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Eyes On Price

The chair of the K-12 Teacher Education program at InterAmerican Campus was elected to the Miami Springs city council on April 4.

Danny Price, who has been coaching baseball for more than 35 years, allows his positive attitude to shine on and off the baseball diamond.

Creative Carnival

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Starting Again

The first Maker Faire Miami took place at Wolfson Campus from April 8 to 9. The event brought innovators from across the world to Miami.

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Elected Official

The Reporter’s Patricia Cordon writes about restarting her college education after life struggles and mistakes to offer her son and herself a better future.

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4VOL. 7, ISSUE 14 — APRIL 18, 2017

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ENVIRONMENTAL CENTER

SAS Student Aims To Make Driving Safer In Florida

Janet Reno’s Home Expected To Be Donated To Miami Dade College ‰‰ Negotiations are ongoing for the childhood home of Janet Reno, the first female attorney general of the United States, to be an addition to Kendall Campus’ Environmental Center. By Katherine Wallace-Fernandez katherine.wallace001@mymdc.net

aptness, she offered him an internship. Merwitzer agreed to the job after making sure it wouldn’t interfere with his part-time employment at Publix. “Time management is pretty difficult,” Merwitzer said. “But I’m used to it at this point.” Keeping an organized schedule is required to succeed in Merwitzer’s academic program. The School for Advanced Studies, located in North, Homestead, Kendall, West and Wolfson campuses, is a rigorous high school program. During their junior and senior years, SAS students are enrolled in four high school classes and at least three college courses to graduate with a high school diploma and associate’s degree simultaneously. Even though his course load consists of classes like Advanced Placement English Language and U.S. History, he also finds the time to build and play on computers. Since he was 5 years old, he has enjoyed aviation, which led him to complete 10 flight hours and obtain a pre-solo certification in June of 2016. His internship in the summer of 2016 with Levine Cava taught Merwitzer the significance of responding to constituents, a population of voters belonging to a specific area, and how the legislative process operates at the county level.

Plans to preserve former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno’s ranch as an extension of the Environmental Center at Kendall Campus are ongoing. “We’re in the process Reno of finalizing the deal,” said Alan Greer, the attorney representing the family in the transfer of the property. The residence sits in between thick layers of a variety of plants and trees on a four-acre parcel of land. After Reno’s sister, Margaret Hurchalla, hosted a farewell get-together at the ranch on April 1, intentions of donating the property were revealed. Both parties have to sign an agreement and then go through court approval for the land to become an addition to the Environmental Center. The details of the pact have not been disclosed by either party. “Once the agreement is signed, we’ll make a statement,” said Juan Mendieta, director of communications at the College. “We’re very excited about this.” Kendall Campus is only about a 10-minute walk from the secluded property at 11200 N. Kendall Dr. Reno’s will, prepared in 2008, first offered the opportunity to preserve the property to the University of Miami under the conditions they maintain the land’s present status. According to Greer, “The conditions [were] to maintain the property in its current known state of perpetuity, and UM did not seem [to be able to] do it.” The College also has the convenience of sharing a similar ecosystem to the hammock-surrounded ranch, according to Greer. The Environmental Center located on the west side of Kendall Campus, 11011 S.W. 104 St., is a nine-acre area dedicated to conserving wildlife complete with a lake, hammocks and butterfly gardens. The Center offers educational resources and opportunities for field trips and for faculty to hold classes. The creation of the property began in 1949

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Put The Phone Down: Mark Merwitzer, a student at the School for Advanced Studies at Wolfson Campus, is advocating for a bill to make texting while driving a primary offense in Florida. ‰‰ A junior at the School for Advanced Studies at Wolfson Campus, Mark Merwitzer has been advocating for safer roads since he received his learner's permit last summer. He is working with Florida Senator René García on a piece of legislation to deter drivers from texting. By Katherine Wallace-Fernandez katherine.wallace001@mymdc.net Seventeen-year-old Mark Merwitzer frequently wears a suit to meet with lobbyists to fight a social ill that is second nature to many teens—texting while driving. Merwitzer, a junior at the School for Advanced Studies at Wolfson Campus, is advocating to pass Senate Bill 144, which would make texting while driving a primary offense in Florida, allowing police to ticket drivers for texting without a prior warning. “While you’re driving down the road, you can see almost a lot of people texting while driving, and that’s just by an observation without having the statistics,” Merwitzer said. “When you look at the statistics, it’s even worse. A lot of people are dying every year due to texting while driving and distracted driving, and thousands are getting injured because of this.” According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, texting while driving falls under the umbrella of

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distracted driving, which caused more than 45,000 accidents in 2015 alone. That number increased to 49,000 the following year. Merwitzer has partnered with Florida senators and Miami-Dade County commissioners to update the state’s stance on texting while driving with a bill that has accomplished what similar efforts in the past were unable to gain: earning a spot on Miami-Dade County’s top ten priority list and passing through two senate committees.

Young Activist Merwitzer’s first encounter with politics was as a 5-year-old when his mother, a kindergarten teacher, brought him to a teacher’s union protest where he rallied with a picket sign. “I do remember yelling into a megaphone going ‘teachers deserve more respect,’ and I shared their frustration, and I was very empathetic to what was going on,” Merwitzer said. Last summer at a town hall meeting to halt Florida Power & Light’s plan to place radioactive waste under the Floridan Aquifer, Merwitzer met Miami-Dade County Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava who oversees District 8 encompassing Homestead, Palmetto Bay and Cutler Bay. Merwitzer impressed Cava with questions about FPL’s donations to politicians and, noticing his

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Teatro Prometeo Presents A Tale Of Love and Hope

The Girls’ Club Collection presents an art exhibit titled Women Painting at the Miami Dade College Museum of Art and Design in Kendall Campus, 11011 S.W. 104th, Room M123. Free to students and the public, the exhibit will kick-off May 18 and will run through Sept. 29. Women Painting is inspired by the 1970’s documentary Painters Painting, with a focus on influential women artists. “We’re excited to have this exhibit at Miami Dade College and hopefully engage a lot more with the student body and West Kendall, maybe get a conversation going,� said Sarah Michelle Rupert, one of the exhibit’s curators and visual artists. For more information, visit girlsclubcollection.org or contact the MDC Museum of Art and Design at museum@mdc.edu or (305) 237-7700.

Hosted by Teatro Prometeo, DoĂąa Rosita, the Spinster will be performed in Spanish at the Koubek Center, 2705 S.W. 3rd St., on July 14, 15, 21 and 22 at 8 p.m. and on July 16 and 23 at 5 p.m. The play was written by Federico GarcĂ­a Lorca, a Spanish poet and playwright. It features the story of a young woman in Granada, Spain during the 19th century who falls in love with her cousin before he leaves for America, and she must await his return in hopes of being together and finding true love. The play is directed by Gonzalo Rodriguez and features actors Cristina Rebull, Vivian Ruiz, Rodolfo Jaspe and Jeffry Batista. Tickets are $10 for MDC students with a valid ID and $25 for the general public. Parking is available inside the Koubek Center and its surrounding area. Valet parking is $5.

—Melba Silwany

—Roland Ortega

PHOTO COURTESY OF SILVIA ROS

Kendall Campus Presents Female Artists

Kendall Opera Theatre Ensemble Stages Romance-Themed Concert The Miami Dade College Kendall Opera Theatre Ensemble performs How About Love? with a repertoire of some of Broadway’s modern musicals on April 18 from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Dante and Jeanne-Marie Fascell Conference Center at Kendall Campus, 11011 S.W. 104th St. The performances include pieces from musicals such as Rent, Cats, Wicked and Sweeney Todd. “This is a wonderful opportunity for the students to perform for a live audience,� said voice professor Misty Bermudez, the director of the show. “They have worked on character study and musical and acting preparation.� The event is free and open to the public. Attendees can park on campus. For more information, contact Bermudez at (305) 237-2282 or mbermud4@mdc.edu

For more information, contact Teatro Prometeo (305) 237-3262 prometeo@mdc.edu or go to:  www.prometeotheatre.com

Honors College Student To Intern At Ivy League Nature Preserve Salua Rivero was one of three students chosen from around the globe to participate in the Hemlock Hospice Research Project paid internship at the Harvard Forest, a 4,000-acre parcel of land in central Massachusetts run by Harvard University. Rivero, who is studying philosophy, is a sophomore attending the Honors College at Wolfson Campus. She was chosen for the internship because of her work at the Earth Ethics Institute and in the arts. The Hemlock Hospice Research Project is an arts based science communication project focused on the decline of Eastern Hemlock Forests in New England. She will conduct an investigation on their decline and then create an art piece that reflects the findings with the other students attending the internship. “I think [the internship] will be perfect for getting the experience I need in my future career. What I am going to be doing in this internship is what I want to do as a career, which is ecological research, being outdoors and incorporating art into it,� Rivero said. “I feel like I will benefit from knowing if this is what I want to do or not.� —Devoun Cetoute

Sophomore Wins All-Florida Academic Team Award Lunide Sylne, a 19-year-old biology major at North Campus, is one of two students chosen to receive the All-Florida Academic Team Award, which recognizes the most accomplished students in the Florida College System. The award, based on academic achievement, leadership and service to the community, was presented on April 7 at the Champions Club in Tallahassee. She is currently a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Society, a STEM Ladder Ambassador and spends her free time volunteering at her campus’ biology department. She aims to obtain a bachelor’s degree in molecular and cell biology and a master’s in public health to ultimately earn a doctoral degree in medicine. “There were so many instances that could have forced me to give up on my journey as a student, but I started seeing the challenges as guidelines and obstacles that can be overcomed,� Sylne said. —Alexandra Vargas

2017 Writers Institute Registration Open MDC Live Arts Awarded Grant To Promote Muslim Understanding

Registration is open for the 2017 Writers Institute at Wolfson Campus, 300 N.E. 2nd Ave., which runs from May 3 to 6. The deadline to register is April 19. The events include workshops with bestselling authors that provide diverse activities to help improve and strengthen participants’ writing skills. These consist of four-day creative writing workshops ($550), three-day creative writing workshops ($450), three-day creative writing workshop in Spanish ($300), a publishing seminar with Jill Marr ($50) and manuscript consultations ($80). Offering also include craft talks, publishing seminars and consultations with a literary agent. For more information, contact the Miami Book Fair at (305) 237-3258 or visit https://www.miamibookfair.com

Kendall Campus sophomores Christian Carmelino and Sabrina Mendoza were published in the winter 2017 issue of Diversity and Democracy, a publication of the Association of American Colleges & Universities. Their submission consisted of an art project about gender roles in society. The duo’s photography dealt with the household concepts regarding traditional husband and wife relationships and tensions that may occur when dealing with problems in economic and social status. “[The piece] explores gender and culture in general and was based on film stills of Cindy Sherman PHOTO COURTESY OF CHRISTIAN CARMELINO AND SABRINA MENDOZA who incorporated gender identities in her work,� Carmelino said. “When I was told that our art could be published, it was just exciting, and when it did happen we couldn’t believe it because it was like one step closer to becoming an artist.� According to Kendall Campus humanities professor John Frazier, who recommended the students for the publication, Diversity and Democracy aims for a shared learning environment where educators can plan to use diversity to their advantage creating a multicultural democracy.

On March 29 MDC Live Arts was awarded the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Arts (DDFIA)’s Building Bridges Grant, which supports national efforts to advance relationships, increase understanding and reduce bias between Muslim and non-Muslim communities. MDC Live Arts will receive $160,000 for OjalĂĄ/Inshallah: Wishes from the Muslim World, a season-long initiative designed to challenge widespread assumptions concerning contemporary Muslim identity. Its upcoming season will be dedicated to the presentation of Muslim and Middle Eastern and North African artists through performances, residencies, campus-based conversations and community workshops. The programs will span all art forms and will take place throughout Miami. “We are truly grateful to the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Arts for its support, which will allow us to create programming that promotes understanding and encourages meaningful intercultural connections,â€? said Kathryn Garcia, the executive director of MDC Live Arts.

In February, North Campus sophomore Akin Anderson, 20, a mass communications major, was awarded two scholarships: The Tillow Fund Endowed Scholarship for his academic accomplishments, worth $1,000, and the Anti-Poverty Scholarship by City of Miami Commissioner Keon Hardemon based on an essay contest, worth $2,000. “The [scholarships] definitely helped me with academics, whenever I need it for a class or books,� Anderson said Anderson, who received the awards throughout the spring. “I’m a family person, so I kinda helped my family out when I need[ed] it too.� Anderson serves as a student assistant at the Carrie P. Meek Entrepreneurial Center in Liberty City. After graduating this spring, his plans include working toward his bachelor’s degree in film production.

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—Justin Marcano

—Jessica Genao

—Claudia Hernåndez-Ortiz

Students’ Photography On Gender Roles Published In Education Journal

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Student Awarded Pair Of Scholarships

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Expression Through Art: Student Stephanie Dovale paints while expressing her opinion in an art installation called Rethinking The Wall at Kendall Campus. The interactive exhibit was created to highlight the impact recent U.S.immigration policies could have on the fabric of the future American Dream.

Art Wall: Rethinking The Wall is an exhibit located east of building M at Kendall Campus for students to communicate their concerns on the recent U.S. immigration policies. The white fabrics were inagurated on April 4 as part of Arts & Letters Day, a campuswide event.

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Innovation: Students Melanie Castro and Miguel Perez talk to a representative from Microsoft during the D3 Art and Design Expo on April 6 at North Campus. The conference ran from April 4 to 6 and gave students the opportunity to connect with a variety of companies and universities.

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Aiding Newcomers: A group of people walk around the first iFly Festival at Wolfson Campus on March 11. Attendees got information about immigration services and how to get connected with the local community.

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4 NEWS | APRIL 18, 2017

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Janet Reno’s Family Lawyer: ‘We’re In The Process Of Finalizing The Deal’ FROM ENVIRONMENTAL CENTER, FRONT

when Reno’s mother, Jane Wood Reno, a writer for the Miami News, built the house. Janet’s father, Henry Reno, a Pulitzer prize-winning police reporter for the Miami Herald, was known to fill the land with various animals such as alligators, cows, snakes and racoons,

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Horace: A unique feature of the property is the surplus of peacocks, all named Horace, a tradition started by Reno’s mother when the peacock eggs she hid in the duck nests hatched.

according to a November 2016 Miami Herald article. “It’s a very rustic setting,” Greer said. “It’s like you’re in a different world.” The property has unique features, including a screened-in back porch with a long wooden table, which helped the family host parties with guests such as former President Bill Clinton. It also has a surplus of peacocks all named Horace, a tradition started by Reno’s mother when the peacock eggs she hid in the duck nests hatched, according to an April article in the Miami Herald describing the possible donation of the home. Janet Reno had a long and illustrious career serving the public. After five terms as state attorney for Miami-Dade County, Reno became the first woman to hold the title of attorney general of the United States in 1993 under Clinton’s administration. Reno’s career as attorney general was marked by some controversy. She approved the FBI’s decision to raid the compound of the Waco, Texas cult, Branch Davidians, which led to the deaths of more than 70 adults and children, and decorated the event with the

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Reno Ranch: The residence where former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno grew up in sits on a four-acre parcel of land. The property is expected to be donated to the Kendall Campus Environmental Center. iconic quote: “The buck stops with me.” In 2000, Reno took responsibility for the forced, gunpoint removal of 6-year-old Cuban refugee Elián González from his relatives in Little Havana that sent him back to Cuba to his father. But Reno also made possible the

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prosecutions of Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, mastermind of the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, as well as those of Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, who were behind the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. In addition, under Reno, the Justice Department fought to recover

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the money used by the federal government to cover the costs of patients’ smoking related problems. The U.S. sued large cigarette companies over biased information on the health effects of smoking and forced tobacco companies to finance educational programs in order to warn about the dangers

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APRIL 18, 2017 | NEWS

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High School Student Lobbies To Deter Texting While Driving FROM STATE LEGISLATURE, FRONT

Concerned With Safety Merwitzer was drawn to the issue of texting while driving at the age of 16. He noticed drivers, preoccupied with their cell phones, swerving and speeding as he passed through the MacArthur Causeway connecting to Miami Beach. Concerned, Merwitzer, who holds a learner’s permit, decided to advocate to change Florida’s current stance on texting while driving from a secondary offense, meaning the driver has to be pulled over for another wrongdoing to receive a $30 ticket for texting, to a primary offense. In 2013, texting while driving became a secondary offense in Florida, making it one of the four states (South Dakota, Iowa and Montana) that doesn’t consider texting while driving a primary offense despite the dangers it poses. “If you look at other states, they’ve all seen reductions in distracted driving crashes after they’ve enacted this kind of legislation, so based on that, I think that it would have a similar effect down here,” Merwitzer said. “...It would reduce the amount of deaths and definitely reduce the amount of injuries.” Thirty-nine states, including Georgia and Ohio, already define texting while driving as a primary offense. Since municipalities are not allowed to initiate their own texting

bans, Levine Cava suggested Merwitzer promote the bill to as many people as possible at local town and city councils and youth councils. As a member of the Palmetto Bay Youth Involvement Board, where he resides, Merwitzer proceeded to invite former state Senator Miguel Díaz de la Portilla to attend a meeting. Soon enough, Díaz de la Portilla agreed to sponsor the bill in October of 2016.

Facing Opposition When Díaz de la Portilla lost his re-election race, he and Merwitzer reached out to Senator René García to sponsor the bill in the Senate. “He’s very supportive,” said Merwitzer about García. “He has a personal connection toward this.” A few years ago, García confronted the dangers of distracted driving. While he was texting and driving, he crashed into a guardrail as he was entering a highway. García drafted SB 144 and introduced it to the Florida Senate in December. Representative Emily Slosberg, a Democrat from Delray Beach, introduced the House's counterpart. “Passing this bill will save lives,” said Slosberg, who introduced House Bill 47 and House Bill 69. “It’s the number one cause of death for teens. It’s common sense.” So far, Senate Bill 144 has managed to gain support from two senate committees: the Florida

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Safety First: Mark Merwitzer, a junior at the School for Advanced Studies at Wolfson Campus, is advocating to pass Senate Bill 144, which would make texting while driving a primary offense in Florida, allowing police to ticket drivers for texting without a prior warning. Senate Energy Communications and Public Utilities Committee, followed by unanimous support from the Florida Senate Transportation Committee. Currently, the proposed legislation is stuck in the House due to the lack of a prominent Republican sponsor in the House and a block placed by Senator Jose Oliva of Hialeah. “He’s not getting behind it, and if anyone can help me with this, it would be him,” Merwitzer said. “Because he’s next in line to become the next speaker of

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the House, and having his support would be amazing for the initiative.” Back in 2013, Oliva fought against the passing of the bill that made texting while driving a secondary offense. He advocated to protect people’s civil liberties, sponsoring an amendment allowing cell phone records to be used as evidence only in the case of accidents causing death and injuries. But the committed 17-year-old has not been deterred by the obstacles threatening the legislation.

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“What I plan on doing [to gain his support] is sitting down with him and asking him if he would at least allow a hearing on the bill even if he doesn’t support it personally,” Merwitzer said. “So, it would allow [for the bill] to get voted on, and at least let it go through committee.” The Reporter made several attempts to contact Senator René García and Miguel Díaz de la Portilla for this article, but they were unavailable for comment.


6 NEWS | APRIL 18, 2017

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City Council

InterAmerican Campus Department Chair Elected To City Council ‰‰ On April 4, Mara Zapata, the chair of the K-12 Teacher Education programs at InterAmerican Campus, won a City of Miami Springs city council seat in group three. By Ciro Salcedo ciro.salcedo001@mymdc.net As a newly elected member of the Miami Springs city council, Mara Zapata hopes to bring the community closer and fight to maintain the spirit and aesthetics of the small town. “I love this community,” said Zapata, who also serves as the chair of the K-12 Teacher Education programs at InterAmerican Campus. “I have lived here 34 years, and I have a desire to give to this community.” Zapata, who won the city council seat on April 4, worries Miami Springs’ location is very attractive to developers who will change the city’s small-town flavor and family-oriented civic amenities. She was sworn in on April 17 and hopes to maintain the quality of life that is loved by the residents of Miami Springs. As a member of city council, Zapata will be instrumental in making major decisions for the city. The council acts as a congressional body, similar to how Congress functions for the country—proposing bills, holding votes and passing laws to help govern the municipality. The triangular-shaped city is three square miles and has a population of nearly 14,000. It is located just north of Miami International Airport bound diagonally on the east by Okeechobee Road and on the west by Northwest 67th Avenue. Zapata is not new to public office. She has served as chair of the Education Advisory Board for the City of Miami Springs since

OMAR NEGRIN \ The Reporter

Big Win: Mara Zapata, the chairperson for the K-12 Teacher Education programs at the InterAmerican Campus, is congratulated at the Miami Springs Golf and Country Club after she won a City of Miami Springs city council seat in group three on April 4. April of 2011. Before that, Zapata was the chairwoman of the Miami-Dade County Commission for Women for two years and an executive board member of the Early Learning Coalition of Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. Those posts led her to love public service. She earned a bachelor’s in early childhood education and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Florida International University and a doctorate in science education from Florida State University. Her roots at MDC began in 2011 when she became the chairperson of K-12 Teacher Education programs at InterAmerican Campus. Through her involvement with the county and her city, she has amassed a personal connection with residents of Miami Springs.

She is concerned about issues ranging from scammers charging to trim trees to breaches in identity. Now that she’s elected, she said she will turn her attention to certain issues concerning development and space use in the area, specifically, the development of a golf course in Miami Springs. A proposal that is described by Zapata’s campaign site as something that will: “Not only change the landscape of our community but diminish the value of homes.” North Campus Associate Director of Learning Resources Theodore Karantsalis, a Miami Springs resident since 1995, vouches for Zapata’s involvement in the community. Karantsalis describes Zapata as very friendly and outgoing. “Mara Zapata lives just two blocks away

from me, so she is not just a colleague but also a neighbor,” Karantsalis said. At Zapata’s April 4 election night party at the Miami Springs Golf and Country Club, a group of approximately 50 supporters watched a screen displaying the names of several people running for office in the area via the Miami-Dade County department of elections website. “I don’t really view this as politics,” Zapata said at the event. “I view it as a public service.” Emotions ran high in the room. As results rolled in from polling places, some of Zapata’s friends and family members shouted praise and cheers. At 7:30 p.m. the results for the election were final: Zapata had won 75.61 percent (1,525 votes) of the total votes. Running against her in the third group was Kathie A. Marquez, who received 492 votes. “I’m so excited for Dr. Mara Zapata getting elected,” said Lubby Navarro, a friend of Zapata and a Miami-Dade County Public Schools Board Member. “This is a woman who deserves to be in office. She’s a hard worker, an educator. She cares for her community.” Zapata described the campaign as long and arduous, featuring 10-to-12-hour long days going door-to-door “from the minute I got up until the the hours of the dark.” Zapata said talking to voters about keeping the city’s small town feel and stopping development in Miami Springs paid off. “Everyone I told [I was running for office] has been very much behind me,” Zapata said. “They have been encouraging and supportive. It’s been challenging. I’ve dedicated a lot of hours, and I work full-time at MDC. I want to thank the community for the way they open their doors to me. I’ve had people who voted tell me: ‘I’m here because of the conversation we had at my door.'”

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Maker Faire Miami Showcases Innovation The Maker Faire Miami was a two-day, family friendly event held at Wolfson Campus on April 8 and 9. The carnival for creativity brought together a diverse community of makers, inventors, creators and innovators into one big space to let their creativity run wild. It is self-proclaimed as the “Greatest Show (& Tell) on Earth” and it featured more than 150 artists from all across the world. The fair included self-driving cars, robots, virtual reality drone racing and a humanpowered, snow cone machine. The Faire

also featured Lego models of iconic Miami Dade College buildings like the Freedom Tower. Launched in May of 2006 in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Maker Faire quickly grew popular and expanded to other cities in the United States and has even spread out internationally. Miami is one of approximately 30 cities that hosts a Maker Faire, other places include Paris, New York, Tokyo, Atlanta and Rome. —Jaynell Perera

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Innovation World: Maker Faire Miami was an open space for technology enthusiasts as well as engineers who want to show their new creations and prototypes. The event took place on April 8 and 9 at Wolfson Campus.

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Colorful Roots: Walter González shows Daysy Smith how to use an artisan knitter. González helps promote traditional art processes and products from Perú such as the manto, which is like a quilt handmade by Peruvian artisans and indigenous people.

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Handmade: Coproarpru is an Ecuadorian organization that helps promote handmade crafts throughout the country and outside of it.

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Right Round: Bryan Rodríguez runs in the Be the Hamster, a human-powered hamster wheel. It is the creation of Joe Donoughe, in which human interaction is part of the process to prepare a snow cone. Every part, from crushing the ice to adding the syrup is done by people. www.mdcthereporter.com

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3D Printer: Pictured from left to right, Christie Mettes, Tony Sevold, YiJun Mai and Ernesto Girau use a plastic printer machine on April 8. Sevold and Mettes work on a project called Brenchie's Lab Aruba, which recycles plastic on Aruba's beaches and turns it into lamps and trash bins.

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Teamwork: A group of people work on circuit boards on April 9. FabLab CBA is an Argentine organization that focuses in the development and inclusion to technology for people of all ages, promoting community involvement.

Lots Of Bots: Handmade robot sculptures, Lee Bots, made with old computer parts by artist Nancy Solbrig. The artwork was displayed and sold at Maker Faire Miami held at Wolfson Campus on April 8 and 9.

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In A Vacuum: Jose Peres from the group Designed.Engineering shows how a vacuum-powered stencil machine creates a print on a canvas.

Mini Art: 3D miniature sculptures of famous characters made by Damian Primo de Rivera and the team behind Character Design sit on a table.

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STEM Sanctuary: Curious attendees wander around from booth to booth at Maker Faire Miami held at Wolfson Campus on April 8 and 9. www.mdcthereporter.com

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10 SPORTS | APRIL 18, 2017

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Volleyball

Five Lady Shark Volleyball Players Land Scholarships ‰‰ The Miami Dade College women’s volleyball team won the National Junior College Athletic Association Division I championship. Now looking forward to the next season, the five MDC players say farewell to the team and prepare to play volleyball at different institutions. By Giovanni Del Fa giovanni.delfa001@mymdc.net After winning a national title, five Miami Dade College volleyball players are being offered scholarships to continue their collegiate volleyball careers elsewhere. Naimir Garcia will be attending Florida National University; Deborah Constanzo will be a student athlete at Missouri Valley College; Pamela Jaime and Yamilet Velazquez have both committed to Columbia College in Missouri; Alexia N. Clepf Sousa is attending Wiley College in Texas. The Lady Sharks had an outstanding season and won the National Junior College Athletics Association Division I title. The team was talented, but even more important was getting the right mix of players to work together. “I can bring a lot of good players, but it depends on the chemistry,” said Lady Sharks head coach Origenes “Kiko” Benoit. “This year we had great chemistry. Personally, I think that’s why we won.”

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Success Off The Court: Five players from the Miami Dade College volleyball team got scholarships to transfer to Division I schools. They are pictured here from left to right: Yamilet Velazquez, Naimir Garcia, Deborah Constanzo, Pamela Jaime and Alexia N. Clepf Sousa.

The departures will leave a significant void in the Lady Sharks. Constanzo and Jaime were two of the top three blockers on the team. They averaged 0.68 (Constanzo) and 0.53 blocks (Jaime) per set. Garcia, an outside hitter from Venezuela, was third in kills per set (2.17) for the Lady Sharks and racked up a total of 141 kills during the season. Sousa, a setter from Brazil, is the second leading player in assists per set (4.96) and has also contributed with 0.17 serving aces per set. “It was a huge learning experience for me,” said Garcia, an outside hitter. “I’d never been away from my country or my family for so long, but each one of these girls became a part of my family.” Fortunately for the Lady Sharks, consistent contributors like Massiel Matos and Camila Hernandez will be staying around for another season. Matos led the team in kills per set (4.72) and racked up 411 kills last season alone. Hernandez led the team in digs per set (6.94) and was able to contribute 465 digs for the Lady Sharks this past season. The end is bittersweet for the Lady Sharks who are moving on. “I’m leaving this team with some great memories and experience,” Jaime said.

Women's Basketball

Lady Sharks Add Key Recruits For Next Season ‰‰ Despite a winning record (16-14), the Lady Sharks women’s basketball team had a tough time with consistency during the season. Hoping to better themselves next year, Head Coach Susan Summons has already started recruiting new players. By Aiyana Ishmael aiyana.ishmael001@mymdc.net The Miami Dade College women’s basketball team had a tough time with consistency this past year, finishing with a 16-14 record and failing to qualify for the State Tournament. Many aspects affected the end result. “This past season we lacked motivation and dedication from some players,” said freshman forward Cheah Rael-Whitsitt. “But this upcoming season will be much different.” Veteran Lady Sharks Head Coach Susan Summons is using last year’s experience as a way to figure out the next step for her

team. With eight returning players, Summons is focusing on augmenting her team with the right players to eventually become conference champions. The Lady Sharks have already signed five players to their 201718 team. Three of the five signees are guards Zariyah “Zee” Daniels, Jealissa Presswood, and Natasha Polanco. The final two signees are Samantha Douglas and Deidra Harris who are both forwards. Hailing from Lakewood High School, Douglas had an outstanding high school career. She averaged 12 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks per game, while leading her team to the 2017 FHSAA Class 6A Girls Basketball State Championship. Polanco attended Felix Varela Senior High School and averaged 17 points and seven assists per game. During her time at Varela, Polanco received Rookie of the Year Award and finished as fourth in scoring in school history. “I want to bring my passion for

the game into the team, my enthusiasm to play, and to learn new things,” Polanco said. Presswood comes from G. Phillips Academy High School where she averaged 18 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists per game. Her contributions to the team paved her way to being selected to the Chicago Public School First All-Conference Team. The Lady Sharks also return two promising forwards to next year’s team, Cheah Rael-Whitsitt and Savannah Clark. Rael-Whitsitt averaged 12.2 points and 10.7 rebounds per game. She was fifth in the state in rebounding. Clark averaged 12.3 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. They hope to use last year’s inconsistency as motivation for this upcoming season. “I’m working hard in the fitness center and also working hard in open gym with Coach Summons,” said guard Michelle Wright, who was a freshman on last year’s team.

GREGORY CASTILLO\ REPORTER FILE PHOTO

Recruiting Trail: Veteran Lady Sharks Head Coach Susan Summons is working hard recruiting new players for next year's team. Summons has signed five new players for next season. www.mdcthereporter.com

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APRIL 18, 2017 | SPORTS

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Baseball

Price Vies For Winning On And Off The Field ‰‰ Danny Price, the Miami Dade College men’s baseball team’s head coach since 2011, has led the team to a 26-13 record so far this season. Price has been coaching baseball for more than 35 years. By Arthur Lantigua arthur.lantigua001@mymdc.net The Miami Dade College baseball team is prospering this season. They currently have a 26-13 record, including a 14-7 mark in the Southern Conference. Winning is nothing new to Sharks Head Baseball Coach Danny Price. He has won a lot since taking over the MDC baseball team in 2011. During his tenure at MDC, none of his teams have ever had a losing season. He has never won less than 25 games and has twice won 38 games, compiling a 215-119-1 overall mark. Despite the winning, he has remained humble and cares not only about producing great baseball players, but just as much about helping nurture great human beings. “Winning is kind of short lived. They gotta have the right attitude.” Price said. “You can’t win out there until you win in the classroom.”

Price was introduced to baseball in little league. He played college ball at Indian River State College before moving onto Florida International University where he was an outfielder. At FIU, Price collected the program’s first hit while serving as team captain. He started his coaching career as a baseball and football coach at Miami Central Senior High School. Eventually, opportunity knocked on his door when his old FIU coach asked him to come on as a volunteer assistant coach. After a year and a half of being a volunteer coach at FIU, Price was promoted to the head coaching position. He held that post for 28 years, boasting a 1086-597 record for the Golden Panthers. During his time at FIU, the program produced numerous players who would go on to play pro baseball including World Series champion Mike Lowell. Price led FIU to eight NCAA Division I regionals, six of them coming in his last 11 years as head coach. During Price’s last five seasons as head coach, the team failed to make a postseason appearance. Price was fired after the team was swept by Florida Atlantic University, eliminating them from qualifying for the Sun Belt Conference tournament.

“I had no exit plan, my thing has always been coaching,” Price said. His life outside of baseball involves a good amount of fishing and reading. He is the kind of person who is invested in his personal relationships with his family and his players. Price is known for offering sage advice to players or anyone willing to listen. “He pushes us because he expects a lot,” said Jason Grana, a pitcher on this year’s Sharks team. When Price talks, his players listen. His résumé speaks for itself. He is one of the few collegiate baseball coaches to record a thousand coaching victories. He was named Trans America Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in 1991, 1995 and 1998 while at FIU. He played an integral role in FIU going from a Division II school to a Division I school. At MDC, the winning has continued. The Sharks have been crowned Southern Conference Champions twice, finished as the 2014 National Junior College Athletic Association National Runners-Up and the 2010 Florida College System Athletic Association State Runner-Up. “I enjoy it here. I don’t know how to do anything else,” Price said. “If you ever wanna receive anything, give something; it’s amazing.”

Omar Negrin \ The Reporter

The Boss: Miami Dade College head baseball coach Danny Price has been coaching baseball for more than 35 years, winning more than 1,300 games. Price took over the MDC baseball program in 2011, and he has gone 215-119-1 during that time.

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Video Games

Top Six Games Of The Console Generation

PHOTO COURTESY OF NAUGHTY DOG

PHOTO COURTESY OF KOJIMA PRODUCTIONS

‰‰ As companies like Microsoft and Playstation continue to come out with more consoles to add to your video gaming collections, here’s a look at the top six games of the console generation thus far. By Ciro Salcedo ciro.salcedo001@mymdc.net In an era where 4K resolution is the new standard to judge the power of a console, the eighth-generation of consoles has made its mark on not only the gaming world, but in the entertainment industry as a whole. With Microsoft’s announcement of its new console, the Xbox Scorpio, I feel like it would be a great time to look back at the greatest games available on both the Playstation 4 and the Xbox One. These are my personal picks and what I feel every owner of the consoles should pick up immediately. Sadly, games like Persona 4 or The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt won’t be here. Sorry. 6. Rise of the Tomb Raider (Playstation 4, Xbox One, Personal Computer) Lara Croft’s excellent reboot came out toward the end of last generation’s life-cycle and resurrected

the famed treasure hunter with a darker and grittier tone. Its first sequel, Rise of the Tomb Raider, exceeds whatever expectations fans might have for any game in the series. There is a story full of standard survival tropes and a mix of Hitchcockian paranoia as Lara tries to convince a world of both dastardly enemies and double-crossing friends that the events of the first game did in fact happen. The game features improved crafting, several large areas to explore and an excellent upgrade system, all while focusing more on the evolution of a woman whose love of history and culture becomes the story of survival. Just watch out for bears. 5. Overwatch (Playstation 4, Xbox One, Personal Computer) Blizzard’s latest multiplayer offering is an elevation of the first-person shooter genre. Overwatch blends aspects of classbased shooters like Team Fortress 2, multiplayer online battle arenas like League of Legends and the cute visuals of any Pixar film to create one of the most addicting games in recent memory. More than 24 characters and six classes make up the game’s cast, each with a

distinct role to play in either teams. One of the things that make the game so distinct from military genres is its colorful and vibrant feel. Its accessibility makes it easy to pick up, but as hours go by, you’ll find yourself doing anything to reach the next level and earn that delightful loot box. It’s a hard life for anyone trying to get a rare Roadhog skin, but it’s well worth the time that anyone will most likely put in. A word of advice to those reading: Stay on the payload, and don’t play as Hanzo. 4. The Last of Us: Remastered (Playstation 4) This might be cheating, but developer Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us was one of the best games to come out on Playstation 3. It only makes sense that a remastered version of said game would be even better. These features include enhanced visuals—taking full advantage of the PS4’s advanced processing power—an improved frame rate, inclusion of the Left Behind downloadable content and a photo mode. It all comes together to make the story of Joel and Ellie traversing a post-apocalyptic world full of bandits and infected beings even better a second time around.

The game not only features some deep survivalhorror gameplay mixed with elements of stealth and action, but has some of the best writing in any video game I’ve seen. It’s a game that will make even the strongest weep and question any remnants of hope they may have. 3. Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor (Playstation 4, Xbox One, Personal Computer) Shadow of Mordor makes no effort to hide the games that influenced it. The parkour and climbing from Assassin’s Creed are present, while the free-flowing combat from the Batman: Arkham games are there and as addicting as ever. What sets this game apart from other open-world action games is the Nemesis System—randomly named enemies in Sauron’s Army that are generated uniquely with each playthrough of the game. Playing as Talion, the main protagonist of the game, players go on a revenge mission against the dark forces of Mordor, killing hordes and hordes of Orcs and Uruks. Every encounter with an Uruk captain is unique, as enemies remember each fight and the members of Sauron’s army move up their own ranks. It’s one of the few

PHOTO COURTESY OF MONOLITH PRODUCTIONS

games that truly feels dynamic all throughout. Fans of J.R.R. Tolkien will appreciate the accurate portrayal of the famed fantasy setting, while fans of action-role playing games will appreciate a deep, though somewhat unoriginal, gameplay. 2. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (Playstation 4) Past the gorgeous, lifelike visuals and bombastic set pieces is a work of art that most developers can only dream of creating. The end of an almost 10-year saga starring one of the Playstation’s most iconic heroes, Uncharted 4 is a master class in game design and writing. The story of Nathan Drake, Victor Sullivan and new character Samuel Drake comes to a satisfying end after the 12 hours spent driving a jeep through a canyon in Madagascar or discovering some crazy pirate ship full of lost treasure. Naughty Dog is in top form and must be commended for introducing their signature series to the current generation. No other Playstation 4 exclusive can make a case for dropping $300 on a new console. 1. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (Playstation

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4, Xbox One, Computer)

Personal

This was it for famed game creator Hideo Kojima. Almost 30 years and nine games later, Kojima has finally crafted his opus of a game and one worthy to the legendary Metal Gear series. Gone are the seemingly linear corridors of past entries. Instead, Snake is now given two large maps set in Afghanistan and Africa, respectively. Unlike most games that promise freedom, The Phantom Pain allows for just that. Missions can now be completed in any order, at any time of day. Stealth is no longer the only option to carry out a successful mission, as they can be completed in any way possible. Explaining the freedom does not do it justice, as it must be experienced to truly be appreciated. Even with a disjointed story that begs more questions than answers (largely in part to series creator Kojima and publisher Konami’s feud during development of the game), The Phantom Pain is a true next-generation game. Kojima’s final Metal Gear installment is nothing short of a masterpiece, and the perfect send-off for Big Boss. It is an absolute mustplay for anyone owning a current-generation console.

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APRIL 18, 2017 | A&E

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Music

Vocal Fusion Brings Live Music To Kendall Campus ‰‰ The 30-person club and ensemble, Vocal Fusion, performs every Wednesday from noon to 1 p.m. in front of the Kendall Campus Koffeehouse. By Ciro Salcedo ciro.salcedo001@mymdc.net The sun was beating down on the Kendall Campus Koffehouse on April 5. A stage was being built as students donning black shirts and slacks warmed up with a few vocal exercises. Vocal Fusion, a 30-person ensemble and club that performs every Wednesday in front of the Koffeehouse during the College’s activity hour from noon to 1 p.m., was preparing for a concert the following day. The club represents the contemporary music department at Kendall Campus. “The Fusion At The Koffeehouse performances were designed to give our members and students gigging experience,” said Jenna Gunter, the club’s president and a 21-year-old music education major at Kendall Campus. “They have to make sure they know all of the equipment they will need for their show as well as how to set it up and tear it down.”

The weekly performances do more than entertain the students at Kendall Campus. They serve as a launching pad for careers in music for several of the members of the group. “I enjoy it,” said Jonathan Diaz, a 21-year-old administrative assistant for the group. “It’s something I believe in very much.” Diaz said the experience of setting up technical equipment for the gigs is invaluable. His musical experience started as the lead guitarist and member of the tech crew at his church. “I learn to deal with a lot,” Diaz said. “Sometimes we encounter problems. There’s some anxiety, but I’ve learned [to] be calm.” Aside from performing, the group members believe their mission is to bridge cultural gaps through music. “We bring culture into our community by giving our members the opportunity to express themselves creatively, as well as help our members become the best versions of themselves that they can be musically,” Gunter said. The organization hopes to use their stage to elevate the musical medium and make the world better. “We enrich our community with

the creativity that our members express while they are on stage as well as the creativity they put into their craft off stage,” Gunter said.

“We give opportunities for our members to grow in and outside of their craft.”

Students interested in getting involved in Vocal Fusion can join via SharkNet.

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Jamming Out: Jenna Gunter of Vocal Fusion hits a high note in front of the Kendall Campus Koffehouse. The organization, which has 30 members, performs every Wednesday from noon to 1 p.m. at Kendall Campus.

Music

AIR Dance Conference Anchored In Strength, Artistry And Diversity ‰‰ The Artist in Rhythm (AIR) Dance Conference presented by the Kendall Campus Dance program and the MDC Jubilation Dance Ensemble will take place from April 20 to 22.

and faculty at MDC,” Murray said. Students have been responsible for planning every component of

the conference, from high school outreach, social media, creating press releases, scheduling

By Riane Roldan riane.roldan001@mymdc.net The sixth annual Artist in Rhythm Conference, taking place from April 20 to 22, is the result of a collective effort between the Kendall Campus Dance program, the MDC Jubilation Dance Ensemble and students. Designed to be both a performative, scholarly and workshopintensive conference, the three day-event has various classes ranging from the theories and philosophies of dance to the exploration of cultural dance genre’s like Afro-Haitian as well as classics like contemporary ballet. At the forefront of the effort is professor Michelle Grant-Murray. She is the artistic director for the Jubilation Dance Ensemble, the College’s official dance company, and a professor in the dance program at Kendall Campus. Along with a team of eight students, Murray has been planning the sixth annual AIR conference for a year. For Murray, the students are an integral part of making the conference happen. “I’m just one faculty member… it’s a lot. I have to have the students

PHOTO COURTESY OF MICHELLE GRANT MURRAY

See You In The AIR: The sixth annual Artistry in Rhythm conference is a three-day immersion into the world of dance, with a wide variety of master classes, presentations, lectures and performances.

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rehearsals, reaching out to performers and more. The conference will feature performances each night from a combination of the students, participants and instructors. There will also be a special performance in honor of Louines Louinis, a local Haitian dance legend who founded the Louines Louinis Haitian Dance Theatre and company. Tickets are $30 for all three days. “It’s a very educational space and also a very safe space for people to come in and learn,” said Melissa Cobblah, the treasurer of the ensemble as well as a key student-organizer and performer in the conference. “So we make it very accessible for someone that maybe can’t afford to attend a $150 conference.” Another major component of the conference is the scholarly lecture demonstrations and panel discussions, which deconstruct the theory of dance as well as allow participants to explore career opportunities within the field, like utilizing dance for physical therapy. “There’s a lot of theory that actually goes into it…understanding where [dance] has come from, where it is now and where it’s going in the future,” Murray said. For Cobblah that aspect of the conference is the most important. “It’s not only about learning a dance step,” Cobblah said. “But actually learning about what is

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behind the dance step, what is the meaning of the dance step and how you can apply that to your life regardless of whether you want to be a dancer or not.” The conference also acts as a recruitment for young dancers and offers professional development for Miami-Dade County Public School teachers. For Murray, educating students on the wide variety of opportunities available in the dance field is important. “They think you can only be a backup dancer for Beyoncé, and I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that; that’s wonderful. But there is so much more you can do in the dance world,” Murray said. “Dance is so encompassing. It’s not just learning the steps. It carries the culture of entire groups of people.” Overall, the conference hopes to educate and raise awareness amongst the community of what dance really is and how dance can be used as a vehicle for diverse cultural expression, which is why this year’s theme is “Anchored in Strength and Diversity: Forging Destinies.” “How do we use that diversity to anchor ourselves and hold on and then move forward in that diversity,” Murray said. “Especially in this political climate that we’re in.” For more information or to register, visit tickets.completeticketsolutions.com/MDC/Online?


14 FORUM | APRIL 18, 2017

THE REPORTER

Technology

Big Data And The Violation Of Human Rights

‰‰ Felipe Vera argues that Big Data technology used by companies and governments is violating basic human rights through invasion of privacy.

By Felipe Vera felipe.vera001@mymdc.net In the era of globalization, where technology is an essential part of most people’s lives, it is very important that companies and governments, which collect personal data from their users and customers using Big Data technology, respect the human rights described in Article 8 and Articles 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Big Data is an emerging technology and practice that enables companies and governments to collect, process, detect and store large volumes of structured and

unstructured data quickly and effectively in terms of cost. The data analyzed through this technology can be generated by people or collected through transactions of data, internet marketing, machine to machine (Internet of Things), and biometrics (retina scanners, fingerprints or readers of DNA strings). Companies can use the information obtained with Big Data for marketing purposes, human resources, scientific research, etc. Governments may also use the information collected for research, defense, and espionage purposes. The amount of data created annually is already many Zettabytes and tends to grow. Almost 80 percent of such data are generated by individuals. One of the articles of the UDHR that are violated with the use of Big Data is Article 12, which states: “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honor and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.” This article is blatantly violated by numerous companies and governments using Big Data technology, as there is a lot of arbitrary interference in people’s private lives, because they are not asked if they want to be monitored online and that the information

Cannabis

KEVIN FLORES \ THE REPORTER

obtained is analyzed by others (companies and governments) and decisions are made based on it. Article 8 is also being violated, which states: “Everyone has the right to an effective remedy before the competent national tribunals, which protects him against acts that violate his fundamental rights recognized by the constitution or by law.” Current legislation does not provide effective protection to users against the human rights violations they suffer from some of the companies and governments using Big Data technology. It is almost impossible for these users to be able to protect themselves from acts of companies and governments that violate some of their human rights as described in Article 12 (there are no clear and effective laws). It is important to create laws to protect internet users against the interference of companies and governments in the people’s private lives. Also important, is that the United Nations’ Commission on Human Rights and other institutions, such as the International Telecommunication Union, draft regulations on the management of internet users' information that is captured, stored and analyzed with Big Data technology in order to immediately stop the violation of human rights.

Snowflake

Revealing The Truth About Cannabis ‰‰ Sabrina Martin writes about the history of cannabis in the United States and how doctors and government leaders have lied about it to their benefit.

By Sabrina Martin sabrina.martin002@mymdc.net The medical industry has lied about various things in the past. Marijuana’s notoriety stems from being one of the most successful lies for decades in the United States. Why is cannabis so despised amongst the majority of Americans? Its roots date back to the early 1900s after the Mexican Revolution. During this time period, there was an influx of immigrants from Mexico. Aside from their culture and native language, they also brought competition to the drug and medical industries—cannabis. Cannabis sativa is proven to eradicate cancer cells, cure migraines, relieve chronic pains, treat glaucoma, control epileptic seizures, prevent cancer from spreading,

decrease anxiety, slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, and so much more. When doctors and government leaders took notice of the many health benefits this plant contained, they devised a scheme to counteract the threat on their thriving industries. By naming cannabis “marijuana,” the intention was to demonize and spread awareness about an unknown drug that Mexicans were importing. Harry Anslinger, the leader in demonizing this drug, contributed greatly to the cause with absurd claims, such as the following remark: “Hasheesh makes a murderer who kills for the love of killing out of the mildest mannered man who ever laughed at the idea that any habit could ever get him.” As a result, government officials took action by creating the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, and further strengthening it with the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. This false and racist propaganda is still affecting generations and laws today, a century after its initial implementation. Cannabis has driven American history. The constitution, our early ships, the fuel Henry Ford used for his Model T all contained hemp. However, when greed and egoism were widely introduced in this country, many things changed. The truth about cannabis and other alternative remedies should be spread across the nation. Individuals such as Adam Conover and Prince Ea are contributing greatly to this cause, and so should you. Just as everything else in life, cannabis should be used in moderation. Although the use of this drug has never killed nor harmed anyone, a balanced life is always a healthy life in every single aspect.

To write for the forum section, contact Adriana Falero at (305) 237-1254 or adriana.falero001@mymdc.net

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What It Means To Be Called A “Snowflake” Today ‰‰ Camilla Sposito writes about the different meanings of the term “snowflake,” which has lately become widely used in politics and social media.

is mostly said by Republicans to criticize liberals or just people in general who oppose any of their ideas. The same can apply to Democrats criticizing Republicans. But this term is so vague and incorrectly used because both Democrats and Republicans who disagree with one another can be referred to as a snowflake. This term itself is very contradictory because the president of the United States himself can be considered a perfect example of what a “snowflake” is, yet someone who opposes him can be characterized as a snowflake. To 19-year-old Julia Souza, a recreational therapy major at West Campus, snowflakes are: “everyday people with their own style and way of living, and even when they pick By Camilla Sposito a political party, they remain unique, each camila.sposito001@mymdc.net one with different beliefs or perspectives.” A snowflake can be a piece of snow, an Every day a new term pops up on social offensive term, or someone or something media platforms. One that has been used a lot lately is the weird term “snowflake.” No unique. It depends, but just like these little one really knows what it means, but it be- flakes, we are all different. Whenever you have a large numcame known after ber of these unique the 2016 presidential flakes together, deelections. termined to achieve The term can the same goal, the have many difso-called snowflake ferent meanings. movements such as It can be from an the women’s march insult, a compliand strikes against ment or something the travel ban and completely vague, transgender bathdepending on the room issues may context in which it is happen, and like being used. At times snowstorms, it it is incorrectly comwill make your life pared to adolesconfusing. cents, millennials “[What] I think and other people. being called a But why? ARNELLE CARBON \ THE REPORTER snowflake [refers Luckily, like a snowflake, everyone is unique in a certain to is that] the meaning of it depends on the way. However, when trying to explain the way people mean to say it to someone,” said term in general, someone can get confused Mariela Gallardo, a 19-year-old biology mabecause people don’t seem to agree what it jor at West campus. “Calling them a snowmeans to be a snowflake. It is often associ- flake will probably not offend that person. It ated with the negative aspects of millenni- will just make him or her confused and they als like being selfish or being unable to take probably won’t know if they should feel flattered about it or not.” criticism. “Snowflakerism,” a term used in politics,

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China

Confucius Institute: China’s Use Of Soft Power Or Bridge Between Cultures? ‰‰ Gabriel Exposito questions whether the Confucius Institute’s main goal is to provide a connection with the Chinese culture.

By Gabriel Exposito gabriel.exposito001@mymdc.net In the early 1990s, China experienced an economic boom that would push it to become the world’s second largest economy as well as an emerging power. The Chinese government has made use of its exponential economic growth by creating organizations that represent the interests

of the country, one of which is the Confucius Institute. The institute has more than 480 offices worldwide, including one at Wolfson Campus. Soft power, according to the English Oxford Dictionary, is the “persuasive approach to international relations, typically involving the use of economic or cultural influence.” Based on that definition, one may assume the Confucius Institute is merely an instance of soft power being exercised upon our nation whose only function is to do the bidding of the totalitarian, single-party dictatorship that is the People’s Republic of China (PRC); however, as it typically turns out, the truth is more complicated than the Red versus Blue approach we often take as the norm. The PRC has been criticized for the annexation, occupation and marginalization of the Tibetan people—a predominantly Buddhist ethnic group in Western China. Tibet is not the only controversial region in China. For decades,

Taiwan has tried to gain statehood; however, the PRC has maintained what is often referred to as the “One China Policy,” meaning that under no circumstances the PRC will consider Taiwan an independent nation. President Donald J. Trump, however, has been a known critic of the PRC, and has recently made headlines by breaking tradition with his predecessors and personally taking a call from ROC headof-state Tsai Ing-wen, a move seen as a provocation by the PRC. In regard to the controversial stance of the U.S. and Taiwan, I spoke with the director of the Confucius Institute at MDC Xuejun (Jim) Yu. He stressed that the Confucius Institute is “not a political institution” but that it instead focuses on Chinese language and culture. He mentioned the UN does not recognize Taiwan as an independent nation and that most inhabitants of the island are Chinese by culture anyway, dismissing much of the controversy that surrounds the ROC. He added that the goal of the Institute was to act as a

bridge between diverse cultures. Miamians are no strangers to diversity, and by having an active foreign actor like the Confucius Institute introduce a new cultural perspective to our community, we are being offered the opportunity to learn a language spoken by over a billion people, become familiar with their culture, and explore new commercial partnerships beyond our immediate surroundings. Even if the Chinese government has very serious flaws, the Confucius Institute serves as a way to better understand China and its inhabitants. The knowledge it brings can help us better understand the Chinese culture and language and, in the long run, secure a brighter future for the citizens of both nations. Yu’s words summarize my thoughts in a single sentence: “It is precisely because we understand just how difficult it is to have an international reach that we exist to lift those barriers for you and to bring you the very best opportunities to connect with China.”

Maturity

I Am More Mature At 24 Than I Was At 18 ‰‰ After unsuccessful attempts at college and the death of the father of her autistic son, Patricia Cordon is pursuing her college education to offer her child a brighter future.

By Patricia Cordon patricia.cordon001@mymdc.net I used to envy my peers who I thought were farther in life than I was because they were graduating college and I couldn’t even get past the first semester. I’m guilty of spending time on social media comparing my life to the lives of others thinking “I’m so behind” or “I could’ve had this degree if I had stayed focused in school!” After graduating high school, I lacked motivation. I wasn’t focused, mature or appreciative of the opportunities I had in front of me. It wasn’t until later in life that I stopped comparing myself to others and decided to finish what I had started years ago.

I jumped from job to job because I was incapable of holding one for more than a year. I wasn’t mature enough. After spending almost a year unemployed, my car caught on fire because I was unable to pay for the maintenance issues it had. So now I was unemployed and carless. My previous attempts at college courses resulted in either failing or withdrawing from the class because I wasn’t focused enough. I wasn’t appreciative of the opportunity I had to go to school for free and now I find myself paying for classes out of pocket to raise my grade point average because of the decisions I made when I was younger. Being a young mother at 20 and having a complicated birth was just the beginning. When my son, Santiago Angel Roque, who is 4 years old now, got kicked out of his first Pre-K class for behavioral issues, he started showing signs of Autism (flapping of the hands, lining up toys, hypersensitivity). I spent the following year going to endless therapy sessions, evaluations and doctor’s appointments so that he could get the help he needed and get accepted into the Florida Diagnostic & Learning Resources System, which specializes in providing education for children with disabilities. I never got the chance to tell Santiago’s father his diagnosis because a week before I found out, his dad passed away in his sleep

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Editorial Board ——————————— María Elena Vizcaíno Editor-in-Chief/Briefing Editor

Jaynell Perera Photo Editor/Multimedia Editor Riane Roldan A&E Editor/Social Media Director Adriana Falero Forum Editor Giovanni Del Fa Sports Editor

Issue Staff ——————————— Sebastián Ballestas, Arnelle Carbon, Devoun Cetoute, Patricia Cordon, Gabriel Exposito, Daniela Figueredo, Kevin Flores, Henley Garcia, Jessica Genao, Claudia Hernández-Ortiz, Aiyana Ishmael, Arthur Lantigua, Antonio Latte, Justin Marcano, Sabrina Martin, Omar Negrin, Roland Ortega, John Penagos, Priya Pershadsingh, Melba Silwany, Camila Sposito, Ciro Salcedo, Alexandra Vargas, Felipe Vera, Katherine Wallace-Fernandez

Manolo Barco, Media Adviser

B mbarco@mdc.edu T NORTH.........................(305) 237-1255 T KENDALL......................(305) 237-2323 T WOLFSON....................(305) 237-3477 Dina Weinstein, Newsroom Assistant

B dweinste@mdc.edu T NORTH.........................(305) 237-1370 T KENDALL......................(305) 237-2157 T WOLFSON....................(305) 237-7464 Aracelia Diez, Student Media Assistant

B adiez@mdc.edu T WOLFSON....................(305) 237-3368 ——————————— Letters to the Editor ———————————

PHOTO COURTESY OF GILLERMO "BILLY" BORGES

Fun Times: Patricia Cordon spends a Saturday at the Miami-Dade County Youth Fair with her 4-year-old son Santiago Angel Roque. due to an overdose. Experiencing the loss of my son’s father was unexpected and painful. I was already a single mom before he passed away, but the reality set in once it was time to say goodbye. It took his death to realize how precious life is. I realized it was

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time to stop being selfish with myself and use the potential I was given. My parents sacrificed for me so that I could have the opportunity for a better future, so now it is my turn as a parent to sacrifice so that I can provide that same opportunity to my son. He deserves it.

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The Reporter Volume 7 Issue 14  
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