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@thedailycougar www.thedailycougar.com Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Est. 1934

Issue 7, Volume 87

‘TURNING POINT’ UH’s team captains revived Houston’s season with just one meeting. Nine straight wins later, the Cougars are back in the conference title game. | PG. 4


2 | Wednesday, November 17, 2021

NEWS

HAYA PANJWANI EDITORS & AMINAH TANNIR,

@THEDAILYCOUGAR

THEDAILYCOUGAR.COM/NEWS

ASTROWORLD

‘This year was different’: Students recall ill-fated festival in weeks after tragedy

EDITORIAL BOARD EDITOR IN CHIEF

Donna Keeya

MANAGING EDITOR

Sydney Rose WEB EDITOR

Jhair Romero NEWS EDITORS

Aminah Tannir Haya Panjwani

ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR

Ashley Gwananji

ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR

Sean Thomas Armando Yanez

ASSISTANT CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Gerald Sastra

SPORTS EDITOR

James Mueller OPINION EDITOR

Anna Baker

CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Juana Garcia

STAFF EDITORIAL The Staff Editorial reflects the opinions of The Cougar Editorial Board (the members of which are listed above the editorial). All other opinions, commentaries and cartoons reflect only the opinion of the author. Opinions expressed in The Cougar do not necessarily reflect those of the University of Houston or the students as a whole.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Juana Garcia/The Cougar

HAYA PANJWANI

NEWS EDITOR @HAYAPANJW

Bhagwat Patel, a finance junior at UH, has been going to Astroworld since its start in 2018. He has always had a good time listening to his favorite artists and hanging out with his friends. But this year, everything was different. Unlike some other attendees, Patel got to the festival later in the day, around 4 p.m. He described the first thing he saw when he got to the NRG Park, where Astroworld was being held. “I saw cops chasing a guy,” Patel said. “And then when all the cops started chasing the guy and they went away from the fences, that’s when like 60 or 70 people ran away from the line and tried to jump over all the fences. That’s when I knew this year was different.” In past years, Patel has been able to have a good time at the festival. He would get food with his friends, and towards the end of the night, they would stand near the back of the festival grounds while listening to their favorite artists perform. “Staying in the back is kind of like a safe option,” Patel said. “There’s not going to be much, like it’s not going to be too hectic. Obviously it’s still the final set of the night so it is going to be a lot of moving but it’s not going to be as bad as it is in the front. This year we did the same thing.” While reflecting, Patel recalled standing in the back to be just as bad as it would have been in the front. “We’re getting pushed left and right, like all of our friends were holding each other up and we could barely stand,” he said. “There’s water bottles and shoes and things flying in the air. You literally have to constantly look up to make sure you didn’t get hit by some random flying object.”

Patel grew up in Fort Bend County and went to Elkins High School, just like Travis Scott, the artist behind Astroworld and the festival’s headliner. He has been listening to his music since 2016. “His music means something to me because I went to the same high school as him so it was always like, this is the home of Travis Scott, you have to be a fan,” Patel said. Many UH students share Patel’s sentiments. For most fans who grew up in Houston, being a Travis Scott fan is a sense of pride. Gabby Avila, a strategic communications junior, feels the same way as him. “I’ve been a fan for a while,” Avila said. “I mean, he was born in Houston, so watching his music blow up a lot when I was in high school, like 2018, was so cool. Every party I went to, every event, Travis was always playing.” She went to Astroworld in 2019, and had tickets for the festival’s second day this year, but based on the videos she’d seen from her friends and online, she could tell this year was different from previous festivals. “The incident just makes me feel like his true colors really show,” she said. “He’s really just there to influence people to like rage and I get that’s the thing, to rage, to like you know like really go hard for his music, but you know he kept the concert going, kept the rage going, while people got hurt.” Patel feels the same way after attending the concert. “Its really unfortunate for those who were injured and lost their lives at the festival,” he said. “I hope the families of the victims get the justice and closure they are looking for.”

This year, the festival resulted in the deaths of 10 attendees, and multiple injuries. While officials have not determined the primary cause of each death, they do say the concert’s chaos contributed to the casualties. UH’s Director of the Trauma and Stress Studies Center and associate professor of psychology, Anka Vujanovic, said fans could be shaken after attending the concert. “Any time that such horrific tragedies occur is a time of collective grief and mourning,” Vujanovic said. “The incident will likely affect fans differently based on their experiences and interpretations of the events that transpired.” Vujanovic added that witnessing death or severe injury is one of the defining characteristics of trauma. “Most people who witness trauma may feel distressed in the immediate aftermath, and that distress may take the form of increased anxiety, depressed mood or sleep disturbance,” she said. “For a majority of people, those symptoms should dissipate over the days or weeks following the traumatic event. For a subset of individuals, symptoms may stabilize or worsen.” She understands that coping in the aftermath of loss and grief can be challenging. As more news comes out about the events that transpired at Astroworld, Vujanovic suggests taking care of yourself to be a priority. “Maintaining physical, emotional and spiritual self-care is important,” she said. “Being aware of changes in thoughts, feelings or behaviors is also important. And reaching out for professional help if symptoms persist or begin to interfere with functioning over a period of time.” news@thedailycougar.com

The Cougar welcomes letters to the editor from any member of the UH community. Letters should be no more than 250 words and signed, including the author’s full name, phone number or e-mail address and affiliation with the University, including classification and major. Anonymous letters will not be published. Deliver letters to N221, University Center; e-mail them to letters@thedailycougar.com; send them via campus mail to STP 4015; or fax to (713) 743-5384. Letters are subject to editing.

GUEST COMMENTARY Submissions are accepted from any member of the UH community and must be signed with the author’s name, phone number or e-mail address and affiliation with the University, including classification and major. Commentary should be limited to 500 words. Guest commentaries should not be written as replies, but rather should present independent points of view. Deliver submissions to N221, University Center; e-mail them to letters@thedailycougar.com; or fax them to (713) 743-5384. All submissions are subject to editing.

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Wednesday, November 17, 2021 | 3 HAYA PANJWANI EDITORS & AMINAH TANNIR,

THEDAILYCOUGAR.COM/NEWS

@THEDAILYCOUGAR

NEWS

ASTROWORLD

‘The damages could be substantial’: Lawsuits piling up following deadly crowd surge AMINAH TANNIR

NEWS EDITOR @AMOUNAJT

After the tragedy at Astroworld earlier this month, hundreds have sued the festival organizers and rapper Travis Scott, and the damages from these lawsuits can be significant, one UH legal expert said. Several Houston lawyers, including UH alumnus Tony Buzbee, are taking on a combined number of over 200 plaintiffs in cases filed against defendants involved in Astroworld including Travis Scott, his management, record company and liveevent company Live Nation, according to KHOU. “They can rack up some pretty good damages in terms of just the personal injuries to the people,” said UH lecturer Steven Kirkland. “The damages could be substantial, particularly since there’s a whole bunch of them.” Kirkland, a former trial judge who now works in the City of Houston attorney’s office, said many of these lawsuits filing for damages are relating to the harms experienced by the individuals. These can include survivor claims that encompass loss of companionship or family support from deceased victims. Other claims can include psychological damages to medical expenses for treatment of physical harm and punitive damages. “The functional differences with the decedents, your damages model is

different. So with the decedents, you know, you’ve got wrongful death claims versus personal injury claims,” said UH Law Center lecturer and Beard & Barks PLLC partner Justen Bark. “But the damages models are very complicated and unique to each individual plaintiff.” Attorneys representing living victims will seek to cover future pain and suffering and economic loss, Bark said. Punitive damages are meant to punish the defendants, in this case, the promoters, organizers or the performer. A jury could determine the value of the damages and a judge would shrink that number down, according to Kirkland. Kirkland explained these plaintiffs are going to have certain elements included when building their cases. This starts with their damage stories, which is showing that they’ve gone through some degree of mental anguish and experienced pain and suffering. One way to show the physical extent of this is through medical expenses. For the punitive claims filed, the next step is to prove that injury was caused by the concert and therefore by the people being held responsible. With these claims accusing the promoters, organizers and performers as negligent there would need to be questions explored such as what the standard of care is for events like Astroworld. If these standards were met then the question

Over a hundred lawsuits have been filed against Astroworld organizers in the weeks since the concert tragedy that left 10 attendees dead. | Jhair Romero/The Cougar

would be if it was enough, and that would be more difficult to prove, according to Kirkland. Although these cases might not make it to court through settlements, Kirkland said if they did it would set an industry-wide and possible legal precedent. “Cases that involve extreme conduct often do set a precedent, and there’s no question that this is an extreme situation where you can certainly see this setting a precedent,” Kirkland said He anticipates there will be more immediate reviews of security and crowdcontrol measures for future events put on by concert promoters.

However, Kirkland said instant gratification with regards to the legal ramifications of Astroworld is long into the future as these kinds of processes could take upwards of two to three years. “It’s bad for our sense of community when many of us come together and end up walking away in trauma, it’s really sad,” Kirkland said. “That’s really sad, that something that we would do for purposes of bringing us joy and enjoyment could turn into something that’s going to cause, that did cause, and will continue to cause fear and anxiety.” news@thedailycougar.com

CAMPUS

UH community reflects on what they’re thankful for LISA EL-AMIN

SENIOR STAFF @LISAELAMIN17

With Thanksgiving nearing, the UH community share the things about the semester that they’re most thankful for. Perseverance describes the way faculty, staff and students are handling the school year despite experiencing many changes like the soft opening at the start of the semester. “I am thankful for how students have demonstrated their awareness and empathy through well-informed and specific presentations,” said women’s studies professor Bridget Fernandes. With the transition from online to in-person this year, students shared their thankfulness to the professors that made the semester worth it. “I am most thankful for the support that these professors provide us during our classes,” said communication sciences and disorders senior Jacquelyn Rendon. “Having those office hours, taking time to talk with us and of course, those professors that provide letters of recommendation.”

Gerald Sastra/The Cougar

A challenge for Rendon has been applying for grad school and she is thankful for the professors willing to advise her and help her with the steps

along the way. The faculty shared their eagerness to be back on campus and enjoy the newfound time to socialize with students

in person. “I’m most thankful for being able to work with and see students on campus this semester,” said assistant director of wellness programs Frances Nguyen. “While I was grateful to be able to work from home during the pandemic, it makes me happy to be able to interact with all of our wonderful students. I’m also grateful for pie, obviously.” For some, holidays hold a special place as they prepare to spend time with their loved ones that they might have not seen in a while. Being able to get together with family since the pandemic is what many UH faculty, staff and students are most thankful for during this semester. “I know (COVID-19) isn’t over but I’m glad the numbers are going down somewhat and we have the vaccine and I can spend the holidays with my mother who is getting older,” said reference librarian Shane Hands. “It’s been a year and a half since we (were last able to) so it’s going to be a great holiday.” news@thedailycougar.com


4 | Wednesday, November 17, 2021

SPORTS NEWS

JAMES MUELLER, EDITOR

THEDAILYCOUGAR.COM/SPORTS

@THECOUGARSPORTS

FOOTBALL

The meeting that turned the 2021 UH football season around JAMES MUELLER

SPORTS EDITOR @JDM2186

After blowing a 14-point lead to Texas Tech in the season-opener, the Houston football captains, specifically Donavan Mutin, Deontay Anderson and Hasaan Hypolite, gathered the entire team together and spoke to them after the first practice following the loss. They were tired of losing and refused to let the 2021 season turn out like the first two seasons under Dana Holgorsen had. “We were tired of losing,” Anderson said when describing that meeting. “Our whole objective was we’re not losing no more. Period. That’s it. We’re not losing no more.” Quarterback Clayton Tune remembers this meeting vividly, saying he saw new kind of team after that meeting Mutin called that meeting the “turning

Marcus Jones has been eletric for UH in all facets of the game this season. | James Schillinger/The Cougar

point” of the 2021 season for the Cougars. And its impact has been evident on the field even sense, as the Cougars have shown a new kind of energy and confidence on their way to stringing nine consecutive victories and clinching a spot in the American Athletic Conference Championship Game. Tune has been lights out, showing improved decision making as well as turning busted plays into highlight reels with his legs. The offensive line has made progress week after week, giving Tune more time to make throws and opening up huge holes for the UH running back duo of Alton McCaskill and Ta’Zhawn, who have torn defenses apart in recent weeks. The UH defense’s front seven has wreaked havoc on opposing quarterbacks. The secondary has continued to come up with interception after interception. Marcus Jones has dazzled in the return game, forcing teams to avoid kicking to him at all costs. “From that moment we haven’t skipped a beat,” Mutin said. “There’s been ups and downs, peaks and valleys but we haven’t skipped a beat.” While bombarded by plenty of outside criticism, the belief that this team could not only be the best in the AAC but nationally relevant has always been within the UH locker room, according to Mutin. Now it’s paying dividends as the Cougars are proving their doubters wrong, accomplishing what they knew they

Junior linebacker Donavan Mutin was one of a few Cougars who spearheaded a team meeting after week one that the team says turned the 2021 UH football season around. | Courtesy of UH athletics

were capable of each week, no matter the opponent. The Cougars believe this is just the tip of the iceberg for what the program will accomplish. “This is what’s supposed to happen,” Mutin said. “This is what we grinded for, sacrificed for, came together for, built a better bond for.” Getting to the conference championship is just the first of many goals the Cougars

have this season. While UH is proud of this accomplisment, the team refuses to settle. Playing in the conference championship game isn’t good enough. The Cougars intend to win it. “Our goal is to go win it,” Anderson said. “We’re grateful to clinch a spot, but we’re going to go win it.” sports@thedailycougar.com

FOOTBALL

AAC Championship: Who, where UH might play for the conference title JAMES MUELLER

off the then-undefeated Mustangs on a Marcus Jones 100-yard kickoff return with just seconds remaining in the game.

SPORTS EDITOR @JDM2186

For the first time since 2015, UH football is headed back to the American Athletic Conference Championship Game, which is scheduled for Dec. 4. The Cougars clinched a berth in the AAC title game by cruising past Temple, who UH beat in the 2015 inaugural AAC Championship Game 24-13, on Saturday afternoon in Philadelphia for their ninth straight win. Although UH is in, who and when the Cougars will play has yet to be decided. There are several possible scenarios which go as follow:

If SMU and East Carolina win out and Cincinnati loses its last two games

If both UH and Cincinnati win out If the Cougars and Bearcats both take care of business over the next two weeks, the game will be played at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati. The Cougars are 15-12 all-time against Cincinnati but have lost two straight to the Bearcats, most recently falling 38-10 in Nov. 2020.

If UH wins out and Cincinnati loses one of its final two games If this happens, the Cougars and Bearcats would still meet in the AAC title

Junior quarterback Clayton Tune has helped lead UH football back to the AAC title game for the first time since 2015. | James Schillinger/The Cougar

game, but UH would host the game at TDECU Stadium.

If SMU wins out and Cincinnati loses its last two games This is where things get interesting. If

SMU wins out, which starts with beating Cincinnati on Nov. 20, the Cougars will take on the Mustangs at TDECU Stadium. This would be a rematch of one of the most exciting games of the entire college football season, in which UH knocked

This is the most chaotic of the four scenarios. If Cincinnati were to lose out and SMU and ECU both win their finals two games, then UH would host either the Mustangs or the Pirates. Since SMU and ECU did not play each other in the regular season and both teams would have the same conference record in this scenario, the second spot in the championship game would be decided by a tiebreaker which would be based on the higher-ranked team in the College Football Playoff Selection Committee’s rankings. UH has already beaten both the Mustangs and Pirates this season. Both games were played at TDECU Stadium. The Cougars are 8-7 all-time against ECU, including three straight wins over the Pirates, and are 22-13-1 in program history against SMU. sports@thedailycougar.com


Wednesday, November 17, 2021 | 5 JAMES MUELLER, EDITOR

THEDAILYCOUGAR.COM/SPORTS

@THECOUGARSPORTS

SPORTS NEWS

FOOTBALL

How Jake Herslow went from unknown to indispensable JAMES MUELLER

SPORTS EDITOR @JDM2186

On a third-and-8, UH quarterback Clayton Tune scrambled to his left, avoiding multiple USF defenders charging full force at him, and threw what appeared to be a ball that would sail out of the back of the end zone. Then out of nowhere, wide receiver Jake Herslow rose up above a herd of Bulls defenders, high-pointed the football and somehow got his right foot down inbounds with little room to spare in the back of the end zone to turn what seemed like a busted play into a Houston touchdown. In many ways, this play perfectly depicted Herslow’s journey to UH in the first place — going from some unknown kid who just wanted a chance to prove himself to becoming one of the Cougars’ most trusted receivers.

Taking a risk After spending four years, from 2016-19, at Old Dominion, Herslow wanted a chance to prove himself on a bigger stage. While Herslow received scholarship offers from several small schools in the Northeast to continue his collegiate career, he decided to take a giant risk by passing up those offers and instead just showing up on the UH campus in January. Dana Holgorsen had no clue who Herslow was or where he came from, and quite frankly didn’t expect this 6-foot kid from Virginia to fill the massive hole the Cougars had at the receiver position. “He just showed up. We didn’t recruit him,” Holgorsen said. “He kept coming up to me saying, ‘I hear you’re trying to recruit some other receivers to come in here. I don’t know what your problem is. I can make those plays for you if you just give me a shot.’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah, yeah. Whatever.’” Many UH coaches and players thought Herslow, a senior, was just some young freshman trying to find a way to make the team. While no one in the UH football program seemed to know anything about him or picture him playing any kind of role in the Cougars’ offense, Herslow’s belief in himself never wavered and he came in each and every day with one goal in mind — to earn the respect of his coaches and teammates. “I’m kind of an unproven guy. I understood that, and I bet on myself,” Herslow said. “I know my ability because of the amount of work I put in. So I know what I can do and it was just showing (Holgorsen) every day, showing the team, showing the coaches every day what I can do and how I can contribute to the team.”

Developing rapport with Tune Over the offseason, Herslow saw that Tune was a guy who always puts in extra hours in an effort to be the best player he can possibly be. Herslow, who has the same type of work ethic as Tune, told the UH quarterback to let him know whenever he wanted to throw and he’d be there. “I’m always the guy that’s going to stay extra, get extra work in, the first one in and the last one to leave,” Herslow said. “And

(Tune) is also that guy.” Tune appreciated this and could immediately tell Herslow was the type of player that was all about the team and would do whatever it took to help the team get better. “(Herslow’s) another great attitude guy,” Tune said. “He’s all about the team. He’s never going to put himself before the team. He’s another guy that comes in and works hard every day, doesn’t complain and does his job,” The two clicked quickly and formed the type of bond that every coach desires to see between his quarterback and receivers. They threw together five days a week over the offseason, developing more and more rapport every day. This bond extended beyond the field, as Herslow and Tune became good friends off the field. Even Holgorsen noticed how close-knit Tune and Herslow were becoming as the offseason progressed. “(Herslow’s) really developed a good bond with Tune,” Holgorsen said. “Those guys are pretty tight.”

Answering the call After fall camp, the very question of whether Herslow would even have a role in the UH offense was still prevalent, but the newest Cougar receiver kept on working so that he’d be ready whenever his number was called. Early in the season, Herslow saw some action and made the most of it. He even caught a touchdown pass in the Cougars’ second game of the season against Rice. Herslow’s confidence that he showed from day one had never wavered, and he was showing that he could fill the Cougars’ receiving gap each time he got in on the action. As the season progressed, Herslow began to see his role in the offense increase. Herslow always seemed to be in the right spot, finding a way to get open whenever Tune was scrambling and looking for anyone to get the ball to. The receiver who nobody knew anything about just a few months ago was suddenly becoming one of Tune’s most reliable targets. Nothing seemed to faze him and the success he was having came at no surprise to Herslow. “I’m just very confident because I put the work in and I just know that I can play at this level and at the next level,” Herslow said.

‘All-around football player’ Herslow has not just impacted the Cougars in the receiving game but has been a major part of the kickoff return team’s success. While Marcus Jones gets all the credit for his magic in the return game, the job Herslow has done springing blocks has not gone unnoticed by his head coach. “He’s one of the better special teams players I’ve ever seen,” Holgorsen said. “Some of his backside blocking on kickoff return is the reason why we’re having success.” From being Mr. Reliable with his hands and finding ways to get open for Tune to executing key blocks on kickoff returns, Herslow has made a bigger impact in a variety of ways for the Cougars than anyone

Jake Herslow showed up to UH in January as an unknown, but by November the receiver has established himself as one of the staples of the Cougars offense. | Steven Paultanis/The Cougar

within the UH program would have thought just six months ago. “He is just an all-around football player,” Holgorsen said. “I’m so happy he’s on this team.” The one regret Holgorsen says he has about Herslow is not giving him a scholarship. But Herslow has no hard feelings about it, saying he feels respected by his teammates and coaches in the way he hoped to be when he first stepped foot on the UH campus.

While the little things Herslow does may go unnoticed by the crowd, he has received plenty of love from everyone within the UH program because of the impact he has made on this team. “I flat out love the kid,” Holgorsen said. “The effort and toughness that he brings is something we needed with our offense. … He plays his tail off.” sports@thedailycougar.com


6 | Wednesday, November 17, 2021

OPINION NEWS

ANNA BAKER, EDITOR

@THEDAILYCOUGAR

THEDAILYCOUGAR.COM/OPINION

ASTROWORLD

Fans need to hold celebrities accountable

i

The Cougar

thedailycougar.com

ABOUT THE COUGAR The Cougar is published every Wednesday during the fall and spring semesters, and Wednesdays during the summer and online at thedailycougar.com. The Cougar is supported in part by Student Service Fees. The first copy is free. Additional copies cost 25 cents.

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ISSUE STAFF CLOSING EDITORS

Donna Keeya Sydney Rose Jhair Romero COVER

Juana Garcia

i

Center for Student Media uh.edu/csm

ABOUT CSM The Center for Student Media provides comprehensive advisory and financial support to the university’s student-run media: The Cougar newspaper, CoogTV and COOG Radio.

Juana Garcia/The Cougar

MICHAEL KING

STAFF COLUMNIST @LXLMING

The recent tragedy at Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival calls into question the serious nature of “fan behavior” and how fans will take a celebrity’s side even when they’re at fault. This event and its aftermath is a prime example of how parasocial relationships can dangerously blind people from the bad things their favorite celebrities do. The stampeding of the crowd containing about 50,000 concert attendees resulted in the deaths of 10 people and many more injured as reported by The Cougar. Various fans uploaded videos of the incident, where an ambulance and medical personnel could clearly be seen while Scott continued to perform according to Insider. “I’ve been to Astroworld all three years,” said freshman business student Hunter Ybarra. “Stampeding through the gates was not anything new, but this year was different... Looking back is such a shock to me, as people were dying so close to me and I had no idea.” Many people, including the

staff that worked the venue that night, have called for Scott to be held accountable for his reckless endangerment. According to NBC, multiple concert organizers have already come out in support of the victims, and petitions have been started to pull him from major festivals such as Coachella. Many fans are taking a step back and realizing that Scott’s past behavior of encouraging people to storm gates and what not has led to an unsafe environment at their concerts. Many are also holding Scott accountable for not stopping the concert when things started to get out of hand. Despite the backlash, Scott has still received a plethora of support from other devoted fans, who believe that he was not responsible for what happened at the concert according to Buzzfeed. This issue continues to be a divisive issue within his fandom and beyond. Scott encouraging people to stampede and overcrowd the festival, and not stopping the performance has indirectly led to the deaths of innocent

people. Yet many fans still feel compelled to come to his defense. Some may defend him because he was under his own management, and maybe didn’t see the deaths of the concert goers. However, Scott has a history of encouraging dangerous behavior at his concerts. Additionally, there is no question as to if he saw the ambulance or not. He did, but still didn’t stop performing while people were dying. Fans unfortunately continue to defend his actions, and there may be a psychological explanation for this. According to HuffPost, research for this behavior, often dubbed “Celebrity Worship Syndrome,” has been conducted since the 1950s. These studies have shown that celebrities may form parasocial relationships with fans, or interactions that are more intimate in nature and can cause fans to view the celebrity as more of a close friend than just a stranger they admire. A fan’s love for their favorite artist isn’t always bad, but it can lead fans to worship their

favorite artists in an unhealthy way. They can become almost indoctrinated, and defend their celebrity to the end no matter what they did. This is shown in stan culture where people will dogpile on those who dare insult their favorite artist. Travis Scott’s incident is no different, especially because this was not his first time encouraging bad behavior at his shows according to Billboard. His fans love him and so they will defend him and his actions, even if those actions are bad. This should not be the case. Fans who defend their favorite celebrities on default need to change. Fans should hold their favorite celebrity accountable whenever they make a mistake, especially if this mistake results in the loss of human life. No one should worship a celebrity to the extent that they are defending someone who bears some responsibility for the deaths of his fans. Even if they are your favorite, celebrities need to be held accountable for their actions. opinion@thedailycougar.com

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Wednesday, November 17, 2021 | 7 HAYA PANJWANI EDITORS & AMINAH TANNIR,

THEDAILYCOUGAR.COM/LIFE-ARTS

@THEDAILYCOUGAR

LIFE ANDNEWS ARTS

ADVICE

Ask Ashley: Advice on finals, roommates, more ASHLEY GWANANJI

ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR @ ASHXLES

In The Cougar’s weekly anonymous advice column, I talk about preparing for finals, shady roommates and movies to watch. To submit your questions for future issues, click the “Ask Ashley” button on our home page.

Ashley, what are some things I can do to get ready for finals season?! AHHHHHH!

Oop. Thanks for reminding me to study anon, I totally forgot about finals coming up. But don’t worry, there are many ways to prepare for it. To prepare for finals, or any test really, the key is to start early. I’d recommend listing topics that would be on the test and finding time in your schedule to study them before doomsday. I’d recommend focusing on topics you don’t understand well and lightly brush up on topics you already know. This would make study sessions a bit easier. It’s also important to give yourself a lot of time for your brain to remember things. So if you have been finessing your classes at this point, I think now is the time to crack open that book, bestie. Make sure you wipe the dust off of it too. Definitely use study methods that work for you, and try

Juana Garcia/The Cougar

studying with people from your classes. I find studying with others helpful since it provides a space for a lot of teaching and learning. Remember to take time for breathers, sleeping and eating. You are human after all. I’m sure you’re going to do great on your finals. I wish you the best of luck!

Ashley, what do I do about a passive aggressive roommate? We don’t interact that often (schedules), but they keep mentioning stuff about revenge and I can’t tell if they’re just joshing. Um, revenge? I’m not going to lie anon, but this sounds like potential criminal activity. It’s giving “Dateline NBC” vibes.

SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 22) -- Step out of your comfort zone if that’s what it takes to help make positive changes. Don’t live a lie or be a martyr. You owe it to yourself to do what’s best for you. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23-Dec. 21) -- Get your facts straight before you decide to start a debate. An emotional incident will bring you closer to someone you think is special. Honesty will help you keep the peace. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) -- Give credit where credit is due. Take the high road when faced with an ethical choice. Don’t be

afraid to use your skills and experience to bring about positive change. AQUARIUS ( Jan. 20-Feb. 19) -- Think things through before you make a decision that can influence what you do next. Get the proper documentation or qualifications in order before starting something new. Listen to others. PISCES (Feb. 20-March 20) -- When in doubt, ask questions. A new look or image will lift your spirits. A professional change will allow you to use your skills more efficiently. Romance is encouraged. ARIES (March 21-April 19)

In other words, I’m lowkey concerned that your roommate is using passive-aggressive communication at their big age. Despite the mismatched schedules, have you considered talking with them? I know it’s hard to communicate with someone passive-aggressive, but talking it out can help in opening channels of communication. Maybe the vibes are off and your roommate doesn’t feel comfortable voicing out their concerns? That could be the reason why they are whispering shady (and alarming) ish under their breath. Additionally, talking it out can give you the opportunity of listing out your boundaries and make clear how communication

-- Go over the pros and cons of difficult situations and relationships. Knowing what you are up against will help decide what and who are worth your time and effort. Keep an open mind. TAURUS (April 20-May 20) -- You may know how a game is played, but don’t expect everyone to play fair. Keep your eyes open, don’t hesitate to ask questions, and be sure to cover your tracks or get everything in writing. GEMINI (May 21-June 20) -- Big ideas followed by sound judgment and hard work will pay off. Don’t let anyone discourage you or

should be going forward. I would also say remove yourself from the situation, if possible. But if you can’t, I guess that’s your roommate, and you gotta stick beside them, unfortunately. Hopefully, your roommate is only grumbling about mundane stuff like you not taking out the trash. But until then, sleep with one eye open, shawty. Your roommate sounds a bit devious to me.

Ashley, what are some movies you’d recommend? Any genre, any length! Ooo, I’m not a huge movie buff, but I’ll try to answer your question, anon. I do prefer television over movies, so if

meddle in your affairs. Work at your own pace, and don’t share what you are doing until it’s ready. CANCER ( June 21-July 22) -- Put restrictions on entertainment, spending and over-the-top behavior. You can have fun without going into debt. Do something that appeals to your creative side. A unique path will lead to enlightenment. LEO ( July 23-Aug. 22) -- Avoid costly ventures or donations you cannot afford. Doing something spontaneous will lead to setbacks. Stay focused on what’s attainable and put

you asked me about television shows, I could talk about that for hours. I just think of TV shows as chopped-up movies with many sequels. While I have limited knowledge of movies, I do appreciate ones that fall under the action, drama and comedy genres. “Romeo + Juliet,” “The Accountant,” “Now You See Me” and “Logan Lucky” are a couple of examples. I also love superhero movies because it allows me to dissociate from reality for a hot minute. Some of my favorite ones come from Marvel, such as “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “Thor: Ragnarok,” “Doctor Strange” and all of the “X-Men” movies. As for D.C., “Watchmen” and all of Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies are my favorite, with a heavy emphasis on “Batman: The Dark Knight.” And finally, it’s not necessarily a genre, but my all-time favorite movies are based on real-life stories. Some examples are “I, Tonya,” “Vice” and Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street” as well as “Goodfellas.” It was really hard to pick which movies I wanted to showcase here, but I hope you like my recommendations. It’s also okay if you hate them all. arts@thedailycougar.com

your heart and soul into everything you do. VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) -- Information you gather will lead to a change of mind and direction. Don’t let the unknown frighten you. It’s time to branch out, try something new and explore what the world has to offer. LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 23) -- Back up and let things unfold before you take sides or let your thoughts be known. Get out and do something that will broaden your outlook, and you’ll discover you have more options than you realize. -Astrograph by Eugenia Last


8 | Wednesday, November 17, 2021


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