The Vindicator - October 2020

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Vindicator Cleveland State University’s Arts and Culture Magazine

OCT 2020





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what’s in this issue? 3

Check Us Out Online




Letter from the Editor


Meet Our Contributors






Movies of Fall 2020 by ERIC SEITZ


The Art of Escapism In 2020


Small Town Ignites Big Debate by MOLLY HALE


Social Media Platforms Aid #BLACKLIVESMATTER

Anti-Blackness and Biphobia - In Netfix’s “The Politician” by LYNN NICHOLS

TikTok’s best Halloween Costumes by MEGAN BARANUK

Beauty + Wellness



How to Make the Most Out Of Remote Learning by SAMRA KARMUSTAFIC


Habits Instead of Goals by LAUREN KOLESZAR


Online Learning and Mental Health by SOPHIA SMITH

Social 37

Keeping Fall Alive During COVID by JOSCELYN ERVIN






Why You Should Vote in 2020 by CARA ROBBINS

Poetry 43


44 46

“I Can’t Breathe”

VINDI PLAY: Songs to Fall in Love With










Photos of Downtown Cleveland during the COVID-19 pandemic — MAX TORRES


Women Making History at Cleveland State University. “This year, McNamara broke the school record winning the 200 IM to lead the Cleveland State University men’s THE VINDI.COM

Graphic Adaptations “A look into recent graphic novel adaptations on the small screen and why some work and

and women’s swimming & diving teams.” — TYISHA BLADE

#VindiAsks: How are you spending time indoors?

others don’t.”— JOSCELYN ERVIN





stay up-to-date with all things Vindi on Instagram


Follow us on social media to participate in our next poll! @VINDI_CSU


w h a t’s h a p p e n i n g i n

O C TO B E R 10/02 Month of Terror

A Month od TERROR! Every weekend in October Aut-O-Rama Drive-In Theatre will be presenting scary double features on each screen. One screen will be family friendly. Specific titles will be announced each week via email and social media!

7PM, 33395 LORAIN RD

10/04 Halloween Flea Market

This market will be quite a bit smaller than last years, and held OUTDOORS in the parking lot of The Foundry Concert Club. Masks are required for vendors and shoppers, hand sanitizer will be available at every table. All ages are welcome.

10/16 RUNtober Fest


10/09 Trick or Treat at the Zoo

Gather your friends in-person or virtually and join Cleveland Marathon for the first annual Cleveland RUNtoberfest event! Participants will run or walk their desired distance anytime, anywhere between October 16-19, submit results online, and celebrate accomplishment with a beer from Platform Beer Company. 12PM–12AM, $40

10/24 Farmer’s Market

Don’t miss Trick-or-Treat Fest! This year’s safe, family-friendly Halloween event will occur at the Zoo on weekends. This year’s event includes spook-tacular live performances in the Zoo’s Amphitheater, access to Trick-or-Treat Way featuring more than a dozen candy stations located around the Zoo’s Halloween-themed Australian Adventure and more! Guests are encouraged to wear fun (not scary) costumes.

North Union Farmers Market Local farmers will line both sides of Crocker Park Boulevard with tempting displays of locally-grown produce, fresh meat and dairy products. Bakers will serve up crusty artisan breads and pastries. COVID-19 regulations.




The Cleveland State Vindicator was founded as a Black student newspaper in January 1970.




s the year begins for Cleveland State academically, we as students have faced many challenges in adjusting to life amidst a pandemic. Still, we find ways to connect and persevere despite the

unique challenges that we individually and collectively face.

The Vindicator continues to connect students, and though we may be virtual for the time being, I’m so excited to share our voices, old and new. I began writing for the Vindicator my freshman year, and found a community of writers and passionate creatives, and I hope to provide that same community for many others. As Editor-in-Chief, I can’t wait to share the publication that has brought me so much joy. Asha McClendon is our new Art Director, and responsible for the amazing look of our magazine, along with her talented team of designers! This issue, we explore how COVID-19 has affected our daily lives and the world around us. New writer Sophia Smith writes about how virtual learning affects mental health, and new writer Jacob Moore writes about a DJ who hosts virtual performances. We also have a new board of editors, our most senior editor being Joscelyn Ervin, our Arts Editor. I am so excited for you to read our first issue of this academic year. Happy reading!




Faculty Advisor Julie Burrell Web Specialist Daniel Lenhart


CONTRIBUTORS STAFF HEADS Megan Baranuk Editor–in–Chief

Megan Mullaly Managing Editor

Eric Seitz Copy Editor

Asha McClendon Art Director

Miranda Tulcewicz Asst. Art Director

Vincent McIntosh Online Content Editor

Joscelyn Ervin Arts Editor

Lynn Nichols Culture Editor

Samra Karamustafic Beauty Editor

Claudia Ugbana Social Editor

Tabitha Timms Music Editor

Max Torres Multimedia Manager

Lauren Koleszar Features Editor

WRITERS Megan Baranuk Samra Karamustafic Eric Seitz Joscelyn Ervin Lynn Nichols Claudia Ugbana

JUNIOR DESIGNERS Jillian VanDyke Cara Robbins Sophia Smith Kristina Markulin Jake Moore Lauren Koleszar

Devin Benko Stefany Belasic Hannah Mosley Megan Mullaly

Alexandra Paquin Sophia Smith Jillian VanDyke Emily Williams

Molly Hale

POETS Reem Abumeri Daniela Cacho


Yara Hamo

Max Torres

Disclaimer The content of the Vindicator does not necessarily represent the opinions of Cleveland State University, its students, faculty, or staff: nor does it represent the members of the Vindicator staff or our advisors unless otherwise stated. The editor reserves the right to comment on any issue that affects the student body in general as well as the multicultural community at large. Letters to the editors and other submissions are accepted, however they must have the authors name, address, major if applicable, and telephone number. All submissions become property of the Vindicator and the Vindicator reserves the right to edit submissions as deemed necessary. Magazine and newspaper theft is a crime; limit one per person. 2121 Euclid Ave, MC 471, Cleveland, OH 44115 216–687–2118 THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 6


OF FALL 2020 Starring John David Washington (son of Denzel


Washington) and Robert Pattinson, this film might

Eric Seitz

be best if audiences go in without knowing much about it. But here’s a tease: working for an organization they know next to nothing about and guided by a single word—tenet—agents race against time

A rundown of all the biggest films coming out through the rest of 2020.


to stop a catastrophe worse than nuclear holocaust. BLACK WIDOW November 6*

hen t he COV ID-19 pandem ic be-

Clear the way for the triumphant return of one of the

gan sweeping through the country,

core six Avengers: Natasha Romanoff is back on the

perhaps no industry was hit harder

big screen and breathing new life into the Marvel

than the movie theater industry. With

Cinematic Universe for its first entry in well over

blockbuster films like Disney Pixar’s “Onward” and

a year. Scarlett Johansson reprises her role as the

Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Birds of Prey” promptly

titular heroine for her eighth film in the franchise,

getting shoved out of theaters and into streaming

alongside co-star Florence Pugh (known for roles in

services (“Onward” on Disney+ and “Birds of Prey”

2019’s “Little Women” and independent film “Lady

on HBO Max), movie theaters turned out the lights

Macbeth”). Audiences can also expect a brief cameo

for spring and summer 2020. In the theater-going

from the heart and soul of the MCU, Robert Downey Jr.

hiatus, Disney took advantage of its aforementioned

Kicking off the MCU’s Phase 4, this film follows

newly minted streaming service by debuting two of

Black Widow’s expeditions taking place between

its films, “Artemis Fowl” and “Mulan,” on Disney+.

“Captain America: Civil War” (2016) and “Avengers:

But what’s next for movies? Now that the general

Infinity War” (2018). That’s right: we’re in prequel

public has at least grown accustomed to the new

territory, people.

normal, courtesy of COVID-19, movie theaters are no longer ghost-towns of hallways and auditoriums


yearning for flicks to play on their screens once more.

November 20

In Ohio, movie theaters are reopening. So let’s take

Catch Daniel Craig’s final performance as the world-re-

a look forward at what there is to look forward to.

nowned MI6 agent James Bond. “No Time To Die’’ kicks off with Bond enjoying a peaceful retirement in


Jamaica, free from his past life of spy shenanigans.

Now Playing

His peace is—of course—cut short when he gets a

This one’s out now! Created and directed by Chris-

letter from a friend in the CIA who is asking for help.

topher Nolan, who is credited with “Inception,” The

Bond inevitably will get dragged back into the spy

Dark Knight Batman trilogy, and “Interstellar,” this

life for one final escapade, facing off with an elusive

film is action-packed and thrilling, bound to keep

villain who wields some impressive new technology.

audiences thinking well after the credits roll. Nolan

And it just wouldn’t be a Bond film without a

does in this film what he does best: bending reality to

little bit of star power. Rami Malek (“Bohemian

his will and forcing people to consider what could be.

Rhapsody”) plays the masked villain Safin; Craig’s




the sultry Paloma; and Léa Seydoux reprises her role

December 25

from Bond’s last outing, “Spectre (2015)” as his love

If you can’t get enough of the superhero hype (es-

interest Madeleine.

pecially of the female variety), then you’re in luck. Everyone’s favorite lasso-wielding demi-goddess


is getting radical this Christmas with the sequel to

November 20**

her 2017 debut. Gal Gadot continues to carry the DC

Pixar Animation Studios’ most recent offering is

Extended Universe on her shoulders with her stunning

venturing into the metaphysical realm with the

performance as Wonder Woman, a founding member

upcoming film “Soul.” Find middle school band

of the Justice League. Find her duking it out with

teacher Joe Gardner (Jamie Foxx) going on a jour-

classic Justice League rival Max Lord and her comic

ney through a realm called The Great Before, trying

book archenemy Cheetah.

to get back to his life on earth. In his journey, Joe

Returning for the fun is Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor

meets an unborn soul named 22 (Tina Fey) who just

for what appears to be Diana’s second chance at love.

doesn’t understand what’s so great about life. Follow

See Diana, Steve, and cast addition Barbara (played

Joe and 22 in their journey to get Joe back to his life,

by Saturday Night Live’s Kristen Wiig) embrace the

and watch as Joe tries to show 22 all the great things

funk with 80’s-inspired fashion, culture, and social

that life has to offer.

events. Plus, audiences get their first glimpse at her Golden Eagle Armor, an object that signaled a dis-


tinct shift in Diana’s values when it debuted in the

December 11

comics. Catch Diana swinging from lightning bolt to

After realizing that he is a non-playable character (NPC) in an open-world online video game (think Fortnite meets Grand Theft Auto), Guy (Ryan Reynolds)

lightning bolt when this film drops just in time for

*At the time of publishing, Variety reported that Black Widow

lives on his own terms. The journey quickly turns

would “very likely” be delayed, but Disney refused to comment.

into a quest to stop the game from getting shut down.

The extent of the potential delay is unknown.

Reynolds is joined by Taika Waititi (“Thor Ragnarok”), Joe Keery (“Stranger Things”), and Jodie Comer (“Killing Eve”). The film also features celebrities from the

In Ohio, movie theaters are reopening. So let’s take a look forward at what there is to look forward to.

the holidays.

embarks on a journey to save the world in which he

In this fun romp through all that is gaming culture,

costar in “Knives Out,” Ana de Armas joins him as

**In the same report, Variety stated that Soul may only get a release on Disney+, similar to the debuts of Mulan and Artemis Fowl. Variety did not mention whether Soul would come with a fee, as Mulan did.

gaming community: Ninja, Pokimane, LazarBeam, and Jacksepticeye. DUNE December 18

Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel “Dune” is getting a modern adaptation with director Denis Villeneuve (“Arrival and Blade Runner 2049”) at the helm. Taking place in the distant future, galaxies away, “Dune” follows the journey of Paul Atreides (played by Timothée Chalamet of “Little Women” and “Call Me By Your Name”), a young aristocrat belonging to a family that has just taken control of a desert planet called Arrakis to mine it for a valuable spice. What Paul does not realize is that the world he lives in is about to become significantly more complicated—that the world he grew up to understand is not one of reality. This film boasts a star-studded cast, with Zendaya PHOTO CREDIT GOOGLE IMAGES

(“The Greatest Showman” and the Spider-Man series) starring alongside Chalamet as Paul’s love interest Chani. Paul’s parents are played by Oscar Isaac (“Ex Machina” and “Star Wars”) and Rebecca Ferguson (“Mission Impossible” and “The Greatest Showman”). Also starring are Jason Momoa (“Aquaman” and “Justice League”) and Josh Brolin (“Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers Endgame”).






Kristina Markulin

Asha McClendon

Escapism is a popular pastime, but it's becoming increasingly harder, especially in 2020.


020 has been a year of tensions. The United States is dealing with the biggest civil rights protests since the Civil Rights Movement amidst an out-of-control

global pandemic, which in turn is causing massive economic collapse and a homelessness crisis. Naturally, more and more people are seeking an escape from reality. But much like the rest of 2020, this year’s a bit different. Rising Stars and Returning Heroes This summer, both the new and nostalgic were at the forefront of popular escapist media. New releases and the rediscovery of old favorites fostered a somewhat unique online space. The nostalgia market has always been big, but quarantine made nostalgia more appealing. The feeling of wanting to return to a simpler time when the world seems to be on fire is a powerful draw. And although quarantine didn’t create the massive market for consuming new old material (see the Disney live action remakes for an example), the rereleasing of older media

on new platforms or the remixing of old media for new audiences became increasingly lucrative, from both a business and a personal level. When life seems completely insane, going back to the devil you know can be incredibly comforting. And even if it is new and exciting, there’s a comfort in the mainstream. It says that this media is good, that there are many people who consume it, and you will be able to engage in that discussion, especially if that show is a beloved classic or that game is simple 9 | VINDICATOR


Rowling is just one titan who fell during quaran-

feel like comfort, even if its unfamiliar.

tine. The Ellen Show is being investigated by Warner

Video game companies and streaming services

Brothers for workplace harassment after employees

were the real winners during quarantine. Nintendo’s

accuse the show and its producers of racism, a toxic

Animal Crossing New Horizons and Devolver Digital’s

work environment and sexual harassment and assault.

Fall Guys launched into the mainstream thanks to

Shane Dawson, one of YouTube’s largest and most

the near perfect time of releases for each game. New

recognizable creators has been exposed for racist

Horizons came out in March just as lockdown began,

sketches, inappropriate acts with animals and the

and Fall Guys initially released a month earlier in

sexualization of his young teenage audience (for more

February, but became widespread in August thanks

on this story, check out D’angelo Wallace’s video.

to its status as the Play Station Plus Free Game of

Viewer Discretion Advised). Even smaller celebrities

the Month (unless you forgot to download it like one

are being held accountable, for past actions and more

Vindicator writer did). Both games are fun, colorful,

notably inaction. For example, Twenty One Pilots

and addicting, which forecasts success under normal

front man Tyler Joseph received criticism on Twitter

circumstances. But quarantine was a unique landscape

for joking about not using his platform to publicly

that allowed these titles to absolutely dominate in

support Black Lives Matter.

downloads and discussions.

Many of the celebrities being called out have had

As for streaming services, Netflix’s Tiger King

controversy and criticism in the past, especially the

kicked off the quarantine with a strong start for the

more mainstream ones. But 2020 has been a year of

company. However, the release of Avatar: The Last

education and exposure. People don’t want to support

Airbender and later The Legend of Korra brought both

people who harm others, whether that be through

Netflix and the series into the limelight once again.

abuse of any kind, racism, transphobia, supporting

Similarly, Disney+ had accelerated releases of films

movements that hurt people or refusing to support

like Onward, the multicamera filming of the smash

those that help. 2020 has become a time where we

hit musical Hamilton, and the full Skywalker Saga

as consumers demand more from our media starlets,

onto its platform. With everyone locked up inside,

but that “more” is arguably the bare minimum.

what else are they going to do?

Quarantine has kept us inside, and that time has

An honorable mention in this category goes out

given us ample opportunity to reflect.

to Midnight Sun, the new Twilight book that retells Twilight from Edward Cullen’s perspective. This book

Where Do We Go From Here?

didn’t dominate social media the same way these other

As much as media gives us comfort, sometimes we

rereleases have but is notable within the context of

have to let the old stuff go and bring new stuff in. It’s

the Twilight fandom and its slow resurgence since

like Marie Kondo’s principle. If something no longer

2019. Twihards rejoice, your 15 yearlong wait is over

brings you joy, you thank it and let it go. It is hard to

(Author’s note: I have never read Twilight).

let go of media, especially ones that were influential

The Internet may be forever, but the Trending page is fickle.

and accessible. It means it’s innocuous, that it’ll still

to you as you were growing up. But it’s important to Fallen Titans and the Ruins of a Media Empire

reexamine what you loved as a kid and ask yourself,

But just as much as 2020 has been about escapism,

“is this what I want to keep supporting?”

it is also a time of reexamination. Sometimes look

Letting things go is sad, and it’s hard, but it makes

back at what we watched when we were younger

room for other things. You can’t look at Harry Potter

and recognize the flaws within it. Other times, the

the same way? The Percy Jackson fandom will welcome

creators show us themselves.

you with open arms. If Shane Dawson doesn’t make

Harry Potter is one of the largest franchises on the

you laugh anymore, it might be time to discover a

planet. Seven books, eight movies, two spin-off films,

new YouTube comedian. Making room means making

a theme park, countless pieces of merchandise, and an

new discoveries and giving recognition to those that

expansive online community make it the juggernaut

deserve it.

that it is today. But people have begun to leave Harry

The Internet may be forever, but the Trending

Potter behind due to J.K. Rowling’s Tweets. Rowling’s

page is fickle. Memes grow stale, jokes get old, and

brand of “gender critical” feminism made many Pot-

the public moves on from one thing to the next. In-

terheads leave Hogwarts in a mass exodus. Some are

dividuals hold onto memories more tightly though.

sticking around claiming Death of the Author. Many

We like to keep what makes us happy close to us, to

who are are trying to reclaim the work and distance it

bring us light in dark times. But sometimes those

since Rowling outed herself as a trans-exclusionary

lights burn out, and that’s okay. We should thank

radical feminist (TERF for short, which should be

it for what it’s done in the past, let it go, and move

added is not a slur). Discourse around whether that

something newer in its stead. After all, it’s hard to

can be done is still being sorted through.

escape when what you’re going into isn’t safe. THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 10



Halloween COSTUMES



Miranda Tulcewicz

A look at some of TikTok’s best costume recommendations.


his year, Halloween may look a little different, but that doesn’t mean you can’t dress up! TikTok has become a hub of so many new ideas that college students can recreate easily. Some of

the most popular Halloween costumes are inspired by popular TV series, such as “Euphoria,” or channel nostalgic vibes, such as the Scooby gang. Exploring these costumes is a great way to get your creativity flowing and experiment with new looks. Let’s take a closer look at some of TikTok’s most popular costume ideas:

Euphoria When it comes to recreating “Euphoria” looks, for Halloween the buzz words are: fluorescent colors, shine, rhinestones and LOTS of glitter! To recreate these looks, you’ll need adhesive glitter studs/strips, neon/bright eyeshadow and/or eyeliners and glitter. To achieve an “Euphoria”-inspired look, don’t be afraid to experiment and stretch the limits of your creativity. After transforming your eyelids into a neon, glittery masterpiece, outline them with rhinestones—or simply stick the glitter studs in a way that you like! Eleven and Max (Stranger Things) For this costume, get ready to show out in your best nostalgic gear. To emulate Max, all you will need are mom jeans or mom shorts (any baggy, lightly washed denim will do!) and a horizontal-striped shirt. Wear Vans with ankle-rise socks, and top it all off with a pair of red sunglasses perched on top of your head. Carry a skateboard with you for bonus points! To emulate Eleven, find a fun graphic printed button-down, and shorts. Put your hair into a half-up half-down hairstyle, secured with a scrunchie. Wear white shoes with ankle socks, and have fun! Leia and Rey (star wars) Leia and Rey ser ve as anot her iconic pop-culture duo to inspire your next Halloween costume. To dress as Leia, start with space buns. A long white dress and white knee high boots are must for the legendary



Resistance general. Don’t forget a brown belt to cinch

to button this up or leave it un-

at the waist. For Rey, break out gray, knee-length

buttoned with a black bra or bralette

leggings, put on a beige T-shirt, and wrap a long

underneath. Pair with black leggings or

beige scarf or sheet around your body until you look

jeans and gold flats. Use fake blood or lipstick

like a scavenger from the planet of Jakku. Put your

to create a bloody nose, and don’t forget the red lip.

hair into two or three vertical buns, wear your brown

For Vincent, wear a white button-dow n, with a

boots, and make sure to put on a brown belt! These

black suit coat/jacket over it and black dress pants

costumes are bound to be stellar.

or slacks. Don’t forget your black dress shoes, and both of you should sport a cigarette (for prop usage only!). Of course, make sure to watch the dance scene

If you’re looking for the perfect trio costume, look

from “Pulp Fiction” to get those moves just right.

no further! The Powerpuff Girls provide the perfect

Alternately, you can also dress as the dynamic duo—

amount of creativity and fashion. When recreating

Vincent and Jules. Just double Vincent’s costume, and

the trio’s looks, you can take many routes. To recreate

add thin black ties.

Bubbles, opt for a pale blue top and skirt, or simply a blue dress. Lacy white ankle socks and black Mary

Mean Girls

Janes will complete the look, along with pigtails. For

To dress as the classic 2000s iconic trio, pink is

Blossom, wear a pink skirt and top, or simply a pink

definitely the main color to focus on. For Regina

dress. To recreate Buttercup (the green PowerPuff

George, start with a white tank top; and pair with

Girl), opt for a green tutu and top, or a green dress.

a hot pink cardigan. Wear a black mini skirt for the

Wear your hair down, and pair with a green barrette.

bottom, and sport your snarkiest attitude. For the

Similarly, wear Mary Janes with lacy ankle socks.

Gretchen of the group, style your hair as volumi-

Don’t forget an attitude!

nously as possible, wear a plaid skirt, and don a pink sweater. Don’t forget to put all your secrets in

Pulp Fiction

your hair. For Karen, straighten your hair, arrange

For this costume, grab a friend so the two of you can

rhinestones into a backwards K on your chest, and

dress as Mia Wallace and Vincent Vega. To dress as

pair a pale pink sweater with a pale pink skirt. You’ll

Mia Wallace, wear a short black wig with bangs; and

be predicting the weather all night!

secure a white long-sleeve button-down. You can opt

Have fun this Halloween, but most importantly, be safe!

The Powerpuff Girls





Claudia Ugbana

Asha McClendon

In the span of seven years, BLM has gained a wider audience due to the influence of social media.


his year has been one for the books, as a worldwide population of individuals can attest. While the world was rocked by a global pandemic and a wave of other catastrophic events, the reemergence of

the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement has undoubtedly become one of the biggest initiatives to impact U.S. history. On May 25, the video of a police officer kneeling on George Floyd’s neck, which led to his death, circulated the internet and caused a massive nationwide outrage. Millions of Americans (and allies from other countries) gathered in mass protests to end the violence and systematic racism against Black people in the U.S. The core of the Black Lives Matter conversation originated and surged through social media, an undeniable tool that has aided and expanded the reach of the movement. Platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok, YouTube and a variety of other smaller social media platforms have become the primary resources for anti-racism activism and general information on the movement and its origination. The famous slogan first popped up in a 2013 Facebook post following the acquittal of George Zimmerman, a police officer who shot and killed 17-year-old unarmed Trayvon Martin. The severity of that event was no different from the unjust killing of George Floyd, however, its reception was entirely different. The phrase which then turned into a prominent hashtag was largely used after the death of Martin, but mostly faced criticism and died off social media platforms as the world seemingly moved on. Now, seven years later, Black Lives Matter has become a force that shows no signs of dying down. The creation and evolution of the movement In 2013, three radical Black organizers founded a movement and organization that has influenced how Black Americans are perceived in the U.S. today. Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi created a Black-centered movement in response to the acquittal of Martin’s murderer, and now the project is a member-led organ-



isation of more than 40 chapters across the globe.

rities also participated in this movement by exclusively

The official website for Black Lives Matter describes

purchasing from these brands and advertising their

the term as “an ideological and political intervention

products on social media platforms at no cost.

in a world where Black lives are systematically and intentionally targeted for demise.” With its creation,

What happens next?

the three women sought to affirm Black individuals

It’s safe to say it would be inherently impossible to

with ideas that they are an important part of society

predict the future of the Black Lives Matter move-

that shall continue to uplift and make vital contribu-

ment, as it would be impossible to predict the future

tions. The majority of the growth of the movement is

of something as dire as a civil rights movement.

attributed to the Ferguson and St. Louis community,

Some people have begun speculating that talk of

who bravely supported the movement in 2014 after

the movement has already begun to die down and

another senseless killing of an unarmed young Black

commitment to the cause has shifted to other things,

man, Mike Brown. Brown’s murder created an uproar of

like the upcoming presidential election.

protests much similar to the ones witnessed this year.

The protests were a huge part of the movement that

The work done in Ferguson was only the begin-

surged over the past few months, with thousands of

ning. It became evident that the movement needed to

people marching in solidarity with Black individuals

become more globalized to reach more Black people

across the nation. The numbers have since depleted,

across the country. This is where the impact of social

with a much lower number of people who are still

media came into play, catapulting the Black Lives

out there protesting.

Matter movement into an enormous network.

The greatest fear for most people lies in the notion that the system will continue to fail Black individu-

The undeniable impact of social media

als, and the hard work gathered over the last several

A huge importance of social media is its availability

years will be coupled up to something as simplistic

to millions of people across the world. Modern day

as a social media trend.

civil rights activists have the advantages that activists of the 1960s and 1970s did not have, and can rely on social media to provide information on protests, videos of violent arrests, bail out funds and other According to data collected by the Social Media Analytics Center at the University of Connecticut, the movement saw the most tremendous growth in a 30-day span after Floyd’s death with the slogan mentioned a total of 80 million times across Twitter, Facebook, Reddit and blogs. Mentions of the slogan didn’t just dominate social media. The protests that followed were reported to be the most searched topic in the U.S. Google search history. Social media continued to aid the movement when we saw other trends make an appearance. In June, #BlackOutTuesday emerged on Instagram. Influencers, brands and bloggers all posted black boxes to their Instagram pages in support of the movement. The idea behind this new movement was to fall silent on social media platforms in order to amplify

The phrase which turned into a prominent hashtag … died off social media platforms … Now, seven years later, it has become a force that shows no signs of dying down.

#BlackLivesMatter. From this, we also saw other initiatives arise such as #TheShowMustBePaused and #SayTheirNames. While mentions continued to skyrocket, the most impact social media had was the direct aid to Black individuals. Social media influencers rallied behind each other and Black-owned businesses, and urged people to purchase from these brands. The spending

organizations that aid Black individuals.

Influencer of Change

power of Black consumers grew as they supported Black-owned businesses and initiatives which didn’t have much prominence prior to the movement. Celeb-







Molly Hale

Stefany Belasic

How the Chardon High School football team sparked controversy among students, alumni and community members


n Friday, August 28, the Chardon

as the majority, while law enforcement has always

High School football team ran onto

been acknowledged with respect.

the field for their pre-game display

In the wake of George Floyd’s murder and the

with a Thin Blue Line flag. They de-

amplification of the Black Lives Matter movement,

cided to fly the flag in support of one

the Thin Blue Line flag has been flown in opposition

of their coaches who works in law enforcement. This

to Black Lives Matter, notably at “Blue Lives Matter”

sparked outrage among students, alumni and com-

protests and alongside Confederate flags, which are


munity members who felt that this action represent-

commonly used by white supremacist groups. This

ed views that they do not stand behind. Many spoke

serves as a slap in the face to those that are fighting


out on social media or sent emails to the Chardon ad-

against police brutality, which is disproportionately

ministration asking that a statement be made about

high among the Black population. In flying the Thin

the situation.

Blue Line flag, a person turns their back on the history

Three days later, the Chardon superintendent, Dr.

of systemic racism that America was built upon.

Michael Hanlon, published a letter stating that the

By flying the Thin Blue Line flag, Chardon High

administration was unaware of the pre-game plans. He

School football aligned themselves with anti-Black


also said that “school district policy does not permit

Lives Matter groups and made a political statement,

engagement in political activity.” Hanlon went on to

whether they intended to or not. Because the high


say that the flag would not be part of future events

school football team is one of the things Chardon is

because the school district understands how the

most well-known for, the pre-game display made a

display can be interpreted as politically motivated.

political statement for the entire town, which seems

This statement sparked its ow n outrage among

to be what created such an intense response from

students, alumni and community members who feel

those that did not agree with the display.

the Thin Blue Line flag is not a political statement.

People that believed the team did not understand the

While the creator of the Thin Blue Line flag has

political statement they were making explained how

stated that it originated solely in support of law

the display could be interpreted as racially motivated.

enforcement, the flag became popularized by the

Those that also did not want to be spoken for by a

“Blue Lives Matter” countermovement created in

pre-game display asked the administration to make

response to Black Lives Matter and the belief that

a statement and work toward positive change in the

Black Lives Matter is anti-police.


When the “Blue Lives Matter” movement was

One thing that opponents of the display emphasize

created, its main goal was to have the killing of a

is that the support of law enforcement is not what

police officer categorized as a hate crime, which

creates such an intense reaction, but rather the way

has been successful in Louisiana and considered by

the Chardon High School football team chose to show

a handful of other states. Many believe this to have

their support. Black Lives Matter supporters are not

harmful consequences, as the term “hate crime” is

anti-police, they are anti-police brutality. Supporting

generally reserved for crimes motivated by factors

law enforcement is welcome, but choosing to show

such as race, religion, sexual orientation or gender.

support with a flag that has become a symbol of

A prominent argument against categorizing the

offensive groups is not.

killing of a police officer as a hate crime includes the

When showing support for law enforcement officers,

fact that one’s job can never hold the same significance

look to do it in ways that are not associated with

as one’s race, religion, sexual orientation or gender.

discriminatory views. Great ways to show support

This is because a police officer can remove their

are moments of silence, thank you letters or gift

uniform to escape criticism, but a person can never

baskets. If you are unsure how your display of support

remove one of their permanent characteristics, such

for someone will be received, look into its history to

as race. Another prominent argument is that members

make sure it isn’t harming someone else.



of minority groups have always had an uphill battle when fighting for the same rights and general respect




& Biphobia In Netflix’s “The Politician”


Lynn Nichols


Thinking critically about modern satire

The Politician” season two premiered on

a love interest for Payton, which already sets up a

streaming video this summer. For those

twisty, soap-opera plot at the outset of the show.

who have not yet seen the series, the Netflix

But when River commits suicide in the first episode,

original created by Ryan Murphy stars Ben

his bereaved girlfriend Astrid Sloan (Lucy Boynton)

Platt as Payton Hobart, a young man from a rich family

decides to run in his place, kicking off a cutthroat

whose life ambition is to become the president of the

presidential race. Ultimately, Payton wins the election,

United States. The series includes deeply emotional

but his short-lived term comes at great personal cost

moments, but its general tone can be described as

to him and everyone in his life.

a satire, lampooning teenage melodrama and the

Still, Payton survives into his emerging adulthood,

self-absorbed wealthy. It has also been praised for

and season two tells the story of his next election for

diverse representation of LGBTQ+ people and people

a seat in the New York State Senate. He jumps into

of color in the main and supporting cast. The first

the Democratic primary to challenge Dede Standish

season follows Payton in his senior year of high

(Judith Light), a seemingly unshakeable incumbent.

school as he runs for student body president. His

Early in the race, a member of Payton’s campaign

opponent, River Barkley (David Corenswet), is also

staff uncovers a secret in the senator’s personal life:



she and her husband Marcus (Joe Morton) are both

is undercut by the fact that the entire scandal was

in a long-term, three-way relationship with another

orchestrated by Payton and his team for a political

man. One of Payton’s many moral dilemmas this


season is whether he should use this information to

The only other recurring Black character in season

win the election. However, upon closer examination

two is Marcus, Dede Standish’s husband. There are

of the new season’s content, the most problematic

parallels to the writing with Skye, namely that Marcus

aspect of the show lies in badly-written and harmful

is a college professor shown to have affairs with his

characterization. Season one was not the pinnacle of

younger, male students. Every character in “The

representation that reviews and marketing claimed it

Politician” is flawed, and the plot is driven by shock

to be, and season two completely fails to accurately

value and scandal, but why are the Black characters

represent people from marginalized groups, especially

in particular shown engaging in inappropriate power

the Black and bisexual characters.

dynamics? Marcus is also written poorly as a bisexual

The show has involved racist writing since its

man. His sexual identity goes unlabeled in the show,

inception, as seen in the character of Skye Leighton

but since he is in a committed marriage with his wife

(Rahne Jones). Skye is a passionate activist who strives

Dede and has relationships with multiple men, he is

to improve life for women, people of color and the

likely somewhere under the bi+ umbrella. In the last

LGBTQ+ community. In season one, she is Astrid’s

episode of the season, after Dede and Marcus choose

running mate, but she becomes disenchanted at the

to separate, Dede’s campaign advisor Hadassah Gold

last moment and signs on as Payton’s vice presidential

(Bette Middler) remarks that he “clearly leans very

candidate. She helps Payton in the last leg of the

heavily towards the gay end of the Kinsey spectrum.”

election race, but once he’s in office, she tries to

It’s as though his preference for men makes any other

assassinate him with a poisoned cupcake. When her

label irrelevant. That a Black, bisexual man is written

girlfriend McAfee Westbrook (Laura Dreyfuss) finds

as hypersexual and unfaithful to the point of ending

out, she is horrified and calls the police to arrest

his marriage enforces an anti-Black and biphobic

Skye. What makes this fantastical sequence more

trope, made worse by not-so-subtle bi erasure.

disturbing is that it reinforces negative stereotypes.

Season one was praised for a story where it seemed

White women like McAfee and Astrid are perceived

that “everybody’s bi,” but in season two, the writers

by default as soft, delicate and pure, so portraying

seem to be arguing that nobody is really bi. Payton,

them as ruthless strategists breaks stereotypes. But

his former rival Astrid and his long-term girlfriend

Black women are already portrayed as aggressive and

Alice Charles (Julia Schlaepfer) have a polyamorous

“angry” in materials ranging from racist caricatures

relationship for part of the season at Alice’s suggestion.

to white feminist theory. This one-dimensional

However, her reasoning is that they should observe

characterization might have been avoidable if Skye

Astrid and keep her close as a potential political

had more screen time to develop as a complex person,

liability. Selfishness and manipulation do not make

but that doesn’t happen: besides her aspirations to

for a stellar portrayal of bisexual people. Moreover,

achieve social change and her short-lived romance

the relationship with Payton is the only context in

with McAfee, viewers know nothing about her. Skye

which Astrid and Alice are depicted as bisexual. One

is the only Black character in the main cast, and the

of the many obstacles facing bisexual women is the

only recurring Black female character in the series,

misconception that their attraction to women exists

so the negative portrayal is especially harmful.

only for the sexual gratification of men, and the

Season two involves even less character development

assumption by straight men that bisexual women

and screen time for Skye. In one scene from episode

are always available for group sex. Yet, this is the

two, “Conscious Unthroupling,” she struggles and

primary narrative focus for the bi women in the cast.

then fails to remember the name of her date (part of a

Payton’s colleague McAfee and his mother Georgina

running gag about how she goes out with many women

have relationships with men and women in this season,

in rapid succession). A montage of the characters’

but their identities are never discussed in detail, and

personal lives since the last season includes a brief

their relationships with women are shown only in

scene and snide voiceover comment about Skye’s

brief montage and voiceover sequences. Furthermore,

habit of sleeping with her college professors. When

two of the four bi women in the main cast end the

she isn’t being ridiculed as hypersexual in her own

season in relationships with men, and the other two

narrative, she is enlisted to support the narrative of

remain single. Bisexual women who date and marry

the white characters. Episode three, “Cancel Culture,”

men are still bi—to claim otherwise is bi erasure—but

incorporates an earnest monologue in which Skye

with multiple bisexual female characters, why are

instructs Payton on how to properly atone for racist

there no central, endgame romantic relationships

actions in his past. But plots where a lone character of

between women? “The Politician” is only willing to

color works to educate the white lead are questionable

depict female bisexuality as a quirk or as a fetish.

in their own right, and any potential teachable moment THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 18


Even the title character is subject to biphobic

Payton’s specific denial illustrates the writers’

writing. Payton’s relationship with River is central

contempt for bisexual identity. In the entire seven-

to the plot of season one. He was definitely attracted to River, and their brief time together was framed as a complicated romance. But season two revises this histor y, describing their relationship as a mostly spiritual, transcendent one. During a tearful conversation with Astrid in “Conscious Unthroupling,” Payton reflects on his relationship with River. “I wasn’t attracted to River in that way,” he says. “I knew he wasn’t gay [. . .] I don’t even think he was bisexual,” he adds a few moments later. So, River never decided to come out or label his sexuality. Is it necessary to show two of the main characters speculating on the sexuality of a dead man—not only a dead man, but a teenager who shot himself? And is it helpful to the community of gay and bisexual men to rewrite a loving relationship and claim that it was never sexual? Just as sex and attraction between women

Drawing on widespread

episode season, this conversation is one of only two instances where the word “bisexual” is used. The other time is in reference to William Ward (Teddy Sears), the man in a ten-year relationship with


Dede and Marcus. William is a minor character who

of oppressed

information to their political opponents. In this

groups is not

duplicitious, indecisive and sidelined.

“edgy,” brave or unique: it’s cruel and lazy writing.

ultimately leaves his partners and reveals damning series, “bisexual” is a dirty word, reserved for the In its entire run, “The Politician” has never set out to be a moral example for its viewers. It’s a satire first and foremost. The sometimes dry and often bizarre writing shines when it points out the selfishness of the wealthy or the corruption of the political establishment. But Black people and bisexual people are already criticized by society and falsely accused as threats to public morality. Drawing on widespread

shouldn’t be fetishized as entertainment, sex and

stereotypes of oppressed groups is not “edgy,” brave

attraction between men shouldn’t be dismissed as

or unique: it’s cruel and lazy writing. All creators

something impure.

must be held accountable for their harmful actions,


even—and especially—when “it’s just a joke.”



All creators must be held accountable for their harmful actions, even—and especially— when “it’s just a joke.”






Megan Baranuk

Hannah Mosley



Concerts and festivals have taken a hit due to the pandemic. Here, virtual alternatives that have been implemented are explored.

he days of mosh-pitting, crowd surfing

Though this may seem more personal than an average

and bumping up against sweaty strang-

concert, avid concert goers are quick to point out the

ers seem to be far behind us. The mere

similarities to watching a YouTube video or similar

thought of being in an area with barely

footage. This hinders the ability for fans to feel as

inches between you and the person next

though this concert is truly intimate—something

to you is enough to make most people squeamish in

that’s never been experienced in quite this way—as

today’s climate. This leaves most with a longing for

millions have access to these live performances at

the ways the world used to be. Nostalgic for festivals,

any p However, livestreaming on different platforms

concerts and music events of all types, music junkies

does have its disadvantages. The electrifying quality

have many alternatives to provide them with a quick

of sharing the same space with an artist is completely

fix. Exploring what festivals and concerts may look

eliminated, as is the connection with fellow fans. One

like in the future includes many different possibili-

fix for connection is Instagram Live concerts. Thanks

ties, some being implemented today.

to advances in social media, artists have used the

The first alternative to concerts that was seen

Live feature on Instagram to perform live concerts

during the pandemic was virtual, at-home concerts.

for their fans. In the livestreams, fans are able to

These are intimate concerts performed within the

interact by commenting, though it’s no substitute

artists’ homes, studios or other secluded spaces.

for face to face interactions. Rex Orange County is

Concerts performed in this fashion are more intimate

one example of an artist who frequently livestreams

and bring brand-new versions of live entertainment

mini concerts from his home onto Instagram. Viewers

that had never previously been so easily accessible.

can comment and react in live time as Rex Orange


County performs their favorite songs. This alterna-

The future of physical festivals and concerts re-

tive may provide viewers with connection and free

mains uncertain, which is concerning for the well-

viewings of a set of live songs, but it cannot provide

ness of the economy. While big-name artists such

the connection experienced in person.

as Beyoncé, Taylor Swift and Jay-Z may be fine for

Instagram isn’t the only social site that has been

now, smaller artists often depend on money made

utilized in replicating concerts and festivals. Travis

during shows, selling merchandise and building a

Scott became the first artist to put on a virtual con-

fan base. Smaller artists who are left with little to

cert through Fortnite during the pandemic, reaching

no options in gaining traction and making a profit

a record of 12.3 million viewers. Bringing together

off of their craft are being severely affected by the

that astronomical amount of people to experience the

pandemic. Not only this, but small artists often have

same event in the same way was almost unheard of

no ties to large corporations or PR opportunities, as

before this event. During the days leading up to Travis

Travis Scott and The Weeknd do. For others involved

Scott’s “Astronomical” concert, players of Fortnite

in the live music industry, the total shutdown of live

could see a stage being set up on the island, complete

shows is a devastating blow. Event planners, festival

with golden Travis head balloons/structures. During

workers and production crews are left in limbo as

the actual event, the rapper appeared, larger than

the world determines what live music will look like

life, and stomping around the island, surrounded by

in the future.

psychedelic effects, as the audience viewed by floating

The world continues to shift and adapt according

underwater, in the air, and traveling the island.

to new developments each day, and the live music

In a similar event, The Weeknd put on a colorful

industry continues to change with the world. Other

concert display live on TikTok. This event drew over

countries have begun to reintroduce live music fes-

2 million people, experiencing a virtual lights and

tivals, and the United States can only hope to follow

laser show, a virtual version of The Weeknd, and live

as soon as conditions are safe enough to gather in

performances of his latest hits. This was a milestone

large masses. For now, let’s enjoy the new musical

for not only The Weeknd, but also TikTok. This was

experiences that are inclusive for everyone during

the platform’s first augmented-reality live broadcast,

these times.

and gave the world a glimpse into possible future music events. The immersive virtual locale that The Weeknd performed in was decided by fans who viewed the livestream—at critical points in the concert, the fans were given options to vote on what they wanted to see next, and the algorithm would construct the hallucinogenic dreamscapes accordingly. While virtual streaming leaves no room for the in person experience, it does allow viewers to see their favorite artists in settings never deemed possible before. Garnering so many fans for a single show seemed impossible, but Travis Scott and The Weeknd’s creative solutions may be paving the way for a more universal festival and concert setting. As time goes on, virtual settings seem to be the best route taken

The possibilities are endless, especially when technology is involved.

by artists large and small. The virtual settings have many options set to be explored, and this gives startup tech companies (and pre-established companies) a chance to innovate new ways to connect fans and artists, as well as providing brand new ways to explore music. The possibilities are endless, especially when technology is involved. Artists can bring to life any type of set they want—with a much cheaper bottom line. The fans also have the possibility to tailor their own experiences, set up an avatar and experience virtual concerts in a plethora of ways. These types of virtual experiences also encompass individuals with all types of abilities and restrictions, who may not have been able to experience concerts/festivals prior to the pandemic.



Megan Baranuk Lauren Koleszar PHOTOS BY

Max Torres



any small businesses and local attractions have taken hits throughout the course of the pandemic, but that didn’t stop Cedar Lee Theater from reopening on Friday, August

21, 2020. The theater, located in Cleveland Heights, opened its doors to the public for the first time since its shutdown during the pandemic. This is a big step for Cedar Lee, and allows movie goers to watch new and old movies alike. Cedar Lee often screens newer movies with a 2020 release date, as well as nostalgic movies. Currently, The Breakfast Club is one of the older movies you can catch on the big screen. Cedar Lee Theater is unique for many reasons. It remains one of the only theaters in the area to feature art-house films that aren’t seen as options in mainstream theaters, sell baked goods, coffee, and imported beers and wine at the concession stand. Clevelanders frequent this unique theater due to its distinction amongst other chain theaters. Cedar Lee Theater is an extension of Cleveland Cinemas, which consists of four active locations at the moment; Cedar Lee Theater, Apollo Theater, Capitol Theater, and Chagrin Cinemas. Cedar Lee Theater opened its doors for the first time on Christmas Day in 1925, but wasn’t transformed into the theater it is today until 1983, allowing the theater to meet the demand for showing specialty films. The first film to ever be shown at Cedar Lee was a silent short movie called “The King on Main Street”. The show was paired with various shorts. At the time, the theater had only 1,100 seats and one screen. In 1994, the theater went from two screens to six. The Cedar Lee Theater is known for showing specialty films, mainly independent and foreign films. The theater hosted the Cleveland International Film Fest in 1977, until Tower City Cinemas took over the privilege of hosting. An interesting tradition Cedar Lee is particularly known for is screening the Rocky Horror Picture Show on the first Saturday of each month at midnight. Cedar Lee’s reopening was a decision made with many safety precautions in mind. There will be social distancing markers in the lobby to ensure that guests are at least six feet away from each other at all times. The theater will be ensuring that there are touchless payment options for tickets and concessions, and buying tickets online in advance is highly

frequently wash their hands. All surface areas will be disinfected throughout the day and night. Plexiglass has been installed in front of the register, and masks are required for all guests who are not eating or drinking. Seating capacity has been halved, with certain rows and seats roped off in compliance with social distancing guidelines. Showtimes have been distanced further apart in time to encourage crowd control and to provide ample time to properly clean all areas between shows. With all of these safety guidelines in place, guests feel comfortable and safe viewing new specialty films on screen. Jon Forman, the President of Cleveland Cinemas, is quite eager to welcome the public back into the familiar theater that many avid movie goers have dearly missed. The theater is sure to expect new faces as well, being one of the limited theaters open to the public. Cleveland Cinemas’ Tower City Cinema has reported closing down permanently, causing Cleveland Cinemas to lose a theater location permanently. Tower City Cinema was decided to shut down due to the pandemic in conjunction with the lease expiring. Viewers are encouraged to check out other branches of Cleveland Cinema. Open since 1998, its closing will bring a close to a long and storied history. The theater was known for hosting Cleveland International Film Fest, and a popular theater for downtown Clevelanders to frequent. There has been discussion between Bedrock, the owner of Tower City, and Cleveland Cinemas on

Cedar Lee Theater is unique… [it] features arthouse films, sells baked goods and imported beers and wine at the concession stand.

Cedar Lee Theatre reopens, though the future of cinema remains uncertain.

encouraged for minimal unnecessary contact. Cedar Lee’s staff has their temperature taken each time they report for work, wear masks at all times, and THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 24


DEATH OF THE MOVIE THEATER? what possibilities lie in the future for a new theater. Tower City isn’t the only theater that will be shutting off its screens, and closing its doors for final time. Many theaters across the country will continue to close their doors, and film festivals continue to be postponed. Cinema fans are fortunately able to have access to new and old films alike on various streaming platforms. However, the effect of seeing films is incomparable to watching a film within one’s own home. Going to the cinema is considered a classic American experience, and packing into the car with one’s family to see a new movie, experiencing an awkward first date at the theater, or frequenting the latest films with friends are experiences that many Americans remember fondly, and an experience that will hopefully live on generations into the future. The Cinematheque is another hidden gem located in Cleveland, known for showing foreign films, restored classics, as well as independent films. This theater is an extension of the Cleveland Institute of Art, opening in 2015. The Cinematheque has suspended its screenings indefinitely, but has offered an innovative method to keep fans engaged, and to continue showing films as normally as possible—they call this the virtual cinema, offering different film options available for purchase to watch temporarily at home. The way this works is by clicking a link, paying $12 to view the film, and having 48 hours to watch after it is accessed. The Cinematheque is able to engage with audiences in this way, and continue to give access to films that are not accessible in most theaters anywhere else in the area. Viewing films available from the Cinematheque’s website is a great way to expose yourself to new films, foreign, independent and classic. New titles are available for browsing every week.



The future of cinema remains shrouded in doubt and uncertainty. Even before the pandemic, cinema’s possibility of a future was not a guarantee. The increased popularity of televisions was the cinema’s first major hit, followed by home video releases, and streaming services severely crippled the cinema industry within the past years. The pandemic coupled with the rising popularity of streaming services may be the final blow to cinema. Many films that were set to come out during the pandemic instead turned to streaming services, such as Disney+ or Netflix, causing box offices to take an extreme revenue hit. Films such as Roma and the Irishman saw very limited theatrical releases before heading straight to Netflix. The longer the pandemic lasts, the more likely more and more cinemas and movie theaters will be closing their doors forever. Film festivals, however will likely continue as soon as it is safe to do so, as streaming services have not and likely will not hold entirely virtual film festivals—though they could sponsor a few. Cedar Lee Theatre is looking like a hot contender to take on the Cleveland International Film Festival—only time will tell. Some hope remains for the cinema, as drive-ins saw a surge in popularity over the past summer. Drive ins popped up across the nation this summer, and were immensely popular in a fashion that was unseen in any previous years. These drive-ins offered people the opportunity to gather while socially distancing with friends and family, providing a safe way to experience the magic of cinema that was missed. Pop up cinemas also became prevalent thanks to Michael B. Jordan and Amazon. These pop up theaters consumed entire Walmart parking lots, and saw crowds of cars. Presumably, movie theaters will experience the same surge in popularity, as people have become very nostalgic for movie theaters and other activities that are more difficult to enjoy in these times. The nostalgia may even be the saving grace for cinema, as the industry itself has been waning over the past several years. Though the cinema’s future remains uncertain, Cedar Lee is reopened and waiting to see your face (WITH a mask!) soon. The cinemas of Cleveland will continue to persevere in the midst of the pandemic, and can count on avid movie goers for support. Cedar Lee Theatre remains a staple in viewing speciality films, and its rarity is a factor that is sure to keep it open in the ages to come. Check out Cedar Lee’s website for information on what’s showing now, and reserve tickets online!




Jake Moore Cleveland Producer and DJ Tre Smith Streams Live DJ Sets Through COVID-19 Pandemic

Photo by Bobby Booshay during DJ E-V’s St. Patrick’s Day Live Stream



n the COVID-19 crisis, music artists all around the world have had to find new

To take it all back to the start, when did you start making music?

ways to get their content out to listeners.

Smith: Honestly, I started them both simultaneously

With festivals canceled, concert venues

in 2010 when I was 15. I quickly noticed that a huge

closed and social distancing rules in place, this virus

strong suit of mine was that I was always network-

has given the face of music a new look.

ing. Whether it was in school or out, I always loved

The pandemic has hit the reset button on live music.

getting to know more people. I was young and got

Anything people were accustomed to when it came to

lucky because of this too.

seeing an artist perform in person has been tossed out are popping up around the country. Musicians have

Do you remember what drove you towards this career path?

also been posting their own free stay-at-home con-

Smith: There was actually this moment when I was

certs on YouTube to keep listeners occupied.

really young—maybe nine years old at the time—when

These video shows are a good way to produce con-

I was on a family vacation. We were in Tennessee and

tent for viewers at home in the wake of the pandemic,

I remember picking CDs to play. And all of these older

but it doesn’t give the “happening right before my

people around me would ask, “Who is playing this?” I

eyes” feeling of a live show. Music lovers have a void

would tell them that it was me, and they would always

in their hearts and are looking for anything to fill it.

be surprised it was me. They thought a nine-year-old

Since live streaming services like Twitch and

had no business knowing anything about what good

Mixer have been flooding the market, some artists

music was. I think it subconsciously stuck with me

have started performing through these services. In

and shaped my life towards that ever since.

the window. Drive-in concerts of artists performing

particular, DJs have been able to curate whole mixes and perform them live while also interacting with fans. Cleveland-based producer and DJ Tre Smith has been doing these performances since before the COVID-19 pandemic. Smith has now been able to focus on these

sets since it is the only way to perform for listeners.

Is there a moment in the early stages of your music career that made it seem real for you? Smith: Yes, I actually had an immense amount of opportunities for someone my age. The one that really did it for me was playing at the House of Blues while I was still in high school. How did that happen with starting off so young? Smith: The band I was in at the time actually got

“We’re having a creative

picked to participate in the Tri-C High School Rock

content renaissance right now”

Nation for putting that event together and believing

Smith, 24, said, “creatives have

opportunities I wouldn’t think we would have before

Off. I need to give a shout out to everyone at Live

been exploring their options making beautiful things.”

in any way they can and are

in me so young. They really opened up our minds to that time. Things didn’t end up working out with me in a four-person group with all different perspectives and energies being thrown in. Is that when you decided to start building yourself up in music? Smith: Being in that group taught me it was hard to keep my personal goals in sight and do what I wanted to do creatively. Even during that time I was in a rock band, I was always making beats and figuring out

Smith has established himself in the Cleveland mu-

my craft. I just decided I need to do what I have to

sic scene after years of hard work. He has played at

do to let these goals come to fruition.

venues such as the House of Blues, Grog Shop and many others. In addition to playing his own shows,

Are you glad that you started young?

Smith had a show with his long-time collaborator

Smith: I think it is very important to start young

Young Cap in which they opened for Jack Harlow,

because it gives you all the more time to find your-

who had the number one song in the country at the

self and your style. There is a weird part of me that

time with “What’s Popping.”

almost wishes I started now. I’ve gone through so

Smith was able to meet via FaceTime to discuss

many personal hurdles that if I just got all this stuff

how he started getting into music, what he has

together, I would be able to focus more. Everything

accomplished and how he crafts his DJ sets.

happens for a reason though, so I’m happy I’m where I’m at now. THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 28


Have your goals changed since you were young making music versus now?

Being a Cleveland artist yourself, do you think it is important to help each other out in the music scene?

Smith: Not really at all, actually. I have always wanted

Smith: I think that is something that Cleveland’s scene

to make music that inspires people the way my pre-

specifically needs to get better at. I don’t think there

decessors inspired me. When I was young, listening

are enough artists trying to boost each other up. And

to Tyler, the Creator, he showed me that it is okay

in turn, that hurts the whole industry in Cleveland.

pushing creativity. Now there are modern artists like Khalid that started young and are still making it big. Them inspiring me just makes me want to continue that gift to other people. What is one highlight of your career you always look back on now? Smith: One that meant the world to me was getting to work with Mac Miller’s producers ID Labs. We were all working on beats and just having a real positive and good time. I was literally one seat away from Mac Miller at one point and I’ll never take that for granted especially after the tragic passing of him. It

I don’t think there are enough artists trying to boost each other up … There needs to be more community-driven events and really strengthen each other.

was a great opportunity to work with professionals that have made it and just be able to learn. There needs to be more community-driven events and really strengthen each other. I have been doing a lot of great work with Young Cap. He is working towards changing up his genre from being known as only hip-hop. He is having a personal renaissance and making really honest and genuine music. DJ EV who is one of my mentors and someone I have always looked up to—he and I are able to actually collaborate now and it’s surreal. There are many more, but people should try to get connected and support these people. Since the pandemic hit has it been harder to keep up with collaborating with artists? Smith: Overall, yes. But it has actually given more time to focus on my interests and goals. I have actually been working heavily with my roommate and music artist J-Work. We had a really good summer just stockpiling a bunch of records and a bunch of songs we are very proud of. He and I have a lot of good stuff coming out soon we can’t wait to share. Do you remember what was going through your head when the stay at home order went into place? Smith: The most wild thing to me is that I had a DJ show at 1899 in Downtown Willoughby that was packed to the brim just two days before that happened. All I could think about is that I hope everyone that was there is safe. I don’t want my fans, casual listeners that just came out or even myself to be hurt from that. It was a lot to process and I’m just glad I never Photo taken by Maclin Bilski


heard anything bad happening from it.

to be myself in music and to never stop creating and

Has this stunted your growth as an artist? Smith: I’m going to be honest. I can’t speak for every musician out there but personally it was a new opportunity for me. I have been able to learn more and focus my energy on the things I have personally wanted to do. For instance, with DJing, I haven’t been hired for a gig where the people want a certain type of music being played so on these online sets I have been curating mixes and sets that speak to my creative taste. It has been a weird time but good for me as well. Can you take us through your process of making your online DJ Sets? Smith: It was different, but these days when I’m starting with the music, it no longer is all thoughtout and hard work. The songs and vibe just kind of subconsciously happen. I just sit down to start and before I know it I have a mix or a vibe I can ride all

Live Stream capture taken from Tre Smith's Instagram (@TreSmithers)

night. The most important thing for live DJ sets is the visuals. Before, when live shows were happening, I would just put my phone up, have my speakers loud and play it through that. I realized I wanted to make a quality stream so I found out about this program called OBS where you can put graphics and text on the screen, have multiple camera views and use green screens. With the combination of that program, putting multi-colored lights in my room, and setting up Photo taken by Karli Kaufman

a chat in the stream for viewers that is essentially all the components to my Live DJ sets. With chats on streams, it has brought in an in-person aspect to the audience. How do you feel about this feature on streams?

What puts your online sets apart from others?

Smith: I think it is a great tool for the audience and

audience when I do them. On the last stream I did, I

I to engage with each other again. When I stream on

was mixing Kid Cudi’s very first mixtape that isn’t

Facebook, Twitch, Twitter or Periscope, I have it set up

even on streaming services with The Box by Roddy

to where I get all them sent to me in one place. I have

Rich. I am making a melting pot of beautiful com-

a mic set up where I can just talk to the comments

binations to listen to.

Smith: There can be so much detail in that but overall, I think it’s that I am not going for a genre-niche

I see coming in from there. I’m not Steve Aoki, so I can actually talk to someone in these sets. I was on Periscope really early in the morning once and there

Do you have anything coming up that you want readers to know about?

was just one guy watching me. I was asking him what

Smith: There is just so much content in general I am

he wanted to hear, and I ended up just DJing for him.

working on that I’m excited to get out. I’m taking

I wasn’t trying to get my personal flare out instead I

some time off of social events that are even allowed

was able to give him a personalized experience which

to happen to just focus on content to get out to lis-

is something we couldn’t do before.

teners. I have been making a lot of beats and doing studio work with artists across the country and I’ll

Do you now have a preference between online and in person DJ sets?

have so much in store before 2020 ends.

Smith: They both have pros and cons so I don’t think

Be sure to follow Tre Smith and his work at tresmith.

I could just definitively pick one that is better, but

com where you can find links to his social media and

I will say, I have been enjoying the freedom in the

the creative content he’s putting out.

online sets. I have been able to totally control the visuals happening on the sets which is a key factor. I love the free range of songs I have been able to do now as well.




Remote Remot

Learning Learnin WRITTEN BY

Samra Karamustafic ILLUSTRATED BY

Jillian VanDyke

Make the transition to online classes a smooth one for a successful semester ahead.


emember when we all thought that by the time August rolled around, the pandemic would be over? Flash forward to the Fall 2020 semester, and the situation is unlike anything

we could have imagined back in March. As many of us know, many classes at Cleveland State University have switched over to remote learning, which comes with its advantages and disadvantages. Online classes provide us with great benefits, such as a greater sense of freedom and flexibility over when you work on assignments, which is perfect if you’re juggling both school and work. However, online learning has a few not-so-appealing aspects, too; maybe it’s that the Wi-Fi signal in your home is spotty or your rambunctious family downstairs makes it challenging for you to focus on your schoolwork. Thanks to a variety of online resources, you have an arsenal of tips and advice that will make transitioning over to online classes that much easier for you. At the end of the day, we all want to make the most of our situation, and here’s how you can do just that.


SET UP A DESIGNATED WORKSPACE I get it: there’s nothing cozier than working on your assignments while snuggled up in bed…until you decide five minutes in that you’re tired and would much rather watch another episode of your favorite show. That’s why designating a specific area in your room or home for studying can be incredibly beneficial in terms of productivity. It could be as simple as clearing off the dining room table for a few hours while you work. Once you get into the habit of sitting in that same spot, your mind will subconsciously begin associating it with productivity and work, and a spot like sitting at the table is less distracting than a comfy bed with Netflix just a Google search away. CLEAR YOUR WORKSPACE OF ANY DISTRACTIONS Have you ever tried doing work with your phone right beside you? The entire time, all you see out of the corner of your eye is the screen lighting up as new notifications pop up. From personal experience, I can tell you that it won’t take long until you reach for it! Luckily, there are features designed to keep your mind off of your phone while you’re getting work done, such as the “Do Not Dis-

ng g

turb” setting. With Do Not Disturb, the second you turn it on, all notifications are silenced while your phone is locked. If having your phone beside you with Do Not Disturb on is still too tempting, you could always place your phone in the opposite corner of your room or in another room in the house — whichever helps you stay focused and stay away from your phone! If you live in a large household, you may face another distraction that is a bit tougher to get rid of: your family! If you have a harder time focusing with them around, try popping in your headphones and playing some music while you study; Apple Music and Spotify have plenty of playlists specifically curated to help you focus, which can always come in handy. If that still doesn’t help, you could always visit your local library to see if they have any study areas that you could take advantage of — just remember to wear your mask if you do!

STAY ORGANIZED Turns out, buying a planner for 2020 may not have been such a bad idea after all. If you only remember one thing from this article, remember this: organization is key. Keeping track of assignments and quizzes can be a tougher task when you have limited face-to-face contact with your professor. When you don’t hear regular reminders about a certain assignment from your professor, you are much more susceptible to forgetting about the assignment — until you wake up and see the dreaded “Due Today” reminder on Blackboard. You can prevent the anxiety-ridden all-nighters by keeping track of all of your due dates. It’s never too late to log onto Blackboard, download the syllabi for each class, and jot down the due dates for every assignment and test for each class you have. If you’re not too fond of physical planners, you can find a variety of digital planners online, like Notion. Notion is a great online planner that you can use to track assignments and important dates. The best part? It’s completely FREE for students! No matter what kind of planner you use, what’s most important is that you actually use it! REMEMBER TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF While it’s extremely crucial to prioritize your schoolwork in order to have a successful semester, you have to make sure that you’re prioritizing self-care, too. These days, a lot of us are spending long periods of time staring at a screen and sitting at a desk, which can lead to side effects such as back and neck pain, headaches, and eye strain. Try to find some time to get up from your desk and stretch, even if it’s just for a few minutes. If you’re struggling with headaches and eye strain, make it a

habit to occasionally step away from the computer so that you can spend time away from the screens. Visit a nearby park on a sunny day and immerse could be

yourself in nature. Call up a friend that you haven’t

as simple as

sure that they have outdoor seating!)

clearing off

know you need one. Being productive is great, but

the dining

out that you want to avoid. So, if you have a splitting

room table

Most importantly, give yourself a break when you there is a fine line between productivity and burn-

on isn’t due until the following night, give yourself permission to go to bed a bit earlier that night. As

for a few

cliché as it may be, it’s true: balance is key. Put your

hours while you work.

seen in a bit and get coffee with them (just make

headache and the assignment that you’re working

te e


best foot forward when it comes to schoolwork, but make sure that you’re setting aside time for you, too.



ife is short, and we frequently reprimand


ourselves for the goals we fail to meet. All the

Lauren Koleszar

while, we envy the manner our peers handle their six college classes, four jobs, two


Emily Williams

side hustles, and the three parties they went to in one weekend. Being alive in the twenty-first century means being profitable, useful and maximized. It’s no

Learning the difference between setting a goal and forming a habit can change the course of your semester and help you achieve your dreams faster than any New Year’s resolution.

wonder we’re here, setting goals at the start of every new semester, month and week because any kind of beginning strikes us as a restart option that will give us a chance to improve and accomplish more than the last time we tried setting goals for ourselves. Inevitably, we fall into the same tragic cycle: goal-setting, high expectations, inconsistency, lack of motivation, and ultimately failure, until we reach disappointment and discouragement. The problem isn’t us. It’s the glittering high expectations lacking a realistic plan, something with which we are so familiar that we don’t even think to question it. In the days of COVID-19, perhaps you’ve half-heartedly watched videos on preparing for online school, setting a morning routine, and staying motivated while stuck at home. At the hearts of some of these pop self-help videos is a methodology that offers a realistic system through which goals become attainable—in other words, the practice of forming habits. The difference between forming habits versus setting goals seems mediocre, but when put into practice, the difference between these two efforts toward self-improvement is enormous.


A goal is the desired end result, but a habit is a repetitive behavior that initially requires conscious effort to form until it becomes a natural pattern of behavior. Think of it this way: you can set a goal to form healthy habits, but don’t make a habit out of setting goals. Human beings rely on repetitive behavior (i.e. habits) about 40% of the time over the course of a day. These habits are thoughts and actions that have become so familiar to the brain that enacting them has become a subconscious process. This also explains why bad habits are so difficult to break—because most of the time, these are things we do without thinking about it. In fact, studies show that the average person commits to break a habit ten times without success. We must recognize that we often set out to break a bad habit by setting a goal to do so. This goal represents the desirable destination that we become obsessed with, and in a romantic sort of tunnel vision, we do two very dangerous things: 1) underestimate the time and energy it will take to achieve this goal, and 2) overestimate the consistency we expect ourselves to maintain while working toward this goal. One of


the major problems with goal-setting is that this

by the end of the semester? If you only set a goal,

tunnel vision sets us up for disappointment and

chances are (and research agrees) that you will find

discouragement because it often leaves us without

yourself initially unable to meet your goal. In fact,

any kind of measurable progress that we can utilize

statistically speaking, this will happen ten times

as motivation in our next effort toward achieving

before anything changes. Try this instead: begin

the initial goal.

setting habits today that will help you develop a

Say, for instance, you set a goal to stay on top of all

writing-conducive attitude. Write for five minutes

of your classes this semester. This is a fantastic goal,

every day. Chances are, you’ll end up writing more

and it doesn’t sound too hard to manage, especially

than that when inspiration strikes. Note that it

if everything’s online, right? Wrong. Here’s what

is equally important to avoid beating yourself up

happens: in a burst of motivation, you get ahead in

for any misstep in your progress. The beauty of

your English class. Feeling good about that situa-

habit-forming is that for whatever you fail to do at

tion, you start working on your math class. There’s

some point, you have an entire track record to look

a concept you don’t understand, so you work on a

back on for encouragement and peace of mind. The

different class. A few days go by, and you’ve been

toxic concept of maintaining a “streak” of behavior

spending most days working on your easier classes.

has little bearing in the realm of developing habits.

You realize you haven’t logged into English in a

Habits help you keep track of progress in order to

week and you missed an assignment. Catching up

provide your future self with accountability and hope.

on that, you continue to neglect math because it’s

In terms of our earlier example, keep track of how

too much to think about right now. By the time math

many days you write, and remind yourself that you

is threatening an avalanche of neglected deadlines,

made a conscious effort to accomplish that on each of

you’re behind in English again. Working on math then

those individual days. Focus on the fact that you did

leads to falling behind in all your other classes. The

it; don’t fixate on the idea of a streak that you lost. In

end result? You’re burnt out, behind, and carrying

the writing example, this mindset will help shape a

an unhealthy amount of stress.

healthier attitude toward writing, which will relieve

Let’s take a look at what a habit-based strategy

stress and self-criticism, which will then lead to you

would look like. You decide to make it a habit to log

producing more work. By the end of the semester,

2. Drink a glass of water

in to each of your classes once a day. Maybe you even

you will have a buildup of writing from the days

before every meal

decide to spend at least thirty minutes per day on

during which you successfully practiced this habit;

each class. Regardless, you consciously outline simple

and now, when publishing opportunities come, you

3. Log into every class

habits. Everything is going well, and then you miss a

have a plethora of material from which you can draw,

once a day

day. Life gets in the way; it happens to all of us. The

instead of one stressful piece you crammed until the

next day, you start again by practicing the simple

night of the deadline, as may have been the result of

habit you initially set: log in to every class once a

simple goal-setting without a realistic plan of habits.

day. We often struggle with the modern phenomenon

You can’t reach goals right away, but you can start

of a “streak.” Maybe it’s the digital age, maybe it’s

forming habits right now. Check out the list below

the Duolingo owl that haunts us all, but it is so easy

with some popular healthy habits, and spend some

nowadays to see yourself missing out on doing the

time considering and researching which habits are

right thing once. Suddenly, all of your progress goes

best for developing a lifestyle conducive to the kind

down the drain. The next day, you still feel disap-

of future you want. Hold yourself accountable using

pointed in yourself and miss out again. This repeats,

a habit tracker in a journal or on your phone, and

and you never meet the goal. This is where you might

do not be discouraged when you happen to leave a

see value in a habit tracker; when you keep track of

habit unattended. Focus on how far you have come,

habits, you can visualize your accomplishments.

and remind yourself that practicing a habit one day

You see how many days you’ve logged into all your

at a time is progress. Developing habits will bring

classes once a day; it outweighs the days you failed,

you more success than setting goals ever will.

Healthy habits you can start forming right now: 1. Wake up at the same time every day

4. Respond to all unanswered texts/emails by a certain time 5. Wash your face every morning and night

so why should an off-day affect any progress or sense of accomplishment? Think of this, also: if you log into every class daily (i.e. not just when something is due), you will at least find something little to do in your time there. This becomes the secret that can lead to staying on top of your classes, and eventually getting ahead! If you feel far from where you want to be in terms of happiness and success, habit-forming will be absolutely invaluable to you. Is one of your quarantine

The problem isn’t us; it’s the system we’re so used to seeing that we don’t even think to question it.

goals to have your writing published somewhere






Devin Benko

After the COVID-19 pandemic became a dark reality for students the inevitable switch to virtual learning came with a toll on their mental health.


ast March, students were thrown into something that none of them had experienced before—shutdowns, closings, new rules and regulations—all within mere weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic hitting

the United States. They went from thriving on campuses to moving out and heading back home within hours. No one was expecting to make the switch from what was considered traditional styles of learning to fully remote online learning. While students have begun to acclimate themselves to the new routines that come with going remote, one cannot help but question how this massive change has affected the students themselves. The pandemic has pushed everyone away from social interactions and onto their computers, putting pressure on the mental health of these young adults.

So how does being online and remote take a toll on the minds of students? Are the screens and lack of social interaction that big of a difference in the overall well-being of individuals? Remote—or distance—learning has been linked to an increase in stress and anxiety levels of students. In a survey by the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, 32 percent of students said that their mental health needs have risen since COVID-19 closures began. The loss of structure and routine is a contributing factor to this. People thrive on routines and feeling like they are in control of situations in their daily lives. The switch to remote learning has thrown this completely out of balance, resulting in the added stress of trying to develop new personal routines as well as staying on top of school work. Not only have students lost their feeling of control while learning remotely, but they have also begun to lose their sense of belonging in some cases. University is community—friends, family and social interaction is a major part of attending higher education. The notion of no longer belonging or suddenly having an overwhelming sense of loneliness can lead to a plethora of ot her issues.



A loss of routine, an overwhelming sense of lone-


liness—but what about the hours that students all

Get the blood flowing! Working out and staying fit

spend on electronic screens now? As the technology

is so crucial to the well-being of your body. When

industry has boomed over the years, more studies

someone mentions working out, everyone pictures

have come out investigating the correlation be-

a hard workout at the gym, but that doesn’t have

tween screen time and depression and anxiety. The

to be the case. Exercising can be as simple as going

correlation is direct: those who spend more time on

for a walk, biking in the park, or skating to class.

computers, tablets and phones are more likely to

Physical activities stimulate endorphins, dopamine

develop symptoms of depression and anxiety.

and serotonin within the brain. These chemicals are

What exactly does this mean for students during

important in regulating mood. Regular exercising

this time? Acknowledging the fact that, due to remote

has been shown to reduce stress, improve sleep and

learning, students are more susceptible to experi-

ward off symptoms of anxiety—all of which can be

encing a decline in their overall mental well-being

helpful as we deal with remote learning.

is the first step. The next is to avoid falling into bad habits or prolonged periods of negative emotions.

Meet up with friends!

Students can do this by checking in on their own

Sometimes all you need is a little social interaction to

well-being as well as that of those who are close to

boost your spirits. Getting together with your friends

them. Encouraging self check-ins, as well as check-

is a perfect way to break out of an online learning

ins with friends and family who may also be learning

rut. Even if it’s just a short walk or a small, socially

or working remotely, is just one easy way to practice

distant picnic, having social interaction with those

self-compassion and look out for the health of others.

you care about is great for clearing the head and

If you are checking in with yourself and you notice

reducing stress

that you are beginning to feel unusual or are recognizing a decline in your mental health, here are

Reach out for professional help

some ways that you can combat these feelings and

While all of these are great examples of ways to combat

get back on top of things.

a mental health decline, if symptoms persist, seek help from a professional. You can look for options

Step Away!

near you that cater to your individual circumstances

Taking a step back from class work and other tasks

or contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

to take a deep breath and to grab a glass of water can

at 800-273-8255. Cleveland State offers services for

ease so much stress. Sitting in front of a computer or

mental health therapy at the Counseling Center, both

at a desk for too long takes a toll on your mind and

in-person in Berkman Hall and online.

body. Be sure to give it the love it needs by taking

While you’re busy busting out classwork and trying

small breaks between studying and work and resting

to balance everything that life may throw at you,

when your body needs it.

remember to check in on yourself. We’re living in a time of high stress, so giving your mind the extra

Go Outside!

attention it needs to perform at its best each day is

Simply going outside, while it may seem a bit foolish

crucial. Practicing self-compassion and giving your

and simple, can be extremely beneficial for both

body what it requires should be prioritized just as

our physical and mental health. Being outdoors can

much as that assignment due at 11:59.

combat numerous health issues. Getting that breath your lungs, lowering your blood pressure and heart rate, and even reducing anxiety and stress. Stay Tidy! Make sure your workspace, whether it be a desk or table in your home, is clean and stays organized. Having an organized workspace can reduce feelings of anxiety and stress. Using desktop canisters for organization of pens, pencils and everything in between is a great way to get your things neat and tucked away.


... This massive change has affected the sudents ...

of fresh air can clear your head while also clearing






Cuyahog Scenic a Valley R a ilroa d @Cu




Joscelyn Erwin

Miranda Tulcewicz






Although COVID-19 has barred us from enjoying many of life’s joys, don’t let it bar you from enjoying your fall plans! Northeast Ohio still offers plenty of fun to be had — though some of it will still be in your own home.


his year has been riddled with uncertainty, but don’t let that ruin your fall fun. Fall is

M ap

brimming with irresistible qualities; the crisp air, changing colors, pumpkins and

spooky atmosphere can’t be beat! Two of fall’s best traits, however, are exploring nature with family and friends and finding festivals both new and old to visit throughout the season. Since the pandemic has canceled many events, we decided to put together a list of activities you can do to celebrate Fall this year.

s m r a eF d i s e l @m





e apl

Visit a Farm for a Fall Festival (Yes they are still open-don’t forget a mask!)

Honey Haven Farms (fall season Sept. 29 - Oct. 28)

Honey Haven Farms, located in Ashland, has been celebrating the season with a fall festival for over 20 years. Similar to some of the other farms on this list, Honey Haven takes great pride in their elaborate, decorative corn-maze design every year. They offer activities for the whole family, including: a back yard zoo, wagon rides, pumpkin picking, and tasty treats in their country store. All of these activities are included in their FREE admission (though some specific






io @oh

activities, like the pumpkin picking,

t a te r y S o i h O marto Refor

are available at low prices that can be found on their website).


Red Wagon Farm (Pumpkin Festival)

Ohio State Reformatory

(open through Oct. 31)

(currently open)

Festival this fall? Red Wagon Farm is located in Columbia Station. General admission is $10 per

This old tourist attraction can be found in Mansfield and is well-known for its paranormal activity. If you’re from Ohio, chances are you’ve heard of the reformatory, or OSR. It has a long, violent histo-

person, and you can find a plethora of pumpkins.

ry—which makes it the perfect place to visit if you

Admission includes wagon rides, giant Jenga, straw

want to get the creeps this fall. Although it’s open

jump, and a large, five-acre corn maze. Along with

year-round, and tickets can be found on their web-

even more attractions and activities, starting in October, Red Wagon encourages guests to show up in costumes while they host trick or treat nights for kids on Fridays.

site for daylight tours, OSR also boasts one of the scariest Halloween tours in Ohio. During the fall season, you can also take a haunted tour at night. Information about haunted tours and daylight hours can be found on their website. Make sure to check Groupon for discounted tickets!

Mapleside Farms

activities planned for the Fall season. This list includes some activities from years past but one new event as well. Returning for another year is Mapleside’s Pumpkin Village—which boasts over 20 attractions to enjoy throughout the day. This includes a hay ride, a super slide, goats, two giant jump pillows and more. Mapleside also takes it up a notch with the fall festivities by having a different theme for every weekend. Tickets for this event range from $12 to $14 per person. Ramseyer Farms

The crisp air, changing colors, pumpkins, and spooky

(currently open)

Located in Brunswick, Mapleside Farms has several

Visit an Apple Orchard 15 Apple Orchards Near Cleveland to Hit this Fall. Apple orchards have been one of the best fall locations to frequent before COVID-19—and that hasn’t

atmosphere are the best

What sounds more fun than going to a Pumpkin

changed. Finding your local orchard is a piece of cake in Ohio, since there’s so many to choose from. In the linked article, written by Cleveland Scene, they go into detail about 15 apple orchards that you should visit near Cleveland. However, do check to make sure it is open before you go—this article was written before COVID-19, so hours or admission details may have changed.

(open through Oct. 31)

Ramseyer Farms is one of my favorite places to visit

Stay at Home Activities

during Fall. This farm is located in Wooster. Similar


to Honey Haven, Ramseyer draws in large crowds for their elaborate maze designs. Unlike Honey Haven,

Halloween Movies

though, this farm manages to design a total of three fantastic mazes every year that vary in size and


difficulty. Tickets are available for several different prices, depending on when you plan to go—Tuesday

Baking Halloween Cookies

through Thursday is $10 per person, Friday through Sunday is $13 per person, and season passes are

Making Fun Costumes

$39 per person.

Take a Day Trip for Some Fall Scenery Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad (opens Oct. 1)

Ready for some nice fall scenery but don’t feel like PHOTO CREDIT INSTAGRAM

walking around all those farm festivals?. Resuming on October 1, the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad will take rides on the Fall Flyer locomotive. During

R amseye r Farms

the ride, you’ll get to see the changing leaves, eagles nests, historical landmarks, and the Cuyahoga River. This 2-hour adventure costs between $14 to $28, depending on seats, and can be boarded in either Akron or Rockside stations.











Jillian VanDyke

Sophia Smith

well as environmental and health inequalities linked to poor COVID-19 outcomes.” (via The Guardian) This movement and pandemic has brought oppression to light in many different areas. Environmental racism not only affects comfort in living, but di-

Environmental racism harms not only the earth, but Black lives living in it.


rectly affects health and quality of life. The quote “I can’t breathe,” by Floyd was in reference to the fact that he literally couldn’t breathe due to police brutality, but it covers areas of health injustice as

act: systemic racism directly correlates

well, referring to statistics showing that Black people


are more likely to suffer from harsher symptoms of




Injustice prevails when greenery is strate-

asthma or respiratory issues.

gically placed within different neighbor-

Research proves that race and environmentalism

hoods. Predominantly Black neighbor-

are directly linked. Dr. Robert Bullard, a professor at

hoods often suffer from a lack of green space, leading to

Texas Southern University, is considered the Father

air quality problems. Living in a healthy environment

of Environmental Justice. He discusses topics such

is a human right and should not fluctuate based on

as location having an impact on health. He says,

location, income, or race. These issues are storied

“There is no level playing field. Any time our soci-

and persistent but civil rights activists have brought

ety says that a powerful chemical company has the

these issues to the forefront.

same rights as a low income family that’s living next

Race matters when discussing environmentalism—

door, the playing field is not level—is not fair.” This

injustices involving the placement of green spaces

communicates that people treat factories and their

and pollution-causing factories. Healthy water, clean

benefits as more important than the negative impact

air and fertile land should be accessible across the

they have on the financially deprived communities

board. However, this does not occur because low-in-

near them.

come neighborhoods do not have enough access to

September 25 was the Global Day of Climate Action.

green space and are more likely to contain factories

People worldwide participated in demonstrations to

that create a toxic living environment. Different

bring attention to the issue. On this day in India-

laws in different areas affect this issue as well. All

napolis, people gathered at the statehouse to speak

communities deserve protection against harmful

about environmental racism’s impact and what needs

gases. Black residents suffer from harsher air quality

to be done about it. Climate groups hosted teach-ins

in their neighborhoods than predominantly white

in Hinsdale, Houston, Sacramento, Boston, Denver,

neighborhoods. This is not ideal, especially during

and Seattle.

a pandemic.

With more research surfacing about environmental

This year has boasted a wide range of headlines,

racism, people are becoming more aware of the is-

many pertaining to the spread of COVID-19 and the

sue. Kayley Chery, a member of Extinction Rebellion

resurgence of the civil rights movement following the

Youth NYC, spoke on why she partook in helping the

killing of George Floyd. There have been many ties

issue: “I am taking action by spreading awareness

between the two topics, especially in the discussion

about the harmful effects of environmental racism in

of Black individuals being more at risk from dying

underprivileged communities and about the racism

from the disease. This is because Black people expe-

that exist within the youth climate and social-justice

rience more underlying health conditions from the

organizing spaces as well. This year, youth climate

long-term exposure to air pollution in their neigh-

activists of color are reclaiming their stories often

borhoods. In an April 2019 study in the Proceedings

told by their white counterparts by touching on their

of the National Academy of Sciences, Sampson and

personal experiences with the effects of environmental

fellow Harvard sociologist Robert Manduca showed

racism. We are able to create a seat at the table of

that poor African-American neighborhoods have

conversation of climate justice for youth activists of

higher levels of lead and air pollution than poor

color to voice their own concerns and are not used

white neighborhoods. This shows that the issue at

as means of tokenization.”

hand is more racial than financial.

Bringing awareness to the issue of environmental

The phrase “I can’t breathe” in relation to the

racism is important for the Black community, as

suffering of George Floyd covers a wide range of

are issues with climate change. Discussing these

racial injustices. Environmental injustice has been a

issues, whether attending a demonstration or simply

frequent discussion point during the Black Lives Matter

sharing information on social media, helps significant-

movement and COVID-19 pandemic. “Increasingly,

ly.Voting is a crucial element of enacting change for

experts and protesters have identified racial injustice

this country and can ensure that the Black community

as the common denominator in police violence, as

receives equal treatment.

The phrase “I can’t breathe” […] covers such a wide range of racial injustices.





An everything-but-the-kitchen-sink breakdown of everything you need to know to be an informed voter this November

(especially if your beliefs fall out of line with Amer-


underrepresented. For example, in 2016, only about

Cara Robbins

46 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 29


e get it. College is stressful enough already. Why pile onto that already-existing chaos by tuning to the hectic, convoluted and exhausting politics that are currently defining 2020? The

task of registering to vote, navigating the decision between voting early or in person, and responsibly researching the issues on your ballot is, to say the least, daunting. Fortunately, the Cleveland State campus has plenty of great resources available to ensure that this coming November, you’re ready (and excited!) to vote. The CSU Office of Civic Engagement (OCE) has plenty of resources available to help you navigate the elections, and people like Program Coordinator and Director Anita Ruf-Young and graduate assistant Anthony Kukura are always willing to help. This semester, the Campus Election Engagement Project (CEEP) and the Campus Vote Project (CVP) have teamed up with the OCE to make sure that CSU students have all of the help they need to participate in and understand this year’s elections. The League of Women Voters is also an active student organization on campus—if you have any civic questions for them or are interested in becoming a member, shoot them an email at year, CEEP and CVP have several on-campus student fellows who are more than willing to provide any additional help to you.

Why You Should Vote One of the most common reasons people don’t vote is because they don’t believe that their vote makes a difference. Your vote, on the surface, can seem inconsequential when compared to the millions of votes cast on and around election day 41 | VINDICATOR


ica’s two-party system). However, this belief doesn’t take into account the fact that the age group to which most CSU students belong is currently significantly

participated in the election, according to If this trend persists in 2020, that means roughly 29 million people will not exercise their constitutionally protected right to choose their representation. The sheer volume of this population certainly has the ability to make a dramatic impact on the outcome of the 2020 elections. One vote may not seem like it has a big impact, but 29 million people voicing their own unique and valid opinions can certainly shape the 2020 elections in a way that fully represents the American population. Furthermore, with a backdrop of a global pandemic and nationwide protests, the 2020 elections are shaping up to be quite a chapter in American history. Whatever the outcome of this election, future generations will look back at this unique moment and draw conclusions on how it made a dramatic change in the world they live in. There’s something novel about knowing that you can participate in something that will have a strong influence on the context of the world decades from now. Don’t miss out on your chance to help shape what future history textbooks say about this turbulent period in our country.

How You Can Vote The deadline to register to vote for the general election is October 5, so hopefully if you’re reading this, you’ve already registered to vote. If not, there’s still time, but you should act quickly. You can register online quickly and easily at Make sure to have your Ohio driver’s license or another valid Ohio ID, plus the last four digits of your Social Security number. Don’t have a valid Ohio ID? No worries. You’ll just need to register to vote in person, and provide the last four digits of your Social Security number. The Office of Civic Engagement will have tables in the Rhodes Tower plaza on October 5, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., where you can register to vote.

2020 2020 OCTOBER 2020


Don’t miss out on your chance to help shape what future history textbooks say about this turbulent period in our country.

What You Need to Vote

The League of Women Voters will post this infor-

In-person voting will happen on November 3, 2020

mation closer to the day of the election. When doing

between 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. If you’re registered

your own independent research, ensure that the

to vote in Cuyahoga County, then the Board of Elec-

information that you find is safe and accurate. You

tions is easy to find—it’s right down the street from

can sort through misinformation by corroborating

Cleveland State’s campus, located at 2925 Euclid Ave.,

anything you find online with at least three other

on the corner of East 30th. If you are registered to

reputable sources. You can find out more tips and

vote in another county, you can find your polling

tricks to avoid disinformation at

location on the website, under the “Polling


Place Locator” tab. When you show up to your polling

Furthermore, make sure to keep an eye out for the

location, make sure to bring your driver’s license or

OCE and League of Women Voters’ upcoming social

other valid photo ID, or a current utility bill. Don’t

media event: “Vikes! Vote Social Media Interview

want to vote on election day? Early voting starts on

Series.” Various civic and community leaders will

October 6 and ends November 2. Make sure to check

be available to answer any questions you may have

with your local Board of Elections for the dates and

about the upcoming election. You can stay up to date

hours when you can vote. Don’t want to vote in person

on any news about this event by following the Office

at all? Voting by mail is a great alternative method

of Civic Engagement on Twitter (@csucivic), Ins-

of in-person voting. To request an absentee ballot,

tagram (@csucivicengagement) or Facebook (Office

fill out the “Application for Absentee Ballot to Vote

of Civic Engagement at Cleveland State University).

by Mail” online at You can also pick up

If you contribute a question, you’ll have a chance to

an absentee ballot application form on Rhodes Plaza

win a gift basket with various contributions from

from the OCE’s registration table on the dates listed

local businesses around the campus.

earlier. The last day to request an absentee ballot is October 31. Have your mail-in ballot postmarked by November 2 for it to be counted or drop off your ballot at the Board of Elections on voting day. Keep in mind that applying for either early voting or voting by mail requires either a valid Ohio driver’s license, a valid state ID or the last four digits of your Social

Want to Get Involved? Now that you know all about voting in the 2020 general election, you may find that you want to contribute more than just your vote. You’ve got options. Becoming a poll worker is not only a great way to help your community, but it can also help you build your resume

Security number.

and earn some money—poll workers earn between

How to Research Your Ballot

help keep the democratic process running smoothly.

The most important step in voting, of course, is

If you’re interested, visit

knowing how you want to vote. Students have plenty

for more information on how to apply.

$140 to $170 for one day’s work. It’s a fantastic way to

of options in finding out what will be on the ballot, what the details about the issues and candidates are, and answers to any additional questions you have. The League of Women Voters offers an extremely valuable service that allows you to see who will be on their ballot, and what their stances on various issues are. You can find this service at — simply put in your address, and begin researching!



2020 These days taught me how to grieve. A master to the sense, to dance in darkness, to be a friend to an enemy—myself. These days taught me how to achieve. A passionate note, to dance in terror, to be a friend to the unknown—tomorrow.



Hannah Mosley



I don’t know why I’m afraid. I haven’t been hurt but I act that way. Something must have happened in my past life. You see, it’s for the better He doesn't see me this way. Yet five days later I’m the first to complain: “Why can’t I find the right guy?” I wrote your name on my wrists. Sharpie red, your lasting kiss. Your love is my anchor, It’s only pulling me deeper. It’s so toxic But you intoxicate me. I’m praying, begging one day you’ll set me free But you always have to remind me, no one will miss me.



Megan Mullaly




Lauren Kolezar

Paper Dolls


Do you remember playing with those paper dolls?

Sophia Smith

not the barbie dolls (whose busts, scientifically, would have weighed them down) but paper dolls, two-dimensional paper dolls? not american girl dolls (whose price tags made my parents gouge out their eyes) but paper dolls, that you cut out of a book (a book of paper dolls)? Paper dolls required a little girl who was fastidious and precise because one wrong snip on a paper doll and the whole surgery goes haywire (doctor, we have dug the scalpel in too deep!) or maybe just (hairdresser, we have cut so much off her beautiful long hair!) I remember playing with paper dolls my grandmother gave me a pair of needlepoint scissors shaped like a stork sharp little scissors suitable for a (fastidious and precise) little girl who was keen to cut her paper doll free Her legs have such fine curves, as my scissors glide across the page, her clothes will fit loosely, because of those flimsy little tabs, her hair is choppy, but that’s fashionable (thank you, paper doll, for forgiving me) A last circling snip and she is a little crooked now, a little weak now that she is free (thank you to the stork, who delivered her soul from the spring) I wonder if the little girl, I wonder if the paper doll, is lonely, but she smiles at me she has arranged all her clothes on the carpet (don’t forget to clean up all that paper!) (yes, mom!) she carefully organizes her wardrobe (ample attention is given to this paper doll’s next look) she opens the book (the book of paper dolls) and clasps the stork scissors again (the little girl tilts her head) I must cut her a friend



VINDI PLAY Stacking Limbs (Because They Made Me Do It) Morning In May Bummerland AJR Devil’s Advocate The Neighbourhood Cabinet Man Lemon Demon If It Wasn’t For the Nights ABBA

Vindicator Staff



To welcome fall and kick off the newest section of the

“Cabinet Man” - Lemon Demon

Yara Hamo

Vindicator, we put together a playlist that explores

Lemon Demon is a musical project by Neil Cicierega,

the Vindicator staff’s individual tastes in music while

the content creator and musician best known for

offering some new songs to FALL in love with. This

“Potter Puppet Pals” and “The Ultimate Showdown

playlist features a couple of the staff’s favorite tracks.

of Ultimate Destiny.” “Cabinet Man” juxtaposes


upbeat electropop with an unsettling lyrical twist. “Stacking Limbs (Because They Made Me Do It)” Morning In May

Stylistic influences from 8-bit music pair well with

A track that tells a story, emo-core band Morning

arcade machine. Cicierega’s versatile vocals are at

In May takes listeners on a wild journey with lustful

moments playful, menacing and bleak—sometimes

vocals and ascending musical transitions. “Stacking

all at once—which enhances his storytelling abili-

Limbs (Because They Made Me Do It)” is sure to open

ty. Throughout the song, the verses and chorus are

ears to a unique side to music. - Tabitha Timms

interspersed with ominous hints underscored by

a mysterious story from the perspective of a sentient

well-placed bass distortion. The bridge turns frantic “Bummerland” - AJR

as the narrator reckons with his mortality and the

“Bummerland” was released on Aug. 31, the track is

decline of the arcade industry, then breaks down to

AJR’s way of providing their listeners with a moment of

a surprisingly soft and poignant final verse. After

joy in the time of COVID-19. The lyrics are optimistic,

the last rendition of the chorus, with its full-bod-

as they focus on the importance of finding hope even

ied sound and newly chilling significance, listeners

in the darkest of times. The upbeat instrumentals and

will want to relive this thrilling narrative again and

message are enough to make you want to hear more

again. - Lynn Nichols

from this decidedly joyous boy band. - Megan Mullaly “If It Wasn’t For the Nights” - ABBA “Devil’s Advocate” - The Neighbourhood

This song is just a bop (if songs could be considered

The Neighbourhood is a middle-school-era nostal-

bops in the ‘70s)! It’s super upbeat and fun, yet the

gic classic band. Of all of the singles the band has

lyrics contrast the sound of the song with a pretty

released, “Devil’s Advocate” is an instant favorite.

melancholy message. It’s a perfect display of ABBA’s

The track is a sure-fire repeat song for old and new

ability to weave intricate musical themes into really

fans alike. - Samra Karamustafic

catchy songs. - Eric Seitz



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