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Volume 16 Issue 22

“To acquire wisdom, one must observe”

November 8, 2019

Brandeis University’s Community Newspaper · Waltham, Mass.

BCC sees increase in student use By Victoria Morrongiello and Celia Young staff and editor


Park spoke about her escape from North Korea on Wednesday.


Recent trends in the increased utilization of the Brandeis Counseling Center (BCC) has BCC Director Dr. Joy von Steiger concerned with the university’s ability to accommodate the growing number of students seeking counseling. Von Steiger addressed this growing issue and provided suggestions for how faculty can help aid students in a Nov. 1 Faculty Senate meeting. In the last academic year alone, there was a dramatic increase in students seen by the clinic for a first-time appointment—which the counseling center refers to as an assessment, von Steiger said. There were an additional 315 students given assessments from the previous year, which are students who generally wish to seek ongoing care from the counseling center. This semester, the majority of

students sought help for moderate to extreme anxiety or moderate to extreme depression. The counseling center also sees students who come in for urgent care, who may not necessarily be included in that statistic of students seeking assessments. Overall, the number of students being seen by the counseling center increased by 8.4 percent from the previous academic year. Last year, the counseling center also experienced a 120 percent increase in hospitalizations of students as compared to the year before, along with an 84 percent increase in initial assessments and a 47 percent increase in total appointments, according to a previous Hoot article. This pattern has continued into this semester, von Steiger said. “We have more kids coming in that we call high risk. These are kids who are talking about being actively suicidal or have behaviors which might be putting them at See BCC, page 5

North Korean defector Yeonmi Park tells escape story By Rachel Saal editor

As a girl growing up in North Korea, Yeonmi Park didn’t know that the type of freedom that is found in the United States existed. Now a human rights activist and a student studying at

Columbia University in New York, Park is realizing that the rest of the world didn’t know about a world like the one she lived in, either, according to Park who spoke Wednesday evening in Sherman Function Hall. Park was a part of a family that was considered wealthy by North Korean standards, but they still

struggled to find enough food to survive, according to Park. She said that when she escaped as a teenager, she was 50-60 pounds. She said she didn’t know how a phone or the Internet worked and she didn’t have a map, so she followed the electricity and light coming from China. Her sister escaped first, and Park and her

mother escaped after, she said. Park said that people now ask her why North Koreans don’t revolt if there are 25 million people living there. She said that the people that live in North Korea don’t realize that their life isn’t normal. “If you don’t know you’re a slave, if you don’t know you’re oppressed, how do you fight?”

said Park. “And that is the fundamental difference between North Korea and the rest of the world. Most North Koreans don’t know a world like this exists.” Park said that the best way to help and to make a difference is to inform yourself and inform See PARK, page 4

Kendal Chapman ’22 runs unopposed for Vice Presidential seat By Celia Young editor

Kendal Chapman ’22 is running unopposed for the Student Union vice presidency—a seat that opened last week after former Vice President Guillermo Caballero’s ’20 resignation. If elected, Chapman hopes to increase communication across the Union and be a mediator for any disputes. Chapman wants to create a culture of respectful communication across Union branches and in the Senate. She wants to form a team to clarify the roles of dif-

ferent Union members. Union members don’t always understand their specific responsibilities, said Chapman, because of high turnover in the Union and confusion over day-to-day and weekly responsibilities. Chapman wants to change that misunderstanding by creating a one-sheet with an explanation of the role and past examples of the given Union members’ achievements. “My goal is to help with the high turnover; my goal is to help with the confusion, to help with those difficult conversations where you

Inside This Issue:

News: Brandeis updates website. Ops: My mattress hates me. Features: It’s all downhill from here. Sports: NBA week one run down. Editorial: Turn off the pressure cooker.

See VP, page 4


senior night

Chapman is running unopposed for Vice President.

Page 3 Page 14 Volleyball celebrates Emma Bartlett ’20. Page 13 Page 9 SPORTS: PAGE 7 Page 11

transnational adoption Two events explore adoption. ARTS: PAGE 17



2 The Brandeis Hoot

Interim student activities specialist wants to help student clubs and club leaders succeed By Tim Dillon staff

The interim Student Activities Specialist, Boston-native Nikisha Jose, wants to help students succeed in hosting club events. Brandeis hired Jose in October, and Jose is transitioning into her role with the Department of Student Activities to help support clubs, she told The Brandeis Hoot in an interview. Born and raised in Boston, Jose is currently in the process of obtaining a master’s degree from Salem State University and expects to graduate May of 2020. When she isn’t working with Student Activities or on her master’s degree, she enjoys travelling in her free time. Prior to her work at Brandeis, she worked in higher education for the last two years and as a social worker for three years before that. Her previous experience working in higher education was at Salem State University, where she worked in admissions, first year experience and helped students transition from high school to college.

As Student Activities Specialist, Jose’s duties revolve around working with student clubs at Brandeis and providing them support. Her day to day work will involve meeting with club leaders and making sure that they have access to all of the resources that they need, as well as checking in with them and having conversations about any upcoming events they intend to put on, she said in an interview. Right now she is still transitioning to the role and students are still getting to know her, but she hopes to soon be able to focus all of her attention on working with clubs one on one, she said. She commented that working with the various student clubs has been “very cool” and that students “have so much passion and love for [their] clubs and it’s such a beautiful thing that everyone’s so dedicated.” She loves seeing how committed students are to their clubs and how much enjoyment they get out of them, she said. Dennis Hicks, the Director of Student Activities, affirmed Jose’s role with student clubs, and also added that she

“will be assisting with the campus implementation of Presence.” Presence is an online service for student organizations and advertising for club events that was rolled out this academic year, according to a previous Hoot article. Hicks also noted that at present Jose is “not [sic] full time nor permanent,” but that she is working for the university in an interim capacity “until [the university] can do an official search.” When asked about this, Jose confirmed that her position is currently interim, but she added that she hopes to turn it into a permanent job. She explained that she has enjoyed working at Brandeis so far, citing the students as being “friendly and kind” and willing to help her with her transition. Jose wants students to “feel free to stop by and say ‘hi,’” and invites them to introduce themselves to her if they see her around campus. She is looking forward to seeing what she can offer to Brandeis moving forward, and wants to be known for helping students achieve success and helping “the person who didn’t think they could [succeed].”

November 8, 2019

IN THE SENATE: Nov. 3, 2019 •

The Senate passed an amendment introduced by Rules Committee Chair Scott Halper ’20, which changed the Senate committee service requirement. Senators serving as a representative to the Community Emergency and Enhancement Fund (CEEF) or the Allocations Board are no longer required to serve on the previously required two Senate committees.

The Senate voted to change Triskelion’s, Brandeis’ LGBTQ student social group, constitution in their weekly Senate meeting this Sunday. Triskelion created an intersectionality board and changed the structure of their organization, so there will be only one subgroup in the club, TransDeis, as opposed to the original four branches: TransDeis, Shalem, QPOCC and SASS.

Rachel Sterling ’21 spoke on behalf of the Judiciary about President Simran Tatuskar’s ’21 apology to the public that she had finished drafting, Sterling said, and should be released within the week. The Senate voted to require Tatuskar to apologize to the student body at last week’s meeting after a Judiciary case was brought against her over communication between the Executive Board, which Tatuskar sits on, and the Senate and the role of the Executive Senator. The case found that Tatuskar had violated the Student Union constitution and code of conduct.

Executive Senator Jake Rong ’21 reported that the Union would hold a special election on Nov. 14 to replace the vice presidential seat after the previous vice president, Guillermo Caballero, resigned last week. The Senate voted

Panelists discuss humans’ climate change response as part of critical conversations series By Hannah Pederson special to the hoot

A lot of people are aware that climate change exists, but many of them don’t do anything about it, according to a panelist on Tuesday in Sherman Function Hall. After news last year from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change came out that stated that we only have about 12 years to attempt to reverse the effects of climate change before there is irreversible damage, discussions and debates on the struggles of mitigating climate change have spiked. There are many different conflicting perspectives on how to best address the issue, and some of these were discussed at the Critical Conversations-Fiddling While Rome Burns: Understanding Humankind’s Response to Climate Threat for first year students as part of their University Writing Seminar class. Panelists included Professor Sabine von Mering (WGS/ GRALL/ENVS) from Germany who teaches German language courses and some environmental studies courses and Professor Paul Miller (NBIO) from the U.K. who teaches biology. They represented the two differing perspectives of the debate moderated by Charlie Chester. Professor Miller took on the role of the scientist in the debate while Professor Von

Mering took on the role of the activist. The conversation started off with a brief background of the two professors and how their backgrounds of where they grew up formed some of their opinions that they had in the conversation. The conversation proceeded with Professor Miller giving a short introduction on the history of climate change. Professor Von Mering then had the crowd all stand up to take a poll. She directed the crowd to remain standing if climate change is a “serious issue that needs to be addressed.” No one sat down. She then proceed to asked the crowd if anyone recognized Greta Thunburg and a few people sat down. She finished the poll with asking the crowd “you’ve all said that you find this a very serious crisis so stay standing if you are acting as if your house is on fire.” Only two people remained standing. Professor Miller then answered the question that Charlie Chester asked him if climate change is real enough to act on it. “I am trusting other scientists that what they produce is not fake, that they are doing it from a good basis,” said Professor Miller about carbon dioxide warming the earth. “That they know what they are doing and obviously some of them, I haven’t seen every single one of them, but there are enough lines of evidence that kind of

intertwine and connect that all make sense to a coherent cause.” He followed this statement by ensuring the audience that there is no doubt that we need to act on this issue. After Chester had asked some of his own questions to the two professors, questions were now open to the audience. They asked questions such as what the best course of action, whether individual or governmental, to fix the problem. Miller said that governmental action was important and von Mering said that individual action was important. Next semester, von Mering is teaching: • GECS 188B: Human/Nature: European Perspectives on Climate Change • GER 102B: Küche, Kochen, Kuchen: Advanced German Grammar, Pronunciation, and Baking • HWL7: Your Brain on Carbon Miller is teaching: • NBIO 136B: Computational Neuroscience • NBIO 340B: Systems/ Computational Neuroscience Journal Club • NEUR 98B: Readings in Neuroscience

not to censure Caballero for a breach of the Student Union constitution that the Judiciary found while looking into the case against Tatuskar. •

Senators, including Club Support Committee Chair Joseph Coles ’22 and Skyline and Rosenthal Quad Senator Leah Fernandez ’22, argued that the racial minority senator seat should be put on the vice presidential special election ballot. The position has been vacant for about a month, since the Oct. 6 senate meeting when Rajan Vohra ‘21 was dismissed by Caballero for not attending senate meetings.

“[The position] was literally created because of a lack of representation,” said Fernandez. Rong reported that he would voice these concerns to Union secretary Taylor Fu ’21, who is managing the special election.

Dining Committee, chaired by Nancy Zhai ’22, reported on the two open forums on dining at Brandeis as the university prepares for a new contract with a dining provider. Zhai also said that a food cart with a continental breakfast will be available for students staying at Brandeis during winter break in the Stein. Dining is also working on addressing inaccuracies between the online dining menu for both Sherman and Lower Usdan dining halls and what is actually served, said Zhai.

For Club Support Committee, Coles reported that he had met with the Justice and found a compromise on the club advisor bylaw, a bylaw passed last spring that requires all secured clubs to have a faculty or staff advisor to oversee the club. Coles reported that all secured clubs now have an advisor and plans to work on expanding the bylaw to more clubs this week.

Facilities and Housing Committee Chair Trevor Filseth ’20 reported that his committee was working to examine the fairness of damage fees—costs a student pays during move out for damages to their room.

Just under half of the Senate did not attend Sunday’s meeting due to several excused absences. -Celia Young

November 8, 2019


The Brandeis Hoot

ODEI opens paid position to students to talk about challenges to Brandeis By Celia Young editor

The Office of Diversity Equity and Inclusion (ODEI) is seeking about 10 to 12 students for a Student Advisory Council, which would inform ODEI programming with their discussions on successes and challenges to the Brandeis campus—like ableism, classism, racism, homophobia, political affiliation, privilege and oppression—and connect students from different backgrounds. The students would be paid $12.75 an hour and would meet eight times during the Spring 2020 academic year, or twice per month, with an option of extending the position into the fall, said Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Education Training and Development Allyson Livingstone in an interview with The Brandeis Hoot. Livingstone hopes that this will be a long-term project. The position is paid, said Chief Diversity Officer and Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Mark Brimhall-Vargas in an interview with The Hoot, so uncompensated time does not pose an obstacle to students get-

ting involved with the council. Brimhall-Vargas has not set a firm cap on the number of positions in case more students want to engage with ODEI, and the office has already received over 20 applications, according to Livingstone. “[This comes from] a desire for a place for students to come together to talk about the things they experience and observe in a variety of settings that is a systematic way to communicate about diversity issues,” said Brimhall-Vargas. “We’ve set up one system for communication around diversity and that is protest. And there’s nothing wrong with protest, and we want that to continue, but we want to create something so that our division hears from students on a regular basis about things that they are observing and experiencing.” The Social Justice Committee on the Student Union has assisted ODEI in recruiting applicants, and Racial Minority Senator Joyce Huang ’22 reported in last week’s senate meeting that 30 people had signed up to apply after the committee tabled in the Shapiro Campus Center. The group would be a direct line of communication with ODEI

and could influence the office’s educational work on campus, said Livingstone, as well as work in the Intercultural Center (ICC), Prevention, Advocacy & Resource Center (PARC) and the Gender and Sexuality Center (GSC), said Brimhall-Vargas. The group would also provide students with skills to talk to each other about difficult issues, according to Livingstone, which they could then apply to other sectors of their lives. “Students have so much to offer on how Brandeis can stay relevant and inclusive,” said Livingstone. The group could also provide students with peer resources to talk about ideas, like bringing controversial art or speakers to campus. Brimhall-Vargas mentioned two examples, when Michael Weller ’65 authored the play “Buyer Beware” which faced student backlash when it was set to be performed at Brandeis because of the use of a racial slur for African Americans and the Undergraduate Theater Collective’s performance of “And Then There Were None,” which faced faculty criticism because of the play’s racist history. Brimhall-Vargas hopes that this group will allow students to discuss how to engage with dif-

ficult work in a respectful manner. “Students are not always talking with each other…[and] not always engaged with other parts of the student body,” said Brimhall-Vargas. “The thought was to get a diverse group of students together who might…surface those points of view before there is a crisis.” Brimhall-Vargas said that the group could be used to look at how to bring up a controversial topic to Brandeis, how that could be done well and respectfully and how Brandeis could prepare for the aftermath of a challenging speaker or art work, for example. Livingstone suggested that the group could also potentially function as a peer consultancy group, aside from its role to give a student perspective on Brandeis for ODEI programming. “It is an opportunity we’re seeking to create, where students who have reach and connection to others on campus might come and bring ideas that might be challenging, to test it to see how they move forward,” said Brimhall-Vargas. “We can build the communication of spirited engagement that is still respectful and where diversity is valued.” ODEI is seeking students of

diverse backgrounds, including in race, sexual orientation, ideological beliefs and students who don’t have strong social identities, said Brimhall-Vargas—especially students who want to engage with ODEI and the student body to bring issues forward and discuss them. The students are meant to represent a part of the Brandeis experience. “We’re not only focusing on marginalized identities. We really, truly want an intersectional, diverse group folks who’ve experienced some privilege as a result of the way their identity has been valued by society and folk who’ve experienced marginalization with regards of being devalued by society,” said Livingstone. “We want to really engage in cross-cultural dialogue and help students develop the skills to connect to each other in this way…It’s about students talking about issues, success and challenges…and engaging with dialogue with folk who are like them in some ways and unlike them in other ways.” The council is not about building a consensus, said Livingston, but about creating skills for students and informing ODEI practices.

Univ. working on website updates, public image and brand By Sabrina Chow editor

The university is working towards upgrading the current website to make it more accessible and improving Brandeis’s branding, according to a selfstudy published by the university in Sept. 2018. The study also reflects on how Brandeis is working towards better communicating how the university has a Jewish dimension, but is also a nonsectarian university. In the self-study, the university examined areas of educational effectiveness as part of the university’s accreditation process through the New England Commissions of Higher Education (NECHE). The ninth standard of nine NECHE standards focuses on integrity, transparency and public disclosure. This article is the second part of The Brandeis Hoot’s coverage on the ninth standard. Standard Nine: Integrity, Transparency and Public Disclosure Transparency and Public Disclosure

Website Accessibility The university uses its website as the “first source of information for prospective students, parents, members of the Brandeis community and for others interested in Brandeis, according to the self-study. The Office of Communications has the responsibility for updating the website with 19 full-time staff members. One of the biggest challenges to the website is making sure that all of the information on Brandeis’ 300 individual websites of programs and around 90,000 web pages is up to date, according to the self-study. The Office of Communications is working to make the website more accessible. “Assistive technologies can greatly reduce barriers, but keeping pace with those technologies requires special efforts and expenditures on our website,” according to the self-study. Sarah Ferguson, the web accessibility specialist, explained in an interview with The Brandeis Hoot that the coding determines how accessible a website is. “The template that we write for each web page must have code that is screen reader friendly,” Ferguson explained.

Each department has specific representatives that are responsible for making updates to the website and are trained by the members of the Office of Communications. The redesign project for the Brandeis website started in 2015, Audrey Griffin-Goode, the Director of Digital Communications, told The Hoot in an interview. The university worked with an external vendor that helped to design a new website and create templates that were more responsive and accessible for individuals that may use assistive technologies. The first stage of the redesign process was releasing a new homepage and other first-level webpages—pages that individuals would click on first. This was completed in February 2017. The second stage is the migration of the 22,000 individual academic, administrative and center and institute websites into the new templates. This migration is split up into five different phases, Griffin-Goode explained. These phases are defined by institutional profile, relevance to recruitment, relationship to the top-level and high traffic. The first phase of migration was completed in October 2017.

The Jewish Dimension Another major issue that the university is working towards is communicating to the greater Brandeis community and the world “the Jewish dimension of a nonsectarian university,” writes the self-study. Brandeis ranks low in marketability, according to an earlier Hoot article, because of the university’s presentation as a Jewish institution. Mark Neustadt, a marketing analyst with speciality in colleges and universities, said that Brandeis should present itself as an institution with the broad Jewish values of “a reverence for learning and scholarship, cultivation of critical thinking, and using one’s gifts and accomplishments for the betterment of society.” The university ranked lower in marketability than Neustadt had ever seen before, according to an earlier Hoot article. Brandeis is working towards “continuing the affirmation that this is a nonsectarian university, open to all and eagerly seeking a diverse and inclusive community,” according to the self-study. They are also planning on continuing, and increasing, their “commitment to academic strengths in Jewish studies” through opportunities for further Jewish experiences and their already special relationships to the Jewish community. There are also plans to further communicate how the previous parts “all fit together, noting how our Jewish roots imbue us with an ethos and set of ideals that are meaningful and appealing to the full range of students, faculty and staff whom we wish to attract,” writes the self-study. The Brandeis Brand


Brandeis struggles with media presence beyond the Brandeis

community. When the self-study was published in 2018, there were just three people in the media relations team and one part-time individual devoted to social media, reads the study. “Brandeis has lacked an adequate external relations/government and public affairs capability,” writes the self-study. “The result of the under-investment in this area has been modest visibility and public awareness of Brandeis in an increasingly competitive higher-education marketplace.” Updates to the “Brandeis brand” have been made to increase the university’s competitiveness in their environment. The Office of Communications is currently developing a new “agency model” designed to deliver better outreach. This model was most recently tested when Professor Michael Rosbash (NBIO) and Professor Emeritus Jeffrey Hall (BIOL) won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their research endeavors. Brandeis created an advertising campaign, which was a series of targeted events that the university used to promote their Nobel Prize winning professors and the ability for Brandeis professors to “explore without boundaries.” Looking into the future, the university is also working towards a more comprehensive update to the entire website, rather than just the 22,000 that the current update is working towards. Brandeis is also hoping to create a University Factbook that goes more into detail about the university’s endeavors and fast facts. The date for the release and location of the Factbook was not specified in the self-study. This is the final part in a series analyzing the self-study.


The Brandeis Hoot

November 8, 2019

North Korean defector shares her escape story and experiences as a human rights activist PARK, from page 1

others. When she tells people from other Asian countries that she’s from North Korea, they are surprised that she looks and acts just like them because there is a bias against people from North Korea. She also said that when she came to the United States, she was surprised by people not really thinking about the implications of her being from North Korea. According to Park, people either don’t know about the oppression

in North Korea or they don’t think that there is anything that they can do. She said that Trump has been too complimentary to Kim Jong-Un and that Barack Obama wasn’t critical enough. “If we allow and tolerate as a humanity… this kind of terror to [happen to] other humans, I just have to wonder, if no one is free, who will speak for us,” said Park. “It is our duty as a free people to speak for people who don’t have a voice.” There are 300,000 North Korean defector women in China, and

most of them are trafficked due to the one-child policy, according to Park. She said that she was sold for less than $300 and her mom was sold for around $100. “Liberty, freedom, is the only thing that allows us to fight for all these causes that we care about.” A key factor that the Trafficking in Persons Report attributes to fueling to China’s trafficking industry is the country’s population control program which limits most couples within China, the One Child Policy, according to the Lozier Institute. The report

estimates that for every 118 boys born, there are only 100 girls, but demographers say that the ratio can be as high as 150 boys for every 100 girls in some areas. Speaking out has earned her

censure in her North Korea, according to NBC News. Park said that while she couldn’t have survived in North Korea, she hopes to return one day to see her friends and family.


In Union special Vice Presidential election Kendal Chapman ’22 runs unopposed VP, from page 1

have to tell someone ‘listen we don’t feel like you’re stepping up’ and it’s like, well, stepping up to do what?’” Chapman said she would work with all branches of the Union, such as the Judiciary, Executive Board and Senate, to create these descriptions. Caballero resigned from the seat Chapman is running for effective as of Tuesday, Oct. 29 at 4 p.m. Caballero’s resignation came after he and Senior Representative to the Board of Trustees Zosia Busé ’20 brought complaints against Student Union President Simran Tatuskar ’21 to the Student Union Judiciary, according to an earlier article by The Brandeis Hoot. Tatuskar was subsequently found guilty of violating the Union’s Code of Conduct by not effectively communicating across the Union branches and unconstitutionally interpreting the duties of the Executive Senator. Caballero was also found guilty of violating the constitution due to a lack of communication with his other Union members. Senator for North Quad Krupa Sourirajan ’23 had submitted an intent to run against Chapman, wrote in an email to The Hoot on Wednesday that she was no longer running. Sourirajan and Student Union Secretary Taylor Fu ’21 both declined to comment on why Sourirajan was no longer

running. Chapman decided to run because several people approached her once the position was open, she said, and she felt she could be a good resource for Union members given her experience. Chapman has served on both the Senate and the Executive Board in her time at Brandeis. As Senator for Massell Quad during her first year, Chapman worked on Midnight Buffet, a food and dancing event that is held every semester before finals week. On the Executive Board, Chapman was appointed by Tatuskar as the Director of Outreach, where she has worked to plan events like Midnight Buffet and Pumpkin Fest—where students and other guests could carve pumpkins and enjoy caramel apples. “The biggest thing is I’m going to do the job,” said Chapman. “What the job is, is serving as that bridge of communication, and I’m going to be really open, really clear and really engaged with committee chairs—that’s a big thing with all the members of the Senate with the E-board.” Much of her work on the Union has had tangible results, said Chapman, and working on two branches of the Union has informed her of the dynamic between the Senate and the Executive Board, which she would use to prevent miscommunication. Chapman also spoke about her experience on the Union, which has extended across different

controversies including the resignation of the past two Student Union vice presidents and two judiciary cases. If elected, Chapman wants to help emphasize professionalism in the Student Union and to check Union members if they are disrespectful. “It’s a matter of professionalism and remembering that, yes, it is a commitment, but it’s not personal, and at the end of the day, everyone is just trying to do what is best for the student body whether you like it or not,” said Chapman. “And I also think it’s important to check people when they’re cross-

ing that line.” One of the problems in the Union in the past, said Chapman, was miscommunication. If elected, Chapman would work to provide a “safe and confidential space” for Union members to vent and communicate with her. Chapman hopes to create a Union culture where students on the Union trust each other as friends and regularly communicate about issues. Chapman also spoke about initiatives the Union has considered, like paying Union members and secured clubs. Chapman said that

some members of the Union certainly deserve pay but would want to change the culture of the Union to make sure that all members understand and accomplish their responsibilities before considering pay. Both issues would have to be carefully discussed, said Chapman. Chapman also said she could handle the time commitment of the position, and if elected, would resign from her current appointed position on the Executive Board. Even though she is running unopposed, Chapman encouraged students to vote.



The Brandeis Hoot

November 8, 2019

Students seeking help for anxiety and depression BCC, from page 1

risk,” she said. With an increase in high-risk patients, a fair amount of the clinic’s resources are being used for them specifically. According to von Steiger, this intensified treatment is using up a majority of the counseling center’s input. “Higher education is a pressure cooker environment,” von Steiger said, “That sense that there’s too much to do, there’s too little time, you have to be busy all the time, you have to have two majors, you have to be president of four clubs. That’s kind of the ethos here at Brandeis.” According to von Steiger, the counseling center isn’t equipped with a large enough staff to handle this increased demand. In addition to the director and associate director, there are 17 staff therapists, two staff psychiatrists and four community therapists, according to the BCC’s university webpage. Other local colleges have also experienced increased demand, like Boston College, which expe-

rienced a 25 percent increase in student demand for counseling services in 2016—causing the university to hire two new fulltime staff members—according to a previous Hoot article. Boston College also expanded its counseling services to its Newton campus this past spring, according to The Heights. Boston University also increased its counseling staff in 2017, according to a 2017 Daily Free Press article. When looking at data from the counseling center, von Steiger said, “The reason why this is important, is that what we find is when we look at all our data... folks with marginalized identities are much more likely to endorse higher symptoms [of depression and anxiety].” Von Steiger also provided a breakdown of what students coming into the counseling center were seeking help for this semester. The largest percentage of students, 58 percent, are seeking counseling for moderate to extreme anxiety. The second largest percentage of students, 46 per-

“Higher education is a pressure cooker environment... That sense that there’s too much to do, there’s too little time, you have to be busy all the time... That’s kind of the ethos here at Brandeis.”

Joy von Steiger, director of the Bcc

cent, are seeking help for moderate to extreme depression. These symptoms are not mutually exclusive, and there is some overlap in the categories, von Steiger said. Research shows that the utilization of counseling centers across the country is outpacing the rate of enrollment by five times, said von Steiger. From this data, von Steiger said the university must therefore plan to have a higher number of students seeking counseling. “We have to assume that we are


going to have more and more students each year showing up wanting care and we are going to have to assume that is going to grow at a high rate,” von Steiger said. With this in mind, von Steiger brought up her “Calls to Action” to the faculty for what they could do to help manage this crisis. “Everybody in our community should start thinking about what it is they can do in their corner of the world to enhance a sense of wellbeing—both for themselves and their students,” said von Steiger. Her ideas included making it mandatory for professors to provide a list of mental health resources on their syllabus to encourage wellbeing in the curriculum, as well as mandatory training for faculty at a mental health workshop. This idea was actually implemented a couple of years earlier, said von Steiger, when one member of each department went to the training and then reported back what they learned to the rest of their division. The overall feedback was very positive, according to von Steiger, and they hope to reimplement this style of training. Other suggestions that were encouraged, but not mandatory, suggested that professors start class with a mindful moment, and attend a “wellbeing in the classroom” workshop. Raymond Ou, vice provost of student affairs, spoke on the topic as well, calling for a change in the university’s provision of care.

In the coming weeks, there will be a faculty staff and student advisory group to help adjust the current models of care for the counseling center, said Ou. The university may change its counseling model to mimic those of other institutions that set session limits or create a biweekly model for therapy treatment. Neither of these models are set in stone, Ou said, though the university is looking at alternative models of care given the limited number of resources Brandeis has. Faculty, like Nina Kammerer from The Heller School for Social Policy and Management, advocated for student groups that could meet and meditate. This would not be for students who are necessarily depressed, said Kammerer, but for support and optimism to give students a sense of belonging that may help combat anxiety. Other professors suggested bringing nature into the lives of students, citing recent studies between the correlation of nature and optimal mental health. Jennifer Cleary (THA), senior lecturer in theater arts, spoke of potential collaboration with faculty and the counseling center to better the classroom environment for students and promote wellbeing. Cleary also suggested a faculty survey to measure what they are doing in their classes to support mental wellbeing and to discuss the emotional labor of some faculty on campus that students gravitate toward.

BLC begins talk of campaign in sustainable dining By Victoria Morrongiello staff

The Brandeis Labor Coalition (BLC) partnered with Uprooted and Rising, a movement focused on the future of sustainability and nourishment of future generations by demanding food sovereignty—as described by its website. The two organizations plan to make a presentation on Brandeis’ potential to create a self-operated dining plan as opposed to outsourced dining like the university’s current dining contract with Sodexo. This past Thursday, the BLC invited students—both members of the club and non-members—to listen to the potential of pushing for a sustainable dining plan. Roughly 54 students filled Schwartz 103 to watch the presentation given by Uprooted and Rising and create ideas for change they want to see on campus. Brandeis’ contract with Sodexo will expire in June 2020, and the university is currently accepting bids for alternative dining options. Sodexo was invited to reapply. Sodexo is a part of the “Big Three Corporations,” as described by representatives from Uprooted and Rising; the other

two companies in this group are Aramark and Compass Group. In the United States, about 30 percent of institutions still operate on the self-dining model—the other 70 percent outsource their dining, which is controlled primarily by the “Big Three Corporations,” according to Uprooted and Rising representatives. These companies aren’t solely signing contracts with college campuses but with national parks, detention centers, prisons and hospitals, said Uprooted and Rising. “They are offered in a lot of different types of institutions, colleges and universities are their biggest segment and the place they make the most money,” said an Uprooted and Rising representative. Globally, these institutions each make over $14 billion dollars in profit—Sodexo has the largest profit with $28 million dollars made, a figure which is larger than the amount the McDonald’s chain makes, according to Uprooted and Rising. These representatives said that companies like Sodexo, Aramark and Compass Group buy their food from large food companies like Tyson and Coca Cola, not local farms. This causes local farm-

ers to lose their livelihood. In a video shown at the presentation, students witnessed this loss from first-hand accounts from farmers like the Barkers. Due to the “Big Three’s” immense power, they are able to lower prices which make it more difficult for smaller farms to compete, according to the representatives. The BLC worked to create a list of campaign goals for what it would like to see in the new dining contract for the university next year. Students collectively made a list of desires that they had for the future contract: retention of current workers, a contract with local businesses, cheaper meal plans, healthier foods, diversity in options and a sustainable plan. Students also advocated for a long-lasting plan of self operated dining. Students noted that, seven years ago, the university did not have outsourced dining; rather, it ran on what was called Brandeis Dining. The dining contract, however, switched to Aramark and then to our current contract with Sodexo. Both contracts are made with companies that are part of the “Big Three Corporations.” Students are seeking to reestablish a contract similar to the one Brandeis had seven years ago with a larger focus on a


longer contract. Students also noted they wanted the university to give more support to urban farms and local businesses in the area. One student mentioned the Waltham Fields Community Farm, which he said could potentially be a viable source of sustainable food. Uprooted and Rising has relations across the country trying to push for sustainable dining. It is also planning to meet with other universities in the area, including Boston University and Northeastern University, regarding the switch from outsourced dining to self-operated dining, according to the representatives from Uprooted and Rising during the presentation. In an interview with The Hoot after the meeting, Madeline Bis-

gyer ’20, one of the student coordinators of the event, spoke on behalf of BLC saying the event was “a chance to hear about the campaign and to see if there is interest on campus.” From the response of the crowd, Bisgyer said the BLC is excited to hear from more students to further build the campaign. The BLC has created a fivephase breakdown of their campaign. The first phase was establishing goals. Following meetings will include working on the other four phases: audience, narrative, tactics and capacity. There will be another meeting held this coming Monday at 5 p.m., with the location to be announced, to discuss further plans for this campaign.


The Brandeis Hoot

November 8, 2019

Students unhappy with sex education, says Brandeis professor in lecture By Emma Lichtenstein editor

Students are unhappy with their sex education, according to a talk by Professor Phoebe Schnitzer, the women’s studies resource center resident scholar, on Thursday, Nov. 7, where Schnitzer discussed her research and findings in sex education. Immediately following was a talk from graduating senior Makayla (M.K.) Richards, who shared her own findings. “Sex ed is a product of its times,” said Schnitzer. Schnitzer started the event by discussing her own dissatisfaction with her sex education. She said that when she was young, her class was only shown a video about menstruation. She followed by sharing a statistic. According to her, 57 percent of high schoolers will have had sex before they graduate. She continued with the research that this statistic inspired her to pursue. In spring 2017, Schnitzer conducted a research survey studying how college students felt about the sex education they had received in their lifetime. Her research showed that while some students were happy with their sex education, the majority were not. Two-thirds of the sample said that the teachers used scare tactics to try to prevent them from having sex. Students said that teachers showed gruesome photos and spoke about the deadly consequences of STIs (while offering little to no information on treatment and prevention). Teachers also went graphically into the pain and effects of childbirth, from discussing potential school dropouts to show-

ing videos of childbirth, according to the results of the research. Students were being told not to have sex as the only way to prevent consequences, rather than being told prevention methods, according to the lecture. Additionally, the topics that students were interested in were not touched upon openly and respectfully, said Schnitzer, according to the results. For both men and women, the most desired content from a sex ed class was how sex actually worked, said Schnitzer. She found that it was very infrequently taught. Schnitzer’s research was based on a non-random sample of a majority of white students from New England who were first generation college students to conduct her research. Though only eight of her group of over 200 students went to religious schools, half reported having a Catholic background. Additionally, two-thirds of the sample was comprised of women, with only six students identifying as non-binary. Schnitzer shared that there were three types of questions asked in the survey: questions about where they found information about sex education, about their experiences with sex education in schools and about what they thought an ideal sex education class would look like. Another topic of interest that was often ignored was non-heterosexual sex. Students in the survey found LGBT sex education to be ignored or inaccurate. Abstinence was prevelant in over three-fourths of the students’ sex ed courses, yet this was a topic many students in the study said they felt they needed less. When looking at other potential

outlets of information about sex, her research showed that many listed their mother or their parents as providers. However, not a single participant wrote that their father was a source of information. She continued by mentioning that while fathers are not cited, pornography is, which was a topic of concern for her, due to the frequent degradation of women in pornography. Concluding her speech, she said, “risk doesn’t have to be ignored to have pleasure, and pleasure doesn’t have to be irresponsible.” Richards followed by discussing common misconceptions and issues in today’s society regarding sex education. She emphasized the need for body literacy, which she defines as the understanding of one’s own body, as well as other bodies one might interact with. She also took a moment to acknowledge asexuality and aromanticism, calling them both completely valid identities. A handout that was placed on each chair before the panel started defines asexuality as “someone who does not experience or experiences very little sexual attraction” and aromantic as “someone who doesn’t experience a romantic attraction.” She argued that they should have “ample consideration” in discussing sex ed. Richards then switched the focus to pleasure in sex. She said that while men often have a better time in bed, the women have a much higher “pleasure potential” in terms of nerves within genitals, because the clitoris has 8000 nerves while the tip of the penis has only 4000. Additionally, women are four times as likely to say that they had unpleasurable sex in the past year than men, she said. She continued by

saying that men are significantly more likely to orgasm than women, but that this statistic does not ring true for LGBT relationships. Her ideal sex education class would not be separated by gender, since the spectrum is so wide and because the information is useful for all. Understanding

how other bodies work, body literacy, is something that all will need, she argued. Her class would also be “queer inclusive.” She concluded by saying “a healthy sex life includes clear communication.” The discussion concluded with a Q&A with both Richards and Schnitzer.


Brandeis offers dialogues between students, faculty, university police and police staff By Celia Young editor

The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ODEI) invited students and faculty to three dialogue sessions with the university police and non-police staff on Wednesday in a community-wide email. The dialogues, which will be held for the next two months, are meant to allow students, faculty and public safety officers and staff to explore issues including safety and racial profiling on the Brandeis campus, said Chief Diversity Officer and Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Mark Brimhall-Vargas in an interview with The Brandeis Hoot. “The goal of that dialogue as we see it is to build an understanding of the issues that exist between Public Safety and the community and to see what comes out of it,” said Brimhall-Vargas. “There might be areas of improvement that emerge out of this conversation and it might also be that the conversation itself is an intervention that the community finds valuable.” The dialogues could explore many issues, said Brimhall-Vargas, and may touch on racial profiling and safety. “The obvious ones [issues] will probably be the conversation about racial profiling or the sense

of safety that students and faculty and staff and others may or may not feel because of the national climate. I think that this could go in a variety of places,” Brimhall-Vargas said. “So all of those things might come up, and it’s our goal to create a space where it allows for that to come up in a way that people can engage [with] it.” The dialogues are a three part voluntary, facilitated series, according to the email, limited to 18 to 20 participants that will separate into small groups, so everyone can contribute and engage. Participants will need to attend all three events, said Brimhall-Vargas, and the events will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Nov. 14, Nov. 20 and Dec. 9. “Each session builds on the one that preceded it, and there is a level of understanding and trust and memory about what took place in order to get to that point,” Brimhall-Vargas said. “We’re hoping to construct a group that would do all three sessions together.” Brimhall-Vargas has been working with students, staff, members of public safety and Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Education, Training and Development Allyson Livingstone to develop a program to learn more about Brandeis community members’ experiences with policing at Brandeis, said Brimhall-Vargas.

ODEI has also worked with the Prevention, Advocacy and Resource Center (PARC) and the Office of the Dean of Students, according to the email. ODEI has been working on this project since early this year, said Brimhall-Vargas. Some of the students involved have been PARC advocates, members of

Brandeis Labor Coalition, affiliated with the Union or connected to the Board of Trustees. “The last thing we wanted to do was to do something quickly and not well thought out,” said Brimhall-Vargas. “We want to hold a three session dialogue experience that’s highly structured because we know that people feel

nervous about this conversation.” In the first session the group will get to know one another and agree on guidelines for engagement, and the following dialogue will focus on discussing experiences with policing at Brandeis. The final session will be a review and reflection of the series, along with a discussion of next steps.



November 8, 2019

The Brandeis Hoot 7

Fencing has huge opening weekend, rookies shine By Jesse Lieberman staff

Classmates Josh Shuster ’23 and Jessica Morales ’23 each won gold medals in the men’s epee and women’s saber events respectively as the Judges opened their season at the New England Intercollegiate Fencing Conference Fall Collegiate Invitational in Northampton, MA. The Judges earned three silvers and one bronze in addition to Shuster and Morales’ gold medals. Men’s Epee: After going 4-1 in pool play with an indicator of +13, Shuster was seeded 22nd in the second round. Shuster won the semi-final 15-13, then defeated the 20th seed in the final 15-13. Shuster was the fifth highest-seeded Judge in the elimination round. Rookie Ben Rogak ’23 and veteran Chris Armstrong ’20 were the highest-seeded Judges, placing eighth and ninth respectively. Both went 5-1 in pool play. Rogak and Armstrong met up in the round of 16, where Rogak defeated Armstrong 15-14. Rogak lost to the first seed in the elimination round in the quarterfinal. Adrian Karwowski ’23 and



Ian Quin ‘20 going for a shot.

Garrett Tordo ’21 also went 5-1 in pool play. Both fencers won their opening match in the elimination before losing in the round of 32. Women’s Saber: The Judges had four finishers in the top 10. Morales and fellow first-year Maggie Shealy ’23 each went 5-0 in pool play and were seeded third and fourth respectively. Morales knocked off Shealy in the final 15-11. Jada Harrison ’22 went 5-1 in pool play and

was seeded eighth, while Devon Brown ’21 was seeded tenth after going 4-1 in pool play. Harrison reached the semi-final before losing to the top seed 15-7. Brown lost in the round of 16 to the seventh seed from Vassar 15-11. Women’s Epee: Madeleine Vibert ’21 went 4-1 in pool play en route to being seeded 14th. Vibert won her opening match in the elimination round 15-0 and the round of 32 15-3 before losing to the third

overall seed in the round of 16. Men’s Foil: Captain Ian Quin ’20 won silver while Elliot Siegel ’23 won bronze. Quin went 6-0 in pool play and was seeded second. Quin defeated three of his teammates on his way to the final. Quin defeated teammate Harper Hall ’23 15-3 in the round of 32. Quin then faced Jared Sugarman ’21 in the round of 16, where he won 15-3. Quin defeated Siegel in the semi-final 15-9. Siegel was seeded sixth after

going 5-0 in pool play. Women’s Foil: Jessica Gets ’20 and Sammy Shortall ’23 both went 5-0 in pool play and each had an indicator of +22. The two faced off in the round of 16 where Gets won 156. Gets lost to the top overall seed in the quarterfinal. Gets finished eighth while Shortall finished tenth. Men’s Saber: The Judges had their strongest team showing the men’s saber division. The Judges had six of the top 16 finishers, including silver medalist Alexander Holtmann ’21. Holtmann along with Lucas Lin ’22, Charles Catino ’20 and Braden Vaccari ’23 each went 6-0 in pool play. Vaccari was a co-top seed with an indicator of +24. Holtmann, seeded fifth after pool play, defeated Lin in the quarterfinal 15-14. Holtmann lost to the other top seed in the final 15-8. Dexin Huang ’23 and Shawn Pyatetsky ’20 also reached the round of 16. The Judges will compete in the Northeast Fencing Conference on Nov. 17 in Providence, RI before hosting the Brandeis Invitational on Sunday, Dec. 1.

Volleyball hosts senior day to honor the class of 2020 By Courtney Thrun staff

Last Thursday, the Brandeis volleyball team took on Wellesley College, marking the last home game of team captain and lone senior, Emma Bartlett ’20. The first set began with a block by Bartlett, awarding the Judges the first point. The Wellesley College Blue answered back with a kill by Lauren Gedney ’21. The next play resulted in a kill for Bartlett, putting the Judges up 2-1. The Blue then went on a 5-0 streak and held onto that lead until the end, finishing the set 25-11. Similarly to the first set, the second set began with a point for the Judges. The Blue then went on a 7-0 run, making the score 7-1. Brandeis battled hard but Wellesley got an early lead, 13-6. The Judges did however follow this up with a 5-0 run, putting them back in the game with a score of 1311. The set remained very close


until Wellesley scored 10 nearly consecutive points, ending the set 25-16. The Judges obtained an early lead of 6-2 in the third set, following two kills by Bartlett, back to back to back aces by Talia Freund ’23, and a block from the duo. The two teams went back and forth, each scoring one or two points at a time, until Brandeis went

on a 5-0 run that included three aces from first-year Amelia Oppenheimer ’23, making the score 13-7 for the Judges. Brandeis held onto this lead until the Blue scored five consecutive points, tying the game 17 all. The Blue then proceeded to go on an 8-1 point steak, winning them the set 2519, and the game 3-0. The Brandeis team was led by Bartlett in number of kills with 8, pushing her career total to 947. Bartlett, the middle hitter, also currently sits at 297 career blocks. If she is able to achieve 1000 kills and/or 300 blocks in the teams next few away games, she will make Brandeis volleyball history, being the sixth and second to ever achieve these feats. The Brandeis Hoot caught up with the volleyball star Emma Bartlett following her final home game, and asked her a series of questions about the sport. The Hoot: How has being a member of the Brandeis Volleyball team impacted your life? EB: “The team has been an integral part of my life at Brandeis, as it immediately gave me a family entering college my freshman year, and the level of support that the team has provided through thick and thin has been so important over the past four years.” The Hoot: What is your favourite memory from any of your seasons? EB: “My favorite memory was

last year when we reached the fifth place match versus NYU and came back from two sets down to reach our highest UAA finish in years. Having attended two UAA Championships in the past and not reaching the full potential we knew we had, it was the most exhilarating feeling to finally show off our capabilities at such a high level of volleyball.” The Hoot: How old were you when you started playing volleyball? EB: “I actually started a lot later than many of my teammates as my high school didn’t have a team and I was still very involved in gymnastics. As soon as I heard they were beginning a team in eighth grade, I was immediately drawn to it and decided to try it out and haven’t lost my passion for it since.” The Hoot: How did you manage to balance athletics and academics? EB: “I found great motivation through my teammates, as we have always been athletically and academically driven. Whenever someone was in the library or wants to work during a tournament, a teammate would text in the group and there was nearly always someone else that responded to work together. Having such a set schedule also provided motivation to remain on top of assignments as there was no room

to distract myself for hours (although it certainly still happened at times).” The Hoot: What is one life skill, acquired from volleyball, that you will you consider to use in your life? EB: “The biggest skill that volleyball provides for real life is knowing the simple fact that you will make an error, but it is how you react to that mistake that determines your character. Making a conscious effort to tell yourself that it is ok and turning what seems inherently negative into a positive learning moment allows you to make the next play better for your team. It is a huge skill that I certainly will apply in my life.” The Hoot: What are your plans after graduation? EB: “Still trying to figure that out! Possibly working in Boston or another big city like New York or Washington D.C., but have always wanted to volunteer abroad as a gap year before really diving in to a full-time position, so the future is still up in the air!” The Hoot: Do you have any advice for aspiring volleyball players? EB: “If you love the sport, never stop working hard to improve your skills - there are always new things to learn and new ways to challenge yourself so get out there and just do it!”


The Brandeis Hoot

November 8, 2019

A day in the life of a Brandeis student-athlete: Josh Lombardo ‘21 By Sabrina Chow editor

This new column will highlight a different student-athlete each week, striving to unearth what the hectic life of a Brandeis athlete entails. With this in mind, such a collection of stories will serve as a testament to the hard work, passion and resilience that athletes at Brandeis specifically embody, hopefully working to bridge the gap between student-athletes and the rest of the Brandeisian community. It’s early Tuesday morning and distance runner Josh Lombardo ’21 is up at 7:30 a.m. to begin his day. He always starts his day with oatmeal with peanut butter and bananas for breakfast and is out the door and in the library by 9 a.m. to get a jumpstart on studying and homework before class. After he finishes his classes for the day, Lombardo is off to Gosman for his 3:30 p.m. practice with the rest of the cross country team. Lombardo initially chose to run for Brandeis because he liked the

atmosphere during his visit and how everyone was consistently driven, he told The Brandeis Hoot in an interview. “They all seemed like people like me that were devoted to the sport and quirky in ways where I could express myself.” With Brandeis as an extremely academically driven university, Lombardo uses running as an escape from academics. “It’s a chance to cross the bridge from the main campus and get away from it all and be with people who have the same goal,” he said. “It’s a chance to go run outside in nature and think about anything except academics.” After practice, he and his teammates head to Sherman for dinner. Then it’s back to the library for the rest of the night to study. As a Health: Science, Society and Policy major and psychology minor, Lombardo has noticed that a lot of his teammates, and other athletes, share a lot of classes with him and share similar struggles of balancing academics and sports. “Having that break at practice is a good thing for my mental sanity to go from studying and that

break,” he told The Hoot. “By the time I get back to the library, my brain is refreshed. It’s really on managing your time. You have to have self-discipline.” The self-discipline is beyond just sleeping, eating and training, he explained. It’s also making sure that “all my runs are quality and that my body feels good each day translates back to the classroom.” As for race days, Lombardo would pack his bag with his uniform and a specific pair of socks that he wears for each race. Race day begins like any other, with a breakfast of either oatmeal or pancakes with bananas. “I like to listen to a whole variety of music on the bus ride there,” Lombardo told The Hoot. “I like to keep to myself.” He noted that the team, and their competitors, are a lot less serious when competing. “I just like that there is a sense of competition, but me, it feels less competitive and more casual,” he said. “I listen to a lot of music as I get ready to compete, and I’m just out there carefree, dancing around. The biggest transition for Lombardo from high school to college athletics was the time commitment. “It’s a lot harder than in high school,” he admitted. “It’s truly a sacrifice of your time. Some part of me wants to be involved in more, but I’m definitely happy that I’m on this team.” Outside of track, Lombardo is involved in Cru Brandeis Christian Fellowship, a group where Christian students can grow in their faith and seek fellowship with one another, and volunteers with the Big Brother and Big Sister program at Stanley Elementary School. “My faith is part of the reason I run,” Lombardo told The Hoot. “It’s my way of worshipping. That’s a major part of why I run. I’m grateful that God has given me this ability to run. But he’s in-


stilled in me the enjoyment of the outdoors and nature. It’s my way of worshipping the way that he’s made me and the talents that he’s given me.” Lombardo started running in sixth grade and decided to focus specifically on running when he went to high school. “I ran year round and developed a lot of friends from other schools,” he told The Hoot. “That community just grew, and I fell in love with running during my sophomore year [of high school]. I found it was a real way for me to express myself and my sense of being quirky.” One of Lombardo’s defining characteristics on the team is his extensive collection of fun socks. He estimated that he had around 30 unique pairs, with one of his favorites being a pair of socks with unicorns and narwhals on them.

Lombardo was initially drawn to socks from a local sock store in his hometown, Sock Shack. “Socks are just another way of expressing myself,” he told The Hoot. One of his favorite memories of being an athlete since coming to Brandeis does in fact involve socks. Last season, Matthew Dribben ’22, another runner on the team had organized a plan for all the runners on their team to get socks with Jacob Judd’s ’19, M.A. ’20, another one of their teammates, face on them. This was inspired from a pair of socks that Lombardo owns that have his own face on a pair of socks. “We all wore them at practice one day, and it took him 10 minutes to notice,” Lombardo explained. The team then all wore the socks during a banquet that they attended.

Men’s soccer continues UAA play on the road By Francesca Marchese staff

This weekend, the Brandeis men’s soccer team went on the road to face two University Athletic Association (UAA) opponents, Emory University and the University of Rochester. Although the Judges gave it their all, they unfortunately were unable to secure a victory in either matchup. In Atlanta, GA on Friday, Nov. 1, three exciting goals were scored in just under three minutes. The first half was seemingly unevent-

ful, as the Emory University Eagles outshot Brandeis 11-6. However, Greg Irwin ’20, saved three shots on goal, including his twosave stretch in the 16th minute. Both teams kicked it up a notch in the second half as Emory’s Aleijandro Gomez put the Eagles on the board in the 59th minute; he took a failed clearance attempt and sent the ball through the air, past Irwin, scoring his second goal of the season. In the 62nd minute, Brandeis joined in on the scoring when Dylan Hennessy ’20 ripped the ball from 20 yards away, passing the Eagle keeper after the ball deflected off of an Em-


ory defender. This goal was Hennessy’s second goal of the season and sixth of his career. Just 18 seconds after Hennessy’s powerful play, the Eagles answered with a shot which lofted over Irwin’s head. Emory Eagle Nate Sampson delivered a through-ball to Corey Levine, who scored his third of the season. The Judges had some corner kicks down the stretch, providing them with an opportunity to tie up the game for a second time, but the Brandeis men’s soccer team was unable to capitalize on it. In the 80th minute, another Brandeis senior, Max Breiter ’20, headed the ball just wide of the near post, however, it was a valiant attempt. The Judges fell to Emory University 2-1 in the UAA matchup, which was only the third time this season that the Judges allowed two goals in a game; Irwin, though, made three saves against the Eagles. On Sunday, Nov. 3, the Judges arrived in Rochester, NY, ready to defeat the University of Rochester (UR) Yellowjackets in their second consecutive UAA road game after coming off a tough loss to Emory. Although the Brandeis men’s soccer team outshot the host 23-9, the Yellowjackets scored two goals in a 40-second span to defeat the Judges 2-1.

In addition to outshooting the Jackets, the Brandeis men’s soccer team succeeded in putting 10 shots on net, compared to three from the men’s UR squad. The Yellowjacket keeper made a career-high seven saves, while the defense cleared two balls off the line. The first save of the game came from UR defender Will Eisold in the 11th minute, as he backed his teammate up. Brandeis’ Will DeKnight ’23 fired a shot from the edge of the box toward the lower left corner of the goal after receiving it off a deflection of the UR keeper. Luckily for UR, Eisold saved the day with his incredible slide in and clear at the last second. Irwin, who snatched the hard header out of the air in the 15th minute of play, prevented the Yellowjackets’ first shot of the game. Nearly four minutes later, Brandeis got on the board as senior Alex Walter ’20 scored on a tough angle header at the back of the post, which came off a corner kick from Hennessy. Walter netted his first of the season, while Hennessy racked up his fifth assist—he currently leads the team. In the second half, the Brandeis men’s soccer squad earned a corner kick in the 49th minute, but unfortunately, UR defender Tommy Nelson cleared Hennessey’s on-target attempt. Then, in the

54th minute, Rochester scored to tie up the game, 1-1. Forty seconds later, the Yellowjackets broke the tie as a deflected shot off the crossbar landed back at the feet of UR midfielder Zach Lawlor, who broke down the defense and blasted a shot into the lower right corner. The second goal drove the visiting Judges into full gear, as they earned five corner kicks and six shots in the next 12 minutes of play. In the 58th minute, Elias Norris ’23 was unable to connect with the net to tie up the game. Just a few minutes later, Isaac Mukala ’22 provided a spark off the bench, as he had two scoring opportunities. Mukala was denied from 15 yards away on the right wing, and then again off the corner kick from the left side of the crease. This weekend, the Judges fell to 9-5-4 overall, 2-3-1 in the UAA. The matchup against the University of Rochester was particularly important in terms of potential at-large selection into the NCAA Division III Tournament, with both UR and Brandeis sitting in the top 5 of their respective regional rankings; UR is ranked fourth in the East, while Brandeis is ranked fifth in New England. The Judges look to bounce back on Saturday, Nov. 9, at 2:30 p.m., as Brandeis looks to defeat New York University on Senior Day.

November 8, 2019

The Brandeis Hoot


Takeaways from week one of the NBA season By Jacob Schireson special to the hoot

The dust of the first week of the NBA season has settled, giving fans a preview of what is to come the rest of the season and the storylines that will dominate this coming year. While week one is usually too early to make definite predictions about the rest of the season, some teams’ seasons appear to have been written already. The Golden State Warriors entered this season looking for redemption. After a five year run of making the finals and winning three championships, they saw two-time Finals MVP and allworld talent Kevin Durant depart for Brooklyn in free agency, as well as All-Star guard Klay Thompson tear an ACL late in game six of 2019’s finals. The harm of Durant’s departure as well as Thompson’s injury was lessened by Golden State bringing in Nets all-star guard D’Angelo Russell to replace the injured Thompson. The Golden State’s success now relied almost entirely on the performance of two-time MVP Stephen Curry, whose unprecedented three-point shooting prowess started the Warriors dynasty. After a shaky 1-2 start this sea-


son, Golden State looked for a statement win at home against the Phoenix Suns. Things quickly took a turn for the worse. In a home game as major favorites, Golden State found themselves down 43-14 before seeing their playoff hopes dashed when star Curry broke his hand in the third quarter, after being landed on by The Suns’ Aron Baynes. It was later announced Curry would undergo surgery and miss three months. Now, many have drawn

comparisons of this year’s Warriors team to the 1996-97 Spurs who saw star David Robinson go down with injury and tanked the season in order to have a better chance of drafting eventual top pick Tim Duncan. The Phoenix Suns have, on the contrary, vastly overperformed expectations. The Suns have been in a rebuild, intentionally finishing with poor records in order to acquire high draft picks and retooling their roster with young tal-

Women’s soccer drops two on the road By Camila Casanueva staff

The Brandeis University women’s soccer team traveled to Atlanta, GA in their second stretch of conference away games. They took on the Emory University Eagles, ranked 22nd in the nation by, where the Judges were defeated 4-0. The Judges entered the road trip with a 6-1 record on the road. They had the first good look of the game, as Juliette Carreiro ’22 blasted a shot to the far post, but the Eagle keeper knocked it away just over a minute into the game. The Eagles got on the board with their first shot of the game in the fourth minute, as an Emory player shot it inside just pass Judges goalkeeper Victoria Richardson ’20. Shots in the first half were pretty even, 8-7, in favor of Emory. However, Brandeis placed six of their seven on frame. The Eagles would continue their dominance in the second half, doubling their lead in the 55th minute as a ball ricocheted off the far post and in from the left corner of the 18-yard box. Unfortunately for the Judges, an own goal would come in the 65th minute, and another Eagle would score in the 78th minute to round out the scoring for Em-

ory. Richardson would make four saves and allowed two goals in the first 62 minutes, while Rebecca Gold ’22 had two saves and also allowed two goals in the final 28 minutes. Katie Hayes ’20 would lead the way for the Judges with a team-leading three shots, two coming on goal in the losing effort. In their second University Athletic Association (UAA) contest, the Judges were unable to hold off host University of Rochester, in a contest that would go to overtime to be decided. It was the first time the Brandeis University women’s soccer team went to overtime this season, but unfortunately the Judges were unable to capitalize in the extra time as Rochester would score in the 95th minute to take a 3-2 victory. With the loss, the Judges fall to 10-7 on the season, 1-5 in the UAA. Brandeis would have a one goal lead twice throughout the game. However, the Yellowjackets would continue to equalize. The Judges were on the board first in the 21st minute, after Brandeis was able to draw a foul in the 18-yard box, earning a penalty kick. Midfielder Daria Bakhtiari ’21 knocked it home with ease for her fifth goal of the season. Rochester would respond four minutes later with a goal of their own to even score. The Judg-

ent. As a result, Phoenix has gone a combined 87-241 over their last four seasons, but have acquired elite young talent in Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton to build the future of their team around in the process. While Phoenix was on the upswing, they were not expected to seriously compete this year. After a 5-2 start with wins over expected title contenders in the Philadelphia 76ers and the Los Angeles Clippers, many have begun asking if the Suns are ready

to compete right now. Another team with positive early returns has been the Los Angeles Lakers. With the pairing of LeBron James and Anthony Davis in the offseason, many suspected that the Lakers would be instant championship contenders. The only questions before the season that arose around the team’s performance related to their lack of depth. Thus far, their depth hasn’t proven to be a problem. Dwight Howard—signed for the minimum—has been stellar through his first seven games, as well as Quinn Cook and Alex Caruso who provide valuable minutes off the bench. What has truly surpassed expectations thus far has been the Laker’s defense. With the acquisition of Anthony Davis, an improvement in their defense was anticipated, however, their No. 1 ranked Defensive Rating through the first week of the season has outperformed expectations. The Lakers now sit 6-1 atop the Western Conference and look to carry this momentum through the rest of the season. It’s still early, but the Sun’s and Laker’s aim to finish atop the Western Conference as Golden State will consider the feasibility of tanking the season.

Cross country competes in UAA’s

es would claim the lead again in the 31st minute thanks to Emma Spector ’20 who got a head cross from back Ruby Siegel ’23 and put it home for her third of the campaign. The assist was Siegel’s first of her college career. However, the Yellowjackets were their once again with the response just under ten minutes later with less than five to go in the half to even the match at 2-2. Although shots were 9-7 in favor of Rochester in the first half, the Judges had the 5-4 edge in shots on goal. Unlike the first half, neither team could find the back of the net in the second half, as the two teams combined for 15 shots in the second half. The Yellowjackets put three shots on net, compared to two for the Judges. In the overtime period, Rochester would score the game winning goal on the first shot of extra play. The Yellowjackets delivered a through ball that left Judges goalkeeper Richardson alone, where Rochester would take advantage as they buried the game winner. Richarson would finish with four saves for the Judges. Rochester would own a 19-13 advantage in shots and 10-2 margin in corner kicks. Brandeis will close out the regular season on Saturday at noon as they will host New York University on Senior Day.


By Caroline Wang staff

The Judges cross country team went to Pittsburgh, PA last weekend for one of the biggest races of the season, the University Athletic Association (UAA) championships. In a quick snapshot, the Judges men’s team placed eighth with 232 points, and the women’s team finished in 161 points placing them in seventh place. On the men’s side, they headed out on an 8K course. Brandeis’ top runner was Josh Lombardo ’21, who led the team for two years in a row. He finished in 26:06.7, placing 39th in the pool of 76 runners. Lombardo placed five positions better than last year’s UAA meet, where he placed 44th. Lombardo shaved 55 seconds off his time from last year and ran a collegiate personal record by 18 seconds. The Judges’ second runner was Matthew Dribben ’22, who finished the 8K course in 26:19.81, winning 50th place. There has been a huge improvement on Dribben, shaving off a minute and 45 seconds and placing 15 places ahead from last year’s UAA meet. Mark Murdy ’21 crossed the finish line 0.65 seconds after his teammates with the time 26:20.46. He dropped seven places from his rookie season but improved one minute and 27 seconds from his inaugural run, after recovering from an injury sustained last year. Co-captain Dan Curley ’20 came fourth among the Judges. His time was 27:22.25, finishing in 60th place. This is his first time breaking 28 minutes on an 8K course, cutting three spots from last year. Casey Brackett ‘23 was our last finisher in the top five, finishing with a time of 27:40.28. Overall, the men’s team finished in eighth place with 232 points. Host Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) won the championship with 39 points,

with all top-five finishers placing in top 15 overall. Washington University in St. Louis (WashU) finished in second place with 43 points, while the University of Chicago (UChicago) followed in third place with 71 points. On the women’s side, the Judges won seventh overall, just one point behind Case Western Reserve University. Niamh Kenney ‘21 led the team with her strongest UAA performance, placing 17th with a time of 22:40.39. She cut her personal record by 17 seconds and moved up two places from last year. Kenney was just four seconds away from receiving a first career All-Association honor and being a top 14th finisher. The Judges’ second runner was Danielle Bertaux ‘20, coming in 22nd with the time 22:50.49. She improved three seconds and five places from her career-best at the 2018 UAA Championships. Erin Magill ‘22 finished in third among the Judges, coming in a time of 23:09.17. Magil improved 30 places and shaved a minute and 19 seconds from her rookie season. Andrea Bolduc ’21 had her career best at UAA as well. Her finishing time was 23:33.80, good for 47th place. She also cut her time by a little under a minute and moved up 17 places in the standings. Hannah Walsh ’22 rounded up Brandeis’ top-five finishes, with a time of 24:35.67 and an overall ranking of 64th. Additionally, Magill, Bolduc and Walsh all ran their collegiate-best performances in the 6K event. WashU won the championships with 24 points. UChicago came in second place, with 53 points and five top-20 finishers overall. The University of Rochester came in third place, with a total of 100 points. Both Brandeis cross country teams will return to action in two weeks with the NCAA Division III New England Regionals at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, ME.

10 The Brandeis Hoot


We would like to officially announce that Sabrina Chow ‘21 and Celia Young ‘21 will be representing The Brandeis Hoot as Editor-in-Chiefs for the 2020-2021 school year! EIC


Challenge us. I dare you.









The sun will come out, tomorrow.

Jesus can’t play rugby because he can’t support a hooker.

for Life lined Fellows Garden with Luminaria bags to honor cancer survivors.

November 8, 2019


Every day should be bring your dog to work day.



November 8, 2019

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

Volume 16 • Issue 22 the brandeis hoot • brandeis university 415 south street • waltham, ma

Founded By Leslie Pazan, Igor Pedan and Daniel Silverman


Faria Afreen, Medjine Barionette, Emma Belkin, Camila Casanueva, Chris DeMena, Tim Dillon, James Feltner, Sam Finbury, John Fornagiel, Lucy Frenkel, Madeline Herrup, Stewart Huang, Gunnar Johnson, Alex Kougasian, Aaron LaFauci, Dane Leoniak, Jesse Lieberman, Josh Lannon, Francesca Marchese, Victoria Morrongiello, Zach Newman, Lucy Pugh-Sellers, Madeline Rousell, Zachary Sosland, Courtney Thrun, Emerson White, Nicole Zador, Grace Zhou

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.

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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

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The Brandeis Hoot 11

Turn off the pressure cooker

n a Faculty Senate meeting earlier this week, Joy von Steiger, the director of the Brandeis Counseling Center (BCC), described higher education as a “pressure cooker environment” and said that Brandeis culture involves being constantly busy. “You have to have two majors, you have to be president of four clubs,” said von Steiger. It is common knowledge that higher education institutions are high pressure environments. This trend is consistent with other colleges and universities in the area; both Boston College and Boston University have reported increasing the number of therapist hires. However, it is concerning that the rate at which Brandeis students are seeking help is skyrocketing. The accelerating rate could potentially be attributed to professors’—and students’ own—high expectations for their academic and extracurricular performance. Since the previous academic year, the number of students seeking help at the Brandeis Counseling Center has increased by 8.4 percent and the number of total appointments has increased by 47 percent, according to a recent article by The Hoot. The article also reported having 315 students—almost 10 percent of the undergraduate student population— take part in assessments in the last year. While Brandeis is increasing the number of therapists both in and out of the counseling center, the resources provided are not proportional to the number of students who need and would like care. If this trend continues—and it looks like it will—the BCC will need to exponentially increase its resources to be able to match the amount of students who are looking for care. The Brandeis Counseling Center currently has 17 staff therapists, two staff psychologists and four

community therapists, according to a recent Hoot article, and offers services such as group therapy, comprehensive cognitive behavioral therapy, eating disorder treatments and the Resilience, Information, Skills and Experiences (RISE) program. In the 2018-2019 academic year, the BCC also introduced community therapy, a program aimed at reducing barriers to care by having mental health professionals around campus, according to an earlier Hoot article. As recent as 2017, the counseling center faced complaints of long wait times by students, according to a Hoot article published in January 2019. Besides services offered by clinicians, the BCC and the university have made efforts to relieve stress and promote self-care among the undergraduate student population. Such efforts include placing Legos and board games in the library, a location on campus notorious for being high-strung, and bringing in therapy dogs and emotional support animals. The Sleep Week events that took place this week, hosted by Health and Wellness Promotion (HAWP), were an important reminder that students can do their part to take charge of their health. We recognize the importance of self-care, both physical, mental and emotional, but consider these efforts ineffective in the longrun. While such activities relieve stress, the effects are only temporary and not a true substitute for mental health care. It is like putting a Band-Aid on a bullet hole: Fine for a short while but will quickly prove to be ineffective. This is all at least partially caused by the fact that students at Brandeis are perpetually stressed and overworked. We believe that the lack of a set midterm schedule takes part in this: starting around mid-Septem-

ber, students are already deep into “midterm season,” a period usually lasting until the second week of December when finals officially begin. The lack of standardization results in students being in a constant state of panic and fatigue. By the time students are given access to therapy dogs and crossword puzzles in the library, they most likely have already gone through a full semester of stress and over-exhaustion. In addition, we have noticed that there is an unhealthy competition associating ones’ amount of activity to their amount of success and selfworth. This is reflected in the number of on-campus jobs and club leadership positions students take on in addition to a rigorous course schedule. This may make it difficult to prioritize friendships and other relationships which can often aid in a healthy mental state. We, The Hoot Editorial Board, believe that the university should prevent these detrimental mental health practices from happening in the first place, as opposed to mitigating the damage after it is done. In order to actually combat the onslaught of mental health problems on campus, the university needs to implement structural change so that students don’t fall into the trap of overworking themselves just to keep up. Students not only need better access to mental health professionals but also need a more regular schedule that encourages rest and sleep. That being said, students also need to make their health and those of their peers a priority. Editor’s note: News Editor Celia Young covered the BCC’s increase in student use and rise in the number of students seeking help for anxiety and depression, and did not contribute to the writing and editing of this editorial.


12 The Brandeis Hoot

November 8, 2019

Meet the Faculty Senate

By Shruthi Manjunath editor

While most Brandeis students might be familiar with the Student Union Senate, they might not know about a similar body that represents the faculty members that form an integral part of life at Brandeis: the Faculty Senate. The Faculty Senate is a representative body of the faculty, and it aims to investigate anything that has to do with faculty life, according to Faculty Senate Chair Professor Joel Christensen ’01 (CLAS/COML). The Faculty Senate works directly with the president and the provost’s office, and senate meetings are conducted every week with the provost’s office, along with occasional meetings with the president. There is a faculty meeting once a month. There are two main issues that the Faculty Senate is attempting to deal with this year, Christensen explained in an interview with The Brandeis Hoot. The first one is the creation of a committee on

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice. This idea was previously proposed by Bernadette Brooten (NEJS), who recently retired and includes a committee that will observe diversity, equity and inclusion at Brandeis. The committee will look for suggestions from the Brandeis students on how to expand diversity, equity and inclusion and social justice initiatives. It will be made up of one faculty member from each of the four divisions of the Arts and Sciences: one from the Heller School for Social Policy, one from the International Business School (IBS), staff from the Brandeis University Staff Advisory Committee (BUSAC), an undergraduate student member appointed by the Student Union and one graduate student. The second issue has to deal with bullying among faculty. The Faculty Senate has a task force, the Dignity at Work Committee, that has worked for several years to prepare legislation and to come up with reports about bullying in the faculty community. The task is complicated—the faculty needs

to deal with legal issues related to bullying, said Christensen, and is working with Human Resources and Title IX to find a way to properly deal with issues of bullying and harassment. Christensen believes that the faculty must re-evaluate the way they treat people and work toward creating a more inclusive and welcoming environment at Brandeis. For both issues, legislation must be written, presented to the faculty and individuals must talk to people to get their votes. There is a lot of work involved, but it is necessary if change is to be created at Brandeis. For example, as a result of the bullying present within the faculty on campus, many of the faculty of color end up not staying on campus. Through changes in the legislation, Christensen believes that faculty will be forced to make changes in the way they treat others. Another issue is the phase retirement package for faculty. Specifically, for tenured faculty, they are able to access a retirement plan that provides them with safety in the future. Over half of

the faculty is tenured. However, over 100 individuals are not tenured and are instead on long-term contracts. These contracts do not provide these individuals with the same rights as tenured faculty members, and these individuals do not have a retirement package set in stone for them. A goal is to get retirement equity for all of Brandeis faculty. The Faculty Senate is attempting to create alterations in the faculty because a diverse faculty is “better at responding to a diverse student population.” In addition, the faculty should be trained at responding to mental health concerns of students. Training has been implemented for faculty; however, it is currently voluntary and would eventually be mandatory. There is also a CARE report form that faculty can use to report a student in crisis. To continue, in the context of the recent stabbings that occurred on campus, individuals need to communicate regarding campus safety, and the faculty needs to be trained to respond to emergency situations. Currently, 25 percent of the fac-

ulty are unionized. Christensen believes that many changes need to be made in order to provide a better environment for the faculty. He explains that “If you don’t have equity in part of the university, you can’t get anywhere… our policies should be aligned with values.” Christensen was asked to run for the Faculty Senate chair after volunteering for the Senate, and he eventually won. He is very passionate and explains, “I talk too much, and I speak out too much.” He believes that his experiences at other institutions have allowed him to be successful as the faculty senate chair. He reveals, “If you don’t use it, you will lose it.” In the future, Christensen would also like to address the topic of religious holiday equity by having days off for holidays such as Ramadan, Diwali or Chinese New Year. Overall, modifications need to be made in order to make the Brandeis faculty, and the community in general, a more inclusive body of people. Celia Young contributed to reporting.

Alexa: please don’t send Google my blood type By John Fornagiel and Sasha Skarboviychuk staff and editor

In today’s world, it often feels like our social media knows more about us than we know about ourselves. Just Google It (HWL 60A) is a class designed to inform students about the lesser known things about the digital world most people live in. According to the syllabus, the course explores various topics that are related to Google data collection, the impact of that data on American society, the ethics involved and recent related controversies. Google has access to our entire

lives, from what we like to eat to our interests. However, most people do not know a lot about Google Data or how it works. Google creates an entire profile on every user, and since it is connected to most other online activities, the profiles end up very detailed and include one’s personal data. Many unknowing Googlers believe that a simple search will lead to an unfiltered list of web pages that is the same for every user. However, this is rarely the case. According to Esther Brandon, a digital literacy specialist at the Brandeis Library, most people are not aware that there are biases included in Google algorithms, which influences how

Google works with a particular individual. There are other outside factors that influence what one sees in their search results. Google is not only a search engine; it is designed to tailor itself to every specific user, including the tailoring of advertisements. This means that everything a person has searched for in the past as well as other factors influence an individual’s search results. Google “shows you what it thinks you want to see,” said Brandon in an interview with The Brandeis Hoot, which as a result reinforces one’s current biases. Frighteningly, these biases can range from simple opinions to political ideology to even racism and sex-

ism. Additionally, the few studies done have found that Google algorithms themselves include both racial and sexual biases. “This is a large problem with not a lot of scholarship about it,” continued Brandon. She hopes to raise awareness on these issues, starting with Brandeis students. “It impacts all of us and not a lot of people talk about this,” added Brandon. During class, Brandon hopes to create dialogue, where students are thinking about and analyzing the various questions that come up with the acquisition of all of this information, as well as its implications. There is typically a short 10 to 15 minute lecture at

the beginning of class, followed by a heavy discussion section where students share their thoughts on the subject matter. Brandon also incorporates a workshop section into class periods, where students have a chance to do some handson activities, such as analyzing their own personal data. From there, students can alter their Google accounts so that less data is collected from them online. Brandon stresses that Google’s data collection is not an individual issue but a societal issue. Education and literacy in these topics is essential in protecting personal data from not just Google but from other large media corporations.

Brandeis Buddies bridges gaps By Shruthi Manjunath editor

In an email interview, Amy Ollove ’21, Norma Stobbe ’20 and Theresa Weis ’20, the coordinators of Brandeis Buddies, explain that Brandeis Buddies is a social and recreational program that partners with Opportunities for Inclusion, and the Waltham branch of the Arc, an organization that aids adults with developmental disabilities. The three coordinators state that the goal of the program is “to bring Brandeis students together with the participants of our program and to create an environment where friendships are made based on equal partnership.” Many Sodexo employees participate in the program, which allows volunteers to connect with these individuals in and out of the club. The coordinators also highlight how they desire to aid people with disabilities in an attempt to challenge stereotypes and break barriers. The Brandeis Buddies programs contain a craft, snack and activity. Other clubs are usually invited to the program. Adagio, ath-



letic teams and a capella groups have previously participated in Brandeis Buddies and lead activities. There is also an end of the year off-campus trip for volunteers and participants. With their activities, the Brandeis Buddies hopes to create long lasting relationships between individuals and allow for long-term growth. For the past two years, Brandeis Buddies has held an event called “Story Time: Things You Should Know.” This event allows individuals to discuss living with a disability and any challenges they have overcome in the format of an open-mic. In previous years,

there have been many instances in which individuals have talked about their stories at this event. Specifically, Professor Steven Gulley (SOC) discussed a story by Irv Zola, an individual who lead the disability rights movement through a platform of sharing stories. At this event, individuals shared anything from poems, speeches, dances and songs. The coordinators illustrate that “[a] fter the event, several people approached us saying that this event made an impact on them and they wished there was more events like this. Overall, it was a success!” Brandeis Buddies was previ-

ously only an on-campus program that met five times in the semester, which made it more flexible and easier for a variety of people to attend. In the last year, a second program that connects the Opportunities for Inclusion site allowed the Brandeis Buddies to reach more people. Individuals involved in Brandeis Buddies visit their participants. For the next semester, the club plans to make the “Story Time: Things You Should Know” event bigger and better than last year. The club wants to make the event more inclusive, so that anyone may participate. The club aims

to make their outreach as impactful as possible. Brandeis Buddies was awarded with the Community Service Award by Opportunities for Inclusion. Ollove shared the student body’s passion for social justice was one of the reasons she chose Brandeis. She herself has a disability, and she believed that at Brandeis, she could work towards advocating for herself and other individuals who have disabilities but may not have the resources or ability to speak out. She explains that “humor is a great way to connect with people, whether they are disabled or not. Laughter allows us to break down walls, forget whatever challenges we are dealing with and to focus on having a good time. And that is the whole point of Brandeis Buddies’ programs—to have fun with one another.” The whole point of Brandeis Buddies is to have fun with each other because it allows individuals to be distracted from the social stereotypes that have been created. Laughter allows individuals to enjoy themselves and stay in the moment.

November 8, 2019


The Brandeis Hoot

It’s all downhill from here: a spotlight on the Brandeis Ski and Snowboard Team By Polina Potochevska editor

The skies are getting darker sooner, and the weather is getting colder—you know what that means: Winter is almost upon us! Luckily, the Brandeis Ski and Snowboard Team is prepared for exactly that sort of thing. The Brandeis Ski and Snowboard Team is a club sport on campus. However, its members compete in a Division III league called the U.S. Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association (USCSA) McBrine Division with colleges from all over New England. The team’s mission statement, according to its captains, Merrick Mendenhall ’20, Hannah Muhlfelder ’20 and Tiff Lyman ’21, is to provide an environment for those who love skiing and snowboarding to come together and just have a fun time on the mountain. They wrote in an email to The Brandeis Hoot, “We work hard to provide an inclusive environment where it doesn’t matter whether you’ve raced before or not, but where people who love the mountain and snow can come together and be part of a team and community.” Mendenhall has been on the team for three years but has been skiing “since before I could walk!” Mendenhall said that her parents used to carry her on the moun-

tain on their backs. Mendenhall’s goal for the team the rest of the fall semester is to “get the word out about the team and welcome anyone who has experience skiing or snowboarding to join! We are always looking to grow the team and invite new people to ski and ride with us.” Mendenhall’s greatest accomplishment thus far on the team has been becoming a captain. She said that she has been a backcountry skier for many years and doesn’t have as much experience with racing but that being on the team has been one of her favorite experiences at Brandeis. “I’m so happy to have the opportunity to help the team adapt and grow with this new season… I’m looking forward to my third and final season!” Muhlfelder has been a part of the team for four years but has been ski racing for eight seasons. One of Muhlfelder’s goals for the semester and the rest of the year is to “continue to offer a more versatile skiing experience on the team and give people opportunities to challenge themselves in our division’s freestyle events and perhaps some more recreational skiing.” Last year was Muhlfelder’s first time at the costume race—the last race of the season in the team’s division. “Alumni come back to visit and we all get dressed up to race—it’s a really fun and spirited event!” she wrote to The Hoot.


Lyman has been a member since coming to Brandeis but began ski racing around the age of eight years old. “I tried racing on a snowboard once at the end of freshman year, and decided to fully commit to both sophomore year,” he said. Now both skiing and snowboarding, Lyman said “my greatest accomplishment on the team is definitely when I placed third both on skis and on a snowboard” and hopes that in the coming season snowboarders will be provided with “a better understanding of snowboard slalom. We had one slalom race last year and the course baffled almost ev-

eryone.” The captains mentioned that one of their favorite events of the year is their training trip—the team spends the week before the start of spring classes training together on Sugarloaf Mountain in Carrabassett Valley, ME. (Fun fact: Sugarloaf has 1,240 skiable acres!) They said it is a great way for members to learn how the races run and to bond and get to know all the new members. Earlier this week, the team hosted a film screening donated by Faction Skis. For the rest of the fall semester, the team hopes to host even more bonding events for its


members. They offered some advice for students who may be interested in joining the team: “Make sure you can get down the mountain on your own in a wide variety of terrain. We often find skiers who are unfamiliar with hard snow and ice are prone to injury—and we want everyone who joins to be healthy, safe and happy on our team!” If you are interested in learning more about The Brandeis Ski and Snowboard Team, you can either email, subscribe to its listserv or follow the team’s page on Instagram for updates (@brandeiskiandboard).

14 The Brandeis Hoot


November 8, 2019

Getting your just desserts: the incontrovertible truth By Joey Kornman special to the hoot

Here’s the deal: I’ve got opinions, they’re better than yours (unless you agree entirely, then they are equally as good) and the world has a right to hear them. I’ve tried every dessert in the dining halls so you don’t have to. If you’ve ever stood frozen with fear in front of the dessert table at Sherman or Usdan or cried because you realized you may have picked the wrong post-meal snack, then you’ve come to the right place. Walk with me, on a safari of sweets. Cupcakes • Chocolate cake with vanilla frosting: This is the best combination of the two flavors offered in cake form: 7/10 • Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting: 5/10 • Chocolate cake with vanilla frosting with oreo garnish: The oreo, while potentially beneficial to the balance of the two flavors, often ends up soggy by the time it gets to the dining hall. 6/10 • Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and oreo garnish: 5/10 • Vanilla cake with vanilla frosting: 5/10 • Vanilla cake with chocolate frosting: 6/10 • Vanilla cake with vanilla frosting and oreo garnish: 5/10 Vanilla cake with chocolate frosting and oreo garnish: 5/10 • Vanilla cake with vanilla frosting and pineapple garnish: The pineapple cube, while interesting to look at, adds little to the dessert. 5/10 Fun fact: Cupcakes are the seventh most stolen food in the world. Nah, I’m just kidding, but the truth is that I just stole 2 minutes of your life, and you’re never getting them back. Let this be a lesson.

Fruity “tarts” • Raspberry tart: These mainstays of the dining hall are always a viable option. I usually give raspberries a pretty bad rap, but when they are used right, they are undeniably good. For those of you who enjoy fruity fillings over chocolate ones, the crumbly crust and refreshing raspberry compote combine to form a surprisingly palatable treat. 7/10 • Lemon tart: Similar to the raspberry tart, the lemon variety only suffers from a strange texture, resembling that of Jell-O. If you like lemon, these stay true to their fruity inspiration without being overly sour. 6/10 Fruit is nature’s candy. Cookies • Chocolate Chip: This cookie is always a classic, safe option. Perfect for the less adventurous dessert-eater, these are some of the most consistently decent products of our very own Kutz Hall. 6/10 • Chocolate Chip (thick): The chocolate chip cookie’s more rotund cousin packs a better chipto-dough ratio. That said, there is a serious sacrifice in texture and consistency. These disprove the adage that “bigger is better.” In this case, bigger is about the same (but that’s not as catchy or alliterative so the media will be too afraid to adopt it). 6/10 • Chocolate with white chocolate chips: A chocolate lover’s heaven. This cookie has a good taste and a decent texture, but the chocolate is a bit overbearing at times. The white chocolate chips do little to break up the monotony and richness, but, much like my attempts to fix my broken marriage, they don’t quite cut it. 4/10 • S’mores: Arguably the cookie with the best texture (and, to be clear, I am arguing that) served here on campus, these thin delights are only lacking in the flavor department, leaving a somewhat strange, but enjoyable nonetheless, aftertaste of coffee. If this was

the intended flavor profile, this could easily be bumped up to an 8/10. As it stands: 7/10 • Oatmeal raisin: This can be a sensitive topic for cookie fans, so I will attempt to tread lightly. While there are very good oatmeal raisin cookies in general, oftentimes better than their chocolate chip counterparts, the ones at Brandeis leave a lot to be desired. If you love oatmeal raisin then these are passable but don’t expect to see me stacking my plate with these when other cookies are available (also, don’t expect to see me stacking anything on my plate, as I am a strict adherent to the horizontal doctrine, not the vertical one). 3/10 •Oatmeal cranberry: Everything I just said about the oatmeal raisin cookie can be applied to these. The only difference, as the name would suggest, is craisins instead of raisins. To me, the cranberries provide too sharp of a contrast to the oatmeal cookie with their sourness. 2/10 Here’s a good one: “What’s the deal with cookies and bacon? I mean, you bake cookies, but you cook bacon; what’s up with that? Thank you, thank you, you’re too kind. When you erect a statue of

me, please, keep it modest and stick to marble; bronze and gold are much too gaudy for me.” Cakes All the cakes at Brandeis are good. They use the same batter for all of them (I assume), regardless of the eventual use, so the only thing that really varies between the options is the combinations of frosting and cake. • Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and rainbow sprinkles: One of the problems I have with chocolate desserts is that the overabundance of the ingredient can be too rich to be enjoyable. The sprinkles (or jimmies depending on your land of origin) do a nice job of adding a different flavor and texture to the cake, cutting down the chocolate overload. 6/10 • Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting: this cake is too chocolatey for its own good, but still decent. 5/10 • Vanilla cake with vanilla frosting and rainbow sprinkles: vanilla is a great base flavor. It doesn’t compete with anything that it may be frosted or garnished with, so its inclusion is a means of cutting the decadence of an overly rich

or monotonous dessert. That being said, vanilla all by itself leaves a lot to be desired, even with the sprinkles. 5/10 • Vanilla cake with chocolate frosting: while not as good as a potential chocolate cake with vanilla frosting, this is a perfectly fine use of vanilla in a dessert. 6/10 • Vanilla cake with (pink) vanilla frosting: this rare dessert is beautifully decorated and is easily the most appetizing offering in any dining hall when it comes to the dessert options. That being said, it somehow takes vanilla and makes it too decadent. This is a dessert you will struggle to finish even a slice of: 4/10 (10/10 on aesthetic) You might ask: “oh, omniscient ranker, how hard was it for you to make such an informative article?” Well, this section in particular was a real piece of [redacted]. Sorry, I couldn’t even go through with that joke. Anyway, you can’t have your cake and eat it too, but you can have my opinion and read it too. And you just did. This is part one of the series “Getting your just desserts.”


Why am I here? Brandeis mattresses By Thomas Pickering special to the hoot

The fall semester has reached its halfway point and by now (hopefully) every first-year has determined that no foam pad can save you from the horror that is the blue concrete box Brandeis calls a mattress. On move-in day, if you were like me, you got no sleep the night before the move and had bad anxiety no amount of free Brandeis fidget spinners could solve. So naturally, under those emotionally tasking situations, any mattress or surface for that matter is comfortable. But then as time pressed on and emotions shifted from first day nerves to “IDGAF” about this essay due tomorrow I began to notice some lower back pain. You know the spot, right above the buttocks and below the ribs. You know, in that place where you might have a tattoo that says something like “head first,” “get some,” “insert tramp stamp here,” or even “Ruth,

Beth, Carol, Julia, Esther, Rachel, Amber?” This lower back pain progressively got worse and worse, and no amount of stretching could solve it. Naturally, I began to wonder where it was coming from and because I had a foam cover on my mattress, I never considered my bed as an option because “why would my bed betray me?” So, my first thought was that it was the Rabb steps. A challenge of biblical proportions to walk up. Moses may be able to walk through a puddle, but Brandeis students can climb that mountain of stairs. So I then did everything in my power to avoid going up those stairs. Yet that didn’t ease my back pain. My options were narrowing, and as the days persisted, all I needed was a good night of rest to clear my mind. So, I slept and slept and slept (even as my alarm for class goes off) and kept sleeping. Once I woke up, I knew what was giving me all that back pain: the stretching! Duh, what else could it be? Stretching only helps you

relax and whatever, blah blah blah physical therapy talk, so obviously I shouldn’t stretch. Days of not stretching did not get rid of the pain, so then what the actual f*ck could be giving me these problems? It certainly couldn’t be the fine Brandeis mattress that I am paying $70,000 to sleep on. Why would Brandeis give me a sh*tty mattress? What incentive do they have to save money by purchasing cheap mattresses? Certainly, Ron Liebowitz cares about me more than that… Jamele Adams told me this was my house and that everyone was welcome… Why would they give me a mattress that is not welcoming? Then on one fateful day as I changed and washed all my sheets and bed covers, I got to see the beast that was my mattress. My cheap pad from the Brandeis bookstore was nothing more than an over glorified yellow tissue, and there it was: my mattress. I sat on it just to see how it felt naturally. One might say I now know my mattress more intimately than I

ever needed to. It clearly had some skeletons in its closet. I could only wonder how many men had been on top of it and rolled all over it. God, how disgusting! And as I laid down, the mattress didn’t feel soft but as if the Rocky Mountains were underneath my freaking back. What was this quality of living? Brandeis had let me down. They may as well have sent all students a message after they submitted their deposit a letter with just the words “your sleep”

and then the middle finger emoji letting you know you were f*cked. So here we all are at Brandeis. Tricked, sleeping on terrible mattresses and thinking we will all get into Skyline next year. Well, I hate to break it to you, but the mattresses aren’t any better there! So kiss your good sleep goodbye and tell Ron Liebowitz that as he enjoys his almost seven figure income, luscious home and soft bed. We will be here crying alone and single in a forced triple.


November 8, 2019


The Brandeis Hoot

The double-standard of politics and its latest victim By Alison Hagani special to the hoot

Last year’s midterm elections deemed 2018 the “Year of the Woman,” with more women running and being elected into political office than ever before. As important as it is to commend this breakthrough and to anticipate (and most critically, fight for) future elections where female representation increases even further, it is also crucial that we understand that women’s relationship with political office is more than just representation. Yes, women hold more elected political positions than ever before, but their representation is still less than what their demographic warrants. In addition, the circumstances through which a woman runs for, is elected to, and participates in political office is still plagued by a misogynistic culture and a double standard that is to the detriment of women. Former Representative Katie Hill’s’ resignation last week and the circumstances leading up to it is one such example. Hill was elected into Congress along with a wave of Democratic candidates during the 2018 midterm elections, winning California’s 25th district over a Republican incumbent by nine percentage points. Over the course of her first year as a representative in the House, Hill served on the House Armed Service Committee and was Vice Chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform. Last week, Hill was accused of having a sexual relationship with one of her male congressional staff members. These allegations, if proved to have merit, would violate a House Rule that, effective last year, bans relationships between members of Congress and their congressional staffers. In the midst of this, new allegations and pornographic photos leaked portraying Hill in a “throuple” with her then-husband and a female campaign staffer. While Hill denied the first allegations of her relationship with her male congressional staff member, she admitted to her relationship with the female campaign staffer. In the days following, more intimate photos were leaked and the focus shifted away from her accused behavior with staff members and more toward judgements and criticisms about her personal choices, body and sexuality. Ultimately, Hill re-

signed. In her passionate resignation speech, Hill recognized her own shortcomings, but called out the double standard and misogyny infused in our political world. There are many important things to note when unpacking Hill’s resignation and the double standard it reflects. First and foremost, it is essential to recognize that women are not a homogeneous group. Different women are afforded different treatments on the basis of intersecting facets of their identity. Hill is a white, economically well-off cisgender woman. As much as her treatment was heavily influenced by her gender and bisexuality, it was also impacted by her race, class, ability and other structures. It is imperative that we recognize and further challenge how our political and social culture yield different treatment and expectations to women of various compounding identities, for example to lower-income women and women of color. It is also important to note that the leaked photos and even Hill’s admitted relationship with a campaign staffer have little bearing on the House misconduct inquiry, which was started to investigate whether Hill violated the House’s rules of conduct by engaging in sexual relations with a congressional staff member. The pivot to focus more on the leaked photos and on her admitted relationship with a female campaign staffer was not an essential emphasis for the purpose of the investigation at hand as they were not against House rules. The fact that it became the emphasis is indicative of the media and politics’ masculinized culture that feeds on the flaws and sexualization of women. Lastly, I write this op-ed in complete recognition that the allegations against Former Representative Katie Hill are serious. Any politicians’ relationship with their congressional staff member naturally has power dynamics that open up the door for coercion and other blurred lines of consent. Hill resigned before a thorough inquiry into those allegations were completed and, despite her adamant denials, such an inquiry would have delivered a more affirmative conclusion on those accusations. It is entirely possible that there is still so much that we do not know. Despite any unknown information and the complexity of Hill’s resignation, she is still a victim to a double standard and a pro-


cess that was undoubtedly unfair and vindictive against her gender and sexuality. In the days following the initial allegations and the revenge porn, Hill was aggressively called on to resign. The comments were not just political. Hill was threatened, sexualized, vilified, mocked for her sexuality and preyed upon by the media. It’s hard to conceptualize the same treatment being presented to a man under the same set of conditions. In fact, such treatment has not been imposed upon men in “similar” situations, such as ex-Senator Al Franken who was accused of forcibly and nonconsensually kissing and touching a female radio-host, with seven other women responding with their own allegations of sexual misconduct against him. While Franken ultimately resigned three weeks after the allegations surfaced, many politicians and even the public did not urge for his resignation and even viewed him as a victim. The contrast of these two responses, especially given their stark circumstantial differences, are indicative of male privilege and the double standard present in politics. Furthermore, the ability of unrelated, personal factors (such as pornographic photos) to not only surface, but to seep to the center of all concerns and criticisms made against Hill reflect the frequent sexualization of women and the misogyny present in politics, which leached from society at large. The leaked nudes and the way it flourished in the media and political discourse are problematic for many reasons. For one, the photos were allegedly leaked by Hill’s abusive ex-husband and, if true, would be an act of further abuse. In addition, regardless of who the perpetrator was, they were supposedly taken and most certainly released without Hill’s knowledge or consent. As a result, they are violent in nature. Unwillingly leaked photos and revenge porn represent the ongoing barriers that unfairly prevent women from feeling secure in their bodies, having bodily autonomy and dictating their own sexual choices. To make matters worse, so many individuals and news sources bathed in such content with absolute dismissal for the oppressive underpinnings behind them. Secondly, the leaked photos and the treatment thereafter reflect the active double standard regarding women and how they are viewed in political office and society. Plenty of studies have shown that women, especially those who enter the political realm, are held to higher standards of honesty and integrity than their male counterparts. Beyond research, this is certainly translated into real-life responses and media depictions that unabashedly judge women more harshly than male candidates. This is greatly exemplified through the aforementioned case of Al Franken—not to mention through the responses (or lack thereof) to accusations made against our own president. Countless women have accused President Donald Trump of sexual assault, and yet these accusations have hardly incited political concern or accountability. It is thus, unfortunately, not surprising that many men who face allegations of sexual misconduct, including Trump, remain in positions of power while many women are


pushed to resign. If we are going to honestly and effectively work toward a society and government where sexual violence is not tolerated, then all perpetrators should be held responsible. Not only is this yet to be delivered, but the mechanisms that filter through which allegations are investigated and taken seriously are incredibly unfavorable to women. Furthermore, a strong double standard also exists regarding women and their sexuality. The leaked photos of Hill and information about her “throuple” with a female campaign staffer were weaponized against her in an effort to undermine her, undervalue her work and deem her unfit for office. Effectively, they did just that; Hill resigned. But even greater than ending her political career, the response to these nudes have another dimension due to Hill’s outward bisexuality and the fact that she admitted to a relationship with a woman. The magnification of her relationship with a woman reveals the double standard that exists among women and their ability to be sexual beings. Hill was blamed for the photographs, as many believed it was her fault for having sexual relationships with the woman in the first place. Hill was also delegitimized as a politician because of her queerness, which became a misogynistic talking point. She was widely blamed for her revenge porn and her sexual activity while accused predators like Franken were never shamed for their sexuality as a whole, even when their sexual acts were non-consensual. As this exemplifies, society shames women for being sexual yet celebrates sexuality as a key facet of hegemonic masculinity. Hill’s resignation goes beyond questions of culpability and is greater than the political office of one individual. It speaks to the misogynistic structures in place that prevent women from gaining social equity, let alone accessing positions of power in the United States. The truth is, the double standard still does exist. We can wave it all off with the progressive trend of our politics, the steady in-

crease of women in politics or the prominence of female icons. We can wrongly perceive the diminished presence of blatant sexism and misogyny as an indication of substantial positive change. In the case of Hill, the headlines danced around this reality by justifying such treatment on the basis of the allegations against her while ignoring all the other external, unjustifiable and misogynistic factors at play. Andyet if women are to truly advance in politics and achieve greater social equity, we must go beyond mere representation to actively examine and criticize the oppressive structures deeply embedded in our political and social culture. We must continue to actively challenge the mistreatment of others and examine why certain political and social responses exist under certain conditions. On an everyday and individual basis, such systemic change can be found not only in voting more women into positions of power and pushing for greater accountability for all perpetrators of misconduct, but challenging the double standard as it manifests in our own interactions and in our own community. Hill is not the first to fall victim to this double standard, nor will she be the last. Moments like these unveil deep, persisting gender biases and demonstrate the extent to which they continue to plague our political and social lives. This should sadden and frustrate us— but to the effect of informing our drive going forward. While the media has spent millions of words on Hill, it is dangerous to believe that this instance is isolated. Rather, this one example fuses to reinforce and build a culture that prevents women and individuals of other marginalized identities from being seen, from being heard and from accessing positions of power. If this does not shake you at your core, I urge you to think again. This fundamentally unjust culture deeply halts true, social equity and threatens our potential as a country. And I for one refuse to be silent.


The Brandeis Hoot

November 8, 2019

SSIS: advice column By SSIS special to the hoot

Welcome back to the Student Sexuality Information Service (SSIS) column, where we answer any and all of Brandeis students’ questions about sex, sexuality, identity and relationships. If you have a question you’d like answered in our next column, email or leave a question in 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!)

I came to your event last week, and I liked it a lot, but I was hoping it would have more information about how to be safe if you meet someone from an online dating app IRL. Do you have any advice about that? Thank you so much for attending our event! As with all things in life, meeting someone from an online dating app has risks. There are some ways to reduce those risks, such as having a neutral meeting location and checking in with a friend. Choosing a neutral public place to meet, such as a nearby coffee shop or museum, protects your privacy and safety. Meeting at one of your homes or traveling together can make it harder to leave on your own terms. Traveling separately ensures that you can leave when you’re ready and the other person does not have too much of your personal information (such as where you live). Public places are often favorable also because they will likely have other people nearby, should you need help. Before going on the date, it may be wise to tell a friend or two where you are going and plan to follow up afterward. Setting a time for your friend to check in on you can reduce stress. One of the most important things is to

trust your instincts. If a situation feels uncomfortable or unsafe, it likely is. If at any point you want to leave, you reserve that right. Above all else, remember that you are never responsible for predatory or disrespectful behavior of others. I saw a Facebook event for something SSIS is putting on about sex and disabilities, could you tell me more about what to expect from it? Yes! SSIS is putting on an event on Nov. 14 from 7-9 p.m. called Being Sexual with a Disability. In general, SSIS feels that the disability community is often forgotten about in sexual education, and so our hope with this workshop is to provide the Brandeis community some basic ideas of how to adapt sexual activity to be more inclusive. We hope this will also open up greater conversations around this topic in general. We want Brandeis students with disabilities to know that they should be just as included as anyone else in conversations around sexuality, sexual health and pleasure. That being said, we recognize that there are many barriers around accessibility and societal willingness to address these issues and that it might be hard for students to make the leap to access these

resources without being explicitly welcomed. So, we are explicitly welcoming! At our event, we are lucky enough to be bringing in a speaker named Kirsten Schulz, who is a sex educator and disability advocate working for an amazing organization called Chronic Sex. During the first hour or so of our workshop, Kirsten will be presenting on a range of topics such as the emotional and physical effects of chronic illness or disability, particularly in regards to sex and sexuality. She will outline solutions and resources for some of these barriers and answer any anonymous questions attendees might have. After the presentation, SSIS members will be leading small workshops on the following three topics: being sexual and sensory sensitive, being sexual with mobility limitations and what non-verbal communication and consent looks like in a sexual context. We will cover both masturbation and sex with a partner or partners, as well as just general resources. Feel free to join our Facebook event and contact us with any further questions, concerns or suggestions about this event or others!

What kind of products do you sell at SSIS? We sell a wide variety of products ranging from menstrual products to barrier methods to toys! Three types of menstrual cups are sold in our office, along with pads and tampons. We also sell pregnancy tests for only 50 cents each! Our barrier methods include many types of external condoms, internal condoms, dental dams, gloves and finger cots. Barrier methods are useful for

protecting your body from STIs. Most of our condoms are pre-lubricated with silicone lube, and we also sell bottles and packets of silicone, water and hybrid lubes. Some are even flavored or change temperature upon use! For personal pleasure, we sell kegel balls, masturbatory cream, masturbatory sleeves, vibrators, dildos and butt plugs. For more information about specific products that we sell, stop by our office in room 328 in the SCC.


Wash your hands—avoid the stomach flu! By John Fornagiel staff

During my middle school years, my family and I would often go out to do grocery shopping. We would buy things like meats, fish and rice, but something we would do for special occasions is prepare a fruit platter. Unbeknownst to me, fruit platters can actually contain the virus that causes the

stomach flu, and thus began my week long journey of horror. Right after the Fourth of July, I felt agonizing pain in my stomach, and that is an understatement. I had a throbbing headache and felt horrible, and my parents took me to see the doctor. It turns out that I contracted (you guessed it) viral gastroenteritis, commonly known as the stomach flu. Luckily, my immune system was developed enough to



fight off the infection naturally. Sadly, this is not true for most infants, older adults and other people with compromised immune systems, which can lead to fatal complications. What are some ways to recognize this infection? If someone has it, how do you know if it is serious enough to go to the hospital? The stomach flu does not present any symptoms for one to three days. However, once these symptoms do appear, they can be extremely debilitating and cause various digestive issues. These digestive issues and other various symptoms include nonbloody diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, headache, weakness and fever. One of the severe complications of the virus is a direct result of diarrhea and vomiting—dehydration. Some of the signs of dehydration include a dry mouth, excessive thirst and headache. In most cases, you can drink enough fluids to counteract the water lost. However, in severe cases, hospitalization is necessary to continuously replace the large volume of fluids lost.

Unfortunately, there is no way to cure or treat the stomach flu. Since it is viral, antibiotics are completely ineffective, and there are no other effective treatments. Therefore, one of the best ways to stay safe from the virus is simply by preventing yourself from ever having it in the first place. One of the easiest prevention methods is to get vaccinated. Fortunately, there is a vaccine for gastroenteritis available in the United States, which can easily prevent an illness if given within the first year of life. This vaccine can be given later in life, however, it is most effective if given early on in life. Another way to help prevent the virus is by making it a habit to wash your hands throughout the day. This has also been proven to mitigate other infections such as the flu or the common cold, so it is recommended to wash your hands frequently. The last prevention method is to simply avoiding people that are infected to decrease the chances that the virus gets spread to you. However, this also works the other way around. If you suspect that you have the

stomach flu or other infection, then stay out of class and work to drink fluids and get some rest. This can not only expedite the healing process for you but can also prevent many others from getting sick. The stomach flu can be a very grueling and miserable experience that has you bedridden for over a week, making you miss important deadlines and days of class. By knowing and applying the effective methods that can help prevent contracting it in the first place, you can save yourself a lot of pain and stress in the long run. Take it from me, I would have much rather washed my hands a few times than have ever gone through that. (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.)


November 8, 2019

The Brandeis Hoot 17

‘Mixed Korean’ event explores race and reconciliation By Celia Young editor

Paul Lee Cannon bought his mother a plane ticket to South Korea for her birthday. As he read aloud a short nonfiction story he wrote for “Mixed Korean,” an anthology of stories about what it’s like to be mixed Korean in the U.S. and Korea, he told the story of flying to Korea to reunite his mother with her sister after decades of separation. When his mother and aunt finally met at the airport and embraced, he recounted how his mother kept repeating, “I can die now. I can die now.” Cannon’s was just one of several emotional readings from the book “Mixed Korean: Our Stories: An Anthology.” The book is a collection of works from award-winning authors like Alexander Chee, Michael Croley and Heinz Insu Fenkl, as well as many lesser-known writers. The reading in Skyline Commons on Saturday centered around discrimination and reunion. Readers described what it was to be seen as other—not white enough, not black enough or not Korean enough. Stephanie Blandon, an artist who designed the anthology’s front cover, recounted how she was called racial slurs growing up

in California after being adopted by a black military family from Inchon, Korea. She wanted the front cover to represent mixed Koreans, choosing an orange background to represent the blood that unites everyone, and the image of spilling white and black paint to represent mixed Koreans from African and European descent. The paint, which spills outward on the front cover also represents the tree of life, said Blandon. Blandon was unable to finish the story of her adoption and her experience as a black Korean woman, as she and several audience members began to cry as she spoke. She was the first of many readers that would draw tears from the audience as they learned about food shortages in Korea, family separation through adoption and the racism and discrimination that the readers experienced—sometimes in the form of violence. The speakers were incredibly moving, and their stories were united by a common experience of not being “enough,” even though they may have grown up in Korea or California. The readers also demonstrated how detrimental more subtle forms of racism can be to children and parents. Each passage, even while hugely different, became a part of the story of what it is like to be

mixed Korean. Lily Lee Lu spoke about the boys who would taunt her and pull her hair at school in Korea. When she complained to her mother, she told Lu to punch them and showed Lu how to curl her fingers into a fist. Kim Einhorn spoke about more subtle forms of racism, sharing an experience of having a blonde daughter and being constantly taken for a nanny, rather than her daughter’s mother. But one of the most touching parts of the event was watching an uncut, unedited portion of Deann Borshay Liem’s upcoming film, “Relative Strangers.” The documentary follows several mixed race adults who were adopted by U.S. and European families as they search for their biological mothers. The film—despite being completely unedited—was heartbreaking and hopeful. While the adoptees searched for their mothers in Korea, they also learned more about Korean culture and visited historical sights, connecting with a culture they had been separated from for years. The film showed a woman adopted by a Scottish family find her mother, who was afraid to reach out to her because of the shame and guilt she felt after giving her daughter up. Another woman, after finally finding a photograph


of her biological mother, learned that she had passed two years prior. The clip mirrored the experience of the readers’ stories on adoption and loss as they struggled to connect to a culture they had been removed from, sometimes without their mothers’ permission. One speaker shared the story of a grandmother who had given up her daughter’s child without telling her. The mother spent years trying to find her daughter, appearing on television and contacting the authorities. The

mother and her child were finally reunited decades later, after the authorities identified the wrong child as her own. The event was sponsored by Boston Korean Adoptees and 325Karma-Reuniting families through DNA, and attendees were encouraged to take a DNA test after the event if they were interested. Cerrissa Kim, an editor and contributor to the anthology, encouraged participants to take the free test, to maybe find something out about their culture that they had never connected to before.

‘Geographies of Kinship’ continues discussion on transnational adoption By Candace Ng editor

Following the “Mixed Korean” book reading on Saturday, Nov. 2, on Sunday the Film, Television and Interactive Media Program and the history department hosted a screening and Q&A of the documentary film “Geographies of Kinship,” produced by Deann Borshay Liem. Borshay Liem was born in Korea and was adopted by a white family in the United States in 1966. Her documentary follows four adult adoptees—Dr. Estelle Cooke-Sampson, LenaKim Arctaedius, Daewon Kim and Jane Jeong Trenka—whose lives intersected with Korean adoption. While each of the stories in the documentary makes up the collective history surrounding Korean adoption, it is not comprehensive, said Borshay Liem in the introduction. Each of the adoptees had dif-

ferent experiences growing up: Cooke-Sampson, a Korean adoptee who is half-black, was raised in Washington D.C. and grew up in an African American family with no acknowledgment of her Korean ancestry. Arctaedius was raised in Sweden and socialized in a predominantly white environment. Kim and Trenka were adopted along with their biological siblings in Switzerland and California respectively. As adults, the adoptees returned to Korea to reconnect with their roots. The history of Korean transnational adoption is complicated. The number of Korean children orphaned after the Korean War rose for decades, with 100,000 children orphaned within a year of the end of the war, according to the documentary. Various adoption agencies and foreign aid relief agencies began the notion of transnational adoption to make up for the few adoptees in the U.S.; organizations would go to camptowns looking for abandoned

children or asking single parents if they wanted to relinquish their children. While factors such as being mixed-race, poverty, broken families, remarriage and single parenthood increased the number of relinquished children and contributed to the number of orphans, it is important to note that some of these children were not “true orphans;” some parents put their children in local Korean orphanages so that they would be fed and educated. The orphanages welcomed the increase in children, as the number of children living in the orphanage increased the amount of sponsorship they would receive from abroad. Besides being a legacy of the Korean War, transnational adoption also reflected the patriarchal society that once dominated South Korea. Since men—fathers, husbands and sons—were heads of the household, there was no future for children born to single mothers; without a father, these children were considered illegit-


imate and were unable to receive an education. I am currently taking my second Asian American and Pacific Islander studies course at Brandeis, and as I watched this film, I saw American dominance in this part of history. The historical context, denoted by black and white grainy film snippets, strung together a story that starkly contrasted the modernity of South Korea that I grew up knowing. What stood out to me as most emotional were the different points of the documentary where adoptees shared confusion surrounding their cultural identity, which put the less frequently discussed aspects of adoption on display. Many of these adoptees lived two separate lives, before and after adoption, and there was typically no bridge between them until they reached adulthood. One adoptee shared that he secretly started going to Korean school, and another shared that she found letters and photographs of her biological family hidden from her. While this must be a difficult conversation for adoptive families to have, it also serves as a disadvantage to both the adoptee and the family to not discuss the complexities of race and cultural identity, as the adoptees would be unable to access an essential part of their identity. Following the film screening, Professor Yuri Doolan (AAPI, HIST, WMGS) moderated a Q&A session with Borshay Liem, Cooke-Sampson and Professor Arissa Oh, an associate professor of history at Boston College who was featured in the documentary. Each of the speakers was asked

about their personal opinions on overseas adoption. Borshay Liem’s response eloquently sums up the complexity of transnational adoption. Adoption, conceptually, is “inherently good” and a “beautiful aspect of humanity,” said Borshay Liem. However, for herself and other adoptees, the industrialization of the adoption system became a “system of finding children for families who wanted them” rather than prioritizing the child. She also brought up the idea of an “unspoken agreement” of not talking about adoptees’ pasts with their adoptive parents and how they are labeled as “happy” or “angry” adoptees depending on whether or not they try to start this kind of conversation. Borshay Liem believes that adoptees not being able to be their full selves does not benefit any party and encourages more questions and dialogue surrounding identity. Borshay Liem’s “Geographies of Kinship” shed light on the intricacies of transnational adoption. This event was meaningful as it allowed me to visualize class material—my AAPI class recently read Trenka’s memoir—and consider the history of international adoption more holistically. Borshay Liem is currently producing and editing “Crossings,” a documentary about 30 women peacemakers walking across the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) from North Korea to South Korea, and “Relative Strangers,” a documentary that follows mixed-race adult children of U.S. servicemen and Korean women as they search for their birth families in both countries.


The Brandeis Hoot

November 8, 2019

Faculty and staff art exhibition lights up Dreitzer By Aaron LaFauci staff

The Dreitzer Gallery in Spingold is hosting a very personal display. Until Nov. 17, the gallery is home to this year’s showing of the Faculty and Staff Art Exhibition and that doesn’t just mean a few paintings by professors. Staff from all corners of campus life, from community advisors to Sodexo employees, have all submitted works in a range of mediums. I will attempt to highlight the works that struck me the most, but this is the sort of exhibition that demands you go out there and experience it for yourself. The word that came to my mind while first exploring this exhibition was “palimpsestic.” A palimpsest is a piece of paper that has been written over a bunch of times such that the old writing meshes with the new in a kind of wordy mess. A conceptual or metaphorical palimpsest follows this idea; “things” are continuously changed, altered and added

to in order to create the impression of history and the passage of time. For example, London is often considered a palimpsest because of the extreme differences in age and construction between buildings. There is just something picturesque about the decision to erect the London Eye directly across the river from the centuries old Big Ben. This faculty exhibition shares a similar vibe. There are the expected paintings and photographs, but there is also a handcrafted walnut end table, a quilt, origami vases and even the polar bear costume worn during the climate strike campaigns a few months back. In terms of sheer variety, the gallery is endlessly amusing. The random spectacle is grounded by the idea that every one of the pieces is a product of the spare time of somebody working on campus. Unlike more detached exhibitions, this gallery will serve to deepen our connections to the people that give this university its identity. How many people can claim to

know Sheldon Gilden? Frequenters of Upper Usdan may recognize the name: He is the kosher supervisor of Louis’ Deli! On display is an unassuming table of little wire statues (officially titled “Kinetic Mobiles.”) The figures are bent into the shapes of birds, faces and dogs. There is even a golden elephant. This kind of art is nice enough to look at on its own, but one gains a much deeper appreciation for them when the artist can be talked to directly. While I was perusing the gallery, the engineer of the mobiles himself made an appearance! He encouraged me to touch the figures and play with their kinetic attributes. The upper and lower jaws of the faces wiggle with laughter, the dogs wag and sway and the birds flap in their own unique, quavering style. He showed me his tool kit and told me where he acquires his materials. As it turns out, the table that his works are displayed on is also his own makeshift design: It is a leaf of his home dining table! Then I got to see a picture of his German Shepherd after it tore apart his couch. He recommended me some interesting engineering videos, and we parted ways. Sodexo wants us to build a stronger bond with the hourly workers, but the bureaucrats are rarely successful. JustArts managed to bridge the students, faculty and staff in an intimacy that the higher-ups could only dream of. Did you know that Elena Gonzalez Ros, the director of the Spanish language program, is an avid quilt and tapestry maker? Her version of a template called “Technicolor Galaxy” is prominently displayed at the forefront of the exhibition, and it really deserves it. It’s a striking piece of


color and texture that does well to usher in a dynamic collection of art. One of her other works is more educational. “Spanish Gone Missing” is a cloth recreation of a computer desktop. It depicts a web browser loaded to the 404 page of the Spanish version of the White House official website that was removed after Trump took office. To this day, the page remains down. This gallery can teach you some not so fun things, too. While mass climate activism has quieted down somewhat since September, the climate strike lives on in Dreitzer. Many visitors will be immediately drawn to the polar bear costume. Professor Sabine von Mering (ENVS/GRALL/ WMGS) is responsible for its display. Her exhibit is a statement of activism, her desire to “channel [her] frustration at the level of apathy about the climate crisis.” Students not directly involved in climate activism on campus likely had no idea who was walking around in that outfit. It is fitting that Ellen Rouseville, the program coordinator of ro-

mance studies, is a skilled painter of classical portraiture. On display is a collection of portraits reimagining classical portraits as her friends. Does your friend group host a renaissance painting club? In fact, the faculty are just as alive as us students. Some of them are, evidently, much more so. This exhibition is dedicated to Carla Underwood, the senior department coordinator in the Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences and a member of the JustArts planning committee, who passed away in 2018. Gallery visitors were allowed to take home a recipe of hers, directions for making a cream of broccoli soup. It is one thing to hold a memorial for a lost faculty member; it is another thing entirely to bring together a campus of artists and engineers to honor somebody that dedicated themselves to creativity and passion on campus. The gallery lives up to this ideal. Student visitors should make an effort to reach out to any faculty they recognize while exploring the gallery. I can think of no better way to honor the artists and the arts.

Brittney’s fall playlist picks As much as I hate to admit it, I am one of those annoying people who always posts screenshots of whatever they’re listening to on their Instagram stories even though no one asked for them. I know this is something that most people hate seeing on their timeline, but I often find myself interested in the things that people listen to. I feel like when people share specific songs it allows for friends and followers to get a glimpse into what they are thinking about, or whatever they’re going through at the moment. With this in mind, I’m also interested in seeing which songs remind people of specific points or seasons in their lives. Yes, I already know that “Hot Girl Summer” is a part of almost everyone’s summer playlist, but where are all the

fall playlists? I decided to create my own playlist of some of the songs that remind me of the season. Here are a select few of my fall favorites: Janet Jackson, “Got Til it’s Gone”—This song was the lead single from Janet Jackson’s 1997 album “The Velvet Rope,” which features a handful of classics that I hold dear to my heart. Featuring a sample of Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi,” the song mainly deals with the emotions that come with leaving a lover that you actually miss. Brent Faiyaz, “Talk 2 U”—This album also holds a special place in my heart for a lot of reasons, mainly for its nostalgia factor: Faiyaz’s album, “Sonder Son,” was released during the fall of my freshman year at Brandeis. Also, Brent Faiyaz is a very interesting artist whose work resembles many of the great R&B singers of the late ’90s and early 2000s—his



By Brittney Nanton special to the hoot

smooth, charming voice followed with a soft beat is a golden combo. “Talk 2 U” is mainly Brent’s attempt at trying to prove that he isn’t like other guys—and it’s great! Tyler, the Creator, “FIND YOUR WINGS”—This is one of those songs that really helps motivate me during those long study nights. The fifth track off his 2015 album, “Cherry Bomb,” this song features Tyler expressing the overall message that has stuck with him since the beginning of his career—making your own path and taking agency over your own life. The entire song is a testament to making the decision to focus on doing the things that make you happy. Steve Lacy, “Playground”—The chords. The chords! Steve Lacy is an amazing guitarist, and this track proves it. “Playground,” from his debut 2019 album “Apollo XXI,” is a perfect blend of urban pop and R&B. Shawn Chrystopher, “Wysg ’93”—If you haven’t heard anything from Shawn Chrystopher yet, I definitely recommend that you do. Representing Inglewood, CA, Shawn Chrystopher has been in the music game for a minute now. He’s more of a reclusive artist, but once you dig into his work you can see that he’s legit. Megan Thee Stallion, “Tina Montana”—First of all, if you haven’t really delved deep into Megan Thee Stallion’s discography,

I think it’s about time that you do. It’s the standout track on her 2018 EP “Tina Snow” (which in my opinion doesn’t receive the proper credit that it deserves). “Tina Montana”—which is likely a reference to Antonio “Tony” Montana, the main character of the acclaimed 1983 film “Scarface”—is one of those songs that really showcases just how talented Megan is as a lyricist. Frank Ocean, “Wither”—This is one of my favorite tracks off Frank Ocean’s “Endless.” Followed with background vocals by Jazmine Sullivan, “Wither” is a song detailing Frank’s newfound love, as well as his wish for their future children to be able to witness their love. It’s beautiful. Tyler, the Creator, “WHAT’S GOOD”—Something about this song makes me feel like I’m getting ready for a fight. I’m not sure if it’s the heavy use of drums and the distorted songs in the background, or the fact that it’s one of the only songs from Tyler’s “Igor” which features the artist rapping throughout the entire track, giving his fans the quick punchlines and hard hitting lyrics for which he’s known. Solange, “Down With the Clique”—Before I even get started on this song in particular, “When I Get Home” is an entire masterpiece in itself. The gentle beats in the background, followed by Solange’s smoky timbre is a match made in heaven. “Down With


the Clique” is one of the standout tracks from this album. Tyler, the Creator, “November”—Featured on his acclaimed album, “Flower Boy,” in “November,” Tyler hits listeners with a huge wave of nostalgia. The artist reflects on what he considers to be the greatest time of his life—this “November” to which he continually wishes to return. He does this while also sharing his own anxieties about his work as an artist and doubting the people around him. All the songs listed above can be found on popular streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music with the exception of “Wither.” Of course, these are not all the songs that I would consider to be apart of my fall playlist. If I could go on and on, I would probably add another 10 songs to the list. However, these are some of the songs that stick out to me. If you haven’t already started your fall playlist, it is never too late to create one.

November 8, 2019

The Brandeis Hoot


‘Jojo Rabbit’ Review: The hilarious horror of childishness

By Samuel Finbury staff

There seem to be two schools of thought around addressing Hitler and Nazism in media. You can use comedy and satire to poke fun at Hitler and expose the fundamental flaws and childishness of Nazi ideology. With this direction, you run the risk of downplaying the magnitude of the horrors Hitler’s regime wrought. You can also play it straight and present the state of Nazi Germany as it was, in all its unthinkable and stomach-turning inhumanity. But here you risk turning Hitler into some largerthan-life figure, providing him and his beliefs a dignity they don’t deserve. All movies that decide to directly take on Hitler stick to one of these extremes, although the few comedies that exist satirize the subject matter from a distance. For example, Charlie Chaplin’s “The Dictator” takes place in a made up country resembling Nazi Germany, and Mel Brooks’ “The Producers” satirizes Nazi propaganda under the pretext of an entirely different plot. Few movies endeavour to straddle these two diametrically opposed tones of comic satire and painful reality. But “Jojo Rabbit” does. It walks that tonal tightrope with aplomb and uses its position of constant tonal dissonance against its audience to supreme effect. “Jojo Rabbit” is a dark comedy

about Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis), a 10-year-old member of the Hitler Youth living in late-war Germany with his single mother, Rosie (played with delicious charisma by Scarlett Johansson). Jojo is a Nazi fanatic and idolizes Hitler so much that his imaginary best friend is a cartoonish version of the tyrant (played by the film’s director, Taika Waititi). Waititi’s character constantly gives Jojo horrible advice, especially concerning a young Jewish girl named Elsa, whom Jojo discovers living secretly in his house. As Jojo interrogates Elsa for “Jewish Secrets,” he slowly begins to question his mindless fervor as Nazi Germany crumbles around him. The film starts with Jojo on a Hitler Youth training expedition, also known as “Happy Nazi Summer Camp.” The kids, led by adult counselors who act as hyperactive as their campers, haphazardly practice swastika formations, accidentally stab each other while throwing knives and draw crude caricatures of Rabbis. It’s all primo dark comedy. The montage ends with Jojo bragging that he wouldn’t hesitate to kill for his bestest friend, Hitler. In the next scene, one of the counselors tells Jojo to show his willingness to kill for his country by breaking a rabbit’s neck. Suddenly, the over-thetop nationalism that we were all just laughing at transforms into something startlingly real. That’s what this movie is: weaponized tonal whiplash. One moment Jojo

is skipping all over town, putting up propaganda posters on assignment from his buffonish Nazi superiors, the next we see the fruits of that propaganda, a row of people hung in the town square. The dark humor of this film doesn’t trivialize the horrors of history, it highlights them with sobering effect, telling us a joke and then startling us out of our laughter by revealing what happens when that joke is taken seriously. Nazi Germany in this film is a land of children, and the film pokes fun at the sheer ignorance and immaturity of Nazi theology. Jojo creates ridiculous superstitions about Jews and their telepathic abilities and insectoid hive queen and relays them to his adult superiors who believe him with complete sincerity. Jojo tries to be a brave warrior for Germany, and in a state of ecstatic passion, at one point, he steals a grenade from his consoler and throws it, nearly blowing himself up. “Jojo Rabbit” is a coming of age story about a boy who starts out thinking that in order to be a man he has to be as childish as everyone around him. But Jojo comes of age by rejecting that childishness. As the film goes on, it becomes clear that adherence to this blatantly simplistic way of thinking is what drove the children of Germany to mindlessly kill. The horrors of World War II unfold for us as they do for Jojo, his pastel fairytale village turning into the grey ruins of wartime Germa-

ny by the end of the film, as if we are falling out of a dream. We see the silly fanaticism that Jojo indulged in at Hitler Youth camp resurface later as some new cruelty, and the audience becomes unable to find the breath to laugh anymore. Waititi shows that Hitler’s beliefs were those of an immature buffoon, but when taken with the seriousness they were, these ideas made people turn their backs on what was good, true and real. When childishness becomes maturity and maturity childishness, the world falls apart. Waititi’s film is nothing short of transcendently brilliant. It is both hilarious and harrowing, both dreamlike and real. And I hav-

en’t even mentioned the superb acting, or the beautiful cinematography or the incredible score (apparently The Monkees sound great in German, who’da thunk it?). It does service to the horrors of the Third Reich through disservice to the ideals that spun those horrors. “Jojo Rabbit” is probably one of the best World War II films I’ve seen as it actually deconstructs the evil of Hitler’s regime from the inside rather than having it as some biblical force seen by others. Either way, if you want to laugh at Hitler without making him a joke, then you can’t go wrong with “Jojo Rabbit.”


Good horror games are hard to find: here’s a few gems By Stewart Huang staff

The horror games seem to be forever doomed to be a niche. It’s not only because a lot of people don’t enjoy being scared—there are also an ungodly amount of agonizingly terrible horror games on the market that are either uninspired or poorly made. Aside from household names like “Resident Evil” and “Amnesia,” good horror games are just hard to find. So I’d like to introduce you to a few gems. If you like any of these games but don’t feel like playing, worry not! You can also experience them vicariously through Youtubers whom I’d recommend. “Anatomy” Developed by “Kitty Horroshow,” “Anatomy” is a deceptively simple game that masterfully generates tension by manipulating the player. You take first-person view of an unnamed avatar and listen to cassette recordings scattered around the house. You might think that the gameplay is rudimentary, but the game does such a

good job creating tension with the recordings. They plant these unnerving ideas, like a parasite that lurks in the back of your mind. As you uncover each recording, they quickly mature into feelings of anxiety and dread. You start to suspect malice in your surroundings. You are left anticipating that something will happen, and the thought of not knowing what that something is only accelerates the intensity of the horror. The game is deeply psychological, in other words, as it doesn’t scare you as much as it convinces you to scare yourself. “Anatomy” is available on “” for only $2.99 on P.C. Alternatively, you can watch the Youtube playthrough of it by John Wolfe, who is I think the most prolific horror Youtuber working today. He’s pretty tough to scare, so when he describes a game as “scary,” which he does for “Anatomy,” you know it’s the real deal. “Phobia 1.5” Whereas “Anatomy” is all about psychological horror through passive experience, “Phobia 1.5” feels like your traditional first-person “Amnesia”-esque

horror game. It’s a lot of picking up items and running away from the monster. Most games that try to be like “Amnesia” fail spectacularly, but “Phobia 1.5,” from developer Jonez Games, is a compact and superbly made “Amnesia” style experience. The story doesn’t really matter though: you play as some guy whose car ran out of gas. You decide to stay in some abandoned house in search for more fuel, and, of course, it turns out that the house isn’t really abandoned. The pacing is tight and well thought-out. The possibility of a threat inside the house reveals itself gradually but efficiently, injecting tension which culminates into a harrowing dream sequence. After that, the player is primed and ready for the monster to finally show up. It always seems to be able to catch you by surprise despite your constant vigilance, and a heart-pounding chase sequence quickly ensues. But the monster doesn’t appear too frequently as to be irritating and the hide-andseek doesn’t drag itself out as to out-stay its welcome. The music and sound design is also excellent. The creaking of the wooden floor as you walk each step and



the intimidating piano drop in the background add to the mounting tension and insecurity as you try to avoid the monster. “Phobia 1.5” is available on “Indie DB” for free (the value!) on P.C. You can also watch Mr. John Wolfe play it and witness one of the very few times he freaked out and fear-quit the game. “The Fear” “The Fear,” developed by “Digital Frontiers,” is a point-andclick horror adventure using full motion video (FMV), meaning that everything in-game is pre-recorded footage of real locations and actors, which is rarely used in video games nowadays. You play as a cameraman, in first person view of his camera, who films the cast of a TV program in which they attempt to spend the night in an abandoned mansion (I sense a trope here). Obviously everything goes horribly wrong, and it’s up to you to save the day. Although I wouldn’t describe the game as

super scary, it is nevertheless extremely engrossing. The story itself is engaging with a few twists and turns. You get to familiarize yourself with a surprisingly large cast of characters, each featuring a multitude of dialogue and dialogue options. The acting is dramatic, but it actually enhances the immersion. The puzzle challenges, along with the mansion backdrop as a whole, are meticulously crafted and intriguing. And the game is still pretty scary, especially given that it’s in first-person. Plus, the narrow field of view of the camera means that things often feel uncomfortably close. All in all, “The Fear” is an all-around highly entertaining horror experience. Unfortunately, it’s only available on the PS2 and is entirely in Japanese, so I recommend you watch it on Gab Smolder’s channel. She specializes in Japanese horror games and provides translations in her playthroughs. Her series on “The Fear” is perfect for binge-watching.


The Brandeis Hoot

November 8, 2019

For Jenny Slate, fear is a funny thing By Anna Nappi special to the hoot

Ever since she was young, Jenny Slate wanted to make a documentary. Or, as she explains to her father in one of the many interview-style clips spliced throughout her first stand-up comedy special, she imagined a biopic arriving at her doorstep. Titled “Stage Fright,” Slate’s Netflix debut is more than just a performance in front of a live audience; it’s a look into her life and childhood. In fact, it’s the movie she often dreamed about. Directed by Gillian Robespierre, “Stage Fright” works well as a balance between Jenny’s naturally raunchy, carefree comedy style and a moving self-explo-

ration of her anxieties and fears. Her optimistic personality, which she describes as “who cares, everybody poops in their pants” due to her “nickname-y” first name, shines brightly alongside her introspection and intelligence. Despite equating her brain to a malformed crepe, Jenny graduated as valedictorian from her high school in Milton, MA and went on to study literature at Columbia University. Robespierre also helmed “Landline” and “Obvious Child,” both starring Slate. With the addition of “Stage Fright,” these three films complete her trilogy of media that makes me want to be Jenny Slate’s friend, or maybe even her younger sister. Meanwhile, Jenny’s two real sisters appear several times through-


out the comedy special, as well as her grandmothers and parents. When the footage cuts away from her live show, it brings us to the house Jenny grew up in and the family who shaped her formative years. Through conversations with these close relatives, she relives memories, shares old videos, explores her (haunted!) childhood home, and digs deep into what it means to feel alone. During her performance, it’s clear that Slate wants to have fun. She’s laughing at her own jokes, energetically performing physical humor and creating a lively conversation with her audience, rooted in her relatability. In an interview before the show, she reveals, “The thing that I’m the most scared of about tonight is, after all these people getting here and doing all this and helping me, that I will deny myself the moment to have fun.” She’s so scared that she’s become angry at herself, afraid that thinking about it has already manifested it into future existence. This is her stage fright. It’s an overwhelming fear of not living joyfully in the moment, not earning the audience’s approval and not creating something beautiful. She discusses it as a push-andpull, an exchange in which she knows she must give the crowd something worth appreciating before she can expect their appreciation. She knows that they will like her, but she also knows that she’s going to have to earn it. Jenny’s story is about begin-


nings. A few times she backtracks on jokes by saying “that’s not how I wanted to start” and remarks once on how it feels to watch an entire theater gasp in surprise after—several minutes into the act—she says “before we begin.” As she continues, we get the feeling that we are delving into the beginning processes of Jenny’s growth, healing and learning as we are shown a glimpse into her private world. When her dad asks if she’s getting to the point where she can comfortably make jokes about her divorce, she responds with, “I’m starting.” Toward the end of the special, when she has begun discussing heavy personal topics like her divorce, we watch Jenny and her mother have a conversation in a dark room, different than the brightly lit locations used before. She asks her mother why she thinks that Jenny has always

been so concerned with love throughout her life. The response she receives is interesting, referencing the home full of antiques that made the Slate family feel so unique. “We have a jukebox that played music from, like, the ’30s,” her mother says, “We’re kind of, I don’t want to say in a time warp, we just have a romantic idea of certain things.” As the credits roll, the camera follows Jenny around her childhood living room as she happily dances to a song playing on the jukebox. At this point in her life, the concept of romanticism is something she must confront, and “Stage Fright” is a hilarious, heart-warming peek into that journey. In her very first comedy special, Jenny Slate is learning about solitude, abandonment, loneliness and self-worth. And she’s having so much fun.

On ‘Jesus is King,’ Kanye delivers a holy disappointment By Jonah Koslofsky and Chris de Mena editor and staff

On Oct. 25, after umpteen delays, Mr. Kanye West finally released his ninth solo studio album, “Jesus is King.” Was it worth the wait? And what’s become of hip-hop’s loudest auteur? The Hoot Arts Editor Jonah Koslofsky and staff music critic Chris de Mena discuss: Jonah: For years, Kanye has been a mess. Sometimes, that mess has been a grand, artistic statement: on “The Life of Pablo,” West seemed to accept that his complexity was incongruous, crafting one of the most striking works of his decade-and-a-half long career (although I know my colleague would disagree on “Pablo’s” worth). Other times, West’s mess has just been… a mess—look no further than his last outing, the half-baked “ye.” All this is to say I find myself almost enjoying “Jesus is King.” It’s the first time since 2013’s “Yeezus” that Kanye has actually picked an aesthetic. Yes, this is an occasionally bumpy ride: tracks like “Closed on Sundays” don’t make much sense, and West’s lyr-

ics certainly, painfully, aren’t what they used to be. But the sincere, sweeping sound that reverberates through all 28 minutes has my head bobbing along on every listen. As a secular Jew, I can’t pretend that I’m moved by much of the faith West displays here. Still, these songs remind me of how the music I hear at synagogue makes me feel: it doesn’t mean much, but I’m kinda happy to hear it. What do you think Chris? And how do you feel about this step for West? Chris: This album is boring to the point of being sacreligious. I agree that it at least has a goal, which is more than we can say for “ye” (except for maybe to get on the radio). What’s weird about this album is that the reason it’s not compelling is because of its theology. Religion, or at least Christianity, is very much about something bigger than yourself. But what we get on this album is Christianity by way of Kanye, which is not a genuine expression of anything other than narcissism. What would make for a more interesting album would be Kanye discussing his personal journey to square himself with the Gospel, a la Big KRIT on “4eva is a Mighty Long Time.” But all that’s here is lip service to blind faith and


platitudes. And not that I doubt Kanye’s intentions, but that’s why Don Jr. can engage with this. Proverbs 21:2! What drives me crazy about this album is that we get two and a half minutes of what it could’ve been. The first two-thirds of “Use This Gospel” are legitimately incredible reimaginations of gospel music that draw influences from Kanye’s prior work. The juxtaposition of the two “Clipse” brothers on the track, Pusha T and No Malice the converted-Christian rapper, show how features could have been used to give this album more nuance than Kanye can on his own. But just like that it’s gone, replaced by the soullessness of Kenny G’s saxophone. Proverbs 23:4! Jonah, what should we make of the moments on this album where the production falls totally flat, like “On God,” “Everything We Need” and “Water”? Or the abrupt ending to this album? And how much should we really be moving the goalposts for Mr. West? Jonah: Well Chris, I’m not sure I agree in terms of the messy production—I’ve had the melodies of “Everything We Need” and “Water” stuck in my head too many times this past week to write off those tracks. I don’t think I’m as bored by “Jesus is King” as you are, but I think you’re exactly right about the album’s structure. It never really starts, never really ends and the songs have a bad habit of grinding to a halt somewhere around the two-minute mark. Simply put, this isn’t West’s redemption, and it’s probably his second worst project after “ye.” Meanwhile, one of the President’s idiot sons is endorsing this thing. It’s not hard to see

why: there are times when “Jesus is King” sounds like the rap album for the alt-right. “Stand up for my home,” Kanye yells, “He’ll strengthen my hand / They’ll think twice steppin’ onto my land / I draw the line, it’s written in the sand.” West’s faith is nothing new, but he’s never put what he believes into such aggravating, right-wing terms. Then there are the moments when “Jesus is King” ignites, the rare moments of inspiration—“Use this Gospel” being the chief example (I’m also partial to “Selah,” biblical verse exclamations aside). But then I put on “Jesus Walks.” Then “Ultralight Beam.” And then I listened to “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,” and basked in what a really, clearly quality Kanye album sounds like. No matter how much we move the goalposts, what West is making today is nowhere near as good. I’ll probably keep listening to this empty project—but this is an artist who used to make music that mattered. “Jesus is King” is yet another depressing remind-

er that that guy is gone. What do you think, Chris? Any closing thoughts? Chris: This album and the Kanye-returns-to-God arc were never going to be interesting; it was always so obvious. But what we got was still underwhelming. Mediocre production, awful lyrics and zero perspective. The key track on this project is “Hands On,” which is both a fantastic selfown and the worst song I’ve heard this year. On it, Kanye takes a moment to whine about Christians being suspicious of him, calls them hypocrites, and paints himself as a victim, verifying whatever concerns the anonymous “they” may have had. In this respect, Kanye hasn’t changed a bit. Not even Jesus Christ can take precedence over his “persecution.” One day, the value of this project will not be seen as a testament to faith but as a quintessential example of how religion was utilized as a tool for self-aggrandizement by an ego-maniac of our time.


Profile for The Brandeis Hoot

The Brandeis Hoot 11-08-19  

The Brandeis Hoot November 8, 2019

The Brandeis Hoot 11-08-19  

The Brandeis Hoot November 8, 2019