Year In Review 2016-2017

Page 1

year in REVIEW

ITHACA COLLEGE 2016–17


year in A SPECIAL PUBLICATION OF THE ITHACAN


review ITHACA COLLEGE 2016-17


year in review Ramya Vijayagopal | Editor Alison Teadore | Designer Hayley Tarleton| Assistant Designer Tommy Battistelli | Photo Editor Ben Gaynor | Proofreader Special thanks: To Michael Serino for his guidance To Alison Teadore for designing this publication from across the country To Tribune News Service for photos and The Associated Press for content To Peter Kilcoyne and Glen Harris for publication assistance

Kayla Dwyer | Editor in Chief Mary Ford | Managing Editor Celisa Calacal| Opinion Editor Aidan Quigley | News Editor Grace Elletson | News Editor Sophia Adamucci| Assistant News Editor Kyle Arnold| Assistant News Editor Sophie Johnson| Assistant News Editor Natalie Shanklin | News Layout Editor Sophia Tulp | News Layout Editor Taylor Zambrano | Life & Culture Editor Kate Nalepinski | Life & Culture Editor Jake Leary| Assistant Life & Culture Editor Danielle Allentuck | Sports Editor Caitie Ihrig | Sports Editor Lauren Murray | Assistant Sports Editor Samantha Cavalli | Assistant Sports Editor Fernando Ferraz | Photo Manager Sam Fuller| Photo Editor Jade Cardichon| Assistant Photo Editor

Connor Lange | Assistant Photo Editor Luke Harbur | Multimedia Editor Kendyl Bennett | Multimedia Editor Jacob Sullivan| Assistant Multimedia Editor Connor Duffy | Assistant Multimedia Editor Matt Maloney| Assistant Multimedia Editor Ben Gaynor | Proofreader Tyler Obropta| Proofreader Devon Tyler | Assistant Proofreader Becky Mehorter| Chief Copy Editor Alison Teadore | Design Editor Hayley Tarleton| Design Editor Marisa Ellis | Assistant Design Editor Maura Aleardi | Community Engagement Manager Gabi Lacen | Community Engagement Manager Amanda Ling| Sales Manager Matt Hirsch | Sales Manager Evan Sobkowicz | Web Director Peter Champelli | Assistant Web Director Michael Serino| Ithacan Adviser

Š 2016–17 | The Ithacan


TABLE OF CONTENTS |3

NEWS 8| World News Timeline 26| President Tom Rochon 28| Incoming President Shirley Collado 32| Contingent Faculty 36| U.S. Presidential Election 43| Women’s March 44| Refugee Crisis 46| Dakota Access Pipeline 48| Sanctuary Campus 50| Student Lounge 51| Commons Construction 52| Q&A: Raza Rumi 53| Q&A: Jessica Dunning-Lonzano 54| In Memoriam: Anthony Nazaire 56| Public Safety 57| Cornell Violence and Police Presence 58| Student Government 60| CAPS Wait Times 61| Tuition Increase 62| Honors Director 63| French Faculty Instability 64| Student Diversity 66| Faculty Diversity 68| Working-Condition Concerns 70| Silo Mentality 73| Profile: Kevin Doubleday 74| Park Tank 75| Rev: Ithaca 76| Sustainability


4| TABLE OF CONTENTS

LIFE & CULTURE

80| “Moonlight” 82| Profile: Nicole Marino 83| Rod Serling Award 84| Wizarding Weekend 86| Humans of IC 88| Applefest 90| Profile: Joel Almand 94| Chilifest 96| Sinfonia Ball 98| Senior Showcase Films 99| Women Empowerment Clubs 100| “for colored girls” 102| “Rocky Horror” 104| Singing for Justice 105| Storyboard P 106| Escape Room 107| Ghostlight Project 108| HiFashion Studios 110| Black History Month Concert 112| Ithaca Underground 113| Handwerker Gallery 114| Local Theater 116| Local Music Projects 118| Music and Movie Reviews


TABLE OF CONTENTS |5

SPORTS

124| Mike Welch 127| New Football Coach 128| Profile: Sarah Garvey 130| Basketball 132| Swimming and Diving 134| Wrestling 135| Gymnastics 136| Cross-Country 137| Track 138| Soccer 140| Tennis 141| Field Hockey 142| Golf / Volleyball 143| Profile: Emily Morley 144| Cortaca 146| Profile: Pearl Outlaw


6|FROM THE EDITORS

From the |BY KAYLA DWYER

I

n the beginning of this academic year, the college was in a state of utter disarray. We saw a breakdown of institutional leadership with both the president and the provost having announced their resignations and the college’s long-term strategic vision, IC 20/20, being terminated. We had lost sight of a clear sense of Ithaca College’s identity. It was not yet September, and the campus was shaken by the murder of one of our own, sophomore Anthony Nazaire. Adding to the madness and confusion were ongoing negotiations between contingent faculty unions and the administration as well as repeated delays in the search for a new president. Hope for a resolution, and for a new leader, was pushed off time and time again. This weighed down the hearts of a vocal few, but more likely resulted in apathy among a silent many. But what rose from the ashes was a labor movement that began to shift power into the hands of constituents, as well as a new leader who has shown this campus great promise and a hope for change. The work will never be over, and the other problems plaguing higher education that we haven’t spent much time this year talking about — soaring costs and unequal access, sexism and racism — seem insurmountable. The agreement reached between contingent faculty and the administration — less than 48 hours before a planned strike — only grants a portion of what the contingent faculty originally wanted, and Shirley Collado has not yet assumed her role as president. But this year has shown us that all is not lost. We can go from an interminable negotiation process to a starting agreement. We can transition from a president who was called out for his inaction on racial issues to a woman of color and first-generation college graduate who has a proven track record of engagement with diversity issues. We might not have seen it in the beginning of this hectic year, which lacked any sense of direction, but we can see it now: the fact that systems can change, power dynamics can shift and knowledge can be upended, but only with an input of energy, effort and some hope.

Kayla Dwyer

Editor in Chief, The Ithacan


EDITORS |BY RAMYA VIJAYAGOPAL

T

his book was an attempt to capture the essence of the academic year — the turmoil, transitions, devastation and hope alike. There were massive changes on a global, national and local level that impacted every one of us in some way. From the hotly contested U.S. presidential election, to the economic and general uncertainty brought up by the Brexit vote, the political world has been a whirlwind of confusion and change. On a social level, hate crimes have risen, and people have become more daring with their prejudices, targeting black and brown bodies as well as Jewish cemeteries. The new leader of our country, who has given satirical shows plenty of content with his antics and Twitter rants, sent over 50 missiles to Syria in April 2017. Nationally, the social climate has changed in a way that has caused even more people to fear for their safety and futures. As a daughter of immigrants, I know firsthand how toxic it can be to be constantly othered by your community. The rise in ignorance and the deteriorating quality of education in this country have helped lead us to this point. The rising wealth gap leaves some people with access to a quality education where they can learn and grow, while others are left to fend for themselves in broken schools, in towns with limited economic prospects, consuming biased media. Others do have money and education but still choose not to jeopardize their spots on the totem pole — after all, 61 percent of white women with no college degree and 44 percent of white women with a college degree voted for Donald Trump in November’s election, according to the 2016 election exit polls. However, there is also hope in this destruction. People are finally getting involved in the political scene and in activism. I used to think there was no way we could regress as a nation to being in danger of losing rights we had already fought so hard to gain. We cannot sit back and hope that everything will sort itself out. We must use our privilege as constituents who have access to our lawmakers. As members of a democracy and a supposedly free nation, we owe it to our brothers and sisters at home and abroad to fight for a more equitable future.

Ramya Vijayagopal

Editor, Year in Review

FROM THE EDITORS |7


8| NEWS

RELATED IC alumna Emily Morley competed in the Rio Olympics. See page 143.

AUGUST U.S. swimmer Maya Dirado on the stand after receiving her gold medal in the 200-meter backstroke Aug. 12, 2016.

MARK REIS/COLORADO SPRINGS GAZETTE/TNS


NEWS |9

2016 RIO OLYMPICS NATIONAL The 2016 Olympic Games were held in Rio de Janeiro. Athletes from around the world gathered in Rio to showcase their abilities with hopes of winning a gold medal while representing their countries. Highlights from the games included the accolades of the U.S. women’s gymnastics team as well as Ryan Lochte’s public scandal. The United States athlete misled officials and media outlets to believe he and others were robbed at gunpoint, but later admitted they had vandalized a bathroom and were ordered to pay damages. Lochte was penalized for his dishonesty; he was suspended and ordered to give up $100,000 in bonus money that accompanied his gold medal at the Olympics. Other highlights of the game: South African runner Wayde Van Niekerk broke the world record in the men’s 400-meter dash. U.S. swimmer Katie Ledecky won four gold medals in Rio. SOURCE: OLYMPIC.ORG

COLLEGE & CITY Severe drought in Ithaca Tompkins County faced its worst drought since monitoring began in 2000. Ithaca College announced it would begin conservation efforts in July 2016, but the drought persisted through the end of August 2016.

Student dies in stabbing Around 1:57 a.m. Aug. 28, officers from the Ithaca Police Department and the Cornell University Police Department responded to “a large fight,” according to the IPD release. After first responders provided medical aid at the scene, Ithaca College student Anthony Nazaire was transported to Cayuga Medical Center and was later pronounced dead. Pages 54–55 of this publication detail the life of Nazaire.

County stalls jail expansion

The New York State Commission of Corrections decided not to revoke a variance that has been in place in Tompkins County since 2009 that allowed the county to double-bunk inmates in 18 cells. If they had revoked this variance, the county would have had to expand the jail or board out 18 inmates, which would have cost the county about $558,000, according to official briefings.

Ithaca College updates alcohol policy Ithaca College approved changes to its alcohol policy, which were proposed in Spring 2016 by the Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention Team. The following two amendments have been made to the policy in the Residential Life Rules and Regulations for the 2016–17 academic year: 1. Persons who are under the age of 21 may not possess empty alcohol containers, including, but not limited to, beer bottles and cans, wine bottles and boxes, and liquor bottles. 2. The following are prohibited in residence halls and apartments for all persons, regardless of age: high-risk drinking paraphernalia, including, but not limited to, beer-pong tables, beer bongs and funnels, and all drinking games, with or without alcohol. The Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention Team said it believes allowing students to possess these items sends an unclear message to the campus community.


10| NEWS

SEPTEMBER Democrat Hillary Clinton greets the audience after attending the first presidential debate on Sept. 26, 2016 at Hofstra University.

QIN LANG/ZINHUA/SIPA USA/TNS


NEWS |11

FIRST PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE

NATIONAL

The first U.S. presidential debate took place Sept. 21, 2016, between candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. The leaders discussed issues such as immigration, tax plans, the war on Iraq, militant terrorism, nuclear deals, the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, climate change and much more. Public opinion was fairly divided on who won the debate, but The Associated Press reported both candidates had been untruthful about certain topics. Trump refused to release his tax returns or admit his disbelief in climate change.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 recalled after explosions

Zuckerberg offers $3 billion to cure disease

Pope Francis canonizes Mother Teresa

COLLEGE & CITY Simeon’s restaurant reopens after two years’ construction

Black Students United joins protests

The intersection of North Aurora Street and East State Street at the head of The Commons was cleared of construction for the first time in over two years, marking the reopening of the corner restaurant: Simeon’s American Bistro. The restaurant had its soft opening Aug. 23 and officially opened Sept. 29, 2016.

At least 100 people turned out for a march organized by the Cornell Black Student Union across the Cornell University campus Sept. 23, 2016.

Summer Concert Series Hip hop musician Talib Kweli played Sept. 3, 2016, at the Bernie Milton Pavilion on The Commons. The free community concert was part of the CFCU Summer Concert Series and featured talent support from Green Star Natural Foods Co-Op and the Cornell Hip Hop Collection.

The group started planning the march in Summer 2016. The motives aligned with the visions of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, in that the march was in response to recent killings of black men by police and authorities. This march came directly after unarmed black man Terence Crutcher was shot by police in Tulsa. Activists across the country have held rallies and vigils to protest police brutality. Students chanted slogans such as “black lives matter,” “no justice, no peace” and “they say get back, we say fight back.”


12| NEWS

OCTOBER Jimmy Mondesir, left, worships at L’Elise de Dieu in Morne la Source, Haiti, Oct. 9, 2016. The church lost its roof in Hurricane Matthew.

PATRICK FARRELL/MIAMI HERALD/TNS


NEWS |13

HURRICANE MATTHEW

NATIONAL

The Associated Press reported Hurricane Matthew caused massive inland flooding in North Carolina and killed 28 people. Following the widespread destruction, Gov. Roy Cooper asked Congress for nearly $1 billion in aid. Federal researchers said Hurricane Matthew was the 10th most destructive cyclone in history.

Struggle over Dakota Access Pipeline continues The Associated Press reported protesters prayed together at the Standing Rock reservation following two days of confrontation with law enforcement. The protesters created a barricade made out of old construction vehicles to separate themselves from law enforcement and prayed for unity Oct. 29, 2016.

COLLEGE & CITY Cornell and Ithaca sued

Cornellians honored

The City of Ithaca and Cornell University were sued over a Cornell Ph.D. student’s death on a gorge trail in 2012. The family of Alan Young-Bryant said Ithaca was negligent in not maintaining the gorge trail and not providing adequate lighting or warning signs.

Two Cornell Ph.D. graduates were awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in chemistry along with one other student for their work in optical microscopy. Eric Betzig and William Moerner earned their Ph.D. degrees from Cornell in 1988 and 1982, respectively.

Young-Bryant fell to his death in an 80-foot drop at the Cascadilla Gorge Trail when visiting Ithaca, authorities said. Records showed that Young-Bryant had been drinking heavily previously that night and his autopsy showed he had amphetamines in his system. The lawsuit was ongoing as of April 2017.

Ithaca Police: Stewart Ave. stabbing suspect turns himself in On Oct. 6, 2016, Khaliq Gale, the suspect in a stabbing that occurred Sept. 28, 2016, on Stewart Avenue, turned himself in at the Ithaca Police Department.

Wings Over Ithaca owner charged with grand larceny The owner of local staple Wings Over Ithaca allegedly owes the state of New York over $220,000 in sales tax, according to a news release from the state’s Department of Taxation and Finance. Following the closing of the restaurant, an online petition requesting the reopening of the restaurant with new ownership circulated and the store reopened in Spring 2017 in Collegetown.


14| NEWS

NOVEMBER Protesters burn trash in Washington, D.C.’s business district in response to President Trump’s inauguration Jan. 20, 2017.

KEN CEDENO/MCCLATCHY/TNS


NEWS |15

TRUMP WINS ELECTION NATIONAL Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election against Hillary Clinton. Although Clinton won the popular vote by over 3,000,000 votes, Trump secured the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win. Clinton ended up with 232 electoral votes, while Trump earned 306 votes. The “flip” states that were focused on the most by analysts included Iowa, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Florida. All of these states went to Trump.

Ohio State terror attack

An Ohio State University student carried out a knife attack Nov. 28, 2016. Eleven people were attacked and hospitalized before the assailant was killed by police.

Cubs win World Series

One hundred and eight years after their last historic victory, the Chicago Cubs won the World Series on Nov. 3, 2016, over the Cleveland Indians.

COLLEGE & CITY Trump protest in Ithaca One week after Donald Trump was elected president of the United States, students at Ithaca College joined a growing list of student communities that have signed petitions and staged demonstrations, calling on their institutions to declare themselves “sanctuary campuses” and pledge to limit their cooperation with federal immigration enforcement. At 3 p.m. Nov. 16, 2016, about 100 campus community members walked out of classes and gathered at the Free Speech Rock to support the “sanctuary campus” movement, a push for college campuses to protect and support undocumented immigrants. Sophomores Hannah Titlebaum and Sunce Franicevic and senior Sara del Aguila organized the “IC Not My President Walkout.” Titlebaum said they wanted to channel their anger and sadness over the election into action.

On Nov. 16, 2016, 100 people walked out of their classes at Ithaca College to support the “sanctuary campus” movement at the Free Speech Rock. JADE CARDICHON/THE ITHACAN

With this rally, the college became one of 80 campuses nationwide to stage demonstrations in support of the movement during a “day of action” created by the organization Movimiento Cosecha, which fights for the protection of immigrants, Franicevic said. Read more on this issue on pages 40–41.


16| NEWS

DECEMBER Debbie Reynolds with her daughter, Carrie Fisher, smiles as she leaves the house Sept. 9, 1958.

LOS ANGELES TIMES/TNS


NEWS |17

CARRIE FISHER AND DEBBIE REYNOLDS DIE

NATIONAL

Actresses Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, who were daughter and mother, died suddenly only one day apart. Fisher died first, Dec. 27, 2016, at the age of 60 after suffering a heart attack on an international flight the previous week. Reynolds died Dec. 28 at the age of 84 from a stroke. Reynolds was well-known for her role in “Singin’ in the Rain,” and Fisher played Princess Leia in the “Star Wars” movie franchise. The women had part of their ashes buried together in Los Angeles Forest Memorial Park and were honored during a segment of the Golden Globe Awards. Fisher was also known for being a mental-health advocate, specifically in regards to being open about her own struggles with bipolar disorder.

Oakland warehouse fire

Charleston conviction

The LA Times reported that 36 people had died of smoke inhalation after a warehouse fire broke out in a historic part of Oakland. The fire took place Dec. 2, 2016, during a concert and scores of people were unable to leave. The historic warehouse, known as the Ghost Ship, had an interior layout such that it was not easy for patrons of the concert to escape quickly. Victims ranged in age from 17 to 61.

Dylann Roof was convicted Dec. 16, 2016, of all 33 charges after confessing to shooting and killing nine people at a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina, in June 2015. CNN reported that Roof used 70 rounds of ammunition. Roof later pleaded guilty in state court and avoided a second death penalty trial.

COLLEGE & CITY IC gains solar power

The solar electric project, a solar farm that Ithaca College said will cover 10 percent of the college’s energy needs, is officially operational and producing energy as of Dec. 22, 2016. Construction began on the array in December 2015 and was initially expected to be completed by summer 2016. The array is nearly 40 miles from campus in the Town of Seneca and includes 9,000 solar panels. It cost $6.4 million to construct, all of which was funded through grants from New York state Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s $1 billion New York Sun Initiative and a grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

The solar array is nearly 40 miles from the college’s campus in the Town of Seneca. The college purchases all of the energy produced, and the array went live Nov. 8. COURTESY OF ITHACA COLLEGE


18| NEWS

JANUARY Protestors against the travel ban gather at LAX Feb. 4, 2017. LUIS SINCO/LOS ANGELES TIMES/TNS


NEWS |19

TRUMP’S TRAVEL BAN NATIONAL President Trump signed an executive order on Jan. 27, 2017, temporarily halting travel from nations he said were deemed a risk to national security. However, analysts at the Homeland Security Department did not find enough evidence to support the claim that citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries included in the ban would pose a terror threat to the United States. Airports across the world were in turmoil before the ban was blocked by a federal court, as flights had to be cancelled and many passengers were stranded and unable to reach their destinations.

Ice storm kills six people A winter weather alert was initiated for a large part of the central United States as an ice storm hit Jan. 16, 2017. Thousands of people lost power in their homes and at least six deaths were reported. The storm also damaged roads and caused hundreds of cancellations and delays at airports. Road crews worked overtime to clear the roads of ice and snow, but highways were still critically impacted, causing many accidents and many drivers to lose control of their vehicles. The storm started in South Plains, Texas and made its way up through Oklahoma to the Midwestern region of the country, bringing millions of people to a standstill as they found themselves unable to travel.

Florida road workers die during project completion The Associated Press reported authorities are investigating the deaths of three men who collapsed underground at a Florida Keys road project. Monroe County spokeswoman Cammy Clark says one worker for the county’s contractor went down a drainage pipe Jan. 16 to investigate why a newly paved Key Largo road was settling nearby. Clark says the worker got trapped. Three other workers, a firefighter and two deputies, tried to help him. Sheriff spokesperson Becky Herrin says three workers and the firefighter “collapsed for unknown reasons.”

COLLEGE & CITY IC students cover inauguration

James Rada, associate professor in the Department of Journalism, and Anthony Adornato, assistant professor in the Department of Journalism, presented 10 students with the opportunity to work as freelance journalists with PBS for its inauguration coverage through tweeting, live-blogging and video production.

READ ON For more on this story, see page 42.

The college had worked with PBS four years ago to cover the 50th anniversary March on Washington. Students who went to D.C. November 2016 included senior Erin McClory and juniors Tom Garris and Ahana Dave.

Ithaca College students react to Donald Trump’s winning the 2016 presidential election in IC Square on campus.

FERNANDO FERRAZ/THE ITHACAN


20| NEWS

FEBRUARY Fans react during overtime of Super Bowl LI on Feb. 5, 2017. ANTHONY BEHAR/SIPA USA/TNS


NEWS |21

PATRIOTS WIN SUPER BOWL

NATIONAL

The 2016 Super Bowl was the first ever to be decided in overtime. The New England Patriots won the game 34–28 over the Atlanta Falcons after a rocky start. At the beginning of the game, the Patriots were down 25 points against the Falcons, with a score of 28–3 in the third quarter. This was the Patriots’ fifth Super Bowl win. The team scored 19 points in the fourth quarter. The winning touchdown was scored by James White. Other highlights of the day included Lady Gaga’s performance during the halftime show, in which she sang patriotic songs like “This Land Is Your Land” mixed in with her own songs, including “Born This Way” and others.

UConn women win

COLLEGE & CITY

The University of Connecticut women’s basketball team made history by winning 100 games in a row. As of April 2017, the team had not lost since November 2014. The team’s 100th win was against South Carolina, with a score of 66–55.

Shirley Collado The ninth president of Ithaca College, Shirley Collado, spent her first day on campus Feb. 22, 2017, to speak about her goals for the future. Collado said her vision was one of inclusivity, and she traveled the campus, meeting faculty, students and staff. Collado will assume her new role July 1, when President Tom Rochon will leave the position. Rochon has served as president for nine years and announced his resignation Jan. 14, 2016. His tenure at the college was marked by protests surrounding a short-lived policy restricting student media access to the administration and a campuswide no confidence movement. Collado will come to the college from Rutgers University’s Newark Campus. Read more about this story on page 29.

Shirley Collado, current executive vice chancellor and chief operating officer at Rutgers University–Newark, begins her role as the ninth president of Ithaca College on July 1, 2017.

CONNOR LANGE/THE ITHACAN


22| NEWS

MARCH Ithaca College London Center students have been reported safe following an attack outside of British Parliament in London March 22.

EVAN SOBKOWICZ/THE ITHACAN


NEWS |23

LONDON ATTACK

NATIONAL

Authorities stated three people were killed March 22 in London. A man hit pedestrians on Westminster Bridge with his vehicle and stabbed a police officer outside the Parliament building before being shot dead. Three police officers were among the pedestrians hit on the bridge, and the suspect rammed the car into railings outside the Parliament building before trying to force entry into it. Once the suspect was killed, the total death count rose to four. The authorities declared the assault a terrorist incident.

Obamacare replacement proposed and rejected House Republicans proposed their idea for a new health care plan to replace the Affordable Care Act. The new new system would use tax credits to encourage people to buy insurance on the free market. Republicans tried to repeal and replace the ACA, but the efforts were unsuccessful. Still, President Donald Trump said the fight will continue and suggested that if Congress does not cooperate, he would sit back and “let Obamacare explode,” according to a statement he made to the press. Despite the fact that the ACA was not repealed in March, the controversy did cause uncertainty among insurance companies and in people who wondered about losing coverage.

COLLEGE & CITY Faculty union reaches agreement Despite the fog rolling over Ithaca College’s campus March 28, students, faculty and staff gathered at the Free Speech Rock to celebrate the contract the contingent faculty unions and administration settled on after months of bargaining. Members of the contingent faculty unions, as well as members of the college’s community that helped support them through the bargaining process, spoke to a crowd of about 30 students, faculty and staff about the struggles they faced while negotiating their contract. The contingent faculty unions entered bargaining sessions with the goals of job security and higher compensation, which they reached. They settled on a 24 percent raise over four years and eligibility for twoyear contracts for part-time contingent faculty members if they have worked at the college for over three years. Full-time contingent faculty members who have worked at the college for three years are eligible for two-year contracts, and those who have worked at the college for five years are eligible for three-year contracts. Read more about this issue on pages 32–35.

John Burger, lecturer at Ithaca College, speaks at a news conference on behalf of the contingent faculty. SAM FULLER/THE ITHACAN


24| NEWS

APRIL President Donald Trump shakes hands with Neil Gorsuch before a swearing in ceremony for the Supreme Court April 10, 2017.

OLIVIER DOULIERY/ABACA PRESS/TNS


NEWS |25

OVER FIFTY KILLED IN SYRIA

NATIONAL

A chemical bombing attack killed more than 50 people in Syria on April 4 in a rebel-held area in the north of the nation. This was one of the worst chemical attacks in the history of Syria. The government denied having anything to do with the attacks. Assad’s government has denied responsibility every time chemical munitions have been used in Syria, but according to The New York Times, American intelligence agencies concluded that a large chemical attack that took place four years ago had been conducted by Assad’s forces. Many world leaders called for an end to these war crimes, and the international outrage became a media spectacle. Donald Trump and other Western leaders called on Russia and Iran, patrons of Syria, to prevent and discourage a recurrance of such crimes.

Democrats on tour

COLLEGE & CITY

U.S. Democratic leaders, including DNC Chairman Tom Perez, Sen. Bernie Sanders and others, planned to visit various U.S. states the week of April 17 in an effort to increase grassroots activism across the nation. The tour would include Kentucky, Arizona, Florida, Montana and Maine.

Violence in Ithaca A man was shot early April 9 on The Ithaca Commons, police confirmed. At around 1:20 a.m., police responded to a call that shots had been fired and found a male victim in front of Silky Jones, a bar located on The Commons, according to a news release issued by the Ithaca Police Department. The victim was in serious but stable condition as of April 10. The name of the suspect is Yakez Cornett, said Jamie Williamson, public information officer at the Ithaca Police Department. Cornett is in custody and has been charged with attempted murder, assault in the second degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree.

Carla Golden, professor and coordinator of the women’s and gender studies program, speaks April 7 at a rally at the Free Speech Rock on campus to show support for Planned Parenthood.

MAXINE HANSFORD/THE ITHACAN


26| NEWS

A CLOUDED LEGACY

President Tom Rochon meets with the Student Governance Council on Sept. 19, 2016. TEDDY ZERIVITZ/THE ITHACAN


NEWS |27

EDITORIAL|The Ithacan reflects on Tom Rochon’s nine years as president of Ithaca College and the various aspects of his administration that led to the loss of a communal identity

C

oming on the heels of the Great Recession, the Ithaca experience. One example of this is the implementation of the College Board of Trustees needed a businessman to IC 20/20 program, the defining vision for the college and for make hard decisions and keep the college financially sta- his tenure, which inspired almost no campus involvement and is ble. It certainly got that in President Tom Rochon nine years now obsolete. His top-down administrative style gave almost no ago. Upon reflection, most point to his having kept tuition voice to faculty, staff or students, fueling the frustration many increases to historic lows as a positive highlight of Rochon’s feel today. tenure. But at what cost? The answer to this question comprises The Blue Sky Reimagining Initiative, though touted as a the general outlook on the college’s eighth president: business blank slate for the college’s future, is merely a blip on the radar. first, people second. And the main vision attributed to Rochon’s legacy, IC 20/20, It must be acknowledged that under Rochon’s administra- fell off the radar, though it had some lasting impressions. Most tion, the rise in tuition price came under a significant degree notably, the Honors Program has extended to an all-college of control. The percentage increase in cost of attendance has program but has dealt with issues of lack of administrative flattened or decreased since his first year in office from 4.8 support, as has the Office of Civic Engagement. Students and percent to 2.4 percent. From year to year, this percentage has faculty remain concerned about the effectiveness of the decreased steadily since the 2011–12 academic year. The cur- Integrative Core Curriculum, now in its fourth year. The rent 2.4 percent figure is the lowest increase in 70 years, the First-Year Residential Experience is taking place in onadministration stated, as it has pointed out each of these years. campus housing but has suffered from low attendance. Diversity But another aspect of running an efficient business is damage initiatives have also been rolled out since the creation of IC control and prevention, which resulted, for Rochon, in trans- 20/20, including a satellite office for the Office of Public Safety parency issues and policies that involved and Emergency Management and diverlittle collaboration or evidence of consity trainings for faculty, staff and alumni sultation. At a college that prides itself volunteers, but those only came after ma“IT SEEMS ONLY FAIR TO on the achievements and independence jor campus protests erupted in Fall 2015. of its student media, anyone could have Those protests were the result ALLOW THE NEW warned him that instituting a media policy of Rochon’s refusal to listen to the in 2012 requiring student journalists to PRESIDENT TO ... START concerns of students of color. Real filter interview requests through one perprogress on diversity issues, especially A NEW STRATEGIC son would receive blowback. He repealed since the protests, has been scarce, and PLANNING PROCESS.” whatever progress will be made would this policy a month later. At a college that is predominantly probably be made in spite of him, not —TOM ROCHON ON IC 20/20 white, delaying the results of a campuswith or because of him. In fact, Roclimate survey would of course indicate chon’s inability to meaningfully address that these results did not reflect well on the college’s diversity and understand the concerns of students of color only exacand inclusion efforts. erbated these problems and presented yet another barrier to At a college where budget cuts and a business atmosphere progress. A number of the college’s diversity and inclusion inihave instilled fear among staff in terms of job security, it was tiatives Rochon boasted so highly about come off as all talk and convenient to quit participating in the Chronicle of Higher Ed- no action. ucation’s Great Colleges to Work For survey after one year, Rochon’s legacy may always be defined by the campuswide since it didn’t make the list, rather than work on these issues protests of Fall 2015, which called him by name. Those comand look to the outside survey to measure progress. munity members who have been at the college longer than At the All-College Meeting on Jan. 19, 2017, Rochon repeat- four years will think of frustrations that had been building for edly discussed the importance of unity and remembering the much longer. As an institution, during his tenure, we’ve fought college’s values. Collaboration, he said, is necessary to move against swelling higher education expenditures to some degree, forward. Yet his leadership style promoted an environment that but at the cost of a communal identity and sense of confidence lacked collaboration and ultimately hurt the student learning in a vision for the future.


28| NEWS

A PROMISING FUTURE

The ninth president of Ithaca College, Shirley Collado, tours the campus Feb. 22, 2017. SAM FULLER/THE ITHACAN


NEWS |29

Ithaca College selects Shirley M. Collado, of Rutgers University, as the college’s first woman of color president, replacing Tom Rochon, who resigned after tempestuous protests on campus |BY KAYLA DWYER

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hirley M. Collado, Ithaca College’s newly appointed ninth Foundation, said she has known Collado since Collado was a president, set the tone for her administration by spending teenager in high school. Bial said Collado was already a powerher first full day at the college, Feb. 22, 2017, articulating house leader by the time she was 16 years old. Bial also worked her vision for inclusivity, sharing her personal story and connect- with Collado for several years when Collado served in the execuing with students, faculty and staff across campus. tive leadership for The Posse Foundation. Tom Grape ’80, chair of the Ithaca College Board of Trust“As an alumna of the program, she represents the core valees, announced that morning in the Emerson Suites that the ues, the mission of Posse,” Bial said. “She is deeply dedicated Presidential Search Committee had selected Collado, executive to equity in education. She cares about diversity in a way that’s vice chancellor and chief operating officer at Rutgers Universi- not superficial.” ty–Newark, to succeed current president Tom Rochon, who has Inclusive access to higher education is a concept that Collado served in the role for nine years. She will officially take office July told campus community members she is particularly passion1, when Rochon is slated to step down. ate about. She also described her leadership style in a way that Throughout her interactions with the community, Collado reflects this focus and said shared governance had been a focal — a first-generation college student who grew up in Brooklyn, point of her previous work. New York — emphasized inclusive leadership, access to higher “I believe in being authentic, being a visionary, being education, meaningful residential experiences and a transparent courageous, being real,” she said. “My leadership style is actioncommunity as some of her priorities coming into the position. oriented; it’s inclusive.” “As a leader in higher education that has worked across pubShe said she sees the college’s long-term issues with diversity lic and private, large and small sectors of the academy and in and inclusion as both challenges and opportunities to push the national nonprofit organizations, I have to college forward. tell you honestly, I thought really carefully “My hope is that ... we’re going to be about the kind of institution that I would pushing the boundaries and setting the na“WE’RE GOING TO BE ... tional model on what a campus should look lead as a president,” Collado said in her first remarks to the campus community. SETTING THE NATIONAL like — and not just look like physically, but “Ithaca College’s opportunities and chalrepresentatively, and what happens on the MODEL ON WHAT A lenges, culture and history, strengths and ground so that we all have a stake in this needs, align so closely to my core values place,” she said. CAMPUS SHOULD and my strengths and talents as a leader.” Collado introduced herself to the camLOOK LIKE.” Collado has held executive leadership pus community in a more personal fashion roles at numerous public and private inthrough two open sessions, held at 11 — SHIRLEY M. COLLADO a.m. and at noon Feb. 22, 2017, in the stitutions over the past 16 years. She was also previously the executive vice presiEmerson Suites. dent of The Posse Foundation, a nonprofit college access orgaSome students said a woman of color and a first-generation nization for students from public high schools and multicultural college student is exactly the kind of person they would like for backgrounds. A daughter of immigrants from the Dominican Re- a college president. public, Collado was part of The Posse Foundation’s first cohort. “She comes from a background that speaks to so many of us In her position at Rutgers, which she has held since January who don’t have a voice at the college,” sophomore Dominique 2015, Collado oversaw academic and student affairs as well as de Lisle said. the university’s strategic plan. She also led the development of She said that because the college is a “PWI” — a predomithe Honors Living-Learning Community at Rutgers-Newark, a nantly white institution — having a president of color will help residential community focused on college access for students represent students who can identify with her. from a variety of backgrounds. Collado earned her doctoral “She’s not just a person of color, but she’s also presidential degree in clinical psychology, specializing in trauma among mul- material,” de Lisle said. ticultural populations, from Duke University. News Editor Grace Elletson and Assistant News Editors Deborah Bial, president and founder of The Posse Sophia Adamucci and Sophie Johnson contributed reporting.


30| NEWS

Administrators meet at a forum regarding the presidential search process, which was closed in December 2016. FERNANDO FERRAZ/THE ITHACAN

THE SELECTION I

Ithaca College had a closed search for its ninth president

|BY GRACE ELLETSON

n an email sent out to the campus community late Dec. 2, 2016, James Nolan ’77, chair of the committee, stated the decision to make the process confidential was made based on feedback from the candidates and the search firm. The original plan, as announced by the committee in August 2016, was to bring finalists to campus in the fall. “We understand that some people on campus will disagree with this decision,” Nolan stated in the email. “The committee did not make this decision lightly and worked throughout the summer and fall in an attempt to stay true to our original goal of hosting public interactions with candidates.” The Student Government Association in May 2016 published an open letter urging the search committee to employ an open search after many groups on campus had

expressed their dissatisfaction with the administration’s leadership. This followed campus protests criticizing the college’s stance on diversity, which lead to the early resignation of President Tom Rochon. A group of faculty members also published an open letter through The Ithacan to ask the search committee for more transparency on when details about the final candidates would be released to the public. Nolan stated the reason for the change was that many finalists were involved in other searches at different institutions and they were aware that the public knowledge that they were looking for another job could affect their current career. “The decision to move to a more confidential process does not mean that candidates do not understand or respect the concerns of our community; simply, it is based on reasonable, professional

considerations reflected in the higher education marketplace,” Nolan stated. After the Ithaca College Presidential Search Committee announced it would no longer be bringing final candidates to campus for public meetings, it held a series of forums with campus community members Dec. 6 to discuss their thoughts and concerns about the decision. Nolan said in a public forum held in Clark Lounge that from the beginning of the search, Spencer Stuart, an international executive search firm hired to help with the search process, had advised the committee that an open search would limit its applicant pool. Many candidates fear that publicly participating in a search at another college could negatively affect their current careers or other presidential searches they might also be participating in, Nolan said.


NEWS |31 “We, right now, really believe that this is in our best interest and efforts to move this forward,” Nolan said. “We really do need to change the strategy and embrace a strategy that keeps the confidential nature of our candidates at a premium.” Carla Golden, a professor in the Department of Psychology, said she was concerned with the decision to make the search confidential because she felt the reason for having an open search was to attract candidates dedicated to transparency. Golden said that due to the student protests that occurred last fall, among other events, which criticized the administration’s stance on diversity and leadership capabilities, she thinks there is a discrepancy between promising a president who is transparent and hiring a president who would not be willing to publicly be a finalist for the position. Diane Gayeski, dean of the Roy H. Park School of Communications and a member of the search committee, told Golden that at the beginning of the search, she felt the same way. “I went in with the thought that their openness to an open search would be correlated to their openness and transparency as a person,” Gayeski said. “But I was proven wrong.” Gayeski said many of the candidates the search committee was considering were concerned about being involved in an open search for the reasons Nolan expressed. The Ithaca College Presidential Search Committee announced it would involve student, faculty and staff executive committees from their governing bodies to interview candidates to replace President Tom Rochon. The announcement, which was posted on Intercom on Jan. 31, 2017, stated that the executive boards would be participating in a series of “weekend interviews” with the candidates. This announcement followed the committee’s decision to close the search in December to ensure the confidentiality of the candidates. The decision to become a closed search sparked some concern from the campus

community at a Dec. 6 forum that not informing the public on candidates would make the process less transparent. However, Nolan said at the forum that bringing in executive committees from governing bodies could be another option to keep members of the community involved in the search. Tom Swensen, professor and chair of the Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences and chair of the Faculty Council, was on the Presidential Search Committee. He said the group decided to add more campus input after discussing ways with the campus community to incorporate its involvement. He said other colleges have used this strategy to increase input in closed presidential searches, which he called a “hybrid” search. Junior Marieme Foote, president of the Student Governance Council, said the

move to bring executive committees into the search has given her more confidence in the process. Foote said she agrees with the decisions to close the search. “The committee trying to keep an open search was definitely a good step in attempting to see if this could actually work, but now that we’re seeing it’s not working in the results of the quality of candidates we’re interviewing, I think it’s really important we get someone who has a long commitment here,” Foote said. Donathan Brown, associate professor in the Department of Communication Studies, said the conversations held were monumental in establishing an understanding of how the search would operate moving forward. “I cannot walk out of here and say everyone agreed, but they understood, and this is a lot better than situations that we’ve found ourselves in the past,” he said.

Newly appointed president Shirley Collado meets with a student Feb. 22, 2017. SAM FULLER/THE ITHACAN


32| NEWS

AGREEMENT REACHED

Contingent faculty members at Ithaca College had been organizing since Spring 2015 to obtain better pay and job security, and secure a contract with the college administration |BY GRACE ELLETSON

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espite the fog rolling over Ithaca College’s campus Senior Catherine Proulx, an organizer for IC Students for March 28, 2017, students, faculty and staff gathered at Labor Action, said she has been working with the contingent facthe Free Speech Rock to celebrate the contract the con- ulty members since she got involved with IC Progressives during tingent faculty unions and administration settled on after months her sophomore year. Now, she said, it is nice to see the results of of bargaining. the work she has done. Members of the contingent faculty unions, as well as members “I’m so happy that I get to graduate and know that the profesof the college’s community that helped support them through sors have a better contract and know that I don’t have to worry the bargaining process, spoke to a crowd of about 30 students, about actions not happening,” Proulx said. “It’s been a big relief faculty and staff about the struggles they faced while negotiating to have that peace of mind and to also know that the faculty at IC their contract. can have that peace of mind.” The contingent faculty unions entered bargaining sessions Pete Meyers, a founding member of the Tompkins Counwith the goals of job security and higher compensation, which ty Workers’ Center, said the effort made by the members of they reached. They settled on a 24 percent raise over four years the contingent faculty unions was not only impressive but also and eligibility for two-year contracts for part-time contingent important for the national problems that contingent faculty faculty members if they have worked at the college for over three members face in higher education. years. Full-time contingent faculty mem“This whole movement … this has been bers who have worked at the college for a great unionizing effort, and probably three years are eligible for two-year conof the most serious unionizing efforts “IT ALMOST FEELS LIKE one tracts, and those who have worked at the that I’ve ever been a part of,” Meyers said. college for five years are eligible for threeWE’RE THE PIONEERS “This is a really big kick for the contingent year contracts. faculty movement around the country.” Zeke Perkins, the union’s Service OF THIS PROBLEM ... I’M Freshman Margaret McKinnis, member Employees International Union repreof IC Students for Labor Action, said she REALLY HOPEFUL.” sentative, said he was initially skeptical is not yet sure if the agreement struck beabout the demands that the contingent — MARGARET MCKINNIS tween the administration and the unions is unions were making and whether the sepindicative of a national shift for the continarate part time– and full time–contingent gent faculty movement. faculty unions would be recognized as one bargaining unit by “It feels almost like we’re the pioneers of this probthe administration. He said he was impressed by the success of lem,” McKinnis said. “In New York, we’re the best the unions. package. … So I think it’s hard to tell at this point, but I’m “This is the best contract for contingent faculty in the state really hopeful.” of New York,” Perkins said. “The administration didn’t bargain Megan Graham, assistant professor of writing, said that until the last week. … They were scared, and that was because of faculty members at other colleges, such as the nearby Wells everyone that’s here and even everyone that’s not here.” College, have unionized and are fighting for better treatBrody Burroughs, lecturer in the Department of Art and ment, but not many colleges have made as much progress a member of the bargaining committee, said the results of as the unions at IC have. Despite their agreement, she said, the bargaining sessions have made him proud to work at it is not time yet to relax on pushing for labor action on the the college. college’s campus. “I’m really proud today to be a member of this community,” “The janitorial staff at this institution are not unionized, and Burroughs said. “There’s something to be said about making they suffer unbearable conditions,” Graham said. “And they your workplace better and your life better through hard work need some help, so we’re going to help them. Sodexo — look at and determination.” that company and what they’re doing to their workers. … We’ve


NEWS |33

Students partake in a rally held for the contingent faculty unions Oct. 19, 2016. The contingent faculty union made progress and voted to ratify a contract agreement with administration that was made March 26, 2017. SAM FULLER/THE ITHACAN


34| NEWS

got to help them. We’ve got to stand up for them.” The college bargaining committee has maintained throughout the bargaining process that in order to give the contingent faculty a raise in compensation, tuition would have to raise as well because the college’s budget is predominantly tuitiondriven. Nancy Pringle, senior vice president for the Division of Human and Legal Resources and general counsel, stated in an email that this will not be the case for the first two years of the compensation increase installments. For the 2017–18 academic-year pay raise, the college had anticipated a need to fund a compensation increase in the upcoming budget cycle for the part-time faculty, so funds have been reserved, Pringle said. For the 2018–19 and 2019–20 academic years, she said, the salary increases are in alignment with the normal salary increases that will be provided to all staff and faculty. For the last two years of the compensation increase installments, Pringle said, the college expects the raises will be employed “with minimal disruption.” The agreement does not stray far from the publicly announced proposal the college published March 23, 2017, which offered the part-time faculty a 22 percent raise over four years for three-credit courses taught and offered the same jobsecurity package for the full-time faculty. Burroughs said the reason the unions did not originally accept the proposal was that they wanted to negotiate in more perks for the membership,

such as the job-security package for part-time faculty, which was not in the previous proposal. The contract was only tentative at first, until the union voted to ratify its agreement with the administration April 7, 2017. The contract ensures that full-time contingent faculty will be granted longer-term contracts after working a certain number of years, and also gives the part-time faculty longer-term job security. The contract meant that the strike, originally planned for March 28–29, was officially called off. Rachel Kaufman, lecturer in the Department of Writing, said that during the March 26 bargaining session, which lasted 10 1/2 hours, the administration offered the unions more than it ever had throughout the bargaining process. The reason for this, said Shoshe Cole, assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, was the power of the collective. “Because they were afraid of the strike,” Cole said. “It’s because they were afraid of all of the momentum and all of the power.” Graham said the agreement would not have been reached if it were not for the outpouring of support from the college community’s pressuring the administration to make a deal. Graham also said that the part-time faculty will soon be receiving a check for about $400 due to a compensation provision within the contract. Because the first pay raise for the part-time faculty

Members of the Ithaca College part time–faculty union walked out of negotiations with the administration Sept. 23, 2016, after receiving what they said was a disappointing counterproposal on compensation. SAM FULLER/THE ITHACAN


NEWS |35

contractually went into effect Jan. 1, 2017, due to the agreement, she said, pay for a three-credit course got bumped up from $4,200 to $4,600. In August 2017, part-time faculty will receive $4,975 per three-credit course, in August 2018, they will receive $5,100, and in August 2019, they will receive $5,225, Kaufman said. Burroughs said that although the union recognizes this contract as a big win, it already has its eyes set on its expiration date three years from now to continue the climb toward pay parity to full-time contingent faculty. “It’s not parity, but it’s progress towards parity,” Burroughs said. “And it represents a significant step.” Graham said March 26 that while she was also happy with the tentative contract, she would still struggle as a contingent faculty member. She said she is currently negotiating a parttime position for Fall 2017 because her current full-time position will not be needed next semester. While full-time faculty receive health care benefits, part-time faculty do not. This, along with pay parity, is something Graham said could be addressed in the next contract negotiations depending on what the union membership wants. The college also offered the unions, previously split into a part-time faculty union and a full-time faculty union, to exist as one unit, Graham said. On top of this provision, the union was also able to receive funding for professional development,

and both part-time and full-time faculty members will now be evaluated and eligible for teaching excellence awards, she said. Despite this success for the union, the unfair labor practice lawsuit still stands against the college, Cole said. Cole; David Kornreich, assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy; and Rachel Gunderson, instructor in the Department of Health Promotion and Physical Education, filed the lawsuit against the college for allegedly not rehiring them for their positions in retaliation for their participation in the union, according to a news release circulated by the union March 9. Cole said the purpose of the lawsuit is to either get the jobs back for her and the other faculty members or come to a settlement. Kaufman said March 26 that no dates had been decided as to when the lawsuit would be further discussed with the college. “There is still justice that needs to be served for faculty,” Kaufman said. The administration’s bargaining committee released a statement after midnight March 26 that the contract had been signed, saying it is confident that the contract is a fair one and that it addresses the concerns and needs of the faculty. “We would like to thank the union bargaining committee for working so diligently with us to resolve the remaining contract issues, arrive at an agreement and avert a strike,” according to the release. “We are deeply grateful for the commitment to come to an agreement during this session.”


36| NEWS ILLUSTRATION BY ADRIANA DEL GROSSO

NATIONAL DISASTER EDITORIAL | Voters choose, Trump wins, nation loses

|BY CELISA CALACAL AND KAYLA DWYER

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ark clouds hung heavily in the sky over many students the morning of Nov. 9, at Ithaca College and elsewhere. Throughout the past year, young people readying for their first election watched a man belittle immigrant populations and brag about sexually assaulting women. Then Tuesday night, they watched him walk onto a grand stage with balloons and applause, nearly tearing up, to give his first speech as president-elect of the United States. As a principle, The Ithacan does not endorse candidates and did not do so in this election. However, a historical electoral upset such as this one warrants a reaction to our country’s selection — a reaction of utter repulsion toward the man who has openly expressed contempt for minorities, women and basic decency. The results of this election were considered a shock. It wasn’t supposed to happen this way — said the polls, the pundits, the reporters, the public. But to the countless groups that have been victimized by Donald Trump’s rhetoric, his win was a confirmation of how easily they, their interests and their fears can be cast aside. His supporters, by voting for him, amplified their interests while forgetting about the legitimate concerns of these

marginalized groups — a destructive indifference. Trump’s victory has reinforced fear in those he so readily vilified: the fear of deportation, the fear of having one’s human rights taken away from them. This fear cannot be brushed aside. It must be faced head-on, particularly by those who must come to terms with what a Trump presidency means for millions of people. With Trump’s win, the lack of empathy for people of other identities has been made abundantly clear. The time for remorse has passed. Now is a time for organizing. It is also a time for unlearning, for deconstructing the poisonous ideologies that lead to othering certain groups and labeling them second-class people. Overcoming the hateful ideologies that helped put Trump in the Oval Office will not happen overnight, but it relies on the passion to achieve true progress. It requires realizing the struggles experienced by many marginalized groups in this country and fighting for recognition of their humanity. Together, we must reject the hatred that has fueled Trump’s campaign and not pretend that it will simply go away of its own accord. Apathy is the enabler of hatred, and it is what this country must reject if we ever wish to charge ahead.


NEWS |37

GAME CHANGER

COMMENTARY|Senator Bernie Sanders’ campaign proved there is still room for ‘outsiders’ in the national political arena | BY JOHN BALDUZZI ‘01

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ull disclosure: I would probably run full speed into a brick wall for Hillary Clinton if she asked me to. With that said, I understand that a solid majority of students reading this column are backing Senator Bernie Sanders. Sanders and his supporters should be incredibly proud of their campaign. In fact, he’s done more to influence the political discourse of this election than any candidate in recent memory. Sanders has thrust the issues of income inequality, the rising cost of college education, and campaign finance reform into the national spotlight with fervor. From a field and voter mobilization standpoint, Sanders has changed the trajectory of how a candidate can win the nomination by having a sophisticated strategy in caucus states. Undoubtedly, Sanders’ caucus state roadmap is one that will be mimicked by future candidates. Likewise, the campaign’s digital and mobile ads have set a new standard of online political fundraising by raising millions of dollars, most of which comes from small dollar donations, and are moving the needle with voters. Senator Sanders, and believe it or not Donald Trump, have proven that there is still a place in the national political arena for “outsiders.” Long believed to never have the ability to raise money, mobilize voters, or mount a serious candidacy for President, Senator Sanders is proving the “experts” inside the beltway wrong. In the future, I would expect more candidates to mimic Senator Sanders’ campaign tone and campaign message. Bernie Sanders may not win the White House, but this political strategist is taking notes and will absolutely use some of the same strategies implemented by Senator Sanders’ campaign to help our clients win races this cycle, and in elections yet to come. John Balduzzi ’01 is the president of The Balduzzi Group, a political consulting firm. This commentary was published in the April 7, 2016, issue of The Ithacan and was edited for length and clarity. John Balduzzi graduated from Ithaca College in 2001 and founded a political consulting firm.

COURTESY OF JOHN BALDUZZI


38| NEWS KIARA BUSH/THE ITHACAN

MAILING MISHAPS Students report not receiving absentee ballots to vote in presidential election |BY FALYN STEMPLER

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rustration overwhelmed a portion of Ithaca College students while they watched the 2016 election results unfold, knowing they did not contribute a vote. However, it was not a lack of responsibility or ambition to get an absentee ballot that stopped them from voting — their absentee ballots did not show up. Many students shared on social media the day after the election that their absentee ballots either came too late in the mail or never came at all despite applying for it before their respective deadlines. Absentee ballots are obtained by applying through one’s voting municipality by the statespecific deadlines. These issues affected counties across the country. When freshman Danielle Mizrahi began to worry that her absentee ballot had not arrived as the election approached, she tried to call her voting municipality office

to figure out the problem. The county clerk told her the ballot application had been received too late, though she said she sent her absentee ballot application Oct. 24, eight days before the Nov. 1 deadline. For some students, issues emerged with the U.S. Postal Service. An absentee ballot never arrived in sophomore Jourdyn McQueary’s mail, either. When she called her Lucas County, Ohio, voting official, they told her they had postmarked her absentee ballot Nov. 7. Dora Anderson, a campaign finance board member from Lucas County, said many of these disappearances of ballots and late ballots are the fault of the Postal Service. “Ballots weren’t getting to where they were supposed to on time, and we don’t know why,” Anderson said. In this particular election, she said,

there seemed to be significantly more issues with absentee ballots in Lucas County than in past election seasons. The Columbus Dispatch reported Nov. 28 that hundreds of absentee ballots in northwest Ohio, where Lucas County is located, were reissued because they were never received. Karen Mazurkiewicz, a corporate communications field contact from the Postal Service, said the post office focuses particularly on election mail, absentee ballots and other political mail during election season. However, she said mail is still consolidated and delivered in bulk to the college as usual. “It’s a really important matter in the Postal Service, so we put a lot of focus this time of year because we want to make sure every piece of mail we are entrusted with gets delivered,” Mazurkiewicz said.


NEWS |39 From left: Kyle Stewart, president of the Ithaca College Republicans, and Michael Pyskaty, vice president of the Ithaca College Republicans GRACE ELLETSON/THE ITHACAN

NOT MY PRESIDENT The IC Republicans organization did not endorse Donald Trump during the election |BY GRACE ELLETSON

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he Ithaca College Republicans organization made an unprecedented decision concerning the presidential election: It did not endorse Donald Trump as the Republican nominee. Many college Republican clubs also refused to endorse Trump as the Republican nominee, including the Harvard Republican Club, Princeton University College Republicans and the Pennsylvania State Republican club. IC Republicans President Kyle Stewart said his club made the decision because it is committed to conservatism, and he said he thinks Trump does not embody any conservative values. “He goes back and forth in one sentence on his policies,” Stewart said. “He changes his mind very often, and stability and decision-making is something I look for in a candidate.” The IC Republicans group released a statement to the college Aug. 30, 2016, that said it would not be endorsing Trump as a candidate or helping fund his campaign efforts in any way. Stewart, who is also a columnist for The Ithacan, said to his knowledge, the IC Republicans club has never refused to endorse its party’s presidential candidate before. Despite the group’s stance on Trump, Stewart said he

encouraged members of the group and the campus community to vote however they wanted in the November 2016 election. Michael Pyskaty, vice president of IC Republicans, said he reaffirms that belief. “There are people who do support Donald Trump, and that’s their beliefs,” Pyskaty said. “We can’t go out and say what you believe is wrong, because that’s not right.” On Sept. 2, 2016, the Cornell Republicans group controversially decided to endorse Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson. In response, the New York Federation of College Republicans revoked its recognition of the chapter, said Olivia Corn, chair of the Cornell Republicans. “I’m very angry about what has transpired,” Corn said. “There’s no basis for them to do this whatsoever.” Alex Smith, national chairwoman of the College Republican National Committee, said the CRNC is not allowed to endorse any candidate but that the organization does support all Republicans who are on the presidential ticket. “There is more than one way to be a college Republican, and we leave it to our states and chapters to govern themselves in a way they best see fit,” Smith said.


40| NEWS

From left, junior Sandra Sackey and freshman Kellik Dawson rally against Trump and hate Nov. 10, 2016. JADE CARDICHON/THE ITHACAN


NEWS |41

CAMPUS REELS WITH SHOCK

When Donald Trump secured the presidency, the campus was split, having mostly supported Hillary Clinton during the campaign cycle

|BY RYAN KING

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round Ithaca College’s campus the morning after the 2016 presidential election, many students embraced and cried, while others celebrated, following the stunning upset by Republican presidential nominee, and now president, Donald Trump. At election-night viewing parties around campus, it was generally assumed that Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, who had a stubborn lead in the polls before election night, would win. However, the gatherings turned mute as the numbers flipped for Trump. As the numbers settled, students and groups across the political spectrum reflected on the imminent: a Trump administration. Junior Kyle Stewart, president of IC Republicans, said he was shocked by the results of the election and expressed concerns about the direction of the Republican Party under the leadership of Trump. “I’ve been Never-Trump since the beginning,” said Stewart, also a political columnist for The Ithacan. “My biggest hope was that Republicans would see this as a wake-up call to rebuild and to look at our flaws and completely change the way we do this.” The night began on a surprising note when states like Florida and North Carolina, both critical swing states, began to sway toward Trump. Later in the night, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania — states many pollsters and political analysts wrongly predicted would go to Clinton — were closer than expected before going to Trump. With this, he ultimately secured the election. Senior Catherine Proulx, chair of IC Progressives, said she was frustrated by the results of the election because of the rhetoric that Trump used to win the presidency. She said she thinks he will likely undo many progressive pieces of legislation. “I felt that Donald Trump’s whole candidacy was based off of hateful rhetoric,” she said. “I am a queer woman. I obviously directly feel the impact of a lot of what he was saying. It is definitely really frustrating and infuriating to hear that half of the country not only voted for him but actively supports that ideology.” President Tom Rochon reminded the campus community about respect in a Nov. 9 announcement after he allegedly heard about racist interactions on campus in relation to the election. “The electoral campaign has been long, difficult, and polarizing,” he wrote in the statement. “The outcome of the presidential election was surprising to many of us, including most

pundits, which has heightened emotions on both sides of the partisan divide. Those emotions are no excuse for racist, harassing, or uncivil behavior. We must commit to supporting each other’s welfare, and to engaging in respectful dialogue ... especially with those whose political positions are different from our own.” Senior David Heffernan, president of IC Young Americans for Liberty, a libertarian group on campus, said he was not surprised by the results of the election. “I’m not really surprised; I’m not happy about it, but I had a pretty strong feeling he was going to win for the past few weeks,” he said. “It is very clear that the people that make up our country are very polarized, now more so than ever.” Others, like sophomore Nick Poggi, said they were excited by Trump’s victory. “I feel pretty great, actually,” he said. “I knew it was going to be close. I actually thought Hillary was going to win, but Trump’s overwhelming support in some of the swing states kind of changed the whole election. As soon as he won Florida, Pennsylvania — it was kind of over.” Though he thinks some of Trump’s policies are extreme, Poggi said, he believes Trump will ultimately change the U.S. for the better. A defining reason Poggi said he voted for Trump was because of his support for veterans, which he said he thought Clinton did not talk about enough in her campaign. At an election-night viewing party in Friends Hall, organized by senior Alexandra Skolnick, students were visibly frustrated watching the election. Each time Trump was projected to win a state, students booed the screen. Many people stayed until 1:30 a.m. or later, anxiously waiting for the results to roll in. The result stunned junior Colby Daboul. “I was having a very hard time admitting it to myself that that would be the end result,” he said. “I was pretty startled, and I’m still adjusting to it. I think that people that are disappointed with the outcome need to remember that we have two years. There are midterm elections that can be crucial in two years.” Freshman Amy Manchester, who was present at Skolnick’s party, said she refuses to support Trump. “It was great being able to share this first election experience where I had the chance to vote with all of my friends,” she said. “Personally, I was very upset with the results of the election and cannot support Donald Trump until he truly makes a change for the better in America.”


42| NEWS

PARK MEDIA SEES TRUMP BEGIN From left, Park students senior Erin McClory and junior Kenneth Bradley work alongside James Rada, associate professor in the Department of Journalism.

10 Park students joined journalism professors in DC to report on Donald Trump’s inauguration

SOPHIA TULP/THE ITHACAN

|BY SAMANTHA MENDIGUREN

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hile Donald Trump was making history being sworn in as the 45th president of the United States, Ithaca College students helped deliver that history to millions of viewers across the country. James Rada, associate professor in the Department of Journalism, and Anthony Adornato, assistant professor in the Department of Journalism, presented 10 students with the opportunity to work as freelance journalists with PBS for its inauguration coverage through tweeting, live-blogging and video production. The college had worked with PBS four years ago to cover the 50th anniversary March on Washington, and Rada saw the inauguration as the perfect opportunity for students to once again take part in a historic event. “It’s real world,” Rada said. “You can’t simulate things like that in a classroom.” Senior Erin McClory received comments about the importance of her field.

“A young man who I hadn’t gone up to or initiated a conversation with just came up to me and said, ‘Your job is important,’” McClory said. “With everything going on right now in the world of media, it was really nice to have someone recognize that the media is important.” Junior Tom Garris’ job was to follow crowds of protesters — some reaching into the thousands — with PBS producers and correspondents to capture the scene. Despite a few visible arguments, Garris described the anti-Trump gatherings to be predominantly calm and peaceful. “Everyone was trying to voice their opposition,” Garris said. “Everyone knows this was a really divisive election and campaign. There were people that were voicing a lot of different concerns for different issues. ... It wasn’t to stop the actual inauguration.” Alongside PBS Correspondent Lisa Desjardins was junior Ahana Dave, who said she got a glimpse of the protesters

while providing content for the PBS NewsHour handle. Dave said she saw the two polarized sides respectfully debate their differing views. “It was a sense of hope that people can have a discussion about their differing viewpoints, but for me, personally, as a student journalist, it has been one of the highlights of my career as a journalism and politics major at Ithaca,” Dave said. Dave said reporting on the inauguration and being a part of this historic event was an impactful experience, as they were able to leave their mark on this monumental point in history. “Sometimes you can observe history, or you can experience history, but I think in this case, we were really a part of making history,” Dave said. “Getting news out there: the first impressions of the inauguration, the speech ... it’s definitely going down in the history books, so to write a little bit of the rough draft is what I was really grateful for.”


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IN SOLIDARITY

Ten thousand Ithacans march Jan. 21 for gender equality

|BY SOPHIA ADAMUCCI, SOPHIE JOHNSON

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n a crowd of an estimated 10,000 people, a 4-year-old boy sat on his mother’s shoulders and held a sign that read, “My Body, My Choice.” Across the way, a gray-haired woman held a sign with the phrase “Granny’s Rights Are Human Rights.” Thousands more marched in the streets of the City of Ithaca on Jan. 21, 2017, for the Ithaca Women’s March, organized in solidarity with marches in cities across the country and the world. Following the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States, these “sister marches” of the Women’s March on Washington were held to support equality and justice for all people, even as far as New Zealand, Tanzania and Antarctica. Ithaca local Aurora Golden-Appleton, 14 years old and one of the organizers of the Ithaca Women’s March, said she was inspired to organize the march after being discouraged by the election. “It was really important to me that we came out, as Ithaca, together as a community to show that we are going to stand up for our rights,” she said. The 1-mile march route began at Ithaca City Hall, went up to Dewitt Park, down Buffalo Street for several blocks and concluded on State Street past The Commons. Protesters carried signs with phrases ranging from “Respect Existence or Expect Resistance”

to “My Ovaries Are Over It” to “Build Bridges, Not Walls.” Amanda Champion, an Ithaca resident who also co-organized the event, addressed the crowd from the Bernie Milton Pavilion during the rally held on The Commons after the march. In her speech, she emphasized the community created from marches across the state of New York — 17 of them — and the world. “You can fight against the wrongs you face, and I’m here to tell you you don’t have to fight alone,” Champion said. Angela Riddell, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Southern Finger Lakes, spoke about the importance of supporting Planned Parenthood. Republican-controlled Congress is currently aiming to defund Planned Parenthood because the organization provides abortion services. “Planned Parenthood stands to lose a lot, but our patients stand to lose more,” Riddell said. Peg Kuchukian, 72, of Elmira, who also attended the Women’s March, has had experience protesting before: She marched in support of Roe v. Wade in Washington in 1973. She had some advice for young women: “Keep working; don’t give up,” Kuchukian said. “Don’t let this man and his cohorts take away what we fought so hard for you.”

Community members hold signs and march on the streets of Ithaca on Jan. 21, 2017. The Ithaca Women’s March was organized in solidarity with other marches to advocate for justice and equality for all people. SAM FULLER/THE ITHACAN

Community members gather at the Ithaca Women’s March on Jan. 21, 2017, coinciding with sister marches worldwide. SAM FULLER/THE ITHACAN


44| NEWS

SOURCE: REFUGEE PROCESSING CENTER DESIGN BY ALISON TEADORE

HELPING HANDS

Ithaca prepares to welcome refugees despite travel bans

|BY ERIN CONWAY AND MARISSA PROULX

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he City of Ithaca had been planning to take in 50 refugees from Syria, where a civil war forced nearly 4.8 million Syrians to flee their homes, and from other countries experiencing civil conflicts. However, due to the travel bans proposed by the Trump administration, these plans are no longer set in stone. A large majority of the immigrants would have been Syrian, but they would also be coming from other countries like Burma, Ukraine, Bhutan and Cuba, said Sue Chaffee, director of the immigrant services program for Catholic Charities of Tompkins and Tioga, the group organizing the resettlement. She said the group wanted to begin accepting refugees after Oct. 1, 2016, but was still waiting for approval from the Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration as of April 2017. One family from Afghanistan

has been approved and arrived in Ithaca in April 2017, but the group was unable at that time to provide additional information about any future refugee settlement without knowing what the future would hold for travel bans and court decisions. Chaffee said Catholic Charities is planning on directing this program through the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and together they will help the families begin to settle into the city. From there, Catholic Charities will help them acquire housing and other basic needs. “We will get their housing in place, food in place and cash assistance,” Chaffee said. “We will also help get their kids enrolled in school and adults enrolled in ESL programs, and for the English speakers, we will help them get employment.” Another nonprofit organization, Ithaca

Welcomes Refugees, has also been helping Catholic Charities and refugees who come to Ithaca. Ashley Meeder, public relations and media coordinator for IWR, said they have also been working with local doctors to help get vaccinations and medical attention to those refugees who need it when they arrive. “Hospitals and physicians’ offices have been preparing to help, like getting both male and female doctors as well as people to help translate,” Meeder said. Chaffee said the city had backed this project with full support. Joseph Murtagh, a second ward alderperson on the Common Council, said he supports accepting refugees into the city and believes most of the city is also supportive. Chaffee said there has not been too much controversy so far with their plan. “We had just a personal pushback from


NEWS |45 people in the community on our Facebook page, but in this area, for 15 years. Adams said what Catholic Charities and IWR are it’s been very receptive,” Chaffee said. doing for these refugees is admirable. The vetting process the refugees must go through to enter the “I think Catholic Charities and Ithaca Welcomes Refugees is United States is very thorough, Chaffee said, which makes res- doing good work so far,” Adams said. “I think it’s exciting that idents feel safer. The vetting system they go through is run by we may, as a city, be able to host so many refugees.” the government and can take up to three years to complete, she Senior Daniella Hobbs and Evin Billington ’16 investigated said. About 95 percent of the immigrants coming in also have how immigrants in Buffalo, New York, contribute to the city’s immigration documents, despite widespread concerns, she said. economy and society. The resulting documentary won them a “Immigrants are put through several background checks, prominent national award. done overseas,” Chaffee said. “It’s through the CIA, INTERTogether, they received the Jury Award at the Directors Guild POL, and just different interagency background checks.” of America Student Film Awards for their film “The City of In September 2016, then-President Barack Obama an- Good Neighbors.” nounced the United States would take “It felt great to receive the award; it was in 10,000 Syrian refugees by the end a bit unreal when I got the call,” Hobbs of the 2016 fiscal year. That decision to said. “It’s very difficult to plan. Even “FIFTY ISN’T A BIG accept more refugees received support though I shot the film as a junior, it was my and criticism from people across the senior thesis project — the culmination of DEAL. ... WE ARE country. Some have said they are conmy college career. So to get an award for cerned refugees could be a security risk. TALKING ABOUT PEOPLE that work, it was awesome.” Leila Hudson, associate professor of Billington worked as the co-producer on IN DIRE STATES.” modern Middle East culture and political the documentary. As the co-producer, Bileconomy at the University of Arizona, — JOSEPH MURTAGH lington set up interviews, recorded sound specializes in Syrian studies and said xeand kept everything running on schedule. nophobia is something to be wary of when “When you do a documentary, you refugees are brought to the United States. don’t know what’s going to happen,” Billington said. “I’d seen “There is a dangerous level of political discourse in the United an article on NPR about the refugee population, and we thought States right now that has whipped up a great deal of anxiety and that it was perfect.” fear into the people,” Hudson said. Hobbs said they began filming their documentary in January However, she said she thinks the concerns people may have 2016 and finished in April. While they were filming, Hobbs and about immigrants’ coming to the United States are exaggerated. Billington worked with Journey’s End Refugee Services to inter“Trends show us that approximately no more than 10,000 view refugees. refugees get through proper resettlement, and the vast majority One of the places Hobbs said she spent a lot of time filming are in Europe,” Hudson said. “The immigrants coming here are was in the West Side Bazaar, which consists of many small shops extremely well-vetted, especially compared to those relocating owned by refugees and immigrants. in the Middle East and Europe.” “The whole point of it was to show the human side behind the Hudson said what Catholic Charities wants to do by welcom- refugee debate because you read the numbers and the random ing 50 refugees to Ithaca would be a small start, but a good one. stories in the news, but we wanted to show that these are real “Any city with these pilot projects and experience is a good families coming here and that they are giving back to the complace to start,” Hudson said. “The local city mobilizing against munity,” Hobbs said. the larger climate of xenophobia is always a good thing.” One of the people Hobbs interviewed was Rwandan refMurtagh said he understands the concerns people have when ugee Rubens Mukunzi, the current CEO and founder of a refugees are accepted into the country but thinks people in Itha- newspaper called Karibu News, located in Buffalo. Mukunzi’s ca are open to the idea. newspaper is a multilingual and multicultural refugee- and immi“We aren’t accepting huge numbers like Europe. Most rec- grant-focused newspaper. Besides filming refugees, Hobbs was ognize that 50 isn’t a big deal,” Murtagh said. “We are talking also able to interview the mayor of Buffalo, Byron Brown. He about people in dire states that need help, and for most people I said in the film that since 2006, Buffalo has invested $5.5 billion know and represent, it’s not a big deal.” in economic projects, which have created over 12,000 new jobs. Ithaca is not new to accepting refugees. According to the Hobbs said she hopes the film encourages people to underNYU Steinhardt School, in 2010, Ithaca and Syracuse, New stand the issues surrounding refugee families. York, accepted over 3,000 Burmese refugees. Barbara Adams, “Take the time to listen, watch and hear stories like the ones associate professor in the Department of Writing, said she has that we are trying to show, and recognize that these are real hubeen involved with an organization called Ithaca City of Asylum man lives that we are talking about,” Hobbs said.


46| NEWS

SAVING NORTH DAKOTA

Ithaca community holds teach-in and vigil to defend native rights

|BY GRACE ELLETSON, KAYLA DWYER, MEAGHAN MCELROY

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About 100 people gathered on The Commons to hold a vigil in support of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, which had been fighting to defend their land from a pipeline project. FERANDO FERRAZ/THE ITHACAN

acing the newly completed Bernie Milton Pavilion on The Commons, Ithaca community members gathered the evening of Nov. 15, 2016, to rally and pray for those protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline at the Standing Rock Native American reservation in North Dakota. Marking the National Day of Action in Solidarity with Standing Rock, more than 100 people, including Ithaca College students, listened as members of Cayuga Lake Water Protectors led a prayer vigil following the rally, focusing on the water-related issues both in North Dakota and in Ithaca. Audrey Cooper, a Native American elder, said the group formed in September 2016 to bring attention to issues that affect Native Americans nationwide and in the Ithaca community, and is led by members of the Cayuga Nation. The Standing Rock Sioux tribe had been advocating against and protesting the pipeline since April because it would be built on sacred burial grounds and risk contamination of local water sources. Proponents of the pipeline said it posed no danger to the water supply, as there are eight pipelines crossing the Missouri river, and was the safest way of moving crude oil to refineries across the U.S. “When you’re defending water … you’re defending life itself,” said Sandra Steingraber, distinguished scholar in residence in the Department of Environmental Studies and Sciences, onstage during the rally. “We all must ... stand up in our community.” Some attendees carried signs reading “People over pipeline,” “Water is life” and “You can’t drink oil,” then lowered their heads as Joe Soto, a member of the Cayuga Lake Water Protectors, sang a traditional water


NEWS |47

Sandra Steingraber, distinguished scholar in residence in the Department of Environmental Studies and Sciences, speaks at the rallly Nov. 15, 2016. FERNANDO FERRAZ/THE ITHACAN

prayer to commence the vigil. After the prayer, Mauricio Medina, a member of the group, spoke to the crowd about the importance of caring for the earth and related this responsibility to the recent election of Donald Trump as presidentelect of the United States. “I don’t see this as being a bad thing with Mr. Trump, who is going to become president, because I think many of us needed a wake-up call and realize that this struggle is going to continue no matter what,” Medina said. Group member Alexis Esposito said that while the group wants to bring attention to the Standing Rock protests, the point of the vigil was to bring attention to tribal rights for Native Americans everywhere. She said both the Standing Rock tribe and Ithaca residents protesting a natural gas storage facility at Seneca Lake, along with all indigenous peoples, have a unifying humanitarian right to water. “The water is the main issue here,” Esposito said. “From an indigenous viewpoint, it’s a way of life around water. Water is life. It pervades all life.” At the end of the vigil, Ithaca local Mia Allee Jumbo, who organized the rally, en-

couraged attendees to fill a wooden box with their prayers for the tribe. IC Progressives held a teach-in Nov. 30 to discuss a topic the group said was missing from the coverage: environmental racism. IC Progressives previously discussed the Dakota Access Pipeline protests in Standing Rock in its meetings, but Catherine

“The water is the main issue here. From an indigenous viewpoint, it’s a way of life around water. Water is life.” — ALEXIS ESPOSITO Proulx, president of IC Progressives and moderator of the teach-in, said she and the other members of the club have watched the developments of the protest consistently build over the past few months and wanted to educate the college community about what was happening. “The Dakota Access Pipeline, I think, is

moving towards a boiling point because a lot of people are feeling more pressure,” Proulx said. “Environmental as well as racial issues are going to be … in way more danger. So I feel that a lot of people are seeing this as much more necessary for action to happen quickly.” A panel at the teach-in consisted of members of the college’s community. Among the panelists were Michael Smith, associate professor in the Department of History and faculty member in the Department of Environmental Studies and Sciences; senior Summer Lewis, a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation; senior Victor Lopez-Carmen, a member of the Crow Creek Sioux tribe; and senior Josh Enderle, an environmental studies major. Smith noted the United States’ history of environmental racism. “The pipeline is not going through a wealthy ranching area,” Smith said. “It’s going through a reservation where people of color have been forced to go over many decades, and it’s one of many examples of environmental racism.” Students said they walked away with a better understanding of what contributed to the events surrounding the protests.


48| NEWS

COMMUNITY LIVING

Students propose new residential learning community for African diaspora members |BY BEN KAPLAN

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student-led effort may bring an African diaspora–themed residential learning community to Ithaca College by the 2017–18 academic year. This community would be open to any student who identifies as a part of the African diaspora or considers themselves an ally of the group. This would encompass anyone with lineage from Africa and certain parts of South America whose ancestors were brought to the Western Hemisphere, said Darnell Thompson, residence director for Emerson Hall and the Garden Apartments, and one of the advisers for the proposed community. A

residential learning community allows a group of students who share similar identities or interests to live as a group in designated housing. Thompson said the group was waiting for the budget for the community to be approved, as of April 2017. He said he thinks the college has long been overdue for a community like this because even though a trend toward inclusivity exists, racial inequality is still frequent in higher education. “Folks can come together and show strength in a place like this,” he said. As an African American, sophomore Shinice Ford said, she would

appreciate having the community on campus. “I think we need a community like this because there are a sparse amount of African Americans here on campus ... it would bring us all together,” Ford said. Sophomore Isaiah Horton, a resident assistant in West Tower, said a culturally themed community would be a good step in helping people of color feel safe. “Diversity is something we’ve struggled with here at the college in recent years,” Horton said. “So trying to build that community and make it stronger within itself is a very good idea.”

SEEKING SANCTUARY

Ithaca College joins national discussion around sanctuary-campus status |BY SOPHIA ADAMUCCI

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t the end of Fall 2016, the Ithaca College Student Gov- college maintains its existing policies protect the privacy of all its ernance Council passed a bill proposing the college’s students regardless of immigration status. administration declare the institution a sanctuary camThe SGC’s bill proposed that the college uphold the Depus. The administration is just one of many ferred Action for Childhood Arrivals contemplating this request, as students policy — which grants undocumented imon campuses across the United States are migrants eligibility for deferred action for “I WOULD LIKE TO demanding their schools become sanctuup to two years and work authorization SEE ... THE CURRENT ary campuses following President Donald if they arrived in the United States when Trump’s inauguration. they were under the age of 16 and meet ADMINISTRATION On Jan. 25, 2017, President Trump several other guidelines — under Trump’s signed an executive order titled “Enhancadministration, which has threatened to reBELIEVE IN PEOPLE ing Public Safety in the Interior of the peal it. The bill also proposed that the Office OVER MONEY.” United States,” stating that sanctuary juof Public Safety not question or detain indirisdictions cannot receive federal grants — CONOR FRIEND viduals based on immigration status. unless funding is required for law enJunior Michele Hau, vice president of acaforcement purposes. The order states that demic affairs for the SGC and sponsor of the “[Sanctuary] jurisdictions have caused immeasurable harm to the SGC Sanctuary Bill, said her main goal for the bill was to raise American people and to the very fabric of our Republic.” awareness of the fact that political actions that happen on the fedWithout a legal definition of what constitutes “sanctuary,” the eral level do not occur in a vacuum and that the college can be


NEWS |49

Sophomores Sunce Franicevic and Hannah Titlebaum lead a crowd in a chant during the IC Not My President walkout Nov. 16, 2016. SAM FULLER/THE ITHACAN

affected. Another goal was to spur the administration to actively take steps to protect students who are becoming increasingly disenfranchised, Hau said. “Saying that we’re a sanctuary campus is saying we’re making a commitment to education — it’s making a commitment basically the future of the college and what we believe in,” Hau said. “It falls in line with a lot of our principles, and I would be kind of disappointed if we weren’t to step up.” The concept of sanctuary campuses derives from sanctuary cities, yet there is no universal definition for what being a sanctuary campus entails, said Stephen Yale-Loehr, professor of immigration law practice at Cornell Law School. “As a practical matter, these sanctuary ordinances cannot stop immigration officials from doing their jobs,” Yale-Loehr said. Regarding federal funding, he said the government cannot take funding away from an unrelated area if the college does not comply with federal rules. Yale-Loehr gave the example that if the federal government were funding a professor’s research at the college, the government could not take that funding money away if the school declared itself to be a sanctuary. President Tom Rochon discussed whether or not the college would declare itself a sanctuary campus at the All-College Meeting on Jan. 19, 2017. Rochon said he would be wary of that declaration because while people may personally support the

symbolic declaration, it might not be pragmatic for the college to engage in political statements. Nancy Pringle, senior vice president for the Division of Human and Legal Resources and general counsel, said since there is no legal definition for sanctuary campus, there is nothing in the law that would guide the school in becoming a sanctuary campus. However, every student who attends the college is protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act — the federal law that gives students’ educational records protection of privacy — regardless of documentation status. Junior Conor Friend, Class of 2018 senator, said he would like to see the college’s administration support the SGC’s bill. He said he hopes the Trump administration’s threats of taking away grant money from sanctuary cities and schools does not deter the college from choosing students over funding. “I would like to see students, faculty and the current administration believe in people over money and just continue to support everyone here on campus,” Friend said. Yale-Loehr said it is unclear if Trump’s executive order regarding sanctuary jurisdictions applies to sanctuary campuses. Private institutions that declare sanctuary have relatively little to lose unless the Trump administration chooses to sue. “I think when push comes to shove, there is relatively little money that the Trump administration could take away from private universities,” he said.


50| NEWS The Multicultural Student Safe Space is intended for use by members of the campus community and is located on the third floor of the Campus Center.

FERANDO FERRAZ/THE ITHACAN

PROMOTING SAFE SPACES Amid debate, Ithaca College opens multicultural student lounge |BY SOPHIA TULP

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thaca College has joined a growing list of colleges and universities that offer designated “safe spaces” for members of the campus community. The Multicultural Student Safe Space is located on the third floor of the Campus Center and is attached to the faculty offices for the Center for the Study of Culture, Race and Ethnicity. This addition comes as institutions across the nation are debating what place these spaces have in higher education. Launching another round of the safe-space debate was a letter penned by Jay Ellison, dean of students at the University of Chicago, released Aug. 24, 2016, to the incoming Class of 2020: “Our commitment to academic freedom means that ... we do not condone the creation of intellectual ‘safe spaces’ where individuals can retreat from ideas and perspectives at odds with their own.” Lee Burdette Williams, former vice president for student affairs and dean of students at Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, argues in a commentary that safe spaces aid student learning. In her commentary, she describes a challenge that she herself has faced as a dean of students: to see the world through the eyes of the student, not the eyes of the administrator. At the same time, she said she thinks these safe spaces are not

places where conversation is stifled, or that students hide away; rather, she said they are places where students can feel safe and that greater learning can occur when they feel safe. She said that as students grow and mature, they can then venture from these spaces, expand their notion of what is “safe” and eventually not need that space at all. “Those safe spaces don’t exist to keep students from growing,” Williams said. “It actually … makes you stronger to go forward.” On the other side, supporters of Ellison’s letter argue that safe spaces limit free expression on campuses. The creation of a safe space, or similar area, has been in the works at the college since January 2016, when Roger Richardson, associate prvost for diversity, inclusion and engagement and interim chief diversity officer, announced updates to the college’s diversity action plan. “It’s a space for multicultural students to come and have conversations and support each other, and it’s a lounge for them to gather and interact,” Richardson said. “I hope it provides an area for good conversation and good interaction and support.” The lounge is intentionally not called an “ALANA space,” but rather a “multicultural” space, to emphasize its nonexclusivity.


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CONSTRUCTION MAYHEM In downtown Ithaca, small businesses flee as construction returns to The Commons |BY DANIEL HART

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hen Aaron Pichel rented his storefront on The Commons in 2012, he planned on its being a pop-up store for about six weeks. The Movie Poster Store remained open four years later in August 2016 . David Lubin, owner of L Enterprises, the real estate development company for Harold’s Square, said demolition of the building would begin by the end of 2016. Harold’s Square will stretch up four stories on The Commons and 11 stories on Green Street. Originally approved in 2013, the project has been delayed because Lubin has been unable to fill the office space. Forty-six residential apartments were originally planned, but that

The Movie Poster Store and owner Aaron Pichel had until Oct. 31, 2016, to move out before the building was demolished. SAM FULLER/THE ITHACAN

number is now up to 104. Pichel and his business had until Oct. 31, 2016, to move out. While Pichel chose to stay as long as he could, others chose to move to more retail-populated spaces. Kristina Thelen and David West, former owners of Funky Junk, said they were happy to be away from vacant properties. “There were certainly no tears about moving and all,” he said. JoAnn Cornish, director of planning and economic development for the City of Ithaca, said the city planned to have Harold’s Square done at the same time as the reconstruction of The Commons. “We know why those storefronts are vacant or in transition, but to the visitor, it

kind of looks like it’s blighted,” she said. To prevent repeat customer loss for retailers on The Commons, Cornish said, the city is requiring construction of Harold’s Square to be done exclusively on Green Street unless deemed a necessity. A storefront in Harold’s Square will cost approximately $4,500 a month, said Phyllisa DeSarno, deputy director of economic development for the City of Ithaca. An Ithaca native, Pichel said he loves seeing the town evolve. While he said he is sad to go and unsure of where he will set up shop next, Pichel said he is happy for the memories. “It’s not just a business,” Pichel said. “It’s also been a social experiment.”


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ADVOCATE FOR GLOBAL CHANGE Scholar Raza Rumi spoke at a U.N. panel to advocate for journalists’ safety |BY RYAN KING

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Raza Rumi is a scholar in residence in the School of Humanities and Sciences at Ithaca College. He is involved in journalism and advocacy. FERANDO FERRAZ/THE ITHACAN

aza Rumi, scholar in residence in the School of Humanities and Sciences at Ithaca College, spoke Sept. 16, 2016, at a #ProtectJournalists United Nations panel to raise awareness for journalists’ safety around the world. Contributing Writer Ryan King spoke to Rumi about the #ProtectJournalists U.N. panel, the safety of journalists around the world and his perspective on global media trends. Ryan King: Can you explain what the panel was about? Raza Rumi: The panel was basically in support of a campaign to protect journalists. The number of journalists who have been attacked or killed has been increasing. In the last 10 years, 800 journalists have died across the world. So this panel was organized to impress upon the United Nations Secretary-General to appoint a representative for journalists’ safety. RK: Why is a U.N. special representative for the secretary-general for the safety of journalism necessary? RR: To raise journalists’ safety, we need a dedicated staff who can intervene in improving journalists’ safety. RK: What other steps would you like to see the U.N. take to protect journalists? RR: They have to start questioning the member states where journalists are attacked with impunity. The international community can improve the situation for journalists. RK: How do you feel the journalism industry has changed for better or worse in recent history in terms of journalists’ safety? RR: The digital media has opened up many avenues for journalists where they can carry out independent work. And they are not always bound by some big mainstream media outlet. That is kind of liberating. RK: What was your biggest takeaway from the panel? RR: International community and international institutions like the United Nations need to do more to save the lives of journalists and also to protect media freedom.


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CHANGING SCHOOL DISCIPLINE Sociologist speaks of the drawbacks of zero-tolerance policies in US schools |BY CELISA CALACAL

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rom the 1980s to the ’90s, zero-tolerance policies multiplied in schools across the U.S. as the primary form of disciplinary policies to control violence and misbehavior in schools, and are still prominent in the U.S. school system today. Opinion Editor Celisa Calacal spoke with Jessica Dunning-Lozano, assistant professor of sociology at Ithaca College, about the implications of zero-tolerance policies, the schoolto-prison pipeline and the governing-through-crime strategy. Celisa Calacal: What interests you about school punishment? Jessica Dunning-Lozano: When I got to Texas ... I learned about this disciplinary alternative education program. … You find them in every public school district in the state. It looked, in this particular field site where I did my research, a lot like a juvenile detention facility. CC: Why do zero-tolerance policies mostly impact black and Latino kids? JDL: You have a lot of racialized and gender discourses about African-American and Latino kids, especially boys, as criminals. You don’t have that same kind of stereotyping about white boys. Those practices are more acute in large urban public schools. CC: Why does it seem to be more prevalent in those areas? JDL: So part of it is the size of the district. … You have these massive police forces that are designed to deal with school-level violence and offenses. There is just this trend of treating kids in the inner city — which tend to be overwhelmingly kids of color — as criminal. CC: Do you think there’s a way zero-tolerance policies could work better? JDL: No. ... As long as we stick to this zero-tolerance notion ... we are going to punish harshly because there’s this idea if you punish students severely and harshly, it’s going to stymie future misbehavior in schools. Doesn’t work that way, right? … I think zero tolerance has no place in public schools.

Assistant professor Jessica Dunning-Lozano said zero-tolerance policies have a negative impact on children of color in schools. FERANDO FERRAZ/THE ITHACAN


54| NEWS

IN MEMORIAM: AnthonyNazaire

Ithaca College community remembers life of promising student |BY KAYLA DWYER

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e was the life of the party, the one who would dance in the middle of the floor. He was the student who would carve out hours to talk with professors. Friends of Anthony Nazaire say he had a gift for connecting with people. Professors say he had an unmatched vision for success. Nazaire’s life was taken early in the morning of Aug. 28, 2017, the result of being stabbed on Cornell University’s campus during a large fight. A local man was arrested in connection to the crime. Jury selection for the trial was scheduled to begin July 1. Three days prior, Nazaire had written down his career goals and aspirations at the bottom of a contact sheet for Jim Johnson, lecturer of marketing and law, for his Legal Environment of Business class. He wrote about how he wanted to get an MBA, at least, and maybe a law degree. He, a sophomore business administration major, wanted to be an entrepreneur and start his own business. After class that day, Nazaire walked Johnson part of the way to his next class, asking him questions. “An absolutely delightful young man,” Johnson said. “The first day of class, so many students are cloaked in the zone of privacy. That was not his problem.” Senior Leonard Davis, also a business administration major, said Nazaire’s natural ability to connect with friends and strangers was special. “Some people are trained to network,” he said. “Some people are trained to be personable. He just had it.” Nazaire was a treasurer of the organization Brothers4Brothers, a club for men of color at the college. Davis first met Nazaire last year, when Davis gave a presentation to B4B about his budding company, Fearwalk. Nazaire immediately volunteered his weekend nights to help with Fearwalk, a haunted walk through the Natural

Lands during Halloween that Davis plans to expand to other colleges. Had he not done that, and brought six or seven volunteers with him, Davis said his company would not have gotten off the ground the way it has. “I didn’t thank him enough,” Davis said. “You can never thank someone enough for making your dream a reality.” But Nazaire didn’t help others just for the praise. “He would do anything to be involved, to help — and genuinely,” Davis said. “He did it ... simply to be a part of it. To help create something bigger.” As a student, he always wanted more — more knowledge, more conversation, more success. The first time he met with his academic adviser, William Tastle, professor and chair of the Department of Management, he was frowning over first-semester grades — grades that most students, Tastle said, would have been glad to have. Nazaire admitted to Tastle that he simply didn’t know how to study, which Tastle called courageous. “The next time he came in, he had the characteristic grin on his face that was omnipresent,” Tastle said. “He took everything in stride. … He knew what he wanted, and he knew it was going to require work on his part to get there, and he wasn’t afraid to do it.” Davis said Nazaire was going to become involved in Young Entrepreneurs Organization, of which Davis is president. He said Nazaire would have led the organization himself, eventually. And when he was not pursuing business interests, he spent hours with Davis talking about dreams and what it means to be a man of color on this campus. But every day, Davis said, Nazaire lived the life of a young innovator, an impassioned student and a compassionate friend. “Nazaire was a story that was waiting to be told,” Davis said.


NEWS |55

Top: Anthony Nazaire was a sophomore business administration major and aspiring entrepreneur.

LINKEDIN

Main: Community members gather at the vigil held for Anthony Nazaire on Sept. 1, 2016, at Muller Chapel. SAM FULLER/THE ITHACAN


56| NEWS From left, Terri Stewart, then-director of the Office of Public Safety and Emergency Management, cuts a ribbon with junior Monisa Adams-Brooks and Linda Koenig, assistant director for housing services and communications. FERNANDO FERRAZ/THE ITHACAN

COMMUNITY CONNECTION The Office of Public Safety opens satellite office to improve relations with students |BY JACK SEARS

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grand opening was held for the Ithaca College Office of Public Safety satellite office Jan. 23, 2017, in the Campus Center, which was created in an effort to strengthen communication between the community and Public Safety officers. The office is located in the lobby of Egbert Hall next to the information desk. The idea was conceived as a part of Public Safety’s diversity initiatives following controversy in the Fall 2015 semester, after some students criticized Public Safety officers for being racially aggressive. The satellite office is staffed by a patrol officer and a member of the Student Auxiliary Safety Patrol on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. “When you have one office and it’s on the fringes of campus … people don’t just stumble across the office for a positive reason,” said Andrew Kosinuk, crime prevention and community events liaison.

The celebration featured raffles, giveaways, food and trivia about officers. “We’re trying to ... draw people in and get their attention,” Kosinuk said. Patrol Officer Jenny Valentin was assigned to the satellite office for Spring 2017, and she said her goal was to show the community the services this office can provide, such as solving problems or finding students the right resources. “Our purpose here is to get more interactions with the community ... being there for them physically or emotionally,” Valentin said. Freshman Everton Steel said he did not see Public Safety officers around campus that often, so this office could help improve relationships between the students and the officers. “I think it’s a step in the right direction,” Steele said. “I think they need to be more visible.” Terri Stewart, then-director of Public

Safety, and other administrators attended the event, and Stewart said she was excited about the community outreach. Jan. 23 was also Stewart’s last day as director, as she had accepted a position as director of the Office of Campus Safety at Nazareth College. “Our community was really clear, and they want to get to know the people behind the uniform,” Stewart said. “It is not about what went wrong, but actually being approachable, being accessible and being highly visible. It couldn’t be a better location.” Stewart said she was aware that a challenge for the office would be making students aware of it and having students interact with the officers. “We’re really going to really be tasked with engaging people, providing service up here and over time, getting people to know who we are, what we do and how we do it,” Stewart said.


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SAFETY MEASURES Cornell University increases police presence after stabbings and safety concerns |BY JACK SEARS

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ornell University announced it would increase police staffing and patrols following the second stabbing incident on or near its campus, the most recent of which occurred Sept. 28, 2016. The first incident, on Aug. 28, resulted in the death of Ithaca College sophomore Anthony Nazaire, and another student suffered non–life threatening injuries. A month later, a Dryden man suffered non–life threatening injuries after a stabbing on the Stewart Avenue bridge. One suspect in the second stabbing, Khaliq Gale, turned himself in Oct. 7, and the other was still at large as of April 2017. The increased patrols include foot, vehicle and bike patrols. Cornell Police Deputy Chief David Honan said the university felt this was necessary to make members of the community feel safe and prepared if the perpetrators returned. “These patrols are to protect our community and increase safety by being proactive, especially if the perpetrators wanted to come back,” Honan said. Despite the close proximity to Cornell’s campus, Lt. Thomas Dunn, of Ithaca College’s Office of Public Safety and Emergency Management, said he did not feel an increase in patrols was necessary at the college, after having interagency communication with Cornell University Police and the Ithaca Police Department. After the first stabbing incident, the Office

of Public Safety increased patrols on certain areas of campus, but it did not increase staffing. “We felt comfortable with how we modify our patrols to begin with, and the factors of the second incident didn’t warrant us modifying our approach,” Dunn said. There has also been an increase in requests for the Cornell police’s escort service, Honan said. Auxiliary staff can escort members of the community to or from a specific location if requested. Dunn said Public Safety has seen an increase in student escort requests. However, he said they cannot attribute it to the second incident. He added that they have enough staff to accommodate these requests. Dunn said the increase in violent crime is out of the ordinary. Andrew Kosinuk, crime prevention and community events liaison, said he wants members of the the college community to contact law enforcement if they feel they are in a situation that is “uncomfortable,” and his advice to students is to “trust your gut.” Honan said when members of the college visit Cornell, they should be cautious and aware of their surroundings. “We ask people to develop a personal safety plan: Be aware of your surroundings and call 911 if you see anything suspicious, out of the ordinary or witness a crime,” Honan said.

Cornell University announced it would be increasing police staffing and patrols following the second stabbing incident on or near its campus. SAM FULLER/THE ITHACAN


58| NEWS Class of 2018 Sen. Conor Friend was a driving force in the Student Governance Council as he sponsored or co-sponsored all four bills that the SGC passed in Spring 2017 as of April 2017. FERNANDO FERRAZ/THE ITHACAN

President Tom Rochon attends an SGC meeting. TEDDY ZERIVITZ/THE ITHACAN

Senate Chair sophomore Carlie McClinsey, right, said Title IX resources are important. FERNANDO FERRAZ/THE ITHACAN


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STUDENT GOVERNMENT Ithaca College SGC plans to meet student needs for 2016–17 academic year |BY KYLE ARNOLD

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he Ithaca College Student Government Council Executive Board laid out two concrete subjects that it saw as important to pursue in the 2016–17 academic year: Title IX and voter registration. The board also emphasized a more flexible approach to issues it decided to take on based on their importance to students. During the protests in Fall 2015, after which Ithaca College President Tom Rochon announced he would step down in July 2017, the SGC formulated many large-scale bills — some, the largest in its history. The new executive board planned to pursue as normal the bills that had rolled over to the Fall 2016 semester, such as the PEACE Bill, the Student Bill of Rights and Responsibilities, and the Shared Governance Bill. “I think that last year, we came in … with the idea that we had … a game plan for the whole year, and that didn’t end up happening and ended up confusing the whole board,” SGC President Marieme Foote said. “This year, we’re coming into it more fluidly, as in we’re really looking for what students want — really looking for what this campus needs — and I think that’s what we need to do right now in this specific climate.” The executive board members said they felt the issues the bills address were still important to students but that introducing a full policy agenda like they did last year could stretch both the executive board’s and the student body’s attention thin. For this reason, the SGC would be focusing on completing the existing bills. However, the executive board members had pinned down two subjects that they said they felt were relevant issues to budget for in the upcoming semester: Title IX, the office on campus that handles sexual-assault cases, among other issues; and voter registration — getting students the information to vote in the November national election. Luis Torres, vice president of campus affairs in Fall 2016, said the timing of the Title IX awareness campaign could be around Cortaca, the annual football game that pits the college against SUNY Cortland. “We’re kind of focusing on the Cortaca time period — getting information out around then just because it’s a time when people are particularly vulnerable for sexual assault and stuff because of alcohol,” Torres said. He said that since the SGC was in control of the buses that bring students from the college to Cortland, the SGC could hand out

short brochures, magnets or other informative materials. Also, with the email addresses that were required to sign up for the buses, Foote said, they could send out information online, too. “Sexual assault, gender discrimination — those are all issues that, like, need to be continuously addressed in college communities,” she said. “So this is us doing what we think students should be constantly interacting with and engaging with.” Foote said they may also hold an event to highlight the Sexual Harassment and Assault Response & Education program. Senate Chair Carlie McClinsey said Title IX Coordinator Tiffani Ziemann joined the Oct. 3, 2016, meeting as a guest speaker to inform the Senate on Title IX resources. SGC also had two representatives on the Title IX policy committee, which met biweekly. “I specifically asked her to come before both Cortaca and Halloween because both nights are pretty big in the party culture,” McClinsey said. The second definitive subject on the board’s agenda was voter registration. The SGC was planning to raise awareness of the importance of voting. Foote said that around Constitution Day on Sept. 16, the SGC would hold events to inform students on where and how to vote. “When it comes to voter registration, it’s obviously a massive election year,” McClinsey said. “It’s also a very scary election year, so making sure people are registered to vote and making use of their liberties and rights is really important.” Foote said it was not about taking a stance on a certain political candidate but about getting students to the polls. “We’re not taking a position at all on who you should vote for or what party you should go to or align with, more so ‘Here’s the information. Do with it what you will,’” she said. McClinsey added that she had registered to vote last year through the SGC. In an attempt to fix the SGC’s lack of senate attendance, which resulted in relatively fewer bills proposed in the Spring 2016 semester, McClinsey said the Senate had been put on the communication tool Slack. Last year, only the executive board was on Slack, and adding both branches could help engage the Senate, she said. With many traumatic events locally and around the country recently, Foote said it is important for the SGC to put what students want at the forefront. “It’s not like we’re going to be prioritizing Title IX over racism on campus or homophobia or anything,” she said. “We’re really trying to look for what students need.”


60| NEWS

IC Active Minds is a club dedicated to raising awareness of mental health and illness on Ithaca College’s campus. ALEXIS LIBERATORE/THE ITHACAN

WAITING GAME

Uptick in CAPS service requests raises wait times for IC students

|BY ANNA BORRUTO

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espite an added counselor and phone screening system, an increased number of students at Ithaca College was using the Center for Counseling and Psychological Services in Fall 2016, causing wait times to grow. Deborah Harper, director of CAPS, said there was a 15 percent increase in demand for counseling services from Fall 2015 to Fall 2016, as of Nov. 5, 2016. In Spring 2015, students created an online movement called “Get CAPS Ready” to advocate for more funds and staff for CAPS. Since then, CAPS has been able to add a new counselor position to alleviate these problems, but they remain. In Fall 2015, the average wait time for students to see a counselor was seven to eight days. In a year, the average wait time increased to 14 days. “We get a position basically to cover a deficit,” Harper said. “We rarely get positions that throw us ahead of demand.” The college is not the only institution facing these problems. Over the past six years, the number of students seeking counseling services has grown 30 percent, according to the Center for Collegiate Mental Health. The ratio of counselors to students at the college is 1–822, Harper said. According to the International Association of

Counseling Services Inc., which accredits CAPS as a counseling service, the recommended staff-to-student ratio is one counselor to 1,000–1,500 students. The college meets this recommendation with its 10 counselors. Harper said CAPS offers services meant to relieve some of the pressures of the waitlist. There is a phone triage service where students can speak to a counselor and express their needs. There are group therapy sessions and clinical-crisis hours for those who need immediate attention. Suki Montgomery Hall, assistant director of CAPS, said group therapy is the most preferred option for students because they can see a counselor more often, whereas with one-on-one sessions, students see a counselor every two or three weeks. About 10 to 12 percent of students seeking help are referred off campus, Harper said. But she said this can be difficult because there are more people looking for help than there are services. Harper said she has seen students give up on seeking help from CAPS because they hear there is a waitlist and believe they will never be seen. She said the administration can address these issues by providing more staff, adequate resources and a long-term care plan so students can have more counseling sessions.


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TUITION AND AID RISE Ithaca College budget for 2017–18 academic year sees decrease from prior years |BY SOPHIA ADAMUCCI

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he Ithaca College Board of Trustees has approved increases in salary pools, tuition and financial aid, but announced a decrease in revenue, for the 2017–18 fiscal year as a result of the departure of the large Class of 2017. The approved 2017–18 revenue budget of $234.5 million, which was announced on Intercom on March 7, is a 1.6 percent decrease from the 2016–17 budget of $238.4 million. The Class of 2017 had more students than usual, so even if the Fall 2017 enrollment meets the target, overall enrollment is expected to drop, resulting in less revenue. The cost of tuition for the 2017–18 academic year is $42,884. The anticipated cost for a standard double room will be $8,372. This tuition increase is the smallest in at least 70 years, as was last year’s, according to the college. The college will budget $120.5 million

DESIGN BY HAYLEY TARLETON

for institutional financial aid, which is also the highest amount ever, according to the announcement. Salary and benefit costs make up 58 percent of the operating budget total, or $136 million for 2017–18. The salary pool will increase by 2.5 percent, and 1.75 percent will be allocated for the general merit pool. The contingent faculty union had been bargaining and organizing for months in hope of reaching an agreement with the administration for improved compensation and other benefits. The union announced April 7, 2017, that it had voted to ratify a contract agreement, which had been signed March 26. This agreement led to the cancelation of a strike planned for March 28–29. Tom Swensen, professor and chair of the Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences and chair of the Faculty Council, said more money was being allocated

to compensating people who work for the college than bringing in new revenue. He compared the 2.5 percent increase for the salary pool to the 2.45 percent tuition rise. “The college is working hard to compensate the faculty well,” Swensen said. The union and the administration settled on a 24 percent raise over four years and eligibility for two-year contracts for part-time contingent faculty members who have worked at the college for three years. President Tom Rochon stated in an email that the budget reflects core values. “The heart of Ithaca College rests on the interaction among students, faculty and staff, and cannot be captured in a budget,” Rochon stated. “However, three core values are reflected ... the commitment to affordability for students, the commitment to providing the facilities for a first-rate educational experience, and the commitment to being a quality employer.”

SOURCE: ITHACA COLLEGE BUDGETS


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HONORS FINDS NEW DIRECTOR Associate professor Alicia Swords replaces Tom Pfaff as Honors director |BY SOPHIA TULP

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Alicia Swords, associate professor in the Department of Sociology, will serve as director of the Honors Program for three years. FERNANDO FERRAZ/THE ITHACAN

thaca College has named a new director of the Honors Program. Alicia Swords, associate professor in the Department of Sociology, replaced Tom Pfaff in the spring semester. This comes after the two most recent directors have voiced concerns about structural problems stemming from a lack of administrative support for the director role, leading both Pfaff and former director Robert Sullivan to step down. Staff Writer Sophia Tulp spoke with Swords to discuss how the Honors Program will continue. Sophia Tulp: As we reported, there was a lot of uncertainty regarding who would step into this role. When did you start considering the position, and how did you decide to take it on? Alicia Swords: I really thought it was important to do my homework and learn what I could about the Honors Program before making decisions. ST: The Honors Program is incredibly interdisciplinary and encompassing of so many aspects across campus. Can you tell me how your own background will contribute? AS: I think I’m really well-positioned to contribute to the civic engagement component … with really strong community connections and a decade or more experience in service learning and community-based research and work in the areas that the Honors Program includes. ST: Are you interested in reinstating the civic engagement component of the Honors Program? AS: The faculty steering committee, the provost’s office and I are all in agreement that the connection between honors and civic engagement is really important and is a priority. I’m very committed to rebuilding that connection and that component. ST: What are your goals for the Honors Program? AS: Among the first meetings that we’ve scheduled is with admissions to discuss strategic recruitment plans, including increasing the diversity of the Honors Program.


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FRENCH FACULTY SHORTAGE Ithaca College French program suffers due to lack of tenure-eligible faculty |BY EVAN POPP

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ince the end of the 2014–15 academic year, the Ithaca College French program has relied solely on part-time adjuncts and full-time contingent faculty members hired on one-year contracts. Although Mat Fournier will take on a tenure-track position in Fall 2017, faculty and students say the program has suffered without tenure-eligible faculty positions and that one tenure-track position is not enough. The French program is part of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures and had three tenure-eligible positions during the 2013–14 academic year. One of these faculty members, Mark Hall, was denied tenure and left the institution. Elizabeth Hall, another tenure-eligible faculty member, was granted tenure but did not return to the college after taking a leave of absence. The third tenure-track faculty member, Anne Theobald, left the college after the Spring 2015 semester. Julia Cozzarelli, assistant professor in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures and former chair of the department, said she asked for three tenure-eligible lines two years ago and two lines last year, and was given one. Theobald, now an assistant professor of French at Hillsdale College, said she was “outraged and disillusioned” when Mark Hall was denied tenure in Spring 2014. Vincent Wang, dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences, stated in an email that he had expected the tenure-track French professor to begin in the Fall 2017 semester. French appeared to have been the only program at the college that had no tenured or tenure-track faculty positions. The lack of a tenure-track faculty position in the French program is part of a larger trend in higher education. In 1969, 78.3 percent of professors were tenure-track. By 2009, that number had dropped to 33.5 percent, according to the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges. Alex Lenoble, lecturer in the French program, was one of three to start teaching in the French program in the Fall 2016 semester. SAM FULLER/THE ITHACAN


64| NEWS

SOURCE: NATIONAL CENTER FOR EDUCATION STATISTICS AND OFFICE OF ANALYTICS AND INSTITUTIONAL RESEARCH DESIGN BY ALISON TEADORE

RACE FORWARD

National demographic shift yields rise in IC student diversity

|BY MAX DENNING

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ix years after the implementation of the Diversity Strategic Plan, Ithaca College has steadily increased its number of minority students at a rate comparable to the national average. However, among its peer group of institutions, the college still lags behind. Among the 11 schools in its peer group, the college ranks eighth in terms of diversity of its first-time, full-time freshman class in 2015, with 22 percent of students identifying as African, Latino, Asian or Native American. The peer group is released in the college’s annual budget and consists of the institutions that have the most overlapping applicant pools with the college. 2015 is the most recent year for which comparative statistics are available. In the past two years, the college has regressed slightly, with only 21 percent of the class being ALANA students in 2016,

down from its peak of 22.2 percent in 2014. Over the past 10 years, the college has increased the racial and ethnic diversity of its freshman class by 9.3 percent. Gerard Turbide, vice president for enrollment management, said he’s not satisfied with the college’s current diversity. “Do I think IC is diverse enough?” Turbide said. “The answer is no. Have we made good progress? Yes, absolutely.” The college’s diversity figures have progressed at nearly the same rate as the increase in diversity of the national pool of college students. From 2005 to 2014, nationally, the total college enrollment of ALANA students increased by 8.9 percent, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. The college increased its proportion of ALANA students by 9.6 percent in this period, according to the Office of Analytics and Institutional

Research. This means the college’s progress is less than a 1 percent increase ahead of the national student population shift. In 2005, for every 100,000 ALANA students in college, 11 were enrolled at Ithaca College. In 2014, for every 100,000 ALANA students in college, 15 were enrolled at the college. The college’s admissions process is race neutral, meaning an applicant’s race is known, should the applicant choose to disclose it, but not considered as a factor in deciding to admit the student, Turbide said. Instead, he said, the college’s efforts to increase the diversity of new classes of students are based on recruitment strategies. In addition, the college has merit-based scholarships such as the MLK Scholar program and ALANA scholarships specifically for students from underrepresented backgrounds.


NEWS |65 ALANA scholarships range from $2,000 to $5,000. MLK colleges around the country. Scholarships are $25,000 at minimum, and any additional aid is “And I wouldn’t single Ithaca College out in that,” she said. need-based. “As a historically white institution, we’re not any different in that To increase student diversity, Turbide said, the college has way. As a black woman myself, I went, as an undergraduate stufocused on creating a more inclusive environment on campus dent, to a historically white institution, and when I compare my rather than merely increasing the percentage of students of color. experience to that of friends or students over the years at Ithaca The college’s racial climate was one of the key issues that POC College, there’s a similar dynamic.” at IC protested during the Fall 2015 semester, echoing protests Senior Yaw Aidoo, a computer science major and an interthat erupted on college campuses around the country. national student from Ghana, said inclusion is an issue at many Before 2015, the racial climate at the institutions, but that doesn’t excuse the college was already under scrutiny. In the college climate. 2011 campus-climate survey, 56 percent of POC at IC protested at the college’s “DO I THINK IC IS ALANA respondents said they thought Fall Open House Oct. 24, 2015, to inpeople at the college do not receive DIVERSE ENOUGH? THE form “potential customers” of the college equal treatment, compared to 39 on the racial climate. Turbide said he didn’t percent of white respondents. Ni- ANSWER IS NO. HAVE WE believe the protests impacted admissions. cole Eversley Bradwell, director of MADE GOOD PROGRESS? Another factor that dictates success in admissions, said she recognized that inattracting diverse students is location. YES, ABSOLUTELY.” clusivity has been an issue at the college. Turbide said it is much easier for urban “We see a lot more evidence that our cur— GERARD TURBIDE schools to recruit ALANA students. rent students and alumni can share that they Aidoo said the school portrayal plays a haven’t felt like this has been the most inbig role in diversity. clusive environment,” she said. When he was in high school, he said, he met an Ithaca College Marieme Foote, Student Governance Council president, said student who persuaded him to attend the college. Now, he said she thinks the college wrongly touts diversity. he’s not sure if he would do the same. “I think that Ithaca College should start gearing its focus on “If I go home to Ghana now and my mom’s sister asks me, inclusion for students of color,” she said. “We flaunt diversity, ‘Hey, my son is considering going to college. Do you recombut there’s not a push for inclusion.” mend Ithaca?’ … I don’t know if I can promise someone’s kid to Eversley Bradwell said she thinks inclusivity is an issue at most come here.”

ALLISON LATINI/THE ITHACAN


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DESIGN BY HAYLEY TARLETON SOURCE: COMMON DATA SETS OF PEER GROUPS SCHOOLS

FACULTY DIVERSITY RISE FALLS SHORT OF PEERS’ Faculty diversity increases at IC but lags behind peer group of seven institutions |BY MAX DENNING

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hile Ithaca College has met faculty diversity goals and improved its faculty diversity by almost 5 percent over the past five years, many students and faculty members still believe that the college’s faculty is not racially diverse enough. In Ithaca College’s Diversity Strategic Plan, adopted as part of IC 20/20 in 2010, the college set out to improve its percentage of full-time African, Latino, Asian and Native American faculty members from 8.2 percent in Fall 2009 to 13 percent by Fall 2015. The college achieved its goal, as 13.09 percent of full-time faculty members were members of minority groups in Fall 2015. ALANA students make up 20.3 percent of the total student population at the college. Among the seven schools in the college’s peer group that release data on faculty diversity, the college ranks last. Hofstra

University had the highest reported faculty diversity in the peer group, with 21.49 percent of its faculty being part of minority groups. The peer group is released in the college’s annual budget and consists of the institutions that have the most overlapping applicant pools with the college. In 2009, ALANA faculty made up 19.2 percent of all full-time faculty members at degree-granting institutions nationally, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. In 2013, the most recently available data, 21.5 percent of full-time faculty members were ALANA. While the college increased its faculty diversity by 4 percent from 2009 to 2013, nationally, faculty diversity increased by 2.3 percent. At the college, each department leads its own hiring efforts for faculty members. In September 2015, the college released new guidelines for


NEWS |67 faculty hiring, which included training for search committee chairs on eliminating bias in search procedures, diversifying search committees by including a faculty member from outside the unit that is conducting the search, and ensuring qualified candidates from underrepresented backgrounds are included in finalist pools. Danette Johnson, vice provost for educational affairs, said the preference for Ivy League candidates is a potential source of bias during search processes. “There are often structural barriers that prevent people ... from groups that have been traditionally underrepresented in the academy having access to Ivy League institutions,” she said. Johnson said each department also must identify five individuals who can reach a more diverse pool of candidates to contact about the posting. They are often from historically black colleges and universities or are individuals connected with Latino caucuses at national professional organizations. She mentioned the recent expansion of the Diversity Scholars Program from just the School of Humanities and Sciences to the Roy H. Park School of Communications and the School of Health Sciences and Human Performance as a way the college has succeeded in expanding diversity efforts. This year, the program has two scholars in H&S and two in HSHP, and next year, the program will have two scholars in the Park School and two in H&S. Of the past 16 diversity scholars, the college has retained six in tenure-track positions. “It’s been a good source for us for very talented faculty from traditionally underrepresented groups,” Johnson said. Both Phuong Nguyen, assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and the Center for the Study of Culture, Race and Ethnicity, and Derek Adams, assistant professor in the English department, said diverse faculty members often do extra advising and mentoring work for students of color. Nguyen said if it wanted to become a leader in faculty diversity and not just

give “lip service” to the idea, the college could include that work as part of what it considers for tenure. “It must start rewarding instead of penalizing faculty of color for doing all the unpaid, unappreciated, unrecognized work of mentoring, advising and serving as role models for so many students — of being unofficial hired hands in student retention,” Nguyen said. Adams said this type of “life-advising” hinders his ability to do more academic research and write academic papers. He said that due to the small number of faculty members of color on campus, students from minority groups have fewer professors with whom they may feel comfortable discussing their experiences at the college. Even though Adams said he values

“UNLESS THE JOB CALLS FOR EXPERTISE IN ISSUES OF RACE ... THE HIRE WILL LIKELY BE WHITE.” — PHUONG NGUYEN mentoring students more than research, in tenure processes, published academic work is essential. Tyler Reighn, a junior film, photography and visual arts major, said diverse faculty members are necessary for students of color to know that they belong at the college. “We’re already investing into perspectives that aren’t our own because, again, academia is not a world that was focused around our perspectives,” he said. “POC faculty don’t help give an excess to students of color. They give them the bare minimum. Them being here says, ‘Hey, it’s OK for you to be here at college. Your being here is worth it.’” Nguyen said faculty members of color are often relegated to solely being professors in diversity fields.

“Let’s be honest: The dominant ideology and trend within academia with regards to diversity is to recruit for diversity when the area of expertise is that specific area of diversity,” Nguyen said. “In other words, unless the job calls for expertise in issues of race, for example, the hire will likely be white.” In the 2010 strategic plan, the college did not discuss recruiting diverse faculty members in nondiversity fields. Raza Rumi, a scholar in residence in the School of Humanities and Sciences, said he thinks the college should attempt to only hire people of color in all vacant faculty and staff positions. “As a starter, IC should encourage all vacant positions and those that will fall vacant in the next five years should be reserved for recruitment of faculty members from the minority groups in the U.S. or abroad,” Rumi said. There are also challenges in recruiting diverse faculty members, and faculty members in general, due to Ithaca’s relative homogeneity and location that is more than four hours away from any urbanized area, Johnson said. But Nguyen said the college’s lack of diversity hurts its retention of professors of color more than its original ability to recruit. “Given the dismal job market for professors, the racial composition of IC’s faculty won’t necessarily dissuade people of color from taking a job if offered,” he said. “But retention can be a big problem if that professor of color, for instance, prefers not to spend every single day being the token person of color when they interact with peers.” Adams said that to attract more diverse faculty members, one possible answer is very clear: paying more. “That’s a challenge because we have rising tuition costs and constraints with the budget and everything else, but attracting a more diverse candidate pool, I think, would be helped by offering more money for starting salaries for professors who could potentially be hired here,” Adams said.


68| NEWS

. PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY FERNANDO FERRAZ

STAFF FACES WORK WOES

Problems persist with morale and communication at Ithaca College for staff members

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|BY EVAN POPP

n December 2015, the Ithaca College staff became the last constituency on campus to hold a vote of no confidence in President Tom Rochon. The results, released in January 2016, showed 48 percent of staff members had no confidence in Rochon while 33 percent had confidence and 19 percent abstained from the vote. Almost a year after that vote, The Ithacan spoke with 11 staff members about their perception of the atmosphere for the staff on campus. While many of them said they enjoy working at the college, problems persist with morale, communication and a fear of speaking out. In December 2015, the results of a Staff Council survey revealed that 56 percent of staff members had low or semilow

morale, with just 15 percent responding that their morale was high or semihigh and 21 percent saying their morale was average. The remaining 7 percent had no opinion or no answer. During the 2014–15 fiscal year, 39 vacant and eight occupied staff positions were cut as part of the workforce analysis, which was aimed at keeping the cost of tuition down by eliminating staff positions the administration thought were expendable. The initiative was put on hold during the Fall 2015 semester so the administration could focus on attempting to address concerns over racism and inclusivity raised during student-led demonstrations. Rochon said the college has always been transparent about the process, information that would be considered and the


NEWS |69 decision-making regarding staff cuts. “These are always difficult decisions, and decisions you’d rather not have to make,” Rochon said. “We’ve been completely transparent about that process, and now, we’ve been completely transparent that now ... we are not contemplating any further layoffs in the staff.” Though staffing has been reduced by about 70 positions, Rochon said “relatively few” were layoffs. He said the college will continue to evaluate whether certain open positions will be cut or filled. “It’s only prudent to always look at our workforce and understanding our needs versus our supply,” said Jannette Williams, interim vice president for finance and administration. “It’s just something that every institution needs to do.” Many staff members at the college ignored repeated attempts to contact them for an interview. Others who responded said they didn’t feel comfortable being interviewed. Tati Herold, administrative assistant in the School of Health Sciences and Human Performance, said overall, the college is not a bad place to work. However, during the student-led demonstrations in Fall 2015, she said the staff felt like the least protected group on campus because it does not have the protection paying tuition offers students or the security many faculty members get from tenure. Rosane Mordt, enterprise applications developer in the Department of Engagement and Implementation and chair of the Staff Council, said there are examples of the fear the staff feels in action. She said some staff members told her they feared going to certain meetings because they felt they would become a target for retaliation just by being in attendance. Mordt emphasized that while the majority of staff members likely don’t feel that way, it is significant that some employees of the college experience fear on that level. “The very fact that there is fear, regardless, is a problem,” she said. “Especially in an institution of higher learning.” Kristin Morse, administrative assistant

for the Department of Strategic Communication, said morale has been better since staff-position cuts were put on hold. However, she said there are other problems with morale. “Unfortunately, many staff feel belittled by faculty members and upper administration, which makes many feel that they are lacking, unworthy or, on the other side, angry,” stated Morse, who is the Staff Council representative for the Roy H. Park School of Communications and the School of Business, in an email. Additionally, Bonnie Prunty, director of the offices of Residential Life and Judicial Affairs and assistant dean for first-year experiences, said while she feels

“BE WITH THE PEOPLE. BUT NOT AS A PRESENCE OF POWER, NOT DICTATING, BUT JUST BE PRESENT. BE VISIBLE.” — ROSANE MORDT like the college is a great place to work, many longtime employees have recently left the institution. “One of the things that has been sad to watch is that a number of those folks have moved on recently … so I certainly think some of the staff who have been here for an extended period of time feel the loss of those individuals not being on campus anymore,” Prunty said. Even given all these challenges, Mordt said it is important to understand that staff morale varies throughout the college. She said that although there are problems, there are also wonderful aspects of working at the college and that staff members in some parts of the college are happy with their jobs. Some staff members have taken issue with what they perceive to be top-down administrative leadership, lack of shared

governance and poor communication between higher-ups and staff. In the December 2015 Staff Council survey, just under 70 percent of the staff felt there was a lack of accountability for actions and decisions that were made, and 55 percent said the lack of accountability was primarily within the upper administration. The Staff Council summary of a “Solution Session” held on accountability in February 2016 listed some of the reasons for this as individuals’ not fulfilling their job duties, poor decisions from supervisors with no ramifications, no opportunity for feedback from employees on supervisors and little consideration of suggestions from staff. Herold said the staff often seems to be informed at the last minute about various administrative decisions. “Before even creating the initiative, it would be nice to have people involved at that point as opposed to already having an initiative in mind and then asking people to work off of that,” she said. “I think it would be more helpful to have people’s opinions in the beginning.” Prunty said she is in the rare position of having regular contact with members of the senior leadership of the college. She said levels of communication between the administration and staff members are mixed. “I think that’s a shift,” she said. “It seems to me there are more people in the past year who are expressing those kinds of concerns than I’ve heard in my time here up to this point.” Nancy Pringle, senior vice president for the Division of Human and Legal Resources and general counsel, and Brian Dickens, vice president for human resources, declined to comment. Many staff members said they felt it was vital for the next president to be present around the college and available to members of the community. Mordt agreed that it’s necessary for the next president to interact with the staff members. “I think it’s extremely important to be physically in the workplace,” she said.


70| NEWS

ACROSS THE LINES

Silo mentality in higher education plays a role at Ithaca College |BY SOPHIA ADAMUCCI

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phenomenon known as the “silo mentality,” which has pervaded both higher education and corporate culture for decades, has affected Ithaca College, where a notable separation exists among the five independent schools. While this mentality manifests in a historical separation of curriculum development among schools at the college, a growing number of students are breaking from traditionally distinct schools and prescribed majors, aided by expanding programs with similar goals, such as the integrative studies program and the Integrative Core Curriculum. Silo mentality is an attitude that can be found most commonly in the business sphere when divisions resist interdepartmental interaction, which can inhibit free-flowing communication. Don Capener, dean of the Davis College of Business at Jacksonville University, said silo mentality began to affect colleges and universities in the 1930s and ’40s, when academia moved toward specialized programs instead of cross disciplinary based educations. Capener cited a disconnect between faculty and administration that led to the creation of the silo mentality at the collegiate level. This disconnect is detrimental to college students’ education and limits students’ ability to think broadly and creatively, he said. “What happens is you have inefficiency, but you also have poor leadership and decision-making,” Capener said. “Who suffers? The students and the faculty. Rather than silos being a catalyst for student success, they are actually an impediment.” Fostering communication among faculty members is a goal of the Center for Faculty Excellence at the college, CFE Director Wade Pickren said. He said the

Mary Ann Erickson, coordinator of integrative studies and associate professor and chair of the Gerontology Institute, said faculty members may lack an understanding of other schools. SABRINA KNIGHT/THE ITHACAN

Diane Gayeski, dean of the Roy H. Park School of Communications, said she does not think there is a silo mentality here and that the size of the college accounts for student confusion. FERNANDO FERRAZ/THE ITHACAN


NEWS |71 reason there is a silo mentality at the college is due to the structure of the administration with each school overseen by its own dean. “We have a traditional liberal arts core, the School of [Humanities & Sciences], and then we have four professional schools that surround that,” Pickren said. “We’re not just one educational unit here. This is what sets up a silo structure.” Nick Kowalczyk, associate professor in the Department of Writing, said he thinks this structure results in a lack of communication among faculty members. “The institution has basically chosen to have five little fiefdoms of miniature bureaucracies all underneath the umbrella of an ever-growing top bureaucracy,” Kowalczyk said. “That’s a naturally dysfunctional setup. … It’s like I live in Rhode Island and someone in the journalism school lives in California.” Diane Gayeski, dean of the Roy H. Park School of Communications, said she does not think there is a silo mentality at the college and said that if it did exist, it would not affect the development of classes co-taught by faculty from different schools. She said there are some administrative hurdles for setting up cotaught classes, such as figuring out where credits get counted. Mary Ann Erickson, coordinator of integrative studies and associate professor and chair of the Gerontology Institute, said one effect of having a silo mentality at the college is that faculty members feel they cannot advise outside of their school because of a lack of understanding regarding other schools. But enrollment in the integrative studies program, formerly known as the planned studies program, has increased dramatically from previous years. This year, there are 13

students enrolled in integrative studies overall for Fall 2016 — nine B.A. degrees and four B.S. degrees — compared to two of each during Fall 2015, according to the Office of Analytics and Institutional Research. Rachel Reuben, former associate vice president for marketing and communications at the college and contributing writer on the subject of the silo mentality for Inside Higher Education, said the first step to breaking down silos at the collegiate level is to improve communication. “If a school is silo-ing itself because it doesn’t feel like it is a part of a larger communication plan or they’re not being communicated with … they feel they are getting slighted and want to go off and do their own thing,” Reuben said. Erickson said she thinks the silo mentality at the college has decreased in her 16 years here, and she credits the Integrative Core Curriculum, the integrative studies program and the first-year seminars. “I think that there is an opportunity for programs like integrative studies or the Ithaca seminars to tear down, hop over, decrease the silo mentality as we in each school get to know each other’s programs better,” she said. To get rid of the silo mentality at the college on the faculty level, Pickren said, there needs to be an effort from the deans. “There would have to be deliberate programs that would really encourage the deans to actively find ways for their faculty to collaborate across the school boundaries, across the silos,” Pickren said. It’s going to take a little time for us to get there.” Contributing Writer Rachel Kreidberg contributed reporting to this article.


72| NEWS From left, senior Asa Slayton, freshman Rilya Greeslamirya, junior Jeremy Block and freshman Ly Do represent IC Food for Thought. SAM FULLER/THE ITHACAN

HELPING HANDS

Student-led organization raises awareness and knowledge of world hunger |BY NICOLE PIMENTAL

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wenty members of a student-led charitable organization at Ithaca College prepared for its largest fundraising event to battle malnutrition overseas, with the hope of doubling the amount raised. IC Food for Thought hosted its 10th annual Walk for Plumpy’Nut, a 5k on Oct. 23, 2016, at Cass Park. All of the proceeds were donated to Concern Worldwide, a nonprofit organization that redirects the proceeds to the manufacturers of Plumpy’Nut, a therapeutic paste enriched with proteins and minerals, said junior Jeremy Block, director of communication for IC Food for Thought. He said their attention is specifically on Ethiopia because of its high mortality rate among children. He said that, on average, the group raises about $2,000 each year from the Walk for Plumpy’Nut. In total, the organization has raised $25,000 since it was founded in 2008. The event raised almost $900, enough for 2,200 packets of Plumpy’Nut, according to president and senior Rebecca Johnson. The group was planning to reach its goal by means of increasing advertising of the event through social media, emails to other clubs and posters, Johnson said.

Food for Thought is a nonprofit organization that aims to boost the community’s knowledge of world hunger. Johnson said the group planned to host more events throughout the year to raise money, including its Rise Up for Rice trivia event in December 2016 and its spring Oxfam Hunger Banquet. Food for Thought conducts the hunger banquet by following the guidelines of the Oxfam America Hunger Banquet: Participants are given colored cards that indicate a specific income, with red signifying low income, orange signifying middle income and green signifying high income. Treasurer and junior Tra Nguyen said participating in the hunger banquet her freshman year helped her gain sympathy for those living with lower incomes. “It made me feel ... different,” Nguyen said. “Less privileged.” Junior Nicole Bond, vice president of special events, said she has the responsibility of leading and organizing the events that Food for Thought hosts with the goal of involving as much of the campus community as possible. “I hope that we are able to ... spread awareness of the event and how others can get involved,” Bond said.


NEWS |73

MAKING A DIFFERENCE Ithaca College senior continues dedication to community volunteerism and service |BY MEAGHAN MCELROY

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or Ithaca College senior Kevin Doubleday, community service takes a variety of forms — whether that’s building houses with Habitat for Humanity or running around in a polar bear suit to advertise for the Special Olympics New York’s Polar Plunge. Doubleday, a communication management and design major, is president of the Ithaca College Habitat for Humanity chapter, vice president of Student Volunteers for Special Olympics New York and treasurer of Big Brothers/Big Sisters. His drive to continue with service, Doubleday said, comes not only from the desire to surround himself with people who are eager to help out, but also from his high regard for character and respect. Doubleday said he credits his parents for his dedication to community service.

His mother had worked for a women’s shelter before he was born, and his parents both worked at soup kitchens. “My giving attitude and my service is all because of my parents,” Doubleday said. “Every single year, they exposed me to what it could be like to be making little differences in someone’s life.” After his freshman year, Doubleday got an internship with Special Olympics New York and has been working with the organization ever since. Senior Samantha Ampel, president of Students Volunteer for Special Olympics New York, said Doubleday is a valuable member of the organization because of his energy and his passion for working with athletes with disabilities. “Kevin’s ... passion for the causes he pursues is contagious,” Ampel said. “That

is a truly unique and inspiring quality.” Chandler Robertson, vice president of the college’s chapter of Habitat for Humanity, said Doubleday’s dedication and drive to help others is evident. “You can tell that this is something he is passionate about, and it rubs off on those who ... work with him,” Robertson said. When not volunteering, Doubleday works as a public relations consultant to build up his professional portfolio and serves as the captain of Nawshus, the college’s Ultimate Frisbee team. “All these experiences are cumulative in one way or another,” Doubleday said. “One of the things I want to translate from ... everything I do here is the importance of integrity. I try to do honest work … and that means that I’m doing the best that I can all the time.”

“HE’S SO ENTHUSIASTIC TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN ANY KIND OF SCALE, AND HE TRULY DOES.” — CHANDLER ROBERTSON

Senior Kevin Doubleday is president of IC Habitat for Humanity and spends much of his free time volunteering or playing for the ultimate frisbee team. CONNOR LANGE/THE ITHACAN


74| NEWS

FUSION TECH WINNER

Smoking cessation aid wins third annual Park Tank competition |BY STEPH SIOK

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From left, senior Alex Horner and Sethavatey Limsreng ’16 won the first-place prize of $500 at Park Tank for their invention StopPack, a chemical-free smoking cessation device. ALEXIS LIBERATORE/THE ITHACAN

enior Alex Horner and Sethavatey Limsreng ’16 fused technology and medicine to claim the firstplace prize at the third annual Park Tank business competition at Ithaca College. The college community gathered Oct. 7, 2016, for the event outside of Roy H. Park Hall. Park Tank is a competition where students pitch their media-focused business ideas to a panel of judges made of alumni and faculty members. This year, Horner and Limsreng received the firstplace prize of $500 for their invention, StopPack, which is a chemical-free device designed to help people quit smoking. Aniebietabasi Ekong ’16 did not attend Park Tank but was one of the other creators. Horner and Limsreng compared their invention to the Fitbit, an electronic bracelet that tracks steps, heart rate and activity throughout the day. With this technology, users visualize their smoking habits and set quitting goals for themselves. Horner said they will use the prize money to build their business and to help cover the costs of production. Bryan Roberts, associate dean of the Roy H. Park School of Communications, said the show was a big success. “You have the students who built the set, the students who are shooting it ... it’s truly a comprehensive learning experience,” Roberts said. Cara LeMieux ’02, a judge on the panel, said she was impressed with the social aspect of the event because the audience could vote for a favorite. “Every time I come back, I’m more and more impressed with the ability of the students to put on professional-level productions, and this event was no different,” she said.


NEWS |75 Students at Ithaca College pitch their startup ideas at Rev: Ithaca on Nov. 17, 2016. EVAN SOBKOWICZ/THE ITHACAN

STARTING UP THE BUSINESS Ithaca College students win money for business ideas at a Rev: Ithaca competition |BY RYAN KING

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Malian clothing line and a biodegradable ceiling–tile company — startup ideas from students — took home the largest prizes from the first Ithaca College Startup Idea Demo Day on Nov. 17, 2016, at Rev: Ithaca Startup Works. For the past five years, a similar event, called the Business Idea Competition, was held on campus, but this year, it was renamed and moved to Rev, a business incubator downtown, so students could network with entrepreneurs in an off-campus setting. Most students competed in the event in teams, and each team pitched an idea for a business startup to a panel of judges composed of local and alumni business entrepreneurs. Twelve teams gave four-minute presentations followed by four-minute Q&A sessions. Each team that presented was awarded at least $100. The judges had $6,500 to award students. This money came from donations to the School of Business. Aniko — the clothing line — and Myco Ceiling won the biggest prizes, and the students were awarded full assistance. Freshman Ana Coulibaly, a business administration and legal studies double major, pitched Aniko, a startup clothing line featuring fashion designs from her home in Mali. She said she finds

the clothing more colorful and diverse in style there and that she wants to bring this to the U.S. Coulibaly received $1,000 in financial assistance, which she said she will use to pay her mother in Mali to make about 70 designs to start the business. “I got exactly what I was looking for,” she said. “I’m so happy.” Senior Cory Kimmel and junior Meagan Priest, both business administration majors, pitched Myco Ceiling, a startup specializing in ceiling tiles that are more environmentally friendly and can biodegrade at a faster rate than current mainstream ceiling tiles. The panel awarded Myco Ceiling $1,240 in financial assistance and an additional Sustainability Award of $200. Kimmel and Priest plan on spending that money on necessary supplies. “[I’m] really excited that we have the opportunity to move forward, and I can’t wait to see where this takes us next,” Priest said. Students in the IC Young Entrepreneurs Organization and instructor Brad Treat’s entrepreneurial innovation class pitched ideas at the competition. “It wasn’t just about the money,” Treat said. “Many of these students are going to be able to help move their business forward because of mentorships, connections, technical know-how.”


76| NEWS

SUSTAINABILITY SLUMP

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY FERNANDO FERRAZ


NEWS |77

Sustainability withers at Ithaca College due to shifts in priority, changes in administration and decrease in program funding |BY SOPHIE JOHNSON

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ver the past four years, sustainability at Ithaca Col- Jones, and a sustainability coordinator position, filled by lege has seen numerous structural and funding Mark Darling. Both reported to the Office of Facilities. changes that have resulted in its falling from the In 2007, President Peggy Ryan Williams signed onto college’s top priorities. the American College and University Presidents Climate Since 2012, sustainability positions at the college have Commitment, and in 2009, the Ithaca College Board of shifted from reporting directly to the provost’s office to re- Trustees approved the Climate Action Plan, pledging the porting to the Office of Facilities — a move many current college would be 100 percent carbon neutral by 2050. and former faculty members blame for withering sustainFrom 2010 to 2013, the college released yearly progability efforts at the college. ress reports, but since then, none have been released. Sustainability also recently lost two high-level position Susan Swensen Witherup, professor in the Department lines that were filled by Marian Brown — special assistant of Biology, said this is a major source of the issues with to the provost for academic affairs for sustainability — and sustainability progress. Mark Darling — sustainability coordinator — who worked at “One of the most important things we need to do is to the college for over and almost three revisit our Climate Action Plan,” decades, respectively. she said. From 2004 to 2012, Brown reGreg Lischke, current director of “THERE WAS A ported directly to the provost. Until energy management and sustainabilGOLDEN ERA OF 2007, this was Peter Bardaglio, a ity, said he hoped to have a formal “champion” of sustainability, said update on sustainability soon. SUSTAINABILITY ON Jason Hamilton, professor and chair Also in 2008, the college received of the Department of Environmental a $500,000 grant from the HSBC THIS CAMPUS. ... WE’RE Studies and Sciences. Bank’s community fund to go toward NOT IN IT ANYMORE.” educational opportunities involving Brown said this structure was beneficial because she was reporting — JASON HAMILTON sustainability. Once the funding ran directly to those who were high up in out in 2012, Hamilton said, the coladministration and was able to work lege would not take up the funding cross-divisionally with higher positions like deans and for the programs developed, so most of them ended. department heads. In March 2012, Brown said, her position was abruptly Now, Bardaglio is the president of the Black Oak moved to the newly formed Office of Civic Engagement, Wind Farm, the first community-owned wind farm in and again in October 2013. These changes impacted New York state; he works to improve energy and water Brown’s decision to leave in May 2014. Her position has management in downtown Ithaca; and he works with the not been filled. Tompkins County Climate Protection Initiative, BardaFormer and current faculty, staff and students, like glio stated via email. Once Bardaglio left the college, Maura Stephens, the former associate director of the Park after a five-month interim, Kathleen Rountree became Center for Independent Media, have seen a decline in the the provost in July 2007. Rountree left in 2010 and focus on sustainability, as well as sustainability initiatives, was replaced by Marisa Kelly, who worked at the college compared to what it once was at the college. until 2014. “I don’t see any vision from this administration,” SteIn addition to Brown’s position as special assistant, phens said. “I don’t see any forward thinking about true there was an energy manager position — later combined sustainability, and how the college can put itself on the map with sustainability to create the director of energy man- as it was striving to do with Marian Brown and Peter Bardaagement and sustainability position — filled by Michelle glio and Mark Darling.”


life & c


culture


80| LIFE & CULTURE

“Moonlight” star Jharrel Jerome poses on the red carpet of the Oscars on Feb. 26, 2017. JAY L. CLENDENIN/LOS ANGELES TIMES/TNS

STEPPING INTO STARDOM

Jherome acts in “Somewhere,” a short film produced by Last Minute Films. COURTESY OF MAX FRIEDMAN


LIFE & CULTURE |81

Ithaca College theater student starred in Oscar-winning film “Moonlight” and will continue his acting career in television |BY SILAS WHITE AND KAYLA DWYER

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n a dreary October morning last year at Ithaca ColAs a freshman in college a few months later — Oct. 9, 2015, lege, now-sophomore Jharrel Jerome was outside his the morning of his 18th birthday — Jerome recorded and sent dorm, waiting for a car to take him to the airport. His an audition tape for the movie “Moonlight,” at the behest of destination was Miami, but he wasn’t going there just to es- his manager, who Jerome said is constantly reading scripts. cape the cold. He had just been cast in a major motion picture. He found out a week later he was given the part. Shortly afJerome is featured in the movie “Moonlight,” a drama that ter hearing the news, he took 12 days off from school to fly to follows an African-American man named Chiron as he passes Miami and shoot his part for the film. through three important phases of his life, comes of age and “The theater department at Ithaca is amazing,” he said. discovers his sexuality. Jerome plays Kevin, a friend of Chi- “They were really open to having me go over there and miss ron’s, as a teenager. classes. They were intense days. It’s a great script, and the “Kevin is kind of this really cool, macho character,” Jerome character plays a pretty substantial role, so I got the chance to said. “He’s built this identity of being such a king and a ladies’ do a lot of things on and off camera.” man, but he has this hidden identity where he is questioning Jerome said he related to Kevin’s struggle with trying to put his sexuality. But he comes from a world on a different identity, which helped where being gay is not allowed.” him perform the character. Jerome began his acting career at the “THE DAY WE SHOT WAS “LaGuardia has a lot of people who Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of aren’t from the Bronx or the hood per EXACTLY TWO MONTHS se, so trying to fit into another persona Music & Art and Performing Arts in New York City, but despite expectations, actor trying to be someone else is someing had not always been a passion of his. AFTER MY GRANDFATHER thing I did for a while before I realized “Before I got to that high school, act- HAD PASSED, SO THE DAY it was time to set that away and be mying was not on my radar,” Jerome said. self,” Jerome said. WAS REALLY HEAVY” “I wasn’t looking into plays and movies Sophomore Juwan Bennett, a friend growing up. When I was in eighth grade, and classmate of Jerome’s, said Jerome — JHARREL JEROME I decided I didn’t want to go to a regular shines in ways beyond his acting. high school.” “He knows what he wants, and he’s Jerome said he had always been quirky and entertaining, going to go for it,” Bennett said. “He’s very supportive of othbut growing up in the Bronx, his typical idea of a job was to ers and very open to criticism.” be a doctor or lawyer — something that would make his parThe movie was shot during what Jerome described as the ents proud. Jerome’s aunt suggested he try acting because it busiest year of his life. Jerome had recently graduated from fit his entertainer personality. Jerome and his mother looked high school, he acquired a talent agent, his grandfather died, into theater schools in the city, and he began taking two acting and he began college and starred in this movie. Going into classes to prepare for his audition at LaGuardia. filming, Jerome said, he had a lot on his mind. “It was an intense audition,” he said. “When I found in Feb“It challenged me personally,” Jerome said. “The day we ruary [2011] I got into the school, it was a crazy moment. We shot was exactly two months after my grandfather had passed, freaked out.” so the day was really heavy for me. I was there filming and lookDuring his senior year, Jerome caught the eye of a talent ing up in my own moment, thinking that this is where he would manager through his roles in his high school’s productions, want me.” including the lead in the musical “In the Heights” and a role in “Moonlight” took home the 2017 Golden Globe for best the play “The Laramie Project.” Jerome said people from the motion picture in the drama category Jan. 8 in Beverly Hills. film industry frequently come to LaGuardia to scout out new The film also won an Oscar for best adapted screenplay. Jetalent and that he was approached after the shows. rome took to the stage with his fellow cast members and was “At the end of those two shows, I had different managers seen jumping for joy and hugging his co-star Alex Hibbert as and agents trying to contact me, and it was amazing because it they celebrated the win. Jerome will transition from film to was the first time I felt adult-like in high school,” he said. television, as he was cast in the series “Mr. Mercedes.”


82| LIFE & CULTURE

OUIJA S BUSINESS

|BY SOPHIA ICHIZAWA

Sophomore uses local resources to build and maintain independent business online

Sophomore Nicole Marino designs, builds and sells Ouija boards using resources from the Ithaca Generator. SAM FULLER/THE ITHACAN

ophomore Nicole Marino leaned over her roommate’s Ouija board, instantly entranced by the mysterious game. Marino’s roommate, sophomore Jess Schrading, taught Marino how to play by navigating a small heart shaped tool, a planchette, across the board. Since this experience in 2016, Marino’s fascination with Ouija boards increased. Now, she builds them. Though Marino started her independent business in September 2016, as of Feb. 22, 2017, she had already designed 54 boards that are sold on Etsy, an online marketplace where artists can sell their products through the shops they create. Marino constructs the boards at the Ithaca Generator, a makerspace in downtown Ithaca where people go to work on projects. The origins of the Ouija board, originally named the Talking Board, are not quite as mysterious as the board itself. These talking boards, used to summon spirits, first became famous in 1886, when they were being used at spiritualist camps in Ohio, according to the Smithsonian. Ouija boards became a point of public fascination in the early 20th century. The board eventually became normalized in American pop culture. Parker Brothers picked up the NICOLE MARINO game in 1966, and soon after, Ouija boards were outselling Monopoly. The boards became mainstream and easily accessible. A shopper can purchase a Hasbro Ouija Board for $20 or less at Target, Amazon or othermajor retailers. After her interest was sparked by her roommate’s Ouija board, Marino said, she looked into buying a board herself but was disappointed by the options. “I was really curious about buying one, and I knew the only place I could really get one was Wal-Mart,” she said. “It is a Hasbro board game, and I was like, ‘This is really childish; it doesn’t feel genuine.’ I looked it up, and to get a handmade wooden Ouija board was at least a hundred dollars because people would carve them by hand.” Marino sells her boards for less than $25. She uses a laser cutter that the Ithaca Generator provides for free. When customers buy a board from Marino, they also receive a booklet she created with instructions on how to play. Senior Rachel Huley bought one of Marino’s boards to give as a gift to her boyfriend. When she played, she said she appreciated the authentic instructions. “It tells you to burn sage and all these things … so it’s not just like kids playing around,” Huley said. “She really looked into the spirit of it.” Marino learned how to use a laser cutter when she participated in the Make Better Stuff Workshop, a class offered by the Department of Environmental Studies. Xanthe Matychak ’95, who founded the lab at the college and is the assistant director of the Hardware Accelerator at REV Ithaca, said she was pleased to hear about Marino’s creative application of this technology. “Because these tools are available to people ... they are able to open up these side businesses or Etsy stores like Nicole has,” Matychak said.


LIFE & CULTURE |83

CRAFTING CHANGE

Creator of ABC comedy “Black-ish” Kenya Barris wins Rod Serling Award for social justice in media |BY JAKE LEARY

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thaca College recognized Kenya Barris, executive producer and creator of the ABC comedy “Black-ish,” with the college’s Rod Serling Award for Advancing Social Justice Through Popular Media. “I think that I’ve been given a unique opportunity to tell a story and start conversations, and I think that’s the most important thing any artist can do,” Barris said during his acceptance speech at the Rod Serling Award ceremony the evening of Nov. 16, 2016. “We just try to give you as many different points of view so you can have conversations that you might have at one point been afraid or uncomfortable to have.” The award commemorates Rod Serling, who taught at the college from 1967 to 1975. Diane Gayeski, dean of the Roy H. Park School of Communications, said the Serling Award honors a current media figure whose work sheds light on inequality and discrimination. “Black-ish” deals with complex social issues, particularly those pertaining to racial identity in modern America. Gayeski presented Barris with the award during the ceremony. She said she believed Barris was a worthy successor to Serling’s legacy. “He ... is getting a lot of attention for his creativity and — similar to Rod Serling — for tackling some very important, fairly sensitive social issues in a way that is accessible and attractive to the public,” she said. Gayeski said she sees the award as a chance to honor Serling, a chance to recognize modern attempts to speak out against injustice and a chance to integrate students into the vast media industry. “It’s a way we reinforce Ithaca College’s identity and our commitment to excellence in communications,” Gayeski said. Actor Marcus Scribner, who plays the role of Andre Johnson Jr. on “Black-ish,” co-presented the award with Gayeski. During his speech, Scribner praised Barris for providing him with the freedom to portray difficult social issues. “He’s been such a role model to me,” he said. “It’s been a blessing working on the show and getting to tell these very important stories every single week.” Teary–eyed, Barris said the American people should come together and live up to the country’s potential. “Let’s reach across and stop calling 50 million people crazy, and let’s have them stop calling us crazy, and let’s find that middle ground, and let’s find a way to make this country a better place,” he said.

Producer and creator of “Black-ish” Kenya Barris speaks after accepting the Rod Serling Award Nov. 16, 2016, at the Paley Center in Los Angeles. JAKE WEST/ITHACA COLLEGE


84| LIFE & CULTURE A child dresses as a witch during the wizarding weekend. AVERI PARECE/THE ITHACAN

WIZARDING WEEKEND Attendees were encouraged to dress up in costumes reflecting the wizarding theme, with robes, wigs, beards, wands and more to emulate the “Harry Potter” universe. ANDRE ROJAS/THE ITHACAN

Ithaca celebrated its second annual Wizarding Weekend after large audience of 8,000 last year, featuring magical wares and confections for sale

|BY JAKE LEARY

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he children of the late ’90s and early 2000s were reared on a diet of “Harry Potter”; millions of children dreamed of a chance to enter Hogwarts’ Great Hall or tour the village of Hogsmeade. The City of Ithaca whetted their appetites in 2015 and had bigger plans for a weekend of wizarding fantasies. From Oct. 27 to Oct. 30, 2016, Ithaca ran its second annual Wizarding Weekend. Vendors distributing confections, artists selling magical wares, and special events inspiring even the stodgiest muggle — with months of meticulous planning, the Ithaca community was imbued with magic. The event began as a single-day event in 2015 after several local teens inspired the owners of businesses in Press Bay Alley, a strip of local shops, to transform their part of Green Street into a model of J.K. Rowling’s Diagon Alley. Darlynne Overbaugh, creative director on the Wizarding Weekend Executive Committee and owner of Life’s So Sweet Chocolates in Press Bay Alley, said the event exceeded expectations by attracting nearly 8,000 attendees from across the country. The event this year received

attention from national news outlets like the Huffington Post. Dozens of local establishments participated in Wizarding Weekend, and it provided opportunities for Ithaca College students as well, from the artistic to the business-minded. Overbaugh said she jumped on board last year thinking it would be a fun side-activity but was blown away by the enthusiastic reception. This year, she said, she wanted to take her experience from the initial event and translate it into something that would draw new, passionate fans to Ithaca. The result was tiring, but rewarding, she said. “This year is a lot of fine-tuning,” she said. “The real emphasis for the weekend is on the businesses that are downtown.” Overbaugh said this year’s celebration expanded in scope, stretching across four days, centered around Oct. 29, 2016. Exclusive vendors appeared Oct. 29, including wand makers, face painters and tarot card–reading experts. The weekend also featured special ticketed events ranging from a Wizarding Breakfast at Hotel Ithaca to a screening of National


LIFE & CULTURE |85 Members of the Ithaca community pose in their Harry Potter– themed garb as they celebrate the festive weekend. ANDRE ROJAS/THE ITHACAN

Theatre Live’s “Frankenstein” at Cinemapolis. On the same day, food trucks and stands purveyed themed delicacies reminiscent of the fare served on the Hogwarts Express or at the Great Hall dining tables. Overbaugh said returning activities included Wizarding Chess and dueling. Public events ranged from costume contests to wizard rock bands to a performance at the State Theatre of Ithaca by mind reader and Ithaca College alumnus Eric Dittelman ’07. Senior Ashley Ahl, an integrated marketing communications major, had been working on promoting the event both on and off campus. As part of her capstone project, she said, she and a team of other students wrote press releases, reached out to residence halls at the college and worked on the event’s Snapchat presence. Ahl said the potential for increased tourism to Ithaca and the aid of grants have enabled Wizarding Weekend to grow from a what-if to a massive town-enveloping celebration of the world of Harry Potter. “Part of the money for the weekend is funded through a grant

for the tourism program of Tompkins County,” Ahl said. “It’s centered in Ithaca, but it’s something that people from all around are interested in because the “Harry Potter” culture is something that attracts a lot of people.” Ahl said she and her peers were enthusiastic about this project because it pulled together their academic skills and their passion for a series that was prominent in their youth. “I think that it’s a great opportunity for Ithaca students,” she said. “We’re doing things for real-life clients, and this is work that we can show to future employers.” Sophomore Nicole Marino participated in Wizarding Weekend as a customized Ouija-board vendor. “Last year, I went just to kind of see what was going on,” she said. “I’m curious to see how other people are taking things they make and adapting them to the weekend.” Overbaugh said businesses worked to make the weekend special by decorating storefronts weeks in advance. “This is our opportunity to do something really special ... to showcase why magic lives in Ithaca year-round,” she said.


86| LIFE & CULTURE Sophomore Alisar Awwad started a photography campaign on social media in an effort to connect people in an uncertain time. COURTESY OF ELENA HASKINS AND MORI PERI


LIFE & CULTURE |87

HUMANS OF IC

Sophomore starts photography campaign revolving around identities |BY KATE NALEPINSKI

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eing Middle Eastern … comes with a truckload of negativity,” sophomore Alisar Awwad stated Nov. 20, 2016, in a Facebook post representing her photography campaign, #takeitback. “Whether it’s being labelled a terrorist, an oppressed woman, or genie in a bottle that can fulfill your sexual fantasies, it never reflects who I am. I am Alisar, I am Middle Eastern, and I am Human. #takeitback.” Whether intentionally harmful or not, these remarks were made by numerous people Awwad interacted with when she moved to the United States from India, her birthplace, two years ago. Awwad began thinking of ways she could channel her frustration with identity into art. Awwad created the #takeitback Project in an effort to “take back” her own identity and empathize with others who also struggle against labels and prejudices. “I wanted to create an environment where we can look beyond the labels and stop judging each other,” she said. Awwad, whose father is Syrian and mother is Persian, said her identity was always a fragile part of her life. She never went to either of her parents’ home countries. “I didn’t know who I was anymore,”she said. “I couldn’t identify myself.” Awwad said the results of the 2016 election, along with language that President Donald Trump has used to describe marginalized people, worked as the final motivator for the start of her photo project emphasizing identity. “After the U.S. election, everything was really divided,” Awwad said. “We needed to, as a community, come together.” Less than a month after the election, with assistance from junior Elena Haskins and sophomore Mauricio Peri, Awwad began posting to Facebook photos of fellow Ithaca College students holding signs that read “HUMAN.” Accompanying the photos are captions that students wrote

explaining their difficulties with identity and judgment. The campaign focuses on marginalized groups, specifically African Americans, Asian Americans, members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community, and women. Awwad has since posted over 35 photos of students of different cultures explaining their stories and experiences, including herself. Awwad said that because the Facebook album was public, she anticipated more internet trolls, as opposed to the positive feedback she received. Senior Sarah Chaneles was immediately drawn to Awwad’s project when she saw it on her Facebook feed. Awwad reached out to her individually, Chaneles said. “I talked about how I’ve been stereotyped as a woman,” Chaneles said. “It made me empowered.” Chaneles said her Facebook post for the campaign opened up a conversation with her mother about how she’s treated in the patriarchal society, something Chaneles touched on in her piece. Haskins, the photographer for some of the campaign photos as well as a participant, said she was intrigued by the project because it allowed people to pick the identity they wanted to share. “We are so used to labelling others and ourselves that sometimes we forget who we are,” Haskins stated on the Facebook image of herself posted Nov. 20, 2016. “We forget to shed all the labels ... we don’t realize that we are all human.” Awwad said students have reached out to her, thanking her for involving them in her campaign. She said she has no intention of stopping the process, and she said she will continue for as long as she can. “I’m not doing this for credit or anything,” she said. “These people are my inspirations. These people who sit next to you, they’re just like me and you.”


88| LIFE & CULTURE

APPLES TO APPLES

Members of the Ithaca community come out to celebrate the 34th annual harvest festival Community members gather on The Commons to celebrate the apple harvest festival Sept. 20–Oct. 2, 2016. Local farms set up stands to sell produce. SAM FULLER/THE ITHACAN

Vince Russo serves caramel-apple cups. SAM FULLER/THE ITHACAN

Johary River purchases gourmet caramel apples. MARISSA PROULX/THE ITHACAN


LIFE & CULTURE |89 Michael Hilby juggles objects while riding a unicycle. ELISE KORFONTA/THE ITHACAN

Nicole Beckman walks her spray-painted dog. ELISE KORFONTA/THE ITHACAN

Iyan Ryu, 8, eats a caramel apple Oct. 2, 2016. SAM FULLER/THE ITHACAN


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The crowd dances to Joel Almand’s remix of The Chainsmokers’ hit song “Closer.” YANA MAZURKEVICH/THE ITHACAN


LIFE & CULTURE |91

JOEL ALMAND Ithaca College senior Joel Almand lands exclusive single deal with PRMD Records, joining 11 other artists at the company |BY MAX DENNING

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fraternity house at Cornell University is crammed with people. It’s a private party with fraternity and sorority members all packed into a room no bigger than 75 feet by 75 feet. It’s a frigid Friday night on Oct. 28, 2016, but inside the room, it’s a muggy 80 degrees. It may seem like this is going to be an average frat party — sorority sisters dressed as cats and bunnies, frat bros dressed as frat bros in jerseys. But hours before the party, a professional began setting up the sound equipment and lights. One member of the fraternity estimated that they invested $4,000 into the show. They even hired massive Cornell football players to work as bouncers, one blocking the handful of women who tried to get onto the stage. The fact that the fraternity had hired a newly signed DJ set it apart from the other fraternities. At 21 years old, Ithaca College senior Joel Almand signed an exclusive singles deal Oct. 14 with PRMD Records, a label that also signed the Grammy-nominated Avicii and Swedish electronic music duo Cazzette. His look exudes DJ: He has floppy hair with bleached tips covered by a plain, fitted black hat. He’s wearing an oversized white Cornell lacrosse jersey over a gray hoodie and black skinny jeans. But as he steps onto the stage behind his DJ mixer, he seems a little inconspicuous. He doesn’t take the microphone and scream at the crowd some cliche. Instead, he gets right to playing music. It takes a while for the crowd of about 200 people to warm up to him, but once the beat drops on his remix of The Chainsmokers’ hit song “Closer,” the entire crowd starts jumping. The walls are shaking, and the floor is bouncing. It’s so loud that people have to yell into one another’s ears to talk. The room is lit in a pink haze. Violet, electric blue, emerald, carnelian and yellow lights flash erratically over the crowd. During the winter of 2015, Almand took home third place at the Campus DJ National Finale. Sometimes he remixes songs, such as “Castaway” by King Deco, and

gets twice as many plays on SoundCloud and Spotify as the original. Outside of the hours he’s spent producing and playing music at college campuses around the country, he has still gone through a number of struggles. He was involved in a relationship that turned toxic, battled depression his junior year and at one point had no idea what he wanted to do after college. Almand’s debut single, “Don’t Manipulate,” released Nov. 19, 2016. He said it would be one of the first times he had produced an original song since a tragedy during his senior year of high school led him to making his own music. High School Almand grew up 150 miles northwest of Ithaca in Buffalo, New York, and attended Nichols, a small, private prep school. This is where he began his career as a DJ. He started by watching YouTube videos of Tiesto, whom Almand calls the “father of modern DJing and electronic dance music [EDM].” During his sophomore year at Nichols, Almand formed a DJ duo with his friend, Simon Wilson, titled “Magic Eight.” But Almand wasn’t buying a car or new shoes — he estimates that he spent $5,000 on better DJ equipment in high school. They began DJing high school dances and made about $30,000 in two years. For his first couple of years as a DJ, Almand said, he and Wilson didn’t do much. “We were basically just pressing play on a laptop,” he said. After a falling out with Wilson, Almand said, he rebranded himself as DJ Almond and began releasing his own mashups on SoundCloud. During February of that year, tragedy hit one of Almand’s closest friends, Wilson Vershay, when his father, Scott Vershay, died of a heart attack. Almand said Scott was a family friend. Weeks after Scott’s death, Almand decided he wanted to do something to honor him and help the


92| LIFE & CULTURE Vershay family. He bought Logic Pro X, a professional music software, and spent a month writing, producing and editing a song with Raina Duggirala, his friend and singer of the song. The song, titled “The Shepherd,” garnered attention from his community. “It got shared a lot,” Almand said. “It was like a lot of pity plays and pity shares. But that was when I was first like, ‘Damn, maybe I should just continue doing this.’” One of Almand’s childhood friends, James Grachos, said the song was very popular among the school community. “It was pretty spectacular, and the whole school rallied behind it,” he said. “That was really the moment that I realized he should do this for a long time.” College As a television-radio major, Almand found time to continue making music while balancing classes and working on multiple ICTV shows. This mainly consisted of mashups and remixes of popular songs while still occasionally attempting to create original songs. He was amassing 5,000–10,000 plays on each of his At 21 years old, Ithaca College senior Joel Almand signed an exclusive singles deal with PRMD Records. YANA MAZURKEVICH/THE ITHACAN

songs on SoundCloud. He won a contest to perform a set at the BeachGlow music festival in New Jersey in July 2014 in front of 2,500 people. Almand’s big break came during the fall of 2014, his sophomore year, when he released a remix of The Chainsmokers’ song “Kanye” with SAMME, a DJ from Mexico whom he had met online.

“I WAS LIKE F— THAT. I’M GOING TO START HERE AND BRAND MYSELF AS THIS 400,000-HIT KID.” — JOEL ALMAND The Chainsmokers, who were going onto their 10th straight week atop the Billboard charts for their hit single “Closer,” tweeted out praise of Almand’s remix and linked to the song. Within a few days, the song had amassed over 400,000 plays on

SoundCloud and climbed to No. 2 on Hype Machine, a music blog aggregator. Almand made that remix the new foundation of his music career. “I deleted everything else after that. I was like ‘F--- that,’” he said. “I’m going to start here and brand myself as this 400,000-hit kid.” He used the attention he got from that remix to launch a small college tour during the fall of his sophomore year. He played at parties at the University of Michigan, Miami University in Ohio, Pennsylvania State University, Cornell University, Syracuse University and Providence College. Grachos said he didn’t think most people thought Almand was going to become a popular musician. “I don’t think that people really realized that music was going to be his thing,” he said. “But I think everyone knew that Joel was going to be something out of the ordinary — something special.” Despite winning regional quarterfinals of the Campus DJ contest at Colgate University that fall, Almand said he is no longer impressed with the work he produced during that time. “That whole year I was copying sounds,


LIFE & CULTURE |93 copying templates, not finding my own sound,” he said. Almand said he was flying high as he entered the summer before his junior year. His remixes were receiving hundreds of thousands of plays on SoundCloud, and he received shoutouts from The Chainsmokers and Timeflies. But in the fall of 2015, his junior year, Almand began battling depression. He said the depression stemmed from breaking up with his girlfriend and his brother’s going to Japan to serve in the Navy. He temporarily stopped releasing songs. Mark Gross, Almand’s roommate at the time and one of his good friends, said the lifestyle surrounding EDM is often toxic, which he said he thinks may have contributed to Almand’s almost giving up. “He almost quit,” Gross said. “The culture of EDM itself is all based on drugs and alcohol. There’s never really the appreciation of the music.” Gross said he thought Almand needed a new setting. During late October 2015, Almand decided to spend his spring semester at the Ithaca College New York City campus. During late November, while

beginning to escape his depression, Almand was invited as a wild-card contestant to the finals of Campus DJ, after having to miss the semifinals the previous spring due to a test for school. Almand placed third at the Campus DJ finals and began distancing himself from his depression. During the Spring 2016 semester, Almand interned for Nickelodeon’s promotional content division and was able to make connections in the music industry. In June, Almand began releasing remixes again, this time just as Almand, changing his name once again. However, his big break would rise from the ashes of his depression that fall. He had written an original song to express his depression and sadness, which would later be titled “Don’t Manipulate.” In the midst of his depression, Almand had sent the song to Sterling Fox, a songwriter who has written songs for Britney Spears, Boyz II Men and Lana Del Rey. Previously, Fox had asked Almand to remix his original song “Freak Caroline.” On SoundCloud, the remix received over 10 times more plays than the original. Fox said he was impressed with Almand.

“He’s always picking very unique sounds that nobody else is using,” Fox said. When Almand sent Fox the instrumental for “Don’t Manipulate” in October 2015, Fox said, he knew it was special. Fox and fellow songwriters Matt Hartke and Sean Kennedy collaborated to write lyrics for the song, and Kennedy is the singer. However, when Almand became depressed, it was unclear if the song would ever see the light of day. When Almand began releasing music and playing songs again in June, the two linked up to finish the song. Fox sent it to PRMD Records. In July 2016, Almand and Fox met up with representatives from PRMD for the first time. By August, a deal was in place. PRMD offered an exclusive singles deal, which requires Almand to produce one single and gives the label the option to ask for two more if the first one proves to be successful. On Oct. 14, 2016, he signed. “It was so sick because it was finally happening,” Almand said. Fox, who’s an industry veteran, said Almand’s career is off to a promising start. “I’m excited to see him progress musically and hope he sticks with it,” Fox said.


94| LIFE & CULTURE

CELEBRATING CHILI

Local restaurants take part in 19th Chili Cook-off on Feb. 10, 2017, on The Commons

From left, executive chef Bryan Keller and sous-chef Dan Galusha from Monks On The Commons restaurant prepare their chili. ANDREW TREVES/THE ITHACAN


LIFE & CULTURE |95

Helen R. plays the guitar on The Commons. ANDREW TREVES/THE ITHACAN

The trophy for People’s Choice Best Chili went to the chefs from Monks, who also won an award for Best Presentation. ANDREW TREVES/THE ITHACAN

Eight-year-old Ben Friedman plays the trumpet at the Chili Cook-off. ANDREW TREVES/THE ITHACAN

Local restaurants displayed their culinary creations Feb. 10 in downtown Ithaca. ANDREW TREVES/THE ITHACAN


96| LIFE & CULTURE

Sophomore Isaiah Horton performs an improvisational rap with BrĂź on Jan. 27, 2017, for the Sinfonia Ball, a funk fundraiser. SAM FULLER/THE ITHACAN


LIFE & CULTURE |97

FUNK FOR A CAUSE

Ithaca funk bands raise awareness of poverty and give funds to Southside Community Center |BY KATE NALEPINSKI

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azzy saxophones partnered with tenor vocals, politically fueled rap and a Donald Trump wig were just a few elements of the Sinfonia Ball, a music charity event that spotlighted two new Ithaca College funk bands: Butter and Brü. To raise awareness for hunger and homelessness in Tompkins County, the Delta Chapter of the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia hosted the Sinfonia Ball on Jan. 27, 2017, in the Whalen Center for Music. The on-campus male music fraternity partnered with the Southside Community Center of Ithaca, a community shelter and resource center, and all proceeds from the ball were donated to its emergency food pantry. Max Keisling, junior music education major and executive board member of the music fraternity, said the group raised about $160 and collected 25 cans of food. While both bands were at the event for the same cause, their sounds vary greatly. Butter, a nine-part funk-alternative group, played songs including a cover of “Back Pocket,” a hit by funk-group Vulfpeck. Brü, a hip-hop collective with funk influences, utilized the freestyle rap skills of sophomore duo Isaiah Horton and Damiano Malvasio. Keisling said Butter had been on his radar since he formed a close bond with Ravi Gil, vocalist of Butter, at freshman orientation two years ago. “One of the best parts of being in the music school is that you’re around everyone as they’re meeting each other and forming bands,” Keisling said. Keisling said Gil convinced Brü to perform at the event, despite the fact that the group had only performed once in the past. “It was almost entirely improvisation,” Keisling said. “They’ve only ever played one set, and they absolutely wrecked it.”

Horton, whose stage name is Yvng Pluto, put on a wig styled to look like Trump’s hair during the band’s set and imitated him, addressing his mistreatment of people who are culturally diverse. Horton said it’s important that he take advantage of the power of music during his performances. “I want to have a place within rap to be able to spit something that’s powerful and could make someone do something at the end of the day,” he said. Jonah Bobo, keyboardist of Butter, said Brü’s politically charged set was necessary considering the state of the country. “It was heavy,” he said. “I felt it. That was music for social change.” Bobo said the group plays together in a

casual environment so often that when it’s able to perform in front of an audience, it’s always great. “Any time we get to play music and then something positive happens as a result — other than us having a great time — is incredible,” Bobo said. Keisling said the fraternity had been planning the Sinfonia Ball since December 2016. During winter break, Keisling said, the fraternity reached out to both bands to see if they were interested in performing for the cause. “These guys were just awesome musicians who were kind enough to give their time and help out a good cause,” Keisling said.

Ravi Gil, vocalist of Butter, performs at the Sinfonia Ball. The artist also performed a keyboard solo during the concert. SAM FULLER/THE ITHACAN


98| LIFE & CULTURE

3 Point Productions is one of three student production groups from the Documentary Workshop class. COURTESY OF EDUARD MOSTERT

STUDENT SHOWCASE

Senior documentary studies class showcase thesis films in December 2016 screening |BY TAYLOR ZAMBRANO

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ugar babies, protests and coal mines. Every year, students from the Documentary Workshop class, the capstone course for documentary studies majors, split into three groups and produce investigative or in-depth stories. The result this year was three student-run films, on these three topics, that were screened Dec. 8, 2016. The documentaries included “Not my President,” “Confessions of a Sugar Baby” and “Walk on the Mountain.” The students’ projects were partially funded by the Roy H. Park School of Communications and alumni donors, but students also had to raise their own funds and spend multiple semester breaks traveling and filming. The class is taught by associate professor Ben Crane. Seniors Michaela Abbott, Madeleine Lawrence and Rebecca Veninsky helped produce “Not My President.”

Lawrence said the topic was exciting to document because it’s something that will one day be an important historical event. “There’s never been this kind of uproar after a president has won,” she said. “Confessions of a Sugar Baby” looks into the world of sugar dating, in which young men and women — “sugar babies” — offer companionship to wealthy benefactors — “sugar daddies” and “sugar mommies” — in return for compensation, whether monetary or otherwise. Juniors Emily Stubb, Alana Herlands, Dani Weinstein, Bob Pease and Samuel Paulson, who produced this documentary, called themselves 2 Real Productions. “Through the process, we found that our thesis and our angle is more toward the fact that these three women have suffered from abuse and assault,” Weinstein said.

“Walk on the Mountain” was produced by 3 Point Productions, the team made up of seniors Will Gregg, Madeleine Van Dam and Eddie Mostert; juniors Onika Richards and Luke Watkins; and sophomore Julia Keahey. The film focuses on coal mining in West Virginia. Van Dam said Gregg had found an article in The New York Times about Tom Clarke, owner of a nursing home chain, who was buying out old coal mines and reclaiming them by planting trees to offset the amount of carbon emission. Watkins said that during the filming process, he and his group members began to realize how taxing the work for this project was because of the traveling, long hours of filming and editing. “It was more of a course that evolved into a lifestyle because we planned our schedules and our lives around this film,” he said.


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POWER CLUBS

IC clubs focus on empowering women in various disciplines

|BY LISBETH PEREZ

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s senior Nicole Lane sat down for her first computer science class, she took a look around the room and realized that she was one of two women in the class. This realization led to doubts about belonging and a compulsion to overachieve. “I needed to prove myself and that I could do it better than everybody else,” she said. So she joined Women in Computing, one of several clubs at Ithaca College whose mission concentrates on the empowerment of women. Similar organizations include Ithaca College Girl Up, She’s Fit to Lead — also known as Women Empowered — Feminists United and IC Sister 2 Sister. Women in Computing Lane is now the president of Women

in Computing, an organization on campus that provides a space to discuss the low number of women in the program on campus and challenge it. In the Fall 2016 semester, there were 15 women enrolled in computer science, compared to 63 men, according the Office of Institutional Research. Girl Up Sophomore Skyler Hollenbeck first got involved with Girl Up — an organization composed of advocates dedicated to bettering the lives of others and promoting the empowerment of women in leadership — while she was in high school. “Girl Up is kind of multifaceted,” she said.” We talk a lot about leadership.” Girl Up is also part of the United Nations Foundation, which works with other programs to promote health, safety and

education for girls in developing countries. Hollenbeck said she has many plans for Girl Up in the future but that the biggest is for the organization to expand. She said she wants the club to not just be recognizable on campus and in the community, but to also be known as a club that has made a significant impact on both. Women Empowered Senior Sarah Handler, vice president of Women Empowered, said she believes many people tend to reject therapy because of negative stigmas. However, Women Empowered provides an alternative. President Emma Herschman said joining Women Empowered has created a safe place where women are able to grow. “I love that these girls feel comfortable enough to open up and share any thoughts they are having,” she said.

Members from Women Empowered, Women in Computing and Ithaca College Girl Up support the empowerment of women. FERNANDO FERRAZ/THE ITHACAN


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‘FOR COLORED GIRLS’

Seven women perform a choreopoem by a black feminist poet to address oppression and empower people of color |BY MARY FORD

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nd this is for colored girls who have considered suicide various backgrounds and areas of study — theater studies mabut moved to the ends of their own rainbows.” These jors worked alongside journalism majors and emerging media words form the mission statement of black feminist majors. Henderson said this spoke to the play’s themes. playwright and poet Ntozake Shange’s best-known work: a “It’s specifically written about women of color, but it “choreopoem” titled “for colored girls who have considered speaks to all women,” she said. “It speaks to anyone who suicide / when the rainbow is enuf.” has been abused or who has had something about them The piece, which is a form of dramatic expression that in- appropriated culturally.” cludes dance, song and poetry, recreates the experiences of Senior Sappho Hocker, a cinema and photography major women of color living under inescapable systems of oppres- who played the Lady in Purple, said part of the reason she sion. On Nov. 10 and 12, 2016, in Muller Chapel, seven became involved in a production was because of a class she women at Ithaca College — each character dressed in a differ- took with Gervasoni in the Roy H. Park School of Commuent color — brought Shange’s words to life, using their own nications earlier in her college career. The women formed a experiences as inspiration for the episodic tales of love, pain connection while discussing the low number of women of coland triumph. or involved in visual media at the college and the sentiment The production was directed by Cynthia Henderson, as- that there are too few opportunities for women of color to sociate professor of theater arts, and share stories about their experiences. choreographed by senior Jose Useche. “That was when I really started to rePerforming Arts for Social Change, a soalize how separated I felt from the black “WE DON’T REALLY cially conscious theater group in Ithaca, community,” Hocker said. “I grew up and the African Latino Society are supin a pretty rural town, and I was one of HAVE ANYTHING FOR porting the production. the only nonwhite people in my grade. WOMEN OF COLOR Henderson said the project began When I came to school here, I think I when two of her students came to her had just become so accustomed to idenON THIS CAMPUS.” during Spring 2016 and asked her to tifying with other white people and to help direct the play. One of those stu– ISABELLA GERVASONI pushing myself to be whiter.” dents, junior Isabella Gervasoni, was a Freshman Aisha Richardson, who producer for the upcoming production played the Lady in Yellow, said “for and played the Lady in Orange. Gervasoni said there are other colored girls” also helped her adjust from living in a primarily annual theater traditions at the college that celebrate wom- black area to working and living in a primarily white instituen or sexuality but that none provides a space specifically for tion. women of color. “There definitely are limited spaces for people of color — “We have ‘The Vagina Monologues,’ and we have ‘Rocky and especially women of color,” Richardson said. “It’s been Horror,’ but why don’t we have ‘for colored girls’?” she said. really nice not only to be surrounded by women of color, but to “We don’t really have anything for women of color on this be able to communicate and engage with others in this way.” campus. I know me and a few other students wanted to have Gervasoni said she hoped the production would help the something to empower us.” healing process within the African, Latino, Asian and Native Gervasoni said it is especially important after the protests American community. that occurred on campus during the Fall 2015 semester that “It’s been hard this semester, especially for the ALANA women of color have a safe space to express themselves. community,” Gervasoni said. “I only hope that we can bring The production united women in the cast and crew from people together and kind of bridge this gap.”


LIFE & CULTURE |101

Members of the Ithaca College community perform “for colored girls,” a choreopoem, in Muller Chapel. ASH WILLIAMS/THE ITHACAN


102| LIFE & CULTURE

HORROR SHOW

IC students perform 27th annual Rocky Horror show

|BY PRESTON ARMENT

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y performing in a show with sexual encounters, high-pitched profanity and a lot of “touch-a touch-a” touching, the actors in “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” are removing themselves from their comfort zones — and their clothes — to embrace the taboos most refrain from discussing. For the students involved in the Macabre Theatre Ensemble at Ithaca College, it’s no big deal. The college’s 27th annual live production of the cult classic took place Nov. 4–5, 2016, in Williams 225. The Macabre Theatre Ensemble has been a part of the college’s theater community for five years. Senior Sarah Farella said Macabre has created a noncompetitive, less serious environment for performers in a wide range of productions, including the avant-garde and realistic horror.

Farella, co-director of Macabre’s “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” said acceptance and self-expression, no matter how weird, are attributes commonly associated with the theater group. “Rocky Horror just fits in so well with our values,”she said. The show follows the story of a young couple that stumbles into the lair of cross-dressing scientist Dr. Frank-NFurter, originally played by actor Tim Curry. The couple meet some wild characters throughout the mansion, including Frank-N-Furter’s latest creation: a muscular man named Rocky, wearing tiny gold underwear and played by sophomore Jacob Sullivan. Senior Asa Slayton, who played Dr. Frank-N-Furter, said performing this role was a dream come true.

“I think he’s such an empowering character because I think the ability just to love yourself and like just walk into a room and everybody notices you and you’re just like confident in everything — I just think is so spectacular,” he said. Since the show is a musical, there are numbers that add to the plot, such as “Time Warp” and “Touch-A, Touch-A, Touch Me.” Farella said the plot includes scandals involving sex and murder that tend to be in-your-face. “That’s another thing you have to understand with Rocky — it’s very offensive,” she said. “A lot of people that have been in it or seen it say that it’s liberating.” Farella said that somehow, screaming words like “slut” at the top of their lungs helps people take back the words from a society that has used them to shame people,


LIFE & CULTURE |103 The “Rocky” cast poses at a dress rehearsal held Oct. 25, 2016. CONNOR LANGE/THE ITHACAN

breaking the meaning down to make the words less powerful. “Even though we’re saying these awful things, these might be words that have been said to us before,” Slayton said. “So we’re kind of taking that back.” The ensemble members, also known as the Pets, scream out sarcastic, sassy responses to lines or scenes in the movie, usually making fun of the characters. These are known in the RHPS world as callbacks, which are universally used at midnight viewings around the world. Traditionally, the movie includes callbacks throughout the entire show; however, senior Dan Levine — the other co-director — said he and Farella were concerned about the callbacks’ overpowering the movie and audience members’ missing major plot points. As a result, they decreased the number of callbacks used in the show. Students’ screaming profanity while dressed in lingerie is not a daily occurrence on the college’s campus. A majority of the actors go into the process tentatively, Farella said, removing their clothes only as rehearsals progress. “As director, my main concern is to make sure everyone feels 100 percent comfortable,” Farella said. The show is set up so the audience is surrounded by the Pets while the main cast performs directly in front of a screen displaying the movie. The cast talks along with the movie playing in the background. “As a whole, we are the most caring, loving group of people

you’ve ever met,” she said. “We become these sexy, raunchy … crazy people … but that’s not who we are.” Farella said the casting process is “gender-blind” and the main characters, Brad and Janet, are each played by actors of the opposite gender. While the script does not change much, Levine said all actors bring a part of themselves to their part, making the show different each year because the cast is always changing. Macabre’s artistic director, senior Paige Washington, said she has never been in Rocky but that it’s a powerful and fun show to do because the plot comprises several topics that aren’t generally discussed. “We’re here to embrace the things we don’t talk about and saying that they are OK to talk about,” Washington said. Slayton said his experience playing Dr. Frank-N-Furter, a character who exudes utmost confidence in his sexuality, has helped him accept himself. “It’s OK that some days I want to wear lipstick or some days I want to dress differently than society would want me to dress,” he said. As a senior who has participated in “Rocky” since her sophomore year, Farella said it has become a tradition in her own life. “A year without ‘Rocky’ would be crazy,” she said.


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SINGING FOR JUSTICE

An activist and musician performs in Ithaca to support and advocate for immigrant rights

Natalia Serna performed Feb. 28, 2017, in the James J. Whalen Center for Music. CONNOR LANGE/THE ITHACAN

|BY MEG TIPPETT

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hope you are inspired to go find someone who is an immigrant, in your neighborhood or on the border, and become close to them,” said Natalia Serna, a Columbian-American musician and sociologist, Feb. 26, 2017. “We need to stay close to the people around us.” Her message, which she delivered through song at concerts downtown and on the Ithaca College campus, was one of awareness and understanding of the experience of immigrants in light of recent executive orders from President Donald Trump. Serna performed part of her recent album, “Corazón Norte,” at a benefit concert as well as at a free concert on campus in February 2017. The concert downtown benefitted immigrants and refugees in the surrounding areas in Tompkins County and had a suggested donation of $10–20. Attendees could also sign up to drive locals to court for immigration hearings. Patricia Rodriguez, associate professor in the Department of Politics, Latin American studies coordinator and founding member of the Tompkins County Immigrant Rights Coalition — one of the organizations that organized the concert, said she wants students and members of the community to be aware of who is being affected by recent immigration orders and how. Serna, also known by her stage name, La Muna, spent time in 2009 working at a soup kitchen on the border of Sonora, Mexico,

and Nogales, Arizona. In light of recent debates on immigration rights under the new Trump administration, Beth Harris, founding member of the coalition, said she felt it was appropriate to bring the coalition back after it fizzled away for a few years. “There was already a very severe problem of deportations and family detentions, as well as illegal treatment of immigrants, prior to Trump coming into office,” Harris said. Rodriguez worked with Harris to bring Serna to Ithaca. “Her songs tell stories of migrants that she has accompanied, throughout the many people that she has met who have tried to come here,” Rodriguez said, introducing Serna on Feb. 26. Serna said she hoped her performances in Ithaca helped educate locals about the true lives of immigrants. “In general, I feel like I am a bridge to the hearts of another person,” Serna said. “I hope that we can step away from the concept of migration as a big bad word and … get closer to the real people.” Rodriguez said people need to understand the lives of immigrants in a deep manner to help propel them to freedom. “I think that students need to be aware of the lives of people that are in fear,” Rodriguez said. “Their lives are being disrupted. We need to be aware — and not just in a surface kind of way.”


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STREET DANCER

Influential street dancer graces campus as main performer for MLK celebration |BY KATE NALEPINSKI

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fter rhythmically gliding across the floor in an abandoned building, Saalim Muslim — who goes by Storyboard P — jolts backward, his hand landing delicately on the ground. He contorts his body, moving slowly to the sound of violin strings, his feet twisting, his legs intertwining in odd directions. His body, flowing effortlessly, is fueled by emotional response and improvisation in his 2012 video “BLACK MAGIC.” These are just a few of the main elements of flex, a competitive New York street dance form that was founded in Brooklyn, New York, frequently performed by Brooklyn-born Storyboard P. On Jan. 26, 2017, Storyboard P performed in the Clark Theatre in the Dillingham Center as the keynote performer for MLK Week. Don Austin, assistant director of community service and leadership at Ithaca College, said the performer would come prepared with a set of tracks, but no choreography — which reflects his style of dance. “He works a lot from an improv standpoint,” Austin said. “He follows the mood of the music, and from there, he weaves in his reaction to the sound.” Senior Louis Medel, president of Ground-Up Crew, a hip-hop breakdancing club on campus, said hip-hop dances similar to flex are entering the mainstream. “It’s popping up in television shows like ‘So You Think You Can Dance,’” he said. “He definitely has a wavy style, which I’d say originates from hip-hop dance.” Storyboard P said performing for the MLK celebration correlated with the civil rights Martin Luther King Jr. stood up for because his dance, similar to MLK’s speeches, work as an entryway for people to express their opinions. “Civil rights dance ... [is] a vehicle [for others] to speak up,” he said. “I try to be a true hip-hop artist and keep the dialogue open, but MLK had a lot to do with the ability to come together and fuse cultures.”

Storyboard P, a Brooklyn-based street dancer, is known for his improvisation through flex. COURTESY OF STORYBOARD P


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Participants have 60 minutes to solve challenges and decipher puzzles. SAM FULLER/THE ITHACAN

Escape Ithaca is the city’s only physical and mental adventure room, located downtown. SAM FULLER/THE ITHACAN

Escape Ithaca opened in October 2016 with a Harry Potter theme. SAM FULLER/THE ITHACAN

ESCAPE ROOM

Local game challenges patrons to solve clues in escape room

|BY IRINA NOONAN

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tuck in a mysterious room, participants frantically rush to decipher codes in the hope of unlocking boxes and discovering keys. The twist: They are are lost in the Himalayas, and they have to find their missing sled dogs and escape in 60 minutes. This is just one of the variations of Escape Ithaca, Ithaca’s only physical and mental adventure room, located above the State Theatre at 109 W. State St. The company, co-owned by Ithaca local Ray Weaver and James Potocki, opened the doors to its interactive adventure game in October 2016 and has had over 1,600 participants since. Weaver sometimes incorporates activities and events around Ithaca, such as the Wizarding Weekend, into crafting

the escape room. Weaver said he and Potocki aim to change the design and challenge of the room every eight to 10 weeks but have ended up changing the room every four to six weeks due to local activities. The cost to participate is $20. Escape Ithaca is different from other escape games, Weaver said, because the challenges aren’t physical exercises but mental ones. “We really want people to exercise their brains a little bit more and not just their bodies,” he said. Weaver said he knew the college population would help support the business. Freshman Adrienne Smith completed the many challenges and said she thinks the addition of an escape room on The Commons is an exotic off-campus activity

for students. “I think it’s a really good opportunity for students to … have a good time with their friends, or even people that they just met,” Smith said. Freshman Eric Harris said the challenging factor of the room helps to bring participants together. “It’s a cool thing to have [an escape room] in a close-knit community … with our small population,” Harris said. Smith said the escape room brings people together because all participants have the same objective. “I think working together as a team, no matter if you know the person for 10 years or 20 minutes — you can do anything with people if you’re all working towards a similar goal,” she said.


LIFE & CULTURE |107

GHOSTLIGHT

Ithaca theater community combats hate after the election

|BY KATE NALEPINSKI

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n the eve of President Donald Trump’s inauguration, over 150 actors, directors, artists, playwrights and other members of the Ithaca community stood together in a circle in front of the Kitchen Theatre Company on West State Street. Each person held their own source of light, be it a candle or an LED bulb. An elderly man near the center of the circle proudly carried a ghost light — an electric light in a wire cage that is typically left on the stage when a theater is unoccupied. “The Ghostlight Project takes its name from an action that we all do daily, when our theaters go dark at the end of the day: We turn on the ghost light, offering visibility and safety for anyone who enters,” said Rachel Lampert, artistic director of the

Kitchen Theatre Company, to the crowd. Then, on Lampert’s countdown, the people in the crowd switched on their lights, creating a glow that lit the front of the theater as they prepared to march to The Commons and reunite in front of Center Ithaca. Members of 13 local theater groups — about 160 people — came to the march Jan. 19, 2017, including the Kitchen Theatre Company, Hangar Theatre, Civic Ensemble, The Cherry Arts, the Ithaca Shakespeare Company and others. The Ghostlight Project occurred within theater communities nationally — from Broadway to high school, regional and community theaters. At 5:30 p.m., when the Ithaca theater community turned on its lights, so did thousands of people across

Event participants were asked to make or renew a pledge to protect the values of inclusion, participation and compassion for all people. CONNOR LANGE/THE ITHACAN

the U.S. in their respective time zones. Samuel Buggein, artistic director of The Cherry Arts theater group, put emphasis on civil discourse in his statement. “The Cherry Arts pledges to continuing putting voices from nearby in dialogue with voices from far away,” Buggein said. “[We] pledge to be a place of radical inclusion and broadening horizons.” Scott Hitz, an Ithaca puppeteer, said said The Ghostlight Project implemented a sense of belonging in the community. “I think having that sense of community and that sense of safety, that’s really what The Ghostlight Project was representing to me — a sense of safety, love and harmony,” Hitz said. “At the risk of being sappy — being supportive of one another, and feeling like we all belong.”


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Natalie Dionne ’16 models her circus-themed outfit during a rehearsal for the 2015 show Nov. 15. COURTESY OF EMMA MORRIS-DOWNEY

Fifth-year student Matthew Mulkern rehearses for the 2015 HiFashion Studios circus show Nov. 15. COURTESY OF EMMA MORRIS-DOWNEY

Junior Nadja Perez walks down the runway at a HiFashion studios rehearsal Nov. 15, 2015. COURTESY OF EMMA MORRIS-DOWNEY


LIFE & CULTURE |109

SHOWTIME

Ithaca College’s HiFashion Studios presents an athletic fashion show

|BY BRIANNA RUBACK

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thaca College junior Kylie Manderson remembers the Santiago-Boyd said the theme of the Fall 2016 show was first time she worked backstage at a fashion show. different from past years’ themes. “I was looking through the curtains, and I was like, ‘Wow, “It’s going to be a more focused runway type of show, this is like [the] Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show,’” she said. but I think this one is going to be a lot more fun be“It’s so professional.” cause it’s all about sports and embracing that type of feel But it was a show run by students from the college’s fash- of being an Olympic gold medalist,” she said prior to ion-centered organization, HiFashion Studios, of which the show. Manderson is co–executive events coordinator. This year, HiFashion also began doing test shots with On Nov. 17, 2016, HiFashion Studios presented another groups of models that were auditioning to see how they pose biannual fashion show in the Emerson Suites, this time with for photos. After the auditions, the executive board narrowed an athleticwear theme. the group down to about 50 models. Founded in 2010, HiFashion is a club devoted to fashion Senior Leksey Maltzman, HiFashion’s wardrobe exectrends and replicating the environment of the fashion in- utive, said HiFashion members research clothing ideas on dustry. Each semester, the club hosts a runway show with a Pinterest and read fashion magazines to pinpoint the focus of different theme. the trends they will be showcasing. Past fashion show themes include Maltzman joined HiFashion as a a circus theme, a “timeless” theme stylist during her freshman year at the to present fashion throughout the college and was appointed wardrobe “WE JUST WANT TO decades and a pop art theme that impleexecutive during her junior year after mented different patterns and colors. PROMOTE POSITIVE BODY the previous wardrobe executive gradFor this year’s fall show theme, “SportShe is now in charge of all of IMAGE AND ... A HEALTHY uated. ing Gold,” models will show off athletic HiFashion’s stylists. clothing with sport-themed props. The wardrobe team is responsible LIFESTYLE.” “We wanted to kind of incorporate for getting vendors outside of the col— ANDREA WOLLIN lege and for putting outfits together for the trends that were surrounding the Olympic games but also combine it the show. In exchange for the clothing, with the athleisure trend that’s really HiFashion promotes the stores. sparking the fashion industry right now,” said senior Shey Among the trends that were modeled on the runway was Aponte, HiFashion’s president. clothing from well-known retail stores, such as Ann Taylor, Senior Andrea Wollin, HiFashion’s creative executive, LOFT, Rue 21, Claire’s and Francesca’s. said with “Sporting Gold,” the group intends to promote liv“I like styling my friends and myself,” Maltzman said. “It’s ing a healthy lifestyle and that the club chose its models based just a fun way to use that, but also learn a little bit about the on how much energy and confidence they had. way the fashion industry works and the way fashion shows are “It didn’t matter their shape or anything,” Wollin said. put together and how stressful it can be, but also how fun and “We just want to promote positive body image and … a rewarding it is.” healthy lifestyle.” Along with the two fashion shows, HiFashion has four main Andrea Santiago-Boyd, a model for HiFashion, said the photo shoots each semester that are all based on the show’s models undergo an audition process where they perform var- theme. The photo shoots are used as promotional material for ious walks, such as a straight walk, a personality walk and a the show. partner walk. “So much planning is involved, and it’s very professional,” “I would say it’s pretty professional for being a student-run Wollin said. “It’s very similar to what you would actually see fashion show,” she said. if you were going to a fashion week.”


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MUSIC MAKERS Black History Month Concert featuring West African Drumming and Dance Ensemble and other groups captivates audience

Ghanaian drummer Alhassan Iddrisu leads part of the West African Drumming and Dance Ensemble, a course available to all students. The drummers sport traditional African apparel.

MAXINE HANSFORD/THE ITHACAN


LIFE & CULTURE |111 |BY MARY FORD

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ith powerful ballads, moving spirituBowen, who was also a part of the male group dance called als, lively drumming, colorful dancing and the Jera, said he felt like the performers were moving as a a jazzy tuba solo, the Black History Month single unit. Concert on Feb. 25, 2017, engaged students and “When the drums played, we matched the percussion,” members of the community in the rich history of African and Bowen said. “When I was playing the drums, I liked how African-American music. some of the dancers had pretty awesome faces. … They The evening packed thousands of years of arts educa- knew what they were doing, and they looked so confident.” tion into just a few hours, from traditional West African Sophomore Jasmine Pigott is a member of the Worlds group dances to slave spirituals to modern compositions of Music class, a three-credit course that functions as honoring Martin Luther King Jr. The event featured the an introduction to music of different cultures and contexts. Dorothy Cotton Jubilee Singers, members of the Worlds Pigott said she was excited to share her music with such a of Music class, the West African Drumming and Dance large audience. Ensemble and Ghanaian drummer Alhassan Iddrisu, who “Hearing the audience clapping along encouraged me,” performed to a nearly full audience in she said. “It let me know that they Ford Hall. were listening and enjoying the Baruch Whitehead, associate profesmusic as much as I did. It got me “THIS IS HUMAN sor of music education and event organizexcited to experience the power er, said he thinks the music in the concert of music in affecting emotions and CONNECTION WE’RE was particularly qualified to promote uniunifying a group.” STRIVING FOR. ... MUSIC IS Junior Josiah Spellman sang a solo ty and community. “This isn’t just about black culture the Dorothy Cotton Jubilee A HUMAN CONNECTION.” with — this is human connection we’re strivSingers, a choir led by Whiteing for,” he said. “I tell people all the — BARUCH WHITEHEAD head that consists of students and time: Music is a human connection, community members. Spellman and we all respond to it in different ways.” said that although the song, called Senior Allan Bowen, a member of the African Drum- “Peace Be Still,” was written in another time and for anming and Dance Ensemble, said another compelling ele- other purpose, it has a universal message that rings ment of the concert was the storytelling behind the dances powerfully today. and songs. During the West African Drumming and Dance “The song is about peace,” he said. “In another time, Ensemble portion of the concert, dozens of students people needed peace to get through racism, segregaplayed traditional drums and danced in large group tion — whatever it may be. But it’s so wonderful that now, routines. One of the dances, called “Ashanti Royal Court in this time, I can use that same song that was created Piece,” told the story of a sword stuck in the ground that no for that purpose to share what that peace means to me.” one could pull out. Whitehead said the purpose of the Black History Month In another act, the dancers waved white cloths in each Concert was not to limit the audience’s experience of African of their hands, imitating the flowing fabric with their bod- culture to one concert but to connect these deep stories and ies as they stepped in time to a bright trumpet melody. experiences with their reality. Then some of the dancers took over the drums while oth“I tell the students not to use this as an ‘exotic’ experience, ers continued the dance — even when some small groups or but to really learn from Africans and the way they process solo dancers took their turn at center stage, the performance music — the way they process their way to build community emphasized community. through music,” he said. For Spellman, even though the concert was called All dancers wore patterned skirts and shirts, and the Dor“Black History Month,” the event was far more about conothy Cotton Jubilee Singers wore bright striped sashes that mirrored those in African countries. Whitehead said the de- necting people to the story and the struggles of people of color. signs were significant in some African cultures. “It allows people to see, or to understand, that there “I think a lot of third-world countries, they strive to was a struggle and that this is how we made it through, have something that’s really bright because there’s so much suffering,” Whitehead said. “I think those colors Spellman said. “With that, hopefully, they can get through inspired people to be happy and have something to look their struggle as well.” Opinion Editor Celisa Calacal contributed reporting. forward to.”


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From left, sophomores Elise Littlefield and Diamond Watt volunteer at an Ithaca Underground show Feb. 26, 2017. SAM FULLER/THE ITHACAN

ITHACA UNDERGROUND Students volunteering for local music organization build community

|BY OLIVIA RIGGIO

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im lights illuminated a stage scattered with wires, amplifiers and instruments. An iPod plugged into the PA system played music as artists and volunteers set up for a night of performances Feb. 26, 2017. Intricately designed posters that announce upcoming shows — designed by Ithaca College junior Francesca Hodge — sat on the table. More goes into planning a concert than just booking artists. The 165 volunteers at Ithaca Underground, a local nonprofit organization showcasing independent musicians, include Ithaca College students, Cornell University students, high school students and locals. The group, founded in 2007, advertises itself as an organization that provides a radically inclusive environment fostering exploration of artistic style for bands. The group categorizes most of its shows as hardcore, punk, hip-hop, noise-rock or experimental, and it holds over 60 events a year featuring national and local bands of all

genres. All of the events are organized and run by volunteers. IU’s volunteer coordinator, Kate Holden, said students who give their time to the organization gain valuable experiences such as learning about new types of music, sharing their talents and getting to engage with artists. To the volunteers, the organization functions as more than an off-campus extracurricular activity: It fosters a welcoming community for students with interests in alternative forms of art. “Ithaca Underground provides access to lessons [and] volunteer experience,” junior Claire McClusky said. “Volunteering for IU is very satisfying in a way I don’t see at IC organizations.” Sophomore Ariella Ranz said one of her favorite parts about her job is handling photo logistics and getting to interact with national and local band members. “One of the reasons I like to do photo and video is you can go up to the bands

and ask them, ‘Hey, which songs do you want recorded?’ and you can start talking to them,” Ranz said. “And they’re just so open and willing to talk to you.” Hodge, the arts coordinator, said she first got involved with IU as a videographer during her sophomore year. She said she had tried getting involved in on-campus organizations but was not very invested in the clubs she tried joining. Ranz discovered Ithaca Underground through Delaney DuBois ’16, former VIC music director. DuBois now works as a production runner at College Street Music Hall, a music venue in New Haven, Connecticut. She said her experiences at IU prepared her for the future she had always dreamed of — working in the music industry. Ranz said he appreciates the opportunities to connect with people at IU. “Everyone’s so accepting, but also so weird,” Ranz said. “I feel like it’s my place.”


LIFE & CULTURE |113

‘DARK PASSAGE’

The Handwerker Gallery features complex exhibition showcasing two local artists |BY PRESTON ARMENT

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he Handwerker Gallery at Ithaca College showcased local artists in an exhibition that reflects on the spatial realities modern technology has created and documents a man constructing a mass grave in his own backyard. The exhibition, titled “Dark Passage,” was open to the public until Dec. 11, 2016. It included two bodies of work created by local artists: “Dissolve” and “The More That Is Taken Away.” “Dissolve,” created by Sarah Sutton, assistant professor of art at the college, juxtaposed images of the real world with the augmented reality that exists on the screens people carry around. “[It’s] thinking about how to create a space that incorporates the virtual and the real and ... our daily interaction constantly looking at the iPhone, constantly looking at the real world and how the two intermesh,” Sutton said. The 11-piece body of work featured small paintings — all in grayscale — that depict images of the virtual realities people see when they look at screens. Sutton said there were elements in each that a viewer may have recognized but that it was never absolutely clear what the image was, adding that she wanted the audience to find them vague. “I think there’s enough to kind of get the imagination going,” she said. The inspiration for “Dissolve” was personal for Sutton. She said seeing the ultrasound pictures of her now 23-month-old daughter, Ella Rose, sparked the idea. “There was this fuzzy, grainy, black–and–white image of this whole world going on in another world,” she said. “The images were just so fascinating — how flat they were — yet you could kind of find this dimensionality.” Sophomore MaryKate Mastrobuoni, a cinema production major, said from a film perspective, the pieces seemed experimental — combining landscape and geometric art. “I feel like it’s on such a different level that it’s hard to understand,” she said. Mastrobuoni said she would have to sit for a while looking at one of the pieces to grasp an understanding of it. She said she was also fascinated by “The More That Is Taken Away,” the other body of work included in the “Dark

Passage” exhibition, created by local artist Ben Altman. Altman’s work is what he calls “multidisciplinary,” including traditional photos, photos on fabric and video loops. The body of work features Altman himself constructing a mass grave in his own backyard over a period of five years. In some pictures in the work, Altman’s shadowy body sits in the grave. Altman said that since he has Jewish family ties, many audience members assume his project references the mass graves in the Holocaust. However, he said the sheer number of genocides throughout history pushed him toward a more general interpretation. “There are plenty of other atrocities and instances of mass graves, including in the present,” he said. In what Altman calls “Act 1” of his work, he is physically creating the grave, changing and repairing it throughout the first few years. Then, with a video of Altman shaving his head, the pieces transition to “Act 2,” in which he photographs and films himself at the site. “The More That Is Taken Away” highlighted events in history that Altman hopes will compel audience members to think. “[I want them] to understand that these sorts of histories are relevant to them even if they do not have a personal engagement — that it’s a loss to all of us when these sorts of things happen,” he said. Mastrobuoni said the exhibit provided a window into the lives of the oppressed. “It shows you how it really is, and that’s why it’s really powerful,” she said. “It’s sad, but it’s really beautiful, too.” Mara Baldwin, director of the Handwerker Gallery and curator of “Dark Passage,” said the exhibition was one of four that would see the gallery’s walls this school year. Baldwin said she wanted students to disagree with the exhibits and find an “aha moment” that led them to a takeaway they had never experienced before. She said students at the college generally want to form new norms that stray from societal standards. “That’s why I think that fits really well with Ithaca College’s continuing embrace with the weird and not normal,” she said.

Ben Altman’s work, “The More That Is Taken Away,” is featured in The Handwerker Gallery’s exhibition, “Dark Passage.” JADE CARDICHON/THE ITHACAN


114| LIFE & CULTURE

POLITICAL CIRCUS Play discusses immigration through lens of refugee circus clowns from Moldova |BY COLIN BARRETT

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Senior Kalyn Altmeyer performs as Nadia, a main character in “Aliens with Extraordinary Skills,” which ran in November 2016. CONNOR LANGE/THE ITHACAN

wo immigrant clowns who come from the “unhappiest country in the world” — Moldova — move to New York City using fake visas to fulfill their American dream. Their fate is the subject of a critically acclaimed play, “Aliens with Extraordinary Skills,” which was performed at Ithaca College on Nov. 4–12, 2016, in the Earl McCarroll Studio in the Dillingham Center. The main focus of the story is the exploration of what it means to call a place a home and how everyone in this world is an alien in search of love. Award-winning Romanian playwright Saviana Condeescu, assistant professor in the theater arts department, wrote a dark comedy about the hardships of being an immigrant. “It is about Americans or any other people who come to New York City to fulfill their American dream but sometimes get dragged into an American nightmare,” she said. Condeescu said the story is based on events that occurred in 2006 in Orlando, Florida. For 10 years, 872 Romanian, Russian, Ukrainian and Bulgarian undocumented immigrants were part of a circus in Orlando, where they avoided being caught. Dean Robinson, assistant professor in the theater arts department, made his directorial debut here at Ithaca College. Robinson said he wanted the play to have the absurdity of a circus performance — which is evident through his use of clowns as the main characters, Nadia and Borat — while also focusing on the strong themes of the story. “[The audience] should look for a few things,” he said. “They should look for what it means to try to fit in and what it means to not, in both a literal and figurative way. … We can examine what makes us feel safe — is it finding a relationship, is it finding a home, feeling a country behind us?” Senior Kalyn Altmeyer, who played the role of Nadia, said she was attracted to the humanization of immigrants, who have been vilified by today’s society. She said she was drawn to the way Nadia’s resilience and power prevented her from giving up on her dream. “I think it is coming at a particularly interesting time, considering the subject matter, because it is so much about immigration and what it means to be American,” she said.


LIFE & CULTURE |115

DEATH BOOGIE

A concept album and stage production takes center stage in November 2016 |BY JAKE LEARY

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hree figures stand on a cramped stage, two musicians doubling as human soundboards and a lone performer playing the roles of over half a dozen characters. “Death Boogie” is composed of spoken word, dance, live music and video clips — a conglomeration of multimedia experiences. The Kitchen Theatre Company showed the hip-hop musical — written, performed, composed and created by actor and poet Darian Dauchan — from Nov. 15, 2016, to Dec. 4, 2016. The show follows Victor Spartan and his struggle against an oppressive empire. Spartan is a blue-collar worker, an average citizen who stumbles through life until he hears the call of revolution. Told from multiple perspectives, “Death Boogie” focuses on the meaning of courage and sacrifice in times of hardship. Dauchan said he wanted to create a concept album that doubled as a stage production. Once complete, he sought the advice of a personal friend and frequent collaborator, Jennifer McGrath. McGrath, director of “Death Boogie,” said she was struck by the blend of media styles the show brings together, which at times can be overwhelming, but which ultimately rewards the viewer. “It is a piece of theater that crosses so many boundaries. … You’re listening to the words, but you’re also watching the media, and you’re listening to the musicians, and you’re trying to follow the story,” McGrath said. Desmond Bratton ’14 is one of two musicians performing onstage. Bratton, a bassist, is an active participant in the narrative. Through sound effects and music, Bratton emphasizes dramatic moments, heightening tension and playing up comedy. “It’s a juxtaposition of a groovy, funky music and a heavy subject matter,” Bratton said. “At different moments, we’re acting, as Darian put it, as the inner voice of the character. Despite the overt, negative themes present in “Death Boogie,” Dauchan wanted the performance to enlighten. He said he describes the show as “edu-tainment”: an experience that motivates the viewer to take action, to have the courage to stand up for their beliefs. “I don’t want the audience to leave depressed,” he said. “It’s about rising from the ashes — it’s about uplifting.”

Performer Darian Dauchan jams out to jazz during a performance of “Death Boogie,” which ran at the Kitchen Theatre in Ithaca. COURTESY OF DAVE BURBANK


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MUSICAL APPS

Student-run online radio station features local talent

|BY SOBEIDA ROSS

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hat used to be a core group of seven team members has expanded to 25 Ithaca College students working together on MegsRadio, a student-run online radio station featuring local artists. When the prototype for MegsRadio launched in 2013, there were some technical difficulties. For example, the radio didn’t function in web browsers like Safari and Internet Explorer, and group members at the time said the web version was not very visually appealing. Now, MegsRadio can be accessed through a wide variety of platforms, including the web browser Safari and a mobile app using iOS software. The team was also working to release an Android app. Doug Turnbull, associate professor of computer science, created MegsRadio in the summer of 2011 with the help of three students and three faculty members.

As a product of the college, the radio station operates under an educational license. This allows MegsRadio to operate as a nonprofit, ad-free online radio station without having to privately fund itself and pay for expensive commercial licenses. Senior Luke Waldner said he has worked on the project for three years and became involved with it through Laurence Welch ’14, who was a system architect for MegsRadio. He said the team is always looking for new members who will mesh well with the lab dynamic and who are familiar with development tools. “Being able to work on a project from the ground up is [a] unique and great tool for getting experience,” Waldner said. Waldner said the group is currently working on stabilizing the radio station’s client apps and will then move on to refining the in-house data analysis platform and the playlist algorithm.

One of the advisers of the group, Brian Dozoretz, has been involved with the project since its inception and has been the link to the local artists in the Ithaca area, Turnbull said. Dozoretz said he believes MegsRadio could serve as a great asset to local artists. “One of the big things in local music is people really don’t know how to promote themselves anymore.” Dozoretz said. Turnbull said the project isn’t just another portfolio piece, but it also provides opportunities for growth for students. “This is student-driven and community-focused, and it’s not-for-profit,” he said. “The real benefit to the students, whether they’re volunteers or a paid research assistant for a small number of hours every week, is that they all go out into the tech world and do amazing things and are well-compensated for those amazing things.”

MegsRadio, a student-run personalized app that promotes local artists, debuted a new campaign Sept. 18, 2016, at PorchFest. MEGSRADIO/FACEBOOK


LIFE & CULTURE |117

MENTAL WELLNESS STARTUP

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY HAYLEY TARLETON

Student creates mental-health startup company providing support via mood-reading headphones

|BY TAYLOR ZAMBRANO

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ocus, motivate, uplift and relax. Each of these moods has its own corresponding range of songs and musical tones that affect the brain in different ways. Ithaca College junior Jessica Voutsinas, along with Alex Patin, a junior at Pennsylvania State University, created a set of headphones that analyzes the relationship between music preferences and these states of mind. Their product, Trills, is Bluetooth headphones that they said can calculate how a person’s motivation or focus is affected based on the music they are listening to. There are electroencephalogram (EEG) sensors located throughout the headphones, which Voutsinas said can calculate a person’s brain waves, and by using a specific algorithm to translate that information, an app that accompanies the headphones creates recommended playlists — using Spotify, Google Play, Deezer and Apple Music — that help optimize a person’s cognitive state. “Music is the only known phenomenon that activates all aspects of the brain,” Voutsinas said. “It is genuinely something that no one has been able to quite understand.” A few months after creating the product in November 2015, Voutsinas and Patin said they decided to build a company around it: Musical Minds. Voutsinas said the company’s goal is first and

foremost to promote mental-health wellness. The inspiration behind the product came from a class Voutsinas took with Elizabeth Simkin, associate professor of music performance, called “Music and Medicine.” Simkin said she has seen music have an impact on health while playing bedside in an intensive care unit. “Jessica’s prototype is so much more specific and so much more detailed,” she said. “The whole beauty of this work is that you’re able to be working at very intuitive level with the human being that you’re with.” Mike Gehrsitz, a junior at Penn State, handles the production of the physical product — it’s still in its 3-D printed stage — as well as the technicalities involved in creating the Trills app. “We are going to try — for the first iteration — to implement a spider graph that will actually show you where you are on the spectrum,” he said. Voutsinas said the concept of using music as therapy is important because it can be used to help mitigate the effects of mental illness. “While industries target the recreational side of music, Musical Minds is targeting the wellness aspect,” Voutsinas said.


118| LIFE & CULTURE CARPARK RECORDS

Review|‘Life Without Sound,’ the fifth album released by four-member indie-rock band Cloud Nothings, lacks soul |BY JAKE LEARY

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ocals obscured by guitar and drums, songs so similar they become indistinguishable from one another and an apparent lack of innovation plague “Life Without Sound,” the latest album from Ohio-born band Cloud Nothings, which dropped Jan. 27, 2017. These issues persist throughout “Life Without Sound,” muddling the tracks and imparting a sameness to the album as a whole. To the credit of Cloud Nothings, “Darkened Rings,” the fourth song on the album, brings a much-needed energy to “Life Without Sound.” Drummer Jayson Gerycz kicks off the song with nearly 40 seconds of high-octane drums — the first standout moment on the album. Unfortunately, as soon as the lyrics and guitars become more pronounced, that which made the song special fades into generic obscurity. While “Darkened Rings” ultimately succumbs to the same fate as the rest of the album, it proves that “Life Without Sound” at least has a pulse. Worst of all, the album keeps the listener at arm’s length. It isn’t until the final two tracks that Cloud Nothings opens up and elicits a genuine reaction — in those moments of heart-rending anxiety, “Life Without Sound” shines. “Sight Unseen,” though repetitive to a fault, is an

enjoyable listen. Another high-energy track full of angst, “Sight Unseen” allows Baldi’s voice to take center stage. His exaggerated whine that detracted from “Modern Act” works for the limited lyric diversity of the track and allows the lyrics to stand out, giving the listener something to latch onto. When backup singers join Baldi, emulating his vocal style, the track truly comes together. It may be the most aurally pleasing song on “Life Without Sound,” but it still lacks the emotional weight of the subsequent two tracks. Despite its myriad flaws, “Life Without Sound” may jive with fans of the genre. The album fails to introduce new ideas or innovate on pre-existing indie-rock tropes, but in that sense, it is comfort food — easy listening. While the album picks up considerably toward the end, even that is not enough to salvage the lackluster early tracks. It is a shame that the listener has to slog through six dull, uninspired songs before encountering three worthwhile ones. There is a place for derivative music, but it shouldn’t be applauded and can’t be relied upon if a band wants to attain star status. The music industry is like a crowded room: jam-packed and full of noise. To make an impression, a band needs to shout above the competition. Unfortunately, Cloud Nothings doesn’t make a sound.


LIFE & CULTURE |119 WARNER BROS. RECORDS

THE FLAMING LIPS

Review|The Flaming Lips’ latest album is a successful departure from the group’s norm

|BY MEG TIPPETT The 14th album by the alternatively inspired group, The Flaming Lips, comes in a psychedelic and rock-inspired haze. The album “Oczy Mlody,” released Jan. 13, 2017, is a mix of alternative pop and psychedelic rock. The group effectively leaped away from its former style of rock jams straight into a world of synth sounds and serene, woozy lyrics. This album is the first full-length album from the band since its release of “The Terror” in 2013. “Oczy Mlody” features 12 songs that, when played in the order they appear on the album, send the listener into a space-rock world designed by The Flaming Lips. The album expresses a hallucinatory feeling, with calm lyrics and dream-like sequences. The first song on the album, “Oczy Mlody,” begins with an ominous beeping, echoing throughout the background while subsequent sounds fold into the hypnotic tone. A synthetic drum beat keeps the song moving forward while the synth sounds elicit calmer feelings. The title track

provides a proper look into the types of songs the album provides. “Sunrise (Eyes of the Young),” the fourth song on the album, features a piano ostinato in the instrumental background during the first few moments of the song, which is both new ground and a throwback to the band’s old slow-rock style. The new territory it propelled itself into with this album can be summed up through this song. One of the most downloaded songs from the album, “The Castle,” begins with glittering synth chords and a simple drum beat. The lyrics describe different aspects of a woman that Wayne Coyne, the frontman of the band, admires, such as her hair, body and eyes. In an interview with The Future Heart, Coyne said he wrote the song immediately after a close friend of his had committed suicide. He used the song to cope with the loss of his friend, whom he dearly loved and cared for. Coyne told The Future Heart that the words simply flowed out of him, expressing the sadness that he

had felt at the time. The last song of the album, “We a Family,” features vocals from the band’s new friend, Miley Cyrus. The song begins similarly to the other songs from the album with a fast-paced, electronic riff. Coyne and Cyrus share a cohesive sound, allowing their collaboration on this song to pair together nicely. With hazy synth chords and a distant orchestral string chorus in the background of the instrumental, the song features both performers singing raw lyrics, full of emotion. Overall, the album produced by The Flaming Lips is different, serene and adventurous. The group took a risk by drifting from its slow-rock roots to a trippy alternative style, allowing the group to express new emotions. While this style change is drastic, some of the group’s old-rock origins were intertwined within the album, paying homage to where the band began. With a few flairs, the group manages to produce an album with a truly alternative soul and voice.


120| LIFE & CULTURE NETFLIX

‘A YEAR IN THE LIFE’ A LET DOWN Review|Netflix’s “Gilmore Girls” revival disappoints fans with length and inconsistencies

|BY MAX DENNING

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lmost 10 years after the iconic show’s disappointing final season — which was its first without creator Amy Sherman-Palladino as a director, executive producer and screenwriter — “Gilmore Girls” returned Nov. 25, 2016. The four 90 minute–episode revival, “A Year in the Life,” is arguably an even further regression from the show’s previous glory. While it was exciting just to watch Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel revive their roles as Lorelai and Rory, the show failed to live up to its immense hype and at times became completely unenjoyable to watch. From the first episode, titled “Winter,” small differences in the characters became major distractions. Graham’s change in enunciation and voice pitch took an entire episode to become familiar with. Sean Gunn’s (Kirk) inability to act or sound like his character from the series made his already odd storyline worse. Finally, Scott Patterson (Luke) looks at least 10 years older than Lorelai, even though they’re

only supposed to be two years apart in the show. The four episodes of “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life” struggled with problems that many long-running shows struggle with in their later seasons: becoming overly cliche and not being nearly as funny — or compelling — as they once were. The two most odious aspects of the plot were Rory’s decision to begin writing a book and Sherman-Palladino’s lack of understanding of how obnoxious certain themes and characters were, such as Rory’s love interest, Logan, and the immense privilege of his friends Colin, Robert and Finn. Rory’s writing a book seemed like a really fascinating idea — for about 30 seconds. Except it had already been done before — on “One Tree Hill.” And also on “Private Practice.” And a version of it with the documentary release in “The Office.” “Gilmore Girls” used to be superb because it wasn’t cliche like the other comedy-dramas on television. The plots used to be more unpredictable.

In “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life,” it was simple to predict what was going to happen at the end of each scene. When Lorelai begins watching the first take of “Stars Hollow: The Musical,” it was obvious what would happen. Lorelai would hate it, everyone on the show would disagree with her, and most viewers at home would agree with Lorelai. This scene showed Sherman-Palladino’s lack of originality and her inability to adapt to the 90 minute– episode format. Logan, Colin, Finn and Robert’s antics might have been funny when they were in their 20s, but now that they’re supposed to be in their mid-30s, it comes across as wealthy white male privilege. The fact that Logan had more airtime than Lane, Jess, Sookie and Dean was infuriating. Over the first six seasons, all of those characters were more central parts of “Gilmore Girls” than Logan, who was perpetually unlikeable. “A Year in the Life” is a slap in the face to “Gilmore Girls” fans.


LIFE & CULTURE |121 WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES

‘STAR WARS: ROGUE ONE’ Review|“Rogue One” rebels against Star Wars tradition in an entertaining film for all ages

|BY JOSH VITCHKOSKI

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slightly longer time ago in a galaxy far, far away, a cast of Rebel fighters made their way through the sandstone streets of planet Jedha in a high-stakes race against the Galactic Empire to transmit a vital message to the Rebel Alliance. Thanks to Order 66 and the annihilation of the Jedi, these messengers are unknowns, pulled from the far reaches of the Star Wars universe — these aren’t the characters the audience knows and loves. But in this more well-received period of the “Star Wars” films, is that a disadvantage? Dark conflict and creative storytelling say otherwise in the science-fantasy action of “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.” “Rogue One” is, if nothing else, a chip off the old “Star Wars” block, which works both to its strengths and its weaknesses. It piggybacks on the new “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” formula with its own handful of nostalgia-pandering cameos and original trilogy references. Visually, it’s astonishing to see such new, rich worlds, like the tropics of Scarif or the arid twilight deserts of Jedha. On occasion, and thanks to a lot of infighting, the tone of a good-evil dichotomy between the Rebellion and the Empire is

blurred. This should equate to a more ambiguous and compelling conflict between and within the two opposing factions, which seldom happens in “Star Wars.” Unfortunately, despite the more complicated relationship dynamics, the characters aren’t worth getting invested in. “Rogue One” falls prey to the dreaded “too many characters, not enough character development” syndrome most commonly found in ensemble pictures. “Rogue One” gives the “Star Wars” timeline a handful of new and creative adventurous moments while shamelessly admitting it took out a loan from the rest of the series to get itself going. To its strength, the movie doesn’t have to carry the burden of the typical “Star Wars” characters that audiences all know and love, even if they aren’t as compelling as they could be. Thus, it isn’t afraid to defy the status quo. It joins “Revenge of the Sith” and “The Empire Strikes Back” by bringing a dark and uncertain tone to its conflict. Though the film may be living in the shadow of “The Force Awakens,” it is a satisfying “Star Wars” film nonetheless. The Force is strong with “Rogue One,” and it’s an entertaining space trip for audiences of all ages, all races and all species.


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THE END OF AN ERA:

Coach Mike Welch

Football head coach Mike Welch ’73 retires from Ithaca College after 23 years as head coach and 33 years on the coaching staff


SPORTS |125 Players carry head coach Mike Welch off the field after he coaches his last game Nov. 5, 2016, at Butterfield Stadium. SEAN DULLEA/THE ITHACAN

|BY LAUREN MURRAY AND MATT HORNICK

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ith no time left on the clock and his team on the wrong side of the scoreboard, Ithaca College football head coach Mike Welch ’73 stood on the field at the SUNY Cortland Stadium Complex with a heavy heart. During his 23 years as head coach, Welch accumulated a 169–78 overall record with eight NCAA playoff appearances. Over his total 33 seasons on the Bombers’ coaching staff, he owns a 258–93 record. On Aug. 10, 2016, Welch announced

he would retire at the conclusion of the 2016 season. In an interview following the announcement, he said the decision was tough to make but that it was the right time to step away. “I’m at the twilight of my career, and it seemed like the right time for my family and for me,” Welch said at the time. “I’m healthy, and things are good, and I have a nice group coming back and a real nice staff.” Welch’s wife, Susan, who graduated from the college in 1973 as well, said the past 23 years have been nothing short of

great but that it was time for the two to move on. “It’s a little emotional right now,” she said. “We’re both Ithaca alums, so it makes it even better. Our kids are alumni. It’s been a good ride. We had a lot of fun, and we are ready for phase two of our lives.” Junior linebacker Kenny Bradley said having Welch as a coach has shaped the way he treats people for the better. “He’s a class act,” Bradley said. “He teaches you not only how to be a better football player but how to be a


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1973

Welch was the captain for the Ithaca College football team for his senior year. COURTESY OF THE OFFICE OF INTERCOLLEGIATE ATHLETICS

2016

Welch walks off the field during Cortaca. Welch served as head coach of the Ithaca College football team for 23 years and spent 33 seasons on the coaching staff. CONNOR LANGE/THE ITHACAN


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better person and ... how to be a betSenior quarterback Wolfgang ter man. He’s an overall good person Shafer said Welch not only spent his who shows you how to treat people coaching career teaching his players with respect.” how to be better football players but From 1980–84, Welch served as that he also gave them life lessons. the offensive coordinator at Wash“There were some times when I ington University in St. Louis. He would get a little ahead of myself and received a call from then–head coach put a lot on my shoulders, and I would Jim Butterfield about an open assis- go to him in his office,” Shafer said. tant coach position. “We would shut the door, and he “I don’t know if I even answered would calm me down and tell me that him,” Welch said. “I just hung up and I have to live each day as if it’s my last.” applied. It was a dream come true. I Dempsey said his greatest lesson never thought of getting that opportu- from Welch was that not everything nity to come back to your alma mater needs to be perfect the first time as to coach.” long as he made adjustments from He returned to the college in 1984 what he did wrong. as the linebacker “My biggest coach and was a takeaway that part of two NCAA “I’M AT THE TWILIGHT has helped me Championship both in football OF MY CAREER, AND and elsewhere is teams in 1988 and 1991. that it’s OK to IT SEEMED LIKE THE Butterfield remake mistakes,” tired after the RIGHT TIME FOR MY Dempsey said. 1993 season, and Alex Hill ’04 the opportunity to FAMILY AND FOR ME.” was a junior apply for the head — MIKE WELCH when his father coach position was diagnosed opened up. Welch with cancer. In said he was fortunate to be chosen his senior year, the Bombers had a for the position following the legacy game against Springfield College, of Butterfield. and his father was able to attend deIn 2015, Welch was inducted into spite his condition. Two days later, the Ithaca College Athletic Hall of Hill’s father died, and Welch flew to Fame. He also earned the 2016 Out- Hill’s hometown in Gloucester, Masstanding Contribution to Amateur sachusetts, to attend the funeral. Football award from the National Before Welch’s arrival in GloucesFootball Foundation and the College ter, he had every player reach out Football Hall of Fame. to Hill and leave voicemails on Along with Welch’s accomplish- his phone. ments on the field, former starting Dan MacNeill, Cortland football quarterback Tom Dempsey ’15 head coach, said Welch’s impact goes said Welch’s integrity and lead- beyond the South Hill. ership skills are what made him “His legacy not only at Ithaca but so successful. in the game of football is going to be “He’s a man of his word and really lasting,” MacNeill said. “I just want practices what he preaches, which is to thank him for doing what he’s done an important virtue for anyone, but for so long. He’s defined Cortland, especially someone whose job it is to defined Ithaca and defined the game teach and lead a team,” Dempsey said. of football.”

New football head coach prepares to lead team after Welch’s retirement |BY DANIELLE ALLENTUCK

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thaca College has hired a new football head coach to replace Mike Welch ’73, who coached the team for 23 years. Dan Swanstrom, quarterbacks coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of Pennsylvania, will replace Welch as the college’s 10th football head coach, Susan Bassett ’79, director of intercollegiate sports, announced Dec. 12, 2016. Swanstrom coached at the University of Pennsylvania for three seasons. Swanstrom previously held three SWANSTROM different positions — quarterbacks coach, offensive coordinator and associate head coach — at Johns Hopkins University from 2008 to 2013 and was the quarterbacks coach and wide receivers coach at the University of Redlands from 2006 to 2008. Swanstrom was one of three semifinalists who were interviewed on campus Dec. 5–8. Sophomore punter Pat Minogue said the team met with Swanstrom when he was on campus. “He sounded confident, took control of the room, which was nice, and has good game plan going forward,” Minogue said. Swanstrom announced he will be evaluating the whole program before making final decisions about his coaching staff. “This is a program that has success,” he said. “It’s very different than walking into a program ... where the whole coaching staff got fired. I think the biggest thing for me is ... making sure we are on board with the vision and direction we are going.”


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Senior Sara Garvey races in the 60-meter dash in the Greg Page Relays on Dec. 3, 2016, in Glazer Arena. CAITIE IHRIG/THE ITHACAN


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RACING LIFE Senior runner Sara Garvey recovers for two years following leukemia diagnosis before being cleared to compete again |BY VINICA WEISS

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he sounds of clapping and voices reverberate through the Glazer Arena as teammates on the Ithaca College women’s track and field team cheer one another on. This is accompanied by the all-too-familiar sounds of feet repeatedly hitting the blue rubber track. In the midst of this composition, there is an intense yet quiet demeanor to senior Sara Garvey’s pumping arms and quick strides as she keeps pace with her fellow sprinters. It wasn’t always this way for Garvey. She has only been back on the track since January, when she was cleared to compete again for the first time since she was a senior in high school, after a battle with leukemia. “It’s freeing to run again,” Garvey said. “It’s something that I enjoy, so I wanted to get back at it. I’m feeling really good. I definitely feel a lot better speedwise, too. Getting back into things with the team and not just running by myself has been really helpful.” Garvey first noticed something was off during her final year at South Burlington High School in South Burlington, Vermont, when she found herself getting sicker and more fatigued than usual. But the most obvious indication that something was out of the ordinary was her running times. After seeing her primary care physician and receiving a blood test, Garvey was sent to the hospital, where doctors performed further blood tests. Following hours of nervously waiting for the results, Garvey was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. “Me and my dad were both in shock,” Garvey said. “I had to do a bunch of tests that day, but that’s kind of a blur. That same day, I just stayed there in the hospital inpatient, and they started chemo right away. I never really got sick ever, so going from nothing to ‘you have leukemia’ was a scary thought.” Her passion for running, which emerged at age 7, was put on hold. And though she wept as she found out the staggering news, she knew one day she’d be back doing what she loved. From that point, Garvey would undergo treatment for two

years until May 2014, despite being given remission status about a month into treatment. Garvey still managed to graduate on time because she had been doing well in her classes at the point of her diagnosis. Before Garvey was diagnosed, she had been looking to compete for the college’s track and field team. Jennifer Potter, head coach of the women’s team, said she had been recruiting Garvey early on in her senior year, if not in her junior year. When her father, John Garvey, found out his daughter had cancer, he emailed Potter to explain the circumstances. “Coach Potter said she would help us get through this, and even though Sara hadn’t even started her freshman year at Ithaca College, she had the support from her track and field team,” he said. For the next two years, Garvey would be barred from any weight-bearing activities. In the meantime, Garvey was a manager for her squad, which meant she was helping Potter with timing and setting up drills for her teammates. Senior runner Rose Paskoff said that even when Garvey was not running, she was still part of the team in her managerial role. “Just the fact that she was able stay on the team from freshman year until senior year without being able to compete for basically three-fourths of that time is amazing,” Paskoff said. Finally, in January 2017, Garvey was cleared to compete in sprinting events. She had to be cautious of overtraining. As Garvey lined up for her first race of her college career, all of her teammates grouped together to cheer her on. This showed to Paskoff how much Garvey means to the team. “The first time she raced, our entire team basically stood there and watched, and that doesn’t always happen,” Paskoff said. Garvey said she was always hopeful she could beat cancer. “It was just like another race,” Garvey said. “People always think I am a positive person, and I’m always smiling, so they didn’t have any doubt that I could beat it. It was just another hurdle or obstacle to get around.”


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LEADING A YOUNG TEAM TO VICTORY Junior becomes key player on young men’s basketball team for Ithaca College |BY MATT MALONEY

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Junior guard Joey Flanagan scored 14 points Jan. 28, 2017. He joined the Ithaca College men’s basketball team his freshman year. CAITIE IHRIG/THE ITHACAN

n a game against St. John Fisher College on Jan. 28, 2017, the Ithaca College men’s basketball team had an unsung hero in junior guard Joey Flanagan. After making two 3-point shots in the first two minutes of the game, he went on to shoot a perfect four-for-four from 3-point range throughout the game. Though the Bombers ended up losing, Flanagan came away with 14 points, a season high for him at the time. Despite not starting a majority of the games this season, as younger talent came in and took over some of the starting roles, he was a consistent contributor and leader throughout the season. The Poughkeepsie, New York, native expressed sympathy for the freshmen on the team. Having been there himself, he said he understood the struggle to adjust to the next level as well as fight for playing time. “You find your way onto the court in different ways,” he said. Freshman guard Riley Thompson said his adjustment was aided by Flanagan’s way of making him feel like a part of the team. “It’s a family right when you get on campus,” Thompson said. “Joey has been a huge part of that. Speaking for myself, he really made me feel like a part of the team right away.” Junior guard Brendan Till said Flanagan can do it all. “He’s just a really unselfish player and a great teammate,” Till said. “He doesn’t care about his individual stats. He’s more worried about the team and winning games.” Last season, Flanagan was a consistent starter for the Bombers, making 16 starts through 24 games. However, he came off the bench for the first seven games of this season. For most players, this is a cause for being upset, but Flanagan said he was just happy with the team’s start to the season. “It’s definitely tough, but I’ll take a great team start over a great personal start any day,” Flanagan said. “I’m just going to trust the team and everything will come together.” Assistant Sports Editor Caitie Ihrig contributed reporting.


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STAR POWER ON AND OFF THE COURT Multisport background helps junior excel on basketball court for women’s team |BY CAITIE IHRIG

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unior Jordan Beers grew up on the basketball court, dribbling the ball along the sideline while her father coached the boys varsity team at Franklin High School in Franklin, New York. When the two of them weren’t at practice, they would be out on the driveway practicing. Even though they spent so much time playing basketball together, she said her dad was never her coach. “He was always at my games, but we didn’t have that coach-player relationship,” Beers said. “He was just my dad.” Once Beers got to high school, she led her basketball team to back-to-back sectional titles, obtaining a 20–1 record during both of those seasons. She also played soccer and softball because those were the only other sports offered for girls at her school. Beers said basketball was her passion, and that’s why she picked that sport to play in college. However, she said it took some time for her to adjust to just playing one sport. “Coming to college and just playing basketball all year-round was so much different because I felt like I was going to get sick of it and not love it like I used to,” Beers said. Head coach Dan Raymond said that when he was recruiting her, he knew she would be a good addition to the team. “When I first saw her, I thought, ‘There was no way we are going to get someone of that caliber player to play here because she could do everything,’” Raymond said. Senior forward Erin Ferguson said Beers is willing to put her body on the line and take charge to secure the win. “She’s the type of player that if you are down two with 10 seconds left, she wants to take the shot,” Ferguson said. Beers’ competitive mindset and hard work were recognized by the Empire 8 her freshman year when she was awarded Rookie of the Week for the week of Dec. 10, 2014. “I definitely wasn’t expecting it at all, and it was a nice accomplishment,” she said. “I couldn’t have done it without my teammates giving me confidence and helping me out.”

Junior Jordan Beers has a multisport background that helped her succeed as a member of the Ithaca College women’s basketball team. CAITIE IHRIG/THE ITHACAN


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SWIMMER SHOWS PROMISE Sophomore brings in top times for the men’s swimming and diving team

|BY ALYSSA CURTIS

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ophomore Jake Hewitt has been sporting blue and white since the beginning of his college career, but only recently for the Bombers. After transferring to Ithaca College in Fall 2016, he made significant waves by bringing in top times for the team. Hewitt swam for SUNY Fredonia during his freshman year in 2014–15 and then took a year off school. While many variables played into his decision to switch schools, he said the swim team was ultimately the deciding factor. He came to Ithaca College on a swimming recruitment trip, and he said the trip convinced him to transfer. “The team was super friendly and seemed very competitive,” Hewitt said. “I felt very much at home.” Hewitt said the transition itself was not difficult for him. “I never really viewed transferring as being a struggle once I got here,” he said. Senior captain Gregory Markert said all transfer swimmers act and adapt very differently, but usually in one of two ways: Some may come in overconfident and seem entitled, while others may come in and keep their heads down and be more timid. Markert said he credits

Hewitt for being very talented and hardworking without being presumptuous. “Some come in hotheaded and try to prove themselves,” Markert said. “He’s been an equal mean between the two. He’s put in the work that needs to be done in order to win, and the team sees him as an asset that they can use.” Hewitt said he is used to balancing all that comes with school and athletics because he has been playing sports since he was young. “I’m not saying it’s easy to balance all the work,” Hewitt said. “It takes a lot of time and perseverance to get everything done correct and on time.” Senior captain Ian Foley noted Hewitt’s work ethic. “Jake’s strengths are hard work and raw talent,” Foley said. “Some people are talented but don’t work hard, but he is the best of both worlds.” Foley said Hewitt’s leadership this season has foreshadowed a possible captain nomination in the upcoming years. “I can see him being nominated for captain, which speaks about his character,” Foley said. “He has a very bright future ahead of him.”

Sophomore and SUNY Fredonia transfer student Jake Hewitt has found a home on the Ithaca College men’s swimming and diving team. FERNANDO FERRAZ/THE ITHACAN


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ALTERNATIVE TRAINING

Senior swimmer prepares for her final year using CrossFit to build strength |BY SAMANTHA CAVALLI

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ince she was 4 years old, senior Samantha Reilly has been in love with the water. But as she prepared for her final season of competition, she took an alternative training route in an attempt to give herself an edge. Reilly took on CrossFit training in February 2016 to stay in shape and increase her strength during the offseason, which she said made a big difference in her training this year. CrossFit is a high-intensity training program that incorporates varied movements in rapid succession. “When I came this season, I just felt so much stronger than I’ve ever been,” she said. “I’m able to get off the blocks quicker because my leg strength is there. Maintaining the strength over the summer was awesome because then I didn’t have to start over when I got here. A lot of times, it’s hard to get back into swimming if you lost your strength.” Reilly came onto the team among a freshman class of more than 20 women and rose to the top. She has dropped 8 seconds in the 100-yard backstroke in the past three seasons and 17 seconds in the 200-yard breaststroke. “It’s been very fun putting in the hard work with my teammates over the past four years,” Reilly said.

She began her swimming career at the age of 4, after her neighbor, who was a swimmer, introduced her to the sport. By the time she was 7, Reilly said, she had begun swimming year-round at her local YMCA. After competing in a swim meet at Ithaca College in high school, she said, she fell in love with the campus. Reilly began CrossFit training after her junior season to keep in shape for the Winter 2016–17 season. Senior Lake Duffy, also a member of the women’s swimming and diving team, joined Reilly at CrossFit Pallas in Ithaca last year after Reilly introduced her to it. “She started going to CrossFit Pallas and seemed to really love it,” Duffy said. Paula Miller, head coach of the women’s swimming and diving team, said Reilly is stronger this year than she has been in the past and believes CrossFit may be the reason. “I think it complements the swimming training in the water, and the strength that you gain with CrossFit has been a wonderful balance in helping her get stronger,” Miller said. “She came back ready to go, and it was really exciting. She has had a phenomenal year.”

Senior Samantha Reilly started swimming at the age of 4. Reilly used CrossFit to prepare for her final season of competition at the college. AVRILE CROWE/THE ITHACAN


134| SPORTS Junior Nick Velez won All-American honors last year at the NCAA National Championships. FERNANDO FERRAZ/THE ITHACAN

PINNING DOWN SUCCESS Junior and All-American honors winner Nick Velez proves an asset for wrestling team |BY ZACH GREGG

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or Nick Velez, wrestling has been a lifelong endeavor. The 165-pound junior received All-American honors last year at the NCAA National Championships in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He is ranked third in the nation on InterMat Wrestling among all 165-pound Division III wrestlers. His path here began in kindergarten, when his dad introduced him to the sport, and his improvement led him to pursue it further, he said. “I started to get real good at it as a younger kid, and I liked it, and I kept going, and I just kept improving,” Velez said. “I kept going on that path and stuck with it.” Coming into high school as a multisport athlete, Velez said, he had a choice to make. He said he wanted to focus on one sport to improve on, and he eventually chose wrestling. “I played baseball, lacrosse, soccer, football and wrestling,” Velez said. “And then when I got to high school ... I wanted to get good at one sport, so I just stuck with wrestling.” While at Westfield High School in Westfield, New Jersey, Velez amassed 64 wins and just 15 losses. Glen Kurz, a 1995 Ithaca College graduate who wrestled all four years for the Bombers, was Velez’s coach in high school. Velez said Kurz was one reason he chose to attend the college.

“I knew I’d fit right in with the program because I grew up doing the same technique that they do here, so ... it would be a smooth transition,” Velez said. As a freshman, Velez led the team with 33 wins and was a runner-up in the Empire Collegiate Wrestling Championships and the Division III Northeast Regionals. He was also the only freshman on the team to qualify for the NCAA Division III Championships. As a sophomore, Velez posted an overall record of 37–8 and placed seventh at the Division III Championships, earning his first NCAA All-American honors. Head coach Marty Nichols said that, as a junior, Velez has an advantage by having two years of experience under his belt. “He’s really good on top, and he can score a lot of points,” Nichols said. “His conditioning has really come up a lot, so he’s going to be wearing these guys out, I think.” At this year’s Ithaca Invitational, Velez took first place in his weight class, helping the Bombers take home the team title. Freshman wrestler Al Ciccitto said Velez is a constant source of motivation for the other team members. “His hard work motivates others,” Ciccitto said. “He’s a well-rounded wrestler; he’s good at every position.”


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BALANCING ACT FOR IC TRANSFER

Senior transfer Lynley Choate finds her place on the Ithaca College women’s gymnastics team |BY CASEY KOENIG

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espite being hundreds of miles away from her native Arkansas, senior Lynley Choate found a family in the gymnastics team at Ithaca College. Choate, a transfer from Arkansas State University, made an impact for the Bombers the past two seasons. During her junior year, she averaged a 9.28 on the balance beam and achieved a career-high score of 9.575 twice. She was the only senior on a team composed mostly of underclassmen. Choate said the team become like her family and that she adjusted to being the only senior on the team. “They’re my best friends,” Choate said in November 2016. “It’s hard to lead them ... but sometimes I have to step in and be like, ‘Hey, you need to do this,’ or ‘You need to do that. This is acceptable, and this isn’t.’” Choate began gymnastics when she was 3 years old, training at the Jonesboro Gymnastics Academy in Jonesboro, Arkansas. When Choate was searching for colleges in high school, she said, Rick Suddaby, Ithaca College gymnastics head coach, recruited her. She decided to attend Arkansas State University instead because she said she was not ready to travel too far from home. While at Arkansas State University, Choate continued to train with the Jonesboro Gymnastics Academy. Halfway through her freshman year, Choate said, she decided to look into the Bombers’ gymnastics program again and took a trip to Ithaca to meet with Suddaby and get a tour of the campus. Choate transferred to the college the following fall semester to begin her sophomore year. As an exercise science major at Arkansas State, she said, it was easy to make the transfer because she did not have to change majors. Choate said her training schedule did not change that much. At the academy, she practiced four hours a day, four days a week and got Wednesdays off, whereas at the college, the team practices five days a week for three hours. As a transfer, she came onto the team in 2014, which means she had been at the college as long as the nine juniors on the team. Even though she was slightly older — and had maybe one or two more years of gymnastics experience — at the collegiate level, she said she felt like she was a third-year gymnast like the juniors. Junior Kelly Nash said that since Choate came in with the rest of the junior class, it always felt like she was in their class as well. “Maybe it’s her southern roots in Arkansas, but there is always this confidence about her,” Nash said. “She serves as such a great role model for all of us.” Choate competed in exhibition events her sophomore year and on the balance beam during her junior year. Choate said in her last season, she wanted to accomplish as much as she could. “Even if this season isn’t as good as I want it to be, I want to end it on a good note,” Choate said.

Senior Lynley Choate competes on the balance beam on Jan. 21, 2017. Choate started gymnastics at 3 years of age. CONNOR LANGE/THE ITHACAN


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FORMER RUNNERS TAKE HELM Previous teammates jump at the chance to coach women’s cross-country team |BY BECKY MEHORTER

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From left, second-year graduate students Alexa Rick and Meghan Cass coach the women’s cross-country team. ERIN MAHONEY/THE ITHACAN

wo years ago, Alexa Rick and Meghan Cass were running through South Hill as members of the Ithaca College cross-country team. Now, the two graduate students and previous teammates have worked together again to coach their former team. Along with part-time assistant coach Ally Bartkowiak ’14, Rick and Cass — sixth-year physical therapy students — stepped up to fill the place of cross-country head coach Erin Dinan, who left in the summer of 2016 on maternity leave. Though Dinan is still the head coach, Bartkowiak, Rick and Cass ran the day-to-day operations of the team during the Fall 2016 season. Rick said she was not nervous when asked to take over the team. “I didn’t feel any pressure, more so just pure excitement to have the opportunity to help Erin and the team,” Rick said. Despite the coaching switch, the Bombers did not miss a beat. They placed in the top five at all but two of their invitationals this season and won their 14th consecutive Empire 8 Championship on Oct. 29, 2016. Rick said this year prepared the team for the future. Dinam said leaving the team was made easier because she knew she was leaving it in the hands of her former athletes. “It was hard to step away and to leave it in the hands of those three people. … It has been the best-case scenario,” Dinan said. “The team has been doing so well. I’m starting to think I should go away more often.” Senior runner Kristin Lynn said Rick’s decision to let the women run workouts based on how their bodies were feeling that day, as opposed to set paces and times to hit, helped the team. “This year, she’s done a lot of training by feel, like, ‘You know what this should feel like. Trust your gut,’” Lynn said. “I think it’s been really beneficial because a lot us have been able to push ourselves further than we could have with set paces.”


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HURDLING OVER ALL OBSTACLES Junior hurdler and sprinter overcomes injury to shine for track and field team |BY MADDISON MURNANE

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unior hurdler and sprinter Amber Edwards, wearing the same white bow in her hair that she wears every race, says just two words quietly to herself — “quick” and “punch” — as she waits for the gun to go off, eyes set on the lane of hurdles ahead. Edwards was recruited to the Ithaca College women’s track and field team as a hurdler without ever having been formally coached in the event. This season, she recovered from an injury that limited her sophomore campaign. She began running track and field in seventh grade, following in the footsteps of her brother. The sport, however, quickly became a way for her to stay sane, she said. “It’s something that I love to do, and it keeps me positive and motivated to do better,” she said. Edwards never advanced to the New York state meet or the national meet during high school, but head coach Jennifer Potter said she still noticed Edwards’ potential. “She had a lot of success in high school, and she’s a really good student,” Potter said. “I knew that she’s a full package and would help take our team to the next level.” Edwards earned All-NYSCTC honors in both indoor and outdoor track and field during her freshman campaign. Potter said these recognitions came as a result of hard work and determination by Edwards to improve her sprinting and hurdling form. However, during her sophomore year, Edwards suffered a fracture of the desmoid bone in the bottom of her foot. This injury barred her from competing in the second half of the 2016 outdoor season. Junior thrower Charis Lu said Edwards is compassionate. “Amber is always supportive and caring,” Lu said. Coming off a season of standing in the crowd, Edwards showed significant improvement, Potter said. “Her form has improved quite a bit,” Potter said. “We’ve worked a lot on her sprinting form as well.” Junior Amber Edwards competes in the 60-meter hurdles Jan. 21, 2017, in Glazer Arena. She placed first in the race. SAM FULLER/THE ITHACAN


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FRESHMAN ON THE FIELD Ithaca College men’s soccer team features fresh face among upperclassman crowd Freshman Justinian Michaels has had more playing time on the men’s soccer team than most new players at the college. PATRICIA ABURTO/THE ITHACAN

|BY MAX O’NEILL

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uring Ithaca College men’s soccer games, mixed in among a herd of upperclassmen is a new face on the field: freshman Justinian Michaels. Michaels started and played in all 16 games of the fall season. Head coach Patrick Ouckama said it is rare for a freshman to have so much playing time. “He’s a smart player,” Ouckama said. “He has a lot of technical ability, and he competes very, very hard.” Michaels went to high school at Don Bosco Preparatory in Ramsey, New Jersey, an all-boys private Catholic school. He starred on the soccer team and helped it remain a perennial national contender in high school soccer. The year he graduated, he and six teammates went to college to play soccer for their respective schools. Michaels said attending Don Bosco was one of the best decisions he has made in his life.

“I decided to go to Don Bosco Prep for a couple reasons,” he said. “They are a prolific sports school. Don Bosco also has prestigious academics.” Michaels said his decision to become a Bomber was due to more than just continuing to play soccer. “Committing to Ithaca College had many factors involved for me: mainly, the esteemed academics and the incredible athletic-training program here that is nationally ranked,” he said. Ouckama echoed Michaels’ sentiment about his interest in athletic training. “He’s been in touch with us for a while,” Ouckama said. “He was interested in athletic training, so Ithaca was obviously on his radar for that program, and then once I saw him play, I was immediately interested in him.” Ouckama said it is a struggle for freshmen to play as much as Michaels played during the fall season.

“He’s a freshman who is obviously getting a lot of playing time, so that’s always exciting but difficult at times,” he said. Michaels’ roommate and teammate, freshman Jack Ochs, said Michaels is very persistent on and off the field. “Off the field, he is a great person,” Ochs said. “He sticks to his work. He likes to get everything done, and on the field, he is really a leader.” Ochs said since he and Michaels spend a lot of time together, they have a better connection on the field. “I guess just being together so much off the field, we’ve sort of formed a bond and then on the field,” Ochs said. “It helps us flow better in the game.” Michaels said he hopes to see a bright future ahead of him for the remainder of his college experience. “For my future three years, I look to ... try to contribute more to the team,” he said.


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DRIBBLING PAST OBSTACLES

Senior forward’s improvement earns her starting position for women’s soccer team |BY MADDISON MURNANE

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hen senior forward Jocelyn Ravesi became a part of the Ithaca College women’s soccer team her freshman year, she was never supposed to step onto the field. She was a practice player until one day at practice that season, she was handed a uniform by head coach Mindy Quigg. Ever since that day, Ravesi’s main goal was to continue building up her physical and mental toughness. Now, as a senior, Ravesi is the team’s leading scorer. Ravesi attended G. Ray Bodley High School in Fulton, New York. She played varsity from her sophomore to senior year and earned First Team All-Star honors for two consecutive years. She was named captain her senior year. Her freshman year at the college, Ravesi came into preseason weighing 100 pounds, and she said she was not as physically strong or as confident as the other women trying out. When it came to the end of preseason that year, Quigg gave her a call about her future on the team. “Coach told me, ‘You aren’t where you should be,’” Ravesi

said. “I totally respect her for telling me that because I knew that within myself.” Ravesi said she knew being a practice player meant she was not supposed to see any playing time. Her goal was to be able to one day make it onto the field during a game. “I just have to thank my coaches because they constantly saw potential in me,” she said. “Even when I was the smallest, they saw room for growth.” Over the following few weeks, with encouragement from her teammates and coaches, Ravesi said she was able to improve greatly as a player. Senior midfielder Jess Demczar said Ravesi’s improvement has helped the Bombers in the long run. “It is so obvious how much Jocelyn has grown,” Demczar said. Freshman forward Jordyn Haynes said Ravesi is the teammate to go to for encouragement. “Jocelyn is kind of like a mom,” Haynes said. “She’s always really happy and encouraging to everyone even when we are down.”

Senior forward Jocelyn Ravesi originally started on the Ithaca College women’s soccer team as a practice player. SAM DICKINSON/THE ITHACAN


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SHE’S A HIT

Freshman is a success for Ithaca College women’s tennis team as doubles player |BY CASEY KOENIG

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hough Brianna Ruback, a freshman on the Ithaca College women’s tennis team, has been playing tennis competitively since she was 13 years old, this is the first time in her career she is playing in doubles matches. Despite this, Ruback was the Bombers’ No. 2 singles player and played consistently in the first or second flight of doubles. She was 5–2 overall and 3–1 in regular-season matches in September 2016. From River Vale, New Jersey, she started playing tennis first in clinics during elementary school, then competitively in the eighth grade and continued throughout high school. In Fall 2016, for doubles play, Ruback was paired with sophomore Taylor Ginestro and senior Haley Kusak, winning with both partners. Senior Maddie Overholt said Ruback’s work ethic is impressive and that she has great potential. “She’s a hard worker — always puts in 100 percent,” Overholt said. “She’s always someone you can count on.” Ruback said she enjoyed traveling with the team to matches since all of her matches in high school were nearby. “I really like the camaraderie of playing on a team,” she said. Head coach Bill Austin said Ruback is going to keep getting better and stronger and become a more complete player. “With her work ethic and her talent, she’s just going to keep getting better with more competitive opportunities,” he said.

Freshman Brianna Ruback joined the Ithaca College women’s tennis team and is playing doubles matches. She started competing in tennis when she was 13. CAITIE IHRIG/THE ITHACAN

Women’s tennis head coach earns spot in record books |BY ANNETTE HOGAN

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or the past 17 years, Bill Austin has been a staple on the Ithaca College tennis courts. Now, the head coach has cemented his place in the record books as the women’s tennis program’s winningest coach after he earned his 200th career win Oct. 1, 2016, against Nazareth College. Austin began his career at the college as assistant to the director of the Office of Admission in 1995. He then left the college to coach the tennis and squash teams

at Hamilton College and later at Cornell University and Colgate University, before returning to Ithaca College as head coach of the men’s and women’s tennis and squash teams in 2000. Austin said receiving his 200th career win is a milestone for him but that he doesn’t plan to let that distract him. “Milestones are very cool; it’s a great honor, and it’s something I will cherish,” Austin said. “But the job is still ahead of us.”


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A DRIVING FORCE

Ithaca College senior pushes team as the leading scorer for women’s field hockey Senior starter Colleen Keegan-Twombley runs with the ball past a defender in the Bombers’ game Sept. 10, 2016, against Utica College at Higgins Stadium. CAITIE IHRIG/THE ITHACAN

|BY ADAM BROBST

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or the past three seasons, senior Colleen Keegan-Twombly had been a staple of the Ithaca College field hockey offense. Although she was the team’s leading scorer last year, scoring 15 goals in 18 games, she credits the team as her main motivation — a theme reflected throughout her athletic career. Keegan-Twombly said she worked hard during the offseason to improve all facets of her game. “I’m really looking to help contribute to all the success we’ve had on the field, whether that be scoring goals or on the defensive side,” she said. Though she was the Bombers’ leading scorer in field hockey, she began her athletic career in gymnastics. It was not until eighth grade that she picked up a field hockey stick for the first time, and she was pulled up to the varsity team at Kingston High School in Kingston, New York, a

year later. “I loved my teammates, which I think was a huge reason I loved playing,” Keegan-Twombly said. Head coach Tracey Houk said Keegan-Twombly is one of those players who works to improve every day. “She keeps getting better and better,” Houk said. “Like any player as they keep on playing, their stick skills get better, and the intensity gets better, and the people around you get better. It’s just really nice to see her progress. … She’s really bloomed into a beautiful player.” Houk said one of the key elements of Keegan-Twombly’s game is her mechanics and technique. “She has the ability to go into a crowd and keep the ball on her stick, and use her strong side, reverse side, pulls and fakes,” Houk said. “It’s not easy to do when there’s a lot of pressure on you.”

As one of six seniors, Keegan-Twombly said she took on a leadership role on her team and that she strives to be a good example for her teammates. “Being a starter and being a senior — the leadership comes with that role,” she said. “I make sure that I always have a great attitude for practice.” Sophomore forward Emily Vallee said Keegan-Twombly has been an asset for the team. “Colleen is a great leader on and off the field,” Vallee said. “She is the perfect combination of composed but passionate, and is very consistent.” Keegan-Twombly said playing with the Bombers has been one of the best experiences of her life. “It has been incredible with a lot of great moments,” she said. “I feel as though I have really seen the program grow and develop in many different aspects.”


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TRANSFER Volleyball coach and student transition to Ithaca College

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|BY MADISON BESS

Junior Kyra Denish competes at the Empire 8 Championships on Oct. 2, 2016, at the Country Club of Ithaca. MAXINE HANDSFORD/THE ITHACAN

WOMEN’S GOLF

Ithaca College women’s golf team won last contest in Empire 8 area before moving to Liberty League |BY CAITIE IHRIG

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he Ithaca College women’s golf team won its final Empire 8 Championship, which was held at the Country Club of Ithaca, by 94 strokes Oct. 2, 2016. This was the seventh consecutive year that the Blue and Gold had won the tournament. After this season, the Bombers are moving to the Liberty League. Senior Kimberley Wong was awarded Empire 8 Player of the Year. Junior Indiana Jones placed second in the tournament. Jones said her putting saved her score that weekend because she didn’t connect with the ball as well as she would have liked to. “If I didn’t have the amount of one putts and two putts I had this weekend, my score would have been significantly higher than what it was,” Jones said. Freshman Peyton Greco’s final score of 168, the best of her career so far, placed her in fourth for the tournament. Greco was awarded Rookie of the Year. Greco said winning Rookie of the Year was a very humbling experience and that she was very happy that both Rookie of the Year and Player of the Year were awarded to the Bombers. “I was so excited,” Greco said. “I couldn’t have done it without the help and support from my family, my coaches and my teammates. They always believe in me, and they’ve helped shape me into the golfer I stand as today.”

olleyball head coach Johan Dulfer may be new to Ithaca College, but he knew one familiar face when he arrived: sophomore Tara Stilwell. Dulfer was Stilwell’s coach last season at Clarkson University, and now the two represent the Blue and Gold. After 10 years of coaching at Clarkson, Dulfer said, he needed a new adventure. He was hired in February 2016 and assumed his position as head coach March 7, 2016. The Bombers and Clarkson are competitors in the regular season. “That gym was my home,” Dulfer said, prior to the match. “It is going to be tough trying to beat them. In three years, they have not lost a season’s match. I was there when it started, and now I will be back in that gym trying to break the streak.” Stilwell said Clarkson was not a good academic fit for her and that she was planning to only stay there for a year. She said she was looking to go back home to Colorado until Dulfer suggested she look at Ithaca College. “When he told me Ithaca was good, I considered it,” Stilwell said. “I wouldn’t have looked if he wasn’t here, but I am glad he did.” Stilwell said this team gets along better than her team at Clarkson did. “I feel like I was super welcomed, even though I came from a different school, which is very reassuring,” Stilwell said. Dulfer said Stilwell is a calm player and that that helps her in the position she plays. He said she makes it look effortless and that she could fit in with any group. “She fits in well with this team because they are a unique group of women,” Dulfer said. “She is a Bomber now.” Junior Izabella Mocarski said the team has gotten stronger in leadership abilities. “We know we have to rise to the expectations and work harder than we’ve ever had to work before if we want to be successful and get to where we want to be,” Mocarski said.


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IC ALUMNA COMPETES AT OLYMPICS Ithaca College alumna Emily Morley competed at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic games

Emily Morley ’16 was a member of the women’s rowing team at Ithaca College. TOMMY BATTISTELLI/THE ITHACAN

Morley said she was surprised she qualified for the Olympics as a rower. TOMMY BATTISTELLI/THE ITHACAN

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|BY VINICA WEISS

he tunnel under the stadium was dark, though not the ominous kind. Dressed in her Bahamas colors — bright yellow and aqua — Emily Morley ’16 waited. She waited to hear countries chanting and a stadium full of cheers. She waited to walk into the famous Maracanã Stadium, which highlighted Rio de Janeiro’s vibrant culture with a spectrum of colorful lights and music. “This was when it hit me that I was competing in the Olympics,” Morley said. “Representing my country while walking in was a feeling I hope I never forget.” While many of the Olympic athletes had been training for years, Morley only began seriously training in November 2015. Morley became the first Bahamian rower to qualify for the games. “I woke up to an email in my inbox that told me that I had qualified, and at first, I didn’t believe it,” she said. “I was overwhelmed with joy and excitement for the next couple of months of training.” Realistically, Morley wasn’t going to medal. She was the last rower selected from her qualifier, so the main goal

became to beat somebody, head coach Becky Robinson said. And that’s exactly what she did. Morley ended up finishing 30th out of 32 scullers from around the world. Many people reported concerns about the water quality in Rio during the games. Robinson said Morley took a few precautions by having a screw-top water bottle and keeping it in a dry bag. They also had antibacterial wipes to clean everything that had touched the water. “The levels of E. coli and other bacteria in the water were as low as they’ve ever been,” Robinson said. Senior rower Jackie McDevitt said her team could not be prouder of Morley for making it to the Olympics and being able to compete against the best in the world. “You could tell how important it was to us to be able to send one of our own,” she said. “It just felt like a success for us, just seeing her on TV and getting to watch her races. It kind of is true to our team that we would be so proud of her successes even though they’re not ours.” Morley said if she does not commit to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, it is her hope to help another young Bahamian qualify.


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FINAL

The Ithaca College Bombers lose the Cortaca Jug 28–16 for final game in Welch’s coaching career |BY MATT HORNICK

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Junior running back Tristan Brown plays during the Cortaca Jug. The Bombers last won the Cortaca Jug in 2009 but have lost to SUNY Cortland every year since then. TEDDY ZERIVITZ/THE ITHACAN

he Ithaca College football team lost the 58th annual Cortaca Jug game 28–16 in Cortland in head coach Mike Welch’s final game of his career. This defeat would mark seven consecutive Cortaca losses, and the Bombers’ season finished with 5–5 overall and 0–5 on the road. A 41-yard touchdown pass, a botched game-tying field goal that turned into a game-winning touchdown, and a missed 22-yard field goal are the reasons the Ithaca College football team had lost the previous three Cortaca Jugs. Playing in their final game as Bombers, the seniors were looking to bring the Cortaca Jug to the South Hill for the first time since 2009 and end their collegiate football careers snapping the Blue and Gold’s longest losing streak in the rivalry. Welch had said that while securing a victory would have been an ideal way to enter retirement, having a game of this magnitude be his final one on the sideline is equally dignified. “Going out on a win would be fabulous, but I’m just very appreciative and fortunate that I am able to coach Cortaca as my final game,” Welch said. Senior quarterback Wolfgang Shafer said winning for Welch was the team’s greatest motivation to try to win the game. “I can speak for the rest of the team when I say we all want to do it for Coach Welch, but we also want to do it for all of the students who have never seen a Cortaca win,” Shafer said. Cortland’s head coach, Dan MacNeill, said winning the jug is a great achievement for either team. “There are three things that take place around this time of year: Thanksgiving, Christmas and Cortaca,” MacNeill said. “Everybody wants the jugs, and everybody wants to be able to open up that gift on the field.” This year marked the christening of a third jug to


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GAME

tally the wins. The jugs display the final score of every Cortaca matchup since 1959. The second jug was introduced in 1986 after the original jug ran out of room. Welch said he was unaware that a third jug was being added because the jugs have been in Cortland for so long. After three punts to start off the game, Cortland found the end zone first when sophomore quarterback Brett Segala connected with senior wide receiver Jon Mannix for a 25-yard touchdown to take a 7–0 lead. The Red Dragons put seven more points on the board in the second quarter when Segala hit senior wide receiver Anthony Pintabona with a 3-yard pass in the end zone for a touchdown. The Bombers responded with under two minutes to play in the quarter when Shafer found freshman wide receiver Will Gladney on a 14-yard fade for a touchdown. Freshman kicker DJ Ellis’ extra point attempt was blocked, making the score 14–6. The Red Dragons drove up the field in 53 seconds and scored a touchdown on a 17-yard pass from Segala to senior tight end Josh Riley to end the half. After forcing a three-and-out to start the third quarter, the South Hill squad began the second half, scoring 10 consecutive points. MacNeill said he was pleased with how his team persevered through this game and the season. “When you’re on to your fifth quarterback of the season and he turns the ball over as much as he did, it starts to wear on you,” MacNeill said. “But for our boys to come out and play the way they did and keep their heads in it the whole time was really great to see.” With his career over, Welch said he was impressed with how his team played all season, despite finishing the season 5–5. “They battled in all our games, so it was never a matter of effort,” Welch said. “We did a lot of good things this season. We just didn’t do enough together.” Shafer, who was also playing in the final game of his career, said his teammates made his experience in the game memorable. “I am so proud of the fight and the resilience we showed today,” Shafer said. “It hurts, but it was so much fun, and I can’t thank these guys enough for making my time at Ithaca College so special.”

Freshman wide receiver Will Gladney catches the football during the Cortaca Jug. The football team finished its season with a 5–5 record during the 2016–17 academic year, TEDDY ZERIVITZ/THE ITHACAN


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Freshman Pearl Outlaw, a member of the Ithaca College women’s rowing team, was born with a genetic condition impacting vision called retinitis pigmentosa. SAM FULLER/THE ITHACAN


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A CLEAR PATH Freshman’s connection to rowing surpasses her inhibited vision and brings her success as member of IC women’s rowing team |BY DANIELLE ALLENTUCK

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ith the sun’s just beginning its ascent, freshman Pearl Outlaw, with the help of Becky Robinson, head coach of the Ithaca College rowing team, makes her way down the dock on the Cayuga Inlet, carefully stepping around oars and other items lying around. Robinson helps Outlaw find her footing and step into the boat, and with a push off the side, the nine members of the novice crew boat set off into the water. Outlaw relies on sound, feel and experience, rather than her vision, to help her navigate and stay in line with the other rowers. “That’s the great thing about rowing, and I think that’s why I chose rowing — because it’s all about feel,” Outlaw said. “Once you’ve been rowing with people for a solid chunk of time, you just all move as one thing.” Outlaw was born with a genetic condition called retinitis pigmentosa. She was born with some light receptors and color receptors in her eyes not functioning properly, and retinitis pigmentosa causes the ones that are working to slowly deteriorate over time. Outlaw was diagnosed when she was 9 years old, and today, she said, she can see shapes and colors, but not small details. “The way I describe it is as if you are wearing fogged-up swim goggles,” she said. “The peripheral is very restricted, and I have this big ring of blind spots around my vision, and the rest is very cloudy and foggy. It’s hard because I don’t ever remember having 20/20 vision — this is normal for me.” With no prior interest in the sport, she became a rower late in the game. On a hot summer morning, Outlaw stepped into a crew boat for the first time before her sophomore year of high school. One of her teachers at Tandem Friends School in Charlottesville, Virginia, had told her class that she was going to attend a learn-to-row program and asked if anyone was interested in going with her. Outlaw decided to go. So at 5:45 a.m., she headed to the local inlet to partake in the clinic. She was a

part of her high school’s cross-country and swimming teams at the time but was looking for something else. As soon as she took her first stroke, she said, she felt an instant connection and knew this was the sport for her. “I just started, and I couldn’t stop,” Outlaw said. “Any chance to row, I’m going to take it, and I’m not going to stop. I loved it so much.” Her high school didn’t have a team, so her junior year, she went out on the water every morning at 6 a.m. in the pitch-black darkness with one of her coaches from the clinic to practice. After a few months, she caught the eye of Cathy Coffman, the varsity rowing coach at Albemarle High School, the public high school in her town, who invited her to join her team for winter training and, later, to become a member of the team. “As a crew coach, I am all about spreading the sport and joy of rowing,” Coffman said. “My assistant coach and I felt very strongly about allowing Pearl to join our team. She is a great example for other teens of someone who does not let her disability define who she is.” In February of her senior year, Outlaw went on a recruiting trip for crew, and right away, she said, she knew this was the school for her. “One of the things that made me really want to come here was my meeting with Becky Robinson and some of the girls on the team,” Outlaw said. “I just remember feeling like I’m actually wanted here.” Robinson said rowing is different from other sports because sight is the least important sense used. “Rowing is just a great thing because you probably, of all of your senses, rely on your sight the least,” she said. Outlaw said she hopes her perseverance can be an inspiration for people living with similar conditions. “People always tell me, ‘Oh, you’re so brave. You’re so this. You’re so that,’ and I’m always like, ‘No, I’m not. I’m just living my life,’” Outlaw said. “I’m showing people you can do it and that you don’t just have to live your life in a blind world.”



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YEAR IN REVIEW 2016–17