This fall, through the Legal Studies Practicum (LGLS-145A) with Prof. and Chair of the Legal Studies Department Rosalind Kabrhel, my classmates and I were able to get involved with a diverse array of hands-on experiential learning opportunities. Through this practicum, we were able to experience the importance of educational interventions in the communities we worked with, as a way to marginally counteract systemic disadvantages. The hands-on approach to experiential learning allowed us to synthesize and apply the themes of this course’s readings through a critical and concrete lens.
Kyle Rittenhouse, a man who shot and killed two protestors and wounded another, was sent to trial in early November of this year. Throughout the case his attorneys argued self-defense, making his slaying of two innocent people permissible. He was found not guilty on all six charges in court. What does this say about how our current criminal justice system operates? Are there biases that impact marginalized communities? What can we do going forward to mitigate social injustice within the legal and judicial system?
Though Waltham has not identified cases of the Omicron variant, it is only a matter of time before cases are reported. This board urges all eligible members of the Brandeis community to get vaccinated or receive the booster shot.
The Justice editorial board commends the University community for persevering through another challenging semester characterized by the COVID-19 pandemic. We appreciate the work that staff and faculty have put into helping the community transition to mostly normal operations, and congratulate students — many of whom came to campus for the first time this August — on their perseverance. With finals season rapidly approaching, we wanted to take a moment to share some of our tips for navigating this particularly stressful few weeks and the break that follows.
After much anticipation, the Office of the University Registrar released the spring 2022 course schedule on the morning of Thursday, Nov. 18, also announcing that course registration will begin on Dec. 1. The release, weeks later than is typical, came largely without warning, as the Registrar’s website up until this week listed the beginning of registration as “TBA.” This board expresses its disappointment in the Registrar’s office in giving students just under two weeks — one of which constitutes the Thanksgiving break — to create their course schedules for the spring.
Brandeis University celebrated Kindness Week from Nov. 8 to 13. The purpose of this week-long event is to encourage and celebrate the kindness that exists within the community. No matter where you are on campus, their message is clear and pervasive. You will be continually prompted to love yourself and to treat others kindly, whether it is through one of their many events, posters and even reminders chalked onto the pavement.
Throughout the past decade the growing teacher shortage has become a persistent problem across the country. Now, as we continue to grapple with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, this issue has only worsened. Many educators are leaving the academic workforce in hopes of better mental and financial stability. What does this shortage say about America’s demanding work culture? Should there be institutional or governmental changes to further accommodate teachers during this time?
With red dresses hanging all throughout campus, it’s hard to bypass the ongoing “REDress Project.” Students in “Introduction to the Creativity, Arts, and Social Transformation,” led by Prof. Toni Shapiro-Phim (CAST), have partnered up with artist Jaime Black in order to set up this art exhibit. Commenting on the “more than 1000 missing and murdered aboriginal women” in North America, CAST has worked to recreate Black’s project to help illustrate this ongoing tragedy.
Situated in the middle of campus, the Goldfarb-Farber Library is an essential study and resource space. It was also one of the places on campus that got hit the hardest during the pandemic during the 2020-21 academic year. To allow for social distancing, the capacity and hours of the buildings were reduced to half of what they were before COVID-19. Enforcing COVID-19 rules presented another burden atop the responsibilities Brandeis librarians already have.
A recent report details countless instances of institutional retaliation and victim blaming by Liberty University against students impacted by sexual violence. This amalgamation of accounts exposes a clear pattern and a “chilling effect” that discourages students from reporting, let alone validating, their experiences with violence. It also provides insights that extend far beyond Liberty University.
After months of unnecessarily painful-to-watch negotiation and infighting, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, commonly referred to as the Infrastructure Bill, passed the House and will be presented to President Joe Biden. On the surface, it seems as though most Americans, Republican and Democratic, should celebrate that $550 billion of much needed improvements to the country’s bridges, roads, public transportation, water and energy infrastructure are on the way. More surprisingly, 13 Republicans in the house joined the overwhelming Democratic majority in supporting it, an incredibly rare show of bipartisanship.
Over the past few weeks, several senior members of the Student Union executed a scheme to remove me from office as Secretary of the Student Union. Under the constitutional guise of impeachment, President Krupa Sourirajan ‘23, Chief of Staff Jasmyne Jean-Remy ‘22 and Executive Sen. Joseph Coles ‘22 had insisted I was completely culpable and thus could not serve as Secretary.
Originally coined by lawyer and professor Derrick Bell, Critical Race Theory is a legal framework that serves to analyze the relationship between race, racism and power. The five tenets of CRT highlight the ways in which racism shapes the world around us. This year, state politicians enacted wide-spread bans against teaching CRT in school districts across America. Is there a social responsibility to educate students about America’s relationship with racism? What issues arise when the topic of racism is avoided, especially in academic spaces? Is there a better alternative to teaching Critical Race Theory in schools?
Last Tuesday, Nov. 2, was election day for many local political races within the greater Boston area, and the Justice Editorial Board would like to congratulate the candidates who won and highlight the new diversity as a result of these elections.
Midterm season at Brandeis is in full swing, and with that, students are experiencing increased stress levels and plummeting mental health. It would be easy to say that the stress of midterm season is the sole cause of students’ decline in mental health. However, that would be an oversimplification of a decline in mental health that is not only emerging at Brandeis but across other college campuses. According to Samantha Meltzer Body, chair of the department of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, “Campuses are a microcosm of the larger societal problem of worsening mental health during the pandemic.” While the return of in-person classes has brought some return to normalcy, many students do not merely operate within a university setting—students are also employees and caretakers whose responsibilities span beyond their mounting midterm exams and assignments.
It has been over a year since the murder of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police department and the subsequent uprisings in defiance of the system that led to his death. Acronyms and slogans such as “ACAB,” “BLM” and “defund the police” that once saturated the world have seemed to disappear overnight. Day after day, month after month, year after year, the list of Black martyrs gets longer and little is done beyond the cosmetic utilization of their names within news headlines, Instagram bios and sadly, even Tinder profiles.
For college students across the nation, October marks the beginning of midterm season — a period marked by increased workload and a plummet in students’ mental health. During this time, students experience a range of emotions from high stress to anxiety. Is there a culture at Brandeis that promotes overworking and excessive studying? How can students effectively manage midterm stressors, and are there adequate resources at Brandeis to support students during this time?
I think that the term “fried brain” might be a real concept, even possibly an understatement, and I’m not so sure my workload is the sole culprit anymore. In the midst of a writer’s block-inspired-work-pause yesterday, I grew frustrated at the way my Kindle, laptop and phone screen all surrounded me in some seamless, almost sneering electronic bridge between me and my dream of a non-internet, anti-electronic reprieve. As if in laughter at my online academic bubble, my phone and computer both lit up on cue ten minutes before my next appointment. All I could do was put my head on the table, dreading the inevitable energy zap, my blood pressure rising. I have been sleep-deprived for days, and being relegated to Zoom meetings has yet again hastened my burnout. I am very aware that a significant amount of my stress stems from my habit of saying yes to almost every opportunity that comes my way— a habit I surely need to work on.
Editorial: Medical director of the Health Center, Dr. Colleen Collins, clarifies some University COVID-19 policies
Despite being almost two years into the COVID-19 pandemic and halfway through our fourth semester of COVID-19 restrictions, the Justice Editorial Board had lingering questions about some of the University’s policies.
From complaints of mold growing in Ziv Quad dormitories to the mice infestation in Gordon Hall, it is safe to say that Brandeis’ infrastructure is crumbling.