Feature: Chatham Conservative Students Weigh In On Their Minority Voice

Author: Jamie Wiggan

It will not come as news for any reader to hear that Chatham both identifies and is identified as a predominantly liberal school. From its founding in 1869 as one of the first colleges in the country to offer college education to women, right up to current developments at Eden Hall—the first campus in the world dedicated solely to the field of sustainability—Chatham’s 147 years have consistently modeled progress on social issues.  Some may be tempted to make sweeping generalizations about the student body, squashing individuals into neat labels: liberal, progressive, modern.

Contine reading

David Finegold named new university president

-UPDATE- 03/03/2016, 9:25 p.m.

Chatham students, faculty, and staff, as well as the board of trustees and presidential search committee, filled the chapel on Thursday, March 3, in anticipation of the announcement of who the next university president would be. It was announced that Dr. David Finegold would be Chatham University’s next president.

Since President Esther Barazzone announced her retirement last June, the Presidential Search Committee — made up of trustee, alumnae, and two students — went on the hunt for a worthy candidate.

After nine months, the Presidential Search committee unanimously recommended Finegold, and the Board of Trustees unanimously voted to elect him as the university’s 19th president.

Finegold was introduced as having over 30 years of experience in higher education including impressive statistics showing how he increased funds and faculty size at other institutions. During his speech to the community, he made several points about his beliefs and where he plans to take Chatham in the future.

Finegold began by commending Chatham’s environment and innovative history of providing resources to women. He addressed the gender inequality in the world and the opportunity Chatham has as a newly coeducational university to educate male students on the value of gender equality.

Finegold also addressed his work with American Honors, a program that is dedicated to making higher education available to all students. Finegold is the Chief Academic Officer of this program and plans to use these values to also make Chatham as accessible as possible to all.

Before wrapping up, Finegold brought up ideas such as reforms in undergraduate and graduate education, improving retention, enhancing Chatham’s schools and amenities such as the arboretum, and getting alumnae and Chatham stakeholders more involved with students. He said he wants Chatham to be the “go to” for those who are “eco-minded” and those who want to learn to be global leaders. Finally he spoke about wanting to support and expand the Women’s Institute and bring more women leaders to campus.

Finegold said his goal is not for radical change, but to follow through and give attention to things that have already been implemented while also working with Chatham’s limited resources.

Finegold was eager to hear from the Chatham community and encouraged the audience to look out for town halls, forums, invitations to Greg House, and possibly a chance to do yoga with his wife, Sue.

-ORIGINAL COPY- 03/03/2016, 12:24 p.m.

In an all campus update meeting on Thursday, March 3, Dr. David Finegold was announced to be Chatham University’s 19th president. His presidency will begin on July 1, 2016.

Finegold, who has worked in higher education for over 30 years, cited continuing Chatham’s tradition of working towards gender equity and engaging alumni as some of his goals for his presidency.

This appointment comes exactly nine months after current president Esther Barazzone announced her retirement on June 3, 2015. She has served as president of the university for nearly 25 years.

Loose Ends follow through on hair donations

Relay For Life commenced on Friday, February 5, at noon. By midnight, Lynzy Groves and Chatham’s Relay for Life committee reached their goal of the night, $15,000. One team that fundraised tirelessly followed through on their pledge that night.

Sophomore Krista Arena, junior Fia Nicoloso, and sophomore Kaitlyn Shirey created the “Loose Ends” Relay for Life team when they decided to donate their hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths. They reached their initial goal of $300 in only three days, and continued to receive support and funding in the days leading up to the event.

After raising $1,200 — four times their original goal — Loose Ends went under the blade at 7 p.m. to make good on their deal. Two donors at a time took a seat and allowed their hair to be separated into sections and put into smaller ponytails. Then loved ones, highest bidders, and friends came forward to cut one ponytail at a time. After the initial chop, cheers erupted from the watching crowd, and stylists got to work, cleaning up the new short hair looks.

Photo Credit: Teri Bradford

Photo Credit: Teri Bradford

“I’m very excited to show it off. I kind of feel like a different person,” said Arena, who cut off 11 inches of hair and has never had her hair short before. “I [felt] like I should buy some styling gel, but after [the chop] I think I’m good.”

“I love my hair,” said Nicoloso, who also cut 11 inches. “I’m not going to change it. I like the way that [the hair stylist] styled it a lot, and I think that it will grow out well. I was looking at different hairstyles to show her but then I thought: ‘people are going to do what they want to do.’ So I told her to have fun.”

“I feel great. I love it, it makes me so happy,” said Shirey, who cut off over 18 inches of hair. Her hair used to be two inches above her waist, but she now has a short Mohawk with shaved sides. When asked if she was going to do anything else to her hair, she said she had no long-term plans. “I hope that [whoever gets the hair] really likes it and I’m glad that I could contribute to their head.”

After hearing that the three young women were getting their hair cut, at least four other students joined the cause including senior Brianna Young, junior Diana Cabrera, and senior Christina Fortunato. Pantene Beautiful Lengths is a program that asks for 8 inches of hair or an $8.00 donation that goes towards making free, real-hair wigs for cancer survivors. Over 800,000 ponytails have been donated to them, resulting in over 42,000 wigs. The program received at least seven wigs from the Chatham Relay for Life Loose Ends team.

“I’m sad that [the survivors] need the wig in the first place, but hopefully this will give them more normalcy,” said Nicoloso. “When I was in 8th grade, [I knew] a five-year-old girl who was diagnosed with leukemia and getting a wig really changed her spirits. I hope my hair can do something similar for another kid.”

Getting Rid of Loose Ends for a Cause

Chatham’s Relay for Life is coming up quickly; and with a goal of $25,000, Chatham community members are coming together to raise funds. From student organizations to academic departments, RFL teams are being created left and right to help fight cancer one dollar at a time through the American Cancer Society.

One special group was formed this year by sophomores Kaitlyn Shirey and Krista Arena and junior Fia Nicoloso. Cleverly named “Loose Ends,” these three ladies have made a Relay team focused on cutting their hair for charity. They are using their locks as an incentive to receive more donations. The more people donate, the more they will cut.

What are you doing and what is your goal?

“[We’re] collecting donations for the American Cancer Society to get research and to help the families of those suffering,” said Arena, who is cutting more hair with the more donations she receives. Shirey on the other hand, is planning on going all the way.

“My goal is to raise as much money as possible for Relay for Life and to donate all of my hair,” said Shirey. “When I say all of my hair, I mean that I want to actually shave my head bald. Let no hair go uncut!” Shirey plans to sell the opportunity to take the scissors to her hair at Relay for Life. Anyone willing to donate will be able to cut her hair.

“As a bonus to monetary donations, our team is going to donate our hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths,” said Nicoloso. “It’s an organization that gives wigs to cancer patients who have lost their hair.”

Pantene Beautiful Lengths is a program that asks for eight inches of hair or an $8.00 donation that goes towards making free, real-hair wigs. Over 800,000 ponytails have been donated to them, making over 42, 000 wigs.

“I like that [Pantene Beautiful Lengths] uses all the hair that they possibly can to make free wigs for cancer patients,” said Shirey. “It turns out that there are a lot of ways to donate your hair, and Pantene is the best fit for me. I don’t want to throw rocks, but Locks of Love sells their wigs on a need basis. It is often the case that a person could make a bigger impact for cancer patients by selling their own hair on the Internet and donating the money to research than by donating hair to [Locks of Love].  Additionally, some organizations will take hair donations to clean the environment.”

Though Pantene asks for eight inches minimum for hair, they will still take your hair to use for other resources, some that help with environmental issues.

“Every time you get a trim you could send that hair to clean up oil spills,” said Shirey.


Why did you decide to use your hair as a donation?

“I have donated my hair about five times now,” said Arena. “As soon as it gets too long to deal with anymore, I want to cut it. I feel that since I am fortunate enough to be able to grow my own hair, I may as well donate it to someone who can’t rather than it being thrown away.”

“I’m cutting my hair to help support patients undergoing cancer treatment. Due to treatment, many cancer patients lose their hair. Hair is a funny thing. It’s not something we think about much until it’s taken away from us. Sometimes the gift of a wig can really boost the spirits of cancer patients and give them a little bit more autonomy in a rough situation,” said Nicoloso.


Why did you choose Chatham’s Relay For Life and the Pantene Beautiful Lengths?

“I chose to raise money through Relay for Life because many of my family members and friends have or had cancer,” said Nicoloso. “Some of them lost their battle, and some are still fighting, but no matter what, the support that events like Relay for Life are invaluable for patients and caregivers alike,” said Nicoloso.

RFL’s donations all go to the American Cancer Society so cancer research can be done, as well as campaigns such as the Great American Smokeout, and provide support for those who currently have cancer.


Did you know anyone else was cutting their hair? How did all three of you decide to do it together?


“I originally got the idea when Kaitlyn and I were talking about how much easier our hair would be to manage if we shaved our head.  Then we thought about donating it, and the idea sort of just stemmed from there,” said Arena.

“I have donated my hair several times in the past- roughly every two years for a while now. I wanted to donate my hair soon and one day I brought it up at dinner with Kaitlyn and Krista. Eventually, we couldn’t stop talking about donating our hair, and once we got in touch with [Chatham Relay for Life president] Lynzy Groves, the whole thing just came together,” said Nicoloso.


How do you think people will react to your new hairstyle?


A big hair change is a lot for many people to handle. All three of the young women express that they are expecting shock from others and even themselves.

“I already know my dad will not be happy. But if the donations are high enough, and I end up cutting my hair really short — I’ve [wanted] to try it — I may as well make such a drastic change while I’m in college.  I feel like everyone will be very surprised at first, because I am somewhat known for how long my hair is, ” said Arena, who has donated her hair before, but has since felt her hair length was becoming part of her identity on campus.

“I often wonder whether I’ll even look like myself or be recognizable after all my hair is gone,” said Shirey, who has had longer hair for most of her life and is making the largest change if enough money is donated. From over a foot of hair to shaving her head, everyone is in for a surprise.

“My family may be a bit more shocked.  I honestly don’t know what any of them will say when they find out how much has been cut — hopefully, all of it,” she said. “[It will be interesting] when they see me for the first time.”

For Nicoloso, who has donated her hair a handful of times before, she says that she gets mixed reviews over the way her hair looks after a big chop.

“At the end of the day, I don’t care about other people’s reactions. It’s my hair, and I can do what I want with it. I’m not using it, so if I can donate it to someone who will genuinely appreciate it, then I’m more than happy to do so. Besides, my parents always told me that the difference between a bad haircut and a good haircut is two weeks,” said Nicoloso.

Relay For Life is from 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. on Feb. 5. “Loose Ends” will be cutting their hair at 7 p.m. in the AFC. To donate to their team, visit the Chatham event page on the Relay for Life website.

Chatham ceilings falling down

By: Teri Bradford

One of the major selling points of Chatham University is the historic campus. Students walk among an arboretum, have first and only edition books in the library, and regularly pass buildings that hold the names of Pittsburgh legacies. Most excitingly, students who live on campus stay in mansions, some of which have been standing since before 1869 when Chatham was first the Pennsylvania Female College.

However, as the years pass, the historical landmarks students live in have been seeing problems. When students have construction issues in the residence hall living areas, they are encouraged to put in work orders to get the problem fixed. From flickering lights to broken windows, students are told that maintenance will get it done and preserve the history.

Robert DuBray, the director of facility management for the Chatham campuses, explained what happens when a student puts in a work order.

“The work order goes to the [Resident Assistant] or the [Graduate Resident Assistant] and it’s sent over to Lisa, [the secretary at Rea Garage], who puts it into the computer,” said DuBray. “Then she issues it to the appropriate tradesperson to make the correction. They will go to the location within the next day or two. [The tradesperson] will assess what the problem is and whether or not they have to order parts or if it’s a quick fix. Then they have these small red cards that they are supposed to fill out briefly just to tell the occupant that they were there and are ordering parts, that they fixed the problem, or whatever the case may be just so they can close the loop with that person.”

However, some students are finding that their work orders have graduated from leaky faucets to plaster and debris falling from their ceilings. Diana Cabrera, a junior, found herself in a serious dilemma early in the fall semester.

“I noticed my bed had tiny spots of wetness, then realized the ceiling above my bed was dripping water,” said Cabrera. “When I initially moved in, no one warned me about the ceiling. A friend who lived next to this room in previous years said that the area around the door had water damage, [but] the area above my bed was nowhere near the door’s water damage. I ended up leaving a towel on my bed to soak up the water since I was going to be out late for [a theater] rehearsal.”

Cabrera said she did not put in a work order because she didn’t have the time and didn’t think a small leak was a relevant problem. She found that she was mistaken later that night.

“I came back to my room shortly after midnight. The desk attendant just got off, and she was my roommate. She told me there was something wrong with my side of the room. We both went up to the room and saw my bed was completely drenched, [and] so was the floor on my half of the room, including under my bed where I stored items.”

Cabrera said that Residence Life moved her to the Gate House for the night and eventually relocated her and her roommate.

“I would go to the room regularly while it was being repaired because I did not fully move out. My stay in Fickes was intended to be temporary. When I went to my Rea room, I would clean up the plaster [and] move furniture around, so it wasn’t in the way or in danger of having more things fall on it. I had to throw out items that were damaged by the water or had started to grow mold. I would open the window while I was there and turn on my fan to circulate the air because it was difficult to breathe and smelled terrible. The repairs took longer than a week. I was able to move back the Tuesday before classes started again after Fall break,” said Cabrera.

She praised the Residence Life staff life for relocating her so quickly but said that the RAs weren’t informed when she relocated or returned. Though she no longer lives in the room, to Cabrera’s knowledge, the roof is fixed.

Incidents like these happen in upper campus housing, but also in lower campus housing. Earlier this semester, a bathroom ceiling in the Chatham undergraduate apartments collapsed, leaving a leaky hole in sophomore Lacey Massari and her roommates’ bathroom.

“[The damage] happened on a Tuesday night,” said Massari. “[My roommates and I] called the emergency number, and they said that someone would come the next morning, but no one did. Someone eventually came and said the plumber would come on Thursday, but they didn’t.”

Massari said that a plumber came on Friday but, that the leaking came from the room above, stopping it from being a quick fix. Corrin Walker, a junior transfer and a member of the track team, is the resident in the bathroom above Massari’s.

“My roommate and I’s shower was leaking to the apartment below us and [maintenance] came on a Tuesday to fix the problem,” said Walker. “The maintenance man came and said that he fixed it, and I just needed to give it an hour to let the caulking dry. I had class all evening and didn’t come back until later. When I tried to turn on the water, nothing came out. So I called [the maintenance number], and a woman said that there would be someone there the next morning. They came later that evening, and the maintenance man left a note saying ‘debris stuck in shower body need to replace whole unit will order new one sorry.’

Walker says she didn’t call again because she knew that they were ordering a unit, and that may take time. However, when it came to be Monday, she felt she needed to take action.

“That is when I talked to Kim Small [in Residence Life], and she said that she would help me and send in another work order. On [the next] Tuesday it still wasn’t fixed. When I told my coach I still didn’t have [a shower]; he contacted Heather Black. I explained my situation to her, and she said she would talk with facilities to get the problem fixed. Finally, on Thursday, my shower was fixed. When it was all said and done, it was 11 days that we went without a shower,” said Walker.

Since then, Walker says that her shower is working, and Massari says the leaking has stopped in her bathroom, but the hole has not been patched up.

Cabrera’s, Massari’s, and Walker’s stories are not uncommon among the campus. There have been discussions amongst the student body about horror stories in different campus buildings.

As the director of facilities, public safety, and transportation, DuBray says that he receives many complaints from students as well as parents, faculty, and staff. He encourages the community to look at the bigger picture.

“I’m responsible for every building on this campus, and we don’t have that many collapses [within residence halls],” said DuBray. “What we do here is big but with [the] support of the senior administration, we try to maintain every single building [with] the intent that it was meant to be. Every building has got something [that needs work]. That’s all controlled by a capital budget that we try to fit in during the summer months when we can, hopefully, do [construction] uninterrupted. We have a window of opportunity [in the summer] to do this work, so it’s a challenge.”

The facilities team at Chatham takes care of the daily work orders in residence halls, offices, academic buildings on the Shadyside, Eastside, and Eden Hall campuses. In the summers, the team does the bigger renovations including the newly transformed carriage house and post office. And in the winter, the team clears the pathways, stairs, and roads for Chatham and the Woodland neighboring community.

“We get over 25,000 requests for service [in a year], and we only have a handful of tradespeople,” said DuBray. “We have two plumbers, two electricians, one HVC cooling guy, two painters, [and] two carpenters. We do a pretty good job of responding and getting things fixed.”

As for the campus horrors, DuBray asks the community to be wary of stories that may be lacking truth. Many students may be concerned about things in their dorms such as cracks in the plaster of their dorms, which are more benign than anything.

“[With] all due respect to the students or whoever makes the comments, they need to know what the problem is before they elaborate or blow it up into something that it’s not. As soon as you find something, and we can’t stress it enough, tell all the RAs and GRDs as soon as a problem is identified in your building. We need to be notified because we need to investigate to see what the extent of the problem is. Then, if at all possible, we fix it right away. But if it’s [in] the dead of winter, it’s a little tough to get [to] the roof of a building for a leak, but we still do it. So let’s not lose track of really what it is,” said DuBray.

“Some [students] complain, and it’s legitimate, some exaggerate. [We] treat certain circumstances that arise, but we don’t know it’s a problem until someone reports it. We don’t just ignore things that are leaking,” he continued. “We don’t put students at risk in an area that shouldn’t be lived in. We would never do that. It takes a lot to maintain these buildings at the level of activity that they get, and we operate about 12 months a year. We don’t get any downtime, but I’ll say it again; when we get a problem we address it. Some are corrected immediately, some take longer, it’s just the nature of the beast.”

DuBray says that many complaints come from students possibly thinking that their problems are worse than they are.

“I deal with students. I deal with parents because they get reports from their son or their daughter that the sky is falling, and the sky is not falling. It’s a crack above your bed that you stare at every night. It’s a roof. It’s just a hundred-year-old building.” said DuBray.

Some members of the Chatham community want to see more action in the way maintenance handles the campus and won’t settle for less. The topic of building conditions has risen in Chatham Student Government meetings multiple times in the 2015-2016 school year alone. Early in the fall semester, Bethany Bookout, President of the Class of 2018, spoke on the issue.

“When will we stop band-aiding problems in the residence halls?” Bookout asked.

The idea that Chatham has lower quality living conditions that can be fixed is something that is not new to the campus. On Niche, a website designed for providing reviews, anonymous or not, and insight on colleges shows Chatham students expressing frustrations about their living conditions up to five years ago.

“They won’t update the dorms because they would have to comply with codes for historical buildings. So they leave them. I have seen the paneling on the ceiling fall off, [and] someone’s windows [almost] fall out all winter (later to just have plexiglass screwed in). The bathrooms are never quite clean and have improper ventilation. There is mold and scum [almost] everywhere,” said an anonymous junior student’s comment from 2011.  

Two years later, a similar comment was written by a Chatham alum.

“Buildings were falling apart, [leaking], balconies on buildings were physically separating from buildings. [Roofs] had green vegetation growing on [them], as it was so old it needed to be replaced, and [the roofs] leaked,” read a comment from an alumnus in 2013.

“These are old buildings and they are in deep need of repair,” 2011 sophomore student stated simply.  

DuBray acknowledges the fact that these buildings are older, and that there are unique difficulties that come with this. However, he wants it to be known that the facilities team is doing the best they can.

“You have to think about how many buildings we have, how many rooms we have. We have not had a problem in these dorms. These are old buildings, I give you that much, and we do get the occasional roofing [problem]. We try to address that as much as possible. We put new roofs on Woodland. We put new roofs on Fickes. We’ve repaired roofs over here in Rea and Laughlin,” said DuBray. “You can’t just go in and fix them any way you want to. You have to maintain the integrity of the building and its historical appearance. In some of these [buildings], like Mellon, [the walls] are 38 inches thick. If you have a plumbing or electrical problem, sometimes you just have to abandon it because you can’t get to the problem and then rewire or re-plumb.”

The effects of time can be seen in Mellon, but also in some of the academic buildings. The prayer room in the basement of Braun Hall sees some need for repairs as well.

“I have absolutely no idea what is going on with the hole in the wall in the Prayer Room,” said Maryem Aslam, a Muslim commuter student who uses the prayer room while on campus.

Muslims pray five times a day, so Chatham’s community uses it often.

“The hole has been in the wall of the Prayer and Meditation room for at least the duration of the Fall 2015 semester,” said Aslam. “Before it was a hole, it seemed as though the wallpaper or paint was bubbling due to the humidity or atmosphere of the basement of Braun Hall. The hole was covered up by plaster for a [few months], but it was never properly repaired. [Assistant Dean of Students] Mary Utter, said that she would email the head of facilities and let me know when s/he replied. I have not heard anything since I went to the Office of Student Affairs last week.”

Aslam says she has been off campus for the past week and is not sure if it has any progress.

“Older buildings present a lot of problems. It’s all old piping,” said DuBray. “We try to maintain safe, secure buildings, but it’s a structure. Things are going to go wrong; it’s what happens with old buildings. It’s the difference between a young person and an older person. They’re going to require more medical help as the years go on. It’s a never-ending battle for us. But that’s kind of the mystique and the character of the campus.”

Destynie Chase, a sophomore student who lives in the apartments, considers the idea that facilities may not be the problem.  

“I’ve heard if you email maintenance directly instead of going through Chatham [with work orders]; things get fixed in a timely matter,” said Chase. “Maybe the solution is to cut out the middleman.”

Though for Walker, she did cut out the middleman in her situation and directly called maintenance. She found that this did not hurry the results.

“I understand that sometimes it takes time to fix issues, but I thought I was being courteous by giving them time to order the new unit,” she said. “I really appreciate my coach, Kim, and Heather for putting in the time to help me fix the problem, but I feel like it still should have been done in a more timely manor. I’m not sure where the miscommunication was with the issue, but I wish there [were] a way I could have communicated better with maintenance so that the process could have been fixed quicker.”

Changes may need to be made on the campus to satisfy all parties involved. Proper upkeep is essential for the historical buildings that create the school many students have come to love. Until then, DuBray encourages students to come to him if they have concerns.

“Anytime when anyone has a concern, I’m more than available,” said DuBray.

Foodie on the Half Shell: Where I’m eating in January

After the holidays, most of us have new goals and ideas about what this New Year will look like for us. Every year I try to pick up a new healthy habit to improve my exercise and eating habits. This year I am keeping a food journal to become more aware of what and how often I am consuming.

That being said, I still need to uphold my reputation as a Pittsburgh food connoisseur so I still need to get out and about and try new restaurants, even if that means not eating an entire plate of Bolognese from Piccolo Forno or Steak and Frites from Park Bruges. It’s a real test of control when going out on the town to eat and knowing you have to have an honest moment at home when you are counting your calories for the night. It’s a humbling experience when you realize that the huge margarita you just drank was 800 calories of pure sugar and you have to WRITE IT DOWN, which makes it all the more real.

    So, where am I eating this month? All kinds of places that will help me not go home 1000 calories deep into fried foods after only one meal.  Enjoy some fresh seafood, lots of seasonal veggies, and maybe a vodka martini every now and then (just don’t drink your calories, guys!).

Everyday Noodles: This little noodle shop is not only super cute and stylish, but they also serve yummy noodle dishes that are reasonably sized portions and fulfill my craving for all things sweet, salty, and crunchy. Their noodles are full of things like bok choy, peanuts, tempura fried chicken and shrimp, and all kinds of other dreamy stuff. All of the noodle dishes are only $9, which is a fantastic deal for the tasty dishes you are getting. This place is perfect for a quick lunch or a simple dinner. BYOB. 242 South Highland Avenue in Shadyside.

Kaya: Always Kaya. I would eat at Kaya every week if I could. Its aesthetic is funky Caribbean flair (that could use some work), but the food is undeniably delicious no matter what. After 20 years they always have a full house and are serving tasty dishes like their Yucatan Hot Bean Dip, Jamaican Green Curry Vegetables, and their grilled salmon salad with green apples and Manchego. There are so many healthy options here, and a lot of fresh seafood options. I sometimes get “New Restaurant Anxiety” meaning I’m afraid I won’t know how the restaurant works, and I’ll order wrong, and they’ll yell at me or laugh at me when I call and try to make a reservation only two weeks in advance.  Kaya is a very comfortable place to be where everyone is nice, and it’s not pretentious at all. 2000 Smallman Street in the Strip.

The Vandal: It is no wonder that this Lawrenceville hot spot is stealing locals’ hearts with their short and sweet menu complete with ever-changing seasonal ingredients. The dishes are comfort food but are plated so elegantly you’d think you were in a high-end restaurant. Meat eater, vegetarian, or vegan, you will find something filling and wholesome here at The Vandal. No need to worry too much about what to order on the menu—it is all delicious. Anybody who is anybody knows how hard The Vandal rocks. BYOB. 4306 Butler Street in Lawrenceville.

Review: “Hunger Games” final installment doesn’t disappoint

Excitement buzzed in the seats of the Cinemark Monroeville as Chatham University students waited impatiently for the final installment of the “Hunger Games” series.

“Mockingjay Part 2” follows Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) on her journey to overthrow the Capitol. The film included the favorite characters from past films, such as Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson), Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth), Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson), and Finnick Odair (Sam Claflin).

The film even included Plutarch Heavensbee, played by the late Philip Seymour Hoffman. Mockingjay Part 2 was the last film Hoffman made before he passed away.

Director Francis Lawrence produced another visually intriguing piece. The film often played with lighting, throwing a character’s face into shadow to increase drama or showing a character in silhouette for a similar effect. Lawrence directed the last three installments of the series.

Jennifer Lawrence did not disappoint with her final portrayal of Katniss. She utilized her acting chops to show a reluctant leader whose life seems to be crumbling around her.

Similarly, Josh Hutcherson characterized Peeta — who is still being rehabilitated after being brainwashed by the Capitol to believe that Katniss is evil — as unsure and vulnerable.

Two surprising standouts were Jena Malone (who played Johanna Mason) and Sam Claflin (who played Finnick Odair). The character of Johanna gave the audience most of the limited moments comic relief, which Malone played carefully, never too over-the-top. Claflin portrayed the role of Finnick with all the grace and kindness that fans adored from the books.

The film overall had nearly everyone in the theater on the edge of their seats. The suspense that we grew to love in the last three movies is certainly not missing in Mockingjay Part 2 — if anything, viewers can expect even more tension and jump-out-and-scare-you moments than any of the films before.

As a lover of the books myself, I was completely satisfied with the film. It followed the storyline of the book very closely, and all of the characters were, as usual, very good portrayals of much-loved characters from the book.

To be perfectly honest, I could find very little that I didn’t like about the film. The one exception to this is the final scene in the film. Those familiar with the book series will likely recall the polarizing epilogue; while some felt it was a nice wrap-up to the series, others felt dissatisfied with Suzanne Collins’ choice to tell the reader how the world changed rather than let them make up their own minds.

Regardless of my personal feelings toward the epilogue in the books, I felt the epilogue in the film was heavy-handed — the wonderful characterization we got throughout the film was stripped away in favor of two-dimensional versions of the characters many years later.

4.5/5 stars

The Chatham Dining Experience: Where’s Casey?!

This year at Anderson, Chatham has upped their dining services tremendously.  Much of this has to do with the expansion of Bravisimo’s dining experiences. During lunch hours, Bravisimo features different dishes to tempt your taste buds. Korean tacos, build-your-own broth bowls, firecracker shrimp, and many other unique foods have been prepared by the beloved cook, Casey Haughey. For the first few months of the semester, Casey became a familiar sight to most students, jamming out to music while whipping up something spectacular.

However, lately, Casey has been absent from the Bravissimo scene and students have begun to question: Where is Casey? During the past few weeks, while Casey was missing from the dining room, the question arose as to whether he had left Chatham.  When he was around the kitchen, curiosity struck.

“Casey has been promoted to our PM sous chef position. This is why he has not been at the Bravisimo station,” said Rob Coyne, general manager of dining services at Chatham.

According to Coyne, over the past few weeks, Casey has been cooking and overseeing the kitchen at night, while they’ve been searching for a steady replacement.  

“This is a great opportunity for him,” said Coyne.

Monday, November 9, Casey was seen at Bravisimo one last time. He was training his replacement Megan Elstner, an Art Institute Culinary School graduate.  

Photo: Destiny Reber

Photo: Destiny Reber

“She is just starting her career in the kitchen and this is a great place for [her to] learn and expand her culinary knowledge and also bring some new ideas from the culinary school to us,” said Coyne.

“I used to work at a bar, and as much as I liked it, I needed to expand my horizons,” said Elstner. “Chatham was something completely different than the bar scene.  I’m excited to cook different things each day instead of sticking to the same menu.”

“We all care about serving the best food possible to the students [and] staff,” said Haughey. “As for Megan, our new Bravo cook, she will be just fine. [She] just has to get a rhythm, and I’m sure the students and staff will welcome her as they all did me.”

While Casey and Megan make the transition into their new experiences in the Chatham kitchen, students are told to expect one hundred percent from the kitchen staff. Their goal is to prepare food the same way they would want to eat it and to provide delicious meals. The Chatham Community is also to expect more gluten-free options in the near future.

“Everyone in our kitchen gives their best to provide a welcoming dining experience.” said Haughey.

“I think the students should look forward to having a good laugh when they’re at my station. I love making someone’s day because I know that college can be stressful,” said Elstner.

Students and staff alike are curious to see what it is that Haughey, Elstner, and the rest of the Anderson crew will be bringing to the table. Literally.

Chatham screens documentary on the struggle of masculinity

Be a man. Stop with the emotions. Man up. Suck it up. Don’t be a sissy. Boys don’t cry. These are the things young men and boys often grow up hearing.  But how does that affect them and what kind of world does it create? How much of masculinity is a reaction to societal norms? What are the consequences for boys and men who spend their lives wearing “the mask?”

On November 13, in Eddy Theater Chatham University’s own Psychology of Gender Research Team screened a film that took on those questions.  Although the experiences and backgrounds differed, the answers came to a grave consensus. As Joe Ehrmann frankly said, “The three most destructive words that every man receives when he is a boy is when he’s told to be a man.”

“The Mask You Live In” is a Documentary made by Jennifer Siebel Newsome of The Representation Project. Venturing into classrooms, playgrounds, locker rooms, college campuses, and even prisons, filmmakers explored what a “real man” has been defined as in America and the consequences for boys and men. Gaining perspectives and hearing the experiences of boys and men all ages and backgrounds, the audience in Eddy gained a look inside of what is behind “the mask.”

What exactly is this mask exactly? Not something apparent to the naked eye, but a façade that young men are told they must wear for most of their lives because what’s often behind it: pain, sadness, loss, and emotion are feminine and not acceptable. Something forces young men to grow up, hiding their pain in helmets and locker rooms.

In a not-often-seen way, the men and boys interviewed shared what was behind their personal masks and how they were made. Grown men spoke of abuse they had experienced at the hands of their fathers and sometimes their mothers.  The film explores how once vulnerable and innocent faces can wind up on the news or in prison for unspeakable crimes.  One of many examples was what one psychologist called “The Great Setup” meaning from a young age boys are taught that to be a girl means inferiority and weakness, yet we as a society are surprised when men and boys behave violently towards women and girls.

Through anecdotes and statistics the documentary sheds light on the danger that has come from linking respect and control to violence. It also challenged quite a few common misconceptions American society has about what young boys need. Showing that contrary to popular belief in some cases having relationships with one’s father is more damaging than having an absent father.

Startling and at times heart wrenching facts were revealed: that boys experience depression and suicidal thoughts at a similar rate to girls, but the difference is in how it’s expressed. The inherent danger in a world where the only emotion men are allowed to express is anger. Substance abuse sometimes occurs with boys and men, not to feel good in some cases, but to feel nothing. Girls hurt themselves; boys hurt others and are less likely to get treatment. Boys and men are highly unlikely to report being abused. Additionally, unfortunately the first places men start to explore masculinity and their “masks” is behind bars.

However this is not always the case. There were men in the films who were able to remove their masks before doing permanent damage to themselves or others. Some chose to be different than their fathers and their fathers’ fathers. The documentary also featured coaches and activists and their takes on how to help boys become well adjusted men.

Jason Lucarelli, a student in the Masters of Psychology program, played a key role in putting together the event and he explained that while growing, despite having a supportive family, he occasionally felt pressure to suppress his own interests because they differed from that of his male peers. Because of his area of study and his background, this film was important for him to show because, “While traditional masculinity has and will in many ways continue to cause the oppression of women, we need to examine the effects of traditional masculinity on men. We need to examine the consequences of distancing oneself from one’s true feelings and emotions in order to convey stoicism.”  

Before its release, the documentary was subject to criticism; it and those who made it were accused of trying to “feminize” boys.

“My first response is that it’s ridiculous and heterosexist and is probably coming from individuals who have little to no understanding of the realities and influences of gender inequality,” said Lucarelli, in response to this criticism. “My other response is that it is a perfect demonstration of how problematic the gender binary can be.  Gender is a social construct and sadly many members in society view sex and gender as the same thing and in doing so confine males and females to stereotypical gender roles.” 

The event was Sponsored by Psi Chi, AWP Pittsburgh, SPW Campus Representatives, and The Women’s Institute, in collaboration with a number of student organizations.