The Brandeis Hoot 03/06/2020

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Volume 17 Issue 7

“To acquire wisdom, one must observe”

March 6, 2020

Brandeis University’s Community Newspaper · Waltham, Mass.

Prospective food providers present to community By Victoria Morrongiello, Sasha Skarboviychuk and Tim Dillon editors

The university is currently in the process of selecting a new dining contractor, with the university’s current contract with Sodexo ending this June. As part of the process for responding to Brandeis’ Request for Proposals (RFP), each of the candidates were given the opportunity to pitch their dining services and take questions from the campus community. The four presenters were Sodexo Group, Bon Appetit Management Company, Harvest Table Culinary Group and Chartwells.

Sodexo Group Sodexo Group made its bid presentation on Wednesday, March 4 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. The presenters had a selection of foods for students to choose from, including crabless crab cakes, bagels and brownies. Outside of the function hall where the presentation was being held, there was a sign with a quote from UNITE HERE local 26, the union of the current workers at the university, which endorsed Sodexo’s bid to continue being the dining service for the university. The union sign said Sodexo provides a respectful environment, has open communication and has an approachable management team. Sodexo’s representatives took See RFP, page 3


Univ. ranked 136 in risk-reward study By Sasha Skarboviychuk editor

Brandeis University was ranked #136 in the annual College Risk-Reward Indicator (CRRI) study, with a score of 4.42. Princeton University in Princeton, NJ ranked first with a CRRI score of 47.44. The study defines the risk of attending a university or college as the average debt each graduate from a school has after graduating, measured in student loans. The reward in the study is the average pay at the beginning of the graduates’ career, which is the median salary for those with a bachelor’s degree with less than five years of work experience. At 136, Brandeis is a place below the University of South Florida, with a score of 4.43, and above the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which has a score of 4.41. Harvard University came in second with a score of 33.5, while San Francisco State University, with a score of 31.25, was third. Brandeis was ranked 10th in Massachusetts, following Harvard University (CRRI 33.50), Amherst College (15.51; seventh in the US), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (13.11; 11th),

Inside This Issue:

Williams College (10.62; 17th), Wellesley College (7.09; 40th), Tufts University (7.05; 42nd), Fisher College (7.03; 44th), Boston College (6.47; 64th) and Babson College (4.75; 118th). The study measures and ranks the return on investment for students based on the Class of 2018 rather than 2019 due to the delay in data collection. The study says that institutions with the highest CRRI values “should be considered as the best risk-adjusted choices for undergraduate students, [while]...institutions with the lowest CRRI values should be considered the worst risk-adjusted choices for prospective students.” According to a LendEDU article, the return on investment has become a major factor in students’ decisions when it comes to what college to attend. LendEDU data shows that, on average, students with a loan graduate with $28,000 in debt. When students with no loans are included, the average decreases to $16,000. Students are to factor in projected salary and debt levels after graduation, as the higher the salary after graduation, the easier it

Rose Art Museum acquires 50 new works By Rachel Saal editor

The Rose Art Museum received 50 works from collector Stephen Salny, according to a press release sent to The Hoot on Feb. 28. The gift has pieces from Ells-

worth Kelly, Anni Albers, Josef Albers, Sonia Delaunay, Helen Frankenthaler, Damien Hirst, Jasper Johns, Alex Katz, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Motherwell, Richard Serra and Frank Stella, according to the email. “We are delighted and deeply grateful to receive this generous

gift,” says Luis A. Croquer, the Henry and Lois Foster Director and Chief Curator. “A major gift, such as this one, helps us to deepen and expand our holdings and also signals to the wider community that the Rose Collection con-

See RANKING, page 2

News: Prof. opposes facial recognition software. Ops: On American politics. Features: Artists wins Creative Arts Award. Sports: Ammen vaults to first place. Editorial: Hopes for dining.

Page 2 Page 10 Page 9 Page 6 Page 8

See ROSE, page 4


Tennis Women’s tennis places seventh at national tournament. SPORTS: PAGE 5

All the bright places Netflix’s new adaptation is lovely. ARTS: PAGE 14


2 The Brandeis Hoot

Univ. ranked 136 in Risk-Reward Indicator study RANKING, from page 1

will be for students to repay their loans. In response to these issues, LendEDU began releasing the College Risk-Reward Indicator, which ranks universities and colleges in terms of the best return on investment for students. The study analyzed 798 fouryear institutions throughout the United States. The data that LendEDU used came from Peterson’s Financial Aid Dataset and PayScale according to the article. Peterson’s dataset, which was

collected through a survey to the institutions that were included in the study, which was voluntary. From the survey, LendEDU found the percentage of graduates with debt from student loans as well as the average student loan debt per borrower. Then the PayScale’s College Salary Report of 2019 was used to find the median salary for students that graduated from each institution with less than five years of work experience. Only institutions that were included in both sources were used in the final study.

March 6, 2020

IN THE SENATE: March 1, 2020 •

An Asian American and Pacific Islander minor is coming to Brandeis, according to Director of Academic Affairs Jacob Diaz ’20.

The Club Support Committee voted to give the club “Period” another probationary period. They will still have meetings and funding but are not a fully established club, according to Senator Joseph Coles ’22.

Co-Chair for Allocations Board Marshall Smith ’21 said that the board is preparing for their marathon period. He said that there is a smaller budget this year than previous years.

The SipChip initiative launched on Wednesday, according to Vice President Kendal Chapman ’21.

An SMR to buy a poster and postcards for an International Women’s Day tabling event was proposed by Social Justice and Diversity Committee Chair Priyata Bhatta ’22. The Senate voted to suspend the rules and the SMR passed.

The facilities department doesn’t know about the Plan B machine, so the Division of Student Affairs needs to tell them about it, said Senator Leah Fernandez ’22. The Health and Safety committee also has a meeting with Vice President for Campus Operations Lois Stanley to work on restocking the Plan B machines. Alcohol consumption posters will go up soon. The committee is also working on bylaws to ensure that club members stay safe while traveling.

A Lyft subsidy that would provide a 50 percent discount off rides to and from Brandeis twice a month is going to be released soon. The discount would apply from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. during weekends with a maximum discount of $10.

Chapman talked to a staff member in the Hiatt Career Center about connecting students to relevant alumni more effectively. The administration is looking to get a new alumni connection platform so that undergraduates who seek such help will be able to get it. Hiatt doesn’t know if it will be structured by career path or by major, according to Chapman.

Senator Oliver Price ’20 proposed an act to allow wages to be paid from the Brandeis Sustainability Fund (BSF) to provide financial support for undergraduate students who would like to be a part of projects to improve Brandeis’s environmental sustainability. The act passed. The Brandeis Sustainability Committee (Sensus) is going to put out compost bins in the Fosters Mods.

Coles proposed an amendment that would allow clubs who exclude people through audition, such as a cappella clubs, to still be chartered and receive funding. They reached out to Coles to say that they don’t get money from the Allocations Board so they’re operating at a loss. The funding would only apply to on-campus venues, according to Coles.

Fernandez and Secretary Taylor Fu ’21 measured around East Quad for the East Quad beautification project and all of their ideas were approved, according to Fernandez. -Rachel Saal


Prof. signs open letter opposing facial recognition on college campuses By Sabrina Chow and Victoria Morrongiello editors

Professor Bernadette Brooten (CLAS/WGS), the director of the Feminist Sexual Ethics Project and the emerita Robert and Myra Kraft and Jacob Hiatt Professor of Christian Studies, was one of 150 academics across the country that signed an open letter to campus administration opposing the use of facial recognition software on college campuses, according to an article by MassLive. “Facial recognition is invasive, enabling anyone with access to the system to watch students’ movements, try to analyze facial expressions, monitor who they talk to, what they do outside of class, and every move they make,” according to the open letter. The faculty wrote the letter with the intent to support the students at their respective universities, stating that students shouldn’t have to choose between education and their right to safety and privacy. According to the letter, faculty and staff said there is no safe way for the technology to be used, therefore it should be banned. The letter states that facial recognition is not an effective means of security on college campuses.

It cites an article by the American Civil Liberties Union that demonstrates that video surveillance does not increase security at all. Brooten told The Brandeis Hoot in an email that she signed the letter out of concern “for darker skinned and immigrant communities.” The open letter explains how facial recognition is often inherently biased against people of color, citing a recent study done by Patrick Grother, Mei Ngan and Kayee Hanaoka, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NSIT). The study found that the algorithm used in facial recognition technology has racial and gender bias. Other researchers in the facial recognition technology field have claimed the software is inaccurate; according to the article, the algorithm often misidentifies people of color, older adults and women. “The facial recognition software can err, especially with darker skinned people,” added Brooten. “And the data can be used by ICE [U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement] to target undocumented students and others.” Brooten was not a part of the writing of the letter but had many of the same concerns voiced in the open letter. “Administrations opposed to certain groups of

protesting students could use it [facial recognition] to deter them from demonstrating,” Brooten wrote in an email to The Hoot. “And law enforcement, ICE, and even stalkers might obtain information and misuse it.” The open letter also states that biometric data that is collected through facial recognition can be a common target for hackers and stalkers. “We’ve seen that many schools are ill-equipped to safeguard this data,” the letter added. “Teaching people to be aware of their surroundings and to look for signs of potential violence, hateful or discriminatory acts, or other misconduct is a community-based approach that can be more effective” than using facial recognition software, Brooten wrote to The Hoot. The Ban Facial Recognition website uses a “scoreboard” to monitor universities in the United States and their policies towards the use of facial recognition technology. Brandeis has been a confirmed institution which does not use facial recognition and does not plan to use it in the future, along with other institutions in the area including: Boston College, Boston University, Harvard University, Tufts University, Hampshire College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technolo-


gy. Though other institutions like Northeastern University might be using facial recognition software, it is reported. The letter was signed by academics from multiple universities in the area including: Boston University, Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northeastern University, the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the University of Massachusetts Boston, according to the letter. “I am very proud of Brandeis for vowing not to use facial recognition software,” Brooten told The Hoot. “I signed the petition mainly to support students, faculty, and staff at other universities and colleges in their efforts to persuade their administrations.” There are currently no state or federal restrictions on facial recognition software, according to an article by MassLive. Somerville, Brookline, Northampton,

Cambridge and Springfield have all passed legislation banning the use of the software in their respective towns. Massachusetts is also “considering a proposed statewide moratorium on the technology and other forms of remote biometric surveillance.” A national campaign, with goals to stop the use of facial recognition technology on college campuses, collaborated with the team of faculty and staff to create this letter, according to a MassLive article. Other advocacy organizations were involved in the effort, according to the article, including Students for Sensible Drug Policy—a group responsible for grassroots movements to end the Drug War, according to their website. Fight for the Future, a campaign which defends technology as a force for liberation and not tyranny, according to their website, was also involved in drawing attention to this issue.

March 6, 2020


The Brandeis Hoot

Univ. hears presentations from prospective dining providers lar dining times. Another change would be that the Hoot Market (C-Store) would operate 24/7. They also would like to create a stronger connection between the community and their dining experience by having members of the Brandeis community visit the farms where the food is grown. Harvest Table also plans on improving some of the other dining locations on campus, while keeping those that students are satisfied with. According to the presentation, Harvest Table has no prior experience providing kosher food.

RFP, from page 1

time for self-reflection in their presentation: they noted the momentum they’ve made on campus and the unique position it places them in relative to their competitors. The momentum that Sodexo has is likely to continue, according to their presentation, whereas other vendors would not have any momentum as they transition into the university. The areas of opportunity that Sodexo wants to focus on include diversity of food choices, partnership communication and community engagement. They’ve also planned to make changes based on feedback from students, including changes to hours of operation, new food offers, a plant-powered launch and more promotions and events. Sodexo has planned to align themselves with the values of the university; according to their presentation, they want to undergo a sustainable journey on campus. In order to become more sustainable, they plan to serve more sustainable food, eliminate waste and solve food insecurity. The dining provider plans to incorporate the Future 50 Foods, a list of foods composed by Knorr and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) meant to improve health and benefit the environment through diversified dining systems, according to their report. In their plan for the university, Sodexo has planned around President Liebowitz’s Framework for the Future Plan which was recently approved by the Board of Trustees. If they were to win the bid they would further connect with the community, provide authentic and diverse foods, add additional meal plans and renovate food spaces, according to their pre-


sentation. Usdan would undergo a remodel to include more food places including Lemon Grass Kitchen, Veggie Grill, The Farmhouse, Mein Bowl and Amelia’s Taqueria, while also keeping current venues that are currently in Usdan like Louis’ Deli and Dunkin’. Bon Appetit Management Company Bon Appetit Management Company presented on Wednesday, March 5 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. They served various baked desserts and hors d’oeuvres to those in attendance. On its website, Bon Appetit describes itself as “an onsite restaurant company offering full food-service management to corporations, universities, museums and specialty venues,” which currently operates in over 1,000 locations. They say that they believe in “[creating] food that is alive with flavor and nutrition, prepared from scratch using authentic ingredients.” The presentation focused on the alleged nutritional value of the food which Bon Appetit would provide, and the methods of sourcing used by Bon Appetit. According to a pamphlet distrib-

uted at the event, the company would use “regional fresh ingredients” and base its meals on “fresh produce, whole grains and lean and/or plant-based proteins.” The pamphlet adds that these ingredients would be “sourced in a socially responsible manner,” and that there would be “plentiful” vegetarian options. Bon Appetit also has plans to change the dining options available on campus. According to the pamphlet, both Starbucks, the Einstein Brothers’ Bagels, the C-Store, Louis’ Deli and the Dunkin’ Donuts would remain unchanged. The Stein, Sherman Dining Hall and Lower Usdan Dining Hall would all have new menus. In Upper Usdan, the pamphlet advertises several new restaurants: a “Chobani Cafe, Sushi and Bowls, GO! and CommonWealth Kitchen.” The Hoot asked Bon Appetit Regional President Michael Bauccio, Regional Vice President Elaine Smart and District Manager David Connolly for further comment, however they declined to provide any. Bauccio cited “respect for the process and the university” as his reason for declining.

American artist awarded Brandeis Creative Arts Award By Lola Calotychos special to the hoot

American Artist Fred Wilson was awarded this year’s Brandeis Creative Arts Award on Tuesday, March 3, in the Wasserman Cinematheque of the International Business School. Wilson, a Bronx, NY native, attended the High School of Music & Art and subsequently received a BFA from Purchase College, State University of New York. Wilson began his career as a guard at the Neuberger Museum, a New York State museum affiliated with Purchase College. The time Wilson spent in museums piqued his interest in the field of museology, the study of museums, he said. According to Wilson, the perspectives he gained through the lens of both an educator and a guard shaped his understanding of the artistic, social and political processes that contribute to the construction of museum exhibitions and curation decisions. Wilson said that these observations catalyzed his own artistic projects. Wilson received the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Founda-

tion “genius grant” in 1999 as well as the Larry Aldrich Foundation award in 2003, according to the Dean of Arts and Sciences Dorothy Hodgson who introduced Wilson at the ceremony. He represented the United States at the Biennial Cairo in 1992 and at the 50th Venice Biennale in 2003, in which he produced the solo exhibition titled “Speak of Me as I Am.” In May 2008, he became a Whitney Museum Trustee, said Hodgson. Wilson is represented by the Pace Gallery in New York. Wilson discussed his artistic process and a few of his most “challenging and fulfilling” projects. Although Wilson said that he begins projects without a specific direction, he centralizes his work around particular objectives. “When I’m traveling and working with different institutions I come without doubt and get deeply in the institution or the city and come up with something that becomes important not only just to me but to the community at large,” said Wilson. Wilson’s exhibition, “Mining the Museum” (1992), at the Maryland Historical Society, for instance, “contradicted” the history the museum portrayed to the Maryland community by introducing

artifacts pertaining to black people’s reality that foreshadowed not only past, but current “maskings” of culture and history. Wilson’s “love to juxtapose” and by doing so “expose,” is a common theme in many of his works. Wilson’s love of Shakespeare, specifically the language of Shakespeare’s Othello, is another way in which he uses cultural and historical mediums to reconstruct African and African American narratives: “[Othello] made such a complex African character, that it just continues to speak to me.” According to Brandeis’ Arts website, the Brandeis Creative Arts Award was established in 1956. The award was given under that name until 1994, and was then modified in 1995 as it evolved into The Poses Institute of the Arts at Brandeis University. Since 2015, the award has been re-implemented as a biennial award. The new award has been received by two people prior to Wilson, in 2015 and 2017. Fred Wilson is the first visual artist to receive the renewed award, according to the website. Visual artists to receive the award among Wilson include notable names such as Georgia O’Keeffe.

Harvest Table Culinary Group The Harvest Table Culinary Group presented on Thursday, March 5 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. They provided students with samples of trail mix served at other campuses, as well as an all-natural soup mix. A particular focus of their food choices is their own production of pickled vegetables, which students were able to sample. Harvest Table focuses on five main premises: they are chef-driven, serve locally sourced food, are hospitable toward the students, focus on the wellness of the students and emphasize collaboration. Mary Thornton, the founder and president of Harvest Table, told the audience that they create a personalized approach for every school. In the particular case of Brandeis their focus is creating food that is healthier and making sure that their operations are sustainable. Part of that plan would be to expand the available vegetarian, vegan and allergen-free options. A part of Harvest Table’s plans for Brandeis is expanding some of the dining locations, which are often crowded during popu-

Chartwells Food Service Chartwells Food Service presented on Thursday, March 5 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. It currently serves food on 300 campuses across the United States and has a 98 percent retention rate. They served the students with new food options that they would see in the dining halls if Chartwells was chosen, particularly vegetarian and vegan options. According to their website, they are “re-inventing the on-campus dining experience. We are challenging the norm and setting new standards by investing in hightech, food-infused social spaces that bring people together to promote meaningful relationships and interactions.” They also use a specialized approach for every campus. Their goal for Brandeis specifically is to increase the amount of sustainability in dining, and to increase the variety of food that Brandeis students are exposed to while maintaining a high standard of food quality. If selected, they would like to change the dining experience for Brandeis students by introducing them to new foods and food combinations, which will also allow more students to have a taste of home at Brandeis.


The Brandeis Hoot

ROSE, from page 1

March 6, 2020

Univ. given significant artworks

tinues to be a significant repository of modern and contemporary art in our area. I know that Steve, a seasoned collector with a sharp and knowing eye, chose the Rose intentionally, both honoring his personal connection to the museum while fully acknowledging the depth and quality of our collection.”

The gift included 11 Ellsworth Kelly lithographs dating from 1970 to 2012, including “Blue-Green” (1970), “Green Curve” (1999) and “Dartmouth” (2011); they join other works by the artist in the collection, including Kelly’s painting “Blue White” from 1962, according to the email. Four prints by Robert Motherwell, “Djarum” (1975), “Red Open With White Line” (1979),

“Summer Trident” (1990) and “The Black Wall” (1981), will be added to the Rose’s collection, adding to “Elegy to the Spanish Republic, No. 58” (1957–61) and his other works in the collection that are already there. Helen Frankenthaler’s works “Ganymede” (1978) and “Sunshine After Rain” (1987) add to the museum’s holdings by the artist, who had an exhibition at the Rose in 1981 and whose work

“Yellow Line” (1982) was recently on view in the exhibition “Into Form: Selections from the Rose Collection, 1957-2018,” according to the press release. Salny had originally intended to donate the work after his death, but he decided to donate it earlier after initially giving the Rose eight works. “Since childhood, I have been passionate about art, architecture and interior design,” says Salny.

He decided that he wanted his work to be at Brandeis about 10 years ago, according to the release. “I was walking up the steps,” he says, “and I had this instant thought: ‘This is where my art is going.’” The Rose has been at Brandeis since 1961, according to its website. It has over nine thousand objects and is open year round and free to the public.

Univ. appreciates community partners, speaks on improvements for future By Victoria Morrongiello editor

The university partners with multiple organizations in Waltham and and in the greater Boston area for volunteer opportunities for students. A community partner breakfast, in the Shapiro Campus Center (SCC) Multipurpose Room on March 5, was held to show appreciation for the relationship between the organizations and the university students. The university also wanted to hear feedback about what it could do better to enhance their relationship. The idea for the collaboration breakfast was to have the voice of community partners heard and also appreciating them. Sarah Ernst ’20, Community Engagement Ambassador for Partnerships and collaboration, said, “I think sometimes the appreciation of what the community partners do goes over the heads of the students. They don’t realize the work you guys do for our programs to exist.” The meeting had a mix of

Brandeis faculty and student representatives, as well as representatives from various volunteer groups that the university partners with. There were representatives from various groups, including English at Large, Opportunities for Inclusion, WATCH, Waltham Boys and Girls Club, Waltham Partnership for Youth, Jewish family and Children’s Services and Big Brother, Big Sister. The university representatives wanted to hear feedback and know what the organizations were doing in order to better relations between the university and community partners, said Ernst. “We truly value and honor our relationship; we love how they have evolved over the year,” said Lucas Malo, Director of Community Service. The Department of Community Service wanted to have a chance to discuss the work that is being done on campus and receive feedback on whether or not it was working for community partners, said Ernst. The department also was seeking out suggestions from the organizations present that they

could adapt into their practices that the university has yet to incorporate into their training for students, said Ernst. The agenda for the meeting was to discuss diversity, equity and inclusion, Brandeis resources, student volunteer training and future goals of the program, according to Ernst. The representatives were encouraged to bring in suggestions and brainstorm ideas for the future of the partnership, said Ernst. Samantha de Melim, a community service specialist at Brandeis, asked how the various organizations incorporate diversity, equity and inclusion into their training for volunteers. Michael Mullins, a representative from Opportunities for Inclusion, said that volunteers are trained in diversity, equity and inclusion during their orientation, which is laid out in their rulebook. The representative from Big Brother, Big Sister, a program which pairs volunteers with children, said there is no specific training but they encourage each volunteer to show curiosity and learn from their little.

“Being able to end the year to give back to the community partners is something that I am very excited about. Hopefully this will continue throughout future years and become a tradition at Brandeis,” said Ernst. Malo announced to the group that the university has released plans to create a civic and community engagement center. The proposed center would expand on the work of the Department of Community Service, the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) and other offices across campus which are engaged in the volunteer community at Brandeis. This news comes after President Ron Liebowitz gave a university-wide presentation to all staff announcing the plans, according to Malo. There is no set timeline at this point for when construction will begin on this project, though there are new programs in the works which will be more connected to the academic side of community engagement, said Malo. The new center will help better align the university with campus partners, Malo said. This change comes after that the university

Professor Anita Hill named ‘Woman of the Year’ for 1991 By Tim Dillon editor

TIME Magazine has named University Professor Anita Hill (AAAS/LGLS/HS/WGS) “Woman of the Year” for 1991, as part of a new series recognizing the contributions of influential women. The series, titled “100 Women of the Year,” is described by former TIME Editor-in-Chief Nancy Gibbs as “an exercise in looking at the ways in which women held power due to systemic inequality.”

The article cited Hill’s speaking out as the reason that she earned the title and called her actions “courageous” and an early step towards women speaking out against powerful men. In a foreword to the series, TIME says that its choice of “Person of the Year,” which until 1999 was called “Man of the Year,” has historically been biased towards men. TIME has been choosing a person of the year every year since 1927, when it picked Charles Lindburgh, and only 11 of those

selections have been women. This new series picks a woman for each of the last 100 years, from “The Suffragists,” in 1920 to Greta Thunberg in 2019. The 1991 selection is Hill, with the subtitle “Courage to Speak.” Hill currently teaches at Brandeis as a Professor of Social Policy, Law, and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, but she is best known for her involvement in the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, the event which the TIME article commemorates.

When Thomas was nominated to the Supreme Court by President George H. W. Bush in 1991, Hill spoke out against him, accusing him of sexually harassing her. She provided detailed descriptions of Thomas’ behavior, but her accusations did not stop Thomas from passing out of committee and ultimately being confirmed with the narrowest margin of any Supreme Court justice that century. The TIME article, written by Tessa Berenson, recounts this history, but goes on to talk about

had taken into account feedback from campus partners which had said the university was hard to navigate. The vision for the center is to bring a “one-stop shop,” according to Malo, to make navigation easier for partners. Mullins said, “I feel like it’s made me a much better person, working with Brandeis professionally and personally. This is a nice school and not every place has that.” Mullins collaborates with the university to develop the Brandeis Buddies program, which is meant to connect students with adults with developmental disabilities, as described by its Brandeis page. According to Mullins, the program has grown over the years and there are now students interning at the agency to help with business and development. Colby Sim, a Community Service Specialist at the Department of Community Service, is the advisor to Waltham Group and supervises the Community Ambassador program. Sim said, “My favorite thing is the relationships of this community, everyone just feels so connected.”

Hill’s life and impact after the hearings. It credits her testimony for “a law extending the rights of sexual harassment victims” and an increase in reporting of sexual harassment in the year following Hill speaking out. Berenson also writes about Hill’s post-hearing career as an author, pundit and academic, and about the renewed interest in her story brought about by the #MeToo movement and the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh following similar accusations.

Univ. discourages int’l travel over spring recess By Polina Potochevska editor

Brandeis University will comply with Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s request for schools, colleges and universities to cancel international travel by groups of students planned between now and April 30, according to an email sent by the Brandeis Health Center on March 5. The university will reevaluate

the situation at the end of April and issue another address if the ban is extended, the email said. \As stated in the Health Center’s email, Brandeis is “discouraging students from traveling internationally for Passover and Spring Recess (April 8 through 16), due to concerns over potential difficulties returning to the U.S.” Residence halls and dining services will be operational during the spring break for students who stay on campus. \Students who are currently

studying abroad are not affected, but Brandeis will continue to monitor the Coronavirus Disease 2019’s (COVID-19) spread. According to a previous Hoot article, Brandeis has placed travel restrictions to China and South Korea and has since extended the restriction to Iran and Italy for official university business, according to a March 1 email by Provost Lisa Lynch. On March 4, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated information for

travelers coming to the United States from Iran, Italy and South Korea. The CDC recommends travelers to “stay home from school and work for a period of 14 days” and to practice “social distancing,” including strategies such as tracking temperature, avoiding contact with others, not taking public transportation or attending crowded spaces and keeping a minimum distance of six feet from others. “Brandeis expects all commu-

nity members to comply with the CDC’s recommendations,” according to the March 5 email. The email also states that the university is “not canceling any campus events at this time,” due to there only being two known cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, but states the situation is “fluid” and more information may be sent out in the future. For more information about COVID-19, visit the CDC’s website or the Health Center’s Frequently Asked Questions page.


March 3, 2020

The Brandeis Hoot 5

Men’s basketball honors two on Senior Day, Jones and Sawyer receive all-UAA recognition By Francesca Marchese staff

Prior to the Judges’ final home game of the season against New York University (NYU), Brandeis University honored seniors Eric D’Aguanno ’20 and Collin Sawyer ’20. D’Aguanno has truly left his mark on the hardwood, as he will graduate with a school record 244 career three-pointers, while also landing 30th on the all-time scoring list with 1,015 points. Sawyer finished this season with 959 points and 168 three-pointers, seventh all-time, and will be returning next year for a medical hardship season. Both seniors have had an incredible impact on the men’s basketball program, and D’Aguanno and Sawyer’s senior leadership was evident in this Saturday afternoon matchup when the Judges defeated the Violets, 72-69, in regulation. With this senior day victory over UAA rival NYU, the Judges finished 17-8 overall, 9-5 in conference play. This is the men’s highest regular-season win total since the 2012-13 season, and their best UAA record since the 2009-10 season. The Violets, though, finished 8-17 overall, and 1-13 in the UAA. The game was exciting, as the lead changed four times in the first seven minutes of the game. NYU held a 14-13 advantage on a lay-up with 13 minutes to go, but the Judges answered by scoring the next 12 points, including eight consecutive points from Sawyer. Rookie Matan Zucker’s ’23 putback off of Sawyer’s only miss in the stretch gave Brandeis a 23-14 lead at the midpoint of the first half. With just under five minutes to go, the Judges remained ahead by nine off of Chandler Jones’ ’21 jumper.


The men’s basketball team celebrated two seniors during senior night this past Saturday.

The Violets scored seven consecutive points to cut the Judges’ lead to two, but a late Dylan Lien ’23 jumper secured the Brandeis lead, 34-30, heading into the locker room. Scoring eight of the first 10 points of the second half, the Violets went on another big run, taking a 38-36 lead off of a three with 17 minutes to play. Brandeis Head Coach Jean Bain called a quick timeout and Lien answered from downtown to gain the Judges the advantage for good. The Brandeis men extended their lead to seven points, but were unable to pull away, allowing NYU to climb within one. Jones sunk a couple of big three-pointers with under five minutes to play in regulation, which helped maintain the Judges’ lead, especially as Bain instructed his team to slow the pace and utilize the shot clock. Junior guard Lawrence Sabir ’21 finished a layup with 2:57 remain-

ing that made it 70-64, but that was Brandeis’ final bucket of the game. On the next possession, NYU sunk two from the stripe to cut the deficit to 70-66 with 2:34 to play. After a couple of defensive stops, the Violets hit a three-pointer with 48.1 left that put the visitors within one, 70-69. On the ensuing possession, the Judges put the ball in Jones’ hands, but he was unable to finish on a crafty take to the rim. NYU called a timeout with 15.1 seconds on the clock. Inbounding the ball directly in front of their bench, the Violets got the ball in to Macarchuk, who drove the lane, only to meet Zucker, established in the paint, ready to take the charge with 6.8 remaining. The Violets then fouled D’Aguanno who hit both free throws, like a veteran, with 5.2 left on the clock, making it a three-point game. NYU had a good look on the next possession, but were unable to

hit the game-tying shot, giving Brandeis the win. Jones led the Judges with a team-high 17 points, 10 of which were scored in the second half. He sunk 4-5 from downtown while also leading the Judges with eight boards and two steals. Sawyer finished with 16 points, 13 of which were scored in the second half, too. Both he and rookie Lien hit three three-pointers; Lien contributed 11 points. Sabir totaled 10 points and a team-high four assists. In the final game of the season, the Judges shot 44.1 percent from the floor and 41.4 percent from beyond the arc. Additionally, the Brandeis men had their best game of the season taking care of the ball, committing just two turnovers, while forcing 13; the men outscored the Violets 12-2 in points off turnovers. The team also had two members receive all-association honors from the UAA this season. Jones


and Sawyer were both names to the all-UAA First Team for their efforts throughout the 2019-2020 year. Sawyer led the team in scoring 15.6 per game to place him fourth in the UAA, with Jones coming in slightly after at 13.8 point per game to be the Judges’ second leading scorer. Jones also led the team in three other categories including 7.5 rebounds per game, 24 overall steals and 23 total blocked shots. This is Jones’ second time receiving association honors after being given an honorable mention after his sophomore year. Sawyer comes in with his first All-UAA recognition after leading the Judges in three pointers made this season (57) and being fifth in the conference for this statistic. Sawyer will return to the floor next year for the Judges as a graduate student. The Brandeis men’s basketball team will return to the court next October to begin their 2020-2021 season.

Women’s tennis places seventh at Indoor Nationals By Sabrina Chow editor

The women’s tennis team is back to a full roster after being one player short just in time for the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s (ITA) Indoor Nationals. Walk-on Summer Quinn ’22 clinched her first collegiate win at No. 6 singles to help the Judges to a seventh place finish in the tournament against host Centre College. Coming in ranked 10th in the country in Division III by ITA and the seventh seed in the tournament, the Judges faced the second-seeded and third ranked Emory Eagles in the first round of the tournament, losing 1-8. Sophomore Ana Hatfield ’22 fought back against 26th-ranked Dafne Olcay to beat the Eagle 2-6, 6-4, 10-3 at No. 2 singles. Hatfield dug deep in the second set and held off Olcay with a late break. She held a commanding 5-1 lead in the third set tiebreaker, just dropping two more points after the changeover to defeat Olcay. Lauren Bertsch ’21 and Hatfield had a close match at No. 1 doubles against the Eagles, hold-

ing serve throughout most of the match, but ultimately losing in a tiebreaker 7-8(8). The Eagles made quick work of Rachel Zubrinsky ’21 and Isabel Cepeda ’21 at No. 2 and Quinn and Grace Wang ’23 at No. 3 doubles, bageling both duos. Now in the consolation bracket, the Judges faced sixth-seed Massachusetts Institute of Technolo-


gy (MIT) for the second time in two weeks, once again dropping all matches. In doubles action, Zubrinsky and Cepeda had the closest match, losing 4-8 to Pamela Duke and Megan Guenther of MIT at No. 2 doubles. The singles matches were much closer. Zubrinsky had the closest match in singles, staying on pace with Ashley Teng from MIT, but

Summer Quinn ‘22 returns the ball to her opponent.

ultimately looking 6-3, 6-4. Hatfield again made a strong comeback in the second set of her No. 2 singles match, but couldn’t hold off Seraphin Castelino, losing in straight sets, 6-1, 6-4. On the final day of the tournament, the Judges prevailed against Centre College to not only a seventh place finish, but also their first win of the season. Centre


College led the match-up after doubles play, with Bertsch and Hatfield holding off the Colonels doubles sweep at No. 1 doubles, defeating Hannah Doherty and Katharine Sherman 8-6. Zubrinsky and Cepeda fell 5-8 at No. 2 doubles and Wang and Quinn lost 2-8 at No. 3 doubles. The Judges went 4-2 in singles play to help secure their victory over the Colonels, 5-4. Hatfield made quick work of Caroline Stallings at No. 2 singles, winning in straight sets 6-2, 6-2. Bertsch and Cepeda also picked up wins at No. 1 and No. 4 singles with scores of 6-4, 6-3 and 7-6, 6-2, respectively. Zubrinsky had a close match against Doherty at No. 3 singles, but lost 4-6, 2-6. Wang lost at No. 5 singles to Ella Rueff with a score of 1-6, 1-6. With the dual match tied at 4-4, Quinn’s match at No. 6 singles decided the outcome of the match. Caroline Lancaster narrowly head off Quinn in the first set, winning in a tiebreaker. Afterwards, Quinn held a dominating lead, winning the second set 6-4 and only dropping one game in the third set to win 6-7, 6-4, 6-1. The Judges improve to 1-4 on the season with a win over Centre College and will face Wellesley College on Sunday, March 8.


The Brandeis Hoot

March 3, 2020

Men place fourth, women fifth at UAA indoor track and field championships By Caroline Wang and Sabrina Chow staff and editor

Last weekend, the Judges headed to New York City to compete at The Armory for the University Athletic Association (UAA) indoor track and field championships meet, hosted by New York University (NYU). After the twoday meet, the men’s team finished in fourth, while the women’s team finished in fifth, with both teams earning all-UAA honors. On the men’s team, pole vaulter Breylen Ammen ’21 led the Judges with a first place finish and allUAA honors at 4.43 meters. Ammen became the Judge’s first-ever UAA champion in pole vault with the win. Teammate Aaron Corin ’20 finished fourth with a height of 4.33 meters and Jack Allan ’20 finished fifth with a height of 4.13 meters. Allan also earned an individual all-UAA honor in the long jump, placing third with a distance of 6.90 meters, a new personal record (PR) and his first indoor track honor. Churchill Perry ’20 had a pair of podium finishes and all-UAA honors in the 200-meter dash and the triple jump. He finished third in the finals of the 200-meter dash with a time of 22.33 seconds after finishing fifth in the preliminary race. Perry also finished third in the triple jump with a distance of 13.72 meters. Lorenzo Maddox ’20 finished


eighth in the 60-meter dash with a time of 13.69 seconds after placing fourth in the preliminary race with a time of 7.07 seconds. Rookie Thomas Vandalovsky ’23 just missed a podium finish in the shot put, placing fourth with a throw of 13.91 meters. The Judges made up one-third of the finals for the 60-meter hurdles. Allan placed fifth with a time of 8.49 seconds, Aaron Baublis ’21 placed seventh with a time of 8.69 seconds and Dion Morris-Evans ’22 placed eighth with a time of 8.75 seconds. The 4x400-meter relay of Perry, Jamie O’Neil ’22, Aaron Portman ’22 and Morris-Evans also added more points to the Judges’ total with a fourth place finish with a time of 3:22.94. The distance medley relay (DMR) team of Alec Rodgers ’20, O’Neil, Portman and Josh Lombardo ’21 in the 1200-meter leg, 400-meter leg, 800-meter leg and 1600-meter leg, respectively, placed seventh with a time of 10:32.78. In the high jump, the Judges placed seventh and eighth. Morris-Evans placed seventh with a height of 1.85 meters and Allan was eighth at 1.80 meters. Lombardo ran his third PR in three weeks in the mile, placing ninth with a time of 4:21.07, less a second outside of scoring. On the women’s side, All-American Devin Hiltunen ’22 and DMR team of Andrea Bolduc ’21, Niamh Kenney and rookies Sydney D’Amaddio ’23 and Victoria Morrongiello ’23 led the Judges to their fifth place finish.

Bolduc started the race off for the Judges with the 1200-meter leg, helping the Judges to an early lead, before handing off to D’Amaddio for the 400-meter leg. D’Amaddio handed off to fellow rookie Morrongiello for the 800-meter leg, who handed it off to Kenney for the 1600-meter leg. The DMR team from the University of Chicago held a commanding lead for most of the race with Kenney closing the gap to just one second, finishing with an overall time of 12:08.92. This is the third straight year the Judges have finished in the top two in the DMR, having won it for the past two seasons. On the second day, All-American Devin Hiltunen ’22 earned a pair of all-UAA honors and PRs in the 200-meter and 400-meter dash. Hiltunen finished second in the 400-meter dash and third in the 200-meter dash. This is her first two all-UAA honors. In the 400-meter dash, she finished second in the finals with a time of 58.39 seconds, just 0.14 off the winning time. Hiltunen placed first in the preliminary race with a time 58.09 seconds, another PR for the All-American. In the 200-meter dash, she placed third in the finals with a time of 25.46, after finishing third in the preliminary race with a time of 25.27 seconds, lowering her PR by over half a second. After running a five minute mile in the 1600-meter leg of the DMR, Kenney finished second in the 3000-meter race the next day


with a time of 10:02.87, helping the Judges to their third all-UAA honor of the weekend. Kenney maintained a steady pace for most of the race with a 40-second split time. Her fastest splits came at the end of the race, running the final two laps in 36.54 and 34.26 seconds, respectively. Kenney is currently ranked 36th among all

Breylen Ammen ‘21 comes in first place in the pole vault.

The MVP race is not close

By Jacob Schireson editor

Last Sunday, March 1, the New Orleans Pelicans hosted the Los Angeles Lakers on a nationally televised ESPN matchup. There was plenty of hype leading up to the game, as the Pelicans looked to continue their playoff push against the No. 1 seed Lakers, but more notably, it was the second ever game between generational rookie prospect, Zion Williamson, and LeBron James. The game was billed as the meeting of different generational superstars, one towards the end of his career with another just begin-

ning his own. The game certainly lived up to the hype. Williamson finished the game with 35 points and seven rebounds, while James finished the game with 34 points, 12 rebounds, 13 assists and the victory on the road over the Pelicans. During the game, ESPN commentator Doris Burke shared her thoughts on the NBA MVP for the season. Many have written it off as a foregone conclusion that Milwaukee Bucks Star and 201819 NBA MVP Giannis Antetokuonmpo will go on to repeat as MVP after the season, and that the MVP race is already over, two months before the season ends. Burke expressed her views about the race on air, stating that she

did not think it was a foregone conclusion that Antetokuonmpo would win the award. Burke stated that she thought it should be a closer race and that James should be given more consideration for the award than he is currently receiving. While LeBron has been phenomenal at age 35 in his 17th season, the MVP race is not close, and it’s a testament to the outstanding play of Antetokounmpo. Through 62 games this NBA season, the Milwaukee Bucks sit atop the NBA mountain, with a historic 53-9 record and the highest team point differential per game in NBA history. At their current pace, they are projected to win 70 games, the third most for

any team in a season in NBA history. This historically good team is thanks to the engine that is Antetokuonmpo’s play. After winning MVP last year by thriving in new coach Mike Budenholzer’s system, Antetokuonmpo has been even better this year. At the time of publication, Antetokuonmpo holds the highest single season PER of any player in NBA history. Giannis posts stats of 29.6 points, 13.8 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game, while dominating on defense with a league-leading 96 defensive net rating, with one steal and one block per game. While these numbers are all incredibly impressive, they become more staggering when you


Division III runners. Teammate Danielle Bertaux ’20 finished in fourth in the 3000-meter race after a kick in the second half of the race with a time of 10:07.33, lowering her PR by almost two seconds. Bertaux is now ranked 44th among Division III runners. After running the 1200-meter leg of the DMR the night before, Bolduc placed fourth in the mile run with a time of 5:07.37, setting a new PR by almost three seconds. Willa Moen ’20 placed seventh in the 60-meter hurdles with 9.34 seconds, a new PR for the senior, after placing sixth in the preliminary race. Moen also tied for eighth place in pole vault with a height of 3.23 meters. She also PR’ed in the high jump with a height of 1.5 meters, placing ninth, just out of scoring range. In the final event of the meet, the 4x400-meter relay of Yahni Lapa ’23, Leinni Valdez ’21, D’Amaddio and Hiltunen placed fifth with a time of 4:02.50. The Judges return to action this weekend at the Tufts Last Chance meet before the NCAA Division III Championships the following weekend. Editor’s Note: Victoria Morrongiello is the deputy news editor of The Brandeis Hoot and a member of the women’s track and field team.

consider his minutes. Because the Bucks have been blowing teams out, this has allowed Giannis to rest for larger portions of games. He’s only playing 30.8 minutes per game. Scaling his numbers up to per-36, an amount superstars usually play his numbers become truly ludicrous. Per-36, Giannis is averaging 34.6 points, 16.1 rebounds and 6.7 assists. These numbers have never been achieved per-36 by any player outside Antetokounmpo ever. Considering how dominant the Bucks have been without a stellar roster surrounding Giannis and his historic output, one thing should be clear: the MVP race is already over.

March 3, 2020


The Brandeis Hoot

Women’s basketball honors four seniors, names two to all-UAA teams By Jesse Lieberman staff

In the waning moments of the fourth quarter on Senior Day, senior Hannah Nicholson ’20 grabbed an offensive rebound and nailed a turnaround jumper before checking out for the final time, her last act in her impressive collegiate career. Nicholson scored 18 points to go with 10 rebounds, but it was not enough as the Judges dropped their final game of the season 9173 to New York University (NYU) on Saturday, Feb. 29. The Judges led 16-15 after the first quarter, and after first-year Emma Reavis’ ’23 lay-up with 5:18 remaining in the second quarter, trailed 25-24. The Violets responded by scoring the game’s next 10 points, and ended the quarter on a 16-4 run. The Judges opened the second half on a layup from Lauren Rubinstein ’20 to cut the deficit to 41-30, but it was the closest the Judges would get the rest of the way. Rubinstein had a season-high 15 points, all of which came in the second half. She also hit a season-high three three-pointers. Junior Jillian Petrie ’21 added 12 points while Reavis scored 10 and grabbed seven rebounds. The Violets, who earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Tournament earlier this week, set a school record with 17 made three-pointers, six of which came in the second quarter. Janean Cuffee, the team’s and UAA leading scorer, tied a season-high as she knocked down six three-pointers en route to score a game-high 31


The women’s basketball team celebrated four seniors during senior night this past Saturday.

points. In addition to honoring Nicholson before the game, the Judges honored Rubinstein and Julia St. Amand ’20. The three seniors were individually subbed out in the final minute of the game, each receiving a standing ovation from the fans and the Violets bench. St. Amand, who had a career-high nine points against the University of Chicago on Feb. 23, was first. “She’s tough. She makes the team accountable,” Judges’ Head Coach Carol Simon said. “She had a tremendous four years here,” she continued. Nicholson was next, subbing out for Samira Abdelrehim ’21. Starting all 25 games, Nicholson had a career year, leading the UAA in rebounding, averaging over nine rebounds per game and finishing second in field goal percentage, shooting 53 percent. Nicholson ranks fifth all-time in Judges history in rebounds and seventh all-time in free throw

percentage. Rubinstein followed, checking out for Sophie Trachtenberg ’21. “She’s the engine of the car that we run,” Simon said. Rubinstein, who sustained multiple knee injuries in her college career, played every game this season, starting the final 16. “Most kids would quit,” Simon said discussing Rubinstein’s injuries. “That proves what kind of kid she is. She was not going to let that stop her,” Simon added. “They’re true team players. They’re all family-oriented,” Simon said regarding her three seniors. “When you get people like that, you’ve done a good job as a coach recruiting,” she continued. The Judges almost doubled their win total from last season with a record of 13-12, their first winning season since 2014-2015. The Judges nearly defeated topranked and undefeated Tufts University in November, falling 8177. The Judges had several notable

performances in conference play, knocking off 2018-2019 league champion Washington University in St. Louis (WashU) on the road and pushing 2019-2020 league champion University of Chicago into overtime. The team also had two players receive all association honors from the UAA after their performances this season. Camila Casanueva ’21 was named to the AllUAA Second Team after leading the Judges in scoring 12.8 points per game, making her seventh in the UAA. She was also second on the team rebounds per game (6.1), coming in at eleventh in the conference, as well as leading the team in assists per game at 4.3, second in the UAA. From the free-throw line, Casanueva held an impressive 90 percent total, coming second in the conference and fifth out of all of Division III. This is Casanueva’s third season in a row to receive honors, after being named the conference’s


Rookie of the Year as a first-year and being named to the Second Team as a sophomore. Nicholson was given honorable mention for her efforts, being the Judges’ second leading scorer with 11.4 points per game and totaling 9.1 rebounds per game to lead the whole conference. She also recorded 10 double-doubles this season to come in first in that category for the UAA. Nicholson graduates shooting 50 percent from the field and being Brandeis’ fifth highest rebounder of all time with 642 total. As a team, Brandeis led all NCAA Division III teams in freethrow shooting percentage, coming in at 78.2 percent overall. The Judges will look to build off the progress they made this season, as they will return 12 players, including three starters. Editor’s note: Sophie Trachtenberg is The Hoot’s Sports Editor. Camila Casanueva is a staff member of The Hoot.

Why you shouldn’t count the Red Sox out yet By Justin Leung special to the hoot

It has been a wild off-season for the Boston Red Sox. They went from trying to trade Mookie Betts, to saying there is no way, and then eventually trading him. In that trade, they sent David Price and Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers in one of the biggest trades in Major League Baseball (MLB) history. Following this trade, some said it was safe to say that the Red Sox are dead in the water next season. Yet, according to Spotrac, the Red Sox have the fifth highest payroll in baseball for the 2020 season. How could a team with that high of a payroll be considered out of the running for the World Series before the season even begins? The reason is the same reason why they had to trade Betts and Price. Boston paid huge contracts to players that either underperformed in the 2019 season or are too injured to play enough to make their contract worth it. So, the Red Sox are paying an absurd amount of money with no chance to win the World Series. However, there is a lot of talent left on this team and if some things go right, they still have a shot. First off, it is impossible to say that the Red Sox are going to be better in the 2020 season than in the 2019 season because they no longer have Betts. Optimistic Boston fans are going to say that

the Red Sox are somehow better off without him. This is completely false. Betts is a top five player in all of baseball, so getting rid of him is not immediately going to make the team better. However, the replacement may be well on his way to becoming a star. Alex Verdugo was the key trade piece that was sent from LA to Boston, and he may be a lot better than people think. Before going in depth into baseball stats, a brief description of the average values and relative meaning for the following stats. According to Baseball Reference, the average batting average in 2019 was 0.252, and over 0.300 is approaching elite status. RBI’s are runs batted in, and this stat defines how many runs a player drives in by getting a hit with a person on base. According to Rotochamp, in 106 games last season, Verdugo hit 0.294 with 44 RBI’s and 12 home runs. That is not extremely overwhelming, but it is pretty solid at age 23. His 2020 projections have him hitting 0.290 with 60 RBI’s and 15 home runs. Again, that is not nothing. That is significantly better than what people are giving the Red Sox credit for. He additionally plays stellar defense in the outfield, nearly comparable to Mookie Betts. The big issue here is that those stats do not measure to what Betts has put up with in the past couple years. Without Betts’ hitting, is the Boston offense completely dead? The answer is no. Rafael Devers hit 0.311 last season with 32 home

runs and 115 RBI’s. Those numbers are crazy good and especially so, considering he’s only 23 years old. He is only going to get better. J.D. Martinez also had 105 RBI’s with 36 home runs last year. Not to mention Xander Bogaerts with 117 RBI’s and a 0.309 batting average. The Red Sox can clearly still hit without Betts. They have players that can produce on the offense, but the most questionable part of the team is the pitching. Last season the Red Sox were 19th in pitching earned run average (ERA), the number of runs a player lets in every nine innings, with 4.70 just a season after they were eighth, according to ESPN. So, what happened? Pretty much everything went wrong. Their ace Chris Sale was injured for a large portion of the season, and when he did pitch, he was not great. 4.47 ERA was the average last season, according to Baseball Reference. ERA’s between three and four are strong, and the closer you get toward two, you approach a level of incredible pitching. It is very uncommon for a starting pitcher to have an ERA below two but if a player has an ERA under two, they are among the best pitchers in all time of baseball. Sale had a 4.40 ERA with a record of 6-11. The Red Sox ace was struggling big time. Just a season after Nathan Eovaldi pitched incredibly in the playoffs, he would allow 45 runs in just 67.2 innings. His ERA was 5.99. At the trade deadline, the Red Sox attempted to address the

starting pitching issues by trading for Andrew Cashner from the Orioles. That did not work out at all as he ended the season with 6.20 ERA and allowing 37 runs in just 53.2 innings. The bullpen was not great either as they were 18th in the bullpen ERA. Their bright spot was Brandon Workman, who had an incredible 1.88 ERA as he allowed a miniscule 15 runs in 71.2 innings. He was easily one of the best relievers in all of baseball. So how do the Red Sox have a chance? According to USA Today, the Red Sox are projected to finish third in the AL East with a record of 84-78 behind the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays. How could a team that finishes third in their division possibly have a chance at winning the World Series? Firstly, the Red Sox weren’t horrible last season. Despite the disappointment, Boston still had 84 wins. They were not as atrocious as they were portrayed to be. The reason why they were seen so poorly is because they won the World Series the year before. Players such as Brandon Workman, Matt Barnes, Eduardo Rodriguez, Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts showed flashes of superstar potential, so they may get even better next season. All these players are either in their primes or are close to entering them. A team with that much star potential definitely still has a chance to be incredible. The big question is, “what is happening with Chris Sale?” A season after being completely

dominant, he appeared to have lost his touch. Home runs really hurt him in 2019 as he let in 24 in just 147.1 innings. But there were flashes of his old self. Fox Sports recorded Sale striking out batters at an elite rate of 13.3 per nine innings. If he had pitched enough innings, he would have been second in all of baseball among starting pitchers behind only Gerrit Cole. Rotochamp has him with a 3.11 ERA next season and a 13-6 record. He is likely to return closer to his 2.11 ERA elite self, but anything better than last season is going to be a big help for the Red Sox. Nathan Eovaldi is another player who needs to step up and return to his old self. Baseball Reference says his career ERA is 4.30, which is not incredible. But as recent as the 2018 postseason, he had an incredible 1.61 ERA. He has nasty pitches, so it is possible for him to be a solid pitcher. Even if the offense stays at least at the level it was last season and the pitching gets to being slightly above average, what happens with the Rays and the Yankees is going to be important for them to let alone make the playoffs. If all teams play to their max potential, the division is going to be extremely competitive and it may come down to which team has the least number of injuries. If the Red Sox make the playoffs, their hitting and a possibly improved bullpen give them a real shot at going all the way. The season is not over just yet.

8 The Brandeis Hoot


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

Volume 17 • Issue 7 the brandeis hoot • brandeis university 415 south street • waltham, ma

Founded By Leslie Pazan, Igor Pedan and Daniel Silverman


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

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

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

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March 6, 2020

Hopes for the new dining contract and selection

e, the Editorial Board of The Brandeis Hoot, would like to share our hopes for the future of Brandeis Dining Services and the new contract with a food vendor in light of this week’s vendor bid presentations. Dining is a large part of student life, and should be given careful attention. We understand that no dining service can be perfect, and that no matter what happens, someone will be dissatisfied with the result. We believe, however, that if the university considers factors beyond simply the price of each proposal and listens to students’ oft-vocalized needs and complaints, Brandeis can solve the most important issues regarding dining on campus. The food vendor presentations that took place this week reflect Brandeis’ interest and dedication in hearing student feedback about the new contract, and we hope this trend continues as the process moves forward. While adopting the most cost-effective plan is important, food quality and selection is equally relevant. Additionally, Brandeis has specific food-related needs, such as multiple kosher options in dining halls and other food retail outlets like the C-Store and Upper Usdan. When choosing the new vendor, the administration should keep in mind not only the importance of kosher options but also clearly labeled options for students with allergies, sensitivities (such as to dairy or gluten), vegetarians and vegans, among others. In addition, maintaining quality and variety of food for students with different dietary restrictions should be a priority when deciding on a vendor for Brandeis. While the dining halls have im-

proved their labeling and recently expanded their options, including the additions of the new vegan action station in Lower Usdan and the made-to-order stir-fry in Sherman, vegetarian, vegan and gluten free food options remain limited. Many students also mention a lack of culturally-sensitive and diverse options in dining halls, though there has been an improvement in recent months with the collaboration between cultural clubs and the Student Union’s Social Justice and Diversity Committee. It would also be beneficial to students to be able to use meal swipes in more locations. Regardless of who the new vendor is, we hope that they will improve and expand the choices for students with dietary restrictions and offer these options in dining locations beyond the dining hall. While there is a meal swipe to-go option at the C-Store, meal swipe options are limited to sandwiches and salads. Meal plans are expensive, and if they are mandatory for all students living on campus, there should be more food options to meet students’ needs and preferences. We also believe that it is not acceptable to require all students living on campus to buy a meal plan. Students should be given the option to decide whether or not they want to purchase a meal plan. Because all students living on campus are required to buy a meal plan even if they do not need or want one, some decide to eat elsewhere. This means that the food bought for these students goes to waste. We understand that food vendors, by nature, are for-profit organizations, but firmly believe that profit should not be

made at the expense of students’ tuition or campus sustainability. We believe that the university should offer more choices in dining plans for on-campus students to select from, including an option for students with severe dietary restrictions to be exempt from buying a dining plan. Additionally, students who live in residence halls with kitchens should have the option to pick a reduced meal plan or abstain from purchasing a meal plan at all. Peer institutions such as Boston University and Boston College allow students who live in apartment-style housing to opt out of a dining plan. The current meal plans, including block plans for students living in apartment-style housing or off-campus, are still too abundant in price and quantity, leaving some students with many unused meal swipes at the end of the semester. We suggest offering more flexible meal plans, including a points-only option for students who wish to cook their own meals and buy snacks on campus. Although there is still some time before the spring semester comes to an end, the administration has a lot of decisions to make about the renewal of the dining contract. We hope that Brandeis administrators will continue to seek student input, as they have with the vendor presentations, and prioritize student needs over revenue. Editor’s Note: Editors Tim Dillon, Victoria Morrongiello and Sasha Skarboviychuk covered the vendor presentations and did not contribute to the writing or editing of this editorial.


March 6, 2020

The Brandeis Hoot 9

Senior capstone explores Muslim life after 9/11 By Polina Potochevska editor

As the spring semester moves forward into March, seniors across campus are frantically writing senior theses, working on major projects and generally trying to figure out what their paths will be after graduation. Maryam Chishti ’20 is one such senior working on a capstone project. Chishti created her own Independent Interdisciplinary Major (IIM) at Brandeis in Theater for Social Change, and is also an American Studies major. When she proposed her major in the fall of her junior year, she said in an email interview to The Brandeis Hoot that she wanted to do “a senior capstone that would be an original play on a social justice issue. However, it took me a long time to figure out what I wanted that issue to be.” Throughout her junior year, Chishti was looking for inspiration to strike. When the theater department put on Jackie Sibbles Drury’s play, “We Are Proud To Present A Presentation About The Herero of Namibia Formerly Known As South West Africa From The German Sudwestafrika, Between the Years 1884-1915,” or “We Are Proud To Present,” Chishti said that she realized “how powerful it is to shed light on such serious

atrocities, even when it’s hard to hear,” as the play discusses heavy topics such as genocide and the colonization and decolonization of history. “In fact, it’s the fact that it is hard to hear that makes it so important to share. And, I realized that one of the best things you can do as a writer, especially when you’re stuck on an idea, is to write about what you know. As a New Yorker and a Muslim American whose faced islamophobia [sic] in her life and also detainment, I knew that I could have a deeper understanding of this content, and the religion being mentioned more so than other social justice issues happening around the globe,” wrote Chishti to The Hoot. By the end of her senior fall semester, Chishti knew that she wanted to write about Muslim detainment after 9/11, no longer worried that the topic would be too dark to cover. When she realized the scope of the material, she decided she wanted to create a play about “various real life events that happen to Muslim people, from workplace discrimination, religious questioning, street harassment, and also just some lighter moments to show what exactly Islam is, and how it’s not quite the religion those in the West often view it to be.” Chishti wrote an original script,

based on true stories. She also used Moustafa Bayoumi’s book, “How Does it Feel to Be a Problem,” as a primary source and researched newspaper articles, government reports, documentaries and had conversations with Muslim people in her community for content. “I came into the semester with about five scenes written, and I’ve since added about seven new scenes to the show, as well as constant revisions. Every day I am re-writing something,” Chishti said of her writing experience. For Chishti, a major challenge was “getting a cast that was representative of the content of the show. Because a lot of Muslim, Arab, South Asian students are not involved in theater, there’s a lot of trepidation from people in that community about taking this project on,” Chishti wrote to The Hoot. She originally tried to cast in the theater department, but did not find many diverse actors or actors of color through that process, saying she found it to be a “sad reflection on how the theater scene on campus does not represent our overall student body. I realize[d] that if I wanted a truly representative cast, it was not going to show up for me, I had to go and make it happen on my own.” Chishti’s cast is mainly made up of eight first-time actors who are

primarily Muslim or South Asian. “Every time they speak it sounds so earnest, and natural… This is so incredibly exciting to me, because I have never interacted with the cast like this before, and I believe the fact that they have not acted before makes them so incredible,” said Chishti of the cast’s talents. As a director, Chishti put a lot of work into bringing the cast together, reaching out to potential actors over the winter break and meeting one-on-one for coffee with the cast members to introduce them to the show in a lowstress environment. These meetings, Chishti said, were how she ended up casting everyone in the show and most of her production staff instead of formal auditions, speaking to the innovative nature of the show itself. She thanked her faculty advisors Cindy Cohen (CAST) and Jen Cleary (THA), and also her Stage Manager Liana Porto ’20 and Assistant Director Batsheva Moskowitz ’22 in their support. “Since this is all new work, and I have never directed before, it’s really nice to turn to someone in the rehearsal room and say ‘does this look good?’ That feedback is everything to me,” said Chishti. Another challenge Chishti has been facing is finding theater spaces on campus to support her

project, as she explains, “Because the show is so personally important to me and now become so important to so many people [and] my cast, on top of the content of the show weighing heavy on me, it’s disheartening to have to argue over why it deserves a weekend in a theater. That being said, every time we have a rehearsal I feel constantly revived.” She has enjoyed working with the cast and called it a “great collaborative process, and I always walk away feeling so excited, and filled with these new ideas for what the show will look like.” Chishti hopes that after viewing the play, audience members will take with them a “more nuanced understanding of what life was like for Muslims in New York after 9/11, and also a deeper understanding of what Islam is.” She also said that while her initial research was focused on the time immediately surrounding 9/11, islamophobia is still prevalent in today’s world and stories like the ones she highlights in the play could repeat themselves, but believes “we cannot let it happen again.” “To Be A Problem” will take place the evening of March 21 and March 22, with both matinee and evening performances, in the Merrick Theater with exact times coming soon.

Women of Color Alliance diversifies its audience By Shruthi Manjunath editor

Recently, the Women of Color Alliance (WOCA) has expanded its audience and is now open to anyone that identifies as a woman. The main goal of WOCA is to create connections among different groups of women and as a result create a community. The club aims to support each and every one of its members in any way possible. General meetings happen on Mondays from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. The general meetings are conversation-based and a topic is chosen for each meeting, however, no one is required to speak. Conversations can go in any direction. The general meetings are meant to be an outlet for different conversations that individuals need to have on this campus. In an interview with The Hoot, Leah Naraine ’22, the vice president of WOCA, explained that she got involved with this club during her freshman year of high school. She wanted to try some-

thing different that had a community within it. In addition, during high school, Naraine was involved in various leadership positions, such as being a part of her high school student council. Once she transitioned to college, she wanted to continue being a leader, however, in clubs rather than on the student council. As vice president, Naraine works closely with the president and oversees the club’s operations. Naraine coordinates events, books spaces, creates the general meeting topics and is a point of connection for anyone. In general, Naraine tries to make sure that everything goes smoothly. In the past, one of the topics at the general meetings was how women who come from different cultures wear their hair. Naraine explained that, in her culture, it is important for women to have long hair but for Naraine, the length of her hair is not important. In addition, some African-American or black women choose to chemically straighten their hair and others may not. The club discussed that the way individuals wear their

hair varies based on the culture they come from along with their own preferences. Previously, WOCA was seen as a place for African-American and black women to find a community. WOCA at Brandeis strives to be more inclusive and as a result is open to anyone that identifies as a female. This conversation began during the fall semester during a general meeting. As of now, WOCA E-Board has made many changes such as altering the description of their club. In addition, in a future event titled the “Women of the World Mixer,” WOCA will be hosting a speaker who is non-binary. Naraine hopes that these adjustments will show the Brandeis community that WOCA is changing. WOCA has been diversifying the attendance at general meetings. In addition, they have been expanding their audience and reaching out to all women rather than specific groups. In addition, there was a collaboration with Brandeis Latinx Student Organization (BLSO) on March 5 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Intercultural

Center (ICC). The event centered around the concept of radical sisterhood, in which different groups of women of color come together. Naraine explains that there are lots of divisions among cultures, therefore there’s something impactful in women coming together, sharing ideas and supporting each other. Future events include the Annual High Tea Brewing Professionals which will happen on March 14, at 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the ICC. Brandeis WOCA alumni will be coming back to campus to talk about their experiences and how being a part of WOCA has benefitted them in the long run. This event revolves around networking, therefore students will get the opportunity to mingle with and learn from alumni. The next event is the Women of the World Mixer which will occur on April 2 from 6 p.m. to 8 pm. A guest speaker who is non-binary along with women who have created large changes in their community will be speaking at this event. Lastly, there will be a paint night in April. In the future, WOCA is look-



ing for new E-Board members as many of the current E-Board members are graduating. Narain emphasizes that being a part of the E-Board is not a terribly time consuming job. Attend a general meeting to learn more!

Visual artist, Fred Wilson, receives 2019-2020 Creative Arts Award By Sasha Skarboviychuk editor

Fred Wilson, a visual artist, received the Brandeis’ 2019 Creative Arts Award, for his achievements in the world of visual arts. According to the Brandeis Website the award “recognizes excellence in the arts and the lives and works of distinguished, active American artists.”

He currently has a few pieces on display at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Described as a “stellar artist” by the Dorothy Hodgson, Dean of Arts and Sciences, Wilson was recognized for the way he challenges the narrative of history, assumptions about culture and race, and how innovative his work is. Hodgson said that Wilson embodies “everything Brandeis strives to become” particular with his messages about Social Justice.

Wilson started his connection with Art museums started in college, when he worked as a guard in an art museum in New York, while working on a Bachelor of Fine Arts, which he received from Purchase College, State University of New York. The major ideas in his work are to question and take a fresh look at the traditional ideas of art, and what it depicts. He uses ordinary objects and turns them into works of art, pictures of

which he showed to the audience during his presentation. He also creates installations with various items he finds in museums giving them a new life. When asked how he feels about his work, Wilson said “I get everything that satisfies my soul,” he continued in an Art21 documentary, “from bringing together objects that are in the world, manipulating them, working with spatial arrangements, and having things presented

in the way I want to see them.” According to the website, the Creative Arts Award was established in 1956. Brandeis takes pride in the fact that it was one of the first institutions to start such an award, as at the time when there was “no comparable award in higher education.” Some of its recipients include Hallie Flanagan Davis, Georgia O’Keeffe and Aaron Copland.

10 The Brandeis Hoot


March 6, 2020

You’re allowed to be angry: Piecing together the 2020 Democratic primary

By Alison Hagani special to the hoot

being a woman in politics. The first individual I talked to told me that they thought Warren was “too angry” in seeking accountability from Mayor Michael Bloomberg on the Nevada Debate stage. The caller told me that they did not think it was attractive, nor did they think it demonstrated the qualities to take on President Donald Trump. The second caller, days later, told me that they were not supporting Warren because they wished she had challenged another candidate more. She figured that if Warren was not willing to challenge this candidate, she would be ineffective against Trump. Being a woman in politics means working from a toolbox with limited accessories. It means blindly scrambling in the dark, not fully knowing where the line of “too little”or “too much” begins and ends. I saw that through these two callers—Warren’s ability to speak up was limited by what temperaments are considered “acceptable” for women. At the same time, Warren was held to a higher standard of responsibility in challenging a candidate with whom voters disagreed. She faced a paradox: to appease one was to disappoint the other. Candidate preference aside, everyone should be upset about the unjust conditions the women in the 2020 Democratic primary faced. Discussions about Warren’s qualifications to be president glossed over her extensive list of well thought out policies, her impressive record of political accomplishments, her well-rounded line-up of endorsements and her undeniable merit. Questions of electability lingered with gender as its primary aggravator. Make no mistake: when an individual questions whether a woman can be elected president, they are— even with good intentions—reinforcing a hierarchy of power between genders. No individual can have a fair chance at any job if they face socially-imposed questions on whether they can even hold the position. Criticisms about Senator Amy Klobuchar were different, but

similarly off-target. At the Nevada debate, Klobuchar was criticized for forgetting the name of the president of Mexico and one of her opponents immediately questioned her qualifications. While Klobuchar’s blip on the president’s name warrants its own discussion on the United States’ relationship with Mexico, Klobuchar was forced to spend much of the debate proving her political qualifications. The necessity for this defense is remarkable given Klobuchar’s extensive experience; in her 14 years as a senator, Klobuchar sponsored or co-sponsored 111 bills that became law. Nonetheless, this impressive experience failed to reach public consciousness. For both Warren and Klobuchar, careers of incredible advocacy were overlooked by questions of electability, implicit gender biases and media erasure. Regardless of whether one supports the policies and candidacy of these women, their objective qualifications cannot be denied. As a young woman entering the workforce, I like to believe that hard work and good ideas are seen and valued. While the metrics of “being seen” and “being valued” are always up for debate, I still believe that the women of the 2020 primary race deserved more than they received. To make matters worse, the attention was often shifted to those less deserving of the spotlight. At the end of Super Tuesday, Mike Bloomberg had won a number of delegates relatively comparable to the remaining female senators on the ballot. He won these delegates despite having countless allegations of sexual misconduct against him and initiating a system of racial profiling while serving as mayor of New York City. Despite this, he was at times considered a competitive contender. Politics is never fair and money admittedly plays a large role. However, any person who has contributed to deeper social inequity should not be given a platform to compete in a party that calls itself the party of progress. Bloomberg’s delegate count relative to Warren and Klobuchar displays men’s ability to evade genuine accountability. The issue of the 2020 primary election goes beyond preference


of a candidate. It speaks to the difficult and seldom fair terrain of being a woman in American politics. According to Richard Fox and Jennifer Lawless in an article published by the “American Journal of Political Science,” women are held to higher standards of ethics and integrity than their male colleagues. In the 2020 race, this translated to higher expectations of morality than that of the male candidates and a greater visibility of female candidates’ faults. The research from Fox and Lawless’ article also suggests that women have less access to the political pipeline, or careers that often lead to public office. However, even women situated in the political pipeline still face challenges in career mobility. In the 2020 democratic primary race, male candidates received more delegates and stayed in the race longer than some of the women with more extensive political careers. In the aftermath of Super Tuesday and Warren’s decision to end her presidential campaign, my first instinct when consoling Warren supporters has been to tell them that we have so much to be proud of and that the Democratic

primary will still give us a candidate who can and will beat Trump. Yet I couldn’t take my own advice. In speaking to others, I realized that we are not only mourning the loss of a candidate we believe in; we are mourning the state of American politics which limits a woman’s ability to succeed. These limitations are exacerbated for women of intersecting oppressed identities. Nearly 100 years since the passage of the 19th Amendment, America has had only one female nominee for president. In our history of the executive branch, a woman has never been elected for the position. As a result, I have settled on another response that does this reality justice. Instead of the excuses that coat the pervasive systemic issues behind this repetitive disappointment, I have settled on another response. I say, “you’re allowed to be angry.” The future of women in politics is undoubtedly one of milestones and accomplishments. In the past year alone, more women have run for president than ever before. In the 2018 midterm election, a record-breaking number of women

ran for and were elected to political office. The glass ceiling is being challenged—maybe not to the extent that we desire, but it is cracking nonetheless. We cannot progress by glossing over the systemic barriers that prevent women from embracing positions of power in this country. Women are too often expected to brush off disappointment or frustration in the name of pragmatism, etiquette or the greater good. We must go against the grain; to feel this frustration is to understand its injustice. We cannot afford dismissal any longer. When we swallow nagging feelings of injustice, we allow the cycle of oppression to continue. Amid a social and political system that repeatedly undermines and silences women, our voices are a form of a protest and can amplify one another. The road forward necessitates embracing the feelings within us. Retrospective appreciation about the value of each women’s candidacy is not enough. Take your space to sit with your feelings of frustration. Allow yourself the luxury of being outwardly upset. And then, like

Joe Biden: A means to an end? By Josh Aldwinckle-Povey staff

Kantian ethics relies on a few basic principles, one of them being that we cannot use people as means to an end, but we have to see humans as ends in themselves. In other words, you cannot use individuals to see through your own intentions, but you must respect individuals for who they are. It’s an idea that keeps coming back to me as I follow the current standing of the U.S. elections. This past Tuesday I kept the NPR website open on my computer as I finished off a philosophy paper (can you tell I am a philosophy student?) watching the results of the Super Tuesday primary elections, which ended in a fairly good night for Joe Biden and

Bernie Sanders picking up two of the states that went to the polls this week. It solidified the Democratic race as a competition between these two men and ended Bloomberg’s short campaign. Although this year’s election is going to be different, I can’t help but think, “We’ve been here before!” Sanders was a prominent face four years ago during the 2016 election, complete with armies of supporters from across backgrounds delivering a socialist message about how much fairer the United States could be. Though his message spoke to many, it didn’t speak to enough people. Perhaps it’s no surprise that figures like Sanders are popular among large groups of individuals in the Northeast, but the Northeast isn’t the entire electorate.

I followed the U.S. election last time from across the pond, watching the kind of rhetoric being pursued by the candidates. Besides being incredibly personal, often descending into a Trump v. Clinton debate, the phrase “Middle America” kept emerging; a political background upon which the parties faced the final battle. Was it any surprise that when it came down to it, upon a bedrock of promises and soundbites about the state of affairs across the forgotten regions and towns of the United States, it was Trump who appealed to Middle America the best? Even if one subscribes to Sanders’s ideals about the ways in which the world should work, it seems ludicrous to suggest that such policies and ideas can be implemented in one fell swoop, one all-encompassing move to pull

in the entire United States into a quasi-Marxist utopia. Marx himself, it is worth noting, talked in terms of gradually shifting society towards how he envisioned society should be run. Perhaps it is the case that one day student loan debt will crash the economy on the whole, and we’ll see no choice but to start offering universal healthcare in the United States and forgive debt and make college more affordable and introduce all kinds of changes that the likes of Sanders and Warren, to some extent, are calling for. But these are long term ambitions that, however necessary to fix, are not going to be the things that win the 2020 election for the Democrats. Why else did Biden win so many states across the South, and why else did he manage to win Warren’s home state, right here in Massachusetts?

I’m no political scientist, but I think the answer might be because Democrats face a very important choice when they evaluate this election. Offer Sanders-ism and its ideals to the electorate, which may be perfect and exactly what the United States needs, or pay attention to ignore Kant’s feelings and start using Biden as a means to defeat Trump. If the goal is to improve society for the nation, the Dems can’t do that with no Oval Office from which to command the battleships. There is almost no doubt that it’ll be Trump who becomes the Republican nominee, standing for a second term in office, so all that remains to be seen is how the Dems choose to fight that. The answer, to me, is simple: ignore Kantian ethics. Use him as a means to an end.


The Brandeis Hoot

March 6, 2020

VP Pence irresponsible with coronavirus response By Abdel Achibat special to the hoot

Vice President Pence’s history in dealing with health outbreaks proves nothing more than that he is largely unfit to deal with the potentially disastrous spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) throughout the United States. Pence’s consistent stance of conservatism often serves as a blockade to effective avenues of prevention and containment. As Indiana faced an HIV outbreak from 2013 to 2017, Pence’s values and consequent mishandling deterred reasonable measures and prolonged the spread of HIV in sparsely populated southern Indiana. While experts throughout 2013 continued to support needle exchange programs in order to lessen risk of HIV spread amongst intravenous drug users, Pence refused to install such protocols until 2015, and even went as far as to support bills prohibiting such needle exchanges. He furthered support of a federal ban on needle exchange and continued endorsement of Indiana’s prohibition on needle exchanges. Pence’s policies in contradiction to the idea of expansion of Planned Parenthood also reduced the amount of facilities that could engage in prevention of an HIV outbreak despite

the obvious fatality and strain on health services that would occur with the spread of HIV. Pence’s signing of bills that increased criminalization of possession of needles further institutionalized stigmatization of drug users and consequently encouraged needle-sharing. According to Politico’s own research, 127 HIV infections could have been prevented in a region of Indiana that was calculated to have had a higher HIV incidence than “any country in sub-Saharan Africa” directly due to the Pence administration’s inaction. Evidently, Pence allowed for his own political conservative agenda to take precedence over a potential outbreak,which should come as a warning sign in how he will respond to the spread of the coronavirus in the United states. Besides Pence’s track record of failure to respond rapidly and efficiently to health concerns, his current plan in dealing with the coronavirus holds various issues. Pence has ordered that any information in the form of a public statement must first receive clearance from his office. Such a mandate has caused widespread concern over a possible lack of government transparency during a period in which the public should be vigilant and aware. History informs us that a lack of communication between govern-


ment and people holds the power to an even more serious outbreak as with the SARS pandemic in China. Given the hyper-political atmosphere of the capitol, it is reasonable to assume that such stress concerning public information regarding the coronavirus is due to the current administration’s need to consolidate pow-

er and control. The coronavirus extends beyond a political issue when its effects are able to widely damage economic stability and public health. Ultimately, the health of the United States requires a leadership that is not political, nor with potential to hold ulterior political motives, instead we need progres-

sive scientific and health-oriented officials to produce fast and efficient methods of coronavirus screening. Pence’s role in prolonging Indiana’s HIV outbreak as well as his stance on overly-controlling information ought to be considered a marker for his inability to put health over his regressive and revisionist political agenda.

SSIS advice column

Welcome back to the SSIS column, where we answer any and all of Brandeis students’ questions about sex, sexuality, identity and relationships. If you have a question you’d like answered in our next column, email or leave a question in the Google Form link on the Student Sexuality Information Service Facebook page. Any and all questions are welcome: there are no bad, stupid, or weird questions! (Note: These answers are good-faith attempts by SSIS to be helpful to the Brandeis community, and are by no means exhaustive or to be taken as universal. If these answers don’t resonate with you, either pay them no mind, or reach out to us with suggestions for improvement!)


special to the hoot

What made you (the person/ people answering) want to join SSIS? We are so glad you asked this question! Here is what some of our members had to say about why they chose to join SSIS: “I wanted to learn how to better support those in my community and to join an open-minded and caring space.” “It wasn’t until college when I learned what a truly healthy relationship was, and how to properly foster one. Now that I’m in a happy and healthy relationship, I want to help support others in finding the same for themselves.” “I grew up in an environment where talking about sexuality, the body and relationships was not openly encouraged. SSIS gave

me a space to not only learn more about these topics, but to also help others in being comfortable opening a dialogue about extremely important aspects of life.” “I joined SSIS because I am passionate about sexual education. I believe sexual education is a vital resource which gives people agency and choice over their bodies and lives. I wanted to make sure all members of the Brandeis community have access to this.” “I joined SSIS because I love talking about sexuality, and I wanted to learn more about sex, sexuality, anatomy, healthy relationships and more. I love being a member because SSIS is such a supportive group, and the work we do is so rewarding.”

“I was looking to find a community of body and relationship positive people. SSIS not only helped me find people with those priorities but also allows me to work toward supporting the Brandeis campus as a whole in becoming a more educated, proactive and positive place when it comes to bodies, relationships, inclusivity and sex!” “I joined SSIS because I feel that everyone is deserving of healthy and empowering relationships with themselves and others, whatever that might look like. As someone comfortable talking about sex and sexuality, I want to create a safer space for people to express themselves and deconstruct taboos. I couldn’t be happier with my


decision to join.” If you find that you resonate with or are inspired by any of the above responses, then you might be a good match for SSIS! We en-

courage you to apply to become an SSIS volunteer by stopping by our office (SCC 328) during any of our office hours or after hours by appointment. Find us @Moeswaltham

831 Main Street W a l t h a m , MA 02 4 5 1 (781)788-6637

March 6, 2020


The Brandeis Hoot

Tommy Time By Thomas Pickering staff

Q: “Why am I crying in da slut cave?” A: I feel a personal responsibility to respond to this because I can only imagine what position someone must be in to ask such a question. I guess I will start by asking it back, for what reason on God’s green f*cking Earth are you crying in “da” slut cave? I can only imagine someone writing this as they curl themselves into the fetal position thinking about that time they wanted to play catch with their dad but he said no. So, years later as this fully-grown person is in “da” slut cave someone comes up to them and says, “Hi, I’m Sinnamon.” YES—cinnamon with an “S” not a “C,” that’s the point. But when she says “Hi” to you, you remember your dad and think, “How would he see me now after that horrible cinnamon challenge death he had?” So, inevitably you start “crying in da slut cave.” This is how I see this question and I am glad I got this out now. I did make myself a promise,

however, to at least take a part of the column seriously so, sorry, but it’s time to be sad. So perhaps you are crying in “da slut cave” because of a cinnamon related accident, and to those people I apologize and suggest finding help. Most likely though, you are crying in a normal club and I want to explore this a little. Camila Cabello has a whole song “Crying in the Club” where she talks about the beat moving the tears away and how we will die without him, this former lover, in her life. I take issue with this way of thinking, because so often around me I see people worrying about things they cannot control. In this case you cannot control that this person is gone from your life and yes, I understand it appears to be impossible to move on, but you cannot move backward and get them back. You should only ever worry about what you CAN control and, in this example, it is not the person that is gone but the person you will become from this experience that you can mold and shape. My father always used to tell me growing up—and still does some-

times: “There are two spheres in life, this one very large sphere called ‘life’ and this very small one called ‘your sphere of influence.’ Never spend time worrying about ‘life’ when all you can control is what’s within your ‘sphere of influence.’” Life should not be lived wondering what housing number you got this week, or what application for grants or grad school will be good or not. All you should worry or wonder about is what you can control. Did I put my absolute all into this essay? Into this race? Into this match? Those who succeed in this world and live with little stress know this principle very well. Living life centers itself around how you feel about your actions. If you can walk away from anything thinking you did your absolute best, then you have no reason to worry about it. Say you have a job interview and you walk out with your head up high, thinking, “I know I killed it and showed them everything about me I wanted to,” then you’ve already won. Whether or not you get the job is of no concern because you did your best on everything you

By John Fornagiel editor

By Celia Young editor


many (I still can’t believe some people find them cute), are usually not too harmful. Most spider bites will consist of the same mild symptoms involved with insect bites: redness, swelling and itching at the site. Similar to insect bites, mild spider bites typically go away on their own, and applying an antibiotic ointment should be used to prevent infection. There are two types of spiders that are a cause for concern: the black widow and the brown recluse. The black widow is very unique and easy to spot. It has a large black abdomen with a red hourglass-shaped mark. If you are bitten by a black widow, you may not notice serious symptoms until a few hours later, when you can experience symptoms such as vomiting, fever and difficulty breathing. The brown recluse’s appearance is less unique. It is large and tan. Symptoms of a brown recluse bite include intense pain and blisters at the bite site. For any encounter with these spiders, although they are not often fatal in healthy adults, it is essential to seek medical attention immediately. This is because some of these bites have a long period between exposure to the bite and the signs and appearance of the first symptoms. Snakes are very similar to spiders in that many snake bites are often harmless, and only result in mild symptoms such as redness, swelling and itching. In this case,

things outside of your sphere of influence, you made the executive decision to act within your sphere of influence and confront those feelings. Whether you had the interview of a lifetime or were left heartbroken you must always realize this: you cannot cry in the club or in “da slut cave” over things you cannot control. Life will always be full of things you cannot influence or manipulate but they are not to be worried about. All we can worry about is: did I give it my all? And am I proud of myself? Our sphere of influence is miniscule, so it is vital to not worry about the life outside it or else you’ll end up crying somewhere you probably do not want to be.

Studying is the least of my study abroad experience— and that’s how it should be

Spiders and insects and snakes, oh my! Although my teenage years consisted of locking my gaze locked on a computer screen, I can assure you that at some point in time, I actually enjoyed the great outdoors. While playing outside, I would come across a variety of creatures, some of which were particularly more irritating than others, namely various insects, spiders and snakes. Encounters with these critters can range from harmless to potentially fatal. If you are a person that goes outside, even if that solely consists of walking to class, it is essential to know which creatures pose a threat and which do not. Almost everyone has had an encounter with an insect. Indeed, “insect” is a very broad term, ranging from the bloodthirsty mosquitoes chasing you as you run back to campus to the ants grabbing your picnic sandwiches. Mild symptoms that are associated with insect bites include redness, swelling and itching at the site. These symptoms will typically go away on their own, and there is no need for concern. However, for safe measure, applying an antibiotic ointment is typically useful to prevent an infection. For some people, an infection is not all there is to worry about. For those of you who have allergies, you know exactly what I am talking about. Some people can develop a serious, life-threatening allergic reaction in response to being bitten or stung by insects such as bees. Symptoms for this severe allergic reaction include hives, difficulty breathing and swelling of the face, nose and throat. If the affected person has a prescribed epi-pen, administer it immediately by taking the blue safety cap off and pressing the orange side into the person’s outer thigh for about five seconds. You should also seek medical attention immediately. Spiders, though considered freaky-looking and terrifying by

could control or influence—and you sure as hell ought to be proud of that. Perhaps it is something negative; after all, the world is not all sunshine and rainbows blasting out of my arse—despite what the kid on ’shrooms at AEPi had to say. Say you put yourself out there to someone who did not reciprocate. To a person you are close with and care about and all you dreamed of was holding their hand and calling them not by their name but by a relationship name. You mustered up your courage and told them how you felt and in one fell swoop they shattered all of those dreams and hopes. You cannot and should not be upset by an outcome like this. Sure, it did not go the way you wanted it to, like when my mom told me Santa Claus wasn’t real and despite my hopes suggesting he was… I was let down real quick. Despite the heartbreak, what you must realize is this: You are 10 times better as a person for facing your fears. You are an infinitely better person because instead of dreaming and hoping and thinking about

treatment includes thoroughly washing the wound, protecting it with a bandage and applying an antibiotic ointment. However, there are a few species of snake that are poisonous and fatal to humans, including the copperhead, coral, cottonmouth and rattlesnake. All of these snakes are indigenous to the United States. Severe symptoms that result from the venom of these poisonous snakes are vomiting, seizures, dizziness, weakness and paralysis. If someone is bitten by a poisonous snake, seek medical attention immediately. Although many species of insects, spiders and snakes are considered harmless, it is important to remember that everyone reacts to bites and stings differently. What is harmless for one person can lead to a severe allergic reaction for another. Adapting to these differences in how people react to injuries is not only important in treating bites and stings but also in dealing with other injuries and medical problems that you might come across. (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.)

I was at a bar on a Wednesday night when I realized that I might have a problem. Not with alcohol—though I’m sure I left some unconsumed—but with my head. I no longer felt stressed. Two weeks into my abroad experience and the normal cloud of anxiety that hung from my shoulders had disappeared. That cloud is a popular phenomenon among students like myself. In 2015 the American College Health Association reported that nearly one of every six college students had been diagnosed with or treated for anxiety, and a 2016 study found that, among other factors, academic stress can predict depressive symptoms. So while some might blame the cider for my sudden relaxation, my newfound zen can be directly linked to my lighter course load—half of what I take in Boston. Studying abroad in London is correctly known among college students as more of a university-sponsored vacation than an academic enterprise, and for that strictly unstudious reason, being a student in London is far better than sticking to Bruins territory. While I’m not recommending abandoning a college education altogether, escaping the pressure cooker that is Brandeis University has done wonders for my mental health. With stress and anxiety on the rise in college students (according to Harvard’s own anxiety advice page) studying abroad is a great opportunity to spend your precious free hours with friends, rather than becoming one of the

library trolls that so viciously guard the private study rooms in Goldfarb. My lighter course load also means I have time to engage in cultural experiences impossible to find in the States—and for a fairly reasonable price. While London may be around eight percent more expensive than Boston, partially due to the absolutely astronomical prices of the Tube, London nightlife is far more vibrant than Boston—a city I’ve seen completely shut down before midnight. On that Wednesday night, when I realized I could stop pretending I knew how the Celtics were doing, I spent less than five pounds on drinks at Imperial College’s bar. While it wasn’t a Mayfair club—which in my experience only allows women below a size two onto the premises because of a lack of sufficient square footage—it was a wonderful night out for significantly less than my daily budget. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. From comedy clubs with entrance fees as low as one pound, to free museums, to discounted university course fees, it’s possible to save money despite the higher cost of living. While other countries like Norway may offer fully free university courses, even for noncitizens, London has the advantage of being a city full of vitality, and of course, a city that employs the English language (along with some very strange slang). So if you can, ditch the Brandeis bubble and come abroad to London. I’ll be here to welcome you with a Union Jack, a Douglas Adams novel and an absolute refusal to talk about Boston’s sports.


March 6, 2020

The Brandeis Hoot 13

Coasting towards Honey Cutt’s new album By Aaron LaFauci editor

Chums hosted a pair of musical acts last week, and among them was a performance by Floridian-turned-Bostonian artist Kaley Honeycutt. Previously releasing under the title Baby!, her band changed its name to Honey Cutt in anticipation of the release of their second full-length album, “Coasting.” The new album is set to hit digital shelves on the 13th, and the Brandeis performance marks the second in a 20-plus stop publicity tour. I actually missed out on last week’s Chums night completely, which is a shame because Honey Cutt turned out to possess

the opposite of my expectations. My initial dismissal came from the baseless assumption that Honey Cutt was just another indie girl sound with songs about boys and privileged apathy. After listening to the three “Coasting” singles already available for streaming, I was pleased to find that, while this band indeed sounds indie pop as hell, the words and sounds offer something not so generic. It might not be a profound experience, but the songs are an escape into a world of claustrophobic suburbs and endless solitude. The artist seems to be caught up in moving to a new place, and the listener gets to experience this complex emotion with her. The Coasting singles carry themselves on the wistful air of


a Florida getaway with an undercurrent of cool dissatisfaction, which fits with the band’s (strongly) advertised narrative of a sunny Floridian artist escaping to New England. Booting the preview songs up for the first time, I was immediately taken back to the band Tennis, which might not be a useful comparison. The genres aren’t exactly the same, but both enter with a steady drum and a high reverb guitar that injects distance into the music. It’s the same feeling you get from listening to the Beach Boys. That is to say, if you are part of that crowd that finds the Beach Boys sad (how can anyone listen to “Good Vibrations” and not be immediately overwhelmed with intense pity?). Either way, Kaley Honeycutt sounds like she is singing into an ocean breeze. The electric guitar and straightforward beat is enough of a callback to the jangle pop of the 60s that the listener is displaced. They are the kind of songs that induce nostalgia even when there is nothing to really be nostalgic about. Funnily enough, I would not recommend listening to the titular track first. If you want the best introduction, queue up the single “Suburban Dream.” It demonstrates the aforementioned tonal mixup. The upbeat jangle is pierced by the drawn out melancholy of Honeycutt’s lyrics. The song, which seems to be about the artist’s old Floridian suburb, sounds sunny and warm,

but the constant choral repetition, the moaning of the line “I have been here in this place all my life” speaks to an obvious exhaustion. The idea of being a “suburban dream” is suddenly not so fun when she follows up with the line “I am an expectation.” The writing isn’t exactly Bob Dylan, but there isn’t any harm in a little suburban existentialism every now and then, especially when it sounds good. I particularly love the part of the song when Honeycutt sings, “I am a sunkissed succulent” after producing this trumpet-like tooting noise with her guitar. The background vocals, which unfortunately don’t play a larger role in the rest of the song nor in the rest of the singles, let out this addictive “aw!” that I wish I had the sound bite for. The latter half of the song is characterized by an unlikely guitar solo that does a guitar solo’s job well. This song alone will be my excuse for checking out the whole album on release. That is not to say that the other two singles aren’t any good, but they did not stand out so much. “Vacation” comes out fast, but the lyrical juxtaposition isn’t as clean. The singing takes a back seat to the guitar work, occasionally coming forward for the buildup towards the titular line “I’m on a vacation!” On the first listen, it might not be totally obvious that the artist is singing about being fed up with nice boys. This is actually the only song of the three singles about relationships, and I

am curious to know how many of the songs in the final album will follow this theme. I am simply not as interested in Honeycutt’s take on relationships as I am about her sense of place. “Coasting” is the most emotionally impactful of the songs, even if it isn’t the best of them sonically. Honeycutt’s ability to sing like she is screaming without actually screaming is on great display here. After a slow start, the instruments suddenly go off around the one minute mark and the tempo picks way up. The singing seems to get louder too, even if it isn’t. The mood of the song is difficult to pinpoint. Honeycutt sounds like she is constantly picking herself up over and over again. The lyrics paint a picture of a dysfunctional family between an unmentioned father, a crying mother, and a brother that has “gone out again.” Again, despite the upbeat music, there is something wrong. We aren’t made privy to the exact details, and that is fine. It definitely sounds like a mid-to-late album track, and it is. I think I have come to like Honey Cutt more after writing this. Her songs, regardless of your thematic inclinations, are the kind of airy pop that you need when you want a mood but you don’t want tripe. I eagerly await the full album release, and I hope Kaley comes back around to Waltham some day! As a Boston-based performer, I am sure she will not be hard to get ahold of should the craving come again.

‘Superman: Red Son’ squanders solid source material By Josh Lannon staff

The latest addition to DC Comics’ roster of animated features, “Superman: Red Son,” had the potential to be one of the best. But the film failed to live up to expectations. Despite having some of the best source material in the DC multiverse, the film is held back by severe flaws. Wooden voice acting, boring animation and several key changes to the original story robs much of the film’s emotional depth and complexity, leaving a movie that has some good ideas but fails to deliver on them. For context, the comic book version of “Superman: Red Son” written by Mark Millar was a miniseries released in 2003 under the Elseworlds imprint of DC Comics. It’s a classic “what if ”style story, a sub-genre of superhero stories that takes an established character and alters their history. “Superman: Red Son” posed the question, “what if Superman did not land in Smallville, KS, but rather deep in the Soviet Union?” While not the first comic to propose this idea, this mini series took a unique spin on the scenario by removing the “American” ideals from his character. Instead of becoming an enduring symbol of truth, justice and the American Way, Superman is raised to be the pride of the Soviet Union. Over time, Superman eventually replaced Stalin and became the leader of this alternate Soviet Union. Under his rule, communism spread across the world, only kept in check by

his rival the capitalist Lex Luthor, who eventually became the president of the United States. The miniseries also contains many alternate versions of other famous DC characters like Batman and Wonder Woman. This unique premise allows the mini series to cover various deep philosophical questions such as the nature versus nurture debate. Can Superman still be a hero even when raised to believe in the ideals of Stalin? If presented with a Superman who poses a threat to the American way of life, can Lex Luthor be considered a hero? The comic covers these issues with excellent writing and careful consideration. Both Superman and Lex are presented as flawed characters, as Superman tries to do good, until he eventually becomes too overbearing and controlling in his bid to create a perfect world. On the other hand, Lex Luthor is still presented as an overconfident narcissist, obsessed with beating Superman, yet he often does so for sympathetic reasons. While the comic book version is often hailed as one of the greatest Superman comics of all time, the film fails to live up to its source material. Normally, I prefer to review a film based solely on its own merit regardless of source material, however, in this case the deviations from the source material lessen the themes of the story. The first two major problems with the film are its less-than-stellar animation and subpar voice acting. The original comic’s art by Dave Johnson and Killian Plunkett was captivating and awe-inspiring. Several panels have gone

on to become iconic, like the image of Superman’s first appearance in Metropolis with the Soviet hammer and sickle etched on his chest. The artwork expressed the deep emotion and inner thoughts of the characters. Johnson visually depicts the moral decay of Superman, initially showing him as bright and hopeful. Gradually his demeanor and costume reflect his more jaded and overbearing personality. The film version fails to replicate this effect. A limited budget may have hampered certain aspects of animation, but regardless, the wooden and frankly boring animation does a disservice to the original artwork. The voice acting is also a major problem. The two main characters, Superman and Lex Luthor, are voiced by Jason Issacs and Diedrick Bader, respectively. Despite being two of the film’s central characters, their voices are monotone and again, very boring. Epic scenes like the climactic fight with Brainiac on the steps of the White House are rendered laughable as soon as Lex or Superman speaks. Voice acting is much more difficult than people give it credit for, and I don’t normally like to call out voice actors. But in this case the work is lacking. But the film’s biggest flaws are its deviations from the original story. Typically with any adaptation some cuts and alterations have to be made. However, in this case, the original story wasn’t that long. While the film is just around 70 minutes, it still made some major cuts, cuts that hurt the story. For example, the removal of a major character Pyotr Roslov, the Soviet

version of Superman’s childhood friend Pete Ross. In the comic, Pytor is the illegitimate son of Stalin and plays a key role in the events of the story. It is implied that he arranges Stalin’s death and eventually betrays Superman out of jealousy. This betrayal is an essential part of Superman’s character arc in the story, marking his transformation into an overbearing tyrant. Pyotr is not present in the film, however, and instead Superman murders Stalin with heat-vision in the first act. While Superman does so for good reasons, it’s a huge leap to violence rather than the gradual and nuanced decay of his moral values found in the comic. Perhaps the most egregious change in the film is its conclusion. In the comic, Superman is ultimately defeated not by force or by superpowers but by a letter from Lois Lane, a letter contain-

ing one sentence that broke the Soviet Superman, bringing him to tears. The sentence illustrates how Superman is becoming more like Brainiac, trying to bottle and control the world. This clever and utterly unique defeat of Superman is altered slightly: instead of a letter, Lois carries an actual bottled city. While the content of the argument that defeats Superman remains the same, the powerful scene where Superman is defeated by a piece of paper is lost. This minor detail seems trivial, but it actually devalues the story the film is trying to tell. Indeed, this last change is indicative of the film as a whole, a series of changes, cut scenes, cut characters, poor voice acting and boring animation. This great source material and could have been the basis for a great film, but ultimately does a disservice to one of the greatest Superman stories of all time.



The Brandeis Hoot

March 6, 2020

Netflix’s ‘All The Bright Places’ packs a lovely punch By Emma Lichtenstein editor

“Lovely” is certainly not the right word to describe “All The Bright Places.” “Lovely” could be used to describe Violet Markey’s (Elle Fanning) laugh, or the shots of rural Indiana, or even the original score composed by Keegan DeWitt. But this love story is far from lovely. Despite that, I’m drawn to this word. The 2020 Netflix film is based on the 2015 novel by Jennifer Niven with the same name. In that novel, Niven wrote, “lovely is a lovely word that should be used more often.” Though this wasn’t one of her quotes that made it into the movie, it will forever be the quote I associate with this story. Careful viewers can even spot a sticky note that says “lovely” on both Theodore Finch’s (Justice Smith) and Violet’s walls, but it does not take a careful eye to fall in love with this adaptation. “All The Bright Places” follows two broken teenagers trying desperately to fix each other. The movie begins with Finch talking Violet off the ledge of a bridge, but ultimately ends with her being unable to stop him from dying. These two events are serious and sad, but a surprising amount of the film is light—or perhaps even bright. Violet starts the film as a recluse. Still recovering from her sister’s death, she refuses to go out with her friends or do group projects or ride in cars. This changes when one of her teachers puts his foot down, insisting she do the

Friday, March 6

The Tempest 8 p.m., Spingold, Laurie Theater Despite the fact that Hold Thy Peace put on Shakespeare’s The Tempest less than two years ago, the theater department has decided to put it on again. Come see Jonah Koslofsky, our arts editor, strut his stuff as Antonio! Purchase tickets at the SCC box office or at the show.


assignment. With Finch as her partner, she is forced to start facing the fears she’s been avoiding for so long. Their adventure takes them all across Indiana, starting with the highest point in the entire state. The commemorative rock obviously does not impress Violet, but it makes her laugh, something she hasn’t done since the accident. Their adventures together only get more wild and more fun. The middle of the movie is filled with laughter and sunshine, as two teenagers fall in love. Sprinkled in are moments of sadness, moments where Finch disappears without a trace for a couple days, but always returns. Until one day, he doesn’t. Instead of a joyous re-

turn, there’s crying and screaming as Violet finds the evidence of Finch’s suicide. Fanning does a beautiful job portraying this grieving girl, who loses a second person that she loves. It took Violet over a year to open up again after losing her sister and her biggest fear of all came true: it happened again. Fanning throws her all into this scene, truly grasping the monumental pain that Violet feels. But there is a bright spark among this darkness: Violet does not hide away like she did when her sister died. She is loud and bold and openly misses Finch, but acknowledges the impact he left on her life. His legacy lives on. Director Brett Haley did a fan-


tastic job bringing this story to life. The shots and scenes in most of the film are absolutely breathtaking. Never did I think that a corn field could be so stunning, so important or so meaningful. The soundtrack, too, is incredible. DeWitt’s original score is gorgeous and recognizable, the melody popping up during all of the important moments between Violet and Finch. The only thing that I wish the film had more of was Niven’s original writing. Her writing style is unique and marvelous; I can still quote the novel despite not having read it for a few years. The writing in the film is good, don’t get me wrong, but it’s missing

the depth and tenacity of Niven’s original words. Niven’s novel is heartbreaking and emotionally destroying, but readers are left with the sense that everything will ultimately be OK. The novel inspired readers to attempt to leave the world—and any places in it that they visit—a little better than they found it. I think this film attempts to get that message across through Violet’s presentation at the end of the film that serves as a eulogy to Finch, but it lacks the punch that the novel delivered. So maybe lovely is the right word to describe this film. The novel, on the other hand, should be described as “all the colors in one, at full brightness.”

This Week: Arts at Brandeis BAMCO Presents: Horse Jumper of Love ft. Boston Cream 8:30-11 p.m., Chums/The Castle Horse Jumper of Love and Boston Cream are a pair of local bands brought in by the Brandeis Association of Music/Concert Organizing. No tickets required, just walk in!

Saturday, March 7

Shakespeare’s R&J 2 p.m. & 7 p.m., SCC Theater This adaptation of Romeo and Juliet is set in a repressive Catholic school, which would be exciting enough even if Hold Thy Peace’s production did not offer an all-female cast. Come out to support the students that made th is possible! Pick up free tickets at the SCC box office. The Tempest 2 p.m. & 8 p.m., Spingold, Laurie Theater

Sunday, March 8

Shakespeare’s R&J 2 p.m. & 7 p.m., SCC Theater

The Tempest

2 p.m., Spingold, Laurie Theater

Monday, March 9

What about Tomorrow? The History of Punk Music in the USSR and Russia 1:30-2:30 p.m., Mandel Center 303, Reading Room Like all things USSR, this discourse led by Ph.D. candidate in the history department Alexander Herbert will probably shock and surprise. It is a moment of history and art that hasn’t received much limelight.

Tuesday, March 10 Please present this card or Brandeis ID with your INCOMING order. Cannot be combined with other offers.

The Magnificent Seven Post-Baccalaureate Exhibition Opening 5-7 p.m., Spingold, Dreitzer Gallery Every year, the post-baccs put their works on display. Light refreshments and possibly a cheese platter will be available to attendees! The exhibition will be open to the public until March 31.

Wednesday, March 11

Artist Talk: Jason Stopa 2-3 p.m., Goldman-Schwartz Art Studio 115 Stopa is a painter and writer from the Big Apple. Hear him

talk about his life and philosophy, and perhaps you can learn how to be a successful artist/writer too.

Russian Crafts Night: Make Your Own Cheburashka

6-8 p.m., Skyline MPR Come make your own version of beloved Russian cartoon Cheburashka, the animal with an identity crisis! Hosted by Russian TA Tanya Sokolov.

Thursday, March 12

Larry Rosenwald Talk: On Antiwar Literature 3:30 p.m., Mandel Center 303, Reading Room Come listen to an English professor from Wellesley College give an account of anti-war literature. In the current political climate, this talk could be quite enlightening. Brandeis Talent Show for International Women’s Day 7-9:15 p.m., Rapaporte Treasure Hall Celebrate International Women’s Day! This holiday is celebrated worldwide, but it is especially loved in Russia and other post-Soviet areas. Russian food will be offered, and women get flowers! Heidi Gardner 7-9 p.m., Sherman Function Hall See Saturday Night Live’s Heidi Gardner live at Brandeis! Free tickets available in the SCC Box Office with Brandeis ID.

March 6, 2020


The Brandeis Hoot

‘Power Stone:’ a forgotten gem in video game history By Stewart Huang staff

Over the past couple years, I’ve been on a quest to reclaim my childhood by trying to remember and rebuy all the games that I loved as a kid but are now lost to time. But I had completely forgotten about “Power Stone”—a 3D fighting game originally published by “Capcom” on the home console “Dreamcast” in 1999—until very recently, probably because nobody else seems to remember it either. Bu,t it will always have a special place in my heart for all the endless joy it brought during my early gaming career in elementary school with its original, liberating and accessible gameplay. “Power Stone” was, and still is, almost unlike any other fighting game in terms of its freedom of 3D space and a heavy emphasis on the interactivity of fighting stages and items. In the most popular 3D fighting games, like “Dead or Alive” and “Soul Calibur” you are able to strafe and run around your opponent, in addition to just going left and right on the screen (the axis that constrains the rest of the genre). “Power Stone,” however, takes 3D movement to a whole new level. You can run, jump, climb anywhere the map allows you to be, and every map is designed to contain planes of different elevations. Simply put, there are lots of possibilities for movement, and since there is no block button, you are encouraged to move around as much as possible. The camera adopts a slanted isometric view, and it pans and


zooms dynamically to match this high degree of freedom. This freedom enables you to interact with basically anything on the map. Things like tables, chairs, barrels, boxes can all be thrown at your opponent—who can, of course, catch these objects and throw them back at you. Some characters can grab onto poles to do a leap or dive attack, and others can just pluck them up and use them as massive sticks. Some stages have pitfalls and hazards like falling barrels and spinning fans that can also be used to your advantage. There are so many viable options to tackle the fight that it’s very possible to beat the game without using your fighter’s moves. That’s how essential this

emphasis on stage interaction (as well as items, which I will discuss next) is to the fighting game experience of “Power Stone.” In addition to stages themselves, there are chests that spawn frequently, which contain a variety of powerful weapons. They range from simple melee weapons like pipes and swords to outrageous firearms like gatling guns, rocket launchers and a whole assortment of sci-fi and fantasy weapons. Then there are the Power Stones, the namesake of the game. Successfully collecting three of these gems transforms your character into a super powerful version of themselves for a short duration. You are given new, stronger movesets with two ultimate skills that,

when used, will prematurely end the transformation. Some transformations are especially notable. Galuda, a Native American bounty hunter character, transforms into a totemic robot that can fly with wings while shooting arrows made out of energy beams. Wang Tang, the young Chinese martial artist character, transforms into basically a Super Saiyan. He gets golden hair, shoots kamehameha and throws out gigantic spirit bombs. As you can probably tell by now, using items and collecting Power Stones is easily the most fun and empowering aspect of the game. Its focus on positioning, interactivity of stages and items naturally means that the fighters themselves instead have very simple input combinations and not too many moves, unlike many traditional fighting games. This was a conscious choice by the creators to make the game accessible, to the point that even eight-yearold me could master it. It’s a great move, considering that fighting games can be very discouraging and frustrating: it’s a very hardcore genre that demands a ton of mechanical skill and memorization of inputs. In other games, it’s not uncommon for new players to get absolutely crushed to bits by veterans. “Power Stone” is so different from a typical fighting game that I never really saw it as one back in the day. In fact, now that I think about it, it feels like a mix between “Overwatch” and “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds” (PUBG). The characters are all very unique, equipped with very different gameplay and identities—each with their own stage

and soundtrack—but also somewhat comical because they’re all based on some established trope or type. Like in “Overwatch,” there’s a samurai character, Ryoma, and a ninja character, Ayame. However, the game is also about exploiting the environment and gathering resources, much like a battle-royale style game like PUBG. As you may have recognized already, the only similar game to “Power Stone” is Nintendo’s four-player brawler “Super Smash Bros.” These are both accessible games with a focus on stages and items. The difference is that the latter has solidified itself as perhaps the most popular fighting game series of all time, while the former has faded into obscurity. “Power Stone” was released only one month after the release of the first “Smash” and simply could not compete with the “Nintendo” brand and its enormous cast of well known characters. “Power Stone 2” was released one year after the original, featuring more characters, more items, more interactive, dynamic stages and a four player mode to catch up to “Smash.” It was another quality title that manages to surpass its predecessor, but there would be no new entries in the series since except for the 2006 “Power Stone Collection” for the “PlayStation Portable” (PSP) which is just a remaster of the previous two games—the version I played. If you’re interested in the game and have a PSP you can buy the game cartridge on Amazon, but at a surprisingly hefty price of 30 bucks or above. It is, after all, a worthy cult classic vintage.

A tight, relevant reboot of ‘The Invisible Man’ is visibly successful By Zachary Sosland staff

“The Invisible Man” is the latest of many attempts by Universal Pictures to reboot their classic monster movies. The filmmaker behind this reboot is Australian writer/director Leigh Whannell, the co-creator of the “Saw” franchise and writer/director of the successful 2018 sci-fi/action film “Upgrade.” This movie stars Elizabeth Moss as Cecilia Kass, a woman who has escaped her controlling and abusive ex-boyfriend Adrian Griffin (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) before he shockingly kills himself two weeks later.

As strange events begin to occur to Cecilia, however, she begins to realize that Adrian is not dead and has actually found a way to turn himself invisible. Although I have neither read “The Invisible Man” novel by H.G. Wells nor seen the 1933 film with Claude Rains in the titular role, I was still looking forward to this modern reimagining because the trailers were promising, and I enjoyed “Upgrade” enough to give Whannell’s next directorial effort a chance. After recently seeing this film, I can safely say that it mostly delivers. First of all, this movie is incredibly well-made and most of that comes down to the direction. This film also comes from Blumhouse Productions so I was worried that


it would be a barrage of obnoxious jump scares. Thankfully, it wasn’t. Whannell proved with “Upgrade” that he can direct fast and entertaining action sequences and proves with “The Invisible Man” that he can also direct slow and suspenseful scares. With the help of excellent framing and cinematography, Whannell always finds a way to mine the most tension out of scene. He can often linger on a shot or, at times, slowly pan to a different part of the room— all while making audiences feel uneasy. His reliance on a wide lens and scenes with no sound also helps create a tense atmosphere. The fact that Whannell can make audience members scan the screen for something out of the ordinary is a testament to his filmmaking abilities, and he reiterates with this movie that greatness can come out of low-budget filmmaking, especially in the realm of horror. Additionally, Elizabeth Moss is excellent in the lead role. Portraying a domestic abuse survivor is obviously a difficult task, but Moss pulls it off to the point where audiences are able to sympathize with her character when she is being terrorized by the Invisible Man while no one in the movie believes her. She also makes me believe that an unseeable force is attacking her, which is essential to the film’s construction. Everyone else in the movie plays their parts well even if they are not as developed as Cecilia, but that doesn’t


really matter because Elizabeth Moss is the star of the show. Even though this movie is not an original property, Whannell still finds ways to make it feel fresh and unique. For starters, an abuse victim not being able to see her old abuser is already a terrifying idea that fits in today’s social climate, and Whannell executes it well in this film. As Adrian continues to torment Cecilia, the audience feels more and more paranoid about what is onscreen. Whannell also asked Moss to look at the movie’s script so that she could give input from her own female perspective, which was a wise decision to say the least. Unfortunately, the movie is not without its problems; many moments in the film bring up logical

concerns that are hard to ignore. I won’t get into them for fear of spoilers, but readers will probably know what I’m talking about after they see the movie. I was also unsure about the ending, which I can see dividing audiences. I’ll leave it at this: it somewhat makes sense but still felt kind of hokey, at least on my initial viewing (my thoughts could change if I see the movie again). All in all, “The Invisible Man” is a modern horror movie I would recommend seeing in theaters. Terrific direction and a powerhouse performance from Elizabeth Moss make this modern reimagining a welcome one. Whannell has proven himself as a strong force behind the camera and I look forward to seeing what he does next.


The Brandeis Hoot

March 6, 2020

Overlooked sculptures: A golem for Brandeis University By Aaron LaFauci editor

There is a metal man stalking the theater building. Students of lower campus know this one well, though its history has largely been forgotten for a few years now. Created over the course of three months for the 2014 Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Arts by student artist Paul Belenkey ’14, the statue originally known as “A Golem for Brandeis University” has withstood the test of time. The golem was originally on display in the green beside Rabb overlooking the wall of stones. After the festival, it was briefly moved to the front lawn of Spingold before receiving a final relocation closer to the Rose, and it has presumably not moved since. Students and visitors these days will easily spot the golem if they follow the path from the Shapiro Campus Center (SCC) to the theater building. Standing well over six feet tall and sporting one of the most iconic phalluses on campus, our golem is hard to ignore. According to Belenkey, the sculpture has held up surprisingly well despite nonstop exposure to New England’s climate for almost six years. In spite of its steel frame, the golem is comprised mainly of organic material: wood and rope. The chopped wood that fills out the head, limbs and body was derived from dead logs gathered throughout the campus, and these are lashed to the metal skeleton with blue and white cords to match the university’s colors. Likewise, the blue painted steel has remained untarnished over the years. Photographs from 2014

reveal that the piece was once much brighter thanks to the yellow of the freshly cut wood, but the planks of the face have since degraded into a dull brown. The composition of the statue has lost none of its dynamism over the years. In fact, the golem appears very much alive. This is thanks in no small part to the attention Belenkey placed on the weightiness of his design. The figure is not stock upright like some kind of zombie George Washington. Rather, the figure of the golem slumps as it supports the apparent ungainliness of its massive, protruding head. The limbs are delightfully asymmetrical; one arm hangs much lower than the other, giving the torso the appearance of twisting or shifting. This sense of motion and weight is assisted by the legs, which bend. The viewer can easily imagine what this creature would look like if it could actually walk. One can almost hear the creak of the swaying arms and bending knees as the monster shuffles and slouches its way forward, head constantly, laboriously inclined in its dauntless march through the wastelands of Waltham. Even at a distance, without being able to see the grotesque shapes that make up its angry face, one can make out the intention of this golem. It is a brooding, skulking beast of adamant steel rendered in the most fluid way possible. Somebody ought to animate this thing! With such a strongly designed presence, it is no wonder many students describe the golem as creepy. The erect metal penis certainly doesn’t help. Behind the scary exterior is a warm heart, however. During the art festival of 2014, the unveiling of the

golem was celebrated with a socalled “activation ceremony.” Participants gathered in front of the Rabb steps to watch as Belenkey placed a large red heart on a chain around the golem’s neck, a symbolic gesture of granting the statue life. This is in line with the mythological connotation of the piece. In Jewish folklore, a golem is an inanimate construct given artificial life by a rabbi (a concept invented long before our modern conception of robotic android). Crude as its design may be, the sculpture comes from a place of good humor. It is like a guardian of sorts. The heart necklace is no longer to be found on the golem—all that is left now is a facade of terror. Alas, Brandeis’s golem, like Frankenstein’s monster, is perhaps forever doomed to solitude by its own hideousness. Just last year, an art student, thinking himself very clever, stuck a wooden sword into the golem’s chest. This statement, while funny and thematically on point, misconstrues the true intent of the monster. I am sure it is actually quite sensitive. A note about the penis: While assuredly a gag element, the member is also integral to the construction of the sculpture. Due to its immense size, the golem needed to be constructed in two parts in order to be removed from the studio. This design challenge offered Belenky the perfect opportunity to add a penis, since a third point of contact was needed in order to join the top and bottom halves of the structure at the hips. Without the extra bar of steel, the golem would not be able to stand. In short, students hoping to take down the beast should


definitely aim for the groin. At the time of writing, no information on this sculpture exists on the Internet. I had to reach out to Paul Belenkey directly in order to discover the piece’s name and year of creation. This art piece, while far from ignored, has fallen under the radar of Brandeis’s documentation. I am pleased to be the

first to set the golem’s name and story into permanence. In terms of iconic campus sculptures, “A Golem for Brandeis University” stands out in my mind as the third most memorable piece of public artwork next to the castle and the statue of Louis D. himself. May the golem forever haunt the groves of Lower Campus!

Laugh this weekend at the ‘Voices of Comedy’ festival By Jonah Koslofsky editor

Brandeis has had its own pseudo-music festival for years: look no further than Springfest. But this weekend, Brandeis will be hosting its first ever comedy festival. Organized almost single-handedly by Anna Cass ’21, “Voices of Comedy” is a two-day event coming this Friday and Saturday, March 6 and 7. First, on Friday at 8 p.m., the Shapiro Campus Center (SCC) Theater will host four stand-up comedians from Boston Comedy Chicks. Katlin McPhee will emcee the evening, with up-and-com-

ing star Bethany Van Delft headlining. Last year, Van Delft was awarded Best Comic by “Boston Magazine,” and she has opened for Phoebe Robinson, Michelle Buteau, Rob Delaney and Michael Che. If you’d like to check out her early work, you can hear her on the storytelling podcast she co-produces, “Starstruck: Close Encounters of the Awkward Kind,” and on her debut comedy album, “I’m Not a Llama,” which is streaming on iTunes. Nora Panahi and Sabrina Wu will also be performing Friday night. Panahi, who describes herself as “a Boston-based Iranian-American Muslim-Buddhist stand-up comedian with great


bangs and an okay body,” was the first female comic to win the title of “BU’s Funniest.” Wu has opened for Cameron Esposito and Ronny Chieng. Then on Saturday there will be a workshop in the Rose Art Museum taught by Kathe Farris. Farris is a member of the teaching staff at ImprovBoston and LaughBoston, as well as a coach for Boston Comedy Chicks. The intent here is clear: Brandeis students get the opportunity to learn from the same person who instructs the comics they saw the night before. Farris will provide an overview of stand-up as a medium and the process of constructing a set, teach the fundamentals of writing a joke and give advice on how to step into the space of a comedian. Finally, Saturday night, there will be an open mic in The Stein from 7 to 9 p.m. Anyone is welcome to perform, with the workshop participants getting the chance to put what they’ve learned on display. The festival is sponsored by the Department of Student Activities; the English department; the HIATT Career Center, Prevention, Advocacy and Resource Center (PARC); Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGS); WBRS, Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation Program (CAST) and the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life. All events are free. It’s Cass who has brought these different sponsors together, and who made the festival happen.


Bringing new perspectives to campus was very important to Cass. In an interview with The Brandeis Hoot, Cass shared, “[In my time at Brandeis] for family weekend, we’ve had white men. And white men can be funny, but they don’t hold a monopoly. I thought it was really important to bring other comedians, especially because, in order to laugh at comedy, you have to empathize with what the comedian is saying. I feel like that type of storytelling is very important for building connections. I really wanted to bring more people, and then provide opportunities for students who might find them funny or want to

try it out.” “We have so many perspectives and so many really cool women,” continued Cass, “I was just like, this needs to happen,” adding that she’s been receiving real support from the CAST program. “I wish there were so many more different perspectives [in the mainstream], so I started working on this in October, got it fully funded in January. It’s been moving very quickly.” At the end of our interview, Cass’ face lights up. “These people are so funny. I’m so excited!” And thanks to her efforts, you don’t have to take her word for it, or go farther than the SCC to see for yourself.

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