Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Vivi Smilgius

Vivi Smilgius

Vivi Smilgius (she/her) is a fourth-year journalism major with minors in environmental studies and women's, gender, and sexuality studies. She served as The Beacon’s editor-in-chief in the fall of 2022 and is currently on co-op at the Boston Globe. Raised in Indiana, Vivi is The Beacon’s resident Midwesterner and a lifelong ranch dressing defender. 

Latest from Vivi Smilgius
“Her Loss” didn’t live up to its potential

“Her Loss” didn’t live up to its potential

By Vivi Smilgius
November 9, 2022

On Friday, Nov. 4, rappers Drake and 21 Savage dropped the 16-track project “Her Loss,” produced under Drake’s record label, OVO Sound. The two...

Illustration by Rachel Choi

Wisconsin women’s volleyball deserves your respect

By Vivi Smilgius
November 2, 2022

After a dynamic week of Big 10 play, the University of Wisconsin women’s volleyball team advanced to no. 3 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association...

Hurricane Fiona hit the Caribbean as a category one tropical storm on Sept. 18.

Hurricane Fiona exacerbates Puerto Rico’s electricity crisis

By Vivi Smilgius
October 5, 2022

When she’s not at Emerson, sophomore business of creative enterprises major Pamela Matos lives in Guaynabo, a rural Puerto Rican town roughly five miles...

From top left to bottom right: Emerson alumni Sam Crimmins, André Archimbaud, Gaby Dunn, Dustin Straube, Steven Rowley and Kasey Fielding. / courtesy

Safe spaces, section 8 and student loan debt: Emerson alums say they (mostly) don’t regret the financial risk

By Vivi Smilgius
August 30, 2022

For many freshly graduated Emersonians, monthly loan payments are a harsh awakening to the real world of work—or lack thereof—as creatives. While movements...

The Emerson womens lacrosse seniors. From left to right: Hannah Beck, Julia Mallon, Amelia Toscano, Julia Burns, Ainsley Basic.

Women’s lacrosse says bye to four seniors, see you later to one

By Vivi Smilgius
April 21, 2022

After years of winless seasons and canceled games, the Emerson women’s lacrosse team rebuilt its roster and posted its best record since joining the...

College, city work toward climate damage mitigation

College, city work toward climate damage mitigation

By Vivi Smilgius
April 21, 2022

As the world feels the effects of climate change, Boston attempts to limit damages—but the question of whether its action plan is adequate remains unanswered. The...

Senior midfielder Skyler Celotto was one of two players to join Emersons 100-point club this weekend.

Men’s lacrosse adds to 100-point club, breaks records

By Vivi Smilgius
April 13, 2022

March proved to be a milestone month for the Emerson men’s lacrosse team as two players joined the Lions’ 100-point club, and another broke the single-season...

Andriivskyi Descent, Kyiv. Photo by Karina Jha.

Emerson students organize fundraiser, vigil in support of Ukraine

By Vivi Smilgius
April 6, 2022

The war in Ukraine wreaked havoc on families around the globe—including those of two Emerson students, who have taken the chance to do something about...

As promised, Cheez-Its continues to ‘defy our Cheezpectations’—a little too much

As promised, Cheez-Its continues to ‘defy our Cheezpectations’—a little too much

By Vivi Smilgius
April 6, 2022

From the second they started, it became clear that no aspect of this year’s Academy Awards would be relaxing. Those who sought respite in the commercial...

Emerson mens volleyball team setting up an attack.

‘It feels like it just started’: men’s volleyball season ends with Senior Day split

By Vivi Smilgius
April 6, 2022

Arm in arm with family and coaching staff, Emerson seniors Josh Elliot, Jackson Gordon, and Rory Dobbins walked onto the volleyball court for photos.  Behind...

Emersons Walker Building.

Emerson to offer health and social change, media psychology majors starting 2023

By Vivi Smilgius
March 30, 2022

Indicating an increased focus on the intersection of communications and health, Emerson will introduce two new majors starting in the fall of 2023: health...

For some Emerson professors, Women’s History Month showcases oppression, not accomplishment

For some Emerson professors, Women’s History Month showcases oppression, not accomplishment

By Vivi Smilgius
March 23, 2022

Women’s History Month seeks to acknowledge female accomplishment and success, but some activists believe it points to a larger systemic problem: the...

Hailey Akau

Linking clothing and queerness might ‘boost visibility,’ but it also encourages stereotypes

By Vivi Smilgius
March 23, 2022

Last Wednesday afternoon, the New York Post tweeted a link to an article titled “‘Dressing like a lesbian’ is the sexy and ‘powerful’ new fashion...

Junior setter Jackson Gordan in the You Can Play games on March 19, 2022.

Men’s volleyball splits record in annual Pride-themed games

By Vivi Smilgius
March 23, 2022

The Emerson men’s volleyball team left Saturday’s “You Can Play” games with a split record, sweeping Colby-Sawyer College and losing to Regis College...

Former Lions volleyball player Kat Westbrook accumulated 151 kills and 58 digs in the 2012 season.

Remembering former Lions volleyball player Kat Westbrook

By Vivi Smilgius
March 23, 2022

A key contributor to Emerson’s women’s volleyball team, Katherine Westbrook ‘16 died of a fall on March 8, at the age of 28 years old. “She...

An ECPD patrol vehicle.

ECPD responds to campus security bypass

By Vivi Smilgius
March 16, 2022

The Emerson College Police Department provides the Incident Journal to The Beacon every week. Beacon staff edit the Incident Journal for style and clarity...

Appreciation without appropriation: the internal conflict of consuming Black media as a white person

Appreciation without appropriation: the internal conflict of consuming Black media as a white person

By Vivi Smilgius
March 2, 2022

One of my most vivid memories from late-middle and early high school is riding the bus, headphones in, listening to Kendrick Lamar’s “good kid, m.A.A.d...

An ECPD patrol vehicle.

ECPD provides medical assistance, responds to trespassers

By Vivi Smilgius
March 2, 2022

The Emerson College Police Department provides the Incident Journal to The Beacon every week. Beacon staff edit the Incident Journal for style and clarity...

Emerson graduate student Carlie Brainard is set to run this years Boston Marathon. Courtesy Carlie Brainard.

Emerson graduate student to run Boston Marathon

By Vivi Smilgius
February 24, 2022

When Emerson graduate student Carlie Brainard finished her undergraduate degree at Iona College last May, she decided it was time for a new challenge. “It’s...

Emerson will remove plexiglass dividers installed in classrooms preceding the Fall 2021 semester.

Plexiglass shields to be removed from classrooms upon faculty request

By Vivi Smilgius
February 24, 2022

Emerson will remove plexiglass dividers installed in classrooms preceding the Fall 2021 semester. According to Emerson’s assistant vice president...

‘Poor core’ is only an aesthetic for those who have the choice

‘Poor core’ is only an aesthetic for those who have the choice

By Vivi Smilgius
February 24, 2022

There’s a confusing and irritating dichotomy when a student wearing tattered clothing and corded earbuds pulls a $2,000 laptop and a $500 pair of studio...

An ECPD patrol vehicle.

Incident Journal: ECPD responds to fire alarm

By Vivi Smilgius
February 16, 2022

The Emerson College Police Department provides the Incident Journal to The Beacon every week. Beacon staff edit the Incident Journal for style and clarity...

Senior Associate Vice President of Human Resources Shari Stier will leave Emerson to take a position at Fenway Health. (photo courtesy of Fenway Health)

Senior Associate Vice President of Human Resources to leave Emerson for Fenway Health

By Vivi Smilgius
February 15, 2022

Emerson Senior Associate Vice President of Human Resources announced she will leave the college on Mar. 4 to start a new position in the Boston area. Shari...

The college will show Senseless Smoke, a film based on the experiences of several Boston youths, as one of several events in celebration of Black History Month.

Emerson to host panels, events during Black History Month

By Vivi Smilgius
February 10, 2022

Emerson will host several events in celebration of the nationwide observance of Black History Month, including panels, keynote speakers, and roundtable...

Snow fluttering down on Boylston Street.

Emerson announces loosened COVID-19 protocols starting Feb. 7

By Vivi Smilgius
February 4, 2022

The college will update its protocols on Feb. 7, allowing non-Emerson guests inside non-residential spaces and requiring community members to get COVID...

The new year is the perfect excuse for total self-reinvention— here’s how

The new year is the perfect excuse for total self-reinvention— here’s how

By Vivi Smilgius
February 4, 2022

Every time Jan. 1 rapidly approaches, with it comes dozens of Instagram posts announcing fitness journeys, wardrobe purges, and a slew of other reformatory...

Incident Journal: ECPD provides medical assistance, responds to disturbances

Incident Journal: ECPD provides medical assistance, responds to disturbances

By Vivi Smilgius
February 2, 2022

The Emerson College Police Department provides the Incident Journal to The Beacon every week. Beacon staff edit the Incident Journal for style and clarity...

FIRE, working with Emersons chapter of TPUSA, hired a truck with the phrase Emerson Kinda Sus to circle Emersons Boston campus.

Turning Point USA responds to suspension with ‘Kinda Sus’ ad campaign

By Vivi Smilgius and Adri Pray
January 27, 2022

Months after being accused of propagating anti-Chinese rhetoric, Emerson’s chapter of Turning Point USA has mounted an advertising campaign targeting...

Phi Alpha Tau hopes to change culture after 18-month hiatus

Phi Alpha Tau hopes to change culture after 18-month hiatus

By Vivi Smilgius
January 27, 2022

Content Warning: This article contains mentions of sexual assault.  Phi Alpha Tau will return to action this semester, marking the end of the fraternity’s...

The 2010’s “Twee style” is making a comeback. We can’t let fatphobia return with it.

The 2010’s “Twee style” is making a comeback. We can’t let fatphobia return with it.

By Vivi Smilgius
January 26, 2022

In today’s environment of social media and fast fashion, trends come and go faster than ever. But fashion isn’t the only thing that can be trendy—...

Patriots’ season ends in underwhelming loss to Bills

Patriots’ season ends in underwhelming loss to Bills

By Vivi Smilgius and Ryan Leclerc
January 20, 2022

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Students walk in front of The Colonial Building residence hall on Boylston St.

Emerson reopens residence halls, campus eateries to Boston students

By Vivi Smilgius
January 14, 2022

The college will reopen its residence halls and campus eateries to Boston students in the coming weeks, announced Emerson Dean of Campus Life Jim Hoppe...

Emerson students having classes.

‘Everything is out the window’: College returns to in-person learning amid unprecedented COVID surge

By Vivi Smilgius and Adri Pray
January 12, 2022

Less than a week into the spring 2022 semester, Emerson has already reported 228 positive COVID-19 tests, leading to uncertainty regarding the rest of...

A sign on the window of Emersons coronavirus testing site at Tufts Medical Center.

Testing center closes early due to heating issues

By Vivi Smilgius
January 11, 2022

Emerson’s COVID-19 testing site closed early today due to “heating issues” at Tufts Medical Center, according to a community-wide email sent by the...

Emerson is now mask-optional in all campus spaces except classrooms.

Emerson to limit in-person events for first week of spring semester

By Bailey Allen and Vivi Smilgius
January 2, 2022

To rebuild the “Emerson bubble,” the college will operate almost entirely virtually for the first week of its spring semester, according to a community-wide...

Emerson to require boosters, additional testing for spring semester

Emerson to require boosters, additional testing for spring semester

By Vivi Smilgius
December 9, 2021

Emerson will require all community members to receive a COVID-19 booster shot prior to the spring semester amid a drastic rise in COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts...

The exterior of the COVID testing site.

Omicron, now in Massachusetts, has global spreader potential, expert says

By Vivi Smilgius and Bailey Allen
December 9, 2021

Massachusetts reported its first case of the Omicron COVID-19 variant on Saturday, renewing concerns about the spread of the virus just days before the...

2021 Academic Townhall

Student government hosts annual town hall

By Vivi Smilgius
December 2, 2021

Students, staff, and faculty voiced their concerns about the college’s virtual attendance policies and discussed the college’s spring reopening plans...

SGA members in a meeting.

SGA discusses CHW-ECAPS merger

By Vivi Smilgius
December 1, 2021

The Student Government Association met with Associate Dean and Director of Counseling, Health and Wellness Brandin Dear on Nov. 5 to discuss the integration...

A Spring 2020 Student Government Association meeting. Photo by Yongze Wang.

SGA backs student debt cancellation movement

By Vivi Smilgius
December 1, 2021

The Student Government Association moved to join over 75 colleges across the country in signing a letter to President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala...

An SGA meeting. Photo credit: Yongze Wang

SGA considers diversity, student engagement initiatives

By Vivi Smilgius
December 1, 2021

The Student Government Association discussed a fight for mental health breaks at colleges in the Boston area at its meeting on Oct. 8. Executive Vice...

A sign on the window of Emersons coronavirus testing site at Tufts Medical Center.

Emerson to require students to test negative before return to campus from Thanksgiving break

By Vivi Smilgius
November 16, 2021

All students will have to provide Emerson with proof of a negative COVID-19 test prior to their return to campus from Thanksgiving break, and take another...

A polling place at City Hall on Election Day Nov. 3, 2020.

Student turnout soared in 2020 election, study finds

By Vivi Smilgius, Frankie Rowley and Bailey Allen
November 11, 2021

The 2020 presidential election saw record-high numbers of Emerson students casting their ballots at the polls or by mail, mimicking the nationwide trend...

The Marlboro Institute for Liberal and Interdisciplinary Studies

Emerson launches ‘cluster hire’ for intersectional studies

By Vivi Smilgius
November 11, 2021

A new “cluster hire” initiative at Emerson aims to recruit faculty for newly-created positions in the Visual and Media Arts and Writing, Literature...

Travis Scott fans need to re-evaluate their relationship with the artist

Travis Scott fans need to re-evaluate their relationship with the artist

By Vivi Smilgius
November 10, 2021

A year ago, or even a few weeks ago, believing people shouldn’t die at concerts wouldn’t be considered remotely controversial. But after eight people...

The Emerson Staff Union is hoping to have some of their sacrificed benefits reinstated, especially for some of the at-risk staff members.

Staff Union calls for end to hiring freeze

By Bailey Allen and Vivi Smilgius
November 4, 2021

Members of Emerson’s staff union took to the streets this week amid contract negotiations with the college, demanding the college increase hiring...

Isabella Chu recorded 11 kills in the loss to MIT on Sept. 13.

Women’s volleyball team falls to Springfield College in first playoff round

By Vivi Smilgius
November 3, 2021

The women’s volleyball team lost 3-1 to Springfield College Tuesday night in the first round of the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference...

Students sit in a computer lab.

‘Getting thrown right back in was a lot’: Students overwhelmed by return of in-person midterms

By Vivi Smilgius and Bailey Allen
October 31, 2021

This year, students are facing the first relatively-normal, in-person midterm exam period since the outbreak of the pandemic—a jarring, even stressful...

Michelle Wu addresses an MBTA meeting in February 2019

Days before election, Wu tells students to get involved

By Vivi Smilgius
October 31, 2021

City Councilor at Large Michelle Wu outlined what a Wu mayoralty would look like and urged the younger population to participate in the upcoming Nov. 2...

WLP Professor Benoit Denizet-Lewis.

Emerson professor receives book-writing fellowship

By Vivi Smilgius
October 18, 2021

A Washington D.C. foundation named Benoit Denizet-Lewis, a professor in the Writing, Literature, and Publishing Department, as the recipient of an artistic...

The Governors Ball in 2014

Emerson students torn on live music festival

By Vivi Smilgius
September 30, 2021

Emerson students flocked across state lines to attend this year’s Governors Ball music festival last weekend—a unique experience for students deprived...

A view of Emersons Dining Center from the Boylston Place alley.

Students dismayed at dining policy changes

By Vivi Smilgius
September 23, 2021

After a year of specialty sandwiches and made-to-order pizzas, Emerson students are once again relying on the dining center and other on-campus locales...

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