I thought I would be happy to return to Brandeis this fall. But as I drove to Theater Lot to check in and collect my dorm keys, the sinking feeling I had been experiencing all summer intensified. As the Department of Community Living student workers ushered cars through Theater Lot, many of them excited to see friends after a year and a half of virtual learning, I was caught in a state of disbelief. I kept thinking to myself, “Wow, this is happening. Everything is in person again, with limited to no restrictions.” The reality of living on campus during a pandemic hit me as one of the DCL staff members handed me my room key and informed me that if I did not get tested by 4 pm, I would have to quarantine myself for two days, whether or not I tested positive for COVID-19.
With the rollout of vaccines in the United States and with tens of millions of people vaccinated, there may be a sense that the pandemic is a thing of the past. This sense is one that is harbored by both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. This idea that the pandemic has come to an end is, of course, untrue. The United States, like the rest of the world, is still in a pandemic. According to data reported by the New York Times, America is still rocked by an average of about 146,000 new COVID-19 cases every day. The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation projects that about 750,868 people will have died from COVID-19 related complications by Dec. 1. The fact is that people have not stopped getting infected and people have not stopped dying from COVID-19.
We are representatives of Anti-Racism Alliance in the Sciences (ARAS), a collective of current and former students that has operated since August 2020 to promote a culture of belonging and support in the Division of Science. We advocate for institutional changes that advance diversity, equity, inclusion and justice in many aspects of STEM higher education. We have learned that each department has since formed its own diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) committee. More than a year since our inception, we have observed that expressions of sympathy and mutual understanding have not yet been translated into progress.
Even though you can't go and physically see your favorite players in a game, you can still watch sports on television. However, is watching sports during a pandemic a good or a bad thing?
For those Brandeisians who love baseball, here I present a summary of what to expect this upcoming Major League Baseball season.
Arts & Culture
“Shang-Chi and the Legend of Ten Rings” does not give the Asian actors supporting roles or extra roles. Instead, the movie takes its time fighting its cinematic predecessors and bringing Chinese culture squarely into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Brandeis’s 30th Book Forum: “Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness”
Instead of creating a highlight of the New Student Orientation, the Brandeis book forum does not live up to its advertised purpose. The book chosen should be more digestible, and the event should be held at a time when new students are not overloaded with other orientation events.