All posts by biconews

Experiencing 80’s Night at Erdman and Hafner Dining Halls

By Diana Pope, Staff Writer

On Wednesday, Nov. 9, Bryn Mawr College’s Erdman and Hafner Dining Halls hosted a festive 80’s night dinner filled with fried chicken, MTV music videos, and a whole array of desserts. Students couldn’t help but smile when they walked into the nostalgic and bittersweet celebration of this decade.

Ray Bevidas, manager at Erdman Dining Hall, was the mastermind beind this themed dinner.  He stated that the goal of the night was to allow students to have a good time, especially after an emotional election season. His main intention was to create a stress-free environment for the Bryn Mawr community.

Erdman and Hafner Dining Halls were filled with many decorations to commemorate the 80’s. Students could see throwback posters of popular movies such as “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and “Pretty in Pink.” There were also jukeboxes and cassette tapes along the walls as additional decorations. Bevidas said that decorating was his favorite part of planning this dinner because he grew up in the 80’s and wanted to add as much color and neon as possible.

The entrees during this night were top-notch. The most popular foods of the night included the pizza bagels and sloppy joes. Bevidas picked these choices because he wanted the food to resemble what it would feel like to be in an 80’s shopping mall. Erdman also prepared delicious Smurf’s cupcakes with blue food coloring and chocolate chips. Another favorite was were the Reese’s Pieces, symbolic of the popular 80’s movie ”E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.”

Along with the creative decorations and delicious food, the dining hall managers also chose to play 80’s music videos from artists such as Michael Jackson and MC Hammer. Bevidas thanked Michael Winston for “tirelessly putting together CDs of MTV music videos for this event”. He wanted to include music from multiple genres including dance, electronic and rap

Bevidas stated that Erdman Dining Hall will definitely host more themed dinners in the future. He’s looking forward to helping out with the holiday dinner for “Marvel vs. DC” and may plan another themed dinner in February. Dining hall workers felt happy after seeing the turnout for this festive night.

Election Day

By Kate Hawthorne, Staff Writer

When I got up on Nov. 8, 2016, I was exhilarated. I carefully went through my clothes and chose a perfect outfit – slipping on a warm blue sweater, shrugging into a blue leather jacket, placing a blue necklace around my throat, sliding on blue origami earrings and, finally, placing my “Chappaqua for Hillary” hat on my head. I took a deep breath before leaving my room for my first class of the day.

This would be the first time I have voted, and doing so during such a historic election meant everything to me. As the memes put it, “This will either be our first female president or our last president.” As anyone who saw my hat might have guessed, I felt strongly about who should be the next president, and it was hard not to think that the world would essentially end if the other candidate won. And, I felt – or at least hoped – the majority of the country agreed with me.

I come from Chappaqua, New York, a town known for being mostly Jewish, having great public schools and being the home to the Clintons (with the nearby town of Mount Kisco being the home of Sandra Lee and Governor Andrew Cuomo). Chappaqua is not known for much else. Still, living in the same area as the Clintons has an effect on the town: it is extremely democratic. While it is not as liberal as Bryn Mawr, I still grew up with democrats comprising the majority of my classmates.

After my first class of the day, I nearly ran from Park to Pembroke Arch, my heart fluttering at the thought of finally having a say in what happens in this country – and even more of a say than I would if I had voted using an absentee ballot from one of the most democratic areas in New York. I waited in line for the shuttle graciously provided by Bryn Mawr College, internally squirming with impatience. When the shuttle finally pulled up at the church where people were voting, I barely spared a glance at the free hot chocolate and cookies being provided by NextGen Climate.

I tore inside and was greeted by two sides of the room – one with a sizable but not unmanageable line and the other with no line. You can guess which one I was told to join. I waited, again trying not to squirm, before noticing that Pennsylvania was voting on whether to make Supreme Court Judges retire at 75. With an internal sigh of relief, I started looking into what exactly that meant in order to take my mind off the line in front of me.

Finally, I reached the front of the line and, in short order, signed in, was directed to a voting booth and voted in my first election. I grinned as I exited the voting booth, receiving my “I’ve voted” sticker – which has now been placed on a flashcard with the date and my main vote on it for posterity. I returned to wait for the shuttle, grabbing a cookie from NextGen, and smiled as the butterflies in my stomach settled a little. Now, all I had to do was get through lunch, one class, and picking up some food from Acme for the BMC Democrats’ election watch party. Everything would be fine.

Until, at 9 p.m., staring at the screen in front of me, fighting the tears that threatened to spill from my eyes, everything wasn’t.

Long Election Night, Aftermath Leave Students Frustrated and Worried

By Rachel Hertzberg, Staff Writer

Thomas Great Hall, the site of Bryn Mawr College’s official election watch party, buzzed with excitement on the night of Tuesday, Nov. 8. Students gathered at patriotically adorned tables and helped themselves to president-shaped Pez dispensers. CNN’s election coverage was projected at the front of the room, and many people alternated between homework and watching the screen. Throughout the night, raffle prizes were announced, adding to the festive mood. As the party began, many students said they were uncertain as to the results of the night, although some said they felt confident in Secretary Clinton’s victory. By 8 p.m., the vast hall was crowded and sociable.

Early results started trickling in around 8:30, and the room responded energetically even though it was too early to definitively call any of the states. When it was reported that Trump was beating Clinton by one tenth of a percentage point in Florida, the hall rang with boos and jeers. Shouts of joy were heard when Clinton pulled ahead of Trump in North Carolina and Ohio. The room became especially elated upon seeing Clinton’s early lead in Texas. When Tammy Duckworth won her senate seat in Illinois, cheers broke out.

At 9 p.m., when Clinton won New York the room again erupted with joy. Trump’s wins in Nevada, Wyoming, and the Dakotas garnered boos and yells. At this point, one student from New York predicted that Clinton would win the electoral vote while Trump would win the popular vote. She and others expressed fear and concern over Trump’s populist support –regardless of the outcome of the election.

When Trump won Texas, the hall was filled with boos and one wordless scream. One student commented that she felt “really nervous. I didn’t think that Trump would be a firm contender, so coming here and seeing how close it is very surprising.”

Throughout the evening, several optimist students led the Anass chant when CNN showed Clinton to have a lead in various states. By 9:30, the room was so full that some people were sitting on the floor, and one student noted that she was pleasantly surprised at Bryn Mawr’s apparent level of political engagement. At around 9:45, it was announced that the Republican party would keep control of the House, and students responded with disappointed yells. Fifteen minutes later, it was reported that Clinton had an early lead in Pennsylvania, which led to another Anass.

By 10:15, Thomas Great Hall had become so loud that it was difficult to hear or understand the election coverage, but the viewing party in the Campus Center, hosted by the BMC Democrats, was much quieter and focused toward the NBC coverage on the television. The lights in the Campus Center were dimmed. People sat in armchairs, on the floor, and gathered on the stairs. Some were talking quietly, but most watched in silence. There were some muted reactions to the election coverage, but for the most part it was a subdued environment. To be fair, this quiet was in large part a reaction to the shift in the election. Contrary to most polls, Trump won state after state.

Although many in the Campus Center cheered when Clinton won Virginia at 10:30, and later when she won in Montgomery County, the mood became increasingly tense as the race tightened. One student was extremely frustrated to find out how many Floridians voted for third party candidates. When Trump officially won Florida, some muffled “No!”s rang out, but there seemed to be little fight left in the group of Mawrters. When the news coverage panned a crowd of crying Clinton supporters, one student watching the TV sadly called out, “Same!”

By midnight, many students had left to watch the election in their rooms or go to bed. As the key states of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania continued to be too close to call, the Campus Center was almost completely silent except for quiet groans and swearing. At several points, students became confused by the coverage, thinking that a state had been called when in fact NBC was simply showing a projection.

The energy in the room was even lower by 2 a.m.. There was some weak booing when Pat Toomey was victorious in maintaining his senate seat, and again when it became clear that the presidential race was over even though several states had still not been called. Many of the remaining students were visibly upset. Some, in disbelief, discussed the mathematics of Clinton’s loss, and others made phone calls to family and friends.

The next day, Nov. 9, dawned rainy and colorless. The campus was unusually quiet. People embraced each other in the libraries and hallways, offering words of comfort and support. Despite the difficult circumstances, there was a feeling of solidarity and communal grieving that offered some solace. Many professors took time during classes to discuss the results of the election, and it was unusual to hear a conversation that did not address the events of the previous night. A sense of shock and disbelief reigned on Bryn Mawr’s campus; there did not seem to be a consensus as to why Clinton had lost. There were numerous discussions about racism, third party voters, and economic concerns, as well as the fear and confusion about how to proceed. Many students went into Philadelphia to join protests following the election, while others found ways to attend events and organize on campus. On Friday, Nov. 11, the Bryn Mawr Dean’s Office sent a mass email to the student body, addressing the recent rise in hate crimes, and specifically the harassment of students around Bryn Mawr. The email encouraged all students to call Campus Safety if they feel unsafe.


Holidaze: A Season of Surprises

By Arianna Bernas, Opinion Editor

Thanksgiving was never a big deal to me. I always saw it as a very “American” holiday, much like Halloween. Even though my father did prepare Thanksgiving dinner and villages gave out candy on Halloween night, the trees stayed green and the air stayed hot and humid. To me, Halloween and Thanksgiving were temporary pauses within Christmas season.

Back home, the Christmas season starts in September. Restaurants start playing Christmas albums on repeat and Starbucks releases its Christmas drinks and Holiday Cards. Some families, mine included, skip Halloween altogether and put up lights and parols — Christmas lanterns — on our roofs. Shopping malls compete with one another to see who can erect the largest and most beautifully decorated Christmas trees. The air cools slightly, and families spend their free time planning Christmas feasts. Relatives fly in from all over the world to celebrate together. I may be biased in saying this, but no place does Christmas like the Philippines.

For a lot of us International Students, holidays like Thanksgiving or Halloween have always felt half-baked. Experiencing Halloween without pumpkins, or Thanksgiving without the fall leaves might have been special, but rather odd in the hot tropical sun.

Nevertheless, experiencing the holidays I never before this year paid much attention to has been interesting. It feels like there’s something new to celebrate every few weeks: from October break, to Halloween, and into Thanksgiving. It’s like receiving several small presents over time, as opposed to waiting a long time for a rather large one.

“It’s more exciting,” says Anna Landi, a first year at Bryn Mawr. Anna, a Korean-American born and raised in Thailand, had never celebrated Halloween. “It was just another day for us.” She continued, “It’s also really strange celebrating Christmas with palm trees and no snow. I never felt like I was fully experiencing that kind of Christmas.”

What’s particularly exciting about this holiday season, for us at least, is that part of it will feel completely new. Both Anna and I are spending Thanksgiving here and flying home for Christmas; she to Bangkok and I to Manila. We will both get a taste of the Thanksgiving we grew up hearing about; with the fall leaves and the week-long family and food fest. But then we get to return home to the familiarity of our own special types of Christmas. It’s a unique blend of tradition and discovery, of old and new.

At Thanksgiving dinner, it’s a tradition in my household to go around the table and pray about what you’re grateful for. In light of everything that’s happened this year, I think it’s important to remember all of the little things that help us to create a home away from home. I’m grateful for the new experiences I’ve had and the ones I look forward to experiencing. I am grateful for my friends who make this place feel more like home. I’m grateful for the Bi-Co community, for constantly teaching me something new.

What are you grateful for?



The Borromeo Quartet Showcases a New Side of the Old

By Chloe Lindeman, Co-Editor-in-Chief

You might expect a group that reads its music on sleek laptop computers to favor contemporary music over classical sonatas. And although the Borromeo Quartet featured the works of three classic composers in its concert at Haverford College on Friday, Nov. 11, the music was hardly business as usual.

Violinists Nicholas Kitchen and Kristopher Tong, violist Mai Motobuchi and cellist Yeesun Kim,  each having had experiences playing  with some of the world’s greatest musicians, came together on stage  for a night of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven.

Of the three quartets performed, Haydn’s String Quartet No. 2 in F major was the most traditional. As the opening piece, it gave listeners a chance to acquaint themselves with the group. The first violin and cello carried the melody line, yet the whole group was actively engaged throughout. Kitchen and Tong were placed opposite each other, in a relatively uncommon arrangement for string quartets today, giving the audience a clear view of both violinists’ emotive body language as they played.

The group was not afraid of silence. Throughout the concert, they took full advantage of pauses in the music, refusing to rush forward into the next theme.

Mozart’s String Quartet No. 19 in C major, aptly named “Dissonance,” brought to light a side of the composer you’ve likely never heard. Although certain parts conformed more closely to the classical master’s style, there was always the promise of a deviation to unexpected material. Rather than shying away from these surprising moments, the Borromeo Quartet dug in and emphasized Mozart’s use of new ideas.

The final piece, Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 14 in C-sharp minor, had some forward-thinking themes of its own. From the first movement, a dark fugue, to the final, racing allegro, the Borromeo maintained the high intensity of the piece. The quartet was written just a year before Beethoven’s death and is considered one of his most mature works.

One of the group’s strengths lay in the skillful interplay between parts. Though trading of melodies was at times limited to the first violin and the cello, in other instances Beethoven made sure each of the instruments was on equal footing, and the Borromeo Quartet allowed each of its members to shine.

The group’s dynamic range was also striking. From fortissimos fortified by the excitement of the players, to pianissimos softer than most quartets would dare to play, the quartet ventured to the extremes, and the result was a treat for the audience.

LGBT Comedy at Bryn Mawr with Lauren Faber

By Diana Pope, Staff Writer

[This article contains material that may be inappropriate for some audiences]

This past Thursday, Lauren Faber came to Bryn Mawr College to offer a stand-up comedy special filled with hilarious insights on dating, studying abroad, and bathroom laws. A Bryn Mawr alumnus, Faber has performed stand-up comedy across the country. In her time as a comedian, she has opened for Joe Zimmerman and, in 2016, won the title of North Carolina’s “Funniest Comic.” She currently coaches students who are interested in comedy as part of the DSI Standup Corps.

Faber’s show was comedic relief for Bryn Mawr students after an emotional week in the tumultuous election season. She commented on the dominance of male leaders in our political system, prompting cheers and laughs when she asked, “Do you ever feel like the world is being held at dick-point?”

Along with her sarcasm about this past election, she talked about her experience as a lesbian. She told stories about how multiple people have confused her for a male in public bathrooms, and laughed about all the reactions she had received from random individuals in these situations. She also discussed her experience coming out to her family members, and talked about how she dressed up as Prince Eric from the Little Mermaid for nine years in a row during Halloween to give a hint to her parents.

Faber also shared stories from her time as a student at Bryn Mawr College. During her time here, she studied abroad in Egypt. She was drugged by someone while she was in Cairo and got many laughs from the audience when she asked, “Have you ever gotten so drunk that you woke up on another continent?”

Faber stated that she chose to come to BMC over Columbia University because it “seemed like an incredibly happy, nurturing place”. After attending Bryn Mawr, she moved to North Carolina and started taking comedy classes as a side hobby. Eventually, Faber’s interest in comedy morphed into a full-time career. She loves comedy because she thinks that it is a “super therapeutic way of dealing with embarrassing things.”

This comedian has left her mark on Bryn Mawr, and her show was well worth the wait. The college is planning to feature more LGBT comedians in the future for a new comedy series. It is inspiring to know that Bryn Mawr is home to such witty and hilarious individuals as Faber.

Deconstructed: A Week of Afro-Caribbean Celebration

By Nina Inman, Staff Writer

Last week, the Bryn Mawr African & Caribbean Students Organization (BACaSo), organized a week devoted to Afro-Caribbean culture. The finale? A culture show called “Deconstructed.”

BACaSO faced various challenges putting the show and week together. Farida Ilboudo (’18) explained that much of the Bryn Mawr student body seems uninterested in BACaSO’s events.

“Afro-Carib week started on Monday and today is Wednesday and nobody knows. We had a film screening and nobody showed up… We do so much and we have so much fun with each other but no one comes.”

From a campus that claims to be culturally understanding and accepting, this was disheartening to members of BACaSO, who work hard to organize the event every year. Regardless, Ilboudo said, “We don’t care if people show up. It’s the reality we live in. This is for us.”

“Deconstructed” displayed elements of Afro-Caribbean culture through fashion shows of dance and singing, modern and traditional clothing and a drumming performance. The show attempted to deconstruct Afro-Caribbean culture in order to illustrate and celebrate its complexities. At the same time, it worked to bring together students and community members from a variety of countries.

After election night, the culture show took on an additional role: unifying and encouraging the student body against a president-elect that many have accused of blatant bigotry. “The road ahead is long and unpredictable but we will continue to fight for what we deserve, break stereotypes and have equal opportunity,” BACaSO posted on their Facebook page.

The event further attempted to unify the audience by giving a presentation on Black Lives Matter and the oppression of some elements of Afro-Caribbean culture. The crowd joined hands to represent how they would stand together against violence and hate. This was followed by an energetic performance by Universal African Dance and Drum Ensemble.

BACaSO was happy with the turnout and audience’s response to the show. Aisha Soumaoro (‘20), a fashion model, said, “A lot of people came out to support the culture show. The crowd was very energetic. It felt like a supportive environment.”

“Save My Seoul” Shares Stories, Highlights Concerns over Prostitution in South Korea

By Vidya Ramaswamy, Staff Writer

On Friday, Nov. 11th, the Jubilee Project documentary film “Save My Seoul” screened in Thomas, with a chance to hear from the directory afterward. The film focuses on the problems, often hidden to locals, of sex trafficking in South Korea.

In 2012, the Jubilee Project released a fictional short film on sex trafficking, called “Back to Innocence,” which can be found on YouTube. After seeing this film, a Korean church pastor reached out to the group and persuaded them to make a film on the hidden but widespread sex trafficking culture in South Korea – one that wasn’t fictional. After talking to the pastor, Jubilee Project Founder and Film Director Jason Lee traveled with his brother Eddie to South Korea, where they spent three years researching, interviewing, and gathering content for the film.

While there, they asked a number of South Korean civilians about their opinions of prostitution. Many of those interviewed did not think it was a significant problem.

“As long as there are men and women in the world, it cannot be avoided,” one of the interviewed men said.

When asked why they thought women chose to become prostitutes, most said that it was simply to make money. When asked if they ever thought of prostitutes as victims, most said that they did not because the prostitutes voluntarily chose to become prostitutes.

When Jason and Eddie tried to find sex workers to interview, most refused to be shown on camera. Then they found Crystal and Esther.

Although Crystal and Esther’s faces were not revealed, they spoke openly about their experiences as sex workers. They were both forced into the sex industry after running away from home and having no other way to earn money or make a living. In fact, more than 80% of minors in the Korean sex trade industry are runaways. Around 200,000 young people run away from home annually, and most end up as sex workers. Crystal and Esther revealed that prostitutes in Korea endure lots of physical and verbal abuse. They also often find themselves in lots of debt, as they end up owing their pimps large sums of money.

“After ten years, I checked my bank account,” one interviewee said. “I had no money, but I owed my pimp thousands of dollars.”

Unfortunately, the Korean sex trade industry does not lack customers: although most of the civilians interviewed expressed negative sentiments about sex workers, five out of ten Korean men admit to having paid for sex at least once in their lifetime.

There are NGOs dedicated to helping sex workers escape the industry and put an end to the cycle. At the same time, Korea does not want to draw attention to the issue. Fortunately, the end of the film revealed that Crystal and Esther were saved by an NGO. Esther is currently in college studying to help former and current sex workers.

Jason Lee was present for the screening and held a Q&A session after the film. During this time, he told the audience that Crystal passed away about three months ago. Although they are unsure of the cause, they suspect suicide. When asked how people can help the cause, Lee advised men to think about how they treat women, and women to think about how they should be treated. He also encouraged everyone to go to and join the movement.

November Book Review: “Seraphina”

By Kate Hawthorne, Staff Writer

If you like the “Eragon” series by Christopher Paolini and “The Naming” by Alison Croggon, then you should read Rachel Hartman’s “Seraphina,” a young adult fantasy including magic, dragons – and autism.

Despite having made it onto the New York Times Best Seller list a few times, this book is not very well-known (which is truly a tragedy). For any fan of dragons, this is a must-read novel. However, Hartman also draws on the real world, specifically on the autism spectrum. One of the most fascinating aspects of this book is the fact that the dragons have characteristics similar to those of humans who fall on the autism spectrum: they work logically and are extremely bright in whichever field they choose (which, in this book, is most frequently music), yet they struggle with understanding  emotions. This has proven to be a very controversial topic among readers, some of whom view it as “an unflattering caricature” of those on the autism spectrum. Personally, I found this to be a wonderful way to include learning differences – a topic often left untouched – in fantasy literature. While the characteristics of the dragons cannot perfectly depict everyone’s experiences with autism, the autism spectrum is a wide one, encompassing diverse personalities and individuals.

In this novel, the protagonist, Seraphina, is a uniquely gifted musician who is drawn into the investigation of the murder of a member of the royal family of Goredd. The investigation shows the dangers that lie beneath the surface of the seeming peace between the humans and the dragons that hide in human form amongst them. Throughout the book, Seraphina must work hard to protect a secret that she keeps close to her chest while dealing with the strange visions that plague her sleep.

Ask Me Another Features Trivia, Celebrities, Music – and Haverford Students

By Chloe Lindeman, Co-Editor-In-Chief

How often do you see the inventor of the Choco Taco and the comedian who voices Gene Belcher in Bob’s Burgers on the same stage within minutes of each other? If you were at the recording of NPR’s game show Ask Me Another on Friday, Nov. 4, you saw just that – and much, much more.

The show featured Host Ophira Eisenberg, In-House Musician Jonathan Coulton and Puzzle Guru Art Chung and included a variety of short wordplay- and- trivia-based quizzes. Haverford College students chosen to participate answered questions that ranged from naming breakfast cereals (with a twist) to guessing the beach item described by Coulton to the tune of DNCE’s “Cake by the Ocean.”

Though the show has been around since 2012, this episode was its first collegiate recording.

“Everybody in New York is ‘too cool for school,’” Coulton told The Bi-College News. He noted that it was nice to get out of the city and be reminded that the shows are not just live performances, but are also aired on national radio.

“It’s always really thrilling just to see that people come out and enjoy the show.”

And come out they did. An hour or so before the act began, a line was already forming in front of Marshall Auditorium.

It wasn’t just the contestants testing their smarts onstage. The hosts were up against a challenge of their own when they had to determine the identity of mystery guest Alan Drazen, inventor of the Choco Taco, by asking only yes or no questions. After they correctly guessed his identity, Drazen shared his experience with unlimited Choco Tacos for life and told the audience to look out for a new frozen treat, which will hit the aisles in 2018.

Minutes later, Eisenberg interviewed a second special guest: Eugene Mirman, the comedian who voices Gene in the television series Bob’s Burgers. He spoke about his latest album, a nine-volume work, which may not be exactly what you think. Although it includes stand-up comedy, Mirman emphasized that it also contains much more, like the sounds almost 200 orgasms and “over 45 minutes of crying.”

The experience was unlike that of most events at Haverford. Students see their fair share of comedy on campus, but the combination of trivia, interviews and music – not to mention the prospect of ending up on national radio – made this a unique experience.

There’s no telling if, or when, Haverford will get the chance to bring this kind of event to campus again. But, hey, at least we can look forward to that new ice cream novelty.