Last night, Georgetown Program Board was joined by HBO to host an advanced screening of two never-before-seen episodes of Season 3 of VICE, a documentary TV series that investigates topics ranging from the synthetic drug revolution to gestational surrogacy to Sudanese rebel groups using an immersionist style of filmmaking.
Vox was lucky enough to sit down with VICE Correspondent Thomas Morton right before the screening for a candid Q&A. Morton, who has worked for VICE since 2004, wrote and edited for the magazine before becoming the online editor for the company’s website and video adjunct, VBS. (He was also kind enough to remind Vox that you need to actually press the record button before beginning an interview…oops)
Vox: Generally, how do you as a VICE correspondent figure out what issues you will to cover, what countries you will visit, and who you will speak to?
Morton: That’s all dictated by the story we are covering or telling, and that’s primarily drawn from what we are interested in. Very often things will connect with some thread of either American foreign policy or economics, especially because everything is so interconnected, like, even if you are discussing something that is taking place in Kazakhstan, China, or Botswana, on a larger level it connects in someway with American or European interests.
Very often, it is things that we feel have gotten either ignored entirely by mainstream media, or a good deal of our stories are things that are covered by national or international press, but maybe only on a surface level. We like going back after stories have broken on the international news cycle, when the fervor for ‘breaking the news’ has died down, to get a more sedentary, full-picture take on topics.
Watch out Blackboard, you may have some competition. Georgetown student Michael Orso (MSB ’17) has developed an app called SYRCH, which he describes as an “an online community and economy for college students.”
SYRCH seeks to provide students with a centralized site that gives them all the tools they need to succeed in college, such as getting help from peer tutors, making money on the side, staying organized, communicating with classmates, and building a digital identity.
The app launched last week, but 500 students have already signed up to use it. Vox caught up with Orso to get the details about how he developed this app and what he envisions for its future.
VOX: How did you come up with the idea for SYRCH?
On March 18 as part of the Georgetown Global Futures Initiative, President of the World Bank Group Dr. Jim Yong Kim presented a lecture on climate change. At the end of speech, members of Georgetown University Fossil Free (GUFF) walked up on stage carrying a banner with a quote from Kim and an appeal for divestment—and they are now facing charges from the University.
GUFF, which has demonstrated a committment to divestment advocacy and awareness, orchestrated this protest because climate change is a highly relevant topic to their mission as an organization. Although the group was present at Kim’s lecture at Georgetown earlier this semester, they wanted to make their presence more known at this particular event.
“We decided to make our presence stronger at this action because [Kim] directly was discussing the gravity of climate change and the need for change,” Chloe Lazarus (COL ’16) of GUFF explained in an interview with Vox.
In this week’s feature, Ryan Miller examines how Georgetown creates—and uses—energy and explores both the successes and shortcomings in its current sustainability measures.
“It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me that we continue to invest in an industry that we’re actively trying to move away from on campus,” James said. “Why are we investing in fossil fuels when we’re trying to decrease their use on campus? It’s not a rational way to conduct business. If you were trying to stop smoking yourself, why on earth would you invest in tobacco?”
Georgetown University Take Back The Night (GUTBTN), a student advocacy group committed to the fight against gendered violence, is hosting a week of engaging events and activities as part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
A powerful event titled It Happens Here, an anonymous sharing of stories provided by sexual assault survivors, will take place tomorrow night in McShain Lounge. Take Back the Night President Sarah Rabon (COL ’16) told Vox that this event is one of the most compelling that she has ever attended at Georgetown because these are real stories of real people.
“It Happens Here is a way of taking the idea of sexual assault on college campuses out of the abstract, and lets us better understand the experiences of survivors of sexual assault in the Georgetown community,” she said. “It confronts us with the work left to be done in terms of sexual assault at Georgetown. Many of the stories shared are often about assaults from fellow Hoyas in recent months or years.”
There’s something about sitting at a baseball game that makes you feel extremely American: from the smell of the freshly cut grass, to singing the national anthem, to eating a hot dog while sipping a cold beer, there really is nothing quite like it.
From just about the most American sport out there, it would make a whole lot of sense to have the MLB All Star game in just about the most American place in the country, right? Well… it’s happening. The 2018 MLB All Star Game will, in fact, be taking place in Washington D.C.
The All Star Game has taken place in Washington D.C. four times before, but the last time this happened was 46 years ago in 1969. The last time the American and National Leagues battled it out, they played in RFK Stadium, before National’s moved from Montreal to the Nation’s Capital (Vox finds it rather ironic that the team now called the “National’s” used to be Canadian).
Perhaps surprisingly to some film enthusiasts and even to Vox herself, one of DC’s well known international film festivals—Filmfest DC—has officially announced that it will be back to celebrate its 29th year. At this time last year, director Tony Gittens sadly announced a rather bleak future for the festival, resulting from a massive grant cut from the University of the District of Columbia, one of the festival’s major sponsors.
Yet miraculously, generous donations from individuals and a scramble for bits of funding have enabled the festival to return to DC to celebrate its 29th year, though significantly fewer theatres and films are included.
The festival runs from April 16 to April 26, showing over 70 international films (from over 30 countries) including documentaries, shorts, and features. A highlighted theme of the festival includes a look on The Lighter Side, examining the role of humor in a cultural context and reminding viewers of the international language of laughter. Among these titles are films such as “The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared,” a Swedish film about – well, Vox surmises that the title is kind of self-explanatory. And then there’s the Italian film, “I Can Quit Whenever I Want,” – which perhaps is a mindset you can relate to.
Welcome back to the Hilltop, fellow Hoyas. Vox hopes that you spent your break eating
one a few too many chocolate eggs (oops?)—and then subsequently sleeping off the food coma. With spring in the air and school increasingly becoming an afterthought, here are some interesting things to consider from your friends on the Twitter-sphere to help you survive the last three weeks of classes:
Secret Starbucks doesn’t appear to be so secret anymore. Someone’s been talking.
— Helder Gil (@hgil) April 7, 2015
Oh, cruel, cruel Starbucks gods…what a travesty. How dare you expose the average coffee-drinking plebeians to the bourgey goodness of my Apple Pie a la mode frappaccino!
— Angie Goff (@OhMyGOFF) April 7, 2015
Angie Goff, the Georgetown student body feels you. But at least now people can buy new jackets to replace all the ones they lost this past winter at Rhino.
In the midst of many panicked sophomores with plans to go abroad next semester having no idea where they are going to live upon return in January (curse you, Office of Residential Living), Vox decided to chat with Craig Rinker, Director of Global Education, to investigate whether this new policy has impacted the number of students studying abroad in Fall 2015.
According to Rinker, there were 444 juniors that studied abroad in Fall 2014 and there were actually 499 applications to study abroad in Fall 2015. This number will change in the upcoming weeks, but Rinker stated that largely (but not entirely) the number of students that applied to study abroad in this upcoming fall have committed to their programs.
While Vox had suspected that the numbers would change based on the new housing policy, most have decided to cross their fingers that they aren’t placed in VCE upon their return.