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Alumnae/Alumni Association attempts to improve communication with current students BY BAILEY TIETSWORTH The Alumnae/Alumni Association is one of the more baffling entities that operates in the swampy marshes of New College. Students never receive any introduction to the group when they arrive for orientation, and in their upper years are often drowning in academics, so they never pay attention to the Association. Housed in the Keating Center on the bayfront side of campus, the Alumnae/ Alumni Association is a nonprofit organization which functions as a separate committee under the sphere of the New College Foundation. The purpose of the Association is to “promote communication among Alumnae/i and between Alumnae/i and New College, to sponsor activities and events for Alumnae/i, to advise the President of New College of Florida and the President of the New College Foundation, Inc. of Alumnae/i concerns and to provide financial and other assistance to New College in carrying out its educational mission,’” according to the New College Alumnae/i Association webpage.

The Association has a Board of Directors which carries out the administrative duties of the organization. Cindy Hill (‘89), the current chair of the Board, stressed the independence which the Board maintains. “We’re not a separate corporation, we exist under the Foundation, but we are our own committee,” Hill said in a recent phone interview with the Catalyst. “We make our own decisions, the Foundation doesn’t dictate what we do, but we are under that umbrella.” The Board refrains from advising the college on decision-making issues, but rather focuses on improving communication among alums and organizing reunions and out-ofstate events. The members of the Board hold at least four annual meetings, two of which occur on campus in the Keating Center. Members who cannot attend in person can participate in the meetings via phone call. Hill emphasized the openness

of these two on-campus meetings, which typically see little outside participation. “The idea is that alums, and for that matter anybody, can come to the meetings if they want to,” Hill explained. “It tends to be that the meetings that we have at reunions [or graduation] are the ones that people will occasionally show up for.” The Board receives information about current events on campus from staff at the Foundation, who also helps provide communication between the Board and the rest of the Association. Hill recognized the Foundation’s help, as many members of the Foundation are also New College alums. “I can say the Foundation is very supportive of the alums, since they recognize part of the giving base is the alums, part of keeping the college successful is the alums,” Hill said. While the Association does not officially have any formal interaction with

“What can the Alumni Association do for students?”

current students, in the past few years the organization has attempted to provide students with opportunities to connect with alums. Local alums with similar professions came to campus to talk with students about their experiences in their process of job finding. Called “Coffee Talks,” these events lasted for the 20172018 academic year under the direction of alumna Michelle Flint (‘91) at the Center for Career Engagement and Opportunity (CEO). Aside from the “Coffee Talks,” the Association lacked the resources to carry out more programming with students. “We haven’t had resources to try to do an official mentorship program, because unfortunately we are a small college and we just don’t have the resources like University of Florida has,” Hill said. Hill stressed that the Association wished to help as much as they could, but the lack of structure impeded their intentions. “For decades we haven’t, as an insti-

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57 percent of NCF students do not plan to receive a flu shot this year BY ALEXANDRA CONTE

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

November marks the start of influenza (flu) season in the United States, which peaks in the winter months according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). The CDC reported that last year around 80,000 Americans died from the flu, the highest death toll from the flu since the 1970s. There has been a significant drop in vaccination levels throughout the last seven flu seasons. A study conducted by the CDC revealed that only four in 10 adults received a flu shot last year. The CDC recommends people get the flu vaccination in October before flu season begins as well as year round. The point of the flu vaccine is to prevent people from getting the flu, and the vaccine’s formula is changed each year based on the strains researchers believe will circulate that year. If a vaccinated person man-

Cost Don’t trust vaccines

Afraid of needles Time/scheduling Other

47.00%

Don’t know enough info Lack of health insurance

23.50% 11.80% 11.80%

11.80%

Alexandra Conte/Catalyst Poll results of reas0ns why NCF students choose not to get the flu vaccine.

ages to “catch” the flu, their reaction will be less severe than those who were not vaccinated.

In a survey conducted by the Catalyst and sent out to the Forum, 27.3 percent of students at New College of Flori-

da (NCF) reported that they received the flu vaccination. Of the 34 respondents to the survey, 57.7 percent revealed that they do not plan to get the flu vaccine this year. In the survey, 35.3 percent of students listed the time it takes as their top reason for not obtaining a flu shot and 5.9 percent of respondents stated that they do not trust the vaccine. “I like having a strong immune system and I don’t want to get other people sick on campus,” first-year Grace Sherman said. In response to the survey, 11.8 percent of participants listed a fear of needles as a reason for not obtaining the vaccine. The nasal spray vaccine is the best option for those who have a fear of shots, although the CWC does not carry the nasal spray vaccination as an option

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Activist Newsletter

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briefs by izaya miles

Brazilian presidency takes a sharp right turn For the last 15 years, Brazil has been ruled by the left-wing Worker’s Party (PT) but on Oct. 28, their reign came to an end. Brazilians, in the aftermath of a political crisis and in the midst of a deep recession, elected right-wing incendiary Jair Bolsonaro, of the little known Social Liberal Party (PSL), to the presidency with 55 percent of the vote. Under the PT’s leadership, Brazil’s economy has weathered inflation, growing debt and high deficits. In recent years, the Brazilian economy has shrunk by almost 4 percent. Additionally, many prominent PT politicians, including the popular former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, have been imprisoned on charges of corruption. Mr. da Silva continued to lead his party from his prison cell, even as more and more politicians, from PT and other less prominent parties, were further implicated. All of these charges, which largely relate to misuse and mismanagement of the state-owned

oil company Petrobras, fall under what is called the Car Wash scandal. However, Bolsonaro has maintained a clean record, and the public’s perception of him as being free from the rampant corruption of his peers has given the 28-year congressman the appeal of an outsider to many Brazilians. Additionally, many are attracted to his drive to liberalize Brazil’s economy and his emphasis on law and order in a country with a murder rate hovering around 30 per 100,000 people. But Bolsonaro has faced criticism in the election because of his inflammatory comments about LGBTQIA+ people, ethnic minorities and women. “I’d prefer [to see] a son of mine to die in an accident than [to be] a homosexual,” Bolsonaro told Playboy magazine in a 2011 interview. Additionally, he claimed that having a daughter was a personal weakness and in 2016 he once said a fellow law-

maker was “not worth raping” because she was “very ugly.” Bolsonaro has dismissed the resulting criticism as “political correctness.” Despite these comments, many individuals of these groups still support Bolsonaro. “The left confused poverty for culture,” Ubiratan Maia, a member of the Wapishana tribe and campaigner for Bolsonaro, said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. “We don’t want to be poor, we want to be entrepreneurs.” “We know he’s not perfect, he’s a human being like the rest of us, he says stupid stuff, he’s intemperate, but even so he’s the best hope we have for a better Brazil,” Eliana Falcão, a female teacher, told the Journal. “We want to get rid of this band of left-wingers.” “The thing I most like about Bolsonaro is his sincerity—something that is missing nowadays,” Smith Hays, an openly gay congressional candidate in

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons President Jair Bolsonaro at a meeting.

Mr. Bolsonaro’s party, told the Journal. Hays does not believe Bolsonaro to be prejudiced, just “confused.” Hays, like many other Brazilians, believes that the troubles Bolsonaro seeks to combat hold greater weight than his inflammatory comments. “These are personal issues, there are other bigger things at stake in the country.” Information for this article was gathered from wsj.com and bbc.com.

Ethiopia appoints first female president In what many see as a step toward gender equality, Ethiopia’s Parliament appointed Sahle-Work Zewde as its first female president on Oct. 25. With unanimous approval, Zewde, who served in a variety of high-level diplomatic roles for three decades, was appointed to the position following her predecessor’s unexpected resignation the day before. This appointment comes among a wave of female leaders in Ethiopia, with

the cabinet of current Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed being evenly split between 10 women and 10 men. Among the women in his cabinet are Defense Minister Aisha Mohammed and Peace Minister Muferiat Kamil. Zewde’s appointment has been hailed as an important first step by many activists inside the country. “There is still much to be desired in gender equality, despite the recent moves

for gender proportionality in Ethiopian politics,” Aklile Solomon, a women’s rights activist based in Addis Ababa, said in an interview with Al Jazeera. For her part, Zewde has expressed enthusiasm about her appointment and what it could mean for Ethiopian women in the future. “If the current change in Ethiopia is headed equally by both men and women, it can sustain its momentum and

realise a prosperous Ethiopia free of religious, ethnic and gender discrimination,” Zewde said in a speech in Parliament on Thursday.

Information for this article was gathered from aljazeera.com and washingtonpost. com.

Bolton brands Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua the “Troika of Tyranny” At Miami Dade College, National Security Advisor John Bolton denounced the authoritarian regimes of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua to a crowd that roared with its support. The Nov. 1 speech, held at Freedom Tower, was a clear enunciation of the aggressive policies the Trump administration has been taking against the countries, which included a slew of new sanctions signed into law by President Trump that evening. Bolton branded the three states with a new term, referring to them as the “troika of tyranny,” and stated that the United States “will not reward firing squads, torturers and murderers.” The Trump administration has largely reversed the Obama administra-

First Secretary of the Central Communist Party of Cuba Raul Castro, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, and Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega (left to right). Photos courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

tion’s policy of normalization with Cuba, citing the regime’s repression of its own people and the suspicious circumstances surrounding what the State Department referred to as “health attacks” affecting U.S. diplomats in Havana in 2017. Bolton called on the Venezuelan government to release its political prisoners, to hold honest elections, to reinstate the rule of law and to open the country

© 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.

up to humanitarian aid. “[The Nicaraguan regime] will feel the full weight of America’s robust sanctions regime,” Bolton said. Nicaragua was harshly denounced for the violence perpetrated by government officials against political demonstrators which left hundreds dead. Bolton was clear that the U.S. would not be acting alone, claiming that

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, Katrina Carlin, Alexandra Conte, Izaya Garrett Miles, Calvin Stumpfhauser

the administration was partnering with Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina and “many others.” Specifically, he expressed excitement over the elections of Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil and Ivan Duque in Colombia, calling them both “like-minded leaders.” Information for this article was gathered from cnn.com and wsj.com. 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.


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NEWS PAGE 3

Students respond to changes to the CEO BY KATRINA CARLIN Since the last school year, the Center for Career Engagement and Opportunity (CEO) has undergone significant changes: several new staff members, a new online career service called Handshake and a new paint job (with further renovations to come). Some students have reported concern about the changes. “From last year to this year, one major takeaway that I noticed was that they’re less friendly and helpful,” thesis student and History Area of Concentration (AOC) Rachel Rochlin, who is currently applying to law schools, said in an email interview. “Michelle Flint was helping me every step of the way, helping me find programs and understanding how to do the basic application, how to work with the no GPA thing. This year I was sad to find all the previous staff gone. I was told that they couldn’t help me with programs, applications or anything like that.” Thesis student Sierra Swabach started a Forum thread to share CEO graduate school application resources resources from previous years. The CEO’s Assistant Director for Career Readiness and Employability Lisandra Jimenez explained that these previously online resources were not being removed, but rather were just hidden while the website was under construction. She also reported that a part-time employee was work-

ing with the CEO and New College’s marketing team to work on updating the site. Jimenez and Assistant Director for Career Technology and Outreach Madeline Heath recommended nurturing faculty relationships, especially for students

ally make CEO appointments on it. [It has] 100 jobs and internships and more of them are geared toward current students and recent grads.” Jimenez explained how the new staff was trying to form connections with the New College Alumnae/i Association

Image courtesy of the CEO The logo for the new Handshake program.

whose post-grad plans involve graduate school. Jimenez and Heath also touched on how the CEO exists more to assist students in the process of actually applying to graduate school, such as resume writing or personal statements, rather than the more field-specific aspects of choosing a program or a school. They emphasized how faculty advisors are still an important part of the graduate school application process. Interest in the newly launched Handshake has been relatively tepid, although some members of the community have had good experiences with Handshake and are looking forward to using it to connect with employers. Thesis student Alex Sommers found that “Handshake is user-friendly and you can actu-

to help students navigate their post-New College future. “We’re always trying to connect with the community and bring leaders from different industries to the students [through Handshake],” Jimenez said. Heath emphasized that their goal is not for Handshake to take away from the services offered by the CEO, but that it will “add to the robustness” of these services. Students seem to disagree about the effect Handshake has had on the CEO’s accessibility. “This year I have had interactions with a few [staff members] and I find them to be uninterested,” thesis student Bianca Persechino said in an email interview. “Peers have told me they don’t respond to emails and if they do, never promptly.”

Expressing a similar sentiment, Rochlin said, “Lisandra Jimenez told me the only things she would help me with are my resume and personal statement or essays, and that before she helped me I needed to have everything done. When I expressed that I didn’t know where to start or how to write a personal statement, she told me that they can really only offer advice on drafts, which seemed unhelpful to me. It’s weird that they can’t or won’t offer general advice.” In response to questions about their ability to meet with students given all the changes, Heath explained how mentorship was an important part of the role for both herself and Jimenez. “We still want to meet face to face,” Heath explained, and added that if students didn’t feel that Handshake was meeting their needs that they should reach out to the CEO. “If students talk to us about organizations they’re already interested in, they can tell us about them and we can help with the Handshake onboarding process for the employer,” Heath said. The CEO is also in the process of creating student “workspaces,” or new furniture for what Jimenez referred to as “peer-to-peer work.” Jimenez hopes it will encourage students to work on their resumes or job applications in the CEO after meeting with a mentor. Jimenez and Heath hope the CEO will become a place where students feel comfortable seeking post-graduation advice.

ISPs prompt students to learn more about their passions and create connections BY CAIT MATTHEWS Whether students are in their first or third years at New College, the Independent Study Project (ISP) that occurs during January is an important and sometimes challenging thing to approach. Since ISP has the potential for such a broad range of exploration, and can be done with a group, as an individual, off-campus or as an internship or job, it is important to find the time to plan the course of study during the second module of fall term. “ISP is a really critical part of the New College curriculum because it fosters independent study,” New College President Donal O’Shea said. Last school year, there was talk of changing the placement of ISP within the school calendar. O’Shea felt that having ISP in May could be a good shift for a multitude of reasons: it could give first year students more time to settle into the pace of a college environment, it could give students a better start with finding summer jobs and it could line up better with the nine-month pay contracts that professors have. “There isn’t any danger of ISP going away or moving in the calendar anytime soon,” O’Shea said. “The arguments against that are valid. It would be very hard to make the switch from one thing to another. People get used to it and like that they have such a long break. I worry that it affects retention.” Thesis student Sara Friend recommends group ISPs for first years who are

unsure of what kind of independent research they are interested in. “My first ISP I decided I was going to teach myself astrochemistry when I only had general chemistry under my belt,” Friend shared. “That just wasn’t feasible, and that’s okay, but I should’ve done a group thing and not had to try and direct my whole month all by myself.” Friend appreciates group ISPs because they create guidance and structure. From her perspective, it can be beneficial to have help with putting together a syllabus and figuring out the way ISP works. For students who are preparing for thesis year, she recommends having an ISP that relates to the thesis process. Third-year Ormond Derrick’s favorite part of ISP is the freedom to be able to research and study just about anything. Derrick likes having control over the research projects and interests that he explores. “While that is a blessing, it can also be a curse for a lot of students, like it was first year with me,” Derrick said in an email interview. “It was more of a ‘great, how exactly do I find or do these things?’ We need something like an ISP-mentorship group with students and professors.”

Derrick has done two off-campus politically-oriented ISPs: one with a group who met with different members of Congress and lobbying groups after the 2016 election and another branching off of anti-human trafficking research he did with the United Nations (UN), thanks to the support of Professor of Sociology Sarah Hernandez. He plans to study abroad during the summer of 2019 as an additional ISP credit. For those interested in a similar path, Derrick recommends talking to Assistant Director of Off-Campus Study and Study Abroad Florence Zamsky to make sure an ISP credit can be obtained. “As far as financial support, I’d say look at the Council for Academic Affairs (CAA)/S tudent Travel Research Grant (STRG),” Derrick stated. “The CAA funded almost the entire ISP I did my first year and it was incredible, especially being a poor, first generation college student. Having these resources made my education and ISP so accessible which was important to me and is important to other students like me.” This coming ISP, second-year Joey Daniels is going to The Abbey of SaintPierre de Solesmes, a monastery in Sa-

“There was a chemistry group ISP during my second year that just made all different kinds of cheese and during their presentation we ate it.”

lem, France, that Daniels referenced as one of the leading places to study Gregorian chant. “I got the idea from third-year Max Kucera and Professor [of History and Medieval and Renaissance Studies Thomas] McCarthy is sponsoring it,” Daniels stated. “It’s really great to immerse yourself in a subject for a month. You can get a lot of educational value out of it.” Students have the freedom to mold their independent study to explore anything they are fascinated by, as long as they find faculty support. Second-year Emily Schenck did a group ISP last year where they did research and went on a period-accurate 1840s fur-trapping camping trip. Thesis student Erika Johnson received STRG funding to go to a research lab at the University of Valladolid in Spain, aided by advisor guidance from Professor of Chemistry Steven Shipman. Second-year Anna Lynn Winfrey made bread during all of last January. “There was a chemistry group during my second year that just made all different kinds of cheese and during their presentation we ate it,” Friend recalled. “So it can be fun but also academic. It can be personal but also academic. It can be going to visit your family. There are so many options.”


[Performance @ new college] launches their first season with Cymbeline BY CHARLIE LEAVENGOOD Tucked in the back corner of the Hamilton “Ham” Center is all the world, or as some prefer to call it, a stage. For New College students, it’s simply The Black Box. The Black Box Theatre’s (BBT) first production of the 2018-2019 season is an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Cymbeline that stars thesis students Austin Gray, Bliss Aruj and Araya Barnes. Props include a headless dummy made out of duct tape. It is also the debut show of [performance @ new college], a New College theatrical production company under the artistic direction of theatre and performance studies faculty. The Windmill Theatre Company, the only production company on campus before the creation of [performance @ new college], will continue to produce student-directed work. Cymbeline is directed by Monica Cross, the production manager/technical director of the BBT and a New College alumni (‘10). “It is the Shakespeare play of all Shakespeare plays,” Cross said. “It takes plot points from all of his much more well-known plays and it mixes them all together in a blender.” According to [performance @ new college]’s website, “Cymbeline follows the story of Imogen, daughter of King Cymbeline, the aging monarch of ancient Britain. Imogen has married Posthumus against her father’s wishes and now Posthumus has been banished. In Rome, Posthumus is pressured into making a bet over his wife’s faithfulness. Under house arrest by her father, Imogen is beset by a wicked stepmother, a stepbrother who makes more than brotherly advances and a stranger sent from Rome. Disguises, mistaken identity, a headless body, the Roman army and the recovery of two missing children follow in this 17th-century fairytale.” Cross cut scenes from the original script and approaches the text in a contemporary way. “I think it’s fascinating to look at the characters of Iachimo or of Posthumus as characters who realize how horrible their behavior has been and in various ways try to atone for it, or don’t,” Cross said. “I haven’t seen that explored in other productions as fully as I see it in the text.” Cross has directed other early modern dramas, including Twelfth Night (‘15), The Maid’s Tragedy (‘16) and Gallathea (‘16). These plays, including Cymbeline, share the commonality that the leading character is Assigned-Female-At-Birth (AFAB) and disguises themself as a man, for different reasons, and in doing so, gains a sense of freedom that they could not otherwise. Cross has made directorial changes to each production. “She has a lot of experience with alternative ways of interpreting Shakespeare,” Aruj, who plays Imogene, said. “It’s so helpful to have a Shakespeare expert working through Shakespeare with you because it reveals so much you might not have seen in the text.” Aruj has been an active member of the on-campus theatre community throughout her New College career. This is her first lead role.

All photos courtesy of Grant Sauer

The cast reads through the script as Cross directs from the corner.

Zach Hanna (center) plays the titular character, Cymbeline.

It is also Aruj’s first time using stage combat in a show. Cymbeline marks the first time a production has received fight and intimacy choreography, movement that creates the illusion of physical combat or romance, from a New College faculty member. Cymbeline calls for a physically romantic scene as well as a knife fight and the carrying of fake corpses. “We’re very lucky that we now have Professor [of Theatre and Performance Studies] Diego Villada who came in and worked one-on-one with Araya and I in that intimacy scene,” Aruj said. “It was interesting learning the intricacies of what goes into intimacy choreography and discussing consent in that arena.” Information for this article was gathered from ncf.edu. Cymbeline runs from Nov. 15 to Nov. 18, with showings at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. in the BBT. Admission is free and open to the public. Reserve your seat and learn more about [performance @ new college] at www. ncf.edu

Barnes and Gray practice fight choreography.


Sarasota Opera kicks off its fall season with The Barber of Seville BY AUDREY WARNE Sarasota Opera kicked off its fall season this week with three performances of Gioachino Rossini’s The Barber of Seville. The upcoming performances will take place on Thursday, Nov. 8 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 11 at 1:30 p.m. “The Barber of Seville is a great intro opera for anyone,” Garrett Obrycki, who will be singing the role of The Official in Barber, said. “It’s a good ‘after-dinner-and-a-glass-of-wine’ kind of opera because it’s so funny. When people hear opera for the first time they think, ‘Oh, it’s going to be really sad and someone’s going to die on stage,’ but this is like the exact opposite of that. It’s super funny and all over the place.” The Barber of Seville is an opera buffa, or a comedic opera sung entirely in Italian. An example of the bel canto style of Italian opera, Barber first premiered in 1816 and has become one of the most widely performed opere buffe. The show is entirely sung, with no dialogue in the over three hour long performance. “There are arias and duets and trios where people are singing and it’s very fluid and then there are these moments called recitativo where it’s like speak-singing,” Obrycki explained. “It’s more quick-paced, but it’s still scored by the orchestra or the harpsichord. What happens in those moments is that the plot propels a little bit quicker, and then in the actual songs, in the arias, they sing about how they feel about what is hap-

pening. There is a distinction between the two and you’ll absolutely be able to tell the difference.” Supertitles are projected onto screens above the stage so that non-Italian speakers can follow the lyrics and plot. “It’s a wonderful first opera to see mainly because a lot of the tunes that you will hear throughout the opera are very mainstream,” Anna Mandina, who will be singing the role of Berta in Barber, said. “It’s an opera that is often used for different sound bites and movies and commercials so it’s very recognizable audibly.” College Night Once a year, the Sarasota Opera Board of Trustees hosts a special reception and invites local college students and faculty to talk about the show, introduce some of the cast members and impart their love for opera onto some of Sarasota’s younger residents. This year’s event will take place as part of the Nov. 8 performance of Barber, with the reception at 6 p.m. followed by the show at 7:30 p.m. College Night is a youth-outreach initiative spearheaded by retired college professor and current Sarasota Opera Board of Trustees member Dr. Rosanne Martorella. “As a college professor, I always tried to engage my students in attending a museum or performance,” Dr. Martorella

All photos courtesy of Rod Millington

A scene from Sarasota Opera’s performance of The Barber of Seville.

continued on page 7 Steven Condy as Dr. Bartolo and Matthew Burns as Basilio in The Barber of Seville.

Chrystal E. Williams, Hak Soo Kim, and Steven Condy in The Barber of Seville.

Sarasota Opera’s production of The Barber Of Seville.


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Wednesday, November 7, 2018 www.ncfcatalyst.com | @ncfcatalyst

Photo courtesty of The Party for Socialism and Liberation-Florida

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Behind the scenes: Q&A with the Zombies Gamemasters BY EILEEN CALUB

The Activist Newsletter Throughout this week (11/7–11/14), activists have the opportunity to participate in public lectures, panel discussions, community meetings and volunteer trainings. Read on if you want to get involved in the community regarding environmental protection, knowledge building and reproductive health/rights.

BY CASSIE MANZ Thurs., Nov. 8, Queer/Kuir/Quare Panel Discussion @ 6 - 9 p.m. New College of Florida, College Hall Music Room - 5800 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota. Presented by the Queer of Color Critique tutorial, this panel discussion will focus on the radical identity negotiations of queer people of color (QPOC). The panel features Dr. Katie Acosta, a sociologist from Georgia State University who studies Latinas with non-normative sexualties, Johanna Toruño, a poet and visual artist from New York who engages the public on topics of race, gender, sexuality and colonialism through her street art, and Dr. Duane Khan, assistant program director at the Counseling and Wellness Center (CWC). Khan also conducts research on gay, bisexual and queer men of color. This event is free and open to the public. Fri., Nov. 9, Zine Workshop @ 6:30 - 10 p.m. New College of Florida, Four Winds Cafe - 5800 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota. Dip your toes into the art of zine making at this workshop presented by the Queer of Color Critique tutorial, with Johanna Toruño, creator of The Unapologetically Brown Series. This is the first of two zine workshops led by the tutorial that will culminate in a Zine Launch in December. This event is free and open to the public. Sat., Nov. 10, Patient Escort Training (and brunch!) @ 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. New College of Florida, Four Winds Cafe - 5800 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota. Planned Parenthood enlists volunteer patient escorts to accompany patients into their health clinics on days when pro-life groups are known to protest outside. Patient escorts

are trained to make clients feel comfortable and safe while walking into a health center. Join New College’s Generation Action, a student activist group for Planned Parenthood, at their patient escort training on Saturday to learn proper procedure as a Planned Parenthood volunteer and how to best support patients. Stephanie Fraim, CEO of Southwest and Central Florida Planned Parenthood, will also give a post-election debrief. Mon., Nov. 12, The Five Percenters: Race, Religion and American Islam @ 7:30 - 9:30 p.m. Eckerd College, Fox Hall - Dorm Dr., St. Petersburg.

“The End is Nigh” read a banner hanging over a Pei dorm balcony, signaling the onset of the annual Apocalypse at New College: “Zombies 2018: Apotheosis.” The weeklong event is an intense game of tag between humans, wearing red wristbands, and zombies, wearing green wristbands. Humans must arrive safely at each checkpoint to stay alive, while zombies pursue and bite (tag) humans to spread the infection. On Oct. 28, the madness officially began. A complex story and set of rules regarding feats and weapons were available online for new players. Each day, progress updates were communicated online as humans fought for their survival and zombies wreaked chaos across campus. Observers of the Apocalypse stayed back while humans frantically rushed to safe zones and defended themselves with squirt guns against zombies hoping to gain points. Catalyst staff writer Eileen Calub conducted a joint email interview with this year’s Game Masters (GM), thirdyear Grace Hamilton and thesis student Bethany “Bef ” Wilson, to find out more about this New College tradition. Eileen Calub: Why did you choose to be Game Masters? Grace Hamilton and Bef Wilson: “In general, we have a deep love for the game and the friendships it has brought us, so we’d love to see it continue and for

Analyzing the Apocalypse As Zombies 2018 began, thesis student and Computer Science Area of Concentration (AOC) Maxwell Miller decided to take his chance to investigate the chaos. For his Geographic Information Systems (GIS) class project, Miller collected data from NCF Zombies players to create a map studying where humans are tagged during Zombies. Miller recorded the places and times where human players were “transformed” into zombies and analyzed the data to determine which places on campus were more dangerous than others. “This will be my fourth year participating in NCF Zombies,” Miller said. “Every year students take it very seriously and humans try as hard as they can to survive. I decided on this for my project because I think that GIS could be a good tool to help determine what areas on campus are more dangerous than others.” After Miller evaluates the data, Zombies players may find his research results useful for coming years.

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Michael Muhammed Knight, assistant professor of philosophy at University of Central Florida (UCF), will present on the history and teachings of the Five Percenters, a religious group that emerged in the 1960s in Harlem during the schism between Malcolm X and Elijah Muhammad. He will examine the movement’s struggle for its incarcerated members’ freedom of conscience, as well as both criticism and credit the movement has received. This event is part of Eckerd College’s Presidential Events Series, “Race and Class in America: 50 years without King,” and is free and open to the public. Tues., Nov. 13, Sierra Club Conservation Committee @ 6:30 p.m. Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center - 525 Kumquat Ct., Sarasota. The Conservation Committee is a working group of the ManateeSarasota chapter of the Sierra Club that investigates local issues and recommends positions/actions to the local executive committee. This meeting is open to the public.

Image courtesy of NCF Zombies The poster for this year’s Zombies game.


CATALYST Flu Season CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 for patients. Of the respondents, 48.5 percent were not aware that a nasal spray existed as an option for flu vaccination. Unlike the shot, the nasal spray contains live strains of the flu virus. The CDC assures that the flu cannot be contracted from the spray because the strains are too weak and are cold-adapted, which means the strains can only multiply in the cold regions of the nose and will not survive the warmer temperatures of places such as the lungs. NCF and University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee (USF-SM) students, including those who are uninsured, can receive free flu shots at the Coun-

Alumnae/i Association CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 tution, been able to take advantage of the opportunities that Sarasota offers and the opportunities that alums can offer to students in a structural way,” Hill said. “The wish has always been there: the structure hasn’t.” Jim Tietsworth (‘84), an ophthalmologist and board member since 2016, joined the Association’s Board of Directors with the initial intention of helping students with hopes of applying to medical school. However, he quickly found bureaucratic potholes blocking his efforts to carry out his own programming. “Some of the initial interactions I had, with the CEO and also with some Foundation folks, was this idea [from the people I talked to that] we have this under control,” Tietsworth explained in a phone interview with the Catalyst. “Basically I heard, let the school run with this and if the school feels they can utilize their help then they can contact you.” Previously, Tietsworth had also attempted to take part in a mentorship program that he was informed of via email, but the program lacked the necessary follow-through and Tietsworth never heard about it again. Tietsworth does not use Facebook so he does not have access to the NC(F) Daimon Facebook page, where current students and

The Barber of Seville CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5 said in an email interview. “No doubt, if you’re exposed as a young person, you are more likely to attend and support the arts as an adult. This is the only way to insure the survival of the arts for the future, and they are the basis of our humanity.” For those who have not already reserved their place at the College Night reception and show, student and faculty rush tickets will be available the night of the show for $10. Rush tickets are available for every Sarasota Opera performance throughout the season, except

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seling and Wellness Center (CWC) yearround. Passport Health in Sarasota and Bradenton offers the flu nasal spray as a vaccination option, as do most general practitioners. The spray generally runs around $22 to $30 per vaccination for those without insurance. Publix gifts patients with a $10 gift card after receiving a flu vaccination at any Publix pharmacy. Without insurance, the vaccine costs $30 at Publix. The flu shot is free for those with insurance and appointments are not necessary. Additionally, the Health in Motion bus provides free flu shots to NCF students. Students can check NovoConnect to see when the Health in Motion bus will be on campus. Information for this article was gathered from the Center for Disease Control, CBS News, Arizona Daily, WJJ Newsradio Fox News and TIME. alums can communicate without hassle. While he recognizes the importance of the Facebook page, Tietsworth wants to facilitate a formal line of communication between the Board and the students. Through the help of Foundation staff member Kathleen McCoy, Tietsworth found this potential connection with thesis student Eva Ernst, New College Student Alliance’s (NCSA) Vice President of Relations and Financial Affairs (VPRFA). The two have scheduled a meeting for Nov. 7 to come together and bridge the gap between students and alums. Tietsworth wants to gather information from the student perspective, in the hopes that the Association can gain a new insight into the student experience in addition to what the Foundation tells them. “Where are areas where things are lacking,” Tietsworth asked. “What can the Alumni/Alumnae Association do for students?” Despite a stagnant history, the Alumnae/i Association seems to have found a new confidence in their communication with students. Students can currently contact alums through the NC(F) Daimon Facebook page, but can also reach out to Kathleen McCoy (kmccoy@ncf.edu) if they want to connect with a specific alum or group of alums. Information for this article was gathered from ncf.edu. Catalyst staff writer Bailey Tietsworth interviewed his father Jim Tietsworth for this story. for those shows that have been sold-out prior to the night of the show. Rush tickets become available 30 minutes prior to the start of a performance and cost $10 for any student or faculty member with a valid college I.D. In addition to rush tickets, Sarasota Opera has a reduced-price season pass that enables students or faculty members to see all of the performances for $25. The Barber of Seville will be performed on Thursday, Nov. 8 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 11 at 1:30 p.m. The show has a total runtime of three hours and ten minutes, including intermissions. Student rush tickets for both performances are available 30 minutes before showtime at the Sarasota Opera Box Office, located at 61 N. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota.

Zombies CONTINUED FROM PAGE 6 younger students to experience that too. I [Wilson] have personally met many students and alums by playing and their friendship and advice is invaluable.” EC: How did you cooperate with and get permission from administration for the game? GH and BW: “I’m pretty sure the game is around its 11th year now, so it has become something of a mainstay for administration. They seem to expect it and some have even read the rules on our Tumblr page out of curiosity. We put in event requests where necessary and let Campus Police and [Director of Student Activities and Campus Engagement] Tara [Centeno] know where we’ll be just so there’s no confusion. We also update RHDs [Residence Hall Directors] to any rule changes and current safe zones at the start of the game. In general, the school has been pretty supportive in my experience.” EC: Are there any important changes for Zombies in 2018? GH and BW: “We’ve updated some things, such as accommodations and safe zones, but the rules are largely the same. We did clean up the Tumblr some to make it more accessible. The locations of events, like feats and checkpoints, are always a mystery, so they tend to change on a yearly basis. Some common locations include the ball field, Rural America, Old Caples and College Hall dock, but there’s many more.”

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EC: What concerns do you have about the game? GH and BW: “Sometimes players can take the game a little too seriously, but most are just in it for fun. Besides that we just want to make sure that people stay safe and that the game is as accessible as possible, as it can be physically demanding.” EC: What are you excited to see this year? GH and BW: “We had a good first-year turnout, and a lot of returning and completely new players were very excited to play. We love to see people having fun with Zombies, because that’s really what it’s all about. We’ve also seen a few clever plays; one solo human walked real casual-like past a group [of ] seven or so zombies without detection simply by not making eye contact or holding a spray bottle. On the zombie side, we saw someone make a clean tag by hiding beneath a bench, they just waited it out until a group of humans passed by.” EC: What do you love most about Zombies? GH and BW: “Personally, I [Wilson] love the mental challenge. As a player, I loved finding good hiding spots and planning large-scale maneuvers with the Zombie Hoard. As a GM, the game becomes something more like a strategy game, you have to plan and maneuver information to keep the humans challenged, and make the zombies work for tags. You have to work hard to maintain balance in the game, and usually the original plan gets altered a lot because something unexpected occurs.”


CATALYST

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PAGE 8

Take a Gap Year, NCF Students Advise

She lived half the year in Jerusalem and we are sold an education confined to the the other half in a small youth village in walls of an institution when we could get As young adults approach critical Haifa. an education anywhere. The world’s our decisions, such as applying for university “I figured that there would never be education.” admission, many feel overwhelmed with another time in my life where I could just If taking an entire year off seems feelings of confusion, self-doubt and dis- get up and leave the country for a year,” too daunting, there is also the option of satisfaction. For the first time, they con- Bovarnick said. “It made me so motivat- taking a gap semester. Third-year Angel sider the long-term future and ask them- ed to commit to school and I learned so Reyes spent several months working and selves the age-old existential question: “Is much about myself and others.” travelling, making his way from Sarasota this really it?” With all the great things one can to his hometown of Austin, Texas, then During the transition from high accomplish during a gap year, why limit journeying to Portland, Oregon for a tour school to college, it may seem as if the yourself to one? Visiting student Jenny of the Pacific Northwest. Afterwards, buildup of stress merely transfers over Chen took two gap years, one spent in Reyes hopped on a flight to Southeast from the previous institution to the next. New York and one travelling through- Asia to explore Vietnam, Thailand and A 2015 study on academic burnout by out the United States. After high school, Cambodia. research scientists at the New York Uni- Chen joined City Year, an Americorps “I was so burnt out from school,” versity College of Nursing (NYUCN) program, and helped tutor middle school Reyes said. Yet, his time away from New revealed that “youth experience high lev- students. College also helped Reyes see the comels of chronic stress, to the extent it im“I felt like a fraud being at a pres- munity in a different light. “[Taking a pedes their abilities to succeed academ- tigious high school, so when senior year gap year] gives you such an appreciation ically, compromises their mental health came I didn’t feel college was calling,” for being in school and being in this enfunctioning and fosters risk behavior.” Chen said. “I joined City Year because I vironment of creativity and thought. You Now more than ever, simply taking a wanted to understand the value of an ed- begin to see what this community truly is break can be a crucial act of self-pres- ucation if I were to finance it. It proved to and how community is hard to come by ervation. Poet and activist Maya Ange- be an invaluable experience.” in general.” lou once wrote, “Every person needs to A year and a half into college, Chen Before taking a gap year, there are take one day away. A day in which one decided to put her academics on hold some important considerations, includconsciously separates the past from the once more and worked on organic farms ing assessing one’s financial situation and future.” Sometimes, a longer period of through the World Wide Organization setting out one’s goals and activities. time is required to rest, heal, reflect and for Organic Farming (WWOOF) while “Money was huge,” Bovarnick admaybe even have an adventure away from couchsurfing in the homes of strangers. mitted. “I spent most of my college fund the monotonous cycle of daily life. Thus, “My health languished and I felt on my gap year. Luckily, New College more and more students are choosing to uninspired by the university system. I was affordable.” take a gap year. took another break to recuperate and “Plan it out—a plan is better than Although gap years are common in travel,” Chen said. Elaborating on why no plan,” Brody-Ogborn advised. “Work Europe, they are only beginning to grow she felt like the university system failed around your budget.” more popular in the U.S. In part, they her, Chen added, “I left university beOn the other hand, one could be have been popularized by high-profile cause it wasn’t providing me the educa- more spontaneous. “I made the decision figures making this key decision, such tion I desired, and thought it silly that and did it within a week,” Reyes stated. as Prince Harry and Malia Obama. Students decide to take a gap year for a variety of reasons, such as to travel, work or regain one’s health. Taking a year off presents several possible benefits, depending on what one chooses to do, including “practical field experience,” “clarity about career ambitions” and a “reignited curiosity for learning,” as listed by the Gap Year Association. In email interviews with the Catalyst, several New College students shared their stories and reasoning for taking a gap year. First-year Jacob Brody-Ogborn decided to embark on a gap year after finishing his senior year of high school. “I needed and wanted a break,” Brody-Ogborn said. “I wanted to grasp the moment and explore!” During the year, he was able to Eileen Calub/Catalyst travel and volunteer in Ecuador, work in a hotel in Costa Rica and work as a waiter First-year and Catalyst staff writer Eileen Calub visiting the German Bundestag. in England. While in Washington, D.C., Brody-Ogborn worked as an intern for Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine. Brody-Ogborn added that he also appreciated being able to spend a vacation in Ibiza, Spain, bonding with his family. Students may also focus on one activity during their gap year. Thesis student Sofia Eury volunteered at a Baha’i Temple in Panama City, Panama before attending New College. “I wanted to do something interesting and I wanted to do it in a Spanish-speaking country,” Eury said. Fellow thesis student Elly Bovarnick took a gap year between high school and college as well, spending nine months with the Nativ College Leadership Program, during which she took classes, volPhoto courtesy of Jacob Brody-Ogborn unteered and traveled throughout Israel.

BY EILEEN CALUB

First-Year Jacob Brody-Ogborn meditating on a mountaintop.

All in all, as to whether they would advise others to consider taking a gap year, all interviewees replied with a firm “yes.” “My gap year was the best year of my life,” Bovarnick said. “I discovered how happy I could be on a daily basis and I strive to maintain that happiness in my life today.” Moreover, not all teens may be immediately college-ready after graduation. “Going straight to college without first understanding one’s own habits and maturity-level is a very costly mistake,” Chen said. As someone who took a gap year, I can definitely say that spending a year studying, travelling and living with a host family in Germany was the best decision I’ve made in my life. Not only did I create meaningful bonds with my host family and classmates, but I also attained proficiency in the German language that I will be able to use for the rest of my life. After enjoying my freedom travelling Europe, interning as an English teaching assistant and exposing myself to new cultures, I felt a new, stronger sense of independence and self-confidence. While some people may claim that taking time off puts one “behind” one’s peers, spending a gap year developing oneself and exploring new places equips students with real-life experience and skills that other college students will not be able to learn from a classroom. Before long, new responsibilities and obligations may get in the way of pursuing a gap year. These New College students urge everyone to take a chance and step off society’s conveyor belt. “When in your life will you be this young again?” Brody-Ogborn asked. “The answer is never.” Information for this article was gathered from Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now by Maya Angelou, the New York University College of Nursing (NYUCN) and the Gap Year Association.

Eileen Calub/Catalyst First-year and Catalyst staff writer Eileen Calub celebrating Frühlingsfest in Munich.

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Fall 2018 - Issue 8  

Fall 2018 - Issue 8  

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