Year in Review 2021-2022

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2021–22 EDITOR Avery Alexander


DESIGNER Anna McCracken



THE ITHACAN E DI T OR- I N- C H I E F A le x i s Manore M A NAGI NG E DI T OR S Frankie Walls Eva Sal z m an COM M U N I T Y OU T R E AC H M A NAGE R Ca ssie L ogedo OPI N ION E DI T OR S Zahra San dhu Gi anny Gu z m an N E WS E DI T OR S Elija h de Ca stro Caitlin Holtz m an A SSISTA N T N E WS E DI T OR S L or ie n Ty n e Olivi a Stan zl Syd Pie r re Jilli an Ble ie r L I F E & CU LT U R E E DI T OR S Mik e Ross Eva Sal z m an A SSISTA N T L I F E & CU LT U R E E DI T OR S Natalie Tr ibi an o Elija h de Ca stro SP ORTS E DI T OR S Tommy Mum au Conn or Glunt

A SSISTA N T SP ORTS E DI T OR S A i dan Charde Tommy Mum au PHOT O E DI T OR S A n a Mani aci Mc G ough Eleanor K ay A SSISTA N T PHOT O E DI T OR S Nolan Saun de rs Bre n dan Iannucci A lyssa Beebe A n a Mani aci Mc G ough M U LT I M E DI A E DI T OR S Mac k Rove nolt Caye nn e L ac ko - Cave Er ika Pe rkin s

DESIGN E DI T OR S Malik Cle m e nt Br i ann a Tovar A nn a Mc Crac k e n A SSISTA N T DESIGN E DI T OR A bbe y L on don SOC I A L M E DI A M A NAGE R S Sarah Marbai x A bby Mo ore A D SA L ES M A NAGE R S L aura A r i a s Monta s Camille Broc k I N T E R I M I T H AC A N A DV ISE R Ca se y Mu sar ra

P ODC A ST E DI T OR Sim on Wang Ilyan a Ca stillo C H I E F COPY E DI T OR Mag gie Haef ne r PRO OF R E A DE R Meg Mar z ella A SSISTA N T PRO OF R E A DE R S Emily Fi sc he r Zahra San dhu W E B DI R ECT OR Sa m Edelste in

© 2021–22 | THE ITHACAN




TABLE OF CONTENTS 8–9 From the Editors



10 Global News

41 Dean Searches

11 August & September

42–43 Shirley M. Collado’s Departure

12 October

44 Presidential Search

13 November

45 AAUP Calls for Transparency

14 December

46 President La Jerne Cornish

15 January

47 Reaction to 10th President

16 February 17 March 18 By the #s Ithaca College

48 Center for IDEAS Director 50–61 STUDENT AFFAIRS 51 Student Veteran Support

19 By the #s Global

20–25 PROFILES 20 Profiles 21 Joy Rutt 22 Cameron Narimanian 23 Khangelani Mhlanga 24 Neha Patnaik 25 Kam’ren Spence

26–91 NEWS

52 Zine Addresses Rape Culture 53 Commentary: Transfer Students 54 Inflation 55 Commentary: Free Public Transportation 56 Mouse Sightings 57 Understaffing 58 Health Support & Services 59 Commentary: College Fails Students of Color 60 Campus Climate Initiative 61 Day of Learning: Grappling with Antisemitism 62–75 GREATER ITHACA COMMUNITY


63 Mayor Svante Myrick Resigns


64 Gentrification

31 Alumni Donations

65 Acting Mayor Laura Lewis

32 Sakai to Canvas

66 Trader K’s Closing

33 Opera Director Program

67 Reproductive Rights Rally

34 Academic Program Prioritization Phase Two

68–69 Ithaca Decarbonization Plan

35 Editorial: Music Theater School Merger 36 Tuition Increase 37 Commentary: Course Registration

70–71 Toxicology Lab 72 Synagogue Hostage Crisis Response 73 Afghan Refugees


74–75 Local Ukraine Community Protest 76–85 COVID-19

112–121 REVIEWS 112 Candyman

77 In-Person Fall Classes

113 Encanto

78 Booster Shots

114 Dune

79 Quarantine Regulations

115 Tick, Tick ... Boom!

80 Indoor Mask Mandate Dropped

116 Shang-Chi

81 Editorial: Mask Mandate Removal

117 The French Dispatch

82 Surveillance Testing

118–119 Album Reviews

83 Testing Options

120–121 Summer & Winter Movie Reviews

84 Spring Semester Reopening

122–123 Popped Culture

85 Pandemic Budget Cuts 86–91 SAFETY


87 Two Swastikas Discovered


88 Cornell University Bomb Threats

126–147 SPORTS

89 Shots-Fired Incident 90 College Stresses Student Vigilance 91 Pellet Gun Shootings


128–129 62nd Cortaca Jug 130 Cortaca Jug 2022 Venue 131 Editorial: 63rd Cortaca Jug Sparks Concerns 132 IC Athletes Attend NCAA Convention 133 All-Americans

94–95 Apple Fest Returns

134 Football Kicker Travels Country

96 Astrology

135 Sprinter Breaks 60-Meter Dash Record

97 School of Music Mental Health Group

136 Basketball Guard 1,000 Career Points

98–99 Via’s Cookies

137 Freshman Gymnastics Athletes

100–101 Fall 2021 Photo Spread

138–139 Senior Wrestler to Assist Coach

102 Campus Hip-Hop Culture

140 Club Sports

103 Super Hearts Day Nerf Event

141 Editorial: Limited Club Sports Funding

104–105 State and National Parks

142 Gender Equity Gap

106–107 Bee Fest

143 Women’s Cross Country Captain

108-109 The Milkstand

144–145 Equestrian Club

110 NFT Trend

146 Football Head Coach Leaves

111 Editorial: Cons of NFTs

147 New Football Head Coach




Editor-in- Chief, The Ithacan I can still remember the first time I stepped into The Ithacan’s newsroom. As a high school junior whose previous journalism experience was a single journalism class, I was enthralled by the rows of editors working on computers, the whirr of the printer as pages were printed and pasted on the flats, the floor-to-ceiling windows that allow sunshine to filter into the office and the suspiciously stained but extremely comfy couches that I’d end up taking countless naps upon. It was at that moment that I decided I wanted to go to Ithaca College and that I’d be editor-in-chief of The Ithacan. I somehow managed to fulfill that promise to my teenage self, and as my time as editor-in-chief of The Ithacan comes to a close, I find myself just as enthralled by the feeling of a newspaper in my hands; of seeing editors working at their computers; of the red fleece blanket that I keep wrapped around myself at all times; of my managing editor Eva Salzman, who is always ready to greet me with a story to share. I’ve treasured all of these moments — not just because I’m about to graduate — but also because I was constantly afraid that it would all be ripped from me like it was in March 2020. This was the college community’s first full year of being completely on campus in two years. We entered the 2021–22 academic year with hesitance, unsure if our lives would be turned upside down yet again, with that uncertainty exacerbated by the resignation of President Shirley M. Collado. Throughout the year, the college community stumbled its way through the omicron variant; the ongoing Academic Program Prioritization process; the creation of the School of Music, Theatre and Dance; through acts of antisemitism that rocked the campus; and the appointment of La Jerne Cornish, the college’s 10th president, all while unsure of what the pandemic would throw at us next. Nonetheless, members of the campus community came together to support each other during times of need. I’m thankful for everyone who has contributed to The Ithacan: former adviser Michael Serino, interim adviser Casey Musarra, the writers, photographers, videographers and the current editors who have worked tirelessly to publish The Ithacan every week. If there’s one thing I’ve learned at The Ithacan and at Ithaca College, it’s that the people around you that make your experience what it is.


AVERY ALEXANDER E d i t o r, Ye a r i n R e v i e w

When I chose to come to Ithaca College, it wasn’t because of The Commons or the view or even the seemingly endless selection of restaurants — although those were perks. No, I chose this institution for two major reasons: The Ithacan and the journalism program. The moment I laid eyes on The Ithacan office, smelled that newsprint, watched editors clacking away at their keyboards, I knew that this is where I needed to be. I waltzed onto campus freshman year knowing that this is what I was going to do for the rest of my life. And while The Ithacan delivered on all of its promises — I have had some of the best times of my life here and formed lasting bonds with many amazing people — the journalism major didn’t. As a Black woman in the program, I have been made to feel like an alien in my own classrooms, my voice diminished and my self-worth challenged. I would walk into classes with dread pushing at my throat, tears threatening to burst from my eyes as I allowed people who should have been my mentors and protectors to walk all over me. Many of my professors were absolute treasures, but others made me feel perpetually unworthy. In my sophomore year, I decided that I would never become a journalist. Not because I couldn’t cut it, but because I couldn’t stand spending the rest of my life being treated like this. Now, I am working toward a future in education and graduating with a bachelor’s in English. While I will never regret distancing myself from an environment in which I felt actively disrespected, I did regret stepping away from The Ithacan. When interim adviser Casey Musarra and managing editor Eva Salzman reached out to me about the Year in Review editor position, I saw it as an opportunity to reconnect with what I have always valued about journalism. I wanted to share stories and promote the voices of people like me — people who may also feel like their voices don’t matter. Knowing that someone valued my work enough that they wanted me to take on such an important project was enough to rekindle something in me. Even though I’m not planning on becoming a journalist now, having this time — working with a team of amazing people, relearning why I love journalism — was priceless and it is something that I will never regret.



P h o t o E d i t o r, Ye a r i n R e v i e w Spending the past four years photographing life at Ithaca College has been joyous and heartbreaking. I photographed a silent, empty campus during our remote semester when we needed visuals to accompany the stories that we were still writing. I watched the fountains turn back on in Spring 2021 after about two years sitting dry and empty. I cried and held in my rage at almost every single Open the Books rally. I met with and photographed professors who the college administration decided were not important enough to keep around, while the campus community shouted in protest. Ithaca College is my home. It is the place where I stayed when I needed distance from my family when I came out as trans. It is the place where I fell in love, made lifelong relationships and shaped myself into the person who I am. It is with bittersweetness that I reflect on this past academic year. I hold so much anger and sadness in regard to what has happened as a result of the pandemic and the Academic Program Prioritization process, and it feels as though we are moving on too quickly. At the same time, I am overjoyed to finally be able to attend events again, to take photos of people and see their smiles and to capture the vibrancy of life on campus. There is a bit of a stereotype that as journalists, we must remain somewhat aloof and uninvolved. This role has made me more present and engaged with my campus community than I ever would have been had I not been a photographer for The Ithacan. Being witness to the highs and lows of life at this institution for the past four years with my camera has made me care deeply about this place, and I hope that this care shows through in the pages of this Year in Review.


D e s i g n E d i t o r, Ye a r i n R e v i e w Before my time with Year in Review, I was so accustomed to designing within the confines of The Ithacan’s print newspaper. This semester, I found myself faced with the daunting yet incredibly exciting challenge of drawing upon my imagination to craft something new. I wanted to give Year in Review a look it hasn’t had before, so I spent my time religiously looking back at past Year in Review editions and deep-diving on Pinterest for ideas. I wanted to experiment with color, shape and font to express the importance of life returning to campus and bring in an element of childhood nostalgia for those seniors reflecting back on their year and their time in college. Surreal doesn’t even begin to express the feeling I have when I think about all the blood, sweat and tears that have gone into this publication. Although I often tend to diminish the impact of my own work, this experience has allowed me to express the importance of design for what it is — a form of art. When I first began doing design work for The Ithacan almost two years ago I could barely navigate InDesign without Anna Costa, the managing editor at the time, guiding the way. I now feel incredibly humbled by the creative freedom and power that I had while working on this publication, which was only made possible by the trust this team had in me. I have also gained a much greater sense of involvement and connection with my campus community because Year in Review allowed me to learn about issues that I would have never known about otherwise. Creating visually captivating content for these stories is something I keep at the forefront of my mind, so I hope that readers can find meaning and inspiration through our work.


P r o o f r e a d e r, Ye a r i n R e v i e w Copy editing and proofreading, though not the most visible aspects of The Ithacan, are indispensable to the quality of our journalism. Through rigorous fact-checking and editing for spelling, grammar, punctuation and word usage, the copy/proof section ensures the consistency, inclusivity and accessibility of our stories. Boosting media literacy and improving the factual accuracy of the content we publish are responsibilities The Ithacan copy editors and proofreaders do not take for granted, and it has been meaningful to me to contribute to this work over the past four years. Being a part of The Ithacan newsroom has been both a challenge and a profound privilege. Proofreading this publication has afforded me the opportunity to view Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 in retrospect and appreciate the hidden insights that came to the fore. Year in Review preserves this narrow slice of Ithaca College history because it is essential to reflect on the good and the bad to progress as an institution. Like the feelings of comfort and familiarity captured in the cover art, this publication is an ode to the nostalgic past and a new sense of normalcy as we move forward amid the ongoing pandemic. The pages ahead serve to enhance the campus community’s understanding of itself and its leaders and chronicle how statewide, nationwide and global trends are felt at the local level. I cannot thank my Year in Review teammates enough for their commitment to robust reporting, eye-catching design elements, compelling photographs and engaging multimedia content. The long nights and hours of deliberation with this team, in addition to the tireless efforts of The Ithacan staff throughout 2021–22, have culminated in a publication that showcases the most impactful storytelling from this headline-worthy year.







! 2022

Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigned Aug. 24. The politician was accused of assaulting at least 11 women, both inside and outside the state government. On Aug. 3, President Joe Biden called for Cuomo to resign in light of the accusations against him, and a CNN article published Aug. 4 detailed the incidents. The investigation also revealed a pattern of inappropriate conduct and behavior.


Between Aug. 26 and Sept. 4, the Category 4 Atlantic storm Hurricane Ida tore through Venezuela, Columbia, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Cuba, the Gulf Coast, the northeastern United States and Atlantic Canada. Ida was the most destructive hurricane to make landfall in Louisiana since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The storm caused approximately $75.25 billion in damage, making it the fifth-most costly hurricane in recorded history.

PRESIDENT BIDEN WITHDRAWS FROM AFGHANISTAN After President Joe Biden took office, he withdrew troops from Afghanistan. The last of the U.S. soldiers were withdrawn from the country Aug. 30, 2021. The move was wildly criticized for its disorganized nature. During this time, the Taliban began its offensive May 1 and took over the country by Aug. 15.

AUG. 04,2021


The Texas Heartbeat Act, which is an abortion bill banning the termination of an embryo after six weeks, went into effect Sept. 1. Critics of the bill argue that the ban is a deliberate breach of women’s rights and is designed to punish victims of sexual assault.


S E P T. 0 1 , 2 0 2 1


Scarlett Johansson, who played Black Widow in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, sued Walt Disney Studios in July 2021 over an apparent breach in her contract for the movie “Black Widow.” The lawsuit claimed that, by releasing the film on Disney+ for an added fee at the same time as releasing it in theaters, the company caused Johansson to miss out on box-office bonuses. The case was dismissed and settled.



In August 2021, there was a special recall election in California, calling for the reconsideration of Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom. On Sept. 14, 2021, voters chose not to recall Newsom, who was elected for the January 2019–23 term.

Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images

S E P T. 1 4 , 2 0 2 1


In September, the national median rent rose to $1,302, increasing 15% from the year prior. Rent prices fell in 2020 but began steadily increasing at an alarming rate in 2021. Rents were increasing fastest in Sun Belt cities like Phoenix. The increase has been attributed to masses of people returning to urban centers for work and school at the same time.

S E P T. 1 1 , 2 0 2 1



AUG. 24,2021



AUG. 26,2021

The postponed 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics wrapped up Aug. 4, 2021. The top 10 countries with the most medals were the United States, China, Japan, Great Britain, the Russian Olympic Committee, Australia, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and France. The United States, China and Japan earned the most medals overall, with 39 gold and 113 total, 38 gold and 88 total, and 27 gold and 58 total, respectively.


AUG. 30,2021




Mike Groll/Office of former Governor Andrew M. Cuomo



O C T. 0 4 , 2 0 2 1


For the first time in months, communications between North Korea and South Korea reopened Oct. 4. Additionally, both of the countries restored the military hotline along the east and west coasts. The ministry in South Korea said it hopes that communication between the countries will help to ease tensions and lead to more open communication.

O C T. 0 5 , 2 0 2 1


On Oct. 5, a school board in North Carolina banned critical race theory (CRT) in classrooms. This was in response to county commissioners threatening to withhold over $7 million in funding. CRT, which is designed to discuss how racism influences U.S. laws and society, has been dubbed anti-American and anti-capitalist by opponents of the theory. Since January 2021, there has been an expanding crusade against the implementation of CRT in classrooms.

O C T. 2 1 , 2 0 2 1


Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times

Stephanie Keith/Reuters




Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images


While filming the movie “Rust,” actor Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun while practicing for a scene, shooting and killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. The gun was supposed to be “cold,” meaning that it contained no live rounds. Baldwin’s legal team has claimed that Baldwin is not culpable in the shooting, as he was not the one who loaded the gun with the live round.


NOV. 05,2021





Rapper Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival in Houston resulted in the death of 10 people and left hundreds injured Nov. 5. All of the casualties were attributed to compression asphyxia, caused by overpacking of the massive crowd of approximately 50,000 attendees. The injuries triggered a criminal investigation into Scott and the event organizers.


After a Los Angeles court suspended Britney Spears’ father Jamie Spears as his daughter’s conservator in September, the pop sensation’s 13-year-long conservatorship officially ended Nov. 12. Britney testified that the conservatorship was abusive. She said that, along with other abuse, she was drugged, forced to perform against her will and barred from having children.

NOV. 12,2021


Suzanne Cordeiro/AFP/Getty Images

NOV. 21,2021

SIX DEAD AFTER MAN DRIVES THROUGH WISCONSIN PARADE On Nov. 21, a motorist drove through a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin. There were six people killed and 62 injured. The 39-year-old suspect, Darrell Edward Brooks Jr., was released on bond after being charged with domestic violence. The police did not identify a motive for the incident.

Valerie Macon/AFP/Getty Images


35 PEOPLE DEAD AFTER MILITARY CARRIES OUT ATTACK IN MYANMAR An attack carried out by the Myanmar military Dec. 24 in the Kayah state in Myanmar resulted in the death of at least 35 people. The victims were killed and burned and reportedly included three teenagers and a 5-year-old child. In response to these killings, UNICEF emphasized the importance of protecting the lives of civilians and children in times of conflict.


ARCHBISHOP DESMOND TUTU DIES AT 90 YEARS OLD Archbishop Desmond Tutu, an anti-apartheid leader, died Dec. 26 at 90 years old. Tutu received a Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 and was revered for his dedication to civil rights and his tireless struggle in ending apartheid in his home country of South Africa. Tutu was in poor health for years and died in Cape Town, South Africa.



Joanna Jhanda/Contra Costa Times

A massive wildfire in Colorado destroyed thousands of homes and forced approximately 35,000 people to flee. The blaze was the most destructive wildfire in Colorado history, incurring over $500 million in damage. The fire began between Dec. 30 and 31 outside the state’s typical wildfire season, which spans from May to September, and was caused by a combination of factors, including extreme atmospheric conditions, climate change and a windstorm.


Actor Betty White died Dec. 31, just weeks away from her 100th birthday on Jan. 17. The actor was considered a trailblazer in the industry and was known for her sarcastic humor and roles in shows like “The Golden Girls.” White’s agent and friend Jeff Witjas said in a statement, “Even though Betty was about to be 100, I thought she would live forever.”

Courtesy Wellington Fire Protect


DEC. 31,2021

DEC. 30,2021

DEC. 26,2021

DEC. 24,2021


Courtesy of ABC






On Jan. 15, a gunman held four people hostage at the synagogue Congregation Beth Israel located in Colleyville, Texas. The standoff between the suspect and police lasted 11 hours, ending in the police shooting and killing the suspect and none of the hostages being injured. The FBI announced that it was treating the attack as a hate crime and a terrorist act.

e Protect


Tonga was devastated Jan. 15 by an 11-hour-long eruption of the Hunga Ha’apai, or Hunga Tonga volcano. The eruption sent a plume of ash into the atmosphere and continues to baffle scientists, as it was an unprecedented event. Afterward, Tonga, as well as a number of countries along the Pacific Rim and nearby islands, were hit by tsunamis, which caused further damage to the area.

JAN. 15,2022

New Zealand Defense Force/Getty Images

JAN. 15,2022


ta Times

KIM KARDASHIAN AND KANYE WEST END THEIR 6-YEAR-LONG MARRIAGE, LEGALLY SEPARATE AND DIVORCE It was announced in January that, after six years of marriage, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West would be splitting up. The celebrity couple started dating in 2011 and have had four children together since they became romantically involved. Kardashian was declared legally single March 2.

sy of ABC

Jean-Baptiste Lacroix/AFP via Getty Images


Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue


On Feb. 1, actor Whoopi Goldberg was suspended from “The View” due to remarks she made about the Holocaust. She said, “[The Holocaust is] not about race. It’s about man’s inhumanity to man.” The comments garnered immediate criticism from multiple Jewish organizations. Before her suspension, Goldberg offered an apology. She returned Feb. 14.

FEB. 22,2022


On Feb. 22, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott proposed legislation that would view parents providing their transgender children with gender-affirming treatment as child abuse. This order would go against large national medical groups that have deemed these kinds of treatment as necessary for the health of transgender youth.

Elias Valverde II/The Dallas Morning News

FEB. 24,2022

RUSSIAN PRESIDENT LAUNCHES MASSIVE MILITARY INVASION ON NEIGHBORING UKRAINE After weeks of tension, Russia launched an invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24. The invasion was designed to depose the Ukrainian government in order to prevent the country from joining NATO. The overwhelming response to the invasion from other countries was to encourage de-escalation and avoid any major military response. Since the invasion began, hundreds of Ukrainian citizens have been killed, and many more have fled.

Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times





FEB. 01,2022



M MARCH 03,2022




Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

Florida passed the Parental Rights in Education Bill, referred to as the “Don’t Say Gay Bill” by the opposition, on March 8. The bill will prevent public school teachers from kindergarten to third grade from discussing gender identity and sexual orientation with their students. Additionally, the law bans teachers from discussing these topics “in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students.” Opponents say that this addition will cause the law to impact higher grade levels.

MARCH 10,2022


MARCH 08,2022


On March 3, athletes from Russia and its ally country Belarus were banned from participating in the 2022 Beijing Winter Paralympics. Originally, athletes from the Russian Olympic Committee and Belarus were slated to compete, but after threats of boycott from other countries in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Olympic committee banned the athletes and sent them home.

Opening Day for the 2022 MLB season was postponed by a week, as a result of the ninth work stoppage in the sport’s history. The league initially canceled the first two weeks of the season, prior to agreeing on terms for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) on March 10. The labor dispute was resolved on day 99 of the lockout, when the two parties agreed on a five-year CBA. The 2022 MLB season opened April 7, allowing for a full 162-game season.

Cole Burston/Getty Images




BY THE NUMBERS Total Average Cost of Attendance $62,386


$6,800 Board


$46,610 Tuition

Campus Community Diversity Makeup Fall 2021

Academic Programs 2021–22


20.7% Black, Indigenous and People of Color


2.1% International

72.4% White


4.8% Unknown

Undergraduate majors


Undergraduate minors



Graduate programs

Number of Fall Faculty and Administration/Staff 2010–21






Administration/Staff Faculty

0 Fall 2010

Fall 2011

Fall 2012

Fall 2013

Fall 2014

Fall 2015

Sources: IC Office of Administrative Research and Institutional Research


Fall 2016

Fall 2017

Fall 2018

Fall 2019

Fall 2020

Fall 2021



BY THE NUMBERS Top 3 Most Desired Post-Graduation Cities

1. Seattle

3. Los Angeles

2. New York

Source: 2022 Axios-Generation Lab (based on a survey of 506 young Americans age 18–24)

Average Projected Salary for the Class of 2022

Top College in the U.S.


University of California, Berkeley Source: Forbes

Source: The National Association of Colleges and Employers

T H I S Y E A R I N P O P C U LT U R E Top Three Artists Streamed on Spotify 2021


1 Courtesy of Rimas Entertainment

Bad Bunny

Most Popular Song in the World on Spotify in 2021

Courtesy of Universal Music Source: Spotify

“Driver’s License” by Olivia Rodrigo



Courtesy of Big Hit Entertainment

Most Streamed Show in the U.S. in 2021

Courtesy of Republic Records

Taylor Swift Highest Grossing Film in 2021

Courtesy of CBS

Courtesy of Marvel Studios



“Criminal Minds”

“Spider-Man: No Way Home”




Ash Bailot/The Ithacan

Ash Bailot/The Ithacan


Courtesy of Kam’ren Spence


Ash Bailot/The Ithacan




Ash Bailot/The Ithacan




An exploration into five students from each of the five schools at the college.


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thaca College senior Joy Rutt can often be found at Cornell University leading outdoor education courses, like hiking and backpacking, and running outfitting rentals in addition to her senior schedule. She recently started adaptive climbing and runs those programs at Cornell as well. Rutt is majoring in physical therapy (PT) and outdoor adventure leadership (OAL). After graduating, Rutt plans to stay in Ithaca so that she can pursue a doctorate in PT at Ithaca College. “The first three years is a lot of getting your minor done — or, in my case, double major — and prerequisites for the graduate portion,” Rutt said. “Then, we typically have two to four hours of labs for each class. That’s where you really get to practice these techniques and have discussions on what it means to be a physical therapist.” As part of the OAL program’s immersion semester, Rutt was able to spend time backpacking, hiking, rafting and rock climbing across the United States. She said she had originally planned to minor in OAL, but her experience with the minor led her to declare a double major because she enjoyed the opportunities it gave her to work Ash Bailot/The Ithacan with others. An immersion semester is when students get to spend a SCHOOL OF HEALTH SCIENCES AND HUMAN PERFORMANCE semester traveling the United States learning and practicing experience in an excited and helpful way that made her stand out. outdoor skills and leadership while taking a limited number “It was not her knowledge and experience that stood out to me the most,” of classes. Wells said via email. “Yes! That’s a key ingredient to teaching others. It’s her “[There’s] a month of backpacking at [Joshua Tree, California,] about passion for the activity itself that is so infectious.” a week of whitewater rafting on the Deschutes River, rock climbing and While Rutt is heavily involved in outdoor classes and work, the PT prothen mountaineering in the Three Sisters in Oregon,” Rutt said. “There’s gram is also very time-consuming. However, Rutt said that balancing PT also a week of backpacking as our final where, as a group of students, with OAL has not been an issue for her. She said both programs have we completely plan a trip, do all the logistics and then do it without been beneficial. our instructors.” “I really see healing as a holistic experience because we don’t have just Students are given a place to start and end their trip, but the students ulphysical bodies,” Rutt said. “There’s also emotional and mental and, for some, timately decide how they want to get to their destination. However, for Rutt people’s spiritual health. I find a lot of … healing when I’m outside, and that’s and her group, this trip was cut short in Spring 2020 because of COVID-19. really important to me to facilitate that for my patients as well.” Rutt also helps students prepare for their immersion semester with her Lewis said that students often come to the OAL program with one of three adviser, Patrick Lewis, associate professor and chair of the Department of paths in mind. Some have always wanted to work outdoors and this program Recreation and Leisure Studies. helps them achieve that. Others have never heard of it and want to learn more. “This year is the first year we’ve done [the immersion] since COVID,” The third student has an idea of what they want to do that is not 100% outLewis said. “Joy is actually one of the students helping this group prepare doors, but OAL will help them in their pursuit. The last category is where by putting together icebreakers so students can get to know each other, Lewis said Rutt fell. bringing in examples of equipment, that kind of thing.” “The way that she approaches her studies and the content, I think she’s Jennifer Wells, assistant professor in the Department of Recreation and just done a tremendous job of thinking of the ways the outdoors will help her Leisure Studies, with whom Rutt has taken OAL classes, said Rutt’s expein her personal life but also understands what parts are transferable that will rience in OAL and leadership jobs has made her a great leader. Wells said help her in her profession,” Lewis said. Rutt helped to lead a group of inexperienced backpackers and shared her








ameron Narimanian is a senior business administration and marketing major at Ithaca College and he is well accustomed to the balancing act that is being a student leader. In addition to his coursework in which he focuses on business analytics, Narimanian is the vice president of the college’s chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA). Each fall, the AMA runs a national case conference in which chapters from different universities across North America create marketing plans to address a challenge for a given company and compare their results with other chapters at the conference. This year, the AMA’s goal was to figure out how to get more students to sign up for Amazon Prime. As the vice president of the chapter, Narimanian was responsible for recruiting a team to assist in the research and data collection processes and the organization of their plan. “I had a fairly small team, maybe three or four people with me working on it,” Narimanian said. “This past year, it was a lot more hands-on than it’s been done in the past. … It’s basically a semesterlong project. So you have to have everything planned out and have everything ready to go but also make sure you’re able to help with all the nitty-gritty stuff as you go because detail really matters, especially when you go up against schools that have like 30 or 40 people working on it.” Scott Erickson, Dana professor and chair in the Department of Marketing and the college’s AMA adviser, has worked closely with Narimanian throughout his time at the college and his work for the AMA. Erickson said the preparation for the case conference involves elements like qualitative research, interviews with focus groups and surveys. Erickson said that this type of research is what Narimanian focuses on in his coursework and that Narimanian’s passion for data analysis in practice is no different than his passion for it in theory. “He is a really good student,” Erickson said. “He is really interested in analytics, and I think that’s really where he sees himself going — collecting and analyzing data. He works very hard. … He’s one of those kinds of students who is there to contribute and learn something, really organized and really smart. I’ll assign something and he’ll generally have it done first, sometimes a week before everyone else.” Narimanian is also one of the co-founders of the college’s data analysis club, which aims to help students pinpoint their career aspirations in the field of data. Narimanian said that the club hosts speakers at meetings and works on projects, like helping the college analyze its sustainability data,


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SCHOOL OF BUSINESS and that he sometimes even passes on internship information to members. He said that he has a lot of long-term goals for the club so that it can continue to run after he graduates. “With most clubs, if you don’t really have an agenda of what you want to do for the meetings and down the road, it’s kind of useless,” Narimanian said. “If you don’t have a long-term plan of what to do, it’s not going to work out.” In addition to his passion for business analytics, Narimanian is also a musician and one of the co-emcees for the college’s Open Mic Night, a weekly event in IC Square that gives student performers a chance to show off their talents. Junior Ben Macarell is in a band with Narimanian and serves as the other co-emcee for Open Mic Night. Macarell said that Narimanian is largely in charge of the branding and visuals for both their band and open mic events and that his work ethic has helped tremendously in the planning of their performance endeavors. “He knows how to get things done,” Macarell said. “I’ll say that much because, especially since we’ve been trying to get an EP recorded for our band, he’s been the one that’s been like, ‘All right, what needs to happen? How are we going to make this happen? I’m going to make this happen.’”






n March, Ithaca College senior Khangelani Mhlanga, a biology major and international student from Zimbabwe, received a $10,000 grant from Projects for Peace to begin work on her passion project, Project Imbizo. Project Imbizo is a pilot project for what Mhlanga hopes will someday be an online archive for traditional music, art, dances and literature highlighting minority languages from across Zimbabwe. Users will also be able to submit content for review to be uploaded to the website. Mhlanga said that many traditional languages and dances have not been widely recorded online, making them difficult to access. Mhlanga will work with two other researchers, Tinashe Muchuri and Trust Mutekwa, to collect videos of traditional dances and interviews of people from across Zimbabwe about their languages and cultures. “I want to encourage people to be proud of their culture and to be able to feel good expressing it and be able to have access to it,” Mhlanga said. Alongside this project, after graduating, Mhlanga plans to earn a graduate degree in veterinary medicine and then return home to Zimbabwe to work with wildlife. She came to college in the United States because she said that she could not pursue a veterinary medicine degree with a specialization in wildlife in Zimbabwe. While Zimbabwe does have medical schools, none specializes in wildlife. Mhlanga said she grew up surrounded by human-wildlife conflicts. For example, although elephants are endangered, Mhlanga said they still have large populations in some areas of Zimbabwe and can cause problems for farmers. They will raid fields and trample crops, causing tension between the animals and the farmers. She said she learned to accept these conflicts as the norm until she heard stories about veterinarians and scientists mitigating and finding solutions. However, many wildlife vets in Zimbabwe searching for these solutions are foreigners who do not fully understand the cultures of the communities they are working with. “A lot of activists or environmental groups would then come in and say, ‘We need to protect the elephants,’” Mhlanga said. “… That’s where it would end. They wouldn’t really talk about development in these communities or even acknowledge the fact that these communities hold animals to such a high regard.” Mhlanga said that this presence of mostly foreign wildlife veterinarians is a reason that she wants to become a wildlife vet herself. Another longterm goal for Mhlanga is to help to create programs for wildlife veterinary medicine in Zimbabwe so other vets will not have to leave the country to get degrees. “‘I’m not saying that people shouldn’t leave [Zimbabwe] if they want to,” Mhlanga said. “They should. I want them to have the choice to stay or if they want to study abroad like I did. … Especially with the country, so rich in wildlife, it doesn’t make sense for people to need extra things if they

Ash Bailot/The Ithacan

SCHOOL OF HUMANITIES AND SCIENCES want to help.” Mhlanga is also involved in a number of school activities. She is the president of the African Students Association, a member of the college’s International Club, a veterinary assistant at Wildlife Wishing Well and Cayuga Pet Hospital and has worked as an administrative support student in the Office of Student Affairs and Campus Life since her freshman year. “Khangelani is insanely intelligent and hard-working,” said Doreen Hettich-Atkins, executive director of student affairs and campus life. “She works hard for every grade she earns and works to learn as much as she can. … She’s passionate about the things she loves and she will do whatever it takes to achieve her goals.” Senior Letícia Guibunda, an international student from Brazil, met Mhlanga during orientation and they have been friends since. Last year, Guibunda worked with Mhlanga on tardigrade research for the Summer Scholars Program, a project that they co-presented at the Developing Biology New York Conference. Their presentation won the award for Outstanding Poster Presentation. “Since freshman year, [Mhlanga] has had a really big passion for working with wildlife and going to vet school,” Guibunda said. “Over the years, I’ve seen how much she’s worked to be able to have those opportunities and make that space for herself. Her work ethic and her dedication to pursuing her passions is very admirable.”








s an integrated marketing communications (IMC) major in the Roy H. Park School of Communications, senior Neha Patnaik uses her skills in writing and creative thinking to pursue her dream of someday working within the entertainment industry. Throughout her time at the college, she has taken initiative to make this dream a reality. Patnaik said she grew up loving movies, TV shows and all other aspects of media. Inspired by her uncle who had a career in public relations (PR), Patnaik said she thought the field offered a clear path to working a career in entertainment. After undergoing internships at industry giants like Paramount and MTV, Patnaik began to broaden her horizons in her IMC major. She said she enjoyed taking classes on advertising and began to consider pursuing it as a career in the future. Patnaik also serves as the co-president of the college’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America and the co-chair of her senior capstone Ad Lab course. Additionally, Patnaik is working on a research project with Edd Schneider, associate professor in the Department of Strategic Communication, focused on intellectual property management within the Walt Disney Co. The project was recently submitted to 2022 Comic-Con International: San Diego. Besides her dedication to working toward her future in media, in February Patnaik, along with seniors Julia Batista and Haley Anderson, participated in the American Advertising Federation’s (AAF) Most Promising Multicultural Students (MPMS) program. The four-day virtual program offered 50 students across the nation workshops, competitions and networking opportunities. Patnaik said that, after perfecting and submitting her application to MPMS, she was shocked when she received her acceptance email. “I was like, ‘Oh my God, this is so cool,’” Patnaik said. “I did not know I’d get it. It was really surprising.” She said that she found great value in the program and that it provided her with helpful insight into the industry and how to conduct herself in her prospective career. “They really took that week to help you grow as an advertiser,” Patnaik said. “It really showed just how you can be a voice as a person of color and how you can really have your ideas implemented.” Scott Hamula, professor and chair of the Department of Strategic Communication, has been the faculty adviser for the college’s AAF student chapter for 23 years. Hamula recommended the MPMS to Patnaik, but she said that she was unsure about the opportunity at first. She said she did not think she had enough experience or enough time to complete the application.


Ash Bailot/The Ithacan

ROY H. PARK SCHOOL OF COMMUNICATIONS Hamula said that he was overjoyed when Patnaik decided to apply for the program. “She puts in the effort and does everything that it would possibly take to achieve her goals,” Hamula said. Hamula was not the only professor to encourage Patnaik to apply. Arhlene Flowers, professor in the Department of Strategic Communication, met Patnaik during the student’s first year at the college and said she has gotten to know her well since then. “I really have a lot of faith in her and great confidence, so I felt she had a great shot at [MPMS] this year,” Flowers said. Coming out of the program, Patnaik said she feels much more confident in pursuing advertising alongside her first passion, PR. She said she will likely shift between the two until she decides which she wants to pursue. Despite her uncertainty about applying for the MPMS program, Patnaik said that she is glad she did not allow that hesitation to get in the way of the opportunity. “A lot of college students feel that way and that they’re not going to end up at the job of their dreams and they’re not going to get this or that,” Patnaik said. “Coming out of that and getting that acceptance, it just felt really good and it told me that I am doing enough to … be part of an industry that I absolutely love.”






enior Kam’ren Spence, a dual vocal performance and music education major at Ithaca College, works to build a strong community in the School of Music by connecting with his classmates and highlighting the achievements of students of color. “I cannot see myself without music involved, whether that be me singing, me conducting or me playing piano,” Spence said. “It’s just a moment of me being expressive and me sharing with my audience and sharing with my colleagues and peers.” Spence said that collaboration is one of his favorite aspects of music and that deep connections form among people who make music together. “One of the things my colleagues have done for me is giving me the platform to be myself … unapologetically,” Spence said. “That right in itself gives you the space to be vulnerable and to showcase who you are.” As a student of color, Spence said that one of this goals at the college is to increase support for other students of color and boost their presence on campus, especially when it comes to music students. “In the music realm, there is such a huge lack of representation when it comes to BIPOC students, and to be able to encourage them and to fight against that, … I feel like that’s my calling,” Spence said. “That’s what a part of my journey here at IC is for.” On Feb. 22, Spence co-directed the BIPOC Student Showcase Recital with Baruch Whitehead, associate professor in the Department of Music Education. “I knew he would be organized, and I knew that he would do a good job,” Whitehead said. “It was a beautiful program. He did a really exceptional job.” The recital showed what people of color have overcome, from the Black Codes to Jim Crow laws, to be able to exist and perform in the same spaces as white people, Spence said. He said the program showcased the performers’ individuality and authenticity. “I feel honored and blessed to have the opportunity and also to work with such an amazing group of colleagues, amazing group of musicians — professional musicians at that — because that’s what they are,” Spence said. “They are wonderful collaborators.” Martha Guth, assistant professor in the Department of Music Performance, said Spence has a talent for community building. “It seems like his goal is always to make wherever he is better,” Guth said. “I think everybody just gets happier when he walks

Courtesy of Kam’ren Spence

SCHOOL OF MUSIC in the room.” Senior Madison Hoerbelt sang a duet with Spence for his junior recital, “My Dungeon Shook,” which explored Spence’s personal evolution. She said Spence is one of the most supportive people she knows. “As a performer, he’s so prepared and dedicated to what he does that it makes you perform better as a collaborator,” Hoerbelt said. “He always is so dedicated to his friends, his art, his education, everything.” Spence said that music helped him to get through hardships in his life and that he is pursuing music education to help others in the same way. “At a young age, when you’ve been through so much, sometimes you just want a sense of love, a sense of belonging,” Spence said. “And for that, I wanted to be a music educator to give that gift back to my students, to give that gift back to anyone who I am standing in front of because they deserve it. ... They are worthy to be loved, and they are worthy to be praised and acknowledged.” After college, Spence said he plans to perfect his conducting and performing skills as a high school teacher before becoming a professor. He also said he wants to found a nonprofit to ease the transition from high school to college for students of color.




Thomas Thomas Kerrigan/The Kerrigan/The Ithacan Ithacan



Ash Bailot/The Ithacan






A vigil was held for Steven Rorick on Dec. 7. Brendan Iannucci/The Ithacan



teven Rorick, a long-time Ithaca College employee in Terraces Dining Hall, died unexpectedly the morning of Dec. 3. His death was announced to the campus community through an Intercom post Dec. 3 submitted on behalf of Dining Services Director Scott McWilliams. “He had a zeal for life that was apparent to anyone who got to interact with him, and I know we will all miss seeing his smile,” the post said. “He also loved spending time with his nieces and nephews, working around the house and garden and working with his Ithaca College family.” Rorick was a member of the college community for over 30 years. He started as one of the college’s Challenge Industries — a nonprofit that helps people with employment barriers enter the workforce — employees and then transitioned to Terraces Dining Hall. A vigil was held to honor Rorick on Dec. 7 in Muller Chapel.


Courtesy of Vedder-Scott & Zinger Funeral Home



n Dec. 9, Ithaca College announced that Terri Hradisky, administrative assistant in the Center for Counseling, Health and Wellness, died unexpectedly Dec. 8 after a brief illness. Hradisky was an employee at the college for nearly 30 years. She came to the college in 1993 and served under six different medical directors during this time, according to an Intercom post from the college. “She really stepped up during the pandemic to support our students and the college,” the post said. “She often was up early checking emails and faxes and checking in on weekends as well. Our successful Spring 2021 pre-arrival testing process and May Commencement ceremony were in part due to Terri’s hard work.” A virtual community gathering was held Dec. 13 via Zoom to celebrate Hradisky’s life and honor her memory. There was no in-person gathering due to the number of active COVID-19 cases at the time.


Courtesy of Ithaca College

Courtesy of Ithaca College



thaca College Dean of Students Bonnie Prunty announced to the campus community in a Dec. 4 email that Stephen Karl, mental health counselor for the Center for Counseling and Psychological Services, died unexpectedly of natural causes Dec. 3. “Along with the entire IC community, we offer our sincerest condolences to Stephen’s family, friends, colleagues and all who are affected by his passing,” Prunty said in the announcement. “We ask that you please keep him and his loved ones in your thoughts and prayers.” Karl worked primarily with children and adults with symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, depression and anxiety and had experience in treating addiction, according to an Intercom post from Dec. 4. On Dec. 6, approximately 90 members of the Ithaca College community gathered to honor the life of the counselor and share memories of him.



al Reynolds, retired trombone professor in the Department of Music Performance at Ithaca College, died unexpectedly. Reynolds’s death was announced to the campus community Aug. 30 through an Intercom post written by Ivy Walz, interim dean of the School of Music. Reynolds worked at the college for 33 years and served as the adviser for the Trombone Troupe, the college’s trombone choir. The post stated that Reynolds was a beloved colleague, teacher and friend and that the college would be offering support services for the campus community. “I am so very grateful for this community, and I know we will all come together to support one another during this time of grief and great loss,” the post said. The School of Music hosted a memorial service for Reynolds on Nov. 12 . It was held both in person and on Zoom. Alumni and former faculty members performed trombone tributes of some of Reynolds’ favorite songs to pay respects to him.

Courtesty of Ithaca College Athletics



n an email sent May 16, former Ithaca College President Shirley M. Collado and Rosanna Ferro, vice president for student affairs and campus life, notified the campus community via email that sophomore Thomas Fine died unexpectedly May 15. “Please keep Thomas and his loved ones in your thoughts and prayers,” the email stated. “At a time when we are celebrating the end of the academic year, we ask that you also please continue to look out for one another.” Fine was from Hauppauge, New York, and graduated from Hauppauge High School. He was an architectural studies major in the School of Humanities and Sciences as well as a pole vaulter on the men’s track and field team. Before college, he was an athlete in both soccer and pole vaulting and a member of his home county’s champion soccer team, according to an obituary posted on the New Hyde Park Funeral Home’s website May 17.




Ana Maniaci Mcgough/The Ithacan


Abby Brady, Abbey London/The Ithacan




The rate of Ithaca College alumni donations is stabilizing at a percentage lower than the national average. Between 2010 and 2019, the percentage of alumni who donated dropped by about half. In 2010, the rate was 12.2%, and in 2019, it was 6.4%. Wendy Kobler, vice president for philanthropy and engagement, said the percentage was stabilizing between 6.2% and 6.4%, but for the 2020 fiscal year, the rate was 6.2%. While the national average rate of alumni who donate back to their colleges is only 8%, Ithaca College still falls below the average. The last year the college had an alumni donation percentage above 8% was 2015. The college uses initiatives like Ithaca College Giving Day and the Cortaca Jug games to encourage students to get alumni, friends and family to donate. Before the 2019 Cortaca Jug game, Ithaca College and SUNY Cortland held a Cortaca Jug Giving Challenge in which Ithaca College won with 938 gifts and received a $150 donation from SUNY Cortland. During Giving Day there are leaderboards among the five schools at Ithaca College to see which can bring in the most money. Last Giving Day, which was held May 4, 2021, raised over $1 million. There were 3,459 donors who donated a total of $1,856,451. In May, Kobler said she did not expect the number of alumni who donate to decrease. The college also held a Giving Tuesday challenge Nov. 30, 2021. In order to generate more alumni engagement, Kobler said the college reaches out to alumni through direct mail and email solicitation. Linda Sauter Velto ’88 said that she was a consistent donor to the college but that the changes made by the Academic Program Prioritization (APP) process have caused her to question if she wants to continue donating. The APP process began in September 2020 with the creation of the Academic Program Prioritization Implementation Committee (APPIC) by President La Jerne Cornish, provost and senior vice president of academic affairs at the time. The APPIC created “The Shape of the College” document, which outlined its recommendations and was released to the campus community Jan. 13, 2020. Cornish and former President Shirley M. Collado approved it Feb. 24, 2020. The college is currently in Phase Two of the APP, which involves restructuring parts of the college, like moving the Department of Theatre Arts, which was in the School of Humanities and Sciences, to the School of Music. Phase One included the ongoing cuts of 116 full-time equivalent faculty positions and 26 majors, departments and programs. Sauter Velto ’88, a graduate of the School of Music, said the loss of graduate music programs has contributed to her reasons to no longer donate. “It doesn’t make the school as attractive,” Sauter Velto said. “It doesn’t allow there to be as many graduate assistants to teach the undergrads, and you don’t have the graduate students there as examples.” She said that at the moment, she is still uncertain if she will donate again, but she also said that she wishes she saw more outreach to alumni from the college. Emma Whitford, reporter for Inside Higher Ed, said donations made by alumni fell by about 2% in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, she said Ithaca College beat that 2% decrease despite COVID-19. In 2020, total

donations to colleges fell from $49.6 million to $49.5 million. “At the very beginning of the pandemic, experts were worried that the uncertainty of the stock market and personal finances would severely slow donations to colleges, and, while it varies by institution, that didn’t really pan out,” she said via email. Stella Rivera ’19 said that even if she did have the means to donate, she also would not due to the APP process. “It’s also frustrating to see the administration tout that the college is such an amazing school and that they have all these top-rated programs,” Rivera said. “The people that make those programs work are the teachers. … They are what makes all of the programs incredible.” She also said she appreciated the IC Alumni Against Austerity (ICAAA) group for giving alumni a voice. ICAAA was created in January 2021 in response to the APP. Since its creation, the group has held meetings to discuss the APP and created a portal that allows members of the campus community to submit complaints. Rivera said she does not want to donate to the college because of Collado’s rocky tenure. Additionally, she said she believes decisions are made at the college in a top-down way with little input from alumni. “They don’t care about the voices of alumni,” she said. “They don’t care about what we have to say.” The COVID-19 pandemic may have also impacted alumni’s willingness to donate, because campuses were closed, meaning colleges could not host on-campus events for alumni. There was no in-person Alumni Weekend in 2020 or Senior Splash for the Class of 2020. The college was closed for Fall 2020 and classes were held remotely. Spring 2021 was held in a hybrid format, but visitors were not allowed on campus. The college was fully opened for the 2021—22 academic year. Sarah Grunberg ’08, former lecturer in the Department of Sociology, said that in recent years she has not donated to the college. “Because of the lack of transparency … I didn’t feel like the decisions to cut programs and faculty were fiscally responsible,” she said. “I just chose to put my money elsewhere.” Grunberg said she gave back to the IC Alumni Action and Worker Support Fund, which is a fundraiser started as a way to help faculty members who were cut by alleviating some financial burdens. “There were so many people who were in need as a result of the cuts,” she said. Grunberg said that she would donate to specific programs if she knew where the money was going and if there were changes in leadership in the Ithaca College Board of Trustees. “I guess that would make me feel a little bit more willing to donate back to the institution if I felt that the board was a transparent board that actually represented the members of the community,” she said. Grunberg said she also has felt like there has not been the best alumni outreach. “You can’t ask alumni to give to an institution that does not care about alumni,” she said.

“They don’t care about the voices of alumni. They don’t care about what we have to say.” -Stella Rivera



Aug. 23 marked the official launch of Canvas for the campus community. The transition involved collaboration with students, administrators and faculty. Eleanor Kay/The Ithacan




ome members of the campus community are still adjusting to Ithaca College’s new learning management system (LMS), Canvas, following the end of the college’s 10-year contract with Sakai. The process to switch LMSs started approximately a year ago, Chief Information Officer David Weil said. The transition involved collaboration with multiple groups across campus, including students and faculty. Aug. 23 marked the official launch of Canvas for the campus community. “Early last fall, we started to have conversations when we knew that Sakai had been around for nine or 10 years, and we felt ... that Sakai was probably not going to be the right learning management platform for us as an institution,” Weil said. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the college transitioned to a mix of remote and hybrid learning from Spring 2020 to Spring 2021. This forced students and faculty to rely on Sakai more. Jenna Linskens, director for learning and innovative technologies and executive committee co-chair of the LMS Governance Committee, said Sakai had a lot of limitations and required a lot of involvement from the Department of Information Technology (IT) at the college. “It was a very challenging system and it was costing the institution quite a significant amount of money to maintain that system and to have the staffing to support it,” Linskens said. Students at the college also had issues with


Sakai, namely the organization and layout of the LMS. Weil said that the college created a group during Fall 2020 with representatives from across the college — including the Student Governance Council, administrators from the Office of the Provost, members of the Center for Faculty Excellence, students and faculty — to assess what LMS would be best for the college. Matt Clauhs, assistant professor of music education and co-chair of the LMS Governance Committee, said the committee talked to other colleges that had transitioned away from Sakai and narrowed down the search to different possibilities before deciding on Canvas in early December 2020. Weil said the college signed a 10-year contract with Instructure, the developer and publisher of Canvas, in January 2021 and started the implementation process in the spring semester with pilot programs. “Some institutions take longer to do the implementation,” Weil said. “Some do it in the same timeline we did. We really felt it was important to do this fairly quickly. But I don’t think that meant that we did it any less thoroughly. We had a lot of people involved in the process along the way.” According to an article from eLearning Inside, the process to switch from an existing LMS to Canvas can take on average two years because institutions consult with all stakeholders and participate in a pilot study. In addition, the migration of old materials to Canvas can take six months to a year and a half on average. Clauhs said that he piloted Canvas over the summer with graduate students in the music education program and that the students found it to be very user-friendly.

Junior Daisy Codallos-Silva said that this semester has been her first time using Canvas and that she has been finding the platform difficult to navigate but is looking forward to learning more about it. “I’m kind of embracing it as a new thing,” Codallos-Silva said. “But I’ve just been playing around with it, hoping to get the hang of it.” Sophomore Ryan Griswold said he also thought the switch to Canvas has been difficult. “It’s not like Sakai, where you could just click on something and it would be right there,” Griswold said. “There’s different tabs for each link.” Linskens said Canvas offers a mobile app for students and faculty to use, as well as a higher level of customer support than Sakai. Canvas offers Canvas Support, a separate chat function in which users can type in their questions and correspond with a Canvas representative in minutes. She said Canvas Support allows IT at the college to refocus its efforts elsewhere, rather than answer questions about Canvas. “It also is a time saver for faculty and students to be able to get their question answered within a matter of minutes, rather than waiting a whole day or more for somebody to get back to them,” Linskens said. Clauhs said he found Canvas Support helpful when transitioning his materials over from Sakai to Canvas. “I’ve probably used it at least 20 times where I’m working on a problem and a representative from Canvas is able to assist me, usually within minutes of a request,” he said. “The college invested in making that 24/7 support available to faculty and students and I think it’s been really useful in this transition.”





n opera direction professional certificate program, which was started in January 2022 and will continue until May, allows participants to become certified in opera direction. The program was created by Dawn Pierce, associate professor in the Department of Music Performance, and is being taught in collaboration with director Chuck Hudson. Hudson has worked around the world directing opera, designing opera programs, working with young performers and teaching opera skills, according to his website. Bea Goodwin, opera stage director and librettist, said direction can be divided into two roles, with preparation serving as one job and work with a cast and team as another. She said she has to prepare everything about the production at home. Following this, Goodwin said she conducts production meetings, gives blocking and works with casts to develop characterizations. She said all of this happens before the show moves to a stage, where the director must plan and check everything and adjust for changes based on staging, costumes and props. “It’s all of these little things that you would never think of that you have to plan for and overly plan for,” Goodwin said. The program requires participants to complete two sessions to receive a certification. The first session started virtually Jan. 24 and will conclude May 6 with the second session taking place on campus from May 18 to 28, according to the college’s website. Christina Moylan, associate provost for graduate and professional studies, said that this program was in development for over a year. It gives the college an opportunity to step into a new space in the opera world and reach a unique audience, Moylan said. “[The program] taps into expertise and resources that I think are strengths for this institution, and it does so during times of year where those resources maybe aren’t being used in the same way by other programs here at the college,” Moylan said. This program is an addition to a long history of music and performance education at the college. The college opened originally as a music conservatory and offered theater arts as another of its earliest programs, according to the college’s website. Today, however, the college is planning to cut four master’s in music programs, as previously reported by The Ithacan. Pierce said the program is open to up to 20 participants and anyone over the age of 18 is welcome to apply, but it is designed for people who already hold a background in theater or opera. The program is not exclusive to Ithaca College students, and Pierce said she sees a benefit for many kinds of people in the theater world. “I thought about … high school teachers who maybe wanted to do an operetta but had only done musical theater or a straight theater director that really wanted to get into opera but didn’t really know what’s different in opera than straight theater,” Pierce said. Typically, individuals who want to get involved in opera direction must either already have industry connections and be taken on as an assistant director or complete an additional college degree, Pierce said. Goodwin said that very few direction-specific college programs exist. Currently in the U.S. there are seven undergraduate programs offering degrees in stage direction and one master’s program, according to Broadway World. Goodwin said her path to stage direction involved attending drama school for theater with a concentration in acting at Wroxton College in Banbury, England, an abroad institution of Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, New Jersey, and working with friends to create pieces until she was presented with an opportunity to direct an onstage adaptation of “The

Fall of the House of Usher.” She said this experience is a fairly typical one. Pierce said she was looking to create something that is more easily accessible to people who want to get involved in opera direction. “I think that Ithaca is a really good fit for it because we have a tremendously strong School of Music and a really strong theater program, right. We have amazing programs in both, amazing faculty in both and beautiful facilities in both,” Pierce said. There is currently no opera program at the college, but the School of Music offers courses in opera, as well as annual productions and an opera workshop program that gives students an overview of contemporary opera and ends with a production. The curriculum for the virtual session is divided into distinct sections including pre-production and preparation, staging rehearsals, technical rehearsals, performance in a theater and postproduction review. In each of these sections students learn their roles as directors and how to handle each step of the production process. The second session will consist of a residential workshop, giving participants an opportunity to apply their skills in the direction of a scene. The second session will run in tandem with an opera studio program. This program gives singers an opportunity to develop both stage and singing skills through masterclasses, lectures and practical performance, according to the college’s website. In addition to participants of the direction program, opera studio students will work with a musical coach and conductor to develop their skills. Pierce said the decision to run both programs at the same time will give participants in both the opportunity to collaborate with individuals skilled in performance and directing, respectively. “It’s a really exciting opportunity for them all to work together,” Pierce said.

Dawn Pierce, associate professor in the Department of Music Performance, created the college’s new opera direction program that started on Jan. 24, 2022. Kalysta Donaghy-Robinson/The Ithacan






thaca College is beginning to move into the second phase of the Academic Program Prioritization (APP) process, which involves the restructuring of some academic programs. The APP process began in 2020 when President La Jerne Cornish, provost and senior vice president of academic affairs at the time, convened the Academic Program Prioritization Implementation Committee (APPIC) to develop recommendations regarding the future shape of the college’s programs and provided them with their tasks. As part of the strategic plan, Ithaca Forever, Cornish has said that the APP was supposed to take place over a period of four years but had to be accelerated because of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impacts on the college’s finances. The college released the draft of the “Shape of the College” document Jan. 13, 2021, which drew criticism from many members of the campus community. The document was written by the APPIC and it detailed the entire APP process. The first phase of the APP included the ongoing elimination of 116 full-time equivalent faculty and 26 majors, departments and programs. Cornish said the second phase will focus on reorganization and restructuring with the idea of creating connections across schools in mind. “I am pleased that this important work is progressing under the able leadership of Provost Melanie Stein, with the assistance of multiple partners from across campus,” she said via email. Phase One The first phase was focused on realigning the size of the faculty to fit the size of the student

body, according to the “Shape of the College” document. The college is trying to achieve a student-to-faculty ratio of 11.5:1 or 12:1 with a projected enrollment size of 4,500 undergraduate students and 500 graduate students. In Fall 2020, there were 4,957 undergraduate and 397 graduate students. In Fall 2019, there were 5,852 undergraduate and 414 graduate students. The college’s acceptance rate was 75.7% in Fall 2020, the highest it had been since Fall 2009. The first phase received backlash from many members of the campus community throughout the 2020–21 academic year. Multiple groups were formed, like a chapter of the American Association of University Professors, the Open the Books (OTB) coalition and IC Alumni Against Austerity (ICAAA), in opposition to the cuts. OTB and ICAAA held multiple protests and forums throughout the last academic year, gatherings that were focused on educating the campus community members about the cuts, as well as expressing their disagreements regarding the cuts. Most recently, ICAAA created a portal to allow current and former students, faculty and staff to submit anonymous complaints against the Senior Leadership Team and the Ithaca College Board of Trustees. Phase Two Stein said the second phase has begun and work is being done by specific committees. She said changes in the second phase include admission application process, curricular revision process, the formation of a committee focused on what faculty positions need to be searched for, conducting an inventory of reassigned time for faculty across schools at the college, reorganizing programs and centralizing the oversight of graduate programs overseen by Christina Moylan, associate provost for graduate

and professional studies. Stein also said the general timeline for the second and third phases to be completed is in the next three years. “Having said that, these phases include a broad range of projects, each with their own timeline,” Stein said via email. “For example, the Physician Assistant program, which was just launched, is a perfect example of growth.” The Physician Assistant program was launched in Spring 2021 and welcomed its first class in Fall 2021 with 30 students. The program will continue to grow until it hits its full capacity of 50 students per cohort. Stein said the Department of Theatre Arts is a part of the reorganizing of the second phase. The Department of Theatre Arts has been combined with the School of Music to form the new School of Music, Theatre and Dance. This along with other structural changes are part of this second phase. At an All-Faculty and Staff meeting in May 2021, Cornish said the department moving would be a good way to explore the relationship between theater arts and music. Stein said via email that faculty and staff are involved in conversations surrounding the move and how it can strengthen student experiences. Stein said that figuring out how to proceed with the theater arts department needed to be decided before resuming the dean searches. The college currently has three interim deans: Jack Powers in the Roy H. Park School of Communications, Alka Bramhandkar in the School of Business and Ivy Walz in the School of Music. Claire Gleitman served as interim dean in the School of Humanities and Sciences from August 2021 to March 2022 when Stein named her the official dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences.

Anna McCracken/The Ithacan Members of the Ithaca College Senior Leadership team clap during the All-College Gathering Aug. 31, 2021 in the Emerson suites. Ana Maniaci M



The college decided not to conduct the dean searches in the 2020–21 academic year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The interim deans will remain in place for the 2021–22 academic year. Steve TenEyck, professor and chair of the Department of Theatre Arts, said that he was made aware of the potential department move at the end of Spring 2021. He said that the new dean of the School of Music will be responsible for both the Department of Theatre Arts and the School of Music beginning in Fall 2022. “There are some scheduled sessions to hear from faculty and staff from both units about what this might look like,” TenEyck said via email. “So we are early in the process.” Walz said conversations between the School of Music and the Department of Theatre Arts are beginning to figure out how to move forward. “I am looking forward to hearing from faculty and staff about benefits, and, so far, I have heard ideas around collaboration, curriculum and admissions,” she said via email. Walz also said there have been conversations about the search for the new dean of the School of Music. Junior Anchal Dhir is a student in both the School of Music and the Department of Theatre Arts. She said she is getting her bachelor’s in music and has an outside focus in theater arts management. She said she thinks the department moving to the School of Music makes sense to her and seems like a fairly harmless, understandable decision for the college to make. “The students who are in the music school are interacting with people from the musical theater program,” she said. “There’s so many different events and auditions that are interconnected. It would just make more sense for all the information to be distributed to all of the students in one way.” Dhir said she missed out on important opportunities like auditions because the School of Music and Department of Theatre Arts are not very connected. However, she also said she was not fully aware of what the second phase of the APP was and what the process would entail, but she said she thinks that a lot of the

things that will happen are good ideas. “It all sounds like positive business ventures for Ithaca College,” Dhir said. “It doesn’t seem like anything that would negatively impact students. It all seems like this is positive.” However, Dhir said that she felt like there was not a lot of open communication about what people should be expecting from the second and third phases. “A simple email is enough to tell us what’s going on,” she said. Stein also said the college is reexamining the admissions process. The “Shape of the College” document recommended broadening the way students apply to specific schools within the college. The Park Pathways program was included in the “Shape of the College” document. The program is expected to start in the 2022–23 academic year. Students can apply undecided to the Park School, take a variety of classes in different departments throughout their first year and then declare a major during their third semester. Jeane Copenhaver-Johnson, associate provost in the Department of Academic Affairs, and Stacia Zabusky, senior associate dean for curriculum and undergraduate programs in the School of Humanities and Sciences, are the co-chairs of the Curricular Revision Liaison Committee (CRLC). Copenhaver-Johnson said that the CRLC is meant to support faculty while departments begin to think about curricular revision. She said that this is a way to support student achievement and success while at the college. However, she said many of the revised curricular changes will be seen starting Fall 2023. “Students in some departments may be consulted as their faculty consider changes to programs or majors, as also happens during the regular program review process,” she said via email. Copenhaver-Johnson said departments started to submit proposals for any kind of curriculum changes this academic year. She said the CRLC will be working with the Academic Policies Committee to review curriculum proposals on a rolling basis throughout the year. Copenhaver-Johnson said the revisions vary from department to department, depending on how recently the curriculum was last revised or what faculty have been thinking of doing to their curriculum. “We already have been hearing many innovative ideas from some departments and look forward to collaborating with our colleagues on these exciting curricular developments,” she said via email.

Editorial: Merger overshadowed by lack of transparency Ithaca College has announced that the School of Music and the Department of Theatre Arts will merge to create a new school: the Ithaca College School of Music, Theatre and Dance. These two are to become one, yet the response to this merging process remains divided, with good reason. Faculty and staff responses are largely split into one of two camps: the vocal minority who opposes the merger and the majority who favors it. There are three things of note here: 1. most who are in the majority do not have the security of tenure, 2. those in the minority are not being afforded the time such a large decision should elicit and 3. this is a major decision that was initiated by a primarily interim administration. How can the interim members of the administration ensure a stable transition and security for students, staff and faculty when their roles are suggested to be temporary? This is a fast-paced, authoritarian move with little regard to what is being ignored — a decision that is the result of disaster capitalism. The merger aligns with the strategic plan, Ithaca Forever, and is a part of the second phase of the Academic Program Prioritization (APP). The first phase of the APP dealt with the devastating ongoing elimination of 116 full-time equivalent faculty positions and a number of majors, departments and programs. The college must learn from its past mistakes with the APP. The new school merger should not be celebrated as readily as it was at the All-College Gathering. If there is one thing that we have learned from this ongoing, worldwide pandemic, it is not that things need to move fast, but that they actually need to slow down. There is nothing slow about this merger. Faculty members, who both oppose and support the merger, will not find a cooperative, fair process when processes are moving along at such a fast pace. How can those opposed to the merger of these two schools truly be listened to and respected by the college? How can those who support this decision find the time to fully support and understand the opinions and concerns of their colleagues on the opposing side? While there certainly are upsides to the merger — like the fact that collaboration between students in the new school will be far easier and that the dance program is receiving a larger spotlight — it is overshadowed by the lack of shared governance and the growing schism between faculty members.

on suites. Ana Maniaci McGough/The Ithacan.



Graphic by Briana Tovar/The Ithacan




fter the Ithaca College Board of Trustees raised the price of tuition by 3.25% for the 2022–23 school year, sophomore Bianca Sessegolo decided to transfer to Rutgers University. “[At Ithaca College], I’m paying pretty much entirely in loans in my name or in my parents’ name,” Sessegolo said. “Especially since I’m a first-gen student going into college, we didn’t know how to do any of it or how it works, especially in this country. … I don’t know anybody who’s not at least a little bit concerned about their financial future.” Out of the college’s $65,527 annual cost of attendance, $46,610 is for tuition. While the college’s tuition is $8,425 higher than the average $38,185 price tag for American private colleges, the issue is not unique. America is now the most expensive place to go to college on the planet. During the 2020 presidential election cycle, candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren popularized canceling federal student loan debt. Then-candidate Joe Biden joined Sanders and Warren and pledged to wipe out $50,000 in debt for students from families making less than $125,000 and $10,000 for all students. In six figures of debt and three months away from his graduation, senior Will Hugonnet remembers when Biden made this pledge while on the campaign trail. Over one year into his presidency, Biden has still not fulfilled this pledge.


“If they [the Biden administration] can just shell out so much money to other things like the military, why can’t they take a little bit of that and put it back into educational funding?” Hugonnet said. Under the Higher Education Act, Biden has the ability to cancel student debt through an executive order, which would not require action by Congress. Biden has already used his executive powers to extend the pause on student loan repayments that began under former President Donald Trump as a response to the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. Canceling student debt could create up to 1.5 million new jobs, reduce unemployment and increase economic opportunity, according to “[Student debt] is a big stressor,” Hugonnet said. “Some days you’ll wake up and think about it, but there’s nothing you can do. … It’s a Catch-22 kind of thing where you’re damned if you do but you’re damned if you don’t.” William Kolberg, associate professor in the Department of Economics, said one of the reasons the cost of college has increased in recent years is that college administrations have increased spending for new programs, buildings and services. Kolberg said that at the college, some of these services — like Information Technology and the Center for Counseling and Psychiatric Services — offer benefits to students but raise spending levels significantly. A report by the American Council for Trustees and Alumni found that spending on student services at private colleges increased 32% between 2010 and 2018,

higher than increases on administration and instruction spending for the same time period. “They’re looking around and seeing these other schools that have all this stuff,” Kolberg said. “Every college has to beef up because they’re worried about the other [colleges] beefing up.” While 92% of students at the college receive some form of financial aid, its endowment — which brings in revenue for the college’s financial aid — is declining. A 2021 audit of the endowments of U.S. and Canadian institutions by the National Association of College and University Business Officers found that between the fiscal year 2019 and 2020, Ithaca College’s went from $347 million to $337 million, a 2.91% loss. Hugonnet has been pushed deeper and deeper into debt throughout his time at the college. Junior Adam Coe said that in the past three years he has had to take out loans each year and is splitting the costs of tuition and housing with his parents. “I am in debt like most students,” Coe said. “Thankfully I’m not into too much debt. … I would not be able to afford the school if it was not for my scholarships and the financial aid I received.” The tuition increase for the college was approved at an October 2021 Board of Trustees meeting. After the meeting, the Board of Trustees released an Intercom post explaining the increase. “These increases as well as those from recent years have been conservative within our comparative set of schools, while maintaining investments in the human and capital resources needed to ensure that our


students are provided with the best possible learning environment,” the post read. Kolberg said potential solutions for the student debt crisis besides canceling debt could be putting a cap on interest rates on student loans. Depending on what level of education, the U.S. Department of Education’s student loans have interest rates of 3.73–6.28% at a fixed rate. This means that the interest rate of the loan stays at the same rate for the duration of repayment. However, some students like Hugonnet have to take out private student loans, which have variable rates. This means the interest rate of the loan can change throughout repayment. The average interest rate on private student loans can be anywhere from 0.94 – 11.98%. Loans with high risk of repayment failure are called subprime loans, which are commonly distributed by private lenders. This can put students with lower credit scores at risk of predatory lending, as subprime loans are harder to repay. “You have to watch out for predatory businesses that are going to try to take advantage of this situation,” Kolberg said. “Some sort of cap on interest rates needs to be done to protect students in a pretty scary market.” On the college’s Student Financial Services website, three private student loan companies are recommended for students — Citizens Bank, Discover and Sallie Mae. All three of these corporations have reached settlements with the U.S. government after using illegal banking practices like fraud and predatory lending. Sallie Mae’s loan servicing operation is carried out by Navient, one of the most profitable private student loan companies in America. In a January 2022 settlement, Navient canceled $1.9 billion in student loans after it was alleged that the corporation intentionally lent subprime loans it knew would fail to American college students. Matthew Ford, the senior corporate communications specialist for Navient, said that the company denies criminal wrongdoing and that it has long advocated to change the student loan system. “We have offered many options for student loan borrowers during the pandemic,” Ford said via email. “Navient recently announced an agreement with a number of state attorneys general to resolve legal matters. We expressly denied violating any law, including consumer-protection laws, or causing borrower harm.” Despite being prey for private student loan companies, most of the college’s students who take out loans do so through the Department of Education’s loan department. While Biden has chipped away and canceled some outstanding student loans that are owed, students like Hugonnet will be buried in both public and private debt after graduation. “It’s really stressful,” Hugonnet said. “I don’t like thinking about it. … I know you can defer them until you’re working, so I think I have one more year before I have to get started [paying]. But it’s daunting because you get out of school and you get a very basic, entry-level job, which doesn’t pay that much as is.”

C o m m e n t a r y : Fa c i n g t h e n i g h t m a r e before ever y course registration BY MYA STENGEL

ing with three overworked professors teaching way more classes than they should be. The college made the choice to downsize the college’s faculty, but how are we supposed to graduate from the college if taking our required classes is no longer guaranteed? I decided to graduate early because I managed to come into my freshman year with extra credits. The possibility was real as long as I stuck to my three-and-a-half-year plan. However, I have begun to realize that no matter how hard I work, how well I do in my classes or how far ahead I plan, it seems that the college keeps working against me. The budget cuts, professor shortage and lack of care about education at this school will be my biggest pitfall here. If I can’t get into the classes I need, the money-hungry college that Ithaca College is will force me to pay nearly an additional $30,000. I may not have to pay just to see if they will offer the classes they promised me. The college will increase our tuition and take our money, yet it denies us the classes we are supposedly paying for. It convinces us to stay, and we keep thinking it will be better next semester. Since my freshman class has started here, the college has been going down a rabbit hole of trying to save itself from its financial crisis. I am sick of worrying if I will graduate on time at this school where the only thing standing in my way is the administration’s mismanagement. We need more professors, we need more sections. We need a better system.

I don’t know if anyone else feels this way, but registration for the last two semesters has felt a lot like entering the grounds for “The Hunger Games.” You wake up five minutes before 7:30 a.m., prepare your laptop, you get your list of course registration numbers situated just next to Homer Connect and you wait. You wait for the race to start, one section, 15 seats or less and dozens of students gunning for it. If you get into your classes and you win at registration every time, you deserve a medal — for the other kids not getting into the course they need to graduate is not your fault. It’s Ithaca College’s fault. I have seen both sides of the spectrum and lived in an in-between. Some people come in with enough credits from high school to register a class ahead of everyone. Others are in the Honors Program and get to register with the very first group. People like me came in with just enough credits to stagger their registration so that they get to register a group ahead of every other semester. And then there are the students who have to go with everyone else. If you are in the Roy H. Park School of Communications, you are working alongside over 300 other students, trying to get into the same classes. One section can have as few as 20 seats for students, and you pretty much have one chance to get it right. If you don’t get into your classes, especially this early on as a sophomore, then your only option is to focus on your Integrative Core Curriculum and out-of-Park credits. Meaning that for an entire semester, you are doing nothing to hone your skills or prepare for your desired career. You will be a drone mindlessly learning things that genuinely don’t matter to you. It isn’t the fault of the students who manage to get into the class or the professors who don’t have control over how many sections there are. The blame lies on the college’s administration and the decline in faculty. I understand that the college is understaffed, underfunded and in a bit of a pinch right now. My major — writing for film, television and emerging media — only had four f aculty members to begin Sophomore Mya Stengel pictured Nov. 17, 2021. Alyssa Beebe/The Ithacan. with. Currently, we are work-





n late August, The Ithacan’s editorial board received a short survey designed by the community outreach manager that asked for demographic information with the intent to collect information for what would become the paper’s first diversity report. A report of this kind is used to quantify the diverse makeup of an organization. It can also highlight a lack of diversity and inspire goals to address inclusion in the workplace. The survey consisted of seven questions. Some were answered by multiple choice and others were open-ended. While the responses remain anonymous, the findings were charted and compared with available Ithaca College student population data. All 26 of the current editorial board members completed the survey. Before publication, the results of this report were available internally and used for reflection during The Ithacan’s diversity training workshop Oct. 8, led by the Center for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Social Change (IDEAS) peer educators. The focus of the workshop was on implicit biases, which are unconscious stereotypes or attitudes that can manifest in our behavior and society. The findings of this report were available as a tool to help to understand how

implicit biases have an effect in a newsroom. While the workshop was available only to editorial board members, The Ithacan plans to implement future sessions open to all staff and mandate attendance at peer education workshops held by the Center for IDEAS in the future. While the paper has made conscious efforts to report inclusively and unbiasedly, there has never been a formal process in place to ensure the newsroom is actively working to do so. This diversity report serves as a benchmark for future use as The Ithacan sets a standard of transparent reporting of the makeup of its newsroom. As a paper designed to represent student voices, it is important that there is a sustainable effort encouraging representation on the editorial board and equitable coverage of all student populations. The Ithacan recognizes that it has not completed a diversity report before and is actively working to remedy past indiscretions. By preparing and publishing a diversity report for the end of the fall semester, the paper is working to hold itself accountable in its goal to create a more inclusive publication. Given that this survey is the first of its kind, it may not be all-encompassing. A public forum in which members of the campus community were able to have an open conversation to discuss the findings was held Jan. 31, 2022.

RA C I A L A N D E T H N I C B A C K G R O U N D In accordance with the U.S. Census Bureau’s standard of collecting racial and ethnic background data, this survey question had six multiple choice options. The Ithacan editorial board is predominantly white. While there was no mixed-race option, this survey question allowed for multiple answers. The findings show that no one on The Ithacan board is Alaskan Native or Pacific Islander. The Black, Indigenous and people of color population on The Ithacan’s board represented 33.4% of the newsroom. This is 10.1% higher than the Black, Indigenous and people of color population at the college. Population data for the campus is located under the Office of Analytics and Institutional Research on the college’s website. Its data classification is different, as the college includes international populations. While the survey did not have an international option, there are no international students on The Ithacan’s editorial board. For comparison, Ithaca College students are 72.4% white, 5.4% Black or African American, 10% Hispanic/Latino, 3.9% Asian, 0.1% Native American/Alaskan Native, 0.1% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, 3.8% two or more races, 1.8% unknown and 2.4% international.

F I R S T- G E N E RAT I O N According to the college’s website, 15% of the student body is first-generation students. First-generation is defined as having parents who did not complete or begin a four-year degree in higher education. While the college’s data has not been updated for the 2021–22 academic year, it is clear the editorial board needs improvements in order to reach a higher level of first-generation representation as it only had two board members who were first-generation at the time of the survey.



FALL 2021 S E X UA L I T Y This survey question was not multiple choice and each board member wrote their answer in a text box. This means the categories for sexuality data are specific to how the board member completing the form identifies. The majority of the board identified as heterosexual while 22.2% identified as bisexual, 11.1% queer, 11.1% lesbian and one individual identified as pansexual. For this and the following categories, there is no readily available data to compare with the college’s student body.



GENDER The Ithacan board is predominantly composed of cisgender women, with cisgender women making up 73.9%. The student body of the college is reported as being 56.7% women and 43.3% men. Nonbinary representation on the editorial board is low, at 4.3%, and transgender representation is nonexistent.

ABILITY Like other categories, there is no publicly available data to compare the larger student body with The Ithacan’s board. However, 95.7% of the editorial board is able-bodied.

The majority of board members have majors in the Roy H. Park School of Communications. Four members, or 15.4% of the board, have a major in the School of Humanities and Sciences. The Ithacan is currently looking for ways to recruit students from other schools.

CLASS YEAR The majority of the editorial board is upperclassmen with 46.2% being juniors, 38.5% seniors and 15.4% sophomores. The editorial board for the fall semester is hired during the previous spring semester, so there were no incoming freshmen on campus who were not represented on the editorial board.




Alyssa Beebe/The ithacan



Ash Bailot/The Ithacan


File Photo/The Ithacan




File Photo/The Ithacan




Brendan Iannucci/The Ithacan



The search committees for the three open Ithaca College dean positions are being assisted by associates from the search firm WittKieffer, said provost Melanie Stein in a campuswide email Nov. 11. There are currently three interim deans out of the five schools at the college: Jack Powers in the Roy H. Park School of Communications, Alka Bramhandkar in the School of Business and Ivy Walz in the School of Music. The School of Humanities and Sciences (H&S) did not undergo a dean search. Between August 2021 and March 2022, Claire Gleitman served as interim dean for H&S. Gleitman was eventually appointed by Stein as permanent dean of H&S. Stein was formerly the dean of H&S but took on the position of interim provost and then permanent provost after current President La Jerne Cornish was initially named interim president for the 2021–22 academic year. At the Oct. 5 State of the College meeting, Stein said the search committee chairs were all appointed. Jack Bryant, associate professor and program director of the Department of Media Arts, Sciences and Studies, is the chair of the dean search for the School of Communications; Christine Bataille, associate professor and chair of the Department of Management, is chair of the dean search for the School of Business; and Chrystyna Dail, associate professor in the Department of Theatre Arts, and James Mick, associate professor in the Department of Music Education, are co-chairing the dean search for the new combination of music and theatre arts. The search committee for the dean of the School of Business includes: Bataille; Wonyul Bae, associate professor in the Department of Sport Management; Marie Blouin, professor in the Department of Accounting and Business Law; Fatima Hajjat, assistant professor in the Department of Marketing; Xinxin Li, assistant professor in the Department of Finance and International Business; David Brown, professor in the Department of Mathematics; Dennis Charsky, associate professor in the Department of Strategic Communication; Sean Linfors, assistant professor in the Department of Music Education; Katy Hall, academic services

coordinator for the School of Business; Paul Hesler, director of principal gifts, philanthropy and engagement; junior Austin Ruffino, a business administration major; and Christina Moylan, associate provost for graduate and professional studies. The search committee for the dean of the School of Communications includes: Powers; Steve Gordon, associate professor in the Department of Media Arts, Sciences and Studies; Mehreen Khalid, assistant professor in the Department of Media Arts, Sciences and Studies; Mead Loop, professor in the Department of Journalism; Yvette Sterbenk, assistant professor in the Department of Strategic Communication; Scott Erickson, professor in the Department of Marketing; Doug Turnbull, associate professor in the Department of Computer Science; Nigel Martin, director of technical operations; Megan Panek, associate vice president for the division of philanthropy and engagement; junior Alison True, a cinema and photography major; and Brad Hougham, associate provost for faculty affairs. Bryant said he was looking forward to working with the search committee and that the Park School created sufficient committee for the job. “I can’t speak to the committees for the other schools, but I think the Park dean search has a strong committee and I look forward to working with them,” Bryant said. The search committee for the dean of the School of Music, Theatre and Dance includes: Dail; Mick; Les Black, associate professor in the Department of Music Theory, History and Composition; Mike Caporizzo, assistant professor in the Department of Music Performance; David Earll, assistant professor in the Department of Music Performance; Cynthia Henderson, professor in the Department of Theatre Arts; Kathleen Mulligan, professor in the Department of Theatre Arts; Ian Woods, associate professor in the Department of Biology; Becky Jordan, music ensemble and Kinyon Music Collection manager for the School of Music; Mary Scheidegger, coordinator of theater operations for the Department of Theatre Arts; Quincy Davidson, associate vice president for the division of philanthropy and engagement; junior Daniel Hewson, a theater production and design major; freshman Vincent Tavernese, a music education and trumpet major; and Jeane Copenhaver-Johnson, associate provost for academic programs. 41



Former Ithaca College President Shirley M. Collado at the Class of 2025 convocation Aug. 18, 2021. Alyssa Beebe/The Ithacan



ome members of the Ithaca College community have expressed disappointment in President Shirley M. Collado’s last year as president following the announcement that she was leaving the college. In a July 8 email to the campus community, the Ithaca College Board of Trustees announced Collado would be leaving the college Jan. 10, 2022, to become the president and chief executive officer of College Track. She served as the senior adviser to the interim president and the Ithaca College Board of Trustees effective Aug. 30, 2021, until Dec. 31. The board of trustees said in its announcement that it would be considering the next steps in planning for the next president of the college. La Jerne Cornish, former provost and executive vice president, served as the interim president at the college from August 2021 to March 2022 when she was named the 10th president of the college. In a message to the campus community July 8, Collado reflected on her past four years — the shortest tenure of all nine Ithaca College presidents — at the college and spoke about the resiliency of the campus community. “Many of you have become trusted friends and colleagues,” she said in the message. “And to our students — you are the true promise of Ithaca College, and you will stay in my heart forever.” Dave Maley, director of public relations, referred all further comments from Collado and Cornish to the


announcement made July 8. Collado’s Presidency Collado was named the ninth president of the college in 2017 after former President Tom Rochon stepped down July 1, 2017. Rochon retired after protests led by the group POC at IC following multiple racist incidents that happened during Rochon’s presidency, which spurred national attention. Rochon also received votes of no confidence from faculty and students. Lauren Suna ’20 said that when the board was conducting the search for a new president after Rochon, she and her friends were excited for Collado’s presidency. “Everybody was like, ‘This is great,’” she said. “‘A change is coming and this change is going to be good and it seems like we have someone who’s going to be great and listen and be transparent.’” Suna said that while she had been looking forward to Collado’s presidency, when she learned about Collado’s past, she had mixed feelings about Collado. In 2018, Collado received backlash and support from the college community following news that she pleaded no contest to a sexual abuse charge in 2001. Suna said she started questioning the board of trustees’ decision to appoint Collado and said she hopes the search for the next president is not closed. She stressed that students, faculty and staff need to be involved. “If more people had the opportunity to hear about Collado’s story, I don’t think she would’ve been put in,” she said. “I don’t think the faculty would’ve allowed that.”

During her time at the college, Collado created and began implementing the five-year strategic plan, Ithaca Forever, which includes plans for building off-campus relations, increasing endowment while lowering the cost of attendance and investing in college employees. Recently, Collado received backlash in response to the Academic Program Prioritization (APP) process which included the elimination of 116 full-time equivalent faculty positions and 26 departments, programs and majors. As part of the final process of implementing the APP, Collado and Cornish approved the recommendation for the cuts. Campus community members held multiple protests in response to the cuts, some in which they specifically voiced their dissatisfaction with Collado. The College Community Responds Ithaca College Alumni Against Austerity (ICAAA) announced Aug. 25 that it was gathering complaints from students, faculty and staff against the board of trustees and Senior Leadership Team (SLT). The group questioned why the college has yet to declare financial exigency — a financial crisis that threatens the survival of colleges or universities and allows colleges and universities to lay off tenured faculty members. Collado has previously said that the college is facing serious financial issues. The ICAAA launched a complaint portal to allow campus community members to provide evidence regarding the college’s alleged fiscal mismanagement, general incompetence or excessive spending by Collado or other members of the SLT. “Serious questions have arisen as to whether the board of trustees should have acted sooner to remove former President Collado from her position — or even hire her in the first place — given the fiscal state of the college, Collado’s compensation package, allegations of intimidation and retaliation and her criminal history,” the statement said. ICAAA stated it would use the complaints to determine if there is sufficient evidence to file a complaint with the Charities Bureau of the New York State Office of the Attorney General. The college announced Collado’s departure on Instagram on July 8. The post received over 200 comments from college community members expressing their thoughts on Collado leaving. User @christinaespo commented “she really let go of 116 faculty as her last power move … PEACE OUT hurricane Shirley.” Another user @katiemarie.icdc commented, saying, “Hurts to think that she used IC as a


resume-builder and won’t have to stick around to deal with the fallout of cutting ¼ of our faculty and programs.” The Open the Books (OTB) coalition began during the 2020–21 academic year in response to the APP process. OTB said in a statement to The Ithacan that the group members have many different feelings about Collado’s departure. “We are aware that the problems at Ithaca College did not come nor leave with President Collado,” the statement said. “However, many feel like our school and community have been treated as mere collateral damage on a quest for profit.” During the 2020–21 academic year, Collado and other administrators said that they took a salary reduction. However, the amount was not publicly announced and Collado did not disclose her salary reduction despite multiple requests from The Ithacan. Junior Anna Nicchitta said that she has heard students say that Collado is not completely to blame for the faculty and program cuts but that she still made unfavorable choices. “When that’s the closest thing I’ve heard to a real positive review of her is that not everything’s entirely her fault, it doesn’t come off great for her,” Nicchitta said. Junior Surina Belk-Gupta also commented on the college’s Instagram post expressing how the position of college president seems to change leaders often. “I just got the idea from the student body that she wasn’t particularly welcome or beloved here and so I wasn’t shocked that she was leaving,” she said. “I kind of feel a little bit of pity for the next person that has this job because they’re kind of coming into a school that’s in a state of chaos.” The board of trustees said in its announcement that Collado was a strong leader during the finalization of the APP. “In accepting the Shape of the College plan and beginning the implementation of its recommendations, she has set the college on a path to a sustainable future that is both bold and realistic,” the message said. The Student Governance Council (SGC) posted a statement on its Instagram after Collado’s announcement. In the statement, the SGC wished Collado luck and said it is looking forward to working with Cornish. In a statement to The Ithacan, members of the Faculty Council Executive Committee (FCEC) said that while they do not speak for all faculty, they feel like Collado was able to bring more awareness to inclusion, diversity and equity

going to just get harder and harder,” matters on campus. “We must, in good faith, take actions to Belk-Gupta said. OTB said in its statement that the search heal our community from the exhaustion and isolation we have faced,” the statement said. for a new president could be an opportu“We must lift one another up and embrace nity for the college to embrace inclusivity and transparency. our differences.” “We also see this as a potential opportunity for The statement said that the FCEC and its members were looking forward to the upcoming the administration and the board of trustees to truly begin considering the input of the entire presidential search. Rick Seltzer, a former writer for Inside High- Ithaca College community in their decisions, er Ed, wrote an article titled “Who Leads Colleges including students, alumni, faculty and staff,” the After COVID-19?” that stresses the importance of statement said. Tom Pfaff, professor and chair of the college presidents during the post-COVID operation Department of Mathematics, said he hopes to of institutions. Seltzer said via email that presidents need see the college stabilize financially and enrollto work with other administrators to create ment-wise over the next few years. He said he would like to see a new president who thinks ways to move their schools forward. “Leadership is critical in times of change, more collaboratively. “It’s not just to me a matter of shared especially at colleges and universities, where the tradition of shared governance means that governance that you follow the bylaws, but you faculty members and boards of trustees have actively seek out differing opinions that you ensome input into decisions,” he said via email. gage people that disagree with you,” Plaff said. “It’s especially hard because the three parties “You really try to find out what’s the best way to in shared governance — faculty members, move forward.” He said that presidential searches and changes in administrators and board members — don’t always agree on how much input they should administration can take a while but that he is hopeful that there will be positive change. each have.” “Hopefully over that time we can kind of Next Steps After Rochon’s resignation, the college announced tread waters successfully and be in a better place,” that the presidential search would be open and in- he said. clude public meetings with candidates. However, the Ithaca College Presidential Search Committee (PSC) later announced that final candidates would not be brought to campus for public meetings. Before the board of t rustees named Cornish as the next president of the college, it was never officially announced whether the presidential search would be open or closed. The board of trustees and PSC partnered with executive search firm Isaacson, Miller to aid in the search process. Belk-Gupta said that she thought it would be beneficial to have students and faculty involved in the search. “I also just hope that the next president is very aware of the situation that they’re coming into and brave enough … to take it on because I don’t think that is an easy job and it’s Collado stepped down from her position as president of the college in July. Alyssa Beebe/The Ithacan



James Nolan ’77, vice chair of the board of trustees, and David Lissy ’87, chair of the board of trustees, speak at a presentation for the 10th Ithaca College president March 7 in the Emerson Suites. Ash Bailot/The Ithacan




he Ithaca College Board of Trustees announced in September that it was officially going to commence the search for the 10th president of the college. In a Sept. 17 email to the campus community, Dave Lissy ’87, chair of the board of trustees, and Jim Nolan ’77, vice chair of the board of trustees, said a search committee was formed and was to be chaired by David Fleisher ’91. Fleisher is a member of the board of trustees and was the president of the Student Governance Council (SGC) when he attended the college, former president of the Alumni Board of Directors and the parent of a Class of 2020 graduate. The search committee was made up of 15 people. The members of the committee included Fleisher; Michael J. Conover ’81, trustee; Jack Dembow ’77, trustee; junior Deontae Guy, former president of the SGC; Traci Hughes ’85, trustee; Tanya Hutchins ’89, president of the Alumni Association Board of Directors; Clint McCartney, chair of the Staff Council; Chris McNamara ’81, clinical associate professor and clinic director of the Department of Physical Therapy and Faculty Council chair; Kathy Newlands ’89, trustee; Mary George Opperman, trustee; Linda Petrosino ’77, dean of the School of Health Sciences and Human Performance; Jeff Selingo ’95, trustee; Jan Singer ’86, trustee; and two additional faculty members who will be appointed by the Faculty Council. Guy resigned as SGC president in November and


left the Presidental Search Committee. He was replaced on the committee by senior Letícia Guibanda, vice president of campus affairs for the SGC. The email said the next step was to select a search firm to consult with the committee. The search firm that the college partnered with was executive firm Isaacson, Miller. “This is an important time in our 129-year history — our challenges are many, and our opportunities even greater,” the email said. “As such, the selection of our next president will set the tone for our future and will lead the way as we continue to deliver on our mission.” The board did not announce whether the search was open or closed. The search for former president Shirley M. Collado was initially open but was later closed by the board of trustees. Collado announced she was stepping down July 8. Some members of the campus community have said they wanted the search for the 10th president to be open and called for transparency in the search. La Jerne Cornish, former provost and executive vice president, served as the interim president until she was named the 10th president at the college in March 2022. Collado stepped down effective Aug. 31 and served as senior adviser to the interim president and board of trustees until Dec. 31. The email reminded the community that the role of the search committee is to develop a leadership profile for the next president, include

feedback from the campus community, evaluate potential candidates and deliver qualified candidates to the board of trustees. Fleisher also served as the spokesperson for the committee and was tasked with sharing updates with the campus community. Members of the campus community with questions surrounding the details and logistics of the presidential search could reach out to the email Guy said he appreciated being a part of the search committee. “I’m honored to be able to be a part of the search committee that will look for Ithaca Colleges 10th president,” Guy said in a statement to The Ithacan. He said that he understood what students at the college like himself were hoping for in their new president. Guy also said that he was interested in opening up committee seats and potentially allowing other students from the college to be more closely involved in the presidential search process. “I believe students are looking for a president that really is student-focused and student-driven,” Guy said. “Students deserve to be heard, and it is my hope that students feel as though they are a part of the process. Without students, there would be no Ithaca College. I’m only in this position because of the students. Although I am the only student a part of the search committee representing the student body, I would love for at least one or two more seats to be opened to students at large. Regardless, our students will be heard.”





he Ithaca College chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) expressed the need for transparency in the current search for the college’s 10th president. The Presidential Search Committee (PSC) announced Oct. 6 that it picked the executive search firm Isaacson Miller to use in the presidential search. In response, the AAUP released a statement Oct. 7. The statement listed three concerns it had with the committee and the Ithaca College Board of Trustees. The concerns were that the committee and board rejected the AAUP’s recommendations for shared governance in the search, the committee decided to run the search with the help of a firm and the search has not been declared open or closed. “While the board of trustees is responsible for the selection of the next president, the search process is an optimal moment for the college to model a commitment to principles of shared governance by identifying ways in which all college constituencies can contribute meaningfully and deliberately,” the statement said. Dan Breen, associate professor in the Department of English and president of the college’s AAUP chapter, said that using a search firm can potentially be expensive and may not necessarily produce a better candidate. Using executive search firms to search for president or provost positions can cost public universities up to $100,000 and potentially more. The AAUP released a statement Sept. 20 asking for transparency in the presidential search along with three principles it wanted the PSC and board of trustees to take into consideration during the search. The AAUP asked for the entire search to be held openly, the search be held without the use of a search firm and that committee members be elected rather than appointed. Breen said he hoped that the board of trustees and search committee would come to the decision to hold the search openly. The search for the college’s ninth president, Shirley M. Collado, began as an open search but eventually was closed during the final candidate stages. The search was also completed with the help of the executive search firm Spencer Stuart. The presidential search, which ended in La Jerne Cornish, former provost and interim president being named president of the college, was never declared open or closed. “The AAUP thinks that’s really essential because generally speaking, morale on our campus among faculty and staff is pretty low as it is, and having an open search process seems like it could be a sort of strong attempt on the part of the institution to start cultivating an atmosphere of trust,” he said. “And in addition, it gives the rest of the campus an opportunity to participate.” In a statement to The Ithacan, David Fleisher ’91,

chair of the PSC, and David Lissy ’87, chair of the board the college. Mulligan also said she wanted someone of trustees, said search firms are commonly used when with resilience. “If you’re going to do it, I think a person needs looking for leadership positions in higher education. The statement said that despite the creation of the to be resilient and be able to be in that position,” search committee, the members cannot take on the she said. Senior Kellie Swensen said they want a presifull-time work that comes with the presidential search. “We are extremely pleased with the composition of dent who values communication and transparency. Ithaca College’s search committee, which will bring a Swensen also said they want the search to be open, tremendous breadth and depth of expertise and per- unlike the search for Collado. They said it is important to be able to learn about candidates’ backstories bespectives to this critical work,” the statement said. Fleisher and Lissy said that the firm will help to fore hiring them to positions of power. Barry said that it is difficult to have a public, open manage and organize the search process, while the committee will evaluate the candidates the firm finds. finalist phase of the search. “The reason for that is the candidates simply aren’t They said the process includes open forums the firm is holding with the campus community. There were willing to do it,” she said. “It’s not necessarily because two open forums held — Oct. 19 and 20 — with the they have something to hide. It’s because they’re trypartners from Isaacson, Miller who are working with ing to protect their current institutions.” Jonathan Ablard, professor in the Departthe college for members of the campus community to ment of History, said morale on campus is at a low share their thoughts on the college’s next president. The Oct. 19 forum was held via Zoom while point. He said he has talked with students who are the one held Oct. 20 was in person at the Emerson losing professors because of the APP, which he Suites. Kate Barry and Karen McPhedran were the two thinks has an effect on the value of the education Isaacson, Miller partners who led the forums. Approx- at the college. Ablard said he thinks committee imately 30 people attended the Oct. 19 forum. Barry members and members of the board of trustees said that the input given at the forum events would need to go out and talk to faculty members to hear help to create a profile of what the community wanted their perspectives. Dean of Students Bonnie Prunty said she wants to in the next president. The profile was then to be given to the committee and released to the public after see a president who has had a wide range of experience working in higher education. She said she also committee approval. “These conversations are really helpful in the hopes to see someone who has experience working in drafting of [the position profile], and that position situations with constrained financials. “It would be really beneficial to have somebody profile will be used in our networking effort where we will go out and talk to people who don’t who can demonstrate that they’ve already done some yet know that they want to be the next president really creative things in a situation where they didn’t have a lot of resources financially,” she said. of Ithaca College,” she said at the forum. Kathleen Mulligan, professor in the Department of Theatre Arts, said she is looking for a president who is committed to the college. Collado received backlash from members of the campus community who were upset that she was leaving after implementing the Academic Program Prioritization (APP) process. Collado was only at the college for four years, the shortest tenure of all Dan Breen, associate professor in the Department of English, is president of the college’s AAUP chapter. The nine presidents of AAUP called for transperancy throughout the college’s presidential search process. Alyssa Beebe/The Ithacan




La Jerne Cornish speaks after being named the 10th president of Ithaca College on March 7 in the Emerson Suites. Ash Bailot/The Ithacan




a Jerne Cornish has been named the 10th president of Ithaca College. David Lissy ‘87, chair of the Ithaca College Board of Trustees, announced in an email to the campus community that the board had voted unanimously to name Cornish as the 10th president. “I write to you today with great pride and joy to announce that the Ithaca College Board of Trustees has voted unanimously to name Dr. La Jerne Terry Cornish as president of Ithaca College,” the email said. Cornish has served as the college’s interim president since Aug. 30, 2021, after the college’s ninth president, Shirley M. Collado, resigned. The email said the board believes her character and leadership as interim president qualify her to become president. Prior to serving as interim president, Cornish was the college’s provost and senior vice president for academic affairs and later as executive vice president from July 2018 to August 2021. “She has a thorough grasp of the challenges before us and is ready to work collaboratively with the members of the IC community on campus and around the world to ensure that we lean into the significant opportunities that we have to secure a bright future for Ithaca College,” the email said. Before working at Ithaca College, Cornish served


as an associate professor at Goucher College from 1998 to 2018 and the associate provost for undergraduate studies at Goucher College from 2014 to 2018. Cornish has a Ph.D. in Language, Literacy and Culture from University of Maryland, Baltimore County. The email also stated that the search committee for the college’s 10th president had unanimously recommended Cornish out of a competitive field of candidates. “Through this highly competitive process, performed with the utmost attention to the current and future needs of the campus, the search committee unanimously recommended to the board that Dr. Cornish be named IC’s next president,” the email said. During her time at the college Cornish has been involved in the creation and implementation of Ithaca Forever, the college’s five-year strategic plan. As provost, Cornish’s division was also in charge of the Academic Program Prioritization process, and she and Collado approved the “Shape of the College” document that has resulted in the ongoing elimination of 116 full-time equivalent faculty positions and a number of departments, majors and programs. In the email, Lissy invited the campus community to attend a livestream at 12:15 p.m. March 7 to introduce Cornish as the college’s new president. Additionally, an informal reception was held from 4:30 to 6 p.m. March 7 in the Emerson Suites.


hile many members of the Ithaca College community are happy to have a president who is familiar with the college, some are raising concerns about the presidential search process. David Lissy ’87, chair of the Ithaca College Board of Trustees, announced March 7 that the board unanimously voted to name La Jerne Cornish as president. She had been serving as interim president since August 2021 after President Shirley M. Collado resigned. Collado brought Cornish to the college in 2018 to serve as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. In summer 2021, Collado then promoted Cornish to provost and executive vice president. Collado then proceeded to step down from her position and served as adviser to the board of trustees and interim president and became president and chief executive officer of College Track in January 2022. During her time at the college, Cornish spearheaded the implementation of Ithaca Forever, the college’s five-year strategic plan, and she oversaw the beginning of the Academic Program Prioritization (APP) process, which is currently in its second phase. The first phase has resulted in the ongoing elimination of 116 full-time equivalent faculty positions and a number of departments, majors and programs. Both Cornish and Collado approved the “Shape of the College” document in February 2021, which provided the recommendations for the cuts. Dave Fleischer ’91, chair of the Presidential Search Committee (PSC), spoke about the committee’s timeline and process. The search was officially launched Sept. 17, 2021, when the board of trustees announced the creation of the PSC. The committee then partnered with Isaacson, Miller, an executive search firm, to aid in the presidential search. In response to the decision to partner with an executive search firm, the college’s chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) released a statement expressing concern about the lack of transparency regarding the decision to use a search firm, the fact that the board of trustees and the search committee rejected the AAUP’s call for shared governance and that the search was not declared open or closed. The PSC and the board of trustees never disclosed whether or not the search was open or closed. Fleischer said Isaacson, Miller conducted outreach to about 300 prospective applicants, and the committee conducted full interviews


BEGINNING OF LA JERNE CORNISH PRESIDENCY ELICITS MIXED REACTIONS FROM COMMUNITY with 10 semifinalists. “Every candidate received serious and thorough consideration,” Fleischer said. “Dr. Cornish rose above the rest. Her professional experience, leadership skills, personal qualities and demonstrated track record of persevering through difficult times elevated her above the other very accomplished candidates.” On March 9, the AAUP released a statement welcoming Cornish as president but expressing concern about the lack of transparency regarding the presidential search process. “When the board or upper administration engages with other constituencies, they do so primarily on their own, largely monologic terms: in lengthy presentations that leave no time for meaningful discussion, in smaller meetings and listening sessions for which there is little to no follow-up and in surveys and questionnaires that produce results typically shared directly with only a small number of employees,” the AAUP said in the statement. Thomas Pfaff, professor and chair of the Department of Mathematics, criticized the administration for conducting a reticent presidential search during a Faculty Council meeting March 8. “We knew nothing about it,” Pfaff said in a March 9 interview. “The search was completely a secret. During the search for President Collado … some constituents on campus got to interact with potential presidential candidates. Now, there’s been a complete lockdown. The president’s search committee was put together and we didn’t really hear anything until the announcement. … That seems problematic to me.” After former President Tom Rochon’s resignation in 2017, the college announced that the presidential search would be open and include public meetings with candidates. However, the PSC later announced that final candidates would not be brought to campus for public meetings. Collado was later named the ninth president. Dan Breen, president of the AAUP, expressed disappointment with the inconsistent communication that took place during the presidential search. “The most important question — whether the search would be open or closed — was never publicly answered,” Breen said. At the March 7 presentation, Lissy spoke about how he thinks Cornish is the right candidate. “She’s as clear-eyed about the challenges this place faces as she is excited about the many opportunities we have to reach our full potential,” Lissy said. Cornish said she intends to continue to lead with the Ithaca Forever plan. The plan was launched in October 2019 and is now in year three of its five years. Cornish said that once the two years are up, the college will create another strategic plan. “It’s going to take us three to five years to recover

from what’s happened from the pandemic,” Cornish said. “It’s going to take us three to five years to restore our reputation as a world-class comprehensive college, rooted and grounded in the liberal arts tradition, with amazing professional schools. And then it’s going to take us another three to five years to soar. Because we’re going to soar.” Senior Letícia Guibunda, vice president of campus affairs for the Student Governance Council (SGC) and member of the PSC, said the college and world have gone through many changes during her time as a student, resulting in students having to chase after and establish new normals. “I’m really glad that IC will now have President Cornish as our next leader for the institution because she really recognizes and cares about all the things that students have had to deal with throughout the years,” Guibunda said. “She has really shown serious intention behind wanting to make this school a place where everyone can sincerely feel and have a sense of belonging and a sense of community.” At the March 7 SGC meeting, members of the council voiced their happiness regarding Cornish’s appointment. “I think it is the right move considering she has been here for the past four or five years now, so she has a good grasp of the challenges that face the institution,” said senior Carlos Abreu, vice president of academic affairs for the SGC. Sophomore James Zampetti, vice president of communications for the SGC, said that Cornish attended an event held in Fall 2021 for students to speak about their mental health just to listen to students. “She doesn’t just talk about caring for students,” Zampetti said. “She goes out of her way to show and act on her commitment. … I’m really excited to work with her in the next couple of years and she’s a great fit for the position.” Chris McNamara ’81 is a clinical associate professor and clinic director of the Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty Council Executive Committee chair and member of the PSC. McNamara pledged to work with Cornish in reshaping the college. “We look forward under your direction and leadership, President Cornish, to the next best chapter of Ithaca College,” McNamara said. In a March 7 LinkedIn post, Collado expressed her excitement for Cornish in this new position. “It’s a historic day for Ithaca College as our legacy work continues with my sister president Dr. La Jerne Cornish leading the college boldly into the future,” Collado said in the post. “My heart is full and I am so proud of La Jerne and IC.” College Track said that Collado was traveling and could not be reached for comment. There were mixed responses to Cornish’s

appointment on social media. “Here we go again!” Eric Rieseberg said in a comment on the college’s Facebook. “God save us! Final nails in the IC coffin. The trustees have just missed the final opportunity to sweep clean. They have indeed ignored their feedback loops and graduate questionnaires. I am totally done with them!” “Very exciting 🎉wishing her a happy and productive six months in office before the students find a reason for her to be forcibly removed!” user @butterscannon said in a comment on the college’s Instagram. “Congratulations to Dr. Cornish and congratulations to @IthacaCollege on your amazing new president,” user @ErikaGSwain said in reply to the college’s tweet. “Sounds like a wonderful choice to lead IC!” Steven Weiss said in a comment on the college’s Facebook. Pfaff said he does not see much enthusiasm from within the college community. He said that much of the low morale on campus is directly tied to initiatives that Cornish was involved in, like the APP. “How did she move us away from that?” Pfaff asked. “Other than just … saying, ‘Well, we’re going to follow the Ithaca Forever,’ where somebody from outside that comes in kind of gets the benefit of the doubt. ‘Well, this new person, maybe they’ll change the direction. Maybe things will go better.’ I think that where we are right now is that problem of the connection to what has gone on and whether people feel like she can change it or not.” Assistant news editors Olivia Stanzl and Lorien Tyne contributed reporting to this story.

Chris McNamara, chair of the Faculty Council, and President La Jerne Cornish embrace on stage in the Emerson Suites. Ash Bailot/The Ithacan

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Angélica Carrington is the new director of the Center for Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity and Social Change at Ithaca College. Brooke Vogel/The Ithacan




ince January 2022, Angélica Carrington has been working as the new director of the Center for Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity and Social Change (IDEAS) at Ithaca College. According to an announcement made by the college in November 2021, Carrington is the first woman to lead the Center for IDEAS since its founding in 2018 and the third permanent director in the center’s history. She succeeds RahK Lash, who was the former director of IDEAS who left the college in March 2021. Contributing writer Riley Garand spoke to Carrington and learned more about her life and her new role at the Center for IDEAS. This interview has been edited for length and clarity. Riley Garand: Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your background? Angélica Carrington: So I’m originally from Laredo. It’s a border city in south Texas. I’m Mexican American and so I grew up on the U.S. side. However, my mother’s family, they’re from Mexico. … I went to college at Texas State University. … I originally wanted to be a lawyer and then realized after I interned at one of the only Spanish-speaking firms in Austin it’s not what I wanted to do. So I spoke to my mentors and they were like, “We have been telling you about the student affairs


program,” and I signed up the week it was due, made it work, got everything in, and it was the best decision I ever made. RG: What gravitated you toward choosing IC and the Ithaca College community as well as the IC Center for IDEAS? AC: Honestly this position is my dream job. … I’ve heard great things about IC. I have had colleagues go to IC and enjoy it. … It’s smaller. It’s more collaborative. It’s less siloed, which is very much my jam because I collaborate a lot. … It just aligned with what I wanted to do, which is to create spaces that are more inclusive, advocate for services and resources that are more equitable for the students to navigate. RG: Who were some of your biggest inspirations and influences? AC: My person, who I don’t even know if they know that they influenced my life as a professional special in higher ed, is Michael Benitez Jr. He is the VP of D&I [Office of Diversity and Inclusion] at Metro State University of Denver. … Seeing his career jet after he finished his doctorate, hearing him speak, how he speaks has always just been so influential. … Then obviously other women of color that I have seen speak in different conferences such as Angela Davis and — rest in peace — bell hooks. They kind of jetted me to want to be an advocate.

RG: What does it mean to be the director for the IC Center for IDEAS? AC: Advocating and creating places for students has really been at the forefront of all the work I’ve done. … Being the director for the Center of IDEAS is kind of the dream. Being in a space where I have some resources to get the work done, have a phenomenal team with me on this and amazing students who are a part of the office as well. … [It’s] a place for students who want to find somewhere where they can feel validated when things aren’t going the way that they hoped at the institution, to feel heard. RG: What are some of your goals within your new position in the next few months and in the long term? AC: I am just trying to listen for now, my husband calls it a listening tour, which is very much … like trying to piece together the previous leadership and the direction they were taking the space, trying to figure out why they went into the direction that they went and also listening to others on campus through leadership. … I am very honest in listening to that because I have a lot of ideas. However, if I don’t listen to what the students actually want and need and what our collaborators see as opportunities, then I am not doing the space justice.


THE COLLEGE’S MARTIN LUTHER KING SCHOLAR PROGRAM AND FIRST- GENERATION PROGRAM GET NEW DIRECTOR student equity and belonging and religious and with a passion for social justice has kept me pushspiritual life, led the search process for the program ing to be the best person I can be,” Carpenter said. hadayvia Wallace is the new program di- director position. Osorto said the college believes “I’m constantly questioning the world and my own rector of both the Martin Luther King (MLK) first-generation students and Black, Indigenous and environment — looking at what I can do better for Scholar Program and First-Generation Program at People of Color (BIPOC) students will receive the in- the community.” Junior Laura Avila, vice president of First Generacreased attention that they deserve if the departments Ithaca College. tion Organization, has been a part of the program for In past years, the two programs were run separate- are run by the same director. He said the college wanted someone who is two years. She also credits her membership as having ly, but Wallace officially took position as the director of both programs Aug. 16 following the departure of passionate about their students, experienced with a positive influence on her life. “Being a part of first-gen has provided me RahK Lash, previous director of the Center for Inclu- collaboration and has an inclination to take risks. “Wallace’s commitment to student voices stood with a myriad of friendships and resources, which sion, Diversity, Equity and Social Change (IDEAS) and of the MLK Scholar Program in Spring 2020. Each year out to me,” Osorto said via email. “First-gen and BI- made a substantial difference in my adjustment the college supports 60 total MLK Scholars and hun- POC students have important stories to tell, and her to college … as well as my outlook on college educahard work and track record make me confident that tion as a whole,” Avila said via email. dreds of first-generation students. Wallace said she is eager to settle into her new poshe will honor her students’ experiences.” The MLK Scholar Program is a Senior Olivia Carpenter, who has been a part of sition and plans to grow both programs’ social media stand-alone program with the MLK Scholar Program since her freshman presences. Wallace said she believes this will help to a $25,000 scholarship. “W a l l a c e’s year at the college, said she hopes Wallace create and maintain a connection with alumni, highThis program allows will bring positive change to the program. light current students and excite incoming students students to study c om m i tmen t “I would like to see the program itself with their opportunities. civil and human to s t u d e n t Wallace also said she intended to take the 2021–22 become more active again,” Carpenter rights and develsaid. “In the chaos of the pandemic, academic year as an opportunity to learn, observe and op case studies in voi c es stood ou t we all had to take some time to be OK. connect in order to align the program goals accurately global justice. Unto m e . ” Hopefully this semester, we are all able to what students need on campus. der the leadership “Because the MLK Scholar and First-Generation to get together again and have the kind of of faculty, students conversations we had in my earlier years at programs have specific populations that I am workare challenged and -Hiera ld Osorto ing with, I want to create programming and initiatives the college.” supported to develop Carpenter credits the program for shaping her that would best support these groups of their reach and impact in into who she is today. She said the coursework in- students,” Wallace said via email. “To me, that means Tompkins County, according to spired her to start her business, Via’s Cookies, which that I need to take the time to meet with the stuits website. The college has a number of resources for its donates a portion of its profits to struggling Black, In- dents and campus collaborators to see what gaps are within each program and reflect on viable ways to first-generation students, including a residential digenous, people of color and LGBTQ students. “Having a community of like-minded individuals fill them.” learning community, a pre-semester program and the First Generation Organization, which provides first-generation students with news, opportunities and events. During the 2020–21 academic year, over 600 first-generation students were enrolled at the college. Wallace spent the previous four years at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York, where she was the program coordinator for the Office of Inclusive Excellence and Global Education, after serving as area director. After earning a B.A. in political science and history and a minor in communication from Keuka College, Wallace received her M.S. from Syracuse University. Originally, she said she planned to attend law school, but after being nominated to become a student mentor her senior year of college, she began to notice the passion that she had for higher education. “I soon recognized that during my college career, I was heavily involved on campus participating in numerous initiatives within our Multicultural Office and Activities and Student Affairs offices as a work-study student,” Wallace said via email. “All of my experiences shaped my desire to be in a career that was in service for others. Higher education just became that vessel for me.” Hierald Osorto, former executive director of Shadayvia Wallace is the new director of the Martin Luther King Scholar Program and First-Generation Program at the college. Ash Bailot/The Ithacan






Abbey London/The Ithacan


Kevin Yu/The Ithacan





After leaving the Marines in 2021, freshman Jose Hinojosa decided to enroll at Ithaca College to pursue film. Yet, there were hardly any resources aimed at supporting his experience as a veteran and as a nontraditional student. To help to bring these resources to the college, he started a Student Veterans of America (SVA) chapter at the college. As president of the college’s student chapter of SVA, a club that was officially recognized by the college in Spring 2022, Hinojosa said he hopes to bridge the gap between student-veterans and nonveteran students, partly by hosting events — like movie nights and book clubs — that would help veterans integrate into college and nonmilitary life. “A lot of people at college have zero experience with the military,” Hinojosa said. “There used to be a much bigger percentage decades ago, … but it seems like at college, there’s a very small amount of traditional students that are in any way related to the military. So to see us just as normal people and just be more present on campus, I think would be very useful.” According to the 2021 national SVA Census Survey, 77.85% of veterans were enrolled as full-time students, with 56.74% enrolled in four-year public schools and 20.27% enrolled in four-year private schools. Ithaca College has approximately eight veterans. Hinojosa also said the living stipend the GI Bill provides has been one of his main areas of concern. The bill provides benefits for all veterans and active-duty members of the military looking to receive an education. It aids in paying tuition fees, housing, textbooks and supplies for college, graduate school and training programs. Under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, a veteran or active service member can receive benefits after 90 days of service if they served on or after Sept. 11, 2001. Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH), which is a monthly allowance paid to eligible service members when government housing is not available, is regulated based on ZIP code. The stipend, Hinojosa said, is often not reflective of the cost of living at the college — with the cost of tuition for the upcoming 2022–23 academic year at $48,126 and room and board at $15,934. “The only really financially viable way to go to school and college as a veteran is either you live here … or your family lives here,” Hinojosa said. “It’s really nothing IC can do unless it wants to step forward and either heavily reduce housing [on campus] for veterans or they give us higher stipends independent of the GI Bill.” According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, up to $26,042 can be covered for the 2022–23 academic year for a private institution under the Post-9/11 GI Bill at the 100% eligibility tier. Eligibility tiers are

determined by how long a service member has served in the military, with 100% payment toward those who have served at least 36 months or have been honorably discharged. Freshman Vincent Kang, veteran and vice president of the SVA, said he was dismayed by the financial limitations BAH posed, restrictions that make focusing on school more difficult for him. “Ithaca College doesn’t have to figure anything out,” Kang said. “It is all just reinventing the wheel. … They have literally hundreds of colleges with proven effective means. It’s just whether an administration wants to step forward and implement that with time and financial investments.” Part of the process is listening to the concerns of veteran students. Jacqueline Winslow, director of New Student and Transition Programs, is one of the people working with SVA to provide resources to aid their transition. “It’s talking to and listening to those students as individuals and understanding [what they need],” Winslow said. “What I’m hoping to build with the help of our current veteran students is some advice and mentorship about what’s most important for incoming student-veterans to know about life in Ithaca and learning at IC.” Another way the college is working to support veteran students is by achieving a Military Friendly official designation, which would judge the college on its ability to recruit and retain military veterans. The designation would help with outreach to prospective veterans by ensuring the college is welcoming and well resourced to meet their needs. Senior Sam Williams originally had the idea to create a club to support veteran students like himself prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Following the college’s sudden shift to remote learning in Spring 2020 and his own leave of absence for the 2020– 21 academic year, Williams came back to find that the club had already been started. “I know a lot of people have trouble getting here,” Williams said. “Just because of the expense of the area, a veteran coming into school is different than your typical freshman coming out of high school. We just have a few different needs and things we’re looking for.”

“Just see us as just normal people and …. .. be more present on campus ... would be very helpful.”

-Jose Hinojosa






cattered all across the Ithaca College campus are booklets with the words “Don’t Be Friends With Rapists” printed in bold font, along with posters that say “Believe Survivors,” “How Are You Dismantling Rape Culture?” and “Believe Survivors, Not Gossip.” First circulated anonymously, the zine and posters are part of one senior’s

independently, they are currently a member of IC Strike, a student organization that focuses on education, activism and allyship for survivors of sexual violence. According to the IC Strike Engage page, the mission of the group is to create a space for survivors to share their stories and for allies to listen to these stories. Additionally, the group strives to share resources and

A poster created by senior Aiden Nelson that addresses rape culture. Posters for the campaign were posted anonymously. Eleanor Kay/The Ithacan

campaign to call attention to the importance of sexual violence prevention. The zine covers the topics of victim blaming, rape culture, allyship and bystander intervention. The zine addressed that consent is essential and that victims of sexual violence are never at fault for the actions of perpetrators. It also mentioned that there is a lack of reporting on sexual violence that happens, what rape culture sounds like and, through tweets and data, made connections between culture and how it influences reporting. Senior Aiden Nelson, author of the zine, said they wanted to let the college community have organic reactions to the zine, a reason that they did not attach their name to it. Nelson said now that some time has passed and community members were able to have an uninfluenced and unbiased perspective of the zine, they felt comfortable coming forward as the author. Nelson said that they began putting up the posters in early September and that the zine was the next step. Although they distributed the zine


raise awareness about the complexity of sexual assault. Nelson said that their goal for the zine was to validate survivors and make people uncomfortable enough to think critically about rape culture. “In my head, the ideal situation was like, it’ll make survivors feel validated in their anger and potentially make people uncomfortable with how they handle themselves and make them actually question [their actions],” Nelson said. Out of all college-age students in the United States, 13% reported experiencing rape or assault, according to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN). Approximately 51.1% of female survivors were raped by an intimate partner and 40.8% of female survivors were raped by an acquaintance, according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC). The college has prevention tools like the Rave Guardian app and the Safe Escort Program. The Rave Guardian app provides safety alerts, quick access to emergency contacts, access to

college emergency resources and the Guardian Timer, which a student can use to invite someone else to virtually escort them to and from a location. The Safe Escort Program provides members of the campus community with someone to accompany them to and from anywhere on campus. However, Nelson said that efforts like this do not actually solve the issue that they are trying to address. Nelson said these tools provided by the college are not going to prevent many instances of sexual violence because most survivors know the perpetrator and are assaulted in private settings. According to RAINN, 55% of sexual assaults occur at or near the victim’s home. Additionally, 39% of rapes are committed by an acquaintance and 33% by a current or former partner. In comparison, 19.5% of rapes are perpetrated by a stranger. Efforts like the Safe Export Program and the Rave Guardian app do not necessarily help in situations such as these in which the survivor was assaulted by somebody they knew. Nelson also said they think the consent education training that takes place during orientation is not enough because the conversation needs to be a more regular occurrence on campus. “When you first come to IC, you’re just bombarded with information, and [the consent training] is just another box you, have to tick,” Nelson said. “I know that I did take it, but I don’t remember the information that was provided within the little course.” Linda Koenig, Title IX coordinator in the Department of Legal Affairs, said bystander intervention is crucial to create a safer campus community. A recent initiative that Koenig is a part of is called IC Responsibility (ICR), which aims to give students the tools to be socially responsible and caring community members. The program takes students through a range of workshops that revolve around learning to be a good member of society. Some topics included are bystander intervention, first responder training, identities, privilege and mental health. Once the foundational workshops are completed, students can proceed by specializing in one topic. “[Being an ally means] being able to recognize there’s a problem, knowing what the resources are and then understanding how to deliver that information in a way that really empowers [a survivor],” Koenig said. Natasha Bharj, assistant professor in the Department of Psychology, is a board member of ICR. She mentioned the importance


of unlearning rape myths to deconstruct rape culture. Rape myths are false beliefs about how and why rape occurs. A common example of a rape myth is that it is not “real” rape if the victim does not physically fight back. The point of rape myths is to excuse assault and normalize rape culture by victim blaming. “One of the issues is that society gives people so many ways to rationalize harming another person,” Bharj said. “So yeah, a lot of those kind of rape myths are around kind of providing that validation.” The zine specifically highlighted the idea of not accepting behaviors that contribute to rape culture. Rape culture is a term that describes how society enables victim blaming and normalizes sexual violence, according to Women Against Violence Against Women (WAVAW). Bharj said an important part of bystander intervention is helping people to understand when someone else is doing something wrong as well as to be aware of your own behavior and then knowing what to do about it. “It can be really difficult to call out your own friends,” Bharj said. “So giving people tools and models for how to do that and changing the norms on campus, that is the idea of [ICR]. … The idea that we can excuse [sexual violence] is all kind of tied up in these rape myths and dismissal of survivors.” The zine claimed most women know a survivor, but many men do not know a perpetrator of sexual violence. Kristi Taylor, education director of the Advocacy Center of Tompkins County, said that even the language used to talk about sexual violence feeds into rape culture. She said when people say “violence against women,” it instills the idea that sexual violence is a passive experience women have while erasing the perpetrator from the situation. “I think it’s wrapped into a larger piece around who gets to control the narrative and who has the power in our culture, which is, of course, around rape culture,” Taylor said. Koenig said that supporting survivors in addition to violence prevention is extremely important in changing the culture surrounding sexual assault. At the college, there were 13 reported cases of rape in 2018, 14 in 2019 and 10 in 2020. “It’s never too late to make a report to my office,” Koenig said. “Making a report doesn’t automatically mean there’s going to be an investigation. What it means is that you’ll engage with my office in a conversation about what are the things that will support you the most.”

Commentary: Transfer students need more support when coming to Ithaca College surrounded by people my age who are way more successful than me and it feels like they are above An issue on campus that may be overlooked right me with that extra experience. It’s a discouraging now is the lack of attention given to transfer stu- environment that can make you feel like you’re not dents at Ithaca College. How many students transfer good enough. Colleges tend to specifically focus on here every year? According to the college’s website, approximately 100 students transfer to the college freshmen, but transfer students are also just from other colleges and universities every year. as important. Personally, I think the college should have a proThis is not something that should be taken lightly. I am currently a senior in the integrated marketing gram dedicated to transfer students who may be behind or feeling discouraged. The college should have communications program. I transferred during my junior year in Fall 2020, opportunities that are only designated for the transfer student program that can help students and it has been extremely stressful. Trying boost their experience in their field. to start and finish a major as a transfer Having networking nights for student is hard enough, but trying “The college transfer students to be able to build relationships and find should have to meet different faculty or connections and jobs on connections in the Ithaca top of it can be completely a program community could also be overwhelming. There was a beneficial. huge disconnect during dedicated to Another opportunity Spring 2021. transfer students.” that the college offers is While watching otherstudying abroad. That is an students in my classes already -Maria Dobowski important opportunity you do have great internship opportunot get often. If the transfer student nities, I saw myself getting denied program had a special study abroad and discouraged when internship coprocess, this would help to eliminate the ordinators didn’t even respond to me. What was the reason? Was I not good enough? Did I not fit issue of transfer students being “left behind” and still give them the experience and opportunity to travel their standards? Being a transfer student during a pandemic put the world. Transferring to a new school can already be me behind in gaining that one-on-one experience and getting internship opportunities to work with differ- overwhelming, but to have to figure it all out in just ent companies. Being online for over a year also made two years can be extremely difficult and set you up for failure. By establishing this transfer student proit harder to ask for help. Yes, at the time, I was technically a junior, gram, I truly believe it could help transfer students but I really felt like a freshman. All these factors deal with issues unique to them and help set them up and stressors affect my mental health because I’m for success. BY MARIA DOBKOWSKI

Richie Morris/The Ithacan






s inflation raises the cost of everday items like gas, food and rent, Ithaca College students have begun to feel its effects on their wallets. Since early 2021, the United States economy has experienced a surge in inflation, creating an increase in the costs of goods and services and decreasing purchasing power. The United States’ inflation rate grew from 1.4% in January 2021 to 7% by December 2021, according to Statista. Also, from February 2021 to February 2022, the inflation rate increased by 7.9%. This is the highest the inflation rate in the U.S. has been since 1982, according to In 2008, in the middle of the major recession from 2007 to 2009, the average rate of inflation was 3.85%, according to Additionally, inflation typically affects people under 30 — particularly students — disproportionately. The causes of this ongoing surge are the global supply chain crisis and corporate price gouging. Junior Nick Mattera said the rising cost of food has been a growing problem for him. Mattera, who is from Queens, said one of the things he liked about going to school upstate is the lower food prices than in New York. However, Mattera said the rising cost of living in Ithaca has made his financial experience more on par with where he grew up. “I was really struggling just in general with getting food last semester,” Mattera said. “I couldn’t

Freshman Jem Taylor-Minier gets groceries from Walmart. College students have been hit hard by inflation. Kevin Yu/The Ithacan

really justify spending like $40 to get one entree delivered to my house through Grubhub. It was killing my wallet.” Delivery apps like Grubhub and DoorDash have been found to be raising their fees throughout the pandemic, despite increased delivery demand making them record profits. These practices have recently landed Grubhub in legal trouble. On March 21, Washington, D.C., Attorney General Karl Racine filed a lawsuit against

Some food items have nearly doubled in price, making it more challenging to purchase necessary household items. Kevin Yu/The Ithacan


Grubhub, according to Newsweek. The lawsuit claimed that Grubhub had hiked up prices for consumers and charged hidden fees. Additionally, the lawsuit alleged that the company had exploited restaurants in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. In July 2021, a similar lawsuit was also filed in Massachusetts. Steven Novakovic, instructor in the Department of Finance and International Business, said that while inflation does make items more expensive for the average consumer, some inflation is a sign of a healthy economy. Novakovic said that in mid-2021, most economists explained the ongoing increase in inflation as the economy’s natural and expected response to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, as rates of inflation continue to rise, it has become clear that there are causes of inflation that run much deeper than just the pandemic. “Going back a couple months ago, most perspectives were that it was temporary,” Novakovic said. “Now more and more people are starting to say, ‘Well, we might need to just suggest that this is the new normal.’ This means there needs to be some actions taken.” Kevin Adelman ’14 is the co-owner of Bickering Twins, a Latin American restaurant and tequila bar on The Commons that is popular among students at Ithaca College and Cornell University. Adelman said the ongoing inflation surge has increased the costs of items the restaurant needs, like takeout containers, chicken and


disposable gloves for cooking. Chicken prices have increased due to shortages and lack of supply chain labor. “Chicken thighs almost doubled,” Adelman said. “They were historically cheap, like $1.25 a pound. We used to get a really good price on them. Now they’re literally double, like $2.50 a pound.” Novakovic said that for Ithaca College students, the effects of inflation will be felt particularly on the increase in tuition cost. In October, the Ithaca College Board of Trustees approved a tuition increase of 3.25% — an increase of $1,515 — bringing the cost of attendance to $64,060. This is higher than any of the college’s previous tuition increases after 2014. Novakovic said that for students who have already taken out loans at a fixed rate — interest on the loan stays at the same rate until the loan is repaid — inflation can be seen as a positive. “What’s really interesting is that if there is inflation and you have this fixed debt, inflation ends up being kind of a good thing for you,” Novakovic said. “If your wages rise because inflation has gone up and forced you to earn more money, the costs [of loan repayments] stay the same but the amount of money that you receive has increased.” In addition to loans and food, the cost of gas has been increasing significantly. In May 2021, gas prices passed $3 per gallon on average and by December hit $3.28 per gallon. In March, gas prices hit a national average of over $4, surpassing the highest gas prices since 2008. Experts predict that gas prices will remain high for a while because of increasing crude oil prices in response to global supply concerns. Junior Abby Schroeder said that since she was a freshman, she has had her car on campus with her. Schroeder said inflation has increased the cost of gas for her significantly, as she lives in Buffalo, New York, and drives home frequently. “I’ve definitely noticed the price going up,” Schroeder said. “It used to be pretty cheap. I never used to ask my friends ‘Hey, can you send me gas money?’ because I didn’t care. … I would say it’s increased 10 or 15 bucks for me to fill my whole tank.” Mattera said the cost of everyday items increased so significantly that he has asked himself if he needs to pick up a new job. “I lifeguard in the summer so that I can coast on that money throughout the rest of the school year,” Mattera said. “I’ve definitely noticed that it’s not as easy as it was freshman year when I could just spend whatever and then go back to work in the summer. It eats up a lot of my savings.”

Commentar y: Public transportation should be free for college students B Y N E H A PA T N A I K

When I visited my friend who was a student at Rutgers University, we got around using the campus bus system. Knowing the charges for New York subways, the San Francisco Caltrain and the Chicago Transit Authority, I scrambled through my wallet, trying to find a few dollars to cover the cost. While doing so, I asked my friend “How much is the bus?” She responded, “It’s free.” I could not believe it. Rutgers University has a bus system that is not only free but runs from 6 to 3:30 a.m. Monday through Thursday and for 24 hours a day Friday through Sunday. This allows for convenient rides to classes, restaurants, grocery stores and more. This also allows students to not feel pressured to spend money on a car and gas knowing that there is a reliable bus system to take them where they need to go. I know students on other college campuses who have expensive or unreliable public transportation systems, and they felt obligated to spend money on a car that they are still paying off postgraduation. This is something that is hard for them to do, especially with an entry-level salary. Before I had a car on campus, I was dependent on my friends who did have cars, on Uber and Lyft drivers and the Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit (TCAT). There are so many colleges that have free public transportation systems that run 24 hours on all seven days of the week because of college being expensive enough and putting safety first to get students back to their homes. Ithaca is a town that has many steep hills that make it especially hard for those with disabilities and those who have anxiety when it comes to public transportation. Also, a lot of people say to those who don’t have cars, “Why don’t you just walk?” when some people cannot physically do so.

It’s hard to travel around Ithaca without a car. I remember during my first year at Ithaca College, I had a friend who was sick and desperately needed to get to a drugstore. I ordered a ride from Uber to help her get the medications that she needed, only to not find a car ride back home from either Uber or Lyft. There were no rides available and I could not find a TCAT bus. It took an hour of refreshing the Uber and Lyft applications on my phone to finally find a ride that would arrive at the drugstore in 20 minutes and take me back home. I understand that creating a free public transportation system will raise taxes in cities. However, I would rather have the cost of public transportation factored into the taxes that I pay, rather than paying on the spot. This can avoid the long lines for public transportation and keep people from fishing for loose change at the bottom of their backpacks for the $1.50 TCAT fee. As for college students, a bus pass for the time they are here would be helpful, too. Cornell University students can get free TCAT rides after 6 p.m. on weekdays and anytime on Saturday and Sunday. Shouldn’t Ithaca College students get that same privilege? Students at the college sometimes feel isolated and stuck on campus, so having the same TCAT benefits as Cornell students would push them to go out after classes and on weekends without hesitation. There are many benefits to having free public transportation. One bus can replace approximately 40 cars on the road. Global warming is a huge issue today, and it is especially caused by the amount of greenhouse gases that are released into the atmosphere. Having public transportation that is free can help to eliminate this. It can also help to cut the costs of buying a car and paying for gas. Students can also avoid the uncertainty of finding a ride through an app and feel safe knowing there is a reliable public transportation service in the area.

Abby Brady/The Ithacan






olly Geyer, an Ithaca College freshman living on the second floor of Hood Hall, saw a mouse running across her roommate’s bed after returning from a hike Sept. 7. She said the mouse had been getting into the food in her Hood Hall dorm room, but this was the first time she had seen the mouse with her own eyes. Students had witnessed mice in buildings on the college’s campus in April 2019, as previously reported by The Ithacan. The issue persisted into Fall 2021, both in residence halls and academic buildings. Two videos of Geyer’s encounter posted on the Barstool Ithaca Instagram account drew attention from students. The following day, the account posted two more videos of mice in the Center for Health Sciences. “I hadn’t realized that there were mice in our building yet and I was surprised to see it because usually when there’s mice, they’re pretty good at hiding in my experience,” Geyer said. After finding the rodent, Geyer said she filled out a maintenance request and staff quickly arrived to set out traps. The second floor of Hood Hall has had a consistent mouse issue this semester, sophomore resident assistant Nick Jones said. “There was actually space between where the drywall starts and where kind of the furnace is in the room, and that’s actually where the mice were getting in,” Jones said. “What’s a bigger problem to me is that the mice were able to get from room to room, so it wasn’t just confined into one room.” Jones said he was warned of a mouse problem on campus in previous years, but it was not made clear where the sightings occurred. Freshman David Diaram, who also lives on the second floor of Hood Hall, said that he found a mouse in his room about a week prior to Geyer’s encounter. “It’s gross,” Diaram said. “That was the last thing I expected when I walked in my dorm and I was like, freaking out. … I was not expecting to see a little mouse when I opened my door.” Although this issue is shocking to many students, the Office of Facilities is familiar with the situation. “It is not uncommon to have reports of the sighting of a rodent in a building on campus,” said Tim Carey, associate vice president for the Office of Facilities. “Most commonly these sightings occur in buildings that are closest to wooded or undeveloped areas of campus.” Hood Hall’s location in the Upper Quads places it in relatively close proximity to the edge of campus, where much of the land is wooded. In order to tackle the ongoing issue, facilities staff set and monitor bait boxes outside campus buildings, Carey said. Bait boxes are devices that store chemicals to kill mice and are typically sealed to keep other animals and humans away from the material, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Students living in residence halls can avoid interactions with mice by ensuring doors that might allow the animals into


the building remain closed and food is not being stored in open containers, Carey said. The Office of Facilities also closes off and continues to monitor possible building entry points, traps and rodents that do get into buildings and works with state-licensed pest control contractors, Carey said. He did not mention whether the office has made any changes to these policies since 2019 or plans to in response to recent events. Some students said they are understanding of this consistent issue and believe it to be a product of the location of the campus and its dorm buildings. Mice are common across North America, and frequently live close to humans, according to the Progressive Animal Welfare Society. They naturally live in forests or grasslands and are attracted to human food. Protected natural land makes up over half of the college’s property. Most of this area is forests, as well as shrublands and meadows, according to the college’s Natural Lands website. Geyer said that growing up she was used to mice because her family lives near the woods. “I think that mice problems might not be something that you can really get rid of, especially like, living near the woods and stuff,” Geyer said. “I know a lot of people have kind of been freaked out by it, but I think it’s natural, especially with the changing seasons.” Jones said he felt that the mice deserve some amount of respect as they live in this space as much as students do. He said he organized a funeral service for two mice that were caught and killed in the traps set by maintenance. “It was very respectful for the mice,” Jones said. “We gathered in the lounge … And we ended up, you know, speaking some words about the mice and how we respected them, and I sang Amazing Grace because I’m a voice major and then we had a procession” However, other students consider the consistency of this issue to be more problematic. Junior Ian Ertel lived in Hood Hall two years ago and said that he faced problems with mice during that time. “I understand as it gets colder, there’s going to be issues with that because they’re trying to get inside, all that stuff,” Ertel said. “But generally, I think … you shouldn’t really have it happen here. Like, I feel like the school needs to be more proactive about it.” Mice are linked to a number of diseases that can be transmitted through both direct and indirect contact with the animals, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Seeing this happen again in the same dorm makes me think that they’re not like actually addressing the Eleanor Kay/The Ithacan problem correctly, and that they’re sort of just … putting a Band-Aid over … a bigger problem,” Ertel said.





usinesses across the U.S. have been impacted by a labor shortage, which has been heavily influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic. As of Sept. 3, 8.4 million people were unemployed in the U.S., and on the last business day of July, there were 10.9 million job openings, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). While labor demand is increasing across the country, the quit rate — number of jobs quit out of the total employment — has also increased. According to the BLS, the quit rate during July was 2.7%. Hayley Harris, vice president of human resources, said the number of staff members at Ithaca College needed to align with the number of students enrolled. As part of the Ithaca Forever strategic plan, the college cut 116 full-time equivalent faculty positions and 26 departments, programs and majors, a process that was accelerated because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Non-Academic Program Prioritization — which focused on administrative, operational and staff functions at the college — has resulted in a number of administrative and staff eliminations. According to a statement released by the college’s Staff Council on March 15, 2021, staff members have been primarily impacted by the cuts. In Spring 2020, the college offered retirement incentives to employees, according to The Ithaca Voice. At the time, the college said it anticipated a total reduction in the workforce of 15%. Karen Armstrong, assistant to the dean in the Roy. H Park School of Communications, said the school has lost several staff positions over the last few years, and she now has to take on certain tasks for the entire school. “That left me supporting 50 faculty,” Armstrong said. “So I’ve managed over the last few years, but now … [it is] getting worse with all the cutbacks. And people just keep getting work piled on them that they can barely keep up with.” Armstrong said there is an adjustment to coming back from the pandemic but also an adjustment to having fewer staff members. “There’s nothing wrong with trying to, you know, be more efficient in the way we do things,” Armstrong said. “I get that. But there’s only so much that one person can do. You know, there’s a point at a time when we do need more staff. … I’ve been here for over 39 years, and it is definitely not the way it used to be.” Some other administrative assistants at the college declined to comment on the nature of their workloads. Katie Stone, assistant director for upper campus operations for Dining Services, said via email that Dining Services currently has 85 staff members. She said that, as of September, there were 30 positions available to fill, not including student employee positions. “There are approximately 675 hours of unfulfilled student labor each week across Dining Services units,”

Stone said via email. “There are over 1,300 hours of labor per week left unstaffed.” Stone said those numbers did not include the required student labor for the openings of the Campus Center Dining Hall Late Night, the satellite cafes or for Towers Marketplace to be open seven days a week. She said the long wait times and lines students have been experiencing at the dining halls are unrelated to the staffing issues but rather a byproduct of eating food in a restaurant-type setting. Dave Prunty, executive director of Auxiliary Services, said the college has never seen this high level of understaffing in the dining halls. He said that in the past, if the dining hall had 10 full-time employee positions or 20 or 30 student positions open, that was a lot. He said the college is not the only business lacking staffing. “If you’ve been downtown, you can’t walk 10 steps without finding a ‘for help’ sign,” Prunty said. “So I think it’s a thing happening across the entire area, if not the entire country.” Harris said that finding qualified candidates to fill vacancies has been a challenge. “This can be attributed to a number of factors, including reluctance by some to be active in the workforce during the pandemic, extended state and federal unemployment benefits, childcare concerns due to K–12 school opening plans being in flux and a high number of available positions in our area,” Harris said via email. Jeff Golden, senior director of Auxiliary Services, said that, as of September, mail services had four full-time staff and 23 student employees. Golden said mail services has less staff than past years, but unlike other areas on campus, is not understaffed. He said

the changes in staffing are because of new systems mail services uses, like the smart lockers that students use to get their mail. “Once a package goes in [to the locker], it’s in there for 48 hours,” Golden said. “If someone picks it up an hour later, we can put another package in. … Whether or not there’s a staff person available to do that has no bearing on how long that interval will be.” Tom Dunn, associate director and deputy chief for the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Management, said that staffing levels have not decreased or increased, but the department is seeing some turnover of positions. Dunn said that the positions that need to be filled include security and patrol officers and administrative assistants. “We’re still able to provide the same services and support to our students,” Dunn said, “Being down a few positions would necessitate some overtime for some of the officers.” Senior Simeon Alvarez said he works at the Ithaca College Library. He said the library has had to change its hours because it does not have the budget to stay open as long as it used to. According to its website, the library is open 7:30 a.m to 11:59 p.m on weekdays, 7:30 a.m to 8 p.m. Fridays, noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 11:59 p.m. Sundays. In the spring semester, the library was open from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and 10 to 2 a.m. Sundays. “In the past semesters, the library’s advertised it’s always open for students,” Alvarez said. “I feel bad for those students because I wish I could do something to be open longer.”

Alex Rader, Ithaca College Campus Center Dining Hall employee, swipes students into the dining hall Sept. 13. Thomas Kerrigan/The Ithacan






thaca College junior Caroline Mannion said much of her “typical” college experience was warped by the COVID-19 pandemic. Adding generalized anxiety, depression and anorexia disorders, Mannion said, only made things more difficult. Mannion said she has had many difficulties during Fall 2021 finding groups in which she feels she belongs. Many of the friendships Mannion said she began to make during her freshman year were destroyed as a result of the pandemic. “That has taken a big hit on my mental health because [I wonder] is it just me who can’t find these friends?” Mannion said. “The March we left campus, I was starting to find friends, and then we weren’t allowed back [on campus]. So that was really difficult … because I live in Ohio, and they all live in Massachusetts and New York.” Mannion also said she struggles with juggling academics, her social life and her mental well-being. Part of the stress, Mannion said, comes from dealing with professors who expect her to perform academically at high productivity levels.

Illustration by Abbey London


Students at Ithaca College express greater care for mental health problems. Photo illustration by Abbey London and Eleanor Kay

“With mental health, even though in some cases it can be really hard to deal with, [people] keep going, like they have perseverance,” Mannion said. The college is attempting to address the mental health needs of students through its partnership with the JED Foundation, which is a nonprofit that works to prevent suicide and protect emotional health. JED Campus is a four-year strategic partnership between the college and the JED Foundation to assess and enhance mental health services, substance misuse and suicide prevention programs on campuses. In Spring 2021, the college sent out the Healthy Minds Survey as part of the JED process to assess student attitudes toward mental wellness support. Of the 1,226 students who participated, 84% reported feeling the need for mental health support services and 60% reported receiving services in the past. Brian Petersen, director of the Center for Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS), said that part of the process was forming different subcommittees to focus on different areas throughout the year. These include faculty and staff training, student engagement and outreach, stigma reduction and strategic planning. Petersen said the ultimate goal was to incorporate more training into the community to better identify and address mental health needs. “So we really want to look at what CAPS is doing and make sure that every student feels that we are a resource for them,” Petersen said. Petersen also said he was not surprised by an increase in levels of depression and anxiety. He said much of it could be attributed to the pandemic on top of traditional anxieties surrounding college. In a Spring 2020 online survey conducted by Active Minds, 80% of college students reported that COVID had a negative impact on their mental health in Spring 2020. “We see the normal adjustment issues around feeling comfortable with a roommate, being away from

home and managing the anxiety of pending classes,” Petersen said. “But on top of that, now everyone has to deal with the anxiety about COVID.” Afton Kapuscinski, director of the Psychological Services Center and associate teaching professor of psychology at Syracuse University, said the pandemic contributed to mental health concerns nationally. “Since loneliness and lack of variety in activities can cause feelings of depression for anyone, those who already had mental health struggles prior to the pandemic were particularly at risk with limited social contact,” Kapuscinski said via email. “Despite improved conditions for some, other effects of the pandemic … continue to reverberate for many people.” Sophomore Alex Kabat also said she felt challenged by the sudden shift to in-person classes for the fall semester after a hybrid spring. “Being around everybody again is so great because there was nobody here all [during the Fall 2020] semester,” Kabat said. “And then when everybody came spring semester, it was very difficult to get to know new people since all my classes were online.” Kabat also said that while she was looking forward to being on campus, she struggled with becoming motivated and managing her time. One way Kabat said she deals with this is through her friend group. “I think that everybody gets it, so it’s nice to feel the same sense of knowing that we were going through it all together,” Kabat said. Senior Michelle Pei, president of Active Minds at Ithaca College, said her main job is to spread awareness and dispel myths regarding mental health by providing a welcoming community and support group for students. “In general, when it comes to conversation about mental health, it seems to be quite taboo,” Pei said. “When in reality, we all have mental health as we do with physical health. … Especially considering with the recent quarantining, it only makes sense that a


lot of people would be struggling, and that is also very much OK.” When it comes to Pei’s own mental health, she said she often has trouble with her work-life balance. “The fact that we are still held to the same degree of productivity as before the pandemic seems quite unfair,” Pei said. “And yet this is a very institutional issue and something that can’t really be resolved on an individual basis.” Burnout among college students in the United States has reached new highs, escalating from 40% in August 2020 to 71% in April 2021, according to a study conducted by the Ohio State University’s Office of the Chief Wellness Officer. The college planned to further support student mental health through Giving Tuesday, an annual, global event that was held the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. The college plans to launch a wellness app for students, increase access to Student Emergency Relief Funds and establish more wellness days and mental health campaigns. Matt Vosler, assistant professor in the Department of Recreational and Leisure Studies, hosted a Mental Health Open Conversation along with the Student Governance Council on Nov. 17 to help facilitate conversation among students and faculty members on student’s mental health issues. Vosler said he came up with the idea for the event after midterms when he realized many of his students were underperforming as a result of mental health-related issues. He said that he began having conversations with students regarding their experiences during the pandemic. “I sort of realized that just having that conversation was actually sort of helpful,” Vosler said. “Because I think a lot of folks feel isolated in their experience, even though we’re conscious that everybody is going through all this stuff.” Vosler said he has also been struggling during the pandemic. Vosler also said much of his struggle came from the uncertainty of the Academic Program Prioritization (APP) process. A part of the process is the ongoing elimination of 116 full-time equivalent faculty positions and 26 majors, departments and programs. Vosler is one of the faculty members being eliminated from the college and is leaving at the end of the academic year. “There’s a lot of folks that are really trying hard to address the mental health situation we’re dealing with on campus,” Vosler said. “We’re still in this experience. This is still an act of trauma for folks. … Even through this whole APP process and everything else that’s been happening, we’re not stepping back. We’re not stepping down. We’re trying to step forward at a time of uncertainty that, I think, is an admirable thing.” Support services are available through CAPS by calling (607) 274-3136. CAPS also provides online resources for students. Students who need immediate assistance can call the Office of Public Safety and Emergency Management at (607) 274-3333. Students can also reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255.

Commentar y: The college continues to fail in serving its students of color BY GIANNY GUZMAN

I chose Ithaca College for many reasons: the financial aid package I was offered, the advertised diverse and inclusive community, the distance from home and in part because of Chris Holmes, associate professor and chair of the Department of English. Of those reasons that I chose this college, many of them overlap with the reasons I am choosing to leave the college — except Chris Holmes, who has remained a helpful advocate for me in my first few semesters. It wasn’t just one moment that made me choose to take a semester off and possibly leave the college. It was a series of difficult situations I had to experience at the beginning of each semester since Fall 2020 in which I would be forced to go back and forth with the Office of Student Financial Services at the college until I was able to somewhat figure out what was going on. As a first-generation student, I always knew I would be completely alone with my finances. My parents don’t speak English and they have been unable to financially help me throughout my college career. I knew this and I still chose a private college because it seemed like the best fit for me and I was OK with having the number of loans that I calculated I would have. Each semester something seemed to change and I was left in the dark, despite going around asking everyone I could what I should be doing. It seems that I had to ask the right person at the right time just to get the right answer. I had done my own research in high school, but none of it prepared me for dealing with forms and conditions I had no prior knowledge of. Many of my peers helped me, but many of my other friends had their parents handle their college finances. It was a difficult process each semester that weighed heavily on my mental health and enabled and amplified my

imposter syndrome. I’m not good at asking for help. It’s just how I was raised, but it didn’t help that each time I attempted to ask for help I was let down. I will say there were many professors who helped me when I was overwhelmed and stressed. I came to this college that first-gen students would be guided and under the impression that I wouldn’t be alone in dealing with navigating college. But I did — I navigated the last three semesters, one online, one hybrid and one in person, all on my own. I didn’t have support from my family. There was nothing they could do, and I couldn’t rely on my friends because at the end of the day these are my own issues that I have to learn to navigate. This isolation made me feel like the college only cared about me when it wanted me to enroll and afterward I was disregarded and fell immediately through the cracks. I have made the choice to leave because at the end of the day this is my education, my loans to pay and my life I have to start taking control of. I couldn’t keep calling and waiting for the right person to pick up. I don’t want to be hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, so I am making that choice for myself. My parents won’t be paying those loans. It is no one’s responsibility but my own. The college community wasn’t what I was expecting either. There is little to no diversity at least in terms of race, and the college continues to idealize this false statement without attempting to make it true. I did not expect to go months without speaking Spanish, attend multiple classes in which I was the sole person of color in the room and educate and correct my own peers on racial matters when the college and professors failed to do so. I was given many false promises that contributed to the decline of my mental health and college performance. This is my experience, and I had to learn the hard way that Ithaca College was my perfect fit on paper but not in reality.

Nolan Saunders/The Ithacan






thaca College is now a part of Hillel’s International Campus Climate Initiative (CCI), which works with college administrations to make a positive environment for Jewish students, for the 2021–22 academic year. The goal of the CCI is to create a positive campus climate in which Jewish students feel comfortable to express their identities and values, free of antisemitism, harassment or marginalization. Hillel is the largest Jewish campus organization in the world. Its mission is to enrich the lives of Jewish students so that they may enrich the Jewish people around the world, according to Hillel International. The college has 1,000 Jewish undergraduate students out of 5,852, making the Jewish population 17%.

the 2021 Annual Security and Fire Safety Report. Rotenberg said most universities are unaware and ignore these issues. “Most universities are focused on anti-racism, gender bias and sexual violence, all of which are very important issues,” Rotenberg said. “But we’re raising our hand and saying, ‘Hey, there’s this issue too and Jewish students are entitled to equal protection under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. We’re entitled to have our needs listened to and respected.’” The college has a bias impact report that allows students, staff and faculty to access resources if they witness or experience a bias incident. The bias impact report is not a formal complaint process. The college has three separate resources for filing formal complaints: one for students, one for faculty and one for staff.

From left, Max Kasler, springboard innovation fellow of Hillel at Ithaca College; junior Isaac Schneider, president of Hillel; and Lauren Goldberg, executive director of Hillel, said they look forward to working with the Campus Climate Initiative. Alyssa Beebe/The Ithacan

Mark Rotenberg, vice president of university initiatives and legal affairs for Hillel International, said Hillel International created the CCI because striking statistics showed it could not wait any longer to do something about the growing antisemitism. Antisemitic hate crimes and bias incidents more than tripled from 2012 to 19, according to Hillel International. The college has also faced antisemitic incidents and harassment over the years. In April 2019, a student found a swastika on their dorm door in Talcott Hall. In 2017, another student found their mezuzah — a prayer scroll — ripped from their doorpost. In 2019, there was one instance of damage of property in an on-campus residential housing facility that was characterized by religious bias, according to


The CCI staff plans to accomplish its goals by collecting data and training the staff and administration to better understand the challenges the Jewish community faces. It will also help the institutions create policies that will create a positive climate on campus for not only Jewish students but the entire student population, according to its website. The CCI is in its second year and will be working with 27 institutions this year, including New York University, Northeastern and Elon University. Junior Isaac Schneider, president of Hillel at Ithaca College, said that he filled out the application for the competitive spot to work with CCI the night he was given the opportunity. The college’s administration

and staff had to go through a round of interviews after the initial application was filled out. Hierald Osorto, former executive director of student equity and belonging at the college, said he is delighted the college has been selected to join the CCI. “This new collaboration builds on the excellent work occurring in the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life alongside our longtime campus partner Hillel at Ithaca College,” Osorto said via email. “It will help us expand our diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.” Schneider said the college partnering with CCI will give Jewish students a sense of hope. He said he believes there is a lack of awareness within the college community on issues that the Jewish community faces. “It’s not even this purposeful ignorance most of the time,” Schneider said. “It’s just that they [non-Jewish students] don’t know. … I think seeing this very real data from their peers within the next year is going to be very impactful for the majority of this campus, which is not Jewish. And in turn, the Jewish students will feel better once the recognition starts.” Lauren Goldberg, executive director of Hillel at the college, said the college’s administration has shown support for the Jewish community by helping to embark on the collaboration with CCI. “For the campus to say, ‘Let’s really examine how we’re doing right now,’ purely from a place of being proactive and not reactive is really rare these days,” Goldberg said. “I think we’re one of the only campuses that hasn’t had a major crisis that drove their administration into recognizing this need. Our administration heard about this and saw it as an opportunity just to do better for their students and to really listen.” The college has been known to schedule events on Jewish holidays. In 2018, the college scheduled commencement on Shavuot, a Jewish harvest holiday. This left Jewish students and their families having to choose between an important milestone and a religious holiday. This resulted in Hillel proposing a bill to the Student Governance Council (SGC) that would prevent college events from being scheduled on Jewish holidays. In January 2021, the SGC passed the Holiday Accommodation Policy Recommendation, which pushes for the college to consider religious holidays before scheduling campus events. This followed the SGC’s passing of a bill to create the Committee for the Advancement of Religious Equity in 2018, but the committee was never created. Sophomore Carly Weiss transferred to the college Fall 2021. Previously, Weiss attended the University of Rhode Island, where she said that Hillel was very different. “There was not as big of a Jewish population at University of Rhode Island, so the Hillel was not inclined to do as much,” Weiss said. “The Hillel at Ithaca is like a family. Not only do the cantors and heads of Hillel know my name, but the members do too.”





n between classes, members of the Ithaca College community gathered while organizers handed out blue wristbands printed with the words “Humans against antisemitism, bigotry and hate.” Throughout the day, the campus community engaged in an open dialogue about antisemitism. Hillel at Ithaca College, the Center for Inclusion Diversity, Equity and Social Change (IDEAS) and the college’s senior leadership collaborated to hold the “IC Day of Learning: Grappling with Antisemitism” miniconference from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m Feb. 28 in the Emerson Suites. Lauren Goldberg, executive director of Hillel and interim director of the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, came up with the idea for the miniconference as a response to the two swastikas found Feb. 3 and Feb. 8 on campus. President La Jerne Cornish said the college community needed to use the day of learning to work toward making an environment on campus that combats antisemitic, racist and other threatening ideologies. “By probing the depths of the ideas that deal with antisemitism by grasping not just the history of it but also its many contemporary manifestations, we will have the tools we need to identify it and reject it,” Cornish said. Goldberg compared the spreading of antisemitic hate to the COVID-19 pandemic. “We talk a lot these days about the significance of being symptomatic and asymptomatic,” Goldberg said. “The swastikas that appeared on our campus were the symptomatic representation of this rising spread of hate. You can carry hate asymptomatically and not even realize that you’ve been infected.” During the 2020–21 academic year, college students around the country reported 244 antisemitic incidents to an Anti-Defamation League (ADL)-Hillel website initiative, a rate that was an all-time high. Out of 756 self-identified Jewish undergraduate students, 43% reported they experienced or witnessed antisemitic activity in the past year, according to a 2021 campus antisemitism survey from the ADL and Hillel International. Two swastikas were found in April 2019 on the college’s campus and a student reported a mezuzah — a prayer scroll — was ripped off their door in 2019. Aviva Snyder, campus support director at Hillel International, presented the first event called “Antisemitism 101 – Defining Our Terms.” Snyder played a video from Hillel International and the ADL that said over a quarter of the world’s population believes antisemitic stereotypes to be true. The video also explained that while Jews make up 2% of the population in the United States, they make up 60% of all hate crimes directed at a specific religious group and 13% of hate crimes in general. “So there is a long history of misappropriating that Jews are greedy, that we’re dishonest, that we’re secretly hiding an identity,” Snyder said.

Omega Hollies, associate director for the Center for loss and pain stay with families through generations. “An event that may seem to have happened before IDEAS, and Max Kasler, Hillel springboard innovation fellow, presented “Let’s Talk About the Whoopi Gold- one’s time is still present in the fabric of our everyday life,” Levine said. “We’re increasingly surrounded by berg Thing: Race, Jews and the Holocaust.” On an episode of ABC’s “The View,” Whoopi Gold- fractured lives and families, and their stories of loss berg said the Holocaust was not about race but instead a and survival are also being embodied and inherited by conflict between two groups of white people. However, their descendants.” Uriel Abulof, associate professor at Tel-Aviv antisemitism is at the core of racist ideologies like white University and visiting professor at Cornell Universupremacy and white nationalism. The audience discussed the idea of race as a social sity, presented about the Israel-Palestine conflict construction that changes over time and space. Hollies and presented four words to better understand where said that even though race is constructed, it is still real antisemitism started. The words were dread, doubt, defiance and demonization. and affects people’s lives. “The starting point for any investigation of antisemi“So race is something that you might have an intrinsic feeling about yourself, how you view yourself,” tism should not be why does this irrational belief appeal Hollies said. “But it doesn’t always mean that feeling is to other people, but why does it appeal to me?” Abulof said. “If one asks this question … it may be possible to going to match how other people feel.” Junior Isaac Schneider, president of Hillel at Itha- find out what’s underneath.” Ithaca College freshman Matthew Scott said he ca College, said he has seen many questions circling campus about what a swastika means. The swastika came to the event because the value of being in a colhistorically has been used by many cultures as a sym- lege community is confronting issues like antisemitism. bol of well-being, but through the use of the sym- Scott was with junior Alexa Chalnick when she found bol by the Nazi Party, today a swastika is widely seen the first swastika in condensation on Baker Walkway. “I kind of was dismissive of [the swastika], … but as a hate symbol that promotes white supremacy when [Chalnick] addressed what it meant to her and to and antisemitism. Modern antisemitism was facilitated by Social our Jewish peers I realized the significance of the issue,” Darwinism and theories of racial superiority, ac- Scott said. The conference ended with Schrode’s keynote cording to a report from the ADL, but discrimination against Jewish people dates back centuries. Schneider speech, “On White Supremacy, Hate Speech and said that he was thankful for all the students and Neo-Nazis.” She talked about her experience with hate faculty who attended the event to learn about how stu- directed toward her as a Jewish woman and said that untrue stereotypes and beliefs lead to antisemitism dents are affected by antisemitism on campus. “I’m the grandchild of Holocaust suvivors, not the and violence. “How many swastikas is too many?” Schrode said. great-grandchild, [it’s] not some ancient generation,” “How many tropes? How many slurs? Why is it that peoScheider said. Erin Schrode, activist and social entrepreneur, said ple don’t respond when one crime is committed? … that she wished these dialogues happened all the time, Trust me, I wish that no symposium like this was ever not just after antisemitic incidents occur, but said that needed, but the fact is … this is a slippery slope. Rhetshe had never seen a college mobilize a symposium oric, actions and symbols lead to violence and danger and division.” this quickly. “For me, that shows that this campus … is committed to educating the whole student body,” Schrode said. “I thought they did a really beautiful job.” Annette Levine, associate professor in the Department of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures, presented about intergenerational Holocaust trauma and talked about her research on second-generation Holocaust survivors in Argentina and Brazil. Levine researched her own family history because her grandmother and parents were Holocaust survivors, and she talked about how stories of Community members discuss prejudice at the IC Day of Learning event. Leila Marcillo-Gomez/The Ithacan




Ash Bailot/The Ithacan


Brendan Iannucci/The Ithacan





Svante Myrick, Ithaca’s youngest and longest-serving mayor, resigned Feb. 6 after 10 years of service. Throughout his tenure, Myrick worked closely with Ithaca College leaders and faculty. Myrick, a Cornell University alum, announced his resignation Jan. 5, saying that he had accepted a leading position at People for the American Way, a major progressive advocacy group in Washington, D.C. Myrick cited the ongoing attacks on democratic norms by Republican Party lawmakers ahead of the 2022 midterm elections as his reason for accepting the position. After stepping down, Myrick was replaced by Ithaca Common Council Representative Laura A. Lewis. “I love Ithaca,” Myrick said in his announcement. “I’ve loved serving this city, and I believe my service has made a difference. It’s been the honor of my lifetime to serve as the 44th mayor of Ithaca — and the longest-serving mayor in our history.” In a statement to The Ithacan, Ithaca College President La Jerne Cornish praised Myrick’s time as mayor, including his involvement in establishing the college’s new Physician Assistant Studies Program, which is located on The Commons. The Physician Assistant Studies Program was launched in October 2021 and offers a 27-month Master of Science program for 30–50 graduate students. “Just as the City of Ithaca has been graced with Svante’s leadership, Ithaca College has been graced with his friendship, support and advocacy,” Cornish said. “Most recently, Svante was a key partner in establishing the college’s presence on the Ithaca Commons with the opening of our physician assistant program facility — a major moment for this institution.” During the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, Myrick collaborated with the administrations of both Cornell University and Ithaca College to navigate the pandemic’s economic and academic fallout in Ithaca. Since Ithaca is a collegetown that brings in approximately 30,000 students, the closures of both schools hit Ithaca’s businesses particularly hard. Myrick also oversaw the passage of Ithaca’s Green New Deal, which will transform the city’s energy system to be 100% decarbonized by 2030. “Ithaca is a collegetown and by dint of his service to this community, Svante has enriched the lives and experiences of our students, faculty and staff,” Cornish said. “On behalf of Ithaca College, I offer Svante our deepest gratitude, and I cannot wait to see how he shines in his new role leading People for the American Way.” Senior Jonah Robertson said that while he grew up just outside Ithaca, he had visited the city frequently since he was around 7 years old because both of his parents grew up in the area. After Ithaca elected Myrick as

mayor in 2012, Robertson said that he began to notice the effects of his governance. “I remember when Svante came through and redid the traffic system in places like the Octopus,” Robertson said. The Octopus is a nickname used by Ithacans for a complex intersection of multiple byways in west Ithaca that experiences frequent traffic congestion. Under Myrick’s leadership, the city passed numerous plans for transportation revitalization, some of which address the Octopus. Senior Letícia Guibunda is the vice president of campus affairs for the college’s Student Governance Council (SGC). Guibunda said that as one of the leaders of the SGC, she supports many of Myrick’s efforts to improve the city, like the renovation of The Commons as well as his prioritization of public safety. After former New York state Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order requiring police reform, Myrick’s administration passed legislation to replace the Ithaca Police Department with the Department of Community Solutions and Public Safety. “One thing that was really important to me was the issue of public safety,” Guibunda said. “It’s one of the reasons why I got involved in student government to begin with. One of the things that I was always really impressed with and admired about the mayor is his commitment to public safety in Ithaca.” Guibunda is an international student from Brazil. Guibunda said that when she first visited Ithaca with her mom, they thought Myrick was a vibrant leader and were impressed by his renovations to The Commons. “While it’s a loss for the City of Ithaca to lose somebody who has been such a great leader for a long time now, I do think it’s a great thing that he’s pursuing,” Guibunda said. Robertson said that when he was a child, he went to Sherburne-Earlville Central School District, which is the same school district that Myrick attended when he was growing up. When Robertson was a student, Myrick revisited his school district. Robertson said that he felt connected to Myrick’s life story, as Myrick grew up in poverty and experienced periodic homelessness. “I remember him coming through to our school and giving interviews throughout the hallways and introducing himself,” Robertson said. “He was from the same … kind of background as me, as in coming from nothing to going to something. I felt like ‘Oh, this person came from the same high school and came from the same roots as me.’ That was really good.”






fter sophomore Spencer Whitmore graduates from Ithaca College, he plans to move to a small town in Washington state. Whitmore would rather spend his life in Ithaca, the city where he was born and raised. However, the city’s rising rent, increasing number of upper-class housing developments and declining flavor have made Whitmore and many others feel isolated and distant from their home. “I absolutely love this town,” Whitmore said. “There is nowhere else I want to be. But with this whole process, it’s just not fun to be here anymore.” Whitmore said this is because of gentrification, a process during which a city or neighborhood gets transformed over time when more affluent residents move in. On paper, gentrification appears to be beneficial — the process brings in temporary jobs, new tax revenue and an increase in housing value. In Downtown Ithaca, the effects of gentrification can be felt the most in the changing scenery of The Commons. Additionally, gentrification has priced out and displaced lower-income Ithacans — like those living in Ithaca’s south side, a historically Black neighborhood. In 2009, the City of Ithaca began a six-year renovation of The Commons. In April 2013, the old Commons — an open community walkway with a European-style layout — was destroyed and by 2015 was replaced with a more photogenic, business-friendly space. During this transformation, the median rent in the City of Ithaca quietly increased from $574 per month in 2000 to $1,072 per month in 2020 for a one-bedroom apartment, according to The Ithaca Voice. Since 2010, the percentage of Tompkins County renters who are cost burdened — spend more than 30% of their income on housing — has risen to 55%. Stephen Sweet, Dana professor in the Department of Sociology, said that while gentrification upfront is

The construction site for Asteri pictured Jan. 29. Elijah de Castro/The Ithacan


Sophomore Spencer Whitmore grew up in the Ithaca area. The area has been impacted by gentrification. Elijah de Castro/The Ithacan

an economic issue, its effects can be felt among the networks of a community experiencing it. “All of a sudden everything becomes more valuable and people start getting priced out,” Sweet said. “And then they no longer fit in the very neighborhoods in which they grew up. … It’s a twofold economic and social concern.” Since the reconstruction of The Commons, construction in the downtown area surrounding it has dominated decade-old small businesses. City Centre, The Ithacan: Luxury Living, Harold’s Square and Asteri Ithaca are four major apartment complex business centers on The Commons in different stages of development. Each building has or will have minimalist architecture that towers above the old Commons. Whitmore said he remembers how when he was a child, The Commons existed as a community space. Now, he says, it feels like The Commons has transformed to outsiders, like wealthy college students and large, profitable businesses. “It feels like the energy has been sucked out of The Commons,” Whitmore said. “They’re taking away all those little stores that people like to go to and then [there are] those big buildings that just no one has any interest in.” Throughout Ithaca, other construction projects have been underway in neighborhoods. Junior Kalena Yearwood grew up near Dryden, New York, but attended Beverly J. Martin Elementary in Ithaca as a child. Yearwood said that she has noticed new developments near the school. She believes Ithaca’s culture of environmentalism is challenged when the city races to construct new buildings. “Ithaca has always been advertised as a city in which we value nature and … natural light,” Yearwood said. “Just seeing the way … we prioritize economics … has made me angry.”

In 2019, City Centre was completed, creating eight stories of luxury apartments priced at over $2,000 a month. City Centre also gives a new home to Chase Bank, which manages $3.19 trillion in assets and is the largest bank in America. Freshman Rae Hesler grew up in Ithaca and said that the construction of City Centre was happening while she was attending Ithaca High School. “This isn’t Ithaca,” Helser said. “This is so modern. Ithaca has all this old, beautiful architecture. It’s not going to be affordable, and it’s going to obstruct Ithaca.” Sweet said that in discussions of Ithaca’s gentrification, one must take into account how, historically, communities of color and poor people have been segregated to different areas of the city. A report co-authored by sociologist Barbara H. Chasin and anthropologist Richard W. Franke found that between 2000 and 2010, the Black population in the City of Ithaca declined by 3% but increased in the surrounding Town of Ithaca by 41%. “If we actually look at the history of towns like Ithaca, they are characterized by exclusion,” Sweet said. “They’re characterized by segregation, and you can see that by the racial makeup and distribution within Ithaca.” Yearwood said she hopes that the local government can focus on addressing issues facing Ithaca’s families rather than appealing to those who live outside the city. One of these issues is the city’s supply of affordable housing, which is significantly below demand. “I’m genuinely afraid for Ithaca’s future if I’m being honest,” Yearwood said. “ … We’re just building and building and building. I think this will get out of control. I just don’t think that [all] the building … is going to be helpful for the future of this city.”





ocal government officials in the City of Ithaca are confident that the community initiatives started by former mayor Svante Myrick will continue following his Feb. 6 resignation. Myrick resigned after 10 years as mayor and assigned Common Council Representative Laura Lewis as acting mayor. In addition to her new mayoral position, Lewis will be retaining her vote and seat on the Common Council as the Fifth Ward alderperson until the next election. Lewis has confirmed she will be running as a candidate in the November 2022 general election and has expressed her support for affordable housing, the Ithaca Green New Deal and the Reimagining Public Safety initiative. The Ithaca Green New Deal was adopted by the Common Council in June 2019 and has two goals: to achieve carbon neutrality communitywide by 2030 and to ensure benefits are shared among all local communities to reduce historical social and economic inequalities, according to the City of Ithaca. While Myrick initiated a number of local efforts like Reimagining Public Safety and the Ithaca Green New Deal, Lewis said the Common Council had to approve and endorse those efforts. “There’s been budgetary support behind initiatives that may have stemmed initially from Mayor Myrick, but these are initiatives that have my full support and that most certainly are continuing with city staff and Common Council effort,” Lewis said. Every January, the mayor appoints an acting mayor and an alternate acting mayor from the Common Council. There are five wards that make up the city and for each ward there are two Common Council representatives. On Jan. 5, Myrick appointed Lewis as acting mayor and appointed Second Ward Alderperson Ducson Nguyen as alternate acting mayor. Lewis said that before she agreed to be acting mayor, Myrick informed her of his plans to resign and accept a position as the executive director of People for the American Way. Lewis said she thinks it is important for there to be support and protection for renters and tenants as well as support for a higher degree of home ownership. Within the city, 74% of households is rentals and the average cost of renting a home in the city increased to $823 in 2012 from $529 in 2000, according to reports from Tompkins County. The City of Ithaca is a collegetown populated by students from Cornell University and Ithaca College, and a total of approximately 15,000 students live off campus in Tompkins County. These expenses do not account for other housing costs like

heating, and lower-income residents are being displaced as a result. “We need more housing,” Lewis said. “We certainly need more affordable housing … and actually heat-

rent hikes. Land-use reform is another angle Nguyen said he is a big proponent of, especially Middle Missing Housing. Middle Missing is a recent initiative that confronts the issue of the market gap in ur-

Laura Lewis, acting mayor of Ithaca, sitting in her office Feb. 22. She will run for office in the mayoral election in November 2022. Ash Bailot/The Ithacan

ing, and lower-income residents are being displaced as a result. Lewis will only serve until the November 2022 general election. The successful candidate will then finish out the remaining year of what would have been Myrick’s four-year term, and there will be another election at the end of 2023 for the next full term. Siobhan Hull is the Ithaca hub coordinator for the Sunrise Movement, an organization that advocates for political action on climate change. Hull said the Ithaca Green New Deal needs someone to be an advocate for the program like Myrick was. “I am concerned that the acting mayor currently does not have a history of being a large climate proponent,” Hull said. “I do worry about the Common Council’s general reluctance to implement the Ithaca Green New Deal. As the Ithaca Green New Deal currently stands, it is more of a promise than actual policy measures.” Despite her concerns, Hull said Myrick’s resignation creates an opportunity for a new generation of climate-conscious people to occupy his position and push for even more change than he created. Nguyen is another council member who feels strongly about the importance of housing. He said he wants the city to pass Good Cause Eviction legislation, which would grant tenants certain protections like restrictions on large

ban areas through a range of multiunit or clustered housing types. “Even after some of those very successful efforts at increasing housing supply, especially affordable housing, we still have a ways to go,” Nyugen said. “Which to me, means allowing for … ways to make the city tastefully denser and affordable and inclusionary for all people.” Sophomore Nick Viggiani, Class of 2024 senator for the Student Governance Council at Ithaca College, said he thinks that there may be some lull in progress on local initiatives while Lewis begins her role but that no drastic change in policies will result from Myrick’s resignation. Looking into the future, Viggiani said he hopes Lewis will prioritize affordable housing. “As a college student, I consider living off campus and I feel like getting affordable housing is really key,” Viggiani said. “It would be really beneficial for a large demographic. There are people who live in the town who also have to deal with those landlords, so I’d love to see it for Ithaca as a whole.” Cynthia Brock, First Ward representative since 2011, said the support for initiatives and how they proceed is very much dependent on council members and that is always changing. A recent election took place and five new members were sworn in. “Every time a council changes, of course that council has a new voice in how programs that were started previously will continue,” Brock said. “It’s hard to tell what the future may bring.”



Senior Brianna Lowe, a Trader K’s employee since her sophomore year at Ithaca College, expressed sadness following the news of Trader K’s closing. She is pictured at Trader K’s on Feb. 18. Ariana Gonzalez/The Ithacan

B E L O V E D L O C A L U S E D C L O T H I N G S T O R E T RA D E R K ’ S A N N O U N C E S C L O S U R E A F T E R 2 6 Y E A R S O F O P E RA T I O N



sed clothing store on The Commons Trader K’s has curated a sense of community for its customers and employees alike over the past 26 years and has become an Ithaca staple. When owners Karen and Jay Sciarabba announced the store’s closing Feb. 15, the news shocked and saddened Ithaca residents. Currently, the store is downsizing and has no set closing date, Karen Sciarabba said. It will likely close within two or three months. Sciarabba said the decision to close resulted from complications like construction of surrounding buildings, inadequate policing — particularly of shoplifting — and life changes for the store owners. The owners are well known to frequent customers, Ithaca College senior Brianna Lowe, a Trader K’s employee, said. They have not taken a significant break from running the store in its entire operation. “There hasn’t been a lot of support from downtown,” Sciarabba said. “All the construction that’s going on has really put a damper, even since they redid the whole Commons.” The City of Ithaca renovated and reconstructed The Commons between 2009 and 2015, as previously reported by The Ithacan, and construction in the area has continued since. Sciarabba said that in recent years, construction of two neighboring buildings have limited Trader K’s ability to take in clothing and supplies as its primary back parking lot collecting space is unusable. “Our clothing inventory isn’t as large and good as 66

it used to be, and it’s just been really stressful, not just with that parking lot but dealing with construction workers,” Sciarabba said. The used clothing store occupies over 4,000 square feet on The Commons and has been putting out 500 to 1,000 pieces of clothing daily, according to its website. Sciarabba said the store’s size drew customers from surrounding towns and communities. She said there was immediate feedback from the community when the store announced its closing. The secondhand industry has become very popular in recent years, increasing its annual profits by $11 billion between 2020 and 2021, according to the ThreadUp and Global Data’s 2021 Resale report. Shopping from thrift stores like Trader K’s is likely rising in popularity as an alternative to fast fashion, according to Good On You, an organization that advocates for ethical shopping. By buying secondhand, consumers bypass the use of new resources. Paula Turkon, assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Studies and Sciences, said the decision of one person to reduce consumption by buying clothes secondhand has a small impact, but it is important to raise public consciousness. Turkon said that in Ithaca, thrift stores seem especially successful because people are constantly moving in and out of a collegetown, generating clothes and items for donation. Thrift stores like Plato’s Closet, the Salvation Army and the Ithaca ReUse Center will remain, but Turkon said the loss of Trader K’s shows the changes taking place on The Commons.

“Trader K’s was the first [secondhand store in Ithca],” Turkon said. “Maybe Salvation Army has always done this, but Trader K’s made it more fashionable. ” Lowe said she has been working at the store since her sophomore year and currently works there along with three other Ithaca College students. “I wanted to start working here sophomore year because I just loved the store, and I loved that it was women owned and run,” Lowe said. “I feel so lucky to have been part of the Trader K’s legacy and to see it through. I’ve seen a lot of people come and go from Trader K’s. Just in the past year, I’ve seen at least a dozen people come and go. But the people that I’ve worked with have been some of the nicest people. … It’s not even just like a thrift store. It’s a place where bonds are made.” Junior Kathryn Ksiazek is a journalism major who has written pieces on sustainable fashion and incorporates sustainable fashion into her own life as well. She said she was surprised to hear of the store’s closing because people in Ithaca are generally supportive of environmental sustainability. There are many local groups and organizations in Ithaca that promote environmental sustainability, including Sunrise Ithaca, the Tompkins County Climate Protection Initiative, EcoVillage at Ithaca and many others. “I think that it’s kind of going to be a bit of a culture shock to not have so many thrift stores, especially for college students,” Ksiazek said. “I feel like one of the first things that I heard coming in here as a freshman was that you’ve got to go to Trader K’s.”


M E M B E R S O F T H E I THACA COMMUNITY RALLY TOGETHER AT CO R N E L L T O A D VOCATE FOR REPRODUCTIVE R I G HTS together and listen to some speakers who share about making abortions accessible for people of color, similar passions and who have had experience transgender people and working-class people. “Rich people, including the wives and the daughhants of “Not the courts, not the states, with fighting laws for decades now,” Ganbarg said ters of these reactionary lawmakers, have always and women must decide our fate,” filled Cornell via email. Zillah Eisenstein, professor emerita in the Depart- will always have access to abortion,” Dickinson said. University’s Ho Plaza on Oct. 2 as people from Cornell, Ithaca College and the greater Ithaca area ral- ment of Politics, was one of the speakers at the rally “They’ll always have access to basic health care. It and talked about the importance of not only keeping is working-class and poor people who will bear the lied for reproductive rights. brunt of this and all the reactionary laws that are to The rally was incited by abortion restrictions en- abortions legal but also making them accessible. “It is really important to understand that the legal come and are coming if we do not stand together and acted by the state of Texas on Sept. 1. Senate Bill 8 bans people from getting abortions at six weeks of right to choose an abortion is very different than being fight back.” Cornell juniors Mel Miller and Maisie McDonald pregnancy and does not include exemptions for preg- able to access and get one,” Eisenstein said. Depending on factors like insurance coverage, the and sophomore Presley Church worked with PPGA at nancies resulting from rape, incest, sexual abuse and fetal anomalies, according to Planned Parenthood abortion method and how far along the pregnancy Cornell and PPGA at Ithaca College to help organize of Greater Texas. Most people learn that they are is, an abortion can cost anywhere between $0 and the event. “We had so many great speakers, and I think now pregnant between the fourth and seventh weeks of $1,500, according to Planned Parenthood. Eisenstein discussed social factors that can make it difficult we also have action items that we can continue to pregnancy, according to the American Pregnancy share,” Church said. or dangerous to access abortions. Association. Senate Bill 8 is known as the Ganbarg said she thought the rally was suc“You need not look elsewhere “Texas Heartbeat Act” because the bill to other countries to see wom- cessful in helping people work together to protect bans abortion when a “heartbeat” “You need not en disrespected, undervalued reproductive rights. is first detected in an embryo. “I’m really glad the City of Ithaca, New York, was and also feared,” Eisenstein However, this is a misleading look ... to other said. “We have our very own able to participate in this nationwide movement and title because cardiac activity is countries to Taliban right here. They provide a space for those who needed to release frusonly detected in the fetal pole, are homegrown American tration and come together,” Ganbarg said. a 4-millimeter-wide thicksee women At the rally, people were encouraged to sign a white men.” ening next to the yolk sac at disrespected.” Cornell University se- Planned Parenthood petition supporting abortion six weeks. nior Shamyra Coleman said rights, write letters to their elected officials and donate Abortion rights are histor-Zillah Eisenstein this rally and Senate Bill 8 are to a Texas abortion fund. ically controversial in the United Dickinson noted the importance of grassroots acvery personal to her because she is States. The Supreme Court heard a case tivism efforts like these. from Texas. Dec. 1 that has the potential to overturn Roe “History books would like to tell us that it was the “I had an abortion myself, so those rights would v. Wade, which granted people the right to have an Supreme Court … that granted us access to aborabortion before the fetus is viable to survive outside have been taken away from me,” Coleman said. Hannah Dickinson, associate professor in the tion,” Dickinson said. “No, it was groups like this. the uterus. This case led to the decision that states cannot restrict abortions during the first trimester, Department of Writing and Rhetoric at Hobart People who said ‘No, we are standing up for ourselves, that it can be regulated but not banned and, in the and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York, and for our sisters, for our mothers, for our trans siblings third trimester, states can restrict abortions un- organizer with the Geneva Women’s Assembly, spoke and saying “enough is enough.’” less it is necessary for the parent’s health. Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization will determine whether it is unconstitutional for states to ban pre-viability abortions. Planned Parenthood Generation Action (PPGA) at Cornell and PPGA at Ithaca College organized the rally as a part of a national movement against the Texas Senate Bill 8. Over 150 rallies and marches were held Oct. 2 as a part of the Women’s March Network. Approximately 60 people attended the Cornell rally, which included speakers like New York state assembly member Anna Kelles, professors from Cornell and Ithaca College, members of the Ithaca Common Council and Cornell student-leaders, among others. Julia Ganbarg, Ithaca College senior and president of PPGA at Ithaca College, said the goal of the rally was to provide a place for people to share frustrations and show support for reproductive rights. “The rally was a place for people who had anger but didn’t know how to channel it, to come Zillah Eisenstein, professor emerita in the Department of Politics at Ithaca College, speaks at the rally Oct. 2. Ana Maniaci McGough/The Ithacan








he City of Ithaca found itself on the national stage Nov. 4 as the city announced the approval of a plan to decarbonize all of its buildings by 2030, making it the first city in the United States working to become 100% decarbonized. Michael Smith, professor in the Department of History and the Department of Environmental Studies and Sciences at Ithaca College, said decarbonization is when energy systems that emit harmful greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane are substituted with renewable sources. Greenhouse gas emissions are a leading cause of global warming, and world leaders at events like the U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP26) are pledging to try to limit the warming of the earth to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. In a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, human-induced global warming is harming the environment in many ways. The report says there is high confidence and substantial evidence to support the fact that human-induced global warming is causing increased land and ocean temperatures, increased frequency of heat waves on land and increased frequency and intensity of precipitation events.


The official name of the decarbonization plan is the Efficiency Retrofitting and Thermal Load Electrification Program, and the plan is starting with the electrification of buildings, which means changing energy in homes that use fossil fuels to electric technologies. Nationally, residential and commercial buildings account for 40% of greenhouse gas emissions. Rebecca Evans, the City of Ithaca’s sustainability specialist, said the decarbonization plan will help to bring the city to its Green New Deal goal to become carbon neutral by 2030. The plan will tackle retrofitting 6,000 residential and commercial buildings with electric systems for heating, cooling and electric appliances. The city has secured $100 million in private investments for phase one of the plan, which is targeting 1,000 residential and 600 nonresidential buildings. Evans said the buildings that are going to be in phase one have not been chosen yet. She said there are two components to the process: looking at the oldest buildings and taking into account cultural and equity issues. “We need to look at who are the energy hogs, like where are the oldest and leakiest and crummiest buildings,” Evans said. “The other piece is kind of a cultural and equity piece, like who are the

disadvantaged communities … because part of the Green New Deal is to start trying to repair or otherwise address historical inequities in the City of Ithaca.” Smith said he thinks the decarbonization plan is admirable, but he has a few reservations about the specifics. One of the questions he has is what will happen if residents have newer appliances that are not electric but still have life in them. He said that making a household absorb the cost of appliances that still work and have life might be a problem for many residents. “I’m committed to this stuff,” Smith said. “I’ve been involved in environmental justice since I was in college, but I fit that category. We have this brand new furnace, and I would love to get it out of there, but I don’t think it would be fair to us to absorb the cost of that new furnace and put in a new one.” Freshman Noa Ran-Ressler said that she first heard about the plan when she was looking for local stories for her newscast for WICB Radio and followed the story as it was proposed and subsequently approved. She said that she thinks the decarbonization plan is a great idea and that starting at the city level is what is needed to make meaningful changes to


Thomas Kerrigan/The Ithacan

address climate change. “We want to make a global impact with our climate change,” Ran-Ressler said. “But the issue is we’re not looking at what cities are doing. To use renewable energy to actually make a difference on a smaller scale … can then be taken on a much larger scale very easily.” Ithaca College is not located within city limits, but it is a part of the Town of Ithaca, which enacted a similar Green New Deal to the City of Ithaca’s Green New Deal that also pledges carbon neutrality by 2030. The college also proposed to become carbon neutral by 2030, rather than its previous promise of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. Smith said that even though the college might not be under the same complete building electrification goal as the city, he is worried about the sustainability efforts of the college in general. “I’ve been very distressed by how the commitment to this sort of thing has really diminished for a while,” Smith said. “[It] was looking better two years ago, and now with the austerity measures … I don’t see any way that the college is going to be remotely close to a carbon neutral state by 2030.” Dave Maley, director of public relations, said there has been no change in the college’s belief of achieving carbon neutrality by 2030. The college was going to house a Center for Climate Justice (CCJ), but it will no longer be launched following the Academic Program Prioritization process and the ongoing elimination of 116 full-time equivalent faculty positions. Sandra Steingraber,

former distinguished scholar-in-residence in the platinum certification in 2010 from the U.S. Green Department of Environmental Studies and Building Council. “It is important for the school to incorporate Sciences, was one of the main developers of the CCJ and left the more of this system [geothermal] on campus,” college during Spring 2021. As of March 2021, Warren said via email. “It is limited, and although she said she was trying to find somewhere else the initial cost is expensive, it is so important for our plan.” to start the CCJ. Warren said the Eco Reps organization wants to Since leaving the college, Steingraber has become a senior scientist at the hold the school accountable to reach the carbon neuScience and Environmental Health Network trality goal by 2030. “It is our job to keep pushing for these (SEHN). The SEHN is a consortium of North American organizations focused on the misuse reforms,” Warren said via email. “The school of science in ways that have failed to protect hu- tries to be more ‘eco-friendly,’ but sometimes we need to educate the general college comman and environmental health. Steingraber said that the Town of I munity in ways that promote reform on an thaca’s plan for decarbonization is exciting individual level.” The city set an ambitious goal to have the and that she is proud of it happening. She said public pressure with the help of the Sunrise electrification of all buildings complete by 2030, Movement chapter in Ithaca helped to launch Evans said. She also said that, although the plan the Ithaca Green New Deal in the City of Ithaca is scary and it is a massive undertaking, she is proud of the steps Ithaca is taking toward beand the decarbonization plan. “This was a real example of the way coming carbon neutral. A plan like this one has never been done in which really innovative ideas that come out of college classrooms can light a fire in before and there are no examples to look at, the hearts of young people who then go but she said that, even so, she has hope for the out into the community after graduation process and what it means for the world as as and enact and operationalize some of the a whole. “This is something that I think the people ideas they learned about in the classroom,” living, working and going to school in Ithaca can be she said. Smith said his hope was that the college really, really proud of,” Evans said. “This gives me would hire a president who makes sustainability and en- a lot of hope that there’s action being taken at this ergy management a priority so the college can get back scale in teeny tiny little cities like Ithaca. Imagine if you could scale this to an entire state or entire region on track. “We’re just sort of in this holding pattern,” or the world.” Caitlin Holtzman contributed reporting. Smith said. “Nobody’s going to make any kind of big decisions until that’ll shake it out. So I think we have to wait probably a year, but my hope is that people who really care about this will make it clear … that we really want a president who has [sustainability] as one of their top priorities.” Junior Kelly Warren, a project manager for the Eco Reps, said the college has focused on its natural gas and energy consumption. The Peggy Ryan Williams Center uses over 50% renewable sources of energy, according to the college’s campus map website. The website also says geothermal energy is used for both heating and cooling, and that the building received a Leadership in Energy and People hold signs at a climate rally March 4 on the Ithaca Commons. Ash Bailot/The Ithacan Environmental Design



T OX I C O L O G Y L A B AT I T H A C A C O L L E G E I N V E S T I G AT E S THE PRESENCE OF MICROPLASTICS IN CAYUGA LAKE other major bodies of water. She said there are fewer microplastics in Cayuga Lake than some rivers in China or downtown Paris, but Cayuga Lake ayuga Lake is the longest of the 11 has about the equivalent per mile of what is beFinger Lakes, stretching 40 miles from Ithaca ing reported for the Great Lakes. According to the to Seneca Falls, New York, and is home to U.S. Geological Survey, there are 112,000 microthousands of plants and animals. However, the plastic particles per square mile of water of the Ithaca College Toxicology Lab estimates that Great Lakes. the lake has 100 million microplastic parti“Our research suggests that microplastics are evcles in it, pieces that can harm aquatic life erywhere,” Allen said. “In other words, there’s no air and people. or rain or snow samples that we collect that we don’t According to a National Geographic encyclopefind microplastics.” dia entry, microplastics are plastic pieces that are Allen said the study of microplastics is still an less than 5 millimeters in diameter that degrade emerging field and has not been studied very much, from larger plastics. so it is hard to see trends and confirm data with Primary microplastics come from miother research. crofibers from clothing and textiles, while “We didn’t really know the extent of contaminasecondary microplastics come from particles tion until fairly recently,” Allen said. “We didn’t know that break down from larger, often single-use that they’re everywhere … until about the last three plastics like bags or water bottles. The entry to five years.” states that microplastic particles are often so Senior Jake Espenscheid said that he is the lab small that they easily pass through water filintern at the IC Toxicology Lab and that there is not tration systems and end up in waterways and much research on the effects of microplastics on the ocean. behaviors of organisms, but there is some research Susan Allen, professor in the Ithaca College on behavior changes of fish that eat microplasDepartment of Environmental Studies and Sciences, tics. Like Allen, he also said that when animals eat is the professor and principal investigator for the plastic, pollutants can be absorbed into the tissues IC Toxicology Lab. The lab collaborates with of organisms. the Ithaca Area Wastewater Treatment Facili“If [the fish] eat a bunch of microplastics, they’ll ty and researches and studies microplastics in think that they’re full,” Espenscheid said. “But it’s Cayuga Lake. not getting any nutrients. It’s hard to make sweepIn 2018, Allen was awarded a $40,000, ing generalizations, just because there’s not a lot two-year grant from the Park Foundation, a of research that’s been done. But it all points to the idea that yeah, ingesting plastic is actually very bad.” In an article written by Scientific American, there are physical and chemical effects in organisms that eat the plastic particles. Microplastics can damage organisms’ organs, and hazardous chemicals like BPA can hurt immune function and reproduction, leading to fewer offspring and shorter life spans of animals. Senior Megan Plummer said she has been working as a research assistant in the IC Toxicology Lab since Spring 2020 and explained how the lab is collecting samples this academic year. She said there are four types of samples: rain, snow and active and passive air. The active air sample comes from a vacuum that The Ithaca College Toxicology Lab estimates that Cayuga Lake has 100 million microplastic particles in it, which can harm aquatic life and people. Thomas Kerrigan/The Ithacan pushes air through a filter and the




charity organization started by Roy H. Park, that promotes education in specific areas of interest to the Park family through grant-making. During this time, the lab found how many microplastics were in Cayuga Lake. Allen said the lab has been awarded the same grant for another two years — until September 2022 — to research the sources of where the microplastics are coming from. The National Geographic entry said the problem is that plastic does not break down into harmless molecules and takes hundreds or thousands of years to decompose. The entry also says microplastics have been found in organisms as small as plankton and as large as whales, in addition to being found in seafood and drinking water. Allen said there are multiple reasons that microplastics are a concern for organisms. She said that Bisphenol A (BPA) is a harmful chemical that can be leached from plastic and that plastic can act as a vehicle for other toxic pollutants that can be absorbed into an organism’s tissues. “The plastics have other ingredients in them,” Allen said. “You don’t want them in your water bottle material or you don’t want them in your baby bottle material. Those compounds are also in microplastics.” Allen said that from the research the lab did from 2018 to 2020 to count microplastics, researchers found that Cayuga Lake falls in the middle of


passive one comes from large pots that are put out in the Ithaca College Natural Lands and local waterways like Six Mile Creek. Plummer said the researchers take the samples, put them in water and kill off any organic material with a strong hydrogen peroxide solution. Then the samples are dyed with a stain called “Nile red” before the water is filtered out and the plastics examined. “[The Nile red] turns all the plastics red, but what’s important about that is it fluoresces under UV light,” Plummer said. “And then we’ll look at it under a microscope … so we can see all the things that are fluorescing or the little plastics, and then we’ll count them [with] a 30-page-long step list of how we’re counting microplastics.” Espenscheid said there were four students working in the lab, and in Spring 2022, one or two more students could potentially be added. He said the lab’s goal is to take 20 samples from each type of collection method — rain, snow and active and passive air — so the student researchers can try to compare the counts from each sample, a process that can be challenging. “I feel like we do have a ton of samples, but when you break them down to try and compare them and make some big statement, it’s kind of difficult because there’s not so many that you can confidently say this is a trend,” Espenscheid said. “But mostly, it seems that rain and snow are really big factors in introducing microplastics into the lake.” The Cayuga Lake Watershed Network website states that Cayuga Lake and surrounding waterways flow north to Lake Ontario and eventually to the Atlantic Ocean. A 2017 report titled “Cayuga Lake Watershed Restoration and Protection Plan,” prepared by the Cayuga Lake Watershed Network, states that the water resources of Cayuga Lake watershed are used for drinking water, farming, industrial uses and home and business use. The report said that watershed residents, visitors, businesses and municipalities share the water resources and should share the responsibility of protecting them. The IC Toxicology Lab plans to present its data when its research is complete, and Espenscheid said he hopes to educate the Ithaca and campus communities about microplastics to highlight the importance of protecting the lake. Plummer said that in years past, the lab has presented its findings at the annual Whalen Symposium, an event held in the spring semester in which Ithaca College students present original research or creative work. The IC

Toxicology Lab has a website and created an Instagram, @ic_toxlab, during Fall 2021 to talk about where microplastics come from and to inform people about the research that the lab is doing. “I think a big part of the current project has been about trying to communicate to people in the area,” Espensheid said. “It could be pretty important.” New York state has banned the use of all plastic carryout bags from businesses, and stores in Ithaca charge a 5-cent fee for paper bags. Allen said this is one way that government actions can limit single-use plastic to in turn limit the amount of plastic used. She added that it is very hard to regulate and create policies about plastic. The college plans to be single-use-plastic free by 2025. In response to the state ban, the college also stopped using plastic bags in the campus store. “It’s not like all the plastics are coming from one specific industry that we could clamp down on,” Allen said. “We could make less plastics, but that will be a long time before we see the effects of that.” Plummer said that because microplastics don’t decompose, getting rid of what already exists is challenging. She said that pledging to reduce, reuse and recycle to curb plastic consumption to make sure that plastic that is created does not end up in waterways is important. “So our big thing is just to try to limit the amount of pollution that is continuously going into the environment,” Plummer said. “We’re so dependent on plastic as a society to do everything, everything has plastic in it. Trying to move away from plastic-based products is probably going to be our best bet, but there’s just so much of it.” Senior Megan Plummer works in the Toxicology Lab. Kalyasta Donaghy-Robinson/The Ithacan 71



Ithaca community members gather Jan. 22 on The Commons in response to a hostage standoff at a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas. Nolan Saunders/The Ithacan



embers of the Ithaca community gathered in freezing temperatures Jan. 22 at the Bernie Milton Pavilion on The Commons in solidarity as a response to a hostage standoff at a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas. During a Jan. 15 Shabbat worship at Colleyville’s Congregation Bethel Israel, 44-year-old Malik Fasil entered the synagogue and held members of the Congregation Bethel Israel hostage for more than 10 hours. At 5 p.m. one hostage was released and it was not until 9 p.m. that the other three hostages escaped. Fasil was killed after the hostage rescue team breached the building. Assault, harassment and vandalism against Jewish people remain at near-historic levels in the U.S., according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). In 2020, the ADL recorded 2,024 antisemitic incidents, making it the third-highest year since ADL began tracking in 1979. The Ithaca gathering lasted 30 minutes and attracted approximately 40 members of the community. Leaders of local Ithaca congregations like Hillel at Ithaca College, Tikkun v’Or, Cornell Hillel, Al-Huda Islamic Center, First Baptist Church and Temple Beth-El came and shared their statements of support with the Jewish community. Cantor Abbe Lyons, Jewish chaplain of Hillel, led the group in prayer and also opened and closed the gathering. Mahmud Burton, president of the Al-Huda Islamic Center in Ithaca, said a violation of any house of worship impacts everyone, no matter what their religious beliefs may be.


“An injury that falls on your family is felt on my family,” Burton said. “The desecration of any house is an act that strikes all places of worship and something we must all stand unequivocally against in all circumstances.” Rabbi Ari Weiss, director of Cornell Hillel, spoke about the current climate Jewish people face in the world today. “How sad it is that after thousands of years of Jew hatred, antisemitism is alive and well in America today,” Weiss said. “That there are individuals in America and around the world who still believe in classic antisemitism tropes such as ‘Jews control the world.’ How sad it is that there are those that will act on that information and terrorize Jewish people.” A 2021 study done by the American Jewish Committee showed that while 90% of American Jewish people believes that antisemitism is a very serious problem, only 60% of the general public agrees. The survey also found that one in four Jewish people had been a vicitm of antisemitism within the past year. Rabbi Rachel Safman from Temple Beth-El said these hateful tropes have the potential to turn into justification for further hate crimes. “I’m not talking about crimes against Jews because you see it doesn’t end with the Jews,” Safman said. “It never ends with the Jews. From statements about Jews, the spewers of hate move on [and] sooner or later to similarily dangerous statements about Blacks, Latinos, Asians, Muslims, gays and so forth.” Safman said that after the hostage situation in Colleyville, she and other members of the Jewish community were evoked to wonder why crimes continue to be committed against Jewish people.

“It’s my community that spent last Saturday glued to their computer screens, radios and televisions waiting to hear if once again our fellow Jews were going to be gunned down for the crime of showing up for Shabbat worship, for testing our faith in God and our belief the world will be better than what it is now,” Safman said. In the past few years, the City of Ithaca and Ithaca College have experienced acts of antisemitism. In October 2020, businesses in Downtown Ithaca were vandalized with antisemitic and racist graffiti and posters, according to The Ithaca Voice. In April 2019, a swastika was found on a dorm door in Talcott Hall. In February 2022, two swastikas were found on the college campus. The first was found drawn in condensation on a window in Baker Hallway on Feb. 4 and the second was discovered drawn on a poster in the James J. Whalen Center for Music on Feb. 8. In order to combat antisemitism and create a better climate for the Jewish population, the college is taking part in Hillel’s International Campus Climate Initiative for the 2021–22 academic year. The college’s Hillel had open drop-in hours Jan. 17 so that the college community had a space to process the hostage standoff that occurred in Texas. Ithaca College sophomore Alexa Tamis attended the gathering and has been a member of Hillel since her freshman year. Tamis said that hearing about antisemitic events that occur around the world has an impact on how safe she feels. “Already living on a campus is scary, especially after last semester’s bomb threats,” Tamis said. “When you tie religion into it and the antisemitic people in the world, it’s scary. Especially for people who go to Hillel every Friday night, it’s scary knowing that something like that could happen and that there are people out there who would do such a thing to those who are just trying to practice their religion.” Tamis said that she felt the event brought the Jewish and Ithaca community together and that she was surprised the event was attended by so many, including those who don’t practice Judaism. “It was so nice to see so many people from other religions and beliefs coming together,” Tamis said. Sophomore Carly Weiss joined Hillel in Fall 2021. Weiss said that she feels protected and safe at Hillel knowing she has a group of people to lean on when antisemitic attacks occur around the world. Weiss attended the gathering and said she was moved by how many different religions were there to support her Jewish community. “I was so moved when a stranger reached out to hold my hand as the cantor sang the final song,” Weiss said. “I later found out that she was not even Jewish and that she was there for support. Her act of kindness made me feel safer to be in a gathering about Judaism.”





iana Ayubi arrived in Ithaca months after escaping Afghanistan as the Taliban gained control of the country. Ayubi expected to end up in Bangladesh but, after multiple diversions, was placed in the United States. She is one of nine Afghan refugees who are attending Cornell University for Spring 2022 after arriving in Ithaca in late 2021. Ithaca College housed some of the students last semester. After the United States ended its 20-year occupation of Afghanistan in August 2021, the Taliban took control and the country plunged into economic despair. Additionally, President Joe Biden’s administration froze billions of dollars in humanitarian aid and imposed crushing sanctions on the country, resulting in 23 million Afghans facing extreme levels of hunger, according to the United Nations. There are 2.6 million registered Afghan refugees spread throughout the world, according to the U.N. Refugee Agency. Ayubi said she planned to flee to Bangladesh but was redirected to Saudi Arabia — the first of many redirections in her journey — where she was informed she would not be able to enter Bangladesh. “The system was totally changed,” Ayubi said. “They said, ‘We have no idea where your destination is.’” After 36 hours in Saudi Arabia, Ayubi was told by the U.S. military that it was moving her, and other refugees traveling with Ayubi, out of the country. “There was no information about the destination,” Ayubi said. “When the plane arrived, they said ‘Welcome to Spain. You’re in Spain.’” Days of waiting passed and Ayubi ended up in the U.S. at a military base in Wisconsin. After three months, Ayubi was placed in New York state and informed she would be studying at Cornell University where she enrolled as a psychology major. Ayubi and her classmates were assisted in their escape by the Asian University for Women (AUW), an independent regional institution located in Bangladesh that focuses on women’s education and leadership, according to its webpage. The school opened in 2008 with a total of 130 young women from many countries. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, AUW was closed for in-person classes for almost two years and sent its students back to their home countries, including about 150 students who were from Afghanistan. Ayubi was in her final year of schooling at the Asian University for Women where she studied public health. Ayubi said public health was not what she really wanted to study, but AUW does not offer a psychology degree. “When I came to Cornell, I changed my major,” Ayubi said. “I want to be a therapist and I want to have my own clinic. I can achieve my dream of what I was thinking when I was in high school.”

Tim DeVoogd, a psychology professor at Cornell, has been on the AUW Board of Trustees for approximately two years. After hearing that the Afghan students were displaced, DeVoogd notified Cornell that they would be looking for places to stay. “I think Cornell, specifically, and Ithaca, in general, have been amazingly welcoming,” DeVoogd said. “There’s been a whole lot of people in Ithaca who have volunteered meals or potential homestays.” Ithaca College housed some of the refugees, including Ayubi. She said the staff was helpful and kind. “It was out of my expectations,”Ayubi said. “Even though I’m in Cornell, sometimes I really miss Ithaca College.” Marsha Dawson, director of the Office of Residential Life and the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards, provided leadership in the college’s role of housing the women. Dawson did not respond to requests for comment. Ithaca Welcomes Refugees (IWR), a volunteer-based organization that was founded in 2015 in response to the Syrian Refugee Crisis, worked with the refugees to help them sign up for necessities like public health benefits. Casey Verderosa, executive director of IWR, said the organization also works to get the women what they need through fundraisers in the community. “We have a really, really great network in the community, and this community is extremely supportive of refugees,” Verderosa said. “It’s wonderful how the community, including the major educational institutions and just regular people, really gathered around to support this group of women. I think it is really affirming of the goodness of the human spirit.” Cornell senior Willow Martin is president of

Women’s Higher Education Now (WHEN), a student organization that explores the intersectionality of issues like gender equality, sustainable development and equitable education. Martin said that once WHEN was alerted that the crisis in Afghanistan was leading to the students being evacuated to the U.S., it wanted to find ways to ensure that the women would have the resources they need while staying here. DeVoogd is the club adviser of WHEN and has helped to affiliate the organization with AUW. “They had left with literally a carry-on,” DeVoogd said. “They didn’t have clothes. They didn’t have books. [WHEN] raised $550 each for these nine students for winter coats or fixing up their dorm rooms, just so things could be nice.” The group raised $4,950 from Oct. 25 until the end of the fall semester and donated it to the nine refugees as a way to help to provide financial support to the students. WHEN held a clothing drive in conjunction with the fundraiser in which Martin said it received lots of winter gear. “I think any community would be made stronger by having members as brilliant, strong and kind as these young women,” Martin said. “While they were living at [Fort] McCoy Air Force Base in Wisconsin, they spent much of their time teaching other Afghan refugees English. … It’s an honor … to welcome people like them into the Ithaca community.” Ayubi said that her time at Cornell has been busy with meetings and meeting new people and that everyone has been welcoming and supportive. “Here, I’m not having any relatives I know or family,” Ayubi said. “So on my side is Cornell right now and those people that are around me.”

From left, Tamana Ahmadi, Sepehra Azami, Diana Ayubi and Simah Sahnosh talk at Cornell University on Dec. 1. Courtesy of Jason Koski






ince the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Ukrainian national salute “Slava Ukrayini” — which means “glory to Ukraine” — has become a symbol of resistance. On March 6, this salute was chanted by the Ukrainian community of Ithaca during an anti-war protest at Ithaca’s Bernie Milton Pavillion. The war was initiated in February, with Russian forces invading Feb. 24. As the war concluded its second week, protests supporting Ukraine and opposing the Russian invasion happened all around the world, including in Russia, where protesting the war is illegal. At the March 6 protest on The Commons, approximately 80 people attended, waving Ukrainian flags and carrying anti-war signs. Tetiana Urazgildiieva, a Ukrainian American from Ithaca, attended the protest with her son. Urazgildiieva is from Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, which has been at the center of the Russian offensive. Urazgildiieva said that since the invasion has begun, she has lost sleep while trying to stay updated on her family and two sons, who are in Kyiv. “My eldest son is in college already,” Urazgildiieva said. “He called me [the first night of the invasion] saying, ‘Mom, it’s war, but I can’t believe it.’ I started looking into the news and I realized that it is happening. My first reaction was to call my relatives. They were in shock. They were so scared at first and it probably took them a day just to realize what was happening.” Throughout the invasion, the Russian military has attacked Ukrainian civilians, sometimes with illegal munition like cluster bombs, which detonate in flight and can destroy anything in a radius of several football fields. Russian forces have attacked nuclear power plants, holy sites and schools. On Feb. 28, 16 Ukrainian children were killed in a nursery school bombing in Okhtyrka, a city in northeastern Ukraine. “I do not sleep,” Urazgildiieva said. “I do not. I just checked in with each one of them [her family members]. If they are in contact, I am relieved for today. But if I lose contact, I cannot continue doing anything, even though I need to go to work. My mind is over there constantly. It’s very, very difficult.” Jonathan Ablard, professor in the Ithaca College Department of History, attended the protest to show solidarity with Ukraine. On March 3, Ablard and Zenon Wasyliw, professor


in the Department of History, moderated a discussion panel on the war in Ukraine that had over 550 attendees. Ablard said the protest gave him sadness and frustration that the issue is larger than the actions that one person can do to help. “It made me sad to have it reinforced that there’s no clear answer for what we can do in the United States,” Ablard said. “It is heartbreaking, and to see people whose families are in real peril made it all the more poignant.” Olena Vatamaniuk, professor at Cornell University, and her husband Marco Vatamaniuk, senior research associate at Cornell, are from Lviv, Ukraine, and attended the protest. “I could say to everyone that this goes beyond Ukraine because it just shows you that it is possible for this to happen in the 21st century,” Olena Vatamaniuk said. “If the world won’t stop it, then which country will be next? It’s a nightmare for us. We don’t really sleep.” At the protest, flyers were pasted around the Bernie Milton Pavilion with QR codes that link to fundraisers, petitions and Google Docs with letter templates for protestors to send to their representatives. Despite this, the protestors had differing

views on how to resolve the war. Some, like Urazgildiieva, called for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to declare a no-fly zone over Ukraine. This would mean that all aircraft would be barred from flying in Ukrainian airspace. Russian planes that continue to fly over Ukraine would be shot down by NATO planes. While declaring a no-fly zone would help to protect Ukrainians from Russian shelling, it would escalate the war. If a no-fly zone were to be declared, the war would escalate and would be between Russia and NATO, both of which are nuclear superpowers. “They should cover the skies,” Urazgildiieva said. “A no-fly zone is very, very important. Today, over a peaceful city of Vinnytsia, they bombed civilians. Why would they do that? Just to scare us, to break our strong souls and our strong minds.” Amala Lane, program initiatives and media coordinator for the Center for International Studies at Cornell, said that while the war has flooded her with tremendous sadness, she understands the reluctance to declare a no-fly zone. “I’m older, so I saw the Berlin Wall fall,” Lane


said. “East Europe is where this happened. I have be quite serious.” At the protest, packets of sunfriends who were dissidents and they were in prison. Some of my friends were really quite abused flower seeds were distributed to by the Russian Secret Police. … It would be insane protestors in reference to a popular not to have concerns about this escalating, which is video of a Ukrainian woman offerwhy I understand there is reluctance to establish a ing Russian soldiers sunflower seeds so “at least sunflowers grow when no-fly zone.” Laura Lewis, acting mayor of Ithaca, they die.” Videos of Ukrainians stopping Russian tanks have attended the protest and said also gone viral, symbolizthat the invasion was frighting the intensity of the ening to her but that she was impressed by “My mind is over Ukrainian resistance. “Even [Ukrainians] the courage of the there constantly. who speak Russian, Ukrainian people they come out of who are fighting for It’s very, their homes without their country. any weapon and tell “I was horrified, very difficult.” the occupying Rusterrified for Ukrainian sians to go away,” people,” Lewis said. -Tetania Urazgildiieva Marco Vatamaniuk “At our Common Counsaid. “The Russians, who cil meeting a week ago, I speak the same language [as began our meeting by stating what a sobering week [it] had been and how im- these Ukrainians], won’t go away. pressed we all are to strengthen the resilience They tell the Russians, ‘We don’t of the Ukrainian people. … I also take a lot of need you here. When you come hope from the [protesting] Russians who are here, it’s only war and death standing up. The repercussions for them could surrounding you.’”

The Ukrainian community of Ithaca and its allies gathered March 6 at the Bernie Milton Pavilion on The Commons to protest the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Ash Bailot/The Ithacan




Nolan Saunders/The Ithacan


Alyssa Beebe/The Ithacan

NEWS: COVID-19 Ana Maniaci McGough/The Ithacan



Some students and faculty at Ithaca College have expressed varying levels of concern about the potential for the spread of COVID-19 in the classroom as the college began its return to in-person classes. After students were not allowed to return from spring break in Spring 2020 because of the spread of COVID-19, classes continued remotely. Fall 2020 was completely remote with online classes, and Spring 2021 was back in person but with hybrid classes. Most classes that were offered for Fall 2021 were in person and operating normally. Students were wearing masks, but there was little to no social distancing in place, and classrooms were back to full capacity after there were guidelines regarding both in place the previous semester. Cyndy Scheibe, professor in the Department of Psychology, said she taught three in-person classes, two of which had approximately 90 students each. Scheibe said she was not particularly worried about the spread of COVID-19, despite the lack of social distancing and the large number of students in her class because the student vaccination rate is so high and all of her students were wearing their masks properly. “For me, I feel like this is the very best we can do, and I know my students are learning better in person,” she said. “Is it ideal? No, it’s not, but compared to learning on Zoom, I would take this in a heartbeat.” Hybrid instruction was no longer officially being offered in Fall 2021. However, some faculty have made the decision to provide a hybrid option for their students or

have pivoted to strictly online instruction. According to HomerConnect, 58 classes were taught online for the fall semester. Senior Ilya Rake said that one of his classes was held online but that he chose the class because it was originally going to be in person. He said he is a hands-on learner and did not feel like he learned anything from his online classes last semester. “It was such a muffled, dampened version of what I could’ve actually obtained if we had been in person and taken those classes the regular way,” he said. Some students and faculty said they felt worried about the lack of social distancing in classrooms and the use of the badge system for daily health screenings. On Sept. 8, there were 21 active student cases and one active employee case, according to the college’s COVID-19 dashboard. Junior Brianna Diaz said she had two online classes and three in-person classes. She said she only had one professor who asked to see students’ badges from the daily health screenings but was happy to be in person after experiencing Zoom fatigue last semester. “It’s definitely comfortable as of right now,” she said. “Before I was still freaking out because I’m like, ‘Oh my God,’ we’re all together in one classroom, one big lecture hall, and we’re not social distancing.” Belisa González, professor in the Department of Sociology, said she worried about her children at home, who are too young to be vaccinated, but did not feel unsafe teaching in person. “I would just follow the science on this one,” she said. “If the recommendations from the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)] say that we don’t have to be socially distant, then I’m willing to let them do their jobs,” she said. González said she did not require any of her students to show their green badges due to the time constraint of her 50-minute classes. However, she said she was willing to be open and flexible to policy FA L L changes as the semester continued. “Safety should be the first priority, and if the CDC changes their guidelines, I absolutely think we should figure something else out, and I will be happy to adjust,” she said. Junior Madeline Miele said two out of the five classes she took were online. She said that having a couple of online classes was nice for easing back to in-person learning and that both professors were not living in Ithaca. “It obviously stinks with being back and having the campus be mostly open, under the precautions,” Miele said. “But for those specific situations, it’s understandable, like they can’t control it.” Praneeta Mudaliar, assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Studies and Sciences, said she traveled home to India in November 2020 because of a family emergency and planned to come back the following summer. She said that she was not allowed to return to the U.S. because of a travel ban last spring. She had to teach her classes online for the fall semester. Mudaliar said that students and green card holders traveling from India were allowed to enter the U.S. but that she felt stuck as she could not return to the U.S. because she is on a work visa. “It was so anxiety-inducing at first because my job is in the U.S. and everyone’s doing in-person classes and I’m here doing online,” she said. “It’s like a sense that the pandemic is never going to get over.” Mudaliar said she felt bad that her students continued to learn on Zoom. “I would make a terrible student if I had to learn on Zoom, so I really applaud all our students for doing such a fine job,” she said. “They come to my classes. They all show up. They all participate, so that’s something that keeps me going.”






amm Swarts, assistant director for emergency preparedness and response at Ithaca College, and Kirra Franzese, associate vice president for human resources, sent an email to the campus community Nov. 10, 2021, about updates regarding COVID-19 booster shots. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized a single booster shot for the Pfizer two-dose COVID-19 vaccine Sept. 22. The FDA expanded the booster shot authorization to the two-dose Moderna and single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccines Oct. 20. Swarts and Franzese said in the email that students, faculty and staff who are eligible to receive a booster shot should do so as soon as possible. “At the moment, the college is encouraging anyone who may be eligible to get a booster [to] do so at their convenience,” Swarts said via email to The Ithacan. “We will not be offering booster vaccination clinics at this time on campus, and I would encourage anyone to use local resources within our Ithaca community to obtain vaccination boosters when eligible.” People who received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines can receive a booster shot at least six months after their second dose. Eligible individuals must be over 65 years old, ages 18–64 who live in long-term care facilities, ages 18–64 who have underlying medical conditions or people ages 18–64 who work or live in high-risk settings. People who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine can receive a booster shot at least two months after their dose and only have to be over 18 years old. Swarts and Franzese also thanked the campus

People receive free COVID-19 vaccinations at Los Angeles International Airport on Dec. 22, 2021. Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times/TNS

community for its work to keep COVID-19 numbers at the college low during the fall semester. Surveillance testing continues to be an important part of COVID-19 safety for the college community and cases are few. There were two active student cases, three active staff cases and three active employee cases as of Nov. 10. One person was quarantined in Emerson Hall. Swarts said in an interview that the student vaccination rate was 99% and the employee vaccination rate was 84%, which was an increase from the start of the semester when 78% of employees were vaccinated. He said the college started the optional, randomized surveillance testing because campus members requested it. Unvaccinated students and employees were required to test weekly. Freshman Jill Stafford said she thought the COVID-19 safety protocols for testing were adequate because of the low number of cases on campus. She said that if cases were to increase, then testing should also increase. “I think [surveillance testing] is important to minimize COVID risk,” Stafford said via email. “I think if people are asked to do it a lot of the time they will, but there will always be some that may not if it’s not mandatory.” Freshman Kierra Reese said she participated in the surveillance testing because she saw a lot of people every day and wanted to make sure she did not have COVID-19. “It’s a good thing to do so the school knows how many tests are positive,” Eloisa Flores prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic in Los Angeles, California, on Dec. 15, 2021. Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images/TNS


Reese said. “I feel like a lot of people that get the email might not take the test just because they are lazy and it took a few minutes out of the day.” Swarts said at the start of Fall 2021 that there was a supply shortage of antigen testing available at a national level due to a surge of COVID-19 cases across the country. He said the college worked with Abbott, which is the production company that makes the Binax NOW rapid antigen tests. He said that as soon as they were available, the college ordered several thousand test kits and began offering them to the campus community. He said the college had enough tests for the rest of Fall 2021 and campus members also had access to PCR testing through Cayuga Health. To pick up an antigen test kit or drop one off, there were several locations across campus, including the Campus Center lobby, the Peggy Ryan Williams lobby, the Athletics and Events Center lobby and an employee-only location on Farm Pond Road. PCR tests and rapid tests were also available in Emerson Hall. Swarts said the testing has allowed the college to be alerted of some potential asymptomatic infections, although he said there have been very few of those cases on campus. Swarts said that each week 20% of the campus was selected for the randomized testing, including students, faculty and staff. He said approximately 90% or more of that sample population participated in the randomized surveillance testing, and there have been very few positive cases. “Overall, we are in a terrific place,” Swarts said via email. “Students have been taking health and safety precautions very seriously, and we have seen very low COVID numbers so far this semester. We continue to monitor our local and state guidance to see what we might be able to relax as we continue on throughout the pandemic.”


After testing positive for COVID-19, sophomore Emily Barkin was sent into student isolation housing at Emerson Hall for 10 days. Barkin is pictured here on Sept. 21, 2021, in Emerson Hall. Alyssa Beebe/The Ithacan




fter testing positive for COVID-19 in September, sophomore Emily Barkin was sent into student isolation housing at Emerson Hall for 10 days. Having previously tested positive for COVID-19 and isolating in Emerson in Spring 2021, Barkin said her second isolation experience was far more difficult. “It just felt worse,” Barkin said. “I went in definitely more stressed than I was when I first went, and came out kind of numb to the situation.” Similar to the 2020–21 academic year, the college has implemented quarantine procedures for students who test positive for COVID-19. On Sept. 13, the college implemented voluntary, randomized surveillance testing for the student body. However, some students have expressed frustrations with the procedures and the psychological effects of the quarantine process. On East Hill, Cornell University had 21 active cases, as of Oct. 4. According to Cornell Health, positive students are sent into isolation for an average of 10 days, depending on the Tompkins County Health Department (TCHD) and its guidelines for each case, where they are given meals every day, nurses to check in on them and virtual mental wellness visits. Sam Wheelwright, testing coordinator and care manager for the Office of Public Safety and Emergency Management at Ithaca College, works closely with the Hammond Health Center, TCHD and students who test positive. She said that like Cornell, Ithaca College works with TCHD on each case to determine how many days are necessary in quarantine, with an

average of 10 days. Unvaccinated students are sent into quarantine following a contact trace, while only vaccinated students who test positive have to quarantine. Students quarantined on campus can stay in Emerson Hall, while off-campus students can isolate at home. Wheelwright said the process was moving smoothly in the fall semester. She said students in quarantine receive a private room and bathroom. Students receive three meals each day, provided by Dining Services. “All has gone well, and we are continuing to get as much information as possible to the students to ensure they know what is going on and feel comfortable,” Wheelwright said via email. Barkin said that she tested positive and was placed in Emerson Hall after being selected for randomized testing Sept. 13. Barkin said she thinks that her second time in quarantine may have been worse because she thinks the resources are lacking compared to last semester. She said students are offered meetings with the Center for Counseling and Psychiatric Services, but they no longer do daily Zoom calls and instead do phone call check-ins each day. “It’s not a huge deal, and doing the check-ins was annoying at first, but it was nice to know that you were speaking to a real person at least once a day, for the most part,” Barkin said via email. Wheelwright said wraparound care managers check in with students each day either over the phone or in person during outside time depending on student preference. She said the resources offered to students have not changed from last semester. She

said students are offered outside time every day for 40 minutes to an hour, depending on how long students want to be outside for. Sophomore David Toplitsky went through quarantine at the beginning of September. “Being in a room for like 23 hours … it was a little like a jail cell, ” Toplitsky said. “But yeah, that wasn’t fun because you barely saw anyone. You really can’t move around. … You only move around your dorm room that you were in there.” Toplitsky also said he had qualms with the food he was provided during his 10-day stay. “The beginning food was not really too good. But at the end, like the dinners that they were giving us were better,” Toplitsky said. “I don’t know why. But overall, the food wasn’t great, but you could … [order] Uber Eats and Grubhub and do all that stuff if you wanted to.” Some students have had difficulty keeping up with classwork while in quarantine because most classes this semester are held in person and do not have virtual options. Freshman Aidan Gardner said that he tested positive for COVID-19 and quarantined in Emerson Hall from Sept. 7 to 15. He said that not being able to be in class or have a Zoom option made things hard and that he is still behind in his classes. “I was inside all the time and only had 30 minutes of outside time each day,” Gardner said. “It was so hard to actually sit down and do the work. I have never been able to learn out of a textbook, especially when it is online. I need to be there.”




Anna McCracken/The Ithacan



tarting March 4, Ithaca College dropped its campuswide mask mandate. After the change went into effect, the college no longer required face masks to be worn within any indoor locations, unless clearly stated otherwise, regardless of individual vaccination status. In a March 1 email to the campus community, Samm Swarts, director of emergency preparedness and response, announced the policy change, citing the Tompkins County Health Department’s (TCHD) Feb. 28 suspension of the mask advisory in the community. Additionally, the college elected to allow faculty members to decide what the mask policies will be for their classrooms. The college asked these faculty members to inform students of what will be expected of them in their classrooms as soon as possible. The Ithaca City School District also suspended its mandate around the same time. After the mandate was dropped, masks were no longer required indoors, outdoors or on school buses. Between Feb. 24 and March 2, the county reported fewer than 200 new cases for every 100,000 people and less than 10% of hospital beds in the county is occupied by patients with COVID-19. While the college’s library is following guidance to drop the mask mandate, the Center for LGBT Education, Outreach and Services elected to continue requiring masks inside its facilities. 80

The announcement said that masks will still be required in all health care settings, including campus locations like the Emerson Hall, Hammond Health Center and health professions clinics. Swarts also said in the announcement that if COVID-19 case numbers were to rise dramatically and if the rate of transmission at the college were to increase, the campus would revert back to its campuswide indoor mask mandate regardless of guidance from TCHD. “While this new guidance is encouraging and welcomed news for many, I would like to recognize that this update might also spur some anxiety as well,” the email stated. “This change will once again require us to recalibrate as a campus community and be supportive of differing tolerance for the risks associated with COVID-19.” As of now, Cornell University has not dropped its mask mandate, but other colleges in the United States are. According to Inside Higher Ed, public colleges are following states like California, Connecticut, Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey, New York and Oregon that are changing mask mandates. Junior Cali Trainor said that when she heard that the college’s mask mandate would be dropped, she felt anxious and angry. “I myself am immunocompromised,” Trainor said. “I am just concerned that the campus is not going to be doing anything to protect other immunocompromised and at-risk people like myself. A lot of the reason I felt comfort-

able coming on campus this semester was knowing that almost everyone has to be vaccinated.” Trainor said now that the mandate has been dropped, she will have to make more difficult decisions regarding her health. “It’s putting us [students] in a really uncomfortable situation because now I have to decide between my health and well-being and my grades potentially,” Trainor said. In response to student and faculty concerns, Swarts said via email that the college has followed the guidance of TCHD and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) when it comes to masking since the beginning of the pandemic. He said the college will continue to align with the county’s decisions. “I have heard from many students about their discomfort with the new masking guidance on campus,” Swarts said. “I am listening to these concerns and will relay them back to the Senior Leadership Team for further conversation.” The Ithaca College COVID-19 risk level has been at “Green: Lower Risk” since Feb. 4. As of March 2, there are 20 active student COVID-19 cases and five active employee cases, according to the COVID-19 dashboard. There are 13 rooms being utilized to quarantine in Emerson for students who tested positive. Other members of the campus community like junior Noah Schwartz are excited to see changes that show the world is beginning to recover from COVID-19. Schwartz said he has been extremely vigilant with COVID-19 safety the past two years, but he feels that if the county is saying masks are no longer necessary then it is time to end the mandate on campus. “I’m just happy that we’re going to move past it and we can just have our open faces again, and hopefully that kind of brings some normalcy back to the campus,” Schwartz said. “I think we can take these steps and then backtrack if we need to, but I’m hoping this is the start of something positive pushing us forward.” When the TCHD announced that it would drop its mask advisory, it attributed the county’s drop in positive COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations — bringing the county into the “Low” category for COVID-19 risk under the CDC measuring framework. In a statement, Frank Kruppa, Tompkins County public health director, said to stay vigilant with


personal safety and vaccinations as the region moves forward with new guidance. “We’re in a place where we are seeing very little spread and severe disease locally and around the state,” Kruppa said in the statement. “While we’re moving forward with new guidance it’s important to continue to stay vigilant and we are encouraging everyone who is eligible to stay up-to-date on vaccination.” Stewart Auyash, associate professor in the Department of Health Promotion and Physical Education, said he will continue to wear a mask and have his students wear them too. He also said the announcement might have glossed over important reminders about public health. “They didn’t do enough to remind people that there is still a significant number of people who are elderly or below 5 years old or who can’t get vaccinated because of their immune systems,” Auyash said. “And support should have been mentioned for those people who still want to wear masks and have to wear masks.” Swarts confirmed that randomized, optional surveillance testing at the college will continue to be offered to students for now. Spring break took place from March 12—20, and Auyash said he feels the college could have waited until afterward to drop the mask mandate so students — but especially faculty — could have time to plan for it. Swarts announced in an email March 12 that any students remaining on campus for the duration of the break would be able to utilize on-campus testing in Emerson on March 18 prior to the beginning of classes. The email also reminded students to complete mandatory COVID-19 tests within 72 hours prior to returning to campus. Additionally, the email announced expanded surveillance testing for the weeks of March 21—25 and March 28—April 1. Auyash said that this decision has the potential to put a significant amount of additional pressure and responsibility on faculty members to make decisions about their students’ health and safety that they may not all be entirely comfortable making. While Swarts did acknowledge general community nervousness, unrest and concern surrounding the change, he said he did not believe that faculty members would be made to take on any more responsibility than they usually would be expected to. “Professors have the autonomy to make decisions about what is and

what is not allowed in their class as it relates to a variety of things,” Swarts said via email. “Allowing them to make these decisions about masking is no different. If faculty have concerns or questions on how to make these decisions, they should work with their respective dean’s office.” News editor Elijah de Castro contributed reporting.

Ash Bailot/The Ithacan

Editorial: Removal of mask mandate is a poorly timed move


n the age of a modern pandemic, who gets to survive in America is even more limited than before: The checklist for survival has expanded while the long-term effects of COVID-19 remain the same. With the new mask advisory for Tompkins County being lifted, Ithaca College will not require all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, to wear face coverings in indoor locations and has left it up to the discretion of our professors to administer their own face covering policy per classroom. This is a messy approach to the overall campus safety, places an unfair burden upon all professors and ignores the immunocompromised individuals in our community. The number of people who are elderly, below 5 years old or who cannot get vaccinated because of their immune systems is still significant. While not wearing a mask indoors may feel like a breath of fresh air, at this time, the air is not COVID-free just yet. The Ithaca College administration has failed by not offering support for those who still want to wear masks or have to wear one. This announcement was a rushed effort that ignores the many concerns that come with an ongoing, deadly virus. Glossing over important reminders about public health is dangerous for everyone in the community. The college needs to be proactive, clear and responsive when addressing the protocols for returning from spring break. Dropping this new mask mandate in haste does not allow faculty members the time to plan or inform their students of their individual policies methodically, and it adds undo stress to another atypical COVID semester. The war of pestilence is resilient and unforgiving. As history shows, humans are creators of our own Frankenstein Monsters. We are overzealous with our goals of productivity. This often causes us to forget to proceed with caution, ultimately leading us to our own ruin. We now find ourselves existing in the middle of a pandemic and fumbling with new mask mandates and poorly conceived COVID-19 policies. The Ithaca College community must remain smart and remember that respecting and protecting our peers, professors, staff, the community , as well as ourselves is a full-time job. The good news is that, while we do not have control over how this pandemic will go, we do have control over our actions. We must continue wearing masks and making this a mandatory task in our checklist of survival. 81


From left, sophomores Bella Cassaday and Sadie Hofford drop off saliva self-collection COVID-19 tests in Egbert Hall during the 2021–22 school year. Left: Thomas Kerrigan/The Ithacan. Right: Anna Brodhead/The Ithacan




ome Ithaca College students have voiced their disappointment with the lack of clear communication from the college as it has reimplemented surveillance testing for vaccinated students. With some classes turning to online learning, there have been multiple instances in which students and faculty said they feel the COVID-19 guidelines have not been properly enforced. In an email to the campus community Sept. 3, the college announced that random individuals will be selected to participate in newly reimplemented surveillance testing. Students who are selected to test each week receive an email on Monday morning and have the option to submit a test Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. Unlike in the spring, the randomized testing is not mandatory, even for those selected to test during the week. Samm Swarts, assistant director for emergency preparedness and response, said that the surveillance testing is not mandatory because there is not a necessity. Freshman Keely Crane said she primarily agreed with the randomized testing and thought it was a good step for the college, although she thought there was still room for improvement. “When I got the email for the first time, I thought it was honestly a good idea because I feel like more testing is better than no testing at all,” Crane said. “I even feel with the randomizing eventually it will get to most of the population, so ultimately I feel like it’s a good idea.” Freshman Brendon Peau said he felt worried about the reach that randomized testing had and how there were groups of students left out of this weekly testing that could cause COVID-19 cases to remain hidden. Peau said the testing should be an evolving process that grows from concerns the campus community might have. He said that having this in place was the first step to finding more ways to keep students safe while living on campus. “I think the randomized [testing] is a good start,” Peau said. “It’ll start evolving. They’ll figure it out at a point. I’m happy we’re at least doing it right now.”


Sophomore Tara Dikyikhangsar said she agreed with how the school handled COVID-19 testing. However, she said she thinks randomized testing was not something that the college should continue with in the long term, as she was worried it might put students at risk. “I think it’s good that they’re at least doing the random testing, but I think we should probably get tested once a week maybe just to keep track of the cases … especially because people are still partying,” Dikyikhangsar said. Junior Gabi Shapiro said she thought there was some confusion between the college and the student body as to how surveillance testing would work. Shapiro said she did not like the lack of enforcement of the mask policy and how randomized testing was not mandatory. All members of the campus community were required to wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status. “Well, I think at the start there was miscommunication because people were under the assumption that if you were picked then you would have to,” she said. “But they are doing it where it is voluntary, so if you’re picked you don’t have to. And I think that’s just stupid because then what’s the point of having randomized testing? I haven’t gone to two of my classes because students aren’t following mask mandates.” Approximately 99% of the student population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, yet faculty and staff are still exempt from the vaccination requirement with 78% of faculty and staff vaccinated as of Aug. 24. On social media, some students have voiced their concerns over randomized testing. Twitter user @tc2426 criticized the voluntary aspects of the randomized testing by tweeting “Ithaca College said we are gonna do randomized testing but if you have symptoms then [don’t worry] it’s voluntary.” Senior Brianna Lowe said she felt like necessary information was not being distributed to the campus community quickly enough. She felt that the college should go back to how it handled COVID-19 last semester with twice-weekly testing for all students. “I think that it came way too late in the semester. I think we should have started with randomized testing,” she said. “I feel more safe now that the randomized testing is in effect, but do I feel 100% safe in the class? No, because COVID is still a big thing going on.”


S T U D E N T S E N C O U N T E R D I F F I C U LT I E S ACCESSING COVID-19 TESTING OPTIONS tests to her friends, Lipper wanted to use the USPS 9 a.m. to 5 p.m in the Emerson Hall. Emerson remains the primary way for students program to get more tests for herself. However, she on and off campus to get tested for COVID-19 encountered this issue with the address. “When I first put in our address at Circle apart- regardless of whether they are symptomatic or ments, they said that it couldn’t be delivered,” Lipper asymptomatic. However, having rapid tests allows for said. “It said that a household had already claimed students to get quicker results and to get tested outside the scheduled hours of Emerson. Zadravec said it a set.” It was only when Lipper changed would be a quicker and more convenient way for her her address to the college’s official to get tested because the Circles Apartments are a mile address — 953 Danby Rd. — that away from Emerson. “I just wanted to get some more tests,” Zadravec she was able to place the order. However, despite being able to said. “I have heard Emerson is getting more lax lately pass that hurdle, Lipper has and not as helpful. I would rather have tests on hand. still not received her tests. It’s just a usefulness thing. I can do one [a test] quickLipper’s friend, junior Cailin ly and get a result back quicker than if I were to go Zadravec, also had these is- to Emerson.” On Feb. 18, Tompkins County distributed free rapsues when ordering her tests. Samm Swarts, assistant id COVID-19 tests from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Tompkins director for emergency prepared- County Public Library with a maximum of six tests Ash Bailot/The Ithacan ness and response, said that testing per household. A worker said hundreds of tests were is critical to the college’s COVID-19 distributed. Additionally, Tompkins County purchased response but the issues with the USPS pro- 250,000 KN95 masks — one of the most effective masks for COVID-19 prevention — that are now being gram make it unreliable. “I think it’s a great idea in theory,” Swarts said. distributed to residents for free. BY ELIJAH DE CASTRO & WREN PERCHLIK Swarts said it is a possibility that the college could “It’s a great program to offer testing to citizens … but at the end of the day, it makes it challenging and diffi- distribute rapid tests to students. However, the way the college currently receives tests makes it unable to n late January, shortly after the United States cult on college campuses.” Swarts said the USPS program is not enough to distribute them on an individual basis. government began a program that would ship four “We get a box of test kits that has 40 test kits in it COVID-19 tests to households across the U.S., Ithaca fulfill the testing needs of students on college camCollege senior Victoria Lipper ordered a shipment to puses, where the large population of residential and one bottle of reagent, so there’s no way to break her address at the Circle Apartments. A month later, students causes the spread of COVID-19. On campus, up that bottle to have it administered individually,” the college offers free testing seven days a week from Swarts said. Lipper’s order has still not arrived. As the pandemic enters an endemic phase, different leaders around the world have taken steps to personalize COVID-19 testing. By mid-December 2021, Germany, the United Kingdom, South Korea and Canada had created some form of a free rapid test program for all citizens. The U.S.’s program began Jan. 18, by the time the omicron variant was in the middle of its surge. That day, 1,178,403 new COVID-19 cases were reported across in the U.S. In February, the surge ended, and as of Feb. 21, 55,659 cases were reported in the U.S., making the once-urgently needed delivery of rapid tests too late. In addition, the tests were distributed by the United States Postal Service (USPS), which is in a crisis caused by losses in revenue, increased delivery times and understaffing. As a result, COVID-19 tests have shown up far later than the expected time frame of 7–12 days, or like in Lipper’s situation, not at all. On top of this, the USPS program has a limit of one order per residential address. For people who live in large apartment buildings or dormitories with multiple rooms under one address, the USPS’s program has only allowed one shipment for the entire address. Lipper said that when she came back from winter break, she brought rapid tests that she had bought at home with her for her own use. Having lent those From left, Rich Recchia and Teresa Vadakin distribute COVID-19 rapid tests Feb. 18 at the Tompkins County Public Library. Maggie Bryan/The Ithacan







ollowing a dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases in December 2021, Ithaca College has cautiously yet optimistically welcomed back its students, faculty and staff for Spring 2022. As students prepared to leave the college for winter break in December 2021, a surge of COVID-19 cases hit the area. The rise in case numbers was attributed to Santacon, a large, unmasked holiday gathering Dec. 11 that the college warned students not to go to. The college shifted to an “Orange: Moderate Risk” alert status, and 123 active student cases were reported Dec. 15 as well as four employee cases. Since the beginning of the spring semester, COVID-19 cases within the student body have remained low, resulting in the college changing its COVID-19 operating status to a “Green: Lower Risk” transmission level Feb. 4. As of Feb. 8, there were seven active student COVID-19 cases and nine active employee cases. Samm Swarts, director of emergency preparedness and response, said there was uncertainty of what to expect coming back. He said the decision to start Spring 2022 in a “Yellow: Low to Moderate Risk” alert status was because the college ended Fall 2021 at a higher risk for contracting COVID-19. He said the surge of cases in the winter also urged the college to revise the process of students returning to campus. “We had no idea what campus was going to look like as soon as we started receiving students back to campus,” Swarts said. On Jan. 7, the college alerted the campus community of the revised plans for Spring 2022. During the week of Jan. 24–28, classes were held remotely to allow for residential students to move in between Jan. 18 and 30, rather than the usual two-day process. Students were required to take COVID-19 tests before moving in and to participate in a check-in process with a rapid antigen test at the Athletics & Events Center.

From left, freshman Alexia Michitti, junior Ben Gutchess and freshman Helen Adair wait at Spring 2022 check-in. Nolan Saunders/The Ithacan

Junior Wren Perchlik contracted COVID-19 after checking into campus and quarantined in the Emerson Hall between Feb. 1 and 6. He said that he was glad when he learned of the revised plan. He said that he did not mind having a week of online classes. “There’s been more [COVID-19 cases] since [the All-College Gathering],” Perchlik said. “I am a bit worried that me getting COVID right away is representative of a larger trend on campus. … It seems like omicron, it’s very contagious.” The omicron variant is much more contagious than the original virus and the delta variant, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC states that while the vaccine greatly reduces the severity of symptoms, even vaccinated and asymptomatic people can spread the virus. The student vaccination rate is 99% and has been since the start of Fall 2021. As of August 2021, 78% of faculty and staff were fully vaccinated, and Swarts said the vaccination rate has increased since then with about 90% of employees being fully vaccinated coming into the spring semester. He said that requiring employee vaccination and boosters would not have a big enough impact to necessitate making an employee mandate. Sophomore Sadie Hofford checks students in after winter break Jan. 26. Nolan Saunders/The Ithacan


“I think people really saw the omicron variant take shape and be very problematic for us in the fall,” Swarts said. “A lot of folks chose from an employee perspective to be vaccinated over the winter break.” The deadline for students to receive their required COVID-19 booster was Feb. 15. While Swarts said that there will not be a booster clinic on campus, he said that the suggestion was to use local pharmacies, which have appointments available. Freshman Nyx Bhatt quarantined in Emerson between Feb. 1 and 6 after contracting COVID-19 while traveling to campus from Bangalore, India. Bhatt said she had not gotten the booster yet. She said her friends with the booster shot were asymptomatic, but she experienced flu-like symptoms. Bhatt also said she thinks the extended move-in process was a smart idea to reduce the number of positive cases. “A pandemic is a huge cause of just anxiety and depression among students,” Bhatt said. “If you’re someone that’s prone to that, I would want to be surrounded by optimism, so I like that they’re [the college] being positive about it.” David Gondek, associate professor in the Department of Biology, is on the college’s Health Safety Advisory Group and said that looking at past pandemics is a good way to understand COVID-19. The 1918 influenza pandemic killed a total of 50 million people worldwide, according to the CDC. This eventually became the circulating flu for 40 years. He said that the pandemic is shifting into an endemic stage because the virus is going to circulate forever rather than appearing in small, intense outbreaks. “I think we will take our masks off this summer for sure,” Gondek said. “We may put masks on again next flu season, but I think that will be it. So by the flu season after that, it’s just going to be part of society.”





he Ithaca College community adjusted both to the residual effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the college’s budget and the changes implemented as part of the Ithaca Forever strategic plan to create a more sustainable budget. The college formally began the process of implementing the Ithaca Forever strategic plan in October 2019. The goals of the plan are to proactively address the national issue of declining student enrollment and to create a budget that matches the new demographics. The plan was launched before the COVID-19 pandemic, but the pandemic accelerated the rollout of changes. The pandemic caused a decrease in the college’s operating budget. The college’s operating expenses for fiscal year 2021 dropped to $188,656,855 from $231,452,699 in 2020. The budget for fiscal year 2022 is currently set at $222,276,717. The college previously asked departments to cut their budgets for the 2019–20 fiscal year because of anticipated lower enrollment numbers. Tim Downs, vice president for finance and administration and chief financial officer, said the college is a tuition-dependent institution and room and board make approximately 90% of the net operating revenue. Tuition for the 2021–22 academic year is $46,610 on top of the $6,868 standard meal plan and a double room cost of $8,976. Former President Shirley M. Collado said she wanted to move the college away from relying on tuition because of lower enrollment. During the State of the College meeting Oct. 5, Downs said the total revenue from tuition and room and board was $211,472,084 in 2019, $190,142,130 in 2020 and $137,978,111 in 2021. The total revenue for tuition and room and board for the 2022 fiscal year is expected to be $182,240,632. Downs said in an interview that the college is keeping costs for tuition and room and board the same for the 2021–22 academic year, as well as reducing meal plan costs by continuing to insource the dining program. He said that decreasing enrollment was an issue before the pandemic but that the rise in students deferring and taking gap years during the 2020–21 academic year resulted in a longer-lasting financial impact. According to the Office of Analytics and Institutional Research (AIR), 1,100 freshmen were enrolled in Fall 2020, which was 578 fewer than in Fall 2019. Overall, AIR reports that the college had a total of 6,266 students enrolled in Fall 2019 and 5,354 students in Fall 2020. For Fall 2021, there were 5,239 students enrolled. “If we didn’t match the budget with student enrollment revenue and kept the expenses the same, we’d be running at a considerable operating

deficit every year and we just can’t do that,” Downs there used to be, so it is fine if the capital budget is said. “After a number of years, we would have to close lowered. She said ordinarily she prepares a budget projection in the fall and another in the late spring, our doors.” The operating deficit for fiscal year 2020 but in the past year, she said she has done 13 different was $3,446,240 and the deficit for the 2021 fiscal projections, decreasing the budget each time. Wikoff said she is more concerned about the loss year was $10,282,639. The deficit for 2022 is expected to be $2,135,185. The operating deficit of other resources, mainly employees. She said the liaccounts for the total expenses the college has in brary had 27 employees at the beginning of 2020 and a fiscal year subtracted by the amount of now it has 20. “Some of the positions that were eliminated, it was total revenue. As a part of the strategic plan, the college im- the right call,” Wikoff said. “On the other hand, with plemented the Academic Program Prioritization some of the positions that were eliminated, we are still process. The Shape of the College document outlines trying to sort out what they did and who will do it now.” Junior Ellen Chapman is a student managthe specific cuts that have been and will continue to be made, including 116 full-time equivalent fac- er for the library and said the number of library ulty positions, as well as 26 major, department and work-study positions offered has decreased from previous years. She said this has impacted accessibility for program eliminations. Downs said more faculty cuts will happen over students wanting to use library space and services. “The library used to be open all day most days, so the next couple of years, mostly through attrition, meaning if faculty retire or resign they may not you could show up to the library whenever you wanted,” Chapman said. “Now, there are so many times be replaced. Downs said the administration is continu- when it opens and closes, [that] even though I work ously looking for opportunities to reduce annual here, I don’t totally know.” Campus members have made repeated comments expenditures beyond faculty and program cuts by restructuring the college. He said that so far some about the overall lack of communication about the of these opportunities have included insourcing strategic plan and related changes, as well as their conservices, restructuring majors and departments, fusion about budget cuts related to COVID-19. “I am hoping we can help dispel some of the reorganizing the responsibilities of staff and faculty, adjusting vendor services and virtualizing mystery or mystique around this because there are a lot of things changing and a lot of things going hardware servers. “On top of the strategic plan implementation, on and people may start to connect things that are the impact of COVID caused the institution to not necessarily connected and say ‘that must be behave to make some short-term cuts to minimize the cause of expense cuts,’ and most times they’re not,” effect of the pandemic,” Downs said via email. “These Downs said. reductions included no pay increases for two years, the reduction of retirement plan contributions and the delay of capital plan investments. For the long-term health of Ithaca College, these cuts will be restored over the next few years.” Interim librarian Karin Wikoff, who has worked at the college since 2004, said the department has needed to find ways to reduce expenses and shift money around because of its limited budget during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, the budget is starting to recover from the pandemic’s effect on revenue. Wikoff said the library’s capital budget for physical materials was approximately $400,000 before the pandemic, and, during the 2020–21 academic year, dropped to zero. She said this fall semester it rose to approximately $60,000 for the fiscal year. Wikoff said there is less student Tim Downs, vice president for finance and administration and chief financial demand for physical materials than officer speaks Oct. 5, 2021, in the Emerson Suites. Ash Bailot/The Ithacan




Brendan Iannucci/The Ithacan


Reed Freeman/The Ithacan




Since Feb. 3, two separate swastikas have been found drawn inside buildings on the Ithaca College campus. The first swastika was found Feb. 3 drawn on the condensation of a window in Baker Walkway. The second swastika was found Feb. 8 on a poster in the James J. Whalen Center for Music. As of April 18, both cases remain unsolved. Following the discovery of the first swastika in Baker Walkway, President La Jerne Cornish sent an email to the campus community condemning the symbol Feb. 4. After the second swastika was found in Whalen, the Office of Public Safety and Emergency Management sent out an alert Feb. 8 to the campus community. The drawing had been scratched onto a poster in a practice room and is now under investigation as a vandalism hate crime, but the suspect is not known yet. Public Safety said that the second swastika was reported the afternoon of Feb. 8 but that the incident occurred between the morning of Feb. 2 and 8. While it is unknown if the two incidents are connected, Baker Walkway connects Whalen and the Towers parking lot (J-Lot). Junior Alexa Chalnick, a Jewish student, found the first swastika when she was walking through Baker Walkway with her friend Feb. 3. “Immediately after seeing [the swastika] my heart dropped,” Chalnick said. “I got all hot and flushed and I said goodbye to my friend. … So then I was alone, sort of just going back to Terraces, and I was crying. I was so upset. I could not understand why anyone would think that that was OK.” Antisemitic and racist incidents are not new to the college. In April 2019, swastikas were found on the doors of dorm rooms. In 2019, a student wrote a commentary for The Ithacan saying they had found their mezuzah — a prayer scroll with Hebrew verses from the Torah — ripped from their door. According to previous reports by The Ithacan, in May 2013 someone found antisemitic graffiti, and in April 2014 a swastika was drawn in a residential hall. In the 2015–16 academic year, two swastikas were drawn in East Tower. In December 2016, a report was made after an antisemitic slur was written in Bogart Hall. Public Safety Director Tom Dunn said that two swastikas were found in 2018, one in Terrace 9 and one in West Tower. Dunn said that the most recent incident on Feb. 3 is the first reported image of a swastika since a 2019 report in Talcott Hall. Dunn could not comment on any details involving the two swastikas because both investigations were still open; however, Public Safety should be contacted at 617–274–3333 with any information regarding the incidents. As a result, while all of these incidents are classified as aggravated harassment under New York state law and are bias-related, not all of them are classified as hate crimes under the Clery Act. Elyse Nepa, Clery Act and crime prevention coordinator for Public Safety, said there are many factors to consider when classifying a crime. “That was one of the things we took into consideration last night, when we were making the determination to issue a public safety alert,” Nepa said. “Having two swastikas on our campus in a matter of a week is a cause for concern for the safety of the members of our community, mentally and physically.” Dunn said safety measures in times like this include directing officer patrolling to a certain area when there is evidence to believe that it needs special attention. Nepa also mentioned an event that had been planned before the recent swastika reports came to light. Public Safety facilitated an emergency preparedness and response training Feb. 11 at Muller Chapel. Freshman Rachel Lubell, a Jewish student, said that in Fall 2021 someone had drawn a swastika on one of the doors in her dorm hall. “At this point, I’ve become so numb to this kind of stuff because like,

obviously it’s sad, but it’s become common,” Lubell said. “It doesn’t shock me anymore because it’s so deeply ingrained into our society, and I think a lot of that has to do with lack of education.” In a Feb. 8 interview before the second swastika was found, Lauren Goldberg, executive director of Hillel at Ithaca College and interim director of the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, said the college’s swift condemnation of the drawing and antisemitism as a whole is the kind of leadership that allows for Jewish students to feel supported and seen. Goldberg said that she felt widespread support from the entire campus community but that witnessing acts of antisemitism, especially in one’s hometown, is always scary. “Our people have suffered so much under what the symbol of a swastika stands for,” Goldberg said. “Imagine walking on a normal day … and the feeling of just the wind being sucked out of you or like a punch in the gut.” The incidents come during a time of rising antisemitic incidents throughout the Western world. The Anti-Defamation League found that 2020 was the third-highest year since 1979 for antisemitic incidents. On Jan. 22, Hillel and other religious groups held a gathering at the Bernie Milton Pavillion to mourn a hostage standoff at a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas. Matt Price ’20 was part of Hillel all four years of his time at the college. He said he appreciates the college’s response to the swastikas but hopes results can come from their words. Price said he wants the person or people responsible to not only

Incidents of Jewish Hate in the U.S. (2020)





Data Courtesy of ADL

Vandalism Incidents Harassment Incidents be disciplined but also counseled so they can understand the impact of their actions. “For these symbols to pop up, especially in a place that I call my second home, Ithaca College, it’s just sad,” Price said. “It makes me upset, heartbroken, frustrated. … I mean, [the swastika] last week was shocking, but [the swastika] this week was definitely shocking.” Correction: In the original publication of this story, the Anti-Defamation League was written as “The American Defamation League.”



Reed Freeman/The Ithacan




pdate, 7:50 p.m. Nov. 7: As of 7:33 p.m. Nov. 7, Cornell University has stated that local law enforcement agencies have completed their search of the Ithaca campus and found no credible threats. Community members were able to return to normal activities. Update, 6:10 p.m. Nov. 7: As of 5:35 p.m. Nov. 7, Cornell University police and local law enforcement agencies were sweeping several campus buildings as part of the investigation into the bomb threat, according to the most recent CornellALERT announcement. Community members were told to avoid central campus. Original story, 4:36 p.m. Nov. 7: Cornell University police received a call of bombs being placed in the Law School, Goldwin Smith Hall, Upson Hall and Kennedy Hall at 2:12 p.m. Cornell issued an alert telling community members to avoid central campus and to evacuate areas in or near the Law School, Goldwin Smith Hall, Upson Hall and Kennedy Hall.

Former Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick stated in a tweet at 3:36 p.m. that the I thaca Police Department’s SWAT team responded. At 4:05 p.m., the Cornell University Police Department stated in a tweet that law enforcement was on-site and put a security perimeter in place. Other schools like Columbia University, Brown University and Yale University have evacuated buildings due to bomb threats over the weekend. At 2:32 p.m., the Columbia Daily Spectator stated in a tweet that multiple of the university’s buildings were being evacuated. The Brown Daily Chronicle reported that the school had evacuated multiple buildings after receiving multiple bomb threats at 3:58 p.m. On Nov. 5, Yale University evacuated multiple buildings after a bomb threat was called in. The Yale Daily News reported that a person called the police nonemergency line midday to report that 40 bombs had been placed around the campus. The Yale campus later received an all-clear from the city by 6:36 p.m. Nov. 5. Additionally, the Miami University Police investigated a bomb threat reported on Saturday afternoon. Multiple buildings were evacuated. News Editor Caitlin Holtzman contributed reporting.

Number of Active-Shooter Incidents in the U.S. from 2015 to 2020 2020















Ash Bailot/The Ithacan



fter multiple shelter-in-place orders at Cornell University and other local schools during the afternoon of Nov. 9, local police have apprehended the three suspects involved in a shots-fired incident. As of 8:50 p.m. Nov. 9, law enforcement officials believed that the third suspect was no longer in the Cayuga Heights area. According to a press release, the original report of gunfire at 1:23 p.m. was believed to be between two groups of people, and law enforcement did not believe that the third suspect posed an immediate threat to the community. In a press release from Nov. 9, police said that at 1:23 p.m. Nov. 9 the Ithaca Police Department (IPD) was dispatched to the 600 block of Hancock Street to respond to reports of gunfire between two groups of people. A vehicle that one of the groups left the scene in was spotted traveling north on New York state Route 13 near the Cayuga Heights exit. A Tompkins County Sheriff ’s Office

(TCSO) vehicle spotted the suspect’s vehicle, and the pursuit ended when the vehicle left the road and ended up in the front yard of a residential home near the parkway and Klinewoods Road in Cayuga Heights. After the vehicle stopped, one suspect was apprehended and two others fled on foot, the release stated. TCSO, IPD, Cayuga Heights Police Department (CHPD), Cornell University Police and the New York State Police all responded. After a perimeter was set, members of TCSO apprehended another suspect without incident. The release stated that the third suspect was a 6’0”–6’1” tall Black male with dreadlocks extending past the shoulders, medium build and wearing a faded multicolored shirt. He was seen fleeing the scene with a handgun in his waistband and was considered armed and dangerous. Law enforcement officers found a handgun in the area the third suspect had fled from, as well as shell casings from the scene of the shots-fired incident in the 600 block of Hancock Street. The first suspect was identified as 22-year-old Trimard Chris Campbell of Utica, New York, and the second suspect was identified as 22-year-old Ramello Quayshawn Jackson of Ithaca. After an hourslong search around the area, the third suspect was identified as 20-year-old Sherrod Erskine of Rochester, New York. All three suspects were indicted with second degree criminal possession of a weapon, third degree criminal possession of a weapon, criminal possession of a firearm and first degree reckless endangerment. In a release sent at 8:45 a.m. Nov. 10, Osborne released what charges both defendants received. Jackson was charged with Criminal Possession of a Weapon 3rd, which is a Class D Felony; Obstructing Governmental Administration 2nd, which is a Class A Misdemeanor; and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 7th, which is a Class A

Misdemeanor. Campbell was charged with Criminal Possession of a Weapon 3rd and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 7th. He was also charged with Unlawfully Fleeing a Police Officer in a Motor Vehicle 3rd, which is a Class A Misdemeanor. Both were arraigned and remanded to the Tompkins County Jail in lieu of a $4,000 and $8,000 cash or bond bail, respectively. At 2:09 p.m. Nov. 9, Cornell issued a shelterin-place order for its North Campus because local police were pursuing a man with a gun in Cayuga Heights. This alert came just two days after a bomb threat shut down Cornell’s central campus for five hours. Local schools — Ithaca High School, Boynton Middle School and Cayuga Heights Elementary School — were also placed under shelter-in-place orders. Some Ithaca High School students received anonymous phone calls the night of Nov. 8 from someone threatening to “shoot up” the school. Police determined that the threat was not credible. The orders were eventually lifted around 3:30 p.m. At 4:22 p.m., Cornell canceled all evening events on North Campus and the shelter-in-place order was eventually lifted at 7:13 p.m. During the shelter-in-place in Cayuga Heights, Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit (TCAT) announced that it would not be serving certain stops along Triphammer Road between Jessup Road and Spruce Lane. After 5 p.m. TCAT resumed operation of Cornell Campus Routes 81 and 82 and Routes 30, 32 and 31–41. Residents were encouraged to provide any information they had to law enforcement agencies. Potential witnesses of the third suspect were told to contact either TCSO or CHPD. Witnesses of the shots fired incident on Hancock Street were urged to contact IPD. Source: Pew Research Center

Gun-Related Deaths in the U.S. from 2020






Other 89


Ithaca Crime Statistics in 2020 Chances of becoming a victim of property crime in Ithaca

Crimes per square mile in Ithaca






Tompkins County

Sources: & Ithaca Police Department




ollowing recent incidents involving Ithaca College students in Downtown Ithaca, Dean of Students Bonnie Prunty and Bill Kerry, executive director of the Office of Public Safety and Emergency Management, reminded students to be safe and aware of their surroundings. In an email to the campus community Nov. 30, Prunty and Kerry said the college was made aware of two incidents that occurred on The Commons in which students from the college were victims of assault. The Ithaca Police Department said there was no indication as to whether the events were connected or if they were a threat to the campus community. However, Prunty and Kerry said the events were a reminder to be vigilant. “Ithaca College places the utmost importance on prioritizing the well-being of our students,” the email said. “We want to assure you that we are committed to working with local government and law enforcement to identify strategies to help create a safer environment for students not only on the Ithaca Commons but throughout our greater downtown and South Hill neighborhoods.” Prunty and Kerry included a list of safety reminders for students in the email, including using the buddy system — staying with friends or a group,


especially at night — and using well-lit and well-traveled routes when walking. They reminded students to trust their instincts and stay alert. They recommended that students not be distracted by their cell phones and instead be aware of their surroundings. Prunty and Kerry also reminded students to drink alcohol in moderation as it can impair awareness and judgment. Additionally, the email encouraged students to download the Rave Guardian app. The app provides the campus community with emergency notifications as well as access to safety and support contacts and resources. The app also includes the Guardian Timer function in which users can invite a family member or friend to serve as a “guardian” and virtually escort students to and from locations. Prunty and Kerry reminded students that they can sign up for Swift911 messages through Tompkins County to receive alerts about local emergency situations. Students can also sign up for notifications from Cornell University’s emergency notification system by texting “CornellVisitor” to 226787. Recently, Cornell experienced a bomb threat and had part of its campus shut down because of a shots-fired incident that occurred near its North Campus in Cayuga Heights. Ithaca College students can also receive emergency notifications through the Rave Guardian app.


Total violent crimes reported in Ithaca




Rape reports Robbery reports

Aggravated assault reports




t around 10:30 p.m. the night of Monday, Feb. 21, an Ithaca College student was struck twice by airsoft pellets that were fired at them by four teenage males, who have now been identified by the Ithaca Police Department (IPD). In an alert to the campus community, the Office of Public Safety and Emergency Management announced that it was investigating the incident that and anyone with information should come forward. The suspects are not students at Ithaca College or Cornell University and had no connection to the victim. The incident occurred in the S-Lot near Emerson Hall and the student had no relation to the suspects. Later that night, the suspects, who were wearing dark hoodies with black face coverings, were stopped at 3:10 a.m. in a silver sedan by the Cornell University Police. As of now, criminal charges have not been filed. The Intercom alert said the IPD is investigating the incident in connection to a string of other recent pellet gun shootings in Ithaca.

Ash Bailot/The Ithacan




Brendan Iannucci/The Ithacan




Kevin Yu/The Ithacan



Premium Blend, Ithaca College’s all-female-aligned a cappella group, performs at Apple Fest. This year’s Apple Fest was one of the first opportunities for college a cappella groups to perform off campus since the pandemic. Katelin Bradley/The Ithacan



mid the busy and bustling sights and sounds of the Ithaca Farmers Market, vendors pour cup after cup of hot apple cider for eager patrons, steam rising from every drink. Their local, Ithaca-based farms are busy with preparations for an upcoming town event AbbyBrady/The Ithacan widely anticipated by residents and visitors alike: the annual Apple Harvest Festival. The 39th Annual Apple Harvest Festival — or Apple Fest, for short — is a long-standing tradition in Ithaca. The festival was held from noon to 6 p.m. Oct. 1 and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 2 and 3 on The Commons. It was a weekend full of fresh apples and apple-based treats, food trucks, live music and artisan goods. Organized by the Downtown Ithaca Alliance (DIA), this year Apple Fest rounded out its fourth decade of operation. The event made a return to its traditional, large-scale format after a modified version of the festival, Apple Festive, was presented in 2020. To comply with social distancing and COVID-19 safety policies, Apple Festive featured an open-air market and apple and cider trail but presented fewer


vendors and activities. While Apple Fest returned this year, other festivals have not been as fortunate. PorchFest, an annual music festival that highlights artists throughout Ithaca, was canceled just 40 days before its scheduled date. The organizers cited “extensive delays” in the permitting process as well as concern for the ability to follow safety

Abby Brady/The Ithacan


guidelines as causes for the cancellation. Allison Graffin, marketing director for the DIA, said this year the DIA aimed to bring Apple Fest back to the strength of previous years. Graffin said Apple Fest is important to apple farmers and vendors due to the crowds that it draws and the esteem it is held to. “The whole community has had to change,” Graffin said. “It’s an optimistic sign that we can have this as a large gathering for both the farmers that are selling produce and our craft vendors.” Amara Steinkraus, co-owner of family-run Littletree Orchards, said she is all too familiar with the struggles the COVID-19 pandemic has posed for the festival. “In its incarnation, [Apple Fest] was really started to kind of bring local farms downtown, bring business downtown,” said Steinkraus, whose mother was a part of the committee that founded Apple Fest in 1985. “And I think the COVID pandemic has really been a struggle for a lot of small businesses. … My hope is that

Stewart also said that she has happy memories of attending Apple Fest during her freshman year. She said that her family came up to attend the festival with her in 2019. “It was the first community event that I ever went to in Ithaca,” Stewart said. “My family drove up to Ithaca to visit me, so we got to try all of the different foods together. Everyone in The Commons looked like they were having a great time.” The festival is a popular event for many students across campus. For this year’s freshmen and sophomore classes, however, Apple Fest was a brand-new experience. Sophomore Emma Rockey said she was nervous but eager to attend the festival for the first time because Fall 2021 was only her second semester on campus. “I’ve never been,” Rockey said. “I’ve heard great things about it though. I’m looking forward to some fresh apples. We have apple farms at home and my family goes and gets some each year.” Amid all the excitement for the festival, Rockey said she was concerned about how a large event at full capacity would affect COVID-19 cases. “My main concern is crowds with delta variant cases rising,” Rockey said. “I worry about people traveling in for Apple Fest and spreading COVID into this community, especially when they likely won’t be wearing masks outside. Hopefully people will mask up while there.” With COVID-19 cases rising in the county, others share the same sentiment. Junior Claire Thompson said part of preparing for the fun of Apple Fest was also planning to stay safe. “I really hope people will be conscious of the health of themselves and others and be tested for COVID before and

Eleanor Kay/The Ithacan

the festival can happen without a hitch and that people are safe and responsible so that we can kind of help support all of our amazing local businesses.” Steinkraus said that she was looking forward to the return of Apple Fest to a larger capacity for the 2021 season. “We’re just really excited about being down on The Commons,” Steinkraus said. “We’ll have our doughnut machine down there. We make lots of fresh cider doughnuts and we’ll have all of our fresh cider. One thing that is special is that this time of year, we always do a limited run of our pear apple cider, which is half pear, half apple and super delicious. And a lot of people kind of wait every year for that to happen.” Similarly, the return of Apple Fest for the 2021 season was long awaited by Ithaca College students. Upperclassmen were eager to return to a fall favorite and freshmen were ready to experience an Ithaca classic for the first time. Junior Alex Stewart said she was excited to return to the festival for the lively atmosphere and the apple slushies. “I’m definitely looking forward to buying a ton of different food because everything there was so good,” Stewart said. “I’m also excited to just walk around the festival because it gives off good vibes.”

Samantha Hernandez of Ella’s Acres stands at her booth. Surina Belk-Gupta/The Ithacan

after attending,” Thompson said. “I would hate for Apple Fest to go down as a superspreader event. I am hopeful people will be wise and considerate and that the organizers have taken precautions. From what I remember most of it was outdoors anyway, which is a great way to keep safe and enjoy the last of the sun and warmth in Ithaca.” News editor Elijah de Castro contributed reporting.




Sophomore Sofia Nolfo looks through a deck of astrology-themed tarot cards. Astrology has gained popularity in recent years. Lauren Leone/The Ithacan



or most people, the beginning of September marks the end of summer. For those who are interested in astrology, this time marks the end of Leo season and the beginning of Virgo season. Astrology is a theory that looks at the ways the planets and stars impact the world and human beings. The practice uses this information to analyze characteristics like personality and compatibility. There are 12 main zodiac signs that a person can be assigned, and based on one’s date, time and location of birth, each person is assigned these signs for different planets. Recently, astrology has become a more prevalent topic, especially among younger generations. Ithaca College sophomore Claire Henderson said that she was always fascinated by astrology as a child and began to research it more in middle school and high school. She said for her, astrology is a way to understand herself and others on a deeper level. “I have a lot of anxiety around people,” Henderson said. “And this is a way that I can really know where a person is coming from.” Sophomore Rachel Williams said she became more interested in astrology at the college because of the supportive community. “So it is nice to be able to talk to people about it, even if it’s not serious,” Williams said. “It’s just kind of a fun topic, so I really like it here, and I’ve definitely seen it integrated into Ithaca. I’ve made friends and our first conversation has been something related to astrology. It’s a good conversation starter.” Astrology dates back to 3000 BC when the Babylonians discovered that the positions of constellations


between the sun and the planets can be translated into segments of time. They identified 12 time segments, which are the 12 zodiac signs. This ancient tradition is the basis of modern astrology. Today, the field of astrology has become more complex, featuring different forms of astrology. Astrologer Jonathan Hall is a certified evolutionary astrologer who founded Soul Power Astrology in 2013 in Ithaca. As the only evolutionary astrology counseling practice in Ithaca, Soul Power Astrology offers a variety of astrological readings meant to guide and support clients. Hall said evolutionary astrology is based on the ideas of astrologer Steven Forrest. “It’s declining, but there still is an issue within … mainstream astrological circles that this is a fated thing that’s going to happen to you, or the planets are making you do this or you are kind of like a puppet on a string and you don’t really have any choice,” Hall said. “And so basically evolutionary astrology … puts you in the driver’s seat.” Hall also said he is pursuing a certification in vibrational astrology, which is an evidence-based form of astrology that incorporates scientific methods. “Vibrational astrology tests astrology to see what works best and where the evidence leads, you know, follow the data,” Hall said. “It’s what science goes through and how science grows bodies of knowledge and astrology needs to go through the same thing. So evidence-based research is moving astrology into the 21st century.” Sophomore Sofia Nolfo said she thinks the internet provides more opportunities to learn about astrology. “Because of the internet it’s a lot easier to learn about astrology, which I think is cool,” Nolfo said. “I’ve

learned a lot about it beyond birth charts and stuff.” Through social media and the internet, Instagram influencers like Leona Moon use their platforms to create entertaining, relatable astrology memes and posts. Other influencers like Arantza use videos on platforms like TikTok to provide personalized readings, breakdowns of astrology and comedic content. However, Henderson said the increasing popularity of astrology can also be a danger to the field. “I think that the modernization and the virality of astrology has changed the way that it’s spoken about, which I think increases people not taking it seriously,” Henderson said. “There’s a lot of talk about sun sign astrology and just a very basic level. For me, I was introduced to that and then it led me down this huge path of what it all is, but a lot of people stop there and kind of take it for granted.” Williams said that although she thinks astrology is a helpful tool, it does not define all aspects of a person. “You aren’t only your chart,” Williams said. “lt’s just kind of like a blueprint and then there’s more that goes off of that. And there’re so many different aspects that go into how things connect.” Henderson also said the mainstream form of astrology can be exclusionary and negligent of certain communities because it has been adopted by predominantly white, cisgender people. “When things go viral and are very mainstream like that, it takes on a white, … cisdomination and that’s with anything that goes mainstream in this society,” Henderson said. Astrology is rooted in ancient traditions from Mesopotamia, China, the Middle East, Central Asia and India. People of color who have carried down the tradition of astrology have often been isolated or dismissed because of their beliefs. It was not until white communities, like the college — a predominantly white institution — embraced the practice that it was accepted as a valid belief. Though astrology has been increasing in popularity, junior Margaret Harper said they believe one of the reasons people continue to disregard astrology is because it is a tradition dominated by women. “The astrology community is heavily made up of women, so it’s viewed with a lot of sexism,” Harper said. “There are stereotypes about girls that are less intelligent because they believe in astrology.” Hall said he hopes people embrace astrology in a more mindful way, working to gain a deeper understanding of astrology so that they can better understand themselves and others. “Everyone has a unique journey to take in their lives and I believe astrology can help make peoples’ paths more clear,” Hall said via email. “There is plenty of noise that can drown out one’s true nature. … Astrology helps you gain not only self-understanding, but self-acceptance. Self-acceptance and compassion for yourself leads to acceptance and compassion for others.”


ISTTHUADC EA NCTOSMIM N US INDI TY E TWEL H E CO C OMES L L E GNEIN ’ SE SAF C HGHAN O O L ORE F FUGEES MUSIC AOSRTGHAENYI ZAT TE N D C ORN EL L D URIN G S PRIN G S EMESTER E M E N TA L H E A LT H G R O U P F O R S T U D E N T S concern at colleges and universities across the situations involved with being a musician are country. Burnout in music students can occur for not beneficial. Music students usually take between 15 etween standard academic responsi- multiple reasons, like performance anxiety, perbilities and personal life, students in the Ithaca fectionism, heavier coursework, lack of sleep and and 18 credits during a semester, but music courses like Aural Skills and Fundamentals of College School of Music are required to follow a excessive criticism. Raychl Smith and Adrienne Steiner, fac- Music Theory — both of which require extenvery strict schedule to ensure no practice time is wasted. Luckily, there is a place on campus that ulty members of the East Carolina University sive preparation and homework — are only busy musicians can turn to in order to take a School of Music, studied how students coped one to two credits. So the number of courswith these intense demands. They found that es that a music student takes at once can add much-needed moment for themselves. Every other Thursday on the second floor of music majors report higher rates of anxiety up quickly. Senior Zoe-Marie Fuentes is a student the James J. Whalen Center for Music, the Men- and depression than the general undergradutal Health Awareness for Musicians Association ate population, East Carolina News shared in in the music School. Fuentes said she was taking nine classes for a total of 17.5 cred(MHAMA) hosts a musicians’ wellness circle in an article. Smith said she and Tremblay want to prove its and highlights the stress that comes Whalen Room 2328, where music what they preach in regard to Whalen’s with this. students can meditate, draw, “I think that being a Whalen student is overwhelming course loads by assesswrite and reflect in an ing the academic lives of musicians incredibly stressful, and there are so many effort to alleviate the “Caring for yourself . . . with the Carnegie unit, a reference factors that feed into this,” Fuentes said via email. stress that comes used for measuring the amount “I can’t exactly compare one major or school to with being a musiis really important and of time a student must study another. … I think every area of study has their cian. The event is goes hand in hand with own types of stress and every individual handles a subject. hosted by MHAMA “We’ve taken a certain sche- them differently.” president senior your musicianship.”… Fuentes said a large contributor to the matic for a freshman, with Gavin Tremblay and stress of being a student-musician is the impor15-and-a half-credits and figured out treasurer senior Erin -Zoe-Marie Fuentes all the credit hours that are required of tance of being a performer to one’s identity. Smith, both of whom you in a week,” Smith said. “We showed Grading a musician so harshly on something they are musicians themselves. it to Ron Dow at CAPS, and he was like, ‘You use to represent themselves can lead to circumTremblay said that this could sustain that for maybe a week. After that stances of poor mental health. year the association aims to play “One of the things that is super important a more prominent role in the music school it’s damaging.’” Ron Dow is a licenced clinical social work- to learn and realize as a music student is that it community by hosting a variety of events and continuing events that have been successful in er and staff member at CAPS. Dow said the is OK to step back and take time for yourself,” majority of student-musicians, or any artists, do Fuentes said. “Caring for yourself as a human the past. The wellness circles were Tremblay’s not experience severe mental illness, though is really important and goes hand in hand with idea, beginning the fall semester of last year he said the busy schedules and high-intensity your musicianship.” via Zoom with “Wellness Wednesday.” Wellness Wednesday had low attendance, which Tremblay said that he thinks was due to the fatigue students experienced being on Zoom all day. “We focus on giving students a break from the academic side of their education,” Tremblay said. “We are very strictly a nonacademic thing.” The musicians’ wellness circles also operate based on themes and topics chosen by MHAMA’s officers. On top of giving students a place to relax, MHAMA also invites guests to lead meditations, reflections and discussion at the end of some sessions. The officers said there is a large number of music faculty and Center for Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) staff who offer valuable insight during their meetings. A huge part of MHAMA and the wellness circles is not only providing a space to heal musicians’ mental health but advocating for it. The mental health of music students is a Seniors Gavin Tremblay and Erin Smith began musicians’ wellness circles to give music students a chance to take care of mental health. Kevin Yu/The Ithacan





A finished batch of Via’s Cookies sit Oct. 22 on senior Olivia Carpenter’s kitchen counter to cool. Some of the proceeds of Carpenter’s business go to helping college students in need. Lexi Danielson/The Ithacan




otted across Tompkins County, in Greenstar Food Co+op, at Ithaca Bakery and at the Trumansburg Farmers Market are perfectly packaged cookies with a purpose. From classic chocolate chip to snickerdoodle to the rainbow-dotted galactic fudge, Via’s Cookies line store shelves as passersby go about their daily shopping. Starting as a homegrown, high school business venture, Via’s Cookies is an independently run cookie business owned and operated by Ithaca College senior Olivia Carpenter. Offering a wide range of cookies with traditional ingredients, Carpenter also specializes in vegan and gluten-free recipes. Carpenter has won multiple awards for her cookies and business plan and is currently selling both in stores around Ithaca and through her website. These cookies are available at $2 per individual cookie or case by case for bulk orders. In addition to providing a diverse array of flavors and ingredients, they are also sold with a purpose. Every month, Carpenter chooses a New York state–based college student to fundraise for, spotlighting them in a section on her website


where she describes their background and the cause for fundraising. Carpenter donates 5% of her proceeds to a different individual every month, with an emphasis on Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) and LGBTQ+ students in need. “I originally started selling them back [in high

“I want to build up people around me because . . . I know the struggle.” -Olivia Carpenter

school],” Carpenter said. “I actually found a lot of success. I mastered the recipe. It’s something I’ve made myself perfect and people absolutely love it. They think these cookies are amazing.” Eventually, after selling cookies at her high school for some time, Carpenter said that her

school informed her she would no longer be allowed to sell them on campus. “I had so much success that the school was like, ‘You can’t sell this here, you’re taking away from our sales,’” Carpenter said. “We can say that was really the case, but also I was like the only Black person at an all-white, country school. Other people were still selling their little goodies. But I wasn’t selling mine.” After this problem with high school administrators, Carpenter said that she found other avenues to continue her business. “I took it beyond school,” Carpenter said. “I sold to friends outside of school. I sold to my dad’s business clients. I found success elsewhere. … You know, nothing could stop me. And basically, I carried that through high school. People knew me for my cookies.” From its small beginnings in Carpenter’s hometown, Via’s Cookies evolved over time through a major business competition on campus, IC Demo Day. A well known event, IC Demo Day is put on by the college’s School of Business to provide an open forum for any student to pitch a detailed business idea. Winners and runners-up receive funding that goes directly into the real costs of


running a business, like advertising or product materials. After original- said she has known about the business for some time now, and customly not planning to enter, Carpenter said a conversation with her sister ers keep coming back. “I first heard about Via’s Cookies from [Carpenter] herself,” Fergudiscussing her vision for helping students is what inspired her to join son said. “She is in my scholarship and is a wonderful networker and the competition. Carpenter went on to win multiple awards, including both her business woman, so she knows how to get the word out.” Ferguson said it is both Carpenter’s cookies and her general attitude original proposal of $500, as well as the Crowd Choice Award and the toward the business that intrigues people. Sustainability Award for a total of $985. “My experience with Via’s Cookies has always been positive,” “It’s one of the reasons I’m here at Ithaca College,” Carpenter said. “I’m here because I want to pursue social justice. I want to make change Ferguson said. “She is kind, easy to talk to and will always help cusin the world. I want to build up the people around me because, as a tomers and answer questions. Her cookies are well priced and of student of color, I know the struggle. That’s what I include in my pitch amazing quality. I haven’t tried a cookie of hers that I haven’t liked. Plus, the business also supports BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ students in need. I because it’s the truth.” Carpenter’s donations have had a real impact on those both on think that her message and dedication to social justice draws people in, campus and off. Amaechi Kofoworola was enrolled at the New School and the quality and delicious taste of the cookies is what keeps people in New York from 2020 to early 2021. Kofoworola was a leading figure coming back.” in the group of BIPOC students that raised concerns regarding a lack of financial aid, and he left the school after those concerns went widely unaddressed by administration. “I had to leave the school due to the amount of racism and classism within the school that affected me and a lot of Black students,” Kofoworola said. “I basically had to compile and read 50 to 60 plus messages from BIPOC students who were having the same issues as me and I had to, by myself, post each and every one of them. After that, the school didn’t really do anything to provide any help or compensation.” Carpenter ended up raising $120 for Kofoworola in Spring 2021, but he decided to share the donation with other students going through the same problems he was facing. “There were so many people who could have done more that chose to not do more, and [Carpenter] did do more, and I really appreciate that,” Kofoworola said. Highlighted under the “Support a Friend” tab on the Via’s Cookies website is Yahaira Tarr, a senior at Lehman College. Tarr is a student, artist and community organizer who started a GoFundMe in order to Carpenter sells cookies at a booth at the Trumansburg Farmers Market. Ash Bailot/ The Ithacan support their completion of college. “I met Via when I was a sophomore at Ithaca College,” Tarr said. “Years later after I had transferred out of Ithaca due to financial reasons, Via and I kept in touch over social media and Via offered to promote my GoFundMe with Via’s Cookies.” After another month of selling her cookies, Carpenter raised $90 for Tarr, who is now able to put that money toward the many expenses that come with college education. “This was extremely helpful for my GoFundMe goal,” Tarr said. “It felt nice to be recognized and supported.” Ithaca College senior Catriona Ferguson Carpenter rolls two different flavors of cookie dough Oct. 22 in her apartment kitchen for her business, Via’s Cookies. Lexi Danielson/The Ithacan





From left, seniors Emma Robinson and Brynn Smith select their pumpkins after arriving at Fall Fest, a seasonal gathering for off-campus students. Lauren Leone/The Ithacan

Pulse Hip-Hop performs at a dance battle Oct. 22 in the Fitness Center. Kevin Yu/The Ithacan


From left, freshmen Keely Crane and Cami Weldon participate in a cupcake decorating contest Oct. 12 organized by the IC Women in STEM club. Ana Maniaci McGough/The Ithacan


Students dance at the Sophomore Dance on Aug. 28 in the Athletics and Events Center. Ash Bailot/The Ithacan

Two ghosts trick or treat Oct. 24 at the Circle Apartments Autumn Fest. Surina Belk-Gupta/The Ithacan

Senior art major Lauren Reid displays her art at Fall Fest on Oct. 24. Lauren Leone/The Ithacan

Junior Kelsey Roy and Shamrock, a Guiding Eyes for the Blind dog-in-training, dressed up as construction workers for the GEB Halloween Parade on Oct. 31. Ana Maniaci McGough/The Ithacan






n just two years, junior Jordan Alexander made it from recording in his bedroom to performing his first show. Though he has been working hard on his music for nearly two years, for Alexander, known on stage as J.R.A, this eccentric performance is only the beginning. While rap music was once difficult to produce and publish, the availability of the internet in the early 2000s and the rise of social media gave lesser-known rappers and producers a platform to share their work. MySpace’s rap scene is credited to finding and popularizing artists like Drake, and Tumblr was a popular early destination for collectives like Odd Future and Brockhampton. Since then, SoundCloud has been the go-to destination for artists looking for quick and easy publication. This has developed an entire subculture of “SoundCloud rap.” SoundCloud rap gained a name after smaller artists who published their music on the platform found household fame around 2015. The success of artists like Lil Pump and XXXTentacion drove young listeners to make music exclusively on their laptops and phones. SoundCloud rap is a unique and revolutionary step in hip-hop history, as it transformed even the smallest of towns and schools around the world into talent goldmines. While rap often surrounds a competitive culture, Alexander says the music scene on campus is more positive and collaborative. Artists come together to network, which is their primary mode of growth. This helped Alexander get the opportunity to hold his first

performance Dec. 3, 2021. “The opportunity came up because I had a mutual friend who also made music and had friends who were in a band,” Alexander said. “So he had an idea for an end of the year get-together where people could hang out and perform.” Alexander credits the college’s friendly music scene to the shared goals and aspirations of college students. Students who make music take classes and work hard alongside their passions, giving all performers something in common. “We’re all trying to make the best film or show or article or get the highest grades. I feel more competitiveness in the classroom than I do in music,” Alexander said. Despite his respect and dedication to the underground hip-hop community, Alexander does not identify as a SoundCloud rapper. Since the term’s creation, artists labeled as SoundCloud rappers have gained a reputation for poor quality, mostly due to the high volume of content on SoundCloud making it difficult for listeners to filter out the music they prefer. Without associating with the trope, Alexander finds the blind criticism to be harsh. “See, I don’t really like that term [SoundCloud rapper],” Alexander said. “I feel like when people hear the term, they’re like ‘Oh, this guy probably doesn’t put a lot of time into his music.’” Kings by Nature (KBN) is a group consisting of freshmen Brian Martinez, RJ Dixon, Omari Matthis, David Simmons and D’Andre Walker. The group originally made music for its own entertainment in November

From left, freshmen Brian Martinez, Omari Matthis, D’Andre Walker, RJ Dixon and David Simmons are members of the group Kings By Nature. Kevin Yu/ The Ithacan


2021, rapping over a drill beat in Simmons’ dorm. After playing its music for a few other on-campus artists, the group received enough positive feedback to pursue music seriously. KBN takes a different stance on the idea of the SoundCloud rap scene. “A lot of people are SoundCloud rappers, and you’ve got to start somewhere,” Martinez said. “When you start as a SoundCloud rapper, you just rock with it until you make it big.” The artists’ come-up after positive feedback by other creators is another example of the overwhelmingly supportive rap community that exists on campus. In both Alexander and KBN’s cases, the active and enthusiastic community is what helped their music grow. “Everyone wants to see each other win,” Simmons said. “I haven’t seen anyone talking down on anyone’s music or being disrespectful.” Despite the positive experiences of Alexander and KBN, the college’s hip-hop scene remains underground. Sophomore Nour Elshikh, also known by his stage name DJ Pharaoh, finds that despite the number of rappers and producers on campus, the subculture does not receive too much attention. “I know and have met so many people who produce and make music, though it’s definitely not mainstream yet,” Elshikh said. “I’d still say it’s somewhat popular throughout the school. It seems like more incoming freshmen are interested in making music.” Part of the school’s rap scene staying underground might stem from the lack of student-rappers enrolled in the School of Music. Vadim Serebryany, associate professor of music production, said that hip-hop’s influence in music curricula is not only present but gaining more attention. “Hip-hop gets discussed in a variety of places in the curriculum,” Serebryany said. “It comes up in Rock Styles, in [Professor] Tim Johnson’s seminar on Hamilton and in other courses I’m sure. I am not aware of any students for whom the creation of hip-hop is a central part of their academic work at this moment, but discussion about making ‘laptop’ an option for principal instrument for an IC music major are ongoing, and I wouldn’t be surprised if a program along those lines gets added in the near future.” More students enrolled at the music school could mean more hip-hop–centered events on campus. Elshikh was able to participate in a DJ set opening for Brooklyn rapper Sleepy Hallow at the Bureau of Concerts’ Fall 2021 event, though other official hip-hop events at the college are hard to come across. “I think the community should be more expressed through on-campus events because there’s actually a lot of students who are really passionate about their rapping and producing,” Elshikh said. “I want to see more interaction between groups and artists in the school’s rap scene. I think it’ll bring a lot of people together.”


From left, freshman Preston Tompkins, junior Raphael Brown, sophomores Ethan Prybyla and David Klos standoff during the Super Hearts Day Nerf War event. From left, Tompkins and Klos peek around a corner. Kevin Yu/The Ithacan




n Feb. 12, the Ithaca College Center for Health Sciences (CHS) turned into a battlefield. Super Hearts Day Nerf War took place from 7 to 10 p.m. and was the Human vs. Zombies Social Club’s first event of Spring 2022. The event was Valentine’s and Super Bowl–themed because it took place the Saturday before both. Three different play modes were played over the course of the event, including team vs. team, mafia and cupid, a new elimination game recently created by junior Brittany Hope, the club president, in which players are paired up with who they hit first. Due to its wide-open space and exposed floors, the CHS atrium makes for the ideal indoor battleground, allowing players to hit each other from different levels and hide in staircases. Even the elevator has a tactical purpose as members of one team use it to quietly ambush the other. While the upper floors are all part of the battlefield, the center of the bottom functions as a base where all games start from. “[I like] the silliness of the whole club and just being able to be yourself,” said sophomore Ian Volk, the vice president of the Ithaca College Humans vs. Zombies Social Club. “It’s also my biweekly exercise. I get to run around like a madman doing whatever the heck I want.” Although Nerf blasters are a staple of the club’s games, they are not required to participate. Players have the choice to use Nerf swords, shields and bows as well as unworn rolled-up socks — called bombs — provided to them by the club. Being tapped by a sword or hit by a sock bomb counts the same as being hit with a Nerf dart, meaning the player is out of the game or has lost one of their three lives. “[I like] that I get to be an absolute child and no one makes fun of me,” Hope said. “We’re kids in college and they’re foam darts. We can’t be taken seriously at all and it’s so much fun.” Sophomore Gabrielle Moran joined Humans vs. Zombies last semester, and Super Hearts Nerf War was her second event with the club. She said the Nerf wars felt like a real-life video game. “It’s a real adrenaline rush but in a safe environment,” Moran said. “What I really like is being able to be a little nerdy with this.” The first game of the night was team vs. team in which the players are split into two teams, one marked with bandanas, the other not. Each player got three chances to get hit with a dart, and the last team left standing won. After a brief intermission in

which all the players wandered all three floors cleaning up darts, the first-ever game of cupid began. In cupid, the first person a player hits becomes their partner, and they work together as a team until there is only one couple standing. Hope came up with the game in honor of the event taking place the weekend before Valentine’s Day. The game was a success and Hope said the game will continue to be played at other events. The Super Hearts Day Nerf War was the first Humans vs. Zombies event for junior Caroline Peyron and sophomore David Klos. “It’s pretty fun and a little chaotic,” Peyron said. “I saw a custodian walk by during the last game and I felt a little bad for him because he’s probably like ‘What’s going on these floors?’ I like it.” Klos joined the Humans vs. Zombies club last semester but didn’t get a chance to participate due to a busy schedule. “Nerf was a big part of childhood,” Klos said. “A lot of my friends and I would have Nerf wars like this in middle school and high school but we teetered off because we all got busy.” The last game of the night was mafia. At the start of the game all the players circle up and draw cards from a deck. Red numbers are mafia members and a red king is a drunk mafia who does not know who the other mafia players are. The ace of spades is the detective who can ask eliminated players what role they were, the king of spades is a doctor who can heal eliminated players and black numbers are civilians. The two jokers are civilian friends who know neither is in the mafia. The game ends when the mafia has eliminated all the civilians or the civilians have eliminated all the mafia. Once all the roles are assigned, the players head their separate directions. But while other games often have explosive starts, mafia starts much quieter with the players being careful about who they eliminate and who sees them do it. When a player is hit playing mafia, they must sit down in the location where they were taken out until the game ends or they are healed by the doctor. During a game of mafia last semester, Moran said, a group of players was all hit in the elevator while trying to ambush another group. They ended up being stuck in it and were forced to ride it up and down until the end of the game. “It’s a good way to get energy out if you’re stressed,” Hope said. “Maybe bring a friend you hate a little bit, take your anger out on them. We don’t care. Just have fun.”





ne night last summer, Lizz Eberhardt ’21 found herself carrying a man in an outdoor rescue stretcher up the edge of a cliff in an active rockfall zone. Eberhardt, who worked as a visitor services ranger in Zion National Park in Utah, was called to respond to a medical emergency with a group of 12 other rangers at 5 p.m. Once the rangers got to the trailhead, they received a call that the patient could not be found. Instead of following the classic safety rule of staying put, the patient had begun climbing down a closed trail and into a rockfall zone. By midnight all the rangers made it down the mountain and the patient was cared for. “By the time I got home it was about 4 o’clock and I had work at 5,” Eberhardt said. “I got about half an hour of sleep. And that is why I really like to educate people about hiking responsibly.” Although most days working in a national or state park are not as turbulent as Eberhardt’s “favorite search and rescue story,” the parks offer rewarding and often adventurous post-college jobs to many Ithaca College alumni. Working as a trail technician or Name Name/The Ithacan Courtesy of Paul Corsi interning in a park can serve as a stepping stone into a larger position in the field of conservation or interpretation. Or the work can fulfill a sense of wanderlust and show some grit on a resume. From April to September 2019, Paul Corsi ’15, who graduated from the college with a bachelor’s in environmental science, lived on a campsite and hiked miles every day to do maintenance on trails in Yosemite National Park in California as part of the Backcountry Trails Program, a special program in the California Conservation Corps, in which participants spend at least five months working on trail maintenance and construction in national and state parks in California.

Courtesy of Miriam Maistelman

Courtesy of Lizz Eberhardt

From left, sophomore Miriam Maistelman, Paul Corsi ’15, Lizz Eberhardt ‘21, Madeline Mathers ‘19, Eberhardt pictured twice. They have all worked in national and state parks.



“Their slogan was ‘hard work, miserable conditions and more,’” Corsi said. “I loved it. I felt like a cowboy every day.” Corsi said the Backcountry Trails Program would also organize challenges for its workers to partake in. Among them was the 24/50 challenge, during which participants would hike 50 miles around the Clark Range in 24 hours. “Toward the end, we were falling asleep hiking,” Corsi said. “In the beginning we had an easier route and then around midday we had to climb over the mountain and go through Red Peak Pass. As we got over it on the northern side, it was completely snowed over. So we had to spread out searching for the trail.” Corsi is currently attending Cornell University to get a master’s degree in public affairs. Madeline Mathers ’19, who graduated from Ithaca College with bachelor’s degrees in environmental studies and television-radio, is an assistant park ranger for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation in St. Lawrence County. Her primary role is to educate people about the environment they are in, but she also responds to medical calls and patrols recreational areas. When the parks are in season, Mathers spends much of her time hiking on trails and patrolling campgrounds to make sure people are following the rules and answer any questions they have. “When people are genuinely interested in where they are, I get really excited,” Mathers said. “I’m hoping that when I impart my knowledge on them they will pass it off to somebody else and generate a good generation of responsible and sustainable hikers and outdoors people. I want to educate people to utilize our resources in a positive way, not exploit them.” Mary McKean ’15, who has a bachelor’s in environmental studies from Ithaca College and a master’s in public administration from Cornell, is a projects specialist in planning for the National Parks Service at its national office in Colorado. McKean works with federally owned parks across the country to help to plan out the construction, demolition or rehabbing of streets, buildings and other facilities. She also works on special resource studies to locate potential sites that could become a park. Right now, U.S. Congress is looking to create more national park units that tell the story of civil rights in Mississippi. McKean’s specific job is to look at the feasibility of specific sites by examining the property, speaking with property managers and communicating with the local community about how they feel about the site becoming a park. McKean’s research will become part of a report that goes to Congress to help it make its final decision. “You have to remind yourself that you’re a very small part in the process,” McKean said. “So you do the best you can to come up with accurate information and state the preference of the people who live there and are connected to the story. You want to empower the story and the people.”

Sophomore Miriam Maistelman, an environmental studies major at Ithaca College, took a gap year last year and did trail work in the Grand Canyon as part of the Arizona Conservation Corps from May through August. Maistelman cleared trails of overgrown brush, built retaining walls and helped to construct wheelchair-accessible trails. “One of the biggest things for me is giving people access to the places that I love,” Maistelman. “I feel like everyone should have the opportunity to see these places and not a lot of people do, unfortunately. Making the trails accessible and being able to give back to the [hiking] community was huge for me.” Unlike McKean, Corsi, Mathers and Maistelman, Eberhardt did not graduate with a degree in environmental studies. She was a writing and English major while in college. Although she had always loved nature, Eberhardt said she had not thought about working in environmental interpretation until she volunteered at a state park in North Carolina. Through this experience, Eberhardt said she found a love for environmental communication and teaching people about nature. “[Park ranger] is one of those professions that attracts the people it’s meant to,” Eberhardt said. “It doesn’t matter what you studied formally. A lot of it is your passion for it and how much you care.” McKean said one of her core values is making sure all people have access to nature and the outdoors. After graduating, McKean worked in environmental education, running programs for children to learn about the environment during camps. However, McKean said she realized many of the children she worked with were privileged and there were many kids who did not get the chance to experience the outdoors. Even if the programs were free, transportation was still an obstacle for many families. In addition to her work for the national parks, McKean is volunteer director of Operations of Rising Roots, a nonprofit that rallies for environmental equity. “Knowing the impact that my connection to nature has had on my life, I really want other people to feel that connection,” McKean said. “Not necessarily experienced it in the same way I do but to have opportunities to experience it in their own way.” Editor’s Note: Lizz Eberhardt ’21 was a chief copy editor for The Ithacan.

Courtesy of Lizz Eberhardt

Courtesy of Madeline Mathers



Junior Ella Hobler holds up a frame of a bee hive at Bee Fest on Oct. 10 . The festival gave visitors a chance to learn about and tour the Ithaca College apiary. Brendan Iannucci/The Ithacan




aggy white bee suits were passed around to Ithaca College students and community members Oct. 10 as the college’s apiary opened for tours at the Fall Bee Fest. Outside the apiary fence, visitors wandered through the pollinator garden playing nature bingo for honey sticks and made bee houses from tin cans. The festival was organized by senior Ana Maria Arroyo, juniors Bethany Holland and Julia DiGeronimo and other students taking Ecological Applications: The Nature and Necessity of Bees, taught by Jason Hamilton, professor in the Department of Environmental Studies and Sciences. The festival gave visitors the opportunity to explore the pollinator garden, tour the beehives, buy honey and paint bee houses. The college’s apiary is maintained by Hamilton, his students and scientist in residence Emily O’Neil ’21. Hamilton said the apiary is the only undergraduate educational apiary in the country and creates a unique opportunity for students to work with bees and learn the basics of beekeeping. Bee Fest gave apiary students the chance to teach the community about how bees run their hives and support the local ecosystem. “When you first get in [the apiary], put on the suit and everything, it’s so nerve-wracking because you’re so afraid you’re going to mess it up,” said Riley Burns, a sophomore environmental


studies major. “You hear about how sensitive the hives are, how they’ll swarm sometimes, how they will sting sometimes. It took a lot of buildup for me to go in there.” O’Neil led several tour groups into the apiary throughout Bee Fest. Prior to graduating, O’Neil was the head beekeeper at the apiary. Now she works as a staff scientist for the Best Bees Company and conducts research using the college’s apiary. O’Neil said that she is currently doing a study on bee health and is working to implement research about bee nutrition and infections at Cornell University and other major universities in beekeeping practices. One of the major threats to honey bees is varroa mites. This parasite is capable of infecting both adult bees and larvae. Additionally, it can reproduce inside a hive, wreaking havoc on the insects inside. In addition to feeding on the bee body, the mites are vectors for disease. O’Neil also said she is testing out smart hives, digital sensors that connect to the bottom of beehives and collect data about carbon dioxide levels, acoustics and bee populations. Ideally, O’Neil said, the smart hives will be able to send information to beekeepers and warn them about any changes inside the hive. O’Neil said that she was first introduced to beekeeping during her freshman year when she was given a tour of the apiary during a class. “That was the first time I had ever seen bees,” O’Neil said.


“I didn’t really know beekeeping was the thing. [Hamil- beekeepers around the Ithaca area. Among them are ton] gave us a frame of honey and it was the coolest thing hobbyist beekeepers Jennifer Irwin and John Stiteler. ever because we just walked around eating honeycomb, and I Irwin met O’Leary when they worked together at Just A Taste, a local restaurant. Irwin said that O’Leary convinced got hooked.” Senior Ethan Jones was enrolled in Hamilton’s class and her to start beekeeping when she was over for a visit and helped out at Bee Fest. Jones said he was fascinated by how bees noticed Irwin was watching a group of bees buzzing over function as a superorganism — a same-species community that re- her flowers. Irwin has two beehives in her backyard and says produces and behaves as one organism. “You have all these individual bees, but they can’t she learned everything she knows about beekeeping survive on their own … because not all of them reproduce, from O’Leary. “It’s been great having [O’Leary] here to help me with all but they’re all working together just innately as this big organism that makes massive amounts of honey,” Jones said. “It’s just of the million billion questions of ‘What does this mean? What does that mean? Oh, you’re looking at this,’” Irwin really cool.” said. “We usually open the hives together. I’m just Denise O’Leary ’17, a local beekeeper who now getting comfortable with opening them on worked as the head beekeeper at the my own. … I feel like I can interpret what college when she was a student, attended they’re doing, but I need help. I’m getting Bee Fest. O’Leary recently received her “You’re smelling all better at it.” master beekeeper certification through these great smells. Stiteler has kept bees in his yard for Cornell and is working to create her over 20 years and said that he reached own business called Honey Moon You’re touching all out to O’Leary two years ago for help Flower Lab. the sticky wax with his bees after hearing his neighbors The Honey Moon Flower Lab, praise her knowledge. Stiteler said that O’Leary said, will be an educational and propolis.” when his wife died a year and a half ago, business run out of her two apiaries locatO’Leary asked him if he told the bees about ed in Odessa, New York, on her partner’s -Denise O’Leary her death. family’s land, and Hampshire, New York. O’Leary “She told me about this custom in Eusaid she hopes to raise bees that are acclimated to rope and the British Isles where if there’s a death the Finger Lakes region and help other beekeepers get in the family, especially the death of the beekeeper himtheir start. “Beekeeping is a meditative experience,” O’Leary said. self or herself, or if there’s a birth in the family, you go and the bees … because it’s not a good “When you’re in a hive, you’re having to pay attention to so tell many things and it’s so easy for me to get out of my head thing to have the bees feel like they’ve been left out of things,” and just focus on the bees. You’re smelling all these great smells. Stiteler said. “And also, bees fly up to heaven. So they’re a connection. I still get a little choked up when I You’re touching all the sticky wax and propolis. It’s a full think about telling the bees about my sensory experience that comes with you when you come wife’s passing, but it really helped me home. When I come home I smell like smoke and I feel a lot.” good because I was looking at little golden workers News editor Eliah de Castro all day.” contributed reporting. O’Leary said she is currently mentoring several

From left, Junior Mattix Lufrano and senior Bailey Mack search around the apiary for bugs while playing bug bingo at Bee Fest on Oct. 10. Brendan Iannucci/The Ithacan






offee pots brew across the counter as customers chat over waffles and omelets. A neon sign hangs on the wall, illuminating the words “The Milkstand” across the restaurant. Warm, inviting, yellow lights line the ceilings, reflecting off the gold silverware placed upon the marble tables. This is the scene of the new neighborhood restaurant spot The Milkstand. The Milkstand is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday and is open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. It serves breakfast, lunch and dinner in diner-style options. Crepes, flatbreads and burgers are some of the highlighted menu options. Ithaca College junior Kayla Barry works as a hostess at the restaurant. She says the menu choices help to separate the restaurant from other diners in the area. “We have a very unique menu,” she said. “The chefs really try to have options for people who are vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free. They know it’s hard for people to eat at restaurants when they need those accommodations.” Junior Aidan Feldman agrees that the food options are what makes the restaurant special. “There are a lot of nicer menu options that are otherwise unavailable in Ithaca,” he said. “The brunch options were great and the restaurant seems a bit more upscale. It’s different from regular diner food.” Christopher Logue is the executive chef at The Milkstand. He created the menu himself, hoping he could help people have more food options. “I know that there is a population in Ithaca that desires Patrons waiting outside The Milkstand. Brendan Iannucci/The Ithacan to have that food available,” he said. “Most restaurants are kind of lacking in options that cater to people with dietary restrictions or preferences. I wanted people to come and be able to eat whatever they desire.” “We are open until 9 p.m., so that really sets us apart from other restaurants in the area,” Barry said. “Most diners in the area close early, so we can draw in a crowd of people who want to eat later.” Sophomore Sophia Wachtel said the style is what surprised her most about the diner. The decorations in the restaurant include bright, yellow lights hanging down from the ceiling; rose-quartz salt and pepper shakers; gold silverware; and marble tables. “The aesthetic really stood out to me,” she said. “It is very modern looking. It looks very different from the rest of Ithaca. It really reminds me of something I would see in New York City.” Logue wants the diner to be the hit breakfast and dinner spot in Ithaca. He


said the restaurant offers fine dining but does not have the “stuffiness” that comes with most classy restaurants “My culinary background is in classic French fine dining,” he said. “I wanted to make the menu a little more relaxed, like the restaurant, but have really high-quality food at the same time.” The owners of The Milkstand are Chris Kim and Soyong Lee. The couple also owns Maru Ramen, a ramen shop located at 512 W. State St. The couple actually created many of the decorations in their new restaurant. “They almost did everything by themselves,” Logue said. “They are very DIY. [Kim] actually hung the lighting, brought in the lamps, painted the walls and mounted the trim on the walls. He also found someone to custom-make the neon sign on the wall.” Feldman said this decorated dining area made the restaurant feel more classy.


customers at every other table. This helped with overcrowding in the restaurant and gave the kitchen more time to complete orders. This also helped to socially distance tables due to the fact the restaurant does not have a COVID-19 mask mandate. Before The Milkstand opened, the building was home to Byrne Dairy. The Byrne Dairy property was put up for sale in February 2020. Logue said The Milkstand tries to honor the former dairy shop in many ways — the name of the restaurant being one of them. “They could have easily knocked everything down and started over,” Logue said. “I think they really wanted to pay homage to Byrne Dairy and its location. It was such a community centerpoint for so long. Even the name ‘The Milkstand’ is a reference to when people could come in and fill their bottles with milk from the dairy.” The Milkstand also uses many of Byrne Dairy’s products, like its orange juice and milk. This milk is what is used to make Barry’s favorite item at the restaurant: the milkshakes. “My favorite item at the restaurant is definitely the milkshakes,” Barry said. “We actually use Byrne Dairy milk. Since it was Byrne Dairy, we try to incorporate little things like that. I also like that the milkshakes come in a milkshake glass. It reminds me of old diners.”

Brendan Iannucci/The Ithacan

Katelin Bradley/The Ithacan

“The decorations make the restaurant seem a lot more elevated,” he said. “The food also doesn’t appear like diner food, so together it makes a classier brunch option.” Sophomore Allie Altman said that the restaurant is refreshing to the Ithaca area and that she is excited to return again soon. “It is original and so much different from other diners I have seen,” she said. “It was honestly refreshing. I got something new, tried it and loved it.” The Milkstand had its grand opening Sept. 6. Barry said that the restaurant was so busy that it had to close at approximately 4 p.m., long before its anticipated closing time of 9 p.m. Barry said the early closure was a result of a backup in the kitchen. “It was all just like a trial run basically,” she said. “People were sitting for 45 minutes and weren’t getting their food.” Barry said that for the first month of the restaurant opening, hosts seated

On opening day at Milkstand, junior Kayla Barry seats customers. Brendan Iannucci/The Ithacan



Chris Washburn ’08 is a DJ at Moonies Bar & Nightclub on The Commons and has been an investor in cryptocurrency since 2016. Thomas Kerrigan/The Ithacan. All NFTs courtesy of Washburn.

L O C A L D J C H R I S WA S H B U R N C A S H E S O U T O N V I R A L CRYPTOCURRENCY NON-FUNGIBLE TOKEN TREND I made a lot of money through this. You should check it out.’” Cryptocurrency has a long and complicated hen Chris Washburn ’08 was made aware of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in summer history dating back to the 1980s, though the 2021, he was skeptical and critical. He wondered phenomena truly gained recognition after at first why any intelligent person would the launch of Bitcoin in 2009. From there, hundreds spend so much money on some pixel art or a of different coins have entered the market with varying levels of success and recognition, and cartoon character. Despite the speculation, Washburn de- the price of Bitcoin has gone from $1 in 2011 to cided to take the risk and purchase his first $36,850.10 in 2022. NFTs are the latest trend in NFT from the “Shiboshi” NFT collection. the cryptocurrency world Now, he is deeply involved with the and have gained masgrowing NFT community and is sive attention in the working to create a collection of “It isn’t just about last year. NFTs use his own. the artwork. It’s the blockchain, Washburn, better known by his a system used to stage name DJ Washburn, is a DJ about what they record the transacat Moonies Bar & Nightclub on come with.” tion and authenticThe Commons and founder of ity of cryptocurrenWashburn Entertainment. cy, to authenticate Washburn was first exposed to -Chris Washburn the ownership of cryptocurrency and NFTs through unique digital media. one of his favorite pastimes: poker. The Mark Volkov, a senior comhigh-risk, high-reward nature of cryptocurputer science major at Ithaca College, rency made it a popular phenomenon in the poker community, their similarities being what explained the range of what can be made into drove Washburn to take his chances and invest an NFT. “NFTs are not considered a currency but in crypto. “I had a friend who was playing poker are non-fungible tokenized digital assets that can professionally, going around the world and playing be minted, bought, sold and transferred,” Volkov online,” Washburn said. “He was big into Bitcoin said. “The scope of NFTs, as defined by the Etheand cryptocurrency, and in 2016, he told me, ‘Hey, reum Foundation, is anything that is unique that




needs provable ownership.” NFTs have received mainstream popularity outside the realm of crypto. Celebrities are showing off their NFTs as profile photos, and news programs and late-night talk shows are discussing NFTs. Some artists like A Boogie wit da Hoodie, Lil Durk and Meek Mill have mentioned creating mixtapes only people with NFTs will have access to. Moonies posted an image to Instagram on Jan. 20 of two potential designs for a DJ Washburn NFT. Both depict DJ Washburn in an “Ithaca is Moonies” T-shirt and have since seen more new variations on Washburn’s personal Instagram. While the NFTs were originally created as a joke, Washburn has been considering selling them alongside exclusive benefits at the club. “There’s no utility or functionality of them yet,” Washburn said. “However, I have thought about how they could be applicable to Moonies. … Maybe whoever buys a $10 or $20 NFT could skip the line or get a special discount on something.” Junior Kristen Stefanick is one of countless college students who has developed an interest in NFTs. “I first heard about NFTs through my brother who invested in them over the summer,” Stefanick said. “I was very skeptical, and I thought he would lose all of his money. Since then, he’s made 10 times his initial investment.” Washburn said that his interest in


NFTs does not stem from where the tokens stand currently in today’s world but rather where they are headed. Washburn said he believes that NFTs will play a larger role in the metaverse and our digital society and that they will potentially serve a different purpose in the future. “You know, it isn’t just about the artwork,” Washburn said. “It’s about what they come with. … It could be a membership or special access to an event or collection of media.

… Let’s say you want to buy my NFT, maybe you’ll get a T-shirt in the mail too or an exclusive DJ mix.” Stefanick agrees that the potential of NFTs has yet to reach its climax. She said that she believes that NFTs have a lot of potential and will potentially be implemented into many aspects of life. “There’s so much potential it’s ridiculous,” Stefanick said. “Maybe we’ll all receive an NFT for graduating Ithaca [College]. There’s just so much that goes beyond the NFTs themselves.” While NFTs specifically are still being experimented with in terms of everyday application, cryptocurrency has already been integrated into our average consumer lives, with various banks and stores offering services to accept cryptocurrencies. Even social media platforms have jumped onto the trend. Twitter users may see a pop-up that encourages them to invest in cryptocurrency, making this trend a part of daily life for everyone, even for people who do not invest.

Editorial: NFTs have negative long-ter m effects

“There are digital assets called stable coins, like USDC, that are pegged to the dollar and can be spent as currency with a Coinbase debit card,” Volkov said. “There are ways to spend any cryptocurrency you own at a store with the Coinbase debit card. Of course, there’s a conversion fee for go2014 marked the experimental era of ing from crypto to dollars.” non-fungible tokens (NFTs). 2021 was the year of the Washburn has already implemented NFT explosion, making any digital image available for such services into his business, Washburn purchase. Moving from the obscure internet into the Entertainment. Customers can use crypmainstream, 2022 projects us into the future of NFTs. to as a form of payment for Washburn’s However, the path forward is twofold. music services. The future of NFTs provides an opportunity to the “I started to think, ‘How can I make otherwise ordinary individual to be a part of something my company innovative?’” Washburn said. and experience financial success in ways that were nev“We started taking cryptocurrency a few er accessible before. years ago as a form of payment for wedThe more glum, corrupt and arguably realistic side dings and such. Not a lot of people do results in financial instability for those who do not have it, but every time I tell people we the knowledge it takes to succeed in this rapidly growtake cryptocurrency, their eyes ing market: 21st-century artists getting ripped off rather light up because it’s a cool and than protected, allowing a place for global tycoons to innovative thing.” take refuge and environmental harm due to the sheer While millions of people amount of energy that is required. The degree of enaround the world engage vironmental damage is not yet known and not worth with and embrace the finanfinding out. cial and cultural influence of There is limited understanding of NFTs, and with NFTs, many are dismissive. this comes a limited understanding of what is to come. Cryptocurrency is often critIn other words, the naive glorification of the short-term icized for being environmenbenefits negates its long-term effects. tally harmful. According to While the solution is not to wish for an, 30 kilotons of internet-free world, a solution is not found with hopeelectronic waste are produced anful projections into an uncertain future. It is dangerous nually as a result of Bitcoin mining. when projecting into a future so unknown. Haven’t we Another criticism more specific to read many a cautionary tale of exponential progress NFTs is the impact they have had on the resulting in a halting crash? art community. Anyone can make an Let us pump the brakes. NFTs cause us to be NFT out of any digital media, hence distracted from our current problems, which have many artists who post content online been glaring at us for far too long. Instead, let’s have had their work stolen and sold focus our attention here on the present, on what as NFTs. is already broken at the center — a pressing cliWhether or not NFTs will trimate crisis, poverty and a greedy 1% happy with umph and persist into the future as the way things are — for the center will not hold a crucial staple of finance and an intemuch longer. gral part of culture or become a delicate fad is unknown. However, Washburn said that in the end, he thinks that most people buy and share NFTs so that they can be involved in somthing new and trendy. “[Investing] is the same reason someone would spend $200,000 on a Rolex rather than $20 on a Timex,” Washburn said. “You’re going to buy these NFTs for a certain amount of money because it’s cool.” Washburn commissioned a variety of illustrations to create a potential line of NFTs for people to buy.





Courtesy of Universal Pictures




re people still scared of the boogeyman in 2021? Probably not, and with actual global turmoil affecting our daily lives, little room is left to fear creatures that go bump in the night. However, what if the boogeyman was a direct product of the current environment? What if generational trauma from centuries of racism and violence in America produced a hook-wielding specter? Bernard Rose’s 1992 film “Candyman” waded into horror with social commentary, but Nia DaCosta’s 2021 sequel-cum-remake of the same name crafts a uniquely strange terror out of real-world fears. To Tony ( Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) and Brianna (Teyonah Parris), the plot of the first “Candyman” is simply an urban legend told in the dark and wrapped into a dare. Say his name five times in front of a mirror and the Candyman will appear. Depending on who tells the story, the Candyman can be any number of victims coming back for vengeance. Clive (Brian King) says Candyman is the man he saw beaten to death with candy in hand by police when he was a child. Others tell the story of Candyman as Daniel Robitaille, a Black man who was publicly lynched in the 1800s for falling in love with a white woman. Each version of the story centers around a Black man from Chicago returning to exact revenge after being victimized by racial violence, a notion that draws Tony — a painter undergoing serious creative blockage — into Candyman’s web. While the original “Candyman” film, which was based on a short story written by novelist Clive Barker, approaches the ramifications of its heavy subject matter, it ultimately forgos giving depth to the theme of Candyman’s racist origins in favor of spooky thrills. With this new film, director Nia DaCosta shares screenwriting credit with Jordan Peele and Win Rosenfeld, and, together, they bring the commentary to the


forefront with bold candor. Anyone familiar with Peele’s directorial work, “Get Out” and “Us,” knows that he hardly cares for subtlety. “Candyman,” like Peele’s previous films, specifically employs its bluntness as a tool for spreading messages to the widest audience. The end result is both confrontational and complex in reckoning with its subject matter of racialized violence. However, it also helps that “Candyman” is quite scary. Woven between scenes of an art critic deriding Tony’s art for exploiting gentrification and silhouetted retellings of Candyman’s death are brutal outbursts of hook slashings. DaCosta comes to this film after only having directed the drama “Little Woods,” but the precision and intricacy in the direction of “Candyman” feels totally fresh. The film unfolds through nightmare-like, slow-burn sequences intertwined with horrific violence, evoking real-world crimes like police brutality. In other words, the film is not an example of escapist horror. A common motif in the film is mirrors as the primary haunting ground for Candyman’s terror. Nearly every frame contains some kind of reflection or doubling of its subjects, from a glass-paneled elevator to a pocket-size makeup mirror being used to manipulate scares. While the movie is an overall success, much of the film’s central journey through uncovering Candyman’s grasp on Chicago relies on knowledge of the first film — forget about the two terrible subsequent sequels. Even though ample time is given for recap, some of the twists and turns might be lost on newcomers to the film. In the best way, “Candyman” feels like a type of horror movie that rarely gets released anymore and certainly not to this wide of an audience. It may be a sequel, but the ideas presented are completely fresh and hard-hitting. If anyone wants to watch this movie and can still muster enough courage to say his name, then maybe they were not paying enough attention.



Courtesy of CourtesyWalt of Universal Pictures Disney Studios




alt Disney Studios has produced many animated films. The company has had its fair share of hits, like “Beauty and the Beast” and “Moana,” and its fair share of misses, like “Chicken Little” and “Home on the Range,” just to name a few. However, its 60th feature-length animated movie, “Encanto,” is an undeniable hit. The film follows 15-year-old Mirabel (Stephanie Beatriz). She is a member of the magnificent Madrigal family and lives in an enchanted house in Colombia. Every member of the family has been blessed with magical gifts — everyone except for Mirabel. The film is a master class in animation, something audiences have come to expect from Disney. With colorful visuals and smooth animation that looks unbelievably real on the big screen, “Encanto” is just as, if not more, visually marvelous as all of the company’s films to date. This is not to say that “Encanto” blends in with Disney’s other works, however. Because of its use of bright, eye-catching colors and its distinctive Colombian valley setting, “Encanto” stands out from the rest. This is especially true in comparison to “Raya and the Last Dragon,” the other Disney animated film that came out this year. Where that film leaned into using lush greens, rich blues and gorgeous earth tones, “Encanto” stuns with orange, pink, turquoise and more. Not only is “Encanto” an example of diversity in visuals, it is also an example of diversity in storytelling. Disney has a lot of white stories under its belt: “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves,” “Cinderella,” “Pinnochio,” “Mary Poppins,” “Alice in Wonderland,” the list goes on. In contrast, it has very few animated movies that feature people of color. It’s refreshing to see even more people and cultures being represented in the media. “Encanto” truly makes it seem like the days of monotonous, Eurocentric storytelling are over. Whatever Disney is doing, it should keep doing it. In relation to the culture, the characters are all beautifully designed.

Nobody in the Madrigal family looks like another, although they all look related. For once, audiences see brown people who are not all just the same shade of brown and people with naturally curly hair who do not all have the same hair texture. It may seem minimal to most, unimportant even, but those small details are crucial for truly effective representation. Additionally, “Encanto” offers a female-centric narrative. Not only is the main character Mirabel Madrigal a teenage girl, but the Madrigal family itself is a matriarchal unit. While there are supportive male characters who have very important roles in the narrative, like Mirabel’s younger cousin Antonio (Ravi Cabot-Conyers) and her uncle Bruno ( John Leguizamo), it is ultimately the young Mirabel who saves the day. Powerful and heroic female characters who are also depicted as sensitive and loving are something movies should have more of. This film demonstrates Disney’s apparent commitment to making visually interesting movies instead of just recycling old concepts that worked before. One element that Disney did recycle, however, was using “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda for songwriting. Miranda wrote music for Disney’s other successful animated musical “Moana” and he brought the characters to life through his masterful musicmaking. The composer does it again for “Encanto,” this time taking inspiration from real-life elements of Colombian music and dance. The music that particularly stands out is the three solo songs sung by Mirabel and her two older sisters Luisa ( Jessica Darrow) and Isabela (Diane Guerrero). These songs are “Waiting on a Miracle,” “Surface Pressure” and “What Else Can I Do?,” respectively. Each of these compositions is perfect for teasing out nuances in the characters and developing the tense and complicated relationships within the Madrigal family. Somehow, Disney keeps making magic happen. Whether it’s because the company is changing with the times to cater toward more diverse audiences or because the animators have hit their stride with 3D animation, “Encanto” is a fantastic peek into the animation studio’s bright future.




Courtesy of Warner Bros.




dapting books to film can be a difficult task. There is no greater example of this than Frank Herbert’s sci-fi novel “Dune.” David Lynch’s attempt in 1984 and a SyFy channel miniseries in the early 2000s both led to mixed results. For a while, the story about noble houses in feudal outer space warring for the desert planet Arrakis and its life-enhancing crop, Spice Melange, seemed impossible to adapt. With “Dune” (2021), “Blade Runner 2049” director Denis Villeneuve takes a crack at it and becomes the first filmmaker to successfully do justice to Herbert’s 800-page epic. The plot of the film tells the first half of the book, “Dune,” following the journey of Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) and his family, who acquire Arrakis by decree of the Padishah Emperor and attempt to control the desert planet. However, betrayed by House Harkonnen and the Emperor himself, Paul and his family must learn to survive on the desert planet. Over time, they gain the trust of the nomadic Fremen and make plans to retake Arrakis. With a large tale like “Dune,” splitting the book in half works in the film’s favor, allowing for character and world development in a reasonable time frame. The film handles the heavy exposition of the novel well, having the characters visually show what they want or feel rather than telling the audience. “Dune” is an amazing visual experience because Villeneuve is an expert at creating grand, eye-grabbing pieces through film. Every scene or shot in “Dune” can be seen as a work of art in itself, from the castles to the designs and scale of the spaceships to the power and might of the Shai-Hulud sandworms roaming the dune seas. Color also plays an important part in “Dune,” creating a certain mood and atmosphere for the distinct planets. The deep blue colors of Atreides’ home world, Caladan, as well as the black, misty atmospheres of Giedi Prime are


the first of many examples. The score composed by Hans Zimmer — whose portfolio contains soundtracks for dozens of classic films — is once again powerful and causes an emotional reaction in the viewer. The intense human chanting and instrumental attacks throughout the pieces make the viewer feel part of a world beyond the stars. While the complex narrative of “Dune” is laid out well in this film version, it brushes over certain aspects and plot lines. The buildup to an important and impactful betrayal between the ruling families is completely cut out of the film and comes out of nowhere when it happens. “Dune” is a perfectly cast film, with the representations of Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson), Duncan Idaho ( Jason Momoa), Gurney Halleck ( Josh Brolin) and Leto Atreides I (Oscar Isaac) adding depth and personality to the original characters from the book. It is fleshed out in a way that allows the characters to jump right off the pages and onto the screen. The villains of “Dune” are menacing and ruthless. However, their development is not as strong as that of the protagonists. The lack of the antagonists on screen weakens the overall conflict in the movie, with the viewer only seeing glimpses of the monstrous Baron Vladimir Harkonnen (Stellan Skarsgård) and the cruel, barbarous Glossu Rabban (Dave Bautista). “Dune” is a grand story with legendary visuals and a powerful score. Performances are well done but not groundbreaking, and the narrative is weak in some areas. Despite its flaws, “Dune” lays the foundation for a great sequel, setting up prophecies and armies for an even greater crusade through the stars. With the direction taken by Villeneuve in this film, this series can become a faithful, entertaining adaptation of Herbert’s “Dune” saga. The spice will flow with this sci-fi epic.



Courtesy ofCourtesy UniversalofPictures Netflix




or a man who has no experience with directing movies, television or musicals, Lin-Manuel Miranda keeps “Tick, Tick … Boom!” from bombing. Taking a show from the stage and delivering it to the big screen can be difficult — think the 2019 “Cats” movie — but it seems as though Miranda’s stage musical expertise helped him to bring Jonathan Larson’s semiautobiographical musical to life. The original “Tick, Tick … Boom!” musical was written by Jonathan Larson, who was also the creator of the more popular musical “RENT.” Larson died Jan. 25, 1996, the day before “RENT” made its first off-Broadway preview. The musical follows Jon (Andrew Garfield) who is an aspiring composer living in New York in 1990 while working on his musical “Superbia” to be performed in a workshop. Jon has never had a musical go past the workshop phase, but he is on the verge of a breakthrough. While writing, he is juggling working at the Moondance Diner, relationship issues with his girlfriend, Susan (Alexandra Shipp), and the ongoing AIDS crisis rocking New York. The story itself is autobiographical, however, Larson stated that some parts have been more fictionalized. The stage musical has never reached the Broadway stage but has been performed off-Broadway, off-West End, West End and has had an American National Tour. Garfield has never had a singing role before playing Jon in “Tick, Tick … Boom!” However, he has had experience with Broadway before when he performed a speaking role in “Angels in America.” Despite this, Garfield manages to draw the audience in with his strong voice and character. One of Garfield’s standout songs is “Why.” The song is filled with emotion as Jon sings about his friendship with Michael (Robin de Jesus) — who has just been diagnosed with HIV — and is just Garfield with a piano accompaniment. Throughout the entire movie, Garfield finds a balance of putting just enough emotion into his singing to be powerful and meaningful.

Miranda’s directing skills are not perfect, but for his first directing credit, he manages to create some beautiful scenes. Not everyone can adapt a stage show to the big screen, but Miranda puts a clear amount of effort into the film’s look. Most notably, scenes like the “Sunday” sequence shot in the Moondance Diner look like a Broadway production. The actors — all of them Broadway cameos — do not have much dancing during the scene, but their placement around the set and the minimal choreography work together to make the viewer feel like they are watching a stage production. Miranda knows what a Broadway show looks like and how the actors move and work with each other, and he brings that to the screen. “Tick, Tick … Boom!” also has its fair share of famous cameos, mainly Broadway stars. Fans of Larson’s work, specifically “RENT,” may have noticed Adam Pascal, Daphne Rubin-Vega and Wilson Jermaine Heredia in the “Sunday” scene. The three actors originated the roles of Roger, Mimi and Angel in “RENT.” Throughout the movie, Stephen Sondheim is played by Bradey Whitford — who has performed in many off-Broadway shows but is most known for his role as Josh Lyman in “The West Wing” — but Sondheim leaves Jon a message after his workshop telling him he loved the performance and looks forward to what Jon will do next. Sondheim was an inspiration to both Jon in the show and the real-life Larson. Sondheim recently died Nov. 26 at the age of 91. While it was interesting and surprising to see so many Broadway stars throughout the movie — especially stars who were involved with “RENT” — at times it felt overdone including so many people. It may not have been necessary to include so many different people. “Tick, Tick … Boom!” is a movie full of surprise cameos and Broadway nods. Miranda’s experience on Broadway enables him to create a successful stage-to-screen adaptation and Garfield — along with his supporting cast — draws audience members in and begs them to learn more about the man behind one of Broadway’s biggest hits.




Courtesy of Marvel Studios




repare to be blown away by “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” director Destin Daniel Cretton’s Marvel movie with top-tier action scenes and brilliant characters. Filled with dialogue that perfectly walks the line between witty, impactful and humorous, “Shang-Chi” is a sturdy stand-alone film that is delightful no matter an audience member’s knowledge of the Marvel franchise. Shang-Chi (Simu Liu), an ex-assassin hiding away in San Francisco under the name Shaun, is working as a valet with his best friend Katy (Awkwafina). Their lives are thrown into mayhem when Shang-Chi’s father Xu Wenwu (Tony Leung Chie-Wai) — the founder of the international crime syndicate the “Ten Rings” — sends his soldiers after Shang-Chi. This opens the door to Shang-Chi’s horrendous past of being trained as an assassin since the age of seven. Now, he must attempt to protect his family as well as uncover and foil the true motives of his father. In order to save the world, Shang-Chi is forced to confront his past or become defined by it. “Shang-Chi” is composed of the most gripping action sequences created by Marvel in years. The choreography, stunts, visual effects and cinematography of the fight scenes are newfangled, launching the audience into physical conflicts unlike anything ever seen. The smaller level fights between Shang-Chi and other characters have a large emphasis on the environment. They explore the impact of the location on a fight scene and exceed expectations by having captivating sequences. These elaborate sequences occur in multiple high-intensity settings, like on an out-of-control bus and on the scaffolding attached to the side of a skyscraper in Macau. The large ensemble fight sequences feel like a beautiful dance as the camera delicately jumps between the main cast of characters. This allows for the viewer to admire the action but not become


overwhelmed by it. Cretton creates a full cast of characters that manage to be both nuanced and complex, but all of them are compelling. Shang-Chi is a unique hero character who the audience gets to watch grow and fulfill his destiny. Being able to watch his struggle both in gaining physical endurance and tackling the ghosts of his past make him an enthralling character. Just as impactful, Shang-Chi is not cocky or arrogant like a majority of other hero characters in this franchise. He is allowed to be timid and emotionally vulnerable, which is refreshing to see in a strong male lead. Even the supporting and antagonistic characters all have goals, obstacles and personal development. Most exciting is that even the antagonist Xu Wenwu is complex with a gray history and a heart-wrenching desire to be reunited with the love of his life. The story of “Shang-Chi” is fresh, tight and nothing like the typical Marvel film. The viewer is not expected to know the extended backstories of the characters much like they are in most other Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) films. Instead, the story is structured through juxtaposition of the characters’ pasts as they become relevant to the present-day plot line. This allows for the viewers to learn a lot about the characters in a meaningful and direct way. The only downside to this structuring is that, when having to periodically switch between the past and present, it makes moments in the second act feel slower. These scenes feel more expositional because they provide the audience with necessary background information that is typically delivered in the beginning of the film. Cretton utilizes excellent full-circle plotting that whisks viewers off on an epic journey and then places them right back into the real world by the end of the film. “Shang-Chi” is an excellent addition to the MCU Universe and an outstanding visual experience.



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f “The French Dispatch” does anything right, it proves that Wes Anderson will never change his style. This at least gives audiences a chance to do some personal reflection on if showing up for his next film is worth it. Anderson, a so-called auteur, has created an esteemed career for himself by taking quirky stories and ramming them through his ruthlessly conservative style of symmetrical imagery and rigid formality. The result is hollow films with a facade of idiosyncrasy. After returning to animation in 2018 with “Isle of Dogs,” Anderson induces audiences into another boredom coma with “The French Dispatch,” his love letter to both journalism and France. The film is a storybook telling of three articles published by the Kansas-based publication “The French Dispatch Magazine” after the sudden death of the paper’s editor-in-chief (Bill Murray). The first two articles tell the story of stock Anderson characters: the insane artist in prison (Benicio Del Toro) and the manifesto-writing French student (Timothée Chalamet). The third chapter is about Roebuck Wright ( Jeffrey Wright), one of the few interesting characters in the movie and a man recounting a dinner he had with the Commissaire of the Ennui police force. The ground-level problem with “The French Dispatch” is not a novel one for Anderson’s portfolio. It feels like Anderson hasn’t realized yet that the result of his style being all about rigid presentation and stilted dialogue is a hollow experience. Almost all of Anderson’s movies, from “Moonrise Kingdom” to “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” attempt to explore deep themes but to no avail, as human nature does not connect with emotionlessness. “The French Dispatch” is no exception. For the cast, Anderson assembles some of the finest living actors — Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, Benicio Del Toro, Bill Murray, Timothée Chalamet and Léa Seydoux, among others — only to give them unclear, inconsistent direction. The

writing around Del Toro’s character, a deeply disturbed artist imprisoned by the prison officer Simone (Seydoux), is downright confusing, as it contrasts with Anderson’s overly dainty style. Watching Del Toro’s performance be captured by tonally incongruent filmmaking is a disappointment. Chalamet’s performance is especially bad, likely because his natural acting style is very expressive. In “Call Me By Your Name” and “Beautiful Boy,” respective directors Luca Guadagnino and Felix van Groeningen liberalized Chalamet’s performances, allowing him to emote the lives of young men in his own way. Although having to slightly conform him to her scripts in “Lady Bird” and “Little Women,” Greta Gerwig understood this as well. In “The French Dispatch,” Chalamet appears flat-out confused, as his character is poorly written and the direction he receives is far too arty. Despite being literally French, Chalamet does not pass as the French character Anderson wrote for him. Even the visual aspect of “The French Dispatch” is a letdown, which is unusual, as one of the few reliable things about Anderson was that he had something to say visually. “The French Dispatch” looks very nice, make no mistake. However, in comparison to the unbelievable animation in “Isle of Dogs” and the eccentric cinematography in “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” “The French Dispatch” is phoned in. A shot in the middle of the movie features the camera operator messing up a pan, raising the question of if Anderson even bothered to ask for another take. It’s all just a mess, brought together under a haughty guise that because nothing makes sense, it’s on the audience to roll up their sleeves and find some sort of meaning, which, if history says anything, Anderson fans will always do. “The French Dispatch” is a perfect example of the failures of modern art. It looks nice and has its own personality. However, in terms of substance, themes and performances, the film leaves everything else up to the audience. Once again, Anderson has oversubscribed to the philosophy of “the beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”






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ourteen months after Kanye West originally announced “Donda,” the album arrived onto streaming services at 8 a.m. Aug. 29, 2021. On “Donda,” West’s unparalleled musical genius yet again gets muddled with controversy. Why “Donda” never arrived on its original release date of July 22, 2020, no one will ever know. However, since West is no stranger to delayed release dates,

canceled projects and extremely prolonged rollouts, it should count as a blessing that “Donda” even came out in the first place. West also publicly toured three drastically different versions of the album. Named after his dead mother, with whom West was incredibly close, “Donda” makes its entrance as a personal statement for the artist. The release of “Donda” was impacted by a string of self-imposed controversies from the inclusion of blatant homophobe DaBaby on the track “Jail pt 2” and reviled rockstar Marilyn Manson appearing onstage at the last “Donda” pre-release listening party months after horrific abuse allegations emerged. The extent to which West’s bizarre and reckless public image impacts the music itself has always been up to the listener, but, either way, West’s unethical presentation taints “Donda” from all corners. None of this gets to what the music actually sounds like, which is to say just as boundary-pushing and forward-thinking as the artist’s numerous other masterpieces. Within West’s discography, the closest reference point for “Donda” would be his most experimental album, “The Life of Pablo.” However, aside from a few sonic similarities here and there alongside the vague thematic undercurrent of Christianity, “Donda” sounds like West is entering into something new. West packs the album with features from artists ranging from Pop Smoke to Westside Gunn, with standout features from younger names like Baby Keem on “Praise God” or Lil Baby on “Hurricane.” This enhances the listening experience and keeps it from ever sounding stale. In typical West fashion, most of the lyrical content circles around the artist’s headspace in the immediate moment, a state of mind that is often messy. “I’ll be honest, we all liars / I’m pulled over and I got priors / guess we goin’ down, guess who’s goin’ to jail tonight” West sings on the chorus of “Jail,” attempting to wrestle with the fallout of his marriage to Kim Kardashian and his difficulty with faith. Rather than reaching for something new, “Donda” finds West looking inward and taking stock of the personal tribulations around him.




n “30,” Adele explores jazz, soul, funk and R&B while still preserving some of her music’s familiar relatability. Though the singer’s most popular work has consisted of pop-ballads, this album features a more fitting, soulful sound. Adele’s emotional vulnerability is one of her greatest strengths throughout her discography, and “30” is no exception. Soul runs throughout the entire album but especially in “Hold On.” Although the classic soul-belt sound does not seem to come quite as naturally to Adele, she thoroughly embellishes the simple chordal piano accompaniment in “Hold On” with impassioned wails. This album finds a way to be both grim and lively. “Cry Your Heart Out” is an upbeat pop-soul emotional cry for help. In the song “I Drink Wine,” Adele lusciously pleads for contentment in her life over a swinging piano. The upbeat songs of “30” include themes of triumph, like in the track “Love Is a Game.” “All Night Parking (interlude)” is the most creative, interesting and experimental song on “30.” This melodically simple song features famous jazz pianist Erroll Garner, making Garner the first artist to be featured on an Adele album. The piano makes for a soothing, polished and dreamlike jazz piece. Throughout “30,” it is readily apparent to the listener that Adele was struggling to find peace in the midst of her divorce from her ex-husband Simon Konecki. In “Easy On Me,” which was initially released as a promotional single, Adele asks for forgiveness from her 8-year-old son Angelo for needing to separate from his father for her own happiness. She sings, “I changed who I was to put you both first / But now I give up.” “30” is flush with emotive lyrics like these. “30” is brimming with authenticity, pain and strength. Each song reveals more than the last and these truths are all displayed through a multitude of styles, but 118

even the pop songs carry weight in their lyrics and acoustics. It would have been easy for Adele to stick to a formula that would have guaranteed top spots on The Billboard Hot 100, but instead she has taken risks and provided the world with refreshing but still deeply personal and relatable material. It is safe to say that Adele’s “30” was well worth the wait. Courtesy of Columbia Records







ven though it has been nine years since the release of the original album “Red,” Taylor Swift is able to return to that tumult of emotions and create a masterpiece with her own version. After losing her masters when switching from Big Machine to Republic Records, the singer is intent on rereleasing her old music. Swift brought back her

“Folklore” team, producers Jack Antonoff and Aaron Dressner, for a more polished production. As with “Fearless (Taylor’s Version),” Swift’s first rerecording, there are several unreleased tracks included. Most impressive and surprising is the explicit “All Too Well (10 Minute Version).” Swift does not hold back as she retells her broken romance: “And then you wondered where it went to as I reached for you / But all I felt was shame and you held my lifeless frame.” Along with the fierce vocals, a symphony of instrumentals and a backing choir make the lengthy listen absolutely worth it. Another song that is strikingly different from its original is “Girl At Home (Taylor’s Version).” The previous track was more dialed back with its country roots and tamed vocals, but the updated one goes full synth-pop. The vulnerability in “Sad Beautiful Tragic (Taylor’s Version)” and the hope that radiates in “Begin Again (Taylor’s Version)” truly make Swift’s vocals shine. “Nothing New (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault) [ft. Phoebe Bridgers]” proves to be lyrically stunning. Swift and Bridgers openly discuss their fears: “They tell you while you’re young / ‘Girls, go out and have your fun’ / Then they hunt and slay the ones who actually do it.” Swift’s previous hit singles also have a reimagined makeover. “I Knew You Were Trouble (Taylor’s Version)” has more punch with its punk-esque instrumentals, such as an electric guitar and thumping drum. However, the chorus for “22 (Taylor’s Version)” sounds strangely tinny. Even the iconic “Who’s Taylor Swift anyways? Ew!” line is far too faint in the background. Despite this hiccup, nothing stops this powerhouse of an album. Taylor Swift proves her determination to regain her lost discography while still showing passion and care with her rereleases. While “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” was a war cry, “Red (Taylor’s Version)” is a spirited aria. From energetic serenades to devastating ballads, all of it can be pictured … in burning red.

D RA K E ’ S R E C E N T R E L E A S E I S A C E R T I F I E D B U M M E R



ip-hop and R&B superstar Drake released his sixth studio album, “Certified Lover Boy,” on Sept. 3. The project was originally teased to be released in January 2021, so anticipation for the project had plenty of time to accumulate. In the meantime, fans were gifted three singles from the artist in March, all of which became smash hits among fans and casual listeners alike. It seems like Drake was preparing the world for a project that would shake the game. This, unfortunately, would turn out to be an incorrect assumption. The first four tracks on “Certified Lover Boy” give the illusion of cohesiveness, but this hope is lost as the tracklist goes on with an abundance of filler. The track “Way 2 Sexy” devotes itself to garnering artificial attention. The chorus is derived from Right Said Fred’s 1991 single “I’m Too Sexy,” with traces of vocal samples from the track playing throughout featured artist Future’s chorus. This song was obviously engineered to function as the album’s nostalgic, catchy radio hit. “Girls Want Girls” with Lil Baby tells of Drake going for a girl who communicates that she’s only interested in women. His solution being the chorus “Say that you a lesbian, girl, me too.” Not only is this fetishization of women-loving-women relationships distasteful and offensive, but it doesn’t hold any context outside that one lyric. The height of the controversy on “Certified Lover Boy” lies in the track “TSU.” Drake raps about giving financial support to a struggling sex worker in exchange for sexual favors. A vocal sample in the beginning of the song features background music by R. Kelly, the R&B singer notorious for multiple alleged sex crimes. This is one of the most tone deaf and out-of-touch tracks that Drake has ever made. The overall boring nature of “Certified Lover Boy” doesn’t mean the record doesn’t have highlights. “Love All” is reminiscent of Drake’s 2016 album “Views”

and features a satisfying verse from Jay-Z. However, making tracks that are easy to enjoy because they are reminiscent of an artist’s older work is a double-edged sword, and it isn’t hard to admit that the negative edge is just a tad sharper. Drake seems too comfortable with the same beats and the same lyrical themes he has been working with for nearly 10 years. Courtesy of OVO, Republic Records








Courtesy of Universal Pictures


n the Heights,” a film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony Award–winning musical, is an entrancing journey following members of the Washington Heights community in New York as they struggle with achieving their dreams. A chunk of original songs and scenes were cut from this adaptation, an omission that is a disappointment. This makes some of the plot’s conflicts feel stretched and weak because the film is attempting to tell the stories of a large cast of characters, a task that is not easy. This is made especially difficult when songs that build up characters and their motivations are cut. The solo number by Abuela Claudia (Olga Merediz), “Paciencia y Fe” is the strongest of the entire film. Merediz, who originated the role of Abuela when “In the Heights” was on Broadway, delivers a profound performance, and she is humorous and compassionate in her acting. In her solo number, Merediz captures an immense range of emotions. The set design skillfully shows the passage of time throughout the number and the choreography creates a transformative ambiance without distracting from Merediz’s performance. Director Jon M. Chu went above and beyond to make the musical sequences in this adaptation larger than life. Through fluid camera movements and lighting and framing that make an individual stand out in the crowd, the dance and large ensemble numbers pull the audience into the film.


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ixar films like “Toy Story,” “Finding Nemo” and “Monsters Inc.” have a special place in the hearts of millions. This history of beloved movies left the studio’s latest film “Luca” with some big shoes to fill. “Luca” provides all of the tear-jerking whimsy that is synonymous with Pixar while also maintaining a refreshing sense of individuality. Much of the movie’s distinctiveness comes from its animation style; “Luca” is visually unlike any other Pixar film. This is all thanks to director Enrico Casarosa, who first dipped his toes into Disney with his critically acclaimed Pixar short “La Luna.” The plot has notable similarities to the classic “The Little Mermaid”: a fish person with a fascination for strange items from the unfamiliar world outside the sea longs to live with humans and goes on a journey of self-discovery with a few wacky friends. However, the characters are so engaging and the setting so enchanting that those similarities are charming rather than repetitive. The tritagonists Giulia, Alberto and Luca bring a lovely dynamic to the film. They fight for each other and stand together in a way that will make anyone smile. The Italian culture throughout the film is always present and practically leaps off the screen. It’s enough to make audiences nostalgic for the postwar Italian seaside, even if they have never been to Italy.






he trend of Hollywood actors trying their hand at directing and writing continues with Maggie Gyllenhaal’s “The Lost Daughter,” based on the novel of the same name by Elena Ferrante. The film follows Leda (Olivia Colman), a professor on vacation in Italy. She encounters and becomes obsessed with young mother Nina (Dakota Johnson). The audience learns about Leda’s younger self ( Jessie Buckley) through flashbacks. From its strange opening sequence to its ambiguous ending, “The Lost Daughter” is an introspective and harrowing exploration of motherhood. Colman gives another excellent performance, as she effectively conveys the weight of her past actions. Even through just a glance or a look at Nina or her child, the audience understands Leda’s pain. However, the script often keeps the audience at arm’s length emotionally, with many scenes becoming unfocused and a bit boring to watch. “The Lost Daughter” still has many effective scenes, especially early on when Nina is trying to find her younger daughter at the beach. It is an intense and exhilarating sequence that captures the fear of losing one’s child. The rest of the film, unfortunately, fails to recapture that energy. The moments of brilliance in Gyllenhaal’s work here make her a director to watch in the future, even if “The Lost Daughter” falls a bit flat overall.





ne of the staples of the “Scream” franchise is its humor and metacommentary on the horror genre. In the fifth installment of the “Scream” franchise, the commentary cleverly centers around film fandom and how revisionist horror has overtaken the popularity of traditional horror. “Scream” brings back several legacy characters, including Dewey Riley (David Arquette), Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) and Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell). Arquette stands out the most as Dewey, providing his best performance in the franchise with heart that is typically absent from these films. Even when the big three aren’t on screen, “Scream” is populated by a cast of new characters who are endearing in their own right. While it constantly feels like any one of them can perish at the hands of the terrifying Ghostface in gruesome and gory fashion, the viewer hopes otherwise because of how great they are. “Scream” falters in the many moments in which it asks the viewer to suspend their disbelief. While the characters make self-aware remarks toward situations just like the previous films, the viewer still can’t help but criticize the characters for some of the idiotic decisions they make that often lead to their downfall. Not only does “Scream” provide fans of the franchise something to shriek about, but it also gives newcomers the ability to fall in love with the franchise just as so many others have over the past 26 years.




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The sexist culture of gaming alienates feminine voices BY AVERY ALEXANDER

Due to video games being associated with masculinity, women who want to break into the hobby and the industry itself face no shortage of discrimination. The internet is littered with distasteful arguments disparaging games that are popular among women. I can’t count how many times I’ve been reminded by fellow gamers that anything other than “Halo” or “Call of Duty” is invalid. This attitude ultimately leads to a culture of toxicity in which women simply aren’t welcome. Twitter user @GamerTakes who runs a page called S----yGamerTakes, has done a lot of work compiling, as the name implies, terrible opinions from gamers. Miraculously, a lot of the featured comments are from, you guessed it, men. My personal favorite s----y take was made in response to a criticism that Ubisoft’s creative directors are disproportionately male. For reference, male creative directors and game designers outnumber women in the U.S. gaming industry by 68%. A defensive gamer says, “Bro most gamers are men. Why would women become directors in an industry they don’t care about?” The fallacy at play here is that the lack of representation for women in the gaming industry is somehow the fault of women themselves. Instead of facing the fact that lack of representation might be a reflection of the toxicity of the industry itself, gamers like the one above would rather blame women for being oppressed. Not only is this incredibly damaging, but the claim that “most gamers are men” is misleading. Approximately 70% of all active mobile gamers are female and the percentage of female gamers, in general, has been hovering between 40%-48% for over 12 years. While they don’t outnumber the male gamers — yet — female gamers exist, so why are people having such a hard time handling that reality? Gatekeeping is a reality that all nerds who aren’t neurotypical, able-bodied, straight, white men have to deal with. The presence of women gamers is ultimately perceived as a threat to the sanctity of gaming itself. One reason for this may have to do with the culture of console wars. For decades, gamers have battled over which PC is best or which console is better. If any of you reading have ever found yourselves in online gaming spaces, you have no doubt experienced the age-old war between Xbox and PlayStation, for example. These “wars” have fostered a community in which people are highly defensive of their opinions with very little patience for other people’s perspectives. When you apply this mentality — elegantly referred to as “us vs. them” in an article from Android Central — to the female-dominated world of mobile gaming, you run the risk of the “console war” evolving into a distaste for female-accessible gaming in general. It’s a very thin line between actual constructive criticism and just being a jerk. 122

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Female sexuality demands respect in the horror genre B Y E VA S A L Z M A N

Horror was one of the first genres to write women as its main characters, though it wasn’t until later that they were written as the heroes or even the villains. In earlier horror films like “The Phantom of the Opera” (1925), women were still written as damsels in distress while female characters in the slasher subgenre — which emerged in the 1970s — served as an outlet for borderline torture porn. In the Molitor and Sapolsky study on slasher films from 1980 to 1993, female characters were shown to take twice as long to die on screen than men. These scenes are a sexualized depiction of women begging for their lives at the hands of a violent male killer. While it was exciting for women to be cast in these main roles, the frequent sexualization and exploitative nature of these graphic scenes make me question what the true intent of male slasher directors was. In the 1996 film “Scream,” character Randy Meeks (Jamie Kennedy) explains the trope of the final girl. He details an outline of “rules” that a female protagonist in horror must abide by in order to survive. Most important is the rule of virginity: in order to survive the killer, the female protagonist must be a virgin. If women can be the victim for their sexuality, who’s to say they can’t be the villain for the same reason? Jennifer Check (Megan Fox) in “Jennifer’s Body” develops her powers and becomes the film’s main antagonist when a group of men attempt to sacrifice her to the devil after she lies about being a virgin. Here, Jennifer becomes the monster because of her sexual history. The 1976 film “Carrie” centers Carrie White, a lonely, sheltered teenage girl whose life is controlled by her religious, domineering mother. Most of the film’s plot revolves around Carrie getting her period and how the sexual repression of her religious household is unable to control Carrie’s development into a woman. In “Carrie,” there are no monsters, no ghosts, no escaped psych ward killers — just a girl becoming a woman. In “Jennifer’s Body” and “Carrie,” the women are written as villains because they are no longer innocent, virginal girls, but women with periods who engage in sexual activity. To me, putting women in lead horror roles where they are allowed to have sexual agency and still be the star of the show is not only more entertaining but empowering. Even though characters like Carrie and Jennifer are villainized for being women, their characters defy the expectation in horror that women have to be something for viewers to fear for and, often, are regarded as the hero of their respective stories by many. Male villains in classic horror movies like “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and “Halloween” are scary because they have weapons and no restraint to kill. But in these movies, the female villains are scary because they’re women, and that’s pretty badass.


Ash Bailot/The Ithacan

Award shows continue to struggle with representation BY SYDNEY BRUMFIELD

Of the 15 nominees across the categories of Best Director, Writing (Adapted Screenplay) and Writing (Original Screenplay) for the 2022 Oscars, a staggering three were wome n — all of them white. This is surreal when you consider that this year over 350 films came out that were directed by women including “Candyman” (Nia DaCosta), “I’m Your Man” (Maria Schrader) and “Titane” (Julia Ducournau). Despite the widespread critical acclaim and mainstream success of many of these female-directed films — especially the three mentioned — it may come as a surprise to some that they have received zero nominations. It is not new information that the entertainment industry is predominantly populated by cisgender white men, but I, like many others, had been living with the illusion that inclusion and diversity were getting better. I believe this came to fruition, especially when media outlets claimed “Parasite” (2019) winning best picture at the 2020 Oscars marked a huge step toward more inclusivity. It feels as though the primary narrative that is being portrayed in the media is that the industry is making these great strides in representation and including diverse stories, but in reality improvements in diversity have become stagnant or decreased in the industry. The percentage of women directors has decreased in 2021. This past year of the top films released 12.7% of the directors were women, a rate that is down from the reported 15% of directors being women in 2020. This stagnant or seemingly nonexistent progression of the number of diverse voices in the media combined with diverse filmmakers who are in the industry getting zero academy recognition send a clear and harmful message to those passionate about creating film. The media wants our narratives but not us. What I mean is we are seeing more of cis white men who are already prominent in the industry producing stories about women, LGBTQ+ people and Black, Indigenous people of color to profit from increasingly more diverse audiences. But these same industry professionals won’t actually hire us to tell these stories authentically ourselves. As depressing as it sounds, we cannot blindly accept the narrative that is being given to us that the industry is making these encompassing moves to be more inclusive and diverse. Nor can we be satisfied with what little representation has been offered to marginalized groups. The more viewers can educate themselves about these pressing issues and recognize that we do not have to settle for the scraps of recognition we are receiving, we may see lasting change yet.

Ash Bailot/The Ithacan

Romance novels are due more respect than they are given B Y M A D DY M A R T I N

A close-up of a man’s tanned eight-pack framed by a dripping-wet, white button-up shirt is not something I’d expect to see at the grocery store. And yet I have seen this exact image at the grocery store so many times that I don’t even register it. If you don’t care about them, chances are you don’t think about them, but romance novels are everywhere and they always have been. Check the little bookstands and aisles in Wegmans, CVS and Walmart, and you’ll see them in all their paperback, curly-font glory. Romance novels account for 23% of all fiction sales and generate approximately $1.08 billion per year. They make the same number of annual profits as the mystery and science fiction/fantasy novel industries combined. Despite its prominence, romance is often the laughing stock of the literary world. The novels are stereotyped as being pulpy, poorly written and full of fluffy depictions of hot heroes rescuing damsels or bizarre erotica that is somehow both misogynistic and misandristic. So what are romance novels really and why are they so popular? Last summer, a self-published romance series called “Ice Planet Barbarians” by Ruby Dixon made Amazon’s bestsellers list despite the first book in the series having come out six years prior on the Kindle store with little attention received. The novels, about a group of women who are abducted by aliens then rescued by another group of aliens who are blue, ripped and shockingly gentlemanly, gained viral popularity due to how surprisingly well written they were. The popularity of “Ice Planet Barbarians” has sparked the series receiving a print release from Berkley on Nov. 30. I have never read “Ice Planet Barbarians” and I likely never will, but I’m happy it exists. Despite how entertaining it is to make fun of the series, at their core, these books are escapist fun. Escapism and sex sell, that’s just the truth. As far as romance novels go, “Ice Planet Barbarians” is an extreme example. Most romance novels are more down-to-earth, literally. Amazon’s bestsellers have included “A Not So Meet Cute” by Meghan Quinn, about a fake relationship between a businesswoman and businessman searching for wealth and “It Ends with Us” by Colleen Hoover about a workaholic trapped in a love triangle. With a readership that is 83% female and a primarily female authorship, romance novels are written for women by women. To the women who read romance, the genre is often empowering. Romance heroines are often intelligent, unapologetically feminine ladies who don’t exist for the male gaze. Although I’ve spent much of my life as a reader extensively mocking the genre, if cynical businessmen, rugged Scotsmen and buff aliens bring people joy, who am I to judge? Maybe it’s time to pay the genre a little more respect. 123


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I T H A C A C O L L E G E FA L L S T O S U N Y C O R T L A N D A T T H E 6 2 N D A N N U A L C O R TA C A J U G G A M E “This was an unbelievable game [and] an unbelievable atmosphere,” Fitzpatrick said. “The crowd was electric today. Two great he Ithaca College and SUNY Cortland teams battling it out and it comes down football teams treated fans to a thriller, battling to a 1-point game late in the fourth quarthrough rain and snow during the 62nd Cortaca ter. I think that’s fitting for how this game Jug game Nov. 13 in Cortland. Ultimately, the should be.” On the fourth drive of the game, the Red Bombers fell to the Red Dragons 28–27, snapping the Bombers’ three-game winning streak for the Dragons got on the board first with 6:59 remaining in the first quarter to go up jug game. The loss dropped the Bombers’ record to 7–0. The Red Dragons were able to drive 8–2 and put a close on their season, while it down the field after two runs got them into capped off the Red Dragons’ first undefeated Bombers territory, and Red Dragons’ quarterregular season since 1988. Although the South back Brees Segala tossed it to Trevor Ash for a Hill squad’s winning streak was broken, it 10-yard touchdown. The Bombers responded by getting into Red was still 42–34–3 in the series. While the game did not draw a record-setting crowd like Dragon territory for the first time in the game, with it did at MetLife Stadium in the teams’ previ- a big passing play of 32 yards from junior quarterous meeting, 8,642 fans made their way to the back A.J. Wingfield to senior wide receiver Michael SUNY Cortland Stadium Complex to take in Anderson. Junior kicker Nick Bahamonde was good from 45 yards, getting the Bombers on the the action. While this was the first loss in the rival- board. Cortland led 7–3 with 4:21 remaining in the ry for Dan Swanstrom, former head coach of first quarter. Cortland converted on its second trip to the the Bombers, after three straight wins since being hired, this was the first Cortaca Jug red zone with a 7-yard touchdown pass from Seexperience for Curt Fitzpatrick, head coach of gala to JJ Laap. The Red Dragons led 14–3 with the Red Dragons. Swanstrom said that while the 14:06 left in the first half. Segala stepped up for the Red Dragons in outcome of the contest was not what his team was hoping for, he was impressed with the way the big game, throwing for 175 passing yards and three touchdowns. Segala said that after beit competed. “The team did everything I asked them ing in a neutral environment in 2019, instead of to do,” Swanstrom said. “I love this team. having it in Cortland or Ithaca and not having I love coaching them and my heart breaks the game in 2020, it was good to be playing at home again. for them.” “I would take a home game in Cortland over On the other side of the field, Fitzpatrick said his first time coaching in the rivalry lived up anywhere else,” Segala said. “Our fans, you heard them all game long, and the atmosphere of the colto his expectations. lege campus is just different. It was awesome to be in MetLife [Stadium]. It’ll be awesome to be at Yankee [Stadium], but nothing beats going out here getting the jugs in front of your family, your fellow students, in front of your faculty.” On Sept. 21, 2021, it was announced that the 63rd Cortaca Jug game will be played at 1 p.m. Nov. 12, 2022, at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York. Tickets for the game are currently on sale. The game also presented an opportunity for alumni to return and cheer on their respective institutions in what was once called “the biggest little game in the nation.” Mike White ’92, who was a team captain for the Bombers 1991 Graduate student Andrew Vito reacts to the Bombers’ loss. Eleanor Kay/The Ithacan




national championship team, said the Cortaca Jug is an eternal event that will always produce a crowd. “We could play [the Cortaca Jug game] in a parking lot and we would still have the same rivalry,” White said. “It doesn’t matter where you play it. It’s the spirit that happens on the field that’s important and that continues and nothing stops Cortaca.” Down two possessions early, the Bombers converted on fourth down from midfield to keep their drive alive. However, the drive stalled at the Red Dragons’ 8-yard line. Bahamonde’s 25-yard field goal attempt was good, closing the gap and making the score 14–6 with 9:31 left in the second quarter. The Red Dragons were able to convert a third and 15 but were not able to find the end zone on a deep pass on third and 11 from the Bombers’ 26-yard line. The Red Dragons went for it on fourth down, but Bombers junior defensive back Drew Brenner broke up the pass. The Bombers took over possession with 2:05 left in the first half from their own 26-yard line. The Bombers started their drive with a 14-yard completion to graduate student wide receiver Andrew Vito, and Wingfield found senior wide receiver Billy Tedeschi to get into Red Dragon territory. However, Wingfield was sacked for 11 yards and the Bombers were forced to punt with just under one minute left in the first half. The Red Dragons gained possession with 45 seconds left from their own 25-yard line. The Bombers struck first in the second half, trimming their deficit to 14–13. Sophomore running back Jalen Hines found his way to the end zone on a 2-yard touchdown rush with 9:12 remaining in the third quarter. The score came at the end of a drive in which the squad moved 79 yards down the field in nine plays. The South Hill squad took its first lead of the afternoon on a 19-yard touchdown rush by Wingfield. The quarterback managed to sneak into the right corner of the end zone with 7:12 left in the quarter. Bahamonde tacked on another point by converting the point after touchdown (PAT), giving the Bombers a 20–14 lead. Shortly after the Red Dragons got the ball back, senior defensive lineman Nathaniel Potts intercepted Segala’s pass at Cortland’s 36-yard line. Wingfield then completed a 9-yard touchdown pass to junior tight end Dan Mason to put the Bombers on top 27–14 with 5:45 left in the third quarter.


Wingfield made his first appearance in the Cortaca Jug game this year after being on the sidelines in 2019. While he said that he was still digesting the overall experience of the game and the environment, the game was a battle of back-and-forth surges. “We just had to keep fighting,” Wingfield said. “I was happy with how we came out in the second half, kind of punching them back. Credit to them, they came back and punched us back. It came down to another field goal, and we’re gonna be all right. But we fought. I’m proud of this team and good for Cortland.” Alumni like David Aaronson ’20, former Cortland football player, used the game as a chance to root for his former teammates and reunite with other members who were not able to come back last year with the game not being played. Looking back and ahead to compare the Cortaca Jug experience from 2019 to this year and what 2022 will be like, Aaronson said each game has differences, but it is still the Cortaca Jug. “Wherever it is, it’s always good to come back,” Aaronson said. “It’s always a great game. Both teams are always in the upper echelon [of Division III football]. It’s always a great experience.” The Red Dragons responded quickly, cutting their deficit to 27–21 with 3:45 remaining in the quarter. Segala completed a 7-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Derek Cruz in the left corner of the end zone, narrowing the score. The Red Dragons reclaimed the lead in the fourth quarter, as Segala connected with Cruz again for an 11-yard touchdown pass. Kicker Nicholas Guglielmo then converted the PAT to give Cortland a 28–27 advantage with 8:19 left in the contest. The Red Dragons emphatically preserved their lead with 1:51 left in the game, blocking Bahamonde’s field goal attempt at the 35-yard line. This clutch defensive play secured Cortland’s victory over the Bombers. Wingfield finished with 167 passing yards and one passing touchdown, and sophomore running back Jake Williams rushed nine times for 76 yards. The Bombers finished the regular season 8–2 overall and 5–1 in Liberty League play. The team tied Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for the conference championship and concluded its fourth straight season of having eight wins. Segala said the game was an instant classic with each team coming back from deficits throughout the game and the dramatic ending. Segala said none of his teammates blinked when they were faced with adversity and have prepared all season for that game. “That was as Cortaca Jug as Cortaca Jug gets,” Segala said. News editor Elijah de Castro contributed reporting.

Sophomore running back Jalen Hines carries the ball during the 62nd Cortaca Jug game Nov. 13. Eleanor Kay/The Ithacan

SUNY Cortland’s quarterback Brees Segala shakes hands with Ithaca College football players after Cortland’s win. Eleanor Kay/The Ithacan





hen the 61st annual Cortaca Jug game between Ithaca College and SUNY Cortland was held at MetLife Stadium in 2019, the game drew an audience of 45,161 — a Division III record. The game will be held at Yankee Stadium at 1 p.m. Nov. 12, 2022, and representatives from both institutions have set an ambitious goal to break the attendance record at the next game. This past year’s Cortaca Jug game took place Nov. 13. The Bombers lost to the Red Dragons 28–27. The game was the first Cortaca Jug to take place since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. While it did not break any records, 8,642 fans made the journey to the SUNY Cortland Stadium Complex to watch the game unfold. The two schools participated in a joint press conference along with a representative from the New York Yankees on Sept. 21 when the 2022 game was announced. Susan Bassett, associate vice president and director of intercollegiate athletics, said Ithaca College, Cortland and Yankee Stadium are aiming for a sellout crowd. Mark Holtzman, vice president of nonbaseball sports events at Yankee Stadium and New Era Pinstripe Bowl, said in the press conference that the 2022 game is important, as it carries on an important sports tradition, as previously reported by The Ithacan. “In a little over 14 months, the young men for both [Ithaca College and Cortland] will be gracing the same field that [former Yankees players] have graced in the last 100 years,” Holtzman said. “This game will add to the rich

Ithaca College held a press conference Sept. 21 to announce that the 63rd Cortaca Jug will be held at Yankee Stadium. Ana Maniaci McGough/The Ithacan

history and tradition at Yankee Stadium, two New York schools playing in the world’s most famous stadium.” Bassett said the game has the potential to set and break records. “We think we could break the record we set in 2019 [at MetLife Stadium], but everything has to line up just right,” Bassett said. “This is the opportunity of a lifetime for our football program, our athletic department and the college in general.” Although the game will not be held until 2022, talks have been going on since well before the 2019 Cortaca Jug game said Mike Urtz, athletic director of Cortland. “[Bassett] approached me several years ago about the possibility of ever playing in Yankee Stadium,” Urtz said. “It kind of went to the backburner and didn’t come to fruition, obviously. And then the whole MetLife concept started to come into play.” Holtzman said that scheduling conflicts stopped the game from being held at the famed Yankee Stadium in 2019 because the venue has a limited number of football games that it is able to Junior Ben Stola tackles a Cortland player Nov. 13 at the 62nd Cortaca Jug game. Eleanor Kay/The Ithacan


host per year. Since 2010, the stadium has hosted five regular season football games, according to the official Major League Baseball website. Besides hosting the Cortaca Jug game next year, the stadium has hosted other football rivalries in the past like Lafayette College and Lehigh University. This news drew mixed reactions from the Ithaca College community. Matt Price ’20 said he was surprised to see the game played in another big venue so soon after it was held at MetLife Stadium. “I thought they would do it in maybe five or 10 years’ time,” Price said. “But still, to have it at a venue like [Yankee Stadium], it’s absolutely phenomenal.” However, not everyone in the college community shares Price’s optimism about the venue decision. Senior Julia Machlin, a member of the Open the Books coalition, a group of college community members that is calling for increased financial transparency, said the announcement was surprising for different reasons. The coalition formed because of the Academic Program Prioritization (APP) process that was initiated by the college. The APP commenced a Phase One that included the ongoing cuts of 116 full-time equivalent faculty positions and 26 majors, departments and programs, as previously reported by The Ithacan. The APP process was accelerated because of the COVID-19 pandemic and was initially approved in February 2020 by


former President Shirley M. Collado and participate, we felt like, in fairness, we had to give them the opportunity [to host current President La Jerne Cornish. “It’s a big declaration to say and in 2021],” Bassett said. “We were the hosts to make, even if it’s in two years, that of the game in 2019. 2020 didn’t a lot of money and a lot of resources happen, so it didn’t seem fair for us will be allocated to Cortaca when there then to host this year because why are so many people who are still feel- would [Cortland] agree. We really ing the effects of being laid off from the wanted to make the Yankee Stadium thing work.” college,” Machlin said. Mirabito said he thinks that holdTim Mirabito, assistant professor in the Department of Journalism, also said the ing the Cortaca game at Metlife unknowns of specific financial details make and Yankee Stadium is fantastic for alumni but that it takes away some imthe optics of the game worse. “The contrast of having layoffs oc- portant experiences for current students cur and then very shortly after having a at the college. “There’s obviously a ton of people football game at a professional stadium implies that there are costs that would that have connections to Ithaca Colbe much more suitably applied to re- lege that live in and around New York taining faculty or going back into the City, which is great,” Mirabito said. “But academic budget,” Mirabito said. “I do when you start to do things like this, and think that, from an optics standpoint, it is a especially the way that the calendar has fallen … we’re eliminating home games for tough look.” our students.” Bassett said all of the travel Bassett said that the expenses for both Ithaca success of the game at College and Cortland “I do think that, MetLife Stadium led to are being covered a conversation abby promoters Hufrom an optics out something similar dak and Bob Gastandpoint, it is a happening every four rone ’87. However, years or so. She she declined to tough look [for said that the colcomment on the the college].” lege’s alumni raised exact expenses of over $100,000 on the event. the day that the rivals “For the athlet-Tim Mirabito faced off at MetLife Stadium ic department, it’s a in 2019. budget neutral event,” BasThe main reason the college agreed to sett said. “For the college, it’s an opportunity for enormous positive publicity play at Yankee Stadium shortly after the in the tri-state area and metropolitan 2019 Cortaca Jug game, Bassett said, is because the venue does not have an opening New York.” On the other side of the coin, Itha- other than 2022 until 2027. However, Holtzman said, if the game ca College will not host a home Cortaca game at Butterfield Stadium until goes as well as expected, there is a possi2024. That means that multiple class- bility of the game being held there again in es will go through the college without the future. “Certainly, if the game is as sucbeing able to experience a home Cortaca game, something that Price said is a cessful as we all believe it would be, we’d want to have it back here at some unique experience. “I know that atmosphere, re- point in the future,” Holtzman said. gardless, is fantastic and it draws in “But I think you want to also keep the spea huge crowd on the South Hill,” cialness of it. You would have to figure out how many years apart you would want to he said. Bassett said that canceling the game have the games.” Correction: A previous version of in 2020 forced some shuffling that led to the college giving up a home game this article states that the 77th anin return for the chance to play at nual Cortaca Jug game was held in 2019. It was the 61st annual Cortaca Yankee Stadium. “In order to get [SUNY] Cortland to Jug game.

Editorial: Cortaca 2022 venue sparks concerns within IC community


ith the announcement of the 2022 Cortaca Jug game being held at Yankee Stadium comes a multitude of emotions, ranging from excitement to confusion. In any other situation, this would be seen as an incredible opportunity for Ithaca College’s athletics and for the college community. Moreover, it should be an exciting piece of news, and the community should be overjoyed at the opportunity to have a fun weekend away from campus that is filled with school spirit. However, the circumstances do not allow for this excitement to spread to everyone. The college is currently evolving — for better or worse. The community is facing a landslide of changes, including program additions, faculty and staff cuts, financial instability and a global pandemic, and as we return and try to stabilize our community, the college is adding to the landslide with this announcement. It is easy to parade around with excitement over the news, but there are some students, faculty and staff members who just cannot find it in themselves to celebrate or be joyous over next year’s event. Many are wondering how the college cannot afford to hire more staff members; how 116 full-time equivalent faculty positions were eliminated; how departments across the college have seen significant budget cuts; how the library at a private college had to decrease its hours; and yet, the college is going to host the game at Yankee Stadium. A sense of unity within our community is essential, especially following the aftermath of the decisions made by the Ithaca College Board of Trustees and the Senior Leadership Team. There is no denying that this game will be an incredible experience for many members of this community. This game could heal some of the open wounds left behind from the previous academic year by providing a distraction to the day-to-day worries many have about the college. It could be beneficial for mental health among students to spend time just enjoying a game in the city. This does not justify nor does it rationalize how the college cannot provide its students, faculty and staff with the necessities they need because of the financial difficulty they have proven over and over that the college is facing. Before we can celebrate or rejoice as a community, the college’s needs should be met first. In order for these concerns to be quelled, the college needs to be transparent in its current financial situation and make it clear how it intends to finance this football game. From one perspective, the college looks like it may be favoring the athletic community over the basic needs across campus. The college needs more staff and faculty members and increases in budgets in nearly every department and office, but what the college does not need is to put on a flashy performance for one weekend while neglecting its obligations to its students and the community as a whole.






wo Ithaca College students attended the 2022 NCAA convention in Indianapolis, Indiana, and participated in the NCAA Division III Student Immersion Program, making them the first students from the college to attend the event since it began in 2015. The convention, which took place from Jan. 19 to 22, aims to increase diversity in Division III athletics by creating a skilled and accomplished group of ethnic minority student-athletes who are interested in coaching and administration. Senior track and field runner Katelyn Hutchison and freshman softball player Dylan Delaney, who are both women of color, represented the college at the event. The athletes had the opportunity to make connections, learn about personal branding and be present at discussions about key issues in college athletics. Before attending the conference, the students were nominated to apply to the convention by Erienne Roberts, associate director of intercollegiate athletics and senior women’s administrator, and Ellen Staurowsky, professor in the Department of Media Arts, Sciences and Studies at the college. “[The nomination process] was really easy and seamless,” Roberts said. “Ellen and I collaborate on a lot of different leadership programs for students, especially those that are interested in athletics as a career in some capacity. So it was more of just a conversation between her and I, who we felt was really excelling in the classroom.”

Jennifer Potter, women’s track and field head coach, said she encouraged Hutchison to attend because it would provide her with a unique opportunity to connect with different people in college athletics. “I think not only is it super educational, but the contacts that you make, the people that you meet, it’s usually all sports and all levels,” Potter said. “The ability to interact with all levels and sports makes it really a neat and unique opportunity.” Staurowsky said the choice to nominate both students came from her belief that both

“To . . . be in that kind of atmosphere and that dynamic was really crazy.” -Katelyn Hutchison

students would not only benefit from the experience of attending the conference but that both would serve as good representatives of the college. “At a professional event like an NCAA convention, I was very confident in both of them that they were going to be outstanding ambassadors for Ithaca College, for our athletic department and

From left, freshman softball player Dylan Delaney and senior track and field runner Katelyn Hutchison attended an NCAA convention. Brooke Vogel/The Ithacan


for our sports media major,” Staurowsky said. “So to have an abundance of talented students who inspire such confidence, I think we’re really fortunate to have the caliber of students that we have in our program.” Once the students arrived at the convention, their days became filled with meetings and lectures on how to grow their image. Delaney said one of the major themes she picked up on was the importance of creating a brand centered around the person. Hutchison said her experience at the convention included being present at debates over the NCAA and its proposed new constitution. “The NCAA just voted on a new constitution, and I was literally in the room while that was going on,” Hutchison said. “Everyone who spoke on the mic was saying ‘No, don’t vote for it.’ But then when the voting was over, you looked up on the screen and it said, I think, 80% of the people voted yes for the new constitution. So to kind of be in that atmosphere and that dynamic was really crazy.” Hutchison did not participate in the voting process, but members of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee were involved in making this decision. While both athletes had different experiences in terms of specific events, the omnipresent topic throughout the convention was that of making connections with other people both attending the convention and helping to run it. “We had networking and business sessions with all these administrators from all these different schools, and a majority of the kids were seniors and juniors,” Delaney said. “I learned a lot from them just being there for that short amount of time.” By the time that the convention had ended, the opportunity it had provided helped both students to figure out their next steps after returning to the college. Hutchison said it gave her a better idea of what she wants to do when she graduates this spring. “I want to be the person at conventions that encourages athletes to go as far as they want with their athletic and academic career,” Hutchison said. “I’ve seen what it’s been like when people actually put time and effort into athletes who don’t seem like they’re going to do good in the future, but if you actually give them time and effort and put faith in them, then they become those athletes who were good out the gate.”


T H R E E I T H A C A C O L L E G E S T U D E N T- A T H L E T E S N A M E D A L L - A M E R I C A N S F O R FA L L S E M E S T E R



t the end of each season, student-athletes across the country are rewarded for their excellence on the field with All-American honors. Three Ithaca College standouts received this distinction for the Fall 2021 season. On the gridiron, junior kicker Nick Bahamonde and senior offensive lineman Jake Villanueva etched their names into the record books by becoming the first pair of Bombers teammates to be presented with the award by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) in the same season. The pair also earned spots on the Associated Press’s (AP) All-America teams, and Bahamonde received the honor from Senior field hockey midfielder Jackie Mirabile also joined some exclusive company, becoming just the 29th All-American in the program’s history. Mirabile was named a Third-Team All-American by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA). Mirabile said she is humbled by the award and attributes her success to the support she received from members of the program. “I’m just thankful for my coaches and former teammates and teammates now that have gotten me to where I am,” Mirabile said. “To go down in the history books as an All-American and join the names of everyone else who came before me, it’s just an incredible honor.” Mirabile was an integral part of the team’s success during the 2021 campaign, helping to guide the squad to a 14–5 record and first place in the Liberty League. The midfielder was impactful on the offensive side of the ball, posting three goals and a total of eight points. She also recorded a defensive save in the Bombers’ 1–0 overtime loss to Vassar College in the Liberty League final Nov. 6, 2021. Mirabile is the sixth Bombers player to be named an All-American by the NFHCA. Coaches nominate their players for this honor, and recipients are ultimately chosen by NFHCA member coaches and committees. A total of 48 NCAA Division III field hockey players received this recognition, comprising three All-American teams. Kaitlyn Wahila, field hockey head coach, said that while the award is based on performance on the field, Mirabile makes just as strong of an impact outside competition. “Jackie is just a really incredible person off the field and has been an amazing leader for our program,” Wahila said. “And of course, clearly her skill on the field has really just proven itself over the last four years that she’s been a part of our program.” Senior striker Samantha Horowitz echoed a similar sentiment, mentioning how Mirabile’s style of play contributes to the team’s success. “She’s such a selfless player,” Horowitz said. “I

think having that ability to put your teammates before yourself is just a huge characteristic.” Bahamonde and Villanueva also demonstrated leadership and ability on the field, aiding in the football team’s 8–2 season. Former football head coach Dan Swanstrom said both players demonstrate strong work ethics, which has a significant impact on their teammates. The coach announced he was leaving the program Jan. 24. “Both positions are unique,” Swanstrom said, “It’s a position where their leadership is truly by example. … What they do day in and day out, how they practice, how they handle the weight room, those things are how they lead.” Bahamonde was dominant in his junior season, going 18-for-22 on field goal attempts and

being an offensive lineman, you’re not really always in the spotlight as much as some of the guys on the other team. But [I] also definitely wouldn’t have been able to be an All-American without my teammates and coaches obviously pushing me every day to be my best self.” Division III football coaches across the country have selected 18 All-Americans from the college for this honor since 1969. Former wide receiver Will Gladney ’20 was the last player to bring the award back to South Hill, being named to the AFCA Second Team in 2019. Bahamonde said that sharing the honor with Villanueva and being the first duo to win the award in the same year has made the experience even more memorable.

Senior Jake Villanueva and junior Nick Bahamonde were two of three Ithaca College athletes named All-Americans. Ash Bailot/The Ithacan

converting 32 of his 34 extra-point tries. This precision led to Bahamonde being named a First-Team All-American by the AFCA and the AP. The kicker also was recognized as a Second-Team All-American player by He is the second kicker in the history of the program to be named an All-American since 1992 when Ed Mahoney ’95 got the honor. Villanueva’s impact was evident in the squad’s offensive success, helping the Bombers post an average of 30.6 points per game. This offensive output was the second best in the Liberty League, trailing only Hobart College, which went 9–2 this past season. Villanueva was named a Second-Team All-American by both the AFCA and the AP. He said that while his position doesn’t often make headlines, he is grateful to be recognized for his efforts. “It’s just good to see all the hard work that you put into the sport pay off,” Villanueva said. “Especially

“It’s cool to think of stuff in a perspective like that because you just win [the award] this season and it’s hard to think back on just how special it is,” Bahamonde said. “When you hear stuff like that it makes you take a step back and be like, ‘Wow, that’s just crazy that I get to be a part of that with him.’” A total of 155 Bombers have been named All-Americans in the history of the program, including 10 selections from six players in Swanstrom’s four seasons at the helm. Bahamonde said he is honored to be named among the best in the sport and considers this recognition to be one of his greatest accomplishments as an athlete. “There is something to being an All-American that I can tell that to anybody now and they get it,” Bahamonde said. “I can put that on a resume and anyone will know what an All-American is. So I’m really proud of this one. I think it’s special.”



F O O T B A L L K I C K E R S T E P S A WA Y F R O M T H E F I E L D A N D T RAV E L S C O U N T R Y D U R I N G L E AV E O F A B S E N C E “I had a rough plan of places I wanted to go but nothing too specific,” Bahamonde said. “But then I n 2019, Ithaca College junior football kicker ended up ditching that plan about five days into the Nick Bahamonde won the Liberty League Special trip. So I literally just got into my car and I just drove Teams Player of the Year following a successful fresh- around, met a bunch of people and explored wherevman campaign. However, after the 2020 season was er I wanted to.” Bahamonde said he started with a four-day drive canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, he packed up his bags, put a sleeping bag in his car and from his hometown to southern California, where he spent a few days before driving up the coastline to drove out west to spend a semester on the road. After stepping away from the gridiron for a year Bend, Oregon. He said he did not love Bend, so he in favor of a cross-country road trip, he was named left after only a day to go back down the coast to Lake the seventh best kicker in Division III football en- Tahoe and the Malibu area. Afterward, he cut back tering the 2021 season upon his return. The rank- inland to southern Utah and then Colorado before ings were released by The CFB Network, a popular returning to Virginia the third week of April. “I learned more in that year by myself than I’ve social media page that covers all three levels of college football. Bahamonde was also named Liberty learned in school, probably ever,” Bahamonde said. “I League Football Special Teams Player of the Week for can do algebra, but that doesn’t teach you how to talk his performance Sept. 4 in the football team’s 52–20 to a stranger or be a good person or be a hard worker. I learned how to live my life.” win over Bridgewater State University. Bahamonde said that missing the 2020 season Bahamonde, who grew up surrounded by nature in Berryville, Virginia, said that the idea of facing on- made him realize how tired he was of football. He line classes helped him make his decision to take a said it was not that he did not love the sport, but no one knew him as anything other than the star kicker leave of absence. “At some point I would have gone through what I for the Bombers. “I was like, this is all I do,” Bahamonde said. “This went through in the last year,” Bahamonde said. “I feel like everyone has to go through that at some point. is all people know me for. … I want it to be more I know [I would have gone] eventually. I just don’t than that.” He succeeded in that mission during his time out know if it would have happened in the same way if not west, said Kaia Friedly, a student at Orange Coast Colfor the pandemic.” The COVID-19 pandemic caused Ithaca College to lege, whom he met in California. “When he told me he played football in college, shift classes to remote instruction during the spring of Bahamonde’s freshman year. The college then my first thought was ‘Are we thinking about the same made the decision to continue online courses through kind of football?’” Friedly said. “He’s the polar opposite of what I would’ve expected.” Fall 2020. Though they only met in person once, Friedly said The college’s transition to remote learning prompted Bahamonde to enroll in a community col- Bahamonde made a lasting impression on her, and lege for Fall 2020, before packing his bags and driving they still talk every day. “When we met, it was an instant click,” Friedly to California in the first week of March 2021. said. “We became such good friends on the first encounter because he’s such an amazing guy with such great ambitions.” Fellow Bombers kicker and junior Enzo Martelluci said he is not surprised that Bahamonde makes that type of impression on people. He describes his teammate as laid-back, someone who gets along with everyone and attacks each day with a smile. However, even though his personality may Junior Nick Bahamonde traveled the country in his car during the spring of 2021. Courtesy of Nick Bahamonde




seem relaxed, Martelluci said Bahamonde did not take any days off in preparation for the 2021 season. “To come right back to the field was just the willingness to play right when he got here,” Martelluci said. “I do believe he’s got the ability and quality of a [Division I athlete], which is also why I believe he will be ranked first in Division III football after this season.” Tom Biscardi, linebacker and special teams coach for the football team, said Bahamonde is a great person and teammate. “He gets along with everyone,” Biscardi said. “It’s not like he’s always off with the specialists. … He comes out there every day with a smile on his face.” When he takes the field in important game situations, Bahamonde said his mentality and attitude help him stay focused, even in the hardest of situations. Having that type of clear headspace is a technique Bahamonde said he has brought to football from his experiences in life. “When you’re young, do the jobs and things you can’t do when you’re 45,” Bahamonde said. “Some kids are going to intern at JPMorgan and I’m sure they’ll be making a lot of money, but they are not going to be as fulfilled as I am. I can guarantee you that.” Friedly said that it seems like Bahamonde has really found himself. “He told me when we met that he was doing [the trip] to experience what it has to offer,” Friedly said. “He wanted to get a new outlook on life, and he says he did.” Bahamonde also created digital content while he was traveling. Bahamonde put photos on his Instagram, @nhbaha, and videos on his YouTube channel. “He showed me that he was taking pictures of things like the northern lights,” Friedly said. “Everything I saw was insane.” Even though he was tired of football a year ago, Bahamonde said that this year has made him want to play football more than he ever has. “The year off made me reflect on why I play and why I want to keep playing,” Bahamonde said. “I’m more excited for the next two years of football than I’ve been for any year in the past.” While most coaches might be worried about a player missing an entire year of working out, practicing and playing football, Biscardi said he is not worried in the slightest about how Bahamonde will reacclimate. “Obviously it would’ve been awesome to have him here in the spring, but I know he’s taking care of himself off the field,” Biscardi said. The junior said that he is ready for the upcoming season but that he is not worried about trying to outperform expectations. “No misses is always the expectation,” Bahamonde said. “[Freshman year], I missed my first-ever kick in college and then I did not miss again for 10 weeks. I hate missing.”





ophomore track and field runner Jalen Leonard-Osbourne holds the Ithaca College program record for the 60-meter dash at 6.78 seconds, which is now tied for first in the country for Division III this season. Leonard-Osbourne broke his own record in three consecutive weeks against Moravian University at the Nazareth Indoor Conference Challenge Cup and the Bomber Invitational on Feb. 5. During the stretch, he has improved his time by 0.14 seconds. The difference may be small, but his previous program record of 6.92 seconds would not be enough to even put him in the top-20 fastest times this season. Leonard-Osbourne has been scorching the track as of late, but success and competition are not new grounds for the record-breaker. Leonard-Osbourne expects nothing less than success, which is why he has no expectations for slowing down after tying for the fastest 60-meter dash in the country. He is used to breaking records. “I expected it and I just keep trying to get better and keep progressing over time,” Leonard-Osbourne said. “My peak isn’t here.” He knows that he has had to put in the work to achieve the new record and is soaking in the recent achievement. He is now already looking forward to what is next and is hungry for more. “These next couple of meets are stepping stones for me to reach my goals at nationals,” Leonard-Osbourne said. “I’m just proud of myself honestly.” He said that running the 60-meter dash was an easy decision and transition from playing football. During the 2021 season, however, he injured his left wrist, which caused him to miss time in the football season. Since then, Leonard-Osbourne has spent a lot of time in the gym working on lower and upper body strength with a fellow sprinter and football teammate, junior Daniel Hutchinson. “I’ve noticed in the weight room that he’s always trying to get back to where he was and even higher,” Hutchinson said. “That motivates me to even do better in the weight room.” Leonard-Osbourne said his time in the weight room has kept him in prime shape, but the process of recovering from a broken wrist has not been all smooth. “Honestly, that took a toll on me, but keeping my mind right and knowing I had another season while getting back in shape put me back on the right track,” he said. Leonard-Osbourne also said his success is not

just from the amount of hard work he puts into preparing his body and studying the sport. In fact, a lot of his success comes from his extremely competitive and confident spirit. In the three meets he has raced

a great personality.” Leonard-Osbourne said that his goal was to finish the indoor track season by maintaining his performance and remaining as strong as he started.

Sophomore Jalen Leonard-Osbourne broke the Ithaca College record for the 60-meter dash with a time of 6.78 seconds. Ash Bailot/The Ithacan

in this season, Leonard-Osbourne has won the event each time. “[Setting another program record] feels great,” Leonard-Osbourne said. “I put in all the work, so I expect nothing less.” Hutchinson is also like a brother to Leonard-Osborne. Hutchinson said he understands that Leonard-Osbourne’s confidence trickles down to the rest of the team and helps with the overall team success. “His determination is something that’s like no other, and his competitiveness brings out the best in me,” Hutchinson said. “He wants to see everybody do their best, and he’s always pushing and motivating others to do their best as well, which makes him a well-rounded individual.” For Hutchinson to say that about his teammate is high praise, and it reveals how valuable Leonard-Osbourne is as both a teammate and a leader. Leonard-Osbourne’s strong indoor season so far has played a part in bringing the Bombers to be ranked 15th in the country among NCAA Division III teams. Jim Nichols, men’s track and field head coach, also said he admires Leonard-Osbourne’s work ethic and his drive to be the best version of himself. He is proud of all of the success Leonard-Osbourne is having. “Jalen has a gift, as far as an athlete with talent, but he’s also working hard at trying to be the best that he can be,” Nichols said. “He’s got

“I’m going to try to win the Liberty League 60-meter dash,” he said. “After that then the All-Atlantic. … After that, hopefully take it to nationals and see how that goes.” Leonard-Osbourne did make it to nationals in March and, when he did, the runner became the college’s first-ever national champion. He won the 60-meter dash and, once again, broke his record in the event, clocking in at 6.76 seconds. Before nationals, Leonard-Osbourne was tied for the fastest time in the country with Jaylen Grant, a student-athlete from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Grant previously ran the even at 6.78 seconds in December 2021 and matching it Jan. 28 and Feb. 12. Grant said that he runs the best he can so he can get his best time possible but that he likes the competition with Leonard-Osbourne. “[Leonard-Osbourne] is doing his thing over there [in Ithaca],” Grant said. “And I’m excited to compete against someone when that time presents itself.” Leonard-Osburne was also named the 2021–22 Liberty League Men’s Indoor Track & Field Track Co-Performer of the year, along with Matt Lecky, an athlete from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. With a few more semesters left at the college and a few more indoor track seasons to go, there is still plenty of time for Leonard-Osbourne to break his record yet again.



Senior Skylar Sinon, guard for the Ithaca College men’s basketball team, plays in a game against the University of Rochester on Dec. 7, 2021. Malik Clement/The Ithacan

G UA R D F O R T H E I T H A C A C O L L E G E B A S K E T B A L L T E A M BECOMES 26TH PL AYER TO SCORE 1,000 CAREER POINTS players and it’s always exciting to see a player hit some of those career milestones that valienior Skylar Sinon, guard for the date the amount of work they put in and the Ithaca College men’s basketball team, has commitment to getting better every day and made history by becoming the 29th play- every year.” This is the second time Sinon has reached er in program history to score 1,000 the 1,000 point mark, as he also achieved the career points. The guard reached the mark in the Bombers’ milestone during his junior year at Byram Hills 106–95 victory against the Rochester Institute High School. During his collegiate career, Sinon of Technology on Feb. 15 in Clarkson Gymnasi- reached the milestone in just three collegiate um. Sinon secured the milestone by knocking seasons because his junior campaign was candown a jump shot, giving the South Hill Squad celed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. a 93–82 lead with 6:29 remaining in the con- Sinon said he enjoyed the process of achieving this mark and test. Senior Sebastian Alderete, current student takes pride in joining assistant coach, was the last player in the the exclusive group. program to join this exclusive club “I think [reachJan. 24, 2020. “It’s a great ing 1,000 points “It’s obviously an amazing honor honor and I had fun has] dubbed me to be mentioned with those other 28 as a scorer here members of the 1,000 point club,” doing it, I at Ithaca, which Sinon said. “Luckily, I’ve played is pretty cool,” with amazing guys throughout my promise you that.” Sinon said. “It’s three years here, so they let me do a great honor and what I can do. They let me score. They -Skylar Sinon I had fun doing it, I trust me with the ball. So it all starts promise you that.” with them.” He is also the secSinon also attributed his success to the ond student to score their 1,000th trust his three collegiate coaches have in him, playing for Jim Mullins, Sean Burton and point this season, reaching the milestone a Waleed Farid during his time on South Hill. month after Grace Cannon, women’s basketFarid said that he was glad to see Sinon’s ded- ball graduate student, achieved the feat in ication to the sport pay off by reaching the the team’s 67–44 win against Clarkson University on Jan. 15. career mark. Sinon’s career point total sat at 1,019 as the “I’m happy for him,” Farid said. “He’s obviously one of our leaders, one of our best team entered postseason play with its first game




of the Liberty League Championships on Feb. 26. The guard was a key contributor to the Bombers’ success this winter, helping to lead the squad to a 17–8 record and a second-place finish during the regular season. Sinon has averaged 12.2 points per game this winter, a decrease from his sophomore year in which he posted an average of 16.3 points per contest. He said that his role has shifted slightly this winter compared to the past, as a result of the team having multiple impactful players offensively. “This year has been a little different too because we have such amazing players on our team that can score the ball,” Sinon said. “So I’ve been doing a little less scoring this year, a little more facilitating between our team and kind of just doing whatever the team needs me to do and whatever role I have to play in order for us to win. … But it’s still been pretty consistent to get me to that 1,000 point mark, which is pretty cool.” Farid said Sinon’s ability to make an impact on both sides of the ball adds to how special the milestone is, especially because he achieved it in just three seasons. “Skylar has a really unique game,” Farid said. “He attacks the game in so many ways, not just scoring. But being able to do it in three years is definitely a huge accomplishment. It’s a testament to how good of a player he’s been [and] it’s a testament to how important to the program he’s been since the day he stepped foot on campus.”





uring the beginning of the 2022 winter sports season, the Ithaca College gymnastics team benefited from strong performances of its freshman class, with the young players taking a large step forward on the team and cementing their place on the roster for upcoming seasons. Head coach

Freshman Skye Cohen competes on the uneven bars Feb. 16. Brendan Iannucci/The Ithacan

Rick Suddaby said the current class took a big step in competition compared to previous freshman classes. “Quite often you’ll get kids that will … be competitive right away,” Suddaby said. “But we had so many freshmen and we had lost so many to graduations and COVID[-19] that we really needed them to step up and they really have.” The roster carries 23 gymnasts in total, with 12 of the women being freshmen. Entering this season, Suddaby said that he was confident that the new gymnasts joining the team would stand out from other freshman classes. Once the team began practice, he was able to see where they were with their performance and knew who would stand out on the team. “I could see where they were at and it was just a matter of projecting how ready we could get them,” Suddaby said. “Jillian [Freyman] stands out. Nicole [Lonski] stands out. She’s been in and out of an injury, and so she’s making her comeback, but we really missed her when she was gone. Caitlin Pellegrino has been a really solid performer on the floor. And Marlena [Bailey] is solid on bars.” The freshman class showed its ability in competition throughout the season. Skye Cohen was selected as the all-around gymnast of the week Feb. 14 for her performance in the Cornell University Quad Meet, where she set a Division III season-best score of 37.9000 points. Lonski scored a 9.750 on the uneven bars at the Rumble and Tumble meet Feb. 16, the highest score by all gymnasts. Lonski said that despite an ankle injury she sustained at the end of January that limited her ability to compete, she found important growth in her competition through the strong connection the team has in practices. “I definitely think working with my teammates has been very helpful, all of us building each other up,” Lonski said. Freyman said that she also found confidence coming into the season by gaining

support from the upperclassmen of the team, from running routines with them to the moral support they provided the freshmen with during the season. “There are a few girls that I usually practice balance beam with,” Freyman said. “We usually try to do our routines together and keep ourselves accountable.” In her first collegiate competition Jan. 15, Freyman posted a 9.325 on vault, tying for second on the team. She also led the team with a 9.575 on the floor exercise the same day. She said that she wanted to focus on her beam routine before competition started. She posted a personal-best 9.750 out of 10 score at the Cornell Quad Meet. “I did a lot of routine numbers,” Freyman said. “And then the coaching staff made sure that we did a lot of practice meets.” For Suddaby the goal of working hard with his players in practice is to condition the freshmen to take leadership roles on the team. “We teach leadership to all levels, anywhere from the freshmen to the seniors,” Suddaby said. “So when these kids train with the other kids in their class, or even the upperclassmen, they train like them and they all succeed.” Freshman Dallas Rachal, who dealt with a knee injury earlier this season, said Suddaby was instrumental in her return to competition. “I was very nervous about coming back,” Rachal said. “He helped me … starting with drills and then working my way back up to the vault.” Lonski also said that the coach makes sure that everybody is doing their best. “Coach Suddaby has been very helpful with motivating us,” Lonski said. “He gives us corrections and makes practice a fun place to be.” Suddaby’s leadership has helped players to gain more confidence in themselves. The team scores reflect the improvement of the gymnasts over the season. Its scores have been mostly trending up since the first meet of the season. Freyman said the senior leadership has helped her to better acclimate to college gymnastics, where competition is more focused around the team. “It gave me a lot [of confidence],” Freyman said. “I’m really confident in the season that we’re having right now and the seasons that we’re going to have the rest of the time that I’m here.” While the season has been positive for the freshmen on the team, Rachal said she knows she still has room to improve. “Before next season, I definitely want to get my floor [routine] back to where it was and also my bars and beam,” Rachal said. “I would like to start training those again to the point where I am competitive for lineups. So that’s my goal, just to get everything back to where it was before I hurt my knee.” Suddaby is also looking ahead to the future. The team will graduate just two seniors after the season, Amelia Bailey and Julia O’Sullivan. He believes that the freshman class can continue its growth to be the base of a strong team. “I’m confident,” Suddaby said. “This is my 35th team, so I know we’re going places. It’s kind of a question of how quickly we do it. We’re going to see All-Americans. We’re going to push [to be] the top team in the league.”

Freshman Jillian Freyman competes Feb. 16 at the Rumble and Tumble meet. Brendan Iannucci/The Ithacan



#1 #3 “Basketball” 6th Grade

“Sledding” 5th Grade


Courtesy of Logan Ninos

#4 “Wakeboarding” Sophomore Year High School



“Wrestling” Junior Year High School








hen the Ithaca College wrestling team competed for the first time since the NCAA Mideast Regional Championships on March 1, 2020, the team was missing one of the best wrestlers on its roster: senior captain Logan Ninos. Ninos was not on the mat during the Ithaca Invitational on Nov. 5 and 6 and will not compete again after doctors advised him to stop wrestling due to multiple concussions. Ninos has taken up a new role in the program. He has transitioned from being one of the first competitors to wrestle in meets for the Bombers to being a team captain and assistant coach. Ninos began wrestling after he moved to North Hampton, Pennsylvania, in third grade and was introduced to the sport by his neighbors. He wrestled ever since then but began suffering concussions in fifth grade outside of wrestling and was diagnosed with his first one from wrestling in high school. Ninos has had five concussions from wrestling and nine in total. His most recent concussion was in May 2021, an injury that led to his doctor telling him in August 2021 that he should stop wrestling. Ninos said that it took a while to realize after he got the news that his wrestling career was over. It was not until after he arrived back on campus and preseason rankings came out for the 125-pound weight class that he finally processed that he would not be competing. “Guys that I’ve seen before, guys that I know I can beat and stuff like that, seeing them ranked kind of set in and made me realize I’m not going to be wrestling,” Ninos said. “It’s unfortunate because I know, I can beat these guys that are top running. … But really, it’s bigger than wrestling. It’s my brain, and I need to obviously stay healthy for the rest of my life.” According to an article from Complete Concussion Management in 2018, wrestling 138

had the sixth-highest concussion rate among youth sports with an average of 0.17 concussions per 1,000 participants. Ninos said that the only constant side effect he has from the concussions is that he now wears glasses to help with his eyesight and goes to vision therapy, which is a series of eye exercises designed to improve the eye’s quality and efficiency, when he is home. Ninos had a conversation with Marty Nichols, head coach of the wrestling team, about his future a week after he got the news from his doctors. Nichols’ first reaction was to check on the well-being of his former wrestler but also figure out how to keep Ninos a part of the team. Now, Nichols refers to Ninos as “Coach Logan.” “[Having a player become a coach] happens quite often,” Nichols said. “He’s so knowledgeable, so he knows how to train. He knows how to eat. He knows the strategies and he knows the guys on the team. He’s a perfect coach.” Before he became Coach Logan, Ninos was the top wrestler for the Bombers in the 125-pound weight class. In the 2019–20 season, Ninos compiled a 30–11 record and placed at events like the Ithaca Invitational, New York State Championships, New Standard Corporation Invite, Empire Collegiate Wrestling Conference Championships and the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships. Even though he has transitioned to helping the team as a coach now, Nichols said he sees similarities in Ninos’ approach to the two roles. “He’s kind of like the Energizer Bunny for us,” Nichols said. “He motivates everybody. That’s the thing we’ll miss because he’s usually the first match of the tournament or the first match of the dual meet, and he’s really getting after it, chasing the guy around. Still, his intensity levels are really high, and he’s the spark for our team.” Even though he does not wrestle anymore, Ninos said he still applies what he has learned from the sport to his everyday life. He said wrestling is a lifestyle sport that can be


#8 + #9 “Wrestling” Junior Year College

Courtesy of Logan Ninos

Richie Morris/The Ithacan


Freshman Year College


“Jet Skiing”

Freshman Year College


Ninos coaching the Ithaca College men’s wrestling team 2017


physical and mental. The main things he learned were centered around determination, discipline and sacrifice, which help him succeed in all facets of his life. “Wrestling really just made me put work in everything that I did,” Ninos said. “That carried off the mat too. I had goals of being the best wrestler, and now I have goals of being the best athletic trainer I can be. I always want to be a good student, a good person to my family, and it really just motivates me to be the best at whatever it is that I’m doing.” Currently, Ninos, is an athletic training major, and has worked as an athletic trainer for the football team. Although the football team’s season came to a close, Ninos is still only able to attend the wrestling team’s practices on Mondays and Wednesdays. While he has come to terms with not wrestling, Ninos said that being around the team and inside the wrestling room brings back memories of doing what he used to love. “I miss the two hours of practice,” Ninos said. “It’s just that wrestling used to be a huge stress reliever for me. … If I was angry, I could go wrestle. I could get that anger out. And again, it was just a two-hour break from, I call it ‘real life.’ I wouldn’t be worrying about homework. I wouldn’t be worrying about an assignment and I wouldn’t be worrying about what’s going on at home. When I’m in the wrestling room, it’s just two hours focused on wrestling.” However, he still enjoys being an assistant coach and captain for his teammates. Ninos is a resource for wrestlers like senior Matt Griffin and junior Adam Wagner. Griffin wrestles in the 125-pound weight class, the same class Ninos used to, and was practice partners with Ninos during his junior year. Now, Ninos goes over shot defense and technique with Griffin, and they meet up an hour before practice to get extra work in. Griffin said that having Ninos around the team, even though he is not wrestling, is a valuable boost for everyone. “He’s just brought a really good, positive attitude, and that’s part of why he’s a team captain,” Griffin said. “He always has a high morale. So even with him being busy, he’s still always there. He’s still someone that everyone on the team can talk to if they need him. He’s busy with school, so he’s not there as much. But when he is there, he has a lot of positive energy. And anytime you need to reach out to him, no one really needs to hesitate.”

2021 Ninos said that he told his friends the news after coming back to South Hill, and Griffin said that hearing the news was bittersweet. Ninos’ reaction, though, did not surprise Griffin. “Logan’s one of my best friends on the team, and it’s a shame that something like this was to happen, but I think he dealt with it in the best way you possibly could,” Griffin said. “He dealt with it how Logan would. He’s a really mentally strong kid. And he’s a great asset to our team, whether he’s on the mat or if he’s off the mat.” After he wrapped his head around his new role, Ninos started to provide a fresh voice for the wrestlers. Wagner said Ninos constantly checks in on everyone, texting them and asking them how they are doing. Wagner said it is refreshing to have Ninos reach out rather than a teammate he spent two hours practicing against. Wagner added that Ninos adds an element to the coaching staff that was not previously there. “It’s nice to have a young guy that came up with you and he’s experienced everything that we’ve experienced,” Wagner said. “The older coaches, they obviously wrestled. They came to the program, but [Logan] was just here last year. He came through with the COVID-19 stuff. He’s been here and he knows how we’re feeling. So I feel like he can … really relate to us a lot better. He brings his own wrestling knowledge that’s going to be different, but I think he can be able to relate to us as current students and current wrestlers. I feel like he can kind of connect with us on that level better than the other coaches on top of what he brings with his wrestling.” When Ninos thought about the goals for his senior season, he envisioned himself as a national champion. He bested wrestlers that were in the 2021–22 rankings for the 125-pound weight class and saw no reason why he could not be at the top of that list. While it is not the end to his career that he thought would happen, Ninos is looking forward to helping the wrestling team in a new way this season. “I understand that there are things I can control and things I can’t control,” Ninos said. “Obviously, if I could control it, I would love to have a national title. Unfortunately, that’s just not how the cards fell. But what I do know I can control is where I go from here, how I affect my teammates, how my work ethic wears off on them and how my energy is in the [wrestling] room.” 139


CLUB SPORTS EXPRESS CONCERNS OVER REDUCTION I N R E S O U R C E S A N D C U T S I N B U D G E T A N D S TA F F I N G field conditions. Reilley said that this past fall, 12 clubs requested funding and only the esports and equestrian club teams had their requests approved. He said lub sports play an integral role in the lives decisions to approve requests were based on the of many Ithaca College students, giving them the amount of funds the club was asking for, along opportunity to further pursue their passion for with the purpose for the request and the club’s athletics. However, many club sports members account balance. have concerns that the Office of Campus RecreWhile the budget for club sports is significantly ation is unable to properly meet the needs of these lower than previous years, Reilley said he believes clubs because of a lack of resources, funding and that the program has sufficient funding to help staff members. each club meet its needs. The Office of Recreational Sports manag“We’re not in a place where we wanted to be es a total of 39 clubs, including 27 competitive financially,” Reilley said. “[But] we are in a place club sports teams. There are more clubs for stu[where] everyone’s going to be able to have what dents to participate in than varsity sports, as the they need for the rest of the year.” college has 25 varsity teams. The clubs are overseen Many clubs also expressed concerns that the by Lauren Hoffman, program coordinator for recreprogram is unable to provide each club with suffiational sports, and Sean Reilley, associate director cient practice time. The college announced all club of recreational sports. Both Hoffman and Reilley sports activities were canceled for the remainder of are the contacts for around half the groups, as ReilFall 2021 on Dec. 8, when the college moved to ley primarily aids 19 clubs and Hoffman supervises a Yellow: Low to Moderate Risk COVID-19 opera20 clubs. tional status. However, varsity–athletic programs The program also had a third staff member were permitted to continue practicing, despite not prior to the pandemic, Bradley Buchanan, forhaving any remaining competition before the end mer assistant director for recreational sports. of the semester. Buchanan retired from the college in May 2021, Elster said there were multiple occasions but had not worked with club sports since the in which his team was unable to practice at the 2019–20 academic year. Senior Brady Elster, presAthletics and Events Center because another ident of the men’s club–lacrosse team, said that club team’s practice took precedence. He recalled while he believes Reilley and Hoffman are makan instance in which the rugby club’s regular pracing a strong effort to accommodate each club, tice field was in poor condition due to weather and he feels that the program could benefit from the club was in season, displacing the men’s lacrosse additional staffing. club from its practice facility. Reilley said that the “[The Office of Recreational Sports practice schedule is made prior to the start of staff] is essentially two people, when it each semester and is based on the availabilused to be three,” Elster said. “So I ity of the club and whether the group is think maybe that is overwhelming in season. or overburdening [Reilley and “There’s been definitely some Hoffman]. … So I think maybe miscommunication on part of the because of that it’s just harder [recreational sports] people to to manage and successfully adjust let us know and coordinate dress each club’s needs on a that a little bit better,” Elster said. given day, just because they’re “They’ve sent out emails before trying to tackle so much.” where they said we’re both allowed Since March 2020, the colto practice, but that ended up not lege has furloughed or laid off being the case. And we had to show at least 264 staff members due up and just essentially cancel on the to the impact that the COVID-19 spot two times this semester.” pandemic had on the financial The clubs utilize several of the state of the college. The college college’s varsity facilities, including Higis also feeling the effects of the gins Stadium, Glazer Arena and the Kelsey national labor shortage, which has Partridge Bird Natatorium. The programs resulted in understaffing issues within also have access to multiple grass fields, many offices and departments. like Emerson Field and Yavits Field. ReilThe club sports program is curley said Emerson Field is currently not rently facing substantial budget being used. He said the program works decreases, as Reilley said its budto distribute facilities to the clubs that are get has been lowered from $90,625 Junior Kailey Rothenberger is the vice president of the club softball team. Brooke Vogel/The Ithacan




before the COVID-19 pandemic in the 2019–20 academic year to under $50,000 this year. The college as a whole is making budget cuts, decreasing its operating expenses by $42,795,844 from the 2020 to 2021 fiscal years. The college’s budget will increase to $222,276,717 in the 2022 fiscal year, which spans from July 1 to June 30, as previously reported by The Ithacan. “Relative to our last normal budgeting year, the total amount of money available to club sports has decreased very dramatically,” Reilley said. “That’s kind of in line and to be expected with the current financial state of the college and just getting things back on track.” The office implemented a new funding request system for the 2021–22 academic year, allowing all clubs to request funding throughout the year when they believe it is necessary. Reilley said funding requests are reviewed by professional staff and the Club Sport Council. Previously, only competitive club teams were able to submit funding requests before an academic year. Reilley expressed that this system could not be continued with the program’s decrease in funding because there were some clubs that had not utilized all of their funding in previous years, preventing other clubs from getting the resources they needed. Reilley said that some teams had rented facilities in the past but were unable to use them because of poor


order for club softball to be able to practice most in need. “While we do have a lot more space on a softball field, junior vice president available to us than some campus recreation Kailey Rothenberger said that the team has to programs, it’s never going to be enough,” commute to a facility in Lansing, New York, evReilley said. “More is always better. What ery Friday. She did add that while the club can we’ve tried to do is prioritize in-season clubs, practice at Yavits Field a couple of other days those that are actively competing in their pri- of the week, it is not the same as being on a proper field. mary season for first priority for scheduling.” Rothenberger also said the upperJunior Luke Pohlman is a practice captain, which means he is in charge of running classmen in the club are responsible for and scheduling practices for the Ultimate driving teammates to and from pracFrisbee club. He said his team has also been tice, and the club is only compensated facing challenges with getting field time at for gas money when it has games at the Higgins Stadium, where the team usually Lansing field. “Every time we drive to practices. However, Ultimate Frispractice, that’s just on us,” bee is considered an off-season Rothenberger said. “It’s sport right now because “It’s just harder just the role of the its main season is in older people on the the spring. to . . . address team. When you get Pohlman also said each club’s to be older, that’s that if the team is going just expected.” to get field time, it often needs on a Pohlman said does not find out until given day.” that while club sports the night before –– or may not be as comeven just a few hours prior -Brady Elster petitive as varsity teams, to –– the allotted time. He they still add significance to said this can be frustrating and individual student lives and the feels as though club sports are not campus community. taken seriously. “[Varsity teams] focus on developing “We all get the impression we are an afterthought,” Pohlman said. “I don’t want to that family culture and extending that bespeak for the other club teams, but I think yond just the people in the locker room,” that’s kind of the general gist. I see a lot Pohlman said. “That’s one thing we try of value in varsity sports … but I also see to do as well. … We have each others’ backs on a lot of value in club teams and the value they and off the field. There’s a lot of guys who have said their favorite thing about being at school is add to the campus community.” While many clubs have access to going to frisbee practice, even if they’re not the on-campus facilities, not all of them do. In best player.”


Junior Luke Pohlman, co-captain of the Ultimate Frisbee club, throws a frisbee Dec. 7 at Higgins Stadium. Brooke Vogel/The Ithacan

Editorial: Club sports receiving limited funding


lub sports at Ithaca College are as important as varsity sports. They offer students the ability to participate and be active in the community through sports without being a part of a varsity team that comes with a longer time commitment and a different selection process. Some students who chose not to pursue college-level sports but are still interested in being a part of a team and being active have found a good middle ground in club sports. The main concern as of right now is the lack of resources, funding and staff members that are allotted to these club sports. Currently there are even more competitive club sports teams than there are varsity sports. Lauren Hoffman, program coordinator for recreational sports, and Sean Reilley, associate director of recreational sports, are the only members who are overseeing the 39 clubs, 27 of which are competitive club sports teams. Both are trying to serve the clubs to the best of their abilities, but at the end of the day, there is only so much two people can do. There needs to be more staff members, or how else can each team receive the attention and resources they deserve? Understaffing is a current issue sweeping across the campus, extending to club sports as well. However, to successfully run these club sports and address what they need, there needs to be more hands on deck. Another widespread issue on campus is budget cuts. The club sports program is facing a large budget deduction, lowering from $90,625 to under $50,000 this year. The issues the club sports are currently facing are seen across the campus and they need to be addressed soon. Sports in any form, varsity or club, are vital for students. It allows students to feel engaged in the community, and it is a passion for many students on campus. Clubs like the esports team are doing extremely well in national competition, yet it receives little to no attention from the college. These organizations provide opportunities for students to make friends, build valuable skills and have fun outside classes. These clubs need to be given the attention and resources they deserve, rather than pushed aside and allowed to struggle by themselves. The college cannot afford to make cuts on these kinds of recreation. Students need club sports, and they need to know that the college cares about what matters to them and that it is actively seeking out solutions. If students are the college’s “why,” why is the college neglecting a vital part of college life that students obviously care about? By increasing staff, ensuring that all teams have time and space to practice and even just recognizing that club sports teams are valuable activities for students to participate in, the college can affirm its commitment to club sports.




male and 42% female, the proportion of the student body is nearly the exact opposite, being 59% female itle IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and 41% male. Additionally, undergraduate proporis legislation that protects people from being discrim- tionality has largely stayed the same since Fall 2003, inated against based on their sex in activities that as the percentage of female undergraduate students receive federal assistance. It includes protections in col- has stayed between the range of 54.8% and 58.2% of lege athletics and education programs. In order for an the college’s student body. Furthermore, from 2003 institution to be compliant with Title IX, it only needs to the most recent EADA report the college filled out, the number of unduplicated men’s team participants to satisfy one of the three parts of the legislation. Title IX is broken up into three prongs of compli- has been greater than the number of unduplicated ance: proportionality, expansion and accommodating women’s team participants each year. The most recent data available for average roster interests. Proportionality refers to whether a school’s athletics programs have a proportional number of sizes of Division III teams offered by the NCAA showed male and female students compared to the overall that the college had larger than average rosters in all student body. Expansion is if a school can show that women’s sports except for golf and volleyball. Erienne it has or is working to expand its athletics programs Roberts, associate director of athletics, said the goal of the underrepresented sex. Lastly, accommodating is for the college to have similar numbers roster-wise interests is whether a school can show they are com- compared to the data the NCAA has provided them. “What we would like is to just be consistent with pliant with Title IX by meeting the interests of the some of the data the NCAA has provided through our underrepresented sex. Susan Bassett, associate vice president and director sports sponsorship reporting and use that to compare of intercollegiate athletics and recreational sports, said ourselves to the Liberty League, as well as nationally the college’s current priority is providing an equitable ranked institutions,” Roberts said. One approach Bassett and Roberts said they are and fair experience for all athletes, coaches and staff. Bassett said focus for the future is working toward considering to help to resolve the issue of proportionality is to add varsity sports like women’s rugby and meeting the proportionality prong of Title IX. “We’re probably at a point now, because under- cheerleading, which are currently club sports. “The priority when you consider adding a sport graduate enrollment is changing, where it’s more female than male,” Bassett said. “We’re implement- is that there be a viable competitive opportunity for ing roster management … to come into compliance them,” Bassett said. “For example, we can’t just add a sport that no one else is playing or that we wouldn’t be with proportionality.” Each year, the college fills out an Equity in Athletics able to realistically travel to.” Senior Alyssa Denger, president of the college’s Data Analysis (EADA) report, which includes information regarding athletic participation, staffing, revenues women’s club rugby team, has been a part of the team and expenses. In the 2019–20 EADA report, the college since her freshman year. Denger said that if the club reported that it had 450 athletes on men’s teams and were to be promoted to varsity, it would be the product of years of hard work. 319 athletes on women’s teams. “I think it would be a great opportunity for players According to the Office of Analytics and Institutional Research, while the proportion of athletes is 58% who want to be more serious with this sport,” Denger said. “I think our club has made huge leaps and bounds with our personal development over the past four years.” Though she does not have a plan to campaign for the team to become varsity, Denger said she thinks its promotion would be beneficial to fix the issue with proportionality. “Rugby is unique because it allows people who identify as female to play a sport that is most commonly related to football, which is mostly male-dominated,” Denger said. The 2020 memo that Bassett wrote also stated that the college met all 11 program components that were established by the Office of Civil Rights equitably. Included in the list of components Abbey London/The Ithacan are equitable coaching and recruitment



of student-athletes. However, in the 2019–20 EADA report, there are sizable differences in the average annual salaries for coaching positions between men’s and women’s teams. The college listed that of the 10 head coaches of men’s teams, the average annual institutional salary was $73,137. For the 14 head coaches of women’s teams, it was $56,901. In terms of recruitment, men’s teams spent $48,262 on recruiting expenses, but women’s teams spent $32,892. Bassett and Roberts said the college satisfies the second prong of Title IX by having a history of expanding athletic opportunities for the underrepresented sex by adding women’s golf in 2009 and women’s sculling in 2012. However, Lance Houston, a Title IX and labor law expert, said he believes the college still has impartiality between men’s and women’s sports. “[The EADA report] shows a history [of expanding women’s athletic opportunities], but I’m not sure that there’s an actual achievement,” Houston said. “It seems to me that while I think the school is working towards gender equity, there appears to still be a gender equity issue.” Houston said that though the college has improved in its Title IX compliance, he thinks that there is more work to be done. One of my concerns would be the athletic opportunities for women,” Houston said. “The structure of the EADA report, the head coaches’ salaries and the assistant coaches’ salaries, that tells a story and the college has a burden to meet.” Additionally, the college is facing serious financial issues. During the 2020–21 academic year, the college began the elimination of 116 full-time equivalent faculty positions as part of the Academic Program Prioritization. She said she expected all of the remaining open coaching positions to be filled very soon. Bassett said the college has accomplished fuller rosters in all women’s sports since she assumed her position in July 2013, but participation in golf, women’s tennis and women’s combined track and field have decreased since then, according to previous EADA reports. Bassett also said the college has made improvements but will look to improve on its Title IX compliance in the future. “What we have to do is both add participation opportunities for women and implement some roster management,” Bassett said. “We can’t just keep adding women’s sports because, at some point, the quality is going to be hard to maintain, and there’s just a limit. … I would argue that some of the larger sports sponsorships have a diminished level of quality, and we want to maintain a high standard within all of our programs.”


Senior Isabel Johnston runs during the Jannette Bonrouhi-Zakaim Memorial Run on Sept. 4 on campus. Johnston is the captain of the women’s cross-country team after being cut from the team in 2019. Ash Bailot/The Ithacan




thaca College senior Isabel Johnston, captain of the college’s women’s cross-country team, picked up running in her senior year of high school. With minimal experience, she had little to no intention of running at the collegiate level, but when she toured the college, a track meet was occurring at the Athletic and Events Center. She was fascinated by the race, and Erin Dinan, the college’s women’s cross-country head coach, encouraged her to try out for the team in the fall. “I had pretty much no long distance experience under my belt, but I liked the sport a lot,” Johnston said. “I tried out, made the team immediately and fell in love.” Despite finding success on the team, as she began to ramp up the intensity of her workouts and the distances she was running, she found something was physically wrong. “I was starting to notice shortness of breath when I was racing and working out at high intensities,” Johnston said. “I was passing out after races and having a hard time finishing.” Johnston was diagnosed with a laryngeal dysfunction, meaning her vocal cords were blocking her breathing. She continued training before the Fall 2019 season to be ready, using an inhaler and undergoing speech therapy to help loosen her vocal cords, but during tryouts, her breathing problems still impaired her performance, so much so that she was cut from the cross-country team. “Because of her breathing, she was not able to perform at the level that she’s capable of,” Dinan said. “She just didn’t have the capacity to breathe well.” Johnston decided to take the whole year off from running and head to yet another specialist to figure out the cause of her struggles. She was told that she had a deviated septum, which blocks the nostrils from properly releasing and taking in air. She underwent surgery in May 2020. Yet another bump in the road occurred when the team’s cross-country season was canceled for Fall 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Johnston had to wait even longer to put her hard work on display. In her first return to action, Johnston participated in six meets during the Spring 2021 season for the college’s track and field team, placing in the top five in four of the meets. Though she had success during her freshman year, finishing in the top 10 in the 2019 Colgate Invitational, 2019 Cortland Invite and 2019 Stockton Invite,

Johnston felt she rejuvenated her athletic career. “I was a whole new runner,” Johnston said. “I was getting the hang of what felt like a new body. … I went pretty hard with my summer training going into junior year. I was ready to go, just to see what I could do because I had never really known that before. I’d always been limited in some way.” After watching her perform on the track and field team, Dinan said Johnston’s comeback was impressive. “When she came back, I was blown away,” Dinan said. “She knocked off significant times in her performances.” As a testament to her performance and leadership skills, Johnston was voted a captain by her teammates for the 2021 cross-country season. “I’m super grateful and honored that my teammates voted me into this position,” Johnston said. “Especially because I missed out on a lot of time with them, not racing as a sophomore. I think it’s a good position to be in, and it’s going to keep me motivated.” Johnston has placed inside the top five for the team in its first three meets of the season. Coupled with her strong performances, senior runner Paloma De Monte said she believes Johnston’s work ethic and enthusiasm have a positive impact on her teammates as well. “Isabel is the most driven person I know,” De Monte said. “She always has a smile on her face and this contagious energy that lifts everyone around her up. She has this gift to connect with people and, in my opinion, makes everyone on the team feel special, in turn, undoubtedly driving motivation and performance within the team.” De Monte said she believes her teammate’s resiliency can serve as an example to motivate athletes who face adversity. “I think it goes to show that if you really want something you have the ability to get there,” De Monte said. “It’s because of this that Isabel can speak to her experience and help others who are experiencing setbacks. A minor setback sophomore year is setting her up for a major comeback her senior year.” Two years after she was cut from the team, Johnston now is one of its captains. Johnston has had to wait to return longer than she expected, but she still knows that she has something to prove over the course of this season. “It’s an interesting dynamic,” Johnston said. “On one hand, I’m a senior and I’m the captain of a nationally ranked team. But on the other hand, I’ve only raced two collegiate 6Ks and I’m still getting the hang of racing. … I still feel like a newbie.”



Junior Equestrian Club Secretary Sarah Cashton rides Ace the horse Oct. 13 at If Only Farm in Freeville, New York. The equestrian club competed Oct. 16 for the first time since before the pandemic. Ash Bailot/The Ithacan




he Ithaca College equestrian club has returned to its “mane” season after spending last semester away from the riding arena, unable to meet in person and forced to hold team bonding exercises online. The equestrian club is a group that participates in competitive horseback riding at Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) shows. During the fall show season, the club attended six shows and started its season Oct. 16 at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in Rochester, New York. The return of in-person activities for the club is different from last semester, when it was forced to host all its meetings online. The club was unable to ride together or have a guided team practice, and members tried to stay in touch during Spring 2021 but found it difficult to bond as a team online. The participation for its team bonding events was not what members were hoping for. “Participation was definitely a lot more stagnant,” club president senior Lauren vonStetten said. “We tried to do Zoom bondings every month, but there definitely was a lot lower participation for that. Most of the girls on the team just want to ride.”


Part of the participation problems that the club faced with online meetings was due to members feeling overworked from online learning, with them ending up being burned out by the time the team meetings would come around. “I feel like everyone in general just didn’t want

“After a tough last year, we’re happy to start this one on a great note.” -Sonia Alfandre

to be on Zoom for any longer than they had to be,” club secretary junior Sarah Cashton said. “Nobody really wanted to come to our Friday night bonding events that we planned. We tried to have games and different activities, but it was very difficult.” Now that the college has allowed for clubs to

meet in person again, the club has begun to move its focus to its upcoming show schedule. However, the club still has to work around COVID-19 protocols. Despite these hurdles, vonStetten said the club has not had to alter as much in regard to following COVID-19 protocols as other clubs. “We haven’t had to do that much at our barn,” vonStetten said. “It’s basically outside, so we can stay pretty distanced.” Another reason that the club has been able to work around COVID-19 protocols so well is not only because of the barn that it uses but because of how its practices run. “We’re socially distanced by the nature of the sport,” Cashton said. “If we’re within 6 feet of each other while on a horse, we have a bigger problem than COVID. By nature, it’s pretty COVID-safe.” Although the club can work safely while riding at its barn, it still has to work with precautions when the team competes. “We’re not required to wear masks while riding, but otherwise we’ll wear masks at shows,” vice president senior Sonia Alfandre said. “We stay pretty far apart at the barn, and the thing’s open.” Now that the team has returned to



Freshman Taylor Hagquist brushes Jersey the horse Oct. 8. Eleanor Kay/The Ithacan

in-person meetings, it has been able to keep a regular schedule. However, the club still has not been able to do full team practices this semester. This dilemma has less to do with COVID-19 protocols and more to do with the number of people in the club. “We ride at a barn that doesn’t have as many horses as we have riders,” vonStetten said. “Our lessons are smaller, so it’s not like a full team practice. So we usually have three to four girls in a group, and they’ll ride once or twice a week.” The smaller group practices have allowed the team to work with its riders more on their talent level, something that Alfandre said the club appreciated during the fall. “We’re split up based on availability and our level,” Alfandre said. “So Audra [Ravo Putnam], our coach, will assess everyone’s level and try to group us based on that, and so we can just mostly ride with our level and our availability.” For the members of the club, the resumption of a full practice schedule has meant a sizable time commitment not just to practicing but also in taking care of the horses at the barn. “In general, breaking down the time, we have hour-long practices typically,” Cashton said. “And then we get there a half hour before to clean up the horses and get them ready for the lesson, and then we’re there for a half an hour afterwards. … So it’s a pretty big time commitment. It’s a three-hour chunk of time from when we leave campus to the time we get back.”

Senior Lauren vonStetten rides River the horse Oct. 13 at If Only Farm in Freeville. Ana Maniaci McGough/The Ithacan

That time spent at practice for the club has been used to get ready for the fall schedule of shows, which is a return to the club’s normal schedule. Alfandre said the club was able to use the experience it gained during its practices this fall to start its show season. The club had three riders place first overall Oct. 16, with Alfandre, freshman Anna Riley and vonStetten winning a blue ribbon. The club’s performance at the RIT doubleheader tournament over the weekend was good for a fourth place finish, earning the club a white ribbon for the weekend tournament. The weekend provided an opportunity for new members of the club, giving them their first experience of an IHSA show. Riley said that the opportunity to compete in the show was exciting for the new members of the club. “It was a really fun time, and I’m so happy to be part of a team with such a great community,” Riley said. “This weekend was a really great experience as my first IHSA show.” Following the struggles that online meetings and no team practices presented to the club in the spring, the show was a step back to normalcy for the team. Alfandre said the tournament gave the club an opportunity to show what it has been able to do in its return to practice, as well as help to build team character, something it struggled with during the spring. “After a tough last year, we’re happy to start this one on a great note,” Alfandre said. “We’re looking forward to the rest of the season.”

Senior Sonia Alfandre rides Max the horse Oct. 8. Abbey London/The Ithacan




said she was impressed with Swanstrom’s abilities as a coach and was appreciative of the impact he thaca College head coach Dan Swans- had on the program. “I commend him and thank him for trom has left the football program to become the offensive coordinator for the University the professionalism he brought to his approach to coaching and being an educator,” of Pennsylvania. A Jan. 24 announcement from Ithaca College Bassett said. “I think the impact he’s had on stated that Swanstrom’s final day with the team the program in terms of the quality athletes was Jan. 31 and he began his new role Feb. 1. He that he recruited and the exceptional coacis returning to the university he coached for pri- hes he attracted to come and work with or to becoming the Bombers’ 10th head coach in him in the program go to the depths of character and substance that he brought program history. Swanstrom was the quarterbacks coach and to his work.” The statement announced an “immediate narecruiting coordinator for the Quakers from 2014 to 2016. The coach led the Bombers to a 32–11 tional search” for the next football head coach. record and a .744 winning percentage during Assistant Coach Mike Hatcher acted as the inhis four seasons on South Hill. This is the best terim head coach until Michael Toerper was mark in program history, ahead of Jim Butter- hired for the position. Toerper started March field’s .743 winning percentage in 27 years on 1. Hatcher declined an interview request from The Ithacan. the sidelines. Bassett said that Swanstrom notified her that “I can’t put into words how special my time at Ithaca has been,” Swanstrom said in the an- his former team had expressed interest in his nouncement. “I would like to thank the players, return to the University of Pennsylvania in late coaches and fans for the cherished experiences December 2021. She said that Swanstrom was transparent throughout the process, allowing and the meaningful relationships.” Swanstrom did not respond to multiple inter- the college to prepare for his departure. Bassett put together the search committee, which inview requests from The Ithacan. Susan Bassett, associate vice president and cluded alumni, faculty and staff, and started the director of the Office of Intercollegiate Athletics, search process. “We already have a great number of candidates who have applied and others who have reached out,” Bassett said. “So I know that we’re going to have a very deep and talented applicant pool with coaches from Division I, II and III. And in that mix are some Ithaca College graduates, which we welcome.” Despite losing their head coach, junior wide receiver Julien Deumaga said he has not heard talk of players looking to transfer out of the program. “There are definitely not talks [of transferring] in direct relation to Coach [Swanstrom] leaving,” Deumaga said. “Nobody’s jumping ship.” Prior to Swanstrom’s four seasons at the helm, Former football head coach Dan Swanstrom at a home game Sept. 4. Ana Maniaci McGough/The Ithacan the Bombers had just two



head coaches for 50 years. Butterfield manned the sidelines from 1967 to 1993 and Mike Welch led the program from 1994 to 2016. Bassett said the college hired a head coach who it believes is best suited to help the program preserve its tradition of success. “We’re looking for a professional coach, an educator who espouses Bomber values of respect, integrity, sportsmanship and a commitment to academic and athletic achievements,” Bassett said. “And we, of course, want someone with a proven track record of success in college coaching, excellent knowledge of the game, high energy, excellent work ethic and excellent communication skills.” Swanstrom displayed these qualities during his tenure, guiding the Bombers to eight victories in each of his four seasons. The squad also posted a 17–5 Liberty League record with Swanstrom at the helm. Junior quarterback A.J. Wingfield said the team members were sad to see Swanstrom go, but they understood that it was a business decision. “As a team, there are no hard feelings,” Wingfield said. “It’s part of the business, and we understand that. … He taught us everything that he could have taught us. And now that we have that, I mean, we’re the ones on the field. We know that we’re the culture.” Deumaga echoed Wingfield’s praise for their former coach, calling him the smartest coach he has ever played for. He added that, while it was sad for the team members to lose a figure they respected so much, they are ready to look toward the future and prepare for next season, regardless of who the next coach is. “I’m excited for what’s in store for our program, for what our future looks like,” Deumaga said. “It’s going to be weird with a new coach at the head, but I think that we’re talented enough that we’re going to be pretty successful, no matter who’s coaching us.” During the search, Wingfield said that the football team rallied around Hatcher and the interim head coach stepped up to the occasion well. “Coach Hatcher was there at six in the morning [the day after the announcement] and he was the first guy to say anything,” Wingfield said. “He told us, like, ‘Listen, it is what it is. We have got to move forward. It happens. It’s a business, and this isn’t going to change us,’ and he totally took charge. We respect Coach Hatcher just as much as anybody.”


Michael Toerper, the next head coach of the Ithaca College football program, celebrates the football team’s Cortaca Jug win Nov. 16, 2019, at MetLife Stadium. Abbey London/The Ithacan

FORMER IC DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR NAMED THE NEW HEAD COACH OF FOOTBALL PROGRAM Bassett said she and the other members of the selection process were impressed by Toerper’s plans for the future of the team and believe that he is the best choice to guide the program. “Coach Toerper emerged from an exceptionally competitive ichael Toerper has been selected as the next head coach of the Ithanational search as the best next leader for Ithaca College football,” ca College football program. A Feb. 18 announcement from the college stated that Toerper is Bassett said in the announcement. “Through this rigorous search, returning to South Hill as the 11th head coach in the history of the Coach Toerper effectively articulated a vision for the program in all program. He officially started this role March 1. Toerper previously phases, from recruiting, X’s and O’s, and training to academic excellence and our citizenship in the community that earned the unaniserved as the defensive coordinator for the college from 2017 mous confidence of everyone involved in this important to 2019, under former head coach Dan Swanstrom, who anselection process.” nounced his departure from the program Jan. 24. Toerper has spent the past two years as the safeties As the defensive coordinator for the Bombers, coach at the College of the Holy Cross. The Crusaders Toerper helped to lead the team to a 24–9 record “I believe the went 13–4 in his two seasons, allowing under over three seasons and a 27–17 victory against future is so bright 18.5 points per game and intercepting 25 passes, Salisbury University in the Scotty Whitelaw Bowl both the best marks in the Patriot League during in 2017. for this program.” that stretch. “My family and I are excited to return Toerper also spent his collegiate playing career at to the South Hill,” Toerper said in the an-Michael Toerper the University of Pittsburgh, graduating in 2008. He nouncement. “I want to thank Susan Bassett, appeared in 36 games for the Panthers, recording 15 the football alumni review committee and the total tackles as a defensive back. on-campus search committee for their support throughout Bassett said that she is excited to see what Toerper the process.” Toerper’s appointment was announced to the team by Su- will bring to the table and what he will do for the team during san Bassett, associate vice president and director of the Office of his time as coach. She said that she believes that he will have a positive impact on the program, both on and off Intercollegiate Athletics. Toerper said that he is looking forward to the opportuni- the gridiron. “Coach Toerper exudes passion, knowledge of the game and ty to once again coach players that he did during his first stint on leadership qualities and exemplifies Bomber values of commitSouth Hill. “I think I built a strong bond with these players, especially the ones ment, attention to detail, respect and integrity,” Bassett said in that I coached and the people that are here, and I believe that the the statement. “I have every confidence that he will build on future is so bright for this program,” Toerper said. “Obviously my time the success of our student-athletes on the playing field, in the here before really just fueled my excitement for the op- classroom and as community members. I am thrilled to welportunity. And that’s really because of the people here come Michael and his wife, Leigh (Martino) ’15, back to South Hill.” at Ithaca.”






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Articles inside

Football Head Coach Leaves

page 146

New Football Head Coach

pages 147-151

Women’s Cross Country Captain 144–145 Equestrian Club

pages 143-145

Gender Equity Gap

page 142

Club Sports

page 140

Editorial: Limited Club Sports Funding

page 141

Basketball Guard 1,000 Career Points

page 136

Sprinter Breaks 60-Meter Dash Record

page 135

Football Kicker Travels Country

page 134


page 133

Editorial: 63rd Cortaca Jug Sparks Concerns

page 131

IC Athletes Attend NCAA Convention

page 132


page 116

Cortaca Jug 2022 Venue

page 130

Tick, Tick ... Boom

page 115


page 114

Super Hearts Day Nerf Event 104–105 State and National Parks

pages 103-107


page 113

Editorial: Cons of NFTs

page 111

NFT Trend

page 110

The Milkstand

pages 108-109

Campus Hip-Hop Culture

page 102


page 96

School of Music Mental Health Group 98–99 Via’s Cookies

pages 97-101

Pellet Gun Shootings

pages 91-95

Shots-Fired Incident

page 89

Pandemic Budget Cuts 86–91 SAFETY

pages 85-86

Spring Semester Reopening

page 84

Two Swastikas Discovered

page 87

Testing Options

page 83

Surveillance Testing

page 82

Editorial: Mask Mandate Removal

page 81

Indoor Mask Mandate Dropped

page 80

Quarantine Regulations

page 79

Booster Shots

page 78

Synagogue Hostage Crisis Response

page 72

In-Person Fall Classes

page 77

Afghan Refugees

pages 73-76

Reproductive Rights Rally 68–69 Ithaca Decarbonization Plan

pages 67-71

Trader K’s Closing

page 66

Acting Mayor Laura Lewis

page 65


page 64

Day of Learning: Grappling with Antisemitism

pages 61-62

Mayor Svante Myrick Resigns

page 63

Campus Climate Initiative

page 60

Commentary: College Fails Students of Color

page 59


page 57

Health Support & Services

page 58

Mouse Sightings

page 56

Commentary: Free Public Transportation

page 55


page 54

Center for IDEAS Director

pages 48-50

Zine Addresses Rape Culture

page 52

Student Veteran Support

page 51

Presidential Search

page 44

President La Jerne Cornish

page 46

AAUP Calls for Transparency

page 45

Reaction to 10th President

page 47

Dean Searches

pages 41-43

Editorial: Music Theater School Merger

page 35

Alumni Donations

page 31

Opera Director Program

page 33

Commentary: Course Registration

pages 37-40

Tuition Increase

page 36

Sakai to Canvas

page 32

August & September

page 11

Academic Program Prioritization Phase Two

page 34
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