Leonard Bernstein graduated from Harvard University in 1939 in an unusual fashion — with a diploma and the beginnings of a 600-page FBI file detailing his political activities. The aspiring conductor was unaware of the dossier for some time.
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This midterm election season brought forth the rise of diverse candidates and winners: from Massachusetts’ own Ayanna Pressley, the first African-American woman to represent the state in Congress, to the election of Andy Kim, the first Korean-American Democrat in Congress. While the 2018 election cycle had record-breaking numbers of diverse winners, it also was the most expensive, with House candidates alone raising more than $1 billion dollars. Since the 1980s, the increasing role of money in politics is just one of the reasons for our increasingly polarized political climate, according to Massachusetts State Senator Adam Hinds.
THE BRANDEIS YEARS: Despite his short tenure at the University, Bernstein was a beloved teacher who made a profound impact on campus.
BERNSTEIN IN THE SPOTLIGHT: In an exhibition titled “The Power of Music” on display in Spingold Theater Center, Bernstein’s life’s work is laid out for the public to see.
FBI REPORT: Bernstein’s political activism made him a target of the Red Scare. An FBI investigation, including a 600-hundred page dossier on him came close to ruining Bernstein’s career.
MIDTERM REVIEW: State Senator Adam Hinds (D-Pittsfield) is optimistic about the new generation of young women entering congress.
A lot can change in two years. The last time the Brandeis community spoke to Ibrahim Shkhess, he had just begun his life in Germany after leaving Syria. Shkhess was one of over 1 million refugees that entered Germany under Angela Merkel’s open-door policy. At the time, he was living in a refugee home and knew almost no German.
Surrounded by technology and students sprawled over an endless awwrray of tables, Benjamin Segal ’20 worked alongside his brother Geva Segal from Clark University to build a technological solution for recycling. After working with newly found partners Evan Hoffman, (also from Clark University) and Olivia Banks from Brown University, for 36 hours over three days in late October, the team presented its final product, EcoSort, and won the Microsoft Azure Champ Challenge at HackHarvard 2018. Their winning pitch was fueled by copious amounts of coffee and less than an hour’s sleep the night before.
THE BIG IDEA: Ben Segal ’20 conceived of the idea for EcoSort by observing how often Brandeis students incorrectly dispose of waste.
PROOF OF CONCEPT: Ben Segal ’20 and his team utilized various software, hardware and prototyping hacks to create EcoSort, a smart waste-disposal container.
Not long ago, domestic violence was regarded as a family issue. When police responded to a domestic disturbance call, they often told abusers to just take a walk. With the passage of the Violence Against Women Act of 1991, domestic violence shifted from being a “family” matter to a national, political issue. However, the criminalization of domestic violence did not solve the problem. And as people are increasingly entering and being abused in romantic relationships that are not heteronormative, the perceptions and discourse surrounding domestic violence have to change, according to a domestic violence panel.
“Hey, I’ll see you around,” Robert Singer ’19 said on his way out of his politics class. “I gotta go buy a banana so I don’t die.”
PURE SPORT: In 1978, former TRON member, Mike Banks ’29 told the Boston Globe that Ultimate Frisbee is the “purest sport.”
SPEAKING UP: The panelists discussed the lack of support systems available to members of the LGBTQIA community who experience domestic abuse.
What did it mean for Germany when Angela Merkel’s sister party, the Christian Social Union, got clobbered in last month’s Bavarian parliamentary election? Are trade wars good for Americans? And how can the first chapter of an economics textbook help Trump understand global trade?
If you were wondering what an oasis of greenery was doing in the middle of the Shapiro Campus Center on Oct. 17 and 18, or why people were leaving with tiny plants, wonder no longer. It was just Randy Skolnick, Brandeis’s friendly neighborhood plantsman.
COUPLE GOALS: Now that his wife June is retired and he only works six months a year, Randy often brings June along with him to sell plants across the northeast.
A HAPPY PLACE: Randy Skolnick is at home among plants. He said, “I just love plants. I like ’em better than people. I give ’em what they need and they don’t talk back.”
When Max LeBlanc ’22 was a freshman in high school, he began working in a local ice cream store. In his hometown, the tourism-driven community of Kennebunk, Maine, LeBlanc was just looking to earn some extra money for college. As a 14-year-old, he had no idea that in less than four years, he would be the founder of his own dessert shop.
At the entrance of the Shapiro Campus Center atrium last Thursday, two long, gray tables were stretched out, filled with candy, snacks and boxes of white envelopes. At the end of the tables, a blue, red, and white-checkered sign read, “Register to Vote!”