New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

The Final Staff Rants (of the Semester)

In honor of the semester’s final Staff Rants, we have no theme — only pent-up rage.

On Free Space

By Ishaan Parmar, Deputy News Editor

Look, I get it. We’re all on the homework grind. CAS, Liberal Studies, Stern, Tisch — we all have homework, and none of us like it. But that does not mean that you should be doing your homework in the dining halls. I’m a first-year without a kitchen in my dorm. The only place I can get food without further emptying my wallet is a dining hall, and there’s nothing worse than walking around a dining hall and seeing that there’s no empty seat to eat your sh-tty Lipton burger. There’s nothing worse than walking into 18 Below for some food with some actual quality control and seeing someone with their laptop and no food taking up precious space. Bobst is so close by. Please vacate your seat so I can eat my tiny portion of decent food.

On Smol Doggos

By Abby Hofstetter, Opinion Editor

Let me get one thing straight: I love dogs. But one thing I do not love is the language — that appeared out of absolutely nowhere — to refer to dogs. What is a “doggo”? Why would you add an extra syllable to a one-syllable word? Even worse, somehow: “pupper.” The point of a nickname is to shorten the amount of syllables in a word. For instance: my full name is Abigail, but I go by Abby because there are fewer syllables. But “doggo” and “pupper” do not solve these problems, and there isn’t even a problem to begin with! “Dog” is a one-syllable word! When you put on your baby voice and tell a Shih Tzu that she’s “such a smol doggo,” you look like a fool. When you put on your baby voice and tell a Bernese mountain dog that he’s “the goodest woofer,” you look like a clown. When you call a pug a “puggo,” you just look stupid. Call the dog by its name, coward.

On the Decline of Pokémon Quality

By Ethan Zack, Music Editor

Pokémon is too fun for its own good. The franchise I grew up with, the one that produced some of my most nostalgic childhood memories, could probably get away with never changing and I would still buy every single new game. The one problem? The developers have realized the exact same thing. What was once a franchise full of fresh new ideas has stagnated, with newer entries somehow having less features and polish than the ones that came out over a decade ago. Nowadays, there’s little to see besides that core addictive gameplay loop of catching and battling creatures.

I want something fresh. As the highest-grossing media franchise in the world, Pokémon can do so much better than what it is today. It should be at the forefront of innovation, yet it lags behind games with substantially smaller budgets and teams behind them. It rests on a rock-solid foundation, but it can’t just stay there forever. Lean into the exploration angle! Make a substantial and truly compelling story for once! Just try something meaningful! I don’t hate the latest games, I just want to see such a special series meet its full potential. If Game Freak as a developer doesn’t make a real leap forward soon, they risk becoming the video game equivalent of Marvel movies: fun, but forgettable.


By Sakshi Venkatraman, Editor-in-Chief

A few weeks ago, I found my paradise on campus — in Sidestein, of all places. Craving rice, as I always am, I joined the hot food line to find a spread of white rice and chicken curry. I was doubtful about the quality, but I took a chance on it, and I fell in love. The rice was perfect, the chicken was flavorful. It was everything I could never find in NYU dining. (The rant is coming, I promise.) I enjoyed that meal more than anything. I almost wrote a rave about it. But on Monday, something horrible happened. I went back into Sidestein, hungry as ever, and to my thrill, the very same chicken and rice dish was being served. But this time — oh, this time — it was literally gross as f-ck. The rice was VERY undercooked and the chicken tasted like it hadn’t even been sprinkled with salt. I nearly cried as I threw in the garbage what was my first meal of the day. Sidestein, how could you do me like this? I will never forget, and I will never forgive.

On Lack of SHC Counselors

By Alexandria Johnson, Deputy News Editor

Throughout this semester (the fall of my junior year), I have been more depressed than usual. There were times I couldn’t get out of my bed, times when I had Imposter Syndrome and questioned whether I deserved to be at NYU and times where I just felt stuck. In the beginning of my junior year, I felt overwhelmed, to say the least: I had to find an internship, build my portfolio as a journalist and think about what my life will look like post-graduation. While juggling classes, family drama and my passion for the newspaper, I felt continuously drained. The night before my second Expressive Culture paper was due, I stayed up until 5 a.m. just to put my thoughts on a page. The next morning, I couldn’t even go to my recitation. When I was in the lowest of the lows, I looked to the Student Health Center for help, but none of my appointments felt like they did enough to help me. Even though I loved my counselor and felt like she related to my struggles as, a person of color in her own right, I never had enough time to say all of my thoughts. That, coupled with the fact that I have to wait three weeks on end for another therapy session, never seemed like enough. Not only does the SHC need to hire more counselors, but they need to hire counselors representative of NYU’s population. If it wasn’t for my friends and family, I don’t know how I would get through this semester.

On Mansplainers

By Melanie Pineda, Editor-at-Large

There are a lot of things that make me angry. American politics, sexism, racism, to name a few. But I don’t think I have ever quite felt the level of rage that I do than when men have mansplained things to me. The most recent example of this are the men who have tried explaining Latin American politics to me, despite the fact that my entire family is from Latin America and I am a Latin American Studies major. Now, I am obviously not an expert on these issues just because of my family origin and major, but I think my knowledge on the subject gives me at least a bit of an upper hand over men from the United States who aren’t able to point out most Latin American countries on a map. I’ve been learning to interrupt those who try to belittle me more in order to combat mansplaining, but still it continues to happen. I guess that as long as sexism exists, so will men who try to explain concepts to women that they obviously understand because, surprise, women are also capable of thought.

On Real Self-Care

By Fareid El Gafy, Film & TV Editor

“Do as I say, not as I do” is a mantra that I can get behind. No one should live the way I do. I am the opposite of a role model. A former coworker of mine thought this was hilarious, but I’m entirely serious. We live in a toxic culture where people brag about how unhealthily they live, crashing on benches between class and skipping meals to save a quick buck, because they think it demonstrates godlike work ethic. These people are borderline sociopaths. Allow me to follow suit.

I eat one meal a day at 8 p.m. exactly. I have taken five lunch breaks at work during the past year, and that was only ever to do schoolwork. Additionally, I can survive on only three hours of sleep. If I sleep for longer than three but fewer than eight hours, I can’t get out of bed, so it’s really an either-or decision. More of the either, less of the or. Every semester I work 24/7, skipping meals and rest in order to get this proverbial bread and complete my coursework. Like clockwork, as soon as I put down my pen after my last exam I fall seriously ill and am essentially bedridden for the ensuing month. Famously, I return home to Ohio and collapse on the sofa for 12 hours. Once I’ve recovered from my illness and returned to school, I do it all over again.

My rant is at anyone who read this and thought it sounded at all like them. Learn to take care of yourself. In all honesty it’s too late for me, this is who I am and I’m at peace with that. It’s not too late for you. Eat breakfast. Go to sleep.

On City Living

By Mandie Montes, Deputy Copy Chief

The fact that I can’t rave about my first snowfall in New York City is such a shame! Why can’t a California gal like me not be teased about my New York City excitements, like seeing snow or visiting the Empire State Building for the first time. You only see and experience New York City for the first time once, so please let me be a happy-go-lucky tourist in peace. Yes, I may have expressed my frustration with New York City life on multiple occasions, but that’s only because transitioning has been difficult for me. In any case, I’m living the dream life that I have always wanted to live since I was six years old, so I will not let that be in vain, OK?!

On Abstinence-Only Health Education

By Anna-Dmitry Muratova, Senior Reporter

I’ve been teaching sex. ed. through Peer Health Exchange (goodness bless them, they’re absolutely incredible). Sadly, with that comes the realization of how inadequate health education is not only in the U.S. but everywhere I went to school (which includes Moscow and Oxford). In Moscow we were taught we were going to die if we had premarital sex (it’s important to note, my school called itself progressive and innovative). In Oxford the only sex. ed. I, a queer transgender person, received was on, you guessed it, heterosexual relationships. What was I supposed to do with the purple dildo and a condom my teacher forgot to pinch at the top while putting on? I still don’t know. No wonder we weren’t taught consent either and, without going into any sad stories from my messy teenage years, I’d just like to tell you that if we were taught about the magical word «no», my friends and I would’ve avoided a whole multitude of traumas.

Now, I recently watched a documentary on abstinence-only education in Texas and I was fuming, to say the least. My roommate observed me scream into a pillow every five minutes of this 40-minute-long movie. Was if awful? Of course. What was the worst part of it? A man, who taught students condoms didn’t work, regardless of being fully aware of the blatant lie he was telling. Are you mad now? Are you ready to rant about unhealthy standards for young, hormonal people yourself? Go ahead. Yell from the rooftops! This is objectively horrible, if I say so myself.

On Something Very, Very Specific

By Sam Klein, Managing Editor

Allow me to paint a picture. I’m on the N train coming back from Port Authority Bus Terminal, my duffel bag on the subway car floor. The car is at that busy-but-not-too-busy busy-ness level, where a few more people could comfortably get onto the train, but walking from one end of the car to the other would take at least a few mumbled “excuse me’s.” I’m standing by one of the center poles, the one that is in the central portion of the car but close to the door, not the most central one. “Next stop, 14th Street — Union Square.” The man standing inward of me starts to move, and I already realize what is happening. “‘Scuse me,” he growls, shoving his way past. He manages to push through the crowd, ultimately ending up at the closed doors of the still-moving train. A minute later, the doors open, and he makes it onto the platform a whopping four seconds before I do. Why push everyone out of the way when you’ll just have to wait three feet closer to the door? If only this didn’t happen every single time.

That’s my rant. Goodnight.

Opinions expressed on the editorial pages are not necessarily those of WSN, and our publication of opinions is not an endorsement of them.

Email WSN Staff at [email protected].

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About the Contributors
Ishaan Parmar
Ishaan Parmar, Deputy News Editor
Ishaan Parmar is a Tisch first-year studying Film & Television. He enjoys highs-and-lows during pitch meetings and making fun of his news editor, Victor. He joined WSN to get away from the oversized nicotine cartridge that is the Tisch building. Ishaan is from Los Altos, California, a small town 40 minutes south of San Francisco. He loves watching baseball and Gordon Ramsay videos at the end of the day to relax.
Abby Hofstetter
Abby Hofstetter, Managing Editor
Abby is a CAS junior studying History, Creative Writing and probably something else. She's from Long Island, but please don't bring that up. If you need her, you can find her discussing the third season of Glee or why olives should be banned from consumption. Contact her for a terrible time.
Sakshi Venkatraman
Sakshi Venkatraman, Editor-in-Chief
Sakshi Venkatraman is a junior in CAS majoring in Politics and minoring in Spanish and Journalism. She hails from the sunny state of Texas, so she's still mesmerized every time it snows in New York City. She has been passionate about journalism for more years than she can remember and loves everything from writing to tweeting to podcasting. When she's not in the newsroom, she's reading, listening to Planet Money or scouring thrift stores for hidden treasures. Follow her on Twitter @sakshi_saroja.
Melanie Pineda
Melanie Pineda, Opinion Editor
Melanie Pineda is one of the Opinion Editors for WSN. She is a junior in CAS double majoring in Journalism and Latin American Studies. She enjoys going on long rampages about her dog because, well, he’s a good boy. Her hobbies include pretending to have it all together, discussing social justice issues and making obscure Vine (RIP) references. She is more often than not seen calling her mom about everything and anything and drinking absurd amounts of coffee. Follow her on Twitter @meiabean.
Ethan Zack
Ethan Zack, Deputy Managing Editor
Ethan is a junior in CAS majoring in Journalism and History. When he's not stumbling through an endless stream of Zoom classes, he's doing fun and cool things like reading the Wikipedia plot summaries of horror movies because he's too scared to actually watch them or making yet another three-song playlist that he will literally never touch again, ever. He's most active on Twitter (@ethanzack), so feel free to reach out with any spicy takes.
Alexandria Johnson
Alexandria Johnson, Editor-in-Chief
Alex is a senior double-majoring in Journalism and Public Policy. She is a New York native (representing Queens!), and she loves to talk about how songs have gotten shorter recently, trying to meet her celebrity crush (she'll never tell) and her passion for painting album covers. She's definitely NOT a professional artist, but it helps her pass the time. Follow her on IG and Twitter @a_johnson_2021.
Fareid El Gafy
Fareid El Gafy, Film Editor
Fareid is a senior at Tisch double majoring in Film & TV and Politics. He’s half-Egyptian and half-British which is pretty neat, if he does say so himself, but that’s where the neat stuff ends. Hit him up if you know Jake and Amir or don’t and want to throw down. Alternatively, Fareid can talk for a solid hour about the importance of insects to human culture or find any country on a map and pretend to know something about it. Fareid spends very little time outside. That’s why he writes for the newspaper. What’s everyone else’s excuse?
Mandie Montes
Mandie Montes, Under the Arch Managing Editor
Mandie Montes is a senior double majoring in Journalism and Latino Studies with a minor in French. Yes, that's a mouthful, so try not to ask her about it, ever. She really doesn't know what else to include in this bio and unfortunately because we're in a pandemic, you won't be able to bump into her on the streets of New York. Guess you’ll just have to follow her @mandiemontes on Twitter/Instagram to meet her ~virtually~ and see what she's up to.
Sam Klein
Sam Klein, Managing Editor
Sam Klein is a junior majoring in journalism and environmental science. He is interested in sustainable, large-scale farming and fishing as well as global economic development in the agricultural sector; he also supports eating insects. Outside of WSN he runs on NYU's cross-country and track teams. During his free time he enjoys photography, traveling, coffee and being outdoors. You can check out his work at or on instagram @samkleinphotography.
Anna-Dmitry Muratova
Anna-Dmitry Muratova, Under the Arch Managing Editor
Finley  comes from Moscow, Russia! They're a junior studying Journalism and Environmental Studies and it's their fifth semester at WSN. Finley loves all things inclusive, sex. ed., ecology and advocacy for a whole bunch of stuff. They'd love to chat with you if you want to write for Under the Arch! Find them @veryawkwardfinley on Instagram. :-)

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