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SUNY Plattsburgh’s independent student newspaper since 1997

FRIDAY, April 2, 2021




Campus frustration spikes conversation Cromwell hosts Zoom to discuss racist comment BY MATAEO SMITH Co-News Editor

About 90 members of the SUNY Plattsburgh community gathered Wednesday afternoon via Zoom to discuss the college’s response to Sports and Wellness Administrative Assistant Rebecca Barnes’ racist Facebook reply last May. Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Michelle Cromwell made it clear that Barnes cannot be fired automatically given the First Amendment, prompting students and faculty, who work closely with Barnes, to share their discomfort with her continued employment in the college. “How am I supposed to go by dayto-day answering emails from some-

one and interacting with someone that sees me — and I’m going to make this personal —as less than and considers me, just, I just need a good old fashioned lynching?” Associate Director of Admissions Troy Joseph, who works with Barnes, said. “One that’s going to re-victimize me every single time that email comes into my inbox. Every single time I walk across campus and see this person going on their merry way. How is there nothing that the institution can do to hold this person accountable?” Hearing Joseph’s concerns caused a domino effect as other faculty members joined the conversation outlining their discomfort with Barnes. “I work very closely with this person. The first I knew of it was Friday in the newspaper and I just wanted to respond,

especially to Troy’s concern because that’s been nonstop on our mind since it started,” Nutrition and Dietetics Journey Gran-Henrikesen said. “I have read a lot about free speech lately, getting caught up on it. I am from a country where we have laws about hate speech and for me, it’s very hard to understand that you can have a freedom of speech that affects our students’ right to learn and to be in an environment where they’re not having to be scared or traumatized.” As said in a campus-wide email sent last Friday, Barnes’ Facebook reply is protected under the First Amendment despite its racist rhetoric. Students like KC Czermerys continually pushed the point that incitements of violence or lawlessness were excluded from the First Amendment, which would bring

further consequences to Barnes for her comment of “LOL 1 less to deal with.” However, Cromwell acknowledged that Barnes’ reply was the fifth statement under the initial comment saying, “He needs a good ol fashion lynching.” Cromwell said it is unclear to whom Barnes was referring to with her reply. Therefore, one cannot be sure whether her comment was an incitement of violence. “The words and the comments that were made by the employee are racist, they are hurtful, and they are damaging,” President Alexander Enyedi said, in his opening statement of the meeting. “And in my opinion, there is no debate about this.”


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Social Work program gets re-accredited BY MIA MORGILLO Contributor

The professionalism of SUNY Plattsburgh’s social work program has been backed by Council on Social Work Education accreditation since 1994, and is now re-accredited for another eight years. The program allows students

to not only earn their Bachelor of Social Work degree, but also enables students to obtain their Master of Social Work in just one additional year. While COVID-19 has increased financial stress for nearly every institution, the program is still projected to continue growing in upcoming years. Kim McCoy Coleman, BSW program director and assistant

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professor, began working with the program five years ago. She describes the work as, “one of the most exciting, diverse and efficient career paths for those who know in their heart of hearts that they are natural-born helpers.” As the lead on the CSWE reaccreditation process, Coleman divulges that, “having to work on the reaffirmation of accreditation during the pandemic


was horribly stressful.” With that being said, she continued to acknowledge that due to the circumstances, she believes the CSWE was “a bit more understanding” allowing an extension for the self-study document submission and a virtual site visit experience via Zoom. The re-accreditation itself does not change much. She notes that the re-accreditation assures stu-


dents that the Plattsburgh BSW program offers strong training for aspiring social workers. “[It] doesn’t change anything, except for our confidence level,” Coleman said. “It’s like a test where you provide the grade you think you deserve, the data and a very long narrative about to back that up.”



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Co-News Editors Olivia Bousquet & Mataeo Smith

Friday, April 2, 2021

March 26 A student reported to University Police that they found damage on their car while it was parked in Lot 13. The investigation is still open.

March 26 A lost wallet that was found outside of the Sundowner on the path. The wallet was turned into University Police. A fake driver’s license was found in the wallet and a judicial referral was

Campus COVID-19 Tracker

Photo provided by SUNY Plattsburgh

Alumnus leads saliva-based testing BY JOHANNA WEEKS Staff Writer

Total number of positive COVID-19 cases over the past 14 days:

Number of active COVID-19 cases:

Number of students and employees in quarantine:

109 59

SUNY Plattsburgh Alumnus, Dr. Frank Middleton, has led statewide COVID-19 pool testing. His idea to measure coronavirus through saliva was criticized and doubted. However, the saliva swab testing has impacted the campus community as well as other SUNY schools. Dr. Middleton knew it could be a success based on the fact that RNA, ribonucleic acid, is present in saliva and is the indicator for most viruses. Dr. Middleton graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh in 1991 with a biology degree. Dr. Middleton double majored in psychology and biology. His main focus was research. He was given permission to continue his research after the virus forced the state to go into lockdown. Dr. Middleton faced uncertainty from the Food and Drug Administration. By mid-July 2020, he was able to gain approval from the state health department to use his saliva testing statewide. “They were very interested in our success with saliva and pooled testing,” Dr. Middleton said. On Aug. 25, Chancellor Jim Mallatras announced that Dr. Middle-


Continued from page one

Number of COVID-19 tests by the Student Health Center since


Aug. 15, 2020:

CP Corrections In Issue 6, the article “Employee makes racist comment online” had an error regarding the expulsion of Maria Gates. The article states she was expelled; however, Gates was not expelled for the racist Snapchat. If you see an error in Cardinal Points, email cp@cardinalpointsonline.com

“In my mind, these are the facts. And I will tell you, each one of you, whether we were meeting personally walking across campus, or in this room, or this virtual space today — I’m just personally horrified that anyone would make such comments. There’s no place for that in our community.” Enyedi said while he cannot fire Barnes, he will continue to support students of color on campus with two initiatives that are no novelty to students and faculty. The first being implicit bias training for all staff members, which would involve the labor unions on campus, and the second would implement a new student orientation training that addresses hate speech, First Amendment rights and bias. He said these ideas will begin the work

ton’s pool testing would be used across all SUNY schools. The saliva testing is more efficient and comfortable than the traditional methods. “The Department of Biological Sciences is delighted to see one of our graduates, Dr. Frank Middleton, making such an important contribution to the SUNY COVIDtesting program,” Neil Buckley, the chair of SUNY Plattsburgh’s Biological Sciences, said. “His creative application of saliva-based genetic testing to COVID-19 has been hugely important in allowing testing to be completed quickly, efficiently and inexpensively.” Buckley expressed the gratification that comes with seeing an alumnus excelling in their field. He believes that it shows the high-quality education the SUNY Plattsburgh science department offers students. “The college also had an outstanding psychology program. I decided to take a few courses and became a double major in biology and psychology, creating my own path,” Dr. Middleton said. “I realized then that I wanted to do research. I had an undeveloped minor in chemistry as well, which gave me another opportunity for research.” Dr. Middleton has been an active

to transform the college’s biased climate — in which he calls Barnes “the symptom” —into one of respect and equity. Enyedi’s comments were less than satisfactory with students in attendance who were forced to write their thoughts in the Zoom text chat because of the crowded meeting. “The discomfort that students are feeling is about the frustration regarding lack of action, hypocrisy and performative activism that campus officials have shown year after year,” junior Jose Montilla wrote in the Zoom chat. When given a metaphorical mic in the Zoom meeting, Montilla emphasized the lack of safety felt by himself and his fellow international students. He admitted to Cromwell and Enyedi the entire handling of Barnes’ racist reply felt like a public relations “stunt” to cover up the entire situation, in addition to questioning the effectiveness of the Zoom conversation itself given the campus majority’s absence.

participant in the development as well as the process of testing. The SUNY Plattsburgh Health Center has been in direct contact with the director, Dr. Kathleen Camelo, and her staff when any questions arise concerning the testing process and results. “It has been an honor to work with such a dedicated and learned professional,” Dr. Camelo said. “It has been a tremendous asset to be able to have this technology to test, isolate and quarantine our campus population to mitigate the spread of the virus.” The saliva swab test has been beneficial to students. “I think the saliva testing is effective, especially for large groups like in a college setting,” Jessica Collins, a senior journalism major, said.“The efficiency and cost to do it this way, rather than getting a nose swab for each student. I also think it’s easier for the students because the nose swab is very uncomfortable. I like that SUNY still supports their alumni after graduation and encourages their research in their professional careers.”

Cromwell explained the college’s response to the racist reply to disprove assumptions that SUNY Plattsburgh had not taken action against Barnes. According to Cromwell, the racist reply had surfaced at the start of their tenure in 2019, a year before the 2014 alumna discovered it and emailed the diversity office. “We do not send out an email every time something happens,” Cromwell said. “It might be a perception that people have that is inaccurate, so every time something happens, we do not send out a campus email.” The campus community was kept in the dark about the racist reply for nearly two years in an attempt to keep students and faculty from being “hyper vigilant,” according to Cromwell, who further explained her reluctance to “traumatize the community” by sharing information about Barnes’ racist reply. The incident was quietly handled by the Diversity Inclusion Response



Education and Communication Team who oversees diversity incidents within the college. The college’s policy on these types of incidents highlight Bias acts, defined as an act that unfairly targets an individual based on race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, ability, or sexual orientation, and hate crimes defined as one committing a criminal offense based solely on the characteristics mentioned in the bias act definition. Cromwell said the policy does not include hate speech; therefore, an automatic termination of Barnes’ employment at SUNY Plattsburgh would violate her First Amendment rights. Cromwell and the diversity office are working to get Barnes to be a part of the student/faculty conversations, so she can know how her words affected the college.



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Co-News Editors Olivia Bousquet & Mataeo Smith

Friday, April 2, 2021

This Week in Photos: Sunshine Photos By Olga Muka

Above: Ann Beauchamp, Izzy Dashnaw and Kristen Boerke get out of their apartment to soak up sunshine in the grass.

To the right: Freshman Sean Grady goes to spike the ball as senior Arthur Horan waits to receive as friends play an intense game of Spikeball in the warm weather.

Above: Freshmen Mackenzie Johnson and Madison Grover relax by the river in their comfy hammocks.

Above: Junior Chase Wojtowecz long boards by the river while throwing up peace signs to onlookers. To the right: Juniors Aaron Reiss Young and Milagros Ilarraza chat and listen to music while catching some rays during the warm afternoon.

To the left: Junior Ann Beauchamp shows off her juggling skills with clementines.

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Co-News Editors Olivia Bousquet & Mataeo Smith


Friday, April 2, 2021

DAKOTA GILBERT/Cardinal Points

Junior Track and Field and Women’s volleyball player Kaitlyn Bjelko stands on the track field where she practices her throwing for her events after joining the track team.

Bjelko competes for track and volleyball Bio-med major finds time to compete in two sports BY JONAS WARD Staff Writer

Kaitlyn Bjelko, better known as KB by her friends, decided to branch out from the women’s volleyball team, to the women’s track team. She is a junior track and field thrower and biomedical major at SUNY Plattsburgh. Bjelko’s friends acknowledged her athleticism and wanted her to try different things. Bjelko was already a part of the women’s volleyball team, when she

decided to try competing for the track team to see her friends more. Her friends thought she would do well on the team, which motivated her to join. “I didn’t compete in high school, but the coaches gave me a chance, and I’m thankful for that,” Bjelko said. Andrew Krug is the coach for the women’s track and field team. Krug thinks that Bjelko is a fantastic member on the team. “KB is a dependable, hardworking, and a fun

student-athlete,” Krug said. “When she started with us freshman year, she was very quiet and reserved. But as time went on, she opened up and became more vocal and she started to show her personality a bit more.” Bjelko chose her major because she cares for people, and she wants to make a difference. Her major will help her in the future to attain her goals. “I chose to be a biomedical major because I have always wanted to help people,” Bjelko said. “I

want to be a psychiatrist and help end the stigma around mental health.” Bjelko is working with her teammates to have the best season they possibly can during the new pandemic regulations. “There are a lot of new COVID protocols that we have to follow like social distancing, smaller pod type groups, and fewer meets,” Bjelko said. “It’s been tough, but I’m happy that we got a season, even if it is with restrictions.” When she’s not in class or at a track meet, Bjelko

has many hobbies that keep her happy during the pandemic. “In my free time I like to hike, watch funny videos, workout, listen to good music and play Mario Kart with my friends,” Bjelko said. “My favorite superhero show is The Flash.” Bliss Rhoads is one of Bjelko’s best friends. They are both on the track and field team and both practice throwing. “We are among a few of the oldest throwers still on the team,”Bjelko said. “It’s super fun we get to

push each other to get better while still having fun and doing something we both really enjoy.” Rhoads thinks highly of Bjelko. She thinks that Bjelko is a fantastic person who is very selfless and also caring towards others. “My favorite quality about KB is that she always thinks of others first,” Rhoads said. “She is always just wanting to have everyone be happy and have a good time.”



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Co-News Editors Olivia Bousquet & Mataeo Smith

SOCIAL Continued from page one

Coming up with ideas and changes that result in earning a better grade the next time, is an essential part of the process as well. Students in the program demonstrate an immense amount of respect and passion for social work and the department. Junior Dominique Threatt transferred into the social work program this year. “The program has given me the opportunity, tools, and guidance to succeed...


to use these [tools] to progress forward as an individual and as a professional in the field,” Threatt said. Sophomore Justin Mayo, the Social Work Student Association Vice President, agrees with Threatt. “This program has the benefit of close-knit social work classes and oneto-one contact with their exceptional faculty,” Mayo said. The Social Work Student Association provides additional opportunity for students to collaborate with the community. “We usually host food drives and collaborate with other clubs to raise money for disaster relief,” said Mayo. The club is open to all SUNY Plattsburgh students, and meets every other Wednesday.

Even with COVID-19 making social distancing a common practice, the program has still enabled students to engage in activities related to the program. “Even if they are on zoom, there is still a way to be a part of the community,” Threatt said. In the coming years, Coleman hopes to see the program expand. Primarily, she would like to see the program go on to provide a fully online accessible option for BWS students, to reach nontraditional students, career changers and students from around the globe. Additionally, she aims to initiate an arrangement with other SUNYs that would allow the top 25 Plattsburgh BSW graduates guaranteed acceptance into

Friday, April 2, 2021

their MSW programs. With Plattsburgh’s social work program as a stepping stone, students are eager to begin their careers and follow their passions. “I would like to start a non profit organization that helps young adults get into college by giving scholarships,” Threatt said. “The dilemma usually is that financial aid may not cover everything, each school is different, so if this organization can be a stepping stone to eliminate stress/struggle from an individual, this is where I want to show my way of change to the world.” Email MIA MORGILLO cp@cardinalpointsonline.com



Students push for wellness days


Associate Opinions Editor

SUNY students were struck with some bad news during the fall semester. Spring break 2021 was cancelled. Colleges around the state made the decision to cancel spring break to decrease the potential spread of COVID-19, as students often travel and party. SUNY Plattsburgh students were among those who would miss out on what is usually a fun, relaxing break amongst the chaos of classes. The week of March 14 would have been spring break. Instead, students were forced to push through yet another long week of classes. Students feel exhausted from this semester. College is stressful as is, but in the midst of a global pandemic, this stress is quickly multiplied. Sophomore childhood education and special education major Riley Mcquade feels that students deserve a break. Mcquade mentioned that she had a conversation with her friends and they all felt bombarded with more work this semester, opposed to the last. “We’ve been working really hard,” Mcquade said. “We’ve been doing everything the teachers have asked. We’ve been doing everything the college has asked. For the most part, everyone is doing what they can to stay COVID safe and stuff. So I think that we deserve a little bit of a break.” Not giving students this break they deserve has surfaced some negative feelings from students, including junior political science major Charlie Bagby. “I’m honestly pretty irritated about it,” Bagby said. “Especially during the spring semester, it’s that one time in the entire semester that we have time off and to have that taken away is pretty sucky.” Spring break doesn’t always just consist of partying. Some

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students use this time to go home and visit with their family. “I was looking forward to going home and spending some time with my family,” Mcquade said. “I really miss them a lot this semester. I’m not going gonna get to go home and see them for Easter or anything, and spring break was gonna be the only time I could see them.” Last year, Bagby spent spring break relaxing with family. But this year, relaxing has been far out of the picture. “But now I’m at home, in my office pretty much for 12 hours of the day doing countless assignments for my classes,” Bagby said. “I’m exhausted.” Students are feeling the burnout and there is still half of the semester left to go. Freshman

hospitality major Abigail Landolf mentioned how students’ academic performances will be negatively affected by the lack of a spring break. “I think it’s hard because we are performing straight through and we don’t have any breaks at all,” Landolf said. “It’s causing people to get more stressed out and burnt out, almost hindering their performance in classes.” To make up for the cancellation of spring break, other schools like SUNY Oneonta, SUNY Cortland and SUNY Oswego, granted their students wellness days. These periodic days throughout the semester give students time off from classes. It may not be the same as a week-long break, but at least it’s something. Students were upset that

SUNY Plattsburgh didn’t grant any wellness days throughout this semester. Bagby’s parents both work at SUNY Oneonta, which granted students wellness days. So it felt unfair seeing them have multiple days off throughout the semester, as Bagby had to continue going to class and doing work. Getting just one day off could be beneficial. “Even just one day, a couple of days, once a week just to allow people to have a break and relax,” Landolf said. The burnout students are beginning to face is going to impact students and professors alike. If students are pushing their brains past their limit, there is no doubt that their work isn’t going to be a good reflection of their potential, which

could frustrate professors. But if students get some time off to recharge, there will be a clear change in their quality of work. “You can’t push students for such a long period of time and expect them to get the full extent of their education and turn in quality work if you’re pushing them seven days a week for 14 weeks without time off,” Bagby said. Asking for a few days off here and there doesn’t seem like a lot, considering students originally would have gotten a full week off, especially when students really need it. “Our brains need a break,” Mcquade said. Email NATALIE ST. DENIS cp@cardinalpointsonline.com

Celebrities speak out against hate BY CARLY NEWTON Staff Writer

This past year has been hard on many people all over the world due to the pandemic. COVID-19 has brought out some of the best and the worst in humanity. The U.S. saw a glimpse of the worst March 16, when a 21-year-old man shot up three different massage parlors in Atlanta, killing eight people, including six Asian women. There has been a steady increase in hate crimes against Asian Americans over the past year. Politicians referring to COVID-19 as the ‘China Virus,’ seemed to be one factor in the rising assault cases against Asian Americans. The Atlanta shooting was the latest incident and has rightfully caused outrage across the world. Celebrities, in particular, have since used their platform to spread #StopAsianHate on social media in an attempt to bring awareness to a growing problem in the United States. Actor Daniel Dae Kim, known for his roles in the TV show “Lost,” and “Hawaii Five-O,” has continued to be a steady voice for the Asian community. Kim has been actively campaigning to members of Congress to vote for the COVID-19 Hate

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Crimes Act and the No Hate Act. In a video on News Now Fox, Kim pleaded to members of Congress to vote for the Acts that would help and benefit Asian Americans substantially. “The No Hate Bill provides necessary grants and money to community organizations, counseling for those convicted of hate crimes and improved data collection for hate crime reporting,” Kim said in the video. “The committee also

has before them the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Bill.. It’s crucial that we have reliable reporting for these hate crimes and an infrastructure that makes it easy for people whom English is not their primary language.” Kim took the opportunity to also call out Congress for their lack of support in past bills that would have helped the Asian community sooner, and pleaded for change that would benefit future generations.

“I’m not naive enough to think that I’m going to convince all of you to stand up for us, trust me, I’ve seen your voting records. But I am speaking to those whom humanity still matters,” Kim said. “There are several moments in a country’s history that chart its course indelibly for the future. For Asian Americans, that moment is now. What happens right now and over the course of the coming months, will send a message for genera-

tions to come as to whether we matter.” George Takei, Olivia Munn and Sandra Oh are just a few of the many Asian celebrities who have taken the time to denounce the hate crimes on Twitter. Actor George Takei expressed his frustration with the hate crimes March 16. “Call a hate crime what it is. And GOP leaders, stop fanning violence with anti-Asian rhetoric. You should be ashamed

at what you have unleashed,” Takei tweeted. According to an article in TeenVogue magazine, Sandra Oh, known for her role as Cristina Yang in “Grey’s Anatomy,” appeared at a Stop Asian Hate protest in Pittsburgh. At the protest, she made a passionate speech to the crowd to show her support. “I understand that and one way to go through our fear is to reach out to our community,” Oh said at the rally. “I will challenge everyone here, if you see something, will you help me? If you see one of our sisters and brothers in need, will you help us? As Asian Americans, we just need to reach out our hand to our sisters and brothers and say, ‘Help me and I’m here.’” Celebrities like Kim and Oh who are willing to use their platform effectively are needed to help enact positive change in our country. No matter what a person’s race is, everyone needs to unite against the racism that has been plaguing the United States. The pandemic did not bring hate, it helped awaken it, and now is the time to put it back to sleep for good.



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Opinions Editor Alexa Dumas

Friday, April 2, 2021

Everard death ignites change, protest BY ALEXA DUMAS Opinions Editor

Walking home alone is one of the scariest things a woman could do. No one knows if predators may be lurking in the shadows. Armed with keys, pepper spray, knives and tasers, women try everything in their power to make it to their destination safe and secure. Even after the rise in the #metoo movement, attacks against women are still on the rise. Violence against women is recognized by the United Nations as “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual, or mental harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.” Sarah Everard was 33 years old when she was kidnapped and killed in London while walking home from a friend’s house in early March. She did everything women are trained to do: walk on a well-lit street, wore bright clothing and shoes she could run in, and even talked to her boyfriend on the phone. The call was cut short. Everard went missing March 3 from South London and was found March 13 in a large field in Kent, United Kingdom. Many aspects of the case are still unclear to investigators since she was found in a large bag. Her cause of death has not been released to the public, as well as information about possible sexual assault. Her body was identified with dental records, which is a sign that her body was unrecognizable or severely harmed. Wayne Couzens, a Metropolitan police officer in London, was accused and arrested March 12 with Everard’s kidnapping and murder. With a job such as a police officer, wasn’t

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Couzens supposed to serve and protect? Why did he murder an innocent woman? His motive is still unclear. The release of Everard’s case to the public has sparked outrage not only in London, but around the world as well. The continued violence against women has led to protests to call for action to protect women in public spaces. Since Everard’s disappearance, police in the area where she went missing visited the homes of local women to stay inside to ensure their safety. The women of

South London became enraged and took to the streets. On March 13, a vigil for Everard was held to mourn and protest her tragic death, but the Metropolitan police force tried to end the gathering, due to social gathering restrictions in London. Police grabbed women who were in attendance to disperse the crowd, but in turn, made the protestors angrier. This proved their point, the patriarchy is to blame. “Hey, mister, get your hands off my sister!” the crowd chanted. “Arrest your

own! Police, go home!” The police attacks from the vigil sparked the new movement called “Reclaim These Streets,” which has been seen as a second wave of the “Reclaim the Night” march after the wake of the Yorkshire Ripper in the 1970s. The movement is currently protesting against the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, which aims to limit the amount of power the people will have in public protest. PROTEST l A8

‘Justice League’ tries again on HBO BY CAMERON KAERCHER Contributor

Marvel is the undisputed king of comic book cinematic universes, as the company’s development and execution of the Thanos storyline is flawless. Watching DC trying to compete against Marvel has been like watching a snail race against a leopard. DC’s “blockbuster” teamup film, “Justice League” was dead upon arrival. The credits may have said “Directed by Zack Snyder,” but he was not the only person in charge of the film. In May 2017, it was announced by The Hollywood Reporter that Snyder had left the production due to the tragic

loss of his daughter. The film had been shot in its entirety, but with concerns over its dark tone, the studio hired “The Avengers” director, Joss Whedon, to film two months of reshoots. Whedon shot scenes to force in comedy, hired composer Danny Elfman to write the score and supervised the final edit. It is a mess of a film that could only provide some entertainment by picking apart where the original film ends and the reshoots begin. The fans did not find any fun in the theatrical release and grew angry at the studio. Thus #ReleaseTheSnyderCut spawned online, which grew throughout the years. DC fans finally got what they wanted this month

as “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” was released on HBO Max. The film is four hours long, and 242 minutes is a lot to ask from a viewer. The Snyder Cut is subdivided into six chapters and an epilogue to break up the film. Every 20 or 30 minutes, the film fades to black and an intertitle comes up displaying “Part 1” and so on. It would make far more sense to just cut the film in half and include an intermission, as the film does have a pretty clear midpoint. The villain of the week is Steppenwolf, played by Ciarán Hinds, a servant of an even bigger alien named Darkseid, played by Ray Porter. SUPERHEROES l A8

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Female musicians shape industry BY HALES PASSINO Staff Writer

Rock and roll is a playground of limitless potential and groundbreaking creativity. It is built on the foundations of going against expectations of the music industry, defying societal norms and having fun while you’re at it. Throughout the years, there are numerous women who have broken the glass ceiling of the predominantly male genre. For female musicians, there have always been the issues of vile criticism, significant pay gaps, less opportunity offers, sexualization and the ultimate fight for having their voices heard. “Women can offer their experiences and hardships and utilize those emotions into their art,” said freshman nursing major Bryn Walsh. In the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, the music industry

itself was male dominated within producers too. Zach Jackson, a SUNY Plattsburgh graduate, feels as though it’s important for women to be involved in the

business aspect of music as well as performing. “The collaboration can be great between the two,” said Jackson. Female musicians equal-

on the list. Though she lived a short 27 years, she was transformative to the music scene of the 1960s. She was rough around the edges with her raspy and wailing voice, but still soulful in her stage presence. “This is what attracted a lot of people to her,” said Jackson. SUNY Plattsburgh graduate Dylan Lesniewski adds how her singing style is noticeably reflected by other singers like Robert Plant and Steven Tyler. Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane is another prominent female rock icon of the 1960s. Though her style was not as bluesy and Americana as Joplin’s, both women respectively laid down the groundwork for musiELARA MARTIN/Cardinal Points cians to follow. Slick was ly deserve the spotlight have proved time and time more or less a psychedelic and recognition their male again how much women queen with folk inclusion. “This is what attracted a counterparts receive. In truly rock the genre. lot of people to her,” said honor of Women’s History Janis Joplin, who some Jackson. Month, here are three no- would consider to be the table female musicians that first female rock star, is first ROCK l A8

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Opinions Editor Alexa Dumas

Friday, April 2, 2021


End sexism in sports The highly anticipated National Collegiate Athletic Association basketball tournament kicked off in early March, after a year hiatus due to COVID-19. Larger colleges around the United States that fall under the Division One category participate in “March Madness,” where casting bets on tournament brackets is competitive. Men’s and women’s teams compete every year to gain the title of NCAA champion. This year, the tournament displayed blatant inequality between the men’s and women’s teams; the men’s team had a fully stocked equipment room, while the women’s teams had a set of dumbbells and yoga mats. One thing is for certain: sexism in the NCAA has gone on for too long. Sedona Prince, forward for the University of Oregon women’s basketball team, post-

HANNAH DOWNS /Cardinal Points

ed a TikTok March 18 calling out the NCAA for inadequate facilities for team “bubbles.” These bubbles contain college teams and their coaches and include a practice court and workout equipment. Her viral video showed clips of a men’s weight room with various equipment, while Prince’s

PROTEST Continued from page seven If the bill passes, the local police departments will be able to set a noise limit, as well as set start and finish times for protests. These rules even apply to one individual protesting. This could impose on the UK’s Human Rights Act, which protects the freedom of speech. The bill not only harms free speech in the UK, but it could also inspire legislation in the United States to limit protests for movements, such as Black Lives Matter, which opposed

hate crimes and police brutality. The outrage over Everard’s case did cause some backlash due to her race. Everard was a white woman, while the deaths of women of color go unnoticed or underreported. The death of Blessing Olusegun, a London student and Black woman, was found dead on an East Sussex, UK beach in Sept. 2020. Olusegun’s case has only been in the spotlight because of Everard. Senior Investigating Officer Detective Inspector, Pippa Nicklin, issued a statement regarding an update on Olusegun’s case, in the wake of the Everard murder. “Although there continues to be no evidence of a crime, we

SUPERHEROES Continued from page seven He is sent to Earth to find all three of the Mother Boxes, which when combined will turn the planet into a nightmare world. This aggression will not stand, so Batman, played by Ben Affleck, decides to assemble the titular team of superheroes. There’s more to talk about here than all the heroes and stars that team up, so please consult the poster for more information on who is part of the Justice League. The film covers quite a lot of ground compared to the theatrical cut. Everything in the 2017 version feels disjointed and poorly set up. Here the larger runtime allows for scenes to play out entirely and for motiva-

team was provided a set of six dumbbells of varying weight. “If you aren’t upset about this problem, then you are a part of it,” Prince said at the end of the video. Prince’s video showed viewers how sexist the NCAA is toward female athletes. Lynn Holzman, the NCAA Vice President of Women’s

tions to be better conveyed. Cyborg has an impressively detailed back story that is done with some grace. These character-driven moments are much appreciated considering what the rest of the scenes consist of. One special scene takes its time to sit down with Lois Lane, played by Amy Adams, and Martha Kent, played by Diane Lane, the respective wife, and mother of Superman. They connect with each other about their grief over Superman’s death in 2016’s “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” It is a heartfelt moment that is performed well and gives the film some stronger emotional grounding. Then, a pointless twist fueled by fan service un-

ROCK Continued from page seven SUNY Plattsburgh graduate Dylan Lesniewski adds how her singing style is noticeably reflected by other singers like Robert Plant and Steven Tyler. Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane is another prominent female rock icon of the 1960s. Though her style was not as bluesy and Americana as Joplin’s, both women respectively laid down the groundwork for musicians to follow. Slick was more or less a psychedelic queen with folk inclusion. “She’s the first example that I can think of where a woman was one of the main faces of a rock group,” said Lesniewski. The Mamas and The Papas were revolu-

Basketball, issued a statement following the video claiming that the reason for the reduced weight room was due to limited space. “We acknowledge that some of the amenities teams would typically have access to have not been as available inside the controlled environment,” Holzman stated. “In

are still carefully and fully examining all the circumstances leading up to Blessing’s death, from her arrival in Bexhill, to her leaving the house where she was working and walking to the beach,” Nicklin said. “It has been reported that we have not properly investigated Blessing’s death because of her ethnicity and we strongly refute these claims.” Jenny Jones, a British politician, proposed a curfew for men after 6 p.m. for women to safely roam the streets. “I would argue that at the next opportunity for a bill that is appropriate, I might actually put in an amendment to create a curfew for men on the

dercuts it all. The fan service reaches a peak during the epilogue of the film that starts to feel like it is holding its audience hostage. The last 30 minutes are dedicated to setting up future films to come, but because this is purely a director’s cut there won’t be any future films. If it makes the fans happy, so be it, but any casual viewer will be better suited shutting off once (spoiler alert) the good guys defeat the bad guys. Despite the entire world being at stake, Batman and Wonder Woman, played by Gal Godot, find a lot of time to stand or sit in their headquarters to talk about this threat. They talk about why this threat is coming, who is doing the threatening, and how it is the biggest and most serious threat ever. The plotting can leave the casual viewer comatose if it weren’t for the bombastic

streets after 6 p.m., which I feel will make women much safer, and discrimination of all kinds would be lessened,” Jones said. Jones’ proposal did not pass, as her idea was viewed as a hysterical solution from the men in British politics. What actions need to be taken for women to finally feel safe? Everard’s murder is the awakening of social change for women’s safety. The US should watch the case unfold in London and take action. Violence against women does not just occur in one city; it happens all around the world.

action sequences sprinkled throughout. When the action hits it is well directed, with special accommodations to a mythological fight between the aforementioned Darkseid and the old protectors of the Earth. It is epic in scale, the bloodshed does justice to the R rating and the use of a shirtless Zeus harkens back to Snyder’s “300.” That sense of mythos is missing in the theatrical cut, which is puzzling because that scale would set the DC films apart from every other superhero movie. To rewind in time to a pre-pandemic world, Martin Scorsese ruffled feathers when he spoke out on the lack of personal vision in comic book movies. He stated that superhero films lack any risk and do not feel like art. In this case, “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” starts to get closer to that idealized

tionary in their counterculture harmonybased quartet at this time. However, Slick was a lone female lead in a rock group full of men. This has now become rather commonplace with some modern bands, but she was truly a pioneer in this type of lineup. Slick was also capable of growing with the times and carrying through that same level of success after Jefferson Airplane split into two separate groups. Slick and Paul Kantner went on to form Jefferson Starship in 1974. Meanwhile, Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac is another powerhouse. Her voice is gruff and just as iconic as her graceful style, consisting of key elements like fingerless gloves, platform boots and bohemian dresses. “Stevie has always walked a fine line between pop and rock throughout her career,” said Lesniewski. Much like Slick,

part, this is due to the limited space and the original plan was to expand the workout area once additional space was available later in the tournament. However, we want to be responsive to the needs of our participating teams, and we are actively working to enhance existing resources at practice courts, including additional weight training equipment.” In Prince’s video, it is apparent that there was ample space for the weight room. The evidence further suggests that the NCAA is sexist and doesn’t equally support the advancement of collegiate athletics. Female athletes deserve the same opportunities as their male counterparts, no matter the sport. Dumbbells shouldn’t be the only factor turning the tide, the NCAA needs to fight inequality head-on.

Email ALEXA DUMAS cp@cardinalpointsonline.com

form of “cinema.” The film still feels like a cog in a bigger machine, worrying about including comic book nods more than delivering on human interaction. However, Snyder includes enough of his style in the action to make it stand apart from the usual superhero fare. Is the Snyder Cut better than the theatrically released “Justice League?” Technically yes, the consistency of storytelling is better in the Snyder Cut, but there is a whole lot more to take in. It is far from perfect, but there is a sense of catharsis to see a director’s full vision be released after seeing a corrupted version of a film like the 2017 “Justice League.” One thing is for sure, no one who sat through this can complain that “The Irishman” is too long. Email CAMERON KAERCHER cp@cardinalpointsonline.com

Nicks was able to change and adapt to the times with her solo career. “It’s inspiring to see someone like Stevie Nicks flourish in the industry and ultimately change [it] into a more diverse platform,” said Walsh. These women brought their own attitudes and ideas to the rock genre. Every time a woman composes, sings or produces a record, it breaks down the systemic sexism in the music industry. It’s women like Joplin, Slick and Nicks who inspire many other female artists to do what they do: be heard. “Their successes are empowering and ultimately make me feel proud to be a woman,” said Walsh. Email HALES PASSINO cp@cardinalpointsonline.com


Taken from 100 participants

Editorial Board Editor in Chief Jess Johnson

Managing Editor Alana Penny

Co-News Editor Olivia Bousquet

Co-News Editor Mataeo Smith

Opinions Editor Alexa Dumas

FUSE Editor Alana Penny

Graphics Editor Nghi To

Photo Editor Audrey Lapinski

Multimedia Editor Sareem Jabbar

Associate Opinions Editor Natalie St. Denis

Associate Graphics Editor Sareem Jabbar

Associate FUSE Editor Adeeb Chowdhury

Public Relations Chair Heaven Longo

Web Editor Jason Smith

Faculty Adviser Shawn Murphy Advertising: Maureen Provost

Contact CP: Editorial Board: 518.564.2174 Advertising: 518.564.3173 Fax: 518.564.6397 118 Ward Hall SUNY Plattsburgh Plattsburgh, NY 12901 cp@cardinalpointsonline.com

Award Winning

Cardinal Points has received the following awards from the Associated Collegiate Press (ACP): ACP Hall of Fame Inducted in Fall 2010 All American Spring 2018, four Marks of Distinction Spring 2016, five Marks of Distinction Spring 2014, four Marks of Distinction Spring 2012, four Marks of Distinction Spring 2011, four Marks of Distinction Fall 2010, five Marks of Distinction Fall 2009, four Marks of Distinction Spring 2009, four Marks of Distinction Fall 2008, four Marks of Distinction Spring 2005, four Marks of Distinction Spring 2004, four Marks of Distinction Fall 2003, four Marks of Distinction Fall 2002, four Marks of Distinction Pacemaker Recognition Fall 2010, Honorable Mention 2006-2007, Newspaper Finalist

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FUSE Editor Alana Penny

Friday, April 2, 2021

Photo provided by Vihan Wickramasinghe

Although the pandemic took away their opportunities to play gigs, the Wickmoore Trio used their spare time to get into recording and producing their music.

Wickmoore Trio combines jazz, psychedelic rock BY SARAH APPLE Contributor

Combining jazz and psychedelic rock may seem baffling and even impossible, but not to Plattsburgh’s Wickmoore Jazz Trio. Composed of brothers Nelson on drums and vocals and Eli on bass Moore accompanied by Vihan Wickramasinghe on piano— hence the trio’s name, a combination of Wickramasinghe and Moore— the Wickmoore Jazz Trio breathes life into the Plattsburgh music scene in a unique way. Formed in the spring of 2018, the trio got its start on the SUNY Plattsburgh campus, specifically in the Myers Fine Arts building. All being SUNY Plattsburgh alumni, the Moore brothers and Wickramasinghe often spent time in the same spots on campus. “We met Vihan here [in Myers],” Nelson said. “The three of us had been in Herm Matlock’s jazz combo. I heard this guy [Vihan] playing piano and was just blown away.” The jazz combo, Mambo Combo, is a small band under the direction of Herm Matlock that specializes in the best of blues, jazz and Latin jazz. Having met while participating in the ensemble, it’s no wonder the trio chose to specialize in jazz. The Mambo Combo heavily inspired the Wickmoore Trio. “We just started doing jazz charts like we did in the combo, but with just three people,” Nelson said. What makes the Wickmoore Jazz Trio

exceptional is the fact that all of their music is original. According to Eli Moore, there is a difference between what the trio plays live and what they play on their album, Lounge Lizards. “Starting off, at our gigs we had no original music,” Eli said. “Then we started adding our originals [into the sets] as we were writing stuff, and now we have our whole album.” That’s not to say that the trio doesn’t still enjoy shaking things up at their live gigs. Rather than playing a standard set of songs, the trio changes up their set list based on their audience. “It depends on the venue we play. For a more formal concert, we’ll play more originals, but for a bar or a restaurant, we’ll try to cater to the crowd.” Eli said. This discussion raised an important question: does Wickmoore Jazz Trio only play jazz, or do they incorporate other genres into their sound? “It depends,” Nelson said, “It’s a mixture of jazz stuff. I don’t think any of us really grew up on jazz. We just kind of got into it as we progressed.” Vihan and Eli nod in agreement, and Nelson was quick to add, “We’ll still throw in some Grateful Dead covers.” The dynamic amongst the three men is warm and supportive. While talking with the trio, it is clear how proud they are of each other’s accomplishments— especially as musicians in an area like Plattsburgh, which Vihan said is “very difficult.” “As an individual, you’re struggling to get a spot [amongst other musicians] however, if

you have a trio you have three very talented to having a live audience of people watching people, and you find out together that you can you perform. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, come up with some nice stuff.” Vihan said. the Wickmoore Jazz Trio invested most of their time in live performances around the North Not willing to sit by and take all of the Country. Going from regularly performing praise himself, Nelson points to Vihan for a crowd to suddenly having no audience and said, “I call a tune and this guy comes aside from each other was a difficult feat. in with all of the harmonies of the horn “The pandemic affected all of us mental parts. I didn’t even ask him to do that!” health-wise differently,” Nelson says. “Eli “As you can see, we’re very compli- was really like, ‘we need to keep busy!’ mentary of each other… and very self- and, well, we made two albums, one with deprecating of ourselves.” Eli laughs. the trio and one with Ursa [and the Major Aside from the trio’s wide variety of musi- Key]. We were also able to play a few gigs.” cal inspirations, something that sets them One of the gigs in question was part of the apart from other musical groups is the fact “Curbside at Harborside” drive-in concert that they both record and produce their series located in downtown Plattsburgh, music on their own, along with the help Nelson said. “As the weather got warmer of their friend and Eli’s roommate, Tyler and as COVID cases went down, we were Bosley. Bosley, a member of the trio’s other able to get in a few gigs.” band, indie/psychedelic rock group Ursa The pandemic wasn’t completely and the Major Key, is credited as the pro- negative to the Wickmoore Jazz Trio, ducer on the trio’s debut album, Lounge though. Due to having an abundance Lizards, which was released in August 2020. of time that would have normally been The “studio” in which the trio records is spent at live gigs, the trio was able to located in the basement of the house Eli dive into the world of audio and muand Bosley rent together. Known as “Crick- sic production. Having been so used et Studios” to the trio due to an “invasion to playing live, the trio hadn’t been foof crickets” that were audible on most of cused on recording their music. the trio’s early demo tracks, the basement“Now, we have an album that’s out, and turned-studio is where Wickmoore Jazz Trio we’re ready for COVID to be done.” Eli said. produces their music. The Wickmoore Jazz Trio’s debut album “There were definitely some crickets that Lounge Lizard is available for streaming on we had to deal with as humanly as possi- Spotify and other major streaming platforms. ble… but it’s fine now!” Eli said. There are no longer any crickets residing in their studio. While the crickets may have been a good Email SARAH APPLE audience at times, nothing quite compares cp@cardinalpointsonline.com

Composers persevere through COVID BY RYAN EVANS Contributor

Back when the news broke that in-person instruction was coming to an end, everyone was at a loss for words. The sudden shift that followed will be something that everyone will remember for the rest of their lives. Over in the Myers Fine Arts building, two of the most highly skilled composers, Adrian Carr and William Pfaff, spoke about how the COVID-19 experience has both affected them personally and has impacted their ability to write music. Composing music is a solitary activity that requires both time and patience to develop. Was the isolation inspired by Covid-19 positive for the creative process? For Pfaff, nothing has changed in terms of creative output. Ever since the students and faculty moved to distanced learning, Pfaff has worked hard using his time to both accommodate his students and compose which comes naturally to him. “Like everyone, I’ve been dismayed and saddened by the COVID-19 pandemic,”Pfaff said, “But I do not equate the con-

tinuing pain and uncertainty of COVID with any type of musical response.” He does not believe that it is necessary to reproduce the sadness of COVID-19 through his art. As of late, he has completed a piece for violin and piano, and is currently working on a piece for Bb clarinet and steel pan. “My process starts at the piano,” Pfaff said. “and unless I have a deadline for a performance, I allow as much time as I need to explore the initial idea and ways to contrast that in the music. Sketching is a big part of it,” Pfaff said. He explained that revisiting/ reworking those sketches over time is necessary for completing a composition. He believes that “the more time you spend with the piece, the more it becomes idiomatic for the instruments you’re writing for.” For Pfaff, composing has always been second nature. It has been an interwoven part of his life since the age of six and has consistently allowed him to share something beautiful with the world. For Carr, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a much larger shift in his creative output and views of music. At the start of

SAREEM JABBAR/Cardinal Points

the nationwide shutdown, Carr described how it took him a long time to feel inspired to create. “It took about 6 months for me to start thinking about creating,” Carr said. “I was cooking dinners and we were staying home. It was kind of like you had to put your head down and just survive.” Different sources of inspiration, like the local coffee shop, had been essential to him. When everything shut down, he said, “it was like I lost all the frosting of life.”

“The COVID crisis forced me to think about things differently,” Carr said. “And think of ways I could get my music out there while also helping people and making a difference.” This creative block eventually came to an end when he received the Keep New York State Creating grant. With this grant, he was empowered to record live at the Big Blue North(BBN) studio in Utica. His experience at the BBN studio was special because he not only had the opportunity to record on a 1970s 88-key Fender

Rhoades piano, but was left with an idea to comfort those who lost loved ones to COVID-19. “The whole COVID experience actually inspired me,” Carr said. “Rather than doing a meditation CD, I got the idea to do an interactive website for COVID where people can post about loved ones.” By using the music he recorded while at the BBN studio, he would be able to help those who are dealing with the negative effects of COVID-19. “I’m not doing music for

me now,” Carr said, “I’m doing music for everybody else. There’s no me in this music, the me has been minimized.” For Dr. Carr, creating music is an opportunity to show the world what he sees. There is not only the constant drive to get better that keeps him going, but the desire to help people and make a difference.



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FUSE Editor Alana Penny


Student Art Spotlight

Elara Martin

Friday, April 2, 2021

My name is Elara Martin, and I’m an art major with a concentration in graphic design and a comple- Art major concentrating in graphic design with a ment in painting. I have a passion complement in painting for storytelling and character design, and it’s something that I try to incorporate into my studio work. Growing up, I was deeply invested in books and cartoons for their compelling stories and characters. I want to create something similar that viewers can get lost in, whether it comes in the form of a painting or a graphic novel. Stories that introduce voices that are not often depicted in the mainstream is something that I think is very important. I strive to use my creative abilities to make others feel empowered and connected, in both my studio and personal work.

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FUSE Editor Alana Penny

Friday, April 2, 2021

Schrader gains practical experience at PSTV BY CHRISTYN PETTWAY Staff Writer

Gillian Schrader, a double major in broadcast journalism and television video production from Saratoga Springs is currently the manager and executive producer of PSTV—SUNY Plattsburgh’s student television station. Offered to communications, TV video, broadcast journalism and digital media majors, the course is meant to introduce students to the real world of broadcasting by allowing each person to have a role that mimics a real-world broadcast journalism job in a television studio. Schrader runs the overall production of PSTV. She first became interested in the behind the scenes of media as a sophomore in high school. Her love for films and music made her think, “I want to be on TV so bad!” She decided she wanted to be a news reporter and declared her major as broadcast journalism when she got to SUNY Plattsburgh. While following this major, Shrader took an advanced editing course and realized she liked television postproduction more than news reporting. This led her to

become a TV video production major her sophomore year in addition to majoring in broadcast journalism. Shrader also has a minor in political science. After college, Schrader hopes to work her way up and become an assistant producer or news producer for experience. She wants this to lead to working in post-production in Los Angeles or for a big conglomerate company like Netflix, Paramount or Lionsgate and potentially work on Oscar and/or Emmy winning films. Out of the three, her top pick would be working for Netflix. She enjoys the Netflix Originals they’ve been putting out since they began producing their own movies and has some ideas of her own to bring to the table. Her ultimate dream, however, is to have her own late night show that she produces—especially because that specific field is mostly male-dominated. Instead of functioning in the usual “teacher is in charge” set up, PSTV is run more by Shrader herself, while Professor John Chambers oversees the course. “They try to make it as realistic as what a kind of workforce television


Gillian Schrader hopes to work in post-production in Los Angeles after she graduates. Her dream job is working for Netflix. studio would be like,” Schrader said. This helps managers to learn leadership skills and gives members with other

positions a real life feel of that specific job. This semester, there are six shows. They alternate these shows by having

Weekly Tarot Reading

three days of one specific show each week. Last week they ran “Earthly Shadows,” an eerie show about conspiracy theories and corruption in the government, music industry and film industry. Before each show PSTV, members (crew and managers) meet up at 6:30 p.m. to do a practice run of the live newscast, where Alex Ladstatter, the news director, makes sure everythings in place. This means taking care of what positions the crew members are going to be in, who’s anchoring, who’s doing weather and what stories will be talked about. At 7, they go live. The newscast lasts about 30 minutes. They then air that week’s show. Even with COVID, it’s still mandatory that members of PSTV meet in person. “There’s no getting around it, everything’s so hands on,” Schrader said. However, this has been a challenge for some as a result of the ongoing pandemic. The PSTV team has had to deal with members being placed under quarantine. This has been a main issue for PSTV this year as some people aren’t following the virus regulations and/or have been

coming in contact with the virus from people around them. This has slowed down the production of the class and has also stirred up conflict within the team. As a result, Schrader has had to talk to individuals personally who have hindered productivity. “It might be awkward, but it needs to be done because it needs to be a safe environment for the rest of the group that have these concerns,” Schrader said. Even with COVID challenges, members still have an appreciation for PSTV. Cameron Kaercher, a junior majoring in TV-video production with a minor in film studies, who is a producer for PSTV, said, “having ‘class’ with PSTV is the best part of my day... Despite COVID pool tests putting students in precautionary quarantine, Gillian has handled it well and our shows are still getting made. This semester could not have happened without her and our professor John Chambers.”


bias, the student union also organized and helped students participate in marches and protests in a wide range of locations. Fuerza leaders made sure to provide disclaimers before embarking on such protests, keeping in mind that such activities can be a source of anxiety and discomfort for people who still want to be involved in racial justice efforts. Hence, the union provided other opportunities for students to make their voices heard, such as Instagram Live sessions during which people could share their feelings in a safe and comfortable manner. This platform for selfexpression provided by Fuerza has greatly benefited numerous members, allowing them to become more expressive and more open. “Before joining the club I was like a turtle shy in its shell,” Ferreira said. “Now that I’m almost done with my four years here, I’m the complete opposite. The club alone has helped me in my personal and professional life.” Estremera recalled one particular event that highlighted the sense of family that Fuerza strived to foster. Near the beginning of February 2020, the university hosted a speak-out event in the Memorial Hall during which students had the chance to voice opinions about how campus life could improve. Estremera reflected on how Fuerza members made sure to support each other and have each other’s back all throughout the event, offering encouragement to not only fellow members but students outside the club as well. “We want people to know that no matter whether you’re in Fuerza or not, we will always be there to cheer you on and help you realize you belong,” Estremera said. “Like I said before, we’re a family away from home.”

Continued from page twelve

NGHI TO/Cardinal Points

BY RIVER ASHE Staff Writer

This week’s reading comes from the Mausolea Oracle of Souls illustrated by Jason Engle. These cards have a somber theme of the darker side of mythos and depict beautiful renditions of various gods, goddesses and powerful figures from different cultures. This deck can be purchased online. All card meanings have been interpreted from the guidebook sold with the deck, written by Rabbit Stoddard and Jason Engle. Aquarius (Jan. 20—Feb. 18) pulled Morgan Lefay, the Witch of Ages. You may have done some bad things in your life, but even the worst of people can learn from what they’ve done and repent. You must earn your forgiveness, but it is possible. The guidebook said that “the best way to learn of others is to spend a while walking in their footsteps.” Pisces (Feb. 19—March 20) drew Set, Prince of Avarice. Being ambitious is a good thing, but to a fault. Beware that your ambition can land you in some dark places. You will have no one to blame for that but yourself, should it happen. “Set warns us of the dangers of unbridled ambition, and self-absorption,” the guidebook warned. Aries (March 21—April 19) pulled The Leper King, Sword of Law. Through the control of yourself, you will be able to control many of the circumstances around you. Have faith in who you are and good things will follow. “The Leper King provides a model of self-discipline and tenacity, reminding us to hold fast to our faith and core ideals even in the depths of the fire,” the guidebook said.

Taurus (April 20—May 20) drew The Maestro, Master of Inspiration. The things you have been working on have come to an end, and you will find yourself waiting for something new. You need to find this new opportunity yourself so that your time is not wasted. The guidebook warned not to “grow stagnant or complacent in our understanding.” Gemini (May 21—June 20) pulled Abraham, Justice of Pandemonium. Even though life may be wearing heavily on your shoulders, this card asks you to remember who you are at the core of your being. You are still you, despite everything. “Abraham shows us the truth in our temporal selves,” the guidebook wrote. Cancer (June 21—July 22) drew Anubis, Arbiter of Truth. Focus on the truth of the matter, rather than what your passions tell you. Emotions have no place here and listening to your heart will only get you in trouble. “Neutrality and duty are called for,” the authors said. Leo (July 23—Aug. 22) pulled Charon, The Ferryman. You will need to be firm this week and not let anyone convince you to waver in your decisions for any reason. They may mean well, but only you know what is best for you. “He is unmoved by pleas or petitions, leaving judgements and pronouncements of innocence or guilt to others,” Stoddard and Engle explained. Virgo (Aug. 23—Sept. 22) drew Abbadon, Overlord of the Abyss. Beware of using your advantages for your own sake at the expense of the people around you. Being in power is a great thing when you use that power to help, not to hurt. “Abbadon knows what he is doing, and takes pleasure in evil for its own

sake,” the authors noted. Libra (Sept. 23—Oct. 22) pulled Vanth, Caretaker of the Lost. You will need to rely on the people you trust this week, but that’s OK.. They are here for you during this time of self-reflection and discovery. “Benevolent and dedicated, Vanth provides that which is most needed, at the point where it is most needed,” the guidebook said. Scorpio (Oct. 23—Nov. 21) drew The Keeper of Whispers, The Mad Prophet. Continue your search for knowledge and the truth, but be aware that the truth might make much less sense than you expect or want it to. Sometimes the easiest thing to do is to simply let sleeping dogs lie. According to the authors, this card rules over the domains of “curiosity, madness, and Forbidden Knowledge.” Sagittarius (Nov. 22—Dec. 21) pulled Hades, Lord of Riches. Regardless of what is said or thought about you, continue to love the people around you and take good care of the ones you love. Let no one bring you down for being kind. “Hades reminds us to ignore petty, unworthy distractions,” Stoddard and Engle wrote. Capricorn (Dec. 22—Jan. 19) drew Arawn, Master of the Great Hunt. Arawn asks you to follow your instinct and who you are as a person, rather than letting yourself be dictated by social conventions and rules. Work with yourself, not against, but do not criticize others for not following your example. “His power supports his interests, but does not dictate after the fashion of a tyrant,” the guidebook said. Email RIVER ASHE cp@cardinalpointsonline.com

Email CHRISTYN PETTWAY cp@cardinalpointsonline.com

“I had a vision for the club, and I believed I could make it work,” Estremera said. “I wanted to encourage greater professionalism and help organize events that excited more people on campus. Also, the two presidents before me had both been men, and I believed it was time for a woman to take charge of the club as well.” Under her presidency, Fuerza has taken on the responsibility of helping educate students on campus about various issues relating to multiple facets of social justice. For example, the organization has hosted a panel on women’s issues, focusing on examples of everyday inequality and problems faced by women such as the gender wage gap and the costliness of female hygiene products. “Students know when there’s something serious going on in the world, they know what club would address it immediately,” Alyssa Ferriera, the Fuerza secretary, said. The advent of the pandemic in spring 2020 had left several members devastated, according to Estremera, because of how much everyone in Fuerza loved organizing inperson events. However, Fuerza proved resilient, hosting several live sessions on Instagram to continue informing and enlightening students about deep-seated societal issues, many of which had been further exacerbated by the pandemic. During the Black Lives Matter movement following the murder of George Floyd in summer 2020, Fuerza was at the forefront of encouraging activism, engagement and healing in Plattsburgh. Apart from publicizing statistics and information pertaining Email ADEEB CHOWDHURY to ongoing trends of pocp@cardinalpointsonline.com lice brutality and racial

Student art spotlight, A10

Fuerza provides students home away from home BY ADEEB CHOWDHURY Associate FUSE Editor

While discussing the role Fuerza plays at SUNY Plattsburgh, President Jade Estremera focuses on one particular theme: providing a family away from home. Fuerza: The Black and Latinx Student Union, also known simply as Fuerza, has long dedicated itself to fostering an environment of solidarity, activism and conversation surrounding a vast range of issues— usually pertaining to racial justice. Its central goal is to help students find their voice and speak out about the causes that matter most to them. However, Estremera emphasized, sometimes Fuerza’s job can be as simple as encouraging a feeling of togetherness. “There’s a reason we’re sometimes called the Fuerza family,” Estremera said. “We want to help everyone feel like they’re part of a community of people who care about them and will support them.” Fuerza was originally founded nationwide in 1990, and its chapter in Plattsburgh was established in 2001. However, due to initial lack of participants, the student union remained generally inactive. It was revived in 2016 with far more popularity and support among the student body as well as grander ambitions of becoming a true force for change on campus. Estremera joined as a freshman and served as the organization’s event coordinator as a sophomore, driven by her passion for planning and leading teams. By the end of her sophomore year, she had grown in her confidence that she could bring fresh, effective changes to the club. Junior year she took over as the president of Fuerza.


NGHI TO/Cardinal Points

Profile for Cardinal Points

Issue 7  

Issue 7