The Brandeis Hoot 01/24/20

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Volume 17 Issue 3

“To acquire wisdom, one must observe”

January 24, 2020

Brandeis University’s Community Newspaper · Waltham, Mass.

Provost Lynch steps down

Students rally to protest militarism

By Rachel Saal

By Victoria Morrongiello and Rachel Saal



Provost Lisa Lynch is stepping down from her positions as provost and executive vice president of academic affairs, according to an email from President Ron Liebowitz sent to faculty, staff and students on Tuesday evening. Liebowitz said that Lynch will be taking a sabbatical leave and will resume her work as a scholar of labor economics. Following her leave, she will return to Brandeis as the Maurice B. Hexter Professor of Social and Economic Policy in the Heller School for Social Policy and Management. The process for selecting Lisa’s replacement will be announced soon. See PROVOST , page 4

Brandeis students are rallying “to reclaim [the country’s] resources from the war industry, reinvest in life-giving resources, and repair collaborative relationships with the earth and people around the world” as a part of the national organization, Dissenters, according to Brandeis students who gave an informational meeting on Tuesday in the Intercultural Center (ICC). Arthi Jacob ’21 and Ellie Kleiman ’21 said that they aim to build a youth anti-militarist base, expose the moral crisis that is occurring, stigmatize war and miliDISSENTERS

See IRAN, page 3


College students attend a training in Chicago.

Study examines political climate on college campuses By Sabrina Chow editor

Liberal, moderate and conservative students surveyed on five college campuses—including Brandeis—were found to be deeply divided on the climate of “free expression” on college

campuses and on issues of race, immigration, climate change, sexual assault and gun control, according to a new study published by the Steinhardt Social Research Institute. The overgeneralization by the media about politics on college campuses also does not properly showcase what is actually happening on campus,

according to the study. The study surveyed almost 7,000 students from Brandeis University, Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Florida, Gainesville and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor on their political ideologies and the perception of politics on their respective college campuses. Graham

Wright, an associate research scientist in the Maurice and Marilyn Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies and the lead author of the study, told The Brandeis Hoot in an interview that the schools were somewhat chosen at random. He explained that they needed to find schools that would be willing to provide them with emails to

send the surveys out to students. The study focused on two overarching questions in regards to the political climate on college campuses: “How divided are liberal, moderate and conservative students on each of these five schools with respect See POLITICS, page 2

PARC implements new online features By Rachel Saal editor

The Brandeis Prevention, Advocacy and Resource Center (PARC) implemented a new feature on its website that allows users to message with an advocate during noon-5 p.m. office hours on weekdays. All conversations that are held with advocates in the chat are confidential, according to the group’s website. Another new feature allows users to make an appointment with a peer advocate by clicking on the button that reads “Schedule a Meeting.” Specific advocates’

Inside This Issue:

hours are listed on PARC’s website. “On the chat page of our website a little box appears when chat is open,” said Director of Sexual Assault Services and Prevention Sarah Berg in an email to The Brandeis Hoot. “The chat box allows for text, links, emojis, and sending photos or other attachments. The chat box program we use can support any language, too. Some of our Peer Advocates speak multiple languages, so they could chat with someone in those languages when they are See PARC, page 3

News: New digital signage on campus Ops: More about food. Features: Cancer is a means for collaboration. Sports: Men’s basketball on ESPN. Editorial: Thank you, Provost Lynch.



Website features quick links for PARC resources.


Page 4 Page 13 Students prepare meals on MLK Day. Page 9 Page 5 NEWS: PAGE 3 Page 8

Mitch Albom Brandeis alumnus, Mitch Albom, discusses new book, “Finding Chika.” ARTS: PAGE 16


2 The Brandeis Hoot

January 24, 2020

Study finds division among students on campus politics POLITICS, from page 1

to their political attitudes, their perceptions of the campus environment and their place within the campus community?” and “How do these divisions differ in magnitude and nature from one college campus to the next?” The study found that liberals and moderates on college campuses were united in their opposition to President Donald Trump, but this was divided among conservative students. Wright explained that this division among conservative students comes from opinions on higher education. “Americans’ views on the state of higher education in the United States have become sharply politicized,” writes the study. “These political divisions are unsurprising given the sensationalized picture painted by the media of the relationship between liberal and conservative students on campus.” “There is a lot of research in political science that one of the biggest things that relates to the support of President Trump is not having a college degree,” Wright told The Hoot. “Education is a huge divider in American politics, much more than it has been in the past.” Wright said extremely generally, richer people tend to be Republicans, while poorer people tend to be Democrats. “With [President] Trump, specifically, when he became the nominee, education started to become more important, regardless of how much money you had,” explained Wright. “People with more education were less supportive of Trump. Given that, it’s not surprising that people who are in college are less supportive of him.”

Brandon Musto ’20 and Isaac Sites ’22, the president and vice president of Young Americans for Liberty (YAL), respectively, told The Hoot that this division was also apparent within their YAL meetings. “There are members that are conservatives that support [Trump],” Musto told The Hoot. “There are slightly more that are against, that do not support his policies.” Sites added that most of the people he speaks with about Trump judge his actions on a case-by-case basis. “Most people say ‘I dislike him on this, but when he did this, I agree with his position,’” Sites told The Hoot. The study also highlights the misrepresentation in the media about politics on college campuses. “Media reports about politics are often based solely on the anecdotes relayed to reporters and pundits,” writes the study. “Isolated anecdotes and events at particular campuses are also frequently used to make sweeping generalizations about the political climate at ‘American Universities’ in general,” rather than using systematic research, it states. Eliza Welty ’22, the president of Brandeis Democrats, told The Hoot in an interview that the media does not properly portray college campuses because each is so different. “When I read things about how people on college campuses feel, I almost always feel like it’s an oversimplification,” Welty told The Hoot. “Whether it makes the news, it usually makes the views more extreme.” Musto also pointed out flaws with media coverage on college campuses. “There isn’t always a riot when there is a different position on a college campus,” he told The Hoot. “They are always

just taking the most extreme stories on video… And they use that to categorize everyone.” “The media tends to be a little over-sensationalized,” Sites added. Sites told The Hoot that he does not like to use large media sources to get information because not everything is so black and white. He chooses to use local sources to get the most objective view from people near the action. The study also found that political disagreements between students on college campuses have the potential to create commotion and a lack of unity on campus. At three of the schools, students with different political views did not differ in how much they felt like they “belonged” on campus, according to the study. On the other hand, students at the remaining two schools found that their differences in political views significantly impacted their sense of belonging on campus. Wright added that at one school, conservatives felt ostracized on campus, while on another campus, liberals felt more ostracized. Wright also told The Hoot that based on the study, the narrative of lack of “free expression” on college campuses is making self-censorship too neat. “We found that there’s a huge variation in whether students felt if unpopular opinions could be expressed on campus across all different campuses,” said Wright. “People’s level of self-censorship was basically the same regardless if they were on a campus that had a good climate for free expression or a bad climate for free expression.” Wright also stated that this study is part of a series that is looking into the experiences of undergraduate students in the United States.

IN THE SENATE: Jan. 19, 2020 •

• •

Jake Rong ’21 stepped down from his position as the Senator to the Class of 2021 at the Senate meeting. “I hope to stay involved in the Union and the projects that many of you have started to see come to fruition,” he said. According to Rong, he “has not made up his mind” about whether he will run for the Allocations Board. Trevor Filseth ’20 said that he saw IfNotNow tabling at the club fair earlier that day and asked if that was allowed since they were unchartered. When they applied to be chartered, the club was initially voted to be chartered, but The Hoot found that the Senate miscounted the votes and the club had not received a two-thirds majority vote, according to an earlier article. The Senate informed IfNotNow that they had not reached the required vote amounts and the club withdrew itself from consideration. Chapman said that the Union wants to “draw a line” between club support and Joseph Coles’ ’22 jurisdiction as the Union’s Club Support Chair. Senators stated their goals for the upcoming semester at the Senate meeting on Sunday, including making the BranVan more efficient, improving Senate attendance and functioning efficiently within committees. “The attendance policy for committee meetings is the same as the attendance policy for senate meetings,” said Vice President Kendal Chapman ’22. “Senators… may miss up to... two committee meetings (per committee) per semester,” reads the policy. “If a Senator misses three Senate or committee meetings in a semester, they will be removed from the Senate.” Senator for the Foster Mods Quad Trevor Filseth ’20 said that there has been talk of implementing communal damage charges and that the Department of Community Living (DCL) has proposed the solution of taking a little money from all residents and making a fund from it. Filseth said that the policy would be similar to how they charge everyone for stolen food throughout the semester. The university paid $4,900 for the commuter rail subsidy and 154 people have used it. The Lyft subsidy will be reinstated and once a month, students will receive 50 percent off Lyft rides from 10 p.m. to 3 p.m. to or from Brandeis. There will be $10,000 going into the subsidy. Senator for Rosenthal and Skyline Quads Leah Fernandez ’22 said that she would like to see the condom dispenser funded by the Community Emergency and Enhancement Fund (CEEF). She said that she would like to work on finalizing the project as soon as possible, preferably by the end of February. Fernadez also said that the Plan B vending machines haven’t been filled in months. She said that she is working with Assistant Dean of Student Affairs Tim Touchette to address alleged racism in campus safety. Priyata Bhatta ‘22, Senator for East Quad, would like to get bathroom locks in East Quad changed this semester. She will also be working on a prayer room beautification project. She said that alcohol consumption flyers are posted around campus, mainly in first year residence halls. Class of 2022 Senator Joseph Coles ’22 said that he wants to make the Club Support Committee as efficient as it can be. Class of 2023 Senator Skye Liu ’23 said that Lunar New Year is observed by many students on campus and she would like to help them be excused from classes so that the students, many of whom may be international students, can have time to call or see their families and friends. The annual Union retreat will take place on Feb. 2. - Rachel Saal


New PARC site allows confidential online messaging PARC, from page 1

in office, too.”Media and Communications Coordinator Olivia Pavao ’20 said in a message to The Hoot that PARC was inspired by the library’s chat function with which students can ask librarians for help with research. “Since we are always trying to expand our campus outreach and find new methods for accessing our services, a chat function seeks to cover a need that our hotline and office hours might not meet,” said Pavao. “Additionally, scheduling an appointment can create a sense of empowerment and control that walk ins may not provide for someone seeking our services.

While making an appointment is not necessary, if there is a specific advocate that the student would prefer to meet with or feels more comfortable having a specific time laid out in advance, this can be a helpful feature.” “We hope the chat will offer a new layer of privacy for folks—they don’t have to share their identity with the peer advocate and they can talk from anywhere without someone overhearing,” wrote Berg. “It’s also a nice way to ask a quick question without having to find time to come into the office. We also heard feedback from students that they might not come to drop in hours if they weren’t sure someone would be available,

so we decided to offer the option to book a time in advance. People can still definitely come in without a meeting scheduled, but if having a set time is helpful we wanted to give them the option!” Pavao added that the advantage of scheduling an appointment rather than dropping in during office hours is that the user has a personal choice. “Speaking personally, I feel far more comfortable walking into an office with an appointment already in place,” said Pavao. “It makes me feel more in control and like I know what to expect. However, this is entirely a personal choice and many may feel just as comfortable walking in with-

out an appointment scheduled. The real advantage is that more people will hopefully feel comfortable accessing office hours.” Pavao said that many of their ideas and their implementations are “highly collaborative with efforts coming from many people working together.” “Our hope is that these features allow us to reach people that might have otherwise not felt comfortable accessing our services,” said Pavao. “Phone calls and in-person meetings can be intimidating, especially about topics as potentially personal as sexual violence, dating/domestic violence and stalking. Providing the option to schedule an ap-

pointment or chat online are the next step in our mission to make PARC a welcoming and accessible resource.” PARC provides “education, empowerment and support related to sexual assault, sexual harassment, dating/domestic violence and stalking,” according to its website. “Confidential advocates are available 24/7 via the hotline; drop-ins are welcome in the office noon–5 p.m. any day classes are in session, and appointments are always available with professional staff,” says the website. PARC is located in Usdan G-108 and has trained advocates that can be reached through a 24 hour hotline at 781-736-3370.

January 24, 2020


The Brandeis Hoot

IRAN, from page 1

Students protest country’s militarism as a part of Dissenters movement

tarism and defund war, according to the group’s PowerPoint. They said that they plan on accomplishing these goals through “direct action,” or an action that is directly disruptive. They gave an example of when they went on a subway in Chicago and sang protest songs. “Community coalition building with people in the greater Boston area is not only important, but

something we have to do,” said Jacob. “[We] don’t want this to be a bunch of privileged college students talking to people—we want this to be a community thing.” According to their PowerPoint presentation, the U.S. spends 35 percent of the world’s total military spending, this comes out to $610 billion. The amount that military spending takes up in the federal budget is 48 percent, which is a larger percentage than what the U.S. spends on human

resources. “Winning looks like changing the national narrative around militarism and nationalism,” said Jacob. The presentation also broke down what could be done with the money if the country was to divest from militarism; the U.S. could instead fund scholarships for university students, fund students of pell grants, fund clean energy jobs or fund infrastructure jobs, the pre-

senters suggested from a source they cited. Raytheon, “a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, civil government and cybersecurity solutions” and the world’s largest producer of guided missiles is headquartered in Waltham, according to its website. “One of the big goals of the centers is to change the national narrative about what it means to be involved with companies like [Raytheon], even tangentially,”

said Jacob. The group’s coming protest events include “Boston: No war on Iran! U.S. Troops get out! Global day of protest” on Jan. 25 at the Massachusetts State House, “24-hour Anti-CAA Protest” on Jan. 26 at Harvard Square, “PSL Liberation Forum: War on Iran & Mass Struggle in India” on Jan. 31 at encuentro 5 and “Protest War Profiteer Raytheon at Boston University” on Feb. 5 at the Boston University Career Fair.

Community packages meals for MLK Day By Rachel Saal editor

Dozens of students and members of the community packaged meals for food pantries and congregations that serve the homeless community, and participated in social justice discussions with members of the Brandeis and Waltham community on Monday in Levin Ballroom and Usdan as a part of the 10th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Interfaith Day of Service. Walker Bristle, who works for an organization that fights child hunger and helped lead the meal packaging in 2018, previously told The Hoot that approximately one in seven children do not know where his or her next meal is coming from. “We try to do a little thing to help them know where one of those meals are coming from. I’ve eaten these meals. They’re good. They’re not perfect. They are meant to help people get back on their feet… people with families, people look-


ing for work. Some are going to be packing oatmeal and others are going to be packing rice and beans today,” said Bristle in 2018. Dr. George Walters-Sleyon from Bunker Hill Community College spoke about how King believed power should be used and read quotes from King. “Power properly understood is

nothing but the ability to achieve purpose,” read King’s quote. “It is the strength required to bring about social, political and economic change. In this sense, power is not only desirable, but necessary in order to implement the demands of love and justice.” The events included “Martin Luther King’s Six Principles of

Nonviolence” led by Interfaith Youth Initiative Director Shelton Oakley Hersey and Boston University Masters student Kim Bress, “Preparing for Climate Change in Massachusetts” led by Executive Director of Better Future Project Craig S. Alternose and “Faith Communities Help Trauma Victims!” led by Reverend Isaac Se-

land. Another event, “Engaging in Diversity and Privilege” led by Brandeis’ Protestant Chaplain Matt Carriker included participants sitting on the floor and doing activities to “think reflectively about how [the participants] engage with diversities of all sorts,” according to the event pamphlet. One of the five events, “Youth MLK Workshop,” was intended for elementary and middle school-aged participants and their families, according to the event pamphlet. At the workshop, the students explored King’s views on building beloved communities. They also made Valentine’s Day cards for hospitalized kids. This year’s theme is “Building Beloved Community,” according to The Brandeis website. The event was co-sponsored by Center for Spiritual Life, Department of Community Service, Intercultural Center, Waltham Group, Library, International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life, the Myra Kraft Transitional Year Program and the MLK Fellows in Academic Services.

Guest speaker presents on medieval conversion to Christianity By Victoria Morrongiello editor

Professor Nina Caputo from the History Department of The University of Florida discussed problems with religious conversion in the medieval period on Jan. 21 in Lown 315. Sponsored by The Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry, this event was hosted as part of a series of events called Critical Conversations, which are events that cover specific topics and allow faculty and students to interact with presenters who are discussing their current projects, according to the Brandeis Events page. The forum centered around Caputo’s work, “The Trouble with Medieval Conversation: Petrus Alfonsi’s Dialogi contra iudaeos and Christian Anxiety about Jewish Conversion.” Caputo’s draft highlights the issues with medieval conversions from Judaism to Christianity. According to Caputo’s draft, conversion in the medieval period was “culturally, socially, and politically charged during the high middle ages.” Despite sharing Biblical foundations, there were still tensions, “between a policy of protection and the call for mission marked the role of Jews

in Christian society as a source of anxiety throughout the Middle Ages,” according to Caputo’s draft. Caputo’s draft focuses on two 12th-century autobiographical works: “Opusculum de conversione sua” by Hermannus quondam Judaeus and “Dialogi contra judaeos” by Petrus Alfonsi, according to Caputo. The author of the first work, Hermannus, converted to Christianity and later wrote his narrative as a Christian convert, according to Caputo. The author of the other work, Alfonsi, was also a convert who converted in 1106, according to Caputo. These works are pivotal to Caputo’s argument because of the different ways in which they are formatted; while Hermannus provides a narrative leading up to his conversion to Christianity, Alfonsi mentions his conversion briefly while the rest of his text centers around a conversation between a convert and a Jew, according to Caputo. These narratives are important because both authors announce their status as converts, and based off of historical evidence, one can trace the manuscript copies of these works to members of religious orders, according to Caputo. The religious figures at the time who would have been in possession of these works may have had

concerns regarding converts in their communities, therefore the narratives from a convert’s perspective provide insight into the community, according to Caputo. “In contrast, firsthand conversion accounts offer what may be a more holistic view of the conversion experience,” according to Caputo. Conversion accounts in the 12th and 13th centuries show the internal spiritual struggle for converts, according to Capulto, since conversion caused shifts socially and psychologically. The later first-hand accounts of conversion articulate the process of conversion in a more strenuous way, according to Capulto. Caputo is a professor at The University of Florida in the History Department. She has written two books “Nahmanides in Medieval Catalonia: History, Community, Messianism” (2007) and “Debating Truth: The Barcelona Disputation of 1263, A Graphic History” (2017) and co-edited two other books which discuss medieval religion, according to Caputo’s profile page on The University of Florida website. The draft which she presented at Brandeis is the topic of her next book. Faculty who were in attendance were able to connect some of Caputo’s work to work which


they have done and are currently working on. Professor ChaeRan Freeze (NEJS) talked about how Caputo’s work parallels with some of her areas of interest in research in an interview with The Brandeis Hoot. Freeze said she was shocked by the connections she made with her own research involving conversion to Christianity in Jewish communities in

19th century Russia to Caputo’s medieval conversion work. Freeze cited Caputo’s work, which discussed how Christians were suspicious of Jewish converts and the attempt by Christians to distinguish between “authentic and fake or false conversions.” This causes the tension in the conversion narrative, according to Freeze, which affirms Caputo’s argument.


The Brandeis Hoot

January 24, 2020

Installation of digital signs has improved administration’s ability to communicate with the campus, says study By Tim Dillon editor

In order to improve its capability to distribute information and publicize events, the university installed 16 digital signs across campus. In the time since their installation, the administration believes that the digital signs have improved their ability to communicate, according to a case study conducted by Mvix, the company which creates the software that is used for the signs. The study says that Brandeis was seeking to “improve its overall campus experience and stay up to date with digital trends.” The study says that the signs are displayed on 16 Xhibit digital sign players using XhibitSignage content management software.


The study added that Brandeis wanted “a more centralized and sustainable” method of advertising, as opposed to the previous system of using paper posters. Mvix also said that the digital signs are more attention-grabbing and seem more modern than other methods. Mvix’s study touts

the software as allowing “different content to be displayed at different times of the day” in order to “target viewers and segment their screens for different audiences.” According to Mvix’s website, Brandeis was looking for a solution that would “increase the overall campus experience,

advertise upcoming events and opportunities, streamline all internal communications and modernize their campus.” According to the study, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs Timothy Touchette had previously been familiar with digital signage, and was involved in the

decision to install digital signs on campus and in their installation. Touchette was quoted in the study as saying that he has “really enjoyed establishing a digital signage network here at the university” and that he and the university “look forward to continuing to expand [the network].” Touchette did not respond to The Hoot’s request for a comment. Mvix is a company based out of Sterling, VA that creates software for digital signs. According to its website, its products are also used by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Discovery Channel. They also provide signage for Sodexo, the company which currently provides food for the Brandeis campus. Mvix was founded in 2005, and advertises itself as “a leading provider of turnkey digital signage solutions.”

Provost Lisa Lynch steps down after over 10 years of service at Brandeis PROVOST, from page 1

“In all of her leadership positions, Lisa has been guided by a strong sense of fairness and by what’s best for the university. She has been a champion of innovation to improve the teaching, learning, and working environment on campus. She introduced policies and structures to advance the university’s diversity efforts, and to support students and faculty from underrepresented groups,” said Liebowitz’s email. “Lisa oversaw the hiring of new deans in our professional schools and in the School of Arts and Sciences, the new vice provost of stu-

dent affairs, the university librarian, and new directors in the Rose Art Museum, the Department of Athletics, and the Center for Teaching and Learning—a major contribution to the future success of the university.” “Lisa also led the university’s successful decennial reaccreditation process and bolstered the university’s standing as a Research 1 university by increasing research funding opportunities for faculty,” the email continues. “And she played a pivotal role in the work of the four task forces that have given shape and substance to the university’s ‘Framework for the Future.’” Lynch began working at Brandeis in July 2008 and has

since served as Dean of The Heller School and Maurice B. Hexter Professor of Social and Economic Policy. She became Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs in October of 2014, according to her Linkedin. She served as Interim President from July 2015 to June 2016 after President Frederick M. Lawrence stepped down in 2015, according to an earlier Hoot article. Lynch has also served as a faculty member at Tufts University, MIT, Ohio State University and The University of Bristol, according to the Institute of Labor Economics (IZA). Lynch is currently a member of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Economic Advisory Panel

and has served as chief economist at the U.S. Department of Labor, according to the Office of the Provost website. She has also served as director, chair and deputy chair of the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and Chair of the Conference of Chairmen of the Federal Reserve System. Lynch served as president of the Labor and Employment Relations Association from 2013 to 2014. “On a personal level, Lisa has been a superb colleague within my senior leadership team, and a valued adviser to me since Day 1 of my presidency; I am so grateful for her collegiality and selflessness,” said Liebowitz’s email. “I will miss her

smarts, her deep commitment to the university, and her sense of humor. Her love of Brandeis is apparent to all who have worked with her, and it is telling that, among her greatest points of pride, is that of being the parent of a Brandeis graduate.” Lynch has served on the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from 2008 to 2015 and the National Academies Committee on National Statistics 2009 to 2015, according to The Office of the Provost website. She is also currently a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and a research fellow at IZA.

Student Union planning elections after resignations and dismissal By Tim Dillon editor

The Brandeis Student Union is holding an election to fill 14 vacant positions in the Senate, Judiciary and Allocations Board on Jan. 29. According to a handout distributed by the Student Union, the election voting will be conducted digitally throughout the entire course of the day. The same handout lists the following Senate positions as being on the ballot: the Midyear Class Senator, the Myra Kraft Transitional Year Program Senator, the Ziv and Ridgewood Quad Senator, the Racial Minority Senator, a Senator at Large seat and one seat representing each of the Classes of 2021, 2022 and 2023. Additionally, five Allocations Board seats will be available: a single Racial Minority Student Allocations Board Member seat with a one-year term, two Allocations Board Member seats with a one-year term and two Allocations Board Member seats with three-semester terms. Finally, there is a single Associate Justice seat on the Judiciary Board. The handout stipulated that


all candidates must announce their intent to run by midnight on Tuesday, Jan. 21, the campaign would run from “Wednesday 1/22th [sic] 12:01 a.m. to Wednesday 1/29th 11:59 p.m.,” and results would be announced Thursday, Jan. 30. This was also stated by Student Union Secretary Taylor Fu ’21 at the Jan. 21 informational meeting; however, in

an email sent on Jan. 22, Student Union President Simran Tatuskar announced that the deadline to register would be extended to midnight of that day. In an interview with The Brandeis Hoot, Tatuskar said that the deadline was extended because many people were unable to attend the election information session and because several pro-

spective candidates did not reply until a few hours past the initial deadline, and the Student Union wanted to give them the opportunity to run. At the informational meeting, members of the Student Union explained the duties of the various offices to prospective candidates and laid out the rules for the coming campaign for those pres-

ent. Fu announced that this campaign would be paperless, in the interest of being “environmentally sustainable.” Candidates were also told that no money could be spent on any of their campaigns, and any candidates for the Judicial Board were not allowed to receive endorsements from clubs. Several of these positions opened up due to their previous occupants resigning or being dismissed. Tatuskar said that Erik Lambrecht ’23, who had previously been the Myra Kraft Transitional Year Program Senator, was dismissed by the Senate because he was absent from too many meetings and did not provide satisfactory reasons for his absences. The former Ziv and Ridgewood Quad Senator, Sagar Punjabi ’21, said he resigned because he is studying abroad this semester. Tatuskar also said that Rebecca Shaar ’21 resigned from the Allocations Board because of the administration’s rollout of Slate and Marathon. According to Tatuskar, the rollout was “glitchy,” and members of the Allocations Board felt that the administration was not listening to them. This was also, according to Tatuskar, the reason that Alan Huang ’21 elected not to run for another term.


January 24, 2020

The Brandeis Hoot 5

Men’s basketball receiving national attention By Francesca Marchese staff

The Judges had an exciting opening weekend in Red Auerbach Arena, picking up two University Athletic Association (UAA) wins. Improving to 3-0 in conference play, and 11-3 on the season, the Judges received recognition for their hustle and heart this past weekend. On Friday Jan. 17, the Judges faced the University of Rochester Yellowjackets. Leading the entire game, Brandeis gained the advantage early in the first half, hitting their first five three-point attempts, which were each scored by a different player, putting them up eight with eight minutes to go. Keeping their foot on the gas, the Judges entered the locker room at halftime with a 43-20 lead over the Yellowjackets. The men shot 55 percent overall in the first half and an impressive 67 percent from deep, compared to their opponents, who shot 32 percent overall and only 30 percent from the three-point range. Senior Collin Sawyer ’20 led all players with 15 first-half points, nine of which came from three-pointers; Nolan Hagerty ’22 contributed seven, including his backboard-rattling dunk which brought a gust of excitement midway through the half. Coming out of the locker room,

the Yellowjackets gained momentum, scoring the first six points of the second half. Hagerty, though, answered with three straight lay-ups. Ryan Algier’s six points were unfortunately not enough to keep Rochester afloat, as Sawyer hit a three and another jumper, sparking a 9-0 run for the Judges; rookie Matan Zucker ’23 finished a layup that gave the Judges their largest lead of the game: 28 points. Led by Sawyer’s game-high 24 points, 15 of which came in the first half, and Hagerty’s career-high 18 points to accompany his five assists—one shy of his career-best—the Judges were able to secure a 22-point victory over the Yellowjackets. Sophomore Sam Nassar ‘22 also finished with five assists, while Chandler Jones ’21 and D’Aguanno each chipped in four as the Judges concluded the game with 20 assists on 27 buckets. Jones contributed nine points and tied Zucker for gamehigh honors with seven rebounds. For the fifth time this season, the Brandeis men shot over 50 percent from the field, shooting 54 percent; the Judges were also successful from beyond the arc, as they shot 50 percent from the three-point range. Despite both sides committing 12 turnovers, the Judges had an 18-11 advantage in points off turnovers, while also out-rebounding Rochester 31-28. On Sunday afternoon, the Judges not only competed with the


number three team in Division III, but defeated Emory University Eagles in their first encounter of the season. In a game that consisted of 10 ties and 11 lead changes, the last possession was the defining moment for both squads. With 90 seconds to play in the game, Brandeis was up 73-67 after Hagerty hit the first of two free throws. Emory was able to gain momentum after converting a Brandeis turnover into a quick layup, and then knocked down four free throws, the last pair with

22.8 seconds left on the clock, tying up the game at 73-all. Without a timeout to spare, floor general Darret Justice ’23 brought up the ball, dribbling until the clock read 10 seconds. Passing it off to Jones at the top of the key, he attacked the rim, but was denied by Eagle Matthew Schner. The ball was sent into the air, right into the hand of D’Aguanno who was pursuing the offensive rebound. Catching the ball in motion, he knocked down the shot with eight-tenths of a second left on the clock. The Eagles called a timeout, but were unable to successfully advance the ball the full length of the court, handing the Judges the upset. The Eagles led by as many as five points towards the end of the first half, but the Judges answered with an 8-2 run to take the lead back; the Judges were then able to restrict the Eagles to a lead no larger than two possessions for the rest of the game. Hagerty’s nine first-half points and D’Aguanno’s eight allowed Brandeis to gain the 34-32 advantage heading into the locker room. Over the first eight minutes of play, the Judges outscored Emory 20-13 to take their largest lead, 54-45, on a put-back from Hagerty with 12 minutes to play. Emory went on a 9-1 run of their own, getting within one with 9:31 minutes to go. Over the next seven minutes, there were three ties and four lead changes before the Judges scored six in a row, turning a tied game at 67-all into a 73-67 lead.

The Judges were led in this match-up by Hagerty, who scored a career-high 21 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, one shy of his career-best. He went 9-of-15 from the field and hit three from the line; Hagerty also tallied three assists and two blocked shots. Jones contributed 19 points on 6-of-15, 1-of-2 from three and 6-of-7 from the line; he scored 15 of his 19 points in the second half. Providing a spark from the bench, D’Aguanno added 12 points, including the game-winning shot, which appeared on ESPN’s Top 10 Plays of the Day. The Judges’ 3-0 start in the UAA is their best since winning their first five games of the 2013 season. Not only did the Brandeis men’s team win one of their biggest games in recent history, but they also received honors from many national outlets. In addition to ESPN, the Judges made’s national poll for the first time in seven years, ranking at No. 24, and head coach Jean Bain was selected as the Division III Coach of the week by For the first time in his career, Hagerty was honored as the UAA Men’s Basketball Player of the Week, as he led the Judges to victory through his scoring, rebounding and passing efforts this weekend. This weekend, the Judges travel to St. Louis to face 13-ranked Washington University in St. Louis on Friday evening; the Judges are looking to pick up another conference win against the Bears who are also 3-0 in the UAA.

Men’s and women’s tennis teams both rank top 10 in preseason national rankings By Sabrina Chow editor

The Brandeis men’s and women’s teams have posted their highest-ever pre-season ranking through the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) which came out on Jan. 16, 2020. The men’s team is ranked eighth, while the women’s team is ranked 10th. The men’s team is one of four schools in the University Athletic Association (UAA) that were ranked in the top 10. Emory University ranked first, University of Chicago ranked fourth, the Judg-

es eighth and Washington University in St. Louis ranked ninth. On the women’s side, three other UAA schools were in the top 10. Emory University ranked third, Carnegie Mellon University seventh and the University of Chicago eighth. “It’s an honor to be ranked within the top 10 in the country, and is a testament to the hard work that all the players have put in,” said Pauri Pandian, the head coach for both the men’s and women’s teams in an article by Brandeis Judges. “We’re excited to be ranked in this spot, but hungry to rise in our pursuit of a UAA and NCAA title.”

Coming into the 2020 season, the men’s team is returning five of their six singles starters and five of six doubles players from last season, where the Judges posted a 16-4 record. The Judges finished second in the 2019 UAA championships, with David Aizenberg ’20 voted as All-UAA first team in singles and Aizenberg and Anupreeth Coramutla ’21 receiving All-UAA first team in doubles. Jeffrey Chen ’22 and Adam Tzeng ’22 were both second team All-UAA in second singles. Chen, Coramutla and Tzeng were also second team in singles for fourth singles, second singles and third singles, respectively. Tzeng was

also named Rookie of the Year during his rookie season last year by the UAA. The women’s team is returning three of their top six singles and doubles players after placing fourth in the 2019 UAA championships and making their first-ever appearance in the NCAA Division III tournament, posting a 14-8 record. The Judges reached the regional finals of the tournament before falling to eventual champions, Wesleyan University. The doubles team of Olivia Leavitt ’19 and Lauren Bertsch ’21 were ranked All-UAA first team in doubles. Diana Dehterevich ’20, Keren Khromchenko ’19 and

Leavitt were also named second team All-UAA honors for first singles, third singles and second singles, respectively. Ana Hatfield ’22 and Sophia He ’19 received an honorable mention at third doubles. Former head coach Ben Lamanna and assistant coach Christo Schultz were also named UAA Coaching Staff of the Year on both the men’s and women’s teams. The ITA is the governing body of college tennis, which oversees both men’s and women’s varsity tennis for all three divisions of the NCAA, NAIA and Junior/Community College, according to its website.


The Brandeis Hoot

January 24, 2020

Brandeis swimming comes out on top during senior night By Emerson White staff

Last weekend, the Brandeis University swimming and diving teams took down Keene State and Bridgewater State in their Senior Day tri-meet. The men’s team beat Keene State 181-109 and Bridgewater 178-96, while the women’s team swept Keene 183-88 and Bridgewater 195-82. Overall, Brandeis won 21 of its 32 team events. Before the meet began, Brandeis honored the team’s seven seniors. For the men’s team they honored: Tom Alger ’20, Matthew Arcemont ’20, Justin Weissberg ’20, Tamir Zitelny ’20 and Junhan Lee ’20. The women’s team also honored their two seniors, Natalya Wozab ’20 and Adrienne Aponte ’20. The Judges boasted impressive individual performances at the meet for both the men’s and the women’s team. On the women’s side, Bailey Gold ’23 won three individual events, the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 2:14.58, the 200 butterfly in 2:12.17 seconds and the 200 individual medley in 2:19.66 seconds. Uajda


Brandeis swimming and diving celebrated senior night at their recent meet.

Musaku ’21 also contributed to the team’s success with two wins in the 50-yard backstroke with a time of 29.99 seconds and the 100-yard freestyle in 56.55 seconds. Abbie Etzweiler ’22 also

added two individual wins in the 500-yard freestyle and the 1000yard freestyle. Audrey Kim ’21, Emily McGovern ’21 and Ema Rennie ’23 each added individual wins in the 200-yard freestyle,


200-yard breaststroke and the 50yard butterfly. For the men’s team, three swimmers picked up multiple wins. Brendon Lu ’21 secured wins in the 200-yard freestyle with

a time of 1:49.93 and the 200yard breaststroke with a time of 2:17.51 seconds. Daniel Wohl ’21 also picked up two wins in the 50yard freestyle and the 500-yard freestyle. Finally, Zitelny won the 100-yard freestyle, the 50-yard fly and just missed a third win in the 50-yard backstroke by .09 seconds. The men’s team also picked up single wins from Richard Selznick ’21 in the 1000-yard freestyle, Justin Weissberg ’20 in the 200-yard butterfly and Joe Beletti-Naccarato ’21 in the 200-yard backstroke. Both the men’s and the women’s team started off the meet with relay wins. The men’s team won the 200-yard medley with a time of 1:39.82. The team was made up of Benton Ferebee ’22, Lu, Zitelny and Wohl. The women’s relay team consisted of Olivia Stebbins ’22, Kim, Gold and Rennie, who won the 200-yard medley in a time of 1:55.66. After this meet, the women’s team is 4-9 on the season, while the men’s team is 5-6. The women’s team moves on to face Wellesley and Merrimack this weekend, and both teams will visit Clark University on Feb. 1.

Pelicans find themselves in crucial moment as Zion returns By Jacob Schireson staff

As All-Star weekend approaches, one team in particular finds themselves entering into the most crucial stretch of the season: the New Orleans Pelicans. After a 13-game losing streak left them at an abominable 6-22, the Pelicans have since rallied, going 11-5 over their last 16 games, just three games out of the 8th seed in the Western Conference. Despite being the 12 seed, FiveThirtyEight is giving the Pelicans a 60 percent chance at making the playoffs, due in large part to the return and NBA debut of prized rookie Zion Williamson. Williamson, the 6’7”

forward out of Duke University, was the number one pick in the 2019 NBA Draft after an outstanding freshman season. Williamson absolutely dominated the NBA pre-season, averaging 23.3 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists, with a 73.7 True Shooting Percentage in just 27.3 minutes per game. Questions have emerged about Williamson’s weight however. At 6’7”, Williamson weighs a colossal 285 pounds. His incredibly athletic and vertical playstyle has raised concerns about his longterm health and if his playstyle is sustainable. These questions intensified after Williamson tore his meniscus last October. After Williamson received surgery to repair the torn meniscus, the Pelicans

have been extremely cautious while re-integrating Williamson into the lineup. After growing frustrated with the speculation around Williamson’s return, New Orleans General Manager David Griffin commented on Williamson’s progress, according to “This process has been one that’s been really really good,” Griffin said to reporters. “We’ve learned a lot more than we’ve probably taught him, frankly, but we’re getting to the point where we actually think he’s as ready as he feels he is. So everything’s moving in the right direction.” Zion has expressed frustration about his return though. “It was a lot of times when I wanted to

just punch a wall or kick chairs,” he said to The New York Times, “because it’s frustrating to not be able to move your body the way you want to.” It is unclear how Williamson will perform through the early stages of his return but his immediate performance is not absolutely necessary to the Pelicans. The Pelicans have enjoyed the breakout performance of fourth-year forward Brandon Ingram. Ingram, the second pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, struggled early in his career with his jumpshot and thin frame, but in his fourth year has come into his own. Ingram is averaging 25.6 points, 6.7 rebounds, 4.4 assists and now finds himself jockeying for a spot on the NBA

Women’s basketball splits against Rochester and Emory By Jesse Lieberman staff

Junior transfer Courtney Thrun ’21 did not see much playing time in her two years at Adelphi University, playing a total of just 12 games. In her first season with the Judges, Thrun has played in all 14 games and been a tremendous asset for the Judges off the bench. The forward set grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds in a 60-50 win over Rochester on Friday, and knocked down two three-pointers in the 75-67 loss to Emory on Sunday. With the win and the loss, the Judges’ record is 11-3 and 1-2 in the University Athletic Association (UAA). The Judges beat Rochester 6050. Junior guard Kat Puda ’21 had eight points in the fourth quarter, including going 4-of-4 from the

free throw line as the Judges outscored the Yellowjackets 21-9 in the period. Puda led the Judges with 12 points in 21 minutes off the bench. Known for her threepoint shooting, Puda showed off her ball handling, driving and scoring two lay-ups. Trailing by two heading into the fourth quarter, the Judges took their first lead of the second half 43-42 on a lay-up from junior forward Jillian Petrie ’21 with 8:25 remaining in the game. After a bucket by the Yellowjackets, freshman sharpshooter Francesca Marchese ’23 hit a three-pointer with 7:00 left to give the Judges a 46-44 lead, which they would not relinquish. The Judges closed the game on a 14-6 run and made all ten of their foul shots in the fourth quarter. Despite shooting just 31 percent for the game, the Judges held Rochester to 18-of-69 shooting

and 5-for-29 on threes. The Judges controlled the inside, out-rebounding Rochester 48-40 and outscoring the Yellowjackets 2412 in the paint. The Judges went 23-of-27 from the foul line and lead the UAA in free throw percentage at 78 percent. Junior Samira Abdelreheim ’21 had 10 points to go along with six rebounds off the bench. She also led the Judges with two key blocks. Rubenstein had nine points, eight of which came in the first quarter, and tied a game high with two three-pointers. The Judges lost a close game to Emory, 75-67. Leading 50-47 heading into the fourth quarter, the Eagles outscored the Judges 28-17 in the fourth quarter. The Judges shot 4-of-15 in the period and missed all six of their three-pointers. The Judges were held without a field goal for the first 5:41 of the quarter before Ab-

delreheim got a lay-up with 4:19 left in the contest. After shooting 30 percent from the field in the first half, the Eagles knocked down 47 percent of their shots in the second half, while the Judges shot 29 percent. The Eagles stifled the Judges in the fourth quarter, forcing six turnovers. Senior forward Hannah Nicholson ’20 paced the Judges with 18 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Nicholson, who leads the UAA in rebounding and field goal percentage, now has six double-doubles this season. Freshman forward Emma Reavis ’23 scored 12 points and led the game with six assists. The Judges have been one of the best three point shooting teams in the nation this season. Entering conference play against New York University (NYU) on Jan. 11, they made at least five threes in every

All Star team. All Star talk intensified for Ingram after a 49-point outing against the Utah Jazz. Coach Alvin Gentry was quoted after the game: “To be honest with you, it doesn’t surprise me that much,” Gentry said, via The Athletic. “I just think that the way he works and the way he’s gotten better and worked on his craft, sooner or later he was going to have a game like this. I thought he did everything we asked him to do. … He just played a terrific game.” As Brandon Ingram continues his breakout season and Zion Williamson looks posed to return, the Pelicans now find themselves at the most important moment of their season thus far.

game. However, in the past three games, the Judges have been held to three or fewer threes and are 8-for-41 in that span. As for Thrun, she is averaging 6.6 points and over five rebounds per game this season and is one of several key contributors on the Judges’ revamped bench. In the win against Rochester, six of her ten rebounds were on the offensive end. “She brings that energy to the team that we need,” senior guard Lauren Rubenstein ’20 said. The Judges will travel to the Midwest this week, facing Washington University in St. Louis on Friday, Jan. 24 and then 16th ranked University of Chicago, on Sunday, Jan. 26. Editor’s Note: Francesca Marchese and Courtney Thrun are staff members of The Hoot. Sports Editor Sophie Trachtenberg is also a member of the women’s basketball team.

January 24, 2020


The Brandeis Hoot

Fencing holds record of 2-3 at Philadelphia Invitational, Morales wins multiple honors By Sophie Trachtenberg editor

The Brandeis University fencing squads headed south this past weekend to compete in the University of Pennsylvania’s Philadelphia Invitational. After the tournament, the men’s and women’s teams both defeated two of their opponents, and fell to another three. The Judges topped competition from Wayne State University and Drew University. Additionally for the men, the team lost to New York University (NYU), fellow members of the University Athletic Association (UAA); Columbia University, the defending national champions; and the hosts of the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn). The women also fell to Columbia University, the UPenn and Northwestern University.

Against the Warriors from Wayne State, the women won by a margin of 21-6 and the men by a tighter score of 15-12. Also on the winning side, the women defeated Drew University with a score of 15-12, while the men topped the Rangers with a stance of 225. Against their highest ranked opponents from Columbia, with the men ranked number one and the women ranked number three in the country, the Brandeis men fell by a score of 7-20, while the women fell by a margin of 8-19. In the matches against Penn, whose men’s and women’s squads are ranked 10th nationally, the women lost by a score of 4-23, while the Quakers defeated the men 8-19. Lastly, the men also suffered a loss to NYU by a margin of 7-23, and the women fell to a ninth ranked Northwestern squad with a close score of 13-14.


When divided amongst the squads, women’s saber led the way with an impressive record of 4-1 on the weekend. Next, men’s saber, women’s foil and men’s epee all ended with a score of 2-3. Finally, men’s foil and women’s epee fell 1-4 after the competition. Leading the successful women’s saber fencers, rookie Jessica Morales ’23 posted a 14-1 record that found her undefeated against Wayne State, Northwestern, Columbia and UPenn. She only lost to a competitor from Drew University. Fellow rookie Maggie Shealy ’23 was also quite outstanding in her performance as she held an 11-4 record. She was undefeated against opponents from Wayne State, Drew and Northwestern. For the foil squad, Jessica Gets ’20 excelled with a 10-5 record after sweeping both Wayne State and Drew. She also posted a winning record

against Northwestern, defeating the Wildcats with a score of 2-1. Lastly for epee, Madeleine Veibert ’21 found six wins, including a sweep of Wayne State. On the men’s side, first-year Ben Rogak ’23 led the way with nine total wins in the epee category as he defeated Wayne State, Drew, UPenn and Columbia by scores of 2-1 and picked up his last win against the Columbia Lions. Alexander Holtmann ’21 also won against every opponent he faced, finishing with a final score of 9-6. For her series of impressive performances, Morales earned UAA Athlete of the Week honors for the fourth time this season. She also won this award last week after fencing for the country of Colombia at the Sieber Grand Prix international event in Montreal, Canada two weeks ago. She finished these matches with a record of 2-3 in pool play and ended with

a tie in 83rd place which led her to being the 68th seed in the single elimination tournament. Over the course of this tournament, she beat a competitor from the United States Air Force Academy, Leah Singleton-Comfort, in the opening round. She then went on to upset the number four seed of the contest, Shihomi Fukushima of Japan, with a close score of 15-14. Lastly, she was able to face off against the second-ranked female fencer in the world, Manon Brunet of France, who is also an Olympic medalist, and fell by a margin of 15-9. After the weekend, the men have an 8-7 overall record, and the women are at 9-8. Next Saturday, Feb. 1, the teams will wrap up the Northeast Fencing Conference matchups at nearby Boston College.

Women’s 4x200 meter relay shines at Bowdoin Invitational By Caroline Wang and Sabrina Chow staff and editor

Last weekend, the Brandeis men’s and women’s track and field teams traveled to Maine to compete at the Bowdoin Invitational. Both teams finished the meet in fifth place; the women’s team scored a total of 40 points, while the men’s team finished with 39 points. The 4x200 meter relay team made up of Anna Touitou ’22, Tessa Holleran ’21, Sonali Anderson ’22 and anchor Sydney D’Ammadio ’23 helped the Judges to their only victory of the meet. The relay team finished the race in 1:50.93, a full second faster than the second place finishers from Colby College. Devin Hiltunen ’22 added points to the Judges’ total with a fourth and fifth place finish in the 200-meter dash and the 60-meter dash respectively. Hiltunen finished the 200-meter dash with a time of 26.84 seconds, just under three-tenths of a second behind the third place finisher. She also ran a personal record (PR) in the 60-meter dash with a time of 8.21 seconds. Touitou finished ninth in the preliminaries in the 60-meter dash, two-hundredths of a second behind qualifying for the finals, finishing with a time of 8.31 sec-



onds. D’Ammadio and Touitou also placed seventh and eighth in the 200-meter dash, with times of 27.54 seconds and 27.85 seconds respectively. Leinni Valdez ’21 and rookie Victoria Morrongiello ’23 finished second and fourth in the 600-meter dash respectively, further adding points to the Judges’ total. Valdez finished with a time of 1:43.20, just 1.85 seconds slower than the first place finisher, Samantha LiPetri from Merrimack College. Morrongiello finished with a time of 1:44.40. Moving onto the 800-meter dash, Taylor Kane ’22 finished in fifth place with a time of 2:37.45. Kane was just under two seconds behind the fourth place finisher from Bowdoin College. Classmate Natalie Hattan ’22 ran a PR in the 1000-meter run with a time of 3:12.34 and finished in fifth place. Rookie Bridget Pickard ’23 finished seventh in the 1000-meter

tively. Corin finished at a height of 4.25 meters, Ammen at 4.10 meters and Allan at 3.65 meters. Corin and Ammen’s markers were both season-bests. Allan also scored in the long jump with a distance of 6.30 meters, good for sixth place. Teammate Michael Leung ’21 finished in ninth with a distance of 5.90 meters and Kevin Truong ’21 finished in 12th with a distance of 5.55 meters. Allan finished third in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.70 seconds. Teammate Aaron Baublis ’21 finished fifth with a time of 9.01 seconds. The Judges also had multiple scorers in distance races. In the 800-meter, Jacob Grant ’22 placed third with a time of 2:03:18, while rookie Siva Annadorai ’23 finished five seconds later with a time of 2:07.25, good for fifth place. In the 1000-meter run, Jacob Judd (GRAD) and Alec Rodgers ’20

run with a time of 3:17.64. Kate Danziger ’22 finished in fourth in the 3000-meter run with a time of 10:55.03. In the final event of the day, the Judges finished fourth in the 4 x 400 meter relay with a time of 4:31.73. Valdez started the race, followed by Morrongiello, Kane and anchored by Mahala Lavis ’21. On the field side, Willa Moen ’20 and Holleran placed ninth and tenth in the 60 meter hurdles preliminaries with times of 10.17 and 10.31 seconds, respectively. Moen missed out on qualifying for finals by two-tenths of a second. Moen also placed seventh in long jump with a distance of 4.42 meters. On the men’s side, field athletes contributed the most points to the team’s total. Aaron Corin ’20, Breylen Ammen ’21 and Jack Allan ’20 finished third, fifth and sixth place in pole vault, respec-


finished fourth and sixth with times of 2:36.65 and 2:37.72, respectively. Lorenzo Maddox ’20 finished sixth in the finals of the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.26 seconds after placing fourth in the preliminaries. Thomas Vandalovsky ’23 also placed sixth in the shot put, throwing a distance of 12.77 meters. Vandalovsky placed ninth in weight throw with a distance of 10.65 meters. The Judges also placed third in the 4 x 400 meter relay with a time of 3:35.48. The team consisted of Aaron Portman ’22, Dean Campbell ’23, Judd and Grant. The Judges will return to action this weekend at the Boston University Terrier Classic and the Art Farnham Invitational at MIT on Friday, Jan. 24 and Saturday, Jan. 25. Editor’s note: Deputy News Editor Victoria Morrongiello is a part of the women’s track and field team.

8 The Brandeis Hoot


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

Volume 17 • Issue 3 the brandeis hoot • brandeis university 415 south street • waltham, ma

Founded By Leslie Pazan, Igor Pedan and Daniel Silverman


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


January 24, 2020

Thank you, Provost Lynch

e, the editorial board of The Brandeis Hoot, would like to thank Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs Lisa Lynch for her work in making Brandeis a positive learning environment for its students. As she steps down from her positions to take a sabbatical leave and pursue other endeavors, we would like to take note of Lynch’s many contributions to the university. Lynch was one of 35 women honored by “Diverse: Issues in Higher Education” as a top woman in higher education in 2019. The article describes Lynch as having strengthened financial support and increased “both graduate student enrollment and the total number of dual-degree programs offered at the university. She led the development of the school’s strategic plan, implementing an initiative to embed diversity, equity and inclusion in Heller’s academic and work environment.” As University President Ron Liebowitz wrote in a message to the Brandeis community on Tuesday, Jan. 21, Lynch has always acted in the university’s best interest, “introduc[ing] policies and structures to advance the university’s diversity efforts, and to support students and faculty from underrepresented groups.” During Lynch’s time at Brandeis, she supervised staff, faculty and administration hiring in various university departments. Lynch also led the university’s successful de-

cennial reaccreditation process and increased research funding opportunities for faculty, improving the university’s standing as a Research I university, according to Liebowitz’s email. In more recent years, Lynch “played a pivotal role in the work of the four task forces that have given shape and substance to the university’s ‘Framework for the Future,’” wrote Liebowitz. Lynch also played a substantial role in helping increase diversity and amplify inclusion on campus, as she was serving as interim president during the events of Ford Hall in 2015. During this time, she developed an “implementation plan,” which she proposed as a way to realize the demands of students during the Ford Hall 2015 protest according to the Office of the President letter on Feb. 24, 2016. This letter included Lynch’s efforts to find a chief diversity officer, improve faculty and student recruitment/retention, install sensitivity training for faculty to increase accountability and generally increase representation and inclusion of underrepresented minorities on campus, all of which were requested in some way by the protestors. Lynch served as interim president between Fred Lawrence and Ron Liebowitz’s tenures, July 1, 2015, to June 30, 2016. Reflecting on the agreement made between the administration and the student negotiators, Lynch said “the agreement was the result of an enormous amount of honest discussion about our mutual goals and how to make Brandeis an even more di-

verse and inclusive university. We all acknowledged that while much work has been done, actions will need to be sustained over time by all to accomplish real change.” The actions taken by students and facilitated by Lynch on the part of the administration during Ford Hall 2015 continue to push for diversity, equity and inclusion at Brandeis today and will remain in Brandeis history as an incredibly important moment of student activism. While Lynch will be leaving her administrative role, we are happy to hear that she will be returning to campus as a professor at The Heller School for Social Policy and Management after her sabbatical. Lynch has been a member of the Brandeis community since 2008 when she came to campus as the Dean of the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, serving in that role until October 2014. Lynch’s involvement on the Brandeis campus goes beyond her role as an academic administrator; she is also a parent to a Brandeis alumna and the recipient of an honorary degree. She will continue to serve the Brandeis community once returning from her leave as the Maurice B. Hexter Professor of Social and Economic Policy. Lynch is an active member of the community and is dedicated to its betterment; for that, we are thankful. Editor’s note: News editors Rachel Saal, Tim Dillon and Victoria Morrongiello did not contribute to the writing of this editorial.


January 24, 2020

The Brandeis Hoot 9

Why I stayed: Allie Morse ’10

By Sabrina Chow editor

Since Brandeis opened its doors in 1948, tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of Brandeisians have come to complete their education. But after they graduate, Brandeis is oftentimes just a distant memory, an alma mater that they’ll donate to or attend its reunions every few years. However, there are a select few individuals that choose to either stay, or come back to Brandeis, after graduation. This new series will tell the story of Brandeis alumni who decided to stay, or come back. When Allie Morse ’10 MS ’17 returned to her hometown of Georgia after graduating from Brandeis, she knew it was not the place for her. “I grew up in rural Georgia and did not want to be in rural Georgia anymore,” Morse told The Brandeis Hoot in an interview. She explained that being the only Jewish person in town, “I wanted to be somewhere significantly more liberal and Brandeis couldn’t be any better.” Morse added that when she

visited campus for the first time, she distinctly remembers seeing a student walking across the Great Lawn barefoot with a set of bongos and a kippah, and knew from that moment on that Brandeis was the school for her. After graduation, Morse decided to return to her home in Georgia for what she called her “second semester abroad.” “I never thought I would go back [to Brandeis],” Morse told The Hoot. “I was done with college and it was cheaper to be at home.” During this time, Morse’s dream was to be in the foreign service and to be a diplomat one day. If the foreign service did not work out, Morse planned on joining the Peace Corps—she just wanted to be abroad. Morse had taken the exam during her senior year at Brandeis and passed the first round of applications. She explained that the process of becoming a part of the foreign service took a full year. While at home, Morse received an offer to work at the alumni relations office at Brandeis and took it as an opportunity to make

#CANCERISNTFREE Brandeis Alumni pose with Morse


some money before becoming a diplomat. “The whole idea was to spend a year growing, leave at 5 p.m. and I could be free to figure out life after college.” While waiting to advance in the foreign service application process, Morse was diagnosed with Stage IV Hodgkin’s Lymphoma after noticing a lump on her collarbone. “I was sick all four years at Brandeis,” Morse told The Hoot. “I knew something was wrong and couldn’t figure it out. Because I was a young woman, I got diagnoses like depression and all my symptoms were brushed off.” After her diagnosis, Morse explained that her perception of herself changed completely. “When you’re young, you don’t expect to get sick,” she said. “We talk about disability, but not that much about hidden disability back then. All my friends were in graduate school and I was in chemo[therapy]. That was super challenging.” With her diagnosis, Morse’s dreams of becoming a diplomat were fading into the distance. She explained that individuals who battled cancer still have the opportunity to be a part of the foreign service, but it requires a certain amount of time in remission. Being back at Brandeis and working there gave Morse a supportive group of co-workers that helped her through her treatment and recovery. One of Morse’s co-workers, who had Fridays off, drove Morse to her chemotherapy every week and sat with her instead of enjoying her long weekend. “Very quickly I had to pivot what my whole career was going to be. Social media was not what I thought I was going to be going



into,” Morse told The Hoot. “But I applied those same skills to being a diplomat to social media.” She currently serves as the assistant director of social media strategy for the university, but has been managing social media in various capacities in different departments for over five years. Morse’s favorite part about Brandeis is how awesome the students are. “You don’t understand how awesome you are in the moment,” Morse told The Hoot in an interview. “Now that I’ve had the opportunity to be on the other side, outside the Brandeis bubble, it’s great to have a job where I can work with students and tell students’ stories.” Morse explained that she also loves to be a cheerleader for Brandeis students. “You’re really doing amazing things,” Morse said. “Even if you’re majoring in one thing, it’s above and beyond. Not that Brandeis students would want to be acknowledged as that

special, it’s very exciting to be somewhere where people want to do good for good’s sake without bragging.” “Whether they knew what had happened to me or not, I had an extremely supportive environment,” Morse told The Hoot. “Lots of people don’t have that. Lots of people go through really tough things in life and their workplace spits them out. Brandeis really supported me and my growth.” She also explained how she could not have gotten to the position that she did without the support of the university. Morse is also really appreciative to still be at Brandeis because she is able to take advantage of events on campus that she was not able to when she was an undergraduate. “People should take a moment to really appreciate what you can do here,” she said. “Because in the real world, you have to pay money for that kind of stuff.”

Cancer: a tumor that plagues society or a mechanism of collaboration? By Shruthi Manjunath editor

The concept of cancer is a complicated and convoluted issue that many individuals struggle to understand. Some may feel an aversion due to relationships with individuals who may have dealt with cancer. Although many people view cancer as a problem that literally plagues our society, in some ways, cancer has the ability to bring individuals together. This problem has the ability to be solved if enough individuals collaborate and have enough drive to continue working even through the darkest of times. Here at Brandeis, a class titled “Cancer and Community” is being offered for the first time this semester. The class is taught by Ellen Schattschneider, a sociocultural anthropologist and an Associate Professor of Anthropology and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Schattschneider explains that she has always been interested in how people come together to fix problems in the face of adversity. This class will be taught in a seminar-style in which individuals discuss readings and the social questions regarding cancer. Students will be reading ethnographies that display the ability of cancer to isolate people and bring them together at the same time,

while also illustrating how individuals contribute to the fight against cancer. The students will be in contact with a community of individuals in Georgia through Skype and Zoom sessions. This community consists of low-income individuals of color who live in an area where many have been diagnosed with cancer caused by their proximity to an industrial plant, which subjects them to toxins every day of their life. The students will talk to these individuals and attempt to decrease risk factors and pursue justice for them. The students will attempt to share the story of these individuals with the world. In addition, students will be in contact with oncologists and social workers in the greater Boston area to discuss advancements in treatments and support for patients, families and friends of patients. Although many individuals express hostility towards cancer, Schattschneider highlights a feeling of ambivalence towards cancer due to the fact that even though individuals go through physical and mental pain as a result of cancer, the challenge of curing cancer allows individuals to come together in order to create a solution, displaying how there are positives and negatives in addressing the topic of cancer. She explains in an email to The Brandeis Hoot, “[c]ancer, in as much as it presents the poignant

(and often terrifying) tableau of the body at war against itself, can be understood as a metaphor for the underlying tensions and contradictions of any given society. In turn, struggles against cancer and its manifold contributing factors (including environmental crisis) can illustrate our better angles, our shared capacity to envision that a better world is in fact possible.” Schattschneider anticipates that the hardest part of teaching this subject will be the fact that most individuals have connections to cancer and may have relatives who are currently struggling to fight against cancer or relatives who have died from cancer, according to her email. As a result, in class, individuals need to be supportive of each other and create a safe space while also exploring the idea of cancer with the rigor that is associated with Brandeis. Overall, Schattschneider wants to “give each and every student the opportunity to understand that the disease is both a biomedical affliction and a social phenomenon. I also hope that together, we can make a significant difference for our partner community in the U.S. South.” She explains in an email that “...together, through the works of activism, advocacy, writing, and art, we can make a difference for patients and their loved ones in establishing shared arenas


of meaning and understanding in facing a disease that so often seems to defy all understanding.” Through this unique method of learning in which students are actively engaging with people who have been affected by cancer, they can work toward not only solving the problem of


cancer together, but also providing ways for individuals to cope with this disease, whether it is affecting them or another person that is close to them. Through intellectual inquiry, students will work toward creating a world where people collaborate willingly in the pursuit of knowledge.


The Brandeis Hoot

January 24, 2020

Dissenters movement comes to campus By Polina Potochevska editor

In the tumultuous times we are experiencing, it may sometimes feel like there is no way to make a difference in the world. However, college students all over the U.S. are turning to membership in various organizations to get involved in changing policies and spreading awareness of the many issues that impact our world. One such organization that is new to the Brandeis campus is the Dissenters Movement, initiated by two Brandeis students. Sarah Arthi Jacob ’21, an economics major and legal studies and philosophy minor, and Ellie Kleiman ’21, an anthropology and International and Global Studies major and a Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies minor, are the founders of the Dissenters chapter at Brandeis. Dissenters is a new national anti-war youth movement that was started by “seasoned organizers

of color from across the country who work in prison abolition, anti-policing efforts and anti-occupation activism,” explained Jacob to The Brandeis Hoot in an email. The movement aims to unite strategies and values into “a cohesive movement to stop ‘endless war’ and militarism which first and foremost affects communities of color in the U.S. and around the world.” According to the Dissenters website, the national movement organization is “leading our generation to reclaim our resources from the war industry, reinvest in life-giving institutions, and repair collaborative relationships with the earth and people around the world.” Jacob wrote that on campuses, the movement aims to push universities to divest from the war industry and companies that may profit, such as “Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, General Dynamics and Boeing which profit most off of the wars waged on so many countries and communities.”

The Dissenters website further states that its mission is to build local teams of young students to “force our elected officials and institutions to divest from war and militarism, and reinvest in what our communities actually need. From campuses to congress, we are building grassroots power to cut off war elites once and for all.” Over the winter break, Jacob and Kleiman traveled to Chicago and participated in a training hosted by Dissenters. There, they “received skills and resources to bring the movement on our campus,” said Jacob. College students from all across the U.S. applied to participate in this training, and over 40 gathered to train, ready to return to their respective campuses and launch chapters of Dissenters. Jacob and Kleiman are “facilitating the launch of this movement on Brandeis’s campus and in the Boston area alongside other students and people who are interested in this work.” Jacob and Kleiman were originally introduced to the application for the training session when it was posted online by an organizer of another group, Movimiento Cosecha, “a nonviolent movement fighting for permanent protection, dignity, and respect for all immigrants,” according to its website. “Participating in the training was one of the most inspiring and empowering experiences of my life. Being with so many passionate and genuinely incredible organizers of color really makes me believe that we can achieve the

The Brandeis chapter of Dissenters protests against the war with Iran. NO MORE WARS

goals of distributive, restorative, and racial justice together,” said Jacob of the experience in Chicago, and hopes to create a similar supportive and passionate community at Brandeis. “I learned a lot about different movements across the country and how achievable a lot of these goals are, should countries like the United States change priorities from Western Imperialism to investing in its own people, especially the people of color living here.” Jacob believes that the Dissenters movement is an important addition to the Brandeis campus, because Brandeis is “a hub of recruitment into defense companies,” according to Jacob. “Brandeis also undoubtedly has ties to defense companies, occupation efforts abroad, and heavy policing in Waltham and the campus itself that disproportionately affects Black and Brown folks,”


wrote Jacob to The Hoot. If the Dissenters movement and campaign can succeed at Brandeis, Jacob said, there will be divestment from the aforementioned issues. If students are interested in joining the Dissenters chapter at Brandeis, they can contact Jacob directly at sarah.arthi.j@gmail. com. The first Dissenters meeting took place on Jan. 21, which aimed to share resources and skills with other students so “together we can organize against the war profiteers on our campus and radically be in community with each other,” as was stated on the Facebook event created for the meeting. According to Jacob, the group will soon begin to meet on a regular basis, so there is still plenty of time to get involv ed. If you would like to learn more, you may also visit the official website for the organization,

Featured Events Calendar Japanese Student Association Oshogatsu: Japanese New Year’s Fri., Jan. 24, 2020, 6 – 8 p.m., Intercultural Center Lounge The Japanese Student Association will be celebrating the new year with games while serving ozoni, soba and Japanese New Years foods. Gordon & Hodgkinson Duo Sat., Jan. 25, 2020, 8 – 9:30 p.m., Slosberg Music Center Recital Hall The Lydian String Quartet cel-

list Joshua Gordon and pianist Randall Hodgkinson perform at Slosberg. These two individuals perform pieces from musicians such as Beethoven, Bridge, Fauré, Hindemith, Ornstein and Rachmaninoff to post-World War II composers such as Britten, Carter, Prokofiev, Vivier, Louis Gordon, Vanessa Lann, Gunther Schuller, Augusta Read Thomas and Scott Wheeler. Brandeis Alumni Connections Launch Sun., Jan. 26, 2020, 3 – 4 p.m.,

Lurias Room of the Hassenfeld Conference Center The Hiatt and Alumni Association along with the Alumni Board are providing opportunities for students to connect with Brandeis alumni. The alumni can be met online and eventually through in-person meetings in May. Worldwide Screening of Claude Lanzmann’s “Shoah” Mon., Jan. 27, 2020, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m., Wasserman Cinematheque Watch a 9.5 hour documentary in which surviving victims and perpetrators describe their per-

sonal experiences during the Holocaust. Brandeis University will be screening Claude Lanzmann’s Shoah on Jan. 27. Community Engagement Ambassador Program Info Session 1 Mon., Jan. 27, 2020, 7 – 8 p.m., Shapiro Campus Center, 2nd Floor Computer Library Conference Room Four Community Engagement Ambassadors will collaborate with DCS staff to work to aid all of the Brandeis community ser-

vice clubs by finding new ways to engage Brandeis students and facilitate community engagement. Art of Mindfulness Tue., Jan. 28, 2020, 7 – 8 p.m., Shapiro Campus Center, Dharmic Prayer Space, 3rd floor Hindu Chaplain Partha Biswas will be describing how to exercise mindfulness and get over negative feelings which may creep into our minds. -Compiled by Shruthi Manjunath


January 24, 2020

The Brandeis Hoot 13

What do 2,000 calories look like?: the breakfast edition

We have all heard that the average person should eat about 2,000 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 these other factors. For example, according to, my couch potato self should consume only 1,800 calories a day. So, if I’m not a nutritionist, why am I even talking about this? 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 must be high in calories and overpriced. There is way too much food to review in one article, so I decided to start with the chronologically logical category: breakfast. Warning: this article contains complex mathematical calculations; however I was unable to find a math major to verify my data.

By Sasha Skarboviychuk editor


I really wanted to include pancakes in this, but, depending on the recipe, calories will vary, so to simplify my life, introducing: Exhibit A: Aunt Jemima’s Pancake and Waffle mix. Just the pancake mix has 150 calories, but who eats just the pancake mix? So, when you make it as per the instructions on the box, the pancakes contain 160 calories per serving. A serving is considered two four-inch pancakes. The box claims to have 49 servings, so this entire box has 7,840 calories: That’s enough to feed you for almost four days. To get to the two thousand calorie norm, you can only eat 12.5 pancakes. But who eats plain pancakes? You need toppings on them, which once again adds calories, so realistically it would be closer to eight pancakes with toppings. But I think American pancakes are gross and so not worth the calories, so go eat a cucumber or something instead.

Staying in the breakfast foods, allow me to present Exhibit B: Pop-Tarts, also known as strawberry flavored puke in a box. I really do not want to imagine what that garbage is made out of for it to be able to be stored for so long without spoiling. But once again, we’re here to talk about calories. The calorie gods have blessed me with this one, as a single strawberry Pop-Tart is exactly 200 calories, according to the box. That means that you can only have 10 Pop-Tarts to stay within the limit. 10! Now are you curious about what they’re made out of? Granted, I really hope no one is going to eat only Pop-Tarts on a single day.

Exhibit C: Apple Jacks. Arguably a better example of the sugary garbage that is American cereal, although it is an insult to apples, cinnamon and apples with cinnamon, as it tastes nothing like any of those. However, my hate for American cereal will be expressed in another article. According to the box, a portion of Apple Jacks is a cup, which will cost you 110 calories. This whole box—which contains approximately 14 portions—is a total of 1,540 calories: two-thirds of your daily norm! So to get to 2,000 calories, you only need to eat a little less than 1.3 boxes of Apple Jacks. But let’s be real, who eats cereal without milk? According to the same box, you need about half a cup of skim milk per cup of cereal, for which they estimate 40 calories. (Let’s say I believed them because I was too lazy to calculate how many calories are in half a cup of milk….Also, ew skim milk). A serving of cereal with milk will cost you 150 calories, so to stay within the 2,000-calorie limit, you can only have 13 and one-third portions of cereal: the entire box of Apple Jacks with seven cups of milk.

For those who like their breakfast in the form of liquid caffeine, Exhibit D: Dunkin’ Donuts Iced Coffee in my favorite flavor, French vanilla. Not going to lie, I was guilty of having these for breakfast every day of freshman year. I know, I know, I am very health-conscious. A bottle is a serving which has 270 calories, so if I decided to live off just coffee, I could only have 7.4 bottles. Now that is crazy. I get that this is a very sugary drink but only seven bottles a day? I could have seven just for breakfast. But it’s good, so maybe as a treat every now and again? Moving on…



Now after all these scary examples, let me present a healthier option, Exhibit E: hard-boiled eggs. Now let’s be real here, no one likes boiled eggs. I remember my mother making me eat them as a kid, and I think they are a large part of the reason why I hate breakfast. Then again, I don’t like most breakfast foods anyway. The average boiled egg contains 78 calories, which isn’t much at all. This means that you can eat 25.6 eggs to stay within the 2,000 calorie limit. They are also a great source of protein with about six grams per egg, so you would get 153.6 grams of protein. We can say that minus the terrible taste of boiled eggs, this is a good breakfast alternative.

If there’s one thing I learned from this article, it’s that food has more calories than we think. And eating fewer than 2,000 calories is not an easy task. Happy eating everyone! Editor’s note: This is the first part of the series “What do 2,000 calories look like?”

The greatest Jeopardy players of all time play to win By Joey Kornman staff

So, recently I came across this little-known game show, maybe you’ve heard of it? It’s called “Jeopardy!” That was a joke; you don’t have to have been a contestant to know the immense pop-cultural relevance the show has had over the last 56 years. Anyway, throughout the show’s long and illustrious run, there have been winners who have gone on crazy streaks, racking up ridiculous cash prizes. Recently, Sony Pictures Television decided to air a “Greatest of All Time” variation of the show, pitting three of the game’s titans against one another. Brad Rutter, born Bradford Gates Rutter (no, that is not a joke), had never lost a match of Jeopardy! to a human opponent. He holds the second highest game-show earnings of all time,

and is a healthy six feet tall. Even still, for the other two contestants on the GOAT edition of Jeopardy!, he was easy pickings, so he won’t really be considered here. James Holzhauer maintained an impressive 32-game win streak, racking up several records for single-day winnings along the way. Apparently he has been nicknamed “Jeopardy James,” but, having never heard that, I will defer to Wikipedia and assume that this is true. Finally, Ken Jennings: A man whose name is synonymous with game show prestige. He has the single highest winnings of any person in game show history, and boasts a record 74-day win streak on Jeopardy! Even though Ken ended up ultimately winning the GOAT episode (spoiler alert, but not really, because if you cared enough to get angry about that, you almost certainly should have already watched the episode), there are

still those who swear by James, touting him as the game’s true paragon. Here is why those people are wrong. Jeopardy! brought, and continues to bring trivia into the mainstream. The whole point of the show is to pit self-proclaimed intellectuals against each other in a battle of wits. Money is secondary. The number that appears in front of each contestant’s podium to indicate their current cash winnings might as well not have a dollar sign, as it is purely a score value. This is corroborated by Sony’s 2002 decision to give the non-winners consolation prizes of two thousand dollars and one thousand dollars rather than the amount that appears on their display. So, when someone tries to tell me, “James won more money on average per game than Ken, his competition was just harder on that day he lost,” all I hear is, “James couldn’t keep his streak.”

So why do I care? I care because James fundamentally broke the game of Jeopardy!, morphing it into some twisted, money-focused version of what it once was. James is literally a gambler in occupation, but is also one on the show. James is a gamesman, Ken is a trivia master. Ken’s strategy consisted of maintaining board control by answering as many lower-value questions as possible, securing an early lead. James’ strategy consisted of using decades worth of

metadata to hunt down the Daily Doubles, skyrocketing his winnings. Sure, this was entertaining, but it degraded the show. No longer was it a battle of wits. Instead, it was a guessing game of where the coveted daily double lay hidden. When Ken ended up more than doubling James’ final score on the GOAT episode, I wasn’t surprised, but I was happy that traditional trivia prowess outshined gamesmanship. James, you have sports betting, leave trivia to the nerds.



The Brandeis Hoot

January 24, 2020

The Stein’s new menu

SSIS advice column

By Aaron LaFauci staff

What a treat! The holidays were kind to The Stein this year. Everybody’s second favorite dining option (the first being UberEats) has received a menu design makeover with some fresh and perplexing options to spice up the new semester. Did management finally give the employees a loudspeaker so they don’t have to distend their vocal cords every time an order goes out? Well, I suppose we can’t have everything. I’ll start with the look—the new menu layout is slick and easy to take in. The coffee-ice cream background compliments the light and dark blues of The Stein logo shockingly well. While black text is not necessarily the best against a brown backdrop, it is far from unreadable. The previous iteration crowded the entire menu onto one sheet of paper—a little overwhelming, especially with a crowded line. The new menu divides its options between a front and back side, which would have taken some getting used to if the headers weren’t so large and bold. The best thing about these new menus, however, is simply the sheer quantity of them. Enough of these things are printed that they can be circulated around the dinner-rush line or carried back to tables. Gone are the days of waiting until you reach the front of the line to see your options! There is no longer a seperate menu for meal-swipe options; meal exchange options are marked with a blue icon. With the new menu comes new items and the loss of some old ones. I get the sense that a number of unpopular items were dropped with this iteration, but I honestly couldn’t tell you what they could be. The old menu was chock full of weird choices that definitely weren’t actually stocked. Granted, The Stein still isn’t totally up to speed with its new menu items either. When a friend of mine tried to order the grilled salmon, she was told that they didn’t have any. An old Stein favorite, the chicken/veggie tortellini, is gone. In its place we have the so called “wild” mushroom ravioli. Let’s talk about that. Of all the new items, the ravioli is probably the best. I love tortellini as much as the next Italian, but the vegetables they used to serve with them were gross, limp, tasteless, too wet, etc. The mushroom ravioli actually tastes pretty sophisticated as far as Brandeis dining goes, and they are steeped in this orange “lemon beurre blanc”

By SSIS special to the hoot


sauce filled with tomatoes that keeps the heavy pasta from being too dry. It’s tasty, but it could do without the shredded cheese on top. If you don’t like mushrooms or the very specific salty-tangy taste of mushroom raviolis, then you are out of luck. The pub mac and cheese is still around, I guess, but cheese on the outside is very different from cheese on the inside. The specific combination of chicken, tortellini and red sauce is also a protein carb combo that will be missed by many, even if it wasn’t particularly great. Regardless, as a swipe-able dinner option, the raviolis are a great addition. There is another new swipe option available, but this item is far less exciting than the raviolis. It is called the grilled cheese bagel. It is on brand with the whole “Brandeis = Jews = Bagels” thing, but the idea sounds a lot better than the execution. For starters, the bagels are not served in traditional sandwich style; the rounded “tops” of the bagels are on the inside with the flat cut bottoms on the outside. I suspect this is done to facilitate grilling on a flat surface, but this does not make for a pleasant eating experience. When the sandwich is bitten into, the cheese, lacking an even surface to cling to, is squished out the sides and middle hole of the bagel. The bagel itself, contrary to Einstein’s model, is not a great sandwich bread in the first place (chewy inside, tougher outside and generally dense), and the bagels The Stein is employing here are of a prepackaged Market Basket generic quality. I would have wel-

comed a crispy grilled cheese on wheat with a side of tomato soup instead. No, these grilled cheese bagels are not served with tomato soup. The menu refers to it as “tomato basil bisque.” Please don’t get me started on the bisque. It’s marinara sauce with a little extra water in it. Would you guzzle down a small cup of the mozzarella stick marinara sauce with a spoon? No. Then why would you do it just because they call it bisque? This whole menu option is a trick of names. Seriously, this item is just a meal-swipeable pizza bagel with the two halfs put together the wrong way and the sauce on the side. The cheese tastes exactly the same as Einstein’s. I cannot understand how they justify charging $8.49 for something that is six bucks max at Einstein’s, let alone a meal swipe that is priced in the dining halls at around $12. These cheesy bagels are just as expensive as the angus burger. Remember kids, Sodexo runs private prisons. Upcharging captive buyers is kind of its thing. Speaking of corporate shenanigans and beef, the fabled Impossible Burger has finally reached The Stein, and it comes out on its own special metal tray. It’s awesome that we can get ahold of one of these things without leaving campus, but it is the second most expensive item on the menu next to the steak tips at $12.49. I can’t say I am entirely pleased with the way they are cooking it, either. Mine was served like a panini. The bun was charred and compacted and the patty was, as Steve Buscemi

would put it, “burnt to a crisp.” I have ordered this thing twice now, and it came out the same way both times (The Stein fries, on the other hand, vary immensely from crispy to flaccid). One could probably ask if they’d grill it a little more rare, but campus health restrictions might require them to make it well done. If you want the burger to taste like it’s fresh from the Burger King drive-through window, it might be worth asking. I do not know if The Stein has always served entree options that come with two sides, but the new “crabless crab cakes” stood out to me. I don’t usually eat crab outside of the sushi bar California rolls myself, so I wouldn’t be able to judge even if the cakes had crab in them. The meal easily filled me, but I can’t say I was satisfied. They aren’t meal swipe-able and their consistency brings to mind the texture of waterlogged bread. The soft cakes are spicy, but in a white person kind of way. Are white people allowed to say that? All of that said, it is nice that one of the larger entrees is a vegetarian option. Fish and crustacean lovers might really love these, so I will suspend further judgement. I still have a lot to experiment with, but the above pretty much covers the new stuff. While the mushroom ravioli and Impossible Burger are wonderful new additions, the menu changes as a whole are decidedly nothing to get excited about. The redesign has also disappointedly failed to address a longstanding problem with Brandeis dining, and that is the severe lack of value meal swipes have in comparison to points. I still can’t use my leftover meal swipes to buy myself a plate of mozzarella sticks, nachos or a small pizza, and that’s unacceptable. I’m already paying $2,000 more than I would like to for this meal plan, at least let me use it to stuff my face with salt and grease! All of this goes without mentioning the dark rumours that have been swirling about. Brandeis is in the midst of renegotiating and potentially selecting a new dining provider. The Stein menu redesign comes alongside improvements to Sherman’s dining experience as well (Sherman has a stir-fry station and sandwiches now). Is upper management pushing for improvement in a bid to retain its contract with Brandeis, or has a new contract already been worked out? Thankfully, I don’t need to give you any answers. This is Opinions, not News.

What does SSIS actually do? SSIS is a student-run volunteer-based group that aims to serve the Brandeis community’s sexual health and pleasure needs. Each year, every member of SSIS goes through approximately 30 hours of training. Although we have two staff advisors, we’ve remained entirely student-run since our founding in 1973 to maintain our standards of confidentiality. We strive to create a welcoming space for the Brandeis community by holding office hours each week. During our office hours, community members can come in and utilize our outer office as a place to study or relax, talk to some of our members for peer support or buy affordable sex toys and safer sex supplies. Some of the products we carry include a variety of external condoms, internal condoms, finger cots, dental dams, lubes, sex toys, menstrual cups and pregnancy tests. Our products are largely subsidized so that we can offer them at discounted rates. Throughout the school year, we host workshops, maintain a confidential texting service, run educational events, send out a monthly newsletter and offer referrals. SSIS members are also trained to offer peer education in the form of dorm raps which we tailor to meet the needs of clubs or residence halls. If your group has any particular questions, feel free to reach out to us. We can speak on a wide range of topics including relationships, sexual pleasure, sexuality, long-distance relationships, STIs/STDs, kink and more! Our monthly newsletter features a product and book of the month, updated information on upcoming events and a Spotify playlist with super sexy and intimate songs. In our outer office space, we have a comprehensive library on technique, sexuality, gender and relationships. We also have some stress toys in our space along with coloring and craft supplies which community members can use to relax. Our office space is on the 3rd floor of the Shapiro Campus Center in room 328, so feel free to come in during our hours.


January 24, 2019

The Brandeis Hoot


Why am I here? Politics on campus By Thomas Pickering staff

On Tuesday, Jan. 21, the third impeachment trial in American history began. President Donald J. Trump is being impeached with two articles which are finally being debated on the Senate floor. As the good liberals we are here at Brandeis, all the buzz was about the proceedings of the trial. Trump this, history that, you could not escape it. The impeachment trial, yes, I guess someone could think it’s important, but, like life, we all know how it’s going to end and none of us want to think about it. However, the real news from Tuesday that no one was talking about was the HIVandMe legislation in Utah. HIVandMe was clearly the winner of the day when it comes to what stories were published that day. In a nutshell, the state of Utah is going through a terrible HIV breakout. The solution to the problem was to sell condoms that encourage their usage. The condoms had friendly messages on them that, if you are anything like me, would make you buy them immediately. Some of the winning puns on the condom wrappers were: a map of Utah with a star on Salt Lake City with the caption, “SL,UT,” one with a picture of a bear on it saying, “Don’t go bare,” one with a picture of a cave on it saying, “Explore Utah’s Caves,” one with a couple dancing

on it saying, “UinTAH sex?”, and finally the best of all, a condom wrapper with a photo of mountains on it captioned, “Enjoy your mountin’.” Currently, the governor of Utah is trying to abolish the condom wrappers because they are apparently “too profane” and “do not represent the value of Utah.” Maybe I am young and dumb or perhaps my humor is ridiculously low brow, but this initiative is one of the best. If I were in Utah, I would collect every single one of these condoms. The program is undeniably more efficient than any other form of HIV prevention out there. I think that now it is time for the American people to step up. We must protest our state legislatures and condom producers to rise to the occasion and make better condoms. Now I am not an expert on puns, condoms or sex by any means, but I think some of these ideas could be sold. There are plenty of themes to draw from and put on condoms. I am seeing one with a photo of a car on it saying, “Use the Masshole.” Massachusetts drivers are notorious for being bad, earning them the name of “Masshole.” This gets right to the point, which in this case is the Masshole. I think Trojan would be willing to purchase a condom wrapper with the Bruins logo on it saying, “Bruin her.” That one could even be changed for coffee lovers to a Dunkin’ Donuts logo saying, “Brewin’ Her.” Finally, I think one

could be the skyline of Boston with the caption, “Bustin’ this instead.” Sushi lovers would enjoy the condom wrapper with a picture of a California roll on it saying “California roll me on it.” Now, perhaps this news didn’t

break any national headlines, but the least we can do as Brandeis students is start a conversation about this initiative and even get SSIS to aid us. Although this story is not as cool as a historically important impeachment trial or

whatever, we should all be concerned with that peach and protecting its civil liberties. Editor’s note: This is the sixth part of the series “Why am I Here?”


Falling like flies By John Fornagiel staff

Did you know that falls are responsible for over half of accidental deaths in adults over the age of 65? Although for teenagers and young adults a simple fall will likely only lead to minor cuts and scrapes, for an elderly person it can easily lead to a hip fracture, which is fatal for nearly a quarter of elderly people. Understanding how to deal with falls, especially for those who are elderly, is absolutely crucial and can save precious minutes that are essential for survival. So, now that we know falls can be deadly, what are the things that we can do to provide the best odds of recovery? The very first thing that you should do is ensure your own safety. If someone fell down a small pit, then it is probably not the wisest idea to go after them. The next thing you should do is to reasonably determine if the person needs help or not. If your buddy Tom got a small scrape from tripping on some branches and you called an ambulance for him, you’ll definitely get more than a few odd looks from both Tom and the first responders. Speaking of first responders, another thing that you could do to provide the best odds of recovery is to get all of the information that you can for them. Some useful information includes how the fall occurred, if there could be a medical cause behind the fall and where on the body he or she landed. Examples of medical reasons that could lead to falls are low blood pressure, low blood sugar

(especially in diabetic patients), general dizziness or a loss of consciousness. If you have reasonably determined that the person needs help and that you are safe, then there are many other serious complications that can accompany falls. First, determine if the person is conscious and if he or she is breathing. If the person is unconscious, not breathing and does not have a pulse, begin CPR and seek medical attention. If you are unsure how to perform effective CPR, then refrain from performing CPR as it can lead to other injuries such as a cracked sternum. Alternatively, if you call an emergency number, they will likely instruct you how to perform CPR properly if necessary. If the person is conscious and clearly breathing, then there are other serious complications to look out for. If you suspect that the person has fallen from a great height or has sustained a neck or spine injury, then ask the person to keep as still as possible and do not move them. This is very critical. In general, if someone falls, then it does not hurt to tell him or her to stay as still as possible to avoid any further injury to the neck or spine. If the person moves the wrong way, injuries could occur that would decrease quality of life such as paralysis. This can happen because the spinal cord can become damaged by the broken vertebrae in the spine. Another serious complication is bleeding. If there is bleeding, then apply firm pressure with a clean pad. If the person shows signs of shock, such as cool, clam-

my and pale skin, then lift the legs up, cover the person with a blanket, and try to keep him or her in a warm environment. Now that you know how to properly deal with falls, you can effectively respond if your friend or relative loses their balance. Once again, it is crucial to recognize that although teenagers are not as susceptible to injury

from falling, they can still sustain life-threatening injuries. Moreover, if people believe that they are seriously hurt from a fall, no matter what age they are, call for emergency help immediately. Being able to recognize and treat the injuries that are generally associated with falls is crucial to provide the best odds of recovery for the person.

(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.)



14 The Brandeis Hoot

January 24, 2020

Living it up on top at Hadestown By Victoria Morrongiello editor

All aboard the railroad car! Next stop: Anaïs Mitchell’s “Hadestown.” This Broadway musical addresses the struggles of the 21st century through the storyline of an ancient Greek tragedy. Hadestown brings to life the ancient Greek myth of Orpheus (Reeve Carney) and Eurydice (Eva Noblezada), with a few detailed changes. Overall the plot remains the same: guy—Orpheus— and girl—Eurydice—fall in love, girl dies, guy goes to the god of the underworld—Hades—to try and save her, guy sings song and makes god of the underworld’s wife—Persephone—happy, god of underworld says he’ll let girl and guy go if guy can pass a test of faith, guy fails the test at the last second, and the lovers are separated by death. Fun, right? In the original myth, Eurydice dies from being bitten by a poisonous snake. However, in the musical she goes

to the underworld after Hades offers her a better life where she would never be hungry—if she gives up her identity. This detail was changed to fit the message of the play regarding capitalism today. The myth is a tragedy, and the musical makes no false promises that the play will end happily, as we wish it would. One of the really cool aspects of the show is that it opens with an upbeat and lively number, “Road to Hell.” However, the lyrics sung in this tune are telling the audience that this is in fact a tragedy—it will be sad but they’re going to sing it anyway. Then at the end of the musical, the reprise of the opening number, “Road to Hell (reprise),” slows down the melody of the song and basically says we told you this would be a sad story, but that’s the whole point. Even though it is sad that Orpheus and Eurydice don’t end up together, the whole point is to have that (false) hope. Hadestown opened on Broadway in April 2019, after having been on off Broadway in 2016, on stage in Canada in 2017 and on London’s West End in 2018. From its Broadway run, it has won eight Tony awards, including Best Musical. The show is beyond deserving of such praise. I was lucky to have seen it with the original Broadway cast, and they are truly incredible. Each and every actor is so talented. The fates (Jewelle Blackman, Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer and Kay Trinidad) and Orpheus have numbers in which

they are not only singing but also playing instruments. The show doesn’t have a pit; the entire band is set up on stage like a New Orleans club, which was a cool choice of set design because it makes the show feel more intimate. This also allows for members of the pit to come and dance during some of the numbers like “Living It Up On Top” while playing their instruments. Also in the song “Our Lady Of The Underground” Persephone (Amber Gray) introduces every member of the pit by name, and the pit acts as the chorus to the song. Out of all the Broadway shows I’ve seen, this production gave the most attention to the pit, an essential aspect of these performances that are usually overlooked. A cool concept in Hadestown is the parallel made between Hades (Patrick Page) and Persephone’s relationship and the relationship between Orpheus and Eurydice. We see Hades and Persephone’s relationship as it’s deteriorated over the years of them having been separated for a portion of every year. The lovers are separated when Persephone must go aboveground to the living to bring the change of seasons. Hades becomes controlling over Persephone, as he fears she will lose her affection for him, his desperation only pushing Persephone away as they both forget why they fell in love. While Orpheus and Eurydice’s relationship is still in the “honeymoon stage,” their love echoes what Hades and


Persephone once had. Hades’ and Orpheus’ characters are juxtaposed in other ways. Hades is portrayed as being cynical and cruel towards the idea of love, whereas Orpheus is the definition of a hopeless romantic. Not only are their characterizations juxtaposed, but their vocal ranges contrast as well. Hades sings in a deep baritone voice, while Orpheus sings in a high alto. Their vocal ranges being on complete opposite ends of the spectrum makes their harmonies really cool to listen to. Hadestown is amazing not just because of its talented cast and beautiful soundtrack but because of the message the musical is trying to convey. The show is bold

because it is taking a stab at capitalism and politics today. Hades is framed as a capitalist who is making a profit off of the souls of those below him with less power, and he uses people as laborers in order to gain wealth for himself. There is a number in the musical titled “Why We Build The Wall” which describes poverty as the enemy and people who sneak through the wall are trying to take what they have. Sound familiar? The play is meant to make us think about where our society is going and who it is harming. I would 100 percent recommend going to see this play in person, but more realistically, I would suggest going and listening to the Broadway cast album online.

Koslofsky’s Corner: Yikes, I’m in love with Noah Baumbach By Jonah Koslofsky editor

There’s something masochistic about turning on a Noah Baumbach movie. If you’re unfamiliar, this is the writer/director who broke into the mainstream with “The Squid and the Whale” (2005), an excruciating, autobiographical riff on his parents’ divorce. More than any other filmmaker working today, Baumbach makes no illusions about his characters, people he’s willing to present honestly, even if they alienate an audience. Baumbach’s latest, “Marriage Story,” arrived on Netflix about a month ago to critical acclaim, as well as earning six Oscar nominations (a rare case in which I agree with the Academy.) But that doesn’t make watching it


any easier. Baumbach first appeared on my radar two years ago, when his film “The Meyerowitz Stories: New and Selected” was released around the same time as his partner’s debut, Greta Gerwig’s “Lady Bird.” At the time, I sort of wrote Baumbach off—or maybe I wasn’t ready for his work. But in the last few weeks, I’ve gone through his entire relevant filmography, starting with “The Squid and the Whale.” It’s a harrowing film, one in which Baumbach casts himself as an annoying, teenage Jesse Eisenberg, his irredeemable father played by Jeff Bridges. Released ten years after his debut, “Kicking and Screaming,” “The Squid and the Whale” runs only 81 minutes—not that you’d be able to stand in front of its harsh fumes for much longer. Although it’s a pretty exceptional film—its honesty brutal, its humor unexpected and generally effective—Baumbach’s follow-up floundered: “Margot at the Wedding” (2006) has got to be the director’s worst outing. Still, it’s the type of failure that can illustrate an artist’s strengths: again, we watch a dysfunctional family’s self destruction, but the characters are so unlikable, and the film’s notions on human nature are so coarse, rigid and bitter that you can’t really engage with it. That’s what’s so illuminating about a movie like “Margot”—all the elements that make Baumbach’s work successful are there, just disproportionately pieced together. And Baumbach couldn’t have found his groove—which he did eventually locate—without the

help of one special person. After co-starring in Baumbach’s “Greenberg,” (2010), Greta Gerwig and Baumbach co-wrote “Frances Ha” (2013), she leading in front of the camera, him leading behind it. Still, watching “Greenberg” today is a bit painful, though not for the intended reasons. Gerwig and Baumbach began a relationship somewhere between their first two films, a messy development considering Baumbach was still married to Jennifer Jason Leigh – who also co-starred in “Greenberg” (all of this admittedly juicy material is riffed on in “Marriage Story”). Perhaps it should come as no surprise that someone who makes movies about deeply flawed people fell down a similar rabbit hole. Off-screen drama aside, “Ha” marks another high-point in Baumbach’s filmography. The story of Frances, a dancer stuck in post-college uncertainty, is not quite as agonizing as a lot of the director’s other movies. Yes, I still cringed a-plenty, but the blackand-white frames are gorgeous, and Gerwig keeps the protagonist sympathetic. Also sporting a runtime of under 90 minutes, “Frances Ha” is an easy recommendation. From here, Baumbach churned out two more low-key flicks, “While We’re Young” (2014) and “Mistress America” (2015), both of which I find genuinely enjoyable. The former marks his first collaboration with Adam Driver in a neurotic explication of aging, while the latter is another “Frances Ha”-style collaboration between Baumbach and Gerwig that

never quite reaches the heights of their prior work. The stakes never feel particularly high in either, but they’re both entertaining, functional works. Then, two full years before his much-publicized dramatic turn in “Uncut Gems,” Baumbach cast Adam Sandler as the lead in “The Meyerowitz Stories” (2017). Sandler turns in a sweet performance, as the film circles back to a family much like the one Baumbach picked apart in “The Squid and the Whale.” Only this time, the irredeemable father (now played by Dustin Hoffman) may be deserving of some sympathy, his health in serious question. And while the titular Meyerowitzes have more than their fair share of issues– including a stunning inability to communicate–Baumbach takes care to make all their perspectives valuable and valid. Then there’s “Marriage Story,” which might just be my favorite of anything Baumbach has made so far. It’s got the most empathy for its characters, harshly poking at their flaws and simultaneously making you care for their suffering. There’s a scene in this movie I can’t stop thinking about, can’t stop watching. It falls at the very end: Adam Driver’s Charlie belts out an impromptu version of Stephen Sondheim’s “Being Alive.” “Somebody hold me too close / Somebody hurt me too deep” he sings, “make me confused!” he begs. His voice builds. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen an actor embody total vulnerability like this before. Baumbach’s movies can be hard to watch, sometimes seriously


brutal. But this is what I find so fascinating about his approach: that’s it. Baumbach’s movies don’t usually have a hook, or a big, broad conceit. They’re about screwed-up people navigating a screwed-up world, nothing more, and nothing less. Yes, his characters sometimes speak in a deadpan tone, but generally, this is a filmmaker who rejects showboating gimmicks. In an age of over-the-top genre-flicks and high concept intellectual property, there’s something radical about Baumbach’s simplicity. Maybe I’m a masochist. Or maybe the key is in that Songheim song: people, even at their most frustrating, are worth being around. The key to Baumbach’s style was never to pull back and make his characters more palatable, but to present the contradiction of people as both horrible and valuable. As Baumbach has embraced this truth, his work has evolved, becoming more empathetic—not to mention better.

January 24, 2020


The Brandeis Hoot

How to watch Netflix’s ‘The Witcher’ By Joshua Lannon staff

Generally speaking, I try to focus on the positive aspects of a new film or show. I try to talk about the parts of the work that other critics might overlook. And while I did enjoy bingeing Netflix’s “The Witcher,” I cannot overlook some of its glaring flaws. By the time the Netflix series aired, the Witcher franchise had gained some popularity in the U.S. The Polish book series by Andrzej Sapowitzki had already been adapted into comic books and a trilogy of video games, most notably “The Witcher Three: Wild Hunt,” which won the 2015 Game of the Year Award, according to The events of the Netflix show take place well before the events of the third game, but it’s the show’s internal chronology that is its biggest flaw. The confusing timeline combined with excessive world building make the show less accessible to everyday viewers. We follow three stories that intersect later in the season. One plotline follows Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill), who is a Witcher, or a mutant that hunts monsters. The second storyline follows Yennefer of Vengerberg (Anya Chalotra), a deformed hunchback who becomes a powerful sorcer-

ess. And the final storyline follows Ciri (Freya Allan), a princess escaping the besiegnment of her home. In an approach similar to shows like “Game of Thrones,” we get a glimpse of the story through each character’s perspective. The problem with this, however, is that the stories are told out of chronological order. A simplified version of the chronology is that Yennefer’s story occurs first, Geralt’s second and Ciri’s occurs last. But the constant flashbacks further confuse the muddled plot. I found myself having to rewatch certain moments, only to realize three episodes into the eight-episode season that these threads were being told out of chronological order. Gleaning new information and details from repeated viewing usually makes a show worth rewatching. But in this case, I needed to rewatch the entire show in order to better understand the basic plotline. I am usually against the use of title cards to show the passage of time like a line of text appearing on the screen saying “One Year Later,” but “The Witcher” could really use some. This was likely a stylistic choice in order to have the character’s respective arcs align, even though they don’t happen concurrently in the timeline. In practice, this technique actually confuses the timeline, and without dates and a clear chronology the audience cannot know how long Geralt’s,

Yennefer’s and Ciri’s respective journeys take over the course of the eight-episode series. While eagle-eyed viewers and hardcore fans may be able to recognize this decision, it makes the show less accessible to viewers. In addition to the confusing timeline, the show requires a knowledge of the lore of the Witcher Universe to fully enjoy. As with any adaptation of a book or game, there will be incongruities between mediums. For example, there are many differences between the lore of the video game series and the book series. Usually adaptations are altered to make the show more accessible to a wider audience, however, in this case I felt my limited knowledge of the Witcher universe was a detriment to my enjoyment of the show. That being said, the show does have many good qualities. In particular, Cavill’s performance as Geralt is phenomenal, as he captures the rough and raspy voice of the Witcher and his sword play mimics the fighting style portrayed in the video game series. Chalotra also does an amazing job as Yennefer. She captures Yennefer’s vulnerability and emotional transformation and she psychically transforms from a hunchback into a stunning sorceress. But my favorite character in the show is Jaskier (Joey Batey), the bard that follows Geralt around on his adventures. Batey’s

performance as the charismatic sidekick is a perfect foil to Geralt’s stern and serious demeanor. Their dynamic is the most entertaining part of the show. Of course, the main attraction of the Witcher franchise are the monster fights. Instead, the show seems to focus on the evils of humanity as much as the monsters. To be fair, this is in keeping with the role of the Witcher as a protector of both worlds, both human and monster. But some of the monsters suffer from bad CGI, which means that the show does a better job with some monsters more than others. One example is Geralt’s fight against the Striga: this fight is low on CGI, but the

fight choreography, set and even the sounds the Striga makes really make the fight enjoyable to watch. On the other hand, the opening fight with Geralt and a CGI spider monster called a Kikimora is less believable-looking, and seems like it belongs more in the video game than on the Netflix series. Despite its many flaws, Netflix’s “The Witcher” was still enjoyable to watch, even with only a basic knowledge of the universe in which it takes place. However, this well-performed adaptation is bogged down by its own internal chronology. If you’re planning to watch it once, be prepared to watch it twice (if you want it to make sense).


‘Raid: Shadow Legends’ is absolute trash By Stewart Huang staff

“Forget everything you know about mobile games” is their tagline. But you shouldn’t. “Raid: Shadow Legends” belongs in the lowest depths of hell that is the industry of mobile gaming. It is guilty of the two most notorious sins: intrusive, deceptive marketing and aggressively monetization-based design. For those that have (luckily) never heard of it, “Raid” is a mobile turn-based role-playing game and the biggest sponsor on Youtube. Starting early 2019, I’ve been seeing their advertisements before every video, which features a cheesy, deep male voice trying to sound as dramatic as possible while touting the game’s

features, like that it’s free, it’s got so many characters to collect, that it’s got an epic story, blah, blah, blah. Later, they would push out cringe-worthy skits of in-game characters being interviewed or revealing their inner-thoughts. They’re awkward in the sense that a money-hungry company is trying to act tongue-and-cheek to sell me their lies. But just when I thought Adblock would save me, Raid’s marketing team started sponsoring Youtubers to be the game’s mouthpiece, paying dozens of influencers to follow a rigid script and repeat talking points like the ones in their official ads: “Totally free! Awesome 3D graphics! Amazing storyline! Log in and get 50K and a free epic champion as part of the new player program!” The game’s marketing is like the cancer of cyberspace—it corrupts its habitat.


“This video is sponsored by…” is now the most feared phrase on Youtube. And I’m ashamed to admit that it got to me, too. I ended up getting sucked in and played for a month. The money I was manipulated into spending was too much for me to tell you without feeling like an absolute idiot. But at least now I know what the game’s really like once you get past the taglines. At best, they are misleading, at worst they are outright lies. The gameplay is extremely mediocre: you control four characters in turn-based combat, and each character has a default attack and two skills, the latter of which go into cooldown once used. Levels consist of three waves of enemies—clear all three waves and you beat the level. You can enhance your characters by leveling them up and equipping gear. There’s an auto mode which lets the game control the characters for you. Nothing about anything here is special. “Raid” plays exactly like countless other mobile games, but somehow has the most primitive-looking and ugliest user interface. The ads can’t shut up about the fact that the game is “FREE FREE FREE FREE FREE!!!” I think most people who play games now understand that when a game is “free to play,” it really means “free to get,” meaning you can download it for free, but there are options to spend real money in-game. So my complaint isn’t the fact that it’s “free to play”—I’ve played my fair share of these kinds of games— but how much it wants you to pay. The game inundates you with a load of monetization options. You have the standard ones like buying premium currencies, which enables you to get new characters, at random of course. Then you get different types of “packs,” giving you silver (which is the in-game currency), restoring stamina which is used to enter into levels,

straight up handing you really powerful gear, or a combination of everything. And it seems that the prices and contents for the same pack are different for each player. I know this because I contemplated buying one of the more expensive packs, so I consulted the Internet. Turns out people were confused as to whether they are talking about the same thing, because the packs contained different things and are marked at different prices. Now, I have no idea about how this works, but I suspect the game tracks your purchase records and modifies these purchase options based on what you will be willing to pay. Extremely scummy, if this is true. Perhaps I wouldn’t have been so bothered by the game’s egregious monetization if the game wasn’t so damn grindy. The sponsorships tell you that you get 50K silver as a new player, but the game may as well give you nothing, because that’s how worthless 50K silver is in this game. You’ll likely spend millions trying to fully upgrade a piece of equipment, because the upgrades aren’t guaranteed: at the high tiers you only get something like a 15 percent chance to upgrade successfully. Each character can wear six pieces of equipment, and you put four characters in your squad. As you can imagine, managing equipment is a resource management nightmare that will quickly dry up your silver. And to add insult to injury, it costs silver to remove a piece of gear, and it costs more if it’s high level gear. Farming for equipment is extremely time-consuming. You have to defeat difficult bosses, each requiring a different set up, to get a chance to win gear. And the problem is the chance of winning is simply way too low, at least for lower-level stages. And even if you get something, it’s often not the prize you want. I speak from experience, having farmed a single stage for several days and still

not getting that one amulet I was desperately looking for. It wasn’t some incredibly rare, legendary gear. It was just an amulet, and I can’t get one. The tedium tempts you to surrender your wallet. And it is what finally made me quit. And now some rapidfire ad-busting: the marketing claims you can collect 300 characters (someone needs to check that number) with unique skills, but the truth is that many of them are reskins with basic skills that have no variation aside from damage modifiers. Others are low-tier ones only designed to be used as fodders for others, so you end up only wanting a very small portion of the total roster. Also the draw rates for a legendary (the highest tier) character, are horrid. Graphics are nothing remarkable, at a quality that is only serviceable. “Explore and fight?” You can’t explore anything—all levels are linear spaces and you can’t move characters manually. “Amazing story?” Completely forgettable (I really forgot what it was), there might as well not be one. You may be wondering what the name of the game refers to. Absolutely nothing. I remember finishing the campaign and thinking: “Huh, the story never mentioned anything about raids, shadows or legends. What the hell?” I like to believe that “Plarium,” the developer, picked these three words, which are quite common words in video game names, just to get the most exposure in search results. This artificial name is much like the game itself: It’s not made to tell a story, it’s not made to be a work of art, it’s not even made to entertain you, which is easy enough; it’s only a hideous machine made to squeeze out as much money from players as possible. Please, don’t make my mistake. Shallow garbage such as this deserves to be disposed of, incinerated and immediately forgotten.


The Brandeis Hoot

January 24, 2020

Mitch Albom brings audience to tears By Emma Lichtenstein editor

When Mitch Albom ’79 finished his talk last Thursday night, there was not a single dry eye in the room. Albom spoke for almost an hour in Spingold Theater about his most recent novel “Finding Chika,” about the daughter he gained and then subsequently lost. The talk started on a lighter note. Albom began the night by recounting his time at Brandeis: his decision to come here, the friends he made and his favorite professor, Morrie Schwartz. Albom mentioned that he took every course he could with Morrie; he even joked that he “majored in Morrie.” This man made such an impact on his life that he wrote a memoir named not after himself, but after his favorite professor: “Tuesdays with Morrie.” The memoir has since become the best-selling memoir of all time. He then moved on to the topic of “Finding Chika.” Albom first explained how he came to manage an orphanage in Haiti after one of the most devastating earthquakes of all time in 2010. After the earthquake, Albom went to Haiti hoping to help citizens hurt by this natural disaster. He went to the Have Faith Haiti Orphanage, which was run by a pastor he knew at the time. Albom assembled a team to help rebuild the orphanage, adding toilets and showers, new walls, a kitchen and a school for the kids. Throughout this explanation, he emphasized how much the kids’ joy meant to him. As he spoke, videos of the children using showers for the first time and singing prayers of thanks were projected onto a large screen next to him. Every time he


played a video, I could feel the audience leaning in, moved by every frame. Then we got to learn about Chika. Even as the youngest child in the orphanage, she was the boss. Albom described her as “loud and loving and loud and curious, especially about loud things.” Even while sick, she retained these qualities. The Have Faith Haiti Orphanage cannot accept every child that comes to their doors due to limited resources, but Albom knew from the start that Chika was special. The two became really close when Albom made it his mission to try to make Chika better. He volunteered to take her in, to personally care for her as if she was his own child. He then described the process of trying to help Chika get better, how he took her to the only place in Haiti where they could get an MRI, how the only response from the doctor was that “there is no one in Haiti who can help her.” So Albom and his wife embarked on a multi-year journey all across the globe in the hopes of finding a cure or treatment for the illness. Chika had Diffuse In-

trinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), a rare cancer affecting around 300 people a year. As the doctor said to Albom, “it’s a four letter word for death.” Because there are so few cases of DIPG, there is very little research on it. Though the Alboms were never able to find a cure for DIPG, they found something more important: a family. Chika taught Albom seven important lessons about life. The first being that “no one is ever too old to start a family.” Albom and his wife never had children of their own—they enjoyed being the cool aunt and uncle—but Chika became like their own child. Their family went from two people to three. She also taught him about time, and how time can change once you have a child. Old routines are gone. Your days—when to wake up, when to eat, when to sleep—now revolve around the child and what the child wants to do. This is an opportunity for new routines, ones that you might like better than those you had before. Chika taught him about wonder, how to marvel at every aspect of life. He remarked that Chika

took nothing for granted, that she was transfixed and grateful for every aspect of her world. Here he tells a story of a family trip to Disneyland. The first “attraction” that caught Chika’s eye was not a ride or a princess, but rather a duck waddling out of a pond. Albom says that Chika taught him how strong children really are. He mentioned that while he and his wife were terrified of every doctor’s visit, Chika took it all in stride. “Chika always managed to find some kind of laugh,” he said. Lesson five was about appreciating the happiness of each moment. He said, “It’s the joy that we remember and the joy that we miss.” Lesson six was about marriage; he learned that you don’t lose your spouse when a child is brought into the home, you actually get closer. The last lesson is what moved the audience most. He said, “only in witnessing the final breaths of life, can you truly appreciate the magnificent and indescribable gift to be alive.” Throughout his talk, he had shown pictures and videos of Chika’s happiest mo-

ments, but here is where the audience realized—or at the very least, I realized—that this source of joy was never coming back. Albom’s final thought for the evening: “you cannot lose a child. We did not lose a child. We were given one, and she was glorious.” Like the rest of the audience, I was moved by Albom’s presentation. The idea that such a joyful life was taken so soon is tragic; we always imagine death as something that only happens to old people. The brightest stars really do burn out first, I guess. The entire room seemed moved by this realization; I heard sniffles coming from every direction. The only person in the room who seemed composed was Mitch Albom. I wonder if that’s from the rehearsal of the book tour, or the acceptance of the situation. Maybe it’s because he knows that he did the best he could to save Chika’s life and the lives of many others. According to Albom, proceeds from “Finding Chika” will go to the Have Faith Haiti Orphanage to help other children live the life that Chika was never able to experience.

And the Oscar goes to: anybody but the nominees By Anna Nappi staff

I watch the Academy Awards every year and I complain about the Academy Awards every year. Like clockwork, I anticipate the list of nominations in January, knowing I’ll be disappointed to see the same problematic patterns and obvious snubs that led to backlashes like #OscarsSoWhite in 2015, a movement against lack of diversity that still remains painfully relevant half a decade later. Whether my participation in this cycle is a fruitless attempt to recapture the ignorant admiration I felt for the Academy Awards when I was young, or whether it just stems from a naive love of celebrating movies, it is a hypocritical and nonsensical feat. In 2020, I will not be watching the Oscars, and here’s why. In 1929, Louis B. Mayer developed the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences in order to discourage unionization throughout Hollywood. Mayer, the founder of MGM media company, achieved this by marketing “The Academy” as its own private and powerful organization, and established the awards ceremony as a means to legitimize his efforts. In his biography, Mayer was quoted saying, “I found that the best way to handle [filmmakers] was to hang medals all over them. […] If I got them cups and awards they’d kill themselves to produce what I wanted. That’s why the

Academy Award was created.” It’s a shameless and transparent admission, asserting the Oscars’ creation as an affront to the working class and exertion of control by an underhanded representative of the Hollywood elite. Not much has changed in the past century. As of this year, the Academy consists of over 7,000 members deemed worthy to advance the arts and sciences of motion pictures. Their duties include selecting candidates for a variety of awards at the Oscars ceremony, widely ranging from Best Picture to Sound Editing to Costume Design to Writing. Over the years, their choices have received an equally wide range of disapproval, most notably at the 2016 Academy Awards when every nominee in the acting categories were white… for the second year in a row. Four years later finds the Academy nominating only one woman of color, Cynthia Erivo for “Harriet,” in what feels like a blatant refusal to recognize the talent of non-white actors and actresses, and a twisted representation of racism in Hollywood and our larger society. Following this trend, many performances by people of color went unrecognized in 2020. Although “Parasite” received a nomination for Best Picture and Best Director, phenomenal actors including Park So-dam, Kang-Ho Song and Choi Woo-shik were not laud-

ed. Furthermore, the ensemble of “The Farewell,” Jennifer Lopez in “Hustlers” and Lupita Nyong’o in “Us” were entirely ignored, as were the films themselves. In 92 years, it is an embarrassing and shameful statistic (among many) for the Academy that there has only been one black nominee who has won Best Actress: Halle Berry for “Monster’s Ball” in 2001. While the Oscars neglect to honor people of color, the ceremony does not hesitate to celebrate abusers. Tarana J. Burke, founder of the #MeToo movement against sexual violence, was in the room when Kobe Bryant, accused of sexual assault in 2003, was awarded Best Animated Short in 2018. In 2019, Rami Malek won Best Actor for his role in “Bohemian Rhapsody,” a movie directed by Bryan Singer, who has been accused by multiple men of sexual assault over the past two decades. Last year, “Green Book,” a film about Don Shirley and his white chauffeur set in the 1960s, won Best Picture despite being heavily disputed by Shirley’s living family. Advertised as the black musician’s story, the movie instead focused on a white man’s character arc and salvation, thereby employing many controversial narrative tropes and making it yet another thoughtless, problematic choice for an award. Meanwhile, there have only been five women nominated for Best Director in 92 years. Adding to this, 2020 saw the snub of


Greta Gerwig (whose film “Little Women” received a nomination for Best Picture), Lulu Wang (“The Farewell”), Lorene Scafaria (“Hustlers”), Alma Har’el (“Honey Boy”) and Marielle Heller (“A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”), all of whom merited the recognition more than Todd Phillips (director of “Joker,” which regrettably received 11 total nominations this year). Despite receiving well-deserved criticism for its erasure and lack of inclusivity, it is difficult to believe that substantial change for the Oscars is imminent, or even possible. Last week, Stephen King—a

member of the Academy—tweeted, “I would never consider diversity in matters of art. Only quality, it seems to me that to do otherwise would be wrong,” sparking a slew of responses wondering why diversity and quality cannot go hand in hand. On the other hand, also on Twitter, Women In Media have started promoting #AltOscarParty to boycott this year’s Academy Awards in a similar move to #OscarsSoWhite. Instead of tuning into the ceremony, they will be watching films made by women on Feb. 9. I plan on joining them.

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