The Brandeis Hoot 02/28/2020

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Volume 17 Issue 6

“To acquire wisdom, one must observe” Brandeis University’s Community Newspaper · Waltham, Mass.

February 28, 2020

Brandeis first univ. to fund drug test device

Students protest univ. investments in fossil fuel companies

By Rachel Saal

By Rachel Saal



Brandeis University is the first university in the United States to officially endorse and fund the distribution of SipChips, small single-use devices that test if a drink has been contaminated with date rape drugs, according to Director of Sexual Assault Services and Prevention Sarah Berg. The chips work by applying a drop of liquid to the test area, and, within three minutes, the test will produce one of two results: Two lines means that the drink has not been drugged, and one line means the drink has been drugged. It only works with cold beverages. It has a 99.3 percent accuracy rate, and, if the test is inaccurate, it will

Members of the community gathered in the rain to protest the university’s investments in fossil fuels on Feb. 13 at the Peace Circle outside of Usdan. The protest, organized by Brandeis Climate Justice (BCJ), heard from professors and representatives from student groups including Dissenters and Sunrise Waltham. “It is unacceptable that we are still profiting off of these immoral and destructive industries,” said Sydney Carim ’23. BCJ’s official demands, read by Carim, were that the university divest from all direct holdings of fossil fuels immediately, be transparent in decision-making

See DRUG, page 2


See PROTEST, page 3


advocates for fossil fuel divestment.

Univ. expands travel restrictons as coronavirus threat grows By Sabrina Chow editor

Brandeis administration has expanded the official university travel restriction to include both mainland China and Korea after the continued expansion of Coronavirus Disease

2019 (COVID-19), according to an email sent out by Provost Lisa Lynch on Feb. 26. The U.S. Department of State raised the travel advisory for mainland China to “Level 4 — Do Not Travel,” according to an email sent out by Lynch on Feb. 9. The travel advisory for China has since dropped to “Level

3, Avoid Nonessential Travel— Widespread Community Transmission,” on Feb. 22. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) increased the travel advisory for Korea to Level 3 on Feb. 24, according to the Feb. 26 email sent by Lynch. Countries with warning Level 3 have a high outbreak of COVID-19

and are “of high risk to travelers and no precautions are available to protect against the identified increased risk,” according to the CDC’s travel notice. Venezuela has also been listed as a Level 3 travel advisory, as of Feb. 24. While the travel restrictions to China and Korea are only for “university purposes...we strongly rec-

ommend that those who are planning travel to Korea or China for personal reasons reconsider such plans,” Lynch wrote in her email. All foreign nationals who have visited China within the last 14 days are not allowed entry into U.S., according to a See CORONAVIRUS, page 2

Framework for the Future approved by the Board of Trustees By Sabrina Chow and Victoria Morrongiello editors

The Board of Trustees has approved the Framework for the Future, the strategic vision for Brandeis that was announced by President Ron Liebowitz in Nov. 2018, according to an email sent out by Liebowitz to the Brandeis community. Over 500 members of the Brandeis community helped to contribute to the framework’s process, which included 11 different task forces and working

Inside This Issue:

groups. “The Framework for the Future is a bold plan for Brandeis University—one that challenges all of us to build upon our history, strengths, and institutional ethos for the coming decades,” wrote Liebowitz in the email from Feb. 18. The full report is available to the Brandeis community on the Framework for the Future website. The report outlines strategic objectives for the university to fulfill, including the Brandeis academic value proposition and re-engaging Brandeis’ founding ethos, according to See TRUSTEE, page 4

News: Community discusses climate change. Ops: Serious advice in The Hoot? Features: University Press discusses goals. Sports: Track and field runs to PR’s! Editorial: Stand united, not divided


Men’s Basketball


Bernstein-Marcus adminstration center.

Page 3 Page 14 Page 12 Eric D’Aguanno joins the 1,000-point club! Page 10 Page 11 SPORTS: PAGE 6

Quickies Annual festival showcases student-written plays ARTS: PAGE 20


2 The Brandeis Hoot

SipChips to be distributed DRUG, from page 1

only produce false positives for having been drugged, according to Student Union President Simran Tatuskar ’21. The technology screens for the most common date rape drugs: Flunitrazepam (“Roofies”), Alprazolam (Xanax) and Diazepam (Valium), as well as Midazolam (Versed), Oxazepam (Serax) and Temazepam (Restoril), according to their website. “We talked a lot about how the goal of bringing this on campus isn’t that we think that we should have to have a fix like this product; it’s the idea that we want to use this to bring awareness about the issue, call attention to it and provide something that can be an important safety tool for students both on and off campus,” said Ricki Levitus ’20. Levitus, who was the first to hear about SipChips, contacted representatives from Undercover Colors to see how the technology could be integrated at Brandeis and brought the idea to Berg at the end of December. Tatuskar then became involved with the project and began to search for funding within the Union. The chips will first be distributed on March 4 at the Prevention, Advocacy & Resource Center’s (PARC) table at the Resilience Fair and again at their International Women’s Day table. The free chips will then be available to members of the community at several locations on campus, including PARC office, Student Union office, Student Sexuality Information Service (SSIS), The Stein, the C-Store (also known as

Hoot Market), the Health Center, the Gender and Sexuality Center (GSC), Intercultural Center (ICC), Gosman Sports and Convocation Center, Department of Community Living (DCL) Quad Offices and Greek Awareness Council (GAC) events. 7.6 percent of college students have been drugged or suspect that they have been drugged, according to a study by University of South Carolina. “These types of products I’ve always raised my eyebrow and thought ‘someone’s making money off of us having one more thing that we’re supposed to do,’ and I believe that, but I also believe in empowering people with any possible tool that they can choose to use. I think it’s both. We put this tool out there, and if people want to use it, they can,” said Berg in an interview with The Brandeis Hoot. “In some ways, it’s less about the actual testing of the drink and more about being in a community where everyone knows that this is available and that it’s not looked at funny if you were to test your drink and that it’s very normalized. It does a lot of work to challenge people who think that they can do this in the first place—they are no longer in a community where they can get away with it.” The chip is valid for 90 days after it has been opened, and all the chips that were purchased by Brandeis expire in March 2021, as indicated on each individual package. Berg said that the technology was attempted at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill but that it was never fully implemented.

February 28, 2020

IN THE SENATE: Feb. 9, 2020 • •

Vice President Kendal Chapman ’22 said that Senator for International Students Shuorui “Capo” Wang ’22 and Senator for the Class of 2021 Sissel Tan ’21 were removed from the Senate due to a lack of attendance. She added that they had been warned. The Senate passed a resolution proposed by Senator Joseph Coles ’22 which modified bylaws pertaining to chartered clubs. The resolution required chartered clubs to maintain at least 10 active members or risk losing their chartered status, with “active member” being defined by the constitution of the club concerned. The resolution also rescinded restrictions which prevented clubs with exclusive membership from being chartered. Coles said that this was to allow clubs with auditions to be chartered. Executive Senator Scott Halper ’20 raised concerns that this could open up a loophole for other clubs to exclude people on less meritorious basises. This resolution was voted on by affirmation and passed unanimously. Coles said that it would come into effect next semester, and that all clubs would be notified. The Senate voted to confirm Bishal Baral ’20 as director of technology and Joyce Huang ’22 as the Student Union Diversity and Inclusion Officer. Huang previously held the Racial Minority Senator title. The Senate voted by affirmation, and both votes were unanimous, although Senator Trevor Filseth ’20 was out of the room for both votes. The Senate intended to vote on Ilannysh Rodgriguez ’23 as the Director of Outreach, but Rodgriguez was not present, so the vote was postponed to the next meeting. Senator Oliver Price ’20 introduced and passed an amendment which would allow excess sustainability funds to be used to pay students to help with managing waste during move out, to ensure that quality items are donated and that other waste is properly disposed of. Price said that the funds he proposes to use for this purpose are never exhausted in a typical year. Coles mentioned that he had concerns about this plan, but declined to mention them at the time. Chapman said that the resolution previously passed by the Senate allocating funding for snacks was “not going through” due to Executive Board policies related to providing funding for weekly meetings. She told the Senate that the purpose of the funding was not to provide snacks for senators, but to make meetings “more of an event” and encourage students to attend. Student Union President Simran Tatuskar ’21 presented an executive officer report in which she explained what she had been working on. Tatuskar mentioned an effort by the Prevention, Advocacy & Resource Center (PARC) to distribute SipChip devices which can detect drugs in drinks, attempts to establish a bike rental program on campus, Lyft subsidies and moving the Market Basket shuttle to weekends. Halper asked why Tatuskar was doing all of this on her own, and why the Senate was not involved. Tatuskar responded that she believed the SipChip issue to be too urgent to wait on, and that the Lyft subsidies were part of her campaign promises, and so she wanted to deal with them on her own. Chapman added that the work ought to be spread around more, and that committees should be consulted and involved more. Head of Health and Safety Committee Leah Fernandez ’22 said that efforts are underway in coordination with Student Sexuality Information Service (SSIS) to ensure that new condoms will be bought to be distributed across campus when the current supply runs out. Chapman asked whether the condoms or the dispensers would have a Student Union logo, saying that the Student Union had had “problems with credit” in the past. Several senators raised questions about whether menstrual products would be restocked in the women’s bathrooms on campus, and whether they will be put in gender neutral bathrooms. According to Fernandez, these questions will be addressed in a future meeting of the committee. -Tim Dillon

COVID-2019 travel restrictions increase as disease spreads, university recommends limited travel CORONAVIRUS, from page 1

White House proclamation issued on Jan. 31. Different measures to assess symptoms and diagnosis COVID-19 have been set in place for all individuals allowed entry into the U.S., which may include quarantine. The university is also recommending that students, faculty and staff not travel to Italy and Japan, after the CDC raised the travel advisory of both countries to “Level 2 — Practice Enhanced Precautions.” Countries with alert Level 2 warn travelers to practice enhanced precautions. “The Travel Health Notice describes additional precautions added, or defines a specific at-risk population,” according to the CDC’s travel notice. Iran is also a Level 2 travel advisory. “More specifically, the CDC is recommending that older adults and those with chronic medical conditions should consider postponing nonessential travel to Italy and Japan,” according to the Feb. 26 email. The International Health Regulations Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-2019 a public health emergency of international concern on Jan. 30, according to the CDC. The U.S. Health and Human Services


Secretary Alex Azar declared COVID-2019 a public health emergency for the U.S. on Jan. 31. COVID-2019 is a type of coronavirus that is commonly found in different species of animals, including: camels, cattle, cats and

bats. Similar to the Middle-East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) associated coronavirus (SARSCoV), SARS-CoV-2 (more commonly known as COVID-2019)

are all transmitted through bats, according to the CDC’s website. There are currently 14 total confirmed cases of COVID-2019 in the U.S., 12 of which are travel-related and two cases that are person-to person spread,

while 45 have been repatriated back to the U.S., according to the CDC. A total of 445 individuals have been tested. For more information about COVID-2019, visit the CDC’s website.

February 28, 2020


The Brandeis Hoot

Community members protest university’s continued investments in fossil fuels PROTEST, from page 1

and the endowment portfolio, reinvest the money in a “just and sustainable manner” and divest from all indirect holdings in fossil fuels by 2022, the deadline that Board of Trustees gave in 2018 and the 10-year anniversary of BCJ, according to Carim. “I’ve been here a long time and the trustees are a hard group to crack. The trustees, as trustees at many places do, claim that their obligation is to maximize return on the university’s investments. There are two flaws in that logic:

one is that there is just as much money to be made now on solar and wind than as coal, so that is not a good explanation. The other, and this is much more difficult, the trustees rightfully understand that if you apply an ethical standard to investments, where would you stop,” said Professor Shai Feldman. “There are questions here about capitalism and the nature of investment. If the point is to make as much money as you can, it doesn’t matter how you make it. So our task is to get across to them that the climate issue is like nothing else we’ve ever faced.” Vice President of Finance

and Administration Stewart Uretsky was present at the end of the event and stood in the back as students chanted. “Any attempt that we make on this campus to divest also needs to be made with dual efforts to divest from militarism, to divest from any other capitalist entities that aren’t in line with our values and with the end goal of abolishing these systems of settler colonialism and capitalism,” said Josh Benson ’23. The university administration committed to partial divestment in 2018. The university said that its existing investments in fossil fuel private limited part-



endowment and would run with

mately 5 percent of the school’s

the funds’ typical life cycles.



Community members offer admin. feedback for Brandeis climate initiatives By Rachel Saal editor

Community members gathered to discuss climate change and Brandeis’ role in a forum hosted by the President’s Task Force on Campus Sustainability on Monday in the International Lounge. The discussion focused on the questions: “What should be

Brandeis’ role and responsibility in the face of the climate crisis?” “What is within Brandeis’ power to do to act on climate change?” and “What recommendations would you make to the president and the administration about climate change and climate justice?” according to Mary Fischer, manager of sustainability programs. “This is about all of us having a conversa-

tion together,” said Fischer. “The campus is becoming much more aware of our relationship to major weapon manufacturers like Raytheon in Waltham, especially to our computer science department, and as that information is uncovered by students, more and more people are going to be upset because the U.S. military is one of the leading contributors to climate change and it’s completely unethical that we would support those kinds of businesses at an institution attempting to label itself as pro-social justice,” said a student in the audience. Other requests made by students included moving towards renewable energy rather than natural gas, consuming less unsustainable foods like beef and making an effort to go carbon neutral. The event also had a banner in the back of the room on which community members could write suggestions for the task force, according to Fischer. The Sustainability Task Force, which the president announced on Dec. 2, is co-chaired by Mary Fischer, Professor of German, and


Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Sabine von Mering and Brandeis Senate Sustainability Committee Chair Oliver Price ’20. The task force’s duties include updating Brandeis’ 2016 Climate Action Plan, addressing climate resilience and recommending additional campus sustainability initiatives and “best practices,” according to the group’s website. The four working groups that

make recommendations to the task force include a working group on campus operations, a working group on community engagement, a working group on incorporating climate change in the classroom and a working group on climate resilience. The Task Force should complete its work by the end of this academic year, according to the task force’s website.

Student Union fills three seats, candidates run uncontested By Tim Dillon editor

As a result of Feb. 13 special elections, Shivam Nainwal ’22 and Tyler Carruth ’23 were elected as community senators and Chloe Yu ’22 was elected as an international senator. All candidates ran unopposed. In an interview with The Brandeis Hoot, Carruth said that he’s currently “working with the Dining Committee to communicate with students and student organizations about certain issues with the RFP and certain vendors coming up over the next few months,” and says that he plans to continue that. He added that he plans to attend “as many meetings as possible, depending on how [his] schedule works out.” He said that he’s attended meetings of the Rules Committee, the Club Support Committee and another committee which he could not remember. He said that “right


now the Union is working its way through a lot of mediums,” and that it is important to him to help increase communication with the student population. When asked about past leadership experience, Carruth said that he spent three years as the lead petty officer of a sea cadet group and

had student government experience in high school. In light of his victory he said he was “excited to be working in an official capacity,” and that he sees “a lot of potential for growth in the Student Union.” In an interview with The Hoot, Yu listed three main goals for her time in office. She said that she

wants to increase the availability of on-campus jobs for international students and to establish better accommodations for international students traveling long distances, such as extended move-in dates and shuttle times. She also intends to break down barriers between international

students and domestic students by supporting more cultural associations and events. When asked how she intends to increase the availability of on-campus jobs, Yu said that she “[has] a very very specific goal, but in terms of how she’s going to achieve it, she will definitely need to go into more details about it.” She said that she plans to “keep everybody updated about that.” When asked about relevant experience, she talked about having six years of experience living in the United States, two at Brandeis and four in high school, saying that she understands the struggles that international students face, and the perspectives of domestic students, and that she believes this can help her “bring the two communities closer together.” In light of her victory, Yu said that she will try her best to achieve the three goals she outlined and that her actions will speak louder than her words. Nainwal was not present at the “Meet the Candidates” event and was not available for an interview.


The Brandeis Hoot

February 28, 2020

Framework for the Future initiatives to drive new projects TRUSTEE, from page 1

the Final Framework report. To meet the objectives, the university said that it plans to expand the amount of faculty on campus, opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students with research and availability for students to resources. These resources include career services, mental health support and counseling. According to the report, the university will also develop a more integrated approach to advising, physical health, career services and spiritual life. The university will also be targeting areas for “renovation and renewal” for infrastructural changes that will occur on campus, according to the report. The report highlights the university’s intention to expand student life on campus by enriching the student experience through integration and inclusion. The report acknowledges that many alumni do not have a positive remembrance of their student experience at Brandeis due to a lack of inclusion. This disparity will be addressed by highlighting the accomplishments of the university, which act as symbols that define the university’s core values of inclusion, according to the report. As part of the Framework, the university is working towards implementing three major projects to help improve the university. The Springboard Funding Plan was announced in fall 2019, which increases the university’s operating budget by $84.7 million over three years. These funds helped the university hire at least 15 new faculty and staff members and add resources to different departments “that will

be critical in meeting day-to-day operations and in implementing and sustaining the goals of the Framework,” wrote Liebowitz. The task forces and working groups within the Framework provided the senior administration with over 250 recommendations to improve the university, which they are looking to implement in the future. Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer Sam Solomon, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Jen Walker and Assistant Vice President of Student Financial Services Sherri Avery presented to the board about recent changes that have been made to student aid awards and “the financial challenges undergraduates face despite the university’s current commitment to ‘meeting the full demonstrated need’ of each student,” according to the email. Provost Lisa Lynch presented the results of the Faculty Work Life Survey to the Board, showing that the university ranks higher than other peer universities “in overall job satisfaction among faculty, the intellectual life on campus, university leadership and strategic direction, and involvement in decision making,” wrote Liebowitz. The report also reported lower levels of satisfaction around issues of scholarly work and compensation. Liebowitz explained that the Springboard investments and Framework initiatives will help to alleviate these concerns. Vice Provost of Students Affairs Raymond Ou and Director of Athletics Lauren Haynie both presented action plans relating to student life and athletics, respectively. Ou is working towards “defining measurable goals and programming relat-


ed to student mental health, extending the Orientation experience throughout the first year, and aligning his office’s goals with the Framework initiatives,” he told the Board of Trustees. Haynie is also developing an action plan that focuses “on facilities, the management of time and financial resources and external relationships and communication,” she told the Board of Trustees. The trustees spoke more on the “major capital campaign” that was announced in the fall, said Liebowitz. “This planning includes internal efforts to identify existing funds that can kick-start some of the highest-priority Framework initiatives as we complete our planning to lay the groundwork for such a campaign.” The Institutional Advancement Committee learned more about part of a new capital cam-

paign set-up, “One Brandeis: A Strategic Plan for Alumni Engagement.” The forthcoming capital campaign was developed through “the collaborative efforts of Alumni Association leadership, the Office of Alumni Relations, and a number of campus partners,” Liebowitz wrote. A new gift acceptance policy is also in the works, which will help the university determine how to spend any significant donations that are made to the university. This new policy “provides greater clarity around which gifts are acceptable to the university, and lays out new processes to ensure that all accepted gifts fully benefit the university,” according to the email. The new Ad Hoc Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, led by Chief Diversity Officer Mark Brimhall-Vargas, is currently working to determine the types of data that they

will track over time and develop a procedure that will help the Board of Trustees know what types of initiatives and challenges are happening on campus. Five faculty members also approved the promotion of five professors. Professor Eva Bellin (POL) was promoted to professor with tenure. Professor Joshua Goodman (ECON), Professor Leah Gordon (EDU), Professor Jonathan Touboul (MATH) and Leah Wright Rigueur (HIST) were all appointed to associate professor with tenure. Robin Switzer was named the new Vice President of Human Resources, according to Liebowitz’s email. Switzer previously worked at Partners HealthCare before coming to Brandeis and has experience in higher education from his time at the University of Hampshire and Northeastern University.

Professor writes book on relationship between secular and religious law in Israel By Tim Dillon editor

There’s an increasing trend toward theocratic nationalism with an ethnic character in both Israel and the world at large, according to Professor of Israel Studies Alexander Kaye (NEJS) who spoke about his new book, “The Invention of Jewish Theocracy,” in the Rapaporte Treasure Hall on Wednesday. The book, which Shayna Weiss, the Director of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies, described as representing “the best of Schusterman,” focuses on the interaction between religious and secular law in Israel and the tensions between those who want Israel to be a secular state and those who want Israeli law to be based on religious Jewish law. Kaye laid out three points that he said are central to his book. The first was that the belief that Israel ought to be ruled solely by religious law is a new one, originating in the 1940s and 1950s. Kaye said that there is a history of Jewish people governing from multiple sources of law, not merely religious law. The second point was that the belief that Israel ought to be a theocratic state did not originate in the aftermath of the 1967 war, but with the beginning of Israel itself. Kaye said that this belief was


held by many of the founders of the country but that it was unpopular and thus unexpressed until after the aforementioned war. Finally, Kaye said that while those who advocated for theocratic rule saw it as a rejection of modernity and secularism, the view that secular law and re-

ligious law could not coexist was a relatively modern one.The idea of a single system of law, or legal centralism, originated from protestant European philosophy, and only supplanted legal pluralism in the last few centuries. Kaye said that for most of their history, Jewish people lived under other

systems of law in addition to their own, giving the example of Jews in the Ottoman Empire. In addition to Kaye and Weiss, professors David Katz, a visiting professor in the Department of History, and Yehudah Mirsky (NEJS) also spoke, adding their own input on Kaye’s book.

Katz praised Kaye’s book, but disputed a few points. Firstly, he argued that Rabbi Isaac Herzog was distinctly English in his upbringing, rather than Irish. He cited Herzog’s education at Oxford, where he earned degrees in math, classical Semitic language and marine biology. Katz also disagreed with Kaye’s conclusion that secular Israelis should engage with religious Zionists and attempt to compromise. Katz said that religious Zionists have mastered the art of winning small victories that serve only to energize their base and infuriate secular Israelis. He mentioned a recent statement by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netenyahu, who said that “Israel is not a state of all its citizens.” Mirsky also praised the book, saying that he had been waiting for this book to be written, even before he knew someone was writing it. He spoke about the autonomy with which Jewish communities operated in medieval Christian and Muslim societies as an example of legal pluralism. He also talked about the rise of legal centralism, and how it was spread by the British in the territories of their empire. He also said that the relationship between Jewish legal philosophy and the state is comparable to that of Islamic legal philosophy. Kaye is working on another book on the topic of Jewish exile.

February 28, 2020


The Brandeis Hoot

Brandeis prof. comments on racial discrimination in standardized testing By Victoria Morrongiello editor

The Education Records Bureau and the Boston Public School system decided to end their affiliations in the spring of last year, according to an article in The Boston Globe. Joshua Goodman, an Associate Professor of Economics at Brandeis, told the Globe that he worked previously on a study which assessed racial descrimination within the school systems’ exams. The Bureau chose to cut ties with the city’s school district after years of the school system misusing the scores on exams to place a disadvantage on “underrepresented” students in the admissions process into specialized schools, according to an email sent to the Globe by the Bureau. Tom Rochon, the President of the Education Records Bureau, said that for the past eight years, the Education Records Bureau has been trying to bring attention to the issue of testing discrimination, though nothing came of it, according to the article. The article said that officials from the Boston school district claim that they were the ones to end relations with the Education Records Bureau because they wanted to find a “fairer and more equitable” test administrator.


The Boston Public School system has three specialized exam schools—Boston Latin School, Boston Latin Academy and the John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science. To be admitted into these schools, admissions counselors look at student’s grades and scores on the Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE). There has been public controversy over the fairness of the ISEE in recent years, according to the article— civil rights groups have argued that the admission process to enter these exam schools places low-income students at a disadvantage to those with higher socioeconomic backgrounds. The test claims to not focus on the

same material covered by the state standard that the Boston Public School curriculum follows. This disparity causes private school applicants to have an advantage over other students since the private school curriculum aligns their teaching with the material on the test, according to the article. Most of the private school applicants are white. Students from wealthier backgrounds are also able to afford private tutors to help review material on the exam, according to the article. “Given that it’s an exam that is completely foreign to students and requires parents and outside resources to help prepare them, it doesn’t make sense as a tool for identifying which students are

going to be able to succeed in a rigorous academic environment,” said Goodman, regarding the situation. In a brief released in 2018, Goodman and his team found that the Independent Schools Entrance Exam potentially eliminated thousands of minority students from being admitted into any of the three exam schools. According to the brief, “the exam schools’ student bodies do not reflect the diversity of the wider district.” The brief states that 75 percent of the Boston Public School population is either black or Latino; however, only 40 percent of students at exam schools are black or Latino. The largest exam school,

as well as the largest public high school in Boston, is Boston Latin School, yet only 20 percent of the school’s student body is black or Latino, according to the brief. Reports of racial bias began after a number of student reports at the Boston Latin School were released claiming there was racial bias in the school’s admission system. According to the brief, an official investigation began in 2016 to look into the claims made about the potential discrimination, which resulted in the establishment of the “Opportunity and Achievement Gap Policy” that was meant to create equality in the specialized schools administration process.

Prof. comments on medically assisted suicide By Sabrina Chow editor

Medically assisted death is the path of most resistance for individuals looking to die with dignity in the United States, Professor Anita Hannig (ANTH) wrote in a commentary with WBUR. Out of all the countries in the world that allow medically assisted death, the United States has the most restrictive policies, which vary state to state. At the time of publishing, there are nine states and the District of Columbia (DC) that allow medically assisted death, according to the WBUR commentary. Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act, which was passed in 1994, was the first law in the United States that legally allowed medically assisted death. Under the law, “patients would have to ingest the lethal dose themselves—a final protection meant to ensure the absolutely voluntary nature of their death,” according to Hannig’s comment. “The act also introduced a 15-day waiting period between a patient’s first and second request, intended as a period of reflection.” Hannig told the story of Marieke Vervoort, a paralympic Belgian medalist who had a degenerative muscle disease, who brought medically assisted death to light when she elected to medically die in October 2019. According to Hannig, Belgium is the most liberal country in the world with their assisted dying legislation. Vervoort qualified for assisted death 11 years before her actual death, which “afford[ed] her time to carefully ponder her decision—and time to achieve the pinnacle of her athletic career.

Knowing she had the right to die gave her an exit strategy if things took a turn for the worse. And they did.” Unlike in Belgium, individuals in the United States that seek medically assisted death must be within six months of death, as certified by two different physicians, according to Hannig. Because euthanasia is forbidden in the United States, individuals that elect medically assisted death must be able to administer the drug on their own. However, Hannig explains that, oftentimes, they may be unable to administer the drug. Terminally-ill patients in the U.S. who seek out assisted death have similar motivations to Veroort. “The desire to reclaim a modicum of control, in a situation that has caused them to feel utterly powerless and disenfranchised. When illness has taken away as much from a person as it took from Vervoort, the idea of having a say over the timing and manner of your death can bring enormous relief.” “Those who pursue [medically assisted death] face a range of barriers, at a time when their health is rapidly declining,” Hannig wrote in commentary with “The Conversation.” “Some patients navigate these waters successfully and manage to secure the coveted bottle of life-ending medication. Others give in to the opposition or simply run out of time.” “As I learned during my research, the stress over their ability to swallow can provoke a great deal of anxiety in patients, particularly when it comes to correctly timing their death,” Hannig explained in commentary. “Taking the medication too early means cutting short a life still worth

living; waiting too long means possibly missing their chance. To have the kind of death they prefer, some patients choose to die earlier than they would have liked.” Hannig believes that cultural roadblocks are one of the main reasons why medically assisted death is not more accepted in the United States. Even though seven in 10 Americans support the process, ”the cultural stigma and moral ambivalence around these laws remain potent,” wrote Hannig in a commentary with The Conversation. “Across the country, many religiously owned health systems decline to participate in their state’s assisted dying law.” She wrote that especially in rural parts of Oregon and the rest of the coastal corridor, where Catholic health systems are the only ones that individuals have access to, patients looking for medical

aid-in-dying oftentimes are unable to find two physicians that would approve their request or a pharmacist that would fill their prescription. Many assisted living and nursing facilities in these areas also prohibit the procedure under their roof, which forces patients to make an alternative arrangement. “In trying to reclaim control over the way they die, these patients often are being stripped of some of that control in the process,” wrote Hannig in a commentary with The Conversation. Hannig said that she sees medically assisted dying as an opportunity for society to recognize the potential of medicine as a way to “mitigate the process of dying.” “Patients who endure intractable, painful diseases sometimes reach a moment when the prospect of staying alive feels worse

than the prospect of dying,” she explained in a commentary with The Conversation. “At that point, the idea of having a say over the timing and manner of their death can bring enormous comfort.” Hannig is a medical anthropologist that “explores the field of medicine from a cultural angle, focusing primarily on birth and death,” she wrote in a commentary with The Conversation. She is currently studying how access to medically assisted death is helping to transform the way that Americans die. Hannig has had the opportunity to join patients, their families and physicians on the paths of medically assisted death and has witnessed some deaths firsthand. Hannig is currently taking a year-long sabbatical to work on her book and was unavailable for an interview.


6 The Brandeis Hoot


February 28, 2020

D’Aguanno breaks men’s basketball records By Francesca Marchese staff

On Feb. 7, the Judges traveled to Cleveland, OH where Eric D’Aguanno ’20 became the Judges’ all-time leader in three-pointers. There, the Brandeis men’s basketball team also fell short to Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), 84-76, for the first time this season. Tying the school’s record with his 231st three-pointer with 13:54 to go in the second half, D’Aguanno was able to contribute to the Judges’ 19-9 run, which came in the first seven minutes. When asked to describe this incredible milestone, D’Aguanno wrote in a message to The Brandeis Hoot, “it felt great, having my name in the history books was something I’ve always dreamed of when I got on campus; to see it actually happen is surreal.” Brandeis gained their first lead of the night with a three-pointer by junior guard Austin Clamage ’21, making the score 50-48. Over the next five possessions, the lead oscillated. CWRU’s two-pointer with 11:39 to go put the Spartans up 55-54. After trading empty possessions, Case Western scored the game’s next five points and the Spartans never trailed the Judges again. The Spartans were up 10 with 3:10 to go when D’Aguanno connected from behind the arc again, sinking his 232nd career three-pointer and breaking the record previously held by Derek Rentos ’14. Collin Sawyer ’20 led all players with 22 points. D’Aguanno added 12 points, while tying for teamhigh honors with six rebounds and three assists. Rookie guard Dylan Lien ’23 finished with 11 on three three-pointers, while Chandler Jones ’21 led the Judges with four assists. Nearly two days later, the Judges were able to bounce back, securing a win over Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) on Sunday morning in Pittsburgh, PA. The 25th-ranked team leaned on Jones who finished with a double-double. Struggling from the field in the first half, the Judges fell to CMU 36-29 heading into the locker room at halftime. The Tartans led by as many as eight points with just over five minutes to go in the half, but Brandeis closed within three with under a minute to go. The Judges could not lock down on defense, as they allowed the hosts to score the last four points of the half, taking a seven-point advantage. In the second half, the Judges connected from behind the arc, hitting their first two three-pointers, as they started off on a 12-2 run, taking a 41-38 lead with a little over 17 minutes left to play. The Brandeis squad never trailed the hosts again, as their shooting percentages increased dramatically, hitting 51.6 percent overall and 50 percent from downtown. Jones and Sawyer each scored a team-high 17 points, as Jones also led the Judges with three assists, two blocked shots, and 14 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season. Rookie Matan Zucker ‘23 also contributed a career-high 10 points off the bench. Zucker also grabbed seven boards, as did classmate Darret Justice ’23 and center Nolan Hagerty ’22.


With this win, the Judges clinched at least a .500 record in the UAA for the second consecutive season. Additionally, their season sweep of CMU is the first since the 2012-13 season. Continuing their four-game road trip, the Judges traveled to Rochester, NY, ready to compete against the Yellowjackets. Unfortunately, the team struggled to contain the host University of Rochester (UR) offensively, as they shot nearly 60 percent from the field, including 67 percent in the second half; the Judges fell to their opponent 80-65. The first half was exciting, as there were three ties and four lead changes. With just over five minutes to play, Brandeis owned a 2623 lead after a pair of Clamage free throws. UR successfully held the Brandeis men to one basket for the rest of the half, a three-pointer from Lien that tied the game at 29 with a minute left before halftime. The Judges mentally headed into the locker room too soon, as the Yellowjackets secured the lead at the buzzer, 33-29. Early in the second half, the Judges remained competitive. Two early buckets by Hagerty made it 36-33 with 18 minutes to play in the contest. UR then scored 10 of the next 11 points, while also preventing the Judges from coming within single digits for the rest of regulation. The Yellowjackets missed only eight shots in the entire second half, shooting 16-of-24 from the field and 4-of8 from downtown. They also out rebounded Brandeis 19-10, after the Judges had taken a 17-10 advantage on the glass heading into halftime. Hagerty led the Judges with 15 points, 11 of which were supplied in the second half. D’Aguanno contributed 12 points off the bench, nine of which were scored before halftime. Justice led the Judges with five rebounds, while Jones had a team-high five assists. On Sunday morning, the Judges competed against number nineranked Emory University, ending their four-game road trip. The Brandeis men’s team was unable to defeat the Eagles for the second time this season, as their five point halftime lead was their final lead of the contest. Hitting 71 percent from the floor in the second half, the Eagles defeated the Judges 93-65. The Judges’ defense was tenacious in the first half, as they held Emory to just 36 percent shooting from the field and 29 percent from downtown. The Eagles were

not as successful, allowing the Brandeis men to shoot 46 percent overall and 43 percent from deep, handing the Judges the halftime lead. Zucker provided the spark for the squad contributing eight points and four rebounds off the bench. Brandeis was unable to contain the Eagles, who flew out of the locker room ready to attack. The hosts hit back-to-back three-pointers to reclaim the lead, which sparked their 14-0 run to start the half; four minutes into the half, Emory had a 46-37 lead over the Judges. After Coach Bain called a timeout to get his players back on the same page, guard Lawrence Sabir ’21 connected from deep. The Eagles answered with a similar shot, not allowing the Judges to get within nine points for the rest of the way. Sawyer’s 14 points were not enough to defeat the Eagles. Jones contributed 10 points, while Sabir added nine points and a teamhigh four assists off the bench in his second game back from injury. Zucker finished with eight points, also off the bench, and a team-high eight rebounds. The Judges look to win their last three regular-season games over the next two weeks, as they finish the season with home court advantage at Red Auerbach Arena. This past weekend, the Judges returned home, ready to defeat Washington University at St. Louis (WashU) for the first time this season. Although Brandeis held a 38-34 lead at halftime, it was not enough to ward off the #13-ranked Bears who went on a 17-3 run midway through the second half, beating the Judges 77-70, for the second time this season. A tight race between the two teams in the first half, the game featured six ties and four lead changes, with neither team leading by more than five points. After a WashU three-pointer with three minutes to play, Brandeis trailed 30-28. The Judges were able to close the stanza on a 10-4 run on a D’Aguanno steal and a Jones dunk. D’Aguanno added another trifecta to the late run, finishing the half with six points, while Jones headed into the locker room with eight. WashU returned to the hardwood fresh out of the locker room, feeding senior DeVaughn Rucker, who scored the team’s first seven points of the half. Brandeis was able to contain the Bears, remaining ahead, until WashU hit a


three, giving the visitors a 49-48 lead with 12:50 to play in regulation. The Bears were able to hang on to their lead, as Brandeis was unable to capitalize on opportunities to regain the lead late in the game. Down by 11, the Judges drew a charge and Sawyer finished a layup on the following possession. After WashU was unable to connect from the line in the bonus, Jones sunk a three with under 30 seconds to go, making it a 75-70 game. Able to secure an offensive rebound and force two turnovers in the final seconds of the game, the Judges were unable to convert any of their second chances. Jones and D’Aguanno each scored 14 points to lead the Judges in the loss. Filling out the stat sheet, Jones finished with a gamehigh 10 rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks. This double-double was his sixth of the season. Sawyer also achieved double digits with 11 points. In a double overtime victory against the University of Chicago (UChicago) on Sunday, D’Aguanno became the 33rd member of Brandeis’ 1,000-point club. An exciting match for the second time this season, the Judges were able to outlast the Maroons, 101-95, after trailing in overtime. With 15:38 remaining in the second half, D’Aguanno sunk a jumper, scoring his 1,000th point in his collegiate career. When asked to describe this incredible milestone, D’Aguanno said to The Hoot, “It means so much to me, it is an honor. All of my teammates and coaches have been incredibly supportive of me throughout my four years and giving me the confidence to play my game; without them, I would have never reached my milestone.” He finished the game with 15 points and 1008 on his career, thus far. After D’Aguanno made his milestone basket, Brandeis was within six, after trailing by seven at halftime. UChicago answered his hoop with a 9-0 run, taking their biggest lead, 58-43, with 13:26 left in regulation. The Judges responded by scoring 21 of the game’s next 26 points, taking their first lead since the beginning of the match on Sawyer’s deep three with 5:58 to play. The lead oscillated five times over the next four minutes and a missed shot by Jones with 1:35 remaining kept the game tied at 71. The Maroons answered with a shot from downtown on the ensuing possession, but Jones located Sawyer on the left elbow with

54.8 seconds left to retie the game, 74-74. With 23 seconds to play in regulation, the Judges got a stop off of a missed 3-pointer from the Maroons, but their defense suspended Brandeis’s attempt to win in regulation. After trading baskets early in the first overtime, Lien connected from behind the arc on a tough, off-balance look, followed by Jones’ layup that made it 83-78 with 1:42 on the clock. Jones was unable to convert on the threepoint play, but Sabir was able to push the lead back to six off of a driving layup after Chicago made one-of-two from the stripe; with 1:02 on the clock, the Judges had the advantage, 85-79. With 38.1 seconds remaining, D’Aguanno was sent to the line, where he hit one-of-two, increasing the lead to 86-79. UChicago successfully answered with a three, forcing the Maroons to foul in order to stop the clock. Sabir was unable to capitalize from the foul line with 26.4 seconds to go, which allowed the visitors to push the ball. Missing a three-pointer, the Maroons had nothing to fear as they retrieved the offensive rebound, finishing with contact. Although UChicago missed the free throw, the ball went out of bounds off of Judges, which allowed the Maroons to score on the following possession, tying up the game again, 86 all with 8.9 seconds remaining. Out of timeouts, the Judges pushed the ball and again missed the game-winner. In the second overtime session, both teams traded misses before D’Aguanno connected. UChicago answered from the line, but Justice drew a foul on his way to the rim, converting to make it 9188 with 3:12 to play in the second OT. The Maroons regained those three points, but a costly foul sent Jones to the line, who drained both free throws to give the hosts the lead for good, 93-91. Brandeis remained in control from then on out, as Jones nailed a three and hit four more free throws to further increase the lead. Sawyer led all scorers with a career-high 27 points, while Jones finished with 21 points and a team-high 10 boards for his seventh double-double of the season. Lien contributed with a career-best 18 points, while D’Aguanno added 15 to the mix. The Judges return to action this Saturday at 3 p.m. in Red Auerbach Arena as they celebrate Senior Day against UAA rival New York University.

February 28, 2020


The Brandeis Hoot

The impact of the NBA’s young players and the development of ‘micro ball’ By Jacob Schireson staff

After his historic freshman season at Duke last year, many anticipated that the eventual number one pick in the 2019 NBA draft, Zion Williamson, would come to dominate the NBA. What few anticipated however, is how immediately dominant Williamson would be. Playing his first professional games coming off a surgery on a torn meniscus, some speculated he would not quite have the explosiveness he possessed at Duke last year that made him the number one pick. After a 29 point outing against the Lakers Tuesday night, Williamson’s season averages now sit at 23.3 points, 7.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. Williamson has impressed offensively with his explosiveness, rim rattling dunks

and herky-jerky movements. Although sometimes getting lost defensively, he has shown flashes of his immense defensive potential through his physicality, defensive instincts and blindingly quick verticality. Another young player who has taken a massive step up over his recent play is Celtics forward Jayson Tatum. The 21-year-old forward was named an All-Star for the first time this year, and since being named an All-Star in late January, he has averaged an astonishing 30.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and three assists per game. This comes at the most important time of the year for the Celtics, as they are ramping up for what they hope to be a deep playoff run. “That kid is special,” LeBron James said two weekends ago. “Obviously, that’s the reason he’s a first-time All-Star. He’s been

special all year.” “I know he’s built for stardom,” James said after his team’s victory that night. The Houston Rockets “micro-ball” experiment thus far has yielded excellent results. Since trading their star center Clint Capela to the Atlanta Hawks at the deadline in favor of Minnesota Timberwolves dynamic wing player Robert Covington, the Houston Rockets have been operating without a traditional center, with 6’5” PJ Tucker operating as their center. The 6’7” Covington has often been their tallest player. This new version of “small-ball” coined by some as “micro-ball” has led to a 6-2 record since its implementation. Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni commented on Houston’s new look: “THe underlying thing is we’re just trying to really open it up for James [Harden] and Russell [Westbrook] to get to the rim,


and that lineup permits that. Now can you play that well enough defensively and rebounding to make them blink and go small? Or make their bigs impose their will? And that’s a challenge. We’ll see.” D’Antoni, famed for his “seven seconds or less” offenses which lead to his teams launching lots of threes and finishing games with historic scoring numbers, now finds himself in his ideal offense.


While the early 2000s Phoenix Suns teams coached by D’Antoni were sometimes criticized for their playstyle and shot selection, D’Antoni admits now that he wishes those teams had committed more to the playstyle instead of leaning toward a more normal style. With Houston’s newest invention, “micro-ball,” D’Antoni finally gets to see that vision unfold.

Softball team splits season openers during trip to California By Emerson White staff

Over February break, the Brandeis softball team traveled to California to compete against Occidental College, Whittier College and the University of Redlands. The team kicked off their 2020 season in Los Angeles, splitting a double header against Occidental College. The Judges won their first game 7-3, but lost the second game 5-4. Brandeis then went on to sweep Whittier 7-3 and 18-3 on Wednesday in another double header. Finally, on Friday, the Judges fell to the Redlands in both games, losing 0-6 and 7-8. In the opening game of their season, the Judges came out with fire, with every starter getting a hit. First baseman PJ Ross ’20 was the standout of the first game when she hit a two-run double in the fifth inning to give the Judges their winning runs. Ross went 2-4 in the game, with another big single in the third that allowed shortstop Jolie Fujita ’21 to score. Pitcher Sydney Goldman ’22 also had a single in the fifth to allow Ross to get a run. Third baseman


Marley Felder ’22 also had a great game for the Judges, hitting 2-3 and scoring one run. She also had an RBI, and one of four of the Judges’ stolen bases. Goldman pitched a complete game for the Judges, her 15th career win, improving to 15-2. In the seven-inning game, Goldman gave up only five hits and three earned runs. Goldman also had eight strikeouts and five walks. In the second game of their double header, the Occidental Tigers came out on top after two two-run singles in the third and fifth innings by Delaney Russel. But the Judges bounced back in the sixth inning when Felder got on first with a single and Fujita pounded home her first home run of the season and sixth of her career. Fujita was the standout of the game for the Judges, with a double, a home run, a stolen base, two RBI and two runs scored. Melissa Rothenberg ’21 also had her first home run of the season, giving the Judges their only other extra-base hit. Amidori Anderson ’21 pitched her second complete game of her career. She allowed nine hits and five earned runs in the game.


She also had three strikeouts and walked two batters. This loss gave Anderson her first career loss. On Wednesday, Brandeis went on to sweep Whittier College in another double header. In the first game of the day, the Judges got off to a hot start in the second inning, putting up five runs, and eight of nine batters got on base. The bases were loaded and rookie Tara Striggow ’23 and Brianna Urena ’20 both got RBI Singles. This was followed by another single by rookie Lily Medici ’23 that scored another run for the Judges. Felder then drove in two more runs before the end of the inning. Brandeis then went through the next four innings scoreless, while the Poets were able to put three runs on the board. But the Judges were able to close out the game in the seventh inning, putting up two more runs off another hit by Felder, who had a career high four RBI. Goldman pitched another complete game and picked up her second win of the season. She allowed only three runs and seven hits. She also had four strikeouts and two walks. Brandeis then went on to face Whittier again, where they came out even stronger, putting two runs on the board in the first inning and a solo home run in the second inning from Rothenberg. In the second game against Whittier, the Judges boasted an


even more impressive inning. The game was tied 3-3 when in the fourth inning the Judges had 14 batters and scored nine runs. Felder put up another two-run double and Striggow had a threerun home run, her first career home run. Striggow also scored the first run of the inning after getting on base from a single. At the end of the fourth, the Judges were up 12-3 on the Poets. The Poets looked to make a comeback in the seventh inning, adding three runs to Brandeis’ one, but it was not enough to get past an impressive 13 runs by the Judges. Anderson was able to shut down the Poets’ hitting with four strong innings of relief, giving up just four hits, and no earned runs. Striggow and Felder each had multiple hits, and Rothenberg finished the game with four runs scored. Finally, during their time in California, the Judges traveled to the University of Redlands, where they lost both games in their double header. Brandeis had an impressive opening match with a tight score of 7-8. The Judges secured the lead early after being down 4-5 in the first inning. Brandeis fought back in the second and third innings, adding three runs to counter Redlands’ zero. But Redlands responded in the fourth inning with three runs, to give them a one-run lead. Striggow gave the Judges a two-

run single to start off the scoring in the first inning, followed by an RBI from rookie Sophia Micale ’23. The Redlands bounced back, producing five runs, but four were unearned after a Brandeis error. The Judges bounced back in the second with an RBI from Fujita, and a sacrifice fly from Urena. Bridget Cifuni ’21 also added a solo home run in the third inning, giving her the second home run of her career. After Redlands put three runs on the board in the fifth inning, the Judges were held scoreless the rest of the game and unable to secure the win. This game was Goldman’s third loss in her career and first of the season. In the second game, the Judges couldn’t get the offensive advantage they had in their previous double headers. The offense only had four hits, and no runs scored thanks to Redlands pitcher Madeleine Gonzalez. The Judges got off to a slow start, with Rothenberg being the only player to make it past first in the first five innings with a double. In the fifth inning the Judges looked to pick things up with bases loaded, but couldn’t score a run against Gonzalez. The Redlands scored their six runs in the first four innings, Anderson suffering the loss on the mound. The Judges now have three weeks off, in preparation for their home opener back in Waltham against Clark University at noon on Saturday, March 14.


The Brandeis Hoot

February 28, 2020

Fencing competes at Duke, Beanpot and NEIFC Championships as Shealy heads to Jr. Olympics By Sophie Trachtenberg editor

The Brandeis Fencing squads began a three tournament run at the Duke University Invitational in Durham, NC at the beginning of the month. The men posted a 1-4 record, defeating the Johns Hopkins University and falling to the University of Notre Dame, Pennsylvania State University (Penn State), the University of North Carolina (UNC) and the hosts from Duke. Against the Johns Hopkins Blue Jays, former members of the University Athletic Association (UAA), the Judges won by an 18-9 decision, getting five wins in sabre, six in foil and seven in epee. Brandeis almost upset opponents from the number four ranked Penn State Lions as they fell by a close score of 13-14, as well as nearly defeating the North Carolina Tar Heels in their battle with a final score of 12-15. The top performer of the weekend was first-year Ben Rogak ’23 who ended the tournament with an impressive 11-4 record as part of the epee squad. He was undefeated against both Penn State and North Carolina, as well as 2-1 against Notre Dame and Johns Hopkins. For his successes, Rogak was awarded UAA Men’s Fencer of the Week for the week ending on Feb. 9. This was Rogak’s first time to be named with this honor, as he remains in second for the most number of wins for the Judges this season with an overall score of 42-31.

On the women’s side, the Judges fell to all five of their competitors from Notre Dame, Penn State, Temple, North Carolina and the home team of Duke. Rookie Jessica Morales ’23 led the way for Brandeis with a 9-6 overall record as she garnered wins against competitors from all five schools. She was undefeated against North Carolina and posted winning records against Notre Dame and Duke with identical scores of 2-1. The Judges headed back north to Massachusetts to compete in the annual Beanpot Tournament against fellow rivals of the Boston area. Both the men and the wom-

en came out on top against the Engineers of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), but also fell to both Harvard and Boston College (BC). In their wins over MIT, the women posted a score of 15-12 with four wins in sabre, six in foil and five in epee. Veteran Jessica Gets ’20 went 7-2 on the weekend in the foil category, sweeping MIT 3-0 and holding 2-1 winning records against both Harvard and BC. Madeleine Vibert ’21 also went 3-0 against MIT and finished with four wins in epee. For the men, the Judges won by the same margin against the

Engineers with three sabre wins, eight for foil and four in epee. Sam Chestna ’20 and Elliot Siegel ’23 were undefeated against MIT, while Alek Broszkowski went 2-1 to help lead the Judges in the win. Brandeis went off to New York next, competing in the New England Intercollegiate Fencing Conference Championships held at Vassar College. The Judges fought hard to receive three bronze medals as individuals, while the men also came in third place overall across each of the three weapon standings. The top squads were both from the sabre category, as the men’s sabre team placed in second, while



the women came in third. As individuals, Lucas Lin ’23 brought home a bronze medal in men’s sabre, while rookie Maggie Shealy ’23 and Gets also won this honor in women’s sabre and women’s foil respectively. Jada Harrison ’22 also posted a sixth place finish in women’s sabre and Braden Vaccari ’23 came in eighth for men’s sabre. In addition to competing with her fellow Brandeis teammates, Shealy went off to Columbus, OH to test her bouts in the 2020 Junior Olympics. She fought in the sabre category and worked to finish in 13th place out of 227 other challengers. After going 4-1 in pool play, Shealy received the 50th seed to head into the elimination rounds. She was awarded a bye in the first round and went on to defeat her 178th seed competitor by a score of 15-9 in the second round. In the third round, Shealy faced Maverick Doherty of Southern California, who was the 15th seed. Shealy outpaced Doherty by a margin of 15-9 to head into the fourth round where she faced Natalie Mataiev of New England. She won this round with a score of 15-11 to advance to the Sweet 16. It was here that Shealy fell to Erika Chin of St. Louis by a close score of just 15-14. For the week ending on March 1, three Brandeis fencers were awarded UAA Athlete of the Week. These honorees were Shealy, Gets and Lin. In just two weeks, Brandeis will head up to Cornell University to take on the NCAA Regionals.

Men’s tennis place fourth at ITA DIII Team Indoor Championships By Sabrina Chow and Josh Lombardo editor and special to the hoot

The No. 8 ranked Judges men’s tennis team won in their season opener to Bentley University 8-1. The Judges are now 1-0 on the season, giving Bentley its first loss of the season with a record of 4-1. During singles competition, David Aizenberg ’20 defeated Daniel Weitz of Bentley 6-0, 6-2 at No. 1 singles. Anupreeth Coramutla ’21 prevailed over Connor Aulson of Bentley 6-1, 6-4. Jeff Chen ’22 defeated Jordan Soifer 7-5, 6-2. Rajan Vohra ’21 was victorious over Kendall Au of Bentley with a score of 6-0, 6-2. Rookie Simon Kauppila ’23 came out on top over Mauricio Fadul Rubod in two sets, 6-2, 6-2. The Judges’ sole loss came at No. 4 singles, where Alexander Novins overcame Adam Tzeng ’22, despite Tzeng taking the first set 6-0. Novins won the match with a score of 0-6, 6-4, 10-7 at No. 4 singles. In doubles action, the Judges swept all three matches. The duo of Aizenberg and Coramutla was victorious over Connor Aulson and Daniel Weitz with a score of 8-3 at No. 1 doubles. At No. 2 doubles, the sophomore combo of Chen and Tzeng defeated Mauricio Fadul Rubod and Alexander Novins of Bentley 8-4. Colt Tegtmeier ’22 and Vohra won over Kendall Au and Tawan Rattaseri

8-1 at No. 3 doubles. The Brandeis men’s tennis team also went 1-2 this past weekend at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Division III Team Indoor Championships at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN against three competing schools in the University Athletic Association (UAA). The fourth-seeded Judges defeated fifth-seeded Washington University in St. Louis and lost to first-seeded Emory University and third-seeded University of Chicago. The eighth-ranked Judges faced the ninth-ranked Washington University Bears in the quarterfinals in the tournament and won the match-up 7-2. The Bears’ two wins came in No. 1 and No. 5 singles. Ethan Hillis of Washington University defeated Aizenberg in straight sets, 1-6, 2-6. Vohra also fell in straight sets to Koki Takabatake, 4-6, 2-6. Coramutla and Tzeng both had strong comebacks after dropping the first set in No. 2 and No. 3 singles, respectively. Coramutla beat Washington University’s Bernardo Neves in a close threeset match, 2-6, 6-2, 6-4, while Tzeng overcame Daniel Li 3-6, 6-3, 6-0. Chen held off J.J. Kroot 6-4, 6-4 at No. 4 singles, while Nikhil Das ’21 made quick work of Sam Komis, dropping just one game to win 6-0, 6-1. Neves and Benjamin van der Sman took Aizenberg and Coramutla to a tie-breaker at No. 1 doubles, however, the Judges ultimately came out victorious


8-7(4). Chen and Tzeng bageled Hillis and Mark Wu at No. 2 doubles, 8-0, which Tegtmeier and Vohra beat Daniel Li and Sam Komis 8-4 at No. 3 doubles. Against the first-ranked Emory Eagles, the Judges were narrowly defeated 4-5. While the Judges took more doubles matches, the Eagles were too strong in singles competition. Aizenberg and Chen were the only victorious singles players at No. 1 and No. 4 singles, respectively, both winning in three sets. Aizenberg held off Hayden Cassone’s comeback attempt 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, while Chen beat Mark Sverdlov 6-4, 3-6, 7-5. Antonio Mora beat Coramutla 3-6, 3-6 at No. 2 singles; Andrew Esses defeated Tzeng at No. 3 singles 2-6, 6-7(3); Rex Serituk came back to defeat Das at No. 5 singles

6-7, 6-1, 6-3; Hassan Kenawi defeat Kauppila 5-7, 6-1. Aizenberg and Coramutla made quick work of Cassone and Mora, winning 8-3. Chen and Tzeng narrowly defeated Will Wanner and Alec Rabinowitz, topping the Bears 14-12 in a tiebreaker at 7-7 to win 8-7(12). The Bears sole doubles win came at No. 3 doubles when Esses and Kenawi defeated Tegtmeier and Vohra 7-8(2). In the third place match against the University of Chicago Maroons, the Judges fell short 3-6 for fourth place. Tzeng and Chen picked up another win at No. 2 doubles and were the only doubles team with a perfect 3-0 record on the weekend, beating the Maroons 8-6. Tegtmeier and Vohra won at No. 3 doubles with the same score and were 1-2 on the weekend together. Erik Ker-


rigan and Jeremy Yuan from the University of Chicago gave Aizenberg and Coramutla their first doubles loss of the weekend, beating the Judges 8-6. Coramutla picked up the only win in singles for the Judges at No. 2, defeating Kerrigan 7-5, 6-2. Despite an early lead after the first set, Jeremy Yuan handed Chen his first loss of the tournament at No. 2 singles with a score of 5-7, 6-4, 6-3. Joshua Xu held off Aizenberg’s early lead at No. 1 singles, winning the match 4-6, 6-1, 7-5. Sachin Das and Alex Guzhva made quick work of Tzeng and Das at No. 3 and five singles, winning 6-3, 6-2 and 6-0, 6-2, respectively. The men’s team is now 2-2 on the season and will face the Bryant University Bulldogs on Saturday March 7 in Smithfield, RI.

February 28, 2020


The Brandeis Hoot

Swimming teams place eighth at UAA Championships By Sabrina Chow editor

Multiple school records were broken at the swimming and diving University Athletic Association (UAA) championships at the University of Chicago in Chicago, IL, including the Judges’ oldest school record. Rookie Ema Rennie ’23 was one of the top performers for the Judges and broke two school records during the meet. She is only the second woman in Brandeis history to ever break 54 seconds in the 100-yard freestyle, after Hall of Famer Wendy Lowengrub ’90. Rennie finished 23rd overall and seventh in the ‘C’ finals of the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 53.57. Rennie also shaved over threetenths of a second off her previous best in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 24.18, placing 11th in the preliminary race and earning herself a spot in the ‘B’ finals. She was unfortunately disqualified in the finals and did not place. Fellow rookie Bailey Gold ’23 lowered her own school record by almost a second in the 100-yard butterfly, finishing in 15th overall and seventh in the ‘B’ finals with a time of 58.01 seconds. Gold broke her own record in the preliminary race, completing the race in 57.35 seconds. She also finished 11th overall and third in the ‘B’ finals of the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 2:09.48 and 8th in the ‘C’ finals in the 100-yard backstroke


at 1:00.02. The Brandeis “A” relay team of Tamir Zitelny ’20, Daniel Wohl ’21, Marcelo Ohno-Machado ‘21 and Matthew Arcemont ’20 finished eighth in the 400-yard freestyle relay with a time of 3:06.68, cutting more than two seconds off the previous school record. Wohl also shaved 12 seconds off his lifetime best in the 500-yard freestyle, finishing with a time of 4:36.08, good for 12th place in the preliminary race and a place in the ‘B’ finals. He ultimately finished 16th with a time of 4:37.20. He also finished 10th overall and second in the ‘B’ finals of the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:40.23. Wohl was 13th overall and fifth in the ‘B’ finals of the

100-yard freestyle with a time of 46.30. The Brandeis “A” relay team of Audrey Kim ’21, Emily McGovern ’21, Gold and Rennie decreased the previous record in the 400-yard medley relay by over a minute with a time of 4:00.46. The women’s 100-yard breaststroke was the only event of the weekend with two Judges in the finals. McGovern and Olivia Stebbins ’22 finished second and sixth in the ‘C’ finals with times of 1:07.71 and 1:09.69, respectively. McGovern finished 18th overall, while Stebbins was 22nd. Zitelny finished in 17th place and first in the ‘C’ finals of the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 49.44. He also finished second in

the ‘C’ finals of the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 50.23. Selznick finished 18th overall and second in the ‘C’ final of the 400-yard IM with a time of 4:11.02 and came in 18th in the 1650-yard freestyle with a time of 16:42.53. Brendon Lu ’22 finished in 18th overall and second in the ‘C’ finals in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:08.51 and fourth in the ‘C’ finals of the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 58.29, over two seconds faster than his time in the preliminaries, where he placed 24th. He was less than a second away from qualifying for the finals in the 200-yard IM, where he finished 29th in the preliminaries

with a time of 1:57.37. Abbie Etzweiler ‘22 finished 22nd in the 1650-yard freestyle with a time of 18:54.63, almost five seconds faster than her seed time. In the relays on the men’s side, the Brandeis “A” team of Wohl, Arcemont, Ohno-Machado and Zitelny finished seventh in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:23.83. The Brandeis “A” quartet of Zitelny, Lu, Arcemont and Ohno-Machado also finished seventh in the 400-yard medley relay with a time of 3:26.37. Zitelny, Lu and Arcemont this time were joined by Wohl in the 200-yard medley relay where the Brandeis “A” team finished seventh with a time of 1:33.63, one second faster than their posted time in the preliminaries. Finally, the Brandeis “A” team of Wohl, Arcemont, Ohno-Machado and Lu placed seventh in the 800yard freestyle relay with a time of 7:00.78. On the women’s side, the Brandeis “A” team of Gold, Rennie, Kim and Musaku finished eighth with a time of 8:05.75 in the ‘A’ finals. The quartet also finished in eighth in the 400yard freestyle relay with a time of 3:37.73. Musaku and Rennie were also joined by Natalya Wozab ’20, Adrienne Aponte ’20 in the 200yard freestyle relay, placing eighth with a time of 1:40.94. After the three-day meet, both Brandeis teams finished in eighth place, with the men earning 423 points and the women 308 points.

Baseball starts season with best record since ‘02 By Justin Leung special to the hoot

In the first game of the season, the Brandeis Judges baseball team won easily 14-2 against the Elmira Soaring Eagles. This game was played in Winter Haven, FL on Feb. 17. This game was the first of two games against Elmira. Everything for Brandeis started off well. First baseman Isaac Fossas ’21 hit a two-run home run in the top of the first inning to give the Judges the lead. The Judges did not score again until the fourth inning when shortstop Drew Michaud ’23 hit a single to drive third baseman Brian King ’23 home. Brandeis did not stop there as in the fifth inning, catcher Luke Hall ’21 hit a clutch two out two run triple to keep the inning alive. Second basemen Victor Oppenheimer ’20 made sure that the runner at third would not be left on base as he hit a single to drive Hall home. King scored again later, and Michaud got his first run of the season. The Judges ended up scoring one run in the seventh, four in the eighth, and one in the ninth. Pitcher Greg Tobin ’20 pitched a strong game, going six innings and allowing only two runs on seven hits and one walk. He struck out six batters and gave up no home runs through 25 batters. Tobin threw 82 pitches and 55 strikes in total. Mason Newman ’21 then came into the game in the seventh inning and faced seven batters before he was done for the day. Newman allowed zero hits and one walk while striking out one batter. He threw 28 pitches and 18 strikes in total. Gavin Dauer ’22 finished the game facing three batters and struck out one of them. He allowed no hits

or walks. It was a big day for the offense as Hall led that way going four for five with two singles, a double, and a triple as he was a home run short of the cycle. Fossas and Oppenheimer added three hits of their own to contribute to the offensive explosion. Ultimately the team had 19 hits. Starting off the season with a big win, the Brandeis Judges are hoping to keep it up for the rest of the season. The Judges scored 14 runs against the Elmira Soaring Eagles just a day before scoring double digits again with a total of 11 runs on Feb. 18. This game was played in Winter Haven, Florida against the Bates College Bobcats. Once again, Brandeis got ahead in the first inning as left fielder Sam Nugent ’23 scored on a double play from Fossas. The inning continued as catcher Hall hit a clutch two out two run home runs to also score center fielder Dan Frey ’21 following his two out single. The game remained close, however, when Elmira scored two runs in the bottom of the first. Both teams went one, two, three in the second before scoring more runs in the third. Right fielder Mike Khoury ’21 drove in a run with a single and second basemen Oppenheimer drove in two more, again with two outs. The Judges scored a run in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings to hold a substantial seven-run lead against the Bobcats. The Bobcats made the game interesting by scoring three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Ultimately, Brandeis pulled away as they scored two more runs in the 8th inning, which put them up six runs and outside of grand slam range. Tim Lopez ’20 pitched five solid innings as he struck out eight

batters on his way to the win. He allowed only one hit but walked four to allow only two runs. Marc Maestri ’22 followed him in the sixth and pitched an inning and a third. Christian Tejada ’23 closed the game pitching two and a third inning. The key to the victory for the Judges in this game was their timely hitting. Out of the 11 runs scored in the game, eight of them were scored with two outs. Nugent led the team in hits as he went five for five with five singles. Oppenheimer had three hits, while King and Khoury added two hits of their own. In the end, the team had 14 hits as they continued their offensive dominance to move 2-0. The Judges continued their dominance by defeating the Augustana University Vikings 11-5 on Feb. 22. The Judges got on the board early and never looked back. In the top of the first inning, second baseman Oppenheimer doubled to get the Brandeis on the board scoring catcher Hall and right fielder Khoury. Two batters later, designated hitter Tommy Sand ’21 hit a double and scored two more runs. Overall, Brandeis scored four runs with two outs to hold a 4-0 lead through the first inning. The Judges were leading in the second inning. Hall started off the scoring by hitting a single to score two runs. Oppenheimer continued the rally as he also hit a single and scored two more runs. Two batters later the Judges scored again on another single from Sand. The second inning was extremely rough for the Vikings as they had four errors and allowed five hits. With just two innings, the Judges scored nine runs putting a nearly insurmountable lead through only the


first two innings. Brandeis scored again late in the game in the 7th and 8th innings. Tobin ’20 pitched an incredible game going six innings—allowing just two hits. He struck out seven batters and allowed only two walks. Newman picked up the game after that and pitched two innings. He allowed a single earned run and struck out two batters. He was followed by Tejada for two thirds of an inning. Asher Kaplan ’23 pitched the final third of an inning by getting the last batter to fly out to right field. The offense showed up early, making the game a blowout from the start. Brandeis never gave up the lead as they won by six runs.


Oppenheimer led the team in hits with three and RBI’s with five. Sand, Fossas, Brian Garcia ’21 and Steven Simon ’23 had two hits each. The team overall had 14 hits and four extra base hits. After another strong win, the Brandeis baseball team moves to 5-0 for the season and hopes to continue to be an offensive powerhouse. For his achievements during these competitions, Hall was awarded UAA Baseball Hitter of the Week for the week ending on Feb. 23. He hit .500 with a .522 OBP and a 1.000 slugging percentage. With this, the Judges are off to their best start since 2002 as they begin the season with a 5-0 record.


The Brandeis Hoot

February 28, 2020

Women’s basketball looks to finish UAA play strong By Jesse Lieberman staff

Seeking to avenge the Judges’ loss against Case Western Research University (CWRU) one week prior, Courtney Thrun ’21 had a career night and Camila Casanueva ’21 made eight straight foul shots to close the fourth quarter as the Judges clinched a winning regular season for the first time since the 2014-2015 season. The Judges defeated the Spartans 80-71 on Feb. 7. Thrun set career highs with 17 points and 12 rebounds off the bench, while Casanueva added 16 points, 10 of which came in the final period. Casanueva grabbed nine rebounds and dished out a gamehigh 10 assists. Leading 36-30 at the half, the Judges opened the third quarter with an 11-0 run. The Judges would extend their lead to the largest of the game at 56-38 following a Thrun three-pointer with 3:11 remaining in the third. The Spartans never got within seven points the rest of the game. The Judges shot 53 percent in the third quarter, as they outscored Case Western 24-17. Senior Hannah Nicholson ’20 scored nine of her 13 points in the period, while Jillian Petrie ’21 added six points. After allowing the Spartans to shoot 44 percent in their first matchup on Jan. 31, the Judges’ defense stifled the Spartans, who shot just 33 percent on 23-of-69 shooting. The Judges also dominated the glass, out rebounding the Spartans 52-38. First-year sharpshooter Francesca Marchese ’23 had a gamehigh with three three-pointers. Thrun tied a game-high with two steals as well. Carnegie Mellon 70–Judges 56 Carnegie Mellon went 5-for-7 from beyond the arc in the first quarter and raced out to a 22-13

lead. The Tartans did not trail at any point in the game as the Judges never got closer than nine points following the first quarter. Casanueva paced the Judges with a team-high 17 points, which included three three-pointers, to go along with five rebounds. Petrie added 12 and first-year Emma Reavis ’23 scored 10 points. The Tartans scored the game’s first eight points on the way to opening the game on a 16-4 run. The Tartans went 8-of-15 from the floor in the first period. Of the eight field goals made in the quarter the Tartans assisted on six of them. The Tartans controlled inside, out rebounding the Judges 46-33 and outscoring the Judges in the paint 36-18. The Judges’ bench, which has been a valuable asset for Coach Carol Simon all season, managed just 10 points on 3-of16 shooting. Rochester 85–Judges 71 Rochester shot 12-of-13 from the foul line and knocked down three critical three-pointers as they outscored the Judges 27-16 in the fourth quarter, preventing the Judges from completing the season sweep. Heading into the fourth quarter, the Judges trailed the Yellowjackets 58-55. Rochester opened the quarter with consecutive threes. The Judges battled back, cutting the deficit to four after veteran guard Lauren Rubinstein ’20 drilled a three with 7:02 remaining in the quarter. The Yellowjackets responded by scoring 12 of the game’s next 16 points to put the contest out of reach, capped off by a jumper to push their lead to 76-64 with 2:46 left in the game. Nicholson led the Judges with 16 points and corralled seven rebounds. Casanueva had a double-double, scoring 14 points and grabbing 10 rebounds, while also recording a game-high seven assists. Rubinstein scored 10 points

to go along with five assists, which tied a season high. The Yellowjackets knocked down 12 three-pointers in the game and shot 44 percent from the floor. The Judges, who average 18 free throw attempts per game and lead the University Athletic Association (UAA) in free throw percentage managed just nine free throws. Emory 58–Judges 57 Marchese’s three-point attempt to win the game was no good, as the Eagles staved off the Judges’ double-digit fourth quarter comeback. Down 50-40 to begin the fourth quarter, the Judges trailed 56-48 with 4:15 to go. The Judges went on a 7-0 run over the next three minutes, cutting the Eagles’ lead to 56-55. Emory knocked down a pair of free throws with 57 seconds left. On the ensuing possession, Thrun made a lay-up off an assist from Casanueva, cutting the deficit to 58-57 and presenting Coach Simon with an interesting dilemma: Should the Judges foul the Eagles or risk trying to get a stop and have one last chance? Coach Simon elected to trust her defense, which paid off, as the Judges rebounded the Eagles’ missed shot and called timeout with one second remaining. Marchese, who hit two three-pointers in the fourth quarter, had a look from the corner, but the Eagles defended her shot well. Rubinstein had a team-high 12 points, while Reavis and Nicholson scored 11 and nine points, respectively. Nicholson, who is the leading rebounder in the UAA, tied a game-high with 12 rebounds. Thrun scored 10 points off the bench, eight of which came in the final period. WashU 72–Judges 60 Trailing by 18 points twice in


the first quarter, Washington University at St. Louis (WashU) used two huge scoring runs in the second and third quarters to pull ahead of the Judges, as the defending UAA champions avenged their home loss to the Judges in January. The Judges opened the game on a 20-2 scoring run, as they shot 11-of-16 from the field and 5-of-8 on threes in the first quarter and sprinted out to a 27-11 advantage after the first. Nicholson’s layup to begin the second quarter put the Judges up by 18 again. The Bears went on an 18-2 scoring over the next eight minutes, cutting the Judges’ lead to 31-29 before the Judges scored the final four points in the quarter. The Bears opened the third quarter on a 19-4 scoring run and outscored Brandeis 21-8 in the quarter. The lead never got lower than six the rest of the game. Nicholson recorded her ninth double-double of the season, scoring 14 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Casanueva had a game-high three steals and Marchese knocked down a trio of three-pointers. The Bears outrebounded the Judges 45-32, including 14 on the offensive end, which they converted into 15 second-chance points. Following the first quarter, the Judges shot just 12-for-48 from the field and 1-for-21 from

beyond the arc. UChicago 73–Judges 45 The Maroons clinched the UAA title and an NCAA postseason berth in a game that featured few highlights for the Judges. The Maroons led 44-20 at halftime and didn’t ease their guard, extending the lead to as much as 36 at one point in the second half. The Judges, who pushed the Maroons into overtime in their 68-60 loss in Chicago on Jan. 26, could not find any rhythm offensively. The Judges shot 25 percent from the floor, their lowest of the season. The Maroons’ defense suffocated the Judges, totaling 15 steals. Julia St. Amand ’20 was the lone bright spot for the Judges as she set a career-high with nine points, knocking down three three-pointers. The Judges are now 13-11 and 3-10 in the UAA. They will look to end their regular season on a high note as they host New York University on Senior Day at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday. Editor’s note: Courtney Thrun, Camila Casanueva and Francesca Marchese are staff members of The Hoot. Sports Editor Sophie Trachtenberg is also a member of the women’s basketball team.

Track and field hit PR’s, breaks school records By Sabrina Chow and Caroline Wang editor and staff

Two school records were broken over the past few weekends by the men’s and women’s track and field team, as well as personal records (PR) for much of the team. The team travelled to Medford, MA for the second week in a row to compete at the Tufts Cupid Invitational on Feb. 8. On the men’s side, Jack Allan ’20 placed first in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.46 seconds after finishing second in the preliminary race. Allan lowered the previous school record set in 2009 by one-tenth of a second. Rookie Casey Brackett ’23 had a PR in the mile with a time of 4:40.80, finishing 34th overall. Josh Lombardo ’21 finished in 11th with a time of 4:26.87. Lorenzo Maddox ’20 also PR’ed in the 60-meter dash, placing sixth with a time of 7.16 seconds. He finished fourth in the 200-meter dash with a time of 23.30 seconds. Dion Morris-Evans ’22 finished fifth in the high jump with a height of 1.9 meters. The Brandeis ‘A’ relay of Aaron Portman ’22, rookie Dean Campbell ’23, Jamie O’Neil ’22 and Patrick Quinlan ’21 finished fourth in the 4x400-meter

relay with a time of 3:33.20. In the field, Breylen Ammen ’21 and Aaron Corin ’20 finished fifth and sixth in pole vault with heights of 4.45 meter and 4.3 meters, respectively. Allan finished in 13th with a height of 3.85 meters, hitting another PR. On the women’s side, the 4x200-meter relay of Anna Touitou ’22, Sonali Anderson ’22, rookie Sydney D’Amaddio ’23 and All-American Devin Hiltunen ’22 placed second with a time of 1:47.30 and broke the previous school record by 0.31 seconds. This record is Anderson’s third and Hiltunen’s second school record. Andrea Bolduc ’21 finished fifth overall in the 1000-meter run with a time of 3:03.57 and a new PR. Natalie Hattan ’22 also hit a PR in the mile with a time of 5:19.11 and an eighth place finish. Rookie Bridget Pickard ’23 also hit a PR in the mile, finishing with a time of 5:19.11, placing 18th. Hiltunen also finished sixth in the 200-meter dash with a time of 26.47 seconds. Rookie Yahni Lapa ’23 finished 11th in the 400-meter dash with a time of 1:03.13. Niamh Kenney ’21 finished fourth in the 3000-meter run with a time of 10:08.79. Anderson also finished third in the 60-meter hurdles in 9.34 seconds. The 4x400-meter relay of Lapa, Leinni Valdez ’21, D’

Amaddio and Hiltunen finished second with a time of 4:07.46. On the weekend before the midterm recess and just in time for Valentine’s Day, the Judges again had a split squad at the 2020 Boston University David Hemery Valentine Invitational and the Gordon Kelly Invitational at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). At Boston University (BU), the Judges had the opportunity to compete against not only other schools in the area, but also professionals. Danielle Bertaux ’20 placed 36th place in the 3000-meter run with a time of 10:09.24, hitting a PR and ninth among all Division III runners. Bolduc had her second PR in two weeks, this time in the mile. She finished with a time of 5:10.05, placing 132 out of over 200 runners. Pickard also had back-to-back PR weekends, this time in the 1000-meter race with a time of 3:16.70 and placing 99th in the race. Hiltunen ran the 200-meter and 400-meter dash, PR-ing in both events. She finished the 200 in 26 seconds, and 400 in 59.54, breaking one minute for the first time. Touitou also PR’ed in the 200 with a time of 26.72 seconds and placing 179th. Lapa, running the 200 and 400, also PR’ed in both events with times of 27.87 and 1:01.26,

respectively. The 800-meter race also saw three PR’s. Rookie Victoria Morrongiello ’23 placed 172nd and ran to a PR with a time of 2:23.90. Mahala Lahvis ’21 finished 230th and PR’d with a time of 2:30.95. Taylor Kane ’22 placed 250th and PR’d with a time of 2:35.93. On the men’s side, Maddox was the top performer for the Judges, placing 25th in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.20 seconds. Campbell placed 161st out of over 230 competitors in the 200-meter dash, running a PR with a time of 23.24 seconds. O’Neil placed 179th in the 400-meter dash, also PR’ing with a time of 51.66 seconds. Jacob Judd (GRAD) and Jacob Grant ’22 both PR’ed in the 800-meter run with times of 1:57.69 and 1:58.70, respectively. Judd placed 166th and Grant placed 189th out of almost 300 competitors. All the milers at BU also hit PRs while Lombardo, Alec Rodgers ’20 and Dan Curley ’20 ran 4:21.89, 4:25.56 and 4:29.76, respectively. All three of them finished in the top 300 out of the almost 350 competitors. With the other half of the team competing at the Gordon Kelly Invitational at MIT, the Judges added even more PRs. On the men’s side, Brackett finished sev-

enth in the 3000-meter, finishing with a time of 9:31.99 and a new PR. Morris-Evans finished first in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.81 seconds and placed sixth in the high jump with a leap of 1.90 meters. Aaron Baublis ’21 finished fourth in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 9.33 seconds. Rookie Armin Alirezaei ’23 finished 14th in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.53 seconds and 12th in the 200-meter with a time of 24.50 seconds. Moen posted a pair of lifetime-bests in the 60-meter hurdles, with a time of 9.66 seconds, good for fourth place. She also jumped 4.82 meters in the long jump, placing eighth. Holleran also hit two PR’s in the 60-meter hurdles and the 200-meter dash. She broke 10 seconds for the first time in the 60-meter hurdles, placing ninth with a time of 9.99 seconds. Holleran finished 10th in the 200-meter dash with a time of 28.84 seconds and another PR. The Judges will return to action this weekend for the UAA championships in New York City, hosted by New York University (NYU). Editor’s Note: Victoria Morrongiello is the deputy news editor of The Hoot and a member of the women’s track and field team.


February 28, 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 Deputy Social Media Editor John Fornagiel Editors-at-Large Natalie Fritzson Celia Young

Volume 17 • Issue 6

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, Lucy Frenkel, Stewart Huang, Uma Jagwani, Joey Kornman, Alex Kougasian, Josh Lannon, Dane Leoniak, Jesse Lieberman, 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.

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The Brandeis Hoot 11

Stand united, not divided

he outbreak of the respiratory disease caused by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has left a large impact on the entire world. One of several strains of coronavirus, the spread of COVID-19 is currently a public health emergency, with cases in at least 48 countries at the time of publication, according to a New York Times article. Over 82,000 people around the world have been infected, according to a BBC article. As of print time, the university is restricting official travel to mainland China and Korea, effective Feb. 26, based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) travel advisories, wrote Provost Lisa Lynch in a community-wide email sent on Feb. 26. The coronavirus outbreak has led to an increase in xenophobic attacks on Asian and Asian American communities, according to a CNN article. A Los Angeles Times article described people of Asian descent, in particular, having to field “vitriolic attacks in public spaces, including suspicious looks and nasty comments.” These same concerns are present on the Brandeis campus, which Lynch addressed in an email dated Feb. 9. In this email, Lynch asks community members to be aware that this is an “especially stressful time for members of [the] community who are affected by the coronavirus because of its impact on their families and communities

or the stigma they may be experiencing in public settings.” Lynch concluded the email by asking “everyone to treat one another with dignity and respect, so that we sustain the supportive, inclusive, and compassionate community that is rooted in our founding values.” We, the editorial board of The Brandeis Hoot, would like to extend well wishes to any students, faculty, staff or community members who may be impacted by COVID-19. During these challenging times, we urge students to treat fellow peers with respect, especially any Asian or Asian American students who may be facing stigma in public settings regarding the spread of the virus. There are many historically racist stereotypes that specifically target Asian Americans. The yellow peril, which perpetuated the belief that working-class Chinese laborers were “filthy yellow hoards,” began in the 1870s and is resurfacing in the midst of this epidemic, according to a CNN analysis. If you see someone cough or sneeze, do not immediately assume that they have COVID-19. If you see someone wearing a mask, it does not mean that they are sick or contagious, as they are likely protecting both themselves and people around them from infections. If you avoid Chinese restaurants or markets, it does not make you safer from the virus, but rather perpetuates these cycles of fear and hate.

Although it may feel easier to make rash judgments and assumptions, it is important to be aware of biases and actively shift away from such thoughts. We should support members of our community that are impacted by COVID-19, and each other. We should stand together, rather than creating more division. Brandeis’ founding values include community and respect, and these should be followed, even in potentially stressful times. As of today, we do not know what the situation in the United States will be like in a few weeks time, and the situation is always evolving as we learn more about the virus. It is possible to be both conscientious of our personal hygiene and respectful to community members. As Provost Lynch mentioned in the email sent on Feb. 9, influenza activity is still “elevated” in the greater Boston area. Students can reduce the risk of getting and spreading viral illnesses by covering coughs, avoiding touching the face, getting the flu shot—available for free at the Health Center—and washing and sanitizing hands frequently, both of which should be made easier by the updated soap dispensers and recently installed hand sanitizer dispensers around campus. Editor’s note: Editor Sabrina Chow did not contribute to the writing or editing of this editorial.


12 The Brandeis Hoot

February 28, 2020

Running the Brandeis University Press By Emily Botto editor

Not many students at Brandeis University are aware that Brandeis has its own press, but in fact Brandeis University Press (BUP) has existed for over 40 years. Until January of last year, however, BUP was published under the umbrella of the University Press of New England (UPNE), a once-large consortium serving various New England schools such as its host school, Dartmouth College, Wesleyan University and Tufts University, among others. At the time that UPNE shut down in December 2018, only Dartmouth and Brandeis remained, as each of the other schools in the consortium closed down or moved publishers by 2012. With UPNE shutting down,

Brandeis decided to open its own independent press, which was already up and running by January 2019, only weeks after UPNE finally closed its doors. More than a year later, BUP is still a fledgling enterprise with a small staff of four people—Coordinator Lillian Dunaj, Senior Budget and HR Administrator Beth Fong, Editorial Director Sylvia Fuks Fried and Director Sue Berger Ramin— operating under University Librarian Matthew Sheehy and Brandeis’ library administration. The Brandeis Hoot interviewed Ramin, a former associate publisher at David R. Godine, Publisher and a veteran of publishing greats such as Penguin Books and Macmillan Press, to better understand her role within the organization and BUP’s role at Brandeis. According to Ramin, the role of the university press is to “add to



the intellectual conversation, to move the conversation forward and publish books that wouldn’t be published elsewhere, but are worthwhile.” “There are fewer and fewer university presses,” Ramin said regarding Brandeis’ decision to continue its press independently after UPNE shut down, and she is looking forward to being part of a university press that is growing instead of declining. Ramin compared the opportunity to run BUP at the beginning of its time as an independent publisher to “running a start-up with a 300-title backlist,” as she can start the business from scratch while utilizing the university’s resources and its host of well-respected titles to support the press as it grows. Some of these titles include Brandeis’ Jewish Studies collection and the Mandel Lectures in the Humanities series, which Ramin calls the “crown jewels” of BUP. Ramin added, however, that as Brandeis becomes independent, it must expand beyond its past successes. “We have to be a press for the whole of the university, so we’re expanding the subject matter that we’re going to be publishing. I hope to work with the Heller School, to maybe have a series with them, I’d like to do popular science books, I’d like to do Russian and German books in translation,” among other things, Ramin said. She hopes to make BUP’s book list represent the whole of the university by publishing books that adhere to Brandeis’ history and strengths. Her interest in Brandeis’ mission, along with its history in social justice and re-



search, makes this an even greater task. “I think it’s a center of excellence,” she said, “and to do the book publishing for that is very exciting.” According to Ramin, BUP relies on Redwing Book Services, LLC, a New Hampshire freelance group, for editorial design and production. For sales, marketing and distribution, Brandeis pays University of Chicago Press, the largest university press in the country which serves colleges all over the world. University of Chicago Press is still distributing books released by UPNE, and Ramin is picking up the rights to certain UPNE books—such as an updated second edition of a Georgia O’Keefe biography—and publishing them under BUP. “University of Chicago Press has been terrific, and we’ve seen our sales go up, and ev-

erything is working,” Ramin said. Ramin also intends to publish an equal share of academic, course adoption and general trade books. The latter is not quite as common for BUP, but Ramin hopes to “increase Brandeis’ reach into the community” by publishing trade books, which consist of more general interest titles that go beyond the interests of BUP’s traditional readership. BUP will be releasing new books in spring 2021, titles to be announced in the next few months. “I’m really happy to talk to students and faculty about publishing. I want to be a resource to the university—to everybody—for information,” Ramin said. BUP’s office sits in the back of Goldfarb Library Mezzanine near the Writing Center, and the door is always open.

Featured Events Calendar Bulletproofing American History: Race, Remembrance and Emmett Till Fri., Feb. 28, 2020, 3 - 4:30 p.m., Shapiro Admission Center Presentation Room Professor Mabel O. Wilson, a professor in the African American and African Diasporic Studies Department at Columbia University, will be conducting a talk as part of the “Fine Arts Saivetz Annual Memorial Architectural Lecture series.” Wilson has received various accolades including a Woman in Architecture Award from the Architectural Record and the Arts and Letters Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters based on her work related to the Global Africa Lab (GAL).

Designing Species: The Brandeis Philosophy Department’s 9th Annual Spring Conference Sat., Feb. 29, 2020, 9:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m., Mandel Center for the Humanities G12 This annual conference hosted by the department of philosophy highlights ethical issues based on technological advancements that have been made which allow individuals to genetically modify species. The conference will address questions such as whether it is acceptable for us to create transgenic organisms that blend genes from multiple distinct species. What sorts of considerations are even relevant to answering this question? Do species have a special kind of value that might be put in jeopardy by such interventions?

Artist Talk: Caroline Woolard Sat., Feb. 29, 2020, 2 - 3 p.m., Rose Art Museum Caroline Woolard, the 2019-20 Ruth Ann and Nathan Perlmutter Artist-in-Residence, will discuss her project titled “INDEX: The Meeting.” In her pieces, she utilizes immersive installation along with online networks to create systems of mutual aid and collaboration. She explores “the pleasures and pains of interdependence” in her works which have been displayed at the Cornell University Gallery, Ithaca; Dekalb Gallery, Pratt Institute, New York; and Moore College of Art and Design, Philadelphia. She has received various awards from many organizations including the Pilchuck Glass School and the Rockefeller Cultural Innovation Fund. 2020: My Home, Formosa Sat. Feb. 29, 6:30 - 9 p.m., Levin Ballroom Sponsored by the Taiwanese Student Association, the annual cultural show will be Formosa, an homage to home, which can be interpreted as home, family, hometown or homeland, all powerful and significant meanings in the Taiwanese culture. The show will feature the Jrod twins, Diabolo Club, DFBB Dance Group, Sad Boys Club, Tufts University’s Wuzee Traditional Dance Group and Myles Gui ’21 for a festive night of song and dance. There will also be free boba and a buffet-style dinner from Formosa Taipei for attendees at the end of the show.

Creative Arts Award Ceremony and Artist Talk: Fred Wilson Tues., Mar. 3, 2020, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m., Sachar International Center, Wasserman Cinematheque Fred Wilson will be receiving the 20192020 Creative Arts Award. Ron Liebowitz and Dean Dorothy Hodgson will be leading the ceremony. Afterwards, Fred Wilson will answer questions from the audience. Wilson uses art to challenge assumptions about history, culture, and race. He previously received the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Grant.

“This Is My Brave” Thurs., March 5, 7 - 8:30 p.m., Shapiro Campus Center Theater Hosted by the Dean of Students Office and Health and Wellness Program, “This is My Brave” is a program aiming to create positive conversation surrounding mental health, with students sharing stories using creative expression. During the performance, there will be eight to 10 college students living with or affected by someone who is affected by mental health performing various presentations including essays, music, poetry and comedy. Resources on-site will be available during and after the program.

MusicUnitesUS Preview: Betsayda Machado—The Voice of Venezuela Wed., Mar. 4, 2020, 12 - 1 p.m., Mandel Center for the Humanities Atrium Vocalist Betsayda Machado and her Venezuelan Afro-Soul tambor ensemble will conduct an informal performance. A lunch buffet will follow the preview.

Artist Lecture: Shterna Goldbloom Wed., Mar. 4, 2020, 5 - 8 p.m., Epstein Gallery Shterna Goldbloom will be discussing her work titled “Ich Bin Di Sitra Achra (I Am the Other).” In this piece Goldbloom uses photographic self-portraits to highlight her memories and experiences as a result of her Hasidic upbringing using historical and invented characters. Her photographs create an expression of self as a queer Jewish woman. She blends images of tradition and heresy therefore “giving agency to those who might otherwise be obscured.”

-Compiled by Shruthi Manjunath and Polina Potochevska


February 28, 2020

The Brandeis Hoot 13

Why the East Closet needs some TLC By Polina Potochevska editor

It seems to be well-known that Brandeis does not have a lot of storage space, especially for things as large and bulky as club equipment. As a campus of over 250 clubs and growing every year, there’s a lot of stuff to keep track and take care of. For some clubs, however, Brandeis offers the East Closet as a safe haven for costumes, speakers, art supplies and more. Speaking as the president of the Brandeis Ballet Club, the East Closet is a saving grace that allows our club to store its many, many boxes of tutus and costumes, along with major props like the fake presents and Christmas tree that you see on stage during our annual performance of “The Nutcracker.” As an Editor-in-Chief of The Brandeis Hoot, we are lucky to share an office space (the Brandeis Media Coalition) with plenty of drawers and tables to store whatever we need. However, the Ballet Club does not have its own office and needs to rely on communal spaces such as the East Closet to keep our items together and safe. As convenient as it is to have a space where these large boxes can stay, the East Closet itself is in need of some serious tender loving care. Located in— you guessed it—East Quad, or more specifically, the basement of Pomerantz right by the laundry room, the East Closet is in

a bit of an awkward location, far from the Shapiro Student Center (SCC) and a steep hill’s distance from the Usdan Student Center, two locations where we often hold our performances and events. For my club, it means either taking 10 trips carrying large boxes of tutus to either location, or begging someone with a car for help. To access the East Closet, club members need to sign in at the Intercultural Center (ICC), which is right across the way and pretty convenient. But if the ICC is closed or holding meetings, students need to either walk to the Department of Community Living (DCL) office in Usdan, or even the Department of Student Activities (DSA) office all the way in the SCC to get the key. The worst part is that there is no way to figure this out online, so there have been multiple times where I have made the trek from where I live in Ziv Quad to East, only to discover that I need to walk back to the SCC to get the key to the Closet, and then had to walk to East and back again to the SCC to return the key. There should be a more accessible and convenient system to find out where to get the key to unlock the Closet. The East Closet, since it is close to the laundry room and possibly the boiler room as well, is extremely hot. The temperature in the closet is always stifling, and makes it difficult to spend more than 10 minutes in there, which can be difficult when taking in-

ventory for example, or searching for a specific item. While this cannot necessarily be avoided, the pipes in the closet that drip on club’s items and get them either wet, moldy or completely destroyed, is an avoidable problem that just hasn’t been given attention yet. And it should be, immediately. I want to thank the DSA for beginning the process of organizing all of the clubs and items within the East Closet, and hope that in the coming years it will appear more organized, with fewer random art supplies and flyers strewn across its cement floors. There are many cubbies filled with seemingly random and disorganized items that are not accounted for, taking up space for clubs that actually need to use the space and use it often. I also hope that the problematic pipes will be fixed and the entire space will be cleaned so that students can feel secure that their A-Board funded items will be kept safe and unharmed. My one additional major qualm to the East Closet is the matter of the bicycles. Currently in the East Closet, there are probably over 30 bikes laying against cubbies, on the floor, up against the light switches and blocking walkways. Earlier this semester, the Ballet Club’s cubby was completely blocked off by these bikes, and we needed five of our club members to help rearrange the bikes so that we could access our items. This is unacceptable.


The bikes are blocking the way to get further inside the Closet, thus making them a major safety hazard, as the Closet is extremely dark and you typically need to walk in the dark to reach the light switch for the previous section of the Closet that you walk through. I was able to climb over the bicycles to reach light switches and move them around to clear a path for my own cubby, but I am cognizant of the fact that this is not true for everyone. These bikes, also known as ‘Deis Bikes, were purchased using the Brandeis Sustainability Fund in 2011, according to a BrandeisNow brief. ‘Deis Bikes was a bicycle-sharing and rental program that actually began in 2009, but what was meant to be a sustainability project, according to the article, turned into a huge waste of space in the basement of a sophomore residence hall. I think this program is a great idea, and I am sure there are many students who would be interested in using or renting these bikes to use around the Brandeis campus nowadays. To me, it seems like a waste of resources. I cannot imagine that it was a low cost to purchase these bicycles, and they could be much

better utilized outside than in the East Closet, getting covered in dust and blocking other clubs from accessing their important items. If we are not going to use them for the purpose that Brandeis purchased them for, then they shouldn’t be in the East Closet. Best case scenario, they could be rented out by students again, like they were meant to be in the first place. If for some reason that isn’t possible, perhaps they could be donated to a group that would appreciate having them. For many clubs, the East Closet is a necessity, but it can be very annoying to make use of the space, given the barriers in sometimes accessing the key, being able to keep items safe from leaky pipes and accessibility when items such as bicycles are in the way of cubbies. I hope that the DSA can make the East Closet one of its priorities, as many clubs rely on the East Closet and consider it a priority to keep items there. And let’s get rid of those bikes and put them to use on campus! Editor’s note: Deputy Copyeditor Madeline Rousell is a member of Brandeis Ballet Club and did not contribute to the editing of this article.

I cannot believe this is even a debate: nutritional hegemony and its evil harbingers By Joey Kornman staff

Soup is not food. When I say “soup is not food,” I am in no way saying that soup is not delicious or nutritious. On the contrary, I am an ardent supporter of dipping grilled cheese in a nice tomato soup or getting through a rough cold with a bowl of chicken-noodle soup. What I mean is that soup is a drink and not a food. Now, I know you’re sitting there thinking, “Soup is a liquid, sure, but why does that matter?” We’ll get there in time, but now that, based on your question, I clearly have you intrigued, let me offer some hypotheticals for you to think about: Is a milkshake a food or a drink? What separates a condiment from a dressing from a spread? Where is the line between candy, chocolate and dessert? Can you believe it’s not butter?

These questions plague me on a daily basis. Sometimes I lie awake in bed, knowing that I have a class in six hours, tormented by these distinctions. Eventually, I take some Nyquil or some melatonin if it seems to be a particularly traumatizing thought experiment, only to have a nightmare about the same subject. Anyway, back to the topic at hand: Liquids are not foods. Sure, you can argue that the noodles that float in a broth are food, but the soup itself is not food. And this argument, off base as it may be, elucidates the importance of this issue, elevating it beyond mere pedantry. Life is all about choices. There are few worse things than biting into something expecting it to be soft only to be greeted by an unwelcome crunch or biting into a presumed hard food only for it to give under the strength of your jaw. We separate the things we in-

gest so that we know what we are getting into in advance to avoid such problems. When I take a sip of orange juice (or OJ for all you “cool cats” out there) and am affronted by a smattering of pulp, I feel like it might as well not be a juice anymore. Food is food, and drinks are drinks. When you start to break down the barriers between these (ideally) wholly-divorced things, as is done in the case of soup, you throw the world into chaos. One day it’s a little bit of pulp in my juice, the next day my glass has an unpeeled orange in it. By blurring the lines between food and drink, one moves society closer and closer toward nutritional hegemony. I certainly do not want all of my food intake to consist of gray slop, but I’m not so certain that all you “soup-truthers” hold the same sentiments. If anyone reading this disagrees,

feel free to dump a scalding bowl of soup into my lap. On second thought, maybe just swap my glass of soda or juice or

water at lunch for a glass with an orange in it—that way I’ll know you read this article and won’t have to take a trip to the ER.



The Brandeis Hoot

On #ElectHer: the progress of women in politics By Lydia Begag, Alison Hagani and Eliza Welty specials to the hoot

On March 15, the Department of Politics and the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program will host Brandeis’s first #ElectHer Conference, where female-identifying students will be trained on how to run for student government or political office. This event illuminates the importance of elevating women in politics and will extend support to the women surrounding us, from our peers to our mentors, when they decide to enter the political arena. While the #ElectHer workshop focuses on the impact women can have in local politics, it represents a broader issue: the shared struggle of women deciding to enter the political world. We want to highlight the history of women in electoral America, what politics looks like for us currently and finally, despite progress having been made, the work that is left to do. Women’s electoral roots in the United States and historical context play a key role for women in office. With the rise of first-wave feminism in the 19th century, women in electoral politics established a foundation for their successors. The 1848 Seneca Falls Convention was the first women’s rights convention in U.S. history, launching the important discussion of female suffrage. With the incremental integration of American women into politics, the 19th Amendment was ratified in 1920, granting white women the right to vote. Women of color were left in the dust and did not begin to

gain suffrage until 1965. Despite this setback, political strides were made. In 1938, Crystal Dreda Bird Fauset became the first black woman elected to a state legislature in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Patsy Takemoto Mink, whose daughter came to speak on campus last semester, was the first Asian Pacific Islander woman elected to state legislature in 1962. As the stigmas started to diminish throughout history, the diversity of women running for office became more noticeable. In the midst of their differences— ideology, race, sexual orientation, political background—these female politicians share the difficulty not just of holding political office but also getting elected. It’s no secret that navigating politics has historically been (and continues to be) male dominated. The effects this phenomenon has on potential female candidates are especially present today. In 2018, a record number of women ran for office, broke barriers and won. Debra Haaland and Sharice Davids became the first Native American women elected to Congress, Kyrsten Sinema became the first openly bisexual person elected to the Senate, Kristi Noem became the first woman to be elected governor of South Dakota, and Ayanna Pressley became the first black woman to represent Massachusetts in the House of Representatives. And women’s electoral success has not been limited to these high-profile cases. Across the country, first-time candidates declared their candidacies for offices of all levels, causing 2018 to be designated another “Year of the Woman,” an homage to women’s electoral successes in 1992. But this success has come in


spite of real systemic barriers to women’s involvement in a political atmosphere built by and for men. Voters are more likely to favor “masculine” characteristics like confidence, power and strength on security issues over “feminine” ones like compassion, ability to collaborate and strength on family issues. Fewer educational opportunities and lower workforce participation decreases the likelihood of running for office. Socialization of women and girls reinforces traditional gender roles and limits their own perceptions of leadership potential at a young age. These have played a role in the paucity of women running for office, but they are not concrete. The results from 2018 show that efforts to expand representation are succeeding, as women are stepping up to serve at unprecedented levels. Despite substantial growth, the future of women’s political participation is still in need of further progress. Understanding the gender gap in political ambition and its impact on female participation should inform reform efforts. Resistance doesn’t always require substantial commitment and concentration. Efforts towards enhancing the number of women in politics can be achieved through simple support and encouragement to budding female leaders. Studies have demonstrated the importance of proactively supporting women in their political pursuits. Those who are encouraged to run for political office by others are more likely to consider running and run for political office. Given lower feelings of qualifications among women, progress can be found simply in uplifting the work of women and encouraging women to own their accomplishments and qualifications. We invite all members of the Brandeis community to join us in this practice of uplifting and supporting women. Brandeis University’s #ElectHer Conference seeks to start a tradition of greater community support to female leaders. We encourage all women and allies to attend the March 15 workshop from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the International Lounge to learn more about running for political office and progressing women’s political ambition. Interested students can register through: jfe/form/SV_71ERCEiTZiRa9y5.

February 28, 2020

Tommy Time Welcome to the first Tommy Time: an anonymous Q&A column where I will answer all of your questions to the best of my ability, possibly with some humor here and there! Considering this is the first one, I want to make it special and take the time to answer this question seriously. After all, if I am going to be a philosophy major, I may as well be serious about it while I do not need to worry about finding a job and providing for a family!

By Thomas Pickering staff

For relationships, do opposites attract or are people who are similar to each other better suited for each other…? I am of the opinion that we often come to think of false rules that we then apply to our lives. We create certain social paradigms that somehow become the established norm of how we live and make decisions. Such as the idea of having to wait before finding someone else after a breakup or, as this question asks, finding someone who is opposite to us. After all, “opposites attract,” don’t they? Well, I hate being this person but I find it can go both ways. What I find ridiculous, however, is the notion that this is how dating “should be.” Dating is not bound by social conventions or phrases and people who argue that it is have never felt a connection to someone they truly care about. Unfortunately, people in this world seem not to care about themselves or others deeply, but instead of their perception and how others see them. We make decisions to make us seem cool or more popular or more likeable but in reality, we know we are not making ourselves happy. We are confronted with two options every single second of our lives. Do we choose to live out of fear or out of love? I think most people choose to live out of fear and mask it as making choices out of “practicality.” To that I call B.S. Making decisions out of fear is letting others control us. It forces us to worry about how others see us and bases our worth on external perceptions of ourselves. These kinds of decisions and attitudes toward life corral us into the paradigm of social rules and conventions. It guides us into thinking, “oh, he or she is too similar to me to be anything more than a friend.” Because that person is not wild and crazy enough or not different enough from me it will not be a good relationship or one worth pursuing. That person that is similar to me can only be a friend. This wave of thinking comes from choosing to live life out of fear, of choosing to live

life with our eyes closed and letting others guide us down a hall of mirrors where they all seem to distort us and make us seem unattractive. That is why we must choose love when it comes to living our lives. We must choose to look ourselves in the mirror in the morning and say, I will make decisions that make me happy. Sure, others may see it as weird but as long as I follow my heart, I know I am making the right decision. When we search for a partner, we must follow our hearts. It does not matter if there “has not been enough time between relationships” or “they are too similar,” what matters is if it feels right. When you follow your heart, it will take you to places you never thought possible. Maybe it will lead you to someone who is the complete opposite of you or maybe it will lead you to someone so similar that in public strangers think you are twins. Whoever it leads you to will open your eyes and teach you things about yourself you could never see in the mirror. Whether this person is drastically different or strikingly similar, if you choose to live your life out of love your life will change for the better. No sooner after you make that first choice will the hall of mirrors others were guiding you down blow away and you’ll be left in a museum of beautiful self-portraits. The growth, value, meaning, love and prosperity of a relationship is not bound by the idea that “opposites attract.” A relationship with all those qualities comes from two people living their lives out of love and not fear. If your partner is as different to you as an apple is to an orange or as similar to you as can be, what defines a good relationship is how you got there. So, when you are looking across Sherm at a cute boy or girl, do not analyze how your heart feels and choose to live out of fear, fear of rejection or others’ opinions, but rather, listen to your heart. Hear what it has to tell you, and make the decision that makes you happy; choose love, because that is where healthy relationships are.

Do you want your question answered? Submit one here or find it on The Brandeis Hoot’s Facebook page. All questions are anonymous.

February 28, 2020

The Brandeis Hoot


Recognizing the sport of art making By Aaron LaFauci editor

When I was a kid, I had a very clear idea of what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to be an artist, a painter and an animator. I wanted to create the things I was watching on Cartoon Network. I wanted to make stories and and have a lot of people see them. It also happens that I wanted to be a chef, but when my doctor asked 10-year-old me what I wanted to be when I grew up, she prefaced my response by saying “my good-for-nothing son is a chef, he doesn’t make a dime.” I backed off that idea pretty quickly. One of the problems with growing up in neoliberal hell is that the impulse to dream goes unchecked just long enough for the impending societal expectations to hit like an oil tanker on the freeway. In kindergarten, I remember my teacher giving a lesson on jobs. The kids got to say what they wanted to become, and titles like firefighter, construction worker, police officer, painter and president of the United States all made it on the list. Can you imagine that? If people in my suburban sphere had told their parents they wanted to be a construction worker or a career firefighter when they grew up, they would be laughed out of the room. “Good luck living on the streets!” Existential fear among the middle class is very real. It is cute when a little kid draws a sh*tty picture with his little crayons, but when a gross pubescent starts showing signs of taking the non-business world seriously, the alarms start to go off and the platitudes come out. “That’s not practical.” “You won’t make very much

money, and I know you won’t be able to live like that.” “You’ll have plenty of time to pursue that once you have your retirement squared away.” “Why don’t you just do your hobby on the side in your spare time?” That last one gets me the most. Yeah, maybe I could be satisfied with “spare time” art if I were into, like, knitting or something, but my drive to create goes deeper than arts and crafts. People like me want to create art that captivates, art that elicits a response that goes a little deeper than, “Oh, that’s nice!” We want to make something that somebody would want to print out and hang on their wall or on a bookshelf. We want to achieve a certain level of aesthetic or narrative mastery. Artwork like this requires time and focus. Brandeis offers creative writing and studio programs, but they are severely underfunded and not very demanding. Most students take these classes as stress relievers and hobby fulfillers. Truly demanding art classes just wouldn’t work with a college student’s schedule, and that is because popular art is inherently at odds with academia. You don’t improve at art in the same way you succeed in the classroom. You don’t learn how to draw by memorizing flashcards and drilling vocabulary. There just isn’t a test for it. The university class is a one-and-done affair, but improving artistically requires iteration and, ultimately, repeated failure. An academic can’t afford to fail more than a couple times in a given class, and many students aim to maintain that perfect 4.0 across all eight semesters. Getting good at writing or drawing is an exercise more akin

to playing an instrument or succeeding at sports than earning good grades in the classroom. You can think critically about basketball all you want, but that will only get you so far on the court. When somebody passes to you, your body—not your brain—has to know what to do in order to catch the ball and do something meaningful with it. You achieve this skill through drills and practice. Different writers and painters will give all kinds of advice about improving, but the core of their advice will be fundamentally the same: you have to continuously write or draw. The art must be ingrained in your muscles. You have to be able to force yourself to sit down and crank out the basic stuff without thinking too hard.

The improvement is incremental, and it requires immersion. Sure, maybe some especially gifted folks can accomplish rigorous art training while also working a job and succeeding in classes without burning out. For most people, however, pure talent and the willpower to endure insane scheduling aren’t reality. It’s especially not possible with the mental clutter of decades of being told that your dream is “not practical” bearing down on you. Art is practical, of course. Practical in the most literal sense of the word. With time and practice, people can train their bodies to create anything their hearts desire—the gratification just isn’t instantaneous. Grappling with that fact is the true path of the artist.

We need to stop filling our kids with this idea that only the supremely talented can make a life out of the pursuit of creativity, or that art is inherently worthless to society. That dogma is useless mental junk that only serves to weigh down the brain. The skills that artistic training can bestow, like the ability to delay gratification, to iterate meaningfully and to confront failure, are all incredibly useful in every field. They are life skills. Our society is so concerned with grade point averages and so-called “practical knowledge” that we forget the essence of self improvement. Of course, it would also help if our society wasn’t a late capitalist dystopia, but that is a can of worms to open another time.


The drawbacks of dining By John Fornagiel editor

Last summer, I found myself binge-watching Gordon Ramsay’s “Hell’s Kitchen” or “Kitchen Nightmares” all the time. It could be because I really enjoy cooking, or maybe it was the catharsis of him yelling at inadequate people, who knows. Although it’s hilarious to watch his outbursts, there is an important reason for them: food poisoning. This often occurs when there is an infectious bacteria or virus in your gut because of contaminated food or water. This often happens when meat or fish is undercooked, leaving some infectious bacteria or viruses. The symptoms of food poisoning vary based on the source of contamination. However, there are a lot of commonalities. General ones include: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. In severe cases, you can also have a fever of over 102 degrees Fahrenheit. The onset of these fevers vary from a few hours after ingestion to a few weeks after ingestion. The impression that people have about food poisoning is that it is not very harmful and doesn’t pose a big threat. This is likely because of how common it is, with over three million cases in the United States per year alone. Al-

though it is true that food poisoning does not escalate to a lethal stage frequently, there are cases where it has escalated to the point of being fatal. There are a few main causes of death associated with food poisoning, the biggest being dehydration. Vomiting and diarrhea alone are enough to lead to dehydration very quickly. However, when coupled with people not drinking water due to a loss of appetite and abdominal pain, the situation goes from bad to worse. Signs of dehydration include dry mouth, excessive thirst, decreased urine output and headache. Although this is much easier said than done in some cases, the only surefire way to combat dehydration is by simply drinking fluids. If this is not possible, then you may be sent to the hospital and hooked up to an IV to replenish fluids. Another risk factor that can lead to death is a weakened immune system when someone is infected. When someone has a weak immune system, their body is usually not strong enough to fight the invading organisms. Children, the elderly and people with HIV are the major groups of people that have weak immune systems. These groups should be especially careful when deciding which foods to eat. Safer foods are generally fresher, cooked for longer and are refrigerated prop-

erly. Needless to say, there are certainly some complications that can occur with food poisoning that can turn a simple illness into a life-threatening disaster. In these cases, you should seek a doctor immediately. These cases include dehydration, a temperature above 100.4 degrees, bloody vomit or stool or any neurological symptoms such as blurry vision and tingling in the arms. Thankfully, most cases will resolve themselves within a few days. However, there are some cases of bacterial food poisoning where antibiotics can expedite the recovery process. If symptoms are especially severe, you should visit the doctor and begin treatment as soon as you can. In most cases though, treatment will simply involve replacing the fluids lost from either vomiting or diarrhea. These can be easily replaced through juices and water.Luckily, I have never had the pleasure of going into one of the restaurants featured on “Kitchen Nightmares,” so I have not caught any infections myself. However, while going out to other restaurants or even cooking for yourself at home, it is essential to check your meal before eating to make sure that it is safe to eat. In many cases, preventing food poisoning in the first place can be as simple as inspecting what you are about to eat. Things to be checking for on

your dinner plate are raw meat, eggs, fish and shellfish. Unpasteurized milk and juices can also frequently cause food poisoning. So as it turns out, Ramsay does indeed have a point when it comes to yelling at people for undercooking their food. By properly checking your meal to see if it is cooked throughout, you can easily prevent food poisoning in the first place. By understanding the complications that can arise and by going to the doctor for any cases, you can make your

dining experience just that much better, and protect yourself from the harmful hands of a poor chef. (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.)



The Brandeis Hoot

February 28, 2020

What do two thousand calories look like?: the cookie edition

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

By Sasha Skarboviychuk editor

Moving on to another favorite of mine—Exhibit B: the Original Chips Ahoy. Let me start this by saying that people who prefer the chewy version are monsters. Don’t get me wrong, I, like any other normal human being, love chewy cookies, but the Chips Ahoy “chewy” cookies are honestly just soggy and gross. I’m pretty sure they are made by throwing the regular ones in water and leaving them there for 12 hours. I like chewy cookies as much as any other sane person, but that is just soggy snot. A pathetic excuse of a cookie. And I know that most people at Brandeis agree with me, because whenever the C-Store has nothing left, the one thing that will definitely still be there are those chewy cookies. The regular chocolate chip cookies make for a great snack and only cost you 160 calories per three cookies, which is only 53.33 calories per cookie. Which means in total I could eat 37.5 cookies to reach the 2,000 calorie mark, just like the regular Oreos. In other words, a day’s worth of food is essentially a box of cookies. Which isn’t great, but at least they taste good, right?

Exhibit D: Pepperidge Farm’s Milano milk chocolate cookies, is a weird one. I have nothing bad to say about these cookies, but I also don’t have anything good to say about them. This must say something right? They are just too plain to be remembered, which isn’t great for a cookie. Imagine being forgotten 10 seconds after being eaten; it must not be a great feeling. As with most other cookies, the serving size is three cookies, but this time, they will cost you 170 calories per serving. I’m not going to lie, I found this very surprising: between Chips Ahoy and Oreos, I’d expect these to have the least amount of calories as I always thought these are the “healthy cookies.” But these have 3.33 more calories per cookie; I guess you learn something new every day. This means that if you wanted to spend a day eating nothing but the milk chocolate Milanos, you could eat a little over 35 cookies: around two and a half packs. But hey, at least you can always find them at the C-Store, and only for double their normal price!

Up next is an American classic. Exhibit C: Cheez-It crackers. It is Exhibit A: Oreos, the ultimate not surprising that I am not a fan cookies. In this case with three of this American classic. They’re different levels of stuffing: regujust way too salty and cheesy, lar, “Double Stuf ” and “The Most just like almost all other “classic” Stuf.” I love Oreos; they really are foods. (Do people have taste buds great cookies. As much as I love here? Or are they killed by all the the classic Oreos, which will cost PHOTOS BY SASHA SKARBOVIYCHUK/THE HOOT genetically modified food?) When you 160 calories per three-cookie And finally, last but not least, I first tried these, I thought my serving, recently I’ve been leanExhibit E: Pepperidge Farm’s tongue was going to fall off from ing more toward the Double Stuf Goldfish, in the classic Cheddar the amount of favor that was in oreos, which are 140 calories per flavor. After the less than imprestwo-cookie serving. A few days them. Can you water down cracksive Milano cookies, the Goldfish ago, I also noticed that the limited ers? Because they desperately truly have my heart. They are the edition The Most Stuf Oreos are need it. In terms of calories, they perfect bite-size size, the perfect— back, so I decided that it would aren’t too bad; they are only 150 be fun to try them. I was not imtotally natural-looking—orange calories per serving. What gets to pressed: it’s bad enough they are color and are truly a treat for my me though is that a serving is 30 110 calories per cookie (as opgrams, or about 27 crackers. Who taste buds. I will not comment posed to 53.33 calories in the regcan eat 27 of those in one sitting on any of the other flavors, beular and 70 calories in the Douis a question for another day, but cause apparently I have been “too ble Stuf), but when you bite into who in their right mind counts negative” in my reviews, so I will them, all that stuf oozes out from how many crackers they eat? just say that there is a reason why the rest of the sides. That is not Imagine sitting there, studying the classic flavor is classic. The fun, and quite frankly, there is just for a midterm on a cold February portion is also pretty generous: not enough cookie for the amount evening, and counting how many 55 cookies for only 140 calories! of cream, and I like the cream. I’ll crackers you are eating. If I did be sticking to my 70-calorie DouThat works out to around 2.5 calmy math correctly, a single crackble Stuf oreos, and if I ever decide ories per cookie. That means that er has 5.56 calories which means to spend a day eating just them, I if I want to spend an entire day that to get to the average daily can eat 28.5 oreos, which is a liteating only Goldfish, I can eat 800 limit of food, you need to eat 360 tle scary. But if I want more oreof them! I can imagine my doccrackers. Now that is insane. And os, I could eat 37.5 regular oreos tor would have a few things to say at this point I would like to point to reach the 2,000 calorie mark. about this, but I think it would be out that I am not recommending If you do decide that you want to pretty fun. And think about how trying to eat 360 Cheez-Its in a drown in cream, you can eat 18.2 orange your mouth will become. single day. I am not responsible Most Stuf oreos. Don’t forget the for your adult decisions. Best snack in the C-Store. milk! In conclusion, I would like to reiterate that all these calculations have been done for theoretical purposes and not for experimental use in everyday life. Editor’s note: This is the third part of the series “What do 2,000 calories look like?”

SSIS advice column By SSIS special to the hoot

“Are you secretly judging me when I walk into the office?” This is a completely understandable question. It is so valid to feel uncertainty when entering a space that might not be super familiar to you and in which vulnerable topics can be covered. But we can say with certainty that oh my goodness, NO! We are not judging you at all! To become an SSIS member, an individual must go through a very thorough process, part of which is ensuring that that individual is in fact completely non-judgemental when it comes to things relating to the content matter we work with. SSIS prides ourselves on being a safe and sex positive place, and every single one of us is here to empower the people on this campus to take pride in and feel good about whatever sexuality means

Welcome back to the SSIS column, where we answer any and all of Brandeis students’ questions about sex, sexuality, identity and relationships. If you have a question you’d like answered in our next column, email or leave a question in the Google Form link on the Student Sexuality Information Service Facebook page. Any and all questions are welcome: there are no bad, stupid, or weird questions! (Note: These answers are good-faith attempts by SSIS to be helpful to the Brandeis community, and are by no means exhaustive or to be taken as universal. If these answers don’t resonate with you, either pay them no mind, or reach out to us with suggestions for improvement!) to them. We go through rigorous training to understand the nuances and complexity of sexuality and sexual health so that we can better support students and their needs. Humans are multi-faceted, and sex and sexuality are multi-faceted; as such, we truly want to do everything we can to serve and support the Brandeis community, regardless of the reason you’re walking through our door. “How do I get a job at SSIS?” This is a great question and we are so glad you asked! To start, we want to make sure we clarify that (at least for the time being) SSIS is a volunteer position, so our members unfortunately do not receive payment. If you are interested in becoming an SSIS volunteer, our applications go out Feb. 24 and there is no prior experience nec-

essary! To fill out an application, you will have to come to our office, located in the SCC Room 328 and fill it out there to ensure confidentiality. Every applicant receives an alias that you will use throughout the application process, as the process is completely anonymous. You are welcome to come during any of our office hours to fill out the application. If none of our office hours work for you, then you are encouraged to text us at our texting service which is 586-ASK-SSIS and set up an after hours appointment! This can be in the evenings, weekends, etc. We usually recommend setting aside about half an hour to fill out the application. Once you fill out an application, you will be asked to sign up for several interview times that you are available. The interview is 30 minutes long and will also be in

our office. After that, we will contact you in April to let you know if you have been selected! We want to note that if you do get selected to be an SSIS volunteer, you are required to attend a training that takes place the last week of summer before classes

start in the fall. During this training, you will learn all of the information and skills necessary to become an SSIS volunteer, because no prior experience is necessary! Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any other questions about SSIS or applying!



February 28, 2020

The Brandeis Hoot 17

‘The Slow Rush’ is a slow burn

By Grace Zhou editor

It’s been five long years since the release of “Currents,” Tame Impala’s cult favorite, critically acclaimed, third full-length album. Now, with “The Slow Rush,” Kevin Parker––the creator of and mastermind behind Tame Impala––has returned. This long-awaited project, released to much anticipation on Valentine’s Day, is very much a logical progression to Parker’s discography: Long gone are the 60s-inspired, guitar-heavy, psychedelic days of his early works; here, Parker foregrounds synths

and disco-friendly percussion, fully embracing the 80s pop sounds that he previously explored on “Currents.” Indeed, “The Slow Rush” is beautifully engineered and mixed, its instrumentals painstakingly produced, layered, then warped in Parker’s signature reverb and tremolo. The final result is a lush, trippy, pleasant-to-listen-to album. But, for all its meticulous craftsmanship, “The Slow Rush” is disappointingly unspectacular, devoid of any engaging, captivating musical passages that have come to define Kevin Parker’s career. The album’s biggest offense is simply being boring. Parker has long mastered unexpected beat


switches, earning a reputation for his breathtaking juxtapositions of contrasting motifs. It’s perhaps best exemplified in the 2015 song “Let It Happen,” when the track’s haunting synths begin to skip like a record glitch, only for Parker to suddenly introduce the sounds of swelling strings and distorted gibberish vocals. Sadly, “The Slow Rush” is missing these kinds of punchy moments––though it’s not for lack of trying. Near the last minute of “Breathe Deeper,” for instance, Parker takes the song’s dancey, syncopated bass line and reinterprets it in slow, icy synths. It’s a nice outro altogether, but the effect doesn’t quite land––the shift is too restrained and not quite commanding enough to grab the attention of the listener. In fact, most tracks refuse to germinate much beyond their opening bars, oftentimes blandly repeating the same themes over and over. For listeners, it amounts to a sort of auditory blue balls, where it often feels like a song is about to blossom into some grand sonic burst only to fizzle out. To some degree, the meandering seems intentional. As implied through the lyrics, and even in the project’s oxymoronic title, “The Slow Rush” is a rumination on the passing of time: “We’re on a rollercoaster stuck on its loop-de-loop,” Parker croons through tremolo on the album’s opener “One More Year.” Perhaps Parker intended for the songs’ structure to similarly allude to time’s unreliable pace, using repetition to mirror


how life can seem endlessly cyclic or “stuck on its loop-de-loop.” Though drawn-out, monotonous segments make for rather lackluster music, the album’s thematic unity almost justifies its songs’ shapeless construction. Almost. It’s worth reemphasizing that “The Slow Rush” is still enjoyable for its sounds and vibe in spite of its overall lethargy. The tracks “Breathe Deeper” and “Is It True” are funky and head-bob-worthy. Lyrics from the eternally optimistic “On Track” should resonate with any college student: “More than a minor setback / But strictly speaking, I’m still on track / And all of my dreams are still in sight.” Then there’s “Instant Destiny” and “Tomorrow’s Dust,” which have a sun-drenched, ethereal feel and are ornamented with glittering arpeggiated trills. Even though not

much on this project stood out to me on my first listen, the more I revisit this album, the more details I can find to appreciate. All things considered, “The Slow Rush” is Tame Impala’s weakest release yet, the whole thing being rather dull and amorphous. But it’s not enough to make me give up on Kevin Parker. At the very least, it’s brilliantly produced and a consistent experience front to back––the kind of album that warrants several relistens, even though most of the songs fall a bit flat. More importantly, “The Slow Rush” has a promising vision, and it makes me excited to see where Parker might go from here. So, here’s hoping that Tame Impala’s next project will be less wandering and more tightly constructed––and that it won’t take another five years to release.

New semester, new Rose By Aaron LaFauci editor

The Thursday before break, Feb. 13, was a big day for the Rose Art Museum. The building opened its doors to the public for the first time this semester for a catered opening celebration.The Rose is typically a quiet, empty place, but this was not the case on opening night. Huge crowds of visitors began to fill the galleries shortly after 6 p.m., enticed by the promise of a night of free gallery viewing and refreshments. As usual, the gallery pieces have received an overhaul since last semester. Most of the previous art on display has been rotated out for different works from the museum’s vast collection, and the large hall in the back has been given over to a brand new exhibition. This semester’s exhibition, Dora Garcia’s “Love with Obstacles,” introduces a radical and vibrant new medium of expression to the museum’s usually static collection: performance! Wednesdays through Fridays from noon to two (noon to three on weekends), paid performers from the Brandeis student body and faculty will be occupying positions in the exhibition hall. While Garcia’s showcase forms the heart of this semester’s Rose experience, attendees will likely be drawn to another piece first, Dominic McGill’s “Project for a New American Century.” The work is hard to ignore: suspended by wires across from the museum’s main doors, “Project” is comprised of a single sheet of looped paper covered in graphite drawings and slogans. The subject matter becomes readily apparent

even before visitors see the piece’s title. Images of atomic mushroom clouds, iconography of the fall of British Empire and the grandly stenciled “DEATH STRUGGLE BETWEEN FREEDOM & COMMUNISM” strongly indicate its purpose. The piece is a violent ode to the recently deceased 20th century. The work presents a palimpsestic vision of the sweeping failures of the decade. Like the history itself, the manuscript is impossible to take in all at once, and attempting to read the whole thing is a recipe for nausea. The sweeping scroll is taped together at both ends and loops in on itself, creating a shaded alcove that visitors are encouraged to enter. Despite being located within the open space of a lit gallery floor, the space manages to create a high degree of solitude. Within is a darkly rendered forest wreathed in mists, spirits and a large mother spider clutching an egg sack. The display is an unforgettable and unnerving experience the likes of which is rarely seen in any art museum, let alone the Rose. I am shocked that the piece has survived beyond opening day. A gallery attendant I spoke to indicated that a good deal of her energy was spent making sure visitors did not bump into the installation. Folks entering the alcove are asked to remove all bulky coats, hats and scarves to reduce the chance of destructive collision. Given that “Project” is literally a pencil drawing on paper tied to the ceiling, this caution is warranted. Visitors exploring the Rose are required to be more cognizant of how they move through the gallery spaces in general this semester. Upon entering the main

exhibition hall, one notices immediately two white painted rings on the floor, as well as a large floor sign warning against stepping on or within them. During performance hours, these circles act as stages for the three “Love and Obstacles” performers on duty. Two performers occupy the larger ring, and are instructed by Dora Garcia and an alluring trainer (sources tell me his name is Michelangelo) to maintain eye contact for the duration of shift. One of the actresses, Marissa Small ’21, described the experience as “a constant renegotiation of two bodies in space” and “very meditative.” “I got to a place by around 45 minutes where it felt like every atom in my body was being pulled towards Michelangelo. I kind of lost time itself—not just track of time, but the concept of time,” Small says in her notes about the performance. For most people, even momentary eye contact can be intense. It is not difficult to see why performers in a piece that requires hours of maintained eye contact might be greatly moved by the experience. To a voyeur, the experience is not exactly the same. I found it sort of creepy, at least at first. In a busy exhibition space packed with bodies, it can be difficult to tell the actors apart from the crowd, and this is undoubtedly an intentional effect. The performers orbit without ever being allowed to transcend the barrier of their ring. There is no embrace. In the smaller ring, a lone performer paces, sits, or stands while reading from a book of Russian feminist poetry. I am curious how the mood would play out on an empty day when the voice of the

reader could carry throughout the hall. Lining the walls surrounding the performance piece are documents and media relating to feminism and revolution handpicked by Garcia from the museum’s own archives. There is also a makeshift theater walled off to one side of the hall playing a film by Garcia about the Russian author and feminist Alexandra Kollontai. The parts I saw didn’t have much dialogue, so visitors should be prepared for a drawn out experience. The Lois Foster Gallery is not exactly the most comfortable place to be watching an art film, and in a way, that makes it perfect.

This article only covers a handful of the new experiences that inhabit the latest iteration of the Rose. The current displays are some of the most dynamic pieces the museum has offered in recent memory. It is not often that modern art museums offer such intimacy. You can really get up close to these pieces, and some of them include living, breathing people! If you have never bothered to visit, I highly encourage you to try and make it out at least once before graduation. The free food and drinks might be all used up, but now is still the best time to go.



The Brandeis Hoot

February 28, 2020

The Michigan Rattlers were delightfully decent By Emma Lichtenstein editor

The Michigan Rattlers are the perfect definition of white mediocrity. Don’t get me wrong, the band wasn’t bad. To certain midwestern tastes, the Rattlers probably have a pretty great sound, and they certainly know how to play. I was impressed to find that their live performance was similar in quality to the studio recordings, which can’t be said about many other bands. I also must admit that I had a good time at the concert itself, regardless of my reser-

vations about the music. The Rattlers are a folk band from Michigan, and while they can clearly rock out on stage— and draw some very enthusiastic fans—I found much of the experience lackluster, especially after a strong opening act. I had the chance to see the band on Feb. 9, in the upper level of the Middle East Restaurant in Cambridge. The venue seemed small at first, but the acoustics were great; the tiny room can hold a surprising amount of people. Even when the room was full of fans dancing and singing, the band felt like they were playing just for me. While the Rattlers themselves

put on a good performance, I must talk about the incredible act that came on before. Opening for the Michigan Rattlers was Brent Cowles. When he stepped onto the stage with nothing but messy hair and a guitar, I was skeptical. However, he blew me away with his first song, and I only got more invested from there. His voice is strong and his range is incredible. My favorite track of his was “Cold Times.” He seemed particularly excited about this one, and the crowd was as well. By the time the second and third choruses rolled around, more and more of the crowd started joining in. Cowles has a very different sound from the Rattlers, making the decision for him to open a bit strange. His talent is undeniable regardless. Plus, he’s another boy from the Midwest. When Cowles left the stage, the crowd was in high spirits. I was ready for the Rattlers to come on stage. The Rattlers have some very different sounds on their discography, ranging from soft to intense, but it was clear they came to rock. Unfortunately, their rock and roll vibe just didn’t fit with all their tracks. It also didn’t fit with the mellow vibe that Cowles set. On stage, the Michigan Rattlers had a variety of instruments to help contribute to the sound: a keyboard, a cello, a drumset, a guitar and the setlist was full of self-written songs. In an email to The Brandeis Hoot, lead singer Graham Young wrote, “I write all the songs primarily on guitar and then bring


them to the guys and they fill them in with their parts and we work on the arrangements together.” The band members all grew up together in Michigan, but the band didn’t officially form until Adam Reed (upright bass) and Young (vocals and guitar) moved to L.A., according to the band’s bio on Spotify. In an email sent to The Hoot, the band wrote that Christian Wilder (piano) moved out west to join them later on. Eventually the three of them moved back to Michigan, where Tony Audia (drums) then joined the band, completing the sound. The boys have certainly fig-

ured out their sound since then. A particularly good moment was during their hit, “Evergreen.” This track is one of their biggest songs on Spotify and a clear fan favorite. The crowd screamed the words back to the band, a joyous moment for both parties. The Rattlers are definitely worth seeing in concert if you’re a fan of their music. Again, they sound the exact same live as they did when I was listening to it on Spotify. Brent Cowles, however, demands a listen right away. His chill vibes are fantastic for sad boi hours, studying and offers just a generally pleasant music experience.

‘Shameless’ season 10: are politically charged shenanigans getting old? By Uma Jagwani staff

Somehow, even after 10 seasons, “Shameless” has been able to keep surprising us and also not surprising us. The show follows the Gallaghers, a family living in poverty in the south side of Chicago. With everyone back to their usual shenanigans (I use the term ironically because the show is about the unlikely ways a family like theirs survives), the show’s devoted audience (ahem, me) has grown attached to the characters that we have watched grow up for the last decade. This season seemed to invoke lower stakes at hand than the issues the Gallaghers usually deal with, which I would say only still works because after nine seasons I am fully invested in the lives of each Gallagher sibling. The show seems to be at a point where we

know the Gallaghers can survive anything, and knowing that does limit some of the suspense, however, the show delivered on its acting and writing even in this milder state. Being a dramedy, I’d say this season was more comedy than drama. While it does lack an element of suspense, I think the emphasized comedy does lend itself to a higher degree of social commentary, which feels necessary in America’s heightened political milieu. Things are never straight forward with the Gallaghers. Frank (William H. Macy) is back to his schemes as their professional resident-drunk-con-artist father. Frank is a modern pantomime and a more menacing version of Charlie Chaplin—the scammer version, as he embodies so much physical humor as well as Chaplin’s clever, resourceful nature.


He’s not the only one with problems: Debby (Emma Kenney) is in money trouble, and Ian (Cameron Monaghan) is in jail. Even with a gaping Fiona-shaped-hole now that star Emmy Rossum left the series, in the wake of her departure the rest of the Gallaghers show us that they don’t need Fiona’s parenting. The timelessly great thing about “Shameless” is that it follows a family that causes a bunch of ruckus—and can keep causing a ruckus for 10 seasons straight. Who needs Fiona when you have other reckless behavior to cover? Season 10 continually delivers on the central theme that has kept the show’s ironic moral integrity intact: shining a light into the underbelly of the American dream. “Shameless” is more relevant to today’s political climate, featuring a number of key issues in modern American society. Through various characters, the show encompasses middle-class America through humor and distills an underlying message that we cannot escape who we are. Ian and Mickey represent the LGBTQ community, and are two characters that you don’t expect to love because of their violent nature. Lip is now a dad! Yay, the DILF of our dreams and college-dropout-genius becomes a dad—another nod to the idea that you can’t change where you come from. Lip and Tammy’s new caregiver aunt is racist and an outwardly Trump supporter character who wears a particularly explicit shirt—the irony is too much to handle.


Meanwhile, Debby just wants to feel worth expensive things and accidentally becomes a sex worker when her union goes on strike to survive. Liam (Christian Isaiah), the youngest and only black brother in the Gallagher family, just wants to know how to be a black man in America and in this pursuit he finds a black relative to teach him. He teaches Liam poignant defenses against racism and about what to do when pulled over by a cop—“no reaching, no sudden movements.” Liam’s client takes the knee and blows up on Instagram, clearly an acknowledgement of Colin Kaepernick. Kev and V (Steve Howey and Shanola Hampton) fold in plot threads involving illegal abortions and V’s Obamacare saving underage girls who can’t get an abortion. The show has this ability to make these situations heart-wrenching and hilarious simultaneously—a mark of a true dramedy and a high-quality show. I do wonder, though, if “Shameless” and the ideas it represents could ever become stale, or if they

are able to adapt to the new societal buzzwords and engage with the current state of the nation. It seems that the poor often bear the brunt of these law changes and developments—an overarching idea made apparent through each one of the characters. “Shameless” allows us to make light of the oppressive nature of our society on minorities and those in a lower socio-economic range. I doubt the show would be as successful without its social commentary. While some of the critique of the show is that it gets repetitive, I don’t find the crazy occurrences of the Gallaghers dulled over the seasons. I’m still enthralled to see what each character I’ve grown to love does next, and what it means for the family and what it means for America. Surely, there is no dearth of television shows to watch, but “Shameless” is not all for kicks and giggles—it makes undeniably relevant comments on our society, which is worth a watch (especially when Showtime comes free with the Spotify student deal).

February 28, 2020


The Brandeis Hoot

The new ‘League of Legends’ card game is ‘Hearthstone,’ but better By Stewart Huang staff

There’s no denying that “Legends of Runeterra,” the card game spin-off of “League of Legends,” owes a lot to “Hearthstone.” There’s a mana system, which means that cards cost mana to be played, and each round (but not turn) you gain a new mana crystal allowing you to play higher-cost, stronger cards. There are two card types: spell cards and creature cards. Cards have four rarities: common, rare, epic and champion (champion cards contain the classic characters from “League of Legends” and are equivalent to legendary cards in “Hearthstone”). There’s an arena mode called “expedition” in which you draft a deck from a random selection of spells. The game is also highly polished in terms of its graphic and sound design—featuring fancy animations and voice acting—no doubt to compete with “Hearthstone’s” superb artistic representation. The gameplay, however, is much more interactive than “Hearthstone.” Although “Legends of Runeterra” is turn based, it has rounds in addition to turns. A player’s turn ends after playing a card, and the opponent can then play a card, and so on. For example, if I play a spell, my opponent gets a chance to play something

in response—to nullify it or make me waste it—and I can then play another card to counter. Whoever is in charge of the round, which can last several turns, can act first and attack that round. The round ends after neither side wants to keep going or is able to perform any action. This back-and-forth, sort of “YuGiOh”-style gameplay means that you are constantly interacting with your opponent and making counterplays, which I think is the most crucial and consequently the most rewarding mechanic of “Legends of Runeterra.” The game’s outcome hinges on your ability to anticipate the opponent’s counterplays for each action and prepare strategies of your own to respond to every move. For instance, if my opponent wants to kill my stuff with a spell card that deals damage, I can buff it first so that it survives the damage. In contrast, “Hearthstone,” with a minimal amount of interactivity in regards to your opponent’s actions, often produces these frustrating and boring moments where you can only sit and watch your opponent hit combos and win the game shortly after. The mana system is also slightly different than “Hearthstone.” Any unspent mana from previous turns will be saved as spell mana (max of three), which can be used to cast spells, mitigate bad opening hands and open up more gameplay depth. If I don’t or can’t


play anything on round one and two, I will have three spell mana banked, allowing me to play six mana worth of spells on round three. “Legends of Runeterra” is very simple to learn, and the tutorial does a great job helping you get started. If you’ve ever played “Hearthstone” or “Magic: the Gathering,” it should feel very familiar. If not, it’s still easy to grasp. And, in general, the new player experience is immensely rewarding. The game hands out so much free stuff—it’s quite unbelievable really. Usually, when new player rewards run out, a free-toplay game becomes stingy, like “Hearthstone” with its boring daily missions, but I was astonished to see that there is quite a lot more that can be unlocked through normal play, after the initial string of rewards.

Aside from all that, there are weekly chest rewards, and you can increase the amount of chests earned by playing more—before writing this review, I just recieved 12 chests for my several hours of playtime from last week to this Monday. Making a good deck as a new player is effortless. Part of the rewards you get are “wildcards,” which can be used to instantly redeem cards, as well as “shards” that can be used to craft cards. I built a quality meta deck (spider aggro, for those interested) with one of the starter decks plus some wildcards and shards in only two or three days. And let’s say you also love the game like I do, and you feel like spending some money on it to further your collection. You will be very pleasantly surprised to see that the monetization is extremely

fair—there are no options to purchase packs of random cards. This is, to my knowledge, unheard of in virtual card games. A starter bundle that contains 66 cards is available for five bucks. If that’s not enough, you can buy wildcards with a premium currency called “coins” to get exactly what you need. Five bucks amount to 475 coins; a champion wildcard cost 300 coins; an epic 120; a rare 30; a common 10. Hopefully, this type of fair monetization will be successful enough that other games adopt it. Card packs are just way too costly. The game is still in open beta, so everything is subject to change, but as of right now it feels superior to “Hearthstone” in terms of gameplay and monetization, and I really have nothing but praise for it. Consider this review my glowing recommendation.

The Marvel Universe hits Disney+ By Caroline O staff

When “Avengers: Endgame” hit screens last year, fans walked out of theaters knowing that they’d reached the end of an era. After building up the story of the Avengers for over 10 years, “Endgame” was the final chapter, closing on the stories of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s (MCU) leading heroes like Captain America (Chris Evans), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johanssen). Now, nearly a year after “Endgame,” the MCU has found yet another way to drag the fans back to its doors: with an eagerly anticipated “Black Widow” prequel movie releasing in May, and “The Eternals” (November 2020), Shang Chi (spring 2021) and Doctor Strange: Multiverse of Madness (spring 2021) soon to follow, the MCU is far from over. While all movies except “Black Widow”

have remained vague on details, Disney+, the new streaming service with everything Disney, Star Wars and Marvel related, has revealed its lineup of MCU shows: “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” “Loki” and “WandaVision.” Disney+ recently released a trailer for each upcoming title a few weeks ago, and as of now, the shows are expected to come to Disney+ in fall 2020 (“The Falcon and the Winter Soldier”) and spring 2021 (“WandaVision,” “Loki”). Each show is reported to have six episodes, as well as bridge the gap between the Infinity Saga-phase into the next phase of Marvel movies. “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” for instance, will follow Falcon Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) and Winter Soldier Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan). Although the exact storyline of the show remains vague, the Disney+ trailer reveals shots of Helmut Zemo (Daniel Bruhl), who fans will remember was the


main villain of “Captain America: Civil War.” There are additional shots of Sam and Bucky with Steve Rogers’ (Captain America’s) shield, which was passed on to Sam at the end of “Endgame.” Given the two brief glimpses, we can safely assume that “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” will continue to tie up what strings were left after the “Captain America” movie trilogy, but with deeper exploration of Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes. “Loki,” meanwhile, will follow the god of mischief as he’s unleashed on his timeline. In the events of “Endgame,” the Avengers went back in time and accidentally released Loki (Tom Hiddleston) from SHIELD’s custody, with Thor’s (Chris Hemsworth) brother escaping with the powerful Tesseract. As a result, in his own series, Loki of the 2012 “Avengers” movie will be traipsing through history. Given that Loki in the trailer says that he’s going to “burn this place to the ground,” we can anticipate that Loki has a few more tricks up his sleeve. How his story might connect to future Marvel movies, we’re not entirely certain, but given that “Thor: Love and Thunder” (the fourth movie to the “Thor” series) is coming out in late 2021, perhaps Loki might make an appearance. “WandaVision” looks like the weirdest of the shows: in the trailer, we catch clips of a seemingly happily married Scarlet Witch Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany), even though fans know that Vision died in “Avengers: Infinity War.” The trailer skips through scenes of Wanda and Vision in different decades: a black and white 1930s take, a colorful and cheerful 1950s take, followed by more shots of Wan-


da dressed in clothes straight out of the 1970s and ‘90s. However, the fantasy dissolves to reveal an anguished looking Wanda being torn apart from Vision, which leads fans to speculate that this show will revolve around Wanda’s own false reality. Considering the fact that Wanda has the ability to manipulate minds, such a theory does not seem far off. There is further speculation that “WandaVision” could be connected to the upcoming “Doctor Strange: Multiverse of Madness” movie, as Wanda has been reported to be a main character in the aforementioned movie. Since “Endgame,” fans have been reasonably curious about MCU’s next plans for the next generation of superheroes. However, before going into the new phase of characters and storylines, it would appear that MCU still needs to mend some of the loose strands after its grand finale to the story’s well-loved characters. Before plunging its fans into a set of

completely different and unfamiliar stories, the new Marvel shows coming to Disney+ serve as the last knots tying the past phase into the new one. Although we have yet to see what might become of the characters of said television shows once MCU’s schedule of movies start up, fans will have much to look forward to in the shows that will bridge them from one era into the next. In that manner, these shows will differ from those previously produced by Marvel, such as “Agents of SHIELD,” “Daredevil,” “Jessica Jones,” “Luke Cage,” “Iron Fist” and “The Defenders.” While those shows dealt with lesser known characters of the Marvel comics, the shows coming to Disney+ will act as a part of the explicit transition period from the stories of the original Avengers into the new batch of stories. But in the meantime, if you can’t wait for the shows to come to Disney+, it’s never too late to start a Marvel re-watch!


The Brandeis Hoot

February 28, 2020

‘Quickies’ 2020: the good, the bad and a shelf By Josh Lannon staff

The Undergraduate Theater Collective’s (UTC) annual festival “Quickies” showcased nine student-written short plays on Sunday, Feb. 9. Per tradition, all shows were written, directed, produced and performed by Brandeis students. Some of the shows were funny, some serious, but all were entertaining nonetheless. No short play was perfect, but they all showcased the creative talent of Brandeis. The first quickie, “Hindsight,” was written by Seth Wulf ’21 and directed by Amber Crossman ’21. The sketch involves a mystery about a stolen necklace and the two investigators trying to figure out who took it. What made this first play hilarious was how the investigators rewound the scene where the necklace is stolen. Every time one of the investigators would rewind the scene, the actors on the stage would rewind their position in the scene and reveal new information each time. While this unique premise was quite funny to watch, and each short play was less than ten minutes, it took a while to get to the main joke of the play. But overall, “Hindsight” was a great opener and really got the audience laughing. The second Quickie, “He’ll Know What it Means,” by Zack Garrity ’20 and directed by Alex Ross ’22 had a similar problem to “Hindsight.” While it began on a strong note, it dragged and took a little too long to get to the punchline. The comedic short play is framed as a memorial service for a family member who has died, with the speaker, played by Meg Rock ’23, telling us the story of how it happened. Apparently the speaker was told to relay strange, but increasingly threatening, messages to the recently deceased by a loan shark of some kind. While the eventual punchline of


the short play lands, the buildup gets a bit tedious and repetitive. However, an excellent and energetic performance by Rock circumvents this flaw, and her impressive and hilarious character was the highlight of this Quickie. For the third play, writer and director Zach Katz ’22 created a comedic sketch relatable to every college student in “Paper, Unwritten.” It follows an average college student, portrayed by Esther Shimkin ’22, as he procrastinates. The undeniably relatable subject matter combined with Shimkin’s excellent performance make “Paper, Unwritten” a joy to watch. It avoids the issues of the previous two sketches by having constant comedic distractions for the college student. Ranging from a call with their mother to an impromptu game of laser tag, these distractions culminate in an astounding punchline: an unexpected extension. The fourth short play took a melancholy look at lost love. “I and Love and You,” written and directed by Batsheva Moskowitz ’21, starts out with a meet-cute between a couple, portrayed by Evan Shapiro ’22 and Kat Lawrence ’22, on a train. However, the play takes a turn when a voiceover reveals that this romance did not actually occur. Instead, Lawrence’s character repeatedly rejects her romantic interest’s advances. Shapiro plays his character not as a creep who can’t take no for an answer, but

as a genuinely kind person trying his best to get Lawrence’s character to open up. But after repeated rejections, he eventually moves on, leaving Lawrence’s character, who begins to develop feelings for him, completely alone. Following three comedic sketches, “I and Love and You” was a sad story about missing out love by refusing to let someone in. It pulled at the heartstrings and was undeniably the best written short play of the night. Returning to a comedic tone, “A Night on the Job,” written by Rebecca Goldfarb ’21 and directed by Rachel Lese ’21, follows a recently divorced Uber driver, played by Harrison Carter ’22, as he deals with various passengers and his own emotional trauma. Carter’s performance was absolutely hilarious as every situation eventually devolved into him crying and shouting vivid details of how his wife cheated on him. His interactions with his various passengers were also funny, but it’s Carter’s outbursts that really sell the show. It also ends on a cheery note with the divorced Uber driver finding a new chance at love. The strangest, but somehow the most hilarious short play of the evening was “Ikea Shelf,” written and directed by Molly Rocca ’20. However, I am not entirely sure if the play counts as a play because it consists solely of writer/director/ star Rocca building a Ikea shelf live on stage. Why did this hap-

pen? Why was it so funny? I honestly don’t know. What I do know is I could not stop laughing as Rocca put together an Ikea shelf and Becca Lozinsky ’20 read the directions to the audience. Sometimes you don’t need a long narrative or a quick punchline to make a fantastic short play. Sometimes, all you need is a shelf. The seventh short play diverged from the comedic sketches and presented a dramatic look at how we view strangers. “Inconveniences,” written and directed by Shoshi Finkel ’20, takes place on a subway where people from all walks of life are forced to be in close proximity to each other. Increasing delays mirror the increasing tension in cramped space, as small inconveniences quickly evolve into violent altercations and heated arguments. The play also ends on a sad note where a woman, played by Rock, who was trying to raise money is forced to leave after a fight with an abrasive passenger. In complete contrast to her earlier performance, Rock shifts seamlessly from comedy to tragedy. Her clear desperation in begging for money to get her kids back from her ex-husband was tear-jerking, while the apparent indifference from her fellow passengers felt hauntingly accurate. While each show had its own strengths and weaknesses, “A Staircase Full of Trash” really struggled. The short play seemed

to be a situational comedy, but I had neither the context nor the patience to try to decipher the dialogue. The mess of a play ended with the statement: “This would make a good Quickie.” I found out afterwards that the anonymously written play was based on real events, and maybe I would get the jokes if I knew the people it was based on. Here’s the problem: I don’t. “A Staircase Full of Trash” is an inside joke, written not for the audience, but for the select few who contributed to its creation. After 10 minutes of watching a joke I did not get, I was relieved when the final short play ended on a strong note and hearty laugh. Written by Nate Rtishchev ’21 and directed by Xinbei Lin ’21, “Elvises are in the Building” is about a dating show gone wrong when all the potential dates turn out to be Elvis impersonators. Culminating in a contestant running off with the somehow-alive David Bowie and concluding with a fourth wall-breaking rant about the futility of life as if it were already predetermined by an uncaring, all-powerful writer and director, the short play devolved into utter madness and the audience devolved into uproarious laughter. Overall, Quickies 2020 was a huge success. With great performances, excellent writing and an immaculate shelf, the UTC and just about everyone involved should be proud of their great work.

For the love of looking: ‘Portrait of a Lady on Fire’ By Jonah Koslofsky editor

To love is to look. To gaze at the one you care about, learning their perspective, their point-of-view and the manner in which they move through the world. To find yourself pulled deeper. To learn the little movements and muscles, catching every stray and repeated gesture and motion. To be loved is to be seen, to have these tiny inflections—along with your whole self—not just appreciated, but embraced. These details are the kindling for Celine Sciamma’s “Portrait of a Lady on Fire,” a subtly incendiary period piece, the story of a love that burns bright, but cannot last. “When you’re embarrassed, you bite your lips. And when you’re annoyed, you don’t blink”—so says Marianne (Noemie Merlant) to Heloise (Adele Haenel). Set in late 18th century France, Marianne has come to an isolated island in Brittany to draft a portrait of Heloise, a young noblewoman engaged a Milanese suitor— against her will. Not that Heloise has any interest being complicit in her own destruction on canvas, no desire to have her image massacred by a “flattering” eye so she will come

across as a more “appealing” bride. Heloise rebels in the the only way she can: refusing to pose for the painters her mother hires. “I’ve dreamt of doing that for years,” she tells Marianne when they first speak, a breathless meet-cute by the edge of a cliff. “Dying?” Marianne asks. “Running,” Heloise replies. Sciamma stages no illusions around the suffocating conditions these women would have existed in, nor does she have any interest in letting their oppressors dominate the narrative. As a result, men aren’t in more than a dozen shots of this two-hour motion picture. The front half of “Portrait,” during which Marianne attempts to paint Heloise in secret—is defined by its restraint. The film aches to become something along the lines of the languorous “Call Me by Your Name,” and like Luca Guadagnino’s 2017 tale of a then-forbidden affair, “Portrait” is absolutely gorgeous, each frame as precisely crafted as one of Marianne’s paintings. But to be stuck inside a painting—especially one you didn’t construct—is another form of captivity, and the luxury of a oncein-a-lifetime romance isn’t as accessible for Marianne and Heloise as it was for Oliver and Elio. When our heroines do connect, slowly (finally!) acknowledging

and acting on the attraction they feel towards each other, every beat feels earned, every second shared valuable, every moment memorable. Like any passionate hook-up, it feels like “Portrait” takes too long to get started, until it’s over too soon. That’s not a knock: the longing is a feature, not a bug. This is no gabfest—Sciamma’s characters speak when there’s something they really need to say. This is thanks both to the auteur’s knack for writing truly memorable dialogue and actresses Merlant and Haenel. The same restraint of “Portrait’s” pacing can be felt in the performances, as both women channel a mix of defensiveness and desire. Neither is afforded the luxury of a grandstanding screen-

play through which they can verbally express where they’re at. Marianne is our protagonist, and Merlant does a good job communicating her fear, wanting and relative world-weariness. Simultaneously, so much of what Marianne does—and so much of what the film does—is stare at Heloise, trying to take in her larger-thanlife presence. Haenel more than measures up to her character’s prominence, her rage and determination always visible just under the surface. And throughout, it’s always clear what these two see in each other. The exercise is all in vain. How can Marianne capture all of Heloise’s self on a few square feet of canvas? How can anyone—Scia-


mma included—fully capture two people who would’ve lived and died centuries before she was born? Eventually, Marianne will finish her painting, and whatever relationship has developed between artist and muse must inevitably come to a grinding halt. There is no alternative. And yet, we look. I first glimpsed “Portrait” last September, and I’d been eagerly anticipating a rewatch in the time since. But on second viewing, this film broke me. It’s an eerie feeling to find yourself crying in a movie theater. Whatever analytical distance you walked in with has been completely demolished. Suddenly, you’re confronted with your own sadness, as well as the unavoidable truth that the thing on the screen has dug its way deep under your skin. Worse still, you’re showing real emotion in public, something we’ve all been trained to avoid at all costs! Not many pieces of media get me here—but seeing the scene when Marianne and Heloise first kiss again, I couldn’t stop myself. This should be a rapturous moment of joy, an overdue, exciting embrace. Instead, it signaled doom: a heart can only be broken in the hands of another. Still, we keep looking. Movies like “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” show us why.

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