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Brandeis University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1949 | Waltham, MA

From parking lot to market spot

The parking lot behind 234 Moody Street may, at first glance, appear completely ordinary. But on Saturdays, the empty lot takes on a life of its own, filled with a variety of hard-to-resist, homemade products representing cultures from all around the world — and all around Waltham. The event is known as the Waltham Farmers Market — a weekly, highly anticipated affair that has occurred every week from June to October since its founding in 1991. 

BranVan student workers fired amid campus transportation change

Brandeis’ shuttle service, colloquially referred to as the BranVan, has seen its fair share of modifications following last November’s devastating shuttle crash. Joseph’s Transportation is out, replaced by DPV Transportation, a New England ground transportation service. The student-run campus and Waltham shuttles, however, saw an even more drastic change at the beginning of the semester: they are no longer running. As a result, nearly all the shuttle service’s student employees — a reported total of 40 drivers, coordinators and supervisors, according to chief of Public Safety Matthew Rushton — found themselves out of a job. 

The real freshmen of the Shapiro basement

The walk down from the front doors to the basement floor of Shapiro Residence Hall is surprisingly typical of any dorm in Massell Quad — at least in comparison to the space it leads to. The basement isn’t home to killer clowns or secret passages, but it’s still a basement. In the dim light from the tiny windows that are few and far between, you’ll find blue walls, tile floors, a single bathroom fit for two, and 16 first-year boys lurking in the dark. 

“Dirt Shrine” brings martyrs down to Earth

Neither Astrid Schneider '23 nor Juliette Lillywhite '23 entered Brandeis as Studio Art majors — both found the program by means of pure exploration. “During my freshman year I took 'Drawing Under the Influence'. It was the only class I cared about,” said Schneider during an April 20 interview with the Justice in the Epstein art studios, as they prepared their work for their and Lillywhite’s upcoming exhibit “Dirt Shrine.”

The intergalactic finds of Global Thrift

When Evelyn DiFiore, a freshman at Lasell University, took a sustainability course two years ago, she fell in love with sustainable fashion. “I buy all of my clothes from local thrift stores or online resale stores like Depop,” she said. 

Boston’s queer nightlife scene, in photos

Lines for places like Back Bay’s Club Cafe often wrap around the block — perhaps because it's one of the city’s only two well-known LGBTQIA+ dance club venues (the other being Tremont Street’s Legacy). Jacque’s Cabaret is also popular for fans of drag performances, and Midway Cafe runs a cult-favorite Thursday night “queeraoke” extravaganza every week. Other places, such as the Middle East, host themed nights that pull in queer folks from all across Boston, and recently, Haus of Fag has been hosting events aimed at reviving the queer party experience amid the mass closures of lesbian bars across the country. The Justice spoke to Brandeis students on their experiences within the queer nightlife scene.

Rodenticide threatens local birds of prey

On March 3, upwards of 300 Arlington residents took to the streets to mourn the death of a beloved member of the local ecosystem: a bald eagle named MK, who died after ingesting rat poison. MK, who was born in Waltham and is the protagonist of a children’s book, is only the latest fatality in a slew of rat-poison-related predator deaths. And as Waltham’s rat population continues to grow alongside the 65,000 person community, debate has ensued on how to control growing rodent numbers while also prioritizing the health of local ecosystems. 

Navigating the complexities of pet death as a college student

Throughout childhood and adolescence, our pets are there for us. From curling up on our laps after we bomb the SAT to licking our fingers after gobbling down buffalo wings from Wingstop, the unconditional love that they provide can be a grounding force. They are a blessing. And like any other kind of grief, it can feel insurmountable to move on from their passing. 

“Please just come in”: Spotlighting Waltham’s Welcome Home

Since moving to their new location on Washington Street in West Newton, Welcome Home — a local nonprofit that outfits families experiencing hardship with basic household items they need to live with dignity — has served approximately 300 clients each month, providing them with household items and basic necessities to turn their living spaces into homes. 

Amid controversy, Waltham’s Rhino Lounge continues to thrive

The Rhino Lounge, located at 11 Cooper St., has been a staple to the Waltham nightlife scene since its opening in 2015. A multi-floor venue with a stocked bar, a dance floor, and faux-leather booths, the lounge also operates as a private event space, something members of Brandeis sorority Sigma Delta Tau laud as being “accommodating…you can tell they just want their patrons to have a good time in a safe environment.”

The best (and worst) people on the internet still use Omegle

When I was eight or nine, I had this neighbor, G, whose house I’d run over to whenever I was bored. She was a few years older than me and I thought she was extremely cool, partly because she had this little compartment under her bed that you could crawl into, but mostly because she had unmonitored access to the Internet. In the dark, warm crawl space under her bed, G introduced me to 2010’s online north star: online chat sites, but specifically Omegle. 

Anonymous sources of joy: Interviews with two iconic Brandeis meme pages

On their website, Sidechat claims to be “your college’s private community.” The app came to the Brandeis campus at the beginning of the fall 2022 semester and quickly took off, with hundreds of upvotes on posts such as “thanks duo mobile. i was so concerned someone was going to log into my latte and do every single one of my assignments” and “going to brandeis made me realize that you can actually walk to class and its uphill both ways.” But the administrators of Brandeis’ ‘meme pages’ have known the pleasure of making similar content anonymously, long before Sidechat dropped at Brandeis. The Justice spoke to two of these pages, @brandeis_overheard and @brandeis.chungles, to get their opinion on anonymity, campus culture, and — of course — Valentine’s Day. 

Instead of the Family Dollar, try family-run

A single block of Moody Street in Waltham, between Whitney Street and Taylor Avenue, is home to not one, not two, but three dollar stores. One is the ubiquitous chain store, Family Dollar. The other two, however, are local, family-run establishments, staples of the bustling shopping district: Shah Dollar Value and J & M Dollar Discount. 

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