Issue 3, Fall 2016

Page 1 | @ncfcatalyst



A student newspaper of New College of Florida







Cohort of 2016 makes New College history as the most diverse incoming class in recent memory BY ANYA MARÍA CONTRERAS-GARCÍA New College’s incoming class of 2016 is one of the most, if not the most, racially and ethnically diverse classes in recent memory. Students of color here may seem few and far between, but this year, administration has taken a big step in changing that. Compared to last year’s incoming class, the 2016 cohort of Novos has seen an increase in the number of enrolled Black or African American students (from 2.4 percent last year to 4.5 percent this year) and an increase in the number of enrolled Hispanic students (from 13.6 percent last year to 22 percent this year). According to U.S. Census data, Black or African American residents make up 14.6 percent of Florida’s population while Latinx* residents make up 16.8 percent of the population. Comparing Florida and New College demographics – considering most of New College’s students come from Florida – the Black or African American population on campus is underrepresented, and the Latinx population was underrepresented only until this Fall, . Although there is still improvement to be made, administration is listening

Unknown (3) Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander (0) Native American or Alaska Native (1) Asian (14) LatinX or Hispanic (39) Black or African American (7)

White (211 students)


Black or African American Native American or Alaska Native

Asian LatinX or Hispanic Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander

Unknown graph created by Anya María Contreras-García/Catalyst

The above graph shows the racial makeup of the 2015 student body.

to student concerns and taking action. “We’ve seen the underrepresented population grow,” Associate Dean of Enrollment Services Sonia Wu said. “It’s still not big, but at one time it was only, like, 15 percent [minority students], and the entering class is at 32 percent. It’s still not where we’d like it to be, but it’s exciting.” So where did this initiative to increase diversity admissions come from? “We continue to hear from students, ‘I feel like sometimes in class

I’m the only one and people turn to me, and it’s like, ‘Let’s have the opinion from this person of color,’ you know? That’s so uncomfortable for somebody to experience, whether they’re a student or a staff member,” said Wu. “I think as long as we continue to hear that, it’s something we need to work on. And when we stop getting that, then maybe we’ll have reached some sort of tipping point.” Despite the recent increases in diversity among the student body, there

are still problems for marginalized students on campus. “Even though New College is a very leftist institution and prides itself on being open about things, there’s still a lot of micro-aggressive practices that can be confusing when you look at the things New College is supposed to represent,” said third-year student Miles Iton, NCSA co-president and co-founder of the Black Student Union on campus. “Culturally, this is a very different space than what a lot of people of color are normally exposed to,” said Iton. Aside from dealing with typical adjustments to college life, students of color must also adjust to being in spaces where most people around them aren’t familiar with their cultural backgrounds, which can lead to feelings of alienation. “How can we keep throwing the word community around when so many of our students feel like they don’t belong here?” said third-year student Leen AlFatafta, vice president of the Council of Diversity and Inclusion. “I think it’s crucial for marginalized students to feel welcome at New College.” Although the Counseling and Wellness Center (CWC) is relatively diverse with several people of color on staff, there are no services at the CWC

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DEA making yet another plant a schedule 1 drug BY RYAN PAICE The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has decided to announce their notice of intent to implement a temporary ban on the active materials in the kratom plant, labelling the oncelegal drug a Schedule I substance of the Controlled Substances Act “in order to avoid an imminent hazard to public safety.” In making kratom a Schedule I substance, the possession, distribution and growth of the plant will become a felony offence. Kratom is a tropical evergreen tree in the coffee family native to Southeast Asia that contains the active materials mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, which can give users opiate-like effects


without the dangers of addiction or illegality. The drug has been gaining popularity in the U.S. recently due to it being a legal and non-addictive option for those dealing with chronic pain or going through the grueling task of beating an opioid addiction. It can be used in a litany of ways: one could eat it plain, make it into an extract, make a tea out of it and more, providing stimulantlike effects in low doses and opiate-like sedation and pain relief in high doses. Throughout the DEA’s notice of intent, it becomes clear that further research on the plant is required for it to be cleared as legal, or to lower it from the temporary ban’s initial designation of the drug as schedule one. However, this emphasis on the necessity of


further research in order to clear the drug is fundamentally backwards, as the designation of it being schedule one will severely limit the research allowed to be done on kratom. The DEA made the move to “avoid an imminent hazard to public safety” as announced on the Federal Register, citing 15 kratom-related deaths between 2014 and 2016, and 660 calls to U.S. poison centers between Jan. 2010 and Dec. 2015 as reasons to justify kratom as a public safety concern. These statistics are particularly fascinating when viewed in comparison to other legal substances in the U.S., such as alcohol and opioids. Excessive use of alcohol, for instance, has accounted for the deaths of 88,000


Americans each year from 2006 to 2010. For every ten deaths among adults aged 20-64, one was caused by excessive alcohol use. Despite having no accepted medical use in treatment, having one of the highest potentials for abuse among all substances – not just legal substances – and being responsible for 9,967 deaths caused by alcohol-impaired driving crashes (31% of all traffic-related deaths in the U.S.) in 2014, alcohol is not even a federally controlled substance, regardless of the fact it meets every requirement to be designated a schedule one drug. Opioids – substances that act on opioid receptors in the brain to produce

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WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2016 | @ncfcatalyst


briefs by Elan Works

CGA dishes dirt on composting Students who have been living on the New College campus may be aware of the composting and recycling programs, two very vital parts of local environmental activism students can directly contribute to. The Catalyst caught up to members of the Council of Green Affairs (CGA) to ask questions about how these two systems work. “Feed your compost bin like a vegetarian,” second year transfer and compost TA, Juniper Monroe said at the most recent CGA meeting in HCL7. “Does a vegetarian eat plastic bottles? No, then don’t put them in the compost bin.” Plastic bottles, aluminum cans, glass, paper and cardboard should be placed in the recycling bins located next to the large trash bins. Monroe explained

that failing to do this could expose students to health risks associated with rotting meat and dairy. “Hopefully soon we’ll be implementing a black soldier fly larvae system for Ham to break down meat and dairy,” Monroe said. “If it came from a plant, if it came from the ground, the ground can decompose it again because nature is always a full circle.” “Compost tutorial collects once a week,” Monroe said. “We take it to the shed behind the tennis courts and it breaks down until it’s a big organic mush and then we mix it in with some soil and dry leaves and mulch and then we let it decompose for a couple months.” If you were wondering what Ham Center does with all the extra food-

waste they produce, they don’t compost it, Monroe reveals. “They haven’t put anything in the compost bins this year or last year. I would really like them to start giving us their extra food because they have tons of it and it can be used.” Monroe did put a compost bin outside of Hamilton “Ham” Center, but students mistook it for a recycling bin. In addition to talking about composting, the CGA presented its members with many other plans to advance the environmental friendliness of the campus. “At our last ROW [Reducing Our Waste] meeting someone mentioned how they put a sign that says “landfill” on the trash,” Allegra Nolan, the Zero Waste TA, said as she described her

proposal to change the mindset around trash cans. “Like to say ‘this is going to a landfill,’ where it’s going to sit for years and years, possibly forever.” Nolan also discussed how landfills are disproportionately placed next to underprivileged communities who don’t have the resources to withstand the harmful effects of a landfill system. “I think that there’s this false impression because there’s so much activism associated with our campus,” she said. “Everyone’s an activist and everyone cares about everything and we’re all a bunch of hippies who love recycling and composting but in reality many people don’t realize how important it is ”

Saturday protest in solidarity with Standing Rock A direct action event took place in Tampa on Saturday, Sept. 17 to show support for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in their ongoing fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline Project. The proposed Dakota Access pipeline will transverse 1,172 miles from North Dakota’s Bakken and Three forks areas to Patoka Illinois, going through the water supply of the Standing Rock Reservation and several ancient burial sites. This project has sparked nationwide outrage and many protests similar to the one in Tampa have shown support and solidarity with the Standing Rock inhabitants.

“It’s really important that we stand in solidarity with them,” thesis student and Environmental Representative Gabi Frankhouser said. “There’ve been several arrests and a lot of violence towards the people that are in North Dakota right now protesting.” Frankhouser referred to the string of recent violence since towards protesters of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which have included pepper spray and dog bites. The Dakota Access Pipeline is not the only concern weighing on the minds of environmental activists this weekend. “This stuff affects all of us,”

Frankhouser said. “Even though it seems kinda remote there’s a pipeline to go through Florida that got approved a couple days ago.” The Sabal Trail Underground Pipeline was recently given its final federal permits from the Army Corps of Engineers - allowing construction companies to dump dredged waste and fill into wetlands and adjacent water bodies. Proponents of the environment have loudly protested this development - pointing out that wetlands take up to fifty years to revegetate. The pipeline’s route will cross under and through springsheds like Rainbow Springs, the

Suwanee River and the Lower Santa Fe River. The pipeline will also cross under land prone to sinkholes. “It’s really important that we just connect all these dots from all these places around the country,” Frankhouser said. “Around the world really.”


In ‘Getting down and dirty with Kink Positive,’ first-year student Sarai Minott’s name was mispelled. We apologize for this error.

Understaffed walls a central issue at the second Towne Meeting The second Towne Meeting of the new school year took place on Sunday, Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. in Palm Court. Lara Herzog, speaker of the Towne Meeting reflected on the meeting. “We made quorum, we passed legislative items, it went really well.” Herzog said. Students who attended the Towne Meeting may have noticed the rug in the center of Palm court. The rug is an effort by Herzog to provide a comfortable sitting space for students at New College events. “It’s coming along really, well we definitely need a lot more help.” Herzog said, saying students can drop by Ham center on Wednesdays from six to eight to help with the rug, which is made out

of shredded T-shirts and New college relics. “My dream for the rug is that it will be the entire size of the center of palm court,” Herzog said. “It will have all of our new college memories imbued into it, it will be something special the students made by hand.” The rug is currently eight feet in diameter and continues to grow. The items brought up to the students in attendance were renaming the Fire TA, appointing an accessibility representative. In addition, the Council of Green Affairs advised students on how to properly use the campus compost and recycling services. Third-year and New College Student Alliance (NCSA) co-President

“We’ve got no knowledge of any students ever being in [the Pei Tunnels].” © 2016, the Catalyst. All rights reserved. The Catalyst is available online at,, @ncfcatalyst The Catalyst is an academic tutorial sponsored by Professor Maria Vesperi and taught by visiting instructor Yadira Lopez. It is developed in the New College Publications Lab using Adobe Photoshop and Adobe InDesign and printed at Sun Coast Press with funds provided by the New College Student Alliance.

Paul Loriston and several others took the floor to start the discussion of staffing walls this year, the only topic at this Towne meeting to see discussion time extended. “This year what we’re seeing now about 10 to 15 wall slots are essentially at risk because there’s not going to be enough officers to staff them,” Loriston said. Many students voiced their concerns and ideas, suggesting different ways to acquire the estimated $10,000 the extra staffing would cost. Another facet of the problem that was brought up was the long, difficult process of hiring an officer to be part of the campus police. “My first year at New College walls ended at 4 a.m.. These past three years

General Editor Managing Editor Copy Editor Online Editor Layout Editor Staff Writers & Photographers

Pariesa Young Giulia Heyward Ryan Paice Caitlyn Ralph Audrey Warne Katelyn Grimmett, Jasmine Respess, Dylan Pryor, Elan Works, Jacob Wentz, Kelly Wilson, Cassandra Manz, Anya María Contreras-García, Magdalene Taylor

walls have ended around 2 a.m. to 2:30 a.m.. A lot of people thought that was because of noise complaint issues but really it was because the Campus police couldn’t afford to hire an extra officer on duty for an extra two hours that walls usually lasted. So a way that they maneuvered around that staffing issues they made walls a little shorter towards the end of walls.” Loriston and the other members of the NCSA closed the section of the meeting with an appeal to students to submit ideas on the forum and students list as to how the problem can be resolved. Lara Herzog intends to send out a survey on both the forum and students list to officially poll the student body. Direct submissions, letters, announcements and inquiries to: The Catalyst 5800 Bay Shore Road Sarasota, Florida 34243 The Catalyst reserves the right to edit all submissions for grammar, space and style. No anonymous submissions will be accepted. Submissions must be received by 12:00 p.m. Friday for consideration in the next issue.


WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2016 | @ncfcatalyst


Third Court theft leaves residents hungry for answers BY JACOB WENTZ Multiple pans, pots, spatulas and spoons had disappeared from their cabinet drawer homes in Pei Third Court lounge. The discovery disappointed many Third Court residents, as the utensils were purchased with money from community donations. Although many of the items were recently returned, the principle behind the long and inconsistent absences evoked questions about community standards. “I have no problem with people’s affinity for our kitchen because it was a space made to be used, but when people don’t respect property that we invested money into, and ruin the communal value of a shared kitchen by taking items for themselves, it off-sets the whole goal of a communal space,” firstyear student Ormond Derrick said. Third Court lounge is a vital hangout spot for first-year students and many aspire to keep it tidy and open to the community. “I love Third Court kitchen! I am in there all the time. I love to cook for myself and others. I think community meals and sharing of food is a really important time to bond and get to know one another,” first-year student Amaranth Sander wrote in an e-mail interview. In order to strengthen the community and its values, firstyear students McKenzie Cameron, Ormond Derrick and Amaranth Sander came together to organize funds for communal utensils. In addition to contributing much of their own money, the three put out a donation jar for additional resident contribution. “We bought a few pots, a frying pan, spoons, forks, knives, a ladle, some green plastic cups, white plastic cups,

a set of dishes that included 4 large plates, 4 small plates, and 4 bowls,” Sander wrote. During the establishment of quiet hours and general community rules, “Don’t be that asshole” was a guideline agreed upon by Third Court residents during orientation week. “I saw that Ormond made a post on the forum about [the theft] and I got really pissed off because he was telling me earlier in the school year how he and other people got some money together and bought these with their own money. So it’s just very frustrating,” thesis student and Senior Residential Advisor (RA) Hannah Coker said. “It would be ideal if people respected these sorts of things, but when you have 900 people on a campus, you’re not going to have everyone who’s willing to follow the rules. It made me really angry, honestly.” However, this is certainly not the first time that Pei lounges are center of campus scandal. In 2012, during a Palm Court Party (PCP) weekend, several acts of vandalism occurred in both Second and Third Court lounges. The most notable incident involved the discharging of three fire extinguishers, each of which costed the school nearly $100 to replace. Third Court lounge also experienced multiple deteriorations in 2015. In addition to large paint chips, holes and drawings on the wall, the fridge was heavily damaged and the stove and oven were left unusable due to two small fires. Second Court lounge was also vandalized in 2015 by graffiti, acts of arson and punched holes in walls. “For the most part we’ve been pretty good [this year]. I’m actually very happy with how most people have been

interacting. When we find people who aren’t necessarily respecting the people around them in their community, usually after we talk to them about it we don’t run into any problems,” Coker said. “You’ll always have a few issues, but I try to focus on the positive and I really think that the overwhelming majority is respectful of this.” The Third Court theft that occurred last week differs from the past incidents of vandalism, as the stolen utensils were paid for by Third Court residents.

The incidents that occurred in the past few years affected property directly owned by the school. As a result, all of the residents in the community had to pay a fee of $3.00: “Typically when vandalism occurs housing will send out an announcement to the impacted community. If the person(s) responsible come forward we then ask them to make restitution. If this does not occur then we would

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Jacob Wentz/Catalyst

(above) The kitchen cabinet, once occupied by communal utensils, is empty. (below) First-year students Cameron, Derrick and Sander put out a community donation jar in order to raise funds for pots, pans and other communal dishes.

Master’s in Data Science welcomes second cohort: A timeline of New College’s first graduate program BY CAITLYN RALPH New College is no longer solely an undergraduate institution. As the accredited Master’s in Data Science program welcomes its second cohort, campus is now home to undergraduate and graduate students alike. How it began Around three years ago, it was suggested to Professor of Mathematics Patrick McDonald that New College should do data science — something no one else in Florida was doing thoroughly at the moment. With a background in mathematics, McDonald was hesitant about the suggestion. That hesitation changed the next day when someone in Tallahassee called President Donal O’Shea with similar advice. Realizing this was more than a coincidence, O’Shea asked McDonald to write a description for an undergraduate data science program, which eventually, after much talk, evolved into a graduate program.

“Eventually, we asked for money for a Master’s program, and we got it,” McDonald said. “That was an additional $750,000 per year—to the base budget—plus start-up costs for hardware and other things you need to run a data science program.” The Florida State legislature provided funding for the Master’s in Data Science, which goes directly the School’s budget. Undergraduate impact “That’s a decent chunk of change,” McDonald said about the funding. “It came earmarked with certain constraints. We said we were going to spend the money to hire faculty, and we were very explicit and clear that the faculty would spend half of their time teaching in the graduate program and half of their time teaching in the undergraduate program.” “The idea was always that data science would somehow be directed at least as much towards the undergraduate program as the graduate program,”

McDonald continued. In fact, McDonald stated that there would not be a computer science undergraduate degree without the data science graduate degree’s funding. “I’ve been here 22 years, and since my very first days on campus, I’ve been saying, ‘you know, you really need someone to develop computer science.’ You can have all the correct ideas in the world, but none of them are worth anything until you have money to implement them,” McDonald said. “Data science gives New College a chance to have a serious computer science offering, and that’s exactly what it’s got, and it’s got it because of that money,” McDonald concludes. Program development “Then we actually had to put together a program,” McDonald said. “[Professor of Computer Science David] Gillman had a lot of great ideas.” Gillman and McDonald traveled and talked to people in data science, including some at Google and Amazon,

asking what they were looking for when hiring those with education beyond an undergraduate degree—but without a PhD. “We built a spreadsheet, essentially, a histogram—trying to figure out what was important to different players in the data science sector. From that, we pounded out a curriculum program and a market niche,” McDonald explained. According to the college’s website, the Master’s in Data Science is “rigorous, practical, and focused on preparing recent college graduates for work in data analysis for research and industry.” Second-cohort data science student and alum Charlie Edelson ‘12 will be the first person at New College for six consecutive years. “It’s a cohort-based system, which means you enter with your group of buddies, and you all do the same classes in the same order,” Edelson explained. “You don’t move on until the next class

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Send in the drones? Recently released documents reveal how drone targets are chosen BY DYLAN PRIOR A document recently released by the Obama administration finally reveals how potential drone targets are chosen. The release is a result of a recent Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and is also part of recent attempts by the Obama administration to be more transparent to the public. “In situations of war, we have to take responsibility when we’re not acting appropriately, or where we just made mistakes even with the best of intentions, and that’s what we’re going to continue to try to do,” President Barack Obama said in a recent speech defending the ISIS drone strikes. “And what I can say with great confidence is that our operating procedures are as rigorous as they have ever been.” As first reported by CNN, the President Policy Guidance (PPG) document states counterterrorism operations, including lethal action, “shall be discriminating and precise as reasonably possible” and states that

direct action against priority targets “will be taken only when there is near certainty that the individual being targeted is, in fact, the lawful target and located at the place where the action will occur.” Before approval, a potential strike is subject to legal review by the agency in charge, and then is presented to the members of the National Security Council before review by the president. The factors that must be presented and scrutinized by this process include the goal and duration of the strike, as well as the legal basis and assets that will be used. If there is unanimous agreement by the Security Council, the leading agency can approve the strike themselves, however the president must be informed. There must also be an annual review of individuals whom the government has authorized for potential action, and the US Justice Department must conduct an in-depth analysis to ensure the action is legal and constitutional. Information for this article was taken from

OSIRIS – REx probe to search for signs of life on Asteroid Bennu BY KELLY WILSON Despite the closure of the space shuttle program, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) continues their search for life in other parts of the solar system with the launch of the Atlas 5 rocket and its cargo last week. On Sept. 8, NASA launched the Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) probe atop an Atlas V rocket as part of their Atlantis program and part of a seven-year mission to search for signs of life. “What they are looking for is precursors to life. Sort of organic molecules that could get to be part of microbe or cell formation at the very earliest stages of life. It would be mostly interesting organic compounds that formed early in the solar system that could have seeded the earth. That’s what they’re looking for in the area of life,” Physics and Astronomy Professor


WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2016 | @ncfcatalyst

George Ruppeiner explained. “Asteroids are sort of an idea for finding old material that formed roughly where the Earth’s orbit is or where Mars’ orbit is. So if they sample the material on this asteroid they’ll get some idea of what the solar system formed from long, long ago,” Ruppeiner continued. NASA expects that the asteroid will swing by the earth on Sept. 22, 2017 and use Earth’s gravitational pull as a sort of slingshot towards its destination. It should reach the asteroid Bennu in August 2018 where it will stay for three years hovering above the surface and collecting data about the asteroid. It will also help determine Bennu’s trajectory and make sure it will not collide with the earth between 2175 and 2199. The probe is predicted to take a sample from Bennu in July 2022, after much practice, and return to earth in September 2023.

The Activist Newsletter Katelyn Grimmett/Catalyst

This week (9/21 – 9/29), activists have the opportunity to attend club meetings, foodsharing events, film screenings, local government meetings, and educational summits. Read on if you want to get involved in the community regarding preventing sexual violence, racial issues, food insecurity, environmental issues and political involvement.

BY ANYA MARÍA CONTRERAS-GARCÍA Wednesday, Sept. 21 InterACT Open House @ 7 p.m. New College of Florida Gender and Diversity Center NCF InterACT is a Bystander Intervention educational program designed by New College of Florida students. The group seeks to educate the student body on what Bystander Intervention is, its importance both on and off campus, and how everyone can work to be a better bystander. For more information, check out sites.ncf. edu/interact/ or e-mail the SHARE Resource Center at SHARECenter@ Saturday, Sept. 24 Books & Breakfast: Black and Indigenous Solidarity @ 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Child’s Park Recreation 4301 13th Ave. S. St. Petersburg, FL 33711 Books and Breakfast’s mission is to provide informative literature in an effort to increase social and political awareness needed to combat local issues while providing free books and healthy breakfast to the community. This month’s topic is black and indigenous solidarity regarding intertwined struggles against colonial and imperial power. All ages are welcome. For more information, check out the event page on Facebook and “like” Bay Area Dream Defenders. Saturday, Sept. 24 National Feed the Hungry Event: Tampa @ 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. New Tampa Masjid Mosque 15830 Morris Bridge Rd Tampa, FL 33592 A group of volunteers will be making 1,000 lunches for homeless shelters in Tampa. This event is an opportunity to get the community involved to feed the hungry and less fortunate in the area. To volunteer, RSVP and contact team leader Hala

Alkattan on Facebook. For more information, check out the event page on Facebook. Tuesday, Sept. 27 All Faiths Food Bank 2016 Child Hunger Summit @ 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. Sarasota Municipal Auditorium 801 N Tamiami Trail Sarasota, FL 34236 Gain new insight on child hunger screening and improved responses to food security, child obesity, undernutrition and other diet related health conditions. Breakfast will be provided. Students have a $10 registration fee. For more information on CEO volunteer/ community engagement events, contact For more information about the Child Hunger Summit, contact Jenna Jones at or call 941-549-8127. Thursday, Sept. 29 Manatee County Board of Commissioners Meeting @ 9 a.m. Commission Chambers 1112 Manatee Avenue West Bradenton, FL 34205 The Manatee County Board of Commissioners is considering a request to rezone 3,595 acres from agriculture to phosphate mining. If approved this would allow the expansion of a phosphate mine in the Peace River watershed, likely damaging 649 acres of wetland habitat. NCF’s Council of Green Affairs (CGA) will be in attendance to let commissioners know that they care about our environment and do not support the rezoning request. To RSVP or if you have questions, contact the Center of Biological Diversity’s Florida director Jaclyn Lopez at For information about carpooling to the event, e-mail CGA President Orion Morton at



WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2016 | @ncfcatalyst


Human trafficking concerns surround campus BY MAGDALENE TAYLOR A report from the Polaris Project - a group working to eradicate modern slavery - reports that there have been 1,434 cases of human trafficking in hotels and motels since 2007. These account for the second largest venue of human trafficking, with commercial front brothels being the first. The National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) states that there have been 265 identified human trafficking cases this year in Florida alone. In Florida, hotel and motel-based sex-trafficking serves as the highest proportion of human trafficking in the state. The Department of Justice furthermore identifies South Florida as the third busiest region for sex trafficking in the United States. Consider these statistics, and consider the area around campus on US41: a large stretch of secondary highway surrounded by inconspicuous motels, lacking tourism since the opening of I-75 and the rise of luxury resorts further into Sarasota. The area, like many parts of Florida, fits a

description of conditions amenable to human trafficking. Students have heard first-hand accounts of human trafficking in the area, too, posting warnings on the forum to avoid walking Tamiami Trail alone, especially at night. These concerns have made their way to Campus Police, who sent an email to the New College community with “safety tips for walking at night” on 41. The email states that local law enforcement are aware of the issue and are currently investigating. In June of this year, a 22-yearold man named Ronald McBride was found guilty of six charges of a violent and sexual nature, including human trafficking. This is the first local case where a suspect has been found guilty of human trafficking, according to the Bradenton Herald. McBride is due to be sentenced later this month. His original arrest occurred at the 3300 block of North Tamiami Trail in December 2015. This is about two miles from campus, near the Walmart Neighborhood Market and Memories Lounge. A woman who was present for his arrest stated that she had been

beaten by McBride for not giving him money, which she was to have obtained from prostitution. “I have to give all the money I make to McBride because he says he owns me,” the victim told police, according to the Bradenton Herald. Though this was the first human trafficking charge in the area, there have been numerous arrests made for prostitution. The majority of the arrests are of those soliciting prostitution. The Sarasota County Police routinely perform undercover sting operations to arrest men soliciting prostitution. While students are concerned for their safety, it is frequently more vulnerable populations like runaway and homeless youth that are at risk for being trafficked. New College Police Department (NCPD) Chief Michael Kessie spearheaded the email sent to campus about how to be safe walking on 41. According to Kessie, the initiative was taken after third-year and New College Police Liaison Dominic Theofan informed him of concerns over human trafficking being expressed over the

forum. Kessie has been in communication with the Sarasota Police Department, who are currently undergoing multiple investigations for human trafficking and prostitution in the area. According to Kessie, the NCPD maintain some observance of the areas surrounding campus, including the Shell station. The NCPD is familiar with some individuals working in prostitution, and offers assistance in giving individuals looking to no longer pursue prostitution alongside the Selah Foundation in a local program called “Turn Your Life Around,” or TYLA. However, Kessie is quick to note that trafficking and prostitution are two different crimes, with the latter being seemingly more prevalent in the area. “My big thing is the students going to Shell…the difference between someone saying ‘how about $50 for this’ and being forced into a van, that’s where my concern comes in. We haven’t had that happen, we’ve had some girls be approached,” Kessie said, urging students to go out in pairs and take advantage of the police escort service.

Lock it or lose it: New College bike theft begins again Bikes reported stolen by New College students


20 Number of Bikes Stolen

In the 2016 calendar year up until September there have been ten bike thefts on the New College campus. This is in comparison to 22 bike thefts in 2015. In the 2016-2017 school year yet, students and campus police are making efforts to stop that number from growing. “Make your property, whether it’s your bike, or anything, make yours more undesirable to take, or more difficult to take,” Interterm Lieutenant Chris Rivett of the Campus Police for New College and USF Sarasota-Manatee said. “That being said, if you have a car, and you have stuff in the car keep it locked, if your car door is locked and the other person’s isn’t and someone does come on campus that we [New College and USF police] don’t identify right away as being a suspicious person, and they’re gonna’ go through vehicles obviously they’re going to go for the unlocked vehicles first. It doesn’t make any noise it’s easy to get in and out of, it doesn’t draw as much attention.” “But with bikes, you have to use a lock that’s always better,” Rivett continued. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Uniform Crime Reporting Database (UCR) larceny theft, which includes bike and laptop theft are is among the most common crimes reported on college campuses. While New College does not seem to have a problem with laptop theft, there seems to be a trend among bike thefts - despite the fact that New College is a relatively safe campus, with a high ratio of police to students. The feeling of relative safety here has led some students to feel safe letting others use their property and not worrying about it.


15 10





5 0






2016 (Jan 1st though Sept 13)

Calendar Year courtesy of the Campus Police Department

The above graph shows the number of bikes stolen on campus each year since 2012.

“We all know each other and trust each other so I, along with everyone else who shares the lounge, have always just parked our bikes, unlocked, inside of our lounge. Later when I walked into my lounge, my bike wasn’t there. Sometimes a friend borrows my bike so I just didn’t think too much of it and drove to Caples … Later that same night I started asking around about the location of my bike. The friends who I thought might have borrowed it did not borrow it,” second-year Jason D’Amours said in an email interview. “I completely dismissed the idea that it might’ve been stolen straight out of our fairly private lounge. I couldn’t even fathom the idea that another New College student would steal my bike. It was really concerning for a bit to think that that might’ve been the case. I thought that we all respect each other here, and also it would be a pretty stupid idea to steal another student’s bike. We go to a small school. Someone

would spot it eventually.” “I ended up finding it. A friend borrowed it thinking it was another friend’s bike. My bike spent the night locked up behind BON House that night, I guess.” D’Amours continued. “Sometimes a bike is borrowed by a student, and it ends up getting borrowed and they forget that they even loaned it out, or it gets moved from place to place because they’re not locked up. That happens but it’s very rare,” Police Chief Kessie said. But, that is not always the case, such as that of Catalyst Staff Writer, and thesis student Katelyn “Kat” Grimmett. “At least for me, this campus feels really safe compared to where I come from at least, so I think I got a little too comfy and lost my instincts, my protective instincts, but never lose those, always lock your bike. That’s what I have to say,” Grimmett said. While New College - according to

the UCR - has a larger percentage of police per student than most other state schools, which can help contribute to this feeling of safety that some students feel, they can’t be on top of every theft. So, despite feeling safe, students should remain vigilant and careful with their property in the face of unpredictable outside forces that are likely to burst the safety bubble that New College students have created and remember to take precautions to protect their property. “See, I’m not even so much mad at the situation as I am mad at myself because I left it right in front of my room on the first floor of Dort, unprotected, and unloved and that’s why it happened, really,” Grimmett said. In an attempt to solve this problem, the New College Student Alliance (NCSA) provides locks for students though a bike lock program where the NCSA administrator Dawnn Shongood will buy locks which will be distributed by the New College Police for free to students to be turned in at the end of the year. These are quality locks that often have to be cut off by Physical Plant in the event of a lost key or other circumstances in which the lock would need to be removed. “They’re tough to get off, we sometimes have to cut locks off the bikes, a student will say, ‘Oh I lost my key, or I can’t get it off ’ well, physical plant won’t do it without us being there, or okaying it but once we do it, then they’ll cut the lock off.” Chief of Police Kessie said. “The regular, the old fashion chain locks, that are just like links we’ve had people come up here, and the ones with the small cables, we’ve had people before, what we’ve seen on video where

continued on p. 10

uncovering BY GIULIA HEYWARD “I’m trying to remember how I got access, I’m not much of a rule breaker so there weren’t any broken locks,” alum Monica Lewman (‘87) said. “I believe the access that I gained was authorized [...] I went down just because I was curious, it wasn’t because I was up to no good, I just wanted to see what was down there. We [Lewman and another summer work crew member] went far enough back that we were losing sunlight. We went down during the day, we had no flashlights and I was not a 100 percent sure why I was there. He [the other summer work crew member] might have been working on pipes, I really don’t know. I do know that it was very apparent that people had been there.” In the summer of 1989, Lewman spent the months between her second and third year at New College as part of the summer work crew on campus. The then second-year student recollected spending one afternoon in the tunnel system located underneath the Pei residential buildings, this would be her first and only descent into what is now commonly referred to as the Pei tunnels. According to Associate Director of Facilities Management Alan Dawson, in architect Ieoh Ming (I.M.) Pei’s designs for the dormitories, he included the tunnel system underneath the residential buildings that would later be named after him. Waste from the bathrooms in Pei, including sewage and water that is drained from the bathtubs and showers, as well as electricity and the condensation from the air conditioning, go through the pipes located in the tunnels. Dawson also describes the tunnels as being about four feet tall and six feet wide with at least two or three inches of water due

The Pei Tunnels

Giulia Heyward/Catalyst An entrance to the tunnels to the ground water rising up to the surface. There are two entrances to the Pei tunnels located in each court, with padlocks making entering the tunnels seemingly impossible. According to several alums, throughout the school’s history, students would find either unlocked padlocks, or figure out a way to unlock the padlocks themselves, and explore the Pei tunnels. “It might be worth mentioning that after one excursion down there, the lock was either left off or else left hanging open (subtly, as if it might have been locked but wasn’t) for the better part of a semester,” alum Grant Balfour (‘86) said in an email interview. “I think someone in authority didn’t mind us going down there as long as we didn’t hurt ourselves or mess anything up. “It was dark, narrow, mysterious, and illuminating,” Balfour continued. “There was chalk down there, and people used it liberally, along with

sharpies and paint and whatever else they could. There were one-liners and names and strange sigils and drawings –- generations-worth of lore and marks, really. People leaving their marks.” At some point after Balfour’s time, the tunnels transformed from common knowledge to an urban myth about the school’s campus. The Pei tunnels were the subject of one chapter in alum Nirvan Mullick (‘93)’s thesis, entitled “Fish Eye Guy and Why the Trees Died” centered on New College folklore. Mullick’s thesis included an interview with Rick Doblin (‘83) during a Center of the Universe Party (COUP), then known as Palm Court Party (PCP), that took place in 1997 in which Doblin discussed lining the tunnels with hundreds of candles while telling stories to the younger students. The film, which is only available in VHS, can be accessed from the Jane Bancroft Cook Library. “I remember hoping that my film

might provide a mini-road map on how to find and access the tunnels for future students,” Mullik said in an email interview. “After I finished my film, we screened it in Palm Court during my graduation PCP. We didn’t tell anyone, but we again lined the tunnels with hundreds of candles, hoping that some of the people who watched the film would wander down there. Later that night, about 3 in the morning, I wandered into the tunnels and was super happy to find a group of folks sitting huddled in one of the far ends of the tunnel, sharing stories by candlelight.” Alum Kara Phelps (‘04) recalls the padlocks being unlocked during her first semester. She went in with one of her friends as well as her thenboyfriend. “There were papers on the walls referencing people and inside jokes from previous years, mostly from the early 2000s and most of whom we didn’t know,” Phelps said in an email interview. “‘We found a paper on the wall with a Xeroxed picture of the guy who went to New College and had sexual relations with a dolphin--he was kind of infamous at New College, and may still be.” Having graduated less than decade ago, Phelps was confident in the recreational nature of the tunnels. “I got the impression that people went down there fairly frequently,” Phelps added. According to Maintenance, however, there has been no recorded or known incident of any New College student having access to Pei’s tunnel system. “It seems like it’s kind of folklore,” Dawson said. “We’ve got no knowledge of any students ever being in. We’ve always had them locked since I’ve been here and it appears

photos courtesy of Patrick Dees (left to right) Alum Dees poses underneath his signature in the tunnels. Dees is photographed drawing artwork on the walls of the tunnels. A group of students make their way into the Pei Tunnels.

that they’ve always had locks on them forever. There’s always been stories circulating about the artwork that’s down there and stuff.” Typically, Maintenance enters the entrances to the Pei tunnels once a month to check on the sewage. However, this can vary from the tunnels being frequented by maintenance several times a month to not at all for months at a time. “If you were to find a tunnel open, you could pop in there right away and sit. But you have to crawl all the way through the tunnels to go from anywhere to anywhere,” Dawson said. “They don’t interconnect. So if you crawl all the way through and get to the back end, you’re gonna have to turn around and crawl all the way back to the front. So there’s no place where you could get into it and find an opening where it’s tall and there’s lights and you can do art or anything.” Dawson has been working with the tunnel system since he began working at the school in Aug. 2012. “They’re really cool in terms of being able to see the different graffiti, art and tags people have left down

there,” alum Taylor Rothenberg (‘10) said in an email interview. “The one tunnel in Second Court also has a ton of newspaper articles posted to the walls at one end of it. [...] I particularly remember an article about the incident that gave the [Devil Chair] its name that was pasted up on one of the walls, which was cool to get a journalistic telling of that story versus the different stories I had heard from other students and alums. That tunnel also has the most graffiti in it of any of the four I went in. The other five are much less ‘explored’. “It’s funny, too, because they’re so dusty in there that it was obvious when you’d come out that you had been in one of them because you’d have dust all over your pants from crawling around. My goal was to get into all six and I’m a little disappointed that I wasn’t able to, that was partly due to the fencing they started having built around the entrances to them, probably from fear of a liability lawsuit,” Rothenberg added.

To see the full version of this article, go to

courtesy of Patrick Dees A map of the Second Court Tunnels drawn by alum Patrick Dees (‘05)

photos courtesy of Taylor Rothenberg (top) a mural found on one wall of the Pei Tunnels. (middle) Alum Rothenberg’s personal addition to the tunnels. (bottom) Among other things, art on the tunnel walls intends to “Keep New College Trippy.”

Giulia Heyward/Catalyst (above) A scan of illustrations found in a copy of Mullicks’ thesis on New College folklore. (right) Maintenance workers must enter the Pei tunnels with steel-toed, water-resistant boots due to several inches of water that rises from the ground.

Giulia Heyward/Catalyst


WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2016 | @ncfcatalyst



A new year for New Radio New College BY CASSIE MANZ New Radio New College is the university’s “hidden secret,” according to third-year Rebecca “Becca” Caccavo. On any given Saturday night, between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m., students can tune in to 96.5 WSLR to hear the voices of their peers traveling over the radio waves from Downtown Sarasota. One can never be sure what music to expect and might even hear a pizza being ordered on-air for a late night snack at the station. Alums Kay Saffe (‘12) and Zane Plattor (‘12), who both graduated this past May, did an Independent Study Project (ISP) together in their first year on the history of radio at New College. In 2000, the New College Student Alliance (NCSA) applied for the license to the low power frequency 96.5. Three years later the NCSA negotiated a settlement agreement with David Beaton, who, at the time, was acting on behalf of the Gulf Coast Sanctuary. He is the current station manager at WSLR. They agreed that Gulf Coast Sanctuary would withdraw their application from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), thus allowing the NCSA application to succeed, in exchange for the creation of a governing board that would consist of community members and student representatives from New College. In 2009 the student body voted to transfer the station license to WSLR, Inc.. WSLR and New College agreed to a contract that allows the continuation of student representatives on the WSLR board and on the programming committee. The contract also stipulates that the station continue to offer and provide student internships and that the station remain in geographical proximity to New College. The FCC approved the license transfer in Feb. 2011. New Radio New College, a show on WSLR, first went on air in May 2013, created by Saffe and Plattor. Caccavo has been involved in New

Diversity CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 specifically tailored for students of color to deal with mental health issues unique to their experiences, such as coping with micro-aggressions, feeling alienated by a lack of community or dealing with the grief of police brutality incidents. Dedicated safe spaces can help marginalized students feel more sense of community and belonging. “Students of color and other students of marginalized identities need to have space to assert their identities,” Iton said. “That’s how schools end up keeping this diversity element that they chase so much to look good.” “I know in other liberal arts colleges you have dorms specifically for students of color or students from a certain area of the world,” said Al-Fatafta. “I think this started happening on campus because now we have our first LGBTQ+ dorm, which is awesome, but I think

photo courtesy of Stefan Drakulich

Kay Saffe, Zane Plattor, Becca Caccavo, Abigail DeGregorio, Paola Baez-Perez, and Lewis Lee, students of New Radio New College, hang out at the Sarasota Bay.

Radio New College since her first year and is one of the main programmers. She credits her interest in radio and music to her dad who is an audio engineer. “I like creating a playlist that waxes and wanes between different genres in a really cohesive way,” Caccavo said. “I like to do indie rock that goes into really awesome hip-hop that goes into...R&B.” Being involved in New Radio New College has provided Caccavo an outlet to express herself. “It’s great to have a creative resource where I can just talk into the void,” she said. Caccavo added that the radio has given her “a confidence in speech, in action and in art.” She sees the radio as a platform for new viewpoints and different ideas. “Being able to have conversations from our particular college student point of view on the radio is really important, really needed, and really empowering,”

Caccavo said. “These airwaves can reach people to get them to think about things that they otherwise would not think about it. They just would flip a switch and hear us talking about concepts that they did not otherwise know.” She added that WSLR is “a lot of old liberal white people” and that there needs to be more diversity. She believes that New Radio New College provides good youth representation but that there needs to be more voices of people of color. “Those are the voices that are missing at WSLR.” Baslaw is a programmer for New Radio New College and is the NCSA Radio Representative. He tries to make sure his show is “good, chill ass music.” He enjoys working at the radio station because it is a communitybased, grassroots radio that is run by volunteers. Dave Beaton, the station manager, is the only employee on the payroll. Second-year Paolo Baez-Perez,

people would be more hesitant if we started a student of color dorm.” Students of color and of other marginalized identities can turn to the Council of Diversity and Inclusion (CDI), an organization of student representatives that mediate conversations regarding diversity and inclusion between the student body and administration, regarding issues they face on campus. “For marginalized students, it’s hard to find ways to navigate their experience here,” said Al-Fatafta. “A lot of problematic things happen regularly at New College. I feel the CDI is a good place for those things to become public and catalysts for social change on campus.” Other than the CDI, student-run initiatives such as the Black History Month Planning Committee, the Black Student Union, and Latinx Club all aim to help racial and ethnic minority students feel more comfortable on campus. “More than just saying I hope New

College gets a more diverse student body, I hope more students from diverse identities at New College can have a positive experience,” said Iton. “More diverse bodies doesn’t equal more diversity so long as the courses you are offering are strictly Eurocentric, so long as you don’t have an Africana Studies department, a Middle Eastern Studies department, a Latin American Studies department,” said Al-Fatafta. “So long as this diversity isn’t institutionalized, it doesn’t mean this campus is more diverse. Yes, we’re attracting more students of color, but one, do they stay? Two, are they satisfied by their experience? Three, do we provide the support for these students to have a transformative experience at New College?” Despite the challenges, increasing diversity on campus is a worthwhile goal for a liberal arts institution whose philosophy is to expose its students to a broad range of knowledge. “There are benefits to having a more diverse campus because the student population

co-host of the Florida Caribe Show on WSLR, said it is clear at WSLR that everyone is there because they want to be there, and that that can be heard in their programs. “A certain quality disintegrates when people get paid,” Baslaw added. Baslaw and Caccavo want to encourage students to get more involved at WSLR. “The one bad feeling that I get about it [WSLR] is there’s not enough of [New College] in there,” Baslaw continued. “The reason why I can even say that is because WSLR wouldn’t be anything without New College...The radio has this little bit of New College just like Harry Potter has a little bit of Voldemort in him. But we need to get more of the Voldemort out there, I guess.” Caccavo mentioned that more interest and participation by students means more time slots for New Radio New College. Caccavo would ideally like to have three different time slots a week. Before that happens both Baslaw and Caccavo would also like a different time slot than the one New Radio New College has now, since 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. doesn’t necessarily guarantee the most listeners. “I feel like right now...WSLR affiliation with New College isn’t really too established and there isn’t much of a following but I just have this little intuition if there was a following then damn, will it ever be a following,” Baslaw said. The best way to get involved with New Radio New College is to email Baslaw at noah.baslaw15@ncf. edu or Caccavo at rebecca.caccavo14@ and to look out for Baslaw’s forum posts. Check out their Tumblr at and visit WSLR’s website to listen to live and archived shows! Information for this article was gathered from

is exposed to different mind-sets, different backgrounds, different perspectives,” said third-year student Paul Loriston, NCSA co-president and co-founder of the Black Student Union. “Increasing diversity can help the liberal arts tradition.” Although racial and ethnic minorities enrich college campuses, it is important not to tokenize students of color. “I think if campus engages with marginalized students in a way that improves their experience here, that’s good, but if we’re just bringing them for show and to put them on our website, that’s abusive,” Al-Fatafta said. “I see a lot of potential in [the 2016] class,” said Loriston. “I don’t know if the fact that [the 2016] class is the most diverse is a reflection of new policies that New College has been implementing. If that is the case, good job for New College. I see a lot of goodness coming out of it, and a lot of people to keep up the momentum that has been going on.”



WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2016 | @ncfcatalyst


New Director of First-Year Programs seeks to set first-years up for success BY DYLAN PRYOR The new year has brought many changes for administration, including a notably retooled and successful orientation headed by Student Affairs’ newest member. As the new director of first-year programs, Jess Maxon has made it her mission to make sure firstyear students get the most out of not just their first years, but their entire time here. During Maxon’s own time in undergrad at Juniata College she studied chemistry before going on to earn a graduate degree in nonprofit management, with a particular interest in student affairs. After school, she served with the public service group AmeriCorps, where she focused on youth in an underprivileged community and had a mentor who encouraged her to pursue her interest of working with undergraduate students. She went on to become a project manager for community engagement and social entrepreneurship, and later returned to Juniata to become the director of community service and eventually the director of student activities, before finally joining Student Affairs at New College. “I had my eye on New College for a while,” Maxon said. “New College is of particular interest to me because of its rankings in terms of four-year liberal arts public institutions, but also because of its interest in social justice, I felt like I could fit in here.” Maxon’s first experience on

Dylan Pryor/Catalyst

Director of first year programs Jess Maxon talks with second-year Orientation Leader James Nunez.

campus was on the Day of Dialogue, when she interviewed for her position. “[It] was a really great experience because it gave me the opportunity to just, really meet with students on your level,” Maxon said. “From that moment on I was hooked and anxiously awaiting a phone call, so now, here I am.” Maxon acknowledges the importance of learning about the viewpoints of students in regards to life on campus. “When students stop into my office and they talk to me, they are very real conversations, they are offering advice from the perspective of students, they are offering really good feedback to grow the program,” Maxon said. “You as students understand what you want and you need to succeed, and so when you stop in and you tell me those things,

that’s my favorite part of this job.” In terms of New College in general, Maxon praised the passion and empathy exhibited by the average student. She said she feels both “at home and comfortable” with the general community. Maxon also took time to share a few of her plans for the upcoming year, including an update of the school website for first-year programs, which will be a “comprehensive resource list.” Along with Special Projects Assistant Corey Culbertson, she will also be putting together the upcoming Family Weekend, where students will be able to invite their family members to experience the campus with them. She will also continue to work with Orientation Leaders and oversee orientation in the coming years.

She shares four main goals for these and other plans going forward. “I have learning objectives for the year, and that’s that first-year students feel more confident, they understand resources that are on campus and available to them, that they begin thinking about their career path and the path that they have for the rest of their life, and building resiliency through teamwork,” Maxon said. “Building community, building relationships, really making you, first-year students, the best that you can be.” Maxon went on to explain the importance of emphasizing these learning objectives for helping the firstyears make an easy transition to the next phase of their lives. “One of the things that I stressed to the Orientation Leaders was that when first-year students step on this campus, their identity has officially shifted from high-school student or high school graduate to college student,” Maxon said. “It is so important to provide the resources necessary to transition into that identity, but also to make sure that you’re successful with that identity, because in four years you’re going to be shifting to college graduate and I need to make sure that through firstyear programs that you had a successful transition when you came into college so that when you’re transitioning out of college, you’re successful…because that’s what student affairs is, setting you up for success.”

Shakira Refos: Sarasota mover and shaker BY JASMINE RESPESS After an exciting and productive meeting of the Black Lives Matter chapter of Sarasota, Shakira Refos sat down at Growler’s Pub. In between greeting almost everyone who walked through the door, Refos enjoyed a beer and answered a few questions for The Catalyst. The 32-year-old Netherlands native spent much of her childhood in Florida, and after returning to the Netherlands to attend University of Applied Sciences in Utrecht, she moved back to Sarasota. Refos is active in creating spaces for young people as well as working as a freelance artist, promoter and advocate for old school hip hop. After earning her teaching qualifications in the Netherlands, Refos returned to Florida to work with diversity efforts. She believed her efforts were much needed, since Sarasota is now predominantly a haven for elderly people. Growing up here, she knew that was not the only demographic and there needed to be places, activities and events for Sarasota residents that did not fit into the snowbird or retiree identities. “I help starting non-profits get started and find their audience,” Refos said. “I freelance a lot and I just promote a lot.” Refos could be defined as a renaissance woman for the millennium.

She does a lot of jobs and they all take a lot of energy. “I like to teach people things,” Refos said. “I like to talk.” Refos attended Booker High School for the performing arts, and there is a lingering theatrical nature to the way she talks. “I was able to be who I wanted to be,” Refos said. “[There] I discovered myself.” Since Refos has lived in Sarasota for many years, she came across New College students who shared her interests. Although she did not attend New College she has many memories with the school. “We used to crash [New College] parties all the time,” Refos said. This familiarity with New College grew into other opportunities. “Being an activist, being interested in social justice, I came across graduates who decided to stick around New College,” Refos said. “People are here [at New College]. People are woke and they are willing to talk about [important] things.” Now, Refos works with social justice groups on campus. “Right now I am involved with Black Lives Matter,” Refos said. “We have connected with the Black Student Union.” Refos expressed that she was glad the Black Lives meetings are being held on the New College campus.

“There is so much work to do,” Refos said. “The more people that are involved, the more hands that we have, and the more people we have interested and willing to try and effect change, the faster we will be able to do it.” The work is centered around providing information, education, and support to the black community in and around Sarasota. The projects in planning included summits, protest, farmers markets and fund raising. “This is about empowering the black community,” Refos said. “I want them to be able to use their voices and be proud of their voices.” Refos spends much of her time focused on issues such as police brutality, pay inequality, LGBTQIA rights and is a leader in the Sarasota Black Lives Matter chapter of Sarasota, but she also has fun. Refos host a throwback hip-hop night every Thursday and the Starlite Room in

courtesy of Refos

Downtown Sarasota. She believes that providing positive outlets for Sarasota youth includes social justice work as well as outlets for enjoyment. She has also been an emceeing for five years and has worked with the Harvey Milk Festival. “It is my favorite event in town,” Refos said. A gay, hip-hop loving black woman may not be the first identity that would come to mind when thinking of Sarasota leaders, but that is exactly what Refos is.


WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2016 | @ncfcatalyst



Songs you should hear Party edition

Wall Previews

photo courtesy of Riley Lewis

BY MAGDALENE TAYLOR Friday, September 23rd: Throwback Wall Pt. 2: Redemption This Wall is being thrown by thirdyears Lorraine Cruz, Zach David and Giulia Heyward. David said in an interview via email that “Throwback Wall is a nod to the music we got down to at every middle school dance. We’ll be playing every throwback that’ll make you just as embarrassed as you are excited to dance to.” This wall is the second version of Throwback Wall, the first of which occurred last year. This year, there will be pizza at the beginning. “Come out this friday to nostalgically dance and sing along to all the 2000’s music you’re embarrassed you listened to,” said David. Saturday, September 24th: VisuaWall The basic premise of this wall, which will begin at 10pm in Palm Court on Saturday, is that videos and lights will be synced to music. Second-years Carly Richardson and Bryce Gall are sponsoring. Gall states that the goal of the Wall is to “overwhelm the senses.” “I want amazing videos, bright lights, loud music, crazy beats, and great drops. My partner and I also want to cover a wide range of music at the wall: so far we’ve got videos from Justin Bieber, Dillon Francis, G-Dragon, Gwen Stefani, but we’re still looking,” Gall said via email. “The main point is this: we want to make a space for people to step inside the music video, play around in it, then wake up the next morning and have a better appreciation for the artists (and for art). Also we want really cool lights.”

A lot happens in the music world between the Catalyst’s weekly production schedule. While Jasmine and Caitlyn would love to cover it all, they can’t – so, instead, we gave them a category and had them write up bite-sized blurbs on a handful songs from that category. Last week was study songs – this week is party songs – take a look at the results below.

BY Caitlyn Ralph and Jasmine Respess As a Saint Louisian, I’m dedicating all my song choices to Nelly. Let’s get this dude out of debt y’all. “Air Force One” -Nelly I love shoes, I love Nelly, and I love to party. It’s simple. “Grillz” - Nelly I taught my sister this song when she was 4. It was hilarious. So every time I hear it at a party I think of a baby raping “all those colors make you woozy in the head.”

night. This was one of the first r&b cross rap songs I listened to over and over; A formula that hasn’t gone away. Bonus points for having an amazing video. —JR “We Don’t Have To Dance” - Andy Black With a chorus that laments “we don’t have to talk—we don’t have to dance” and “we don’t have to make friends—it’s so nice to meet you— let’s never meet again,” Andy Black’s “We Don’t Have To Dance” is the antipartiers’ party anthem.—CR

“Dilemma” - Nelly ft Kelly Rowland Perfect song for the end of the

“Mr. Brightside” - The Killers However, there’s one song that will pull everyone on the dancefloor— and that’s the Killer’s classic, sing-along

Third Cour t

Bike theft



normally charge the entire community a set fee,” associate dean of Student Life Mark Stier said in an email. Though this consequence does not apply to the current situation, it’s important to note that there is a monetary loss behind this thievery. Rather than directly affecting the college, the current deficiency affects Third Court residents, both in disappointing those who are hungry and financially manipulating those who donated. “Please just return the items you took, and if you’re going to use our stuff in the future, use it in Third Court and then bring it back,” Derrick said. Whether the taking of communal utensils was simply individual greed or legitimate misunderstanding, students have a responsibility to respect the community that they are a part of. By taking items from Third Court lounge and not returning them in a timely manner, individuals are ruining other individuals’ values of community spaces.

what they have done is at for example the library, and we can see that what someone has done is had like a pair of cable cutters and just snapped it, and they’re in and out but those big locks that they have right now at the bike program are a lot more difficult, even when Physical Plant has to cut them off it takes him a little bit of time to get them off,” Interterm Lieutenant Rivett said. If a bike is stolen, a student can go to the Campus Police Department (Cop Shop) to report this robbery, and if the bike was registered, there is still a chance that it will be found. “When a bike is taken we take a report of course, hopefully the bike has been registered… we take a report, the report is submitted it goes into the system, we check our pawn database, we have a local pawn database, we check that several times, immediately after the theft within a week three months… etc,” Police Chief Kessie said. “Because what happens with these bikes is somebody either is riding it, or

Photo Feature: Free Dinner at Coffee Loft

anthem “Mr. Brightside.” As soon as the rushed, excited first lines erupt from frontman Brandon Flowers’ lips, the adrenaline pumps, the crowd jumps and the entire party turns into a scene from the extravagant, late-2000s “Mr. Brightside” video.—CR “Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time” - Panic! At The Disco Once everyone is actually on the dancefloor, let’s keep them there. How? Brendon Urie of course. Spin the “Rock Lobster”-inspired “Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time,” with its infectious “this night is heating up—raise hell and turn it up” chorus, and make sure the party’s energy seeps into the early hours of the morning.—CR

it’s sold to ten different people for drugs or for transportation before it ends up going to a pawn shop so the pawn shop might be six months from now so or a year so we constantly are checking. So we do a lot to try to get the bikes back. The pawn shop has to hold anything that’s pawned at least for thirty days so that gives us time within that thirty days, and we run the serial number at least three times within that thirty days,” Kessie continued. Students whose bikes have been stolen can also check the local Sarasota Craiglist for their bike - although it is unlikely that the bike will appear there or call around to local bike shops if they know the serial number of their stolen bike and ask if the bike has shown up in the shops for a repair. Even if the bike is not registered the police will still take a report and make efforts to find the bike, so if a bike is stolen, students should not be afraid to report their bike stolen and can contact the Cop Shop either through email at or phone, (941) 487-4210. Because, as Chief Kessie said, “Even one bike being stolen is too many.”

all photos Giulia Heyward/Catalyst

(left to right) New College students gather at a table for Coffee Loft’s free meal. Volunteers and staff served food. The meal included pasta, meatballs and salad. Third-year Andreina Carrasquero enjoys a free meal.

CATALYST Kratom CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 analgesic, or pain relieving, effects – accounted for 165,000 deaths from 1999 to 2014, with “at least half” of all opioid overdose deaths involving a prescription according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Opioid overdose deaths have quadrupled since 1999, with over 14,000 people dying from opioid overdoses involving prescription opioids in 2014 alone. But, while most tragic, death is only part of the grand scheme of things. Prescription opioid abuse is increasingly prevalent across the nation, with almost two million Americans either abusing or dependent on them in 2014. Every single day over 1,000 people are treated in emergency departments for misusing prescription opioids. In comparison with 660 calls to U.S. poison control centers over three years, analgesics – opioids and other painreducing medications – accounted for 133,864 calls in only 2014. Almost 12% (11.9%) of all calls for poison exposure from adults 20 years and older were related to analgesics, leading every other category for poison exposure calls from adults 20 years and older. One in every four people who receive prescription opioids long term for noncancer pain struggle with addiction. Which just happens to be one of the main purposes in using kratom – to wane off of prescription opioids, which many people become hopelessly dependent upon because of their real need for pain relief. Kratom acts as both a pain reliever and an addiction easer

Data Master’s CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3 until you finish the first class because everything builds upon on each other.” “The cohort system is so one, you always have the foundation to move on to the next class, and two, data science in the real world—no one does data science alone unless you’re privately wealthy and have too much time on your hands because it’s a team effort,” Edelson continued. “If you’re not willing to go head first back into it on day one, I would not recommend ending your thesis, graduating and coming straight back,” Edelson advised. “It is grad school. You have to know that if you’re going into the grad program you’re going to be in grad school, and a lot is expected of you.” Accreditation An application for accreditation was submitted to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) on Sept. 15, 2015 and was accepted on Dec. 7, 2015. While accreditation was granted, SACSCOC needed to confirm that the institutional capacity for the program was satisfactory and visited campus on Aug. 30, 2016. “They came to make sure that the college could actually support the graduate program that they accredited,”

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2016 | @ncfcatalyst



as it effects the same opioid receptors and provides comparable pain relief, all without many opiate-related side effects, such as the danger of easily reaching overdose levels, respiratory depression (which means slowed breathing that can result in dangerously low amounts of oxygen taken in), significant dependence and sedation. Medical need for pain relief is not going anywhere, with over 100 million people suffering from some form of chronic pain according to a report from the Institute of Medicine. That’s 31.35% of all 318.9 million Americans that suffer from pain and seek medicinal options for relief, costing around $600 billion a year in medical treatments and lost productivity. There is no shortage of medical conditions that cause chronic pain, many of which are caused simply by natural aging and wear-and-tear. “For my Endometriosis, I tried over the counter medicines such as Aleve, ibuprofen, and even and hospital grade anti-inflammatory drug called Toradol. I avoided prescription pain killers because I didn’t want to feel high, or not in control of myself. I still had work and school to attend,” fourthyear at University of South Florida (USF) Jacquelyn Pica said in an email interview with the Catalyst. “The over the counter medicines did nothing, and the Toradol helped a little bit but I was still in pain. I’ve heard from other women who also suffer from Endo that prescription pain killers don’t even help them either. I wasn’t going to take that chance and still not be relieved of my pain.” “I had surgery to burn off my Endometriosis in June. I was prescribed Vicodin for the pain, which was pretty

bad for the first few days. Taking Vicodin, I was so out of it and just tired all the time. I couldn’t really function; I’d just sleep, which I didn’t like. I stopped taking Vicodin after three or four days, and had my boyfriend get me kratom tea instead,” she continued. “The kratom tea helped even with my pain from surgery. Between taking ibuprofen around the clock and kratom tea in the morning, I didn’t even have to take painkillers for my surgical recovery anymore.” Pica began taking kratom for pain relief two to four days a week, not once experiencing any negative side effects. “Kratom makes me feel relaxed, without making my head feel foggy. Physically, any pain I have disappears; whether it be a headache, my back hurting, or pain from endometriosis or surgery. I can still go through my daily life after having kratom, which is something I can’t say for pain medication. Kratom doesn’t make me feel “high”; I still feel 100% like myself. Just a more relaxed, pain free version of myself,” Pica said. She became so enthusiastic about using kratom for her own pain that she recommended her mother take it for her back pain, caused by 30 years of hard work as a nurse. She had to take prescribed pain killers daily in order to keep going through her days without pain. Despite her initial doubtfulness in whether or not it would help, she quickly found kratom to be much more effective than she expected. “I remember the first time I brought her it; just a small 8 oz. tea, she looked at me like ‘yeah right, this won’t do anything,’” Pica explained. “After she drank it, she was so amazed she didn’t

even know what to do. On her rough days, kratom helps her function. She can get through a work day nearly pain free, which is saying a lot. Her mood also improves after working all day pain free. It’s pretty incredible.” “When she drinks kratom, she says it takes her pain away better than any prescribed drug she takes,” she continued. Due to Pica’s positive experiences with the plant, she was appalled to learn about the DEA’s intent to make it not only just a controlled substance, but a schedule one drug. “From what I’ve seen so far, the DEA doesn’t care about us,” Pica stated. “They don’t care that a retired military vet who protected our country relies on kratom every day to help control his anxiety and pain from whatever injuries he sustained in the war. They don’t care that a 21-year-old relied on kratom to get through her day, because she didn’t want painkillers to drain the life out of her. They don’t care that there are perfectly legally operating businesses who sell kratom tea, and that the people drinking it aren’t in any danger at all. They don’t care that caffeine and sugar are even more addicting than they believe kratom is.” “Their decision is a selfish one, and it’s not looking out for our best interest. If they want to protect us, let us take an herbal remedy instead of filling our bodies with narcotics and opioids that you make money off of. Let us have our plant. You can keep your drugs.” Information taken by the Federal Register, the Institute of Medicine, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

McDonald explained. The SACSCOC Site Visit Team delivered their final report at a Campus Exit Conference, held at Keating Center, on Sept. 1, 2016, in which they made one recommendation relating to assessment. That recommendation needs to be ameliorated by Feb. 7, 2017. McDonald listed many names who helped with the extensive accreditation project, such as Suzanne Janney, Nikita Bagley, Julie Morris and Glenn Cuomo. “We were an undergraduate-only institution, and to add a data science program means that we actually have to change the level of the school. It has to change from undergraduate-only to a graduate-granting institution,” McDonald said about accreditation. “It turns out that is a serious amount of work. It’s not just ‘let’s talk about data science’—it’s ‘let’s talk about lots of other things to support a graduate program in general.’” The students The graduate program’s inaugural class entered New College in Feb. 2016. Tuition and fees were waived for that entering cohort. Entering in Aug. 2016, the second class will pay tuition and fees set by the New College of Florida Board of Trustees. Seven students are in both the inaugural and second class. The program is capped at 15 students per year to emphasize small class sizes and close student-professor relationships,

two tenants that the college shares in its graduate and undergraduate programs. Edelson, who graduated from New College last year with a double degree in marine biology and physics, is enjoying the variety of backgrounds among the data science students. “Don’t let the lack of a computer science background dissuade you from participating,” Edleson said. “The majority of the students are math majors [previously].” The data science students can retrieve keys to work in Palmer E’s “whale room,” as they call it, which is an area on the first floor large enough for many students to collaborate in comfortably at once. “It creates a more distraction-free environment for us to work as a group,” Edelson explained. “It’s great to be able to have your own workspace, but walling off all by yourself is how you make your life very difficult in this program.” The faculty “We hired really, really good people the first year,” McDonald said. Before Fall 2015, four new professors were hired for the program. One of those professors, Simant Dube, unexpectedly resigned for personal reasons late this summer. “That was not easy,” McDonald said about needing to replace Dube. Dube’s absence left the Master’s in Data Science without one of its most quintessential components: a statistics instructor. The other professor in

statistics, Visiting Instructor Melissa Crow, is currently working in the undergraduate program. “In general, if you want to hire a statistician at a small liberal arts college— that is a many year process. And we’re getting a taste of that,” McDonald said. The program is currently searching for two new faculty members. Data science across the curriculum Workshops to introduce the interdisciplinary nature of data science and its impact in various disciplines across the curriculum were also planned. “There are still efforts to hire people with interests that are broad enough, so that interests outside of Natural Sciences are developed and get attention,” McDonald said. “We really wanted something that other undergraduate institutions don’t have and really won’t have for a while because it takes so much time to marshal that many resources,” McDonald said about the Master’s in Data Science. “We were figuring that we’d be able to build something that distinguishes us amongst our peers— even our aspirational peers—which is something that would be incredibly valuable.”


WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2016 | @ncfcatalyst



$30 tattoos and $10 piercings bring hundreds of students to BY AUDREY WARNE From noon to midnight on Sept. 18, the curb outside Z Edge was filled with individuals waiting to get pierced or tatted while they enjoyed the smell of Korean food from a local food truck and listened to the sound of EDM being blasted by a live DJ. Z-Edge tattoo and body piercing celebrated its 10 year anniversary by offering $10 piercings and $30 tattoos to the hundreds of students and Sarasota locals who showed up to their Siesta Drive location. By 11 on Sunday evening, the shop had performed 121 piercings and 87 tattoos. For those who couldn’t wait in front of the store all day, numbers were given out deli-style to keep the queue moving. For those who did choose to wait, Z-edge provided vouchers for anyone who was still waiting in front of the store when they stopped taking new customers at around 11 p.m. “The event coincides with Crea’s, the owner’s, birthday,” Brian Lee, a notary who was working the event, said. “We’ve processed a total of 538 people so far. We’ve done almost 150, and all the

people that haven’t been served at this point – if they are present at 11 – they will get an overflow appointment.” The event was intended serve as a sort of nightlife event for young people in the area, providing a safe and entertaining place for people to hang out while they waited. “Sarasota doesn’t have enough nightlife in general, and the event was actually permitted and everything through the county so we can play the music as loud as we want because we’re not right next to downtown,” Lee added. Along with entertainment, the event featured a medical bus offering free blood testing for a variety of blood-borne diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis C – an often overlooked risk of body modifications. “I was really pleased and impressed with the quality and experience of my industrial piercing,” third-year Mei-Jing Bernard said. “It was really impressive how well they handled the intense amount of people standing in line and I was really pleased that they did overflow appointments. Overall, strong sat.”

Audrey Warne/Catalyst

A Hedges community outreach van offered free Hepatitis C testing.

Audrey Warne/Catalyst

Outside the shop, hoopers danced to electronic music being played by a live-DJ.


Audrey Warne/Catalyst

Z-Edge offered $30 tattoos and $10 piercings to all who came to their anniversary event - which coincided with the owner’s birthday.

The event included a food truck offering Korean BBQ to the 500-something individuals who patiently waited outside of Z-Edge.

Audrey Warne/Catalyst

Prints featuring close-ups of intricate body modifications line the walls of Z-Edge.

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