The importance of vulnerable reporting experiences
Vulnerability is a scary word. For many, it may mean opening up to someone or admitting you’re wrong. But for me, vulnerability means growth.
As journalists, we are taught to remove ourselves from our stories. While I agree I should remove myself from a story objectively and leave my opinions out of it, I don’t believe I should remove my feelings while reporting. After all, my curiosity drives my motivation to report on a certain topic.
While writing my story “Health Care for All,” I experienced every emotion possible, and to me, that’s a good thing. My motivation behind writing the story was that I knew nothing about health care in Southeast Ohio, especially pertaining to HIV prevention. I asked myself, “Are there even health care establishments around here that provide HIV-related care?” and “Why haven’t I learned anything about other medical establishments besides Hudson Health Center?”
And my favorite question: “If this is something I know nothing about, is it something that other people might not know about as well?”
I walked into this story with little-to-no knowledge on HIV and health care in Southeast Ohio, but that gave me all the more rea-
son to write it. I knew I would be actively learning while trying to piece together a story in my head. But that’s what being a journalist is about. It’s about learning while informing.
I’m not an expert on anything, but I am determined to become aware of everything.
Through both heavy and lighthearted interviews, I felt the excitement to put words to paper flow through me. There were times when I had no idea what a word meant, but it was critical to go the extra step to inform myself. There were moments of silence during interviews because processing the information was hard. But those encounters are OK to experience.
As a journalist, it is important to ask questions that will help you be a better reporter and a better person, as well as questions that will help you write the story.
We are told throughout life not to bring work home with us, but as a journalist, that’s impossible. But, that’s what I love about it. I love sitting and reflecting on an interview I had while cooking dinner or waking up in the middle of the night to string together the perfectly-worded sentence that I couldn’t think of during the day. Passion keeps me up at night, and I would argue it’s the best stimulant of all.
While writing, I experience overwhelming emotions, so sometimes my stories take me longer than expected. Writing about heavy topics can take a toll on you as a journalist and change the way you report — I think it’s important that we talk about those instances more.
Every time I write, I want to do the topic justice. I constantly ask myself, “Is this enough?” and “Am I good enough to write about such an important topic?” The only person who can answer these questions is yourself, and I can safely say the answer will always be “Yes.” If you are determined enough to find a story, you’re passionate enough to write it.
In the end, I hope my stories help or touch at least one person because that’s all it takes to say you’ve made a difference. There’s power in being a journalist, and that power comes from the vulnerability of passion, truth and the thirst for knowledge.
Kayla Bennett is a senior studying journalism. Please note that the views and ideas of columnists do not reﬂect those of The Post. Want to talk to Kayla? Tweet her @kkayyben.
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Lori Stewart Gonzalez to serve as OU’s 23rd president
Gonzalez is Ohio University’s first female president in its 219-year historyMOLLY WILSON NEWS EDITOR KYLIE BRIDGEMAN FOR THE POST
Lori Stewart Gonzalez was selected to serve as Ohio University’s 23rd president by the university’s Board of Trustees on Wednesday.
Gonzalez will serve as OU’s first female president in its 219-year history and will begin her work as president July 1 following the departure of current OU President Hugh Sherman. Sherman was appointed to a two-year term in 2021 with a plan to retire at the end of his term on June 30.
“I’m really proud of that first, but I want us to really focus on the ‘firsts’ for all our students,” Gonzalez said. “I’ve had a lot of women who have supported me over the years, and I try to pay it forward with a lot of young women and mentor them.”
To secure the university’s top job, Gonzalez beat out Avinandan Mukherjee, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Marshall University. A third candidate, Susana Rivera-Mills, who currently serves as provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at Ball State University, rescinded her application for president in early March.
In her role, Gonzalez will be paid a base salary of $600,000 per year, according to a copy of her employment agreement with the university. Sherman currently makes just over $450,000 as president, according to The Post’s 2021 Salary Guide.
Each year, the Board will review her compensation to decide if it should be increased. However, it can never be decreased, according to the agreement.
Gonzalez currently serves as the executive vice president and provost at the University of Louisville, a position she has held since April 2021. In that position, Gonzalez is responsible for managing the day-to-day and long-term academic goals of the university, according to a previous Post report.
Gonzalez has also worked at Appalachian State University, the University of Kentucky and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis.
Hailing from a small town in Appalachian Kentucky, Gonzalez received a doctor of philosophy in communication sciences and disorders from the University of Florida, according to a university news release.
In the release, Sherman said Gonzalez’s experience in health sciences will be beneficial to her term as president
because a third of OU students are enrolled in health sciences professional programs and OU is home to the largest public medical school in Ohio.
At Gonzalez’s presidential forum, which was held on March 8 in the Baker University Center Theater, she said she worked to raise stipend levels for University of Louisville graduate students to cover health insurance and hired mental health professionals who better understand those students.
Gonzalez said she is looking forward to collaborating with Sherman to learn more about the university and his passion for OU before she officially begins her term as president.
“I’m just really excited, (I have) butterflies in my stomach,” Gonzalez said. “If I wouldn’t have had such a wonderful experience during the interview process, … I might have been more apprehensive, but I’m just excited to get started.”
Arshi Singhania and Ryan Maxin contributed to this report.
Athens moms create support group for mothers of children with Down syndromeANNA MILLAR NEWS STAFF WRITER
In July, in coordination with the Down syndrome Association of Central Ohio, Athens County residents Gena Hendrickson and Erica Williams created a local chapter of MOMS Offering Moms Support, or M.O.M.S., a support group for mothers of children who have Down Syndrome.
Hendrickson and Williams created the group to serve as a local extension of M.O.M.S. and to help connect other mothers like themselves. The two met through the Down Syndrome Association of Central Ohio, or DSACO, Williams said.
DSACO is an organization that aims to support and provide resources for those who have loved ones with Down syndrome, Carey Eash, the DSACO vice president, said.
Currently, DSACO serves about 1,200 families within 23 counties, Eash said. M.O.M.S. groups joined the organization about six years ago. The groups provide a place for mothers of children who have Down syndrome to share their experiences.
After Hendrickson joined the larger group, the organization asked Williams if it could share her information with Hendrickson because they lived near each other. From there, the two became friends and each other's supporters. It was a need for others with shared experiences that inspired them to start the local group.
DSACO often holds events in Columbus, Williams said. Although the events are appreciated, it's not always possible for moms in the area to attend due to distance and timing.
"We were looking for other opportunities to meet with other moms and other families who have loved ones with Down syndrome. All the resource groups offered by DSACO were just a little bit too far away and just didn't really work with our work schedule," Williams said. "We got to talking and said, 'Wouldn't it be great if we could meet some other families in our area?'"
The two then contacted a DSACO coordinator to facilitate the creation of a M.O.M.S. group closer to home.
After speaking with the coordinator, Hendrickson and Williams reached out to other moms they knew in the area to gauge interest, Williams said. Overall, the
response they received was favorable, prompting them to move forward with the group's creation.
Meetings currently take place in Athens at Larry's Dawg House, located at 410 W. Union St., and consist mainly of discussions. The meetings are scheduled quarterly, based on the availability of current attendees, Williams said.
Williams said the meetings begin with highlighting upcoming DSACO events and then the group settles into talking about members' recent struggles, successes and advice.
Currently, no specific activities are planned for the meetings, and they are
open to suggestions, Williams said. Because the group is relatively new, they are continuously working to find a rhythm.
"At this point of our adventure with this resource group, our main goal is just really trying to get the word out and attract more moms to join our group. We're new and we're hoping to grow and meet new people and hopefully, we can get more new faces," Williams said.
The group currently consists of 3-4 regular members, including Williams and Hendrickson.
Eash, Williams and Hendrickson all emphasized the necessity of connecting with others who understand the realities of
having a child with Down syndrome.
"It's very important to try to connect with other families, especially in our area, where we're so far apart from each other. It's easy to get detached from reality," Hedrickson said. "We're so far from everybody else, especially from Columbus. This will help us get connected with moms in our local area."
The group's next meeting will be held May 20 at 1 p.m. at Larry's Dawg House, Williams said in an email.
The Outlet celebrates, provides support for BIPOC women on campusKYLIE BRIDGEMAN FOR THE POST
Women's History Month has Ohio University's campus bustling with programming. A hidden gem in the lineup of events was the conversation hosted by The Outlet on Tuesday evening about supporting Black, Indigenous and people of color, or BIPOC, women.
The Outlet is a Housing and Residence Life program that works to serve as a safe and productive space for BIPOC students on campus.
The program is supported by two graduate assistant care coordinators, Cierra Smith-Carter and Diamond Allen. Both Allen and Smith-Carter graduated with bachelor's degrees in May 2022 from OU and returned as graduate students. Now, the pair are earning their master's degrees in social work.
The organization hosts biweekly meetings to foster community and connection among BIPOC students.
"We saw a need for a space for BIPOC
students within housing and whoever really to come (and) just have a safe, comfortable space where we can talk about different topics and experiences that BIPOC students have here," Smith-Carter said.
This week's conversation explored legacy attendees, specifically how they hoped to leave an impact, how they would achieve their goals and the meanings of sisterhood and connection, among other topics.
Amari Thompson, a freshman studying political science, really took the conversation head on, noting her experience as a BIPOC student in the College of Arts and Sciences and generally on campus.
"I just want to make my name known and stuff," Thompson said. "I don't want to just be a regular student on campus, that's why I try to get out on campus and go to events."
Throughout her points, she honed in on academic advising and its role on campus.
"I signed up for the Advising Center to tell me what I can do with my major," Thompson said. "We don't always know (the different directions our career paths can take)."
BIPOC students are presented with ad-
ditional challenges as they navigate an education at a predominantly white institution or PWI. Still, there are so many resources, such as the Advising Center, to support their matriculation.
Spaces such as the Office of Multicultural Success and Retention, the Multicultural Center and the International Student Union, among other campus organizations and offices, provide support to BIPOC students.
The Outlet was started during the fall semester as a direct response to racist events on campus within residence halls in the spring of 2022. Many BIPOC students were left feeling unsafe and unsupported on campus.
"We felt it would be very important for students to feel supported and have that space where they didn't feel judged, but they felt heard," Allen said.
The Outlet's affiliation with Housing and Residence Life allows it to connect students with university staff. Allen and Smith-Carter often act as a bridge of communication between students and staff due to the na-
ture of many discussions they hold.
"It's not about us lecturing at people," Smith-Carter said. "It's about them having that discussion themselves, even if we kind of have to draw it out of them because it can be uncomfortable talking about some of the topics that we do."
Despite the importance of these events, attendance heavily fluctuates. Both Allen and Smith-Carter encourage more Bobcats to attend their meetings every other Tuesday in the Living Learning Center, room 102/104.
The next meeting will be April 4, and consist of a panel discussion with upperclassmen students.
Overall, The Outlet is a great opportunity for BIPOC students to gain support, mentorship and confidence.
"I know how hard it is to reach out and ask for help," Allen said. "A lot of times it's easier to struggle with somebody versus struggling by yourself."
Wauren Ochs authors relationship guide for bipolar disorderKATIE MILLARD CULTURE EDITOR
Dating is hard. Deciding how or when to divulge mental illness to a potential partner is harder. Wauren Ochs, a first-year graduate student studying geography, can help some with her newly-published solution.
Ochs was diagnosed with bipolar disorder during the pandemic, which she said is common. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, bipolar disorder has an average onset age of 25 but can occur in teens and even children, although that is rarer. Ochs has released a book, “My Chaotic Mind,” about navigating relationships for people with bipolar disorder and those who love someone with bipolar disorder.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, bipolar disorder is a mental illness that causes unusual shifts or changes in someone’s mood, energy, concentration and/or activity levels. These moods range in terms of extremely “up,” which manifests as bursts of elation, irritation or energy known as manic episodes, and extremely “down,” which often involves sad, hopeless or indifferent periods known as depressive episodes.
Originally from Anchorage, Alaska, Ochs has lived in over 10 places during the past few years. Moving frequently, on top of her re-entrance into the dating pool, made her realize she needed a way to inform new people about her bipolar disorder.
“I don’t want to date someone for six months and be like, ‘by the way, I’m bipolar,’” she said.
Like many online daters, she grew tired of the constant small talk and introductions, so she invented a way to avoid repetition.
“I got tired of talking to people and telling them my favorite color and my birthday, my parents are divorced and all these random stupid little facts all the time,” Ochs said. “So, I made a PowerPoint and if I matched with you on Hinge and I found out that you weren’t probably a murderer, I’d just casually send you a link to my PowerPoint.”
Within the PowerPoint slides detailing her status as a picky eater and that she has a dog, she included a slide that informed potential matches of her bipolar disorder.
“One of the pages says, ‘I’m bipolar, don’t worry, I’m medicated and go to therapy,’” she joked.
One Hinge match enjoyed the PowerPoint so much that the two are now dating,
which influenced Ochs’ writing. Her partner asked how she could best support Ochs, and Ochs decided to write a book to help her and others.
“My Chaotic Mind” is a quick but informative read. The 76 pages are chock-full of knowledge about bipolar disorder and how to navigate relationships, both as a person with bipolar disorder and as someone who loves someone with bipolar disorder.
“My Chaotic Mind” is separated into parts, with an introduction and sections for romantic, platonic and familial relationships that each include help for both manic and depressive episodes. While some books exist, Ochs said it was hard to find one that was not heteronormative.
“There’s lots of books that are like 200 pages about bipolar disorder, but it’s written by old people that aren’t in the times,” she said. “I use all gender-neutral pronouns most of the time unless I’m discussing myself. It’s got a little pride flag on the front, so hopefully, people know that this is like a safe book to read if you’re queer.”
Ochs described the book as 25% researched-based and 75% personal experience-based. The book uses neutral language and she said readers can just reference the part that applies to them and will not miss out.
She said she hopes the book can also address some misconceptions about bipolar disorder, such as the idea that bipolar people will cheat on their partners, particularly in manic episodes, which Ochs disagrees with.
“At least in my experience, I’m aware that what I’m doing are not the best choices, but I still do them but I don’t do things like that are really detrimental,” she said.
Additionally, Ochs said that when she has a bad day, people assume that she is having a depressive episode.
“I have a bad day and someone’s like, ‘Did you take your meds? Do you need to see your doctor?’ and I’m like, ‘I’m just having a bad day, like it’s a day it’s not like I’ve been depressed or manic for a week,’” she said. “That’s when you should be concerned for someone but it’s really quite frustrating
when you’re having a bad day and people make it about your mental disorder. It’s just part of being human.”
She said many of her friends joked when they read the book that they could tell whom she was referring to in her personal experience. For instance, those close to Ochs can tell the friendship section was written largely about her best friend, Sarah, to whom the book is dedicated. The pair celebrated their two-year friendship anniversary this week. A few years ago, they met in Hawaii and lived six minutes apart. Although the pair is now in different states, with Sarah in Delaware, Ochs’ eyes still light up when she gets to talk about her.
“Sarah is my favorite person on earth,” she said. “This book is for Sarah. I wrote this book because Sarah loves me so much.”
Ochs recalled a particularly difficult day in which Sarah dropped everything to help her. She said Sarah is a crucial part of her support system. She wants her book to help all people with bipolar disorder or those who love someone with bipolar disorder establish similar support systems.
“Anybody can be in your support system,” she said. “You just have to build it from the ground up and find good people that help you when you need it.”
“My Chaotic Mind” is available on Ochs’ website, at the Little Professor Bookstore, 65 S. Court St., and on Amazon. However, she strongly encourages people to avoid the Amazon option, as the site takes 40% of the $12.50 cost of the book. Those who order through Ochs’ site also can benefit from free delivery in Athens, as Ochs will email purchasers directly to give them their copies.
Ochs said all books currently sold are signed with a personalized note.
“Anybody can support someone with bipolar as long as you’re willing and able to do so, you can be a good supportive friend or partner or parent to your person that has bipolar disorder,” she said. “If you take one thing away it would be that you’re not alone and other people are struggling with this.”
Health Care for All
eases, whereas AIDS is the late stage of an HIV infection that occurs when the body’s immune system is badly damaged because of the virus, according to HIV.gov.
Stigma and misunderstanding of HIV has created a barrier for people and even makes people shy away from health care, Wells said. HIV-AIDS.Gryzbowski-2.jpg
“The terms that doctors use … it’s a hindrance, and people tend to not go and get health care because they’re like, ‘They’re going to talk down to me at the doctor’s, they’re not going to actually help me, they’re not going to understand me, they’re not going to listen to me.’ There’s a shyness of actual health care in this area where people just (say), ‘No, I don’t need the doctor. I’m good. I don’t need help,’” Wells said.
Urban vs. Rural: What’s the difference?
Genesis Vaughn, a prevention health navigation manager at Equitas, works in Columbus and has experienced noticeable discrepancies between Columbus and Athens when it comes to conversations about health care. Access makes a huge difference when it comes to care in rural versus urban settings. Vaughn said Columbus has two Equitas medical centers, making it easier to find care and obtain an appointment.
She said it’s also easier to ask questions without fear of animosity in Columbus, and she has heard that possibilities of microaggressions, homophobia or ostracization within medical centers are a worry for clients in Southeast Ohio.
“If I go to a certain hospital or medical center, how am I going to be treated if I ask about PrEP? So, I would definitely say access is kind of a big component of that,” Vaughn said.
Wamsley believes there are many factors that put people at a disadvantage in Southeast Ohio that people don’t even recognize in bigger cities.KAYLA BENNETT MANAGING EDITOR
Equitas Health Institute is a nonprofit community health care system founded in 1984. It is one of the nation’s largest LGBTQIA+ and HIV/AIDS-serving organizations; it serves tens of thousands of patients in Ohio, Texas, Kentucky and West Virginia. Of the 22 locations in Ohio, and one is located in Athens at 8 W. Stimson Ave.
Equitas provides all kinds of services to its patients, including medical, pharmacy, behavioral health, dentistry, HIV supportive services, PrEP health navigation, HIV/STI testing, harm reduction and survivor support. Equitas in Athens serves the following counties: Athens, Belmont, Coshocton, Gallia, Guernsey, Hocking, Jackson, Lawrence, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Pike, Ross, Scioto, Vinton and Washington.
The Ryan White Part C Grant, better known as the “Linkage to Care Grant,” helps cover 13 counties in Ohio, seven in Kentucky and five in West Virginia.
Health care, by its definition, helps improve one’s quality of life. Daily, people pass different health care establishments, like doctor’s offices, clinics and health centers. However, health care in Southeast Ohio isn’t as easily accessible, creating several barriers.
Barriers: What do barriers look like in Southeast Ohio?
Transportation creates a barrier to care in Appalachia; and driving miles and miles can be cumbersome for individuals, especially when they don’t have the means for transportation, Aaron Wamsley, southeastern prevention programs manager at Equitas, said.
“We know that those individuals may not have access to a car, friends, transportation, and in Athens, there’s no public transporta-
tion to even get them that far to the medical console,” Wamsley said.
Jordyn Wells, a linkage to care specialists for Equitas in Portsmouth, Ohio, agrees that transportation creates a barrier to accessible health care. In Portsmouth, Wells said, people are not well-informed, especially when it comes to subjects that are STI-related or HIV-related.
“People just don’t get it (HIV), and they really only think that one specific group can get it … there’s also a multitude of other groups that can,” Wells said. “Education-wise, (there) is a huge barrier. Stigma is a huge barrier. People really are out there believing that they’re totally free of it, that they can’t get it because they’re not part of the LGBTQ community…. In reality, it’s a blood borne pathogen, so anyone can really get it.”
HIV is a virus that attacks cells that help the body fight infection, making a person more vulnerable to other infections and dis-
“It’s perpetuated, the stigma of HIV, the stigma of having an addiction,” Wamsley said. There is a lack of providers in Region Six, Wamsley said. Specifically, there is a lack of providers who are prescribing antiretrovirals in the surrounding region. Wamsley said the closest HIV provider to prescribe medication to someone who needs it to live a long life is about 45 minutes to an hour away.
“There’s also a disadvantage in education,” Wamsley said. “When I go to syringe exchange programs, oftentimes I am hearing ‘I’m not gay, I can’t get HIV,’ but they’re out of a syringe exchange program, and we know HIV is a blood borne pathogen. Therefore, if you’re using the same needles as somebody, you’re increasing your chances of getting HIV substantially. And it’s baffling that there is a lack of education.”
If there is no education provided to those in a syringe exchange program, it will directly affect the community they are serving.
“I feel that most of the providers within the city limit would have at least some knowledge about better care for HIV man-
agement, rather than some individuals in Appalachia,” Wamsley said.
Urban cities notably have access to greater volumes of medical care, which creates apprehension in health care providers in rural areas to diagnose HIV to a patient when their focused-knowledge might be with Hepatitis C, Wamsley said.
A variety of barriers creates skewed perceptions of reality, introducing a stigma.
The Stigma: Why does it exist?
Rebecca Nelson is a non-medical case manager for Equitas in Athens and knows stigma resides in many, especially college students. Nelson said college students have struggled navigating their health because of the fear of being harassed when receiving health care from larger providers. Nelson said students are even apprehensive to try Equitas’ free HIV testing because of the fear of walking in the front door.
“Why is there stigma in 2023? I think you can look at the national stage for that. It starts from the top down,” Nelson said.
Anonymous, a local resident of Hocking County who is using a pseudonym on the basis of privacy, is living with HIV. However, being HIV positive does not define who Anonymous is.
“It’s not something I talk to people about. I don’t advertise it. I work pretty diligently to hide it, even from the family,” Anonymous said. “It’s not something that I advertise because there is such a big stigma ... I don’t want to be treated differently.”
Southeast Ohio borders what is referred to as the “Bible Belt,” and Wells and Wamsley both agree this has something to do with the stigma that is felt when talking about HIV.
While working at a prevention program at a K-12 school in Portsmouth, Wamsley said students were giggling about the condoms, when in reality, they were trying to teach the students about STIs.
“When you can hear a 13 year old little boy say, ‘I’ve learned more from you in five minutes than I have in my health class for an entire year,’ that speaks volumes,” Wamsley said. “When push comes to shove, people are going to worship Jesus over providing prevention and preventative services.”
Learning about health care varies in all
areas, which aids in creating and maintaining the stigma.
“We’re in the Bible Belt, and people are uninformed and don’t understand,” Wells said.
Anonymous agrees that there is a religious aspect to the education people receive about HIV.
“A lot of that is the politics of it and that touches on the religious aspect of it. It’s that way, on purpose,” said Anonymous.
A lack of local news also affects the knowledge of people in Appalachia, Anonymous said.
“Look at local papers; they’re almost gone, extinct, because … everything comes down to money,” Anonymous said. “‘There’s no money in it, so we’re just gonna close it,’ instead of (keeping) the benefit of what it does to the community.”
Benefiting a community and keeping them educated is important, Nelson, Anonymous, Wells and Wamsley all agree, but the lack of education deepens a barrier and upholds the preconceived notion about forms of health care. It can start early-on.
In 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, ran a summary report of state health education laws in Ohio. According to the report, which is the most recent on the CDC’s website and was last viewed in June 2018, there are no laws or regulations to inform students about HIV prevention.
The Process: How does one find care?
For some, like Salem Spinelli, a linkage to care specialist at Equitas in Athens, college meant having control and access to health care.
“I would say when I got to college, my freshman year of college, I came from a family who really didn’t practice medicine, so I was very excited to have access to that,” Spinelli said.
Care looks different for everyone, and as a case manager, Nelson’s experience differs with every client. Case management involves the intake of the client, conduction of a needs assessment, service planning and monitoring and evaluation of the continuum of care. Case management is the core to a really big spider web, Nelson said.
“For someone living with HIV, and are just newly diagnosed that comes into our case management, it can be a little overwhelming to sort it all out and to reassure folks that it’s going to be OK, you’re going to have support,” Nelson said.
Equitas offers a lot of support and does a lot of linkage to care when connecting with people inside and outside the agency. For example, Nelson said, Equitas might refer someone who might be living with addiction or substance abuse concerns to other community agencies that specialize in addiction and substance abuse. Case managers wear multiple hats when meeting new clients and working with existing ones.
“I think for somebody that’s new to HIV, and they’re coming in on our caseload, I always tell people, we help put the pieces together for them,” Nelson said. “Imagine being diagnosed HIV positive and you’re told, ‘You need to figure out your pharmacy, you need to figure out your insurance, you need to figure out who your HIV-specific doctors are going to be and, oh, here’s about 20 different support groups all over the state.’ It’s very overwhelming.”
All health care experiences can look different for everyone.
The Experience: Does every experience look the same?
“For me, staying in care means living,” Anonymous said.
Anonymous moved to Southeast Ohio after living on both coasts of the U.S., and it was undoubtedly a culture shock; things are more simple, more conservative and nothing has changed since the ‘80s, Anonymous said.
Anonymous needed HIV services, and after a quick search, found Equitas. Though Anonymous is receiving the services needed to live, there is a drawback to Equitas.
“I feel just with what Equitas is doing in the community is a very positive thing; it’s certainly needed,” A said. “They could be a little more client-oriented instead of agency-oriented. There’s sort of a disconnect with the appearance of themselves and the clients themselves.”
Equitas is an agency serving a plethora of locations and operates out of Columbus, so when maintaining relationships with its
clients, there is always a stumbling block, Anonymous said. However, Anonymous believes when it comes down to the care Equitas provides, it is a much needed health care organization.
For Spinelli, the journey to find care has not always been easy.
“I was the first person that my provider has started on hormones and her language choice, did not love (that),” Spinelli said. “Language choice is so important and I didn’t feel like awesomely safe and comfortable. I think that’s just like a choice that a lot of trans people have to make.”
Vaughn believes care in Athens seemed difficult to receive. She drove all the way from Athens to Columbus to receive care because she wasn’t sure if the providers in Athens could adequately provide care that would cater to her not only as a transgender person, but also as a Black transgender person.
However, Vaughn said a lot of people write off Appalachia as “backwoods and backwards,” but that is what makes it that much important to understand. There are plenty of people of color, queer people, transgender people and people at risk or living with HIV in Appalachia, said Vaughn.
Ohio falls to Morehead State in high-scoring road affair
son Minzey with a two-run home run, his fourth this season. It was the first of seven in the three-hour affair but only one of two for Ohio. Cole Williams hit a two-run shot in the sixth inning while also going 5-for-5 on the day.
no singled in Clay Cutter for his singular RBI.
Ohio scored 13 runs on 17 hits, but it wasn’t enough; it dropped a mid-week, non-conference slugfest at Morehead State, which scored 19 runs on 20 hits, in part to Ryley Preece’s three-homerun outing in the 19-14 loss.
The Eagles broke a seven-game skid and returned to .500 after battering the Bobcats.
The game started in Ohio’s favor after Will Sturek followed up a single by Ma-
However, the early lead was brief, as Morehead State exploded for an eightrun second inning after Preece hit another solo shot. It was the first of five lead changes in the game and the first of four multi-run innings for the Eagles.
The Bobcats found themselves ahead in the fifth inning when they scored nine runs from the third to the fifth inning to bring the score to 11-9. Colin Kasperbauer, Alex Finney and Nick Dolan all batted in multiple runs in the afternoon; Alec Pati-
Offense was obviously of no concern for Ohio – five players recorded multiple RBIs and six had multiple hits – its pitching staff doomed them. None of the seven pitchers who took the mound stayed in the game for two whole innings, and Luke Borer was the only one who didn’t record an earned run.
The Eagles recorded a season-high of five home runs, including three off of Carter Sabol in his four-out eight-earned run start. Adam Beery and Patrick DeMarco were also taken deep in their brief relief appearances – the latter took the loss, which makes him 0-1 on the year. The collective Bobcat staff allowed the Eagles to
achieve its season highs in at-bats, runs, hits and home runs. They only struck out five batters and gave up seven walks.
The death blow was given from the sixth through the eighth inning when the Eagles took a final and commanding 19-13 lead. Although, they walked in a Bobcat in the top of the ninth, making the final score 19-14.
If Ohio plans to retain its spot in the MAC tournament, it must keep its bats hot and arms rested before the conference restarts over the weekend.
Ohio loses 8-5 in the ACHA tournament semiﬁnalsERION AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT EDITOR
Ohio’s season didn’t end on the high note it had hoped for. Despite a solid effort at mounting a comeback, Ohio ultimately fell to Adrian 8-5 in the semifinals of the American Collegiate Hockey Association national tournament. Ohio still had one of its best seasons yet, evidenced by its No. 2 seed heading into the tournament, compared to last year’s No. 15. Here are all the numbers to know from Ohio’s loss
Adrian scored five goals in the second period, ultimately leading to Ohio’s downfall. After the Bulldog’s Matteo DiGiulio
scored six minutes into the period, the rally continued, giving the Bulldogs a virtually insurmountable lead. Hollander Thompson and Laker Aldridge also put up two goals during the period, but it wasn’t enough.
9 Ohio has nine graduating seniors this year, and they were named the nine “stars of the game” after the semifinals. Senior and team captain Sam Turner scored the overtime goal against Niagara that sent the Bobcats to the semifinals, while Ryan Hastings and Andrew Wells played key roles in the latter half of the season.
The Bulldogs earned 29 penalty minutes across all three periods compared to the
Bobcats’ six. The Bobcats tend to be a more physical team, but their recent efforts to avoid penalty trouble have helped them create more offensive action.
The Bobcats capitalized on one of seven, or 14%, of the power play opportunities they were given against the Bulldogs. Their inability to find the goal during the power played a big role in the Bobcats not taking the victory.
Ohio’s coaching staff placed on administrative leaveWILL CUNNINGHAM SPORTS EDITOR
The Ohio wrestling coaching staff has been placed on administrative leave, according to an Ohio University news release. The
Ohio University Police Department is investigating allegations that two student-athletes were physically assaulted during a practice.
The investigation is currently ongoing.
The coaching staff consists of head coach
Joel Greenlee and assistant coaches Cody Walters and Shakur Laney, according to Ohio’s website.
Ohio had four wrestlers who participated in the NCAA Championships this week: Alec Hagan, Peyten Kellar, Sal Perrine and Zayne
TRACK & FIELD
Lehman, whom all finished competition yesterday. There are no more scheduled events for the season.
Ohio opens outdoor season at the Blizzard Buster
KELLYN FLOHR FOR THE POST
Ohio began its outdoor season over the weekend in Oxford, Ohio, at the Blizzard Buster. The Bobcats were one of many teams that traveled to compete in several events hosted by Miami.
The meet took place all day last Friday and the Bobcats managed to place in seven different events. The most successful events
for the Bobcats were the 1500m, the 3000m and field events discus and javelin.
Although many teams did not have enough participating athletes to receive overall team placings, Ohio showed up and saw plenty of success in its first outdoor meet of the spring season.
The Bobcats had a number of impressive finishes, including fifth-year Autumn Mohan’s fourth-place finish in discus, with a throw of 41.09 meters. Mohan, Jordan
Baith and Millie Ryan all recorded personal records in javelin, with Baith finishing sixth, throwing 26.01 meters. Mohan placed eighth at 25.54 meters and Ryan threw 21.85 meters.
Ohio also placed in two more events, the 1500m and the 3000m. Sara Doughman placed seventh overall in the 1500m with a time of 4:45.88 and teammate Kenna Loveless placed 15th with a time of 4:56.71. In the 3000m, Carina Weaver placed ninth overall and Sarah Liederbach followed in 13th place
with a score of 10:24.51.
Following their meet in Oxford, the Bobcats will prepare for their upcoming performance at Raleigh Relays. It will be competing in a three-day event starting Thursday and running through Saturday.
Harry Potter is the greatest movie series ever
To the best of my knowledge, the cast and crew that worked on the “Harry Potter” movie series are not transphobic, but J. K. Rowling is transphobic and that is wrong. However, Rowling’s transphobia is independent of the work the cast and crew dedicated to the eight-movie series.
I have watched every “Harry Potter” movie approximately 157.5 times, and I’ve watched about three other movie series. “Harry Potter” blows the other three out of the water, so it’s the greatest ever. Here is a list of the stupidest and best moments from each “Harry Potter” movie (combining a couple of movies). This is just my opinion, but if you disagree with me, you’re wrong and a loser. KIDDING.
“Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” and “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”
Stupidest Moment: Lucius Malfoy attempts to kill prepubescent Harry.
Has anyone else noticed that before Dobby disarms Lucius outside of Dumbledore’s office, Lucius was beginning to say Avada-Kedavra? I know Harry freed Dobby, but the killing curse seems a bit extreme. Imagine Lucius stepping into Dumbledore’s office to tell him he killed Harry.
“Hey, Dumbledore, Harry’s lifeless body is out in the hallway. He gave my elf a sock, so I killed him, just thought I’d let you know!” Best Moment: Christmas.
I still say “Happy Christmas” because of this scene. Harry’s bewilderment that he re-
ceived presents for Christmas always gives me the warm fuzzies.
“Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”
Stupidest Moment: The screen grab at the end of the movie.
Harry is whizzing through Hogwarts on his brand-new Firebolt, and the movie ends with a freeze frame of Harry’s distorted face. I liked this scene when I was six, but after the one-thousandth re-watch, it made my teeth hurt.
Best Moment: Harry knocks out Snape.
As usual, Snivellus was putting his nose where it didn’t belong, and Harry expelliarmus-ed him into next Thursday.
“Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”
Stupidest Moment: Cedric jumps out of a tree to introduce himself.
When the Weasleys, Harry and Hermione meet 17-year-old Cedric Diggory, he jumps out of a tree to say “Hi.” What was he doing up there?
I can only imagine Cedric’s reluctance to go to the Quidditch World cup.
“But dad, I don’t want to leave, I want to stay home and climb trees all day!!”
“Don’t worry son, there will be plenty of trees at the World Cup.”
“UGH, but those trees won’t be as climbable!”
Then, imagine Cedric’s elation to find a
tree he could climb in Ireland.
“DAD I FOUND ONE! OH MY GOD, IT’S SO CLIMBABLE!!”
Best Moment: Cedric’s death.
I wasn’t happy that Cedric died, but Amos Diggory sobbing over the death of his son is a necessary turning point for the rest of the series.
“Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”
Stupidest Moment: Harry’s whininess.
This isn’t a single moment, but Harry has a ridiculous amount of “pick me” energy in this movie. “Oh, Sirius, I feel so alone, oh, Sirius, am I the reincarnation of Voldemort?” (fake quote).
Harry, you’ve had a tough year, but we all have problems. Luna Lovegood didn’t even have shoes for two-thirds of this movie.
Best Moment: Luna and Harry’s conversation in the Forbidden Forest.
There’s no getting around it; Luna’s bare feet are fantastic in this scene … KIDDING (sort of). In all seriousness, Luna’s message to Harry that he won’t be able to defeat Voldemort by himself is important to the rest of the series.
“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”
Stupidest Moment: Hermione’s inability to laugh normally.
Ron tells a medium-funny joke about Dumbledore’s age, and Hermione laughs like
she’s never heard a joke in her life. Emma Watson makes up for it because she’s perfect and she has a pretty laugh, but it’s still cringe. Best Moment: Harry retrieving Slughorn’s memory.
Harry is tasked with retrieving a key piece of Voldemort’s past from the mind of an embarrassed old man. Harry’s brutal honesty in this scene about the legacy of his mother’s death brings a tear to my eye every time I watch it, and I’m tough as nails!
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 1 and 2)”
Stupidest Moment: Harry snaps the Elder Wand like a twig.
I love the visual, but could we put one of the most significant magical artifacts ever in a museum?
Best Moment: Hermione and Ron’s kiss.
Anyone who doesn’t ship Hermione and Ron breathes out of their mouth.
This evidence, combined with my self-appointed status (which I’ve earned by watching three separate movie series all the way through) as the ultimate movie series expert, makes it official: Step aside “Citizen Kane” and “Paddington 2,” because “Harry Potter” is the new pinnacle of cinema.
Bobby Gorbett is a junior studying journalism. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reﬂect those of The Post. Want to talk more about it? Let Bobby know by tweeting him @GorbettBobby
OU should prioritize preservation of its historic buildings
Every morning, right around 7 a.m., the sunlight hits The Ridges just right. Its dark red bricks look a bit brighter, and I can see the light gleaming off its black metal gilding. From my ninth-story view, it is my favorite thing to wake up to, save for the sunrise. Its architectural design is beautiful, but – because of my love of history – I like it mainly for its gothic features.
Much of Athens and Ohio University looks like The Ridges. With brick exteriors and homely designs, it’s an aesthetic that feels like it is from a different time. While many universities have adopted more modern, sleek looks, we have maintained designs that remind visitors of earlier days.
The architecture is both beautiful and tactical. Athens and OU have a signature look that differentiates them from other college towns and universities. And the efforts have paid off; last year, our main quad was ranked second among others. Additionally, this signature look draws many students to the area.
This is why OU and Athens should work, at all costs,
to preserve the quaint spirit architects have infused into our buildings. Just last semester, we saw the destruction of Scott Quad, a unique building in the heart of campus.
In 1974, the city of Athens also tore down Berry Hall, formerly Berry Hotel, a building rich in architectural distinctness and African American history.
Just a few months ago, OU revealed its plan for The Ridges. The Ridges Development Advisors have emphasized their focus on preserving The Ridges and the wildlife area surrounding it as they convert the buildings into apartments. The report also advocated for expanding recreational activities.
This plan is the best possible outcome for The Ridges. Historic preservation should be all about reusing available space, leaving the environment intact and maintaining as much of the original designs as possible.
After we see the success of this plan, I hope the same ideas extend to other empty yet historic buildings on campus. Haning Hall, built in 1906, and Lasher Hall, built in 1925, stand empty on west green. Last year, the Board
HADDY THE HEBREW
of Trustees considered demolishing these buildings. While it would be a significant investment to modernize these buildings, The Ridges should be preserved; it is ultimately worth it to preserve Haning Hall and Lasher Hall as well.
Because, after all, once buildings are demolished, there is no putting them back.
Colleen McLafferty is a junior studying history at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. What are your thoughts? Tell Colleen by tweeting her at @colleenbealem.
Goodbye, Chaim Topol
When I arrived at Ohio University, I became many people’s “first Jew.” That is, the first Jewish person that someone has met. I know this because when I mention my Judaism, people often tell me, “I’ve never met a Jewish person before!” and ask me questions excitedly. I have learned to find much joy in being a “first Jew,” but one such interaction stands out to me above all the rest. On one of my first days of college, I mentioned to a new friend that I was Jewish. To this, she responded: “Oh! I love Fiddler On the Roof!”
This anecdote seems silly and did make me giggle when I experienced it. But, with the news of Chaim Topol’s recent passing, the interaction has become a very touching memory. Chaim Topol, born in Tel Aviv, Israel, played the character of Tevye in the stage production and 1971 movie adaptation of Fiddler On the Roof.
For those unfamiliar with the story, Fiddler tells the story of Tevye the milkman and his family. The story begins around 1905, with Russian pogroms on the rise while Tevye deals with his daughters going against tradition. Tevye and his family struggle with these realities and ultimately decide to leave Russia due to being terrorized.
Fiddler is a testament to great theater and the lasting lessons of Jews who had to make difficult decisions for the next generation to have a better life. Tevye’s daughters are frustrated with the traditions of arranged marriage, so they stray away from their family’s beliefs to marry for love. Tevye does not want to leave the place his family has lived in for over a century, but he cannot live a life of constant fear. The world, Fiddler shows, is changing, and we have to change with it.
The story of Fiddler On the Roof comes alive with Topol’s acting. As viewers, you feel all the emotions he feels. You smile and laugh along with him when he’s happy, and your eyes get misty when he’s sad. Through Topol, viewers are all transported to the Pale of the Settlement and attempt to grapple with the new and old hardships in Tevye’s life.
But Topol was much more than an actor or a singer; he was an enigma. He was a co-founder of the Haifa Theatre, won a Golden Globe for his performance in Sallah Shabati and Fiddler, as well as an Academy Award for Fiddler, and was nominated for a Tony. Later, Topol was awarded the Israel Prize for lifetime achievement for his work in
founding Variety Israel, an organization serving children with special needs. He is also a founder of the Jordan River Village, a camp for Arab and Jewish children with life-threatening illnesses.
Topol wasted no time using his fame and influence to help others. His rise to stardom was just another way to bring joy into people’s lives, building off his experience in Nahal, a performing entertainment troupe in the Israeli Defense Forces. Topol gave life to the story of Tevye in a way that earned him respect and admiration both in Israel and across the globe. Although his soul has passed, his legacy as an entertainer and a righteous man will live on.
Hadass Galili is a senior studying political science prelaw at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnist do not reflect those of The Post. Do you agree? Tell Hadass by tweeting her at @HadassGalili.
Miley Cyrus’ newest album is not a reﬂection of her shining careerGRACE KOENNECKE FOR THE POST
In the world of mainstream pop, Miley Cyrus has always been constantly monitored, especially during her dramatic transformation in sound, style and behavior in her 2013 “Bangerz” era. 10 years later, the singer has grown significantly and it shows. The release of her 10th studio album, “Endless Summer Vacation,” is a body of work all about the light and dark sides of getting older.
Cyrus, now 30, has undergone a lot as a female musician. Practically all of her personal life has been exposed to the public eye after divorcing actor Liam Hemsworth in 2020. Making a punk rock album that year as well, the singer finally received the recognition she deserved, dominating the genre with her gravelly voice and iconic collaborations with rock stars like Billy Idol and Joan Jett.
While “Plastic Hearts” was arguably Cyrus’ rebirth as an artist, her new project has already gained critical acclaim, with its lead single “Flowers” reaching No.1 on various music charts worldwide. This track is one of the standouts on this record, a play on the words of Bruno Mars’ “When I Was Your Man,” and a song about owning one’s narrative after a devastating breakup.
Another standout is definitely “Jaded,” which follows “Flowers” as the sec-
ond track on the album. Cyrus’ vocals are simply some of her best on this track, the artist ripping off the bandaid to a wound caused by one’s infidelity. Belting out, “I’m sorry that you’re jaded / I could’ve taken you places / You’re lonely now and I hate it / I’m sorry that you’re jaded,” this song is a true sign of acknowledgment by the singer, not falling into the trap that many women face in a still semi-traditional society of taking the blame for their partner’s mistakes.
The singer has said that her album can be split into two sides, with its first five tracks representing the a.m. and the last eight representing the p.m. These themes are clear as the album starts off light and airy as if you’re entering the early days of summer, hence the title, but then changes into a synth-pop dark fantasy that is gritty and vulnerable, two sides to Cyrus that the public eye has seen before with her past works.
This artistic choice makes “Endless Summer Vacation” work, but other songs on the record don’t match the themes the singer has worked so hard to execute. For example, the collaborations on this album are extremely underwhelming, which is sad to hear, especially on “Thousand Miles (feat. Brandi Carlile).” Carlile can hardly be heard at all; if there were more synchro-
nicity between the two singers, the track would’ve instantly been a hit.
Meanwhile, “Muddy Feet (feat. Sia)” doesn’t fit on this album at all, almost a controversial duet as Sia has received backlash for her past work with actor Shia LaBeouf and her movie “Music,” where dancer Maddie Ziegler played a young girl with autism, despite not having autism herself. It was a bad musical move on Cyrus’ part, but she made up for this more so on the p.m. side of her album.
“Handstand” is one of this project’s redeeming tracks, starting with Cyrus talking in prose and then moving into a club anthem. It’s by far the most ambitious song on the album, reminiscent of a song you’d hear off “Bangerz” or “SHE IS COMING.” This track proves that the singer is willing to stretch herself and her creative delivery.
At its peak, Cyrus hits fans with “River,” a song that sees the singer finally in love again after years of heartbreak. This song is like a dance record from the 1980s, with lively strings and robotic production that puts Cyrus’ vocals on display yet again. She sings, “Heart beats so loud that it’s drowning me out / Living in an April shower / You’re pouring down, baby, drown me out / Oh oh ooh, you’re just like a river,” with the imagery of the song representing the
intimacy and excitement that comes with a new relationship.
The album’s close is an interesting one, ending on a sentimental and empowering note with “Wonder Woman.” A song all about the emotional toll of being a woman in the spotlight, Cyrus signals a call for action, wanting listeners to understand the media’s impact on artists and their mental health. She says, “When her favorite record’s on and she’s dancin’ in the dark / She can’t stop her eyes from wellin’ up, up / She makes sure that no one’s ‘round to see her fall apart / She wants to be thе one that never doеs,” letting her own experiences come to the forefront.
On “Endless Summer Vacation,” Miley Cyrus isn’t afraid to be honest, or talk openly about her sex and love life. Although this album may not be her best, it still solidifies the singer as one of pop music’s best artists, reeling listeners in with her lyrical imagery and creative vision.
Rating: 3.5 / 5 @GRACE_KOE GK011320@OHIO.EDU
‘The Last of Us’ is the best show of the year
Editor’s note: This review contains spoilers.
HBO Max has proven that they know what they are doing when making TV shows. From “House of the Dragon” to “The White Lotus,” HBO rarely misses. The same can be said for their newest show, “The Last of Us,” which aired its season one finale recently.
“The Last of Us” stars Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey, two actors known for their roles in “Game of Thrones” and “The Mandalorian.” Both actors are amazing; their gripping performances prove how good they are at their craft.
“The Last of Us” is a post-apocalyptic story based on a video game of the same name. It’s about two people, Joel and Ellie, traveling from Boston to Utah to manufacture a vaccine, as Ellie is the only immune human on Earth. Along the way, they face danger and death from cordyceps fungus victims, known as clickers, that have destroyed the world and humanity.
The title itself describes the story. It’s unlike the “Walking Dead,” where characters die or zombie hordes appear because the ratings are low. “The Last of Us” chooses to show how a global pandemic changes people. Our main character Joel went from a loving father to a ruthless killer, and his brother went from an Army veteran to a provider in a small community. However, the villains are the most interesting. Kathleen’s story of revenge for her brother’s death is excellent, but the best comes from David.
Like the video game, David is a warped man who “found God” after the apocalypse, becoming a preacher for a small group. After the group grew and David became their leader, things weren’t all peachy. They couldn’t find food and his people were dying, so he resorted to cannibalism to keep his followers alive. The show excels at character development and writing, and many of its characteristics remain true to the original video game.
As said previously, “The Last of Us” is based on the award-winning 2013 video game of the same name. Neil Druckmann, the director and writer of the game, was brought in to help write the show along with showrunner Craig Mazin. Mazin is probably the best person in the entertain -
ment industry right now. He was also the showrunner for HBO’s “Chernobyl,” an excellent miniseries rated as the fifth-best show of all time on IMDb. However, with all the praise given, there is one outlier.
Episode 7, titled Left Behind, is based on the DLC from the video game, which included unfinished content from before the game’s release. Neil Druckmann wrote this episode independently, and it shows, as it doesn’t have the subtleties of Craig’s writing. The episode also relies on contrivance a lot, having characters make
dumb decisions such as turning on power to a giant mall in a place that is heavily limited on power and regulated thoroughly. However, considering how every other episode is near perfection, these creative choices are not worrying for future seasons.
“The Last of Us” is to “The Mandalorian” what the Kansas City Chiefs are to the Houston Texans. While both shows have very similar plots and Pedro Pascal, it shows how well HBO Max can use actors. Pedro is wooden and emotionless as
Mando and has a drastically different performance as Joel; his acting is phenomenal in this show. Overall, this show is the best of 2023 so far and will likely end up as the best show of the year unless a show comes completely out of nowhere. For anyone looking for a new show to get into, “The Last of Us” is for you.
Here’s what you missed from 2023 Academy Awards
SOPHIA ROOKSBERRY FOR THE POST
This year's Academy Awards marked society's return to movie theaters after the decrease in pandemic-related closures, giving the ceremony a special atmosphere lacking in years past. Hosted by the hilarious Jimmy Kimmel and featuring many spirited presenters, this year's Oscars ceremony was home to many landmark moments in film history and entertaining to watch.
Even those who did not watch the Oscars are likely aware that A24's "Everything Everywhere All at Once" swept the ceremony.
The film's accolades include Best Supporting Actor (Ke Huy Quan), Best Supporting Actress (Jamie Lee Curtis), Best Lead Actress (Michelle Yeoh, the first Asian woman to win the award), Best Editing (Paul Rogers), Best Directing and Screenplay (Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert) and finally, Best Picture. The film is a must-see of the year and will undoubtedly go down as one of the strangest but most moving pictures of the decade.
After years of physical ailments and un-
spoken ostracization from the mainstream film community, Brendan Fraser received his first Oscar for his leading performance in "The Whale," which also won Best Makeup and Hairstyling. Despite the ongoing debate about director Darren Aronofsky's choice to cast Fraser as a fatally obese character, the general consensus is that Fraser's award was well deserved.
Most of the technical categories, along with the award for Best International Feature, went to "All Quiet on the Western Front," a multilingual film about the grizzly realities of World War I. Other category winners include Guillermo del Toro's "Pinocchio" for Best Animated Feature, "Naatu, Naatu" for Best Original Song, and "Avatar: The Way of Water" for Best Visual Effects. "Navalny" won Best Documentary Feature for telling the ongoing story of the poisoning of an opponent of the Russian government, which was received with a moving tribute from the subject's wife.
Aside from the awards section of the night, the red carpet was also a sight to behold. While many celebrities followed a subtle black and white trend, those who strayed
from the conformists stood out even more, such as Best Supporting Actress nominee Stephanie Hsu with a soft pink ball gown and Janelle Monáe, who sported a stunning twopiece black and orange ensemble.
The evening's musical performances included a stripped-down ballad from Lady Gaga, who sang "Hold My Hand," an original song nominee from "Top Gun: Maverick." In the wake of her renowned Super Bowl Halftime performance, Rihanna delivered a bone-chilling and powerful rendition of her song "Lift Me Up" from "Black Panther:
Wakanda Forever," Finally, Hsu and David Byrne of The Talking Heads covered the song originally performed by Mitski, "This Is a Life," in an absurd and moving way that paid homage to the film it was written for, "Everything Everywhere All at Once."
The 95th Academy Awards was a wonderful event to watch and presented hope for the future of a diverse and exciting film industry.