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ncfcatalyst.com | @ncfcatalyst

CATALYST May 8, 2019 VOLUME XXXVIII ISSUE 12

New College of Florida's student newspaper

An overview of the allegations of discriminatory admissions practices BY CATALYST STAFF On Apr. 6, 2018, student workers in the Office of Admissions, Maria Simmerling (‘14) and Eugenia Quintanilla (‘14), filed a complaint citing allegations of discriminatory practices within the admissions process to former General Counsel Michael Pierce and the New College Board of Trustees (BoT). In their complaint, Simmerling and Quintanilla wrote that “it has come to our attention that Dr. Joy Hamm, Dean of Enrollment and Financial Aid, has stated in admissions committee meetings and in casual conversation that students who had a history of mental illnesses and disabilities should have their files ‘red flagged’ or stating that they should not attend NCF.” Simmerling and Quintanilla also alleged that Dean Hamm had “falsely stated Meighen Hopton, the [former]

Director of Disability Services at New College, provided verbal consent to the changing admissions reading and ‘Red Flag’ guidelines” Hamm implemented upon her hiring in the summer of 2017. Hopton remains unable to provide a comment on the allegations. The complaint was also substantiated by a third student worker, whose name has been redacted from the complaint due to their status as a current student, and a full-time employee of the Admissions department and alumni, Clifford Lundin (‘12). Lundin provided and signed a statement about the new admissions process initiated by Hamm. In his statement, Lundin wrote that “in a staff meeting, Dean Joy Hamm discussed that she would be changing the Admissions reading and Admissions Committee process to screen for applicants with ‘inappropriate essay topics.’ She mentioned that if they discussed is-

sues or concerns of mental health in their essay, the Admissions Committee would take a closer look at their essay, even if it was above the designated automatic-admit score of 115.” At the time the complaints were filed, the Admissions Committee consisted of three admissions staff members, two of which were readers, the Director of Financial Aid, Director of Student Disabilities and one faculty member, who only evaluates the academic portion of the application. Lundin later wrote in his statement that the alleged intent behind this change in the admissions process was to limit the number of students who would require on-campus mental and physical disability resources New College would not be able to provide.

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Changes to Student Disability Services BY ANNA LYNN WINFREY

paperwork for accommodations and expand the amount of appointments students can take at the Counseling and Wellness Center (CWC) from 40 to 80. “We must keep communicating to [the administration] that these are problems that must be addressed,” first-year student Jamie Christos said in an email

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BY MICHALA HEAD

Michala Head/Catalyst

Students gathered at the Bayfront to protest and discuss the recent allegations.

The following updated demands were floated to the group to be voted on with a show of hands before everyone set off for the Bayfront: put Hamm on unpaid leave during external investigation, develop transparent admissions criteria with New College Student Alliance (NCSA) input, hire at least two more staff members for Student Disabilities Services including an independent officiant for the NCSA, ensure reasonable

SMOKING BAN

Following the departure of former Director of Student Disability Services (SDS) Meighen Hopton in the summer of 2018, the department has undergone organizational and staffing changes. An outside consultant, Dr. Elyse Chaplin, and Coordinator of SDS Meghan Machold both left at the end of fall 2018. Formerly its own department, SDS is now organized under student support services. Some students have struggled to get accomodations amid the organizational and staffing changes over this academic year. Hopton left New College after her contract lapsed and was not renewed. She had been working at New College since the summer of 2014. Many students were confused about her abrupt departure and the lack of communication. “She always assured us that if she did leave, she would make sure we were in good hands before she left and not leave us high and dry,” fourth-year Madison Weaver, who had worked with Hopton since her first year, said. “So when [Hopton] left without letting any of us know, it was kind of like something fishy definitely happened for her to do that.” In fall 2018, Chaplin was hired on a short-term contract as an outside consultant working part-time. Machold, who had been working as the SDS Coordinator since summer 2017, was the only full-time employee at the office. Machold did not have the qualifications to grant accommodations, so only Chaplin—working part-time—granted accommodations last semester. Both Chaplin and Machold left New College at the end of fall 2018. Chaplin was only hired for a short

Students and faculty stand together in wake of admissions allegations In response to allegations that Dean of Enrollment and Financial Aid Joy Hamm was red-flagging applications that mentioned mental illness or physical disabilities, students gathered for a peaceful protest on May 1. Donning red apparel, representative of the red flags, about 100 students gathered outside of the ACE building and prepared to protest. Hand-drawn pins reading “fuck red flags” were distributed, a chain link made of red construction paper—each loop representative of a student who considered themselves to be a “red flag”—was carried and food and water were set up for the group at the march destination. In anticipation of this demonstration, a handful of students had met two nights prior to update existing demands and set new ones. According to an Apr. 29 Sarasota Herald-Tribune article, New College administration agreed to meet initial student demands presented after the allegations first emerged the previous week.

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harvey milk

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CATALYST

Wednesday, May 8, 2019 www.ncfcatalyst.com | @ncfcatalyst

BRIEFS

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briefs by Eileen CALUB

Black Lives Matter rally at RCAD On the afternoon of Wednesday, May 1, community members gathered in Scott Plaza of Ringling College of Art and Design (RCAD) for a Black Lives Matter rally. Shivani Bathija, a first-year Illustration student at RCAD, organized the event, inspired by a sit-in at Johns Hopkins University (JHU). “Students there have been sitting in at their administrative hall for almost a month (since Apr. 3),” Bathija said in an email interview. “They have three demands: for their institution to cut their current contracts with [Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)], to cancel the current plans to implement a private police force and to call for justice for Tyrone West, a Black man shot down in Baltimore in 2013. One of the officers who shot Tyrone down was from Morgan State University, furthering their point that private police on the JHU campus is very dangerous.” On why she felt it was important to facilitate a Black Lives Matter rally at RCAD, Bathija noted the political

divides in Sarasota, due to the mix of college students and retirees. Further, she emphasized the importance of voter engagement and activism in Florida. “We do live in one of the few swing states, after all,” Bathija said. “Because of this, it is so important to let people know the importance of voting and making sure our voices are heard. That’s one part of it, encouraging the people here to consider their voice and that we have the ability to make a change.” Moreover, Bathija noted the significance of RCAD’s proximity to Newtown, a predominantly Black neighborhood. “This area, due to underfunding and a general neglect toward Black areas, has a high amount of people in poverty, people who deserve help they are not getting,” Bathija said. “However, I have been told countless times by the White faculty here that Newtown is ‘unsafe’ and to avoid that area because the people are ‘sketchy.’ This is a common thing thrown around Ringling—I even heard

it as a 17-year-old here for pre-college. I fell victim to these rumors and started to believe them, but had the opportunity to hear from the Black community from Ringling in which I was told everything I heard stemmed from racism. I also was able to meet a lot of the kids from Newtown at a Halloween event we had at Ringling, and met some of the sweetest kids who are just trying to be kids. Why do we villainize them? I raised that question at our rally.” Bathija was surprised at the turnout at the Black Lives Matter rally and hopes to continue organizing activist events in the future. “We had around 30 people show up, and for a campus of around 1,400 people, I think that’s spectacular,” Bathija said. “I only planned it in six days, so I did the best I could to publicize it. This may be the first rally of this caliber at Ringling, and as a freshman I only plan to aim bigger, as they have not had the last of me and the rest of the community willing to make a change.”

Womyn’s Circle cast at Chiki Hut On Saturday, May 4, the witches of New College gathered at the Chiki Hut to cast a spiritual womyn’s circle to celebrate Beltane and the new moon in Taurus. Thesis student Becca Caccavo organized the ceremony, seeking participants through an open invitation sent to the Forum and StudentsList. Women, womyn and those who identify with experiences of womanhood were welcome to participate. Attendees would come together in “communion and community for an evening of intention-setting, meditation, self-blessing and connecting to the divine, the earth and one another,” as described in the invitation. This was the third officially hosted spiritual circle during Caccavo’s time at New College, since entering in 2014. “My second year, the spring of 2016, myself, Sadé Holmes (‘14), Mui-

reall Brown (‘15) and Milo Leon (‘15) worked with yoga instructor Helen Kestler to host a womyn’s circle for the new moon in Aries,” Caccavo said in an email interview. “Helen is a wise woman and has been a leader of different womyn’s circling groups for decades, so she was really excited to collaborate with us.” Kestler facilitated the ancient tradition as Wise Woman while Caccavo assisted as Maiden. Participants were asked to bring offerings for the altar, including “meaningful tokens,” “beautiful fabric,” “organic matter,” “crystals” and “anything related to fertility.” Caccavo emphasized timely arrival to the ceremony, noting that newcomers may not be admitted once the circle is cast. The event grew popular on campus as students devoted themselves to learning about circling in an academic setting.

“The next fall, for his psychology thesis, Oliver Goldsmith (‘13) led a ‘Spiritual Circling’ tutorial, where about 10 of us met every week,” Caccavo added. The spiritual influences of the ceremony come from global neo-paganism and wicca. Caccavo feels that spiritual circling is a valuable tradition that “creates community and connection amongst womyn.” “Everyone’s always going through their own trials, challenges, blessings— but coming together to hold space and connect with one another and the divine is a powerful and grounding experience,” Caccavo said. “It’s the creation of a sacred space, relatively non-denominational, which is a source of rejuvenation and light regardless of what anyone may be experiencing in their lives.”

‘Booze Cruise’ spots filled As the academic year comes to a close, the Graduation Sunset Cruise, the beloved tradition of thesis students sailing off into the night on a charter boat, draws nearer. As plans for this celebration, dubbed ‘Booze Cruise,’ began in March, concerns were raised as to whether the cruise would happen at all in the face of the New College Student Alliance (NCSA) budget constraints. To the relief of many students, the Student

Allocations Committee (SAC) was able to fund the event. Booze Cruise is set to occur on Wednesday, May 15. “The only major update is that all the spots have been filled,” NCSA Chief of Staff Eleni Spanolios said in an email interview. Spanolios and fellow thesis students Evan Teal, Paola Baez-Perez and Riley Lewis organized this year’s Booze Cruise. The cohort of 2015 has approxi-

mately 200 graduating students, but the boat only carries 110 passengers. However, all hope is not lost for thesis students who hope to experience a memorable night on the Sarasota Bay celebrating with their classmates. “There will be a great pre-party with lots of food, a DJ and a photo area, so even if someone can’t come on the boat, they can enjoy that party,” Spanolios said.

© 2019 the Catalyst. All rights reserved. “Please don’t defund us.” The Catalyst is available online at www.ncfcatalyst.com facebook.com/NCFcatalyst instagram.com/NCFcatalyst twitter.com/ncfcatalyst The Catalyst is an academic tutorial sponsored by Professor Maria D. Vesperi. It is developed in the New College Publications Lab using Adobe Photoshop and Adobe InDesign and printed at Sun Coast Press with funds provided by the New College Student Alliance.

Editor in Chief Audrey Warne Managing Editor Jacob Wentz Copy Editor Cassie Manz Assistant Copy Editor Eileen Calub Online Editor Bailey Tietsworth Advertising Manager Michala Head Social Media Editor Katrina Carlin Staff Writers Noah Baslaw, Haley Bryan, Izaya Garrett Miles, Adriana Gavilanes & Anna Lynn Winfrey Layout + Design Team Harrison Angsten & Cait Matthews

Direct action CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 sent to the Forum. “Also, it’s important to remember that this is an institutional problem, so Joy Hamm isn’t the only one responsible for this policy. We’re working for structural change here.” The protest reflected the extensive need for improved accessibility on campus. Following the march to the Bay, everyone sat to listen to students’ personal stories of difficulty navigating campus with a disability. According to organizer and Catalyst staff writer, Anna-Lynn Winfrey, 36 people came forward. With a request for permission, followed by a group show of hands to decide whether to grant it, President Donal O’Shea and Provost Barbara Feldman came out, sat and listened. The fallout from the recent allegations has been felt daily on campus and beyond. Students attended Division meetings to discuss recent developments with their professors. “I knew that faculty wanted to hear from us, and I knew that we wanted to hear from them, but what I did not expect was their readiness to help us hold administration accountable,” thesis student Grace Harrison said in an email interview. “It became clear to me at that meeting that this can be a united front if our student organizers keep showing up.” Former student admissions workers Eugenia Quintanilla (‘14) and Maria Simmerling (‘14) first filed a complaint over Hamm’s alleged patterns of discrimination, but were not the only alumni to get involved in these recent developments. Mischa Patteson (‘14) reacted by making the Facebook profile picture filter reading “I am not true blue, I am a red flag” for students and alumni to use to express the personal toll that New College’s ongoing inaction has taken on them. The phrase was repurposed as a chant during the protest. “It is powerful to see the stories of so many people who may have missed out on a quality education if they’d been subjected to a red-flag policy,” Patteson said in an email interview, on responses to the filter. “This scandal sparked unanimity in our community like I’ve never seen and didn’t think was possible. There’s been a lot of really beautiful community support, and I’m just talking about online.” 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.


CATALYST

Wednesday, May 8, 2019 www.ncfcatalyst.com | @ncfcatalyst

NEWS PAGE 3

Changes to this year’s commencement ceremony BY HALEY BRYAN With commencement around the corner, students are starting to prepare the celebratory costumes they will wear as family, friends and faculty watch them walk across the stage to receive the degree that marks the completion of their undergraduate career. As students plan for graduation, the campus is also organizing new additions to the long-standing traditional commencement ceremony by the Bayfront. Specifically, this year’s commencement ceremony will include a live-streaming component viewable online or in the air-conditioned Harry Sudakoff Conference Center, and a bigger tent with stronger infrastructure designed to sit more attendants eager to watch as students conclude the end of their journey at the school. Shelley Wilbur, the executive assistant to the President, is primarily responsible for working with Student Affairs, the Registrar, Campus Police Department, Physical Plant and Grounds to make sure the ceremony is smooth sailing. Wilbur begins planning the school’s commencement in January by ordering tents and the announcements. This year, Wilbur has been coordinating the addition of new features to the ceremony, including a bigger and stronger tent to shelter students, family and faculty amidst the arrival of Florida’s summer sun.

“Other than the physical structure of the tent, all [other aspects of this year’s commencement is] about the same,” Wilbur said. “The tent is different because we’re trying to accommodate more people. When I first started [organizing the commencement ceremonies], our very first commencements were behind Cook Hall, and we had a tent that sat 400 people. Then maybe three years in we moved over here [by College Hall], and the tent we’ve been using seats about 1,100. The setup that we’re getting now is going to have about 1,600 seats and hopefully that’s enough; every year, at a quarter to 7 p.m., parents are running around looking for seats, and there aren’t any. The live feed is also new this year.” The addition of the live feed for the commencement ceremony may come as a surprise to students, though discussions about improving the accessibility of the service through online methods have been a consistent topic during conversations planning for previous commencements. Similar to including a bigger tent this year, the live feed also intends to address concerns posed with holding the ceremony by the Bay, by providing online access to the ceremony. The ceremony will also be broadcasted in Sudakoff, aimed to provide a more agreeable alternative to those with wheelchairs, walkers, canes and other mobility issues that have issues navigating the grass or dealing with the heat.

“The live-feed has been talked about for a few years, and then we just decided to give it a try,” Wilbur shared. “Whether [people will] actually go over [to Sudakoff], I don’t know, but it is available. Though we have not received complaints [about accessibility at the commencement ceremony], it’s something that we’ve always been concerned about. We talked about putting flooring, but then you have to worry about tripping. There’s really no good answer [for accessibility issues]—moving over grass is just tricky. Over here we have plastic chairs, and its 100 degrees and the sun is setting—it’s beautiful, but it’s hot!” Despite the complications concerning accessibility and variable weather conditions, students’ admiration of the Bayfront makes moving the commencement ceremony to a more controlled and easily navigable location unlikely. “We always talk about [moving the location of the commencement ceremony from the Bay], and we’ve talked about rain locations, but I’ve been [assisting with coordinating the ceremony] for 18 years, and we’ve never moved it,” Wilbur said. “Nobody wants to move [the ceremony]; they don’t care what the weather conditions are. [Students] are so wedded to this spot, and we totally get it, so the chance of actually ever moving it is probably tiny. Whenever [the topic of moving commencement] comes up, it just gets shut down right away. So we’re always

just trying to think of ways we can keep it here as we grow, and the weather is always a factor, but since people are so wedded to the bay, I think if we ever announced we were going to move it there would be a huge backlash.” In an effort to ease repeated concerns about the unpredictable weather in a state plagued with hurricane warnings and torrential thunderstorms, the new tent in this year’s ceremony will be larger and stronger, and can withstand winds up to 120 miles per hour. This tent will replace the sweeping circus-like tent which complemented student’s colorful costumes. Despite these new features of the commencement, the administration has no specific plans to introduce additional changes to the ceremony in the upcoming years. “We’ll try this tent, and if it doesn’t work we’ll go back to the old tent,” Wilbur said. “We’re just trying to find ways to make [the commencement ceremony] better. I know people are worried about change; I sent out a letter to the campus earlier talking about [this year’s ceremony], and I was getting feedback that people were worried that this wasn’t going to be the same, and I wanted to address those concerns. It’s pretty much the same. There might be a tweak here and there, but there’s never going to be anything drastic, and it’s to help people, not to try to take anything away from everybody.”

Plans to stamp out smoking by fall 2020 BY IZAYA GARRETT MILES There is something in the air at New College, but not for long. Over the last couple of years, New College has been conducting the “Breathe Easy New College” campaign in an effort to curtail students’ on-campus tobacco use. So far, smoking has been relegated to designated outdoor areas, each marked with a “Designated Tobacco Use Area” sign and a receptacle to dispose of the ash. However, on Apr. 22, administration announced that a total tobacco prohibition will go into effect by fall 2020. From its onset, the Breathe Easy campaign was clear about its long-term goal to end smoking on campus. In an interview with the Catalyst from Apr. 5, 2016, then-Health Coordinator Amanda Parente said that the earlier policies that aimed at reducing smoking were done so that tobacco’s elimination on campus would not come as a “total shock.” Even if students are not shocked, some are unhappy with the upcoming policy. “It was not [the lack of ] New College smoking ban that was keeping me from quitting before now,” first-year and smoker Gabriel Motsinger said. “I’ve obviously tried before now. It was not like, ‘Now that New College has banned cigarettes, I can finally be free.’ It is still going to be there. People are addicted to this, whether they like it or not.” Colleges and universities across the country have cracked down on tobacco use, ever since the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the University of Michigan and the American College Health Association collabora-

tively launched the Tobacco-Free College Campus Initiative in 2012. At the time, there were 774 colleges and universities that had some kind of smoking or tobacco ban on their campuses. By 2017, that number had more than doubled, rising to 2,082. Some of the policies enacted included fining students who were caught smoking on the premises, such as at Michigan State University where students could be fined up to $150. New College does not plan to take so brutal of an approach. Once the ban is put into place, any student or faculty member caught smoking (which, according to the Breathe Easy New College page, includes using an electronic cigarette) on campus will be instructed to either leave campus or discard their cigarette. If an individual is caught smoking multiple times or refuses to comply, they will be referred to the Dean of Student Affairs or Human Resources for disciplinary action. The results of bans at other schools have been mixed. After the University of Michigan banned smoking in 2011, 64.5 percent of students said that they saw a decrease in smoking around campus and 4 percent of students said they were planning on quitting smoking. Michael Vuolo, a researcher at Ohio State University, conducted a study that found that smoking bans at colleges were likely to prevent young people from starting a smoking habit and increased the likelihood that casual smokers would quit using tobacco. However, smoking bans have proven to be much less effective at treating smokers that already have an established habit.

Izaya Garrett Miles/Catalyst

Receptacles like these mark the designated tobacco areas on campus, and will soon be disappearing.

Smoking bans on campuses often seek to change the norms of a campus, but there is a serious question as to how the student body of New College will respond. The ban on smoking does not extend past the school’s borders. After all, a student would need only to walk to the sidewalk next to a public street to smoke if they wished.

“There are lots of things that are illegal to smoke on this campus that I am pretty sure students still do,” Motsinger said. “I don’t think that putting cigarettes on that list would fix that problem.” Information for this article was gathered from ncfcatalyst.com, cdc.gov, usatoday.com and news.ncf.edu.


CATALYST

Wednesday, May 8, 2019 www.ncfcatalyst.com | @ncfcatalyst Azia Keever/Catalyst

Throughout this week (5/1 - 5/8), activists have the opportunity to participate in public meetings, lectures and film screenings. Read on if you want to get involved in the community regarding environmental protection, animal welfare and local politics.

BY EILEEN CALUB Sun., May 5, Compost-A-Thon 2019 @ 7 a.m. Robert L. Taylor Community Center 1845 34th St., Sarasota. Come with friends, family and neighbors to collect compostable food scraps in sealed buckets! CompostA-Thon 2019 is Manasota’s largest, one-week, food-scrap-to-soil effort in honor of community building, soil creating and fundraising to support the education and action initiatives of Sunshine Community Compost. Register for the event at www. sunshinecommunitycompost.org. Tues., May 7, SST - Join the Conversation! @ 6 - 7:30 p.m. Selby Library - Conference Room - 1331 1st St., Sarasota. Sarasota Stands Together (SST) is an organization striving to protect democracy and represent Florida’s 16th and 17th congressional districts. SST hopes to create a networked community of empowered, actionoriented individuals who work to protect the well-being of all citizens and who support the election of candidates that defend human rights and the American democracy. SST’s final meeting of the season is envisioned as a more intimate conversation which will celebrate the achievements of the Indivisible movement and consider plans going forward. Come with ideas for speakers next season. Join the conversation! This meeting is free and open to the public. Tues., May 7, Sarasota County School Board Meeting @ 6:30 p.m. School Board Chambers - 1980 Landings Blvd., Sarasota. Join the Sarasota County School

Board to discuss issues affecting students, teachers and members of the community. All meetings are open to the public and held on the first Tuesday (6:30 p.m.) and the third Tuesday (3 p.m.) of each month. School board meetings and work sessions are aired live on Comcast 20 and Frontier 33. This meeting is free and open to the public. Tues., May 7, Cause A Scene For A Good Cause @ 5 - 6:30 p.m. Blaze Pizza - 215 N. Cattlemen Rd., Sarasota. Participate in Cause A Scene For A Good Cause, sponsored by the Humane Society of Sarasota County (HSSC). As the area’s premier nokill shelter, HSSC engages the hearts, hands and minds of the community to help animals. Bring in the event flyer or show it on your phone before paying for a meal at Blaze Pizza and 20 percent of proceeds will be donated to HSSC. Thurs., May 2, SRQ Brady Season Wrap-Up @ 5:15 p.m. First Congregational UCC - Syster Hall - 1031 S. Euclid Ave., Sarasota. The Brady Campaign unites community members against gun violence. Gather for a brief meeting, a light dinner and plenty of time to meet other Brady members. Robert Disney, a liaison from Washington, will talk about rebranding and the new state executive board. Also, Madison Markham, Sarasota’s Team Enough youth leader, will tell the group what she’s been up to since attending the recent national seminar in San Diego. This meeting is free and open to the public.

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New joint-disciplinary AOC in neuroscience BY ADRIANA GAVILANES

The Activist Newsletter

NEWS

In fall 2019, a joint-disciplinary area of concentration (AOC) in neuroscience will be offered to pair with any primary AOC. Pursuing this program will equip students with a diverse understanding of the mind’s sensory, motor and cognitive phenomena at the cellular level and the systemic level. The interdisciplinary area will approach the study of the brain from the student’s perspective of choice, including psychology, biology and medical humanities. Professor of Biology Elizabeth Leininger, Professor of Psychology Peter Cook and Professor of Psychology Kathleen Casto are the three professors spearheading the program. “Professors Cook, Casto and I were all hired here at New College within the past four years,” Leininger said. “As new faculty whose research and teaching focuses on the brain and behavior, we decided to examine the neuro-focused academic programs here and think about all photos courtesy of New College of Florida

how they overlapped and how we could strengthen them going forward. We realized that we wanted to be more collaborative in helping New College students study the brain and to highlight the interdisciplinary strengths of our research and teaching. We decided to propose a program in neuroscience, which is the interdisciplinary study of the brain and mind.” The development process for the program started last summer, defining the learning objectives and necessary courses for the drafted objectives. “We concluded that a joint-disciplinary program in neuroscience was the best fit for our current infrastructure,” Leininger said. “The Divisions gave feedback on the plan, and then the Educational Policy Committee (EPC) and the Provost approved it. Going forward, we will collect data on the use of this program to inform any future decisions.”

continued on page 11 Professor of Psychology Kathleen Casto: “I am a (get ready for it) social-behavioral neuroendocrinologist (say that 5 times fast!). I study how hormones influence social behaviors like competition and cooperation, presumably via the brain, and vice versa. I also have an interest in studying how women’s menstrual cycle hormonal fluctuations and oral contraceptive use influence behavior, health, and well-being. Many would consider my research to be on the periphery of the domain of neuroscience. However, I have conceptual expertise, background, and interest in teaching on a range of broader topics in traditional neuroscience.” Professor of Psychology Peter Cook: “My research is predominantly focused on comparative neuroscience at the systems level. That means I study the structure and function of brain networks and how they contribute to behavior and thought in a wide range of species. I have expertise in animal behavior and brain imaging. I study the neurobiology of memory in wild sea lions exposed to neurotoxic algae, and have examined the neural underpinnings of emotion, choice, and sociality in domestic dogs. I also have an interest in brain rhythms, and support a student laboratory in EEG and related techniques.” Professor of Biology Elizabeth Leininger: “My teaching and research focus on the biological side of Neuroscience. I am a neuroethologist, which means that I am interested in studying the neural basis of natural animal behaviors. I am interested in how evolution has shaped brains and behaviors to solve problems that the animals face in nature. My research specifically focuses on vocal communication and how brains can generate very simple or complex patterns of vocalization. I study this question in African clawed frogs and have mentored several students in this research through ISPs, thesis, and research tutorials.”


CATALYST

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Noah’s NEWS

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Recession looms after 10 years of an underperforming U.S. economy BY NOAH BASLAW After almost 10 years of quiescent markets steadily ticking upwards, 2018 became the year of volatility for financial markets, suggesting that a more general economic downturn is close on the horizon. Last year saw both a record-breaking high and historic low for the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones, and December witnessed the largest monthly percentage decline in stock prices since 1931, according to CNN. While many see a recession due after a decade of growth, others have pointed out that for most folks throughout the economy, little has recovered since the Great Financial Crisis of 2008 and the ensuing recession. If the economy has not recovered for most folks, then what will another recession bring? Professor of Economics Mark Paul discussed the health of the United States’ economy. “The U.S. experienced a large economic decline starting in 2008 with the onset of the Great Recession,” Paul said. “Since then, we have witnessed one of the longest recoveries in history, however it has not fully recovered the economy. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects what economic growth should be. Currently, U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is roughly 15 percent below where the CBO thought it would be.”

While the United States’ economy Paul said. “It’s true that workers have exhas grown since the global economic and perienced modest wage gains, but that financial crisis, it has not recouped ex- rise is not significant to make up for decpectations, leaving GDP, productivity ades of failed wage increases. Non-manand wages unrealized. Paul mentioned agerial wage earners haven’t seen signifthat this dismal news of underperform- icant increases for an entire generation. ing economic data may appear as a shock The recession has exacerbated levels of to those who have heard a lot, from two income inequality; the majority of the consecutive presidential administrations, wage increases since the crisis have been about how the economy is at full em- accumulated by top income earners. We ployment and the stock market is reach- have not seen broad wage gains.” The size of the pie keeps growing. ing historic highs. The question is how “Traditional much of that pie measurements for “Currently, U.S. Gross goes to the majority unemployment fail to capture the actu- Domestic Product (GDP) of workers, and the answer is not much, al employment sit- is roughly 15 percent according to Paul. uation in the U.S.,” below where the CBO The average worker Paul said. “If you is worse off relative look at labor force thought it would be.” to those earning participation rates or employment to population ratios, for more. Many worry about the consequencinstance, it’s clear that those numbers are significantly lower now than in the es of automation on the size of wages. However, Paul points out that if automa1990s and early 2000s.” While U.S. productivity has in- tion was a significant force driving down creased steadily since the Second World wages, it would also drive productivity War, wages have remained stagnant up, something which has not happened since the early 1970s. Modest wage gains for the last decade. “Productivity growth now is quite and rises in official employment levels have not come close to breaking out of low,” Paul said. The declines in productivity have long-standing trends. “If we were in a true full employ- shocked the academic economic commument economy we’d see significant wage nity so much that some have wondered if increases and this has not been the case,” the traditional ways to measure produc-

tivity are flawed. Paul thinks that while the measurements for productivity are flawed, just like orthodox ways to gauge macro employment levels, recent declines in productivity cannot be blamed on these methods of analysis. Moreover, he believes that the biggest thing to address low productivity and wage growth is large scale government investment in socially useful areas. “Right now, firms are sitting on historically unprecedented levels of cash, primarily because they cannot find profitable areas of investment,” Paul said, which suggests that the idea that firms don’t have enough money to raise wages is provably false. Paul sees the increasing dominance of the financial industry throughout the economy as a net negative for GDP, productivity and wage growth. One notable example is the phenomenon of stock buybacks, wherein corporations use profits and excess capital to buy their own shares of the company, effectively shrinking the pool of shares and increasing their value for the sake of shareholders. Companies have used buying back their own stock as a way to boost earnings to top executives, according to MarketWatch.com. While the Federal Reserve has attempted to create inflation to spur eco-

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Economics and Finance “The UK must resist U.S. mentorship program extradition,” Assange pushes for gender yells while dragged from inclusivity Ecuadorian Embassy BY NOAH BASLAW On Feb. 11, Professor of Economics Tracy Collins’ new Economics and Finance mentorship program hosted its first event for any New College and select high school students in the area. Since then, the program has hosted eight additional events for participating students, with presentations from New College students, like third-year Julia Godfrey on investing-basics, and Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Educator Lesley Mace on the history of the Federal Reserve System. Funding has come from the American Economic Association and the Women’s Giving Circle, and Collins picked speakers who broke traditional gender norms within the fields of Economics and Finance. After speaking to one of her students about the importance of personal finance, Collins decided to sponsor a workshop that would show students paths one could take within Economics and Finance. The opportunity to plan such a program gave Collins a chance to also expose students to careers in Economics and Finance, not just finance for individual use. “I picked inspiring guest speakers who are doing interesting research and

have diverse backgrounds because I want the students to see how diverse and interesting the field of Economics is,” Collins said in an email interview. Most speakers have presented the students with overviews of their research and guidance on how one can apply to various graduate level programs. For example, Dr. Oyebola Okunogbe, an economist, discussed her work at the World Bank and how curious students may want to apply to competitive programs at Harvard University and Dartmouth College. The guest speakers were predominantly professors or researchers from prominent institutions like Barnard College of Columbia University, American University and University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Second-year and Economics and Studio Art Area of Concentration (AOC) Abigail Wagner is one of the eight New College students in Collins’ mentorship program. She noted how grateful she is for the experience. “I’ve been to every meeting, and I have taken a lot away from the program,” Wagner said in an email interview. “Some

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BY NOAH BASLAW After almost seven years in a dimly lit 330-square-foot room in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, Wikileaks founder and editor Julian Assange was arrested by United Kingdom (UK) police on Apr. 11 and taken to Belmarsh prison, known as “Britain’s Guantanamo Bay.” It took about seven police officers to carry Assange out of the embassy, while he yelled that “the UK must resist [his extradition]” and “this is unlawful, I am not leaving.” The arrest proved to defenders of Wikileaks that worries of secret indictments from U.S. courts were well founded even as far back as 2010. The indictment of Assange was accidentally released in November of 2018 by State of Virginia courts, according to The New York Times. The editor’s departure from the embassy ended his months of isolation, mistreatment and malicious spying by Ecuadorian and other governments. A healthcare professional and an expert on the physical and psychological impact of torture, Dr. Sondra Crosby of Boston University, sent an affidavit to the United Nations (UN) and the Council of Europe only three days prior to the revoked asylum and arrest to acknowl-

edge the harm done to Assange, according to the Intercept. What is more, the now unsealed indictment by Grand Jury in a Virgina Federal court attempts to charge Assange for what U.S. Army Intelligence Analyst Chelsea Manning was court martialed and served time for under the Espionage Act in 2013. At the time, the Department of Justice (DOJ) during the Obama Administration was, despite several attempts to do so, unable to find a way to indict Assange or Wikileaks for publishing the same information that large traditional news outlets like the Guardian or the Times did. The leaks were famous for informing the public about how U.S. military and allies chaotically killed foreign civilians in their battle operations in the Middle East. “In Assange’s case, his release of information was indiscriminate and reckless,” Professor of Political Science Keith Fitzgerald said. “That is where I have a problem. If Assange is a real whistle blower and sentinel of justice, then there should be judiciousness and thought committed to what is released. He did not [initially] put these [leaks] out for the press to see, where they can do redaction.

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‘Order Systems’ examines the communicative potential of patterns by audrey warne Iridescent sheets of vinyl arranged in multi-branching nodes throw kaleidoscopic patterns onto the concrete floor of the Ringling’s Monda Gallery for Contemporary Art. Part of Order Systems, these layered vinyl installations exemplify Canadian artist Natasha Mazurka’s interest in the human desire for authority, certainty and purpose. Order Systems is Mazurka’s first solo museum show in the United States, as well as the first exhibition curated by Ola Wlusek, the Ringling’s Keith D. and Linda L. Monda curator of modern and contemporary art. “Natasha questions how our aesthetic systems and social structures help us communicate,” Wlusek said in a press release. “Her recent works indulge in the illusion of beauty that stems from repetition and a sense of order, but she challenges these patterns by inserting social narratives about conformity and imposed behavioral structures.” Order Systems relies on a variety of mediums—including oil paintings, embossings on paper and site-specific installations—to capture the variation within the organic, synthetic and digital motifs Mazurka employs. Swirls of muted blues, pinks and bronzes highlight the organic imagery of Mazurka’s oil paintings. The paintings’ fractal-like imagery is elaborate, but the repetitive nature of the work and

the matte surface of the canvases lend a visual simplicity to Mazurka’s compositions. Works like Ladies Night and Incubator speak directly to the experiences of femininity and motherhood with circular shapes that recall both soft, fleshy bodies and the cell clusters of the human reproductive process. In contrast, her embossings and installations depict synthetic and digital imagery, such as Morse code and branching programming languages. Mazurka’s All flesh is weak. All flesh is grass. and her Index series consider the ways in which the imposition of structure relates to the surveillance of the female body and motherhood. The title of All flesh is weak. All flesh is grass. is a reference to Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, a dystopian story of female subjugation through government control over reproduction. Mazurka will give a talk about her artistic practice and the exhibition on Tuesday, May 18 at 10:30 a.m. in the Monda Gallery. For more information about the event, visit www.ringling.org. Order Systems will be on view until Sept. 8, 2019. Like all shows at the Ringling, admission is free with the presentation of a valid New College student ID. For more information about Mazurka, visit www. natashamazurka.com.

Visitor with The Attendants, 2018, textured vinyl, 144 × 120 inches.

Natasha Mazurka, Suckers (detail), 2018, oil, ink, acrylic, and vinyl on braced Baltic birch panel, 60 x 96 inches.

Natasha Mazurka, Index XVIII, Set One (detail), part of an ongoing series, 2015, hand embossed parchment paper in two overlapping layers, 8 x 12 inches.


All photos courtesy of Natasha Mazurka

Natasha Mazurka: Order Systems at The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art.

Natasha Mazurka, Fractal Feeders, 2018, oil, ink, acrylic, and vinyl on braced Baltic birch panel, 60 x 60 inches.

Natasha Mazurka, Gridlight, 2018, oil, ink, acrylic, and vinyl on braced Baltic birch panel, 30 x 30 inches.

Natasha Mazurka: Order Systems at The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art.


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Harvey Milk Festival returns for its 10th year BY KATRINA CARLIN For the 10th year in a row, the Harvey Milk Festival (HMF) will celebrate the legacy of the first openly gay politician elected in California by featuring artists and musicians devoted to promoting diversity and rejecting discrimination. This year, the festival kicked off with the Run for Love on Saturday, May 4, and will end with a music festival on Saturday, May 11. Founder and organizer Shannon Fortley started the festival after attending the National Equality March in Washington, D.C. in 2009. She was inspired by a call to action made by AIDS and LGBTQ+ activist Cleve Jones at the march, who encouraged attendees to organize and raise awareness in their own communities. “I came back home [from the march], and a few months later I did the Equal Civil Rights rally,” Fortley said. “I reached out to local GSA [Gay-Straight Alliance] groups and all the colleges to be a part of it, as well as local LGBTQ-focused organizations in the community, in the fall. In the spring of 2009, I put together the first HMF with a few friends in the Rosemary District.” This year, HMF includes a visual exploration of LGBTQ+ history before Harvey Milk, from the late 1800s to the late 1970s. This is especially fitting as the 10th anniversary of HMF coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. The Stonewall Riots were a set of protests and violent clashes with cops after police raided the gay club, “the Stonewall Inn,” in Greenwich Village, New York. The riots are largely credited with beginning the gay rights movement in the U.S. The movement and its histo-

ry will be examined in the “Before Harvey” exhibition, which will be open from May 9 to May 11 at Art Center Sarasota, with a free opening reception and panel discussion on May 9 from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Panelists at the discussion will include Professor of Gender Studies Nick Clarkson, University of Florida Professor of Sociology, Criminology and Law K.L. Broad and University of South Florida Professor of History David Johnson. The panel was organized by Grace Korley. “I introduced [Korley] to Nick Clarkson, and then [Korley] recruited a couple of interns from New College,” Fortley said. “We’re super excited about getting New College more involved this year, and are looking forward to building that relationship more.” Second-years Freddie O’Brion, Kenzie Timms and Emily Garcia worked with Clarkson on the project. In addition to the three professors, the panel will include queer photographer Mica England. “Mica England is a trailblazer that had a huge case in Dallas in the 90s about workplace discrimination and actually won her lawsuit,” Fortley said. Fortley is excited about England’s addition to the panel, as she hopes England can demonstrate the importance of using one’s voice to persevere in the face of adversity. Another highlight of the festival is the lineup of musicians for the May 11 music festival. The festival’s lineup features a slate of performers from Sarasota and around the country and will be held in JD Hamel park from 2:20 to 11:30 p.m. Fortley’s band, Meteoreyes, has taken a break for the past five years but will be performing again at this year’s festival.

Letter from the editor BY AUDREY WARNE I’ve been on the Catalyst since my first semester at New College. It has been one of the only constants in my life these past four years, and it is with very mixed feelings that I’m writing this letter—my very last piece for the Catalyst. I wanted to be Editor in Chief since I first joined the paper, but I had no idea how much time, effort and sacrifice go into to running a weekly student newspaper—especially one that’s facing severe staffing shortages and budgetary cuts. Leaving the paper in such a precarious state is absolutely heartbreaking to me, and I hope that in my absence the New College community will decide that student journalism is something worth supporting with both its time and its money.

Image courtesy of Harvey Milk Festival

This year, HMF includes a visual exploration of LGBTQ+ history before Harvey Milk, from the late 1800s to the late 1970s.

“I try to keep my eye on a lot of queer musicians that are getting some traction and emerging artists,” Fortley said, whose background as a musician made organizing the music festival a natural fit. “We do support our allies, because I think that’s a huge part of the movement itself. But definitely focusing on making sure I have a platform for queer musicians.” In addition to Meteoreyes, several other artists will be performing at the festival. Mariah Parker, known by her stage name Linqua Franqa, will be gracing the festival’s stage on Saturday. Parker, a county commissioner in Athens, Georgia, was sworn into office on a copy of the autobiography of Malcolm X. In addition to her day-job as a politician and moonlighting as Linqua Franqa, Parker is also a linguistics Ph.D. candi-

date.

“We’re super excited to have her,” Fortley said. “She’s like a conscious hiphop artist and has a really great message, and overall encompasses a lot of what we support. The work she’s doing is really amazing and we’re excited to have her on the stage this year.” With all of the talented artists and panelists and exciting events lined up for the week, the 10th annual Harvey Milk Festival will be a celebration of life, love and freedom of expression. The festival’s expanded presence in the community and longevity are a testament to the strength of the LGBTQ+ community and its allies in Sarasota. For more information about the festival and events, visit harveymilkfestival.org.

Being a part of the Catalyst has made me a strong writer, a proficient manager, an experienced layout designer and an overall better team player. It also allowed me to interact with students whose viewpoints and interests diverge wildly from my own. The Catalyst is a course—and, some semesters, a family—made up of very different students who all share the same belief in working together to create something for the campus community. On a campus that is constantly criticized—both by its own members and those outside of it—for being exclusionary, the Catalyst provides a space where any student, faculty member or alum can share their thoughts and feelings without fear of censorship. I love the Catalyst. My involvement in this course and my relationships with the students on staff have been some of the most rewarding parts of my experience at New College. I hope other students will get to say the same thing for years to come.

Photo courtesy of Harvey Milk Festival

“I try to keep my eye on a lot of queer musicians that are getting some traction and emerging artists,” Fortley said.


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On being a student from Sarasota BY ADRIANA GAVILANES While many students come to New College from different cities around the world, for a few students, New College is a place centered around everything familiar. It is typical for people to move away from home after high school, but some choose to stay in their hometown. New College students born and raised in the Sarasota area explain why they chose to stay and how staying has impacted their experiences. “When I was growing up, I learned how to swim at the New College pool,” thesis student Sierra Schwabach said. “New College has been a part of my whole life, it was a very natural progression to come here to study.” According to the latest version of the New College Fact Book, 98 of 838 New College students share an origin of Manatee or Sarasota County in 2018. Thus, approximately 11 percent of New College students are local to the area and knew about New College in some way, shape or form long before enrolling. There were various reasons why students decided to go to school at New College. “I got full Bright Futures,” firstyear David Perkins said. “I was definitely going to stay in-state.” The state of Florida funds the Florida Bright Futures Scholar Program, providing scholarships merited on high school academic achievement. There are three tiers: the Florida Academic Scholars (FAS) Award, the Florida Medallion

Scholars (FMS) Award and the Academic Top Scholars Award. In addition, Florida offers Florida Prepaid, which is a college savings plan designed to encourage parents to save for their children’s future higher education. The savings can only go toward universities within Florida, incentivizing students to stay in-state. “I practically got paid to go here,” Schwabach said. Along with the financial perks of going to New College, the academic environment is spoken highly of by the local students. “It was mostly the academics,” second-year Cassidy Myers said. “I liked the appeal of going to a big school so New College wasn’t necessarily my first choice, but the thesis seemed like a really good idea since I know I want to do grad school at some point. It’s highly revered in the academic community and by grad schools. It produces a lot of Fulbright scholars and I really wanted to be in an environment where I was with like-minded individuals.” When asking students about the academic environment at New College, students emphasized the importance of the relationship between faculty and students. “The small class sizes to work oneon-one with professors, but also I like the idea of having advisors and you can talk to them whenever you want,” firstyear Joshua Ingram said. “The idea of no grades was not necessarily why I came but it intrigued me. The fact we get more

Adriana Gavilanes/Catalyst

“It was more like New College chose me type of deal,” Perkins said personal evaluations to see exactly how we did and the idea of tutorials and the ability to make your own path.” Family was another factor that influenced the decision to go to New College and stay in the Sarasota area. “My parents are nearby if I need them, but I still maintain my own autonomy by living on campus and working my jobs off campus,” Myers said. “I still have the life of a typical college student even if my parents are only half an hour away.” Students also expressed the visible problems on campus, which they have had the privilege to avoid because of the

convenience of their family living nearby. “The food insecurity on this campus is ridiculous,” Perkins said. “I often find myself feeling guilty for having three full meals a day.” For students who chose to stay in Sarasota for the four years after graduating high school, there was a pattern of practicality in their stories. The combination of finances, academic environment and the nearby convenience of family ultimately guided the decision for local students to choose New College. “It was more like New College chose me type of deal,” Perkins said.

Campus hot takes on the retention rate BY ANNA LYNN WINFREY In spring 2017, President Donal O’Shea announced a plan to grow New College by 50 percent to 1,200 students by 2023. Administration plans to increase the size of the student body by curbing retention, a perpetual institutional struggle. Here are some thoughts from students, alumni, faculty and staff on the issue. Research, Instruction and Information Literacy Librarian Helene Gold “As a member of the [Quality Enhancement Plan] QEP team, I’m very hopeful that our new First Year Seminar will provide new students with opportunities that will not only support their academic success, but will also help in navigating the academic program overall. I am optimistic that this seminar (along with other QEP initiatives) will positively impact retention.” Center for Engagement and Opportunity (CEO) Assistant Director Lisandra Jimenez “A big piece of retention and persistence is students feeling like they’re supported while they’re in their college journey, and that students do feel like there’s adequate amount of resources available to them and they are supported along their path. [The CEO] tries to do some programs to try to get [students] to see that we are here to support them and be a network for them as well in a more casual setting.” Social Sciences Division Chair and

Professor of Economics Richard Coe “I don’t think it’s a welcoming or fun campus. I have students tell me that there is an overbearing police presence and that socially there’s virtually nothing to do on campus. There’s complaints about housing and the mold and the Forum, but what strikes me the most is that there’s not that many fun social activities. [Campus] used to be pretty laid back and parties were fun. Students had a good time, the police knew the students and were discreet about their enforcement policies and weren’t hassling them over having a beer or smoking a joint...And I’ve been told and have confirmed with administrators that there’s 11 uniformed police at what they call [Center of the Universe Parties] COUPs now and that just seems like an overbearing presence.” Second-year Michelle Voight “You’re really independent here. You can have an advisor who will meet with you every week, but really you’re on your own. I think that’s hard for a lot of people because when you’re going through a problem, you’re struggling in your classes or a traumatic event happens, then you’re handling all this shit on your own. And I think that led to a lot of people not wanting to come back.” First-year Jamie Christos “In our first year at New College, we have witnessed firsthand the ways in which the New College administration has blatantly undervalued issues that students have raised. Decisions regarding the modifications to the Jane Bancroft

Cook Library, Four Winds and, more recently, Graduation [Palm Court Party] PCP have left many students dissatisfied—we feel as though our concerns often go unheard. To keep students invested in the school, their opinions should be considered and addressed in every situation. Especially given that we are such a small school, there is no reason for student concerns to be swept under the carpet. Honestly, when we heard about the latest admissions scandal, our first thought was, ‘What the fuck?’ It comes down to this: If you want Gen Z students (ourselves and future students) to stay on campus, you can’t promote diversity and inclusion and then enact systemic discrimination against students that make up the majority of the campus population. Most people come to New [College] under the impression that they will be considered without regard to their disabilities and/or their identities. Hearing that the Admissions office was flagging applicants that would have otherwise been automatically admitted just reinforces the fact that their commitment to diversity and inclusion is simply a marketing scheme. As a historically primarily white institution (PWI), we’re not surprised.” Thesis student and Resident Advisor (RA) Jennifer Ha “The Student [Affairs] department tries to focus a lot on student retention. Res Life, when were were applying to be an RA, was like, ‘Here on your slides I

want you to find ways that we can help retention here at New College.’ So that’s what we have to base our interview proposals on. But I feel like it’s hard to make that big of a difference as a single RA. You want to build those connections with other people and make sure that they’re having a good time here and that they come back, but we don’t have enough manpower to do that.” Second-year Joey Daniels “It’s important to create an environment where everybody feels welcome and everybody feels like they’re at the right place for them, and I think the responsibility for that falls on administration and the students.” Alum Joy Feagan (‘12) “Even though students love to talk about how administration is trying to make this school less and less weird and more and more mainstream, which is totally true, I still think that this school is so much weirder than other places and administration doesn’t accurately advertise that because they want to attract more mainstream students. But when those mainstream students get here, they still get freaked out by how weird it is and a lot of them dip. Because even though it’s not as weird as it used to be, it’s still pretty fucking weird.” Thesis student Myles Rodriguez “I think retention ponds are important because they make good use of rainwater.”


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Admissions

between a 85 and a 114 were automatically discarded or if they underwent a second review process by the Admissions Committee. CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 Stier also conducted interviews with Quintanilla, Simmerling, Lundin, According to the final internal in- Associate Dean of Enrollment Services vestigation report sent by Audit and and Director of Admissions Sonia Wu, Compliance Officer Barbara Stier to former Director of Enrollment Mitch BoT Chair Felice Schulaner, Audit and Finer, Associate Director of Enrollment Compliance Chair William Johnston, Sharon Alcock, Associate Director of President Donal O’Shea and Pierce, “at Enrollment Melanie Cleveland, Admisthe time of the investigation, there were sions Coordinator Richelle Porambo, 1,094 applications read. 343 (31 percent) Admissions Coordinator Paige Diemer, went before the Admissions Committee former Director of Student Disability for a decision. The applications sent to Services Meighen Hopton, Director of the Admissions Committee were appli- Writing Jennifer Wells and Hamm. cations that scored 85-114 or 115+ with Stier’s notes for each interview a red flag.” were included in the investigation reOf the 343 applications that went port, except for the notes for Hamm and before the Admissions Committee, 33 Diemer which, according to email corhad scored at least a 115—the score for respondence between alumnus Dwight automatic admission—and were flagged Mann (‘92) and current General Council specifically for essay topic. Of these 33 David Fugett, do not exist. students, 13 (39 percent) were admitted, According to Stier, the statistics of 11 (33 percent) were denied, 2 (6 percent) the 33 students who scored a 115+ with were waitlisted, 3 (9 percent) required ad- a red flag—13 of whom were admitted ditional materials before a final decision and 11 of whom were denied—and the could be made and 4 (12 percent) were contents of the interviews led her to constill waiting for a committee decision. clude that New College was not discrimAdditionally, those applicants who inating against applicants with mental scored between an 85 and a 114—scores health issues or disabilities. that usually required a second consideraNeither Stier nor Hamm responded tion by the Admissions Committee if no to requests for an interview by the Catared flag was present—and also received a lyst, reportedly on the recommendation red flag for essay topic were not included of Fugett, who noted that there were still in the statistics reviewed in Stier’s inter- on-going external investigations. nal investigation. It is unclear whether Additionally, separate from the althe applications of students who scored legations of discrimination included in

SDS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 period of time, but Machold’s reason for leaving is unclear. Second-year transfer student Cassidy Heaton said that she tried to stop-by to see Machold during January’s Independent Study Project (ISP) term, but that she wasn’t there. Heaton reached out over Facebook and Machold told her that her departure was unexpected but did not elaborate further. In a Catalyst article published Sept. 19, Dean of Student Affairs Robin Williamson said that there were plans and funding to hire more SDS employees. “With our growth plans, we have allocated positions and funding to have two full-time staff who are able to review documentation and make accommodations in addition to a full-time support staff,” Williamson said in an email interview quoted in the article. “The process will be like every other hiring process for Student Affairs. We will conduct a national search. The entire campus will be invited to participate in the interview process.” Williamson was unavailable to comment for this article. Assistant Director of SDS Ruthann Daniel-Harteis started working on Jan. 22, less than a week before the start of the spring semester. Daniel-Harteis is currently the only full-time SDS employee and the only administrator trained and designated to grant accommodations. She said that she is not aware of any active searches for new staffers. SDS is now organized under the Office of Student Success. There will not

be a replacement for Director of SDS, Hopton’s former role, since there cannot be more than one director per department. The current Director of Student Success Programs, Anjali Cadena, started in the new position last month. Kesha Jackson, the office coordinator for the Office of Student Success, works in HCL 3 with Daniel-Harteis and assists with SDS in addition to her other duties. “I’ve heard mixed things about it from people, I’ve heard good things about it from other people,” third-year Elan Works, who sees the advantages of coordinating disability services with broader student support services, said. “I think that it’s good that we encourage a holistic approach to dealing with students with disabilities. If you go to SDS, the care shouldn’t stop there.” Weaver had always had academic accommodations, but she is going without them for her final semester. “It’s always been a lot of hoops to jump through, but it seemed like this year there was just no [support],” Weaver said. “I emailed four times before I got an email back.” Weaver added, “This semester it was easier to work personally with my professors than to even try to get accommodations. Luckily, this semester I didn’t have any professors who were giving me too hard of a time, but otherwise I would have really struggled.” Despite the issues she has had for the four years she’s been here, Weaver noted that her experience has been better than others. “It’s been a struggle for a really long time, and I’ve mostly had it relatively easy, but I’ve seen so many other students struggle really hard,” Weaver said. “And it just shouldn’t be that hard.”

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the complaints filed with the BoT and Pierce, Quintanilla and Simmerling filed a human resources (HR) report with Director of Human Resources Denise Bogart in May 2018, allegedly citing concerns of the Office of Admissions being a “hostile work environment.” Included in the report were a list of “inappropriate commentary” Quintanilla and Simmerling had recorded while working in admissions, testimonials from other current student workers, screenshots of an email sent from Hamm to other admissions staff members and the transcription of an interview with Hamm’s former executive assistant Kate Clark. Quintanilla emailed Bogart on June 25, 2018 requesting an update on the status of the HR report after neither she nor Simmerling had received any response from the school regarding their complaint. Bogart responded on July 16, 2018, claiming that she had “recently closed the investigation regarding the complaint of [a] hostile work environment. The investigation determined that the complaint did not meet the criteria of a hostile work environment.” Bogart also claimed that several recommendations were made to address the issues raised by Quintanilla and Simmerling and that improvements to the working culture of the unit had begun to be implemented— though the nature of such improvements were never specified. In addition to the reports filed by Quintanilla and Simmerling, Mann filed complaints with the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department

of Justice (DOJ) and the Office for Civil Rights of the United States Department of Education (DOE) on Feb. 18, 2019. Mann also filed a complaint with the Board of Governors (BOG) of the Florida State University System on Feb. 21, 2019. Mann became interested in the case on Nov. 22, 2018 after hearing about the allegations on the NC(F) Daimon Facebook page. Quintanilla later shared the documents Mann had collected while pursuing his complaints with the DOJ and DOE on the NC(F) Daimon Facebook page and the Forum on Apr. 23, 2019, citing a need for public acknowledgement of the allegations in the wake of Mann’s unexpected death. Fugett has yet to receive notification of external investigations from the DOJ or DOE. In a letter published online on Apr. 29 by the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, O’Shea said that an additional external investigation was being conducted by the BOG’s Office of Inspector General. In an interview with the Catalyst, Fugett states that he did not know how long the BOG investigation would last but said that the results and any related documents will be released to the public upon its conclusion. While the legality of the allegations of discrimination have been dismissed by legal experts contacted by the Sarasota Herald-Tribune (as well as by Mann, who forwarded such correspondence to the Catalyst), the allegations of the hostile work environment promoted by Hamm have yet to be fully rectified.

Mentorship

build community within and beyond New College. “The most valuable thing I got out of the experience was working towards making New College’s Economics department a more inclusive environment,” Godfrey said. “When I first started at New College, it was not as inclusive as it could have been, a trend shown throughout the country and the world really.” For Godfrey, the program is more than a display of women in Economics and Finance. “I think even beyond women in Economics, getting people to be interested in the field in the first place and understanding what the discipline really is is important,” Godfrey said. “A lot of people think Economics is about money and finance, but it’s about social change, which I think is an important message especially for young high school students.” Godfrey’s experience in the program has affected her in many ways. Like Wagner, Godfrey said she has a better awareness of what she wants to do after New College. “First, the experience solidified my goals to go to graduate school and get a Ph.D. in Economics, because I was able to talk to multiple people who had already gone through that process,” Godfrey said. “I was also shown how professionals in the field can open the discipline to other people, by inspiring and being more communicative within the study and practice.” The Economics and Finance mentorship program has one more concluding event on May 6 with Bradley Hardy of American University, The Brookings Institution and The Russell Sage Foundation, who will be talking about creating effective economic policy.

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5 of the earlier meetings were more geared to high school students, but there were still some things that I was able to take away from those meetings about personal finance and money managing that I hadn’t known before.” As a student immersed in learning Economics, Wagner had not thought much of life after New College until she heard professionals talk about careers in Finance and Economics more generally. “I haven’t thought all that much about the kind of job I wanted to get after school, so hearing these accounts of different jobs was great for me,” Wagner said. “I even think that I’ve settled on a job that I want to shoot for, so I’m grateful that I had this opportunity.” Wagner was also thankful for what Collins brought to the experience. “When we had guest speakers, Professor Collins always made sure to have them tell us about their background, and that was that was really interesting to me,” Wagner said. “It was also amazing to hear all of the different backgrounds that people in this field came from.” Godfrey, an Economics AOC, was also able to take a lot away from the networking made available in the mentorship program. “Professor Collins made it a priority to make sure we could network with the speakers and with each other,” Godfrey said. “We got the opportunity to meet with people from the Atlanta Fed and other researchers from various schools across the country.” Godfrey said that this effort helped


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treat mental and physical illness requires a more complete and complex understanding of how the brain, mind and body interact. Neuroscience is a holistic CONTINUED FROM PAGE 4 approach to today’s biggest basic research questions and the greatest medical and According to the Neuroscience cat- interpersonal challenges. New College alog description and academic learning students are keen on this and seem to be compact, the learning objectives should quite excited.” provide the students who complete the When asking students who were joint-disciplinary AOC with a base un- thinking about pursuing the program, derstanding of neuroscience to compre- there were concerns with incorporating hend, analyze and critique contemporary components of neuroscience as a joint works in the field. Additionally, the pro- AOC in their baccalaureate examination. gram will teach students to navigate the “My biggest concern is how exactly basic scientific processes in neuroscience, the requirements for the new neurosciclearly communicating the scientific in- ence program impact the baccalaureate formation in both written and oral forms. exam,” Duprez said, “especially for people Lastly, the program strives to empower with their AOC having little to do with students to apply ethical reasoning to neuroscience.” contemporary problems and debates in Professors spearheading the prothe neuroscience field. gram shared insights about how to navThe “Introduction to Neuroscience” igate the baccalaureate process with the course was introduced in spring 2019 and joint-disciplinary neuroscience AOC. does not have any prerequisites. “Students must have a neuroscience “At my prior college, the “Intro- faculty on their baccalaureate committee duction to Neuroscience” course I taught in order to certify their joint-disciplinary required psychology and chemistry pre- AOC, as is true for any joint-disciplinary requisites,” Leininger said. “I think this AOCs here at New College,” Leininger limited the group of students who took said. “It’s important to note that the stuthe course and ultimately pursued a mi- dent’s thesis project itself does not need nor in Neuroscience. I wanted to remove to be focused on neuroscience. Rather, a these barriers when I came to teach at neuroscience professor sits on the comNew College.” mittee to evaluate whether the student The lack of barriers was appealing has demonstrated breadth and depth of to some students and encouraged them study in neuroscience in their academic to pursue the program. record and whether the student can con“As a second-year, I was worried verse about neuroscience.” that I wouldn’t be able to complete the The professors involved in the crejoint-discipline [in neuroscience] but ation of the program emphasized how then I saw that the classes included did the addition of the neuroscience pronot have requirements other than the gram differs from the present available classes that were already in the program,” academic pathways and provides a intersecond-year Daniel Duprez said. “This disciplinary element to the neuroscience allows me to be confident in my ability to field. complete the program.” “Currently, students interested in Although the information of the the brain could pursue Biopsychology or program was only introduced on Apr. 25, Neurobiology AOCs, which focus on the the demand from students for the neuro- psychology or biology of the nervous sysscience program is striking. tem,” Leininger said. “Neuroscience is an “It’s a popular and burgeoning area interdisciplinary field, and understanding of research that combines lots of inter- the brain requires increasingly interdisciesting topics across biology, psychology, plinary thinking. We hope that students physiology and technology,” Casto said who pursue the joint-disciplinary conin an email interview. “It is becoming centration will have a more holistic view increasingly clear that understanding of the brain than if they studied it from the way organisms behave and how to only one perspective.”

Neuroscience

Recession CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5 nomic growth since the Great Financial Crisis, low GDP and productivity and inflation growth has been the overwhelming condition for this decade. Aggregate inflation measurements like the Consumer Price Index (CPI) by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) do not include prices for financial investments like real estate, bonds, stocks and life insurance, items that have been the chief benefactors to the massive capital infusions, called Quantitative Easing (QE), from the Federal Reserve. Financial markets have experienced unprecedented inflation, while the real economy has stagnated. The stagnation of wages has not only contributed to income inequality but also has disproportionately affected African American and LatinX communities’ wealth, due to the sub-prime mortgage crisis and predatory lending

practices to lower income people in the years leading up to the Great Financial Crisis, according to Paul. “We saw that the equity that communities of color had in their house was disproportionately destroyed,” Paul said. “Right now Black wealth is about 10 cents to the dollar compared to white wealth in the United States.” Paul has a clear answer for the lack of broad wage gains. “Increasing productivity and GDP without reconnecting the link between productivity and wage growth will not help workers,” Paul said. When the next recession comes, “and it will,” added Paul, the majority of wage earners will once again find themselves in crisis. A tidal wave struck 10 years ago, and after all the devastation and unshakable calm, quiescent markets, another inflection point looms. If the next decade is more of the same, our economy will follow its current path further, pulling our political system along with it like a rag doll. Information for this article was gathered from cnn.com, theguardian.com, usnews. com, bloomberg.com and marketwatch.com.

Assange CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5 He put full-fledged and complete information on the internet for everybody to see. That is obviously a different thing.” Fitzgerald suggested that information collection before the proliferation of digital media forced the journalist’s process to be more arduous and thus prone to avoid reckless or extraneous expressions of whistle blowing. “I will say that the release of some of that information dramatically improved U.S. foreign policy,” Fitzgerald said. “We were doing things that we knew were wrong and also happened to be stupid. Exposing that made officials to be responsible for their conduct and allowed people to have a say in their government’s actions.” Fitzgerald said that while hard truths about our government’s actions are needed for a healthy democracy, individuals’ information needs to protected and excessive breaches of military or State Department data need to be minimized. On Jan. 18, 2017, the late Sen. John McCain told Fox News that the “Taliban ‘murdered’ people because of Chelsea Manning and WikiLeaks,” however PolitiFact was unable to prove this in their report. Other media outlets have interviewed military and State officials, who say that large data leaks are generally harmful to national security, but no specific instances of Americans and allies being put in more danger than they already were have been identified—potentially in an attempt to continue protecting sensitive, private or classified information. “In sum, today’s indictment contains no new evidence or facts about Assange’s actions; all of it has been known for years,” editor and co-founder of the Intercept Glenn Greenwald wrote. However, the U.S. legal system has now reversed its judgements of Wikileaks’ actions, made in 2013, by making the same (or similar) charge Manning received, against Assange. This change in judgement by the Department of Defense is happening at a time when President Trump and the Ecuadorian state have also changed their support for Wikileaks. During her 2013 court martial in Fort Meade, Maryland, Chelsea Manning explicitly acknowledged that she approached the Times, the Washington Post and Politico with sensitive military and diplomatic information. They refused to publish the information, which pushed Manning to Wikileaks who would, according to the Guardian. Since then, Manning was released from her 35 year conviction in 2017 due to President Obama’s commuting of her sentence. However, she was jailed for failing to comply with the Federal District Court in the Eastern District of Virginia’s demand for her testimony against Wikileaks on Mar. 8, 2018 and remains in jail. Though the courts have granted her immunity, Manning is refusing to testify for the sake of Wikileaks’ legal status. Ecuador’s new presidential administration under Lenin Moreno revoked Assange’s asylum claiming that he violated the terms of his asylum after leaks about Moreno’s corruption allegations and family photos were released to the

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public. Moreno claims Assange was behind the leaks. Once his asylum was lifted, the UK police were quickly able to make an arrest on Assange for skipping bail terms in 2012, when he began his long stay in the Embassy. Assange took asylum from Ecuador under the previous administration headed by President Rafael Correa when he was not given assurance from Sweden that they would not extradite him to the U.S.—a point of fact Assange’s lawyer Jennifer Robinson made clear in a Sky News interview on Apr. 14, 2019. In 2012, Sweden was pursuing legal action against Assange for charges of sexual assault—charges Assange has consistently denied—which were dropped in 2015 after the statute of limitations expired, according to the Guardian. Sweden’s preliminary investigation into the sexual assault allegations against Assange finished in 2017, unable to go forward without having direct communication with him. Robinson has said that while they would appreciate having Assange face his sexual assault allegations, it’s the lack of acknowledgment from Sweden that it would not extradite the Wikileaks founder to the U.S. that is delaying the appeal to Swedish justice. Two days after Assange’s departure from the Embassy, more than 70 British MPs in Parliament have supported action that would send Assange to Sweden “so the formal investigation into an allegation of rape can be concluded and, if appropriate, a charge can be made and any trial can take place,” according to the Irish Times. Some journalists have expressed concerns over press freedom. On the day of Assange’s arrest by UK police and removal from Ecuadorian asylum, independent UN experts warned that arresting and expelling the Wikileaks founder from the embassy where he was granted asylum could put him at risk of experiencing human rights abuses. Greenwald has condemned the indictment against Assange as an attack against press freedom. News outlets have been attributing Assange’s indictment with “conspire to hack,” when the recently unsealed indictment says Manning received resources from Wikileaks to obtain data and maintain anonymity—a best practice in journalism, according to Greenwald. “The indictment seeks to criminalize what journalists are not only permitted but ethically required to do: take steps to help their sources maintain their anonymity,” Greenwald wrote for the Intercept. Long-time political dissident and linguist Noam Chomsky referred to Assange’s arrest and indictment as a “scandalous” act of the United States extraterritorial reach. Assange remains in Belmarsh high security prison and could remain there for six to 12 months for skipping UK bail. Prosecutors from Virginia and Sweden alike have now begun their separate initiatives to bring Assange to their respective country’s soil for justice. Information for this article was gathered from theirishtimes.com, skynews.com, reuters.com, nytimes.com, theguardian.com, news.un.org and theintercept.com.

CONGRATS COHORT OF 2015 !


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Photo courtesy of Matthew Bocanumenth

A night of music, dance and fun: Spring 2019 Dance Collective Showcase BY CASSIE MANZ Amidst constant change at New College—including but not limited to the closure of Four Winds, introduction of e-contracts and preliminary plans, a new policy of leashed dogs at the Bayfront and a paint rave party cancelled as quickly as it was proposed—there is one thing that can always be counted upon. This weekend, May 10 and 11, students will present the end-of-the-semester Dance Collective Showcase in the Mildred Sainer Auditorium. Dance Collective is a student-led club and can also be taken as a tutorial, with semester or module credit, sponsored by Professor of Philosophy April Flakne. At the end of each semester, the club puts on the Showcase to present the students’ work. Truly a student-led program, Dance Collective members are given the freedom to choose their own music, coordinate the lighting and stage

placement and adapt choreography for the dances or create original choreography. The spring 2019 Showcase will feature 16 dances, spanning myriad genres including K-pop, hip hop, modern, ballet, lyrical, Irish step dance and acrobatic. The show will run for roughly an hour with a 10-minute intermission between the first and second acts. “It’ll be a well rounded show,” second-year and Dance Collective Administrator Agnes Bartha said in an email interview. Third-year and Dance Collective Administrator Alyssa Borgschulte added that the wide variety of genres is a new element to the showcases this year. Third-year Maya Holt-Teza, Borgschulte and Bartha served as this year’s Dance Collective Administrators, along with third-year Karla Alonso who served as an admin in the fall. Second-year Hugh Roberts and first-year Cecilia

Hampton served as Admins-in-Training this semester. According to Bartha, there were several changes made for Dance Collective this semester, including “being a little harder on deadlines to make communication with our sponsor, tech and space scheduling easier, to make it a smoother ride for everyone involved.” Additionally, after more than 20 students signed up, the administrators set a time limit for the dances so that everyone was able to participate. “I am most looking forward to the wide variety of dances at the show this year,” Bartha said. “The audience is in for a good ride—like last semester, except then we had no idea what a positive reaction we would get.” Additionally, Bartha noted how she continues to grow through her experience in Dance Collective. “On the more personal level, I’m

getting more bold with pretty much everything I’m trying on stage, which is exciting,” Bartha said. “It’s my first time trying acro, my first time making and choreographing to a mix, my first time being lifted on stage and my first time doing lyrical/modern dance.” Borgschulte described her excitement to see her fellow students’ work and enjoy the atmosphere of the crowd, often full of cheers and yells of encouragement. “It will be a fun show!” Borgschulte said in an email interview. “I look forward to seeing everyone’s hard work put on display. I love the energy of the crowd and how supportive they are.” The spring 2019 Dance Collective Showcase will be held on Friday, May 10, and Saturday, May 11, in the Mildred Sainer Auditorium. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show will begin at 7 p.m. all photos Alexandra Conte/Catalyst

A traditional Bulgarian folk dance portrayed in this performance by students.

Students dance to “Lemon” during the fall 2018 Dance Collective Showcase.

“Mysterious” which described itself as “he’s so dreamy, hot and steamy.”

“Amelie” was elegant and stylistic.

Hip-hop routine “Lemon” was stylish and fun for the audience.

Students performing to Ariana Grande’s “God is a Woman”

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Spring 2019 - Issue 12  

Spring 2019 - Issue 12  

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