Spring 2017 - Issue 3

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New College of Florida's student-run newspaper


Jason D'Amours/Catalyst

Rescinded rights: Title IX alterations devalue gender identity BY JACOB WENTZ

“Title IX hasn’t changed, but the way the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) is going to enforce Title IX has changed,” General Counsel Mike Pierce said. On Wednesday, Feb. 22, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Education (DOE) issued a “Dear Colleague” letter that withdrew the statements of policy and guidance aimed to protect gender identity in colleges, universities and schools across the nation. The newly issued letter of guidance infers that state courts are now responsible for deciding whether

or not gender identity must be accepted at individual institutions. Part of the Education Act of 1972, Title IX is a comprehensive law that prohibits “discrimination on the basis of sex” in educational programs and activities operated by recipients of federal financial assistance. The original goal of Title IX was to facilitate equal opportunities within athletics at colleges and universities, but since then, it has opened up national dialogue about gender identity and civil rights protections. Under the Obama administration, two essential letters of guidance were

published: a Dear Colleague Letter on Transgender Students and a letter to Emily Prince from James A. FergCadima, a main figure in the OCR at the Department of Education. Though neither were technically law, these two letters provided the basic guidelines that the DOJ and DOE followed for including transgender students at federally funded schools. However, the newly issued “Dear Colleague” letter rescinded the two original guideline letters, reflecting a shift in values within the DOJ and DOE. This shift comes just one month after Trump’s inauguration, raising

questions about civil rights protections under Trump’s administration. What was outlined in the 2016 Dear Colleague Letter on Transgender Students? During the Obama administration, national debate over the term “sex” prompted the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ and the DOE to clarify a school’s Title IX obligations regarding transgender students. Published on May 13, 2016, an 8-paged “Dear Colleague” letter asserted that the prohibition of sexual discrimination

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PHOTO: Third-year students Annie Rosenblum (center left) and Lorraine Cruz (center right) at a March for transgender rights in Downtown Sarasota.

Students 'redefine activism' at BHM Symposium

BY GIULIA HEYWARD The Redefining Activism: Navigating Identity and Self-Care Symposium took place on Sunday, March 5 in the Jane Bancroft Cook Library. The symposium was one of the few last events part of the 2017 Black History Month programming centered around this year’s theme of “Black Action.” The event consisted of two panels, featuring prominent figures in the Sarasota community, and one Keynote Address from Keynote Speaker, Kavindu “Kavi” Ade. Barbershop Panel The Barbershop Panel featured Sarasota Mayor Willie Shaw, founder of the local Masala Giving Circle, Shelia Baynes, and head of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) chapter and Director of Education and Community Outreach at the Sarasota Film Festival, Shakira Refos. New College Student Alliance


active and involved, but once [the water] impact you, you will start to get out there. [Activism] is a personal passion,” Baynes said. The panel members divulged in a raw and honest conversation with the audience, discussing the construction of Sarasota where Martin Luther King Jr. and Indian Beach road are represent two very different demographics of Sarasota, and are only separated by Tamiami Trail. Such a raw and honest all photos Giulia Heyward/Catalyst conversation inspired comments from (left to right) Panelists Shelia Baynes and Shakira Refos discuss activism in local Sarasota. the audience, who, at certain moments, Students listen to a raw Keynote Address given by Kavindu Ade. interrupted the speakers to share their (NCSA) co-President and third-year “I need to use my voice to amplify opinions. “There is so much for you students Paul Loriston, who also serves as issues in Sarasota that people are afraid president of the student-led Black of having,” Refos said, regarding the to take a part in Sarasota’s culture,” History Month planning committee, creation of the BLM chapter in Sarasota Shaw summed up to the audience of largely New College students. “So do facilitated the panel. and the role of activism in the arts. Loriston asked the panel Baynes cited activism as a what you do, and do it quickly. It all questions concerning local activism culmination of personal passion, citing starts here in the barbershop.” in Sarasota, specifically in Newtown, the water crisis in Flint as an indicator which opened up a larger discussion of of this. continued on p. 10 racial disparities in the area. “There were people who were





WEDNESDAY, MARCH 8, 2017 www.ncfcatalyst.com | @ncfcatalyst


Local representative cracks down on ‘gun-free zones,’ presents campus carry bill BY PARIESA YOUNG

Florida State Senator Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, known on campus for his win against Professor of Political Science, Frank Alcock, last November, has introduced a slew of gun-related bills that would reduce penalties or expand freedoms for firearm carriers in Florida. The current session of the Florida Legislature began March 1, and Steube has already introduced 10 gunrelated bills as of the time this issue went to print. Initially presented as an omnibus bill, Steube split the different provisions proposed regarding handguns in Florida into a number of bills, which may give them more traction in the legislature. “Nothing’s going to sail through the Senate,” Alcock said. “It’s his signature issue. He is one of the more prolific filers as a freshman. It doesn’t surprise me. Part of what he is doing at the moment is trying to increase his name recognition and his brand.” When asked what he would do differently if he were in Steube’s position, Alcock did not pause to search for his answer: “Everything. Denied entry Steube’s proposals strike through

a number of provisions in the list of places where licensed concealed carriers of firearms currently may not bring their weapon. “He doesn’t want to be a supporter of the NRA [National Rifle Association],” Alcock said. “He wants to be the number one supporter of the NRA [...] in the country.” On Feb. 14, Senate Judiciary Chairman Steube was denied entry to the Sarasota County Clerk of Court for being in possession of a concealed firearm. Steube brought this to the attention of Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight, whose legal counsel determined that the Clerk of Court is not considered a gun-free zone under state law. The initial restriction was enforced due to the Clerk of Court’s status as a historic courthouse, despite few hearings being held in the building’s courtroom. Following the incident, the Sheriff removed its security officers from the Clerk of Court, under the recommendation of counsel. This action precipitated a constitutional crisis in Sarasota when Chief Judge Charles Williams ordered Knight to return deputies to their former positions in the Clerk of Court.

Knight responded that this would “[encroach] upon the second and fourth Amendment rights of citizens and [expose] myself, and most importantly my deputies, to personal liability.” Deputies could be sued individually for stopping a person with a concealed weapon. Shortly after the debacle with the Sarasota County Sheriff, Steube introduced a bill which would allow concealed handguns into state and municipal courthouses if the carrier follows policies and surrenders the firearm to courthouse security upon entry (SB 616). Guns everywhere Steube’s first bill, SB 140, amended prior legislature referring to the locations into which a person with a valid concealed carry permit may not take a firearm. These currently include courtrooms, police stations, airport terminals, detention facilities, polling places, meetings of governing bodies, and schools and colleges. The Senator split this omnibus legislation into a number of bills that may be easier to pass separately than together. These redact the restrictions on concealed carrying into legislative meetings (SB 620), local government

meetings (SB 626), career centers (SB 640), airport terminals (SB 618) and elementary and secondary schools and college campuses (SB 622). SB 644 allows for open carrying of handguns according to all laws surrounding concealed carrying. If that seems like a lot, it’s because it is. Let’s continue. SB 646 reduces penalties for those who temporarily display their firearm in public, and allows members of the Florida Cabinet to carry a concealed weapon if they do not have full-time security. Finally, under SB 610, private businesses who choose to prohibit a licensed person from carrying a weapon on their property would be liable for any injury, death, or loss the licensee incurs while on the premises. “If a private business wants to ban guns, it’s OK to do so,” Steube told the Miami Herald. “But if you’re going to do it, in my opinion, I must assume that I’m going to be protected because they’re taking away the possibility of me defending myself.” Campus carry SB 622, to New College students and staff, is easily the most contentious

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Arson strikes New Tampa mosque


“I’m not surprised,” thesis student Syed Saif Iqbal said in a phone interview after hearing that the mosque of his childhood was set ablaze. Iqbal awoke on Feb. 24 to news that Hillsborough County first responders answered a 2 a.m. call that the steps of The Islamic Society of New Tampa Masjid Daarus Salaam mosque, or “house of peace,” were aflame - and deliberately set on fire. The fire caused the security company to alert Mazen Bondogji, a representative on the mosque’s board, who, upon his arrival to the scene, found first responders putting out a relatively small fire on the steps of one of the main entrances. While the fire did not cause any damage within the building, the heat triggered a sprinkler head near the door which set off the sprinklers throughout the building, causing thousands of dollars of water damage. The fire marshall and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives quickly identified the damage as a result of arson.

Thanks to recently added security, investigators were able to pull video footage from several exterior surveillance cameras. No information about suspects has been released, but the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is offering a $5,000 reward for anyone who comes forward with information that leads to an arrest. “The Islamic Society Of New Tampa (ISONET) is the legal entity under which Daarus Salaam Mosque operates. It is a nonprofit community organization dedicated to serving the religious, social and educational needs of the local Muslim American community in accordance with the Qur’an and Sunnah,” the mosque’s website reported. “That’s where my parents go, it's literally a three minute drive from my house,” Iqbal said. “I grew up playing basketball, playing football and spending a lot of time at that mosque. It's a pretty big mosque, too. It started off as just a small little house that someone happened to own [...] and then they raised money a couple of years ago and built a really nice mosque.

"insert photo of Jason eating strawberries here" © 2016, the Catalyst. All rights reserved. The Catalyst is available online at www.ncfcatalyst.com, facebook.com/NCFcatalyst, @ncfcatalyst The Catalyst is an academic tutorial sponsored by Professor Maria 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.

But because there were so many people attending Friday prayer every week, they built this [the current] mosque and now it's already at the point where it’s not even enough to accommodate the community because there's just so many people moving to the area in North Tampa.” Despite spending so much time at the mosque and with the community, Iqbal was not shocked, but slightly surprised, when he heard the news. “I saw it on facebook,” he said. “I woke up really early because I had to catch a flight to D.C. and I was just checking my phone and that was the first thing I saw. I was just scrolling through my newsfeed and saw articles about a mosque that was firebombed and I [didn’t really react] but then I was like, ‘Oh shit, that's in my backyard.’” Because the incident is so close to home for Iqbal, a lot of people are concerned. “I have a lot of people reaching out to me, saying, ‘Oh, I heard what happened at your mosque, I'm so sorry that happened, if you ever need someone to talk to, or need some love [...]’ and it was just frustrating for me

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,

because, A) I'm not surprised and B) Yeah, it's something that I've been thinking about, but at the same time it's something that I'm always thinking about,” Iqbal said. “I wasn't even like, ‘Oh my god! My mosque got set on fire!’ I was like, ‘Oh, of all the mosques in Tampa, this one had not been a victim of a hate crime yet.’” Just seven months before the The Islamic Society of New Tampa mosque was targeted, a string of fires at Tampa mosques also erupted, with two of the five declared arson. Similarly to those, the community response to this incident was noteworthy. Within a couple of hours, a campaign “To Stand With New Tampa Muslims Against Hate” was initiated by Adeel Karim on the platform Launchgood, a site similar to GoFundMe but instead dedicated to “crowdfunding incredible Muslims worldwide.” The funding goal is set at $40,000, but the campaign has now raised over $70,000. Among the

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


WEDNESDAY, MARCH 8, 2017 www.ncfcatalyst.com | @ncfcatalyst


J-Street hosts first progressive conference since the inauguration

The Activist Newsletter Katelyn Grimmett/Catalyst

This week (3/8 – 3/16), activists have the opportunity to participate in candlelight vigils, panel discussions, protests and local meetings! Read on if you want to get involved in the community regarding gender equality, trans rights, environmental conservation or immigrant rights.

BY ANYA MARÍA CONTRERAS-GARCÍA Wed, Mar 8 A Day Without A Woman Candlelight Vigil @ 7 – 8 p.m. 1115 Manatee Ave W, Bradenton, FL 34205 In honor of Women's Day, Women's March Florida will be hosting a vigil and peaceful rally to honor women and gender nonconforming people who have been subject to hate crimes, domestic violence, sexual abuse, workplace violence and harassment, structural oppression in the home, unequal access to healthcare, reproductive rights, unequal access to education, unequal status in the judicial system, verbal harassment and systemic oppression by the government and underrepresentation in mainstream media. Participants are encouraged to wear red, bring signs and posters for the rally and candles for the vigil. For more info, check out the event page on Facebook. Fri, Mar 10 Trans Is Beautiful Photoshoot @ 8:30 p.m. – 12:30 a.m. El Centro Ybor, Tampa, FL 33605 Join us for our weekly Wall of Love! Join the Tampa community in celebrating that trans lives with a photo shoot! Partcipants are encouraged to bring signs with messages of love and support for trans folks to pose in front of a transgender flag backdrop. Photos will be used for educational outreach and media coverage, and each participant will receive their finished photo via email after the event. At 10 p.m. there will be a “Wall of Love” which blocks preachers who protest against trans rights every Friday. For more

info, check out the event page on Facebook. Sat, Mar 11 Save Celery Fields! @ 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Celery Fields, Palmer Blvd, Sarasota, FL 34240 Join Stand Up Fight Back SRQ to protest the industrial zoning near Celery Fields. Bring signs and enthusiasm as community members advocate to preserve local green spaces and the wildlife that inhabit it. There will be a host of educated speakers to educate the public on the issue. Snacks and cold water will be provided. Please bring your own cups of water bottle. For more info, check out the event page on Facebook. Tues, Mar 14 Understanding Corporate Personhood @ 6:30 – 8 p.m. Fogartyville Community Center, 525 Kumquat Ct, Rear, Sarasota, Florida 34236 Join Manasota Move to Amend Leadership Team in facilitating a participatory timeline exercise to help the public understand how corporations gained constitutional rights, the importance of people's movements and the systemic racial oppression that is woven into the history of our country. For more info, check out the event page on Facebook. Wed, Mar 15 Immigrant Rights Vigil Planning Meeting @ 6 – 8 p.m. Quaker Friends, 3139 57th St, Sarasota, Florida 34243 Join All of Us Sarasota in planning the upcoming "Love thy Neighbor" Vigil for Human Rights, a powerful community action calling on House Rep. Vern Buchanan's (R-Sarasota) to end his support for the Trump Administration's divisive antiimmigrant agenda. For more info and to RSVP, check out the event page on Facebook.

BY DYLAN PRYOR The weekend of Feb. 25-28, six New College students flew to Washington D.C. to participate in the sixth annual J-Street National Conference. Over four days, the students attended various workshops to discuss topics from the Israel-Palestine conflict, to promoting a two-state solution in Israel. “The J-Street National Conference that we just finished in Washington D.C. is a critical gathering of people who are committed to Israel’s future at a time when it seems like Israel’s future is in serious jeopardy,” Florida State University (FSU) Senior and J-Street U Southeast Regional Co-chair, Micah Friedman said. “Since Trump has become president, he has said that he’s open to a one-state solution that would in no way resolve the conflict and be a solution and would in fact would likely be a circumstance in which millions of Palestinians do not have basic human rights like representation or freedom of movement, and that strongly contradicts the values and moral principles of Judaism, as well as the ethical principles that were central to the Zionist movement which founded Israel as a Jewish state.” J-Street is a nonprofit liberal advocacy group based in the United States with the goal of encouraging American leadership to end the IsraeliPalestinian conflict peacefully and diplomatically through a two-state solution that would both preserve Israel’s democracy and promote human rights for Palestinians. The National Conference this year was the first progressive liberal conference after Donald Trump’s inauguration. “It’s actually my own first J-Street Conference and it’s really exciting to see 3,000 plus proIsrael, pro-peace Jews from around the country, a lot of people don’t necessarily recognize that we represent the mainstream of American Jewry, and we are here today standing proud and tall listening to speakers such as Bernie Sanders and Rep. Chris Murphy and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) ambassador to the U.S. Maen Areikat,” J-Street Associate Regional Director of the South Hannah Morris said. “I think what’s been really exciting for me has been seeing real dialogue between young American Jews and older American Jews and Palestinians and American Jews and Israelis and I really appreciate that we can bring all types of people together.” In addition to workshops focusing on topics such as life in Gaza and addressing fault lines in the American and Israeli communities, the conference also featured events such as an Advocacy Day where participants

lobbied various legislators and many speakers, including Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who delivered a keynote address regarding American Jewish Leadership in the Trump Era. “It is often said that the U.S.Israeli relationship is based on shared values, and I think that’s correct, but then we have to ask ourselves: ‘What do we mean by shared values, what values are we in fact talking about?’” Sanders said. “As progressives, here are some of the values that we share in this country and around the world. We believe in democracy, we believe in Democracy, we believe in equality, we believe in pluralism, we are strongly opposed to xenophobia, we respect and we will protect the rights of minorities, those are our values.” Throughout his speech, Sanders affirmed to the crowd that he understood today’s vision of peace appears distant, but that he firmly believed they should not give up on it. Other highlights included referencing the Torah in discussing shared humanity and asserting that it is possible to oppose Israeli government policies such as the occupation as well as Islamic extremism without being anti-Israel or anti-Muslim. According to Friedman, the conference also came at a crucial time for people who care about liberal values of equality, tolerance and justice. “In the last few weeks, we’ve seen huge numbers of anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim incidents in the United States, in my community in Tampa, two masjids—two mosques have been victims of arson attacks,” Friedman said. “It’s been really inspiring to see people fighting against this, like my synagogue in Tampa, coming to support the mosque a day after the fire burned, a lot of what we’re doing this weekend at the National Conference is thinking about not just what we can do to make things better in Israel and Palestine, but what can we do to make sure that we’re protecting the rights of people who are threatened right now in the United States and apply these same values in a different way… Which feels really important to me as a student.” At the end of the weekend, New College alum Dov Brenner (’11) reflected on the weekend fondly. . “It was really good just being around like-minded people that were talking passionately about something that I really care about that I don’t really get and to discuss in-depth and hear about in-depth back home,” Brenner said. “Right now I think rationality is on the fall and it was really good to hear people using that to the advantage of the Middle East and the two-state solution.”


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Protesters demand Sarasota School Board to adopt Nate’s List BY JASON D'AMOURS “We are gathered here today for an action of love in opposition to acts of hatred that Trump’s administration and many who support him are committing against our collective humanity, and specifically his targeting of the transgender community,” thirdyear Lorraine Cruz said on behalf of QUEERY club at the transgender rights rally and march at Five Points Park on March 5. Organized by Nate Quinn, founder of the Nate’s List Campaign for transgender students’ rights in Sarasota County public schools, this rally and march represents only one of the public displays of support for transgender rights in Sarasota this week. Quinn planned this event only two days before the next Sarasota County School Board meeting. Both events occur over a year after he launched Nate’s List, a comprehensive list of trans-inclusive policies, and began calling on the school board to adopt them. A crowd of over 100 gathered to hear support for Nate’s List and transgender rights from LGBTQ+ organizations from across the state and to spread a message that echoed through the streets, shops and restaurants of downtown Sarasota transgender people are welcome here. “We strive to fight the president and his administration and the hate that they have spread in a way that would make the activists who came before us proud,” Quinn said in a speech. “And [...] we will fight Trump on every human rights violation, every denial of the facts and every homophobic, transphobic, misogynistic, islamophobic and ableist word that leaves his mouth [...]. We will

Jason D'Amours/Catalyst

A group of New College students chant, "Trans rights now!" ​

fight until we win, and we will win,” Quinn said. Following a cheer, the crowd starting marching. Leaving from Five Points Park, the crowd marched east on Main Street. Police officers steered everyone onto the sidewalk and would not let anyone march in the street. “Say it loud, say it clear,” Ruth Beltran, a representative from ANSWER Suncoast Coalition and Black Lives Matter Manasota chapter, screamed into a megaphone. “Trans lives are welcome here,” the crowd responded. Beltran continued and pointed out a police officer who, walking in front of the crowd, was recording the march from the beginning, even while

gathered at Five Points Park. “I think they are still angry at the fact that we had an 800+ people protest without a permit last time, and this is their way of retaliating,” Beltran said in a facebook interview. When asked about the requirement to get permits for large protests, Beltran replied, “We don't ever ask for permits because it's a protest not a parade. It's our right to show dissent against the government without having to ask them for permission to protest them.” “It made me feel suspicious and intimidated,” second-year Brianna Luis said. “It made me kind of mad, because the guy who was recording was very smug. But very suspicious. What

Development plans encroach on sensitive wildlife in Sarasota BY ANYA MARÍA CONTRERASGARCÍA “In a way, I built the relationship I have with my father as I know it today because of Celery Fields” secondyear Matthew Brickhouse said. “We would just walk around the park and talk. The time I spent with him at the Celery Fields was invaluable. I think future generations of people are no less entitled to that same experience.” Celery Fields, a 360-acre wildlife sanctuary in Sarasota, is the topic of county-wide debate after officials announced their plan to rezone approximately seven acres of land adjacent to the park to a 60,000 sq. ft. restaurant supply and waste storage facility. “I know the plot of land that they’re planning to rezone,” Brickhouse said. “I’ve walked through it. If that was going to become a restaurant warehouse, I’d be sad. To me, it’s a part of Celery Fields and you’re just chipping off more of it. Who’s to say that there’s

not going to be more chips taken out if it in the future?” Over 400 recorded bird species – many which are endangered – as well as butterflies, birds and fish make their home in Celery Fields. Its open acres filled with native grasses also serve as stormwater collection areas for Sarasota County. Celery Fields is also the home of the Sarasota Audubon Society’s nature center, where volunteers teach students and adults about local wildlife. “This is the best birding spot in Sarasota County,” Stu Wilson, who has organized the Sarasota Audubon’s bird-counting event the past four years, said in an interview with Sarasota Magazine. “It has gotten statewide and even national recognition.” The Audubon Society, among other local groups, have opposed the rezoning because they fear that the development projects will bring dangerous traffic on Palmer Road, which will in turn leave locals in a daily gridlock and pollute the wildlife habitat. At peak times, the proposed Restaurant Depot project

could bring nearly 100 vehicles per hour to the area, while debris from the waste and recycling facility could affect the nearby park and elementary school. Community members are also concerned that the ownership interests of the companies posed to buy the property have not been disclosed. The development projects have been recommended for approval by the Sarasota County Planning Commission. The issue was on the agenda for the Sarasota County Commission meeting on March 1, but was tabled due to an overflow of comments from local residents. “It seems like a lot of people were in support of saving the Celery Fields,” Brickhouse said. “Every acre does matter. Another acre could mean another ten birds that have space to feed. When you encroach on that, you’re affecting the entire community around it.” Information gathered from celeryfields. org, scgov.net and sarasotamagazine.com

was the point in recording that?” she questioned. Despite the surveillance, the crowd persevered. At the roundabout of Main Street and Orange Avenue, the crowd strategically - to the police officers’ surprise - began to block traffic. Staying on the crosswalks, the protesters spaced themselves out to the point where they were walking in a circle around the roundabout, not allowing any gaps for traffic to go through. Tensions arose as police officers began to understand what was happening. They eventually blocked protesters from crossing the streets, herding large groups in two opposite corners to allow for traffic to pass. “Pedestrians have the right of way,” some protesters began to yell in anger. After successfully circling several times, the crowd continued back, marching west down Main Street. But before crossing Pineapple Avenue to head back to Five Points Park, the crowd pulled the same maneuver as earlier. Thinning themselves out and walking in a circle around the roundabout, they blocked traffic once again. As the crowd moved on to march back to Five Points Park, they finished strong. Screams of, “What do we want? Nate’s List! When do we want it? Now,” filled the park as protesters arrived. Before thanking the crowd for marching in support of transgender people’s rights, Quinn said, “We will not stop until every transgender person is protected under the law including students in schools, adults in the workplace, housing and public accommodations. In our daily lives, we need to be protected.”


WEDNESDAY, MARCH 8, 2017 www.ncfcatalyst.com | @ncfcatalyst


Labrador-Rodriguez sparks dialogue on future US-Cuban relations within New College BY KELLY WILSON

In Ybor City, the historic factory where Jose Marti gave a speech known as “Con Todos, y para el Bien de Todos" (“with all and for the good of all” in english) to cigar workers has been transformed into a church of Scientology. But that won’t stop Sonia Labrador Rodriguez from creating a dialogue with the community about the historical importance of CubanAmericans in our own backyard and the future of Cuban-American relations. Labrador-Rodriguez's tutorial at New College is part of a larger traveling exhibition which has appeared so far at the Selby Public Library, the Manatee County Public Library and State College of Florida's library. It is scheduled to appear at the Jane Bancroft Library at New College of Florida on April 25. The exhibition was funded by the Cubano American Community Project through a Florida Humanities Council Grant. It features bilingual posters discussing the role of the establishment of the Cuban cigar industry of Ybor City, and the future of U.S.-Cuban relations. The tutorial at New College of Florida was a piece of this exhibition designed to teach students about the history, but also to inspire them to think about these issues in this harsh political climate. “I thought New College could play an important role in bringing the community together to talk about these ideas and I wanted to combine knowledge from New College classes with this subject,” Labrador-Rodriguez said.

Giulia Heyward/Catalyst (left) Labrador-Rodriguez's Cuban American tutorial poses at the steps of one of the historic tabaquerias located in Ybor.

In the tutorial, 11 students spent the first half of the semester learning about the history of Cuban American influence in Tampa and the Cuban diaspora over time in Tampa. “I briefly described the early phases of the Cuban migration but I focused on the post 1959 Cuban exodus in Tampa and particularly Ybor City, which is the most significant in terms of numbers. I’ll try and explain some of the similarities and differences in some of the various waves of Cuban emigration, and then finally I was asked to talk about changes in post-war Cuba especially the opening of relationships in the summer of 2015,” Jorge Duany, director of Cuban Research and Anthropology professor at Florida International University (FIU) who was a guest speaker in the tutorial and the exhibition, said. In the second half of the semester,

Dante Barry inspires students of color


This weekend, Executive Director of Million Hoodies Movement for Justice Dante Barry taught New College students about what fighting for racial justice looks like from the front lines. “I first came to Million Hoodies in 2013 and I was in very deep rage,” Barry said. “That was the year after Trayvon Martin was killed.” “We saw an energy that we haven’t seen in a long time, particularly among young black and brown people,” Barry said. “Million Hoodies connects people to community. We understand that we are political in our being as black and brown people... Our existence is political.” Million Hoodies Movement for Justice began in response to the lack of media attention regarding the murder of Trayvon Martin in 2012. They gained national attention when Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin – Trayvon Martin’s parents – attended a Million Hoodies rally in New York City, stimulating other rallies nationwide. Today, Million Hoodies’ mission

is to educate the public on anti-black issues, campaign for anti-racism nationwide and to support student leadership groups across college campuses like ours. Barry recounted his participation in the Ferguson protests over the death of Michael Brown in 2014, an experience that changed his life. “This wasn’t just about another cop killing another black person,” Barry said. “This was about the response to his death. The state response to the community in mourning was to set dogs on them. People took to the streets and the state of Missouri sent tanks and tear gas. But people knew this was a moment for radical political and social transformation.” More than anything, Barry’s visit reinvigorated student activists and served as a call to action for young students of color and allies on our campus. “We need to be unapologetic in dismantling racism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, all these things, because our lives are on the line,” Barry said. “This is white supremacy’s last gasp.”

students created an activity that could act as a follow up to the exhibition in the library, including drawings for children to color and a puppet show on the subject which they premiered at the New College Child Care center. “The fact that we would eventually be able to go out and take the information that we learned and go out and present it to people was really cool. We actually went and did the puppet show at the Child Care center towards the end of last semester, which was really cool, everyone liked it,” secondyear Paola Baez-Parez said. At the end of the tutorial students visited Ybor City, and the Cuban cigar factory where Jose Marti gave his famous speech. “And then we visited the cigar factory,” second-year Camila Vallejo said. "The original cigar factory, but

now it’s a scientology church thing. So we were on the steps taking a picture where Jose Marti was and the people from the church were like, ‘oh you guys wanna come in?’ And we were like ‘No don’t talk to us.’” “Yeah, but that was nice. And we saw the houses of the cigar factory workers and we visited one of the houses of the cigar factory workers and it was exactly the same and it was amazing,” Vallejo said. “The posters, which Labrador said were the hardest part of the project, are bilingual and cover the story of Cubans in Ybor City and West Tampa. The exhibition ends with five profiles of local Cuban-Americans, including a horticulturist at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens and an Afro-Cuban business owner based in Bradenton, ” the Herald Tribune said in an article about the exhibition written by New College student and Catalyst staff writer Cassandra “Cassie” Manz. The article also goes into depth of the events surrounding the exhibition, such as a talk from from Jorge Duany on March 3 and a community party on April 29 when the exhibition comes home to New College which will feature a workshop on Afro-Cuban dance and a reading of poems by Jose Marti. “We were happy to have the exhibit on [FIU] campus last weekend and we sponsored 45 panels from all over the world. I think that this will give this particular chapter of Cuban history a broader exposure. There are people that are eager to learn about this which is I think very interesting in itself,” Duany said.

‘DREAMer’ detained after immigrant conference BY ANYA MARÍA CONTRERASGARCÍA

After speaking at a news conference about her fear of deportation, 22-year old Daniela Vargas was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement [ICE] officials. Vargas, who was brought to the United States at the age of 7 from Argentina, was granted protection from deportation under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program in 2012. In November, Vargas’ DACA status expired, which made her vulnerable to deportation until she re-applied. Her renewal application was pending when she was detained. Vargas previously had an altercation with ICE officials in February when her brother and father were detained outside their home. ICE found her hiding in her closet and handcuffed her, but eventually released her due to her pending DACA case. She planned to go into hiding but came out to speak at the conference.

Vargas told the audience that she still hoped to live and work in the United States as a university math professor despite her brother and father likely being deported. As she drove away from the conference with a friend, ICE agents pulled her over and detained her. "Today, my father and brother await deportation while I continue to fight this battle as a DREAMer to help contribute to this country, which I feel is very much my country," Vargas said. DREAM refers to the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act which serves to provide permanent resident status to young undocumented immigrants. "Now, I'm not so sure my dream will continue to develop,” Vargas said. “A path for citizenship is necessary for DACA recipients but also for the other 11 million undocumented people with dreams." Vargas has no bond and is in ICE detention. Information gathered from latimes. com and clarionledger.com

Kahlo @ the Dalí: A biographic account of the artist through self-portraiture BY AUDREY WARNE all photos by Audrey Warne/Catalyst The Dalí Museum of Art in St. Petersburg has organized a Frida Kahlo retrospective in an attempt to chronicle the life and work of the artist whose highly personal self-portraits reveal both her immense technical talent and her emotional intensity. Kahlo was a highly polarizing figure, a queer, disabled Mexican communist whose tumultuous relationship with Marxist muralist Diego Rivera and a devastating bus crash in her teens provided the much of the material for her numerous self-portraits – many of which were painted in bed due to the injuries sustained from her accident. The exhibition will run until April 17 and features 60 Kahlo pieces on display – including 15 paintings, 7 drawings and an assortment of photographs, diary entries and stories from individuals who knew Kahlo personally. The exhibition follows the well-established route of focusing on Kahlo’s life and the ways in which her experiences have shaped her art. The exhibition features a wide selection of personal photographs, arranged on walls with quotes and stories from Kahlo’s friends and family. An ex-partner Alex Gómez Arias provides a simultaneously horrifying and enthralling account of the bus accident that led to her injury and would also lead to Kahlo’s decision to begin painting. Many of Kahlo’s paintings attempt to work through the traumas of her life through the assimilation of experiences into

personal identity: “Something strange had happened. Frida was totally nude. The collision had unfastened her clothes. Someone in the bus, probably a house painter, had been carrying a packet of powdered gold. This package broke, and the gold fell all over the bleeding body of Frida. When people saw her, they cried, ‘La bailarina, la bailarina!’ With the gold on her red, bloody body, they thought she was a dancer.” Assistant Professor of Art History, Katherine Brion, gave a talk at the Dalí Museum on the role of gender in Kahlo’s work and her subsequent influence on later artists. The event, entitled ‘Exploring gender in art and art history,’ took place on March 1. “I was looking at different female figures challenging gender norms in that 20s, 30s and into the 40s period,” Brion said. “I shifted to talking about her legacy – the interest in exploring gender issues – particularly in the feminist art movement of the 1970s and 80s and the various artists who were inspired by her.” The talk was organized by New College of Florida alumnus, Peter Tusch, who made contact with Brion at the symposium held in honor of Professor Emeritus Cris Hassold last October, and considered Kahlo’s influence on artists such as Judy Chicago, the Guerrilla Girls artists collective, and Amalia Maca Bains. A central focus of Brion’s exploration of Kahlo’s relationship with gender was the idea of the gaze and the role of the viewer as either a passive or active observer, in relation to gender.

“Kahlo is really interesting in terms of this on-going selfportraiture that she does, how much she really emphasizes this intense gaze,” Brion said. “She’s looking out at you, as the viewer, but there’s this way that it’s her looking at herself – because it’s a self-portrait – and just putting that into dialogue with the question of the gaze. Are the artworks aimed at a male spectator or a female spectator or is [it] more ambiguous than that?” Some of the works contain graphic depictions of body parts and violent situations, with one painting that depicts a mutilated Kahlo featuring red paint splattered on the frame like blood. “She was pretty frank in some of her depictions of the body,” Brion said. “She has works where she’s dealing with a miscarriage - which may also have been a medical abortion. It’s very intense work. Things that might have been otherwise more private and more hidden, she’s painting them and they’re becoming public by her work being somewhat known and exhibited while she’s alive.” Kahlo’s personal identity is featured prominently in the exhibition, which considers her work primarily in relation to her persona and life experiences, a popular means of displaying Kahlo’s work that can often overlook her immense technical skill and the creativity of her subject matter and the way in which she imparts such strong emotional intensity onto the canvas. Kahlo’s persona has sometimes overshadowed her

work, as evidenced by the multitude of caricatured images of that now feature prominently in contemporary popular culture, although her work stands alone in terms of its highly personal and original nature. “Artists were kind of inspired by the way Kahlo paid so much attention to her fashion, how she dressed and how she presented herself and also her home – which was described by some as kind of a still-life,” Brion said. “Especially coming out of the LGBTQ community, who are looking at Frieda Kahlo as somebody who was transgressing boundaries in terms of gender and sexuality, who really wasn’t fixed in terms of her identity.” Kahlo’s sexual identity is often considered in relation to work and her relationship with Rivera. Kahlo’s fluid sexuality has been well-documented – and well dramatized in the 2002 film adaptation of her life “Frida.” “It’s hard to put that label on artists from that period, because it can be anachronistic, but she definitely fits into our understanding of that [queer identity] because she saw herself [with] both feminine and masculine attributes and sort of performing different aspects of her identity at different times,” Brion said. “It was just that Diego Rivera had such an important place in her life that that’s what mattered, and sometimes it seems he just happened to be a man.” Information for this article collected from thedali.org

A selection of the Kahlo paintings on display at the Dali. (Left) A Few Small Nips (Passionately in Love) - 1935 (Center) Portrait of Luther Burbank - 1931 (Right) Portrait of Virginia (Little Girl) - 1929

Exploring our affinity for Andy Warhol

two local galleries pay homage BY MAGDALENE TAYLOR Sarasota seems to have a fascination with Andy Warhol. Much of America shares this fascination, but it’s particularly strong in this artistically oriented city. If you look around, you can see tributes to his pop art dispersed through town - there’s even a bronze sculpture of the man himself propped outside of Bijou Cafe downtown. This is perhaps why as we approach the 30th anniversary of the legendary artist’s death, we have not one, but two gallery exhibitions celebrating him as an icon. Both the Willis Smith Gallery at the Ringling College of Art and Design and Alfstad & Contemporary, a downtown gallery open to the public, are featuring exhibitions of work related to Warhol. Interestingly, neither gallery is dedicated to the actual art of Warhol. Instead, each exhibit is filled with images that are evocative of Warhol, created by the people surrounding Warhol, or seem simply inspired by the world around him. The exhibit at the Willis Smith Gallery at Ringling College of Art and Design (RCAD) is called “Fifteen Minutes: Homage to Andy Warhol” and was organized and produced by WuShan, Inc., a record label pseudonym for artists Jeff Gordon and Path Soong. “Fifteen Minutes” is a multi-media exhibition of silkscreen prints and audio recordings. These original audio recordings range from three minute songs to 27-minute podcasts to abstract blips of sound, all playing on loop. The silkscreen images and recordings are all arranged in pairs: each print has a set of headphones next to it so that you listen to the audio while viewing the image.

all photos Magdalene Taylor/Catalyst Third year Ryan Smith views some of the pop-art collaborations between Christophe von Hohenberg and Alfstad& Contemporary.

Not every piece in the exhibit feels immediately connected to Warhol. Instead, the homage here is more for the world surrounding the man, which seems fit if you know about his understanding of fame. Warhol coined the term “fifteen minutes of fame,” and his art studio, known as The Factory, was a hangout for artists and celebrities like David Bowie, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Debbie Harry, and Edie Sedgwick, whom Warhol referred to as his “Superstar.” This knowledge provides a more coherent of understanding the exhibit, which focuses more heavily on these people around him than Warhol himself. Artists whose work is displayed include Bob Dylan, Patti Smith, Ultra Violet, Ivan Karp, Yura Adams and more. “Fifteen Minutes” will be up until March 18. The Willis Smith gallery is located on the Ringling campus and is open to the public for free. On display until April 1 is

“Remembering Warhol 30 Years Ago” at Alfstad & Contemporary, a gallery in the Rosemary District in downtown Sarasota. This gallery is similarly free and open to the public, but is independently owned. “Remembering Warhol” features photographs, silver-gelatin prints, silkscreens and hand-written remembrances coordinated by Christophe von Hohenberg. The exhibit predominately features photographs taken outside of Andy Warhol’s funeral at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City on April 1, 1987. The photographs were taken by von Hohenberg, who was hired as a photographer by a newspaper to cover the funeral. The photographs feature a number of familiar faces, like Debbie Harry of Blondie. A look at the photo descriptions reveal the faces of some names who are more familiar than their image, like designer Calvin Klein. The whole exhibit is a bit abject, especially

considering that every print is for sale beginning at a price of $3500. The rest of the exhibit features pop-art renderings of the photos from the funeral, much in the style of Warhol himself. Von Hohenberg seems to have a significant part of his professional oeuvre on the death of a very famous man and those who mourned him. At the opening reception, you could catch a snapshot of Sarasota’s art scene - largely extremely stylish older people with presumably large sums of money. “I remember the loft party days in Soho with Warhol and the gang,” one person was heard saying. It may seem both morbid and distant for both of these exhibits to celebrate this artist without actually showing any of his work, focusing more on the name-dropping and celebrity status of the images on display. However, it also seems fitting to Warhol’s legacy. Even 30 years after his death, the artist still gives us a sense of who’s-who in the art world.

A selection of the photographs for sale on display at Alfstad& Contemporary.

Remembering Warhol' only features one actual photograph of Andy Warhol himself the rest are of guests and friends of the Andy Warhol.

Thesis students Jade Sheinwald and Ashley Rodrigues view the exhibit at the Willis Smith gallery at Ringling College.


WEDNESDAY, MARCH 8, 2017 www.ncfcatalyst.com | @ncfcatalyst



New Director of Diversity and Inclusion talks issues, goals BY CASSIE MANZ After more than a year of searching, reviewing and interviewing, Student Affairs has hired the first official Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Autumn Harrell. Although this appointment is a significant step for the community, it is important to acknowledge that it will not automatically solve all of the diversity and inclusion issues on campus. But Harrell, who offers you a drink and a snack when you sit down in her office, is eager to begin her work towards making the campus more diverse, inclusive and welcoming for all community members. “I think that it should be a campus goal for students to feel included and like this is a welcoming space,” Harrell said. “I'm just one person who's contributing to reaching that goal.” New College of Florida, like many other small liberal arts schools, is predominantly white as indicated by the demographics of the student body (4.5 percent of enrolled students are Black or African-American and 22 percent of enrolled students are Hispanic.) However, it is worth noting that New College is consistently ranked as one of the most LGBTQ friendly campuses in the nation. “There is a ton of diversity on

campus, but maybe not in all of the aspects that we wish, or we hope,” Harrell said. “I see my role as more than the person who's going to come and fix the race issue. Diversity is more than that.” Leen Al-Fatafta, vice president of the Council of Diversity and Inclusion, was involved in the hiring process of the new director and said she always envisioned Harrell’s position as “the glue that brings different bodies that work on diversity together.” “Having a Director of Diversity [and Inclusion] is completely different than having a Center for Diversity like other colleges have where they have like four full-time employees that deal with diversity on campus,” Al-Fatafta said. “So I feel like I just want us to have realistic expectations of what Autumn can and cannot do. I don't want people to expect her to save our school from like white supremacy or something.” Harrell’s approach to her new role comes in three prongs: relationship building, programming and support. Because she is new and because there is relatively little institutional memory of her position, Harrell wants to focus on one-on-one and small group conversations to learn what the campus community is looking for and how she can be supportive of existing

initiatives of diversity and inclusion. Her programming will address diversity, inclusion and how to engage with those topics which, in her words, “isn't always easy but doesn't have to be difficult.” Lastly, as Director of Diversity and Inclusion she will provide support for students, faculty and staff who feel marginalized on campus, as well as resources and space for them to connect. “There is an interest in diversity and inclusion work on this campus,” Harrell said. “I don't see myself as someone who's coming in to take over those conversations but to facilitate [them].” In high school, Harrell was president of the multicultural club and participated in leadership programs that allowed her to develop the skills needed to be a change agent. Although Harrell says she is naturally an introvert and prefers to do things in the background, the programs encouraged her to get out of her comfort zone and become comfortable in front of a group. Harrell continued her leadership development as a Resident Advisor (RA) and student leader at Florida State University, where she majored in

continued on p. 11

photo courtesy of Autumn Harrell "She knows so much and she has such a nuanced perspective on everything," Leen Al-Fatafta, vice president of the Council of Diversity and Inclusion, said. "She's just supportive...and authentic and unapologetic and just like amazing. I'm really excited to be working with her."

Suiting up for Sarasota Democrats' dinner party


The Sarasota Democratic Party’s Annual Kennedy-King Dinner is a fine opportunity to meet and mingle with local democrats and tap into political and activist currents in the area. It is also a chance to sit pretty for a night. The first thing to know about the Kennedy-King Dinner is that it’s actually a huge fundraiser. A huge, fancy fundraiser held at the Hyatt Regency on bayfront. Oh, and tickets are $125. The second thing to know about the Kennedy-King Dinner is that it’s a networking frenzy. I was generously invited by Mrs. Ardell Otten, a local activist involved with Newtown Nation - the communityled group that I intern with. Two in Ardell’s party couldn’t attend and expressed a desire for New College students with connections in Newtown to take their place. I chose third-year co-President Miles Iton as my date. Miles worked with Newtown Nation this past summer and still holds close relationships in the community. Plus, he’s going to be the youngest future President in U.S. history. When we arrived, we quickly skirted the $8 valet parking and parallel parked down the street. The lobby was glossy and packed. Luckily, Mrs. Ardell found us with a warm welcome and escorted us to the sign-in tables. New College Professor Brendan Goff was in attendance and, recognizing Miles, he steered him towards the student president of University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee. My fate was similar: discovering I was writing

about the dinner in the Catalyst, Goff graciously introduced me to everyone he knew. The first person I was introduced to, I already knew. Jennifer AhearnKoch is running for city commissioner and we met at a Newtown Nation meeting where she was presenting for STOP, a Sarasota civic group working to end the nonpublic process of Administrative Approval for urban development downtown. “All my activity started with grassroots, so I can relate,” AhearnKoch said. “I know what it takes to make time for issues, that work needs to be valued more and I will work closer with people to raise them up.” Given her history of bottom-up political activism, I asked what advice she has for people getting involved with local issues. “Well, if they are a neighborhood association, I would advice them to do to go to the County Council of Neighborhood Associations. They can save you a lot of dead ends.” Our conversation ended with coordinators ushering everyone towards the dinner hall. On the way, we passed tables of auction items including nostalgically framed Times’ Magazine covers featuring the Obamas, porcelain tea sets and a selection of art. “Can I just say,” Miles said. “That this is so bougie.” In the dining room, two large screens on either side of a stage flipped through photos from the Women’s March on Washington and it’s sister march in Sarasota. Pinkness abounded on screen. Waiters carrying champagne bottles scurried on and off the scene. We found our seats.

I stared down at a plate displaying salad wrapped like a bouquet. We made introductions around the table, at which sat one man, one black woman and four white ladies - just about representative of the demographics in the whole place. One of our table mates was Jan Pearce, a former reporter at the Washington Post. I asked what she thought of Trump’s choice to boycott the White House Correspondents Dinner. “It’s not good, I think it’s a different time for journalists, economically and politically,” she said. I agreed. Sarasota Mayor Willie Shaw was invited on stage to kick off the night with the pledge of allegiance. We all stood and joined in. Next up was founder of the West Coast Black Theatre Group, Nate Jacobs, who sung the song “Rise Up” by Andra Day in perfect agreement with the night’s theme: rise up, fight back. “Are you ready to rise up and fight back Sarasota?” Senator Bill Nelson asked the room. Cheers responded affirmatively and Nelson dove headfirst into his keynote speech. There were two main talking points of Nelson’s speech: threats to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the “incredible power” of women. The first point focused on the lack of a Republican replacement plan for ACA - or “Obamacare” - and predicted that “we are gonna save the bulk of the ACA.” The second point sounded like this: “In Washington, I am known as Grace Nelson’s husband,” The energy of the Women’s march - that was incredible,” and “Thank goodness for the women of America.”

Intending to jump at a chance to interview Mr. Nelson, I had planned to ask what he thinks is the best way to protect students from the effects of an Immigration and Customs Enforcement crackdown and the lingering threats of Trump’s Muslim ban. By the end of his speech, I decided to ask instead why he didn’t mention either of these communities. Nelson disappeared after the commencement speech but second-year Ximena Pedroza, also in attendance, had more success than me. She didn’t catch Nelson, but she did talk with several local representatives on issues of immigration. “I talked to the ACLU [American Civil Liberties Union] director of Florida about an upcoming meeting in Miami to address what they are doing next,” Ximena said. The ACLU plans to organize rapid response teams to address deportations across the nation under Trump’s executive order targeting 11 million undocumented persons. “I asked Hagen Brody his stance on Sanctuary Cities and Campuses he didn’t know but he did say that he is advocating for getting documented immigrants drivers licenses and, it’s true, driver's licenses can change a person’s life,” Ximena reported. Brody, an attorney, is running for one of the two open city commissioner seats in the election taking place on March 14. “It’s not necessarily a partisan issue,” President of Sarasota’s Democratic Hispanic Caucus Cramer Verde said. “Really, it is more of an activist choice than political.”


WEDNESDAY, MARCH 8, 2017 www.ncfcatalyst.com | @ncfcatalyst

Theatrical theses are in the spotlight


Taking on the task of creating an entire theatrical production in a matter of mere weeks can be daunting to many. Still, our thesising students take on these types of intimidating projects with each passing year. Consequently, this semester has seen not one, but two student-generated plays on campus. Both Home And Not Cooley’s Both Home And Not: An Exploration of Belonging was created after several interviews with immigrants and travellers from around the world, all who had found “home” in the city of Buenos Aires. There were about 18 conducted interviews in total with only four of them actually being done in English. “I wanted to explore what ‘home’ meant to people who had experiences very different from mine,” Cooley said, after analyzing the idea that, “there are people, including myself, who come to New College and find home.” This was the original sparking thought for the thesis. With the fervent desire of traveling to foreign lands for his vision and feeling most comfortable with the language of Spanish (for said foreign travel), Cooley believed that for his attempt in making an original full-on production, Argentina would be the perfect place. Being known as a bustling and culturally diverse part of the world with its history in openness to immigrants, Buenos Aires is the perfect city to explore the meaning of “home.” “Buenos Aires, like every city, is unique,” Cooley said. “The ethos of the city and its public persona is of being a city of immigrants.” Verbatim theater is carried out by a lengthy preparation period in which, after having interviewed several people, the interviews must then be transformed into a sort of “collage style”. Essentially, the script is taken word for word (verbatim) from real-life encounters with fascinating people. Nevertheless, it is difficult to recreate these characters with limited casting options. Cooley wrote the script after having a finalized cast listing in order

photo courtesy of Logan Schulman Schulman was the Teaching Assistant (TA) for the Black Box Theater his first, second and third-years.

to ensure the best replication of these strangers based off the actors involved in the Florida based play. The show was performed in the Black Box Theater (BBT) within the first couple weeks of the Spring semester. It is currently the only bilingual play— being 70 percent in English and 30 percent in Spanish—to ever happen at New College and it also encompasses the largest cast with the most cues and technical operations incorporated into a piece. These technological possibilities were made possible by the recent Technical Director of the Black Box Theater Monica Cross who assisted in many ways with both Cooley’s and Schulman’s productions. “I was blown away with the equipment we had access to,” Cooley said, noting the myriad of options for lights and the quality of the speakers at hand. “The Black Box [Theater] was much more than I had expected.” Cooley is now a semi-finalist for the Fulbright Scholarship Program by applying for the opportunity to teach English in Argentina, specifically mechanics of the language and teaching methods for adults hoping to teach English in the South American country themselves. “I’m sure that I will be very different in five years, but I don’t think that my affinity for conversation,

photo courtesy of Logan Schulman "I was surprised that my body hadn't just given out in the middle of the performance," Schulman said.

human connection and storytelling is ever going away,” Cooley said. The Remaining Hours Logan Schulman created the four-part installment series titled The Remaining Hours for his thesis project with an AOC in Theater with a slash in Religion. Being a theatrical pursuit in nature, Schulman added a main focus on the idea of “faith” with a specific concentration on the Biblical passage of Genesis 22, the story of faith and sacrifice between Abraham and his son Isaac. These religious analyses became a fundamental aspect of the series. At the Headlong Performance Institute in Philadelphia, Schulman found himself learning and training in the art of iterative creation by way of workshops prior to the on-campus work for the pieces. This is a methodology of replicating something multiple times, like a performance in Schulman’s case, then based off the reactions of others and critiques, what was done is refined over and over for improvement. Drawn from the practice of Rabbinic Midrash that creates a dialogue centered on the issue of how to relate Biblical passages to us as an entire humanity now. Since the Bible is filled with complex metaphors and is written in an almost poetic design, it can be rather difficult to decipher it and give it meaning for us in today’s day and age. “I wanted to figure out how can performance do this work of creating a dialogue about faith and how it stands today,” Schulman said. “And I realized that I could not do that in a single play.” So he made four. The infamous 12-hour production was the third installment of the series, which was performed at the multipurpose Mildred Sainer Fine Arts Complex. Essentially it was a one-hour piece, but done 12 times consequently. When he needed a break, which was always only once in the entire long haul, he would say to the audience, “I’m so sorry, it’s been a really long day,” then depart backstage for a five minute recharge. The first piece was dedicated on analyzing the individual’s faith relationship with society at large, the second was looking at the individual’s faith with technology (namely social media), the third - which is the



infamous 12-hour endeavor - was on faith of the self and lastly the fourth installation was about the relationship with the divine. The observations of these relationships, as explained by Schulman, moved from macro (society) to the micro (the self) and then back to an even greater macro of the divine. While installations one, two and four were done in the BBT and was evenly distributed in terms of creative prowess and control over the pieces, Schulman had total autonomy with the third in terms of content and performance. Assistant Director for the third installation was second-year Eugenia Titterington since Schulman could not direct the piece in which he was the only single member of the performance. It can be considered to be a tragic piece that holds great levity for its audiences. The show references Schulman’s dad consistently throughout, such as giving a eulogy to his father (who isn’t actually dead), voice clips of the father leaving the family when Schulman was younger and a lot of monologue about their complex relationship. However, religious themes also played a role in the performance having a powerful impact on some in the audience. “I got a lot of really good feedback from Jewish students as well as nonJewish students that were very affected by the content of the piece,” Schulman said. Sponsor’s Take “I really like the way that it [thesis plays] lets students work with one another. Often working on a thesis is a kind of unnecessarily isolating process,” Professor of English Nova Myhill said. “Working on a production, however you’re doing it, is necessarily really collaborative.” Myhill, who also works closely and frequently with the theater program, was a mutual sponsor for both theses. As she has much experience with the nature of theses plays, her input was valuable in the creation of Both Home And Not and The Remaining Hours. “She [Myhill] definitely has high expectations of her students, which pushes you to work hard,” Schulman said. For students considering pursuing a production based thesis in their near future there’s a few helpful tips to emphasize. Here is some wisdom passed down from Myhill herself: The thing that makes it possible is having done practical theater work beforehand. Putting on a production and a thesis that’s written around it has a significant intellectual as well as a significant artistic component to it. The play itself is functionally one chapter of a three-part thesis. The other two-thirds of it is encompassed in a 3045 page written thesis (as opposed to the usual 40-60 page stand alone thesis found in other AOCs). Keep in mind for a play, that it will always be slashed - meaning it will always need to be meeting the requirements of other AOCs It is not easy to do, so start early.


WEDNESDAY, MARCH 8, 2017 www.ncfcatalyst.com | @ncfcatalyst


Gun bills

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2 gun bill that Steube has presented. The permittance of concealed weapons on college campuses throughout Florida would require an evaluation of policies and procedures from administration, campus police, residential life and faculty. Still, many question whether the increased safety in an active shooter situation (which is why Steube and other pro-gun legislators say weapons should be allowed on college campuses) is actually necessary or more safe. “That’s an objective fallacy,” firstyear Sophie Ledden said. “The fact is it’s not going to be trained people in an active shooter situation anyway.” Alcock similarly dismisses this popular justification for increasing concealed carrying. “There’s no data to support that gun-free zones are a magnet for killing,” Alcock said. “College campuses tend to have less violent crime than other space.” “For better or worse, a campus

Mosque Arson CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2 contributions, Iqbal recognized an intriguing pattern. “The increments of the donations were really interesting. So many people were giving in increments of around $16 or $18,” he said. But it was not just a coincidence. “I couldn't understand why people were donating in what seemed like


came from to do so much better,” McFarland said. While Brown discussed using your resources, whatever they may be, as the key to success. “Education is not the sole key,” Brown said, dismantling the idea that a college degree is the only way to be succesfful. “Having those resources, and exposing people to those resources, is. However you can get it, get it.” Memorial After both panels, Glaude, along with thesis student Haiwen Yu and third-years Alexandra Schelle and Yara Rincon spoke on former New College student, Ijeoma Uzoukwu, who recently passed away. Uzoukwu had

been involved in Black History Month planning while attending New College, along with other activist efforts both on campus, such as their involvement in Students Targetting Oppressive Powers (STOP) and local protests in Sarasota. Glaude presented a piece she had written for Uzoukwu while Yu presented a poem. Photos of Uzoukwu were shown to the audience. Keynote Address Following this, third-year student and member of both Queery and the Black History Month planning committee, Lorraine Cruz, introduce Ade. Ade is a Spoken Word poet and educator from Philadelphia, who was

invited to provide the Keynote Address for the Symposium. “I want to begin by thanking you for inviting me to your campus,” Ade began. “For sharing this moment of black intellect and excellence, black celebration, black resistance, black history and, most importantly, black future.” Ade’s Keynote Address discussed a world post the recent election of President Donald Trump, as well as the role of the arts in social justice. “My art is also activism, my poetry is resistance,” Ade said. Ade listed activism as also including kids blasting Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright” while driving to throwing a dance party to Ade’s own example of building blanket forts and watching movies with their partner the following days after the election. “We deserve happiness, and claiming that, in the face of insurmountable odds, is also an act of courage and resistance,” Ade told the audience. “Please, be kind to yourself, find the moments and the people and the places that can sustain you while you do the work, and it is okay if that work is simply continuing to survive, in spite of. We need you now more than ever. There is a world waiting for you.”

environment is more closely controlled than the world at large, therefore, it is less likely that an individual would need or seek to acquire a gun for ‘self defense’ purposes,” first-year Aiden Juge said in an email. Third-year and Police Liaison for the New College Student Alliance (NCSA), Dominic Theofan, said he would feel less safe if he had to share a classroom with someone carrying a firearm. “The perceived sense of safety that one individual would have from a concealed carry would compromise the safety of everyone,” Theofan wrote in an email. “History dictates that the potential for an individual to become a ‘hero’ in one instance is not worth the risk of injury or death from potential misuse that comes from having firearms on campus.” If Steube’s campus carry bill were to pass and become state law, New College would face a disconnect between following state law and assuaging the fears of students on campus. In a survey of 86 New College students, 82 percent said that they felt concealed weapons would make campus less safe. In this survey, 81 percent of

students said they do not support legislation which would allow the concealed carry of weapons on campus. Nine percent of students strongly support the legislation, while 8 percent moderately or slightly support it. Particularly on a residential campus, the idea of not carrying, but storing, poses a potential risk to students living in proximity to someone who wants to exercise their second amendment right. “We would comply with the law,” Alcock said. “Life moves on, but I think people would be less comfortable here. It does have a chilling effect on what we do on campus, even if there’s not an incident.” First-year Ledden hopes that New College would ban concealed weapons on campus, if the bill were to become law. “There’s no good reason to have a gun at a school,” Ledden said. “Even if they weren’t used, it’s the attitude that having a gun at school comes from. The idea that violence is the solution. There’s also this paranoia that almost always accompanies this. The sort of mindset that that is a part of, is what makes me feel uncomfortable.”

Although on our public campus, fully prohibiting concealed weapons under the proposed legislation would be difficult, the administration would likely have some authority to create campus-specific policies regulating the carry and storage of firearms. “I would hope that the administration would be free to enact policies such as restricting gun owners to single-occupancy dorm rooms and requiring guns to be kept under lock and key when not on the permitted individuals person,” Juge said. “I would also hope that the administration would, given the opportunity, designate some spaces, such as classrooms and club meeting rooms, to be gun-free zones.” It is unlikely that student life would continue as usual if SB 622 were passed. “They could have underclassmen dorms as ‘substance free and gun free,’” Theofan said, in the case that students over 21 were allowed to carry concealed weapons on campus. “Maybe a concealed carry LLC.” Information from the article was taken from heraldtribune.com, orlandosentinel. com, miamiherald.com, flsenate.gov.

weird amounts to the cause. There are sums of 18, 36, 72.00 dollars etc. [but] then I figured it out [...], Jewish people donate in multiples of 18 as a form of what is called "Chai". It wishes the recipient a long life. You learn something new every day. The Jewish faith has shown up in force to support our New Tampa Islamic community. I'm floored. #chaidelivered,” Karim said in a Facebook post. Although the community has responded well, Iqbal is holding Donald Trump accountable, rightfully.

In the past seven weeks, mosques across the country have been targets of hate crimes, along with Jewish community centers experiencing record breaking numbers of bomb threats. “Since Trump started running for office, you can see a direct correlation between his rhetoric and the increase in hate crimes,” Iqbal said. “And it continues and he does absolutely nothing to address it. He just pretends it’s not happening. Which is really frustrating because he's our president too. As much as we hate him, he is our

president. People that you represent are being shot and killed. People that you represent and their places of worship are being set on fire and you don't have anything to say about this at all?”

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 Respectability Panel The second panel, on respectability politics for black professionals, focusd on the experience of being a black professional in Sarasota. The panel featued former New College professor, Elzie McCord, along with multi-media artist and former Ringling College of Art and Design (RCAD) professor, John Sims, social worker and business woman, Britney Brown, and Vice President of the Sarasota Democratic Club, Delores “Dee” McFarland. The panel was facilitated by New College alum, Snousha Glaude (‘12). “There have been many influencers in my life,” McFarland said, when discussing the individuals who had helped her to reach the success she has acheived. “I grew up in the Civil Rightsera and I did a lot of marching.” McFarland listed her parents, godparents, one of whom was one of two black dentists in the area she had grown up in, and the lessons learned from attending Harvard University and working in corporate America. “Each generation brings us higher, but we need to remember where we


(Left) Mayor Willie Shaw and NCSA co-President and third-year Paul Lorriston. (Right) Leen Al-Fatafta

Information from this article was obtained from tampabay.com, newtampamasjid.org, and launchgood. com.


WEDNESDAY, MARCH 8, 2017 www.ncfcatalyst.com | @ncfcatalyst



Transgender rights CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 “encompasses discrimination based on a student’s gender identity.” Schools receiving federal assistance, therefore, must not discriminate on the basis of gender identity. “Any student has full access to the full educational program regardless of sex, gender identity, sexual orientation; it protects a lot more than just sex assigned at birth,” Pierce said. The “Dear Colleague” letter is not law, but rather guidance for how schools should implement Title IX on campus. “This isn’t really law, it’s their opinion on how to implement the law on campus. And if you don’t do these things, they come in and investigate and you might lose federal funding,” Pierce said. “Even though it’s not law, it has the effect of really changing the way that things are done on campus.” The letter was ultimately issued to clarify what was protected under Title IX. In addition to providing definitions for terms such as “gender identity,” “transgender” and “gender transition,” it stated that school staff and contractors must use pronouns and names consistent with a student’s gender identity. It also discussed sex-segregated activities and facilities, such as restrooms, locker rooms and sports teams. According to the letter, a school “may not adopt or adhere to requirements that rely on overly broad generalizations or stereotypes about the differences between transgender students of the same sex (i.e, the same gender identity) or others’ discomfort with transgender students.” “[There’s only] one paragraph in the entire letter that talks about restrooms and locker rooms, yet that’s the issue that’s getting the most press,” Pierce said. “It also talks about athletics, single-sex classes, single-sex schools, privacy and education records, it talks about not disclosing someone’s gender identity under FERPA, and a couple of other things.” “What has happened, from my opinion, is bathrooms are a really tangible thing that people can kind of understand and put an opinion on; ‘I use this bathroom, you use that bathroom,’ but it’s so much more complicated,” Title IX Coordinator Dr. Erin Robinson said. Ultimately, the letter asserts that when a school provides sex-segregated activities and facilities, transgender students must be allowed to participate in those activities and have access to those facilities consistent with their gender identity. What was outlined in the letter to Emily Prince? On Jan. 7, 2015, the Department of Education’s OCR responded to a letter sent by Emily Prince that questioned an unnamed school district’s policy about access to bathroom and the role that Title IX played in the situation. The letter that the OCR issued in response confirmed that when providing sexsegregated activities and facilities, “a school generally must treat transgender students consistent with their gender

identity.” The OCR restrained from giving concrete opinions about the school district in question without first conducting an investigation. It did, however, mention other recent investigation conclusions: “Nevertheless, it may be useful to be aware that in response to OCR’s recent investigations of two complaints of gender identity discrimination, recipients have agreed to revise policies to make clear that transgender students should be treated consistent with their gender identity for purposes of restroom access.” This letter, like the “Dear Colleague” letter from 2016, verified that Title IX ensures that all students, including transgender students, have equal access to safe learning environments. So what’s happening now? On Feb. 22, 2017, the DOJ and DOE, now headed by Jeff Sessions and Betsy DeVos respectively, issued another “Dear Colleague” letter. This letter withdraws the statements of policy and guidance reflected in the 2016 Dear Colleague Letter on Transgender Students and the letter to Emily Prince. This action displays a shift in values within the DOJ and DOE that parallels the shift in national administrations. “There are a ton of Dear Colleague letters, so the fact that they focus just here really singles out gender identity as not covered under sex,” Pierce said. The letter states that the reason for the withdrawal is because the documents “do not contain extensive legal analysis or explain how the position is consistent with the express language of Title IX, nor did they undergo any formal public process.” However, the 2016 Dear Colleague Letter on Transgender Students contains 35 cited legal arguments and sources; the letter to Emily Prince contains 6 cited sources. “The rationale for rescinding the two letters was that they were not based on enough legal analysis; they didn’t do enough research to make these changes,” Pierce said. “But if you look through these, they’re quoting federal statute, quoting federal rules and regulations, quoting court cases, quoting White House regulations, they’re quoting education regulations; if that isn’t legal analysis, I don’t know what is.” By rescinding those two letters, the DOJ and DOE have made it easier to deny transgender students rights based on their gender identity. “What this does, for those schools who don’t protect gender identity, they’re no longer liable for lawsuit,” Pierce said. “It can have a pretty big effect on the way these court cases are decided, but right now this letter says ‘let’s leave this up to the courts’ because they’re still working out this issue.” More conservative schools, therefore, can now decide whether or not to include or exclude students

based on their gender identity. They are no longer required to accept and include students regardless of gender identity. “I really do think that they just want the courts to decide the issue, then they’ll go along with whatever they decide,” Pierce said. How will New College react? In response to the recent DOJ and DOE action, President Donal O’Shea issued a campus-wide statement of support: “New College will continue to enforce our regulations and policies that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity and any other protected characteristic under the law. We will ensure that each member of our community has full access to College resources. Even without specific guidance or legal obligations, New College will remain a place where all people are welcomed and appreciated.” “We always take the more stringent policy,” Robinson said. “So if it’s not necessarily supported by federal guidelines, but it is state, we’re going to look at the state; or if our own student affairs policy is more stringent than federal policy, we’re going to look at our diversity clause and say ‘you’re outside the parameters for what’s acceptable

at our school,’ and therefore it will be addressed by our institution.” Though the recent decisions seem to backtrack on civil rights protection progress, students across the nation are passionate enough to speak up for what they believe in. “I believe there’s a potential for this really positive silver lining in that a couple steps were taken back, but that could be the forward momentum needed to take law and evolution that much further,” Robinson said. Ultimately, New College will continue to offer an inclusive space for all students, regardless of gender identity, sex, race, cultural background, sexuality and more. “The bottom line is, this doesn’t require schools to change the way they’re doing things,” Pierce said. “What you’re gonna to see is, it’s gonna go up to the Supreme Court, just because the circuits are split; the appeals courts can’t decide on how to implement it, they’re deciding different things,” Pierce said. “Until it gets there, we’re kind of in a holding pattern.”


unique,” Harrell said. “So that looks like freedom of expression, or what I have taken as freedom of expression, a strong sense of agency and a really supportive place.” But Harrell is not blind to the fact that this isn’t felt by all students all the time. “I’m not really sure what is consistently rubbing against [that setting] so when students don't feel that way I haven't yet figured out why,” Harrell said. “But even the students who are saying there are some issues often still say it’s a cool place to be and people are supportive.” Harrell is consistently impressed by the thesis projects and other academic endeavors that students undertake. It’s not only the actual academic work but the passion and energy that students approach it with that Harrell is encouraged by. “To have that be the culture here, that everyone is engaging really deeply in something that they're passionate about is… Just so cool,” Harrell said. “To feel that across campus… It’s reassuring that I came to the right place.” Harrell brings a unique perspective, fresh ideas and a promise of commitment to the community. Although there is still diversity and inclusion work to be done on campus, and arguably always will be, the creation and fulfillment of this new position will help pave the way to a more diverse and inclusive community. “Yes there are challenges and yes there are things that everybody would like to work on but the population is ready for things and they're engaged in things and that's exciting,” Harrell said. “These folks want to do something, they want to see change as well.”

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 8 English and minored in Psychology. It was in college that someone first told her that all the extracurriculars she participated in could lead to a career. “I would say that I brought diversity work to my roles regardless of what my roles were because that's how I see the world,” Harrell said. “Sometimes I think diversity work focuses too much on differences, or maybe not the work, but how people conceive of it. In those differences there are plenty of commonalities.” Something that stands out with Harrell, besides her infectious laugh that one can’t help but join in with, is her clear desire to get to know people on campus. She spends time in Hamilton “Ham” Center, holds office hours in Four Winds and says “Hi” to the students she passes on the overpass even when they don’t say anything back. “I want to get know the individuals and the community because it’s not helpful if I come in with a plan that doesn’t fit this setting,” Harrell said. “So I’m developing it in response to the setting.” And what is the setting? In Harrell’s opinion, New College is like any other university in many ways, with residence halls and a dining program, but what sets it apart is its status as a public Honors College. It’s affordable like a large, public state school but comes with the academic rigorousness that a Honors College demands. “All of those things coalesce to create a campus culture that is very

Information gathered from justice.gov and ed.gov


WEDNESDAY, MARCH 8, 2017 www.ncfcatalyst.com | @ncfcatalyst



all photos courtesy of Jasmine Respess

ribbons, rhythm and beats BY JASMINE RESPESS Brooklyn-based artist, CHARGAUX, put on a pre-Ringling Underground performance. They performed in Anne Patterson’s Pathless Woods, an interactive, multimedia installation. Paterson’s pieces featured multicolored ribbons in a dark room. CHARGAUX consistently mix visual and audio art. Both Charly and Anne Patterson have synesthesia - they are able to hear colors - so Patterson’s work is a perfect space for CHARGAUX to perform. The group consist of violinist Jasmin “Charly” Charles and the violist Margaux Whitney. The show was held on March 2 at the Keith and Linda Monda Gallery for Contemporary Art at The John and Mabel Ringling Museum of Art. There was also a gallery walk at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. where CHARGAUX played in front of artwork, so that visitors can experience visual art it an audible way. “They actually selected pieces that they are interested in, in our collection, and they are going to play in front of them,” Ringling project manager Sonja Shea said. CHARGAUX selected four pieces for the 11 a.m. gallery walk and four different pieces for the 5 p.m. walk. “Our curator of education will give the art historical references and [CHARGAUX] will have a conversation about how the visual art has impacted them as musicians.” The duo met in Boston in 2011 on a subway platform, and since then have released the 2014 EP “Broke and Baroque” and 2016 album “Meditations of a G.” “CHARGAUX does covers and they also make their own music,” Shea said. “They have become this amazing partnership duo. [...] They have also done partnerships with very interesting


DJs who will scratch their music as they play.” CHARGAUX has been featured on Kendrick Lamar’s Grammy Nominated album “Good Kid m.a.a.d City” as well as works by Schoolboy Q and J Cole. CHARGAUX has also gained popularity for covering artists such as Beyoncé, Kanye West and Rihanna classically. “When [Chargaux] create their music,” Shea said. “They use [synesthesia] to map it out, so the fact they are going to play in this gallery that had the same reason behind it, is going to be a really cool collaboration.” Ringling often invites noted performers from all over the world. NCF students are offered tickets at discounted rates. Check out the coming shows online. http://www.chargaux.com/

Charley and Margaux met in a Boston Subway.

Chargaux mix classical and contemporary music to make an original sound.

Both the visual artist, Anne Patterson, and musical artist Charguax use synthesia to create their pieces.

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