Spring 2017 - Issue 5

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New College of Florida's student-run newspaper







Nearly 2000 voice concerns to Sarasota Representative Buchanan BYJASON D'AMOURS AND CASSIE MANZ Nearly two thousand energized constituents made their way to the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in the early hours of March 18 to exercise a fundamental aspect of democracy the right to voice their concerns at a town hall. Attendees eagerly lined up outside as early as 9:00 a.m. With 5,000 R.S.V.P.s, the 1,736 occupancy limit inside the Van Wezel was quickly filled and speakers were set up outside for the couple hundred who were turned away. Representative Vern Buchanan (R- FL) of Florida’s 16th district, a vast area including Sarasota, Bradenton, stretching east to Myakka City and north to the South Tampa area, held a town hall meeting on March 18. Buchanan’s 75th town hall event comes weeks after efforts by All of Us Sarasota, a local human rights oriented activist coalition, in which members

Healthcare, climate change and Donald Trump’s continued refusal to release his taxes were all pressing concerns for the town hall attendees. For an hour and a half, Representative Buchanan’s constituents belabored him with pointed questions about his and President Donald Trump’s policies. Attendants shouted “Yes or no!” and “Answer the question!” while waving red cards to signify their disapproval. Despite this, Buchanan remained optimistic throughout the town hall. When one woman questioned if the town hall was as scary for him as it is for her, Buchanan replied, “I’m enjoying Cassie Manz/Catalyst it.” “This is what democracy is all Attendees chant, "Answer the question!" and "Yes or No?!" and hold a sign that reads, about,” Buchanan said in a private "Pivot from Trump or Lose in 2018." interview with the Catalyst. “Giving marched into Buchanan’s Sarasota over taxation and a number of other people the right to be heard, and me office to demand a town hall meeting. programs such as social security, listening, primarily. That's my goal, and Buchanan serves on the House medicare, unemployment benefits, looking to try to implement some of Committee on Ways and Means as the Temporary Assistance for Needy Chair for the Oversight subcommittee. Families and the federal welfare continued on p. 5 This committee has a wide jurisdiction program. Dylan Pryor/Catalyst

Republican healthcare plan would leave 24 million uninsured

Photo courtesy of Flickr.com

BY DYLAN PRYOR On March 6, House Speaker Paul Ryan and fellow House Republicans released their long-awaited plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare (ACA). Despite a wealth of bipartisan criticism, the House Speaker insisted that the opportunity was too valuable to wait any longer. A week later, on March 14, an analysis released by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) further complicated efforts to pass the bill and breathed new life into pushback efforts when they found that 24 million more Americans would be uninsured by 2026 under


the legislation, with 14 million left uninsured by next year. Notable components of the bill include repealing the ACA, decreasing and modifying premium tax credits by 2020, increasing the ration that insurance companies can charge older subscribers compared to younger subscribers and prohibiting funding for Planned Parenthood clinics and insurance plans which cover abortions. “Thinking of Walter Cronkite, the American healthcare system is neither healthy, caring, nor a system and this plan to me is a direct representation of just how mismanaged healthcare in this country is,” thesis student



Victoria McCullough said. “To me, as an uninsured, AFAB [assigned female at birth] person, this plan is draconian and hurts more than it benefits.” The CBO is a nonpartisan analytical service for Congress that evaluates, among other things, the economic impact of legislative proposals. The analysis is part of a process called scoring, which according to Professor of Political Science Keith Fitzgerald, essentially evaluates “who wins, who loses, how much of a cost.” “Promising to fix this, without having actually worked on a plan for several years has put them in a real political box, and I think they are rushing



something out there that is unique in the degree which it’s making everyone with a stake in healthcare upset, and the only support for this bill I’ve seen other than Republican supporters wanting to be behind the President and Congress is from insurers—Anthem, which is a major insurance company—everyone else hates it,” Fitzgerald said. “But it will undoubtedly, if passed in this form, cost a fortune and take away healthcare from millions of people, and that isn’t going to be something that will go down easily.”

continued on p. 5




WEDNESDAY, MARCH 22, 2017 www.ncfcatalyst.com | @ncfcatalyst


Family and friends remember Rodney Mitchell BY KATELYN GRIMMETT CW: police brutality, racism The Sarasota officers that shot Rodney Mitchell five years ago are still on duty today. A documentary screening and dinner was held at the Peace Education and Action Center this past Sunday, March 19, to celebrate Mitchell’s life and to support his mother, Natasha Clemons, in her fight through the judicial system. Clemons has fought in the courts since Mitchell’s death in June 2012 and is now marching the case up to the Supreme Court. All proceeds from the dinner went towards paying for a lawyer qualified to represent the case at that level. Rodney Mitchell would have turned 28 yesterday. The dinner and screening was co-organized by Black Lives Matter (BLM) Manasota Chapter and Answer SunCoast as part of a twice annual series of events: a vigil commemorating Mitchell’s death and a celebration in honor of his birthday. “ANSWER has been involved right from the beginning, we’ve helped organize many protests and events around the anniversary of his death,” Ruth Beltran, a leader in the national Answer Coalition’s Suncoast chapter, said. “Now that Black Lives Matter is initiated, they have joined in supporting this cause as well.” Beltran noted that BLM Manasota is in the process of moving meetings to Newtown to boost community involvement. Their next public meeting is to be announced. The annual events – in addition to supporting Clemons’ ongoing legal fees – have become a beacon of light for the Newtown community and neighboring black communities in Bradenton and Palmetto. “This event truly is for the community so we can come together, so I can show them exactly what’s really happening,” Clemons said. “Just know that we’re here for a common cause, we’re here to support each other, encourage each other, love each other.” The dinner provided the first opportunity to publicly screen a documentary covering Mitchell’s death and the community’s monumental reaction to it. The documentary is part of a larger series put together by the Tampa Bay Times about police brutality. “It just tells the truth, it states the facts,” Clemons said. “It shows to the world that Rodney was innocent. It’s different when you show people the evidence base and the documentary did

all photos Katelyn Grimmett/Catalyst

The dinner provided the first opportunity to publicly screen a documentary covering Mitchell’s death and the community’s monumental reaction to it.

Soul food such as chicken, green beans, stuffed peppers and sweet potato pie was served for dinner.

Family and friends from Newtown to Palmetto gathered together to celebrate Rodney Mitchell's birthday. He would have turned 28 years old yesterday.

The fundraiser raffled off black empowerment books– The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Race Matters by Cornel West, and the like– and auctioned original items such as a Mitchell football jersey and Trayvon Martin chain.

"You're children, you're sleeping, you're conditioned, and you're garbage." - Baba Steve at Cassie and Jason © 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.

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,

that.” The screening showed footage of the many protests seeking justice for Mitchell and interviewed Clemons from the very beginning and through the years that followed. “It’s a very, very scary situation to get pulled over and not know if you’re going to live,” Clemons said in the documentary, which ended with a note that the Sarasota Police Department refused to comment. Rodney Mitchell was pulled over in Newtown for allegedly not wearing his seatbelt. It was found that Mitchell was – in fact – wearing a seatbelt. But instead of releasing him, officer Adam Shaw radioed officer Troy Sasse for backup and proceeded to question Mitchell and his 16-year-old cousin, Dorian Gilmer. The traffic stop escalated when the car suddenly lurched forward and two police officers pointed two guns towards the two unarmed black men inside. Four shots were fired and Rodney Mitchell died that night. A California-based crime scene analyst hired to investigate the scene found that Mitchell had turned the wheel to the right to avoid hitting officer Sasse, who was approaching the front of the vehicle. Sarasota Sheriff's policies restrict deputies from firing at fleeing cars, protocol is simply to record the vehicle's tag number. But deputies in Sarasota are allowed to use deadly force – even against drivers – in situations they perceive to be life-threatening. "We don't shoot at moving vehicles, we shoot at threats," Sheriff Tom Knight told the Sarasota HeraldTribune shortly after the two officers were cleared to return to work. "Our policies are consistent with most other agencies' policies." New York Police Department officers are entirely restricted from shooting at a moving vehicle, the only exception being if a driver or passenger has fired shots first. Chicago, Cincinnati, Denver, Portland, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, San Diego and other city police departments are similarly unauthorized for deadly force towards persons in a vehicle. “They took his life because they knew they could do it and get away with it,” Clemons said. Rodney Mitchell loved football. He was a quarterback at New Mexico Military College and when he received

continued on p. 11 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 22, 2017 www.ncfcatalyst.com | @ncfcatalyst


Kaylie Stokes returns to NCF as RHD BY JASMINE RESPESS

The Activist Newsletter Katelyn Grimmett/Catalyst

This week (3/22 – 3/28), activists have the opportunity to participate in political revolutions, lectures, meetings and festivals! Read on if you want to get involved in the community regarding national politics, racial equality, LGBTQ+ rights, environmental issues or immigrant rights. Check out ncfcatalyst.com for a full calendar of events!

BY ANYA MARÍA CONTRERAS-GARCÍA Wed, Mar 22 An Evening with Yaa Gyasi @ 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. Gibbons Alumni Center, 4202 E Fowler Ave, Tampa, Florida 33620 USF College of Arts and Sciences and the Institute on Black Life presents Yaa Gyasi, New York Times Best Selling author of Homegoing, a story of race, history, ancestry, love, and time that traces the descendants of two sisters torn apart in eighteenth-century Africa across three hundred years in Ghana and America. Join for this exciting discussion as Gyasi explores contemporary craft, cultural identity, and the complex racial landscape of America’s past and present. There will be a book signing following the lecture. For more info, check out the event page on Facebook. Sat, Mar 25 Tampa Pride Festival @ 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Ybor City Historic District, 7th Avenue. Tampa, FL Join the LGBTQ+ community to celebrate sexual and gender diversity with dozens of vendors and a colorful parade that will begin at noon with a tribute to the Orlando Pulse tragedy victims. The parade will begin at noon from Hamburger Mary’s Tampa and end around Centennial Park. For more information, check out tampapride.org. Sat, Mar 25 Sarasota Honey Bee Festival @ 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sweetgrass Farms, 8350 Carolina St, Sarasota, FL 34243 Sweetgrass Farms and Sarasota Honey Company present

the second annual Honey Bee Festival to benefit honey bee research. The festival will feature a vendor and craft fair, live bands, photo booths, farm animals, food trucks, wine tasting, and educational booths on backyard beekeeping, master gardening and more! Tickets are $5. Come in full bee costumes for free parking! For more information, check out the event page on Facebook. Sun, Mar 26 How to Fight Trump: Revolution or Democratic Party? @ 6 – 9 p.m. Fogartyville Community Center, 525 Kumquat Ct, Rear, Sarasota, FL 34236 Join the Party for Socialism and Liberation for a forum to analyze the Trump Agenda and figure out how to unite, organize and resist against it. Discuss how to fight back by building a people’s movement in the street. Fore more information, check out the event page on Facebook. Mon, Mar 27 Immigrant Rights Planning Meeting @ 6 – 8 p.m. Quaker Friends, 3139 57th St, Sarasota, Florida 34243 All of Us Sarasota is planning a candlelight vigil in front of House Representative Vern Buchanan’s (R-Sarasota) office to honor of the millions of immigrants and their families who have been detained, deported and de-humanized by racist anti-immigrant policies. Buchanan has supported bills cutting funding for sanctuary cities and toughening penalties against anyone who re-enters the country after being deported. To RSVP or for more info, check out the event page on Facebook.

New College alum and previous Catalyst General Editor, Kaylie Stokes (’12) has taken on a position as the newest Residential Housing Director (RHD). For upper year students and long standing members of the New College community, she is a familiar face who was known to be heavily involved in NCF. For new students, she is someone who knows the culture of the school and is evidence of life after thesis. What are your responsibilities? “I am supervising RAs [Residential Advisors],” Stokes said. “I will be [one of the] staff on call to respond to crisis situations. [...] I work on whatever housing is, whether that is scheduling fire drills or getting ready from next years room draw, sending out a lot of emails, writing up different initiatives and figuring out summaries for LLCs.” Stokes is looking forward to having meetings with the RAs and getting to know them better. “A big part of the job is supporting RA staff,” Stokes said. “New College RAs do a really good job of keeping their community safe. [...] They are really involved in their communities. [...] I want to build on that.” How did you decide on the RHD position? “I had thought about applying for it directly after graduation,” Stokes said. “But I knew that I needed a break from New College. [...] [I] had to get away and get some space, so I could do the job to the best of my ability.” Stokes came to visit NCF and was offered a temporary RHD position, so she moved back down to Sarasota. How does being an alum affect how you do the job? “I think being a New College alum in a position like this can be really helpful,” Stokes said. “I'm familiar with the campus and a lot of the administration, I know how New College works, and I know the kinds of challenges I'm stepping into.” Stokes was an RA for three years for graduating. “I saw a lot of highs and lows with housing,” Stokes said. “But I really enjoyed my time as an RA and thought it was important work. “I know a lot about how our housing department works already and I can also relate to the RAs that I'll be supervising about some of [their] specific challenges,” Stoked said. “I really have an appreciation for how passionate and smart New College students are and want to work closely with them, as well as student organizations, to help direct New College’s growth and improvement in a way that satisfies students’ desires and well being.” As an RHD, what kind of programming will you be interested in putting on? “I would really like to do a continuing financial literacy workshop,”

Stokes said. “Talking about typical budgeting and taxes, but also things like the logistics around credit cards.” Stokes would explain how to apply and what a credit score indicates, as well as how to finance the purchase of a car. “I think anything concerning money plays a really big role in students well-being while they are still in school and after,” Stokes said. Where will you be living? “In third court,” Stokes said. “My 5th year living in Pei.” Stokes’ Pei room is more like an apartment than a typical dorm room. “It has a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and a living room,” Stokes continued. “It’s pretty nice.” Is it easy to adjust from living to North Carolina to moving back to Florida? “I really loved living in North Carolina and would like to move back at some point in the future,” Stokes said. In North Carolina, Stokes worked at a local coffee shop called Bean Traders. She also worked on a few short oral history projects and took an expansive two-and-a-half month road trip across the United States. “Adjusting back to Florida wasn't too difficult since I hadn't been gone too long and had visited a few times in between.” Stokes said. “I'm definitely not looking forward to how fast it gets hot here, but I'm excited to get to experience Sarasota while not being a busy stressed out student.” As an RHD, what are you excited about? “[As an RA] a lot of my frustration came from a lack of institutional support,” Stokes said. “It was a much bigger problem than any specific person.” “I realized that [now] institutional support [is] really coming to the department in a way that is letting the department grow and be a big support to RAs,” Stokes said. Stokes cited the four new director positions and the push to hire four RHDs as positive additions. “There is a lot more power to get things done and be a supportive department for students on campus,” Stokes said. “We will have the flexibility to do the positive things we want to do and not just be seen as a department that only places people in housing and deals with discipline.” What’s Next? Stokes has been temporarily hired this semester, but she hopes to be taken on as a more permanent RHD. “I am going to have to go through the student panels and lunches if I want to be hired next year,” Stokes said. “That will probably begin in April.” She will be going through the hiring process for next year soon. Stokes is interested in making student affairs her career and plans on getting her Master’s Degree in the field.


WEDNESDAY, MARCH 22, 2017 www.ncfcatalyst.com | @ncfcatalyst


Three Dutch rejection of Wilders serves as a positive barometer for the outcome of candidates continue to nationalist parties in Europe campaign in City Commission runoff BY AUDREY WARNE

Dutch voters turned out in record numbers to reject the nation’s far right, nationalist candidate Geert Wilders and his Party for Freedom on March 15. The 2017 election garnered more international attention than any election in recent Dutch history and an extremely high voter turnout - a reported 82 percent. The Dutch people rejected the recent tide of populist rhetoric, in favor of the incumbent People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy, led by Mark Rutte. Rutte has been Prime Minister of the Netherlands since 2010 and the leader of the People’s Party since 2006. A conservative-liberal representing the Dutch center-right, Rutte supports private enterprise and economic liberalism as well as the trademark Dutch brand of social freedom and open-mindedness. “As far as the Dutch elections go it’s certainly positive that Wilders’ far-right movement didn’t come out on top in this last election,” David Harvey, professor of history, said. “The

and Germany later this year, it’s good at least that that didn’t happen.” Wilder’s platform included advocating for the closure of all Dutch mosques, banning the Quran and taking the Netherlands out of the European Union. Wilders’ campaign also faced controversy after reportedly accepting funding from American conservative political groups. In response to Wilders’ success, the establishment Dutch political parties – including Rutte’s People’s Party – moved toward the right in an attempt to regain public support. These shifts reflect the general trend toward populism and nationalism that have been increasingly prominent in Western politics. “The Brexit vote last year was sort Image courtesy of the Daily Mail of the first sign of this discontent with the status quo,” Harvey said. “There are Geert Wilders, the far right Dutch politician. a lot of people who are worried about establishment in general kind of lost the impact of immigration, terrorism, and a number of minor parties gained the loss of national traditions and seats, so it looks like he [Rutte] will have national identity in Europe, and it’s to scramble to reshape his coalition. fueled this sort of right wing, populist Considering the sign that a victory for reaction that we’ve seen in Europe and the far right in the Dutch elections in this country also.” would have given to elections in France

CIW hosts fundraiser for upcoming ColumBUS BY GIULIA HEYWARD A fundraiser for the upcoming CIW Florida Caravan to Columbus, Ohio, over Spring Break occurred on Saturday, March 18 at the Green Bean Coffee House. “We will be joining thousands of farmworkers and allies at the Wendy's headquarters to demand farmworker justice from the final fast food holdout (in joining the Fair Food Program)!” was written on the Facebook event. The fundraiser, which began at 5 p.m., featured a discussion about the upcoming trip and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) and the fight for fair wages and labor conditions. Dinner included a vegetarian curry and salad with water and sweet tea. Both New College students and local Sarasota residents were in attendance. Attendants were asked to arrive with an entrance donation of $5-100 that would directly go towards the bus that will transport New College students from Sarasota to Columbus on March 24 in order to attend the CIW Return to Human Rights conference on March 25 and the demonstration on March 26. The demonstration in Columbus will take place at the Wendy’s franchise headquarters, as Wendy’s is currently the only major fast food chain that has refused to raise the salary of farmworkers whose produce they use for their business.

BY PARIESA YOUNG The race for two open city commission seats did not come to a close as expected on the March 14 election, as no candidate received more than 50 percent of the vote. Voters were able to choose two names out of the eight candidates to fill the two open seats, irrespective of district. The three candidates who received the most votes, Jennifer “Jen” AhearnKoch (21.17 percent), Hagen Brody (19.59 percent) and Martin Hyde (14.62 percent), will continue to campaign for a runoff election to be held May 9. The two commissioners elected will begin their terms on May 12. The seats of current City Commissioners Suzanne Atwell and Susan Chapman were up for grabs. Chapman chose to run as an incumbent, but did not receive enough votes to advance to the runoff. Voter turnout for the election was unsurprisingly low and varied greatly across the city, ranging from 8.46 percent in Precinct 123 (the area north of Fruitville Rd. between Lime and Tuttle) to 37.68 percent in Precinct 203, which encompasses most of downtown. A total of 7,194 ballots were cast, out of 37,579 registered voters in the City of Sarasota. This puts total turnout at 19.14 percent. Turnout lagged at 9.77 percent for the precinct where most New College students are registered if they live on campus. However, the adjacent precinct – where most off-campus students live – saw a higher 27.37 percent turnout. Information for this article was gathered from sarasotavotes.com, heraldtribune. com, sarasotagov.org.

Giulia Heywards/Catalyst The CIW fundraiser event featured a vegetarian friendly dinner and discussion onthe CIW.

Students interested in registering for ColumBUS can join by contacting Catalyst reporter Cassandra Manz at cassandra.manz15@ncf.edu ; Ava Howard at ava.howard14@ncf.edu ; Alex Schelle at alexandra. schelle13@ncf.edu; or Rachel Vititoe at rachel. vititoe15@ncf.edu.

Vote in the City Commission runoff election on May 9. Learn more about the candidates at ncfcatalyst.com.


WEDNESDAY, MARCH 22, 2017 www.ncfcatalyst.com | @ncfcatalyst

Steven Udotong: The first black student to build a nuclear fusor machine BY KELLY WILSON In light of recent cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and climate change fighting organizations, Steven Udotong plans to make his contribution to alternative energy by building a nuclear fusor machine. Utodong is a 16-year-old black student from South New Jersey who plans to build a machine that will use electricity to heat charged atoms to a point where nuclear fusion can occur. Recently, he was accepted into Yale’s Young Global Scholar Program, which allowed him to travel to Singapore for an engineering workshop. Which allowed him to travel to Singapore where he first realized that he would be the first black student to build a device of this magnitude. “I’m motivated knowing [that] I’m proof that there are many ways for minorities to pursue success.” Udotong told Jopwell’s digital magazine The Well.

“Sports and music are not the only avenues for us. There’s room for us. Rather, there’s a need for us to participate in academia, business, art, law, medicine and, yes, nuclear energy. I hope this project will become an example of academic excellence as a vehicle of accomplishment for black students.” To kickstart the building of this device, Udotong and his brother - a student at Princeton University started a GoFundMe campaign which has now made $2230, going over it’s $1500 goal. “My goal is to start a conversation at the state - and even the federal - level about more serious action towards adopting alternative energy sources,” Udotong told the Atlanta Black Star. “I figure that if a high school student can do this, there’s no excuse for any of us.” Donate to his campaign at gofundme. com/steven-energy-proj


Republican healthcare CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1


until major revisions were made on his Twitter with the advice to “get it right, don’t get it fast.” After the CBO report was released, the criticism continued as Republican senators told Trump officials, such as health secretary Tom Price, that they wanted to see lower insurance costs for poorer, older Americans and an increase in funding for states with high populations of hard-to-insure people. “They’re now facing the cost of defining this not as a real policy conundrum, with complexities which need to be addressed, but as a political problem that the Obama administration is responsible for every bad thing that happens in healthcare,” Fitzgerald said. “That was great when they were out of power but now that they’re in power, it actually holds them back from being able to think about how to approach this issue, so I think that this whole bill is a great example of what’s broken about the policymaking apparatus in Washington that partisanship has made sensible deliberation about policy impossible.”

While the CBO’s scoring of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) was expected to leave something to be desired, involved Republicans did not expect it to be as bad as it was, although Ryan was quick to defend the report with the assertion that it showed that “when people have more choices, costs go down.” “They’ve defined this as a political thing, they’ve demonized the Affordable Care Act for years, they’ve told everyone it’s about to collapse, which by the way is flatly false, one of the things that we’re going through now, which really is not typical of American politics for all the shading and evading and narrating that goes on in politics, flat out lying about policy is not the norm,” Fitzgerald said. “So that makes everyone who has to plan for next year hesitate in figuring out where they’re going to be.” Since the early days of the announcement of the AHCA, Senate Republicans have been hesitant to support the bill, with some openly criticizing it. Sen. Tom Cotton, Information for this article was taken from nytimes.org, npr.org, and R-Arkansas, publicly cautioned his healthmarkets.com. fellow Republicans to table the bill

Representative Buchanan CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

their ideas and thoughts, in terms of legislation, [into what] we're working on in Washington.” In the minutes leading up to 11 a.m., tension filled the air. Chants of “Healthcare for all!” erupted inside while outside the line was charged with friction, a precursor of what was to come. Groups of Trump supporters and one lone anti-Trump protestor faced off across the road while people filed past between them waiting to get inside. Other protestors held signs supporting Planned Parenthood or the Affordable Care Act. One group of Trump supporters waved a flag with the president’s face emblazoned on it, played “God Bless America” over a set of speakers (as well as a slew of other classic patriotic songs) and shouted things like “Spoils to the victors!” and “You lost, we won!” Like many of the president’s fans, they seemed intent on forcing opponents to accept the outcome of November 8. The apparently lone anti-Trump protester held a sign that had “Trump Tillerson Pence Impeach Now” written on it in black and blue marker and was heard yelling “He’s a liar!” and “Where’s his tax returns?” At one point she screamed, “Anyone who’s with Trump is a fool!” Some passersby couldn’t help but respond to the incessant diatribe of the protestors. During one squabble, a man

in the crowd questioned the intelligence of one of the pro-Trump protesters who replied, “I defended your silly, sorry ass in Kuwait. I defended your silly ass in Iraq. I saved your silly ass in Afghanistan while you’re over here sucking dick and voting Democrat.” Back inside, a staff member came on stage to announce that there would be “two microphones, so as many people as possible can be heard.” Her comments were met with laughter, but quickly turned to booing when Buchanan walked on stage. Many of the first questions regarded healthcare. “There are plenty of countries out there that have universal healthcare for their residents,” one attendee said in a caustic remark to Buchanan. “So I can’t believe that the most powerful country in the world doesn’t have universal healthcare. And if you’re going to make us take that other healthcare, then I want you to take it as well.” Buchanan’s response was quickly drowned out in one of the loudest roars of the morning. Much of the crowd, concerned with House Republicans’ recent plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, chanted “pay your share,” for a solid 30 seconds. Another woman in the crowd listed some of Florida’s greatest assets, “her beaches, her clean air and her clean water,” and asked whether Buchanan would join Representative Curbelo’s (R- FL) and other House Republican’s

efforts to support climate change science. Before Buchanan could respond, the crowd bellowed “Yes or no!” Although he kept his calm for most of the town hall, to this he replied, “You asked a question, I’m going to give you an answer.” “I haven’t seen Curbelo’s bill [...] But, good life means a good environment,” Buchanan said when constituents paused their unabating clamor. Not everyone inside was opposed to Buchanan and Trump. Although signs were technically not allowed in the venue, groups decked out in Trump merchandise were dispersed throughout the crowd and used every available opportunity to stand and wave the familiar Trump and Pence campaign signs. When one pro-Trump supporter got the opportunity to ask a question, she claimed that Republicans were not being given the microphone and that “everyone speaking is reading from a prepared text that has been given to them.” Herds of attendees stood up and booed, expressing their dissent with the woman’s comments. Two people in the center of the hall then held up a sixfoot sign that said, “Pivot from Trump or lose in 2018.” The week of Feb. 20 was the first recess of the first congressional term under Donald Trump. At the start of the

2015 congressional term, Republican lawmakers held over 200 town hall meetings in just two months - a drastic difference compared to the mere 90 that have been scheduled for this year thus far. Buchanan is not the only lawmaker to return home to a not-so-warm welcome. According to NPR, strong GOP backlash has been seen in town halls in “some deep red places, stretching from [New York Rep. Tom Reed’s] western New York district to Kentucky and Iowa.” Frustrated constituents have confronted their representatives over issues ranging from the Republican’s new health care bill to Trump’s taxes and his involvement with Russia. This was no different in Sarasota despite Trump having won the county in a comfortable margin. When one man asked Buchanan if anything the president said or did embarrassed him, Buchanan conceded that he doesn’t agree with everything Trump says or does, but believes it’s “about the people,” not about Trump. “You have to give somebody, Barack Obama or this President, a period of time, whatever that is [...] It’s not that you can't weigh in on things, but [you have to] see what he can do,” Buchanan said. Information from this article was gathered from thinkprogress.org.

1st Annual Food Forest Festival Sprouting Roots

BYJORDI F. GONZALEZ Right past the Ringling Museum while walking down Bay Shore Road, one can catch sight of the new student-made Food Forest as it’s roof tile bordering and vibrant flora first presents itself. With a makeshift wooden tent covered in multi-patterned tapestries, by a succulent plant segment of the vegetation, with mulberries reddening in front of a quaint pond circled by stones, this area shows the humble beginnings of a space ripe with potential. The Food Forest Festival held on Saturday, March 18, was the tangible culmination of the hard work put in by New College students to advance the school as the leader in sustainability and eco-friendly practices it can be. “We wanted to expand the possibility for New College to produce its own food and kind of show the potential of the climate in this area,” thesis student and Old Caples Garden Teaching Assistant (TA) for the past two years Joseph “Jay” McWilliams said. And that’s exactly what McWilliams and current Vice President of Green Affairs (VPGA) Orion Morton have set out to do in the past year. By first creating an Edible Landscapes

tutorial for themselves, the Food Forest became the grand foreseen project at hand with the idea of furthering sustainable approaches to the lifestyle on campus. The Festival was kicked off with a work portion of the day that entailed weeding out the grass encroachment and shoveling heaps of mulch for the plants. This was followed by rounds of students that began participating on stage for different musical performances in an informal but fun-loving concert for the trees. Students could sign up for a lime green metallic water container the phrase “Water is Life” etched into it and to add to the experience of oneness with nature, the Four Winds Café provided catering with food made in the Food Forest. Rice with chickpeas and salad was served on large green leaves for plates. I’m not sure how much more sustainable it could get. “In my opinion, the Food Forest represented somewhat of a paradigm shift with the Green Fee because it was the first big project that had been undertaken since the first year or two of the Green Fee’s establishment,” Morton said. The Green Fee is a fee administered by the Council of Green Affairs (CGA) and is meant for

The festival was open to New College students and the Sarasota-Bradenton area.

supporting student-based ecologicallydirected projects such as this. By “big project,” Morton meant that the Food Forest has been the project with the single most funds dedicated to it via the Green Fee. This is not a fund source that exists in every university across the nation, and so it is an aspect of New College that the CGA and related parties wish to keep around as it reflects the eco-friendly culture of the school. At the beginning of this year, the Green Fee was at its highest around $60,000 to $70,000, but has now been substantially lowered to around $25,000 thanks to the efforts put forth by students in making the Food Forest and other related projects. Furthermore, multiple new positions for student jobs have become available for students due to the Green Fee. For example, the Food Forest TA, Zero-Waste TA, Four Winds Garden TA, Residential Garden TA, Green Fee Historian and respective eco representatives for each dorm on campus. On top of providing habitat for myriad creatures, the Food Forest acts an extension to the already established Old Caples Garden. With about four tons of biochar - a form of charcoal made from plant matter that helps remove carbon dioxide from the

all photos Jordi Gonzalez/Catalyst

atmosphere - being added to the soil of the Food Forest, the area functions at an even greener level. The Food Forest already serves as an agroforestry system - as does any forest - designed to sequester excess inorganic carbon from the atmosphere and transform it into organic carbon that will forever stay in the roots of the plants. This creates richer, healthier soil and adds to the theoretical aspects of the project. “The idea is that it will reach a forest ecosystem state and then kind of just self-maintain,” Morton said. The fact that most of the hard work only needs to be done within the first few years can be motivation to see the fruition of the project. This form of gardening is considered one of the most low-maintenance types of gardening. The recent Food Forest Festival may just be a revolutionary event that can prosper for years to come and provide countless benefits to the New College community. It represents the direction our generation wishes to forge in an age filled with lack of respect for environmental issues. “It is really rewarding to be able to commune with the space and gain intimate knowledge of the area,” McWilliams said.

(Top) Food Forest TA Evan Teal gives an informational plant walk to a visitor from the community. (Bottom) Students in the Gardening tutorial constructed an academic garden, including the pond seen here.

The 'Annual Arcadia' is just one of many parts seen at the Old Caples garden.

Students volunteered to help set up for the Food Forest Festival prior to the event.

The crowd was able to relax in the shade while viewing all of the student-comprised musicians and performers during all of the festivals' sets.


WEDNESDAY, MARCH 22, 2017 www.ncfcatalyst.com | @ncfcatalyst


Aeolus: New College’s premier undergraduate research journal

BY GIULIA HEYWARD The Beginning Neal Lacey received a fellowship to do research in Columbia, Missouri. He packed his bags and flew to Dr. Justin Walensky’s chemistry lab at the University of Missouri. It was while at Mizzou, that Lacey befriended his Residential Advisor (RA), Anurag Chandram. They talked about everything from chemistry to their love of constitutional democracy-and even to Chandram’s wish to create an undergraduate research journal regarding research that Chandram had done while at Mizzou. “I wondered why NCF did not have its own undergraduate journal,” Lacey wrote in an email interview. “Especially considering the wealth of students doing research through tutorials, ISP period, thesis process and the frequency at which NCF students participate in summer research programs.” After completing his fellowship that summer, Lacey would graduate in 2015. Today, a tutorial is sponsored by Natural Sciences Librarian, Alyson Gamble, and consists of six students who meet twice a week and oversee the production of Aeolus, New College’s interdisciplinary undergraduate research journal. Aeolus Gamble, a week before starting her job at the New College of Florida, was approached by Professor Matt Lepinski in the college’s parking lot about three students who were interested in creating a tutorial centered on producing an undergraduate research journal: Lacey, along with fellow students Caitlyn Ralph and Mai Tanaka. Over a year later, and both Lacey and Tanaka have graduated while Ralph is currently studying abroad through the National Student Exchange (NSE). Aeolus exists as a working group, with no distribution of hierarchy. “When the journal first started, roles were very concretely established and there was a vertical managerial structure, where different branches of the organization reported to different heads of the journal,” Gamble wrote in an email interview. “This worked well for the original set-up, but as the journal evolved, the students found that a horizontal approach worked better for managing the journal in a dynamic environment. The students seem to naturally fall into the roles that interest them.” Students break off into roles dealing with peer review, formatting a style guideline, social media and layout. “When we first receive an article, we do a general overview and see if it meets our guidelines,” Aeolus member, Riley Lewis, said. “If we decide that it does fit the scope of our journal, then we look through and make minor grammatical corrections to make it fit our style guide. We don’t change the voice or any content of the article. [...] Then we are able to send it off to peerreview and that is when experts in the

all photos Giulia Heyward/Catalyst Aeolus is currently accepting submissions before their April 3rd deadline for their fourpage insert in Nimbe.

Aeolus editor and second-year Hope Sparks and Bethany Wilson, along with thirdyear Jace Johnson are seen working on the journal during one of their meetings.

"I learned thar you can get a lot done in a small amount of time," Aeolus editor and second-year Bethany Wilson (pictured with editor Jace Johnson) said.


field are able to review [the article] for content and the data being presented.” Every Aeolus member interviewed discussed the value of exposure to the publication process. “I think it gives students the opportunity to see what it’s like to publish work,” Lewis said. “And just understand and be able to take feedback. It also exposes students to an aspect of academia that they wouldn’t be able to receive in their classes.” This was a sentiment shared by Aeolus members Danielle Aca and Bethany Wilson, who both voiced interest in working in publishing as a career. “I’m very interested in publishing and how publishing works, and grassroots publications,” Aca, who works with marketing the publication to the community, said. “I think it validates [the research] that students do. Research does matter. And I think it motivates students to do more research.” Wilson expressed an understanding of the publication process in its entirety. “I knew nothing about the review process,” Wilson said. “I also learned how to copy-edit, I learned that you can get a lot done in a small amount of time.” Looking Forward “When we first started out, we really didn’t know how we were going to publish this,” Lewis said. “Were we going to make it in print? Were we going to do it online? Nowadays, journals aren’t really published in paper. Everything is online.” The Aeolus team is accepting submissions until their April 3rd deadline, in preparation for their inprint publication: in a 4 page insert in Nimbus. When asked about his dreams for the future of Aeolus, Lacey points to both the Stanford and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who both contain student-led and faculty-sponsored interdisciplinary undergraduate research journals that are published biannually. “Overall, I hope students disseminate valuable information and connect organically with other prospies, their peers, faculty and alumnae/i,” Lacey writes. “I hope students gain team-based project experience and leadership skills.” Students interested in publishing their research can go onto Aeolus.com to publish their work while updates on the publication are available through the publication’s Facebook and Instagram accounts. Alums can contact Aeolus at aeolus@gmail.com to voice interest in becoming a content editor, or by submitting their own research done at the undergraduate research level. This article was written by Catalyst Managing Editor and Aeolus editorial board member, Giulia Heyward. This article was originally published on the New College Communications & Marketing website.



WEDNESDAY, MARCH 22, 2017 www.ncfcatalyst.com | @ncfcatalyst


Emmy Perez: Bilingual poet breaks down borders BY KELLY WILSON Poet Emmy Perez uses language to beautifully describe this terrifying issue, which directly affects her community in the Rio Grande border. Splitting her poetry into two languages like the border wall splits her community, Perez uses words to express her emotions about a wide range of subjects. On March 16, Perez visited New College and met with creative writing students, in creative writer Reginold “Reggie” Scott Young’s classes. Then she read her poetry for students and staff at a poetry reading hosted by Young and New College Professor Jose Portugal in College Hall. “Her poems about the valley life, and the valley landscape have made her an important and very particular voice for that region,” Young said in his introduction at the poetry reading. “[It’s a region] that is currently under a great amount of political unrest [...] She also speaks passionately to us in this particular area because of the humanitarian influence that runs through her poems which many of us will be able to identify with.” Perez never took a creative writing class until college, and It wasn’t until she took that class that she realized that creative writing was her passion. “I wasn’t a great college student until I took my first poetry class [...] and then I couldn’t take enough creative

photo courtesy of Reggie Young Emmy Perez meets with students from Reggie Young's poetry classes: the Introduction to Creative Writing course and the From Poem to Story to Poem advanced class.

writing classes, after that I immediately went to graduate school,” Perez said. “But I was really fortunate, I think, because some people can be creative writers and not need to go to graduate or professional school, but I think I

really needed it.” She taught creative writing at the University of Texas Rio Grande and at an adult juvenile detention center after graduating from college. She now teaches creative writing at the

University of Texas El Paso. At the poetry reading, she read poems from her book, With the River on Our Face, as well as some poetry which is yet to be published. The poems ranged in subject, with the majority being about her border community and her love story with the landscape and the culture. However, some poems focused on her emotions one that she read turned her love/hate relationship with sadness into poetry. The reading ended with a discussion on her ability to write in two languages and how her poetry beautifully mixes the two languages at times when there is something that she cannot say in one language. “I have some friends who are readers and even one who is from Argentina, and she said ‘I speak Spanish but I don’t understand some of your Spanish’ because it’s like names of animals and she said ‘you should probably put a glossary at the end’ and I didn’t want to do it because I think that nowadays you can just go on your phone real fast and just Google it.” In the future, Perez hopes to take a semester off from teaching and focus on her poetry, as well as get into writing different forms of creative writing, including a possible creative fiction story based on her own experiences in a border community.

Dialogue hits Sarasota in FST’s 'brownsville song (b-side for tray)' BY RYAN PAICE Bringing the not just the “gritty backdrop of rundown Brooklyn” to Sarasota, but also the sociological and emotional complexities based on the real-life tragedy of Trendon “Tray” Franklin’s murder, the Florida Studio Theatre’s “brownsville song (b-side for tray)” by Kimber Lee sparked a dialogue in Sarasota. Visiting New College, nine actors and theatre members brought that dialogue directly to students and faculty. The play, written by playwright Kimber Lee, is her fictional take on the story, following Tray’s family’s struggle to endure their shocking tragedy. Given the parenthetical subtitle “(b-side for tray)” to represent the neglected, considered-secondary side of things, the play is a way for Lee to give voice and humanity to the people of America that often get lost and forgotten as people in the statistics of crime and violence in the nation. “This is the unspoken and unrecognized person in our culture,” director Kate Alexander said in an interview with the Sarasota HeraldTribune. “We’re speaking about a family and a young man who are the most vulnerable in our society. It points out that it’s the B side, the side we don’t hear about.”

Ryan Paice/Catalyst From left to right: Professor of Sociology Queen Zabriskie, Rebecca Li Grady, Rachel Lu, Wesley Jones, Catherine Randazzo, Alice Gatling, Deysha Nelson, Warren Jackson, Tanisha Butt.

Despite a modest reception of only 13 audience members – consisting of mostly students and a few faculty members – the conversation was lively, engaging and intimate. Hosted by Assistant Professor of Sociology Queen Zabriskie, the panel of guests exchanged lengthy dialogue with the students and each other, with the conversation ending well past the hourlong time limit. The panel consisted of Alice Gatling (who played “Lena”), Wesley Jones (“Tray”), Warren Jackson (“Junior”), Deysha Nelson (“Divine”) and her mother, Tanisha, Rachel Lu

(“Merrell”), Associate Artist Catherine Randazzo and FST Stage Management Intern Rebecca Li Grady, who brought a bevy of insights into both the performance and theatre itself. Zabriskie broke the ice, explaining how her trip to see the play with students inspired NCF to reach out to the theatre to bring the discussion to campus. “That’s what this is, a kind of informal conversation,” Zabriskie said. “It’s a chance for folks who’ve seen the play to ask questions, and for folks who haven’t seen the play to just come and

have a conversation about your work at the theatre and with the play.” With that, the mic was figuratively passed to the panel, with Catherine Randazzo taking the reins first. “We’re a non-profit theatre that is striving to make the plays accessible and affordable to as many people as we possibly can,” Randazzo said, introducing the group as a whole and some broad goals of the theatre and play. “Our mission is to open up conversations, to be very transparent with what we’re talking about and to hope that these plays will not only change the lives, but change the question – or the thought process – of where you are in your life. “Sarasota itself is a very interesting spectrum of very conservative thought processes,” Randazzo continued. “So this play really changes our audience’s thought processes, and that’s why it’s so important to not just pander to them, but to challenge…” The panel of guests introduced themselves and their most memorable role in theatre, seated under the whiteboard of ACE 102, during which Rachel Lu revealed her role as “Tiger Mom” in ABC’s show “What Would You Do?” and Alice Gatling made the

continued on p. 11


WEDNESDAY, MARCH 22, 2017 www.ncfcatalyst.com | @ncfcatalyst



Changes at NCF: Campus-centered improvements, deteriorations


Every year it seems that upperclassmen mention something about New College “going to the dogs.” These assertions come in response to certain changes within our campus community. Interested in determining what these changes actually are, I reached out to the community and found that the bulk of changes fall into three categories: differences in campus socialization and demographics, student-police-administration interactions, and walls. “I was aware of this when I was a first-year of like the fourth-years being like ‘things have changed so much, it’s so much less open, etcetera’ and I mean, I think part of it is that it’s just a thing to say that but it also is definitely more true in this case than it might’ve been in recent years,” thesis student Orion Morton said. Social life and police interactions One of the key symbols of New College social life was a structure called the pergola. This structure, located in Third Court, brought students out of their dorms; it created a public space where students felt comfortable hanging out. “It was an outdoor, open structure that was designed to have vining plants on it. There weren’t any plants on it, but it was just in the middle of Third Court and students put decorations up on it and lights and hammocks and there were tables inside of it and all that kind

of stuff, and it was like a New College icon,” Morton said. Students used this community space to do homework, to meet new people and, most importantly, to relax. Interactions and the environment associated with the pergola changed, however, when the New College Police Department (NCPD) started enforcing drug and drinking laws more so than they had in previous years. “There was much more of an amicable relationship between students and police, I sort of caught the tail end of this relationship, and it sort of turned to less and less amicable,” alumni Madi Huffstickler (‘12) said. Some pinpoint the shift in interactions to a specific incident on campus: “I could be totally wrong, but from my understanding there was an incident where somebody was walking back from shell with an 18-pack of beer and they were not of age. The cops stopped them and asked for their ID because they were just carrying [the beer] so the cops confiscated it; [the student] didn’t get in trouble or anything, they just took [the beer],” Morton said. According to Morton, the beer was sitting on a golf cart outside of the HCL building and, a few hours later, the under-age student saw the beer and took it back. “The cops, people have said, have never really been the same since. They felt incredibly disrespected by that I guess, because they didn’t get the student in trouble or anything and

the student stole it back from them,” Morton said, “from there on out, people have said the character or interactions have been different.” In response to much of the public use of substances, the NCPD hired a narcotics officer that was only present during the 2013-2014 school year. In addition, the NCPD increased their presence on campus, especially within residential spaces. “Arrests were never a thing that happened; I remember my second-year, I came back from some place, maybe a Wall, late at night and there was somebody being arrested on Z green. It was like ‘alright, this is happening,’” Huffstickler said. After a few people were arrested outside of their residential rooms, campus environment shifted; students became more wary about hanging out in public spaces and the pergola specifically. “People don’t go outside as much anymore, people don’t hang around outside and do things [...] people seem to feel less comfortable existing in public spaces, so that’s kind of sad,” Huffstickler said. “Though I'm a third year, I do remember when people actually hung out outside in Pei. This changed my second year. Now you walk around the courts--even on weekends--and it's a ghost town,” third-year Michael Pulsifer wrote. That summer–the summer of 2014–Third Court was renovated, and the pergola was removed. Students

reacted negatively to this removal , as a community space that seemed to represent much of New College social life was gone. “That was one of the last defined community spaces within the residential areas, so that was a pretty big deal when they took it away. People fought to have it reinstated or put something else back into it because people from other courts would also hang out in it all the time,” Morton said, “that was a pretty symbolic change for sure.” “If anything's changed about NCF, it's the communal activity outside residence halls,” thesis student Andrew Blackowiak wrote. Improved Administration “Housing and New College have always had a strenuous relationship; people would get put in terrible housing situations and it was never a very transparent process,” Huffstickler said. “So when I was an OL I found that the housing administration at the time (Meghan and Vanessa namely) had very different views of how the campus was being run. Like they were so concerned with hazing that they didn't see the other issues on campus, none of them being hazing,” thesis student Susan Gomes wrote. “Then they also tried to split up the community by telling the first years that there was no real community at New and stuff which was a blatant lie. Since then I've seen just this disconnect

at the March 14 meeting was how the ISP can be improved to better prepare students for completing their thesis, a project that must be completed in order to graduate from New College. ”We stress so much over the fact that many students aren’t prepared to do independent work by the time they get to the thesis process, so why aren’t we thinking about this earlier?” Associate Professor of History, Carrie Beneš, said. “According to data provided by Provost Steve Miles, 41 percent of unsatisfactory ISPs in the last four years have been first-year projects. This large percentage could be due to the fact that many first-years are unfamiliar with performing in-depth, independent work by the time they perform their first ISP. “The academic success for a firstyear is not the same as a third-year in terms of what you expect from their ISP,” second-year Yvenord Mergilles said. “Writing a 20-page paper for someone who has never written anything of that volume is an easy way to burn out. If they don’t have the work ethic in place yet, which most first-years don’t, it’s naturally going to be left to the end and then they’re just going to write a bad paper. […] We could consider restructuring ISP for first-years to be a more exploratory learning experience and introduce more structure in the

next two years to prepare students for thesis work.” More faculty supervision Another common issue among first-year ISPs is time management. “The danger of ISP is time getting away from people,” Professor of Philosophy Aron Edidin said. “The key is planning your time accordingly to make sure you accomplish what you set out to accomplish. I think it’d be helpful if the default for first-year ISPs was a more structure-intensive ISP project with very involved sponsors.” Establishing regular communication with ISP sponsors could keep students on track with their research schedules and result in more successful first-year ISPs. “It really helps when your advisor tells you what they’re expecting of you because as a first-year you really don’t know,” second-year Ethan Kennedy said. “I came in with the expectation that an ISP was supposed to be a massive project and my ISP sponsor helped me make my project something much more reasonable. I think this goes back to the need for faculty working closely with students to evaluate how much they should actually accomplish.” Extra time Another important function of the ISP is that it provides extra time for students and faculty to wrap-up their

work from the previous semester. “At the last faculty meeting, most of the defense for keeping ISP in January had little to do with the content of ISP and much more to do with giving faculty time to do our evaluations, for students to take make-up exams and for thesis students to advance on their projects,” Professor of History David Harvey said. Moving the ISP to May, a suggestion made by President O’Shea to avoid having two unstructured months between Fall and Spring semester, could jeopardize students opportunity to pass classes or contracts they had not completed from the previous semester, contributing to even lower student success. “The time off from regular academia that ISP gives you is so essential to the school especially for people with physical and mental disabilities,” second-year Volanta Peng said. “There is more time to take care of yourself between semesters, more time to finish contracts […] ISP being in-between semesters is a godsend for anyone needing more time.” If you would like to share your thoughts on how ISP should change in the coming years, attend the next ISP Open Comments meeting on Wed., March 22 in Harry Sudakoff Center at 3:30 p.m.

continued on p. 11

This is how ISP could change in the next few years


At New College, January means a much-appreciated break from classes after frenzied weeks of cramming for finals. It is a refreshing change of pace where students get to focus on an Independent Study Project (ISP) on a subject of their choice. However, what has been a staple of the academic structure, has now become the source of a discussion on the future of ISPs at New College. New College of Florida’s President Donal O’Shea noticed that New College’s academic calendar ends later in the year than most other institutions, potentially making students less competitive for summer opportunities. He also noticed that the placement of the ISP, after a month-long December break, left students with two unstructured months that could contribute to the school’s low retention rate. As a result, Provost Steve Miles was tasked with preparing a report to be given to the next Provost on how students, faculty and staff view the ISP. To build this report, two open discussion meetings were scheduled March 14 and 22 where anyone was invited to share their thoughts on how they’d like to see the ISP change. Preparing for thesis work One of the main issues discussed



WEDNESDAY, MARCH 22, 2017 www.ncfcatalyst.com | @ncfcatalyst

Songs you should heAR


"Stronger" by Brittany Spears I had this song on my clip it. So I honestly only that one part of it. "I al stronger than yesterday," but I remember being really inspired in 2nd grade. "Un pretty" by TLC This song is important, because it's still saying the choice is yours personally. You can do what you want but don't let other people Beauty ideals control you.

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2 a scholarship to Eastern New Mexico University he played quarterback for the Greyhounds. When he graduated with his Bachelor degree in 2012, he moved back to Manatee to start a teaching career. After a short history of police forces in the U.S., leading up to examples of today’s mass arrests and violence, Beltran concluded that “the murder of Rodney Mitchell can not be seen as an individual issue but a systemic one.” Greg Cruz, a Black Lives Matter Manasota leader, chimed in.

“Justice for Rodney means freedom and dignity for Newtown and for black and brown communities around the world.” A community panel of leaders from Black Lives Matter Manasota and Answer SunCoast took the stage to discuss issues relevant to Newtown and plan how to move forward as a community. Deidra Larkin, who grew up in Newtown, facilitated the discussion. “It’s our job to keep our kids educated,” Cruz said. “We have to teach our own history to our kids – it’s not in

those books!” The panel addressed difficult questions: what needs to be done to hold police accountable, how the black community can balance individual and communal responsibility and the multitude of different ways anyone can get involved in activism. “All the talk we’re doing, we need to put action behind it. We can agree to disagree, as long as we’re talking. We’ll be having these discussions more,” Clemons promised.

'brownsville song'

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 9 room roar with laughter in her brazenly confident assertion that she “wore out” her first role as an actor – a tree. After everyone had introduced themselves, Zabriskie asked another question, offsetting the initially timid student audience. “I wanted to know how you all prepared for your role [when approaching such a tough subject]?” “One thing I am always looking for is: what can I bring out in the character that can cause the audience to love them,” Gatling responded, noting her insistence on not just playing an angry grandmother in Lena. “It was important for me to look for what are the moments where I can bring humor?

What are the moments when we can lighten things up in this play? Where can I do something that brings laughs, that brings some sort of joy and fun?” “I try to look deep into the script and get a feel for the emotion and what the script is about,” the 8-year-old Deysha Nelson said. “I really want to touch the crowd. What they’re trying to find in the play, what emotions that this little girl is bringing in the play. “I do cry in the play, and I always think about my cousin, who passed away in August. So I always think about that, and how sad I was and how sad other families can be when they lose someone close to them,” Nelson finished, before passing the now-teary figurative baton.

Changes at NCF

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 10 with the upper years and the lower years that I hadn't seen my first year.” Recently, however, changes of staff within certain departments offer more benefits for students. For example, two of the new Residence Hall Directors (RHDs) are New College alumni, facilitating a more common connection between students, the department of student affairs and housing. A new Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Autumn Harrell, was recently hired and has already established multiple goals. In addition, our new Dean of Student Affairs, Robin Williamson, has already shown her dedication and commitment to students. Of noteworthy importance to students, Meighen Hopton is also a newer addition to staff and works extremely hard to ensure that everyone is thriving. “Robin Williamson is way, way more amenable [than the previous Dean] to actually relating to students and listening to our concerns and the CLCs and RHDs are so much better this year,” Morton said. These new staff members show the importance of dedicated individuals, as they can greatly impact the way that the campus community functions.


Rodney Mitchell

BY JASMINE RESPESS "Tyrone" by Erykah Badu I remember listening to this song with my mom. It is still so relevant. Sometimes you gotta leave someone Bc they ain't doing you right. I crack up when she sings "but you caint use my phone." A line that inspired her 2016 album "But You Caint Use My Phone" album.

Walls Walls, unfortunately, are a tricky situation. This year there are a various systemic housekeeping issues that affect the prevalence of Walls; understaffing within the NCPD being the driving factor. Though “Wallternatives,” in the form of RA events, provide other ways to keep the tradition alive, the general feel is not the same. “I remember my first-year, on a Friday night there would be 100 people; I mean, not every Wall necessarily, but there would be enough people to fill that corner of Palm Court,” Huffstickler said, “there would be people, and they would be dancing, and there would be wall punch, and it would be a thing, and now, that just sort of exponentially declined.” Some students are worried that the lack of Walls could also lead to certain negative habits within our campus community. “I feel like having public gathering spaces on weekend nights is critical to the public health of New College,” Morton said, “two years ago, my second-year, there were two deaths on campus from overdosing and that year there was a marked decrease in public gatherings at night. But those

things are inseparable; as you force people into their rooms, you lose that public accountability and that creates environments where dangerous things like that can happen.” Unfortunately, the Department of Student Affairs cannot do much to fix this problem. Students are taking efforts, however, to keep these events alive. Though they don’t thrive as much as they have in the past, they have not died yet. There have been many changes over the past five or so years; so much so that this article only discusses some of the more generalized trends that have occurred. These changes and reflections raise questions about New College’s identity and what the future holds for our campus community. “The school will constantly be in a state of change. Nothing is constant at New College, so take all this with a grain of adobo,” Gomes wrote. Who knows; maybe one day the New College community will be completely unrecognizable to most. Maybe our campus is “going to the dogs,” whatever that means, but these changes certainly bring both advantages and disadvantages.

With a little bit of infectious laughter and honest emotion, the room opened up and students began asking their own questions, many having seen the play. The questions didn’t let up until Zabriskie finally had to end the event at 12:30 p.m., before the whole room – students, faculty and guests together – took a group picture. The dialogue had concluded, but the significance of it lingered palpably within the classroom, most exemplified in Gatling’s earlier pondering: “With this community, and getting them to get past the ‘Other’, how do you get them to realize a young man getting shot in Brownsville, New York, still has an impact on their life?”


WEDNESDAY, MARCH 22, 2017 www.ncfcatalyst.com | @ncfcatalyst


Sarasota Opera House



Musical opportunities at New College

The Sarasota Opera recently reached out to students from New College of Florida (NCF) and the Ringling College of Art and Design (RCAD) to help create an audience of young opera aficionados by sponsoring several student mentees, providing fullpaid seasonal tickets to those involved and inviting students to take a tour of the historic building. “We are a festival season, so we run just during this period of time; we start rehearsals in January, we open in the beginning of February, and we end at the end of March,” Executive Director of the Sarasota Opera Richard Russell said. New College students had free tickets, paid by the Opera’s Board of Directors, in time to catch a couple of the last performances, including Rossini’s “The Italian Girl in Algiers,” Poulenc’s “Dialogues of the Carmelites,” Montemezzi’s “The Love of Three Kings” and Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly.” “The interesting thing now is that they have this Sarasota Opera guild, which are these people who are interested in opera and have decided they’re going to give students passes to the opera,” Associate Professor of Music Maribeth Clark said. “We’ve been trying for a long time to reach out to the college community in the area, and we just haven’t been able to make that bridge; now we have found a way to do that,” Russell said. Interestingly, the opportunities that Clark has helped facilitate with the opera are similar to those that she experienced as a college student. Having the opportunity to attend these shows is especially important for those in one of Clark’s classes: Opera, Ballet and the Supernatural. This new mentorship program, in addition to a tour that students were able to take, provides real-life insight into the

all photos Jacob Wentz/Catalyst

art worlds and production process surrounding opera. “What’s interesting about looking at the back side of the opera is that you see that it’s not just about the singers on the stage, there are people who are employed in the costume shop, and there are people who are making those sets, there are musicians playing in the pit, and ushers, people working in the box office,” Clark said. There are also many quirks associated with the audience and building itself. The chairs in the very back of the auditorium, for example, didn’t have any arms dividing them and became known as “love seats” because couples would take advantage of their placement. The staff member working in the sound booth or projection box would splash water on the couples if they began “loving” a little too much. The third floor, where many of the operatic stars used to lodge, turned into a sort of brothel at one point. “The opera house is this kind of liminal space where strange things happen,” Clark said. “The impossible happens at the opera house.” My conversation with Clark also led to interesting discussions about the lack of resources for the arts and how, at its roots, opera is an imperialist artform. “It’s about European expansion and we think hard about that now; what does that mean? What kind of role in privilege and oppression did opera play? And that’s a hard question to ask of a genre that can’t really talk back to you,” Clark said. Though opera can’t always give definite answers to important life questions, it certainly provides insights into the human experience and— hopefully—makes one think about these experiences in new ways.

The Sarasota Opera's mentorship program provided multiple New College students with all-expense paid seasonal tickets.

The Sarasota Opera's mentorship program provided multiple New College students with all-expense paid seasonal tickets.

“It’s this interesting kind of community building where you have these mature people who are retired in the community who sometimes have gone to opera all their lives, and these youngish people who are at New College who are trying new things and opera is one of those new things,” Clark said.

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