeis alumni webpage. Jefferson has held positions in various professions, including news and media, journalism, academia and published writing.

In her position at The New York Times, Jefferson worked as a book reviewer, earning her the 1995 Pulitzer Prize in criticism. In addition to the Times, Jefferson has written for other publications such as Vogue, New York Magazine, The Nation and The Washington Post. She is the author of acclaimed novels and autobiographies “On Michael Jackson” and “Negroland: A Memoir.” “Negroland” won the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography. Jefferson explained the reason why she chose the title of her memoir to be “Negroland” in the Zoom webinar, saying, “I chose it because I wanted the word Negro to stand for a particular historical period that I had very much been a product of … I wanted the word to symbolize [the history].” She described witnessing divisiveness across the lines of race

during her upbringing, saying, “I grew up in a world that was largely segregated.” She described how Chicago demonstrated segregation across class and race. While Jefferson’s upbringing took place in an “affluent Black enclave on the South Side of Chicago,” according to the alumni webpage, she moved to the East Coast in order to study at Brandeis. She found the co-ed, intellectual characteristics of Brandeis to align with her own interests. Additionally, Brandeis was a central location for activism, including the Black Power Movement, the Anti-War Movement, the Civil Rights Movement and the Women’s Movement. Due to these characteristics, Jefferson found Brandeis an attractive place to attend college. “I looked up to those traditions,” Jefferson remarked about her decision to attend Brandeis.

applications to faculty listed positions and communicating with faculty about interest in a listed position. Lynch emphasizes that research is available to all students who are interested: “Brandeis University offers every undergraduate student the chance to participate in original research and contribute to new knowledge,” she writes in the email.

During her time at Brandeis, Jefferson described how she was very much immersed in the culture of activism and liberal political discourse at Brandeis. She noted that at the time, the dorms of Brandeis welcomed the presence of all genders, which was uncommon of universities at the time. Her academic highlights include attending a large introductory lecture class in political science and an English class with a professor who was also a poet. She described these intellectual experiences as “profoundly thrilling.” While Jefferson noted how her most fulfilling mentorship occurred later on in her writing career, Dortch-Okara noted that Jefferson herself has been called upon to mentor a plethora of aspiring students in the arts and humanities. Jefferson described how men-

torship requires self-examination and can be difficult; however it is very rewarding. “When you’re working with students of another generation, they are bringing questions, challenges, perspectives that aren’t necessarily the ones … you were taught … Adapting to the needs of each particular mentee requires a lot of discipline,” Jefferson said. During the audience question and answer session, Jefferson left the audience with a piece of advice she would give to herself: “Be braver. Don’t second guess yourself … Keep looking for ways to challenge yourself to be brave.” The Brandeis Women’s Alumni Network was founded during the summer of 2019, according to their instagram page. The network seeks to “foster and build connections between Brandeis women,” as described in the webinar.

October 8 , 2021


The Brandeis Hoot

Brandeis welcomes 25 new faculty members By Sasha Skarboviychuk editor

The School of Arts and Science, as well as the International Business School (IBS), welcomed a total of 25 new faculty members, according to a BrandeisNow article. The Brandeis International Business School welcomed one new lecturer: Erin Vincente (BUS). Vincente teaches Business Communications (BUS 47); her expertise is “Business Communication, Organizational Communication and Leadership, Effective Speaking, Public Relations [and] Media Literacy,” according to her Brandeis page. In the past, Vincente taught communication to both graduate and undergraduate students. According to her faculty page, she has had “senior account executive and financial planning positions at Viacom, CBS Radio-Boston, and Fleet Boston Financial. Vincente has a Ph.D. in organizational leadership and communication from Northeastern University. The School of Arts and Sciences welcomed the remaining 24 new faculty members across its four divisions. The Division of Creative Arts welcomed two visiting assistant professors in the music department: Bradford Garvey (MUS) and Taylor Ackley (MUS). According to his faculty page, Bradford will be teaching Exploring Music (1A), Global Soundscapes (3A) as well as another course that is cross-listed with American Studies for undergraduates. For graduate students, he will teach a seminar on Music and Patronage as well as a seminar on Music and Language. He received his Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from the City University of New York. Ackley is described on his faculty page as “first and foremost a folk musician.” His research focuses on understanding and analyzing American Folk and Roots music as a form of expression of the experiences of poor and working-class people. Ackley holds a Ph.D. in composition as well as a master’s degree in Ethnomusicology from Stony Brook University. The Division of Social Sciences welcomed five new professors: Rachel Cantave (AAAS), Evangelina Macias (WGS), Renanah Miles Joyce (POL), Israel Ukawuba (ENV/ HSSP) and Anya Wallace (AAAS/WGS).

Cantave is a Madeleine Haas Russell Visiting Professor in African and African American Studies. She teaches Colorism in Paradise (AAAS 104) and Afrophobia and Africana Religions (AAAS 111). According to the BrandeisNow article Cantave teaches “cultural theory, research methods, race, religion, and identity politics in Latin America and the Caribbean.” She has a bachelor’s degree in Individualized Study as well as a master’s degree in Public Anthropology from New York University. She got her Ph.D. in Anthropology from American University. Macias is Allen-Berenson Fellow in the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies department. She teaches Introduction to Indigenous and Native Women, Gender, and Sexualities (WGS 107). According to the BrandeisNow article, she is interested in the “body ‘as a site of knowledge and sexual expression for Indigenous women, femmes, non-binary, Two-Spirit artists’ against the backdrop of violence against Indigenous people.” Macias has a B.F.A. in Dance with a Modern Emphasis from Utah Valley University as well as a Ph.D. in Critical Dance Studies from the University of California, Riverside. Miles Joyce will join Brandeis in January 2022 as an assistant professor in politics. Currently, she is a postdoctoral fellow in the Harvard-MIT Program on Grand Strategy, Security and Statecraft. Her interests are international security and US foreign policy. Miles Joyce has a bachelor’s degree in International Community Development from Oral Roberts University, a master’s degree in Security Studies from Georgetown University and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia University. Ukawuba is a Florence Levy Kay Fellow in both Environmental Studies, and Health: Science, Society, and Policy. He used “sophisticated modelling techniques that incorporate climate change, the life cycle of the mosquito vector, and the life cycle of the malaria parasite to predict what control measures will be most effective as climate changes over the coming years” in his dissertation, according to the BrandeisNow article. Ukawuba has a Ph.D. and master’s degree from Columbia University. Wallace is a visiting assistant professor in African and African American Studies and in Wom-

en’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She has a bachelor’s degree in Studio Art and Spanish from Agnes Scott College as well as a Ph.D. in Art Education and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from The Pennsylvania State University. Wallace also studied Photography at the Savannah College of Art and Design, with a focus on black and white photography and painting. The Division of Science welcomed six new members: Carolyn Abbott (MATH), Aram Apyan (PHYS), Steven DeLuca (BIOL), Christine Grienberger (BIOL), Tyler Maunu (MATH) and Nathalie Vladis (BIOL/NBIO). Abbott is an assistant professor in mathematics. She teaches Applied Linear Algebra (MATH 15) and Topics in Topology (MATH 221). Her primary interest is in geometric group theory. Abbott has a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Apyan is an assistant professor in physics, who teaches Advanced Introductory Physics (PHYS 15). He studies experimental high-energy physics, particularly the Electroweak part of the Standard Model of particles. He has a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. DeLuca is an assistant professor in biology, who will start in January 2022. His research interest is on the genome function with a focus on the role that chromatin plays in cell differentiation. DeLuca got his Ph.D. from the University of California, San Francisco. Grienberger is an assistant professor in biology; she is a neuroscientist. Her research focuses on understanding of information processing in the mammalian brain. Grienberger got her Ph.D. from Technical University (TU) Munich. Maunu is an assistant professor in mathematics; he teaches Numerical Methods and Big Data (MATH 122). His focus is on recovery problems and optimization. He got his PhD from the University of Minnesota. Vladis is an assistant professor in biology; her specialization is pedagogy and neuroscience. She teaches Biostatistics (BIOL 51), Principles of Neuroscience (NBIO 140), and Introduction to Research Practice (NEUR 91). She “develops and implements curricula using evidence-based best practices to enhance biomedical teaching and learning,” according to the BrandeisNow

article. She got her Ph.D. in integrative physiology from the University of Edinburgh. The division of the humanities welcomed the remaining 11 new faculty members: Zoila Castro (HISP), María Durán (HISP), Paige Eggebrecht (UWS), Yuval Evri (NEJS), Allison Giannotti (UWS), Patrick Kindig (UWS), Gregory Palermo (UWS), Madadh Richey (NEJS), Larisa Svirsky (PHIL), Jeremy Swist (CLAS) and Howie Tam (ENG). Castro is a senior lecturer in Romance Studies. She has over 20 years of experience in teaching Spanish. She teaches Intermediate Spanish: Conversation (HISP 32) and Peoples, Ideas, and Language of the Hispanic World (HISP 104). She has a master’s degree in Spanish language and literature from the University of Rhode Island. Durán is an assistant professor in Latinx Cultural Studies. Her research interests are feminist theory, Latinx literatures and cultures as well as Chicanx theatre. She teaches Introduction to U.S. Latinx Literatures and Cultures (HISP 85), Latina Feminisms (HISP 158), Narratives of the Borderlands and Border Crossers (HISP 163), Latinx Futurisms (HISP 178) and Topics in Latinx Literature and Culture (HISP 196). Durán got a Ph.D. in English from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Eggebrecht is an administrator and lecturer in the University Writing Program. She teaches Smoke and Brick: Working-Class Literature of the Mechanical Age (ENG 55), Crowded Futures: Population Horror in Dystopian Cinema (UWS 9), Like, but not Like: Uncanny Futures in Science-Fiction (UWS 10), The Good, the Bad, and the Slimy: The Aliens of Science-Fiction (UWS 25) and Tracking the Digital Self (UWS 56). Eggebrecht has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder, a master’s degree from the University of Virginia and a Ph.D. in literature from Brandeis. Evri is an assistant professor in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies. His research focus is on Sephardi/Mizrahi history and culture. He teaches Arab-Jewish Modern Thought and Culture (NEJS 157). He got his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Hebrew University, and a Ph.D. in sociology from Tel Aviv University. Giannotti is a lecturer in the

University Writing Program. She teaches composition courses. She has an M.F.A. in Creative Nonfiction Writing from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in English with a concentration in Rhetoric and composition from the University of New Hampshire. Kindig is a lecturer in the University Writing Program. He teaches Racial Difference and the Senses (UWS 57) and The Age of Distraction (UWS 58). Kindig has a M.F.A. in creative writing and a Ph.D. in English with a concentration in American literature from Indiana University Palermo is a lecturer in the University Writing Program. His interests are humanities data analysis methods, conceptual metaphor and citation. He teaches Thinking About Borders Through Data (UWS 54) and Making Decisions with Algorithms (UWS 55). Palermo is currently getting a Ph.D. in English at Northeastern University. Richey is an assistant professor in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies. Her studies focus on the divide between the common and official religious practices in Israel. She teaches Magic and Witchcraft in the Ancient Near East (NEJS 122). She has a bachelor’s degree from Boston College, a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. Svirsky is a lecturer in philosophy. Her focus is on normative ethics, moral psychology, bioethics and the philosophy of psychiatry. She teaches Philosophy of Law (PHIL 125) and Free Will and Responsibility (PHIL 148a). Svirsky has a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Swist is a lecturer in classical studies. His focus in research is in Latin and Greek historiography and rhetoric in the Roman empire. He has a Ph.D. in classics from the University of Iowa. Tam is a Florence Levy Kay Fellow and Lecturer in English, and German, Russian and Asian Languages and Literature. His research focus is on Asian American cultural politics and Cold War culture. He teaches Introduction to Asian American Literature () and Vietnam War in Literature and Film (). Tam has a Ph.D. in English from the University of Pennsylvania.

Student Union announced special election winners By Victoria Morrongiello editor

The Student Union 2021 Fall Round 2 Elections opened on Sep. 29, according to an email sent by James Feng ’22, Student Union Secretary and Chief of Elections. Students had 24 hours to vote in the elections; all positions ran unopposed in this election. The Senate positions being voted for included: Charles River Community Senator, Ziv and Ridgewood Community Senator, Off-campus Community Senator, Foster Mods Community Senator and Senator-at-Large. The Branch representative position students could vote for is the Junior Representative to the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee. There was also a vote for an Allocations Board position open; it is a one-year seat as an

Allocations Board member. Griffin Stotland ’24 won the Charles River Community Senator position. Stotland received 77.98 percent of the vote. Jeremiah Lemelson ’23 won the Foster Mods Community Senator position. Lemelson won with 77.98 percent of the vote. Zachary Zhang ’22 with 77.98 percent of the vote won the Ziv and Ridgewood Community Senator. The Off-campus Community Senator position was won by Anna Jacobson ’25. Jacobson won with 77.06 percent of the vote. Samantha Shortall ’23 won the Senator-at-Large position. Shortall received 82.57 percent of the vote. For the Junior Representative to the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee Branch Representative position Max Lerner ’23 won. Lerner received 83.33 percent of the vote.

Shiv Chawla ’23 and Justin Goldenberg ’23 were elected for the two Allocations Board Member positions that were open. Chawla received 42.20 percent of

the vote and Goldenberg received 45.66 percent of the vote. For this election, 109 students voted, according to the vote breakdown sent by Feng on Sep. 30. This is

the second round of elections hosted by the Student Union this semester, to fill positions on the Senate, Allocations Board and Branch Representative.



The Brandeis Hoot

October 8, 2021

New ForagerOne platform provides central source for research and funding By Roshni Ray editor

A new research platform called ForagerOne has recently been launched to support Brandeis students in finding paid research and creative project opportunities. The news was shared in a recent school-wide email from Margaret Lynch, Director of Undergraduate-Faculty Research Partnerships in the School of Arts and Science. Supported by a grant from the Davis Educational Foundation, the ForagerOne platform has been developed by the Undergraduate and Research Creative

Collaborations (URCC) office, which seeks to “support Brandeis students who are interested or engaged in research or creative projects with faculty mentorship,” according to the email. The platform is available for use during this forthcoming academic year. While Workday lists many research positions available with Brandeis faculty, it is not the only platform where students are able to find on-campus research. Many research opportunities are also cited on Brandeis faculty pages on the school website. The ForagerOne project “extracts and aggregates all paid research opportunities from Workday and displays them with the most re-

cent positions listed first,” the email reads. In doing so, Forager one supplies students with “a single central site through which Brandeis undergraduates can search for and contact faculty,” reads the URCC website. In addition to finding research positions alongside faculty mentors, students who are already engaged in research can use the platform concurrently in order to find funding opportunities. “No student should be excluded from research due to lack of funding,” Lynch writes in the email. Moreover, the ForagerOne platform supports students who wish to connect with faculty to discuss research in their area of interest,

the email describes. To begin, students must use their Brandeis credentials to make an account. Information such as intended major, minor and year of graduation are used to narrow the scope of research and funding opportunities to cater to the interests of each student. The “Search” tab will navigate to a feed displaying current research positions available for students. Students can then navigate to the “Stipends and Project Related Support” to view opportunities for funding. The site also filters funding for certain criteria, such as the academic department or division, summer funding, senior thesis funding, funding for specif-

ic research projects and more. More information about the ForagerOne platform can be found on the Brandeis URCC webpage. The site also includes information about submitting job applications to faculty listed positions and communicating with faculty about interest in a listed position. Lynch emphasizes that research is available to all students who are interested: “Brandeis University offers every undergraduate student the chance to participate in original research and contribute to new knowledge,” she writes in the email.

49th Annual Rosenthal Award winners win Nobel Prize in Medicine By Victoria Morrongiello editor

Ardem Patapoutian and David Julius have won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their work in identifying a new type of receptor which allows us to perceive temperature and pressure, according to the Nobel Prize Page. Patapoutian and Julius both won the 49th Annual Rosenthal Award in 2019 from the university, according to the Rosenthal Awards’ Past Winners page. “Their discoveries have unlocked one of the secrets of nature by explaining the molecular basis for sensing heat, cold and mechanical force, which is fundamental for our ability to feel, interpret and interact with our internal and external environment,” according to the Nobel Prize Page. Patapoutian and Julius’ research looks at the biology of touch, according to a New Atlas article, specifically with receptors that respond to one’s feeling of temperature and pressure. There are different receptors responsible for how the body responds to different stimuli from the environment and in turn how we perceive. Work on this research began in the ’90s, according to the article. Julius and his team of researchers were looking at how receptors in

the human body respond to painful heat sensations. At the same time, Patapoutian and his team were looking at receptors that respond to mechanical pressure, according to the article. Julius and his team looked at the sensation felt when touching a “hot” chili pepper, which often leads to a burning sensation on the skin, according to the Nobel Prize press release. Scientists already knew that the chemical capsaicin is connected to the burning sensation, however, Julius’ team wanted to focus on the genes in sensory neurons which respond to the feeling of pain, heat and touch. Patapoutian had discovered when testing mechanical pressure that when certain genes were “switched off,” or knocked out through research manipulation, the subject would not respond to electrical stimuli. They connected this to new ion channels named Piezo1 and Piezo2, according to the article. Together, their work has revealed new paths for examining one’s sense of touch, in ways which were previously unaccounted for, according to the press release. Julius’ research introduced the idea of new temperature receptors, also found by Patapoutian in research independent from Julius’. The receptors were named TRPV1, which are a type of tem-

perature receptor. TRPV1 is activated when the human body is exposed to a temperature higher than 109°F, according to the article, when this threshold is reached ion channels open that then send pain signals to the brain. This would be activated if a person touched their hand on a hot surface, like a stove, and their brain would send a signal for them to move their hand away from the hot surface. TRPM8 was also discovered, which is a temperature receptor specifically responsible for our feeling of cold temperatures, according to the article. These receptors are very important in explaining the difference in perceiving and differentiating between hot temperatures, according to the article; the receptors can distinguish the difference between the hot temperature from sunlight on one’s skin and the burning sensation when placing a hand on a stove. According to the press release, prior to Patapoutian and Julius’ research there were still questions around how the human nervous system converts temperature and mechanical stimuli into electrical impulses which the body can perceive. Patapoutian and Julius are the co-winners of the 49th Annual Rosenthal Award for Distinguished Work in Basic Medical

Research in 2019; however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic they have been unable to receive their awards, according to a BrandeisNOW article. An online webinar will be hosted by the university on Oct. 12 to honor Patapoutian and Julius for winning the Rosenthal Award. Patapoutian and Julius will, respectively, be the 37th and 38th recipients of the Rosenthal Award to go on to win a Nobel Prize for their work, though they will be the first recipients of the Rosenthal Award to receive their award as Nobel prize winners, according to the article. Julius is a professor at University of California, San Francisco, according to his faculty page. Julius has received 24 awards for

his work, including the Nobel Prize and the Rosenthal Award. His work centers around sensory systems that allow humans to perceive and experience the world around them, according to the page. Patapoutian is a professor at Scripps Research Institution, according to his page. Patapoutian has been featured in many publications related to neuroscience and touch sensation research, according to the page. His work centers around the neuroscience behind sensing touch and pain and how molecular interactions allow humans to feel certain stimuli.


Health Center advises on staying healthy FLU, from page 1

the page. The flu and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, according to the webpage, but are different viruses. COVID-19 comes from a strand of coronavirus referred to as SARS-CoV-2, whereas the flu is caused by influenza viruses, according to the page. Due to having similar symptoms, individuals may need to get tested to confirm either diagnosis. According to the page, COVID-19 and the flu have various overlapping symptoms with varying degrees of severity. Some individuals can be asymptomatic, meaning they have no symptoms, whereas others may have severe symptoms. Common symptoms shared by

both illnesses include fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle pain, body aches and headache, according to the page. The major difference between COVID-19 and the flu is the change in or loss of taste or smell, according to the page. Students should monitor their symptoms on the Daily Health Assessment Tool, that way the Health Center is aware of the illness and a nurse can then advise the students on the proper next steps, including getting tested for both COVID-19 and the flu, said Shaw. The Health Center advises that students with underlying medical conditions contact the Health Center due to an increased risk of complications due to illness,

according to the page. The most common types of colds and flus are “self-limiting viral infections,” according to the page. Bacterial infections can lead to complications for those who get sick; community members should follow up with a medical assessment if they think there is a bacterial infection. The Health Center has a separate respiratory unit with a negative pressure room (an isolated space specially designed to contain contaminated air), Shaw told The Hoot, saying this makes the Health Center better equipped for this year’s flu season. When asked about some of the challenges that the Health Center faced last fall, when COVID-19 was still relatively new, Shaw spoke of the Health Center’s ef-

forts to train and educate personnel, medical providers and the student body. In preparation for cold and flu season this year, Shaw spoke of the lessons learned from our previous academic year, including that health and safety guidelines remain unchanged including masking up, quarantining when sick and, if able, getting vaccinated for both COVID-19 and the flu. The university is offering flu shots for all community members; the vaccination clinic is running the week of Oct. 4 through Oct. 8, according to an email sent to community members by Morgen Bergman. The Brandeis Health Center offers various services for students including vaccinations, same-day

urgent care appointments as well as health and wellness educational resources, according to their page. The Health Center is located in the Golding-Stoneman Building on campus and is open every weekday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (except on Tuesdays when it is closed from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. for staff meetings), according to their page. The Health Center is not open on the weekend. For emergency assistance students can call Brandeis Public Safety at 781-736-3333 if they are on-campus.

October 8 , 2021


The Brandeis Hoot

Brandeis announces further commitment to sustainability SUSTAINABILITY, from page 1

indirect emissions are gaseous properties introduced by a secondary source, on behalf of the primary organization. Indirect emissions “occur at sources owned or controlled by another company,” says the guidance. “This project will represent the first step toward the University’s longer-term effort to incorporate the endowment into campus-wide carbon mitigation plans,” according to the email. Liebowitz stated that this type of plan shows

Brandeis’ commitment and effort in remaining sustainable, reducing carbon and combating climate change. “Some will argue that these actions are merely symbolic acts that could negatively impact the endowment and thus our ability to deliver our teaching and research mission,” said Liebowitz in the email. “However, our plans align our vision for a more sustainable future with a prudent, risk-averse investment strategy. It will take time for us to know whether our commitments will make a meaningful impact

on our sustainability goals, but we cannot let uncertainty prevent us from taking action now, for the risk of inaction is too great.” Liebowitz concluded his announcement by saying that Brandeis is on track to meet its current sustainability goals. This announcement became public one week after the Office of Sustainability announced the potential removal of compost bins on campus. To learn more about sustainability at Brandeis, please read past emails from Liebowitz or visit the Office of Sustainability website.

COVID-19 dashboards

In the Senate, Oct. 3 •


Total postive COVID-19 cases each week. Last Update October 7, 2021. Total postive COVID-19 cases each week. Last Update September 2, 2021.

• •


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

President of Active Minds Max Kipnes ’23 was successful in making Active Minds a chartered club on campus. Active Minds is the chapter of a national organization that aims to educate and communicate topics regarding mental health with students at Brandeis, according to the organization’s website. Kipnes claimed that he plans to host a few events that will be coordinated with the Brandeis Counseling Center (BCC), a counseling center on campus for students, according to their page. One of the events would be “an open forum with the BCC” which would help them communicate with students on how to improve as a department. Kipnes mentioned that he plans to bring in Dr. Laura Braider, who works with the college workshop program at Northwell Health. He believes that Braider would be ideal because her focus is the suicidality and mental health of college students, according to Kipnes. Outside of that, Kipnes plans to host a few movie nights that are currently in the works. President of the MAD band club Mattie Doherty ’23 was not able to win the majority vote for the MAD band to be approved as a Section 2 chartered club. The MAD band club is an instrumental ensemble that performs at Brandeis as well as with other schools, according to Doherty. Doherty claims that the club seeks to be chartered so that they can request funding for new equipment or replacement of damaged instruments. Joseph Coles ’22, who was the club support chair for the last two years, claimed that Marimba should be the club that requests the funding. Charlotte Li ’24 added that MAD “rushed through the process” and did not meet the deadlines to submit the constitution and the paperwork they needed for the meeting. After a vote by roll call, the MAD band was not approved to become a Section 2 chartered club. Multiple clubs requested a change in their constitution which were all approved by a majority vote. The Southeast Asia Club requested a change to their constitution to add a social justice chair that would be responsible for holding the political stance for the club as well as raise funds and awareness on issues related to the club. The Japanese Student Association requested a change that adds the positions of Co-president, Event Director and Director of Art. The Biochemistry Club requested the addition of four E-board roles: Event Coordinator, Social Media Coordinator, Director of Communications and Journal Club Coordinator. They also added a statement of anti-racism that revolves around dismantling systemic racism in the sciences. Vice President Courtney Thrun ’22 mentioned plans to implement a textbook exchange system on campus. Students would be able to turn in an old textbook in exchange for a coin that they could exchange for a textbook that they would need. Thrun also spoke about plans for a Turkey Shuttle Service, where the university arranges a shuttle bus to get students to and from areas around New York/New Jersey for Thanksgiving break. Thrun plans to meet with Lauren Haynie, Director of Athletics, to speak on whether a game shuttle can be implemented. -Vimukthi Mawilmada

The Brandeis Hoot 6


October 8, 2021

Cross country continues to amaze this season

By Justin Leung editor

At the Keene State Invitational, Brandeis cross country had a showing. Both men’s and women’s teams participated in competitions at Keene State College on Oct. 2. The men’s team came in second place overall against 11 other schools. The women’s team was

dominant as they beat 11 other schools to win the competition. That marks the second time this season that the women’s team has come in first for an invitational. The women’s team not only won the competition but won it convincingly. In cross country, points are added up based on the position of a school’s top five runners, so the goal is to have the lowest score possible. The Brandeis women’s cross-country team had

just 27 points. Wellesley College came in second and they had 25 more points than Brandeis. The reason why the Judges had such a low score was because they had five of their seven runners place in the top 10. No other school had more than two runners finish in the top 10. The Judges were led by senior Erin Magill ’22. Magill had a time of 18:41 and she came in second for the entire


competition. This was Magill’s fastest 5k time of the season and her second fastest 5k time of her career. Just 26 seconds behind Magill was senior Natalie Hattan ’22. Like Magill, this was Hattan’s second fastest 5k time ever. Sophomore Juliette Intrieri ’24 was the next Brandeis student to finish as she finished in sixth place with a time of 19:31.4. This was Intrieri’s best placement ever. Freshman Kayla DiBenedetto ’25 and junior Bridget Pickard ’23 were the next of the top 10 runners to finish in the top 10 for Brandeis. The rest of the top seven runners from Brandeis were freshman Zada Forde ’25, who finished in 15th, and junior Victoria Morrongiello ’23 who finished 35th. The men’s team also had success at the Keene State Invitational. Overall, the team finished in second place with 82 points, and they were 19 points ahead of Union College for third place. Senior Matthew Dribben ’22 led the team and came in third place overall with a time of 25:39.2. He

was just 11 seconds behind second place. Sophomore Walter Tebbetts ’24 also finished in the top 10, placing seventh with a time of 26:26.4. This was Tebbetts’ fastest 8k time and highest placement of his career. The men’s cross-country team had two more runners finish in the top 20. These runners were junior Casey Brackett ’23 and freshman Daniel Frost ’25. Brackett finished 14th with a time of 26:40.9 and Frost finished 17th with a time of 26:51.1. Rounding out the rest of Brandeis’ top five runners were senior Jac Guerra ’22, sophomore Sam Kim ’24 and freshman Erik Lopez ’25. All three of these runners ended in the top fifty, as Guerra ended in 41st place, Kim ended in 45th and Lopez in 46th. Both teams are looking to compete at the Connecticut College Invitational on Oct. 16. This is both teams’ last competition before the University Athletic Association (UAA) Championship in Rochester, NY on Oct. 30.

Men’s soccer plays two overtime matches By John Fornagiel editor

Brandeis Judges vs. Carnegie Mellon Tartans The Judges played against the Carnegie Mellon Tartans, in which the Judges had the opportunity to reach a 0.500 win rate if they clinched the win. However, the game ended in a draw, leaving the Judges to move to 3-4-2 overall for the season. The first half was very quiet and defensive for both sides, with the Tartans ending up with four shots on net, and the Judges ending up with two shots on net. Despite the

shot differential, the Judges and Tartans moved into the second half with a score of 0-0. At 50 minutes and four seconds, Jordi Long from the Tartans shot the ball into the upper-left portion of the goal, over the head of Brandeis goalkeeper Aiden Guthro ’23, resulting in the first goal of the match, with the Tartans leading over the Judges 1-0. However, just under five minutes later, at 54 minutes and 55 seconds, The Tartans fouled and first-year Andres Gonzales ’25 fired his free kick at the goal, the ball whizzing past the Tartans and with Gonzales scoring his career-first goal for the Judges. This

shot tied the game 1-1. For the rest of the game, neither team was able to get a solid shot on the net to result in a goal, and the game went into overtime. Although there were many solid chances in overtime, with Ethan Vertal of the Tartans hitting a shot on net at 80 minutes only to be saved by Guthro and Tim Bombeli ’22 of the Judges hitting a shot on net at 103 minutes, neither of these shots resulted in a goal, and the game ended in a tie. With the game ending in a tie, the Judges maintained their lead of 5-0-2 over the Tartans, and both teams ended as 0-0-1 for the University Athletic Association

(UAA). Brandeis Judges vs. MIT Engineers The Judges played against the MIT Engineers on Oct. 6, with the Judges once again having the opportunity to reach a 0.500 win rate if they clinched a win as a result of the draw earlier in the week. This game ended in a loss, leaving the Judges with an overall win rate of 3-5-2.This was the fourth time the Judges have ended regulation without a single goal being scored for either team, becoming a recurring theme for men’s soccer. Despite a quiet regulation, there were a few shots on net. Guthro

Brandeis women’s soccer v. CMU By Francesca Marchese staff

Over the weekend, the Brandeis women’s soccer team traveled to Pittsburgh, PA to compete in their first University Athletic Association (UAA) game of the season. Facing up against the 17thranked Carnegie Mellon Tartans, the 22nd-ranked Judges battled defensively, but were ultimately

unable to secure the victory, falling 3-0 to the Tartans on the road. With this loss, the Judges fall to 5-2-2 overall, and 0-1-0 in the University Athletic Association (UAA). Defensively, both the Judges and the Tartans applied pressure while protecting their goals, combining for just five total shots— CMU outshot the Judges 3-2. While the Tartans put the only two shots of the five taken on goal, reigning UAA Athlete of the

Week and first-year keeper Hanna Bassan ’25 was able to make both saves. In the 44th minute, the Judges nearly took the lead when Pittsburgh native Caroline Swan ’23 sent the ball on a free kick toward the goal; while the ball did hit the crossbar, it was a scoring opportunity for the Judges. The Tartans returned from the locker room in the second half ready to play, as they outshot Brandeis, 7-0. It was not until the 61st minute, though, when Ma-

rissa McAfee—a Tartan—headed home a corner kick to put her team on the board. The Judges remained competitive and in reach, though, until the final six minutes of regulation; CMU then scored on backto-back shots, taking a 3-0 lead over the Judges. The second goal of the game came in the 85th minute, while the third came just over a minute later. While the Judges dropped their first UAA game of the season,

was able to save five shots over the course of the match, and the Judges’ Max Horowitz ’24 was able to fire two shots, one being on goal. However, during the second extra session in overtime, with the Engineers’ Peter Novoa firing a goal on to the net with the assist of Noah Faro, the Engineers were able to close out the win with a 1-0 lead over the Judges. The next time the Judges will play is on Oct. 9, where they will face off against the Case Western Spartans in an attempt to close their win-loss gap.

Bassan finished with two saves in her first UAA game of her career. The Judge’s return to action on their home field on Oct. 9, at 11 a.m. against 11th-ranked Case Western University. The Brandeis Women’s soccer squad is competing for a win at home in the annual homecoming game, in addition to their first UAA win of the season.

Women’s tennis in ITA Championships

By Justin Leung editor

Between Oct. 1 and 3, the Brandeis women’s tennis team participated in the ITA Regional Championships hosted by Bowdoin College. In the singles A draw, two Brandeis athletes were included. Senior Ana Hatfield ’22 faced off against a student from Smith College in the round of 64. Hatfield won the first round after a close set 7-6, but the series was quickly tied up after her opponent won the next set 7-0. Even after being swept in the previous round, Hatfield bounced back and won

the final set 6-2 to move onto the round of 32. Unfortunately, she would proceed to lose her next match against a student from Wesleyan University, after losing two sets 2-6 and 3-6. First-year Bhakti Parwani ’25 also competed in the singles A draw but did not make it out of the first round. Parwani faced off against the number two ranked player in the draw and ended up losing in two sets. For the singles B draw, four Brandeis students competed. Sophomore Jiayi Zhang ’24 won her first match in one set to advance to the round of 32. However, she did not move on after losing to a student from Massachusetts Institute of Technology

(MIT) 5-8. Freshman Anastasia Sia ’25 also proceeded to the round of 32 after defeating a student from Trinity College in one set 8-4. Sia then fell to a student from Wesleyan University after a close set 5-8. Sophomore Ella Subramanian ’24 had a strong effort against a student from Tufts University, but ultimately fell after losing one set 5-8. After a first round bye for freshman Sabrina Loui ’25, she faced off against a student from Amherst College in the round of 32. Loui proceeded to win after a back-and-forth match with an ending score of 8-6. She then moved onto the round of 16. In the round of 16, Loui went up against a student from Tufts

University and she played strong through the two sets but ended up losing both sets 4-6 and 1-6. In the doubles draw, the Judges sent two pairs to the tournament. Hatfield and first-year Cecilia Denis ’25 was one of those pairs, but they did not make it out of the first round after losing to students from Tufts 4-8. The other pair was Parwani and Loui. Parwani and Loui had a first round bye, so they started off their play together in the round of 32 against the number eight-ranked pair, which consisted of students from Wesleyan. After a battle back and forth between the two pairs, Parwani and Loui completed the upset and won the match in a single set 8-6.

In the round of 16, the duo completed another upset as they beat another ranked team from Middlebury College 8-7. This brought Parwani and Loui to the quarter finals to face off against the second ranked pair from Tufts. They ultimately fell to the team from Tufts 4-8 but not after an incredible run full of upsets. This was the women’s tennis team’s final match of the semester. They will resume play in the spring with their first match against Bryant University on Feb. 5.


October 8, 2021

The Brandeis Hoot 7

Brandeis Public Safety fundraise as part of the Pink Patch campaign By John Fornagiel and Sasha Skarboviychuk editors

Officers Sherry Gibson and Tony Celona tabled in the Shapiro Science Center with free cookies and pink patches to fundraise and raise awareness about Breast Cancer Awareness Month through the Pink Patch project, on Oct. 4. They told The Brandeis Hoot that for the month of October, officers had the option to put the new pink patches on their uniforms, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The tabling was done in the hopes of raising awareness of the fundraising the department is during the month. They are rais-

ing funds for the Dana-Farber Cancer Center, with a goal of $1 thousand; you can donate here. At the time of publication, they had raised $295. Additionally, the department was giving out sugar cookies with pink frosting, which were sampled by the Chief of Public Safety to assure the highest quality possible. They also had pink Brandeis Police patches available. Officers had the option to go to a tailor to sew their pink patch to their uniform, which many officers have done. These patches are simply pink versions of the public safety employee’s uniform patch. The Pink Patch Project is an innovative public awareness campaign which originated in 2013 with the Seal Beach Police Department in Southern California,

according to their website. The officers there wore pink patches on their uniforms during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is October. From there, various departments all over the country started fundraising using the pink patches. Today the program spans “several hundred partner agencies throughout the world and includes partners from police, sheriff, fire, EMS and federal departments worldwide,” according to their website. The goal of the project is to increase awareness about the “life-saving benefits of early detection and early intervention in the fight against breast cancer.” They also have the goal of raising funds for research and treatment of cancer. Additionally, the department has many more fund-

raising ideas to raise awareness for many other issues. According to Detective Sergeant Dana Kelley, the department will likely participate in more initiatives in the future, such as with pride patches. For example, the department is also participating in No-Shave November, which officer Tony Celona described as a “fun competition on who can grow the biggest beard.” No-Shave November is “a month-long journey during which participants forgo shaving and grooming in order to evoke conversation and raise cancer awareness.” The department is not just stopping there: they are going all the way until December without shaving! However, in order to participate, officers have to donate $100 to fundraise for cancer awareness.


Others can also support the officers in their efforts to fundraise. Even above and beyond these two events, Celona and Gibson still say that there are “more events in the works,” and to be on the lookout for more events by their department.

Extra! Extra! TikTok all about it! By Jahnavi Swamy staff

David Jorgenson, better known as “the Washington Post TikTok guy,” now has a total of one million followers and 44 million likes. The 143-year-old newspaper joined TikTok in 2019, aiming to combine important news and comedy in short video clips for the broad audience of this social media platform. In a conversation with the Brandeis Journalism Department and members of the community, Jorgenson talked about his video-creating process and experience in this novel form of journalism. When asked about the goals of the Washington Post TikTok account, Jorgenson said that the short videos were intended to “pique the interest” of viewers.

By Emma Lichtenstein editor

Sproutfit, a “five-person, succulent-growing, indie-pop group” composed of Brandeisians, will release their first album on Oct. 8. Titled “Homegrown Sprouts,” this album chronicles the struggle of living through, and growing up in, a global pandemic. Two band


While the 15-second clips are typically not enough to understand a complete news story, the pop culture references and comedic elements draw the viewer in and possibly persuade them to read the full article in the Washington Post. Jorgenson comments on how the looping feature of the app allows his audience to simply be entertained in their first viewing, and to then absorb the information in the following viewing. When deciding on a TikTok idea Jorgenson thinks about the most important stories of the day. He usually has some longterm projects “sitting on the back burner,” but he begins writing and shooting daily news videos at the beginning of the day. Most of the actual information is “verbatim from the article” and Jorgenson often reshoots certain lines to create the most accurate and in-

teresting videos that he can. The TikToks then undergo levels of editing and approval before they are posted on the app. Sometimes he adds additional information in the comments of his TikToks or links to the articles in his bio. When asked about how he stays updated with the constantly changing TikTok trends, Jorgenson joked that it was simply “because we’re so cool!” Jorgenson scrolls through the app for only about 15 to 20 minutes a day, specifically looking for popular posts within the last few hours. He also says that he finds “funny sound bites that he can tell people will be using.” This strategy is particularly useful on TikTok where trending “sounds” allow for videos to be seen by more people. He tries to avoid getting stuck in specific areas of TikTok so he can appeal to different demographics.

Jorgenson is looking to hire more people to his TikTok team at the Washington Post, including some specifically to identify current trends. Jorgenson talked about a few possible reasons for his success as the Washington Post TikTok guy. First, he said that the account focused more on “engaging with the community,” rather than gaining followers in numbers. He posted consistent inside jokes and “easter eggs” which made his followers feel connected and engaged in the news. Second, he said that his team tried to evolve with TikTok. He noted that even since the start of the app a short while ago, it has undergone significant changes in its audience and the way people use it. He mentioned that it was important that, as creators, they “don’t get stuck in their ways.” Another aspect of TikTok that

Jorgenson uses to connect with his audience is by commenting on other videos. When he comments things like “where am I” on random posts it seems like it is purely for comedic purposes. However, he revealed that he is actually “very intentional” about commenting and uses this feature to interact with people. Still, he recommended having fun with it and “not taking yourself too seriously.” Jorgenson’s advice for upcoming journalism graduates is to keep in mind that things are changing much faster than they did in the past. He recommends saying yes to as many opportunities as possible and also being a team player. Jorgenson believes that successful journalism is about “meeting people where they are” and adapting to suit today’s audience.

but in a cute way

members, April Ginns ’21 and Maya Kattler-Gold ’21, spoke to The Brandeis Hoot about their debut album, revealing that this passion project has been in the works for about two years now. The entire album started as a group project between Ginns and fellow Sproutfit member Gavin McIsaac ’20 in the spring 2020 semester. From there, the project only grew, turning into the full album, featuring songs written by all members of the band. Ginns and Kattler-Gold wrote most of the lyrics, but said that each member of the band writes the music for their own instrument. Ginns does vocals, keys, synths and ukulele on the album; Kattler-Gold does vocals and cello; McIsaac does guitar, keys and synth; Chami Lamelas ’22 plays guitar; and Sam Stern ’20 plays drums. The five came together to create a nine-track album. “When we got sent home and we couldn’t play and jam together, we had nothing else to do except record,” said Kattler-Gold. “What else

are we gonna do to keep being a band?” Because of the timing, the pandemic plays a heavy hand in the inspiration for the album, but it’s not exclusively about the pandemic. “[McIsaac] and I each have a song that was from early high school for each of us that we finished now,” said Ginns. These songs, similar to the album as a whole, are “about processing various difficult things, but in a cute-sounding way,” said Ginns. Despite these darker themes, Ginns assured that “every [song] is a banger in some way.” She and Kattler-Gold struggled to pick a favorite track, each having good things to say about many different songs. Two in particular that they seemed excited about are “Open Window” and “I’m In and I Can’t Get Out.” “‘I’m In and I Can’t Get Out’ I think is our strongest production-wise,” said Ginns. “I think it sounds the most professional … That song sounds the best in my headphones.” “Open Window” is more upbeat, according to Kattler-Gold. “I think that song is kinda fun and danceable

which is something that I’m always excited about.” She also says that this track was inspired by Paul Simon, whose “Graceland” features the lyric “Losing love is like a window in your heart / Everybody sees you’re blown apart.” Other inspirations for the band include Phoebe Bridgers and Vampire Weekend. Both Ginns and Kattler-Gold were very supportive of the lyrics the other wrote, and the instrumental moments from the rest of the group. Both emphasized the partnership and joy that comes in working together as a team. For example, Kattler-Gold says that Lamelas’s guitar riff in the bridge of “I’m In and I Can’t Get Out” is really what “pulls the song together,” despite Kattler-Gold being the one to have written the lyrics. The album will be available on Oct. 8 on all streaming platforms except Apple Music. “We’re very excited, we’ve been working on it for so long,” said Ginns. “We’ve been working on other stuff, but we wanted to put this one out before finishing that.” She also


teased that they are hoping to create Sproutfit merchandise soon. To stay updated on merchandise, and all other things about Sproutfit, follow them on Instagram and Twitter (@sproutfitband), or find their Sproutfit Facebook page.

The Brandeis Hoot 8

October 8, 2021

Nicholas Ong ’23 has created a welcome space for queer and trans people of color By Emma Lichtenstein editor

The Queer and Trans People of Color Coalition (QTPOCC) is creating a center for queer and trans people of color on this campus, a space that has not prevously existed, according to founder Nicholas Ong ’23. This new club started on Sept. 25 and plans to get more active throughout the rest of the year. “The intersection of being queer and a person of color is tremendous,” said Ong in an interview with The Brandeis Hoot. “Our experiences within that intersection double our inability to feel welcome, and having that space acknowledges the fact that we deserve to be seen, that we deserve to have people on this campus that care about our experiences.” Ong acknowledged that there are other organizations on campus—like the Gender and Sexuality Center (GSC)—that meet

some of these needs, but he emphasized that the intersectionality of it is the most important aspect of the new club. This refers to that intersection Ong mentioned, in stating that while there are spaces for queer people and spaces for peope of color, it is still possible for an individual to feel isolated because they have multiple, overlapping identities. Ong recalled attending events and feeling this type of struggle. “In the queer spaces I’m often in [at Brandeis], I find myself being the only person of color, and I bet a lot of folks relate to that,” he said. With QTPOCC, Ong wants to create a welcoming space for himself, and for those experiencing the same struggles as he is. “Our voices are often the most unheard on this campus, but there are so many of us! We all kinda float around, we don’t really have that one space that brings us together, and this will finally be this one space.” That doesn’t mean that only

queer and trans people of color can join this club, though. Ong hopes to hold many events throughout the year, and he encourages allies to come and learn at these events. “White queer people or allies are encouraged to spread the word and come to any events to learn, to take what we’ve taught you and understand us more fully.” He says that QTPOCC is a club that will emphasize education. “It’s not exclusive, I don’t want it to be somewhere where people are unwelcomed. We’ve been unwelcomed in enough other spaces; it’s not our place to make others feel uncomfortable. Moving forward, there may be some events that will be specifically tailored to queer and trans people of color—because sometimes we need that space—but mostly there will be events that will be meant for everybody to come and learn, and witness queer joy.” Helping Ong run the club are Julian Meraz ’22, Amy Schroder ’23, Audrey Sequiera ’24, Vidis-


ha Jha ’23, Dalen Weathersby ’23, Jaquelyn Morales ’23, Ellis Huang ’23 and Kyla-Yen Giffin ’23. Ong says he is excited to see the future impact of QTPOCC and that he hopes the club will be around long after he graduates. “I wanna see beautiful events

happen. I wanna see a room full of happy, joyfull queer and trans people and color. A room that just focuses on their joy. I want it to be a forever thing.” To learn more about QTPOCC, follow the club on Instagram, @ qtpocc_brandeis.

The PARC Community Engagement Group: building community based response to violence By Shruthi Manjunath editor

The Prevention, Advocacy & Resource Center (PARC) Community Engagement Group is a new group that was started by Eva Bohn ’22. Bohn explained that she spent the summer of 2020 working on a project with PARC which involved creating the PARC Community Engagement Group in an interview with The Brandeis Hoot. Bohn explained, “something I was thinking about a lot is how we can build more community based responses to violence.” She also explained that sometimes, there is this false idea that individuals who have experienced violence cannot participate in anti-violence work until they have healed. Bohn wants to break down this barrier and provide space for those who are still healing to participate in activism due to the fact that some people benefit from receiving support and others gain empowerment from finding ways to help others. In the fall of 2020, Bohn and Sarah Baum ’22 started the group together to test out ideas to determine what works and what does not. This year, the team has

expanded. The team consists of facilitators Bohn, Baum, Tali Gordon-Knight ’24 and Priya Sashti ’24. Previously, the team focused on working with people who had more directly experienced violence themselves but now they have realized that, as Bohn explained, “even if people experienced the exact same type of violence, their experiences of it and the way it affects their life is going to be different—and that will depend on individual differences in their identities and what larger structures they are a part of, so we don’t really want to homogenize that.” She continued, “People can be deeply impacted by experiences of violence that maybe didn’t happen directly to them, but maybe they see people they care about experience violence, maybe in their communities and a lot of violence, maybe just in the world, seeing a lot of violence can impact people … I want to expand our conception of peoples experience of violence, so that it could apply to anybody, but our criteria is more about whether or not you’re interested in drawing upon your own experience to contribute to community building and anti-violence work.” Therefore, the team

has worked towards becoming more inclusive and allowing individuals to join the group as long as they desire to use their own experiences to assist in anti-violence work. This will allow individuals to aid each other in their healing process. Currently, the team is preparing the resources for future meetings, which will start in the spring semester. The team plans to open the group up to others in the spring semester when they will have weekly group meetings. The team is trying to spread the word on social media and recruit new members for the group. The meetings will consist of going over readings about anti-violence work and videos and having people speak at these meetings occasionally. In addition, the team plans to conduct community building activities. After conducting a few of these meetings, they are planning to begin working on a community anti-violence project on a subject that the group has chosen. This hopefully will aid individuals in their healing process by providing them with the space and resources they need in order to heal. The team plans to interact with people differently based on

what they need. Bohn explained that previously the team would meet with people privately before they joined the group, to understand what they are looking for in this space and what support they may need. The team plans

to do the same while conducting the group in the spring semester. The group is open to individuals with all sorts of backgrounds and hopes to provide individuals with the support they need to heal and move forward in their lives.


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October 8, 2021

“To acquire wisdom, one must observe.”

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

Volume 19 • Issue 6 the brandeis hoot • brandeis university 415 south street • waltham, ma

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ooler weather and changing leaves are finally here, and autumn on campus is as beautiful as ever. The one downside: cold and flu season is just ramping up. The common cold has already been sweeping across campus, but we still have a chance to protect our community from the flu. One of the things that makes the flu particularly dangerous is that some of its symptoms overlap with COVID-19. Make sure you’re doing your part to protect yourself from them. A lot of ways to protect yourself involve doing things the community is already supposed to be doing, as we are still supposed to be taking precautions against COVID-19. Washing your hands remains crucial, as germs can be fought by antibacterial soap. Also good is wiping down surfaces before and after you use them. Wipes are provided in classrooms across campus. Taking advantage of that resource can help remove germs from desks before and after each class. Also, although it is still mandated by Waltham and Brandeis to wear masks indoors, it’s important to keep in mind that while we are wearing masks to prevent COVID-19 infection, it’s adequate to prevent influenza transmission as well. Another important thing to do is be honest on the Daily Health Assessment. Don’t come to

class or any other event sick. We’ve heard people in classrooms sniffling and coughing repeatedly, more so than typical allergies would call for. In that same vein, make sure to always cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, even if allergies are the cause. Do not take off your mask to cough or sneeze. Masks will help contain the droplets or particles from your own cough or sneeze, meaning that fewer germs will be available to the general public each time. Additionally, masks help protect you from others’ coughs and sneezes. More protection translates to fewer chances of getting sick or spreading an illness. We are still in the middle of the pandemic; according to the Center for Disease Control, there are almost twice as many new COVID-19 cases right now than there were a year ago. Except now, everyone is actually out and about, so we will not be able to avoid a flu season as easily as we did last year, when we were all staying home. We need to do our best to keep everyone healthy. Be mindful when sharing drinks or food with friends; little, seemingly harmless actions like this can lead to illnesses spreading quicker around friend groups. Also, the university has made hand sanitizer readily available for community members at the entrance of most buildings

The Brandeis Hoot 9

and at the Hoot Market, Usdan and Sherman dining halls. There’s no reason not to use the hand sanitizer provided, especially before entering the dining halls where we all have to touch the serving utensils. Little behaviors like using hand sanitizer and being mindful of your actions can go a long way during the cold and flu season. It also wouldn’t hurt to avoid going to large gatherings, but we realize where we are and the likelihood of that happening. We also encourage everyone to get their flu shot. We thank Brandeis for hosting flu vaccine clinics from Oct. 4 to Oct. 8. Hopefully, many students and members of the Brandeis community were able to get their vaccine. If you were unable to get your shot, there is still plenty of time. Local pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens provide flu shots to the public. Additionally, if you are worried that you would not be able to afford the vaccine, your student health insurance is able to cover it! Speaking of shots, those who have taken the Pfizer vaccine against COVID-19 are eligible to get their booster shots if it has been more than six months since their last shot! Though they were offered at the aforementioned vaccine clinic, they are also offered at both CVS and Walgreens.

10 The Brandeis Hoot




Everyone in this picture is cool except for Editor Thomas (bottom right).

Editor Sasha loves knitting scarves



Editor John loves his pandemic puppy!




Editor Mia takes advantage of apple season

Editor Maddie apple picking with her friends


October 8, 2021





October 8, 2021


The Brandeis Hoot 11

Pay your Orientation Leaders By Noam Gumerman special to the hoot

Last January, for the first time, the Orientation Leader (OL) position at Brandeis was a paid one. Students who were selected to work as mid-year OLs for the class of 2024 received $500 for showing back up to campus a week or so before classes and spending a couple days training together, followed by a few with the incoming students doing hybrid in-person and virtual events. This decision was made apparently to incentivize students to become OLs despite the increased risk of doing the job in the midst of a pandemic. The Department of Orientation also managed to secure additional funding from the administration to pay the fall semester OLs this past summer too, although it was only $250— half of the original amount. As a member of the Orientation Core Committee this past summer, I saw firsthand why it is so important to continue to make the Orientation Leader position a paid one. Paying OLs would positively affect large portions of campus life. Right now, working for orienta-

tion is fundamentally inaccessible for students who do not have the required financial means. Paying students for their work would allow students who previously couldn’t have the opportunity to give back to the school. Right now, Orientation Leaders do not fully represent the diversity of the campus. As the first point of contact for many new students, orientation should strive to be a place for students of every background. By not paying OLs, the position is limited to those who can afford to travel early on their own dime, and can afford to take weeks off from whatever other job they have to work beyond full time for the school. Additionally, Orientation Leaders perform a service for the university. Older students show new ones how to navigate the different resources on campus, from where to get food to where they should go to report a serious problem. Without this role, the job of teaching all these new students about life on campus would fall to the two paid university employees who make up the Department of Orientation. Regardless of how you feel your orientation experience was, do you think it would be better if there were two mas-

sive groups of 450 students who sat in Levin Ballroom and listened to people talk at them for hours at a time? That is the alternative if no students were to be OLs. Community Advisors on campus also do important work for the university, and although they are also likely not paid enough, they still are compensated via their housing. OLs do important work too, and that work being shorter term is not a good enough reason to not properly compensate students for their work. Not only do students deserve to be paid fairly for their work, but making the OL position a consistently and equitably paid one would allow orientation to become even more than it already is. Because it is mostly a volunteer position, the work is pretty much over by the time classes start, but we all know that right at the beginning of the semester is one of the most vulnerable times as a first-year student. Paying OLs would allow the support networks for our first-year students to be bigger and more helpful than they have ever been. Not every student has a great orientation experience, and those students might be skeptical about why paying OLs would have any

positive impact on the campus. In response, I would hope that paying OLs might incentivize some of those students to bring their problems, suggestions and new ideas to orientation, to make it a better experience for all first-year

students. Students are the university’s best resource, and investing in a handful of them to better integrate a quarter of the undergraduate population into life at Brandeis would only positively impact us all.


Spend money now, save money (and us) later By Eliza Welty special to the hoot

It will save both money and lives to act swiftly and boldly against climate change. And yet, even elected officials who acknowledge the overwhelming scientific evidence that climate change is real and caused by human activity are refusing to support necessary policies. Even setting aside the intrinsic value of a healthy planet, quality of life and human lives, it will be terrifyingly expensive to recover from increasingly frequent and extreme weather events. Researchers at the Rocky Mountain Institute have estimated that failing to act on climate change will cost up to $17 trillion by 2050. Spending $3.5 trillion to prevent that is cheap. In 2005, following a trio of devastating hurricanes, one of which was Katrina, the United States federal government appropriated more than $100 billion. In 2015, after Hurricane Sandy, it appropriated $48 billion. But looking solely at th government’s direct spending ignores the larger economic impact of these extreme weather events. Katrina cost the U.S. economy $320 billion; Maria cost $215 billion; Sandy and Harvey each cost $210 billion. Just in 2018, wildfires in California cost the U.S. economy $148.5 billion. In Texas, a heat wave caused a 36,000% increase in the cost of electricity, and less than two years later, a deep freeze produced $155 billion of damages. These extreme weather events are incredibly expensive, and scientists have been clear: climate change will make them more frequent and more severe. Unfortunately, the devastation will not be limited to distinct events. Hotter weather in general will be extremely expensive for the U.S. economy and for individuals. Extreme heat puts pres-

sure on the electricity grid, hurts crop yields, damages infrastructure and slows business and productivity. As climate change gets worse, we will need to build protective infrastructure, repair existing roads and bridges, relocate communities and more. We will probably also see more frequent pandemics. Each of these will cost immense amounts of money; it will be more expensive to wait for climate change to get worse than it will be to address it now. In contrast to those enormous sums, the proposed cost of the Build Back Better Act is only $350 billion per year for the next decade—and that figure also covers education investments, housing programs, pandemic preparedness, workforce development and more. These are all important now and will be increasingly necessary as climate change worsens, but nonetheless, they are not climate-specific spending. The Build Back Better Act’s climate-specific spending includes, but is not limited to, establishing a Civilian Climate Corps to create jobs fighting climate change; investing in clean energy and electricity; funding climate research; reducing carbon emissions; preventing wildfires; improving coastal resiliency and ensuring clean water access. Each of these is crucial to reducing and mitigating the effects of climate change; they all have to be in the final bill. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) have been the most public Democratic opponents of this bill and its cost. Debating the number 3.5 trillion may seem less cruel than stating exactly which lifesaving programs should be cut, but the fundamental points are not different. The elected officials who are refusing to support the Build Back Better Act should have to make it clear to the country which specific programs they believe are unnecessary, and why. When scientists are so unanimously agreed on the

causes, effects and costs of climate change, our representatives should not be able to easily avoid their responsibility to act. Senator Manchin has a difficult path to victory in 2024. His 2018 election win was already quite close, and now he will be running for re-election for the first time since Republicans in West Virginia gained a voter registration advantage. But it is unlikely that voting against this bill will solve his problems in the state. Furthermore, the proposed Build Back Better Act includes widely popular provisions that could help Manchin if he chooses to embrace them. It will require powerful and careful messaging, but it is not impossible. The politics surrounding Senator Sinema’s refusal to support this bill are less clear. Arizona is not a Republican state and its demographics are quickly becoming more favorable for Democrats. In fact, her continued opposition is likely jeopardizing her ability to survive a primary challenge. Her “strongly approve” rating among Arizona Democrats is about onefifth that of Senator Kelly (D-AZ) and President Biden. What is stopping her from acting in the best interest of our lives, economy and planet? Climate activists, like those in the Sunrise Movement, first demanded $10 trillion in investments toward a green economy. The $3.5 trillion price tag already represents a significant compromise. Now, however, conservative Democrats like Manchin, Sinema and a few in the House of Representatives are pushing for only $1.5 trillion. These smaller and smaller commitments to adapting to and reversing climate change are unacceptable. So, is $3.5 trillion a lot of money? Yes. Is it potentially difficult to justify to conservative constituents? Yes. But will it save money and lives? Absolutely. It is the job of elected officials

to make tough decisions for the wellbeing and long-term survival of our country and planet. It is a

dereliction of their duty to willfully ignore scientists’ warnings and put us in danger.



The Brandeis Hoot

October 8, 2021

Panera’s Grilled Mac & Cheese Sandwich is a freak of nature By John Fornagiel and Sasha Skarboviychuk editors

It appears as though Panera’s top chefs have been smoking a lot of pot recently and from that came their newest sandwich: the Grilled Mac & Cheese. Now, we review fast food so we cannot claim to be super health conscious, but even for us it seems like a lot of carbs. On the website it is simply described as “Creamy Mac & Cheese with our fontina and mozzarella cheese blend and parmesan crisps on toasted thicksliced Classic White Miche.” Vegetables who? Let’s just say we are all in for an interesting ride. In the Panera closest to Brandeis the sandwich costs $10.59 plus tax, and is 1010 calories. Oh and they give you a side of bread with it, in case this was not enough carbs as is (though you can substitute the bread for an apple or chips).

is pasta, cheese and bread. Not a single vegetable or anything on it (like really would it kill them to add a tomato?). I can’t even add a vegetable to it if I want to, all I can customize is whether I want the parm crisps or not. This seems like a ploy to get people to try this weird sandwich because there is no way someone actually thought this was a good idea and not just a joke. Maybe it’s a late April fools joke? Anyway on to the sandwich: it was as weird as I thought it would be. Who in their right mind decided to put macaroni on bread? Like don’t get me wrong, bread is

amazing and I would eat it with almost anything, though definitely not macaroni. The sandwich was just weird, I have no other way to describe it. It was two pieces of bread with loads of macaroni inside it. There was a lot of macaroni in it, and WAY too much cheese. I only managed a few bites of my half of the sandwich—it was way too cheesy (and the cheese was very salty which made it even worse). Unlike John, I did not like how creamy the mac & cheese was, it was way too much to handle, and without the bread to soften the salty taste, I could not stomach it. The maca-

roni wasn’t great either; it seemed soggy and overcooked. The only good thing about this sandwich was the bread: Panera knows how to make very good bread (they are called Panera Bread after all). It was also toasted the perfect amount, oftentimes I find grilled cheeses to be too burnt for my taste. Panera really surprised me with this sandwich, and not in a good way. Usually Panera food is very good, even though it is usually not worth its price, but this was straight up bad. It was most definitely not worth the price we paid for it; I would never have it again

even if it was served for free. Do yourself a favor and avoid this item at Panera, no matter how intriguing it may look. I would rate this a two out of 10, which I believe is the lowest rating I have ever given in a food review. To whoever came up with this sandwich: go see a doctor. Overall, this is the first time where we can say that Panera disappointed us. Our usual complaint about Panera is that the food is not worth the money, but this sandwich is so bad we probably wouldn’t eat it for free.

John To be completely honest, when I first saw this idea of a sandwich I was a little skeptical at first. I have never heard of macaroni and cheese in a grilled-cheese style sandwich before, though I will admit I was excited to try it. I want to start off by saying that this sandwich was 10 DOLLARS. Now, this price in itself is definitely not bad at all, but if I go to a restaurant and pay $10 for food, I fully expect to at least be a little less hungry when I’m done eating it. Now take a look at the picture, and compare the sandwich with the size of the fork. This sandwich is literally tinier than my fork! Okay, so now that we all understand that I got a total of one bite out of this sandwich, let’s talk about how that bite tasted. Personally, I think the bread could have been toasted for twice as long as it was. It felt like the bread was more butter-bread than it was trying to mimic a grilled cheese. However, putting all of these criticisms to the side, let’s talk about my personal star of the show: the macaroni and cheese filling. The macaroni and cheese was so creamy, it absolutely melted in my mouth beyond comparison. I feel like I could eat the macaroni and cheese portion forever. Now, did the macaroni and cheese belong in a sandwich? Definitely not. Would it have been much better if I just ordered the macaroni and cheese alone? Absolutely. While I think the idea was okay in theory, I really do not think it was executed well. It’s very possible that I would be more apt to say that this belonged in a sandwich if it was maybe a little bit bigger, and the bread was a little bit more toasted. Unfortunately, it feels like I’m doing yet another Panera review where I feel that the portion size does not justify the price at all. Honestly, I would rather stay at home and try to make myself a better homemade mac-andcheese sandwich for a tenth of the price. I would probably give this sandwich a five out of 10, which is very low for the Panera brand for me.






Sasha First of all, I would like to say what the f*ck is this. Panera brands itself as a “healthy” restaurant with fresh ingredients and stuff, so what is this sandwich? It

October 8, 2021


The Brandeis Hoot

Stress relief tips from the chronically stressed By Mia Plante editor

Admittedly, I would not consider myself the best person to share tips on how to relieve stress. Recently, though, I have acquired quite a few new skills that have helped me lower my baseline stress levels, so they have gone down from unbearable to slightly bearable. At Brandeis, a school where everyone is doing a million things a day—studying for exams, writing papers, organizing events for the dozen clubs they are in, working two jobs, an internship and somehow managing to find time to eat—an article like this is strikingly necessary. Somehow I feel less busy than most on this campus. I am taking four classes and have a few extracurriculars on top of attempting to study for the LSAT, but still I feel behind. This mindset is the first thing you need to conquer in order to become less stressed at Brandeis. You must save time for yourself to have healthy coping mechanisms and fun free time so you aren’t constantly on edge; also, you need time to sleep! Over the past few weeks I have found three things that have helped reduce my stress and make living here less hellish. They work for

me, but they may not work for everyone. I am a unique case because what some people consider work is something I do for relaxation… but bear with me. Cooking/Baking: Probably one of the best things you can do during your free time that reaps considerable rewards for your mind and body is cooking! Depending on where you live, this may be easier said than done, but for those with access to a kitchen this is the number one activity to begin with. On days where I feel drained and like nothing has gone right, the best way to make myself feel better is with a home cooked meal, dessert or having a meal with a friend (particularly a home cooked one). Dining halls on campus are dreadful, we all know this. Being able to control at least one aspect of my life—my diet—is so important to me. When I am cooking I put on music or a podcast and drown out my thoughts for a bit with true crime or comedy. Cooking can also be a great group activity if you are okay with sharing your space. Get a group of people together and make a meal, listen to music and chat! Baking, on the other hand, is more of a serene activity for me, while cooking is often more lively. I bake loaves of banana or pump-

kin bread on lazy days where I don’t have class. Baking is another time for me to turn off my brain and focus on a recipe—something simple and thoughtless, something I can churn out perfectly every time without fear of failure. Usually baking days come with my second activity for stress relief that a lot of people may dislike. Cleaning: Okay, hear me out with this one. I cannot get adequate work done unless my space is clean. I love feeling clean and organized, and enjoy coming back to a calm environment after a hectic day of class. Keeping my space clean, and the process of cleaning it, helps me prevent my stress levels from rising too much. I am fortunate enough to usually have the motivation for cleaning, but if you do not that is okay too! On cleaning days I religiously do my dishes, put them away in their proper spots and wipe down my kitchen. I take out the trash, recycling and clean the bathroom (I live in a two-person Grad for context). Normally my room is clean but if it needs to be, I organize my personal space, do laundry, etc. Finally, the most rewarding part of it all is cleaning the floor. I dry Swiffer our linoleum floors and/or borrow a vacuum from a friend if needed, and then

wet Swiffer mop everything afterwards. If you know Grad, you know the space is pretty grimy, so every week I am wiping away a layer of the years of grime that have built up. There is something so satisfying about having a space be clean from top to bottom for me. And the process of cleaning is relaxing in that everything gets done exactly how I like it. I put in my airpods, blast a playlist and get to cleaning. Normally the whole process takes an hour or less if I am extra efficient, and afterwards I feel as refreshed as my room looks. This doesn’t work for everyone, but for the people for whom it works, it REALLY works. Working out: I never would have put this on a list of stress-relieving activities prior to this semester, but something in me has changed ever since accompanying some of my good friends to the gym a few times a week. Working out is truly the best example of an activity where my brain completely turns off, and that is all I search for in a relaxation technique. I can never truly be relaxed if I am capable of complex thought. In the gym I have no thoughts, I’m not even thinking about how I may be hurting or tired. I think absolutely nothing. For beginners in the gym, the

key is starting slow. Go with a friend or two who have experience working out and have them help you get started and get comfortable in the gym environment. Brandeis is generally pretty welcoming, and the weight and cardio rooms are no different. Even when I was in this new environment, trying not to look too stupid, I found myself not being stressed at all. Moving your body takes all the stress off of your mind, and is one of the healthiest coping mechanisms you can acquire. All day you are working out your brain in class, so why not give it a break and make your body do some work instead? It may seem daunting, but if you are capable I highly recommend beginning a workout routine. Maintaining daily or weekly routines can also help prevent stress and keep you up to date on all of the work you need to do. Keep a planner, stay organized and start feeling better every day. Remember that stress is normal, but if it’s taking over every aspect of your life and preventing you from relaxing ever, maybe drop a few activities. Give yourself the time you need and deserve. Everything centers around how you take care of yourself.

Regardless of administration, there’s a trend of colorism in immigration policy By Abdel Achibat editor

Recent developments in the U.S.-Mexico border involving the deportation of thousands of Haitian migrants continue to highlight the exceedingly hypocritical nature of U.S. immigration laws. Immigration has been controlled in various ways by the U.S. government for a century as the result of several immigrant waves and world wars (which shaped refugee claims and processes today). It has been historically demonstrated how frequently these immigration laws contained deep-rooted notions of xenophobia and white supremacy, consequently solidifying the idea that this pattern could exist today, and does in fact exist today. The recent deportation of thousands of Haitian migrants has been defended as legal by the Department of Homeland Security due to Title 42 of the 1944 immigration law currently being empowered, misinformation that is “apparently” the reason for such a large influx of Haitian migrants, and the fact that the vast majority of Haitian migrants legally cannot claim asylum. Essentially, Title 42 provided the nuance for the American government under the immigration law passed in 1944 to deport non-citizens as prevention of a spread of a communicable disease. Considering that we are still in the middle of a pandemic, this law had been particularly emphasized by the Trump administration so as to legalize his promises of deporting large numbers of migrants from “our” borders. Adding on, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) explained that the Haitian migrants at the border had attempted crossing due to misinformation, in which the general

belief was that they could enter the U.S. and achieve residency due to the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) laws that had been extended to Haiti. DHS has said that this TPS extended to Haitian migrants has run up on its time, and initially only applied to Haitian migrants living in the US before this due date. Lastly, in order to apply for asylum, anywhere in the world, there must be persecution or fear of persecution on the matters of identity that the asylee has faced in their home country. Without proof of persecution or proof of fear of persecution based on identity, legally there is no backing to the claim of asylum and deportation would be the result. Evidently, the DHS, and by delegation the U.S. government, is aware of the immigration laws that allow them to act the way they do; instances like this where thousands of people quite literally are risking their lives for a better life are being treated as criminal adversaries are the natural consequence of an immigration system that has xenophobia and white supremacy built into it. While the DHS has their legal justification, the mere legality of the deportations, in this case with Hatian migrants but applicable to all other migrants fleeing violent or poor states, is not enough to address the clearly hypocritical treatment of Black and brown bodies by the U.S. and the lack of concern for humans who are escaping violence as a consequence of post-colonial foreign interference. Particularly, if the U.S. immigration system has enough legal basis to have given Haiti TPS, then evidently the U.S. is aware of an extreme problem Haitian migrants face in the reasons behind wanting to flee Haiti. The legal precedence set up by the extension of Temporary Protected Sta-

tus to Haitians signifies that there is an awareness of the particular vacuum that exists for migrants who absolutely need asylum but cannot legally fit under that term, and the refusal to reenact such a status for this particular group of Haitian migrants is an outright denial of evidence and betrayal to the very people the law was supposed to protect. The fact that TPS was warranted for Haitian immigrants living in America is just further evidence for why Haitians at the U.S.-Mexico border deserve to have their cases examined on a federal level so as to once again be provided protected avenues for immigration. The keenness to deport thousands of Haitian migrants, only weeks after the end of the original TPS rollout, exemplifies a racially motivated campaign against migrants and immigrants of color. It exemplifies

how quickly the U.S. immigration system will view certain factions of people as disposable, and how legality in itself is rarely indicative of what should actually be done. The use of force by border patrol, seen through images of white officers on horses whipping Haitian nationals, and the disorienting poorly equipped conditions of the deportation process are America’s immigration system carrying out its inherent racist treatment against Black and brown bodies. The immigration system works the way it does so as to deter migrants, yet we simultaneously pet our ego to an international audience of our multiculturalism and continue to interfere diplomatically, politically and militarily with the same states we are trying to deter migrants from. The brutality that was so easily forced upon these Haitian migrants is a

spectacle that is far too common between U.S. agencies and Black populations. The hesitancy to provide comprehensive immigration laws that capture the actual information of the current situation in Haiti and provide them with safe legally protected avenues for immigration is disrespectful to the historical moral debt America has to Haiti. The arguments against allowing this immigration are blind to the reality that America was and is a state of immigrants, can only function economically on the backbone of immigrants and that legality has almost never truly equated with justice when concerning the achievement of rights and adequate quality of life for Black and brown bodies; let’s choose to not be blind this time.



The Brandeis Hoot

October 8, 2021

What is Herbicide-Free Brandeis? By Herbicide-Free Brandeis special to the hoot

Herbicides are substances used throughout the world to maintain agriculture and help with landcare. Herbicides are composed of synthetic chemicals that are detrimental to the environment and human health. They lead to many environmental issues including soil degradation, natural ecosystem degradation, mass extinction of animals (such as pollinators) and water pollution. In addition, they have negative effects on public health such as impairing reproductive functions, hindering developmental growth, causing cancer and harming the liver and kidneys among other effects. Due to the unhealthy effects of these herbicides, many organizations are calling for their use to be limited or eliminated. Herbicide-Free Campus (HFC) is one of the organizations dedicated to spreading awareness of the negative effects. HFC was founded in 2017 at UC Berkeley with 11 areas on campus dedicated to transitioning to organic landcare. This movement was student-led and worked in collaboration with professors, the grounds crew and invested community members. These initial efforts were focused locally, but

since its start, HFC has spread to other campuses nationwide, promoting environmental justice and student leadership. HFC’s values are summed up with the acronym CARE: Collaborate, Advocate, Re-imagine and Empower. HFC is helping other campuses to establish sustainable and organic landcare practices by providing the tools and resources students need to achieve an herbicide-free campus. Even though Brandeis promotes the principles of social justice and sustainability, they continue to frequently use synthetic fertilizers for aesthetic purposes on campus lawns such as Fellows Garden and Chapels Field. Brandeis uses the herbicide Proscape Mesa that is composed of toxic synthetic chemicals that are harmful to the environment. One of the ingredients, Dimethylamine salt of 2,4,D, negatively impacts animals that are crucial for the environment. Proscape Mesa contains another dangerous chemical compound called Dithiopyr, which is highly poisonous to bees. The Brandeis campus has two pollinator meadows to attract beneficial pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, but continues to use synthetic herbicides that harm those same creatures, which contradicts the school’s environmentally friendly and ecological principles.

Brandeis should follow an organic landcare plan that will promote soil health and biodiversity on campus. Herbicide-Free Brandeis (HFB) wants to eliminate the usage of all synthetic chemicals on Brandeis’ campus in order to improve public health and environmental concerns. Our mission is to implore the school to be more candid about their application of synthetic herbicides and unfavorable groundskeeping practices as well as be willing to initiate a transition to organic landcare on campus. Our campaign is supported by Herbicide-Free Campus, as they have been providing resources and guidance to help us with this transition. Herbicides disproportionately affect the health of minorities, and this is because marginalized communities tend to be the ones working directly with these chemicals in the industrial agricultural sector. Brandeis has a diverse and progressive community and considers social justice central to its mission. The use of herbicides like Proscape Mesa is an economic and social justice issue as well as an environmental one. HFB has been working directly with Mary Fischer, Manager of Sustainability Programs, and Chris Gould, the manager of the Grounds and Fleet, to jumpstart a landscaping system that won’t dis-

rupt animal habitats and promote biodiversity. Herbicide-Free Brandeis is still very new to campus, but it is growing rapidly, continuing to gain student and faculty support. HFB is in the process of becoming an official Brandeis club, and in order to reach even more students, there are a number of ways

you can join. You can follow us on Instagram (@herbicidefreebrandeis), sign our petition (located in our Instagram bio) or attend weekly meetings on Sundays at 8:15 p.m. in the Village Seminar Room. Help us support our cause and attend our many upcoming events!


Going out in Paris By Abdel Achibat editor

If you want to party in Paris, I am here to help. Since it’s only been a few weeks that I’ve stayed here, consider this a beginners guide and one that I will undoubtedly continue to add on to. Warning though, the music scene, somewhat laughably, is about five years behind the United states. To start off, Paris is special in the way that it is not necessarily organized by districts the way most American cities function. Most often in the U.S., within the major cities there are a few neighborhoods that are just known for their certain restaurants, bars and clubs, and are usually quite close to their downtowns. Paris, on the other hand, is divided by 20 arrondissements which are essentially neighborhoods each harbor-

ing distinct vibes to them. What I have found so beautifully fun is the fact that within pretty much all of these arrondissements, you can find dancing bars, clubs and streets filled with outdoor cafes serving the arrondissement but filled with Parisians from all over. If you want to chill at a bar, you can pretty much find any cafe towards the evening that is filled with outdoor seating within almost all arrondissements. Belleville, the Latin quarter, and the area around the Republique station will give you hundreds of options for just enjoying a night out and are reminiscent of a Brooklyn vibe to me. Ultimately, the vibes of sitting, smoking and buying a few cocktails runs throughout the city. Personally, I have loved the bars in Rue Oberkampf, Le marais, and the Latin quarter for holding a young crowd chilling outdoors

and vibing in mass. Rue de Faubourg Saint-Denis, Rue Princess, and Rue de La Huchette have all had energetic party scenes with cheap drinks, nearby kebab grub places and an authentic Paris nightlife vibe. Rue Princess has so many clubs and dancing bars in close proximity to each other, that the partying goes onto the street. Chatting up people and bouncing from club to club was my personal highlight. Rue de la Huchette gives off a great bar-hopping vibe but more on the young elitist side when it comes to getting into places and buying drinks. Rue de Faubourg Saint-Denis felt grungy and kind of a free-for-all towards the later hours of the night. Regardless, show up after 11:30 p.m. and expect a great time. As always, disappointingly, guys will pretty much only get in if you have clout with the venue or are showing up with girls.

Le Marais, giving off very much Soho vibes, is filled with bars with great happy hours in your classical cobblestone European setup. This neighborhood also holds the majority of gay nightlife inclusive for everyone. If you’re looking to enjoy a few drinks and a smoke outdoors surrounded by groups upon groups of younger people, head to the Canal Saint Martin. Starting from 6 p.m., this canal is filled with people with their own personal bottles, and speakers sitting down by the seine. Similarly, during midday the strip of grass towards the middle of the luxembourg garden gives off The Great Lawn in Central Park vibes serving as an after class get together area. I have still yet to visit hotspots in Belleville and Menilmontant nearby where I live, head to hookah clubs found throughout the city, or visit the more arab and

black nightlife scenes. Overall, I have found the party scene in Paris to be exceptionally more fun, inclusive and less chaotic than in the United States. People are more moderate with drinking, more concerned with dancing and vibing and the fact that there are so many bar-filled streets in all the arrondissements makes chilling at the local spots far more energetic than the dingy local pubs I’d never go to in New York.


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

How do you safely peg your partner anally? Great question, thanks for writing in! Pegging is when one partner wears a strap-on to anally penetrate their partner. There are a few things to consider when talking about safer pegging. A great way to make all types of sex safer is talking to your partner about what they like and

what they are comfortable with. Communication is key, especially if you’re trying something new. Consider the position you and your partner want to try, and the equipment you want to use. Because pegging involves using a strap-on and an accompanying dildo, think about what type of each of these you might want. The size and style of dildo will change the experience and sensations, so talk to your partner about what they might like to make sure they feel comfortable and safe during sex. Two different types of har-

nesses you might want to try are the underwear-style harnesses and strap-on style harnesses. Both of these will have an o-ring, which holds the dildo in place, as long as the dildo has a flared base. Some harnesses have different sized o-rings, or even adjustable ones, to accommodate different sized dildos. SSIS will soon be selling a strap-on harness as well as some dildos you can use with it, come into our office to check it out! When having penetrative anal sex of any kind, including pegging, its important to use lubri-

cation. The anus is not self lubricating like the vagina is, so anal penetration without lube can cause pain or discomfort as well as microtears in the anus. Because many dildos you might use for pegging are silicone, we recommend using a water based lube so the lube won’t degrade your toy’s material. Water based lube is also the most cushiony option and can also be reactivated with water, which makes it a great option for anal sex. And as with most kinds of sex, there is a risk for STI transmission.

To decrease the risk of this, make sure to wash the harness and dildo before and after each use with a body-safe soap and warm water. You can also use a condom over the dildo and change it if you plan to switch which partner is being penetrated. Most of all, have fun with your partner; and communicate clearly before, during and after for safer pegging! We hope this helps, and as always, feel free to stop into our office for more info.

October 8, 2021


The Brandeis Hoot

You should be concerned about By Victoria Morrongiello editor

This is a recurring column discussing different climatic and environmental topics that are being affected by human behaviors and interactions. If you have a topic you wish to be covered please reach out to On Sep. 29, the United States Fish and Wildlife Services released a list of 23 species that they are proposing to remove from the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to label as extinct. This is concerning. You should be concerned. The ESA is a program meant to provide intervention and protection for species at risk of becoming extinct. Obviously, as these 23 species were marked extinct, this intervention came too late. One of the species on the list being marked extinct is the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker, though the species hasn’t been seen since 1944. The downfall for this bird was likely in the early 20th century, according to a National Geographic article, when “old-growth forests of the South were being cut down as fast as timber companies could run their mills.” We were the ruin for the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker. Our behaviors became their doom. And they aren’t the only ones to have been afflicted. Many of the species on this list are native birds from Hawaii. Fun fact about Hawaii: it has been dubbed “The Extinction Capital of the World.” Not a great look for the U.S. But let’s take this back to 1778 for a moment when James Cook first went to the Hawaiian islands. This was the beginning

of many species’ doom (and the indigenous people though I won’t be going into that in this op). When Cook went to the islands he prompted a flood of people traveling to the islands for resources and tourism, in later years. This increase in human activity has led many bird species of Hawaii to go extinct. Hawaiian birds are able to go extinct easily because of factors including habitat loss, introduced species, avian diseases, mosquitos and climate change. Human impact, whether it be direct or indirect, has all contributed to these factors. Humans have destroyed these birds’ habitat, they’ve introduced invasive species (whether it was on purpose or not), they’ve introduced diseases that are deadly to them and have most definitely been a leading contributor to the climate crisis. This is a biodiversity crisis. And it hasn’t just begun this year; it is an ongoing crisis and this only adds to the load. Climate change has been a huge contributor to the loss of species, due to its direct and indirect effects; it has even been referred to as an “escalator to extinction.” This is because as temperatures increase, they exceed the temperature maximum which some species can handle. In response, species will shift their ranges farther north in order to remain in temperature zones they can handle. But eventually, species will run out of places where they can move to. “With climate change and natural area loss pushing more and more species to the brink, now is the time to lift up proactive, collaborative, and innovative efforts to save America’s wildlife,” said United States Secretary of the In-

terior Deb Haaland. This biodiversity loss isn’t just bad for the species going extinct: there is a trickle-down effect that impacts other species including humans. For example, birds act as pollinators for plants; when you lose these pollinators you now leave plants who need to either self-pollinate or risk not getting pollinated. There is some hope though. The Ivory-Billed Woodpecker was assumed to be extinct before in the past but was rediscovered in the 1920s and ’30s. John Fitzpatrick, a professor at Cornell Lab of Ornithology, believes that the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker might not be extinct. He is petitioning to keep the bird on the ESA list, believing they are not completely gone and still in need of conservation aid. Fitzpatrick argued there is proof of periodic evidence of their existence, though, according to the United States Fish and Wildlife Services website the last official time the bird was spotted was in 1944. Fitzpatrick agrees though that we are in a biodiversity crisis that is only being exacerbated by man-made climate change. In 2020, we lost 32 orchid species in Bangladesh, 65 North American plants and 17 freshwater fish from the Philippines, in addition to a whole slew of other species. You cannot deny the extinction events which are occurring and we would all be wise to make ourselves familiar with what the effects of losing these species will look like.



The collegiate backpack stigma problem By Thomas Pickering editor

When you’re on a college campus, self-expression becomes vitally important because over the course of your four years you are free to be who you truly are and explore who you want to be. If you want to walk around dressed like Naruto then do it! There is no one here that will clip your wings and tell you not to. You can dress and express yourself however you want when you are at college, but for some reason there is one thing that just feels so incredibly awkward. No, I am not talking about the walk of shame or how weird it feels to walk down the hallway to your room after showering only in a towel and see someone from your floor who you do not know. Nay, the real issue on college campuses that must be tackled immediately is the amount of pure awkwardness you feel when walking around campus without a backpack. Surely I cannot be the only one who feels this way, and if I am then that is just another reason as to why I will be billing the university for my therapy of odd social stigmas. But it is undeniable in my experience that when I am walking around campus without my backpack that I feel exposed. I feel naked and as if everyone has eyes on me for not having a backpack on. Is this fear unfounded? No! It is entirely founded in my brain from how weird I feel and no psychology and neuroscience major could ever convince me otherwise.

Walking around with a backpack is like having a security blanket and clipboard all in one accessory. The backpack says, “I got places to go so that I can do work” but it also has room for snacks and a sweater if it’s a little chilly, providing you a sense of calm like a security blanket. You know that kind of chilly when it is warm in the sun, but when you are in the shade it feels like the Arctic Circle? Well, the backpack is there for all of your needs as it is your best tool against the world! With all this in mind it can be deduced that a backpack provides a sense of security and comfort that some individuals may feel is necessary or helpful in social situations such as the college experience. Without a backpack some students, or perhaps just me and my weird thoughts, can feel exposed and unprepared for what we may encounter—even if it is just a short walk to Sherman and back. To research my own thoughts on this controversial topic I went to the one resource that never fails to provide solely factual accounts of events and true facts and statistics on research: Reddit. After some truly in-depth research into this I stumbled upon a thread concerning this issue in only the most scientific of manners. It is called “It feels weird af walking anywhere outside without a backpack on” and I can only assume that the author “DarkMonkey98” had to use this alias to protect their own identity from those who gain from this stigma such as Jansport, Herschel and Fjallraven. Contained in this thread were posts and reports from others

like me who cannot understand why walking without a backpack can be so anxiety-inducing. I was surrounded by only the most indepth analysis of this phenomenon, such as a follow up quote from DarkMonkey98 saying, “and I don’t balance properly.” Now I do not really understand how heavy the backpack of this obviously trained scientist must be such that they do not fall over but it goes to show how important having a backpack can be. For some, it provides a confidence of safety and preparedness and for others it stops them from constantly falling over. But the thread also humbled my strong-willed opinion on this topic when “UDK450” made a truly astute observation on the benefits of walking around without a backpack when they wrote, “No more back sweat from the backpack!” From this comment I was reminded of how tremendously freeing it can be to feel a cool summer’s breeze on your back, to experience the cold air rush up the back of your shirt without any hindrance from a backpack. After reading that scientific interjection, I found myself reflecting on my opinion about this matter. Perhaps I have been the one who has been too closed off, too scared to let my back bear itself as free. Perhaps at the end of the day what I am really worried about is not losing balance, being unprepared or needing security. Perhaps I just need to let my back breathe and be free from the weight that holds it down. Perhaps this is my learning curve, my phase of independent college

self-expression. Who knew that at the end of the day, all it would

take for me to realize this is one Reddit thread.


16 The Brandeis Hoot


October 8, 2021

Across 1. Feline’s father, nefariously exploited? 7. Break out of pre-natality? 12. Outside, in the City of Light 13. Spanish dance 14. Reptile’s waterworks 17. Irritating 18. “Understood.” 20. Bunny’s stress-provokers 24. A man of Braveheart’s band 26. Bestselling number 27. Computer characteristic valued by gamers 28. Punctuation substitute in telegrams 29. What inveterate refrigerator-occupants do 32. Broadway singer Salonga 33. Question of means 34. Fake 35. Text-speak for desire 36. Regurgitative noise 37. Exerted superiority over 38. Allows 39. Not Columbia 40. Old name for Tokyo 41. Gandalf: “You shall not ___!” 42. Bamboo Eater’s Locomotive 47. Toothed whale 48. Easy moves in a gymnast’s repertoire, say 51. Fowl’s Digits 56. Greek Personification of Darkness from which Tolkien’s Lonely Mountain gets its name 57. Neither detector, nor expurgator, but? 58. Trucking company 59. Of matter and America

Melon-Collie by Chris Martin Down 1. Atlanta-based epidemiological organization 2. Prefix with form 3. Marvel Superhero 4. Kind of stockinged dance 5. Old hands in this 6. “Me too.” 7. Farming tool 8. Rarely used key 9. To a ____; precisely 10. List-owner, say 11. Pests, not pegasi 13. Let fruit decay to create flavor 15. Latin acronym for beginning in the middle 16. Parselmouths can speak with them 19. Products of the early morning? 21. European River 22. How a loss is often entered 23. Spurred on (of a horse) 24. Any well-rounded narrative has one 25. Role for Eastwood and Wayne, say 28. “Lightning step” technique in anime

29. Reduce gradually over time 30. Tech company whose name has been verb-ified 31. Bonds and Sosa used this kind of substance 34. Defendant’s submission to the court 38. Layered foodstuff 41. Name of Baltimore Ravens’ old stadium 43. Metonymized by milk 44. Mercilessly criticizes in review 45. B-ball whistle-blower 46. Musician Clapton, athlete Gordon, and Grandmaster Hansen 49. With the intention of preventing something bad 50. Indian name for a male 52. Nickname for Harry Potter’s Diggory 53. Honor bestowed by Eng. Royalty 54. Like USD, across the pond 55. Oldest class (abbv.)

Answers to Friendship Across 1. Poops 6. Spall 11. RTA 14. Rerun 15. Cocoa 16. Ahs 17. Edits 18. Relatives 20. MIGs 21. Out 22. Irate 23. IPA 24. Ulf 25. Onegin 26. Sam and Frodo 30. EMT 31. Elihu 32. Año 33. Uses 34. Omnivores 38. Spry 41. Ere 42. Refer 46. Ore 47. Collaborate 50. Weston 52. Tis 53. Lea

54. Fetor 55. Moo 56. Tarp 57. Emotional 60. Dafne 61. APR 62. Niall 63. Spear 64. Rte. 65. Gluts 66. Tells Down 1. Premise 2. Oedipal 3. Origami 4. Puts 5. SNS 6. Scruff 7. Poet 8. ACL 9. Loa 10. Latino 11. Ravages 12. The Time 13. Assents 19. Ire 21. Old 24. Unum

25. Odor 27. Ahoy 28. Ravel 29. Ono 33. User 35. Neon 36. IRL 37. Eros 38. Sow Fear 39. Preempt 40. Restore 43. Falafel 44. Eternal 45. Reapers 47. Coring 48. Atoll 49. Bio 51. Tot 55. Malt 56. Tape 58. Oil 59. Nau 60. DST


October 8, 2021

The Brandeis Hoot 17

Fish—a short story

By Cyrenity Augustin staff

Olivia had fallen in love with Victor on her first day at the office. She had been flustered and embarrassed, first day jitters and lack of experience leading to a pissed-off customer and a tearyeyed new employee. Everyone else had just given her pitying looks or awkwardly moved past her, but Victor had stopped next to her. “Hey. What do you call a fish with no eyes?” She had stared at him, confusion plastered over her face. “Well?” “...what?” “A ‘f-wsh’... Wait, that’s not right.” He had then proceeded to try to properly pronounce “fsh” without adding the “w” sound or pronouncing the “i.” Olivia’s tears were soon accompanied by laughter, and in that moment, she knew that he was the one for her. It had been three months since then, and while she had spent day after day dreaming about the fated day where he would ask her on a date, Victor had obliviously continued on with a purely platonic work relationship. Olivia watched Victor out of the corner of her eye as he put together his coffee, mentally counting off his routine as he did so. Black coffee, two containers of cream, stir, one and a half packets of sugar, stir and cap. The unused sugar packet was slipped into his pocket, and with that the ritual was complete. Olivia watched as he followed the all too familiar path from his office to the coffee machine, which just so happened to pass right by her desk. They were meant to be, she knew it. But he had yet to approach her with any romantic implications. At first she had spent every moment overthinking what could possibly have gone wrong. And then she had the realization. Of course he wouldn’t ask her out. He would never do anything to

put her in a situation where there was even a slight chance she was uncomfortable. He was too much of a gentleman for that. The possibility of pushing his feelings onto her would be the last thing he would do. So, she had decided that today, she would be the one to ask him out. The three month anniversary of their first meeting—how much more romantic could it get? As Victor passed by Olivia’s desk, she reached out, grabbing his wrist and pulling him to a stop. “Hey, wanna grab dinner after work today?” Victor jolted in surprise, before looking at her and giving her that semi nervous smile that always made her heart burst. “Ah, sorry Olivia! My girlfriend and I are grabbing dinner tonight. She closed a really big deal at her real estate agency, so we’re celebrating.” Olivia felt her entire world fall apart in that moment. She couldn’t bring herself to speak for a little too long, before finally forcing her voice. “A-Ah, right. Okay.” “Maybe next time!” And with that he was gone. A girlfriend. How could he possibly have one? They were supposed to be together; soulmates whose paths crossed by fate. Whatever nosy little girl that snuck her way by his side had no right to be there. The work phone rang, and while Olivia instinctively picked it up, she wasn’t really paying attention. No, she was busy thinking about this new revelation. She was startled, of course, but she couldn’t let herself lose her head so quickly. This called for further investigation. ----Olivia watched Victor and a short, scrawny stick of a girl from the window of her car, stewing in her seat as they dined on steaks and wine. She wasn’t even that impressive. She laughed way too much and couldn’t keep her hands out of her hair. And she was way

too touchy, always grabbing onto Victor’s hand. Olivia straightened up in her seat, gripping her wheel with anticipation. ----Victor and that leech walked out of the restaurant, giggling and holding onto each other as they made their way to their car. They were lost in each other, barely paying attention to their surroundings as they moved from the brightly lit restaurant to the dark area of the parking lot. Olivia turned her key, the engine rumbling to life. That girl was goofing around, acting like a child as she swung his hand in big arcs. Olivia watched as she moved, steps light and carefree as she spun away and ran ahead. So irresponsible. With a slam on the gas, Olivia sent the car hurtling forward, straight into the girl’s body. The impact made a disgusting noise, and the wheels rolling over her body was even worse. But she wasn’t concerned by it. Victor, however, was a different story His screams echoed across the parking lot, eyes latched onto what was visible of the side piece she had just run over. He hadn’t even bothered to look in her direction yet. Olivia opened the car, feigning a look of shock and horror. If she was going to win him over, she was going to have to make this look like an accident. “Victor? Oh my gosh, is she okay?!” Victor looked up, and the look on his face made her pause. He seemed… devastated? And the look he was giving her… horror. “Olivia… Olivia, call an ambulance.” Olivia tried to stop the frown that threatened to show on her face. There was no way that girl was still alive. She was sure that he knew it too. The fact that he was fighting so hard for her was a problem though. The leech had sunk her teeth in deeper than she

had thought. “Victor, I’m so sorry, but I don’t think an ambulance is going to—” “OLIVIA!” A silence fell between them, and this time Olivia couldn’t help but show her disappointment and frustration. “Victor. She is gone. Calling an ambulance isn’t going to change that.” The man turned his head sharply, fixing her with an incredulous look. And then, that look shifted to one that Olivia never thought she’d receive from him. Disgust. “What is wrong with you? You killed her, and you don’t even care.” “She should have watched where she was going.” Rage filled Victor’s eyes, alongside his tears, and he shook his head, pulling away from her, the car, the dead girl. He reached into his pocket, and pulled out a phone. “Victor, please—” Olivia took a step towards him, but he stumbled backwards, putting the phone to his ear. “Stay away from me, Olivia.” This was not what she had imagined, not at all. She saw no trace of the man she had fallen in love with three months ago. The person who stood before her now was just a shadow of him. A fraud. Olivia slowly backed away, hands up. Victor watched her warily before turning and quickly walking away from the scene, focusing on the phone call. “Yes, 911? My girlfriend, she’s been run over by a car, you need to send an ambulance now!” Olivia slowly got back into her car, closing the door with a gentle click. She was numb at this point, thoughts spiraling as she watched Victor walk further and further away. She had dreamed of their relationship for so long. Sharing lunches when their meal breaks lined up, Victor cracking stupid little jokes that she couldn’t help but laugh at. She had even gone so far as to imagine their wedding

day. They would be in white and baby blue, and their vows would be personalized. She was particularly proud of hers, which would start off with their special fish joke. Olivia took a deep breath and put her hands on the wheel. Victor’s back was still towards her. He didn’t spare her a second glance. She put her feet on the gas, and as the car rolled off of her first victim, she braced herself for the impact of the second one. There was a scream, and a crunch and then it was over. Olivia let out a pent up breath, resting her head on the wheel. ---The dented and bloodied car pulled up to the edge of a pond in the middle of the night, the only sounds the one caused by her. She opened the trunk, and looked down at the mangled body of her lover and the leech. She tried to imagine the nervous smile of the man she had fallen in love with, but all she could see was the cold, banged up corpse that she had stuffed into her car. The man she loved wasn’t there anymore. Olivia grabbed the girl first, dragging her across the grass and with a heave tossing her into the lake. The same was done to the traitor, shoved into the dark, deep water. As the bodies settled at the bottom of the lake, the blood that billowed up somehow painted the lake even darker than it already was. And through that darkness, Olivia could make out the faint movement of fish beneath the surface of the water. Olivia felt a wave of nostalgia well up in her, and she smiled softly. “What do you call a fish with no eyes…?” And with that, she turned around, leaving the two to sleep with the fish.

The most insane moviegoing experience you are ever going to have: ‘Titane’ staff

It is that time of the year again. As the most prestigious film festivals around the globe come to a close, cinephiles have a chance to discover new auteurs stepping into the industry and catch up with their favorite directors’ latest work. I began my deep dive into the film festivals of 2021 with the Palme d’Or winner at Cannes: “Titane.” I did not know what to expect at all, since the official plot description explained very little about the movie. The only thing I knew about the movie was some vague Twitter comments accusing the movie of being too graphic. I bought my ticket for the opening night without knowing what I was getting into. Considering that this was an “artsy European movie,” the theater was not crowded. There were maybe 30 other fellow cinephiles who were as clueless as I was when I walked in. The movie opens with a car accident followed by a very graphic surgery sequence. I am used to that. I’ve seen countless movies with

graphic sequences. Then, we cut to several years later. Our protagonist, Alexis, played amazingly by Agatha Rouselle, is a stripper now. We follow her through a regular night which ends with her showering and chatting with other strippers. I am asking myself, “Is this really what ‘too graphic’ is? A surgery and some nudity?” I reacted too early. After the shower scene, we see a stalker following our protagonist to her car. And then it begins. Our protagonist goes on one of the most insane murder sprees I have seen on screen. When I say murder spree, I don’t mean killing people by shooting bullets at them. I mean putting chairs in their mouths and sitting on them and sticking spears in one ear and seeing it come out from the other end. From that point on, nothing you see on the screen is normal. The movie becomes an emotional rollercoaster combining graphic action sequences with sentimental scenes that try to explore what it means to be a family. I don’t want to ruin the experience by revealing too many details, but I can say that there were multiple occasions

where I couldn’t face the screen, instead squirming at the gruesome images. I was not alone—all the audience felt the same way as confirmed by their loud screams. That is what I liked about “Titane.” Cinematically, there are lots of details worth discussing. The way it handles themes like transhumanism, family and love, the way it pays tribute to body horror legends like David Cronenberg and the way it uses visuals to create a completely immersive fantasy-like world are all great merits of the movie. But watching “Titane” is more of an active experience than following a story on screen. Julia Ducournau, the director, forces you to actively take part by making you feel extremely uncomfortable for the whole runtime. When the screen cuts to white and credits roll at the end, you feel a giant relief. The movie never fails to make you experience the emotional and physical pain on screen, a feat typically difficult to convey through film. I recommend you go see “Titane.” You may like it, you may hate it, but I guarantee you’ll have an experience to remember. You

can always watch a movie with an engaging story, there are thousands of them. But movies like “Titane,” movies that can make

you physically feel something are really rare. Don’t miss the opportunity to see this amazing movie on the big screen while you can.



The Brandeis Hoot

October 8, 2021

‘Final Fantasy XIV’ has the best community in any online game By Stewart Huang editor

“Final Fantasy XIV” was the perfect game for me back in August. I finally had tons of free time but couldn’t go outside due to the pandemic. As you would expect from a “massively multiplayer online game,” this game offers huge open worlds ripe for exploration, exciting adventures and characters to meet and be attached to, all the things we could ever want in such a time. But while I think “FFXIV” is the best in the genre (easily surpassing the nowscorned “World of Warcraft”), what is most striking to me are the players themselves. Something I immediately realized as I started is how much they enjoy just hanging out. There are always so many people standing in the three central hubs and not doing anything—perhaps they enjoy the mere presence of others, “to be alone together.” Some are dancing, showing off their wide variety of emotes or fashion choices or casually chatting about anything. I once even encountered someone offering to give away a ridiculous amount of free gill—the in-game currency—and food items to new players. All you had to do was ask. Often there is a “bard” who’s playing well-known songs on their virtual harps and electric guitars. I was so amazed when I first saw this, by their incredible skill and the fact that the game allows for so much creative

expression. The bard often attracts a sizable audience who will sit down for some time to enjoy the performance, clapping and cheering when a song ends. I have never seen a game where players enjoy hanging out with each other as much as actually playing the game. It makes the world feel so alive and the experience so wholesome. Well, not so wholesome at midnight, where a lot of NSFW role-playing occurs. I also quickly found out that the lively community is also outrageously encouraging and patient, especially to new players. In dungeons and raids, veteran players often provide tips on how to tackle a certain boss fight or mechanic. Even if you mess up and cause the party to wipe, you should never worry about being kicked (in contrast to “World of Warcraft”), because they understand what it’s like to go through the game for the first time. There are always toxic players, of course, but they are so few and far between that the experience remains overwhelmingly positive. Some players even go above and beyond to help, which is absolutely mind-blowing. I made a “group finder” once, looking for people to do a high difficulty raid with me, and soon someone messaged me offering their help and brought friends along. These wonderful human beings then patiently taught me, a complete noob who was so hopelessly clueless, how to configure the settings for dungeons and raids. When

we were done with the raid, they even offered to help every player in the group who didn’t get the cool, green horse mount, which drops from the boss at random, to get one. They really went through with this, and it took about an hour until we all got one. I think we were so moved by this that the players who got the mount first stuck around to help. I was so moved by this that I told them that “this game’s community is amazing.” That mount remains my favorite one because of this, and it plays the boss theme, which I love, when you ride it. This paragraph is devoted to my guild. I wasn’t sure what it would be like when I got the unsolicited invite, but after spending some time in it, I did feel a sense of belonging and ease chatting and interacting with my guildmates. This was wholly unexpected because when I played “World of Warcraft” in my early teenage years, I never talked to any of the people in my old guild nor anyone really. I just played the game like I would a single-player game. I think the welcoming atmosphere of “FFXIV,” generated by positive players like my guildmates, have enabled me to be more open in these online games. And praise must be given to the guildmaster, who is just like the players I described previously. He goes above and beyond to make everyone in the guild feel welcome. He greets you when you log in; he reminds you to do the latest in-game event before it expires; he frequently of-

fers help on raids and other things and does indeed help; he works with another lovely guidmate to provide items in the guild chest for members to take; and he is always clear that no one should ever feel pressured to do what they’re not comfortable with. He no doubt inspired the other members to be similarly kind and helpful, making the guild a welcoming place. It warms my heart now seeing new blood come in and remark how nice everyone is. It’s a shame that I can’t log in as much as I used to, now that college life is upon us once again. There isn’t enough space for me


to talk about the other aspects of this game like playing as a healer or going through the main story, but hopefully the wonderful community aspect of it has at least piqued your interest. If so, then consider playing the free trial, which includes the entirety of the base game “A Realm Reborn” and the “Heavensward” expansion up to level 60 with no restrictions on playtime! After that, you pay a 15-dollar monthly subscription, though given how hundreds of hours worth of content is already in the trial version, the game might as well be free for newcomers.

Musicals and masks: a night at the 74th Tony Awards special to the hoot

“What we do changes people’s lives. It changes people’s minds. It changes people’s hearts. We can change the world with this, let’s not forget that.” These were the words that concluded the speech made by the tearful Aaron Tveit as he accepted the award for Best Actor in a Musical at the 74th Tony Awards on Sep. 26, 2021. His words show the power of Broadway, and why we are all glad it is back. The last theater season was unfortunately cut short by the pandemic, but the show must go on. With the plays and musicals that were able to premiere in the season, the 74th Tony Awards were able to happen. Nominations were announced on Oct. 15, 2020. Almost a year later, there was an award show, coinciding with Broadway opening back up. With show stopping performances, heart wrenching speeches and the Broadway spirit coming back to life, this was a night to remember. This year, the awards were structured in a way that had not been done before. Instead of one show with all of the awards and performances, there were two shows. The first show was only available on Paramount+, hosted by the incomparable six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald. Most of the awards were given out during this time, along with performances by Broadway stars of famous Broadway songs. After this ceremony, people watched “Broadway’s Back,” hosted by dashing Tony Award winner Leslie Odom Jr. This was available for people

to watch on CBS, as well as Paramount+. During this show, the awards for Best Musical, Best Play and Best Revival of a Play were given out. After that, there were more exciting musical performances, including performances by all of the musicals nominated for Best Musical. While the show was different than normal, it still brought the house down. On the musical side of the awards, only three musicals were competing due to the limited season. There was “Moulin Rouge,” the romantic jukebox musical based on the 2001 film, “Jagged Little Pill,” a story of a family in disarray set to Alanis Morrisette songs and “Tina,” about the life of the iconic Tina Turner. All of these musicals proved successful before the pandemic and were all worthy of nominations. They competed for 13 awards, including the coveted Best Musical. By the end of the night, “Moulin Rouge” was the big winner. Not only did this dazzling show win Best Musical, but it won 10 awards in total. This includes Aaron Tveit for Best Actor, a category where he was the only nominee due to the small number of musicals, and Danny Burstein for Best Supporting Actor. Both of these men were first time winners, and they more than deserved victories. “Moulin Rouge” might have taken control of the night, but the other musicals did not go home empty handed. “Jagged Little Pill” snagged two awards, one for Best Book and one for Best Supporting Actress for Lauren Patten. “Tina” got one award for Best Actress for Adrienne Warren, who plays the titular role. All of the musicals got recognition and people from all

of the shows gave speeches that could make you cry. On the play side, there was more variety in nominations and winners. Eleven plays in total were competing for the awards, with five of them vying for Best Play and three of them aiming for Best Revival of a Play. Best Play ended up going to “The Inheritance,” based on the novel “Howards End” and adapted to showcase the lives and hardships of the contemporary gay community. This gripping play took home four awards in total, including Lois Smith for Best Supporting Actress in a Play, the oldest person to win a Tony Award for acting. Best Revival of a Play was awarded to “A Soldier’s Play,” a play from the 1980s that highlights issues about race that some African American men can relate to. Along with Best Revival, this play took home Best Supporting

Actor in a Play for David Alan Grier. Another big contender in the play categories was “A Christmas Carol,” the classic Christmas story of old Ebenezer Scrooge, which took home five awards, including scenic design and costume design. “The Sound Inside,” a story of a professor’s important friendship with a student, took home the award for Best Actress in a Play for Mary-Louise Parker. Unfortunately, not all of the plays received awards that night. This includes “Slave Play,” a risky tale of interracial relationships, which despite setting the record for most nominations for a play with 12 nominations, did not get a single award. Even though every play didn’t get an award, the saying is true: it is always an honor just to be nominated. If this year’s Tonys were any indication, Broadway has returned in full force. So many spectac-

ular shows were honored this night and the power of theater was felt. From a rousing rendition of “You Can’t Stop the Beat” by many Broadway actors, to energetic medleys from all of the nominated musicals, to a wickedly beautiful duet of “For Good” between Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel, all of the performances brought the house down. Performances always make the ceremony special and this year was no exception. The key to a successful Tony Awards ceremony is joy. Even though the Tonys this year were unconventional and split into two separate shows on separate platforms, there was still a lot of joy to be felt. The last Tony Awards were two years ago, and this one was worth the wait. Here’s to the excitement that next year’s 75th Tony Awards will most certainly bring.


October 8, 2021


The Brandeis Hoot

‘In The Empty’ left us full By Emma Lichtenstein, John Fornagiel and Sasha Skarboviychuk editors

When we all heard that the Brandeis theater was doing a production that would take place in an outdoor tent outside of Spingold Theater, we knew we had to go. Live performances had been gone for so long due to the coronavirus, so we were eager to support our fellow Brandeisians and experience the joy of watching art happen right before our eyes. Additionally, we heard that the play would be about the power of nature and the outdoors, a sentiment that we can all get behind. Though we may have been confused during most of the show, all three of us enjoyed “In The Empty.” Something that we all really appreciated and could not stop talking about was the music and choreography of the film. The most impressive aspect choreography-wise was the way Amber Bartlett ’22 played the white lizard. The mannerisms, footsteps

By Lucy Fay

and even her facial expression expertly mimicked lizards in a way that we didn’t even know was possible. However, the greatness did not stop there: all of the movements of the actors and actresses came together in a thrilling manner that really drove how the scene felt to the audience. Every actor, though, truly seemed to put their entire body into every action, from the turn of their feet to the expressions on their face. Their movements matched as they changed characters, sometimes being more light and airy, sometimes more heavy and large, as required by the tone of the scene. Not only was it incredibly fun to watch the actors dance on stage in sync in an expertly choreographed fashion, but the music behind the dancing was amazing! In particular, we loved the solo by Traveler 1, played by Omer Barash ’25, the music during the Burlesque Airlines Crew number and the music during the butterfly act. John and Sasha agreed that their favorite movement was the airplane one; although they did not exactly understand what was

going on, it was very funny. Flight attendants wishing you a dreadful flight in a cheery voice was just way too relatable to not be noted. Emma’s favorite moment was the final act, a fun butterfly disco. There was a party on stage with dancing and wings and a disco ball and bubble guns. The music was upbeat; it felt like a butterfly rave. As someone who has learned Kieran Whitney’s ’23 choreography twice now (as an orientation leader and as an ensemble member in the 24-hour musical), the moment he got some creative control was clear, and that really added some extra excitement to Emma’s love of that scene. We also appreciated the way the openness of the stage was utilized. The production was performed on a rectangular stage, open in all directions. Chairs were placed all around, but there were no bad seats. The choreography was wonderfully done to make sure actors were engaging with all sides of the audience. We especially liked when actors came off the stage to interact with the crowd. It was a type of creativity that a standard theater or dance production does

not have. One thing that concerned all of us was how cold it was outside (somewhere in the 50s), though most of the cast wore summer clothing. Not only has it been cold these last couple of days, but when they were performing outside, the sun was already down, adding to the chill in the air. We were all in winter jackets and boots and still freezing our butts off. We felt really bad for the cast and hope that they are okay! Perhaps this is because we are not too into theater, but we feel that the overall plot of the play was difficult to understand. To us, it seemed more like a series of stories with different themes than it did one cohesive plot. As a result, we were all very confused throughout the show. Though obvious that there is some grand cohesive metaphorical glue holding every scene together, we were just not theatrically educated enough to figure it out! The fact that there was little dialogue in the performance did not help with our confusion. The characters kept repeating that they were “in the empty” and

“filled with nothingness.” These are very profound concepts—we just wish we knew exactly what they meant. The director’s notes at the front of the playbill read, “‘In The Empty’ is a metaphor for what it was like to be creative during the pandemic … The White Lizard, a mysterious friend and guide, helps them to see how nature sustains itself, and how we, as a part of nature, may also find resilience in times of adversity.” We struggled to find this connection in the performance, but also acknowledge that the three of us know very little about what it is like to be a creative. We commend all the actors— Barbash, Bartlett, Whitney, Ruth King ’24, Anika Hahn ’25 and Alaysia Pens ’23. The show was wonderfully executed. We think director and creator Sheila Bandyopadhyay ’99 had a true vision when making this performance. Though we were sadly unable to comprehend that vision, we can agree that “In The Empty” was entertaining and an exciting way to spend a Friday night. Live theater is back at Brandeis; this was a good celebration.

You should watch ‘Taskmaster (U.K.)’


Alex Horne, a comedian effectively unknown to American audiences, has created the best game show currently on television. “Taskmaster (U.K.),” the first of eight country-specific Taskmasters including a one-season failure based in the U.S., is currently on its 12th series. The show has been gaining a lot of popularity in the U.K., with an average of 2.7 million viewers per episode, but has yet to find much of an audience in America. This is a huge loss for the American public and reveals a much deeper flaw in U.S. TV: our disregard for panel shows. Panel shows are a staple of U.K. television that have no U.S. equivalent of any quality (though some argue they started in the U.S.). The shows generally consist of a wide variety of celebrities, primarily comedians, facing off in a series of games or trivia questions with the winners often winning money for charity or just the pride in outwitting the other contestants. Shows like “QI,” “Would I Lie to You,” ”Mock the Week” and “8 Out of 10 Cats” have all been on the air for close to 20 years, are extremely popular and create a wonderful

platform for standup comedians to grow their audience and hone their craft. Still, there are plenty of reasons panel shows are not part of American television: there is no universal American humor; our competition shows are largely individualistic and overly intense. “Chopped” and “The Great British Baking Show,” for example, are true opposites not just in how competitive the contestants are but in how the shows are edited to create tension. American and British comics also banter in extremely different ways stemming from deeply rooted culturally divergent outlooks. In the simplest sense, the British are more self-deprecating, sarcastic and cynical while Americans tend to be optimistic, encouraging and straightforward. Thus a television formula honed by the British will rarely work remade by Americans. With this said, we as a country should not make our own spin on panel shows but instead, embrace the brilliantly made ones coming out of the U.K., specifically “Taskmaster,” the best panel show. The majority of shows in the genre are a group of people sitting behind desks talking and answering questions. “Taskmaster” shows five comedians watch themselves


do tasks they completed weeks earlier and then be judged by the Taskmaster (Greg Davies). The


task may be anything from making the tastiest cocktail as quietly as possible, to creating a video for a nursery rhyme, to giving little Alex Horne a special cuddle. Each of the contestants does every task, and whoever the Taskmaster deems superior wins that round. Each series of “Taskmaster” is, in slightly facetious words, an emotional journey. Our only recurring “characters” are the Taskmaster and his assistant, little Alex Horne, the brain behind the show as well as its punching bag. The five contestants change each series and whether you come into the new series knowing every single panelist or not having the faintest clue as to who any of them are, you will grow to know and appreciate every single one for the unique personality they bring to the show. But this makes the first episode of the next series a bit of a drag. Right after all the panelists have established themselves as individual characters as well as a group with a particular dynamic, these comics are ripped

out from under you and replaced with a new set of strangers. This sounds dramatic, and it is, but after an incredible series (my personal favorites are four and seven), it can take a few episodes to adjust to the new group who often starts slightly disjointedly. Within an episode or two though, every season finds its stride. There are fun tasks, likable panelists and the Taskmaster and little Alex Horne’s relationship is always adorable and hilarious. It always feels necessary to provide some sort of warning when recommending a British show because they have a distinct sense of humor and it does not appeal to all audiences. “Taskmaster,” for the most part, defies the limits of its very British sensibility by containing a wide variety of comedic styles that anyone can enjoy. Plus, the first nine series, as well as shorter clips, can be found on YouTube. Give the show a try and learn if the large genre of British panel shows is up your alley.


The Brandeis Hoot

October 8, 2021

‘The Chair’ elegantly delves into the complexities of 21st century college problems By Caroline O editor

There are quite a few shows that explore high school or college student life, but not a whole ton that really cover that of professors and, more specifically, department chairs. The recently released Netflix series “The Chair” takes a stab at this new perspective by following the hectic life of Ji Yoon Kim (Sandra Oh), the first woman— and certainly woman of color—to be the English Department Chair at Pembroke University. Although this new position is a huge honor, both Ji Yoon and the audience learn that holding this position comes with more problems than it might have had on the label. There’s the fact that almost all of the remaining professors in the English department are old white men with old-fashioned ways. Then, there’s the fact that recently widowed Professor Bill Dobson (Jay Duplass) is one badly-timed comment away from being fired and that the only other faculty of color Yaz McKay (Nana Mensah) does not get the recognition she deserves. In short, Ji Yoon has, what she accurately describes “a ticking time bomb” of a department in her hands. Despite the chaos of all the mentioned storylines, “The Chair” somehow manages to address the issues of racism, misog-

yny and even ageism all within the short span of six 30-minute long episodes. Because of that, this show goes to prove that discussing these kinds of issues doesn’t require long, heavy-handed lectures about why racism or sexism sucks—everything is done with a quiet intellect and subtlety, as well as genuine respect for how deeply these issues run. One of the clearer examples of this is in how Ji Yoon struggles against upper administration, specifically Dean Larson (David Morse) in helping secure tenure for Yaz. Very much like real life, there’s no explicit gesture of racism—Dean Larson and the other old white farts of the English department never come out and say that they disapprove of Yaz moving up in faculty, but they coincidentally never respect her either. For example, when Ji Yoon puts up Yaz for Distinguished Lecturer, she finds out from Dean Larson much later that a donor wanted to put up someone else for the lecturer instead—David Duchovny, of all people (who, yes, plays as himself in this show). Ji Yoon points out that Yaz is much more qualified, but her attempts to push her colleague into the spotlight effectively go ignored. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what’s going on here, and the point only clarifies itself when upset students of color march up to Ji Yoon with their own demands in securing a better


role for Yaz. But that’s only one specific instance of how the show goes into a matter as difficult as racism within academia. There’s the matter of misogyny on all levels within this show, and like the way “The Chair” deals with racism, there’s nothing particularly didactic about the way it goes about demonstrating how misogyny harms faculty members. The most telling detail of this show perhaps presents itself in the story following Joan Hambling (Holland Taylor), a senior faculty member.


After nearly thirty years of teaching at Pembroke University, she finally loses patience with the way she’s been treated by the school when her office is moved to the basement, a problem her senior male colleagues do not have to deal with. Joan is by no means a perfect character—to be honest, I didn’t really like her, mostly because she outright shames the Title IX officer for wearing shorts— but she’s a sympathetic character. If anything, this specific storyline shows how women don’t necessarily have to be perfect, socially woke beings to still want or deserve some modicum of respect in a misogynistic society. Joan’s old, so that means she’s stuck with some old ideas of what counts as misogynistic behavior and what doesn’t. The audience gets a brief glimpse of just how much she must have kept quiet when she explodes, “I want someone to acknowledge what happened.” It’s moments like these that show how deeply these issues run within the institution, and it makes the audience wonder exactly how much pride certain faculty members—especially female faculty members, as well as faculty of color—have to swallow in order to hold onto a position or just make their own lives easier. However, while all of these topics are heavy, another gem of “The Chair’’ is that it balances out all of these complicated topics with some more personal slice-of-life stories from Ji Yoon’s personal life. One of them involves the matter of her complicated relationship with her adopted daughter Ju Ju, who, unlike her mother, isn’t Korean. This doesn’t stop Ji Yoon or Ju Ju’s grandfather (Ji Yong Lee) from speaking Korean or bringing Ju Ju to their extended fami-

‘Campus Life’ Comic

ly’s very Korean celebrations, but there are some struggles there. Ji Yoon obviously wants to be a good mother, and Ju Ju, as just a little kid, struggles on her own with being told that Ji Yoon isn’t her “real mom” and all that other hurtful nonsense that outsiders feel the need to inflict on an adopted child. All of this on top of Ji Yoon’s attempts to balance out her life with Ju Ju and her life as a department chair make for a chaotic mix, but there are sweeter moments: Ji Yoon’s teasing but meaningful relationship with her colleague Bill, her colleague Bill’s parental relationship with Ju Ju and Ju Ju’s eventual speaking Korean to her mother by the end of the series. Because of all of these different dynamics, Ji Yoon feels like a real person. In the end, I think that’s what gets at the heart of the show— that these are supposed to be real problems happening to real people. None of the mentioned problems are deemed trivial, and they’re certainly not simple issues that can be solved by grandiose “don’t be a racist, misogynistic jerk” speeches that television shows sometimes like to pretend work as a solution. There’s a lot to unpack, and sometimes unpacking takes a lot of time and patience, and sometimes it doesn’t feel like anyone’s moving in the right direction. “The Chair” isn’t afraid to back down from admitting to that—this show willingly admits that these things are hard, and sometimes the only thing we can do is at least try our best.

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