Spring 2019 - Issue 3

Page 1

ncfcatalyst.com | @ncfcatalyst




New College of Florida's student-run newspaper






Green New Deal addresses climate change through intersectionality BY KATRINA CARLIN

On Feb. 7, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Edward J. Markey introduced a resolution in the House and Senate, respectively, titled ‘Recognizing the Duty of the Federal Government to Create a Green New Deal.’ This resolution, colloquially known as the Green New Deal (GND), revolves around the much-debated issue of how the government needs to deal with the effects of climate change. The resolution details what types of projects the authors believe the government should invest in and highlights the effects of climate change on “frontline and vulnerable communities.” The GND lays out a vision for how the United States can deal with climate change and its intersections with other

issues of much political debate, such as healthcare, housing and education. The resolution states the need for the government to provide funding to counter effects of climate change and for technology to mitigate the worst potential pollution and global warming effects. It also specifies the necessity of economic security and prosperity, access to nature and clean water, healthcare as a right, labor rights and the rights of indigenous communities. All of the Democratic 2020 hopefuls who have announced their intentions to run for president have signed onto the Senate bill as co-sponsors. Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced on Feb. 12 that he would bring the resolution to a vote soon. Those who have read the resolution may be

wondering—what exactly are they voting on? “For me, at its core, the Green New Deal is two things,” Professor of Economics and Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mark Paul explained. “It’s trying to come up with a comprehensive response to climate change. To date there’s been no plan on the left, right or center about how we should actually decarbonize our economy and ensure that we meet our climate goals. The second aspect of the Green New Deal is acknowledging the fact that our economy is broken for the vast majority of Americans, and that climate and inequality are inexplicably linked.” According to both Paul and Professor of Political Science Frank Alcock, there are three ways the government can combat climate change and help the en-

vironment more broadly: they can impose smart rules and regulations, provide incentives for individuals and corporations to invest in cleaner and greener technologies or they can invest government funds. “Rhetorically, [the Green New Deal] is channeling [Franklin Delano Roosevelt] FDR’s New Deal, that helped bring the country out of the depression,” Alcock said. “The idea is we would do something on that scale, but it would be intentionally greening.” The GND is based on an earlier version of a Green New Deal that Jill Stein of the Green Party has been promoting for many years. The Green Party’s GND contains a rights-based frame-

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Mold leads to closure of Caples Mansion BY IZAYA GARRETT MILES

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

This August, the Caples mansion was closed off to students and faculty. Issues with the air quality have made it potentially dangerous for continued use. Penicillium Aspergillus, an uncommon airborne type of mold, was discovered in the air inside. No health issues have arisen so far, but there are concerns that prolonged exposure to the mold might lead to lung irritation. The Caples mansion held three professors’ offices before the mold was found. While there were no reports of negative effects on anyone’s health at the time of Caples’ closing, Director of Facilities and Construction Alan Burr was concerned of the mold’s potential to harm those with respiratory issues. “When we find stuff in there that can irritate people who have any kind of ailment or respiratory issue, we try to deal with it right away or get people out of there,” Burr said. “So that’s what we’ve done. The report says that the mold is being generated from the crawlspace under the building. There are certain places where [the crawlspace has] opened up where we’ve got air conditioning units from the 70s.” Burr hopes to reopen Caples by August of this year but was hesitant to give a specific date. “We’ve got to get the design done,

Izaya Garrett Miles/Catalyst

“The price tag just keeps growing as the building deteriorates more and costs of construction rise,” Burr said.

get a bid out and get the work done,” Burr said. “But we don’t know what that might cost yet, and we’d also have to identify funding if it’s very expensive.” The maintenance costs are higher because Caples mansion is part of a registered historical district, the same district that also includes College Hall and Cook Hall. Ralph Caples, builder of the mansion, was a major land developer in Sarasota. He was a major player in attracting a railroad to the small city and was the one that convinced the Ringlings to come to Sarasota. He played a leading role in the development of the city from

4-5 SRQ REgatta

1909 to his death in 1949. Because of the historical designation of the Caples mansion, the costs of maintenance are very high. Because of this designation, Caples must be maintained in a historical manner. Repairs and upgrades must be done in a way that maintains the original architecture and appearance of the Caples mansion. “We did a feasibility study a year or two ago and the estimate of an accurate historical renovation is in excess of $9 million,” Burr said. “We don’t have that kind of money in our operating budget, and we’ve been asking for it from the

state for many years.” The damage that Caples has taken over the years is visible, even from a casual look around the building’s exterior. The metal railings are rusted, the windows have stains, and one of the columns in its courtyard cracked and must be held together by metal ties. Proposals to fund the renovation of the mansion have made it through the Board of Governors and the State legislature twice before, but they were vetoed by both Gov. Charlie Crist and Gov. Rick Scott. “The price tag just keeps growing as the building deteriorates more and costs of construction rise,” Burr said. Despite its discontinuation as an active building, Caples remains an important part of New College’s student culture. Known affectionately as “Old Caples,” or the more macabre “Murder House,” the mansion is a unique fixture of New College. More than one ghost story has been told about Caples, and more are likely to emerge for as long as Caples stands. Caples has been in Sarasota since the beginning of the 20th century. But in all that time, it has weathered significant damage, and the costs to repair it are slowly but surely climbing. Information for this article was gathered from sarasotahistoryalive.com.



Activist Newsletter

Chinese lanterns



Wednesday, February 27, 2019 www.ncfcatalyst.com | @ncfcatalyst


briefs by noah baslaw

Central bank gold buying in 2018 was highest since 1967

The world bought 4,345.1 tonnes of gold in 2018, up from 4,159.9 tonnes in 2017, according to the World Gold Council’s (WGC) latest quarterly demand trends report. Central banks accounted for most of the gold buying this year, adding another hint of growing global financial, economic and geopolitical tensions. This historical gold buying is exclusive to Eastern nations, while Western nations’ gold reserves remain unchanged or moved in the opposite direction. The most drastic example is Canada, which officially sold all of its gold holdings in 2016. “[Central banks] bought 651.5 tonnes in 2018, an impressive 74 percent increase over 2017, and as previously stated, the largest increase since 1967,” Nathan Mcdonald reported to Sprott Money News. The most significant central bank buyers were Russia, India, China, Poland, Kazakhstan and Turkey, a continuing trend of non-Western states diversifying

out of U.S. Dollar (USD) holdings due to increasing militarization of USD denominated assets via sanctions in recent decades. Since the Bretton Woods conference in 1944, the United States’ dollar assumed the role as world reserve currency. When the USD went from backed by gold to fiat—or decree from the state—it was a pivotal shift in international markets. As the new international order continued into the 1960s, the United States’ central bank, the Federal Reserve, began feeling the effects of the Triffin Dilemma—a process noted by International Money Fund (IMF) economist Robert Triffin. The dilemma centers around the inherent contradiction of the USD’s (or any national currency) role as world reserve currency. In order for international demand for USD to be met, the United States is forced to have a negative balance of payments or trade relationship with global markets. This means that the

U.S. has to import more than they export. The problem is that a negative balance of payments hurts the dollar’s value in the long run, while the dollar needs to hold its value in order to fulfill its role as world reserve currency. The contradiction came to a point in 1968, when France came to collect its gold from the United States by sending a warship to New York Harbor as an acknowledgement of their serious intent. France did not want dollars because they were not holding their value, and their gold was continuing to increase in real market value. The USD officially went off the gold standard a few years later, unable to redeem dollars for gold. Today, gold buying central banks are hedging against USD denominated assets entirely. Information for this article was gathered from reuters.com, zerohedge.com and sprottmoney.com.

President Trump declares National Emergency for border wall On Feb. 15, President Trump declared a National Emergency for funding over a wall at the Mexico border, according to The New York Times. The executive order allows unilateral action by circumventing Congress, after legislators decided to grant $1.375 billion for a security fence—short changing the executive’s plans. About 226 House Representatives have already backed a resolution to block President Trump’s executive order for border wall funding sponsored by Texas Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro. The executive order has also been sued in the courts. Two days after President Trump’s declaration, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Gov. Gavin Newsom stated they were planning an “imminent” legal action against the executive order. “New Mexico, Oregon, Minnesota, New Jersey, Hawaii and Connecticut are among several states that are joining the lawsuit,” Becerra’s office told CBS News. President Trump told members of the press he felt confident he will win in the Supreme Court at a press conference held after the declaration. Democratic opposition has remained hopeful of their ability to thwart emergency funding for the President’s wall. “Fortunately, Donald Trump is not the last word,” Newsom told the Times.

photo courtesy of Wikipedia

A section of the existing U.S.-Mexico border wall, made out of steel slats, ending in the Pacific Ocean in San Diego–Tijuana. “The courts will be the last word.” According to White House officials, President Trump will be able to source funds from a variety of pools to fund the border wall including $600 million from the Treasury Department asset forfeiture fund, $2.5 billion from counternarcotics programs and $3.6 billion from military construction budgets—totalling about $8 billion, far more than the $5.7 billion the President unsuccessfully negotiated from Congress.

On Feb. 21 it was announced by Castro’s aides that House Democrats were backing a resolution to end President Trump’s executive order, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House “will move swiftly to pass this bill,” according to Reuters. Information for this article was gathered from nytimes.com, reuters.com and cbsnews. com.

© 2019 the Catalyst. All rights reserved. “The golden-crowned flying fox is the largest bat in the world - 3 pounds!” 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, Emiliano Espinosa Polanco & Izaya Garrett Miles Harrison Angsten & Layout + Design Team Cait Matthews

PG&E plans to file for bankruptcy photo courtesy of Wikipedia

The 2017 La Tuna Fire in Los Angeles, the largest in the city’s history. On Jan. 4 California’s largest utility company, Pacific Gas & Electric Corp., (PG&E) announced that CEO Geisha Williams would step down and their plans to file for bankruptcy protection in the wake of about $30 billion in liability costs due to its responsibility for the 2017 wildfires, according to National Public Radio (NPR). California regulators are also looking into the utility’s potential role in November’s Camp Fire—the deadliest in the state’s history—that left 86 dead, according to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). If PG&E is found liable for Camp Fire, this will be the second time in two years that the company will have been held liable for significant damage and human casualties. Liability costs are still unknown, but the company has been charged with the responsibility for 18 wildfires during 2017. In that year alone, about 200,000 acres of land and 3,256 buildings were destroyed and 22 lives were lost, according to the WSJ. The utility’s bankruptcy would be the second in 20 years—PG&E declared bankruptcy in 2001 during California’s energy crisis. Since the announcement of bankruptcy last month, reports have come out that PG&E has been given 60 days to plan “to ensure the company continues to operate, wildfire victims get compensated and ratepayers and employees are protected,” according to Bloomberg on Feb. 12. There is large public worry that apart from the physical damage, the utility company’s insolvency will likely lead to layoffs and higher energy prices. Information for this article was gathered from bloomberg.com, npr.org and wsj. com. Direct submissions, letters, announcements and inquiries to: The Catalyst 5800 Bay Shore Road Sarasota, Florida 34243 ncfcatalyst@gmail.com The Catalyst reserves the right to edit all submissions for grammar, space and style. No anonymous submissions will be accepted. Submissions must be received by 12:00 p.m. Friday for consideration in the next issue.


Wednesday, February 27, 2019 www.ncfcatalyst.com | @ncfcatalyst

news PAGE 3

Sarasota Police plan crackdown on CBD vendors BY IZAYA GARRETT MILES Sarasota loves cannabidiol (CBD)– at least, one would think so given how more than two dozen stores have begun selling the product. CBD can be found for sale from pharmacies to gas stations, and that wide availability has begun to attract the attention of the Sarasota Police Department (SPD). On Feb. 12, the SPD announced that CBD is illegal and is planning to release an official cease and desist on its sale. The letter will demand it be taken off the shelves, and any seller who refuses after a second warning will have their product confiscated by the police directly. CBD is an extract that can be harvested from cannabis plants. Depending on whether it is harvested from marijuana or hemp, it can have different levels of THC, the chemical responsible for the psychoactive effects of marijuana. CBD itself does not have any psychoactive properties; its popularity comes from its ability to treat anxiety, insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome and pain. The SPD’s claim that CBD is illegal stems from their interpretation of a Florida statute that claims that the sale of every cannabis derivative, aside from

medical marijuana, is illegal. indica plant. They’re different species.” Despite the SPD’s plan to en- Florida Agriculture Commisforce a stricter policy, State Attorney Ed sioner Nikki Fried agrees with the SPD Brodsky does not believe they will refer that CBD oil is currently illegal under any CBD merchants for prosecution. state law. However, she also advocates for CBD propothat law to be changed. nents state that the “It’s not legal Farm Bill Omnibus “When it comes to here right now,” Fried that President Don- my own feeling and said of CBD during a ald Trump signed press conference. “And into law in Decem- emotions and that’s exactly what I’m ber 2018 acknowl- business, it does hoping the legislation edged the difference is going to allow. We’re make me think between marijuana working with some of and hemp, removing about how I can best the lawmakers so they hemp’s controlled keep my employees can change the definisubstance status. tion so that we can in Additionally, propo- employed as well as fact do a CBD pronents claim that the what my legal rights gram here in our state state law was only to make it very clear.” hkkorintended to ap- are.” Even though ply to marijuana dethe SPD has yet to take rivatives, not to hemp products. official action on CBD merchants, it has “The federal law separated it already influenced their business. because it’s not the same plant,” Deb- “People are running into the orah Gestner, a board member of the store to talk to us about it and try it beU.S. Hemp Roundtable, told the Sara- cause they heard that it works, and what sota Herald-Tribune, referring to the dif- they’re finding is that it actually does ference between hemp and marijuana. work,” Devon Shoush, owner of Ameri“There’s cannabis sativa and cannabis in- can Shaman, said. “They’re buying proddica. We’re a sativa plant and they’re an ucts.”

Other vendors are less positive about the situation. “When it comes to my own feeling and emotions and business, it does make me think about how I can best keep my employees employed as well as what my legal rights are,” Shelby Isaacson, who co-owns Second and Seed, told the Herald-Tribune. “There is no CBD policy on campus as far as policing goes,” Chief of the New College Campus Police Michael Kessie said. “Just like any drug, any substance, if it is illegal [on a state or federal level] it is not allowed on campus.” Currently, there is a proposed bill in the Florida House that would clarify hemp’s place in Florida as a legal agricultural commodity. House Bill 333, supported by Fried, would place Florida’s policy closer to the federal law. As of Feb. 22, this bill has been referred to the State Affairs committee. The Sarasota Police Department did not respond to the Catalyst’s request for comment in time for publication. Information for this article was gathered from heraldtribune.com, boston.com and flsenate.gov.

#MeToo spray painted on Unconditional Surrender statue


Sarasota made national news for an incident of vandalism on the Unconditional Surrender statue that stands on the Sarasota Bayfront. According to the Sarasota Police Department’s (SPD) news release, #MeToo was spray painted in red along the leg of the woman and the person responsible has not been found. Unconditional Surrender is based on Alfred Eisenstaedt’s famous photograph, V-J Day in Times Square, of U.S. Navy sailor George Mendonsa kissing Greta Zimmer Friedman after the surrender of Japan in World War II. Tourists visit the statue regularly looking to recreate the embrace with their partners. In recent years, the V-J Day in Times Square photograph and the Unconditional Surrender statue have received criticism due to the encounter’s non-consensual nature. “It’s worth noting that many people view the photo as little more than the documentation of a very public sexual assault, and not something to be celebrated,” Ben Cosgrove wrote in a 2014 Time article on the photograph. The spray painting happened shortly after Mendonsa died on Sunday, Feb. 17. According to the SPD news release, the damage is estimated to be more than $1,000 due to the large area that the spray paint covered and the resources needed to repair it. “It’s just sad to see anyone in this day and age to choose to purposely do damage to something that brings great pride to the community,” John Cloud told WECT 6 News. Cloud owns Gorilla Kleen, the cleaning business that is contracted to regularly clean the statue. Other Sarasota area residents seem to share Cloud’s sentiment.

photo courtesy of Sarasota Police Department

Sarasota made national news for an incident of vandalism on the Unconditional Surrender statue that stands on the Sarasota Bayfront. The Bradenton Herald published among several other sources, Friedman an anonymous letter to the editor that was not a nurse. She was a dental assisaccuses the person responsible for the tant walking to Times Square from her office. The same Post vandalism of “dilutarticle reported that ing the reprehensible “We have to engage Mendonsa was not cases of rape and sexfresh off of any ship, ual assault with inci- with it critically, but on a date with his dents of piggishness.” The writer also stated otherwise we are just future wife and said that, per a conversa- passively accepting a that he was so drunk he did not even tion with a neighbor problematic history.” that remember the kiss. who was friends with In the same New York someone who went to nursing school with Friedman, it was Post article, Friedman was quoted saying, a joyful moment when they rushed out “The man was very strong, I wasn’t kissof class to meet soldiers getting off their ing him, he was kissing me.” “We have to engage with it [Unconship. According to the New York Post,

ditional Surrender] critically, otherwise we are just passively accepting a problematic history,” third-year Art History and Anthropology Area of Concentration (AOC) Evan Murdoch said. “I think it’s really important to look at it in the contemporary moment and see it as grounded in the present and not just this past monument.” Murdoch expressed the opinion that the statue should be taken down. “Its charter ends next year, I personally don’t think it should be kept up,” Murdoch said. “The Public Arts Committee is a volunteer committee so hopefully enough people will join it or go to the meetings so that multiple perspectives can be considered.” Professor of Art History Katherine Brion also offered her perspective on the matter in an email interview. “The sculpture, and associated plaque, both falsifies the particular historical event/encounter it purports to represent, in part by associating it with both romance and increased aggression due to the sculptor’s choice of scale and color,” Brion said. (Her comment on the associated plaque refers to the sculpture’s plaque describing the surrender of Japan as “spontaneous,” purposefully omitting the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.) “The debate and controversy inspired by its presence is nevertheless a great opportunity for education and advocacy around sexual harassment and assault. Not through vandalism, but through more effective reframing techniques like counter-monuments, protests and educational programming.” Information for this article was gathered from tampabay.com, nypost.com and bradenton.com.

10th Sarasota Invitational Regatta held at Nathan Benderson Park BY BAILEY TIETSWORTH

During a three-day stretch of sun, wind and oars, numerous competitors cumulatively rowed over 100 kilometers at the Sarasota Invitational Regatta (SIR). Waves of long, sleek boats glided across the 1,000 meter stretch of water last weekend, from Friday, Feb. 22 to Sunday, Feb. 24. The Sarasota County Rowing Club (SCRC) hosted the regatta—an annual event in its 10th year—at Nathan Benderson Park (NBP). Both Floridians and out-of-state spectators cheered for competitors in three separate divisions: youth, juniors and masters. The SIR has occurred for the past decade as a Nationally Recognized Regatta by the US Rowing organization: a title held by rowing events around the country whose facilities, referees and practices meet the standards provided by the US Rowing organization. The regat-

ta has not always convened at NBP, as SCRC Regatta Director Norm Thetson explained, since the park did not begin construction for the facilities until 2011. “We have steadily upgraded the capabilities of the referees, the facilities and the accuracy,” Thetson said. As the magnitude of the regatta has grown in the last 10 years, the pool of participants has more than doubled from its initial 300 boats and 600 competitors to 700 boats and 1500 competitors. Most of the rowers come from other parts of Florida, but the SIR also attracts groups and individuals from Connecticut, Massachusetts and Ohio, as well as a group from Canada and two racers from Serbia. “The rowers like it because everything is compact, there are lots of vendors, it’s easy to launch and recover boats and the course is eminently fair,” Thetson said. “It’s rare to find a buoy course of this caliber anywhere in the

country.” Most races around the world use buoy courses, or the Albano buoy system, which consists of lines of buoys that mark the lanes for races. NBP has more construction planned for its continued growth, but as of now, over $40 million has been invested into the facility’s construction. According to the NBP website, this funding helped equip the park with features that enhanced the rowing aspects of the park, including a “multi-function Finish-Line Tower and state-of-the-art wave attenuation system” that provides calmer, more controlled water for rowing. On Saturday, the regatta held one of its key events, the Rowing For Life race. The race combined four members of a junior team with four master-level competitors. These groups of eight competed for a $1,000 cash prize, in which the winnings went to whichever four junior

competitors won. The master-level rowers gave their time and energy in this race for the benefit of the junior rowers. Thetson has a vested interest in the mixed-age heat, as he feels that young people interested in rowing should be encouraged to row once they become adults. “Several of us started that about four or five years ago,” Thetson said. “We’re all masters and one of the things we’ve noticed is how rapidly the junior programs have grown. We think it’s very important for juniors to experience what it’s like, to show that there’s a future, that you can row your entire life: it isn’t just in high school or college.”

Information for this article was gathered from nathanbendersonpark.org, regattacentral.com, usrowing.com, sarasotacountyrowingclub.com and Wikipedia.

all photos Bailey Tietsworth/Catalyst

Two boats of eight sweepers—rowers who use both hands for one oar—surge through the finish line, mere seconds apart.

Synchronized movements propel the boats forward at the start of the race.

Some skittish spectators crowd the floating dock, which extends out to 2,000 meters.

Competitors make a long journey around the island to reach the starting point where they can disembark from their boat.

The multi-function Finish-Line Tower stands tall above the surrounding expanse of water.



Wednesday, February 27, 2019 www.ncfcatalyst.com | @ncfcatalyst

Photo courtesy of The Party for Socialism and Liberation-Florida


On-campus composting BY HALEY BRYAN

The Activist Newsletter Throughout this week (2/27 - 3/6), activists have the opportunity to participate in public meetings, book clubs, read-ins and panel discussions. Read on if you want to get involved in the community regarding constitutional rights, racial equality and economic equality.

BY EILEEN CALUB Thurs., Feb. 28, Black Literature Read-In @ 11:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. New College of Florida - Jane Bancroft Cook Library - 5800 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota.

Tues., Mar. 5, An Authoritarian Takeover? Discuss what YOU can do about it @ 6 - 7:30 p.m. Selby Library Auditorium - 1331 1st St., Sarasota.

The Black Literature Read-In, part of Black History Month (BHM) programming at New College, is an event where members of the community read aloud inspirational texts written by Black authors. The event will feature a talk by Dr. Wes Bellamy of Virginia State University and is co-sponsored by the University of South Florida Sarasota/Manatee (USF-SM). The children’s read-in starts at 11:30 a.m. The full read-in begins at 12:30 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.

Join Sarasota Stands Together (SST) for a fascinating discussion with Dr. Dale Anderson about authoritarian tendencies and the path to fascist/demagogic control of American political institutions. This tendency stretches back much further than just the last two years. The response must focus on long term measures, while not losing sight of the next elections. What proactive measures can we take to protect our democracy? Come early for refreshments and networking! This event is free and open to the public.

Fri., Mar. 1, Political Book Club; We the Corporations: How American Businesses Won Their Civil Rights @ 10:30 a.m. - 12 p.m. North Public Library - 2801 Newtown Blvd., Sarasota. Move to Amend Manasota invites you to participate in a political book club. Over six weeks, participants will read and discuss We the Corporations: How American Businesses Won Their Civil Rights by University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) professor of law Adam Winkler. In this compelling and beautifully written book, Winkler provides readers with, as activist David Cole puts it, “an eye-opening account of how corporations became ‘persons’ entitled to constitutional rights and used those rights to impede efforts to regulate them in the interests of real people.” The book club will be limited to 15 participants. If you are interested in participating, email Carol Lerner at carolmlerner@gmail.com with “Political Book Club” in the subject line.

Tues., Mar. 5, The Economics of Inequality @ 6:30 - 9 p.m. Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center - 525 Kumquat Ct., Sarasota. The Economics of Inequality, presented by New College Professor of Economics Mark Paul, will explain the causes and consequences of inequality and discuss how we design remedies to address it. This event is free and open to the public. Tues., Mar. 5, 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 and third Tuesday of every month.

Plentiful food scraps, water and proper machinery all help the compost program thrive at New College. But one of the program’s most significant barriers to success has been the campus’ lack of care while dealing with the composting resources. Whether it is items going missing from the compost house or students leaving the compost bins to grow moldy over the summer, the compost teaching assistants (TAs) are often left dealing with messes that are outside of recycling food waste. “The compost TAs are overseeing the full compost production on campus and dealing with doing the compost itself,” thesis student and compost TA Salua Rivero said. “We’re also doing the compost tutorial and educating the community and outreaching to everybody at New College about compost,” compost TA and second-year Francesca Galliano added. Composting is the natural process of recycling decomposing organic material such as leaves and vegetable scraps into a rich soil amendment, known as compost. “Compost is really good soil that helps plants grow better,” Rivero noted. “[Campus] food waste is helping us create compost that will be used for the New College garden, and the most important thing is using the food to recycle it so we can make more food—that’s the whole point of the compost. To be more

environmentally friendly on campus, there needs to be compost—its essential.” With the help of two tutorial students and two former compost TAs, Rivero and Galliano are responsible for keeping the compost program alive on campus. “There is nobody hired in the staff or administration to help with compost—it is all student-run,” Rivero said. “We go through [Student Government Business Manager and Coordinator] Dawn Shongood to buy things, and that’s it.” Most of the food material for the campus compost comes from the Hamilton “Ham” Center kitchen, where two bins in the back of the cafeteria are used to compost the food that the kitchen doesn’t use. Thesis student Allegra Nolan, former compost TA from fall of 2017, discussed her experience working with the compost. “[The other TA and I] worked on getting the program up and going again, because it was kind of on the downside,” Nolan said. “People would say that the compost is out, or people wouldn’t know it was happening. We definitely did a lot of work.” Despite the efforts of the compost TAs to sustain the program on campus, a portion of the student body contributed

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Q&A: ‘Ask Becca’ SUBMITTED BY BECCA CACCAVO This is the first installment of a new weekly Q&A column by thesis student Becca Caccavo. If you have a question for Becca, shoot her an email at rebecca.caccavo14@ncf.edu. You can find the weekly installments of ‘Ask Becca’ online at ncfcatalyst.com and in select print issues. Hey Bec, My boyfriend and I live a few hours away from each other during the school year and every time I leave him or he leaves me (even if I am going to see him in a week or two) I get really depressed that day and maybe the next day or two as well. And while it is good that I feel that way because it means he is very important to me, it can impact my work ethic and my mood for a few days. So I would like to know any advice on getting through that feeling of sadness and depression faster or at least know if is it normal? Dear ‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice,’ Ah, how simple it would be if you just lived right next door to each other. Then things wouldn’t be so complicated at all...right? Long distance can be very challenging, and withdrawal is real—especially after a temporary taste of the time warp vortex that is being around your loved one. But it sounds like your withdrawal symptoms have become debilitating, so it’s definitely worth taking a closer look at. Let’s start with this: what you’re feeling is a valid reaction and response for you, given what this situation means to

you. Sure, another person in your shoes could very well not be bothered at all, but that’s not to say that they’re more advanced, healthier or more normal than you. However, it does mean that you have a very particular flavor of lighter fluid inside you, that ignites a very particular emotional flame every time your boyfriend leaves. In other words: it’s not. about. your. boyfriend. The challenging part, the rewarding part, is that you have the opportunity to lean into these feelings and be able to identify what is being triggered. When he leaves, what need do you feel like is no longer being fulfilled? Is it love? Companionship? Approval? Safety? Take some time to sit with your feelings when you are in the depths of them, and listen. Most likely, what you feel like you are missing in this situation from someone else, is what you are not giving to yourself. Remember: the most powerful questions yield the most powerful answers. If you ask yourself enough powerful questions, this process will all lead back to discovering a hidden belief about yourself and how you interact with the world. I recommend the work of Byron Katie as a resource to help you through this process. Once you’ve done some work sitting, listening, feeling into your emotions and understanding what you’re interpreting the facts of the situation mean to about yourself, it’s time to adopt some healthy coping mechanisms for when he does

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Green New Deal addresses climate change through intersectionality CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 work, advocating for the right to a clean environment for all. “For me, some of the frustration is [the bill] doesn’t say very much,” Alcock said. “It’s another re-articulation of a vision for where we want to be. The actual bill that [Ocasio-Cortez] has filed is a resolution, so in and of itself Congress would simply be expressing its intention. It has some of that rights-based framework, but also articulates a number of very ambitious goals.” The concern of critics, even those who agree with the goals laid out in the GND, is that there is no framework laid out in the bill for actual policies that need to be applied to accomplish these goals. “In terms of a roadmap for how to get there, instead of telling you where you want to be, there’s not much there,” Alcock said. “I don’t think there’s any one single elixir. If there is one thing I would like to accomplish, it would be putting a price on carbon, which is a nice way of saying a tax.” Paul concurs with Alcock’s belief in pricing carbon. Paul claims that the most important form of government incentive is “getting the prices right.” “That is basically the idea that we need carbon pricing, in order to change relative prices,” Paul said, “so that carbon-intensive goods are more expensive, compared to goods and services that have a small carbon footprint.” Both professors agree that to meet the terms of the GND as proposed will take many years. Paul is currently working with the Roosevelt Institute to try to determine how to build consensus around a GND.

“I’m in the midst of co-writing a report on the Green New Deal for the Roosevelt Institute,” Paul explained. “It’s on the economics of a Green New Deal, and it fleshes out ‘What is a Green New Deal?’ and ‘What do the economics of it look like?’ including how we’re going to pay for it. It also will provide some basic policy ideas for the types of environmental policies that should be included to actually achieve decarbonization of the U.S. economy. I’ve also been working with a number of senators to advise them, and members of Congress, about environmental policy and how we are going to build consensus around a Green New Deal.” While the policy planning may take time, there is continuous work to do to advocate for GND-type policies on the local, state and federal levels. “I think some of the biggest things New College students can do is make your voices heard,” Paul said. “Reach out to your representatives: it is critical. Get involved with similar-minded activist groups to demand change from our elected officials. I think that making sure that we vote and hold elected officials accountable. Florida, for instance, is filled with elected officials that either deny climate change or take large sums of money from fossil-fuel companies. I think we should demand that they stop doing that, particularly because we are in one of the most climate-vulnerable states in the country.” Information for this article was gathered from congress.gov, vox.com and newyorker.com.

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On-campus composting CONTINUED FROM PAGE 6 to some obstacles to the program’s mission by neglecting the individual composting bins given to students to compost their own food waste. “People just ditched their individual bins filled with rotting waste over the summer [of 2018],” Nolan said. “Housing got really upset with that, and they were saying, ‘It’s not Physical Plant’s job to clean these, we’re not going to do that.’ They sent pictures [of the bins]! They were upset because it was a health hazard—which it is! We want to change how [students] take care of the bins and the compost.” “People treat the compost like its garbage sometimes,” Rivero noted. “We’re working on getting labels and flyers to educate what is acceptable to compost.” Currently, compost TAs are exploring possibilities to make successful composting more feasible for the student body. “We want to find a better process for distributing the individual compost bins,” Galliano said. “Like having people write down their names and the bin number they get and holding them accountable for the bins.” “We’ll make it easy,” Rivero continued. “We’ll say something like, ‘We’ll be in Ham [Center], come at this time to drop off your compost bins at the end of the semester.’ [Keeping a log] would also be a solution to the problem [with collecting the compost bins]. Still, one of the biggest issues we have is that nobody is here in the summer and nobody is taking care of the compost; everything just falls through in the summer.” “There are a lot of issues that need to be fixed within the compost system itself that cost a lot,” Rivero added. Currently, the compost TAs need to fix the tumbler and figure out how to replace the parts. The tumbler is a barrel that turns to break down the organic material while infusing a fresh supply of oxygen.

Still, despite all the obstacles for creating an efficient composting process, the compost TAs’ enthusiasm for composting and recycling food waste is unwavering. “I love compost!” Rivero said. “Food waste is a huge problem everywhere. Instead of going to landfills and being thrown into trash cans, food should be recycled and put back into the earth.” Once in a landfill, organic material may react with other materials and create toxic leachate. Toxic leachate is a black liquid mixed with organic and inorganic chemicals, heavy metals and pathogens. This liquid can pollute groundwater and pose a health risk. Moreover, food waste in an airtight landfill interrupts the earth’s natural cycle of decomposition, which plays a vital role in the health of our environment. Research indicates 72 percent of all materials entering landfills can be used for composting. Future goals of the compost program include restoring the compost house to a student-welcoming place. “We want to organize the compost house so we can make it a place where students can come and hold events that educate students on what compost is.” Currently, there are community compost bins in each of letter dorms and Pei courts, along with two bins in the Dort and Goldstein Residence Halls. The TAs also intend to add community compost bins outside the Academic Center (ACE) and Ham Center for students to compost their leftover food. “We pride ourselves with saying we’re environmentally friendly—but are we?” Rivero asked. “I don’t know. There are more things we can do to be more environmentally friendly, but it would require a whole change in the system.” Information for this article was gathered from extension.uga.edu and epa.gov.

Q&A: ‘Ask Becca’ CONTINUED FROM PAGE 6 leave next time. Find or write a specific mantra that you can tell yourself to get you through these rough few days. One that feels real to you and makes you feel good. Keep a rubber band on your wrist and snap it every time you find yourself in the spiral of thought that may be feeding this hidden belief you’ve uncovered. Take yourself out for a date the day after he leaves. Go to the sunset with some fresh fruit and music, and journal. Make a playlist that sparks an unreasonable amount of joy in you, and have a dance party first thing in the morning! Schedule some time in with friends to do things you know will make you happy. Schedule these things into your life preemptively, and with a support system that can hold you accountable to following through with the things that you know will keep your head above water. Ultimately, it’s not about making this belief or depression go away. It’s about learning and leaning into it, understanding it’s unique curves, crevic-

es and intricacies so you can identify it and see it clearly for what it is when it comes up. Life wouldn’t be life if it were all happy all the time, so don’t get mad at yourself when you find yourself thinking thoughts or feeling feelings that don’t feel good. They have their purpose, and thus, they are perfect too. It’s our job to lean into learning the lesson that is the pain’s purpose. What this whole thing is really about—is the dance, the flow, the acceptance of light and dark. The invitation to play with your insecurities and your depression, so they don’t play with you. Best of luck, my love. -Becca

You can find Becca on Youtube as “Beccable” and on Instagram as @beccaccavo.


Wednesday, February 27, 2019 www.ncfcatalyst.com | @ncfcatalyst



Chinese Lantern Festival lights up Z-Kitchen


On a clear spring night, the first full moon of the Lunar calendar glowing above, students and professors flocked to Z-Kitchen to celebrate the Chinese Lantern Festival, or yuánxiāo jié. Tracing its roots to Buddhist traditions in ancient China, the Lantern Festival marks the end of the Chinese New Year and serves as a time for family and friends to come together. Members of the New College Chinese program and community enjoyed the chance to engage with Chinese culture and release lanterns into the night. Festivities commenced with an opportunity for students to wrap dumplings before boiling. Students crowded around a table set with special dumpling wrappers and fillings, eager to contribute. While waiting for the dumplings, various Chinese snacks were provided, such as White Rabbit Creamy Candy, rice crackers and spring rolls. Attendees could also enjoy special glutinous rice balls traditionally eaten during the festival, called tangyuan or yuanxiao. Faculty in attendance were glad to see the crowd of students participating in the festivities. Professor of Chinese Language and Culture Jing Zhang baked homemade red bean sticky rice cake, called hongdou niangao. Zhang emphasized the significance of the Lantern Festival for various cultures. “This is not only a meaningful event for Chinese-speaking communities, but also for the whole of East Asia,” Zhang said. Commenting on the significance of the glutinous rice balls, Zhang added, “Making yuanxiao is a family thing,

all photos Eileen Calub/Catalyst

Thesis student Lorelei Domke and Data Science graduate student Naimul Chowdhury pose with hongbao, red envelopes meant to hold wishes of happiness or monetary gifts.

just like making dumplings. It takes the whole family to prepare.” Professor of Chinese Language and Culture Fang-Yu Li gave attendees a taste of refreshing donggua cha, or winter melon tea. “This is a great opportunity for New College students to get involved with the Chinese program,” Li said. “It’s just a fun event!” The evening offered myriad activities for attendees, including a calligraphy showcase by Chinese Calligraphy tutorial participants and first-years Keilon Sabourin and Andrew Westbrook. A wall of riddles challenged festival-goers, including “This is as light as a feather yet no man can hold it for long. What am I?” and “What’s full of holes but still holds water?” Students could also write notes to their friends in red envelopes, or hóngbāo,

wishing them happiness, luck or wealth. Fulbright Chinese Teaching Assistant (TA) Jingou Yang, who organized the event, tried to provide an authentic experience of the event for the New College community. “Like many other Chinese festivals, we prepare lots of food, we try to solve as many riddles as possible and we set off lots of firecrackers,” Yang said. “There is also a Gala showing on TV as well, which provides an excellent opportunity for families to enjoy together.” The CCTV New Year’s Gala, or the Spring Festival Gala, has the largest viewership of any entertainment show in the world. According to Time magazine, the Gala draws approximately 700 million viewers every year. Music was provided by thesis student and Chinese Language and Culture Area of Concentration (AOC) Lorelei Domke, who helped Yang facilitate the event. Trap songs by The Higher Brothers, a Chinese hip-hop group, gave the festival a contemporary twist. Putting together the event also engendered nostalgia from the organizers. “For some of us in the Chinese program, we were in China during festivals like these,” Domke said, “so it’s fun to bring back what we’ve learned and show people the culture.” Indeed, with over 50 attendees, the festival was enjoyed by many without a connection to the Chinese program.

Thesis student Lorelei Domke releases a biodegradable lantern into the night sky.

“It’s important that not only the students who study Mandarin get to experience the Chinese events that we hold, but also all of the other students at New College,” Naimul Chowdhury, a graduate student in the Data Science program, said. This year’s Lantern Festival was Chowdhury’s third time helping organize the event, and with a new Fulbright TA each year, the festival has experienced different iterations. “[This festival] makes me remember all of the Fulbright TAs we’ve had in the past,” Chowdhury said. “We make a lot of memories for people at these events.” As the festivities came to a close, attendees gathered in Z-Amphitheater to release biodegradable lanterns into the dark sky. After a long night of ensuring food preparation and activities went smoothly, Yang wrapped up the event satisfied and relieved. “It went on very successfully,” Yang said. “I have never prepared food for this many people. I was quite nervous, but students in the Chinese program were very helpful. I would also like to thank the Student Allocations Committee (SAC) for funding this event.” Information for this article was gathered from time.com.

Students and professors worked together to wrap dumplings.

These dumplings were wrapped by students.

First-years Keilon Sabourin and Andrew Westbrook showcased Chinese calligraphy.

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