The Lady Sharks women’s basketball team has clinched a spot in the Florida Collegiate System Activities Association Athletics State Tournament.
Two Wynwood landmarks are being replaced by a new apartment complex, marking the end of cultural staples in the area.
Common Changes FORUM
Students interested in being Student Government Association officers during the 2019-20 school year must submit an application by March 11.
State Bound SPORTS
The Reporter’s Teresa Schuster writes about the controversy surrounding Common Core standards and Florida’s decision to eliminate them.
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4VOL. 4VOL. 8, 9, ISSUE ISSUE 211——SEPTEMBER FEBRUARY 26, 2017 2019
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Vandals Leave Their Mark On Kendall Campus Kendall Campus has received more than 30 complaints of vandalism since August and vandals are getting more brazen. Dating back to January, 19 incidents of graffiti and destruction of college property have been recorded.
By Christian Ortega firstname.lastname@example.org Kendall Campus has received more than 30 complaints involving graffiti or destruction of college property since August. Similar campuses, like North and Wolfson, have received a total of seven complaints during that period. Some of the more alarming incidents have included racial slurs, anti-semitic imagery and xenophobic comments. “If we look at the numbers, we have over 40,000 students that come here,” said Brian Stokes, director of administrative services at Kendall Campus. “We have seen an uptick of graffiti in the campus. In the seven years I have been here, I have not seen that much [graffiti] over that time compared to the last three months.” Since January alone, the campus has received 19 reports of vandalism, according to public safety logs. In response to the surge, the campus has partnered with the Miami-Dade Police Department’s
gang unit in hopes of halting the tomfoolery. Kendall Campus is expected to install campus-wide security cameras to increase public safety officers’ ability to monitor the premises, Stokes said. Building L will be the first to receive the new installations by the end of May, with the rest of the campus expected to be outfitted later in the year. North and Wolfson campuses already have security cameras. Some of the buildings that have been targeted the most at Kendall Campus are buildings 2, 3, L and M—each has had at least three reported incidents. Building 4 has had the most reported occurrences, with six cases since August. In one incident, a vandal tagged the word “sativa” in seven separate locations. Another vandal spray-painted what public safety reports say was “political propaganda in favor of Kanye West” on projection screens in Rooms 3309, 3310 and 6204. The screens could not be cleaned and had to be replaced. Each had a value of $800, costing the campus $2,400. The acts were not limited to graffiti. Several bathrooms across the campus had toilet seats torn off, mirrors scratched and toilets clogged with paper. Cars have been keyed with lewd phrases such as “Get a room,” “F— me
CHRISTIAN ORTEGA / THE REPORTER
Toxic Markings: A toilet seat cover dispenser in a men's bathroom stall in building 2 at Kendall Campus is littered with graffiti that uses profane and anti-semitic language, racial slurs and homophobic comments. The profanity in this photo was blurred due to its insensitive language. harder Virgin” and drawings of phallic objects. In the computer courtyard, eight computers had their disc drives stuffed with food. “This is senseless,” Stokes said. “It’s our obligation to make sure we can clean everything as quickly as possible. I find it all to be a
nuisance.” To repair the damage, maintenance workers spend hours painting over the flagrant graffiti around campus. Anything that can’t be painted over or fixed has to be replaced. It can take hours for custodians and maintenance crews to reverse the damage.
“Our workers spend hours trying to get the campus to remain clean,” said Oscar Cortina Gault, maintenance supervisor at Kendall Campus. Nelson Magaña, who serves as dean of students at Kendall Campus, partly blames the crimes on TURN TO VANDALISM PAGE 8
Lady Sharks Basketball Players Involved In On-Court Scuffle At ASA College Tempers flared in a game between Miami Dade College and ASA College on Feb. 16. After several ejections, the game was stopped. It is unclear whether the players involved will face disciplinary actions. By Christian Ortega email@example.com Several Miami Dade College women’s basketball players are facing possible disciplinary action after a fight occurred during a game versus ASA College on Feb. 16. “It was an unfortunate situation that involved a scuffle on the court that subsequently led to some players getting ejected,” said Juan Mendieta, director of communications at MDC, who declined to elaborate further. The game, which was played at ASA College, was stopped early in the fourth quarter after the teams exchanged punches. It is unclear if any of the punches connected or if anyone one was hurt during the altercation. “Our student-athletes were put in a very tough situation and a potentially dangerous one, as members of the
public left their seats and became involved,” Mendieta said. “There was no public safety presence.” Miami Dade College was awarded the win, 68-65, in the shortened game, according to the National Junior College Athletic Association website. Two Miami Dade College players said the fight started after freshman combo guard, Monique Pruitt-Henderson, drove to the basket while attempting a lay-up. According to the players, the defender got tangled with Pruitt-Henderson as both players fell to the floor. The MDC players allege that the player from ASA College then began to throw punches at Pruitt-Henderson, who retaliated. The Reporter attempted to contact ASA College to obtain their side of the incident but received no response. Athletic Director Kenney Wilcox and ASA College women’s basketball head coach Kevin Johnson did not respond to phone calls, voicemail messages or emails. Miami Dade College Athletic Director Anthony Fiorenza and head coach Susan Summons declined to comment until the NJCAA releases the results of its findings. Richard Webster, NJCAA director of marketing and
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communications, also declined to comment on the incident until the investigation is concluded and didn’t specify a timetable for making the decision. The incident looms at an unfortunate time for the Lady Sharks, who are 21-8. They have earned one of the state’s top seeds in the Florida College System Activities Association State Tournament. The tournament is scheduled to start the first week of March. During the team’s most recent game against Broward College on Feb. 20, three players were not on the sideline—Pruitt-Henderson, forward/center Samantha Douglas and star guard Daliyah Brown, who is averaging 20.2 points per game. However, Douglas was honored at halftime during the team’s sophomore night celebration. Brown and PruittHenderson were in the crowd after the game and were seen celebrating the team’s 94-79 win that clinched the Lady Sharks’ second consecutive Southern Conference title. It is unclear why the players did not dress for the game.
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B firstname.lastname@example.org Hialeah Campus To Host Fracking Discussion Panel
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE KOUBEK CENTER
Little Havana Social Club To Host La Patronal The Little Havana Social Club will present La Patronal on March 15 at 8 p.m. at the Koubek Center, 2705 S.W. Third St. La Patronal, a brass band from Peru, will perform music in homage to traditional Latin American town fair festivals. The Little Havana Social Club is a monthly outdoor festival that host various Latin concerts, dance parties, food vendors and more. Tickets can be purchased online for $20 at www.brownpapertickets. com/event/3611208. Students can get tickets for $10 and faculty for $15. Tickets will be available at the venue for $25. For more information, contact the Koubek Center at (305) 237-7750, or go to www.koubekcenter.org/recent-events/. —Natasha Fernandez
InterAmerican Campus Professor To Host Black Panther And Environmental Marginality Discussion Jose Sebastian Terneus, an English and literature professor at Miami Dade College, will discuss colonization in society and the 2018 Marvel film Black Panther on March 13 at 1 p.m. at InterAmerican Campus, 627 S.W. 27th Ave., Room 3103. Terneus will speak about the effects of colonization around the world and how the issue connects with contemporary social issues. Additionally, he will present a research project on the effects of environmental colonization. “I find it important to think about this fictional ‘Wakanda’ and what could have existed if Africa was not colonized, oppressed and stolen its natural resources,” Terneus said. The discussion is part of PeaceJam Miami’s lecture series Voices from the Margins, which invites students to be aware of social issues through the humanities. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Jose Sebastian Terneus at (305) 2376010 or email@example.com. —Vanessa Gimenez
North Campus To Host Former FBI Agent Ed Mireles Retired Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Ed Mireles will discuss his career and book, FBI Miami Firefight – Five Minutes that Changed the Bureau, at North Campus, 11380 N.W. 27th Ave., Room 2151 on March 6 at 10 a.m. Mireles is famous for his direct involvement in the 1986 Miami Shootout that left four men dead and five others wounded in a gun battle. He was awarded the FBI Medal of Valor in 1990 and elected Police Officer of the Year by International Association of Chiefs of Police in 1986. The event is a collaborative effort between the Miami Dade College School of Justice and the South Florida Intelligence Community Centers for Academic Excellence. For more information, contact Elizabeth Lugo Martinez at (305) 2371194 or firstname.lastname@example.org. —Alina Halley
Koubek Center To Present The Short Story: A Walking Frankenstein Workshop Cuban writer and poet Carlos Pintado will host an eight-week creative writing Spanish workshop from March 16 through May 4 at the Koubek Center, 2705 S.W. Third St. Participants will be guided by Pintado to learn and practice different narrative techniques, address the importance of conflict, plot and more. The workshop is sponsored by Miami Book Fair, which hosts year-round events to encourage students to take interactive creative writPINTADO ing classes to learn essential writing skills. The event is available to the public for $80 at www.miamibookfair.com/ event/taller-el-cuento-el-frankenstein-despierto-con-carlos-pintado/. For more information, contact Mariela Gal at email@example.com
The YES! Environmental & Sustainability Club at Hialeah Campus, 1780 W 49th St., will present an environmental discussion panel entitled What The Frack on Feb. 27 at noon in Room 1501B. This discussion will explore the effects of fracking on water resources and how it affects our health. Students can expect a Q&A session after the discussion. The event is free and open to any MDC student, administrator and staff. For more information, contact the YES! Club at Hialeah Campus at (786) 451-1479. —Genesis Sotomayor
President of Western Union Global Money Transfer To Speak At The Idea Center The Mike Fernandez Global Business Leadership Series will present guest speaker ALMEIDA Odilon Almeida on Feb. 27 at 9:45 a.m. at the The Idea Center, 315 N.E. Second Ave., Room 8503. Odilon Almeida, president of Western Union Global Money Transfer, will explain the Western Union’s business model of success, and how it has adapted through stock market needs and technological advancements throughout the company’s last 160 years. In his 17-year run with Western Union, he’s negotiated contracts with more than 200 countries and is currently non-executive chairman director of the Compliance and Business Conduct Committee at Millicom International. The presentation is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Isabel Artime at (305) 237-3960 or firstname.lastname@example.org. —Paola Fernandez
Jazz At Wolfson Series To Present Scott Wendholt Scott Wendholt will perform at the Jazz at Wolfson Presents on March 13 at noon at Wolfson Campus, 300 N.E. Second Ave., Room 1261. Wendholt is a world-renowned trumpet player that has worked with the likes of Vincent Herring, Cyrus Chestnut and Christian McBride. He will be performing alongside a band made up of Miami Dade College jazz professors and feature special guest Gary Campbell, who will be playing the saxophone. Jazz at Wolfson Presents is a yearlong music series that presents various diverse jazz performers at MDC. It is the longest running free jazz series in Miami-Dade County. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Michael Di Liddo at (305) 237-3930 or email@example.com.
—Natalie Gutierrez www.mdcthereporter.com
PHOTO COURTESY OF BETHANIE HINES
MDC Live Arts To Present /Peh-Lo-Tah/ At North Campus MDC Live Arts will present an exclusive showing of /Peh-Lo-Tah/ for Miami Dade College students at the Lehman Theater at North Campus, 11380 N.W. 27th Ave., on March 1 at 11 a.m. /Peh-Lo-Tah/, directed by poet and performer Marc Bamuthi Joseph, tells the story of Bamuthi’s diverse experiences in various World Cup cities such as South Africa, Brazil, etc. The show emcompasses South African choreography, Afro-Brazilian martial arts and soccer techniques. The performance blends beatboxing, vibrant video projections and shadow play in order to examine cultural identity and freedom through the arts. For more information, contact MDC Live Arts at (305) 237-3010 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. —Paola Fernandez
MDC To Provide Free Tax Preparation Services Miami Dade College will offer free tax preparation services at various campuses from Feb. 5 to April 14 as part of Miami-Dade County’s IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. The program is available at Wolfson, North, InterAmerican, Homestead, Kendall and Hialeah campus. Each campus will have different instructions and hours of service. Individuals can contact the Miguel B. Fernandez School of Global Business, Trade and Transportation at their preferred campus at www.mdc.edu/business/contact.aspx for more specific information. The VITA program is available to low-income, elderly and/or non-English speaking members of the Miami-Dade County community. It is administered every year through the Miguel B. Fernandez School of Global Business, Trade and Transportation at MDC. Individuals are required to bring their Social Security card and that of any dependents they claim, a photo ID, their W-2 statement or 1099 MISC (for self-employed only) or 1099 INT (interest income) forms. For more information about the program or to volunteer, call (305) 237-0425 or (305) 237-0304. —Heidi Perez-Moreno
London’s Fashion In Film At The Miami Design District Miami Dade College’s Film Festival will sponsor London’s Fashion in Film Festival at the Paradise Plaza Pop-Up Cinema, 151 N.E. 41st St., 3rd level and Nite Owl Theater, 3930 N.E. Second Ave., Suite 201 from March 8-10. The festival will consist of screenings, performances and panel discussions that explore the intersection between fashion and cinema. It will be presented in conjunction with the Miami International Film Festival and Miami Design District. Marketa Uhlirova, co-founder and curator of the Fashion in Film festival, will open the event with The Inferno Unseen at the Paradise Plaza at 7:30 p.m. Ticket are available to the general public for $13 at www.fashioninfilm.com/festival/2019-layering-fashion-art-cinema/. Students have a discounted fee of $10, and military veterans pay $12. For more information, visit miamifilmfestival.com or call (305) 237-3456. —Natalie Gutierrez
The Idea Center To Present Artificial Intelligence And Healthcare Seminar The Idea Center will host The Future of AI & Healthcare: the U.S., Japan, and Israel discussion on Feb. 26 at 5:30 p.m. at Wolfson Campus, 315 N.E. Second Ave., Room 8503. Advancements in the artificial intelligence industry have greatly affected the healthcare industry and human life expectancy in the future. The panel discussion will explore the concept of AI in the healthcare industry, and what it will mean for humans in the future. It will focus largely on Japan, the United States and Israel, which are noted as pioneers in the industry. Speakers will include Douglas Dotan, president of CRG Medical Inc.; Dr. Hideaki Takeda, professor at the National Institute of Informatics; Wolf Shlagman, founder of Care Angel. Ticket are available for $10 at www.eventbrite.com/e/the-future-of-aihealthcare-the-us-japan-and-israel-tickets-54990509093. For more information, contact The Idea Center at (305) 237-7809 or at email@example.com. —Heidi Perez-Moreno
—Patrick C. Gross mdc.thereporter
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Bust A Move: Adlar Garcia (center with Carolina blue tie), the director of alumni relations at the Miami Dade College Foundation, and several members of the Wolfson Campus community stage a flash mob at Kyriakides Plaza on Feb. 6. The event kicked-off Black History Month and was led by students from New World School of the Arts.
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Drumming Up A Beat: North Campus student Demetrius Conley practices his craft during a break between classes in front of building 5 on Feb. 7. Conley is the lead drummer for local Miami band Galaxy Beat.
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Stringing Together Music: Members of the New World School of the Arts' Viola Ensemble perform at Violafest on Feb. 2 at the Wolfson Campus auditorium. www.mdcthereporter.com
Watchful Eye: Jean Metelus, a public safety officer at North Campus, gazes across the campus' lake while on patrol on Feb. 1. @mdcthereporter
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SGA Looking For Student Leaders For The 2019-20 School Year Students interested in running for the Student Government Association leadership board for the the 2019-20 school year must submit an application to their respective campus’ Student Life department by March 11. Elections for SGA officer positions will be held from April 1 to April 3. By Alexa Hernandez firstname.lastname@example.org Miami Dade College students interested in becoming Student Government Association officers for the 2019-2020 school year must turn in their candidate application forms to the Student Life department at their respective campus’ by March 11 at 4 p.m. Application packets highlighting important information about each campus’ election procedures, eligibility requirements and duties and powers of each officer position can be picked up at the Student Life department at each campus. Among the positions available are:
president, vice president, treasurer, secretary and public relations director. “Being an SGA officer allows you to develop leadership skills, public speaking, and communication,” said Roodza Pierrelus, the SGA public relations director at North Campus. “SGA advocates for anything the school needs by posting on social media and hosting really fun events on campus.” To qualify for candidacy, applicants must be currently enrolled in at least six credit hours and be able to maintain this requirement throughout their terms as officers. Candidates must also be in clear academic standing, have, and maintain, a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.5 or 3.0 (depending on the campus) and they must have a high school diploma or the equivalent. Eligible candidates will be notified of their status on March 12. Campaigning will take place from March 18 through April 3. Student Life will designate specific campaigning locations at each campus. Candidates are not allowed to post flyers or campaign near Student Life areas. The SGA serves as advocates for the
“SGA is the voice of the student body so anything our community wants us to work on we help them with,” said Kaitlin De Jesus, the SGA President at Hialeah Campus. “Through SGA, I have met so many amazing people. Connections are a really cool thing you get from being an officer.” Voting will be take place from April 1 to April 3 on the MDC website through a link provided by Student Life. Students can vote using any electronic device or at a computer voting station that will be set up at each campus during the voting period. The final results of the election will be declared on April 4. Carolina Mendoza the SGA president at Wolfson Campus urges students running for office to remain dedicated to student advocacy. “Commit yourself to being the best you can be for yourself and the student body,” Mendoza said.
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students at their respective campus’, addressing concerns and fighting for changes that will help its constituents. Just last year, SGA officers along with other MDC students, were able to organize a movement to persuade the Miami-Dade County Board of Commissioners to make the North and Kendall campuses early-voting sites.
For more information regarding the SGA elections, students can contact the Student Life department at their campus.
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Professor Inspires Students With His Writing North Campus professor Preston L. Allen, who has written seven books, inspires students with his writing. His work broaches sensitive subjects such as racism, sexism and religion. By Heidi Perez-Moreno email@example.com Writing is second nature to award-winning novelist Preston L. Allen. Allen, an English composition and creative writing professor at North Campus, has written seven books during his 36-year writing career. They have been reviewed in the Chicago Tribune, Miami New Times and The New York Times. “We consider him a resident celebrity here in the English department at North Campus” said Edward Glenn, an English literature professor at Miami Dade College and Allen’s colleague for more than 30 years. “He has reviews in a number of publications, and has some following in AfricanAmerican literature circles. This is a man that teaches and finds the time to write. It almost makes me feel ashamed that I don’t write enough.” Allen’s books have garnered their fair share of critical acclaim. Every Boy Should Have A Man was a finalist for the Hurston/ Wright Legacy Award in 2014. The award honors excellence by
African-American authors in the area of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. Allen has also received the Sonia H. Stone Award and he was awarded the State Of Florida Individual Artist Fellowship. He was also a finalist for the Royal Palm Literary Award. His work often touches on socially-relevant topics such as racism, sexism and religion. Allen, who was born in Roatan, Honduras, was first introduced to writing in the fourth grade when he wrote the text for his friends' dialogue bubbles in comic books they created. “I was a pretty poor artist, and my friend made a point that [I was] the worst artist out of the five of us,” Allen said. “One guy said, ‘But you know, what you’re putting into the word bubbles is outstanding, you are a better writer than you are an artist’. So that’s when my focus went to writing.” Ever since that day, Allen hasn’t stoppd. While he was a student at Miami Norland Senior High School, he began showcasing his work to anyone who would listen. He recited his work to his friends during lunchtime and his siblings at home. Throughout his 29-year career as a professor, Allen has helped aspiring writers develop their prose in the courses he instructs. Allen takes the word mentor like a badge of honor, driven by
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King Of Prose: North Campus professor Preston L. Allen has written seven books during his 36-year writing career. He has taught creative writing and English composition for more than 29 years. the gratification he receives when students perform their own work, turn in great papers and publish their literature. “I don’t know which one I love
more—teaching or writing,” Allen said. “I get so giddy when I hear my students performing their own work. It’s like ‘Wow, I had a hand in this.’ It’s their talents and their
genius, but because of me, in some small way, they now realize that it’s in them.” One of Allen’s former creative writing students, Vincent Alonso, credits him with planting the seed that made him realize he could be a writer. “We get into the first day of class, and he [Allen] just tells us ‘Write six pages about whatever the hell you want], and by the end of class we turned in our pages.” Alonso said. “Then, we came back on [a] Thursday, he started passing out papers by calling people’s names, and then I realized he got to one girl, and told her ‘You’re going to be short story writer.’ He gave me back my paper, and told me ‘You’re going to be a novelist,’ and as I involved myself more in the class, I understood why he felt this way.” Alonso is shopping his novel, Movement of Power, that Allen helped edit. Creating and editing has always been a big part of Allen’s identity. Even after a stroke in 2011 briefly left his right arm and leg immobile, he quickly returned to his teaching position a few months later and continued writing. “It was a challenging time that really made us closer,” Preston’s son, Quinn Allen, said. “He’s always been a fighter.” Allen’s novels are available for purchase through Allen’s publishing agency, Akashic Books, Barnes & Noble and Amazon.
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When you dream, what do you see? Your Dream. On Your Time.
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MDC Live Arts Brings Underground Artists To Light MDC Live Arts, Miami Dade College’s performing arts series, has used its clout to act as a cultural and global influencer. The series has presented more than 200 companies since its inception in 1990, highlighting social issues such as racism, feminism and immigration. By Corbin Bolies firstname.lastname@example.org Kathryn Garcia has a glow in her eyes when discussing the Koubek Center. As she walks through the mansion, built by John J. Koubek in 1929 and donated to Miami Dade College by the University of Miami in 2011, she calls out every element of the space, noting its history while comparing it to its current use as a venue. Garcia is the executive director of MDC Live Arts, a “cultural presenter” that showcases artists throughout different venues in Miami. She joined the group in 2012 after eight years as the director of programming at the Adrienne Arsht Center, continuing her goal of promoting art through different mediums. “I’m constantly looking for the next great thing,” Garcia said. “I’m constantly looking for that next great shared experience that can be shared here in Miami.” That’s what art is to her and Live Arts—a shared experience. The group, which is based at the Freedom Tower, courts and scouts underground artists that offer a new perspective in their genre. That’s something pushed in their current season, which
ALLIANCE. PHOTO COURTESY OF ADELE MYERS
Shared Experiences: An artist appears in drag for, The Stage Show, an interactive dance show choreographed by Adele Myers that will premiere at the Live Arts Lab on May 9. Myers is currently one of the six local artists participating in the Live Arts Lab Alliance. focuses on women, immigrants and innovators—all social points of the current political landscape. Besides Niyaz: The Fourth Light, which was a tribute to the first female Sufi mystic and poet, the season will feature performances like /PEH-LO-TAH/, which deals with urban commentary on soccer, and The Combat Hippies: AMAL, which tackles the effects of war on people of color. Their 2017-2018 theme, Ojalá/ Inshallah: Wishes from the Muslim
World, captured contemporary Muslim art and showcased it at venues like downtown’s Olympia Theater, the North Beach Bandshell and the MDC Live Arts Lab at Wolfson Campus. It’s the latter that represents another element of Live Arts. The lab does more than provide space for local artists to present their work. It doubles as a studio and a venue that allows six local artists to create and expand their body
Vandals Continue To Deface Kendall Campus FROM VANDALISM, FRONT
the campus’ large size. “Every so often we see an uptick in vandalism on the campus,” Magaña said. “The reasons are often hard to pinpoint, but the campus is a microcosm of our greater community. Kendall is by far larger than all our other campuses, and we have more students as well. This also means it is more difficult to have eyes and ears in all corners.” The College’s Code of Conduct outlines that vandals are subject
to disciplinary action and/or may require restitution for damages. Alleged perpetrators are investigated by the dean of students. “Vandalism is a violation of the code of conduct,” Magaña said. “The severity of the violation will have a direct impact on the consequences to the student, but so will the student’s reaction to the process.” Students caught vandalizing college property face repercussions ranging from community service to disciplinary suspension, restitution, temporary suspension
and dismissal. If found guilty by the dean, students have the option to appeal their sentence and the campus president has the ability to uphold the penalty or reduce it. Offenders can also face misdemeanor or felony charges depending on the severity of the damage. “We’re hoping that through our work, we can slow down this aggressive pattern,” Stokes said. “This is [the students’] environment. We are the caretakers. We want to provide an environment that’s clean, safe and welcoming.”
in preparation for performances, entitled the Live Arts Lab Alliance (LALA). Live Arts also has a faculty task force, where MDC professors bring the themes from the current season’s performances into their lessons and the artists themselves come to various MDC campuses to engage directly with students. “That’s probably one of the things the artists comment on most,” Garcia said. “How much they enjoy speaking to the
students, how much they enjoy working with them and how impressed they are by them.” Omar Figueras, an English and literature professor at InterAmerican Campus and member of the task force, understands the need to expand these cultural offerings to students. “I want them to be open to other things,” said Figueras, who at the time of the interview was leading students to a discussion on feminism in the Middle East in support of the performance of Niyaz on Feb. 21. “I really think performing arts is as important as literature.” It’s that intersection that Garcia wants students, and the community at large, to appreciate. “Learning happens at any age,” Garcia said. “We see that whether it’s an MDC student or a member of the community who’s coming out to our performances—people are going to be able to learn something new. They’re going to be able to celebrate something new or something that’s their own.” And while MDC Live Arts doesn’t deal directly with students, it’s part of Garcia’s mission to make sure they are part of the primary audience. Students have the opportunity to become ambassadors for the program in order to expand its voice across all eight campuses. Tickets to all performances are also free for all MDC students. “We don’t have students of our own, we don’t teach classes,” Garcia said. “When students do take a chance to go out and see something they don’t really know what it is and they love it, that’s really inspiring for us.”
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Animal Rights Club Leaving Their Paw Prints At North Campus Voice for the Voiceless was created two years ago to advocate for and educate the community about animal rights. The club has participated in several fundraisers to assist animals affected by hurricanes and they have collected supplies to donate to shelters. By Natalie Gutierrez firstname.lastname@example.org Two years ago, Jessica Galan, then a North Campus student, set a goal for herself. She wanted to form a club dedicated to educating the public about animals rights. She soon founded Voice for the Voiceless with her psychology professor, Jessica AuBuchon. The organization, the first of its kind at Miami Dade College, concentrates on fostering “love and compassion for all animals,” according to the club’s North Campus Sharknet
page. “Their lives shouldn’t be perceived as any less, because they are impacted by those
surrounding them,” said Djaina Dervil, the club’s current president. “Peoples actions heavily influence the mindset of their pets and even though violence, such as pit-bull fighting, they only want to serve and please their owners for it, instead of being beaten.” Dervil, 18, is using the club’s influence to develop action plans to prevent further animal mistreatment, show why all animals deserve to be treated humanely and correct public misconceptions about the life experiences of animals. Voice For The Voiceless regularly organizes hurricane disaster relief events to help animals that have been impacted by dangerous weather conditions. After Hurricane Irma hit in 2017, the organization partnered with Third Wave Volunteers to fundraise. They collected food donations from students and PetSmart and shipped them to Puerto Rico and northern Florida. After Hurricane Michael in 2018, the club formed a partnership with Austin Pets Alive, collecting funds to buy pet food on Amazon, which was then shipped to Texas. AuBuchon and two other MDC professors, Valerie De Angelis and Jurist Willis-Taylor, have conducted research to determine the benefits of having pets in academic settings. Results from their investigation showed that pets help students with stress management. Dervil plans to implement therapy animal programs at MDC to positively impact mood and stress for students, staff and faculty members. “As president, I hope to expand
the organization and make it wellknown,” Dervil said. “I hope Voice For The Voiceless will continue to grow.” The club has also remained vigilant of helping and educating the community about animals. Late last semester, they hosted a two-day event that featured film screenings, a guest appearance by marine biologist Garrett Stuart and a pop-up Market to raise awareness for veganism and animal extinction. This semester, the club hosted a screening of Lady and the Tramp on Valentine’s Day to collect blankets and small toys to donate to the Miami-Dade Animal Shelter. Next month, the club plans to participate in a charity event, Walk For The Animals Miami, at Biscayne Park on March 2. “Animals are life,” said AuBuchon, the club’s advisor. “As humans, it is our responsibility to bring awareness.” For more information about Voice for the Voiceless, visit sharknet.mdc.edu/organization/ voiceforthevoiceless
The only thing I have in this world is my word and
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10 SPORTS | FEBRUARY 26, 2019
Lady Sharks Clinch State Tournament Berth The Lady Sharks have clinched a berth to the Florida Collegiate System Activities Association Athletics State Tournament, repeating as Southern Conference champions after defeating Broward College, 94-79, on Feb. 20.
points per game and forward Michelle Pruitt, who is averaging 16.6 points and 10.5 rebounds per game, will be tasked with keeping the team level-headed. “Our leaders are going to have to step up and make sure the team plays hard,” Summons said. “Like I said, I saw their potential early in the season, but when it comes to the state tournament, we are 0-0 like everyone else. Now is the time to improve and make sure we don’t allow ourselves to make any mistakes.”
By Christian Ortega firstname.lastname@example.org With a 10-1 record in the Southern Conference, the Lady Sharks have repeated as Southern Conference champions after defeating Broward College, 94-79, on Feb. 20. With their conference title, they have clinched a spot in the Florida Collegiate System Activities Association Athletics State Tournament. They finished the season with an undefeated record at home (12-0). “We’re going to have to stay tough on our rotations and rebounding,” said head coach Susan Summons. “There’s always work for improvement but if we can play steady and strong, we can beat whatever opponents we’re matched up against.” The Lady Sharks started the season rocky. After nine games, they were 3-6—injuries and inexperience hurt the team—but they have gone 18-2 in the 20 games since the rough start. Freshman guard Daliyah Brown has continued to show her excellence on the court, averaging a team-leading 20.2 points and 4.4 assists per game. Another freshman that has stepped up is six-foot forward
Pruitt-Henderson Makes Debut
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In Control: Freshman guard Daliyah Brown drives in the paint against Indian River State College on Feb. 9. The guard is leading the team in scoring with 20.2 points per game which has helped position the team to repeat as Southern Conference Champions. Toi Smith. She has averaged 11.7 points and 8.9 rebounds per game. “I knew the talent we had was capable of producing results,” Summons said. “We’re tough and when we’re talking and playing right, this is a hard team to play against.” The team’s motivation this season has been to prove that they aren’t the same team that started the season so poorly. They are currently ranked eighth in Region 8
and are looking to cement themselves as a contender. But winning the state championship won’t come easy. The team will be pitted against some of the best teams in the nation, including fifth-ranked Northwest Florida State College, seventh-ranked Gulf Coast State College, eighth-ranked Chipola College, twelfth-ranked Tallahassee Community College and thirteenth-ranked Florida
SouthWestern State College. “We have a tough road ahead of us,” Brown said. “We’re going to have to make sure we’re consistent to make sure that we can make a name for ourselves in the tournament.” Veteran leadership will be essential in ensuring the team has any success beyond the regular season. Sophomore guard Ganette Chism, who is averaging 14.2
After being sidelined the entire season after sustaining a broken metatarsal last September, freshman guard MoPRUITT-HENDERSON nique PruittHenderson made her season debut on Feb. 13 against Palm Beach State College. She scored nine points and grabbed two rebounds in the Lady Sharks 97-85 win versus the Panthers. In the two games she has in played this season, Pruitt-Henderson is averaging seven points and is shooting 50 percent from the field and 40 percent from threepoint range. “She’s been playing great in the games since her return,” Summons said. “She’s a talented player and she’s going to have great success.”
Run MDC Continues To Stumble As Season Nears End The Sharks were unable to live up to early-season expectations and will once again end the season with a losing record. The team needs to win its last game, and some luck, to force themselves into the Florida Collegiate System Activities Association Athletics State Tournament. By Christian Ortega email@example.com The men’s basketball team is on the verge of missing the Florida Collegiate System Activities Association Athletics State Tournament for the fourth year in a row. Currently 10-18 (5-6 in conference), the team needs a miracle to push through to the postseason. They have to win their last game and need Indian River State College, Broward College and ASA College to go winless in their last two games. “There’s still a chance for us to make it to the state tournament as long as everything falls our way,” said Sharks head coach Kevin Ledoux. “Our sophomores our motivated to make a difference in these last two games and we need to play as hard as we practice.” The long and disorienting season has been highlighted by a high volume offense and inefficient rebounding. Although the team is ranked eighth nationally in points per game (97.2), they average 40.8 rebounds per contest, which places them 60th in the country and their 0.9 rebounding margin is ranked 147th nationally. Defensively, they allow 99.2 points per game on 51.6 percent shooting. Ledoux wants the team to forget the season’s miscues and play the last two games as
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Flying High: Sophomore guard Montese Blake takes off for a layup in a win against ASA College on Jan. 30. Despite Blake averaging 18.9 pointer per game, the Sharks are 10-19 and on the verge of missing the Florida Collegiate System Activities Association Athletics State Tournament for the fourth year in a row. if they had a 0-0 record. “It comes down to whether we can push ourselves and play harder than our opponents,” Ledoux said. “This is a tough team of highly athletic players and I know they have what it takes to make a difference.” The season’s highlights have been few and far between. Sophomore forward DJ Russell has been
the focal point of the team’s offense and defense. He is averaging 19.5 points and 9.7 rebounds per game and is second on the team with a 50.2 field goal percentage. Fellow sophomore Montese Blake has also been a big contributor on offense; he averages 18.9 points per game. Freshman phenom Elton Walker has turned his first campaign with the Sharks
around and is now averaging 12.9 points per game and leads the team with a 56.6 field goal percentage. When any of those three are off the court, the team finds itself struggling to maintain its offensive production, creating scoring deficits that are hard to recoup. The constant losing has chipped away at the team’s confidence. “We hit some tough moments,” sophomore guard Arseniy Andreev said. “There were times when the leaders had to keep everyone focused and get the record off our minds to keep the team pushing forward.” Several sophomores have experienced their share of woes on the court. Sharpshooter Kaevon Tyler tore his anterior cruciate ligament midway through the season, leaving the team without one of their most vocal leaders as conference play began. Andreev, who averaged 8 points and 4.6 assists per game last year has suffered a drop off this year, averaging 6.2 points and 3.8 assists per game. “It’s part of the game,” Andreev said. “You can’t get caught up in stats and the record. What’s important for us is that the team stays focused and continues to play aggressively.” With two games remaining in his career at Miami Dade College, Andreev is determined on make a statement. “We’ve matured a lot this season,” Andreev said. “We been through some tough challenges. The team is ready for this test.” The Sharks’ last game is on the road against Indian River State College on Feb. 27 at 7:30 p.m.
MDC The Reporter
FEBRUARY 26, 2019 | SPORTS
// SPORTS Christian Ortega, Sports Editor //
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Lady Sharks Softball Team Off To A Rough Start The Lady Sharks softball team has lost nine of their first 12 games this season. They are hoping to change their fortunes and finish with their first postseason berth since 2016. By Claude Cadet firstname.lastname@example.org The Lady Sharks softball team has dropped seven straight games and is 1-7 in Febuary. Their last victory was a 7-6 win against St. Thomas University on Feb. 2. They are 3-9 on the season. Despite the rough star, head coach Gina De Agüero is optimistic the team can adjust and get the season back on track. “We know we can win as a team,” De Agüero said. “We just got to put the final product together and push through for the entire seven innings of the game.” Difficulties closing out games has been the root cause of their losses; four of the team’s losses have been decided by no more than two runs. On the season, the team has a .314 batting average and a .380 slugging percentage with 30 runs batted in. The Lady Sharks believe they can fix the problems before conference play begins in March. “We need to be able to bounce back and not play on our heels but, rather turn it around and step it up and take it to the next level,” De Agüero said. “We have to just apply all that when it comes to the games and everyone will get on the same page. At the end of the day its conference where we have to win and that’s where we need to be together as a team.” Sophomore infielder Eliza Artiles, who suffered a posterior cruciate ligament and meniscus tear at the end of last season,
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Rough Start: Tiffany Dodson delivers a pitch on Feb. 9 during a home game versus Hillsborough Community College. The Lady Sharks lost both games of a double-header versus HCC. Dodson is 1-4 on the season with a 6.61 earned run average. serves as one of the team’s leaders. Artiles has a .361 batting average, a .389 slugging percentage and has six runs scored and six stolen bases in 10 games. Despite her previous injuries, Artilies is known for playing with a full throttle, allout style that is contagious. She believes the team is on the cusp of breaking through following their latest losing streak. “We just got to push a little bit harder and stay focused and we’ll come right back on it,” Artilies said. “We tense up in key moments, but our strength is that we have the
talent, the potential and people on our team that really want to win.” Another early-season star for the Lady Sharks has been sophomore infielder Lishanty Guillermo. She has a .552 batting average, a .665 slugging percentage, three doubles and four runs batted in during 33 plate appearances. “I’m ready to push harder, so I hope that the rest of the team is as well,” Guillermo said. “I think we have it and we’re ready.” Guillermo believes that this year’s team is more united than last year’s 30-loss team
THE STUDENT NEWSPAPER AT MIAMI DADE COLLEGE
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but they just have to stay focused and close out games. She has become one of the team’s vocal leaders. “With the girls, I try to encourage them the best I can,” Guillermo said. “I tell them how good they are and they have to believe in themselves. I want to lift their energy when they are down and do what a teammate needs to do.” The Lady Sharks' next game is on the road versus Daytona State College on March 2 at 12 p.m.
12 A&E | FEBRUARY 26, 2019
Entertainment Scene Falters With Miami Open Move Alexzandria Windley writes about the lack of post-game entertainment options that come with the Miami Open’s move to Hard Rock Stadium, lamenting its location and the inconvenience it causes for attendees. By Alexzandria Windley email@example.com The sporting culture surrounding tennis has always been synonymous with luxury. From lavish watch commercials featuring Roger Federer and Serena Williams to ads explaining what tourist attractions are available around the tournament’s host city, it comes as no surprise that Miami was chosen to be one of the international stops on the professional tennis circuit. Since its inaugural season in 1985, the Miami Open (it has had several names) has consistently been one of the most anticipated and attended tennis tournaments. While known for its brutal heat and harsh humidity, it provides a more intimate experience compared to other major tournaments like Wimbledon or the US Open. However, that intimacy will soon end. The Miami Open will be move from Crandon Park in Key Biscayne to the a more modern facility, Hard Rock Stadium, next month. The change has been a long time coming. With Crandon Park’s buildings in need of serious renovation and the tournament in desperate
PHOTO COURTESY OF MIAMI OPEN
Ch-ch-changes: Sloane Stephens holds up her prize for winning the women's singles at the 2018 Miami Open. The event has changed locations for 2019, robbing it of its cultural location. need of a revamp, the Women’s Tennis Association, the Association of Tennis Professionals commissioners and Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross decided to save the Open by agreeing to host it in Miami Gardens. Already, the tournament has sold well more than its 2019 target for tickets, and with the construction being completed in time, the only real issue is the tournament’s post-match
entertainment. Despite that achievement, Key Biscayne has been a key element for the Miami Open since the beginning. At Crandon Park, match attendees only had to drive twenty minutes to downtown Miami where players and fans could relax, hang out or dine after a long day of tennis. Not only are there shopping centers to enjoy, but for the more
adventurous tennis watcher, there are plenty of national parks available to visit if they aren’t attending night matches. From Crandon Park beach, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens or even the lighthouses on Virginia Key, all of these options are within a 26-minute range from the tennis grounds; this is one of the reasons why switching to Hard Rock Stadium may be a poor idea.
And though the Hard Rock may be more modern and up to date with the current times, moving farther north robs visitors of entertainment opportunities. Compared to Key Biscayne and Crandon Park, the area surrounding Hard Rock consists of Miami Norland Senior High School and a Wal-Mart. No offense to those who attend Miami Norland, but it isn’t the most exciting thing to see when leaving a structure as nice as Hard Rock Stadium. To counteract this problem, Miami Open organizers have provided several services for matchgoers such as a rooftop deck designed with Spanish steps, a beer garden and a food court that doubles as a green space with tables. The player services will also be upgraded, with gym space tripling in size and cozier amenities for friends and family members. Even though the tournament may be “upgraded,” the charm of playing at Key Biscayne will be lost. It was easier to get to the Wynwood Walls from Crandon Park (a 26-minute drive) compared to the 32 minutes it would take from Hard Rock Stadium. Yes, the ticket prices went up and there will be more attendees, but tournament officials will have to deal with unhappy tennis fans and their lack of entertainment options. Time will tell whether or not the changes will stick. We can only hope that the in-house comforts will be enough to gratify even the most stubborn Miami tennis fans.
Two Wynwood Landmarks Make Their Last Stand Ethan Toth profiles the closure of the Wynwood Yard and O Cinema Wynwood, two landmarks of Wynwood’s revitalization that have succumbed to a growing real estate market.
By Ethan Toth firstname.lastname@example.org Anyone in Miami with even has the slightest interest in the arts has at one point visited Wynwood. The neighborhood known for its music, design and food, has been a source for inspiration and enjoyment for people of all ages. Two staples of the area, the Wynwood Yard and O Cinema have been supplying entertainment for years now. Unfortunately their time has run out—both will be closing their doors this spring. When Wynwood Yard founder, Della Heiman, came to Miami looking to open her own restaurant, she faced a variety of difficulties, including some financial barriers. She then investigated other ways to enter the market. That led her to the Wynwood Yard, which opened in the fall of 2015. Initially starting out on a ninemonth lease, it opened to create a connection between entrepreneurs, food lovers and Miami culture. As for O Cinema Wynwood, it was co-founded by Kareem Tabsch and Vivian Marthell and
began as a renovated warehouse in 2011. Since its inception, the theater has been showcasing independent and foreign films and has held a multitude of festivals and events like the Popcorn Frights Film Festival and Third Horizon Film Festival. With another location on Miami Beach, you can still get your fill of cinema, but its absence in Wynwood will be felt. Mimi Chacin, a PR liaison and social media strategist said that the Yard was a place where folks of all walks of life could meet diverse groups of people and stumble into unexpected things you weren’t sure you would like, such as a new food or band. Throughout its three-year tenure, it has hosted legions of food trucks like the World Famous House of Mac, Lola Burger Food Truck and Pasilla Tacos. Aside from the mobile eateries, the Yard also has The Garden Box, a shop for handmade, nature-inspired gifts. “Big [surprises] happen every so often and smaller ones every day,” Chacin said. Surely one of the highest points was the surprise visit from Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin. After watching a performance by Izzy Bizu, Martin stunned fans by joining her on stage. With the highs, there also come the lows. After the news broke of the
PHOTO COURTESY OF DORSKY + YUE INTERNATIONAL
In With The New: Wynwood Green is set to take over the space shared by the Wynwood Yard and O Cinema Wynwood, two cultural hotspots of the arts district. closure, patrons and the community assumed that the Yard was already closed and would no longer be operational. According to Chacin, this caused an almost 40 percent decline in sales. Looking toward greener pastures, the legacy of Wynwood Yard will live on with new locations in Doral and North Beach. Aptly named The Doral Yard and North Beach Yard, the former will be located on the Northeast corner of
Main Street and Paseo Boulevard in Downtown Doral while the latter on 81st Street and Collins Avenue. The Doral Yard is poised to have an indoor micro food hall, an outdoor space with green areas for community events, concerts and to hangout, as well as a place where people can work throughout the day. The Wynwood Yard and O Cinema Wynwood will be replaced
by Wynwood Green, an 11-story apartment building. “Change is inevitable, [though the] best we can do with change is work to make a difference within that change—help shape that change,” Chacin said. The arts scene in Miami is one of its standout points regarding tourism. Hopefully, the legacy of these two locations will be felt long after their departure.
MDC The Reporter
FEBRUARY 26, 2019 | A&E
// A&E Corbin Bolies, A&E Editor //
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Guardians Of The Galaxy Shift In New Comic Series Dante Nahai previews the new comic series, one that casts the Guardians in a different light after last years Infinity Wars and includes the addition of new team members and reimagined favorites. By Dante Nahai email@example.com By now, most people are aware of the Guardians of the Galaxy, with their two solo films and culmination in last year’s Avengers: Infinity War (and this year’s Avengers: Endgame). For their new comic series, though, everything is different. Writer Donny Cates and artist Geoff Shaw dazzle readers with outlandish storytelling, but in a good way. This isn’t your basic Guardians from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That’s evident from the story, which runs completely separate from the films. Star-Lord and Groot are still on the team, but with Drax the Destroyer dead and Gamora turned bad, the two of them are alone. Of course, there is still Rocket Raccoon to wonder about, but we don’t talk about Rocket. Thanos is dead, decapitated by Gamora ironically enough. These events take place during the Infinity Wars comic series that came out during mid-2018. As someone who has not read that series I can tell you it is not necessary to read that story before you dive into this new series. (Warning. Some potential spoilers follow.) With that said, Thanos is dead—or that is what you’re supposed to think. Eros, Thanos’ brother, invites every cosmic being to a meeting. From Kree to Skrull, we see a variety of characters across the Marvel Universe. They are gathered to witness the last will and testament of the Mad Titan. We learn that Thanos is not dead at
PHOTO COURTESY OF MARVEL
Where's Thanos?: The latest Guardians Of The Galaxy comic series explores the aftermath of the Infinity Wars series and introduces a new team of Guardians.
all. Before his demise his consciousness was uploaded and implanted into the mind of another. To sum it up, he is sending everyone on a wild goose chase to find the new Thanos. Eros narrows down a list of who might be the new Thanos, the most obvious candidate being Gamora. The chase for Gamora is on. Where do Star Lord and Groot fit into this? While traveling to Knowhere, the space plane that doubles as their headquarters, the duo and reader find it has disappeared. What could have caused this? You’ll have to find out for yourself. In the midst of this sprawling story, there are a few new team members making up the improved Guardians of the Galaxy. We have Beta Ray Bill, a friend of Thor who was worthy to pick up the latter’s hammer and was the original owner of the axe Stormbreaker. The next character is Cosmic Ghost Rider—he’s Ghost Rider, but in space. Writer Donny Cates created this character, who has his own mini series before the events of this new run. With the last two characters including Moondragon and Phlya-Vell. How will these characters interact with each other? Who has Thanos’ consciousness? Probably not Gamora, it would be too obvious. This arc is called The Final Gauntlet within the relaunched Guardians of the Galaxy series, the first issue of six. The second issue hit the shelves on Feb. 20 and the third one will be out on March 20. Instead of waiting for Volume 3 to come out, since who knows how long that will take, head to your local comic book store and pick up this series. The writing and art are worth the four dollars you’ll spend.
Awards Season Needs A Reboot Corbin Bolies writes about the draining nature of awards season, specifically the formula it seems to follow, how it cheapens the films it aims to promote and the need to revamp it in order to maintain the integrity of the movies.
By Corbin Bolies firstname.lastname@example.org As awards season draws down, so does the energy. The end of February is always the most exhausting period during the season, as all the awards campaigning culminates in the Oscars. Stars wear their final dresses, reporters ask their final questions and winners give their final speeches—it’s the same routine every year. At some point, though, it becomes too commonplace. As the runaround continues every year, it cheapens the mediums it claims to honor. Film stars give interview after interview and speech after speech while promoting the film they’re in. It creates a long-term sickening effect around the awards. Such is the case with “Oscar bait” movies—films made seemingly for the award chances alone.
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE ACADEMY OF MOTION PICTURES ARTS AND SCIENCES
Revamp: Amidst the formulaic nature of Oscar season, studios have to do a better job of promoting their films for awards. As these films cycle through each year, all dealing with either some form of tragedy or a historical period, they become interchangeable. Each World War II film draws out the same sadness, each musical pushes its singular hit tune. The films lose their relevance because they seem tailor-made for the moment. That’s not to say all aspects are the same. This year’s Oscar season has been unprecedented, with the Academy reversing every major decision it’s made for their 2019
rendition. The introduction of a Popular Film category? Reversed after backlash to its necessity and later led to the Best Picture nomination of Black Panther. Kevin Hart as host? Reversed after homophobic tweets from 2009 resurfaced. Delivering certain awards during commercial breaks? Reversed after backlash from prominent Academy members and production unions. While this year has provided its own burst of excitement, it still draws on similar events
propagated during the time when Harvey Weinstein reigned supreme. The biggest contenders premiered at film festivals (A Star is Born, Roma and The Favourite at Venice, among others), the stars all did roundtables with The Hollywood Reporter and the films all screened for critics in New York and Los Angeles, all supposed prerequisites for nominations. Even Lady Gaga got in a signature phrase, constantly crediting costar and director Bradley Cooper MDC The Reporter
with being the one to notice her out of “100 people in a room.” This isn’t meant as an admonishment of the awards circuit as a whole, as it is but one means to get people to see a movie. But in order to do that, studios shouldn’t continue to follow such a formulaic model to add a golden trophy to their haul. By presenting films as they are and promoting them solely off their strengths, the awards season will be much more engaging versus the draining state it is in.
14 FORUM | FEBRUARY 26, 2019
Communicating With Disabled People Is Important Alexa Hernandez writes about the importance of interacting with and asking questions to people with disabilities, instead of making assumptions about them.
By Alexa Hernandez email@example.com In order to understand people with disabilities, it is essential to scrap all generalizations about them. “Disabilities come in groups of one,” said Gabriel Lopez Kafati, the Adaptive Technology Specialist for Miami Dade College’s ACCESS Services, a program that provides
services such as note takers, interpreters and assistive technology to students with disabilities. Individuals with disabilities come in all shapes and sizes, from all political and religious backgrounds and with all levels of intelligence. No two individuals with a disability are the same, even if they have the exact same disability. Although this may seem like common sense, this awareness isn’t commonly seen in our community, and is far less apparent in the way we interact with people with disabilities. Unfortunately, there is an immense disconnect between individuals with disabilities and those without them. It would be easy to point fingers and assert that this reality stems from apathy that individuals without a disability feel toward disabled people. However, this disconnect can be elucidated by a simple aspect of human behavior: we tend to feel comfortable around those who are like us and uncomfortable around those who are not. Upon initiating conversation with someone who has a disability, you may find that you have much more in common than you thought. Many individuals without disabilities don’t understand how to interact with people with disabilities simply because they
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themselves are not disabled. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing—it’s natural. People just need to take the time to interact with a person with a disability, or anyone who is different from themselves, for that matter, in order to come to a greater understanding of the other person. Otherwise, we risk anxiety, discomfort, and miscommunication. So how should you interact with a person who is disabled? The most crucial action you can take to alleviate the uncomfortable tension between those with disabilities and those without is to ask before you assume. If
you’re unsure of what to say to a person with a disability—whether it is simply greeting them or offering your help—don’t be afraid to communicate that uncertainty in a respectful manner. As a man who is blind, Lopez states that it is very empowering when people ask questions because they are giving the power to the disabled person rather than assuming. Assuming things can be dangerous and can erect a profusion of other assumptions. For instance, if you grabbed a blind person’s arm because you assumed they needed help finding their way, that person may in turn assume that you will do them harm or that you do not have good intentions. Instead, just ask them if you can be of service. “We are not going to break by being asked a question,” Lopez said. “The best thing to do is approach someone, identify yourself and ask questions.” The next time you find yourself wondering how to approach, interact with or help a person with a disability, start by remembering that they are just another unique stranger with a different perspective of the world. By keeping this in mind, we may continue to broaden our horizons to the promise of a more conscious, understanding, and integrated community.
Advocating For Political Beauty Pageants Are More Than Issues Can Create Change Just Physical Beauty Contests Maria Rodriguez, a Student Government Association member at West Campus, writes about her experience advocating for legislation impacting Miami Dade College during her trip to Tallahassee.
By Maria Rodriguez firstname.lastname@example.org An eight-hour drive became an opportunity to share my voice. As a Student Government Association leader at Miami Dade College West Campus, I recently had the privilege to visit Tallahassee for a legislative advocacy meeting hosted by the Florida College System Student Government Association. This proved to be one of the most inspiring experiences in my college journey by far. We got to engage and practice with other MDC campuses in order to address Florida’s House of Representatives and Senate about our college’s concerns about education, safety, and affordability. Day one was filled with recreational bonding activities for all. We started our day by engaging in mock legislative meetings within our groups as well as learning about different legislative proposals. It was the starting point of our union to achieve something big. The next day became the most important and memorable day of this experience. We spent the morning at Florida’s Capitol, visiting the offices of several representatives and senators to talk about MDC’s state legislative priorities. This was the time to let our voices be heard. We spoke up about the need for funding for more hi-tech programs and industry
certifications in high-wage occupations, as well as the need for more counselors and tutors, and tracking technology for on-time graduation. We also tackled the District Cost Differential (DCD) in funding formula and the State Matching Program for unmatched funds given by private and local donors. Yet another important aspect that needs funding is the one-stop resource Single Stop in order to provide mental health services at each campus. As a psychology major and advocate for mental health awareness, I was very passionate about this due to the high demand for mental health counseling I see every day around campus. Furthermore, we addressed several House and Senate bills that benefit the MDC student body by providing transcript fee waivers for veterans and active duty members in the U.S. Armed Forces, as well to authorize certain Florida College System institutions to waive out-of-state fees for students impacted by hurricanes. On a personal level, I talked about House Bill 457, which would protect students from being denied classification as residents to receive financial aid awards based on their immigration status. We live in a diverse city where education should provide relief to those suffering the challenges of immigration by giving financial aid to those in need of it. This serves as an incentive for us to keep pursuing our dreams of success. House Bill 6007 carried a lot of controversy. We opposed this legislation, which would allow students to carry firearms into a college or university facility. Can you imagine how much insecurity this would bring to the faculty, staff and student body? Our lives could be taken by the individuals sitting next to us. We need to prevent others from disrupting our peace inside and outside the classroom. No one can take away the unlimited power of our voices. We choose, we vote, and we hope for action. History has revealed that significant social advancement is created because of our collective ability to make changes. We are the ones capable of moving the country toward growth.
Alina Halley writes about how beauty pageants promote sisterhood and community advocacy, not just physical beauty.
By Alina Halley email@example.com Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamt of being on one of those floats at the Three Kings Parade, waving at the crowd while wearing a sash and a crown. But in real life, I never felt like I belonged there. I wasn’t tall, blonde, or even close to a size zero like the traditional pageant queen stereotypes. One day, I realized that it didn’t matter that I was a size 12 with curly brown hair and measured 5-feet-2 inches tall. I wanted to compete and at least be able to say I tried, so that’s exactly what I did; I signed myself up for the local Miss Teen Art Deco USA Pageant. Going into pageant rehearsals, I expected the girls to be mean, rude and snobby, just like in the movies. Imagine my surprise when I found that they were extremely nice, elegant, and sociable. Backstage, they always helped the other contestants with
wardrobe changes and wished each other the best of luck on the stage. Unfortunately, I didn’t go home with a crown, but I did leave with something more important: my forever sisters. Once in a while, we get together and catch up as if time never passed. When any of us have local competitions or events, we try our hardest to be there and support each other. I can only describe it as a sorority without the Greek life. The true test in a pageant is the interview—it’s the few moments a contestant has to show what she’s made of. In recent years, the questions have become more challenging. Rather than asking a contestant what makes them blush like they did at Miss Universe in 2002, judges might ask why a contestant believes that freedom of the press is important like in the 2018 competition. When you look at contestants on the surface, you might assume they aren’t smart; all they have is that pretty face and fit body. But you would be surprised to find out that most of us have real career goals to become doctors, lawyers, teachers, engineers and journalists, to make a difference in any way we can. When you hold a pageant title, your time is spent volunteering, advocating for issues you care about, and setting an example for generations of girls to come. If you ask anyone who has competed in a beauty pageant, they will tell you that KALEY PENICHE / THE REPORTER it gives you a confidence you didn’t know you had. Walking on that stage, whether it be in your opening number dress, swimsuit or evening gown makes you feel on top of the world—the true beauty of a beauty pageant.
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Extreme Rhetoric Normalizes Intense Policies Angel Diaz writes about the drastic shifts in American political norms in recent years, and provides an explanation using the Overton window theory.
By Angel Diaz firstname.lastname@example.org The American political system was created in 1789 after the establishment of the United States Constitution. Since then, the political game has devolved into a whirlwind of conspiracy theories and foul play. Early political campaigns were mostly divided by partisan lines, debating which way the government should be conducted. However, we now find ourselves in the 21st century, when party ideas and norms mean almost nothing in politics. And what should be considered absurd is now viewed as normal. How is it that campaigns have turned into dog fights and extreme rhetoric has become acceptable? Because of Donald J. Trump and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaigns, 2016 has gone down in history as an infamous election year. Not because of the astounding policy debates, but because of the overabundance of hearsay and the promotion of scandals and
conspiracy theories circulating both candidates. It is important to note that both candidates were not subjected to these assumptions by the media, but rather by each other. NowPresident Trump’s radical methodology enables him to present his extreme decisions in what proves to be an effective manner. More telling than his constant misconduct and banter with other politicians is the fact that he has made the impossible possible when it comes to the norms of political campaigns. The 2016 election was an enormous spectacle of child’s play. With widespread media coverage that only fueled the egos of Trump and Clinton’s campaigns, both acted differently from the ordinary debate professionalism. Both individuals were found to go over time, speaking overturn, uttering nuances to spite the other, and figuratively clawing at each other.
With formality, established in early American history, gone, these campaigns have become a boxing ring of words where purposeful declarations and action plans are absolute. From calling former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email scandal “worse than Watergate” to demanding a paid-off version of The Great Wall of China on the southern border of the U.S., Trump’s actions would have been considered immoral and disrespectful in earlier stages of American politics. In the current age, it is normal. How is this normal, and how have the public and debate moderators allowed this to continue? In political science there is a theory that gives an explanation as to why the shifting of what is considered normal is possible. The Overton Window theory states that there is a window, an imaginary box, set in the middle of the left and right wing that establishes
KALEY PENICHE / THE REPORTER
what the public views as normal and is willing to accept. The theory suggests that if one wants to make the far left or far right seem normal, they would have to start at the extreme to make everything seem normal. President Trump has used this theory to paint his more radical notions as normal by demanding unthinkable legislation. Throughout his presidency, the Overton window has only moved further and further to the right, making everything to the far right seem less radical. This pushing of the political spectrum can also be seen with former President Barack Obama when he declared support for same-sex marriage, making the concept of gay couples seem more plausible. It is the media’s reports that have fostered a problem that might not be reversible. By reporting what was once radical as usual and what was once normal as radical, the window is moving further to the right, meaning that the Democratic party will in turn be considered radical and unthinkable. It seems that President Trump aims to make things easier for the Republican Party as they move forward, which is not wrong in any way. It does, however, make things difficult for those who seek to reform the country with the favor of the people. Moreover, with the 2020 elections looming over the country, the Overton window finds itself situated in the middle of the right wing. Of course, the upcoming catfights will pull the window toward a favored party, but if Trump wins the presidency again, what incredible view will become the next normal?
The Reporter is the free, biweekly student newspaper at Miami Dade College. All content is produced by MDC students. The opinions in this newspaper do not necessarily represent those of the administration, faculty or student body.
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Editorial Board ——————————— Christian Ortega Editor-in-Chief/Sports Editor/Photo Editor Heidi Perez-Moreno Briefing Editor Corbin Bolies A&E Editor Teresa Schuster Forum Editor Looni Ingran Social Media Director
Issue Staff ——————————— Aminah Brown, Claude Cadet, Angel Diaz, Elizabeth Garcia, Vanessa Gimenez, Valentina González, Patrick C. Gross, Paola Fernandez, Natalie Gutierrez, Alina Halley, Alexa Hernandez, Looni Ingran, Sean Mow, Hausser Nodarse Perez, Kaley Peniche, Genesis Sotomayor, Ethan Toth, Alexzandria Windley
States’ Usage Of Common Core Standards Is Controversial Teresa Schuster writes about the goals of Common Core and the controversy surrounding it, in light of the decision to eliminate it from Florida’s education system.
By Teresa Schuster email@example.com The Common Core has become commonplace in the American education system, being adopted by 46 states, and still used in 38. But that number will soon shrink to 37, following Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ announcement that
he intends to sign an executive order eliminating the standards in the state’s education system. The initiative to develop the Common Core standards began in 2009, as state leaders’ attempted to tackle the problem of different states having different educational standards, as well as having different concepts of what constituted proficiency in core subjects like reading and math is. Because of this system, it was difficult to compare the performance of students in different states, and to gauge their readiness for higher education. The Common Core standards provided uniform benchmarks for students’ educational progress, and aimed to ensure that students were prepared for college and the workforce regardless of which state they attended school in. But Common Core has its downsides, and with them its detractors. The standards have proved to be controversial, generating significant backlash. Politicians, interest groups, teachers, and parents
alike have complained about Common Core since its inception. And while opposition is largely associated with Tea Party Republicans, this isn’t a strictly partisan issue. Many Democrats are opposed to it, and many Republicans are in favor of it. Some believe that educational standards should be decided by state and local governments since they know their students best, and not dictated by the national government. They see the implementation of national standards as an attack on states’ rights by the federal government. Common Core introduced different methods of learning and analyzing material, among them new methods of solving math problems. Many students and parents found these confusing and overly complex. Another common criticism of Common Core is that it encourages an abundance of standardized testing, which is detrimental to students.
Placing too much emphasis on test scores can negatively affect their performance and selfesteem. It can also lead to schools teaching to the test at the expense of providing their students with more meaningful learning experiences. Other states have withdrawn their education systems from the Common Core standards before. And Florida’s impending entrance into this group doesn’t come as a major surprise. It previously rolled back its participation in Common Core in 2014, modifying the standards. Governor DeSantis has claimed that the new standards will be higher “in many respects” than the Common Core ones, and that they will be geared toward knowledge instead of teaching to standardized tests. While the new standards have yet to be revealed, people in Florida’s education system have welcomed the change, saying that the new standards would help develop students’ potential.
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