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

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. 


What’s in a name? Angélica María Aguilera hosts writing workshop on language and identity

On Jan. 27, Brandeis welcomed poet, artist, and educator Angélica María Aguilera for the “Say My Name Poetry Workshop” held in Ridgewood Commons. Aguilera is a Chicana poet and musician originally from Los Angeles. A finalist of the National Poetry Slam, the Women of the World Poetry Slam and the author of “They Call Me,” her work has been featured by organizations such as TEDx, Puma, and the USL Women’s Soccer League. Attendees listened in on Aguilera’s spoken word performance, whose themes included Latinidad machismo, womanhood, culture, and immigration. All present were then invited to write their own poetry – the prompt being an ode to their name – with tips and assistance from Aguilera. Throughout the two-hour event, conversations about identity, European colonialism, heritage, and cultural roots were fostered, and poetry on all these topics and more was shared and workshopped. 


The ghosts of the Company F. State Armory

The Company F. State Armory, located on Sharon Street in Waltham, is a gorgeous, vacant brick shell of a building. It contains three crumbling floors, and Watch CDC reported it to be roughly 8,000 square feet internally. Sometime in the late Fall of 2022, I entered it for a second time – the first had been with a friend, through its open basement. I brought a backpack containing a flashlight, pepper spray, and a bag of plain Lays chips, just in case I was struck by the urge to have a crunchy little snack somewhere amid the splinters. 


Unionizing is off the menu at Waltham Starbucks

On the afternoon of Sunday, Jan. 22, Erin Brown, a Junior and current part-time student at Bentley University in Waltham, posted a picture of a Kewpie baby figurine smiling innocently and holding a pink cup of coffee on her Instagram story with the caption, “me at my silly little job making lattes and sticking to the status quo because why unionize and put pressure on corporations when instead we could just continue to be expendable minions,” followed by a smiley face that made her sarcasm abundantly clear to her followers. Brown’s post was in response to the results of a union election at her workplace two days earlier, when her coworkers voted against unionizing by a 30% margin. The majority of employees voted in the secret ballot election; eight voted to unionize, while 15 voted against it. 


What can Marriage Pact tell us about dating at Brandeis?

For the second semester in a row, the matchmaking service Marriage Pact, which pairs ostensibly romantically-compatible students at 78 participating universities through an anonymous 50-question survey, has come to Brandeis. Just like last time, a third of Brandeis’ undergraduate population participated. Also, just like last time, the buzz flatlined almost immediately after matches were released. 


Saying 'shalom' to Prof. Guy Antebi’s new radio show

A deep and peppy-sounding “Shaaaaalom Brandeis!” floats across the airwaves. It’s time for Prof. Guy Anetebi’s radio show, which airs on WBRS 100.1 FM every Thursday at 1 p.m. With energy and chutzpah, Antebi is ready to serve and engage with students studying “intermediate high to advanced low” Hebrew.


Amazon Web Services CEO Adam Selipsky on effective leadership and lifelong learning

When Adam Selipsky first took over as chief executive of the Seattle-based Tableau Software, some employees were hesitant to embrace him. For starters, he was succeeding a charismatic cofounder who was deeply popular throughout the company. And then there was the culture question — Selipsky arrived in 2016 after spending 11 years at Amazon, which had a notoriously rigorous environment that some at Tableau feared would infiltrate their more upbeat way of life.


Making sense of the Massachusetts midterms

On Tuesday, Nov. 8, voters across the country went to the polls to vote in the 2022 midterm elections. Many candidates made history, like Florida’s Maxwell Frost, who will become the first member of “Generation Z” to serve in Congress. Candidates here in Massachusetts made history as well.


Former State Treasurer and DNC Chair Steve Grossman on a long career in politics, business, and listening

The year was 1997, and the Democratic National Committee was facing $15 million dollars of debt — and questions about their ability to compete in the upcoming midterms. Instead of giving a big speech outlining his ideas for solutions, new DNC chair Steve Grossman began holding brainstorming sessions with his team. “Tell me your opinion as to what we should be doing," he asked them at these meetings, "What can we improve? What can I do on a daily and weekly basis to improve morale and turn this around?”


Greek life at Brandeis: Unaffiliated or unregulated?

If pop culture and social media are to be believed, Greek life “makes” the social scene at big universities. “Bama Rush” videos on Tiktok show the ceremonial rituals and levels of prestige associated with rushing and securing a spot at one of the University of Alabama’s top sororities. Women spend hours planning their outfits and prepping their hair, and weeks putting together their sorority resumes to impress sorority sisters who did the same thing in previous years. Fraternities, on the other hand, are typically portrayed as the “promise of parties, living college life to the fullest … and alcohol-soaked adventures.” Also trending on Tiktok are videos about “Frat Guy Stereotypes,” which entail users mimicking frat boys by insulting women, chugging beers, and calling every person in their presence “bro.”


With LARP camp documentary, alum capture creativity on camera

When Sam Ho ’20 started college, he barely knew what LARPing was. Now, he’s directing a documentary about it. Ho began conceptualizing his now feature-length film, “Hero Camp!”, while he was still a student at Brandeis. By July 2022, Ho was living in Providence, Rhode Island, editing over 120 hours of footage with his Brandeis classmate, Colin Hodgson ’20.


Finding togetherness in dissonance: New group aims to create community for neurodivergent students

“When you’re younger, you don’t really notice you’re that different,” Hannan Canavan ’25, student leader of Deisvergent, said. “The adults did, because they could see you from the outside, but your peers, they really didn’t. Then, as you get older, there starts to become this barrier, this invisible wall. Others begin to progress and understand things that you don’t. That’s a very isolating experience.”


See you in the pit

The pandemic brought the Boston area’s active live music scene to a grinding halt. Over the past year, local venues gradually reopened as artists went back on the road. Brandeis students have been making the most of the return of concerts in (and around) Boston.


Waltham skaters 'ollie' into advocacy for a better skatepark

At around 3 p.m. on a sunny Saturday afternoon, the Waltham Skatepark at Jack Koutoujian Playground is the place to be. Some skaters hang out next to the half pipe. Others stand atop the ramp on the opposite side of the park with their boards hanging over the edge. They watch their fellow skaters attempt tricks, hyping them up and offering tips as they wait to “drop in” for a turn.  


Waltham Farmers’ Market: Global flavors, local community

On a sunny Saturday morning in downtown Waltham, excited customers are lined up at the edge of a parking lot filled with stands displaying colorful produce, crumbly pastries, and exotic plants. At 9:30 a.m. sharp, a bell is rung. The Waltham Farmers’ Market is officially open for the day.  


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