SGA officials denounce Treasurer's proposed fee amendment

Chris Van Buskirk, Beacon Staff

Student Government Association Executive Treasurer Abigail Semple’s policy that would largely bar student organizations from charging participation fees, and remove a source of fund- ing for several organizations, drew criticism from several SGA colleagues days prior to the vote.

The legislation, as an amendment to the SGA treasury handbook, would directly impact the way student organizations raise money via events that charge admission or submission fees. While Semple said the amendment aims to increase student access to organizational events, several of Semple’s colleagues stated that they will not support the legislation because it does not protect organizations.

Three Financial Advisory Board members will consider the legislation on Thursday at a meeting in SGA’s 172 Tremont St. office from 3 to 4 p.m. Voting members include Philip Leary, William Palauskas, and Joseph Augustus John- son. Semple will not vote in Thursday’s meet- ing.

Should the proposal pass during the FAB meeting, the substance of the legislation will go into effect immediately.

Prior to Thursday’s FAB meeting, sever- al prominent SGA officials disagreed with Semple’s proposal to prohibit organizations from charging entry and submission fees.

Executive Vice President William Palauskas said he cannot support Semple’s proposal as it does not align with his goal of supporting or- ganizations on campus. Palauskas said he will vote against the legislation at Thursday’s FAB meeting.

See SGA, page 2

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Emerson Skunks secure SGA affiliated status

By Domenic Conte - p. 8

The Emerson ultimate disc team, also known as the Emerson Skunks, was founded in 2015. ¢ Greyson Acquaviva / Beacon Staff

Junior’s drum covers make noise on YouTube


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Junior Alessandra Guarneri recently reached 13,800 subscribers on her drum cover YouTube channel. ¢ Cho Yin Rachel Lo / Beacon Staff

Tatum Jenkins, Beacon Correspondent

When junior Alessandra Guarneri attended a Camila Cabello concert in 2016 at the Orpheum Theatre, two fans recognized her from the Fifth Harmony covers Guarneri used to post on You- Tube.

“Tt was wild,” Guarneri said. “I had never had that happen to me.”

Her friend, junior Samantha Wiener, attend- ed the concert with Guarneri and recalled how stunned she was.

“T was like, ‘Did that just happen?’” Wiener

said. “And, after they walked away, it was no big deal. A couple different times we’ve been together when she’s been recognized, and I’m always shocked, and she just stays super hum- ble.”

Guarneri started her Youtube channel, Al- waysAlessandra, playing song covers on the drums in 2014. Five years later, she has one hundred videos and 13,800 subscribers.

Guarneri’s musical journey started in fourth grade when she joined her school band and vol- unteered to play the snare drum. She played this particular drum with the band until fifth grade

and in her high school’s drumline for one year.

“T loved the fact that you could hold a beat and you could hear a beat so easily on the ra- dio,” she said. “I was enthralled with the fact that beats were in every song even if it was an orchestra song—you can feel the song.”

Fourteen-year-old Guarneri decided to start her own YouTube channel after feeling inspired by drum cover accounts such as sincerelyilanaa on YouTube. The artist posted Fifth Harmony covers to her channel, and Guarneri was a big fan.

See YouTube, page 6

Bright Lights to introduce film content warnings

Laurel Booth, Beacon Correspondent

The Bright Lights Film Series began post- ing content advisories on its website this fall to warn students about graphic and upsetting ma- terial in screenings.

Students responded to a survey last spring that asked them what kind of content they’d like to know about ahead of screenings.

The community feedback helped Bright Lights create the content advisory that allows people to check if upcoming films in the series contain distressing material.

Anna Feder, the Director of Programming at Emerson’s VMA department and curator of the Bright Lights film series, said that sexual assault and rape was the mostly highly requested topic to be covered under the new content advisory.

“If anyone goes to see a documentary like “The Hunting Ground; that’s a film about sexual assault on campuses,’ Feder said in an interview. “Folks who go to that screening are relatively certain that that’s going to be addressed. But at the same time, there’s a film I’m showing where the female protagonist is in a car with somebody and it looks like it’s going to be an assault scene. These are the kinds of things that I feel are good to let folks know about?

The content warnings fall under six catego- ries: Drug use and drug-related violence; vio- lence; bigotry; sexual assault and rape; harm to an elderly person, child, or animal; and mental illness and suicide.

See Bright Lights, page 2


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SGA sets election timeline, approves six positions

Andrew Brinker, Beacon Correspondent

The Student Government Association unani- mously approved timelines for both the special elections and the general elections during their joint session meeting on Sept. 17.

The special elections, which are intended for students wishing to join SGA during the fall se- mester, will hold voting from 7 a.m. on Oct. 23 to 7 am. on Oct. 25. General election voting will run from Dec. 11 to Dec. 13.

Some of the current vacancies in the gov-

ernmental body include four unfilled executive board positions, several open senate seats, and an unoccupied presidential post for the class of 2020.

While the special election will attempt to add to the group’s membership, SGA also voted unanimously on Tuesday to appoint eight stu- dents to executive offices for the school year.

Of the new appointees, six will serve as com- missioners including senior Gianna Gironda as the Sustainability Commissioner, junior Harper McKenzie as the Accessibility Commissioner,

senior Tatiana Melendez as the Fraternity and Sorority Life Commissioner, junior Daniella Baltazar as the Honors Program Commissioner, freshman Lily Fitzherbert as the LGBTQIA+ Commissioner, and senior Caroline Rodriguez as the POWER Commissioner.

Additionally, freshman Jehan Wirasto and junior Nicole Poitras will occupy the Co-Exec- utive Assistant and PR Chair Assistant positions respectively.

The new members will make up more than a third of SGA’s membership.

SGA President Raz Moayed expressed confi- dence in the appointees, citing their experience as a fruitful addition to the body.

“They have already been working on adver- tising who we are,” said Moayed. “They didn’t even need to be appointed. They’re already spewing information everywhere to every stu- dent.”

Content warning system addresses student concerns

Continued from Page 1

Students can find which films scheduled to be included in the Bright Lights film series have been tagged with these warnings by clicking on the link at the bottom of the “Content Advisory” page.

Feder said she was motivated to make the change when she spoke with a student after an unexpected drug-related death appeared on screen.

“There was no indi- cation this was going to be in the film at all, and then suddenly there it was and it was quite graphic,” Feder said. “Someone came up to me, very casually, and just said, ‘Hey, I lost someone recently to drug violence and this was content I would’ve wanted to know about.

Freshman Olivia Rettew experienced the issue firsthand after watching “IT Chapter Two” She said the open- ing scene showed homophobic views, some- thing she wouldn’t have known about had she not seen reviews online.

“Sometimes going to screenings of movies you’ve never seen before, you don’t know what you’re getting into. There have been a lot of movies recently that don’t have warnings and should have,” Rettew said.

As for whether more content warnings will be added in the future, Feder says it’s still a work in progress.

“This is all based on the survey and feedback from the audience, and I will continue to adapt it with feedback from the audience,” Feder said.

“Sometimes going to screen-

ings of movies you've never

seen before, you don't know what you're getting into.”

os - Olivia Rettew

“My sense is that any move in this direction, even if there’s an accidental omission here and there, is better than not having it at all.”

Feder said that, although the change will have little to no impact on most of the Bright Light series audience, the accessibility to this information could prove invaluable for some.

“Tt’s not about only serving the majority, it’s about trying to serve everybody,” Feder said. “I think for the folks who really need this infor- mation, they’re going to feel a lot more com- fortable coming into the cinema.”

Sophomore Kat Car- ret said the inclusion of content warnings is a step in the right direc- tion.

“There are lots of people who would ap- preciate that,’ Carret said. “It’s a good thing that this information is readily available and not just a nasty surprise.”

Ultimately, Feder views the decision as additional dialogue being added to the constant discussion between Bright Lights and its view- ers.

“The goal and value of this series is to create a space for film lovers to come together and cre- ate a community around cinema,” Feder said. “This is just another way to empower the audi- ence so they feel like they’re coming into that space prepared, prepared for the content they’re going to engage with, prepared for the conver- sations that are going to happen, and to feel like this is a welcoming space.”


Curator Anna Feder speaks at the Bright Lights film series. e Montse Landeros / Beacon Staff

SGA amendment endangers organization funding

Continued from Page 1

“I spoke to [SGA Executive President Raz Moayed] earlier today, and I think both of us share the sentiment that we think these ticket prices and different things really do help support organizations on campus, and it would be a real shame if it was taken away,” he said in a phone interview. “I think it really puts some pressure on [organizations] about how they're going to get the money for those events and put on the projects that they work so hard to put on”

Moayed said proposals that add barriers for students and organizations are not needed. While she said ensuring accessibility to events is a valid, moral, and a philosophical point, the lack of conversation between student organiza- tions and SGA points to the likelihood that the proposal will not pass.

“Is there a way to compromise and negotiate and find a balance between what the student organizations and what our singular treasurer mentioned? Sure, but it hasn't been voted in yet,’ Moayed said in an interview. “At the end of the day, SGA’s number one goal is to make sure that students can get what they want in an effective, safe, productive manner.”

A student at the college with knowledge of Semple’s personal interactions with EVVYs' staff told The Beacon that the SGA treasurer’s policy would hurt the EVVYs and other organizations that charge admission or submission fees.

“[The proposal] is directly targeting the

EVVYs and the effect would not just hurt the EVVYs, but other organizations that use those admission and submission fees to finish off their funding, the student said in an interview. “It works essentially as a topper and losing that funding is just enough that it becomes a prob- lem for them”

The student wished to remain unnamed out of fear of retaliation for their comments.

Semple confirmed that in a previous meeting with the leadership of the EVVYs she left the conversation feeling unwelcome in the organi- zation, but declined to go into further detail. Semple told The Beacon that she does not hold a grudge against the EVVYs and that her policy proposal does not relate to any prior dealings with the organization.

“This has nothing to do with any personal biases,” she said in an interview. “I'm not taking shots at anybody. We are trying to say that stu- dents have a right to keep their dollars.”

EVVYs Executive Producer Rhegan Graham wrote in a statement to The Beacon that she cannot speak to Semple’s intention behind the proposal.

“The EVVYs has always felt supported by SGA and we are very grateful for that partner- ship,’ she wrote.

Semple said the proposal is an attempt to protect the financial interests of students. She said students should not have to spend more to participate in organizational events when they are already paying the $436 student activities fee each semester.

“Tt costs a lot to be a college student in down- town Boston,’ she said in an interview. “This is an expensive place to live ... This is an expensive institution to attend”

The proposal, Semple said, would bar orga- nizations that receive money from SGA—either in the form of a semesterly appeal or yearly budget—from requiring students to pay a fee to participate in or submit content to their events.

This does not bar organizations from collect- ing charitable donations at their event on behalf of an outside organization or funds that would go into their institutional advancement fund—a bank account managed by the college and sepa- rate from SGA.

Additionally, an organization that does not receive a yearly budget from SGA can either choose between appealing for money from SGAs student activities fee appeals account, or charging admission and submission fees. Orga- nizations cannot engage in both forms of fund- raising.

Semple said the EVVYs have historically ap- pealed for approximately $30,000 each year to help finance their awards show.

The proposal would not affect fraternity and sorority life dues, however, the organizations would fall into the category of groups that do not receive a yearly budget but can appeal for money from SGA. Similar to the EVVYs, FSL groups would either have to appeal for money or charge admission fees—one or the other.

Semple said shows run by performance orga- nizations or the Musical Theatre Society would

also be barred from requiring students to pay entrance fees. The organizations could offer a suggested donation but entrance would be cov- ered by the student activities fee.

“Any of our comedy troupes that charge an admittance of $2, I think the idea of charging to attend it can be a barrier of entry, regardless of what that amount is, for some members of our undergraduate community,’ she said. “It’s about protecting that financial interest.”

The proposal would affect organizations that put on events paid in part by submission and admission fees. The EVVYs, for example, charge $20 for a regular ticket to their Gala event and the lowest price for a ticket to the Majestic The- atre event costs $15. Students pay $10 to submit content to the awards show—however, the orga- nization offers promotions throughout the year that reduce the cost.

Graham said the organization understands that admission prices can be a barrier to entry for some students.

“We encourage students in that position to seek out the help of the Office of Student Suc- cess, who never fails to ensure Emersonians have the best student experience possible,’ she wrote.

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Abolishing admission fees could hurt student organizations

At the Student Government Association’s Financial Advisory Board meeting on Sept. 12, Executive Treasurer Abby Semple proposed a rule that would forbid student organizations from charging mandatory fees for events.

In a Beacon article published on Sept. 12, Semple said she feels “queasy” when organizations mandate students to pay anything beyond the student service fee included in tuition.

If the proposed addition to the Treasury Handbook receives a majority vote at the upcoming SGA meeting on the 19th, it would stop groups from charging required admission fees—for example, SGA-funded theatre troupes could not charge $5 for a ticket to a performance they host.

Fraternities and sororities that sell tickets for formals could no longer do so, even if the money they raise goes entirely to charity. However, this does not prevent organizations from collecting suggested, non-required donations from students. Funds acquired via these donations must be put in the organization’s institutional fund.

Organizations like theatre groups that put extensive creative effort into

“The reality is that the

Sadly, the reality is that the sliver of our tuition reserved for organizations’ financial needs is simply not enough, and organizations understandably need to produce more revenue to cover their costs through admission fees.

Additionally, SGA proposed the idea without consulting organizations on campus, and this prevents these organizations from participating in the decision-making process. Even though the organization leaders understand this policy to some degree, it is important they are involved and have a say in policy changes.

We understand the sentiments behind this idea. There are certain organizations that make a sizable amount of money from application and admission fees, and SGA’s actions represent an attempt to balance the playing field. But the potential drawbacks from this action outweigh the positive effects.

We understand the motivation behind abolishing admission fees is to alleviate student financial stress and remove economic barriers. But the fact of the matter remains that organizations depend on these admission fees.

putting on highs sliver ofour tuition re- To abolish quality shows each . . ; the fees and semester would not served for organizations’ rot provide be allowed to charge . . an _ alternative their audiences. As a financial needs ws simply means of community of artists, 7 funding is to Emerson _ students not enous threaten some should understand organizations’ the value of paying existences to enjoy art and entirely.

support artists. And

in the case of student

theatre, it isn’t even to pay the actors— but to ensure they can even put on their production in the first place.

The EVVYs do their part to honor the artists and students who do notable work throughout the year. In fact, it is one of the sole platforms to officially recognize the work students do on campus, and it employs a horde of students who learn by working before and during the show. Without funding from submission fees and gala tickets, it could not happen.

As students ourselves, we are aware that money is tight, and that continued tuition hikes do not help. We also know tuition will continue to grow in the years to come, and the reality of paying back our debts is nearing.

One of the most valuable uses of our tuition is its contribution to the existence of extracurricular organizations and financing their needs. For the 2019-20 academic year, students paid $436 per semester to support the finances of on- campus organizations.

This initiative

as it stands will

ultimately do more harm than good. The

measure needs to include a proposed

method for ensuring the continued future

of the affected organizations, instead of

just pulling a main source of funding and leaving them to figure out their future.

Chris Van Buskirk did not edit this editorial.

This editorial was written solely by Managing Editor Abigail Hadfield, Opinion Editor Diti Kohli, and Deputy Opinion Editor Zigi Wang without consultation from other staff members, and does not influence any stories. Op-Eds reflect the views of only their

authors, not The Berkeley Beacon.

The Berkeley Beacon September 19,2019 4

Editorial Cartoon

by the Editorial Board illustration by Ally Rzesa


Little Building's newest resident has made himself at home.

Beacon Horoscopes

Written by Dasha German

Which residence hall are you based on your sign?

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The Berkeley Beacon September 19,2019 5


Students detail which icebreakers caught their attention

Professors are sometimes guilty of overusing icebreakers in the intitial days of anew semester to get to know their classes. But icebreakers don t always go over so well with students. We asked students to tell us about a way an Emerson professor or past teacher has opened up a new class that they’ve enjoyed or has inspired them.

“To me, there’s nothing worse than walking into a new class and having each person state their

Jess Ferguson Ferguson is a freshman journalism major.

In my first Discovering Journalism class with Paul Mihailidis, he started by having the class arrange themselves in a circle based on our birthday. Doing this pushed me to speak to the majority of the class, even if we were not necessarily having a complete conversation. Afterward, we all went in a circle and said our names, the most interesting thing about ourselves, and the most boring thing we do day- to-day. I told everyone I directed three student films during high school, and a boring fact about me is that every night, I look forward to vacuuming my dorm room—yes, it is true.

During the activity, I learned about students who went to the same high school as celebrities like Khalid and Adam Sandler, students who


* Illustration by Ally Rzesa / Beacon Staff

could samba dance, students who could play three instruments, and even a student who enjoyed language-learning memes. While the beginning of class, when no one really knows each other, can be awkward and, at times, cringey, I enjoyed getting to know my classmates in this non-traditional way.

To me, there is nothing worse than walking into a new class and having each person state their name, major, and where they are from before the professor proceeds to read the syllabus. Sure, it’s a way to learn about your classmates on a surface level, but it does not foster genuine connections and allow for much discussion. On the other hand, after Mihailidis’ activity, I had a feeling the class would be more tight-knit for the rest of the semester.

Carlota Cano Cano is a sophmore communications major.

On the first day of my speech class last year at a community college in Miami, after we spent the first half-hour discussing the syllabus and formal public speaking, my professor spoke to the importance of being able to attract the audience’s attention. In order to demonstrate just how short our attention spans are, he made the class gather for an activity. He had us form a circle and said something like, “We are going to start in a clockwise manner, and each of you is going to state your first name, your major, and your favorite food.” He then began as an example. Next came the first student, who said his name was Robert, he was a computer science major, and he liked pizza. Then another. Three more students continued this same pattern. But just as the sixth student was going to begin, the professor cut in and asked the group to recall the first student’s name. There was nothing but blank stares and silence. No one could remember his first name.

The purpose of the activity was to recognize short attention spans. Our professor told us that we need to be able to effectively deliver our messages. I was amazed by this activity. I never thought such a simple exercise could bring such profound attention to the importance of listening and effectively delivering messages, all while defining the true purpose of our public speaking class.

Teachers should bring important themes from the course into their ice breaker activities and stray from the individual self-presentations. By mixing theory and practice, students can assimilate with the class and facilitate their success.

Jiaxuan “Jocelyn” Yang Yang is a freshman jouranlism major.

On my first day of college, I was sitting in the lecture-style classroom, looking at the new faces around me, and anxiously waiting for class—both nervous and excited. But as soon as Professor Mark Leccese started talking to us in Journalism 101, this unfamiliar feeling magically disappeared. Mark chatted with students to let everyone get to know each other. And he did this with everyone in the classroom.

He used a list of random questions that he would shout out for students. “Where are you from? What type of music do you listen to? What’s your favorite movie or show? What else do you do for fun?”

Mark’s answers not only met our curiosity but raised our interests in journalism. When we asked him “why journalism,” he paused for a second and said something like, “I’ve never thought about another career besides journalism.” In a sense, this is what journalism students wanted to hear and why we’re here to explore together with a shared interest. And for the second class, the stage turned into 33 of us. From Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine, from raised in the city to growing up on the farm, from music to sports teams, each of us told our own stories in our ways. These stories were too good to miss, where interesting souls gathered and we shared inspirational thoughts.

By introducing ourselves beyond just our names and majors, I immediately felt like more a part of this class in just the first week of school. Establishing mutual trust and respect between the professor and students in the early days of class makes for the best icebreaker.

Relationships: Virtual versus reality

Althea Chamption

Champion is a freshman writing, literature, and publishing major and a Beacon correspondent.

In an age where technology cannot be avoided and social anxiety is at an all-time high, the once-taboo idea of forming relationships with people online whom you’ve never met suddenly became normal.

Not only are people meeting others via the internet by their own volition, but it is increasingly encouraged. Students today hear, “Get on your college’s Facebook page,” “Join the Emerson Mafia,” or “Connect with people over Instagram.” Teens are thrust online to find friendships, throwing the old, aversion-to- strangers warning out the window.

I have always been relatively opposed to the idea of meeting people online—not for safety reasons, but because meeting people online brings with it a whole new world of anxiety- inducing expectations I do not enjoy. Some people might get a kick out of the few moments that prelude the first meeting with someone they have been talking to online, but I am not one of them.

I rather relish the joys of getting to know someone over time and acquiring a natural closeness by way of dorm conversations at 1 a.m., or over a cup of afternoon coffee at the Thinking Cup. However old-fashioned my predispositions may be, an undeniable fact of candid moments like these is that they are void of expectation.

Sherry Turkle, a professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, gave a Ted talk in 2012 titled “Connected, but alone?”

She discussed the richness of human relationships and how we “clean them up” with technology. Turkle claims immediate connection online sets people up to be isolated in reality. With solitude seldom presenting itself, we are no longer afforded a space to be separate and can no longer afford the opportunity to reach out and “form real attachments.” Instead we use other people “to support our fragile sense of self,” and consequently fail to form meaningful

relationships with people.

“Tt’s when we stumble or hesitate or lose our words that we reveal ourselves to each other,” Turkle said during the Ted talk. “And are therefore able to form real relationships.”

Nevertheless, come spring of my senior year of high school, I made the decision to join the Emerson Accepted Students Facebook page, among others, to help with the decision of choosing a college. I was hoping to better understand the vibe of the schools I was considering and the personalities of those who may be attending. If I met people along the way, so be it.

I made my introductory post, stating the kinds of things I liked to do and the type of music I listened to, and subsequently made my way through pages and pages of posts and comments from other students. I made no comments and only liked posts I shared commonalities with. By the end, I had successfully gotten an impression of the schools I was considering.

Much to my surprise, people, especially those on the Emerson page, were incredibly receptive. I was impressed by peoples’ willingness to put themselves out there. I ended up connecting with one girl who I really liked. We were both only children with single moms who loved Wes Anderson, Rex Orange County, and pizza. We had many things in common, and a few differences that allowed us to get along in a great way. We facetimed once in March which only solidified our affinity for one another, and then decided to be each other’s roommates.

Needless to say, this was not the route I envisioned myself taking just a few months before. I was set on the idea of being randomly assigned a roommate, so as to avoid the aforementioned expectations and anxiety that come with selecting a roommate beforehand. Nevertheless, I really liked this girl and believed we would be excellent roommates. Why not try to circumvent the intolerable nervousness one feels in the weeks or months leading up to meeting your roommate?

However, due to complications with her enrollment, we did not end up rooming together this fall semester. I found myself without





“Meeting people online brings with it a whole new world of anxiety-inducing expectations I do

not enjoy.

a roommate and defaulting to my previous plan: random assignment. Although I was disappointed to not be rooming with a girl I got along so well with, I felt a flood of relief coming over me, which was quickly followed by a twinge of guilt. I was finally free of the mountain of pressure I felt to be this girl’s best friend and the perfect roommate. Most people dreamed of finding a person online and connecting the way we did. I had that, and actually lost it. I should have been devastated, heartbroken, ranting about it to my mom and friends. But I just wasn’t.

I started to realize the reason behind my lack of disappointment was the very nature of our friendship. It had its roots in a virtual space, and solely existed there. Without any ties in the real world, how was I going to allow myself to invest my emotional stock into our situation? It simply never felt real. So when I received the message from her that we actually could not room together, I was not nearly affected as I

¢ Illustration by Ally Rzesa / Beacon Staff

would be if our friendship had been rooted in reality.

My roommate now is a testament to that idea. After we received our housing assignment, we briefly chatted over Instagram, but come move- in day, we were virtually strangers. Over the course of our time here, exploring Boston, chatting candidly over dinners, and going to the movies with our other friends, we have grown so much closer, and doing so has proved to be an incredibly fun and valuable experience.

Of course, some virtual friendships do blossom into beautiful, physical friendships, and that is one of the many wonders of the technological world we are now living in. I have since met up with the girl I connected with online, and I adore her. But even so, I stand by my preference for the relationships I manifest in the real world versus the virtual world.

Living Arts

Emerson alumna to release localized fiction podcast

Eloisa de Farias, Beacon Correspondent

When listening to children’s podcasts with her two kids, Danielle Monroe ‘12 decided to use a podcast as a new creative medium she could use to promote her writing and acting.

Monroe, a graduate of the master’s pro- gram in creative writing with an emphasis on fiction, releases her eight-part fiction series, “Republic of Camberville,” on Sept. 25. She wrote, produced, directed, and performed the series herself.

The eight standalone episodes follow a set of diverse characters who live in the town of Cam- berville—a combination of the cities of Cam- bridge and Somerville.

The podcast is avail- able on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, | SoundCloud, tuneIn, and Spotify, and each episode is around 15 to 40 minutes long.

‘Tt was very important to me that I spent money supporting other local

of Camberville.”

“My husband is from India and we talk a lot about culture and race, and in the Boston litera- ture scene that was something that was always really missing and was something I really want- ed to highlight with my work,” Monroe said.

Creating “Republic of Camberville” was Monroe’s first experience with producing a podcast.

“Tt’s such a huge emerging media form, so many people listen to podcasts and it’s really growing,” Monroe said. “This just seemed like something no one else was doing, and I real- ly wanted to do something like that with my work.”

Voice actor Resh- ma Mehta, who voiced Mandira in “Bombay Princess,” said she be- lieves the podcast format enhances the audience’s experience, because the tone and emotion can be

“The series is very . lost through reading. true to Somerville and artists. “T think that bringing Cambridge—they are -Danielle Monroe voice to her stories is in-

all living very different lives even though they are all living in the same cities, which is appropri- ate because both cities are very diverse, but also very pocketed,” Mon- roe said. “People in East Somerville live very different lives than people in Davis Square, for example.”

Monroe began creating the podcast by look- ing through pieces she wrote for her creative writing senior thesis. Episode five, “Bombay Princess,” is one of the pieces from her thesis that ended up in “Republic of Camberville.”

“One of the really lovely things about doing this project is that I had these stories that I loved and that just weren’t working, but I was able to revisit some of these works and see them with completely fresh eyes,” Monroe said.

Monroe highlights themes of diversity through the characters and stories of “Republic

credible, because she is going into a deep level bringing forward these subtleties and nuances of immigrants from dif- ferent walks of life living in the United States, away from what they’re familiar with, in many of her stories,” Mehta said.

Voice actor Shahjehan Khan—featured in two episodes, “Salsaholico” and “What’s to Come”—found out about “Republic of Cam- berville” through an audition website called Backstage.

“The podcast is a unique approach,” Khan said. “[Monroe] has thought carefully about the characters, and I’m excited to see how the rest of the series turns out.”

All of the episodes are narrated by Massa- chusetts locals, in addition to Monroe’s partici- pation in seven of the episodes.

“Tt’s cool that it’s focused on the Boston

area,” Khan said. “It’s a good opportunity for local talent.”

Monroe funded “Republic of Camberville” on her own through working various side jobs and taking from her savings. Monroe said each episode costs around $400-$600 to produce.

“All of the actors were paid,” Monroe said. “Tt was very important to me that I spent money supporting other local artists—almost all actors were from the Somerville and Cambridge area.”

Monroe not only wrote, produced, and per- formed “Republic of Camberville”— she also edited and mixed the podcast herself in addition to playing the clave, a musical instrument.

“In ‘Salsaholico’ it was completely me mix- ing it and finding the music,” Monroe said. “There’s three salsa songs, and two of them

Danielle Monroe ‘12 records her fictional podcast that follows characters in a utopian

The Berkeley Beacon September 19,2019 6

town * Courtesy of Danielle Monroe

have a clave, but the actual song didn’t, so it’s actually me playing the clave and mixing it into the song.”

After the debut of “Republic of Camber- ville,’ Monroe will host a reading and perfor- mance of the podcast at the FULLer CUP cafe and attend the only podcast festival dedicated to fiction in the U.S., Podtales.

“T have never done anything like this before, so this will be a really big experiment,” Monroe said. “It’s gone really well and I hope to contin- ue to do it.”

Alessandra Guarneri drums up YouTube success

Continued from page 1

“IT wanted to track my progress,” Guarneri said. “I wanted people to give me feedback, I wanted to communicate with other drummers and musicians in the YouTube world, and it just all came together after that.”

Guarneri says she is proud of her growing YouTube channel and the recognition she’s received from it. Justin Bieber’s former lead guitarist Dan Kanter, singer Jacob Whitesides, and Camila Cabello’s manager Roger Gold all watched and praised her covers.

Additionally, Glamour Magazine featured her in a video where Hailee Steinfeld reacted to fans covering her songs. Guarneri said that people still recognize her from that video.

Wiener discovered Guareri’s channel when they met as freshmen.

“One of the most notable features of her suc- cess for me is the fact that we’re so young, and not everybody goes to college and is actively working in the field they want to work in,” Wie- ner said.

When Guarneri records videos for her chan- nel in the basement studio of her home in New Jersey, she always begins with a few