Vol. 99 Iss. 18

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Philadelphia is gearing up for the 2020 Census — a process that will have lasting economic and political effects on the city. Read more on Page 5

WHAT’S INSIDE OPINION, PAGE 9 A columnist argues that the lack of librarians in Philadelphia schools will be detrimental to children’s education. INTERSECTION, PAGE 17 Temple students created an art collective for transgender and non-binary artists.

VOL 99 // ISSUE 18 FEB. 4, 2020

temple-news.com @thetemplenews



THE TEMPLE NEWS A watchdog for the Temple University community since 1921. Kelly Brennan Editor in Chief Pavlína Černá Managing Editor Rjaa Ahmed Digital Managing Editor Francesca Furey Chief Copy Editor Colin Evans News Editor Hal Conte Assistant News Editor Valerie Dowret Assistant News Editor Web Tyler Perez Opinion Editor Madison Karas Features Editor Bibiana Correa Assistant Features Editor Ayooluwa Ariyo Asst. Features Editor Web Jay Neemeyer Sports Editor Dante Collinelli Assistant Sports Editor Alex McGinley Assistant Sports Editor Web Gionna Kinchen Intersection Co-Editor Nico Cisneros Intersection Co-Editor Michael Moscarelli Dir. of Engagement Jeremy Elvas Photography Editor Claudia Salvato Asst. Photography Editor Erik Coombs Multimedia Editor Ingrid Slater Design Editor Nicole Hwang Designer Phuong Tran Advertising Manager Kelsey McGill Advertising Manager Lubin Park Business Manager

The Temple News is an editorially independent weekly publication serving the Temple University community. Unsigned editorial content represents the opinion of The Temple News. Adjacent commentary is reflective of their authors, not The Temple News. Visit us online at temple-news.com. Send submissions to letters@temple-news.com. The Temple News is located at: Student Center, Room 243 1755 N. 13th St. Philadelphia, PA 19122

ON THE COVER CLAUDIA SALVATO / THE TEMPLE NEWS Terry Holmes, who lives on 15th Street near Oxford, stands outside his front door. Holmes said he plans to fill out the census this year.



Accuracy is our business, so when a mistake is made, we’ll correct it as soon as possible. Anyone with inquiries about content in this newspaper can contact Editor in Chief Kelly Brennan at editor@temple-news.com or 215-204-6736.

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As primary kicks off, students discuss candidates Every major Democratic candidate Students spoke to The Temple diculous compared to other colleges, and News about their top issues this unfair,” Korbisch said. “Also health care. supports some version of a Green New A lot of kids take longer to graduate and Deal, a term generally used to refer to a cycle and who they will vote for.



he primary season officially kicked off last night with the Iowa Caucuses, and Temple students are weighing their options of Democratic and Republican contenders ahead of Pennsylvania’s turn to vote on April 28. As of Monday night, the results of the Iowa Caucus were not released because of a “reporting issue,” the New York Times reported. The Temple College Democrats held a mock Iowa Caucus on Jan. 28. Sanders was the top choice among voting members, while Buttigieg came in second and Biden third, said Daisy Confoy, the president of Temple College Democrats. Student groups affiliated with individual candidates will be registering students to vote ahead of Pennsylvania’s deadline to register for the primaries on April 13, Confoy said. “As the president of Temple Democrats, I’m trying to just give candidate groups the resources they need and kind of publicize the groups and let people make their own decisions about who they want to support,” she added. Temple College Republicans could not be reached for comment. Students who spoke with The Temple News listed their top elections as health care, education, the environment and economic equality. Clare Korbisch, a freshman industrial engineering major, supports Warren’s policy goals, she said. “In America, education costs are ri-

they aren’t on their parents insurance. My savings should go to my loans and not worrying about how to pay.” Sam Slavitt, a senior computer science major, organized for Sanders in the 2016 primary and is organizing ahead of the 2020 primary. He supports Sanders because he has the strongest position on environmental issues. “He’s the only candidate that makes sense to me,” Slavitt said. Lilia Grabenstein, a sophomore political science major, said she supports Sanders and does not care for any of the other candidates. “Warren switched parties, and he’s the guy who will at least improve some things,” Grabenstein said. “The College For All program is great, but Medicare For All makes sure you don’t need to pay for food and health instead of college.” Cassandra Licenzi, a freshman theater education major and member of Temple for Pete, a group supporting Buttigieg’s candidacy, said her candidate would allow students to have more choice of their health care. “I like his idea of ‘Medicare for All Who Want It,’” she said. “That way, you don’t force people into the Medicare they don’t want.” Turnout among young Democrats will likely be high this year, said Michael Hagen, a professor of political science. “The candidates are paying some attention to young people,” Hagen said. “The ideas are pretty sweeping made by some candidates on how they would abolish student debt.” Climate change and the economy also place high among the priorities of voters under 35, The Hill reported.

spending package on clean energy, fossil fuel extraction bans and, in some versions, job schemes, Axios reported. However, this may not mean much in the primaries, Hagen said. “Environmental ideas will be central in the fall campaign,” he said. “None of the candidates has really differentiated themselves from the others on this issue.” When asked who she supported on climate, Monet Gregory, a junior political science major, yelled “Bernie!” enthusiastically. “I think his views most align with mine,” Gregory said. “On education, environment, focusing on the regular American, he’s more leaning left, like I am,” she added. On the economy, Sebastian Bingham, a sophomore engineering major, likes Andrew Yang’s stance on student debt and plan to give $1,000 a month to every American adult, he said. “He has a different perspective on things,” Bingham said. Students who are Republican or conservative told The Temple News they support Donald Trump. “For our party’s best interests is for the Democrats to split the vote across the board,” said Chris Kaye, a junior supply chain management major. Kaye opposes free tuition because taxpayers will have to shoulder the costs, he said. Tyler Miller, a freshman communication studies major, is a registered Republican and supports Trump but likes Sanders’ free tuition plan for public university students, he said.

Joe Biden

Michael Bloomberg

Pete Buttigieg

Amy Klobuchar

Bernie Sanders

Elizabeth Warren

news@temple-news.com @TheTempleNews

Andrew Yang


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Temple reps outline post-Hahnemann proposals The seperate plans seek to prevent or lessen the effect of hospital closings on communities. BY COLIN EVANS News Editor Two Temple-area congressmen have proposed separate plans to protect patients and providers from hospital closings in the wake of Hahnemann University Hospital’s shuttering last year. United States Rep. Dwight Evans, D-Philadelphia, whose district encompasses parts of Main Campus and the Health Sciences Campus, is meeting with legislators and hospital leaders to consider how Congress could adapt Pennsylvania’s Rural Health Model to boost urban hospitals’ finances, his office announced on Jan. 29. U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle, D-Philadelphia, whose district also encompasses parts of Main Campus and the Health Sciences Campus, introduced the Protecting Communities from Hospital Closures Act, which would require hospitals to provide 180 days notice to the federal government before closing, on Jan. 27. Hahnemann’s owners announced the hospital’s closure in July 2019, eliciting outcry from staff, patients and legislators who claimed it would cause a public health emergency, WHYY reported. Shutting down the hospital, which was more than 170 years old, forced more than 550 medical residents to find a new program within weeks, The Temple News reported. While some predicted the closing would cause a crisis for nearby hospitals, the influx of new patients benefited Temple University Hospital by alleviating some of its fixed costs, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported in Sept. 2019. Ten Philadelphia hospitals have closed in the last 20 years, causing a 33-percent drop in the number of licensed acute-care hospital beds, the Inquirer reported. Here is a summary of what each

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Congressman has proposed.


Since November, Evans has met twice with legislators and health care leaders, including ones from Temple, to discuss how to protect the viability of hospitals’ finances, he said. “What we’re trying to do is to be at the forefront, to prevent these things to occur,” Evans said. “We can’t sit idly by.” Evans’ plan is to adapt the Pennsylvania Rural Health Model, which changes the way that hospitals are paid by insurers, to fit the needs of urban hospitals. Pennsylvania’s model launched last year with five hospitals and five payers, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Typically, insurers and the government pay hospitals on a per-service basis, wrote Nate Wardle, a spokesperson for the PA Department of Health. If not enough patients receive services, the hospital can struggle, he wrote. Under Pennsylvania’s model, rural hospitals are paid a fixed amount of funds determined in advance to cover their services, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Though the model is designed for rural hospitals, urban hospitals face similar financial challenges, Wardle wrote. “It is important to realize that just because an urban area is thriving and the health care facilities seem to be doing well, that doesn’t mean they all are doing well,” he wrote. Stuart Fine, a health services administration and policy professor, said Evans’ proposal does not make sense because urban hospitals, unlike rural ones, are often not the only source of health care for patients within miles. “It does not make sense to me to necessarily protect a failing enterprise, a hospital, when there’s another hospital blocks away,” said Fine, former CEO of Lexington Memorial Hospital in Lexington, North Carolina, and Grand View Hospital in Sellersville, Pennsylvania.

CLAUDIA SALVATO / THE TEMPLE NEWS Two United States congressmen have proposed separate plans to protect patients and providers from hospital closings.

The real concern of hospitals closing has to do with the loss of jobs, Fine added. Approximately 2,500 workers at Hahnemann lost their jobs as a result of the closing, the Inquirer reported. “If those inner-city hospitals close, is the issue that people are going without care, or the issue is that people who had good-paying solid jobs are now unemployed,” Fine asked. “And that’s important. I’m not saying it’s not important. But that’s not health policy. That’s economic policy.” Protecting hospitals is important for preserving jobs, ensuring that patients have access to services and alleviating the financial pressure on surrounding hospitals, Evans said. “This is a crisis, not made up by me or anybody,” he said. “Medicare and Medicaid payments must be fair and adequate to ensure access to high quality, effective and efficient medical care for our vulnerable communities,” wrote Jeremy Walter, a spokesperson for Temple University Health System, in an email to The Tem-

ple News.


In addition to compelling hospitals to provide 180-days notice before closing, Boyle’s bill requires shuttering providers to submit a detailed plan outlining their timeline for closure and written agreements from other providers who accept responsibility for caring for displaced patients, according to the bill. The bill also allows the federal government increased oversight into how the plan is implemented. “We should do everything we can to preserve high quality, timely care for patients, both in Philadelphia and across the country,” Boyle said, according to a Jan. 27 release. Temple did not respond to a request for comment on Boyle’s bill. The legislation is modeled after a nearly identical bill approved by Philadelphia City Council in December 2019. colin.evans@temple.edu @colinpaulevans





Philadelphia gears up for accurate census count City officials are working to in- which encompass Main Campus, crease outreach to college stu- marked themselves as having received dents and community residents. Supplemental Security Income and/ BY ASA CADWALLADER & JACQUELINE GREENE For The Temple News With the 2020 United States Census around the corner, Gabriela Raczka, an engagement manager with Philly Counts 2020, is working around the clock, training census volunteers and meeting with local officials and community leaders. “There is a lot at stake here,” Raczka said. “Counting every person in the city is an ambitious goal but an important one.” The census may have a vast economic and political impact on Philadelphia, according to Philly Counts, the agency tasked with conducting census operations across the city. For instance, the census impacts how much federal funding communities receive and how much representation they have in Congress, according to the Census Bureau. Beginning in March, 95 percent of households across the country will be contacted by mail to complete the census, according to the Census Bureau. For the first time, the census can be taken online, although participants can still mail in the form or complete it over the phone. Jacqueline Martin, who lives on 17th Street near Montgomery Avenue, said she plans to fill out the census this year but is not sure if younger people will. “I have a 32-year-old daughter, and she doesn’t know anything about the census,” Martin said. Census funding affects a wide range of social services and public works projects in the city. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and National School Lunch Program all rely on census-informed funding, according to Philly Counts. Approximately 33 percent of families in the zip codes 19121 and 19122, @TheTempleNews

or cash public assistance income in the past 12 months in 2017, according to the Census Bureau. Philadelphia loses $2,100 annually in federal funding for every uncounted resident, Raczka said. “With so many dollars at stake, census participation is absolutely crucial,” said Conrad Weiler, a political science professor who worked on the census as an enumerator in 2010. “There are 1,100, approximately, federal grant programs, most of which are based on population,” he added. “These affect virtually every function of government at the local level.” But the communities which need aid the most can be the most difficult to count, Raczka said. Last year, the census was thrown into controversy when the Trump Administration tried to insert a question asking respondents whether they were U.S. citizens, the Washington Post reported. Though the question was blocked by the Supreme Court, advocates say the public controversy has made members of immigrant communities more afraid to fill out the census, the Post reported. Terry Holmes, who lives on 15th Street near Oxford, will fill out the census but does not think it matters because the government does not address housing issues in the area anyway, he said. “It’s important due to the fact that we need to know what’s going on in the neighborhood, but does it mean anything,” Holmes asked. “That’s another subject.” Holmes will not take the census online, he added. “Having the physical copy is important to me,” Holmes said. “It means I thought about it and read it and considered it fully.” John Frazier, who lives on Cecil B. Moore Avenue near 32nd Street, said he always fills out the census and he will fill out this year’s form in person.

CLAUDIA SALVATO / THE TEMPLE NEWS John William Frazier, who lives on Cecil B. Moore Avenue, talks about the importance of the census outside of the Cecil B. Moore subway station on Broad Street on Feb. 3.

“It’s important to know how many people we got,” he said. For many students, 2020 will mark the first year they fill out the census. Instead of defaulting to where their parents live, college students should mark themselves as living where they sleep most often as of April 1, according to the Census Bureau. In September, Philly Counts launched a “Census Champion” training program to inform students about how the census works and explain how they can raise awareness about it, according to a release from the agency. Census Champion trainings were conducted at universities, including Temple, as well as community centers all across the city, according to the release. “We’ve historically faced an extreme undercount in North Philadelphia,” Raczka said. “If college students don’t participate, we’ll be facing an even higher undercount. We need our college students to be empowered to participate and spread the word about the importance of the census to our community.” Several students told The Temple News they did not know about the cen-

sus or felt that it was not well advertised. “Students may not be educated as to the importance of the census and how it determines representation in Congress,” said Philip Steinberg, a political science professor. “There is a lack of explanation, and students seem to be interested in other things.” To increase outreach, the Census Bureau announced on Jan. 7 it was escalating efforts to recruit 500,000 workers to help with the census. Anyone age 18 and older, especially recent high school graduates, college students, veterans, retirees, military spouses, seasonal workers and people who are bilingual are highly encouraged to apply, according to the Census Bureau. Tracey Fitchett, who lives in South Philadelphia, said younger generations are not engaged in the census. “I have five grandkids, and you know, they’re all adults but they never talk about the census,” she said. “I think it’s very similar to voting,” she added. “It’s a responsibility.” news@temple-news.com @TheTempleNews

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January shootings rise in Temple area police district Shootings this year in the 22nd prevent them from further being vioDistrict have increased com- lent,” said Theron Pride, the city’s senior pared to the same period in 2019. director of violence prevention strateBY COLIN EVANS News Editor Rattling off a list of shootings, Belinda Kelly, who lives on 17th Street near Diamond, said gun violence in the area has been getting “worse and worse.” “It ain’t getting no better,” Kelly, 62, said. As of Jan. 28, 18 people have been shot in Philadelphia’s 22nd District this year, compared to three during the same period in 2019, according to the Philadelphia Shooting Victims Dashboard. The 22nd District encompasses Main Campus, Brewerytown, Strawberry Mansion and Yorktown. Citywide shooting victims have also increased by approximately 2 percent in 2020 compared to the same period in 2019, according to the dashboard, which is a project of the Initiative for Better Gun Violence Reporting. More than a year has passed since Mayor Jim Kenney released The Philadelphia Roadmap to Safer Communities, a 32-page plan to tackle gun violence throughout the city. The plan outlines a public healthbased approach to gun violence that focuses on reducing inequality in communities with high rates of violence, bolstering law enforcement’s use of analytics and community-based policing, and improving reentry programs for people who were incarcerated, according to its executive summary. “The overall strategy is to go where the violence is, go to the people who are most at risk, go to the places that are most at risk, and do all that we can to

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gies and programs. In the year after the plan was announced, shooting victims increased by 6.2 percent compared to the year before, according to the dashboard. “It is certainly with a heavy heart, for a lot of us know that we’re still not where we want to be,” Pride said. Since the roadmap was announced, the city has approved approximately $40 million in funding for the initiative, Pride said. Among the plan’s package of reforms is the expansion of the Community Crisis Intervention Program, which sends out teams of workers to connect with young people in neighborhoods with high rates of violence. In the 22nd District, the city added more than 40 staffers in the Community Crisis Intervention Program, wrote Dave Kinchen, a spokesperson for the Office of Violence Prevention, in an email to The Temple News. Christian Soltysiak, the interim executive director of CeaseFirePA, a gun control education and advocacy organization, said the recent increase in shootings is not necessarily a sign the Mayor’s plan is not working. For instance, the increased shootings may be fueled by guns becoming more accessible, Soltysiak said. Approximately 3,700 guns were recovered by police in Philadelphia County in 2018, part of a 17 percent increase from 201418, according to the Pennsylvania Gun Tracing Analytics Platform. “I would think that the accessibility of guns has got to be one of the hardest parts of dealing with this, because there just are a lot of guns on the streets of


Philadelphia,” Soltysiak said. Pennsylvania requires background checks for handguns, maintains records of handgun sales and requires gun dealers to be licensed by the state, according to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, a left-leaning gun policy organization. The state does not require gun owners to register their firearms, prohibit large-capacity ammunition magazines or regulate the sale of ammunition. In 2020, of the 18 victims shot in the 22nd District, 10 were between the ages of 18 and 29, according to the dashboard.

Two of the shootings in the 22nd District this year were fatal. In 2019, 151 people were shot in the 22nd District, according to the dashboard. Alfred Sturfford, who lives on 17th Street near Oxford, said he feels like there has been a shooting every day of 2020. When asked why he thought the shootings had increased, Sturfford, 26, shook his head. “It’s Philadelphia we at,” he said. colin.evans@temple.edu @colinpaulevans





Everyone in the U.S. counts This March, the United States Census Bureau will begin distributing the census, which is a short questionnaire intended to count the number of individuals living in the U.S. Participation in the U.S. Census is incorporated in the Constitution and mandatory for all currently living in the U.S. The collected data will serve as a guideline to apportion seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and distribute federal funds for social programs, infrastructure and more. The count will also be used for further research and analysis. This year marks the first time the census questionnaire will be accessible online, but individuals can also submit their census by filling out a paper form or over the phone. People can view the questions that will appear on the form ahead of time by visiting the Census Bureau’s website. The Editorial Board urges all individuals living in the Philadelphia area to complete the census. Philadelphia loses $2,100 in funding annually for each person not counted in the census, according

to Gabriela Raczka, an engagement manager with Philly Counts 2020. These funds could benefit the everyday lives of Philadelphians, as information from the census determines funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and the National School Lunch Program. Census information also determines the number of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, which has declined in Pennsylvania from 36 to 18 seats since 1910, according to the Pennsylvania Capital Star. The Editorial Board also encourages students who are interested in the census process to attend a census champion training session to learn more about how the census works and how to spread awareness about the process, according to Philly Counts 2020. Potential undercounting could affect state funding, research and representation for the next 10 years, which is why it is essential for all individuals currently living in the U.S. to participate.


College students should be counted in the place where they live and sleep most often as of April 1, 2020, according to the official census website. Students should not count on landlords to fill out the census for them, the website further states. The census includes citizens, non-citizen legal residents, non-citizen long-term visitors and undocumented immigrants. The census form will be available online or by phone in 12 different languages, according to the City of Philadelphia website.



A broadened idea of racism A student explains how a book on into how other ethnic groups of people sufNative American history changed fered or struggled due to racism. I always focused on African-American struggles and their understanding of racism.



n grade school, I couldn’t hold back my emotional reaction when learning about Ruby Bridges, the first African-American child to attend William Frantz Elementary School, an all-white school during a desegregation conflict in 1960. As an African-American woman, I was frightened watching her have to deal with the taunting and physical threats from angry white parents. I felt shocked just watching it all happen, but ultimately sad because, as much as I wanted to relate to it, I couldn’t — I wasn’t there. Whenever I’d watch Ruby being treated unfairly, I cried — I couldn’t help it. I put myself in Ruby’s shoes and became that young girl getting verbally harassed, having to hear those vicious words and threats said to me. From that moment on, I realized what kind of a student — ­ and overall what kind of a person ­— I was, by trying to put myself in other people’s experiences in order to understand them. I took a pride in what African Americans went through like I was right there in that moment. But recently, my understanding of racism in America changed when I started reading “Lakota Woman” in my gender, sexuality and women’s studies class. The book, written by Mary Crow Dog, is an autobiography of the history of Native Americans and their struggles with racism. It was a topic that I’d heard about, but wasn’t taught until now, and I was shocked at what I read in the first five chapters. I realized I never put enough thought

their history. I read a part in the book where Crow Dog talks about the history of the forced relocation of her people by the United States government. I started to understand a little bit about how indigenous people felt. It was really hard for the author to keep her ancestry because her parents insisted that assimilating to white society was the only solution. I realized how ignorant I was before by not really thinking other people struggled to, that it was just African Americans. While reading this book I felt self-centered, and I didn’t like that. In that moment, I started to open my eyes to other people’s experiences more. I gained empathy toward the struggles of indigenous people. Maybe I was so blind to the struggles of other groups because I wasn’t educated on their history — only knowing my own made me very close-minded, and reading this book made me want to work on being open to more cultures and people with various backgrounds. Since reading this book, I’ve started researching different cultures and learning about their own cultural celebrations. For instance, I wasn’t aware that Indigenous Peoples’ Day was the same day as Columbus Day, but now I’m excited to learn more about this celebration. I’ll be sure to celebrate it myself. I’ve developed a new sense of understanding, being more open-minded and sharing my empathy toward others. I like the broader me I’m becoming. brianna.williams@temple.edu





Remembering Kobe and the lessons he taught me A student shares their emotions, everything on the court. Leave the game fears and hopes following the better than you found it. And when it death of Kobe Bryant last month. comes time for you to leave, leave a legBY D.P. MILLER For The Temple News On Jan. 26, while eating out with some friends at one of my favorite barbecue restaurants, I received a message around 2:30 p.m. that shook everyone at the table. Los Angeles Lakers legend, Kobe Bryant, died in a horrific helicopter crash. Initially, I thought it was some horrible social media hoax. I soon realized this was no prank. I became confused and disoriented. I was just getting to understand who he truly was. Truthfully, I grew up admiring Lebron James, not Kobe. But Kobe’s large, lustrous light often outshined Lebron’s. Kobe always seemed to steal the attention whenever they played against each other. I wasn’t in awe when he’d shoot his legendary turnaround fadeaway to hit a game-winning buzzer-beater. I couldn’t stand it. To praise another player felt treacherous, like betrayal in its highest form. I now realize I robbed myself of the opportunity to appreciate one of the greatest virtuosos in the NBA’s history. It’s something I regret today, and I probably always will. There were a few times I’ve cried for someone I didn’t know personally, but if you ever watched Kobe play, or ever heard him speak, he wasn’t a stranger to you. His actions and speech were full of truth — whether I liked him, loved him or was indifferent toward him, I always respected that. I remember Kobe once said, “Leave


end.” That’s how he approached everything he did. Although basketball was what made him famous, it wasn’t everything he was. He wore many different hats. He was a life coach, an author, a director, a publisher, a husband, but more importantly, he was a “girl dad” to his “Mambacita,” Gianna. As I’ve begun learning how to raise a girl, my niece, I loved his deliberate approach to not only empower his four daughters, but to tell the world they were more than capable to carry out his legacy. He was a man of inspiring candor who lived by his Mamba Mentality, which he defined as “a constant quest to try to better than you were yesterday.” When he demanded that you “try to be the best version of yourself” I accepted that challenge. Kobe mastered his body and mind in a way few athletes could. It’s hard to convince me he couldn’t master his own fate. Most days I trick myself into believing I’m in control of my fate. I tell myself that if I live my life genuinely, if I’m kind to the people I meet, if I help those in need, surely, that will buy me the time needed to live a long, prosperous life. Then, tragedies like this occur, and I’m gripped with immense fear and sorrow. I’m left to question if anything in life actually matters. Most people are dying to live, yet we live every day just to die. Accepting death is undoubtedly one of my biggest challenges. In the past, I tried to suppress my feelings toward it, which allowed me to cope with the raw fact that death is an appointment that


cannot be canceled. Each year it becomes the daunting reality I live in. It’s no different than what I felt after rapper Nipsey Hussle was killed in 2019. I felt it after the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando in 2016, I felt it after the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013 and I feel it every time an unarmed Black man is gunned down by a police officer. In an instant I’m reminded that death is not a matter of living “right,” and although being a well-rounded individual is important, at the end of the day, it’s out of our control.

I ask myself: “If that could happen to him, the way that it did, then what hope does that leave me?” Kobe’s death forces me to face my own mortality, but it helps me find solace in my fear. Through him, I learned there’s beauty in the process. As long as I’m diligent, and relentless in my pursuit to be the best, I can accept whatever comes — even if that means death. Long live Mamba and Mambacita. david.miller0022@temple.edu @D_P_Miller





Philadelphia students deserve certified librarians The city has the worst ratio of 73 percent Black and Latinx students, librarians to students in the na- according to 2018-19 data from the district, we’re disproportionately harming tion, with only seven librarians. On Jan. 24, about 150 individuals protested the School District of Philadelphia’s lack of certified librarians in the majority of its schools, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. TYLER PEREZ Philadelphia OPINION EDITOR has the most disproportionate ratio of librarians to students in the nation, with a total of seven librarians for approximately 125,000 students across 215 schools, the Inquirer further reported. In fact, the number of full-time, certified librarians in Philadelphia district schools decreased by more than 90 percent since 1991, when the district had 176 librarians on staff, according to Pacific Standard, a social justice magazine. When I first read these statistics, my heart broke. I’m studying to become a middle school English teacher in Philadelphia, and it’s devastating to see students are being denied the resources they need due to frequent budget cuts. “Having a library and having it incorporated into our academics was such a big part of Masterman because we’re a college preparatory school,” said Wipawan Sirivongxai, a freshman health professions major and an alumna of Julia R. Masterman Laboratory and Demonstration School at Spring Garden and 17th streets. In 2013, budget cuts forced the principal at Masterman to fire the school librarian, among other personnel, the Inquirer reported that year. “As soon as we heard our library’s shut down and our librarian’s been fired due to budget cuts, it was such a big shock throughout the school,” Sirivongxai said. “Not only are our resources cut, but now we have one less teacher to go to.” It’s unacceptable that the district has such a poor ratio of librarians to students, and with a district comprised of @TheTempleNews

students of color. Students experiencing poverty are more likely to be in a school without a certified librarian, according to a 2015 study by the Washington Library Media Association. That study found students who attend schools with certified librarians are more likely to perform well on standardized tests and to graduate. “Access to libraries is extremely important to the education of kids, period,” said Will Jordan, an associate professor of urban education. “Philly not having that, and being in the bottom placement, that positions all the kids to be in the bottom as well.” The benefits of having a school librarian are abundantly clear, as guided access to books is correlated with higher literacy rates and reading performance, the WLMA study further found. “Up until fourth grade, students are learning to read, but after fourth grade, they’re reading to learn, they’re given material around content,” said Lori Shorr, an associate professor of urban education and former chief education officer for the City of Philadelphia. “If they’re reading below grade level, they’re not going to be able to read grade-level content … and then they fall farther and farther behind.” Librarians also provide students access to and instructional help with technology, which are skills that will be essential in our current digital culture. “The School District of Philadelphia believes that literacy development is fundamental to student success, as evidenced by our Anchor Goal 2: that 100 percent of 8-year-olds will read on or above grade level,” wrote Imahni Moise, media relations specialist for the School District of Philadelphia, in an email to The Temple News. The district offers a variety of other resources, like instructional books, media and technology, classroom libraries and student access to the PA Power Library, Moise added. But of the schools without full-time,

A LOOK AT LIBRARY ACCESS IN PHILADELPHIA SCHOOLS In 1991, the School District of Philadelphia employed



Today, the district only employs

7 certified librarians, only 12 have open libraries due to contributions of uncertified, part-time volunteer staff, the Inquirer reported. That still leaves more than 200 schools without open libraries to provide students with information and resources they’ll need to succeed. The issue is based in funding disparities, as the district spends about $12,570 per student each year, far below the average amount in other cities, according to a 2015 report by Pew Charitable Trusts on school funding in Philadelphia. The solution is simple: increase funding to Philadelphia schools. Recent budget reductions forced the district to cut mostly everything not mandated by the state, including librarians, Shorr said. Although we cannot control how the economy affects school funding, we can determine what the state mandates for its schools, and librarians are essential to that. The Pennsylvania General Assembly needs to pass Pennsylvania House


Bill 1355, introduced by Rep. Mark Longetti (D-7), which would provide a certified librarian in every public school as a short-term, immediate solution to this crisis. “It is the state of Pennsylvania’s constitutional responsibility to provide a thorough and efficient education for its students,” Shorr said. “At this point, they are not funding schools based on how many students they serve or based on the need of those students.” In the long term, however, state funding of public schools needs to change to ensure that city schools are given adequate monetary resources to operate with a fully staffed team. Education is a tool that helps families experiencing poverty access to vital resources. By depriving our students of certified librarians, we’re setting them up for failure, and that’s unfair. tyler.perez@temple.edu @tyler7perez





Prohibit hair discrimination, pass CROWN Act A Pennsylvania lawmaker introduced the bill to the House of Representatives last December. On Aug. 14, 2019, Sony Pictures Animation released the short film “Hair Love,” which is nominated for an Academy Award for Best Short Film (animated). RAVEN LAWSON When I first saw FOR THE TEMPLE the film, I couldn’t NEWS help but cry. Watching the story of a Black father learning to style his daughter’s thick, naturally-curly hair filled me with so much love. This important representation of the Black experience is an image the Black community needs to see in media. Yet, while the natural hair movement has been going strong for years, and “Hair Love” is an example of that promotion of self-acceptance, society has yet to fully accept the natural hair of Black men and women. This has led to various instances of natural hair discrimination, demonstrating the need to pass the “Create A Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair,” or CROWN, Act in Pennsylvania. The CROWN Act prohibits “discrimination on hair style and hair texture,” according to the bill’s website. This act ensures protection in workplaces and K-12 schools by expanding the definition of race in the Fair Employment and Housing Act and Education Code. On Dec. 5, 2019, Rep. Dwight Evans (D-PA), who represents the third district of Pennsylvania, encompassing part of Temple University’s Main Campus, introduced the federal version of the CROWN Act to the House of Representatives. Currently, the CROWN Act was passed in three states, and introduced in 20 more, including Pennsylvania. “I think it is a step in the right direction,” said Lori Tharps, an associate professor of journalism who has researched letters@temple-news.com


the natural hair movement. “But making something illegal, in this case, discrimination against Black hairstyles, does not eradicate the problem.” Last month, a Black student in Pittsburgh was told that if he did not cut his dreadlocks, he would be suspended from school or even kept from graduating, WXPI News reported. In October 2019, a Pennsylvania State University football player received a letter from an alumnus of the university saying his “shoulder-length dreadlocks look disgusting and are certainly not attractive,” USA Today reported. On Dec. 19, 2018, Andrew Johnson, a wrestler at Buena Regional High School in Buena, New Jersey, was forced to either cut his dreadlocks or forfeit the competition after the referee argued that his hair did not comply with regulations, the Guardian reported. A year later, New Jersey passed the CROWN act, ac-

cording to NJ.com. “We know the history of discrimination against our people, against our hair and the way we express ourselves and our individuality as Black people,” said Alexis Burress, a sophomore marketing major and promotions chair for Temple University’s Black Student Union. These are all examples of the perpetuation of negative stereotypes associated with Black hairstyles, exemplifying the importance of the CROWN Act. The creation of legislation to protect Black individuals from natural hair discrimination is long overdue, and more states, like Pennsylvania, need to take action to ratify the act. “[The CROWN Act] is amazing because I can’t imagine being unable to be and look yourself in a place of work or education since that is what you have to do in your everyday life,” said Nia Thornton, a freshman psychology major

and member of the event committee for Campus Curlz, a natural hair and service-based organization at Temple. But it’s unfortunate that laws regarding hair discrimination need to be enacted in the first place. The belief that natural hair is unprofessional or unacceptable is an outdated and racist ideology promoting Eurocentric beauty standards as being superior. In passing The CROWN Act, states are showing solidarity with the Black community and taking a stand against different forms of discrimination we face. Pennsylvania should follow. “It’s important to show that people aren’t alone,” Thornton said. “But more people still need to be shown that it’s okay to be Black and wear your natural hair. It’s okay to love yourself.” raven.lawson@temple.edu @ravnlawsn31





Project expands legal counsel for name changes Students and faculty members will now be able to request free legal counsel from the law clinic. BY JJ EVANS For The Temple News


ach time Gideon Morgan takes a test at Disability Resources and Services, he sees a name different from the one on his state ID. But when he logs into TUPortal, he sees the same name as on his state ID. It’s because as a freshman neuroscience student working minimum wage and paying for tuition, Morgan can’t afford the estimated $450 it costs to legally change his name to match the gender identity he identifies with. For many trans people, lack of financial and family support, and a lengthy bureaucratic process can make it difficult to afford the hundreds of dollars the name change process requires. The Beasley School of Law’s Name Change Project provides free legal assistance to people who are transgender in navigating the legal process of successfully changing their names to reflect their gender expression. This semester, the project began accepting trans Temple students and faculty members as eligible clients. Previously, it only accepted community residents. A study conducted by the University of Texas in 2018 found trans youth who were allowed to use their chosen names at home, work, school and with friends experienced 71 percent fewer symptoms of severe depression. It also found a 34 percent decrease in suicidal thoughts and a 65 percent decrease in suicidal attempts.


Morgan said the Name Change Project would meet the common needbased challenges trans people face. “I’m technically a dependent of my parents still, and they make almost enough money that they could reasonably pay for this,” he said. “But because my parents aren’t affirming, the cost falls on me.” Kathy Mandelbaum urges that students and faculty who can afford to pay for a lawyer do so, making room for students and faculty who truly require the assistance. “A lot of our students don’t have financial resources to do the things to make changes in the places they care about,” said Mandelbaum, associate professor of law and the project’s advising attorney. The project is run entirely by Temple law students. These students, under the supervision of Mandelbaum, provide legal advice and assist in the court petition process with each client. The project began in 2017 when Steven Johnston, a 2018 Temple Law alumnus, interned at the law clinic at the Mazzoni Center, an LGBT wellness center in Washington Square West that provides name change services, among others. Johnston noticed that name changes, despite not directly requiring legal counsel, were taking up too much of the clinic’s time and resources. The Name Change Project is seeking more clients and continually receives some from the Mazzoni Center, Mandelbaum said. The procedure for name changes in Pennsylvania requires not only that fingerprints be taken, but also that notice of name change be published in two local

CLAUDIA SALVATO / THE TEMPLE NEWS Kathy Mandelbaum, associate professor of law, talks about the Name Change Project in Beasley School of Law library on Jan. 24.

newspapers, according to Chapter 7 in Title 54. “Why do I have to publish my name somewhere when no one’s gonna read it?” Morgan said. While these laws are intended to keep felons and debtors from escaping punishment, it complicates a legal procedure necessary for the well-being of trans people, said Kat Contreras, a second-year law student, and student co-coordinator of the project. Contreras, alongside Sarah Connor, another second-year law student, started running the project last month. Having one’s name match their gender expression is crucial in protecting trans people from discriminatory proce-

dures from employers, and not just from the police, Contreras said. “It’s the name that a nurse will call out and a doctor’s office when they’re calling you back,” Contreras added. “It’s what a cop sees when they pull you over for accidentally turning right on red, just normal everyday things.” The project could be beneficial for trans persons because individuals’ financial need isn’t always what it seems, Morgan said. “I could personally and I know other people can definitely benefit from this,” he added. jeffrey.evans@temple.edu





Zero-waste business works for a ‘bigger impact’

A senior started a company that sells organic food in various sizes of reusable jars.

with much of it from packaging waste, according to CNBC. Food is shipped in boxes, wrapped in plastic and most shoppers carry the food in plastic or paBY YU CHEN per bags. For The Temple News Zero-waste lifestyles encourage users to bring their own refillable containWhen Cailynn Chase walked into ers and buy products in bulk to reduce Bio c’Bon, a convenience store in Gene- consumer waste, CNBC reported. va, Switzerland, she was impressed by Most of Chase’s products come from the zero-waste options it offered. Tierra Farms, an organic nuts and dried Filled with pasta, cereal, nuts, laun- fruit distributor and manufacturer in dry and dish detergents, each dispenser Valatie, New York. She chooses organat the store allowed customers to bring ic food because having natural, chemitheir own reusable containers to pur- cal-free and non-synthetic food will give chase goods. customers the most amount of nutrients, After her trip, Chase, a senior glob- she said. al studies major, founded Jars Du Jour, The mission of the business is to a zero-waste company, in 2019. It sells make zero-waste shopping easier and organic products like trail mix, coffee attract more people to the movement, beans, instant potato mix, dry fruits, rice Chase said. and beans, all packaged into jars. “Waste is just something, that if a lot Chase thought the name “Jars of people had the education and compasDu Jour,” meaning “jars of the day” in sion, it would help save French could relate to essentially,” We need to humanity zero waste. By having a Chase said. jar, one can purchase the Customers place orexact amount of food start realizing that ders through Instagram, they need. the earth doesn’t Facebook or email, Chase purchases which are then delivproducts in bulk from have a price and ered to them in person. various dry organic food favorite part about zero waste is Her vendors. She hopes to the business is seeing open her business to customers living in a reimportant. low-income communiusable lifestyle, she said. ties since it will allow “It’s really inspiring Cailynn Chase customers to buy by Senior Global Studies Major for me to meet other weight and without paypeople who are interesting for packaging. ed in living in a low waste lifestyle be“It would be really great and giving cause it kinda brings hopes back into me, them health that hasn’t really been pro- makes me look forward in the future,” vided to them over the years in commu- Chase said. “Hopefully we are all worknities because really the only food estab- ing together to make a bigger impact.” lishments around carry lots of processed Chase and her three volunteer insnacks,” Chase said. terns run the company, who build strateThe retail food sector generates gies, research local organic vendors, and eight million tons of food waste a year, communicate and collaborate with other


WILL STICKNEY / THE TEMPLE NEWS Cailynn Chase, a senior global studies major and founder of Jars Du Jour, displays her jars of organic food in the Student Center on Jan. 29. Chase sells these jars in Philadelphia, promoting waste- free alternatives to plastic packaging.

organizations and small businesses. “What makes it unique, is the fact at least in the area that I’m in there isn’t really anything for like sustainable groceries,” said Anthony Funez, a Jars Du Jour intern and a junior at Penn State University Berks, who lives in Leesport, Pennsylvania. “I feel like that’s the crucial step that we have to take. We need to start realizing that the earth doesn’t have a price and zero waste is important.” The main obstacle for Chase has been balancing the business’ funding and school work. Chase hasn’t been able to apply for grants or set up crowdfunding platforms to fund her business yet, she said. “I’ve also not had a sufficient amount of time yet to speak to the proper amount of people in the area and understand more about my market,” Chase added. Jessica Traxler, a sophomore sociol-

ogy and geography and urban studies major, who has been living a no-waste lifestyle for six months, said Chase’s idea of a no-waste business is “amazing.” “I can’t believe that it took a senior to come up with something as simple as that because that’s one of the easiest ways that people talk about how hard zero waste is and one of the easiest things is to just get rid of packaging,” Traxler said. After graduation, Chase is planning to stay in North Philadelphia and hopes to open a store near Main Campus. “I thought about where I am in Philly and like how much needs to be done, like to help out the community out here,” Chase said. “This is the community that I’m in right now, that I can spend more time in.” chen.yu@temple.edu @ychen17





YouTubers bond with students over review videos

Two friends’ popular Youtube channel analyzes fandoms like Star Wars and Marvel. BY ANTONIA LEAO For The Temple News Friends since elementary school, James Phyrillas and Christopher Schaffer created a YouTube channel after taking a digital media class together at Antietam Middle Senior High in Reading, Pennsylvania. The pair never intended for others to watch their videos — they were only using it as a place to upload their videos for storage. Now, Phyrillas and Schaffer are the creators Schaffrillas Productions, an entertainment-focused YouTube channel with videos garnering up to five million views. Titled after a mash-up of the producers’ names, Schaffrillas’ videos cover a variety of topics from live-action recreations to comedic movie reviews. “If I had known the channel would be successful, I would have fixed it to something easier to spell,” said Phyrillas, a senior economics major. After five years, the channel has more than 600,000 subscribers. Their first video to gain popularity was a live-action reenactment of a SpongeBob SquarePants episode they originally produced for a class after finding the script online. It took four months to film, and after uploading it in 2015, it got 500,000 views. “It started to become interesting to be working at a grocery store and someone comes up and be like ‘Hey, you’re Patrick from the SpongeBob live-action thing, right?’” said Schaffer, 22. “I don’t know why it was a hit, but people just liked it.” The pair uploaded more live-action videos based on trending topics, like Disney movie reviews. Their videos frequently analyze fandoms, like Star Wars and Marvel, as well as cartoons. “My favorite part about it is probably just getting messages from all sorts of people who like say how much my vid@TheTempleNews

eo really moved them or like made them laugh,” Phyrillas said. “It just like makes me really happy that they’d like something I wrote.” The channel secured sponsorships with Skillshare and Squarespace last year and now have made profits up to $300 per video, Schaffer said. Joe Magro, a senior film and media arts major was impressed with the channel’s movie reviews. He found the channel as a way to see another voice of film criticism from somebody who wasn’t from a large media corporation, he said. “All of these famous YouTubers, they have a lot of negative reviews of these films and [Phyrillas] put a positive spin on a lot of these films, making it a very enjoyable experience,” Magro said. Magro recommended the channel to his friend William Lewis, a senior media studies and production major, in 2017. When watching one of the channel’s videos, “Why Shrek Forever After is an Underrated Gem,” Magro recognized Main Campus in a musical number scene. “He’s through the sky tunnel between the Fox School of Business, so I texted [Lewis] and I was like ‘Hey this guy goes to Temple,’” Magro said. Soon after, Lewis posted a screenshot of the video on Temple’s Reddit page, Phyrillas responded and the three of them met. Magro and Lewis admire how Phyrillas balances creating videos and being a full-time student, they said. “I’m very proud that he is from here,” Lewis said. “Owls like to support other Owls, so it’s very inspiring.” The best part of creating the channel is the dynamic between him and Phyrillas, Schaffer said. “It’s one of those odd success stories you hear, you know like two best friends come together and do something and after that it spiraled out of control,” he added. “We are still the best of friends, and I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way.”

WILL STICKNEY / THE TEMPLE NEWS James Phyrillas, a senior economics major, runs a YouTube channel, Schaffrillas Productions. It has gained more than 600,000 subscribers.

WILL STICKNEY / THE TEMPLE NEWS James Phyrillas, a senior economics major, edits a video for his YouTube channel, Schaffrillas Productions, at the Student Center on Jan. 31.











1. A type of movie made to frighten the audience with shock or suspense

5. A genre of movies that tell stories taking place in the American West

2. Movies that tell stories that involve magic or supernatural events

6. Movies that makes the audience feel fear and excitement

3. Movies that follow an investigator trying to solve a crime

7. A story about the protagonist taking a journey to accomplish something

4. A movie made by manipulating pictures to look like moving images

9. Movies that shows a narrative understood as a love story

8. Movies that have the protagonist engage in risky, frantic or violent events

10. A movie that shows a story through funny or humorous events temple-news.com





Longstanding hip-hop event promotes ‘family’

On Thursday, rappers, dancers and other artists came together at The Rotunda on 40th and Walnut streets in West Philadelphia for The Gathering, a collective celebrating hip-hop culture and music. Established in 1996, The Gathering draws people of all ages to its events, taking place nearly every last Thursday of the month. Live DJs spun hip-hop music while crowd participants joined in ciphas, or informal gatherings of rappers, beatboxers and breakdancers jamming together. “Not everybody is a great freestyler, but it is a strong discipline to have as a hip-hop artist,” said Andrew “Draco” Schulman, 33, a recording artist and radio host from Ardmore, Pennsylvania. The Gathering ran from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., featuring hip-hop sets from DJ Foxx Boogie. Breakdancers surrounded the center of floor in a cipha, showcasing their skills and jamming to the beat of the music. Co-host Henry “Highz” Thomas, 28, who lives on Front Street and Greenway Avenue, emphasized the sense of community found among the people who attend The Gathering. “Every time we come here, we’re all family,” Thomas said. “We’re here to create happiness.” @TheTempleNews





Filmmaker follows Mexico’s disappearance crisis

Hunter Johnson is producing a Franco and Dalia Souza of ZonaDocs, documentary following two jour- an independent Mexican media organinalists for his master’s program. zation. Johnson will follow Franco and BY LAWRENCE UKENYE Alumni Beat Reporter Documenting the lives of 500 children at a home for disadvantaged children in Honduras showed Hunter Johnson first-hand the experiences of migrant families. “That isn’t what they want to do, but it’s kind of what they’ve been forced to do … you know, coming from situations where they need to leave,” said Johnson, a 2011 film and media arts alumnus. The experience compelled Johnson to want to pursue telling stories of human rights. He’s now creating a documentary highlighting the human disappearance crisis in Mexico. The project is a part of his thesis for his master’s of human rights degree at the University of Minnesota. The documentary features two journalists Johnson met while traveling in Mexico, Darwin


What issues are important to you in the 2020 Democratic Primary?


Souza covering the issue in Guadalajara and the families of the disappeared. Mexico started a war on drugs in 2006 and has seen more than 60,000 human disappearances since, according to BBC. As part of his master’s program, Johnson is working with the UMN’s research team known as The Observatory on Disappearances and Impunity in Mexico. There, he works to gather data and research to help learn and contribute to the issue of disappearances. As a result of his work, he sought a way to tell the story in a more compelling format. “As a documentary filmmaker, I was constantly thinking of a way this could be represented visually in a storytelling format,” Johnson said. So far, Johnson has traveled to Mexico and collected over 50 hours of “dynamic, informative, and emotional” footage, he said.

Johnson has been working on the project under Barbara Frey, a professor of human rights at UMN. “It’s important for the audience to understand the nature of the problem, who’s responsible for the disappearances who are the disappeared, and what their families are going through,” she said. While finding buried bodies in Mexico, basic identification procedures, like DNA testing, have rarely been performed, according to the Human Rights Watch. “Everyone has the hope that they’ll find their loved one alive, but sometimes there’s no progress and people have gone five or 10 years without hearing anything from them,” Johnson said. Ruth Ost, senior director of Temple’s honors program, has known Johnson to be someone who’s passion for social justice extends to other aspects of his character. She mentored him while he was attending Temple and wrote him his letter of recommendation for UMN. “He has a way of making you want to have him around,” she said. “There’s

NATALIE LINCH Freshman English and ceramics major I haven’t looked into it yet. I’m planning on checking out the candidates when the election gets closer.

JENNA MIELE Senior media studies and production major Basic rights for people, human beings. Not getting anyone else in office that’s going to take away any rights from the LGBT community, women, immigrants.

something so kind and genuine about him that makes you feel like if you told him something it would be safe in his custody.” Johnson plans to continue working on his documentary after he completes his master’s program in May. He receives most of the film’s financial support from the program, but is looking for grants, partners or collaborators to continue supporting it until its release. “This is a huge story, and there’s a lot of potential given the access I have to these characters who are eager to share their story, so I’m looking for ways to continue the project after I graduate,” he said. Johnson wants to lift up people who have a message of hope, he said. “There’s a lot of people throughout the world who have stories and we have to do a better job of listening to them.” lawrence.ukenye@temple.edu @lawrencee_u

JOSIAH PEREZ Freshman undeclared major Probably climate change. Climate change is a really big issue within America.

ISRAT JAHAAN Freshman undeclared major I know they talk a lot about health care and stuff. I feel like they still don’t have a plan on how to solve it, in comparison to all the other problems.





Art collective affirms trans students’ creativity, legacy Founded in 2019, deadname.arts gives trans and non-binary students a space to create. BY GIONNA KINCHEN Intersection Co-Editor To Osimiri Sprowal, transgender people are “walking art.” Sprowal is the founder and executive director of deadname.arts, an art collective for transgender and nonbinary individuals. It is “the only non-cis artist collective” in Philadelphia, according to deadname.arts’ Instagram page. “We are art, period, because art is to create something that did not exist,” said Sprowal, a senior Africology major. “My entire life is creating myself as someone who did not exist yesterday and might not exist tomorrow depending on how I feel or what’s going on in my body.” The collective was founded in 2019, and focuses on giving gender non-conforming artists a space to express themselves through art showcases, visual displays, poetry and events “catered to people who aren’t cis,” Sprowal said. “I think that deadname is a vital space for trans artists because in a lot of cisgender spaces, I find that trans artistry is not seen, it is not advocated for and it is not affirmed and protected in the ways that it should be,” said Ronnie Nocella, a senior political science major and the collective’s executive producer. “As an all-trans and gender variant organization … we want to create the space to give trans artists the compensation and the reward that they deserve.” According to a 2015 report by the National Center for Transgender Equality, 48 percent of transgender individuals have reported “being denied equal treatment, verbally harassed, and/or physically attacked in the past year because of being transgender.” “I experience violence 24/7,” Sprowal said. “Everyone in my collective experiences violence 24/7. The point of making a house is so you get to say who’s in it and who’s not. So if I say there’s no cis @TheTempleNews

JEREMY ELVAS / THE TEMPLE NEWS (Left) Osimiri Sprowal, a senior Africology major and executive director of deadname.arts, and K.V. Brown, a freshman psychology major and a member of deadname.arts, stand in front of the Tyler School of Art and Architecture on Feb. 3.

people in my house, there’s no cis people in my house.” During the fall semester, deadname. arts participated in a poetry reading fundraiser for the Philadelphia Indigenous community. The collective will hold an open call in the coming weeks for transgender and nonbinary visual artists, dancers and musicians to audition to join the collective, Sprowal said. The LGBTQ community has not always been able to openly celebrate their identities, said Brad Windhauser, an associate professor for the gender, sexuality and women’s studies program. Historically, LGBTQ individuals have had to “carve out spaces that mainstream society has not made available to [them],” Windhauser added. In the past, these spaces were often exclusively “geared toward adults,” like gay bars and clubs, Windhauser said. But

in the 1980s and 1990s, at the height of the AIDS crisis, the LGBTQ community began to emphasize community-building and activism, and different types of LGBTQ spaces were more common, reported Urban Omnibus, the Architectural League of New York’s online publication. “Because [the LGBTQ community has] also had struggles being accepted in family units, communities, whatever, we’ve had to form our own communities that have nurtured us,” Windhauser said. “Having spaces that are dedicated to us, particularly youth, has been hyper-important. …Having artistic spaces enables them to not just process their experiences, but share those experiences in ways that other communities have always had the privilege of doing.” Transgender and nonbinary firstyear college students rate themselves

lower than the national average in social self-confidence, but higher than the national average in confidence in their creativity and artistic ability, according to a 2018 report by the UCLA Law Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law and Public Policy. Deadname.arts exists to give transgender and nonbinary individuals a way to define their own legacy, Nocella said. “I think that the most powerful thing that a gender-expansive person has is their name and autonomy over how their name is known for the rest of time,” Nocella added. “That is why our organization is so vital because we make sure that people’s names are known as we want them to be known for the rest of time.” gionna@temple.edu @gionnakinchen





Student finds music ‘universal,’ a way to connect A Jewish students, who’s mother is Peruvian, uses music to merge both parts of her identity. BY NICO CISNEROS Intersection Co-Editor Gabrielle Barrett prepared a song which she had sung many times in the weekly Shabbat services she and her family attended. But on this occasion, there would be no congregation or instruments accompanying her — just her sisters. In a hospital room, Barrett, a freshman theater major, and her sisters held their grandfather’s hand and sang “Mi Shebeirach,” a song of healing typically sung at the end of Shabbat. Barrett was not expecting it to truly heal her grandfather, but to give him comfort. “We knew that modern medicine couldn’t fix everything, but we knew that God was going to be with him, no matter where he went,” she said. Growing up in the Jewish faith, Barrett learned music was heavily tied to her religion. She grew up attending Mainline Reform Temple in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania and began singing in the choir after the cantor came to her class in third grade. The cantor plays an important role in Jewish worship, said Laura Levitt, a religion, Jewish studies and gender professor. “A cantor is a Jewish music professional. They help lead the congregation in prayer and also train young people,” she said. “This is a very serious position, and cantors are trained and get a graduate degree after college, not unlike Rabbis, but focused on Jewish liturgy and Jewish music.” Music is a hallmark of worship for



the Jewish community, Levitt said, adding that the Torah, the Jewish holy book, is often chanted. The Torah is written in Hebrew. Even if people don’t understand the language, they can still understand the message of a song through the music, Levitt added. This was how Barrett learned the teachings of the Torah. She said even when she didn’t understand Hebrew, she

could understand its meaning based on the melody and tone of the songs she’d sing. “Every Jewish song, as well as when you read from the Torah, these are sort of melodies that people follow,” she said. “The V’ahavta, one of the most famous prayers that we do during Shabbat, there is a universal tune to that song.” Barrett’s cantor taught her and her friends at weekly practices to perform on

different occasions, but to her, the most important was the family service on the first Friday of the month. Barrett and other members of the choir would snack on Oreos and milk before they performed for their family and friends in the congregation. During these services, she felt most at home, she said. “When the service starts, everyone knows the melodies, everyone’s clapping along, and it just fills you up with his warm feeling of being included somewhere and knowing who you are,” she added. “It’s just a sense of family.” Barrett cherishes the sense of community, particularly because some in the Jewish community may not accept her. Barrett’s mother is Peruvian and her father is Jewish, which she said could be an issue for some in the Jewish community. Judaism is a traditionally matrilineal religion, meaning an individual is often only considered fully Jewish if their mother is Jewish, she added. Barrett has found a modern way to express her faith as a member of Jewkebox A Capella, Temple’s only religious acapella group. She got the chance to blend her heritage and faith last semester when the group sang a Ladino arrangement. Ladino is a musical mixture of Hebrew and Spanish. Barrett said she enjoys “delivering emotion” and expressing the different parts of her heritage through art. “Art, for me, is universal,” Barrett said. “No matter what language you speak or what country you’re from or whatever, if you listen to a song, look at a dance … usually you get the same message no matter what language you speak, which I think is really special.” nicole.cisneros@temple.edu @nicomcisneros





Students connect, honor culture through dance

Temple has eight registered student organizations dedicated to cultural dance. BY NICO CISNEROS Intersection Co-Editor When Yuryssa Lewis came to Temple from Saint Croix, United States Virgin Islands, culture shock hit her. The new city was confusing and different from her home, but after trying out for the Student Organization for Carribean Awareness’ dance team, Lewis found the “little piece of home” she was looking for. Today, Lewis, a senior anthropology major, is the Temple Student Government and STARS representative for Ramajay, an organization founded in 2018 that showcases the music, dance and culture of the West Indies region. The dance team is one thing that gets her through the week, Lewis said. “Listening to the music, being around people who kind of share the same culture and understand the music, and then bringing awareness to other people I love,” she added. “It’s just a part of me, and it makes me feel like I’m home when I’m getting depressed from being cold.” “We’re not just on representing the Carribean, that’s a very wide group,” said Makayla Peterson, a senior dance major and Ramajay’s co-captain. “We want to focus specifically on the West Indian countries because that’s a whole other region within itself.” Ramajay is one of eight registered cultural dance groups at Temple, according to Owl Connect. Escencia Latina is a Latin dance group that aims to spread Latinx culture. “We like to do a lot of different Latin dances, bachata, salsa, merengue,” said Benjamin Estrella, a senior mechanical engineering major and Escencia’s secretary. “Sometimes we just throw on a merengue song and everybody gets down to that.” Samaria Aluko, a public health graduate student, joined Escencia to learn @TheTempleNews

more about Latin culture, specifically through dance. Aluko, who is Nigerian, said there are stories in her history that can only be expressed through dance. “I feel like [dance is] a different way to speak to someone without actually using language like you wouldn’t need a translator if you just follow the music and the beat and allow yourself to just go off the spirit or the nature of the culture,” Aluko said. Communicating culture through a dance group is important to Gabrielle Dando, a senior adult and organizational development major and assistant dance educator of Temple’s Irish Dance Team. In her role, she utilizes more than 20 years of Irish dance experience to help create and teach choreography to members so they can dance at different community events, including senior home visits, classroom presentations and St. Patrick’s Day festivities. For Dando, these events are ways to connect with the community. She remembered meeting with a woman after dancing at a retirement community. “One woman, in particular, was crying so lovingly with happiness because she was so happy to have us come visit and talk to her and talk to her fellow residents and to see us do what we love and smile and have fun,” she said. “They love seeing the young people active and involved in their culture.” Dando believes it’s important to continue Irish dancing to acknowledge her ancestors. “In the days when the Irish were being oppressed by the British empire, dancing was a way that they kept their unique culture alive and passed it down to their future generations,” she said. Kiayana Reid, Ramajay’s president and a senior engineering major, said this is why dance is so important to the many cultures represented in Ramajay. “We named ourselves Ramajay because it means ‘break free, get loose, celebrate,’” she said. “That’s what a lot of the Carribean countries did when they were independent.”

JEREMY ELVAS / THE TEMPLE NEWS Kiayana Reid, a senior engineering major and Ramajay’s president, dances during the team’s Shake Off Winter Blues workshop at the Student Center on Jan. 28.

ISAAC SCHEIN / THE TEMPLE NEWS Gabrielle Dando, a senior adult and organizational development major and the assistant dance educator of Temple’s Irish Dance Team, watches the team rehearse in Mitten Hall on Jan. 29.

At her home of Saint Croix, music and dance are especially important, Lewis said. A traditional dance in her culture, quadrille, is danced to quelbe music. Played on tins and cans, she explained it was used by slaves to mock the Danish aristocracy. Lewis said the purpose of the dance is to poke fun at Saint Croix’s colonizers

and “take back” their identities. “The music, Carnival time, dancing, that’s our way of claiming our identity,” Lewis said. “For us, music, dancing, all of it, it’s about keeping and remembering our history and our culture.” nicole.cisneros@temple.edu @nicomcisneros





Writing my own story

A bisexual student shares how creative writing helped her embrace her sexuality. BY ANTONIA LEÃO For The Temple News I didn’t know I was bisexual until I was 16 because I had nothing to compare myself to before then, but I always knew my feelings didn’t seem to be the same as my friends’. Growing up, no one had ever told me there was another box to check — or rather, several other boxes. That’s just not something parents tell you, at least not to my generation or the previous ones, especially in Brazil, where I grew up. The birds and the bees conversations always followed the lines of “when you like a boy...” The conversation restricted every other possibility, so I never thought that what I feel toward the same gender was normal. When I was a teenager, I left the school I studied at for six years and went to a different school where I was outside of my comfort zone. There, I met several people who identified as part of the LGBTQ community, and I didn’t feel like


a freak anymore. Understanding my own sexuality was the first step in wanting to make others safe and reassured with their sexuality, too. The only safe place I found to express these feelings more deeply was in my writing. I started writing when I was 8 years old, got distracted along the way, but

found my way back to the craft last year. In 2019, I decided to stick with a project and finish it, unlike the others I had started and abandoned. I began writing the novel that I’m currently working on, which is based on events from throughout my life. I had some idea of what I wanted to convey: A young adult story of love

between two girls, but also a story about growth and finding oneself. When I found out I had been accepted to Temple for a year as an exchange student, and eventually got here, I decided to make the story more interesting. Instead of solely focusing on the main character’s sexuality, I decided to put her in a scenario where she is exploring another culture, too. Being at Temple and meeting people from all over the world inspired me to write about diversity and learn to respect other people’s differences. In the end, I wanted to show queer people as human beings with lives that don’t only focus on the fact that they are queer. I needed to write a story that displayed this normalcy because I hadn’t seen it elsewhere. I’m writing my book because we need more bisexual representation in literature. Bisexuals are not confused, they are not in a phase and they are real, just like everyone else. I’m sure if I had more access to this kind of representation I would have accepted myself earlier than I did. antonia.muricy.leao@temple.edu







Owls have ‘a lot to prove’ in AAC’s second season Temple had the second-most players named to the AAC All-Conference Preseason Team. BY JAY NEEMEYER Sports Editor

Temple University lacrosse is expecting to be a balanced team this season, coach Bonnie Rosen said. One player from each position was named to The American Athletic Conference Preseason All-Conference Team on Jan. 23. Among the four selected, three were unanimous. “All over the field, we have great people,” senior goalkeeper Maryn Lowell said. “There’s people at every position who were honored, and even people that weren’t selected certainly contribute a ton to our team as well.” Lowell was named Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year in addition to being selected for the Preseason All-Conference Team. She started in 44 of 52 games since 2017. “Obviously, there’s still like a lot to prove,” Lowell said. “It wasn’t a unanimous selection, ...which was actually really cool because that means that there are other people that are really high competitors.” Senior attacker Maddie Gebert and senior defender Kara Nakrasius both made the Preseason All-Conference team for the second straight season and were selected unanimously. “We have this really nice, strong experienced group that comes back with our seniors and some of our juniors and some of our sophomores,” Rosen said. Both have played in more than 50 games in three seasons. “I think that goes a long way for our team,” Rosen added. Junior midfielder Bridget Whitak-

@TheTempleNews @TheTempleNews

JAY NEEMEYER / THE TEMPLE NEWS Senior attacker Maddie Gebert prepares to pass during the Owls’ practice at Howarth Field on Jan. 31.

er, also a unanimous selection, received her first preseason honor. Whitaker was named to the All-AAC First Team and AAC All-Tournament Team at the end of last season. “This never happened to me before, so it’s super exciting,” Whitaker said. Whitaker is one of the team’s captains this season. “That’s something that just proves how much, not only as a player, but also as a player, that she has grown,” Lowell said. Whitaker played 15 games as a freshman in 2018 and scored nine goals. Last season, she scored 15 times and led

the team with 21 assists. Whitaker is the only preseason honoree who will not graduate at the end of the season. The team has 10 seniors. “I don’t see the team changing too too much,” Gebert said. “I mean the junior class below is like I said, incredibly strong.” While Gebert considers Whitaker to be a leader of the junior class, the entire group is talented, she said. “Maybe we’re on the field a little bit more than them, but they are definitely hungry and ready to get after it, and the class below them is just as ready to get after it,” Gebert said.

Once the season starts on Saturday, Rosen expects contributions from across the roster. “Our lineup this year is going to be a blast,” Rosen said. “We have a tremendous depth. There is impact coming from everywhere.” Preseason projections only mean so much, as they are only based on past performance, Rosen added. “You’ve got to play the season and earn who are now, not who you were before,” she added. jay.neemeyer@temple.edu @neemeyer_j





Owls grapple with losses ahead of conference play In Aaron McKie’s first season as coach, the Owls have matched last season’s total losses. BY ALEX McGINLEY Assistant Sports Editor Along the sideline at the Liacouras Center, there’s one chair that often remains empty this season. Temple men’s basketball coach Aaron McKie is always out of his seat. He is animated, loudly directing his players and making frequent substitutions. In his first year, McKie has proven to be a spirited and vocal coach, compared to former coach Fran Dunphy’s more reserved, stoic approach during games. McKie’s team has already matched its total amount of losses from last season with a month of this season left. “If guys get out there and miss an assignment, they’re coming out,” McKie said on Nov. 5, 2019. “Miss a rebound, you’re coming out. No questions asked. Last season, the Owls finished with a record of 23-10. This season, Temple is 11-10 with 10 games left on its schedule. “We try to keep it together as a team,” McKie said. “Every day we come in and when we get to work, we just talk about being a family, being a team and supporting one another. I thought they’ve been doing a good job of that. It’s just that results haven’t been going our way.” After starting the season with a record of 9-3, the Owls have struggled in conference play. Temple has only won three of its nine games against conference opponents. The team won its first conference game on the road against Central Florida on Dec. 31, 2019, but the Owls lost the next three games against Tulsa, Houston and Tulane. Temple upset then 16th-ranked Wichita State on Jan. 15 and then proceeded to lose its next four games. Three of those games were against opponents from The American — Southern Methodist, Cincinnati and Connecticut. Temple’s other loss in that stretch came against Big 5 rival Penn on Jan. 25. McKie gave a longer post-game sports@temple-news.com

NEIL GOLDENTHAL / THE TEMPLE NEWS Coach Aaron McKie watches the Owls’ 76-64 win against East Carolina from the sideline at the Liacouras Center on Feb. 1.

speech than usual after the UConn loss because he was unhappy with the team’s performance in a 78-63 loss. The Owls broke the losing streak when they beat East Carolina 76-64 on Feb. 1. Junior forward J.P. Moorman II did not let the losing streak change the team’s outlook on the season, he said. “It was great, but I didn’t let it affect my confidence,” Moorman said about breaking the losing streak. “I didn’t let it affect how I try to motivate the guys. I just wanted to remain positive and encourage everybody.” In its win against East Carolina, Temple improved its shooting from its last four games. The Owls made 48.9 percent of their shots from the field and 40 percent of their three-point shots against the Pirates. During its four-game losing streak, Temple only made 38.6 percent of its shots from the field and just over 35 percent of its three-pointers.

“I was just happy to get the win,” McKie said. “We had to hold on. It’s just one of those things when you’re struggling as a team, you use life as an example. When you’re struggling in life and you get knocked down, the hardest thing to do is get up.” Despite the win, the Owls still struggled at times against East Carolina. After leading 26-10 in the first 10 minutes of the game, the Pirates then went on an 18-0 run to take a 28-26 lead. During its run, East Carolina implemented a 2-3 zone defense and Temple went scoreless for four minutes and 44 seconds. The Owls have struggled to counter zone defenses this season. To better break down the zone, the Owls have to get the ball inside to the post more instead of relying on outside shooting, Moorman said. “I think if we work inside out against the zone, I think we’re fine,” Moorman said. “We just gotta get the ball into the middle or down low to the post to break

the zone. Whenever there’s a zone, you gotta get inside of it first and then you gotta collapse the defense and then we got shooters on the outside.” The Owls are unlikely to make the NCAA Tournament unless they win their conference tournament. The conference tournament is March 12-15 in Fort Worth, Texas. Temple is currently tied for seventh in the conference standings. In The American, the top four teams get a first-round bye, so Temple will most likely have to win four consecutive games to earn a NCAA Tournament bid. Despite recent struggles, the Owls are taking a game-by-game approach and not thinking about the postseason, senior guard Quinton Rose said. “We just gotta stay together and keep pushing,” Rose said on Jan. 25. “Keep working every day. It starts in practice.” alex.mcginley@temple.edu @mcginley_alex





Lacrosse faces competitive schedule in new league The team will play schools in North Carolina, Tennessee and New England this season. BY CAYDEN STEELE For The Temple News After competing in the National College Lacrosse League since 1998, Temple University men’s club lacrosse joined a new conference and league this season. The Owls joined the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association and will compete in the Continental Lacrosse Conference. The Owls will play in the East subdivision against Boston College, the University of Connecticut, Northeastern University and the University of New Hampshire. New Hampshire won the east subdivision in the 2019 season with a 12-1 overall record. The team qualified for the NCLL National Tournament for the past two seasons, but they believe teams in the league will target them as an easy win, said Luke Brennan, senior midfielder and club president. “I think we have a target on our back from all the other teams, seeing a newcomer may seem like fresh blood in the water,” said Brennan, a finance major. “I think we are really up there in terms of talent, and hopefully our goal would be to at least make our conference championship and playoffs.” The Owls began transitioning to the MCLA in Fall 2018 and faced four MCLA opponents in Spring 2019. They tied three MCLA teams — West Virginia University, Northeastern University and Central Connecticut State University — but lost 9-5 to the University of Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh finished third in the West subdivision of the CLC. Because Temple does not have a


JEREMY ELVAS / THE TEMPLE NEWS Players on the men’s lacrosse club practice at the Temple Sports Complex on Jan. 23.

varsity men’s team, they were eligible to switch leagues, coach Chris Berkelbach said. The Owls have high expectations for the first season in the league and are motivated to prove they belong and won’t be overlooked, Brennan said. “We bring back five or six starters and they’re all juniors and seniors,” Berkelbach added. “Those guys who had that experience playing in these types of games last year will be really helpful. We have six coaches and four of them have

MCLA experience so they will be able to help us prepare right away for these games.” The Owls will have to adjust to the higher skill level of MCLA teams, junior defenseman Gaige Barber said. “It’s just the most competitive, most structured, most organized form of nonNCAA lacrosse,” Barber, a mechanical engineering student, said. The Owls will prepare more thoroughly for games this season by watching film of their opponents and being

more critical of themselves, Berkelbach said. “We are going to play some really high energy games and some tight games, I think the preparation up to those games is something we are going to put more hours into this year,” Berkelbach added. Temple will start the season on Feb. 15 against Central Connecticut State University at Geasey Field. cayden.steele@temple.edu @caydensports



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