Like her infamous protagonist Amy Dunne, Gillian Flynn knows how to grip a crowd. Flynn, the journalist-turned-novelist of “Gone Girl,” “Sharp Objects” and “Dark Places,” visited Brandeis on Oct. 12 in conversation with Prof. Josh Wolk (JOUR). Wolk, like Flynn, has also worked as a journalist — he found success at Vulture, among other magazines and news sites.
In the latest episode of Voyager Talks, my self-produced podcast sharing the journey, insight and wisdom of premier business and political leaders, I sat down with Kris Engskov. He has a fascinating career in the public and private sectors, including serving as the personal aide to President Bill Clinton for nearly four years and later as a top executive at Starbucks and Aegis Living.
It may come as a surprise, but Brandeis has a Quidditch team. Yes, you heard that right — the sport is no longer reserved for the wizarding world of “Harry Potter.” While lacking in witchcraft and wizardry, the University’s team is very real and a welcoming space for anyone who wishes to join. Founded in 2010, The Judges’ Quidditch team is one of many club sports, which are independent and student-run at Brandeis. They play against other universities in the college division of US Quidditch and have previously gone to nationals. Brandeis Quidditch, however, is about more than just playing a sport. It’s about inclusivity, teamwork and — when it comes down to it — having a good time.
After a year of virtual college due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I, a sophomore, returned to the Brandeis campus feeling like a first-year. The freshness of real college life soon faded away with the academic and social stresses of a new environment striking me, and the depressing cold of New England approached at the same time.
During the 2020 primary elections, my eyes were fixated on whatever electronic device was in front of me. I anxiously watched as news anchors mulled over the predictions while the nation’s map was checkered with an array of blue and red. When the time came, my parents headed to the polls to cast their votes. They made participating in this democratic process look easy, accessible and clean-cut. However, over the past few years as more and more voter suppression laws target vulnerable communities, it has become evident that our current voting system does not equally represent America’s population. What systematic practices encourage this discrimation and what can be done to stop it?
Throughout the U.S., cases of domestic violence have increased across genders and sexual orientations, and within LGBTQIA+ communities they remain a particular threat. In addition to physical and verbal abuse, LGBTQIA+ survivors of domestic violence often face threats of being ‘outed,’ having increased economic and housing risks as a result of domestic violence and other unique challenges. What can individuals, campuses, communities and/or policy leaders do to better support survivors of violence, or to foster healthier and more inclusive communities for all? Is there room at Brandeis for improvement of services and support systems, or a need for increased education to combat domestic and identity-based violence?