The Buzz Fall 2022

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THE BUZZ

FALL 2022 BOSTON, MA
FALL 2022 Editorial 5. Letter from the Editor City 11. Boston’s Women in Business 14. Boston’s Celebrity Hot-Spots 15. The Secret Behind Speakeasies Campus 17. BU’s On-Campus Unionization Efforts 20. Five Hidden Libraries on Commonwealth Avenue 21. Not Just Hobbies: Why Humanity Majors Matter Food 23. Do these Unconventional Restaurants Live Up to Their Hype? 26. Fun Fair Foods: The Big E 27. Some Tips on Tipping Wellness 30. Dedication to Meditation: I Tried a Silent Retreat 31. I’m Glad My Mom Died: The Power our Abusers Have on Our Identity and Wellbeing Fashion 33. Fashion Photoshoot: Undaunted 47. Undressing the Dress Code: The Generation of Women Fighting Back 50. Look Twice 51. Finding “Your Style” In the Age of Social Media and Fast Fashion Travel 53. The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly 56. New Boundaries 57. The Two-Week Fix Culture 59. Mosula Tapusoa 62. Are Celebrity Makeup Brands Worth the Hype? 63. The Culture of Curation Opinion 65. How Black Men and White Women are the Same 68. How to Delete Dating Apps 69. The Gentrification of Jordan 1’s Music 71. A Deep Dive Into the 27 Club 74. Should Musicians Cross Into Acting? 75. The Astroworld’s Tragedy’s Impact on the Concert Experience

Executive Editors

STAFF
Editor-in-Chief Print Managing Editor Online Managing Editor Head Copy Editor Creative Director Art Director Print Photography Director Online Photography Director Darcy Gallagher Erica MacDonald Viktoria Popovska Lila Redler Tamar Ponte Sophie Jurion Chika Okoye Sammy Grobman Section Editors City Campus Food Wellness Fashion Travel Culture Opinion Music Avani Mitra Katrina Scalise Molly Khabie Alexandra Grieco Cady Ghandour Caitlyn Kelley Sam Thomas Zach Murray Celene Machen Outreach Team Publisher Marketing Manager Social Media Web Director Julia Kapusta Esha Raja Rachel Dirksen Allie Richter Creative Team Shelby Mitchell, Anvitha Nekkanti, Polina Kharenko, Emma Hill, Poppy Livingstone, Chelsea Kuo, Madeline Michalowski, Emily Chiu, Lauren Mann Photography Team Katey Cooney, Elizabeth Watson, Alexandra Bradley, Avani Mitra, William Chapman, Maya Geiger, Andrew Burke-Stevenson, Mia Peterman, Ria Huang, Chang Xu Weir, Alex Neuman, Xinyi Fu
Tamar Ponte, Sophie Jurion, Tess Adams, Lila Berger, Madison Mercado Makeup Makeup Artist Greta Holtzman
Illustration Team

CONTRIBUTORS

Our Fall 2022 issue would not have been possible without the help of many outside students and partners who shared their talents, insights, and time. We would like to thank each and every new and existing relationship and we look forward to our continued partnership in the future.

Supporters

Boston University College of Communications

John Battaglino, Assistant Dean and Director, Student Activities Office

Margaret Babson, Associate Director, Student Activities Office

Abena Kwakyi, Assistant Director, Student Activities Office

Student Activities Office, Boston University Allocations Board, Boston University WTBU

Dennis, Century Type Hope Lane

Models

On the Cover

Miguel wears a black leather blazer from Nasty Gal, pants from Djerf Avenue, and boots from Sam and Libby.

Anvita Reddy Miguel Feliciano Nylah Mulzac
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A LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

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When I first found out that I’d be the next Editor-In-Chief of thought I couldn’t do it. After the initial excitement that my dreams of running a magazine had come true, I was filled with self-doubt. I was nervous I wouldn’t be able to help the magazine reach its full potential and experience the success I knew it could achieve.

I transferred to Boston University as a junior in the Fall of 2021. I didn’t know anyone in Boston, but I knew I wanted to be a part of The Buzz been the highlight of my college career. Although it comes with many challenges and frustrations, my passion for it has always prevailed. I’ve met amazing people and have discovered so much about myself.

As this semester comes to a close, I’ve found myself already thinking ahead to the spring. I have countless ideas for Buzz not all of them came to fruition this fall, that doesn’t matter. I’m so proud of everything we’ve done together as a team. Nothing can overshadow that.

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We all need to look behind us every once in a while to see how far we’ve come. This doesn’t just pertain to The Buzz but with anything in life. Never discredit the hard work you’ve undertaken in order to get to where you are now. Be proud of how far you’ve come.

If this position has taught me anything, it’s that nothing is ever going to be perfect. Anything worth doing will never be easy, and you can’t be afraid to make a mess. As a perfectionist myself, this continues to be a learning experience.

Things will go wrong, projects will turn out differently than you thought, and you will fail. You will never have complete control over a situation, and that’s okay. The only part that truly matters is how you choose to pivot and grow through these experiences. That is how we develop resilience.

To anyone doubting their ability, know that there will never be a right time or perfect moment to start. You will never feel ready, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t or that you can’t do it. All you need is the courage to try your best.

It’s been an honor serving as Editor-In-Chief this past semester. I want to thank our entire team, which currently stands at about 100 creative, hardworking individuals. You all are truly incredible. I couldn’t be more excited for the spring.

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boston’s womenin business

It is definitely not a man’s world anymore. In Boston, women are taking over the restaurant and business scene, and they are excelling at it. For so long, these two spheres have been male dominated, but the women of Boston are changing that in extraordinary ways.

Being a woman in business is not easy, especially in Boston. According to the 2016 State of WomenOwned Business Report from American Express, Boston ranks in the bottom five cities for growth of women-owned businesses. With many factors against them simply because of their gender, the bravery that these women display when they venture out in this city with a dream of creating a place of their own is nothing short of inspiring.

We have spoken with two female business owners in the Boston area to hear their stories and their experiences and how they have both faced and overcome the challenges that come with being a woman in this industry.

Written by Hollie Shuler | Designed by Emma Hill Photographed by William Chapman and Courtesy of Tambo 22
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Taylor Corcoran is a co-owner of Tambo 22, a Peruvian inspired restaurant in Chelsea, MA. She grew up baking, cooking, and working in the hospitality sector, so she always knew that owning her own restaurant was something that she wanted to do. When she was offered the opportunity to open a restaurant with her business partner, Jose Duarte, and her husband, Brian Corcoran, she was “more than thrilled to say yes.”

Many people are often shocked when they hear her say that she is one of the owners of her restaurant, and tend to approach her in a more questioning way rather than embracing her as a successful business owner. The process of co-owning a business has not been easy, and the Covid-19 pandemic did nothing to ease that. Corcoran has faced quite a few challenges in her business, relating both financially and to her gender. Corcoran has found this initial reaction from people to be tough, but she feels it is a commonality among female entrepreneurs and has powered her way through it.

When she first started working in the hospitality industry, Corcoran had a fear that people wouldn’t take her direction and accept her management style as a young woman. However, she learned to overcome this through practice and gaining the trust and respect of the people she worked with.

When asked about how being able to open her own restaurant has made her feel, Corcoran responds with a smile so contagious it’s almost impossible not to guess what she is going to say— “Amazing! It makes me super happy everyday just to know that I can wake up and [realize] I’m a woman business owner.” Her excitement is unreal, and she even describes it as feeling like a “dream.”

Despite the complexities that come with being a business owner, Corcoran stands firmly behind the mantra that “Nothing is out of reach.”

Corcoran’s advice for any young women, or people in general who are interested in pursuing entrepreneurship, is to “Go for

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it! Keep your head up because it does get tough…but other than that just go for your dreams!”

Alyssa Davis opened her shop Wyllo in Boston’s South End in September 2020 after years of making jewelry and selling it at various markets in Boston. When she found the space, she had a list of ten female-owned vendors that she was excited to feature in her shop. Their products meshed well with her jewelry and the idea that she had for Wyllo. Davis emphasized that it was central to her store concept that her shop was featuring businesses that she drew inspiration from and that had similar visions to hers.

She felt it was a big risk to be opening a shop in the SoWa art district in a time that people were not really being driven to the market area because of COVID, but Davis states that when she starts something and takes on a project, she “dives fully in”—meaning she was ready to fully commit herself to this store and its success, a venture that has certainly paid off. Davis’ store now features rows of stylish clothing, tote bags, candles, teas, and one of Alyssa’s favorite parts of the store: the cat toys.

Davis never felt too nervous about opening her own business because she had read so many stories, much like this one, about women who had done this same thing before. So many women in business inspire others simply forging their paths and doing what they feel passionate about. They create this beautiful network of women constantly helping each other by example, support, and solidarity. As Davis puts it, “women have paved the way so that I am able to own my own business.”

Although women have come a long way in the business world, navigating the business sphere as a woman still comes with a unique set of challenges that men do not have to face. Even when the women are the ones in charge, the path is not easy. People often ask Davis if she will be quitting her job or if she will stop working at the store when she decides to have children—a question that is never asked of her husband. This is something that has become a norm in our society, one that many of today’s female business

owners are actively looking to change. When asked about how owning her own business makes her feel, Davis describes it as being “surreal.” When she locks up her shop at the end of the day and sees the dream she was able to make a reality, her joy is powerful. Davis’s happiness is apparent in her excitement to talk about the items she is selling and the vendors that they come from, and the care she takes to meticulously organize everything and painstakingly set up the shop.

Advice she would give to her younger self, or anyone interested in opening their own store, is to “work with where you are and be willing to build from there.” Davis also understands that sometimes being a woman in business can come with self-doubt and this often discourages people. The only way to make it easier for women in the future is to keep pushing forward and working toward the goal. Her advice for this can ring very true for anyone that has faced disappointment when trying to pursue their dreams. Davis advises to “[not] get distracted and discouraged because your vision is not where you are right now. Have a mission that you believe in and know that you will have to figure things out along the way.” Perseverance in pursuit of your dreams is something that she believes in and embodies.

These women are taking their dreams and making them a reality; each of them is able to recall a time when they were a child who had a dream of opening their own business, whether it be a restaurant or a place to sell her hand-crafted jewelry. Through their support systems, the inspirations that came before them, and their supportive customer base in Boston, they have been able to accomplish something that would impress their younger selves. Despite the harsh Boston environment, in terms of the weather deterrents and the fact that Boston is one of the lowest ranked cities for women in business, these women are dauntlessly living out the lives they dreamed of as kids. These powerful ladies are the embodiment of what so many young girls dream of growing up—being women who can proudly call something their own.

So, if you ever find yourself needing some good Peruvian food or wanting handmade, local jewelry, make sure you remember Tambo 22 and Wyllo, and support your brave local women in business.

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ELEBRITY Hot-Spots BOSTON’S

Where your favorite VIPs go when they visit Boston

Boston may not be the best location to spot celebrities in comparison to the likes of New York and Los Angeles, but here are some of the places that VIPs frequent when they do visit Beantown.

Contessa

Contessa is an Italian rooftop spot that opened in 2021, and has since cemented itself as a mainstay of the Boston dining scene. The restaurant is headed by the same company that created Carbone in New York City, which has received press, accolades, and love from celebrities. Contessa offers beautiful views of the Back Bay and Newbury Street, all while serving delicious food.

Located in the Leather District, O Ya is a chic Japanese restaurant offering twenty gourmet courses. This spot is known not only for its innovative menu, but also for being the place where Hollywood power couple Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively had their first date.

O Ya Life Alive

This plant-based restaurant has multiple locations throughout the Greater Boston area, but the Boylston cafe specifically has seen one major celebrity during its time: Harry Styles. In October 2021, the pop star was spotted here while in Boston during his Love On Tour. If you are looking for a quick meal that tastes great and is good for you, Life Alive is the perfect option. Plus—you can say you ate at the same place Harry Styles did.

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The Secret Speakeasies Behind

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The latest whisperings on the Boston circuit make for one of the city’s most ill-kept secrets: speakeasies. Steeped in Prohibition-era discretion and the glorified Gatsby-esque aesthetic, modern speakeasies harken back to the days of the 1920s, but, now, the alcohol is legal.

A century ago, Boston nightlife went belly-up when the Eighteenth Amendment outlawed the production, transportation, and sale of alcohol with the passage of the Volstead Act. While this era marked the “official” time of death for legal taverns and saloons, it also birthed the creation of bootleggers, those who illegally trafficked liquor, and speakeasies, which were illegal bars operating in the shadows of law enforcement. Thus, American social life was reborn into a rambunctious style of partying, dating, and of course, drinking in secret.

Despite the law of the land, alcohol flowed freely in these dimly lit, underground, inconspicuous locations: the ideal home for speakeasies (also known as blind pigs or gin joints). Disguised as mundane businesses such as barber and soda shops, and marketed by word of mouth and gossip, these illicit bars gained an esteemed reputation as the epicenter of cosmopolitan entertainment. The term speakeasy stems from the cryptic entry, a staple of the speakeasy experience, in which one would have to speak quietly (so as not to be heard by law enforcement) while delivering a password, secret handshake, or even knock on the door in the correct manner to gain access.

Once inside, patrons would be greeted with live entertainment, extravagant cocktails, and delightful hors d’oeuvres. Jazz, in particular, gained a newfound popularity in speakeasies as its intricate combination of melody, swing notes, and improvisational techniques created a soulful tone, suitable for jam-packed dance floors and crowded burrows. To mask the taste of prohibitive chemicals looming in the industrial alcohol circulating at the time, bar keepers added sweeteners to mixed-drinks, creating a whimsical blend of savory beverages (an added bonus of concealing the paraphernalia from police).

Ultimately, the clandestine nature of these bars added to the allure, which is being revitalized around the country and especially here in Boston. Today, hidden within the nooks and crannies of the city, speakeasies are housed in discrete locations such as back rooms attached to restaurants or basements. The ambiance and decor reflects that of the Prohibition-era while camouflaged entrances add some much needed spice to the standard night-out.

The most recent addition to the Boston watering hole, Next

Door Speakeasy and Raw Bar, is disguised as a vintage locksmith, but passers-by must look closely to notice the cocktail-making equipment hiding in the storefront window. Concealed on the patio of Pazza on Porter in East Boston, visitors must wave their hand in front of the hidden entrance blended into a blue brick wall to be let in (only after whispering the “password of the night” to the doorman). Once inside, visitors are transported into the hallmark of the oldschool speakeasy experience. The lock-and-key themed, blue velvet decor, and “dress to impress” dress code makes for a chic, classical ambiance that most bars nowadays lack. Here, guests are invited to sip on experimental cocktails and pick at the raw bar and charcuterie menu while soothed by jazz renditions of current American pop. Their signature drink, the Lock & Key, is a new spin on the classic piña colada that is served inside a small treasure chest, emitting smoke and golden light when opened. The bar’s specific attention to detail, from ice cubes engraved with their lock and key logos to 19 original cocktails crafted by Bar Manager Josue Castillo, makes for an unforgettable night-out experience. Reservations can be made for Thursday-Sunday with hours from 5pm-1am.

Buried in an alleyway of Boston’s Leather District on the other side of the city lies a speakeasy of the opposite nature, Offsuit, an extension of French restaurant Troquet on South. To find it, guests must search for the unobtrusive door marked only with the number five in the Utica street alleyway. Once found, patrons call the phone number printed on the door to be let in, amplifying the elusiveness by evading the traditional knock. Inside, the bar offers a much more intimate setting with dim-lighting and a 20-seat cocktail bar offered on a first come first serve basis from 5pm to 1am on Tuesday-Thursday and 4pm-1am on Fridays and Saturdays. With cozy and intimate as the goal, the bar serves drinks ranging from go-to originals to reimagined classics, such as the Lounge Act, a blend of chamomile-infused apple brandy, dry curaçao, and falernum. With a focus on spinning vinyl and emphasizing eras with curated music and wine of the same years, Offsuit appeals to those in search of the timeless comfort of a good-old-fashioned, private pub.

While the Boston drinking culture is known to be vibrant and varied on the surface, an underground bar crawl through the urban burrows may be just what sets this city’s nightlife apart from others. With a complex history surrounding the legality of alcohol, it is only fitting that the city pay tribute to its days of undercover entertainment with a modern spin on Prohibition-era speakeasies. While not-so-secret anymore, Boston’s spirited, young drinking culture serves to revitalize the party scene with a throwback to its roots—but nowadays, there’s no need to be quiet about it.

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BU’S ON-CAMPUS UNIONIZATION EFFORTS

If you’ve noticed companies across America are unionizing left and right—you’re not alone.

According to Bloomberg Law, unions have won more elections this past year than they have for the past 20 years—and they’re not slowing down.

Just walking down Commonwealth Avenue, it’s easy to see why this trend hasn’t gone away.

Just in this current academic cycle there have been three on-campus unionization efforts. Two of them are connected to Boston University— the BU Children’s Center and the BU Graduate Student Union. The last one is the Starbucks on 874 Commonwealth Ave., located in the heart of BU’s West Campus, which is the only union strike as of Nov. 17 to end in a success thus far.

Besides that, there are already five established unions on campus that cover full-time staff, including police officers, security officers, service, maintenance, librarians, clerical, technical and service employees. According to BU Policies, temporary, seasonal, and student employees are not allowed to unionize.

But where did all these unions come from?

First off, labor unions are not new. According to CGS Lecturer and the History Program Coordinator for the Metropolitan College, Andrew David, manufacturing set the stage for the formation of unions.

“You see a rise in labor unions with the industrialization of the United States primarily in the

North and the Midwest in the early mid-part of the 19th century,” David said.

However it wasn’t until 1869, that the first union was created: the Knights of Labor.

“Better wages, better hours, and the weekend were the kinds of things they advocated for only,” David said. “They were also remarkable because they would allow anyone in, and not just in terms of skill, in terms of racial background…but even women found a home in the Knights of Labor in a way that they wouldn’t in other unions.”

The Great Depression, WWI, the culture shift in the 1920s, all led to more American working industrial jobs and that eventually led to a push for labor unions.

“By the mid 1950s, about a third of Americans belonged to unions,” David said.

But why are they so popular now?

It has to do with the economic recession and the housing crash of the 2000s, the pandemic and a younger generation that doesn’t have the same opportunities as previous generations, according to David.

CGS Social Sciences Senior Lecturer Sam Deese added, “The concerns that people have about the cost of living, are also leading people to understand the value of the kind of protection that a union can give you in terms of negotiating better pay, better working conditions.”

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A union amongst BU’s lecturers has established its prominence this year, though its origins go further back.

According to Deese, more than half of the faculty who teach at BU are lecturers or graduate students, and therefore do not have tenure.

“Our department is very hierarchical in romance studies, and we’re not allowed to teach certain levels of courses even though most of us have PhDs just like the professor’s do,” said Molly Monet-Viera, a Spanish Lecturer in CAS, who has been a steward of the lecturers’ union since the union negotiated its first contract in 2017.

Deese is also a steward for the lecturers’ union since summer 2022 and helped form it.

“Being a part of forming the union and participating in negotiations for contracts has been one of the most inspiring, if not the most inspiring, political experience I’ve ever had in my life,” Deese said.

In an email obtained by The Buzz , President Brown acknowledged the promotions of tenured faculty but disregarded any lecturers.

According to Monet-Viera, the lecturers were not happy and wrote to Brown.

“It makes us feel invisible, it’s such a small thing, [he] could acknowledge our promotions as well,’” Monet-Viera said. “And he wrote back and said no.”

Instances like these cause lecturers to feel like “second class citizens,” and that ultimately hurts students.

“If the administration is doing something, to keep money for itself, that is bad for lecturers and bad for graduate students. Guess what? It’s also bad for the students,” Deese said.

BU GRADUATE STUDENT WORKERS UNION

On Sept. 12, the BUGSWU submitted their claim campaign to form a union. Backed by 3,000+ students, BUGSWU was formed to support the doctoral students on campus.

Doctoral students receive work as researchers and teacher’s assistants and don’t have to pay tuition. Students earn between $24,521 for eight academic months to $36,782 for a full year.

makes us feel invisible”

Even though BU professors are paid about 25% more than professors across the country because of the high cost of living, lecturers are not paid 25% more than the average lecturer, according to Monet-Viera.

“It’s hard to live on a lecture salary in Boston,” Monet-Veira said.

Despite their payment, students have cited high living costs, and many are struggling to find housing due to the number of students trying to live close to campus.

This isn’t the first time BU graduate students have tried to unionize. Before their claim was announced on Sept. 12, students were blocked by the university in 2019.

“These graduate students are increasingly aware of the fact that they need and want union representation to advance their interests,” said David Webber, a Paul M. Siskind Scholar and BU Professor of Law.

During the Trump administration, when the National Labor Relations Board was filled with his appointees, there was a stall in the number of graduate student unionization on private campuses, according to Insider Higher Ed.

On Sept. 23, Jean Morrison, University Provost, and Chief Academic Officer released a letter to the BUGSWU explaining BU’s opposition to the union.

Morrison explained that enacting a union would establish a “one size fits all” model, which isn’t fair for everyone. Despite the administration’s unwillingness to compromise, some professors all over campus still support the union.

“The education that you came to get is not possible without the effort of graduate students,” Deese said, referring to BU’s student body.

BUGSWU did not respond to interview requests.

LECTURER’S UNION
“It
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BU CHILDREN’S CENTER STARBUCKS

In May 2022, The BU Children’s Center unanimously decided to unionize.

The center reached out to Hersch Rothmel, a Director for External Organizing with SEIU Local 888, an organization in Massachusetts focused on unionizing educators. Rothmel describes his role as providing guidance for workers in organizing their union.

He said after the Children’s Center reached out in May, he met with the staff on June 1 and 5 and then filed for an election on June 10.

As of Oct. 2, over 300 Starbucks locations have had union elections and 80% have decided to unionize, according to National Public Radio.

And the Brookline Starbucks located is one of them.

Maria Isaza (COM ‘25) first started working at the Starbucks near West Campus in January 2021. But it wasn’t until May 2022 that Starbucks decided to join the Starbucks United Workers Union.

“My store joined because we had seen the movement with other stores, and it trickled down to other locations around Boston…We wanted to

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FIVE HIDDEN LIBRARIES

ON COMMONWEALTH AVENUE

Places to study, read, or hang out that you may not know about.

You are likely familiar with popular campus libraries, such as Mugar Library. However, it can be nice to have a change of scenery, smaller setting, or a place with more specific materials. Here are five hidden libraries, all located on Commonwealth Avenue.

STONE SCIENCE LIBRARY

675 Commonwealth Ave., room 440

This semi-small room includes several collaborative study tables and wallmounted desk areas, but no divided study cubicles. The Stone Science Library is a good spot for anyone who likes natural light: there are great window views visible while studying. The materials here focus on archaeology and remote sensing.

LIBRARY

595 Commonwealth Ave., 3rd floor

Spanning the second and third floors of the Questrom School of Business, this library is the largest on the list. The area includes a diverse range of seating options, from collaborative desks and divided cubicles to armchairs and benches. The environment is collaborative, and the library’s resources focus on subjects related to business and management.

CFA CURRICULUM LIBRARY

855 Commonwealth Ave., 2nd floor

This library is a small space among the second floor CFA classrooms. It features two collaborative tables and semi-divided desk spaces along the wall. It is a collaborative environment and a good place if you’re looking for a casual area to hang out or study. The musical materials available here include scores, recordings, and books.

SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY LIBRARY

745 Commonwealth Ave., 2nd floor

This library is also spacious, though only on one floor. It is a more quiet environment with divided cubicles and study areas along the walls. The space is reminiscent of a museum, featuring cultural and religious artifacts as well as stained glass. The library collects material “in areas that support the curriculum of the School of Theology.”

ASTRONOMY LIBRARY

725 Commonwealth Ave., 6th floor

The Astronomy Library is a small, tight space with only a few shared desks among the bookshelves. There are a couple armchairs but no divided study cubicles. It is a collaborative environment and takes up less than a floor. This library “supports programs of study in both astronomy and astrophysics.”

Written by Alicia Hamm Designed by Emma Hill Photographed by Chika Okoye
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NOT JUST HOBBIES:

Why Humanities Majors Matter

In a culture that views STEM as the only way to succeed, it’s time to give humanities the appreciation they deserve.

For students who aspire to be anything other than a doctor, engineer, or CEO, having the “what’s your major?” chat with family members can be a dreaded interaction. Humanities majors like history, literature, and philosophy are often dismissed as impractical compared to majors in math or science. But despite the hasty assumptions of concerned relatives, the humanities are not just hobbies: they are essential in building a functioning society.

Humanities are academic disciplines that study human culture and society; they include subjects such as languages, art, music, media and cultural studies, and more. These disciplines help us “understand and interpret the human experience,” according to the National Humanities Center. Despite the critical perspective and crucial understanding of the world that humanities provide, our culture portrays STEM as the only path to success, leaving the humanities undervalued.

“[People] don’t realize that there is theory and rigor to [the humanities],” said Kathryn Lakin (CAS ‘25), who is pursuing a major in English

and a minor in Spanish. “It’s a different type of critical thinking, but it is still critical thinking… it requires following a line of reasoning in a way that isn’t always the case with STEM fields.”

The National Center for Education Statistics reported a vast decrease in the number of students graduating with humanities degrees over the past decade, with drops ranging from 33% in Languages and Literature to 50% in English. Meanwhile, the number of STEM degrees awarded shot up. English and arts departments, from elementary schools to universities, face budget cuts or erasure, while STEM programs grow.

Misconceptions about the humanities—such as that they offer vague career paths and less lucrative jobs—lead many to believe that STEM is the more respectable field. However, the STEM-humanities feud only serves to put in opposition two equally important areas of knowledge.

“I think that’s what we should try to step away from: the ‘either-or,’ the ‘this one is better, so that

Written by Siena Griffin Designed by Poppy Livingstone Photographed by Chika Okoye
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one must be worse,’” said Alice Tseng, Associate Dean of the Faculty for the Humanities. “It’s not a matter of one [field] being more important than another; it’s that you have to get a balance of everything.”

Much of the stigma around humanities majors derives from a perceived lack of job prospects. The decline in humanities majors and concurrent rise in STEM majors following the 2008 financial crisis reinforces this theory, says The Atlantic. However, declining numbers of humanities students do not reflect the disciplines’ importance, but rather what students think they should pursue if they want to make money—usually STEM fields.

“Humanities majors do have lower starting salaries, but by the time you’ve been working for a while, they are comparable with other majors in sciences and even STEM,” said Lakin. Lakin added that some people who study the humanities end up in seemingly non-humanities fields, noting that the founder of the messaging app Slack, Stewart Butterfield, earned degrees in Philosophy.

Misbeliefs about the value of humanities gain traction in college settings as divides between areas of study become more apparent. Subtle remarks imply that humanities students enjoy easy workloads or are destined for low-paying jobs, but these jabs are not harmless. Stereotypes about humanities majors perpetuate the notion that students in these fields will contribute less to the world than their STEM peers. They also enforce the view that being science- or mathsmart, opposed to being gifted at English or history, equates to overall intelligence.

“The joke is always PoliSci majors laying in bed all day as their Bio major roommate is running around curing cancer,” said Kimia Malkami (CAS ‘26), a Political Science and Cinema and Media Studies double major. “While I think a lot of it is a joke, I definitely think people see humanities as lesser because it is a degree that has less direction [than a STEM degree].”

The humanities are not obsolete, especially when humanities majors comprise a substantial portion of Boston University’s student body. According to Data USA, 15% of BU’s Class of

2020 graduated with Communication degrees, making it the second most popular degree concentration that year, behind Business. An additional 8% of the class received degrees in other humanities subjects, from Linguistics to Art History.

A humanities education benefits even nonmajors—it encourages critical thinking skills and may reveal underlying interests in new subjects. The BU Hub, the university’s general education program, mandates that students take courses outside their major, which means STEM students must take humanities courses in order to graduate.

“A lot of them walk out much happier that they made that choice of taking [a humanities] class, even if at first it felt like it was something they had to do,” said Tseng, who teaches courses in Japanese Art and Architecture.

BU’s Center for the Humanities aims to foster connections within the humanities community and among those in both humanities and nonhumanities fields. The center also presents opportunities in the humanities such as scholarships, fellowships, and grants.

“[Humanities] teach you how to view these problems and see the big ideas and threads and connections that go throughout history or literature,” said Lakin, an office assistant at the Center for the Humanities, about the importance of these resources, “and you can apply that to anything in your life.”

Ancient Greek philosophy, Renaissance art, Victorian literature—historical societies revolved around the humanities, for it was these disciplines that enriched their lives. Humanities of the past continue to shape our cultures and influence the world as we know it. Ultimately, we rely just as much on the humanities as we do on STEM—society’s perception of humanities just needs to elevate to reflect it.

“[The humanities are] about people and how people express themselves, how people think, how people communicate,” said Tseng. “So how can we not think that humanities are important? That’s our everyday existence.”

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DO THESE

UNCONVENTIONAL RESTAURANTS

Over the past couple of years, the traditional dining experience has been elevated to out-of-the-ordinary concepts to lure in new customers. When reminiscing on my childhood, the most unique restaurant I can think of is eating while bowling. Besides that, every restaurant I would go to was set up traditionally with a server and regular seating. However, times have changed, and with platforms like UberEats and GrubHub eating out has become easier, and places have come up with

Topgolf

Topgolf has taken the world by storm, with over eighty locations worldwide, and is still growing. Following the traditional bowling experience, Topgolf has been at the forefront of the unconventional dining experience. Reservations are not required but are recommended, especially if you are going at a busy time of day. The bays are set up with either high-top tables or couches surrounding a normal table, and you are allowed to eat and drink while playing golf. However, it isn’t just regular golf; there are large targets ranging in distances from 30 yards away up to 200 yards away. You can play a standard game and compete to score the most points, or you can play one of the various games they offer, like Angry Birds or Jewel Jam. No matter your level of experience, you are welcome at Topgolf. Even though there may be some good players around you, it is still fun, no matter the level you play at. They will provide clubs if you do not want to bring your own, and it does not matter if you golf left-handed or right-handed.

The best part of the experience is sitting around eating, hanging out with friends, and laughing about your ability(or lack thereof) at golfing. Their menu is more extensive than some of the other unconventional restaurants I tried. Having been to Topgolf multiple times, I have tried a plethora of options, and I have never been disappointed. Their chicken fingers and warm pretzel bites are good and perfect sharable items, but nothing extraordinary. The cheesy macaroni bites are delicious, very warm, and gooey with the perfect amount

new ideas to create a one-of-a-kind experience. Boston is a lively city with an endless amount of possibilities when it comes to food and entertainment. Two restaurants: SPIN Boston and Flight Club Boston, provide a fun and interactive component to the traditional meal. Additionally, Topgolf, a franchise that is spread out all over the nation, provides the same attractive qualities. I went to all three establishments to see if these places are just popular because of the atmosphere or if they have good food, too!

of crunch. Lastly, my personal favorite is chicken and waffles. Served as mini sandwiches, this dish is delicious, and you will definitely want to get them again. If you are of age, there is a variety of alcoholic beverages and a specialty cocktail served in a glass shaped like a golf bag.

Out of the variety of new unconventional restaurants, Topgolf is a great option to spend time at, no matter the time of day. Their menu expands from breakfast, lunch, and dinner and has options for kids. Even though there is no location in Boston, they do live events at Fenway Park, but make sure to act fast; they do sell out!

SPIN Boston

Last year SPIN Boston opened in the Seaport District. This unique experience combines two things: ping pong and food. When you first walk into the industrial space, you can automatically sense the lively atmosphere. The music projected throughout the venue was a mix of hits from the 2010s all the way to today. It was loud enough to have fun and sing along, but you could still hear the people you were with and have conversations. The walls were a mixture of brick and cement, with decals of iconic cartoon characters, like the pink panther, displayed on the walls. Throughout the night, different lighting was

Written by Amanda Healy | Designed by Chelsea Kuo | Photographed by Maya Geiger
LIVE UP TO THEIR HYPE? 23

projected on the floors and walls, with pops of color and neon signs. All of these intricate details created a vibrant environment.

Now the most important part, what was the food like? It was a Wednesday night, and multiple corporate events were taking up most of the space, so I sat and ate at the bar. Having tried their wings, chicken sandwich, and fries, it is easy to say this unconventional restaurant is just as delicious as it is fun, even if options were a bit limited. The menu description for the wings was “beer brined, sriracha honey, with ginger buttermilk.” This unique take on classic bar food did not disappoint. Their chicken sandwich, grilled or fried, is equally as appetizing, but one of the best parts of this dish is their fries and sriracha ketchup. This side and dip were unlike any other, and I will definitely order them again next time.

Sitting at the bar was a great decision. The staff was incredibly friendly and attentive, and they brought games over to play before our food arrived. Two of the games we played were a ring toss game, and a massive connect four. These activities added to the unique experience. Watching other groups play ping pong, laugh, and have fun creates a welcoming ambiance and makes you want to be part of the action.

SPIN can be found in the Seaport, one of Boston’s most popular up-and-coming areas, and the location is perfect for the restaurant concept. Next time you want to try something fun, you need to come here. It is the perfect place for a night out with friends, with good food and some friendly competition.

Flight Club

The last unconventional restaurant that I explored was Flight Club in Boston’s Seaport. After taking an elevator to the second floor, you step into a vintage fair-themed restaurant where you can eat and play darts at the same time. The decor for this establishment was spectacular, with incredible attention to detail. Following a carnival-inspired atmosphere, there are carousel horses strategically placed around all the rooms. Vintage light bulbs line the ceiling in intricate directions, and frames of people in outfits from decades ago are placed along the walls. All of these small details added to the electric atmosphere—friends and families competing against each other while eating yummy food.

If you are not able to get a booth to play darts, and you are twentyone or older, you have the option of sitting and eating at the bar. However, if you are under twenty-one, you can take a seat at one of the high-top tables that are on a first-come, first-serve basis. Even if you are at a regular table, you feel the energy of the groups playing darts around you. This is a friendly warning that it will get loud with all the competitive screaming!

The best part of the entertainment portion of this restaurant is the high-tech quality of the darts. Instead of having to tally up points while you play, the board does it for you, and you are allowed to take photos and have profile pictures on your screen. These details elevate the experience, and the fun characters that appear as transitions continue to amplify the fun vintage carnival vibe of the entire restaurant.

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Are you wondering about the food yet? The menu is not as extensive as Topgolf, but it still has a decent variety. Most of the plates are shareable, and I tried the black and white hummus, truffle fries, tandoori chicken skewers, and the Flight Club prime sliders. The black and white hummus was just okay. Our first serving came with some pita bread slices, cucumbers, and carrots, but there was not enough compared to the serving of hummus, so we had to ask for extras. It was good enough to eat, but I wouldn’t order it again. Next, I had the truffle fries, and these were my favorite food of the night. They had the perfect amount of seasoning, and had been fried perfectly. I would definitely recommend getting them if you go to Flight Club. Next, I tried both the tandoori chicken

skewers and the Flight Club prime sliders. Both of these dishes were very delicious and were the perfect size to split between three people. I went with two friends, and it was great to try multiple dishes!

Topgolf, SPIN Boston, and Flight Club are all excellent establishments that serve good food with a twist, and if you get hooked on entertainment with your meals, there are so many more around the city and across the country. Each of these restaurants is perfect for a night out with friends or family to get your competitive spirits flowing and enjoy each other’s company. I know for a fact that I will be back at each of these restaurants!

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FUN FAIR FOODS:

THE BIG E

The Big E, also known as the Eastern States Exposition, is the largest and most popular fair held annually in Springfield, Massachusetts. This past year, it was held from September 16th until October 2nd. Even though it already passed, you are going to want to mark your calendars for next year.

Entrees: Billie’s Baked Potatoes seem to be a fair favorite for many, because who doesn’t love potatoes? Serving a classic baked potato, you can top with either broccoli and cheese, or chili and cheese, as well as additional toppings for an extra fee—a simple food that you can enjoy while walking around to other vendors.

Desserts: One of the most popular desserts

at the fair is surely The Donut Family donuts. With donuts being arguably the best sweet treat, The Donut Family is certainly no exception. They serve mini donuts coated in a cinnamon-sugar on the outside, topped with various sweet treats, such as oreos or marshmallows, plus their delicious whipped cream.

It doesn’t get more American than this: Deep-fried butter balls. These savory little treats can be purchased from Marion’s Fried Dough. According to Masslive, it is reminiscent of a crescent roll, but with a large pocket of butter on the inside. Trust me when I say you will try nothing like these tasty treats, and think of them for long after.

Are you a fan of fair food? The Big E is held annually and has exquisite food.
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SOME TIPS ON

tipping

Let’s talk about restaurant etiquette. I’m not your mother, so I’m not going to scold you to take your elbows off the table, to hold your spoon the correct way or not to burp at dinner. Instead, I want to have a heart-to-heart conversation between me—a waitress—and you, a customer.

I am going to start by doing what your mother might be inclined to do, and put you in my hideous, non-slip black waitressing shoes:

Table 21 needs water refills, table 23 is ready for the check, 19’s dish is wrong, 31’s dessert is ready to be delivered (and melting because it’s ice cream), 17 is waiting to order, and 42 wants to speak to a manager.

If you’ve never served before, I’d assume that list is stress-inducing, and I also would bet my tip money on you not wanting to deal with that mental gymnastics. Managing multiple requests at once is part of the job, and our capability to do so effectively determines if we pay our rent the following week.

That is to say, tips are crucial to our livelihood, so I’m here to settle the argument: yes, customers should tip their servers.

Most servers in Massachusetts make between four and seven dollars per hour: AKA, well below the state minimum wage, which is $14.25. Without tips, we simply don’t make enough money to get by—yet I know what some of you argue: you chose to be a server, and tips are optional, so why am I obligated to leave one? Yes, we are willingly working as servers, but we’re also working with the expectation that we’ll make a livable wage. Many of you will respond, I, the customer, shouldn’t have to support your salary. Tell your company to take care of it.

I understand where you’re coming from. But enlighten me: how do retail workers get paid? Well, when you purchase a shirt from a store, the company makes money, then splits that money between investments, products, and paying the workers.

Same with the car industry: you buy a car, and part of the money goes to the salesman. You buy a necklace from the jewelry store, and part of the sale is used to pay the jeweler. Why are we so shocked, then, that the customer of a restaurant has to pay the server? If the money doesn’t come from the tip (which comes from the customer), the money is going to come from elsewhere. For example, your $12 burger will now increase by 20% because 20% is the anticipated tip. So, your burger now costs $14.40. Your $20 gnocchi dish is now $24, your $9 margarita is now $10.80, and your $30 steak is now $36.

But mathematics is besides the point. Serving is an undesirable job—it’s in the name: ‘serving.’ Who wants to serve people? Not just serve people, but sometimes serve up to eight tables at once. To satisfy that many people at once is a talent, to say the least, and comes with a plethora of other things customers don’t realize are occurring behind the scenes.

My restaurant, which is inside the mall, was the busiest I had ever seen on the Saturday before Christmas. I had been working a double shift, so when

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a table of four came in at 10 p.m., I was drained. Their order was fairly simple, except for one man who wanted to remove olives, salami and oregano from his pizza, add different toppings and ask for the bottom to be slightly burnt. I nodded and smiled at the man, confirmed his order and put it in. Unfortunately, the pizza came out with olives, and when I tell you the man was livid , I mean it. He told me it was the worst service he had ever received, he demanded I make him another drink, and when I brought the Moscow Mule to him, he said it was horrible. When I brought the table their bill, he threw f-bombs at me, looked me up and down, and left no tip.

I was on my twelfth hour of that shift, I had been bartending and serving at the same time, and I found out that a coworker passed away that morning, so I was exhausted, to say the least.

On days where we work double shifts, sometimes we don’t have a chance to eat anything. We often burn ourselves on hot plates, or have soup, sauces, or drinks spilled on our aprons. We are often the victims of rude customers who

think it’s acceptable to degrade us, insult us, or swear at us. But as soon as your waitress returns to your table, she slaps a smile on her face, often extending her extensive knowledge of the menu, giving her recommendations, and ensuring that you have a pleasurable experience.

Not to mention, many servers like myself are college students who are trying to make ends meet, and often miss out on social events to make a buck. If you’re willing to drop big money on drinks and apps, why not throw a bone to the overworked and underpaid college student?

Given the reality that most restaurants in the U.S. are not going to magically start paying their workers out of pocket, we should help each other out. Especially now that you’re aware of our hourly wage, it would be morally wrong for you to choose to not pay your server. You don’t work for free, do you?

So, next time you are dining with friends, don’t think twice about tipping. You never know how much your server needs it! And besides, your restaurant experience made you happy, so why not reciprocate it!

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wtbu the beat of boston university 89.3 FM | 640 AM | BU CHANNEL | WTBURADIO.ORG 29

Dedication to Meditation: I Tried a Silent Retreat

On October 9, I attended my first meditation retreat, hosted by the Boston University Zen Club. I got into meditation during quarantine, having had an inconsistent meditation practice for about two years. Recently, I’ve delved deeper into my practice, as I’ve found a community to share my passion with at BU.

The retreat was led by Rafa Borges of Dharma Gates, a nonprofit that conducts low-cost or donation-based retreats for young people. Selena Lee, President, and Jonas Kaplan-Bucciarelli, Vice President, opened their doors to host the retreat. In the past, the Cambridge Zen Center has held retreats every semester, but this was BU Zen’s first student-led retreat – and it was almost every attendee’s first experience.

What is meditation? According to Rafa, the essence of meditation is sustained attention. He presented us with the tissue simile; the concept that you should only put the amount of effort into your meditation as it takes to hold a tissue in your hand. Jonas says mindfulness is, “nonjudgmental present-moment awareness.” – the nonjudgment aspect being crucial. Selena expresses

that meditation “cultivates patience and compassion towards yourself.”

Though most people embark upon their meditation journeys individually, a powerful sense of community is established through group meditation.

This retreat involved 4-hours of silence. We alternated between sitting and walking meditation, perched cross-legged on circular pillows. Throughout the process, I consciously focused on my breath and being present in the moment. In the end, Rafa offered us a loving kindness exercise: we focused on the thought of someone we love immensely, and then extended that warm feeling toward ourselves and those around us. It was a beautiful practice that made me feel emotionally rejuvenated and at peace.

I encourage everyone to explore meditation! BU students have free access to the app Headspace, and BU Zen is an open-hearted and open-minded community on campus.

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I’m Glad My Mom Died: The Power our Abusers Have on Our Identity and Wellbeing

“My life purpose has always been to make Mom happy, to be who she wants me to be. So without Mom, who am I supposed to be now?”

Jennette McCurdy’s memoir, I’m Glad My Mom Died, tells a heartbreaking yet hopeful story of abuse, eating disorders, nuanced relationships, child stardom trauma, and convoluted grief. The controversial title of the book reflects on a breakthrough of her recovery—that those closest to us, those we hold on the highest of pedestals, aren’t always best for us. Any self-reflection and healing McCurdy accomplished, she accomplished post her mother’s passing and because of her mother’s passing.

McCurdy’s mother, referred to as Mom, was a narcissist and that is the foundation and explanation for most of her behavior. It explains why she established power through guilt, pity, and manipulation—and—why she sought her purpose through her daughter, and thus designed her daughter’s only purpose to be her mother: Mom created and fostered a harmful codependency that implicitly dictated McCurdy’s identity for the rest of her life.

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For most of McCurdy’s life, Mom was a cancer survivor. Mom would play old VHS home video tapes of herself in the early stages of her diagnosis, claiming it was to teach her children gratitude, but actually, it was to bask in their pain and sadness as though it was a compliment— “She needed us to be nothing without her” (McCurdy, 8). Each year, McCurdy’s birthday wish was for Mom to stay alive another year—the more years Mom lived, the more she felt her wishes gained legitimacy and the more responsibility she bore over her Mom’s survival; this later manifested into OCD. If you keep Mom happy, then you keep Mom alive.

Longing for a better life, Mom turned to six-year-old Jennette and said “You want to be Mommy’s little actress?” There was only one right answer—McCurdy thought she wanted whatever Mom wanted. Mom was imposing her biggest dream upon McCurdy and at six years old, a child didn’t know she had options. After countless auditions, small roles, and talent classes, McCurdy soon realized that she didn’t like acting—it made her uncomfortable and felt unnatural. When she shared these feelings with her mother, Mom broke out into a manipulative hysteria that this was their chance and she cannot quit. McCurdy changed her mind out of guilt and fear. While acting felt fake and invasive, writing felt personal and real; that was McCurdy’s true passion. When McCurdy wrote her first screenplay as a child, Mom gaslit McCurdy into abandoning writing and wanting her own former dream of Hollywood stardom.

After landing her big break as Sam on Nickelodeon’s iCarly and becoming a household name, she began to resent fame, and as a result, her mother too. “Her happiness came at the cost of mine. I feel robbed and exploited” (McCurdy, 121). McCurdy was trapped in a life she never wanted and faced with complicated feelings of her life’s purpose to please

and trust Mom. She trusted that Mom knew best, but her career didn’t feel “best,” or even remotely right. Fully admitting that to herself felt like slapping her mother in the face; it’d be an existential crisis. So, she shoved those feelings far down.

When McCurdy was eleven, Mom introduced her to calorie restriction, creating a long, torturous eating disorder. Mom infantilized McCurdy, which made growing up and puberty terrifying concepts: “If I start to grow up, Mom won’t love me as much…I’m determined not to grow up.” (McCurdy, 89). McCurdy was desperate to impress Mom and weight loss was one way to do it. In fact, sharing an eating disorder together brought the pair closer than ever before. In the ICU, when Mom was nearing death, McCurdy announced that she was finally down to 89 pounds—this was her idea of an attempt to wake Mom up.

Anorexia became a sense of control inherited from Mom. Post-Mom’s death, and the depression and existentialism that followed, the coping mechanism morphed into bulimia and alcoholism. Throwing up was the manifestation of Mom’s voice haunting McCurdy’s mind, and her alcohol abuse was the way to push Mom out of her head.

McCurdy’s recovery journey was turbulent. The first true step to breaking her habits was recognizing Mom’s abuse and impact. McCurdy’s defensiveness over her mother was fascinating and heartbreaking—a case of abuse translated to intense love. Clinging to this narrative that Mom knew and wanted what was best for McCurdy felt critical to her survival. Taking her abuser off the pedestal was how she started healing years of open wounds and reconstructing an identity that is her own.

“Mom didn’t get better. But I will.”
“She needed us to be nothing without her”
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(McCurdy, 8)
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Nylah wears a Banana Republic blazer, Forever 21 black corset top, and For Love and Lemons Alysa Mini Skirt. Her shoes are black and gold loafers from Steve Madden.

Fall 2022 Fashion Photoshoot

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Nylah wears an AFRM Serenity Mesh Midi Dress.

Anvita wears a Coach scarf and her top is a vintage scarf fashioned into a top. Her shorts are Bronx and Banco Capri Lime Shorts and her white boots are Steve Madden.

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Nylah wears an AFRM Serenity Mesh Midi Dress and her white hat is vintage fur.

Anvita wears a Coach scarf and her top is a vintage scarf fashioned into a top. Her shorts are Bronx and Banco Capri Lime Shorts and her white boots are Steve Madden.

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Anvita’s beret is from Zara, her corset is from Nasty Gal, and her skirt is H&M. She accessorizes with vintage black velvet gloves with a feather trim and boots from Timberland.

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Miguel’s black leather blazer is from Nasty Gal, his pants are from Djerf Avenue, and his boots are from Sam and Libby.

Nylah wears a Banana Republic blazer, Forever 21 black corset top, and For Love and Lemons Alysa Mini Skirt. Her shoes are black and gold loafers from Steve Madden.

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Anvita wears a Coach scarf and her top is a vintage scarf fashioned into a top.

Miguel wears a purple Charlene Blazer from Officine Générale.

Nylah wears an AFRM Serenity Mesh Midi Dress.

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Life often puts us on shaky ground, throws experiences and people our way which make us question our own strength. There is nothing more powerful than someone who stands tall and owns who they are. To be undaunted, is not to be perfect or emotionless, to be undaunted means to overcome. It means that in the face of difficulty and insecurity, you choose selfconviction and self-love.

It means to own all of your little quirks and unique traits, to show up feeling like you— whatever that may look like.

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UNDRESSING THE DRESS CODE:

The Generation of Women Fighting Back

Dress codes were born to scrutinize females. From the classroom to the office, to even the home, women find themselves subjected to the modestimmodest norm. If we show too much or stray too far from convention, we’re trashy. If we cover up and keep it simple we’re prudes with no style. At their core, these guidelines for dressing represent all of how girls feel sexualized, objectified, and silenced. It goes beyond just saying that tube tops and short shorts are inappropriate for school, dress codes have become a form of control. In a time where women are repeatedly treated as secondclass citizens by those in authority, what better means for a movement that calls for intergenerational engagement?

As a teen girl myself, I don’t think I’ll ever forget the day my middle school principal had to call all the boys out of the third period to tell them that they had to stop pestering the girls about the dress code. He informed them, face-to-face, that objectifying us—saying our shorts were too short, or that we were dressed “slutty” was a form of harassment. It was a game to them. High school was a bit better in terms of freedom, but I know my experience is merely my own, and with a campus of over 16,000 undergraduates, more cases need to be “undressed.”

In the absence of adult engagement, the young girls of today’s society are starting the discussion themselves. To best grasp the complexities of today’s social issues, we should take the time to listen to real stories from real people; so I sat and listened.

“I went to a private Jesuit high school and a dress code was required,” said freshmen Ella Conley. “It consisted of a polo shirt and straight-leg khakis. Shoes had to be close-toed and no slippers or boots were allowed.”

While anyone could imagine the practicality of this kind of dress, simple but adaptable for all seasons, it certainly seemed restricting. Ella mentioned she didn’t so much mind the uniform, but it was apparent that the issue was enforcement. What was okay for the boys was a detention pass for the girls.

“Different genders had different rules. The enforcement of the dress code 100% targeted a specific gender. With the khakis, a lot of women got them from Free People, but they were very light-washed and were deemed “not a khaki color,” resulting in a detention. Meanwhile, men would be wearing khakis that were white, slightly green, and many other colors and it was no big deal. A lot of men were also wearing shirts under their polos, and they would take them off at lunch, the gym, etc. If a woman did that, there probably would have been more resistance.”

It seems that despite the intention of the school dress codes to promote a sense of formality and prestige, the guidelines often become soiled by aspects of misogyny. When it is girls who suddenly become the primary targets and the sole reason behind these rules, the issue is systemic.

Another student, Amy Crevino, came forward to share her story about how her high school’s code of conduct implemented a relatively loose guideline for in-class apparel but created more strict limitations when it came to athletics,“One issue that I had with my high school’s dress code was that we weren’t allowed to wear just sports bras outside/on the track during athletic periods, whereas boys’ teams were allowed to be shirtless,” Crevino shared. “This upset me because when it was very hot outside, I found it extremely unfair that we were not allowed the ability to cool down that the boys were.”

Despite their uniform intentions in schools, dress codes today have evolved into a weapon being used by society’s young women in a fight against gender inequality.
Written by Analise Bruno | Designed by Lauren Mann | Photographed by Andrew Burke-Stevenson
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The double standard for the male athletes here is not only a display of astounding hypocrisy but also blatant sexualization. There is nothing inherently sexual or too revealing about a sports bra when worn in the context of running on a track, but schools impose such bans on their female students.

As freshmen Erica Schwartz puts it, while dress codes appear understandable on paper, it’s their stringent and biased reinforcement that perpetuates a larger issue about the regulation of women in society.

“Teachers were much more likely to challenge a girl’s skirt length or neckline than a boy not wearing his tie or anyone wearing a large brand logo. Moreover, the dress code’s implementation definitely targeted specific female body types. Taller girls were more likely to be apprehended for any skirt or top they wore for being ‘too short,’ even if that wasn’t their intent.”

She shared a friend’s experience with her school’s dress code, which hits quite close to home for some, “One of my best friends was not only tall but had a ‘curvy’ body type. She often felt the need to cover up with large flannels and big sweaters to avoid awkward conversations with teachers about her clothing choices.”

The constant critique of young women and girls’ bodies continues to reinforce that their body is public property. Young girls are still taught that the only way to be respected is to be modest. Thus, to not be liable for “distracting” other male students or making them “uncomfortable,” many teens opt to wear oversized hoodies and jackets with their outfits, thus masking their bodies with different colors, textures, and styles.

Many schools in the US think that by establishing a sense of uniformity through clothing, they are merely upholding their

institution’s reputation, but a more abstract view of this norm reveals that it is this practice that contradicts the creativity they found their curriculum upon. When a cookie-cutter approach to dressing is introduced, many lose their sense of individuality,“I got so accustomed to wearing sweatshirts, sweatpants, yoga pants, oversized shirts, and long sleeves. I would also wear the same shoes every day. My entire wardrobe was pretty much anything I could actually wear at school, so for college, I had to get a ton of clothes.”

There’s no doubt that women’s fashion has been heavily polluted by societal norms that dictate what’s appropriate for them to wear. It is an innate human response to want to be accepted and approved of, and thus, many young women have been impacted by a system that repeatedly reinforces that they are what they wear. Determining the appropriateness of a woman’s outfit based on how her clothes may affect those around her perpetuates the idea that dressing a certain way means she is “asking for it.”

“I felt as though it [dress code] was unnecessary to even have in the first place because our clothing, as 15 to 18-year-old girls, should not be a cause for meticulous monitoring alongside it perpetuating the stereotype of our clothes negatively affecting the behavior of our peers,” shared junior Vruti Patel.

While high school standards remain more rigid, many have shared that since coming to college, where, as one student puts it, “you could literally show up to class in a bra and no one would say anything,” the standard seems to be more open to letting students govern their own way of dress. When I asked the students I interviewed how they felt about fashion at BU, there was one common thread that linked all of them: freedom.

“The dress code at BU has made life so much easier than in high school,” says Schwartz. “If I’m not feeling my best, I can roll out of bed and go to class in sweats and a t-shirt. If I’m feeling like being creative with my outfit choices, I have little to no limits on what I can choose to wear. If I want to go to FitRec after class, I can wear my spandex shorts and no one will bat an eye. I feel like I can finally dress how I want to dress and can dress to accommodate both my interests and my lifestyle.”

Each disclosed that Boston University is a place that has allowed them to express themselves in a way that is free of judgment. Rather than having their appearance put over their education, a floodgate of personhood and originality has been unleashed.

Still, the problem with dress codes is not just institutional, it is an issue that is ingrained into society. Women still feel restricted by the judgment of others. By implementing such strict guidelines for women’s dress in school, we have produced a society that labels women based on how modestly they dress.

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“protect their freedom of expression”

There still seems no exact “right” way to express ourselves through fashion. If you expose more skin, you’re “looking for attention.” If you cover up, well then you’re a prude. If you wear athleisure you’re just lazy, and if you put on a skirt or a dress, then you’re trying too hard. While there is no need for the total removal of school dress codes, we must institute more fair policies that value impressionable girls’ personal identities and gender expression.

Collectively, the most important things I’ve learned about teenage girls have come from teenage girls themselves. While this statement may seem cliche, my point is that when you look at all the ways in which today’s girls are dismissed and mocked by adults in authority, you come to understand that their perspective on this social injustice is more experienced than presumed. No single article of clothing will have as much of a profound impact on society in the way that the woman wearing it will, therefore, let us all protect their freedom of expression.

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LOOK

How Wearing Color Affects Our Lives

A couple of months ago, I began to notice how the colors in my environment affected my mood. Darker lit areas with more browns, greens, and grays lead me to quiet, reflective, and introverted moods, while light, colorful, vibrant spaces pushed me to connect more with others and create. As I noticed this pattern in myself, I began to wonder: do the colors I wear have a similar effect? After some research, I learned that YES! They do!

In the Vogue article, “Can Wearing Bright Colors Improve Your Mood?” Liana Satenstein explores her own relationship with color by interviewing color therapy expert, Constance Hart. According to Hart, “If you aren’t feeling centered or secure, black can feel like a security blanket. For that reason, we see a lot of black in cities. Color has an effect on our psyche, it’s always affecting us whether we are aware of it or not.”

TWICE

As Boston inevitably begins to get grayer as we move into the winter months, I am making an effort to continue choosing bright colored pieces to bring energy, vitality, and connection into my day. On days when I dress brighter, I talk with more people, and feel my true energy has an authentic outlet to shine through. If you are curious about engaging with new colors in your wardrobe, follow my quick guide below!

A Quick Guide to Mood Through Color

Black for Sophistication

Brown for Grounding

Gray for Balance

White for Lighter Energy

Red for Intensity

Orange for Connection

Yellow for Inspiration

Green for Life Force

Blue for Positivity

Purple for Respect

Written by Sofia Butler Designed by Chelsea Kuo Photographed by Chika Okoye
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FINDING “YOUR STYLE” IN THE AGE OF SOCIAL MEDIA AND FAST FASHION

How the rapidly changing trends create a challenging environment for one to find “their style”

Photographed
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It seems like every time I open up my phone, I see a new trend posted on social media. Advertisements appear in every corner of my Instagram feed. TikTok videos showing their newest clothing haul with all the latest clothing trends and how to style them consistently pop up on my For You Page. The different ways people utilize social media to get creative is amazing, but I can’t help but feel that all the commotion and everyone constantly telling you what to do can get in the way of individuality. With trends changing by the minute, how does one come into themselves and develop their own unique style? How do I figure out what I want to wear? How do I figure out who I am, stylistically?

Clothes and fashion often serve as a reflection of one’s inner self. People utilize fashion as a creative outlet, a way to express themselves, a way to showcase their individuality. However, with the current phone-dominated cultural environment, fast fashion seems to rule the world; it’s hard to really escape that. You have to figure out what it is you like, what it is you want to convey, what it is that makes YOU the most confident when you step out your front door.

First of all, you have to listen to yourself. Tune out all of the commotion outside and spend some time in your own room with your own clothes and pick an outfit that you feel the most confident or most like yourself in. Find an outfit that showcases YOU.

In high school, I considered myself somewhat lucky, as I went to a school with uniforms. I liked the idea of not having to worry about what to wear everyday, especially in a school environment, which had its own challenges outside of fashion. However, there was still variety and chances to explore. Which of course, meant there were going to be trends. Even at a school with uniforms there were trends on how you popped your collar, how you wore your skirt,

what shoes you were wearing. And what I soon realized was that these trends weren’t necessarily universal, they were just ways students found to express themselves through accessorizing their uniforms. We had options for shirts, sweatshirts, and skirts, and I loved it. Once I got into a groove, getting ready for school became exciting. I liked seeing how I could make my uniform a little more “me.” Students used accessories, shoes, socks, and hairstyles to embellish their uniforms. I loved finding new socks to pair with my Mary Jane-style Dr. Martens sophomore year, or cute different ways to style my white high tops and braid my hair senior year. I think it helped me find my style one accessory at a time.

I soon figured out what I loved and didn’t love, what I felt confident in, and what just wasn’t me. Jewelry was a huge part of my fashion in high school. I never have had super long or nice nails, so I loved dressing my hands up a little bit with fun rings. I loved the beach and surfing, and so I found ways to incorporate that into my style. I wore my Hawaiian-inspired necklaces, and I loved keeping little braids in my hair when it was curled. These patterns eventually translated into my outside of school life and style. I kept the preppy chic ideal of school and mixed it with my natural beachy vibe. I was able to find what I felt comfortable in and make any type of outfit from going out, to going to class, to staying in a bit more “myself.” Especially coming across the country from Southern California to Boston, adding a bit of surfer chic to my city wear allowed me to keep that part of myself close.

My advice to you: take it one step at a time. Try and block out what the rest of the world is saying and find one piece that you just LOVE. Whether it’s jewelry, a skirt, a shirt, or a pair of shoes, make it yours. Then, just go from there. Your style doesn’t need to fit into one lane, adhere to one trend, or follow one stereotype; it just needs to make YOU feel good.

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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Traveling as a Person of Color

Traveling can be intimidating in more ways than one. You have to book tickets, make sure you pack enough underwear—because you can never have enough—and you have to make sure you remember your passport.

But it’s not just that. Traveling to a new location, more importantly a new culture, is daunting. You never know what to expect. Every society has different norms and it can be hard to adjust and feel comfortable, even if only for a short vacation.

There’s another thing to consider. Traveling as a person of color. Some regions aren’t as exposed to various cultures and races, making it difficult for others to travel there and feel completely safe.

As a woman of color myself, I’ve run into the occasional stares and questions about where I’m really from, and it honestly sucks, I won’t lie. It’s one thing to not feel at home somewhere, but it’s a whole other thing to feel completely alienated.

The worst part about it is: it’s completely out of your control. But in that same way, since

it’s almost completely out of your control, you shouldn’t let any part of your identity exist as a reason to not explore the world and travel to the places you want to see. That being said, there are a lot of things that factor into giving yourself the best vacation possible.

Gelia Solomon, a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences encourages people to still travel to the places they want to see. She really enjoys having the opportunity to see new places, and she hates staying in one place all the time. With so much history and culture being out there, Solomon likes to explore as much as she can.

“It’s a good reminder that the world is so much bigger than you think,” Solomon said.

Solomon explains how avoidance can be a good procedure when traveling. In general, she avoids places that are known to be racist or just generally xenophobic.

“As long as you research where you want to go, the only thing that should stop you is if you genuinely don’t want to travel there,” Solomon

said.

If there’s a place you really want to see but are afraid the rumors might be true, there are still ways to ensure a little safety and comfort on your journey.

Serenity S’rae, a senior in the College of Fine Arts, traveled on a Mediterranean tour earlier this year. While on her tour, she visited Italy and noted it felt less accepting than other countries.

“I was called a negress which upset me, but also I understood the lack of exposure they have to Black people, especially black women,” S’rae said.

S’rae explained there are many ways to help yourself feel safe when traveling to a new place, especially abroad. Planning ahead of time, sharing your travel plans with family and friends, even contacting the US Embassy of the country you’re going to—all good measures you can take to help you feel safe.

“Travel is seen as this thing you can only do

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if you’re rich and/or white but if you save and really plan ahead of time anyone can travel and see the world,” she said.

I used to prefer to only travel to places I knew would make me feel safe, but in some ways, that’s limiting to both myself and others. As S’rae mentioned, there are many places that lack exposure to certain races and genders, so there’s no harm in helping them out a little.

As a stingy high school student, I often took road trips with my friends, many of whom were people of color, to small towns close to where we lived. Unfortunately, a lot of these small towns were a little more sheltered than what we were used to and we received a lot of stares. There have also been times where I’ve been with family and people have confronted us.

In all these experiences, the one thing that always made me feel better was that I wasn’t experiencing it alone. Traveling in a group of friends or with family can also do wonders for making you feel more comfortable in a new place.

Isha Kalia, a sophomore at Stanford, rarely travels alone. She travels for a variety of reasons, whether it’s for leisure or for internships. Sometimes it’s also just to visit a friend. In any case, she always travels in a group or with other friends to help herself feel safe.

Kalia has also experienced catcalling and unsolicited flirtations while traveling.

“I hate to say it, but sometimes you should just travel with a guy,” Kalia said.

Kalia travels to visit her long-distance boyfriend frequently and finds a lot more success when she’s with him. She wishes this didn’t have to be her reality but at the end of the day, if that’s what it takes in order for her to have a good time, she’s okay with it.

It can be really defeating to give in to these things that make us realize our limitations. Traveling with a man or in a group or all together avoiding certain places can make us feel inferior. But there’s no reason to limit your opportunities just for the sake of solidarity.

Additionally, there are a variety of factors that can contribute to the way locals treat you on your trip.

Being a tourist already puts you at a disadvantage in foreign countries. If you don’t speak the language or don’t dress the way the locals do, it’s an easy tell that you’re not from here. But add that to the vulnerability you feel as a person of color or woman of color, and you’ll feel even more disadvantaged.

Solomon discussed some of the issues she faced while abroad and how locals often took advantage of her because they knew she was a tourist.

She was once charged fifty euros for a bracelet and was also pickpocketed on a tram in Italy.

One way to help yourself in this situation is to familiarize yourself with the place you’re going to. Isha Kalia says that safety is also her biggest concern when deciding her travel destinations, but giving yourself more knowledge of a place

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can also help.

One of the hardest parts of traveling is experiencing a language barrier. Kalia says this often prevents her from traveling to certain places. However, if you’re able to learn some basic phrases or travel with someone who speaks the native language, this can be a great help in feeling comfortable when abroad.

Sirena Lopez, a junior in the College of Fine Arts, gave a lot of advice on how to feel comfortable when traveling abroad and prevent you from getting lost.

Lopez mentioned that learning phrases like “please,” “thank you,” “excuse me,” or “I would like” are all ways to help yourself if you’re ever lost. Having a plan for each day with photos and mapped routes is also a good idea. Speaking with anyone who works at the hotel or other living accommodations you’re staying at to get advice on where to go and how to get places can also be super useful.

Also, in our day of influencers and vloggers, Lopez said that taking advantage of travel vloggers’ videos and advice on traveling to certain countries can be the best way to hear a first-hand experience of an area.

Lopez’s biggest tip is to fake it till you make it.

“I also cannot stress confidence and respect enough, especially in a place where you don’t speak the language,” Lopez said.

Now what about if you want to travel alone? Maybe you’ve worked up the courage to go on a solo trip, but you just need one final push or guiding hand to help you follow through.

Meera Malhotra, a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences, travels solo frequently.

“I think it’s so much fun to have control over the itinerary and not have to wait for other people to do the things you want!” Malhotra said.

Malhotra explained that sometimes she thinks

being Indian is seen as a novelty in certain places but she tries to not let that stop her from exploring. She also said she feels much more comfortable traveling to cities rather than rural places. So far, her favorite place has been Japan for its vastly different culture and really unique trains.

Another plus of traveling alone or with people you’re not as familiar with is the ability to make new friends. Serenity S’rae talks about how she made multiple new friends on her trips and ended up traveling with these new friends to Ibiza and Barcelona.

In the end, traveling somewhere new can be scary and can be filled with a plethora of negative experiences. But letting these experiences define your trip and traveling for you as a whole limits you from growing and experiencing the world. Regardless of where you’re going, make sure to stay safe, maybe take a friend, and pack plenty of underwear!

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Nneka M. Okona

A journalist, author, and selfproclaimed “grief worker,” Nneka Okona writes about travel, allowing readers to explore some of our most complex feelings—grief and loss— and centers many of her narratives around the impact travel has for Black communities. The locations she travels to and writes about expand and connect the roots of Black culture around the globe. Her work landed her in the Ray Charles, jazz and brandy-filled era of Cognac, to uncover the lost legacies of underrepresented communities in the American south. She seeks

out profound ancestral African locations and stories among some of the most infamous vacation towns in the US—those areas that usually go unnoticed and stories untold.

Whether a profound self-care experience is what you’re looking for during your travels, or simply a source for inspiration and encouragement, Okona has got you covered. This year, she has launched a campaign to fundraise for her new travel media company, titled “Those Who Soar: A travel resource for Black Women.”

To live a fulfilling life, Chris Burkard once said in his TED talk, “anything that is worth pursuing is going to require us to suffer, just a little bit.” Starting off as a surf photographer who never shied away from harsh weather conditions and painful climates, he quickly became known for traveling and capturing the waves in some of the wildest, remote, and unthinkable places. Now a renowned outdoor travel photographer and more recently the creative director and producer for his own media

company, Burkard is always on the hunt for new landscapes that require more of him than just “showing up” to snap a photo.

The beautiful places he so carefully captures within a frame allows his viewers to be in on the moment—a glimpse in time from one of his adventures. His work is a powerful portrayal of different and unique experiences with nature, and his work attracts those that seek to step out into the world and explore the unknown.

New

Boundaries

Travel influencers pushing the envelope

Yagazie Emezi

Traveling all across Africa, Yagazie Emezie is a Nigerian artist and self-taught photojournalist. Her work serves, at times, as a political commentary on Nigeria’s governance, or is centered around other activists’ efforts. In 2019, she became a certified National Geographic Explorer, and the first Black, African woman to photograph for the magazine, often sharing stories that represent African women’s impact.

Emezi’s extensive portfolio is intimate and real, featuring the intersections of African culture,

lifestyle, identity, politics, and social justice. She also produces work on her website, touching on similar topics, such as art and fashion, in addition to her typical breadth of work.

From May to September of next year, Emezi will be featured alongside several other West African photographers as part of the first New Photography 2023, an exhibition presented by the Museum of Modern Art. The exhibit will highlight currentlyliving West African photographers in exploring the history of Lagos.

Pack Heavy Chase Light

Shot and directed by Sam Moody, “Pack Heavy Chase Light” is a new documentary travel series made by the Scandinavian travel brand DB on YouTube. Moody goes around the world interviewing creators, artists, photographers, filmmakers, and writers to learn more about their craft.

The series focuses on showcasing the different paths and stories various individuals from every part of the globe have created

en-route to their passion. There is no right way to view the world and its inhabitants, making the channel so exciting. Viewers can continue to be inspired and learn from those who choose to shed light on their personal journeys and the perspectives they’ve developed over time.

Written by Emma Hagert Chris Burkard
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The Two-Week Fix

The Ethics of Mission Trips

I walked into my high school’s library. The eyes of saints and popes watched as I took off my backpack and sat down at one of the creaking tables. My Catholic school’s head of religious activities handed me a pamphlet and I flicked through the glistening pages, observing beautiful pictures of Lourdes, France. The projector started up as my classmates and I flicked our eyes up to the pictures, now sprawled against the wall: smiling students with the sick and elderly, talking with them and bathing them in the Lourdes Grotto.

The yearly Lourdes trip was a highlight for students, presented as both a pilgrimage and a mission trip, and most of all, a privilege. I never ended up going on the pilgrimage, which is perhaps the more accurate term for the trip, for many reasons. Yet, I found that many of my classmates had gone on mission trips of their own. They were teaching in Tanzania, preaching in Taiwan, and cooking in Guatemala. Pictures of them smiling with the locals were plastered on their feeds with messages thanking God for the opportunity to spread His word and help the world. The question plagued my mind: are mission trips truly helping the profound issues in these countries as much as we are led to believe?

Mission trips are initiated for a variety of different reasons. They aren’t always associated with religious groups,

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sometimes they’re associated with bipartisan relief groups; however, they’re more commonly associated with Christian practices. Christian groups, whether it’s a church organizing their own mission or a company such as Mission for Hope, will typically travel to developing countries where they host educational sessions intended for the local people, build lodgings, and spread the Gospel. This sounds harmless on the surface level, but mission trips are commonly criticized for their lack of realistic portrayal of a country’s problems, whether economic, political, or social.

Firstly, an average mission trip costs anywhere from $800 to $3,000 per person depending on what is included, i.e. air fare, housing, merchandise; however, Mission of Hope’s payment for their missions include a beach day. To put this into perspective, the length of the trips marketed by Mission of Hope are usually one week. Why is there one whole day carved out of a service trip for a vacation day? There is an argument that mission trips can deal with heavy and emotional scenarios and that missionaries should be allowed a day to unwind; however, missionaries through Mission of Hope are only on their destinations for a week and they know what situations they will face once they arrive. The money spent on missionary trips can easily be redirected to legitimate humanitarian resources that do genuine work for these developing countries, such as the Red Cross and the United Nations.

A lot of missionaries are typically young, falling in the age range of teenagers to young adults, taking a mission trip with good intentions, whether to grow closer to their faith or lend a helping hand in a bigger picture. According to the International Mission Board, missionaries only need one skill in order to serve on a mission—basic discipleship. In order to properly make an impact in a humanitarian sense, some sort of training should be required, whether in a historical knowledge context highlighting the

countries’ economic and humanitarian situations, or how to properly service and teach the country’s citizens.

It’s essential to recognize that missionary trips are often a neocolonialist initiative that falls short of unbiased humanitarian assistance. Mission trips are usually led by cisgendered, white men who believe they can solve complex humanitarian issues by spreading the word of God. The same kind of missions were conducted in the 15th and 16th centuries, when European

end of a drought. Mission trip posts put up the facade that missionaries aren’t just helping, but that a country is depending on them. These photos also suggest that their assistance is effective, which sadly, is not always the case.

While the criticisms of mission trips are valid, there are ways to make a difference and help people in need. Some more effective ways are to raise or donate funds to charities that fund internationally vetted humanitarian aid agencies, where the assistance is carried out by trained professionals and volunteers. It is always important to educate yourself and others on world crises, and the ways we can ethically help.

missionaries traveled to South America and the West Indies for the purpose of colonizing and displacing millions of indigenous people. In modern day, the specter of social media adds an exploitative layer to the mission trip conversation. A picture of a missionary smiling with children doesn’t represent an end to an education crisis, and a picture of a missionary giving someone a water bottle doesn’t represent the

ARE MISSION TRIPS TRULY HELPING THE PROFOUND ISSUES
IN THESE COUNTRIES AS MUCH AS WE ARE LED TO BELIEVE?
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MOSULA TAPUSOA

The Man of Many Hats

Fall of 2021, the start of his senior year: at 7:15 a.m. every morning, you can find him dripping in sweat, pushing weights up and down the football field; by 10:00 a.m., you can find him singing harmonies to a beautiful Latin choral arrangement on the risers of the choir room; at 5:00 p.m., you can find him back on the football field knocking down and tackling opposing players.

He goes by Mo, and he’s a man of many hats.

Mosula Tapusoa played right guard for the number one-ranked high school football team in America and currently plays division-one football at Morgan State University. At about six feet tall and shy of 300 pounds, he has the frame and build of a football player. Clearly very strong,

he would likely tower over you if you were to stand in front of him. One might see him as intimidating at first. But what you might not guess about Tapusoa at first glance is that he has the voice of an angel.

Born and raised in a small town in Hawaii, Tapusoa, 18, stands as the second youngest of eight kids. The Tapusoa family moved to California just before Mosula’s freshman year of high school. Although they had originally planned to move back, Mosula’s success at Mater Dei High School gave the family hope and reason to stay.

Tapusoa played right guard for the Monarchs, but he had another role on the team as well: a leader. As a senior, Tapusoa was one of the veteran players on the team. He had taken it upon himself to look out for his younger teammates and be a voice of encouragement for his team.

If you were to attend almost any Mater Dei High School football game last year, you would probably see the sun begin to set over the Santa Ana

Bowl as the Monarchs on the field and in the stands are decked out in their best scarlet and gray. With your ears, you would hear Tapusoa’s vocals throughout the game. His teammates considered him to be the “vocal guy,” or the one who was always cheering and trying to keep the energy alive. Tapusoa’s vocal and lively presence attracted members of the choral program to him.

It was a day like any other, Tapusoa was spending his sophomore year lunchtime at the piano hidden in the old gym-turned-theater at school, playing around with some of his buddies. Just down the hall sat Scott Melvin, the Director of Performing Arts, in his office having a meeting with Stefan Miller, the head vocal instructor within the choral department. Miller heard Tapusoa’s angelic, soulful voice echoing through the hallway and immediately went to find the source. As Miller marched into the pavilion, he found Tapusoa and a teammate at the piano. Miller asked if the voice he heard was Tapusoa, and Tapusoa nodded. The vocal instructor asked Tapusoa to sing again, and he hesitantly continued to sing.

This profile was chosen to spotlight and tell the story of an extraordinary artist, athlete, and person. Hopefully, his story could inspire others to use their passions together to create something beautiful just as he did.
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Miller asked Tapusoa to follow him. Thinking he was about to get sent to the Dean’s office, Tapusoa nervously followed Miller. Instead, Miller took Tapusoa straight to the choir room where he introduced Tapusoa to Jodi Reed, the Director of the Choral Department. Miller introduced the two and explained what he saw to Reed.

“I want you in my choir,” said Reed.

Tapusoa was shocked; he did not know what to think. He explained that he had always really wanted to join the choir, but did not know if it was too late or how to fit it into his schedule. Reed told Tapusoa that if he wanted to join, she would take care of it. And that she did! All he needed was parental permission.

Tapusoa’s parents had always been supportive of his artistic endeavors; Tapusoa’s dad was the one who first introduced him to music. He recalls his father encouraging all the kids to sing at every family gathering and that he was a great guitarist. In awe of his father’s musical abilities, Tapusoa asked his father to teach him how to play the guitar. Thus, his love for music was born.

months in the choir, he joined Kingsmen, the advanced men’s ensemble at Mater Dei. They even elected him to perform a Samoan piece, due to his heavy influence in the choir, at the upcoming Spring Concert.

Later that spring, Tapusoa decided to audition for the Chamber Singers Choir, the highest-level, mixed choir at Mater Dei. The group has made a name for itself, having performed at venues globally, including in Italy for Pope Francis himself, so Tapusoa knew practice and preparation would be required. After weeks of practice and his auditions, he was happily greeted in his

concerts in the spring. Tapusoa is incredibly talented, no doubt about it, so of course, he got the solo… but when it came time to perform, his nerves started to flare up again.

“That’s when I could feel the walls caving in,” said Tapusoa.

Despite having played in televised football games, Tapusoa had never felt so nervous. But as soon as he started singing and heard the cheering of the crowd, he began to feel better.

However, the biggest turning point in overcoming his nerves was in the fall of 2021, when he was asked to perform a solo at mass last minute. His teacher told him not to think too much; if he just listened to it, he would get it. He could feel his peers encouraging him, as they sang behind him. At that moment, he realized how similar choir was to football. His teammates had his back, and they loved him no matter what. They believed in him and he believed in them.

“Football and choir, they’re both team sports”

When it came time for Tapusoa to join the choir, his parents were happy for him but did have concerns. As parents do, they wanted the best for their Mo. They knew he already had an incredibly rigorous schedule with the competitiveness and intensity of Mater Dei football and academics, and they did not want him to fall behind in school as a result. Tapusoa knew he had his work cut out for him, but he was excited to start this new chapter.

“I joined the choir to always have that music part of me in my back pocket, and it ended up turning into something bigger than that,” said Tapusoa.

Within his first couple of

- MOSULA TAPUSOA

inbox with the news that he had made it into the select choir for the 2020-2021 school year, his junior year.

Tapusoa showed up to choir every day with a positive attitude but remained quieter for the first half of that year. Though he would never admit this to anyone, he was nervous. When he was asked to sing a solo in front of the choir in rehearsals, he felt butterflies in his stomach.

However, he worked up the courage to audition for a solo at one of the choral

“Football and choir, they’re both team sports,” said Tapusoa. “You need all eleven guys on board and the same thing with choir; you need all eight sections on board.”

Though, he still says singing in front of a crowd makes him much more nervous than playing football in front of a crowd. From then on, Tapusoa started performing more solos with his choir. He has performed everywhere from The Segerstrom Center in Southern California to Carnegie Hall in New York City.

Tapusoa continued to find similarities between choir and football, as he brought the same energy to the choir that he liked to bring to the football field. He entered the choir room with his bright smile and lively spirit each morning.

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Tapusoa recalls one morning when he was in a “bad mood” and Reed pulled him aside and told him that his energy was contagious. If he was off, the whole choir would be off; if he were lively and focused, the whole choir would be too. Tapusoa then realized his place in both the choral and football departments. Both teams both rely on the chemistry and teamwork of their members, and he was the soul of both groups.

Though Tapusoa faced conflicts between time management and the occasional choir boy jokes, he found a way to follow his passions and influence others to do the same. After Tapusoa joined the choir, many other football players and athletes followed. He says it gives both departments a sense of pride and joy to know how versatile their kids are.

Additionally, he realized how he could use choir and football together to make his dreams come true.

Tapusoa decided he would work tirelessly to earn a football scholarship to be able to pursue music in college, and he did just that.

He continued to work hard in both football and school; and picked up vocal lessons throughout his school years. He even landed a lead role in the all-school musical.

During his senior year, he was offered a full-ride football scholarship to Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland; he accepted and plans to major in music.

Tapusoa is very excited about the future, and his supporters are excited to see all he accomplishes.

“If you love something, go try it,” said Tapusoa. “That’s my advice.”

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THE of CULTURE CURATION

Paintings, sculptures, drawings, gardens, pottery. Human beings have always recognized the seductive power of appearance. The human eye is inherently inclined toward beauty, aesthetics, and perfection; so much so, that each human being is programmed to make judgments about the world around them through this lens: the appearance of their city, their home, their peers, and, inevitably, themselves.

The ancient Greeks, in particular, were exceptionally adept at turning a keen eye upon the world around them, seeking to live amongst beauty in every sense. A burning hunger to translate the phenomenon that is human existence led the ancient Greeks to recreate the perfection of the human form with incredible success, capturing the essence of humanity in sculpture and painting. They knew the power of appearance and pioneered the culture of creation: harnessing the power of appearance and giving it its due diligence through external recreation.

And so humanity became increasingly aware of what was considered beautiful, both in objects and in themselves. It seems as humans became more and more self-conscious toward their outward appearance, the way others perceived them, and the power of their appearance, there consequently emerged a desire to be regarded as

someone of a beautiful appearance.

From the ancient Greeks, Egyptians, and Romans onward, society progressed, and cultures whittled down their aesthetic rules through time: women were to look like this, men were to look like this, and this formula of desired features was the only way to attain the status of “beautiful.” As humanity progressed, so did the definition of beauty. It wasn’t until the 21st century that the “formula” started to become less restrictive and trendy, and become more inclusive, holistic, and variegated. If only the ancient Greeks knew what tumultuous storm was to come in the form of social media.

We were built for culture and society, programmed for coexistence and socializing and relationships and competition. But our brain was never programmed to evolve at the rate of technology and learn an entirely new form of survival: the survival of the ego. We were never meant to be this aware of others on such a massive scale: others’ lives, faces, ideas, friends, families, houses, clothes, coffees, dates, clothes, etc.

Social media changed the playing field. Thus began the culture of curation.

With the ability to project our personalities to an essentially infinite audience on Instagram,

Snapchat, Pinterest, YouTube, and TikTok, we had to relearn methods of survival for our egos, self-esteems, and self-perceptions. Suddenly, we became our own masterpieces, our own art endeavors and projects to morph, manipulate, and sculpt akin to the ancient Greeks with their statues.

Some literally recreate themselves online with new names, identities, and personas (think virtual reality avatars from Ready Player One), but even the average, every-day user of social media participates in the curation of their cyberspace personalities. Every post, every picture, comment, like, share, story, contributes to this alter ego, this online entity we manifest behind our screens.

And every social media platform receives a different piece of ourselves, different facets of our personality that we get to compartmentalize and share with curated lists of people. A different “you” exists in a Snapchat story, and yet another in an Instagram post, and yet another in a Tweet—even your Spotify sees a different you with the creation of every playlist. In our incredibly woven web of cyberspace, we curate and capture different parts of ourselves in different eras of our personalities, in different lenses, and for different reasons. We are scattered across our technology’s code of 1s and 0s.

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Instagram, for example, is the paradigm of the culture of curation and the phenomenon of cyber versions of ourselves that we project to the world. Instagram provides a spectacular medium for the curation of our vibes, aesthetics, and visual representations of ourselves that we want the world to perceive us as—the appearances we choose to portray. Our feeds act as summaries of our essences, an accumulation of squares of color tastefully amalgamated to our inner-avatar’s deepest desires. And, on top of it all, Instagram feeds us that drug of instant gratification which validates our appearances with the click of a red heart.

But haven’t you met countless people with disparities between their physical appearance/presence/personality, and those of their Instagram selves? Is this lying? Is this cheating? Followers are left comparing themselves with a curated, polished, perfected entity—and we all follow one another, making it one big, messy cycle of instant gratification of our appearance and endless self-depreciation of our self-esteem. All the while, we are blind to the fact that what we see from others is simply a puzzle piece to an imperfect whole, just as we fragment

ourselves across our various accounts. These scattered pieces of ourselves are impossible to make cohesive. But, is this a blessing, or is this a curse? Is it not perversely beautiful that we can embody variegated facets of ourselves simply depending on which app we click on? Do we need to be one cohesive unit, or is this identity-fragmentation not the perfect way to explore and express every angle, develop every matrix, and flesh out every niche of ourselves? Because, is every person not a supernova of experiences, memories, ideas, identities, emotions, and culture?

We have, at our literal fingertips, the ability to curate whoever we wish to be. Whether we live up to our curations is a different story, but, by all means, we must take advantage of this astounding outlet for artistic and self-expression. We just have to keep in mind that all we get to see are pieces of the puzzle, and every single human wishes to harness and exercise the imperturbable power of appearance. Remember, we are all simply playing into a game: a culture that idolizes appearance and falls at the feet of its might.

Social media changed the playing field, and we have yet to learn the game.

Written by Chloe Jad Designed by Madeline Michalowski
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Photographed by Katey Cooney

How Black Men and White Women are the Same

An argument for intersectionality

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About a year ago, I saw a Tik Tok arguing that Black men and white women are the same.

What could a Black man have in common with a white woman? After all, the media portrays Black men as dangerous and criminal but simultaneously sexy and masculine, while white women are delicate, beautiful, feminine, and pure. Purity and criminality. Sexiness and beauty. Femininity and masculinity. They’re related but somehow different.

Somehow Black women are similar to Black men, but they’re different. Someway Black women are like white women, but they’re different. Yes, we, Black women, have some shared experiences with Black Men (as Black people) and white women (as women). Women’s organizations, such as the Global Fund for Women, aim to benefit all women. Groups such as Black Lives Matter strive to help all Black people. However, women organizations and Black organizations are exclusionary for Black women—or, honestly, all women of color. Black women have a unique experience to which Black men and white women cannot relate. We need a Global Fund for Black women. We need to acknowledge that all Black FEMALE lives matter.

The sad reality is Black men and white women are the same because they can’t relate to Black women’s experiences, but unlike white men, they think they can understand. Black men acknowledge Black women’s struggle as Black people but not their struggle as a woman. white women recognize our oppression as women and expect our help with women’s issues. However, white women don’t have as much “skin in the game” regarding racial issues, so naturally, they don’t put equal effort towards issues that only impact Black women.

First, let’s consider Black men’s relationships with Black women. It is a parasitic relationship. A parasite is an organism that lives in or on an organism of another species (its host) and benefits from deriving nutrients at the other organism’s expense. Black men are a parasite. No disrespect to Black men - they are doing what they know how to do to survive. Black men have always depended on Black women. Black women have continuously given their unconditional support to Black issues; however, they don’t receive the same support reciprocated from Black men for matters that affect only Black women.

Take the issue of police brutality, for example. It is an issue that primarily affects Black men; however, Black women also carry the burden of combating police brutality. Black women organize groups and protests to fight police brutality, such as Mothers Against Senseless Killings (MASK). MASK is a female-founded and led organization that aims to prevent gun violence against Black people (particularly Black men).

The most significant part of MASK is not simply that it is female led but the reason for its female foundation. MASK Founder Tamar Manasseh says she’s “just a mother. [she] used to think [her] greatest accomplishment was raising two happy, healthy children in Chicago, where so many other mothers are denied that right.”

Manasseh created this organization to help save Black men’s lives because she’s “just a mother.” She wants to help Black men because she loves Black men. She wants to help them because, as Black people, they’re family.

So, you’d think that Black men would help us when they see us struggle, right? When Black men see Black women die during labor or Black girls fall

victim to sex trafficking, shouldn’t they step in and lead the cause? Because they love us?

But they don’t even participate in, let alone lead, the causes that affect Black women.

Take maternal mortality as an example. Black women disproportionately die and lose babies during childbirth. According to the Black Maternal Health Caucus website for the House of Representatives, the top three Black maternal mortality organizations are The National Birth Equity Collaborative (NBEC), Sista Midwife Productions and the Sista Midwife Directory, and Black Mamas Matter Alliance (BMMA). The founders, presidents, and majority of the staff for all three organizations are Black Women.

Black men aren’t active in the fight against Black Maternal Mortality. Their mothers are dying, their sisters, daughters. They love us, don’t they? So why aren’t they doing anything? We do everything for them.

Remember when the rapper Tupac said, “And since we all came from a woman / Got our name from a woman and our game from a woman / I wonder why we take from our women. Why do we rape our women, do we hate our women?”

Tupac, I have the same question. Black men, we do so much for you. Why won’t you do the same for us?

If someone asks you what the current wage gap is, you’ll probably say women make an average 17% less than men. This statistic is not entirely true, as it only reflects the disparity between white women and white men. The wage gap between women of color and white men is significantly more.

So, why is the white statistic the standard when discussing gender inequality?

While women of color are prominent in the fight for gender equality, white women started the women’s movement. Let me give you a quick history lesson.

In the 20s, when women were fighting for the right to vote, racists were lynching Black men daily. Most white women wouldn’t speak to a Black woman who wasn’t serving her. Most notably, suffragettes Susan B.

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Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton only advocated for white women’s voting rights, arguing that women of color weren’t educated enough to vote. Therefore, Black women were not particularly interested in joining the suffragette movement.

Would you want to help people who didn’t want your help and barely considered you human? Especially when there’s a more pressing issue: Black lynching and extreme racism.

White women set white standards in the fight for gender equality. Women of color have only recently experienced the opportunity to insert themselves into an already-established movement.

White women leading a historically white movement don’t assist in issues that primarily affect Black women. White women don’t care. I don’t say this in a derogatory way. It’s impossible to care as deeply about issues as the people who it directly affects. Therefore, Black women fight for reproductive rights, equal pay, and other issues. But white women will never fight as hard for Black movements.

As a result, Black women are left in a uniquely shitty situation. It’s a situation where we don’t feel seen or heard, but it’s worse because Black men and white women insist that they see and understand us. They have this “we’re in it together” attitude. However, we can’t possibly be in it together because you can’t even comprehend the specific oppression that comes with being Black and a woman.

The only people that understand the Black female struggle enough to help are Black women. But how can we help ourselves with such little support from a society systematically built against us? It’s like some endless, horrible feedback loop.

I don’t know, but I wish I did. Because sometimes, I feel like I’m the only person who knows my struggle. And I can only help myself.

I guess I can only offer a couple of pieces of advice:

Black men, your women feel alone. Try to support them in the same ways they do for you.

White women, try to be a little more inclusive.

Everyone needs to embrace intersectionality. It’s not about sorting us into 50 groups based on the boxes we check on a demographics test. But we’re all individuals, so we should all embrace what the combination of checked boxes says about us and our intersectionality.

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HOW TO DELETE

DATING APPS

(Even if you’re single)

“Isn’t that just like, giving up?”

A real quote, by someone who is not writing this article. It was said to me when Tinder and Hinge were wiped off my phone. I’ll admit, a part of me was feeling a bit hopeless when I gave up the apps. They can work! I know people that started dating after Tinder. Of course, when you see everyone else’s success stories, we fall into the same trap of thinking: so it’s me.

It’s not. Take a step back and look at the format of Tinder. You swipe after looking at maybe 4 photos and a short bio (some people have long bios, but those are usually horrendous), you exchange some sort of conversation if you match (how many ways can we ask what they’re doing?), and then, maybe a miracle occurs in the form of a genuine connection. Not exactly the experience of a lifetime! Hinge is not much better, just a bit more personalized (although the amount of times I saw people answer ‘My likes:’ with ‘you’ makes me question that). Still, these dating apps make a lot of users de-personalize the process; with the non-stop swiping, we forget that there are real people within those pictures. Our decisions become too reliant on looks or something to just grab attention.

“Dating-app burnout” is also a very real thing—when every match seems to follow the very same pattern, yet you keep feeling like you have to scroll. Why? Why continue down the same path, just because you feel pressured to have a relationship or something near it in college?

I’m not writing this to generalize everyone on a dating app. Try them out! Go on FarmersOnly or LoxClub or whatever interests you—it could work! I’m writing this because of how I felt entering this fall, and what I knew was right for me. Deleting the apps felt strange at first, but what was I really going to accomplish with them? If I put more time into it, would I magically enter a relationship? Stepping back from it now, of course the answer is no. Tinder works for some people because of pure chance—which is how relationships outside of dating apps are formed, too. I’ve let go of trying to control that part of my life; let the chips fall where they may. It sucks to wait, and it sucks to let go of a part of something you thought you could control, but it helps. There is no shortcut or hack to getting a relationship. I know I’ll get the right one someday, but it’s time for me to stop trying to figure out when. Surprise me.

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The Gentrification of Jordan 1’s

How minorities are being robbed of their culture

In 2005, as a teenager, my uncle took his savings and bought the new Jordan Dub Zero’s at the mall. My uncle didn’t have to camp outside Foot Locker, stalk Nike’s website, or buy them for three times the price from a reseller. My uncle simply walked to the sales associate and asked for Jordan Dub Zeros. Jordan’s? Retail Price? Anyone who has bought a pair of sneakers in the last three years knows this would never happen.

Last year, when Nike re-released the UNC Jordan Ones, I skipped school, arrived at Foot Locker two hours before the release, and still left without a pair. The line was long, and the line’s demographic was certainly different from the store’s where my uncle once shopped. His foot locker was full of young black kids who just wanted to “be like Mike.” My line was full of wealthy white girls, Jack Harlow wannabees, and entrepreneurial white boys who want to make a buck as shoe resellers. Because of the rise in popularity between 2005 and 2021, I had to buy my UNC Jordans for nearly $600 from a white boy on eBay.

Anyone taking Econ 101 will tell you it is basic economics; if there is an increasing demand for a good, but a stable supply, there is going to be a shortage of that good, meaning firms can price gouge.

Still, something about a white boy profiting and making over $300 off me for trying to connect with my culture doesn’t feel right. But, unfortunately, he can profit off me because I am trying to compete in a market that has recently become saturated with white people.

The issue of cultural gentrification is not exclusive to Jordan’s or Black

Americans; it extends to every minority and nearly every aspect of life.

Take Washington Post Asian American writer Ruth Tam as an example. She recalls an experience in which her high school friend smelled the traditional Cantonese dish haam daan ju yoke beng in Tam’s home. Tam’s friend “declared [her] house smelled of ‘Chinese grossness.’”

Culturally insensitive comments like that of Tam’s friend were rampant and normalized as many children of color grew up in the late 90s and early 2000s. Comments like this create a complicated relationship between a child and their culture. Tam expresses that because of these comments she “minimized Chinese food’s role in [her] life.” Until recently, society conditioned minorities to reject cultural traditions and their identity to better assimilate into white America.

Thus, it is particularly infuriating that the foods that Tam was bullied for eating in her childhood are now trendy, in her adulthood.

There’s a difference between being trendy and being acceptable. You accept something because you believe every human has the inalienable right to embrace their own identity. You succumb to trends because mainstream America says it’s “cool” at a particular moment in history.

Do you see the

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difference? Something is acceptable because of your individual moral beliefs. Something is trendy because someone else told you it is. Trends are the product of weak people who cannot think for themselves. The same people who ridiculed Tam’s food, drink boba and eat pho today. The same people that made Jordan’s trendy today, might label them “thuggish” tomorrow.

Once again, this issue is bigger than shoes and food. Rappers such as Kendrick Lamar and J Cole sing shout the Black experience to unify the Black community, with lyrics such as “I can’t sleep ‘cause I’m paranoid; Black in a white man territory” and “we hate popo; want to kill us dead in the streets for sure.” Lyrics about police brutality and the pursuit of generational wealth after slavery are lyrics designed for Black people. While earlier generations labeled Hip-Hop as violent vulgar music and used it to profile Black people, many white people today embrace HipHop as “trendy.” They have saturated the market, driven up ticket prices, and driven a wedge between Black people and their culture. Moreover, the adoption of hip-hop as trendy, has created an environment in which Black people must police their music. I recall, being at a white frat party, and hearing the n-word over the speaker. I instantly snap out of my carefree party mentality, sharpen my ears and scan the crowd for any non-black people singing the racial slur. I see several. I get angry. The song, my night, and my respect for some of my classmates are ruined.

Somehow, it’s a situation in which white communities simultaneously love and hate us. They love our culture so much, they steal it from us and weaponize it against us.

Isn’t that what gentrification is?

So, let’s change the terminology to something more accurate. Instead of saying “to make trendy,” let’s say “gentrify” — or as I like to call it, displacing people of color because it’s “cool.” Because honestly, what is the difference between pricing minorities out of Jordan’s, music, and food, and pricing minorities out of iconic neighborhoods such as Englewood or Harlem? After all, both contribute to minorities’ culture and both are becoming increasingly unaffordable because white people have decided they’re “trendy.”

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A Deep Dive Into the 27 Club

Kurt
Cobain • Jimi Hendrix • Brian Jones • Jim Morrison • Anton Yelchin
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Janis Joplin • Amy Winehouse • Kim Jong-hyun • Tyler Skaggs

Disclaimer: For the purposes of this article, the 27 club is being observed as a coincidental phenomenon, not a predictive or conspiracy theory.

These are the names of some of the most influential artists, actors, and athletes of all time. But they have more in common than their fame in life; they are also members of the 27 Club, a club whose membership can only be achieved in death. The 27 Club refers to a phenomenon in which a disproportionate number of famous musicians, actors, and artists commit suicide or die at the coincidental age of 27. This occurrence is perhaps best exemplified in the music industry, where in the majority of cases, musicians were dealing with suicidal ideation, eventually spiraling into hard choices and harder lifestyles—leading them either to suicide or drug-related deaths. Not all members died in this vein, as some were victims of tragic accidents, but the issue of mental health plagued the lives of almost every member of the club.

This infamous “club” is one that many people have heard of, but no one wants to be a part of. Since the death of blues legend Robert Johnson, the club’s informal founding member, in 1938, the 27 Club has gained many iconic members. The phenomenon rose to attention in pop culture following the suicide of Kurt Cobain. The story of the 27 Club is undoubtedly a sad one, yet it is often romanticized due to the talent of the members and the inexplicable drama of tragedy. It is important to note, though, that their art was born out of true misery, and it is not something to be simplified. The 27 Club is something that is so often romanticized, and to an uncomfortable extent, that it has almost become a cliché.

There’s an old blues legend that goes something like this: If a man wants to be the best guitarist in the world, he must go to the crossroads at night and sell his soul to the devil. This is the myth that surrounds the blues legend, Robert Johnson. Both the king of Delta blues and one of the grandfathers of rock and roll, Johnson earned a great deal of respect. The legend surrounding him comes from the mystery that shrouds his life, along with an anecdote from fellow blues legend Son House. Robert Johnson, according to House, used to follow him and other people around, making a racket on his guitar that drove them crazy, until one day he briefly disappeared and then reappeared, playing guitar like no other.

In the 1960s, Johnson had a posthumous renaissance following the 1961 release of “King of the Delta Blues Singers.” Before this was released, a personal copy was given to Bob Dylan. After hearing this, Dylan remarked that each song was a “perfectly crafted piece” and that when

Johnson began singing, “he seemed like a guy who could have sprung from the head of Zeus in full armor.” Johnson’s music expresses the tragedy of his life, including losing two wives during childbirth. After this, Johnson lived a nomadic lifestyle and juggled many women at a time. The untimely death of Robert Johnson, occurring not long after his 27th birthday, is frequently attributed to a jealous boyfriend. While the exact cause of his passing is unknown, the rumor goes as such: Johnson’s lover already had a boyfriend, who decided to lace a pint of whiskey with poison to avoid losing her to Johnson. His death started the phenomenon of the 27 Club, along with the mystery of his life.

Jimi Hendrix is arguably one of the most talented guitarists of all time. Hendrix’s famous guitarplaying and unquestionable talent yielded popular songs like “All Along the Watchtower” and “Purple Haze.” Despite only having a brief fouryear period in the spotlight, Jimi Hendrix completely changed the game of electric guitar. After a stellar performance at a music festival, he won the adoration of fans by setting his guitar on fire—definitely one for dramatics. Despite his talent, Hendrix found it difficult to be in the spotlight. Behind the scenes, he battled bipolar disorder and struggled to maintain a stable lifestyle. He even named one of his songs “Manic Depression,” which, at the time, was the term for bipolar disorder. In the song, Hendrix includes revealing lyrics about how “manic depression is a frustrating mess.” Evidently, his coping mechanisms included using copious amounts of drugs and alcohol. On September 18, 1970, Jimi Hendrix was found dead after overdosing on sleeping pills. Unfortunately, this type of behavior wasn’t entirely out of character for Hendrix. He had a pattern of abusing drugs while he was on tour to manage the demanding life on the road, which was exacerbated by his personal demons. Despite being a musical genius, Hendrix battled mental illness and addictions for a long time before tragically passing away at such a young age.

In 2011, Amy Winehouse’s tragic and unexpected death reignited interest in the 27 Club. Her spiral into severe depression and addiction was made incredibly public, as Winehouse was often bombarded by paparazzi and could not avoid photos that captured her frail frame from battling bulimia and drug addiction. Amy was even booed in her last performance before her death. As she sang “Back to Black,” she stumbled around the stage and missed many of the words, nearly collapsing many times during the performance. She was far too inebriated to be performing at this time, and fans could tell. At one point she even took off her shoe and made a backup dancer sing the vocals to “Valerie.” The helpless expression Amy had while stumbling absolutely tore at my heart as I watched this performance. It’s as if she’s trapped in a nightmare while on stage. The rest of the tour was

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promptly canceled after this event. Amy Winehouse, sadly, was unable to turn around in time and eventually passed away from her alcoholism in 2011.

The tragic suicide of Kurt Cobain in 1994 is perhaps the most infamous in society’s recollection of the 27 Club. As the frontman of Nirvana, Cobain was hailed to be the voice of a generation. They were at the pinnacle of their field, and they were only getting better. The band’s appearance on MTV Unplugged just a few months before Kurt took his own life is without a doubt one of their most recognizable performances.

The truth is, Kurt’s struggles with addiction and depression were made very public. Cobain often abused painkillers and heroin. Before he took his own life, he was hospitalized for overdosing. He then snuck out of the drug treatment center where he was staying and returned home. Cobain never had an easy life and struggled with much emotional turmoil. Following the divorce of his parents at nine years old, Kurt was deeply scarred. He was a social outcast in high school, and emotional problems stemming from this treatment drove him to attempt suicide. In his teenage years, he frequently slept on couches and under bridges while turning to drugs as a coping mechanism. For some time, he learned to funnel his emotions into his art. He developed the grunge genre and shaped it into its current form through the music of Nirvana.

One common link between all of these artists is not only the age at which they tragically passed, but also the struggles they collectively faced. Each of these artists struggled heavily with being in the limelight. Due to their hectic lifestyles and environments, they often turned to drugs to manage the seemingly unmanageable burdens of fame and deteriorating mental health. Although many of these musicians’ struggles were available to a voyeuristic public, these artists still continued trying to make the music that everyone loved so much.

Although these musicians drew inspiration from their real-life experiences and pain to create their music, this was not the only reason they could create such wonderful art. Trauma is not necessary for creativity. In fact, it was in the moments when they were “doing better” that they created and performed some of their best work. Through their art, they were able to find an outlet for their pain and suffering. It is far too easy to romanticize a person’s suffering if they create beautiful art out of it. The true tragedy that underlies the members’ lives becomes obscured through the infamous lens of the 27 Club.

However, at the end of the day, these are still people—people who suffer the same as any of us. A person’s life can sometimes crumble under them when the pressures of the public eye and mental illness become too much for them to handle. These were some of the most influential artists of our time, but their influence had only just begun before it was cut short. So many of these artists were at the peak of their careers and still had so much to give the world. One can only imagine what the realm of grunge music would be like if Kurt Cobain were still alive today. Jimi Hendrix could have continued showing the world new possibilities on the electric guitar that no one else could have replicated. These artists’ suffering resulted in some of the most beautiful works of art, but the cost of that suffering is an unacceptable tragedy that must be examined.

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SHOULD MUSICIANS CROSS INTO ACTING?

The trend of musicians crossing over into the acting sphere is everywhere nowadays. Whether it’s Lady Gaga performing alongside Bradley Cooper in Beyoncé in the live-action Lion King, or anyone else who might have more of a talent carrying a tune than carrying a scene. When I see famous musicians on screen, I’m not entirely sure if I’m focusing on the character that they’re playing or if I’m more enamored by the fact that worlds are colliding. It is definitely a distracting experience.

While some fans enjoy seeing their favorite artist up on the big screen, I can’t help but ask whether this takes away an opportunity for actual actors to achieve their own goals. With Bachelor’s of Fine Arts costing in the tens of thousands plus an already high, competitive environment, it feels almost wrong that musicians with no professional training are booking jobs in blockbuster films.

However, with the pandemic nearly burying the movie theater industry, it stands to reason that casting A-list artists is financially wise. Just recently, Harry Styles was co-starring with Florence Pugh in the controversial Don’t Worry Darling This movie and its accompanying drama involve a Florence Pugh/Olivia Wilde feud and a possible love triangle between Styles, Wilde, and Sudeikis (Wilde’s ex-fiance), which arguably made people intrigued to see what all the fuss was about. Despite the controversy surrounding the film, Styles’ legion of fans was ready to support it. In just its opening weekend, the film garnered $30 million.

Safe to say, it’s easy to understand why studio heads and directors love to have musicians cross over into the realm of acting, but does that mean that the only way a film can be successful is if it has “big” names attached to it? Does having talent in one area automatically translate into another? While it’s certainly true that there are some musicians to whom this rule applies—like Cher or Jennifer Hudson—this is not guaranteed amongst their counterparts. If a musician plans to get into acting, I would pose the question: just because you can, does that mean you should?

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The Astroworld Tragedy’s

Ten lives lost. Hundreds injured. Thousands stomped on, crushed, and unable to breathe. In the year since the mass casualty event that was Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival, the concert experience has drastically changed.

The festival of over 50,000 eager fans quickly got out of control as at least 200 people surged through checkpoints to enter the festival without tickets. Thousands rushed the stage, unconscious bodies fell to the ground, and the concert still continued. For 37 minutes, Travis Scott continued to play after Houston authorities declared it a mass casualty event and even completed his entire set. The staff working the festival were unable to control the crowd, lacked adequate medical personnel and security, and had no passageway for ambulances to get through the seas of people. The crowd got so rowdy that people even climbed on top of medical vehicles and were lifting unconscious bodies up to be crowd-surfed away.

This “raging” of fans, also seen in the music industry in forms of moshing and stage diving, has long been encouraged by Scott. The rapper has been arrested and accused of inciting riots at his concerts on two other occasions. At Lollapalooza festival in Chicago, Scott’s set was cut off five minutes in after he encouraged the crowd to rush the barricades, flip off the security team and chant, “We want rage.”

This situation resulted in a stampede and numerous injuries. In 2017, Scott was once again arrested for inciting a riot at a performance in Arkansas when he told fans to rush the stage and bypass the security. Following the incident, he pleaded guilty to

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How live music, artist engagement with audiences, and criticism of musicians has changed in the aftermath of Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival.

Impactonth e C o n c e r t E x p e r i e n c e

a misdemeanor for disorderly conduct and paid a fine of $7,465.31.

While who exactly is to blame for the absolute chaos is uncertain, it is clear that a combination of inadequate security and event coordination by Live Nation, the encouragement of raging from Scott himself, and overall unawareness of the severity of the situation did not lend itself to a safe or controlled environment. Some have suggested that due to the pandemic, many of the highly trained security staff that usually work at large events were forced to retrain into other fields in search of work, consequently leading to venues settling for less-qualified and untrained security personnel. Additionally, the event was the first major music festival in Houston since the lockdown which may have played a part in the intensity of the crowd.

This tragic event significantly impacted the culture of concerts, with regard to both the organization of events and artist engagement and communication with their audiences. Stopping a concert to ensure everyone is safe, prevent crowd surges, and to allow medical personnel to get through has grown increasingly common following Astroworld, with artists such as Billie Eilish and Harry Styles both repeatedly stopping their shows at the first signs of anything going wrong. Eilish has been praised as being one of the first musicians to react, in one instance stopping to get an inhaler for a fan. In July of this year, Adele stopped her show in Hyde Park four separate times in order to help fans that were overheating. Doja Cat waited five minutes for security to resolve and deescalate a situation at Lollapalooza Argentina. This awareness and ability to quickly react and solve potentially dangerous situations has created a new expectation of safety among fans and changed the industry when it comes to live performances. Steve Allen, a head of the Consultancy Organization Crowd Safety and tour manager for Led Zeppelin and Red Hot Chili Peppers, said he guarantees that since Astroworld, “management companies are saying to their artists: if you see this happening, do not in any circumstance incite the crowd;” going on to explain that failing to realize the situation or stop the show when being asked to could be the end of their careers.

In addition to changes in the culture and conduct of live music events by artists, security and police are using the tragedy at Astroworld as a way to inform improvements that need to be made for the future. Peter Elidias, a former law enforcement official, explained how Astroworld will be a case study for years to come of what happens when an event goes bad, and that lessons learned from the event will be “incorporated into future planning across the country.” Changes include stronger presence of emergency response personnel and law enforcement in the planning of live music events, as well as organizers taking into consideration previous performances of entertainer’s and the type of crowd coming to the event.

Following Astroworld, a heightened sense of vigilance and responsibility has been put on artists to uphold, placing more of a liability on musicians than the management companies themselves. According to an investigation by the Houston Chronicle, events by Live Nation, the organizer of the Astroworld Festival, have been linked to over 750 injuries and over 200 deaths since 2006. While some artists such as Travis Scott could be to blame when it comes to encouraging dangerous behavior, expecting all artists to be able to adequately ensure security and safety at all times throughout their show could be asking too much. Instead, improved security from organizers such as Live Nation must be demanded. We should encourage a heightened awareness of artists to realize if an audience member needs help, but then provide them with a system to efficiently connect trained personnel to addressing the situation.

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STAFF 2022

Executive Editors

Editor-in-Chief Print Managing Editor Online Managing Editor Head Copy Editor Creative Director Art Director Print Photography Director Online Photography Director

Darcy Gallagher Erica MacDonald Viktoria Popovska

Lila Redler

Tamar Ponte Sophie Jurion Chika Okoye Sammy Grobman

Sections

City Campus Food Wellness

Avani Mitra Katrina Scalise Molly Khabie Alexandra Grieco

Writers: Hollie Shuler, Sophia Spiegel, Hannah Eaton, Anna Ruby, Danielle Milller, Grace Hawkins

Writers: Alicia Hamm, Mara Mellits, Siena Griffin, Tyler Davis, Bella Chiarieri

Writers: Caterina Tomassini, Sophia Pasquale, Mia Parker, Amanda Healy, Tyler Davis

Writers: Natalie Hickey, Eva Fournel, Joy Xu, Emmanuelle Mccall, Sophia Blair

Fashion Travel Culture Opinion Music

Cady Ghandour

Writers: Manuela Garcia, Anna Giblin, Caroline Kawabe, Analise Bruno, Sofia Butler

Caitlyn Kelley

Writers: Olivia Chamberlain, Hailey Pitcher, Kritika Iyer, Emma Hagert, Zainab Zaman

Outreach Team

Publisher Marketing Manager Social Media Web Director

Julia Kapusta Esha Raja Rachel Dirksen Allie Richter

Makeup

Makeup Artist Greta Holtzman Social Media

Team

Angie Ye, Caroline Kawabe, Katey Cooney

Creative Team

Shelby Mitchell, Anvitha Nekkanti, Polina Kharenko, Emma Hill, Poppy Livingstone, Chelsea Kuo, Madeline Michalowski, Emily Chiu, Lauren Mann

Photography Team

Katey Cooney, Elizabeth Watson, Alexandra Bradley, Avani Mitra, William Chapman, Maya Geiger, Andrew BurkeStevenson, Mia Peterman, Ria Huang, Chang Xu Weir, Alex Neuman, Xinyi Fu

Illustration Team

Writers: Abby Balter, Amanda Healy, Avery Hellberg, Caroline Kawabe, Anamaria Popovska, Chloe Jad

Sam Thomas Zach Murray

Writers: Sophia Falbo, Alejandra Jimenez, Anna Thornley, Deidre Higgins, Rachael Dionisio, Nia McLean

Celene Machen

Writers: Katie Tarnutzer, Andrea Morales, Sarah Bores, Carolyn Kravets

Tamar Ponte, Sophie Jurion, Tess Adams, Lila Berger, Madison Mercado

Models

Anvita Reddy, Miguel Feliciano, Yanfei Li, Tia Perkins, Kyle Chen, Maeve Sherlock, Nylah Mulzac, Alissa Doemling

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THE BUZZ