Issue 1, Spring 2017

Page 1 | @ncfcatalyst







A student newspaper of New College of Florida



O’Shea hesitates to sign statement opposing Trump’s executive orders


A routine faculty meeting got political on Wednesday, Feb. 8, when a resolution in response to two of President Donald Trump’s most controversial executive orders was brought to the table. The proposal called for faculty to support students affected by the Executive Order “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States,” also known as the “Muslim ban” because it bans travelers from seven predominantly-Muslim countries from entering the U.S.

The motion also urged the New College Police Department (NCPD) “not to cooperate with Immigration Customs and Enforcement [ICE]” and called for President O’Shea “to sign the letter issued by Pomona College.” The letter issued by Pomona College states that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has had “highly positive impacts on our institutions and communities” and asks political leaders to continue and expand the program. The letter has been signed by more than 600 college and university presidents so far. New College’s President Donal O’Shea is not yet one of those.

“I’m not going to sign a letter that says we have DACA students on campus,” President O’Shea said. “But I absolutely think continuing the DACA program is vital and I’d actually like to see a stronger program. If they took the second paragraph out of that letter, I would have signed it in a heartbeat.” The Pomona College letters second paragraph mentions “DACA beneficiaries on our campuses,” the wording of which could suggest DACA students attend the schools of presidents who sign the letter. President O’Shea explained during the faculty meeting that unlike many other schools who signed similar proposals,

New College’s small population makes affected students bigger targets for deportation or other threats. “I would be more sympathetic to President O'Shea's argument if the 627 other college and university presidents (ten of whom are presidents of Florida schools) had not already signed similar statements,” Steve Shipman, associate professor of physical chemistry and program advisor for gender studies, said via e-mail. “Given the number of potentially affected students, staff and faculty, our administration's lack of a

continued on p. 9

Photo (Anya María Contreras-García/Catalyst): Provost Steve Miles (left) and President Donal O'Shea (right) at the Faculty Meeting on Feb. 8.

Thousands ‘missing’ from the SAC budget

BY GIULIA HEYWARD An emergency Student Allocations Committee (SAC) Meeting was held on Friday, Feb. 16 in the wake of news that there was a discrepancy, equating to thousands of dollars, between the SAC’s records, and Student Government Business Manager and Coordinator Dawn Shongood’s record, of the SAC budget. According to minutes from the Jan. 12 SAC meeting, the Committee had a balance of $29,975. According to a phone interview with SAC Chair and Thesis Year Representative James Montgomery on Feb. 19, the SAC had a balance of a little over $9,000. This emergency SAC meeting was not advertised to the community through the students-list or the forum. Each year, roughly $100 out of the tuition and fees each student pays goes to the Activities and Service (A&S) Budget, totalling anywhere from $60-


a second non-allocations meeting was held on Feb. 19 and was advertised to the community to discuss SAC bylaws and procedural changes. According to Section III.302.2 and III.302.2.3 of the New College Student Alliance (NCSA) Great Book, both the SAC Chair and the SAC Secretary are expected to: “Monitor the status of the SAC Allocation Fund and of all active allocations.” It was SAC Secretary and secondyear Eva Ernst who discovered the discrepancy between the SAC’s recorded balance and Shongood’s recorded balance on Feb. 13, the day after the last allocations meeting on Feb. 12. Katelyn Grimmett/Catalyst Ernst was appointed to the position as Thesis students and SAC officials Jennifer Gierson (left) and James Montgomery SAC Secretary on Feb. 5, less than three (right) were at the non-allocations meeting on Feb. 19. weeks ago, while Montgomery has acted as SAC Chair for a month. 80,000 a given year. The A&S Budget this money to fund decorations and There has been a spike in the is what is doled out by the SAC at food for Walls, travel costs for clubs and their weekly allocations meetings on hammocks around campus. continued on p. 11 Sundays. In the past, the SAC has used After the emergency SAC meeting,






WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2017 | @ncfcatalyst


Protesters stop traffic in downtown march against Trump and fascism BY MAGDALENE TAYLOR Saturday, Feb. 18, was a bad day for a Trump supporter driving through downtown in a convertible. Shortly after noon, anti-Trump and anti-fascist protesters took to the streets of Sarasota from Five Points Park, marching through the downtown Farmers Market and even halting traffic on busy roads including US41. Members of the New College and extended Sarasota community joined together on Saturday afternoon in a protest organized primarily by ANSWER Suncoast and Stand Up Fight Back SRQ, two local branches of antiracist & social justice groups. The Facebook event page, which circulated much of the awareness for the protest with over 1,600 expressing interest in attending, touted a diverse agenda of issues that the event would represent. “Defend Immigrants, Muslims, People of Color, Women, LGBTQ People, Workers and the Poor! Black and Brown Lives Matter! #NODAPL, Water is Life, People and Planet over Profit! Money for Jobs, Education, Health Care and Housing, Not for Endless War,” the event organizers said in the Facebook page’s description.

At the event itself, all of these issues were represented in some form. Protesters carried signs with slogans ranging from national issues like reproductive rights, to more local ones such as the Sabal pipeline. The protest began with a gathering at Five Points Park, where organizers and members of the rally gave speeches and began organizing the march. Dr. Nik, a Sarasota resident known for his decorative bicycle creations dispersed across town as well as for his puppeteering performances at the weekly Farmers Markets on his “peace bike,” skipped the latter half of the market to join in with the rally and ride with the protest. “He’s not my president. He’s crude, rude and lewd,” Dr. Nik said. “The bigger problem is the people who voted for him. I can’t trust their judgement.” “We can’t go up into Congress and shake the Republicans. I have to look for the now. I ride around on my peace bike, make peace signs at Lido Beach. This is what I can do,” Dr. Nik said. Shortly after the preliminary rally, protesters lined up en masse and marched directly toward the Farmers Market. A group of anti-fascists, identified by their unified black clothing, led in the front with flags

bearing the anti-fascist symbol as well as the Palestinian flag and the flag of the Soviet Union. “Say it loud, say it clear, refugees are welcome here,” the protesters chanted as they entered the Farmers Market. Many of those attending the Farmers Market who witnessed the protest clapped and shouted in support as it passed by. Many just stared. Others were vocal in their distaste for the protest. “Find some place else to do this shit,” one man yelled from a bar. One man walked along the protesters as he made his own way through downtown, complaining about the ineffectiveness of the protest and how the protesters were wasting his time on his lunch break. “What goes around comes around,” the man said. “Let’s hope so,” a protester responded. Thesis student Scott Smedley reportedly heard someone yell to the protesters that they could “fight Trump without supporting genocide,” though the context was unknown. There were also reports of someone who opposed the protest and who attempted to knock signs out of

protesters hands. “They were trying to provoke people to fight,” thesis student Sophia Schultz said. Despite all of this, the protest remained peaceful and unified. Police followed the protesters throughout the march and controlled traffic. Many of those who were held up in traffic as a result of the protesters expressed their agreement with the march. The protesters walked from Five Points Park onto the Farmers Market on North Lemon Avenue and onto Fruitville Road. The march then took US41 Tamiami Trail, occupying the southbound portion of the road until entering onto Main Street and coming back to Five Points Park. After the march, more speeches were given at Five Points Park until the event was disrupted by a thunderstorm. The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports that there were around 800 people participating in the march. Those who are interested in participating in future events are encouraged to contact ANSWER Suncoast. Even in this small quiet city, protesters can peacefully disrupt the political status quo, if only just for an afternoon.

Manatee County Board of Commissioners approves Mosaic master mining plan BY CASSIE MANZ On Wednesday, Feb. 15, the Manatee County Commission voted to allow Mosaic Fertilizer to extend its phosphate mining operations in the Myakka-Duette area to a property of 4,341 acres known as Wingate East which Mosaic owns. The plan will rezoning 3,596 acres of agricultural farmland into an extraction site. The board voted 5-2 in the decision. Commissioners Betsy Benac, Vanessa Baugh, Stephen Jonsson, Priscilla Whisenant Trace and Carol Whitmore voted in favor; commissioners Charles Smith and Robin DiSabatino voted against. According to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Benac told residents at the meeting that the commission was not deciding a “popularity contest” and that Mosaic could sue the county if their request was denied because of their property rights to the Wingate East Area. Mosaic Fertilizer sued the county

in 2008 for $617.8 million when the board rejected their application to expand its Four Corners Mine to a 2,048-acre site called the Altman Tract. In January 2009, the board reversed the decision due to fears that they would lose in court. The same fear arose again in the Feb. 15 decision. There was significant pushback among community members, including within the New College student body. There were several forum posts during January about events to oppose the Wingate expansion, including a protest outside the Manatee County Government Building and a day organized for calling county commissioners. At least 18 New College students attended the Jan. 26 hearing where the board was set to hear Mosaic’s case for the plan, according to second-year Kaithleen Coñoepan. The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported that 68 people registered to speak at the public hearing and that the meeting was so heavily

"Why have cold brew when you can have coffee?" © 2016, the Catalyst. All rights reserved. The Catalyst is available online at,, @ncfcatalyst The Catalyst is an academic tutorial sponsored by Professor Maria Vesperi and taught by visiting instructor Yadira Lopez. It is developed in the New College Publications Lab using Adobe Photoshop and Adobe InDesign and printed at Sun Coast Press with funds provided by the New College Student Alliance.

attended that there was an overflow room set up. The hearing was extended until Jan. 30, where more residents voiced their opinions. “There were a lot of other people with similar feelings [at the Jan. 26 hearing], and the commissioners were actually asking Mosaic challenging questions, which we thought was promising,” Vice President of Green Affairs Orion Morton said. “We were hoping for this local victory in light of the horrors the environment will face under the Trump administration, but in some ways it is unsurprising - the same corporate players that now have a huge, direct say in where our country is going on a federal level have been, and continue to, do the same thing on the local level.” Although many New College students were in opposition to mining request, opposition was not the overwhelming feeling. While many residents and environmentalists argued that phosphate mining is bad

Pariesa Young General Editor Giulia Heyward Managing Editor Ryan Paice Copy Editor Magdalene Taylor & Jacob Wentz Online Editors Audrey Warne & Layout Editors Anya María Contreras-García Katelyn Grimmett, Staff Writers Jasmine Respess, Dylan Pryor, & Photographers Jordi Gonzalez, Jason D'Amours, Kelly Wilson, Cassandra Manz,

for the environment and could poison the area’s drinking water as well as depreciate property values, others emphasized Mosaic’s involvement in the community and their promise to donate $2.5 million to the Manatee Community Foundation. According to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, the contribution will go toward the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast for “land acquisition or enhancement of ongoing projects it has in the Myakka River watershed.” Mosaic Fertilizer happens to be the same company that was responsible for a massive sinkhole in Polk County that spilled 200 million gallons of radioactive waste into the Floridan aquifer. The company claims that the spill did not affect the drinking water wells in the area. “It's really easy to feel really fucking powerless in these kinds of situations, and I think that's a

continued on p. 9 Direct submissions, letters, announcements and inquiries to: The Catalyst 5800 Bay Shore Road Sarasota, Florida 34243 The Catalyst reserves the right to edit all submissions for grammar, space and style. No anonymous submissions will be accepted. Submissions must be received by 12:00 p.m. Friday for consideration in the next issue.


WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2017 | @ncfcatalyst


Planned Parenthood protesters outnumbered BY JASON D’AMOURS

The Activist Newsletter Katelyn Grimmett/Catalyst

This week (2/22 – 3/2), activists have the opportunity to participate in meetings, film screenings, lectures and festivals! Read on if you want to get involved in the community regarding the arts, cultural diversity, intersectional feminism, environmental or racial justice. Check out every week for an extended calendar of events!

BY ANYA MARÍA CONTRERAS-GARCÍA Wed, Feb. 22 Stand Up Fight Back SRQ General Meeting @ 5:30 – 8 p.m. 1325 Cocoanut Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236 Stand Up Fight Back SRQ welcomes new members to their potluck dinners held on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month. This meeting will focus on next actions regarding: the Mosaic mining expansion, GMO food labeling, the War on Drugs, climate change, Anti-Trump/ Republican Agenda, the Earth Day march on April 22 in downtown Sarasota and more. Please bring food to share. This is a private residence. Please park on 14th Street between Cocoanut Avenue and Tamiami Trail/US41. For more information call Mark at 941-5365900 and “like” Stand Up Fight Back SRQ on Facebook. Sat, Feb. 25 2nd Annual Black Arts and Film Festival @ 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Gallerie 909 @ 909 2nd Street South, St. Petersburg, FL 33712 This annual event is a celebration of the arts, culture and heritage for Black History Month. Meet over 20 local and national artists, experience the African American History Museum and Heritage Trail. There will be fun activities for people of all ages! For more information, contact Gallerie 909 at 727-565-3930 or check out the event page on Facebook. Mon, Feb. 27 “How To Let Go of the World” Film Screening @ 6 – 9 p.m. Unitarian Universalist Church of Sarasota @ 3975 Fruitville Rd, Sarasota, Florida 34232

In “How to Let Go of the World and Love All The Things Climate Can't Change”, Oscar Nominated director Josh Fox (GASLAND) continues in his deeply personal style, investigating climate change – the greatest threat our world has ever known. Traveling to 12 countries on 6 continents, the film acknowledges that it may be too late to stop some of the worst consequences and asks, what is it that climate change can’t destroy? What is so deep within us that no calamity can take it away? For more information, check out the event page on Facebook. Mon, Feb. 27 Pedal for Puppies @ 7 – 8 p.m. Cyclebar @ Sarasota UTC @ 5275 University Pkwy, Sarasota, FL 34201 Join for a free spin class in support of the Southeastern Guide Dogs 2017 fundraising goals. Please bring a minimum $10 cash donation and get ready to Pedal for Puppies! For more information, check out the event page on Facebook. Thurs, Mar. 2 Feminism in the Black Lives Matter Movement @ 7 – 9 p.m. USF Cooper Hall, Room 126 @ 4202 E Fowler Ave, Tampa, FL 33620 Join the intimate conversation with community leaders on the state of the Black Lives Matter movement locally and nationally and its intersection with feminism. This talk will feature Dr. Cheryl Rodriguez, cultural anthropologist and associate professor of Africana Studies, and Donna Davis, an experienced community organizer and co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Tampa chapter. For more information, check out the event page on Facebook.

At 9:30 a.m., only 30 minutes after the start of the rally, 140 people were standing in solidarity at downtown Sarasota’s Planned Parenthood while seven protesters stood at the entrance holding rosary beads and praying. Only three weeks after the Women’s March on Washington, a march that claimed to support reproductive rights, LGBTQIA+ rights, worker’s rights, civil rights, disability rights, immigrant rights and environmental justice, prolife grassroots organizations have responded. Organized by the #ProtestPP Coalition, local pro-lifers have been called upon to take to the streets and to protest Planned Parenthoods across the country. On Saturday, Feb. 11, 196 Defund Planned Parenthood rallies were scheduled to take place in 44 states. While most took place on this day, the Sarasota pro-life chapter decided to schedule their rally on Friday, Feb. 10 instead. Eliza Fixler, a thesis student with an Area of Concentration (AOC) in Spanish and Social Sciences, found the Sarasota chapter’s choice to be disturbing. She volunteered at Planned Parenthood her second and third-year as an escort for people seeking services and noted that there were always at least a few protesters. “We know it’s already a stressful day for people going into the center to get abortions and protesters tend to capitalize on that anxiety by showing up on Fridays regularly,” Fixler said. “The larger numbers [encouraged by a nationwide day-of-action] will definitely require a larger response and more vigilance on our part.” A larger response is what occurred. By 1:00 p.m., 230 supporters had signed in to stand in solidarity, while only a couple dozen protesters walked the sidewalk. The Pro-Life Action League, a major co-sponsor of this national day of action, demands the end of all federal funding of Planned Parenthood and wishes for those funds to be diverted to other Federal Qualified Health Centers that provide health services but do not perform abortions. New College alum (‘82) and Sarasota Resident James Kurt organized the Defund Planned Parenthood protest because he believes it is important to save human life. “It is a choice to kill,” Kurt said. “We can't stop anyone from doing that if that's what they're going to do. But, we come here every week actually to pray and we also offer help. There are pregnancy centers in the area that can offer free assistance, free adoption services, free baby stuff, housing, anything that they might want.” In 2014-2015, 43 percent of Planned Parenthood’s funding was from government health services grants and reimbursements. However, there is no strict amount in the federal budget that

goes straight to Planned Parenthood. Instead, the majority of federal dollars go to Planned Parenthood through public health programs like Medicaid and Title X (the nation’s family planning program) reimbursements. Defunding Planned Parenthood, then, restricts patients who rely on those public health programs from receiving care at Planned Parenthood facilities. Even then, those patients are not all seeking abortion services. Of all the medical services Planned Parenthood centers provide, abortion services only account for 3 percent of them, with STI/ STD testing and treatment (45 percent) leading, followed by contraception (31 percent), other women’s health services (13 percent) and cancer screening and prevention (7 percent). Defunding Planned Parenthood will restrict Medicaid and Title X patients from all the services Planned Parenthood provides, not just abortions. Sarah Scully, a thesis student studying political science and gender studies, stood on the steps of Planned Parenthood wearing an ‘escort’ vest. “I am a regular volunteer [with Planned Parenthood],” Scully said. “I do patient escorting as often as I can [and] I am involved in a global advocacy fellowship with them. It’s important to stand in solidarity today to send a message to our patients that they have support and that the care they're receiving here is not going anywhere.” In response to protester’s claims that abortion is an easy way out of a terrible situation, Scully replied, “I would say that abortion is a decision. It is just a decision that a person can make. How they view it is how they view it and it’s nobody else's business.” A media statement from Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida regarded protests like the one that took place on Feb. 10 as a way “to shame the patients who seek basic health care services from Planned Parenthood and to intimidate the health care professionals who work here. The bottom line is that everyone should be able to get health care without fear of violence, harassment, or intimidation.” Information from this article was gathered from,, and

Jasmine Respess/Catalyst The protest against Planned Parenthood was organized by an NCF alum.


WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2017 | @ncfcatalyst


The LLC philosophy: Communication, collaboration and curiosity BY JACOB WENTZ It’s basic feng shui: one’s space can directly impact the way that one feels. This sentiment holds true on campus, as students who involve themselves with Living Learning Communities (LLCs) are far less likely to transfer than those who do not. Not only do Living Learning Communities offer accepting spaces of discourse, but also various activities, events and communication networks with both professors and other students. LLCs are not unique to New College - in fact, it’s difficult to find a college or university that doesn’t offer these living spaces. The popularity of LLCs most likely relates with the positive results that they bring to student life. Research from multiple higher education institutions indicate that participation in these housing communities has a strong correlation with self-reported student satisfaction with college. So why are LLCs so beneficial to student life? “The concept of the living learning community is structured around a cohort of students linked together by specific courses focusing on an overall academic and/or interest-based theme in collaboration with a residential component,” Senior Associate Dean of Student Affairs Mark Stier said. “These experiences purposefully integrate in-classroom and out-of-classroom activities to provide heightened learning opportunities designed to increase the overall scholastic and involvement levels of participants.” Thus, by providing a space in which students are offered various interest-related opportunities and encouraged to communicate with one another regularly, LLCs help strengthen

Jacob Wentz/Catalyst

LLCs help foster inclusive community spaces for students with particular interests.

individual connections with their college or university. This is particularly important for New College, as almost 20 percent of students transfer to other institutions after their first year here. “I think LLCs were originally founded to enhance academic experience, but if you look at most national statistics and institutional research, it will show you that LLCs increase academic performance and success and those participants have a stronger retention rate and tie to the institution they’re attending,” Stier said. “The more you like where you live, the less you will want to leave.” There are currently six LLCs on campus: LGBTQ+, Wellness, Global

Village, Quiet Dorm, SuccessQuest and Culinary. These communities change greatly over time depending on campuswide interest. Some of the new LLCs recently proposed by students include Environmental, Outdoor Survival, Spirituality, and Music Performance/ Art. Because LLCs have proven to be so beneficial to student retention, they get preselection for housing. This means that LLC sponsors are able to sit down with faculty members, look at the layouts and architectural floor plans of each building and then determine which space is best fit for the community in mind. “Some communities will only have

four people, so they could be a Dort or Gold apartment, and that could be a learning living community. Or they could be larger and use a whole building,” Stier said. In addition, housing purposely sets aside additional spots in LLCs for first-year students. For example, if a LLC has 12 people registered, housing will “carve out additional space so that first-year students have the opportunity to participate in these programs also,” Stier said. For second-year LGBTQ+ LLC Residential Advisor (RA) Ethan Kennedy, having a safe, communal space that fostered more inclusion and community interactions was both important and necessary. “As someone who is gender nonconforming, I was in the gendered Pei housing last year and I was like, I want to create something where trans and non-conforming students can live and have gender pronoun preferences taken into account with roommates and not be in that uncomfortable gendered housing dynamic that firstyears experience,” Kennedy said. But how does one create a LLC? “Any student can create an LLC. All they have to do is come see me and present a proposal, and that proposal consists of how it improves the community, what the benefits are, they have to have a faculty or staff mentor - ideally a faculty member, because it’s supposed to be a collaborative venture between academics, but it doesn’t have to be academic,” Stier said. The success of a LLC completely depends on the participation and commitment of its residents. The amount of time and labor invested in these LLCs is reflected in how each community functions.

continued on p. 10

Sarasota Town Hall meeting introduces City Commissioner candidates BY CASSIE MANZ More than a hundred Sarasota residents gathered in the Municipal Auditorium on Wednesday night, Feb. 15, for a Town Hall Event hosted by Sarasota Underground. The meeting was designed as a way to allow residents of the city to meet the eight candidates running for the two open County Commissioner seats. According to the program passed out, the town hall event was also intended as a way to “build community and generate excitement about local initiatives, while talking about the growth trajectory of Sarasota as a whole.” Before the town hall meeting began, candidates milled around the room giving firm handshakes and talking to their constituents. Booths representing local businesses lined the perimeter of the room. But the true star of the show was us, “the young people.” Raymmar Tirado, founder of

Cassie Manz/Catalyst

Hundreds of Sarasota residents gathered in the Municipal Auditorium to meet the candidates for County Commissioner.

Sarasota Underground, said he was inspired to put on the town hall meeting because of voter apathy. His goal was to see young people come out for this event and to encourage voters, especially young voters, to get involved in local politics. “It’s pathetic,” he said, citing recent statistics of young people voting in city elections (less than 200 under the age of 30). “But then we complain.”

Fredd Atkins, former mayor of Sarasota who is running for County Commission, was a student activist in his younger years and said he always understood that young people needed a way to participate in local politics. He added that this meeting means to him that “young people have had an epiphany that they can be involved.” Young people seemed to be on the minds of every candidate during

the discussion forum. The focus was not just on young people, but on how to incentivize them to stay in Sarasota. Hagan Brody, one of the younger candidates, said there is an “extreme talent pool” at New College and that jobs right out of school would help college students stay in the area. Carolina Shih (‘16) said there has been discussion centering around keeping millennials in the area but that the real issues have not been addressed yet. She cites a lack of available jobs and affordable housing as a main factor in why college students move away after graduation. “We’re not that simple,” she said. “We won’t stay just cause there’s nightlife.” Shih, like the other attendants in the room, came to the town hall meeting to get involved in local politics. “I wanted to see who’s out there, what they’re talking about,” Shih said. “I wanted to be aware of things going around."


WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2017 | @ncfcatalyst

Revisiting Inauguration 2017: A student perspective

BY DYLAN PRYOR AND SAIF IQBAL On Jan. 20, several New College students arrived in Washington D.C. to witness the 58th Presidential Inauguration. As Muslim and JewishAmerican students, we stood only hundreds of feet from the Capitol as a new chapter of America’s history began. The sky was cloudy and overcast, and the forecast predicted a 90 percent chance of rain - grimly amusing in a biblical sense. As we walked to the inauguration grounds, we were surrounded by a sea of red hats emblazoned with the caption “Make America Great Again”. We darted throughout the crowd trying to get as close as possible to the Capitol’s steps, and it was clear that the crowd represented a stark contrast to all the friends we had left behind at New College. There was a sense of excitement in the air, with people coming from all across the country to witness the inauguration of their candidate. Standing there with our blank expressions, we stood out like a sore thumb. We could not help but feel as if this day would go on to be remembered as a dark stain in United States history. We could not help but feel as if were there to eulogize truth, dignity, tolerance, respect, open mindedness, science, free speech, facts, understanding and accountability. As President and Michelle Obama

arrived, there was a loud chorus of boos across the crowd. “They should both go back to Kenya,” muttered the little old lady next to us. As the camera panned over Hillary and Bill Clinton, the boos and heckling were even greater, with a contagious grin spreading throughout the crowd as they gloated over what they truly believed to be a grand moral victory. It was then that things seemed quite bleak, like focusing on your team’s reaction after losing in the Super Bowl, but the feeling was far more austere. As Senator Bernie Sanders arrived, there was laughter and jeering, but also applause and support, which presented a little bit of hope on a dreary day. Later Donald Trump raised his hand to take the oath, and it was clear that this country was heading down an ominous path, and that his promise to protect the constitution was but an ironic formality. The applause at the end of his oath was thunderous, reminiscent of the fictional rise of Emperor Palpatine, and as he took his hand off of the bible, it began to rain. The 45th President began his inaugural address, and the “Presidential Trump”, the “natural leader”, that many were convinced would materialize was nowhere to be found. We found ourselves at another Trump rally, faced with Trump’s twisted vision of the world.

continued on p. 9


How a liberal school faces a conservative presidency BY KATELYN GRIMMETT Since the inauguration, the effects of a Donald Trump presidency have rippled across intellectual and communal landscapes far and wide. Reports of policies, executive orders, cabinet nominees and tweets are screeched into the ears of nearly everybody on a daily basis. New College, a school liberal in more than one way, faces the question of how to respond to the current political climate. “I see people in distress not being sure administratively where they want to stand but knowing that they want to support students,” Counseling and Wellness Center counselor Duane Khan said. “At the staff level, I think there’s confusion about how to handle our own processes and handle what students are going through and figure out how we’re supposed to be voicing our descent while at a public institution.” President Donal O'Shea has so far sent out two emails regarding the effects of the presidential election. The first one, sent out directly after the election results, acknowledged a commitment to diversity and to ensuring safety and respect for every student. The second email was sent a week after Trump’s executive order banning entry into the United States for roughly 218 million people from seven Muslimmajority countries. In this email, O’Shea confirmed the presence of all international students and promised to stay in touch to ensure their safety on campus, adding “ours is a nation

of immigrants, and those immigrants have helped create our institutions, our science and our way of life.” O’Shea has, twice in the past year, sent out similar emails directly addressing the student body in response to two aggressive and disturbing moments: the Orlando mass-shooting and an incidence of anti-semitism over Halloween festivities. Deliberate response to the Trump presidency is not limited to administration. Several professors explicitly welcome in-class discussion on the topic and have incorporated related discourse into their Spring syllabi. “I think faculty have an obligation to engage students with current events,” Professor of French Amy Reid said. Reid’s Intermediate French class was assigned to read about the trials of refugees and immigrants trying to make it to Canada to escape the crackdown coming from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). “I think honest and critical discussions [are so important] and that’s something I’m trying to emphasise in my classes,” Professor of Anthropology Erin Dean said, echoing Reid’s intentions with her own classes. Reid initially expressed a hesitancy to speak with the Catalyst, concerned about the implications of being quoted in the time of Trump. She explained that one thing that concerns her is how the Trump administration has continually

continued on p. 9

Trump administration opens term turbulently


The resignation of former National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn, marked yet another upright nail in the Trump presidency’s recklessly built bed of them. With a hectic month of executive orders, super-majority meanderings and intelligence leaks, the Trump administration has recorded perhaps the most turbulent and controversial beginning to a presidential term in modern American history. After a New York Times’s report released Sunday, Feb. 19, that claimed that Trump Organization lawyer Michel Cohen hand-delivered a plan for Russia and Ukraine to Flynn before he was asked to resign, the new presidency’s rocky start only appears to be the beginning. Regardless of one’s take on the matter, no one could argue against how relentlessly busy the first month of Donald Trump’s presidency has been. Trump has already signed in 12 executive orders, including the sincecourt-silenced “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States” Executive Order – otherwise known as the “Muslim Ban” due to the suspension of immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries – and passed several more executive actions.

Despite the undebatable nature of how busy the Trump administration has been, the debate over whether his actions in office have followed the promises made in his campaign should have only begun. Trump has undeniably followed through on many campaign promises, especially his attempt at instating the “Muslim Ban,” and beginning legislation towards the construction of the border wall, but has remarkably strayed far from several points established on his run for president. Even before Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20, his administration Cabinet appointees have failed to represent what many might have understood a frequented Trump campaign rally chant “Drain the Swamp” to mean. Inciting the chant often at his rallies, Trump used it to loosely describe his intentions to flush out the “entire corrupt Washington Establishment,” and the involvement of money and the influence of the powerful within the American political system. Trump’s assembly of his Cabinet marks a notable difference from his previously stated intentions, however. Per the Time, 11 of his 19 Cabinet and Cabinetlevel appointments have been board members of corporations and/or organizations that have lobbied more


than $497.5 million to the federal government – most of which newlyconfirmed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson accounts for ($368.4 million from ExxonMobil, the American Petroleum Institute and the Business Roundtable). Beyond that, has reported that Trump’s Cabinet picks’ total net worth exceeds $63 billion, with Special advisor Carl Icahn leading the way with $17.7 billion, followed by three Economic Advisory Council members with $10.5, $10.2 and $8.6 billion in Beal, Schwarzman and Paulson. Betsy Devos, the newlyconfirmed Education Secretary, is estimated to be worth $5.1 billion. Seven other billionaires litter Trump’s handpicked cabinet, followed by numerous millionaires. Even before the top four Cabinet-level appointees and others were appointed, the wealth of his Cabinet choices was already five times greater than President Obama’s Cabinet and 34 times more than George W. Bush’s Cabinet – and that was reported on Dec. 20, 2016, by the Boston Globe, when Trump’s Cabinet was only worth a total of $13 billion. A far cry from the promise of ridding Washington of the financially elite and indirectly politically involved, “the Swamp” has only been made swampier.

Beyond his Cabinet picks, Trump’s promise of an inexpensive wall, and having Mexico pay for the border wall has proven to be empty. After repeatedly denying Trump’s proposals for Mexico to fund the border wall’s construction, Enrique Peña Nieto, the President of Mexico, condemned the entirety of the project. “I regret and condemn the decision of the United States to continue construction of a wall that, for years, has divided us instead of uniting us,” Nieto said in a televised message on Jan. 25. “Mexico does not believe in walls. I have said it time and again: Mexico will not pay for any wall.” Instead, Trump figures to fund Mitch McConnell’s estimated $12-15 billion needed for the wall’s construction – and that’s a conservative (pun intended) figure – by having Congress fund the project immediately before finding ways to reimburse the nation. How this might be done is still up in the air, but not a single plan discussed so far actually have Mexico pay for the wall. Whether Trump implements a 20 percent tariff on goods from Mexico, which would have taxpayers and consumers fund the wall by paying more for Mexican goods, increases visa

continued on p. 10

Pathless Woods @ the Ringling

Interactive, multi-media installation gives viewers a synesthetic experience BY AUDREY WARNE Pathless Woods is an interactive multi-media installation by American artist Anne Patterson that is currently on display at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. The exhibit runs until early April and features 24 miles of different colored ribbon suspended from the gallery ceiling. Classical music and an intricate light show loop every twenty minutes, giving the ribbons the appearance of a stained glass window and the gallery an atmosphere that evokes the mystical splendor of a gothic cathedral. The title of the piece is taken from a line of Lord Byron’s poetry, “there is a pleasure in the pathless woods” – a reference to the idea that the viewer can find their own path through the installation, with their ability to choose the way they interact with the piece determining the outcome of their experience. “What brings the piece together is that Anne actually created and arranged the different color ribbon so that there is a kind of segue between colors that actually makes sense,” Chris Jones, associate curator of photography and exhibitions at the Ringling, said. “She did that by actually plotting it on a kind of graph, she was really meticulous ahead of time in planning where each color ribbon went.” The piece required over 740 hours of work in the two weeks prior to the gallery’s opening on Nov. 4. The 35 volunteers cut and sorted the ribbon prior to its installation on the gallery ceiling, tediously organizing the ribbons into the meticulously plotted arrangement created by Patterson. “It was pretty neat, it set up a community of people working on the piece for the week or two before the exhibition opened,” Jones said. “Some people actually volunteered, some of

them were museum staff and a few of our students and interns and then others were just people in the community who were interested or had heard about it. It became like a workshop in the gallery for a week or two.” The installation was the organized by the Ringling’s previous curator of modern and contemporary art, Matthew McLendon – now a head curator at the University of Virginia’s Fralin Museum of Art – who had met Anne at the Hermitage, an artist’s retreat in Englewood, Florida. “She had talked about an installation that she had going on in San Francisco at Grace Cathedral,” Jones said. “It was called Graced by Light. She described it to him and he actually went to see it in person and it was absolutely incredible and he was excited about finding a way to bring Anne here to the Ringling.” Patterson studied architecture at Yale University before moving to Manhattan to pursue art, with a focus on site-specific, highly sensory installations that allow the audience to interact directly with her artwork. Pathless Woods allows viewers to move through a forest of silky ribbons, creating their own path as they work their way through the room. This emphasis on tactile and visual experience is the result of the artist’s own experiences with synesthesia, a neurological condition in which stimulation of one sensory pathway triggers involuntary stimulation of another sensory pathway. (This condition, famously known for its ability to allow people to “hear colors” and “see sounds,” is historically represented in the art of Symbolist poets such as Arthur Rimbaud and Charles Baudelaire as well as in more contemporary examples of psychedelic art and drug culture.) "I see an incredible magnificence of colors and shapes when I hear music,

Audrey Warne/Catalyst

“I think it’s pretty unique,” John Merlo, a docent who has been working at the Ringling for almost a year, said.

the smells of spring trigger a play of light in my mind and my primary numbers have personalities,” Patterson writes on her website. “My art is a response to the natural world. I strive to create work that transports us into a multisensory realm, similar to that which I've inhabited for my entire life, and deepens our relationship to the beauty around us." Patterson’s installation was the inaugural exhibition for the Keith D. and Linda L. Monda Gallery of Contemporary Art, a gallery dedicated to contemporary art and practice that opened last November. “We are always working on projects with living artists, contemporary artists, to do exhibitions and, often, with those exhibitions come installations or pieces that are commissioned specifically for the Ringling,” Jones said. “We hope to bring more contemporary installations into the Ringling. Part of the focus of the Mondo gallery is to show new work and new artists and to have that kind of turnover maybe a couple of times per year. So there will be contemporary artists coming through once or twice a year at least. Some of that work is going to be cross genre and some of it might be installation performance.” The recent addition of two contemporary galleries – the Mondo and the gallery for Contemporary Asian Arts – is part of a larger initiative by the Ringling to move away toward more contemporary forms of artistic practice that often include elements of performance, mixed-medias and audience interaction. “In the past I think we had a reputation that was more about our old master collection, the Rubens and the baroque, and of course the circus museum,” Jones said. “There was sort of this idea that people would not be receptive to more boundary-pushing, contemporary stuff, but we’ve found that people are actually really interested

in engaging with contemporary art. We don’t know if these kind of contemporary art exhibitions are bringing in more people from afar, but they seem to be really connecting with the community.” This emphasis on more community-centered art exhibitions and events is an extenuation of the Sarasota arts community’s attempts to engage with young people, especially young professionals and students in the Sarasota area. “I think that a lot of people that are here, that live here were under the impression that they saw the permanent collection when they were in school on a field trip and they don’t need to see it again,” Alice Murphy, the public relations manager at the Ringling, added. “So I think that having these rotating, more contemporary exhibitions are bringing them back in.” The reception for the installation has been largely positive according to Jones and Murphy. “I haven’t really heard any complaints about it, except for the opening night when some people were wondering where the art was,” Jones said. “They went through all the ribbons and there wasn’t anything in the back and they didn’t really understand. But that was only the first day so…” “Most people love it, the guards say that everyone comes out of it smiling,” Murphy added. “I love it, I think it’s just splendid,” Christina Daniels, a security guard who has been working at the Ringling for five years, shared. “It’s fun and I enjoy taking people in when I know the finale is getting ready to happen. I just kind of guide people through, but I also line people up on the sides so they can watch it because it’s just spectacular - the only negative part is that some people are bothered by the motion and the lights. We warn people, but some people get a little queasy or claustrophobic feeling.”

Audrey Warne/Catalyst

“Children seem to really enjoy it, although there are some adults who think it’s fun," Merlo added. "It’s different, it’s something they haven’t seen before.”

Audrey Warne/Catalyst All the ribbon in the installation is made out of satin in order to best reflect the light.

Audrey Warne/Catalyst Pathless Woods is the inaugural installation for the Keith and Linda Monda Gallery for Contemporary Art.

Audrey Warne/Catalyst

The installation includes 8,472 strands of ribbon, each piece measuring 184" - over 24 miles of ribbon in total.

Audrey Warne/Catalyst There are 14 different colors of ribbon in the piece, all of varying thickness.

Audrey Warne/Catalyst

The installation features the musical piece "The Garden of Cosmic Speculation" by Michael Gandolfi.

Audrey Warne/Catalyst The light projections for the show were created by Adam Larsen.


WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2017 | @ncfcatalyst



Oral History brings community stories to NCF BY JASMINE RESPESS

Thesis does not have to be the only project a New College student presents during their undergraduate career. The eighth annual Oral History Project is an event is an opportunity for students to showcase the work they completed during a semester long oral history class with anthropology professor Erin Dean. The six students involved conducted interviews with members of the Sarasota community. They created videos of the interviews that are meant to document the oral histories and uphold the tradition of storytelling. There is not an AOC requirement to take the class. The videos preserve personal narratives, but also are accounts of the past of the Sarasota area. The people interviewed varied and all offered something different. Third-year philosophy student Miles Iton did a project on Helen Kesler. She is a New College alum who attended the school in the 70s. She was born in Tokyo, Japan, and has lived in Florida for 30 years. She now teaches yoga at New College and in the greater Manasota area, and is a massage therapist and spiritual healer. “I knew Helen since my first year from her yoga classes and relationship with mutual friends,” Iton said. “She is usually the person I go to when I'm looking for information on old New College or Sarasota in general and I figured she'd be perfect.” During the presentations, it was repeated various times that the relationship formed between the student and the interviewee is the most important aspect of the project. “Helen and I have already had a pretty strong relationship before the project,” Iton said. “But now it drew us even closer. [...] It is a very personal exchange: the interviewee is in the vulnerable position of defining their history to someone else, and as the interviewer it is up to me to present it with her intentions and integrity in mind. [...] That probably explains the long lasting nature of the studentsubject relationship.” Iton expressed that Kessler had a strong relationship with her mentor Peggy Bates, a former president and provost of New College, and that relationship was a focal part of the project. Iton was honored that she was willing to share that with him, especially since Bates passing had affected Kessler greatly. “Helen and I had the chance to meet up with and speak to a couple of women from the Resource Center that Peggy aided in founding,” Iton said. “Having recently been thrust into the always tough situation of coping with the loss of a loved one myself, it was touching to see people brought together by a shared love for someone who was instrumental to both of their life experiences.” Third-year anthropology student Milo Bickel did their project with Luz Corcurea, the executive director of UnidosNow. UnidosNow focuses

Jasmine Respess/Catalyst A scene from third-year Milo Bickel's oral history project.

on making education opportunities available for Latinx people in Sarasota and Manatee. The company focuses on inter-generational community involvement and making college culture apart of young Latinx people’s daily lives. “I knew from the beginning I wanted to interview a Latinx person,” Bickel said. “I didn't know much about the Latinx presence in Sarasota outside of New College, and I didn't feel it had been represented in past projects.” In the interviews, students learn so much information, interviews can be up to two hours long and can occur multiple times, and they have to condense that into a 10 minute film. “Choosing what to leave in and what to leave out was the hardest,” Bickel said. “You have a couple hours of material and you have to make this little 10 minute presentation and having that agency with someone else's story is difficult.” Another important aspect of the project is technical. Students create the films themselves, and many times they learn that skill in the class. “I had minimal skills in [audio and visual] skills,” Iton said. “The course definitely sharpened them up, though. I learned much more than I entered knowing.” “I'm not good with computers and I'm unfamiliar with Macs so learning a new program on a Mac was actually really frustrating and difficult,” Bickel said. “If I wanted to do ethnography in this fashion or even create a basic video project, I know how to do that now which is great.” Christina Harn, a fourth-year sociology student, interviewed Robert Taylor. Taylor has lived in Overtown since he was 13. He opened the Robert L. Taylor Rec. center in Newtown. He has worked in Sarasota for 36 years. “I became connected with Mr.

Taylor after Erin had already asked him if he was willing to be interviewed for the project,” Harn said. “I have known of the Robert Taylor Community Complex for years but I hadn't known Mr. Taylor was still alive or in the area so when I saw his name and bio on a list of volunteers I was very curious about him and his life. To have a building named after someone still living, who didn't fund the project, is quite rare so I knew he must have had a large impact on people's lives for that honor.” Harn said that before the projects began, they spent a lot of time having conversations on and doing readings about oral history. “Although the video we create for the screening is maybe what gets the most public attention,” Harn said. “The full interview transcript is the most important element because it is available online and is good data for other research projects.” According to Harn, the two most challenging aspects were, formulating the best questions for the most effective results as well as the time it took to transcribe the interviews. “The most challenging part of the project physically was probably just the amount of time it takes to accurately transcribe that much,” Harn said. “It probably took me about an hour to transcribe ten minutes because I type slowly.” The project is intensive, but rewarding. “My advice to people who are planning to do the project is to take their time with it and really get to know the transcript very well,” Harn said. “Think about the emotions and context of this person's story. [...] Then, when you are creating the shorter video if you can be more confident that you're not misrepresenting their words or character.”

“The oral history tutorial was one of my favorite things I did at New College,” alum ’16, and former Catalyst editor, Kaylie Stokes said. “It made me feel more connected to the community outside of new college and led to my thesis.” Stokes did her oral history project on Beverly Fleming who grew up on Boca Grande island and moved to Sarasota when she was 17. She also did a project on Shelia Atkins who was born in Manatee county in 1952. Atkins is married to a past mayor of Newtown and she works at Alta Vista Elementary. Others involved in this year’s oral history project were Kat Grimmett, a thesis student, interviewed Vicki Brown, the owner of Dollar Dynasty, a thrift store and food bank in Newtown. Brown has lived in Sarasota since the 60s. Carley Culmo, a fourth-year humanities and social science student, interviewed Rob Patten. Patten worked as a Sarasota marine biologist in the 70s. He was a major influence in protecting Sarasota land. Christina Harn, a fourth-year sociology student, interviewed Robert Taylor. Taylor lived in Overtown, since he was 13. He opened the Robert L. Taylor Rec. center in Newtown. He has worked in Sarasota for 36 years. Allie Stachura, a third-year humanities student, interviewed Dave Pattison who grew up in Venice. He was a member of the Venice Vagabonds and did community service and participated in drag races. The Oral History gives students the opportunity to connect with members of the Sarasota community on deeper level than what is normally possible. The project allows the past to be documented and creates a special relationship between students and interviewees.


WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2017 | @ncfcatalyst

O'Shea and and anti-Trump statement CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

public statement was both conspicuous and demoralizing. We endanger not only our community members but also people on other campuses more if we do not promptly speak out about threats against them.” Some students feel that this resolution is a symbol that reaches beyond our campus and the current political climate. “If we are an institution that prides itself on being so inclusive and accepting then we should also stand in opposition to executive orders and legislation that go against that idea of inclusivity,” second-year Ximena Pedroza, who was involved in drafting the proposal, said. “We shouldn’t only stand up for this if we have affected students or when it’s convenient for us. We should do this because we know morally and ethically it is the right thing to do. Students want to go to a school that will fight for them.” President O’Shea met with Republican Florida State Senator Greg Steube on Friday, Feb. 10, intensifying controversy surrounding the issue. Senator Steube is the sponsor and cosponsor of two anti-immigrant bills – SB 82, which would take in-state

tuition away from undocumented students, and SB 120, which would stiffen sentences for undocumented people who commit a crime. Some were concerned that the meeting was a sign O’Shea was collaborating with Steube regarding New College’s sanctuary status. According to President O’Shea, there is no such collaboration. “Since we’re a state institution, typically we go and meet every member of the local legislative delegation every year to encourage them to support New College,” O’Shea said. “Like with every legislator, you don’t agree on everything. But [New College’s sanctuary status] didn’t even come up.” “A faculty member during the meeting brought up that we shouldn’t sign this proposal because Senator Steube is our senator, and why give him reason not to like us,” Pedroza said. “But how I see it that’s even more reason why we should sign this proposal and stand up for what is right. Our NCPD is funded because of Senator Steube. That’s why we need it in a written document that our campus police will not cooperate with ICE. We want accountability.” More concerns were raised when

a student reported on the forum Monday, Feb. 13 that two Border Patrol or Customs vehicles were spotted near downtown Sarasota. This comes among reports of nationwide raids on undocumented people that took place three days before. “Students are safe on campus,” O’Shea said. “Whether it can always be that way I’m not sure. No Customs or ICE official has ever come on a campus as far as I know. But there’s a lot of danger in hysteria, too.” “Actions speak louder than words,” Pedroza said. “If you support us, give it to us in writing. We demand some accountability, because we are tired of the administration picking and choosing what issues to address. Support immigrants and their families and friends. Support followers of the Islamic faith. Support anyone affected by these executive orders. That would make me proud.” If you would like to help community members affected by President Trump’s executive orders, contact Ximena Pedroza at ana.peraltapedroz15@ncf. edu.



Literature Submission Send your poems or stories to by Friday at 12 p.m. for consideration for our next issue.



Las imágenes se ahogaron detrás del fuego que en su camino fragmentodejó. Los olores detuvieron la danza que durante noches su mente inundó. Los sabores se durmieron sin ser acariciados. Los sonidos quedaron huérfanos sin tener a donde ir. Las texturas lloraron, sabiendo que no iban a volver. Cuando la muerte se lo llevó, la vida la perdió a ella.

Liberal school faces a conservative presidency

MOSAIC mining



shut down public debate. While current events weave their way into classes, students are tuning in to the news on their own time as well. In a survey posted to the students-list and the forum, over 75 percent of 123 respondents reported reading the news more since the election. Professor Dean has committed to a major change in her relationship with the media. “I’ve always read the New York Times and now everyday I also read Fox News because I feel like I was so surprised and feel really distant from a lot of the country that voted this way,” she explained. “I realized that we’re all in these media silos and I'm trying really hard to break that. It’s not always pleasant but I think it’s really important to read opinions that are not your own.” On the other hand, several students who took the survey actually reported reading the news less, concerned for their mental well-being. Perhaps relatedly, 31.9 percent of students practice self-care more since the election of Donald Trump. “The first thing my older daughter said to me [after the election] was ‘now they’re really going to build that pipeline across the Native American reservation’ and I realized then how much she had absorbed,” Dean said. “She’s seven. I’ve definitely turned off the radio more. There’s only so much ugliness a person can take.” To the question “what part of your life is most impacted by the results of the 2016 presidential election,”

46.7 percent of survey respondents answered “emotions” out of identity, physicality, social life, emotions, financials and other. With students increasing their news intake, they may also be increasing emotional stress. A 2014 NPR survey found that one in four Americans experience a “great deal” of daily stress due to the news. “I've stopped listening to NPR daily because I'm sick of hearing Trump's name soil my ears,” a respondent to the survey conducted for this article said. Instead, the person has become more active in a local community group. “When we talk about being engaged politically, when we talk about activism, social justice, equity, those are words that are just heavy, laden with a lot of connotation and meaning,” Khan said. “What we fail to do is take time to acknowledge our personal wounds and ways we are personally affected, to be able to be vulnerable and see the meaning behind some of those wounds. In many ways, there’s a disconnect, a belief that if we solve the issues out there, the wounds on the inside will be healed. And those are two different things.” 88 out of 123 students reported changing their everyday behavior since the election. One respondent said that they “fact check news sources” and “try to engage in more productive dialogue.” Another person wrote “career goals” as the part of their life most impacted by the election results. First-year Parankush Bhardwaj also experienced a shift in his career

interests post-election. A Computer Science major, Bhardwaj had planned to use Independent Study Period to create an education app for iphones. The election results changed his plans. Instead of an app designed to make math easier, Bhardwaj created an app called Congress, which enables anyone to become politically active at the touch of a button (or two). The app uses your location to pull up a list of your representatives accompanied by their voting record (provided by and a connection to their office’s phone line. In addition to your representatives, a list of local and national protests is available through this app as well. “It’s disappointing to see a country that was so great in science and tech elect Trump,” Bhardwaj said. “I was born in India and a lot of people in India dream of coming into the United States and now that’s kind of foreign to me. Now it’s like, how can that idea be true today?” Bhardwaj dates the beginnings of his own political activity as recently as 2016. The election is what formed and shaped his relationship with politics, he says. The election also altered his perception of the tech world’s relation to the White House. “I realized that it doesn’t matter if you have this great new app if a political barrier is stopping it,” Bhardwaj explained. “I think at the end of the day if everyone is politically active then that’s better for everyone.”

reasonable reaction, but while we do need to ‘play defense’ to a certain extent to prevent ecological calamity, I think all of our justice movements need to also take a stronger offensive than ever before,” Morton said. “There's still so much opportunity for tangible, positive change to be affected in ways that the government can't necessarily control, and I am trying - as difficult as it sometimes is - to find solace in that.” Information for this article was gathered from

Inauguration CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5 When he proudly spoke about his plan to stop “this American carnage,” we both looked at each other as we bit our tongues, genuinely concerned that if one of us spoke our minds, an over-zealous Trump supporter would physically confront us. We made do with quiet contemplation and reflection, fueled by the terrifying promises booming through the air. As we glanced at each other, no words were needed. In that moment, it was not a question of what we could do, but what we would do.



WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2017 | @ncfcatalyst


New Writer-in-Residence Reginald Scott Young BY JORDI F. GONZALEZ “What I find most rewarding about teaching is that I’m constantly learning and if I’m learning I think there’s something that my students are taking back,” Reginald Scott Young, New College of Florida’s new Writerin-Residence, said. This is a prestigious position that every Spring semester issues in. The school’s writer-in-residence program was made to supply the high demand for creative writing options. The Chicago sourced writer Dr. Young will be teaching Introduction to Creative Writing and the more advanced From Poem to Story and Story to Poem workshops. “I don’t think I’ll ever go back into another permanent position,” Young said. “For the next few years I want to teach in visiting positions because it gives you more time to write.” Being drawn in by the warm weather, New College became an ideal spot where Young believes he will be comfortable and enjoy. In 1990, Young received his doctorate in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago and most recently worked at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette as an English Professor where he spent 14 years contributing in the development of the students’ literary minds. During his Cajun country days, Young would invite graduate students over and cook BBQ, paella and even nostalgic Chicago-style hot dogs as a favored pastime. When Young was in college he partnered up with his Student Association and collectively published their newsletter that included assortments of poetry and artwork. He then became an editor for the Rafael Cintron-Ortiz Latino Cultural Center at the University of Illinois in

photos courtesy of Reggie Young (left) Reggie Young has produced and published over 20 works of poetry and nonfiction. (right) Young during his Bluesville (West-side Chicago) days in the year of his multi-genre dissertation Crimes in Bluesville.

Chicago where he was instrumental in creating the journal Bluesville: A Literary Journal of Chicago’s West Side. The name “Bluesville” came to be as an alternate for Gwendolyn Brook’s— who’s had a strong impact on Young— term “Brownsville” she used when speaking of the South side of Chicago. To all aspiring writers, Young echoes the advice Ernest J. Gaines would give: “Whenever someone would ask him, ‘Gaines, what do I need to do to become a writer?’ He’d say ‘Eight things: read, read, read, read, read, write, write, write.’” It’s a saying Young enforces due to the fact that most novice writers forget to do substantial research before producing their writing - a must do for

accomplished writers. Mentors of his that affected his life were the likes of Mississippi Blues poet Sterling Plumpp who responded, “Yeah these are fine, but have you ever thought about what’s more important in poetry: Content or form?” when the shocked fledgling Young presented some of his original poems to Plumpp. Experiences like that shaped his development and pushed him in his earlier years to become better. Some of his favorite endeavors have included events with poetry, music and art like City Songs, which was, “Truly a multicultural workshop before multiculturalism became famous,” as Young said. Other projects

like Galleria Kiki where he and his close friend Sandra Cisneros, author of The House on Mango Street, would transform Cisneros’ brother’s loft into a creative and artistic atmosphere have been personal highlights of his career. “Things like that were important for the development of Chicago literature in the 1980s… Especially bridging the cultural, racial and social divisions that existed,” Young said. In the classroom he aims to create engaging experiences whether they be impromptu or not. “By nature I’m pretty improvisational so that I don’t get too locked into one thing, when class is going well you should discover something new, something different, something should happen, so that we walk out feeling as if we’ve gone somewhere during that time,” Young said. “I think my style is more what you call the Socratic method.” Young’s influences draw from from the Harlem Renaissance writer Jean Toomer who wrote Cane, which was loosely replicated in Young’s dissertation Crimes in Bluesville as also being a multi-genre novel filled with poetry and nonfiction. Gabriel Garcia Marquez is another inspiration for Young, author of One Hundred Years of Solitude, which was “some of the most beautiful writing,” of original Spanish text, according to Young. Optimistic and enthusiastic about the upcoming months, Young is eager to develop the capacities of the students in his classes in the same way these previously mentioned greats have done for him. He intends to do at least two public readings here at New College, but the dates are still tentative, however, on Mar. 1 all interested listeners and poetry buffs can join a reading at the State College of Florida in Venice.

LLC philosophy

Trump administration



PAGE 4 “You get out what you put in,” Kennedy said. Some communities have been laid back in their approach, while others place heavy emphasis on programs, activities, engagement and interaction. “Part of the reason why I work so hard is because I’m seeing the positive output from this thing; I’m seeing every day how it’s doing good,” Kennedy said. “What I really like about the LLCs is that you’re all drawn in by that one similar thing but each person has their different diverse perspective and background, so it makes the community really multi-spectrum.” Living Learning Communities are a great way to help students pursue their interests while also providing inclusive spaces, discussions and opportunities. Information for this article was taken from,

and entry fees to the United States from Mexico, which would have hopeful and potential immigrants pay more, or controversially pushing border taxes and impounding remittance payments derived from illegal wages, not a single option has Mexico pay for the wall – only Americans paying for more expensive goods, immigrants required to pay more for simple entry or having the funds taken from the wages of the illegal immigrants Trump has pledged to remove entirely. Furthermore, Trump’s explicit promise of a smooth repeal-and-replace process dealing with the Affordable Care Act – otherwise known as Obamacare – is looking less and less like any kind of replacement will be ready in time for the Republicans’ rush to repeal the act. “It will be repeal and replace,” Trump said, addressing reporters at a news conference in New York on Jan. 11. “It will be essentially simultaneously. It will be various segments, you

understand, but will most likely be on the same day or the same week, but probably the same day. Could be the same hour.” His words deliver a strong message – “it be essentially simultaneously” – but the ambiguity the then presidentelect intertwines within that message underscores the uncertainty that only seems to be manifesting itself more and more each day within conservative Congress members’ approach to the topic. So far, Republican legislators have failed to present a concrete piece of legislation, despite Obama’s offer to publicly support any legislation that would provide better healthcare to more people for better prices. Even proposed plans – including Paul Ryan’s – have failed to distinguish themselves significantly from the Act Congress is so set on repealing completely, and a consensus remains almost entirely out of grasp for now. As of now, according to the

Wall Street Journal, GOP leaders in Congress are continuing to stall the repealing of the ACA so that they might be able to come up with a replacement in time. Progress on the replacement will be critically important to follow for millions of Americans relying on Obamacare for health insurance. Trump’s presidency has only just begun, and each week reveals only more of what Trump and the Republicans truly mean to accomplish for the American people. So far, several of his actions have strayed far and wide from the words blathered from the president’s campaign and the echoes reflected within chanting crowds. With the Trump-Russia scandal seemingly ever-unraveling, it will be interesting – and perhaps frightening – to see what will happen next in this wild roller coaster ride of modern politics.


COUP February 2017 a recap WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2017 | @ncfcatalyst




“They spelled unconsciousness wrong,” first-year Diana Proenza said as she looked at the oversized sign hanging in the window of the SHARE Center inside the Hamilton “Ham” Center advertising this year’s Valentine's Day Palm Court Party (PCP) Center of the Universe Party (COUP). Held on Friday, Feb. 10, at the end of the first week of classes, this PCP COUP kicked off the semester with a bang, with lots of performances and different areas set up to mirror different areas of the human unconsciousness. Palm Court was the main feature, with the biggest stage set up in the middle with signs surrounding it which pointed in cardinal directions away from the performer. “This girl is so good,” secondyear transfer student Mary Stevens said while listening to a performance by Mustard Service in Palm Court and dancing with first year Ormond Derrick. At 2:20 a.m., performances in Palm Court stopped and a spiritual circle occurred to open up a portal. “Look at this great ass I have,” Proenza said. She picked up one of the neon painted masks from the old mail room and held it to her face. The room was decorated with neon and glow in the dark aesthetic paintings with a sign

all photos Kelly Wilson/Catalyst A sign outside the mail room welcomed students and partygoers to the Realms of the Human Unconciousness.

The heart room (left) was a pulsating, yet relaxing, beacon of love on the outskirts of campus. Students (right) wore masks and costumes to partake in festivities.

Thousands 'missing' from SAC budget CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 turnover rate for SAC Chairs. In the past, former SAC Chair and alum Alex Galarce (‘12) served the position for three months. However, alum Rasha Masara (‘14) served as SAC Chair for two semesters before leaving New College while third-year Rebecca Caccavo served as SAC Chair for a semester and a half. Former SAC Secretary and secondyear, Volanta Peng, is also not currently enrolled for the spring semester. Montgomery points to the unaccounted-for $5,000 that was taken out of the SAC budget for COUP (Center of the Universe Party) security fees as a major factor to the current discrepancy. According to Montgomery, Caccavo, who was acting SAC Chair, failed to notify the SAC of the missing $5,000 for Halloween Celestine COUP, which Caccavo also sponsored. “Part of the reason that these numbers aren't the same is because of unclaimed money sitting in the bank account,” third-year Rebecca Caccavo wrote in an email interview. “Other times it's due to different accounts using their money over a longer period of time, or not at all. Another reason these numbers may not be the same is what is budgeted out of the SAC budget at the beginning of the year - PCP [Palm Court Party] security, the RA [Resident Advisor] discretionary, etc.” Shongood stated that she did not notify the SAC of the $5,000 COUP

security fee. However, she states that this is a routine amount of money that is allocated out of the SAC and is discussed in meetings with the SAC. According to Shongood, neither Peng nor Caccavo met with Shongood to specifically discuss the SAC budget during their terms. “Essentially, last semester, I had a lot going on,” Caccavo said. “That does not excuse me for keeping tracks of the fund [...] but that is definitely not the cause of the unaccounted for $20,000.” “This is the first year that I’ve seen the balance this low for spring,” Shongood said. “I think that there’s just been a large amount of allocations for the fall.” Montgomery believes that the biggest factor leading to this discrepancy was misrepresentation of the budget. “I think that the misrepresentation of the amount of money that we were allowed to allocate was the biggest factor,” Montgomery said. “However, if we had a more accurate representation of the money we were allowed to spend last semester, we would have allocated a lot less money.” The current SAC balance will continue to grow due to a clause in the SAC bylaws that states that an individual has 10 days after the date of the event the money is being allocated to receive reimbursement, or 45 days if

the event does not have a date. The SAC is then allowed to claim this unused allocated money, meaning that all funds allocated before January can now return to the SAC balance. This incident comes months after the missing equipment from the Darkroom, totaling approximately $6,000 in lost camera equipment. “The Darkroom incident was the result of irresponsible TAs [Teaching Assistants] and just not having a sufficient inventory system or procedure for checking out equipment,” Montgomery said. “In terms of the SAC, we went over the bylaws and we proposed a few amendments that will be drafted and voted on in the next meeting to improve communication within the SAC.” As the current balance stands in Shongood’s record, the SAC has a balance of $16,550 left for the rest of the semester. The SAC balance and records of allocations are public record and can be obtained from Shongood by any student “I think more communication and more transparency is really important,” Shongood said. The next SAC allocations meeting is tentatively set for Sunday, Feb. 26.

that said “Blast Wave Aesthetic” in the middle of the room. The chill out rooms were also an important feature of this PCP COUP. One in the Z lounge called the heart room was centered around a large heart structure and adorned with red lights and snacks. This setup was quiet and calm for students who needed a moment of peace in the ultimately chaotic night. Finally, in Ham, another setup for music was created which would have originally been in the Black Box Theater had there not been a thesis performance going on during the same night. This room was decorated with leaves, and string lights with a sign that said “The Crucible Archetypal Origins.” At the end of the night, around 4:30 a.m. the next morning another successful PCP COUP, everything began to wind down with tired students making their way to their beds, red wrist bands still wrapped around their wrists only for the fun to continue the next morning as PCP COUP sponsors - Oliver Goldsmith, Lorraine Cruz and Annie Rosenblum - and student volunteers worked together to remove the decorations and clean up the campus.

Things are beginning to look up for astronomers BY KELLY WILSON February was a busy month for astrologists and space enthusiasts alike, beginning with a lunar eclipse and a comet passing close to Earth in the same weekend, a rocket launch from a historical launch pad and an annular eclipse at the end of the month. On Feb. 10, a penumbral lunar eclipse took place. This eclipse, while hard to spot, was visible to anyone who knew what they were looking for in a window between approximately 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.. It was especially interesting because it took place at the same time that Comet 45p passed close to earth. Its bright green tail could only be seen with high powered binoculars due to its low surface brightness. However, if you missed it it is on a 5.25 year cycle and is expected to be close to earth again in 2022. On Feb. 18, SpaceX attempted to launch its Falcon-9 rocket from the LC39a launch pad which is known for it’s use in the Apollo program and for being the last launch pad to launch shuttles before the program ended. However, the launch was scrubbed due to a last minute technical problem. The launch was then scheduled for the next day, Feb. 19, when it launched successfully. The Falcon 9 rocket will carry nearly 5000 pounds of equipment to the International Space Station.


WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2017 | @ncfcatalyst



The world wasn’t over, but it sure felt like it

@ the inauguration and the women’s march in Washington D.C.

SUBMITTED BY DANNIE PRITCHARD It was a two day drive to Washington DC. My friend Rae Vititoe (2nd Year) and I talked, and I played Green Day on the radio. We stayed at my aunt and uncle’s house, a 30 minute subway ride out of D.C. We woke up at 4:15am on Friday. We waited in line for an hour and a half. There were people selling pins and t-shirts for the inauguration. Some said “Make America Great Again”, others said “Not My President”. I bought the latter. Protesters were already holding up signs. We talked to the man behind us about social activism, and the Women’s March. He said I should be a photo journalist, because I climbed onto a concrete pillar to take pictures. We had to take everything out of our pockets to walk through metal detectors, and then got searched. I’d never been patted down before. We wandered right, and found ourselves amidst a large protest. Hundreds of people had antiTrump signs. There was a man on a platform speaking emphatically into a megaphone. People chanted. It was enthralling, but we wanted to get to the inauguration. We walked toward the capitol. We passed Westboro Baptist church, and took photos with them like the tourist attraction that they are. They were protesting Trump as well, for his sexual promiscuity. We soon learned that we’d mistakenly entered the parade area, and had to exit back onto the street. Thousands of people were moving, flowing this way and that, forward and back, with and unstoppable momentum. Everyone had somewhere important to be, and something important to do. Journalists interviewing. Protesters demonstrating. Vendors selling. People walking. The inauguration Was split into three groups. Blue Tickets, for the ones who knew people who knew people. Red Tickets, for the ones who wanted to spend money to get closer. And General Admission. On our way to the General Admission, a woman who worked for the senate gave us two Blue Tickets. We ended up standing about 1000 feet away from the capitol. I’d never stood among so many die hard Trump supporters. I hope I never do again. They chanted. They booed at Hillary. They booed at Obama. When Chuck Schumer said the words “Whatever our race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, whether we are immigrant or native-born, whether we live with disabilities or do not…” they booed. Then they chanted “Trump! Trump! Trump!” I keep wondering what would’ve

happened if I’d been clocked as trans. They cheered when Mike Pence took office. They cheered louder when Trump took office. Rae and I met eyes, and I could tell she was screaming internally as loud as I was. Trump spoke. They cheered. They chanted. They bowed their heads when Paula White prayed, "We come to you Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus with grateful hearts thanking you for this great country that you have decreed to your people." They took off their hats when the national anthem played. When we left, it was just as chaotic as when we’d entered. Vendors. Protestors. They chanted and cheered when the military helicopter flew by, carrying the new President of the United States of America. The subway ride home was a quiet one. We read that over 100 people were arrested during a violent protest on K and 13th street, about seven blocks from where we’d been. That night, we made signs. Mine had the Green Day chant, “No Trump! No KKK! No Fascist USA!” Rae’s had the Emma Goldman quote “Give us what belongs to us in peace,” in the front “and if you don't give it to us in peace, we will take it by force.”, in the back. We woke up at 6:00am on Saturday. We rode into the National Mall with my uncle, cousins, and a family friend of theirs. In the elevator to the subway station, an old woman said “I was marching in the sixties. Now I’m marching in my sixties.” Everyone laughed. Over half the subway were protesters, holding signs, wearing the pink hats, chatting, smiling. We got off the subway; thousands of people were walking the same direction we were. Several stopped for photos in front of the capitol. To the march. arrived, there were protesters wall to wall on Independence Avenue. I couldn’t see the end of the crowd. We chanted. We cheered. I climbed onto a metal pole, and started the Green Day chant. I still couldn’t see the end of the crowd. People spoke from 9:00am to 1:30ish pm. I got so tired I could no longer stand, so I sat on the curb with my little cousins. I was dizzy, and thought I would pass out, so I drank a bottle of water. The crowd grew restless.They started chanting “March! March! March!” while people were speaking. A washington post article was released, stating that too many people had arrived, and the police wouldn’t allow the march to happen. People started marching (or leaving) early. Eventually we joined them. I regained my energy as we walked against the crowd. One of the organizers announced, “You may have read a story that said that we are not marching. I am here to tell you, we are marching!” to which the crowd

cheered. They changed the march destination from the White House to the Washington Memorial. When we got out of the crowd, My family headed home, and Rae and I marched the rest of way. We marched for hours. We chanted. We cheered. Everyone fed off each other’s energy. Against our typical shyness, Rae and I both started chants. The sun set by the time we finished marching. The subway stations were packed. We were barely able to squeeze through the crowd to get to our train. Two trains stopped at our station, but were too full for anyone to enter, so kept going. We were packed in like sardines when we finally made it in one. As we rode home, the train broke out in song. They sang Buttercup. On the two day drive home, we stumbled upon an abandoned motel. I walked around it and took photos. The rooms had been untouched. The sheets were still made. An obsolete telephone sat on a table. An outdated electrode

TV sat across the bed, ignorant to the fact that it never would be played again. Balcony panels had fallen to the floor. I was able to walk inside one room. Everything was perfectly in order, as if the room was still ready to be used. Aside from the stolen bed frame and sheets, and a gathering mound of dust from a collapsing ceiling. An empty orange Fanta can sat on the table, it’s expiration date from 2002. A ideal frozen in time, past it’s prime, empty, abandoned, shaken by the wind of the present. Chipped away by the entropy of the universe. It had refused to change, and was thus punished by the currents of rain and rust. What would it be like, if people were still living in a place that had gone out of date decades ago. What is it like, to live among dust and dirt of a time gone by? Why do people hold on to things that should be forgotten? And how long will it take, for this ideal to be abandoned? all photos Dannie Pritchard