We Know Who We Are: The Newest Disney Movie

By Kate Hawthorne, Staff Writer

        Thanksgiving week saw the arrival of the newest Disney movie, Moana, in theaters. Starring Auli’i Cravalho (a new talent) and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, the movie focuses on the tradition and history of the Polynesian Islands, and does it well. The newest Disney movie has many themes similar to both Mulan and Pocahontas, but has its own unique appeal.

        The movie includes a crazy grandmother very similar to Grandmother Willow from Pocahontas, a “daughter of a chief” rather than a princess (also similar to Pocahontas), two loving parents (as in Mulan) and a girl who is torn between her family, her duty and what is right (similar to Mulan). At the same time, the movie includes traditional Polynesian values and mythology that echoes Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander lore. It’s a wonderful mixture of Mulan, Pocahontas and Polynesian culture.

        Although composed by Lin Manuel Miranda, creator of the musical phenomenon Hamilton, the music of Moana does not initially seem to be as catchy as the music of either Hamilton or some of the old Disney movies. However, the music is still amazing and the lyrics quite poignant. The score, which ncludes songs such as “We Know the Way”, “Shiny”, “How Far I’ll Go” and “I am Moana,” supports and accompanies the Polynesian feel of the film.

        Moana is a wonderful addition to the Disney legacy, and it is an addition that could bring about a new age of cultural honesty. The story is one with which almost everyone can relate: the tale of a girl, growing into herself and realizing where she belongs. Additionally, most viewers can relate to the feeling of settling for something that Moana experiences in the beginning of the movie. With the eponymous hero and the demigod Maui at the core of the movie, it proves to be a film that almost any Disney fan will adore.

From the print edition published Dec. 7, 2016

Emmy Award-Winning Filmmaker Josh Fox Talks at Haverford

By Sophie Webb, Features Editor

Oscar-nominated writer and director Josh Fox joined students, faculty and community members on Wednesday, Nov. 16 at Haverford College for a screening of his newest film How to Let Go of the World and Love All The Things Climate Can’t Change and a follow-up Q&A discussion.

Fox is the writer and director of the film GasLand, parts one and two, and he directed a documentary about fracking, a method of extracting oil and gas from the earth. Fox considers himself an environmental activist and is an outspoken critic of fracking. He has been to Standing Rock to protest the North Dakota Access Pipeline, and he uses his skills as a playwright, director and filmmaker to create movies that educate people about climate change and inspire viewers to get involved.

Fox’s latest film follows his journey around the world as he interacts with different communities affected by climate change and gathers footage for his film. For two hours and seven minutes, the audience was given a raw and emotional look into the effects of climate change on people and communities across the globe. The film was personal, attaching human faces to abstract concepts by following community leaders and changemakers, and it showed the audience what climate change looks like. At the same time, it drove home the message that we can’t control and fix everything and emphasized that “it’s time to celebrate life and love.”

The Q&A following the screening was lively and constructive. Fox fielded questions from the audience and offered his own thoughts and opinions. He spoke passionately not just about his film and his work, but also about the current political climate.

“We are having an incredibly participatory moment … I want to see people in the streets all the time, it’s just more fun that way.” As Fox spoke and engaged with the audience, he deliberately connected what he was talking about to the Haverford community. He drew attention to a student in the room who is part of the club Haverfordians for a Livable Future, giving her the opportunity to explain the club’s activities and ask members of the audience to attend the next meeting. The Q&A lasted almost an hour, covering an array of topics, and ended with Fox’s reminder to the audience that it is important to find ways to be socially involved and engaged, but that it is just as important to do what you love.

From the print edition published Dec. 7, 2016

Meet the Cabinet

By Abby Hoyt, Co-Editor-in-Chief

President-Elect Donald Trump’s transition team has been faced with its first major task: nominating over 4,000 people for positions throughout the federal government. These positions will help determine the direction of the country in major areas like health care, military action and international relations. His appointments will be crucial in determining the success of the Trump Administration in pushing their agenda for the next four years.

Most of his nominees will have to be confirmed by the Senate two weeks before Trump’s inauguration in January. Just three of these positions will not require the Senate’s confirmation: chief of staff (Reince Priebus), national security adviser (Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn), and chief strategist (Stephen Bannon).  

The following is a list of his nominees so far.

Treasury Secretary: Steven Mnuchin

The role of the Treasury Secretary is to oversee government involvement in financial markets and advise the President on financial policy.

Perhaps one of the most surprising nominations President-elect Trump has announced so far is Steven Mnuchin, whose lengthy resume on Wall Street has drawn criticism for contradicting Trump’s “drowning the swamp” rhetoric during the campaign. Mnuchin worked at Goldman Sachs for 17 years and bought IndyMac during its decline in the 2008 financial crisis.

During Trump’s campaign, Mnuchin was a loyal and heavy donor despite his lack of previous involvement in politics. His main goals in office include reducing financial regulations and reviewing trade agreements abroad.

Transportation Secretary: Elaine Chao

The role of the Transportation Secretary is to oversee infrastructure efforts, such as the building of roads, bridges and public transit systems.

Elaine Chao served as Secretary of Labor under Former President George W. Bush. She brings to the cabinet the perspective of a female immigrant from Taiwan. During the campaign, she was a member of Trump’s Asian Pacific American Advisory Council. Additionally, she has worked for Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and The Heritage Foundation, and she sits on the Board of Directors at FOX Broadcasting.

Health and Human Services Secretary: Tom Price

The role of the Health and Human Services Secretary is to advise the President on national health and welfare through agencies such as the FDA, NIH, and CDC.

Representative Tom Price has been serving in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2005. He has rebuked any legislation regarding a woman’s right to choose and has supported the defunding of Planned Parenthood. He adamantly opposes the Affordable Care Act and proposed a bill in 2015 to cut the nation’s federal health care programs.

Trump has expressed particular interest in Price’s ability to help him complete his goal of repealing the Affordable Care Act in the first 100 days in office.

Commerce Secretary: Wilbur Ross

The role of the Commerce Secretary is to develop business and industries both at home and abroad.

Wilbur Ross has a long history of buying troubled companies in the manufacturing industry, helping them get back on their feet, and then selling them. His plans in office include changing regional agreements like NAFTA into bilateral agreements and keeping American companies on American soil by getting rid of tariffs on American exports.

Education Secretary: Betsy DeVos

As head of the U.S. Department of Education, the Education Secretary helps draft and propose education policy to Congress.

DeVos advocates for a “school choice” proposal where students who prefer to have a private education over a public education are given a “voucher” from the federal government to help offset the costs of the transfer. While the intention of this program is to help all students have an equal opportunity to afford private education, critics say the reality is that private education is often times still unobtainable even with the voucher. These vouchers can result in less funding for public schools, leaving them with less to offer their existing students. In the past, DeVos has supported policy that minimizes the power of teachers unions through the controversial “right to work” legislation.

U.N. Ambassador: Nikki R. Haley

The U.N Ambassador represents the United States in all U.N. General Assembly meetings.

South Carolina Governor Haley rose to national recognition in 2015 after a shooting in Charleston where a white supremacist attacked an African-American church, killing nine. She responded by removing the confederate flag from the grounds of the state capitol. During the primaries she backed Senator Marco Rubio and was attacked by the Trump campaign via Twitter after she criticized the real estate mogul.

Governor Haley has never held a federal position, nor does she have any foreign policy experience, but President-Elect Trump released a statement praising her for her ability to “bring people together regardless of background or party affiliation.”

C.I.A Director: Mike Pompeo

The Director of the C.I.A heads the C.I.A and reports to the Director of National Intelligence.

While in Congress, House Representative Mike Pompeo served on both the Intelligence Committee and the Select Committee on Benghazi. He was one of the interrogators that invested Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s involvement in Benghazi.

Pompeo’s original plans for 2016 involved running against Kansas Senator Jerry Moran, but the National Republican Senatorial Committee and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan took drastic efforts to deter him from doing so. Pompeo has expressed concern for Muslim Americans who do not report potential threats to national security and has accused them of being “potentially complicit” with the outcomes of the attacks. Additionally, his close connections to the Koch brothers and his desire to return to former C.I.A detention and interrogation techniques has raised concerns within both parties.

Attorney General: Senator Jeff Sessions

The role of the Attorney General is to act as legal counsel to the President and serve as the head of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Senator Sessions, who has been an active member of the Trump campaign since February, is most well known for his stringent approach to immigration. In 2014, he was dubbed “amnesty’s worst enemy” by the National Review.

This nomination has raised concerns nationwide due to the Senator’s behavior under the Reagan Administration. Sessions was denied a federal judgeship in 1986 due to multiple accounts of racist language and behavior. However, this did not end his political career; he was elected Senator and has held the position for the past twenty years.  

National Security Adviser: Michael Flynn

Along with the National Security Council, the National Security Adviser researches intelligence reports and advises the President on issues of national security.

Lt. Gen Michael Flynn served in the Asia-Pacific region during his time in the military and was chosen by Trump for his determination to fight ISIS. Flynn recently published a book called “The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Isla and Its Allies,” in which he claims that there is an alliance between “radical Islamist terrorists” and the governments of countries like North Korea, China, Russia, Iran, Syria, Cuba, Bolivia, Venezuela and Nicaragua.

He has been called out for past Islamophobic behavior, particularly a tweet from 2013 that stated, “Fear of Muslims is Rational.”

White House Chief of Staff: Reince Priebus

The White House Chief of Staff is in charge of the day-to-day operations of the Executive Office of the President.

Former head of the Republican National Party, Reince Priebus came highly recommended by prominent Republicans like Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. Some view the choice as Trump’s attempt to strengthen ties with the Republican Party.

After the primaries, Priebus began to work with Trump on his presidential image and tried to help him formulate concrete policy plans. He has never served in the capacity of an elected official, but he was Head of the Republican National Party for five years.


Chief Strategist: Stephen Bannon

The Chief Strategist’s role is relatively undefined but is primarily to act as an assistant to the Chief of Staff and a close confidant of the President.

Stephen Bannon, head of the conservative news outlet Brietbart.com, was originally in the running for Chief of Staff but was instead appointed to Chief Strategist due to his harsh comments towards the Republican Party during the 2016 election. Breitbart was pro-Trump throughout most of the election and is often dubbed by Bannon as the “platform for the alt-right,” an ideology frequently associated with white nationalistic and misogynistic viewpoints.

From the print edition published Dec. 7, 2016

In Response to Christine Flowers’ “Privileged College Kids Don’t Understand Real Social Injustice”

By Katya Olson Shipyatsky, Staff Writer

On November 18th an article entitled  “Privileged College Kids Don’t Understand Real Social Injustice”, written by Bryn Mawr alumna Christine Flowers, was published on Philly.com.The article was in reference to a student organized protest at the Lower Merion Police Department on Wednesday, November 16th which was in response to the chapter’s affiliation with the Fraternal Order of Police which, during the election, endorsed Donald Trump.

In the piece, Flowers expresses doubt whether students protesting in the Bi-Co have ever experienced what she calls “real prosecution.” She argued that the privileged Bi-Co student protesters have no grounds from which to draw parallels between the recent election of Donald Trump as president and historic beginnings of totalitarian regimes. Flowers stated that the “privileged Main Line kids,” should not draw those parallels on the grounds that they are offensive to victims of state-sponsored violence from authoritarian regimes.

Flowers is likely correct that none of us can know exactly what the impending Trump presidency will bring. Many of his proposed policies contradict not only existing government policies, but also with one another. However, her argument that Bi-Co students do not have reason to be fearful of what the next four years may bring and that student protesters are simply “looking for a political cause” is flawed, and oversimplified.  

Aside from Flowers’ incorrect assumption that students in the Bi-Co have never experienced real “fear, persecution, and horrors,” Flowers’ also argues that students are hastily comparing Trump’s rise to power to that of other dictatorial leaders. But what Flowers doesn’t realize is that such comparisons is entirely warranted. Confronted with Trump’s campaign platform of “law and order,” we are not wrong to draw parallels to the increases in police power that have historically come with the beginnings of authoritarian regimes.

Bombarded throughout the election season by the Trump campaign’s racist, sexist and xenophobic rhetoric, it is not irrational for Bi-Co students to compare Trump’s rise to power to that of authoritarian leaders. But it is not only Trump’s violent rhetoric that has students worried: Trump is also inheriting a Supreme Court that may need up to three seats filled in the next four years, and a majority Republican Congress. This unique combination of institutional power and violent rhetoric leaves us with legitimate grounds from which to draw parallels to the historic beginnings of dangerous, totalitarian regimes. In this sense, we are left with every reason to be fearful of what a Trump presidency will bring.

In light of this, we must look to history to guide us toward effective paths forward. The search for successful methods of resistance leads us to protest, hoping that those methods that have effectively resisted the rise of dictatorial regimes of the past can aid us in preventing them today.

Believing that Trump’s rhetoric combined with the power of the American presidency may be indicative of a shift in the direction of totalitarianism is not far-fetched or baseless, and our justified resistance to a rise of dangerous political ideology does not classify us as “rabble rousers looking for a political cause.” Indeed, the study of history is important for the very reason that it allows us to draw such parallels between events of past and current times with the aim of preventing repetitions of past atrocities.

We are right to be impacted by the parallels we see between Trump’s ascent to power and the rise of past totalitarian leaders. We are right to feel the need to resist. Protests like the one that provoked Flowers’ response are indicative not of a nation-wide trend of millennial oversensitivity, but a trend of historically justified political activism. The future remains frightening and deeply uncertain, but I hope that students of the Bi-Co will trust their inescapable sense that something has gone deeply wrong and continue to draw on historically effective forms of political resistance as we continue into and past January 20th.

Read Flowers’ article here: http://www.philly.com/philly/opinion/20161118_Flowers__Privileged_college_kids_don_t_understand_real_social_injustice.html

From the print edition published Dec. 7, 2016

A Glimmer of Hope in the 2016 Election

By Kate Weiler, Staff Writer

It’s hard to deny that Wednesday, Nov. 9 was a memorable day. And now that almost a month has passed, the decisions made have already begun to build a foundation for the future of the United States. I will focus on three pillars of this foundation: women, wages, and weed.

Four states voted to legalize recreational marijuana on Nov. 8. Massachusetts voters said yes to Question 4, a bill to legalize the recreational use, possession, cultivation, and sale of marijuana starting on Dec. 15. And with California’s vote in favor of Proposition 64, which legalizes recreational marijuana for those over the age of 21, the entire West Coast of the U.S. has legalized recreational and medicinal marijuana use. As of 12:01 a.m. on Nov. 9, California residents are allowed to grow up to six plants in their homes, and recreational sales from shops will become legal on Jan. 1, 2018.

Nevada and Maine voted yes on their weed referenda as well. As of January 1, 2018, Nevada residents are legally allowed to possess up to one ounce of marijuana. While all four of these states are left-leaning, the decision made is significant for both their economies and their law enforcement policies.

Four states — Arizona, Colorado, Maine, and Washington — passed ballot measures that will raise the minimum wage significantly by the year 2020. Hourly workers in Arizona, Colorado, and Maine will see their wages rise to $12 an hour, gains of more than $3.75 per hour, and Washington’s minimum wage will rise to $13.50 by 2020, an increase of $4.03 an hour. In South Dakota, a referendum that would lower wages for workers under 18 years of age was defeated.

Several incredible women celebrated wins on October 8. Tucked into the surprise surrounding the loss of Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton were little glimmers of hope for women in politics, with several “firsts” as countless women were elected to various offices across the country.

Kamala Harris is the first black politician to represent California in the Senate, and the second black woman ever elected to the chamber. In Nevada, Catherine Cortez Masto became the first Latina ever elected to the Senate. The first Indian-American woman elected to Congress, Pramila Jayapal, won over Seattle’s seventh Congressional District in Washington. An immigrant, founder of advocacy group OneAmerica, and Washington State senator, Jayapal has been praised for her resilient progressivism.

Ilhan Omar is the first Somali American to be elected to State Legislature. A refugee who immigrated to the United States at when he was 12, Omar wishes to represent and protect the diverse people of her district, focusing in particular on the rights of immigrants and refugees who seek a better future in America.

In Illinois, Tammy Duckworth defeated Republican Senator Mark Kirk. A veteran of the Iraq war, in which she lost both her legs, Duckworth has promised to use her new power to address structural issues that have prevented veterans’ access to private doctors and to speak for soldiers who have previously been silenced about deployment and foreign policy.

Oregon’s Kate Brown, who took over the position of governor when her predecessor resigned this past year, has become the first openly LGBT person elected governor. She is an outspoken advocate for marginalized communities, including women, underprivileged youth, and the LGBTQ community.

The progress made by these election results, which support of the right to recreational marijuana, higher wages for workers, and women in power, should be recognized and appreciated across party lines. Despite the setbacks, things are changing for the better and will continue to change for the better, and that in and of itself is comforting. So, in this difficult time, remember the good things in life: you don’t have to go all the way to Colorado to light up.

From the print edition published Dec. 7, 2016

Quaker Values in a Time of Divisiveness

By Michael Schwarze, Business Manager

In the aftermath of the election, political polarization seems to be at an all-time high around the nation and even within the Bi-College community. Disagreement is important because it forces people to face viewpoints different from their own, but it sometimes dissolves into back-and-forth arguments where neither side is listening. In a time when engaging in healthy discussion is especially important, how can we work toward productive dialogue?

The first step is to realize that finding mutual understanding does not mean accepting bigotry, racism or other prejudices.

Take Donald Trump’s campaign rhetoric, which was deeply rooted in such prejudices. Some have tried to play down the bias he has shown, but the implications could — in fact, have already proven to — be disastrous. Trump’s actions and claims should never become the norm, and it’s important to actively disavow many of his comments. But we simply won’t make progress if we don’t understand others’ perspective. Fortunately, the dialogue we need in order to make a framework for mutual understanding is not incompatible with the idea of holding true our own beliefs.  

For guidance, we look toward some of the Quaker ideas Haverford holds dear. Respect for all people, including those with different opinions, is central in Quaker thought. We can work toward tolerance of the opposite perspective in search of a greater understanding based on mutual respect. This doesn’t necessarily mean supporting that perspective; instead, it means trying to understand where it comes from and what values or concerns it reflects.

Quakers also place a heavy emphasis on reflection in times of disagreement. However, when beliefs are firmly held, as is often the case in politics, it can be hard to remain open to new ideas, and the result is both sides on the defensive with no one really listening. To fight this tendency, next time you step up to join a political discussion, listen to someone who disagrees with you and take the time to deliberate on the topic. Think their arguments through, try your best to understand their perspective, and look for mutual ground to build on.

College is a place for us to experience new things and challenge our perspectives. By doing so, we are able to grow in our understanding of our own beliefs. Disagreements do — and should — happen naturally in college and beyond, but they don’t have to be dead ends. With the right tools, the conversations stemming from disagreements can be productive. They allow us to better understand other viewpoints, and by extension we learn more about ourselves.

I (Michael) grew up in a conservative household, and though I still hold a number of conservative beliefs and am a co-head of the Haverford College Republicans, I have also developed a more liberal stance on several issues. Being a part of the Bi-Co has let me challenge my views and learn why others believe what they believe. I hope we can all make room for productive conversation that pushes toward a more comprehensive understanding of what shapes our beliefs.

Chloe Lindeman contributed to this article.

From the print edition published Dec. 7, 2016

How Not to Study Abroad

By Fiona Redmond, News Editor

The articles circulating about Study Abroad seem to be endless: “10 Tips For Studying Abroad,” “Why Studying Abroad in England Was Literally The Best Choice I Have Ever Made,” “Drop Everything Immediately And Head To The Nearest Airport So You Can Study Abroad.” I could go on.

The same culture surrounding study abroad can be seen on campus at Bryn Mawr College. There are “Post Cards From Abroad” events, countless information sessions and even special dining hall nights celebrating the experiences students have had going abroad. We have a wonderful and robust support system for those who go abroad, and that is a great thing. But what about those who are left behind?

I am a junior and I won’t be studying abroad. Like, at all. As in: I will be staying on Bryn Mawr’s campus for my entire junior year. I’ll take a minute to let that sink it; I know it’s a strange thing to hear in the Bi-Co.

For some, studying abroad simply doesn’t work, whether it be for financial reasons, class schedules or just personal preference. And while studying abroad is more of a norm at Bryn Mawr than it is at other colleges, the dynamic it creates on campus still comes with its own host of complications.

For instance, while I won’t be studying abroad at all this year, all of my friends will be leaving for the spring semester. And to be honest, that makes me sad, and even a little bit anxious. How will Bryn Mawr a place that has been my home for the past two and a half years feel when the people who have helped shape my experience here are gone?

Maybe I’m being dramatic; after all, it’s not like everyone in my year is leaving for good. But while Bryn Mawr supports and encourages students to go abroad, those who are unable to can sometimes feel (literally) left behind.

It can be discouraging seeing all of those articles about why studying abroad is the best choice a student can ever make. And while I’m glad that people can experience authentic Italian food, or watch the sunset in Denmark at 3:30 p.m., that doesn’t mean that people who stay on campus are getting cheated out of a life-changing experience. It just means our junior year experiences will be different.

And let’s face it: junior year is confusing and stressful enough already. Course loads get tougher, papers get longer, and thesis writing seems to be just around the corner. Those of us who are staying shouldn’t spend time worrying that we’re missing out by staying at Bryn Mawr. Instead, we can celebrate the experiences of those we know who have the chance to go abroad and make the most of the four years that we have here in the Bi-Co.  

From the print edition published on Dec. 7, 2016

Postcards from Abroad: Oxford, England

By Caleb Mayer, Contributing Writer

In my entire life as a student, I’ve never been in a class with more than 40 people, so walking into the L1 Lecture Theatre at the Mathematical Institute at Oxford was a little intimidating. The room holds about 360 people at full capacity, and on the first day of term it seemed like almost every seat was filled. Throw in the fact that I didn’t know a single person in the class, and my decision to find an empty seat as far away from the lecturer (and everyone else) as possible might be a little more understandable.

My initial intimidation, not only about the class size but also in reaction to the whole study abroad experience, seems  silly now that I’ve met some other students and grown used to the surroundings. I’m still occasionally surprised by some obvious differences from Haverford: for example, that a student can keep his hand raised for almost the entire lecture and still never get to ask his question, or when I get to class five minutes late and realize that I can no longer rely on Havertime. At the same time, my experience in England has been very similar  to my life at Haverford in more ways than I originally expected. I’m on the tennis team at Haverford, and I had the opportunity to continue playing on a competitive team while abroad. And academically, the huge lectures here are balanced out by a tutorial system in which I’m able to interact with the instructors on a more personal level, which certainly feels much more like what I’m used to at Haverford.

Overall, I definitely feel like my first term abroad has been a worthwhile experience. And I’m sure my time in England will make me appreciate Haverford’s small class sizes, individual attention and collaborative atmosphere (not to mention Havertime!) even more than I have in the past.

From the print edition published Dec. 7, 2016

Postcards from Abroad: Lima, Peru

By Dana Gold, Contributing Writer

After spending four and a half months in Lima, Peru, my study abroad experience is coming to a close. And although I cannot yet consider myself a full limeña, I am definitely not a tourist anymore — even if the locals make me feel that way.

I am five foot one (solidly average height here) and blonde. My wardrobe is not particularly Peruvian, and although I speak Spanish fluently I still sound like a gringa. In other words, I stand out. Walking down the busy streets in my neighborhood, restaurant greeters invite me to eat there, talking to me in English. I always decline in Spanish. On the bus to and from school, I feel like a museum exhibit, often the only foreigner and/or blonde person aboard.

My travels within the country have also made me feel more “touristy” than I’d like. During school breaks and long weekends, I have taken advantage of this incredibly diverse country. I spent a week in Cusco and Machu Picchu, exploring the mountainous Incan capital and the Incan citadel that you have to see to believe. I spent one weekend sandboarding in Huacachina, another learning Afro-Peruvian dance and music in El Carmen, and another hiking in Huaraz.

At the same time, while in Lima I am starting to feel more and more like a local. I have successfully given directions on multiple occasions when I noticed that even the Peruvians being asked didn’t know the way. I have a regular café which could be dropped into the Brooklyns or Oaklands of the US. I spend a few nights a week there doing homework, and when I walk in, they ask if I want lo normal. I volunteer weekly at a non-profit that teaches domestic workers, both adults and children, about their rights as employees. During the program orientation, we learned Peruvian-specific swear words and slang, both very useful for someone my age. And, being young in Lima, I have been introduced to the hip bars and cool dance clubs. Finally, I have become very comfortable with the complicated privately-run public transportation system here, as well as with negotiating taxi fares “tourist tax” is real.

Study abroad is a magical experience that transforms you into part-tourist/part-local in just a few months. Studying at the local university (in my case taking classes in another language and as the only foreign student in some classes), mastering ‘public’ transportation, improving language skills, and living with and getting to know locals have all challenged and excited me in ways that I didn’t know were possible. My experience here in Peru has made me feel truly partly limeña.

From the print edition published on Dec. 7, 2016

Student, Entrepreneur—Why not Both?

By Nathan Sokolic, Contributing Writer

Over the last several years, I have engaged in activities, projects and businesses that some would consider to be “entrepreneurial.” But what does that really mean? Is there some sort of checklist that one should cross off in order to reach “entrepreneur” status?

If there were such a list, I would imagine it would look something like this:

  •         Gregarious tech entrepreneur with a billion dollar goal
  •         Student—and subsequent drop out—at some prestigious academic institution
  •         Silicon Valley. Where else?

The more I think about the stereotypical definition of an entrepreneur, the less I feel I fill this mold. So where do I fit in? How do I fit in? Does not having a clear career path mapped out when I visit my grandmother over winter break automatically make me the grandchild who got lost somewhere along the way?

While I am hopeful that my grandmother will continue to love me regardless of my career choice, the question of my role as an entrepreneur fills my head on a daily basis. So: what’s next and where do I go now? For me, that is the exciting part. I have little to no idea. The word “entrepreneur” stems from the French, translating into “adventurer”—and there really is no better way to live than to take new projects as they come along. This does not mean you have to create the next Google or Facebook. Instead, it suggests that you should always be looking to optimize and innovate the existing systems around you based on your interests and passions, regardless of the social, political or professional field you enter.

Understanding what it means to be an entrepreneur is not something that one can learn in a classroom, hear from a lecture, or read in a book; rather, it is one’s willingness to think carefully and thoroughly about a problem and have the courage to implement an actionable solution to that problem. Now, if you don’t think you could ever be an “entrepreneur,” think again. A person’s ability to innovate is determined by themselves, and no one else. But it is never that easy, is it?

As an entrepreneur, you now face the constant struggle and pressure of balancing this little thing called life.  Your life now consists of innovating, making time to get your work done for class, reassuring your friends you still like them even though you have less time to hang out, making time to go lift (and then spending the majority of your time stretching and convincing yourself you did exercise). With all of that in mind, is it really worth it?

The truthful and honest answer is: YES! It absolutely is, but only if you are willing to step out of your comfort zone and take a strategically calculated risk. As it stands, that risk is often still too much for the average college student. What if there were a way to provide students the opportunity to innovate with institutionalized support from the College’s administration?

My hope is to make the Haverford Innovation Platform (HIP) a part of that solution. The platform exists to aid in the development of young innovators so the balance between academic, social and entrepreneurial facets of life are manageable, allowing students to effectively engage in both their studies and the projects they are passionate about. I understand firsthand the everyday challenges for being a student innovator, which is why in designing this program we put an emphasis on creating a program that strategically complements the strenuous student lifestyle. HIP has the potential to inspire students and give them the tools to not only make a change, but to be the change.

Haverford College consists of some of the brightest student minds in the world, and by encouraging students to emerge as innovators and leaders, this platform will promote individual and community growth starting right here on Haverford’s campus.

From the print edition published on Oct. 5, 2016