November 16, 2023 Issue

Vassar College's student newspaper of record since 1866

Volume 160 | Issue 10 | November 16, 2023 |

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Campus opens spaces for conversation on Israel-Palestine

Karen Mogami/The Miscellany News.

JACQUES ABOU-RIZK, JYOTSNA NAIDU | Over the last few weeks, faculty groups and student organizers have worked to create safe spaces to educate the community about the conflict between Israel and Palestine as well as expand conversation beyond the combative online narratives. 

On Oct. 31, a group of faculty led a teach-in held in Rockefeller Hall. Professor of Philosophy and Media Studies Giovanna Borradori, Director of Engaged Pluralism and Professor of Religion Jonathon Kahn and Professor of History Joshua Schreier intended to help students to make sense of the violence in the region. Borradori said, “Such [media] narratives have not educated public opinion in an accurate and responsible manner, opting instead to inflame, indeed weaponise, a binary rhetoric. As a consequence, even more intensely than the public at large, college campuses have been asked to endorse opposing camps, in which the only position to take is ‘for’ or ‘against.’”

Alum’s Moonburger pop-up lands at Late Night

Igor Martiniouk/The Miscellany News.

MAKENNA MONAGHAN | At the Moonburger pop-up at Gordon Commons’ Late Night on Nov. 8, Vassar alum Jeremy Robinson-Leon ’07 brought a taste of his infamous milkshake and veggie burger joint to Poughkeepsie. The event drew hundreds of students to Gordon Commons, looking to try Hudson Valley’s finest burger. 

Robinson-Leon is deeply connected to the Vassar network. Having been previously involved with Sophomore Career Connections and the Vassar Innovation and Entrepreneurship program, he was excited for the opportunity to offer his menu to Vassar students. 


The Beatles’ new single ‘Now and Then’ tries to bring ‘then’ to ‘now’

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

JESSE KOBLIN | On Nov. 2, The Beatles, a band that broke up 53 years ago, released a new single. Billed as “the last song from the Beatles,” according to The New York Times, “Now and Then” is a fascinating case study for Beatles fans and those concerned with authorship and authenticity in music. This track has engaged listeners in a discourse surrounding modern musical ethics: When does a group author music, how should technology be used to manipulate and create music, and how does the release of “Now and Then” affect contemporary music?

Soundtracking my life through playlists

SUFANA NOORWEZ | I can pinpoint the moment when I really learned what music was, and realized where my taste fit within it. It is not that I did not grow up with music—rather, I did not feel particularly moved by any of it until I gained access to social media and a Spotify account. 

The catalyst for these events occurred when the Spotify app was approved on my school iPad, since I did not have my own phone yet. It was 2014 and I was 12 years old. These events coincided with a massive public relations push by the one and only Taylor Swift to hype up “1989,” her first pop album after four albums and seven years of country hits. Thus, media exposure and relatively unfettered access to the Internet precipitated a series of events that have affected me to this day.

The 1975 brings “The Sound” to Tampa Bay

EMMA LAWRENCE | After queuing for a grand total of three hours and 46 minutes, the doors finally opened to Amalie Arena, hosting The 1975’s “Still…At Their Very Best” tour. I felt as if I had been transported back to 2013—fans everywhere harnessed an emo Tumblr aesthetic for tonight’s performance. Donning satin chokers, Doc Martens and their favorite thrifted leather jacket, the crowd packed into the pit, and I attempted to find my place. Regardless of the humid Tampa weather, we were dressing to fit the aesthetic.

Emma Lawrence/The Miscellany News.


Literature and Music Unite in 'Faust, Music, and Romanticism'

Image courtesy of Anchor Books.

DUNCAN BEAUCHAMP | It was a reflection I never thought I would make, but as I sat in the library one evening, it struck me: “Wow, writing this essay is pretty fun!” I was writing said essay for the course MUSI 232: “Faust, Music, and Romanticism,” which I had the chance to take with Professor Kathryn Libin of the Music Department earlier this semester. This six-week-long Music/German cross-listed course caught my eye late in the add period, and once I noticed it, I simply had to take it. As a lover of both classic literature and music, it seemed to tick all the boxes. Reading a literary masterpiece? Check. Exploring musical interpretations of said masterpiece? Check. And my expectations were certainly met, if not exceeded.

Meet Professor Rebecca Edwards, anticipated Town Supervisor

Image courtesy of Rebecca Edwards.

BENJAMIN SAVEL | Professor Rebecca Edwards has long been known to the Vassar community as an exceptional scholar of women’s history and 19th-century America. But, starting on Jan. 1, 2024, she will be taking a two-year leave of absence from the College after being elected as the next Town Supervisor of Poughkeepsie after the Nov. 7, 2023 elections. I sat down with Professor Edwards to discuss her thoughts on local politics and her vision on how to implement positive change for Poughkeepsie. 

Edwards has been involved in local politics for over a decade. She served as a Dutchess County legislator from 2016 to 2021, taught a class where students work with elected officials on policy and organized a local group called We Are the Town of Poughkeepsie to promote legislative transparency within the town. 


Help, I can’t stop watching “Shark Tank” highlights

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

NICHOLAS TILLINGHAST | I’ve gotten off of Instagram. I’ve gotten off Snapchat. I’m largely off of Reddit. But there’s one app that I’m still glued to. As bad as its algorithm has gotten (and it is bad), I believe that I will be on YouTube until the end of time, constantly sucked into content holes and coming out the other side months later. One such content rabbit hole consists of >10-minute videos from shows that started in the late 2000s (“House M.D.,” “The Office,” “30 Rock”). All of these shows have been given new life on the ’Tube. One such show is “Shark Tank.”

I talked to my friend Allen about how I was watching all these “Shark Tank” clips and I asked him if he had watched any. He looked at me, appalled, and said. “Why would I watch a show about a bunch of rich venture capitalists throwing money at start-ups?” Of course he was right, my connection to the show doesn’t make a lot of sense. Watching a bunch of “Shark Tank” highlights probably isn’t on anyone’s Vassar student bingo card, but here I am.

Worst app ever? Whiny widget wrecks my week!

Image courtesy of Emma daRosa ’26.

EMMA DAROSA | How did I spend last week? What a beautiful question, thank you so much for asking, I would love to tell you. Was it studying for the chem exam I bombed yesterday? Was it dealing with the ever-growing laundry pile that’s taken over my coffin single? Was it having a nice time and enjoying my life? NO. No, dear reader. Instead of any of those things, I spent last week chained to my cell phone, imprisoned by a small beast. This beast was a widget that moved onto my home screen and went by the name of Huevo. 

You may be wondering, how did I acquire Huevo, or, more accurately, how did he acquire me? And what is he exactly? 

Hyenas, Yetis and Arsonists terrorize campus

Nicholas Tillinghast/The Miscellany News.

CASSANDRA BROOK | In the 21st century, we all are aware of the dangers of the 24-hour news cycle. We are all cognizant of the fact that journalism is often tainted by a capitalist system that permits profit through sensationalized news rather than truth. Despite these unfortunate facts, I have decided to do exactly the same thing: overdramatize news in the hopes that YOU (the reader) will tune in to my ridiculousness. Here is a list of headlines and what they actually mean.

~ Don't forget to read your horoscope! ~


Letter to the Editor: Professors speak on lawsuit dismissal request


We write to express our disappointment with Vassar’s Oct. 13, 2023, letter to Judge Cathy Seibel, in which Vassar requested that the class action gender discrimination lawsuit against the College be dismissed. To be clear, the lawsuit is still pending and has the full support of the undersigned female faculty.

I may be quitting my smartphone, and why you should, too

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

ANN WILTHEW | ​​In your head, maybe you hear one of your baby boomer relatives’ voices when you read this title. You know the one. At the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, they will list Gen Z’s many delinquencies and short attention span, raving about “the TikTok” before playing Candy Crush on top volume. But before you scroll on, hear my somewhat manic, definitely not boomer thought.  

I spend a lot of time scrolling through social media. After classes, meetings, working two jobs, plant and cat momming, etc., there is no better time to scroll through Instagram Reels while a TV show plays in the background. It sort of feels like I am refueling all the happy-brain chemicals depleted through the shortening fall days. Of course, the concept of smartphone and social media platforms capitalizing on their hypermobility and dopamine surges to mold addictive behaviors is not new, according to Harvard. But I have not fully appreciated its sheer revolutionary force on our collective behavior until I forget my phone for one day or I have scrolled to complete exhaustion.

Embroidered exile: Amplifying Palestinian voices through art

Image courtesy of Rasha Al Jundi.

KENZY ALDAHER | Rasha Al Jundi, a Palestinian photographer and visual storyteller, brings forth a poignant project that transcends borders and generations. Her project, “When the Grapes Were Sour: Embroidered Palestinian Voices from Exile,” weaves together narratives of exiled Palestinians, echoing their shared struggles, identity dilemmas and unyielding resilience. Through her lens and the art of embroidery, Al Jundi crafts a vivid tapestry of stories that resonates far beyond the confines of geography. 

Kinks in VCycle need to be worked out

LEV WINICKOFF | In the stretch of time between the installation of the VCycle racks and the arrival of the bikes themselves, many people, including myself, were excited about their promise to simplify commuting for Vassar students. 

I had my doubts—initially, the VCycle racks seemed to be making it harder for students to find places to lock up their personal bikes, especially when it came to the racks in front of Gordon Commons; one of the main racks that people had used for their personal bikes was replaced by a VCycle rack. When I saw people start to lock their own bikes to the VCycle racks, my concern grew.


Men's rugby claims victory in the Tri-State Conference Championship

SARAH MCNEIL | The Vassar men’s rugby team clinched an important win over Hofstra University in the Tri-State Conference Championships earlier this month, marking the first time the team has won the tournament in six years of competition and earning them the Tri-State Conference Small College Title. Following a tumultuous second half when the team went down to 14 players because of a red card, the Brewers were able to not only recover the lead but end with triumph, winning 47-31. Tony Brown, who has served as Vassar’s head coach since 1995 on both the men’s and women’s side, likened the unexpected comeback to Harry Truman’s underdog victory in the 1948 election.

Vassar College Cricket Association wins first match against Colgate

Image courtesy of VCCA.

CARIS LEE | The autumnal breeze began to bite, the spectators started to shiver, and still, the other team had not arrived. The Vassar College Cricket Association (VCCA) was warming up, their bowlers throwing balls across the field like a slingshot. The letters “V” and “C” were written on the players’ cheeks in black makeup. Someone had set up a portable speaker and microphone, and an impromptu emcee was entertaining the crowd with cheesy cricket jokes: “What is your favorite musical? Wicket.” “Why do grasshoppers not like soccer? Because they prefer cricket.” The small crowd kept their spirits high on the aluminum bleachers, discussing their (lack of) knowledge of the sport while huddled in their beanies and scarves. After 45 minutes had passed since the official start time, the Colgate team arrived, clad in their black uniforms and greeted by Vassar’s jersey-less, restless players with their impatient fans.

Quadball hosts annual ‘Butterbeer Classic’

Image courtesy of The Butterbeer Broooers.

OLIVER RYAN | I got up early last Saturday morning (10 a.m. for the non-Vassar students) to do something I had only previously thought about in hypotheticals. That is right, I was going to spectate  a sport that, by my previous understanding, could not exist without magic: quadball (also known as quidditch). Now, you might be a little confused by this point, and to be honest, as I walked to the pitch, I was too. How was this non-magical quadball going to work? I was about to find out. As it turned out, the game was something unique but still wholly enjoyable. Quadball is an official sport, recognized by the International Quadball Association. There is a regulatory body, national tournaments and a rules booklet that is, astonishingly, over 100 pages long. I will get into this detail a little later, but for now, back to my chilly walk to the pitch, which was thankfully just behind my dorm.


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