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EAGLE NEWS The official student media group at Florida Gulf Coast University since 1997

January 2020 Volume 19, Issue 7


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January 2020



News ..........................................................................................3A-12A Sports .......................................................................................... 1B-5B Opinion ..................................................................................... 6B-12B

Twitter .........................................................................@fgcueaglenews Facebook ............................................................................ Eagle News Instagram .......................................................................... @eaglenews

Eagle News Executive Editor .............................................................. Jordyn Matez Eagle News Editor............................................................Jacob Pollack Assignment & Features Editor.......................................... Leah Sankey Assistant AF Editor .......................................................... Brooke Stiles Beat Reporter .................................................................. Nina Mendes News Clerk ..................................................................... Lauren Miceli Opinion Editor .........................................................Samantha Roesler Sports Editor .........................................................Harold Solomon IV Assistant Sports Editor .................................................... Jake Henning Photo Editor ....................................................................Julia Bonavita Assistant Photo Editor ................................................ Raphaella Matta Graphics Editor.................................................................. Kris Locker

Senior Copy Editor ............................................. Gabriella Livingston

ONE COPY PER READER One copy of the print edition is free to anyone, but limited one per reader. Newspaper theft is a crime. It is also a terribly effective form of censorship. While most college newspapers are distributed without charge, they certainly are not “free.” Publishing a student newspaper is an expensive undertaking. Like other types of theft, newspaper thieves deprive rightful owners of their valuable property. If you are interested in obtaining more that one issue, please contact the executive editor in writing.

ENTV Director .....................................................................Kaela Thompson Assistant Director ......................................................... Sommer Senne Head Video Editor ........................................................Hassan Brissett Eagle Radio Station Manager ...................................................Abbey Tomaszewski Programming Director................................................Shelby Hancock


OUR MISSION Eagle News, the official student media group at Florida Gulf Coast University since 1997, represents the diverse voices on campus with fairness. We select content for our publication and our website that is relevant to the student body, faculty and staff. Members are committed to reporting with accuracy and truth. Our purpose is to encourage conversations about issues that concern the on-campus community. Eagle News views every culture with equal respect and believes every person must be treated with dignity.


Eagle News, founded in 1997, is the student newspaper at Florida Gulf Coast University. The newspaper is the only student produced publication on campus and is entirely student run. Eagle News is published monthly during the fall and spring semesters and monthly in the summer, with the exception of holiday breaks and examination periods. Eagle News can be found on campus and in the community and online daily at

We are looking for ENTV broadcast reporters to cover sports, news, entertainment and opinion. If interested, email

FIRST ISSUE FREE Eagle News McTarnaghan Hall 201 10501 FGCU Blvd. S Fort Myers, Fla 33965

CONTACT US MAIN OFFICE 239.590.7945 Justin Paprocki MEDIA ADVISOR 239.590.7669 Nathan Wilson ADVERTISING 239.590.7712

January 2020

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Editor’s Note with Jordyn Matez

Out with the old, in with the new


hat’s up, Eagles!

My name is Jordyn and I am so excited to be taking over the Executive Editor position for the remainder of the school year! I began my Eagle Media journey as a freshman in 2018 writing sports. I was then the Sports Editor for Eagle News in 2018-19 and Eagle News editor this past semester until I took my position as Executive Editor. On a typical day, you can find me in the newsroom (McTarnaghan 201) procrastinating all of my homework and scrolling through Twitter and (though I hate to admit it) Tik Tok. On the off chance that I’m not in the newsroom, you can probably find me walking my dog, Ollie (pictured to the right). I’m the proud owner of a corgi and yes, I am obsessed with corgis as a result. Other than news and my dog, my interests include Philadelphia sports teams and finding the best Netflix shows to watch ­— I’m always looking for recommendations. Well, that’s enough about me. I’m excited to see what this upcoming semester brings for not only Eagle News, but our readers as well. Good luck with the upcoming semester, Eagles! Let’s get to work. - Jordyn

Photo by Julia Bonavita Me and Ollie on the North Lake Boardwalk in April of 2019.

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January 2020

FGCU grads create connection building platform By LEAH SANKEY

Assignment & features editor

Fieldr is a web-based platform that bridges the communication gap between students and employers/recruiters. Fieldr helps students find any type of experiential learning; whether that be a part-time job, a full-time job, an internship, volunteer opportunities, project-based or course-based learning, subcontracting, apprenticeships, etc. Fieldr was created by two 22-year-old Florida Gulf Coast University graduates, Natalie Finazzo and Connor Firmender. Fieldr started at FGCU’s School of Entrepreneurship when the two were seniors. “I realized that myself and my peers were lacking in some of the qualifications that a lot of the jobs we were looking at applying for after graduation required when we were in our senior year,” Firmender said. This, among other things, gave the two the idea to start their own platform that’s user friendly for students and recruiters alike. The website ( launched just this September and the Fieldr smartphone app is set to be released in early Spring. In just five months, the platform has over 300 student users and over 50 businesses (for profit and nonprofit). “There’s so many local opportunities that aren’t available

anywhere else and we’re so proud of that,” Finazzo said. Initially, Fieldr was only available to college students and employers in the Southwest Florida area. In early 2020, Fieldr will expand to all twelve Florida regional colleges; FSU, UF, FAU, UCF, FPU, UNF, UWF, NCF, FGCU, FIU, and FAMU. The Fieldr team conducted a survey for FGCU students about the university’s CareerLink. Many of the students who were surveyed said that they used CareerLink only to enter the necessary service-learning hours and looked for internships/employment elsewhere. According to Firmender, about 90% of students wished that there was a better option for finding opportunities while still in college. The Fieldr team believes that their platform is that option. “What differentiates us is that we personally match students to employers,” Finazzo said. “So, when they submit their profiles and have something in their bios or resume that mentions what they want .to do, we send them to employers that are looking for that. We encourage students to be as specific as possible so that we can help them find what they’re looking for.” Finazzo and Firmender are personally invested in the success of the students and organizations that use their platform. As a student, you’re able to search and filter through opportunities and employments that

Photo by Nathan Lueken Fieldr’s founders Natalie Finazzo & Connor Firmender. The FGCU grads started Fieldr to streamline the connection between employers/recruiters and students.

are tailored to your goals and interests. It’s incredibly user friendly. Simply search through opportunities and if you find one that is what you’re looking for, click the “contact” button and initiate a conversation. Fieldr is always free for students and free to employers/ recruiters unless they choose to sign up for a Sapphire or Emerald Premium Plan. The Basic Plan for employers allows one posting per month, one user account, and one match a month. The Sapphire plan allows five

postings a month, five user accounts, and five matches a month. The Emerald Premium Plan allows for unlimited postings, unlimited user accounts, unlimited matching, and a Fieldr account manager. Fieldr’s main focus is on helping college students get the experience they need to start their career, so that they’re employable in the field of their choice upon graduation. Their mission is to provide opportunities for learning, growth and success for all.

January 2020

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Cody & Co.

By NINA MENDES BeAt rePorter

Not to be confused with the internet personality, Cody Ko, Cody & Co. is a Fort Myers act that freely merges genres but is categorized as alternative. Many of Cody & Co.’s songs address serious topics with an almost nihilistic sense of humor. The band’s front man, Cody Smith operates solo and collaborates with local artists. Cody & Co. describes the music as, “weird music by a weird dude and what little friends he has.” Cody & Co. released five EPs throughout 2019, an impressive feat for any artist, and his music is available on both Apple music and Spotify. “I like releasing music because it gives an outlet for all the general nonsense in my head in a nice and clear direction,” Smith said. “Working with other SWFL musicians is a great way to fill in the gaps that I don’t even notice existed until they play.” Smith’s most recent release “Turns Out Constantly Releasing Music Isn’t a Good Coping Mechanism, the Cat Was a Good One Though. He’s a Good Boy” dropped on Dec. 25. The comedic title serves to cushion the EP’s somber theme, which is about overcoming depression in a relationship. “I hope people can sit down and listen to my music and have it do to them what all my favorite music has done for me - act as an outlet for obsessive tendencies in a way that helps idealize a version of myself I never noticed before,” Smith said. Musical inspiration for Cody


Left to right: Brendan DuBois, Skyler Lapham (drums), Cody Smith and Isaiah Suriel. Cody Smith of Cody & Co. is a solo act that collaborates with local artists. & Co. ranges from The Front Bottoms and The Cure to Willie Nelson. These musicians made him realize that releasing an abundance of music in one year was an achievable goal. Smith regularly plays at Fort Myers venues including, Beach Records and HOWL. He invites friends to play with him during these jam nights. “Having come from playing drums in punk bands, then screaming folk-punk at people, to having string arrangements be a focal point of an EP gives me whiplash looking back at the past three years,” Smith said. His first release of the year

titled “Cocaine Killed the Music Scene & All My Friends Are Dead to ME” debuted Apr. 11 and features three originals sandwiched between an intro and an outro. About two weeks later, Cody & Co put out ReHash, which includes the fan-favorite “White Rabbit”. Smith chose to release his music periodically through multiple EPs rather than a collective, fulllength album so he could explore a wide variety of sounds rather than focusing on one. “I Don’t Get Why My Parents Are Proud of Me Either, but Hey I’m Still Thankful” was the third EP of the year,

which dropped Aug. 9. Lastly, the late September release “Just Because I’m Happy Doesn’t Mean I Don’t Have Depression Anymore, Nevertheless I Wish It Did” is a four-track collection featuring acoustic guitar and saxophone solos. Smith plans to continue playing and writing in 2020 and is looking forward to releasing more content. “The 5 EPs I released in 2019 serve as what I feel is a marker for the real creative growth I’ve had,” Smith said. “My game plan is just to keep doing my best and whatever that entails.”

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January 2020

Doghouse Rescue Academy

Maui | German shepherd/lab |4 years old| Male Maui is a young adult German Shepherd/yellow Lab mix who loves to play & have fun! Maui was rescued from Miami Dade Animal Services with an injured leg & hearworm disease. He is on the mend, & would do best in a home with other playful dogs & a fenced yard, or regular trips to the park. He has a silly & loving personality.

Find your furry soulmate at Doghouse Rescue Academy (DRA). DRA is a foster-based 501c(3) rescue that pulls dogs deemed adoptable from predominantly rural areas and highkill shelters, giving them another chance at life. DRA organizes fundraisers, events and in-depth training sessions for our community and volunteers. The adoption fee includes spay/neuter, microchip, and full vetting. If you’re interested in adopting and/or fostering, visit to fill out an application.

Nessie| Bully mix| 10 months old| Female This gorgeous & petite baby is Nessie! She is a 10 month old blue pitty mix with upright ears. Nessie is very playful other socialized dogs (proper intro always recommended), would do best in a home without cats, & enjoys playing with toys while simultaneously cuddling.

Baron| Pointer|1-year-old| Male This gorgeous guy has just mastered obedience training. He is super friendly and silly. Baron is learning basic commands and has been amazing with both dogs and people. He would fit into almost any household.

January 2020

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The SWFL food truck boom is here, but for how long? BY SAMANTHA ROESLER oPinion editor

In large metropolitan areas, food trucks are an easy way to grab a quick meal on the side of the street. The food truck industry has been rising in Southwest Florida for a couple of years and is now a booming trend within demographics of all ages. Millennial Brewing Company in Fort Myers has been operating for three years and owner Kyle Cebull said that he has definitely seen the positive effects of the SWFL food truck boom. “When we first opened, that’s why everyone came here,” Cebull said. “People were excited about food trucks. Now, there are more trucks and events around the area and the urgency just isn’t there.” Three years ago, when Millennial Brewing Company was established, there were far fewer food trucks than there are today.

“There were around 15 food trucks,” Cebull said. “Now, there are around 60 to 70. It’s grown by 400 to 500 percent easily.” However, local governments in cities like Fort Myers are not making it easy for mobile vendors to thrive. As the amount of food trucks continues to rise, there becomes less space for the trucks to share. “One of the things that needs to change is for the municipalities to allow to park anywhere,” Cebull said. “Now, it’s pretty much limited to breweries. All these mitigating counties have rules and laws, and at the end of the day it’s about politics. People can’t go park their truck downtown because restaurants there don’t want that competition around.” Fort Myers has strict permitting laws for food trucks. They can only operate from sunrise to sunset, they can’t stop on any arterial street, road or highway, and mobile vendors who have a temporary use permit can only be at that

spot for 15 minutes maximum, according to a Lee County Ordinance. These strict laws make running a food truck in SWFL difficult. “You can’t really go just anywhere,” said Kyle Govan, co-founder of the popular food truck BuddhaBlends. “You can go and get a temporary permit, which we’ve never done before, but that gives you the right to set up in an empty lot or a place like an abandoned run-down gas station.” The temporary permits last for 45 days, then expire for 30 days. “There are some weird rules that aren’t too favorable,” Govan said. Govan and his wife Ariana were inspired to start a food truck after seeing the popularity of the industry on the West Coast back when they went to California in 2016. “We wanted that California vibe, and we wanted to do something for ourselves,” Govan said. “With a food truck, it’s a lot less of a startup cost,

granted it is still a lot but less than a traditional restaurant.” BuddhaBlends food truck opened in September 2017 and only sells vegan food. The vegan option created a loyal consumer base in the community which helps it stay on top of its competition. “We wanted to bring a healthy mobile option that no one has ever done in Fort Myers,” Govan said. “We are a one of a kind food truck, so we don’t have much competition.” Despite having a solid base of loyal customers, Govan still recognizes the rise of food trucks in Southwest Florida and the difficulty of having to constantly search for business. “When we started, we thought we knew all the trucks and for the most part we did, but I’d definitely say within the past year and a half we’ve seen so many more trucks since,” Govan said. “Not just in Fort Myers, but Naples has increased.” SWFL residents are being drawn towards a new atmo-

Page 8A sphere to get a cocktail and a quick meal—a food truck park located in East Naples. Celebration Park has only been open for a year, but has quickly become a social hot spot. The park is open every day except Mondays starting at lunchtime and always has eight food trucks running during operating hours. “I saw the takeover and boom of food trucks happening,” said Patrick Johnson, the manager of Celebration Park in Naples. “After seeing it, I said, ‘We can do this.’” Johnson grew up in SWFL and remembers feeling like an outcast around the main demographic of retirees. “Being born and raised [in Naples], I didn’t feel welcome because of the older demographic,” Johnson said. “I wanted [Celebration Park] to be a place for everyone— young, old, rich poor— and I think it’s working.” Tucker Jones co-owns the Nawty Hogg BBQ food truck with his brother-in-law Aric at Celebration Park. Their truck has been stationed at Celebration Park since the park opened in November 2018. “My brother-in-law asked me one day if I wanted to go and look at trucks, we ended up buying one that day,” Jones said. “It was a spur of the moment thing. Then, Celebration Park contacted us asking if we wanted the last spot and we said ‘absolutely.’” Although trucks at places like Celebration Park have the advantage of expecting daily customers compared to those who need to advertise themselves each day, challenges do

January 2020

EN PHOTO BY SAMANTHA ROESLER Celebration park in Naples, FL. The food truck park has been open for a year and features eight food trucks.

arise for these vendors with the amount of food they need to prepare. “You never know what business is going to be like that day,” Jones said. “Quality food is key. We don’t want to be making too much food on a Monday and be selling that food still on a Thursday.” Johnson takes the time daily to ensure the food at all the trucks are up to standard. “I test the food every day, and I give a list of comments on how to make it better,” Johnson said. “I’ll give them hints but won’t tell them how to fix and manage their truck. They are held to a high standard.” Anne Hanlon and her husband Kevin spend their time in Naples during the winter and live in Boston for the remain-

der of the year. They have been customers at Celebration Park since they first opened. “I look for authenticity. I like how every truck here is different, and cleanliness is also important,” Hanlon said. “I don’t think price is an issue because it is worth it for the quality.” Places like Millennial Brewing Company and Celebration Park are constantly finding innovative ways to accommodate the increasing amount of food trucks in the area. Millennial Brewing Company hosts food-themed events such as vegan food nights or a pizza food truck festival which has anywhere in between eight to 11 trucks running at once to keep customers wanting to come back. “We realized going into our

second year that just having food trucks wasn’t enough,” Cebull said. “It was a lot easier when we opened. Friday night food trucks would have 1000 people, but now we could have no one show. The themed events make it seem much more special to people.” Johnson keeps customers coming to Celebration Park by hosting different bands, outdoor games, entertainment and daily drink specials. “We want strangers to talk, meet new people and make friends,” Johnson said. “This is a relaxed environment. The goal is having a Celebration Park Fort Myers, Tampa, Miami— we want to be everchanging.”

January 2020

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Lee County School District partners with Lee Health

EN PHOTO BY BROOKE STILES The Lee County Public Education Center. On Dec. 10 the Lee County School Board approved the collaboration project with Lee Health Kids’ Minds Matter and Lee County schools.

By BROOKE STILES assistant af editor

Mental health in Lee County’s School District has long existed as an underfunded program, until now. The Lee County School Board approved the collaboration project with Lee Health Kids’ Minds Matter and Lee

County schools on Tuesday, to introduce mental health navigators in schools who will bring improved access to mental health care for children and their families. Kids’ Minds Matter is a collaboration of Lee Health’s Golisano Children’s Hospital and the Lee Health Foundation that focuses on mental health.

“Lee County has traditionally been underfunded as a district in mental health and community mental health, [but now] as a school district we have a unique opportunity to be a part of the solution to that challenge,” said Lori Brooks, Director of School Counseling and Mental Health Services for the Lee County School District. “With Lee

Health and Kids’ Minds Matter, we have the beginning of a beautiful partnership where we’re all creating systems of care and access to those systems through our schools.” This partnership hopes to add a much-needed layer to the existing school-based counseling by employing mental health navigators in schools for families with a

Page 10A need for intensive mentoring. The mental health navigators will operate in the schools but are funded by Lee Health and the philanthropic Kids’ Minds Matter movement. The mental health navigators will work to provide additional resources to children and families by providing them with information and connections to mental health providers in the area. “Our school-based mental health professionals have a lot of information, but not a deep-dive intimate level,” Brooks said. “We had a family we worked with that the mom had taken her child to mental health counseling and a psychiatrist and was told by two different agencies that her child needed behavioral intervention, and they don’t offer that. That’s the piece where we realized for that kind of situation that a navigator would be critical.” Mental health navigators need a bachelor’s degree and a background of managing mental health issues. “[Mental health navigators] will be folks who are well versed in managing mental health issues within families, who know the community resources, and who understand the experience of having mental illness in families,” said Paul Simeone, the Vice President of Behavioral Health at Lee Health. “They will help people negotiate community resources and treatment services, so that they can get the kind of care that they need.” Before funding can be allocated to have multiple navigators in each school throughout

January 2020 Lee County, a pilot study will be launched in two elementary schools with one navigator in each school. The school district chose two Fort Myers elementary schools: Colonial Elementary School and Ray V. Potorff Elementary for their pilot study. These two elementary schools were chosen using data from the school district that found they could highly benefit from additional mental health resources. Simeone and Brooks also believe starting in elementary schools is key to preventing children from developing serious issues. “Mental illness is an epidemic among children in our country and especially in Florida, where we have so few resources,” Simeone said. “The research is showing more and more that the earlier we [combat] mental health conditions, not only do we improve outcomes later in life, but we also know that people will require fewer services as a result of intervening.” Once the agreement between the school district and Lee Health is signed, the pilot study will begin. “We are going to use this as a demonstration project to apply for a very big SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration) grant for $3 million over four years, so that we can actually build out the services in a much more robust way,” Simeone said. “We have these two schools selected [because] it’s the inception point of what we really are trying to make

multi-year initiatives and to grow that through a SAMHSA grant,” Brooks said. School-based counseling is free as well as the navigator. If families choose to seek outside help, navigators can help families access affordable mental health care. “The mental health allocation is for our school-based services and then referrals outside, but it doesn’t pay for treatment,” Brooks said. “With Kids’ Minds Matter coming in and funding the navigators it’s kind of like having a liaison embedded in your building. Parents may not want the school to know everything, but [they can] connect with a navigator and say, ‘I do not mind the healthcare system knowing things because I know my child needs help.’” “Without this particular einitiative, we would be lacking that step the navigators will walk a family through,” Brooks said. “We can do school-based mental health, but not all students will benefit from [it]. Some need referrals for outside services and additional layers of medical treatment. Kids have complex needs and that’s where we need to partner. That’s where Kids’ Minds Matter as an organization is a game changer for us.” While this partnership is a huge step in administering proper mental health care in public schools, Ally Caudill, an FGCU student who works to teach children yoga as a mental health practice at Florida Yoga Academy, thinks the school district could go even

further in implementing mental health care in schools. “Children’s mental health is one of the most important things in the world [because] children are literally our future,” Caudill said. “They carry their behaviors, understandings, values and morals into our future, so mental health care for our youth should be normalized, not seen as something special.” She believes practicing coping with emotions could benefit children as well as understanding positive self-habits at a young age. “Mental health practices that could easily be brought into school include journaling, meditation, mindfulness, yoga, art therapy, and sound healing,” Caudill said. “These are all truly simple and could change everything in the way these children are receiving their education.” Florida still has a long way to go in terms of mental health care, but the Lee County School District is taking the first steps towards offering more effective mental health services. “Parkland was indeed a pivotal tragedy for this state, and as a result districts received funding in the form of a mental health allocation per district from the Florida State Legislature,” Brooks said. “And in that legislation, we are called to partner with our community behavior health and medical agencies, so absolutely, the time is now. The time should have been 10 to 20 years ago, but we’re here. We’re partnering and our students and our schools and our families will be better [because] of it.”

January 2020

By BROOKE STILES A ssisYAnt Af editor

Welcome back! If you’re anything like me, it takes a while to bounce back from the holidays which can mean missing fun and important events on campus. So, break out your calendars and mark these exciting events so you don’t miss out! Edison Science & Inventors Fair Saturday, Jan. 18 Alico Arena 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free Tuition Bingo Tuesday, Jan. 21 Cohen Center 5 – 10 p.m. Wings up Olympics Wednesday, Jan. 22 Alico Arena 8:30-9:30 p.m. Kid Ace Illusionist Thursday, Jan. 23 Cohen Center 7-8:30 p.m. Service-Learning Fair Wednesday, Jan. 29 Cohen Center 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Eagle Fest Concert: 2 Chainz and Bryce Vine Saturday, Feb. 1 Alico Arena 8 p.m. Homecoming Tailgate Saturday, Feb. 8 Recreation Outdoor Com-

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plex 3 p.m. Career and Internship Fair Thursday, Feb. 13 Cohen Center 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Eagle Expo Saturday, Feb. 15 Cohen Center 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. SPRING BREAK Monday, March 2 – Saturday, March 7 Dance Marathon Saturday, March 28 – Sunday, March 29 Cohen Center 8-1 a.m. Career Fiesta Tuesday, March 31 Cohen Center Lawn 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Green & Blue Celebration Saturday, April 4 Alico Arena 5-10 p.m. Live on the Lawn Monday, April 13 Veterans Pavilion 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Puppypalooza Tuesday, April 21 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Wednesday, April 22 from 12-2 p.m. Cohen Center Lawn Late Night Breakfast Tuesday, April 28

Cohen Center 9-11 p.m. FINALS Tuesday, April 28 – Saturday, May 2 If you would like any more information on these events check out FGCU’s homepage! Happy spring semester. Go Eagles!


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January 2020


MEN’S BASKETBALL STRUGGLES After a rough start to the season, FGCU men’s basketball hopes to capitalize on their early success in league play as they sit atop the ASUN with a 2-2 record. See more on 2B

New year, same spot:

Women’s b-ball remains ranked No. 25 in the USA Today Coaches Poll


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January 2020

Men’s Hoops hoping for miracle turn around

EN PHOTO BY JULIA BONAVITA After posting a 3-12 record through the first two months of the regular season, the FGCU mens’s basketball team hopes to have better luck against ASUN competition as they currently sit atop the ASUN standigs with a 2-2 record in league play.


The days of Dunk City seem lost in time as the FGCU men’s basketball team currently holds a record of 5-14 and sits atop the ASUN conference with a 2-2 against league competition. Going through the first half of the season with only two wins and seemingly not being able to close out games, it comes as a relief that the team has begun their conference slate. FGCU certainly demonstrates it has the power to shoot with the likes of Zach Scott and Caleb

Catto. Scott and Catto are first and second on the team in points, each averaging 11 points a game. Justus Rainwater is also recording six rebounds a game while maintaining a .60 completion percentage from the field which is currently the best on the team. The biggest issue the team has is maintaining its rhythm once it has the lead. Though FGCU just recorded its fifth win of the season against rival Stetson in overtime, many of the games the team lost in the beginning of the season were only by a possession or two. In some of the Eagles’ blowout defeats, they’d enter the second half with the lead and five minutes

in you would have no idea they’d started off ahead. While there is much to blame on the team’s lack of success, many of the players on the roster are making their first appearance with FGCU. Those include Sam Gagliardi, Malik Hardy, Tracy Hector Jr. and board threat Justus Rainwater. Head coach Micheal Fly’s roster only features four returning players from a year ago and has been without senior Christian Carlyle all season due to an injury he sustained during the summer. Even with all the growing pains, the team has shown it can win games, and it needs to do

more of it with 12 games remaining in the regular season. If the Eagles can end the season on a high note, they can have a shot at the ASUN title and try their luck in the NCAA Tournament. That seems like a reach given the team has already taken defeats at the hands of North Florida and reigning champions Liberty, who were both respectively ranked ahead of the Eagles in the ASUN Coaches Poll and Media Poll back in early October. Fly and the Eagles will look to capitalize on their most recent 6662 overtime win over Stetson and carry that momentum into the rest of ASUN league play.

January 2020

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Sweat promoted to head coach of FGCU beach volleyball By HAROLD J. SOLOMON IV SportS Editor

After serving as an assistant coach to the FGCU beach volleyball team for five seasons, Chris Sweat has been promoted to head coach of the program. Sweat’s promotion comes just two days after being named to’s Under 40 Coaching Hotshots list on Jan. 6. “During my five years as an assistant, I saw Matt’s vision and

watched this program elevate to new heights,” Sweat said. “I am beyond ecstatic and so humbled to have the opportunity to lead this program and continue what has been built over the years.” Sweat will be taking over for Matt Botsford, who will be moving into more of a director role overseeing both the indoor and outdoor programs while maintaining his head coach position of the indoor volleyball team. As an assistant coach, Sweat has been instrumental to the


growth of the beach program at FGCU, helping to lead the Eagles to a 63-41 record since losing the

first nine matches of his tenure. The FGCU beach volleyball team will look to have the same


With the team moving into the latter part of the season and beginning their slate of ASUN competition, the FGCU men’s basketball will look to Gagliardi for that shooting edge from beyond the arc. “I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we shot a higher percentage than we had been after moving him into the starting five,” Fly said. “I’m happy for him, but now we’re looking for continued production and contributions that will lead to wins.” Gagliardi’s next appearance on the court will come against Kennesaw State on Jan. 16 at Alico Arena, where the Eagles will look to extend their current win streak to three.

While students were away on winter break, junior guard Sam Gagliardi kept busy by earning ASUN Newcomer of the Week recognition on Jan 6. During his impressive three-game stint against USC, Liberty and Lipscomb, Gagliardi notched 48 points while shooting 11-21 from three-point range. ‘I’m proud of Sam because we moved him into the starting lineup, and I think that he really answered that call,” head coach Michael Fly said. “We’re looking for consistent production not just from him, but from the rest of our team.”

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January 2020

No. 25 FGCU reflects on current season

EN PHOTO BY JULIA BONAVITA Redshirt senior Davion Wingate has stepped into a larger role from a season ago, now leading the team in points with 321 and a three-point percentage of .479.

By JAKE HENNING Assitant Sports Editor

The FGCU women’s basketball team started 2020 at the No. 25 slate in the recent USA Today Coaches Poll, finishing non-conference play at a record of 13-2. This is the first time the Eagles have been back in the Top 25 since April of the 2018 season, where they were ranked 25th in the same poll. “To be a nationally ranked team is something everybody would want to do,” FGCU head coach Karl Smesko said. “So we have to prepare ourselves for everybody’s best effort.”

And they have, as FGCU has gone undefeated in all three ASUN conference games thus far. These wins came from Lipscomb, Liberty and Stetson. The Eagles only two losses on the season came from No. 23 ranked Princeton, and a very tough team in LSU. The Eagles are currently the nation’s top team in five categories: three-point field goals attempted (623), three-pointers made (204), three-pointers per game (12.0), turnover margin (10.24), and turnovers per game (10.5). FGCU isn’t shifting focus and if you ask the players, Coach Smesko is the one who contin-

ues to inspire them. “He mainly tells you to focus,” said guard Davion Wingate. “He’s getting our minds back on track and saying execute.” Smesko is currently ranked third in wins for active Division I coaches (524), behind Geno Auriemma (1,062) and Kim Mulkey (576). His winning culture and attitude towards the players is what seems to be the catalyst for a successful basketball program. “He gives you everything you need to be successful,” Wingate said. “It’s whether we’re executing it or not.” Wingate, along with Keri Jewett-Giles, leads the team

in scoring with 17.1 and 16.1 respectively. Wingate also leads the team in field goal and threepoint percentage. Wingate has improved her scoring average by a whopping 10 points per game, while her role last year mainly consisted of her coming off the bench. “I think this year I have more responsibility in terms of scoring,” Wingate said. Tytiona Adderly is one impact player that has continued to give the Eagles the push they need during conference play. She leads the team in rebounds, and is second on the team in both assists and steals. Adderly also became the first

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player in program history to reach 1,000 rebounds in their recent game against Lipscomb. Another player who has seen her role change from the previous season is Kerstie Phils. Phils, like Wingate, was primarily a role player and came off the bench for the Eagles in her 31 games last year. In the 2019-2020 season, she has started 12 of her 15 games and has taken on a bigger role for Coach Smesko. “I know I have a bigger role especially starting in these games,” Phils said. “Just keeping my team motivated and bringing energy every single game that I

play.” Phils has also had visible improvement in her points per game, rebounds per game, and free-throw percentage. Now that the Eagles are starting their conference play, they’re looking to keep the same energy they had coming into the season. “Surprisingly now I feel like we’re more focused,” Wingate said. “Because a lot of teams in our conference want to beat us now that we have the ranking.” FGCU’s women’s basketball team continues its conference play in Florence, Alabama against North Alabama on Saturday, Jan. 18 at 2 p.m.




Meal includes fries or tots and a regular tea or soft drink.Valid once per visit. Not valid with any other offers. Not valid for online ordering or delivery. CODE: 667861898 EXP: 12/31/20

PHOTO BY JULIA BONAVITA Redshirt-junior Kerstie Phills is currently avergaing sevne points a game while completing .466 of her shots from the field, which is third best on the team.

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SEA LEVEL RISE IS A THREAT TO FLORIDIANS The long stretches of white sand that drape our coastline and attract millions of sun seekers each year will quickly erode with rising sea levels and harsher storms . See more on 8B

We need zoos now more than ever By SAMANTHA ROESLER Opinion Editor

Unless you live under a rock, you probably have heard at some point or another the story of Harambe, the western lowland gorilla who resided peacefully at the Cincinnati zoo until he was suddenly shot dead when a child fell into his enclosure. This sparked major controversy from animals rights activists all around the world, some blamed the parents for not properly watching their child, others blamed the zoo for not having proper safety precautions around the gorilla’s exhibit. No matter who is to blame, instances like what happened to Harambe and other circumstances have created the debate of whether or not zoos are inhumane. I am well aware that there are many zoos on this planet that horrifically mistreat animals. Roadside zoos are a huge problem. They’re unaccredited, too small and the animals there are often living in their own dirt. Unfortunately, corruption is everywhere. In clothes factories, restaurant chains and

EN Photo provided by Samantha Roesler Komodo dragon in Jacksonville Zoo. Animals like the Komodo dragon are kept by zoos for breeding and conservation purposes of the Association of Zoos and Aquarium’s Species Survival Plan.

even inside jails. Does that mean we should stop wearing clothes, eating at restaurants and imprisoning lawbreakers? No. Do the incidents when immoral people treat animals cruelly for profit mean we should stop supporting repu-

table zoos for educational and conservation purposes? No. It’s time that people start appreciating all the benefits that zoological parks bring into our society and stop focusing on inhumane people that give zoos a bad reputation. Why should we ignore the constant

conservation efforts and the education programs that zoos put on for the future generation- the generation that will eventually be in charge of conserving our earth? Conservation and education are two main goals of modern, reputable zoos.

January 2020 Zoos use portions of their profits from tickets and use those proceeds towards restoration and protection efforts. For example, the Naples Zoo has donated over $1 million dollars in the past four years to help animals in the wild. The Naples Zoo works with the Wildlife Conservation Society to fund the Tiger Conservation Campaign. On a more local level the Naples Zoo works with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission to manage to the population of the endangered Florida panther. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has confirmed that there are 33 species listed as “extinct in the wild.” This means that all the living members of a certain species reside in captivity. One of these species is the Panamanian golden frog. In 2006 they were believed to become extinct because there

Page 7B isn’t a way to recover from their rapidly declining population, but thanks to the Baltimore Zoo’s captive breeding over 1,500 species of this frog now live in zoos throughout North America and Panama, according to Encyclopedia Britannica. Zoos are taking initiative to keep species alive inside their institutions that are otherwise extinct out in the wild- and people think that zoos are killing the animals they are taking out of their native enviornment. Zoos also work endlessly on species reintroduction. The most popular example of reintroduction would be the case of the golden lion tamarin. This tamarin was listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as critically endangered for almost 30 years, with fewer than 200 individuals in the wild in the 1970s. Thanks to the hard work

of the Smithsonian Zoo and its Golden Lion Tamarin Conservation Program, this tamarin’s status got upgraded from critically endangered to endangered in 2003. Today, about one-third of the wild golden lion tamarin population originated from human care according to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute. Not only do zoos care about animals and the rapid decline of various species, but they also focus on the human population. Zoos often have specific education programs for kids and adults alike. Within the past week, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums awarded the Birmingham Zoo in Alabama with the 2019 Education Award. Birmingham Zoo is known for its “ZooSchool,” a week-long program aimed toward 7th graders that strives to “ensure each student

departs with an abundance of knowledge and a greater appreciation of the natural world.” So, an institution that works hard to conserve animals and educate people on the importance of protecting species can’t be all bad, right? As the amount of horrific accidents and situations inside zoos seem to increase, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is working harder to get more accredited zoos around the country. The Accreditation Commission makes sure zoos meet standards for proper living environments for the animals, social needs, enrichment, and there is an evaluation of the zoo’s veterinary program. Since it is such an in-depth process, getting all zoos to be accredited facilities won’t happen overnight. As our Earth gradually deteriorates, zoological parks might be our only hope.

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January 2020

Why Floridians should care about sea level rise By SARA KELLY Contributing Writer

Every summer, my family and I took a vacation to Southwest Florida. We spent hours at the beach. My mom sat in our plastic foldout chairs with her big sunglasses and a crime novel. My dad knelt in the hot sand and helped me build elaborate sandcastles, or played catch with me in the warm, salty waves. Sometimes we stayed for the sunset and watched the sky fade to a mural of burnt orange, pink and gold. Like many other northerners, we were drawn to the warm, tropical winters and ocean breeze and became full-time Floridians when I started high school. Now as a young adult and soonto-be college graduate, I plan to stay. I want to establish my career, and hopefully my own family one day, in SWFL. However, growing concerns about climate change, especially sea level rise, threaten my future in Florida. Since the 1950s, sea levels have risen about eight inches in Florida. According to predictions from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the US Army Corps of Engineers (NOAA), sea levels in SWFL are expected to rise over a foot in the next 30 years and around five feet by 2100. But, will a few feet really make a difference? Many parts of Florida are barely above sea level, so with each foot comes increased risk of flooding and property damage. Many believe one foot of sea level rise means one foot less of sand on the

EN Photo provided by Samantha Roesler According to the CLEO Institute, a nonprofit that promotes climate education and action, the cumulative costs to the U.S. economy regarding sea level rise and flooding is projected to be as high as $325 billion by 2100, with $130 billion of that just for Florida.

beach, but just one foot will have devastating effects on our homes, businesses, city infrastructure, and even drinking water- not to mention our beloved beaches. For example, Naples is only three feet above sea level, so with the current projections, Naples will be underwater before 2100. In Florida, there is not an easy solution to flooding. Limestone is the bedrock of Florida, but limestone is very porous. Since it’s full of holes, it acts like a hard sponge that soaks up the groundwater. This allows groundwater to rise at the same

rate as the ocean, so water can seep through the limestone and bypass sea walls. A study published by the Union of Concerned Scientists looked at a flood model by the NOAA and compared it with real estate information from Zillow, a real estate website, and found that billions of dollars of property along coastal cities are at risk in the coming decades. In Florida, the report found that in the next 30 years roughly 64,000 homes will be at risk of chronic flooding. Chronic flooding is defined in the report as an

area where flooding occurs at least 26 times a year. By the end of the century, more than 1 million homes in Florida will be at risk from sea level rise and will account for more than 40% of the nation’s at-risk homes. When our homes flood, so will our roads. This will affect our ability to commute to places like work, school, and emergency buildings like hospitals. Flooding not only affects Florida’s physical infrastructure, but its drinking water too. As seawater rises, it can mix

January 2020 with freshwater wells and ruin drinking water. Rising water also means more pressure on underground sewage and an increased risk of waste backing up into the street — a costly and smelly health hazard. Our beaches won’t bypass the devastation either. The long stretches of white sand that drape our coastline and attract millions of sun seekers each year will quickly erode with rising sea levels and harsher storms. Florida has spent more than any other state in the U.S. on beach renourishment over the past 70 years and continues to increase its spending as bigger storms, like Irma, hit the state more frequently. When cities are flooded, sewage runs through the streets, drinking water is contaminated and the beaches are gone, tourists will turn away from Florida and towards higher grounds. Tourism is Florida’s leading industry and provides jobs to more than one million residents. This would be a catastrophic hit to Florida’s economy. Another leading industry in Florida is agriculture. In 2017, the cash receipt from Florida agricultural products was $7.5 billion. With sea level rise, farms will flood more frequently and crops will be spoiled. Even if fields don’t flood, they’re still at risk. Salt water can seep through the limestone under the ground and increase the salinity levels of agricultural fields. This will decrease, or completely eliminate, crop growth and add another hit to Florida’s economy. According to the CLEO Institute, a nonprofit that promotes climate education and action,

Page 9B the cumulative costs to the U.S. economy regarding sea level rise and flooding is projected to be as high as $325 billion by 2100, with $130 billion of that just for Florida. Climate change also brings more frequent and intense hurricanes. Higher sea levels mean a higher launching point for storm surge. Surges will become more destructive and travel farther inland. All of this seems pretty devastating for Florida. With so much at stake, I would think there would be riots in the streets, but for a long time climate change has been swept under the rug. It was dismissed as inaccurate and inconsequential, but we can’t afford to bury our heads in the sand anymore, because at some point there won’t be any sand left. A study published this February by the Conservancy of Southwest Florida measured SWFL residents’ views on climate change. The study found there is “surprisingly widespread support for local and government action on climate solutions.” In response to sea levels, 78% of residents believe rising sea levels threaten the well-being of our community. These numbers aren’t surprising after the climate strikes throughout SWFL on Sept. 20, 2019. Residents took to the streets and voiced their concerns about climate change and demanded action. These locals joined groups of activists throughout Florida, the U.S. and the world as part of a global climate strike before the United Nations Climate Change Summit in New York that started

Sept. 23. So, to anyone who asks whether a few feet of sea level rise is important, the answer is yes. Florida has already planned over $4 billion in sea level rise solutions including raising roads, protecting sewage systems, seawalls, and storm water improvements, but these solutions don’t address the real issue. Real change, according to NASA, means greatly reducing the flow of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Climate change is a complex issue. We need both a global response, like international policies that push for cleaner forms of energy, as well as local responses that create sustainable commu-

nities and educated residents. Unfortunately, federal drawbacks on climate issues like the elimination of the Clean Power Plan, a freeze on fuel efficiency standards, and leaving the Paris Climate Agreement are major steps backward in the fight for our planet. We need support on local, federal, and international levels to truly make an impact. To me, the beach means family, togetherness, and memories, but irreversible climate change threatens what drew my family and so many others to settle in Florida. I don’t want climate change swept under the rug anymore, because my future career, home, family, and life depend on action now.

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January 2020

Boxed wine that is worthy of your love By LEAH SANKEY A ssignment


F eatures E ditor

Step aside Franzia, you’re making boxed wine look bad. Boxed wines have a bad reputation – but wine in a box can be seriously good. Aside from boxed wines becoming increasingly more delicious, they’re eco-friendly and most importantly, wallet friendly. I’m no sommelier but I do drink a lot of wine… so I know some things. Here’s the run down on boxed wine: They have seemingly endless pours, and that’s because most boxed wine contains three liters, which is equal to four bottles or 20 glasses. They’re portable as heck and the only wine you should be taking with you in a backpack, unless you’re into wine and glass getting all over your valuables (yes, I am speaking from personal experience). These bad boys will last at least three weeks in the fridge. A bottle of wine will usually last only three to five days; which is why I always commit to finishing a bottle the night that I open it, and also why I’m a huge proponent of boxed wine. I’ve compiled a list of my top three boxed wines, to make your descent into the wonderful world of boxed wine just a bit easier. Bota Box Redvolution Red Blend 3 L ($16.99) A very drinkable red blend

EN Photo provided by Leah Sankey Aside from boxed wines becoming increasingly more delicious, they’re eco-friendly and most importantly, wallet friendly.

that falls on the sweeter side. Even my non-red-wine drinker friends like it. The subtle sweetness makes it a perfect choice for Pinot Grigio drinkers. It’s fruitier than a lot of blends, but still has the rich flavor that red wine drinkers love. Black Box Red Blend 3 L ($15.49) This blend is made for red wine lovers.

It’s got complex flavors that I won’t try to pinpoint individually. The box itself describes the wine as having “Ripe plum and blueberry notes with sweet chocolate, spice and vanilla flavors.” Yeah, all of that. Black Box’s cabernet is also delicious. Pacific Peak Pinot Grigio 3 L ($9.99) A medium-bodied pinot grigio

that’s practically made for day drinking. It’s a perfect beach wine for when you inevitably get sick of drinking White Claw. It features smooth, citrusy flavors. The box describes the wine as having, “Aromas of pineapple, vanilla and green apple with a nice blend of honey and grass.” I can’t say I understand the grass thing… but the rest of it makes sense.

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Nanny Mc-PHEW vs. FGCU Parking

Comic provided by Sam Romero

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January 2020

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