BRIEFS MICROPLASTICS pg.
OCTOBER 10, 2018 VOLUME XXXVII ISSUE V
New College of Florida's student-run newspaper
FLORIDA ELECTION pg.
Diversity increases among 2018 cohort BY ALEXANDRA CONTE Diversity at New College is increasing, albeit at a slow rate. Between the 2017 and 2018 cohorts there has been an increase by 3.4 percent in those who identify as African American or Black, a 3.2 percent increase in those who identify as Native American or Alaskan Native and a 4.3 percent increase in those who identify as Asian, in terms of first-year enrollment. However, there has been a 2.2 percent decrease in those who identify as LatinX and a 2.8 percent decrease in those who identify as unknown. Overall, these statistics show an increase in the number of students of color on campus this year. While New College remains primarily White, there has been an increase in other ethnicities and racial groups on campus. These statistics for the entering cohort of 2018 were provided by Joy Hamm, dean of admissions and financial aid. The statistics for the 2017 cohort were provided in the 2017-2018 New College Fact Book.
2017 Cohort 2018 Cohort
African American/ Black
Asian/ Paciﬁc Islander
Native American/ Alaskan Native
A comparison of the demographics of the 2017 and 2018 cohorts.
Note that the 2017 cohort’s class size is reported in the Fact Book as being a class size of 239, while Hamm reported
only 233 students in that cohort. The difference reported is a result of those who dropped out or transferred.
There was no data listed from the 2018 cohort for those who identify as two or more races. According to an email interview with Hamm, Pacific Islander is now listed as part of the Asian group, for reporting purposes. This decision was the result of Hamm speaking to New College’s Institutional Research Oﬃce, where it was decided that only “Asian” would be used to classify those who identify as Pacific Islander. When comparing the 2018 cohort’s demographics and the state of Florida’s demographics as provided by the U.S. Census Bureau, the African American or Black, LatinX and White population are considered underrepresented in contingent to the state population. While the White population of this cohort is lower than the state average of 77.4 percent, this group as a whole still makes up 66.2 percent of the cohort and is therefore not a marginalized group. What is noteworthy is that the representation of the Asian and Alaskan Native or Native American
continued on page 7
Florida amendment 13 could ban dog-racing BY EILEEN CALUB This November, Amendment 13 oﬀers a chance for Florida voters to end greyhound racing in the state. Dog-racing has been practiced as a competitive sport in the United States for nearly a century, since the first commercial racetrack was opened in 1919 by Owen Patrick Smith, inventor of the mechanical lure. In a track race, five to six greyhounds chase a lure, originally a hare, around an oval track until they cross the finish line. Greyhound racing is governed by state law—currently, 40 states have banned the practice. Florida remains one of the few states that still allow dog-racing, hosting 11 out of the nation’s 17 active tracks. Just a five-minute drive from New College, Sarasota’s own dog-racing track, Sarasota Kennel Club Dog Racing, remains in operation, with races set to resume on Dec. 14, 2018. Sarasota Kennel Club did not immediately respond to requests for comment. This past spring, a Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) passed the proposal of potentially ending dog-racing in the state by placing Amendment https://doc-0k-18-docs. googleusercontent.com/ docs/securesc/s7jurnmk912se8sp3mgg3hd8llrh0uos/obdpo7fpcdn719co01n4qb7
13 on the Florida ballot for the Nov. 6 election. Kate MacFall, co-chair of the grassroots campaign Protect Dogs – Yes on 13 and Florida state director for the Humane Society of the United States, sees the amendment as an opportunity for Floridians to show that they do not support cruelty to dogs. “It’s out of touch with society and our values,” Macfall said. Although the dog-racing industry prospered in the first half of the 20th century, its popularity has gradually waned, in part due to criticism from animal welfare groups. “A greyhound dies every three days on a Florida track,” Macfall stated. “Many dogs are subjected to injuries while racing.” Florida does not require greyhound injuries to be publicly reported. A recent initiative in Seminole County exposed 73 greyhound injuries since May 2017. To ensure that female racing dogs are optimized and able to race, anabolic steroids are used. “Female dogs are injected with testosterone to keep them out of heat,” MacFall said. The drug may also be used as a performance enhancer. The use of anabolic steroids to boost testosterone levels has been banned in Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand. In Florida,
greyhounds are not tested for anabolic steroids after racing. Anabolic steroids may cause harmful side eﬀects, such as virilization, reproductive dysfunction and increased aggression. When not racing, greyhounds are confined in small stacked cages for 20 to 23 hours a day. The dogs are allowed a short break, or “turned out,” for a few hours per day. Similar to horse racing, greyhound races oﬀer spectators the chance to bet on the outcome. Legalized gambling serves to draw more visitors. “They must race the dogs in order to operate profitable poker rooms,” MacFall said. Despite the eﬀorts of animal rights groups, it may be diﬃcult for the amendment to pass, considering the long-standing practice of greyhound racing in Florida. In 1931, after years of illegal dog-racing in the state, Florida became the first state to legalize greyhound racing. Defenders of dog-racing claim that statements by investigators on cruelty in the industry are exaggerative. The Florida Greyhound Association (FGA), an organization “dedicated to helping preserve greyhound racing in Florida,” advertises
on their website that racing greyhounds are “doing what they love to do.” The FGA filed a lawsuit against the Florida Department of State alleging that the Amendment 13 ballot information was “misleading.” The case moved to the Florida Supreme Court, where the judge overruled a previous ruling to remove the amendment, thus keeping Amendment 13 on the ballot. MacFall sees the amendment as a crucial step forward in the long fight to end dog-racing. “We have tried for a decade in the legislature to enact change and have not been successful,” MacFall said. Bills to require injury reports and outlaw the use of anabolic steroids have been repeatedly proposed, but have failed. In the coming weeks, the Humane Society urges advocates to come together to promote animal protection policy. “Word of mouth and outreach are key leading up to the election,” MacFall said. “We’re thrilled that Floridians will have an opportunity to phase it out.” She hopes to see greyhounds move “out of cages and into homes.” If passed, Amendment 13 would end dog-racing by 2020. The measure requires 60 percent approval from voters.
Wednesday, October 10, 2018 www.ncfcatalyst.com | @ncfcatalyst
briefs by Alexandra Conte
The Four Winds bakers provide vegan and gluten-free treats daily When the Four Winds Cafe opened for the fall semester, a set of macarons caught the eyes of many students. These macarons were the brain-product of first-year Hannah Nations. Currently there are two bakers at Four Winds, Nations and second-year Margaux Albiez. Albiez has worked at Four Winds since last February as a baker and barista. Both have years of baking experience. “It’s basically up to us,” Nations said, when discussing how the staﬀ determines what is baked each week. “We [Nations and Albiez] coordinate who is baking on what day, and we have one thing that is vegan and one thing that is gluten free.” Nations explained that she and Albiez are willing to try new recipes they find online, but most of their recipes come from personal experience and are then adapted to be vegan or gluten free. “I love the feeling of trying some new recipe and having it come out really good - especially while baking vegan and gluten free - because things can go really wrong,” Albiez said. “Opening the oven and seeing that whatever I baked looks great and having people enjoy it is awesome! My favorite thing to bake is bread, but at Four Winds my favorite is banana muﬃns.”
Nations is currently working on making “Macaron Mondays” a regular occurrence at Four Winds, as she works Sunday nights to prepare for Monday’s business. “I love knowing that people appreciate and enjoy what I make,” Nations said. “It makes me happy to make other people happy.”
Alexandra Conte/Catalyst Hannah Nations preparing chocolate tarts at the Four Winds Cafe.
SA[u]CE explains NovoConnect SA[u]CE, located in HCL 4, is an on-campus resource responsible for helping students find volunteer opportunities, administering the food pantry, planning campus events, working with clubs (which includes campus reservations) and updating NovoConnect. “NovoConnect is an engagement system that our campus can pull together a lot of things that floated around in emails and web pages and provide a central hub where it can all be found,” Tara Centeno, director of student activities and campus engagement, said in an email interview. She emphasized that NovoConnect is “one of the really cool things for student groups [because] everything can be stored here, and if someone loses access to the drive, all is not lost forever. In the past couple of years I’ve seen clubs get stuck
because a Google drive didn’t get access before someone left and then they had to start from scratch. With NovoConnect, there’s no starting from scratch again.” An additional point that Centeno made is that “NovoConnect can also hold co-curricular information (conferences you’ve gone to, major events, jobs you’ve had, etc.). That way when folks are preparing for their [baccalaureate examinations] and have to fill out their Baccalaureate Student Audit form online, they can just copy and paste their info over from NovoConnect instead of trying to remember what they did during their NCF years all at once.” For questions about NovoConnect, visit the SA[u]CE office. NovoConnect can be accessed through the myNCF portal.
Pizza with the Provost: Over 120 students showed up to voice concerns about library changes This past Sunday, Sept. 7, marked the first ‘Pizza with the Provost’ of the year. The event lasted from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Jane Bancroft Cook Library’s newly-constructed coﬀee bar. One hundred twenty-three students signed up to attend on a Google spreadsheet sent out by the Provost’s oﬃce prior to the event. “Free pizza and drama,” second-year Erin DuMond said when asked why she chose to come to the event. “I want the school to focus on the functionality of the library and not the appearance.” Provost Barbara Feldman has been the driving force behind the new changes seen in the library this fall. This event gave her the opportunity to speak to students about how they feel in regards to the recent changes made. “I am here because of the big blue
things,” second-year Olympia Fulcher said, referring to “Arthur,” a recent furniture addition to the library. “They are ugly as hell and cost $20,000. And they aren’t functional.” Fulcher live-streamed the event for those who could not attend. Students addressed Feldman directly, asking questions and sharing their thoughts on the recent changes. The biggest sentiment shared by students was the feeling of frustration over the lack of student input and lack of transparency concerning the renovations. Feldman stated that these changes are a part of the campus growth plan
© 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.
and that over the next few years, the campus will continue to change. In response to students’ concerns about not being asked about the library renovations, Feldman cited the time frame and the fact that students are rarely consulted in administrative matters. However, she is open to student input going forward, through the proper channels, which students believe will be the New College Student Alliance (NCSA), as the NCSA represents the student body. Due to the heated nature of the discussion and the fact that Feldman did
“I hope this has been a wakeup call for the Provost that we are here and we are ready to talk.”
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not know she was being live-streamed for students who could not attend, she walked to the other side of the library to keep the discussion away from the stream. On the other side of the library, a more constructive discussion continued among a smaller group. “I hope this has been a wakeup call for the Provost that we are here and we are ready to talk,” second-year Anna Lynn Winfrey said. “This is [Provost Feldman’s] second year here, and this was the first public meeting she has had.” Pizza with the Provost will be held the first Sunday of every month in the library coffee bar. Feldman requests that students arrange a meeting with her if they have questions, comments or concerns. Direct submissions, letters, announcements and inquiries to: The Catalyst 5800 Bay Shore Road Sarasota, Florida 34243 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 10, 2018 www.ncfcatalyst.com | @ncfcatalyst
Sunshine state gubernatorial race heats up BY IZAYA MILES Politics in 2018 is not for the faint of heart. Gubernatorial candidates Republican Ron DeSantis and Democrat Andrew Gillum have been conducting their campaigns with no quarter. The war cries of the candidates’ factions have grown in fervor to the point where DeSantis and Gillum have been overshadowed by the great and terrible caricatures of them that have been constructed. Gillum and DeSantis were surprise nominations for their parties. DeSantis’s victory in the primary was credited heavily to President Donald Trump’s endorsement of DeSantis, who was a vocal advocate for the president when he was a state representative. DeSantis has leaned into the president’s endorsement in the general campaign, producing a television ad that shows him performing proTrump activities, like building a wall out of blocks with his young daughter and reading her Art of the Deal as a bedtime story. Similarly, Gillum’s surprise victory in the Democratic primary over Rep. Gwen Graham and Miami Beach Mayor Philip Putnam was assisted by an endorsement from progressive darling Sen. Bernie Sanders. After a grace period of approx-
imately one day, DeSantis was seized upon by left-wing media outlets for an Aug. 9 appearance where he pleaded with Florida voters to not “monkey this up.” “In the handbook of Donald Trump, they no longer do whistle calls— they’re now using full bullhorns,” Gillum said in reference to the comment during an MSNBC interview, before going on to accuse DeSantis of using “derision and division” as a campaign tactic. According to DeSantis, his intent was to warn voters that Florida’s booming economy would not be able to bare the weight of a Gillum governorship, but that did little to mute his critics. An anti-Gillum robocall funded by the Idaho-based white supremacist group Road to Power and the attendance of members of the ‘western chauvinist’ group, The Proud Boys, at a Sept. 22 DeSantis rally only enflamed the tensions that had erupted from DeSantis’s comment. Since then DeSantis’s campaign has lingered significantly behind Gillum’s campaign in eight polls held during September. Most unsettling to Florida Republicans was a Sept. 6 Quinnipiac poll that had Gillum nine points ahead of DeSantis. DeSantis, after a flood of articles was released parading his abysmal poll-
ing, understood that he needed to take action. In an eﬀort to make up some of the distance between him and his opponent, DeSantis hired a new campaign manager to lead him out the tempest he found himself in: the former chair for Trump’s Florida campaign, Susan Wiles. Shortly after she was appointed, DeSantis’s campaign swiveled from its defensive stance and took a swing at Gillum. “I can find anti-Semites around him, I can find him doing things,” DeSantis said at a Sept. 24 rally about his competition, as he dismissed controversies about himself that the Gillum campaign were touting. “But it’s almost like we don’t want to discuss that.” DeSantis’s comments referred to Gillum’s support for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and Dream Defenders, two anti-zionist organizations. CAIR was one of the many ‘unindicted co-conspirators’ associated with the Holy Land Foundation, which was found to be illegally financing Hamas. DeSantis also brought to light comments that Gillum’s running mate Chris King said after losing the race to become Harvard University’s student body president. “I was nailed to the cross,” King, an evangelical Christian, said in a Ne-
whouse News Service article, regarding how the school’s newspaper covered him. “And most of the editorial staﬀ that was so hard on me, the vast majority were Jewish.” This strategy, which also includes questioning Gillum about corruption during his tenure as mayor of Tallahassee, was benefited by the Kavanaugh hearings, which many believe to have reinvigorated the Republican voting base. “The Kavanaugh nomination has brought together the Republican Party in a way that no other fight could,” Ron Bonjean, a Republican strategist who was a large asset to Justice Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation, said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. “The feeling within the newly bonded GOP is that Democrats unfairly pulled out all the stops and used every creative political tactic they could to try and topple our nominee.” The two most recent polls as of Oct. 9 have Gillum ahead by a single point, well within the polls’ margin of error. The comfortable lead that Gillum had been enjoying throughout September has been pulled out from under him. Even as fall comes and the weather cools, this race has only heated up.
Micro-plastics make macro-problems BY CHARLIE LEAVENGOOD Microplastics are particles of plastic, usually smaller than a quarter inch. The water-treatment facilities cannot filter them out, and they go into the ocean. Dozens of products list microplastic as an ingredient. “Each time you wash your face or brush your teeth, you just may be adding microscopic bits of plastic into the aquatic environment,” the Florida Microplastic Awareness Project said. Professor of Biology and Marine Science Sandra Gilchrist and Professor David Hastings, a marine geochemist at Eckerd College, have each received grants to look at the eﬀects of microplastic. Gilchrist is studying the presence of microplastics in the Sarasota Bay and Hastings is studying the Tampa Bay. Hasting’s annual phytoplankton study with his students inspired his study. While examining the phytoplankton under a microscope, Hastings found something he didn’t expect. “I saw lots of filaments, threads, chunks and flakes of plastic,” Hastings said. These particles also reside in diﬀerent layers of sediment on the shore. Microplastic is present in all tap water and is more concentrated in single-use bottled water. Plastic becomes brittle overtime and breaks down into smaller pieces, but it is not biodegradable. It will stay in the ocean for thousands of years, and the amount of microplastic increases daily. “Microplastics are very detrimental in the marine environment,” Gilchrist said. The two main environmental concerns that Gilchrist and Hastings are studying are the eﬀects of microplastic on filter feeders and the persistent organic pollutants (POP) that live on the surface of microplastics. Filter feeders, such as
Image courtesy of David Hastings Microplastic ﬁlaments and phytoplankton on a quarter-inch sqaure scale.
oysters, mussels, crabs and sponges, filter ocean water as their food source. When they filter the water, pieces of microplastic can get stuck in their gut. This tricks them into thinking they are full, and eventually the organism starves to death because they cannot digest the plastic. Persistent organic pollutants (POP) may live on the surface of the microplastic. According to Hastings, these toxic compounds prefer to stick to the surface of plastic rather than sand or shells. One of these compounds is polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH). PAH comes from coal, tar and organic matter that has not combusted completely. The other compound is polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB). It was first used in cool-
ants and carbonless copy paper. However, the production of PCB, considered carcinogenic to humans, was banned in the U.S. in 1978. PCBs are still produced today even though some countries have banned them. With her grant, Gilchrist is looking closer into these microbiomes to see if they merely reside on the plastic, or if they actually consume it. There is little research on the eﬀects of microplastic on human health. Hastings says he is not as concerned about microplastic consumption in humans because the most aﬀected are filter feeders. The amount of POPs on each piece of microplastic is small enough that it will most likely just pass through the human digestive system. However, there have
“Each time you wash your face or brush your teeth, you may just be adding microscopic bits of plastic into the AQUATIC ENVIRONMENT.”
been a few speculations – which require more studies – that the consumption of microplastic may lead to infertility and issues with digesting food. For now, it is a mystery, but humans are consuming microplastic constantly. “Microplastics are in beer, salt, drinking water,” Hastings said. “It’s almost everywhere.” While the eﬀects of microplastics on humans are unknown, the eﬀect of humans on microplastics are well-documented. Synthetic fibers in athletic wear and sports jackets release thousands of microplastic filaments each time they are washed. These filaments are drained out of the washer and into the ocean. In 2016, Patagonia, an outdoor clothing gear company, conducted a study that observed the amount of microfibers in the water of a washing machine after washing one of their synthetic fabric jackets. They are now partnered with North Carolina State University (NCSU) to develop ways to prevent these large contributions of microplastic from entering into marine ecosystems. Their suggestions for consumers is to wash clothing items made of synthetic material less and purchase high-quality athletic wear because low-quality materials release more microfilaments per wash. They also recommend using a front-load washing machine versus a top-load and putting synthetic clothing in filter bags to prevent microfibers from going down the drain. The Ringling College of Art and Design is holding an exhibit entitled “Microplastics” from Nov. 13 to Dec. 14. It will be in the Willis Smith Gallery in the Larry R. Thompson Academic Center. Information for this article was gathered from patagonia.com and sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu.
NCF alumnus showcases art at fIrst Ringling Underground of the year BY BAILEY TIETSWORTH After a persistent rainy season forced the organizers to postpone the event in September, Ringling Underground came back in full force for the first Thursday in October. The replica of Michelangelo’s “David” statue towered over the crowd of attendees as live music by LANNDS, Glove and N.I.C.E. Collective swept through the courtyard on Oct. 4. LANNDS is the indie-electronic project of Florida-based songwriter Rania Woodard, who produces dreamy melodies and lithe vocals. Tampa-based band Glove combines New Wave synth and dance rock ‘n’ roll in their music, with subtle influences of Devo, the B-52’s, Gary Numan and Talking Heads. Their catchy synth and guitar leads are supported by kraut-rock driven drums and bass. MoKA Motif and Levine the dream make up the N.I.C.E. Collective. Hailing from Sarasota, these two work together to compose joyful expressions through their music. Their performance consisted of improvisational beat creation and freestyle rhyming, along with thought-provoking lyrics and uplifting hip hop productions. In the courtyard, the middle terrace housed compact stations in the grass that aimed to bring attention to houselessness in Sarasota. Those who wished to could decorate shelters, provided by the organization Cardborigami, who intended to donate the finished products to houseless individuals in the Sarasota area. Across from the shelter decorating, the League of Women Voters of Florida set up a booth for voter registration. This area, sandwiched between the art and music, encouraged community members to participate in civic engagement, and was part of the third installment of the activist-focused Ringling Underground Unplugged. A terrace away from the stage, art by Emmie Wells and recent New College alumnus James von Hollen (‘14) greeted onlookers. Half of von Hollen’s art came from his thesis show, which focused on elements of Classical Realism. This style of art stresses the significance of natural beauty in figure drawings and paintings as seen through the eyes of the artist. Well-versed in this movement, von Hollen’s two untitled pieces on the north side of the courtyard exhibited the refined skill and attention to detail expected of Classical Realism. Across the courtyard on the wall of the walkway von Hollen displayed two digital compositions, contrasting his two thesis works. While they do not exactly align with the philosophies of Classical Realism, von Hollen explained that his digital images attempt to merge the style of Classical Realism with his own experimentations in modern art. Von Hollen expressed his appreciation toward the organizers of Ringling Underground, and especially Danielle Dygert, for allowing him this chance to showcase his art. “I’m very grateful, it’s just a really cool opportunity,” von Hollen said. Von Hollen hopes to continue bridging the gap between the styles of Classical Realism and his experimentations in digital illustrations through his artistic practice.
A view of the stage from the middle terrace in the courtyard.
Bathed in red lighting, the vocalist from Glove lies down on the stage mid-performance.
The glow from the courtyard reflects off the clouds above, as people take enjoy the music from the stage below.
all photos courtesy of Bailey Tietsworth
An illustration from von Hollen which he featured in his thesis show in the Spring of 2018.
One of von Hollen’s digital works, projected on a wall in the courtyard.
The replica of Michelangelo’s “David” statue from behind, taking in the crimson lighting provided by the stage lights.
An untitled illustration, chalked by von Hollen for his thesis show.
One of von Hollen’s digital pieces, projected on a wall in the courtyard.
Glove from above, playing for the crowd of attendees.
Wednesday, October 10, 2018 www.ncfcatalyst.com | @ncfcatalyst
opinion PAGE 6
How to be culturally considerate this Halloween BY MICHALA HEAD
The Activist Newsletter Throughout these two weeks (10/10–10/24), activists have the opportunity to participate in phone banking for gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum, community meetings and criminal justice reform, to name just a few! Read on if you want to get involved in the community regarding the midterm elections, criminal justice system, state politics, and knowledge building!
BY CASSIE MANZ Wed., Oct. 10, Stop Ballot Confusion: Florida Constitutional Amendments - What They Really Say @ 6 - 8 p.m. Lakewood Ranch Branch YMCA - 5100 Lakewood Ranch Blvd., Bradenton. With 13 constitutional amendments on the Florida ballot this coming November, the League of Women Voters, a non-partisan organization, hopes to clear the confusion in this presentation. They will explain what each amendment proposes, what will happen if it does or does not pass and who opposes and supports each amendment. The event is free and registration is not required. Fri., Oct. 12, Raised in the System Film Screening @ 7 p.m. Sainer Pavilion at New College of Florida - 5313 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota. The ACLU Foundation of Florida, Million Hoodies West Florida, Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and Campaign for Youth Justice (CFYJ) will be hosting a film screening of the VICE special “Raised in the System,” which follows a personal journey through the juvenile justice system meant to expose the root of the American mass incarceration crisis. Sat., Oct. 13, Citizens’ Climate Lobby Meeting @ 12:30 - 2:30 p.m. North Sarasota Public Library - 2801 Newtown Blvd., Sarasota. In their monthly meeting, the Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) will discuss possible actions for October, communicate on climate change topics and celebrate past CCL successes. Mon., Oct. 15, Bradenton Criminal Justice Reform Forum @ 6 - 8 p.m. Manatee Performing Arts Center, Kiwanis Hall - 502 3rd Ave. W., Bradenton. Hear from a diverse panel of community leaders, policy experts and directly-impacted citizens who will discuss topics including which
constitutional amendments on the Florida ballot impact criminal justice reform, how your vote can impact mass incarceration in Florida and what you can do to impact criminal justice reforms in the 2019 legislative session. The speakers include Shalini Goel Agarwal, managing attorney at the Southern Poverty Law Center, Ron Baker, president and CEO of Prisoner Connections, Rev. James Golden, social justice chair at African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, Manatee County school board member and reform ambassador for the Florida Campaign for Criminal Justice, Col. David Parrish (Ret.), who managed the Hillsborough County Jail System for 27 years and Neil Volz, political director for the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition. Sat., Oct. 20, Sarasota Pride! @ 12 - 6 p.m. J.D. Hamel Park - Main St. & S. Gulfstream Ave., Sarasota. Get ready for Sarasota Pride featuring drag performances, vendors, food trucks and live music! Emceed by Lindsay Carlton-Cline, the day will include performances by Georgia Moore, Rockel BLU, Savannah Lynn, Trixie Liemont and Grandma Pearl. Visit www.sarasotapride.org to sign up to volunteer or contact organizers with any questions. Contact annie. email@example.com to sign up to volunteer with Planned Parenthood at the event. Mon., Oct 22, Sarasota Anti-Racism Coalition Meeting @ 6 p.m. Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center - 525 Kumquat Ct., Sarasota. Facilitated by Dr. Queen Zabriskie and Dr. Sarah Hernandez, the Coalition will receive updates from their working committees and discuss Joseph Barndt’s book, including the chapter “White Fragility.” It is requested to bring a snack to share at 6 p.m. and discussion will begin at 6:30 p.m.
October is underway, meaning the Florida air is still hot and Halloween is approaching. Characteristic of this holiday season is candy, ghouls, pumpkins and, of course, Halloween costumes. As the 31st approaches, I ask anyone reading this to self-reflect and be mindful of how others might receive their costumes or party plans. “Like most issues involving race in our country, avoiding oﬀense at Halloween requires thinking not just about stereotypes or discrimination but also about white supremacy,” Osamudia James said in her 2017 Washington Post article. “Can a white child dress as a Halloween character from another race?” According to James, being mindful of one’s Halloween costume not only requires assessment of the culturally entrenched notion of white supremacy, but also consideration of what it means to be White. During my visits to two Halloween store locations in Sarasota, I saw wigs for afros and dreadlocks, a blank black mask, “fortune teller” costumes that mimicked traditional Romani apparel, a “cozy” voodoo doll costume, a Native American costume complete with a headpiece and braids and costumes relating to the Mex-
ican holiday, Día de los Muertos. Nearly all of these neatly wrapped costumes featured White models on the packages. According to a 2011 Psychology Today article, White people in the U.S. are living in an era where not seeing color is acceptable and sometimes even encouraged. “Color blindness has helped make race into a taboo topic that polite people cannot openly discuss,” author Monnica T. Williams said. The phenomena of “colorblindness” further complicates the subject of appropriation because those who opt to not be conscientious of racial diﬀerences could view another race or culture as an acceptable costume, and then turn a blind eye to criticism surrounding its racist implications. “By distorting the features and culture of African Americans—including their looks, language, dance, deportment and character—white Americans were able to codify whiteness across class and geopolitical lines as its antithesis,” the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) said in “Blackface the Birth of an American Stereotype.”
continued on page 7
The Space Force: A real need or a Trump fetish? SUBMISSION BY CARTER DELEGAL This past week was World Space Week, and it seems like Trump, who pursues his particular political projects on a strictly reactionary basis, heard the news. According to Foreign Policy (FP) magazine, Trump has started to consider firing Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson, who is also a firm opponent of Trump’s plans for a Space Force. FP also reports that the administration is already crafting a list of potential replacements, starting with Rep. Mike Rogers, a Republican from Alabama planning to put forward a Space Force bill in January. At first, one is tempted to disregard this idea of a Space Force as a product of the unanalyzable smorgasbord that is Donald Trump’s mind. Yet, the proposal has some coherence in light of the U.S. military’s increasing presence in space. Would a Space Force be a logical leap that is necessary, as Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe suggested last year, to ensure the continued existence of the United States? In order to answer this question, we should consider the space infrastructure that the military already has in place. Importantly, there already exists a military body that focuses exclusively on space-related aﬀairs: the Air Force Space Command (AFSPC), established in 1982. Its primary purpose is to oversee the United States’ space capabilities, including precision satellites, which have become crucial in Earthbound battles. Apart from mili-
tary possessions, the AFSPC has responsibility over consumer satellites, such as the one powering Google Maps. In practice, the AFSPC oversees these satellites by tracking the location, contributing to their maintenance and protecting them from outside threats, thus providing it with a formidable grasp on the technology and power needed to protect U.S. space interests. Nevertheless, many lawmakers, including Inhofe and Rogers, consider China and Russia to be imminent threats to U.S. dominance in space, and so insist on the creation of a Space Force in order to deal with those threats. And it seems like some of the concern is warranted as China and Russia recently announced a joint deep-space endeavor. And, as The Independent reports, U.S. intelligence has recently determined that in the event of a U.S.–China/Russia altercation, the latter two countries would likely justify the use of their anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons against the United States. In this light, it initially appears that Trump’s ‘space force’ rhetoric holds some legitimacy. Yes, Donald Trump has a propensity to be fiery and furious. And yes, the prospect of a Chinese and/or Russian space attack is a distant threat, if it turns out to be one at all. But this is outer space we’re talking about. A position of leverage in space provides a certain unrealized
continued on page 7
CATALYST Diversity CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 groups is significantly higher than the state’s population demographics. In order to make the campus better equipped to serve the interest of marginalized students there are two open positions that New College has created to help foster inclusivity on campus. “There are two positions currently posted that will work with diversity and multicultural aﬀairs,” Robin Williamson, dean of student aﬀairs, said in an email interview in response to questions about the fact that the Director of Inclusion and Diversity position is still vacant. “There is one position called the Executive Director of Outreach, Engagement and Inclusion. That position will report to the President.” The other open position in student aﬀairs is the Assistant Director for Student Activities and Campus Engagement. This position will “work within the SA[u]CE oﬃce and will be available to
Halloween CONTINUED FROM PAGE 6 The idea of race no longer being of significance also gives White trick-ortreaters and partygoers the sense that it may be appropriate to repurpose Blackface, along with other oﬀensive tropes, as interest in other cultures or even as a means of showing respect. Appropriation of Native American and Latinx cultures for Halloween costumes also remains a polarizing issue in the United States. In 2016 Disney pulled
Space Force CONTINUED FROM PAGE 6 advantage that will presumably come to be of great importance. Faced with circumstances that challenge U.S. dominance, we ought to take the mightiest step of all in forming an entire military branch for the purposes of space defense. This mode of thinking, though, seems to be a dangerous one to take in relation to space—and in relation to take any other realm of foreign policy, for that matter. In practice, the military is already taking steps toward increased protection. According to the AFSPC website, the Air Force’s requested $156.3 billion for the 2019 fiscal year would be a 33 percent increase in funding for the Space Command. Among other modernizations, this budget increase would allow the AFSPC to update its infrared satellite system as well as develop ‘jam-resistant’ GPS technology for space use. Moreover, such a budget increase should find an easy path to getting approved, given the Trump administration’s coercion of Congress in terms of approving $639 billion in defense spending for the 2018 budget, as well as Trump’s aﬃnity for military might. Some may contend, however, that the very optics of the Space Force are de-
Wednesday, October 10, 2018 www.ncfcatalyst.com | @ncfcatalyst
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work with multicultural programs and student organizations,” Williamson said. “I do want to reiterate that even though there may be two staﬀ members who take the lead on diversity and inclusion initiatives, it is on all of us to work towards creating a safe, inclusive and diverse environment.” New College has a number of resources on campus designed to provide support to marginalized students. Most on-campus resources are run by students. There are currently 12 clubs on campus that provide a safe place for students to celebrate their culture and ask questions. There is also a bi-monthly Council of Diversity and Inclusion (CDI) meeting in the Gender and Diversity Center (GDC) located in the Hamilton “Ham” Center. The meetings are open to all students, and provide an on-campus space to discuss diversity and how to make New College a more inclusive community. Meetings occur every other Monday from 6 to 7 p.m. The next meeting will occur on Oct. 8. Students can also visit the New College Student Alliance (NCSA) oﬃce to talk to the Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion (VPDI),
Cabrini Austin, during their oﬃce hours. Oﬃce hours are announced on the Students List and forum. “‘Diverse’ is too blanket a category for me to comfortably say NCF is more or less so, but I can say with certainty that there are more Black students now (and throughout my four years) than when I entered my first year,” Miles Iton, director of Sincerely, the Black Kids (a documentary on what it is like to be Black on a primarily White campus), said in an email interview. “It was probably my third year when I noticed the incoming class was more racially diverse than mine was, and I believe the Catalyst touted that year as the most diverse class as well. I believe credit for that should go to eﬀorts from student activism such as the Black Student Union/Black History Month Planning Committee, LatinX Club, the Asian American student alliance on campus, the revamped Council of Diversity and Inclusion from the NCSA and others.” Iton shared his advice to firstyears: “Get your own self-knowledge in check first before running rampant and making ally-ship a part of your identity, because more than half of that list was
perpetrated/perpetuated by “well-meaning” students as well.” He emphasized letting “people have their own journeys and know when to play your part.” He clarified that “sometimes that part is listening, sometimes it means standing up and taking action and sometimes it’ll have nothing at all to do with you and that’s just fine.” Iton’s advice to first-years of color is to have a mentor and “ask for help when you need it.” He warns students not to think that they cannot mess up too, as “anti-Blackness, homophobia and the like are not limited to White people. It’s definitely not your job to be New College’s diversity and inclusion department, but if you want to be loud about changing anything at all (which I hope you do if you have the ability to), it’s gonna take that eﬀort and discomfort to keep that same energy. You’re a student too and you deserve to be where you are no matter how uncomfortable it makes someone else. Claim your space and don’t wait for anyone else to claim it for you.”
Maui (from the movie Moana) zip-up suits oﬀ the racks. In instances like these, the infringement upon freedom of expression is often cited by those defending the choice to dress up in appropriative and oﬀensive costumes, even if this expression comes at the cost of the mental and emotional well-being of others who are also trying to enjoy their Halloween. For those who are also celebrating Día de los Muertos on Nov. 1 and Nov. 2., Latina Culture Writer for Hellogiggles Gabriella Herstik implored non-Latinx readers to be considerate. Herstik explained that she can see the appeal of the holiday to outsiders in her 2017 article “How to not be oﬀensive this Día de los
Muertos,” but suggested that non-Mexicans who wish to celebrate should do so mindfully. She appealed to readers to patronize Mexican and Latinx businesses and festivals, not to paint their face as the sugar skull for Halloween and to do their own research on the holiday. The request for people not to appropriate other races and cultures in their costumes is not an attack on one’s self expression so much as a call for people to be considerate of others, to do their research and to be mindful. Appreciation of and mindful engagement with the history and practices other cultures is not a bad thing, but the utilization of someone’s identity to obtain a certain aesthetic for
Halloween is not acceptable. “I think that the argument has absolutely become politicized,” Susan Scafidi, author of Who Owns Culture: Appropriation and Authenticity in American Law, said to USA Today, “but it doesn’t need to be. We can all learn to be polite and respectful without being political. And, in fact, I think most people want to be.”
sirable in themselves because the establishment of a whole new military branch for space fighting would deter China and Russia from engaging in hostility. To begin with, it doesn’t seem entirely clear that this sort of step is necessary. If China and Russia do have combative objectives (which is itself within the very narrow framework of political realism), the Pentagon can take conscientious, measured steps in response, like it did with the funding of the initiatives already mentioned. In fact, we see this with the U.S.’ plans to set up a Space War Center, which will have the express aim of preparing for potential space altercations. More importantly, though, the U.S. should avoid a Space Force for reasons of principle. By its very establishment, a Space Force would validate a rhetoric that would ultimately corrupt the possibility of a peaceful outer space sphere in which knowledge and discovery reign supreme. Outer space ought not to be conceived of as another sphere in which nation-states can assert their authority, but rather as a frontier through which all people can work to further the greatest values of humanity. This is an ideal, of course, but it is one worth pursuing and one apparently shared by many. Indeed, the theme of this year’s World Space Week was “Space Unites The World.” It’s doubtful that Trump got the message, but we can nevertheless work to ensure that its vision for space, rather than Trump’s, gets actualized.
Information for this article was gathered from washingtonpost.com, talkdeath.com, wearyourvoicemag.com, nmaahc.si.edu, wikipedia.org, tolerance.org, hellogiggles. com, usatoday.com, psychologytoday.com and huffingtonpost.com.
Wednesday, October 10, 2018 www.ncfcatalyst.com | @ncfcatalyst
The birth of a Tube-Dude
all images Calvin Stumpfhauser/Catalyst
BY CALVIN STUMPFHAUSER If you’ve spent any time in Sarasota, it’s likely you’ve come across a brightly colored, aluminum figure, otherwise known as a Tube-Dude. Throughout the area, there are hundreds on display, and whatever color, form or situation you might find a single Tube-Dude in, they are easily recognized by their striking simplicity and patented smile. One might ask: Where did these come from, and what is their purpose? “The birth of a [tube] dude,” creator Scott Gerber explained, “begins when a customer walks through our door. We’ll sit down with them and we’ll say, ‘What does your happiness look like?’ and ‘Tell me what you want to display to the rest of the world.’” The inspiration for Tube-Dude came in the midst of desperation. It was a story of “losing everything and then totally reinventing one’s self,” according to Gerber. He had once been a Ship’s Captain in the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, delivering crude oil overseas. Gerber remembered a time when “[he] spent three years on a boat without getting oﬀ the vessel.” He later served as the captain of various sport-fishing boats, the representative and bodyguard of a yacht proprietor and eventually founded his own yacht building company in Sarasota. The business had only just gotten oﬀ the ground when the recession hit hard, and Gerber was forced to stop operations. He laid oﬀ more than 50 employees, a situation he described as “the toughest thing [he] ever did.” Still in grief over this misfortune, inspiration struck while he sat in U.S. 301 traﬃc on the way to work. That day, he and another welder began a small project to lift their spirits: a smiling “stickman” made up of various boat parts left around the warehouse. Five hours later, the first TubeDude was born. This aluminum figure was given a fishing pole and left to its own devices at the end of a wooden dock. Estranged from the world and indiﬀerent to the financial crisis, Tube-Dude felt only rain and salt, the swelling and contracting of boards beneath its feet and the
A drawing of Tube-Dude in front of a hand-held mirror.
coastal breeze that would sometimes circulate throughout its limbs. Tube-Dude stood alone in the elements, fishing pole in hand, and smiled despite everything. This did not go unnoticed. People stopped their cars to take pictures with it, and soon neighbors asked for their very own Tube-Dudes. Gerber kept making them, and left a few of them around Sarasota. They faced highways and held up signs with positive messages, such as “SMILE!” Tourists and locals alike came to love Tube-Dudes for their simple gestures of optimism. The microcosm provided by an in-
ventory of 100 Tube-Dudes is an interesting one. Many are in the act of fishing (with a license), golfing or shopping. They are often doctors, tourists, construction workers or professional athletes— though there are very few children in the community. Oﬀ Tamiami Trail, a Tube-Dude holds a water-pipe and watches passing cars. There are UPS drivers, at least one appointed judge and what appears to be a priest. The world envisioned through the eyes of a Tube-Dude is one of leisure and highend health care, construction projects and redevelopment, law and order.
Whether you hate them or love them, each Tube-Dude was someone’s answer to the question: “What does your happiness look like?”
The oﬃcial website features a message from Tube-Dude: “I want to do one thing, put a smile on your face.” As the artist, “you pick the pose, the size, the color and even the personality (hopefully it’s a reflection of your own).” Tube-Dudes are a display of status unique to the symbolic realm of Sarasota, and can cost as much as $2,000 each. They are often spotted in dense, coordinated groups. Some neighborhoods or commercial centers find Tube-Dude more infectious than others do. Regardless, there is a sort of competitiveness involved in them. When a Sarasota Starbucks ordered a Tube-Dude, it only made sense that a nearby Dunkin’ Donuts soon ordered two of their very own. Whether you hate them or love them, each Tube-Dude was someone’s answer to the question: “What does your happiness look like?”
Silver: 1 Red, White & Blue : 3 Grey: 3
Yellow: 25 100
Black: 4 Brown: 4
Purple: 4 White: 6
Orange: 8 25 5
Green: 17 0
Children Red: 8 The many shades found among 100 Tube-Dudes.
Anatomical forms found among 100 Tube-Dudes.