Vol. 108, Iss. 8 | Tuesday, April 17, 2018
The Flat Hat The Weekly Student Newspaper
of The College of William and Mary
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Lambda to reform as Rainbow Coalition
The Lambda Alliance voted to approve the constitution of the Rainbow Coalition, a group meant to better serve the needs of the broader LGBTQ+ campus community LEONOR GRAVE // FLAT HAT NEWS EDITOR Forty years since its founding in 1978, the Lambda Alliance at the College of William and Mary is implementing a new organizational model: The Rainbow Coalition. The Lambda Alliance was originally created to provide a supportive space for LGBTQ+ identifying people on campus. According to their constitution, which was last updated March 22, the purpose of the Lambda Alliance is to provide a social space to educate about and advocate for the gender, romantic and sexual diversity of the College community. This is done by promoting awareness of issues pertaining to the community while establishing a support network of concerned and interested individuals, regardless of sexual, romantic or gender identity. However, some students worry that the Lambda Alliance is in over its head and cannot address the needs of all LGBTQ+ students on campus without significantly changing its structure. “Our community is huge, and Lambda was not built to handle it,” Lambda Alliance Activism Co-Chair Alexina Haefner ’19 said. The Rainbow Coalition aims to take some of the burden off of the Lambda Alliance to represent every single LGBTQ+ voice on campus. The coalition would be an events-based organization consisting of an executive board in charge of programming events and affinity groups focused on building a community.
Our community is huge, and Lambda was not built to handle it. — Lambda Alliance Activism Co-Chair Alexina Haefner ’19
The organization’s new constitution and name change were ratified at the Lambda Alliance’s LGBTQ Student Community General Meeting and Forum April 3 in Tucker Hall Theater. The results of the vote were 32 yea and one nay. Haefner proposed the restructuring and then worked on the plan along with the rest of the Lambda executive board, as well as with Associate Director of the Center for Student Diversity Roxie Patton and Director of Student Leadership Development Anne Arseneau. “A meeting-based model, while it creates a great social
space and builds a strong community for those who attend meetings regularly, doesn’t serve the needs of the broader LGBTQ+ community in the way an event-based model can,” Haefner said. “We’re essentially eliminating the idea of membership or a dominant club culture for the Rainbow Coalition — it’s here to serve the LGBTQ+ student community and respond to diverse needs with programming in lots of different areas, geared towards different subsets of the community.” Haefner said that she is optimistic about what the relationship between Lambda Alliance and Rainbow Coalition will be going forward. She said that the Rainbow Coalition model will allow Lambda executive members to focus on the social programming at the core of their club, which creates a space for LGBTQ+ students to form tight-knit communities, instead of being expected to be an educational and activism organization in addition to a social one. “Rainbow Coalition, on the other hand, will be able to develop better educational events, activism initiatives and events for students who are often under-served by the broader LGBTQ+ community, namely students of color and trans and nonbinary students,” Haefner said. Membership in Rainbow Coalition will be divided into two sections, the first composed of voting members and the second of affiliate members. To qualify as a voting member, one must have attended at least one Rainbow Coalition event. Ryan Glover ’21, who serves as the Lambda Alliance’s activism co-chair along with Haefner, has also been involved with the restructuring discussion process. While Glover said they think the Rainbow Coalition might face issues with advertising itself and promoting events, they believe students are generally supportive of this change. “Based on the forum that was held in which we passed the constitution, the regular club meetings in which we have talked about the Rainbow Coalition, and my personal conversations with students both within and without the Lambda Alliance, I think the large majority of students are on board with this change,” Glover said. Glover said they hope the Rainbow Coalition constitution will help create a more inclusive organization for LGBTQ+ students on this campus, independently of how heavily they are involved with LGBTQ+ events. “Though we will still be part of one big LGBTQ+ family, the two organizations will eventually, I think, be their own separate entities — which I think is for the best, for both Lambda and the Rainbow Coalition,” Glover said. This restructuring effort was first announced to the
community in an email sent out to the Lambda Alliance listserv March 25. “We know that over the past few years, people’s experiences with Lambda have been varied,” the executive board said in the email. “While some students say Lambda has been a formative part of their time at W&M, others have had negative experiences. An LGBTQ student organization should serve the needs of all LGBTQ students on campus, not just those who go to Lambda meetings. Lambda was initially formed to serve a small, mostly closeted L G BT Q
population, not the 600+ students with diverse needs that we are today. We are saddened by the possibility that some students have not had the support they needed, been able to feel part of their LGBTQ community, or felt connected to LGBTQ history and identity during their time at W&M.” According to the proposal, the Rainbow Coalition would See RAINBOW page 4 COURTESY PHOTO / SAMANTHA WHITE
Transgender author, activist Janet Mock fills Commonwealth Andrew Uhrig ’20 and Laini Boyd ’18 sponsored SA legislation to fund speaking fees SARAH SMITH FLAT HAT EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Wednesday, April 11, transgender author and activist Janet Mock sat down in the Commonwealth Auditorium with gender, sexuality and women’s studies department chair Jenny Putzi to talk about her writing, her views on popular culture and her experiences as a famous activist. This event was sponsored and organized by Student Assembly. SA Undersecretary of Queer and Trans Affairs Andrew Uhrig ’20 and Class of 2018 President Laini Boyd ’18 sponsored The Janet Mock Act, which allocated $20,007 from SA reserves for Mock’s speaking fees, her lodging and for advertisements for the events. “Having Janet Mock on campus, for me, meant that I could show a greater audience a lot of things that I believe in and support,” Uhrig said. “It meant that we, as a campus, got a chance to become more aware of issues that we face in the world today. I got to interact with someone not much older than I am who has been a first. She is the first author of an autobiography written from the perspective of a young transgender person. That is something special to me and a lot of other trans people, especially trans youth.” Mock published her first autobiography “Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So much More” in 2014. This book is frequently taught in the College of William and Mary’s introductory GSWS courses and looks at her experiences as a trans youth, her decision
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to come out while working in New York City in magazine journalism and her intersecting identities. More recently, she published her second book “Surpassing Certainty: What My Twenties Taught Me” June 2017. She has made the New York Times’ bestsellers list for both of these books and is known for speaking at the 2017 Women’s March in Washington, D.C. Her speech focused on why it was important for the movement to include sex workers and transgender women of color. Mock spoke about both of her books, as well as her experiences speaking at the Women’s March and other prominent events. She also talked about the work that she has done to elevate other transgender women of color that she knows. For example, she said she often refers her friends to do broadcast segments or book reviews now that she has had time in the spotlight and isn’t as interested in that type of publicity. She is currently serving as a writer for “Pose,” a musical and dance drama set to premier in June 2018 on FX. “Now that I can be a part of creating a culture of girls like me who are able to see a reflection of themselves, that’s a legacy,” Mock said. “If you can’t bring your people with you when you storm through the doors, what am I here for?” Uhrig said that one takeaway from the event is that as a white, gender non-conforming person, Uhrig has to evaluate how they exist in certain spaces for safety reasons while also utilizing the leverage they have around them.
“I also started crying when Janet spoke about she thought trans kids should learn for their safety and wellbeing, because for me that point is extremely emotionally charged since a lot of my childhood memories are mixes of traumatic and euphoric moments of expressing my gender, and I never had anyone to talk with me through gender so looking back on it now throws me off balance,” Uhrig said. “It’s not easy to think about kids and transgender people because I think about how trans women of color are the most at risk of homicide within the LGBTQ+ community in the U.S. It’s hard to think about trans kids because how are they supposed to grow up and learn that they are more at risk for being killed because they are not the gender a doctor said they were at birth?” Uhrig said they appreciated the work that Boyd did to help — she was the member of the SA senate who sponsored the bill. They said she was one of the biggest allies to trans people that they had met at the College. Uhrig also said that they hoped that people learned to help those around them. “I hope others learned that we all have work to do in our lives in order to help ourselves and those around us claim our equality and freedom,” Uhrig said. “There are so many little things that can add up to liberation, it’s not just big rallies, protests and marches. Those things are important, and I encourage people to show up, but oftentimes people’s activism ends there, and they forget about everyday things.”
Sunny, High 60, Low 41
The College of William and Mary Police Department arrested Turner August ’21 April 6 and charged him with six felony counts of possession of child pornography. August, a 19-year-old from Richmond, Virginia, was arrested at 7:30 a.m. in Griffin D. Following his arrest, he was transported to the Virginia Regional Peninsula Jail. April 10, August was released on bail and his case was transferred to another jurisdiction. In an April 13 statement to the Williamsburg-Yorktown Daily, College spokesperson Suzanne Seurattan said that August’s charges could initiate the student disciplinary process. If found guilty, sanctions for Turner could range from warning to suspension or dismissal, depending on the severity of the incident and past experience with August. — Flat Hat Editor-in-Chief Sarah Smith
Term ‘panic attack’ should not be used casually
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STUDENT ARRESTED FOR POSSESSION OF CHILD PORN
Katherine Yenzer ’21 says that students should refrain from misusing the term “panic attack” as a synonym for stress out of sensitivity for their peers who struggle with anxiety. page 5
Growing roots: the history and diversity of the College’s trees
The College of William and Mary has a large collection of rare and endangered woody species spread across campus. page 7
News Editor Leonor Grave News Editor Madeline Monroe firstname.lastname@example.org
The Flat Hat
| Tuesday, April 17, 2018 | Page 2
Having Janet Mock on campus, for me, meant that I could show a greater audience a lot of things that I believe in and support. It meant that we, as a campus, got a chance to become more aware of issues that we face in the world today. ... That is something special to me and a lot of other trans people, especially trans youth. — SA Undersecretary of Queer and Trans Affairs Andrew Uhrig ’20 on the importance of having prominent transgender author and activist Janet Mock speak to the student body in an April 11 event
Where in the world is Somya Shankar ’18?
From Panama City to Rome, four years in WorldMUN took senior across globe ETHAN BROWN // FLAT HAT OPINIONS EDITOR
Thursday, April 10 — Suspect identified: Antonio Jimmison was charged with aggravated assault, brandishing a firearm and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon on Second Street.
Friday, April 13 — Suspicious behavior: A charge of tampering with a vehicle was reported on Merrimac Trail.
Saturday, April 14 — Crash and burn: A vehicle crashed into Reves Hall on the corner of Jamestown Road and South Boundary Street, causing a single room to lose power. No residents were harmed.
Sunday, April 15 — Critical collision: Sheila Lynn Hester was arrested on a charge of hit and run resulting in injury on Roaring Springs Road. POLICE BEAT BY SARAH GREENBERG / THE FLAT HAT
A THOUSAND WORDS COURTESY PHOTO / SOMYA SHANKAR
Somya Shankar ’18, a chemistry major, has participated in 18 Model United Nations Conferences since her freshman year of high school in Alexandria, Virginia.
CORRECTIONS An article in last week’s issue, “Building a new COLL,” incorrectly stated that the Faculty Assembly voted on the COLL 199 proposal. It was actually the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Additionally, the same article misquoted professor John Riofrio as saying “ferments” instead of “foments.” The Flat Hat wishes to correct any fact printed incorrectly. Corrections may be submitted in email to the editor of the section in which the incorrect information was printed. Requests for corrections will be accepted at any time.
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first place in her committee. Her success up north then led Shankar to apply to WorldMUN, a weeklong conference hosted by Harvard University, in the spring of her freshman year. WorldMUN takes place in a different city each March, and when Shankar earned a spot on the WorldMUN team in spring 2015, she traveled to Seoul, South Korea, to represent the College on the collegiate Model United Nations circuit. Traveling to South Korea was a turning point for Shankar, who felt bonding with her teammates abroad provided her with the belonging she had longed for in Williamsburg. The interest she had in transferring dissipated immediately after she returned to the United States. “My experiences in Seoul were incredible,” Shankar said. “As soon as I came back from WorldMUN, all of [my desires to transfer] had changed.” Forging relationships with foreign students at WorldMUN was an eye-opening experience for Shankar, who now has friends from around the world thanks to her travels as a Model United Nations
Model United Nations has given me the ability to connect with people very quickly. People take having effective communication skills and being able to speak publicly for granted. Somya Shankar ’18
SARAH SMITH / THE FLAT HAT
When Somya Shankar ’18 joined Model United Nations during her freshman year of high school, her motivations ranged from an interest in international politics to an intense commitment to crafting the perfect college application. Most importantly, however, Shankar said she longed for a sense of belonging in an unfamiliar high school. Hailing from Northern Virginia, Shankar attended the competitive Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, where she said Model United Nations more closely resembles a lifestyle than an extracurricular activity. Upward of 100 students are regularly active in the club, and the school’s Model United Nations team is routinely ranked as one of the most competitive teams in the nation. Early in her freshman year, Shankar eagerly joined its ranks and signed up to attend her first Model United Nations conference in November 2010. Serendipitously enough, that conference brought her to the College of William and Mary, where Shankar was a delegate at the International Relations Club’s 24th iteration of William and Mary High School Model United Nations, or WMHSMUN. For three days, Shankar represented the United States in a novice committee discussing social and humanitarian affairs. Yet, Shankar would hardly describe her first attempt at Model United Nations as successful. “I was too nervous to even speak on the first day,” Shankar said. “I didn’t speak a word. ... I did not give a speech that entire conference.” However, Shankar’s avoidance of public speaking that weekend did not detract from an otherwise overwhelmingly positive experience. “I had a wonderful time,” Shankar said. “I met so many people, and getting to know other freshman and upperclassmen on the team was really cool. Despite not actually doing anything in committee, [that conference] made me want to do MUN again and be better at it.” Eight years later, Shankar stands on the precipice of graduation with 18 conferences under her belt and several passport stamps to prove it. Her commitment to Model United Nations, both in high school and at the College, has taken her around the world in pursuit of awards, friendship and intellectual development. But despite a successful track record, Shankar’s journey through collegiate Model United Nations has involved both painful lows as well as exhilarating highs. Upon matriculating at the College in August 2014, Shankar joined the International Relations Club’s travel team and traveled to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the University of Pennsylvania’s annual conference later that autumn. After facing a challenging committee where she failed to win an award, Shankar began to question if she should stay involved with Model United Nations, given the club’s hefty fees and its demanding schedule. Shankar’s pursuit of a chemistry major caused her additional concern, as she feared students studying international politics or similar fields in the humanities would perpetually be better prepared. “None of the 35 delegates from William and Mary won an award [that conference],” Shankar said. “I asked myself, am I even a good delegate anymore? I was out of my element in terms of topic knowledge.” These anxieties did not bode well for Shankar, as she was already considering transferring out of the College by her spring semester. A lack of confidence in her abilities as a delegate led Shankar to question her role in the International Relations Club, but also contributed to broader doubt in her continued enrollment at the College. “I was really considering transferring,” Shankar said. “I loved IR Club and I had people there, but I definitely didn’t feel like I had found a place [at the College] yet.” Eventually, after a great deal of soul-searching, Shankar decided that she would overcome a lack of formal education in international relations by preparing especially hard, and she vowed to never be caught off guard at a conference again. “I decided that I can overcompensate for [not being an IR major] by just doing more research,” Shankar said. Shankar’s resolute attitude inspired her to attend McGill University’s annual conference in Montreal, Canada, where she eventually won
delegate. Shankar attended WorldMUN during each of her four years at the College, which took her to Rome, Italy during her sophomore year, Montreal, Canada in her junior year, and Panama City, Panama as a senior. These experiences traveling abroad were life-altering for Shankar, who counts her blessings to have formed such meaningful relationships with a diverse array of individuals at WorldMUN each year. Her social networks traverse oceans and surpass national boundaries. “I think half of the people I talk to on a daily basis don’t go to [the College],” Shankar said. “I know I could visit Luxembourg and have someone there to stay with.” After having attended 18 Model United Nations conferences in college — and having won an award at nine of them — Shankar is now retiring from the competitive circuit. After graduating, she plans to move to Atlanta, Georgia, to pursue clinical research before applying to medical school. While she doubts her future career will relate directly to international politics, Shankar said she is confident that Model United Nations has strengthened her skills as a communicator and as a leader. “Model United Nations has given me the ability to connect with people very quickly,” Shankar said. “People take having effective communication skills and being able to speak publicly for granted.” But while Shankar appreciates the practical benefits of her eight years in Model United Nations, she is most grateful for the friendships she has accrued along the way, both with fellow members of the International Relations Club at the College and with her colleagues on the circuit. “I hope Model UN has given me friendships for life, and I hope those are sustained and carry on past graduation,” Shankar said.
The Flat Hat
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
College library system partners with WRL Williamsburg Regional Library to increase accessibility by expanding student services SARAH GREENBERG FLAT HAT NEWS ASSOC. EDITOR
The William and Mary Libraries and the Williamsburg Regional Library recently announced a newly established partnership April 8 in honor of National Library Week. The program formalizes the relationship between the two libraries and increases community members’ access to library resources by allowing inter-library lending. The partnership constitutes a commitment on the part of both libraries to continue their collaborative efforts. The partnership aims to make library collections more accessible, encourage collaborative programming, and promote lifelong learning. The primary component of this partnership is the reciprocal borrowing privileges agreement, which grants WRL cardholders and those affiliated with the College the ability to borrow resources from both institutions. The conditions of these borrowing privileges are stipulated in the Partnership Agreement. Previously, access to WRL resources was limited only to those whose primary residence was located in a city or county that funds the WRL. Now, with the College’s partnership, College students, faculty and staff who may live outside of the City of Williamsburg, James City County or York County can now apply to receive an enhanced privilege WRL library card at no additional cost, upon presentation of a valid ID from the College. Enhanced privilege WRL cardholders are allowed
to borrow up to 32 items from both the James City County Library and the Williamsburg Regional Library, are given access to online collections and can download digital resources. William and Mary Libraries Director of Communications and Strategic Planning Tami Back is optimistic about the partnership and the benefits that WRL access will have for the College’s students, faculty and staff. “We heard from a lot of staff who wanted to use WRL because of the proximity to their workplace,” Back said. “There are a significant number of people who commute from Richmond, Surry, Hampton and other areas, and it can be challenging to find time to visit your local library when you spend most of your days away from home.” Similarly, anyone eligible for a WRL card will now be able to open an account with the William and Mary Libraries upon showing a photo ID and proof of address. They will be granted William and Mary Libraries visitor privileges at no additional cost, foregoing the previous $100 visitor account charge. This means that they will be given borrowing privileges from the majority of the College’s libraries, including its Earl Gregg Swem Library, Swem Offsite Storage, Music Library, Chemistry Library and Physics Library locations, but will not be able to check out equipment or have remote access to any of the library’s licensed electronic resources. This agreement provides residents, who previously had to request William and Mary Libraries resources through the WRL as inter-
library loans, with a simplified borrowing process. “By taking down the barriers of having them have to work through inter-library loan it allows them to now go to Swem and borrow directly,” WRL Assistant Director Janet Crowther said. “I think it’s a real strength for the entire community.” In addition to increasing users’ borrowing privileges, the two institutions will continue to work together on community programming opportunities and expanding inter-library loan services. This includes collaboration on specific projects, such as combining each institution’s expertise for genealogy, and promoting each other’s programs to their respective audiences. “As one community we kind of complement and offer a lot of resources that we can bring to programs,” Crowther said. “[The partnership agreement] gives a structure to have more of an ongoing conversation about what’s possible by working library to library.” Though representatives from both libraries only began developing this agreement in December 2017, William and Mary Libraries and the WRL have a long history of collaboration. The two institutions have had an on-and-off agreement of inter-library loaning for the past 14-15 years. Looking to have a greater influence on the community, Dean of University Libraries Carrie Cooper recently reached out to WRL Director Besty Fowler to initiate formalization of the two institutions’ collaborative relationship. “I could not be more thrilled to see this vision
come to fruition,” Cooper said in a press release. “It’s been a goal for many years. Our community is best served when we work together toward common goals, and increasing access to library resources is undoubtedly one of those goals.” William and Mary Libraries Associate Dean of Research and Public Services Lisa Nickel said she was optimistic about the possibility of further collaboration between the two libraries. “We think there is so much potential for our libraries to work together more closely in the future,” Nickel said in an email. “We’ve already spoken with WRL about events in the fall that we would like to partner on, like Frankenreads (a celebration of the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein).” Crowther finds this partnership to be a natural progression of the institutions’ relationship with each other. “I think that libraries historically, whether you’re an academic or a public library, we try to think of the end user and what’s going to be best for them and so I don’t think the idea of libraries working together is all that unusual,” Crowther said. The partnership agreement extends from Jan. 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019. Representatives from each institution will meet quarterly to review the agreement and discuss any potential new opportunities for collaboration. Once the current agreement expires, Fowler, Cooper and their respective partnership teams will revise the document if need be and decide whether to renew it for another year.
Congressional candidates debate policy in Young Democrats’ forum Second district hopefuls discuss personal qualifications, single payer healthcare plans GRACIE HARRIS FLAT HAT PHOTOS EDITOR
Wednesday, April 11, the College of William and Mary Young Democrats hosted a candidate forum for the two democratic primary nominees for Virginia’s second congressional district, Karen Mallard and Elaine Luria, in partnership with the Williamsburg James City County Democrats. Each candidate was allowed an opening statement of three minutes, after which the Young Democrats executives took turns asking questions, and both candidates were allowed two minutes to answer. The candidates answered questions on issues such as higher education reform and healthcare as well as climate change and the political diversity of the district. Audience questions were not taken, and the questions did not pit the candidates against each other, but instead allowed the audience to listen to the differences between each candidate’s platform. Mallard began her opening statement by highlighting her three decades of teaching experience. She emphasized her focus on working and military families, and her support for increased minimum wage, unions and universal healthcare. “One of my main themes is to fight for working families,” Mallard said. “I’m a coal miner’s daughter from Cowan, Virginia, and I grew up in a working class family. I watched my dad struggle, he did everything to provide for us, so I understand the struggle of working class families. When dad got the union job, our lives improved so much … that union job meant so much to my family. I’m a union daughter, I’m a union member, and that’s why I’m so supportive of unions.” Luria emphasized several points during her opening statement,
touching on the current climate in Washington, D.C. and her experience as a small business owner and in the U.S. Navy. “I feel like my life’s work has been protecting our country and keeping our nation safe,” Luria said. “That’s work I’d like to continue as your next congresswoman.” Questions from Young Democrats executives generally followed democratic party lines and included issues such as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals protections for students, reproductive rights for women, funding for the National Rifle Association and gun control. Because of this, differences in the candidate’s responses were often subtle, and the closing statements allowed each candidate the freedom to express their priorities for the district. Luria’s closing statement emphasized that her experience enables her to hold U.S. President Donald Trump and his administration accountable. “The threats that we’re seeing today to American democracy will end here in the second district,” Luria said. “We really need people in Washington who will hold this administration accountable, and I’m the person that can do that. But first, we need to win this seat in November, and I’m the candidate who can do that. I spent my Navy career, I led my command, and I run my small business by a simple philosophy of ‘Be good and do good work.’ What I think is lacking in Washington and what Americans desperately need is people who are willing to be good and do good work. To find solutions that work for all American people.” Mallard’s closing statement underscored her experience as an educator and made references to Luria’s platform and past votes for House Representative Scott Taylor (R-Va.). “I’m a dedicated democrat that’s knocked thousands of doors
last year alone to help send a blue wave to Richmond,” Mallard said. “And we have an opportunity to get legislation passed that reflects our true democratic party values. I’ve been a member of the Virginia Education Association and I’ve served on the political action committee for decades. When I went to vote in 2016, I made sure I knew where he stood on all of the issues and I made an informed vote. As your congresswoman, I will continue to do my homework and make informed votes and make sure that every single vote that I make as your representative in congress, I consider the impact on your life.” Several members of the audience, including community member Dalila Johnson and Billy Moncure ’17, expressed their concerns about Elaine Luria’s platform and her overall electability, as well as disappointment that she was not asked why she voted for Taylor. “[Luria]’s not for single payer [healthcare], and how can you not be?” Johnson said. “Single payer is one of the most important pieces of legislation of our time, and look, she’s a tricare member. What is tricare? Single payer, that’s all it is. … She doesn’t believe in $15 an hour, and to me that’s important. It’s just really sad, this is core dem. This is the progressive thing.” Moncure’s primary concern lies with Luria’s voting history. “If you can’t win the general election, then what’s the point?” Moncure said. “I already supported [Karen Mallard], and I had seen her speak before, but as I said Elaine Luria’s vote for Scott Taylor is kind of a huge negative for me because I think it creates this credibility issue but also this massive electability issue and I’m definitely disappointed that that question wasn’t asked. ... I wanted to hear how Elaine Luria would answer that question and find out how she thinks she’s going to avoid having that cripple her electability because I think it does.”
VOX, LASU host ‘Translateathon’ to help Spanish-speaking patients Event improves accessibility, understanding of medical documents through translation MAGGIE MORE FLAT HAT VARIETY ASSOC. EDITOR
Friday, April 13 starting at 2 p.m., members of the College of William and Mary’s chapter of VOX: Voices for Planned Parenthood and the Latin American Student Union sat in the colorful lounge areas of the Spanish House for two hours, translating medical forms from English into Spanish. The “Translateathon” was a collaborative event held by the two student organizations in an effort to help Tidewater Physicians for Women, a women’s health clinic based in the Tidewater region of Virginia. Surrounded by chips, salsa and Skittles, student volunteers employed their knowledge of the Spanish language, looking up unfamiliar medical jargon in texts provided by members of VOX. Their goal was to improve access to information about women’s health for members of the Spanish-speaking Latinx community. The information ready for translation focused primarily on maternal health and contraceptives. LASU President Carolina Lopez ’20 said that she was involved in the event because she wanted to help the Hispanic community in Williamsburg. “When we think of Williamsburg, we don’t think of a huge Hispanic population, but they’re there,” Lopez said. “And if we can just provide two hours of our Friday to help them in any way possible, I said ‘why not.’” The idea originated at the end of last year through a former executive member of VOX who reached out
to local women’s health clinics to see if they needed documents translated. In the beginning of the spring semester, VOX Vice President Jessica Seidenberg ’19 and current VOX member and outgoing LASU Vice President Vanesa Martinez-Chacon ’18 reached out to each other to begin the project. “[Jessica] had emailed a bunch of places, and then [Tidewater Physicians for Women] actually responded, and were like, ‘We’d love for you to do it!’” MartinezChacon said. For Martinez-Chacon, the event was about creating more spaces for Spanish-speaking Latinx individuals to feel comfortable. “It’s important because we don’t have an official language in the United States, and there’s people who for various reasons, they still have not learned English, or can’t learn English,” Martinez-Chacon said. “So it’s really important to give people access to medical material especially.” Patients who speak limited English have to rely on others to help them communicate effectively with their doctors. When hospitals don’t have a professional translator available, the patients often have to turn to a relative with better English skills to translate for them. Missing pieces of information can often lead to serious miscommunications, which can result in medical complications and harm to patients. The necessity for clear communication becomes even more vital when dealing with sensitive, personal operations like labor procedures or abortions. Therefore, the link between translation, access
and safe medical practice is a very important one, according to VOX Publicity Chair Emma Silverman ’20. “Communication errors are one of the most prominent issues in healthcare, especially when trying to talk between a clinician and patient,” Silverman said. “And there’s been a lot of studies that prove that if we just had actual interpreters, instead of ad hoc interpreters, it would just be easier on so many levels.” The “Translateathon” aimed to help mitigate some aspects of the problem by translating vital medical forms, sourced from the Tidewater Physicians clinic, into Spanish, so that Spanish-speaking patients can understand exactly what they are consenting to. Spanish speakers with skill levels ranging from intermediate to native fluency paired up to translate, chatting in both English and Spanish as they worked. The collaboration between members helped to solve some of the challenges of translation, such as consistency in word usage, given that there are many variations of the Spanish language. “We have so many different words to say the same thing,” Lopez said. “We want to keep it as objective and uniform as possible.” It also helped members identify unfamiliar medical terms. “A lot of us don’t know what the medical terms mean in English, so it’s hard to know if you’re translating them right into another language,” Seidenberg said. “We got lucky because there’s a medical interpretations class [at the College].” Hispanic studies professor Paulina Carrion,
who the event organizers reached out to, teaches Medical Interpretation. They said Carrion responded enthusiastically. “This is a class that provides a framework to students on the reasons why this profession (medical interpreters) is needed and how they should be trained to respect the cultures of the individuals that are involved in the process,” Carrion said in an email. “At the same time it provides to the students with different techniques, code ethics, and the understanding of the role of the interpreter. ... There is a big need of bilingual information all over the place, specially in education and medical environments.” She also offered to proofread the translated documents before they were sent back to Tidewater Physicians for Women. “[Her reading of the documents] is really important, because this can be life or death kind of stuff.” Seidenberg said. “So we’re not about to hand some shadily translated documents over to this clinic.” Many of the participants felt that the event was very important and hoped both clubs would hold another “Translateathon” in the future, perhaps expanding beyond women’s healthcare into other areas of medicine, or into other fields like education. “This is a very important issue that not many people know about,” Silverman said. “And I think some people are often at a loss for what to do, and here is an easy example of how students can be involved, and how you can help in your communities.”
The Flat Hat
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Marshall-Wythe School of Law drops in rankings Low cost per student, consistent class size contribute to increased cost for College Each year, people make predictions about which movies will win Oscars, which stars will collect a new Grammy and which team will take home the Stanley Cup. And every year, law enthusiasts from all over the United States tune in to the U.S. News Report to catch the new rankings for all 203 law schools across the country. U.S. News releases its official rankings in mid to late March every year, and the numbers play a large role in the recruiting and admissions process during the application season that follows. Over the past four years, the College of William and Mary’s MarshallWythe School of Law has fallen from the 25th position in 2015 to position 41 in 2018, making only a small comeback to position 37 in the most recent 2019 rankings. How important are they really? Director of Research for Above the Law, a prominent law blog, Brian Dalton said the U.S. News rankings play a significant role in the recruiting and admissions process each year and that the rankings can even have an impact on operational decisions made by law school administrations. “It’s hard to almost overstate how important they are,” Dalton said. “The influence of the U.S. News rankings is massive and has kind of a distorting effect on the way people perceive and look at law schools, and it also affects the behavior of institutions, which I can’t imagine that anyone thinks is a good thing.” Law schools are ranked each year by the U.S. News Report according to four main categories: quality assessment, selectivity, placement success and faculty resources. The College’s law school consistently ranks among the top 50 law schools which includes institutions such as Yale University, Harvard University and the University of Virginia. The College’s law school averages rankings in the upper 20s to mid-30s. Dean and Arthur B. Hanson Professor of Law Davison Douglas said that while he believes the U.S. News rankings are imperfect and lack competition, they are important to constituents of the College’s law school, and it is consequently important to do well in them. “They’re important because there are certain constituencies that think they’re important: students, admitted students, some alumni,” Douglas said. “So, because those are important constituencies for us, it’s important to do well in U.S. News.” However, in 2015, the College’s law school’s ranking started steadily decreasing, which could be attributed to a lower cost-perstudent ratio or falling LSAT scores. Why did the College fall? Douglas said the drop in rankings was due mainly to the College’s low cost per student. “I think one of the biggest things that hurts us is a category of dollars that you spend per student and the education that you provide to your students,” Douglas said. “We are a low-cost law school. We hold our cost down; we think that’s good. Our
students have to borrow a lot less than most law students do. ... But, there’s a downside to that. The down side is we’re spending less dollars per student.” Expenditures per student fall under the faculty resources umbrella in U.S. News. Its total weight is 1.5 percent. The category
It’s hard to almost overstate how important they are. The influence of the U.S. News rankings is massive and has kind of a distorting effect on the way people perceive and look at law schools, and it also affects the behavior of institutions, which I can’t imagine that anyone thinks is a good thing.
HEATHER BAIER FLAT HAT VARIETY EDITOR
- Director of Research for Above the Law Brian Dalton
includes instruction, library and othrt supporting services, as well as financial aid given to students. The College’s law school does fall below many schools in average tuition. For a full-time residential student, the College’s law school’s tuition is on average $5,158 less than than the mean tuition of all other law schools in the United States. Another factor that drove the ranking down was that the College’s law school maintained a consistent class size despite a large fall in applications after the 2008 recession. Douglas said other law schools compensated by decreasing their class sizes, which effectively increases costs spent per student. “They were dramatically decreasing their classes because when
Lambda to restructure as coalition New organization meant for larger student group RAINBOW from page 1
organized discussions, movie-showings, speakers and major events like Pride, Queer Night of Expression and Queer Prom, and students can be involved with as many or as few events as they choose. The Rainbow Coalition student leadership would be made up of a president, a treasurer/ public relations chair, the Student Assembly undersecretary for LGBTQIA affairs, an education chair, an activism chair, a queer and trans people of color (QTPOC) chair and a trans/non-binary affairs chair. These positions would include working closely with administrative facilitators at the CSD and the LGBT Implementation Team. The applications for Rainbow Coalition executive board in its first year will be reviewed and decided by Patton. In following years, they will be decided by elections. Patton said in the process of reviewing applications that she will be looking for candidates with a clear understanding of the
mission and vision of the organization, as well as a broad knowledge of intersectionality and of serving LGBTQ+ students from diverse backgrounds. “I know one of the things a lot of folks are really excited about is the QTPOC positions,” Patton said. “Because for a long time, queer and trans people of color on this campus have felt a lack of representation. So making sure that the folks who are looking at how we create this big picture community are ready to take on that task or at least open to some solid mentoring to make sure that that’s what happening.” However, Lambda won’t be vanishing somewhere over the rainbow — it will become a Rainbow Coalition affinity group with a social focus, and continue to have weekly meetings. A majority of executive members in Rainbow Coalition can vote to approve an affinity group, and the process to grant the Lambda Alliance affinity group status is already being expedited by Student Leadership Development and is expected to be approved early next academic year.
COURTESY PHOTO / SAMANTHA WHITE
Ifeoma Ayika ’21 reads a poem she authored at the Lambda Alliance’s Pride 2018: Queer the Air, Friday April 6.
you shrink your class, your dollars per student go up, and we weren’t doing that,” Douglas said. “Now we did do it this past year — we cut our class. Our class until the past year was averaging, you know, 215 probably this year 183, and that happened for a number of reasons, but it has the benefit [that] our dollars spent per student went up because we had fewer students.” The College’s law school did decrease its most recent class size slightly to compensate for the fall in applications. This increases dollars spent per student, and according to Director of the William and Mary Financial Aid Office Joe Dobrota, it should increase the amount available in grants and scholarships for students. “It may impact what the school would be able to give,” Dobrota said. “If their budget is based upon X number of students but only Y number of students show up, they may have over-projected how much they can give in aid and still maintain the level income they need to run the schools, so that could potentially have an impact down the line.” A changing market for legal services Following the recession of 2008, all law school across the United States experienced a sharp decline in the number of applications. Dalton said this was mainly due to a drop in the demand for lawyers among larger law firms. “There was of course the recession about 10 years ago that had an enormous impact on the legal employment market,” Dalton said. “There was a real contraction in demand for lawyers — particularly we’re talking about what we think of as big law, large law firms — and that those jobs, they’re just not going to come back to the levels that we saw like in 2006 - 07.” The College’s law school experienced a drastic fall in its number of applications, particularly between the years of 2013 and 2014; however the fall did not impact the general admissions process. Douglas said that the College’s law school’s national reputation and ability to attract students from a number of different states protected against the drop in applications. “Well, it didn’t affect us at all,” Douglas said. “The schools that really got hurt in the drop of applicants were the schools that basically drew most of their students from the state in which they were located, and that wasn’t the case for us.” What has changed over recent years is that the class size and the 25th percentile LSAT scores of admitted students have both decreased. The average class size has previously remained stable at about 205 to 210 students, but the newest class consists of 183 students. “Part of what happens when applications begin to drop nationally, what correlatesd with that is the LSAT scores of students applying to law school also dropped,” Douglas said. Application numbers have never recovered to their totals before the recession, and the College’s law school intends to maintain its smaller class size going forward. Keeping class sizes lower increases the chances of graduates being hired, which in turn improves the U.S. News ranking. It also increases the dollars spent by students, allowing the College’s law school to improve its rankings without increasing student tuition and fees.
Opinions Editor Ethan Brown Opinions Editor Katherine Yenzer email@example.com
The Flat Hat
| Tuesday, April 17, 2018 | Page 5
Dining halls need change
FLAT HAT GUEST COLUMNIST
GRAPHIC BY ANGELA VASISHTA / THE FLAT HAT
Term ‘panic attack’ should not be used casually
Katherine Yenzer FLAT HAT OPINIONS EDITOR
Recently, when a friend of mine was describing the stress that she felt while studying for one of her midterm exams she said, “I thought I was going to have a panic attack.” As someone who has struggled with anxiety for the majority of my life, I took her statement seriously. I asked if she was OK, and if she had a history of panic attacks; she looked at me like I was crazy. “I was just being dramatic,” she explained, dismissing the conversation and moving on to a different topic. After that incident I began to notice more and more how frequently people in my life misuse the term “panic attack.” People were using it as a synonym to mean stressed out, or worried, when in reality, for people who suffer from panic attacks, they are unfortunately so much more than feeling stressed. While panic attacks depend on the individual, when I have one it feels as if my whole body is shutting down. I cannot breathe regularly, I cannot speak and I feel like I am going to throw up. My hands shake, my vision blurs, my ears ring and I begin to feel as if I am never going to feel normal again. Even just describing the feeling on paper is making my palms sweat. Panic attacks are horrible, and while not everyone has the same symptoms as I do, they are horrible for everyone who has them. I would not wish a panic attack, or anxiety for that matter, on anyone. Panic attacks are not to be taken lightly and they are most definitely not synonymous
with the stress one may feel over a midterm or a paper. While academic stress is certainly not fun, it is not on the same level as a panic attack. Regular stress is nowhere near how a panic attack feels. Frankly, I never thought that was something that needed to be explicitly said, but here we are. I remember every panic attack that I have had in my life. I remember vividly how each one felt, where I was when it happened and how long each one lasted. Panic attacks are, unfortunately, extremely memorable. They are shaking events that can take hours, days or even weeks to get over. When someone uses the term “panic attack” incorrectly, it upsets me for several reasons. First, it is unbelievably insensitive. By using a term that is as serious as this one is to describe your late-night cram session at Swem is frankly unacceptable. Using the term in that context diminishes the seriousness of panic attacks. Second, it can be and is extremely triggering for people who suffer from panic attacks. Every time someone casually throws around the term, I am brought back to every time I have had a panic attack. I do not enjoy thinking about those incidents, but sometimes just the word can bring back miserable memories. People who care about those who suffer from anxiety and panic attacks should work to remove the term from their everyday vocabulary. I know it can be difficult to change a habit, but for the sake of others, please do. I know some may think that I am being too sensitive, but the misuse of the term panic attack is, in its essence, disrespectful to people who are struggling with issues of mental health. While not all individuals who suffer from panic attacks are bothered by the misuse of the term, I can promise that I am not the only one. If you notice yourself regularly misusing the term, please work to stop. It could save someone you know from having to relive some of the worst moments of their life. Email Katherine Yenzer at firstname.lastname@example.org
Regular stress is nowhere near how a panic attack feels. Frankly, I never thought that was something that needed to be explicitly said, but here we are.
A few weeks ago, I went to the Caf for dinner with some friends. The man who swiped my card that day made a joke and said, “For an extra $8 you can have the ribs.” I promptly laughed at this absurd statement, considering my meal swipe is supposed to give me access to everything inside the dining hall. However, to my disbelief, as I walked in, I saw a station where staff were taking receipts as proof of purchase for the $8 ribs. Now, one might expect if ribs are going to be charged extra in addition to a meal swipe, that they would be large, meat-filled, and flavorful racks that could’ve came from a barbecue restaurant. This was not the case. The way food is handled here at the College of William and Mary is interesting. We have fantastic dining services staff here, but for some reason, the food is lackluster. I have talked to many people about the food here, including professors, and everyone agrees that it’s not great. The faculty, if they have a catered event or meeting with food, are legally bound to have it catered by Sodexo. All of our food here is managed by Sodexo, whether it be the convenience stores (in the Caf or in Sadler), or the dining dollars they so graciously allow us to use at off-campus locations.
I have so much faith in our dining staff to cook us more personal meals, recipes they know and love and not ones that are regulated by Sodexo. From what I’ve heard, our campus is locked into a contract with Sodexo for a certain number of years, at which point the College will either renew the contract or provide food for us through another vendor. Essentially, I am confused as to why we are using a third party as a conduit for our food. It’s clearly not working, I don’t enjoy it and my friends don’t enjoy it either. I have so much faith in our dining staff to cook us more personal meals, recipes they know and love and not ones that are regulated by Sodexo. If I go to the omelet station at Sadler, I know that I’m about to have a great meal. Miss Regina cooks the best omelets I’ve ever had, and I attribute that to her wonderful ability to cook. So why do we have Sodexo? I’ve lost count of the number of times I have heard, “Sadler sucks today, let’s go to Caf …” only to hear at the following meal, “Man, Caf wasn’t that great either.” I hear all the time from my friends at Virginia Tech about how amazing their food is, and how they gained their freshman 15 in their first semester alone. Meanwhile, I lost 15 pounds before winter break and Sadler is on its third day in a row serving some sort of pork dish at every station but the vegan station. Our food needs to change. On the bright side, it is starting to. The Caf has been introducing new, healthier meals, which are widely appreciated. What I saw at the Caf that day were 10 tiny clumps of cold, almost meatless bones. As I walked out, I looked at the ribs station to see not a single soul lined up for them. I wonder why. Email John Seager at email@example.com
Gender norms, stereotypes must be fixed at College Anna Boustany
FLAT HAT OPINIONS ASSOC. EDITOR
When I came to the College of William and Mary, I naively expected that stereotypes would be nonexistent. Finally, I would be in a place where I could be free to be myself.. After all, my secondary education had been very different, as gendered expectations were prevalent. I remember realizing for the first time in seventh grade that something was wrong with the fact that I had leg hair. The members of the junior varsity soccer team were discussing how they shaved their legs, and I sat in the corner, unaware that I was even “supposed to” shave. Since then, I haven’t gone more than a week or two without shaving my legs, and I haven’t the slightest idea
of what my legs would look like with grownout hair. In high school, I told myself I shaved because I liked how my legs felt when they were smooth. In honest truth, I only shaved because everyone else did. If I had allowed the hair on my legs to simply exist, I would have been judged and gossiped about. Despite the fact that we were all literally cutting off our hair it became normal because everyone did it. When I came to the College, it was the first time I met people who didn’t care, who thought that not shaving your legs was just as normal as shaving your legs. Among my friends at the College, both those who choose to shave and those who don’t, I have seen a great deal of self-love and acceptance. However, the majority of the women I know choose to shave their legs, and so it’s still the norm here. Those who choose not to shave their legs have to answer questions about why they choose to let their leg hair grow. Something that shouldn’t be revolutionary is, and they have to be willing and ready to answer for their actions.
Gender norms are weird and confusing and we should strive to do better than reinforcing societal stigmas about how to “be a woman.” I still shave my legs. To be frank, I am not yet brave enough to go that much outside of the norm, as enough of my life is constantly questioned. I don’t know how to dress well or
wear makeup, and so shaving my legs has given me a tiny way to fit in into what is considered normal femininity. But the College should not be reinforcing this societal stigma, and the fact that we do is disappointing. Gender norms are weird and confusing, and we should strive to do better than reinforcing societal stigmas about how to “be a woman.” Shaving your body hair should be a choice that one feels completely free to make, regardless of gender, and without fear that it will cause one to be viewed in a negative light. I know just saying how things should be fixes nothing, but this is the sort of issue that needs every person to commit to working on changing their mindset. My own mindset has been shaped by what society deems normal for men and women. When I see someone outside of that mold, my first reaction can sometimes be to judge them. Instead of judgement, we all ought to take a moment to appreciate people finding beautiful and different ways to express themselves in whatever form that may take, and seek to make the College a more accepting place for everyone. Email Anna Boustany at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Flat Hat
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Urging realism in career goals
FLAT HAT OPINIONS EDITOR
GRAPHIC BY SIRI TUPURANI / THE FLAT HAT
Inclusive atmosphere on campus must extend to centrists
FLAT HAT GUEST COLUMNIST
Before I begin I would like to clarify that it is not my intention to tell you that my political beliefs are right or that I know better than my fellow students at the College of William and Mary. These beliefs are what works best for me, and like any beliefs, they are subjective. You are entitled to believe what you will. However, I would like to criticize how many people approach dealing with other people’s opinions, especially if those views held are in the minority. I was raised a moderate Republican, fostered by a liberal education. Every time I go to upstate New York to visit my strongly conservative extended family I feel very liberal, and every time I’m on campus I feel very conservative. Basically, I’m a centrist, and occasionally an anarchist. I think politics are nothing without compromise and am very disappointed by how divided the two-party system has made our country. This is problematic, especially on a college campus, where the mentality begins to feel like “us or them.” I understand why people can hate Donald Trump as a president, but it goes too far for people to hate Trump supporters. While I am not a Trump supporter (in fact, I am a
strong proponent of write-ins), I think there is an unfair bias towards them. This prejudice prevents people from compromising or at least even making an attempt to understand their opponent’s perspective. Despite not being a Trump supporter, I have experienced prejudice for simply owning a “Donald Trump Presidential License” that I bought for four dollars as a gag so I could joke about having a fake ID. I have a passion for political satire and am currently writing a musical about the 2016 election, because whether you like it or not, Donald Trump is comedy gold. A few friends of mine were talking about someone, and one person mentioned this person was a Trump supporter, which instantly fostered a response of pure disgust, as if this one detail was enough to classify this person as an awful human being. Nearly every college campus likes to flaunt its diversity, but when it comes to political opinions, diversity appears to be lacking at the College, or at the very least people who hold opinions that don’t conform to the majority are far less vocal, and for very good reason. All I know is that if I were a Trump supporter, I don’t think I would feel very comfortable sharing it. Ultimately, the only way to achieve compromise is if people are able to share their beliefs without immediate scorn. We can’t fix the divide in our country if we can’t find a middle ground, and that means we have to communicate and it means we have to listen. Don’t expect someone to try to see the world from your perspective if you aren’t willing to do the same for them. We are all guilty of prejudice, and if we are truly going to be one tribe, we have to act like it. I’m not saying that everyone should become a centrist (although I wouldn’t be against it). All I am saying is to stop treating any point of view that isn’t yours as the enemy. Email Dylan Koury at email@example.com.
When I arrived at the College of William and Mary last year for freshman orientation, I was astonished by the sheer number of students that expressed interest in pursuing majors in government or international relations. For a brief period, I was one of them myself. In high school, I was student council president, participated actively in Model United Nations, and casually canvassed for a couple political campaigns. Those passions lent themselves well to studying government or international relations, so I eagerly signed up for Introduction to International Politics for the fall semester. Two semesters later, I have no complaints with the government department. On the contrary, I have thoroughly enjoyed both Introduction to International Politics and Introduction to Comparative Politics and genuinely believe that the College’s government professors are among the more talented individuals in our undergraduate faculty. Most of the government majors I’ve met here are passionate, driven and devoted to meaningful change. However, I am consistently frustrated by a minority of government students who refuse to let their supposed political prowess go unnoticed. On multiple occasions, I have overheard conversations where freshman government students at the College eagerly declare their interest in serving in the U.S. Senate. Some are confident that they’ll be selected as ambassadors, while others proclaim their future run for the presidency and speak ad nauseum about becoming the commander in chief. As someone who deeply fears not getting a job after graduation, I feel these students speak about their careers with an uncomfortably high level of certainty considering they have yet to graduate and have made only incremental progress toward the completion of their majors. To put it gently, it is statistically improbable for every government student here to become a congressional representative. Becoming an ambassador for the State Department is an rare privilege. We live in a competitive and unpredictable world, where nothing is professionally guaranteed. Having long-term professional goals is important, and I love that people at the College have such enthusiastic aspirations. Setting high goals is something we should all strive for. However, declaring your upcoming run for the presidency or expressing your earnest intention to serve in the nation’s highest legislative body is presumptuous and self-aggrandizing. Maybe you can disregard my opinion entirely and become a misogynist real estate mogul with a god-awful reality television show. Knowing this country, it’ll probably get you elected. Email Ethan Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Petition fosters dialogue on FDA policy
FLAT HAT GUEST COLUMNIST
When confronting systems of oppression, it is important for those who represent marginalized identities to know the tactics of the oppressor. The subtle ones are, of course, the most dangerous to confront. One of these tactics is often known as “respectability politics.” When an oppressed group reacts in a disruptive manner to a policy, action or presence it deems unjust, the oppressor seizes upon this reaction as an example of why the oppressed group does not “deserve” the removal of the oppression. At a minimum, oppressive figures make pleas for civility and decorum, as if either of these two concepts should be prized over justice and freedom. The battle on how best to confront this disarming technique has raged in marginalized communities for ages. This might all feel a bit abstract and remote, but these concerns manifest themselves in tropes and themes that those who fight for social justice navigate every day: the “gays shoving ‘x’ down everyone’s throats,” the “angry black woman” and the “lazy, entitled poor.” I have recently begun circulating a petition on this campus to encourage the Food and Drug Administration to reconsider its 12-month celibacy mandated exclusively on men who have sex with men, as it isn’t evidence-based and is flagrantly discriminatory. In my endeavor to spread awareness and make changes with this ban, I’ve sympathized with both sides of the respectability politics argument. People expressed concern that I would somehow hurt the Red Cross and other blood drive groups’ donation efforts if I voiced concern about my discrimination. I’m not blind to the consequences of my actions. The United States is in a blood shortage, and we cannot take actions lightly when they might affect the safety of the blood supply or disincentivize people from donation. But I was angry and indignant that somehow I was expected to keep my mouth shut to avoid rocking the boat. I couldn’t help but draw parallels to the challenges of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policies in the U.S. military, policies that many advised should remain in place to prevent the U.S. armed forces from falling apart at the seams due to decreased unit cohesion or some such horse manure. Several years later, service members can express their queer identities and the armed forces are as robust as ever (depressingly enough). In these two situations, there’s an assumption that one person’s rights are not as important as somebody maybe possibly getting hurt, even if the scientific facts don’t back that hypothetical scenario up. On the other hand, however, I wrestled with the impulse to correct another queer man about their way of addressing the problem. I opened up The Flat Hat last week to witness an article trumpeting that “Red Cross Policy” was the culprit in the blood ban. As someone who had just left a meeting with the campus Red Cross executive board, this concerned me, to say the least. But was it my place to police how this person was expressing their anger and sorrow from an experience that they had at a Red Cross blood drive? Would it do more good in the long run for me to correct this person? Was I being a miniature version of the people who told me not to rock the boat? I’m still not sure, exactly, but I hope writing this article can explain some of the conflicting feelings I have experienced on the subject. For the record, the ban on sexually active men who have sex with men donating blood for at least 12 months from their last sexual encounter is a federal one set by the FDA, and all agencies that collect blood must obey it, though they can certainly agitate for the FDA to change it. I strongly recommend that you, dear reader, go call them and tell them to do so. Hopefully you will be hearing more about the petition soon. I am proud to say all kinds of campus organizations, including Lambda, HOPE, Red Cross, and more will be on board with its message. And it’s still going to pack a punch. That’s the tightrope that we must walk. Email John Hollander at email@example.com.
Variety Editor Heather Baier Variety Editor Carmen Honker firstname.lastname@example.org
The Flat Hat
| Tuesday, April 17, 2018 | Page 7
Growing Roots Planting, saving, protecting rare, endangered trees on campus SARAH SMITH // FLAT HAT EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Outside Ewell Hall, in a small corner warmed by the College of William and Mary’s underground steam tunnels, grow two windmill palms — the northernmost palm trees on the East Coast. Nearby, in the Crim Dell Meadow, there are two dawn redwood trees, which until 1946 were thought to have been extinct for 13 million years. When plant explorers in Szechuan, China brought back seeds, some found their home on campus. What do these trees — and all the others that have taken root at the College — have in common? Many were planted, researched and organized by former biology professors John Baldwin and Bernice Speese. These professors, and those who have followed them in the study of botany, treated the campus as a laboratory for growing unusual, rare or just unlikely woody species. Then, they started taking their students on tours of their work. There are now approximately 300 species and varieties of woody plants across campus, used both as an archive of research and as a teaching tool for faculty in the biology department. This selfguided tour, which includes 15 locations, has since been named the Baldwin Memorial Collection of Woody Species by the Board of Visitors. While the original contributors to this project are now gone, the Gardens and Grounds division of Facilities Management now cares for the specimens in the collections. Arborist Matthew Trowbridge spends his days taking care of the woody species and assisting others in their research. “What we do is attempting to make sure that the trees are safe, and we want them to be healthy so they are still making the campus look as nice as possible,” Trowbridge said. “The third thing is that we want them to be aesthetically pleasing.” Trowbridge said that no two days of his job are the same — within the Gardens and Grounds division, only Trowbridge and his assistant Bob Chretien specialize in taking care of the College’s trees. Trowbridge said he has been working here for 30 years, and that he has never regretted coming to work and is thankful for his job. “I started working here 30 years ago,” Trowbridge said. “I have never had a boring day. The 1150-1200 acres that the College owns have lots of trees and I never run out of things to do.” Trowbridge said that he just really loves trees, and that he always wants to make sure the trees stay safe. Over the years he has been working here, the construction of 27 new buildings on campus has required his crew to take down old trees. However, Trowbridge said that he recently has been able to replant some of these trees. Trowbridge is a certified arborist and has attended classes recently to learn more about trees and campus gardening. While at one presentation, he heard a real estate agent say that approximately 27-43 percent of a property’s net worth comes from the first impression that it makes. For this reason, he said that it is important to make sure the campus looks as beautiful as possible and that College administrators prioritize allocating money to beautify the grounds. While many of the trees on campus have historical significance, some are special to Trowbridge because of the personal history he has with him. One tree, a white mulberry between Jefferson Hall and Washington Hall, is one of his favorites. “In 1989 a storm had [the tree] fall apart and
I was told by my supervisor to take it down,” Trowbridge said. “I asked, ‘Why don’t we let it have character?’ I just watched it and maintained it, and we did put a concrete column under one of its branches. I used to see pictures of students laying on the branches and studying and that made me feel good. All of the trees are valuable and have character.” Another of his favorite trees is the linden tree that is behind Tucker Hall, near the cross walk across Richmond Road from Sorority Court. Trowbridge said that it’s often referred to as the “tunnel linden” because it drapes so low to the ground. When he was asked to take all of the big branches down, he made a compromise and just cut things to the height of his shoulders. “It’s like a church when you walk underneath it,” Trowbridge said. Trowbridge said that he likes to see students enjoying the trees, but that he has one request for students who hang their hammocks around campus. “If you are hanging your hammock on a thinbark tree, you should put a towel first and then put the strap around it before hanging hammocks,” Trowbridge said. “I don’t want them to damage the trees, but I do want them to be able to chill out and relax.” Before his death in 1974, Baldwin charged his colleague, biology professor Martin Mathes, with documenting the collection. Mathes inventoried the species, which resulted in him publishing a bound collection mapping each species across campus in 1987. He also wrote a second publication in 1992, looking at the history of vegetation on campus. Both are now available in the Earl Gregg Swem Library. The self-guided tour starts at the Sir Christopher Wren Building and ends back on Old Campus, although it includes stops in New Campus as well. Some of the more recent stops include the Integrated Science Center. Other stops, such as the Millington Hall greenhouse, have not yet been removed from the tour manual. The other stops include James Blair Hall, the Phillips Garden, the Wildflower Refuge, Ewell Hall and the Adams Garden. The Phillips Garden, located outside of Phi Beta Kappa Memorial Hall, was initially designed by a student, but has changed over the years. Some of the trees in this garden include a crape myrtle tree, a mugo pine tree, a weeping cedar of Lebanon tree and a blue ring juniper tree. Right near this garden are dogwood trees — Virginia’s state tree — and a grove of Cryptomeria trees. These trees were some of Baldwin’s favorites, and he is known for planting them all over the College’s campus and throughout the City of Williamsburg. “I like to think of Williamsburg as the Cryptomeria capital of America,” Baldwin said. It’s not just the biology department and facilities maintenance staff who are interested in the trees. Office of Undergraduate Admissions tour guides often share fun facts with prospective students about unique species on campus. One, Emily Saylor ’20, said she thinks it is fun to share these facts because they highlight the beauty of campus. “I do love to point out the palm trees outside of Ewell Hall,” Saylor said. “I think it’s so cool that they can grow this far north.”
HEATHER BAIER / THE FLAT HAT
sorwim c n y S E RT
The Flat Hat
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Synchronized swimmers jump for joy
JULIA STUMBAUGH // FLAT HAT SPORTS EDITOR
earning how to compete in the sport of synchronized swimming starts with something as simple as holding a tray. The swimmer holds their hands out in front of them. They turn their palms upward. They picture themselves balancing a tray on their palms, rubbing the bottom of the tray by quickly shifting their flat palms side to side. The movement will eventually become natural to them. This is important, because someday they’ll be doing the same thing in front of a crowd. Except then, there will be no tray, the swimmer will be upside down and underwater and that movement will be all that’s keeping them afloat as they extend their legs above water to the beat of the music pumping through the pool. With that, they’ll have learned “sculling,” one of the first techniques a newcomer will master as part of the College of William and Mary synchronized swimming team. “You have to be able to swim, and honestly, that’s it,” team member Sarah Miner ’19 said. “Please just know how to swim. We’ll teach you everything else.” Miner, in addition to Claire Flynn ’18, Cassie Chang ’19, ChiChi Ugochukwu ’20 and Yulia Buynova ’19, who is currently off the performance circuit due to injury, comprise the College’s synchronized swimming team. Some, like Flynn and Ugochukwu, had no experience with synchro prior to college and were drawn in by the freshman activities fair. “College is the time for experimenting,” Miner said. “So why not experiment with synchro?” On the other hand, some, like Miner and Chang, have been doing synchro for years. But however they got here, all of them have been brought together by a sport, as Buynova described it, that
is completely different from anything else. “I know being new to the sport there were a lot of days where it was really frustrating to not understand how to do things,” Ugochukwu said. “There’s definitely things you want to do, and you just can’t do it … That’s in a lot of sports, but with something so new, something so different, it’s a new experience.” The team spends the fall semester working on improving individual skills by practicing “figures,” which are individual movements that, when combined, make up a synchronized swimming routine. Miner compared this process to a gymnast rehearsing cartwheels to perfection. The fall semester caps off with a figures competition. In the spring, the real fun begins. The team travels across the country, competing everywhere from Florida to Arizona as its members work on the team, individual and partner routines they’ve been perfecting. The first step in organizing these routines is selecting the music. “We like to pick songs that the audience will know and get involved in,” Flynn said. Once that’s done, the choreography comes next. Choreographing a show, as a team or individually, involves what swimmers call “land drilling,” or mimicking underwater movements on land. For upsidedown parts of the routine, the choreographers use their arms to symbolize the movement of hips all the way down to the toes. For fullbody spins, finger snaps suffice. They find choreography inspiration in everything from YouTube videos to professional competitions. Then, of course, comes actually transferring those moves to the pool. “There are always changes made from the choreography that we make on land; and then once we put [it] in the water we realize we didn’t have enough to get here, or ‘this arm just looks really bad,’” Flynn said. “Or that it’s literally impossible,” Miner added. That choreography results in everything from incredible individual moves — a “split rocket” is when a swimmer shoots their body upward and does the splits before coming back down — to cadenced team movements — “cadenced ballet legs” involve the team members lining up and then staggering their movements to make a mesmerizing pattern, like a string of dominos toppling into the pool — to doubles routines — a “connect” involves two upsidedown swimmers using their knees and lower legs to grip on to the other person’s hips.
Respect strippers Exotic dancing often treated like a joke, deserves equal treatment
BEHIND CLOSED DOORS COLUMNIST
“I’m just going to drop out of school and become a stripper.” How many times have you heard this phrase frivolously fall out of someone’s mouth? Probably a lot. I’m definitely guilty of saying it and not considering the very real implications of my words. I couldn’t help but wonder: as a selfproclaimed feminist since the age of 14, why do I allow myself and those around me to make awful remarks that are meant to deeply shame other women for their sexual choices? It’s because I have been taught through media and the way that women are spoken about that if a woman is engaging in consensual sex work then she is inherently lesser. Obviously, that is not the case. I had to step back, take a second and reevaluate the way I was thinking about sex, women and feminism, because if my feminism is non-inclusive, then I am not a feminist. Simple. To call yourself a feminist and to be non-inclusive is to be a vegan who eats bacon. It just doesn’t work. Sex workers need to be included in a feminist narrative without turning their livelihood into a joke. Logistically, let’s be real. Exotic dancing is HARD. There are so many aspects of the job that need to be done well in order for it to be lucrative at all. The first is dancing. Exotic dancing is extremely difficult; if you can’t dance on beat at a basement frat party in dirty sneakers, what makes you think you could do it in front of people, in extremely high heels, well enough to be paid for it? That’s just the dancing. Add in a pole and you’re really in for it. It takes an immense amount of physical strength just to stay on the pole for a certain amount of time. And to look sexy doing it? It takes so much time, training, hard work and effort.
Even beyond the physical aspects, it takes a lot of mental energy as well. In order to succeed, you have to strategically think about what the client wants to see, and how to market yourself in order to make the maximum amount of money possible. You have to work the room and be as charming as possible (which means you have to be socially capable of engaging with strangers). So, unless you have amazing coordination, immense upper body strength and are able to market yourself to potential clients, you can’t just quit school and become a stripper. But you were never serious, that’s why it’s just a joke, right? Too bad it isn’t funny. It’s just a mean-spirited comment covered in a thin veil of humor. Unlike the “orange” knock-knock joke, this bad joke has very real consequences. It leads to the understanding that dancers are dumb, which is why people are so truly stunned when Cardi B or Amber Rose have anything intelligent to say. Because they are former dancers who are not trying to push their past into a dark closet, they’re dumb. Not just dumb, they’re dumb women. Let’s face it. No one talks about the fact that Chris Pratt, Brad Pitt and Javier Bardem used to be dancers. According to a study done by Old Dominion University in 2002, every single male respondent felt they had been positively affected by the community’s knowledge of their profession, but only 62 percent of female dancers felt positively supported by the community. This is unsurprising given the fact that the choices that women make are societally scrutinized, especially if sexuality is involved. The bottom line is that women need to respect other women. Everyone needs to respect women, no matter what their line of work is. Alijah W. is a Behind Closed Doors columnist who wants all professions to receive equal levels of respect. If you have a question that you would like answered in the next installment of “Behind Closed Doors,” please email it to email@example.com.
All of this has to be done in an itchy sequined suit, with unflavored gelatin shellacked through their hair. The swimmers have to hold a smile every time they rise above the surface. They have to keep their eyes wide open underwater. And, of course, all of this must be accomplished without ever touching the bottom of the pool. But wowing the audience makes all of it worth it. “I love when the judges will smile at me when I do a shoulder roll or a sassy wink or something,” Miner said. “People will laugh, and I think it’s so fun to connect with the audience that way.” At meets, the team is judged in three categories: execution, artistic impression and difficulty. An elite-level overall score usually averages in the 80s. At the collegiate level, teams of any level of proficiency can travel and compete. Under the direction of head coach Barbara McNamee, the College team has been traveling regularly to the national-level competition. There, the team members get to see some of the best synchronized swimming in the country, as well as show off their own love for the sport. “There’s a big emphasis in collegiate synchro on just growing the sport and getting as many people as possible involved in synchro,” Flynn said. “There’s a lot of different levels here, but they’re just so glad that everyone, regardless of their level, is just here and doing the sport.” This team is an expert in crowd-pleasing routines. This year’s production at nationals was Indiana Jones themed, and the big finish involved swimmers rising up from the water to tip their imaginary hats at the audience. “We’re not there to win nationals,” Miner said. “We’re there to do synchronized swimming, and we’re there because we love it.”
The Flat Hat
| Tuesday, April 17, 2018 | Page 9
College drops three in weekend series William and Mary was unable to overcome its season-long CAA woes, as it was demolished by James Madison over the weekend. COURTESY PHOTO / TRIBE ATHLETICS
Senior outfielder Ryan Hall had three hits in Friday’s game against the Dukes, but the Tribe fell 15-3 in the first game of the series.
The moment James Madison infielder Bradley McKay connected with a crack on senior reliever Charlie Fletcher’s final pitch in the bottom of the 10th inning Sunday, the crowd noise alone said that the game — and the series — had just ended. The single down the left field line drove in a JMU runner, closing out the game 4-3 in extra innings and finishing off a Colonial Athletic Association series sweep of William and Mary. After the Tribe (14-23, 3-9 CAA) was blown out by the Dukes (19-16, 5-7 CAA) in a 15-3 loss Friday, it suffered two more one-run losses Saturday and Sunday to go 0-3 on the weekend in Harrisonburg, Virginia. The series sweep started with a disappointing result Friday when, despite connecting for hits in all but two innings and getting seasonbest performances out of core batters in a CAA matchup, the College couldn’t convert hits into runs, falling to JMU in a 15-3 division loss. Despite the ultimate defeat, the College seemed to start out this weekend’s away series strong. Senior outfielder Ryan Hall connected for a lead-off single, which was immediately followed by another single from freshman infielder Matt McDermott. Junior infielder Colin Lipke came up to the plate to try and convert the two runners on base into a tally, but he hit into a double play. The College went on the defense in the bottom of the first with the game still tied at 0-0. Things spun out of control for the College in the bottom of the first. Despite an early strikeout, JMU squeezed five hits out of senior starting pitcher Bodie Sheehan in his second loss of the season. By the time Sheehan managed to strike out the final batter of the inning, the Tribe was already facing a 4-0 deficit. There was no comeback for the visiting team in the top of the second, as the JMU pitcher made quick work of the three College batters with two strikeouts and a flyout. In the bottom of the inning, the Dukes’ Fox Semones knocked a home run across the park to pad the home team’s lead to 5-0. In the top of the third, sophomore infielder Patrick Ryan made it to second on a wild pitch, but once again the College couldn’t get as far as third base. The situation continued to worsen for the Tribe in the bottom of the third as JMU added two more runs to its already impressive total. Down 7-0, the College needed a serious comeback effort if it was going to stay in the game. That effort finally came in the top of the fifth, when a walk and a wild pitch pushed junior infielder Jason
JULIA STUMBAUGH // FLAT HAT SPORTS EDITOR
Waldman all the way to second. The rest of the team stepped up to get Waldman his fourth run of the season, as a single from junior infielder Nick Butts and a ground out by junior outfielder Owen Socher got Waldman to home. Despite getting two more hits from Hall and Ryan after the Waldman tally, the inning ended without another run for the College, cutting JMU’s lead to 7-1. The Tribe added another run in the top of the sixth. Much like Waldman’s tally earlier, Lipke was pushed to second on a walk and a wild pitch. Waldman himself then pushed Lipke home with a double, cutting the Dukes’ lead to 7-2. JMU vanquished any hopes of a Tribe comeback in the next inning, however, with four runs, including three on a three-run homer, to pad its lead to 11-2. A wholesale change of outfield personnel couldn’t save the Tribe’s defense. The Dukes continued to dominate, putting up one run in the seventh and then three more in the eighth to pad their lead to an insurmountable 15-2. Down 13 runs in the top of the ninth, the Tribe wasn’t quite done yet. A double from sophomore first baseman Matthew Trehub scored Ryan, cutting the Dukes’ lead to 15-3. JMU then celebrated its win at home as the College headed off the field to prepare itself for redemption Saturday. JMU’s offense overwhelmed all three of the College’s pitchers Friday, shelling Sheehan in the first five innings with 11 hits and not allowing either relief pitcher to get away without any damage. Although the Tribe only trailed JMU in hits by seven, getting 11 of its own out of the two Dukes pitchers, it struggled to turn those hits into runs. Hall and Ryan led the College’s offensive effort with three hits each, which is each player’s best effort at bat so far this season. Saturday, an early run in the bottom of the first inning put the Tribe down 1-0. It rallied in the third inning, however, scoring three runs on hits from McDermott and junior catcher Hunter Smith, putting the Tribe up 3-1. It looked like the Tribe was well on its way to redeeming itself from the blowout loss the day before, but two JMU runs in the bottom of the fourth tied the game at 3-3, shaking the confidence of the visiting team. The College took the lead once more with a solid individual effort from McDermott, who singled and stole a base on his way to a tiebreaking run, putting the Tribe up 4-3. But JMU had an immediate, back-breaking answer, as both its first and second batters of the
inning hit back-to-back homers. The Dukes once again took the lead at 5-4. The Tribe had two more innings to try and find a tying run, but four strikeouts in its final two chances at bat sunk the team. The final score of 5-4 stood as JMU took the field to celebrate another win. Although the series had already gone to the Dukes, the College looked to salvage a crucial conference win Sunday in game three. JMU was the first to draw blood in Sunday’s matchup with two runs, including another homer, taking a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth. Hall wouldn’t let that lead stand, however, knocking a two-run homer over the fence in the next inning to immediately tie the game at 2-2. The College took its first lead of the match in the top of the seventh, as senior outfielder Craig McLane scored his seventh run of the season to bring the College ahead, 3-2. The Tribe didn’t get to savor that for long, however. Minutes later, the Dukes tied the game once again, making it 3-3. JMU got a runner to third in the bottom of the eighth, but the College held fast to push the game all the way into extra innings. In the top of the 10th, the College stepped up to bat with the chance to claim what would have been just its fourth conference victory of the season. But the Tribe couldn’t find that all-important run in extras. The only chance came from Lipke, who managed to eke a single out of the Dukes’ pitcher. But when Lipke was caught attempting to steal second, JMU got its shot on the offensive. It managed to convert almost immediately, only needing three at-bats to get a runner home, taking the 4-3 win and completing the weekend sweep. Although the Tribe had made the final two games of the weekend close ones, it couldn’t find a victory in either one-run opportunity. Like Hall and Ryan in Friday’s game, McDermott tied for his season-best batting performance with three hits in Saturday’s matchup. But despite impressive performances from these core parts of the College’s lineup, the Tribe’s conference record now falls to 3-9 on the season, making it the lowest ranked team in the conference. After a midweek matchup against Norfolk State, the College will travel to Boston for another CAA matchup in enemy territory against Northeastern. With only four conference series games remaining in the season, the Tribe will look to pick up some crucial victories as it builds on the positives from this weekend.
Tribe cruises over Charlotte
Andy Van Vliet: Williamsburg bound
College wins last regular season home matchup
Big man will be eligible for 2019-2020 season
ALYSSA GRZESIAK FLAT HAT EXECUTIVE EDITOR
KEVIN RICHESON FLAT HAT SPORTS ASSOC. EDITOR
Saturday, William and Mary welcomed Charlotte to a hot and windy Williamsburg. The Tribe (11-9) ultimately defeated the 49ers (12-14) in a 6-1 conquest. With this victory, the first match at the Millie West Tennis Facility this season, the College improves to 9-1 at home. “This is our first home match outside so we’ve had a lot of success indoors but to be able to play outside, you know, that was great,” head coach Jeff Kader said. The College jumped off with a 1-0 lead by securing the doubles point. Sophomore Brenden Volk and freshman Michael Chen dominated at the No. 2 spot with a 6-1 victory over Charlotte’s Benjamin Wayand and Leonardo Menezes. The Tribe duo of senior Christian Cargill and freshman Louis Newman followed close behind, defeating Oriol Puig Forne and Siem Fenne 6-2 at the No. 3 spot. Junior Tristan Bautil and senior Alec Miller’s match at the top spot went unfinished. “As much as we don’t like to say it’s chemistry between teams, that does come into play there,” Kader said. “Everyone that we have can play doubles and they can play doubles well, it’s just kind of figuring out which combos mesh the best and who compliments each other the best. And I think we’ve gotten that … It was really just finding those matchups and having them go out there and have some success. It’s been building off itself.” The Tribe started off strong in singles play with a 6-2, 6-3 win for Newman at the No. 3 spot. Freshman Finbar Talcott followed suit at the No. 4 spot, defeating Menezes 6-3, 7-5 after a hard-fought second set. Newman and Talcott’s success pushed the Tribe lead up to 3-0, one point away from a team win.
“The team as a whole played great today,” Volk said. “We rallied around our three seniors, obviously it’s a big moment, it’s their Senior Day. We all kind of just wanted to play for them, and I think we did.” Volk was the next to finish, with a 7-5, 6-2 win over Siem Fenne at the No. 6 spot. Close behind was senior Lars de Boer at the No. 5 spot, coming out on top 7-5, 6-3 against Charlotte opponent Forne. These matches called the contest in the College’s favor with a 5-0 lead. Both matches at the top positions went into third sets. At the No. 2 spot, Miller dropped a close first set 7-5 before taking the second set 6-2 against Wayand. Miller’s third set went into a long-fought super tiebreaker, where he came out victorious 1-0(8). “[Playing outside is] a bit of a challenge,” Miller said. “Definitely windy conditions, you know, courts have got a lot of pollen on them so they’re a little bit slick … but it’s always nice to be outside and to be at home. Can’t complain.” At the top spot, Cargill took the first set 6-4 before dropping the second set 6-1 to Luca Keist. Cargill lost the third set 6-4, marking Charlotte’s single point of the matchup. The Tribe will hit the road again Sunday to take on Old Dominion in Norfolk, Virginia. Following the match against the Monarchs, the College will head into the Colonial Athletic Association championship, currently with a 2-0 conference record. “I think that our guys as of right now are healthy, which is always a big thing towards the end of the year,” Kader said. “… Really if we’re feeling confident then I like our chances. And even if not I know that our guys are going to dig down and find a way to win. But I think going in there a little bit confident is certainly going to, hopefully, give us a little edge.”
Monday, Wisconsin junior Andy Van Vliet announced his decision to transfer to William and Mary. Van Vliet, who announced his intent to leave the Badgers and transfer after the 2017-18 season, is listed as being 7 feet tall and weighing 203 pounds. He will be a forward or center for the Tribe once he is eligible to play in the 2019-20 season. At Wisconsin, Van Vliet averaged 2.5 points per game over his career, along with 1.4 rebounds per game. He also shot nearly 48 percent from three-point range on limited opportunities during his career at Wisconsin. This past season he played in 17 games, starting four. He averaged 3.4 points per game and 1.4 rebounds per game. He posted career highs of 18 points and eight boards in a matchup with South Carolina State Nov. 10, 2017. However, he did not start after the first four games of the season and decided not to return to the Badgers. Last season, the Tribe signed graduate transfer Cole Harrison for one season of eligibility, adding depth to a depleted frontcourt after the departure of Jack Whitman ’17. However, with Harrison leaving, the Tribe only
has two experienced players in the frontcourt: sophomore forward Nathan Knight and junior forward Paul Rowley. Sophomore Justin Pierce is also listed as a forward, but in the Tribe offense, he tends to function more as a third guard. Van Vliet will be forced to sit out for the 2018-19 season per National Collegiate Athletic Association rules. During that season, Van Vliet will be able to practice with the team and work on conditioning and strength training. He will be eligible for only the 2019-20 season, when Knight will be a senior. He needs to put on weight, but has the potential to be a difficult player to guard in the post with athleticism to stretch the floor and length to provide shotblocking on the defensive end. This year’s recruiting class includes four talented players, but no one listed as taller than 6 feet and 6 inches. The College will once again struggle with depth at forward and center. If Knight gets into foul trouble, Rowley will likely be forced to play at the center position unless the Tribe can bring in another player at that position who is eligible for the 2018-19 season. The College will still have limited frontcourt depth this season, but the acquisition of Van Vliet sets the Tribe up for possible frontcourt success outside of Knight in the 2019-20 season.
For up-to-the-minute Tribe sports news, analysis, recaps and more, follow us on Twitter @FlatHatSports or visit flathatnews.com/category/sports.
Sports Editor Brendan Doyle Sports Editor Julia Stumbaugh ﬂathatsports@gmail.com @FlatHatSports
The Flat Hat ¦ Tuesday, April 17, 2018 ¦ Page 10
Thrower takes over College record book
Leia Mistowski has already broken every school record there is to break; now, she s coming for nationals. JULIA STUMBAUGH // FLAT HAT SPORTS EDITOR
The best 16 throwing performances in school history belong to Mistowski.
COURTESY PHOTOS / TRIBE ATHLETICS
It’s not hard to tell when senior track and field thrower Leia Mistowski is stepping up to throw: all observers have to do is listen to the crowd, where murmurs of “Watch her, this girl is really scary,” and “I heard she’s over 60 meters,” can be heard. The consensus among the viewers is clear: this thrower is the one to watch. Mistowski steps into the cage, plants her feet in the throwing circle and begins spinning until she blurs, whipping the hammer around her, faster and faster. When she releases it, the silver weight flashes in the midday sun as it soars across the throwing range, thudding violently back down to earth to dig a crater far past the other marks in the dirt from previous throwers’ attempts. On her very first throw of the day at the Colonial Relays, Mistowski has already created a new facility record. For other athletes, that might be a career accomplishment. But for Mistowski, who has been creating new school records since she first arrived at William and Mary four years ago, the focus after this weekend was still on where she could improve. “It’s still a work in progress,” Mistowski said. “I’m still learning new things every time I throw. It’s a never-ending learning experience.” Mistowski’s career in the hammer throw started when a coach, convinced that Mistowski was still growing into her height and would eventually become the tall athlete that is the ideal hammer thrower, had her try a throw for the first time. He hadn’t shown her the correct grip for a hammer throw — handle slotted in your gloved left hand, right hand stacked on top — and so she first tried swinging it around with her fingers interlocked and, a few frantic spins in, had no way to let go. “I helicoptered on to the throwing pad when I tried to release it,” Mistowski laughed. “And I remember my coach was like, ‘You’re supposed to let go of it at the end.’” That was her first lesson in hammer throwing, but there would be many more to come. Even though Mistowski never quite reached her expected height, her technical prowess and innate athletic ability have made up for her 5-foot-6-inch stature; she has played everything from basketball to softball to soccer to volleyball. “It’s actually relieving when you’re the shortest and you’re throwing the farthest, because that shows that hard work pays off,” Mistowski said. Part of that advantage comes from Mistowski’s work as a student at the College, where she’s majoring in kinesiology. Her love of throwing impacted her choice to major in the department, and now her studies have come to impact how she performs in the throwing circle.
“Doctor [Robert] Kohl in the kinesiology department talks a lot about practice variability, and I do that in varying the lengths of the wires I have and varying the weights of the ball,” Mistowski said. “It puts my body on its toes.” Mistowski spends much of her time practicing and working out in preparation for Tribe track’s many meets. The track athlete has a well-established game day routine. It begins with foam rolling, stretching and gritting her teeth through an ice bath the night before. Then, the morning of, before her customary turkey and ham sandwich, she straightens her hair and carefully applies her signature gold eyeliner. “Before I did green and gold,” Mistowski said. “But then I was like, it’s not working, I’m not throwing as far as I want, so I changed it.” Mistowski doesn’t like to get bogged down by superstitions, but sometimes it’s the little things that push a person to the heights Mistowski is aiming for. She qualified for the national finals of the hammer throw last year as a junior, putting her among the best 24 competitors in the country and qualifying her as an All-American thrower. Mistowski is aiming to do it again in 2018. Along the way to qualifying by placing in the top 12 throwers in the Eastern region, she hopes to break her personal record on the hammer throw, which currently sits at 62.03 meters. All 16 of the best performances on the hammer throw in school history belong to her, and two weeks ago, she was named the Colonial Athletic Association Athlete of the Week for the week of March 20. “My ultimate goal would be to throw 65 meters,” Mistowski said. That projected improvement is based off a general rule in track — the distance you throw indoors in feet generally matches up to what you are able to throw outdoors in meters. This year, Mistowski threw 65 feet indoors with the 20-pound weight, which should mean 65 meters outside isn’t far off. Those are big aspirations, but no one doubts Mistowski’s ability to achieve them, not even Mistowski herself. “I put a lot of pressure on myself,” Mistowski said. “But it’s because I know I’m capable of doing well.” Certainly no one who saw her blow the competition out of the water at the College’s home meet would be able to argue. As the results of the women’s championship throw were read, first place was already a foregone conclusion. “And with a new stadium record and a new Colonial Relays record,” the announcer said. “Leia Mistowski of William and Mary, at 60.61.” Mistowski accepted the cheers and congratulations with cool determination. For Mistowski, it’s never about basking in her current achievements — it’s always about the next throw.
ONLINE William and Mary soccer kicked oﬀ its home slate for both the men s and women s teams over the weekend. The women split a pair of matches while the men dropped their opener. For complete coverage of the games as well as the openers of volleyball and ﬁeld hockey, check ﬂathatnews.com.
The Flat Hat is the weekly student newspaper at the College of William and Mary.