SEPTEMBER 28, 2018
YALEâ€™S MOST DARING PUBLICATION SINCE 1986
e l H a e Y r e
from the editors Hey hey, We’re in deep folks. We really got in there. The college lifestyle is in full swing. And that can only mean one thing: the sound of some smooth-ass synths wafting up from bowels of a residential college recording studio. Oh, you aren’t familiar with Sargasso, January, or some equally default-computer-screensaver-title-named group on campus? Well, put your worries to rest: in this week’s front, Eric Krebs, JE ’21, delves into that most college of musical genres: indie. Surprisingly enough, the legacy of Yale’s indie music scene is much like mid-2000’s Avril Lavigne as a toddler: short, angsty, but thriving.
THE HER AL
VISIT US ONLINE AT YALEHERALD.COM
THEAD S A M EDITORIAL STAFF EDITOR-IN-CHIEF MANAGING EDITORS
Jack Kyono Nurit Chinn, Fiona Drenttel
EXECUTIVE EDITORS Emma Chanen, Emily Ge, Margaret Grabar Sage, Nicole Mo, Marc Shkurovich,Eve Sneider, Anna Sudderth, Oriana Tang FEATURES EDITORS Marina Albanese, Trish Viveros CULTURE EDITORS Sara Luzuriaga, Tereza Podhajská VOICES EDITORS Allison Chen, Julia Leatham OPINION EDITOR Eric Krebs REVIEWS EDITORS Kat Corfman, Everest Fang STYLE EDITOR Molly Ono INSERTS EDITORS
Sarah Force, Addee Kim
DESIGN STAFF CREATIVE DIRECTORS Julia Hedges, Rasmus Schlutter DESIGN EDITORS Merritt Barnwell, Paige Davis, Charlotte Foote, Audrey Huang, Anya Pertel
Speaking of Avril, Laurie Roarke, ES ’21, recounts in Reviews how the smeary-eyed songstress impacted her childhood and is now attempting a comeback. I guess someone forgot to show the singer a calendar of the current year, but who doesn’t love a slow-burn tragedy? The answer is me, when I haven’t had my first cup of coffee purchased solely with my Social Security Number, which luckily is coming to fruition in New Haven in only a few short months. In Features, Allegra Brogard, PC ’20, investigates the imminent opening of Shiru Café, where—no joke—you too can pay for caffeine sludge in personal info. I’ll take a half-caff in exchange for my off-campus address and a side of my estranged aunt! And to round out your time here, take a gander with Julia Hedges, SM ’20, and her style journey. Rejecting her previous Whole Foods aesthetic, she is now delving into the world of the hypebeast. Fanny packs, here we come. But from my position as Style Editor, I urge you to not actually wear fanny packs, unless you’re a trained professional. Yale students, for the love of God, you cannot pull them off. Stick to the pink frat shirts. Your fashion maven, Molly Ono Style Editor 2
THE YALE HERALD
The Yale Herald is a not-for-profit, non-partisan, incorporated student publication registered with the Yale College Dean’s Office. If you wish to subscribe to the Herald, please contact the Editor-in-Chief at email@example.com. Receive the Herald for one semester for 40 dollars, or for the 2018-2019 academic year for 65 dollars. The Yale Herald is published by Yale College students, and Yale University is not responsible for its contents. All opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not reflect the views of The Yale Herald, Inc. or Yale University. Copyright 2018 The Yale Herald.
IN THIS ISSUE 6VOICES
STYLE Lucy Liu, DC ’21, shines a spotlight onto some of the experiences of hijab-wearing women on campus. Delving into her personal style, Julia Hedges, SM ’20, details her transition from Patagonia devotee to full-on hypebeast.
Lola Hourihane, ES ’20, personifies trauma in a divorce settlement dialogue. Kara O’Rourke, ES ’22, depicts two neighborhoods with contrasting images.
FEATURES Allegra Brogard, PC ’20, digs into the workings of a new café coming to campus that gives students unlimited free coffee in return for their personal information.
COVER Eric Krebs, JE ’21, examines the state of the independent music scene at Yale: the challenges it faces and where it’s headed.
WEEK AHEAD Filling Basins
Thursday, Oct. 4 @ 8:00pm 216 Dwight Street
Friday, Oct. 5 @ 8:00 PM LC 101
Judson Potenza, SM ’22, analyzes the ups and downs of Bo Burnham’s directorial debut, Eighth Grade.
Noa Rosinplotz, ES ’22, dissects reading culture at Yale. As part of a farm tour, Lydia Buonomano, DC ’20, follows Yale Dining food all the way to its source.
ING M O
Kathy Min, BR ’21, reflects on the significance of Crazy Rich Asians for the advancement of AsianAmerican representation in entertainment. In honor of Avril Lavigne’s 34th birthday, Laurie Roark, ES ’21, takes you through the legacy of the pop-punk icon.
TGO U O
Fourth-wave instagram feminism That rose-tinted armpit hair you had last year was soooo radical
Jaw Presents: A Family Weekend Baby Shower
Wednesday, Oct. 3 @ 5:30pm New Haven Free Public Library
YH Staff speaks with Professor Krishnan-Sarin, co-leader of the Yale Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science, to discuss the rise of e-cigarette use amongst youth.
The Intersectionality of #MeToo and Other Civil Rights Movements
y r t r for a M t he
THE YALE HERALD
my charity, Dolphins Without Mittens?” Because, Sharon, unlike other porpoise protestors, I’m willing go above and beyond for your chilly dolphins. I would literally do anything ale can be an apathetic political for the resistance, even if it means dying. space. Some folks blame this on Yalies’ tunnel vision—it’s I would love for my death to be politicized, uncommon for Yale students to engage no matter how history will have to justify with political issues that don’t directly it. If I get hit by a Tesla, I wanna see Elon affect Yale undergrads. Other people might Musk’s factories burnt to the ground. point a finger at Yale itself, and the ways Struck by lightning? There should be mass the university is an inherently conservative boycotts of Big Electricity. And if I die institution that suppresses political choking on Kellogg’s Special K Original resistance, bent on ultimately reproducing Breakfast Cereal, I’m taking the Wheatthe systemic inequality that makes Yale Industrial Complex down with me. possible in the first place. Oh wait, you want me to walk out of class? However, I think that the real thing that’s Sorry I’m in Professor Anglo-Saxon’s missing from Yale activism is me, Grace History of Yale and the Cosmos. Sorry, Wynter. Sorry y’all, I’ve been slacking. I’ve next time! been too busy, uh, crafting tiny macramé Handsome Dans to send to Yale’s sweet sweet donors. But I’m here now, and so I’d like to offer myself up as the ceremonial figurehead for your cause. Any cause, really. Seriously, just send me that Facebook GRACE WYNTER, event invite, and I’ll be there—no matter YH STAFF what the cause. I’ll rile the public about Yale taking chicken wraps off the menu (#notmydininghall). Your crush got a bad haircut and now he’s ugly? I’ll go to bat with the salon lobby over follicle abuse. Now, you may be thinking, “Grace, what makes you think that YOU can be the poster child for
SELENA MARTINEZ, DC ’22 AND PERRY FALK, SM ’20
Top Five Things to Do When You Have an Adulterous Get dishonorably discharged for desertion, you Thought 5. little coward. Enlist in one of our honorable Military branches
Remove anything that reminds you of adultery in your dorm room, starting with that movie poster of Mr. and Mrs. Smith (Recall the injustice done to Jennifer Aniston?)
Indulge in one of your other vices. For me, it’s cowardice.
Watch Bill Clinton’s impeachment proceeding in its entirety. Watch it again.
Excuse You, But I’m Only 1/3 White
am sick and tired of being referred to as a “white man” or “caucasian person.” People are all like, “but you are white.” Well sorry folks, I know this news will come as a disappointment, since you love to go around telling all your friends about how I am white. I hate to break it to you, but technically I am only 1/3 white.
estuary ancestors than my Great-Uncle Gerald on my dad’s side. If labels must be used when you talk about me, please use the more accurate “Hydro-Caucasoid” or “Euro-Aqueous.”
Whether intentional or not, accuracy is important. You wouldn’t call a hamburger a loaf of bread. So, the next time you point out a The other 2/3 is water. person of the Hydro-Caucasoid persuasion to your friends, please don’t call him white. I am proud of my oceanic roots. In fact, I It’s common courtesy. would say I am much more proud of my
HARRY RUBIN, TD ’21
VOICES 1. I Come From A Place Where
2. I Move To A Place Where
little boys walk pretty dogs and girls pedal bicycles barefoot
it rains every day but not during night cafes shove rags against their windows and ukuleles play for rain-emptied streets
empty water bottles bounce against backpacks train cars hush during summer in my house, the only movement is from an oscillating fan and my brother hurtling down the staircase two steps at a time a three-legged dog barks behind an electric fence a girl holding ice skates climbs out of a minivan four middle school students participate in a national walk-out (even though theyâ€™re not allowed) my neighbor runs with the sunrise every morning training for a marathon waterfront mansions empty in search of better summer homes three town newspapers cover the same stories
a woman walks through falling mist unopened umbrella clenched in her fist a mother drags her toddler diagonally across an intersection a man sings alone at a bus stop a student carries an unlit candlestick down a city sidewalk another naps on an auditorium stage lamplight silhouettes guitar players in open windows live jazz escapes the fourth floor motorcycles race at midnight in circles lightning captures moments like shutter flash a barefoot girl in a miniskirt recites her poetry to a brick wall sun tea brews in reused glass bottles light pollution hides the stars but the city lights make a galaxy of itself
Sidewalk Observations KARA Oâ€™ROURKE, ESâ€™22
LOLA HOURIHANE, ES ’20
RATIONAL: This item is a little tricky, because total ownership isn’t really possible as you will both still occupy the body, even if it formally belongs to just one of you. I like to The scene takes place in a lawyer’s office. The lawyer, RATIONAL, think of it this way: the body is a home one of you will sits at the head (haha) with JULES and TRAUMA at either side of the table. rent from the other and follow their rules as landlord, JULES is trying to divorce TRAUMA. or lady. So, if the body goes to Trauma, you’ll probably have to refrain from sex in the dark, or maybe the rent TRAUMA: You can’t stick me with the brats. You’re the one who will come in food. fucked ‘em up. Don’t make them my problem. TRAUMA: If I’m in charge I’m making the body fat as all hell. JULES: I’m the one who fucked them up? JULES: You wouldn’t dare. TRAUMA: Was that rhetorical or what? You think they got that TRAUMA: Watch me. Oh, and watch your weight. way at school? RATIONAL: Can we try to stay civil in here? Thank you. JULES: It’s not like school helped. JULES: There’s no way I’m giving up this body. I was a cheer TRAUMA: You raised them, Jules. leader in high school. You didn’t earn this body the way JULES: They’re not my kids, Trauma. I did. TRAUMA: You nurtured them, hyper-analyzed them, pumped TRAUMA: Oh so cheerleading was a Trauma-free zone. them so full of sugar they wouldn’t sleep, left them in RATIONAL: (Laughs) need of years of therapy. If that’s not parenting (beat) someone needs to tell your folks. JULES: Fuck it, you take the body but I’m keeping sexuality. JULES: Would’ve been more helpful before they died. TRAUMA: Yeah I’m sure it’ll be really fun to fuck with an aching TRAUMA: Should’ve known you couldn’t take a joke. pussy. JULES: Maybe if I get rid of you and “the brats” Sense of JULES: There are plenty of ways around that little loophole. Humor would move back in. TRAUMA: And friends? TRAUMA: Woah woah woah, I thought we’d settled this. They’re JULES: Friends are mine. You can’t take body and friends. not my bastards. Sell ‘em online for all I care. TRAUMA: Please. You know your friends will drop you once you JULES: You think I should CraigsList my anxieties? drop me. Such drama queens. TRAUMA: Post a link on Facebook to a self-diagnosis site for JULES: What? No. They were with me long before you. some rare-but-fatal-disease where the only symptom is TRAUMA: What, like the anxieties? an occasional itch on your left forearm. Someone’s JULES: This is different. bound to take them off your hands. TRAUMA: Doesn’t seem that different to me. JULES: Very funny. JULES: Classic Trauma. TRAUMA: If you feel that strongly about it, offload them onto TRAUMA: I’m a baddie, chicks dig it. You’re friends dig it...Marie your sister. eats it up. JULES: My sister?! Please. She’d never let me forget it. She’d JULES: She’d like me without you. You’re the third wheel here. be all like, “y’know you can have these anxiet TRAUMA: Oh yeah? When was the last time you had a movie ies back whenever you and trauma get back night that didn’t end in her sipping your tears out of a together. I love taking care of them for you but teapot. they don’t really fit my cosmopolitan lifestyle.” JULES: You don’t mean that. TRAUMA: Are you getting anxious your anxieties won’t find a TRAUMA: I’m just stating what we both know: happy people are good home? boring people. If I’m on the way out, then so are they. JULES: They’re not going to stick around to hear how great it is RATIONAL: So it’s settled then, Gillian gets the anxieties. Next: the you’ve had “normal” days for three months straight. *yawn* body. JULES: They’re not like that. You don’t know them. JULES: Shit. TRAUMA: “Babe, tell me what happened. What did Ryan do to TRAUMA: Here we go. you?” Sound familiar? JULES: You can’t walk away with my body. JULES: She just didn’t know better. TRAUMA: Who said it’s yours? TRAUMA: Mhm. JULES: Objection! JULES: Ok, take Marie. She was always a gossip anyway. RATIONAL: Overruled. The ownership of the body is precisely the Apparently. subject under discussion. TRAUMA: Now you’re talking. While you’re at it, you might want JULES: Fuck me. to give me Katie and Sam too. JULES: Them too? TRAUMA clambers over the table towards JULES. ANXIETIES: Every Sunday morning they’d get coffee together and JULES slaps TRAUMA across the face and throws TRAUMA from her. re-hash what a mess you were the night before. Poor Jules and her (air quotes) “traumatic life.” Blah JULES: Not literally! Jesus. Get off me. blah blah anorexia blah blah blah survivor. We get it TRAUMA: Ouch. You know you’re going to pay for this right? already. Then they keep me up till 3 a.m. JULES: Worth it. JULES: What are you doing here? RATIONAL: Order, please. ANXIETIES: We’ve been here this whole time. You gestured to us at JULES: Excuse me, Rational, but I’m still not clear what the beginning then totally failed to acknowledge our exactly is at stake here. presence. RATIONAL: I can’t say exactly, each case is unique, but in most cases JULES: That does sound like me. if Trauma got custody of the body, the person in your ANXIETIES: Yeah, that’s what Sam said too. position would go about their daily life more or less detached from their body. JULES: What?
STYLE Where Faith Meets Fashion
LUCY LIU, DC ’21
ijab is a constant reminder of the presence of God in my life,” Lina Goelzer, DC ’19, says. “The most unwavering part of my identity is my Muslimness, more specifically my Muslim-Americanness, and with the hijab I can wear this identity on my sleeve (or my head).” Goelzer is one of almost 200 undergraduate Muslim students at Yale, many of whom choose to wear the hijab as both an expression of their beliefs and a compliance with the Islam tenet of modesty. The Prophet Muhammed, in the sunnah—a collection of his sayings and teachings—said, “Every religion has a chief characteristic and the chief characteristic of Islam is modesty.” “Hijab” is the Arabic word for “cover.” Women typically start wearing the hijab when they reach puberty. “I started wearing hijab right before starting my sophomore year of high school,” Goelzer recalls. It can also serve as a fulfillment of a religious mandate, or a medium of spiritual connection with God. She continues, “I really wanted to feel mature and ready before I started, and made an effort to work on my faith before I started wearing it so that my hijab could be an authentic reflection of my faith. I also did care about how other people would react, so I made sure to ease my friends into the idea of me wearing it, and make them understand that I was still the same person and that we could still act the same around one another.” To Muslim Yalies going about their day-to-day business—hiking up Science Hill, stealing chocolate chip cookies from dining halls, or barricading themselves in Bass study rooms—the hijab is not only a conspicuous representation of their identities but also a garment containing rich fashion possibilities. Hafsa Abdi, ES ’20, emphasizes that “the hijab definitely enhances my opportunities in fashion by providing another outlet of self-expression. For example, a simple outfit of dark pants and a white shirt looks completely different if it is paired with a matte, black chiffon scarf or a rich, shiny blue Pashmina. It seems like it would be a ‘burden’ to coordinate another part of an outfit when you’re late for class, but there are endless possibilities.” Her go-to autumn outfit is “a cozy sweater with a long coat, dark jeans, canvas shoes, and a hijab with volume on the hem.” 8 THE YALE HERALD
Meanwhile, Iram Sharieff, DC ’21, can be found wearing “an oversized forest green sweater with black leggings, sturdy black boots and a light gray hijab” while braving chilly New Haven winters. She goes on to explain the considerations of wearing the head covering: “Of course hijab limits my fashion opportunities. But the word “limitations” introduces a negative connotation regarding wearing a hijab. There are certain things I choose not to wear because of my active desire to wear the hijab.” It is undeniable that Muslim women at Yale (and around the world) rock their hijabs in objectively chic outfits. But to what extent should hijabs be interpreted as a “fashion item” outside the scope of religious observance? The Autumn/Winter 2018 fashion season saw head scarves and hooded looks strut down the catwalks of the most elite designer houses, from Dior to Alexander Wang to Balenciaga. The Gucci runway featured a number of models, most of whom were not Muslim, with scarves pinned under the chin. Versace’s Spring/Summer 2018 campaign saw Christy Turlington Burns in a print scarf from head to toe. Though the head scarves sported on the catwalks this season drew strong influences from the Islamic hijab, many designers refused to acknowledge them as such. Instead, designers used terms such as “sculptural headpieces,” or, in the case of Gucci sending Sikh turbans down the runway, “a silk scarf with horse print designed to be worn on the head.” “The models don’t bother me because of their incorporation of the headscarf, but rather because of their perversion of modesty which points to larger social implications,” Sharieff shares. “The idea of eroticizing modesty exists on multiple levels. There are halloween outfits of ‘sexy’ nuns, for example. The idea of modesty is manipulated and commercialized to fit the societal values that can be, in reality, un-modest. This ultimately reflects a society that places importance on the physical exterior, an idea that directly conflicts with hijab.” A Muslim woman’s hijab carries in its abstract floral prints and delicate silk-blend a profound awareness of the virtues of Islam. It is a not commodity. To these women, the hijab is a conscious devotion to a particular way of life.
“A fundamental part of Islam is the community,” Sharieff explains. “Everything you do is for God and no one’s going to understand that better than fellow Muslims. It’s great that you’re immediately identified as Muslim through your hijab because your brothers and sisters will come talk to you and welcome you into that community.” That community is especially active at Yale. The Muslim Students Association (MSA) conducts weekly Jumuah (Friday) prayers and Halaqas (discussion circles). In the fall, the MSA hosts the Eid Banquet, an annual celebration open to all members of the Yale community that commemorates Abraham’s sacrifice. “I feel more physically safe wearing hijab at Yale than I would in many other places in the U.S.,” Goelzer says. “I’ve been fortunate to find a great Muslim community here. Muslim women, many of whom wear hijab, seem to be amongst the most accomplished, involved, and outspoken groups on campus.” Of course, despite the University fostering a safer and more inclusive space than other places in the United States, the Muslim community is far from being immune to misconceptions. Western perceptions of what it means to be a feminist percolate widely across campus, shaping, often inappropriately, the attitude of students and faculty towards Muslim women. “Conversations about the need for women to be liberated from the confines of religion strip the agency from women for whom wearing hijab was and continues to be a meaningful and thoughtful decision,” Goelzer explains. “Muslim women who don’t wear hijab are too quickly assumed to be not as religious, which reflects a reductionist view of Muslim culture and religiosity.” For many Muslim women, wearing the hijab is a conscious choice made with precise resolve—a proclamation of empowerment, agency, and freedom. “To me, hijab is a marker of my religion,” Sharieff holds. “I am proud to wear it.”
BEETS TO BEAST
ess than a year ago, I was crunchy. I was the woman wearing a maroon flannel over a knit green sweater over baggy jeans over Blundstone boots, practically brandishing a baking tray and saying, “take a fucking muffin,” in your worst Berkshires day-hike nightmare. I could have left lecture and gone Alpine-ski-camping at any moment. Or at the very least knitted and watched the sunset from a porch swing or rolled in literal mud with a golden retriever named Kombucha. Least to say, it was a total disaster.
strokes. At the neck, there is one elegant black button and two more hidden below. Beneath the collar reads “KENZO,” each letter a different color: blue, green, yellow, red, blue. Beneath “KENZO,” “POLO” is written in subtle red stitching. It’s an item that guarantees an era of self-redefinition. But what does the public think?
I mean, I’m from a city. I love cement and I like being stressed. I also love drinking out of plastic straws. Crunchy just isn’t me. But more than that, crunchy is when you’re in high-school and you want to have a THING, and you also go to private school and the cool thing is to look like you’re destitute. This is a sucky thing. High school is also when girls are supposed to look nice and fun, and who the fuck cares about that now?
“Who is Julia getting revenge on?” Jack Kyono, PC ’20, was heard asking an unknown conversation partner. Good question, Jack. I’m getting revenge on my previous self, for rejecting my cosmopolitan roots and getting into this whole “nature” thing a little too hard.
Last Monday, I truly realized how far I had come in my quest for style reinvention: Less than a week after Yom Kippur, the day I repented for all my past style transgressions, my Kenzo Polo tee, freshly purchased from Grailed, arrived in the mail. “What’s Grailed?” you ask, a mere novice in the online purchasing of high-end menswear. Well, let me tell you. It’s a community marketplace targeting the personal need of style-forward randos who want to buy expensive stuff for less money. On Grailed, shoppers don’t merely want, they covet. And that’s me, a damn materialist, searching for big new materials. Picture this: a neon red polo with a spread collar and breast pocket, made legible with thin black
“Bold statement,” says Molly Ono, ES ’20. You’re right Molly, I’m just a shy woebegotten wallflower trying to finally be noticed by wearing bright colors.
“Hot 93.7 Tell ‘em why you mad” says Fiona Drenttel, BF ’20, apparently quoting a popular Connecticut radio station. I think I agree? More importantly, what does this shirt say to me, the protagonist of this saga? Well, it signifies a new epoch in my personal appearance. It’s not enough to not look crunchy, because then I’m simply floating in style limbo. It wasn’t enough to throw my red flannel shirt in the garbo, use Sun-In to make my hair a brittle yellow-blond (in a way that makes you say “huh, weird”), and purchase pink tennis shoes that looks like they’re floating on big-ass rafts. It’s time for me, a lover of menswear and a lifelong reader of GQ magazine, to enter the world of high-end big-name streetwear. Supreme, Palace, Bape—I’m coming for you. Am I a hypebeast in the making? Not yet, maybe not ever, but I can sure try my be(a)st.
JULIA HEDGES, SM ’20 YH STAFF
FEATURE A Corporate Cup of Coffee ALLEGRA BROGARD PC ’20
eing a student has always come with its perks. We get discounted museum entry, movie tickets, and sometimes, online shopping. But a café coming to New Haven this fall is taking student benefits to the next level. Now, anyone with a valid student ID will get free coffee—courtesy of Shiru Café. The only other requirement? A short personal information survey. The Shiru Café chain—and its unusual business model— is the brainchild of ENRISSION Inc., a five-year-old company based in Kyoto, Japan. Taking its name from a portmanteau that fuses “enrich” and “impression,” ENRISSION’s stated goal is to “create a place that makes it easier for students to envision their future career and connect with the professional world.”
Brown’s satirical newspaper, The Brown Noser, joked that free coffee would be awarded to those who answered the riddle “I am nine-digits long, on a card I am hid, I spell out S-S-N when abbreviated.” At the same time, many students don’t seem to care about relinquishing their personal information. A post in Brown’s Facebook meme page has Futurama’s Fry responding “Shut up and take my data” to Shiru’s offer of a free latte. Gorenflos even jokes that “they can take our data any day if we get free coffee in return,” and Camila Vardar, BF ’20, who learned about Shiru from Facebook advertisements, doesn’t feel bothered by the infamous survey either. “It’s non-critical information that’s available on my Facebook or LinkedIn. I’d have to give it to potential employers anyways,” she says.
Although Shiru’s accumulation of personal information sounds immediately unsettling, the reality is far less sinister. Keith Maher, the general manager of the Providence café, who is helping to open the New Haven location, emAt Shiru Cafés, college students take one survey, providing phasized in a statement to the Hartford Courant that Shiru information like their student email, major, graduation year, never sells student information. Dean Tricarico, a student and fields of interest. In exchange, they get a free drink every at Johnson & Wales University and a shift leader at the two hours, as well as subsidized pastries for as long as they café’s Providence location, explains that the survey inforare still students. The cost of these free drinks is borne by mation is only used to create aggregate statistics about the Shiru’s corporate sponsors, companies looking to hire college demographics of students who frequent the café. Then, if students. When a company becomes a corporate sponsor, it a company is searching to hire Computer Science majors, gains the access to advertise itself to students—be it through Shiru Café can try to recruit the company as a sponsor by logo stickers on coffee cups, promotions on TV monitors, or flaunting the number of CS majors that regularly come in recruitment coffee chats. for a free drink. The platform is not about data, but about access to students. Data is simply the tool used to attract Shiru Café’s sponsors.
“Nobody really understands how it works.”
hiru Café is the first of its kind, and people are unsettled by its info-for-coffee model. Article headlines have ranged from “Want Free Coffee? Your Personal Data is the Way to Pay” to “Seeking Personal Data, Café Lures College Students with Free Beverages.” Raffaella Gorenflos, a junior at Brown, comments, “It does seem that they are using our data as currency.” An article published in
10 THE YALE HERALD
afés have long been considered prime examples of a “third place”—something hovering between the home (first place) and the workplace (second place). Third places, as defined by urban sociologist Ray Oldenburg, are “informal public gathering places,” neutral grounds where people can interact in creative and social ways. College campuses abound with cafés that serve as third places, buzzing
11 with students and faculty studying, planning, socializing, and anything in between. While Shiru may be a café, it is definitely not a third place. Not public, not neutral, not open—but private, purpose-driven, and curated.
catering to Brown, Providence College, and Johnson & Wales student bodies—the website has labeled the café simply as “Brown”. In the same vein, the future Shiru Café locations are not called “New Haven” and “Cambridge,” but “Yale” and “Harvard”, despite the fact they will accept any student from the area.What’s more, the Providence branch is located at the heart of Brown’s campus, right by the bookstore. “It’s not a spot where many non-Brown-affiliated people find themselves,” says Gorenflos. Shiru Cafés may be open to anyone with a student ID, but their location choices and marketing strategies speak loudly as to their desired consumer base.
Shiru Café only serves people associated with an academic institution. (This includes faculty, although they are asked to get their coffee to-go in order for the space to be left free for students.) The café is thus solely populated by college students, incentivized to remain in-house while consuming their beverage due to the $1 fee incurred for leaving with it. The only odd non-college student might be the occasional corporate recruiter, making an appearance during events held at Where Brown students have taken issue with Shithe café. ru Café is not in its data-collection, exclusion of non-university affiliates, nor calculated location choicWhat if someone who isn’t associated with an institu- es—but for its promotion of corporatism on campus. tion comes in looking to buy a cup of coffee? Tricarico Julia Rock and Harry August, seniors at Brown, called usually tells them as nicely as possible that Shiru is for a boycott of Shiru Café in the Brown Daily Hernot a normal café; that it only serves college students. ald before its grand opening in February 2018, writing “There has never been a problem,” he elaborates, “but that students should reject “the café’s stated desire to most people just scoff and reply, ‘I can’t believe you draw smart and talented people to work for large corwon’t take my money.’” The space is thus complete- porations, whose principles are frequently at odds with ly consigned to its one purpose: creating a platform those of [the] community.” Today, Rock stands by her for employers and students to connect. Anyone who decision: “Plenty of people go to the café, but none of doesn’t fit this model is ineligible for a coffee or a pas- our friends would ever go. There is a stigma attached try, regardless of their willingness to pay. to showing up to class with a Shiru coffee cup or being seen studying there.” She added: “It’s not a serious The café chain’s expansion to the U.S. has been no less topic, but more of a joking discourse.” curated: Shiru Cafés are only appearing on the campuses of America’s top ranking institutions. While the Some don’t mind the corporatist aspect of Shiru Café. Providence Shiru Café does serve all college students— The way Vardar sees it, Shiru Café may turn out to
be a valuable resource for students looking for career opportunities. “I feel drained at career fairs where a billion people around you try to sell their company, and you’re trying to secure a moment to exchange two words with the most popular one.” Shiru’s environment, she added, “sounds chiller,” as it may provide the opportunity to sit down and chat with company officers in a more meaningful way. Maher echoed Vardar’s comments in his interview with the Courant: “We really see [the connection to companies] as a benefit where students have this space where they’re comfortable instead a more intimidating recruiting environment.” But the consumer landscape may be different for the Yale Shiru Café, for it won’t be located at the heart of campus, but at 200 College street, right behind Jack’s Steakhouse. This location, although hardly two blocks from Old Campus, isn’t heavily populated by students. On the contrary, College and Crown is the restaurant and bar epicenter of downtown New Haven, buzzing with people from all over the metropolitan area. So while Shiru Café’s website calls this location the “Yale” café, it certainly will not have the same geographical advantage as the Brown café. Becoming a staple of a tightly insular campus like Yale without being located near its epicenter may prove to be a challenge for this café, and employees may struggle with having to turn away non-college-affiliated people walking down College Street in search of a cup of joe. We will see for ourselves how Shiru Café integrates into New Haven. Its arrival may fire up the debate over working for large corporations, raise doubts about information privacy, or go totally unnoticed. Regardless, it will beg the question: how much is a company willing to pay for access to students? After all, opening a café requires a budget that accounts for rent, insurance, legal fees, kitchen equipment, taxes, and salaries, to say the least. How can it be that companies are willing to spend enough to sustain dozens of coffee shops, just for stickers on cups and monthly recruiting events? We all know that a coffee costs somewhere between one and five dollars. But how much is access to a college student worth?
ROCK ET ROLL
ERIC KREBS, JE ’20 YH STAFF
ver since Vampire Weekend’s 2007 selftitled LP bounced off the blogs and ricocheted into the vernacular of preps, alts, self-aware emos, and my father, the ivy-leaguecampus-as-band-incubator has been cemented in our collective consciousness. Upon arriving at Yale, I found myself looking far and wide for acoustic guitars in the grass and echoes of synthesizers past dawn. If Columbia University could produce Ezra and Rostam, then surely Yale—the artsy ivy— would be prime with internal rhymes. baroque pop, and soft rock. But, amidst the string quartets and chorus lines, I found little of the rock-obsessed, three-chord choirs that I anticipated. My fixation on college as the place where classics were read, hammocks swung, and bands formed was not unfounded, however: the history of popular music in the last half-century—especially alternative music—is intertwined with the college campus. The Strokes formed at NYU, where Julian Casablancas and Albert Hammond, Jr. cut demos in a dorm room. Talking Heads, the experimental, trailblazing group that shaped new wave and punk music in the 1980s, met as art students at the Rhode Island School of Design, eventually moving into a shared loft in New York post-graduation. And who can forget your mom’s favorite band when
she’s wine drunk, R.E.M? They literally coined the term “college rock” in the early 1980s, gaining initial fame through college radio at University of Georgia, Athens. With Yale’s track record, it is quite easy to find a slew of stars in almost every industry. We all know the actors and actresses, composers and presidents, but finding a Yalie who’s topped the Billboard 100 chart? That one’s not so easy. Yale does not have a pantheon of popular musician alumni—especially in the 21st century—but we do have one. Dirty Projectors—a trailblazing indie band based in Brooklyn—is headed by David Longstreth, YC ’05, who studied Art and Music here at Yale. Even he, however, only finished his degree years after dropping out during his Sophomore fall, citing Yale’s “lack of an indie scene” as the reason for his initial departure. Not a good look. Yale did make a guest appearance, however, on the track “Off Science Hill,” from his 2003 album, The Glad Fact. Of course, things have changed since the early 2000s, and the Yale indie music scene of today, though small, is a burgeoning community. While a handful of groups and solo artists grace Yale’s stages frequently, students are hard pressed to name more than two or three bands off the top of
their heads (myself included). For an institution of this size and creative potential, there are surprisingly few independent groups. And while a lack of charttoppers is expected, even casual bands are in short supply. It is possible to bunk up in a practice room, bang out a few chords, and—one or two visits to rhymezone.com later—cough out a song, right? And if you play together, you’re a band! Right? The reality is much more complicated, and the Yale experience further complicates this complication. Let’s look at a few. School Spirit The first hurdle that independent music at Yale encounters happens before students even arrive. Few students planning to pursue popular music are attracted to Yale for its classically-oriented music program. While majors and non-majors alike participate in a miasma of activities in the performing arts at Yale, you would be hard pressed to find a theater production without a single Theater Studies major in it. There’s a certain congruity between what you’re study and what you do outside the classroom. The same cannot be said for performers at 216, likely majoring in something meta. The Yale College Department of Music’s website, in describing their curriculum, reads:
13 [The] Department of Music offers a fullscale, humanities-oriented program in the composition, history, and theory of music that is intended to provide an extensive background in the art form for students who will go on to professional careers as composers, performers, or scholars, orwho may enter fields in which a solid grounding in music is essential, such as arts management, cognitive psychology, music production, publishing, or world music. I’m sorry, but do you see the words “sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll” anywhere in that description? (I even tried CTRL-F to no avail). The Yale Department of Music is proud of their classically-oriented program. With a focus on the traditional, the program lacks classes on recording processes or the music industry, unlike competitive music programs at schools like NYU Tisch’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music. NYU’s program, in its core music curriculum, offers a slew of courses such as, “Engineering the Record” and “The Business of Music: Industry Essentials.” They also offer a series of “Topics” courses, with entire classes devoted to individual artists: J Dilla, Talking Heads, Prince, and Nirvana, to name a few. Of course, comparing Tisch and Yale is not a normative assessment of the latter’s curriculum, but it is no mystery to see why those dead set on a career in recorded music would flock to more contemporary programs. Charlie Romano, SM ’19, spoke of his experience songwriting in the music major, saying, “I really only got to hone my craft in a musical theater context. I know of other classes where you might get to write ‘songs’ instead of pieces, but that hasn’t been my experience really.” However, songwriting isn’t completely absent from the curriculum. Sofía Campoamor, ES ’19+1, the first woman Whiffenpoof, has been able to carve a path through the music major as a songwriter: “I’ve been able to integrate writing music into my academic life at Yale, by taking composition courses where I’ve had the freedom to work on my songwriting alongside assigned chamber or film music projects.” While the Music Department serves those oriented towards musical theater and classical music, those of us seriously pursuing a career in popular music will just have to wait patiently for the college seminar, “The Art of Songwriting,” to come back. Time after Time To assume, however, that all the musicians who use picks instead of bows are somewhere else would be a mistake. Yale still has a vanguard of musicians dedicated to writing, recording, and performing original music outside the classroom. Whereas dedication and talent are of no shortage, there’s one crucial yet limited resource here at Yale: time. Much like schoolmates, bandmates are predicated on a sense of camaraderie and a deep commitment to a communal life. Rehearsals, writing sessions, recording sessions, gigs, travelling, touring, signing autographs, press releases, co-coordinating speeches for your Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction—the life of a serious band is one of serious commitment. The Beatles’ infamous 10,000 hours in Hamburg required a complete uprooting of their
I’m sorry, but do you see the words “sex, drugs, and rock-nroll” anywhere in that description?
lives: their families, friends, and careers were all exchanged for seedy dance halls a country-anda-half away. Of course, not everyone is shooting for the stars, but even a casual group can prove difficult to coordinate. The musicians I talked to almost unanimously agreed that conflicting schedules and a smorgasbord of commitments are the biggest obstacles to forming bands at Yale. Noah Gershenson, DC ’21, a member of student band January, explained, “It’s hard to be in a band at Yale because even though everyone in the band loves playing music and is dedicated to their instrument, we’re still students first. Busy schedules of schoolwork, extracurriculars, and jobs make finding practice time that can accommodate everyone nearly impossible, especially for a band with as many members as mine.” In a community where scheduling a meal requires a Gcal, accountant, and a degree in data science, it is no wonder why getting a band together at Yale often proves difficult. However, plenty of activities at Yale require massive amounts of coordination: sketch comedy, improv, theater productions, sports teams, clubs. What makes band practice different? To put it bluntly: you can’t put a band on a resumé. Because bands are distinctly unstructured and independent, people find it hard to commit time to something that is purely for enjoyment. Sounds like Yale, doesn’t it? The members of Sargasso put it frankly, noting that the biggest obstacle their band has faced is “everyone being busy.” Bassist Maria Campos Saadi, BF ’20, reflected on the band’s origins, recalling that, “Before [Sargasso] recorded and had anything really solid, the time that I was spending with [the band] was kind of my leisure time, now I feel productive when I’m with them whereas before I felt very happy, but sort of guilty in my subconscious—like I wasn’t doing work.” Sargasso keyboardist and guitarist Soledad Tejada, DC ’20, added, “I also think that it’s [because of ] academics, but it’s also structured
extracurriculars… there’s no structure [with a band]—so it’s really driven by you coordinating yourself with other people’s schedules…we didn’t think we were going to record an EP, and Noah [Goodman, BF ’21, the frontman of Sargasso] did push us, and you need to have someone really pushing and having it be the main thing. Like when are we going to practice, how are we going to have a show, things like that.” Without a board, elections, Dwight Hall funding, or lemming-like “please unsubscribe me” email chains, what else is to keep a band afloat amidst the toils of Yale academic life other than an undying commitment to rock and roll? This Must Be the Place Even if you do get a band together, finding a place a place to put it is another problem. Yale College is proud of its facilities, and deservedly so; however, for student groups looking to rehearse, navigating residential colleges’ practice rooms can prove to be tricky. While every college has a practice room or two with a piano, not all facilities are created equal. Large spaces for band rehearsal are harder to come by. Beyond the space itself, practice rooms rarely guarantee access to drum kits, amps, or microphones. Chaz Okada, BK ’21, guitarist of January, described to me the difficulty of rehearsing with his band, “For example, the Berkeley music room is large and has a piano, but there are no drums, and the space is right next to a suite, so it is not ideal for band practice— which can get loud. You have to know someone in a residential college that has decent practice rooms, like Davenport-Pierson or Morse-Stiles if you want access to a good space. However, those spaces are limited and tend to be booked a lot.” The politics of residential college affiliation are exacerbated even further with regard to recording music. Though Silliman, Timothy Dwight, Grace Hopper, and Ezra Stiles all have recording studios, they are only accessible to students within those colleges. Moreover, the studios all
require special training to gain access in the first place, limiting the population who can use the spaces even further. Bands who lack the extensive equipment required to practice—amps, full drum kits, microphones, cables—or the wherewithal to transport said equipment to an empty practice room often feel disenfranchised. The spaces, however, to students who do have access, like Campoamor, prove extremely useful: “I’ve been really fortunate to have access to the Crescent Underground Recording Studio in Morse-Stiles, where I’ve been able to record my work and work with other student engineers on my music.” Romano, meanwhile is a frequenter of the Silliman studio: “I’ve used it countless times to record for composition seminars and independent music projects.” Sargasso recorded their most recent EP, Inlets, in the Timothy Dwight studio over the course of finals week last spring. Tejada recounted the experience: “Well [Noah was] planning for us to record an EP, but we did Battle of the Bands for Spring Fling, and Noah was like, if we don’t get it, why don’t we record an EP instead? And this was reading week. I was like, yeah right, we’re gonna record an EP, i.e this is not going to happen. And then, we didn’t get it, and the next day we were in the studio.” The band, despite their investment in and use of the space, have since been barred access from the studio after members transferred from the college. Students in colleges without recording spaces have found creative solutions. One exceptional case of innovation has taken place in Jonathan Edwards. JE-E18 used to be an empty, L-shaped practice room like any other. However, over the course of the last two years, a small group of students have worked tirelessly to convert the unused room into a (nearly) fully-equipped studio space. I sat down with David Townley, JE ’20, one of the founders and managers of the space, to talk about its development. “Dan Rudins [ JE ’19+1] and I got the idea my
To put it bluntly: you can’t put a band on a resumé.
freshman fall , and presented it to HOC Saltzman. Over the course of that year, we ended up settling on a $10,000 budget for the space. Using that budget, we built the space from the ground up. We outfitted the room with bass traps and I worked with professional sound engineers to get it acoustically sound.” The JE studio—of which I am also a frequent user—has brought unprecedented access to recording technology within the college. Townley and Louis DeFelice, JE ’19, the studio’s current managers, are also working on a system to train those interested and develop the studio’s infrastructure to be on par with that of other colleges. Live! In Concert Now, even if you did get a band together, and even if you did practice, where to go from there? Yale Radio (WYBC) is the cultural epicenter for the independent music scene at Yale. Aside from their regular programs, the station hosts a live radio program called “Live! From the Moon,” which gives student musicians an opportunity to cut their teeth playing a radio session. WYBC’s “ANTE-Fling” event—a concert at Toad’s Place featuring “WYBC’s favorite established or upand-coming musicians”—last spring drew over 300 attendants. WYBC provides a forum for fans of music to meet, collaborate, and discuss music both on air and in print. Apart from WYBC, with regard to concerts, one need not look further than 216 Dwight Street. “216” is the primary venue for independent music at Yale, hosting weekly shows on Friday nights that feature independent artists from inand-around Yale, and independent musicians at Yale agree. “The fact that a place like 216 can
offer a real sound system and in-house drum kit is so inviting to bands that might not know how to put together something totally on their own,” Gershenson (from January) told me. 216’s weekly concerts draw crowds in the hundreds, and the Yale indie scene’s growth is indebted to the hard work that venue staff have put in over the last few years to develop that institution. Beyond 216, however, the live scene is less consistent. Goodman, Sargasso’s frontman, noted, “I do think it is true that there’s not really a music scene here for the kind of music we play. There’s kind of one, a little bit, but its very small, and it’s basically isolated to 216. In different places, there will be people who have a party and they’ll have a band to play at that party.” While 216 might not constitute an entire “scene,” other venues are increasingly entering the consciousness of the independent music crowd at Yale. Venues like Stella Blues, Koffee?, and the occasional house party are all increasingly featuring acts from Yale students. The New Music Collective, a student organization dedicated to the development of original music, is expanding its outreach and resources to songwriters as well. The effort, headed by Campoamor, aims to provide a network through which musicians can collaborate and perform. Moreover, the potential expansion of the Yale music scene into venues that aren’t exclusively Yale-oriented, like State House and Cafe Nine, could lead to an increased integration of Yale and New Haven music communities, tapping into the immense talent, creativity, and passion that our school and city exhibit. And until the day Yale trades lux et veritas for rock et roll, we’ll always have the Guild of Carillonneurs—at least we can put that on our resumés.
The Great Vape Debate T
his week, the Herald met with Professor Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin, co-leader of the Yale Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science (TCRS), to discuss the widespread impact of e-cigarettes. Since their introduction to the cigarette market, pod devices such as Juul have seen a sharp rise in popularity, particularly with adolescents. In her research, Krishnan-Sarin has worked to acquire a better understanding of substance use behaviors amongst youth, with the goal of developing optimum methods of prevention and intervention. YH STAFF: How long have you been conducting research on e-cigarettes? What interested you in this particular field of research?
Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin: I’ve been doing tobacco research for a very long time, almost 20 years probably. My research on E-cigarettes is more recent, since they made a later entrance into the market. I would say it’s been within past seven years that I’ve gotten interested in it. A a lot of my work over the past 20 years has been to try and understand substanceuse behaviors and develop intervention for youth. We’re specifically focused on high school and middle school youth. The reason I’m specifically interested in the youth is because many substance-use behaviors tend to start during this age period. The teen brain is highly sensitive to rewards and different substances, especially nicotine. And then when e-cigarettes came on the market, I started examining use-behaviors and perceptions. YH: What’s the difference in health effects between smoking cigarettes versus e-cigarettes like “juuling”?
SKS: Cigarettes have been around for a long time, and they contain many chemicals. They are combusted, so you’re also exposed to chemicals and carcinogens through the high temperatures of the combustion. There’s also very clear evidence that cigarettes lead to a number of diseases—cardiovascular disease, cancer, lung disease, the list goes on. The problem with e-cigarettes, on the other hand, is two-fold. First, we don’t yet have a good handle on their toxicity or safety. And similarly, we have not studied them for as long as cigarettes have been studied, mainly because they haven’t been around as long. When cigarettes first came out we were very supportive of their use. Nobody really questioned the presence of these products on the market. It was only after they had been around for a little while that we realized all these diseases linked to cigarette use. With e-cigarettes, we’re not at the point yet, unfortunately, where we fully understand it. That said, if you did an applesto-apples comparison where you’re comparing cigarettes to an e-cigarette, there’s definitely less chemicals in an e-cigarette. When you look at some of the known biomarkers of harm that you get from cigarettes, you don’t find them in e-cigarettes. So, from that perspective I think you can say that with e-cigarettes you’d probably
have reduced harm. However, I think the concern that people have is with this unknown factor in e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes have nicotine, but they also have many solvents in them and a number of different chemicals used to create the flavors. These chemicals are then obviously vaporized, and so people are being exposed to them. We don’t know enough about the short or long-term health effects of these kinds of exposures. There a lot of kids we work with, for example, who think it’s just water vapor, but I think the key thing people need to realize is it’s not just water vapor. Water vapor would be putting water in your humidifier breathing that in. But in the case of e-cigarettes you’re being exposed to all kinds of unknown chemicals. YH: A common argument in favor of vaping is its possibility in helping adult smokers to quit smoking. Is this true? SKS: Excellent question. So the whole reason these devices were created was to provide a cleaner, or at least less toxic, form of nicotine for smokers. But unfortunately, they at this point only marketed to smokers. They’re freely available on the market. If they were being sold or accessed in such a way that they were available only to smokers who wanted to quit smoking, it’d be a different issue. Additionally, in medicine when we look at the efficacy of something we base it on chemical trials that have thoroughly examined the issue. But, with e-cigarettes there have been no well-done chemical trials that have truly shown that these products helped smokers quit. So the evidence doesn’t exist. We do get a lot of observational input from smokers—and I’m not discounting any of that. I’m sure there are plenty of smokers who have been helped by the presence of e-cigarettes. But many smokers we speak to seem
to be going toward Juul use, which means that they are not actually quitting smoking,and instead they’re just using both products at the same time. They are using e-cigarettes and they are using cigarettes. So, from a quitting perspective, I don’t think the science is really there to say e-cigarettes are helping smokers quit smoking. That’s why a lot of people are now using the term called “harm reduction,” which is suggests that e-cigarettes could be a way of reducing harm for smokers. But I’d say that when it’s available freely on the market the way it is now, when you begin to make public health decisions you have to take into consideration not only the population it’s been created for, adult, you must also consider the other population that’s been using at much higher rates than adult smokers—and that’s the youth. It’s important to consider them because a lot of these youth who are using it aren’t really smokers to begin with. If you talk to kids today, they say e-cigarettes are the first tobacco product they’ve used. And then we also have evidence that suggests that a lot of these kids who are starting with e-cigarettes are moving on to using other tobacco products. They get addicted to the nicotine, and that’s the concern. It’s a very thorny public health issue. E-cigarettes definitely have the potential to be beneficial to smokers, but what about all the all the people who aren’t smokers that are starting to use these products? YH: In August, Juul accounted for 72 percent of the e-cig market, according to news reports. What do you think makes the Juul, or “juuling,” so attractive, particularly to the youth? SKS: I’m fascinated very fascinated by Juul as a researcher. It came on the market in 2015, and has grown to take up such a large portion of the market share in only a few years. And I think Juul has a couple of things working in its favor that make it very attractive to youth especially. First, it’s extremely discreet. It doesn’t look like a cigarette—in most cases it looks like a little USB device. And there are multiple other devices that are like Juul, called “pod” devices. The composition of the constituents in these products allows them to produce very little vapor, which increases how discreet they are. You can use them basically anywhere—a lot of teachers in high school say that kids even use the Juul in class because they’ll clip it onto their shirt. They can take a quick “puff ” from it and nobody will know because they are not generating any vapor or smelly smoke. Another thing to note is that many kids don’t even consider Juul to be an e-cigarette. We’ve done surveys in schools where we go in and we ask kids first if they use e-cigarettes and then if they use Juul. And there are so many kids who will say, they don’t use e-cigarettes but they do use a Juul.
SKS: There have been a couple of things that both the federal and state government have done. One is that they’ve placed age restrictions on the purchase of these products, limiting it to above 18. But that said, in my experience, the age-restriction has not stopped kids from getting access to these products because they always manage to find somebody else to buy it. In response to the very high rates of Juul use, the federal government has also now sent out some inquiries to the Juul companies and other companies that market e-cigarettes essentially asking them to come up with procedures that will make the product less accessible to youth. And one of the other things they’re also considering is restricting or limiting flavors. Flavors are a trait of e-cigarettes that make them very attractive to the kids. Flavors are commonly used to make the product more palatable. The Yale Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science is actually focused on understanding the role of these flavors, and the appeal of addiction amongst all tobacco products in general. And we hope that the data we develop can be used by the FDA to regulate these products and regulate flavors in order to reduce access and substanceuse. Technically speaking, the FDA does have the authority to regulate all these products. The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act was signed by President Obama in 2009, and that gave them the authority to regulate these products. But when they got the authority they realized they don’t have any science-based evidence to base regulation on. You don’t want to start regulating a product without having good scientific evidence to support your regulations because then companies can come after you and you’ll have lawsuits on your hands that challenge your decisions. So that’s the reason why the FDA funded the Center—to generate the scientific evidence to help support the regulations. YH: What projects is the TCRS currently working on? Are there any plans for the future? SKS: I think all our projects on understanding the role of flavors in tobacco products are very exciting. It’s nice to actually work in an area where the research that we generate today will have an imminent impact in terms of what’s happening in the public health field. I’m actually very excited to see the results of some of these projects that we are working on.
YH: What measures have been taken in attempt to stagnate the rates of smoking e-cigarettes among youth?
t s a f k
in the fiel d LYDIA BUONOMANO, DC ’20 YH STAFF
ven die-hard brunch fans may have a reason to skip their hangover-absorbent stack of dining hall pancakes this Saturday morning. The true foodies among us will be congregating at Rose’s Berry Farm for a hot breakfast cooked onsite with the vegetables, fruits, and berries that reach the peak of their growing season in late September. These meals are the main attraction of the Yale Farm Tours, a series of events coordinated through Yale Dining services allowing students to trace the food they eat on campus back to its source. Rose’s Berry Farm is one of many local farms that supply campus dining halls with fresh produce, including berries, apples, pears, and squash. Central to its mission is the idea that stewards of agricultural land are in a unique position to foster public engagement with the natural processes underlying food production. For over a decade, spring through fall, the farm crew has been curating “Breakfast with a View” events in which they invite customers to enjoy a buffet-style meal at a wooden pavilion overlooking fields, orchards, and beds of wild flowers. Nine years ago, they extended the invitation to students from area schools including Yale, offering a version of the breakfast event that includes a hayride and a pick-your-own opportunity at one of the farm’s berry or fruit patches. This year, tours are running every Saturday beginning Sept. 15 and ending Oct. 6. The first 90 students to respond to the email from Yale Dining soliciting sign-ups are selected to attend. I spoke to Pedro Aviles, the farm’s kitchen manager, who oversees the cooking and serving of each dish during the Yale Farm Tours, as well as the “Breakfast with a View” events. He describes the farm’s signature berry compote as a major draw, not only because it showcases Rose’s Berries’ most popular crop, but also because it can be paired with virtually any other item on the menu—piles of pan-browned pancakes and French toast, sugar-dusted pastries, tart greek yogurt. No matter what other dishes a guest chooses to ladle onto their plate, they will likely leave with a berry-stained tongue buzzing with residual sweetness.
18 THE YALE HERALD
“It’s the best meal I’ve had at Yale,” says Emmett Chen-Ran, DC ’20, who attended tours both this year and last year. While students are savoring their breakfast, farm manager Sandi Rose holds a raffle for t-shirts and gives a short welcome presentation to acquaint them with the farm’s history and role within the community. She finishes by naming the different types of produce her guests might encounter as they explore the grounds, as if she is about to release them onto an all-organic scavenger hunt. Rose is particularly equipped to speak about the vital position a produce farm occupies within the social and economic ecosystems of southern Connecticut. Since 1981, she has been working to establish the farm as a cultural resource for the surrounding region, inviting families to pick their own crops, purchase foodstuffs on-site, and even hold events that play on the rustic aesthetic of the property’s natural spaces. Her team of employees are equally committed to building public engagement with their line of work. Students touring the farm have the opportunity to meet many of these community-oriented minds driving the local food network that supplies Yale with healthy, sustainable meals. After the breakfast, a caravan of tractor-drawn hay wagons pulls up to the steps of the pavilion to load passengers. The wagons then wend their way along a dirt road, cutting through hills of apple trees and at one point glancing past the shallow, weedy water of a duck pond. The final destination varies depending on the date of the tour. When apples or pears are in season, the caravan parks beside a glade of trees and students are allowed to fill a small bag with as many fruits as they can fit. If the fields of raspberries are ripe, students are handed plastic pints and released down the long rows to scavenge for the brightest and plumpest.
During my visit to the farm, I fantasized about hiding among the neatly pruned branches of the Red Delicious apple trees so as to be mistaken for a benevolent forest nymph and left behind when the bus returned my classmates to campus. However, a savvier farm tourist would note that the vigorous seasonal beauty of the fields and orchards could, in some form, be carted back to Yale along with the pick-your-own apples and berries. By now, it is a tired observance that the frenetic pace of student life can make it difficult to tap into the full aesthetic, personal, and social potential of our meals. For those with back-to-back midday classes, “lunch” often means ten minutes of dodging elbows to reach the prepackaged cheese at the back of the Durfee’s refrigerated section. The question then becomes: what actions can we take to situate our food experiences within the broader schema of our concept of wellness? Touring Roses’ Berry Farm, students are not only invited to eat a meal gazing out at the site of its origin, but also to roll fruit off the vine with their own fingertips. Directly interfacing with the sources of dining hall food is one way to contextualize the act of consumption, increasing a student’s ability to engage mindfully with their meals. Like many of my favorite university-sponsored activities—the First-Year Day of Service, the Davenport College theatre trips—the Farm Tours remove students from campus, giving them a chance to reflect on Yale from a distance. Perhaps, upon returning, the raspberry-infused spa water we pour at breakfast will taste twice as sweet.
19 Re-learning to Read NOA ROSINPLOTZ, ES ’22
ooks without explicit academic purposes are rare on campus. They are difficult, if not impossible, to locate in Sterling or Bass libraries without looking them up beforehand, and the fiction section at the Yale Bookstore is generally in short supply. Some students who arrive at Yale with well-worn library cards and a lifelong love of reading find it difficult to make time to read even short books for pleasure once they get to campus. Cheap, easy reads, though not prevalent on campus, are meant to be enjoyed, not analyzed or annotated or dissected. Kosana Weir, ES ’22, said she didn’t even expect to have time for recreational reading when she got to Yale. “I tried to read a lot over the summer,” she told me, “in case I couldn’t once I got here.” She added that her class readings are interesting, and she doesn’t feel the need to read outside of them. “Also, I barely have time,” she said, given that her busy practice schedule and other extracurriculars already take up most of her free time. Other students have replaced reading full books for shorter, more manageable articles. Aidan Neziri, ES ’22, also hasn’t read a full book recreationally since coming to Yale, but says he reads “at least three to four full-length articles a day. Usually, I read at least one full article in The Atlantic or another magazine, and then most of the New York Times front page.” However, he says he’s so busy getting used to college that he doesn’t miss
reading books, and he doesn’t mind waiting until summer or breaks to catch up on his reading.
a choice, we preserve the joy and discovery that reading holds for many in early childhood.
When I enrolled in Directed Studies, I worried that I wouldn’t have time to read the cheap paperbacks and D-list library books I’ve loved since middle school. In fact, since starting the program, I haven’t finished a full book outside the DS curriculum. As much as I love my DS books, I miss the easy, distracting experience of finishing a thriller or romance novel in a few hours, without concern for literary merit or historical implications.
Yuka Saji, ES ’22, who also takes DS, has had a similar experience. “I expected to read books outside of the DS syllabus out of personal interest, but I find that the reading load keeps me much too occupied to do so,” she said. However, she doesn’t view DS and reading for pleasure as necessarily being in opposition. Because of her interest in 19th and 20th century English classics, she said that she thinks next semester’s reading will align more closely with her personal interests, “making the DS syllabus overlap with what I hoped to read in my own time.”
In high school, I carried books with me everywhere, always prepared for the wait before class or a lax substitute teacher. I burned through Blake Crouch’s Dark Matter in my last week of senior year, immersing myself in the story of a science teacher who falls into an alternative universe. One entire snow day, I was occupied by Jillian Medoff ’s This Could Hurt, a weirdly emotional novel about the romances, deaths, and rivalries at a failing analytics company. The few “fun” books I’ve brought to Yale, however, are gathering dust on my bookshelves, waiting for the mythical day when I’ll be done reading the alleged best of the Western canon.
Personally, I rarely read classics of any kind. It took me a long time to accept that what I like to read might never be what I wish I liked to read, and that thrillers I buy for a dollar in giveaway boxes can be worth my time if I decide they are. The typical reading load at Yale is large, and it’s important to make time for the reading that brings us happiness, be it 19th century classics or murder mysteries. We already read plenty for school and other obligations, but if we want to continue to love the act of picking up a book after we leave college, reading for pleasure is a good place to start.
As difficult as it can be to find time to prioritize anything other than classes and social activities, easy reading can be a way to re-learn the enjoyment aspect of literature. When we read as
“The few ‘fun’ books I’ve brought are gathering dust on my bookshelves, waiting for the mythical day when I’ll be done reading the alleged best of the Western canon.”
REVIEWS Eighth Grade JUDSON POTENZA, SM ’22
omedian Bo Burnham’s directorial debut, Eighth Grade, centers on an awkward teenage girl as she tries to navigate the serpentine trials of adolescence in the social media age. The film’s strength derives from its realistic and updated depictions of social anxieties that teenagers have confronted over time. Unfortunately, these bright spots are overshadowed by cinematic inconsistency. Burnham lacks the ability to accentuate his characters’ development with visual expression, resulting in a film that is enjoyable, but not everlasting. That said, Elsie Fisher, as the main character Kayla Day, shines and is filmed brilliantly. Instead of usual Hollywood glamour, Fisher’s complexion is often charmingly unadorned, providing a sharp contrast with her make-up heavy appearances. These moments are refreshing doses of naturalism, an honest realism lacking in most youth movies. Her pimples and other bodily imperfections are accentuated by Burnham’s multiple close-ups, which provide a sense of loving acceptance—perhaps even adoration—for the awkward stages of puberty that most filmmakers either lampoon or ignore altogether. Fisher’s masterful acting subtly connotes Kayla’s state of mind, such as when her eyes flit about as she spots her crush, or how her hands nervously twitch when she talks to a boy or the ever-changing inflections of her voice. Though usually reserved in a stuttering quietness, she sometimes gives way to awkward bouts of overexcitement. The combination communicates the constantly calculating mindset of the character and her quest to discover her identity amidst volatile teenage social mores. At times, she seems to revert to the carefree emotional expressions of a child, only to be yanked back to the adult world by her awareness of her growing physical maturity. This is the nature of adolescence—a constant battle between the past carefree innocence of youth and the oncoming responsibilities of adulthood. Fisher’s ability to suggest this tension in her character via a combination of nonverbal actions and subtle intonations speaks to her maturity as an actress. Fisher’s powerhouse performance is matched by Burnham’s attention to detail in constructing the contemporary adolescent experience, expressing traditional youth conflicts in updated vernacular. He replaces in-person conversations, in which the particular characteristics of classmates and the inner workings of the main social hive traditionally have been communicated, with nighttime smartphone tête-à-têtes. Much of the film shows Kayla in her bed, illuminated solely by the blue light of her phone, a phenomenon with which all 21st-century teenagers are familiar. Thus, the room, previously the symbol of lonely contemplation and isolation, is now the hub of outreach, where Kayla follows boys on Instagram with trepidation or attempts to befriend high schoolers by phone. It is a swift and smart reversal of a dated trope. Yet, the film wouldn’t be true realism without the constant references to contemporary pop culture. In place of loud pop-rock and science-fiction references like those of Back
20 THE YALE HERALD
to the Future are allusions to Rick and Morty and the cultural phenomenon of memes. With these elements coalesced, Burnham meticulously and successfully recreates modern adolescence for our viewing pleasure. Eighth Grade also effectively captures the teenage tendency to amplify what are, retrospectively, inane moments. Consider Burnham’s manipulation of sound and visuals during the pool party scene. Feeling overwhelmed by the presence of the popular kids, Kayla pinches her nose and dives under the surface of the water. The sound of the party becomes muddled, barely discernible yet malevolently lurking just above the surface. The kicking legs symbolize the gauntlet Kayla must navigate so as not to encroach upon the higher social sphere. When she finally swims back to the surface, the party sounds are revealed to be normal laughter and bits of innocent conversation and the labyrinthine assortment of legs no more than a few kids hanging out. These moments are the film’s best, capturing cinematically Kayla’s tendency to allow her social stress to distort her perception of the world. Within a few seconds, Burnham portrays Kayla’s awe and claustrophobia and then switches back to the omnipresent perspective—at once empathizing with the character and suggesting that her anxieties are, in a greater context, mundane. For a first-time director, this complexity is quite an impressive feat. These moments are too few and far between to make up for the somewhat one-dimensional nature of the film’s characters. The awkwardness and verisimilitude of character interactions in the film rarely extend beyond the realm of base amusement, providing a fleeting chortle rather than a lasting impression. Consider how the arcs of three key relationships in Kayla’s life—her father, Gabe (a nerdy boy who she eventually dates), and herself—each end unsatisfyingly. Kayla’s father is like many; he does not understand his teenage daughter’s affinity for technology and has trouble seeing things from the female point of view. Yet, all is righted when the father delivers a speech at a backyard campfire. She fills him with pride no matter the state of their relationship; she is his daughter and by virtue of that he will always love her and be proud of the woman she becomes. Such sentiments caress the heart, but are totally unwarranted in this film. The
“...Eighth Grade feels like the end result of an externally manipulated concoction, not the accumulation of a natural journey.”
character dynamics shown beforehand simply do not lend believability to this dialogue—the incompatible cannot suddenly become compatible because the plot necessitates it. Instead, an act of catharsis should prompt the characters’ finding of common ground. In Eighth Grade, there is no such change. At the campfire, each character is just as lost as they were before and the “heartfelt” speech, as a result, comes across as unnatural. Similarly, the dynamic between Kayla and Gabe is amusing, yet shallow. Gabe’s screen-time is relatively short, but that limitation should have been an impetus to use cinematic techniques (beyond dialogue) to characterize his growing relationship with Kayla. Contrast what Jean Vigo accomplished in his 45-minute masterpiece Zéro de Conduite. Through experimental uses of slow-motion, homages to past movies, and combinations of animation and live action, he created a dreamlike atmosphere—a reverie—that celebrated youthful rebellion and established a common ground that naturally linked all of the schoolboys together. When it comes to Kayla and Gabe, however, the film mostly uses the screenplay to communicate their strengthening bond, relying on conversations chock full of pop-culture allusions instead of utilizing methods with the camera. The few visual moments between them are fleeting, providing a momentary sense of awkwardness that evaporates as soon as the next scene begins. There is no lasting, cinematic expression that acknowledges their newfound feelings for each other. As a result, this relationship too feels forced and lifeless. A similar problem characterizes Kayla’s relationship with herself. Having Kayla deliver her inner thoughts via YouTube vlogging is dangerous when it becomes the sole method of conveyance. These moments were charming thanks to Fisher’s performance, but Burnham’s act of using this same trope to denote Kayla’s newfound mindset was ill-advised. This “cyclical method” only works if other elements change, like if the film had employed some distinguishing cinematic techniques when Kayla stands up to the main popular girl on graduation and criticizes her for rebuking kind offers of friendship. There is no difference in the angling of the shots or in the blocking of the actors to symbolize her newfound change in confidence. Even a juxtaposition between a puzzled classmate’s expression and a potentially smug smile on her face would have sufficed. Yet, the dialogue was chosen to outshine everything else—both in this instance and the final vlog—and, as a result, the potential power of Kayla’s character growth was severely hampered. Although Eighth Grade, in all of its cringe-worthy glory, is notable for its realism in depicting contemporary adolescence—especially in regards to technology and social media—its character dynamics lack the layered complexity that distinguishes truly great youth/comingof-age films. As entertaining as all of the dabs, awkward teachers, and poorly edited YouTube vlogs may be, Eighth Grade feels like the end result of an externally manipulated concoction, not the accumulation of a natural journey.
Crazy Rich Asians KATHY MIN, BR ’21
hen I first watched Crazy Rich Asians at the Bow Tie Cinema in New Haven, the movie theater was packed with mostly Asian American students, many of whom were moved to tears by the film. For these audience members, seeing Asian and Asian American actors perform roles beyond Hollywood’s standard caricatures of computer nerds and threatening foreigners was a precious cause for celebration. Crazy Rich Asians follows the story of Chinese American economics professor Rachel Chu (played by Constance Wu) as she travels with her long-time boyfriend to a lavish wedding in Singapore. After meeting her boyfriend’s extravagant, yet traditional family and his equally posh friends, Rachel watches her romantic vacation transform into a confusing twilight zone of jealous friends and strict mothers. While the plot leaves much to be desired, dazzling visuals and a lively soundtrack keep the audience engaged. Meanwhile, the movie itself opens an interesting conversation about Asian representation in entertainment.
Crazy Rich Asians touted a historic majority Asian and Asian American cast; the last blockbuster blockbuster movie with such a strong Asian presence was the 1993 film adaptation of Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club. After Hollywood’s extended history of characters wearing yellowface and a perpetual cinematic shuffle of flat Asian side characters, the record-setting box office success of Crazy Rich Asians felt long overdue.
casts have been featured in everything from the 2002 film Better Luck Tomorrow to the more recent sitcom Fresh Off the Boat (which incidentally helped launch the career of Crazy Rich Asians star Constance Wu). For myself, an avid fan of soppy rom-coms from China, Korea, and Bollywood, I had already seen several other love stories featuring casts that looked like me. Although certainly progressive in its representation of Asians and Asian Americans by Hollywood standards, Crazy Rich But warnings from some Asian American activist circles Asians is far from unprecedented. left me with some hesitation about the film. In many ways, Crazy Rich Asians upholds the model minority After the credits rolled, I was elated about the movie for myth, from the tiger parent stereotype embodied in an all the same reasons as my friends, but I felt nowhere overbearing mother-in-law, to a title that obscures the close to crying. Crazy Rich Asians is not The Asian reality of poverty in Asian American communities. Is a Film, and it shouldn’t be. Building on a long history of movie centered around the ultra-wealthy lifestyles of a Asian Americans fighting for authentic representation privileged, Westernized slice of the Asian community on screen, Crazy Rich Asians is a step towards creating really “The” Asian movie—with a capital T? spaces by and for Asians and Asian Americans—but it’s not enough. To achieve true progress, we must continue Although headlines suggested otherwise, Asian to demand more opportunities to showcase the immense American representation has actually made many strides wealth of Asian American talent that Crazy Rich Asians in the decades since The Joy Luck Club. Asian American has only begun to shine light on.
Birthday Blurb: Avril Lavigne (9/27/1984) I t’s 2004. I’m five years old and sitting in the bedroom of my best friend’s teenage sister. Her walls are covered in posters, and she has a stack of CDs as tall as I am. My friend picks her favorite from the stack and puts it in the CD player. Avril Lavigne’s heartbroken voice sings out to us: Why’d you have to go and make things so complicated?
raw teenage emotion of “Complicated,” clear electric guitar resounding behind her emotional vocals. From the outset of her career, Lavigne was defined by her look: wide skate pants, a tank top, and a necktie. While Lavigne’s music strayed little from the other pop of the period, her fashion choices defined her as a member of the counterculture. Lavigne was a grunge, punk, skater, and sometimes goth, girl with wide musical appeal. Lavigne turned 34 on Sept. 27. She’s released four Lavigne was the female counterpart to Blink-182. She albums since the teenage melodrama of her breakout was the anti-Britney Spears. She was pop-punk. single “Complicated” on Let Go in 2002. Two years later, with Under my Skin (2004), Lavigne fully developed the When Lavigne released The Best Damn Thing in grunge persona for which she is so well known. In “My 2007, she altered her look and sound sharply, donning Happy Ending,” she sings of lost love with the same pink highlighted hair and an upbeat pop sound. In “Girlfriend,” Lavigne’s inflection shifts from the somber tones of “Complicated” to upbeat confidence. This shift in Lavigne’s public persona and musical style is so stark that fans developed a conspiracy theory around it. These fans believe that Lavigne, depressed under the intense pressure of fame, committed suicide in 2003. To continue profiting off their pop-punk princess, Arista Records allegedly replaced her with a body double named Melissa, a doppelgänger in all but personality. While the Melissa theory is wildly unlikely, it does beg the question: Who is Avril Lavigne? Is she really the sensitive and confident songwriter of the impassioned lyrics of songs like “I’m with You” from Let Go: “Isn’t anyone tryin’ to find me? / Won’t somebody come take me home?” Or is she the enthusiastic popstar calling, “Let me hear you say hey, hey, hey!” in The Best Damn Thing’s self-titled track? In both Goodbye Lullaby (2011) and her self-titled LP (2013), Lavigne asserted triumphant party pop as her new songwriting style, releasing upbeat pop tracks including, “What the Hell” and “Here’s to Never Growing Up.” Lavigne’s artistic development does not follow the maturity we might expect from artists as they
LAURIE ROARK, ES ’21 age. She’s turned from intimate, lyrical rock ballads to upbeat, impersonal dance songs. Perhaps Lavigne is responding to trends in pop music. Maybe she was never as punk as she led us to believe in her early days as an artist. But when I listen to Avril Lavigne’s “Hello Kitty,” I can’t help but miss the old Avril—authentic or fabricated. Earlier this month, Lavigne broke a release hiatus of over five years. In 2015, she was diagnosed with lyme disease, and her new single “Head Above Water” is an emotionally-charged comeback. She sings of her struggle with recovery: “I can’t swim the ocean like this forever / And I can’t breathe.” While “Head Above Water” nods to Lavigne’s emotional early work, Lavigne no longer has the signature pop-punk whine of a teenager but, rather, the clear and headstrong voice of a woman trying to survive. “Head Above Water” sounds more country than pop-punk, piano replacing guitars and drums, and if I had not known it was Lavigne singing, I wouldn’t have recognized her heavily-autotuned voice. What “Head Above Water” represents is Lavigne’s lack of steady growth through her career; instead of developing as a songwriter, she seems to have jumped between styles. But while I’m not a fan of her new style, “Head Above Water”’s emotional comeback story is bound to make it a popular hit, just as “Complicated” was, and that’s the true power of our Canadian pop-punk princess. She knows how to make a hit, and she doesn’t have to wear a tank top and tie to do it.
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