Fall 2018 - Issue 4

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New College of Florida's student-run newspaper






Checking out the changes at the Jane Bancroft Cook Library BY IZAYA MILES Over the summer, a number of renovations were made to the Jane Bancroft Cook Library. These included the installation of a new cafe, a set of new furniture and the removal of nine public computers. The reactions from the student body were mixed. Some students would even go so far as to say that the changes to the library significantly degraded it. Chief among those is Library Representative and second-year Adam Johnson, who strongly denounced the new changes in an interview with the Catalyst on Sept. 12. But Johnson was not finished with just announcing his displeasure. He also filed a number of public works requests, via the Florida Sunshine Law, that yielded some surprising information. The cost of the library renovations was $379,701.80. Put into perspective, that’s roughly the same amount as the in-state tuition of 54 students. Specific items included

Image courtesy of the Jane Bancroft Cook Library Concept art of the library from a 2018 presentation.

two high-end coffee machines—costing over $10,000 together—and a furniture/bookshelf amalgam called “Arthur”—costing over $79,000 by

itself. These funds came from the alumni-backed New College Foundation. Some students believe that the money could have been better

spent elsewhere. According to a survey conducted by Johnson, while a large proportion of students are happy with the changes, there are a number of common concerns. The three most pressing were the removal of the nine public computers that once filled the tables (five of which have been reinstated), the perceived lack of quiet study spaces and a worry about how the decision was made seemingly unilaterally by the administration. “[The big issue is] the lack of student involvement,” Johnson said, expressing the frustration of many students. “That’s the principle behind it. This was a complete topdown decision.” However, despite the mixed response from students, the administration is overall happy with the decision. “A lot [of future renovations are]

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Students scramble to find funds to pay for study abroad after scholarships are retracted BY CAIT MATTHEWS

https://doc-0k-18-docs. googleusercontent.com/ docs/securesc/s7jurnmk912se8sp3mgg3hd8llrh0uos/obdpo7fpcdn719co01n4qb7

Students preparing to study abroad in the coming semesters were blindsided this fall by a change to the school’s study abroad funding policy: students are no longer able use their New College scholarships to offset study abroad costs. “They previously told me I could use my NCF scholarships and everything would be fine,” second-year Hailey McGleam, with an Area of Concentration (AOC) in Chinese Language and Culture and Environmental Studies, said. “Over the summer I planned everything out and paid my non-refundable $100 application fee. Then school started, and a month in I was told to meet with the Financial Aid Office. They told me that I couldn’t use any of

my scholarships at all. This is important because I am an [financially] independent student and don’t have someone who’s going to pay for my stuff.” The Financial Aid Office was unable to comment by the time this story went to print. “I wasn’t involved in the process and only found out about the changes that had been made over the summer after the semester began,” Assistant Director of Study Abroad and National Student Exchange (NSE) Coordinator Florence Zamsky said. “Study abroad is expensive and making less aid available to students is not helping. If anything, it’s even more important than before for students to plan early financially. So I recommend students come and talk to me during their first year be-

5 Encuentro

6 Roxanne Gay

cause it can be a challenge to make study abroad fit within your course of study, and it usually is also a challenge to be able to afford it.” According to the 2018-2019 Undergraduate General Catalog, all students with AOCs in International and Area Studies, Caribbean and Latin American Studies, East Asian Studies and European Studies are required to study abroad for a semester or summer. “A full semester is preferable,” reads the catalog. “In unusual circumstances, another significant multicultural experience may be substituted for this requirement upon approval of the International Studies Committee and the student’s own baccalaureate committee.” For all students with a slash or

6 Activist Newsletter

joint AOC in these fields, the catalog states study abroad is “highly recommended.” “My understanding is that for those students who pay tuition to New College to go off-campus, say with NSE in the United States or abroad, then the scholarship changes don’t affect them,” Zamsky said. “But if they’re paying tuition to another institution or a third-party provider, then their institutional aid is not available to them anymore.” With such immersive and expensive programs being required or strongly recommended for certain fields, and funding that was guaranteed being retroactively taken away, many students are unsure of how to

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8 MidAutumn Festival



WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2018 www.ncfcatalyst.com | @ncfcatalyst


briefs by Calvin Stumpfhauser

Proposed Regulation First bike shoppe show of the semester featured Amendments for Oct. 20 student musicians Throughout the many performances of the night—by Myles Optimystic, Nathan Burnaman, Chyol/ Mould, Mia Bury and the Myconauts, The Universal Veil and Autokania— onlookers were more than welcome to dance, “headbang” or simply rock out with friends. On a nearby fold-out table one could find chips, hummus and pico de gallo, which were provided at zero cost to guests and performers.

While standing near the road and basketball court, behind most of the people in attendance, someone spoke about this scenario they had thought of a few times, in which there were TV advertisements for “rock music” as a general idea. The event marked the first Bike Shoppe show to take place this semester, and provided listeners with nearly four hours of music.

Cait Matthews/Catalyst

Calvin Stumpfhauser/Catalyst

Myles Optimystic, Nathan Burnaman, Chyol/Mould, Mia Bury and the Myconauts, The Universal Veil and Autokania performed at the Bike Shoppe.

On Saturday, Oct. 20, the Board of Trustees (BOT) is scheduled to meet at 9 a.m. in Harry Sudakoff Conference Center. During this meeting, the board will consider adopting three proposed amendments to the following regulations: 2-1004, 2-1006 and 3-1010. The proposed amendments are, for the most part, small clarifications meant to put the college in compliance with the Board of Governors’ recent changes—although the update to Regulation 2-1006 consolidates both the Student Affairs and Athletics Committee (SAAC) and the External Affairs Committee. The SAAC currently has oversight of all athletic matters and non-academic student affairs: residential and social life, student government and organizations, conduct cases, extracurricular activities, food and health services, student-run publications and so on. The External Affairs Committee oversees public communications for the college, coordinating with the New College Foundation about the college’s development plans, alumni affairs and activities concerned with private donations and alumni contributions. If the amendment is successfully passed during the BOT meeting, a single entity will then handle the full extent of these responsibilities rebranded as The External Affairs /

Student Affairs Committee. In the official statement and summary for the amendment, the proposed consolidation of authority is described as an effort to “streamline our committee structure and bring our standing committees in line with the current administration of responsibility among the College leadership.” The e-mail sent out to students and faculty concerning the potential amendments mentions only those proposed for Regulation 2-1004 and Regulation 3-1010, both of which concern small details to put the college in compliance with statewide standards. Although it would appear more significant in scope than the other changes to be discussed, the proposed consolidation within Regulation 2-1006 was not acknowledged. Comments on the any of the amendments can be submitted up until Oct. 6 to David Fugett at dfugett@ncf.edu , and will be presented to the BOT. Comments can be made in person, as well, during the meeting scheduled for Oct. 20.

Any proposed regulations can be viewed on the New College website, at https://www.ncf.edu/ about/departments-and-offices/ office-of-the-general-counsel/policies-and-procedures/.

Selby Gardens receives NSF grant

The grant, awarded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), will contribute to a larger archival project that Selby Gardens is a part of, called the Endless Forms Thematic Collection Network. Alongside other universities, museums and botanical gardens throughout the United States, Selby Gardens will work to digitize the many thousands of plant specimens found in their collections. The network is a cooperative effort towards a massive digital herbarium, giving the public online access to collections that are otherwise difficult and costly to view, as they are only available to individuals that are able to visit in-person or who manage to get specimens shipped out to them on loan. The project has an overall goal of digitizing more than two million

specimens over a three year period. “We will be able to paint a much more complete picture of plant diversity and distribution,” Bruce Holst, the vice president of botany at Selby Gardens, said. “This project demonstrates the collaborative nature of our work. No one institution can do it all.” With these digital collections, one can quickly sift through large amounts of data and study changes across entire ecosystems. Digital collections provide researchers with information about individual specimens: scanned images, where and how they were collected, who collected them and when they did it. They also allow researchers to investigate how individual plants function and change over long periods of time within their shared

“The longer the jam sits in the fridge, the more it knows itself.” © 2018 the Catalyst. All rights reserved. The Catalyst is available online at www.ncfcatalyst.com, facebook.com/NCFcatalyst instagram.com/NCFcatalyst twitter.com/ncfcatalyst The Catalyst is an academic tutorial sponsored by Professor Maria D. Vesperi. 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.

environments. This is especially valuable for research into topics like climate change, as plants that were collected and preserved decades earlier—even a century earlier—can be compared more easily to recent specimens of the same species in the same environments: one might notice differences in flowering times, or that in 1910 a specific crop was often ready for harvest a month earlier than it is now. “Cataloging and digitizing the vast resources held by the world’s scientific institutions is key to our efforts in conserving plant species in their natural habitats,” Holst said. Selby Gardens is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Tickets are $20.

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

Audrey Warne Michala Head Cassie Manz Bailey Tietsworth Charlie Leavengood & Cait Matthews Eileen Calub, Alexandra Conte, Izaya Garrett Miles, Calvin Stumpfhauser

Courtesy of the University of Neuchatel Origanum Vulgare (Oregano) Direct submissions, letters, announcements and inquiries to: The Catalyst 5800 Bay Shore Road Sarasota, Florida 34243 ncfcatalyst@gmail.com 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, OCTOBER 4, 2018 www.ncfcatalyst.com | @ncfcatalyst


Changes made to SAP policy BY CASSIE MANZ Last spring, the Financial Aid Office received an update regarding changes to the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy and sent out an email regarding the changes on May 9, 2018. The email was then forwarded to the forum and received 26 replies from students worried about what this new policy would mean for their financial aid. “We got new guidance from the, we call them the Feds, the folks who are in charge of making sure that we know what to do in terms of federal aid, that students are to stay in the same SAP status for an entire semester,” Sonia Wu, associate dean of admissions and financial aid, said. Wu, who graduated from New College in 1985, has worked at New College for almost 30 years. SAP looks at a student’s cumulative record and a student’s ability to graduate within a maximum time frame with a certain standard of ac-

ademic performance, according to Wu. It does not allow a student to be in back-to-back semesters of not meeting the requirements and, most importantly, it affects a student’s ability to receive federal and New College financial aid. SAP has three requirements: academic standing consistent with NCF’s requirements for graduation, ability to graduate without exceeding 46.5 cumulative unit attempts and not needing to exceed 4 units per semester contract and satisfactory completion of at least two-thirds or 67 percent of all cumulative units attempted toward graduation requirements. If a students fails to meet any SAP requirement, financial aid is at risk of being terminated or, in some cases, restricted through Financial Aid Warning or Financial Aid Probation Status. This new policy that the office received, stating students must stay in the same SAP status for an entire semester, is a significant shift from policy in past years and impacts the

way New College usually handles incompletes. Receiving an incomplete in a class from a semester, and having extended time to finish one’s work, is relatively common at New College. In past years, when students had incomplete work from the semester, they have been allowed to finish the work after the semester ends but before the financial review period ends. After completing the work and notifying their professor and advisor and receiving evaluations, they have been able to notify the Financial Aid Office and the office has gone in and redesignated the contract as satisfactory, depending on the evaluations. This new policy changes that. Students can no longer go from unsatisfactory or incomplete SAP status to satisfactory SAP status. This essentially does away with having incompletes from the past semester and allowing the Financial Aid Office to do re-checks. According to Wu, “anything that is not satisfactory, whether its unsat or incomplete

or left and didn’t finish it [...] those are all things where essentially the financial aid SAP policy treats those as unsatisfactory attempts, not satisfactory attempts.” “Somebody would say, ‘Hey, my contract just went sat, will you go and recheck,’ and as long as we’re still on the same time period it was like, gladly, you know, if i can help somebody,” Wu said. “But we’re not allowed to do that anymore.” “It’s very important to comply with federal regulations,” Wu said. “Because we cannot endanger our ability to give students federal aid.” Although Wu calls this change in policy “disappointing,” she hopes there is a silver lining: that students will have less incomplete work carrying over to the next semester. She hopes it will turn into a sort of “training for the world beyond New College.” “It’s a big change but we hope that it will support students in getting their work done on time,” Wu said.

NCSA forced to make frugal financial choices BY BAILEY TIETSWORTH The New College Student Alliance (NCSA) started out the semester with significant financial concerns. With recently assessed administrative fees, which they had not paid previously, and a decrease in the projected student enrollment, the NCSA reconsidered how to best spend their budget for the 20182019 fiscal year. Since the previous administration sets the budgets for the following year the current cabinet members do not make any adjustments to specific budget lines. President Donal O’Shea approves the budget once it comes to him in the spring semester. Typically the actual dollar amount does not fluctuate much year to year. “This year they budgeted a total of $249,490.19. Last year was $250,822.44. It usually is [similar] each year,” Dawn Shongood, the coordinator for administrative services for student government and student affairs, explained. Shongood manages the budgets for revenue collected from the Activities and Services (A&S) Fee, the Green Fee and the Athletics Fee. Revenue from the A&S Fee funds the NCSA, the Student Allocations Committee (SAC) and the Council of Academic Affairs (CAA), revenue from the Green Fee goes to the Committee of Green Affairs (CGA) and revenue from the Athletics Fee goes to the Fitness Center. Every year in June, Shongood receives a number of projected billable credit hours from the Finance and Administration Office. She then bases the budgets she manages off of that estimate. “I take the billable credit hours that are given to me from the Finance Office and then I convert that into how many students that ac-

counts for me to base my budgets on,” Shongood stated. This June, she received a projected number of 28,000 billable credit hours. This equates to 700 students when Shongood estimates each student per year having 40 billable credit hours. Shongood included that in the past the Finance and Administration Office provided her with a higher number. Last year, she received an estimated 32,000 billable credit hours for around 800 students. While 28,000 billable credit hours, or 700 students, does not accurately reflect the current enrolled student population, the budgeting works with estimated numbers made before the academic year starts. “I like that [Kim Bendickson] gives me a low number, because if we get anything above that 28,000 billable hours then we’re doing good,” Shongood said, with a hint of optimism. With this projected number, Shongood advised the NCSA to remain frugal in their spending and allocations. Thesis student Eva Ernst, vice president for relations and financial affairs (VPRFA), has worked on the ongoing budget considerations since she arrived in the fall. “This budget was approved before the admissions numbers were released to us,” Ernst explained. “We were working with a budget

for expected students. So now that that budget has been passed and students are here at lower rates than we expected, we have to sort of retroactively put caps on things.” Ernst worked with Shongood and other members of the NCSA cabinet to consider certain budget lines on which they could place these retroactive caps. For certain areas, like the Resident Advisor (RA) Discretionary and Guest Speaker Allocations, the school has agreed to cover remaining funds which the NCSA no longer pays for. Furthermore, other areas have received similar funding cuts without any school compensation. The Palm Court Party (PCP) funds received decreased financial support, with the NCSA providing the money for security costs while cutting the total amount they give for bands or decorations. Ernst explained that some changes have not been finalized yet. The NCSA has requested to President O’Shea that the school pay for the Graduation Celebration fund, which provides food at graduation each spring. O’Shea has shown some reluctance at this request, but Ernst stated that she will continue to work towards transferring the responsibility for those funds. Ernst also stated that the NCSA has looked into having the school pay for a portion of the Catalyst funds. She has received

“We were working with a budget for expected students. So now that that budget has been passed and students are here at lower rates than we expected, we have to sort of retroactively put caps on things.”

information from various sources about the past budgets for the Catalyst, but wants to further consider increased funding from the school. “We’re basically trying to get the school to pay more for the Catalyst,” Ernst said. “It’s something that’s been around for years and years and years. We don’t understand why the students have been having to pay for this for this long.” Finally, the SAC and CAA received provisionary spending caps in the hopes that they will underspend. On top of insufficient revenues from a decreased projected enrollment, the NCSA recently started paying for an administrative cost which they had not previously needed to pay. In May 2017, Cheikhou Kane, VPRFA at the time, and Vice President of Finance and Administration John Martin made an agreement to implement an administrative cost on the A&S fee revenue. The school agreed to subsidize a large portion of this cost, so instead of $28,000, the NCSA would pay $8,000 each year. This administrative cost would help offset the money lost from tuition waivers, which the school provides to students in the form of scholarships. While the agreement at the time assisted the NCSA in funding guest speakers, covering salaries for student workers in the Jane Bancroft Cook Library during exam periods and other educational programs, Ernst had no prior knowledge of this agreement until a few weeks into the 2018-2019 academic year and she feels it could use some adjustments. “It’s in the process of renewal right now,” Ernst explained. “I’ve

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Justicia para trabajadores agricolas Encuentro 2018

BY CHARLIE LEAVENGOOD Each fall, the annual Encuentro takes place in Immokalee, Florida. Coordinated by the Student Farmworker Alliance (SFA), Encuentro is a gathering of students and organizations from around the country who come to learn about ways to organize protests in their communities and campuses. This year, it took place from Sept. 20 to Sept. 23. This Encuentro was special because 2018 marks the 25th year of the original Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) protest for human rights. The SFA joined the movement in the early 2000s. This year’s Encuentro theme was Hasta la Raíz (Down to the Root), reflecting on the history of the CIW, the SFA and individual participants. There are many reasons why students get involved with this campaign. Ximena Pedroza (‘15), SFA intern and past New College student said, “I am involved because the Coalition is changing a system that was rooted in slavery, from its core unlike anything before. I’m involved because I have heard from farmworkers how their working conditions have changed dramatically: no more wage theft, access to water and bathrooms, no more slavery or sexual violence and more in farms that are part of the Fair Food Program.” During Encuentro, discussions were mainly group-based and strategies for organizing followed a horizontal power structure where each opinion was of equal value regardless of age or education. “We learned from each other, which is so rare in our current education system of just being talked at and understanding that education is just coming from a professor or somebody with a bunch of degrees,” Bianca Olivares, an SFA member, said. “It’s not like that here. The knowledge comes from everybody and you’re respected.” The CIW and its three ally organizations, Just Harvest USA, Interfaith Action of Southwest Florida (IA) and the SFA, are fighting to

Rodriguez and other farmworkers women introduce themselves.

Rodriguez and two Encuentro members discuss types of harassment in the fields.

implement the Fair Food Program (FFP) in the agriculture industry. This industry consists of the farms that grow produce, the workers who harvest the produce and the companies who buy the produce for consumers. The FFP is focused on tomato farms for now, but is starting to expand to other produce and food industries, starting with strawberries in Florida. McDonald’s, Trader Joe’s, Walmart and other large corporations have signed on to the FFP. The entire list can be found on the CIW website. Joining the program means corporations can only buy tomatoes from farms approved by the FFP. The program was designed to protect the rights of farmworkers through close inspections of working conditions, educating workers on their rights, a 24/7 complaint hotline and zero tolerance for sexual violence. The program is unique because it was created by farmworkers and not an outside source, such as a lawyer. Many corporations have signed this contract when pressured by their consumer population. According to the CIW, the campaign for fair food “educates consumers on the issue of farm labor exploitation—its causes and solutions—and forges alliances between farmworkers and consumers in an effort to enlist the market power of major corporate buyers to help end that exploitation.” Encuentro is part of this consumer education. It consisted of three days of workshops, a protest supporting the CIW’s Wendy’s boycott and community building to improve national communication between students and organizers for the movement. Some of the workshops covered topics such as how to start an SFA chapter at a college, interacting with the press at a protest and different avenues of educating one’s community (such as theatre performances or classroom teachins) about the Campaign for Fair Food. “It’s an opportunity to bring students together [from] all across the country and [from] different universities and strategize how they can

Encuentro members are welcomed by farmworker women on the opening night of the program at the CIW office in Immokalee.

Encuentro at the Wendy’s Boycott in

Steering Committee member plays music and sings at the protest.

support the campaign for fair food,” Nely Rodriguez, a member of the CIW, said through a translator. Concepts such as justice not charity and what it means to be in solidarity with someone were central themes of each workshop. SFA and CIW members commented on how the movement, through consciousness and commitment, can enact real change. This model of committed, consistent action has won the fight for fair food in past boycotts, such as the one against Taco Bell in the early 2000s. Rodriguez’s hope for Encuentro is to raise awareness of not only the movement, but the power that students have to move the campaign forward. “For as long as the campaign for fair food has existed the will of this movement has been led by farmworkers,” Rodriguez said. “But it hasn’t only been farmworkers, it’s been with the support of students and other communities getting together to really bring these corporations to understand and accept the responsibility that they have for the conditions in their supply chains.” Currently, the campaign is leading boycotts against Wendy’s and Publix, two corporations who have refused to join the FFP. Within the Wendy’s boycott, there is an emphasis to get universities to cut their contracts with Wendy’s establishments on campus. The university component of the boycott is called

“Boot the Braids,” an echo of the past university boycott of Taco Bell called “Boot the Bell.” In the past, New College’s Students Targeting Oppressive Powers (STOP) has worked closely with the SFA and the CIW. However, the club has yet to meet this year and did not have a booth at club fair. This has not always been the case with New College students and the SFA. “Students from New have been a part of the 230-mile march to the headquarters of Publix,” Pedroza said. “We have been a part of the rolling student fast in 2017 and part of the freedom fasters in 2018. Students at New used to fight alongside the CIW more and this is something that I wish to reignite.” Students interested in getting more involved can look out for more information on next year’s Encuentro, join STOP and research internships in Immokalee for SFA members. Leavengood received funding from the Council of Academic Affairs (CAA) to attend the 2018 Encuentro. The application for Encuentro is sent by the SFA and the registration fee is on a sliding scale donation basis, from $75 to $300 per attendee for food and housing. Information gathered from http:// ciw-online.org, https://floridaimmigrant.org, http://www.sfalliance.org

all photos courtesy of the CIW

Encuentro students sing and chant at the Wendy’s Boycott protest.

Cafe Cultura, a night of song and dance, is held on the last night of Encuentro.

All the 2018 Encuentro and SFA members gather outside on the final day of the conference.



WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2018 www.ncfcatalyst.com | @ncfcatalyst


Roxane Gay visits Tampa

The Activist Newsletter Giulia Heyward/Catalyst

Throughout this week (10/3–10/10), activists have the opportunity to participate in voter registration, canvassing and phone banking. Read on if you want to get involved in the community in the lead up to November’s election!

BY CASSIE MANZ Wed., Oct. 3, Reproductive Rights Phone Bank @ 6 - 8 p.m. Planned Parenthood Sarasota Health Center - 736 Central Ave., Sarasota. Join forces with Planned Parenthood and make calls to their supporters. Contact annie. rosenblum@ppswcf.org for any questions. Thurs., Oct. 4, Democratic Lit Packing Party @ 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. Sarasota County Democratic Headquarters - 7358 S. Tamiami Trl., Sarasota. Canvassing isn’t the only way to get involved with the midterm elections! This Thursday join Sarasota County Democrats in packing candidate literature and amendment information into canvas packs. Depending on the area to be canvassed, each packet will include all local and state candidate literature and information on the amendments. Visit https://events. mobilizeamerica.io/flcc/ event/25713/ to sign up. Thurs., Oct. 4, Know Your Rights Panel @ 6 p.m. HCL 8 Come out to the ACLU of NCF’s Know Your Rights Panel! There will be food catered by Thai Spice, lawyers and plenty of answers to all of your burning legal questions. This is a great opportunity to get information on personal legal issues and on civil liberties more generally.

Courtesy of Alessandra Casanova Roxane Gay reading exerts of her book to the audience.

Sat., Oct. 6, Knocking Doors in North Sarasota @ 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Sarasota County Democratic Headquarters - 7358 S. Tamiami Trl., Sarasota. Meet at the Democratic headquarters before heading out to neighborhoods in North Sarasota and engaging with community members in conversations about candidates and important issues in the upcoming election. Training and materials will be provided prior to canvassing. Visit https:// events.mobilizeamerica.io/flcc/ event/25741/ to sign up! Sat., Oct. 6, Vote for Our Lives Rally @ 1 - 4 p.m. Bayfront Park - Marina Jack Trl., Sarasota. Get engaged this Saturday afternoon with the opportunity to hear from local and state candidates, learn about the ballot amendments and register to vote before the Oct. 9 deadline! The Sarasota County Democratic Party will have a table! Mon., Oct. 8, #TeamGillum Phone Bank @ 6 - 8 p.m. Sarasota County Democratic Headquarters - 7358 S. Tamiami Trl., Sarasota. Do you love talking on the phone? Want to get engaged in democracy? Come out and make some calls for gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum! If possible, bring a smartphone and laptop, as paper sheets will be limited. Visit https:// events.mobilizeamerica.io/flcc/ event/25446/ to sign up.

Courtesy of Alessandra Casanova Roxane Gay signing books and talking to fans after her talk.

BY MICHALA HEAD “It’s okay kids, major in English, it’s going to be fine,” New York Times bestselling author of Bad Feminist and Hunger Roxane Gay said to a crowd of eager University of South Florida (USF) students. Gay recently graced Tampa with her presence, taking time to talk to a packed theatre about her books and current events, answer burning questions and, afterwards, sign copies of her works. Gay did not appear in Florida on a whim, rather she was invited to speak for the Sept. 27 installment of the USF College of Arts and Sciences’ Frontier Forum lecture series. “We felt that Gay’s work touched on a number of important issues: sexual assault, toxic masculinity, body image, racism, etc.,” Assistant Dean for Communication, Community and Global Engagement Elizabeth Kicak said in an email interview. “She is considered to be one of the best in her field, as an academic, while also having a strong following among non-academics.” When doors opened for the event at the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts half an hour prior to Gay stepping foot on stage, the foyer had already been elbow-to-elbow crowded. Donors to the university, students from USF and several other nearby colleges, members of the general public and Gay’s parents (according to her)

were in attendance. The stage on which Gay spoke had a lovely living room setting in place, from where she read from two of her books on the couch. She was later joined by Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Eric M. Eisenberg, who sat adjacent on a matching, plump chair. Gay opened the seminar with discussion of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony, which had taken place earlier that day, and read the introduction she wrote for Not that Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture. This anthology, edited by Gay, features a collection of essays regarding mostly women’s experiences with sexual harassment and assault. Gay detailed her own personal experience in Not That Bad’s introduction. “May all our lives be so ruined,” Gay said, speaking to the assumed probability that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh will be appointed in spite of recent sexual assault allegations against him. Gay also brought up her Yale University days and the reputation of Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE), the fraternity of which Kavanaugh was a member. “When I heard Kavanaugh was in DKE, I knew he did it,” Gay said. Gay also brought up more lighthearted topics throughout the evening, such as her love for Barefoot Contessa host Ina Garten and her frequent disdain for her personal

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CATALYST NCSA funding CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3 sat down with John Martin and I’ve emailed him and I said, ‘This was for 2017-2018, do we need to renew this before we can enact these same changes this year?’ And he said, ‘That’s a good idea, I’m going to go in and write up a new draft and then you can come in and talk to me about it.’ So we’re basically reshaping the plans and agreement that Cheikhou made with John Martin.” This August, the NCSA had to pay the $8,000 administrative cost. Accompanied with the news about the decreased projected enrollment, this set them back even further. Ernst expressed her concern about the lack of communication between successive NCSA administrations, and stated, “I didn’t even know that that existed until several weeks into this semester. We’ve been working with no passover documents from previous administrations. Basically I’ve been slowly meeting everybody that I need to be in touch with and slowly piecing things together like a puzzle. So it’s a really slow process unfortunately to get everybody on the same page.”

Roxane Gay CONTINUED FROM PAGE 6 trainer, T.J., when reading excerpts from her 2017 memoir, Hunger. She told the story of how long it took her to realize that she would be co-writing the World of Wakanda comic book series for Marvel Comics, and not some startup that was named after the real deal. Upon making that realization, Gay set out to do the series with the hopes of meeting Thor, saying “he’s fine,” and commenting that she still hopes to meet him. “I just wanted to show a healthy Black lesbian relationship—and ass-kicking,” Gay said, on creating World of Wakanda. Gay finished the seminar by answering questions asked by Eisenberg, which included her views on hate speech versus free speech, and encouraging audience members not to be complacent in the coming days, before taking her leave from the stage for the book signing. As previously mentioned, her visit was a part of the USF College of Arts and Sciences’ Frontier Forum lecture series. According to the USF College of Arts and Sciences website, Frontier Forum began in 2010 as a means to publicly host renowned intellectuals in Tampa. Previous speakers for the series include Jane Goodall and Neil deGrasse Tyson. These events are free and open to the public.


WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2018 www.ncfcatalyst.com | @ncfcatalyst

Library CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 going to be based on how this gets used, what it is we’re hearing from students and what it is we’re hearing from faculty,” Brian Doherty, dean of the library, said as he looked over the ground floor of the library from his second story office window. Throughout our conversation, he would motion to the floor-to-ceiling window, pointing out examples of the broader trends he was noticing. The library, before this summer, had been filled with much of the same furniture since 1986. In fact, before Doherty joined New College in 2009, the library as a whole was much the same as it had been when it was constructed. It was through top-down action on Doherty’s part that library staples like the Col-Lab


were established. But the long-term plans for the library seem to be more student-driven than the most recent library renovations. Administration is keeping a close eye on how students are using the library, observing and analyzing carefully before making any future plans for further renovations. Already, behavioral patterns among the students are being cataloged and pondered. “Some of it is successful, some of it we still have a lot of questions about whether or not it is successful,” Doherty said. “Looking to the numbers, this library hasn’t been this vibrant in the nine years I’ve been here. We’re getting students in here that we haven’t seen before.” These recent changes are only the first step in what administration hopes will be a series of upgrades to the library. When asked about any future plans for the library, Provost Barbara Feldman had this to say:

“This is phase one. I don’t know how many phases the rest will come in … We have to raise money. What I’m hoping is that when people come, people with money, and see what we’re doing for New College students, somebody will help fund what else we need to.” Securing future funding seemed to be a major driver for the renovations. The general thought is that people like to give when they see work already being done, so the best way to have money for improvements is to start improving. All of this can leave a student wondering what impact they can have on the future of the library. While merely going to the library will help the decision-making process going forward, direct communication with Feldman (bfeldman@ ncf.edu) and Doherty (bdoherty@ ncf.edu) is the best way to voice one’s specific desires for the library’s future.

Study abroad Southern white rhino calf CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 move forward. “I went to the Financial Aid Office two weeks ago to check in, because last year they told me I was going to get my aid, and I didn’t want to worry about having to apply to outside scholarships,” thirdyear Lili Benitez, Environmental Studies and Spanish Language and Literature AOC, stated. “They said the rules had changed and that I couldn’t get my aid anymore. Then I talked to Florence Zamsky, and she’s trying to help me see if I can get grandfathered in under the old system because I had already paid my deposit and everything for my chosen program.” According to McGleam, whose backup plan is to work for as many hours as she can until the 2019-2020 school year, one option is to apply to the Boren Scholarship. In this case, a student can be given a $20,000 scholarship in exchange for working for the U.S. federal government for at least a year after graduation. “[Due to these changes] I can only use my Pell Grant and my student loans. But the thing is, I wouldn’t be getting a Pell Grant if I didn’t need support,” McGleam said. “I think I get about $14,000 in scholarships from the school aside from that, so it’s pretty hefty what I have to make up for.” Additionally, President Donald Trump and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos have significantly lowered the amount of funding available to students through the federal Pell Grant. “Not only is this going to hurt students in Chinese Studies and other International Studies programs, but it’s going to hurt the departments because they’re going to have students who shy away because they know that they can’t afford to study abroad,” McGleam said. “Even if it isn’t a New College policy and it comes down from the state, they didn’t tell anybody. There


BY CALVIN STUMPFHAUSER Born on Sept. 12, Tampa’s newborn rhino is the sixth successful birth of its kind to take place at ZooTampa, and will spend time bonding with its mother before being introduced to the herd. The calf’s birth contributes to a larger cooperative breeding program that the zoo participates in, meant to increase the overall rhino population while maintaining genetic diversity. The southern white rhino is currently the most widespread subspecies of rhinoceros, and is often considered an overwhelming success story for conservation efforts. By the beginning of the 20th century, there were fewer than 100 of them left in the world, many housed in a single South Af-

rican reserve. Save The Rhino estimates that there are now around 20,000 southern white rhinos roaming the wild. This is in stark contrast to a close relative of the subspecies, the northern white rhino, of which only two are believed to remain, both of them living in captivity. Fortunate guests of the zoo may soon get a chance to meet newborn rhino—the price of admission includes a safari tram ride that passes through the rhino exhibit. One can also spend an additional $10 to experience a “white rhino encounter” offered by the zoo, which gives guests a chance to “feel their rough skin, their horns and ask any questions from the staff that takes care of them daily.”



WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2018 www.ncfcatalyst.com | @ncfcatalyst


Celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival at New College


The Mid-Autumn Festival, called “Zhōngqiū Jié” in Mandarin Chinese, has been celebrated throughout Asia for thousands of years. Traditionally, family and friends come together to give thanks for the bountiful harvest, pay tribute to deities like the moon goddess Chang’e and engage in various regional customs. According to the Chinese lunar calendar, the Mid-Autumn Festival is held on the 15th day of the eighth month, coinciding with a full moon. On Sept. 24, members of the New College Chinese program and the community gathered in College Hall to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival and hopefully catch a glimpse of the first full moon of fall. “This is one of the two most important festivals in Chinese culture,” Chinese Language and Culture Professor Jing Zhang said. Although the rainy weather kept the festivities indoors, festival-goers still enjoyed a fun-filled evening. Fulbright Chinese Teaching Assistant (TA) Jingou Yang, who organized the event, offered welcoming words and explained the significance of the festival. Music was provided by Naimul Chowdhury (‘15), a graduate student in the Data Science program, who compiled a playlist of his favorite Chinese songs and suggestions from other students. The event also featured several musical performances by students. Chowdhury and thesis student Kathryn VanEtten spontaneously performed an energetic song and dance duet. Thesis student Angelo Acebedo sang “Light Years Away” by Hong Kong singer-songwriter G.E.M. Members of the Second-Year Modern Chinese I class also performed “The Moon Represents My Heart,” a famous Chinese ballad. Of course, no Mid-Autumn Festival celebration would be complete without mooncakes. Mooncakes, or “yuèbǐng,” are small, round cakes with a dense filling. Mixed nuts, white lotus, wax gourd and red bean flavors of mooncake were served. An assortment of other foods, including sesame cookie rolls, pineapple cake, White Rabbit candy and sweet and salty rice crackers, gave visitors a taste of authentic Chinese snacks. Refreshments, such as soda and green tea, were also available. “It’s a time that the family comes together from different places to enjoy delicious food,” Adjunct Instructor of Chinese Language and Culture Weiwei Huang stated. “Usually, my parents would cook a lot and we would invite our relatives to celebrate.” Huang also explained that her hometown festivities in southern China differed compared to those in northern China. “We would have a table outside where we’d put apples, pears, mooncakes and candles,” she said. “We serve those for

Festival-goers enjoying Chinese snacks.

the moon.” “It’s like Thanksgiving in the United States,” Huang’s husband, Professor Feng Hao from University of South Florida (USF) Sarasota-Manatee, added. Despite all the merriment, many people from China living abroad feel homesick during this festival. “Particularly on this day, I miss my home,” Zhang said. “It’s always the day that I feel kind of sad, but students and activities help me feel better.” Students enjoyed the opportunity to learn about Chinese culture in an engaging way. “I think [this event] is very integrated,” second-year Hailey McGleam commented. “It’s not just people from the Chinese department. It’s people from all backgrounds. It’s really fun and lively.” McGleam also hopes to take part in Chinese festivals and traditions during her year abroad in Shanghai. “I love this event. I’ve been to every single one the past four years,” thesis student Lorelei Domke said. “It means a lot to me and it’s a great opportunity for people in the community to come see the Chinese program and have fun.” Domke and an emotional Yang performed the final song of the night, “Péngyǒu,” which means “friend.” As the event came to a close, empty boxes of mooncake and exhausted refreshments illustrated a successful Mid-Autumn Festival. Yang felt it was important to hold the event at New College because “you can never learn a language without learning about the culture behind it.” Yang credits Chowdhury, Domke and thesis student Derek Otis for their advice and assistance in setting up the event. The next big event of the Chinese program will take place in the spring semester. Information for this article was gathered from time.com.

Chinese mooncake is a traditional festival delicacy.

Jingou Yang and Lorelei Domke performing the final song of the evening.

all photos by Eileen Calub/Catalyst