Bryn Mawr College Sports Overview

By Ethan Lyne, Sports Editor

Basketball: The Owls kicked off their season with several new players showing great potential. After several close games and a big win over Wilson College, the team has high hopes for wins in their first season as a full-time member of the Centennial Conference after a three-year break. First-years Halena Martin and Odinaka Oranekwu are rising stars in the program and two of the top contributors to the team. Martin has the second highest points per game average, Oranekwu has started every game of the year so far, and they both lead the team in rebounds so far. They play next on Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. against Washington and on Saturday, Dec. 10, against Gettysburg at 2 p.m.

Indoor Track and Field: After starting their season this past Saturday at the Bow Tie Invitational with a second place finish, the Owls hope to build upon this success for the rest of their season. Sophomores Tara Holman and Julie Gonzales both won events at the invite, with Holman taking first in the 60-meter dash and Gonzales claiming victories in the 60-meter hurdles and the pole vault. Sophomore Haley Varnum broke the Bryn Mawr record in the 500-meter event, and first-year Natalia Phillip also made a new record in shotput this past weekend.

The squad competes next at the New Year’s Invitational at Princeton on Sunday, Dec. 11, as their final 2016 competition.

Swimming– With only two seniors on the team, Bryn Mawr’s swimming team is optimistic for the future, with improvement on times throughout the season so far this year. First-year Varuna Jasodanand has been one of the best swimmers on the squad, nearly breaking the program record in the 200-meter breaststroke event. Sophomore Lillian Oyen-Ustad and senior captain Allegra Armstrong have both continued their successes from last season in a variety of events. The young team will next look to compete in the Seven Sisters Championship at Vassar College on Jan. 21 and 22, almost a month before the Centennial Conference Championships in February.

From the print edition published Dec. 7, 2016

Haverford Basketball Off to a Promising Start

By Pat O’Shea, Contributing Writer

The Haverford Men’s Basketball team is off and running in their 2016-2017 season. They collected their first win on November 19th against Penn State- Schuylkill in the Lycoming Tournament, and have played three extremely hard fought games since including a two point loss to Bryn Athyn.

Coach Michael Mucci is in his 22nd season as the Head Coach of the Fords. Kyle Goldfarb ’19, the team’s leader in minutes per game, describes Mucci as “a players coach, and always has his player’s best interest in mind.” 

This year, Coach Mucci brought in new assistant coaches, Rudy Wise, Cory Jacobson, and Doug Young in order to help develop the team. According to Kahlil Garnes ’19 and the Fords leading scorer, Joe Scibelli ’19, these additions to the coaching staff are paying off.

Wise, Jacobson, and Young are “bringing some new energy, schemes and toughness that we lacked last year.” says Scibelli. “We are lucky to have them.” 

Notes Garnes, “all three are very knowledgeable and really want to win.”  

In addition to the new assistant coaches, the Fords are relying on their team chemistry in order to make strides in the Centennial Conference this season.

Scibelli believes that the “team chemistry is solid. We are a young team, which means that some of the typical hierarchy isn’t present. We are really close with the young guys and it has become a tight group.” 

Kyle Goldfarb, ‘19, agrees with Scibelli in that “the team chemistry has definitely improved. This is the second year we have had a class of six or more sophomores, and both classes have meshed well together.” 

Scibelli and Garnes also agree that the team can definitely improve their turnovers. “We are not valuing the basketball,” says Scibelli, “This should improve as the season goes on and we get more comfortable with each other. The team has done a decent job of meshing so far but we still have a long way to go.”

The common thread of reducing turnovers is one point that Garnes echoed along with improving their “technique after getting into the paint.”

The Fords will host the Muhlenberg Mules on Wednesday, and then travel to Washington College on Dec. 10. Be sure to come out to Gooding ’84 Arena to support the Fords.

From the print edition published Dec. 7, 2016

Haverford Women’s Basketball Off to a Strong Start

By Pat O’Shea, Contributing Writer

The Haverford College Women’s Basketball opened the 2016-2017 season with hopes of making program history: the Fords will be looking to reach the Centennial Conference Tournament for a program record-breaking sixth consecutive season. The Fords are also looking to return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since their 2013-2014 championship season.

Leading the Fords in her ninth year is Head Coach Bobbi Morgan, who has them very well positioned for a deep run. It is no coincidence that Coach Morgan has found success at Haverford in part because “she knows her stuff inside and out and constantly brings energy each day, which fuels us,” as Katie Cook ’19 says.

Junior Captain Sam Wetzel ’18 also commented on what Coach Morgan means to her and the team as “one of the best experiences I have had as a basketball player. She is like our mom at college.” A mom that understands her players and, as Wetzel says, “knows when we need a confidence boost and when we need a little tough love, but in the end, she helps us reach potential we did not realize we had.”

The team culture breeds success for the Women’s Basketball team. First-year Megan Furch describes her upperclass teammates as amazing both on and off the court.

“They are really patient teaching us plays and walking us through the motions,” said Furch. “They are some of the most supportive teammates I have ever had and I couldn’t imagine playing with anyone else.”

Sophomore Katie Cook believes that this chemistry helps the team on the court: “We are a very close team … it took some getting used to but we all play for each other, which is really important in this sport. When you have an entire team rooting for the success of everyone, it’s a powerful thing.”

So far this season, the Fords are 2-1 in Conference play with wins over Bryn Mawr and Franklin & Marshall. Junior Captain Sierra Berkel noted, “the start of the season has been really exciting. Even with just a few games under our belt, I have extreme confidence in the potential of our time this year.”

The Fords play two more Conference games before Winter break. The first is a home game against Muhlenberg on Wednesday, Nov. 7. On Saturday, Dec. 10, they travel to Washington College.

From the print edition published Dec. 7, 2016

“20 Feet from Stardom:” The Making of a Real Star

By Abby Hoyt, Co-Editor-in-Chief

In an era where most Hollywood singers sport commanding attitudes and resplendent clothing, Lisa Fischer’s humble nature and casual attire convinces the world to re-examine what makes someone a star.

Fischer strolled onto the stage in Bryn Mawr College’s Goodhart Theatre with a deep purple shawl draped gently across her body. A long, flowing yellow skirt occasionally floated away to reveal glittery sandals and painted toes. But don’t let this casual look fool you. This singer got her start as a back-up singer for legendary names like Tina Turner, The Rolling Stones and Luther Vandross.

Despite their talent, background singers tend to go unnoticed, and their voices are often overshadowed by the star of the show. Filmmaker Morgan Neville made a documentary in 2013 called “20 Feet From Stardom,” which examined the dynamic between background singers and the stars they work with. The film features renowned back-up singers like Lisa Fischer, Darlene Love, Merry Clayton and Judith Hill, portraying the struggles each woman went through in her quest to start a solo career.

Both Merry Clayton and Darlene Love show a small hint of disappointment when they speak about their solo careers. They express disappointment that they didn’t end up being the big stars they expected.

Fischer differs from these women in that she always found comfort in “walking the street and not having to worry about putting on sunglasses and hiding out.” In the documentary she describes her record deal as “just one of those things that just kind of blossomed,” and explains that she understands how fortunate she was. In 1992, she won a Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for her song “How Can I Ease the Pain.”

While the modern Grammy Award winner featured in an episode of MTV’s Cribs has a mansion decked out with the latest technology and impressive memorabilia, a scene in the documentary shows Fischer’s modest and cluttered apartment, giving the viewer insight into Fischer’s genuine humility. The camera pans around the room showing the apartment in a light state of disarray. We see a pile of clutter in the corner — clutter that turns out to be several gold albums and gifts from the musicians she has toured with. Later in the film we see her Grammy on a shelf with various other knick-knacks and picture frames. She blushes as she points it out and playfully admits, “Oh and here’s my Grammy…I just kinda keep it there. I don’t know what to do with it.”

After winning her Grammy she started to pursue a second record deal, but things didn’t go exactly as planned. “I was working on a second record and I don’t know. I just took too long. There was this window and it just took too long.”

Despite this setback, Fischer kept singing simply because she just likes to sing. In the film she is quoted as saying, “I love melodies. I’m in love with the sound vibration and what it does with other people. It’s familiar but so special and you’re just so happy when you get there and you try to stay there for as long as you can.”

And stay there she does. Her music combines elements of smooth jazz and soul that make the listener feel instantly relaxed. Her songs consist of mostly melodious tones and a cacophony of oos and ahhs that seem to never end. She’s careful to hit every note, and she leaves the audience to breathe in each note she makes and anxiously await the next one. In the film, she compares her singing style to that of a feather that was blown into the air.

“You just go, never hit a hitch,” she says. “You just land. That’s what it feels like to me.”

This is clearly conveyed to anyone who has had the pleasure of hearing her sing. There is so much effort that goes into every sound she makes, and the sound seems to come from her whole body, not just her mouth. She sways around the stage as if she is using her body to bounce the notes around the room. She doesn’t just hold the microphone; she tangos with it, creating different sounds by moving it in circles around her mouth. Her voice is genuine and warm. Even audience members with limited musical background (such as myself) had chills throughout the performance.

She began touring with the band, Grand Baton, in 2014, and in this setting she is advertised as the main attraction. However, her years as a backup singer have clearly left an impact on her, as she makes sure that the talent dynamics on stage are horizontal rather than vertical. She takes care to keep the main focus of the stage is not herself, and she dedicates generous time in her performance to feature each of her band members and allow them to go “off book” and show the room their talent.

Once she finished singing, several audience members came up to the stage to bring her bouquets of flowers. She graciously accepted the gifts, taking the time to bend down and thank each person individually. She walked back to center stage, put the flowers down, and softly thanked the audience, saying, “Thank you so much for these gifts, but just know that the best gift you could have given me was coming here tonight.”

Her concerts convey her desire to sing purely because she loves to sing. At the same time, they invite you into her heart and soul for an hour, and you walk away in paralyzing peace.

In the documentary, Sting makes an appearance. He comments on what separates real stars from the rest of the performers out there and argues that there is a “spiritual component to what they do that’s got nothing to do with worldly success.” He describes singing as “more an inner journey,” for true stars and that “any other success is just cream on the cake.”

Despite her start near the back of the stage, Fischer’s presence on stage and distinct musical talent have earned her a place among the stars of modern music.

From the print edition published Dec. 7, 2016

Consent to Be Seen: Magill Library’s Newest Exhibit

By Sophie Webb, Features Editor

Sharpless Gallery in Haverford College’s Magill Library is home to a new exhibit, this one titled Consent to Be Seen. A collection of works by Riva Lehrer, the exhibit opened Oct. 28 and is curated by Courtney Carter ‘17 and Assistant Professor of Writing Kristin Lindgren.

The exhibit is a collection of thirteen pieces of art and two display cases of sketches, all by artist and disability activist Riva Lehrer. Lehrer is a Chicago-based artist whose work focuses on representing the human body, specifically differently abled and physically abnormal bodies and people whose identities have been challenged or traditionally not accepted by society. In Consent to Be Seen, she focuses specifically on the biomedicine idea of “informed consent,” or the permission a patient can give to receive treated from the doctor. But rather than focusing on biomedicine, the exhibit centers around the idea of consenting to being seen. In her work, Lehrer aims to represent disabled bodies and people whose identities are unaccepted as full subjects and full people, challenging the viewer to see something more than the disability.

Each of the thirteen pieces in the exhibit depicts a body, but the medium used ranges from acrylic to colored pencil to collage. The pieces are quite large, and all together they have a commanding presence in the room. Accompanying each piece is a paragraph written by Lehrer that describes the piece and offers more insight, so that the viewer can know more about the subjects of her paintings, whether that subject be herself, transgender poet and activist Eli Clare, activist and University of Wisconsin at Madison professor Finn Enke or Curator and Art Historian Rhoda Rosen. Each of these subjects and the others that accompany them have a story to tell, and Lehrer attempts to tell that story through her art.

The power of the exhibit can’t truly be conveyed through words; it has to be seen. The exhibit will remain open through late January.  Until then, it will continue to influence those who see it, making its viewers pause for a moment and truly think.

From the print edition published Dec. 7, 2016

We Know Who We Are: The Newest Disney Movie

By Kate Hawthorne, Staff Writer

        Thanksgiving week saw the arrival of the newest Disney movie, Moana, in theaters. Starring Auli’i Cravalho (a new talent) and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, the movie focuses on the tradition and history of the Polynesian Islands, and does it well. The newest Disney movie has many themes similar to both Mulan and Pocahontas, but has its own unique appeal.

        The movie includes a crazy grandmother very similar to Grandmother Willow from Pocahontas, a “daughter of a chief” rather than a princess (also similar to Pocahontas), two loving parents (as in Mulan) and a girl who is torn between her family, her duty and what is right (similar to Mulan). At the same time, the movie includes traditional Polynesian values and mythology that echoes Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander lore. It’s a wonderful mixture of Mulan, Pocahontas and Polynesian culture.

        Although composed by Lin Manuel Miranda, creator of the musical phenomenon Hamilton, the music of Moana does not initially seem to be as catchy as the music of either Hamilton or some of the old Disney movies. However, the music is still amazing and the lyrics quite poignant. The score, which ncludes songs such as “We Know the Way”, “Shiny”, “How Far I’ll Go” and “I am Moana,” supports and accompanies the Polynesian feel of the film.

        Moana is a wonderful addition to the Disney legacy, and it is an addition that could bring about a new age of cultural honesty. The story is one with which almost everyone can relate: the tale of a girl, growing into herself and realizing where she belongs. Additionally, most viewers can relate to the feeling of settling for something that Moana experiences in the beginning of the movie. With the eponymous hero and the demigod Maui at the core of the movie, it proves to be a film that almost any Disney fan will adore.

From the print edition published Dec. 7, 2016

Emmy Award-Winning Filmmaker Josh Fox Talks at Haverford

By Sophie Webb, Features Editor

Oscar-nominated writer and director Josh Fox joined students, faculty and community members on Wednesday, Nov. 16 at Haverford College for a screening of his newest film How to Let Go of the World and Love All The Things Climate Can’t Change and a follow-up Q&A discussion.

Fox is the writer and director of the film GasLand, parts one and two, and he directed a documentary about fracking, a method of extracting oil and gas from the earth. Fox considers himself an environmental activist and is an outspoken critic of fracking. He has been to Standing Rock to protest the North Dakota Access Pipeline, and he uses his skills as a playwright, director and filmmaker to create movies that educate people about climate change and inspire viewers to get involved.

Fox’s latest film follows his journey around the world as he interacts with different communities affected by climate change and gathers footage for his film. For two hours and seven minutes, the audience was given a raw and emotional look into the effects of climate change on people and communities across the globe. The film was personal, attaching human faces to abstract concepts by following community leaders and changemakers, and it showed the audience what climate change looks like. At the same time, it drove home the message that we can’t control and fix everything and emphasized that “it’s time to celebrate life and love.”

The Q&A following the screening was lively and constructive. Fox fielded questions from the audience and offered his own thoughts and opinions. He spoke passionately not just about his film and his work, but also about the current political climate.

“We are having an incredibly participatory moment … I want to see people in the streets all the time, it’s just more fun that way.” As Fox spoke and engaged with the audience, he deliberately connected what he was talking about to the Haverford community. He drew attention to a student in the room who is part of the club Haverfordians for a Livable Future, giving her the opportunity to explain the club’s activities and ask members of the audience to attend the next meeting. The Q&A lasted almost an hour, covering an array of topics, and ended with Fox’s reminder to the audience that it is important to find ways to be socially involved and engaged, but that it is just as important to do what you love.

From the print edition published Dec. 7, 2016

Meet the Cabinet

By Abby Hoyt, Co-Editor-in-Chief

President-Elect Donald Trump’s transition team has been faced with its first major task: nominating over 4,000 people for positions throughout the federal government. These positions will help determine the direction of the country in major areas like health care, military action and international relations. His appointments will be crucial in determining the success of the Trump Administration in pushing their agenda for the next four years.

Most of his nominees will have to be confirmed by the Senate two weeks before Trump’s inauguration in January. Just three of these positions will not require the Senate’s confirmation: chief of staff (Reince Priebus), national security adviser (Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn), and chief strategist (Stephen Bannon).  

The following is a list of his nominees so far.

Treasury Secretary: Steven Mnuchin

The role of the Treasury Secretary is to oversee government involvement in financial markets and advise the President on financial policy.

Perhaps one of the most surprising nominations President-elect Trump has announced so far is Steven Mnuchin, whose lengthy resume on Wall Street has drawn criticism for contradicting Trump’s “drowning the swamp” rhetoric during the campaign. Mnuchin worked at Goldman Sachs for 17 years and bought IndyMac during its decline in the 2008 financial crisis.

During Trump’s campaign, Mnuchin was a loyal and heavy donor despite his lack of previous involvement in politics. His main goals in office include reducing financial regulations and reviewing trade agreements abroad.

Transportation Secretary: Elaine Chao

The role of the Transportation Secretary is to oversee infrastructure efforts, such as the building of roads, bridges and public transit systems.

Elaine Chao served as Secretary of Labor under Former President George W. Bush. She brings to the cabinet the perspective of a female immigrant from Taiwan. During the campaign, she was a member of Trump’s Asian Pacific American Advisory Council. Additionally, she has worked for Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and The Heritage Foundation, and she sits on the Board of Directors at FOX Broadcasting.

Health and Human Services Secretary: Tom Price

The role of the Health and Human Services Secretary is to advise the President on national health and welfare through agencies such as the FDA, NIH, and CDC.

Representative Tom Price has been serving in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2005. He has rebuked any legislation regarding a woman’s right to choose and has supported the defunding of Planned Parenthood. He adamantly opposes the Affordable Care Act and proposed a bill in 2015 to cut the nation’s federal health care programs.

Trump has expressed particular interest in Price’s ability to help him complete his goal of repealing the Affordable Care Act in the first 100 days in office.

Commerce Secretary: Wilbur Ross

The role of the Commerce Secretary is to develop business and industries both at home and abroad.

Wilbur Ross has a long history of buying troubled companies in the manufacturing industry, helping them get back on their feet, and then selling them. His plans in office include changing regional agreements like NAFTA into bilateral agreements and keeping American companies on American soil by getting rid of tariffs on American exports.

Education Secretary: Betsy DeVos

As head of the U.S. Department of Education, the Education Secretary helps draft and propose education policy to Congress.

DeVos advocates for a “school choice” proposal where students who prefer to have a private education over a public education are given a “voucher” from the federal government to help offset the costs of the transfer. While the intention of this program is to help all students have an equal opportunity to afford private education, critics say the reality is that private education is often times still unobtainable even with the voucher. These vouchers can result in less funding for public schools, leaving them with less to offer their existing students. In the past, DeVos has supported policy that minimizes the power of teachers unions through the controversial “right to work” legislation.

U.N. Ambassador: Nikki R. Haley

The U.N Ambassador represents the United States in all U.N. General Assembly meetings.

South Carolina Governor Haley rose to national recognition in 2015 after a shooting in Charleston where a white supremacist attacked an African-American church, killing nine. She responded by removing the confederate flag from the grounds of the state capitol. During the primaries she backed Senator Marco Rubio and was attacked by the Trump campaign via Twitter after she criticized the real estate mogul.

Governor Haley has never held a federal position, nor does she have any foreign policy experience, but President-Elect Trump released a statement praising her for her ability to “bring people together regardless of background or party affiliation.”

C.I.A Director: Mike Pompeo

The Director of the C.I.A heads the C.I.A and reports to the Director of National Intelligence.

While in Congress, House Representative Mike Pompeo served on both the Intelligence Committee and the Select Committee on Benghazi. He was one of the interrogators that invested Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s involvement in Benghazi.

Pompeo’s original plans for 2016 involved running against Kansas Senator Jerry Moran, but the National Republican Senatorial Committee and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan took drastic efforts to deter him from doing so. Pompeo has expressed concern for Muslim Americans who do not report potential threats to national security and has accused them of being “potentially complicit” with the outcomes of the attacks. Additionally, his close connections to the Koch brothers and his desire to return to former C.I.A detention and interrogation techniques has raised concerns within both parties.

Attorney General: Senator Jeff Sessions

The role of the Attorney General is to act as legal counsel to the President and serve as the head of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Senator Sessions, who has been an active member of the Trump campaign since February, is most well known for his stringent approach to immigration. In 2014, he was dubbed “amnesty’s worst enemy” by the National Review.

This nomination has raised concerns nationwide due to the Senator’s behavior under the Reagan Administration. Sessions was denied a federal judgeship in 1986 due to multiple accounts of racist language and behavior. However, this did not end his political career; he was elected Senator and has held the position for the past twenty years.  

National Security Adviser: Michael Flynn

Along with the National Security Council, the National Security Adviser researches intelligence reports and advises the President on issues of national security.

Lt. Gen Michael Flynn served in the Asia-Pacific region during his time in the military and was chosen by Trump for his determination to fight ISIS. Flynn recently published a book called “The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Isla and Its Allies,” in which he claims that there is an alliance between “radical Islamist terrorists” and the governments of countries like North Korea, China, Russia, Iran, Syria, Cuba, Bolivia, Venezuela and Nicaragua.

He has been called out for past Islamophobic behavior, particularly a tweet from 2013 that stated, “Fear of Muslims is Rational.”

White House Chief of Staff: Reince Priebus

The White House Chief of Staff is in charge of the day-to-day operations of the Executive Office of the President.

Former head of the Republican National Party, Reince Priebus came highly recommended by prominent Republicans like Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. Some view the choice as Trump’s attempt to strengthen ties with the Republican Party.

After the primaries, Priebus began to work with Trump on his presidential image and tried to help him formulate concrete policy plans. He has never served in the capacity of an elected official, but he was Head of the Republican National Party for five years.

 

Chief Strategist: Stephen Bannon

The Chief Strategist’s role is relatively undefined but is primarily to act as an assistant to the Chief of Staff and a close confidant of the President.

Stephen Bannon, head of the conservative news outlet Brietbart.com, was originally in the running for Chief of Staff but was instead appointed to Chief Strategist due to his harsh comments towards the Republican Party during the 2016 election. Breitbart was pro-Trump throughout most of the election and is often dubbed by Bannon as the “platform for the alt-right,” an ideology frequently associated with white nationalistic and misogynistic viewpoints.

From the print edition published Dec. 7, 2016

In Response to Christine Flowers’ “Privileged College Kids Don’t Understand Real Social Injustice”

By Katya Olson Shipyatsky, Staff Writer

On November 18th an article entitled  “Privileged College Kids Don’t Understand Real Social Injustice”, written by Bryn Mawr alumna Christine Flowers, was published on Philly.com.The article was in reference to a student organized protest at the Lower Merion Police Department on Wednesday, November 16th which was in response to the chapter’s affiliation with the Fraternal Order of Police which, during the election, endorsed Donald Trump.

In the piece, Flowers expresses doubt whether students protesting in the Bi-Co have ever experienced what she calls “real prosecution.” She argued that the privileged Bi-Co student protesters have no grounds from which to draw parallels between the recent election of Donald Trump as president and historic beginnings of totalitarian regimes. Flowers stated that the “privileged Main Line kids,” should not draw those parallels on the grounds that they are offensive to victims of state-sponsored violence from authoritarian regimes.

Flowers is likely correct that none of us can know exactly what the impending Trump presidency will bring. Many of his proposed policies contradict not only existing government policies, but also with one another. However, her argument that Bi-Co students do not have reason to be fearful of what the next four years may bring and that student protesters are simply “looking for a political cause” is flawed, and oversimplified.  

Aside from Flowers’ incorrect assumption that students in the Bi-Co have never experienced real “fear, persecution, and horrors,” Flowers’ also argues that students are hastily comparing Trump’s rise to power to that of other dictatorial leaders. But what Flowers doesn’t realize is that such comparisons is entirely warranted. Confronted with Trump’s campaign platform of “law and order,” we are not wrong to draw parallels to the increases in police power that have historically come with the beginnings of authoritarian regimes.

Bombarded throughout the election season by the Trump campaign’s racist, sexist and xenophobic rhetoric, it is not irrational for Bi-Co students to compare Trump’s rise to power to that of authoritarian leaders. But it is not only Trump’s violent rhetoric that has students worried: Trump is also inheriting a Supreme Court that may need up to three seats filled in the next four years, and a majority Republican Congress. This unique combination of institutional power and violent rhetoric leaves us with legitimate grounds from which to draw parallels to the historic beginnings of dangerous, totalitarian regimes. In this sense, we are left with every reason to be fearful of what a Trump presidency will bring.

In light of this, we must look to history to guide us toward effective paths forward. The search for successful methods of resistance leads us to protest, hoping that those methods that have effectively resisted the rise of dictatorial regimes of the past can aid us in preventing them today.

Believing that Trump’s rhetoric combined with the power of the American presidency may be indicative of a shift in the direction of totalitarianism is not far-fetched or baseless, and our justified resistance to a rise of dangerous political ideology does not classify us as “rabble rousers looking for a political cause.” Indeed, the study of history is important for the very reason that it allows us to draw such parallels between events of past and current times with the aim of preventing repetitions of past atrocities.

We are right to be impacted by the parallels we see between Trump’s ascent to power and the rise of past totalitarian leaders. We are right to feel the need to resist. Protests like the one that provoked Flowers’ response are indicative not of a nation-wide trend of millennial oversensitivity, but a trend of historically justified political activism. The future remains frightening and deeply uncertain, but I hope that students of the Bi-Co will trust their inescapable sense that something has gone deeply wrong and continue to draw on historically effective forms of political resistance as we continue into and past January 20th.

Read Flowers’ article here: http://www.philly.com/philly/opinion/20161118_Flowers__Privileged_college_kids_don_t_understand_real_social_injustice.html

From the print edition published Dec. 7, 2016

A Glimmer of Hope in the 2016 Election

By Kate Weiler, Staff Writer

It’s hard to deny that Wednesday, Nov. 9 was a memorable day. And now that almost a month has passed, the decisions made have already begun to build a foundation for the future of the United States. I will focus on three pillars of this foundation: women, wages, and weed.

Four states voted to legalize recreational marijuana on Nov. 8. Massachusetts voters said yes to Question 4, a bill to legalize the recreational use, possession, cultivation, and sale of marijuana starting on Dec. 15. And with California’s vote in favor of Proposition 64, which legalizes recreational marijuana for those over the age of 21, the entire West Coast of the U.S. has legalized recreational and medicinal marijuana use. As of 12:01 a.m. on Nov. 9, California residents are allowed to grow up to six plants in their homes, and recreational sales from shops will become legal on Jan. 1, 2018.

Nevada and Maine voted yes on their weed referenda as well. As of January 1, 2018, Nevada residents are legally allowed to possess up to one ounce of marijuana. While all four of these states are left-leaning, the decision made is significant for both their economies and their law enforcement policies.

Four states — Arizona, Colorado, Maine, and Washington — passed ballot measures that will raise the minimum wage significantly by the year 2020. Hourly workers in Arizona, Colorado, and Maine will see their wages rise to $12 an hour, gains of more than $3.75 per hour, and Washington’s minimum wage will rise to $13.50 by 2020, an increase of $4.03 an hour. In South Dakota, a referendum that would lower wages for workers under 18 years of age was defeated.

Several incredible women celebrated wins on October 8. Tucked into the surprise surrounding the loss of Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton were little glimmers of hope for women in politics, with several “firsts” as countless women were elected to various offices across the country.

Kamala Harris is the first black politician to represent California in the Senate, and the second black woman ever elected to the chamber. In Nevada, Catherine Cortez Masto became the first Latina ever elected to the Senate. The first Indian-American woman elected to Congress, Pramila Jayapal, won over Seattle’s seventh Congressional District in Washington. An immigrant, founder of advocacy group OneAmerica, and Washington State senator, Jayapal has been praised for her resilient progressivism.

Ilhan Omar is the first Somali American to be elected to State Legislature. A refugee who immigrated to the United States at when he was 12, Omar wishes to represent and protect the diverse people of her district, focusing in particular on the rights of immigrants and refugees who seek a better future in America.

In Illinois, Tammy Duckworth defeated Republican Senator Mark Kirk. A veteran of the Iraq war, in which she lost both her legs, Duckworth has promised to use her new power to address structural issues that have prevented veterans’ access to private doctors and to speak for soldiers who have previously been silenced about deployment and foreign policy.

Oregon’s Kate Brown, who took over the position of governor when her predecessor resigned this past year, has become the first openly LGBT person elected governor. She is an outspoken advocate for marginalized communities, including women, underprivileged youth, and the LGBTQ community.

The progress made by these election results, which support of the right to recreational marijuana, higher wages for workers, and women in power, should be recognized and appreciated across party lines. Despite the setbacks, things are changing for the better and will continue to change for the better, and that in and of itself is comforting. So, in this difficult time, remember the good things in life: you don’t have to go all the way to Colorado to light up.

From the print edition published Dec. 7, 2016