The Brandeis Hoot 01/31/2020

Page 1

Volume 17 Issue 4

“To acquire wisdom, one must observe”

January 31, 2020

Brandeis University’s Community Newspaper · Waltham, Mass.

Student’s parents treat the novel Coronavirus By Rachel Saal editor

CGES hosted a 9.5 hour documentary screening in honor of International Holocaust Rememberance Day. More in NEWS, page 2. SHOAH VIEWING


Vee Zhu ’22, whose parents work at a military hospital in Wuhan, China, and have been treating patients infected with the 2019-novel Coronavirus, (2019nCOv), said that she and other students from China have supported each other since they found out that Wuhan was on lockdown. “I have friends who also come from China and Wuhan, and we’ve been crying together,” Zhu told The Brandeis Hoot. “We’ve been sharing information and encouraging each other. It’s really been a tough time.” Zhu said that she knows

of about 10 students who have family living in Wuhan. She said that those who were back at Brandeis received news of the city being on lockdown at 3 p.m. on Jan. 23, but, since it was 2 a.m. in China, many of her family and friends were asleep, so they could not speak. Zhu said that she was only in Wuhan during winter break from Jan. 7 through Jan. 9. Zhu’s parents work at General Hospital of the Central Theater Command of the People’s Liberation Army in Wuhan, China. They told her that they would not be treating coronavirus, but after she noticed See VIRUS, page 4

Senate Allocations Board and Judiciary fills seats in special election By Victoria Morrongiello and Tim Dillon editors

The Student Union filled nine seats in the Winter 2020 elections. A total of 503 students voted in the election. One of two candidates running for the position of Midyear Senator, Michelle Kleytman ’23, won

the position with 35 votes. Kleytman said her main priority as Midyear Senator is to give a voice to the midyear students to ensure an equal amount of representation as the other classes. “I know what it means to represent a diverse body and encapsulate their views,” said Kleytman in an interview with The Brandeis Hoot. Kleytman has worked in civil service on the local, state and federal level. Kleytman has also

held the position as campaign coordinator for Josh Becker in his campaign for state senator. “I think that this is even more personal than [the] local [level of government] because this is where change really happens. If I can be as available as possible to the midyear class, then that’s when most of the change is going to occur.” One of six candidates running for the Judiciary Board Associ-

ate Justice, Sophia Reiss ’23, has won the position with 116 votes and just over 23 percent of the votes. “I am passionate about working to make the world a fairer place and I’ve had experience in high school on a similar council,” Reiss wrote in an email to The Hoot. Reiss was a member of the Disciplinary Council in high school which advised the administration

on rule infractions and appropriate disciplinary actions. She said that the council gave her the opportunity to learn how to work collaboratively to find creative resolutions to disputes. According to Reiss, she is actively involved in Hillel, Masorti, the conservative minyan and the Brandeis Women’s Football Club. See UNION, page 4

Neighborhoods are important to child development, study finds By Sabrina Chow and Hannah Pedersen editor and special to the hoot

The neighborhood that a child grows up in matters for a child’s health and development, according to a new study published through The Heller School for Social Policy and Management, in collaboration with The study says that living in certain neighborhoods not only affects health and education in a child’s youth, but also their future outcomes. Neighborhoods influence a variety of aspects of our daily life, according to the study. This includes the amount of green space that we can interact with, the type of food that we eat, including its cost, the quality of schools, the amount of pollution and the qual-

Inside This Issue:

ity of water. The study utilizes the Child Opportunity Index (COI) 2.0, an updated version of the original COI that was released in 2014. The Child Opportunity Index is “an index of neighborhood resources and conditions that help children develop in a healthy way,” according to an article by Diversity Data Kids. The index combines data from 29 different neighborhood-level indicators into a single composite measure. These indicators cover three major domains: education, health and environment and social and economic factors. This is also the first single consistent metric of contemporary child neighborhood opportunity in the country, and provides a national coverage of data, covering around 72,000 See CHILD, page 5

News: Worldwide ‘Shoah’ screening. Ops: Non-varsity athletes matter, too. Features: Day in the life at PARC Sports: Track and field team shine at BU, MIT. Editorial: Stop deferred maintanence.



Page 2 in peace to a basketPage 12 Rest ball legend. Page 9 Page 7 SPORTS: PAGE 6 Page 8

Tree Check out this Sequoia tree. ARTS: PAGE 16


2 The Brandeis Hoot

January 31, 2020

Brandeis screens documentary for Holocaust Rememberance Day By Caroline O special to the hoot

In honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day and the 75th anniversary of the Auschwitz Liberation, the Center for German and European Studies hosted the Boston area screening of the Goethe Institut’s worldwide screening of the 9 1/2 hour documentary “Shoah” in Wasserman Cintematique on Tuesday. The screening started at 10 a.m. and ended at 9 p.m. with three breaks in between. People were able to enter and leave the documentary at any time they wished, but after the documentary ended, a number of audience members shared that they had been in the cinema for the whole film. After the documentary, Professor Sabine von Mering (GRALL/ENVS/ WGS) moderated a post-screening reflection with Professor Sharon Rivo (NEJS), Professor Thomas Doherty (AMST) and Executive Adviser of Graduate Student Affairs Cheyenne Paris (NEJS). Directed by Claude Lanzmann, “Shoah” was released in 1985 after nearly 11 years in the making. When the documentary was first released, reviewers initially claimed that it would die in the box office, according to Rivo. “Shoah” would later surprise those same reviewers when the film ultimately booked over

two million and was later distributed by New Yorker Films. “In those days, if something like this happened, you couldn’t expect to get it on Blu-ray or Netflix,” Doherty said. “This was a real event.” According to Rivo, the documentary’s success could also be explained by the fact that it “had tremendous impact on opening to a new generation the story of the Holocaust.” “Shoah” relies solely on the interviews of survivors and perpetrators of the Holocaust. Audience members are pulled into the stories of Chelmno and Auschwitz, of Treblinka and the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. When the documentary was first released, papers such as The New York Times caught on to how “Shoah” was not like “the conventional documentary composed of newsreel footage.” As a result, Lanzmann “respooled that [Holocaust] footage…to give a different kind of historical experience,” Doherty said. “There’s no way [Shoah] should be cut,” Rivo said when an audience member asked if there could be a way to shorten the documentary. “It’s not the same as watching it on television, watching it on the VCR….It holds this incredible power of people [Lanzmann] has found for us…speaking in a way of both emotion as well as information as well as history, which is really what the [documentary] is all about.” Von Mering also said

that “Shoah” presents the story “in ways that you just realize… there’s so much more to tell.” Besides providing information and history, however, “Shoah” gives the audience a way to “talk about [the Holocaust] and continue these conversations by showing movies that bring this information in a responsible way,” said Paris. Rivo and Paris both said that there was an assortment of good fiction that introduced the conversation of the Holocaust to new generations, but Paris also said that it’s important to “make sure we don’t just stop at one story.” Even after the discussion panel ended, a number of audience members talked with one another to share extra resources on how to delve deeper into the history of the Holocaust, and further recommendations of Lanzmann’s other documentaries—which were actually made up of the unused footage of “Shoah”—were also shared. In addition to the Goethe Institut and the Center for German and European Studies, the “Shoah” screening was also co-sponsored by the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies; the Department of German, Russian, and Asian Languages and Literature; the Department of English; the Brandeis International Business School and the National Center for Jewish Film, among many others.

IN THE SENATE: Jan. 26, 2020 •

The Senate passed a resolution proposed by Executive Senator Scott Halper ’20 which moved the selection of committee chairs to after the conclusion of the election cycle. Halper said the intention was to allow newly elected senators to become committee chairs. The resolution was voted on by affirmation and passed unanimously. Vice President Kendal Chapman ’22 announced that since no one had run to be Senator for the Ziv/Ridgewood Quad, or Senator for the Class of 2021, those seats would become community senator seats, for which anyone could run in a future election. The Senate considered but did not vote on a resolution which would define a quorum as more than 50 percent of the voting body present. Chapman said the intention was to avoid repeating a past incident when the Senate was mistaken about the result of one of its votes. Several senators objected, raising concerns about the threshold being too low. The Senate ultimately decided to discuss the amendment further in committee and return to it at their next meeting. The final resolution the Senate considered was a Senate Money Resolution (SMR) which would provide funding for snacks for Senate meetings. Chapman said the intention of this was to increase public attendance at Senate meetings. Some senators raised concerns about whether the bill, which allocates just under $50, would provide enough snacks for the Senate for the semester. Chapman responded to this criticism by saying that this was a snack, not a meal, and that snacks would be rationed so that they would not run out. There was some debate about whether the selections of assorted chocolates could be replaced with M&Ms, however this was decided against for price reasons. Concerns about airborne nut allergies lead to the chocolates, some of which had nuts in them, being replaced with Hershey’s Kisses. The resolution was voted for acclamation, and passed unanimously, though Senator for the Foster Mods Quad Trevor Filseth ’20 was out of the room at the time. Halper acknowledged that he remains in charge of the Rules Committee, despite saying that he would step down from that position during his campaign for Executive Senator. He said he would retain the position until someone else replaced him. The Senate discussed a proposal which Chapman said had already been approved by the Department of Student Life and the Dean’s Office which would enter students into a raffle to win $50 each week if they registered their parties. According to Chapman, this was a policy which had existed in the past, but which is not currently in operation. The stated intention was to make sure parties are registered. Several senators raised the possibility that this money could be used to fund the purchase of alcohol, and suggested that it be ensured that this does not happen. The possibility of the university compensating students after the party when presented with a receipt was raised, so as to avoid the money being directly used on alcohol. Chapman said that she was in talks with the Executive Board about getting additional calendar days off, including the Lunar New Year. -Tim Dillon


Cause of water leak by Usdan and Goldfarb found By Rachel Saal editor

The cause of the water leak that was detected near Usdan, the library and Pearlman Hall was found on Tuesday, Vice President of Campus Operations Lois Stanley told The Hoot in an email. Stanley said that no more construction will take place. “The repair that took place on Tuesday—placement of a large clamp over the water main pipe—

is permanent,” Stanley wrote in an email to The Hoot. “On Tuesday, our contractor, PW Ryan Co., excavated about 6 feet down in this area and discovered one crack in the water main pipe.” The break was in the water main pipe serving Usdan, Goldfarb, Farber and Pearlman located under the sidewalk between the side entry to Goldfarb and the main entry to Usdan Dining, according to Stanley. “Fortunately, the effects were minimal and relatively short in

duration. There was water puddling in the area of the leak from Monday morning until mid-day on Tuesday. Facilities Services closed off the walkways so that the crew and vehicles needed for the repair could work a safe distance from pedestrians.” The construction blocked the east entry to Goldfarb Library, one of the west entrances to Usdan and the sidewalk between Usdan and Goldfarb. Stanley said that the Grounds Crew noticed the issue on Mon-

day when the ground in that area was unusually wet and subsequently noticed the puddling of water. Stanley emailed the Brandeis community on Monday to notify it of the break and following investigation. “Facilities Services was on site through the day investigating the extent and cause of the leak. Exploratory work will continue on Tuesday,” she said in Monday’s email. “Please take care to observe

signs cordoning off areas that are part of that work. We will update you about any impact repair work may have on campus facilities.” She said that they needed to prepare for various scenarios that could have been anything from simple to “complex situations that may have required water to be shut off to the four serviced buildings.” Stanley said that Associate Director of Campus Services Joe Realejo, his Grounds Crew and the rest of Facilities Services had a thorough response on Monday.

January 31, 2020


The Brandeis Hoot

Emirati sultan lectures about modern Middle Eastern art

By Emma Lichtenstein editor

Sultan Sooud al Qassemi, Emirati commentator on Arab affairs and a member of the Sharjah ruling family, who teaches at Boston College, discussed influential pieces of Middle Eastern art and their political undertones on Jan. 22 in Schwartz Hall 103. Al Qassemi, an “an art lover and art collector,” started the lecture by displaying a painting of the Israeli war for independence by a Polish man, Moshe Bernstein, on a screen behind him. He contrasted it with another piece depicting Israel, this time showing the joy of the Sabbath. This work by Yohanan Simon was from around the same year as the Bernstein piece, but the art styles are completely different, he said. He added a third piece into the mix, an Aharon Kahana painting in mostly white and blue, again from the same time as the other works shown. Al Qassemi showed how the same country or situation can be painted in many different ways with many different styles. He said that it would take about 30 years for Israel to create a coher-

ent, common art style. He then showed pieces depicting the other side of the outcome of the war. While the first paintings showed Israel in victory, the next ones he displayed were about the defeat of Palestine, and the struggles that this new country brought to the Middle East. The talk transitioned to work showing support for the Palestinian revolution in the 1980s. He showed work from Iran, a big supporter of Palestine, according to the presentation. Al Qassemi noted that the posters he was showing were from during the Iranian-Iraqi war. “Can you imagine,” he asks, “even during the war, the Iranians were standing in solidarity with the Palestinians.” Following this showcase was a presentation on solidarity with Algeria during its war of independence against France. While talking about African art, al Qassemi focused specifically on Egypt, telling the story of Inji Efflatoun. She grew up a sheltered girl until she was introduced to Kamel El Telmissany, a communist radicalist. Under his influence, she too became radicalized and started a branch for women


in the communist party and became a feminist activist. “What a rockstar,” said al Qassemi, describing her. He then moved on to profile another artist he loves, Kadhim Haydar. He “stood at the nexus of intellectualism… he was a poet, he was a writer, he was a journalist, he was an artist, he was a playwright… but he was also a political activist.” Al Qassemi explained how Haydar would hide his political intentions in his artwork so viewers would have to search for them.

Next was a discussion on American friends of the Middle East. According to the sultan, Kermit Roosevelt, who led the CIA’s Middle East division during the Eisenhower administration and subsequently removed the head of a democratic nation in the Middle East, was the first one to launch the idea of funding Middle Eastern art. He ended the lecture with quick talks on Nassar, calling him a beloved Egyptian president, and the Iran-Iraq war. The sultan joked that it’s basically impossible to find a bad painting of him. When

discussing the war, he showed posters from both countries. “The Iranians were much better than the Arabs and the Iraqis with posters.” This event was hosted by the Crown Center for Middle East Studies, the Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies Program, the Department of Politics, the Department of Fine Arts and the Rose Art Museum. Editor’s note: This article was written based on a recorded video of the original lecture. It is possible that moments of the lecture were edited out of the video.

Women’s suffrage teach-in celebrates centennial of 19th amendment By Victoria Morrongiello editor

Various female speakers presented the history of women’s suffrage in a teach-in hosted in the Alumni Lounge on Thursday to celebrate the centennial of the passage of the 19th Amendment. “The right to vote has a very contentious history, not just a contentious present,” said Professor Karen Hansen of the Sociology and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies departments. The focus of the event was women’s suffrage and the years leading up to the passage of the 19th Amendment, said Hansen in her introduction. The teach-in was divided into four presentations, which detailed component parts of the journey to gain suffrage. The ending of each presen-

tation was marked by a reading of a speech from each period on the journey of women’s suffrage that was being discussed, according to the agenda given to the audience created by the co-sponsors of the event. The first speaker, Anja Parish, a Ph.D. student from the Department of Politics, spoke of the beginnings of suffrage and the political alliances that were formed at the time. Parish noted that the beginnings of suffrage extend as far back as 1776 with Abigail Adams in a correspondence with her husband, John Adams—one of the founding fathers of the United States. Adams wrote to her husband asking that he “remember the ladies” while he helped create the new nation. According to Parish, however, suffrage for women would not come for nearly 144 years, and it came after many political moves.

Parish broke down the amount of work suffrage required in her presentation, with 56 campaigns of referendums from male voters; 480 campaigns to legislatures to submit suffrage amendments to voters; 47 campaigns to state legislatures to get state level suffrage; 277 campaigns to state party conventions to make women’s suffrage a platform; 30 campaigns to presidential party conventions and 19 campaigns to 19 successive congresses. Parish acknowledged how it is a common belief that women’s suffrage began in 1848 with the Seneca Falls convention—however, she notes that the movement’s roots can actually be traced back even further. The suffrage movement, according to Parish, was influenced by other social reform movements in the 1830s, such as abolitionism and the temperance movement. Toward the end of the 19th century, third parties like the Populists and the Progressive Party endorsed the suffrage movement, according to Parish, because helping women would help improve social conditions. Parish ended with the reading of the “Declaration of Sentiments,” which was signed by attendees of the Seneca Falls Convention of 1848. The next speaker was Theo Tyson, a guest from the Boston Athenaeum who curated an installation called Anti-Suffrage. In her presentation, Tyson focused on the Anti-Suffragist Movement and the intersectionality of class, race and gender. Tyson noted that at this time there was a political priority which forced people to “choose a side.” Activists had to prioritize whether they were to support recently emancipated men of color in their


right to vote or to focus on women’s rights, according to Tyson. In the interest of political progress in the United States, it was decided to focus on the rights of recently emancipated men of color, said Tyson. Women took a backseat at this point, making race and gender polarizing in the movement, according to Tyson. She said support for the women’s suffrage movement became conditional and it was no longer women’s suffrage but instead it became white, wealthy, well-educated, married, mother’s suffrage. This lessened the universality of the movement, according to Tyson, and equality between women. Traditionalists were only semi-accepting of the idea of women’s suffrage as long as they were “properly domesticated,’’ said Tyson. The next speakers spoke of the later half of the suffrage movement closer to the passage of the 19th Amendment. Despite having gained suffrage, people in the audience noted that many of the

grievances women in the suffrage movement brought attention to are still a problem today—such as the unequal pay between sexes. The event was set up as a teachin—an extended meeting usually held on a college campus for lectures, debates and discussions to raise awareness of or express a position on a social or political issue, Hasen explained through a definition from Merriam Webster. This set-up allowed those in attendance to come and go as their schedule permitted, said Hansen. The event was co-sponsored by many cross-disciplinary groups across the university including the Women’s Research Study Center; Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program (WGS); the History department; the Politics department, the American Studies Program; the Sociology department and the Hadassah Brandeis Institute. There was a table set up at the event where attendees were encouraged to register to vote if they were not registered already.


The Brandeis Hoot

January 31, 2020

Union fills nine empty election seats in winter elections UNION, from page 1

Jasmyne Jean-Remy ’22 won the Racial Minority Senator position with 121 votes and over 66 percent of the votes, running unopposed. In an interview with The Hoot, Jean-Remy said that she wants to focus on “being a voice for the clubs which represent minority groups on campus,” saying that she “[understands] how hard it is to get money from A Board and approval for events” and that she wants to make that easier for them. She also said that she wants to place an emphasis on minority STEM students because, she says, as a STEM student herself, she understands “how alienating it is to be one of the few people who are like you in the class.” She said that she wants to “bring the community together to make it easier.” Jean-Remy has not had any experience in student government, though she is a Posse Scholar, which is given to students with leadership potential in their communities. In light of her victory she told The Hoot that she “will do everything she can to make

minorities feel at home on campus.” Aria Pradhan ’21 ran unopposed for the Allocations Board Member for Racial Minority Students. Pradhan received 115 of the 181 votes, or 63.54 percent of the votes. The two winners of the Allocations Board Member three-semester seat are Sonali Anderson ’22 and Ryan Pyatesky ’22, running uncontested. Anderson received 210 of the 525 votes, or exactly 40 percent of the votes, whereas Pyatesky received 172 of the votes, or over 32 percent. The Hoot reached out to Anderson and Pyatesky, but they did not respond. One of the three candidates for the Class of 2023 Senator, Oona Wood ‘23, was elected with 71 of the 212 votes. Wood said as 2023 Class Senator, she is aiming to create platforms “where the three largest minority groups on campus can be highlighted at a very Jewish school.” She wants to organize three events on campus partnering with the Chinese Cultural Connection, SAS and the Muslim Student Association.

Wood said that she’s proven that she’s willing to work for things that she and others want, citing the process of founding the Model United Nations Club on Campus. She had experience as the Secretary General and founder of the Model UN Club at her high school and she served as a prefect in her school’s student government. At Brandeis, Wood had been the Social Justice Coordinator for Brandeis Reform Chavurah and she is an asylum representative for The Right to Immigration Institute (TRII). In light of her victory, Wood thanked the student body “for entrusting [her] with this honor.” Two of the five candidates won the two Allocations Board one year seats, Mariya Teslya ’22 and Yonah Schafner ’22. Schafner won the race with 144 votes, followed by Teslya with 98 votes. The Hoot reached out to Teslya for an interview, however she was unable to attend her interview due to scheduling conflicts. Schafner was also reached out to for an interview, but he did not respond.

The winner of The Myra Kraft Transitional Year Program Senator is Erick Comas Hernandez ’23, he ran unopposed. Hernandez received both votes casted. Hernandez said that he was running on a platform of getting “better quality toilet paper on campus.” He said that he was running for three reasons—no one else in the program was running, he was interested in learning how the Union works and he wanted to do a better job than his predecessor. Hernandez wants to give more opportunities to the people he’s representing to allow them to get more involved. Hernadez has had experience working with Young Voices, which he said is a program for youth advocacy. Through this program he was able to help with fundraising as well as work to combat gun violence. In light of his victory, he said he “[looks] forward to bringing more inclusion and diversity to the Student Union.” Senator for the Class of 2022 Senator position was won by Joshua Feld ’22, who ran uncontested, with 107 votes.

As Senator for the Class of 2022, Feld wants to focus on the issues with dining, facilities housing and transfer credits. He said that he wants to address the concerns of sophomores with their housing experiences. Feld has had leadership positions as the Non-Senate Co-Chair of the Student Union Dining Committee and the Co-Chair of the Logistics Committee of Relay for Life on campus. He is also currently employed by the New York State Department of Education as a teacher’s assistant in special education classrooms. Feld is looking forward to working with everybody, and wants the class of 2022 to feel free to reach out to him at any time. One of two candidates running for the Senator at Large seat, Alex Park ’22, won the position. Park received 165 votes and over 32 percent of the total vote, beating out Denezia Fahie ’22, who received 158 votes and over 31 percent of the total vote. The Hoot reached out to Park for an interview, but there was no response.

Student’s family treats coronavirus, trapped in Wuhan VIRUS, from page 1

that they were not responding to her messages during the Lunar New Year, she looked online and read that General Hospital of the Central Theater Command of the People’s Liberation Army is being used specifically to treat the coronavirus. She said that people with other serious illnesses have been transferred out of the hospital to treat all of the people who are coming in who are infected with the virus. She said that before the virus broke out, there were roughly 300 beds in the hospital, but 500 additional beds have now been added. As of Thursday night, the number of deaths in China had reached 213, and there are confirmed infections near ten

thousand, according to The New York Times. The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday that the new coronavirus outbreak was a global health emergency. The outbreak began in Wuhan at a market selling live poultry, seafood and wild animals. The viruses can cause illnesses of the respiratory tract, ranging from the common cold to dangerous conditions like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS, which broke out in 2003, according to The New York Times.Zhu said that she thinks that the reason that everyone is so worried is because it is so contagious, and, because so many people were leaving Wuhan, there is concern that it will spread even more. Many Chinese newspapers are

telling people to wear face masks at all times, according to Zhu. She said that she feels like the international students from China are in a “bubble,” reading and worrying about the spread of the virus everyday while other students don’t seem concerned. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending that healthcare workers wear masks and treat it like an airborne pathogen, since it is unknown how the disease is spread.“While you may see headlines about coronavirus in the news, it is important to note that there are currently no identified cases of infection in Massachusetts,” an email from the Brandeis Health Center on Jan. 23 read. “Additionally, it is the cold


and flu season, when other viruses are common and may have similar symptoms.” On Thursday, the Health

Center sent out an email to the Brandeis community notifying them that the WHO had declared a global health emergency.

Cyberattack causes campus-wide network outage By Sabrina Chow editor

The recent campus-wide network was caused by a cyberattack, Chief Information Officer Jim La Creta wrote to the Brandeis community 12 hours after the attack began. The Brandeis community was officially notified of the outage just after 4 p.m., even though Information Technology Services (ITS) began noticing issues at 12 p.m. The first email explained that the main issue with the network was the campus firewall. “A firewall is the underlying technical backbone of the campus network that manages data or internet traffic,” according to the email. Another email sent by La Creta at 9 p.m. confirmed that all Information Technology (IT) resources had been restored to the universi-


ty. “We identified the source of the outage as an ‘attack’ that flooded and prevented data to flow to and from the campus network.” The email added that affected systems on campus included “logging into the network, utilizing wireless, Latte, Library systems and other

key campus systems.” Andrea Bolduc ’21 told The Brandeis Hoot that the outage did not inconvenience her too much in completing her work, but found “it was tough to receive communications about the WiFi via email since I couldn’t access

Gmail.” The cyberattack was later specified to be a denial-of-service attack on a single machine on campus, wrote La Creta, Chief Information Security Officer David Albrecht and Associate Director of Change Management and Stra-

tegic Communications Christine Jacinto, in a statement to The Brandeis Hoot. A denial-of-service attack “is a cyberattack where there is an attempt to overload the target… with superfluous requests for information,” Jacinto wrote in an email to The Hoot. “As a result, the network was overloaded causing the network to crash and blocking access to various campus IT services and systems.” The statement added that multiple people were brought onto campus to help resolve the issue, including the firewall vendor, to help identify the source of the attack. Jacinto did not provide specifics on the campus firewall vendor due to “security reasons.” ITS is currently conducting an investigation to determine the cause of the attack and said in their statement that the formal investigation will take a few weeks to complete.

January 31, 2020


The Brandeis Hoot

COI ranks neighborhoods around the country CHILD, from page 1

neighborhoods around the United States and 67 percent of children that live in the United States. The child opportunity score is a metric from one to 100 that ranked all 72,000 neighborhoods in the U.S. according to their child opportunity. “The Child Opportunity Score for a given metro area summarizes the neighborhood opportunity experienced by the typical child in that metro and allows us to make comparisons between metro areas,” according to the report. The new report highlights the importance of neighborhoods for children. “Research shows that poor children who live in higher opportunity neighborhoods have lower stress levels than poor children in low-opportunity neighborhoods,” writes the study. Neighborhoods where local schools have higher graduation rates or a large proportion of adults with college degrees instill in children the message that “education is valued and attainable,” the study writes. The study also found that the neighborhood where a child grows up also has long-term effects such as health, life expectancy and income as adults. The study also found that there was a geographic pattern to child opportunity across the United States, with children living in metropolitan areas in the southern part of the United States having lower opportunity than those that lived in the northern area. In particular, the Plains states and New England had the highest-opportunity metropolitan cities. Bakersfield, CA received the lowest child opportunity score out of the 100 cities that were analyzed, with a score of 20, according to the study, while Madison,

WI, was the best place for children, with a score of 83. Four out of the five lowest-scoring cities were in California. 21 percent of families in Bakersfield live in poverty, the study found, “which means limited economic resources for families to invest in their children’s wellbeing.” On the other hand, only nine percent of families in Madison live in poverty. The school environment in Bakersfield was also found to be more difficult than in Madison. “In the public school of the typical child, 24 percent of teachers have less than three years of teaching experience, which makes it difficult for schools to address the challenges that many students face coming from families that live in poverty,” writes the report. “In contrast, in Madison, only 10 percent of teachers have limited experience.” Professor Richard Gearhart, an assistant professor of Economics at California State University, Bakersfield (CSUB), was surprised to see that Bakersfield was ranked last. “Though I expected Bakersfield to be lower than average (perhaps even in the lowest quartile), dead last is a bit hard to correlate with a number of recent indicators that we have seen,” Gearhart wrote to The Hoot in an email. One such indicator cited by Gearhard is that the “value-added” of CSUB is one of the top in the country. Gearhart wrote in a comment to The Bakersfield Californian that the Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which was used in the study to determine child opportunity scores, are not always the most accurate way to collect data. “An MSA is a geographical region with a relatively high population density at its core (urban center) and close economic ties throughout the area,” he wrote

to The Hoot. “It’s a standard unit of measurement because (other than individual data, which can be hard, or impossible, to collect), it is one of the smaller units that is consistently measured for a variety of social, demographic and economic indicators on a consistent basis.” Gearhart further explained that one of the major issues with an MSA is that it can include areas that do not have strong ties to the core city. In the Bakersfield MSA, residents live in Kern County, which is split into “East Kern” and “West Kern,” which are separated by a mountain range. Gearhart explained that “East Kern” was supported by an air force base, while “West Kern” had oil and agriculture. “We are over two standard deviations higher than the mean total area and two standard deviations smaller than population or housing units per square miles,” Gearhart added. “What this suggests is that there are considerable geographical explanations for lack of access (or educational inadequacies) related to location choice, rather than standard models which suggest other, economic, barriers to care.” Gearhart’s biggest issue with the study is that money follows the research. “There are some areas that these insights can help: school funding, identifying neighborhoods that need additional educational resources, etc.,” he explained. “But, it misses some of the geographical and population constraints that can’t be changed.” When asked about her thoughts on some of the topics that Gearhart brought up in his article, Professor Dolores Acevado-Garcia (HS), one of the main researchers on this study, told The Hoot in an interview that Gearhart was missing the main findings and points of the study.

Acevado-Garcia explained that although the points about geographical and population constraints in cities across the country are noteworthy, the main purpose of this study was to show the public the amount of differences and disparities within each city that a child would experience and how that would affect how he or she grows up. The researchers knew that there are very different opportunities in Boston, MA, than in El Paso, TX; however, they determined that this was because of the amount of economic development that is present in each area. And while this information is very important and has a larger societal impact, they did not want to emphasize this in their findings. When conducting their research, the researchers’ main lens and finding was that inequality is higher in smaller areas. Places such as Hartford, CT, Detroit, MI and Rochester, NY have the biggest divides in the percentage of people living in high-opportunity neighborhoods compared to those living in low-opportunity neighborhoods. “This person [referring to Gearhart], I’m almost sure that they were just very agitated and obviously wouldn’t understand because this is a very emotional topic, right,” Acevado-Garcia told The Hoot. “If you’re in Bakersfield and someone is writing about you as one of the worst areas in the country, of course you want to know all the explanations. Of course that’s very important. But he’s missing the point.” Acevado-Garcia explained that the main reason she and her colleagues had for creating the report was “describing how much variation or inequality is there in neighborhood environments for kids across the country.” She told The Hoot that neighborhoods right next to each

other may have completely different child opportunity scores. “In Detroit, you have neighborhoods that have a [child opportunity] score of 2. So, literally, by national standards they are some of the lowest, very lowest opportunity neighborhoods in the entire country,” Acevado-Garcia told The Hoot. “You would think that neighborhoods that are right next to each other would more or less be ‘on the same page,’ but this was not the case.” The study found that in some cities across the United States, there was only a nine percent variation, while in other parts, there was a 91 percent variation between neighborhoods that were in the same area. Acevado-Garcia further explained that while these findings are surprising, the findings from the report will help point out potential policy solutions that could be put in place to help children in low-opportunity neighborhoods. One of those solutions that she believes will really help the issue is putting in place more housing policies for families that are low-income and receive assistance from the government. In addition to receiving aid, these families will also receive information and counseling to try and find housing in higher-opportunity neighborhoods because they often do not have the information on where these affordable places are in high-opportunity neighborhoods. Acevado-Garcia told The Hoot that she is already seeing multiple “people on the ground” interacting with the data that was published to help guide them to some solutions to the problems that were presented in the study. In the future, she hopes to further look into the racial inequity and the differences in health between neighborhoods.

Professor seeks patent for probiotic-supplemented nut butters By Victoria Morrongiello editor

A new method for adding probiotic supplements to nut and seed butters has been developed by Professor Dan Perlman ’68 (PHYS), according to a BrandeisNOW article. Perlman has filed a patent through the university for his method of supplementing butters after five years of working on the project. Perlman told The Brandeis Hoot in an interview about his hypothesis that, since peanut butter has a high fat, low-moisture environment, it might be conducive to maintaining the viability of freeze-dried probiotic bacteria being inserted into it. The probiotics, when dried, go into a dormant state and remain stable as long as they are in a cool, low-moisture environment. Perlman’s hypothesis was demonstrated at Brandeis when he and his team tested the survival rate of the bacteria in the peanut butter, said Perlman. Once a week, they would spread the product on a petri dish to count the viable colonies of the bacteria. The results were good, according to Perlman, showing that the bacterial viability was


maintained at a high level. The amount of probiotics per serving (about 2 tablespoons) in Perlman’s peanut butter was intended to match the level of probiotics in commercial pills or capsules. In processed foods, the shelf life required is typically a year, therefore the probiotic bacteria in the nut butters must be able to survive the shelf life without dying out. Perlman’s method of supplementing nut butters utilizes a specific type of peanut, used in most peanut butters, that is richer with monounsaturated fat than polyunsaturated fat, according to Perlman. This is because the polyunsaturated fats tend to oxidize faster, said Perlman, which would shorten the shelf life of a probiotic butter. “There are some nice twists and

turns that made the project and product more interesting. I hadn’t expected that almost all of the different probiotic material tested, in their freeze-dried states, are quite dense powders,” Perlman told The Hoot in the interview. According to Perlman, this finding means that probiotics cannot be put into what he refers to as “natural butters”— butters with oil on the top. This is because the density of the bacteria particles would sink to the bottom of the oil, causing an uneven distribution of probiotics in the jar of peanut butter. Therefore, the nut or seed butter being supplemented needs to be more solid, like Skippy or Jif, that way the particles of probiotics can remain uniformly distributed after the fats within the peanut

butter undergo crystallization. Perlman’s method for adding probiotic supplements works on a variety of nut and seed butters, though his original idea was to create these supplements for peanut butter. The flavor and texture of the nut butter is maintained because the probiotic supplements are so tiny—less than a tenth of a millimeter—so they are not noticeable even in smooth peanut butter, said Perlman. There are many benefits to having probiotics added into foods, including improved digestion, regularity and metabolic processes, according to Perlman. Perlman has been working on this project for about five years, though the idea of probiotics and peanut butter has been of interest to him for about a decade, said

Perlman. After a project of Perlman’s which proved peanut butter can be supplemented with Omega 3, he began to think about the other uses of peanut butter and how to supplement it with probiotics. “I have some track record of innovating in this product space,” said Perlman. Since 1995, Perlman has been working to create healthier fat blends, one of his more notable inventions being his healthier margarine, Smart Balance. The patent process the product is undergoing will last over the next couple of years, according to Perlman. The patent was originally filed back in March 2018, though the patent office issue date was not until January 2020. When a patent is filed it is then sent to a group for review before being sent to a subgroup. In about a year to a year and a half, an initial office action is expected to be made by the Patent Office, though this could be longer, according to Perlman. After, there is a “back and forth” process with the Patent Office to get an allowance for the patent, and it’s rare to get an allowance for the patent the first time around, said Perlman. According to Perlman, it generally takes two to two and a half years for the patent to get issued.


6 The Brandeis Hoot

January 31, 2020

Thank you, Kobe By Jacob Schireson staff

On January 26, 2020, a tragic helicopter accident in Calabasas, California claimed the lives of nine people. According to the New York Times, the victims included NBA Legend Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Bryant. The tragedy has left the country shocked and doing something we never anticipated doing this early: memorializing Kobe. Kobe was a staple in the NBA throughout his 20-year career. He was a dominant force, winning five championships, an MVP award and appearing in a staggering 18 NBA All-Star games. By the end of his career, he had positioned himself as the third All Time leading scorer in NBA history. Kobe demanded excellence from himself and those around him. A notoriously hard worker, Kobe was always the first in the gym, and the last to leave. His extraordinary competitiveness and will to win led him to dominate every enterprise he took on. It’s the drive that led him to dominate the world of investing, and to win an Oscar after retiring from basketball. His accolades are hardly the reason for the immense sadness surrounding his death. The way Kobe made people feel is what we will never forget. Kobe was a basketball rockstar. He was cooler than cool. He was Kobe. He was the closest anyone in this millenium has become to a real-life superhero. He was brilliant, physically superior to everyone, handsome and wildly successful. He was so dominant



and larger than life that it felt as though he was immortal because, well—he’s Kobe. I never knew Kobe, and neither did the vast majority of those mourning him. Kobe, however, was such a staple in American culture, so ubiquitous that he almost felt like an old friend. Whether it was love, hatred or somewhere in between, everyone had their personal relationship with Kobe. My first relationship with Kobe was one of hatred and respect. I was a Celtics fan, which meant rooting vehemently against Kobe in the 2010 NBA Finals between the Lakers and the Celtics. A series in which Kobe would will the Lakers to victory, and in which I would have the unfortunate and terrifying experience of having to root against Kobe Bryant. Kobe played the entire 2010 NBA Finals with a broken finger on his right hand, his shooting hand. That was

never going to stop him though. That’s who he was. The game I best remember, the game that will serve as my best representation of Kobe Bryant was Game 5 of the 2010 NBA Finals. Game 5 was played in TD Garden in Boston with the series tied 2-2 in a game the Lakers would ultimately lose. I will forever remember, as many will, the fear he struck in me whenever he touched the ball. This game was the perfect reflection of that. Kobe torched the Celtics defense with an array of fadeaways, tough layups and three-pointers. Watching his game and rooting against him was both infuriating and a joy. His game was aesthetically beautiful. His footwork, the way he moved, the quickness and power with which he moved. His game looked like it was impossible, as though it was crafted by a perfect algorithm, telling him how and in

exactly what manner to move. He was like a 6’6” ballerina. During Game 5 came a moment that was quintessentially Kobe. Early in the third quarter, facing double teams along with his primary defender Ray Allen, Kobe scored 10 straight points on tough fadeaways and three-pointers. With every new basket, the feeling of helplessness began to wash over the Celtics crowd. As the Celtics called a timeout, Kobe walked to the bench, saying the same thing over and over. “He can’t guard me.” It wasn’t just Kobe who knew this though. Ray Allen knew it too. Both teams knew it. Everyone watching in the arena and at home knew it. Nobody could guard Kobe. Fast forward to Game 7 in Los Angeles. The Lakers have won the title. The eternal image of Kobe Bryant that I will always remem-

ber is him, ball in hand with his arms raised to his sides basking in the cheers of Lakers fans and raining confetti. I’ll never forget the awe and respect I had for his drive and sheer will to win. Kobe, through his own work ethic and determination, was going to ensure that he was going to be the best. Since his passing, many have continued to express their sadness over all that we did not get to see Kobe accomplish. It speaks to his staggering work ethic and drive that a five-time NBA champion, MVP and Oscar award winner can still be mourned for the loss of all he was yet to accomplish outside of basketball. It is a lesson we should all take with us. The light of the world will shine a little less brightly. He will be remembered forever. Thank you, Kobe.

Women’s basketball beats WashU on the road, falls to Chicago in OT By Jesse Lieberman staff

Jillian Petrie ’21 has been a steady force for the Judges all season. Playing just five games a season ago, Petrie is averaging over nine points per game and is one of four Judges who has started all 16 contests. Petrie was instrumental in the Judges’ 86-81 road victory against Washington University in St. Louis (WashU) last Friday, scoring a career-high 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting. The win was the Judges’ third ever road win against WashU, and their second in the past three years. The forward has been more active on the glass as well, snatching six rebounds in a 68-60 overtime loss to the University of Chicago on Sunday. This was Petrie’s third straight game with at least six rebounds, after having grabbed five or fewer in the first 13 games. The Judges are now 12-4 with a 2-3 record in the University Athletic Association (UAA). Brandeis 86–WashU 81: In a game that featured 12 lead changes and 10 ties, the Judges had four starters in double figures as they bounced back from their home loss to Emory University on Jan. 19. Junior Camila Casanueva ’21 paced the Judges with 20 points and tied a teamhigh with four assists. Although a guard, Casanueva led the game

with three blocks. “We stuck to our game plan,” Petrie said in an email to The Brandeis Hoot. “It was great to see how we shared the ball on offense and played together,” she added. Down 67-65 in the fourth quarter, the Judges went on a 6-0 run to go up by four with 5:45 remaining. The Bears clawed back, retaking the lead on a jump shot with 2:55 to go. On the ensuing possession, rookie forward Emma Reavis ’23 nailed a jumper to give the Judges the lead for good. The Judges, who lead the UAA in free throw percentage at 79 percent, went 11-of-14 in the period. After entering the fourth quarter down four, the Judges outscored the Bears 27-18. Casanueva and Petrie combined for 17 of their 38 points in the period, as the Judges shot 7-of-13 from the field. “We did a good job reading what the defense was giving us and we took advantage of it,” Petrie said. Senior guard Lauren Rubinstein ’20 had a game-high five steals, including three in the fourth quarter, as the Judges held the Bears to only 32 percent from the field in the quarter. The Judges outrebounded the Bears 47-41 and lead the UAA rebounding margin, grabbing nearly eight more rebounds than their opponents each game Senior Hannah Nicholson ’20 had her seventh double-double of the season, scoring 10 points to go along with 12 rebounds. Nichol-

son continues to lead the UAA in rebounding and is second in field goal percentage. Despite playing as a forward, Nicholson ranks fourth in the UAA in foul shooting, shooting 88 percent on the year. Casanueva is third, shooting 91 percent from the line.

Chicago 68- Brandeis 60 (in overtime) Down 42-40 in the fourth quarter to 16th-ranked University of Chicago, the Judges scored seven straight points, capped off by a pair of free throws from junior Samira Abdelrehim ’21 to give the Judges their largest lead of the game 47-42. The Maroons went on an 8-2 run and took the lead 50-49 with 2:11 remaining in the quarter. Rubinstein knocked down two free throws with 1:24 left to give the Judges a one-point lead, and following a Nicholson block, Casanueva made a layup, giving the Judges a 53-50 lead with 0:38 to go. After a Chicago timeout, the Maroons tied the game on a three-pointer from the wing with 0:25 still to play. The Judges called a timeout and had a shot to win, but Casanueva’s floater was blocked as time expired. The Maroons scored the first eight points in overtime, going 4-for-5 from the field and 6-of-7 from the foul line. The Judges missed their first five and shot just 25 percent in the extra period. The Judges were held to 29 percent shooting from the field in the game and 22


percent from beyond the arc. The Maroons dominated inside, outscoring the Judges 36-18 in the paint. The Maroons made their extra opportunities count, scoring 20 second-chance points to the Judges’ six. Casanueva led the Judges with 13 points while first-year sharpshooter Francesca Marchese ’23 scored 11 points, knocking down three three-pointers. Rubinstein scored 11 points and had a season-high eight rebounds. After going 10-1 in non-conference play, the Judges have dropped three of their past five games. “Every weekend, the goal is to go 2-0. We put ourselves in a position to do that this weekend but unfortunately, we couldn’t get it done,” Petrie said in an email to The Brandeis Hoot. “The great thing about this league is that we get another chance to play them in a few weeks.”

The loss to University of Chicago puts the Judges in fifth place in the UAA, three games behind Emory, who is ranked 25th nationally and is undefeated in conference play. Though the Judges have used just two starting lineups all season, their bench is a valuable asset for Coach Carol Simon. “We have depth on our roster and I think that makes us a very hard team to compete against,” Petrie said. The Judges will host Case Western University and Carnegie Mellon on Friday Jan. 31 and Sunday Feb. 1. Following this weekend the Judges play four consecutive road games before closing the regular season with three straight home games. Editor’s Note: Camila Casanueva and Francesca Marchese are staff members for The Hoot. Sports Editor, Sophie Trachtenberg, is also a member of the varsity women’s basketball team.

January 31, 2020


The Brandeis Hoot

Judges top UChicago, fall to WashU By Francesca Marchese staff

The Brandeis University men’s basketball team traveled to St. Louis and Chicago over the weekend, improving to 4-1 in the UAA as they defeated the University of Chicago (UChicago) Maroons in the final seconds of the game, but unfortunately fell to the Washington University at St. Louis (WashU) Bears in regulation. The #24-ranked Judges were unable to gain the advantage over the #13 WashU, falling 70-60 on the road. The men struggled offensively, especially early on after junior Chandler Jones ’21 picked up two early fouls. Leading by as many as 16 points in the first half, the Bears took a 30-14 lead with seven minutes to go. The Judges were able to stay disciplined defensively, holding their opponents to only one field goal for the remainder of the half; additionally, the men scored 13 straight points and closed within three points off of a jumper by Sam Nassar ’22, which made it 30-27 with 2:19 to go. With 35 seconds left in the half, senior leader Collin Sawyer

’20 knocked down a three with the shot clock winding down to make it a three-point game at 33-30; the Bears answered from downtown just before the half to increase their lead to six heading into the locker room. WashU came out strong, scoring the first basket of the second half, but Jones led the Judges, scoring their first five points of the second half; after hitting a three 2:35 into the half, Jones made it a one-possession game at 38-35. Brandeis had two opportunities to take the lead after forcing two stops, but the Judges committed two turnovers. Over a span of three minutes and thirty seconds, the Bears went on a 12-4 run, increasing the lead to 11; after a WashU three-pointer, the Judges were unable to get within six points the rest of the game. The final score was 70-60. 6-of6 from the line, 2-of-5 from three, and 6-of-12 from the field, Sawyer led the Judges with 20 points, 14 of which came in the first half; this game was his fifth 20-point game of the season. He also had a career-high and team-high four assists. Nolan Hagerty ’22 racked up 10 points and a team-high

11 rebounds on his fourth double-double of the season. Rookie Dylan Lien ’23 and Jones each added nine points, with all of Jones’ points coming in the second half. WashU had nine three-pointers to the Judges’ five, and the Bears also outscored Brandeis 13-9 from the stripe. Although both teams were close in turnovers— Brandeis had 14 and WashU 11— the Bears converted theirs into a 20-11 margin in points off of turnovers. On Sunday morning, senior Eric D’Aguanno ’20 hit a game-winning shot for the second week in a row to secure the win for the Judges against the University of Chicago. His three-pointer with 3.2 seconds to play in regulation defeated host UChicago, 63-60, in their first UAA matchup this season. The Brandeis men’s team trailed the Maroons by four heading into the locker room, but the Judges were able to come back and lead by as many as nine points in the second half. The Judges took their largest lead of the game with 10 minutes to play off of a D’Aguanno jump

shot, which made it 51-42. With just under three minutes to play in regulation, Chicago was able to close within two points; Jones, though, converted on a threepoint play with two minutes left that made it 65-60; this was his third and-one of the contest. Both teams forced turnovers, which allowed Chicago to finish a layup, making it a one-possession game. After the Judges called a timeout, they missed a three; UChicago buried one from deep with 29 seconds remaining to tie the game up at 60. Setting up the final possession of the game, the Judges inbounded the rock to Jones. Dribbling to the top of the key, Jones found D’Aguanno open on the left wing for the game-winning three-pointer with 3.2 seconds left. Chicago called a timeout to try and set up a shot to force overtime, but the Maroons were unsuccessful. Coming off the bench, not only did D’Aguanno hit the game-winning shot, but he also finished with a team-high 15 points in just 18 minutes. He hit 6-of-10 from the field and 3-of-4 from deep. He now has 226 career three-point-

ers, five shy of the school career record. Scoring more than the entire UChicago bench, 10 of D’Aguanno’s 15 points were scored in the second half. As a whole, the Brandeis reserves outscored the Maroon’s bench 28-13. Jones was the only other Judge to score in double figures with 12 points and 10 rebounds for his second double-double of the season. Hagerty made a well-rounded contribution scoring six points, ripping seven boards and assisting three times, a team-high. Both Brandeis and UChicago were evenly matched, with the Judges out-rebounding the Maroons 34-33. There were only 12 turnovers in the game, seven of which came from the Judges. Brandeis was also able to outshoot the Maroons 43 percent to 37 percent, but UChicago hit eight from behind the arc, while the Judges only converted six; they also had a slim 8-7 edge from the stripe. The Brandeis men’s basketball team returns to Red Auerbach Arena next weekend to host Case Western Reserve University on Friday night at 8 p.m.

Split track squads shine at BU, MIT By Caroline Wang staff

Last weekend, the Brandeis track and field teams sent two different squads to the Boston University John Thomas Terrier Classic and the MIT Art Farnham Invitational. Boston University John Thomas Terrier Classic The runners racing at Boston University had the opportunity to compete amongst NCAA Division I, II and III runners, as well as professionals. The women’s team ran five of the top Division III times during the meet, placing six of them among the top of the nation. All-American Devin Hiltunen ’22 placed herself in the top 35 in two different events: the 200-meter dash and the 400-meter. She placed third in her heat of the 200-meter dash with a time of

26.00 seconds, coming in 60th place out of 180. Hiltunen’s time was second amongst all Division III racers at Boston University. Her time ranks her 42nd overall in the country after her time was converted from a banked track. In the 400-meter dash, Hiltunen again placed third in her heat with a time of 59.51 seconds. This helped her to a 34th place ranking nationally. Among all other runners in this event, she placed 59th out of 139 competitors. The 3000-meter run also put two other Judges into the national ranking. Niamh Kenney ’21 was the top finisher for the Judges and among all Division III runners, finishing the race in 10:02.98, coming in 38th place out of 134. Teammate Danielle Bertaux ’20 placed 53th at the event with a time of 10:15.33, placing third among Division III runners. Kenney is ranked sixth in the nation, while Bertaux is ranked 23rd. The last top 50 national ranking came from the 5000-meter

event. Erin Magill ’22 ran a time of 18:07.23 in the race, finishing 42nd at the meet, and helping her to a 34th place national ranking. Magill was ranked sixth among Division III runners in this event. In addition to the nationals, Andrea Bolduc ’21 placed 53rd in the mile run, running a time of 5:11.65. The 1000-meter run had two Judges competing; Natalie Hattan ’22 placed 70th with a time of 3:09.05 and rookie Bridget Pickard ’23 placing 82nd with a time of 3:17.50. On the men’s side, the Judges did not have any top 50 nationals, but there were still some highlights. In the 60-meter dash, Lorenzo Maddox ’20 finished 33rd among and sixth among Division III runners with the time of 7.36 seconds. He also competed in the 200-meter dash, finishing with a time of 23.37 seconds, placing 140th out of 191 racers. His teammate Dean Campbell ’23, running just 0.04 seconds slower with a

time of 23.41, placing 143rd. In the mile run, Josh Lombardo ’21 finished in 106th out of 164 runners with a time of 4:25.20, just 0.02 seconds off his personal record (PR). Alec Rodgers ’20 finished in 126th with a time of 4:28.66. In the 5000-meter run, Matthew Driben ’22, finished with a mark of 15:28.20, coming in 66th place overall out of 94 runners, and sixth among Division III runners. MIT Art Farnham Invitational On the women’s side, Sonali Anderson ’22 finished second in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 9.71 seconds. Anderson beat teammate Willa Moen ’20 by just 0.01 seconds. Moen placed third with a time of 9.72. Tessa Holleran ’21 finished fifth in the same event with a time of 10.07 seconds. Gabby Teractin ’22 finished in 11th in the 60-meter dash with a time of 9.05 seconds.

On the men’s side, Dion Morris-Evans ’22 won the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.36 seconds, a season best for the sophomore. He also placed second in the high jump with a height of 1.93 meters. Reese Farquhar ’22 finished third in the 200-meter dash with a time of 23.83 seconds and fifth in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.39. Breylen Ammen ’21 PR’ed in the pole vault at a height of 4.25 meters, helping him to a first place finish in at the meet. This weekend, the Judges return to action at the Branwen SmithKing Invitational at Tufts University and the NEICAAA Championships at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston. Editor’s note: Deputy News Editor Victoria Morrongiello is a member of the women’s track and field team and was not involved in the writing or editing of this article.

Fencing holds winning record at NFC meet, Shortall and Lin win honors By Sophie Trachtenberg editor

The Brandeis fencing teams headed over to nearby Boston College in Chestnut Hill, MA this past weekend to compete in the second Northeast Fencing Conference (NFC) tournament of the season. Both the men and the women posted winning records, each going 4-2 after the competition. The Judges took on opponents from Brown University, Tufts University, Vassar College, Drew University, Dartmouth College and the hosts from Boston College. Overall, both squads came out on top against Tufts, Vassar and Dartmouth in league matches, as well as winning against Drew in a non-conference showdown. The

men and the women fell to both Brown and Boston College, who are likely to finish first and second in the NFC. Against the Jumbos from Tufts, the women won 15-12 and the men by a margin of 22-5. Both Brandeis squads beat Vassar 18-9, while the men also beat Drew and Dartmouth by the same score. The women went on to defeat Drew and Dartmouth as well, by scores of 20-7 and 24-3 respectively. In the two losses, the women fell to both Brown and Boston College by a score of 11-16, while the men fell 12-15 and 6-21 respectively. The women’s saber team led the way with a clean sweep of all opponents, winning 6-0 in their performances. Next was men’s saber with a final score of 5-1, followed by both foil squads posting a 4-2

record. In the men’s epee category, Brandeis split wins and losses by a margin of 3-3, and women’s epee fell 2-4 against their competition. On the women’s side, first-year Samantha Shortall ’23 was most successful in posting 13 wins on the weekend. She swept BC, Tufts and Drew after going 3-0 against each school. She also beat the Rangers of Drew University by a score of 2-0. Her only loss came from the Brown Bears as she went 2-1. Jessica Gets ’20 also equaled Shortalls’ number of wins, coming in with a record of 13-4. She beat all opponents from Tufts, Vassar, and Drew, going 3-0 against all three institutions. She then went on to win 2-1 against the Dartmouth Big Green, and also garnered one win each against the top competition from BC and Brown.

The rookie saber duo of Maggie Shealy ’23 and Jessica Morales ’23 led the team to a perfect 6-0 finish. The two were able to find winning records in nine out of their ten contests. Despite not having saber fencers from Dartmouth to fence against, Shealy prevailed for the Judges by posting a record of 11-3. This included a 3-0 sweep against Brown, as well as going 2-1 against the trio of BC, Tufts and Drew. Morales also was able to sweep Vassar and Drew as well, and impressively went 2-1 against Brown. The men’s saber squad was also quite victorious, as sophomore Lucas Lin ’22 paced the team. He was able to go 9-3 against his varsity competition as he went undefeated against Brown and Vassar, beating both teams by a score of 3-0. He also came out on

top against the Drew Rangers, as he won with a 2-1 margin. Rookie Braden Vaccari ’23 was also 12-6 on the weekend for the saber squad. He swept his club competition from Tufts and Dartmouth by scores of 3-0, and went 2-1 against varsity opponents from Vassar and Drew. Lastly, Chris Armstrong ’20 led the way in the epee category as he recorded nine wins, five of which were against varsity competitors. Shortall and Lin also received University Athletic Association (UAA) Athlete of the Week honors for the week of Jan. 26. This was Shortall’s first time to receive such an award, and the second for Lin. The fencers return to the floor this Saturday, Feb. 1 as they host the Eric Sollee Invitational here at Brandeis.

8 The Brandeis Hoot

“To acquire wisdom, one must observe.” Editors-in-Chief Candace Ng Polina Potochevska Managing Editor Emily Botto Deputy Copy Editor Madeline Rousell News Editor Rachel Saal Deputy News Editor Tim Dillon Victoria Morrongiello Arts Editor Jonah Koslofsky Deputy Arts Editor Emma Lichtenstein Opinions Editor Sasha Skarboviychuk Features Editor Shruthi Manjunath Sports Editor Sophie Trachtenberg Deputy Photos Editor Grace Zhou Layout Editor Sabrina Chow Editors-at-Large Natalie Fritzson Celia Young

Volume 17 • Issue 4 the brandeis hoot • brandeis university 415 south street • waltham, ma

Founded By Leslie Pazan, Igor Pedan and Daniel Silverman


Medjine Barionette, Camila Casanueva, Sam Finbury, John Fornagiel, Lucy Frenkel, Stewart Huang, Joey Kornman, Alex Kougasian, Aaron LaFauci, Dane Leoniak, Jesse Lieberman, Josh Lannon, Francesca Marchese, Anna Nappi, Zach Newman, Thomas Pickering, Lucy Pugh-Sellers, Jacob Schierson, Zachary Sosland, Courtney Thrun, Caroline Wang, Emerson White

MISSION As the weekly community student newspaper of Brandeis University, The Brandeis Hoot aims to provide our readers with a reliable, accurate and unbiased source of news and information. Produced entirely by students, The Hoot serves a readership of 6,000 with in-depth news, relevant commentary, sports and coverage of cultural events. Recognizing that better journalism leads to better policy, The Brandeis Hoot is dedicated to the principles of investigative reporting and news analysis. Our mission is to give every community member a voice.

SUBMISSION POLICIES The Brandeis Hoot welcomes letters to the editor on subjects that are of interest to the community. Preference is given to current or former community members and The Hoot reserves the right to edit or reject submissions. The deadline for submitting letters is Wednesday at noon. Please submit letters to along with your contact information. Letters should not exceed 500 words. The opinions, columns, cartoons and advertisements printed in The Hoot do not necessarily represent the opinions of the editorial board.

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

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

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

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


January 31, 2020

Stop deferred maintenance, invest in long-term solutions


e, the editorial board of The Brandeis Hoot, understand that running a university requires a lot of money, and it’s not always feasible to give students everything they want. However, we do ask, considering how much money we pay for this school and will continue to pay after we graduate, that the university provides us with basic needs, comfort and security. We feel that, in light of the issues that have occurred in the past week and the issues that seem to pop up around campus in every residence quad, there are some expenses that are necessary to run a university that Brandeis is not spending enough on. This week, the university faced two major problems, including a cyberattack that left students without internet connection and a water leak in upper campus. As an R1 research university, it is concerning that WiFi connectivity issues continue to be a weekly occurrence for students. In the past, the Internet has crashed during finals week, leaving many students frustrated and unable to get work done. Also, although the water break was quickly solved, for which we are grateful to Facilities Services, only a clamp was placed over the pipe as a temporary solution to perhaps a greater problem: The Brandeis campus is aging and may face problems that require more permanent solutions and greater investments long-term. As many have said in opinions pieces and editorials of the past, the residence halls at Brandeis need maintenance and repairs. Not only that, but there is a space issue involving three people living in a space meant for two, though it is important to note that it is less expensive

to live in a lofted triple. Now, these have always existed at Brandeis (at least as long as any of our seniors have been here), but they are becoming increasingly common, as more students are getting admitted while the school’s maximum capacity has not increased. Yes, Brandeis built Skyline, and yes, it is a very nice building. But it only added 60 beds, and if more first-year and mid-year students are being admitted to campus than ever before, the housing lottery will become even more ruthless, leaving juniors and seniors who depend on scholarships limited to on-campus living in a difficult situation. Beyond the lack of beds, many facilities are either unable to handle the frequency of use or meet residents’ needs. For example, East and Massell residents have had to deal with leaking ceilings for weeks or months on end. In addition to infrastructure issues, the laundry machines leave much to be desired. Most quads do not have enough machines to comfortably accommodate the residents. Too often, clothes are tossed out of a washer or dryer because someone else needs to use it. Not to mention many quads only have machines in one of the residence halls, forcing many residents to walk across the quad carrying all their clothes. Such an issue is exacerbated by the fact that laundry machines are regularly out of order: Pomerantz Hall in East Quad, for example, has five washers and five dryers, but residents are lucky if three of each work. Imagine walking across your quad with all your clothes to do laundry, and every machine is either occupied or broken. In the past, when laundry cost a fee, this was a greater issue, as stu-

dents would purposely manipulate the machines to get free laundry, breaking them as a result. We are thankful for the positive change that includes free laundry for Brandeis students, but we acknowledge that there is still more to be desired in terms of laundry maintenance. Brandeis’ laundry machines are contracted by CSCServiceworks, and with this contract, the company comes in every time a work order is submitted to repair the machines. The university is reliant on Community Advisors and students to submit these work orders, an added burden for residents when they are trying to do a load of laundry. What’s more, the buildings in Ziv Quad have no public bathrooms, so if a student is in the area, they have to head to Ridgewood Commons, Village or the Shapiro Campus Center for a toilet. Ziv does not have water fountains either, and all the residents in East Quad share two water fountains. As the university begins to emphasize using reusable water bottles instead of purchasing plastic water bottles for sustainability reasons, it is important that water fountains are made readily available for students. We are hopeful for President Liebowitz’s Framework for the Future and the improvements it will bring to the physical campus. However, we worry about what improvements mean. Will we put a clamp on it, or will we replace the pipe? Editor’s note: Editors Sabrina Chow, Rachel Saal, Victoria Morrongiello and Tim Dillon did not contribute to this editorial. Editor-in-Chief Candace Ng works for the Department of Community Living and is a Head Community Advisor.


In a news article printed on Jan. 24 titled “Students rally to protest militarism,” the article incorrectly transcribed a quote from Jacob. An earlier version of this article said that the group’s coming events were protests, but the events that they promoted are not all organized through Dissenters and they are not all protests. In a news article printed on Jan. 24 titled “In the Senate 1/19,” the article falsely stated that the Health and Safety Committee put up alcohol consumption posters around campus. The posters have not been posted.


January 31, 2020

The Brandeis Hoot 9

Holocaust survivor visits Brandeis for International Holocaust Remembrance Day By Joshua Aldwinckle-Povey special to the hoot

408. 6 million. A simple letter ‘J’ on an ID card. Those who attended Ms. Inge Auebacher’s visit to Brandeis this week may have noticed how the events that she recounted were simultaneously so personal and impersonal. On the one hand, Ms. Auebacher had her life defined by numbers and generic markers, such as the three-digit number used to identify her during her time in a concentration camp. On the other, here was a woman who saw it all, and lived to tell the tale. This week the Shapiro Campus Center Theater found itself full of students, faculty and friends of the community to hear the story of Ms. Auebacher, a child survivor of the Theresienstadt concentration camp in what was then Czechoslovakia, to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day and remember the 6 million Jewish people who lost their lives.

Much of the event was a retelling of a childhood marked by pain. Auebacher was born in Kippenheim, Germany, in 1935, three years before the Night of the Long Knives, the night that she recounted the Nazis coming to fill the local synagogue in her town with pig food and then destroy it. Her family never wanted to leave Germany, but the moment to do so came when her father was denied the chance to join the Army because of his faith. Auebacher’s family was uprooted and moved to a village 1,000 miles away to live with her grandparents. Now a citizen of the United States, and someone who has chosen not to claim German citizenship, the first time that Ms. Auebacher ever went to school was when she was 15, in Brooklyn, after moving to the U.S. Only one Jewish school was maintained by the state in her hometown, since segregation was mandated at the state level, and her identity was constantly denoted in a public fashion—notably by the Star of David that she was forced to wear

and by the ‘J’ printed on the front of her travel documents, both of which she owns to this day. Auebacher has, on several occasions, returned to Europe and visited the sites where such events took place. Speaking to The Hoot after the event at Brandeis, Auebacher described what that experience is like. “In 1966 I went back for the first time. It was a dreary day and I went by myself. It just seemed like the children running around there were like ghosts.” Even today, she continues to routinely travel to tell her story to all. When asked why telling her story was so important today, she said, “We’re getting older and already you have people who say it never happened. Even now it’s more important than anything, now you have this hatred returning, we need to wake up the world. They’re already twisting the stories… Education is the thing that people must have. Learn about each other. [The Holocaust] was perpetrated by people who were educated, and that made it so much different.”

Even with her illustrious career as a chemist in the U.S., Auebacher noted that she has but two heroes. The first, a little girl who one day approached her on her train journey to school and silently gave her lunch. The second was her grandmother’s maid, Theresa, who was responsible for saving two photo albums. It is those photo albums, Auebacher explained at the event, that makes it possible for her to show us what life was like at talks like this, and to continue sharing her story with the world to remind us: never again. Brandeis’ Center for German and European Studies (CGES) was involved in the organizing of this event. The director of the Center, Prof. Sabine von Mering (GRALL/ENVS/WGS), told The Hoot, “I was so happy to see so many students at the event. It’s so important that we keep talking about the Holocaust. Yours is the last generation that has the fortune to hear from survivors like Inge Auerbacher directly. I hope that having met her, and heard her tell her story will be an important



memory for all who attended. It certainly is for me.” Moving into the future, Ms. Auerbacher was clear about what she wants this generation to do. “I want people not to hate each other, to get to know each other, like they do in my neighbourhood. Love is more important than hate.”

A day in the life of a PARC Peer Advocate By Shruthi Manjunath editor

When Kharmalina Tong ’20 enters the Prevention, Advocacy & Resource Center (PARC) office, the first thing she does is log in to the chat service present on the PARC website. She aids others in the office and also works on future steps for projects or events that she is involved in. Tong is the Community Engagement Coordinator, and, therefore, she spends most of her time planning how to create and manage events that are related to PARC. These events could include collaborations with Brandeis clubs or services. During her shifts, she may also have visitors who come to the office and request a Peer Advocate. Tong explained in an email inter-

view to The Brandeis Hoot that “Peer Advocates provide a safe space where those who come to our office can share whatever they feel is comfortable for them. By guiding the conversation and letting them have autonomy of their own decisions, Peer Advocates empower and inform them of on and off-campus resources.” Rather than giving advice or providing an opinion on matters, Peer Advocates listen to individuals through various mediums, such as in-person, on the phone or through the PARC’s chatting service. Tong describes how “giving advice means we are telling them what we think they should do. At PARC, we value providing power and control back to those who have experienced any form of violence.” Tong said Peer Advocates aim to be active listeners who are non-judgmental and can

empathize with and care about their visitors. “I can support and empower them through their autonomy of decision-making and validating their emotions.” When Tong first became part of PARC, it was called the Rape Crisis Center (RCC). She illustrates that she initially was not completely familiar with the responsibilities of a Peer Advocate; however, once she researched more about the service and understood that Peer Advocates work toward aiding individuals in their mental health, she realized that this was the perfect job for her. After serving as a Peer Advocate for three semesters, she applied to become a Community Engagement Coordinator, which allowed her to build relationships with other clubs and organizations at Brandeis. Tong highlights that her most memorable experiences with

PARC are during Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October and Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April. During these times, PARC engages most with the Brandeis community. Her favorite events include the Ice Cream Consent Party, in which individuals ask for consent on which toppings they want on their ice cream, and the PARC Playground, in which individuals make friendship bracelets and play with a rainbow parachute. Tong lastly describes one of the momentous memories she has related to PARC, in which PARC was invited to the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC) Champions for Change Gala. Her favorite memory from this event was when Sohaila Abdulali, a Brandeis alumna, author and former coordinator of BARCC, shared her sexual assault story which was extremely moving, ac-

cording to Tong. PARC has many events planned for the future. During Sexual Assault Awareness Month, there will be many events such as Take Back the Night and Denim Day. In addition, events such as Returning to Sexual Intima-Tea, Wellness Wednesdays, Palentine’s Day and Mindfulness through Movement and Dance will also be happening in the future. Tong lastly explains, “as the Community Engagement Coordinator, I encourage you to contact PARC if your community, club, organization or department has an interest in PARC collaborating or facilitating your events,” offering examples such as tabling or Bystander Trainings. If students have any other questions regarding PARC, they can reach out to Tong directly at

A new beginning for Chum’s

By John Fornagiel and Sasha Skarboviychuk staff and editor

Cholmondeley’s, more commonly known as Chum’s, is a student-run coffeehouse located in Usen Castle and founded in 1955. Students working at Chum’s make all the decisions, from what gets served to the decor of the space. Chum’s serves dollar coffee, tea and hot chocolate, as well as other drinks and snacks. According to its website, it was named after a “Black and Tan Coonhound belonging to the campus photographer Ralph Norman.” He is remembered to this day with his portrait on one of the walls in Chum’s and their logo. According to Anna Bartusis ’20, the co-general manager, Chum’s is the only place on campus where you can get latte art. “If you are looking for a late night study alternative to the library, Chum’s is the place to go,” said Gabe Trevino ’20, another co-general man-

ager, in an interview with The Brandeis Hoot. Chum’s is open on Thursdays from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 7 p.m. to midnight. A new addition is Sunday brunch hours, which are from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Bartusis and Trevino agreed that the best part about working at Chum’s is the events: “My favorite part is definitely the cool events and concerts I get to run,” said Bartusis in an interview with The Hoot. Trevino added that working at Chum’s was how he got to meet a lot of people at Brandeis. However, ever since the destruction of the castle, Chum’s has become slightly forgotten by the student body, and the Chum’s team has been working on recreating its image. “We repainted the walls into a warm orange-yellow color,” Bartusis told The Hoot in an interview. “Although the blue walls were very much in the Brandeis spirit, the blue is everywhere on campus: we wanted Chum’s to stand out,” added Trevino. Now Chum’s functions not only as a coffeehouse, but also

as a space that can be reserved by clubs on campus for smaller, more intimate events. There are regular performances that happen there as well. According to the website, Chum’s has hosted “Tracy Chapman, the J. Geils Band, Joan Baez and the first American performance of Genesis.” According to Bartusis, there is also a legend that the famous coffeehouse in the show Friends was inspired by Chum’s. This is confirmed by a Facebook post by Brandeis, which stated that “the gang’s favorite coffee shop, the Central Perk, was inspired by Cholmondeley’s, better known as Chum’s.” It is also said that Angela Davis worked at Chum’s during her time at Brandeis, according to Bartusis. Additionally, the Chum’s team is starting a lot of new initiatives in the space. “We are always looking for artists to give us their artwork to display,” said Bartusis to The Hoot. They also started a “leave a book, take a book” shelf, where you can come and take a free book to read. If reading is


not your thing and drawing is your preference, they also have coloring books available. They are also in the process of getting board games. Another exciting change is that Chum’s will start accepting card payments (as opposed to being cash-only) by the end of February, and they also started an Instagram page. Chum’s will be having its “re-opening” on Thursday, Feb. 6:


it will be open for longer hours, particularly during the day, to allow students to come see the changes that they have made. Editor’s Note: Sasha Skarboviychuk is a member of the executive board for the Campus Activities Board under the Department of Student Activities, which also oversees Chum’s. Skarboviychuk has no connection with the management or work of Chum’s.

10 The Brandeis Hoot


January 31, 2020

Why am I here?: Disappointment By Thomas Pickering staff

Hello North Quad Team, As the unofficial representative of the student body, I would like to respond to the egregious claims made of us. First of all, yes, break was very relaxing thank you very much, and as far as I am concerned the semester is alright so far. Thanks for asking. Now let’s get into this. The past two weekends, sure, maybe they have not been our best in terms of how we have treated the space. But do not hit us with that “the past TWO weekends have been disappointing.” That type of rhetoric is exclusively used by my dad when he comes home late and tells me he isn’t mad, “just disappointed,” and then goes into all my flaws. So, don’t you dare say that to me; I can’t go back to rehab and neither can all of North Quad. We are a community here, hence why you guys are called CAs and not RAs, so if you come at one or a few of us, you come at all of us. Also, none of us litter the outdoor spaces—the indoor spaces, sure, maybe you have an argument there. But that white s**t you saw outside was not trash but snow AKA earth juice, AKA God jizz, AKA Canada. Get this too, it melts with warm temperatures so do not worry about it sticking around for

long #GlobalWarming #ThanksBoomers #OKBoomer. For the 13 CAs of North Quad, you’re right, we do only have four janitors for all of North Quad. However, do not forget you also live here in the quad with us and are just as responsible for the mess as us. Those janitors work really hard and it must be so disappointing, one could say, for them to have to clean up the mess of the leaders of this quad. Shameful. Now I have some suggestions that perhaps would make the issues you guys brought up nonexistent. 1. Your comment: “Polaris is a common lounge used by North residents as well as clubs and organizations across campus. This space should be treated as such, rather than leaving broken ceiling tiles, food scraps and other trash across the area.” My response: To fix the issues regarding Polaris Lounge, I suggest we remove the roof from the lounge and replace it with raccoon nests. Hear me out here, no roof, no ceiling tiles to fall and break and never be cleaned and the raccoons will eat the trash and food on the ground so the cleaning staff won’t even need to clean the place. Easy fix right there, and Ron won’t need to pay the raccoons so he can increase his salary and be happy! 2. Your comment: “Leaving food products such as cheese balls

strewn across the floor and along window sills attracts pests and is unacceptable.” My response: Okay, this is just hilarious. I know we are in college but the fact that we are getting reprimanded about cheese balls is pretty funny. My idea to fix this is to put cameras in the hallways to see who is leaving them everywhere, and then we catch them and tape cheese balls to the front of their pants. Then, whenever we see someone walking with two cheeseballs on their pants, we all point at them and yell, “shame to the cheesy one.” That will totally solve this issue. 3. Your comment: “Clogging toilets with paper towels will result in toilets becoming clogged and eventually bathrooms will need to be taken offline for plumbing repairs. This may result in multiple floors sharing a bathroom.” My response: Okay, so with the toilets I think we should install a lighter on the toilet paper dispensers. So, when it deems that we have put too much paper in the toilets, it lights your hands on fire so you’ll stop. Now, it won’t be a bad burn but enough to make you go, “WHY THE HECK IS THERE FIRE IN HERE!” Now, for the masochists among us that may be pleasured by this, do not fret, I was thinking of you, too. I think for you guys we should also make sure that if you use too

much paper a siren goes off and BEMCo comes to your bathroom and just starts asking if you need a glucose injection, and that’ll get you out of there quickly. 4. Your comment: “When using the common kitchens in Polaris and in Cable 2 you should ALWAYS be cleaning up after yourself. If you do not have the supplies you need to clean, then you should not be cooking in those spaces.” My response: I cannot help it if the students on my floor cook squid in the kitchen every other weekend. Yeah, the dorm smells and yeah, I hate it too. So, here is my proposal. Anyone who really wants to cook in the kitchens in North Quad has to watch a 27-hour, yes 27- not 24-hour, compilation of the parts of “The Great British Baking Show” where the old crusty British people chew the food but it is slowed down so it’s even more uncomfortable. Then, and only then, can they cook in the kitchen. 5. Your comment: “Finally, noise issues have been a consistent issue since returning from Winter Break. Of course, socializing is expected, and myself, Winnie, and the CA team love that there is such a friendly North Quad Community. However, hosting friends in a hallway after quiet hours cannot continue. Hallways are not an appropriate gathering space and

the CA team has had consistent noise complaints from residents of the community.” My response: So, I am thinking of an open floor plan on this. I think we knock down all the dorm walls and instead put in those paper-thin cubicle walls so then if someone thinks I am being too noisy at 2:30 a.m., he or she can look at me directly and ask me to be quiet and not wimp out and ask the CA to calm me down. Yes Karen, I do have a lot to say at 2:30 a.m. and yes, I will talk as loud as I want, but until you look me in my eyes and tell me to stop, I will only get louder as the nights go on. In other words, to the great North Quad Team, until I see these changes made in our quad you can bet your butt I will be sitting on the toilet shoving all four rolls of toilet paper down in there as I throw cheese puffs down the hall and into the stove I turned on. This quad is perfect the way it is and if it changes for the worse, well… to quote Bhad Bhabie, “B**ch, I’m gone. I’m taking my whole everything. I’m even taking the mattress off the bed.” Editor’s note: This is the sixth part of the series “Why am I Here?” Editor’s note: Editor-in-Chief Candace Ng works for the Department of Community Living and did not contribute to this article.

Crowning a new king By John Fornagiel staff

Without a doubt, 2020 has started with a bang. At the time this article was written, there have been over 6,000 confirmed cases of and 133 deaths due to coronavirus worldwide, with the vast majority of cases being in China, according to the New York Times. Unsurprisingly, coronavirus has hit the headlines, and speculations of a worldwide epidemic are rampant. Fortunately, being at Brandeis University, we seem to be relatively safe: according to the New York Times, only five of these cases were in the United States. Moreover, the closest case of the virus to Brandeis is in Illinois, which is a safe 1,000 miles away. You may have heard of coronavirus before, but in a different context, and this is because coronavirus is actually a very common class of virus that has infected humans for a very long time. These cause illnesses such as the common cold. However, sometimes viruses that make animals sick can evolve to infect humans as well, such as in the case of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (the one that is causing panic). These are often very dangerous because our immune system is attacked by a pathogen that it has never seen before and does not have the proper tools to deal with. However, despite the fact Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said the risk of coronavirus to the U.S. public is relatively low at a news conference, you wake up one morning with a scratch in your throat and an unrelenting cough. Your mind begins to race and, being the person you are, you immediately think that you have contract-



ed coronavirus and that you are going to die within the next few hours. How do you know whether you actually have it or not? Unfortunately, since this infection is extremely new, scientists and researchers are scrambling to research and make a vaccine against it. What this means for us is that there is not a lot of research done on the symptoms for coronavirus. What we do know, however, is that symptoms often include a fever, cough, shortness of breath and other general breathing difficulties, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. No matter the case, if you suspect that you have coronavirus, it is better to be safe than sorry. According to WebMD, you should

stay away from other people as best as you can and contact your doctor to get tested for coronavirus as soon as possible. If you do have coronavirus, then you should not leave your home, except for medical care, and avoid other people as best as possible, even if you live together. To minimize the spread of infection, they also suggest covering your coughs and sneezes to prevent the virus from being airborne, washing your hands frequently, and avoiding sharing items with others. If it is absolutely essential for you to be in the same room as someone else, then it is best if you and the people you are interacting with are wearing facemasks to prevent the spread of infection.

With that being said, if you do not have coronavirus (which, at the time of writing of this article, none of us at Brandeis do), then the easiest way to prevent the infection is simply to not be in contact with anyone who has contracted it. Unfortunately, according to, the incubation period for coronavirus is estimated to be 1-14 days (yes, the range is that big because of so little research), so someone could contract the virus and just not show any symptoms. In general, but especially while a fatal virus such as coronavirus is in the air, it is essential to wash your hands often and avoid touching your face and other orifices of your body. Right now, all we can do is sit

and hope that other individuals follow proper hygiene and avoid the spread of infection for coronavirus and that we can contain the virus before it causes an epidemic. As for now though, remember, you can use coronavirus as an excuse to avoid your friends who are all getting strangely sick (even if you just want an excuse to be home and do nothing). (Note: These articles are goodfaith attempts to be helpful to the Brandeis community and are by no means to be taken as universal. This article does not replace the advice of a medical professional. This article is not written on behalf of the Brandeis Emergency Medical Corps (BEMCo) and is not affiliated with BEMCo in any manner.)

January 31, 2020


The Brandeis Hoot

What do two thousand calories look like?: the ‘real food’ edition

We have all heard that the average person should eat about 2000 calories a day. It tends to vary from person to person, depending on various factors such as sex, age, how active you are, and a bunch of other factors (but since I’m not a nutritionist I cannot think of other factors). For example, according to, my couch potato self should consume only 1800 calories a day. Why am I even talking about this if I am not a nutritionist? Don’t worry, I’m not going to try to convince you of anything. I would just like to point out a truth about the world we live in today: food has a lot of calories. Being a loyal Brandeisian, I decided to conduct my field research in the C-Store, because at Brandeis food has to be high in calories and overpriced. Enjoy your different “real food” options and how many calories they cost you. Warning: this article contains complex mathematical calculations, however, I was unable to find a math major to verify my data.

By Sasha Skarboviychuk editor

I think it’s just about lunch time so it’s time for exhibit B: Campbell’s Chunky Beef Soup with country vegetables. Just reading that name made me want to throw that thing back on the shelf and run into Lower Usdan—and you know things have to be desperate for someone to want to run into a dining hall. This little box of puke will cost you 250 calories, which means that if you are insane enough to decide to eat this garbage and nothing else for a day, you can only have eight cans of it. To be completely honest with you, I don’t know how anyone can bear to put more than one container of this in their system. Something else on the nutrition label caught my attention: one serving of this “soup” has 1,520 milligrams of sodium. This means that the eight servings would put 12,160 milligrams of sodium in your body, again compared to the 2,300 milligrams per day limit. That means that just one of these devil boxes has over half of your recommended daily sodium intake. You can calculate how much seven more boxes would add. I propose we start a petition to ban the sale of these things on campus.

For those of you who pretend to be healthy, let me present exhibit C: The York Street Market Classic Caesar Salad (please note that this is the one without chicken). Ah, another throwback to freshman year. There are a few problems with this “meal,” other than the fact that most of the time the lettuce is not fresh and the cheese does not smell trustworthy. Let’s start with the fact that this 510 calorie meal has no nutritional value. But it’s also 510 calories. What a scam, guys. It should become Sodexo’s new symbol. As you can probably guess, you can eat a little less than four of these a day to stay below the 2,000 calorie limit. Let me say that again. You can have less than four salads a day. Now look me in the eyes and tell me this is not a scam. All this salad has is some lettuce, croutons that taste like they were made back in the day of Brandeis’ founding, cheese that I’m not even sure can be considered cheese and too much dressing (which is also the source of most of the calories in this meal). Whenever I had this salad, I’d add maybe half the dressing, because otherwise it would be dressing with salad, not salad with dressing.

Let’s talk about another classic, exhibit D: boxed macaroni and cheese. Mac and cheese isn’t healthy in the first place, and really is pure carbs and salt, but boxed takes it to a new level of gross. Imagine all the preservatives and other garbage that is added to this stuff. According to the label, a serving unprepared (about half the box) is 250 calories, so the entire box is 500 calories, which already isn’t little. That is not the end of the calories in this meal, however, since no one eats uncooked mac and cheese. When prepared, the mac and cheese is 280 calories per portion, totaling 560 calories per box, and over a quarter of your average daily calorie intake. So if you decide to eat only this mac and cheese for a day, you can have a little over three and half boxes (3.57 boxes to be exact). This is a little more than the salad, and I am not sure if this makes things look worse for the mac and cheese or the salad. Neither are great for you to be honest. If you want a nutritious meal, I would recommend going to the dining hall instead of eating this.


Ah, frozen pizza, a culinary invention I have yet to try, but I’m not going to lie, I do not exactly want to try it. So let’s talk about exhibit E: DiGiorno Four Cheese Pizza. Since I’ve never tried this pizza, I am not going to comment on it, no matter how much I want to say that the concept of frozen food is repulsive to me. But I have to say that the pizza on the box looks good. According to, the pizza is made “with only the very best: California vine-ripened tomatoes, real mozzarella cheese, a preservative-free crust, and is loaded with four cheeses.” I believe that the pizza includes these things, but the majority of it would be lesser quality ingredients. A portion, which is a sixth of the pizza, has 300 calories. This means that a whole pizza has 1,800 calories, almost the daily quota. So you can have a little less than seven slices of pizza a day: I cannot say whether that is good or bad because I don’t know how filling it is. But given that it is dough, cheese and tomato sauce, I cannot say that the amount of calories surprises me. But also note that this is a pizza without any additional toppings. After all of this research, honestly, I think I am going to stick to homemade food. Although these are supposed to be meal replacers, some of them still have too many calories for what they are. Editor’s note: This is the second part of the series “What do 2,000 calories look like?” PHOTOS BY SASHA SKARBOVIYCHUK

Let’s start off with a classic. Exhibit A: Cup Noodles (in this case, the spicy chicken flavor). I guess you can say that this is my favorite flavor, but it is also the only flavor I have tried. I have very strong opinions about “ready-made” food. I really am a much bigger fan of making things from scratch even if it takes much more time. Just the thought of all the preservatives that are in that little cup makes me queasy. The good news is that this ramen does not have a lot of calories, with only 280 per serving. This means that you can eat 7.14 cups of Cup Noodles and stay within the daily limit. That is honestly not terrible; I think I could easily be full after eating seven cups of noodles. The bad news is that one serving has 1,340 milligrams of sodium. This means that the seven cups would put 9,380 milligrams of sodium in your body. For reference, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), dietitians recommend an intake of less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day. Isn’t that insane? You’d think that something with so much salt would be repulsive.

SSIS advice column 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!)


special to the hoot

What are some secret blow job tips? Thanks for writing to SSIS! This is a great question. First of all, different techniques and types of stimulation feel different depending on the person, so it’s always important to ask your partner(s) what they prefer. When giving a blowjob, it helps to be familiar with the main erogenous zones of the penis. These are the head, the shaft, the testes and the perineum. The head of the penis, also

known as the glans or tip, has many sensitive nerve endings both in the urethral opening, the hole at the top where pee and semen come from, and in the frenulum, the ridge of tissue connecting the head of the penis to the shaft. These organs generally respond to quick, light pressure and rubbing, which can be done using a finger or tongue. The shaft of the penis is the part of the penis that adds length. The shaft responds to pressure, especially up and down pressure. This

pressure can be applied using the hand or throat, and the amount and direction of pressure are different for everyone, so it’s always important to ask. The testes, or the ball sac, generally respond to light pressure and light pulling, which again can be done using the hand or tongue. The perineum, the tissue connecting the testes to the anus, is a great way to externally stimulate the prostate. The prostate responds to pressure and movement, which often require the use

of fingers or lips. To locate the prostate, apply pressure to the softer and fleshier part of the perineum, toward the back. You may not be able to feel the gland, but communication with your partner may help you determine if you have found the prostate. You can also play around with different speeds and levels of pressure. For example, you can start slowly and lightly and tease your partner a little bit before building up to more pressure and

faster speeds. Showing that you’re into it and having fun will likely turn your partner on as well! And don’t forget—the wetter the better! Use lots of saliva or lube to keep things nice and slippery! Regardless of what part of the penis you are stimulating, remember to check in with your partner—they know their body best! Additionally, make sure to check in with your own body and how you are feeling throughout. We hope this helps!


The Brandeis Hoot

January 31, 2020

2020: Let go of the diet By Caroline O special to the hoot

Now that we’re fully into January, you’ve probably heard all kinds of New Year’s resolutions (or, sorry, intentions. Soft word, but same old song and dance). Drink more water, read more books, spend more time with your friends… Those might just be some of the resolutions you’ve heard in the last few weeks. But more often than not, we hear resolutions about changing our bodies. Let’s not kid ourselves: we’ve all heard one person (if not ourselves) making promises to “lose x amount of pounds” or “get that six-pack.” Every January, commercials for weight loss shakes and gym equipment and diet plans spam our screens. Podcast hosts discuss how happy they are to be sponsored by a new clean eating program after having gained holiday weight. So is it really no wonder so many of our New Year’s resolutions include changing our body and eating habits? With our thinness-glorifying, diet-obsessed world, more and more people are jumping onto the bandwagon of changing

their bodies in some way or another. Why is that? Whether we like to admit it or not, an alarmingly large amount of people equate health with thinness. We are conditioned to believe that the leaner we are, the fitter we are. Now, this isn’t to say that there’s anything wrong with wanting to get healthier—but the way people are encouraged to become “healthy” has narrowed drastically. Healthy for too many people has become the equivalent of losing weight—weight that, surprise, your body might not even want to lose. In fact, the majority of people who try to lose weight end up regaining that weight in a few years, if not more. There exists only a small amount of people who actually keep the weight off, and even in those circumstances, the numbers are shaky because the majority of these statistics are self-reported. The simple reason for that can only be that your body, whether you like it or not, is comfortable staying at a certain weight and a certain body fat percentage. Dipping lower than said weight/body fat percentage can send it into

panic mode and, despite all your best efforts to keep the weight off, your body will fight back to keep you protected. For more information on this, there are a number of podcasts hosted by licensed nutritionists who can speak more on the matter. Some of my recommendations include “Food Psych”, “Dieticians Unplugged” and “Love, Food.” Thankfully, there are more weight-inclusive, body positive movements starting as of late, most notably Jameela Jamil’s “I Weigh” project, which was a response to a controversial Instagram post of the Kardashians with their weights splashed over their bodies. The project’s Instagram, @i_weigh, features both men and women editing texts over themselves, each text highlighting parts of their identity— mother, student, writer, etc.—to prove that people are worth much more than just a number on the scale. We also can’t ignore the fact that diet culture roots itself in fatphobia. We cannot ignore the fact that fat people face problems that thinner people don’t. For instance, fat people are more often doubted of their capabil-

ities in the workplace due to the unfounded belief that fat people are slower thinkers. Perhaps some readers will laugh at this now or dismiss it—but just look at some of the media we consume. Fat characters in popular culture are so often depicted as stupid, dislikable, or just straight up ridiculous (i.e. Kevin from “The Office,” Dudley in “Harry Potter,” Thor in “Avengers: Endgame”). Given the representation of fat people in our favorite franchises, is it a really surprise, then, that so many people assume that fat people are less capable of achieving success than thinner people? “But we just want to help fat people get healthier,” you might say. But by “better health,” you mean looking thinner—as though being thinner automatically means being healthier. However, as mentioned before, different bodies may feel completely healthy at different weights. Some bodies need to have a certain fat percentage to survive. There are stories of women who, in an attempt to lose weight, got their body fat percentage so low that they stopped getting their periods. Although those women may have been at a “socially

acceptable” weight, their bodies were still uncomfortable at having such a low body fat percentage— and as a result, they had to regain the weight they lost or more negative health consequences would occur. Thankfully, there are more and more people entering the discourse about isolating weight from the idea of health. Plus-size athletes and dietitians are trickling into social media to discuss the issue, with Christy Harrison, Amee Severson and Devinia Noel being just a few of the activists leading the anti-diet, body positivity/fat acceptance movement. So that diet you were thinking of going on? It has more implications than you might think. Of course, everyone is free to do as they wish—but at least for 2020, what if we thought about what our bodies actually want instead of what diet culture wants? If you run to lose weight, then don’t run. If you run because you genuinely enjoy it, then go ahead. If you eat kale salads to lose weight, don’t eat kale salads. If you eat kale salads because you genuinely like kale, then go ahead. Give this whole thing a spin. Your body will thank you for it.

Equality for Gosman-goers By Emily Botto editor

Here at Brandeis, we have 21 club sports teams and 30 intramural sports teams, as well as various other recreational teams that are not under either organization’s umbrella, such as Brandeis Football Club (soccer) and Brandeis Tennis Club. In contrast to over 50 non-varsity sports teams, Brandeis boasts only 17 varsity teams. It’s fair to say that a lot more students play on Brandeis’ recreational sports teams than its varsity teams, yet non-varsity teams are treated as second or third tier compared to varsity in every situation, even though they are also competing as Brandeis athletes. Per administration rules, no recreational sports team can reserve space before the varsity sports teams have finished entering their semester schedule. Even then, the varsity teams can change their schedule last minute and kick out any of the recreational sports team practices or events, with little effort and no prior notice. Now, there are some club sports teams that have been able to establish a yearly event—the Archery Club’s Shamrock Shoot and Banshee’s Blizzard Bonanza have been hosted (almost) annually for more than 5 years. For the most part, however, reserving space inside the main gyms for a major event is incredibly difficult, and starting an annual event seems impossible. I am one of the captains of the gymnastics team, and we have been trying to have a competition on campus for three years. Gymnastics is a sport that uses a lot of equipment, which requires a lot of money and a lot of time and effort to set up. We planned all through the fall semester, called rental companies and made plans with other teams, expecting that we would soon be told the open

slots for the Gosman gym for the spring semester. But we didn’t get that schedule until mid-January, and although we wanted to continue planning and hoped we could still get a competition to work, the other teams in the league had already set their dates, and we were stuck. The frustrating thing—or the even more frustrating thing—is that the same thing happened last year. So, to us, it seems that the only way for Brandeis Gymnastics Club to have a competition is to not have it at Brandeis. I’m not sure how the process works for varsity scheduling; maybe it’s just as difficult for them to set up their schedule, and maybe I am judging them too harshly since I don’t have the other perspective. But from my perspective, varsity

coaches—if they are in fact the ones who make the schedule—do not consider the fact that there is an entire school that also has a right to the gym, and they procrastinate putting in their schedule because they do not care, or care to find out, how hard it is for club and intramural sports to reserve spots. Another problem that has to do with Brandeis’ varsity sports program is students’ low interest in varsity games or competitions. Brandeis has tried without much luck to encourage students to attend games and competitions, even making an app to give awards for people who attend the games. In the 2020 edition of The Princeton’s Review College Rankings, Brandeis ranked first in the category “There’s a Game?,”

demonstrating the clear lack of attendance. But part of the reason why Brandeis sports games have such low attendance is that varsity athletes are often kept separate from the rest of us. For the most part, they keep to their teams: because of how much time they spend practicing, they often don’t have the time to make friends outside of the team. In a school that doesn’t focus a whole lot on sports, if students don’t know and are not friends with anyone who is playing, it’s hard to incite interest in attending their events. Furthermore, due to this same disconnect, varsity athletes often don’t hear or understand the concerns of the rest of us lowly club and intramural sports athletes. My only suggestion that might help us overcome this situation

would be to create an interdepartmental committee that would allow leaders from club, intramural and varsity sports to discuss their problems and find a way to coexist. If we had this mode of communication, maybe we would be able to avoid this intense disconnect between students at the same school who use the same gym, and maybe we would even incite a little more interest in attending each other’s games. This article is not to underestimate or minimize the amount of effort varsity athletes put into their sports. I am fully aware of how hard they work, and I admire their dedication. However, varsity sports are only a small part of Brandeis athletics and the rest of us deserve a little more respect for the efforts that we make and the dedication



January 31, 2020

The Brandeis Hoot 13

Koslofsky’s Corner: On the worthless dribble of ‘Jojo Rabbit’ By Jonah Koslofsky editor

“An anti-hate satire.” That’s the label writer/director Taika Waititi stuck onto his latest feature, the damn-near insufferable “Jojo Rabbit.” Have you ever longed to spend two hours inside the head of a cute ten-year-old Nazi? If so, this is the movie for you: from the opening frame, we’re plugged into the consciousness of Johannes “Jojo” Betzler (Roman Griffin Davis), an enthusiastic little member of the Hitler Youth. Waititi’s chosen point-of-view allows him to cast himself as Jojo’s imaginary friend and greatest hero: Adolf Hitler. Get your tickets now! Now, we actually reviewed “Jojo Rabbit” last November—Sam Finbury wrote a very positive, very well-written article, and I encour-


age everyone to check it out. Since then, “Jojo” has earned about $45 million at the global box office and six Oscar nominations (I’d be shocked if the film left Sunday’s ceremony empty-handed). I don’t mean to rebut Sam’s piece, but I would like to clarify why this misfire of “anti-hate satire” left me with a particularly disgusting taste in my mouth. See, satire is supposed to challenge its audience, exposing the stupidity of a given situation through ironic exaggeration. But satire only functions if it’s telling you something you don’t already know—without that edge, satire is nothing but noise. If the heightened, constructed reality is just reiterating an already-accepted perspective, why did we need the heightened, constructed reality at all? It would be hard to look at the last hundred years and ignore how fascism keeps appealing to a significant number of assholes. This disgusting stain of an ideology refuses to go away completely, and “Jojo Rabbit” seems semi-interested in exploring its seductive qualities. It asks, “what pre-teen wouldn’t want to run around in a uniform, blowing things up in the name of a rigid social order?” But as “Jojo” continues, our titular character learns that this set of beliefs comes at a cost, a lesson imparted by both his mother (Scarlett Johansson) and Elsa (Thomasin McKenzie), a Jewish refugee who’s been hiding in his home. Forgive me if I’m not particularly moved by this progression.

It all seems so obvious! Obviously fascism comes at a moral cost. Obviously Jews, or whatever group far-right hatemongers have deemed sub-human, are people. Obviously with enough love even the most committed child-Nazi could change. I consider myself lucky: I have very little personal experience with anti-Semitism. But never once have I longed to sit through watching an anti-Semite learn the error of his ways. Fascism is, by definition, nonsense—a 108-minute illustration of this point is as unnecessary as a tweet that reads “racism: Bad.” The burden of Jojo’s re-education falls on the women in his life, characters who are infinitely more interesting; like last year’s “Green Book,” another sloppy, “crowd-pleasing” re-staging of recent history, “Jojo” picks the wrong main character. Why would a mother who hates the Nazis let her son join the Hitler Youth? What are the moral obligations of civilians living under a fascist regime? Does Elsa befriend Jojo because of a genuine connection, or for the sake of her own survival? A braver movie would’ve invested in these questions, and maybe even supplied some thought-provoking answers. Then there’s the character of Captain Klenzendorf, (Sam Rockwell), Jojo’s Hitler Youth counselor. Spoilers ahead: “Jojo” implies that Klenzendorf is queer and in a relationship with another officer, Finkel (Alfie Allen). But in his time in the SS, how many queer folks has Klenzendorf hurt? In a superb piece titled “How ‘Jojo


Rabbit’s’ Gay Nazis Denigrate Queer History,” essayist Esther Rosenfield writes: “Waititi, however, seems uninterested in exploring this apparent personal contradiction. […] In ‘Jojo Rabbit,’ Waititi depicts a gay man’s complicity in the destruction of his own community as a punchline.” Instead of exploring Klenzendorf ’s psychology or relationship to fascism, the movie settles on a brainless redemption arc. All but abandoning the improvisational style that made his prior work so propulsive, Waititi sticks to his script and “quirky” Wes Anderson-esque production design. This is an enormous mistake: “Jojo’s” jokes rarely land, and said screenplay emphasizes sentimental platitudes over anything genuinely horrifying, funny or subversive. The director is willing to peek at the depths of Nazi evil,

but he avoids showing or staging anything that could truly impact his audience. I can’t remember the last time a film so thoroughly failed to justify its own existence. “Jojo Rabbit” doesn’t qualify as satire, and merely being “anti-hate” registers as entirely unimpressive. The people we’re fighting today aren’t cute little ten-year-olds. They’re individuals so disconnected from love and reason that they will not be convinced out of their hateful beliefs. They march for racist monuments and kill counter-protestors and they have the support of the President of the United States. They look like the KKK in Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman,” and their ideology has murdered millions. If “Jojo Rabbit” is the best we can do to fight back, well, I’m not feeling particularly optimistic about our chances.

‘Idle’ games: accessible and decently entertaining By Stewart Huang staff

The problem with video games these days is that they just take too much time and effort (not to mention money). That’s why 2019 saw the rise of “idle” games, a new subgenre of role-playing mobile games that strive to be as low maintenance as possible. Gameplay is minimal and progress can be achieved without playing. You don’t have to do much at all to have fun. For instance, in “AFK Arena,” the biggest idle game on the market, combat is almost entirely automated. Your characters move and attack automatically, with the player only controlling individual abilities, which the game can also be set to control. You can also adjust the speed of combat so that things play out faster. In certain modes, there is even an option to skip combat entirely.

The game automatically accumulates in-game resources like gear and experience over time, including when you’re not in the game, which can be claimed once you’re back online. To a conventional gamer, an idle game like “AFK Arena” will probably come off as counterproductive or straight-up insulting. The core experience of playing video games, one might say, is the interaction between the player and what’s in the game, so what is the point of a game that actively minimizes interactivity? I think this is a misguided objection. The interactivity is still there, but it’s no longer focused on combat. Whereas typical games treat combat as the essential feature of how the player interacts with the world, idle games treat it as a means to an end, that end being in-game progress. By removing the emphasis on combat, in-game progress is more easily and more

frequently obtained. You feel motivated to play and keep playing because you can consistently level up characters, equip them with better gear and clear levels without having to do much at all. And idle games aren’t completely without depth. They’re much easier than most games out there, but there’s usually just enough strategy and synergy such as team composition and gear choice for people to invest in, though they certainly don’t have to. With all that said, I find idle games to be enjoyable enough, as they should be. They’re designed to be played casually and in short bursts. Consequently, they can never be game-of-the-year material, but that’s perfectly fine. What matters in the end is that the games are fun for what they are. I recommend them to everyone: people who play games regularly, people who play games rarely or even



folks who are completely unfamiliar with games. They offer a very relaxed mode of gaming that can be refreshing to all, with their ease of play as well as their free-toplay status. A good game to start would be “AFK Arena,” which has the best looking artwork and user-interface (UI) out of all the idle games. An alternative would be “Black Desert Mobile” which is a massively multiplayer online (MMO) game that plays very much like an idle game. There is a huge caveat, however, which is the fact that idle games are the most monetized mobile games on the market. In other words, there are going to be “gachas” (a system that allows you to pull characters of different rarities at random through the use of premium currency), monthly subscriptions of various bonuses such as experience boost, and weekly and monthly packs containing resources and VIP systems which are split into different

tiers depending on how much real life money one spends, with each tier providing different perks. By now you may be wondering how I can recommend idle games when last week I called “Raid: Shadow Legends,” another money hungry mobile game, total garbage. Well, maybe that’s because I feel you really don’t have to pay in idle games. Whether or not you do has minimal impact on the overall intended experience. In “Raid,” progress comes to a screeching halt without paying, but idle games provide you a much more consistent game pace: every few hours, without needing to do much of anything, you will have amassed enough resource to power up some more. At any rate, you’re really just supposed to relax, take your time and not take things too seriously in idle games. They will certainly encourage you to spend money. But you really, really don’t need to. Instead, just slow down and have some fun.


The Brandeis Hoot

January 31, 2020

‘Sex Education’ season 2 review: finally, a show about sex the whole family can enjoy— in seperate rooms By Isaac Ruben special to the hoot

School’s back in session and, despite years of sexual repression, you’ve finally learned how to masturbate. You’re masturbating in the bathroom, masturbating in the shower, masturbating in the woods and masturbating in the car. That’s right, your name is Otis Milburn (Asa Butterfield) and this is “Sex Education” season two. “Sex Ed,” as the fans call it, premiered on Netflix last year, with a subtly fresh take on a rather tired television format, daring to ask “what if a dramedy about teenagers was honest and not stupid?” Few shows have attempted this novel idea before, and even fewer have achieved it. The basic premise is the same as any other teen show: a bunch of hormone-addled, child-grownups must navigate friendships, romantic relationships and school. Season one followed Otis as he and his friend/ eternal romantic interest, Maeve (Emma Mackey) ran a covert “sex clinic” at a suberban British school, Moordale High. Otis’s mother Jean, brilliantly played by Gillian Anderson, is an accomplished sex and relationship therapist, so Otis uses the knowledge he’s picked up around the house to educate his classmates. Although


the sex clinic doesn’t play as large a role in season two, the themes of sex-positivity and self-discovery are still central to “Sex Ed.” Now “Sex Ed” is back and better than ever. The cast is bigger, the stories are bigger and the school’s sci-fi, musical-space-orgy adaptation of Romeo and Juliet is about as big as it can get. Most of the show’s increase in scale can be classified as growth (no pun intended), although at points season two’s narrative ambition outpaces its execution. The cast has ballooned to nearly 15 main characters, and although all of their performances are strong, episodes sometimes felt overwrought, with too many B- and C-plots to keep track of. To summarize the season by telling you that Otis must navigate his first romantic and sexual relationship would be ignoring 85

percent of the events of season two. Writing the first draft of this review, I failed even to mention that Maeve’s estranged, drug-addict mother and half sister moved in with her, because there’s simply so much going on that this earth-shattering event for the second-most important character slipped my mind. The season felt slightly unfocused, which is a shame because what “Sex Ed” does well, it does really well. It displays sex without selling it, and examines emotional hardship without fetishizing it. In other words: it’s like “Skins” if “Skins” was well made (fight me). In fact, “Sex Education” shares a lot of the entertaining elements of “Skins”—the hugely popular British teen dramady that tackled, or more accurately, assaulted, topics such as substance abuse and sexuality—while avoiding most of its

pitfalls. It has the same charming accents as “Skins” with none of the romanticized misery. It isn’t just a vehicle to put underage nudity on screen (all the actors are in their 20s anyway). It’s a study of all sexual colors and varieties that teenagers, and humans, experience. Sometimes this is funny, sometimes it’s romantic, sometimes it’s uncomfortable, and often it’s confusing—it is sex, after all—but it’s never pornographic. A good indicator of how much “Sex Ed” works is seen in how wide a range of viewers it appeals to. Sure, I enjoyed “Skins” when I was a teenager—their lifestyles were seductive—but a show that thrives only on voyeurism doesn’t hold up. “Sex Ed” appeals to viewers of nearly all ages, not by selling the corruption of youth, but by making light of how hard growing up can be and how worthwhile

that struggle is. The writers are adept at balancing lighter and funny plots with more serious ones. Numerous queer characters of color such as Ola (Patricia Allison), Eric (Ncuti Gatwa) and Anwar (Chaneil Kular) have uplifting stories of self-discovery and healthy communication, while issues of sexual assault and self-harm are addressed head-on. Maeve’s new neighbor, a lanky, witty, slightly arrogant and mostly lovable character is suspiciously named Isaac (George Robinson), but he’s also an emotional life-line for Maeve as she deals with her greatest hurdle of the show. Bad things certainly happen in the world of “Sex Ed,” but there’s always friends and family to help you get through it. Otis and Eric’s friendship is still probably the most wholesome male-male friendship on television. One of the benefits of a TV show with nearly thousands of principal characters is that there’s a friend for everyone. There’s always a shoulder to cry on, a hug waiting for you after a terrible day or a wheelchair-ridden orphan who understands your abandonment issues even more than you do. The stories are heightened but believable. This is a world you want to live in, not because it’s perfect, but because it’s beautiful.

‘The Gentlemen’ review: unique, but not special By Sam Finbury staff

A unique storytelling gimmick is a tricky thing for a film to rely on, as it can either enhance the impact and appeal of a narrative, or it can distract and drain it. While not advertised around it, Guy Richie’s “The Gentlemen” is a movie entirely entranced and engorged on its own gimmick. The narrative is laid out as a film script itself, dictated by an exuberant and conniving reporter named Fletcher (Hugh Grant) to the gruff and stoic Raymond (Charlie Hunnam) as a way of extorting Raymond’s boss, marijuana kingpin Mickey Pearson (Matthew McConaughey). The story Fletcher recounts over the course of the film covers the attempts of Pearson to sell his illegal business and retire and the attempts of the young upstart gangster Dry Eye (Henry Golding) to interfere. To have the majority of the plot told retrospectively in the form of a movie pitch based on a reporter’s

second-hand account of events opens a rich well of investment opportunities, which “The Gentlemen” tries, and then fails, to capitalize on. From the first scene, we are left wondering what chain of events led Fletcher to come to Raymond with this story, what bombshell of information Fletcher plans to blackmail Pearson with and how Pearson and Raymond react to his attempts. In addition, the trope of having an in-universe character as the conscious narrator of the story is a gold mine of comedic opportunities, where storytellers can openly comment their opinions on events and people within their own narrative and even tell certain scenes in whatever exaggerated and fantastical way they desire, forcing us to replay the scene again as it actually happened. This trope of storytelling is not only capable of generating laugh-a-minute comedy but instantly makes the movie stand out and feel memorable. But there is a difference between feeling memorable and being memorable, and that difference comes when a film


is more obsessed with its storytelling gimmick than the story it’s actually telling. The type of retrospective in-universe narration employed by “The Gentlemen” is a perfect tool for characterization, as the way in which the storyteller comments and tweaks the tale gives us an intimate insight into who the storyteller is and how he or she views the world. Fletcher’s storytelling has this effect, and his personality and quirks are placed at the center of this movie. Unfortunately, Fletcher isn’t the main character of the story he is describing, and he lacks any real personal connection with the people he is talking about. As such, much of the movie plays out like how a reporter would see it, a series of highlighted events in a grand scheme with a large cast of characters whose biographies we all know. In essence, the plot of the film is a detailed dictation of the film’s own plot. Here is an example: We are told, by Fletcher, that Pearson was born dirt poor in an American trailer park, earned an Oxford scholarship, became rich selling weed to the children of dukes and maintains his business by paying off noble families with dwindling fortunes so he can use their estates as farms. At one point in the movie, a scandal forces him to cut ties with one of these nobles, who complains to Pearson about how he’s going to pay to fix the room of his manor. Based on his backstory, I was split as to whether Pearson was going to have this man killed to tie up loose ends because he would see English nobility as greedy pretentious tools, or if he was going to actually fix this man’s roof because he has a code of morals and


respect for this high society he has won his way into. Instead, neither happens, and this poor rich man and his roof are never brought up again. It’s an endemic problem in a movie with many characters who we only know through their trading card bios. Pearson’s wife is the Cleopatra to his Ceasar, Dry Eye is an insolent young upstart, Raymond is a loyal right-hand man, Pearson is a lion, a king, a ruthless, brutal, calm, calculating, classy criminal. Great, but what does any of this mean? The film puts more effort into telling us how cool and interesting and intimidating its ensemble is than proving it. Traits like these could be expanded upon in scenes, and each of these characters gets to shine in a scene or two, in a vignette, a conversation, none of which are bad on their own. But it has the same effect of watching the best scene from every episode of “Breaking Bad” in isolation. You like the scene, the acting’s great and together you can understand the story, but without flow and without scenes that don’t only serve to explain things or slavishly further the overall plot, they feel hollow. In

the end, the only character you have any connection with or care for is the narrator himself, Fletcher, who is of no importance to the story he is telling and of minimal importance to the outside narrative. We don’t even learn if Fletcher is his first or last name. Of course, character and narrative aren’t everything. Actually, it is, but fools will say it isn’t, so let’s humor them. “The Gentlemen” is an action-comedy, so how is the action, and how is the comedy? Well, the action is basically nonexistent, and the humor is hit or miss. The movie veers into serious moods that fall flat given how little connection the audience has to anyone and anything on the screen. Good action-comedies like “The Nice Guys” and “Hot Fuzz” weave violence and crime into their narratives in humorous ways, either being overly ridiculous or awkward, or serious, then funny due to the fully realized characters on screen. None of that is present here. It feels more clumsy than anything else. “The Gentlemen” trips over its own uniqueness and fails to be anything more effective or evocative or even memorable than a plot summary.

January 31, 2020


The Brandeis Hoot

Univ. honors world-renowned composer, conductor, pianist and teacher Henri Lazarof By Sabrina Chow editor

Brandeis will honor alumnus Henri Lazarof MFA ’59 with the Henri Lazarof Living Legacy at Brandeis University. As part of the legacy, the university will house the Henri Lazarof Archives, host the Henri Lazarof Concert Series, the Henri Lazarof New Music Brandeis Annual Concert and the Henri Lazarof International Commission Prize. The archive collection consists of 170 hard-copy manuscripts and other materials that relate to Lazarof ’s career, according to the Brandeis website. There are also over 200 letters that were sent to Lazarof by notable composers, conductors, musicians and musical colleagues spanning his career in Europe and the United States. The Henri Lazarof New Music Brandeis Annual Concert will “fund the residency of prominent new music performers to work with graduate student composers, giving these young composers the opportunity to have their works performed by outstanding musicians,” according to the Brandeis website. This concert is part of the larger Brand New Music initiative. The Henri Lazarof International Commission Prize is a new composition competition of an

original work for select instruments. According to the Brandeis website, each year, composers can submit original compositions to complement the existing work by Henri Lazarof. The winning composition will also be performed with Lazarof ’s work. The specific instrumentation for the 2020 prize includes flute, harp and viola. Multimedia and electronic music components can also complete the compositions. The winner of the prize will be awarded a $15,000 commission prize and their piece will be performed at Brandeis in Spring 2021. “We at Brandeis are deeply honored to host the Henri Lazarof Living Legacy, celebrating a renowned alumnus and composer,” wrote BrandeisNOW. “Mr. Lazarof lived an extraordinary 20th century life, which our university was privileged to be a part of, and we are pleased to be able to perpetuate his legacy throughout university and today’s composers and musicians.” Lazarof was born in Bulgaria and was a concert pianist and composer by the time he was a teenager. He studied composition in Jerusalem under Paul BenHaim before attending the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome, Italy. After completing his studies in 1957, Lazarof came to Brandeis to complete his Masters of Fine Arts degree on a fellowship with

Arthur Berger and Harold Shapero. He taught in the music faculty of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) from 1962 until his retirement in 1987. During his tenure at UCLA, Lazarof started composing full-time in 1982. In his lifetime, Lazarof had 126 different musical works, which were published with Associated Music Publishers (G. Schirmer, Inc.), Theodore Presser Company and Bote and Bock et. al. These works included seven symphonies, concertos for cello, flute, viola, piano and a number of other chamber orchestra and small quartets, as well as mixed choir pieces. Lazarof also received numerous awards for his compositions and performances, including first place in the International Tchaikovsky Competition. He also received two Grammy nominations in 1991 in the categories: “Best Contemporary Composition” and “Best Classical Performance—Instrumental Soloist(s) with Orchestra.” As a classical musician myself, I decided to listen to some of Lazarof ’s repertoire to see how I felt about it. A quick Google search led me to his Wikipedia page, which says that he is best known for his composition, “Tableaux for piano and orchestra.” If you had randomly played this


piece for me, I would have immediately known that the piece was from the 20th century from just the first movement, just because of the style. Unlike classical musicians that most people would recognize like Beethoven and Mozart, a lot of modern composers typically do not do large grandiose openings like music from the Romance or Baroque period. But one of the most distinctive things that I heard while listening to Lazarof ’s piece was the discordance in some of the chords.

While I appreciate the sound, personally it just doesn’t work for me. But I do really appreciate that the university is honoring the late Lazarof, it’s always great for the Brandeis community to know about Brandeis alumni that have gone on to do great things. I’m excited to hear the winning composition that will be played alongside Lazarof ’s piece next spring. Some of the greatest compositions oftentimes comes from composers that were inspired by those before them.

‘Star Wars: the Clone Wars’ is coming back: here’s what you need to know By Caroline O spcieal to the hoot

In case you haven’t noticed, “Star Wars” is big right now. The sequel trilogy just ended, “The Mandalorian’s” Baby Yoda is the Internet’s sweetheart and to the joy of many fans, “Star Wars: the Clone Wars” is coming to Disney+ for its long-awaited seventh season. In a matter of seconds, the full trailer of the seventh season hit number two on the YouTube trending chart, and #CloneWarsSaved blew up on Twitter, referencing the outcry of fans when Disney originally cancelled “Clone Wars” in 2013 after its fifth season finale.

“Star Wars: the Clone Wars” is an animated series that’s set between the films “Attack of the Clones” and “Revenge of the Sith.” It began in 2008 and follows the stories of Anakin Skywalker, ObiWan Kenobi, Padme Amidala and a number of both old and new faces. One such new face is Ahsoka Tano, Anakin Skywalker’s Padawan (i.e. apprentice), who starts off as an impulsive teenager who just wants to be a good Jedi. When Ahsoka was first introduced, however, a number of old fans complained that Ahsoka was annoying and that she couldn’t be Anakin’s apprentice. Ahsoka Tano was a breath of fresh air, and thankfully, the creative team of “Clone Wars” never let the backlash reduce Ahsoka’s


role (which, unfortunately, cannot be said for certain characters in the sequel trilogy). In many ways, Ahsoka became the face of the new generation of fans—young and just as wide-eyed about the world of the Jedi and the Sith. In the earlier seasons, we see Ahsoka rush headlong into danger. She looks up to Anakin as both teacher and friend, even though he himself is deeply flawed. However, as the show continues, we find Ahsoka developing more reservations about the world around her. She learns that, despite what her friends and teachers say, the world is not at all as black and white as it once seemed. There were other new characters who became popular among the new generation of fans: Captain Rex, a clone trooper who fights beside Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano, Satine Kryz, duchess of Mandalore (yes, the Mandalore of “The Mandalorian”) and Asajj Ventress, apprentice to the evil Count Dukoo. But when season five ended with Ahsoka Tano leaving the Jedi Order, the fans blew up Twitter with petitions tagged with #SavetheCloneWars. The season five finale devastated the fans who identified with Ahsoka Tano. They had seen Ahsoka grow from a reckless child to a mature young adult. However, even before the season five finale, there still existed a bit of fear in the fans’ minds: they all knew that eventually, Order 66—the executive order to kill all the Jedi, as seen in “Revenge of the Sith”— would take place. They knew that Anakin would eventually become Darth Vader. Would that mean Ahsoka would be killed by Anakin? The very idea was crush-

ing, especially since the relationship between Anakin and Ahsoka had been a favorite amongst fans. But such matters resolved themselves once the Jedi Order exiled Ahsoka for a crime she did not commit. Eventually, the real culprit is found by Anakin, who was desperate to redeem his apprentice’s name. At the end of the ordeal, the Jedi Council admits its mistakes in exiling Ahsoka and offers her a place back. We find Anakin holding Ahsoka’s Padawan braid (an accessory that all apprentices wear to signify their role as an apprentice). The following scenes are heartbreaking: we see the shock that slowly dawns on Anakin’s face as Ahsoka walks away from the only family she had ever known. In a last gesture of desperation, Anakin begs for Ahsoka to come back, but her own answer is clear: “I have to sort this out on my own—without the Council and without you.” We would later find Ahsoka’s separation from the Jedi as a theme revisited in the sequel movies, with Luke cutting himself away from the Jedi in a similar fashion: the Jedi—the heroes so many had thought to be true— were just as flawed as everyone else, and only when Ahsoka walks away did fans start to realize this truth for themselves. Since 2013, fans have assumed that “Clone Wars” ends before “Revenge of the Sith.” With Ahsoka out of the picture, Anakin would turn into Darth Vader, the Republic would fall to the Empire and we’d resume the timeline of “Star Wars.” Perhaps in an effort to appease “Clone Wars” fans, Disney released another animated show called “Star Wars Rebels,” set during the original trilogy,

where we find new characters all fighting against the Empire. “Rebels” is a good show—the characters and plot are solid, and like “Clone Wars,” we catch glimpses of old characters. We find Ahsoka Tano still well and alive, fighting back against the very person who taught her. However, fans still find themselves wondering what exactly happened in the aftermath of “Clone Wars.” Which finally brings us to the seventh season. Set to be released on Disney+ on Feb. 21, the “Star Wars: the Clone Wars” official final season is about to answer the questions fans have been asking since 2013. The trailer shows clips paralleling the scenes of “Revenge of the Sith,” hinting that the final season will finally close the last few gaps between the show and the movie. We see the Jedi Council, worried about a threat to destroy the Jedi Order. We see the clone troopers head into battle, unaware that they will soon turn on their Jedi commanders. And we see Ahsoka Tano, back and brighter than ever, as she comes back for one last stand with her friends before the world she knows disappears for good. “Witness the end,” the trailer reads as the music swells with the familiar “Star Wars” soundtrack, and fans know that this final season really will be the end of “Clone Wars.” For one last time, fans will relive the stories that kept them running to the television on Friday nights and Saturday mornings; for one last time, fans will get to spend time with their favorite characters. And for one last time, the fans, like Ahsoka Tano, will come back for one last stand before the world of “Clone Wars” vanishes for good.


The Brandeis Hoot

January 31, 2020

I’m crazy for ‘Manic’

By Emma Lichtenstein editor

Genre-defying and sonically cohesive, Halsey’s “Manic” is the strongest album released in months. Halsey uses these 16 tracks to tell a story of an insecure girl navigating the world, and she’s not afraid to show the ugly sides of her life. The tracks range from slow and sweet to fast and angry to jerky and nervous. “Manic” is not an album to be missed. The most important thing to do when listening to “Manic”— or at the very least, when listening for the first time—is to listen in order. Halsey arranged these tracks to tell a story. She is an artist who cares about the album as an art form. The tracks bounce around from high to low in pace and feel, but thanks to some seamless transitions from track to track, the order fits. My personal favorite transition is from “Dominic’s Interlude” to “I HATE EVERYBODY.” It is so smooth that I don’t even notice that the song has switched until the vocals

come in on the first verse of the latter track. Transitions from song to song are not the only way Halsey helps listeners understand the album. Collaborations are also a unique aspect of “Manic.” Halsey uses her featured guests as a guiding hand to help move the material from subject to subject, from vibe to vibe. Halsey has three different interludes on the album: one from Dominic Fike, an up-and-coming singer and rapper; one from Alanis Morisette, the queen of angst; and one from SUGA, her friend Min Yoon-gi from K-Pop band BTS. “Graveyard” is an early song on the tracklist, and though it is not my favorite on the album, it’s crucial in understanding the work as a whole. This is an acoustic song, softer in sound than many on the album. Despite this, I think the song is the most intense part of “Manic.” This song highlights the strength of Halsey’s love; she was so loyal to her partner, so in love with him, that she would’ve followed him anywhere. Until he went and screwed it up.

Immediately following “Graveyard” is “You Should Be Sad,” which has a very different feel, diverging from Halsey’s typical genre. This track is a country song, a Carrie Underwood-esque breakup anthem. Here, Halsey is trying to get over the breakup by acknowledging that she really dodged a bullet by ending this relationship. The man she is singing about is selfish and just holding her back. It’s around here that fans hear the first guest feature. “Dominic’s Interlude” signals a switch to a new part of the album, the part where Halsey starts going back out. But she’s still too sad to truly appreciate the atmosphere. Halsey’s highest point on the album is a track describing her lowest point. “3 am” is painfully real. It’s a mental breakdown of a song, detailing her insecurity and how she relies on others’ praise to feel good, but that she fears actual intimacy. The tune to this track is incredibly catchy, and it’ll get stuck in your head by the middle of the first verse. The chorus is the actual breakdown part, the verses

just detailing how she got there. The song ends with an uplifting voicemail from her father, an adorable, if dissonant, anecdote to the rather sad song. “Without Me” is an angry pop song that will—and did—chart well on the radio. With this song, Halsey explicitly states that maybe she’s not over her breakup. I know she wrote this song early, likely before the rest of the album, but it feels like it fits in its place. She has a breakdown about her ex, gets over him, realizes that maybe she isn’t over him, until finally she uses this song as a last moment of closure. “Finally // Beautiful Stranger” is one of my favorite Halsey tracks of all time. This song is slow and sweet, moving away from a pop sound to create a beautiful serenade. With a simple melody and production, this track is carried by her vocals, stunning and strong. It also showcases a soft side of Halsey that listeners very rarely get to hear in her work. It seems the aftermath of “3 am” has led to her new outlook. Fans can assume this beautiful


stranger mentioned in the former song is the subject of “Alanis’s Interlude.” “SUGA’s Interlude” comes shortly after, bringing this album back to what is truly most important in Halsey’s life: herself. “Manic” is very much an album about love, but at its root, it’s a story of a girl. “Manic” is easily the strongest release of 2020 so far, and I imagine that few will even come close to releasing an album as good before the year is up. This album is a must-listen for anyone who loves angry or sad music, who loves rock or pop or country music, who loves good storytelling in song.

A case for the Dawn Redwood, Brandeis’ only sequoia By Aaron LaFauci staff

When we think about “art on campus,” most people tend to imagine objects made of paint, canvas and wood and placed in either the Rose Art Museum or Dreitzer Gallery in Spingold Theater. The multitude of statues and busts with plaques nailed to them that litter the campus also come to mind, but what about all the stuff that makes up the campus itself? I’m talking about the foundational aesthetics that define the look and attitude of Brandeis University, its architecture and landscaping. The buildings, walkways and the decorative plants did not spontaneously generate when Brandeis was founded. On the contrary, almost every object on this campus was the result of a conscious decision made by the interplay of designers, architects and administrators. We can’t afford to take these easily overlooked aesthetics lightly. Accounting for the landscaping alone, hundreds of thousands of dollars are likely set aside every year to maintain our many acres of lawns, vast array of ornamental trees and the annual flower beds. I would like to make the case that “art” can extend beyond the gallery and into every aspect of this campus’s design. In short, plants matter. Observe the Metasequoia, a tree planted between the Bernstein-Marcus Administration Center and the Shapiro Campus Center. It is a fairly nondescript tree, at least at a glance. Careful examination reveals certain irregularities in its features. It is markedly taller than any of the non-oak in the vicinity of Fellows Garden, and its branches sprout from the very base of the trunk, bestowing upon the tree a distinctive triangular or arrowhead-like profile. The girthy lower branches are upturned in apparent exultation as they spiral up the trunk, and at this time of the year, they are entirely barren of foliage. This configuration of branches would not be surprising at all on a pine, and while the Metasequoia is just

as much a needle-bearing conifer as your average Christmas tree, it is not evergreen. In fact, this rare specimen is one of only two species of deciduous conifers within many miles of Brandeis University. The Metasequoia will drop its needles just as readily as the birches next to it will drop their leaves when autumn comes around, resulting in the uncanny pine-tree nakedness that you can observe right now. The height of the Metasequoia can be explained by its relation to the giant and coastal sequoias of the West. You’ve seen the textbook pictures from Yosemite. The redwoods of California make up some of the tallest organisms on the planet, boasting trunks so massive that a car can be driven through them. While the Metasequoia, also known as the Dawn Redwood, has never been known to reach such insane sizes, it is by no means a small plant. You have probably walked by this tree hundreds of times and had no idea you were passing the only deciduous redwood of the three surviving sequoia species on Earth. The Metasequoia’s radical fall coloration makes it the most stylish of its cousins, and I suspect that is why it was allowed to be planted so conspicuously next to the admin building. In marketing a “New England University,” autumn is everything, and the needles of the Metasequoia take on brilliant copper-red hues during the fall that complement the yellow-orange leaves of its neighboring birches. The fact that it remains barren throughout the winter is a secondary bonus—it doesn’t stand out as a lone conifer when the other trees have finished their show. A landscaper is like a painter that employs foliage as his medium, and the Metasequoia, which is growing in popularity as an ornamental across the board, is a great addition to the toolkit. Beyond surface aesthetics, our Environmental Studies department has good reason to keep a species as scientifically interesting as the Metasequoia around. It shares a story with the famous

coelacanth, a lobed fish which was thought to be extinct for millions of years but was miraculously discovered alive off the coast of Africa. The Metasequoia is another of these “lazarus species,” with fossils indicating that vast forests of these kinds of trees once populated much of the northern hemisphere. In the 1940s, clusters of living Dawn Redwoods were discovered in China. The locals had been logging these things for years to build bridges and such, completely unaware that they were in the presence of a scientifically significant, not to mention critically endangered, tree. The intervening years saw expeditions for seed collection, and now the endangered Metasequoia has a proud home right next to the office of University President Liebowitz. Interest in this tree is not limited to the scientific and landscaping communities. In fact, a certain cult-like interest has grown around the Dawn Redwood, with private entities taking an extreme interest in the ideal of restoring healthy redwood forests to the eastern United States. A vintage-looking HTML website known as “” speaks of one such endeavor that has supposedly been taking place in North Carolina since 1995. Doug Hanks, the site’s curator and apparent redwood fanatic, speaks of a project known as the Crescent Ridge Dawn Redwoods Preserve. It is a privately funded attempt to grow a self-sustaining Metasequoia forest in the most theoretically optimal climate to maximize tree growth. The man is convinced of the economic promise that such a preserve could offer. His website optimistically details his ambitions for the park, which include a pre-planned trail system to mimic “ancient Indian trails”, fairy circles for scenic marriages, and a cable car system to allow tourists to explore the crowns of the yet nonexistent mature sequoias. A link at the top of the website leads to an appeal to prospective filmmakers, in which he argues that the low cost of


living and scenic views of North Carolina could provide a future hotspot for movies. It might be safe to say that this man’s ambitions grow even larger than his favorite trees. In reality, an eastern redwood forest will likely never match the scale or vigor of the Yosemite sequoias, but the idea is potent enough for dreams. Imagine that, our own redwood forest revived from the dregs of a nearly extinct species! It is not hard to see why tree lovers and scientists alike could be enthralled by the Dawn Redwood. The Crescent Ridge website optimistically posits that the project could be “completed” by 2035, but I suspect this is a wildly optimistic estimate. In all likelihood, the minds behind this

project will be dead long before the trees ever achieve their full potential. Trees do not conform to humanity’s transiently frail sense of time. The Dawn Redwoods have existed for millions of years regardless of human evolution, and they might very well outlast us by a few million more. In the meantime, we can appreciate what we have. Brandeis students and faculty have easy access to not only a beautiful and rare landscaping piece, but a tree with a potent history and an alluring future. How could such a thing be anything but art? The next time you find yourself speed walking through Fellows Garden to reach your lonely Village single, slow down and smell the flowers. Many of them carry a fantastic story.

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