May 3, 2024

Page 1

Saying ‘good-pie’ to another year

Alisha Moreland-Capuia will deliver the Commencement Address to the Framingham State University Class of 2024 at the DCU Center in Worcester on May 19.

Moreland-Capuia (Dr. AMC) is the founder and director of McLean Hospital’s Institute for Trauma-Informed Systems Change.

She is also an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and advocates for trauma-informed training.

She is the author of multiple books, including “Training for Change: Transforming Systems to be Trauma-Informed, Culturally Responsive, and

Neuroscientifically Focused” (2019) as well as “The Trauma of Racism: Exploring the People and Systems Fear Built” (2021), according to an email sent by President Nancy Niemi to the community on March 12.

In the email, Niemi stated, “Dr. Moreland-Capuia’s research seeks to reduce unnecessary human suffering. She also contributes to an increased understanding of the impact of trauma on brain development and the overall risk for mental illness and how trauma shows up in systems.”

Moreland-Capuia received her bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from Stanford University and her medical degree from the George Washington University School of Medicine and

Health Sciences.

In her statement, Niemi said, “I’m grateful to the students, faculty, and staff who served on the Commencement Speaker Task Force and recommended Dr. AMC as this year’s speaker. I’m certain her work and personal story will inspire our graduates.”

In an email interview with The Gatepost, Niemi said, “I think that our selection of Dr. AMC speaks to the importance we place on our community’s well-being: our faculty, staff, and particularly our students’ health.”

She added, “Dr. AMC, given her expertise in the field and familiarity with our Commonwealth communities, will offer us an expert and hopeful message

On March 17, most students were relaxing into the first few days of a quiet spring break - but for 10 students, their time off from classes looked very different. On this day, they had just left Massachusetts for a trip to the El Paso Borderlands - the area where the United States meets Mexico.

Led by two professors of sociology, Patricia Sánchez-Connally and Xavier Guadalupe-Diaz, the trip took the students on an endeavor to understand more about what actually happens at the border.

“I wanted to have students come to the border with me so that they could see what was going on, and more importantly, I wanted to create an opportunity for students who either may not have legal status or who may have liminal status,” Sánchez-Connally said, and explained that “liminal status” means students who have documentation, but don’t have permanent residence.

She said this is her third time going down to the border on the Border Awareness Experience, and her first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

She added the trip almost did not

pan out because the Annunciation House, which was supposed to host them, pulled out about two weeks before the trip was scheduled due to legal troubles.

Sánchez-Connally said she initially thought maybe she should cancel the trip, “but then I realized that I wanted to make sure that I could say that I tried everything I could to provide students this experience.”

So, with days to go before the students were set to leave, she connected with a colleague in El Paso who introduced her to the Border Servant Corps (BSC), she said.

INSIDE: OP/ED 9 • SPORTS 14 • ARTS & FEATURES 18 SGA pg. 3 FAFSA pg. 4 News Opinions May 3, 2024 Volume 92 • Issue 24 Sports Arts & Features Adrien Gobin / THE GATEPOST BASEBALL pg. 14 LACROSSE pg. 15 SENIOR LETTERS pg. 10 OLD PASSIONS pg. 12 FSU beyond borders
Maddison Behringer / THE GATEPOST
(Left) Lorretta Holloway and LaDonna Bridges at the “Pie SGA” event on May 1.
See BORDER AWARENESS Page 21 Border Awareness Experience takes students to El Paso, Texas
Alisha Moreland-Capuia selected as commencement speaker

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Gatepost Interview Anthony Hubbard NEWS

Chairperson of the Board of Trustees

Can you describe your educational and professional background?

I’m originally from Seattle, Washington. That’s where I grew up and went to high school. I went to college at Seattle University. ... I had a strong interest in accounting. I graduated and immediately went on to law school at the University of California, Berkeley. ... I decided when I was in law school to go on and pursue a joint degree in business administration. I worked first at a law firm by the name of Foley, Hoag & Elliot. I was there for several years and ended up transitioning in-house. … I’ve been a corporate lawyer my entire life - that’s my entire career. That’s kind of what I do. In other words, I don’t do litigation. I don’t go to court. … I spent 17 years as a partner at Mintz Levin, also in downtown Boston. … I did a lot of pro bono work. It wasn’t necessarily having to go to court, for which I had no skill set - so you didn’t want me doing that - but I did a lot of work with a greater Boston food bank, a group called Community Servings, which is a meal delivery program. A number of its nutritionists come from Framingham State University. It’s a very good nonprofit that serves a lot of people. In 2017, I left Mintz Levin to take a position at CVS Health, and that’s where I am today.

Why do you serve on the Board of Trustees?

I was first serving as a member of the Massachusetts Pension Board. I was one of their trustees for four years. After I rolled off as a trustee, I continued to serve there on one of their committees - their Real Estate and Timberland committee. I live close to the University. I was passing it twice a day on my way to and from work. An opportunity came open and there I was. So, I’ve been serving for about 7 years. I’m on my second term. … I’ve served on the Governance Committee, the Compliance Audit Risk Committee, and the Finance Committee at the University. … This is one of the things I take really seriously because, when first asked, I said, “I don’t know. I’m not sure I’m ready for that for various reasons.” Different things going on in life and so forth. But I think this was a good time for me.

What do you think Framingham State’s biggest strengths are?

I think that a lot of people describe it like a diamond in the rough. I didn’t really realize, even though I lived in the neighborhood, all the things the University was doing. I didn’t realize all the centers it ran. I didn’t really realize where the students go on to - I’ve been very impressed. We get exposure to the Student-in-the-Spotlight at every trustee meeting - some super-star student, right? Over the seven years, I’ve seen a lot of students from different backgrounds, a lot of different interests, a lot of different aspirations - things that they want to do and have done. The University is helping them try to position themselves so that when they leave, they’re in a position to advance to heights that they haven’t imagined. … My hope is that the University has given them a set of skills and insights to go, “OK, now I can. I can actually realize what I want to do next.”

Do you have any short- or longterm goals for Framingham State?

The Board of Trustees itself is on the cusp of having a substantial amount of change within our ranks. We are normally 11 trustees. We have a vacancy now. We have three trustees rolling off

and the student trustee rolling off. So we have … potentially five new trustees coming in to work together with the six that will be continuing. So, short term, one of my areas of focus is to make sure that we onboard when the time comes - I think it’s going to be hopefully sooner rather than later. I’d like to go into the fall with a full board and full strength. … The other is for the University to continue to operate in a fiscally responsible manner to keep student fees in check. … I think that there’s an opportunity to grow the University’s endowment through its foundation. We have an enrollment decrease right now. I’d say that the University has a faculty-student ratio that is amazing - just it is at the lowest point. … We would like to see the student body increase in size. The research resources are there to accommodate additional students, so we just need to get the message out about the diamond that it is.

What are you reading right now? I am reading “The Count of Monte Cristo” right now. It’s the second time I’ve read it and I am enjoying it tremendously.


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Officers and senators appointed at final SGA meeting

The SGA approved $1,100 for the African Student Association (ASA) and swore in next year’s eBoard members and senators at their final meeting on April 23.

Vice President Raffi Elkhoury said they received a funding request from the ASA for over $1,000 and needed to review it.

The funding request consisted of $300 to hire a DJ for two hours, $250 for catering from Destiny Market, and $550 for a Stop & Shop order for food prep.

“There’s going to be an addition a DJ for more time, but that’s being funded by a different club and that’s not part of the funding request,” he said.

Senator Raena Doty asked, “I assume this has already been discussed, but were funding requests not already required to be put in by this time of the year?”

Elkhoury said the ASA had put the request in beforehand and he saw it last week, and this was the first meeting when they could discuss it.

Doty moved to approve the funding request for $1,100, and the motion passed unanimously.

Elkhoury said, “We have one single constitution change today. This will be our last constitutional bylaw change for the semester.”

Article V states, “The Senate shall include no more than 30 senators at large,” and they added a subpoint that states, “Senate positions will be up to the discretion of the newly elected executive board,” Elkhoury said.

“This is because as we were talking about making different specified Senate rules. Because we weren’t able to finalize that, we want to leave that open so that if the new eBoard decides they want to act on that, they don’t have to wait a whole year to make constitution changes,” he said.

The motion to add the subpoint passed unanimously.

President Evelyn Campbell expressed her appreciation for the hard work all of the senators have completed during the year, and reviewed upcoming events.

“I just wanted to say thank you all for the hard work. I definitely appreciated everyone - doing what you had to do to be part of SGA.

“We were able to see changes on campus this year, which was nice to be able to actually see,” she said.

Student Trustee Ryan Mikelis dis-

Sunday night May 5

A chance of showers before 4am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 50. mph.

Monday May 6

Partly sunny, with a high near 70. West wind 5 to 10 mph.

cussed his attendance at the academic affairs enrollment subcommittee and his appreciation for the effort senators have put in.

He said he will also be attending the student experience committee to discuss career development and preparation, and internships, as well as the final Board of Trustees meeting on May 8.

“It’s been a long ride, guys. … I just want to say thank you for everything. Just going off of what Evelyn said - we

put in a lot of hard work this year. It shows that campus is a better place because of it. So good job, and I can’t wait to see what you will accomplish next year,” Mikelis said.

Elkhoury said this was his last officer’s report.

“I just want to say thank you, everybody. We’ve done so many things. We have had so many obstacles, so many challenges that we’ve had to overcome together, and I’m grateful to have been able to do this with all of you. Thank you so much,” he said.

Secretary Anna Risotti said “It was a pleasure working with all of you.”

Treasurer Aimée Takouda said it was a pleasure.

“I love you guys and good luck,” she said.

Outreach and Events Coordinator Liv West spoke about upcoming events, and said, “Thank you guys for all of your help.”

During senator reports, Senator Iz Shields said the CIE brought seven students, including themself and members from M.I.S.S. and the ASA, to the National Student Leadership Diversity Convention (NSLDC).

“It was for student leaders bringing different diversity inclusive efforts into campus events,” they said. They attended several workshops along with students from other schools such as Ohio State and the University of the British Virgin Islands.

“Meeting other students is what I took the most out of it. They’re having similar struggles as us. We’re not the only people … having this issue of getting people to participate,” Shields said.

They said they listened to leaders and peers with lots of experience “about how we can have better discussions about inclusivity on campus, but also bring that to different events.”

Doty said the survey for the General Education Advisory Board was still online, and reminded those in attendance that they should take it.

“Advancement is still being made on revising the general education model,” she said.

Monday night May 6

Partly cloudy, with a low around 50. West wind around 10 mph.

Tuesday May 7 Mostly sunny, with a high near 75. West wind 5 to 10 mph.

Senator César Matos said there were a few changes made on the Academic Policies Committee.

“There was a policy brought on board and it was approved. It was essentially changed when it came to internship hours,” he said.

Matos said the changes will impact the amount of hours you have to report to receive credit for an internship.

“Right now, we have it so you’d have to complete 120 hours” at an internship to receive full course credit. In the future, students will be able to complete “30 hours and receive 0.25” of a course credit, he said.

Speaking for Jeremy McDonald, the incoming student trustee, Campbell said, “He’s working and will continue to work on creating a transfer honors program. We are working right now to be seen at the state level, and to have them revise their Commonwealth Massachusetts Honors Program to accommodate students that transfer in their junior year.”

She said junior-year transfers may not have the time in four semesters to complete the course requirements and honors thesis that come with the Honors Program.

“That will be something that we can work on over the summer. We have already emailed people to talk about that on the state level and here at Framingham. He’s in a bunch of meetings this week and next to try to accomplish this,” she said.

SGA conducted the swearing-in ceremony at the end of the meeting. President Campbell recited the oath of office, and was reinstated as president. Matos was sworn in as vice president.

McDonald will be sworn in as student trustee at the first SGA meeting of the next academic year.

Takouda was reinstated as treasurer.

West was reinstated as outreach and events coordinator.

Elkhoury and Shields were sworn in as senators.

Senator Tony Sims awarded the U-Rock to Mikelis.

“Four years of SGA - this has been my favorite,” Elkhoury said.

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Forecast provided by the National Weather Service

Tuesday night May 7

A chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 50. Southwest wind around 10 mph.

Wednesday May 8 A chance of showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 70. South wind 10 to 15 mph.

Wednesday night May 8

A chance of showers. Partly cloudy, with a low around 35.

Thursday May 9 Sunny, with a high near 55. Northwest wind around 15 mph.


FAFSA’s late rollout delays deposit deadline

FSU’s deposit deadline has been pushed back from May 1 to June 1, along with that of many other colleges across the country, because of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) packet’s late rollout.

Typically, the FAFSA opens in October, but this year, the form was not available to complete until December 31, according to Iris Godes, dean of strategic enrollment management & chief enrollment officer.

Godes said when the form is normally completed in October, it takes four to six weeks for FSU’s Financial Aid Office to set its system up and make sure everything is working correctly. They then start sending out financial aid notifications starting in December.

This late rollout led to a backlog in applications, causing the Financial Aid Office to have only 300 of 4,800 FAFSA packages processed as of last Thursday, said Godes. These applications include new, undergraduate, and graduate students.

Godes said they are prioritizing new students’ applications because they need to make their decision by June 1.

“I’m hopeful that the returning students won’t feel much of a difference, assuming we can catch up on those new students because as you can imagine, there’s a massive backlog,” she said.

Godes said one of the national concerns around this late rollout is “students got turned off from college and felt like ‘this is too hard and I’m just not going to go.’

“It’s too soon for us to know if that’s going to happen,” she said.

So far, the University has sent out a little over 300 financial aid packages and they will continue to process as many applications as they can each week based on when they receive FAFSA information, Godes said.

She said 375 new students have enrolled as of May 1 and she is “surprised and thrilled we have that many.”

However, this is 20% lower than new student enrollment at this time

She said the University is “encouraging” prospective students to wait to make their deposit until they receive their financial aid if it will impact their decision.

Godes said the goal for total enrollment this year is 785 new first-year and transfer undergraduate students. However, this goal may be hard to achieve because of financial aid delays.

The FAFSA application itself changed compared to previous years.

There has been a significant reduction to the number of questions on the form, dropping from 108 to 36, said Shayna Eddy, associate dean of admissions and director of undergraduate admissions.

She said this has reduced the amount of time it takes to complete the application as well as the number of confusing and complex questions, making the form easier to complete.

Another change to the form is all students and contributors are required to give permission to access their tax data with the IRS, making it easier to obtain income information, Eddy said.

In Massachusetts, the deadline to complete the FAFSA application has also been pushed back to July 1. Eddy said the impact of this change is more students will qualify for state-funded financial aid, such as the MASSGrant, as they will have more time to submit the FAFSA.

“Hopefully, this will encourage students who may have decided not to apply to college this year, to take that step with the message that they have more time,” said Eddy.

Caitlin Laurie, director of the Financial Aid Office, said the delayed FAFSA rollout has impacted the University’s ability to deliver financial aid in a timely manner.

She said the delay is “putting extra stress on staff and prospective students who are trying to make an important decision - arguably one of the most important decisions - about their future.

“In addition to negatively impacting students, it has been a huge administrative burden for staff,” Laurie added.

tion to staff, and also be able to speak to students and families about these issues and answer their pressing questions, all while reassuring them they would receive the financial aid they were eligible for as soon as possible,” Laurie said.

She said approximately 25% of applications were rejected because the new questions were unclear and confusing, causing students to incorrectly answer them.

She said corrections were not available until the middle of April, even if the application was filled out as early as January.

Laurie said her office encouraged and helped students to file their FAFSAs with tabling events and other forms of outreach.

They have also been communicating with prospective and current students via email and text to notify them regarding their financial aid status, she said.

Sophomore Lucy Forgit said she filled out her FAFSA application in February and has not received her package yet.

Dylan Pichnarcik / THE GATEPOST

financial aid.

Rileigh Kelley, a sophomore, said the updates with the FAFSA are “absolutely” giving her anxiety about her status as a student.

“I’m afraid I’m not going to get as much money to be able to go to school as I did before, and that will be really bad,” she said.

Freshman Robyn Goldman said he receives military financial aid via his father and it has become more difficult with the delayed FAFSA rollout. He said he has been emailing “back and forth” to receive his financial aid package.

Freshman Glenmary Gracia said not knowing how much financial aid she will be receiving next year “gives me anxiety because I don’t want to do anything wrong and I’m also just unsure how much financial aid I’m going to get.”

Sophomore Olivia Cuccia said she believes the effect of FSU extending their deposit deadline from May 1 to June 1 “really just depends on the family receiving the financial aid.”

“Hopefully, this will encourage students who may have decided not to apply to college this year, to take that step with the message that they have more time.”
- Shayna Eddy Associate Dean of Admissions

last year. Godes said this is “meaning less,” though, considering students had to decide by May 1 last year, and now have until June 1 this year.

The office’s procedures have been updated and condensed to fit six months of work into two months, she said.

“We had to constantly stay informed - as information was always changing - disseminate the informa-

Forgit said, “I’ve heard a lot of stories of people getting a lot less financial aid this year.”

She said the application was easier to fill out than last year. “That worries me because I feel like if they’re giving you fewer questions, that means they’re going to put less effort into it. I’m a little worried that there’s not going to be as much money.”

Ethan White, a sophomore, said he filled out his FAFSA application the last day it was due and has not received his package yet.

“It hasn’t affected me yet. I’m sure it will,” he said.

Freshman Autumn Bailey said she filled out the FAFSA and has not received her financial aid package yet.

She said it has not given her any anxiety about how it will affect her status as a student.

Freshman Miranda Allicon said she filled out the FAFSA and has also not received her financial aid package yet.

She said, “Honestly, with finals and everything, that’s more anxiety right now for me than anything” to do with

Sophomore Sarah Gubnitsky said she has not felt particularly affected by this issue, but thinks extending the deposit deadline “could help students make their decision to attend FSU, especially if they haven’t decided by May 1 for other schools.”

Eddy said students who have not submitted their FAFSA for the 202425 academic year should do so as soon as possible. Anyone having any trouble with the application should contact the Financial Aid Office, which will be happy to assist them.

“Our goal is to maximize all students’ eligibility for financial aid,” she said.



4 | MAY 3, 2024 @T heGatepost | FSU NEWS

All University Meeting provides update on enrollment

FSU administrators presented strategic enrollment data and retention initiatives at the All University Meeting on Monday, April 29.

President Nancy Niemi opened the meeting, saying she appreciated the large number of faculty and staff in attendance.

“If you’re here, that clearly tells me that you understand that enrollment, retention, and persistence is about all of us,” she said.

Niemi said the previous model of enrollment relied solely on admissions without faculty support or input, and lacked any focus on retention.

The old model “didn’t consider how important it is that we keep our students here, and help them learn to graduate.

“And we understand now that it is all of our work and all of our jobs. I’m very glad that we have the opportunity to see the realities of what we’re doing right now,” she said.

Iris Godes, dean of strategic enrollment management & chief enrollment officer, presented current enrollment and retention data compared with that from AY 2023-24.

She said the University currently has a 6% increase in submitted applications and a 3% increase in admitted students from the same time last year.

As of April 29, there are 4,863 applicants and 3,947 admitted students.

She said the goal for new undergraduate student deposits is 785.

Godes said deposits were “343 as of this morning. I think we’re actually at 344 right now, but I went for lunchso it keeps changing by the moment. We’re 44% of the way there as of now.”

She said the deadline for deposits has been pushed back to June 1 because of issues with FAFSA - Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

Most students are not able to make a decision until they receive their aid, “so comparisons right now are meaningless, and we’ll see. I’ll feel better about doing a comparison in July,” she said.

“But the good news is that we’re 44% of the way there with our students not knowing what their financial aid is,” she said.

She said 4,800 FAFSA applications have been received as of April 25, which is 22% behind last year at this time.

Godes said, “We are working really hard to close that gap.”

She said the low FAFSA application numbers for FSU are similar to the application rates for other universities in Massachusetts.

She said only 40% of high school seniors in Massachusetts have completed the FAFSA application.

Godes said, “Financial aid rewards are just starting to happen, so financial aid has been able to pull it all together.

“And on Friday, there were over 300 students … whose financial aid awards are going out,” she said.

Godes said the focus will be on incoming students “since they’ve been waiting forever. Then hopefully, we can catch up by June - which is the tradition here - and returning students will start to get theirs as well.”

Due to the significant changes

in the FAFSA formula, more students will be able to qualify for Pell Grants.

“Over 50% of the applicants are eligible for Pell Grants, and Caitlin [Laurie] and I were looking at some of the adjusted gross income of these families. There are six-figure families getting Pell Grants,” she said.

She said it is very important for students to apply for the FAFSA, and faculty should not end a conversation with a student before asking if they’ve filed.

Godes said the marketing and communication process for strategic enrollment management begins with obtaining prospective student names from many sources.

“This is getting harder and harder to do because there are fewer of them,” she said.

One method that is not as effective is buying name data of students who took the SAT from the College Board. Many universities are test-optional, so not as many students are taking standardized tests, she said.

In the past, the primary communication was going to seniors in high school and potential transfers, she said.

Godes said, “This year, we have added sophomores and juniors with the goal of building a relationship with them and making sure they understand who we are, to keep them excited about what Framingham State has to offer.”

She also said marketing plans include the reworked FSU website, mailing viewbooks to 30,000 prospective students, creating an enrollment checklist to make the process more smooth, and advertising on

If students are viewing Bridgewater State on, “they are presented with Framingham State as well. So if they don’t think to look at Framingham, we’re pushing it to them,” she said.

“The new management teams are all meeting and functional. … This is really helping us from my perspective, to knock down those silos that everybody talks about, and be much more collaborative in how we’re getting things done,” she said.

Lorretta Holloway, vice president of academic enhancement, said summer outreach for registration last year was “painful.”

On May 3, 2023, there were 732 returning students consisting of 256 freshmen, 199 sophomores, 151 juniors, and 126 seniors who had not registered.

On April 29, 2024, there were 585 returning students consisting of 216 freshmen, 160 sophomores, 138 juniors, and 71 seniors who had not registered, showing an improvement of 147 students.

She said one method they used to improve retention numbers and to communicate with students who had not registered yet was to “split up the list depending on home language.

“We have certain people on my team who speak Spanish and Portuguese, so if you’re going to call the home and talk to the mom, I want you to explain what’s happening and why we’re calling the house,” she said.

The Office of the University Registrar and The Advising Center also contributed to better preparing for out-

reach planning by “getting advising lists out to faculty, posting advising lists, helping to create ways in which we were able to contact studentsemailing students, texting students when they were available to be able to register, and doing a follow up,” she said.

Holloway said the summer outreach team has plans for every week starting next week.

She said there has been confusion regarding the move-in policy with students who don’t have a full semester with full courses, and early arrivals.

“We have a new move-in policy basically saying that if you’re a resident student here on early arrival, you have to take care of everything by August 1st, and if you’re just a regular resident student, you need to take care of everything by August 15th,” she said.

She said the outreach team is working hard to help students meet these deadlines, and she is grateful to Dean Sue Dargan and the several department chairs who volunteered to help.

History Professor Joseph Adelman said, “The critique I raised in the context of retention is that a lot of the framework of what we’re talking about today is based on the students who want to come back, plan to come back, and would like to come back.”

He said a lot of students are facing barriers in the University due to unclear policies, and faculty also not being aware of all of these policies and sending students elsewhere.

Adelman asked, “For students who were turning off from Framingham with the ways in which our policies are processing - bouncing people back and forth from one office to the next - how are we going to address that problem and try to make it so that we have more students who want to stay here?”

Niemi said, “We are painfully aware of those barriers, and the silos that we put up, and the processes that compete with each other, and we’ve been working very hard to identify them and then work across our divisions to fix them. It is not easy. That’s not an excuse - it’s an explanation.”

Holloway said they’ve asked students during workshops about roadblocks to degree completion, and emailed student club leaders for input.

She said she asked students, “What do you see as the biggest barriers to you finishing? If you know people who left, why did they leave because of these things? Then I just sat there because I didn’t have to say anything else, because they had a lot of things to say.

“But we have to also remember, we’re trying to turn the ship around in the Panama Canal, and it’s going to take a long time,” she said.

Holloway said the administration should be trying to create action plan teams as opposed to general committees in order to focus on problem solving.

“I think we project what we think they [students] need, as opposed to really looking to see what they need,” she said.

Anne Roberti, executive director of English Language Programs and Community Education said, “I recently heard this weekend that the Natick Mall has advertisements for both

Bridgewater and Salem State, but not us.”

She said UMass Amherst and UMass Lowell were “cannibalizing” FSU already, and it is discouraging to see Bridgewater and Salem States’ advertisements “in our own backyard.

“And please, please, please can we get our advertisement off the trash trucks?” she asked.

The attendees applauded in agreement.

Godes said, “The trash trucks that they are on are only supposed to be the recycle plant types of trucks, and the thought was that it was sort of sustainability and climate” focused.

She said FSU is not paying for the advertisements and they should not have been on any garbage trucks to begin with - only the trucks for recycling.

She urged faculty to email Dan Magazu or herself if they see an advertisement on a trash or recycling truck, so they can contact the advertisement agency and have it removed.

“We are focusing our advertising less in physical spaces and more digitally. That’s where students are. You’re not seeing them because you’re not the target market,” she said.

Godes said that was a strategic decision based on research in order to best use the limited advertising budget.

A member of the community said, “I was driving behind one of the buses the other day, and they have their ad, ‘Community colleges free for adults over 25.’ Are we making plans for when those community college students who start this year finish in two or three years?”

Godes said they are currently working with MassBay Community College to create a “wonderful program that seamlessly gets people here. Once we have that established, then start to branch out and go to Quinsig [Quinsigamond] and go to Bunker Hill.”

Criminology and Sociology Professor Jonathan Martin asked, “My department has an astonishing number of underenrolled courses. I’m wondering if you have a breakdown in these numbers by major and do you have any observations about why your campaign might have been more effective for some majors than others?”

Holloway said the data didn’t show any trends specifically pertaining to any major or year, and that “it more or less seems to be all over the place.”

She said the main issue was an overall lack of student engagement both in classes and in clubs and activities.

“How are we all as a community dealing with students who in many ways would rather just be at home or in their rooms and underneath their blankets?” she asked.

“This is a problem across the country,” she said.

Niemi said, “We are working strategically. We are working very hard. We’re working across the University, across divisions and departments.

“We know that this is being solved over time. It took a long time for the world to change to get us to this point and it’s going to take time for the world to change to get better. But we are getting better, and it’s wonderful to see - because of you, we are working together to get better,” she said.


New laundry vendor coming in the fall

Changes are coming to laundry services on campus.

The state university system’s contract with CSC SystemWorks is set to expire on June 1. The Massachusetts State College Building Authority (MSCBA), which owns and maintains the buildings at the state’s nine universities, terminated that contract.

Fowler Laundry Solutions has been selected as a replacement company, according to Director of Residence Life,

Glenn Cochran. It is unclear when the new contract with Fowler will begin.

With this new company, all of the washing and drying units in residence halls will be replaced. Laundry will now be free for all residents, Cochran said.

“[The new machines] are a different make and model,” Cochran said. “They are more attractive machines.

“I’m excited for the change because we don’t want laundry to be something that we have to think about much. We don’t want it to be a hassle for students.”

“[MSCBA] started to hear from some campuses that there were issues [with CSC],” he said. “Some of them reported receiving older machines, lack of service responses - those are things I was hearing from our counterparts at other campuses.”

- Glenn Cochran
Director of Residence Life

He said while students at FSU reported that washer and dryer units in the residence halls were not being repaired in a timely manner, “some of the others [state universities] had even worse problems.”

Cochran added, “I’m excited for the change because we don’t want laundry to be something that we have to think about much. We don’t want it to be a hassle for students.”

On April 1, students were evacuated from Corinne Towers Hall due to a resident’s clothes ignited in one of the dryer units. According to Cochran, CSC was not found at fault for the fire.

The clothes ignited due to overloading of the unit, according to a Framingham Fire Department report filed on April 2.

[ Editor’s Note: See “Dryer ignites in Towers Hall, causing evacuation,” in the April 5 issue of The Gatepost. ]

Since the end of the fall semester, laundry has been free due to an error from CSC. Cochran said moving forward, laundry will remain free on campus.

An application will be available for both IOS and Android users that will allow students to control the machines through their smartphones and watch the amount of time left on the cycle.

According to Cochran, there will not be a decrease in the number of laundry units in the residence halls.

With the new units coming to campus, there will also be an increase in accessible washing machines and dryers for students. Cochran said, “We decided we had to make some changes that we had to do, like making washers and dryers available at lower levels” for students who may be physically disabled.


The Gatepost wins three SPJ Mark of Excellence awards

Asst. News Editor

The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) announced the Region 1 winners of the annual Mark of Excellence collegiate journalism contest on April 20, and three awards were given to The Gatepost.

SPJ’s Region 1 is comprised of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Central and Eastern Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

Leighah Beausoleil ’23, an English major with a concentration in journalism, who was Editor-in-Chief from March 2022 to May 2023, was a finalist in column writing for a series of opinion pieces regarding food and housing security.

Beausoleil said, “You have a lot of power to make change happen” as a member of The Gatepost.

“It’s a big responsibility that we don’t take lightly,” she said. “Getting recognized almost every year for our editorials reflects the amount of energy and work we put into producing an editorial every week.”

She said writing editorials and opinion pieces while on The Gatepost gave her an appreciation for and expertise in editorial writing that she carries into her professional career as the Editor-in-Chief of The Dartmouth Week, a print and online publication.

Emily Rosenberg ’23, a political science major and journalism minor, was

Editor-in-Chief during the Fall 2023 semester.

She said, “My time as Editor-in-Chief was definitely a moment of rebirth at The Gatepost. … It was incredibly encouraging to welcome a new class of eager, bright-eyed journalists who were willing to learn and take on big tasks.”

ted, but the voices of the entire editorial staff contributed to the content.

Associate Editor Maddison Behringer, a junior communication media and performance major with a minor in graphic design, was a finalist in feature photography for her photograph, “Whipping up some fun,” published in the March 31 2023 issue.

“You have a lot of power to make change happen as a member of The Gatepost. It’s a big responsibility that we don’t take lightly.”
- Leighah Beausoleil Editor-in-Chief Emerita

Rosenberg added, “Now that I’m on the other side, reading as an alum, just a couple months out of school, the issues I’ve been reading have been beautiful, and even more people have been joining and learning the ropes. Soon, I don’t even know if the staff box will be big enough to contain everyone’s names.”

The Gatepost editorial staff was a finalist in the Mark of Excellence Award for Editorial Writing. Both Rosenberg and Beausoleil were the primary writers of the editorials that were submit-

Behringer said she was proud to win the award, which was unexpected. She said, “When you’re thinking about journalistic awards, you don’t think about photojournalism. So it’s very exciting that there is more visibility on the creative side of journalism” with SPJ.

Behringer added that winning awards while working on The Gatepost as a photographer and graphic designer has “reassured me that the work I have been doing is being seen and means something.”

Current Editor-in-Chief Sophia Harris, a junior English major with a concentration in journalism, said, “I am so proud to represent The Gatepost at the Society of Professional Journalists and of the number of awards we won a couple of weeks ago.”

Harris added her appreciation for the work of The Gatepost is rooted deeply in her passion for sharing information with the campus community and “being able to give a voice to those who do not have their own voices.”

She said learning under Beausoleil and Rosenberg was “absolutely amazing. I couldn’t have asked for better mentors and friends.”

Desmond McCarthy, advisor to The Gatepost, said, “There’s so much competition in these contests from talented student-journalists at the many internationally recognized universities in the Northeast, which makes these awards particularly noteworthy. The awards The Gatepost has won this spring reflect the commitment and the dedication of the brilliant and hardworking Gatepost team. It’s an honor to be your advisor.”

[ Editor’s Note: Sophia Harris is Editor-in-Chief, and Maddison Behringer is an Associate Editor for The Gatepost. ]


6 | MAY 3, 2024 @T heGatepost | FSU NEWS
Raena Doty / THE GATEPOST The Corinne Hall Towers laundry room.


Continued from Page 1

about the power of education, mental well-being, and Framingham’s role in supporting our community.”

Niemi said, “I think that because her research and professional background is so diverse, she will offer valuable insights to everyone in our graduating class, regardless of their programs of study. Her expertise in systemic change is applicable to everyone, not only on a professional level, but also as

incredible speaker. She does a lot of talks. So I’m really excited to have her.”

The Commencement Committee is comprised of students, staff, and faculty as well as an alumni representative. The student members are usually class officers. Ryanna Coelho and Rafaat Elkoury were two of the students on the committee, according to Magazu.

“It was actually Ryanna who knew about Dr. AMC and recommended her, so that was exciting because I always like the students to lead the process

The selection process typically begins early in the fall semester, said Magazu.

He said he provides a list of past proposed Commencement speakers and asks members of the committee to bring ideas of their own to the initial meeting.

Then they create a Google doc, “where we put in potential speakers with videos of them speaking and then we’ll come back and meet again. Usu-

lectual fortitude, but to the emotional capacity that will be required to continue to do this meaningful work,” she said.

Moreland-Capuia added, “More importantly, everything that you need, you actually already have.”

She said she does not take the invitation to speak at the commencement ceremony “for granted.”

“I want to leave the community uplifted and with a gentle challenge,” she added.

“I believe that everybody can play a role in healing and creating healing conditions. There’s a role for the community member. There’s a role for the doctor. There’s a role for the parent. There’s a role for a student. There’s a role for administrators. There’s a role for professionals.”

we enter adulthood and navigate the world we live in.”

Dan Magazu, FSU’s director of communications and the chair of the Commencement Committee, said, “We got feedback from a broader group of seniors, who also expressed interest in that theme, so she really fits in well, from everything I’ve heard. She’s an

Alisha Moreland-Capuia 2024 Commencement Speaker

since it’s their class. It’s their speaker,” he said.

According to Magazu, the faculty members were Kelly Matthews from the English Department, Kelly Kolodny from the Education Department, Peter Chisholm in Government Relations, Deb Clevland an Alumni Representative and Meg Larkin in Student Experience.

ally, I’ll ask EXP to send out a survey to the senior class.

“We add any ideas that come in through that to our list. And then basically, it’s just a narrow down process. We try to narrow our list down to 10 names, and then we vote as a committee,” Magazu said.

This ranked list is then presented to the president to be approved - with Magazu reaching out to the speaker to extend the proposal.

Moreland-Capuia said her “one-woman mission is to educate the masses on what they can do from where they sit, to prevent needless suffering.”

She added, “I believe that everybody can play a role in healing and creating healing conditions. There’s a role for the community member. There’s a role for the doctor. There’s a role for the parent. There’s a role for a student. There’s a role for administrators. There’s a role for professionals.

“Everybody has a role that they can play when they feel equipped with the tools and the knowledge and they know how they can contribute.”

Moreland-Capuia said, “In the words of Dr. Maya Angelou, ‘I am a human being, nothing human can be alien to me.’ That means that as human beings, we should be able to tap into the hearts of other human beings and to be of optimal service to others. That is the highest call. That’s what inspires the work that I do.”

She said she is “very appreciative of the opportunity to be among the future and current leaders” at Framingham State.

She said she hopes to inspire the next generation of graduates.

“Knowing that you have the opportunity to forge a new path and that that new path is full of possibility and hope, which is the one thing that we can’t afford to abandon. I’m just excited to come to remind some, and maybe introduce others, to not just the intel-

Liv Copeland, a senior English major, said, “I was excited when I got the email about Dr. AMC being the commencement speaker because my godmother works at McLean and told me a bit about her work!”

Madison Herries, a senior child and family studies major, said, “After learning some background information about this year’s commencement speaker, Dr. Alisha Moreland-Capuia, I am looking forward to commencement. I had never heard of Dr. AMC before she was announced as this year’s special speaker at graduation and I look forward to hearing what advice she has to give to the class of 2024 as we close one chapter of our life story and open the next one.”

Mandy Taylor, a senior elementary education major, said, “I think this year’s commencement speaker is an excellent choice. As an educator who feels strongly about culturally responsive practices, I’m looking forward to hearing about her work in relation to that topic.”

Patrick McGonagle, a senior psychology major, said, “I think that this person certainly has status, does interesting research, and is likely a strong communicator. … I just hope that she takes a positive approach to her speech and really focuses on the future success of graduates, rather than solely focusing on resilience in the face of trauma, systemic or otherwise.”

Ryan Mikelis, a senior, said, “I am looking forward to graduating and hearing Dr. AMC’s speech.”

He said, “I am hoping she will speak on the experiences that will resonate with our entire class!”


University clarifies discussions on Israel/Palestine conflict

The divisions of Diversity, Inclusion & Community Engagement and Academic Affairs clarified their involvement in the “Series on Peace and Justice in Israel/Palestine” after they heard from concerned students.

The concerns regarded a perceived lack of objectivity in the series.

The first event, titled, “Israel/ Palestine: A Historical Context,” was hosted in the Heineman Ecumenical Center on March 7.

The “Series on Peace and Justice in Israel/Palestine” continued on April 16 in the Heineman Ecumenical Center with the second of two events, “Untangling the Discourse: Exploring Complex Terms in the Israeli-Palestinian Context.”

Three speakers gave presentations at each event that provided context for the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas and answered questions from the audience.

The series originated due to students, faculty, and administrators wanting an event that focused on the context of the conflict after the Oct. 7 attack, said Jeffery Coleman, vice president of DICE.

Preceding this series, the first discussion about the conflict in the Middle East was scheduled for Nov. 13 in the Henry Whittemore Library, but was canceled the day before.

Coleman said the organizers of the event, a student group called History in The Making, “experienced some pushback from other members of the campus community, and so we learned that the students did not feel comfortable moving forward with having the discussion.”

He said after this event was canceled, he “learned that there was a group of faculty and staff and a few students who were interested in having some kind of discussion or forum or dialogue around the topic,

but there was a sense of folks feeling afraid because of what they had seen happen to other individuals on campus, and on other campuses.”

Coleman recognized that nationally, there has been “a lot of hostility on college campuses.”

He added, “That bubbled up and a lot of people on campus were like, ‘You know, it’s an important topic, but I just don’t feel comfortable doing that.’ But the students kept asking for” an event about the conflict.

Coleman said DICE received notification through the University’s Bias Education Response Team system, that an anonymous member of the community had submitted a form relaying the importance of a conversation about the conflict.

“We wanted to respond because we have seen that come through and also because we all felt as an institution that we should be having these types of sessions and dialogues,” he said.

Coleman added as DICE and Academic Affairs were discussing the nature of the event, “We wanted to make sure that we are creating and fostering an environment where academic discourse and these kinds of debates can happen.”

He said the 17 students, staff, and faculty who wanted to hold this event did not feel safe doing so unless the event was sponsored by the University and they would remain anonymous.

Coleman added the group wanted to be anonymous “because they did not feel safe having their names out there but they felt safe if Academic Affairs and DICE would be sponsors at this particular event.”

He said, “We would be happy to provide sponsorship so that you all feel supported by the University.”

Coleman added the event was “not necessarily developed through” Academic Affairs and DICE, but the offices did provide a list of stipulations to follow in order to hold the event.

The stipulations that DICE provided to the group were centered around

the systems to be set in place to make sure that DICE would be able to respond appropriately.

Coleman said, “If somebody is triggered in the moment, if somebody needs support, if somebody wants to have a discussion, if somebody wants to have an opposing view, we need to be able to have a space where we’re embracing all of that.”

He added, “We charged that group with making sure you have all of these logistical things taken care of.”

Coleman said, “I’m always concerned that every member of the community feels that they have a sense of belonging.”

He added, “From my lens, this is a group that felt like their voice was not being heard. They wanted to have that opportunity” for that to happen.

Kristen Porter-Utley, provost and vice president of academic affairs, said her stipulations for the event included “that people who are presenting were faculty affiliated with a discipline that is related to the conversation in the Middle East. They need to be scholars of the area. Those were the two things - they were faculty affiliated and had expertise in the area and/or scholars studying the long-existing conflict between Israel and Palestine.”

She said, “We wanted people to have the freedom to shape something.”

Jerome Burke, director of the Center for Inclusive Excellence, said one of the requirements was to first find panelists from FSU before reaching out externally.

Porter-Utley said the list of people who would be presenting was provided to Academic Affairs prior to the event taking place.

She said, “We didn’t really do a vetting other than saying they need to be scholars or affiliated with departments” related to the context of the conversation.

She added the event “bubbled up from the faculty, staff, and students, and the group was working independently.”

She said the group was responsible for the conversation and the messaging about the event.

Porter-Utley, Coleman, and Burke agreed that the individuals in the anonymous group met all of the stipulations required by DICE and Academic Affairs in order to obtain sponsorship of the events.

Burke said the audience’s questions were given to the moderators at the time of the event because “looking at what was happening at other universities … we didn’t want to create a hostile environment for anyone.

“There were several conversations on how we could best do that - so not censoring or muzzling anyone, but doing it in a manner that would not be combative,” Burke said.

Porter-Utley said there was a clear point of view in the series.

“There is no question about that and that’s O.K.,” she said.

She added, “We are talking about something that kind of grew up from the faculty versus something that a university would put on.”

Porter-Utley said, “Things that bubble up like this are very likely to have to come to the community with

a point of view, and honestly, that’s O.K. And then people have the ability in that space to ask a question that might differ from that.”

She added, “I think it’s very hard to come away from that discussion without noticing that this was one particular point of view. I don’t think it was in contradiction to what was advertised or what was discussed, but I do think it was a particular point of view.”

Coleman said he was not able to attend the second event, but he attended the first event in the series. He agreed with Porter-Utley that “it [the series] was a particular point of view.”

He said, “In this scenario, this particular group had more of a point of view context from a pro-Palestine point of view. And that’s O.K.. We’re supporting their opportunity to have that space.”

He added, “We would do the same thing if there were individuals who wanted to do a discussion, program, or event on more of an Israeli Jewish context or perspective.”

Coleman said the Jewish campus chaplain was included in the first discussion that was canceled in November.

He said, “He’s been very much aware of his opportunity to create experiences for Jewish students or the campus community. That’s another resource that I think might be kind of underutilized by students.”

He added, “If folks want to continue this - it can be a continuation of a discussion series that you know, continues on. We can have programming focus from the Israeli Jewish perspective. That would be very much welcomed.”

Porter-Utley said if this included an academic discussion with “faculty and scholars in the area, that is something that I would want to hear more about.”

When asked about panelist Aviva Chomsky’s comments about the definition of antisemitism, Porter-Utley said because she did not attend the second event, she could not comment on the context of the statement, but she wanted to be “very clear that I do believe that people have the right to present a point of view that is not popular and for that to be debated.

“I think that we have an opportunity in the coming years to think hard together as a community about how it is that we model academic discussions where people have opposing points of view, and present them in a respectful way.”

[ Editor’s Note: See “Panelist discussion on Israel/Palestine explores complex terminology” in the April 19 issue of The Gatepost. ]

Porter-Utley added, “Any group of people who want to hold an event on a particular topic can do that independent of sponsorship. There are ways in which people can come forward and have a gathering of folks for a particular reason.”

She said the series “would have looked different if it was something we had organized.”

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Discarding ineffective marketing

Framingham State has been struggling to recruit and retain students for many years and is attempting to rebrand the University and undertake a new marketing campaign.

The decline in enrollment could be because some prospective students don’t know much about Framingham State!

But why is that?

This is the question the Gatepost Editorial Board has been asking as we evaluate our enrollment compared to that of our sister state universities, including the two closest to us in the region: Fitchburg State and Worcester State.

According to The Boston Globe, in 2012, Framingham State enrolled 6,506 students; in 2022, 4,111.

In 2012, Worcester State enrolled 6,221 students; in 2022, 5,311.

In 2012, Fitchburg State enrolled 6,889 students; in 2022, 6,554.

Clearly, both in terms of real numbers and percentages, Framingham State is in worse shape than the institutions closest to it geographically, even though FSU is the oldest state university in Massachusetts and the closest to Boston, among other strengths.

At Monday’s All University Meeting, Iris Godes, dean of strategic enrollment management & chief enrollment officer, stated that FSU’s ads are not in spaces like the Natick Mall because physical advertisements are not the University’s focus.

However, Salem State and Bridgewater State seem to be working with a different playbook because they are both advertising in the Natick Mall.

Godes said because students are more digitally knowledgeable than ever, the University’s focus has been digital advertising.

A question was posed by an audience member at the meeting as to why Framingham has ads on the sides of garbage and recycling trucks.

What exactly does that say about our target audience?

Godes said the advertisements were only supposed to be on recycling trucks to promote the idea of sustainability.

Is sustainability the first idea that comes to mind when prospective students see an advertisement on a recycling truck? How do you differentiate a garbage truck from a recycling truck, anyway?

The audience at the All University Meeting applauded when Godes stated the advertisements on the recycling trucks are no longer being funded by the University.

One ad that is currently being funded is an amateur-looking montage of staged photos of current and past FSU students that appears on Snapchat.

Godes is correct that the next generation of students is more digitally focused than ever. However, that means most of us have ad blockers or online filtration systems in order to avoid viewing sponsored content.

So, are prospective students seeing these advertisements at all?

If Framingham State is going to focus on advertising digitally, it needs to do it well.

If FSU wants to successfully market the University, it should replicate the success of fsu365, a Framingham State Instagram account run by Student Trustee Ryan Mikelis, assisted by FSAB president Ben Hurney, both of whom work in the Dean of Students office.

As the site is run as an Instagram account and is not “sponsored,” there is no way for an ad blocker to filter out its content.

This account published 91 posts in the spring semester alone - compared to the 57 posts on the University’s official Instagram account - framinghamstateu - over the entire academic year.

The fsu365 account highlights students: the clubs they are a part of, the events they attend, and the activities they enjoy on campus.

The content produced by Mikelis is captivating, funny, and informative. It includes everything that would make a student come to Framingham State.

This is the kind of publicity our University needs.

Mikelis is also a student leader who is in touch with the campus community and the demographic that would be enrolling here in the fall.

The content Mikelis posts would come up organically on prospective and current students’ feeds and is not staged or scripted.

The unposed moments on campus he features provide an authentic perspective of Framingham State.

FSU must strive for more authenticity in its marketing campaign.

The advertising needs to be produced with the input and creativity of students. It needs to show what prospective students can be a part of once they come to campus.

We should be taking advantage of our academic Marketing Department and commissioning its students to come up with social media campaigns.

Because obviously, student-generated content is more likely to be successful.

Framingham State’s academic Marketing Department could make working on the University’s advertisements a possible capstone project.

Or the Office of the Dean of Students could make developing social media content a contest.

The students at this University are brilliant. No one knows the value of this institution better than the students themselves. Why not showcase that knowledge?

Framingham State is an amazing institution with so many opportunities and qualities that make it worthwhile.

However, no prospective student is going to know this if we are not properly marketing that to them.

Some of the current advertising for this University should be put in a garbage truck, not on it.


Thinking back on my life - I have gathered one thing - we are constantly learning. Yes, in the sense of academics, but also and more importantly as humans.

Every day we face challenges that test our morals, determination, and the resilience of our spirit.

Thinking back on the year I have had, resilience is the one word that sticks out to me. I have faced ups and downs that have completely turned my life upside down and inside out.

But nonetheless, I persist.

Is it because I’m strong? No. Is it because I want to prove myself? No. Is it because life throws challenges at me? Yes.

I have faced challenges throughout my life, but recently, the challenges have been more direct and have been important to my future and to my morals.

But what have they taught me? I’m not sure, and I don’t think I want to be sure, because I want to keep learning. Even though life can be hard - it’s worth it.

Although I consider my experiences to be relatively “cookie-cutter,” that does not take away from the lessons they have taught me.

Over the past year, I have faced heartbreak, broken dreams, new romances, new beginnings, and necessary endings.

Throughout all of it, I persisted, and you can too.

Take the lessons I share and apply them to your own life.

To start, heartbreak is never easy. You feel utterly hopeless, like a piece of you is gone. You will pass through the non-linear journey of grief and healing. There will be days when you simply cannot bring yourself to get out of bed, your grades might slip, and your social battery will be limited.

Although it may feel like everything is capsizing around you, it’s not.

You will wake up one day and feel calm about the situation. Life goes on, and so must you.

You may continue to dream about love, whether it be romantic or something intangible.

For me, I came to college with the dream of being a professional photographer - I still hold that dream to this day. But I have since chosen a different path. I fell in love with writing and sharing the truth with anyone who cares to pick up one of the hundreds of papers The Gatepost prints weekly.

It has given me the opportunity to share my love for photography, but has also taught me that I can be so much more. It inspired me so much that it led me to change my major. Which was hard. I felt like I was giving up on my dream. Even though I was replacing it with something that would open many doors for me, I was scared and lost.

But again, I persist.

Now I stand both as a photographer and writer - working incredibly hard to prove to myself and the world around me that I can do so many things.

These are just some examples of times when I have had to believe in myself in order to continue on.

They should inspire you to work toward something better - and to be the person you can be proud of.

Be resilient - stand tall - persist.

Have confidence in your ability, tell the girl you are talking to that she makes you smile every time you see her, write that love letter, take chances, find yourself, challenge your intellect, learn.

Not everything in life is going to work out, but you cannot give up. You need to carry on. Challenges will come and go, but the lessons they leave with you will remain forever.

Heartbreak and broken dreams share something in common - they both come with necessary endings. These are incredibly hard, but again, they will teach you more than you know, and more than you want to accept as you are going through it.

Have an opinion? Feel free to email it to:
Opinions should be about 500 words. Anyone can submit. The Gatepost Editorial reflects the opinions of the newspaper’s Editorial Board. Signed Op/Eds reflect the opinions of individual writers.

Senior Letters 2024

As a transfer student, I had concerns about fully immersing myself in the FSU experience. However, the opposite occurred.

First and foremost, I extend my gratitude to all my professors over the past two years. From mathematics to sports sociology, each semester brought a new perspective and a wealth of knowledge.

Dr. Krul, I owe you a debt of gratitude for your unwavering support and guidance as my advisor. Without your encouragement, I wouldn’t be standing here today, ready to graduate. You recognized the potential within me, even when I doubted myself, and provided an environment within the department that allowed me to flourish academically and personally.

To my fellow MERC interns, our weekly meetings were a highlight, and I cherished our collective learning experience. Special thanks to Professors Rosero and Donna for their mentorship and for entrusting me with the

Well, four years have come and gone just like that. But in my time at Framingham State, I have grown endlessly through opportunities and experiences that I could have never even imagined in my first year at college. It’s a surreal feeling, having put so much time and effort into my undergraduate career and finally having to step back and say goodbye. Yet, at the same time, I am very excited for the future, which will undoubtedly be full of new memories to be made. There is uncertainty in the future, but this is a good uncertainty which makes me excited for new experiences and the next step in my life. The friends, advisors, and mentors who I’ve met along the way have proven to be the result of a college experience of which I have no regrets. If I could go back and restart my

Thank you for being such a beacon of positivity in my freshman year of university. You are the friendliest, most welcoming person I have ever met. You have inspired me to pursue leadership roles in clubs and engage with the Framingham State community. Your simple gesture of saying hello wherever our paths crossed in the halls meant more to me than you may realize. Some of the memories I cherish with you include going to the whale watch, honors pro-

invaluable internship opportunity.

Mikey, Sonnet, Em, Spencer, and the rest of the Charlie Brown cast, your friendship and camaraderie have made this year truly unforgettable. From shared laughs to overcoming challenges together, each moment spent with you has been a cherished memory.

Camila, you were my first friend at FSU and the epitome of an amazing roommate. And to Amie, thank you for always putting up with my antics.

To my fellow math majors, your camaraderie made even the most challenging classes infinitely more bearable. The memories of the math lounge will remain etched in my heart forever.

Lastly, to my parents, your unwavering support has been my rock through it all. Thank you for believing in me, no matter what.

undergraduate career, I’d change nothing. My experience has been full, and I know for a fact that I will forever look back fondly of my time at FSU.

Before I graduate, I would like to say thank you to my support system of endless peers and advisors who helped me grow and become the person I am proud of today. You all have shaped my life and experiences at college into something I am proud of and forever thankful for. My teachers, friends, parents, and family have made such a difference in my college experience, and I am grateful for that.

That’s all for now, so it’s time to say a bittersweet goodbye to Framingham State University!

gram apple picking, and the Boston lighthouse tour. As you prepare to graduate, I find myself experiencing a bittersweet mix of emotions. While it saddens me to bid farewell to a friend, I am also filled with excitement for the incredible opportunities that await you. I have no doubt that you will achieve remarkable success in all your future endeavors.

Wishing you the very best of luck in all your endeavors,

Yair Rachmany

For a girl originally planning to study in New York City, Framingham has been a world. I found a lot of love. Made hundreds of epitomes about Constitutional Law at 2 a.m. But ultimately, if anything, I think I’ll always remember it as the place I was when “All Too Well (10 Minute Version)” was released (I’m totally kidding)(But am I?).

I want to start by thanking my dad. I wouldn’t be here without him or his unwavering support.

Howard Rosenberg ’86 - I couldn’t be more proud to be his daughter and his legacy.

To Dr. Smailes: Seeing as you’re retiring, I can’t give up one last chance to publicly emphasize the outstanding professor you are. FSU will not be the same without you!

To Dr. Espino: I am incredibly thankful for judicial policy. Thank you for always challenging me to be my greatest.

To Desmond and Liz: You have both fostered in me a genuine love and respect for journalism that will never fade. In every aspect of my life, I will carry the skills you taught me.

To Leighah Beausoleil ’23: You continuously inspire me and current Gateposters with your excellence and creativity. I’m so happy that our 24 sleepless nights led to us becoming best friends.

To Sophia and Ryan: Thank you

Thank you for being the best Outing Club president one could ever hope for. You are the smartest, most awesome person I know. Ever since I met you I aspired to be like you. You’re not just a friend - you’re my best friend. Our journey began at the club org fair, where your enthusiasm for the Outing Club captured my attention. Coincidentally we discovered we were both enrolled in the same discrete math class, the most challenging class I have ever taken, but you supported me and encouraged me not to give up with patience and encouragement. As a shy freshman joining

The people who tell you college is a big turning point in your life aren’t that far off - I can say with certainty that the person who came here four years ago is not the same person who wrote this.

College gave me the space to figure myself out a lot, and at this point in your life where you’re rapidly growing into the person you’re going to be, that is so important to have.

It wasn’t always the easiest thing to navigate through - and there are people who are to thank for that. However, there are way more people who made this such an unforgettable experience for me and they deserve a huge shout out.

Kyle, Sam, Nathan, Connor, Rohan, Lauren, and Mattheus - I cannot express how much all of you mean to me especially during these last few years. I’ve known some of you for over a decade now, and I couldn’t be happier that we’re still so close. I can’t wait to celebrate with you guys - I’m sure it’ll

both for relentlessly supporting me through my run as EIC. Ryan, you are one of the most talented people I know at FSU, and I’m still in awe that I was mentoring you when you first showed up here. Sophia, you’re so smart and thoughtful, and the paper has been so lovely under your leadership.

To Liv and Adam: Bringing Bevvies to Framingham for my last semester was heartwarming and rewarding. You both individually bring so much love and light to my life.

I also want to thank Sandra Rothenberg, Millie González, Ben Trapanick, and all my fellow peer mentors. Being a peer mentor was pivotal to my growth as a leader and teacher and was the most fun job I had, sharing my love for learning with students.

Framingham does not look like Greenwich Village, but I wouldn’t trade a day in the city for the long nights I spent laying out The Gatepost, eating just-OK food in the Dining Commons with my best friend Madison, or even that one horrible - and I mean - horribleclass.

Wishing FSU the very best.

the Outing Club, you welcomed me and let me be a big part of the club. We went on so many fun adventures! Each week, I eagerly anticipated our next adventure together. Whether it was hiking in various breathtaking locations, apple picking, kayaking, indoor rock climbing, or ropes coursing, you made every outing memorable. You made such a huge positive impact in my life. You have made my freshman year of university so fun. It’s bittersweet to see you graduate, but I know you’re off to do amazing things in biochemistry!

be absolutely crazy. Mom, Dad, Cameron, and Meghan - thank you all for always supporting everything I do and always making me feel valued and loved.

To my fellow Gateposters - especially this semester - thank you for this amazing time together. I loved all the cooking I did with my fellow Arts & Features staff and even though we made such a robust issue every week, I’m glad I can finally sleep on Thursdays now.

I sort of always knew I would be a communications major, and now that it’s all done I’m so happy I did it. I got to come to class and do stuff that I loved, and had so many amazing opportunities from it.

I did what I wanted to, and now it’s time to go.


OP/ED @T heGatepost | FSU 10 | MAY 3, 2024
Emma McCurdy
If you need me, let me know

As my freshman year of college comes to a close, I notice everyone around me reflecting. I’ve found myself reflecting as well.

So much has happened this year, throwing me into immense change.

I can proudly say I am partly to blame for this change.

When I started out at FSU, change scared me. Leaving behind the town I had lived in my entire life, I had plans to continue the same things I had grown up doing. I had chosen my major in early childhood education, and was planning on joining the track team.

I was curious about some of the clubs here, but not overly intent on joining them.

Now I couldn’t imagine my life without them, or without the people I’ve met through them.

I joined the newspaper, the activities board, the radio station, and the drama club.

I’ll be going into my sophomore year on The Gatepost as Photo & Design Editor, publicity chair for the activities board, Vice President of WDJM, and a producer for the fall play.

I never could’ve seen myself in these positions a year ago.

I performed on stage alone for the first time ever, twice. Another thing I never thought I would have the bravery to commit to.

I plan on leaving my major. Throughout the year, I’ve discovered

that my passion lies in the arts, which I never would have discovered if I hadn’t taken a chance on change.

Not to say I wasn’t always interested in these new things I tried, because

chance to branch out. On top of that, there was a lot of pressure to excel in the sports I played, so I just made it my “thing.”

I did always have some attachment to them.

I never allowed these other passions - photography, design, music, performance, theater - to take the front seat because I was afraid of change.

I was so used to growing up as an athlete, which took up so much of my time, I never really gave myself the

I feel more fulfilled with what I’m doing now.

I’m not the only person who played a part in my change. I don’t think I could’ve accomplished nearly everything I’ve done this year without the people I have by my side.

It’s not the same as it was

You leave an imprint on every person you meet.

No matter how small - there is always an impact from your words and your actions.

Something you say or do to someone can leave an influence for an indefinite amount of time. The interactions can affect someone for as long as they remember them.

If you compliment someone’s pants, they might think about it every time they wear them.

If you give someone a dirty look, they might recall it every time they see you.

There are different versions of us in every single person’s perspective, due to how we were perceived. We will never be able to control what someone thinks of us, and I haven’t been able to determine whether that’s good or bad.

It may help that we cannot place our personal opinions of ourselves on other people because they cannot see us through the eyes we look at ourselves through every day. But, the idea of never knowing how someone sees us causes anxiety. We may never know their true intentions.

The negative might hurt, but I choose to let go of it all. I choose to cherish the joy because it is what I want to remember. I want to appreciate the positive for what it was, and not what it turned into.

I don’t necessarily always forgive -

I don’t know if I could let the things that happened go under the radar. Those small puzzle pieces of pain have changed my perspective on friendships and relationships.

I look back fondly on memories of

little pieces created and put together by the people who have impacted me in even the smallest ways.

I used to hate the sound of my laugh. But because of every friend who has complimented it, I now laugh as

people who hurt me because, in the moment, I was happy. I can’t hate the experiences due to the anger I have for the people I was with during them.

The pain can’t taint the happiness I felt, and it’s bittersweet.

Every person I have ever loved has made me who I am. I’m hundreds of

They have taught me so much about myself, where I belong, and what I deserve.

I thank everyone on The Gatepost for supporting me through one of the hardest semesters of my life.

I thank Izayah, for welcoming me into the OP/ED section, and for his constant displays of respect to everyone around him.

I thank Kyle, for encouraging me to do big things with the radio station, and giving me a shoulder to lean on.

I thank Emily, for being someone who truly understands the inner workings of my heart.

I thank Leah, for showing me what perseverance looks like, and insisting I can show it too.

I thank Alex, for being one of the wisest people I have met in my life, and giving me incredible advice I think about frequently.

I thank Owen, for helping me get a job on campus, and being an all around standup guy.

I thank Bella, for every minute of her time she gave me, and every kind word.

I thank my best friend, Dylan, for everything you taught me about myself, about you, about life.

I thank my girlfriend, Amy, for proving to me that love is easy to give and to receive.

Finally, I thank myself. For allowing change. For taking a chance on me.

often as I can.

I still love my nine pairs of Converse, even though I no longer talk to my best friend who influenced me to get a pair in middle school.

I still thoroughly enjoy chocolate peanut butter ice cream, even though I broke up with the boyfriend that I first

tried it with two years ago.

I still listen to songs I was shown by old friends who no longer think of me. While it stings knowing I lost them, I am grateful for the moments I knew them.

For the lessons they taught me.

For the love they gave me when I needed it. And for teaching me I could love back.

If I could love the wrong people so much, I know I can love the right ones even more. We change, we grow, and we move on. We are made to find the people who make us happy to be alive.

I will never regret the love I have given any person in my life, no matter how badly they hurt me. They needed it, and if it happened to be undeserved, that’s OK. I have so much love in my heart that I will always be happy to share. It’s possible they need it more than I do, and I cannot withhold the overflowing amount of love I live to express.

There is so much love to give, in a world that’s been taught to hate.

I subconsciously do many things I had never done before meeting specific people. They left an impact on me, that I no longer fully notice because I have grown accustomed to the behaviors.

I am a puzzle, made up of pieces from every person I have ever known. I will continue to change as I meet new people, and as they unknowingly build in the work zone of my brain.

Courtesy of Izabela Gage Courtesy of Alexis Schlesinger

Old passions made new

My dream since as early as I can remember was to be a professional soccer player.

I played soccer for 11 years out of the first 16 years of my life. It was my everything. I felt so passionate about it I never thought I could feel that way about anything else.

When I was 5 and playing on my first team, I was told that I would one day have the ability to play in college. I was even compared to girls who were playing Division 1 soccer at Boston College.

I traveled around the country and made some of the best memories of my life. My dad and I spent countless hours in the car together listening to Journey albums on the way to tournaments, games, and practices.

I even got to spend my 16th birthday in the Rocky Mountains with my teammates and then competed at nationals the next day.

There were definitely days that were difficult, where I was too hard on myself, and felt like I would never accomplish my dream.

But those years were some of the best times of my life.

A few months after nationals, my career was finished when I got a concussion.

I had worked so hard since I was in kindergarten to get to such a high level in the sport. It was all thrown away by a competitor’s rogue shot at a college

recruitment tournament when I had the goal of playing at the highest level I could imagine.

Ever since my concussion, I have been afraid of anything to do with soccer. I wanted nothing to do with the sport I once loved.

I banned any and all things soccer from my house for years.

I threw away every uniform I owned and every soccer ball that I ever used was gone. I had ditched any remnants of all of the accomplishments I was once proud of.

I let a concussion ruin who I was and it took away anything I had ever enjoyed about soccer.

If I could turn back time to the day I was told I could no longer play, I would tell my teenage self not to let this turn into an identity crisis.

Recently, I picked up a soccer ball again - just out of curiosity.

Reconnecting with soccer five years after my career came to a halt has been incredibly rewarding.

My fear of soccer that used to consume me has dissipated and I no longer feel like I have to ignore it anymore. The fear came from a place of self preservation - of moving on.

Soccer was a big part of me and it still is, but it has never been all I am.

‘Chin up, charge up

As you approach your senior year of high school, the questions begin.

“So what are your plans after high school? What do you want to do with your life?”

These were always the conversations I dreaded more than anything - the reason why holiday parties with family went from my favorite times as a child, to a source of anxiety and fear, knowing that I would inevitably have to face this conversation.

And what would my answer to these questions be? The answers I gave and the answers in my head were not the same.

My default answer to family often was, “I’ll probably major in communications” - hoping to throw out a random major and end the conversation.

However, in my head, it was, “I have no idea what I want to do with my life. All I know is I want nothing to do with the medical field.”

Sure, I had plenty of things that I was interested in - writing, fashion, designing, social media. I just never thought that I had the confidence to pursue any of these fields wholeheartedly.

What if I can’t find a job doing this? That field won’t make me any money. I’d struggle too much doing this for a living. I’m not cut out for that.

I entered college in the fall of 2020 as an undeclared major. Despite the many other students I met in my class-

There’s no pressure, just fun. It makes me feel like a kid again and reminds me of how passionate I once was about this game.

The emotions I felt when I was younger, knowing I had lost something so immensely important to me, have faded away and become something worth being excited about.

The fact that I will never be able to participate in the sport at the capacity I once did doesn’t mean I have to abandon it all together. I think I have found a new way to love soccer.

But I can be free from that now. I feel like I can finally acknowledge what soccer used to be to me and what it still can be.

Previously, my disappointment didn’t allow me to welcome any bit of the sport back into my life, no matter how small.

Today, I enjoy just kicking around a ball in my backyard all by myself.

the mountain’

es over Zoom who were also undeclared, I still felt like a failure because I had zero plans for my future academic career.

Did I have those thoughts about anyone else who said their major was undeclared? No. But when it came to me, I was failing before I even started college.

I went to advising meeting after advising meeting during my freshman and sophomore years that felt like they were going nowhere - some meetings to try to withdraw from a course I had no confidence I’d be able to succeed in, and some just desperate for advice on how to move forward.

Regardless, I ended each Zoom meeting close to tears of discouragement.

Whenever I am faced with feelings of discouragement, I think back to my favorite movie quote that has been tucked away in my mind since the age of 7 - “Chin up! Charge the mountain!”

“Cheaper by the Dozen 2” has been my favorite movie for as long as I can remember. I turn to it when I want to laugh, be comforted, reminisce about my childhood, and even find motivation for the future. So much so that “Chin up! Charge the mountain!” was my yearbook quote my senior year of high school.

Although I could recite the entire movie line for line or give an in-depth synopsis, the general theme of the movie is growing up, finding purpose, and appreciating life in the moment while also looking forward to the future - something I was desperately try-

I know a lot of serious athletes understand the feeling of not being able to play anymore due to uncontrollable circumstances.

It shakes you when you realize you have to find a way to move past something you spent so much time dedicating yourself to.

Sometimes, it even feels like I wasted a decade of my life.

But, I’ve come to the conclusion that soccer was never a waste of my time despite how that chapter of my life ended. It taught me a lot about myself and what I am capable of.

It may have been the end of an era, but new ones started soon enough. I’ve found myself loving new things and now I’m thrilled about revisiting old passions, too.

If you can, pick up a past love of yours. Whether it be reading, painting, a sport, or anything else you can come up with. Try it out.

You might just fall in love with it all over again.

ing to do in my college career.

As the end of my sophomore year rolled around, I knew I had to declare a major soon. My advisor threw out the idea of having a major in liberal studies.

During my college search, I had always heard of a “liberal arts college,” but for some reason, a major in liberal studies never crossed my mind.

As I did more research on the major, I grew more and more intrigued by the idea of a broad-based major that would allow me to take classes in many different academic areas. I felt I had finally found something that would work for me.

Entering my junior year as a declared liberal studies major was the first time I felt content with my path for my college career. Instead of feeling lost sitting in a marketing class or dozing off in the back of a gen ed math class, I was able to explore classes that

I had genuine interest in, something I had never quite experienced before.

From analyzing fashion trends and learning about the history of fashion to finding inspiration on campus for articles in my feature and news writing classes, I was able to build a curriculum that was fully tailored to me – an idea that I would have never imagined when I entered college.

Now, as a senior preparing to graduate in less than a month, I can look back at my time in college with no regrets. My experience was certainly not linear, with countless setbacks and obstacles during my four years. However, without those difficulties, I would never have been able to thrive and allow myself to better understand who I am and what I want for my future and my career.

While I am anxious, yet excited, about the future, as long as I keep my chin up, I can charge the mountain.

OP/ED @T heGatepost | FSU 12 | MAY 3, 2024
Courtesy of Andrea O’Brien

The evolving reality of antisemitism around me

I feel victimized by antisemitism for the second time in my life.

The first time, I did not realize it was antisemitism. I was in kindergarten. I heard a joke at the lunch table about Adolf Hitler. As most kindergarten students do, I went home and happily repeated the joke to my family.

My parents, both of whom were raised in Jewish households, explained to me the antisemitic nature of the joke and encouraged me to report it to the school’s administrators.

I never thought I would come faceto-face with antisemitism again, especially on my college campus.

The Division of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement (DICE) and Academic Affairs co-sponsored the “Series on Peace and Justice in Israel/Palestine,” a two-part event that aimed to “provide historical context to the conflict while exploring potential pathways to peace and justice,” according to the event flyer.

To clarify my views on the Israel/ Palestine conflict, I am outraged by the horror and death on both sides and I cannot begin to fathom the socio-political intricacies of a place nearly 5,500 miles across the world.

All I can hope to do is continue to learn.

This, however, does not affect my views on antisemitism as a Jewish-American college student.

The series’ second event, “Untan-

gling the Discourse: Exploring Complex Terms in the Israeli-Palestinian Context,” on April 16, which I attended with my dad, left me speechless.

The event’s first speaker, Salem State University History Professor Aviva Chomsky, opposed the widely accepted definition of antisemitism, proposed by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) in 2016, even though it has been adopted by 43 nations, including the United States.

According to ABC News, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Antisemitism Awareness Act May 1 with a vote of 320-91.

This law “requires the Department of Education to use the IRHA’s working definition of antisemitism when enforcing federal anti-discrimination laws,” the article said.

The most offensive aspect of the event was Chomsky’s response to a question submitted by the audience. When asked how to respectfully discuss the conflict with Jewish friends, she referenced conversations with her own Jewish friends.

Chomsky said they reported a sense of fear due to the rise of antisemitism in the United States after Oct. 7. She said she was confused when her Jewish friends reported being fearful.

I was astonished. I did not understand how someone could be confused about this - how someone could share this at an event hosted and sponsored by my own university.

Chomsky said when she asked her Jewish friends to provide justification

for their fear, their cited evidence was not enough to validate their claims. She said they relied on statistics rather than first-hand experiences.

I was in disbelief. Many examples of antisemitism in the U.S. after Oct. 7 began to flood my mind.

For example, NBC News reported on an incident on Nov. 5 at the University of Massachusetts - Amherst’s (UMass) campus at their Hillel. Hillel is the world’s largest Jewish campus organization.

At an event hosted by the Hillel, “Bring Them Home: Solidarity Walk and Installation,” a vigil for the 240 people taken hostage by Hamas on Oct. 7, a Jewish student was punched and the Israeli flag was spit on, the article reported.

As a transfer student from UMass, I regularly attended the Hillel when I was enrolled there and hearing about this event made me afraid.

The article also cited other examples of antisemitism on campuses across the nation.

This event took place in our home state at the Commonwealth’s flagship state university. As a professor at one of the other state universities, I expected Chomksy to be aware of incidents such as this.

It was not merely a “statistic.”

This is a real-life example of antisemitism, justifying Jewish Americans’ fears.

Chomsky also validated the use of the historically antisemitic phrase, “from the river to the sea,” and did not

provide any insight about its origin or why it is deemed antisemitic. Rather, only one perspective of the conflict was shown.

I was appalled to be sitting at a University-sponsored event hearing this claim and antisemitic rhetoric.

It was overwhelming, astonishing, and anger-inducing.

I sat there wondering, “Is it antisemitic to invalidate the rise of antisemitism and fear Jewish Americans feel? Am I really face-to-face with it?”

After decades of my parents, grandparents, and other relatives sharing news articles of antisemitism on college campuses, my college campus brought it to me.

I have been afraid of identifying as a Jewish student on campus after Hamas’ attacks on Israel on Oct. 7.

I have been afraid of the community’s, the administration’s, and my peers’ responses to my feelings.

Not representing both sides of such an intricate situation at a University-sponsored panel, which claimed to educate the community about the conflict, suppresses the voices of the Jewish students on campus who have a strong connection to Israel.

This University’s administration took no action to disavow the antisemitic comments of Chomsky at the event they sponsored.

Taking no action is an action.

I am ashamed of my University’s administration for not condemning Chomsky’s views on antisemitism.

Campus Conversations

“What are your plans for the summer?”

“Other than work, I’m just trying to chill for real.”


“This summer, I just want to work and hangout with friends - same as Shawn.”


and spending time with my friends, and maybe a little vacation.”


going to work and hang out with family and friends - same as Shawn - but I’m going to have fun.”

- Ally Roy, freshman - Bri Camilli, freshman - Shawn Brooks, freshman am going on a cruise to Bermuda.” - Rachel Maniscalco, freshman am going to work and hang out with friends and family.” - Catie Ash, graduate student - Habiba Osman, freshman


Baseball redeems slow start, eyes postseason success

On March 23, Framingham lost the concluding game of their spring break trip, bringing their overall record to 0-9.

As of press time, the Rams sit atop the MASCAC, in prime position to make a postseason run.

How, you might ask? A combination of staying confident, trusting the process, and taking care of business in conference matchups.

Sophomore Shane Costello said, “We played tough competition to start, and we knew we’d turn it around once we hit conference.”

Senior Ryan Boyle agreed, saying, “The team has stayed confident after the slow start, because for us, the Florida trip was a challenge, and we knew the competition down there was going to be really good.

“What led to the turnaround was coming back up north and locking in,” he added.

The Rams began conference play on March 30 with a doubleheader against the Bridgewater State Bears.

Framingham lost both games, leaving them with a conference record of 0-2.

That losing trend would not last for long.

The Rams were able to avenge their

early struggles against Bridgewater State, handing the Bears an 11-10 loss and improving their conference record to 1-2 on April 1.

This win proved to be the spark Framingham needed, as it was immediately followed by a conference win over MCLA April 9, and a non-conference win over Lasell April 11.

The winning wouldn’t stop there.

The Rams stayed hot, taking both games of their conference doubleheader against Worcester State April 14.

Framingham won the first game of their conference doubleheader against Salem State April 15, but lost the second game, ending their six-game win streak.

The Rams wasted no time bouncing back from that loss, collecting a conference win over Worcester State April 16.

Framingham lost a conference game against Westfield State April 19, but quickly got back on track by winning both games of their doubleheader against Westfield State April 21.

The Rams lost a conference game against Salem State April 23.

As of April 26, Framingham held a conference record of 8-5.

Their conference record would quickly improve to 11-5 when they picked up three consecutive conference wins over Mass. Maritime, the

first April 26, and the other two in a doubleheader April 27.

The Rams defeated MCLA twice in a conference doubleheader May 2, improving their conference record to 135.

Framingham finishes their regular season campaign with three conference games against Fitchburg State on May 3 and 4.

The Rams didn’t win a game until the fourth week of the season, but they currently stand alone in first place in the MASCAC.

This turnaround has been fueled by many strong individual performances. At the plate, nine Framingham hitters hold .300 batting averages or higher for the season.

Boyle, Dane Frellick, and Robert Johnston are all currently top five in the MASCAC for batting average.

Boyle currently boasts a batting average of .411, an improvement from his already impressive .384 average in 2022-23.

“I feel like I have been able to contribute most with my bat this season,” Boyle said.

“I haven’t really changed much. I just try to stick to my approach and I try my best to put the ball in play,” he added.

Framingham players are feeling confident going into the final stretch of the regular season and the postseason.

Costello said, “We feel like we’re in a good place and we have a chance to keep it rolling into the playoffs.

“Expect us to be competitive in every game and give every team a tough game,” he added.

Boyle said, “We are feeling very strong going into the final stretch of the season. All of the guys are locked in and we are hoping to have a fun and successful last week!”



Softball remains optimistic despite late-season struggles

Framingham State softball is fighting for their place in the MASCAC standings with only one week of regular season matchups left to play.

After a three-game win streak against Lasell and Lesley on April 23 and 25, respectively, the Rams had a tumultuous doubleheader against the UMass Boston Beacons April 27.

The Rams lost both games at the hands of the Beacons, with the first loss decided by two errors in the seventh inning.

The Rams were unable to get the

bats going, and the second game ended in a shutout 4-0 loss.

Ally Moran started the first game against the Beacons and recorded nine strikeouts. She then made the start in game one of a doubleheader against the Wentworth Institute Leopards April 30.

When Moran stepped into the circle against the Leopards, she officially broke the record for most pitching appearances in program history with her 100th career appearance.

Moran’s pitching counterpart, Caroline Hughes, stepped in during the third inning when the Leopards gave Moran trouble and jumped out to a 4-0


The Rams kept the Leopards quiet and came back to take a 5-4 lead as Gwendolyn Carpenter batted in the go-ahead run.

Unable to hold the line, the Rams ultimately fell in the seventh inning as the Leopards came back to win 6-5.

Moran came back to the circle to start game two. She faced 29 batters before Hughes stepped in during the fifth inning, with a score of 0-0.

Hughes and Moran are familiar with the tag-team pitching dynamic this season, usually alternating start appearances or stepping in mid-game if the other is taken out.

Hughes said the duo is “really continuing to improve on having firstpitch strikes, producing ground balls and pop flies within the infield.

“We’re really trying to produce as many quick outs as we can so we can get back into the box to produce more runs for our team,” Hughes said.

The Leopards created a myriad of scoring chances, but the Rams were able to hold them off until the sixth inning, when the Leopards scored five runs, two of which were the result of errors by the Rams.

Kelsey McGuill homered deep to center field to make it 5-1 in the sixth and give the Rams life, but it wasn’t enough to get the bats going before the game ended at 5-1.

The Rams have struggled with errors in their last four games with a

combined 11 in the doubleheaders against UMass Boston and Wentworth.

Hughes said, “Errors are definitely tough, but the best thing to do is keep yourself calm and just be able to trust the process.

“Softball is also a game of failure, so it happens. If we just keep our heads up and just get the next one, that’s the best thing as long as you trust yourself and trust your teammates behind you,” she added.

Freshman Haley Jensen said the biggest goal the team will be focusing on is “not getting down on ourselves after we make an error. … We just have to get a little better at picking ourselves up and not getting down on our teammates.”

At psess time, the Rams split a doubleheader against Nichols College May 2 with Hughes getting the victory in the circle.

They currently rank third in the MASCAC.

The Rams will play conference opponent Fitchburg State University at home May 4 before beginning playoff play.

Stats sourced from and


sourced from and
Adrien Gobin / THE GATEPOST Haley Jensen at bat against Wentworth Institute of Technology April 30.
14 | MAY 3, 2024
Adrien Gobin / THE GATEPOST Daniil Rye pitching April 15 against Salem State.
@T heGatepost | FSU

Women’s lacrosse advances to MASCAC final

Women’s lacrosse ended their regular season with an undefeated conference record of 6-0. They now hold an overall record of 14-3.

Framingham defeated the Bridgewater State University Bears 24-11 April 20, and sophomore goalkeeper Bella DiMare tallied five saves and achieved a career milestone of an ongoing 200 career saves.

The Bears started with the first goal, but the Rams responded less than a minute later.

The Rams continued on the attack as senior attacker Hannah Guerin boosted the Rams’ score again by scoring another unassisted goal.

Guerin earned MASCAC Offensive Player of the Week alongside DiMare earning MASCAC Defensive Player of the Week April 29. This marks Guerin’s fifth and DiMare’s third week with their respective titles.

Both teams fought for the lead in the first quarter, counterbalancing each other’s goals. The quarter ended 5-5.

The Rams scored 10 goals in the second, overpowering the Bears, who only scored three. By the end of the first half, Framingham had a 7-point lead, 15-8.

Framingham let up on the aggression in the third quarter, only scoring five goals. DiMare let in one shot from Bridgewater, and the quarter ended 20-9.

The Rams continued scoring in the fourth quarter, netting four goals, while the Bears netted two.

With Guerin’s unparalleled skills, she broke the program record for points in a single game with 14 points - nine goals and five assists. She previously broke the program record last year with 12 points.

Freshman defender Lindsey Cox said seeing the records be broken “is a very cool experience to be watching in real time.”

Another freshman defender, Jenny Gallagher, agreed with Cox. “It’s so surreal. This is a very cool thing to happen, especially watching it as a freshman.”

The Rams also beat the Worcester State University Lancers 20-11 April 23, which marks their fifth game of tallying at least 20 points.

Framingham started the game slowly, scoring one goal in the first six minutes. Worcester took the lead 4-1 until the Rams kicked into gear and netted four goals.

Junior midfielder Molly Lanier and junior attacker Leah Green each tallied a goal, and the first quarter ended 7-5.

Worcester dominated the first half of the second quarter, netting four shots, but Framingham bounced back and countered with three.

The Rams maintained the lead 10-9.

FSU overpowered WSU for the last half of the game, scoring six goals in the third, and four in the fourth. DiMare only let in one shot in each quarter, and the Rams won with a 9-point gap.

Senior midfielder Rachel Erickson scored five goals and one assist in their win against Worcester State, and she has now recorded 200 career points.

Their game against Westfield State University April 27 was competitive. Neither team scored for the first three minutes, but Framingham gained a 3-0 lead halfway through the quarter.

The score was tied 4-4 by the end of the first quarter, but their determination stayed strong in the second quarter.

Framingham scored five goals, and DiMare only let in two of Westfield’s shots. By the end of the quarter, the Rams were up 9-6.

In the third, Framingham ended up losing their lead when Westfield scored four goals that went unanswered.

The Rams and the Owls went back and forth, before the third ended with Westfield scoring another goal, taking the lead 12-11.

The Rams did not lose their determination, and scored three goals in the fourth.

The game went into overtime with both teams sitting at 14 points. Lanier scored the winning overtime goal, assisted by Guerin, with only 19 seconds left in the game.

Framingham’s win against Westfield is the first time they have beaten them since the 2021 season, which consisted of only four losses.

This was Westfield’s first conference loss since the 2021 season.

They claimed the title of 2024 MASCAC Regular Season Champions, with an undefeated conference record.

The Rams conquered the Bridgewater State Bears for a second time May 2, knocking them out of the championship game slot.

Framingham started with a goal by Guerin, but the game stopped momentarily due to the weather.

When the game resumed, the Rams were able to score four more goals in the first. The Bears only netted one, and the quarter ended 5-1.

Bridgewater started the second quarter with their second goal, but Framingham answered with two more.

The quarter ended with the Rams having a fivepoint lead, 7-2.

Framingham stayed on top of the game, and scored five goals in the third. The quarter finished 12-5.

The fourth quarter quieted down, and the Rams opened with a goal. Bridgewater responded with two more, but Framingham did not let them go unanswered, and netted another before the end of the game.

The Rams won 14-7 and now look forward to the last game of the season against second seed Westfield State.

Junior attacker Hailey Baker scored one goal and assisted on two against Bridgewater, recording an ongoing 100 career points.

Baker said going into the championship game, “Our main focus will be trying to play smart lacrosse, making smart plays, and being smart with the ball.”

The Rams host the MASCAC Championship game against Westfield State May 4.

Head Coach Casey Bradley said, “We beat them once and we can beat them again, as long as we show up and we play the full 60 minutes and the girls just leave it all out on the field.”

Gallagher said, “We feel very prepared going into this game, especially since we won in overtime last game.”

MAY 3, 2024 | 15
Stats sourced from and SPORTS
Framingham State 13-5 Westfield State 12-6 Bridgewater State 12-6 Salem State 11-7 Mass. Maritime 9-9 Worcester State 7-11 Fitchburg State 6-12 MCLA 2-16 Standings reflect MASCAC matchups as of press time Baseball *Framingham State 6-0 Westfield State 5-1 Worcester State 4-2 Bridgewater State 3-4 Mass. Maritime 2-4 Fitchburg State 1-5 Salem State 0-6 Women’s Lacrosse Westfield State 10-2 Worcester State 9-3 Framingham State 9-3 Bridgewater State 6-6 Fitchburg State 5-7 Salem State 5-7 Mass. Maritime 2-10 MCLA 2-10 Softball
MASCAC Standings
Adrien Gobin / THE GATEPOST Leah Green and Julianna Guzi celebrating a goal against Bridgewater State May 2.

Center of the field: inside the minds of pitchers

Professional baseball games often begin with a ceremonial first pitch. The crowd watches and applauds the honoree, despite the throw’s speed or accuracy.

But for softball and baseball pitchers, each and every pitch places them at the beginning of the play and the center of the game.

Pitcher Caroline Hughes, a senior captain on the softball team, said she began playing softball 11 or 12 years ago - when she was 9 years old - and began pitching within her first year.

She said she became a full-time pitcher during her junior year of high school.

Hughes said she throws a range of six to eight pitches with different mechanics to vary the speed, drop, and curve of the throw, but she only regularly throws four pitches - fastball, changeup, screwball, and drop ball.

Her most successful pitches are currently her fastball and screwball, she said.

Hughes said she began to learn different pitches in high school after she became more confident throwing her fastball and changeup.

Having an arsenal of pitches helps her control the batters more, she said.

“It was definitely exciting because I was really working just an inside [or] outside with a fastball and changeup. It was more exciting to see different spins and try to work the count better and jam the hitters,” Hughes said.

She described each at bat as a “battle.

“I look at the batter I’m like, ‘I’m gonna win this battle,’” Hughes added.

When pitches don’t go her way, Hughes said she tells herself to “clock in.

“I stand behind the mound and I just breathe [and] take my time,” she added.

Hughes said “tough” umpires can affect a pitcher’s mindset as well.

“Our coach tells us all the time, ‘We play our game. Don’t let them ruin how we play our game.’ … It’s best for me to just take a breather, play my own game, and just adjust to how they’re calling it,” she said.

Hughes said being a pitcher might be “a lot of pressure. But at the end of the day, it’s exciting.”

Pitcher Ally Moran, a senior captain on the softball team, said she began playing softball 15 years ago - when she was 8 years old - and began pitching when she was 12.

“I definitely put in a lot of work when I first started just because I wasn’t very great so I really wanted to get better at it. It was something that I really enjoyed at first,” she said.

She made the transition to a fulltime pitcher when she started playing in high school, Moran said.

Moran said she rotates throwing six different pitches depending what will match up best against the batter.

She said she first learned to throw a changeup - her most successful pitch - within a year of pitching and then learned spin pitches in the months that followed.

“It was really hard at first. You’re taught, mechanically, a motion and then for different pitches, you have to change that - a grip on the ball, the flick of your wrist, [or] even sometimes your body placement has to be different depending on what you’re throw-

ing,” Moran said.

She said pitching is hard because you can never take a break from the game.

“You literally cannot take a pitch off because you’re obviously the ones throwing it. You have to be in it - every single pitch, every single batter, every single play. … If you get distracted or you don’t throw your best pitch, sometimes, that can change the whole game,” Moran said.

When asked her favorite aspect of pitching, Moran said, “If you asked me this three years ago, I would have never said this answer. But I guess I like being in control of the game. I like setting the pace - whether we need to slow things down a little bit or speed things up sometimes.”

Catcher Talia Duca, a sophomore on the softball team, said she began playing softball “as soon as I could stand” and began catching around 13 years ago when she was 7 years old.

“The team that I was on, we didn’t have a catcher. So my coach was like, ‘All right. You’re up. Throw the gear on. Let’s go.’ And the rest is history,” she said.

As a catcher, Duca said it is her role to support her pitcher.

Duca said, “I taught myself - every pitch, every at bat - that I know I have to set my pitcher up for success, no matter what. … It’s very important that I’m helping my pitcher attack the batter, but at the same time, playing my defensive position.

“When I squat and I receive the pitch, I always make eye contact with them. I want them to make sure that they know that I’m there and I’m ready and I’m going to support them however I can,” added Duca.

Hughes, Moran, and Duca all said they rely on Head Coach Larry Miller to call the different pitches.

“Coach will have scouting reports on a lot of batters. … I feel like at this point, it’s almost predictable the way he calls pitches just because I’ve been pitching under him for so long - hopefully it’s not predictable for anyone else,” Moran said.

Duca said, “He knows what he’s doing and I know that he has a plan to set the batter up to either ground out or pop up. I trust what he says.”

Pitcher Vincent LoGuidice, a junior on the baseball team, said he’s been playing baseball for as long as he can remember, but did not begin pitching until he came to FSU.

“I always thought pitching was really fun and I just never really got the opportunity. I wasn’t good enough,” he said.

When he came to play here, the Rams had a “stud” third baseman and he began pitching.

“I thought it was really fun because you get to put the whole team on your back. And you just set the whole tone going from the first inning to the whole game and it just sets a certain amount of energy,” LoGuidice said.

He said he came to FSU and did not know how to throw any pitches. He throws offspeed pitches, but typically only “fills up the zone” with fastballs and occasionally throws a curveball to get the batter off balance.

LoGuidice said he has a “hitter’s mindset” as a pitcher. “I always think, ‘What pitch do I throw that the hitter doesn’t want to hit?’ … I just tried to limit damage and just try to produce as much weak contact as I can.”

SPORTS 16 | MAY 3, 2024 @T heGatepost | FSU
Adrien Gobin / THE GATEPOST Senior Captain Caroline Hughes pitching during the 2024 season. Adrien Gobin / THE GATEPOST Sophomore Josh Sunderland pitching during the 2024 season.
See PITCHERS Page 17

Continued from Page 16

Baseball is a “humbling” sport, he said.

As a pitcher, LoGuidice said he tries not to let wild pitches or tough umpires affect his performance.

“You just have to work pitch-topitch,” he said.

LoGuidice said there is not much players can do when an umpire makes a tough call.

“Maybe I’ll ask them where the pitch missed to let them know that I disagreed, but there’s really not much you can do,” he said.

LoGuidice said young pitchers should not focus too much on speed if they want to pitch in college.

“The number one thing is keep your arm healthy. … You have to grow into your body, you need to keep your arm healthy, [and] you need to worry about accuracy,” he said.

LoGuidice said his favorite aspect of pitching is being in control.

“The game is all in my hands - all the eyes are on me. Everything revolves around me. If we lose, it’s my fault. If we win, it’s my fault,” he said.

Pitcher Josh Sunderland, a sophomore on the baseball team, said he always played baseball growing up and made the transition to full-time pitcher during the beginning of high school.

“I just couldn’t really hit the ball so I stuck with pitching,” he said.

He said he began throwing different

types of pitches when he was 14 years old and now throws mostly fastballs and curveballs and sometimes changeups.

Sunderland said, “Hitting is one of the hardest things to do in all sports,” and it helps him realize each pitch doesn’t need to be perfect.

He said it is the batter’s job to prove he can hit the pitches. “They have to be the ones to hit the ball and it’s definitely the hardest thing to do in sports.”

Sunderland said his strategy to calm down in between pitches may be different than others.

“I say some choice words to myself. … For me, it helps somehow,” he said.

There is not much he can do when an umpire makes a bad call except learn what the umpire calls strikes, Sunderland said.

Catcher Johnny Lynch, a sophomore on the baseball team, said he has been playing baseball all his life and began catching when he was 8 years old.

He said he plays a “big role” in supporting his pitchers.

“I wouldn’t say it’s the hardest position on the field. I’d say it’s the second hardest, behind pitchers. But you have to control the whole game,” Lynch said.

Sunderland and Lynch said they have known each other for five years, including three years on the same high school club team.

Sunderland said, “He knows the batter’s swings better than I do and how I

can read them. … He’ll call the pitches and most of the time I agree with him, but maybe once or twice a game I’ll shake him off to throw a pitch that I think is better in that situation. Other than that, I’m going behind him and throwing what he calls.”

Lynch said some catchers use an earpiece to talk to their pitchers, but he just uses his fingers to signal pitches.

He echoed Sunderland and said he watches the batter’s swings to call the best pitch.

Another part of being a catcher is

calming down your pitcher, sometimes with a mound visit, Lynch said.

“I try not to talk about baseball when I go out to the mound - just get their mind off something else,” he said.

Sunderland said his favorite aspect of pitching is “being a part of every single play during the game.

“Every play comes down to what I throw and what [the batter] does with the ball,” he added.


Women’s track and field focuses on the future

The Framingham State track and field team is looking to the future after a disappointing last-place finish at the MASCAC Championship meet April 26. Despite their place in the standings, the Rams found success in individual events that highlight the young talent on the team.

Freshman Jamie Moniz placed first in the 400-meter hurdles with a personal record time of 1:10.35. Her teammate, sophomore Natalie Grimaldo, finished just tenths of a second behind her with her own personal record of 1:10.39.

Along with her first-place finish, Moniz placed third in the javelin throw and fourth in the triple jump event.

Moniz was awarded MASCAC Rookie of the Week April 8 and has broken school records in the 400-meter run, high jump, and triple jump.

“This season has been great! A few ups and downs, but progress isn’t linear,” Moniz said.

Moniz was awarded MASCAC All-Conference honors May 1 for her performance in the 400-meter hurdles event.

In the field, juniors Kaylee Beck and Alyssa Caputo dominated the standings for Framingham, placing in hammer throw, shot put, and discus. Caputo also placed in javelin, along with Moniz.

Beck and Caputo came in 2nd and 5th, respectively, in hammer throw.

In the shot put event, Caputo threw 10.67 meters and placed third out of 13. Beck came in sixth with a 10.03-meter throw.

Moniz and Caputo placed third and fourth, respectively, in the javelin event. Moniz recorded 31.38 meters, while Caputo recorded 24.24 meters.

Caputo placed fourth again in the discus throw with 31.23 meters. Beck came in 10th with a 25.07-meter throw.

Head Coach Mark Johnson noted the talent on the team after returning only eight members of last season’s roster.

This was Johnson’s inaugural season with women’s track and field.

“Johnson is great! He walked into a rebuilding period, which is not an easy job to take on. He cares about his athletes so much. It’s not often you get a coach who cares about the athlete over everything else,” Beck said.

“We placed last, but that does not describe the work and effort that Johnson put in,” she added.

The Rams broke seven program re-

cords with Johnson at the helm this season, including in the 4x200 relay and Moniz’s triple-jump record.

“I think the program will only continue to excel! Mark meets his athletes exactly where they need to be met. He and Glenn [O’Connor], our assistant coach, provide us with workouts and training plans that set us up for success,” said freshman Kate Buban.

Buban and Moniz are among the young talents Johnson believes will continue to drive the team’s success.

“I hope we turned some heads this year,” he said.

The team agrees that time is on their side.

“The team is certainly growing and we started scoring more in the meets as time went on. As a team, we had a great year and better ones are to come,” Moniz said.

Moniz will head to the New England DIII Regionals Meet to compete with teammates Lydia Marunowski, Cassie Toth, Meghan Johnston, Justinne Quinanola, Grimaldo, and Buban in the 4x100, 4x400, and 4x800 meter relays.

Buban said, “As a team, we will work on continuing to set one another up for success!”

Stats sourced from and



Courtesy of Mark Johnson Jamie Moniz receiving a medal at the MASCAC Championship Meet April 26. Adrien Gobin / THE GATEPOST
MAY 3, 2024 | 17
Senior Captain Ally Moran pitching during the 2024 season.


Hilltop keeps the language of theater alive with ‘The Language Archive’

From April 21 to April 25, nine students all gathered at 6 p.m. in the Dwight Performing Arts Center to put together this year’s play during tech week.

From running lines over and over to adjusting tedious timings and cues, The Hilltop Players worked to make sure their show was the absolute best it could be for opening night.

In the end, the hard work culminated into two amazing performances of “The Language Archive” by Julia Cho on April 27 and 28.

Will Nee, a graduating communication arts major, who played the lead, George, said they auditioned for the play because of their past experience with director Emma Lyons.

“I’ve acted in shows of hers, she’s acted in shows that I’ve helped in putting on, and so it’s always been a very fun, very pleasant experience,” they said.

Nee said they didn’t have any experience with theater until college, outside of one play in elementary school, due to their middle and high school not having theater programs.

“When I got to FSU for accepted students day and orientation, one of the orientation leaders was one of the co-captains of the improv team,” they said.

“He asked if I had any interest and I said yes, and in my very first semester of freshman year I auditioned and got in. Shortly thereafter in the spring, I auditioned and got a role in the musical,” they added.

When Hilltop started to put on shows again after COVID-19 restrictions eased, Nee said they acted in a number of plays at FSU, as well as working as a part of production staffs.

“One of the biggest things about George in the show is that he’s kind of just having a terrible time, all the time,” they said.

“Outside of the production and outside of school, I’ve had a number of things happen in my life that were not exactly the greatest. So for a good portion of the semester, I was in that headspace of ‘I’m not having a great time right now.’ So it made it easier to connect to the character,” Nee added.

“Acting has certainly helped me in terms of my growth and development as a person,” they said.

They said coming to college, doing improv and acting in these productions, allowed them to become these characters and it doesn’t matter what they say or do because at the end of the day, they are only acting, and that is how they’ll be perceived.

“People could have these reactions and I knew it didn’t reflect on how they thought of me, and that certainly helped me a lot,” they said.

The director of the play was Emma Lyons, a junior English major. Lyons said she directed last semester’s play, “Cupid & Psyche” by Joseph Fisher, and it was her first time directing a play.

She said, “It was my first time on the other side of the stage because I’ve been an actor since seventh grade.

“At the end of that semester, I decided to propose another production … and I was a little bit motivated because no one else did it. And I was like, ‘Well someone has to direct a play.’”

Lyons said she participated as an actor in musicals and plays through-

duction, Zachary Sorel, a sophomore environmental science major, said their role in the production was the technical director of the play. They said they did all the planning for the set construction, and they also managed lighting and audio.

“The director, Emma Lyons, reached out to me to see if I wanted to be the technical director and I accepted because it’s something I’m very interested in. I’ve technical directed a few other plays for Hilltop and it’s something I really enjoy,” Sorel said.

They said their role entails overseeing set construction, assisting with organizing and putting together the set, and during tech week, they over-

out middle and high school, and acted for her first couple of years in college. She added, “I was a part of the play ‘Goat Song Revel.’ I played God. That’s always a fun thing to tell people.

“The director was Olivia Copeland, and watching her direct and seeing how passionate and excited she was inspired me to try to direct,” she added.

“I was expecting it to be more difficult than it was,” she said.

“I knew there was so much that went on behind the scenes and I was worried I wouldn’t click with it. But being able to do a show like ‘Cupid & Psyche’ where I’m really passionate about the text and able to bring in my outside knowledge … it was like playing with dolls again,” she said.

Lyons said once she started directing, everything just clicked.

She said, “In both my productions, my cast was so robust, I had rehearsals where I felt like Will, who plays George - I wouldn’t even finish a sentence and they would be like, ‘I’m gonna do this.’

“It was like they were reaching into my head and pulling out my little vision of what they would do and doing it perfectly,” she said.

“I don’t think I’m going to direct again, but I would encourage anyone to do it even if you don’t have that much experience with backstage because it’s a really enriching experience,” she added.

On the backstage side of this pro-

see lighting and audio, including all the mics, sound effects, lighting cues, and “basically anything tech.”

Sorel said they’ve been in theater since seventh grade - eight years of experience.

“If you’re interested in theater, join Hilltop. There are a lot of opportunities, not just acting. There’s tech crew, and also directing roles if you don’t want to be a full on director,” they added.

Audrey Ouellette, a sophomore English major, played George’s wife Mary, a troubled woman with a heavy decision to carry.

“She’s very sad, and isn’t being listened to, so she goes on this journey to find herself, and she does,” Ouellette said.

Ouellette said she wanted to audition for the play no matter what, whatever it was. She looked up a short description beforehand and thought it was interesting.

She said Mary has her own sort of storyline, and she’s very sad and just cries a lot, and that’s kind of her whole thing.

“It was very awkward, fake crying, even if it sounds real - doing it just feels weird, but I’ve learned to do it and I think it really adds to her,” she said.

“Her character progression changes so drastically that it was really fun to go through that and play so many different emotions for one character,” Ouellette said. “It’s really woman


She said she’s been a part of many theater crews in high school, and never really acted.

During her first semester in Hilltop, she played Linus in “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown” by Clark Gesner, and said, “A lot of my family really likes ‘Charlie Brown,’ and my mom always wanted me to be in a production, not just backstage so I was like, ‘OK, I’ll do it.’”

Ouellette said this semester she really wanted to try the play, and she really enjoyed it.

She said when getting into the mindset of Mary, she tried to look at life through her perspective and look “more deeply into the description in the lines she actually says because you can just read them and not understand them.”

A few FSU students played the roles of ensemble in this year’s play, including Spencer Pearson, a junior communications arts major.

He said he was interested in doing the play because he had done theater in high school and it was something he remembered enjoying.

Pearson said his characters’ dialogue was sometimes hard to decipher.

“With my characters specifically, some of them have lines that are kind of clunky. And you’re just reading that and you’re like, ‘What on earth are you trying to say there?’” he said.

“You know, when I was reading through the script with the parts of Zamenhof, I did not realize he was supposed to be a ghost until someone pointed it out,” Pearson added.

Ray Webber, another ensemble cast member and junior political science major, said their main role is Alta, an “old woman who’s fighting with her husband and their language is dying.”

They said they also play a German instructor, a passerby, and a train conductor.

“I’ve always wanted to be a part of a play and I never knew if I had the skills for it or the ability to memorize those kinds of lines. I wanted a good part in a play,” they said. “I was like, it’s my final years on this campus - I may as well just audition, see what happens, and I got a part.”

Webber added, “I was a plate once, I was a tree once - not roles people would tend to go for. But I really wanted to try a big important role and not just silverware.

“It was a little disheartening at times, but you become really close with everyone else on the cast, and I think that’s what made me keep wanting to do it,” they said.

18 | MAY 3, 2024 @T heGatepost | FSU
Meghan Spargo / THE GATEPOST (Left) Evan Stone and Will Nee in “The Language Archive” dress rehearsal April 24.


Digital humanities allows for accessibility in race discussions

The Center for Digital Humanities hosted their final event of the semester, “Rethinking Race and American Sculpture Through Digital Humanities,” over Zoom April 22.

The event is the last in this year’s Race + Digital Humanities Invited Lecturer Series, and it began with an introduction from Professor Bart Brinkman who then invited Professor Erika Schneider to introduce the speaker for the lecture, Emily Burns.

Schneider discussed the many accomplishments and titles Burns holds, which include director of the Charles M. Russell Center and associate professor of the University of Oklahoma.

Her research focuses on relationships between U.S. and Native American artists, and is the author of the 2018 book “Transnational Frontiers: The American West in France.”

Burns began the discussion by offering an overview of the project she worked on, which began in the summer of 2022.

It took her one year to complete the project, which she described as “unique” in the sense that it was funded for the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Her focus on the project was on Daniel Chester French, who is known for creating the sculpture of Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.

Burns then discussed the argument of her project, which she said was French’s sculptures “are participating in conversations in the United States about race hierarchies.

“In both subtle and overt ways, his sculptures affirm a kind of hierarchy that elevates whiteness and tends to other non-white bodies,” she said.

She said the project was “fluid and determined in dialogue with the Chesterwood site,” which culminated in the online exhibition that was created.

The project was determined to answer two questions, Burns said.

The first question was, “How are constructions of race linked with sculpture?” Burns said she experimented with this question with the concepts of casting as a way to think about casting in both sculpture and roles in society.

Burns described a goal for answering this question was to find digital tools to not only explore this topic, but to make it accessible to wide audiences. She wanted this to be achieved through not only the accessibility of the website, but also through the style of writing.

The next question was “How we could use digital media to center new stories that had not been told in the past?”

Burns’ presentation showed a table of sculptures by French that were classified as either “Culturally Sensitive” or “Problematic.”

Some sculptures were also classified as possibly being questioned by a

public after the period of 2020, which Burns mentioned was when people were beginning to question the meaning of sculptures in public spaces.

“There is simultaneously an awareness that some sculptures may trigger a public sensitivity because they rep-

people to look carefully and closely at the sculpture,” Burns said.

In conjunction with the project, there were also two roundtable events where each member of the advisory group for this project discussed race and sculpture. These events were

“There is simultaneously an awareness that some sculptures may trigger a public sensitivity because they represent people who have been involved with or complacent with histories of enslavement or Native American land expropriation.”
- Emily Burns

Associate Professor, University

of Oklahoma

“You can really go through different avenues and trajectories to explore it, which was also something really important to us,” she said.

Burns showed attendees an example of how the website works, demonstrating how they can visit a page and learn more about a sculpture by clicking on the many icons set up on the page.

Discussing the ThingLink tool, Burns talked about how an aspect she loves about it is how it is constantly evolving with new features.

“I’m still using it in my courses for students to do assignments. But my students this semester are doing more sophisticated things to build a photo tour through the system,” she said.

She then showed an example of this through one of her student’s projects using ThingLink.

Following this, Burns opened the discussion to the audience to ask questions or to explore different aspects of the project.

resent people who have been involved with or complacent with histories of enslavement or Native American land expropriation,” Burns said.

When working on the project, Burns said she was “interested in collaboration,” making the point that “historical monumental sculpture is by nature a collaborative process.”

She also said that oftentimes, artists in studios creating these sculptures were people of color, whose names were often not included in his-

digitized and accessible through the Chesterwood website.

One digital tool Burns and her team tried for the website was Insta360, which gave them the ability to view the sculptures in a three dimensional space online.

Ultimately, they decided ThingLink was the most effective tool to “enable us to include links and quotations and other images related to those sculptures,” Burns said.

Their final product involved com-

“Once you become versed in the tools to talk about race and how much the visual field is complacent in perpetuating ideas of difference, you kind of see it everywhere.”
- Emily Burns


torical records.

Professor, University of Oklahoma

Burns said in her research for the project she was thinking about how contemporary audiences would be viewing it, as she said they have different experiences of viewing works of art.

In an effort to collaborate on the project, she mentioned there were multiple writers on board, along with a focus group with the African American community in the Springfield region, which is near the studio that French worked in.

“The members of that conversation also really helped us think about how to find the tools that would enable

bining Omeka, which is an online tool used for presenting archival work, with ThingLink, where they embedded information about each art piece.

“This, we thought, enabled us to have more traditional texts that describe art history and ideas behind the topic, and the ThingLinks take us through the images and photographs of the works in greater detail,” she said.

The website hosting the project offers a glossary for key terms about the topic, and a how-to guide that Burns said emphasizes that the website does not have clear instructions on how to explore it.

One attendee asked if there is a way to make this project accessible to middle school teachers to give students more context about memorials like the Lincoln Memorial outside of their Washington, D.C. trips.

Burns answered this by saying although they tried to aim for clear writing that would be accessible for a younger audience, she found herself “writing against myself.”

“I think that as much as we wanted to target a lower age group, I don’t know if the project succeeded, at least in the essays. I think the ThingLinks are more accessible,” she added.

Another attendee, a student currently taking Intro to Digital Humanities, shared their excitement for seeing digital tools like ThingLink used in projects like this after seeing many examples of it in class.

A third attendee asked Burns how they decided to choose what to include or not include in their project, and if there is a chance it will be expanded upon in the future.

Burns answered this question by saying she and her team were “pretty thorough, although there are more things probably to say.”

To end the event, an attendee asked Burns if, after their research on this project, they are more observant of subtle discrimination taking place in art they look at.

Burns said that becoming more informed on race problems and having the tools to discuss it make it easier to observe it more subtly.

“Once you become versed in the tools to talk about race and how much the visual field is complacent in perpetuating ideas of difference, you kind of see it everywhere,” she said.



Meet the audiovisual student workers who bring campus events to life

At most events on campus, attendees can turn toward the back of the room and see the friendly faces of the student workers of Campus Events.

Although they are just one of the four Campus Events departments, the audio and visual team serves as the eyes - for mainly Zoom events - and ears - for any event using a microphone and sound.

Director of Campus Events Autumn Sendzik said her office manages all of the events on campus, ranging from outside rentals to student club meetings.

There are four departments within campus events: reservations, audio and visual, setup, and event service managers, Sendzik said.

She said, “We are primarily staffed by student workers. … They’re truly the backbone of the department.”

The audiovisual team is made up of three student workers and one full-time staff member - Audiovisual Technician Lead Felix Mwangi, who is one of just five full-time employees at Campus Events, Sendzik said.

“I don’t think a lot of people really realize that most offices here on campus are primarily student staffed. … I think that it’s something that the University needs to really shine a light on because we do rely on student help so much,” Sendzik said.

Susan Romani, assistant director of Campus Events, said her main function is to oversee contracts with outside rentals. She said all of the Campus Events departments of student workers play a large role in supporting groups coming from outside of the University.

One of the biggest recurring outside renters is the Mass Ballet, who uses the University to host their production of “The Nutcracker,” Romani said.

She said the student A/V Technicians operate the lighting and sound boards for the productions.

“Felix honestly couldn’t do what he does without the support of those three students because … we have one Felix and we have many, many spaces and many events, and everybody wants support. So having that student staff that he can count on is really imperative to him being able to be successful at what he does,” Romani said.

Felix Mwangi said he began working at the University in March 2022 and now manages three A/V student technicians - Em Cohen, Lauren Martinek, and Zachary Sorel.

Mwangi said he first assesses his student workers’ experience and background knowledge of audiovisual work before training them.

He said Campus Events supports events in spaces across campus and each space can have different tech-

nology - a mix of microphones, audio mixers, and lighting.

“Some spaces are much easier than others in terms of the technology. … Some other places have microphones, audio mixers, and lighting,” Mwangi said.

He said having student workers who live on campus makes his job easier.

“Especially if it’s an event that doesn’t require so much technology support, then they can definitely just run those events,” Mwangi said.

He said his involvement at events varies based on what the client needs.

While some events only require a laptop to be connected to the projector, some require lighting, microphones, and sound technicians, Mwangi said.

He said he typically attends events that require more equipment, but the student workers manage smaller and

Sorel said their training consisted of going to each venue on campus and learning the equipment at each space.

They said they had experience with audiovisual technology from high school, so they only had to learn the equipment specific to the spaces at the University.

Sorel said they helped train the newest A/V technicians this year. “I would say the hardest part was for me trying to break down everything I do step-by-step because I do it so often that it becomes second nature.”

They said the events can be divided into two groups - active and support.

Sorel said active events require the technicians to do audio mixing and light and can include Hilltop shows, hybrid events, or broadcast via Zoom.

The clients give requests for the audio and lighting, but Sorel said they occasionally use their discretion based on what they think would work

less demanding events.

“But the good thing is, at this point many of the student techs have already gotten pretty used to the equipment so there are some events - even some of the Hilltop events - that I have just let them run by themselves,” Mwangi said.

He said his workers balance their academics with work, but the time commitment of the job varies based on the clients and number of scheduled events.

Whether or not his student workers plan to pursue a career in A/V, Mwangi said he hopes his workers gain knowledge and become comfortable working with the equipment.

Zachary Sorel, a sophomore environmental science and policy major and biology minor, said they have been a student A/V technician since the Fall 2022 Semester - the beginning of their freshman year.

A typical week requires 10 to 12 hours of work, but that can change based on the number of events scheduled, they said.


Support events are typically lectures or presentations and require the technicians to set up and stay for assistance, they said.

Sorel said working at the Mass Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker” is an example of an active event and includes an array of lights and special effects.

They said they prefer working active events. “I really enjoy mixing audio. I love doing lighting.”

Sorel said working at Campus Events has improved their troubleshooting and communications skills, as well as their ability to work under pressure.

These skills are important while communicating with clients, especially if equipment fails or the needs of the event change, they said.

Lauren Martinek, a sophomore environmental science and policy major and American Sign Language minor, said they have been a student A/V technician since August 2023.

Martinek, like Sorel, said their

training consisted of going to each venue serviced by Campus Events to learn what each space requires.

They said each space and event has different requirements based on the clients’ needs and the available technology in the space.

Martinek said they have improved their communication, improvisation, and troubleshooting skills since they began working for Campus Events. Their knowledge of audiovisual technology has also grown.

Sorel and Martinek explained the process of preparing and running the audiovisual equipment for a Hilltop performance at DPAC - one of the department’s “active” events.

Martinek said although they do not use DPAC the most, it has the largest scale of equipment and requires the most hands-on operations at showsfitted with a lighting board, a sound board, a projector, and eight new LED lights installed this summer.

Sorel, who was also the technical director of Hilltop’s most recent performance, said the audiovisual team is roughly 95% prepared for the show by the Wednesday before opening night.

They said they meet with the show’s director the Sunday before the show for a “cue-to-cue” - the rehearsal when the director runs through the show with the A/V staff to program all of the sound and lighting cues onto the boards.

This can take three hours to go through the show and cues may still be changed during the week at the director’s request.

The audiovisual technicians arrive an hour before the cast members during the rehearsals leading up to the first show for setup and to check in with the director, Sorel said.

They said the team spends about half of the time organizing the microphones and preparing the lighting equipment and the other half being available if the director needs further assistance or has any changes.

Sorel and Martinek said they have a script of the play marked with all of the audio and lighting cues for the show.

Sorel said, “That’s kind of where I started - doing theater shows. My favorite [events] would be doing audio mixing for musicals.”

Martinek said they’ve especially enjoyed working at DPAC during drama productions. “That’s how I got into my love for audio and visual - I started off at the soundboard in high school. … That’s been my favorite so far because it’s very intensive, in a good way.

“Overall, I love it. I wish I started earlier and I will be doing it the rest of the time I’m here,” they added.

ARTS & FEATURES 20 | MAY 3, 2024 @T heGatepost | FSU
Alexis Schlesinger / THE GATEPOST (Left) Lauren Martinek and Zachary Sorel, audiovisual Campus Events student employees, at the Hilltop dress rehearsal April 24.

Border awareness

Continued from Page 1

“I got the email on Friday, and by Monday at 5 o’clock, BSC was like, ‘Sure,’” she said, and added the organization had been booked by other schools for all of the other weeks in March, so it was highly lucky they were able to stay with BSC.

Sánchez-Connally said she wants to make the Border Awareness Experience possible for students because she’s an immigrant herself - she moved here from Guatemala when she was 11 years old, and she didn’t have documentation when she first began to reside in Massachusetts.

On the trip, the students stayed at a house and ate from groceries paid for by BSC, and each day had different locations to visit, including an immigration court, White Sands National Park, and the Border Patrol Museum.

Sánchez-Connally said the program was “more about doing work with your mind and your heart, rather than with your hands, which was something that was pretty significant to us.”

She said she feels connected to the Borderlands in a way she can’t quite describe.

“You know when you go to a certain place and you feel connected somehow?” she asked. “And you can’t really put your finger on it, but it just has the energy - it feels like it has a pull.

“Being there, to me, has given me lots of different emotions - for me to be able to process my own experience and the anger, sadness, rage - but also, most importantly, hope.”

She said the border is a place where

people spend a lot of time working together, and it’s also incredibly empowering to immigrants.

“People tend to feel bad for them, right? See them as victims,” she said. “My thought process and the way that I want people to see immigrants or to think about immigrants is that they are literally taking their lives into their own hands.

“They are active agents in deciding that they will survive, and that they will do whatever they possibly can - whether it’s walking thousands of miles, whether it’s waiting by the bor-

der to get a phone call, whether it’s what my own mother did in regards to risking her life and the life of her children by crossing the border,” Sánchez-Connally said.

She said she thinks U.S. citizens should think about what it would take to make them leave their homes - how bad it would have to be politically for them to consider leaving to a different country full of unknowns.

Sánchez-Connally added people have been immigrating to the U.S. for many years now, often because of very similar conflicts.

“What changes really are the conditions and legislation that criminalizes immigrants, rather than the reasons why people leave,” she said.

Allie Kane, a senior criminology major, said she chose to go to on the Border Awareness Experience because she wanted to learn more about immigrants and their experiences after she never got to take classes about them during her time at FSU.

“Most of us, when we hear ‘immigration,’ don’t really know what it is,” she said. “I need to be educated and I need to understand what’s going on beyond the political rhetoric behind it.”

She said she almost decided to drop the trip when she found out Annunciation House could no longer host the group, but she eventually decided to stay.

“I had told my mom I was thinking of dropping it, and she was like, ‘Talk to your professor and see how you feel, because I know you’re nervous, but I feel like if you drop out and you don’t go, you’re going to regret it.’

And she was very much right - I totally would have regretted it,” Kane said.

Kane said she really wants to do non-profit work after graduates, specifically to help marginalized communities.

She recommended anyone who can’t go on the Border Awareness Experience “listen to immigrants who have nothing to gain from sharing

their story beyond someone listening.

“I also think one of the greatest issues that America has with the border is we call these people illegal alienswe call them ‘illegal’ and also ‘aliens.’ That very much dehumanizes them. You need to humanize these people,” she added.

K-la Vazquez, a sophomore sociology major with a minor in Latin American studies, said the trip was “a very emotional and traumatic experience in the beginning,” but it was a great learning experience in the end.

She added she felt like, when she came back, she understood more about what she can do to help immigrants from her home in Massachusetts.

Vazquez said she chose to go on the trip in part because they needed more people for it, but she decided it was important because she has a lot of friends who are either immigrants themselves or have immigrant relatives.

“All the news you hear now, it’s like, ‘People are at the border, people are knocking down the border and trying to cross and everything,’ and it’s not like that once you go over there,” she said.

She said her main takeaway from the Border Awareness Experience is that there is “no crisis on the border.

“People don’t want to leave their homes - people want to stay home. But they have to do what’s necessary to be able to support their families,” she added.

Vazquez recommended anyone who has the opportunity to go on the Border Awareness Experience should “take it.

“Go out there with the mindset that your mind is going to change, your opinion is going to change on a lot of things. And don’t take anything you have for granted - our life can change in the blink of an eye,” she said.


Courtesy of Patricia Sánchez-Connally Courtesy of Patricia Sánchez-Connally

Mazmanian Gallery hosts five senior studio art majors’ capstones

On April 24, the second of two senior capstone exhibitions in the Mazmanian Gallery began with a reception to celebrate the five senior studio art majors who put their art on display.

Erin Lyons, concentration in painting, made four oil paintings and one charcoal drawing, all on canvas, for her capstone piece.

She said the paintings all explore the themes of nature and how human beings connect to that natural world.

“It’s what’s most special to me and felt like the most authentic way for me to represent who I am and my creative expression,” she said. “It’s what everything is to me.

“The imagery that came up in each piece is very much uncontrolled and intuitive - very intuitive,” Lyons added. “It’s coming from a deep place that I’m not really sure where it comes from.”

She said the charcoal drawing stands out the most to her.

“I had stayed up through the night to finish it and watched the sunrise as I finished it and that was a very meaningful experience,” she said.

Lyons added she conceptualized the idea in a very short amount of time, “so the whole process was super automatic. I feel like, in that way, it came to be the most authentic and raw and honest.”

She said the painting with flowers on a background of stars stood out to her because the process for creating it was very different from any of the other pieces.

Lyons said she’s very grateful for all the support she’s received from FSU and faculty in the Art and Music Department.

“I think studying at Framingham State and pursuing art here has definitely pushed me in the right direction,” she said.

Aiden O’Rourke, concentration in sculpture, created mixed media and collage pieces made from materials found in an old aircraft hangar.

“I went in and found these really old posters that were falling apart and some of them were a little bit risqueweird, old, vintage,” he said.

O’Rourke said he doesn’t necessarily have a favorite piece in the gallery because he sees all of them as cohesive, particularly the center three pieces, which make up a triptych - a single art piece made in three parts.

He said the middle part of the triptych was the most difficult to execute because of how badly the original poster from the aircraft hangar was damaged.

O’Rourke said most of the images come directly from the poster, which makes them look “decaying - weird.”

His additions were significantly inspired by pop culture and religious imagery, he said.

He said he chose to use them in his project because he was interested in the idea of working with the past in

his art.

“Manipulating them - in a way, you’re manipulating history,” O’Rourke said. “The fact that they’re falling apart is almost like I’m restoring them, but in my own image.”

Thalia Nesvacil, concentration in graphic design, contributed three oil paintings.

“They’re basically about identity, the dreamlike state that one may have, and just going through the obstacles of anxiety - conquering that through the use of colors, figurative elements, and dark nature things,” she said.

She said she’s always been drawn toward “darker imagery” like witchcraft, skulls, and “life and death.”

Nesvacil added she draws inspiration from Tim Burton films and tarot cards - “things that maybe discomfort others.”

She said she’s worked with these themes in the past, especially when sculpting.

Nesvacil said she chose to contribute oil paintings to the gallery instead of a digital graphic design-oriented project because she felt she could better “capture texture and detail” with a painting.

She said her favorite painting of the three is the center piece, which depicts a surreal sky of distorted faces behind birds on a tree. She added the piece displayed on the right, which depicts a bird flying over a deer skull with mushrooms growing on it, was the most difficult because she didn’t necessarily have a great grasp of the subject before she started.

“FSU brought a lot of good opportunities. They definitely helped a lot

to further my experience and my abilities,” Nesvacil said. “This is a really good opportunity to get your work in the gallery.”

Hayley Gaskin, concentration in graphic design, said she did a “mock brand collaboration.”

Her piece advertised the company Niche, which she said is “a company that aligns with my value. It’s women founded and operated, and as a queer woman, I want to support businesses that are like that.”

She added snowboarding is a very male-dominated sport, and said, “The whole idea behind the design itself and this whole branding is to lower the barrier to entry and make people have a sense of belonging.

“When people feel like they belong, they’re going to be more open to joining the sport,” she added.

She said she chose to do this type of project because she has a minor in marketing and wanted to bring that into her capstone.

Gaskin added her process of learning to snowboard has been very similar to her process of learning graphic design.

“You fail so much, and just like snowboarding, you’re going to fall on your face and embarrass yourself. But that’s really what you need to do - is fail in order to succeed,” she said.

She said, “My experience here as an art major has been super, super transformational. I definitely learned a lot about myself.

“I wouldn’t have gone anywhere without my professors - they support you to the end,” she added. “There definitely was a time when I didn’t know Framingham was right for me,

Adrien Gobin / THE GATEPOST

but I wouldn’t trade these professors in the art program for literally anything.”

Jake Petersen, concentration in graphic design, created a digital project for his senior capstone piece.

He said his project is “a web design based on the idea of the Great Filter.” He added the Great Filter is several theories for why alien life has not made it to Earth.

“I’ve always really been into science and technology, and reality is way stranger than fiction to me, and I just want to show other people that point of view as well,” he said.

Petersen said he wanted to make the website “the most ’90s website possible” because he likes the graphics of the time.

“It was very limited, so people had to get creative,” he said.

He said he emulated Windows 95 and installed a program called Microsoft FrontPage 98 in order to build his website authentically.

“That was definitely a challenge. I didn’t know if I could even export the files at a certain point, so it was kind of scary, but I figured it out,” he said.

He added he used Blender and Photoshop - an old version of Photoshop so the dithering would look authentic - to make each art piece, and his favorite is the depiction of abiogenesis, which is the theory that life developed from abiotic material.

“I’m just so proud of everyone who’s in this show and all the other shows, honestly. We all worked very hard and you can tell,” he said.


ARTS & FEATURES 22 | MAY 3, 2024 @T heGatepost | FSU
Aiden O’Rourke’s contribution to the Mazmanian Gallery senior capstone showing April 24.

Jennifer De Leon advocates for study-abroad experiences

On April 17, the Center for Inclusive Excellence held an event called Identities Abroad to support studying abroad.

English Professor Jennifer De Leon shared a story about her experience. She said she had always wanted to travel abroad - besides Guatemala, where her parents are from - and got the chance in high school.

She had heard about an opportunity to study in Africa for a summer, she said. But there were multiple issues, she added, such as affording the tuition and the airfare.

She eventually won a scholarship to help build a medical clinic in Zimbabwe, she said. She and her family asked teachers, co-workers, everyone they could to raise the money for the flight, De Leon added.

At the airport, she almost turned around and went home, she said. But her parents, who had previously disapproved of this choice, supported her there, she added. De Leon said they told her to “embrace everything,” and “you’ll regret it if you don’t go.”

When she finally made it to Zimbabwe, she lived with a family in a hut without electricity or running water, she said. At first, she added, she needed to use a “candle inside an old Coca Cola bottle” to find the outhouse at night.

By the end of the six weeks, she said, she only needed the light of the

moon. She said she had learned some words in the local language and really enjoyed her time there, emphasizing how it expanded her horizons.

One experience that shaped her, De Leon said, was when she went window shopping there. She said while there, the salesperson kept following her until she asked him about it. He was ready to help her find what she want-

she decided to major in international relations, she said. De Leon said she spent a semester in France, another one in Vietnam, and a summer internship in Nigeria. During each of these times, she added, she traveled to neighboring countries. She said she “had 12 passport stamps by the end of college, and I felt like I was just getting started.”

“I think traveling and studying abroad allows us to develop that muscle of being able to interact with folks form different backgrounds.”
- Jennifer De Leon English Professor

ed to buy, she said.

When she told him she was just looking around, he said people don’t do that in Zimbabwe, she said. She said he told her, “We don’t just walk around and shop. We go to a store because we need something.”

She said she realized this makes sense, but it was still “a new concept” to her then. She was used to window shopping.

Later on, when she went to college,

A member of the audi- ence asked if there are any programs similar to De Leon’s trip to Zimbabwe, “where as opposed to just going somewhere and studying, you do something more interactive like that?”

De Leon said there might be some opportunities like that within the Study Abroad programs. She said that is a question to ask when researching through them. She listed some or-

ganizations that might be related to that sort of experience, such as Habitats for Humanity.

Another student asked how she got over the fear of it all. “I read so much for this and I’m not sure if this is the right thing to do. How did you get over that?” they asked.

De Leon said the fear is completely valid and real. She said she was “ugly crying” in the airport and wanted to return to Framingham, but the thing that kept her going was imagining what her parents had gone through at her age. She said, “They booked one way tickets, and they came to America to learn a new language, to build a new life, to send money home.” The idea of it all inspired her.

Fear is a normal feeling, she added. She said, “I don’t know why we sort of get this message that fear is bad. Fear, I think, is just an opportunity to be brave, to be courageous, and it means you’re getting outside your comfort zone, and I’m telling you, we all need to do that.”

She added, “I think traveling and studying abroad allows us to develop that muscle of being able to interact with folks from different backgrounds.”


McAuliffe Center inspires hope in the face of climate change

The Christa McAuliffe Center hosted the second annual Climate Hope Concert by Multiverse Concert Series in the planetarium April 20.

The performance included several songs written about wonders and catastrophes of the natural world and the scientific efforts in place to minimize the damage of climate change. Between the performances, speakers presented reasons to have hope.

David Ibbett, director of the Multiverse Concert Series, introduced the first song, “10,000 Rays of Hope,” performed by cellist Johnny Mok.

He said, “It’s all about polymersnew polymers, sustainable polymers, self-healing polymers being developed at MIT.

“You’ll hear the polymers stretch and break and reform alongside the pulsing cello and beats,” he added.

Isabel Varela, director of science at Home Energy Efficiency Team (HEET) presented her organization’s movement toward geothermal energy rather than traditional gas energy.

She said her background is in oil and gas, but two years ago, she began to study sustainable energy.

Varela displayed a map of Massachusetts and showed all of the recent gas leaks caused by old pipes and bad infrastructure. She zoomed in to show the Framingham area specifically and pointed to the FSU campus on the map.

“It is estimated it will take $9 billion to replace leak-prone pipes in the state of Massachusetts for the next 20 years. But why would we do that when doing that would only perpetuate the use of fossil fuels in a state that has a 2050 decarbonization target?” she asked.

Varela said an alternative to using gas infrastructure is to build new infrastructure with “a network of ground source heat pumps.”

She said the ground 600 feet under the surface is about 55 degrees Fahrenheit all year around, and this heat can be converted to energy to warm buildings in a sustainable way - or, in the summer, to pump heat out of buildings and keep them cool.

She added different buildings can benefit each other in a system where they’re connected, and gave the example of a data center that needs to cool its facilities even in the winter, which could provide energy to houses that require heat in the same area.

Varela said the first movements toward geothermal energy have already started in Framingham, and HEET is helping to install the necessary infrastructure in one neighborhood, which will be ready in one to two months.

“We need to change our heating infrastructure, and the answer is ready - right beneath our feet,” she said.

The next song was called “Spiral of Change,” performed by Jason Davis on the upright bass.

The song was performed to a recording of a woman named Yvette

talking about her experiences living in different parts of the United States and how that experience has changed as she grew up and climate change became more and more visible.

“This is not the future I want for myself, for my nephews, nor for the people I’ll never meet,” she said.

“I’m ready and I’m hungry for a new era,” she said.

The next speaker, Carsten Grupstra, is a marine biology Ph.D. candidate at Boston University. His presentation explained what coral are and how climate change disrupts coral ecosystems.

He said a coral is an organism commonly believed to be either a plant, animal, or rock, and he explained a coral colony contains animals, plants, and rocks, so all three common beliefs are partially correct.

“What it turns out that we found is that these unbleached corals can have specific genetic factors that prevent them from bleaching,” he said.

He added certain types of corals may recover from bleaching events, and showed a picture of a coral that was bleached in 2012 but had recovered by 2014.

Grupstra said the most important thing people can do to prevent coral bleaching is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, “but corals don’t face the fate of climate change by themselves.”

He added researchers are working on several methods of helping the survival of coral, including a method called fragmentation, developing coral genotypes in labs that can survive better in the face of climate change, and labs hosting corals in captivity.

“What we’re seeing is that we think

Grupstra said climate change has seriously hurt the continued persistence of coral because algae plants are leaving the colonies, causing the coral to die and undergo a process called “bleaching,” where it turns white.

He said the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) “just confirmed that the fourth global bleaching event is now ongoing, which means that over the rest of this year, coral bleaching will become more severe and more widespread.”

Grupstra added he’s interested in “identifying the factors that can help coral reefs survive.”

He said variation among different types of corals mean some are better able to survive in changing climate conditions, and showed pictures of corals - in both pictures, two corals were shown, but in the first, both were dead, and in the second, one had been revived.

years ago. He added every country has agreed warming should not surpass 2 degrees Celsius, but “we’re actually on track right now for 3 degrees of warming.”

He said these numbers may not mean much to the average person, and scientists have worked to uncover evidence of what temperature the world has been at different periods of geological history.

Shakun said geologists can measure the amount of sun radiation on glacial rocks, and rocks that have less radiation are ones that have been covered by glaciers for longer.

He added rocks recently uncovered by glaciers were last visible to the sun 10,000 years ago.

“One degree of warming is already up above and beyond anything we’ve seen in the entire time span of human civilization,” he said.

He said the last time the Earth reached 2 degrees Celsius of warming, carbon trapped in the permafrost in the Arctic was able to escape, and this happened 400,000 years ago.

He added the last time Earth hit 3 degrees Celsius of warming was 3 million years ago, and showed a map of the shoreline across the eastern coast of what is now the United States. In it, the shoreline was hundreds of miles inland from what it would be today.

“But this is a Climate Hope Concert, so I want to leave you with a bit of the good news, which is that we’re still in the early days of climate change - we’re just a plus one. Two degrees, three degrees, four degrees - that’s all still to be determined,” Shakun said.

Next, Davis performed a song called “Footsteps in the Snow,” which he said he wrote based on an interview with an Inuit elder from Alaska named John Sinnok who described the way the footsteps in the snow used to sound different because it was colder.

The song was set to the sound of a recording of Sinnok describing how the weather was during his childhood versus how it is now.

corals will persist in some way. However, as climate change is continuing and ocean temperatures are rising, it’s likely that it will look fundamentally different in the future, and so we need to do our best to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” Grupstra said.

Ibbett initiated an activity for the crowd, where everyone was able to use their smartphone to connect to a website and place a dot on a floorplan of the room to show where they are in the room. When everyone was connected, Ibbett used an app to play the sounds of coral colonies on each person’s smartphone, traveling as a wave across the room.

Jeremy Shakun, a paleoclimatologist at Boston College, presented about climate change from a historical perspective.

He said climate change is often quantified in terms of degrees of warming, and the Earth is now 1.3 degrees Celsius warmer than it was 100

“You could hear their footsteps outside / Nowadays, it doesn’t get that hard anymore, where you can hear people walking past / The snow doesn’t get that hard, dry anymore / Like it used to,” Sinnok said.

The next song was Ibbett’s song, called “Mantra.”

“We hope we sort of presented a mixture of emotions, because what more could we feel at this critical time,” he said.

Ibbett said he wrote “Mantra” about this idea - the idea of humanity coming together to find solutions to climate change.

“I do have faith in humanity - and I’m sure you do too - that by coming together, we can figure this out, because we have so much invested in our future,” he said.

24 | MAY 3, 2024 @T heGatepost | FSU
Raena Doty / THE GATEPOST Johnny Mok performing at the Climate Hope Concert April 20.


How an FSU professor ran two marathons in the same week

Nicola MacEwen, professor in the Fashion Design & Retailing Department, experienced a very busy week recently, running the Boston Marathon and the London Marathon within just six days of each other.

Growing up, MacEwen was never an athlete. She said she began running about eight years ago when her second daughter was around 9 months old.

“As a young mom with two kids, I found that running became my outlet and something that I was doing for me. I started doing half marathons, and then in 2019 I ran my first full marathon, and I was hooked,” she said.

There are two ways that runners can receive a bib to run the Boston Marathon - either by qualifying with a certain run-time or by raising money for a charity of their choice.

“The tricky thing with Boston is you can have a qualifying time and still not make it in, which is very sad. There’s just so many people that want to run Boston because it’s this coveted marathon. There are also only around 30,000 spots for Boston in comparison to some of the huge ones like London which has around 50,000 spots,” said MacEwen.

She entered the Boston Marathon by raising money for a charity. She said it is challenging, however, to raise money for Boston because their minimum amounts are so high.

She has previously run the New York and Berlin marathons for charity where she had to raise between

$2,000-$2,500. For Boston, she had to raise $8,500 for the Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.).

“It’s a lot of fundraising, so you really have to go to work to get a bib,” said MacEwen.

For the London Marathon, runners can qualify or raise money to get a bib, similar to Boston. However, London also has a lottery where runners can enter, and random winners are selected to run.

MacEwen entered the lottery for the London Marathon but did not get in. Instead, she got her bib through a charity.

“The charities are even hard to get into for London because so many people want to run. Some of the charities run lotteries. They essentially have everyone apply for the charity and then they randomly draw names,” she said.

For London, MacEwen ran for the Family Holiday Charity. She said they reached out to her because somebody dropped out of the run and they had an open spot.

MacEwen found out she had received a bib for the London Marathon around the end of January, mid-way through her training for the Boston Marathon.

She said the nice thing about running for a charity is they often have a coach to help runners with their training.

Typically, the training is about 1620 weeks long and training starts 4-5 months before, according to MacEwen.

She said she keeps an Excel spreadsheet of everything she does every day during her training program such as

her runs, her bikes, and her strength.

“It helps me keep track and it holds me accountable so that I actually do it,” said MacEwen.

Once the day came to run Boston, MacEwen said she was “really nervous.” She said the main reason she was nervous was because of the hills.

“By the time I got to mile six, my hamstrings were already tight from all the hills that I ran through, and I hadn’t even gotten to the Newton hills,” said MacEwen.

Once she reached Heartbreak Hill in Newton at mile 20, MacEwen said she walked for a bit there, along with many other runners.

Despite the challenges she faced with the many hills on the Boston Marathon course, MacEwen said the crowds are really what carried her.

“I took my headphones off in Boston and just listened to the people. I mean, Boston comes out. I think they’ve always been like that, but I think they’ve been more so like that since the 2013 bombing,” she said.

Typically, MacEwen said she runs a marathon in 4 hours and 30 minutes. However, due to the hills on the course, and the heat of the actual race day, MacEwen finished Boston in just over 5 hours, which was the longest it had ever taken her.

For the London Marathon, she finished in 4 hours and 45 minutes.

She said she was shocked she did as well as she did in London. She expected to finish somewhere around the five-hour mark because she thought she’d be too sore.

“I probably could have done it in 4 hours and 30 minutes, but my legs were just tired from Boston,” she said.

MacEwen said she attributes her London time being 25 minutes less

than her Boston time to the weather being cool and the actual course being flat.

For the first half of the London marathon, MacEwen said she was actually doing great, but by the second half she started feeling it and slowed down a little bit.

“I enjoyed it. Once you get to the second half, you’re coming into Buckingham Palace and then you come to the end and you’re seeing parliament buildings and Big Ben and Westminster Abbey,” said MacEwen.

Although London doesn’t have as many spectators come out as Boston, she said “they still really did bring it.”

MacEwen said she thinks one of the problems with London compared to Boston is that London has “the tiniest streets ever,” along with sidewalks that were very small too.

“So, you can’t actually fit that many people watching on the course. But they were loud, and they made use of the space that they had,” she said.

Boston and London got her to her fifth Abbott star. There are six Abbott world major marathons – Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago, and New York.

MacEwen has run all but Tokyo, which she plans to eventually run.

She will also be running her third New York Marathon this November.

After this experience running Boston and London, MacEwen said all in all she is “super proud of myself for doing two marathons in one week.”


Courtesy of Nicola MacEwen Courtesy of Nicola MacEwen

Studio art majors inspire students

Junior Matthew Boivin got into art when his grandmother and uncle, both artists, introduced him to all kinds of art as a young child. Now, his favorite art form is drawing.

Sophomore Stella Bailey aspires to be an elementary school art teacher, and she dreams of teaching young students her favorite art form: ceramics.

Senior Hayley Gaskin envisions herself using her favorite art form, graphic design, as a way to weave fine art into the corporate world.

Although these three students may have different goals and paths for their futures in art, they do have one thing in common - they are all studio art majors at Framingham State.

There are approximately 60 studio art students at Framingham State, not including studio art minors, according to Paul Yalowitz, professor of art and chair of the Art and Music Department at FSU.

The studio art major has several concentrations, including graphic design, illustration, art education, painting, photography, ceramics, sculpture, and printmaking, said Yalowitz.

Graphic design is currently the largest concentration, with illustration as the second largest, he said.

Yalowitz teaches mostly in the illustration area, including illustration, sequential illustration, and advanced illustration, along with teaching several drawing classes such as Drawing Fundamentals and Introduction to Drawing.

What Yalowitz likes most about teaching art at FSU is “working with the students and being in the classroom.

“Our classes are three hours, so I want it to be that I want to be there, and I want the students to want to be there. So, to me, that’s the most funworking with the students and seeing them grow and having a good time,” he said.

Boivin said, “I am totally biased as an illustrator, but Paul is such a genuinely amazing man, and I am glad to have him advising the department.”

Boivin is a junior studio art major with a concentration in illustration. He said he has been interested in art ever since he was very young.

“My grandmother and uncle were huge inspirations to me as they both spent a lot of time drawing with me and introducing me to different art when I was young,” said Boivin.

He was constantly absorbed in books and cartoons as a kid. “I guess in middle school it just kind of clicked that I could be the person making these things for kids just like me,” he said.

With a concentration in illustration, Boivin said his favorite art form is drawing.

“I’ve always had the most fun doodling things all over coursework and sketching in my journal. I’ve recent-

ly been getting into using oil pastels, crayons, and colored pencils after only using straight graphite pencils or ink for so long, and I have really enjoyed this journey of exploration as an artist,” he said.

with opening her own ceramics studio some day.

Bailey’s favorite art piece she’s made so far is one she is still working on for a wheel working class she is taking. In that class, students work

After college, Boivin said he plans on pursuing a career in art and aspires to one day make children’s books using his art degree.

Stella Bailey is a sophomore studio

with a pottery wheel and focus on centering and adding whatever they want to their pottery, according to Bailey.

Bailey’s wheel working project is

art major with a concentration in art education.

Bailey said she tries to take “as many ceramics classes as humanly possible,” as her goal is to be an elementary school art teacher along

al, and the other two pieces show that same coral slowly degrading, bleaching, and dying.

“I haven’t finished it yet, but that’s definitely my favorite piece so far,” she said.

Bailey’s inspiration for wanting to become an elementary school art teacher is to help kids understand themselves through art.

“This world is very scary, and if they’re able to process their emotions through art, then maybe the world will be a kinder, better place for everybody,” said Bailey.

She said what she likes most about art is that “you have to sit down and do it.

“You can’t be scrolling through social media. You can’t be texting your boyfriend. You have to sit down and put your focus into it, and I enjoy it because it’s an escape from the world,” she said.

Senior Hayley Gaskin, a studio art major with a concentration in graphic design and a minor in marketing, won best in show for her watercolor piece, “Porcelain,” at the student juried art show in the Mazmanian Gallery in January.

The piece depicts a bird’s-eye view of a toilet with blood inside of it. Gaskin said it was inspired by a prompt to create something based on a taboo for a watercolor elective class. She said students had to find a “satirical, almost humorous way to speak about a taboo topic in society.”

Gaskin chose to base her piece on the taboo topic of menstruation and “being a woman.”

The alternate title for the piece was “Fountain of Youth” because “having a period is something that only happens for a certain amount of time and then it stops, and it can be a beautiful thing,” said Gaskin.

The satirical part of the piece is that when you’re looking at it, it is supposed to be like your head is above the toilet, looking into it.

“It’s supposed to make a viewer kind of uncomfortable, obviously. It is an interesting topic,” she said.

“Porcelain” took Gaskin between 15 and 20 hours to complete because she was very focused on it and was able to “grind it out.”

Gaskin said she would love to continue creating art in the future and plans to do so.

With a minor in marketing, Gaskin said she wants to be able to make her graphic designs less digitally focused and not so much of a “sterile, corporate design,” but rather include more elements of the fine arts.

She said, “Fine arts are what make the world go ’round, so even if it’s just for passion after work, being in the studio and painting, I’d love to keep doing art, definitely.”

part of a metamorphosis project for which she is focusing on “coral acidification that shows the process of coral bleaching.”

For the project, Bailey made three pieces – one piece was a healthy cor-

ARTS & FEATURES 26 | MAY 3, 2024 @T heGatepost | FSU
Maddison Behringer / THE GATEPOST Hayley Gaskin with her piece “Porcelain” at the 2024 juried student art show Jan. 24. Courtesy of Matthew Boivin
‘I believe there’s a hero in all of us’ ‘Spider-Man 2’ - 20 Years Later

It’s hard to think of a time when movies based on comics were few and far between. But in 2002, all of that changed when Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man” became the first film to gross $100 million on its opening weekend.

So, logically, it only makes sense for a hit like this to get a sequel.

It wasn’t as straightforward as you’d think, though - between a tight deadline and a potential recasting of Jake Gyllenhaal in the role of the tit ular web-slinger, it’s a miracle that “Spider-Man 2” released so soon after the first one, 20 years ago as of this June.

Did it hold up to the first film?

Yes, absolutely.

Unsurprisingly, “Spi der-Man 2” was a mas sive success. The film earned a worldwide gross of $788 million, and became the first film based on a comic book to win an Academy Award for its visual ef fects.

After this, a film based on a Marvel comic did not win an other Oscar until “Black Panther” 14 years later.

It’s not a hot take to say that this film far exceeds the first one - it’s generally the consensus amongst the fans of these films. It is, however, im portant to really understand why this is the most fondly remembered of Sam Raimi’s trilogy.

What makes “Spider-Man 2” so much better than its predeces sor is the impeccable balancing act between the cheesy mo ments and humor and the incredibly grounded and emotional sequences pre sented.

There’s still plenty of moments throughout that keep the fun energy - Peter’s pizza delivery scene is the obvious example - but the emotions feel much higher as the film delves into the relationships built in the first film.

gle, being a college student, and being the sole hero and protector of New York City.

Upon rewatching this recently, this aspect hit home for me a lot as a college student. The balancing act of trying to do everything you want to do and giving each thing your full energy makes my head spin sometimes, and it’s slightly comforting to see that type of

ter’s life without the weight of being a superhero constantly looming over him - and while the montage of his new life over the song “Raindrops Falling on My Head” might be the funniest part of the movie, it makes sure to remind you that this isn’t an ideal solution to his problems.

Peter constantly has to watch crimes take place and while that wave of guilt doesn’t initially hit him in the

first movie between Peter and Norman, and while that works in that movie, I think that it’s done much better here.

Their first true fight in the bank gives the opportunity for the film to flex its immaculate visual effects. For a film that is nearly two decades old, there are very few shots that I would consider to look “dated,” which is impressive given the first one already has many awkward-looking visual effects, and it came out two years be-

ity. His grades are steadily dropping, he gets fired from his job, and his friends and family are both concerned and grow increasingly annoyed with his inability to be present for them.

“Spider-Man 2” also takes a slower approach to the story. There’s no need to set up as many characters here, so instead of the snappy pace of the first film, viewers are delivered a slow build up that ends up having an incredible payoff.

This film focuses on the theme of being torn down and having to come back from that, and it’s personified through Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) and his internal conflict throughout.

To put it lightly, his life sucks at the time of this story.

He’s constantly torn between his short lived delivery job at Joe’s Pizza, his photography gig at The Daily Bu-

And, of course, there’s a love triangle among him, Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst), and her boyfriend-turned-fiancé John Jameson (Daniel Gillies).

At a point, it really does feel like being Spider-Man is not worth it for Peter. His life is literally falling apart, so he takes matters into his own hands and simply gives up.

The choice he makes to give up is not done without deep thought - and it gives the late Uncle Ben (Cliff Robertson) a fantastic opportunity to return in a scene with Peter to bring such a devastating moment in the series - Spider-Man no more.

This part of the film explores Pe-

The scene that has no score or action taking place is a testament to how this film works hard to make sure Spider-Man is not the main focus in the film - Peter Parker is.

Now there’s no one looking after the city like Peter did, letting crime and evil schemes to be acted out with no one strong enough to stop them all. This allows for the villain of this film, Doc Ock (Alfred Molina), to bring his dangerous plan to fruition.

Compared to the last villain, Norman Osborn (Willem Dafoe), Otto is a much more tragic villain in the sense that he is a good spirited person that is being corrupted by the sentient robot arms that take total control of him.

A relationship between Peter and Otto is established early on to make their eventual conflict that much more emotionally impactful. They tried something similar to this in the

The cinematography is undeniably the best of the trilogy as well. The film has a notably darker look than the first one, and its slow progression to brightness that leads into probably the happiest ending for any “Spider-Man” movie is shown excellently

Peter’s return to being Spider-Man might just be the best example of everything good about this movie firing off on all cylinders. It’s shot excellently, has great humor courtesy of J. Jonah Jameson (JK Simmons), Danny Elfman’s score is sweeping, and most notably - it hits so hard for any viewer.

Even after 20 years, the audience in the sold-out showing I saw this in for its re-release went into an uproar at this very moment and I couldn’t help but feel a little emotional about it.

I’ve seen this movie an unspeakable number of times, never have I had chance to see it environment like the exact moment it really clicked with me that this is a perfectly concocted scene.

After over half of the runtime dedicated to quite literally beating Peter physically and emotionally into retirement, his triumphant return was the ultimate payoff and the finale that followed was simply the icing on the cake. It rewards the audience’s patience and, in terms of live-action “Spider-Man” films, has yet to be topped.

“Spider-Man 2” is the gold standard of comic book films - it’s what every good movie in this genre is compared to when talking about “the best one.” There are so many contenders for that spot, but for me this stands high above basically everything else it gets put up against.



‘Spy x Family Code: White’ - not quite as elegant as its source material

“Spy x Family” is one of the most popular anime of the last five years, and for good reason. The show’s blend of light-hearted comedy, fastpaced action, and thrilling political espionage made it an incredibly easy anime to fall in love with. Naturally, the show’s creators would want to capitalize on its success.

Released in Japan on Dec. 22, 2023 and in America on April 19 of this year, “Spy x Family Code: White” is a non-canon film entry into the “Spy x Family” franchise. It follows the story of the Forger family, who travel to the nation of Frigis to get ingredients for a special dessert in an effort to help Anya succeed in her home economics assignment.

The strongest aspect of the film is easily its animation. This is the best the franchise has ever looked and it’s not even close. As a collaboration between two different anime studios, Wit and Cloverworks, it’s no wonder that nearly every part of this film looked so good. From the glistening of the town at night to the intense fights on the blimp, the animators here all gave 110% and it shows.

But frankly, no matter how good a film looks, it can rarely make up for a poor story. In this regard, “Spy x Family Code: White” has nothing to worry

about. Each character has their own reason to be in Frigis and their stories all feel natural for this absurd world.

Loid wants to prove that he can continue with Operation Strix so that the family doesn’t have to be split up, Yor wants to make certain of Loid’s honesty to her as well as prove her place in the family unit, and Anya wants to use this opportunity to have a fun family vacation while also preparing to potentially get a stella star.

They aren’t super complex character arcs, but most of them are good enough to guide the viewer along. The plot really picks up in the latter

thing in this movie. The film continues with the show’s issue of Yor getting significantly less attention than her husband or adoptive daughter, and her only real character growth in the film is entirely tied to Loid. This could have been a great opportunity to show a new side of a familiar character and maybe give her some of the spotlight, but instead the film ends up feeling like another instance of the Loid and Anya show.

The side characters from the show also get pretty much nothing to do in this film. Yuri and Franky are barely in it, and Sylvia and Damian don’t get much more screen time. Nightfall does get some meaningful scenes, and of all the side characters, she is definitely given the most to do here. The overall absence of these characters just left me feeling like something was missing the whole film.

‘Skadoosh!’ or ‘Ska-blam!’? - that is the question

A whopping eight years later, “Kung Fu Panda” is back with its newest installment, number four. I really enjoyed this movie - if not for the nostalgia then the fun voice actor appearances, and always-classic Po jabs.

If you were born any time before 2008, you’re probably acquainted with the “Kung Fu Panda” series. Following three action packed adventures, our beloved Dragon Warrior Po (Jack Black), has a new mission, to find his replacement as the Dragon Warrior so he can take on the role of the Spiritual Leader, a position passed down to him by Master Oogway.

Of course Po wont go down without a fight - more like a temper tantrum - when Master Shifu delivers this news.

While on the reluctant hunt for

a new replacement, Po gets wind of a thief in the temple. He battles a small fox named Zhen (Awkwafina), and after defeating the pest, learns that she’s in the know about an evil sorcerer named The Chameleon.

Po was planning to defeat The Chameleon alone, but Zhen has other plans. She convinces Po that he couldn’t find someone who could be - anyone - without someone in the know.

The two embark on an adventure to find The Chameleon and defeat her before she can continue with her evil plans.

Zhen takes Po back to her hometown, if you could call it that, as she never really had a home as an orphan. This is something Po relates to, and it brings them a bit closer. He keeps a close eye on her though, as she’s still a thief, with impure intent.

A whirlwind of extreme Kung Fu goes on throughout this movie. Kicking butt is the way of the Kung Fu Panda. I enjoyed the new characters, such as Zhen’s sort of found family, with the master thief, Han (Ke Huy Quan) and the child bunny thieves, characters that made any scene they were in extra funny.

Po and Zhen actually learn to get along, which, from an adult’s perspective, was obviously going to happen, but it is still heartwarming to see them work together on this mission.

If you learn anything from Zhen about this movie, take her three rules of the street.

“Demon Slayer: Mugen Train,” “Dragon Ball Super: Superhero,” and “Jujutsu Kaisen 0” proved that making a film canon to the show can work, and even non-canon films like “One Piece Film: Red” showed that with a bit of effort they can still be a great time.

“Spy x Family Code: White” is more of the same “Spy x Family” charm you know and love. With good characters, excellent animation, and a simple but fun plot it definitely is far from bad. But its underutilization of certain characters and its strange reluctance to attempt to do something new did leave me a bit underwhelmed.

If you’re a fan of the show, you’ll like “Spy x Family Code: White,” but anyone who isn’t won’t get anything out of this, and some of the super hardcore fans might be slightly disappointed.

Tiein anime films have definitely leveled up in terms of quality in the past five years.

Rule number one - never trust anyone, number two - somebody is going to get hurt, and rule number three - no one is interested in your feelings.

Take these as gospel while watching this film and you will be way more prepared than I was.

I didn’t realize how much I missed my childhood until watching this movie. It brought me back to the days! It’s like Jack Black was made to

play Po. Online, this movie was received well, but many said it lacked a lot of exposition and storytellingthat it felt rushed.

I think it might just be me, but I really enjoyed the pacing of this movie, it hit every note! This film had me feeling that range of emotions that Dreamworks always does - the laughter, the warmth, the sadness, the betrayal! Oh that betrayal, I know it so well.

I also really enjoyed the animation and voice acting, and I feel that

Rating: B-

Good, but not ever great


now that I am older I am really able to appreciate these kinds of things more. The reactions from the side characters to each scene were so funny! I never thought this deep when watching “Kung Fu Panda” before.

The message is probably not as blaring to children, but as an elderly Gen Z, it felt like this movie was trying to speak to the few of us who still showed up. Kind of a moving-on message to us somewhat-adults, trying to figure out our place in the world.

I felt moved by the theme of change, and being afraid of change. I felt seen. Po learned that it’s not all fun and games forever and he has to step up to the Spiritual Leader role. He spent the movie improving his wise sayings.

With some improv from side characters, he upped his game a bit, but some of these quotes stuck with me, to be honest.

Po’s goose father Mr. Ping said something that kind of changed my life a bit, to put it in words that Po would understand - food lingo - Ping states, “If things always stayed the same forever, sooner or later, they would lose their flavor.”

We need to grow and change, this is how we learn who we are, and what our place in the world is.

Even if it is just a message from a silly kids movie.


28 | MAY 3, 2024 @T heGatepost | FSU

Quill pens write best in blood

Taylor Swift’s ‘THE TORTURED POETS DEPARTMENT’ will decode you

I hereby call this meeting of the Tortured Poets Department to order with a summary of my findings.

On April 19 the public sphere had its magnifying glass trained on pop starlet Taylor Swift’s 11th LP release - “THE TORTURED POETS DEPARTMENT.”

After a surprise announcement at the Grammys Feb. 4, Swift teased the release of the album with sultry black and white photos and scrawled out lyrics including the album’s tagline“All’s fair in love and poetry.”

Fans were left to wonder what corner of Swift’s sonic multiverse she would usher us into after her 2022 LP release “Midnights,” a synth-pop collection of songs that portray a fitful Swift as she teeters on the edges of her nightmares.

If “Midnights” served as the edge of the pool that became “Tortured Poets,” then Swift has chosen to dive deep into her cathartic, anguished, and most confessional songwriting to date.

This album is a mosaic of dreamlike reflections of failed relationships and an angry diary entry about the isolation of heartbreak told in terms

of the five stages of grief - denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

Swift spirals in denial in tracks like “My Boy Only Breaks His Favorite Toys” and “I Can Fix Him (No Really I Can)” as she describes being used by needy men.

In “My Boy,” Swift becomes an abused doll in a flailing romance. “Put me back on my shelf/ but first - pull the string/ and I’ll tell you that he runs/ because he loves me,” she urges.

To counter the desperation of “My Boy,” “I Can Fix Him” is denial in delusion as we step into an aural saloon in which Swift holds court singing about a man whose jokes “told across the bar/ were revolting and far too loud.”

“Trust me,” she says, vocals dropping low as if she’s telling us a secret, “I can handle me a dangerous man.”

Denial progresses to anger in “The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived,” a quiet, introspective piano piece with building production where Swift seems to have been pushed to a breaking point, assaulting a lover with questions like “Were you sent by someone who wanted me dead?”

Swift, known for her bridges, might have truly outdone herself here as her emotion comes out in churning anguish as she sings “I would’ve died for

your sins/ instead I just died inside.”

The song listens like the angry email you never sent to that one tragic ex-boyfriend.

“Who’s Afraid of Little Old Me?” seethes revenge from between its teeth as she tells us a seemingly autobiographical tale about a “fearsome” and “wretched” woman.

Bargaining lies in the album’s titular track “TTPD,” another question-laden track where Swift asks “who’s gonna know you like me?” The answer is of course, “nof---inbody.”

Depression rears its head in “loml,” “Down Bad,” and both of the albums features, “Fortnight” featuring Post Malone, and “Florida!!!” featuring Florence + The Machine.

“Florida!!!” is an ethereal masterpiece as pop mastress Florence Welch beautifully complements Swift’s vocals, and Post Malone, who Swift dubbed the “tortured hero of the department” calmly counteracts Swift’s staccato on “Fortnight.”

Finally, Swift reaches acceptance in her most melancholy track, “So Long, London” the antithesis to “King of My Heart,” a swelling love song off her album “reputation.”

Swift weaves the tale of a failing relationship that she alone carried the weight of - “Just how low did you

‘Problemista’ - more than a toy story

What do immigration, Cabbage Patch Kids™, and eggs have in common? “Problemista” answers that question. In Julio Torres’ directorial debut, his film also debuts the question that most immigrants have, which is, “How do I survive in America?”

With Torres as the main character, Alejandro, and Tilda Swinton as the eccentric art critic and employer of Torres’ character, Elizabeth, this movie tackles issues of racism and job stability all in New York! He is an aspiring toy creator - he had been faced with rejection from Hasbro, and wanted to build a life for himself as well.

The ideas that Alejandro has when sending them to Hasbro were very interesting to me and made me laugh so hard! A Cabbage Patch Kid™ with a smartphone that sends mean texts with her friends, a Barbie doll with crossed fingers behind her back to show her untrustworthiness, a fake snake that apologizes for scaring you. It was funny seeing niche things that our generation and teenagers would understand.

This movie has become one of my favorite surrealist comedies I’ve seen. One aspect of the movie I really enjoyed was the bright colors. It felt like I was experiencing what

Alejandro was, with the crazy colors showing what his life in Bushwick was like, rushing around trying to get his green card to stay in America.

I found that placing the setting of this movie up in New York was very prevalent because it’s the place most people consider the epicenter of immigration and where America really is a “melting pot.”

Continuing onto the issue of im migration shown throughout this movie, it shows scenes of Ale jandro and his mother having touch ing talks about life in Bushwick vs. El Salvador, and how they both have the same artistic lens in life, with his mother also being an artist and wanting to help her son with the life that they feel like he deserves. Feeling very anxious throughout the movie was something that I never really had experienced before while watching something. When there were scenes with Larry Owens of “Abbott Elementary” fame, who played Craigslist personified, it

made me feel like I needed to go get a job from Craigslist because of how demanding his character made Alejandro feel.

Trying to get money to pay for his visa fees, he ventures out for different jobs, including being a cleaning boy and renting out his room to strangers. Wanting to have a better life for himself is shown throughout his resilience and effort to get a new job.

Another scene that made me feel really mad and uneasy was the scene with the Bank of America. Alejandro’s account is overdrafted and he has to have a back and forth with a worker, which culminates in him not even getting the result that he desperately wanted.

The character of Elizabeth played by Swinton gave me flashbacks to bosses that I didn’t really vibe with, but were still very good at making sure that their employees had what they needed to do a good job. Swinton’s character was very electric, and made sure Elizabeth had the second

think I’d go/ before I’d self implode/ before I’d have to go be free?”

“TTPD” is a confession from Swift, an honest and messy confrontation that cuts deep into the heart of anyone who knows heartbreak.

Gone are the days of whimsy and romance we saw in works like “Love Story” or “Teardrops On My Guitar.”

Listening to this album feels like you are the one on the other side of the conversation - you are the one who will bear the weight of her testimony.

The details of Swift’s misery are all laid out for the listener with undeniable clarity in an album that is entirely her own and soaked in blood.

I hereby call this meeting to a close.

Rating: A

This album is one hell of a drug


laugh or second word when it came to others, which I found very hilarious.

The motif of eggs symbolizes how misunderstood everybody in this movie was, especially Alejandro. Being discontent with what life brings them, Alejandro and Elizabeth both forge a path that helps them succeed in what they want in life.

Knowing what you want in life, and knowing how to get it, is important. And that’s what “Problemista” helps us figure out.

Rating: B-

Eating eggs and looking at toys will never be the same!

Marcus Falcão / THE GATEPOST

‘The First Omen’ - religious horror done right

The horror film “The First Omen” was released on April 5. It serves as a prequel to the 1976 horror classic “The Omen” and is the sixth entry in the franchise.

Set in Rome in 1971, “The First Omen” focuses on Margaret, a young woman sent to become a nun at a church-run orphanage in Rome.

However, she uncovers a conspiracy backed by the Catholic churchradicals are planning to bring about the birth of the Antichrist - namely, Damien Thorne from the first film - in the name of consolidating its power in the face of increasing secularism.

Nell Tiger Free is front and center as Margaret, who’s been a ward of the church her entire life and just arrived at the abbey where the conspiracy is headquartered to become a nun.

Free gets the newcomer part down pat, and her character comes across as a genuinely kind person, strengthened by her bonds with her roomate Luz and the frequently-punished teenager Carlita, who seems involved somehow in the Antichrist’s rebirth.

Margaret has a genuinely good relationship with the church, and this sets up how it’s utterly shattered later on. Margaret’s discovery of the church’s plans for the Antichrist make us feel as confused and horri-


fied as her, and Free sells her character perfectly.

Ralph Ineson, known for his iconic deep voice, is no stranger to horror and appears as the excommunicated Father Brennan, a character from the original film who here is trying to stop the Antichrist’s birth from happening.

Ineson plays the role of such a desperate clergyman with ease, and his worries about the conspiracy are palpable. However, Ineson’s voice can make some of his dialogue tough to make out.

Since “The First Omen” is a prequel, we know that it will end in Damien being born. As such, we know that the heroes will fail in their effort to prevent Damien’s birth - alongside a couple confusing narrative choices, one could think that this could reduce the film’s scare factor.

nan from a head injury caused by a falling pipe. An uncanny score and a possible reference to Brennan’s death in the original sets the tone for the rest of the film.

The cinematography, lighting, and music work well together to make a foreboding and increasingly oppressive atmosphere, especially in scenes set at night. The music at times sounds like it’s taken right out of the stargate sequence from “2001: A Space Odyssey,” and yet feels right at home in this film.

Don’t second guess. Being a prequel does not prevent “The First Omen” from being a truly horrifying movie.

The film leaves its mark from the very first scene, where Father Harris, implied to be complicit in the conspiracy, dies in front of Father Bren-

38. ___ Jima (WWII battle site)

39. Bench warmer

43. D&D, e.g.

44. Soft flower part

46. Clinque + uno

47. Feature of many a dog collar

49. “Go get ‘em!”

52. *Handles with skill

54. Experimentation site

55. Perfect places

58. Islamic religious text

60. Nemesis

61. Desert lifeline

63. Deer of film

The nightmarish setting is not at all helped by the actions of the abbey’s staff - namely, those who Margaret thought she could trust growing increasingly hostile toward her, as she tries desperately to save Carlita and herself, both at the center of the church’s plan, from the throes of its darkest secret.

Finally, the church’s Antichrist plot is horrific enough on its own, but manages to get worse when we learn more - since at least the 1950s, women were arranged by the church to be raped and impregnated by a jackal demon implied to be the Devil himself.

40. Requested

The goal of this is producing a female child who in the film’s present can then give birth to the male Antichrist, once again with the Devil as the father.

The idea of a conspiracy like this being sanctioned by the Catholic church - even if only by radicals - for literal decades is truly terrifying to behold, especially when considering the real-life horrors that the church has been complicit in, such as the sex abuse scandal exposed by The Boston Globe in 2002.

In the end, “The First Omen” proves itself to be a horror prequel done right - an original story, concrete connections to the original, and genuine frights along the way.

Rating: AYou’re going to need holy water


41. Disentangle... or a phonetic hint to interpreting the starred clues’ answers

42. Some light brews

45. E-Commerce giant

48. Hopeless feeling

50. Number of stars in our solar system

51. “___ not your fault”

52. Cultivates

53. Electric car brand

54. Hawaiian party

64. “O Canada! ___ home and native land!”

65. “Winnie-the-Pooh” author

66. Lazy ___ (kitchen cabinet feature)

67. They protect 58-Down

68. Elegance


1. Large crowd

2. “Once in a blue moon,” for one

3. Santa’s hearty declaration

4. See 17-Across

5. Roman sweetheart

6. Professional forgers?

7. Bean type used in chili

8. Joints “broken” by a good deke, in hockey

9. Rudolph’s red feature

10. Declare

11. It may sweeten the pot

12. “It’s the truth, I swear!”

13. Dirty kind of campaign

21. Window in a schedule

22. Smooth entry to a pool

25. Baby food container

28. ___ Lee (Taiwanese filmmaker)

30. Opposite of post-

32. Grazing ground

33. Back talk

34. Farm mother

36. 3.0, maybe, for a B student

37. Item that a prankster throws

57. Metal whose atomic number is 30

58. Many NFL stars

59. Author Anais

61. Texter’s “What in the world?!”

62. Use your eyes

ARTS & FEATURES 30 | MAY 3, 2024 @T heGatepost | FSU ACROSS 1. Kermit’s greeting 5. Political TV channel 10.Important IDs 14. Unpleasant aroma 15. ___ acid (protein part) 16. Small particle 17. With 4-Down, British singer of “Poison” 18. Skating venues 19. ___ log (holiday cake) 20. Homer’s utterance 21. *Brewery offerings 23. Aunt, in Mexico 24. Symbol such as Thinking Face 26. Garden tool 27. It flows in a fountain 29. Packs (down) 31. “Bro,” for “brother” 33. Longtime “PBS NewsHour” anchor Jim 35. Partake (in)
Puzzle solutions are now exclusively online. Ben Hurney / THE GATEPOST

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Rams Down The Runway

32 | MAY 3, 2024 PHOTOS @The Gatepost |
The Fashion Club hosted their annual Fashion Show, at which they display student work, on April 26. Photos by Associate Editor Maddison Behringer and Asst. Photos & Design Editor Alexis Schlesinger Spread by Associate Editor Maddison Behringer and Photos & Design Editor Adrien Gobin
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