Year in Review 2018-2019

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Senior acting and musical theater majors perform at the 8th annual Wheels for Women Benefit Cabaret on Feb. 2, 2019. CONNOR LANGE/THE ITHACAN

Y EA R IN R EV IEW 2018 – 19



Sophia Tulp

Connor Lange



Anna Ferrari

Zoë Freer-Hessler




Grace Elletson

Emily Adams Jack Murray

Emily Lussier Alli Reynolds


Maggie McAden Nicole Peter



Kristen Harrison Elias Olsen

Maya Rodgers Carly Swanson

Kat Walsh




Anna Costa Carly Swanson

Meredith Burke

Sabrina Chang Julia Cherruault Jackie Marusiak



Peter Champelli

Madison Fernandez Falyn Stempler

Rachael Geary Alisha Tamarchenko




Jessica Elman Maddie Jacobs

Ryan King Maggie McAden Laura O’Brien Krissy Waite

Adriana Darcy Nick Macaluso Edie McRoberts Eden Strachan



Olivia Riggio Kara Bowen

Nick Friend AJ Guerrero



Avery Alexander Olivia Riggio

Lizz Eberhardt Zoë Freer-Hessler



Jack Murray Dani Pluchinsky

Alli Reynolds Audrey Warner






Michael Serino

© 2018–19 | THE ITHACAN

Contents News

08–17 World News 18–19 Ithacan Index 22–23 In Memoriam

24–33 Administration & Leadership 25 Five-year strategic plan announced 27 Personnel changes 29 Budget surplus decrease 30 Tuition increase 31 Budget cuts 32 Budget sustainability concerns

34–41 Controversies 35 IC Republicans controversy 36 Editorial 37 Cultural appropriation 38 College condemns racist video 39 Discussion of racist video 40 College hosts forums on video 41 Column and commentary

42–49 Politics & National News 43 College reacts to midterm election 44 Midterm results 45 Voter turnout increases 46 Students go to US-Mexico border 47 Commentary 48 Hillel vigil for Pittsburgh shooting 49 Collegewide vigils after violence

50–55 Women’s Rights 51 Students support assault survivors 52 Commentaries 53 Increase in rape reporting 54 Title IX changes 55 Commentary

56–59 Crime & Safety 57 Violence on The Commons 58 Campus Center floor damaged 59 Circle Apartments burglar


60–67 Religion 61 Protestant chaplain resignation 63 Muller Chapel inclusivity initiatives 65 Commentary 66 Human rights lawsuit 67 Catholic priest leaves college

68–75 LGBTQ 69 LGBTQ religious forum 71 Trump gender proposal 73 Nonbinary students data 75 International Pronouns Day

76–82 Health 77 Sodexo 79 Criticism of IC health services 80 Food insecurity 82 In other news

Contents Life & Culture

86–101 Campus 86 Juuls spark new addictions 88 Makeup Youtubers 90 Students cosplay 92 Speaking out our hairstory 94 Do-it-yourself concerts 95 Junior writes and performs music 96 Dispelling myths behind magic 98 Student studies herbal medicine 100 Musical in Bool’s Flower Shop

102–113 Community 102 Dog Fest 104 Drag shows 106 Cayuga Sound 108 Cat Cafe 110 Kava lounge 112 Artists of the 2000s return


114–117 Reviews 114 Movie reviews 116 Music reviews


120–124 Athletics 120 Cortaca Jug moves to Metlife 121 Reaction to Cortaca Jug moving 122 Senior football captain 123 Junior running backs 124 Cortaca photo essay 125 Students volunteer at Superbowl 126 Volleyball 50th anniversary 128 Club fencing 130 Conquering the channel 132 ICXC lip tattoos 134 Gymnasts switch sports 136 Bombers Helping Bombers 138 Club figure skating 140 Tennis player returns from injury

Looking Ahead

86–101 Highlights & Standings 142 Season highlights 143 Season standings


86–101 2020 Race 146 Students react to 2020 race 147 2020 presidential candidates



have to be honest. When I began work on this magazine, I felt the heavy weight of anxiety on my chest. Not because of the task I was about to begin, but because of the events I would have to revisit. Reflecting on a year, much less four, is complex and contradictory. It’s the reason why New Years Eve is both a huge celebration and a wistful send off. I always wondered why “Auld Lang Syne,” the titular song for a holiday made for partying and joy, was so … depressing? Starting this book, for me, was that kind of feeling. I was excited to cap off my time at Ithaca College with the task of reviewing and documenting our four years here as the Class of 2019. But I was anxious to reopen the heartbreak of hate crimes and mass shootings, anxious to recover the tumultuous fallout from Trump’s nomination of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and anxious to peer at our nation’s policy at the border as it had unfolded before us. Over our four years at the college, the Class of 2019 saw California on fire. Syria lying in rubble. Monuments rising and falling. Washington, D.C., taking a sharp turn to the right. Families crying at the border. Shots ringing out in synagogues, mosques and high schools. Our time at the college itself was bookended by massive protests calling out racism and calling in greater inclusivity. Just like the nation, the college also saw a new president. Then, we saw allegations of sexual abuse against that president. We saw students successfully lobby for a different food service provider, we saw cries against exclusion in faith communities and we saw a complete reorganizing of the student affairs department. Often, it is anxiety-inducing to recall this passage of time. To see where we were when it started and where we were left at the end. But for each piece of content that reminded me of strife and struggle, I found that the next page I turned would tell a story of hope and light. There was also so much beauty. There were interfaith solidarity vigils, high voter participation, drag shows, music festivals and Cortaca Jug wins. I experienced the ups and downs again as I combed through our archives and I was reminded that even through hardship we persist. Initially, reviewing the year felt like a somewhat unwelcome walk down memory lane. But as I made my way through the book, pulling content, compiling stories and organizing timelines, I made a small bit of peace with myself and the world around me as it had developed this year and throughout our four years at the college. Now, I urge you, even when it’s hard, to remember what this year and our time as college students held for us. To memorize this record and to know that sprinkled in among the pages of heartbreak and loss are triumphs and new beginnings, much like each year before this and every one to come. Reflection is all we have. If we do not remember the year for what it was — good and bad — we cannot work toward a better picture of what it can be. We must force ourselves to hold a magnifying glass to our own selves, our communities and our nation. We can indulge in our sadness and revel in our joys, but we must always try to make the next headlines in this magazine reflect the future we want to see.

Sophia Tulp Editor, Year in Review

Reflection is all we have. If we do not remember the year for what it was — good and bad — we cannot work toward a better picture of what it can be.




eading a community newspaper is a more intimate experience than one may expect. The newspaper business is often defined by high-stress deadlines, the frantic scheduling of stories and oftentimes harsh or trite critiques in order to turn around content quickly to fill pages in a paper. This stereotypical environment does not always infiltrate The Ithacan’s newsroom, but it can, and when it does, it can sometimes distract our writers and editors from the real task at hand. Yes, I expect my editors to fill their pages on-time with well-written content. And I also expect my writers to turn around that content in a timely manner. And while doing so, I also expect them to uphold the values that make community journalism truly great. The reporters and editors at The Ithacan have a particularly tricky job to fulfill. We are members of the very community we are covering. We are scholars but also the daily stenographers of Ithaca College’s first draft of history. We love the community we cover, but we are also aware of its flaws and ready to hold it accountable to its weaknesses. This intimacy is often hard to define, and hard for others to understand. We do not have the privilege to hold our community at arm’s length, to ensure our noble, objective removal from a subject. We are in it. We understand it. And we are here to make it better. In every story our readers have read in The Ithacan, I can assure them that every emotion they felt while interacting with our content — whether it be happiness, pride, fear or grief — the editors and writers of The Ithacan were there with them, sharing those same sentiments. Through every tragedy our campus community faced this year, and through every success, we covered it. Not for the sake of a story, or to fill space on a page, but because we had a job to do: honoring the humanity of our community. This has been my personal goal since I began working for the paper as a freshman beat reporter. The Class of 2019 has experienced a particularly tumultuous undergraduate experience — we walked onto a campus experiencing the largest protests it had ever seen from a student-organized group, POC at IC. We experienced ugly acts of racism, hatred and tragedy. But we also helped build this college’s reformation. We now have an administration that better represents diverse perspectives and is building structures to support its students in the form of a new food pantry, scholarship programs and student affairs support systems. This isn’t to say that a rosy future for our campus community is guaranteed. The college is facing dwindling enrollment and consequently looming budget issues that call for urgent action. The college is also about to take on the responsibility of creating and implementing a five-year strategic plan that will shape and change its direction. And while there are many uncertainties to come that will undoubtedly affect this campus community, one thing will remain constant: We will be there to cover it all. It has been a profound privilege to tell the stories of this campus community. To every source who had the bravery to be vulnerable and share the most intimate parts of their lives in our content, thank you. Your courage has not gone unnoticed or unappreciated, and it has helped us uphold the tenets that make this job worthwhile.

Grace Elletson Editor in Chief, The Ithacan

We do not have the privilege to hold our community at arm’s length, to ensure our noble, objective removal. ... We are in it. We understand it. And we are here to make it better.



World News 2018–19 A year in global news



Carolin Harding from Columbus, Ohio, holds her fist up in protest of Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 6, 2018, in Washington, D.C. BASTIAAN SLABBERS/NURPHOTOS AND ZUMA PRESS



August 2018 Catholic Church sex assault detailed in Pennsylvania August 14, 2018

Aretha Franklin dies August 16, 2018

A long-awaited grand jury report found that top Roman Catholic leaders in Pennsylvania covered up decades of child sex abuse involving more than 1,000 victims and hundreds of priests.

Aretha Franklin, aka “The Queen of Soul,” died in August at age 76. One of the most important singers of the 20th century, her hits included “Respect,” “Chain of Fools” and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.”

John McCain dies August 25, 2018

Sen. John McCain, the Arizona Republican who was a POW in Vietnam and who lost to Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election, died after a battle with brain cancer. McCain served as a senator for over 30 years.



Spotlight on pop culture AUGUST 17, 2018

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, starring Lara Condor and Noah Centineo, is released on Netflix to critical acclaim. It quickly gets deemed a modern rom-com instant classic.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before dominates on Netflix



September 2018 Paul Manafort pleads guilty September 14, 2018

Trump nominates Kavanaugh, creating controversy

Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy charges and agreed to cooperate in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian election interference.

September 14, 2018 Controversy erupted over Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s nomination for the Supreme Court after he was accused of sexual assault in a New Yorker article. Both Kavanaugh and his accuser testified in a hearing. However, Kavanaugh would go on to be confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court in October.

Hurricane Florence makes landfall in the US September 14, 2018 Hurricane Florence, one of the most damaging storms ever to hit the Carolinas, killed more than 50 Americans and caused billions of dollars in damage.



Spotlight on pop culture and sports SEPTEMBER 7, 2018

Rapper Mac Miller dies

Genre-bending rapper Malcolm McCormick, known as Mac Miller, dies at the age of 26 from a drug overdose.



Serena Williams under fire

Williams draws criticism for being “unsportsmanlike” to a U.S. Open referee, but some say the criticism was sexist.


October 2018 Saudi journalist murdered October 2, 2018

Synagogue shooting October 20, 2018

Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent critic of the government of Saudi Arabia and columnist for The Washington Post, was assassinated in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The brazen slaying sparked an international uproar.

A man with a history of making anti-Semitic and anti-immigrant social media posts burst into a synagogue in Pittsburgh and opened fire on morning services, killing 11 people and wounding six more, authorities said.


Migrant caravan approaches


October 12, 2018

Explosive devices sent to democrats and journalists

A caravan of immigrants marched into Mexico, even as President Donald Trump criticized the Mexican government and threatened to cut off aid to three Central American nations for allowing people to leave. The caravan included several thousand people, most from Honduras, and provided Trump with an issue to rally his base in the lead-up to U.S. midterm elections.

October 24, 2018 A Florida man was arrested in connection with a spate of suspicious, potentially explosive devices sent to prominent critics of President Donald Trump.

Spotlight on pop culture and sports OCTOBER 17, 2018

OCTOBER 8, 2018

Pete Davidson and Ariana Grande split

Red Sox win World Series

Grande confirms that she and Davidson have broken up after a six-month relationship and engagement.

The Boston Red Sox beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in game five, making it their fourth win in 15 years.



November 2018 US Elections

Jeff Sessions resigns as Attorney General

November 6, 2018

November 7, 2018

Midterm elections in the U.S. provided a split decision for President Donald Trump’s Republican Party: The GOP expanded its majority in the Senate but lost control of the House.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions was forced to resign the day after midterm elections, ending a tortured relationship with President Donald Trump and opening what could be a historic fight over the sprawling criminal investigation that has clouded Trump’s White House tenure.

Gunman kills 12 people at California bar November 7, 2018

A former U.S. Marine machine gunner who may have suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder burst into a Thousand Oaks, California, bar packed with college students, and opened fire, authorities said. Twelve people were killed. The gunman also killed himself.


Wildfires ravage California November 8, 2018

The Northern California town of Paradise, California, was destroyed and more than 60 people were killed in the deadliest fire in California history. Deadly fires also struck Malibu and other areas in Southern California.


Spotlight on pop culture NOVEMBER 17, 2018

Rapper 6ix9ine pleads not guilty in New York City court for charges relating to racketeering, drug distribution, weapon possession and conspiracy to commit murder.

Rapper 6ix9ine stands trial for multiple felonies



December 2018 Trump pulls US troops out of Syria December 19, 2018

Government shuts down amid border wall debate

President Donald Trump tweeted that he was pulling U.S. troops out of Syria. The abrupt announcement caught government officials off-guard and drew criticism from Democrats and Republicans. Defense Secretary James Mattis resigned in protest after the decision.

December 22, 2018 The government shut down Dec. 22, 2018, when President Trump and Congress couldn’t agree on funding for Trump’s campaign promise of a wall along the Southern border dividing the U.S. and Mexico. The shutdown stretched into the new year and became the longest government shutdown in U.S. history.

8-year-old Guatemalan boy dies in US custody December 25, 2018 An 8-year-old Guatemalan boy died on Christmas Day in the custody of U.S. immigration authorities, the second death of a child in detention in less than three weeks and another searing emblem of Trump administration border policies that critics lambasted as cruel and inhumane.



Spotlight on pop culture DECEMBER 1, 2018

Boy band member Nick Jonas and Bollywoodturned-Hollywood star Priyanka Chopra tie the knot in two extravagant ceremonies, one in India and one in the U.S.

Singer Nick Jonas and actress Priyanka Chopra get married



January 2019 Former Chicago police officer sentenced in shooting

Longest government shutdown to date ends

January 18, 2019 Former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke was sentenced to seven years in prison for the fatal on-duty shooting of Laquan McDonald, bringing to a close one of the most racially fraught and socially significant chapters in recent Chicago history. In October 2018, Van Dyke became the first Chicago police officer in a half-century to be convicted of murder in an on-duty shooting. A jury found him guilty on one count of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery — one for each bullet that hit McDonald’s body in October 2014 as the teen walked away from Van Dyke while holding a knife.

January 25, 2019 After 35 days, the longest government shutdown in U.S. history ended Jan. 25. President Donald Trump announced a deal to end the shutdown, capitulating on his demand for billions of taxpayer dollars to build a southern border wall.

Trump deploys more troops to US-Mexico border January 29, 2019

Additional U.S. military troops were deployed to the border with Mexico ahead of an alleged migrant caravan’s approach, President Donald Trump said Jan. 29. The announcement came after he suggested the House-Senate border security committee was “wasting” its time by trying to strike a deal and avert another government shutdown. ANTONIO PEREZ/CHICAGO TRIBUNE/TNS

Spotlight on pop culture “Green Book” wins the most film awards, taking home three honors including Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. In television, Netflix’s “The Kominsky Method” and FX’s “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” win two awards each.

JANUARY 6, 2018 TV and Film awarded at Golden Globes



February 2019 Police accuse Jussie Smollett of faking hate crime

Patriots owner charged with misdemeanor crimes

February 16, 2019

February 22, 2019

Actor Jussie Smollett was accused of staging a phony attack and claiming he was the victim of a hate crime in Chicago. Smollett said his attackers yelled racial and homophobic slurs, hit him and wrapped a noose around his neck. Chicago Police dropped the charges March 26 but Smollet has not been exonerated.

Robert Kraft of the New England Patriots, among the NFL’s most influential and successful owners, was charged with two counts of soliciting sex from a prostitute, according to police in Jupiter, FL. Kraft, 77, was charged with paying for sexual services at Orchids of Asia Day Spa, one of nearly a dozen spas in the area that police say were used for prostitution. The development was part of a larger crackdown on human trafficking and prostitution in the region, and more than two dozen men have been arrested in the investigation, authorities said.

Trump ends North Korea summit earlier than expected February 27, 2019 Donald Trump abruptly ended a summit with Kim Jong Un after the U.S. president said the North Korean leader asked for all U.S. sanctions to be lifted in exchange for the dismantling of the country’s main nuclear complex.



Spotlight on pop culture and sports

FEBRUARY 24, 2019

Oscars Best Picture pick divides viewers and stars

FEBRUARY 3, 2019

Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta

“Green Book” wins Best Picture despite criticism for its depiction of race relations and “white savior” pandering.

The New England Patriots defeat the Los Angeles Rams 13–3, tying for most championship wins with six.



March 2019 Fallout continues from college admissions scandal

Attack at New Zealand mosque kills 50 worshipers

March 12, 2019

March 15, 2019

Federal authorities charged 50 people with taking part in a far-reaching college admissions cheating scandal, in which parents falsified scores and used other tactics to get their children into elite universities. Dozens of parents are now facing charges in the ongoing investigation of shady practices involving wealthy families and prestigious schools across the U.S. The controversy embroiled actress Lori Laughlin, who was accused of committing fraud to get her daughter, a social media influencer, into the University of Southern California. Actress Felicity Huffman also paid to get her daughter into college. Prosecutors said Huffman paid $15,000 for a Harvard University graduate to correct her daughter’s answers on the SAT.

An attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, left 50 people dead, and dozens more injured when a gunman opened fire at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques. The attack occurred during Friday prayer. The attack became the worst mass shooting in New Zealand’s history. A 28-year-old Australian man, described in media reports as a white supremacist and part of the alt-right, was arrested and charged with murder.



Spotlight on pop culture “Us,” Peele’s anticipated follow-up to “Get Out,” had the biggest opening weekend of any original horror film in history. The film exceeded $70 million in the U.S., beating the previous record holder, 2018’s “A Quiet Place.”

MARCH 22, 2019

Jordan Peele’s “Us” smashes box office records for horror



Ithaca College

by the numbers 2018–19 6,517

Number of students at IC

Graduating class size


Total tuition a student in the Class of 2019 paid over four years (no room and board)

Most popular academic school among senior class

Roy H. Park School of Communications

Average student loan debt for an IC Class of 2019 grad



The Year In Pop Culture Most streamed artist on Spotify in 2018

Highest grossing film in 2018


Black Panther

Most streamed song in 2018 7 Rings, Ariana Grande

Sources: Ithaca College Common Data Set 2018–19, College Factual, IMDb, Spotify Newsroom, RentCafe and Business Insider



The Nation

by the numbers 2018–19 Average $ spent on course materials (like textbooks)

Average rent for studio apartment in NYC


Predicted average starting salary for Class of 2019 graduate


$2,000 Top metro for attracting new graduates

Most affordable city for new graduates


Columbus, OH

The Year In Pop Culture Most popular video game


Most popular viral internet trends

Yanny vs. Laurel #InMyFeelings challenge


Most popular fashion trend


News Administration & Leadership Social Media Controversies Politics & National News Women’s Rights Crime & Safety Religion LGBTQ Health


Lauren Goldberg, executive director of Hillel at the college, lights a candle in honor of the victims of the New Zealand shooting at a gathering March 19 hosted by the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life in the Muller Chapel. CODY TAYLOR/THE ITHACAN



In memoriam: Remembering members A student, a lecturer and two former board members died during the 2018–19 academic year

Ithaca College mourns the death of freshman student By Hannah Fitzpatrick and Madison Fernandez — Staff Writer and News Editor “Everyone was important in her life,” they wrote. “Kelly didn’t have first or seconds. Her family and friends always came first. ... Kelly had no regrets in life, she always lived it to the fullest.” Enoch said he and his family have been extremely grateful for the response they have received from the community. He said many people have been going out of their way to give him and his family hugs and food. “The communities all over that have responded have been overwhelming,” he wrote via email. “Kelly has touched the lives of so many people worldwide. Everyone has asked how to help and the best we can say is hug your family so tight cause tomorrow is never guaranteed.” After Osorto and Collado spoke, attendees were invited to talk about their memories with Kelly and share how she impacted them. Kelly was a student employee in the Office of

Freshman Kelly Perkins pictured with her acceptance letter to Ithaca College. COURTESY OF FACEBOOK


he Ithaca College community is mourning the death of a student after she was killed in a car accident March 4, returning to campus from her home in Berkshire, New York. The Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office responded at 7:32 a.m. to Valley Road in the Town of Caroline, which is approximately 20 minutes from the college. According to the Sheriff’s Office, freshman Kelly Perkins lost control while driving her car on the snow-covered roadway and crossed into the path of a pick-up truck. Perkins was pronounced dead at the scene. The crash is still under investigation, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Perkins was a student in the School of Health Sciences and Human Performance’s preprofessional program. A gathering was held March 5 in the Muller Chapel to honor Perkins, and approximately 300 people gathered to memorialize her. At the beginning of the gathering, Hierald Osorto, director of religious and spiritual life, said Perkins had greatly impacted the college community.

“I often tell people that in this space, you can hear the IC community’s heartbeat,” Osorto said. “Tonight, however, this chapel amplifies our campus’ heartbreak.” President Shirley M. Collado also offered words of sympathy to Perkins’ family, friends and others during the gathering. She said that she spoke with Perkins’ parents, Enoch Perkins, fire protection specialist in the Department of Environmental Health and Safety, and Debbie Perkins, facilities attendant at the college, and that she was grateful the campus community came together during this difficult time. “I had the great but heavy, hard moment to talk with Kelly’s parents last night on the phone,” Collado said. “They are deeply moved by all the words, the energy, the prayers and the space for them to get through what seems impossible.” In an email response to The Ithacan, Perkins’ parents described Kelly as an “angel sent from heaven” who “had a heart of gold.” They said she was a deeply compassionate and caring person and that they miss her dearly.


Tonight, however, this Chapel amplifies our campus’ heartbreak. —Hierald Osorto, director of religious and spiritual life Residential Life and in the parking services unit of the Office of Public Safety and Emergency Management. Carl Cohen, the college’s parking services supervisor, said that her spark and maturity are what stood out to him. A fraudulent fundraiser emerged March 5 on which claimed to be run by the college, and to be raising money for Kelly’s funeral. Dave Maley, director of public relations, said that the page is not affiliated with the college and that the college has reached out to have the funds returned to the donors. Maley said a GoFundMe page was authorized by the Perkins. Over half of the $10,000 goal had been donated within six hours of starting.


of the campus community who passed Lecturer and two former board members die By Ryan King and Rachel Heller — Assistant News Editor and Staff Writer

George Schunck

Ithaca College President Shirley M. Collado announced in an Intercom post Feb. 12 that Herman “Skip” Muller Jr. ’51, former Ithaca College Board of Trustees chair emeritus, and honorary trustee George Schunck both died recently. “I join the members of our community in extending our condolences to the Muller and Schunck families, and in being incredibly grateful for the work and dedication of both in their leadership of Ithaca College,” Collado wrote. Schunck served on the board of trustees from 1982 to 1992. Collado said Schunk played an important role in managing the college’s finance during his time as chair of the Investment and Finance Committee and had a steadfast commitment to the college. “He had a son and grandson who both attended Ithaca College, and throughout his life George remained an avid fan of Bomber football,” she wrote. “George lived in the Syracuse area, and was very active in supporting his community. We are fortunate that Ithaca College was among the organizations he cared so deeply about.” Schunck died Feb. 6.

Richard Rainville was a Spanish lecturer. COURTESY OF FACEBOOK

Richard Rainville

Richard Rainville, lecturer in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, died at age 53 Nov. 9. Rainville taught at the college from 1990 to 2003 and returned Spring 2018 to teach Spanish courses part-time. He died due to a medical emergency. In an email sent to the college community about Rainville’s death, Michael Richardson, interim dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences, said Rainville remains for him “an inspiration and an ideal of the dedicated teacher.” The college held a remembrance service in Muller Chapel on the afternoon of Nov. 9 to honor Rainville’s memory and provide support for the community. Originally from Rochester, New Hampshire, Rainville received his B.A. from Colby College and his M.A. from Cornell University. In addition to teaching at the college, Rainville taught at Cornell University from 1989 to 1990, Hobart and William Smith College from 2003 to 2007, St. Thomas Aquinas High School from 2007 to 2012 and at Ross School, according to Rainville’s LinkedIn. Rainville also spent time helping others to become teachers. Rainville led the training sessions for all teaching assistants for language courses at the college. He also served as a studentteacher supervisor at Ithaca High School. Rainville always seemed to be in good spirits and energized any room that he entered, Richardson said. “Sometimes, it would be Friday, and he’d come in, and he’d have on a Hawaiian shirt or a colorful shirt, and he would just lighten the mood,” Richardson said.


Herman “Skip” Muller Jr.

Muller served on the board from 1966 to 1982 and from 1991 to 2003. Collado credited his leadership to saving the college from a potential financial failure. “At the time of Herman’s tenure, the college was struggling financially and on the verge of bankruptcy,” she wrote. “His leadership changed what could have been the demise of Ithaca College. He led the board in the decision to move the Ithaca College campus from downtown to South Hill, which changed the course of Ithaca College.” Former President Peggy Ryan Williams said she was privileged to have worked with Muller during her time at the college. “I met Skip 22 years ago this month, during the first round of presidential interviews in New York City,” Ryan Williams said. “I was privileged to work with him for a number of years and to develop a close friendship. In his role as board chair, it was always clear that Skip cared deeply for Ithaca College and kept its interests in the forefront of all that he did. He led with a firm yet gentle hand.” Muller Chapel on the college’s campus is named after his parents, Herman Sr. and Florence Sidur Muller ’33. Muller died Feb. 10.

Herman “Skip” Muller Jr.


President Shirley M. Collado addressed the campus community at the All-College Gathering on Feb. 5 in the Emerson Suites. KRISTEN HARRISON/THE ITHACAN

Administration & Leadership A strategic planning process, changes in executive leadership and financial concerns mark the year in administrative news. 24


Getting started

Presenting preparations for the college’s five-year strategic plan, President Shirley M. Collado looks toward the future By Falyn Stempler, Laura O’Brien and Maggie McAden — News Editor and Assistant News Editors


nder the first year of Ithaca College President Shirley M. Collado’s leadership, the community has seen significant changes within the senior leadership team as well as the restructuring of institutions on campus. In the Fall 2015, the college witnessed protests that amassed hundreds of students rallying against what they critiqued as multiple racist events the administration did not adequately condemn. Following a semester of protests, open letters and multiple votes of no confidence against former President Tom Rochon’s administration, he stepped down, prompting a search for the college’s next president. After Rochon’s resignation, Collado arrived as president in July 2017 and began defining her vision for the college. At the All-College Gathering held Aug. 23, 2018, the community learned about the first stages of the college’s five-year strategic plan. At the gathering, the five-year strategic plan was not presented as having overall goals or principles guiding it. Instead, the strategic planning design committee emphasized that an official plan with actionable goals will not be established until the committee receives feedback over the course of the 2018–19 school year. This feedback has been ongoing and has resulted in defined theme areas for the plan, as well as a mission and vision statement. The strategic plan is not the first institution-wide plan implemented at the college. The college’s previous strategic plan, IC 20/20, ended in 2017 following Rochon’s resignation — three years earlier than initially scheduled. In Fall 2016, Rochon said that terminating IC 20/20 would allow his incoming successor to develop a strategic plan independent of his time at the college. Unlike IC 20/20, which planned to implement initiatives over the course of 10 years, Collado’s strategic plan will address the next five years at the college. At the Aug. 23 gathering, the design team for the strategic plan stressed the importance of engaging and involving faculty, staff and students in the creation. This approach contrasts a perception of IC 20/20 expressed in an open letter written by college faculty in 2015 that described Rochon’s strategic plan as a top-down initiative that failed to incorporate campus community input. Belisa Gonzalez, associate professor and

director of the Center for the Study of Culture, Race and Ethnicity and strategic planning team member, said college constituents would be given new, innovative opportunities to contribute to the strategic plan outside of traditional avenues, like surveys emailed to the campus community asking for feedback. These new opportunities have been aimed at engaging a greater diversity of participants, Gonzalez said. “The design team wanted to create a process that created meaningful opportunities to contribute,” Gonzalez said. “Really charging the working groups and steering committee to listen and be prepared to take those contributions from the community seriously.” However, a feedback session in February 2019 only drew five student participants. Other events held in the fall drew more robust crowds.

Gathering feedback

Over the course of the year, community members have given a range of feedback about the plan, including hopes for incorporating student feedback and feedback from groups not traditionally represented. Rose Howard ’04, assistant professor in the Department of Theatre Arts, has a one-year position, and is worried that students, faculty and staff with temporary positions who offer different perspectives will be shut out of the process. In particular, she mentioned diversity scholars, international students visiting the college and adjunct and visiting professors. “I hear them saying that they want our input, but if they are saying it in this surface way, and you don’t do it, you are just virtue signaling,” Howard said. “So, I am concerned that the college is saying that they are going to make a change and not make it.” Patrice Pastore, professor of music performance, said it is promising that the strategic plan aims to welcome a variety of ideas from as many people as possible. However, given the introduction of a new strategic plan, Pastore said she is concerned that previous institution-wide plans are often concluded without reflecting on whether the proposed goals were met. “It sometimes gets hard to be enthusiastic about the announcement of another strategic plan,” Pastore said. “If it failed, what did it need to do differently? If it succeeded, why are we doing another one?”


Senior Anna Gardner, presidential fellow for the Office of Student Affairs and Campus Life and former vice president of campus affairs in the Student Governance Council, said she was enthusiastic about the process for the strategic plan and felt that ideas she brought up at an open session in Spring 2018 and at Student Governance Council meetings were reflected. She also said she is glad that the process is operating slowly because she thinks it will create a better-developed plan, as opposed to plans like IC 20/20, which she said she felt was developed too hastily by Rochon’s administration.

The process begins

Since Aug. 23, the steering committee has engaged with the campus community to develop themes — broader areas of focus to provide organization for the plan — which directly derived from the college’s mission, vision and values. In September 2018, the college held the first feedback session. Approximately 150

Inspiring bold thinking to create thriving communities. Engage, explore and empower through theory, practice and performance. –Ithaca College vision and mission statement students, alumni, faculty and staff attended the strategic planning kickoff event Sept. 27 in the Emerson Suites. Members of the strategic planning design team, including Jason Freitag, associate professor in the Department of History and co-chair of the steering committee and La Jerne Cornish,

N E W S : A D M I N I S T R AT I O N & L E A D E R S H I P provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, outlined a timeline of goals they plan to achieve. They revealed that a draft of the plan should be available to the public to review by Spring 2019, and the final document will be completed over Summer 2019 with implementation beginning in Fall 2019. Freitag also announced the 13 members of the steering committee for the strategic planning process. The steering committee, consisting of faculty, staff, students, alumni, trustees and community members will be overseeing the planning process and ensuring that it stays consistent with the process design, Freitag said. Also during the Sept. 27, 2018, event, members were asked to write down the top three areas they would like to see focused on in the plan. Attendees raised issues with the lack of interaction among students, alumni, faculty and staff and the stress for low-income students to pay off debt along with other issues. Benjamin Costello, executive director of advancement services and a member of the design team, said the college should make students more aware of alumni networks that are available. Four months later, on Jan. 30, the themes were revealed to the college. Freitag said the themes are based on five common desires the committee found in community feedback: the need for change, the need to increase national and international recognition, the need for interdisciplinary and community partnerships,

and financial and environmental sustainability. The three themes are Interconnections Among Disciplines, Schools, Partners; Evolution of Students, Curriculum, College; and Investment in People, Place, Planet. Now, the themes will be developed to create specific focus areas. Each theme will have its own working group, which will set goals for its respective theme. Goals will be paired with measurable objectives to concretely determine whether substantial progress is being made, Costello said. During a Feb. 5 event, Cornish announced the new mission and vision statements. Five students attended the event. Cornish said the committee found a consistent thread of a desire for a better world in community feedback. As they developed the new vision statement, the committee members wanted to make it aspirational and directed toward the future. The new version of the vision statement is, “Inspiring bold thinking to create thriving communities.” And the new mission statement says, “Engage, explore and empower through theory, practice and performance.” Cornish said that the committee has developed a list of values that will act as a list of general principles to guide decision making at the college. During campus community sessions over Feb. 25, 26 and 28, these values were announced. They follow the acronym A.R.I.S.E., which stands for academic excellence, respect and accountability, innovation, sustainability and equity.

Strategic plan theme development Interconnections Among Disciplines, Schools, Partners This theme was identified by a need for interdisciplinary and community partnerships.

Evolution of Students, Curriculum, College This theme reflects a campus desire for change and the need to increase national and international recognition.

Investment in People, Place, Planet This theme relates to initiatives to increase financial and environmental sustainability.

Strategic plan key milestones

January 2019 Kickoff meetings start the process. Working groups meet weekly and the steering committee meets bi-weekly. Working groups begin drafting goals and objectives, seeking feedback and soliciting input.

February 2019

April 2019

Working groups share The committee presents draft goals and objectives. at the board of trustees Reflection sessions are held meeting. The working groups update the board and with all planning groups. The feedback process is initiated discuss progress. with the campus community.


May 2019 The steering committee will continue drafting and will meet with the board of trustees again. Working groups will incorporate feedback and hold a campus-wide event May 22. A draft will be delivered May 31.


Ithaca College President Shirley M. Collado answered questions at a press conference Sept. 6. JULIA CHERRUAULT/THE ITHACAN

Bringing in fresh faces Numerous personnel changes were made throughout Ithaca College under President Shirley M. Collado By Falyn Stempler and Ryan King — News Editor and Assistant News Editor Numerous shifts have occurred in lower-level leadership at Ithaca College since President Shirley M. Collado took office. While some occurred organically, others were a direct result of structural changes made by Collado’s administration. Within these shifts is a change in director for the Integrated Core Curriculum program and a new position in the Title IX office to address an increase in sexual assaults and rape cases at the college. Other shifts in leadership include a new director in Hammond Health Center, new incoming leadership in Student Accessibility Services, a new vice president for human resources and a newly hired director for religious and spiritual life. Additionally, Gerard Turbide, vice president for enrollment management, resigned from the college in January.

Personnel changes, Summer 2016 – Spring 2019

La Jerne Cornish is the new provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. She succeeded Linda Petrosino, who has served as interim provost since August 2016. Guilherme Costa became the new vice president and general counsel Sept. 10. He is also serving as secretary to the Ithaca College Board of Trustees. He succeeded Nancy Pringle, senior vice president and general counsel for the Division of Human and Legal Resources, will remain at the college as executive vice president until her retirement this June. Janet Williams served as interim vice president for finance and administration starting in August 2016. Collado also created the Division of Student Affairs and

Campus Life, which is no longer under the provost’s portfolio, and appointed Rosanna Ferro in Fall 2017 to head the division as vice president. Ferro announced during summer 2018 that the Office of Student Engagement and Multicultural Affairs has been divided up into three units as of Fall 2018. The three separated offices are the Center for Inclusion Diversity, Equity and Social Change, the Office of New Student and Transition Programs and the Office of Student Engagement. Bonnie Prunty assumed the role of dean of students, a new position created by the Collado administration, June 1. She oversees the Office of Residential Life and Judicial Affairs, Case Management and the new Office of New Student and Transition Programs. Prunty is the former director of residential life, and Ron Trunzo is currently serving as the interim director.

Human Resources

Collado announced March 20 that Hayley Harris would become the new vice president of the Office of Human and Organizational Development and Planning starting May 6. Harris formerly served as the director of the Research Division of Human Resources at Cornell University. According to the college’s website, Harris will serve as a partner to senior academic and administrative leaders. The position also oversees organizational development and workforce strategy, talent management, and labor and employee relations. Harris succeeds Brian Dickens, who stepped down July 31.


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Integrative Core Curriculum

Ithaca College announced Feb. 4 that Susan Adams Delaney, associate professor in the Department of Writing, had been selected to serve as the director of the Integrative Core Curriculum, also known as the ICC, for a three-year term. She assumed the role as interim director in August 2018. The former director, Vincent DeTuri, served in the position from May 2015 until August 2018 when he accepted a new job offer as associate dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at SUNY Cortland. Delaney has served as a chair of the Committee for CollegeWide Requirements, a subcommittee of the ICC, since the inception of the ICC during the 2013–14 academic year. Delaney said she joined the committee because she was concerned about how the ICC would affect the writing department. Delaney assumed the role during a critical time — this academic year, the college began conducting a review of the ICC to improve its functionality and efficiency. Additionally, in the review from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, the review team made numerous recommendations to improve the ICC. Recommendations are binding, meaning the college is required to implement the changes. In 2020, Delaney will submit the recommendations she chooses to implement to the college.

Title IX

The Title IX office hired Maggie Wetter for a new position as Deputy Coordinator for the Division of Human and Legal Resources to address the increase in reports of sexual harassment, assault and rape at the college. Title IX Coordinator Linda Koenig said the deputy coordinator for legal affairs position will help her conduct investigations and inform survivors of their resources. The position will also manage the faculty and staff resources within the office. Wetter was previously the assistant director for staff and programs for the Office of Residential Life. Wetter said she hopes to make the community aware of its resources. “My goals in the new position includes getting to know the campus community better in order to train and outreach to as many offices and student groups as possible,” Wetter said.

who previously worked at George Mason University as a training and technical assistance specialist at the Helen A. Keller Institute for Human Disabilities, also assumed his position in September. Additionally, Jean Celeste-Astorina, a specialist at SAS, has retired.


Deborah Harper has retired from her position as director for the Center for Counseling, Health and Wellness. Sasha Lerner and Alice Meilman, both counselors at the Center for Counseling and Psychological Services, are now serving as interim co-directors. Additionally, Vivano Lorenzo has stepped down from her position as a physician and medical services director at CAPS.

Enrollment Office

Gerard Turbide, vice president for enrollment management, resigned from the college Jan. 8. Turbide had worked for the college since 1993 as an assistant director of admission. In 2006, he was promoted to director of admission. In 2016, he became the vice president for enrollment management. In this position, he oversaw the offices of Admission, Career Services, Enrollment Planning, Institutional Research and Student Financial Services in developing and implementing programs for the college’s enrollment goals. Collado announced his departure to the campus community via email. Collado also announced that she appointed director of admission Nicole Eversley Bradwell as interim vice president for enrollment management and Director of Admission beginning Jan. 11. Turbide did not respond to a request for comment about why he resigned from the college. Staff Writer Phoebe Harms and Assistant News Editors Maggie McAden and Laura O’Brien contributing reporting.

Director of religious and spiritual life

Collado announced at the All-College Gathering on Aug. 23 that the college hired Hierald Edgardo Osorto as the new director of religious and spiritual life. Rosanna Ferro, vice president of the Division of Student Affairs and Campus Life, said she created the position to provide oversight of all programs within Muller Chapel because, despite receiving funding from the college, religious leaders are not college employees. LGBTQ students have continually reported feeling excluded from the Protestant community on campus, which is one issue the new position aims to amend. The position was prompted by a proposal requesting improvements to religious programs in the chapel and other faith-based communities on campus. In this proposal, students also requested a spiritual Muslim leader.

Student Accessibility Services

Leslie Reid stepped down from her position as manager of SAS on July 20. Sally Neal, director of the Center for Academic Advancement, said Reid took a new position at a local college because the commute to the college was tolling. The college hired Kelly Robinson as manager and created a new position for an assistant manager in September. Ian Moore,

Gerard Turbide, vice president for enrollment management, resigned from Ithaca College on Jan. 8. FILE PHOTO/THE ITHACAN



Ithaca College budget surplus decreases by $15 million Ithaca College’s surplus has dropped from $20 million to $5 million for the 2018–19 academic year By Sam Haut — Staff Writer Ithaca College’s budget surplus has dropped from $20 million to $5 million for the 2018–19 academic year. President Shirley M. Collado attributes the decrease in the budget surplus to the college’s increase in financial aid awards, new technology, increases in faculty and staff benefits and deferred maintenance costs. Bill Guerrero, vice president for finance and administration, said increased financial aid and salary and benefits are the biggest factors in the decrease. Guerrero said that although the decrease in the surplus may look concerning, it does not indicate financial trouble for the college. Beth Reynolds, controller in the Department of Business and Finance, said $6.7 million from the $15 million went to salary and benefit increases, $6 million went to financial aid and a $1 million loss resulted from lower enrollment, from both a larger class graduating in 2018 and fewer freshmen attending the 2017–18 academic year than expected — which was partially offset by a tuition increase. The remaining million went to other miscellaneous costs. Reynolds said the lower surplus will give the college less money to invest in deferred maintenance, the endowment and other repairs across campus. The $6.7 million from the operating budget was allocated toward salaries and benefits for contingent faculty members — who negotiated a deal with the administration last year before a threatened strike — mandated minimum wage increases for student employees, a 2.5 percent increase for faculty and staff salaries, new positions in the Division of Student Affairs and Campus Life, new hires in the president’s office and Fair Labor Standard Act equity adjustments. Guerrero said the surplus is typically used to pay for capital projects including deferred maintenance and infrastructure renovations. As a result, the college will now have less money to address these issues. Reynolds said the college was aware of a decrease in the surplus in January 2018, but it did not know

Bill Guerrero, vice president for finance and administration, said the college community should not be concerned about the surplus decrease for the 2018–19 academic year. CAROLINE BROPHY/THE ITHACAN

the exact dollar amount until August 2018. Additionally, Collado said at a student media press conference Sept. 6, 2018 that the decrease was forecasted years ago. Reynolds said the budget has never fluctuated to this degree since she began working at the college as assistant budget director in 2004. “I think it probably raised some eyebrows, and they [the board of trustees] were a little more cautious when approving the budget and just making sure we weren’t overbudgeting in certain areas,” Reynolds said. “There’s definitely less we’ll be able to do capital [project] wise because that surplus can’t go towards operating costs. It has to go a capital project or invest it in the endowment.” Larry Goldstein, president of Campus Strategies, LLC, a management consulting firm that assists colleges and universities in improving developmental issues, said a decrease in a college’s surplus is not necessarily alarming. “It’s an unusual swing, but given the times, I don’t think it’s dramatic,” Goldstein said. Goldstein said he thinks a college should have a minimum surplus of around 3 percent. The college’s surplus is currently around 2 percent based on the 2018–19 budget. “I would say the $20 million is a very comfortable surplus,” Goldstein said. “I believe 3 percent is the minimum surplus that you need to be safe with respect to the size of your operation. So to drop to 5 [million dollars], you drop below what I consider the minimum an institution like Ithaca should have to protect itself against an unanticipated shortfall.” Goldstein said it is important to see if the trend in a decreased surplus continues because


that would be concerning. Guerrero said the total cost of deferred maintenance currently is around $120 million. For the 2017–18 fiscal year, the college’s deferred maintenance costs equaled $170 million, according to the budget for the 2017–18 fiscal year. Deferred maintenance equaled $188 million, according to the 2016– 17 budget. Reynolds said that, in recent years, the college has begun to invest more in deferred maintenance because of aging and negligence. The cost to address maintenance issues is a problem being faced by colleges across the country, according to a report by Sightlines published in 2016. Sightlines is a company that has assessed deferred maintenance at the college since 2006.

I think it probably raised some eyebrows, and they [the board of trustees] were a little more cautious. —Beth Reynolds, controller in the Department of Business and Finance

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IC cost of attendance to exceed $60,000 for first time Bill Guerrero, vice president for finance and administration speaks at the All-College Gathering on Feb. 6, 2019. KRISTEN HARRISON/THE ITHACAN

The college’s 2019–20 budget breaks with recent trends by upping tuition’s percent increase By Ryan King — Staff Writer


uring its fall meeting, the Ithaca College Board of Trustees approved a 2.95 percent tuition increase for the 2019–20 academic year. This increase marks the first time in the college’s history that the total cost of attendance will exceed $60,000. The college’s tuition costs have been increasing every year for decades, but in recent years, the percentage of increase has been on a downward trajectory, a priority of former President Tom Rochon’s. This recent increase changes that. President Shirley M. Collado announced to the community via email Oct. 25 that the board

Tuition increase breakdown

and Campus Life, as well as additional personnel changes on campus — including the addition of two more counselors at the college’s Center for Counseling and Psychological Services — were done in an attempt to address these findings. Also in the campus-climate survey, students expressed a desire for more outlets on campus to address intersectionality. The college made staff changes to the Division of Student Affairs and Campus Life, which was partially funded by the budget surplus. During this current academic year, the college surplus dropped from $20 million to $5 million.

$126 million — 36 percent — of its $361 million potential earnings on financial aid. While the college budget is funded almost entirely through tuition and fees, the college also has another financial resource: the endowment, which is currently over $300 million. The endowment is the college’s financial investments that are funded through donations, returns on investments and, sometimes, small pieces of budget surpluses. Guerrero said the college is mandated to use large portions of the endowment funds a certain way and therefore, cannot use the entirety of the


$45,275 TOTAL STICKER PRICE OF ATTENDANCE: had agreed to raise tuition by 2.95 percent to $45,275, increase the rate of a standard double room by 2.35 percent to $8,769 and increase the price of a standard meal plan by 1.35 percent to $7,088. It brings the sticker price of attendance to $61,132. In the email, Collado said the increase reflects changes made to invest more in the student experience. The most recent campus climate survey from 2017, conducted by Rankin & Associates, Consulting, detailed numerous findings that indicated a general dissatisfaction among the student body in the diversity and inclusiveness of spaces on campus. The college has previously stated that the changes among the Division of Student Affairs

Bill Guerrero, vice president for finance and administration said the tuition increase came as result of funding more programs and positions on campus. “We don’t want a tuition increase, but we need to be responsible in trying to continue to meet the needs that are out there for the school,” he said. “That means investing in the right places, meaning investing in our students through financial aid and student services.” He said that it is important to remember that the sticker price for tuition is not the amount that most students pay. Collado said over 90 percent of students receive some form of financial aid. Financial aid accounts for a large portion of the college budget. The most recent college budget indicates that the college spent


$8,769 $7,088


endowment to offset tuition costs. He said the college does use some of the investment returns on the endowment for financial aid. In theory, the college could dedicate its entire yearly budget surplus to financial aid, but one of the issues with that is budgeting philosophy and planning ahead, Guerrero said. Rising tuition costs have become a national trend in higher education. The College Board study of tuitions in higher education concluded that tuition prices have gone from an average $17,010 real dollars in 1988 to $35,830 real dollars in 2018 — a111 percent increase. The same study said the average combined price of tuition, housing and dining for private institutions during 2018 and 2019 was $48,510, which is much lower than that of the college.


IC departments asked to cut budgets Departments are tasked with reallocating $1.4 million to balance the college’s 2019–20 budget By Madison Fernandez — News Editor 2019–20 year have not been finalized yet. The deadline to apply to the college was Feb. 1. As the college looks to increase financial aid and scholarships to attract prospective students by increasing the discount rate, the college needs to cut back on other expenses to balance the budget, said Marc Israel, assistant provost of finance and administrative operations. The budget is only a draft, and these ranges for cuts may change depending on the finalized enrollment numbers, Guerrero said. The budget will be voted on during the May Ithaca College Board of Trustees meeting. The deans were not given a specific amount to cut from their budgets, but rather asked to look at areas that have not been completely spent or could be covered by other funds, such as restricted accounts or endowed funds, said Diane Gayeski, dean of the Roy H. Park School of Communications. She said she thinks it is important that the college is looking to rebalance the budget so money can be allocated toward more targeted areas, such as critical repairs for facilities and adding resources in health, wellness and counseling. Gayeski said she has seen worse budget cuts in the past, like when there were significant cuts to faculty lines and freezes on tenure in the early ’90s under former President James J. Whalen. “None of those things are happening now,” she said. “I think, as far as what we’re seeing on the higher-ed landscape, this is not a reason for great alarm.”


Departments across Ithaca College have been asked to cut budgets in order to reallocate their funds to balance the budget for the 2019–20 fiscal year. The cuts are being made in anticipation of a projected lower enrollment for next year. A first step in ensuring that the college’s dollars are being used in efficient ways, the college has asked deans to look for soft targets, such as travel and supply expenses, to cut down on. Bill Guerrero, vice president for finance and administration, said these cuts are planned to be reallocated toward institutional priorities concerning students, faculty and staff, including increased expenses for faculty promotion, the strategic plan, resident assistant compensation, staff compensation and increases for annual salaries and wages. However, because admission numbers are not yet solidified, the budget and the anticipated cuts are subject to change as the May 1 deadline for enrollment at the college approaches. The Division of Finance and Administration has planned for approximately $1.4 million to be cut from academic affairs, affecting all schools across the college. The division also plans to reduce $1 million each from the college’s dining program and from Information Technology. The division has also asked that meals, travel and entertainment across departments at the college be cut down, but not by a specific dollar amount. By reallocating the money to go toward these goals, Guerrero said, he wants the college to be student-centered, and thus, faculty-centered because faculty members aid in student success. These targets are based on the projected enrollment for the upcoming fiscal year. This is anticipated to be 5,665 students, a number that Guerrero presented at the Spring 2019 All-College Gathering held Feb. 6. Enrollment has been declining over the past five years. The projected enrollment for the 2019–20 fiscal year is the lowest in the past five years; in the 2015–16 fiscal year, the college had 5,979 students. Guerrero said there is a large graduating class this year, a situation that also contributes to the lower enrollment. Also contributing to the college’s precarious financial situation is its reliance on student revenue — 88 percent of the college’s operating budget is made up of student fees. If there are fewer students, there is less revenue as expenses continue to grow. The exact numbers of total applications from prospective freshman students for the

Tom Swensen, professor and chair of the Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences and chair of the Faculty Council, said it is the economic reality of the college to have to shift budgets around. He said he thinks these changes could be positive in encouraging faculty and staff to think differently when planning their budgets for the future. Israel said that as of right now he does not believe that salaries are on the line. Guerrero said while an easy way to balance the budget would be to cut annual salary increases for faculty and staff, he will not do that because he is prioritizing employees. Gayeski said that another easy fix to balancing the budget would be to cut scholarship aid for students but that she is glad the college is committed to the retention of students. Guerrero said these smaller cuts across departments should be viewed as cumulative efforts rather than large cuts. He said that entire programs or departments are not at risk of being cut. Both Guerrero and Israel said the strategic plan, which is being developed, will help prioritize where the college’s money should be reallocated. “I don’t want people to see we’re cutting 1.4 million or we’re cutting all of this, then the school must be in real, real deep trouble,” Guerrero said. “That’s not really the story. We need to be efficient ... because we’re gearing up for the strategic plan.”

Annualized full–time undergraduate degree–credit enrollment



5,900 5,932 5,800

5,926 5,832 5,750


5,797 5,665

5,600 5,500












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Concerns raised about

As tuition rises, experts wonder if solely student-based revenue streams will last By Madison Fernandez — News Editor


thaca College’s sticker price has seen a sharp uptick in the past decade. It currently sits at $61,132 for tuition, room and board for the 2019–20 academic year. Due to these rising costs, it is unclear if students can continue to bear the weight of generating the bulk of the college’s revenue. “It’s an industry challenge,” said Bill Guerrero, vice president for finance and administration. “Certainly, cost of attendance is a concern of mine. And so what is happening is you have a lot of financial aid … to make that really affordable. But is it … really sustainable? I don’t believe it’s sustainable.” The college’s operating budget is primarily reliant on student fees. Guerrero said student fees, including tuition room and board, account for 88 percent of the college’s budget, a percentage that has remained consistent over the years. As tuition continues to rise at the college and at other higher education institutions nationwide, there are concerns that the price tag for the college will become unattainable for most students to meet. Although the college’s undergraduate enrollment has remained relatively consistent over the past few years, if the college’s main revenue source — students — is ever depleted, the OTHER REVENUE 2% INVESTMENT INCOME >1% STATE APPROPRIATION 1%

college could face a financial crisis. Scott Carlson, senior writer at The Chronicle of Higher Education and author of “Sustaining the College Business Model: How to Shore Up Institutions Now and Reinvent Them for the Future,” had an urgent tone when contemplating a drop in enrollment for a college heavily reliant on student fees. “A sudden drop of hundreds of students one year would be … how do I put this? … Disastrous,” he said via email. Guerrero said his personal target for the student contribution to the college’s revenue is in the mid-80 percent range. Ruth Hammond, senior editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education, compiled data to compare the college’s tuition dependence to other nonprofit private colleges’ revenue models. The college had the 17th highest dependency on student fees compared to other schools, however, 142 out of the 200 colleges in the classification relied on these fees for 85 percent or higher of their revenue. While the college is on the higher end of reliance, it is on par with similar institutions. In order to lower the percentage of student contribution, the college would need to diversify its sources of revenue. The income generated by the college’s



Budget Breakdown




It’s an industry challenge. I don’t believe it’s sustainable. –Bill Guerrero, vice president for finance and administration

endowment accounts for about 5 percent of the college’s revenue. Federal and state grants, and the Annual Fund, which is unrestricted donations, each account for just 1 to 3 percent of the college’s revenue, Guerrero said. President Shirley M. Collado said she agrees with Guerrero that the reliance on students for the majority of the college’s revenue is an issue. She said she hopes creative ideas can be formed to help solve this financial situation. “A viable and innovative financial plan for Ithaca College’s future is something that needs everyone’s ownership and best thinking,” Collado said via email. Carlson said the college must adapt given the changing conditions of who is enrolling in higher education institutions. According to the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education, the number of high school students graduating in the Northeast is projected to decrease over the next 10 years. New York is the state with the largest enrollment decline. Carlson said another issue that the college might face is a lower enrollment due to the Excelsior Scholarship, an aid package funded by New York state that provides aid to select families to enroll at SUNY and CUNY institutions, which may encourage high school students in New York to enroll elsewhere. Salvador Aceves, senior vice president and chief financial officer at Regis University and a facilitator in the Planning Institute in the Society for College and University Planning, acknowledged that the sticker price for higher

budget sustainability INCREASE IN DOLLARS

Increase in Ithaca College Tuition 45,000 43,000 41,000 39,000 37,000 35,000 33,000 1


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education institutions is generally increasing. At the same time, he said, the cost is worth it as long as the institution invests in the student learning experience, success and graduation rates. The college has made its fair share of these investments since Collado’s tenure began. A restructure in the Office of Student Engagement and Multicultural Affairs included a newly created Center for Inclusion Diversity Equity and Social Change (IDEAS); the Office of New Student and Transition Programs and the Office of Student Engagement — all with the hope of better supporting students. The college took $6.7 million from the budget surplus to be put toward salaries and benefits, including the new positions within the Division of Student Affairs and Campus Life. Guerrero said that while he would like to lower tuition, the college’s entire business model would have to change in order to do so. Instead, he said he wants to focus on changing the costs of other areas, like meal plans or rooming, to alleviate some of the financial pressure from students. Since he began his position at the college in July 2018, Guerrero has been attentive to the student body’s concerns. He has previously presented some of his ideas to increase affordability at the college and to improve the student experience to the Student Governance Council. His plan to reform the college’s dining hall experience is at the forefront. He said he wants to create a cheaper unlimited meal plan to address food insecurity at the college and to

make the dining experience simpler and more affordable and accessible. Guerrero said the college is in the process of finalizing the programmatic changes and prices and hopes to have the changes implemented for Fall 2019. Addressing other student concerns may not be as cost-efficient to students as the reduced meal plan. Students have been frustrated about the crumbling infrastructure on campus, specifically in residence halls. Guerrero also said that further down the line, renovating campus housing, specifically the Terraces and the Quads, is on the college’s radar but that it is more difficult to carry out due to the question of whether these areas should be torn down or modernized through renovations like updating bathrooms and kitchens. He estimated that the former plan could cost over $100 million, whereas the latter would be about half the price. Projects like these take time and commitment in addition to the large cost. If large renovations like these were to occur, the current students would indirectly be paying for these costs through room rates. “When you look at how nice our campus is and looks, yeah, there’s those spots, like Quads and Terraces, but those are predominant areas of where deferred maintenance is,” Guerrero said. Senior Kathryn Kandra said that while renovations and improvements to food could be beneficial, she thinks it is also worthwhile for the college to prioritize other aspects of the student



experience, like the quality of professors, classes and transportation on campus. “I think a continued focus on student success, more alumni support, the Career Center, things like that, those are the things I think they should focus on if they are thinking about not only renovations, just student happiness at this school,” she said. Freshman Minah Saint Cyr shared a similar sentiment. She said a higher cost of attendance would be justified if the money was being allocated toward updated facilities in academic buildings or more resources. “The reason people go to college is to form new experiences and get an education,” Saint Cyr said. “People who graduate from college don’t look back and say, ‘Oh, the food and the housing was so great.’ Those aren’t the perks of going to college.” In addition to strengthening the current student experience, the college is planning to diversify revenue sources. Guerrero said he anticipates the five-year strategic plan will encourage the college to look into new ways to decrease the financial burden on students. Guerrero said he sees potential in cultivating partnerships with members and organizations in the community to drive grants, create new educational models or to share resources to save expenses. For instance, if the college was to conduct off-campus housing with a partner, that could be a new potential source of revenue. He also said he views the summer as an opportunity to bolster the college’s resources by utilizing the campus for summer programs. The college’s endowment is not insignificant in contributing to the revenue. The endowment for the 2018–19 fiscal year is $316,025,347. Guerrero said he does not view the endowment as a safety net but rather as support for students and as financial aid. The college’s endowment has been on an upward trend; in 2017, the endowment topped $300 million for the first time. Guerrero said he is excited to move forward and to come up with different ways of diversifying the budget to help students. “Without any definitive ideas or decisions saying this is how we are doing it, that’s the reason why we’re having a strategic plan, is, how do we do things differently?” Guerrero said. “The landscape has changed. School is expensive; we don’t want it all to be on students. So how do we diversify it?”


Mollie Tibbetts, a student at the University of Iowa, went missing in July 2018 and was found dead the following month. JENNY FIEBELKORN/DES MOINES REGISTER

Social Media Controversies IC Republicans makes waves with two controversial social media posts. Another IC student draws condemnation for racist language on Snapchat. 34


IC Republicans politicizes murder of Iowa student IC Republicans sparked debate during the fall semester through controversial comments

IC Republicans slam undocumented immigrants By Grace Elletson — Editor in Chief The Ithaca College Republicans posted a press release on its social media platforms Sept. 4, 2018, calling for stricter immigration policies following the death of University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts, who was allegedly killed by an immigrant who entered the country illegally. “Mollie is just one of a long list of American citizens who have been slain by the viciousness that is illegal immigration,” the press release stated. “Illegal immigrants come to our country and have no respect for the rule of law. They smuggle in drugs, dismantle communities and abuse the welfare state.” The statement promotes the widely disputed

Undocumented immigrants in the United States are


less likely

to be convicted of homicide than native-born Americans. – Cato Institute study claim that undocumented immigrants have committed a high number of violent crimes against Americans than American citizens. According to a study conducted by the Cato Institute, undocumented immigrants in the United States are 25 percent less likely to be convicted of homicide than native-born Americans. Many other studies have also proven this data true. Tibbetts was thought to have gone missing while out on a jog in mid-July. On Aug. 21, police found Tibbetts’ body, and Cristhian Bahena

Rivera was arrested and charged for her murder the same day. Since then, various political figures have politicized Mollie’s death to draw attention to immigration policy, including Donald Trump Jr., Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and President Donald Trump. “Mollie Tibbetts, an incredible young woman, is now permanently separated from her family,” Trump said in a video posted to his Twitter on Aug. 22. “A person came in from Mexico illegally and killed her. We need the wall. We need our immigration laws changed. We need our border laws changed. We need Republicans to do it because the Democrats aren’t going to do it.” Mollie’s father, Rob Tibbetts, published an op-ed in the Des Moines Register on Sept. 1 asking people to stop politicizing his daughter’s death. “Please leave us out of your debate,” Rob wrote. “Allow us to grieve in privacy and with dignity. At long last, show some decency. On behalf of my family and Mollie’s memory, I’m imploring you to stop.” He continued, “The person who is accused of taking Mollie’s life is no more a reflection of the Hispanic community as white supremacists are of all white people. To suggest otherwise is a lie.” Senior Lucas Veca, president of IC Republicans, said he primarily wrote the press release but approved it with the club’s executive board before posting it on social media. “We did this because we wanted to start a conversation about immigration,” he said. Veca said he understands immigrants are often fleeing from “horrific” situations to enter the United States illegally. However, he said that he still values upholding the rule of law. “I wouldn’t say this was racist at all,” Veca said.


Concerning the press release’s assertion that undocumented immigrants have “slain” a “long list of American citizens,” Veca said that this pointed to his concern that some undocumented immigrants do commit violent crimes. Veca said he was not aware of the op-ed that Rob wrote before he himself wrote the press release. He said he understands Rob’s argument and is open to debate whether this press release was the best way to raise conversations about immigration issues. Senior Alyse Harris, president of the Student Governance Council, said via email that the SGC does not support the language used in the press release and disagrees with IC Republicans’ decision to politicize Mollie’s death. “While SGC respects all students’ rights to speak freely, we cannot condone language and statements that are deeply intolerant,” Harris said via email. “One person’s actions should never stand to represent an entire group of people. When we continue this rhetoric, it wounds our community.” There are no rules prohibiting racist language spread by a student group’s social media account in the college’s Student Conduct Code. Michael Leary, assistant director for judicial affairs, said that while the language in the press release is concerning, it is protected under the college’s policy on free speech. IC Republicans released a statement Sept. 24, 2018, apologizing for politicizing the death of Mollie. “The IC Republicans would like to formally apologize to the Tibbets’ [sic] family for elevating their tragedy to the national stage,” the statement said. “We would also like to state that we recognize the generalizations made were wrong. It is wrong to say that all illegal immigrants engage in crimes against the people of the United States.”


The Ithacan editorializes that the IC Republicans’ statement is inaccurate and offensive

By The Ithacan — Sept. 12, 2018


he Ithaca College Republicans released a concerning statement regarding the death of 20-year-old Mollie Tibbetts, who was allegedly killed by Cristhian Bahena Rivera, an immigrant who entered the country illegally from Mexico.

IC Republicans ... are also creating an uncomfortable environment for immigrant students on campus. — The Ithacan Editorial Board Following the identification of Tibbetts’ alleged killer, many conservatives cited his Mexican origins and status as an undocumented immigrant as all the more reason to control undocumented immigration and build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. IC Republicans was no exception — the group tweeted out the press release and pointed to illegal immigration as the cause of crime. They concluded the tweet with the hashtag #BuildTheWall. In the statement, IC Republicans declare undocumented immigrants as a whole

“smuggle in drugs, dismantle communities and abuse the welfare state.” These stereotypes are undoubtedly pulled from the hateful rhetoric that has surrounded undocumented immigrants from Mexico and other nonwhite countries for centuries. Additionally, multiple studies have shown the crime rates of undocumented immigrants are significantly lower than native-born Americans. IC Republicans’ argument goes beyond conservative principles — it is a gross display of racism and xenophobia. IC Republicans President Lucas Veca denies that the group’s statement is racist. But if attributing negative characteristics of some members of a race to the race as a whole constitutes a form of racism, then this statement certainly qualifies. On top of being explicitly racist, IC Republicans’ statement is also insensitive and disrespectful to Tibbetts and her memory. Tibbetts’ father, Rob Tibbetts, wrote an op-ed


asking that his daughter not be used as the face of an immigration debate. This is not to argue that conservative ideas about immigration should be shut down. Conservative beliefs should be accepted or challenged at the college just as liberal ideas should be. However, engaging both liberal and conservative beliefs does not mean we should be accepting racist beliefs. Not only does IC Republicans degrade conservatism as a whole with their statement, they are also creating an uncomfortable environment for immigrant students on campus, which is unacceptable. Immigrant students — undocumented or not — need to know that they are supported at our institution. IC Republicans have painted racist, broad assumptions about a group of people who have proved again and again to be innovative, hardworking and devoted — all qualities that make America truly great.

July 18, 2018

Aug. 21, 2018

Aug. 22, 2018

Mollie Tibbetts, a 20-year-old University of Iowa student, is reported missing after going on a jog in rural Iowa. A search effort begins in and around Pella, Iowa.

Tibbetts’ body is found near where she disappeared, five weeks after being reported missing. Hours after finding her body, investigators say they have 24-year-old Cristhian Bahena Rivera in custody. Rivera is revealed to have been living in the U.S. illegally.

President Donald Trump tweets a video stating that Tibbetts‘ death highlighted the need for tougher immigration enforcement, as well as government funding for a border wall. Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, Vice President Mike Pence and Iowa Rep. Steve King all release their own statements politicizing the murder.


IC Republicans receive backlash again a month later for promoting cultural appropriation


By Phoebe Harms — Staff Writer Ithaca College Republicans has received backlash again from the Ithaca College community for statements it posted to social media regarding cultural appropriation on Halloween. The statements were in response to a flier posted around campus, which explained the definition of cultural appropriation and informed students how to approach wearing costumes in a culturally sensitive manner. The IC Republicans Twitter and Facebook accounts posted photos of the flier paired with the captions “Make sure you don’t have fun this Halloween! Wouldn’t want someone to complain!” and “Remember: Fun is strictly forbidden this Halloween. You might offend someone!” Additionally, IC Republicans tweeted in response to the Center for Inclusion Diversity Equity and Social Change (IDEAS) — a department within the Division of Student Affairs and Campus Life, which encouraged students to not dress in culturally appropriative costumes. IDEAS tweeted, “If you need your Halloween costume to rely on tired cultural stereotypes, it probably isn’t as cool or edgy as you think it is. Don’t be derivative. Don’t appropriate.” IC Republicans replied via Twitter saying, “If your outrage relies on someone’s Halloween costume you probably aren’t ready for adulthood. Don’t be manipulated. Don’t conform. Wear what you want, and have some fun.” Both posts from IC Republicans received immediate responses from several students and alumni, on both Twitter and Facebook, criticizing the statements. Cultural appropriation was defined on the flier as “the utilization of one’s culture without permission.” This is often abused on Halloween when individuals dress up in costumes that take from others’ cultures. Many criticize cultural appropriative behavior for reinforcing power dynamics within society by reducing members

of marginalized communities to costumes. Rosanna Ferro, vice president of the Division of Student Affairs and Campus Life, said in response to the situation via email that students should be respectful of one another. “We encourage civility, thoughtfulness and respect from all members of the campus community toward all,” Ferro said via email. Ferro did not have comments specifically directed at IC Republicans. Senior Lucas Veca, president of IC Republicans, said on behalf of the group that it feels that its intentions behind its tweets were misunderstood by the community. He said it wanted to show that there are various opinions on cultural appropriation. “The IC Republicans believe that, in light of recent events, the state of political discourse in our nation is scary and dangerous,” IC Republicans said. “We are able to admit that we have, at times, contributed to this dangerous rhetoric and we regret that. … Our goal in

tweeting about cultural appropriation was to increase awareness for every individual’s right to freedom of expression and to display that there are different opinions on this issue. The right to expression ought to apply to everyone equally.” Sophomore Thomas Peyton, who responded on Twitter to IC Republicans’ tweet in reference to the original tweet from IDEAS, said he believes that IC Republicans was posting with the intent to offend others and be provocative. “In today’s political climate, any deviation from productive conversation is just useless noise,” Peyton said. “That’s all IC Republicans are to our campus: noise.” Catherine Proulx ’17 tweeted at the college asking, “Can y’all have a talk with ic reps leadership? They’ve gone from intellectual diversity to plain ol racism.” During her time at the college, Proulx was a part of the Student Government Council and headed IC Progressives, a progressive political group on campus.


Aug. 23, 2018

Sept. 1, 2018

Sept. 4, 2018

Sept. 24, 2018

The Iowa medial examiner’s officer reports that Tibbetts died as a result of “sharp force injuries.”

Tibbetts’ father, Rob Tibbetts, publishes an op-ed in the Des Moines Register asking people to stop politicizing his daughter’s death.

The Ithaca College Republicans post a press release on its social media platforms calling for stricter immigration policies following the death of Tibbetts. The release generalized all “illegal immigrants” as people more likely to commit crime than native-born Americans, a debunked claim.

IC Republicans released a statement apologizing for politicizing the death of Mollie Tibbetts in the previous press release, and stated that they recognize they made false generalizations.



Ithaca College reckons A video of an IC student saying the N-word reopens conversations about racism on campus

Racist social media post kickstarts conversation By Grace Elletson — Editor in Chief An Ithaca College student has apologized for a Snapchat video posted sometime between Dec. 7 and Dec. 8 that drew a statement from the college condemning its racist language. The college’s statement, written by Rosanna Ferro, vice president for Student Affairs and Campus Life, was posted to Intercom on Dec. 8. Ferro wrote in the statement that the student had been contacted by the college and that while the college cannot regulate the speech of students, Ferro said “…that does not mean we must simply let racist speech go unchallenged.” “We became aware today of a recent social media post by an Ithaca College student that contains an abhorrent racial slur,” Ferro wrote. “The college strongly condemns such language as antithetical to our values, and we understand the hurt that our community has experienced as a result of it. Such incidents are a reminder

that we can never become complacent, and that education is a constant and ongoing necessity when striving to make our campus a place where respect for all people is truly our community’s standard.” The Snapchat story was filmed and posted to Twitter. In the video, it shows sophomore Khush Khemlani talking to the camera and at one point in the video, she states, “I look like a f—— n—–.” “I get every Friday — every single f—— Friday, I shave, I exfoliate — and I get level three, spray tan clear,” Khemlani said in the video. “So that while the hours pass by I get darker and darker and in thirty seconds I look like a f—— n—–. Sorry, sorry. I don’t know if anyone that has my story will get offended.” Khemlani said she is sorry for the language she used in the video. “I am deeply sorry for what I said and that I

posted it on social media,” Khemlani wrote in a Facebook message. “There is no excuse for what I have done, and unfortunately it is something that I cannot take back. I cannot take back the pain that I have caused others, but with all of the feedback I am receiving, I have begun to understand that actions speak louder than words, and that this is beyond unacceptable. I am sorry to anyone who was offended, and you have a right to be. What I did was wrong and I am regretful for the harm it has caused others.” According to her Facebook profile, Khemlani is from San Juan, Puerto Rico. She also refers to herself as “Hindurican” in a caption of a photo. Students and alumni reacted negatively to the Snapchat video on social media, many asking the college respond to the language. After the incident, the college held a number of events for the campus community to express their concerns and ask questions.

College creates space for campus community to discuss racist Snapchat video posted by student By John Turner and Grace Elletson — Contributing Writer and Editor in Chief Approximately 200 students, faculty and staff members of the Ithaca College community came together at an open forum to discuss the racist video that surfaced on social media in December 2018. The forum aimed to provide a space for community members to voice their

concerns and to discuss how to move forward. Rosanna Ferro, vice president of Student Affairs and Campus Life, and other administrators created an opportunity for dialogue at the forum. The forum had to be moved from its original

location in Klingenstein Lounge to the Emerson Suites to accommodate the large turnout. The discussion was led by Ferro; Bonnie Prunty, dean of Students; Sean Eversley Bradwell, director of the Center of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Social Change; and La Jerne

Dec. 7–8, 2018

Dec. 8, 2018

Dec. 8, 2018

Sometime between Dec. 7 and 8, sophomore Khush Khemlani posts a Snapchat video in which she uses the N-word.

The video is reposted on social media and draws criticism. Ithaca College releases a statement written by Rosanna Ferro, vice president of Student Affairs and Campus Life, saying that the college cannot regulate speech, but that racist speech should not “go unchallenged.”

After the college’s statement was released, Khemlani apologized for the language she used in the video calling it “beyond unacceptable.”


Dec. 11, 2018 Approximately 200 students, faculty and staff members of the college community came together at an open forum to discuss the racist video and speak about how to move forward.


with racism Cornish, provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs. Cornish said the purpose of the forum was not about attacking each other but rather to have a dialogue to understand the situation and the feelings provoked by the video. She led an exercise where students said out loud one word to describe how they were feeling as a result of the video. These emotions included: disgusted, disrespected, betrayed and amused. After this exercise, Bradwell and Prunty facilitated an exercise where attendees offered solutions to move forward. The administration asked that conversations held during the forum be paraphrased so that personal identities were not revealed due to the sensitivity of the discussion. The following sources gave permission to use their thoughts in this article. Freshman Nile Gossa-Tsegaye asked during the event that all faculty state how they felt about the video that surfaced. Bradwell responded that he was upset because as a black man, he understands the struggle of being comfortable in black skin. “For me, the problem wasn’t necessarily the use of the word,” Bradwell said. “For me, the problem was that I’m married to a black woman, I raised a black woman, my granddaughter is a black woman, and I know the impact that it has in terms of black women and being comfortable in their skin.” Prunty said that she was not shocked but was disappointed by sophomore Khush Khemlani’s words. Prunty emphasized that she wants to understand how to help students moving forward. Cornish said that, as a black woman, she does not use the N-word. She said that it is a time to have a discussion around the use of the word and hold people accountable for their use

Dec. 12, 2018 Approximately a dozen students attended a follow-up forum in the Peggy Ryan Williams Center. The forum was an extension of the first forum for those who could not attend the first.

of words. “Gone are the days where we call folks out,” Cornish said. “We are now in the days where we call folks in, and we hold them accountable for what they say. … As you can tell from the white hairs on my head, I am a woman of a certain age, and I don’t use the word. I abhor the word; I struggle every time I hear the word, with an ‘a’ with an ‘er’ or any other kind of variation you want to have on that word.” Cornish said Khemlani was not expelled because the college policy does not regulate speech, but said this was a “teachable moment” and she added that the college will make sure to add a statement of values in the five-year strategic plan. Ferro said she wants the college community to know that she and senior leadership at the college are taking this seriously and value community feedback moving forward. “We knew we weren’t going to resolve the issue, but we needed to act quickly and give students the space to be heard,” she said. “We needed to act quickly and for them to see that we as administration of the college and senior leadership are taking this very seriously, and that this is something we are going to continue to work on and figure out ways to systematically address these issues.” Many students expressed mixed reactions to the forum and to the video. Freshman Leah Aulisio-Sharpe said she thinks the situation is larger than one student and that it is going to take a lot for real change. “Good steps are being taken,” AulisioSharpe said. “But it’s going to take more than a forum.” Similarly, freshman Shanteesh Stewart said it was important for faculty to hear from students because they have power to make change. She also said that she agrees with the sentiment

Jan. 30, 2019 Approximately 70 people attended the program in the Emerson Suites in which Sean Eversley Bradwell, director of the Center for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Social Change (IDEAS), hosted a discussion and panel on the origins and usage of the “N-word.”


expressed by other students at the forum that the burden is put on people of color to take action, but that it also needs support of white people to take action. Other students were encouraged by the support of certain faculty. Freshman Kamira Armstrong said she appreciated that many community members attended the event because it is important to respond as a community moving forward. “I thought it was necessary to give students that space to reflect on it,” she said. “People are wondering what the solution is going to be.” Sophomore Tatiana Rivera said she thinks the dialogue was really important but disagreed with some of the recommendations people gave for the college: to add more mandatory classes and workshops for students on issues of inclusivity. “You can’t make something mandatory, because people have to be willing to learn and see that change,” she said. “There’s more to it than what the institution can do. It’s more about what individuals can do.” Freshman Jordin Price said she was glad she went and is hopeful for the future. “I think the event was an emotional turnout, but it made me really excited and happy to see what comes out after,” she said. “I got to see allyship be actually applied. I’m seeing little by little there’s action being done, and as a POC on campus, as a freshman, it’s amazing to me.” This has not been the first time that the college has had to deal with racist incidents. In the past, students protested for the resignation of the former President Tom Rochon after a series of racially charged events happened on campus. This movement was led by the group POC at IC. Staff Writer Ryan King contributed reporting.

Feb. 6, 2019 The college held a third follow-up discussion about the racist video and two students attended. At the previous two conversations, students discussed how the video made them feel and how the college was responding. Some have criticized the college’s response as lackluster.


College holds two more forums on racist social media video Students exit the first community gathering held Dec. 11 to discuss a video of a student using a racial slur. A second gathering was held Dec. 12. CONNOR LANGE/THE ITHACAN

By Rachel Heller and Sam Haut — Staff Writers


pproximately a dozen Ithaca College students attended a follow-up open forum Dec. 12 in the Peggy Ryan Williams Center to discuss the racist Snapchat video that went viral on social media in December 2018. The forum acted as an extension of the first forum held December 11, 2018, and allowed students who could not attend the first forum to express their concerns and thoughts about how to move forward. Sophomore Khush Khemlani said in an interview with The Ithacan she is still unsure why she made and posted the video with the racist remark but that she now recognizes it was unacceptable. Although she has received a large number of negative comments because of the video, she said she appreciates members of the community who took time to explain to her their grievances with her language. “I think that the way it has gone viral, and with all the views and the comments, it shows a lot how I’ve upset people,” Khemlani said. “I think that a part of me has appreciated that a lot of people have gotten back to me and taken the time … to make sure I was conscious of why it was wrong and why it’s gone viral. And it’s brought me to educating myself a little more about the situation.” Khemlani said Dean of Students Bonnie Prunty reached out to her to arrange a meeting after the video went viral to ensure that Khemlani was not in any danger, but also to discuss the issues with Khemlani’s racist statement. Khemlani said she received a threatening phone call from an unknown number, which advised her to “sleep with one eye open.” She reported the call to the Office of Public Safety and Emergency Management but chose not to follow up with it. Khemlani said the college administration has not spoken to her about any

judicial actions or consequences. She also said at the time that she planned on attending an event that was held Jan. 30 titled “The N-Word: History, Ownership & Usage.” However, she did not end up attending. Khemlani said she is not sure how she will continue to educate herself on race issues in the future but that she is looking into specific race-based classes to take next semester. Prunty and Sean Eversley Bradwell, director of the Center of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Social Change, led the second forum. La Jerne Cornish, provost and vice president for academic affairs, was also in attendance. Bradwell and Prunty provided attendees with an overview of the conversation that occurred at the first forum, and then allowed students to voice their thoughts and feelings on where the college should go from there. Some students in attendance talked about enforcing the idea in the college’s classes that racism still exists, since it seems like some of the college’s students believe that racism is no longer prevalent. Other students brought up the need for a more diverse faculty. Cornish said her goal is for the college to have 50 faculty of color within the next five years. Bradwell added that it is important to have more faculty that understand what racism looks like. Students also discussed how they have experienced color blindness at the college and said they have encountered faculty and students who claim that they “don’t see color.” This is a sentiment that has been critiqued because racism is often systemic, and race should not be disregarded when addressing these issues. Bradwell agreed that color blindness is an issue the college has to address. He said that having privilege is what allows people to act like race does not matter.


The college then held a third follow-up discussion Feb. 6, 2019, and two students attended. Present at the event were many of the college’s senior administration: Collado, Prunty, Cornish, Ferro, Bill Guerrero, vice president for finance and administration, Robert Wagner, executive director of Strategic Communications; and Nicole Eversley Bradwell, interim vice president and director of admission. There were nine community members in attendance as well. Freshman Sebastian Chavez, who did not attend the previous events on the topic, said he wanted to know what the administrators in attendance had to say about the video. Going around a set of two tables pushed together that people in attendance were seated around, the administrators’ reactions to the video was a mix of shock, surprise and disappointment. Chavez said he is worried about what the community will do when racist language is used again. He also said that the lack of students at the event did not put him at ease. “Where do we go from here? Because it’s going to happen again, and it scares me because you guys set up all these chairs and all these tables, and no one’s here,” Chavez said. Cornish said she expected more people to show up to the discussion based on the attendance at the previous discussions and one held by Sean Bradwell, but said that she understands. “Sometimes we are most present at the height of the pain,” Cornish said. “It’s been over a month since that incident happened. I promise you, if another video shows up tomorrow, folks will be expecting us to show up later this week or early next week to address it. ... We’re here for all of our students, be there two students, three students, or 300 students in front of us.”

Column: Who gets to say the N-word?


By Mahad Olad — Columnist Sophomore Khush Khemlani, an Ithaca College student, posted a video on her Snapchat account where she describes herself as “a f—— n—er” after receiving a spray tan. On Twitter it drew strong condemnation Mahad Olad from the college community. Kudos to college administrators for hosting a series of events to discuss the history of this racial slur and its enormous impact on the African-American community. When I first saw the video, I just sighed and rolled my eyes. This isn’t the first — and certainly won’t be the last — time I’ve heard a nonblack person uttering the N-word in a so-called “progressive” environment. As many black

students can attest, hearing a racial slur on this campus isn’t new. This incident went viral, and it does pose some tricky questions. This student is a person of color. She said n—er and not n—a. Although both words shouldn’t come out of her mouth, the word n—er undoubtedly carries a distinct sting because of its connection to slavery and racial oppression. The college decided not to punish Khemlani, presumably on free speech grounds. I attended last week’s lecture and panel discussion on the N-word and its history. The word n—er has been utilized as a racial slur against African-Americans since 1786. The term n—a came about in the late 1970s from black comedians and was further popularized by rap and hip-hop artists like Tupac Shakur, who argued that the word n—a can function as a term of affection. At the panel discussion, some black people argued that both words are hideous and should

disappear from our vocabulary because of its ties to white oppression. When black people, especially music artists, use n—a, it normalizes the word to the point where nonblack folks feel perfectly comfortable saying it. I understand and respect the sensibilities of black people who wish for the complete extinction of the N-word and its derivatives. It carries a lot of power and can elicit a visceral reaction. From my perspective, I think it’s possible to reclaim a term of racial hatred and use it to convey other meanings. After all, the significance of a particular word is contingent on who says it, in what context and for what reason. I will probably never be comfortable with nonblack usages of n—a, even if they’re merely referring to it and not using it. I understand the crucial differences between the two, but it still feels awkward hearing it from a nonblack person even if it’s not for malicious reasons. In any event, if you’re not black, don’t use the N-word.

Commentary: IC needs to handle racism better By Brianna Williams An Ithaca College student created a Snapchat video that included her use of a racial slur and soon after the video went viral. Following this, the administration of Ithaca College invited the entire campus community to an open conversation. I am a student of color who felt personally attacked by the actions this student took, and I made it a priority to attend this event in the hopes of finding healing and unity in the college’s response. Disrespected is the best word I have to describe how I felt after the open conversation. I felt disrespected because we were not given the opportunity to discuss the video. I felt silenced when each student in attendance was given the opportunity to only say one word to describe how the racism in that video made them feel. I felt like they were humoring us when they gave us the floor and suggested that we offer up solutions, but not allowing us to speak of the solution many of us wanted.

Ithaca College is a school begging for diversity, begging for diverse faces to join their white ranks, but what do they give us as an incentive for joining this campus community? ALANA scholarships and a tolerance for racism? This video is not the first incident of racism on our campus, and this student is not the first example of Ithaca College’s tolerance for it. I expect to be heard. My skin is brown, and it is beautiful, but I did not always feel this way. There are days when I can’t keep memories of racially fueled bullying in my childhood from clouding my perception of myself. When I was in kindergarten other children would call me things like “monkey” and “frizz-ball” on the school bus. I was just a little girl when I heard my first racial slur. I was just a little girl when I cried in confusion from being constantly left out and bullied for features that my mom had told me were beautiful. In high school I was told to go back to where I came from, to go

pick cotton like I’m “supposed” to. Boys told me that they wouldn’t date black girls when I would admit I had a crush on them. I suffered through countless racial slurs when all I was trying to do was get an education. Teachers laughed in my face when I tried to receive the justice I knew I deserved. And now I feel that laughter once more. I felt it when a member of the faculty was chuckling at the start of the forum because they were surprised that we even showed up. We were fed lies and slight nods at suggestions of mandatory diversity classes. It was too much, and I felt my stomach reject it. What happens when this kind of blatant racism happens again? What happens to the racism we POC experience on campus and report? What happens now? I never got the chance to take the mic either; the discussion ended before I was given an opportunity to speak. So, I decided to share my suggestion to the administration in this open letter: Zero-tolerance.

This video is not the first incident of racism on our campus, and this student is not the first example of Ithaca College’s tolerance for it. — Brianna Williams 41


Protesters on The Commons hold up signs expressing opposition to President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency at the border. RYAN KING/THE ITHACAN

Politics & National News Historic midterm elections, continuations of the #MeToo movement and clashes at the US-Mexico border define the year nationally and on campus. 42

College reacts to 2018 midterm election results


Democrats win House majority, while Republicans make Senate gains By Sam Haut — Staff Writer


fter a tense election season, the midterm results were made official late Nov. 5. On the national stage, Democrats were able to flip enough seats to capture the House of Representatives, while Republicans held onto the Senate by a few extra seats. In Tompkins County, where Ithaca College is located, Republican Congressional Candidate Tom Reed (R-NY) held onto his seat for his fifth election in a row, beating Democratic Candidate Tracy Mitrano 55 percent to 45 percent. In New York state, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY), was reelected as was Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) in the Senate. This election resulted in a series of firsts among people of color elected into office. Democratic Candidate Jared Polis in Colorado became the first openly gay man to be elected governor. Democratic Candidate Deb Haaland in New Mexico and Democratic Candidate Sharice Davids in Kansas are the first Native American women elected to Congress. Davids also identifies as queer. At the college, many students voted in the midterm election, whether they did so through absentee ballots in their hometowns or decided to register to vote in 23rd District. Sophomore Zachery Islam said he anticipated the Democrats would take the House, but this could cause Republicans to shift their tactics. “I’m not going to say I’m surprised that the Democrats took over the House,” Islam said. “I think that was obviously a response to who is currently in the White House. ... I think Republicans will go a little more defensive on their politics now that they lost the House.” On Ithaca’s traditionally liberal campus, most other voters were pleased with the midterm outcomes. Senior Brianna Westad said she would have liked if the Democrats had flipped the Senate but that she was hopeful that more diverse candidates ran in several races. “The way the Trump presidency is going and the way everything is bought out, … I’m really glad about the representation that did come out of it,” she said. Westad said she voted at the polling center at Circles Community Building on Election Day, and that she is glad that New York stayed blue. Fred Peterbark, director of music admissions and preparatory programs in the Department of

Music, said he voted for the Democratic Party and is not surprised by the election results. “I wouldn’t say I’m too surprised,” Peterbark said. “At the end of the day, there’s now a possibility for greater checks and balances within Congress and the executive branch.” Sophomore Gabriela Fernandez said she also voted at the Circles Community Building for New York’s 14th District. She said she is pleased both with the victories that the Democrats got in the House and with the historic firsts of Native American and people of color elected. Fernandez said she thinks the large number of women who won seats will have an effect on policy down the road. “I hope that it will affect it positively, especially now because of so many women ... in the House,” Fernandez said. “Specifically with abortion, Title IX, immigration reform … that will be different.” Donald Beachler, associate professor in the Department of Politics, said the priorities of Democrats and Republicans in this election differed greatly. “Democrats feel that Trump is a threat to traditional American liberties and democratic processes,” Beachler said. “Republicans fear that Democrats are a bunch of multiculturalists who want to open the southern border.” Carlos Figueroa, assistant professor in the Department of Politics, said Republicans were

The expected ‘blue wave’ did not necessarily hit shore. — Carlos Figueroa, assistant professor in the Department of Politics more focused on making economic gains with their votes whereas Democrats wanted to stall Trump’s social policies. Figueroa said he hopes that, by having Democrats in control of the House, there will be more room for compromise. “The hope is that these midterm elections will serve as a brake to the ... right-wing reactionary politics that we’ve seen,” Figueroa said. Figueroa said the gains of the Democratic Party in this election will be instrumental in giving it a better position on key issues. “The expected ‘blue wave’ did not necessarily hit shore,” Figueroa said. “But, don’t get me wrong, the Democratic Party regaining the House for the first time in eight years is critical to the party’s national vitality.”

Registered voters in Tompkins County voted Nov. 6 at the Circles Community Building, a polling location on campus. Students and community members can vote at this polling place. ANDREW TREVES/THE ITHACAN


N E W S : P O L I T I C S & N AT I O N A L N E W S

2018 ELECTION DATA House and Senate seats S E N ATE

435 seats in the House were up for election

35 races were held for Senate seats


199 235









Women in office

255 WOMEN from the two major parties ran for office


How men and women voted 47%

59% WO M E N 40%



Voter turnout eligible people ages


18 to 29 who voted in the midterms


United 49.3% States citizens who voted



Tompkins County voters who voted



of registered voters in NY state voted

Sources: The Financial Times, Brookings Institute, The Washington Post, Pew Research Center, the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement,, New York State Board of Elections



Local and national voter turnout increases in 2018 midterms Students and other age groups voted in record numbers By Ryan King — Staff Writer

Voter turnout increased both on a national level and locally in Tompkins County in the 2018 midterm elections. JULIA CHERRUAULT/THE ITHACAN

In keeping with national trends, voter turnout in Tompkins County increased dramatically in the 2018 midterm elections when compared with the previous midterm in 2014. Stephen Dewitt, Tompkins County Board of Elections Democratic commissioner, said turnout increased substantially. He said early indications show that approximately 63 percent of registered voters in Tompkins County voted on Election Day compared with 53 percent of Tompkins County voters who voted back in 2014. In the 2016 presidential election cycle, which typically has a higher turnout, 79 percent of registered voters cast a ballot. In addition, Dewitt said the county issued more than 3,900 absentee ballots and has received over 3,100 absentee ballots so far, a number that marks a significant increase from the last midterm election cycle. In 2014, the county received 1,483 absentee ballots, according to Dewitt said he believes younger voters, in particular, had a significant increase in voter turnout from the previous midterm, but he added that the final data is not available yet. “There’s a sense, but it’s mostly anecdotal at this point, that there was much more interest in participation by younger people under 35 years old than in the past,” Dewitt said. At the state level, the New York State Board of Elections reported that over 50 percent of registered voters cast ballots. The total number of votes cast in 2018 increased by 42 percent statewide from the 2014 midterms. At the national level,

some experts said voter turnout in the 2018 midterm election is the highest it has been in a midterm election since 1966. Donald Beachler, associate professor in the Department of Politics, who has coauthored two books about elections and has taught classes on election politics, said he believes a driving force in voter turnout this election cycle was President Donald Trump. “He fires people up in both directions,” Beachler said. “People feel intensely positive about him, and people feel intense hostility towards him.” Democrats won control of the U.S. House of Representatives and made gains in some of the governor’s races. Beachler said a big part of the reason why Democrats had success was the higher voter turnout. “We had more than a normal midterm electorate,” he said. “High turnouts generally benefit the Democrats. … It’s not how we pick the president, but Democrats have won six out of the last seven popular votes when there was high turnout.” Carlos Figueroa, assistant professor in the Department of Politics, said he believes a lot of the social movements that grew under the Trump presidency helped create an increase in voter turnout this election cycle. “In general, the trends with people who were involved in the post-2016 election [activities] like the second version of the MeToo movement … and all that discussion led to more [involvement] at the local level, which led to more people turning out,” he said.


N E W S : P O L I T I C S & N AT I O N A L N E W S

Standing vigil against As U.S. immigration policy draws global attention, IC students join the countermovement

IC students protest at the Arizona-Mexico border By Grace Elletson, Maggie McAden and Ryan King — Editor in Chief, Assistant News Editor and Staff Writer


he southern border of the United States has been holding the spotlight in American mainstream media over the past few months, primarily due to the contentious immigration policies employed by President Donald Trump’s administration that are being widely critiqued. A group of Ithaca College students recently took a trip to the U.S.-Mexico border to challenge these policies they deem as violent and oppressive. They were also there to bring light to broader causes, like neoliberal policies that cause mass migration, and local activism that addresses how their migrants’ hometowns can be restored. The trip, which took place from Nov. 15 to 18, led seven students to Nogales, Arizona, and Sonora, Mexico, where they participated in the School of the Americas Watch 2018 Border Encuentro. SOA Watch is an advocacy group that formed in 1990 to protest the U.S. Army School of the Americas — a school in Georgia that trains military in Western Hemisphere countries. SOA Watch says many of the school’s graduates have become some of the worst violators of human rights in Latin America.

In recent months, the Trump administration has come under fire for its family separation policy, which split up families seeking asylum at the southern border. Trump was also critiqued for stoking fear among Americans about the “migrant caravan,” a large group of people who were traveling to the U.S.-Mexico border. The Border Encuentro — the Spanish word for “meeting” — involved a series of rallies, protests, vigils, workshops and other demonstrations of activism on both sides of the U.S. and Mexico border with the aim to protest border imperialism, said Patricia Rodriguez, associate professor in the Department of Politics and one of the organizers of the trip. The first day of the Encuentro featured a rally and vigil at Eloy Detention Center and a protest in front of a gun manufacturer. The next day featured a vigil for the refugee caravan. The last day involved a ceremony near the border wall to honor people who have died there. For many of the students, the trip was not only an educational experience; but deeply personal. Rodriguez said all of the students who went on the trip were connected to a history of immigration in some way.

As part of the “Overnight Vigil in Solidarity with the Refugee Caravan” on Nov. 17, images were displayed of those who have been killed or disappeared at the U.S.-Mexico border. COURTESY OF PATRICIA RODRIGUEZ


When senior Joe Cruz attended a vigil to honor those who had died in border-related incidents, suddenly he heard his own name as the leaders read off a list of the dead. “It was so personal,” he said. “I just shared a connection to these people that had lost their lives. Being there when they couldn’t was one of the most impactful sensory experiences.” Cruz is a U.S. citizen from Texas, and his parents are Mexican immigrants. Junior Diana Castillo, the daughter of immigrants from Latin America, said the Encuentro highlighted how the U.S. has created conditions that led to mass migration. “If the U.S. just didn’t intervene in countries and cause extreme poverty and corruption of the government, then people wouldn’t leave their countries,” she said. Sophomore Daniela Rivero, a firstgeneration Mexican immigrant, also attended. “It’s definitely very personal because I see the children being detained and the families being attacked at the border, and those are my people,” she said. “[It] really just pokes holes in our conception of this state as one that protects freedoms and rights.”

A parade of green puppets depict border patrol officers. COURTESY OF PATRICIA RODRIGUEZ


violence at the border

The School of Americas Watch 2018 Border Encuentro hosted an “Overnight Vigil in Solidarity with the Refugee Caravan” on the Arizona side of the border Nov. 17. The vigil also included a die-in, which protested the deaths and disappearances of those who attempted to cross the southern border. COURTESY OF PATRICIA RODRIGUEZ

Commentary: Walls can also be built from thoughts By Joe Cruz “Marʉ́awe” or hello, in my tongue. My Mexica-Azteca centered upbringing reinforced images of Huitzilopochtli alongside framed portraits of former Texas Governor Rick Perry, and Reyna de México, mi Virgencita Senior Joe Cruz Morenita de Guadalupe. These were all creatures, landscapes, and spirits that inhabited leyendas, or oral legends, not internment camps or schools of spiritual cleansing. This unity across the divine and the secular speaks to my DNA. This bond between all spirits past, present and future not only speaks, but shouts at me, with great sound and fury as a Southern, queer, Chicano man who has witnessed egregious acts against humanity by western systems of power. These structures were put in place for what I believe was the ultimate warding off of patriarchal insecurity. The European Enlightenment-era male feared

what he couldn’t understand, including First Peoples of the Americas, so he put us in schools. A larger, stronger, more militarized wall around Jamestown created to keep these settlers limited to their camp would have allowed for my people to flourish. But perhaps these invaders of the “New World” would have wanted the natives of the land to pay for that wall in Jamestown too. As residents of the imperial settler-colony that is the United States, our dance around the topic of citizenship is one we don’t know all the steps to, but one that we perform with great pomp and circumstance. Rather than gracefully approach it with reverence and class, we confidently stomp our way through this notion of who deserves to belong here and who does not. And in doing so, we lose sight of the floor beneath us and step on our own feet. Resulting in a public tumble broadcasted across the globe. As a person native to the land we share now and have shared since before 1492, I do not believe we are upholding the morals this country’s immigrant founding fathers advocated for. How else do you think my people survived the harsh


conditions of this land? With none other than brotherly love for one another and their habitat. Despite our shared dystopian circumstances, we must remain optimistic, not for ourselves but for one another. Requesting that people in suffering “look on the bright side” is a phrase rooted in privilege and invalidation. Let people live in their trauma. Let people approach their journey of healing at a time when they are ready. Try putting in the work to change systems and reclaim the institutions that were never made to empower some while lifting others up. And this is where I fall with my work in the war zone known as Nogales, Arizona/Sonora, México. It is something that requires great caution and introspection. Unknowing of how to proceed, since the marginalized most definitely do not need us to pretend we understand their struggle, I can act on the painful experiences I have come across and work to make sure others don’t encounter that venom I tasted. I can work to decolonize and deconstruct the borders I have mentally built. Walls, after all, are built from thoughts, not just blood and bricks.

N E W S : P O L I T I C S & N AT I O N A L N E W S

“Shattered by senseless violence” Hillel hosts vigil to honor victims of Pittsburgh synagogue shooting By Alexis Manore — Staff Writer

Members of the campus community attended a vigil in Muller Chapel Oct. 28 held to honor the victims and survivors of the shooting. SAM FULLER/THE ITHACAN


uffled sobs could be heard outside Muller Chapel where approximately 40 Ithaca College and local community members gathered as Hillel at Ithaca College led the group in song at a vigil Oct. 28, 2018. The vigil was held in honor of the victims and survivors of the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting. This was the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in United States history, killing 11 members of the Pittsburgh Jewish community. The shooter, Robert Bowers, was armed with three Glock handguns and an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle. Bowers had a history of posting anti-Semitic remarks on the internet. According to The Washington Post, after he was captured, Bowers told officers, “They’re committing genocide to my people. … I just want to kill Jews.” Many people in the United States attribute President Donald Trump’s rhetoric to the increase in anti-Semitic and racist sentiments and hate crimes. In 2016, 6,063 single-bias hate crimes occurred, which is an increase from 2015, when 5,818 single-bias hate crimes occurred. Hillel sang hymns, read from Psalms, gave speeches and lit 11 Yahrzeit candles to honor the victims and survivors of the shooting. Lauren Goldberg, executive director of Hillel at the college; Cantor Abbe Lyons, business manager of Hillel at the college; and Austin Reid, Springboard Innovation Fellow at the college, spoke and gave eulogies at the vigil.

Lyons said she is deeply saddened by the attack and condemned anti-Semitism. “Our hearts break for the senseless murder of our fellow Jews and all victims of vicious hate crimes,” Lyons said. “We condemn the dangerous rhetoric that permits such senseless violence, and we stand with the Tree of Life congregation.” Lyons said the Jewish community is not the only community that has come under attack and that many other groups have also been victims of acts of violence in the United States for years. “Our sense of justice compels us to address the core issues that are facing not just the Jewish people, but all people in our country and in our civil society,” she said. “This time the Jewish community was targeted, … other times it has been African Americans or Sikhs or Muslims, or members of the LGBTQ community.” Lyons said that now is an important time to reach out to those who have different views. “As a nation committed to the freedom of rights of all, we must commit to reach out not only to those who are like us, but especially, as our sacred Torah has taught us, to those with whom we disagree,” Lyons said. Reid said he believes this will not be the last time there will be an anti-Semitic attack. “The congregants who were murdered while singing these songs enter into a long line of Jews who died sanctifying God’s name,” Reid said. “This was not the first time Jews have been


The 11 victims who were killed are

Jerry Rabinowitz, 66 Cecil Rosenthal, 59 David Rosenthal, 54 Rose Mallinger, 97 Bernice Simon, 84 Sylvan Simon, 86 Daniel Stein, 71 Joyce Fienberg, 75 Richard Gottfried, 65 Melvin Wax, 88 Irving Younger, 69 murdered while praying at a synagogue, and with sadness, I don’t think this will be the last.” Goldberg said the vigil was held to mourn over those lost and to gather together in the wake of tragedy. “We’re here because our hearts are broken, and our hearts break with those who grieve their loved ones, who were killed in prayer, in honor of those individuals whose Shabbat prayers for peace were shattered by senseless violence.”


The campus community gathers multiple times to mourn acts of violence that claimed over 80 lives and threatened many more across the world during the 2018–19 academic year.

Gatherings held after attacks in U.S. and New Zealand By Elizabeth Henning, Rachel Heller and Cody Taylor — Staff Writers Ithaca College President Shirley M. Collado hosted a gathering Oct. 31 in Muller Chapel to bring the campus community together in the aftermath of a series of violent events that occurred across the country during the month of October 2018. Collado organized the vigil following the shootings that killed 11 Jewish worshipers in Pittsburgh on Oct. 27, 2018 and two people of color in Kentucky on Oct. 24, 2018, as well as the series of pipe bombs mailed to politicians, a media outlet and other individuals. Hillel at Ithaca College prepared the programming for the service, which included poems, prayers and a time of reflection and community building in which attendees spoke with each other about their reactions to the events and were able to support each other if needed. Approximately 100 people attended the event. Collado spoke about what the tragedies revealed about American society. “Too frequently, we see this news of violence around our country and encounter hateful speech and inexcusable actions at people based on their identities and their beliefs,” Collado said. “As a society, I want us to do better.” Hierald Osorto, director of religious and spiritual life, followed Collado’s speech with a poem that described human experiences that unite all people, like laughter, tears and poetry. “We gather today in Muller Chapel because this space calls us to pause, to be still,” Osorto said. “Here, the IC campus can hear its heartbeat. In this stillness, we can feel the life pulsing through our collective heart. ... The lives of the 11 worshipers killed in Pittsburgh swell in our heartbeats.” Senior Lindsey Davis, who is from the Pittsburgh area, said the shooting hit close to home. Immediately after hearing the news, Davis texted her friends and family who live in Pittsburgh to ask if they were safe, she said. “You never think it’s going to happen close to you,” Davis said. “And then it did, so I was kind of in denial.” Freshman Julia Ganbarg, a member of Hillel, said she felt numb when she heard the news. “We keep hearing about all these shootings, so there wasn’t the sense of shock,” Ganbarg said. “This happens so often in our country that I’m

kind of used to it by now.”

Community gathers after attack against Muslims in New Zealand

The Office of Religious and Spiritual Life hosted a gathering of solidarity March 19 in Muller Chapel in response to the mass shooting that took place in New Zealand. Seventy people in the Ithaca College community attended to show their respect for the lives that were lost. The shooting, which occurred March 15, was the worst mass murder in New Zealand’s history. The shooter attacked two mosques located in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand. The shooting left 50 people dead and 40 others injured, according to The New York Times. The shooter allegedly committed this mass shooting as a supporter of the white supremacist movement. The reception was approximately an hour long and consisted of four different speakers. It began with an Islamic prayer shared by attendees and continued with some opening statements from Osorto. Collado then said that the shooting left her frustrated and in disbelief but that this gathering showed her that the community can

come together in hard times. “It is disheartening and overwhelming that we are having this gathering and that we are, within this year, talking about another tragedy that is based on hateful violent acts,” Collado said. “We wanted to take time to learn about who they were and resist any temptation to be numb.” Following the speakers, people in attendance took turns honoring the victims of the hate crime by reading off their names and a small description of who they were. While the names were being read off, 50 candles were lit in commemoration of the lives lost. Freshman Siddique Ahmed is Muslim and said that gatherings like the one held in Muller Chapel help show that the community members care for one another and that the gathering also helped strengthen bonds throughout the campus. “This is very important for us as Muslims,” Ahmed said. “We are always being told that we are terrorists. There is a lot of hate and, so, when bad events happen and people come together in Ithaca and around the world, it really reaffirms that no matter what happens there is people that support you and that love you.”

Ithaca College President Shirley M. Collado speaks at a gathering Oct. 24 in Muller Chapel about tragedies that have occurred across the world, including shootings at places of worship. ELIAS OLSEN/THE ITHACAN



Senior Tatiana Jorio, president of Planned Parenthood Generation Action at Ithaca College, leads a rally Sept. 24 at Free Speech Rock. ELIAS OLSEN/THE ITHACAN

Women’s Rights A controversial Supreme Court nomination mobilizes people across the country and on-campus. Proposed changes to Title IX cause concern. 50

Supporting survivors


IC students respond to Trump’s controversial U.S. Supreme Court justice nominee

Students walk out to protest Brett Kavanaugh By Alexis Manore — Staff Writer Students walked out of classes and gathered in support of sexual assault survivors — specifically for two women who accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault — for the National Walkout and Moment of Solidarity at Ithaca College hosted by the college’s chapter of Planned Parenthood Generation Action on Sept. 24. Approximately 50 students attended the event, which took place at Free Speech Rock outside of the Campus Center at 1 p.m., to show their support for Christine Blasey Ford, who came forward with allegations that Kavanaugh attempted to sexually assault her, and Deborah Ramirez, who claimed Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a party. Ford claimed Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge attempted to assault her at a party they attended in the summer of 1982 when she was 15 years old. She alleges that Kavanaugh pushed her into a bedroom and pinned her down on the bed with his hand over her mouth to keep her from screaming. Ford managed to escape when Judge jumped on top of them. Ford is expected to testify about her allegations against Kavanaugh before the Senate Judiciary Committee in a public hearing Sept. 27. Ramirez claimed Kavanaugh exposed himself to her during her freshman year at Yale University, which she and Kavanaugh attended at the same time. She says the incident occurred at a dorm party, and that she and a group of people were playing a drinking game, and she quickly became incapacitated from the alcohol she had consumed. Ramirez alleged that while she was lying on the floor, Kavanaugh exposed himself in front of her face and she said that onlookers taunted her as she showed obvious discomfort. When he pulled his pants up, Ramirez says she saw him looking down at her while laughing and that she later heard students discussing the incident. Ramirez is calling for an FBI investigation about Kavanaugh’s involvement in the event. The walkout at Ithaca College was held in partnership with the founder of the #MeToo movement, Tarana Burke, who called for the nationwide walkout in a tweet Sept. 22.

Senior Tatiana Jorio, president of Generation Action, led a moment of silence in solidarity at Free Speech Rock for survivors of sexual assault. She also handed out slips of paper with information about how to contact senators to protest Kavanaugh’s nomination and led a chant of “We believe survivors.” Jorio said the walkout was held to support survivors of sexual violence and to protest the nomination of Kavanaugh. “It’s basically being held to say that we stand with survivors,” Jorio said. “We believe survivors, specifically, Dr. Christine Ford. And to reject Donald Trump’s pick for Supreme Court justice, Brett Kavanaugh, because he is clearly unfit to serve as a Supreme Court justice.” Jorio said sexual assault is a campuswide and nationwide issue and that many instances go unreported. One in 5 women have experienced sexual assault on a college campus, and during the 2016–17 academic year, 20 cases of sexual assault were reported on and off the Ithaca College campus. However, only 20 percent of college-aged, female victims report their sexual assault to law enforcement. “It’s easy to sort of pretend this doesn’t happen when you’re not seeing the report,” Jorio said. “But this is us saying that if you’re

reporting 30 years later like Christine Ford is, it doesn’t matter how much time has passed. We still believe you and IC Planned Parenthood Generation Action is here to support all survivors.” Sophomore Chanel Courant said she came to the event because she believes in the importance of feminism and standing in solidarity with those who have experienced sexual assault. “I feel really passionately about these issues and feminism,” Courant said. “It’s really important that we show solidarity.” Freshman Julia Ganbarg said she participated in the walkout because she thinks college students need to get involved with prominent issues facing the United States. “It’s important for young people to know the decisions made in our country,” Ganbarg said. “It’s important for us to get our voices heard.” Sophomore Autumn Stevens said she attended the walkout because she believes in standing up for women’s rights. “I’m here because I think it’s important to have everyone’s voices be heard, because women’s rights have always been attacked, and a lot of the time women aren’t always heard,” Stevens said. “It’s important to have events like this to show that we’re not going to be silent and let these issues be overlooked.”

Approximately 50 students attended the rally to show support for assault survivors. ELIAS OLSEN/THE ITHACAN



Commentary: Believe survivors regardless of timing

Commentary: Reproductive rights are in danger

By Anna Gardner

By Chelsea Deegan

We can’t continue to undermine allegations.

Kavanaugh could be the worst thing to happen.

— Anna Gardner

— Chelsea Deegan

Senior Anna Gardner writes that assault survivors should be believed whenever they come forward. MAXINE HANSFORD/THE ITHACAN

Freshman Chelsea Deegan writes that SCOTUS pick Brett Kavanaugh is dangerous for reproductive rights. MAXINE HANSFORD/THE ITHACAN

Dr. Christine Blasey Ford didn’t want to disclose her sexual assault to the entire nation. Her intention behind a confidential letter sent to Senator Dianne Feinstein was not to smear Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, but to hold him accountable for his actions. The result has caused a firestorm of denial not just by Kavanaugh, but every male senator on the committee. In the wake of #MeToo, there has been a lot of boohooing from cisgender men about having to tiptoe around women. That mentality is inherently disgusting as it situates ego and reputation over self-sacrifice. The idea that it is simple to come forward against a perpetrator misconstrues a painful and nuanced assertion. There’s no metaphor needed to explain that having to relive one of the most traumatic moments of your life over and over again while facing constant gaslighting is a living hell. So why is the default response to accusations like Blasey Ford’s and Deborah Ramirez’s one of incredulity? The first recurrent answer tends to be time. Why didn’t they report earlier? Why did they wait so long? The second is motive. Why now, at the height of his career? To the former, I would respond with the following: Would these women be taken any more seriously in their teens and twenties? Compare high school and college rape culture of the 1980s to 2018. Improvements have certainly been made with Title IX, but according to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network only 20 percent of female student victims, age 18–24, report to police. Show me the damage. I would love to see some lives that have been absolutely ruined by allegations of sexual assault. Matt Lauer? Just sold his Upper East Side apartment for $650,000 over the asking price. Donald Trump? Still president. I wish I didn’t have to be so pessimistic, but the fact that we’re in this position again 27 years after Anita Hill brought forward her accusations against then-Supreme Court Justice nominee Clarence Thomas is equally infuriating and sad. In the #MeToo era, any time is the appropriate time to report a sexual assault and any assailant is fair game. We can’t continue to undermine allegations. So, let’s believe survivors.

Following the resignation of Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, the Trump Administration has decided to induct Brett Kavanaugh to fill Kennedy’s seat. His views on reproductive rights and the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling seem to differ depending on the source he is speaking to. Kavanaugh has been reluctant to give a straight answer about his views on abortion laws. Let’s discuss Kavanaugh’s history with the George W. Bush Administration. Kavanaugh was accused of personally campaigning for a Republican seat on the appeals. This included sending out risky emails and personally meeting with senators on behalf of the controversial circuit candidate. The nominee appears to be someone who’s not too excited to tell the truth despite being under oath. Kavanaugh’s reluctance to tell the truth was also put to the test Sept. 13, as Christine Blasey Ford, a psychology researcher from California, accused the judge of sexually assaulting her in the 80’s. Kavanaugh holds beliefs that could overturn Roe v. Wade. There is evidence of the nominee retracting support for this Supreme Court case. Kavanaugh previously stated that it was “settled land of the law” despite his vocalized beliefs regarding women’s rights. In the most recent case of this, Kavanaugh put a 17-year-old detainee from Texas, who was eight-weeks pregnant at the time, in a position that would give her hope and then rip it out from underneath her. Picture this, three judges sitting for a hearing of a young girl who is of age to have an abortion. One judge says she has no right to be released back into Texas for the procedure. The second judge says that she is of sound enough mind and gives the okay. Jump to judge three and Kavanaugh is sitting on his seat with a proposition: Yes, you can be released, BUT you have to wait just a little more time before you can leave. Within the next few weeks, Texas deems her unfit to have an abortion due to the law that restricts women from aborting after 20 weeks. Kavanaugh is telling this girl that she will not be receiving the treatment. Kavanaugh could be the worst thing to happen to the Supreme Court at this time. As a woman, it is unsettling to hear that the future of reproductive rights lies in the hands of a man.



Increase in rape reporting attributed to shift in culture

A surge in reported rapes is said to be caused by better awareness By Elizabeth Henning — Staff Writer


that this logic does not allow colleges to be held accountable for rising statistics. “Although one sexual assault is too many, I don’t think the numbers are a poor reflection on our institution’s acknowledging it’s a problem,” said Tom Dunn, assistant director and deputy chief in the Office of Public Safety and Emergency Management. He said he is not worried about the rising reports and attributes the rise to increased reporting. Title IX Coordinator Linda Koenig agreed with Dunn and said the rising report numbers may have been affected by the increased attention the issue of rape and sexual assault has been receiving on campus. In the past year, the Title IX office has expanded to include a deputy Title IX coordinator and has developed new programs for faculty and students. The office has collaborated with the Advocacy Center of Tompkins County to run the “Bringing in the Bystander” program, which teaches students bystander intervention, and created a new curriculum that faculty members can use to teach students about affirmative consent. “More education about the system makes people feel more comfortable coming forward,

ike many colleges and universities around the country, Ithaca College’s number of reported rapes has risen the past few years. But instead of calling for change, experts and administrators are praising the numbers as a sign that more crimes are being reported, not that the acts are increasing. The Annual Security and Fire Safety Report at Ithaca College showed that eight rapes were reported in 2017. In 2016, there were five rapes reported, and in 2014, there were four. From 2015 to 2017, Cornell University recorded two rapes each year, according to the Cornell University Police Statistical Crime Record. From 2014 to 2017, the City of Ithaca reported two, 14, 10 and 10 rapes in each year, according to the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services. The National Center for Education confirms that the number of forcible sexual assaults has risen nationally, even though the total number of campus crime reports has decreased nationally. However, many experts and college officials have said that the increased reports do not reflect an increase in the number of sexual crimes being committed but an improvement in the systems and culture that allows people to increasingly report sex crimes. However, some are concerned

Number of Rapes on Campus

Rape Reports at Ithaca College 2013-17 10 8 6 4 2

No Reports

No Reports

0 2013






Source: Annual Security and Fire Safety Reports


and ... the numbers support that,” Koenig said. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ National Crime Victimization Survey published in 2014, only 20 percent of rapes of college-age female students are reported, making it the most underreported crime in the U.S. Dunn said that until the data in the annual report reflects the national averages, the rising rates could be considered an improvement. Koenig also said she thinks the increased reports are not a problem because it means the college is closing the gap between the number of rapes reported and the number of crimes committed. When reporting numbers become consistent, she said, those numbers will better represent the actual number of crimes that are committed. However, Koenig said that there is no data to determine if the crimes are increasing or if the rising numbers are a result of increased reporting. Senior Anna Gardner, president of Ithaca College Feminists United, said that although the campus climate at the college might contribute to the increase in reports, officials should not discount the problem that still exists. “I think making sure that we don’t undermine the possibility that things are just continuing to get worse is important,” Gardner said. Bonnie Fisher, professor at the University of Cincinnati in the School of Criminal Justice, has been the lead investigator on four federally funded projects to study the victimization of women and the prevalence of sexual assault on college campuses. She said she thinks it is plausible that the increased reports of rape and sexual assaults on college campuses are due to a changing climate surrounding sexual assault. “I think there are several factors that may explain this, including schools’ reducing barrier to reporting, implementing campus climate surveys, activism on and off campus, including #MeToo,” Fisher said. “Society has changed worldwide with respect to sexual assault.” Robin Hattersley, Editor-in-Chief of Campus Safety Magazine, said via email that colleges should attribute the increased statistics to reporting but that administrators should not lose sight that there is more work to be done. “Unless your college’s sexual assault statistics are really high — like 10 percent of female students are reporting, not just experiencing, sexual violence — then your campus still has a long way to go,” Hattersley said via email.


IC administration reviews proposed changes to college Title IX protections Administrators are trying to see how the rules could impact students By Ashley Stalnecker, Phoebe Harms and Madison Fernandez — Staff Writers and News Editor

Title IX Coordinator Linda Koenig said the proposed changes to Title IX by the U.S. Department of Education raise some concerns regarding defining and reporting sexual assault. JULIA CHERRUAULT/THE ITHACAN


he U.S. Department of Education published a proposition Nov. 29 in the Federal Register outlining changes to Title IX protections. The proposed rules are raising concern, Title IX Coordinator Linda Koenig said. In the proposal, the definition of sexual harassment is less extensive than the previous definition. The process to address assault allegations has also been changed. Currently, if a student reports sexual assault to any member of a college’s faculty and staff, that person is required to report the incident to the Title IX Coordinator. If the proposed changes to regulations pass, the only member of the college community responsible for reporting would be the Title IX Coordinator. The proposal states that colleges would not be required to investigate reports of sexual assaults that occurred off campus, and it would extend more rights to the accused. All educational institutions must operate under how Title IX is outlined in the Education Amendments of 1972. This states that “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity

receiving Federal financial assistance.” The Title IX office at Ithaca College provides support and avenues to report sexual assault, abuse and rape. Koenig said the college will continue to operate under the current policies set for Title IX, which are focused on the reporting of individuals, reducing trauma for survivors and ensuring respondents are provided with due process. Koenig said she thinks the nature of the proposed changes is not encouraging for survivors to come forward, and that some of the proposed changes could result in a significant decrease in reporting. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said in a press release Nov. 16 that her intent in creating the new rules was to ensure that all students were in a safe learning environment. Critics have said the policy changes give more rights to the accused than victims. The college was given 60 days to respond to proposed changes and responded back with comments in January 2019.

College responds to changes

Guilherme Costa, vice president of legal affairs, wrote the college’s comment with the college’s leadership team. The potential changes entered a commenting period that ended


Jan. 30. During the comment period, the U.S. Department of Education’s website received over 100,000 comments from both individuals and higher education institutions. In its comment, the college stated that the new definition of “sexual harassment” is significantly narrower than the previous definition. Costa stated that most colleges will continue to address behavior that falls under the previous definition of “sexual harassment” rather than according to the new definition if the changes are passed. Costa also wrote that the definition of “supportive measures” is too ambiguous to enact. The comment stated that the proposal also creates challenges for cases of sexual assault that happen outside of an educational program or while a student is studying abroad. The college’s comment said the proposal makes it unclear if Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin and religion, should be interpreted consistently with Title IX, which will create uncertainty for employees. Additionally, Costa wrote that the section of the proposal that requires a hearing, cross-examination and an attorney is a “one-size-fits-all approach” that is not accessible for all institutions. “Less-well resources institutions will face challenges of being forced to shift resources away from other educational functions to build an infrastructure that will more closely mirror the court system, which ... no higher education institution seeks to mirror,” Costa wrote. He wrote that this process may also dissuade victims from coming forward. Koenig worked with Costa to compile the response comments. “I hope they … look for patterns [in comments] from institutions … take our concerns seriously,” Koenig said. Students at the college joined together before the Jan. 30 deadline for a comment-writing session to submit their thoughts on the changes. Koenig said the volume of comments that the U.S. Department of Education received shows that institutions are paying close attention to negative impacts of the changes. Editor in Chief Grace Elletson contributed reporting.


Commentary: Proposed Title IX policy changes are concerning for colleges Senior Tatiana Jorio writes that new rules could cause confusion By Tatiana Jorio

Senior Tatiana Jorio, president of Ithaca College’s chapter of Planned Parenthood Generation Action, writes that the U.S. Department of Education’s proposed Title IX changes, if passed, could be detrimental to students and survivors of sexual assault on college campuses. CONNOR LANGE/THE ITHACAN

Recently, Planned Parenthood Generation Action hosted a notice and comment event with End Rape on Campus regarding the proposed Title IX regulations. The regulations would make colleges across the country less safe, and leave survivors of sexual assault feeling more isolated. The regulations would increase protections for the accused and make the reporting process more difficult for survivors. The Department of Education is supposed to remain neutral, but they are taking the side of the accused. “Unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature” is currently what sexual harassment is defined as under Title IX. The new regulation proposes to change this definition to: “unwelcome conduct on the basis of sex that is so severe, pervasive and objectively offensive that it denies a person access

to the school’s education program or activity.” The changing of this definition serves to create confusion on what constitutes as severe, pervasive and offensive. Any act of unwanted conduct of a sexual nature is severe, pervasive and objectively offensive. Survivors already experience victim-blaming, and this regulation will make matters worse and dissuade from reporting. The regulations would also allow for cross-examination of the survivors’ credibility, again creating more room for victim-blaming and trauma. It has been found that only two to 10 percent of reported cases of sexual assault are false. We need to believe survivors. Another proposed regulation is that colleges would not be responsible for taking action regarding incidents of sexual misconduct that

occur off campus. It has been found that 87 percent of college students live off campus. This proposed regulation puts the majority of college students in danger. All of the proposed regulations serve to create confusion. When it comes to sexual misconduct of any kind, nothing should be left up in the air or made more difficult. The proposed regulations make reporting harder, strip the university of accountability and victim-blame and shame survivors of assault. Colleges can let survivors know that they will support them — that they will continue to investigate and respond to allegations, provide accommodations such as counseling, provide disciplinary hearings, and work to prevent sexual assault from happening in the first place.

When it comes to sexual misconduct of any kind, nothing should be left up in the air or made more difficult. The proposed regulations make reporting harder. — Senior Tatiana Jorio 55


Employees in the Office of Public Safety and Emergency Management responded to multiple incidents during the 2018–19 academic year. FILE PHOTO/THE ITHACAN

Crime & Safety A string of burglaries created unease among Circle Apartments residents, a concert resulted in damage to the Campus Center and violence broke out on The Ithaca Commons.



A shooting, a stabbing and druggings were reported on The Ithaca Commons Reports of violent incidents downtown were investigated by local authorities during the year By Laura O’Brien, Ryan King and Ashley Stalnecker — Assistant News Editor and Staff Writers A few crimes were reported on the Ithaca Commons during the 2018–19 academic year. One Ithaca College student was injured in a shooting. In incidents unrelated to students at the college, another individual was stabbed on The Commons and multiple people also reported being drugged at downtown bars.

October shooting

A male student from the college was shot at 1:23 a.m. Oct. 26 on The Commons, according to an email from Rosanna Ferro, vice president of the Division of Student Affairs and Campus Life. The victim was shot in the chest outside of Casablanca Pizza during an argument following an altercation within the restaurant, according to the Ithaca Police Department. The victim was taken to the hospital and later released, Ferro said. The suspects of the shooting fled the scene and have not been located by the Ithaca Police. According to a media release from the Ithaca Police Department, one of the people involved in the shooting was a white male wearing a light-color hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans. Following the incident, Dave Maley, director of public relations at the college, said the college had no additional information that it could

release. Ferro stated in the initial email release that the college was in contact with the victim. “Our first priority has been to offer support to our student, whom we are not identifying in order to respect his privacy,” the email read. “We have no reason to believe there is a safety threat to our campus. … I ask that you please keep our student’s family, friends and other loved ones in your thoughts and prayers.” Three months after the shooting, in January 2019, there were still no leads or suspects identified by police. Jamie Williamson, public information officer of the Ithaca Police Department, said that there was no update to report at that time.

December stabbing

The shooting was not the only instance of violence on The Commons during the 2018–19 academic year. An unidentified man was also stabbed on The Commons on Dec. 7. The victim was flown to a trauma center. The victim was reportedly “bleeding profusely from the face and the back,” according to Ithaca Police. Directly following the attack, the victim was in serious condition. However, no suspect information was released and the Ithaca Police

Department continued investigating.

Druggings in March

Student Affairs and Campus Life and the Office of Public Safety and Emergency Management released a joint message to the campus community April 3 concerning druggings that occurred at bars on The Commons. It stated that the Ithaca Police Department was responding to complaints it had received from individuals reporting that they might have been drugged in local bars, beginning March 29. None of the identified victims at that time were Ithaca College students, according to the message. The Ithaca Police Department was conducting the investigation, which was ongoing during Spring 2019. The message to students at the college was sent by Bill Kerry, director of Public Safety, and Dean of Students Bonnie Prunty. It asked students to take precautions regarding their drinks. Students were advised not to leave drinks unattended, not to consume drinks that were not prepared in front of them, not to accept drinks from individuals the student does not know and to always be aware of one’s surroundings.

Incidents were reported on the Ithaca Commons. Among them was a shooting involving a student, a stabbing and reported druggings. FILE PHOTO/THE ITHACAN



Campus Center floor repaired after concert damage Jumping by concert-goers results in damage By Madison Fernandez — News Editor

While Atlanta-born rapper J.I.D Performed at Ithaca College Feb.9, concert participants caused damage to the Campus Center floor. COURTESY OF LAUREN KLEIMAN

Damage caused to the Campus Center after a concert put on by the Ithaca College Bureau of Concerts on Feb. 9 was deemed to be cosmetic and not structural in nature. The Campus Center was briefly closed while the structure was assessed. Bill Kerry, director of the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Management, said via email that approximately two hours into the concert, which took place in the Emerson Suites on the second floor of the Campus Center, a Public Safety officer noticed that the ceiling in IC Square was moving. An officer came to the stage and said that the crowd jumping in the concentrated space caused the floor beneath them to flex. Public Safety officers were on the floor of the concert attempting to make attendees spread out. J.I.D, a rapper based out of Atlanta, was performing onstage. After Public Safety’s warning about the crack in the floor, he proceeded to perform in the middle of the crowd to alleviate the flexing of the floor. Kerry said J.I.D agreed to encourage the crowd to stop jumping. “His cooperation and assistance was a major factor in stopping the flexing of the floor and ceiling, and in the decision to allow the concert to continue for the last 15 minutes,” Kerry said. Tim Carey, associate vice president of the Office of Facilities, said that the damage was minor and contained to IC Square. He said that some drywall was cracked and fell to the floor, which was repaired by the Office of Facilities on Feb. 10. He said that since the repairs were cosmetic and required no additional supplies


to be purchased, the cost was minimal. The affected areas, IC Square and the Emerson Suites, were reopened the day after the concert. Kerry said that approximately 750 ticketed guests were at the sold-out concert, as well as approximately 50 volunteers, staff and security. He said this is under capacity for the space, and the college always plans to keep events under capacity for safety reasons. While concerts put on by the Bureau of Concerts, a student-run group that hosts concerts for the campus community, are sometimes held in the Emerson Suites, an alternative venue is the Athletics and Events Center, where events would be held on the ground floor. Kerry said that the J.I.D concert was held in the Emerson


Suites because it was relatively small and that larger-capacity events are reserved for the A&E Center. “The college will be evaluating the appropriateness of using that space for future events that might include that same kind of focused-dancing in such a concentrated area,” Kerry said. Senior Elise Littlefield, president of the Bureau of Concerts, said she thinks the show went well. “We had a successful sold-out show, where the artist delivered a high-quality performance that the audience enjoyed,” Littlefield said via email. “We are thankful for public safety and our volunteers who helped to ensure the safety of this event.”


Student arrested for alleged Circle Apartments burglary The student was arrested in connection with one of the break-ins By Laura O’Brien, Maggie McAden and Ashley Stalnecker — Assistant News Editors and Staff Writer


n Ithaca College student was arrested and charged with burglary in the second degree in January 2018 after a Nov. 23 burglary of Circle Apartment 341. A person close to the suspect said the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office and Ithaca College’s Office of Public Safety and Emergency Management searched the suspect’s room and the common room in their Circle Apartment on Nov. 28 and found the stolen items. The suspect was then taken away in handcuffs, and the person close to the suspect has not been in contact with the suspect since.

I told the cops. … Then, they found everything they were looking for.” The suspect told The Ithacan they were not able to discuss the case extensively because of a contract with their legal representatives, but they confirmed that they were hospitalized for mental health-related issues and are at home. The suspect also said that their court date was Jan. 31. Prior to the Nov. 23 burglary, two other burglaries occurred Nov. 27 in apartments 110 and 170, according to Public Safety. Dunn said that in apartment 110, coins and cash were

On Dec. 6, Public Safety reminded Circle Apartment residents to lock their doors. ELIAS OLSEN/THE ITHACAN

The suspect was not charged for any of the other burglaries of Circle Apartments, said Tom Dunn, associate director of Public Safety. Public Safety is still investigating five additional Circle Apartment burglaries, three of which occurred between Nov. 9 and Nov. 10, and two others Nov. 27. The suspect was arrested for the burglary of 341 Nov. 23 and given an immediate arraignment, Dunn said. The suspect was held at the Tompkins County Public Safety Building until Nov. 24 when the $1,000 bail was paid, Captain Ray Bunce of Tompkins County Jail said. “I honestly didn’t think [the suspect] did it,” the person close to the suspect said. “That’s what

stolen and in apartment 170, there were no stolen items reported but he said that there was damage to a bedroom door. Two other burglaries were reported in apartments 10 and 12 sometime between the night of Nov. 9 and the morning of Nov. 10 over Cortaca weekend. In apartments 10 and 12, televisions and similar electronics were stolen. On Dec. 5, another burglary occurred, this time in Circle Apartment 180. The resident who reported the attempted burglary described the perpetrator as an approximately 6-foot-tall male wearing a ski mask, goggles, gloves and a hood. The resident told Public Safety that the suspect and demanded property


from them. The resident said the perpetrator did not display a weapon and did not take anything from the apartment. The perpetrator left the scene when the resident began to call the police. Dave Maley, public relations officer for the college, said that Public Safety officers located the person who broke into Circle Apartment 180. The person is a student and was arrested and charged. Maley said there were no signs of forced entry in any of the burglaries. Dunn said Public Safety is looking into connections between the person taken into custody in apartment 341 and the burglaries in apartments 10, 12, 110 and 170. However, Dunn said there are no other leads to the investigations in apartments 10, 12, 110 and 170. “Each of these circumstances is unique, in particular, because one was the Cortaca weekend where we have extra people on campus,” he said. “With these three, it happened during a holiday break period, being Thanksgiving, when the college is less occupied.” Dunn said he wants residents to be especially vigilant. For the glass doors, he recommended students put in a wood block so a burglar could not open the door. Dunn also said students should be hiding their valuables and locking all doors. Since the burglaries have occurred, Public Safety has been sending emails to students who live in Circle Apartments with suggestions to prevent future burglaries. Public Safety has also been knocking on doors to inform students of better safety measures. Dunn said he does not want to reveal any of Public Safety’s other efforts to ensure the efforts are not thwarted. Residents living in Circle Apartments are concerned with the increase of burglaries. Senior Norah AlJunaidi, a Circle Apartments resident, said there should be more monitoring by Public Safety in the Circle Apartments area as well as more cameras. AlJunaidi said her Circle apartment last year did not have an ID swipe in order to open its front door, but that this year, she has an ID swipe. Only some of the Circle Apartments have an ID swipe for entry.


Faith communities at Ithaca College had a tumultuous year that included the resignations of the Protestant and Catholic chaplains. CONNOR LANGE/THE ITHACAN

Religion Two high-profile resignations by campus religious leaders bookend the year. Fallout continues from alleged exclusion of LGBTQ students in the Ithaca College Protestant Community.



Protestant Community chaplain resigns

Rev. James Touchton steps down after a year of controversy By Grace Elletson, Krissy Waite — Editor in Chief and Staff Writer Rev. James Touchton, chaplain of the Ithaca College Protestant Community (ICPC), resigned from his position at the end of Fall 2018. Touchton and the ICPC came under criticism the previous spring, that continued into the 2018–19 school year, for being exclusive toward LGBTQ students and students of color. Touchton said he would be resigning from his position in a statement obtained by The Ithacan that was posted in a private ICPC alumni Facebook page. The news was also shared in an Intercom announced posted by Hierald Osorto, director of religious and spiritual life, on Oct. 25. Many students came forward in Spring 2018 detailing experiences of exclusion or discomfort in the ICPC, particularly those who are LGBTQ. In response to these allegations, Touchton said he was working to make the community a more inclusive space by holding book-club discussions in the ICPC about race and by holding speaking events to discuss more diverse topics in the religious community. After the allegations about the ICPC were made public, an organization called IC Color was formed in order to address issues in the religious community. It issued a series of demands to the college concerning the ICPC, some of which the college responded to. The organization was formed by seniors Vanessa Zimmerman and Annalise Haldeman, who said, as previously reported by The Ithacan, that they felt excluded from the ICPC when they came out as gay in Fall 2017. Both said they wanted the college to remove Touchton as chaplain. Touchton said he did not wish to comment further on why he is resigning but did confirm that he would be leaving the college. In the Facebook post, he said the stress of the “students’ claims”

had taken a toll on his mental, physical and spiritual health. “For anyone who has even minimally kept up with the events of the past year regarding students’ claims of racism and homophobia, the subsequent organization of IC Color, and the degree to which all of this has become political and taken on a life of its own in the media, it ought to come as no surprise that it has been taxing,” Touchton said in the post. “I have worked very hard to take the grievances seriously and help the community respond well and grow from them. Nonetheless, the half-truths and misrepresentations and other attacks on myself and the community have gained traction and are still wreaking havoc a year later. I have reached my limit.” In the post, Touchton expressed frustration with changes that are currently taking place within religious communities at the college. The college recently hired Osorto to fill a new position that was created to oversee all religious communities at the college. In a commentary published in The Ithacan, Osorto said he is planning to change the way funding is being distributed to religious communities on campus in an effort to make funding distribution more equitable. In the Facebook post, Touchton said this could hurt the ICPC. “IC created a new position of Director of Religious and Spiritual Life and that individual joined us this semester,” Touchton wrote on Facebook. “Shortly upon his arrival, the college, without any transition period or dialogue with us, changed the way they fund their religious communities. Essentially, we will no longer receive the annual allocations we have gotten for 30+ years and instead will have to submit a proposal for any funds we wish to have access to. The caveat is that those funds cannot be

Rev. James Touchton, chaplain of the Ithaca College Protestant Community, resigned from his position in Fall 2018. ELIAS OLSEN/THE ITHACAN


NEWS: RELIGION used for salary or personnel expenses. That effectively means the PC will never have a full-time chaplain again.” Osorto said parts of Touchton’s statement were inaccurate — Osorto said conservations about adjusting the way religious communities are being funded at the college have been ongoing since before his arrival and that Touchton was included in those conversations. He said he could not comment on Touchton’s resignation because the college does not comment on personnel matters like resignations, but he said he would continue supporting Protestant students. Osorto said the money that has been given to the independent religious communities on campus — like the ICPC — has never been intended to fund salaries; rather, the money was designated for the communities’ programming. Because the college will be redistributing money more equitably to more

[The] attacks on myself and the community have gained traction and are still wreaking havoc. ... I have reached my limit. — James Touchton, former Protestant Chaplain than the three religious communities currently housed in Muller Chapel — ICPC, the Catholic community and Hillel — those three groups will receive fewer funds. Given these budget adjustments, the ICPC would likely not be able to fund a full-time chaplain. Osorto said he would be willing to work with Protestant students to find religious affiliates who could serve as pastoral leadership in the ICPC through alternative avenues — like funding a chaplain through alumni money donated to the independent religious community, or by connecting students to local pastors. Rosanna Ferro, vice president of the Division of Student Affairs and Campus Life, echoed Osorto’s comments. “We remain committed to supporting our students in the Protestant Community,” Ferro said via email. Senior Josh John, chair of the PC council, said the ICPC will miss Touchton’s presence.

Rev. James Touchton, former chaplain of the Ithaca College Protestant Community, leads a service in the Muller Chapel prior to resigning. ELIAS OLSEN/THE ITHACAN

“James … is caring and loves the community and those who are a part of it,” John said. “So that doesn’t stop because he will be leaving as chaplain.” Zimmerman said via Facebook that she thinks Touchton’s resignation is beneficial for the future of the PC and that it is important to continue to hold leadership of the PC accountable. “It does help the PC,” she said. “Changing leadership, diversifying leadership and placing expectations on those who will lead from here on out is at least a small fraction of what we hav[e] been asking for. We wish no ill on James or the community but know that the community has potential to be a space this campus needs and deserves, but it isn’t there yet. And until it is, until I and others feel safe to go back to Mueller Chapel, we intend to keep pushing for our demands.” She said that when IC Color began its campaign she did not think that Touchton had the capacity to lead fundamental changes in the PC. “We didn’t have faith in his ability to facilitate a community that would hopefully and eventually foster different identities once systemic sustainable change was put in place,” she said. Kelsey MacKellar ’13 was involved in the ICPC for the entire time she attended the college. For two of those years, she was part of the ICPC council and was a representative on the Interfaith Council for three years. She said that when she found out about Touchton’s resignation she was upset and frustrated but not shocked because of past criticism and current pressure placed on the ICPC. “I was heartbroken but not surprised,” she said. “It was really painful to watch that happen, so I wasn’t shocked that this might be a solution.” MacKellar said that when she was a student at the college, Touchton was an active advocate for interfaith practices, which is defined as cooperative dialogue among people of different religious traditions. She remembered that when she was a student she felt that Touchton’s door was always open. MacKellar said she feels that the communities and individuals that have made claims against him and the PC were not open to discussion about these issues. She said she thought that if it had been a more open conversation between communities and individuals working to understand each other, Touchton may not be resigning. MacKellar said she wanted to add that she is bisexual and a member of the LGBTQ community and that she was when she was a student in the ICPC community.

Touchton resigned from his position at Ithaca College in Fall 2018, amid a year of controversy involving the IC Protestant Community. ELIAS OLSEN/THE ITHACAN



Muller Chapel implements new measures for inclusivity Allegations of discrimination in religious communities sparks change By Maggie McAden — Assistant News Editor

We’re working on the small pieces that when people look ... they see themselves reflected. — Hierald Osorto, director of religious and spiritual life

Hierald Osorto became the first director for religious and spiritual life in Fall 2018. TENZIN NAMGYEL/THE ITHACAN


ne day about nine years ago at his local Washington D.C. church, Hierald Osorto, the newly appointed director of religious and spiritual life at Ithaca College, remembered watching an interaction that stuck with him. He saw a politician taking communion next to a homeless woman. He watched as two people with drastically different lives were still able to connect and share their faith. “That was my moment of feeling to believe in something, and to trust something means to create the conditions to create that kind of possibility where people gather and come together and understand each other’s humanity,” Osorto said. The experience articulated for him the unique unity religion can provide, and this principle is ingrained in the way that Osorto is approaching his work inside Muller Chapel. There is a series of new initiatives in the works, including an entirely new budget that aims to increase inclusivity in Muller Chapel. These initiatives include physical changes to the chapel, bringing speakers to campus to discuss issues of intersectionality, workshops and listening sessions. The budgeting furthers efforts the campus

pushed for last semester to create more equitable funding and inclusive spaces for religious and spiritual groups. This is in an attempt to make the chapel an interfaith space that reflects the diversity at the college and within its religious communities. Now, the three groups already housed in Muller Chapel — the Catholic Community, the Ithaca College Protestant Community and Hillel at Ithaca College — will have to figure out how to move forward with less support from the college. Additionally, Osorto said he adds a paradoxical narrative to these adjustments as a queer, Latino Lutheran whose parents emigrated from El Salvador. “The paradox that I speak to is the mess, the chaoticness, of ‘How do you embrace who you are alongside how the world sees you?’” he said. Osorto said these changes are necessary to better meet the needs of a more diverse student body. He said he wants everyone to be reflected in the chapel. Osorto said the new budget of religious and spiritual life will follow a zero-based budgeting process that will only distribute funds to meet programmatic needs and will not be used to fund salaries of chaplains and personal expenses. He said if a smaller organization is struggling to get


funding because of its size, he would help them access funding for their initiatives this academic year until the budget is restructured for the 2019– 20 academic year. The way that funding worked previously, Osorto said, is that the college allotted funds, called chapel disbursements, to the three religious communities housed in Muller Chapel. Other religious organizations at the college that are not included in Muller Chapel can receive funding through the Student Governance Council. This is how many clubs on campus receive funding. He also said the budget will allow students from smaller communities to access resources and hold events that align with their traditions, such as Diwali, a Hindu festival. Osorto said he could not disclose the exact groups that he plans on providing funding to for the 2019–20 academic year because the budget has not yet been approved. He said funding will also go toward religious literacy initiatives for the campus by providing training sessions and speakers. Additionally, he said, it will go toward interfaith collaboration. Osorto said he could not disclose the amount that the religious communities housed in the chapel currently receive. The ICPC received $53,378 from the college for the 2016–17 academic year, according to previous reporting by The Ithacan. Osorto said each community receives the same amount of money from the college each year. The college’s allocations to the ICPC, combined with donations, compose the community’s budget and fund the chaplain’s salary. He also said neither the board of directors nor the college provides the chaplain with benefits. Osorto said the college has already shifted funds for the current academic year. The college shifted $8,635 in funding from the ICPC to the Christian Community Church, a religious community housed in the chapel with worship services rooted in the style of the contemporary black Pentecostal Church. Osorto said the money was combined with reallocated funds from Hillel of Ithaca College and the Catholic Community. The funds were split between the Christian Community Church and religious and spiritual life for programs this year. The $8,635 in funding shifted from the ICPC was in response to the demands of a petition presented to the administration last academic

NEWS: RELIGION year by IC Color, a campaign aiming to make the ICPC more inclusive for LGBTQ students and students of color. The group was formed after Spring 2018 when many students disclosed that they felt the ICPC was exclusive.

Reactions around funding changes

James Touchton, former chaplain of the ICPC, said via email that while he supports the new budget plan, he is concerned that equal allocation will dismiss the fact that some communities at the college have significantly more members than others. Touchton announced his resignation and will be leaving at the end of the semester, in part because of the budget redistribution. “While I understand and support moving in a more equitable direction, I also don’t believe that ought to mean we disregard demographics,” he said. Osorto said equitable funding means ensuring that every community member has access to the resources they need. Touchton also said that because the funds will

While I ... support moving in a more equitable direction, I also don’t believe that ought to mean we disregard demographics. — James Touchton, former chaplain of the ICPC not be used for salaries or personal expenses, the ICPC will no longer be able to afford to have a full-time chaplain. He said he thinks that the new funding structure fails to provide for student need. “This change is being implemented without any period of transition and without sufficient dialogue,” he said. “It fails to truly take into account ... the nature of religious and spiritual needs of college students.” Senior Josh John, student chair on the ICPC council, said he is worried about the impact the changes will have on students because of the community’s inability to have a full-time chaplain. John said the ICPC is trying to figure out how it could afford a new chaplain but that no official plans are currently being pursued. “The Protestant Community has always been very student-led, but what has been very helpful … is having some spiritual guide,” John said. “To have a resource on campus proves to be very useful, so ... that’s the primary concern.”

Osorto would not comment on whether or not funding was used to pay chaplains’ salaries. He said he would be willing to help students in the ICPC find religious affiliates in other ways, such as connecting with local pastors and funding a pastor through donations. He said he thinks that the loss of the ICPC’s chaplain is not a cause for concern for the other religious communities in Muller Chapel. The other communities included enough outside sources of funding in their budgets so they do not rely as heavily on the college’s allocations. Osorto said he is committed to helping the ICPC and other communities in the chapel have access to resources with the new budget. Carsten Martensen, former Catholic chaplain and director of the campus ministry, said the Catholic Community received money from the college and currently receives funding from the Diocese of Rochester — a subset of the Roman Catholic Church — as well as from savings and fundraising through sending appeal letters to parents and alumni. The Catholic Community is a nonprofit corporation and Martensen acts as the secretary-treasurer. He said he plans to stay on as director. He said the community also pays stipends to campus ministers, student ministers and music ministers in addition to his stipend and other staff members’ salaries. Martensen said that with an overall decline in the mental health of students, he thinks that having religious leaders to support students is important. He said that although he supports the goal of equity, the new budget leaves the future of the Catholic Community uncertain. Lauren Goldberg, executive director of Hillel at Ithaca College, said most of Hillel’s budget is supported by donations, grants, philanthropic foundations, the local Jewish community and family foundations. She said that previously, both the external and institutional funding went toward funding salaried positions. Goldberg said Hillel is grateful for the support of the college and understands the need for transparency and equitable funding. Without college funding for staffing, Hillel will have to focus more heavily on donations, she said. Goldberg said her goal is for students to not notice a change in engagement or support due to the changes in funding because she and Cantor Abbe Lyons, the Jewish chaplain and business manager, have worked carefully on the budget application for next year. “We have about 1,000 Jewish students on campus, which is a huge percent, especially in relation to the national average,” she said. “So this year, being … able to expand our staff has just allowed us to grow in terms of our engagement and what we can offer the students. The last thing we want to do is to constrict again back down to a staff of one.” Senior Margot Register, president of IC Pagans, said the club will now need to have


a budget to support its growing membership. Paganism is an umbrella term for a variety of earth-based religious practices. Register also said she thinks the new budget will create opportunities for her community. She said she has also seen books about Paganism in the new interfaith book selection.

Initiatives at the college

Osorto also said there is a series of new initiatives that aims to make the chapel and the college a more inclusive space for all religious, spiritual and faith-based communities. One example of these initiatives is facilitated discussions about faith and immigration that attempt to place religion in the public sphere. Osorto is working alongside Goldberg on the Interfaith Immigration Series, which had its first event Sept 12. Patricia Rodriguez, associate professor and Latin American Studies coordinator in the Department of Politics, conducted a workshop on how to become involved in the Rapid Response Network and Hotline for Immigrants. Osorto also said there are physical changes being made to Muller Chapel. The meeting room next to the kitchen will be made into an interfaith resource room, he said. There will also be changes that are more reflective of different religious communities, such as adding shoe racks for Muslim students who are using prayer spaces. “We’re working on ... the small pieces that when people look and see something, they see themselves reflected,” he said.

Inclusivity initiatives and plans for Muller Chapel: Discussions about faith and immigration: The Interfaith Immigration Series included a workshop on the Rapid Response Network and Hotline for Immigrants.

Discussions about faith and diversity: Osorto held closed sessions with LGBTQ students of faith about their experiences at the college.

Physical changes: Plans are in the works for an interfaith resource room and shoe racks for Muslim prayer spaces.

Commentary: Protestant Community is not fixed

Student writes that the changes have not made a difference By Vanessa Zimmerman

Senior Vanessa Zimmerman writes that she is dissatisfied with the administration’s changes in Muller Chapel. BRIANNA MOTTEY/THE ITHACAN

The students of IC Color and I waited for the July 1 update to come, and it didn’t. We heard nothing from the administration in response to our demands deadline at all until July 6. And when it came there was not much there. The community is now receiving $46,080 from the college. With the cutting of only $8,635 from the community’s $53,378. Ithaca College is still funding homophobia with tuition dollars. The continuation of providing funding to a exclusive organization sets a precedent that the hateful actions of any organization will not be held accountable. The plan the administrators shared with IC Color solely contained the hiring of the Religious and Spiritual Director. This new position was shared with IC Color back in March 2018. This suggests that from March 2018 to July 2018, the administration took no time to consider other possible means. The hiring of another administrative position simply moves the problem from the shoulders of the administrators and places them on the new administrative director. Additionally, relying heavily on the new hiree to set things into motion means that there has yet to be any substantial action to address these issues. It does no good to hire somebody new when the hateful bigoted people still claim the space of Muller Chapel. There are currently adults serving on the board who have unprofessionally discussed the private lives of queer students in board meetings. They have yet to be held accountable? Where is the justice? Despite not meeting any of IC Color’s demands, the administration offered me my chapel position back. But, they

refused any sort of back pay on the hours I lost from being harassed out of the position. It seems ridiculous to offer me my position back without addressing the hate that resides in the chapel. And so, I asked the administration, “do you firmly believe you have addressed the harassment and homophobia that it is safe for me or any other LGBTQ student to walk into the Muller chapel?” Unsurprisingly, I have yet to receive an answer. They have yet to provide me a safe space on campus, but have justified the hate and harassment that have made me unsafe through their funding of the Protestant Community. I cannot yet step foot in the chapel until I know that I am safe. I cannot accept this position until I know that anyone can walk into Muller chapel. Until true systemic change occurs, not through hiring another administrator, but by holding people accountable for their bigotry, until Ithaca College takes responsibility for the ways they have allowed this kind of organization to take up residency on their campus, I will not return to my chapel position until the administration really takes its students’ livelihood seriously. I will not return to my chapel position until our demands are actually met. I have been fighting for this for almost a year now, and I have no intention to stop. Although this fight for me has been aimed at the Protestant Community, this frustration is one that runs deep within most students here at IC. IC has thrown around the words of “diversity” and “inclusion.” I know for many of us, this place is neither diverse nor inclusive. It’s time for Ithaca College to stop profiting off marginalized communities they don’t even listen.




Student files discrimination complaint against college

Former Muller chapel employee alleges that IC allowed discrimination By Grace Elletson — Editor in Chief An Ithaca College student has filed a human rights discrimination complaint against the college, alleging that she was discriminated against when working as a chapel employee due to her sexuality. Senior Vanessa Zimmerman filed an employment and education discrimination complaint with the New York State Division of Human Rights in November. Zimmerman worked as a chapel assistant for the Ithaca College Protestant Community (ICPC) during her sophomore year, but when she came out as gay and announced she was in a relationship with another ICPC member, she said that she began receiving condescending messages from fellow members, chastising her for the relationship. She said the hostile environment fostered by the ICPC caused her to quit her job, which impacted her educational success. Zimmerman said she was sent messages from people in the ICPC criticizing her relationship, and that at one point had a verbal altercation with a former ICPC member who she said was condescending toward her because she was gay. She said she felt unsafe in the ICPC. Zimmerman is not the only student to have come forward detailing exclusion from the ICPC due to their sexual orientation.

Since Zimmerman filed her complaint in November, the college submitted a rebuttal to the Division. Zimmerman submitted her response to the college’s rebuttal in late January. Now, the case will go through a review process in the Division of Human Rights, in which it will be determined if there was probable cause found in the case. If this is found, the case will move forward to be settled by an administrative judge at the state level. The Division has 180 days to resolve the case. In the college’s rebuttal, it claims that it is not responsible for the discrimination because the ICPC is thought of as a third-party vendor. The three religious communities that are housed in Muller Chapel all receive the same funding so that they can host programming at the college. However, the college does not employ staff in any of these groups, and the budget for the groups was always intended for programmatic needs, despite the money being used in the past to fund the ICPC chaplain’s salary. “Ms. Zimmerman, by her own admission in the first line of her eight page written narrative, and based on the entire content of that narrative is actually alleging discrimination by the protestant community at Ithaca College Inc., which is a separate not for profit religious organization,” the

college’s rebuttal, obtained by The Ithacan, stated. However, during a previous meeting in February 2018 with administrators, while discussing the problems Zimmerman had faced, Rosanna Ferro, vice president for student affairs and campus life, said she felt the college was responsible for the religious community. “The religious communities work with a lot of our students, and ultimately we’re responsible for that,” Ferro said in the meeting with Zimmerman, who provided audio of the discussion. The college also stated in its rebuttal that it does not believe Zimmerman has a case because she quit her job and because she has “insufficient” evidence proving she was harassed while working. Zimmerman said she feels she has a case based on “constructive termination,” a legal term that refers to a situation when an employee feels forced to resign from a position due to a hostile work environment. She also said that because the ICPC is funded by the college and resides on campus, it should be held accountable. Dave Maley, director of public relations at the college, via email that the college does not comment on legal proceedings. “The college takes all bias- and discriminationrelated complaints seriously and investigates them thoroughly,” Maley said via email.

Senior Vanessa Zimmerman is pictured with her girlfriend, senior Annalise Haldeman, who also said she experienced exclusion in the Ithaca College Protestant Community. Zimmerman filed a human rights complaint against the college for alleged workplace discrimination based on her sexuality. SABRINA CHANG/THE ITHACAN



Abuse allegation made against campus priest Chaplain accused of sexually abusing minor in the ’70s

By Madison Fernandez — News Editor Rev. Carsten Martensen, Catholic chaplain and director of campus ministry, has stepped down from all current assignments after being accused of sexually abusing a minor in the 1970s. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester informed Ithaca College that it received notice of the sexual abuse allegation dating from the 1970s, according to an Intercom announcement made March 3 by Hierald Osorto, director of religious and spiritual life. An investigation by the USA Northeast Province of the Jesuits is being conducted, and Martensen will not be serving in any public ministry while it is being pursued. Martensen has been working in the campus ministries at both the college and Cornell University since 2007. The Diocese of Rochester has stated that it has not received an accusation against Martensen during his time serving at the colleges. Eileen Heptig, associate director of the Cornell Catholic Community, will take over administrative responsibilities in Martensen’s absence. In an email obtained by The Ithacan sent Feb. 25 by campus minister John Morton to the Ithaca College Catholic Community, he stated that Martensen was taking time off for personal reasons. The college offered support to the campus community through Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). Following mass on March 3, Osorto and clergymembers were available to talk. During the mass, Daniel McMullin, associate dean of students for the Office of Spirituality and Meaning-Making acknowledged that the allegation is painful and disappointing for the community. “I had hoped to live my entire priesthood without ever having to deliver a message like this one,” he said. Osorto and the college’s leadership then led a gathering at noon in the Muller Chapel March 5 to reflect on the news. Approximately 35 people, primarily faculty and staff, attended the March 5 event. Several key figures in the college leadership, including President Shirley M. Collado; La Jerne Cornish, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs; Rosanna Ferro, vice president for student affairs and campus life, attended. Osorto gave an opening speech. “This is hard — I don’t know how else to say it,” Osorto said. “At some point, the emotions do come out and there is nothing we can do to hold the rawness of the pain and the questions and uncertainty that occurs when our community suffers.”

Province of the Jesuits, said it is policy to remove a priest from any public ministry until the review board presents its findings. He said the independent review committee consists of mental health, law enforcement and legal professionals. Gabriele said the turnaround for an investigation like this is variable and includes looking into timelines and speaking with the victim. The diocese released a list Jan. 15 of 50 USA Northeast Province Jesuits who have had credible allegations leveled against them of sexually abusing a minor. Gabriele said Martensen was not included because the diocese was not informed of the allegation at the time and no previous allegations were made. Gabriele said he did not know where the alleged abuse took place. According to Martensen’s biography on the Cornell Catholic Community website, he was ordained as a priest in 1977 and served for two years as a campus minister at Northern Illinois University, followed by 11 years as chaplain at Fordham Prep, eight years as director of campus ministry at Saint Peter’s College and seven years as pastor of Saint Anthony Church. The allegation against Martensen follows thousands that have been made around the world concerning sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. In 2004, the Catholic Church commissioned a report that found that more than 4,000 U.S. Roman Catholic priests had been accused of sexual abuse in the last 50 years. The cases have involved more than 10,000 children, mostly boys. Assistant News Editor Ryan King and Staff Writer Mary Rand contributed.

Diocese releases comment

John J. Cecero, provincial of the USA Northeast Province of Jesuits, sent a letter to the broader Catholic community Feb. 26 informing them of the allegations. “Again, these procedures in no way confirm or deny the claim we have received, but as the Jesuits and the Church strive to serve the People of God with greater transparency and accountability, we will always proceed with every precaution to safeguard those who have put their trust in us,” he wrote in the letter. Michael Gabriele, spokesperson for the USA Northeast

Rev. Carsten Martensen, Catholic chaplain and director of campus ministry, took a leave amid controversy. ELIAS OLSEN/THE ITHACAN



Headline Headline Headline Headline Headline peadline subhead subhead subhead subhead subhead subhead By Name — Position

The LGBTQ pride flag flies on a campus flagpole near the Academic Quad. A number of LGBTQ issues arose during the 2018–19 academic year. FILE PHOTO/THE ITHACAN

LGBTQ Students continue fighting for inclusion in campus religious communities. Trump administration policies affect LGBTQ students. Through it all, IC takes time to celebrate International Pronouns Day. 68


Tensions rise during LGBTQ religious community forum

LGBTQ group is dissatisfied with the college’s response to exclusion By Phoebe Harms, Alexis Manore and Erika Liberati — Staff Writers and Contributing Writer


embers of IC Color are dissatisfied with the Ithaca College Administration’s response to alleged LGBTQ exclusion within the Protestant community after the administration did not completely meet demands listed in a petition created by the group. The petition was created in response to several cases of alleged exclusion of LGBTQ students and students of color from the Protestant community on campus. It was delivered to President Shirley M. Collado in May with a request for the demands to be met by July 1. Senior Vanessa Zimmerman, co-founder of IC Color, said the college responded via email July 12 and failed to adhere fully to the demands. Zimmerman said the petition consisted of three major requests. The first was to have $50,000 of allocation money taken from the college Protestant community until it aligned with the college’s mission statement in regard to inclusion. IC Color also demanded the college’s administration outline a plan for addressing the alleged exclusion and harassment of LGBTQ students and students of color who are members of the Protestant community. Its final demand personally involved Zimmerman, who was allegedly asked to step down from her position at the chapel last year by former Protestant Chaplain James Touchton. The petition demanded Zimmerman be reinstated at her job and compensated for the hours she lost. Touchton denied asking Zimmerman to leave her position, according to previous reporting by The Ithacan. IC Color is a campaign that was formed by Zimmerman and senior Annalise Haldeman on March 10 in response to the exclusion of LGBTQ students and students of color in the PC. The college sent Zimmerman a PDF document titled “A Comprehensive Action Plan to Address Student Demands” to address the

demands of IC Color. The college offered to take $8,635 away from the Protestant community, granting the sum to the Christian Community Church — part of Muller Chapel — located on campus. Zimmerman said the college completed this allotment without an actual contract, which may lead to the misuse of funds with no accountability. Having no contract means there are no guidelines the funds, Zimmerman said. “They continue to grant a big sum of money to a community with a poor track record out of ‘good faith,’” Zimmerman said. The action plan states that Hierald Osorto, the new director of religious and spiritual life, will be responsible for instituting a new financial assessment to ensure that all the college’s denominations are being treated fairly. The college also mentioned the hiring of Osorto as part of the action plan. Osorto said his presence on campus will give students an opportunity to reflect on previous exclusions. “The first thing that I hope that our office is able to do is create opportunities for people to share their stories,” Osorto said. “And to be able to reflect on the ways that we have excluded but also the opportunities that students have found to find a sense of belonging on our campus.” Zimmerman said the hiring of Osorto is not sufficient in improving the environment at the college, nor is it reflective of IC Color’s demands. “We have little faith that another administrative position is going to change systematic problems,” Zimmerman said. Touchton said the Protestant community has spent a year working toward a more inclusive environment. He said the Protestant community is amending its constitution to make a further commitment to diversity and representation. Touchton said he does not feel the need to respond to IC Color’s demands and that it is difficult to engage in a constructive conversation

with IC Color when it has not been involved in the Protestant community since last fall. “I understand why they felt the need to disengage from the Protestant community, and I can’t fault them for that,” Touchton said. “I am simply stating that public statements about the Protestant community by people not involved with the Protestant community ought to be weighed carefully.” In addition, the college offered Zimmerman her job back but will not compensate her for her lost hours. Zimmerman declined the position. Zimmerman said she still would like to be involved in the Protestant community but will not feel comfortable until there is change. “I cannot yet go back to the chapel as a worker when none of these issues have been addressed,” Zimmerman said.

College holds open forum

Members from the college’s administration then held an open forum Oct. 30 in response to requests from IC Color for the college community to have a dialogue about creating a safe environment for LGBTQ students in the religious communities on campus. Luca Maurer, director of the Center for LGBT Education, Outreach and Services; College Librarian Lisabeth Chabot; and Osorto facilitated the conversation. Approximately 30 community members attended the event. Various attendees expressed discontentment about how the event was organized and felt the conversation was not productive. Several people left the event in frustration. Maurer began the event by reassuring community members that the goal of the dialogue was to clarify the questions and grievances raised about the college’s religious communities over the past year. Osorto discussed potential organizational

[The forum] doesn’t adequately show the amount of hurt that I’ve experienced in the last year ... that other people in the years before us have experienced. — Senior Annalise Haldeman 69

NEWS: LGBTQ changes, which would require board members to participate in diversity training and add a new grievance procedure, asking student members about their pronouns and outlining expectations for how members of the Protestant community should deal with conflict and difficult discussions. Osorto and Maurer facilitated a “word cafe conversation,” in which they asked those in attendance to answer questions written on notecards scattered across the room. The tables were covered with paper that attendees were encouraged to write their answers down on. Several attendees left the event prior to its conclusion. Once the conversations began, some people in attendance brought up concerns that many attendees came with questions, and they asked if the table discussion could be skipped. Maurer said they were going to stick to the original plan. “If you came with very specific questions that you wanted to make sure got answered please feel free to both write them on the pieces of paper and bring them up after we rotate through this a couple of times to give people the chance who do not want to bring these up out loud to write them down,” Maurer said. Senior Annalise Haldeman, one of the founders of IC Color, said she thought the written activities were not sufficient. “The etiquette was that you can play and doodle, which is nice, but compared to the things that I’ve experienced, the things that have been said to me, this is not play and doodle time,” Haldeman said. The Q&A portion began after the word cafe

conversation ended. Instead of the session lasting five to 10 minutes as it had been scheduled, it lasted for approximately 40 minutes. Zimmerman asked Osorto if he has experienced discrimination in religious communities and if he thinks that the administration has done enough to address the discrimination. Osorto said he believes the administration has not done enough because the LGBTQ community has faced oppression for so many years that no action will ever be enough. Junior Andy Yzaguirre asked Osorto and Maurer if they had any further steps in mind to address the problems between the Protestant and LGBTQ communities. “One of the action steps will be creating an ad hoc student group for whoever is interested to create a memo of how we can enter into a relationship with these religious communities,” Osorto said. Haldeman asked why the discrimination she has faced is labeled as exclusion by the administration, and said that she believes it is important for the administration to address the experience as what it was. “How do we address homophobia when we’re calling it exclusion and not calling it by its name?” Haldeman said. She said that by not doing this, the college is not holding the people in the Protestant community accountable. Osorto said he completely agreed with Haldeman’s argument, and he relates to how she is feeling because he has experienced discrimination as well. He said he believes in the

college’s commitment to change. “I’m just trying because I believe there’s something better out there for us, and I do believe in Ithaca College and its commitment,” Osorto said. “I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t the case.” After the event was finished, Haldeman said she was disappointed with the way it was organized and conducted. She said the event did not properly address the issue at hand and believes that much more needs to be done. “It doesn’t adequately show the amount of hurt that I’ve experienced in the last year, that we have experienced, that other people in the years before us have experienced,” Haldeman said. Zimmerman said she was disappointed that the higher-up administration they had worked with previously to address these issues did not attend the forum. Zimmerman and Haldeman said they expect a statement from the college that acknowledges the homophobia and racism they have experienced, using those words. Osorto and Maurer said notecards were used to ask questions in case people felt uncomfortable doing so publicly. “The event was aimed toward having as many different kinds of individuals that have experienced this campus either in good ways or in bad ways to come together,” Maurer said. “That included a few students who were connected with the Protestant community last year, but it also included other students that are still uncertain of ... how their faith connects with who they are, specifically as LGBTQ people.”

Hierald Osorto, director of religious and spiritual life, speaks at the open forum held with IC Color and members of the college administration Oct. 30 in the Athletic and Events Center. Some Members of IC Color were dissatisfied with the content and facilitation of the open forum. MAXINE HANSFORD/THE ITHACAN



State laws protect against Trump gender proposal Trump administration’s new policy will not largely impact IC

By Rachel Heller — Staff Writer

"Gender identity refers to an individual’s internal sense of gender.”

“Sex means a person’s status as male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth.”

Sources: Dear Colleague Letter on Transgender Students from the US Department of Education and Health & Human Services

President Donald Trump’s administration is considering redefining gender based on one’s sex assigned at birth, a plan that would eliminate the federal recognition of transgender and nonbinary people if implemented. However, state and college policies currently in place would provide protections for Ithaca College’s students if this redefinition occurs. According to a memo obtained by The New York Times, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is leading an effort to define gender as male or female and unchangeable, eradicating the federal recognition of 1.4 million transgender Americans. Genetic testing would be used to clarify any disagreement over a person’s sex. If the department’s definition is approved, it would reverse the Obama administration’s recognition of gender as a concept that is decided by individuals’ “internal sense of gender” or how they choose to self-identify. The proposal could affect Obama-era anti-discrimination statutes adopted by federal agencies, including Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, which prohibits health programs that receive federal funding from discriminating against people based on gender identity. Article 129-B, a state guidance document for the State Education Department and the New York State Office of Campus Safety — also known as the Enough is Enough law — is a law that protects transgender and nonbinary students at public and private higher education institutions in New York,

said Maggie Wetter, Title IX deputy coordinator at the college. Because of this state legislation, even if the Title IX guidelines change, the federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in federally funded education programs, transgender and nonbinary students will still be protected. Title IX Coordinator Linda Koenig said there is no plan to remove gender protections, including protections for transgender and nonbinary students, from the college’s Title IX policies, regardless of the Trump administration’s decision. “I am disappointed that our national leadership is excluding genders outside of the binary,” Koenig said. “We can continue to provide the same support and protections for all students regardless of their gender identity.” The college’s nondiscrimination policy currently includes protections for transgender and nonbinary students, stating that discrimination on the grounds of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression “will not exist in any activity, area, or operation of the College.” Transgender and nonbinary students at the college are protected off campus in Tompkins County as well. In Tompkins County, it is illegal to discriminate against people based on gender identity or sexual orientation, so transgender people could file a discrimination complaint with the county’s Human Rights Commission. Following the report from the Trump administration, the


NEWS: LGBTQ college’s Center for LGBT Education, Outreach and Services posted a message of support on its Facebook page to the transgender nonbinary and intersex community. “We stand with you. We affirm you. We support you,” the center wrote via Facebook. “Please reach out if you’d like to connect.” Luca Maurer, director of the Center for LGBT Education, Outreach and Services, said he was dismayed when he heard about the proposed policy. “It’s an outright attack on transgender people and everyone who loves us,” he said. “This is going to impact a lot of people. Because of intersectionality, folks who are people of color, folks who are young, folks who are elderly, folks who are immigrants

Maurer facilitated a discussion Oct. 23 at the college about LGBTQ inclusivity, where he talked about what people can do in light of the policy. Maurer also encouraged the discussion group to reach out to the transgender and nonbinary people in their lives and offer support. “This is a real moment for nontransgender people, for cisgender people to talk to each other,” he said. “There’s the very real possibility that this could be extended to other groups of people. This administration has mounted an all-out attack on Muslim folks, immigrants, undocumented folks, people of color, people with disabilities, children, and so this is just the latest attack.” Spectrum, one of the college’s LGBTQ organizations, held

Part of me feels numb to it. But another part of me feels disappointed, and even that’s too strong of a word because I expected something similar to this. — Grayson Stevens

It’s an outright attack on transgender people and everyone who loves us. This is going to impact a lot of people.

I can’t understand how someone would think it’s okay to try and literally erase someone out of a definition. — Aaron Evans

— Luca Maurer


are going to experience compounding marginalization.” The LGBT Center serves to inform people of their options if they want to bring forward a complaint and facilitate connections with offices that could help resolve any issues, Maurer said. In 2016, the National Center for Transgender Equality released the largest survey of transgender people in the United States ever conducted. In the survey, 40 percent of respondents said they had attempted suicide in their lifetime, compared to 4.6 percent of the total U.S. population. The survey found that 31 percent experienced at least one type of mistreatment in a place of public accommodation. LGBTQ organizations have also reported a lack of transgender and nonbinary representation in data collection. Data gathered on transgender people can visibly quantify the ways they experience discrimination, Maurer said. “If you say we’re going to define folks differently and say there’s no such thing as transgender, it also means we can’t collect data to describe ways that we’re desperately impacted,” Maurer said.

a meeting Oct. 23 where members discussed the implications of the policy. Sophomore Spectrum President Grayson Stevens, a transgender student, said the policy is a type of discriminatory law he thought Trump would enact. “Part of me feels numb to it,” Stevens said. “But another part of me feels disappointed, and even that’s too strong of a word because I expected something similar to this.” Stevens recommended that students at the college vote in upcoming elections for candidates who support the rights of the transgender community. Freshman Aaron Evans, a transgender student, said his reaction was not one of shock but of anger. “My initial reaction was ... ‘So this is how they’re attacking us today,’” he said. “I can’t understand how someone would think it’s okay to try and literally erase someone out of a definition. They don’t understand that gender is a spectrum, so rather than take the time and educate themselves on the subject, they’re trying to mold people into what they want.”



Nonbinary students missing from Ithaca College datasets College data collection programs do not allow for nonbinary option By Mary Rand — Staff Writer

At Ithaca College, there is an annual collection of analytical information about all students, which is organized into a document called Facts in Brief. However, nonbinary students are not included in the gender-breakdown data, causing some to be concerned that their identities are being erased. The data is collected from students through their Common Application, which is the form that most students use to apply to the college. The application has a nonbinary gender option, but the college cannot report the number of nonbinary students it has publicly because of government funding regulations. The college must report all of its data to the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), run by the National Center for Education Statistics. In order to receive federal funding for financial aid programs, all data reported to IPEDS must comply with the gender options of the IPEDS system, which only provides input for the binary options of male and female. The Facts in Brief for the 2017–18 academic year was the first with a disclaimer indicating that there were students who did not report a binary gender who were not represented in the released data. This was part of an effort to improve transparency, said Gerard Turbide, former vice president of enrollment management at the college. The same disclaimer appeared on the data released for the 2018–19 academic year Oct. 1. The gender binary — male and female categories — excludes other gender identities including nonbinary, genderfluid, genderqueer and others. Enforcing a gender binary raises

a concern about the visibility and erasure of nonbinary students, said Luca Maurer, director of the LGBT Center for Education, Outreach and Services. “Any time we don’t see ourselves reflected in data, that’s a gap, and it can serve to alienate individual members of our campus community and erase our existence,” Maurer said. Shane Windmeyer, executive director of Campus Pride — a national organization that advocates for LGBTQ representation on college campuses — said that having statistical representation of LGBTQ students on campus is important to hold colleges accountable. “Once they know that population exists, they can’t ignore it,” Windmeyer said.

Gender data collection process

The college sources student demographic data, ranging from race, ethnicity and gender to state of residence, from the Common Application, where it is then stored through Banner, an educational software system. From there, the stored data is reported to IPEDS. The information given to IPEDS is then used for the Facts in Brief. Previously, Banner only allowed for male, female or unknown gender options, forcing the college to consolidate the varied nonbinary options into the single unknown option that is omitted by the program. Banner has been updated to its ninth version, which the college will have implemented by 2019, Turbide said. The new system will allow for the storage of student-preferred pronoun and gender data that can be reported publicly, Information Systems Specialist Alexander



Peroulakis said. The options include a general nonbinary gender identity, use of they/them pronouns or an indication to ask an individual’s pronouns, Peroulakis said. IPEDS allows an institution to decide its own method to accommodate nonbinary students, according to the fall enrollment reporting guidelines released by IPEDS. The college responded to this by placing nonbinary students into binary categories in the reported data based on the existing proportion of male to female students. Colleges could not simply omit their counts of nonbinary students, as the totals for male and female students must match the total number of students overall, Turbide said. If it does not, then an institution cannot complete its report and will not receive financial aid funding. Because there is such a small number of nonbinary students on campus, Turbide said the college did not want to release the data to protect nonbinary students’ identities in case others students try to determine their identity for malicious reasons. However, in the Facts in Brief released for 2018–19, small counts of students under the Racial/Ethnic Classification were not omitted, including one American Indian or Alaska Native and one Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander in the freshmen class. It is difficult to determine if the number of nonbinary students at the college is growing or shrinking because the nonbinary gender data only started being collected in 2016, the counts for which, according to Turbide, are very small. Maurer said he thinks the college is in a

NEWS: LGBTQ difficult situation and that the staff in the Office of Analytics and Research has put in effort to be transparent. “I think they really struggled with, ‘Wait, we’re being forced to report in a way that’s not true, what do we do?’” Maurer said. The Office of Analytics and Institutional Research directed all questions and comments to Turbide for this story.

Student experiences

Some students identifying as nonbinary said they do not see how their lack of representation in the college’s demographic statistics affects their day to day lives, but they have had other troubling experiences at the college when it comes to their identities. Many nonbinary students have said they also experience frequent incorrect pronoun usage. The gender binary identification created a problem for freshman McKenna Cassano when she applied for housing accommodations through the college. Over Summer 2018, Cassano said that she called the Office of Residential Life to apply for transgender housing accommodations, though she specifically called for nonbinary housing and identified herself as nonbinary. The person over the phone did not understand that transgender housing also serves the needs of nonbinary students and students of other varying gender identities. According to the transgender housing policy of the college, if you are a student at the college who identifies anywhere on the transgender spectrum, your housing accommodations can be met once a form is submitted. On the phone, Cassano was repeatedly met with confusion and apprehension from Residential Life, put on hold and transferred to other departments to fulfill her request.

Cassano said the confusion may have been caused by how she identified herself. By her fifth call, Cassano said that she was so frustrated that she instead misidentified herself as transgender to get proper housing accommodations, by using the inaccurate language she thought the office would understand. Her request was fulfilled. “[It was] dishonest, but I wouldn’t have been able to get the accommodations I needed,” she said. Junior Varun Koppikar said they do not see being represented in the Facts in Brief as a pressing issue. Koppikar said the biggest issue they have at the college is being misgendered by professors. Koppikar said they composed a poem using they/them pronouns, and when critiquing the piece, their professor started speaking about his perception on the “new trend” in using they/them pronouns in language. Koppikar, who was at the time wearing three they/them pronoun pins, pointed them out to the professor, who paused and asked the class what it thought of “his” work. Koppikar said they did not have the energy to dispute the professor further. “I don’t want to be that person who throws a hissy fit about my gender and then become a walking stereotype,” Koppikar said.

Moving forward

Nationally, recent reports from the University of Minnesota and the University of California Los Angeles found that increasing numbers of youth in the surveyed areas are identifying as transgender, gender nonconforming or genderqueer. Of the youth ages 12 to 17 in the California study, 6.2 percent were found to be “highly gender nonconforming”

through rating their self-expression as very different from their identified birth sex. The studies suggest a greater proportion of college students enrolled in the future would, by the current federal guidelines, be misrepresented at a greater scale. Joel Baum, senior director of Gender Spectrum — a California-based organization that advocates for inclusive education about gender in presecondary schools — said it is concerning that colleges are not statistically representing nonbinary students because of the emphasis placed on statistics in our society. Baum said this results in a cycle in which students cannot be accommodated because they are not counted or recognized. “We have a society that operates around the importance of data,” Baum said. “When you count things, they matter.” The college is working to change the forced misrepresentation in the reported student data. The Data Governance Committee, made up of students, faculty and staff from the college, will be meeting in the near future to decide an inclusive approach to the issue, Turbide said. The committee includes Maurer and is chaired by Chief Analytics Officer Yuko Mulugetta, according to the Analytics and Institutional Research website. Turbide said nonbinary representation is not ignored by the college, despite the limitations of the federal reporting systems. Maurer urged everyone concerned about representation to advocate for it, not just at the college, but toward the federal systems mandating the reporting. The actions needed to invoke change, he said, include spreading awareness to elected officials and voting. “Just because something’s been done a certain way forever doesn’t mean it’s accurate, or reflective or the truth,” Maurer said.

How Ithaca College Collects Gender Data

Student demographic data, ranging from race/ethnicity and gender to state of residence

Data stored through Banner, an educational software system used by the college from software company Ellucian

Stored data is used to report to Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), run by the National Center for Education Statistics of the U.S. government


Ithaca College Facts in Brief


Ithaca College supports new pronoun holiday

IC celebrates International Pronouns Day for the first time By Mary Rand — Contributing Writer

Luca Maurer, director of the Center for LGBT Education, Outreach and Services, helped establish International Pronouns Day. BRIANNA MOTTEY/THE ITHACAN

International Pronouns Day, a new holiday founded in part by contributions from Ithaca College and recognized by City of Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick, had its first observance Oct. 17. Luca Maurer, director of the Center for LGBT Education, Outreach and Services, sat on the executive board that helped establish the holiday along with other members of a professional organization of campus LGBTQ directors. Nearly 200 organizations have now endorsed the holiday, according to the holiday’s website, including the college’s LGBT Center. The City of Ithaca mayor’s office prepared a proclamation endorsing the holiday for Ithaca as a whole. “Referring to people by the pronouns they determine for themselves is basic to human dignity,” the proclamation said. “Ithaca is committed to being inclusive.” Maurer said the goals of International Pronouns Day are multifaceted and intersectional but primarily focus on normalizing the asking, sharing and respectful use of an individual’s personal pronouns. It is also about recognizing the possible dangers some individuals often face in using particular pronouns, he said. “It’s required to call people by the pronouns they use to confer basic dignity and respect,” Maurer said. The holiday also examines stigmas around transgender individuals and the violence against them, particularly transgender women of color, Maurer said. So far in 2018, 21 transgender people have been killed by violent means, according to information released by the Human Rights Campaign.

“We really want to surface how insidious structural racism, misogyny and classism all interweaves together to cause oppression,” Maurer said. The LGBT Center plans to organize a social media campaign to raise awareness for the holiday. A public event will also be held at the college Oct. 17 to bring recognition to International Pronouns Day. Maurer also said other administrators at the college are excited to participate and utilize their positions to help promote the event. Promoting the use of proper pronouns is not new at the college. A file cabinet in the LGBT Center is now devoted to storing pronoun-identifying pins, Maurer said. Maurer has also sent out campuswide emails in the past reminding faculty and staff to be mindful about pronoun use and ask students for their preferred pronouns. Sophomore Katie Conte said they support the holiday to increase awareness about pronouns that exist beyond the binary ‘he’ or ‘she’ pronouns. They said they like how the holiday sheds a light on the ‘they’ pronoun and the fact that not all trans people use binary pronouns. “People just don’t know how to use them,” Conte said. “When people think of trans people, they just think of Caitlyn Jenner.” Freshman Aiden Nelson, who uses they/them pronouns, supported the holiday and said they hope it would help normalize mindfulness around pronoun use but said they want more to be done at the college to help promote use.



Headline Headline Headline Headline Headline peadline subhead subhead subhead subhead subhead subhead By Name — Position

The college will not renew its contract with Sodexo. The food provider has been on campus for nearly 20 years and has faced frequent criticism. ELIAS OLSEN/THE ITHACAN

Health Sodexo to leave Ithaca College, students raise concerns with food accessibility and IC’s health care provider critiques health and wellness services.



IC cuts ties with widely criticized food provider

IC will not renew contract with Sodexo, longtime food vendor By Madison Fernandez — News Editor Ithaca College has decided not to renew its contract with Sodexo, the college’s widely criticized food provider. The college has had a contract with Sodexo for nearly 20 years. During this time, Sodexo has been subject to criticism due to concerns about food quality and connections with private prisons. In the announcement regarding the change in providers, the college said that it will instead conduct its Dining Services “in house” and that the current contract with Sodexo will end June 3. Last fall, parents circulated a petition calling on the college to review its dining practices after a student was served a moldy hamburger bun. The dining halls have also been criticized for cross-contamination that has caused allergic reactions among students. The college held a forum March 4 for the campus community to express feedback about the dining services at the college, at which Bill Guerrero, vice president for finance and administration, said the college was considering transitioning away from Sodexo. The college made the decision to end its contract with Sodexo on March 15 and made the announcement to the campus community March 18. Guerrero said he, Dave Prunty, executive director of auxiliary services, and President Shirley M. Collado were involved in the decision. Guerrero said the members of the food service staff were consulted about the change as well because the transition will mostly impact them. There are currently approximately 125 Sodexo employees at the college, Guerrero said. The college is offering to keep Sodexo employees. If they choose to stay, they will become employees of the college and will receive benefits from the college. He said he anticipates that much of the staff

will remain. Jeff Scott, director of Ithaca College Dining Services, did not immediately respond to requests for comment concerning whether or not he will remain at the college. Guerrero said that while it would have been easier to switch to another food service provider, a self-operated system better suits the campus community. “When you’re thinking about Ithaca and its unique nature, unique community, where you have places like Cornell, which is already self-operated, and when you think about all the local community members, what’s the best fit for here was a self-operated model,” Guerrero said. “Albeit it could be one of the harder steps, but I think it’s going to be the best opportunity.” Guerrero said that although the college will no longer be working with Sodexo, many of the food vendors will remain the same. For instance, Sysco, a wholesale food distributor, will likely remain. Still, Guerrero said, he would like to move toward alternative providers that can supply the college with locally grown food. He said the college may also look into getting food from the supply chain Wegmans uses. “There’s all those kinds of flexible options we could do,” he said. “A lot of the vendors where the food comes ... won’t even change. It’s just what can we do with the presentation, what can we do with the higher quality, what we can do with the menu.” Guerrero said that specific changes to the dining program are not yet solidified, but that he is planning to find local partners to work with, like Ithaca Bakery, Gimme Coffee and Moosewood Restaurant. He said these changes would likely not be an additional cost because partnering with other brands does not

Administrators responded to student concern about college dining services by cutting ties with food provider Sodexo. JACKIE MARUSIAK/THE ITHACAN


N E W S : H E A LT H add labor. Additionally, he said he does not anticipate that the employees’ wages will change. According to the college’s federal form 990 for the fiscal year ending May 31, 2017, Sodexo received the highest compensation from the college, receiving $10,534,237. Guerrero said he does not anticipate the change will cost the college additional money. Guerrero also said he would like to create more student spaces, which would be similar to the cafes in the library and IC Square. Guerrero said a challenge in these spaces currently is the limited variety of food offered and the limited hours the locations are open. He said that while new areas will not necessarily be opened with this initial transition, he wants to improve the current spaces.

valued the staff,” he said. Many respondents also raised concerns about how healthy and clean the food was, as well as accessibility to vegan and vegetarian options, issues that Guerrero said he plans to address. Freshman Emily Altschuler said she is disappointed by the lack of variety under Sodexo’s contract and hopes that the new dining program moves away from heavily processed food. “That was a downside, having pretty bad food and not feeling well a lot of the time,” she said. “I would hope that the new food is more locally sourced.” Freshman Jessica Ketterer said she hopes the new services will be representative of the local food scene.

Sophomore Carmen Enge is one of many students who have raised concerns about Sodexo at Ithaca College. Enge helped found the group Not Another Bite, an organization that led a forum March 19 about the future of Dining Services at the college. JACKIE MARUSIAK/THE ITHACAN

This is definitely something that is very bold. It’s definitely transformative for the community. — Bill Guerrero, vice president for finance and administration Guerrero began conducting a review of Sodexo in July 2018 to consider the cost and student satisfaction of the program. In a statement that was posted on IC News, Guerrero said the decision was made, in part, as a result of the feedback received from students and parents. In February, the Division of Finance and Administration sent a survey to the campus community asking its opinions of Dining Services and what improvements it would like to see. Guerrero said there were approximately 1,900 responses that provided insight on what community members both valued and disliked about Dining Services. “The best takeaway was that most community members

“I think a lot of things will be more farm-to-table, because that’s how Ithaca is,” Ketterer said. A new price for meal plans has not yet been determined. Guerrero said he wants to create a cheaper unlimited meal plan to address food insecurity at the college and to make the dining experience simpler and more affordable and accessible. In the past, his plan was for there to be one mandatory unlimited meal plan for resident students and one voluntary meal plan for students who live off campus or in on-campus apartments. He said that although the prices are not set yet, the idea is for the unlimited plan to cost less than the current 14-meals-per-week plan, which starts at $6,994 for the academic year. It is unlikely that the plan will cost less than the current 10-meals-per-week plan, which starts at $6,580 for the academic year. However, some students raised concerns about the proposed changes. Senior Katie Musci said that changing the food provider will not necessarily improve the quality of the food. “It’s mass food production, and any mass food production is not going to be amazing,” Musci said. “It really depends on the happiness of the workers.” Guerrero said Sodexo has been supportive about the college transitioning to a self-operated dining system. “This is definitely something that is very bold,” Guerrero said. “It’s definitely transformative for the community.”



Outside review team critical of Ithaca College health services Keeling and Associates says IC health center is not organized effectively By Maia Noah — Contributing Writer

Keeling and Associates found that the health services on Ithaca College’s campus do not have up-to-par operational effectiveness. KRISTEN HARRISON/THE ITHACAN


eeling and Associates, Ithaca College’s health care providers, completed a review of counseling and health services. After analyzing annual reports, student surveys and national data, Keeling and Associates found that health services on the college’s campus are not organized effectively and do not have up-to-par operational effectiveness. It was found that the college lacks a clear vision or strategy for dealing with student health in the Nov. 5 report. The executive summary stated that the Hammond Health Center’s student-provider ratio of 1,552:1 is better than the normal range for college health services, which is approximately 2,000:1 to 2,500:1. However, according to the report, in many cases students have had to find services elsewhere due to the inability of the health center and the Center of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) to meet demand. The report also found that a major element of this accessibility issue was a lack of appropriate access to counselors after hours. The college also funds the health center and CAPS through an operating budget. The summary found that this single form of funding does not guarantee a

sustainable, effective model. As a result of these findings, Rosanna Ferro, vice president of Student Affairs and Campus Life, said there has been a lack of proper senior-level leadership to effectively advocate for and organize appropriate health and counseling or mental health services for students. The college launched a search for an executive director of student wellness in November. Ferro said she is currently working to ameliorate the dissatisfaction many students have addressed about difficulty making appointments and having to go off campus to meet their needs. She said she is also starting to look at the findings in the executive summary in order to create more accessible and effective services. Ferro said that as a result of the recommendations, the executive director will begin to assess health services on and off campus to see what resources the college is lacking. Ferro said the college is also examining the evolving needs of its students. “Our current structure and practice has been in place for a long time, and the reality is that the challenges our current students are facing are


very different than they were even five years ago,” Ferro said. As a result of this increased student demand for mental health services, CAPS has also added two new counselor positions. Ferro and other administrators are also starting conversations about addressing the need for access to after-hours counselors. Students widely believe the health services on campus do not adequately address their needs, according to the report. Freshman Libby Mosher said she thought it was crucial for her to come to a college that offered adequate mental health services. “The therapist here can only see me once every … three weeks ... which is really not going to do anything,” Mosher said. Alice Meilman, CAPS interim co-director and licensed clinical social worker, said that CAPS is trying to support students the best it can. Instead of taking the executive summary as criticism, Meilman said she and other staff members at CAPS are determined to improve mental health services. She said they are aware that improvement of their services is crucial.

N E W S : H E A LT H

Students struggle with Students facing barriers to food security outpace available resources By Sophia Tulp — Senior Writer

Senior Eunice Grande said she attends the college’s food pantries due to intermittent struggles with food insecurity. She said she seeks out free food on campus just to have a meal. JULIA CHERRUAULT/THE ITHACAN


enior Eunice Grande’s days start at 4 a.m. She heads to the downtown Ithaca Starbucks and works five hours before heading back to campus to start her day of classes and meetings, usually getting back home after 5:30 p.m. This is how her day was supposed to go on Sept. 20, but by noon she was hungry and didn’t have lunch. Homework had kept her up too late to grocery shop, and campus food like the pub was out of the question because she’s not on a meal plan. Instead, she was on her way to seek out free food on campus in between classes. “I always look out for events with food just so I can eat,” Grande said. “Today, I know there’s an event for a study abroad program that’s serving free pizza with it. I feel like students don’t really know what it is to really appreciate those events with free food. I really look forward to those events because it’s a time I can eat.” This is a strategy she said she uses often when she needs to go grocery shopping and is waiting for her next paycheck. Grande is not the only Ithaca College student facing these barriers called food insecurities — a state in which consistent access to adequate food is limited by a lack of money and other resources — according to the United States Department of Agriculture. Data from the most recent Campus Climate Survey, conducted

in Fall 2016, shows that, out of nearly 3,000 students who responded, 47 percent reported experiencing financial hardship while attending the college, and 36 percent of those — 500 students — reported difficulty affording food.

Experiences with food insecurity Senior Nabilah Abdalla said she had experienced food insecurity growing up and has experienced it periodically throughout college. “I grew up pretty poor, and my mom has moved to many different homeless shelters,” Abdalla said. “We ate mac and cheese and stuff, so we weren’t starving, but I didn’t know what it was like to have a real meal until high school.” She said she experienced this pattern again at the college before receiving a BOLD leadership scholarship, stretching out her meals and grocery store trips as she balanced work, school and living off campus. “I would go off and on between not eating that much and eating enough,” she said. This is the nature of food insecurity on college campuses, according to Brandon Matthews, associate director of campus resources of the College and University Food Bank Alliance. CUFBA is a national nonprofit organization that helps connect colleges and universities with resources to start initiatives for food insecurity. He said college students can often go from feeling adequately fed to food insecure as their schedules,


Senior Shayna Fishkin asks junior Connor Duffy to donate. SAIRAM REDDY POTLAPADU/THE ITHACAN

circumstances and aid change. According to a joint report by CUFBA, 48 percent of four-year college and community college students reported being food insecure in 2016, and 43 percent of students on a meal plan also reported being food insecure. The numbers are higher for students of color and first-generation students. The same report shows that 57 percent of black students reported food insecurity, and 56 percent of first-generation students were food insecure. Senior Jonelle Orsaio came from a lower-income household. She has all of her costs at the college covered through scholarships, grants and loans. But when she was a sophomore, she reduced her meal plan from a 14 swipes per week plan to a 10 swipes per week plan because, she said, it was an immediate way to save money. “I could survive on it,” she said. “But I would get hungry.” The 14-swipe plan covers two meals a day, while a 10-swipe plan only allows for about one meal most days. She downgraded her plan to save the $200 in price difference. Another student, junior Victoria Cummings, is largely financially independent from her family and pays for most of her expenses like food and housing through her on-campus job. She said she budgets just $50 per week for grocery shopping. This is consistent with USDA data that labels an individual shopping on $50 or

food insecurity less a week as the lowest category of shopper, on what is called a “thrifty plan.” “It forced me to diet a little, to eat less,” Cummings said. Most of the data on food insecurity is from public institutions. Data from small private colleges, like Ithaca College, are not as available, Matthews said. As a result, food insecurity tends to be even less visible on such campuses. “Comments we hear often are, ‘Well, students made a choice to be there, and if they can’t afford to be there, then that’s their fault,’” Matthews said. “But it’s in an administration’s best interest to serve all of the students that they are willing to accept and support in their programs.” Approximately 200 of CUFBA’s 641 partners are private colleges or universities as opposed to public, community or technical schools. “I think a lot of students don’t even realize that there are people below middle class going here,” Abdalla said. “It makes things hard because people are scared to show that because there’s so many richer people on campus.”

It forced me to diet a little, to eat less. — Junior Victoria Cummings David Prunty, executive director of auxiliary services, helped bring the mobile food pantry to the college. He pointed out that social stigmas keeps many students from speaking up about their issues with food insecurity, even if they need help. Tiffany Valentin is a program coordinator in the Office of State Grants, an office that oversees state-funded programs for lower-income students at the college. She also said that these same stigmas are exaggerated for students of color. “With intersectionality, especially if you are low income and a person of color, students think: what perception do people already have?” Valentin said. “It’s like, ‘OK you’re a person of color so you have to be poor,’ so that’s another stigma where students don’t want to disclose that they are low-income.” Increases in aid, an updated first-generation student program and new scholarship opportunities, such as the New York State Tuition Award, are all new programs and efforts on behalf of the college to reach out to students of

diverse and marginalized backgrounds. However, outside of programs like a new initiative called Swipe Out Hunger and the mobile food pantry, there are no other set avenues for institutional support specific to food insecurity. Over the past 10 years, the total cost of attendance at the college has gone from $42,183 to $59,540, a 40 percent increase. At the same time though, the discount on tuition — the amount the college offsets its sticker price by offering grant aid — has gone from $64 million to $118 million — over double the percent increase in tuition. This means that the average student is getting more aid to come to the college, despite rising costs. However, once these students are on campus, sometimes not all of their needs are met. Valentin said she hears this often. “We do a good job of getting people here, but were not the best at supporting them when they’re here and retaining them,” she said.

Current services available The mobile pantry is a truck operated by the Food Bank of the Southern Tier that comes to campus once a month for students to pick up food for free. In September, over 240 people, mostly students, were served. Even as the college sees an increase of students utilizing supplemental food services, campus community members still worry that some students who could benefit are falling through the cracks. This is part of the reason why Abdalla and junior Unagh Frank brought the Swipe Out Hunger program to campus in September. Swipe Out Hunger is a nationwide program on 46 campuses that combats food insecurity among college students. Students with campus meal plans can donate one guest swipe to be put into a schoolwide bank that can then be distributed anonymously to students in need. Swipe Out Hunger representatives, led by Frank, garnered 949 swipes during Fall 2018 to be bundled into meal plans and distributed to students who approach Ithaca College Dining Services, the Office of Student Financial Services or other campus community members in need.


attending the food pantry since Fall 2018, and has kept a list of the dates on her refrigerator. When she went this August, though, the line was so long that she was only able to take a few items. Abdalla said she has had a similar experience. She said she noticed more students attended, some of whom she was skeptical about whether they were actually dealing with food insecurity. In response, Prunty said he worries about making advertising more explicit, as it could discourage students from coming because they are worried about the level of their “need.” At a meeting hosted by the Division of Finance and Administration on Sept. 26, Prunty spoke about the shortage of food at the pantry. “We’re worried about October,” he said, based on the fact that approximately 40 people had to be turned away from the last food pantry. “We’re — scrambling is the wrong word, but it’s not entirely the wrong word — to come up with long-term solutions,” Prunty said. Jeff Scott, director of Dining Services, said he is open to conversations with students about what more they can do. Scott said students are asked about campus food affordability in two end-of-the-semester surveys, but that the data is not disclosed. Despite the solutions in the works, Abdalla also said she is concerned the addition of Swipe Out Hunger will make it seem like the problem of food insecurity is solved when it actually is not. “Donating swipes isn’t going to be enough,” she said. “When we help someone ... it gives a feel-good feeling, and that feeling makes it so we don’t really think about the problem.”

“Scrambling” for solutions Prunty said he and fellow faculty members discussed, approximately a year ago, that food insecurity was affecting students at the college. These conversations started off organically but eventually resulted in a committee, which was responsible for starting the mobile food pantry. Grande said she has been consistently


Nonperishable items are available at the monthly food pantry. SAIRAM REDDY POTLAPADU/THE ITHACAN


In other news 1. Kevin Spacey movie poster vandalized 2. Administration plans for the Campus Center redesign

A movie poster of the film “L.A. Confidential,” which was hung in the basement of the Roy H. Park School of Communications, was vandalized with the phrase “believe survivors” sometime between March 28 and March 29. “L.A. Confidential” starred now-disgraced actor Kevin Spacey, who has been accused by over 30 individuals of sexual assault. The movie was in part produced by Ithaca College alum Michael Nathanson ’78. The poster has been removed from its position.

The college is beginning to take steps to transform the Campus Center into a more student-centered space. Through a design study that was created during Fall 2018, the college is working to transition the building into one that broadly supports students from all schools on campus. The college sent a survey to students Jan. 30 to help guide the college toward a successful redesign plan. The survey asked students if they would want additional study spaces, student service spaces and other amenities in the Campus Center. Some of the spaces being considered include collaboration spaces, a coffee shop, a dedicated student lounge, performance spaces and a large event space. The survey also notes that the building could include student employment services, health services, counseling services, an LGBTQ center or an Information Technology desk.

3. 2019 Commencement speaker announced Ithaca College announced that Mildred García, president of the American Association of State Colleges and University and a national leader in higher education, will deliver the main address at the college’s 124th Commencement ceremony May 19, 2019.









In case you missed it, here are a few other news items that made headlines during the 2018–19 academic year, in brief.

4. IC alum purchases 5. ICC committee publishes Two Fountain Place recommended changes After a multiyear review of the Integrative Core Curriculum, the ICC Program Review Committee released recommendations on how to improve the ICC, but did not vote to remove it entirely. The committee said that it has unanimously voted to revise the ICC instead, and recommended changes to the areas of contention, including the themes and the e-portfolio.

An Ithaca College alum purchased 2 Fountain Place on March 12, the residence that has housed the past six Ithaca College presidents. Ashleigh Zimmerman ’99 and her husband, Cornell University alum Ryan Zimmerman, purchased 2 Fountain Place and the adjacent 2 Willets Place for $1.7 million. The money will be used to construct the new on-campus presidential residence where President Shirley M. Collado will live, according to a post by Dave Maley, director of public relations at the college. The on-campus presidential residence is currently in the design phase and is the first major construction project on campus since the construction of the Athletics and Events Center, which was completed in 2011. Tim Carey, associate vice president of the Office of Facilities, said there are no developments to report beyond being in the design phase. The final cost for the project has not yet been determined. The Ithaca College Board of Trustees announced in May 2017 that Collado would not live in the 120-year-old mansion because of the cost and inconveniences that came with it.





6. STI testing doubles among students at Ithaca College Over the past four years at Ithaca College, the number of students who have gone to the Hammond Health Center to test for sexually transmitted infections has doubled, while the number of students testing positive has stayed relatively consistent. Gonorrhea and chlamydia are the two most prevalent STIs, and their rates at the college are consistent with other universities, said Ellyn Selin-Sellers, interim medical director of the Center for Counseling, Health and Wellness.

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Life & Culture From drag shows to Dog Fest to “Deerhunter,” the year in life and culture is as unique as the campus and community.


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Samantha McElhaney John sings with the Ithaca College Chorus at the MLK concert Jan 25. The event was part of the college’s annual MLK Week celebration. CONNOR LANGE/THE ITHACAN


L I F E & C U LT U R E : C A M P U S

Meant to help quit cigarettes, Juuls spark new addictions By Jake Leary — Staff Writer

Juul founders say their e-cigarette is designed for smokers who are quitting cigarettes, but college students are becoming addicted. JULIA CHERRUAULT/THE ITHACAN


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ilflower, an Ithaca College student and musician who prefers to go by their stage name, wrote a song. It hits close to home, detailing one of the most important relationships in their life. It ends with a plea: “SEND ME FREE JUUL PODS FOR LIFE, BITCH!!” Their song — which they describe as a “meme song” with depth — is two things: The first is a gay love song, and the second, and more apparent, is an examination of their relationship with Juuling and addiction. Unlike many Juul users, Lilflower uses the e-cigarette for its intended purpose: to fulfill their nicotine addiction without depending on cigarettes.

Juuls are an e-cigarette for the iPhone age — a vector for nicotine with a flashy technological finish. But Juuls aren’t popular because they’re a “safer” substitute for cigarettes. They’re popular, at the college and beyond, because Juuls are an e-cigarette for the iPhone age — a vector for nicotine with a flashy technological finish. The device is tiny, dark and long: able to fit in a pocket or a balled-up fist. Often, you’ll see someone puff a cloud of scented vapor and never see the source, making it popular among high school and college students who have to skirt the 21-year-old age requirement to procure a Juul. For some, like senior Mike Hanlon, the futuristic design made Juuls enticing. “There’s this appeal to them just on the sleek technological appearance to them,” Hanlon said. “So I was like, ‘I want to give that a try.’” Juul users take ownership over their devices, often customizing them or giving them names. Hanlon’s, for instance, was named Juulapeno. James Monsees and Adam Bowen created Juul in 2015 because they wanted an e-cigarette alternative that would help smokers wean themselves off of cigarettes. The company has been upfront about its intentions, discouraging unnecessary Juul use with warnings on its website, age restrictions and numerous public statements about the addictive nature of nicotine. Juuls lack the toxic slurry contained in cigarettes, but they still contain nicotine and are addictive. Nicotine is the addictive component

of cigarettes, creating a dependency in smokers and Juulers. When users intake the chemical, their bodies release dopamine and adrenaline, increasing their blood pressure, heart rate, breathing and need for a hit. Juuls are especially addictive. While a cigarette contains 10 miligrams of nicotine, a 3 percent Juul pod contains 23 mg and a 5 percent pod contains 40 mg. David Ashley, research professor at Georgia State University who spent 27 years at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and spent years studying the effects of tobacco, said because cigarettes burn between puffs, some of the nicotine is lost with the cigarette, but Juuls only activate when sucked, therefore, Juulers absorb the entire nicotine content of a pod. Unlike other cigarette alternatives, Juuls use nicotine salt, a substance that allows a Juul to deliver nicotine to the system more quickly than many of its competitors. For ex-smokers, the nicotine rush is a benefit, but for young people who have never smoked, it’s dangerous. Like any drug, the faster the delivery the more intense the addiction, so nonsmokers who take up Juuls will likely get hooked fast. Juuls dominate the e-cigarette market. According to CDC statistics, Juul sales increased 641 percent between 2016 and 2017, making up a third to a half of the e-cigarette market. Though created for recovering smokers, many Juul users never touched a cigarette before Juuling. Ashley said Juul’s success started with the company’s advertisements. “[Juul] marketed to young adults,” Ashley said. “And teenagers love whatever a young adult wants. ... And so, all the ads had 21- and 22-yearolds having a great time ... with their Juul.” Finally, with a Food and Drug Association ban on flavored e-cigarettes looming, the company took action. On Nov. 13, Juul announced it would limit its social media presence and monitor third party-produced Juul content — a tough task given that there are thousands of unofficial videos on social media of underage Juulers. Juul will also restrict the sale of flavor pods.

The FDA has been critical of the accessibility of flavored e-cigarette pods, and public health officials cite flavor pods as a factor in Juul’s popularity among underage users. A 2015 American Medical Association study of people ages 12 to 17 found that 81 percent of users surveyed used flavored e-cigarettes because “they come in flavors I like.” Ashley said Juuls can be helpful for smokers who want to quit but are damaging for nonsmokers who start Juuling. A study Ashley co-authored in 2018 found that 50 percent of smokers who take up Juuls end up as dual users, while less than 10 percent switch exclusively to Juuls or quit nicotine completely. That’s the real danger, and unfortunate irony, of Juuls — they’re a gateway to cigarettes. Though much is known about the adverse effects of nicotine, less is known about the impact of chemicals in Juuls. A study published in Tobacco Control, a scientific journal dedicated to the effects of tobacco products, compiled over a dozen studies on e-cigarettes. While it didn’t find any negative consequences to e-cigarette use, the author also cautioned against making broad generalizations because research is relatively rare. Even the economic benefit of Juuls is dubious. Everything from the price model to the pod flavors are intended for ex-smokers. A starter kit — a Juul device, charging dock and four 5 percent nicotine strength pods — costs $50, while pod four-packs cost $15. For reference, the average cost of a pack cigarettes in New York state is $12.85. But for smokers looking to switch, a pod is not necessarily a better economic choice. Junior Jackie Gray said that she went from smoking a pack of cigarettes a month to a pod a week, averaging out to a slightly greater cost. Lilflower knows they shouldn’t Juul, but quitting isn’t that easy. “No one wants to admit they’re addicted to anything,” Lilflower said. “I hate the fact that I’m addicted because I waste so much f—ing money on it. And honestly, it’s really frustrating.”

While a cigarette contains about

10 mg

of nicotine, a 3% Juul pod contains

23 mg

and a 5% pod contains

40 mg. — Juul FAQ

Juuls are becomming a trend among young people and college students. JULIA CHERRUAULT/THE ITHACAN


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Makeup fans blush, beat and blog on social media sites By James Baratta and Kara Bowen — Contributing Writer and Life & Culture Editor Ithaca College sophomore Lucia Tepper sits in her dorm room, a light and tripod pointing toward her. A row of clear boxes filled with brushes, lipsticks and palettes line her desk. “Hi guys,” she says to the camera, addressing the thousands of followers subscribed to her YouTube channel, LuciaTepperBeauty. “My name is Lucia, and today I’ll be showing you my

makeup and beauty empties.” She rummages through a bag in her lap, holding up finished mascara containers, lip gloss tubes and blush palettes. She shows each containers’ empty contents to the camera, reviewing her experience with each product. Her resulting video, “Makeup and Beauty Empties! November 2018,” has 5,600 views.

Sophomore Lucia Tepper has over 30,000 subscribers on her YouTube channel, LuciaTepperBeauty. Tepper began her YouTube channel over three years ago and it has increased in popularity. JULIA CHERRUAULT/THE ITHACAN

Senior Abiola Tubosun-Kassim runs a beauty and lifestyle YouTube channel and Instagram account. She has a series called #RemixFriday that she uses to recreate makeup looks. JULIA CHERRUAULT/THE ITHACAN


Tepper is one of the thousands of beauty vloggers on social media, particularly on YouTube. These vloggers, some of whom are self-proclaimed “beauty gurus,” post videos of themselves creating makeup looks and reviewing beauty products. The most subscribed-to beauty vlogger in the world is Mariand Castrejon Castañeda from Mexico, whose channel, Yuya, has approximately 22.5 million subscribers. Some of the most popular English-speaking beauty gurus are Zoe Sugg, whose Zoella channel has nearly 12 million subscribers, and Jeffree Star with approximately 11 million. Tepper began her YouTube channel over three years ago as a way to share videos of herself singing. She then changed her mind, deciding to become a beauty vlogger after watching uploads from others in the makeup community. “I started off just wanting to be a beauty guru,” she said. “I wanted to have a gigantic makeup collection. I wanted to do tutorials.” She said her channel had 1,000 subscribers until she began a series “Makeup Your Mind” in January 2018. Often to fund buying makeup, some beauty vloggers receive public relations packages of sponsorships or payments from advertisements. While most beauty videos focus on new products, Tepper’s series criticized beauty vloggers’ sponsored products and consumerism. Within a month, she gained 30,000 subscribers. Currently, LuciaTepperBeauty has 29,667 subscribers. One popular topic for beauty videos is “hauls.” YouTubers buy many products, often from the same makeup brand, and review them. Some haul videos advertise, with aggressive capitalization, the amount of money spent on brands. Jeffree Star’s video is titled “$2,500 ULTA DRUGSTORE HAUL! | Jeffree Star.” “Getting something that’s worth money is like a special occasion,” freshman makeup fan Hannah Brule said. “Then you have that one palette that you love showing people.” Tepper said her constant consumption of makeup made her anxious, and she began doing “anti-hauls,” where she shows reasons not to buy new things, instead focusing on anti-consumption. She said this series was controversial. She said she’s also done “product panning,” which focuses on “hitting pan” on products, or reaching the bottom of the container and using all of the product available. Previously, Tepper had released videos that

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For me, it’s more of an art. It allows for myself to feel beautiful, and I get to make other people feel beautiful. — Abiola Tubosun-Kassim

Abiola Tubosum-Kassim posts makeup looks on Instagram. She said she considers makeup a form of creative expression. JULIA CHERRUAULT/THE ITHACAN

criticized other beauty gurus for accepting PR packages, or sponsored products that brands send to be reviewed, and advocating constant consumption. She began receiving critical comments, video responses and death threats in video comments when she later began accepting sponsored products. She said in a video that “anti-consumerism” means being a conscious consumer of products, and that she wanted to focus on using and reviewing products while raising awareness of advertising techniques. “My content is very controversial, which is ridiculous because it’s makeup,” Tepper said. “I never want to cause drama. I just speak my truth, and I really just want to stop people from spending a ton of money and having anxiety.” Senior Abiola Tubosun-Kassim runs a beauty and lifestyle YouTube channel as well, although her main platform is Instagram. Her Instagram account abiolakassim.mua features bright blue, pink and orange blended eyeshadows and golden highlights. She has a series called #RemixFriday that she uses to recreate makeup looks from other Instagram makeup artists. “I feel like, for me, it’s more of an art,” she said. “And it allows for myself to feel beautiful, and I get to make other people feel beautiful.” The high-end makeup brands many beauty gurus use in their videos are notoriously expensive. So, how much do beauty fans spend? “Don’t even ask me that question,” said

junior Margaret Tippet, beauty editor of Distinct Magazine. She said she watches vloggers for reviews to keep up-to-date on new releases and to decide what drugstore makeup is good quality. Tippet said that at her peak of using makeup, she would spend $100 a month on beauty supplies. Tubosun-Kassim said her most expensive makeup purchase was Ulta’s Too Faced Sweet Peach Palette, costing $42. The most expensive product on Ulta’s website is $195 for a collection of liquid lipstick. On Fenty Beauty, another high-end makeup brand by pop star Rihanna, a highlight brush goes for $32. “It’s really expensive,” Tubosun-Kassim said. “I usually just stick to drugstore-friendly stuff from Target or Walmart or stuff like that because it’s really expensive, and sometimes, I don’t have the money to spend on it.” Tubosun-Kassim also said that there can be limited edition shades available for darker skin tones. She said that as a black woman it can be hard to find her shade range. The lack of diversity in makeup shades has been discussed by other beauty YouTubers as well. Vlogger Jackie Aina uploaded a video in January 2018 that addressed the lack of products that matched dark skin. “I feel that with the more high-end … stuff, it’s really hard to find your shade range, and even sometimes with drugstore makeup


it’s hard,” Tubosun-Kassim said. “In order for me to have my shade, I would have to mix two colors together. So sometimes it is hard finding the right color, but then there are brands like Fenty Beauty who have the full range for women of color.” Along with limited diversity in shades, another criticism of the beauty industry is its rebranding as feminist. Many beauty gurus have posted about makeup’s empowering effect, like vlogger NikkieTutorials’s upload “ENDING MAKEUP SHAMING!” Others view beauty brands taking advantage of women’s insecurities and need for validation to sell more products. “It’s kind of f—-up, but it gives you confidence,” freshman Justine Brady said. “Makeup artists make this image of themselves that they always look like this, like they always look perfect … in reality, you need to show that that’s not real.” Tepper said she used to feel uncomfortable walking around without makeup when she first became involved in the beauty industry. However, she said she now views makeup as art. “When I first got into it, I got into the idea of I have to do this to look good,” Tepper said. “It can feel like that, especially if you don’t have self-esteem by yourself, which I didn’t. And then, I took a break from makeup, and when I came back to it, I came back to it as an artistic outlet.”

L I F E & C U LT U R E : C A M P U S

Tallman attends a national convention in a cosplay she created herself. COURTESY OF ELIZABETH TALLMAN

IC students bring complex character costumes to life Students cosplay, or dress up as favorite fictional characters By Kara Bowen — Life & Culture Editor In the middle of July, thousands of people gathered in the San Diego Convention Center wearing plastic horns and cloaks and carrying guns, staffs and wands. No, they weren’t celebrating an early Halloween. They were cosplaying at one of the largest comic conventions in the United States. A combination of the words “costume” and “play,” cosplay is the hobby of recreating the costumes and accessories of fictional characters. The term was coined in Japan in 1984 to describe fan costumes at American science fiction conventions. Since then, the popularity of cosplay has skyrocketed — New York Comic Con, one of the biggest conventions at which cosplay is a main focus, sold over 200,000 tickets in 2017. Ithaca College also has a cosplaying community of its own, apart from the Ithacon comic convention it hosts every spring. Most cosplayers base their cosplays on anime, manga, comic book, movie or video game characters, although some also cosplay as book characters. What separates cosplay from simply dressing

up is the do-it-yourself ethos of making costumes. Cosplayers spend large amounts of time making armor, weapons, horns and other props. Junior Kit Atanasoff began prop making approximately seven years ago. “I was really into movie props and special effects when I was a kid, so I would watch things on how to make the gun from Hellboy or something like that,” Atanasoff said. “And then I started looking online for different prop-making techniques, and I found cosplay. And I was like, ‘Holy crap, this is like the stuff.’” Sophomore Elizabeth Tallman first became involved in cosplay after seeing people cosplay characters from the online comic “Homestuck.” Her first ambitious project was to cosplay as Mercy from the video game “Overwatch” — a character with a pair of wings seven feet high. “For my very first pair, I actually started with a hiking harness,” Tallman said. “All I had was posterboard for the wings.” Tallman and Atanasoff said that being at college makes cosplaying more difficult. Atanasoff said there is no organization in Ithaca


that specifically focuses on cosplay. Also, cosplay outfits can be so large that it’s difficult to find space to store them — much less wear them. At home, Atanasoff has his own workspace in his basement dedicated to prop-making. While at college, however, he said he ran into a similar issue with space. His freshman year, he had worked on props in art classes but he said that the art building wasn’t right for his techniques. He decided to not make as many large, intensive props while at school. He said the type of projects he worked on required tools and space the college didn’t have. “But I think really, because the specific type that I did didn’t really lend itself to being in a freshman dorm, … I was like, we’ll just let that lie,” he said. Atanasoff is looking into working on projects in the Makerspace in the Tompkins County Public Library, a room equipped with 3D printers, sewing machines and other tools dedicated to crafting. In the meantime, he’s used simpler materials — like making gladiator armor out of cardboard boxes that students threw away

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Sophomore Elizabeth Tallman cosplays as the character Mercy from the videogame “Overwatch” at the convention Katsucon in 2017. COURTESY OF ELIZABETH TALLMAN

after move-in day. In Spring 2018, Atanasoff made zombie costumes for a student film. He worked on costumes in his room and distressed the clothing in a pile of gravel and dirt outside of Towers Dining Hall. “I was squatting in that, shredding and dusting and painting … on and off for two days,” he said. “I got some interesting looks, but it was funny. I didn’t really mind.” The cost of cosplay can also make it difficult for students to be involved. According to Business Insider, some of the most expensive cosplays at the 2014 New York Comic Con ranged from $400 to $1,000. However, Atanasoff said that cosplay doesn’t have to be expensive. “I used to think that using certain materials was the only way you could make a metal, knight-looking gauntlet,” Atanasoff said. “And then, I was in touch with someone on Instagram and they were like, ‘Dude, I just used cut up yogurt containers.’ And I was like, ‘Holy crap, why didn’t I think of that.’” To lower costs, cosplayers can do a casual version of cosplay, known as a “closet cosplay.”

Cosplayers use materials they already have in their closets, adding on a wig or makeup. Tallman went to Otakon, one of the biggest conventions on the East Coast, in August. She said her cosplay of Mercy was so big that she only wore it for three hours. Then, she changed into her small cosplay of what she called a “slutty Fortnite llama” — denim shorts, a pink tank top and a purple cardboard head of a llama from the video game Fortnite. One of the main appeals of cosplay is conventions: fan gatherings focused on comics, superhero movies and other key elements of nerd culture. There are panel discussions, booths where makers can sell their props or art, and, of course, cosplay contests. As fun as conventions are, they can also be a hotbed for harassment. In 2017, author Jess Nevins conducted a study on harassment at conventions. Of the 948 participants, 23 percent had been sexually harassed at a convention and 33 percent had witnessed sexual harassment at a convention. Female cosplayers are often targeted. Tallman said the advent of social media and


the prevalence of the #MeToo movement has improved the environment as conventions, but that the problem still exists. She said she has been harassed by other cosplayers while at conventions, even when she wore a badge that indicated she was underage. She said she was once jumped on and hugged by another cosplayer who was acting out the personality of his character, and that she had to push him off her to prevent him from breaking her costume. “Conventions seem very detached from the outside world,” Tallman said. “So, when you’re so detached from the world, you kind of think that a con has different rules than everywhere else does.” In 2014, signs reading “cosplay is not consent” were posted at New York Comic Con in response to a petition created by Geeks for CONsent. Despite this, both Tallman and Atanasoff said that conventions have a strong sense of community. Tallman described having an “instant kinship” with other cosplayers. Atanasoff also said that as a maker, he likes learning about the techniques of other costume makers.

L I F E & C U LT U R E : C A M P U S

Speaking out our hairstories By Avery Alexander — Contributing Writer

Senior Mirelle Tinker created the website Our Hairstory to share the role hair plays in shaping people’s diverse identities. ELIAS OLSEN/THE ITHACAN


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Student-created website encourages positive self-image


air is often overlooked as something insignificant, but to people struggling with their racial, sexual or gender identities, hair is a primary piece of their self-images. It’s because of this that Ithaca College senior Mirelle Tinker created Our Hairstory, a website dedicated to sharing stories about people of color and members of the LGBTQ community and other groups who have complex relationships with their hair. “Hair can be a source of feeling ostracized,” Tinker said. “This experience really resonates.” As of Sept. 17, Our Hairstory has published five stories, each one delving into a different person’s experience with their hair. The stories discuss racial issues, ageism and ableism. The intent is to broadcast the voices of underrepresented groups while explaining how their hair is important to them. Tinker is biracial, and she said that she was bullied and felt self-conscious about her natural hair. “The first personal essay I ever wrote in my sophomore year was about my hair,” Tinker said. “I was the only nonwhite kid in my classroom. … One day, kids started saying that I had weird hair. … It was awful.” In Spring 2018, Tinker had the idea to establish Our Hairstory. After Tinker shared her story with her roommates, seniors Amy Thomas and Sky Mattioli, and the two of them became interested in sharing their experiences with their hair as well. Tinker designed her website in May and officially launched the project in June. The website has five posts, each with a contributor’s selfie and a written story about their relationship with their hair. “It’s wild how much we connect hair to identity with all of the different experiences we’ve had,” Tinker said. Tinker said other platforms such as blogs and magazines exclusively market products toward people with curly hair. They don’t often include stories from other marginalized groups. “I started looking for other people doing the same thing, and the only ones I could find were blogs promoting curly hair products,” Tinker said. “They didn’t really go deeper than that. … What’s their hair story?” Tinker dedicates her website to sharing the stories of all people

despite their racial or cultural backgrounds, broadening what it means to have a hair story. “I want to show how these struggles resonate across multiple groups of people,” Tinker said. Thomas, one of Tinker’s roommates who initially took an interest in the website, was the first contributor to Our Hairstory. “I’ve always had a privileged relationship with my hair,” Thomas said. “That was something I made sure to talk about in my story. Hair stylists tell me I have great hair, but I’ve always been reminded that it isn’t going to last forever.” Thomas’s journey addresses the ageist fear of growing older and how people often reinforce the stereotype that the older women become, the less desirable they are. Thomas said she felt welcomed to share her own, different, hair journey. “It provides a space for people who have their own unique story … to feel like they’re not alone,” Thomas said. “I think there’s a lot more stories out there that we’re not discussing.” Alexa Luciano, another contributor to Our Hairstory, shared her hair story about growing up in Dominican culture and going to get her hair straightened at the salon. Although Luciano said she enjoyed the look of having straight hair, she said she knew it was important to accept her natural hair. “I’ve realized that my curly hair is something that should be embraced,” she said. “It’s something that I love now.” Luciano said she found the confidence to share her hair story by learning about other people’s stories and talking with other women about their relationships with their hair. “One time I was at Walmart … and these two girls came up to me,” Luciano said. “They had pretty similar hair types to mine, so I stopped and talked to them. … Seeing that women have dealt with the same struggle with hair, I want to share my story.” Luciano said Our Hairstory gave her a chance to understand experiences she hadn’t previously given thought to. Our Hairstory brings attention to the roles that hair plays in people’s lives. Tinker said she wants it to help people feel connected to others with similar hair journeys.

CONTRIBUTIONS ON OURHAIRSTORY.NET “When I cut my hair, I had no overwhelming force telling me to do so ... I felt that I needed to ... make room for personal growth.”

“It took a lot patience, dedication, love and a lot of hair product to get my curls back to a healthy state.”

“I want to say my gray will be my power. That my hair will ... [force] the world to see how much life she has carried on her shoulders.”

Senior Sky Mattioli

Senior Alexa Luciano



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Students host DIY concerts By Charlie Musante — Staff Writer

Sophomore Andrew Lackland watched as Brian Bishop, Bobby Frisk and Jeff Wilkinson play at a house concert Sept. 8. CHARLIE MUSANTE/THE ITHACAN


t’s a brisk Saturday evening, Sept 8. Outside a South Hill house, lively discussions about art, politics and culture are shared over beers and cigarettes. Through the smoke and up the stairs, musicians, organizers and bystanders carry musical equipment into the house. This isn’t a standard college party full of rap music and reckless drinking. This is a house show: a do-it-yourself concert performed in one of the a student-rented homes on South Hill. Ithaca college students did not invent the house party scene, but it is a culture that welcomes student and touring acts to these personal venues. Attendees are invited on an in-the-know basis. Ithaca College senior Yarra Berger, who hosts these parties with her roommates, said they worked to find the perfect space to fit a house-show venue. “When we were looking at houses we were like, ‘Okay, could we have a house [show] here, what are the stairs like, is there room in the living room?’” she said. Inside Berger’s house, low lighting sets an indie-rock atmosphere as a man with a guitar steps up to the microphone. The night’s first act is called Semesters — just a solo guitarist. It’s fitting. The act is as simple as an open mic night and as humble as the structure it is taking place in. The set is intimate and vulnerable, full of mistakes and voice cracks, but perfection isn’t the point here. The house is in less than perfect shape, and the show is already behind schedule. Perfection be damned — this is about intimacy. Sophomore Andrew Lackland has played multiple house shows as a drummer for various

musical projects. “In some ways, it’s just like a party,” he said. “There’s not a whole lot of pressure for things to move super quickly.” After the first set, there is a lull in the action as drums are brought up the treacherous staircase into the house. The crowd moves outside for fresh air and cigarettes. There are approximately 30 people on the lawn outside: a mix of artists, students, writers and even a special education teacher from a high school. Among the people at the show is sophomore Dan Rogers, who only discovered house shows once he got to Ithaca. “The DIY scene in my town is nonexistent,” he said. The next act to play, Field Destroy, draws most of the crowd inside again. There is little movement because of the limited amount of space. Some attendees nod their heads, others stand, watching intently, and others head to the kitchen for food and drinks. Instead of showing a ticket to enter, entry is free with a suggested $5 donation for the touring bands. Part of the draw toward DIY for some is the amount of experimentation and new ideas that underground music produces. “So many people do the same thing over and over again without advancing anything,” Rogers said. “So it’s cool to hear some innovators making it work.” Lackland said that underground venues can be more open than traditional concert settings. “There can be a lot of passion without the type of constraints that are sometimes found in


other ... venue settings,” Lackland said. “If you’re doing something that is considered nontraditional or super progressive or if you’re just in some shitty band, people are okay with that.” The third act, They Are Gutting a Body of Water, becomes a noise concern. By this point, most of the crowd is on the lawn again, trying to avoid the inevitable ringing in their ears from becoming worse. The close proximity to the speakers was already an assault on the ears before this particular band decided to turn its amps up to 11. After another short break, the bill’s last band, Full Body, starts its performance. After negotiating sound issues, it makes it all the way through and the crowd is loving its material. The crowd has dwindled as the show has now gone past its original end time of 11 p.m., but those who stuck around are entranced by the music being made in such close proximity with no barrier to obstruct the moment. “It’s so intimate when they’re literally standing four feet away from me when I’m playing as loud as I can,” Lackland said. After the show, a man approaches the band and begins asking about buying a shirt. It’s the connection shared between audience and performer that separates this from an ordinary concert. No side stage, no merch table, no barrier, not even a stage. Just a small, less than 10-square-foot room, the audience and performers exist equal to one another in both stage height and proximity. Everything feels shared from the cheap wine to the music itself.

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Junior musician writes, produces and performs By Ashley Stalnecker — Staff Writer

Ithaca College junior Kyra Skye plays the bass. COURTESY OF ASH WILLIAMS/COLLEGETOWN RECORDS

LEFT: Skye performs at the Cayuga Sound Festival in Ithaca in 2017. SAM FULLER/THE ITHACAN RIGHT: Skye tours with the local band Izzy True. COURTESY OF ASH WILLIAMS/COLLEGETOWN RECORDS


Ithaca College junior Kyra Skye approaches the microphone at The Haunt, greeting her audience with a smile. She laughs and asks the crowd if they can handle things getting “a little weird.” As she begins singing, Skye is transformed, closing her eyes and swaying to the music. Skye wrote, recorded and produced her own EP, “Summer Nights,” in 2017 before her sophomore year of college and frequently performs at local shows. She also plays bass in the band, Izzy True from Trumansburg, New York. Skye’s infectious and relaxed stage presence accents her music style, which stems from rock, psychedelic and rhythm and blues influences. “They have shown me what I am capable of,” Skye said, referring to her Izzy True bandmates. “Now they’re passing me the torch like, ‘Keep going.’” Another defining element of Skye’s image as an artist is her unapologetically feminist philosophy. Several female artists, including Skye, were on the lineup for the Feb. 23 benefit concert at The Haunt to support Planned Parenthood. The concert was indicative of a larger mission of Skye’s: making sure she can pave the way for other female artists to enter the industry. “Having a show just dedicated to women shows other women who are interested in music that also want to do this, or might feel afraid to, or feel like their voice won’t be heard because they don’t see themselves,” Skye said. Skye joined Izzy True during her freshman year of college. At the time, she was working with Ithaca Underground, a nonprofit organization that sponsors shows in the Ithaca area. While Skye was training to be a sound engineer at The Haunt, Izzy True’s drummer Angela Devivo mentioned that the band needed a bassist. Skye overheard the conversation and volunteered. Izzy True went on tour throughout the U.S. with Skye as its bassist April 29 to May 25, 2017, and March 7 to 18, 2018. Skye also performed with Izzy True at the 2017 Cayuga Sound Festival and SXSW music festivals. But, music was a part of Skye’s life long before college and her time with Izzy True. From the age of three, Skye played the violin. By age seven, Skye learned to play the piano. At 12, she was playing the guitar and easily picked up the bass from there. Despite her success, Skye said that it has not always been easy performing as a female artist in the music industry. There is a significant lack of gender diversity in the music industry. According to a study conducted by Stacy L. Smith, an associate professor at the University of South Carolina, in the top 600 pop songs from 2012 to 2017, of 1,239 performing artists, 22.4 percent of them were women. These statistics emphasize the difficulties women like Skye can face in the music industry. “Growing up, you want to see yourself in your world,” Skye said. “You want to see someone who looks like you, someone who shows you that you do have a path, that gives you options.” However, Skye said that overall she has felt supported As for the future, Skye said she wants to continue writing, producing and performing music, even if she faces the same challenges many women before her have faced. “I might experience that too, when I leave this safe bubble of Ithaca,” she said. “But I know I can do it because they did, too. And if they blaze a path for me, then I need to keep going and do it for all the other people who want to do the same things that I want to too.”

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IC Pagans dispel myths behind magic IC students discuss practicing paganism By Aidan Lentz and Kara Bowen — Staff Writer and Life & Culture Editor As Halloween approaches, imagery of black cats, pentagrams, candles and witches are portrayed in shop windows and advertisements. From movies like “The Craft” to “Harry Potter,” the mention of paganism, Wicca or magic conjures up images of fantastical spells. However, these stereotypes do not truthfully represent paganism — a centuries-old group of religions. Paganism is an umbrella term that describes earth-based religious practices with ancient roots outside of major world religions like Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism. Although there are many different ways to identify as pagan, there is a particular emphasis on nature worship. Some pagans may believe in deities, like Hellenistic or Celtic gods. They may worship a single god or goddess or not worship a deity at all. Sophomore Samantha Brandal, treasurer of IC Pagans, said she feels connected to paganism because of the freedom it allows her to explore spirituality. “What it is to me is kind of a religion free from the harsh rules and boundaries,” she said. “Religion is what you make it.” IC Pagans is a faith organization on campus for those who want to explore their different beliefs, whether they consider themselves broadly pagan, like Wiccan, Druid or even Satanist, or any other kind of religion. Racquel Belkin ’18 founded the organization in 2015 to provide a community for pagan students, and allow others to better understand the religion whose only exposure to paganism or magic has been through media like “Sabrina the Teenage Witch.” “I just wanted a place where I could practice my religion with other people, and a place where pagans could ... be in community together,” Belkin said. While the group does have the umbrella term of pagan, members do not necessarily have to consider themselves pagan to join the group. Senior Margot Register, president of IC Pagans, said the differences in the group is the topic that members discuss most. Because paganism is so broad, there are many different ways people can practice. Register said she considers herself an “interfaith pagan” because when she was a child, her parents described their religion as interfaith, which is the belief that no religion is entirely infallible, but that every religion has some truth to it. Register said she explores the mythology of other cultures in the past and adopts what she values from each one. Brandal said she was raised Christian. She said she went on a study trip to Greece and learned that many people still identify with ancient, Hellenistic beliefs. She began identifying with Hellenistic paganism before incorporating Celtic deities as well.

Margot Register has a paganism book collection. ELIAS OLSEN/THE ITHACAN


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Paganism An umbrella term that describes earth-based religious practices with ancient roots outside of major world religions, like Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism.

Senior Margot Register is the president of IC Pagans. She keeps books about paganism, as well as an altar, in her dorm room. ELIAS OLSEN/THE ITHACAN

Brandal identifies as a druid, which she described as a stricter form of Celtic paganism that worships deities from the Celts of ancient Ireland, Wales and Scotland. She said that being part of IC Pagans helped her to feel that her faith was legitimate in a world where major religions dominate spiritual beliefs. Hierald Osorto, director of religious and spiritual life at Ithaca College, said he has seen many students identify with multiple belief systems. He said he’s seen students attend Catholic Mass on Sundays and then also attend IC Pagans meetings. “There are students that see themselves in multiple spaces,” Osorto said. “We should be able to know that and highlight that.” One of the more common perceptions of pagans is that they cast spells and hexes. Some, though not all, pagans do practice magic but not in the wand-waving way described in media. “I do practice magic,” Register said. “Magic is different for everyone, but for me, it equates to passion and setting. You know your little section of the universe that is you and interacting with that in a way that’s not exactly physical or obvious.” Magic is highly individualized. It can take the form of simple practices, like meditating or even cooking with mindful intention. It can also consist of more formal spells that can include burning candles, reciting words or visualizing a goal. Belkin said that for her, rituals and spells differ. She said for her, rituals are more about worshiping her deities, while spells relate to specific intentions of accomplishing goals. Magic may also include forms of divination. Brandal and

sophomore Nora Foster both use tarot cards. Each card has a meaning, and they can be organized in different spreads, or layouts that can provide insight into situations. Brandal said that divination through tarot readings helps her connect to the religious aspects of her faith. “One of my deities is Apollo, and he is the god of prophecy,” she said. “So that’s a way for me to honor him in my daily life.” Many pagans also have altars. Brandal has a personal altar she keeps in her dorm room. Register has an altar with crystals, a mirror, a cloth and cat figurines, which she says have special meaning to her. Register said that pop culture has made paganism and witchcraft seem trendy, especially with the significance of crystals. Along with discussion, IC Pagans works to reduce the problems of cultural appropriation in paganism. Some white pagans take sacred rituals from other cultures, particularly from people of color, and adopt them to their own practices disrespectfully. To combat instances of appropriation, IC Pagans has hosted informational events like “Ask-A-Witch,”during which students were welcome to ask members of IC Pagans about their beliefs. IC Pagans worked on moving its space to Muller Chapel to have a more stable environment for meetings, discussions and rituals. The group has been working with Osorto to gain more recognition as a legitimate religious community at the college and is part of the Interfaith Council. Osorto said he wants to make it a more inclusive space for people of all faiths.


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Senior helps students reap the benefits of herbal medicine By Hannah Fitzpatrick — Staff Writer

Senior Mike Hanlon calculates the amount of alcohol and water to mix with damiana leaf, a plant that can help with stomach issues. JACKIE MARUSIAK/THE ITHACAN


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right red berries, small purple flowers and long brown roots — these may sound like typical plant parts, but when they are made into extracts, tinctures or teas, they can possess a variety of healing properties. As the use of herbal medicines become increasingly mainstream in popular Western culture, Ithaca College students don’t have to look far to find these natural remedies. Senior Mike Hanlon is an herbalist in training. Hanlon has been working as an herbalist for a year and a half. Hanlon said they first became interested in herbalism their junior year, when they started to take a more natural approach to taking care of themselves. “When I heard that there was an herbalism course being offered over the summer at Ithaca College, I decided to take it and learn more about herbalism and kind of get into it a bit,” Hanlon said. The summer herbalism class, taught by Jason Hamilton, professor in the Department of Environmental Studies and Sciences, has been offered at the college since 2015. The three-credit course explores how herbalism can be applied to typical Western medicine. Part of the experience of the class included going on what Hanlon described as “plant walks” in which the class would go to various places in the Ithaca area, identifying plants and learning which parts of those plants can be used to make medicine. Then, the students produced hands-on projects in the college’s labs by making their own extracts from plants they harvested themselves. Hamilton said he was inspired to develop and teach this course because of his own personal interest in the topic. “When I first started teaching at [Ithaca College], I was looking for a way to engage students in learning about plants,” Hamilton said. “This gave me the idea that helping students build a relationship with plants through food and medicine could be very engaging.” Hanlon said that when they took Hamilton’s herbalism class during the summer of their junior year, Hanlon’s initial interest in herbalism turned into a full-blown passion. Hanlon was inspired to dive deeper into the subject and take an independent study course with Hamilton in Spring 2018 after learning about which parts of plants can be used to make medicine. Part of that independent study involved working with Cali Janae, local herbalist and botanist. Though Janae has been practicing as a clinical herbalist at the Ithaca Free Clinic and at Janae’s own personal practice for the past five years, Janae has been studying plants for their entire life. Janae graduated with a bachelor’s degree in ethnobotany from Drake University in 2010 and studied herbalism at the Northeast School of Botanical Medicine in Ithaca. Within the personal practice, Janae focuses on conducting individualized consultations that take a person’s overall health and lifestyle into account, and then Janae recommends certain plants. Janae said that they first met Hanlon at Food Not Bombs, a free vegan lunch event that occurs every weekend at Shawn Greenwood Park in downtown Ithaca. After the two spoke about their shared interest


in herbal medicine, their relationship grew into an apprenticeship, where Hanlon worked on hands-on projects with Janae. “Mike helped me out with activities such as wildcrafting plants for medicine, dehydrating plants, making tinctures, pressing tinctures ... and the sexiest job of all: scrubbing tiny, tiny bottles,” Janae said. “In exchange for all of the help, I taught Mike some of my approach to herbal medicine. We tested tinctures together, talked about theory and practical applications of plants medicines, pondered over neurophysiology, mental health and how to best support people.” Hanlon’s experiences inspired Hanlon to start their own practice in which they set up consultations at their apartment to listen to clients describe the issues they are having and assess what plants fit their needs. The main herbs that Mike uses are skullcap plants and ashwagandha roots and berries, which Hanlon usually buys from Bramble, a holistic medicine shop in downtown Ithaca, or Mountain Rose Herbs, a holistic medicine shop based in Eugene, Oregon, that allows online bulk orders. Skullcap plants can be found worldwide and are commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine as remedies for diarrhea and inflammation. In Western herbalism, it has been used to treat anxiety and muscle tension. Ashwagandha roots and berries are mainly grown in drier regions of India as well as China, Nepal and Yemen. They are more well-known for helping ease anxiety and stress. “Both of these herbs are nice, relaxing herbs that can help you wind down,” Hanlon said. “Almost everyone that I talk to is experiencing anxiety in one way or another, so using these herbs can ... help.” One of Hanlon’s close friends and current clients, senior Marisa Lansing, said she has been using Hanlon’s products since last semester. With Hanlon’s guidance, she has taken skullcap and cannabidiol for anxiety and chronic stress, turmeric powder and black pepper capsules for improving digestive function, and lion’s mane mushroom to help with her recovery from a concussion by improving cognitive function. “I think the herbs have absolutely helped me heal in all facets,” Lansing said. “Taking herbs is a great supplement to Western medicine. For larger issues, simply herbs alone won’t necessarily do the trick. So, working in combination with medication, herbs can be incredibly beneficial to the healing process.” Senior Abigail Chirokas has also been using some of Hanlon’s remedies. Chirokas said that Hanlon’s products, which include ginger root tea to relieve nausea and calamus root extract to increase focus, have helped her symptoms. As herbal medicine has become increasingly popular in Western cultures, there is also the fear of these practices being a form of a cultural appropriation. Hanlon said they make sure they do their best to honor the cultures these ideas come from. “It’s important that we do acknowledge that there’s a lot that we can gain from medicine practices of all cultures,” Hanlon said. “By acknowledging and respecting the traditions and honoring the requests of people of those identities, my practice can be as inclusive as possible.”

L I F E & C U LT U R E : C A M P U S

Students perform musical in Bool’s Flower Shop Ithaca College students produced Little Shop of Horrors By Alex Hartzog — Staff Writer

Ithaca’s historic Bool’s Flower Shop will be the stage for a site-specific production of “Little Shop of Horrors,”complete with the fresh scents of blooming roses and fertilizer. In this kind of show, the audience is not only watching the production, they’re in it. Bool’s Flower Shop is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year. To commemorate the occasion, the shop is hosting a sitespecific production of “Little Shop of Horrors,” which will run from April 24 to May 2. Community members are putting on the musical, and much of the cast and crew in the production are Ithaca College students. Bool’s started as a home furnishing store in 1894 and has evolved throughout the years to become Ithaca’s oldest flower shop. “Little Shop of Horrors” is a horror-comedy musical about a man-eating plant in a flower shop called Audrey II (senior Kylie Heyman) and her caretaker, Seymour (sophomore Logan Geddes). The musical primarily takes place in the flower shop, and this is why the creative team thought Bool’s would be the perfect stage. For scenes taking place outside of the shop, the creative team plans to include the streets and sidewalks outside of Bool’s. Senior Jacob Stuckelman is the lead producer of the musical working along with co-producer senior Ben Fleischer. Stuckelman came up with the idea for a site-specific production years ago, and his dreams are finally coming to fruition. “This has been a concept in my mind for about a year and a half now,” Stuckelman said. “It’s not something that’s been seen in the theater community.” Stuckelman approached the current owner of Bool’s, Doreen Culver-Foss, about using the shop as the set for the “Little Shop of Horrors” production, and the team was given the goahead. Culver-Foss said she was open to the idea of keeping the production set up in the day. Because the performances take place after the shop has closed, Culver-Foss said, she does not believe that the production will impede on business. The production would bring new light to the shop on its 125th anniversary, Culver-Foss said. “I think it will bring in some people that wouldn’t come into the store otherwise,” Culver-Foss said. “I think it will have a positive effect on [business].” The production is not affiliated with the college, but all of the cast members are students ranging from freshman to senior standing. However, the creative team is made of a mix of community members and students from the college. Stuckelman said that because the production is unaffiliated with larger production companies, the $18,000 budget for the production is being entirely funded through donations. Large parts of the budget are going toward the rights to produce “Little Shop of Horrors,” which can cost up to $250

per show, and the structures that will stretch across the store to hang lights on. If any money is left over from the budget, the remainder will be donated to Bool’s, Stuckelman said. Preproduction has already begun at Bool’s, as the set is being put together and the entirety of the production has been planned out. Scenic designer Corey Field is a designer from MacKenzie-Childs, a manufacturer of ceramics and other houseware products based in Aurora, New York. Field is developing the set for the production, working in conjunction with the store. Field is designing special siding for Bool’s that attempts to make the building look more rustic, incorporating paneled-wood textures into the walls at the shop. Culver-Foss said she plans to keep these designs on the walls after the show closes. Due to the challenging nature of site-specific productions, senior Alisar Awwad has her work cut out for her as director. Awwad’s main task is planning the movements of the actors to maximize the space they are using inside of the shop. “Because it is site-specific, people already have an expectation of what Bool’s looks like, and they already have their set memories and experiences that they’ve had in that shop,” Awwad said. “I don’t know what they were, so I don’t know what kind of bias the audience is coming in with.” In the production, there is a set of characters called the urchins, similar to the choruses in Greek tragedies, who exist to provide hints and insight about the musical to the audience as it goes on. In “Little Shop of Horrors,” the urchins are specifically women of color, as stated by the official character descriptions by Music Theatre International, a company which designates how productions that it leases out should be run and cast. Being cast as one of the urchins in the musical was especially important to sophomore Courtney Long, who identifies with the urchins’ struggles of not being heard, a problem people of color often experience in a world built on white supremacy. “I feel like, as an urchin, it’s frustrating for me to not have my point come across from these characters,” Long said. “People are not listening to them because they are women of color, and people didn’t respect women of color during that age.” Because the musical is not taking place in a traditional theater, seating is limited to 23 seats for each viewing. General admission tickets will cost $35, and student tickets will be discounted to $15 if they are bought at Bool’s an hour before each show. Due to high ticket sales, the number of show times has been increased from an original six performances to nine, said junior Sushma Saha, who plays Crystal. “We sold out in five minutes,” Saha said. “They reserved a few seats per performance for student rush because a lot of kids ... want to come see it.”


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TOP: From left, juniors Amber Ward and Sushma Saha and sophomore Courtney Long practice choreography. BOTTOM: Bool’s Flower Shop will be the site of the musical. KRISTEN HARRISON/THE ITHACAN


L I F E & C U LT U R E : C O M M U N I T Y

Ithaca Dog Fest unleashes pet adoption awareness By Harley McKenzie — Contributing Writer

From left, Chewbacca, an Irish wolfhound, greets Franny, a labrador retriever. The dogs met at the fourth annual Ithaca Dog Fest in September. KAYLA ZEGLIN/THE ITHACAN

Dogs were not the only pets on parade at the Ithaca Dog Fest. Giggles, a pig, gets away from the fest’s excitement to snack on some greens. KAYLA ZEGLIN/THE ITHACAN


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t was a great day to be a canine at Ithaca’s fourth annual Dog Fest, held Sept. 22. Dogs young and old ran to greet one another, tangling leashes and touching noses. In a large gated play area, dogs played freely as their owners watched. Dog Fest serves as an event for pups to socialize, and for some, it’s a way to find a loving home. The free event was hosted and sponsored by Bo’s Bones, a brand of organic dog biscuits. This year, Dog Fest took place in Allan H. Treman State Marine Park. Tents covering commercial vendors, local shelter representatives and adoptable dogs lined the large, open area. Approximately 100 attendees could be seen at one time inside the festival, along with groups of 20 filtering in and out of the leash-free zone. Others were scattered outside the festival, allowing their dogs some time to relax. The fur-filled festival hosted representatives from local shelters ready to hand out adoption applications. The Humane Society of Schuyler County was one organization in attendance. “We’ve got applications right here,” said Melissa Clark, a representative from the Humane Society. “They just take one and fill it out, and we’ll get in touch with them.” Clark sat with her dog, Callie, whom she had rescued. Clark had adopted Callie when she was at an animal shelter. The shelter considered Callie unadoptable — and if a shelter was overpopulated, the unadoptable animals could be euthanized. “I had to fight to keep her,” Clark said. “She was going to be put down. I couldn’t let it happen.

She was too sweet.” The main purpose of the event is to encourage and facilitate the adoption process and discourage buying a puppy from a pet store. Pet stores advertise sweet and friendly companions, but the dogs may come from dangerous environments such as puppy mills and irresponsible breeders. At the festival, an organization called NYS Citizens Against Puppy Mills handed out pamphlets that explained what a puppy mill is and why they are harmful to the dogs involved. A puppy mill is an establishment that works to breed puppies for a profit, a process which often results in conditions considered inhumane. Representatives of the NYS Citizens Against Puppy Mills recorded email addresses on a pad of paper that will be added to a mailing list. The mailing list was created to update concerned citizens regarding the progress made against puppy mills and how to get involved with the movement in their communities. A K9 unit was at the festival as well. Local unit officers explained the process that goes into training their dogs and what their jobs are. Under their tent, they had informational videos and apparel for purchase in support of the unit. Water bowls and dog treats were present under most tents to keep dogs comfortable and hydrated throughout the event. A mobile veterinarian was on site as well to ensure the safety of the dogs. The festival also had a dog photo booth, which consisted of an orange and brown painted frame, reading, “Cutest pumpkin in the patch!” Ithaca College senior Marí Larcheveque attended the festival with their dog, Joy, a

Nuala is an Irish Setter. KAYLA ZEGLIN/THE ITHACAN

labradoodle of almost 10 months. According to Larcheveque, Joy likes attention. She was shaking, wagging and accepting lots of affection. “We’re here for the dogs,” Larcheveque said. “Joy likes dog parks too, so I had to get her out.” Sophomore Ray Volkin opposes dog shopping at pet stores and supports the mission of the festival. As a student living on campus where pets are not allowed in dorm rooms, she could not adopt any dogs from Dog Fest, but hopes to adopt someday in the future. “People don’t realize how many options there are rather than just picking the perfect dog in the window,” Volkin said. “Lots of people only think about the cutest one and not what they’ve been through, so this opens their eyes. In the long run, I’d like to adopt a dog. I need to save a little four-legged buddy.”

Flora, a yellow labrador retriever and beagle mix, gets some attention from her owner, Alex Gerou, at Ithaca’s Dog Fest on Sept. 22. SABRINA CHANG/THE ITHACAN


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Having a ball

Drag Queens perform at local bar for Ithaca community By Harley McKenzie — Staff Writer


eafening cheers flood the country-themed bar as Veruka so we clear the dance floor for them.” The House lineups change regularly, and the performers each Dagger weaves her way through a captive audience. Onlookers clap and hold out dollar bills. The energy have their own signature styles. Simpson said the individuality builds as Dagger jerks erratically before death-dropping. She sets resulting from this is why the House is important to him. “I would say that the shows are messy,” Simpson said. “When an electric aura onto the audience before she leaves the stage, and the crowd whoops with delight. Dagger is the drag persona I’ve been to other places, I see performers who are a bit too of House of Merlot performer, Ithaca College alum Joseph polished, so in my head, they all really blend into one. … With the House shows, I would say that there are unique characters Simpson ’18. The House of Merlot brings a diverse collective of drag there, and I’m able to distinguish who’s who.” Downtown Ithaca does not host many queer-specific events, performers to a local bar, The Range, every Thursday night. Drag houses, like the House of Merlot, are groups of performers which makes Drag Night an important aspect of local LGBTQ that work together. These “Drag Nights” have been hosted at the culture. The events are 21-plus, meaning that most college bar since 2016, and students from the college have used them students are denied entry. However, performers do not have to to explore the art form of drag — a theatrical performance in be 21-plus, so there is still opportunity for younger students to get involved. which a performer cross-dresses, lip-syncs and dances. Rushing said they believe Drag Night is helping Simpson said he believes drag is a cathartic way to let go to fulfill a need for queer spaces of social constrictions and that the House in Ithaca. allows him to explore expression in a way “I feel like smaller towns need it, that he can’t offstage. Drag Night at The especially a town like here which is very Range brings in a lively crowd that mingles queer,” Rushing said. “There are no gay and engages throughout the show. Some are bars, and the only consistently designated inspired to dance, melting into each other as queer and drag spaces are held in Silky Jones performers set the tone. and Drag Nights at The Range.” “I would say that to me, drag means Senior Rachel Kreidberg, Drag Night radical self-expression,” Simpson said. “I’m attendee, said she was most surprised by able to do stuff onstage that’s not appropriate the setting. The Range is a bar plastered during the daytime. There are really no — Joseph Simpson ‘18 with photos of old western icons such as boundaries, I feel. The drag I’m into isn’t Gene Autry, Billy the Kid and Buffalo always really pretty or safe drag. I think I do it because it gets such a strong response. I’ve brought weapons Bill. Furnished with a chandelier made of antlers, along with moose-patterned light shades, the theme of the bar does not onstage. But instead of hurting others, I’ll tear up my clothes.” Drag has an extensive history dating back to the 19th century. reflect what happens onstage. “It’s like a group of Ithaca gays in the middle of Ithaca’s Because the practice has been predominantly pursued by the LGBTQ community, performing openly was a risk. Drag shows, finest old men,” Kreidberg said. “You have all of these awesome, or “balls,” were part of an underground culture, particularly in hyper-expressive kids, mostly from Cornell University or Ithaca New York City in the ’80s. Balls became a haven for many queer College, who are just living it up and enjoying the space.” Since the performers differ greatly from one another, Rushing performers and audience members because they were allowed said that a viewer must be prepared for a rollercoaster. to feel safe participating in the craft. “They’re going to be amazed, be stunned, be emotional, no House Performer “Kale Green,” River Rushing, said that drag performances are always different because drag is not a one knows,” Rushing said. “A performer might come out with something that really speaks to you, and then the next number, singular, identifiable form of art. “Drag cannot be confined to one specific thing,” Rushing someone is onstage being tied up BDSM style.” Carter Kohler ’18, House performer “Dragon Phoenix,” said. “Drag is queer theater. Drag is exploring gender through art and theater. I feel like people compartmentalize drag as one said that Drag Nights can be entertaining for all who go because thing, but it’s not. There’s so much more to drag than people it’s always evolving. “I think that drag is a very unique thing to do,” Kohler said. think. Drag is whatever you want it to be. There are no rules.” Simpson said drag at the House of Merlot is special to him “It’s such a combination of a bunch of different things kind of squashed together and made really gay. ... You can’t not because of its all-inclusive culture. “They want to accommodate everybody,” Simpson said. have a good time at a drag show. It’s just a nice space and a “We’ve had performers who aren’t physically able to get onstage, supportive atmosphere.”

I would say that to me, drag means radical self-expression.


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Athena Merlot performs her routine at The Range. CONNOR LANGE/THE ITHACAN

Tilla Cordata lip-syncs as part of her drag routine. CONNOR LANGE/THE ITHACAN

Ball culture Also known as the house system or the ballroom community. Part of an underground culture surrounding drag shows, particularly in New York City in the ’80s.

Dizzy DeSecretion performs during a drag show at The Range on The Commons. The art of drag performance dates back to the 19th century. CONNOR LANGE/THE ITHACAN


L I F E & C U LT U R E : C O M M U N I T Y

Cayuga Sound returns for its second year The Ithacan interviews Matt and Kim By Hannah Fitzpatrick and Olivia Riggio — Staff Writer and Life & Culture Editor

TOP: Kim Schifino is one half of the band Matt and Kim. The band headlined the festival. BOTTOM: Hannah Wicklund of Hannah Wicklund & The Steppin Stones performs. SAM FULLER/THE ITHACAN


L I F E & C U LT U R E Brooklyn-based indie duo Matt and Kim are on the lineup for this year’s Cayuga Sound Festival on Sept. 21 and 22, 2018 in Stewart Park in Ithaca. Most known for their 2009 single “Daylight,” they dropped their sixth LP, “Almost Everyday,” on May 4, and the album reached No. 18 on Billboard’s U.S. Independent Album chart. Olivia Riggio, assistant life and culture editor, and staff writer Hannah Fitzpatrick, spoke with lead singer Matt Johnson about the making of “Almost Everyday,” how Matt and Kim got involved with Cayuga Sound Festival and the importance of giving back to local communities. This interview has been edited for length and clarity. Olivia Riggio: Based on your previous interviews, you mention that your most recent album was your most personal to date. What does that mean to you?

OR: So you have some songs on this album that feature other artists. What is the process of performing those live?

Matt Johnson: Well, I think we used writing that album as a sort of therapeutic exercise to get some stuff off our chest and talk about what we were thinking. I think anything could be considered personal if it’s talking about yourselves and what you’re going through. We have a song on the new album called “Happy If You’re Happy” that talks about our relationship a little bit, which we don’t really do that much in any of our songs. So it had personal qualities there too.

MJ: Well, what really inspired even getting other artists on was playing live shows. When we play live shows, there’s this certain energy about the song, but I think a lot comes from people in the audience singing along. … When it comes to live shows, it’s more about the audience filling in the blanks. Or maybe it’s the opposite — when it comes to the record, it’s about the musicians filling in the blanks that the audience isn’t doing.

OR: So it takes a certain amount of synergy for you guys to write. What’s your typical writing process like? Was the writing process for this album any different? MJ: I don’t know. I mean, with our process, there’s not one concrete way to do it. We really think in beat and melody before anything. Lyrics are very important to me, and I really respect good lyrics, but lyrics are so fucking hard. It’s so much more literal than the music side. I’m so much more about the feeling. … But this time we have a couple of things that we specifically wanted to talk about. I guess it changed a little bit like that, but still, it always starts with a beat and a melody. Realistically, I think that’s how music started in the first place — people outside of the field tapping their foot and humming along. Hannah Fitzpatrick: You did mention that you focus more on beats and melodies than lyrics. Does someone come in with lyrics and you come in with melodies, or is it a more collaborative overall process? MJ: I think how you put that is a little bit twisted, because we do spend more time on lyrics than everything else. It’s just not the easiest. … We have to focus more on it because it’s harder. I think unlike a lot of bands where one band member writes the lyrics, Kim and I write everything together. A lot of the times I’ll sing something that’s really in her voice. I don’t know if anyone would be able to know the difference, but it’s a sentiment she’s making even though I’m singing it. For us, I think it makes sense. We’re pretty much the same person — we’ve spent every single day together for, like, a decade — just melded into one.

OR: You played in Ithaca at The Haunt last spring, which is a very intimate venue, and now you’re playing a festival. How does the performance translate from a small bar to a festival stage? MJ: There’s a great thing about both. We love playing festivals. That may be our favorite thing to do. I love the energy of having a lot of people there. Usually, a lot of people are open–minded to wanting to hear new music. And maybe they’ve only heard a song or two from us, but we take a lot of pride in being a band that even if you’ve never heard one of our songs, we think you can really enjoy our set. But then, there’s also something nice about playing an intimate venue where everyone who is there is there to see your band, and maybe they know lots of words to lots of songs. There’s an energy about that too. So there’s definitely something special about both, for sure. OR: You’ve also played giant festivals like Governor’s Ball, and this year, you’re on the bill for Cayuga Sound, which is growing but still a much smaller festival. How did you hear about it, and what made you want to play? MJ: When we were up there last, we met with someone who helps run that festival. He was telling us about it, and the whole vibe of it sounded like something we really wanted to do. Being that we chose to play such a small, intimate venue, we considered that a warm-up show to our upcoming show. We’re trying out new material on stage, and now that we’ve been doing shows for a couple of months, we felt it was the right time to come back and show the “real Ithaca” that you’re an Ithaca performer.

The band Matt and Kim, performing here, headlined the festival along with the X Ambassadors, who curated the entire event. SAM FULLER/THE ITHACAN


L I F E & C U LT U R E : C O M M U N I T Y

New café offers coffee and adoptable cats

Ithaca’s first cat café has its grand opening By Kara Bowen — Life & Culture Editor

Marigold sleeps on the rug at Alley Cat Cafe. Customers can purchase coffee, tea and baked goods and play with cats. ELIAS OLSEN/THE ITHACAN


n the back room of Alley Cat Cafe, a group of college-aged women sits cross-legged on a rug. Two of them hold rainbow-patterned wand toys. A bright orange cat, Marigold, walks around the circle, rubbing against the womens’ legs. “Does this entice you?” one of the women asks, laughing, as Marigold sniffs the toy. Across the room, a black kitten, Moira, balances on a windowsill on her hind legs, trying to reach a feather wand that a couple is holding just out of her reach. Next to them, a teenager holds her phone up to another kitten, showing her to a friend via FaceTime. Alley Cat Cafe is the only place in Ithaca where customers can sip a hot cup of coffee while surrounded by cats. The front half of the café has tables, chairs and a long counter where “purristas” prepare coffee, tea, sandwiches and other baked goods typical of a café. Against the back wall, however, two double doors lead to a square, purple room lined with toys, rugs, a bench and shelves, which is where the cats hang out. And the cats aren’t just for entertaining guests — they can be adopted too. The owner, Kristin, has been involved with cat rescues for 18 years before opening the café. She did not disclose her full name because she said she has received threats from people after taking

cats from unsafe or abusive homes. “I didn’t just want to have an adoption space where people could come in and have it be kind of sterile with people and cats,” Kristin said. “I wanted it to be a place where people could come and meet and celebrate being themselves. We’re striving to be as inclusive as humanly possible — minus Nazis.” Cat cafés are a recent phenomenon. After the first opened in Taiwan in 1998, the concept spread to Japan. The first American cat café opened in California in 2014, and there are now over 90 cat cafés currently operating in the United States. The majority of American cat cafés, Alley Cat Cafe included, function as adoption centers. All cats at the café have been rescued by Browncoat Cat Rescue, an Ithaca-based rescue mission that Kristin is involved with. Instead of having a main adoption center, Browncoat Cat Rescue utilizes a network of foster homes to care for the cats. Kristin said Browncoat Cat Rescue has rescued 104 cats so far this year, and that the café provides exposure for cats that may lead to eventual adoption. “It gets them out into the world a little better,” Kristin said. All cats are available for adoption except the “café cat,” Marigold, because she has a heart murmur. Kristin said 12 cats have been adopted in the two months since Alley Cat Cafe opened.


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The Alley Cat Cafe is located on 312 E. Seneca St. ELIAS OLSEN/THE ITHACAN

We don’t get enough human interaction, never mind ... animal interaction, and I just think it meets an emotional need in a lot of people. — Kristin, owner of Alley Cat Cafe One of the challenges in opening a cat café are the federal guidelines put in place to maintain sanitary conditions. In the United States, cat living areas and food service areas must be separated. Kristin said she had to renovate the space to follow codes from the health department. Alley Cat Cafe uses a double door system to prevent runaway cats, includes a hand sanitizing station and has a back entrance where litter can be taken out. Customer Sarah Carpenter stroked Moira’s head as the kitten nestled in a shelf, eyes half closed. Carpenter said she had never been to a cat café, though she had heard of the trend. She said that although she was a dog person, the café might change her mind. The cats are most active earlier in the day. During peak hours, the cat room is crowded with people, mostly children, kneeling on the floor and waving toys around to entertain the cats. “He’s licking my shoe!” a girl shrieks, as one of the cats, Mel, sneaks up behind her and sniffs the bottom of her sneaker. The room let out a collective “aw.” Not everyone is as enthusiastic about cat cafés. The concept has drawn criticism from international animal rights groups, such as the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, that argue that cats should not be kept in close quarters with one another or come into contact with large numbers of people. Kristin said that


although people have expressed concern about the cats’ constant interaction with humans, all cats in the café are social, and the cats can choose to leave the room or sit on the cat room’s shelves that humans can’t reach. The cat room is open from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. every day except Wednesday, and the cats sleep from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. During this time, Marigold sleeps on a shelf. Two kittens — Moira and Mel — lounge on cat beds. Even as people bump shoulders while crowding around the cats, trying to find a spare bit of fur to pet, they continue to sleep. Customer Lucy Xie picks up Mel from her cat bed and stands her up on the ground. Mel stumbles forward a few steps before plopping back down on the rug, draping her body over a toy and falling to sleep. All the cats are unruffled by any of the human contact. Kristin said a cat café allows people to spend time with animals when they may have limitations that prevent them from adopting long-term cat companions. She also said the calming cat atmosphere appeals to people, particularly if they are stressed. “We don’t get enough human interaction, never mind nonjudgemental animal interaction, and I just think it meets an emotional need in a lot of people,” Kristin said. “And we don’t make as much poop as a dog café, so there.”

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Tea lounge serves kava and hosts healing events Community members and college students mingle at local spot By Avery Alexander — Staff Writer A flight of stairs leads to the Sacred Root Kava Lounge & Tea Bar, an underground treasure trove of tapestries, paintings and rugs. The air smells strongly of earth and the sweet aroma of tea. Sage burns behind the bar where rows of brightly patterned mugs rest. The bar opens into an area with a stage at one side and a chess table at the other. Bean bags lay in the center of the room, circling a table adorned with crystals and candles. A bartender is the first to greet patrons who walk in, asking what they would like. It feels cozy, friendly, peaceful and deeply spiritual. Unlike Ithaca’s other cafés, which close in the evening, the Sacred Root Kava Lounge & Tea Bar opens at 3 p.m. and closes at midnight, making it one of the only late-night establishments that doesn’t involve alcohol in the area. The lounge was the idea of married couple and co-owners Paul Galgoczy and Judi Galgoczy. Using his skills and experience in live-event management and her background in café management, the couple started their business in September 2014. Paul said he first tried kava at Judi’s sister’s wedding. Judi has siblings who also own kava bars elsewhere in the country. Paul said he enjoyed watching guests bond over the experience of drinking it, and the couple was inspired to open The Sacred Root Kava Lounge & Tea Bar several years later. “For years, my wife, Judi, and I had thought about what type of business we could open that would be really engaging and would connect with the community,” he said. “We kind of took all of our strengths and talents and pulled them together into our vision.” The walls are covered in beautiful, kaleidoscopic art pieces. The tables are as colorful as the walls, embedded with shining gemstones. A tiny room sits to the side of the bar, filled with shelves lined with crystals, henna and other spiritual goods. This is the sacred altar, where the café sells an assortment of items. Tea and kava are not for sale to take home at the sacred altar, but there are plenty of other items aimed at centering the soul and bringing about serenity. Judi, an artist, chose the decor for the café, while Paul set up the space to accommodate large events. “My wife is behind the aesthetic and the appearance of the space and the decor,” Paul Galgoczy said. “I helped build the area for

performances and music and that kind of thing. Then we combined that with kava, which we thought was a really healthy alternative to alcohol as a way for people to come and gather and to share their talents, art, performance, ideas, conversation and connection.” Kava is a plant found in the Pacific Islands. For centuries, Islanders have used it for medicine, social interactions and religious ceremonies. The root is harvested, ground up and turned into a beverage. It’s a nonalcoholic drink but allows for psychological and physical relaxation. Kava bars have grown in popularity throughout the U.S. within the past few decades. Paul said he believes there are now over 100 kava bars in the country, whereas a decade ago, there were fewer than 30. Kava’s growth in popularity throughout the Western world has raised questions of cultural appropriation. Paul said neither he nor his wife have roots in the Pacific Islands, but that The Sacred Root Kava Bar & Tea Lounge works to respect the intentions of those from whom kava originates. In June, Native Hawaiian Jon Lovgren visited the café to give a talk and lead a kava ceremony. “Kava is something that all of the island cultures hold very dear, but it’s not something they feel exclusive ownership of,” Paul said. “Any experience that we’ve had with guests who come into the business who are from the islands, they’re always very pleased to find what they call kava culture being spread.” In addition, Paul said that because kava has not become corporatized, it is grown sustainably. Its export benefits the farmers who grow it. “It’s not something that has been taken over by large corporations,” Paul said. “So most kava comes from small, privately owned farms, and we work with suppliers who work directly with the farmers.” The drink itself is a light brown liquid that resembles chicken broth, and many describe the flavor as earthy. The bar serves the beverage in a coconut shell along with a pineapple slice. The pineapple slice serves as a chaser to the bitter, intensely-flavored kava, but customers can order flavored versions of the kava, like chocolate. Ithaca resident Jamie Shehu is a regular at the Sacred Root Kava Lounge & Tea Bar and said she has been frequenting the establishment at least once a week for about two months. “I personally like the kava traditional and the


kava chocolate,” Shehu said. “I’m fairly new to kava. I find it relaxing. Like, if I have a whole lot of homework to do, I come here and drink some. It makes me feel completely relaxed.” Patrons can indulge in kava’s natural relaxation agent, which many people refer to as “nature’s Xanax,” along with the many other teas the bar offers. The café hosts events that wouldn’t normally be held at any other café. On Sundays, the bar hosts reiki sessions in exchange for donations. Reiki is a Japanese healing practice where practitioners manipulate the body’s energy centers, or chakras, to help relieve stress and pain. Another notable event is the gong immersion session on Mondays, where patrons can relax and listen to the calming sounds of large gongs. The sound of these gongs is supposed to bring peace and center the soul. The café also hosts meetings of the Red Tent, a group of women who gather to discuss various facets of womanhood in society. Aside from these more unconventional events, the bar also holds game nights, chess matches and open mics. “I’ve met a lot of nice people here from different backgrounds,” Shehu said as she gestured toward two older men chatting across the bar and then to the bartender. “They’re all really friendly and nonjudgmental. Every time I come here it’s a really good experience.”

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Sacred Root Kava Lounge & Tea Bar in downtown Ithaca serves tea made from the plant kava, which is known for its relaxing effects. ELIAS OLSEN/THE ITHACAN

The lounge part of the kava bar has chess tables for patrons. Often, college students and community members come together in this local spot. ELIAS OLSEN/THE ITHACAN


L I F E & C U LT U R E : C O M M U N I T Y

Artists of the 2000s return to satisfy millennial nostalgia Former American Idol star plays at The Haunt By Olivia Riggio — Life & Culture Editor

The mostly millennial audience at The Haunt listens as David Archuleta — former American Idol contestant — transports them to2008 with his music. CONNOR LANGE/THE ITHACAN


avid Archuleta was just 16 when Americans fell in love with his smooth voice, fresh face and endearing disposition as the runner-up on the seventh season of “American Idol” in 2008. Soon after Archuleta’s time on the television show, he released his single “Crush,” which reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Eleven years later, Archuleta has 10 — soon to be 11 — albums under his belt, though most of his latest work remains unknown compared to “Crush.” Some of Archuleta’s earliest fans were tweens who watched him on “American Idol” and voted for him on their clunky landlines or, if they were lucky, their pink Motorola Razrs. Following his time on the reality show, Archuleta also appeared on the popular Disney Channel and Nickelodeon shows “Hannah Montana” and “iCarly.” These fans are now college-aged and in their early 20s, and they had the opportunity to relive their tween dreams when Archuleta came to Ithaca to perform at The Haunt on March 25. Archuleta isn’t the only musician taking advantage of fans’ wistfulness for his earliest hits. The Jonas Brothers, who were Disney heartthrobs in the early 2000s, just reunited and released their single, “Sucker.” The ’90s boy band the Backstreet Boys are also back in the spotlight. Millennials seem eager to relive their childhoods through the music that guided them through their awkward years. Leah Taylor works as the talent buyer for DSP Shows, the local agency that booked Archuleta at The Haunt. She said she is noticing a trend in young adults

rediscovering music from their childhoods both locally and nationally. “We’re really seeing it everywhere. You know, the Spice Girls are doing a world tour,” she said. “We’re even noticing it at The Haunt. … We did a ’90s event that Cayuga Radio Group promoted and that sold out way in advance. … People just want to have fun and sing along to songs they grew up with.” Ithaca College senior Sophie Johnson was one of these former superfans — she bought several copies of each of Archuleta’s albums, posted on his online fan pages as an elementary and middle schooler and met him twice at his shows when she was a tween. She said she remembers being on her home phone in a four-way call with her friends the night of the seventh season finale of “American Idol” and abruptly hanging up in shock when Ryan Seacrest announced that David Cook — not Archuleta — had won. “We would burn his CDs for our friends and hand them out to people,” Johnson said. “We watched him every single week on ‘American Idol,’ voted for him a ridiculous amount and were absolutely devastated when he lost. … I was definitely known in my grade of like 300 people for being obsessed with him.” Though Johnson said her music tastes have changed since she was 10 years old, she is excited to relive her elementary and middle school days and attend Archuleta’s show in Ithaca. Archuleta was a star who appeared on national TV and toured around the world as a teenager but said he enjoys playing small shows


because he gets to connect more deeply with and fully take in his audience. Archuleta’s publicist Ken Phillips worked with the Jonas Brothers even before Disney picked them up. He said some artists grow frustrated when the public pays more attention to their old hits than their new creations, but that the enduring popularity of their first hits comes with the territory of stardom. “I think every artist is always going to keep trying to create and make new music, so of course they want people to listen to their latest creation, but they understand,” Phillips said. Archuleta said he is grateful for his fans’ support and enjoys connecting with them, even if on a nostalgic level. “I don’t really feel pigeonholed by it because I feel like I can do as I like,” Archuleta said. “And I think it’s been nice because I think it’s cool to have that nostalgia behind it. I still sing the songs that bring people that nostalgia. You know, ‘Crush,’ specifically. … They’ve always just been really open to what I have to offer now, and it’s fun that they still remember ‘American Idol.’” Archuleta is more amused than offended by people vaguely remembering him for “Crush” or for his guest roles on teen shows. “I think it’s funny more than anything,” he said. “I think it’s flattering that they even recognize my name, that they still remember it.” For some, these memories can be comforting. Sophomore Alexis Bingham is a fan of nostalgic music and enjoys listening to the Jonas Brothers’ and Demi Lovato’s songs from their Disney

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I was definitely known in my grade of like 300 people for being obsessed with [David Archuleta]. — Senior Sophie Johnson days. A few weeks ago, she and her friends went to see Drake Bell, the star of the Nickelodeon sitcom “Drake and Josh,” perform. “I guess it’s just comfortable ... because it’s just something I’ve had in my life for a really long time,” Bingham said. “It resonates with me kind of because I just grew up listening to it.” Archuleta and other artists who came into the limelight as youngsters have grown up alongside their fans. Oftentimes, this transition into adulthood involves a loss of the innocence these child stars were loved for. Senior Holly Stoker and her family were fans of the Jonas Brothers and Archuleta when they first emerged. Stoker grew up Mormon, as did Archuleta, and she said girls in her religious community idolized him. “For the Mormon community, every young girl is obsessed with David Archuleta because he’s also a Mormon and also a cute young man,” she said. Her family also adored the Jonas Brothers, who grew up in New Jersey. These stars’ purity — the Jonas Brothers literally wore purity rings — and naivete drew a lot of young fans, and their approving parents, in. These musicians help now-adult fans remember their own childhoods. Naturally, as time passes, these artists also change their musical styles to reflect changing times and their improving skills. Archuleta said he only had a hand in writing two of the songs on his first album, but that now he co-writes all of his songs. He said he values being able to share his story with listeners and likes to treat shows as intimate, storytelling times. Archuleta’s current tour is in support of his 2017 album, “Postcards in the Sky.” Johnson said that she is mainly excited to hear Archuleta’s old hits, but that she is interested to hear his more current work. She said for her, it’s Archuleta’s old music that has the most sentimental value. “Music really has a way to take you back to certain moments in time when you were listening to it and when it was important to you, and it’s just something that you’ll never forget,” she said. Archuleta said he hopes both his new and old music will connect with listeners.

David Archuleta performs March 25 at The Haunt in Ithaca. Archuleta gained notoriety for placing second on “American Idol.” CONNOR LANGE/THE ITHACAN


L I F E & C U LT U R E : M O V I E R E V I E W S

Movie reviews




By Jake Leary — Staff Writer “Us” is at once familiar and foreign — it’s a traditional slasher turned and twisted into something radical and bizarre.

The film follows the Wilson family on their annual summer vacation: This year, they’re beach bound. But Adelaide Wilson (Lupita Nyong’o), harboring grim memories from her last visit to the boardwalk. Her excitable husband, Gabe (Winston Duke), convinces her to let the past go, and, begrudgingly, she agrees, taking their children Zora (Shahadi Wright Joseph) and Jason (Evan Alex) to the beach. Their vacation is cut short when a strange family appears in their driveway. They’re armed with long, golden scissors. And they look, sound and think exactly like the Wilsons.

Across America, the Tethered have risen. Like Peele’s “Get Out,” “Us” doesn’t attempt subtlety. Characters explicitly discuss the central metaphor: The inherent suffering caused by systems built on privilege from birth. Peele also capitalizes on the American fear of secret invasions and hidden plots and sums up both themes with a single line: “We’re Americans,” Red said as an introduction. A final twist blurs the line between good and bad, right and wrong, friend and foe. Peele probes the American psyche, manifests cultural fears and builds on decades of genre classics.


‘How to Train Your Dragon’ STARRING DIRECTED BY


By Avery Alexander — Assistant Life & Culture Editor DreamWorks Animation is infamous for

cranking out sequel after sequel. However, “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” breaks this cycle of iffy prequels and sequels and is a true compliment to its repertoire. It could be easy to get lazy with the “How to Train Your Dragon” movies considering the franchise has existed for nine years. But it is clear that the animators, voice actors, music coordinators and screenwriters put just as much, if not more, love, work and time into this film. The obvious praise to be given first is for the


absolutely magnificent animation. The screenwriters also pulled out all of the stops, too. The movies already have incredibly strong lore and world backing them. Despite this, the sequel builds onto the history of the setting. The world-building goes hand-in-hand with elaborating on character relationships. Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) is in a longtime relationship with his girlfriend Astrid (America Ferrera), and the movie explores the struggles of their relationship. “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” is a truly impeccable masterpiece. It is the perfect conclusion to the long-running saga that is the “How to Train Your Dragon” franchise.

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‘Skate Kitchen’ STARRING




By Arleigh Rodgers — Staff Writer The audience is thrown into director Crystal Moselle’s “Skate Kitchen” with little introduction. Blood running down her thighs,

cursing, Camille’s (Rachelle Vinberg) skateboard has ended up between her legs. The film has breathtaking cinematography and understated performances, encapsulating the tranquility of Camille’s skateboarded adventures around New York City as she meets a group of female skaters, the Skate Kitchen. The keen eye that examines their teenage world is passionately sincere and tender, highlighting the girls’ adventures as ones that fulfill their inexorable

and teenage thirsts for self-expression. The girls of Skate Kitchen, Camille included, are diverse, witty and most importantly, a natural and cohesive group. Then Camille starts hanging out with Devon (Jaden Smith). She’s quick to fall for a boy she knows she cannot have. Before the film begins focusing on this, “Skate Kitchen” is a soaring success. It’s frustrating, then, to be suddenly catapulted into subject matter so familiar. Though slightly bogged down by this irksome ending, it’s the somehow endless beauty caught in each scene and the effortless kinship between the girls that carry “Skate Kitchen.”






By Jake Leary — Staff Writer Every month, a slew of sci-fi thrillers dribble out on Netflix. “IO,” from director Jonathan Helpert, is the streaming platform’s latest attempt to enter the cerebral sci-fi market. “IO” is a

shallow pass at futuristic melodrama: a disposable post-apocalyptic tale of tragic love. Set in a near future where Earth’s atmosphere toxified to the point that it is uninhabitable, humanity has fled to Jupiter’s moon, Io. A few humans remained on Earth at the behest of environmentalist Henry Walden (Danny Huston). His daughter, Sam Walden (Margaret Qualley), carries on his scientific legacy. She meets Micah (Anthony Mackie), a wasteland wanderer who shows her human connection. We learn that Sam is clever. We learn about her boyfriend Elon, who left Earth and now lives in the Io colony. And we learn that her father’s


optimism colored her view of the world. When Micah arrives, the film shifts focus. Helpert espouses the power of love and human connection. We’re treated to overwrought monologues, and Sam’s boyfriend embarks on a decade-long trip. God forbid our purehearted protagonist cheat on her boyfriend. The movie devolves from there. Mackie and Qualley don’t sell the struggles of their respective characters or their romance. In part, the lifeless script is to blame. “IO” is about humans coming together, but for all that, the central romance falters, in part because of weak performances and in part due to a script of barely digestible romance.

L I F E & C U LT U R E : M U S I C R E V I E W S


Music reviews

By Hannah Fitzpatrick — Staff Writer Last year was arguably one of the most successful years for R&B artist Kehlani. She served as a supporting act on tours for artists like Demi Lovato and Halsey while promoting her major-label debut LP — “SweetSexySavage.” She received her first Billboard 200 Top 10 ranking. Now, Kehlani is re-establishing herself in the R&B scene with her original mixtape, “While We Wait.” Made over the course of one month, this mixtape shows that she can serve more than just a supporting role. The mixtape opens with the soothing track “Footsteps.” Flowing water and a gentle acoustic guitar riff play in the background as Kehlani sings about struggling to make a relationship work. The addition of singer-songwriter Musiq Soulchild is an excellent choice, they give the song a peaceful vibe. With every mixtape comes its flaws, and “While We Wait” is no exception. “Nunya” is a feel-good anthem where Kehlani tells off exes,


but including rapper Dom Kennedy was a poorly executed move. His flow is noticeably not on beat with the background. But “RPG” is arguably one of the best songs on this mixtape. The rhythm of this track is hypnotic, and Kehlani’s vocals are impressive. The addition of singer-songwriter 6LACK is one of the best features.

Overall, “While We Wait” has shown that Kehlani is a force to be reckoned with: lyrically and vocally. This mixtape is far from perfect. It’s short and arguably a bit unfinished, coming off more as foreshadowing for a future project than as an actual LP. However, this mixtape does the job of keeping fans hyped for what’s to come.

‘Patty Griffin’ PATTY GRIFFIN By Arleigh Rodgers — Staff Writer Perhaps the reason why Patty Griffin has decided to name her latest album after herself is because, above all else, her soothing and intimate voice dominates the stripped tracklist. The most striking piece of every song is the absence of harmonies, though none are needed to make the songs powerful. Griffin has confidence in her voice as she sings alongside a collection of peaceful instruments — like soothing guitar, a lull of a cello and a tranquil piano in “Luminous Places.” “Luminous Places” is Griffin’s elegant meditation on love, and the melancholy sentiments in her lyrics are reflected in her somber vocals and serene piano. The sturdiness of her vocals and instruments is further matched by the political messages in her songs. Griffin uses past events, both familiar to her and to listeners, to bridge the gap between social justice from the past and now. She attributes a verse in “The Wheel” to the 2014 death of Eric Garner, a black man who was choked to death by police officers, sparking protests over police brutality. “The Wheel” brings attention


to how the violence and injustice that permeated American culture in 2014 was, like the turn of a wheel, the result of an endless cycle of violence. This monumental 10th studio album lingers through its sadness and sits briefly in dynamic


flashes of a faster-paced guitar strum. Therein lies the flavor of Griffin’s album. Her past fire has been stifled with water, but “Patty Griffin” proves she can wade through the smoke and bring life from it again.

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‘Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared?’ DEER HUNTER By Olivia Riggio — Life & Culture Editor Apocalyptic but wistful, unsettling but eerily calm, Deerhunter’s eighth album “Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared?” is a subtle but striking work of art. The album, released Jan. 18, plays with an existential, post-apocalyptic theme, but instead of overtly exclaiming nihilism, Deerhunter shrouds it in a soft, folksy glow. The album follows an end-of-times theme throughout, creating lush soundscapes that tie each song together. The first track, “Death in Midsummer,” starts with a simple melody played on what sounds like a harpsichord. Frontman Bradford Cox’s far-out vocals contrast this baroque sound without compromising the song’s quirkiness. He evokes rapturous images with an eerie calmness.

‘Rainswept’ DEVELOPER



The final track, “Nocturne,” is a 6 minute odyssey. Staccato piano chords keep the song marching along as different instruments and sonic elements take the foreground, repeating the same hypnotic melody. Intriguing lo-fi effects make Cox’s voice sound like it’s coming over a radio, glitching and cutting out.

Deerhunter is not the first band to play with post-apocalyptic and dystopian themes but Deerhunter does it in a way that sounds fresh. It is more of a concept album than a record with standalone songs, but it is brilliantly thought-out. With cosmic ambiance, it bridges the gap between chaotic and philosophical.

Game review

By Avery Alexander — Assistant Life & Culture Editor A rich landscape of beautiful, rolling hills is quickly followed by the silhouette of a man in his window — then a heart-stopping bang leads to silence. This is the beginning of “Rainswept,” an indie detective game. Detective Michael Stone rolls into the town of Pineview, where a speculated murder-suicide took place. A man named Chris is dead with a gunshot to the head, and his lover, Diane, a shot in the stomach. Michael believes that someone else killed them. The early plot is fine — nothing is particularly special or different. However, this is all a set up to lull the player into believing that nothing is out of the ordinary. During a scene of the drive into town, Michael suddenly hallucinates his dead wife, Abigail. The true plot focuses closely on Michael’s mental state and makes poignant commentary about grief, guilt and relationships. The art is by far the most notable part of this game. The characters and setting are 2D and abstract, made of hard shapes without defined


lines. All this aside, there is one major issue with “Rainswept.” The game has so many glitches. It’s amazing how many game-breaking problems one can stumble upon during a playthrough. “Rainswept” is a game that, at first, hides


its true meaning behind the guise of a standard archetype. Although the hidden message, art and visuals are stunning and moving, the game falls short of offering true complexity. This makes it hard for the player to be totally swept away.

Sports Buzzer-beaters, record-breakers and changes in the Cortaca tradition shake up Bomber athletics. Through it all, teammates come together and create community in sport.



Tensions run high as a foul is called against junior forward Cassidy O’Malley in the final moments of the Ithaca College women’s basketball team’s Senior Day game Feb. 2. KRISTEN HARRISON/THE ITHACAN



Ithaca College students react to 2019 Cortaca moving to MetLife Stadium A change in tradition leaves mixed feelings among students and campus community members By Dani Pluchinsky and Jack Murray — Sports Editor and Assistant Sports Editor


ext year, for the first time in the rivalry’s 61-year history, the annual Cortaca Jug game will be played at a neutral site, and fans have conflicting opinions on the news. Susan Bassett, associate vice president and director of intercollegiate athletics and recreational sports at Ithaca College, and Mike Urtz, director of athletics for SUNY Cortland, announced Nov. 7 that the 2019 Cortaca Jug will be played at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. MetLife Stadium is home to the NFL’s New York Giants and New York Jets. The game is scheduled for 1 p.m. Nov. 16, 2019. Tickets for the general public will be $15, $25 and $35 and went on sale Dec. 1, 2018. Bassett said the funding for the game will come from ticket sales and will also come from the budget allocated for the Cortaca game each year. Bassett would not disclose how much the total cost of moving the game to MetLife would be. She said she is confident that the ticket sales will be reached to adequately fund the game. She said a minimum of 20,000 to 25,000 tickets would need to be sold to fund the game, and as of Dec. 4, the ticket sales had already exceeded 20,000. “What everybody needs to know is that there is absolute confidence that between Cortland and

Ithaca, we will cover all costs with attendance,” Bassett said. At the 2018 Cortaca Jug, 10,000 fans attended the game in Cortland. In 2017, when the Cortaca Jug game was held at Butterfield Stadium, 11,000 people were in attendance. In the past, tickets for the event have gone on sale about two weeks before the game. Bassett said the athletics department is determined to make the event work and that tuition dollars will not be used to fund the event. “We developed a very, very, thorough, careful business plan to make the game both affordable for anyone who wants to attend and make it meet the financial commitment that we have agreed to,” Bassett said. “Failure is not an option, and we will not fail.” Bassett said moving a Cortaca game to MetLife Stadium has been talked about for years but was never put into action until this past June. She said there are four alums who serve on the New York City chapter of the National Football Foundation who helped plan the event — Jim Bradley ’92 Bob Garone ’87, Marc Hudak ’90 and Ethan Medley ’01. “We felt like the vision for what it could mean for Ithaca College’s visibility was really exciting,”

The Cortaca Jug will be held at MetLife stadium in New Jersey in November 2019. COURTESY OF ITHACA COLLEGE


Bassett said. “Metro New York is home to so many of our alumni and current students that it was a real opportunity to bring tremendous visibility to Ithaca College.” Bassett said one of the reasons for moving the game is to provide a real-life learning experience for students at the college. Students in the Roy H. Park School of Communications will have the opportunity to broadcast from the game, as well as produce any print media or radio. She said students from the School of Business who study sport management will help plan the event and students studying athletic training will also play a crucial role in the production of the game by helping athletes in the stadium. Bassett said the athletics department is working to get the game televised on ESPN. Junior Ben Carlton, who does radio broadcasts for the football games on WICB, said student media benefits from the game being moved to MetLife Stadium. “It allows them to work in a larger, more professional environment, which I think is valuable experience for the real world,” he said. Bassett said transportation to and from the game will be provided for all students. The game alternates between being played at Butterfield

SPORTS Stadium and Stadium Complex in Cortland. The drive to Cortland is approximately 40 minutes from Ithaca College. The drive to MetLife Stadium, which is in East Rutherford, New Jersey, is approximately 3 hours and 45 minutes. Claudia Ayers, assistant vice president of engagement and constituent relations, said there are currently 5,381 alumni who live in the five boroughs of New York City. Within a four-hour radius of the city, there are 27,221 alumni. Casey Musarra ’11, said she likes the idea and plans to attend the game. She said she thinks the game being played at MetLife Stadium brings more visibility to the college. “The Cortaca Jug is the biggest little game in football, that’s the catchphrase, but if this game ends up being televised on ESPN, that gets Ithaca’s name out there,” Musarra said. Cortaca is also widely known to be an all-day-long party for students, and some are worried that the traditional party culture that follows the sporting event will be lost at MetLife Stadium. Sophomore Danielle Roach said the location eliminates the potential for a party scene at the game and that students will miss out. “When Cortaca happens, whether we win or lose, we go have fun at night, but we won’t really have that option next year,” Roach said. “It’s

kind of like breaking the tradition.” Besides MetLife Stadium, there are other large arenas that are closer to the college. The Carrier Dome in Syracuse, New York, has 49,250 seats and is one hour and 10 minutes away from Ithaca. New Era Field in Buffalo, New York, is home to the NFL’s Buffalo Bills, holds 73,000 people and is approximately three hours away. Sophomore Nicole Brokaw said she likes the sense of community that the game brings to the college and is worried that will be taken away with the move to MetLife Stadium. “It doesn’t make sense to me,” Brokaw said. “Why move the college’s most important sporting event away from the community? This plan is taking the money that the game brings to Ithaca away from the local community and is making the game a thousand times more difficult for individual students to enjoy. The importance of Cortaca is the community spirit.” Junior Jackson Roberts believes the location will bring the game more widespread attention from around the country. “It will bring it back home in a way to all of the alums,” Roberts said. “It will be great for the players as well. They get to see what it’s like to play on an NFL field, and it brings a whole new dynamic to this game.”

Dan Swanstrom, head football coach at Ithaca College, speaks about the change. ELIAS OLSEN/THE ITHACAN

Editorial: Cortaca moving to MetLife alienates jug from college and students The Ithacan editorializes that the changes in the Cortaca tradition leave students behind By The Ithacan — Nov. 14, 2018 The Cortaca Jug will be played at MetLife Stadium next year, where the NFL’s New York Giants and New York Jets play their home games. Part of the reason for the move is to try to make the Cortaca Jug the best-attended Division III football game in the country, said Susan Bassett, associate vice president and director of intercollegiate athletics and recreational sports at Ithaca College. In order to fund the game, Bassett said, a minimum of 20,000 to 25,000 tickets would need


to be sold. However, the college’s attendance goal is to surpass 37,355 people, which was achieved at a game between St. Thomas University and St. John’s University — DIII institutions that have an undergraduate enrollment of 2,906 and 16,766 respectively. Given that the college currently has 6,059 undergraduate students enrolled and that SUNY Cortland has 6,346, both schools would need all students to buy tickets to reach just over half of the minimum ticket-sale goal. However, the game is largely being targeted toward alumni, 27,221 of whom live within a four-hour radius of the stadium. Questions of funding aside — for which Bassett said she is certain the two colleges will be able to accomplish — we also need to consider what this move is doing for students. Is it reflective of what the students at either institution want, or is it simply a move for the sake of breaking a record and improving the reputation of the college? A significant part of the culture and excitement surrounding the jug is the accessibility of it and its closeness to campus so that students


can engage in celebratory (traditionally drunken) activities before, during and after the game. Even when the game is not held on our campus, Ithaca and Cortland are only approximately 30 minutes away from each other. However, getting to MetLife Stadium from Ithaca involves a threeand-a-half-hour bus ride, offered by the college, which many students celebrating the jug will likely not be willing to make. Hosting the jug at MetLife Stadium feels more like a public-relations stunt than a move made to benefit students at either institution. To attend the game for the day and return to campus means students will need to spend seven hours of driving total, essentially eliminating any possibility of celebration after the game. Even if students were to spend the night near the stadium, they would still be staying in a largely unfamiliar place completely removed from their campus and surrounding community. Ultimately, the move to MetLife Stadium alienates the jug from what gives it so much significance: The community and the historical rivalry between the two schools.


Senior football captain suits up in several positions Pat Minogue is the Bombers’ triple threat By Danielle Allentuck — Senior Writer Senior football player Pat Minogue is currently in the top five in three different defensive categories in the Liberty League. JULIA CHERRUAULT/THE ITHACAN


laying against The College at Brockport, the No. 5 team in the nation, Sept. 8, 2018 there was only one highlight for the Ithaca College Bombers in the first half: Senior Pat Minogue. The senior strong safety forced a fumble in the second quarter, in addition to his nine tackles overall. It is the same story week after week, and Minogue, one of three football captains, has become the undisputed leader of the secondary defense this season. Minogue is in the top five in three different defensive categories in the Liberty League — for tackles, tackles for loss and fumbles recovered — and leads the Bombers in the same categories. He has 33 total tackles — 16 of them solo — five tackles for loss and three fumbles through the first three games of the season. “He’s one of the most dynamic players that I have ever been around,” defensive coordinator Mike Toerper said. “He can play outside on the slot. He can play inside linebacker. If we need to put him on the end, he can do that too. Having someone as versatile as him within this defensive scheme is something that is a really nice tool to have as a defensive coordinator.” Minogue entered college as a defensive end but was told by former defensive coordinator Mark McDonough that he would be playing defensive back — specifically, linebacker. He played in six

games during his freshman campaign and all 10 the next year. “I was like, ‘Wow, I really need to learn what I’m doing,’” Minogue said. “Coach was there for me. The other players were there for me.” As a junior, under the new leadership of Toerper, Minogue was again forced to learn a new position. This time, it was strong safety. The strong safety position requires him to focus on defending the pass, but with his background as a linebacker and defensive end, he is able to move throughout the backfield to come up with big plays, regardless of his assigned role. “He’s a hell of a football player,” Toerper said. “If we put him in different spots and we ask him if he can do things, he shows out here in practice that he can, and it’s really a huge help on game day.” Minogue said he is ready to do what is necessary to get a win. “Whatever is best for the team,” he said. “It doesn’t matter to me, as long as I’m making plays for the team.” Eight out of the 11 starters on defense are seniors, including Ralf Silva, fellow starting strong safety. Silva said it’s part of the reason the defense is clicking so well this year. The players have been through everything together for the past four years and have been waiting for the chance to be the leaders.


They held Brockport’s offense to just 13 points, the lowest number they have scored in the past two years. This was the same team they gave up 31 points to just a year ago. “We’ve been playing together for a long time,” Silva said. “Since freshman year, we’ve been looking forward to this year. We have high hopes, and so far, it’s panning out. … We are just trying to keep it going. We like where we are at right now.” Minogue also doubles as a punter, a position he was first introduced to as a freshman, although he didn’t punt in any games that season. He now averages just above 39 yards a punt and has a season long of 65. Minogue has already started to bring in awards, earning Liberty League co-defender of the week after week one. Minogue was named to the Team of the Week on Sept. 17 for his punting performance against Alfred University. He punted four times during the contest for a total of 204 yards. This is his second Team of the Week honor, with his first being in 2016 when he logged nine tackles against Union College on Sept. 3. He said his goals for the rest of the season are to just keep working hard and doing what he can do to make the team better. “It’s a great time,” Minogue said. “I do what I can do to try and get us a victory.”


Junior running backs Nick Cervone, Isaiah D’Haiti and Kendall Anderson worked together to strengthen the Bombers’ offense. ELIAS OLSEN /THE ITHACAN

Bomber running backs work together Three junior running backs play key roles on Ithaca College football’s offense in the 2018 season By Danielle Allentuck — Senior Writer With three running backs ready to go, the challenge for the Ithaca College football team becomes not when to use them, but how. Juniors Isaiah D’Haiti, Kendall Anderson and Nick Cervone have been sharing rushing duties. Although D’Haiti is the starter, all three have seen significant playing time. Typically a team will rely on one strong starter and substitute in a backup when the starter needs rest. But for the Bombers, head coach Dan Swanstrom said, it is a constant carousel, and he rotates the players depending on the opponents’ defense and which back is having the best game that day. “At the end of the day, they are good team players, and they like each other, but there’s an ego and a personal side of things,” Swanstrom said. “They want to be the one that has that great game. I’m hoping that they keep pushing each other.” D’Haiti is typically known as a red zone back, the one the team wants to rely on to punch the ball into the end zone. His specialty is attributed to his strength and power — he has the ability to

find holes in opponents’ defense and run directly through the center. Anderson is seen as the speed back, the guy who can outrun opponents and get the ball down the field. He will typically line up in the shotgun formation next to the quarterback and run a play to the outside once he gets the ball. Cervone, meanwhile, is a combination of the two, and he has been used in different situations this season, including as an extra receiver. He is also the player the coaching staff tends to lean on when the game is on the line and the Bombers have to get down the field quickly, as was evident at the end of the team’s game Oct. 6 against Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute when the Bombers were down seven and had to get down the field in less than three minutes. “It’s us three as a trio — we are a stable,” Anderson said. “One horse gets tired, another one goes in. We just want to be able to run all the way down the field.” D’Haiti leads the way so far this season with 154 rushing yards and five touchdowns, while


Cervone and Anderson have 87 and 86 yards respectively. Every player has had highs and lows throughout the season. In the first game against Saint Vincent College, Cervone was able to lead the team with 46 rushing yards. The next week against The College at Brockport — the No. 5 team in the nation in Division III that has one of the toughest rush defenses, the backs 24 combined rushing yards was the second highest number of yards any team had been able to muster against Brockport so far that season. Week three had D’Haiti’s best game when he had a season-high 86 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Then it was Anderson’s turn in week four — he led the team with 37 rushing yards and one touchdown. Despite their differences, Swanstrom said the goal is to make them ready for any situation. “We would like to be as universal as possible and run our full system on offense,” he said. “I think they are all capable of doing that. Certainly, each one has unique strengths and abilities, and we’ve kind of gotten a better beat on that the last four weeks with our game reps.”

S P O R T S : P H O T O E S S AY

Keeping the Jug

Bombers defeat SUNY Cortland in the 60th annual Cortaca Jug

Fans cheer on the Bombers football team. The Blue and Gold beat SUNY Cortland 24–21. JULIA CHERRUAULT/THE ITHACAN

From left, sophomore David Nieto, senior Pat Minogue and freshman Michael Roums celebrate. JULIA CHERRUAULT/THE ITHACAN

Sophomore Andrew Vito catches the ball during the pregame. Vito led the team in receptions. JULIA CHERRUAULT/THE ITHACAN

Junior Will Gladney dives into the endzone for a touchdown during the 2018 Cortaca Jug game. JULIA CHERRUAULT/THE ITHACAN



Students volunteer at Super Bowl LIII

Select sport management majors help with pre-game events By Emily Adams — Assistant Sports Editor Celebrities, athletes and fans from around the country flocked to Atlanta on Feb. 3 to enjoy the biggest football game of the year, Super Bowl LIII. Joining this crowd were 12 sport management students from Ithaca College who made the trip down south Jan. 30 to volunteer at the Super Bowl Experience event. The students spent their first day in Atlanta volunteering with the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Atlanta to set up for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award celebration. Junior Liam O’Connell said the visibility of the event was especially exciting for the students. On Feb. 1 and 2, the group helped staff the NFL Host Committee House, a VIP space for sponsors, celebrities, media influencers and the athletes’ families. They checked credentials for those entering, greeted guests and assisted with events in the lounge. O’Connell said they were able to see and interact with many high-profile individuals. “We got to meet Tom Brady Sr., and Tom Brady’s mother and brother-in-law came in for lunch one day,” he said. “John Legend walked in for a little bit.” While working, the students were able to develop connections with sport management alumni from the college, as well as with locals and event staff. Freshman Meghan Matheny said she enjoyed getting to know so many experienced people who will be resources for her in the future. “We had two visits with alumni from the Atlanta Hawks and the Atlanta Braves,” Matheny said. “We had the opportunity to talk to them and ask them questions and really get to know them.” This was the second time that students from the college have worked at the Super Bowl. In 2017 the sport management program brought volunteers to Super Bowl LI in Houston. Selecting the students who would travel to Super Bowl LIII

was a competitive process. The opportunity was limited to sport management majors, but the department received more than 50 applications. It was eventually narrowed down to the group of 12 who attended, which was comprised of students from all years. The event also allowed the group to apply what they have learned from the sport management program at the college in the real world. Annemarie Farrell, associate professor and chair of the Department of Sport Management, said the hands-on experience was important for students to compliment their studies. “Our students gained invaluable experience in brand activation, event management and sponsor hospitality services,” Farrell said. “Our students were at the heart of it all — learning, networking and building their resume.” O’Connell said he took away several lessons from the weekend that he feels will have a positive impact on him moving forward. He said he has developed a greater understanding of the importance of professionalism. “I sort of consider myself a fanboy, but I could not really do that in this setting,” he said. “As an official volunteer, we were held to a higher standard, and you are not supposed to be whipping out your phone for a picture or anything. ... I had to take a step back and realize why I was there.” Sophomore Ny’Rayah Mitchell said that their work showed her first-hand how much goes into an event as large as the Super Bowl. She said she feels she has gained a new perspective on her future career. While the students went to Atlanta seeking career experience, their proximity to the most-watched sporting event of the year was a huge perk. O’Connell, a New England Patriots fan, said watching his team win the game in such a dynamic environment was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Ithaca College students pose in front of the Super Bowl LIII logo while volunteering at events before the game. COURTESY OF ANNEMARIE FARRELL



Digging through the decades

Womens volleyball celebrates 50th anniversary By Ryan Lemay — Staff Writer The Ben Light Gymnasium was packed with over 1,000 fans throughout the weekend to watch the Ithaca College volleyball team celebrate its 50th anniversary Aug. 31 and Sept. 1. The Bombers welcomed three of the best DIII volleyball programs in the country for the 2018 Bomber Invitational, including Calvin College, Juniata College and Stevens Institute of Technology. The weekend also included an alumni social and an alumni game with some of the program’s all-time greatest athletes. Volleyball head coach Johan Dulfer said he was pleased with his team’s effort during the tournament and is glad it got to showcase the program’s history. “Ithaca volleyball is a proud program with a long and proud tradition,” Dulfer said. “We are thrilled to be hosting nationally ranked teams because that is the level where we feel this program belongs.” The festivities kicked off with a much-anticipated matchup between No. 3 Calvin College against the No. 8 Bombers. Fresh off the program’s first NCAA Final Four appearance since 1995, the expectations for the Bombers were through the roof. Sarah Rich, former Bomber volleyball coach who retired from coaching in 1985, attended the anniversary celebration and said she has helped with tournament organization. She said she thinks this year’s team has the ability to go far in the playoffs. “This year’s team seems to have the mental and physical abilities to achieve great things,” Rich said. During the first game of the Bomber Invitational, Calvin College defeated the Blue and Gold in a tight three-set match. Even though they lost, senior middle hitter Amanda Cerruti registered a team high of 11 kills during the contest. The Bombers bounced back the next day with two gritty wins over two highly ranked opponents, Stevens and No. 17 Juniata. The South Hill squad finished the weekend with an impressive 2–1 record. The Blue and Gold concluded the Bomber Invitational with a five-set close victory against the Juniata Eagles. Sophomore hitter Reagan Stone finished with 15 kills and an incredible .700 hitting percentage to help the South Hill squad to victory.

For junior setter Caitlyn Floyd, being a part of the 50th anniversary solidified that she will continue to support the Blue and Gold when she is an alum herself. “We have talked about the future of the program and where we want to be, so it’s nice to be able to look back at the history and see how the program has developed,” Floyd said.

Volleyball Program History

The college’s women’s volleyball team became a varsity sport in 1968. The volleyball program has historically been one of the most successful teams on campus, posting a winning record in 40 of the program’s 50 seasons. Former head coach Janet Donovan, who coached from 1992 to 2015, led the Bombers to 13 NCAA tournaments, including two Eastern College Athletic Conference championships. The program’s most successful season was in 1994 as the team made its first appearance in the Division III semifinals. The South Hill squad stretched its streak to four consecutive appearances in the NCAA tournament during the team’s 1996 season. Heidi Nichols ’97 made program history when she became the team’s first athlete to be named a first-team All-American two years in a row. Due to her success, she was inducted into the Ithaca College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2010. The Bombers continued their success when the team advanced to the regional finals for the fourth consecutive year in 2001. The Bombers would go on to win consecutive Empire 8 Conference titles in 2004 and 2005. One of the biggest years in program history was 2015. The team won its first Empire 8 title since 2010 and earned its first NCAA victory in 10 seasons. To cap off the success, they reached the NCAA Final Four in 2017, which was its best performance in the tournament since 1995. With evidence of last year’s team performance and a No. 8 national ranking going into this season, Floyd believes this team can go down in the history books. “I hope we will be remembered as one of the teams that helped Ithaca volleyball in an uphill climb to the top,” Floyd said. “We are not a perennial power yet, but I hope this team can be a foundation for that future success.”


Head coach Johan Dulfer huddles with the team at the


Sophomore Reagan Stone jumps for the ball in the game against Clarkson University on Sept. 22, amid anniversary celebrations. SABRINA CHANG/THE ITHACAN

Bomber Invitational. ELIAS OLSEN /THE ITHACAN

Sophomore Sarah Jennison saves the ball during the Bomber Invitational on Aug. 31. ELIAS OLSEN/THE ITHACAN



On point practices

Club fencing prepares for its first tournament By Dani Pluchinsky — Sports Editor


t is 9:30 p.m. Sept. 13 when the Ithaca College Club Fencing team begins its second practice of the season in the Fitness Center. Pop music is blaring from the speakers belonging to the circus club practicing in the corner. And, despite the gym being filled with acrobatics and bass-blaring music, sophomore president Ben Cafaro is focused. Tonight’s fencing practice is about one thing — footwork. Lined up in two horizontal rows, the eager new members — who have never fenced before — listen to Cafaro’s instructions, mimicking his every move. “Back straight. Forward two steps. Backwards one.” As his instruction continues, Cafaro shouts, “Lunge. Hold it,” as the students freeze, hoping to perfect their form. The club fencing team emphasizes teaching beginners about the sport, not just competing and winning championships. Cafaro said approximately 80 percent of the new members of the club are starting this year with no fencing experience. “Once you learn the footwork and you get that down, it’s the most crucial part of fencing,” Cafaro said. “Because, for every single weapon in fencing, it’s the same footwork. Advancing, retreating, lunging — you start that first and hone that in.” In fencing, there are three different events — saber, foil and epee — with the main difference being the target areas an opponent can hit. In saber, the main targets are the mask, arms and body, and it is typically the fastest paced out of the three. In foil, it’s the body, chest, shoulders and back that opponents have to hit with their blades. In epee, anything can be the target, causing it to be the slowest paced because there is more space to hit. Students line up to start the rigorous exercises that begin every practice. Squats, 30-second planks, jumping jacks and lunges get the new members prepared for fencing practice. “So much of fencing is misconstrued as just swinging blades around,” junior epee coach Lucas Hickman said. “If you ask any coach or fencer, they’ll say that footwork and physical fitness is 70 percent of the sport. Being able to be quicker on our feet, being leaner, means less target area. It’s all very important to the sport.” After the exercises, fencers are finally able to try out the

Club fencing team members run drills. SABRINA CHANGE/THE ITHACAN

weapons and get used to some of the gear they will have to wear for bouts. All fencers have to wear a mask when they compete, which changes depending on the discipline of fencing. They will also wear an all-white jacket, knickers and socks that go to the knee. The blades will change depending on the event the fencer is competing in. Both foil and sabre blades can weigh just over one pound, while the epee blade can be as heavy as a pound and a half. The end of the blades are flat and somewhat fragile — they bend and sometimes break. A crucial part of fencing is wearing a lamé, an electronic piece of copper that a fencer wears on their body chord. The cord gets plugged into both fencers’ blades, and when someone gets hit, it connects a circuit that triggers a light that tells the fencers if they hit on target. The lamé is necessary so no one is confused about whether or not someone got hit in the correct area. The team does not follow the traditional executive board arrangement that other clubs at the college do. Even though there are official positions on the board, student coaches teach the new members how to fence. Cafaro is the foil coach, Hickman is the epee coach and sophomore Emily Kwan is the saber coach. Cafaro and Hickman each have at least 10 years of fencing experience, while Kwan has fenced for five years. The team competes in three tournaments every year against other colleges, which are typically pool tournaments that turn into a bracket. A fencer can win a tournament by scoring the most points throughout the bouts. A point is scored by hitting the other person in the correct target area with the blade. When a fencer faces everyone in their pool, they compete to five points over three minutes of play. When fencers get ranked into the bracket, it’s a bout to 15 points that lasts over three sections of three minutes. Cafaro said competing at tournaments provides everyone the opportunity to get accustomed to the style and atmosphere of the sport. “There’s this respect and an acquaintance kind of thing,” Cafaro said. “You know you’re in a niche sport, and you know you should be friendly with each other. There’s a level of respect and sportsmanship in the game that makes it unique.” For sophomore Kemi Odumosu, the attraction of learning a completely new sport out of her comfort zone drew her to join the club. “It’s medieval to me almost — like knights do it,” Odumosu said. “I want to be good enough that I can show off to my friends that I know how to do this really cool thing.” Cafaro said he hopes that everyone in the club focuses on having fun. “We really focus on just showing people what fencing is and letting people have a good time and enjoy the sport,” Cafaro said. “It’s a sport you can do for your whole life on a recreational level or an extremely competitive level. Our goal is just to teach people it, let them have fun and give them the proper gear and equipment they need to play the sport.”



From left, sophomore Ben Cafaro, president of the Ithaca College Club Fencing team, bouts with freshman Alex Kite at practice Sept. 20. SABRINA CHANG /THE ITHACAN



Conquering the channel

Graduate student Miranda Wingfield was one of 61 people to swim the English Channel in 2018. PHOTO COURTESY OF MIRANDA WINGFIELD


Ithaca College graduate student swims the English Channel By Dani Pluchinsky — Sports Editor When graduate student Miranda Wingfield swam for Ithaca College, she was used to swimming in clear, heated water inside the Athletics and Events Center. However, at 5 a.m. July 20, Wingfield found herself staring into a new challenge: the murky, frigid water of the English Channel. Her goal? Make the journey from the shores of southern England to northern France in fewer than 14 hours. Throughout history, only 1,887 people have completed solo swims across the English Channel. Wingfield is currently 1 of 61 to successfully swim the English Channel in 2018. To complete the journey, a person must swim 21 miles from southern England to northern France. Since Matthew Webb first swam the channel in 1875, 10 people have died while attempting to complete the challenge. During Wingfield’s swimming career at the college, she said that she would swim in open water in Florida during the team’s annual training week. She said she loved swimming long distances in open water and continued doing longer open water swims when she studied abroad in Australia. Because she loved open water swimming, she wanted to pursue swimming the English Channel. During her training, Wingfield said that she had to learn how to swim in open water and that it is different from swimming in a pool. “I did a lot of open water swimming and tried to get acclimated to cold water because the temperature was not as warm as most bodies of water around here,” Wingfield said. “Last summer, I spent the summer in Chicago for my clinical, so I swam in Lake Michigan a bunch.” After she booked her day to swim the channel, Wingfield and her family flew to England. When the day arrived, she woke up at 3 a.m. to make sure she was on her boat and ready to swim by 5 a.m. When she started the swim, her crew piloted the boat next to her so she would always know what direction she was supposed to be swimming. Before anyone swims the English Channel, Wingfield said that every swimmer must complete a qualifying swim of six hours in temperatures below 60 degrees to make sure their body can handle the cold. Besides the potential for hypothermia, there is also the danger of being stung by a jellyfish or inhaling fumes from the boat. Wingfield said that even though she was aware of the risks, she did not let them phase her during her swim. “I knew a few dangers, but I put them in the back of my head,” Wingfield said. “I was not worried about any of those things because I kept telling myself, because I know people have died doing it, if something goes wrong, there are going to be a lot of people watching and they’ll be there for me.” Wingfield said that while swimming the channel, she had to eat in order to fuel her body to complete the grueling journey. She had her first meal, which she calls a “feeding,” after the first hour of being in the water. Her meal was typically a water bottle filled with water and Carb Pro, a powder that provides a high amount of energy. She said that because the boat was not allowed to pull her in any way while she was in the water, her water bottle was tied to a 100-foot rope that would be thrown into the water for her. Wingfield said not only did the feedings provide her the energy to keep going, but they also made the swim go

by more quickly. During the fourth hour of the swim, Wingfield said that she became so cold she had to tell her boat crew to begin warming up her nutrient-rich water bottles. It got to the point where she said she was looking for anything to distract her from the cold. “There were a lot of jellyfish, and I was actually hoping I got stung by a jellyfish so that it would take my mind off of being cold,” Wingfield said. “When I did get stung by a jellyfish, I didn’t really feel it. It was a really light tingling sensation that didn’t take my mind off the cold.” By hour nine, Wingfield said that she was starting to feel delusional. “I could not figure out what direction I was going,” Wingfield said. “I could still make out land in the distance, but it did not seem like it was getting any closer. I felt like I was swimming in circles but then I knew the boat had the right directions, so I kept going.”

I could not figure out what direction I was going. I could still make out land in the distance, but it did not seem like it was getting any closer. — Graduate student Miranda Wingfield Wingfield said she regained her sense of direction again when her crew told her she had 3,000 meters left to swim. The remaining part of the swim took over an hour and she said she was ecstatic to finally touch land again. While Wingfield was conquering the water, onlookers like Jennifer Francisco, a graduate student and former swimmer for the college, said she made the feat look easy. “She has such an effortless look to her strokes,” Francisco said. “She makes it look like swimming 26 miles is easy. She never complained. She just kept going the whole time with a brave look on her face.” Paula Miller, head coach for the women’s swimming and diving team at the college, said Wingfield swimming the English Channel was a major accomplishment for the program. “I am beginning my 35th year as the head women’s swim coach and to my knowledge, she is the only swim alum who has successfully conquered the English Channel,” Miller said. The average person takes 13 hours and 32 minutes to swim solo across the channel. The fastest person to ever swim the English Channel was Trent Grimsey in 2012 with a time of 6 hours and 55 minutes. The fastest woman to swim the channel was Yvetta Hlavacova with a time of 7 hours and 25 minutes in 2006. Wingfield completed the swim in 11 hours and 6 minutes, three hours faster than her original goal.



Tatted up team

Women’s cross country creates an unusual bonding experience By Dani Pluchinsky — Sports Editor


Lobdell said she was surprised by the closeness of the team reshman runner Lauren Lobdell sat in a chair as her teammates stood circled around her. As she heard the when she first started the season. When she first heard about the buzzing of a needle, she pulled her lip down to show the tradition at the beginning of the year, she said, she was hesitant inner part of her mouth. Fortunately, this was not a team hazing to get the tattoo but decided to get it later in the season because ritual — Lobdell was participating in a 10-year-old tradition for of how much the team matters to her. “I didn’t expect us to be this close in only a couple months,” the women’s cross-country team: She was getting a lip tattoo. Every fall, new team members or returning team members Lobdell said. “They’re so awesome. We just want a part of the without the tattoo have the option to get it done. This year, team on us. It’s kind of just a part of you but not something that eight women got the tattoo for the first time and four got theirs other people will see, which is really cool.” Head coach Erin Dinan, who does not have a lip tattoo, retouched. The appointment was held at Medusa Tattoo Studio in Ithaca on Nov. 3, which was the Saturday before the team said that keeping up with traditions like this will lead to better relationships within the team. competed at the NCAA Regional Championship. “I think it’s really important for the team to feel connected The tattoo is the same for each athlete — “ICXC” is printed with each other,” Dinan said. in black ink on the inside of their “What’s been really cool is how lower lip, with some people adding connected and close-knit this team is. a tiny stick-figure runner as well. This has been one of the most closeSenior captain Amanda StClair said knit teams I have ever coached.” she thinks lip tattoos are a better StClair said she thinks the option for the team than getting tradition of getting lip tattoos regular tattoos. will continue. “The bottom line is, it is not “I know it will because this is visible,” StClair said. “It’s a really the most high-quality team ever,” good way to show spirit, and it’s StClair said. “Every single person pretty badass. You pull your lip — Freshman Zoe Hadley on the team is so dedicated to each down before the starting line to take a picture, and other teams are like, ‘Whoa, they’re intense. other and the team and traditions and everything. For a lot of Like, we’re going to lose to them,’ so it adds an intimidation people, it’s their first tattoo. It’s a really noncommittal way to get a tattoo.” factor too.” StClair said the tattoos cost $60 each, and the runners get them done at Medusa’s every year. However, not everyone on the team is required to have one, and it is everyone’s individual choice to get one or not. The team normally makes an appointment that lasts hours so that members of the team can cycle in and out of the studio. StClair said everyone normally goes, even if not everyone is getting a tattoo. Typically, lip tattoos last to up to five years and fade more quickly than tattoos on other parts of the body. StClair said that hers has lasted for the past four years but that other runners needed to get theirs retouched a couple months after they got it The pain? It varies. StClair said that it hurt when she got hers done, but freshman teammate Zoe Hadley said hers hardly hurt at all. StClair said the healing process for lip tattoos is different than for other tattoos. “Because it’s already moisturized, there is no healing process,” StClair said. “It’s like having ointment on your tattoo constantly because it’s mucus and saliva.” Hadley, whose lip tattoo was her first tattoo, said she thinks that getting the lip tattoo speaks to the overall culture of the team. “It’s something that brings you together, and it’s fun to all have that symbol,” Hadley said. “It’s in such an inconspicuous place, and you only show it when you want to. Just knowing you have it Junior Lindsay Scott, along with other cross country team members, got is a symbol of dedication to the team, which is really nice.” her lip tattooed at Medusa Tattoo Studio. SABRINA CHANG/THE ITHACAN

It’s something that brings you together, and it’s fun to all have that symbol.



Senior Amanda StClair shows off her “ICXC” — Ithaca College cross country — tattoo. The team got the lip tattoos as a way to build community. CONNOR LANGE/THE ITHACAN



Game changers

Gymnasts switch sports to pole vaulting and diving By Emily Adams — Staff Writer

Sophomore Jocelyn Pawcio holds a gymnast’s pose before diving.



uring her freshman year at Ithaca College, Ava Lowell was spending most of her time flipping around bars and tumbling across a spring floor for the Bombers gymnastics team. Now, at the start of her sophomore year, Lowell is putting in hours every day in the pool as a new member of the women’s diving team. Lowell is not alone in utilizing the skills she learned from gymnastics to switch to a new sport. All five of the current pole vaulters on the women’s track and field team and three out of five divers on the women’s swim team competed in gymnastics for at least 10 years before leaving the sport and beginning their careers in brand-new events. Both sports — pole vaulting and diving — require similar strength, spatial and body awareness, and mental toughness that gymnastics instills in athletes, similarities that make for a natural transition between the sports. This trend is not a new one, either. Graduate student

Katherine Pitman competed for the college’s gymnastics team during her freshman year but was cut as a sophomore. She went on to win three national championships in pole vault and currently holds the Division III national record at 4.31 meters. Lindsay Suddaby and Alyssa Wishart, graduate students and former divers, also came from gymnastics backgrounds. The pair qualified for nationals last season and placed sixth and 22nd respectively. Several of the former gymnasts who compete in sports at the college listed physical inabilities to compete in high-level athletics as their reasons for retiring from gymnastics before they came to the college. Graduate-student diver Anna Belson said that during high school, she dealt with a broken wrist, a concussion and ACL surgery that prevented her from moving further in the sport. Sophomore pole vaulters Julia Nomberg and Juliann Terry, along with freshman pole vaulter Alex McKenzie, noted the chronic pains that contributed to the end


SPORTS of their gymnastics careers. Both minor and more significant physical issues can contribute to athletes retiring from gymnastics. Chris Hummel, gymnastics head athletic trainer, said he frequently sees ankle injuries, stress fractures, ligament injuries and lower back problems in the gymnasts he treats. Serious knee ligament injuries and chronic issues, in particular, are often season- or career-ending. Hummel also noted that gymnasts enter the sport at a very young age, a circumstance that can lead to their bodies deteriorating as they progress in the sport. “They start at 3 or 4 years old, and once they get to college, they’ve been doing gymnastics for 14 or 15 years,” he said. “That cumulative effect really takes its toll on their bodies.” Athletes also named the mental strain that they experienced in gymnastics as a motivator to leave the sport. Lowell described a feeling of “burning out” and her desire to experience something new as the reasons for retiring from gymnastics and switching to diving. “I knew I was done around 11th grade,” she said. “My mom and my coach kept pushing me to get to college and telling me it would be really fun, and it was fun. But I got to the point where gymnastics was taking up so much of life, and I realized I had never tried anything else.” Gymnastics head coach Rick Suddaby acknowledged the constant mental focus and strength that is demanded of high-level gymnasts. “They deal with fear every day,” Suddaby said. “They can’t make mistakes. … They have to be on because if not, it could physically cost them.” Freshman Meghan Matheny, who transitioned to pole vault in eighth grade, said the high-pressure environment of gymnastics contributed to her decision to retire. “I consider myself a perfectionist, and in gymnastics, you’re always striving for a perfect 10,” she said. “The point is to be perfect, so every time I wasn’t, I really got in my head about it.” Matheny said one of the biggest reasons why she settled on pole vault as her new sport was that it offered a change from that rigid environment. “My knees used to shake before I went on beam,” she said.

“[Pole vault] is just something that I love so much more. I’ve finally found what I’m actually passionate about.” The athletes who chose to transition to diving were looking to experience the same sensation they got from gymnastics in a different setting. Like gymnastics, diving requires athletes to mentally overcome competing at heights and performing dangerous skills in the air. Lowell explained that this fear factor

Freshman Meghan Matheny said she switched from gymnastics to pole vaulting for a change in environment. JULIA CHERRUAULT/THE ITHACAN

From left, sophomore Juliann Terry, freshman Meghan Matheny and sophomore Emily Carey are now pole vaulters. ELIAS OLSEN/THE ITHACAN

My knees used to shake before I went on beam. [Pole vault] is just something that I love so much more. — Freshman Meghan Matheny is what drew her to diving after she left the gymnastics team. Sophomore diver Jocelyn Pawcio, who had no diving experience before college, said the strong spatial and body awareness that she developed from gymnastics also serves her well during diving. For some of the divers, the patience the sport requires was a difficult adjustment. “We know how to twist, but it’s the little things like waiting in the air before you start the twist,” Lowell said. “In gymnastics, when you finish a twist, you hit the floor, and it’s going to stop you, but in diving, it’s being able to stop yourself. Though she had to leave the sport she had put so many years into at the start of this season, Lowell described finding a new home with her teammates on the diving team. “I was definitely nervous to leave the gymnastics team, but they are so welcoming and understanding,” she said. “It doesn’t matter what you do. You can fail a dive, you can smack hard or miss a practice, and they’ll always be there.”



Educating all athletes Physical therapy students work with club athletes By Jack Murray — Assistant Sports Editor

Bombers Helping Bombers was formed last year to help club-sport athletes. ELIAS OLSEN/THE ITHACAN

Ithaca College men’s club volleyball practices a drill during a workshop Nov. 27. ELIAS OLSEN/THE ITHACAN


When sixth-year physical therapy students Andrew Ward and Robert Allen were treating athletes at the physical therapy clinic in the Hill Center at Ithaca College, they both noticed substantial differences in body awareness between varsity and club athletes. Ward and Allen thought the divide in knowledge was unfair, so, last year, they founded a new program at the college, called Bombers Helping Bombers, that supplies club athletes with exercises to strengthen and protect the muscles used most often in their respective sports. Ward said the purpose is to try to prevent injuries from happening in club sporting games and practices. “Varsity athletes have coaches and strength training, while club athletes are just going back to play each day without any guidance,” Ward said. “I thought this was unfair; they are both getting hurt and playing really hard.” The college offers 14 varsity-level sports for women and 11 varsity-level sports for men. The college also offers 27 competitive sports clubs and 14 performance and recreational clubs. While there are 16 more club programs than varsity programs, the disparity in available resources for club athletes and varsity athletes is immense. For example, every varsity program has a head trainer who works directly with the team, while club teams are student-run and any trainer advice and usage is on individual not team-sponsored. The organization started last year as both Ward and Allen gathered their colleagues and organized workshops for club teams like men’s soccer and basketball. Last summer, they presented the idea to Sean Reilley, program coordinator of the Office of Recreational Sports, and Reilley helped Bombers Helping Bombers hire a staff of 12 physical therapy students. The students are paid hourly for the workshops, which typically run one to three hours at a time, and the program is funded by the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies. Ward said the organization was granted funding as a result of serving the club sports division of the recreation department. Allen said the program helps physical therapy students because it gives them real-world experience with young athletes who could use guidance in their preparations for competing. He said the workshop setting allows the trainers to reach a large group of people in a limited amount of time and still give a personal touch. “We have always wanted to do sports-specific type of things,” Allen said. “Having a workshop


From left, graduate students Robert Allen and Andrew Ward conduct a workshop for the Ithaca College men’s club volleyball team Nov. 27. ELIAS OLSEN/THE ITHACAN

is the ideal way because, in health care, people are realizing that it’s better to be preventative as opposed to reactive.” Sophomore Paul Brecht, player on the men’s club basketball team and a representative for the team’s coaching committee, said the trainers helped the team create a warmup routine that better prepare the players’ bodies for the upcoming games. “With club, it is a little less formal,” Brecht said. “We did not really have a great warmup routine, so our president last year asked them to come in and design a warmup for us, some stretching for us and, overall, stuff that translates in games and also to keep us healthy in practices.” The warmup consists of nine dynamic exercises, such as Frankensteins, which involve touching one’s arms to their opposite feet and alternating after each repetition, and high knees, which help engage the body to perform at a high level. The trainers also identify what muscles are commonly used to perform the actions necessary for the sport so they can train the athletes to correctly care for them and avoid overuse injuries. Brecht said this helped the athletes train the correct muscles for peak performance. So far in Fall 2018, the program has worked

with the equestrian club, men’s club basketball, club ice hockey, IC Unbound and men’s club volleyball. The organization’s largest workshop has been with IC Unbound, which brought 30 participants to the event. Senior Samantha Seidita, president of IC Unbound and a physical therapy student, said the trainers kept everyone engaged and interested in the subject matter. “We split into five different groups, and every group would have fifteen minutes at each station,” Seidita said. “We would work on different things such as landing mechanics [and] stretching.” Seidita said IC Unbound has experienced a few injuries this semester and have had semesters where there are many. Junior Jordan McMahon, chair of performance for IC Unbound said that following the steps they learned from the trainers has helped the group stay healthy. Senior Richard Evans, president of the men’s club volleyball team, attended his team’s workshop Nov. 27. He said the workshop focused on muscles that are important in volleyball, including exercises rotator cuff exercises, leg exercises and abdominal exercises. The team was also given sheets of example workouts that would continue to train the muscles used in volleyball.


Men’s volleyball is not a varsity sport at the college. Club sports at the college do not typically get the same resources that their varsity peers do, so, Evans said, this program really helps club athletes get the information they otherwise would not learn about their bodies. “Varsity athletes have professional coaches who really know how to train their athletes’ bodies,” Evans said. “With us, we are all alone. ... Even though we are a club, we definitely need to still stay in shape and take care of our bodies.” Ward said the workshops benefit the trainers because they are able to understand what they are learning in the classroom on a different level. “It’s so applied,” Ward said. “In a classroom, you learn concepts and techniques, but it’s not often that someone comes to you and says, ‘I need this. Here is the sport I play; help me break this down.’ ... Every single workshop allows us to come full circle and really help educate people.” Ward said the program’s intentions are straightforward: The trainers just want to help their fellow students improve their health. “Our name is Bombers Helping Bombers, and that is important in defining who we are,” Ward said. “We are using what we know and love to help other students do what they love.”


TOP: Junior Sarah Horbacewicz participates in a Monday night skate. BOTTOM: Junior Robert Melikyan adjusts his laces during practice at The Rink. KRISTEN HARRISON/THE ITHACAN

Club figure skating team creates community Weekly skates bring the team together By Tyler Evans — Staff Writer




hen the academic buildings at Ithaca College dim for the night, just seven miles away The Rink in Lansing, New York, is illuminated, as Ithaca College figure skating club members lace up their skates and step on the ice with blades 4 millimeters thick and perform cutting moves with power and beauty. The club gets together from 9:15 to 10:30 p.m. Monday nights throughout the academic year to practice their twists, leaps and twirls at The Rink. When the participants enter the ice, they spread around the arena, sometimes using the boards for balance, and stretch their muscles before they begin their practice. Unlike other club sports at the college, the figure skating program does not run drills or formal practice session activities. Instead, members can skate at their own pace without any enforcement from a coach. This allows the club to attract beginners who are just learning how to skate, as well as longtime skaters. This range of talent allows for a spectacle of experienced skaters to leap in the air and land flawlessly while others are just getting used to being on the ice. Senior club president Noelle Sullivan, who has been with the club for four years, said that the figure skating club allowed her to reinvigorate her passion for skating. “When I was really young, I used to figure skate all the time, but it got too expensive, so

I had to stop,” Sullivan said. “When I got to college, the figure skating team was a cheap, affordable way to skate again.” The club currently costs $100 per semester for each member, which includes free skate rentals. The dues also go toward renting out the ice. By comparison, competitive figure skating at the youth level can have costs as high as $10,000 per year, a price that combines the need for coaching, travel and costumes for the typically high-intensity sport. For others, the figure skating club was a factor in choosing the college. Sophomore vice president Victoria Garritt, who had skated for years prior, said the club played a role in her decision to attend the college. Garritt said she started competing at the age of seven, as well as season shows, every year until ninth grade. She has skated recreationally since. “Even though I have skated at a high level for so long, the team is really fun to be a part of and is such a part of my college life,” Garritt said. Since the club’s creation in 2012, it has grown from 10 to 20 consistent club members and even includes more people who show up occasionally to enjoy the free skate time. “Our team is welcoming of all skaters,” Sullivan said. “We consider the team to be a fun, laid-back environment for all skaters. You do not need to be a high-level figure skater.” Sullivan runs the team practices because there is no official coach for the figure skating

club. Although the team does not offer specific lessons, many of the members have taught before and have experience working with beginners. “We let new skaters know that [we] would be happy to take the time to teach people new things,” said Sullivan. “We do not want anyone to be discouraged from joining because they think they cannot skate.” At practice, the members often skate in large groups in a line formation, circling around the rink while talking to one another and listening to pop music over the speakers. The team has tried to incorporate fun activities and games like races during practice. Sullivan also said the team wants to set up a pickup hockey game in the future. “Some people come every week and keep to their small group of friends,” said Sullivan. Sophomore Ashley Hull said that joining the club opened her up to a community that was open and friendly, one she was not aware existed at the college until she joined. “I see this team as a really nice way to meet people with common interests,” Hull said. The club is largely female-dominated and only has one consistent male member. Junior member Robert Melikyan said he was initially nervous to join the club of all women. However, he said that he was proven wrong. “They accepted me almost immediately,” Melikyan said. “The team really feels like a family.”

Club figuring skating members get together Monday nights to practice their twists, leaps and twirls at The Rink in Ithaca. KRISTEN HARRISON/THE ITHACAN



Overcoming obstacles Senior women’s tennis player recovers from shoulder injury By Jack Murray — Sports Editor

On Feb. 18, 2018, the Ithaca College women’s tennis team faced the University of Rochester in its season opener. While the Bombers fell 2–7 to the Yellowjackets, then-sophomore Jane Alkhazov competed in an extremely competitive sixth-singles match against Rochester’s then-freshman Julia Steinberg that lasted for over two hours. When Alkhazov woke up the next morning, she could not lift her right arm at all. Alkhazov was diagnosed with a torn labrum, which is a cuff of cartilage located in the shoulder that is adjacent to the humeral head and below the rotator cuff. The injury immediately ended her second season with the Bombers. She said the injury occurred as a result of her intense overhand serve that she used at the beginning of her career. She said that the constant overhead motion from the serve led to her gradually wearing away her labrum over time and that the long duration of the match led to the tear. “It was definitely the repetitive serving motion,” Alkhazov said. “I have a history of when I am serving, my shoulder will pop out.” The women’s tennis team was able to add then-sophomore Parley Hannan, who was able to take Alkhazov’s spot in the lineup for the remainder of the season. Alkhazov was not ready to return for the Bombers’ first fall tournament Sept. 8 but was able to compete for their second tournament Sept. 15. This was not Alkhazov’s first shoulder injury in her tennis career. In the past, she had torn her rotator cuff, which is directly above the labrum. Alkhazov said the injury to her labrum was impacted by her previous shoulder injury. “The shoulder is already one of the most unstable joints in the body,” Alkhazov said. “Any kind of injury to it creates a higher risk of reinjury.” Though tearing her labrum led to a lengthy recovery time over her offseason, her background as a student in the six-year physical therapy program at the college helped guide her on how she should be recovering. She said she was able to take what she was learning in the classroom and transfer it to her body. “Conceptualizing what was there in front of me was what was happening in my body helps me put things into perspective and identify the problem and how to solve it,” she said. Barbara Belyea, clinical professor and associate chair of the Department of Physical Therapy, said that while having a physical therapy background will help a patient in their recovery

period, seeking an outside opinion is crucial in recovering as quickly and proficiently as possible. “Sometimes, we are injured in a way that we can’t treat ourselves,” Belyea said. “Sometimes, similar to physicians, we make the worst patients. We think we know what is wrong, and we might be missing something in our clinical decision making that a colleague would pick up on.” Alkhazov was able to use her knowledge of physical therapy, as well as her previous experiences with a shoulder injury, to create her own home exercise program that helped her get a head start on her recovery with a clinical physical therapist when she returned home. Belyea said a home exercise program is typical for what professional physical therapists will assign to their patients so that they can continue healing even when they are not currently being treated. Alkhazov was able to return to the Bombers on Sept. 15 at the Ithaca Invitational. She said that though she dropped both of her matches, competing again helped her get out of the mental struggle that a significant injury can cause. Since her return, she has had to adjust her game slightly. She previously focused on the pace of the ball on her serves but has taken a different approach to serving since her injury. “My serve took a hit because I was scared to go my full speed,” Alkhazov said. “I picked up a one-handed backhand and an underhand serve with the help of Coach Austin.” Tennis head coach Bill Austin said Alkhazov has added these shots to her repertoire so that she is not doing the same motions as consistently, thus reducing the risk for reinjury. Austin also said that as Alkhazov has improved her strength and gotten back to full health, she has been able to bring back elements of her old game. Alkhazov participated in all five spring matches for the Bombers and said that she has felt better since returning full-time to the court. “It feels really good to be hitting the ball like I used to hit it,” Alkhazov said. Junior Brianna Ruback said that having Alkhazov back helps the team both on and off the court. Ruback said that she appreciates Alkhazov’s background in physical therapy, as it allows her to seek out advice for recovering from injuries that affect tennis players on a daily basis. “If something is bothering me, I would go to her,” Ruback said. “I think it’s good to have teammates who have a background in this field to add additional support from the perspective of a student.”


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Junior Jane Alkhazov returned to the tennis court in Spring 2019 after tearing cartilage in her shoulder. SABRINA CHANG/THE ITHACAN



The year in sports

The Ithacan sports editors list the top achievements of the year 04 Sophomore gymnast wins on bars at national championship

Sophomore Courtney Christoforo earned an individual title on the uneven bars at the National Collegiate Gymnastics Association Championship which took place on March 23, 2019, in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. MAXINE HANSFORD/THE ITHACAN




Senior Bomber baseball player pitches a single-hit shutout

Women’s basketball player sinks extraordinary half-court shot

The Ithaca College women’s basketball team defeated Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in its Senior Day competition Feb. 2, 2018. Senior guard Annie Giannone sank a half-court buzzer beater to force the game into overtime, and the Blue and Gold came out on top.

02 IC football wins second straight Cortaca Jug by three points

As snow fell and fans shivered in the stands Nov. 10, 2018, the Ithaca College Bombers defeated the SUNY Cortland Red Dragons in the 60th annual Cortaca Jug football game 24–21.



The men’s and women’s track and field teams win Liberty League The Ithaca College men’s and women’s track and field teams both claimed their second consecutive Liberty League Indoor Championship titles Feb. 23, 2019.


Senior pitcher Jake Binder pitched a nine-inning, one-hit shutout to secure a 2–0 win against California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California. Binder was honored by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association or the achievement.

09 Bomber volleyball wins the NCAA Regional Championship game

The Bombers won the Regional Championship by defeating Carnegie Mellon University. The win marked the second time in program history that Ithaca College volleyball won two consecutive regional championships.

Graduate student places at women’s diving nationals Graduate student Anna Belson finished out her diving career at Ithaca College with third-and fourth-place finishes on the 3-meter and 1-meter boards respectively at the NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championships March 20–23, 2019. ABBEY LONDON/THE ITHACAN

03 Senior women’s lacrosse player sets assist record for the Bombers

Senior attacker Allie Panara set a record for all-time career assists at Ithaca College on April 6. Panara had more assists than anyone in the history of the program due to her superior field vision.


07 Men’s soccer makes it to Liberty League Championship The Ithaca College men’s soccer team was defeated in penalty kicks in the Liberty League Conference final by St. Lawrence University on Nov. 4, 2018. The Bombers ultimately fell to St. Lawrence in overtime.


10 Wrestling finishes in fourth place at the NCAA Championships

The Ithaca College wrestling team competed in the two-day NCAA Championships on March 8 and 9 in Roanoke, Virginia. The South Hill squad finished fourth out of 74 colleges.

2018–19 seasons


How Bombers’ sports teams ended their seasons* Women’s Sports: Basketball Record:


Crew Record:


(1st varsity boat) Cross-Country Record:

5th in the Liberty League Field Hockey Record:


Golf Record:


Gymnastics Record:


Lacrosse Record:


Men’s Sports: Baseball

Sculling Record:





Soccer Record:



16–11 Crew

Softball Record:




(1st varsity boat)

Swimming and Diving Record:


Cross-Country Record:

4th in the Liberty League

Tennis Record:


Football Record:



Track and Field Record:



Liberty League indoor champions


Volleyball Record:





Swimming and Diving Record:


Tennis Record:


Track and Field Record:

Liberty League indoor champions Wrestling Record:


*These standings were compiled as of April 9, 2019. Some spring seasons are ongoing. Season record data courtesy of Ithaca College Athletics.

Looking Ahead Ithaca College students give their input on the 2020 presidential race. Meanwhile, the Democratic field crowds with presidential hopefuls — more than one year out from the election.


House Democratic women are dressed in white for President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. OLIVIER DOULIERY/ABACA PRESS



Students give their takes on 2020 race Despite being more than one year away, the 2020 presidential election is already heating up By Ryan King — Assistant News Editor *This article was published Jan. 30, 2019, prior to some candidates entering the race and others dropping out. The story that follows reflects what was known about the race at the time. The students interviewed below based their opinions off the candidates listed. Two full years have passed since the 2016 presidential election, but preparations for the next presidential election are already underway. Although the election season has yet to formally begin, the 2020 election has already made history. The Democratic primary for 2020 has become the most diverse primary of any major party in U.S. history. On the Democratic side, Pete Buttigieg,

mayor of South Bend, Indiana; Julián Castro, former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development; former Rep. John Delaney; Rep. Tulsi Gabbard; Sen. Kamala Harris; Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand; Sen. Elizabeth Warren; and entrepreneur Andrew Yang have already declared their candidacies. There has also been widespread speculation that at least two dozen others prominent figures have a strong interest in declaring their candidacy for the Democrat Party nomination, including Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Cory Booker, former Attorney General of the United States Eric Holder, former mayor Michael Bloomberg, former Vice President Joe Biden and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke.

On the Republican side, President Donald Trump is the only prominent Republican to declare his candidacy. But there has been some discussion in Republican circles about “primarying” him or challenging him for the Republican Party nomination. Former Ohio Gov. John Kasich and former Sen. Jeff Flake have alluded to challenging Trump. If any of them were to challenge him, it would be the first time a sitting U.S. president has faced a significant primary challenge in approximately 30 years. The last time a situation like that occurred was in 1992 when Pat Buchanan challenged then-President George H.W. Bush. Bush subsequently lost the general election.

Freshman Adam Kluge

Sophomore Alexandra Adams

Sophomore Elijah Nishiura

“I think as long as there’s someone that focuses on human rights, women’s rights and equity amongst people and the idea that morality can trump any level of division and partisanship, [we’ll be] moving in the right direction.”

“I like Beto [O’Rourke]. I think he’d be a great representative. I wanted him to win in the midterms. I just think, moving forward, that he’s the most Democratic policy-oriented candidate, and that’s important to me.”

“I just want any Democrat except for Bernie because he’s not a Democrat. That’s probably not a popular opinion on this campus. I think that we shouldn’t lose who we are as Democrats, but also spread a message to reach a wide range of people.”

Junior Farwa Shakeel

Sophomore Fionna McSweeney

Sophomore Jeremy Puente

“I have been a Joe Biden fan since 2016. I don’t think he’s officially thrown his name in the ring yet, but I think he’s the one I will be voting for. … I think the most important thing is that as a Democratic Party, our platform ... is something that can bring people from both sides of the aisle to vote.”

“Anyone but Trump. I want someone who is very passionate about the environment and creating positive environmental change. And implementing policies that would work to combat the impact of climate change that we are seeing and work toward moving toward clean, renewable energy.”

“I don’t know who’s running in 2020, but I know that they will be better than this past election. I am hoping to see a more diverse leader. I want to see growth in this country. It just seems like the way the country is now, it seems like they are pushing it to stay a certain way.” KRISTEN HARRISON/THE ITHACAN



Off to the races

Scores of Democrats announce their 2020 bids The Democrats

by announcement date Kirsten Gillibrand

Pete Buttigieg

John Hickenlooper

Announced: March 17

Announced: March 4

Announced: Jan. 23

Gillibrand has been a senator from New York since 2009, replacing Hillary Clinton. Before that, she served in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Former governor of Colorado until January 2019, and former mayor of Denver.

Current mayor of South Bend, Indiana. Buttigieg is known for being young, at 37 years old, as well as openly gay and an Afghan War veteran.

Jay Inslee Announced: March 1 Current Governor of Washington, and previous representative from Washington from 1993 to 1995 and again from 1999 until 2012, respectively, in the House.


Joe Biden


Elizabeth Warren Announced: Feb. 9 Current senator from Massachusetts since 2013. Warren was previously a professor at Harvard Law School and helped create the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.


Kamala Harris

“Announced:” March 16

Announced: Jan. 21

Former vice president to Barack Obama and longtime Delaware Senator. Biden let slip he was planning on running by saying he was running, then corrected himself. He has not made a formal announcement. However, any plans he may have to announce have been marred by controversy as women came forward with allegations of inappropriate interactions with the politician.

Harris is a senator from California, serving since she was elected in 2016. She was previously the California attorney general.


Bernie Sanders Announced: Feb. 19 Vermont senator and self-titled democratic socialist. He finished as the runner-up in the 2016 Democratic primary.


Tulsi Gabbard Announced: Feb. 2 Current congresswoman representing Hawaii’s 2nd District in the U.S. House since 2013. Gabbard is also among the youngest candidates at 37 years old, and has served in Iraq.


Beto O’Rourke Announced: March 14 Former three-term U.S. representative from El Paso, Texas. O’Rourke lost his 2018 Senate race to Ted Cruz.


Amy Klobuchar Announced: Feb. 10

Current U.S. Senator from Minnesota, serving since 2007. Klobuchar also previously served as a county attorney in Minnesota.

Eric Swallwell, Tim Ryan, Wayne Messam, Marianne Williamson, Julián Castro, John Delaney and Andrew Yang are also running.

Announced: Feb. 1 Booker made history as the first African American U.S. Senator from New Jersey. He has served in that position since 2013. He was also previously the mayor of Newark from 2006 to 2013.


The Republicans Donald Trump Filed for reelection the day of his inauguration Incumbent and current president of the United States.

William Weld Announced plans to form an exploratory committee Feb. 15 A former Justice Department official, and former governor of Massachusetts from 1991 to 1997. Weld was vice president on the Libertarian ticket in 2016.


THE ITHACAN 2018 – 19


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Senior Allison Brunner performs research for her field guide about moths in the Ithaca College Natural Lands. CAROLINE BROPHY/THE ITHACAN




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