The Brandeis Hoot 02/07/2020

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Volume 17 Issue 5

“To acquire wisdom, one must observe”

February 7, 2020

Brandeis University’s Community Newspaper · Waltham, Mass.

Students advocate for reform in dining By Adian Vinograd staff

Brandeis students gathered outside the SCC to campaign for self-operated Brandeis dining. BRANDEIS UPROOTED AND RISING


Brandeis Uprooted and Rising, a movement focused on the future of sustainability and nourishment of future generations by demanding food sovereignty, hosted a gathering outside of Sherman Function Hall on Sunday, Feb. 2, campaigning for self-operated Brandeis dining, according to its Instagram page. The group advocated for reform within the dining services provided by Brandeis, but did not want to call its gathering a protest. “We are not calling the gathering on Sunday a ‘protest,’ it was really just a celebration of

sustainable food and community,” said a representative of the campaign, Arthi Jacob ’21, in an email to The Brandeis Hoot. Uprooted and Rising is one of two campaigns—the other being a worker-retention campaign— focused specifically on keeping all current dining service workers after any changes that may occur in the midst of dining contract renegotiations. “Uprooted and Rising supports and promotes the worker retention campaign and worker recognition is one of our demands,” said Jacob in an interview with The Hoot. At the end of last semester, See UPROOTED, page 3

Provost Lynch says Brandeis is in ‘great shape,’ prepares for her sabbatical leave By Rachel Saal editor

Provost Lisa Lynch is proud of the work that she’s done at Brandeis and feels that the university is in a good place for her to leave, she told The Brandeis Hoot in an interview. “I feel tired and exhilarated at the same time. I made this deci-

sion—and it was not easy to step down at this stage—because I feel like the university is in great shape,” said Lynch. “We’ve got a strategic plan that’s going to inform a long-overdue capital campaign, I’ve brought in a great team of new deans, our Vice Provost of Student Affairs, our new athletic director. All the pieces are there.” Lynch said that she is excited to “get a good night’s sleep” while she is on her sabbatical leave. She

said that her plan is to be based primarily at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan School of Management and MIT’s Institute for Work and Employment Research, where she previously worked for eight years. She will also spend part of the year in Bonn, Germany at the IZA Institute of Labor Economics where she is a research affiliate and the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. She

would also like to travel to London, England and Paris, France to meet with colleagues. Lynch said that she is looking forward to spending time with her husband, Professor Fabio Schiantarelli, who will go on sabbatical from his role as an economics professor at Boston College in January, according to Lynch. University President Ron Liebowitz announced that Lynch

would be stepping down from her roles as provost and executive vice president of academic affairs in an email sent to faculty, staff and students on Jan. 21. She said that it will be up to Dean David Weil at The Heller School for Social Policy and Management as to whether or not she has any administrative roles when See LYNCH, page 3

Annual Brandeis Dining survey shows two percent increase in dining hall satisfaction By Sabrina Chow editor

The overall satisfaction for campus dining locations on campus was 77 percent, two percent higher than 2018, according to a press release from Brandeis Dining on its annual satisfaction survey. Sixty-five percent of students also responded that they either “definitely would” or “probably would” recommend any dining location on campus to a friend or fellow student, six percent higher than in 2018. Brandeis dining defines dining locations on campus as: Sherman Dining Hall, Lower Usdan Dining Hall, Upper Usdan, Louis’ Deli, The Hoot Market C-Store, Einstein’s Bagels and The Stein. The annual survey conducted by Sodexo was completed be-

Inside This Issue:

tween Oct. 21 and Nov. 2 and received 469 responses. The Hoot Market C-Store had the highest overall satisfaction rate out of all dining locations, with 92 percent satisfaction. This was followed closely by Einstein Bagels at 91 percent, Upper Usdan and Louis’ Deli, both at 82 percent, The Stein at 77 percent, Sherman Kosher at 74 percent, 64 percent for Lower Usdan and 54 percent for Sherman non-Kosher. “We are very appreciative of all the feedback provided in our annual dining satisfaction survey,” said Andy Allen, Sodexo General Manager, in the press release. “Our team has met several times to discuss the results and enact any immediate changes. We will continue to make updates into the spring semester based on our acSee DINING, page 2

News: Students talk about protesting. Ops: Horoscopes in The Hoot. Features: Stop the bleeding around campus. Sports: Swimming preseason with a win. Editorial: On journalistic rights.


Page 2 Page 13 Page 10 Page 5 Page 9



Men’s basketball guaranteed a winning season.

Mac Miller’s final project shines.




2 The Brandeis Hoot

February 7, 2020

Dining survey results improve dining hall options DINING, from page 1

tion plan developed by the survey feedback.” Nancy Zhai ’22, Senator-at-Large and the chair of the Senate Dining Committee, told The Brandeis Hoot in an email that the survey keeps an open dialogue with Brandeis Dining and the student body. “The priority of Brandeis Dining and our committee is to learn what went well and what needs to be further addressed, which sets the tone of our weekly discussions during the meeting and what we are up to during a typical semester,” Zhai wrote. “This [the survey] is also a crucial process to build a collaborative and constructive relationship, letting the community know that there are always constructive dialogues going on to improve the current options, and ensuring that their feedback, concerns and suggestions are properly addressed and seriously accounted for,” Zhai added. Students overall had a decreased satisfaction in “variety throughout the week, menus with more fresh ingredients, and availability of nutritional information both off and online,” according to the press release.

While completing the survey, students had the ability to identify as dining Kosher for the first time, according to the press release. “The ability to gather Kosher-specific feedback has been very valuable to operations at both Sherman and Louis Deli.” Brandeis Dining also hosted a student focus group for Kosher students. Through the survey, Brandeis Dining and the Senate Dining Committee have identified a number of different initiatives that they are working to implement to improve the dining experience for students. The Plant Action Station was added in Lower Usdan in fall 2019 to help expand the number of vegetarian options in the dining hall and to promote dietary sustainability, Zhai told The Hoot. A sauce shelf was also added to provide students a larger variety of tastes. The Hoot C-Store also incorporated new vegan and vegetarian options after students rose concerns as part of the survey. “[Brandeis Dining is] working on labeling every ingredient in Sherman, especially at the newly-created stir-fry station and Simple Servings to ensure dietary security,” Zhai told The Hoot. Future 50 Foods were also unveiled in Sherman Dining Hall

earlier this week in an effort to increase the availability of cultural dishes in the dining hall, another request from a majority of responders. The program consists of plant-based ingredients that are found around the globe. “It’s a substantial step to increase plantbased options and cultural food options,” explained Zhai. “Future 50 Foods is a fantastic way to improve plant-based fresh ingredients and celebrate a variety of culture concurrently, in line with the value this institution is founded: building a diverse and inclusive community.” Since the completion of the survey, Brandeis Dining has made improvements to various parts of the dining halls and other retail locations from suggestions left by students. The salad bar is now open in both Sherman and Lower Usdan during breakfast, and more breakfast options have been added, including Greek yogurt, chia seeds, breakfast pizzas and egg sandwiches, according to the press release. Sherman’s salad bar has also seen the addition of fresh berries and fruit. Louis’ Deli has also added vegetarian soups, and falafel is now a daily sandwich option.

IN THE SENATE: Feb. 2, 2020 •

• •

Three candidates ran for Senate representative to the Allocations Board (A-Board), with newly-elected Racial Minority Senator Jasmyne Jean-Remy ’22 winning the spot. The Senate voted to clarify the quorum. “For the purposes of the Senate, quorum will be defined as more than 50% of the voting body present,” reads the amendment. “If there are less than 18 seats currently held, the quorum will be defined as 10 Senators of the voting body present.” Senator Joseph Coles ’22 said he didn’t think that the amendment was necessary because it would mean that the Union would not have the ability to do business. The amendment passed. Chief of Staff Zac Wilkes ’20 spoke about the creation of a new Student Union newsletter. The Senate Dining Committee will be working on a survey on Stein Dining Menu and release the Sodexo survey results soon, according to Senator-at-Large Nancy Zhai ’22. Zhai released the results on Facebook on Feb. 3. Coles introduced a club amendment that would restructure the Student Union club bylaws. The changes include a revision to Section 3 that now states that a request must be made for a club to be chartered. Section 4 was revised to say to remove the term “exclusionary club” so that audition-based clubs can get funding on campus. A revision to Section 7 proposes that a “failure to submit the document shall result in de-chartering pursuant to a simple majority vote of the Senate and/or the inability to use University facilities and Union Resources.” It also says that clubs shall update their Presence pages with the most recent Senate-approved version of their constitution and their rosters. Another proposal for the amendment would include requiring club officers to attend Bystander Training, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Training, Budgeting Training, Recruitment Training and Event Planning and General Student Activity Training. A revision to Section 14 would require clubs to have 10 active members to remain chartered. Senator for North Quad Krupa Sourirajan ’23 is having a meeting next week with Assistant Dean of Students Stephanie Grimes to discuss Dharmic Prayer Room improvements. Sourirajan also said she is working to get a ping pong table in North Quad, and will be meeting with the Department of Community Living to discuss maintaining Polaris Lounge. The Senate’s weekly meeting was held immediately after their retreat on Sunday. -Rachel Saal


Students discuss protesting on campus By Josh Aldwinckle-Povey staff

Students convened in the Shapiro Campus Center (SCC) Multipurpose Room on Monday, Feb. 3, for an event to discuss the power of protest at Brandeis, in light of the recent amendments to Section 7 of the University Rights and Responsibilities, as well as last year’s #StillConcernedStudents protest and the events involving the IfNotNow group on campus, according to the organizers. The event, organized by the Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance (FMLA) and the Women of Color Alliance (WOCA), saw around 50 students participate in an open circle discussion regarding the state of protesting at Brandeis and the administration’s responses to issues raised by student groups on campus. The #StillConcernedStudents protest took place in May 2019, and saw remaining students from

the 2015 #ConcernedStudents protest call for greater transparency from the Department of Community Living (DCL) and Public Safety, in light of student concerns for the safety of students of color and LGBTQ students on campus. Event organizers also drew attention to two incidents involving an art installation commissioned by Brandeis Hillel that took place in May 2019. According to a previous article from The Hoot, then IfNotNow-member Ari Albertson ’22 stated that the group had no involvement with the first defacement of the art installation, but the group took responsibility on its Facebook page for the cardboard sign posted on the repainted side after. Attendees of Monday’s event highlighted the lasting impact of the #StillConcernedStudents protest in particular, with some alleging that promises made as a result of that protest remain unfulfilled. One student present on the night said that they were part of the

#StillConcernedStudents group. “One of the main reasons I applied [to Brandeis] was social justice,” said the student. “It should be changed to social justice if you have permission… [the University response] pissed me off… they didn’t take us seriously.” The amended Section 7, which saw the addition of explanations for the existing policies, was sourced from the student handbook at Princeton University, according to a letter to the editor written by the faculty of the Department of African and African American Studies (AAAS) to the Justice. The same student questioned that decision, stating, “We’re supposed to stand out, so why are we following these other private colleges? I would have made a different [college choice] decision if I’d have known.” According to a September 2019 article from The Hoot, University President Ronald Liebowitz said of the policy, “Even free speech has limits. I think that’s where


we’re trying to strike the balance. We’re not trying to quell civil disobedience or protest, we think that’s part of the students’ education and a part of our history, and it’s also important in higher education.” Lisa Lynch had previously told The Hoot that the Section 7 amendment did not include new restrictions, but instead offered explanations of the existing policies. Another student commented, “It was clear that the policy change was an indirect response to the #StillConcernedStudents protest. All of the issues raised weren’t addressed at all. It’s messed up that this university says that they’re a

social justice school. It pisses me off that they’re trying to have it both ways.” Students spoke mostly to concerns involving the safety and position of students of color at Brandeis and the ‘silencing’ of individuals who raise issues by the administration. Students raised concerns, too, about the status of the amended Section 7, one student describing it as “an active barrier to protest. [Providing] the time and location [of a protest] gives them an easy way to silence you.” The FMLA did not respond to The Hoot’s request for a comment by press time.

February 7, 2020


The Brandeis Hoot

Panel of Holocaust presentations tells victims’ stories to next generation By Victoria Morrongiello editor

Eight presentations were given sharing the stories of victims of the Holocaust at the annual Holocaust Rememberance Panel at Brandeis Univeristy, held in the Liberman-Miller Lecture Hall on Feb. 6. “As the Holocaust recedes into a previous century and fewer survivors are able to speak, dispassionate narratives are not enough. We must restore lives, we must give names and families and love to the millions who could not tell survivor stories because they did not survive,” said Laurel Leff, an associate professor of journalism at Northeastern University. The presenters of the panel, according to Leff, were all in their own disciplines trying to perserve the stories of the victims of the Holocaust, so that “no one will be lost to history,” said Leff. Leff said that the narrative of the Holocaust has been filled in over the years as overarching narratives have been recorded. As the accessibility of records from this period become more available, researchers are able to present the stories of the multitudes and the individuals. The speakers gave presentations about both individual and collective victims of the Holocaust. Karin Rosenthal, a resident scholar and fine art photographer at the Women’s Studies Research Center (WSRC) and the daughter of a Holocaust surivior, also spoke. Rosenthal’s father lost 17 members of his immediate family during the Holocaust, Rosen-

thal said, “their first deaths sadly cannot be reversed, but their second deaths can be undone.” Their second deaths can be reversed, according to Rosenthal, by learning what happened to them and telling their stories to restore her family’s lost history. Rosenthal’s search began in 2004 and over the years she was able to piece together the stories of the victims in her family. Using a photo from a family wedding, Rosenthal, with help from distant relatives, was able to learn the names of her relatives as well as their dates of birth to research them within memorial data available to the public. Of her father’s older siblings, his two brothers had survived while his three sisters were killed. After years of research, Rosenthal learned where her aunts had been killed, successfully completing their narratives to share with the next generation. While restoring her family’s history, Rosenthal met individuals that helped her complete her family narrative and connected with people with overlapping histories. Rosenthal said, “the darkness of Holocaust research can have silver linings more magical and meaningful than one could ever imagine.” Sarah Swartz gave her presentation on a small town in Poland called Vishogrod. Vishogrod, prior to the Nazi invasion and the second world war, had a population of 6,000, according to Swartz, and over half were Jews. Christians and Jews cohabiting Vishograd were peaceful though they remained separate. In Vishograd there was a Jewish cemetery, how-

ever, and when the Nazis invaded they destroyed the headstones, said Swartz: “not even the dead were granted peace.” A monument was erected in the cemetery to honor those buried there by an American Jew who was related to Vishograd, said Swartz. Debra Kaufman, a sociologist from Northeastern University, was unable to attend the event; Leff gave Kaufman’s presentation in her place. The presentation regarded the criticism of Holocaust scholarship and research. Critics commented that Holocaust scholars were “careerists, using the murdered European Jews to further their professional careers,” according to Kaufman’s speech. When these comments were made 20 years ago, Jewish and women’s studies were socially the least prestigious areas of every discipline, according to Kaufman, though Kaufman also argued about the importance of gender analysis of the Holocaust, as unlike other events in history, the female gender was not treated as “spoils.” The Holocaust was a rare historical event when women and children were specifically targeted, said Kaufman, and this was because women and children represented the next generation of Jews. Kaufman’s speech brought attention to the “unique testimonies of women survivors,”said Kaufman. If women’s experiences are forgotten, history will assume the plight of women is identical to their male counterparts, according to Kaufman. Kaufman quoted Joan Ringelheim, an author of works about women and the Holocaust, saying, “Woman

carry the extra burdens of sexual victimization, pregnancy, childbirth, rape, abortion, the killing of newborns and the seperation from newborns.” In her quotation of Ringleheim, Kaufman said by recognizing the gender differences of the Holocaust, one can recognize the human experience of the Holocaust, giving a full account of what women went through. In her own presentation, Leff also gave the account of a female Jewish scholar Dr. Leonore Brecher. Brecher was a biologist and was 52 when the Nazi regime began to take power, according to Leff. She tried for years to get an American visa to work as a professor, however no institution would take her because of the combination of her gender, age and ethnicity. Although the United States claims to have saved many scholars, like Albert Einstein, said Leff, there were also many like Brecher who were denied visas. Lisa Fishbayn Joffe, Director of the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute, talked of statistics from the Pew Research Center which surveyed American adults asking them about their knowledge of the Holocaust. The Pew survey found that a majority of American adults did not know how many Jews were killed: 14 percent underestimated the amount killed, 12 percent overestimated and 29 percent did not know how many Jewish people had died. Joffe also noted that in the survey’s findings 57 percent of American adults did not know that Hilter had come to power through democratic processes. According to

Joffe, these statistics show the lack of knowledge the public has about the Holocaust, which is why it is important for the university to sponsor events like the Holocaust Remembrance Panel. Rachel Munn, an affiliated scholar with WSRC, said that she and her colleagues have felt the need to share their work around the Holocaust to the community. Munn said that their research of Holocaust issues can be applied to the world today to support the social justice mission of the university. According to Leff, “The lessons [of the Holocaust] are monumental: the price of appeasement, the nature of evil, the absence of good.” Contemporary connections can be made with the Holocaust, as in Kaufman’s presentation read by Leff, when she brought attention to a comment made by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democratic Congresswoman from New York. Ocasio-Cortez compared detention centers for migrants at the U.S. southern border to concentration camps during the Holocaust. Pointing to similarities across time alerts the public to dangerous developments that violate human rights, according to a letter made by an International Group of Scholars in response to a statement made by The Holocaust Memorial Museum which rejected analogies to the Holocaust. The event was hosted by the Members of the Holocaust Study Research group, Brandeis University Women’s Studies Research Center (WSRC) and co-sponsored by Hadassah-Brandeis Insistute (HBI).

Students advocate for Brandeis to operate self-dining UPROOTED, from page 1

Uprooted and Rising sent a mass email to a “variety of Brandeis administrators” through which it sent its “demands and concerns regarding further outsourced dining,” according to Jacob. The email consisted of demands such as “more affordable and locally sourced groceries for students in the Hoot-Market, better wages, hours and benefits for our [Brandeis’] dining service workers,” as well as demanding “the option for students to opt out of buying a meal plan, even when living on campus.” “We [Uprooted and Rising] got a response to this email from Lois Stanley two and a half weeks into Winter break that dismissed all of our demands and lied about Brandeis’ capacity to fulfill the demands,” said Jacob. “The email we received backstates that we [Brandeis] lack

the ‘infrastructure’ to have a self-operated dining service.” In an open forum in October, Ted Mayer, project lead consultant and president of TM Consulting Group LLC, supported Stanley’s statement saying that reinstating Brandeis’ internal dining hall system would be difficult with Brandeis’ current standing, and would not be a “prudent undertaking.” Jacob said that “President Ron Liebowitz makes over $900,000 per year” and that the money “going to his heavy, heavy pockets” could be allocated toward a change in dining services. According to an article in The Middlebury Campus, “Liebowitz’s compensation… in fiscal year 2007 was $514,012.” According to Business Insider, in 2016, other university presidents in the Greater Boston Area such as President of Boston University Robert A. Brown and President of

Simmons College Helen G. Drinan earned a total of $1,672,442 and $1,656,654, respectively. Worker retention was, said Jacob, “the only demand substantially addressed in the email we [Uprooted and Rising] received in December.” Jacob stated the language in the request for proposals “does not guarantee that workers’ jobs will be respected and retained in this transition.” In an earlier Hoot article, Ted Mayer was quoted saying, “Food service companies don’t have this stable of people— it’s not like they bring over a bus load of people and they take over and everyone’s out of a job. They genuinely, and actually I can’t think of a situation where they haven’t, take on the employees.” According to Dining Committee Chair Nancy Zhai ’22, it has been confirmed that all unionized workers will retain their jobs. Jacob also addressed envi-


ronmental concerns the campaign has with companies such as Sodexo. “We know that these companies buy a significant amount of their meat from Tyson Food, which sources its meat from companies in Brazil,

where the Amazon rainforest and the Earth’s vital ecosystems are burning directly as a result of the cattle ranching industry.” Uprooted and Rising is having another event today, Friday, Feb. 7, at 2 p.m. in Pearlman Hall.

Provost Lynch ready to teach after sabbatical LYNCH, from page 1

she returns to Brandeis as a faculty member in the fall. She is also currently an affiliated faculty member in the economics department and is excited about the possibility of returning to teaching. Liebowitz is currently working on the process of searching for a

replacement, according to Lynch, and she said that she thinks that it is important that she is not involved in the process. “[The new provost] has to be a person that the Board of Trustees and the President [Liebowitz] have full confidence in. It’s their choice—it’s not my choice—who the next provost is,” said Lynch. “I think it’s really important to

provide an opportunity for the interim [provost] or provost to have an opportunity without having a shadow provost. As I’ve told everybody, anything I can do to be helpful, I’m there. I’m a phone call or email away.” Lynch said that she is also looking forward to being on sabbatical during a presidential election year. She said that while she is

unable to make a presidential endorsement as provost, her main concerns include growing income inequality in the country. Lynch said that she is proud of the faculty and staff that she helped recruit, the student summer research opportunity that she established and the advancement of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Brandeis.

She said, however, that she regrets that there isn’t a uniformly positive experience among all people on campus. The campus climate survey, which the university released on Nov. 15, described respondents’ experiences with rape, sexual assault, harassment and intervention in those situations and reporting.


The Brandeis Hoot

Febrary 7, 2020

Professor says devices that detect fentanyl are effective By Hannah Pedersen staff

After conducting a study on the amount of fentanyl in street drugs, lead researcher Dr. Traci Green, an appointed director of Brandeis University’s Opioid Policy Research Collaborative in the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, says she is “pleased” with the success of new portable devices to detect the quantity of different substances in these drugs. Success in the development of these devices would decrease the amount of opioid deaths, according to Green. These portable devices (fentanyl test strips, a Raman spectrometer and a Fouirer-transform infrared spectrometer device) allow people that might have a hunch about the drug, or are unsure about it, to test and see what it contains. Previously, researchers could only figure out what the cause of the overdose was after the person had died, according to Green. The devices are currently the only tools that exist to detect a very exact measurement of the composition of the drugs, according to Green. “[Fentanyl in street drugs had

taken] the eastern seaboard by storm, [and] really almost annihilated so much of our public health advances, so much of what our political systems had put in place because this particular compound, fentanyl, in the drug supply [had] just changed everything and we didn’t have a way to detect it,” Green told The Brandeis Hoot in an interview. In 2017, fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is estimated to be 100 times more potent than morphine and is used in pain management and anesthesia, was confirmed in 64 percent of opioid related deaths in Rhode Island and 85 percent of opioid related deaths in Massachusetts, according to a report published in the “International Journal of Drug Policy.” Green told The Hoot that she has already heard from health centers in the nation that the study was “very compelling and it helped them with their conversations with their policy makers and the state, other funders to put science behind their wish to do as much as they can to help their people.” Her next step is to continue to use these devices in different communities and work with law enforcement to get a better sense

of what is happening in the community before it gets too bad and be able to distribute these test strips to the public. The study looked at field-based portable devices “that you could bring to a public health community space or instruct and share with other people so that peers could teach each other to test for fentanyl’s presence,” said Green. The amount of fentanyl in street

drugs is often unknown, so this puts the consumer of the drug at a high risk of unintentionally overdosing on it. The fentanyl test strips were found to be most effective in detecting fentanyl at very low levels in the street drugs. Researchers in the study found that the test strips didn’t get the total anatomy of the drug, however, so they had to use two devices to get everything. To use the test

strips they dissolve the drug in water and then use the test strips to detect the amount of fentanyl that is in about the size of a grain of sand of the drug. Green said that she is happy to have anyone on campus who is interested in this topic and would like to do work on pushing for better public health and drug policies to contact her to potentially be able to volunteer on this topic.


’Deis Impact 2020 seeks event ideas from students By Tim Dillon editor

The Brandeis University Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI) is looking for event ideas from students for the annual ’Deis Impact program, according to an email from ODEI Director Allyson Livingstone and Program Administrator Lydia Casmier. In an email sent to the student body on Jan. 31, ODEI “[invited] all members of the Brandeis community” to propose events for this year’s ’Deis Impact, which it said would take place on March 2325. This year, ODEI has selected “Reflections on Im/Migration” as its theme for the event. In the email, ODEI said that it wants the content of the events to focus on topics such as “immigration, migration, asylum seeking, refugee experiences, political ideology, xenophobia, citizenship, and/or nationality and the intersections of identities, power, privilege, and oppression.”


“Each of us, directly or through our family members and ancestors, have experienced international and intranational movement,” reads the email. “Some of these movements are voluntary and engaged with honor, while others are coerced, fueled by, and often met with, violence. Many of us have experienced a combination of all of these conditions. Deis Impact 2020 will focus on our collective lived experiences as we navigate

the dynamics of power, privilege, and exclusion contained within them.” ’Deis Impact, according to ODEI’s website, is a “festival of social justice” which was first conceived of in 2011. The event was managed by the International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life until 2018, but in 2019 the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion took over management. ODEI’s website gives the fol-

lowing examples of the types of events it plans on having: “academic courses, art and artistic performances, displays, facilitated discussions, panel presentations, reflection opportunities, speakers, [and] workshops.” The aforementioned email lists February 17 as the final date to submit proposals for events. In the email, ODEI wrote that this year’s ’Deis Impact will include “a Community Engagement and Activism Bazaar, thematic partner events, and

social activism education.” On its website, ODEI names events such as “Keynote Event Featuring Angela Davis ’65,” “Justice for All: The Ongoing Fight for Reform of the Justice System and Prisoner Rights” and “From Protest to Politics: The Ferguson Uprising; Challenging Longstanding Injustices” as highlights of last year’s ’Deis Impact. In 2019, the first year that ODEI managed Deis Impact, ODEI wrote a letter to the editor of The Brandeis Hoot in which it apologized “to students, faculty and staff negatively impacted by the ‘deis IMPACT! ‘Immigration Court: An Experiential Program’ proposal process.” In the letter, ODEI promised that as a result of this incident, it would “[engage] in a systematic review and evaluation of all ‘deis IMPACT! processes, including program and Impacter [sic] selection, development and support” over the summer of 2019.

Inside the life of an Amazon Flex driver By Caroline O staff

Flex drivers and other gig workers at Amazon need to get protections so that, should they injure themselves while making a delivery, they won’t be without a means to earn money, according to Professor David Weil (ECON/ HELLER) in an NPR conversation with NPR Reporter Adrian Ma and Correspondent Stacey Vanek Smith. The three talked about the people who deliver packages, and Ma and Smith interviewed one of the people who delivers Amazon packages full-time in one of their latest episodes of “The Indicator from Planet Money.”

According to Morgan Stanley, only half of Amazon shipments are delivered by Amazon itself— the final drop to a person’s doorstep is often made by a worker hired through Amazon Flex. Similar to Uber, Amazon Flex is an app through which people are notified to drive between locations to drop off or pick up Amazon packages. Ma and Vanek Smith interview an anonymous Amazon Flex worker under the pseudonym ‘Lynne,’ who reveals that the job is flexible as well as higher-paying than her previous job as an administrative assistant. However, while the hours and pay may sound appealing, there are certain trade-offs, according to Ma and Vanek Smith. For

one, an Amazon Flex driver could make up to 30 or 40 stops in one shift—30 or 40 stops, Ma notes, that involve the potential of “bad roads, hungry dogs… and slip and falls.” Those risk factors are only increased when taking into consideration the fact that most Amazon Flex workers have to carry bulky packages. For instance, just some of the packages Ma noted that the interviewed Flex worker carried were a pressure cooker, a child’s car seat and a fish aquarium. In the process of carrying these packages, Lynne recalls a time she slipped on a customer’s wet stone walkway. “I landed right on my back,” Lynne remembers. “The mail deliverer … or UPS driver… would be protected by a

whole set of workplace laws,” Weil explains to Vanek Smith and Ma. However, as Amazon considers Flex drivers to be independent contractors, Amazon is not responsible for any injury that may fall upon the drivers. But given the amount of control Amazon has over its drivers, the label of independent contractor comes into question. “When you have that much control over what a worker does and the consequences of failing to do that, we call that employment,” Weil points out. While Lynne noted earlier in the interview that the hours are flexible and convenient, she also notes that she “works a lot harder than she used to.” About 35 hours of her week are spent driving, and

then there are the added hours of waiting on her phone to take a shift. When asked how her work now affects her social life, Lynne only laughs and asks, “What social life?” Lynne said that despite the struggles associated with being an Amazon Flex driver, she likes the flexible schedule. “It might be nice to have some more benefits, but not if it means losing the flexibility … from gig work.” In the meantime, then, thousands of Amazon Flex drivers like Lynne will keep rounding up ordered packages to doorsteps across the country. Amazon employs 789,000 workers, according to its Annual Report 2019, page 4.


February 7, 2020

The Brandeis Hoot 5

Men’s basketball improves to 6-1 in the UAA By Emerson White staff

After an impressive weekend, the Brandeis men’s basketball team improves to 6-1 in the University Athletic Association (UAA). The Judges defeated Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) 71-64 on Friday night in the Red Auerbach Arena. They also took down Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) 87-68 on Sunday. With these wins, the Judges are currently ranked 25th in Division III, and improve to 14-4 overall. On Friday night it was Collin Sawyer ’20 who led the team with a game-high of 22 points. Sawyer had 13 points in the second half, and shot eight for 15 from the floor. He was also shooting 100 percent on free throws and had five rebounds and two steals for the team. CWRU had an early lead on Brandeis, up 6-5 in the first quarter, but after four points from Sawyer, Brandeis maintained the lead for the duration of the game. At the half the Judges led the Spartans 36-23 after a series of points from Darret Justice ’23. The Judges held CWRU to a 31 percent shooting average in the



first half compared to Brandeis’ 50 percent. In the second half, Sawyer came out hot with a huge three-pointer to give the Judges their largest lead of the game. With just over 15 minutes remaining in the half, the Judges were up 45-30, but CWRU was able to hold the Brandeis offense for five minutes. In the last 10 minutes of the game, the Spar-


tans picked up speed and closed the Judges’ lead to 59-54 after hitting a three-pointer with five minutes left in the game. Brandeis regained its focus and went on to hold a five-point or greater lead the rest of the game, finishing on top 71-64. As a team the Judges out-rebounded and had more assists than the Spartans 13-6. Matan Zucker ’23 led Brandeis in re-

Sawyer goes for a three-pointer.

bounds with a career high of eight. Sam Nassar ’23 was also a big contributor for the Judges with a high of four assists. The Judges returned to the Auerbach Arena on Sunday afternoon to take on Carnegie Mellon. Their win against CMU was truly a team effort, in which five Brandeis players all scored in the double digits. The team also maintained the lead the entire game, never trailing to the Tartans. The Judges led 11-5 early in the first half until CMU fought back to tie the game at 22-22. With just over nine minutes left in the half, Nolan Hagerty ’22 gave the Judges two points off a layup and Eric D’Aguanno ’20 added to the scoring with a three-pointer on the next possession. Going into the half Brandeis had the lead 38-35. The Judges came out of halftime on fire, going on a 13-0 run in the first three minutes of the second half. Dylan Lien ’23 put up back to back three-pointers to give the Judges a 51-35 lead. The Tartans were able to get within six points of the Judges until Brandeis ran away with the lead and finished the game 87-68. Hagerty had a lights-out game for the Judges, leading the team in scoring with 16 points. He


also boasted an impressive nine rebounds, six assists and three blocks. D’Aguanno also had a standout game for Brandeis, scoring 15 points off the bench. Nine of his 15 points were off three-pointers, making D’Aguanno just one three-pointer shy of the Brandeis career record of 231. Chandler Jones ’21 also added 14 points, and secured a double-double with 11 rebounds, his third of the season. Lien had a career best 14 points with a game high of four three-pointers, and Sawyer also added 13 points for the Judges. Brandeis shot just over 52 percent from the floor and an impressive 50 percent from the three-point line. The Judges also out-rebounded the Tartans 45-34, showing their impressive offense and defense. These wins also secured the Judges a winning season for 20192020. This is the Judges’ first back to-back winning season since 2013. Their win against CMU also earned Brandeis its best conference start in program history. The Judges will move on to play Case Western and Carnegie Mellon for the second time of the season this weekend in Cleveland and Pittsburgh.

Swimming and diving victorious in final dual meet of the season By Justin Leung special to the hoot

This past weekend, the Brandeis University swimming and diving teams competed at Clark University in the last dual meet of the 2020 season. Both the women’s and men’s teams won the meet. The men’s team won by a margin of 142-110, and the women’s team won with a score of 135-105. In total, Brandeis won 24 of the 32 events that day at Clark University. In this competition, there were many dominating performances from a number of individuals from Brandeis University. However, there was only one threeevent winner: Uajda Musaku ’21 came in first place across multiple freestyle races. She triumphed in the 200-yard battle in 2:05.33, the 50-yard in 25.85 seconds, and the 100-yard in 56.22 seconds. The women’s team also had two double winners: Emily McGovern ’21 and Bailey Gold ’23. McGovern took home first place in the 100-yard breast-

stroke in 1:11.69 and the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:34.90. Gold finished first in the 100-yard butterfly in 1:00.40 and the 400 individual medley with a time of 4:51.53, while also finishing in second in the 100-yard freestyle right after teammate Musaku. On the men’s side, there were four double winners. Richard Selznick ’21 finished the 1000yard freestyle in 10:22.17 seconds and had an amazing comeback to win the 400 IM in 4:23.33 seconds. Tamir Zitenly ’20 added two wins as well, with wins in the 100-yard backstroke and 100-yard butterfly, finishing in 55.56 seconds and 52.88 seconds respectively. Marcelo Ohno-Machado ’21 finished first in the 500-yard freestyle and the 50-yard freestyle, the first one in 5:06.74 and the second one in 22.37 seconds. Daniel Wohl ’21 contributed two wins in the 200-yard freestyle with an impressive time of 1:47.98, and the 100-yard freestyle in a speedy 48.83 seconds. In addition to these multiple event winners, there were many

single event winners at this event. In their corresponding events, the following Judges each finished in first place: Abbie Etzweiler ’22 in the 1000-yard freestyle, Audrey Kim ’21 in the 100-yard backstroke, Adrienne Aponte ’20 in the 200-yard butterfly, Becky Goodfellow ’23 in the 200-yard back, Rafi Rubenstein ’22 in the one-meter diving, Benjamin Francis ’22 in the 200-yard backstroke and Joshua Liu ’23 in the 200-yard breaststroke. Four relay teams from Brandeis won events last weekend as well. Two women’s and two men’s teams came out on top. The women’s 200-yard medley finished in 1:55.19 seconds. This team consisted of Gold, Olivia Stebbins ’22, Emma Rennie ’23, and Musaku. The men’s 200-yard medley also finished first with a time of 1:43.90. This medley team included Zitelny, Junhan Lee ’20, Sean Riordan ’22, Ohno-Machado. The men’s and women’s 200yard freestyle teams each came out ahead with times of 1:33.51 and 1:51.33 respectively. The


men’s team was comprised of Benton Ferebee ’22, Francis, Lee, and Ohno-Machado, while the women’s team was made up of Aponte, Elizabeth Brown ’22, Etzweiler, and Goodfellow. The Brandeis University swimming and diving teams will wrap


up the 2020 season at the University of Chicago for the UAA championships, which start on Feb. 12 and end on Feb. 15. Before the UAA championships in Chicago, the men’s team record is 6-6 and the women’s team record is 5-9.


The Brandeis Hoot

February 7, 2020

The Black Mamba, the Girl Dad and Kobe Bryant’s eternal legacy By Sophie Trachtenberg editor

After 20 seasons spent playing in the National Basketball Association (NBA), the ball stopped bouncing for five-time NBA champion, 17 time NBA All-Star, two-time NBA Finals MVP and Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant. Average professional athletes do not walk away from a career with such impressive feats, nor do they completely change the course of the game in which they play long after they lace up their shoes for the very last time. However, Kobe was unmistakably one of the few that did, as his heart and soul have forever shaped the game that we call basketball. Over his years spent on the court, Kobe developed a mindset, a powerful ethos which he lived, breathed and shared with others along the way. This competitive spirit became personified in the nickname “Black Mamba,” which Kobe gave himself at the lowest point in his career. In 2013, Bryant was charged with sexual assault in the state of Colorado, although the case was later dropped. In his interview with Business Insider, Bryant commented on his mindset coming out of that experience, saying, “I had to separate myself … It felt like there were so many things coming at once. It was just becoming very, very confusing. I had to organize things. So I created The Black Mamba.” With this persona, Kobe re-identified himself not only as a basketball player, but as a person walking through life as well. He used this same ferocity, intensity and drive that he was able to

channel on the court and applied it to all aspects of his character. He coined a term he called the “Mamba Mentality,” which has flourished beyond its mantra-like identity and has permeated the minds of aspiring athletes and common folk alike. This mentality follows the notion that hard work is always the best route to success, and it is this competitive spirit that one needs to transform from being just good to being great. Kobe will forever be known as always unleashing a killer instinct against opponents, no matter who was standing in front of him. Whether it was practice, shoot around, games or the NBA Finals, Kobe was able to connect his mind with his body, ultimately creating a reliant, fearless and focused competitor that was ready to win. It was this force that led him to so much success within the world of basketball, but also inspired so many to persevere, never give up and figuratively shoot their shot at their dreams. While Kobe might have stepped away from the game of basketball in a literal sense in 2016 after announcing his retirement, the basketball hero began approaching the game in a new way, through the spirit of one of his four daughters, Gianna “Gigi” Bryant. Gianna became known as Mambacita, following in the footsteps of her father and becoming a basketball phenom at the young age of 13. The two were seen sitting in the stands at various NBA events, watching blossoming talent like point guard Trae Young and his Atlanta Hawks, or sitting in to enjoy the special female talent of the Oregon Ducks, as Kobe and Gigi both admired the impressive

skills of guard Sabrina Ionescu. It is stars such as these that have continued to embody the Mamba Mentality in everything they do, carrying on Kobe’s legacy and showing Gigi what she, too, was capable of. On Jan. 26, 2020 this powerful father-daughter duo was involved in a helicopter accident just outside of Los Angeles, where they, along with seven others, tragically lost their lives. All on board were headed to the girls’ basketball practice at Mamba Academy, an endeavour started by Kobe in an effort to provide a space where athletes of all ages could unlock their fullest potential with regards to sports. While the world mourned the loss of Kobe, the idolized basketball player who served as one of the greatest of all time, the internet highlighted another aspect of his identity: being a father. Despite making his mark on the Lakers organization and the NBA as a whole, Kobe was able to yet again redefine himself in terms of his commitment to the game of basketball after his retirement. Through the eyes of his daughter Gianna, Kobe began to delve into the female side of the game, guiding Gigi along a similar athletic path as his own. As Kobe took the backseat concerning his own game, Gigi began to light the way, introducing her father to the magic of women in sports. Bryant himself was incredibly proud of all of his daughters, as ESPN sports anchor Elle Duncan—who was pregnant with her daughter at the time—reminisced on a moment spent with Kobe when he said, “Just be grateful that you’ve been given that gift because girls are amazing… I would have five more girls if I could. I’m


a girl dad.” For the second time, Kobe Bryant became known as having yet another side to his character, transforming from simply Kobe, to the Black Mamba, to a very proud girl dad. In this fashion, Kobe Bryant was far more than just one of the best athletes that the world has ever seen. Behind all of the fame and the glory, Kobe was more importantly a strong

husband, a giving friend, a loyal son and perhaps most heroically, a loving father to all of his daughters. These seemingly separate identities have now forged into one, as we continue to remember Kobe, Gianna and the seven others who lost their lives all too soon. May their legacy and memories continue to empower us to be the best version of ourselves everyday.

Allan named UAA Athlete of the Week, sets university heptathlon record By Caroline Wang staff

Last weekend, the Brandeis University track and field teams competed at Branwen SmithKing Invitational on Friday and Saturday at Tufts University. The women’s team placed seventh overall, and the men’s team placed 11th. On the men’s side, Jack Allan ’20 broke his own school record in the heptathlon, which he set just a few weeks ago, winning with a score of 4782. During the meet, he won the 60-meter hur-

dles with a time of 8.62 seconds, tied first for the high jump with a height of 1.87 meters and the long jump with a distance of 6.65 meters. Allan also placed second for the pole vault and shot put with the score 3.70 meters and 11.71 meters, respectively. With this new record, Allan is ranked 10th overall in the country out of all Division III athletes and was named the University Athletic Association (UAA) Men’s Field Athlete of the Week. Teammate Dion Morris-Evans ’22 finished sixth overall with 4218 points. Morris-Evans had personal records (PR) in four out of the

seven events. On the field, Breylen Ammen ’21 finished fifth in the pole vault with a height of 4.30 meters. Rookie Thomas Vandalovsky ’23 had a PR in the shot put, throwing a distance of 13.71 meters, coming in seventh place. On the track, Alec Rodgers ’20 finished eighth in the 1000-meter run with a time of 2:42.02. Jacob Judd (GRAD) finished 11th in the 600-meter race with a time of 1:26.50. Teammate Jacob Grant ’22 finished right behind him with a time of 1:27.01. Judd and Grant, along with Aaron Portman ’22 and Jamie O’Neil ’22 finished in sixth place in the 4x400 meter relay, with a time of 3:36.65. Aaron Baublis ’21 finished 12th in the preliminary heat of the 60-meter hurdles, finishing with a time of 9.16, less than half a second away from qualifying for the finals. On the women’s side, All-American Devin Hiltunen ’22 was the only double winner. In the 200-meter dash, she won by nine-hundredths of a second, running a time of 26.42 seconds. Hiltunen was joined by Anna Touitou ’22, Sonali Anderson ’22 and rookie Sydney D’Amaddio ’23, who together placed first in the 4x200 meter relay with a time of 1:48.07, a full second over the


second-place squad from Connecticut College. Hiltunen also finished fourth in the 60-meter dash with a time of 8.08 seconds, less than two-tenths of a second slower than the first place finisher, and a new PR. Her times improved throughout the day, running 8.14 seconds in the preliminary race, 8.11 seconds in the semifinals and 8.08 seconds in the finals. Leinni Valdez ’21 placed eighth in the 600-meter race with a time of 1:42.59. Rookie Victoria Morrongiello ’23 finished in 12th place, less than a half a second after Valdez with a time of 1:43.06. Anderson also scored individually on the 60-meter hurdles, placing second with a time of 9.48 seconds. She was just over one-tenth of a second away from

the first place finisher. Anderson initially finished fourth in the preliminary race with a time of 9.75 seconds. Andrea Bolduc ’21 placed seventh in the mile run with a time of 5:14.11, with teammate Natalie Hattan ’22 finishing in 14th with a time of 5:25.69. In total, the men’s team finished with 22 points, in 11th place. The women’s team scored 37 points for seventh place. The Judges return to action again this weekend at Tufts University with the Cupid Invitational. Editor’s Note: Victoria Morrongiello is the Deputy News Editor of The Hoot and is a member of the women’s track and field team.

February 7, 2020


The Brandeis Hoot

Is it too good to be true? The 2019-2020 Premier League Season so far By John-Matthew Rosic special to the hoot

With the halfway point of the season behind us, Liverpool Football Club holds a commanding 22-point lead at the top of English Premier League. English soccer, or football as they would say, has never been a fan of modernization. England was one of the last countries in Europe to make soccer a professional sport. Thus, there has been quite the pushback from players and coaches alike with the introduction of a new technology such as Video Assistant Referee (VAR). VAR was introduced at the beginning of the 2019-20 season to take out the unpredictability of

a human being, such as a referee or linesman. It was introduced to add a sense of equality––that no matter the team or referee on the pitch, the outcome would be the same. At first, it looked to be working correctly, as referees allowed for play to develop to its natural conclusion with the knowledge that they had a team looking for any issues in the calls they made on the field. The introduction of this new technology has seen a steady decrease in simulation of fouls (diving). According to former Premier League referee Howard Webb, players who dive “run the risk of immediate punishment” with the introduction of VAR, according to an article by ESPN. Soccer purists believe that the

simulation of injury or a foul should not go unpunished as it has in the past. With VAR, players who attempt to falsely change a referee’s decision can face penalization in the form of a yellow or red card on the field, and off it they can face suspension from future games. This goes back to the purpose of VAR—to make every game fair no matter who is playing. In the Premier League, VAR has been met with some hostility, as it has not equally punished teams across the league for similar incidents, chief amongst them Liverpool F.C. Liverpool has never won a Premier League title and has not won a first division title in over 30 years. Opposing fans have begun to say that the only reason they

will win the League this season is because of VAR. One can see where their frustrations are coming from. In certain matches, fouls and goals that had been given in other matches played just hours before were not called correctly. The first came in a Dec. 30 match against Wolverhampton. It was seen that a Liverpool defender had used his hand to control a pass in the lead up to Liverpool’s opening goal. The second incident came in Liverpool’s game against the same opposition on Jan. 23. Again, a Liverpool defender committed a foul––this time, slide tackling a player and making contact with the opponent’s shin in a dangerous manner. Neither of these incidents were penalized, and VAR agreed with

the refereeing decisions made. However, incidents exactly like the ones previously mentioned had been given as disallowed goals and red cards in other matches. In the match only two weeks earlier between Arsenal and Crystal Palace, an Arsenal player was shown a red card for a dangerous tackle that was similar to the disallowed foul in the Liverpool match. Looking towards the future, either VAR needs to be changed or removed completely from the game. Matches must be fair across the board and not subject to a referees interpretation of the laws of the game. The rest of the season looks to be an interesting one, as many teams have the opportunity to escape relegation and capture Champions League qualification.

Fencing finishes with 7-5 record overall at Eric Solle Invite By Francesca Marchese staff

The Brandeis University fencing teams proved successful at the 2020 Eric Sollee Invitational on Saturday, Feb. 1, finishing with a combined 7-5 record. The women’s team were 4-2 on the day, while the men’s squad were even at 3-3. The short-handed Hunter College team was no match for the Judges. Both the men’s and women’s teams defeated the Hawks; the women swept Hunter 27-0, while the men earned a victory 22-5. The Judges, though, were not as successful against the nationally-ranked squads from the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn), nor were they successful against their University Athletic Association rivals from New York University (NYU). Leading both matches against the NYU Violets, the Judges were unable to win the last few bouts. The men’s foil owned a 6-0 lead, but NYU came from behind to win the final three matches; the NYU epee team claimed the final two bouts in overtime to defeat Brandeis 16-



11. The women won 7-2 in saber, which was their most lethal weapon of the day, but unfortunately, the Judges could not match their wins in the other two weapons; the women fell 15-12 to the Violets. Against Stevens Institute of Technology, the women were able to secure their second sa-

ber sweep of the day, 9-0, which propelled them to a 16-11 victory over the Ducks, while the men did not have as much luck. A 5-4 split, with saber for the Judges and foil for Stevens, the Ducks took the overall victory with a 6-3 win in epee. The men were able to secure narrow wins over New Jersey

Institute of Technology (NJIT). Down 4-2 in saber, the Judges claimed the final four bouts, including the clinching win by Lucas Lin ’22. Epee had their best win of the tournament, 7-2, as Brandeis secured it 16-11. The Brandeis women and NJIT split foil and epee, 6-3, with the Judges taking the former. Brandeis led

saber 4-1, but Maggie Shealy ’23 gave the Judges the advantage, posting a 5-0 win in the second to last match to give Brandeis the 14-13 victory. Both squads finished out the tournament with wins over Haverford, with the women taking a 17-10 victory from the Black Squirrels, and the men securing a 15-12 victory. The Brandeis women’s saber team provided the top individual performers of the day, as Shealy posted a team-high 13 wins against four losses, finishing 3-0 against Stevens and Haverford. Classmate Jessica Morales ’23 went 11-2 on the day, with 3-0 records against NJIT and UAA rival NYU. Jessica Gets ‘20 posted nine wins for the Judges’ foil squad, while rookies Samantha Shortall ’23 and Ivanna Zavalla ’23 finished with eight each. The men’s team found great success, too, as Lin led the team with eight total wins, including 2-1 against the Violets. Foil senior Ian Quin ’20 posted a team-high seven wins, including 3-0 against Penn and 2-1 against NYU and NJIT.

NBA teams make moves as trade deadline nears By Jacob Schireson staff

As the NBA trade deadline rapidly approaches, it’s time to examine the trades and trade candidates that could shake up the league. At the time of writing, the NBA has already had a couple of major trades, the first being a four-team trade involving 12 players changing teams between the Houston Rockets, Minnesota Timberwolves, Denver Nuggets and Atlanta Hawks. The trade tied for the second largest trade in NBA history. The trade saw Houston Rockets center Clint Capela sent to the Atlanta Hawks along with center Nene Hilario. The Minne-

sota Timberwolves received a first round draft pick, Denver’s Malik Beasley, Juan Hernangomez and Jarred Vanderbilt, along with Atlanta’s Evan Turner. Denver received a first round pick, Minnesota guard Shabazz Napier, forward Keita Bates-Diop, forward Noah Vonleh along with injured Houston guard Gerald Green. The Houston Rockets acquired coveted Minnesota wing Robert Covington, along with Jordan Bell and a future second round pick. This trade raised lots of questions about Houston’s plans. Capela occupied the majority of their minutes at center, and in his absence, veteran PJ Tucker, who stands just 6’5” will likely have to play a large proportion of his minutes at center. Houston seems to be going all in on the “small

ball” basketball philosophy. On Wednesday night, the Miami Heat and Memphis Grizzlies completed the second major trade of the trade deadline. Miami agreed to send 23-yearold point forward Justise Winslow to the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for 36-year-old veteran wing defender and 2015 Finals MVP Andre Iguodala. Upon agreeing to the trade, Iguodala agreed to a two-year $30 million dollar extension with the Miami Heat. Miami, however, is not done after the Iguodala deal. Talks are ongoing between Miami and the Oklahoma City Thunder revolving a trade that would send Thunder forward Danilo Gallinari to the Miami Heat. The Heat are clearly all-in for a

championship run this year. With the (presumed) acquisition of both Iguodala and Gallinari, Miami adds two three-point shooting veterans, as well as a defensive boost with Iguodala. They will join All-Stars Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, as well as Miami’s plethora of veterans and elite role players. The Heat, currently 3415, good enough for the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference, will look to topple the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks in the playoffs, however at 43-7, beating the Bucks in four of seven games seems to be a tall order for any team. Other names who could be on the move before the Feb. 6 deadline include Warriors Guard D’Angelo Russell. According to Microsoft News, the Minneso-

ta Timberwolves and New York Knicks inquired about the Warriors’ 23-year-old guard, but thus far have not “[met] the Warriors’ price point.” The Timberwolves nearly snagged Russell from the Nets in free agency, and have been desperately trying to trade for him ever since. Speculation for the Wolves’ particular interest in Russell relates to their star center Karl-Anthony Towns. It has long been rumored that Towns has been unhappy in Minnesota, and for good reason, as the Wolves currently sit at a dismal 15-35. Towns and Russell are close friends and many speculate that if the Wolves were able to acquire Russell, Towns would be less likely to demand a trade in the future. The trade deadline closes at 3 p.m. EST Feb. 6.


The Brandeis Hoot

February 7, 2020

Women’s basketball falls to UAA opponents By Jesse Lieberman staff

Junior Courtney Thrun ’21 received a lot of support from fans on Friday, but they weren’t just from Brandeis: during warmups before the second half, Thrun greeted her former teammates from Adelphi University, who were in town for a match-up against Bentley on Saturday. Thrun gave them a lot to cheer about, scoring a career-high 16 points on 8-of-10 shooting, but the Judges fell to Case Western 80-68 on Friday. The Judges ended the weekend by losing to Carnegie Mellon on Sunday 73-63, and are now 12-6 overall and 2-5 in the University Athletic Association (UAA).

Down by 41-31 with 6:48 remaining in the third quarter on Friday, Thrun ignited an 11-0 run, scoring six points and notching two steals. Thrun’s go-ahead layup following one of her steals with 4:33 left in the third gave the Judges their first lead of the second half. Following junior Kat Puda’s ’21 three-pointer to tie the game at 47-47 with 1:01 left in the period, the Spartans never trailed for the rest of the game. Although the Judges held the Spartans to just 20 percent on three-pointers, two Spartan players combined for 55 points, 22 of which came in the fourth quarter. The Spartans were also perfect from the foul line, going 22-of-22 in the contest. “We didn’t execute the way we wanted to,” Associate Head


Coach Scott Foulis, who filled in for Head Coach Carol Simon, said in a postgame interview with The Brandeis Hoot. “It was a game where you felt like you were working uphill the entire time,” he added. The Spartans’ defense suffocated the Judges offensively, forcing them into 19 turnovers and limiting the Judges to only three free throws, drastically lower than their average of 19 attempts per game. “We just weren’t able to establish the rhythm we wanted,” Foulis told The Hoot. Hannah Nicholson ’20 recorded her eighth double-double of the season, scoring 11 points and grabbing 14 rebounds. Camila Casanueva ’21 also had a double-double, scoring 13 points and dishing out a career-high 10 assists. Puda and rookie sharpshooter Francesca Marchese ’23 each knocked down two three-pointers off the bench.



The Judges entered halftime on Sunday down 35-32. Carnegie Mellon opened the third quarter on a 9-2 run, extending their lead to 44-34. The Judges responded with a 6-0 run of their own but never came closer than four points. After a three by Marchese with 5:40 remaining in the fourth quarter to cut the Tartans’ lead to 56-52, Carnegie Mellon went on a 10-4 run over the next three and a half minutes, effectively putting the game out of reach. Despite the Judges being a strong rebounding team, as they out-rebound their opponents by an average of seven rebounds per game, the Tartans out-rebounded the Judges 46-40, including 19 on the offensive glass. The Tartans outscored the Judges in second-chance points 19-4. Rookie Emma Reavis ’23 set career-highs in both rebounds and assists with seven and eight re-

spectively. Reavis, who has started every game this season, leads the Judges with over 1.7 steals per game. Casanueva was the lone Brandeis player in double figures, scoring 12 points. Marchese hit two threes again and has nailed at least two threes in 11-of-18 games this season. Junior Samira Abdelreheim ’21 had eight points to go along with two blocks off the bench. The Judges will have a chance to get revenge on both the Spartans and the Tartans this weekend as they travel to play Case Western this Friday, and cap off the weekend at Carnegie Mellon on Sunday. Editor’s Note: Camila Casanueva, Francesca Marchese and Courtney Thrun are staff members of The Hoot. Sports Editor Sophie Trachtenberg is also a member of the women’s basketball team.

A day in the life of a Brandeis athlete: Maggie Shealy ‘23 By Emma Lichtenstein editor

This 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.

Maggie Shealy ’23 wakes up every day at 6 a.m. to be in Gosman by 7 a.m. for fencing practice, earlier than most students would ever dare wake up. Shealy is a member of the varsity women’s fencing team, competing in sabre. She has practice from 7 to 9 a.m., but her workout isn’t over yet. She then has a private lesson. From there, it’s breakfast and a shower before her first class at noon on Monday. Her classes aren’t over until 5pm, giving her a long day. Monday isn’t even her roughest day. She considers Thursday to be her longest day. In the morning, she still has her early workout and fencing practice, which she has every week day, but her day does not end at 5 p.m. On Thursday nights, she goes to practice with the Brandeis-Wellesley Orchestra for which she plays cello. Orchestra rehearsal doesn’t end until 10 pm. This late night ending time makes her grateful that she doesn’t have classes on Friday. This doesn’t mean she has weekends off. She mentioned that she is often preparing for competitions on Friday afternoon, whether that be helping set up Gosman or travel for the meet. Shealy acknowledged that her schedule was busy, “but worth it. It’s what I love to do.” The fencing team has been an important aspect of Shealy’s life

even before she officially attended Brandeis. In an interview with The Brandeis Hoot, she mentioned visiting Brandeis for a recruitment trip, an overnight stay. When she was eating in lower Usdan with the rest of the team, just talking to them, she said that she could easily see herself at Brandeis. That was when she decided to commit. She still is as enamored with the team now as she was then. In high school, Shealy mentioned that all of her competitions were solo, but she now competes in team tournaments, an aspect she truly loves. She is all about the “#teamculture,” she told The Hoot. “We can’t win a meet without the entire team giving their best effort…everyone has each other’s backs,” she said about her teammates. Shealy also enjoys the “extra spirit and energy to fight to the end” that competing on a team brings; she’s fighting for more than just herself. The team competition is not the only new thing for Shealy since coming to Brandeis. She mentioned that back in high school, she was involved in many different extracurriculars. She was in many different clubs, including an anti-humantrafficking club which she ran, as well as running a “bed and breakfast for dogs.” At Brandeis, fencing, orchestra and homework take up all of her free


time, though she does practice graphic design whenever she has a chance. Het hard work is paying off, though. Currently, Shealy is ranked at about 50 in the country for women’s sabre. She will be competing in the Junior Olympics on Feb. 15. Before then, she’ll represent Brandeis. This weekend will be a busy one for Shealy. The Brandeis team is


hosting their final home meet of the season, the Eric Sollee Invitational. Both the men’s and women’s teams will compete against Hunter, Penn, NYU, Stevens, NJIT and Haverford, according to The event will begin at 9 am. Go out and support your fencers; they’re expected to do well! As Shealy put it, “women’s sabre is “#reliable.”


February 7, 2020

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

Volume 17 • Issue 5 the brandeis hoot • brandeis university 415 south street • waltham, ma

Founded By Leslie Pazan, Igor Pedan and Daniel Silverman


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


The Brandeis Hoot 9

On behalf of The Hoot and the Justice: journalistic rights on campus

s the editorial boards of The Brandeis Hoot and the Justice, we have decided to write a joint editorial explaining the rights and responsibilities of student journalists, a topic we feel has been often misunderstood. By outlining our goals and ethics, we want to share what it means to be a journalist and to open communication between us and our community. We believe that informing the public is a service to the community and is necessary for us to understand each other and the world. Journalism follows a code of ethics, created by the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ). It is a widely respected and essential part of reporting, which our newspapers adhere to along with our own constitutions and codes of ethics: The Hoot (constitution and code of ethics) and the Justice. Our codes of ethics are not a choice, but a necessity. The four tenets of journalism listed in the code are to seek the truth and report it, minimize harm, act independently and be accountable. Our job is to inform the public and to do so truthfully and objectively. We volunteer our time; we attend public events; we take photos; we interview the public and include quotes in our articles because we care about this community. One of our fundamental rights is to cover public events. Section 2.9 of the 2019-2020 Brandeis University Rights and Responsibilities defines a public event as “an event held either in a public and open space on campus or to which a general announcement has been made or a general invitation has been extended” and clarifies that the University’s privacy policy “is not intended to restrict the work of student journalists to cover open, public events on campus.” If an event is advertised to the public—on the Brandeis events page, with fliers on campus or on social media, for instance—it is considered a public event, as well as if it takes place in a public space on campus. It is important to note that protests, as they occur in public campus spaces, are considered public events. When covering public events, reporters may record the event and quote anyone who spoke. Recording helps ensure accuracy and

thoroughness. Our reporters identify themselves with press passes whenever they cover public events; we never hide that an event is being covered. If anyone from the Brandeis community or the general public could have attended the event, everyone should be able to read about the event in the campus newspapers. However, we recognize that there are some public events held on campus that may result in harm if certain details were reported, especially events that include sensitive or personal topics. If event organizers, such as student club leaders, department staff or administrators believe that their event will include the sharing of information that would cause harm if reported, they should reach out before the event to the editors in chief of both papers. It is then up to the editors’ discretion to decide how to proceed with covering the event. In making that decision, editors strive to balance two pillars of the SPJ Code of Ethics: “seek truth and report it” and “minimize harm.” Photojournalists are a vital part of any news organization and are afforded the same rights and responsibilities as all other journalists. Just as reporters record public events, so too do photographers have the right to document them through their own medium. They are also identified with press passes and do not seek to target any specific person, but to provide a record of the event in question. If you have any concerns about being photographed, or having a photographer at your event, reach out to the editors in question and talk to the journalist present. There is no guarantee that the photojournalist will refrain from documenting any individual in a public space, but our editors will adhere to the code of ethics upon making the decision to publish said photos. Journalists have the right to ask you for comment at public events or to reach out for an interview. If you are uncomfortable with speaking about a topic, you have every right to refuse to comment. We will always ask at the beginning of any interview if we have permission to record to ensure that we are not misquoting anyone. Anything said

while we are recording is considered “on the record.” Before conveying information you don’t want published, preface it with a request that it be “off the record.” This allows us to stop the recording before you speak; otherwise, it is not off the record. We cannot redact or alter any photographs, accurate quotes or information by request because we cannot allow the perspective of any party to affect coverage. We do publish corrections and clarifications; if there are any misquotes or inaccuracies, please reach out. It is also against the ethics of both papers for individuals being interviewed to read the full article before it is published. If an interviewee has legitimate concerns about the article, contact the reporter. If you are being interviewed and do not want your name associated with the information, you have the right to ask for anonymity. Reporters cannot offer anonymity; you must request it. Anonymity is only granted to individuals whose lives or livelihoods may be endangered if their name is linked with information included in our reporting. Requests for anonymity are reviewed on a case-by-case basis by editors and, if granted, will be explained in the article. We are journalists passionate about serving our community by keeping the public informed. We strive to abide by the same standards to which we hold others. We are continuously learning, so please hold us accountable for our coverage. We will always listen to comments, complaints and concerns regarding coverage and we are happy to discuss any issues to best resolve them. This editorial is a testament to our dedication to this community and our desire to do right by all of its members. If you have any remaining questions about journalistic rights or the way our papers interact with the campus community, please reach out to our Editors-in-Chief: eic@ and editor@ These emails are listed in each issue and online, and are always open for community members’ questions and concerns.


In a features article titled “Holocaust survivor visits Brandeis for International Holocaust Remembrance Day” printed on Jan. 31, the article incorrectly translates Kristallnacht, “the Night of Broken Glass,” as “the Night of the Long Knives.” In an editorial titled “Stop deferred maintenance, invest in long-term solutions” printed on Jan. 31, the editorial incorrectly stated that the repair to the water main was a temporary fix. The repair was permanent. The editorial also falsely stated that the university has been admitting more students. The university is not trying to increase class sizes—the target size of less than 850 students hasn’t changed in recent years—but rather, more students have accepted the university’s offer of admission than the models suggested. In an opinion piece titled "Please Let Me Swipe Into Linsey" printed on Sept. 19, the article incorrectly states that swimming and diving team members are allowed swipe access to Linsey. Only lifeguards who work for the school are allowed swipe access; team members which aren't lifeguards don't have swipe access.


10 The Brandeis Hoot

February 7, 2020

Bringing bleeding risk under control By Joshua Aldwinckle-Povey and Sasha Skarboviychuk staff and editor

Unintentional injury is the number one cause of death in young adults between the ages of 15 and 24, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Often, the unintended injuries involve bleeding, which is why the Brandeis Emergency Medical Corps (BEMCo) has installed “Stop the Bleed” bleeding kits around campus. According to BEMCo Director and Field Supervisor Michele Etzbach ’20, although BEMCo has a response time of only two minutes, the kits are intended for public use as well as for the use of Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) who are currently not on shift. “We have over 60 trained

EMTs on campus and only four of them have equipment on them,” said Etzbach in an interview with The Hoot. “Stop the Bleed” is an initiative that was started in 2013 by a group of trauma surgeons from the American College of Surgeons, as well as other professionals in the government, law enforcement and emergency medical care. According to its website, “the purpose of the Stop the Bleed campaign is to make our nation more resilient by better preparing the public to save lives if people nearby are severely bleeding.” This campaign strives to raise awareness and teach people how to learn three quick actions to control serious bleeding, which mirrors what BEMCo is trying to achieve on the Brandeis campus. “We believe that implementing these kits on campus would be a cost-effective and easy way to in-

crease campus safety,” added Etzbach. The kits themselves are designed for public use and “come with a detailed instruction book, which allows for people to get help before BEMCo arrives on scene,” said Jacob Silverman ’20, Maintenance Officer of BEMCo. In addition to the instruction book, the kits installed at Brandeis contain a tourniquet, bleeding control dressing, a Sharpie marker, protective gloves and a compression bandage. “BEMCo already carries the necessary items to stop bleeding,” Etzbach told The Hoot. “However, in severe cases a person can bleed out before we [BEMCo] have time to get there.” The kits could also allow for more people to be able to get treatment simultaneously. Currently there are six “Stop the Bleed” kits on campus: two in the Library, two in Gosman Sports

and Convocation Center, one in the Usdan Student Center, and one in the Shapiro Campus Center. “We are hoping to have the bleeding kits to be matched with the automated external defibrillators (AEDs) that are currently on campus,” said Etzbach. The hope is that the “Stop the Bleed” kits will be as widely known as the AEDs, so people can use them to save lives. The kits are available for purchase to the public, so any department or individual on campus can purchase them. Although no training is required to use the kits, BEMCo is adding instructions for using the kits to their Community CPR course, which is offered every semester and counts toward a physical education credit. “If there is enough interest, we are considering doing a class only about the kits,” Etzbach told The Hoot. They

are also offering training to all departments in whose buildings the kits have already been installed. “We are trying to raise awareness about the kits, which we hope will help save lives in emergency situations,” concluded Etzbach.



’Deis Hacks blends design and social impact By Polina Potochevska editor

Ever wanted to make a direct social impact on the Waltham community? Interested in fusing design with real world solutions? If so, ‘Deis Hacks is a program worth noting. ‘Deis Hacks, hosted by the Brandeis MakerLab and partnered with the Brandeis International Business School (IBS) and the Brandeis Library, is a “24hour design competition targeted at real world solutions,” according to its website. A business course at Brandeis is directly involved with participating in the project. Teresa Campos ’21 is a politics and business double major, serving as a teaching assistant (TA) for Professor Gene Miller’s (BUS) course titled “Leadership Internships in Social Impact Organizations,” which is involved in this year’s ‘Deis Hacks. The course spans the length of a full year and involves students being assigned to local Waltham organizations, such as The Waltham Day Center or More Than Words, wrote Campos in an email to The Brandeis Hoot. The students also participate in ‘Deis Hacks each year. For Campos, ‘Deis Hacks is essentially “a hackathon that is focused on social good.” According to the event’s website, ‘Deis Hacks is a “social design challenge” that sources hack-challenges from “30

or so not-for-profits and social enterprise organizations local to Waltham.” The event differs from other hackathon challenges in that the theme of the event is to “fuse design thinking, digital fabrication and social impact to work on real world solutions for non-profit companies.” “Each hackathon team will choose a design challenge from Waltham’s diverse non-profit community they find compelling to focus on,” as stated on the ‘Deis Hacks website. Doors will open for ‘Deis Hacks on Saturday, Feb. 8 at 8 a.m. After opening ceremonies and lectures from local experts and non-profit leaders on topics “ranging from technical tools and workflows to ethical and policy implications of emerging technologies,” hackers stay in the Farber Library overnight to work on their hacks, according to the ‘Deis Hacks website. They have until 10 a.m. the next day to finish their projects, and then a panel of judges “including community activists, technology specialists and educators will judge the project pitches on how well they satisfy the needs of the non-profit, as well as on Complexity, Creativity, Originality, Adherence to the Challenge, and a Popular Vote,” according to the event’s website. Finally, there are closing ceremonies to announce the winners and award prizes.

As Campos explained, once the students are paired with a “host” organization, they start to work under the executive director of the organization as a “Board Fellow.” The goals of the class are to have the Board Fellows “serve as junior non-voting members of the board of directors and then have them work closely with the organization to take on some sort of project that meets whatever the need of the organizations are at the time,” wrote Campos in an email. Campos took Miller’s course last year and worked with the Charles River Community Health Center, and stated that her project “focused on financial sustainability as well as developing new marketing strategies.” Campos’ project at ‘Deis Hacks last year was focused on actively portraying the needs of the health center to donors. This is a tricky task as it doesn’t necessarily express a huge impact on the community to purchase specific machines for the center, she explained, although it would allow the provision of healthcare services to members of the Waltham community. Her group worked to create a “virtual reality tour experience for our donors to be showcased at donor events” and also looked at improving the health center’s website, she said. “Both of these hacks were interesting because they were a unique approach to financial sustainability where we learned how to use,

for the first time, virtual reality software which expands outside of your usual fundraising mechanisms.” The course’s goals fit in well with ‘Deis Hacks, said Campos, as “we like to focus on the social good aspect, this differentiates [‘Deis Hacks] from other hackathons that are usually limited to specifically creating something new with one specific and similar goal while also creating something that is going to help the community. Instead, each group in the hackathon works on a hack for different organizations of the 14 that our Board Fellows work with.” Similarly, because the hack revolves around the needs of the organization, it is much more specific and prevents students from working on the same tasks. Campos, who is also a coordinator for Afternoon Enrichment within the Waltham Group, a coordinator for Admissions Diversity Fly-Ins and an Atlanta Posse Scholar, aims to attend law school after Brandeis, but notes that being involved in ‘Deis Hacks “is an experience that can prove to be impactful in any sector any of us go into.” Campos said that the root of the hack itself is to apply allotted resources “without really any limitations, and creating some sort of aid that enables social good and well being.” “I think the core mindset of the event innately teaches you how to

selflessly use your own personal skill set, regardless of your background in order to create something that many people will benefit from,” explained Campos in an email to The Hoot. “I think this is very important because so often we are sent into the real world with a very individualistic mindset, but participating in this event reminds you that while you will use your skill set in your everyday job, it can also be used as a real resource to share with people who may not have direct access to the background or experiences we have.” Campos has enjoyed serving as a TA for the class, as she gets to view the class from a different perspective than when she was a Board Fellow. “Watching the current Board Fellows and learn[ing] about their work with their organizations is inspiring,” wrote Campos, as each student in the class shows how the class both attracts and develops leaders who are committed to their host organizations and “work endless hours to ensure they provide quality projects to feed back into the organizations.” For her, the only challenge she faces, which she deems a “great one to have,” is keeping up with the pace of the Board Fellows and making sure to help them with feedback, showcasing for her the commitment that the students have both to the class and the community.

New class pushes for intersectionality By Shruthi Manjunath editor

This semester, a new class titled “HISP 178B: Latinx Futurisms,” will be taught by Professor María Durán, a Florence Levy Kay Fellow in U.S. Latinx Cultural Studies. Durán is a new professor here at Brandeis. While explaining why this subject interests her, Durán highlighted in an email interview with The Brandeis Hoot how, currently, she has been working on a research project and is interested in the creation of “altermundos,” or alternate worlds. These worlds are created by Latinx writers and provide critiques on politics and society.

These “mundos” allow individuals to look toward the future to see how people can make the world into a better place. They also allow students to look at the present and the past and analyze specific moments—such as moments that display systematic oppression, colonization or violence—in order to make sure that history doesn’t repeat itself. She desires to share these “mundos” with her students and allow them to think of ways they can apply to the modern age. While describing the content of her class, Durán wrote to The Hoot that many “Latinx ‘gems’ are embedded in the cultural productions with which students will be engaging. That is, these productions integrate

some pretty important theoretical Latinx interventions, which may not be readily apparent to students who have not taken an introduction to Latin American or Latinx Studies course.” Durán believes that one of the challenges in teaching this class will be understanding these “gems.” She gives an example of the word “nepantla” which is a Nahuatl word that means “in between” and is mentioned only once in Gloria Anzaldúa’s “Borderlands/La Frontera.” Although this word is mentioned very briefly, it is a word that is extremely complex and “represents points of growth and transformation.” Durán describes how she has to “slow down and contextualize the relevance to

and the implications of using this term in Latinx speculative arts.” In the first few weeks of the class, students will be exploring the doctrine of Afrofuturism. As the semester continues, students will delve into many cross-cultural connections and investigate ethnic studies, borderlands theory and queer studies. The students will read poems, plays, comic books, nonfiction essays, novels and historical documents. Students will also look at and analyze pieces of art. Durán plans to have many unique teaching methods in class, such as having students engage in debates, simulations, create memes and have lightning presentations. She highlights how she is most excited

about teaching Edgardo Miranda-Rodriquez’s “La Borinqueña: The First Latina Superhero!” Durán’s two main goals for this class include firstly breaking the commonly white and patriarchal mindset that many individuals have toward science fiction. She also intends to teach students that Latinx cultural productions have the ability to push boundaries in the arts through art and literature. Durán hopes that students will understand the value of Latinx speculative arts and their ability to overcome boundaries between gender, sexuality, race and class. She illustrates that “[i]t is a future that transcends these categories in pursuit of emancipation and social justice.”


February 7, 2020

The Brandeis Hoot 11

Immigration’s new ‘wealth test’ attacks the poor By Abdel Achibat special to the hoot

The United States’ immigration system has undergone a myriad of xenophobic changes: from travel bans in Muslim majority countries to decreasing the maximum amount of refugees even allowed into the states, immigration into the U.S. is a newly treacherous territory for most refugees and immigrants. The Trump administration has inherently aimed to decrease legal immigration, while also making refugee cases nearly impossible. Policies requiring in-person interviews for employment-based immigration applications greatly slows down the immigration process, while policies requiring proof of obtaining health insurance prior to application makes visa and green card denials exponentially easier and quicker. The newest on the extraordinarily long list of immigration policies targeting Central Americans is a “wealth test” as a way to deny green card applications. The “public charge” condition, now to be implemented as a part of the green card application process, is a gross reminder of America’s history of marginalizing and barring the poor, which has only recently been uncovered by the Trump administration. Essentially, this decision requires that immigrants be financially self-sufficient and thus not a “public charge” on the country. It mandates that immigrants prove they will not rely on public benefits such as Medicaid, food stamps or housing assistance. Upon first glance, the “wealth test” is very clearly a classist policy seeking to greatly reduce the amount of immigrants granted green cards. Additionally, the policy subliminally and inappropriately targets Central Americans as these immigrants tend to


be fleeing poverty and violence within their home countries and thus rarely are able to meet the financial proof requirements newly stated by the Trump administration. The Supreme Court decision on Jan. 27, 2019 to allow for the implementation of the “wealth test” is merely the U.S.’ way of informing immigrants that, contrary to the Statue of Liberty doctrine, “we will not accept the poor.” The criteria of the “wealth test” newly defines what being a public charge is as well as the factors that can characterize one as such. Negative factors include whether an immigrant is unemployed, high school as the level of their highest education, and their lack of fluency of English. All of which are common among Central American immigrants migrating to the U.S. for economic and societal reasons. Evidently, the policy specifically seeks to establish prior monetary success and the

language of English as prerequisites to being a citizen of the U.S., thus revealing itself to be classist, bigoted and blatantly anti-immigrant. The message sent is contrary to America’s utmost principles of being a state for social mobility and the pursuit of happiness, as we legalize policies that effectively state a marginalization and denial of poor immigrants as a contributor to our country. Adverse effects of the “public charge” condition include the creation of the notion that immigrants hoping to establish roots within the U.S. will never be able to view social safety nets as an actual avenue in their quests for stability and prosperity. Many of the government programs including Medicaid and Social Security serve as a social mobility function which lower classes can use in order to best accumulate wealth and lower spending costs. The “wealth test,” however, discourages poor im-

migrants from seeking help from temporary aid programs, effectively barring them from seeking citizenship in the U.S. on account of their “potential” reliance on government assistance. This pushes current and future immigrants into a cycle of poverty out of fear of the government. The Trump administration revised the “public charge” criteria to include government benefits used in any 12 months in a 36-month period as reason for characterization, thus placing a substantial number of immigrants in a position of probable green card denial. Not only will this unreasonably and greatly reduce the amount of immigrants legally eligible for green cards, but it also discourages immigrants who are considering using government assistance. Government assistance that could have provided safety and security to immigrants now forms part of the system which could bar them from even achiev-

ing status as legal residents within the country they are seeking refuge. It is abundantly clear that the intent of the “wealth test” was not to create organization and structure within the complex immigration system, but rather to fortify barriers against current immigrants seeking citizenship and to re-establish a notion of xenophobia against Central Americans while incorporating ideas of classism and white supremacy. The fact that the five conservative justices of the United States Supreme Court voted to approve such a policy that targets the poor and disenfranchised from creating ties within the U.S. furthers the detrimental anti-immigrant climate that the Trump administration has been pushing for for three years. We must vehemently oppose this administration so as to preserve the importance of immigrant contributions as the foundation of our nation.

Bleeding: severity, treatment and when to call for help By John Fornagiel staff

In everyday life, the type of bleeding we encounter is simply blood oozing out of a paper cut or a small bruise. Contrary to how the excruciating pain of a papercut would make it seem, the extent of blood loss is often minor and will go away with a little time and without any intervention. In more serious cases, however, such as an amputation or large cut, bleeding can lead to severe shock, infection and other lethal consequences if medical treatment is not received immediately. Being able to distinguish between mild and serious bleeding is crucial. I am sure your friends or parents would not want to pay hundreds of dollars for an ambulance because you decided to call one for a papercut. Although it is relatively intuitive to tell if bleeding from a wound is

serious or not, there are some scenarios that are serious enough to warrant immediate medical attention for a wound. Moreover, many wounds that may seem manageable without medical attention are not! One case that warrants immediate medical attention is if the wound is spurting bright red blood. This likely means that it is coming directly from an artery which is extremely dangerous because the wound is unable to clot effectively under the high pressures of the artery. Moreover, blood leaves the body very quickly and this injury could cause significant blood loss if medical attention is not sought immediately. Another scenario that warrants immediate medical attention is an internal bleed. This means that blood is exiting from a vessel, cavity or space that it is not supposed to inside of the body. This can cause devastating consequences if left untreated. There are three main indicators of an internal bleed: rigidity of the abdomen upon touch, worsening

abdominal pain and swelling and a bloated abdomen. The reason that symptoms generally manifest itself in the abdomen is because generally, internal bleeds that could lead to excessive blood loss is in the abdomen. The final scenario that warrants immediate medical attention is if the wound does not stop bleeding or the blood loss is excessive. Even if the wound is not arterial or internal, it can still result in severe consequences if enough fluids are lost. In fact, the average adult only needs to lose about a liter of blood before going into shock. Whether the person losing blood is conscious or not, proper medical care is imperative. It should be noted that even if someone bleeding does not fit any of the descriptions above and you have a gut feeling that higher medical care is needed for treatment, you should contact your local emergency care or call 9-1-1. If a bleed does not fit any of these descriptions and you do not believe it is serious enough to

warrant medical attention, there are some things that you can do to mitigate the blood loss and prevent further complications. The first thing that you should do is to stop the bleeding as quickly as possible. To accomplish this, apply direct pressure using clean gauze or a piece of cloth, and if the injury is on a limb, raise the limb above the level of the heart. If the blood soaks through the cloth or gauze, then do not remove it, as this can disrupt any clots that are forming. Instead, place a fresh piece of cloth or gauze directly on top of the original one. Additionally, bleeding control kits have recently been placed in some of the high-traffic places on campus. As of right now, there are bleeding control kits in the Shapiro Campus Center (SCC), Usdan Student Center, Gosman Sports and Convocation Center and the library. The second thing that you should do after the wound has stopped bleeding is to remove the gauze and clean the wound

with soap and water. Do not do this too aggressively; you do not want to remove the scab from the wound. Lastly, you should rub an antibiotic ointment over the injury to prevent infection and place a bandage on the wound. Now that you know how to properly stop bleeding, the first step to being an expert is to practice in real life. I’ve always found that the best way to do this is to intentionally injure my friends and then practice on them. Just kidding, but now at least when the chance does arise, you can show all your friends and family that you are a true blood expert! (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.)

12 The Brandeis Hoot

The Brandeis Hoot

February 7, 2020

Open letter: Brandeis is failing its disabled students By Rebecca Turner special to the hoot

Dear Brandeis Administration, Board of Trustees, Office of Budget and Financial Planning, Student Accessibility Support and Counseling Center, Thanks for asking me what I need as a disabled student to feel welcome and succeed here. I need actual support—in the form of professionals advocating for me and my right to participate and belong in class and executive function counseling. It’s immensely disappointing that neither our “Student Accessibility Support” nor our mental health services on campus are equipped to help with executive functioning, so that’s out, which leaves us with advocacy. You’ve heard me out asking for accommodations, and I’m grateful for that, but I require more. I’m still not able to participate in my classes meaningfully; I still need more to be done. And, too much of the time, your priority during our conversations is to lead me back toward our disappointing and lackluster set of “pre-prepared” accommodations, rather than actually making change to construct an environment in which I can succeed. Student Accessibility Support (SAS) has an obligation to provide me the necessary support to succeed at Brandeis—I’d love to receive that support. But before I come to the table, I want some guarantee that SAS will be working for me, and on my behalf, to provide me with accommodations—not on behalf of the administration and a board that sees Brandeis as an investment vehicle more than an educational institution existing to make as little change as possible. I’m sick of professors not knowing what my accommodations are because nobody bothered to tell them and/or they didn’t bother to read their letters; I’m sick of last-minute preparations for exams planned months in advance; I’m sick of accommodations making my life harder; I’m sick of being left behind and left out of the classes I’m going five figures into debt to participate in. Are you going to work with me and my disabled peers to give us the learning environment we were promised? Or are you going to work with the administration to preserve university profits and avoid making changes for the disabled “problem students” who are too mad to shut up and accept the scraps of accommodations they’ve been offered by an unprofessional, understaffed and reactionary organization? I want to know what you’re doing to change SAS. It’s falling short in a lot of catastrophic and obvious ways, as last year’s open letter to President Ron Liebowitz showed. What are you doing to enact the institutional-level change that needs to happen in order for disabled students at Brandeis to be given the opportunities and access we’ve been promised? Our time here is limited. My time here is limited. What have you been doing? What will you do to fix the enormous failures Brandeis has demonstrated to its disabled students before I graduate in a year? And if it’s “impossible” to fix these failures, I want to know why. I want to know why it is acceptable for me to be collateral damage, and I want to


The Brandeis Counseling Center is located in the Mailman House.

know why we’re okay, both personally and institutionally, with disabled students falling through the cracks, with our education being manufactured to fail and thoughtlessly thrown away. Meeting with staff and administration—deans, presidents, directors—takes time and energy from me—precious, valuable resources that are intensely limited due to my disability. I want some assurance that we can do more than offer blank platitudes to each other. Spending my energy fighting for accommodations makes it harder to attend classes and focus on my work here. I don’t want explanations for why the system isn’t working; I want actions that fix it. Here’s a tiny list of a few of the accommodations and changes I want, off the top of my head. Make no mistake, this list is scattered and incoherent. It’s scattered because that’s all I can muster. That’s all I can get out of my brain today. In the words of Porpentine, “I am too sick to write this article.” All I can squeeze out between sickness and trauma and therapy and an unending stream of homework and essays and obligations. It’s not a comprehensive and formal program of change to fully reform Brandeis into a functional institution. It’s a set of specific failures that I want addressed 30 years ago—or if Brandeis is aiming for second best—today. These failures are overlapped and intertwined. Here’s what I want: Material acknowledgment that I had to and have to work harder than my abled peers for the time at Brandeis when I didn’t have accommodations, and during the times when my accommodations have been inadequate or a majority of my energy has been spent attempting to navigate student accessibility (i.e. my entire college career so far). This could be in the form of extra credits awarded for each class (to reflect the additional effort and time I had to put in, compared to my peers) or in the form of a flat increase of the grades for each class (to reflect the limited time and resources I had to work with, particularly during exams, compared to my peers). I’m open to other options, but those two seem like the most obvious, reasonable, inexpensive and non-disruptive. An alternative schedule that would allow me to focus intensely on one subject, because my disability prevents me from jumping around and managing four or five different schedules and four or five different professors who like to communicate in four or five different ways. A schedule that lets me dive deeply into the

material and excel in a way that a scattershot choice of four or five different areas of knowledge prevents. Accommodations that focus on areas other than test-taking. Dramatically restructured lectures, with slides that present a coherent narrative for students to follow. Slides available online before the lectures. Courses restructured for chronically ill students who need to miss class on a nearly weekly basis or greater, allowing them to participate without excluding them or leaving them behind. A 30-student cap on every course, including introductory courses. This would mean splitting large courses into as many sections as we require and hiring additional faculty to teach those courses, focusing on underrepresented and marginalized academics. Failing to provide accessible and thorough course materials (including interactions through LATTE, timely responses to emails, assignment postings, syllabi, course texts, etc.) should be a tenure-revoking offense—just like failing to meet any other job responsibilities would be. Sign language interpreters, and large print and braille materials available on request without needing a documented disability or any form of means-testing. Banning “no-electronics” policies that single out disabled students who use electronics as access tools and exclude disabled students who are not rich enough for a diagnosis. New policies which explicitly recognize that nearly all electronics, including cell phones, can be and often are access tools. Assignments to be posted to LATTE in a timely fashion—in general, for LATTE to actually be used promptly and correctly. Failing to put all the information about my assignments and courses in one place (e.g. with hidden syllabi, alternative course websites, critical announcements sent through emails and not otherwise posted to the course page) makes coursework unmanageable and leaves me (and in general, the most vulnerable students) behind. I want better syllabi from all my professors, including all texts, assignment dates and lecture material (at least down to the nearest week) to allow me to prepare for my courses. I want this information without having to email back and forth or meet individually with professors (as I did with every professor this semester). I want an end to requirements for medical documentation to receive accommodations. If Goo-


gle and JP Morgan can give me ADHD assessments poorly disguised as “personality quizzes” that they can then use to discriminate against me in the hiring process, we can figure out some way to make accommodations easier to access. (And yes, both of them did do that to me. I even kept screenshots.) Increased student wages. My summer internships pay more than three times what I make at Brandeis. (An immense privilege!) Why doesn’t Brandeis value my talents? Increased pay would let me devote more of my time to keeping up with the classes I struggle with. An independent council of disabled students and faculty members with a budget and the powers to enact changes to accommodations and university policy and to terminate professors with a history of misconduct. A safety net for all students, but in particular new students. My first-year advisor didn’t meet with me or reply to my emails for an entire semester, leaving me to figure out everything on my own. That’s water under the bridge for me, but I don’t want it to happen to anyone else. I want professors who want to teach. Professors who are hostile to students who ask questions or express interest should not be tolerated. It doesn’t serve students for the administration to force professors who only want to do research to teach courses. Similarly, I want Brandeis to hire professors based partially on their skill as educators, not exclusively on their expertise in their field. Given that the vast majority of courses are taught at the undergraduate level, it doesn’t make sense to prioritize incredibly specialized knowledge over the ability to share the basics within each field. Mandatory accessibility training for every staff and faculty member on campus, so that I never get a look of surprise (or get scolded in front of a class) when I use an accommodation again. I should not need to explain my disability or my accommodations to professors who are capable of talking to SAS directly, because my time and energy is precious and limited. Having SAS “encourage that I self-advocate” is infuriating and counterproductive and has resulted in accommodations nearly falling through multiple times. I want at least half of the SAS staff to be disabled, and for a dramatic increase in SAS staffing. Roughly 1 in 4 American adults live with a disability. Brandeis has a population of 5,800 students, and let’s say that a single employ-

ee can effectively manage accommodations for about 50 students (probably stretching it). That works out to 29 SAS employees. Why do we not have that currently? Similarly dramatic increases to Brandeis Counseling Center (BCC) staffing, reflecting the inability of mental health workers to adequately care for caseloads larger than 15 or 20 people at a time. An end to the policies that use group therapy to triage “low-priority” students. A dramatically increased budget. More than one trans therapist. Disabled therapists and an actually accessible building. An end to waiting lists for intake appointments in their entirety. Therapists specializing in learning disorders, ADHD, psychosis, OCD, PTSD and complex post-traumatic stress disorder (CPTSD), personality disorders, dissociative disorders and plurality. Therapists working in politically aware frameworks who are able to adequately address external stressors in a way that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) does not. Therapists who don’t reproduce trauma within their sessions, in particular with disabled students, trans students and students of color. Admissions quotas for physically and mentally disabled students commensurate with the general population. Admissions quotas for students of color (and in particular for Black and Native students) and poor students commensurate with the general population. I want the unbalanced student population corrected in four years and the staff and faculty demographics corrected in six years. Increased transportation options on campus as well as to Waltham and Boston/Cambridge, running at least twice as frequently. The ability to reserve space on a bus at any time (arbitrarily long or short) in advance of the bus’s journey with decreased barriers to entry and support for mobile devices in order to make driving a car no longer a necessity for students who live off campus. Wheelchair accessibility for every floor of every building on campus—including Skyline, which has heavy, difficult-to-open, manual interior doors. I want tour guides to announce every building that isn’t wheelchair accessible when showing the campus to prospective students. And I want real accessibility, not just “well technically you can get to Goldsmith 300 by entering Volen across the quad, going down a long hallway, taking an elevator, crossing the skybridge, and passing through several heavy and non-automatic (i.e. not wheelchair accessible) doors”-style accessibility. I want the wheelchair-accessible routes through campus to be direct and convenient, not coiled through back hallways like they were designed by Wile E. Coyote. I’m tired of the avoidant non-responses I’ve gotten from SAS in the past year, and I’m tired of wasting my breath in closeddoor meetings. I hope we can make some broader changes to allow me to succeed here, as well as my disabled peers and future students, many of whom are not as eloquent or as aware of their poor treatment as I am.The last time I met with SAS, I was told that “there’s not a brick that doesn’t move” when it comes to accessibility. Here are some bricks. Let’s get moving.

February 7, 2020

The Brandeis Hoot


What you can do about climate change By Maya Kattler-Gold special to the hoot

You’re probably freaked out about climate change. There’s a good chance you feel totally overwhelmed or powerless. What can one person do when it feels like the world is heading in such a hopeless direction? The thing is, a person acting alone often can’t do much. But here’s the amazing thing: as students we can use our collective power to get our institution, Brandeis, to take action. That, along with the collective power of thousands of other institutions, can make a difference. That’s the idea behind the fossil fuel divestment movement. Fossil fuel divestment is a movement to take investments out of the fossil fuel industry. The movement started in 2012, with students demanding that their universities divest. A campaign started at Brandeis that same year. Since then, there have been two thorough reports on divestment written by students, faculty and administrators, various committees and many excuses from the Board of Trustees (the administrative body in charge of making our investment decisions). In fall 2018, after increasing student pressure, the Board finally held its first vote on fossil fuel divestment. The decision the Board made was to continue to not invest in coal (in which we have never had any investments because coal

has not been profitable for a long time) and to not make any new direct investments in gas and oil for the next three years. This only affected a small portion of our endowment (direct investments) and not the over 90 percent of our investments that are in commingled funds. Although this was a step in the right direction, it was not divestment. Most upsettingly, President Ron Liebowitz said in the decision, “We will review these actions in three years to evaluate their impact and consider future action.” The university has used numerous stall tactics throughout the years, and with this decision it put a three-year pause on even thinking about full divestment. I’m sure you’ve caught on that climate change action is urgently needed. In 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a multinational group of the world’s top researchers on climate change, made the call that in order to avoid the worst possible effects of climate change, we need to cut global greenhouse gas emissions in half by the year 2030, and reach net-zero by 2050. Since that report came out, global emissions have continued to increase. It is clear that we have no chance of avoiding a total climate catastrophe without large and rapid change. What we’re doing now to deal with climate change is just not working. Some claim that divestment isn’t effective against climate

change and we should instead be focusing solely on reducing our emissions. Obviously reducing emissions is our ultimate goal, so let’s think about how that could happen. Emissions reductions can be made on an individual level (i.e. let’s ride our bikes more) or with the help of government policies. Individual efforts by themselves, while important, will never be enough to address climate change given the scope of change needed. Government intervention is necessary to mitigate climate change. So why have we known about climate change for decades and seen no meaningful policy changes? That answer lies in the fossil fuel industry’s stronghold on our governments. Fossil fuel companies spend millions of dollars a year lobbying to delay and block the policies we need, as well as funding climate doubt and denial campaigns; the book and movie “Merchants of Doubt” is a good place to start learning about this. These companies have the power to stop climate action because they have a lot of money. Therefore, in order to make the necessary emissions reductions, we must take the power away from these companies by divesting. The Board has been saying for eight years that divestment is difficult and it takes time. Well it has had close to a decade to figure it out. Over 1,000 other institutions have done so, including schools even smaller than Brandeis. It’s

long overdue that Brandeis, the “social justice institution,” take this action. With scarier climate change projections coming out every day, it is despicable that Brandeis is continuing to financially support the corporations that are causing this. Greta Thunberg recently said that every institution in the world must divest immediately for us to have a chance at keeping global warming to 1.5 degrees. Brandeis can and should be a leader in this. I started this piece by saying YOU can do something about climate change. While I don’t believe individual emissions reductions can save us, I do believe in the power of collective action. Divestment is a powerful action to stop climate change. The Board has all the information it needs to make the right decision, now it needs to see that students will not back down. On February 13, students on campuses around the country will be participating in a national Fossil Fuel Divestment Day to put pressure on their universities to divest. On this day, show your support for fossil fuel divestment by wearing orange all day, and at noon come to the Peace Circle (by Usdan) to chant and hear speakers. Show the Board of Trustees that students demand we divest now. Climate change is not waiting and neither will we. To get more involved and stay updated on divestment actions, like Brandeis Climate Justice on Facebook.

SSIS advice column Welcome back to the SSIS column, where we answer any and all of Brandeis students’ questions about sex, sexuality, identity and relationships. If you have a question you’d like answered in our next column, email ssis@ 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 goodfaith 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!)

option is to incorporate toys into sex, such as dildos, vibrators or strap-ons. If the aesthetic of a penis is particularly interesting to you, there are many toys that look quite realistic. Otherwise, you can get creative with shapes, colors and sizes. Feel free to stop by our office to browse our options or to get a referral to affordable nearby shops. With regard to your sexuality, no one but yourself can answer if you are gay or not. If you have any specific concerns or questions, SSIS members are happy to discuss it further with you during our office hours. We are here to support you as you discover and process your gender, sexuality and orientation, whatever that may be for you! Our office is in SCC 328 and open office hours are 1-6 p.m. Monday-Wednesday (closed from 3-4 p.m.), 12-6 p.m. Thursdays, and 1-5 p.m. Fridays when classes are in session.

I like penises but I don’t like men… am I gay?

How do you ensure confidentiality?

Thank you for writing to SSIS! There are many types of attractions, including—but not limited to—romantic, sexual and platonic attraction. It is completely possible to be sexually attracted to penises while only platonically attracted to men. Additionally, not all men have penises, and not everyone with a penis identifies as male. There are many ways to include a phallus (a penis-like object) during sex, regardless of the gender of your partner(s). One

Thanks for your question! SSIS takes confidentiality very seriously, for the comfort of its members as well as the greater Brandeis community. We do not record the names of or any identifying information about the community members who use our services. SSIS members are not even allowed to discuss what happens in the office or at our events amongst each other; only those who are present at the time are privy to any information. SSIS members are not mandated reporters,

By SSIS special to the hoot


meaning we are not required to tell the university about anything that happens or is discussed with SSIS. There are two cases in which SSIS members would be legally obligated to report to the university: abuse against protected groups (such as elderly, children, disabled people) and intent to harm yourself or others. Our goal is to make SSIS feel

comfortable for all Brandeis members. We are not here to judge, and what is said to any member will not be repeated to anyone. If you have a question you’d like answered in our next column, email or leave a question in the Google Form link.

Horoscopes for the coming week By Thomas Pickering staff

Well here we are folks, it’s 2020. The age of science, and here we all are believing that Mercury being in retrograde actually means something important in our lives. So I thought, why not take advantage of this great opportunity to throw science out the window and give people advice. I hope these little suggestions the stars have sent down to me like Moses receiving the commandments will help all you lost college students this week: Aquarius: You’re in for a bit of an adjustment period this week, and then for several weeks after that, following which you’ll be able to function just as well as a person whose legs aren’t on backward. Pisces: You’ll end next week the same way you’ll start it: constructing a crackpot scheme that you hope will extinguish the flames of your recent mistakes. Aries: You’ll have a day anywhere from not so good to good. Not necessarily amazing or terrible, but trust me it’ll be pretty mediocre. Taurus: Moses died within sight of his goals after wandering in the desert for 40 years, but you’ll beat him to the punch by doing it within seven months. Gemini: This just might be the year when you stop listening to spurious advice and trusting fate. Remember to keep checking your horoscope to make sure. Cancer: You’ll get to know your town a little better over the next few weeks as you lose your job, get evicted and wander the streets looking for food and shelter. Leo: Sometimes everything seems dark and without hope. When you begin feeling this way, it’s important to remember that these are the natural consequences of being realistic. Virgo: You’ll be forced to confront the infinite, the fleeting nature of life and your own mortality next week when, not to put too fine a point on it, you’ll simply die. Libra: This one is crazy. On a walk to Gosman you will meet the ghost of Louis D. Brandeis and he will lean down close to your ear and whisper softly, “If a quiz is a quizzical, why isn’t a test a testical?” Confused, you will then fall down the stairs of the bridge and land at the feet of some student on a hoverboard. That student will then continue to be on his phone and scoot around you. As you get up you will see it. I can’t tell you what “it” is because the stars are telling me to keep it secret, but they wanted you to know all this specific information. Good luck! Scorpio: You’re finally over your last lover, to the point where you can start reading that book he recommended in which God creates the Earth and stuff. Sagittarius: They say you’re at the end of your rope and that you should just give up and resign yourself to failure, and they’re board-licensed psychiatrists and therapists, so they should know. Capricorn: You’ll find to your delight that love at first sight is very real, and to your horror that revulsion and loathing on fifth sight is, too.


14 The Brandeis Hoot

February 7, 2020

Young Thug’s ‘So Much Fun’ really is so much fun

By Grace Zhou editor

Though Young Thug may have over a dozen mixtapes in his discography, “So Much Fun” is the effervescent Atlanta-based rapper’s debut studio album, as well as his most commercially successful project so far. Originally released on the rapper’s 28th birthday back in August 2019, “So Much Fun” was unconventional for precisely how conventional it felt. In his nearly decade-long career, Thugger, as the rapper is also known, has established a reputation for himself as a brilliantly conceptual, experimental and eccentric rapper. “So Much Fun” was a notably vanilla release, significantly less weird and less innovative than his other works. And, as explained in an interview on the “No Jumper” podcast, that was exactly the rapper’s intent: “It’s not even a point to the songs. All the songs are like turn up, club, radio… parade music… It ain’t no storylines to it.” That said, the album never veers into the territory of boring or generic. As the title suggests, Thugger has a clear purpose here: having fun. The beats are lively and groovy, with nearly every track maintaining a high level of energy. And I like to imagine that Young Thug was just shooting the sh*t with friends while creating the album––it’s altogether

more cheeky than anything. On “Lil Baby,” Thugger shouts out 20 of his musical peers, including Drake, Migos and rising star Roddy Ricch. On “Sup Mate,” he and Future bounce off one another in an ecstatic daze, “I’m so high, all I can say is ‘Woo, woo, woo’ / I can’t talk, I barely could say ‘Woo, woo, woo.’” In fact, all the album’s features are well done or, at the very least, entertaining. On “What’s the Move,” rapper Lil Uzi Vert reflects on his famous trendsetting fashion style: “Drip, drip, no shoestring my sneaker, won’t trip / My jeans is so tight they don’t fit.” The penultimate track “Boy Back” has Nav, a Canadian artist of Punjabi descent, melodizing “Ever since Tap-Tap-Tap, I feel like the brown boy back-back-back.” Of course, there are the hits you’ve already heard; “Hot” with Gunna, “Bad Bad Bad” with Lil Baby and “The London” with J. Cole and Travis Scott were all instant chart toppers upon their release, and they showcase Thugger and his friends flexing their lavish lifestyles, deftly juggling references to Cartier jewelry, Bentleys, Pateks, Birkin bags and so much more. In any case, the guest appearances do well to add some sonic diversity to the album while still maintaining compatibility with Young Thug’s sound. In December 2019, a few

months after the initial drop of “So Much Fun,” Young Thug released the album’s deluxe version, gifting us with five additional songs that maintained the convivial spirit of the original release. “Diamonds,” another collaboration between Young Thug and Gunna, makes use of a grittier, dirtier-sounding production to foreground lighthearted, playful lyrics that flaunt material wealth. It’s the perfect juxtaposition to the next track, the tonally bouncy, breezy, vacation-ready collab with Travis Scott, “Hop Off a Jet.” Next, Thugger spits solo “Die Today” and “Millions,” comically rapping on the former “I’m fresh as a peppermint / A green and white peppermint” and utilizing unique string instrumentals in the production of the latter. The deluxe edition also includes “Hot (Remix),” now featuring Travis Scott in addition to Gunna, in which La Flame offers a bonus third verse to an already… fire song (pun intended!). Though this may be the least novel of Young Thug’s releases, there are, naturally, still hints of Thugger’s typical weirdness scattered throughout the album. For one, all the songs are colored by the rapper’s trademark warbled, slurred mouthfuls. On “Cartier Gucci Scarf,” Thugger adopts his throaty, gravelly, Cookie Monster voice, which he has previously explored on some of his older


songs, including 2016’s “Harambe” and 2017’s “Homie.” There are hilarious ad-libs, too, like on the beachy, summer-y track “Surf ” when Thugger yells out “Swiffer surfin’” and “Totally, dude!” Or, on “Lil Baby,” when Thugger shouts “young sex,” an ad-lib he has used ever his 2018 Twitter announcement that he was “changing” his name to SEX. To be clear, although “So Much Fun” refrains from excessive experimentation, it’s neither lazy nor low effort. Thugger maintains a reliable flow throughout, and the beats are always solid. In fact, it’s commendable that every song is consistently good on such

a large (24-track) project. With this accessible, pop-friendly album, the eccentric, almost-camp rap icon has maneuvered his way into the mainstream—and, given all his contributions to the genre, he is more than deserving of this broader commercial recognition. To that end, “So Much Fun” is best enjoyed in the company of others, perfect to show to any friend who’s looking for an approachable introduction to Young Thug’s music or to use as the soundtrack to your next Friday night out. Like Thugger said in his “No Jumper” interview,“If you not having fun or in a fun mood, don’t even play this album.”

Nearly Theatre: Not quite a review of the Huntington’s ‘Sweat’ By Isaac Ruben staff

Last Friday I had the privilege of seeing the final dress rehearsal of the Huntington Theatre Company’s production of “Sweat” by playwright Lynn Nottage. I must preface this by admitting that the show wasn’t finished when I saw it; this was a rehearsal, after all. As theatre asks the audience to suspend its disbelief, however, I will kindly request you do the same for the article and pretend this isn’t slightly poor practice, with this piece functioning somewhere between a preview and a review. Lynn Nottage began conceptualizing “Sweat” when she conducted a series of interviews in Reading, Pennsylvania in 2011. Reading acts as a stand-in for any small, poverty-ridden, American town. The play centers around a group of childhood friends and their sons, all co-workers at a fac-

tory that’s slowly being shut down. “Sweat” touches on such topics as racial tension, immigration, the opioid epidemic, neo-Nazis, American manufacturing and toxic masculinity. It’s aggressively timely. The script, which won a Pulitzer and was nominated for the Tony for Best Play, handles these issues with tact and care. “Sweat” oscillates between 2000 and 2008 to give the audience a bird’s eye view of how the town, and its residents’ lives, evolved over the decade. “Sweat” brought the same level of high-production quality one should expect from The Huntington. The scenery looked like a real bar—functioning beer taps included. The actors all brought their characters to life with grace, helping us empathize with people we might not want to accept. The fight choreography was mostly— at points even shockingly—realistic (more on that later). Make no mistake; this was objectively well-assembled theatre. For those

of you not versed in the Boston theatre scene, The Huntington is one of our two major regional theatres (along with the American Repertory Theater), and it has sent numerous shows to Broadway over the years. Frankly, I expect a little more than “professional” from one of the most prestigious companies in Boston. It’s a good director’s job to fill the white space on the page, and Nottage’s white space was left disappointingly blank. It felt like the director and production team read the script, and then just put it on stage. They gave the lines to the actors, the locations to the set designer— Brandeis’s very own Professor Cameron Anderson (THA), who is capable of and known for drastically more ambitious and interesting designs—and they plopped it all on stage. It never felt like the director was crafting her own vision, merely assembling something that already existed. The cast was universally solid. Standout performances included Tyla Abercrumbie as Cynthia, the character who faces racist attacks from the town’s people and her closest friends when she, a black woman, is promoted at the factory. Brandon G. Green—who happens to have taught Suzuki for Brandeis’s theatre department for several years—demonstrated an impressive range, portraying Chris, Cynthia’s son, at both 18 and 26 years old. I wasn’t unhappy to see “Sweat,” but it dragged through its two and a half hour run. Sure, the show will certainly be tighter when it opens, but the scene transitions


were long. Nothing was broken, but we weren’t watching a welloiled machine, and that’s totally reasonable considering this was only the final dress rehearsal. There will be a whole week of previews before “Sweat” officially opens this weekend. The show’s climax is a long, multi-character fight scene. I’m always wary of violence on stage, not due to any squeamishness, but simply because it becomes exponentially difficult to suspend your disbelief. From the very beginning of the scene, the audience knows it’s going to turn violent, so there’s no way to deny that you’re watching the precise merging of yelling, dancing and blood-packet popping. When the fight began, the first several moves were shockingly convincing, but the fight was just so long that once the initial wincing wore off, we were all left to watch probably five more minutes of pretend violence. A fight scene should never go on

long enough that one’s thoughts start to wander, as mine did. Despite a general lack of positive things to say about the Huntington’s “Sweat,” I’ll admit that I enjoyed it, and I think most people who see it will love it. Despite my being an affluent, white, theatre fan, I’m not actually the primary intended audience. Season subscribers to the Huntington are the intended audience. And Huntington subscribers differ from me in some key areas: age and snobbery levels. Whether or not this is an uninspired (lazy) piece of theatre, it is an undeniably solid production of a well-written show. Though it breaks little new ground with its bold proclamation of “racism=bad,” it does take an audience of east-coast elites, like you and me, out of our cozy bubble, and if you’re not hoping for innovational leaps in theatricality, then you might enjoy spending an evening thinking about working-class Pennsylvanians instead of the Iowa caucuses.

February 7, 2020


The Brandeis Hoot

A warm anime for dreary winter: ‘Weathering with You’ By Caroline O staff

If you’re craving some magic and warmth on a dreary day, then “Weathering with You” is a mustwatch for your weekend. Directed by Makoto Shinkai, “Weathering with You” tells the story of two teenagers: a runaway named Hodaka Morishima (Kotara Diago) and a girl who can control the weather named Hina Amano (Nana Mori). Set in a constantly raining Tokyo, “Weathering with You” unfolds with Hodaka teaming up with Hina to bring sunlight to hopeful citizens. However, there’s a catch: Earth demands a balance, and as Hina brings more and more sunlight, the ensuing rains become harsher. Despite a looming threat (which you’ll have to discover for yourself), Hodaka and Hina capture the optimism and reckless determination associated with youth. The movie bottles this passion and energy effectively, leaving the audience with no choice but to be moved by the fervor in the characters’ actions even in the midst of danger. The supporting characters add just enough slice-of-life to the rest of the movie as well: Keisuke Suga (Shun Ogiri), the beaten down writer who hires Hodaka, Natsumi Suga (Tsubasa Honda), a college student struggling to find a job, and Nagi Amano (Sakura Kiryu), Hina’s younger brother.

Each secondary character has enough complexity to keep the audience somewhat invested in their storylines, and although their stories are not dominant, we still find some shift in these characters by the end of the movie. The most startling shift, however, is in the actual narrative of “Weathering with You.” Shinkai takes the tropes of his genre and twists them in just the right degree to make the audience feel both satisfied and refreshed, subverting expectations by the time the last strands of the story tie together. Besides the whimsical plot and characters, however, “Weathering with You” is an eye-catching film for its tastefulness in both art and music. In the theater, there were several people who were pulling

out their phones to take pictures of some of the scenes; the entire theater seemed to melt under one particularly beautiful shot of an animated sunrise. The colors are vibrant and gentle, and every time even the slightest ray of sunlight makes an appearance on screen, the audience can’t help but let out a sigh of relief. Like the citizens of this fictional rain-filled Tokyo, the audience is compelled to leave the dreary world of greys and blues behind for the warm pinks and yellows of the sun. The soundtrack, produced by the Japanese rock band Radwimps, is uplifting and plucks at the heartstrings whenever its notes open or close a scene. Some notable songs include “We’ll be Alright,” “Great Escape,” and “Is There Still Anything that Love

Can Do?” If the titles of the songs enough don’t invoke immediate images of adventure and love and all the fuzzy feelings associated with animated films, then just wait until you actually listen to the tracks. Overall, “Weathering with You” is a touching, beautiful film that deserves all the praise it has already been given. Since its release, “Weathering with You” was nominated for four Annie Awards: Best Indie Feature, Best FX for Feature, Best Direction-Feature, and Best Writing-Feature, tying it with other successful anime movies such as “Spirited Away” or “Millennium Actress” for highest nominations. Although “Weathering with You” unfortunately did not take home any of these awards, it still has received recognition in the

Asia Pacific Screen Awards for Best Animated Feature Film, and the film is currently pending an award for Animation of the Year for the Japan Academy Film Prize. Award or not, however, “Weathering with You” is the perfect movie for those who are looking for some cheer in the closing weeks of winter (and beginning weeks of midterms). All who watch will quickly be swept up into the odd and beautiful lives of Hodaka and Hina, and for the two hour duration of the movie, viewers will be transported into a different world where one needs only to hope enough for sunshine for such brightness to exist. Vibrant with adventure and magic, this film will be just the perfect ray of sunlight for your own rainy day.


‘Kipo and the Age of the Wonder-Beasts’ shines a light on a colorful post-apocalypse By Joshua Lannon staff

Dreamworks’ “Kipo and the Age of the Wonderbeasts” is a welcome addition to any Netflix watchlist. Based on the webcomic by Rad Sechrist, an animation storyboard artist, the plotline follows the adventures of Kipo, a young girl living on a post-apocalyptic earth, as she tries to find her people and her way home. While this premise may sound like a gritty story about survival in a radioactive wasteland, it is anything but. The show takes a more lighthearted approach to the dystopian genre. Instead of a wasteland devoid of life, Kipo journeys across a colorful urban jungle turned into a real jungle. Instead of zombies or deformed humans, Kipo’s world is

populated by animal mutants, the titular “wonderbeasts.” They serve as obstacles, allies and antagonists to Kipo as she tries to find her way back to her burrow. From mega bunnies to mobster frogs to lumberjack cats, the interesting mutant animals swap a realistic post-apocalypse for fun anthropomorphic adventures. Kipo, voiced by Karan Fukuhara, is a human girl from a burrow, an underground city of humans. When a disaster hits her home, she ends up on the surface and has to find her way back. Kipo’s naivety and curiosity quickly get her into trouble, but her lack of knowledge actually makes the show more accessible. Instead of getting a huge amount of exposition about the world and how it got this way, the audience learns about the world as Kipo does. On her travels, Kipo is joined



by Wolf (Sydney Mikayla), a rare surface human who wears a wolfskin cloak. Although she is much smaller than Kipo, her ability to survive and her knowledge about the surface make her an invaluable part of the group. Her lone wolf and pessimistic personality make her the perfect foil to the positive and friendly Kipo. Their dynamic usually consists of Kipo trying to befriend a giant, dangerous mutant, while Wolf reminds her that it is actually very dangerous. The other two members of her group include Benson (Coy Stewart), a human scavenger, and his best friend, a friendly mutant bug named Dave (Deon Cole). These two reluctant members of Kipo’s party serve as comedic relief. Dave in particular is an interesting character as he ages rapidly from pupa to old bug and back again in the span of one episode. “Kipo and the Age of the Wonderbeasts” also has excellent ani-

mation. The art style draws clear inspiration from anime. The action scenes in particular are very well animated: the fights are fluid and the over-exaggerated expressions, a common trait in anime, are a perfect fit for the show. The show is not episodic, instead following the overarching storyline of Kipo finding her way home. But each episode does have a similar set up: Kipo meets a new kind of mutant wonderbeast, her naivety causes a problem and the crew must work together to solve it. While this is the basic formula of each episode, the show avoids feeling repetitive through the solutions to these problems. First of all, Kipo and her friend’s actions have consequences, like creating a recurring villain or a decision that generates animosity within the friend group. Second, not all of these actions result in a fight sequence. While sometimes Kipo and company have to

physically defeat mob frogs, other times Kipo resolves a problem peacefully, gaining an army of lumberjack cats. The show’s colorful nature seems to appeal to kids, but it can definitely be enjoyed by all ages. It’s not just a bright view of the post-apocalypse: there are a lot of deeper themes throughout the first season. While it may be funny, the show’s comedic nature can quickly turn into an emotional punch to the gut. Wolf in particular has a lot of emotional trauma that puts stress on her friendship with Kipo. The emotional maturity within the show balances out its childlike appearance, resulting in a show anyone can enjoy. One structural detail that makes the show enjoyable is that it actually gets better as the season goes on. Too many times have I started a Netflix show and enjoyed the first few episodes only to lose interest half way through. On the contrary, “Kipo” is continually compelling throughout the season. It’s not a show where the first few episodes are a slog to get through; it is consistently good and improves over time. The ending, however, clearly suggests a second season is coming. I don’t like shows that end on a cliffhanger without knowing if they’re getting a second season, but to the show’s credit, there is material from the webcomic to draw on (sorry for the pun). A fun and easily bingeable 10-episode series, “Kipo and the Age of the Wonderbeasts” is an excellent addition to any Netflix watchlist.


The Brandeis Hoot

February 7, 2020

‘Circles:’ Mac Miller’s last album won’t come around again By Uma Jagwani staff

The late Mac Miller’s final and posthumously produced album “Circles” was released this past month to a mix of surprise, delight and melancholy. According to one of Mac’s family members, “Circles” was meant to be a complementary album to go alongside his prior LP, “Swimming,” as it was mentioned “swimming in circles” was the main concept connecting the two. On its own, “Circles” offers smooth mellow tracks, as well as edgy pop-leaning beats that teeter the line between rap and

pop—a trademark feature of Miller’s discography. The titular track, “Circles,” is a raw, somber opener that still has notes reminiscent of “Swimming’s” whimsical tone. The irony in “Circles” implying something infinite paired with the finality of Miller’s death is probably the most poignant aspect of this album. “Swimming,” which was released a couple months before he died, is filled with uplifting, silky songs that seem to melt into your ears, and it was probably my favorite album of his before “Circles” was released. This is a continuation in the sense that after the emotional rollercoaster of “Swimming,” Miller is somehow back to the feelings that brought him here in the first place—and


he’s tired of swimming. The second track, “Complicated,” is an uplifting song that sounds breezy, accompanied by masterfully produced beats that are so precisely effortless, echoing Miller’s need for simplicity in the song. “Blue World” is dreamy, while track number four, the initially released single “Good News,” feels like an authentic observation of our media-ridden society, a Mac-esque meditation on the pitfalls of living in the public eye. “Everybody” shows off Miller’s vocals as he sings for the whole song instead of rapping over vibrant percussion. The song doesn’t care, and when you listen to it, neither do you. The album seems to tell the story of Mac’s frustrations with his reality, hence his need to “spend the whole day in his head” and “dream all day”—that’s what we loved about Miller. He genuinely brings his world into his music, and his words seem to come from beyond the boundaries of what is socially acceptable to reveal. Some of these songs are concerning, echoing depression mixed with lighthearted messages, all stemming from an amalgamation of feelings. Miller’s authenticity was part of his appeal, and after his accidental overdose, the world mourned the loss of another pained artist. The album poses existential questions in a jarringly simplistic way—with lyrics like “reality so hard to find” and “sometimes the truth don’t sound like the truth/maybe cuz it ain’t,” you can hear the tension in Mac’s being. What is seemingly the elephant in the room while listening to this album is the fact that Miller—rest


his soul—passed away in 2018. Hearing the voice of someone you know doesn’t speak anymore is an eerie feeling that bitterly coats this album. Taking a bite into his tracks— no matter how sweet—is tainted with bitterness by his unfortunate early passing. Knowing Miller is gone is the thin veil that smears his words, and makes you think differently about his lyrics and what he may have meant, what could have been done. No matter what you think about the music, this is the last piece of art Mac Miller will ever create. The good vibes from this album are seemingly neutralized by the grim

circumstances around Miller’s untimely demise. Some may speculate if the lyrics “some people want to live forever, that’s way too long I just want to get through the day” in the song “Complicated” may have indicated the severity of Miller’s depression and his drug habits that accompanied it, that maybe if someone had heard this earlier, maybe if he got some help, maybe, just maybe, in some parallel universe he would be alive and well. This album really takes us into the mind of the late rapper, a head brimming with hope, simplicity and wonder—you can’t help but find sweetness in the unrefined exterior.

Overlooked sculptures: the Wand of Inquiry By Aaron LaFauci editor

Brandeis University is loaded with all kinds of public art. We’ve got busts, we’ve got plaques, we’ve got strange nightmare monoliths, and they are all beautiful. That said, some of these installations are more beautiful than others, while some will not reveal their beauty without a little context first. Such is the way of contemporary art. Thankfully, the trained art analysts of The Brandeis Hoot exist to cast some light upon these shadowy modernist enigmas that dwell just beyond the pale of sight and reason. This column will focus on the most obvious of these overlooked sculptures, the metalwork known as “The Wand of Inquiry.” The Wand was created specifically for Brandeis University in 1983 by the metal-rolling specialist Lila Katzen. Rising into the air like a holofoil ribbon between Loop Road and the Shapiro Science Center (SSC) is Brandeis’s most recognizably obscure sculpture. Many of us walk or drive past this thing every day, yet “The Wand” possesses the faculty of completely deflecting attention. It is an entirely unmarked sculpture; no signs are to be found anywhere in the vicinity describing its origin, meaning or even the artist that created it. The sculpture’s decentralized location along a path mainly used for commuting means that those few people that

might be interested in learning these things would never have an excuse to get close to it anyway. Despite its obscure nature, The Wand is a visually brilliant piece of metalworking that glimmers throughout both the day and the night. The two sides of the rolled band of steel that forms the “ribbons” of the structure have been buffed differently so as to give the structure’s visage dimensionality. The outward-facing side has a sanded effect that contrasts the considerably smoother looking, linearly ribbed interior plane. This causes the sculpture to shimmer in daylight, like a holographic trading card or a polished gemstone. This effect is actually magnified at night, when the concentrated light from surrounding street lights illuminates the sculpture’s surface unevenly, drawing out a diamond rainbow of green and orange hues alongside gradients of metallic greys. 20th century modern art has a tendency to exude outward sensations of coldness and detachment, even at times dipping into malicious contemplation and brooding. While “The Wand” exemplifies these characteristics from a distance, its modernist facade belies less complicated intentions. If spectators pull themselves away from the sidewalk and examine the spectacular coloration of the buffed metal up close, all reservations are quickly forgotten. “The Wand” is first and foremost an ode to fine craftsmanship. The

artist, Lila Katzen, boasts a portfolio filled with curling steel sculptures. By altering the luminosity of her metal, she is able to modulate the mood that her sculptures evoke. Some of her works are dull, rusty things, emulations of junkyard scrap and industrial detritus. Brandeis’s sculpture is the exact opposite; its playful luminescence showcases the potential for metalworking to both captivate and inspire. It reminds the spectator that art is physicality first. It does not explain sensation so much as it invokes sensation—theme and meaning is but the paltry machination of galleries and academics. The piece’s title, “The Wand of Inquiry,” warrants examination, especially given that it looks nothing like a wand. It’s a metaphor: the shape of the sculpture is more reminiscent of a flame. Given Brandeis’s stated ideal of striving for “truth even unto its innermost parts,” the crystalline fire seems like an apt symbol for the act of passionate inquiry and the university as a whole. A deeper reading of the sculpture would note its distinct double helix form. While it might not have been crafted with the express purpose of representing an abstracted DNA strand, the statue’s proximity to the biology and medical buildings on campus is conspicuous. The DNA strand is, afterall, the innermost source of all organic inquiry (unless you are one of the three physics majors on campus). Regardless of whether or not “The


Wand” has any intended shape at all, its skyward ribbons and shining visage speak to a certain academic romanticism. It stands as a glimmering, corrosion-proof testament to the highest ideals of academia and science in spite of the mire of scandal and bureaucratic foolery that has embroiled both Brandeis University and the greater United States in recent decades. If I may speak personally, this sculpture has gone from one of my least-thought-about objects on campus to somewhat of a personal favorite. I certainly won’t be able to ignore it on my next trip

around Loop Road! When the weather finally begins to thaw in the coming months, I encourage all who read this to make the pilgrimage to “The Wand.” Gaze upon the flowing metal highlights and gently twisting bands and know contentment. The exercise will be quite relaxing. Form a connection with the sculpture and, in doing so, strengthen your bond to the campus in totality. There is much to loath about this place, but there is also so much to love. Editor’s Note: This is part one in the series, “Overlooked Sculptures.”

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