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THE

STUDENT

LIFE

The student newspaper of the Claremont Colleges since 1889

CLAREMONT, CA

FRIDAY, APRIL 19, 2019

VOL. CXXI NO. 20

What’s going on at the Denver House? Students in spiritual group push back against cult rumors LANEY POPE & SIENA SWIFT

TALIA BERNSTEIN • THE STUDENT LIFE

In the backyard of an unassuming house on Denver Avenue, several streets north of Harvey Mudd College, a man sits cross-legged, meditating in silence. Another resident proudly shows off the tarp under which he used to sleep. Inside, the Denver House is peaceful. The walls are adorned with tapestries and statues of a Hindu god. A makeshift bedroom in the middle of the living room is cordoned off by sheets. Pictures of the occupants’ spiritual teacher are framed on the wall and in front of an elephant-headed statue of the Hindu god Ganesh that serves as a shrine. One resident’s mother is in the kitchen, cooking vegan buffalo cauliflower for the house members. Last fall, a group of Pomona College and Pitzer College students began living in the off-campus residence they call the Goddess House. The six students, plus one student’s brother, have formed a tight-knit community based on their shared interests in meditation and spirituality, and their following of the practices of Satguruyogiprabhu Jnandamokshabrahmananda — their teacher, more commonly known as Jnanda. Since they moved in, rumors have been flying around the 5Cs about their unconventional living arrangement, which has often been characterized as a cult.

Above: Tom Latta, a Dartmouth student and brother of William Latta PO ‘19, meditates in the backyard of the Denver House. Left: Tom Latta and Sumner Skelding PZ ‘21 are two of Jnanda’s students, and live in the off-campus Denver House. Right: A hand-crafted, blue papier-mâché Ganesh figure sits in the living room.

Scripps cuts substance-free housing ELINOR ASPERGEN Scripps College is scrapping its substance-free housing program for the 2019-20 academic year, according to an email obtained by TSL, which Director of Campus Life Brenda Ice sent to a student. Ice did not specify in the email why substance-free residence halls would not be offered, but wrote in the email that “elements of the community will be incorporated into the wellness community,” a new residential communi-

ty Scripps is launching next school year. Previously, students in substance-free housing agreed to not use drugs, alcohol or tobacco in the community, regardless of their age, and to participate in substance-free programming, according to Scripps’ website. “The new option of a wellness [learning community] will be providing programming with a holistic wellness approach in which all students are encouraged to participate,” assistant dean of students

Adriana Di Bartolo said via email. “We believe this will build a strong culture of wellness that can better support students who choose to be [substance]-free.” For the wellness community, Scripps is “seeking students who prioritize wellness in their daily lives,” but not specifically students who want a substance-free living environment, according to an email Ice sent to Scripps students.

See SCRIPPS on Page 2

Q&A: MT Gov. Steve Bullock CM ’88 on college years, potential presidential run KELLEN BROWNING Montana Gov. Steve Bullock CM ’88 visited his alma mater earlier this spring with his daughter for a campus tour. A few weeks later, he took some time to chat with TSL about his time studying at Claremont McKenna College, the lessons he took with him to Montana — where he’s the

Democratic governor of a Republican state — and his potential presidential ambitions. Bullock, who has hired veteran strategists and visited early primary and caucus states like Iowa and New Hampshire in recent months, has said he will wait to make a presidential decision until his state’s legislative session is over at the

end of April. TSL: Tell me a bit about what it was like coming back, and what you learned when you were [at CMC] in college. Steve Bullock: It’s an interesting experience, because I was raised in Montana. My mother ac-

See MONTANA on Page 2

LIFE AND STYLE

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An inside look: Mudders play middle-of-night prank on Caltech JAIMIE DING PASADENA, Calif. — Under the cover of darkness, 25 Harvey Mudd College students armed with 1,500 pounds of concrete and 500 pounds of sand arrived at the California Institute of Technology at 2:45 a.m. this past Sunday morning. Their goal? Revive Mudd’s historic pranking culture. The plan was to build a concrete monument next to Caltech’s Fleming Cannon, which HMC students infamously stole in 1986. Attached to the monument would be a plaque that read, “Fleming Cannon, On Extended Loan From Harvey Mudd College, Dedicated in Honor of the 11 Mudders Who Bravely Relocated this Cannon in 1986.” It all began when Aely Aronoff HM ’21 and Howard Deshong HM ’21 were walking back from Pomona College after executing a prank a few weeks

ago, where they re-labeled all the “Pomona College” signs on campus. They were talking about pranking Caltech, as the Fleming Cannon theft was the “holy grail of Mudd pranks,” Aronoff said. Deshong had the idea to commemorate stealing the cannon, and the planning began. The timing was “perfect,” Aronoff said, because the following Monday would bring admitted students to campus for Caltech’s “Prefrosh Experience.” Then came the prank. Munching on salt and vinegar chips and listening to “Hotel California,” the HMC students made their way to Caltech in the dead of night. Half the cars parked behind Fleming House, the location of the cannon, while the other half went to the Caltech Athenaeum’s parking lot. Concrete pillars and slabs painted and constructed earlier that day, in addition to sandbags, were rolled to the construction site on skateboards.

OPINIONS

After being insulted because of her Muslim identity, Malak Afaneh PO ’21 established an apparel business known as Rosie the Hijabi.

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See DENVER on Page 3

At first, the students were nervous about Caltech Security. But that proved to be the least of the Mudders’ problems. Jonathan Schallert HM ’20, one of the drivers, was waiting in his car in the parking lot when he was approached by security officers.

See PRANK on Page 5

COURTESY OF JONATHAN SCHALLERT

The finished concrete monument commemorating the Harvey Mudd College theft of the Fleming Cannon in 1986.

SPORTS

Aziz Ansari’s “Master of None” was thought to be a groundbreaking show highlighting Indian actors in television, Milly Chi PZ ‘22 writes in an opinions piece. Now it’s been tainted.

No athlete has embodied the No. 4 Pomona-Pitzer men’s track team’s successful season as much as Carter Floyd PO ’21. “I want to run fast enough in the 1,500 to solidify myself as a sub-four-minute-miler,” Floyd said.

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NEWS THE STUDENT LIFE

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SCRIPPS: Wellness community formed

ELOISE SHIELDS • THE STUDENT LIFE

Anna Gillespie SC ’21 reads a poster about alcohol awareness. Scripps College will not offer sub-free housing next year.

Continued from Page 1 “We would want students in the wellness learning community to be mindful of the impact of substances on their bodies and that substance use may be detrimental to their academic and personal success,” assistant dean Deborah Gisvold said via email. Dulcie Jones SC ’21 has lived in Scripps’ substance-free hall for the past two years, and now has to find somewhere else to live. She didn’t apply for the wellness community because she doesn’t think it aligns with her substance-free goals. “Learning communities

are supposed to be for people who have shared interests and hobbies,” she said. “And I wouldn’t say that being [substance]-free is a hobby.” However, some have questioned the effectiveness of substance-free housing. In February, a student in a substance-free hall had to be transported to a hospital by ambulance for alcohol consumption, according to Jones. The administration expects all students under 21 not to use illegal substances or drink in any residence hall, not just substance-free halls, Di Bartolo said. Jones said she understands that the administration does

not have “a real way to enforce that you’re going to be [substance-free] while living in a [substance]-free hall.” But Sophie Liles SC ’21, who wanted to live in a subfree hall next year, thinks one student’s actions should not ruin the community for everyone else. She also did not apply for the wellness community, and doesn’t think it will sufficiently fulfill the role of sub-free housing. “Scripps is now attempting to alter the culture of the school without thinking about those of us that like Scripps the way it is,” she said via message. “The least they can do is provide a substance-free area for students.” In contrast, Claremont McKenna College is expanding its sub-free housing for the 2019-20 academic year due to an “overwhelming” amount of sub-free housing requests. CMC residential life has “committed to housing any student who desires to live in a sub-free environment,” Director of Residence Life Jennifer Guyett wrote in an email to CMC students. The school will convert two additional floors in south quad dorms into substance-free housing.

Pomona students stage sit-in, protest ‘financial insecurity’ ELINOR ASPERGEN About 60 Pomona College students gathered in Alexander Hall Monday to protest “financial insecurity and inaccessibility to basic needs,” according to a statement by the protest organizers to the community. During their sit-in, which lasted nearly four hours, students demanded Pomona “reinstate all students’ jobs immediately” and permit students “to register for classes regardless of any financial holds on their student accounts,” among other topics. The sit-in came partially in response to Pomona’s abrupt notification to 58 students on the work-study program over spring break to stop working because they had exceeded their work study allowances. The email informed the students that they “must stop working immediately.” Students held signs that said “Stop Firing Students,” and sat on the floor or at the table across from President G. Gabrielle Starr, Dean of Students Avis Hinkson, Treasurer Karen Sisson and Director of

KELLEN BROWNING • THE STUDENT LIFE

Pomona College students protested the school’s instructions for students on work-study to “stop working immediately” by staging a sit-in at Alexander Hall April 15.

Financial Aid Robin Thompson. “Financial security has a direct impact on the mental-emotional-physical health, wellness, academic performance, professional development and holistic success of students,” the organizers wrote in the list of student demands. “A student’s quality of life impacts their sense of belonging, persistence, graduation and overall Pomona experience.” Pomona spokesperson Mark Kendall said via email

that he thought it was a “productive discussion” and that administrators are working to respond to concerns raised. “Work-study and other financial issues are important, and we can work together as a community in this area,” he said. “It was helpful for college staff members to hear students’ concerns and also to be able to provide information.” Julia Frankel contributed reporting.

APRIL 19, 2019

MONTANA: Focused on state legislature, not possible 2020 run Continued from Page 1 tually found Claremont. I thought I was probably going to go to University of Montana, so [I] showed up the first time at CMC never [having even] visited the college, because college visits were a little bit beyond my family’s financial [means]. But, it provided me a great liberal arts education. I ended up a [politics, philosophy and economics] major. … [It was a] real platform for having to learn from different points of view, work with different people, skills that I still use today as well. Both my peers and some of the professors … are valuable mentors that I still keep in touch with this day, which is 30 years later. TSL: Are there any particular professors or events still [at CMC] now that you enjoyed when you were there? SB: The Athenaeum, having that opportunity there, really did help with sort of my intellectual curiosity, and getting to have one-on-one discussions with folks that you otherwise wouldn’t. I started a student speaker series at one point, brought [author] Kurt Vonnegut. We had him at Bridges Auditorium at Pomona [College]. … It’s the sort of connection, not just with CMC students, but the opportunities with all the campuses there, [that was] certainly really, really significant to me. TSL: You became governor of Montana [in 2013], which is a red state, and have talked about the differences between you and some other Democrats, in terms of your political base. Can you talk about that, especially with an eye to Democrats wanting to take the White House back in 2020? SB: In 2016, when I was re-elected, I was the only Democrat in the country to get re-elected in a statewide race where [President Donald] Trump won. He won Montana by 20 points, I won by four. And I think there’s some lessons to be learned, certainly, in a time where our political system is getting more and more divided. How I live and how I govern in a state like this is that I actually end

up traveling all across the state. In a state of 143,000 square miles, I don’t just go talk to Democrats, but will talk to … people all across the spectrum. I think that really what we need to be focusing on — this is even beyond Democrats, but — how do we start bridging some of the divides that we’re starting to have in this country so that this 240-plus year experiment of representative democracy still works? ’Cause there’s a lot of signals that say it’s not working real well right now. TSL: Do you think that’s the sort of theme or message that needs to be something that Democrats emphasize this time around — bridging the divide, reaching out to some of those voters that voted for Trump? SB: It’s a false choice to say, ‘Do you turnout traditional Democrats or do you bring back those … ObamaTrump voters?’ I think the answer is that you need to be doing both. I think fundamentally, most people’s lives, they’re too busy … that the political battle of the day doesn’t mean much to them. Really, wherever you are geographically, and in many respects ideologically, most folks want the same thing. They want a safe community, a decent job, roof over their head, clean air, clean water, a belief that you’ll do better for your kids and grandkids than you do for yourself. And right now, there’s a whole lot of Americans that don’t feel like the economy’s working for them, and the political system’s working for them. Those are some of the divides that I think need to be bridged. Really, we have a

lot more shared values and things in common, but we gotta make sure that D.C. actually works. TSL: I have to ask, because you said before that at the end of the Montana legislative session, you’ll make a decision for yourself about whether to run for president. Is there anything you might be willing to talk about in terms of your thought process or decision-making? SB: No, just as an example, yesterday we got Medicaid re-authorization through our state senate. … So my real, immediate focus is certainly the Montana Legislature. I am concerned about the state of our country, though, and continue to travel and tell the story of what we’ve been able to accomplish in Montana and what I think ought to be part of that overall conversation. And both Democrats and the country look at 2020. But, for now, that’s about as far as it goes. TSL: As you mentioned, you’ve been to some of these early primary states and talked to people. What has been the reception that you’ve gotten there? Do you feel like people have been very receptive to the message you’ve been spreading? SB: Yeah, I think not only some of the early states, I’ve also gone to places that not everybody has [like] Arkansas, Wisconsin. I think folks really want government to work again. And I think that they want to believe that it can make a meaningful difference in your life in a positive way. So I enjoy the travels that I’ve had, really just talking to people and showing up.

COURTESY OF STEVE BULLOCK

Steve Bullock CM ‘88 is now the governor of Montana, and may make a 2020 presidential run.

Former Obama national security advisor visits Pomona JULIA FRANKEL Ben Rhodes frequently receives emoji-ridden texts from former President Barack Obama, lets the occasional four-letter expletive fly and once thought he would pursue a career as a fiction writer. For a former deputy national security advisor who led the Obama administration’s negotiations with Cuba, advised the president during the Arab Spring uprisings and wrote most of Obama’s foreign policy speeches, he’s impressively attuned to the ways of young people living in the Trump era. “Young people sometimes don’t recognize the agency they have,” Rhodes said to a standing-room only crowd at Pomona College’s Rose Hills Theater Tuesday, at an event hosted by Pomona’s politics department. Rhodes was questioned by politics professor Mietek Boduszynski about his memoir of the Obama White House entitled “The World As It Is.” Rhodes urged young attendees to involve themselves in campaigns and even run for public office. “It really was a bunch of 20-somethings who changed the course of the world,” said Rhodes, discussing the key role young people played in electing Obama. Rhodes himself was only

29 years old when he joined the Obama White House, having just completed a masters degree in creative writing and a job working as a speechwriter for former Rep. Lee Hamilton, D-Ind. Through his instrumental role in leading the administration’s foreign negotiations, however, he became a close adviser and friend to Obama and said he was at times unable to distinguish between his own opinions on foreign policy and those of the former president. TSL sat down with Rhodes before the event to talk about the 2020 election, shaping the narrative of the Obama White House and the controversy over Pitzer College’s study abroad program in Israel, which the school’s College Council voted to suspend in March. Its decision was vetoed by Pitzer President Melvin Oliver. Democratic candidates for the 2020 nomination must find a way to structurally re-orient U.S. foreign policy away from constant military presence in the Middle East, Rhodes said. He believes that candidates should broaden their approach to foreign policy, involving techniques to ensure peaceful and diplomatic negotiations with foreign powers. “That’s the direction we [in the Obama administration] were trying to set in motion,

and obviously Trump has disrupted that,” Rhodes quipped. Rhodes advocated a less interventionist approach to foreign policy, stressing the importance of leading by example. He attributed massive U.S. military spending to “a kind of strangely frozen post9/11 preoccupation” with terrorists abroad and emphasized the domestic concerns currently threatening American democracy. “The best policy to promote democracy around the world,” Rhodes said, “is the health of our own democracy, and the best way to support values around tolerance and inclusion and independent media is for us to lead by example.” Rhodes was doubtful that a 2020 Democratic victory could restore the world standing lost by the U.S.’ election of President Donald Trump. “It’s not just the fact that Trump is our president that concerns people; it’s the fact that we elected Trump president,” Rhodes said, noting that Trump’s quick destruction of notable Obama-era foreign policy achievements has made the international community uneasy. “If America has this kind of crazy seesaw effect in our politics where we can have years of work with other countries to reach agreements, and then a nutcase gets elected and just

pulls out of them … how can we be sure that’s not going to happen again?” Rhodes asked. With regard to Pitzer’s study abroad controversy at the University of Haifa in Israel, Rhodes said he does not support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement that opposes Israeli occupation of disputed territory. But he believes there may be untapped potential in governmental policies to pressure Israel’s government while offering direct assistance to Palestinians. “I think it’s healthy that there is activism on campus and that there is agitation and pressure, and I don’t think it should be written off,” Rhodes said. “If people want to express themselves and oppose exchange programs, they have a right to do that. … As long as Palestinians are stateless and the occupation is looking like a permanent reality, this [agitation] is going to build.” For Rhodes, the process of writing his book was “cathartic,” he said during the talk. While writing, Rhodes used a notebook in which he had jotted notes during his eight years at the White House. The book was an exercise in historical examination, as Rhodes began to piece together the causality of Trump’s eventual election. Birtherism, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Pal-

in’s election rhetoric and sensational forwarded emails — all were strains of Trump-like ideology that foreshadowed Trump’s formal election, according to Rhodes. “Being an Obama person in Trump’s Washington is a bit like being under occupation,” Rhodes said during the talk. He said some of the best outcomes of the Obama presidency were the most painful to write about, as they were being undone by Trump as Rhodes completed his draft. Over his eight years working with Obama, Rhodes learned to mix realism and idealism. As he put it: “You need to see the world as it is in order to pursue the world as it ought to be.” Rhodes’ talk was received glowingly by faculty and students alike. Pomona associate dean Mary Coffey said she enjoyed hearing about Rhodes’ experiences in the field. “How often do we have the chance to talk to somebody who has been so close to the key decision makers about things that are so important in foreign policy?” Coffey asked. Max Ober PO ’22 appreciated Rhodes’ mix of pragmatism and progressivism. He echoed Rhodes’ assertion that American foreign policy is contingent on the strength of American democracy. “People love to separate do-

mestic and foreign concerns, but they’re so connected,” Ober said. “Rhodes and the other Obama advisers have really set the groundwork for addressing issues with our democracy, and 2020 is really going to tell us if America is truly ready to fix all the issues we have.” Gerardo Rodriguez PO ’22, who is in Boduszynski’s introductory foreign policy class, said Rhodes’ work to alleviate tensions between the U.S. and Cuba was particularly inspiring to him as a Cuban student. He also was impressed by Rhodes’ proximity to Obama. “When Obama sends you an emoji, you’ve made it in life,” Rodriguez said.

ELINOR ASPEGREN • THE STUDENT LIFE

Ben Rhodes, the former national security advisor for the Obama adminstration, spoke at Rose Hills Theater at Pomona College April 16.


NEWS THE STUDENT LIFE

APRIL 19, 2019

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DENVER: Jnanda says homosexuality is ‘animalistic, reptilian’

TALIA BERNSTEIN • THE STUDENT LIFE

The front of the Denver House features windchimes and a few dilapidated chairs, and is surrounded by an overgrown yard.

Continued from Page 1 The members and their teacher deny the accusations. TSL visited the house and interviewed several residents about their lifestyle, then spoke to Jnanda over the phone about his teachings, accusations of homophobia and spiritual “gifts.”

Who is Jnanda?

Jnanda, 60, teaches “soul evolution” through what he calls the four main yogas of life, which he describes as “the cornerstones to all the world’s religious systems. “I’m from the heart and mind of the divine, [and] that’s where everybody is from, whether they realize it or not.

“Someone could literally put a gun to my face and tell me ‘stop this,’ and I would not even consider stopping. They could pull the trigger. That’s fine, it’s literally fine.” -William Latta PO ’19

It’s the truth. What I do is I aid people in understanding that truth,” he told TSL. “Concerning where my physical form was born, in this embodiment I was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.” Jnanda graduated from Mid Florida Tech, a vocational school in Orlando in 1976, according to his Facebook profile. His website says he started teaching about spiritual growth in 1992. He now lives in low-income housing in Ukiah, a city in Northern California, with one of his first students and her daughter, according to Isabel Kelly PO ’20, one of the house’s residents. His students, each of whom has taken a Sanskrit name, all found his teachings differently. William Latta PO ’19 and Benjamin Schmidt PZ ’19 approached Jnanda when they saw him at a pumpkin festival in Ukiah, Jnanda said. They now go by Devaaya Avirodha Ananda and Saucha Atma Ananda, respectively. Kelly, who now goes by Sundara Shakta Vinyasa Ananda, explained that she learned about Jnanda through students in her religious studies class. Samuel Sjoberg PZ ’20, who goes by Sama Atma-Shakti Ananda, and Sumner Skelding PZ ’21, who goes by Bhati Vimokhana Ananda, also live in the house. Julia Farner PO ’22 has also recently started living at the Denver House part-time. Ale de Rada PZ ’21 lived there last semester, but has since moved out. Members of the spiritual group said they are extremely committed to their studies.

“Someone could literally put a gun to my face and tell me ‘stop this,’ and I would not even consider stopping. They could pull the trigger. That’s fine, it’s literally fine,” Latta said. “That’s how I live my life. I would rather do anything besides be a coward to my own heart.” Kelly said there’s no specific religion associated with Jnanda’s teachings. “One thing he said is that Christians become better Christians. Taoists become better Taoists. Buddhists better Buddhists,” she said. “If you just love the divine, he’s going to help you do that in whatever way helps you.”

Accusations of homophobia

Jnanda’s website includes countless pages of quotes and lessons on “soul evolution” and “love energy.” His Facebook profile proclaims that he is here “to bring about the first planetary Golden Age.” Many of his teachings, like “essential aspects of good communication” and “dealing with disappointment,” appear innocuous. Others seem decidedly less so. The page on his website about homosexuality says “The Divine One explained to me that the two main causes [of homosexuality are] being exposed/ subjected to molestation at an early age … or having a spirit of rebellion that manifests itself in homosexuality and keeping that through several embodiments until it is resolved.” Jnanda wrote that “The Divine One” told him homosexuality is an unnatural state for humans. The article states that dogs, rats and other animals engage in homosexuality because they are “not at the top rung of soul growth” and when “exposed to stress, overcrowding and a few other circumstances fall prey to homosexuality; however their normal nature is not.” He told TSL that homosexuality is a product of humans’ baser instincts. “Most people have a tendency to use lower mammalian and reptilian parts of the brain for survival modes and they start acting animalistic,” he said. “I’m here to aid people in transcending animalistic, reptilian, lower mammalian modes and it’s running amok on this planet. … They’re in these survival modes that are causing pain and suffering.” Jnanda vehemently defended his views on homosexuality. “If people don’t like it, that’s on them,” he said. He also said he’s officiated LGBTQIA+ weddings and accepts LGBTQIA+ students. Kelly and Sjoberg both identify as bisexual, and said they don’t agree with Jnanda’s teachings regarding homsexuality, but continue to follow his other teachings. “Reading [the article] does not feel good. But there’s a disclaimer at the beginning of the article that this is a teaching that he goes through with his upper-level students who have been working on a path of

growth for multiple years, and that’s not a category that I fall into,” Sjoberg said. “So while I don’t agree with it, at this point, I recognize that it is something that I don’t fully understand.” Pitzer Student Senate president-elect Clint Isom PZ ’20 has heard about the Denver House and read Jnanda’s website. Isom is a member of the Rainbow People Collaborative — a Pitzer club for LGBTQIA+ people — and said he’s concerned about the effect of Jnanda’s teachings on homosexuality. “I worry that he is trying to convince people that they are something that they’re not, or that part of them is wrong,” he said. “The mental health implications of that are worrisome.”

Meeting at the Mounds

Many of the housemates first met at a meditation circle at the Pitzer Mounds that gathers several times each week, led by Schmidt. “Last spring … I was in a very dark place emotionally, filled with a lot of anxiety, and I wasn’t doing very well, and I was starting to get kind of desperate to find something that would help me feel better,” Sjoberg said. “I started going to the meditation circles at Pitzer. … That was the only time during the week where I didn’t feel overwhelmed by anxiety.” Sjoberg said everyone in the house has different interests and backgrounds, “but we all have similar intentions to work a path of spiritual growth and soul evolution.” Jnanda takes all students regardless of financial ability, he said. However, if students are able to, they’re asked to pay $60 a month for his teachings. All Denver House residents pay those monthly dues. The students in the house have weekly one-on-one video chats with Jnanda to discuss spiritual practices and emotional wellbeing, according to Kelly, and they meet him in person about once a year. Some of the students have also paid for additional classes with Jnanda, including Skelding, who paid $550 for two “energy healing” classes. Kelly said she sees Jnanda as a positive influence and feels lucky she didn’t fall prey to other spirituality schemes that charge hundreds of dollars and don’t fully support their students. “For me, being from Los Angeles and dabbling in certain spiritual climates … before I actually chose this path, I know that there’s a lot of distraction,” Kelly said. “People getting taken advantage of, physically, as well as financially, as well as spiritually.” Kelly said she does not view Jnanda as a god. “He’s a human just like all of us,” she said.

Not a cult, Pitzer says

The Denver House and its residents have faced accusations that they are part of a cult. Jnanda disputed such characterizations. “I forgive them for their ignorance,” Jnanda said. “If you look up the word ‘cult,’ there’s

many definitions and it’s been morphed over the years because of misqualified cults. Cults take on a bad name. I understand their fears.” Sjoberg and Kelly felt hurt by the rumors spreading around campus about their group, but said they know the truth of their experiences. “On one level, it sucks that this is happening, but on another level, it doesn’t matter,” Sjoberg said. Pitzer vice president of student affairs Mike Segawa said that at the end of the fall semester, some Pitzer students brought concerns about the students living at the Denver House to Pitzer’s administration. Pitzer looked into the students’ living arrangements and had conversations with the residents, Segawa said. The school also spoke with McAlister Center chaplains for guidance about healthy spiritual practices. As a private college, Pitzer has a “broader ability [than public schools] to go over off-campus behavior, especially when students invite us into the conversation, which is what happened in this situation,” he said. Pitzer could become involved in student’s living situations “anytime … students health and safety [are] in question,” he said. But Segawa doesn’t think what’s happening at the Denver House is a cult.

“I worry that he is trying to convince people that they are something that they’re not, or that part of them is wrong,” -Clint Isom PZ ’20

“Based upon what we know at this point in time and the conversations we’ve had with people who live there, that’s not a word we would use to describe them,” he said. “A cult for us [means] people are there not necessarily [with] free will, there’s an element of control that really limits a person’s free will … there are health and safety concerns for the well being of that person, whether it is physical, or especially mental or spiritual ... [or] engaging in practices that we ourselves would not allow.” As Pitzer Senate’s incoming president, Isom said he is concerned about the students in the house. “My first concern would just be the safety and wellbeing of the Pitzer students,” he said. “If they are genuinely enjoying it, and happy, and well taken care of, I don’t see the harm in it.” Isom doesn’t consider the house a cult “at this stage, but I could see it easily becoming one,” he said. Susan Sjoberg, the mother of Samuel Sjoberg, who was visiting Denver House when TSL in-

terviewed residents there, said she was happy with her son’s living arrangement. “[Samuel] seems more grounded and happier than I’ve seen him probably since the early days of high school,” she said. “He seems really more joy filled.” Susan Sjoberg spoke with Jnanda to get to know him and understand Samuel’s interest in his teachings. “I was expecting something super eccentric and that wasn’t the case,” she said. “He’s unique for sure, but not in a negative way.” Kelly said Jnanda isn’t trying to convert anyone. “We’re not [on campus] with a poster of Jnanda’s face asking people to come work with him,” she said. “We’re very contained in this house and we’re all working a path to fundamentally be the best person we can be in this life.”

Some say spiritual ‘gifts,’ others cultural appropriation The Denver House residents and Jnanda himself said he possesses spiritual “gifts.” House members claim he has divine sight, and can see what’s happening around the world in his mind. Kelly recounted an experience where Jnanda was able to describe de Rada’s childhood home in Peru. She said he could also sense when she wasn’t practicing her spirituality. Some residents also said they have had vivid experiences of previous lives through his teachings. Latta said Jnanda came to him in a dream and called him by the name Devaaya, the Sanskrit name Jnanda later gave him. Kelly also said Latta claimed to have spontaneously learned Sanskrit. The group has also been accused of cultural appropriation, as their practices involve elements from many religions, including Hinduism and Christianity. Jnanda disputed these claims. “I think it’s silly because yogis and satgurus have been coming into this country for over a hundred years to help the West. Christians have been proselytizing in other countries for years ... to convert people, the same thing with any other type of religion,” Jnanda said. “So people who think [our spirituality] is cultural appropriation, I forgive their ignorance because they just don’t understand what’s going on.” The Claremont Colleges Hindu Society said Hinduism is a diverse religion, and while some Hindus will be comfortable with the Denver House’s practices, others might take offense. “Even within our board, we have very different opinions and views about our own practices,” the organization’s board said in a statement via message. “Therefore, while some who identify as Hindu may call the practices of the Denver House as being appropriative of Hindu culture and religion, it is just as likely that others who identify

as Hindu will have no problem with their actions.”

Sobriety and celibacy

Members of the Denver House credit their sobriety to Jnanda and their housemates. Since moving in, Skelding and Kelly both said they’ve been sober. “I’ve learned how to handle so many situations in my life better: I have much less anxiety, I’m so much better at getting over anger,” he said. Jnanda encourages his students to abstain from drugs and alcohol, and discourages sex before marriage, although students said he doesn’t ban these behaviors. “How can you be getting drunk or stoned and say you’re actually on a spiritual journey?” he said. “They choose to love their egos and the drugs more than the divine.” However, Kelly said Jnanda sometimes consumes alcoholic beverages when visiting students. Jnanda specifically criticized the 5Cs for frequent alcohol and drug use. “What I’ve seen with my third eye [on your campus] has stunned me,” he said. “How can you party three to five nights a week and tell me you’re being serious about your college education?” De Rada said she was initially worried about moving in to the house because she wasn’t sober like the other residents. However, she decided to move in temporarily. “You’re living with four other people, we were sharing a single bathroom … It wasn’t that comfortable,” she said. “One of them just plays the harmonica as soon as he wakes up and is chanting and singing … It was intense in the sense that I’ve never lived in a place like that before.” De Rada said living in the Denver House was helpful because of the positivity of its members. However, she moved out to live with another friend during the fall semester. “I don’t want to meditate the whole day and just be chill, I wanna be doing other stuff,” she said. “I want to be able to have people over and listen to music and drink a beer.” Marc Rod and Emily Kuhn contributed reporting.

COURTESY OF JNANDA

Jnanda is the spiritual teacher for Denver House’s residents.


LIFE & STYLE PAGE 4

THE STUDENT LIFE

APRIL 19, 2019

REEL TALK

Why Alfonso Cuarón’s ‘Children of Men’ is more relevant now than ever RACHAEL DIAMOND Rarely does a science fiction film feel as tangibly and devastatingly real as Alfonso Cuarón’s 2006 thriller “Children of Men.” Set in the year 2027, the film depicts a broken world ravaged by disease, pollution, natural disasters and violence, as well as 18 years of inexplicable human infertility. Great Britain is one of the few places of order left, maintained by a totalitarian police state that greets the inflow of refugees — referred to as “fugees” — by confining them to cages and abysmal camps, all while propagating a fear of illegal immigrants to the British population. The rest of the world has become so overrun with chaos that it is left ungovernable. When the film was released in 2006, a future like this seemed possible. In 2019, it seems likely. As the film opens, the voice of a newscaster informs us that the youngest person on Earth has been stabbed after refusing to give an autograph. We then see a crowd of people in a coffee shop standing motionless, captivated by the television broadcasting the news. A man pushes his way through the crowd and glances uninterestedly at the screen while he waits for his coffee, and promptly makes his way to a newsstand down the street where he adds liquor to his coffee cup. As he walks out the door, the camera follows

behind him, giving us our first glimpse of 2027 London — dirty and grey, with buildings and buses that are plastered with billboards reminding Brits that illegal immigrants are criminals and suspicious activity should be reported. The man is Theo Faron (Clive Owen), a disillusioned ex-activist who now works a menial desk job at the Ministry of Energy. As we follow him throughout his day — to work, on the train to his pot-smoking, ex-political cartoonist friend Jasper’s (Michael Caine) house, to his dimly lit London apartment — the incredible attention to detail in constructing and coloring this bleak version of the world becomes clear. Theo’s coworkers cry as they watch the news on their computers, where we learn that the weighty title of the world’s youngest person now belongs to a woman. On a TV on the train, a triumphantly nationalist government-sponsored advertisement shows clips of chaos from cities around the world, declaring that “the world has collapsed” while “only Britain soldiers on.” Billboards across the city warn that avoiding fertility tests is a crime and newspaper clippings documenting the world’s steady descent cover the walls of Jasper’s home. These details saturate the background of every frame, creating an extraordinarily rich, realistic world. The story begins when cyni-

cal and apathetic Theo is asked by his ex-lover Julian (Julianne Moore), who leads the immigrant’s rights rebel group known as the Fishes, to help safely transport a refugee named Kee (Clare-Hope Ashitey) to the coast. While initially motivated by money, Theo is profoundly moved when Kee reveals to her that she is miraculously pregnant. The two then venture into a refugee camp and soon-to-be war zone in an effort to reach the coast and connect with the Tomorrow, a boat that is supposedly going to bring Kee to safety. It goes without saying that the film is a massive technical achievement, with Emmanuel Lubezki’s striking cinematography capturing both the horrifying and beautifully intimate moments in equal measure. Most impressive are his long tracking shots, which, particularly during the nail-bitingly tense third act, make the film extremely immersive. John Tavener’s minimal, atmospheric score strikes the right balance between heightening the emotional impact without being distracting. Actors Owen and Ashitey are fantastic as well, with numerous touching moments between Kee and Theo serving as a welcome break from the chaos that surrounds them. What is most striking about the film, however, isn’t its technical merit, but rather how alarmingly similar the world depicted in “Children of Men” is to our own. It is impossible to see how

AMY LOWNDES • THE STUDENT LIFE

Britain has closed its borders and propagated isolationist, xenophobic messages and not think of Brexit. Nor can one watch the abuse that refugees fleeing violence suffer at the hands of the British government without being reminded of the brutality with which our own government treats immigrants today. And although we aren’t dealing with global infertility, the

threat that climate change poses to our way of life is not far off from that posed by a future without children — both problems are so big that it seems impossible to feel hopeful about the future. In the apartment of Theo’s wealthy cousin — seemingly distant from the chaos of a world in crisis — Theo asks him how he keeps going. He replies, “You know what it is Theo? I just don’t think about

it.” “Children of Men” is an urgent and disquieting reminder that apathy is a privilege, and that we can — and must — face a grim-looking future with hope, no matter how elusive it may seem. Rachael Diamond SC ’21 is TSL’s major who enjoys ranting about movies to anyone who will listen.

A BRIT ABROAD

It’s true, dreams are made in the Big Apple

ITUNU ABOLARINWA

TALIA BERNSTEIN • THE STUDENT LIFE

The tea on Tea Circle: 5C club brews community YASMIN ELQUTAMI If you ever need a place to unwind, chat and sip some oolong, Tea Circle may be the place for you. The nonsectarian club is hosted by Claremont Colleges Buddhism every Saturday from 3 to 5 p.m. in Pomona College’s Walker Lounge, and offers a space for students to study, socialize, eat snacks and — of course — drink a rotating menu of teas built around a weekly theme. Club leader Andrew Nguy PO ’19 began the club, which is 5C but largely comprised of Pomona students, in early 2018 after he tried to share extra tea with some friends in Pomona’s Mason Lounge. “It was essentially just me with some extra tea in my room, wanting to share it with friends,” he said. “Only one person showed up, but I thought, ‘I should make this a bit more public,’ so not in the corner of Pomona’s campus, but more central, in Walker.” Last spring, there were six dedicated members, but as of fall 2018, Tea Circle membership had nearly quadrupled, and now includes more than 20 people every Saturday. A l o n g s i d e t h e we e k l y themed tea selection, Nguy also makes sure to allow space for calligraphy through concurrent meetings with the Calligraphy Club, so that students also “have the option

of creative expression” while at Tea Circle. He emphasized the importance of routine de-stressing. Nguy said people should not take the name of Tea Circle at face value. Tea is a lot more than a drink — it can be an opportunity for people to express concern, compassion and kindness for each other, Nguy said. “When we pour tea for someone at Tea Circle, it doesn’t matter who they are, where they’re coming from, if they’ve had a good or bad week — we serve them equally,” Nguy said. “People ask, ‘Can I help you wash the cups?’ or ‘Can I carry that for you?’ It’s a natural community, and one of the ways we can inspire kindness on campus.” Members of Tea Circle say they appreciate the way the club fosters community. “Tea-rista” Tramy Nguyen PO ’22 said she enjoys “being able to provide a space for people I care about to come together. Even if we’re studying or goofing around, we all have the common ground of the tea we’re drinking.” Tea Circle’s calm atmosphere and educational approach also make it a prime low-pressure gathering space for students. “It’s just a good Saturday afternoon activity,” Rachel Howard PO ’22 said. “It’s become a part of my routine and something I look forward to. I can

get work done productively while eating snacks, drinking tea and being around nice people.” The club also provides a space for those who want to learn more about tea. “It’s interesting to see how much [some people] know about different kinds of teas — things I haven’t ever thought about,” Howard said. “I’ve always enjoyed drinking tea … but it’s great to learn about something that’s integral to people’s cultures, and you learn about these things in a low-risk atmosphere.” Ashley Sun PO ’22 agreed. “I didn’t really know how teas are made or processed, and now I know the difference between black tea, green tea and oolong tea,” Sun said. This fall, Nguyen will replace Nguy as club leader. “It’s going to be a lot to carry on when Andrew is gone, but I am happy to take up the torch,” Nguyen said. Nguy is sure he is leaving the club in good hands. “I’m graduating, but I’m happy we have such a young member base right now,” he said. “This group is going to and expand tea circle even more, because every week Tea Circle just gets bigger and bigger.” Above: Andrew Nguy PO ’19 prepares oolong tea during a Tea Circle gathering April 18.

In my house in the U.K., there is a huge framed picture of the New York skyline. I don’t know why my parents bought it, but I used to stare at it growing up, telling myself I would go there one day. I didn’t think that day would come anytime soon, but during spring break, I got the wonderful opportunity to spend a week in the concrete jungle. When traveling with new friends, there is always the slight fear that you will have disagreements. Whether that be choosing where to eat or where to go, there are plenty of opportunities for conflict to arise. However, when my friend and I arrived at Grand Central Station in Manhattan and started screaming and jumping in unison, marveling at the fact that we were in the Big Apple, I knew this trip would be full of laughs and great memories. The niggling thought that my year abroad is about to come to an end made me intentional about enjoying New York. New York embodies everything I imagined America to be: fastpaced, with bright lights and lots of interesting people. From sparking conversation on the train with a former art teacher, who spoke to us about politics and what it means to be a true New Yorker, to watching a Republican and Democrat argue in front of the White House on our day trip to Washington, D.C., the eclectic vibrancy of the American lifestyle so often portrayed in the media was apparent. N e w Yo r k s c r e a m e d dreams and opportunities, much like the bustling London. Cities certainly have a life of their own. As my friends and I maneuvered through each street and avenue, with the cold winds assaulting our faces and the bright lights beaming in Times Square, I was confronted with the allure of America, which tells you anything can happen.

For the first time since being in the U.S., I felt a world of possibility. My choice to study abroad in the U.S. was an intentional one. Many ask why I chose America, wondering why I didn’t opt for Asia or Australia. Truthfully, I believed that for a girl with a dream, America was the place to be. Perhaps there is a slight idealism in that mindset, and after spending almost a year here I realize that there is an array of sociopolitical issues that prevent dreams from being birthed, or even conceived in the first place. However, one thing that has been evident to me is that many Americans operate with a mentality that encourages them to dream. Through my many interactions with fellow students, and the in-depth conversations I have been privileged to have through my podcast, I have seen that being a dreamer is a very ingrained part of many young people here. The sky truly is the limit. People here want to see the world change, see justice being served and actively pursue these goals with passion. I often sit in admiration when I see how students allow themselves to not only dream, but dream big. Perhaps this dreamer mentality is derived from my environment, which is an amazing college part of an academically rigorous consortium. However, a little bit of me thinks it is deeper than that. In the U.K., people dream, but in my experience few

people confidently vocalize their passions, or dreams for society at large. Maybe there are limits: real and self-imposed. Maybe there is a push for being “practical.” Maybe there is a stigma against boldness that exists in our awfully polite, never quite say what you mean or mean what you say culture in the U.K. I’m not sure. What I am sure of is this: As a young person, a passion to pursue your dreams or change the world can and should be your driving force. Seeing stars like Zendaya and DJ Khaled flash on the bright screens in Times Square and gushing at the sight of “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” at the Rockefeller Center made the idea that dreams can come true feel so tangible. Perhaps it’s dramatic, but my trip to New York has caused a shift in perspective for me. I aim to adopt the “anything can happen” mentality that New York City and my time in the U.S. and at the 5Cs has given me. With a dash of British practicality and American wistfulness, I truly believe that we can all make our dreams come true. Itunu Abolarinwa is TSL’s study abroad columnist. She is a writer passionate about creating content that challenges thoughts and initiates change, and is currently in her third year of study of political science and international relations. Abolarinwa is a student at the University of Birmingham, studying abroad at Pitzer College.

COURTESY OF AHUNNDT

New York City is a popular tourist destination, and is known to be the city that never sleeps.


LIFE & STYLE APRIL 19, 2019

THE STUDENT LIFE

PAGE 5

PRANK: Mudders hope to revive dormant culture Continued from Page 1 “They asked us if we were students, and we replied, ‘Yes!’” Schallert said. John Little HM ’20, who was with Schallert, said the students were just unloading a few things, and Caltech Security left. By 3:20 a.m., the main pillars had been constructed and filled with sand to make it harder to take apart. All that was the left was the top of the monument and the plaque. They were making good time. T h e p r o b l e m wa s t h a t Caltech students, known as “Techies,” never sleep. Caltech had a schoolwide party that Saturday night, and, to make matters worse, the fire alarm in one of the dorms went off at 3:41 a.m. Many students evacuated to where the HMC students were assembling the structure. But Aronoff, who gave himself the name “Jack” for the purposes of this prank, had a whole story prepared involving bottle rockets and prefrosh. Students who approached them throughout the night were satisfied by “Jack’s” performance. “They were like ‘Oh, that’s cool’ and walked away … and so I got so cocky,” Aronoff said. Then a real Jack showed up: a Caltech senior named Jack Lloyd. “By the time [the real] Jack showed up, I was like ‘Oh, this is easy peasy,’ … but then right off the bat, it went sour, because he was obviously more invested … than other people I ended up talking to, and also way drunker,” Aronoff said. Lloyd arrived on the scene around 4:01 a.m. They talked and talked. Lloyd joked about stealing the cannon, which the HMC students vigorously denied they were doing. Half an hour later, he was still there. The more Aronoff and the others talked to him, the more suspicious he seemed to get. Eventually, the Mudders left the scene and hid behind a dumpster in an attempt to wait him out. When Lloyd sat down next to the constructed — but still plaque-less — structure, however, it was clear he was there for the long haul.

“I was pretty drunk at the time so I wasn’t thinking that straight,” Lloyd said in an interview with TSL days later. “[Aronoff] told me that you guys were all off-campus students, which was suspicious because Caltech doesn’t have nearly that many off-campus students … And then someone said you guys were from Harvey Mudd. “Half the group was trying to convince me that you guys were Caltech students. The other half said you were the 5Cs.” A few minutes later, Lloyd

called some of his friends to the scene. “I was just very confused,” he said. Lloyd and the other Techies began taking apart the structure, and Aronoff realized waiting it out would not work. He decided to “come clean,” about a prank, but made up a new false story involving aliens. The lie seemed to work, but they still needed to attach the plaque to the structure. The pranksters got their chance when the Mudders and Techies posed together for a group photo in front of the

structure, giving Ben Bracker HM ’22 the opportunity to sneak behind them and glue on the plaque. Aronoff, Deshong and a few others lured all the Techies away by asking for dorm tours, giving everyone time to sign the back of the structure. They even signed the name Stumpy, in honor of East Dorm’s giant stuffed monkey. When Deshong finally left, he walked by the structure only to see two Techies taking it apart again. When asked why, they said they wanted to rebuild it inside Fleming

House. “I was terrified that they were gonna take it apart and [Deshong] would be able to do nothing about it, and it was just over, we failed, because we quit too early,” Aronoff said. Deshong pleaded with the Techies and asked them to leave it intact, warning of the sand that each of the concrete pillars was filled with. They seemed unconvinced and continued with their deconstruction. It was 5:16 a.m. when the last Mudd car finally departed Caltech. As dawn broke, the

NINA POTISCHMAN • THE STUDENT LIFE

students drove past MillerCoors Brewing, contemplating all the ways the prank had gone wrong, but how fun it had been anyway. Already, ideas were thrown around about future pranks. The next morning, a photograph popped up in the group chat, sent by a Techie to Jarred Allen HM ’22. The concrete structure was miraculously still standing — with the plaque affixed to it. “I was so happy, I was walking back from brunch … and I just started screaming and laughing and jumping,” Aronoff said. Aidan Swope, a Caltech junior who saw the structure and interacted with the HMC students the previous night, said he didn’t notice the plaque until the next morning. “I think my immediate reaction to basically the whole thing is ‘Wow, I’m really glad people are doing this,’” Swope told TSL, “because there’s a kind of growing sense that pranks, like unofficial, unapproved pranks, like real pranks, are kind of going away, and that’s something that I find kind of disappointing, so to see people actually doing a concerted effort on a multi-school level is encouraging to me.” Aronoff said he plans to start a prank club at HMC, akin to Caltech’s prank club. If someone has a good idea, “I want to give them the resources to do it, make it happen,” he said. For Aronoff, the experience was more than just the prank, especially after talking to Techies about the prank culture at Caltech. “So many of the things that they talked about ... the way the culture is shifting in the school [Caltech], and the way that the admin is approaching the school’s culture, it really resonated with me and the way things are going at the 5Cs right now,” Aronoff said. “There’s definitely an impression that our most culturally influential days are behind us, and I don’t think that’s true. But they feel the same way at Caltech, and that’s something that I think is unfortunate, and I think we should fight to change.”

Rosie the Hijabi movement sparks inclusivity, Muslim pride KYLA WALKER Shortly after President Donald Trump’s original ban on immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries in early 2017, Malak Afaneh PO ’21 was wearing Palestinian clothing at a bus stop in Chicago when someone yelled out at her. “Why don’t you just go back where the hell you’re from?” The insult to her culture and identity inspired her to stand up for herself and her Muslim culture in America. As a senior in high school at the time, Afaneh established an apparel business and social movement known as Rosie the Hijabi. Her company creates apparel with an image of a woman in a hijab flexing her bicep, a play off the iconic Rosie the Riveter image, a symbol of female empowerment in the workforce and national pride since the 1950s. Afaneh said her products make a statement and provide a voice to the marginalized. “Why don’t we take this historic American figure that everyone … can relate to on some extent and make sure it centers Muslim voices by putting a hijab on it?” Afaneh said. “We’ve always been here and we have a right to be here and to return to our homeland if we wish.” Now at Pomona College, Afaneh has expanded the brand with the help of students across the 5Cs, continuing to encourage inclusivity and Islamic feminism. She said she has been inspired by her surrounding academic atmosphere and influence, which transform her and Rosie the Hijabi every day. Below the image of Rosie the Hijabi is a message of “Together We Can,” written in Arabic. This message was designed to promote an inclusive environment through empathy, discourse and understanding

each other’s voices even if they are in a different language, Afaneh said. Afaneh chose to keep the slogan in Arabic because she believes it is important for everyone to take the time and effort to reach out and understand other cultures, something she has held close to heart at college. “Being at Pomona, not only through an academic sense but through a personal sense, I’ve been able to explore what being Muslim means to me,” Afaneh said. “Before, I only saw it as one part of my identity. Now, being Muslim is a way of life and something I attribute to everything … I want my time at Pomona to exemplify that.” Afaneh launched a website for her company, with the intention of being accessible to anyone around the world. She hopes to turn the small business into an expanded clothing line, and visualizes eventually filling an art gallery with rows of her apparel instead of paintings. Currently, she is working with two other women of color at the 5Cs to create two new designs. Graphic designer Alexa Ramirez PO ’22 said she helps materialize Afaneh’s ideas: centering Muslims and acknowledging the integral position of women of color in America. “I am in charge of making sure everything fits with each other, has the same brand and same mission statement while still aesthetically fitting together,” Ramirez said. According to Afaneh, future potential designs include the Statue of Liberty with a focus on Middle Eastern and Palestinian attire. The purpose of the business’ growth is for Rosie the Hijabi to continue to dismantle racist and sexist beauty standards, she said. Afaneh said she wants ev-

eryone to see themselves represented in today’s fashion industry, and hopes to expand the current brand to include all women of color after being inspired by so many at Pomona. “I think Pomona is a great community, but I have to say that the people I’ve learned from the most are the women of color here,” Afaneh said. “They are at the center of community groups, making sure everyone’s needs are addressed, and are at

the center of mentoring future women of color, passing the torch to the future generations of Pomona students.” Some of the profits from Rosie the Hijabi are donated to Malikah, a global grassroots movement advocating for universal gender justice and empowering women through workshops on self-defense, healing, organizing and financial mobility. Afaneh became connected to the founder of

Malikah through the Posse Foundation, as both women are Posse Scholars from Chicago. “By donating the profits, I think it’s really important to remember the communities you come from and that while it’s great to have this innovation to create projects, by giving back, you are recognizing how your community shaped you,” Afaneh said. “I’m donating this money to where it needs to go to help the people.”

Rosie the Hijabi has become popular at the 5Cs and is continuing to grow. Afaneh and her team have new designs planned for the future, and are excited to continue the movement past Pomona after graduation. “We want [the clothing line] to not end when [Afaneh] graduates,” Ramirez said. “We want it to be effective and keep inspiring people while staying relevant.”

ADAM KUBOTA • THE STUDENT LIFE

Malak Afaneh PO ‘21 is the founder of Rosie the Hijabi, an apparel business and social movement that centers Muslim identity and feminism.


LIFE & STYLE PAGE 6

THE STUDENT LIFE

APRIL 19, 2019 TRASH AND TREASURES

UNPACK THE FACTS

Five things you don’t know about Easter

Abominable art in ‘Big Mouth’ BROOKE SPARKS

JENNY PARK • THE STUDENT LIFE

MADY COLANTES Easter is this weekend, and across the country, families are dyeing eggs and filling shopping carts with Peeps in preparation. Whether you’re celebrating with egg hunts, jelly beans or nothing at all, here are some fun facts to learn about this holiday.

1

How did the Easter bunny hop into play? Easter is meant to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, but nowhere in the Bible does it mention a chocolate-bearing rabbit. Though the Easter bunny’s exact origins are unknown, one common theory is that it stems from the festival of Eostre, a pagan tradition. Eostre was a goddess of fertility, and the rabbit — because of its rapid breeding — was her symbolic animal. According to legend, during a long winter, Eostre found a dead bird in the snow and, taking pity, turned it into a snow hare that could lay multi-colored eggs once a year: the day of the festival of Eostre. Because Christians celebrated Easter around the same time, the egg-laying rabbit slowly became associ-

ated with the holiday.

2

Bunnies, bells and bilbies

While kids in the U.S. are visited by the Easter bunny, French children await Easter bells. Per Catholic teaching, no church bells may be rung between Holy Thursday and Easter Sunday. To explain this silence, a legend evolved saying that church bells grew wings and flew to Rome to receive blessings from the Pope, returning on Easter with gifts. Meanwhile, Australia’s Anti-Rabbit Research Foundation has been campaigning to replace the Easter bunny with the Easter Bilby since 1991. Why? In Australia, rabbits are considered invasive pests, and have been responsible for causing the extinction of numerous native species. Yikes.

3

Easter at the White House

Ever since 1878, the president has hosted the White House Easter Egg Roll. It began with the presidency of Rutherford B. Hayes, when a group of children approached the White House gate, hoping to play egg-rolling games

in the lawn. Hayes allowed them to enter, and soon Easter festivities on White House grounds became a tradition. Today, the event is so popular that tickets are only available through a lottery system. Of course, as with most Easter events, the Easter bunny is certain to make an appearance. During the George W. Bush administration, former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer was the one to don the bunny suit.

4

The Peep-le’s favorite non-chocolate Easter candy For those with a sweet tooth, marshmallow Peeps are an integral part of Easter celebrations. Though an enthusiast may be able to devour one in seconds, it once took 27 hours to make a Peep. When Peeps’ manufacturer, the Just Born company, first acquired the Rodda Candy Company and its marshmallow treats in 1953, each chick was handmade with a pastry tube, which was quite a time-consuming method. Just Born automated the process, and today, it takes just six minutes to make a Peep. Peeps are the most

popular non-chocolate Easter candy and have been for more than two decades. Each spring, more than 1.5 billion are consumed.

5

For chocolate fanatics

If you’re not a huge fan of Peeps, don’t despair — help yourself to one of the more than 90 million chocolate bunnies that are produced for Easter each year. Sure, the fact that they are hollow may be a disappointment, but it’s for your own safety: R.M. Palmer’s vice president of operations pointed out that a solid chocolate bunny would be a hazard for breaking your teeth. A real hazard, however, would be the world’s largest chocolate bunny, standing at 14.8 feet high and weighing in at 9,359 pounds. The team who crafted it — nine professional chocolatiers in Brazil — won a Guinness World Record for their creation. Mady Colantes PO ’22 writes lists for TSL. She is from Seattle, and when she is not in shock over the lack of rain in Claremont, she enjoys reading and getting too excited over small things.

Netflix’s “Big Mouth,” a television series that revolves around middle schoolers Andrew (John Mulaney), Nick (Nick Kroll) and Jessi (Jessi Klein) maturing and going through puberty, receives plenty of praise for its bumbling, blunt approach to the awkwardness of budding adolescence and romance. On top of Kroll, Mulaney and Klein, the show also features famous comedians Maya Rudolph and Jordan Peele. With this amount of star power accompanying a unique perspective, “Big Mouth” had pretty much everything going for it. There’s just one problem: it’s ugly. I’ve heard people discuss how much they hate “Big Mouth” based on its art alone. Each character is given a head the size of a pumpkin, a horrifyingly large mouth, a bad set of teeth and bulging, bulbous eyes. Plenty of people defending the show chalk this up to being a stylistic choice, like it’s supposed to mean something. I know some people will argue that the art in “Big Mouth” isn’t bad, it’s just stylized — but that’s a terrible excuse for bad art. There can be bad styles, and seeing consistently ugly art on screen is the byproduct of having one. I’ll give the artists some credit: The characters’ exaggerated facial features are thematically coherent with all the other exaggerated aspects of the show, from the fact that hormones are depicted as impulsive “hormone monsters” (ew) to the fact that they frequently encourage middle schoolers to masturbate on-screen (ew). But, if the basis of humor for this show relies on me sympathizing with puberty-stricken, vaguely human-shaped characters, then exaggerating aspects of puberty

was the wrong way to go. This show makes puberty seem foreign, not relatable. And, to be completely honest, I don’t care that it’s thematically coherent. The artwork would still be gross if it wasn’t. A lot of people tend to think this level of criticism is shallow — that, for some godforsaken reason, criticizing the visuals of an animated show is missing the point. I’d argue that that is exactly the point. One of the hallmarks of a quality television show, which is a visual medium, is to have … wait for it … good visuals. Or, at least, visuals that don’t make me want to look away from the screen every time they appear. I legitimately don’t understand why a show about puberty has to be this gross, either. There are better ways to illustrate the uncomfortability of puberty than having an animated tween masturbate to get a monster out of their head. The show shouldn’t have to rely on a gross-shock factor to get me to relate, because I (and most of the people watching) already know how strange going through puberty can be. That being said, there is a good portion of the audience watching that are currently going through puberty and genuinely like this show. Maybe I would’ve liked it back when I was 12 because it could’ve answered some questions I was too afraid to ask in my middle school health class. But I’m 18, and I can barely relate to middle-school me nowadays. I’m sure plenty of (pretentious) people will argue that the more unpleasant parts of “Big Mouth” serve some symbolic purpose. But trust me, between the exaggerated visuals and the unconventional tactics employed by the main characters when dealing with hormones, “Big Mouth” is gross simply for the sake of being gross. Brooke Sparks PO ’22 is TSL’s TV columnist. She never thinks before she speaks and mains Zelda in Smash Ultimate.

NATALIE BAUER • THE STUDENT LIFE

41st International Festival celebrates music, food and art around the globe at CMC’s North Quad NATALIE GOULD From a personalized henna station, to a French-themed photo booth, to a ticket register that accepted 5C students’ flex — this year’s International Festival had it all. Leading up to April 13, 5C students had the opportunity to register a booth to represent a country, culture or region of the world. As a result, Claremont McKenna College’s North Mall was packed with tables of food from more than 15 countries. Even beloved CMC ambassador John Faranda CM ’79 lent his services to the bakery

section, which sold baked goods from members of the local Claremont community. Each item cost between two and four tickets, and was up for purchase by 5C students, faculty, administrators and the surrounding community. Students donned traditional clothing as they shared foods and activities from their home countries with event-goers. The Bhutan and Tibet booth offered momo, a South Asian dumpling filled with assorted vegetables, while the South Korea booth served chewy spicy rice cakes, or tteokbokki. In addition to food, there

were live performances of music and dance by professional companies and 5C student groups alike. Claremont Colleges Shogo Taiko, Trudi Henderson, African Soul International, Claremont Tamasha and the Claremont Colleges Irish Music Ensemble all took the stage. The event was hosted by the International Place of the Claremont Colleges, a 5C organization that serves as a center for cultural exchange and educational programming on global issues, as well as a resource for international students.

ADAM KUBOTA • THE STUDENT LIFE


OPINIONS APRIL 19, 2019

THE STUDENT LIFE

Dark tourism and social media: A moral gray area

THE STUDENT LIFE Editorial Board KELLEN BROWNING, Editor-in-Chief MEGHAN BOBROWSKY, Managing Editor HANK SNOWDON, Managing Editor

EAMON MORRIS

Senior Staff MARC ROD, News Editor LANEY POPE, News Editor JULIA FRANKEL, News Associate NATALIE GOULD, Life & Style Editor MABEL LUI, Life & Style Editor SCHUYLER MITCHELL, Life & Style Associate DONNIE DENOME, Opinions Editor ANIKKA VILLEGAS, Opinions Editor TORREY HART, Sports Editor NOAH SHAPIRO, Sports Editor DELANEY HARTMANN, Sports Associate

CASSIE WANG, Production Editor JAMES KARSTEN, Senior Design Editor ANNE JANG, News Designer HELENA ONG, Life & Style Designer DAPHNE YANG, Opinions Designer JILLIAN BATIUK, Sports Designer OLIVIA TRUESDALE, Copy Chief NINA POTISCHMAN, Graphics Editor TALIA BERNSTEIN, Photo Editor AMY BEST, Photo Editor

The Student Life, the oldest college newspaper in Southern California, is produced and managed by students of the Claremont Colleges and published weekly. The Editorial Board consists of the editor-in-chief and two managing editors. Aside from the editorial, the views expressed in the opinions section do not necessarily reflect the views of The Student Life. E-mail Letters, Questions, and Concerns to editor@tsl.news. Email tips to liaison@tsl.news; email advertising inquiries to ads@tsl.news and print subscription inquiries to subscriptions@tsl.news. TSL welcomes letters to the editor, which can be submitted by mail, email, or in person at Walker Hall 101 of Pomona College. Letters must be under 400 words (although when an issue is particularly salient, we reserve the right to allow letters to run at a longer length) and submitted by 4 p.m. Wednesday of the week of publication. We reserve the right to decline publication of submitted letters and will not accept anonymous letters, letters containing profanity, factually inaccurate letters, or letters making personal attacks. TSL also reserves the right to edit for spelling, punctuation and grammar. Letters may be signed by a maximum of three people. All letters become the property of TSL and may not be reprinted without prior permission from the Editorial Board. Singles copies of TSL are free and may be obtained at news stands around campus. Multiple copies may be purchased for $0.47 per copy with prior approval by contacting editor@tsl.news. Newspaper theft is a crime; perpetrators may be subject to disciplinary action as well as civil and/or criminal prosecution.

off the record

PAGE 7

Room draw as a senior New Hall here I come

Clippers beat Warriors Biggest blown lead in playoff history

HousingGate Which college is going to over-enroll this year?

Cousins hurt One playoff game in nine career seasons :(

Kohoutek The real Coachella

Going to the beach with Slackbot I will fill you with sand

Coachella owner anti-LGBT Where are your morals people?

Stalker Slackbot I know where you live

There’s a nifty feature on Instagram. Search up a location, and users can see all public posts that have tagged this location. It’s an easy way to see the dozens of insincere, unfunny, disrespectful and often disturbing posts tagging Columbine High School, Auschwitz, Whitney Plantation and other sites of unspeakable tragedy and injustice. Visits to places like these fall under the umbrella of dark tourism, which a writer for The Telegraph defines as “the appeal of sites, visitor [centers] and museums linked to atrocities and tragedy.” Visits to places like these aren’t always bad. The purpose of the visit and the wishes of local residents can make them acceptable. But if you’re going to these sites just to document your presence there on social media, don’t bother going. Infamously, Logan Paul, the popular YouTuber, visited Aokigahara Forest in Japan — tragically renowned for the number of people who take their own lives there — and filmed a dead body. Disrespectful visits like Paul’s aren’t uncommon.

In March this year, the Auschwitz Memorial and Museum had to issue an official statement on its Twitter kindly asking people to stop taking photos of themselves balancing on the train tracks leading into the infamous death camp. Columbine High School has a security team that frequently is distracted from their primary tasks by the 150-plus visitors who show up every month to “pay their respects.” Even I have a very old and insensitive family photo on my phone of my parents, my sister and I beaming in front of the 9/11 memorial in New York City. In some cases, it’s fine to travel to these destinations. When official memorials are set up, it can be a show of support to come to them. But to post photos in a way that ignores the tragedies that took place in that location or to loudly document one’s presence there, is to contribute to the erasure of horrific histories by covering them with whimsy, vintage filters and insincere, humorous captions. Dark tourism isn’t always a physical act. Musical artists from Jay-Z to Eminem have referenced Columbine in disrespectful ways. The same has been done with the Holocaust, 9/11 and the Sandy

Hook Shooting. In the same way that tourists crowd sites of terror and tragedy for likes and retweets, musicians are making light of these events to turn a profit. Unjust profiteering exists with physical dark tourism as well. Take, for instance, the case of the Hurricane Katrina Tour, which continues to be a popular New Orleans activity for tourists long after most of the rubble has been removed. Tour bus operators reap the benefits of these natural disasters by taking people through ruined streets, according to The New York Times. And what little money that does go towards rebuilding the neighborhood comes from the tourists themselves. Furthermore, sites like these that are still functioning, such as Columbine High School, should never be destinations of tourists — regardless of intentions. When residents of a place where an act of terror and cruelty has occurred are attempting to move on, any dark tourism that occurs opens and agitates still-raw wounds. Eamon Morris PZ ’22 is from Orange, California. As the anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre approaches, he wishes to remind people to be respectful and mindful..

KATIE ERICKSON • THE STUDENT LIFE

KenKen In a 4x4 KenKen, the numbers 1-4 will appear in each row and column exactly once. To solve, fill in according to the operation in the upper left-hand corner of each bolded area. For example, the bolded area with 5+ will include two numbers that add to 5.

THEA BAROVICK • THE STUDENT LIFE

LAST WEEK’S ANSWERS

Fake woke? It’s no joke CAMERON TIPTON Oh, the Claremont Colleges. When I think of the 5Cs, a few general ideas come to mind: diversity, longboards, Foucault and squirrels. Perhaps these factors are universal across Southern California campuses, but there’s one 5C trend I have never observed, at least as prominently, at any other school. That trend is something I like to call “Neiman Marxism.” OK, so maybe I didn’t coin the term, but upon hearing it for the first time I couldn’t help but feel that at least half the 5C community was being directly called out. Urban Dictionary defines a Neiman Marxist as “a college-educated, vaguely bohemian liberal ... who, while shopping for $400 jeans and planning visits to exclusive Vegas nightclubs, espouses Marxist revolution ... and claims empathy for the poor and oppressed as long as they don’t move in next door.” Ring any bells? It’s important to consider how readily new students adopt Marxist/socialist ideologies that are blatantly at odds with the lives they have lived and the upbringings that have brought them to this point in their lives. I have most observed this trend at one of the 5Cs specifically, but since I’m not naming names … just kidding, it’s Pitzer College. According to a report released by The New York Times, the median family income of a Pitzer student is $216,600, with over 70% of students in the top 20%. No, that’s not “just your parents’ money.” No, that’s

not “comfortable” or “middle class.” Yes, you are reaping the benefits of that wealth, and yes, you are being a hypocrite. So please, stop dragging capitalism when your idea of environmental convsciousness is your daddy driving a Tesla. You cannot wear Marxism like it’s a Ferragamo cashmere sweater; it’s comfy, sure, but all it does is make painfully clear the fact that you couldn’t care less about class issues and will likely be financially stable no matter what you choose to do with your life. Pitzer must not be the only object of our resentment; the same survey also reported that the median family income for a Pomona College student is $166,500, with 67% of students in the top 20%. Ever notice how that rich kid in your English seminar who’s always so quick to talk about “redistributing the wealth” is the one who never Venmos you for the Uber and who charges you for every little thing, even though you know they could buy a thousand of them if they really wanted to? That’s what 5C performative wokeness, or Neiman Marxism, brings out of us. With it is the tacit assumption that all is equal “from here on out,” totally disregarding our foundations of wealth and privilege. Yes, maybe you’re a “broke college student.” But there’s a difference between “brokeness” and “poverty.” Sure, maybe you can’t shell out $500 for a Coachella ticket, but that doesn’t mean you have to financially support your family, nor does it mean you have to work every single day just to attend a school like Pomona. If you think for one second that not having disposable

income entitles you to jump on the “workers of the world, unite” bandwagon, you’ve got another thing coming. And if you do come from a privileged background and genuinely believe in economic equality (and not just because Daddy Foucault told you to), what can you do? I’m certainly not suggesting a “forget the poor” mentality. The next time you’re out at lunch, taking an Uber or spending a day in Los Angeles shopping for high-quality sex toys — whatever the circumstances, if you’re in a financial position to more easily afford something than your peers, then share the wealth. Trust me, a couple of dollars may be worth a lot more

to them than to you. It’s in the little things, and even a seemingly small act such as this could be the difference between being a true ally to financially marginalized communities and being a walking, breathing contradiction. Karl Marx no doubt hated a lot of things, but I’m certain he hated fake-ass bitches most of all. Be honest, and stop wearing social consciousness like a pair of Gucci sunglasses. Trust me, that’s so last season. Cameron Tipton PO ’20 is a well-meaning pseudo-Marxist and former ASPC presidential candidate. They are anxiously awaiting the release of Lana Del Rey’s sixth studio album.

DAPHNE YANG • THE STUDENT LIFE


OPINIONS PAGE 8

THE STUDENT LIFE

APRIL 19, 2019

What can we learn from Aziz Ansari, Local news is dying. We must save it ‘Master of None’ and canceled culture? CHRISTOPHER MURDY

MILLY CHI I remember watching “Master of None” in high school and thinking it was the best show ever. Through the self-reflection of his character Dev, Aziz Ansari seemed to boost his own ethos at every opportunity, writing himself into the paradigm of a modern-day hero and social justice warrior. Ansari has never claimed to be perfect, but his uber-woke approach to social issues in America — with the viewership of liberal white America in mind — has led him to where he is today. In January 2018, babe.net published an article detailing a woman’s harrowing date experience with Ansari. Far from the feminist persona he had adopted throughout “Master of None,” Ansari’s actions were described as coercive and predatory. The article, published in the wake of #MeToo, ignited discussions about the nuance of what constitutes sexual assault, and who and what deserves the wrath of cancel culture. Recently, Ansari has slowly risen back into the public eye. In one of his most recent stand-up shows, Ansari took a reactionary approach to his damaged reputation, denouncing the very audience that his comedy used to serve. “At least with the Trump people, I kinda know where they stand,” he said. Calling extreme wokeness “progressive Candy Crush,” Ansari positioned himself on the other side of the debate. Revisiting “Master of None” today, I’m able to magnify Ansari’s shortfalls that I wasn’t able to before. In many ways, his impeccable progressiveness seems performative, especially now. His show was a major PR boost for his personal credibility, because Dev, a struggling Indian-American actor in New York City, reflected his real-life persona. But when I take a closer look at certain episodes, such as season two’s “First Date,” Ansari is not as innocent as I once believed. “First Date” is the first look into the presence of women of different racial identities in Dev’s dating life. Prior to this episode, Dev is only seen in a steady relationship with Rachel, a white woman with whom he parts ways by the end of season one. “First Date” seems to address the question of why Dev only has white love interests. In the episode, “Master of None” introduces three Indian women Dev dates: Priya, Stephanie and Sona.

UGEN YONTEN • THE STUDENT LIFE

Priya’s model minority work ethic and uptightness makes her a bad fit for Dev. Stephanie is portrayed as weird and nerdy; from the start, she’s not a viable option. And Sona chooses a white man over Dev at her first opportunity. Ansari creates these characters of Asian American women intentionally — he admits he will never truly win over Asian women, aware of historical tropes — but insists white women will see something in him. He takes this chance to break free of the shackles America has imposed upon men who look like him. Priya’s statement that he’s “not like other Indians,” furthermore, elucidates where he wants his character to stand in society. By claiming he’s the exception to the stereotype, Ansari re-affirms stereotypes about Asian American men and women and ultimately paints his character, specifically, to be “special” and “different,” appeasing white society’s gaze with believable, palatable stereotypes about the racial politics of relationships. “Master of None” flips the script and rewrites the narrative of undesirability that Asian American men have traditionally been confined to, but specifically at the expense of women of color in the show. To enhance Dev’s unique personality and approach to life, Ansari places each of the Indian women in the show into stereotypes. Ansari is fully aware of his Indian identity and doesn’t com-

pletely gloss over the fact that his core love interests (Rachel of season one and Francesca of season two) are both white. In the episode “Indians on TV,” Dev tells his actor friend Ravi, “You can’t have two Indian guys in a show. That’d be, like, an Indian show.” While Ansari casts “diverse” leads as his best friends, his decision to cast two conventionally attractive white women as his love interests speaks to his actual acquiescence to the rule he denounces. Although Ansari seemingly defines his own love interests in his show, it’s inevitable that some viewers will wonder if Ansari’s romantic interests similarly play into white society’s standards to prevent “Master of None” from being branded an “Indian show.” Perhaps Ansari wanted to avoid racializing his love interests, and just wanted to cast whoever he wanted. Perhaps casting white love interests helped his show speak to “woke” white audiences. But Ansari’s damage lies in his misogynistic usage of stereotypes about women of color, and contradictions between Dev’s realizations and Ansari’s professional decisions to cater to white audiences. Thus, “Master of None” failed to be as radical as it could have been, and fitting too comfortably into mainstream acceptance may have been a hint of his pandering to white liberals, the loudest voices of canceled culture.

Jasper’s Crossword: Tours de Force ACROSS 1. Encrypted chat app 1. Juicy fruit, or juicy emoji 6. With dynamics, it encompasses four words throughout this puzzle 10. Fish or guitar 14. Eric Clapton song written for a Beatle’s then-wife 15. Prayer leader 16. “You’re ____ something!” 17. Arctic or Indian 18. Astronaut Sally 19. What a lightbulb signifies in Peanuts 20. Three-sided set 23. Smith of “Stay With Me” 24. Reap what you ___ 25. Pierogi : Poland :: _______ : Italy 27. Surgical beautifier 32. Ego focus 33. ___ bin ein berliner 34. Yellow primrose 36. Rodney King-related events 39. Hold back (with ‘in’) 41. April 19, 2019 43. The E of QED 44. The Simpsons’ Krabappel and poet Millay 46. “If I _____ Rich Man” 48. It follows uno and due 49. Org. that criticized Assange’s arrest 51. RuPaul medium 53. Bad bottom line 56. ___ Pepper 57. FB Marketplace term 58. Barbell locales 64. E.g. Claremont 66. Depend (with ‘on’) 67. Comedian or her show of the same name 68. ____ temperature (had the flu) 69. “I’m ____ to my neck!” 70. _____ evil (as in wise monkeys) 71. Site for custom art 72. See 53-down 73. Condescending person DOWN 1. It’s depicted as a rising and falling peak 2. Per item 3. Yesterday, in Lima 4. Part of a contract 5. Casualty of “The Force Awakens” 6. Broadcasts 7. Let off

Today, he is “canceled” by many people who used to be fans of the show. But maybe canceled culture has failed us as well — even if wokeness is performative, isn’t the influence of the performance still impactful and valid? As an Asian American viewer, it’s saddening to reconcile Ansari’s misogyny and politically reactive response to criticism with the undeniable merits of “Master of None,” which also shines with the writing of trailblazers like Lena Waithe. Furthermore, Ansari’s seeming willingness to earnestly address the accusations, to some degree, muddies the black-and-white “canceled” portrait that the media loves to paint. Ansari is one of few major South Asian voices in mainstream American media today. Regardless of whether he makes the conscious decision to politicize his own identity, the public politicizes it for him. Those who relate to his stories hold him to higher standards because we feel that we cannot afford for someone like him, someone who creates the impact that he does, to disappoint. White society doesn’t care — and thus, he stays canceled. Milly Chi PZ ’22 is an aspiring media studies and Asian American studies major from Buena Park, California. She is curious about all things media and pop culture.

Local journalism has faced extraordinary challenges over the last two decades, leading to the closure or consolidation of nearly 20% of local papers since 2004. As a result, almost 1,400 communities throughout the U.S. have been left without any local newspapers, according to a report by the University of North Carolina’s journalism school. In the age of endless free media at our fingertips, it can be easy to barely notice the demise of local journalism, but its effects will reverberate throughout our communities for years to come. Perhaps more revealing than the number of newspapers shutting down is the number of employee layoffs. Since 1990, the total number of jobs in the newspaper industry has fallen from 455,000 to 183,200 — 248% less than it was three decades ago, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. When newspapers are reduced to a skeletal staff, it becomes incredibly difficult to have reporters embedded in local communities reporting on local issues. Local government loses its accountability without reporters. Without anyone checking on budgets and staffing changes, town councils are often left to make decisions with impunity. Research conducted by the University of Notre Dame and the University of Illinois at Chicago found a causal link between a decline in local journalism and a rise in government inefficiency. Without someone to hold the local government accountable, government waste increases. As a result, investors are less likely to fund necessary infrastructure, including schools, hospitals and railroads. By contrast, a single dollar spent by a local paper yields hundreds of dollars for the local community, according to James Hamilton of Stanford University. Part of the problem is that local communities don’t know what’s at risk. A recent study by the Pew Research Center found that while 71% of people believe their local papers “do well financially,” only 14% of respondents indicated that they paid for local news in the last year. While those with a lower income may face challenges in affording a subscription, the average price of a digital newspaper subscription is only $3.11 a week, according to the

American Press Institute. That’s just slightly more expensive than a gallon of gas and a small price to pay to ensure that your local government spends your tax dollars wisely. Another byproduct of the decline of local journalism is decreased civic engagement. After The Cincinnati Post closed down in 2007, researchers from the National Bureau of Economic Research found that “fewer candidates ran for municipal office … incumbents became more likely to win reelection, and voter turnout and campaign spending fell.” Without local papers analyzing the intricacies of candidates’ platforms, many voters “turn to national sources like cable news and apply their feelings about national politics to people running for the town council or state legislature,” helping to drive the political polarization rampant within society today. In the aftermath of papers closing before the 2012 elections, instances of people splitting their ballots between parties fell by almost 2%, according to Harvard University.

It can be easy to barely notice the demise of local journalism, but its effects will reverberate throughout our communities for years to come. While this paints a bleak picture for the state of journalism in communities around the U.S., there are ways to counteract these trends and maintain accountability for local politicians. Local papers need to focus on what readers value. They’re not turning to their local paper for coverage of a Trump press conference. They’re looking for a recap of the school board meeting. Newsrooms need to adapt with this in mind, focusing their remaining staff on covering these stories and leave Washington to the national news outlets. For readers, there’s an easy way to help fix this issue ourselves: buy a subscription to your local newspaper. Christopher Murdy PO ’22 is an intended international relations major from Lido Beach, New York. Got a different approach to combating local journalism’s demise? Email him at christopher.murdy@pomona.edu. To read the full article, go to tsl.news.

Weekly Comic

JASPER DAVIDOFF • THE STUDENT LIFE

8. Kind of gun 9. Last letters 10. Pitzer soft___ 11. So on __________ 12. Bargain price 13. “Me too!” 21. Between, in verse 22. At any time 26. “Would ____ to you?” 27. Like a good album, casually 28. Got a perfect score on 29. Neighborhoods with great bao options 30. Go smoothly 31. _____ over (placated for now) 35. Henry VIII’s sixth wife 37. Poi root 38. Hearty entree 40. Salt, chemically 42. It’s omitted for matzo 45. School zone sign 47. Act hostilely 50. Password preceder 52. Like some laptops from Mudd

and Harwood Halls, recently 53. With 72-across, building that lost its spire this week 54. W.W. II vessel 55. College in upstate NY 59. Eeyore descriptor 60. All ____, no substance 61. Margarine 62. ____ mosso (less rapid) 63. Twerp 65. Yea opposite LAST WEEK’S ANSWERS

NINA POTISCHMAN • THE STUDENT LIFE


SPORTS THE STUDENT LIFE

APRIL 19, 2019

P-P softball snaps CMS’ unbeaten SCIAC season

AMY BEST • THE STUDENT LIFE

Top: Lauren Richards CM ‘22 gets a hit off of Alondra Reynoso PZ ‘20 in the second game of the Sagehen-Athena doubleheader on April 13. Middle: Jessica Fox CM ‘21 slides past shortstop Izzy Deatherage PO ‘20 to steal second base in the second game of the doubleheader. Bottom: The Sagehen dugout clears to celebrate their 4-3 walkoff win over CMS in the first game of their doubleheader.

See WEEKLY ROUNDUP on Page 10

COMMENTARY

Tiger’s back: A win for the ages KELLAN GRANT Every once in a while, there’s a moment in sports that no one will ever forget. These “I remember where I was” moments bring the nation together. You’ll often hear “I remember where I was when the U.S. beat the Soviet Union in the 1980 Olympics,” “I remember where I was when Kobe scored 81” or “I remember where I was when Tom Brady overcame a 28-3 deficit in Super Bowl LI.” These types of moments are rare, but Tiger Woods might’ve just given us another one when he took home his 15th major golf tournament championship at the 2019 Masters Tournament last Sunday. It would’ve been hard to find a single person not rooting for Tiger when he teed off just two strokes behind the lead on the final day of the tournament. After all he’d been through, who would have believed he’d ever be in this position again? It was just two years ago that Woods himself said he didn’t know if he’d ever be able to play golf again, let alone compete for a major championship. Since his last major tournament win, he had endured a torn ACL, a neck injury, a sprained MCL, an Achilles injury and three separate back surgeries. There were also multiple low points in his personal life, most recently his infamous DUI arrest in May 2017. Tiger’s downfall was tragic, and it truly seemed as if he had no business playing competitive golf again. But his story wasn’t near over. After a few exciting, drama-filled days, Woods seemed locked in at the start of the Masters’ final round Sunday morning. Hole after hole, he remained calm and composed as he hung near the top of the leaderboard, waiting for his opportunity to seize control.

5C CLIMBING

5C climbers scramble to nationals EMILY PIETTE In only its second season, the 5C Climbing Team will send four members to the USA Collegiate Climbing Nationals at the end of April, thanks to the quartet’s high finishes at the 2019 Southern California regional competition earlier this month. Team captain Laurel Melton PZ ’20, one of the climbers who qualified for nationals, started the 5C climbing team at the beginning of the 2018 spring semester, after returning to Claremont from studying abroad. Melton has been climbing for 12 years and competed on youth teams before coming to Pitzer. As a first-year, she competed in the collegiate division, but without a team, traveled to competitions alone. Melton trained at the same climbing gym other 5C students used recreationally, which motivated her to organize 5C climbers into a club sports team. While the 5Cs have numerous climbing clubs, which give students opportunities to leave campus and go to gyms, the team Melton organized includes organized practices, workouts and competitions — setting the team apart from

COURTESY OF CLAREMONT CLIMBING

Ihlara Gray HM ‘22 had multiple top-six finishes at the regional competition earlier this month, helping her qualify for the national competition.

recreational climbing. Since its founding last year, the 5C Climbing Team has grown to 46 members, with a relatively equal distribution across the consortium. Last year, the vast majority of the team was comprised of Pitzer College students. Melton attributes the team’s growth to its supportive atmosphere and attractiveness to first-year students. “I’m really excited the team has grown so much this year. First-year interest and talent has been a huge deal for us,” she said. “I started the team second semester last year, which was difficult because by second semester, everyone is involved in their things already, so it’s been cool to have it for a full year.” Throughout the year, the team competes in competitions within the Southern California region of USA Climbing’s collegiate division. The 5C students face off against UC Santa Barbara, UC Irvine and other large schools. Climbers compete in bouldering climbs in each competition, but speed and sport climbs are only offered at specific competitions. At regionals, the 17 5C climbing team members competed in bouldering, sport climbing and speed climbing. Melton, Kira Bloomenthal PZ ’22, Rachel Lau PO ’22 and Ihlara Gray HM ’22 were the four climbers to qualify for the national competition after their performances at the regional meet. Melton placed fourth in the entire region, finishing fourth in bouldering and second in speed climbing. Gray had multiple top-six finishes — third in bouldering and sixth in speed. Bloomenthal’s top finish was eighth in bouldering, while Lau placed fifth in speed climbing. Bouldering does not utilize ropes or harnesses and is scored on two facets — how much of a climb a climber can complete and how many times they attempt that climb. Sport climbing includes ropes in climbs, while climbers race to the top of a fif-

PAGE 9

ty-foot wall in speed climbing. Melton and co-captain Serena Faruqee PZ ’20 also appreciate the opportunity to coach first-years in particular. “I love coaching, I love leadership and I love being involved with every member of the team,” Faruqee said. “That’s something I didn’t get to do training on my own when I came here freshman year.” Melton said the team attracts students of all levels. “There are a lot of different people competing from other schools too that are new to it, so the climbs are set to be pretty accessible,” Melton said. “There’s something everybody can do.” Faruquee said the welcoming atmosphere of the team and the larger collegiate climbing community has led to the 5C team’s current success. “We don’t want people to think because we send people to nationals, workout and compete so much that we are not open to beginners, because we are a welcoming team,” Faruquee said. “So many of the people we are talking about right now came into this year with very little experience and had not competed before, and experienced climbers are in the minority. It’s a great opportunity to learn a new sport around people who are also passionate about it.” Melton and Faruquee said competing at the national level far surpasses any expectations they had for the team prior to the season’s start. 5C climbers will be focused on their individual success at nationals, Melton said, as the team award involves the three highest scoring climbers per gender, and the 5C team is only sending four women. Melton said nationals will provide valuable experience for the first-years, adding that the four climbers are looking forward to “going, having fun and competing.”

NINA POTISCHMAN • THE STUDENT LIFE

Still trailing Francesco Molinari by two strokes, his approach and past experience on the course came in handy on No. 12. While the other golfers in his grouping, Molinari and Tony Finau, hit their balls into Rae’s Creek and eventually took double bogeys, Woods took a more conservative approach, leading to a huge payoff. Instead of going straight for the hole, he drove his ball powerfully over the creek, left of the hole to easily make par — capturing a share of the lead. His decision and execution at hole 12 were masterful. At this point, the crowd’s cheers intensified. Augusta National turned into Tiger Nation, and if destiny had any say, Tiger’s redemption story would receive its exclamation mark. He proceeded to extend his lead over the field and found himself only needing to make bogey or better on the 18th

hole to take home his second-best 15th win at a major tournament. As chills collectively ran through the nation’s veins, Woods made his last putt to win the tournament at 13-under. He grabbed his ball out of the hole, turned to the crowd and let out a sound no one thought they’d ever hear again: the famous Tiger victory roar. In an almost symmetrical scene to his first Masters win in 1997, Tiger rushed to embrace his family. In 1997, it was his father, who later passed away in 2006. This time it was his mother, girlfriend and two kids, both of whom were too young to ever witness their dad’s glory of the past — back when he won tournament after tournament, captivating our hearts with his sheer dominance. While Tiger might go on

to win another Masters or more of the other major tournaments, none will be more important than the one he won Sunday morning. When everyone said he couldn’t, he did. And that’s the most beautiful part of it all. Sports has a unique power to bring people together. Sometimes, athletes actually show us that the impossible is possible, and that’s exactly what Woods did. It was always more about just winning another tournament. It was about Woods becoming who he used to be despite everything that happened in the meantime. So, where were you when Tiger did the unbelievable? Where were you when he p r o ve d e ve r yo n e w r o n g ? Where were you when he inspired the nation with one more Tiger roar? Where were you when Tiger became Tiger again?


PAGE 10

SPORTS THE STUDENT LIFE

APRIL 19, 2019

WEEKLY ROUNDUP

Pomona - Pitzer P-P softball team ends CMS’ perfect SCIAC season on walk-off, goes 3-1 on the week Pomona-Pitzer softball (258-1, 17-5 SCIAC) had a successful week, splitting a pair of games against CMS (27-6, 21-1 SCIAC) before sweeping a doubleheader against Redlands (14-20, 8-14 SCIAC) 11-8 and 7-3. The Sagehens won the first game against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 4-3 on a walk-off RBI single from Karina Falkstrom PZ ’21, ending the Athena’s bid for a perfect SCIAC season. The Sagehen offense got off to a hot start in the first game against Redlands, going up 7-0 after two innings. The Panthers came back to tie the score 8-8 in the top of the sixth, but Mackensey Druckman PZ ’21 hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the inning to put P-P back in front.

after the doubles matches, losing 8-4 and 8-5 at Nos. 1 and 2 before Jed Kronenberg PO ’21 and Nils Skattum PO ’22 won 8-0 at No. 3. The two teams then split the six singles matches, leading to a 5-4 win for the Beavers. All three P-P losses went to a decisive third match. Sagehen women’s tennis remains undefeated in SCIAC with 8-1 beatdown of CalLu The Sagehen women’s tennis team (19-1, 5-0 SCIAC) made short work of Cal Lutheran (13-5, 2-3 SCIAC) last week, winning 8-1 to extend its SCIAC winning streak to five matches. After winning the doubles matches 2-1, the Sagehens swept through singles competition. Every match was decided in just two sets, aside from No. 1, where Caroline Casper PO ’19 won the first set 6-1 before her opponent forfeited.

Sagehen baseball squad wins 1 of 3 against Whittier The Sagehen baseball team (15-14, 5-13 SCIAC) went 1-2 against Whittier (16-15, 6-9 SCIAC) last week, losing at home Friday 5-3, before winning the first game of a doubleheader at Whittier Saturday 7-3, then losing 6-3. Jack Damelio PO ’22 was responsible for most of the Sagehens’ runs in their one win, as he went 3-5 with five RBIs. A single in the top of the third brought home two runners to give P-P a 2-1 lead. Damelio hit another two-RBI single in the top of the seventh and an RBI double in the top of the eighth to bring in the Sagehens’ final run.

P-P lacrosse blows out Whittier The P-P lacrosse team (11-4, 6-2 SCIAC) picked up an easy win over Whittier (3-13, 0-9 SCIAC) last Saturday, getting out to a 10-1 lead by halftime on its way to a 17-5 victory. It was a big night for multiple players, as Lily Hermann PZ ’21 had a career-high four goals, Leah Haverkamp PZ ’22 had her first career hat trick and Lily Thomey PO ’19 had her fourth hat trick of the season. Goalie Emily Vomvas PO ’22 earned her first career win, finishing with six saves. Sagehen track prepares for SCIAC championships with final dual meet The Sagehen men’s and women’s track and field teams both had strong showings at their final SCIAC dual meet at Occidental last weekend. On the men’s side, Evan Johnson PO ’22 finished in a tie for first place in the high jump, with a personal best height of

P-P men’s tennis falls in close match to Caltech for first SCIAC loss of season The P-P men’s tennis team (9-11, 4-1 SCIAC) lost a close match to Caltech (12-5, 3-2 SCIAC), its first SCIAC loss of the year. P-P fell behind 2-1

Athlete of the Week Women’s Track and Field Vicky-Marie Addo-Ashong P0 ‘20 Falls Church, Virginia Addo-Ashong set a Pomona-Pitzer program record in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 14.68 seconds at the third SCIAC multi-dual meet April 13. Addo-Ashong won both the 100-meter hurdles and the triple jump, while also placing fourth in the high jump and eighth in the shot put. She is currently ranked in the top 10 nationally in both the 100-meter hurdles and the triple jump, fueling the Sagehens’ hope for success in postseason competition.

AMY BEST • THE STUDENT LIFE

Janelle Lewis PO ‘19 shoots over the head of a defender in the Sagehens’ 17-1 win over Caltech April 13.

1.95 meters. P-P also showed off its depth in the 1500-meter run, filling spots three through nine, led by Paul McKinley PO ’22 with a time of 4:00.19. Vicky-Marie Addo-Ashong PO ’20 had her best meet of the season, finishing first in both the 100-meter hurdles and the triple jump. Her time of 14.86 in the hurdles was a program record and currently ranks 15th in the nation, while her triple jump distance of 11.68 meters ranks sixth in the nation. She also placed fourth in the high jump and eighth in the shot put. P-P women’s water polo extends perfect SCIAC season ahead of regular-season finale against CMS It was a strong week for P-P women’s water polo, as the Sagehens (18-12, 13-0 SCIAC) beat Caltech (2-17, 0-13 SCIAC) 17-1 at home Saturday before traveling to face UC San Diego the same day, where they fell 12-4. P-P bounced back with a 12-6 win over Chapman (9-16, 3-10 SCIAC) at home Wednesday to remain undefeated in

the conference with one SCIAC game remaining. Isabel Wiesenthal PO ’21 notched an impressive six goals in the blowout win over Caltech. Against Chapman, the Sagehens had a much more balanced approach, as Bella Villa PZ ’20, Kahea Kahaulelio PZ ’19, Janelle Lewis PO ’19 and Nadia Paquin PO ’22 all scored two goals. Sagehen golf competes in Day 1 of SCIAC Championship The Sagehen men’s and women’s golf teams began competition at the SCIAC Championships Thursday in Pasadena. After day one, the men’s team is in sixth place after shooting +17 and the women’s team is tied for third after shooting +31. Owen Rosebeck PO ’20 got off to a great start and currently sits in second place individually after shooting two under on the day. Priscilla Ki PO ’21 leads the women’s team after shooting +5, good for a tie for fourth place individually. The three-day tournament will conclude Saturday.

Weekly Calendar Friday, April 19 Men’s and Women’s Golf SCIAC Championship Baseball at CMS Men’s Tennis Redlands Women’s Tennis at Redlands Saturday, April 20 Men’s and Women’s Golf SCIAC Championship Men’s Tennis UC Riverside Baseball CMS

Women’s Water Polo at CMS Women’s Tennis UC San Diego Softball at Chapman Women’s Lacrosse at CMS Wednesday, April 24 Women’s Tennis CMS Men’s Tennis CMS Women’s Lacrosse Chapman

Claremont - Mudd - Scripps Athlete of the Week Men’s Tennis Julian Gordy CM ‘19 Tarzana, California The senior led the Stags to 9-0 shutouts against Occidental and Marymount California April 13. Gordy and his doubles partner Nikolai Parodi CM ’20 won the No. 1 doubles match against Occidental to complete their fourth straight doubles sweep as a duo. Gordy also won the No. 1 singles match against the Tigers. Gordy serves as a team captain for the Stags, who are currently ranked No. 1 in the nation.

Weekly Calendar Friday, April 19 Men’s and Women’s Golf SCIAC Championship Softball Redlands

Men’s Tennis at Cal Lutheran UC Riverside Womens Tennis Cal Lutheran

Baseball P-P

Track and Field Bryan Clay Invitational LBSU Invitational

Men’s Tennis Caltech

Baseball at P-P

Track and Field Bryan Clay Invitational LBSU Invitational

Softball Occidental

Saturday, April 20 Men’s and Women’s Golf SCIAC Championship Women’s Water Polo P-P

Wednesday, April 24 Women’s Tennis at P-P Men’s Tennis at P-P

TSL welcomes nominations for Athlete of the Week at sportseditor@tsl.news

Stag baseball drops 2 of 3 to Chapman Claremont-Mudd-Scripps baseball (14-10-1, 7-8 SCIAC) started last weekend with a 2-1 win over Chapman (23-7, 13-5 SCIAC) before dropping the final two games of the series, 7-2 and 5-3. Justin Hull CM ’20 tossed nine innings of one-run ball in the win, moving to 6-1 with his first complete game of the season. Ryan Motter CM ’19 crossed the plate for both of CMS’ runs, the first time scoring on a sacrifice fly and the second on a wild pitch.

CMS softball’s perfect SCIAC season comes to an end CMS softball’s (27-6, 21-1 SCIAC) undefeated SCIAC streak finally came to an end at 20 games when Pomona-Pitzer (25-8-1, 17-5 SCIAC) took down the Athenas 4-3 in the first game of a doubleheader last Friday. CMS salvaged the second game 2-1 as starter Lauren Richards CM ’22 came five outs from a no-hitter, tossing a complete game. The following day, the Athenas picked up where they left off, taking down La Verne (1519, 11-11 SCIAC) 5-1 and 7-5.

Athena water polo falls twice to SCIAC opponents Celia Aldrete CM ’20 scored her career 100th goal on senior day as CMS women’s water polo (9-14, 7-6 SCIAC) dropped a 9-8 game to La Verne (10-13, 8-5 SCIAC) last weekend. Alex Szymczak SC ’22 led the team with three goals in the effort. Wednesday, the Athenas fell 9-2 to Redlands (14-15, 7-6 SCIAC), guaranteeing a fourthplace or lower finish in the SCIAC regular season. They need a win over Pomona-Pitzer (18-12, 13-0 SCIAC) Saturday to stay alive.

CMS men’s tennis completes 3 commanding wins The No. 1 Stag tennis team (23-1, 4-0 SCIAC) was just one match short of shutting out three consecutive opponents over two days last weekend, beating Redlands (12-4, 4-1 SCIAC) 8-1 and Occidental (710, 2-4 SCIAC) and California Marymount (3-12) 9-0 each. By the end of Saturday, the Stags had notched their fourthstraight doubles sweep, improving to 56-16 on the season.

Athena lacrosse clinches top seed in SCIAC tournament The dominant CMS women’s lacrosse team (13-2, 9-0 SCIAC) will officially host the 2019 SCIAC Tournament after clinching the top regular-season spot with a 16-8 win over Occidental Wednesday night. The Athenas are looking for their third consecutive SCIAC tournament title. Corie Hack CM ’19 had triple the goals of any other CMS scorer, making six of 11 shots. Goalie Emma Goldfield CM ’22 tallied eight saves.

CMS women’s golf trails Redlands by 12 strokes after the first day of the SCIAC championship tournament, which runs Thursday through Saturday. Chapman and P-P are each just one stroke behind CMS’ 318. Amy Xue CM ’22 and Emily Attiyeh CM ’21 posted the Athenas’ top day one performances, each finishing the day in ninth place with a 49. Chiu shoots -7 to lead Stag golf on day 1 of SCIAC tournament Mason Chiu CM ’21 shot a lifetime-best 63 to lead the CMS men’s golf team in the opening round of the SCIAC championships. The Stags ended day one, Thursday, with an 11-shot lead on the field. CMS entered the day trail-

ing Redlands for the SCIAC’s automatic NCAA spot but now lead by six shots. CMS women and men sweep final track and field multi-dual Pole vaulter Jacque Desmond SC ’20 broke her own school record as the Athenas swept the final SCIAC multi-dual of the season. The CMS women also swept the long jump and won every track distance from the 800-meter and up. The Stags swept the distance events and relays on the men’s side. The 4x100 relay team of Matthew Guillory HM ’19, Carter Henderson CM ’21, Jamie Cockburn CM ’22 and Corbin Bethurem CM ’19 went 41.65, the fifth-fastest time in program history, and the fastest time by a Stag team in 16 years.

Athena tennis blanks Redlands, taking win streak to 12 CMS women’s tennis (19-1, 5-0 SCIAC) has not allowed more than one point in each of its last 12 straight wins, including a 9-0 victory over Redlands (7-10, 3-2 SCIAC) Saturday. The Athenas only dropped five doubles games combined in the matchup. Catherine Allen SC ’20, Nicole Tan CM ’20 and Sarah Bahsoun CM ’22 each won both their doubles and singles matches, as CMS remains the No. 2 team in the nation behind Emory (14-3). CAMILA MEJIA • THE STUDENT LIFE

Athena golf sits in second after day 1 of SCIAC tournament

Corie Hack CM ‘19 dodges a defender in the Athenas’ 16-8 win over Occidental April 17.


SPORTS

PAGE 11

THE STUDENT LIFE

APRIL 19, 2019 P-P MEN’S TRACK AND FIELD

Led by Floyd, P-P men’s track reaching new heights ALLIE GOULD

No athlete has embodied the No. 4 Pomona-Pitzer men’s track team’s successful season as much as Carter Floyd PO ’21 — the current holder of Division III’s fastest time in the 800-meter and the third fastest in the 1,500-meter. Floyd was named the National Athlete of the Week on April 9 by the United States Track & Field and Cross-Country Coaches Association, becoming the first athlete in program history to do so. Floyd said the Sagehens are now focused on what the next few weeks could bring.

“I want to run fast enough in the 1,500 to solidify myself as a subfour-minute miler.” “I’m hoping that in the coming weeks it all comes together and this season is as good as I hoped it would be from the start,” Floyd said. Friday, Floyd will race at the Bryan Clay Invitational, hosted at Azusa Pacific University. Head coach Jordan Carpenter said he brings a handful of runners to the meet with the intention of setting national times. For Floyd, this means he’ll get an opportunity to run the 1,500 — which he hasn’t run since March — and reclaim the top spot in the event in DIII. “I think I’m more excited about [the invitational] than I’ve ever been for a race before,” Floyd said. “My season has already been good and I’m hoping to just crush what it’s already been.” Carpenter is optimistic about the race as well. “We’re hoping he’ll run

around 3:45, which would be leading the country again,” Carpenter said. The impressive times of five or six distance runners are responsible for the team’s high national ranking, Carpenter said, which “speaks to their strength and their ability.” While this select subset of Hens has nationals on their minds, the entire team is focused on securing back-to-back conference titles, which they’ll have the chance to do at the SCIAC Championships April 27 and 28. “The goal for the team is to win conference again, so we’re in a very good place right now,” sprinter Daniel Tamkin PO ’21 said. Carpenter said the team now has a “target on [their] back,” and a repeat win won’t necessarily be easy. “ O n p a p e r i t ’s r e a l ly close between us, [Claremont-Mudd-Scripps] and Redlands,” he said. “It’s really going to come down to who shows up on the day and who has the guys on the team that step up and do things that maybe they’re not supposed to do on paper.” While the conference remains tight, the team’s No. 4 national ranking is the highest it has ever been. Floyd is hopeful that the Sagehens can place well at the NCAA DIII National Meet in May, and thinks it’s feasible that they finish as one of the top teams in the country. “If we were to pull that off, that would be insane,” Floyd said. “If we were to all run what we should run, like what we are seeded as and stuff, I think we could do it very easily.” Carpenter agreed. “Hopefully we can get a top10 finish,” Carpenter said. “We haven’t been top-10 in a long time, so definitely really exciting for our group.” The team already has more nationals qualifiers than it had last year, but Floyd said there

TALIA BERNSTEIN • THE STUDENT LIFE

Carter Floyd PO ’21 holds Division III’s fastest time in the 800-meter and the third-fastest in the 1,500-meter this season, and hopes to lead the Sagehens to a second straight SCIAC title.

are a few more runners “on the cusp” that are looking to qualify in upcoming weeks. “I hope that they’re doing what they can to make it because having more people go to nationals would just be so fun,” Floyd said. Floyd himself has his eyes set on an elusive time barrier for runners. “I want to run fast enough in

TA’S TIMEOUT

LAFC’s amazing start

COURTESY OF WIKI COMMONS

LAFC captain Carlos Vela currently leads the MLS in both goals and assists, and has been largely responsible for the team’s early-season surge to the top of the Western Conference.

DANNY TA After a successful inaugural season that ended with a firstround playoff disappointment, Los Angeles FC is back and hungry for more. Led by superstar Mexican captain Carlos Vela, the side has started off the 2019 MLS Season with six victories, a draw and a loss in eight matches. The six wins were against Sporting Kansas City, Portland Timbers, Real Salt Lake, San Jose Earthquakes, D.C. United and Cincinnati. Its only draw came against New York City FC, which can’t seem to win a game. Its only loss came recently against the Vancouver Whitecaps, a fluke result when compared to the team’s previous strong performances. The hot start has brought LAFC to the top of the Western Conference, ahead of the Seattle Sounders and LAFC’s own crosstown rival, the LA Galaxy. The streak is impressive, but the manner in which LAFC took down its opponents deserves massive credit. LAFC can proudly say that it owns the record for most goals in MLS history through six games; the club’s 19 goals in six games beat the previous mark held by the LA Galaxy. But the dominant stats don’t end there. Besides goals scored, LAFC also currently leads the

MLS in assists, shots, shots on goal, goals per game and goal differential. Its forwards are currently two of the top three goal scorers in MLS: Carlos Vela (1st) and Diego Rossi (tied for 2nd with LA Galaxy’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic). The pair have combined for 14 goals scored so far, outscoring 19 of the other 23 MLS teams this season. When Vela and Rossi scored hat tricks against the San Jose Earthquakes and D.C. United, respectively, LAFC became the first team in MLS to net back-toback hat tricks away from home. Vela, the captain, is surely LAFC’s standout player. As if leading the league in goals scored wasn’t impressive enough, the striker is also the assists leader in the MLS, staking an early claim for MVP candidacy. The former Arsenal and Real Sociedad forward attracted interest from FC Barcelona earlier this year, and he’s proven why. Despite the promising start, critics say that tougher tasks lie ahead for LAFC, and it’s true, for the season is still young. But that doesn’t mean that we should take our eyes off what LAFC manager Bob Bradley has instilled in his men in the off-season. The former U.S. National Team coach has surely reflect-

ed on last season’s playoff letdown, and his exciting, attacking brand of football is manifesting brilliantly so far. It’s clear that the team has developed the chemistry necessary to compete with the best of the MLS. But to solidify its status as a great team, LAFC will have to prolong its success; anything other than another playoff berth this season will be considered a failure. Players’ eyes will be set on progressing further than last season, which is certainly a realistic goal. In fact, winning the MLS Cup would be a sensible objective, considering that Atlanta United’s recent inaugural season ended with a firstround playoff exit — but they returned the next season to win it all. The pride of Los Angeles sports rests in the hands of the LAFC and the LA Galaxy, as the city’s fans have suffered frequently and devastatingly in recent times: back-to-back World Series losses for the Dodgers, a Super Bowl defeat for the Rams and the Lakers’ playoff exclusions, to name a few. If Vela and company can keep up their form, LAFC will be in a prime position to bring Los Angeles the glory it deserves.

the 1,500 to solidify myself as a sub-four-minute-miler,” he said. “I think that would be super cool.” He also hopes to be the national championship in one event — either the 800 or the 1,500. By the time nationals rolls around, Floyd will likely only race the 1,500, because it is difficult to run both races at that

level of competition, Carpenter said. But he’s optimistic about Floyd’s chances in that event. “With how hard he works and his ability to really hurt at the end of races, I think he’ll definitely be in the mix,” Carpenter said. Floyd learned from what he felt was a disappointing nationals performance last year, when he finished 18th in the 800. He’s

approaching this year from a more veteran perspective. “I feel much more ready this year. Last year, I was super nervous, and I let that get in the way too much,” Floyd said. “This year, I’m going to be much more calm about it because I know it’s just like another race.” Having more teammates competing alongside him will “help a lot too,” he said.


PAGE 12

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