Page 1

ncfcatalyst.com | @ncfcatalyst

CATALYST

BRIEFS SRQ WATER pg.

April 17, 2019 VOLUME XXXVIII ISSUE 9

New College of Florida's student newspaper

Finalizing the Four Winds plan BY ADRIANA GAVILANES The Four Winds Café closed for the spring term of 2019 and as the semester is coming to an end, plans to reopen the café are beginning to unfold. Students and faculty have been working to ensure the return of Four Winds. Professor of Mathematics David Mullins wrote an email to a selection of administrators and students proposing a plan to reopen the Four Winds and emphasizing the importance of a social space like the Four Winds on campus. On Mar. 25, 2019, the letter was sent to President Donal O’Shea, Provost Barbara Feldman, Associate Provost Suzanne Sherman, Faculty Chair Keith Fitzgerald and Catalyst General Editor Audrey Warne. “While I was taking an afternoon stroll yesterday, inventorying the mulberry trees around campus, I couldn’t help but notice how quiet the campus was, especially on the Westside,” Mullins said in the email. “I started thinking more about social spaces and the social role the Four

photo courtesy of New College Archives

Students spending time at the Four Winds Café back in the day. Winds Café plays.” In the past decade, the New College Student Alliance (NCSA) has kept the Four Winds from drowning through providing subsidy support. The Four Winds has never been able to turn a profit in its existence. The years the Four Winds did not incur a net loss, namely in 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016, was due to the funds the NCSA and Sodexo, New College’s food service provider at the time, afforded. The profit and loss sheet

reveals $47,000 was provided in 2012, $20,000 in 2014, $22,00 in 2015 and $13,100 in 2016. “When it was functioning, it did much more than serve food,” Mullins said in the email. “It also served as a place where students and others can congregate, study, interact and listen to music. There is certainly a death of such spaces on campus.” In the email, Mullins suggested a business plan with an estimated cost of $3,000 to reopen the Four Winds, cutting the total expenses in the operating year of 2018 by approximately $5,000. Mullins encouraged the Four Winds to either request an increase of funds from within New College or to seek donations outside of the New College Foundation for tax purposes. Moreover, strategies made by Mullins to cut costs included targeting small structural problems. “Once coffee or tea runs out for the week,

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

Of the three Pei courts, First Court is the most lacking in amenities. Second Court has a laundry room, and both Second and Third have lounges. What does First Court have? Water damage. “Our oldest residence hall obviously has some areas we want to improve upon,” Senior Associate Dean of Student Affairs Mark Stier said. “We have people working on plumbing, bathrooms, walls, the floor—the whole nine yards. Hopefully we’ll have those [rooms] back online by August.” Serious water damage was found in two First Court dorm rooms. The dorms, one directly beneath the other, were shown to have damage on the floor and roof. The Physical Plant Department is taking action to repair this damage, but the dorms have been taken offl ine for the remainder of the semester. The rooms being renovated will be brought up to the standard of quality found inside the Third Court rooms and will be opened next semester.

“The style of construction has some shortcomings,” Director of Facilities and Construction Alan Burr said. “It allows water to infiltrate the building where the sliding glass doors and the floor meets. There’s a construction joint that the water gets in and goes in to [below the floor].” The budget for the renovations is $180,000, which includes the cost of design as well as construction. The modification of the balconies to prevent this water damage from occurring is very expensive, and a full-scale renovation of every balcony in First Court is far outside the Physical Plant’s current budget. The refurbishment of Third Court that occurred in 2014 cost approximately $2 million. Furthermore, the modification to the balconies made to stop water from infiltrating the interior of the building was not universally successful, with several of the Third Court balconies still vulnerable to water damage. The fi x being used for the First Court rooms is new and, so far, successful. Four rooms are being officially worked on, which Stier hopes to increase over the summer. Plans

NULL SET pg.

6

Steven Keshishian wins 2nd term as NCSA president BY HALEY BRYAN

for fi xing the other balconies of First Court are not concrete, however. “We’ll go after the other [rooms] that have water damage first,” Burr said. “We’ll address the other ones when we have the resources available, probably whether or not they fail. It’s just a matter of when, we think.”

Students eagerly awaited the results of the late spring election which announced second-year Steven Keshishian as New College Student Alliance (NCSA) president for the 20192020 school year. A total of 265 votes were cast in the preference-ranked online voting system, with Keshishian securing the school presidency for his second term with 128 votes against second-year and write-in candidate Joseph Daniels’ 112 votes in a run-off election. Run-off voting occurs if a candidate does not receive more than half the votes for the first-choice preference, and eliminates the least-voted for candidate and subsequently redistributes these votes among the remaining candidates based on the ballot’s preference. Run-off voting occurs until a candidate receives more than half the votes. Keshishian did receive the majority votes for the first-choice president with 118 votes compared to Daniels’ 109 votes and first-year Izaya Myles’ 28 votes. Along with serving as the NCSA Co-president for the 2018-2019 school year, Keshishian is also a board member for Florida Student Association and recently has been nominated to run as the external vice president, which is a position that will allow the NCSA to start lobbying in Tallahassee for all of the students in Florida. Resuming his position as the school’s president, Keshishian shared his excitement and intent to help the school and students thrive in spite of the hostility and frustration that erupted among the student body during this election process. “I’m really excited about being a second-term president,” Keshishian

continued on page 7

continued on page 7

continued on page 7

First Court water damage and renovations result of design flaw BY IZAYA GARRETT MILES

3

2

pg.

Izaya Garrett Miles/Catalyst

Balconies are a major concern for the renovations.

4-5

6

8

beaux-arts ball

minding the gap

director q’s


CATALYST

Wednesday, April 17, 2019 www.ncfcatalyst.com | @ncfcatalyst

BRIEFS

PAGE 2

briefs by anna Lynn Winfrey

Free Store moving out of Goldstein Lounge

After spending less than a year in Goldstein Lounge, the Free Store will move again before the start of the next academic year. Residential Hall Director (RHD) Adriana Diaz (‘12) said that a collective decision was made to relocate the space, since it has been an uphill battle to keep the mess under control and has been impossible for custodial staff to clean the area. “The Free Store at its current location in Goldstein really has not been working all year,” Diaz remarked. “It’s really impossible to maintain the space and to make it usable. It’s just not okay for a space to stay that messy at all times.” The Free Store will likely relocate to the New College Student Alliance (NCSA) closet located in Hamilton “Ham” Center, adjacent to the band room and the equipment room by the mailboxes. Diaz said that the Free Store cannot be in a residential hall and should have a closing door that will be open contingent on the condition of the space. Another Free Store Teaching Assistant (TA) could be hired and paid with the Green Fee. Third-year Lucille Sanz is the current Free Store TA and works two hours a week. Diaz was excited for the Free Store before she was a student and it was something that drew her to New College. “When I found out there was a

The free store in good shape.

The free store in bad shape. free store on campus when I was on my tour, I just was obsessed with that idea the whole summer while I was waiting to come here,” she recalled. “I’m the last

SAC starts $500 cap per meeting due to shrinking budget

In an email to the StudentsList on Apr. 1, 2019, Student Allocations Committee (SAC) Secretary and thesis student Bailey Humyn announced a soft cap of $500 per meeting. After starting out the academic year with a $40,000 budget, there was only $4,336 left after their meeting on Sunday, Apr. 7. The remaining funds are primarily intended for smaller club events and does not include money for Palm Court Parties (PCPs). “Since we have such a limited amount of funds left, we’re trying to limit the amount we’re spending,” SAC Chair and third-year Eshel Rosen said. The on-campus tennis club is an organization that has been affected by the budget shrink. Like other on-campus sport organizations, the tennis club has relied on SAC funding to pay for a private coach. Since he knew money is tight this year, tennis club President and second-year Rory Renzy asked for half of

what had been alloted in years past. “It’s disappointing but we’ve definitely been adapting to it,” Renzy remarked. “It’s not the fault of the SAC itself to have to deal with this situation.” Alas, the SAC funds were not sufficient to last all year: their budget for their coach and new supplies recently ran out, but they were able to secure some funds from the New College Foundation to cover coaching for the rest of the year. “It’s disappointing that we’re seeing drops in the amount of funding clubs can get,” Renzy said. “It’s a weird conflicting situation, because you have student government and administration focusing on growing sports and activities and trying to retain students. But then you have, with smaller numbers coming in enrolling classes, the inability to fund those sports adequately in a way to retain those students.”

person who wants to see this thing disappear. I’m hoping that the change can make it be better and a space that’s more cared for on campus.”

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.

It’s not just theses blooming at the Jane Bancroft Cook Library right now: stop by the native plant display near the front doors and admire the display of native plants. Organized by alumnus Sean Patton (‘11), this exhibition with informational posters, brochures and flora on loan from the Florida Native Plant Society will remain in the Library until Apr. 27. Patton founded an environmental consulting company one year ago after graduating from New College in 2015 and working for another firm. In addition to environmental consulting, he also works on public outreach and education. Patton hosts an environmentally oriented art show on the last Saturday of the month at The Mable—the pub formerly known as Growler’s—and has organized native plant displays in other libraries. The display features local vegetation and pamphlets Patton has collected from a variety of plant societies, as well as a pupating caterpillar. “I heard New College was having some enrollment issues, so I got this little guy to help boost enrollment,” Patton joked. Patton encourages students from all disciplines to sign up to volunteer on a display sheet. There is also a sign-up sheet for any students interested in plants and habitat restoration for volunteer projects or internships with his company.

A caterpillar chose this plant at the Jane Bancroft Cook Library to pupate. all photos Anna Lynn Winfrey/Catalyst

The native plant display in the Jane Bancroft Cook Library.

© 2019 the Catalyst. All rights reserved. “White people love rooftop bars.”

Plants and ideas growing at the Library

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 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

features

Wednesday, April 17, 2019 www.ncfcatalyst.com | @ncfcatalyst Azia Keever/Catalyst

The Activist Newsletter Throughout this week (4/17 - 4/24), 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, affordable housing and local politics.

BY EILEEN CALUB Wed., Apr. 17, Government Operations (GO) Symposium @ 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Robert L. Taylor Community Center 1845 34th St., Sarasota. Sarasota County invites residents to register for the first Government Operations (GO) Symposium as part of April’s National County Government Month. The GO Symposium will feature presentations from Sarasota County administration, the 12th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida, Clerk of the Circuit Court and County Comptroller, Property Appraiser, Sheriff ’s Office, Supervisor of Elections and Tax Collector. The four-day symposium is an opportunity to learn about the function of local government services, each agency’s role and how all the organizations work together. The symposium also serves as a supplement to Civics 101, Sarasota County’s popular citizens’ academy. The symposium will run from Apr. 16 to Apr. 19 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at various government buildings in downtown Sarasota. For more information, call the Sarasota County Contact Center at 941-8615000 or visit scgov.net to register. Thurs., Apr. 18, Manatee County’s Ongoing Crisis: Affordable Housing @ 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. Pier 22 Restaurant - 1200 1st Ave. W., Bradenton. As Manatee County grows, so does the need for affordable housing. Yet First Responders, service industry professionals, teachers, millennials and hard working families continue to struggle to find housing that fits into their budget. Join Manatee Tiger Bay Club to hear from a panel of speakers about what could be done, what should be done and current plans to attack this ongoing crisis. Featured speakers include Executive Director of Turning Points Adell Erozer and Housing & Community Development Manager Denise Thomas. Doors open at 11:15 a.m. Complimentary valet parking provided. Admission costs $35 for guests and $25 for members and millennial-aged influencers. Visit www.manateetigerbay.org to register.

Sat., Apr. 20, Drive Electric Earth Day @ 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Florida House Institute - 4454 S. Beneva Rd., Sarasota. Stop by and learn about electric vehicles (EVs), take a test ride and find out why EV drivers love their cars. This event is sponsored by the League of Women Voters (LWV) of Sarasota County. Register at https:// driveelectricearthday.org for a chance to win $250. Sat., Apr. 20, Earth Day Celebration @ 8 - 10 p.m. Seafood Supreme - 1919 Dr. Martin Luther King Way, Sarasota. Don’t miss this free community screening of Paris to Pittsburgh, a new National Geographic film produced by RadicalMedia in partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies. This film sheds light on the effects of climate change and encourages viewers to fight for our future. Attendees are requested to RSVP on Eventbrite at www. eventbrite.com/e/earth-day-celebrationtickets-58507949853. Tues., Apr. 23, Pioneers of Climate Science: Puzzles and Solutions @ 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center - 525 Kumquat Ct., Sarasota. Watch an entertaining talk about the basics of climate science through stories from the lives of scientists, from Benjamin Franklin to Jennifer Francis. Who was the first radical leftist to contribute to climate science? How did the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand lead to an important climate discovery? How did the Gulf Stream get its name? If you are new to climate science, this is a fun way to get started. If you already know it all, just come and be entertained. Jim Eachus is the organizer of Sarasota Climate Change Meetup. He is a retired computer geek with a Ph.D. in theoretical physics. Eachus will show slides, tell stories and disagree with the most powerful man on the planet. A discussion will follow. All points of view welcome! This event is free and open to the public.

PAGE 3

County wastewater plant allegedly violating Clean Water Act BY KATRINA CARLIN One might not typically wonder about what happens to our water after we use it. Typically, wastewater is collected by the local government, treated and reused for irrigation, as it is still nutrient-dense after solids are removed and the water is disinfected. Several local environmental groups have threatened to sue Sarasota County over unlawful dumping of hundreds of millions of gallons of this treated wastewater into public waterways. This act, the groups allege, violates the Clean Water Act (CWA). How could this happen, and what are the consequences of this large-scale pollution? The Catalyst spoke to the attorney leading the suit to find out. Justin Bloom (‘87), Suncoast Waterkeeper (SCW) founder and the group’s attorney, sent Sarasota County a 60-day notice of intent to file suit on Feb. 20. The notice, backed by SCW, Our Children’s Earth Foundation (OCEF) and the Ecological Rights Foundation (EcoRights), states the ways the groups believe that Sarasota County violated the CWA. The groups scoured public data from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), to whom the County reports spills. From the data the groups discovered 800 million gallons of discharge from the pond where the county stores treated wastewater, in addition to spills of raw wastewater from old pipes not equipped to handle excess water caused by heavy rain. “They’ve been violating the CWA for years now, by discharging polluted wastewater from their Bee Ridge Wastewater Treatment plant, as well as from their collection system,” Bloom, who studied Environmental Studies while at New College, said. The groups looked at the wastewater spills reported by the County to determine how frequently these discharges were happening. “The collection system, which is all the sewage pipes that go from the Pei dorms throughout the County, gets inundated with stormwater as opposed to just carrying sewage,” Bloom said. “When it rains a lot, and you have an aging, leaky collection system, like Sarasota County, lots of stormwater gets in the system and it overwhelms it. And that’s when you get illegal discharges of raw sewage. It goes

through manhole covers, cracks in pipes, it ends up in ditches, swales, people’s yards, creeks and streams and it finds its way to Sarasota Bay.” The three organizations suing Sarasota County also sued the City of Gulfport over illegal sewage discharge in 2017. SCW, along with OCEF and EcoRights, also settled a CWA citizen suit with the City of St. Petersburg in 2018. “We successfully sued St. Petersburg for a similar problem, with their aging collection system,” Bloom said. “I started focusing on Sarasota, where I live, and I discovered that their collection system was failing as well.” While researching Sarasota’s collection system, Bloom noticed issues with their reuse system as well, at the Bee Ridge Wastewater Treatment facility. The water is typically treated and reused for irrigation of residential lawns or golf courses. According to Bloom, Sarasota’s treatment is less extensive than Bradenton’s, leading to an excess of treated water at the Bee Ridge facility. This nutrient-dense water exceeds the facility’s storage pond limit frequently, and the ensuing spills of this treated wastewater are not permitted by the FDEP. “They’ve been dumping millions and millions and millions of gallons from that pond that makes its way into Phillip’s Creek. It’s very high in nitrogen, and nitrogen is what contributes to red tide and to seagrass die-off. Sarasota Bay has been seeing increases in nitrogen over the past few years, and this is one of the culprits.” Bloom, the water protection groups and an engineer they are working with will be meeting with the County to discuss ways to avoid litigating the suit. “To fi x the problem will be very expensive, and I’m not sure the County has the political will to make the fi xes that are required,” Bloom said. “It helps for the public to be aware what’s going on, to put pressure on their representatives and to help educate decision-makers about what’s going on. I’m hopeful [the County will fi x it].” Information for this article was gathered from suncoastwaterkeeper.com, ocefoundation.org and heraldtribune.com.

Photo courtesy of Roger Wollstadt

Heavy rainfall and flooding can have a detrimental effect on an aging sewage system.


all photos courtesy of Art Center Sarasota

Tatiana Lizon wearing “Architects Dream” in 2017.

Art Center Sarasota brings back the Beaux Arts Ball BY NOAH BASLAW When Catalyst writer Noah Baslaw entered the Art Ovation Hotel on the evening of Friday, Apr. 12, the ground floor was packed with attendees and donors to Art Center Sarasota who were huddled around the art on silent auction, the complimentary refreshments and fancy cheese and dried meats. Upon closer examination, however, the fundraiser’s guests were adorned with a variety of levels of alternative dress, from nothing but a funny hat or wig to coordinated full outfits between multiple people. One couple was completely orange, sporting orange fedoras to top it off. Something new, or perhaps old, was happening that night. “Bringing back the Beaux Arts Ball has been something that we have considered for quite a few years because the event marked a time when visual artists were ruling this town, and I wanted to bring back that excitement,” Art Center Sarasota Executive Director Lisa Berger said. “We have been doing the unconventional fashion show, IConcept, for our 11th year now. I wanted to add another dimension to that event so the guests had a more interactive role, and I thought it would be fun for them to get dressed up in a theme, as they used to do for the Beaux Arts Ball.” IConcept, the unconventional fashion show fundraiser, helps fund Art Center Sarasota, a local organization that offers a gallery to showcase and a program to educate local and regional artists and provide the general public with a place that promotes artistic expression. “The Ball is not the same as it was back then because there were way more artists and they really got into the costume making—or borrowing from the Asolo Repertory Theatre,” Berger said.

“They really went crazy with the costumes, which allowed them to be creative and not stuck wearing a black tie or anything too formal.” The Beaux (meaning ‘beautiful’ in French) Arts Ball was about celebrating creativity and actively participating in the expression as a part of a moment. It was also a lot of fun. The local Ball was started by the Ringling School of Art, now formally known as the Ringling College of Art and Design, in the 1940s. In 1947 what is formally known as Art Center Sarasota began participating in the Ball too. The event celebrated the vibrant visual art community, which was, and continues to be, a large part of Sarasota’s identity. Josh Beadle, from SarasotaOut. com, a local website helping to connect members of the LGBTQ+ community with local spaces and events, participated in last year’s IConcept event by helping organizing a drag queen show with performances by the Fantasy Girls featuring emcee Brianna Summers, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. There was not a drag show scheduled this year, however, Beadle judged in the guest contest. Art Center Sarasota likes to show its support for Sarasota Out and include them in their fundraiser festivities. “SarasotaOut.com is a website that specializes in promoting our area’s LGBT friendly businesses and events to create a more vibrant, attractive and prosperous community for our residents, visitors and businesses,” Beadle said in an email interview. “We have partnered with many organizations, charities, festivals and events to continually strengthen our community and showcase the many colors of the rainbow that one can find in Sarasota. The arts and Fashion have always been safe and welcoming to the LGBT community, which is why Sara-

Sporting palm fronds, Stephanie Peters walks across the runway at IConcept in 2016.


sotaOut.com and the Art Center Sarasota naturally built a relationship.” The IConcept event was created as a fundraiser, which Art Center Sarasota lacked at the time, according to Berger. The proceeds help support the local arts center. “I was on the board of directors then,” Berger said, “and I started thinking about how the performing arts get a lot of attention. They are easy to relate to because you can be a passive observer. The visual arts is a different story because it is pictures in the gallery, on the wall. So I thought, ‘How can we make art perform?’” The answer for Berger was simple. Non-fabric visual art had to be worn on a runway. “I started asking artists to create outfits that could be worn on the runway using unconventional materials, which means not fabric,” Berger said. “They actually create the fabric.” The Catalyst sat down with one of the artists and models for the IConcept runway show at the Beaux Arts Ball. Louise Kingman was one of the models. “Barbara Gerdeman and Elizabeth Goodwill are my artists,” Kingman said, “and I am wearing one of two pieces they created for tonight.” The title of their walking sculpture for this year is Where we are going we do not need roads. Gerdeman and Goodwill work at the Art Center and have been collaborating together on their IConcept outfits for the past three years now.

“I have been doing this event for nine out of the last 11 years,” Gerdeman said. She explained the content of her model’s outfit: cardboard and posterboard, maps, mylar paper and bubble wrap. Prior to her involvement with Art Center Sarasota, Berger came from the fashion industry as a designer in New York. She mentioned that the idea for the IConcept fundraiser was based on the television show Project Runway’s “Unconventional Talent” content. “It’s the most fun thing when people have to use objects that are not necessarily used for commercial fashion,” Berger said, “making it like a sculpture that walks on a runway. It becomes a performing piece.” The IConcept show does not use professional models. “All the artists get friends or people they know to model,” Berger said. “A lot of them have great personalities and it’s a lot of fun. The audience goes crazy because they cannot wait to see what the artists have made each year.” For Berger, the event is a celebration of creativity, “which is what the arts are all about,” she added. In that sense, the addition of the Beaux Arts Ball to the IConcept runway show is extremely fitting. C

Information for this article was gathered from heraldtribune.com.

Masked attendees of the orignal Beaux Arts Ball enjoying themselves.

Dari Goggans walks the runway in IConcept 2016, wearing an outfit entirely made of candy foil wrappers and vinyl.

Lela Thompson poses at IConcept 2014 for “Blinded by the Light.”


CATALYST

Wednesday, April 17, 2019 www.ncfcatalyst.com | @ncfcatalyst

features

PAGE 6

“This device cures heartache”: Gender Studies Department to screen Minding the Gap BY KATRINA CARLIN “This device cures heartache” reads the cracked paint on a well-worn skateboard in the trailer for the 2019 Academy Award nominee for Best Documentary, Minding the Gap. The film, directed by Bing Liu, follows two of his skateboarder friends in Rust Belt America as they navigate young adulthood and masculinity. Minding the Gap, which has won numerous awards, will be screened by the Gender Studies Program on Friday, Apr. 19 at 6:30 p.m. in Sainer Auditorium, followed by a discussion with Liu hosted by Bradley Battersby, department head for film at Ringling College of Art and Design. Minding the Gap explores themes that tie in to current Gender Studies Program offerings; Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies Emily Fairchild is teaching “Sociology of Family,” while Professor of Gender Studies Nick Clarkson, whose research interests include masculinity and queer masculinity, is currently teaching “Masculinities.” “You can’t really talk about masculinity without addressing violence in

photo courtesy of Bing Liu

The two main characters of the film, Keire Johnson and Zach Mulligan.

one way or another, so I think that ties in a lot [to my “Masculinities” class],” Clarkson explained. “We read a memoir, [called Amateur], about a trans guy who signs up for an amateur boxing fight, as a way of trying to figure out what ideas of masculinity he already had, and what masculinity has to do with violence.” Clarkson spoke highly of Liu’s filmmaking and the ways Liu addresses the themes of masculinity, violence, class and race. “There are a lot of documentaries about masculinity and violence that are

quite bad, [because] they just don’t say much that’s interesting, but this one is really emotionally complex,” Clarkson said. “Towards the end of the film, the filmmaker’s voice comes in a little bit more, and I was really impressed with his thoughtfulness and his approach to this topic.” Liu, whose mother was in a longterm abusive relationship, started making this 93-minute film as a way of examining skateboarders’ relationships with their fathers. In the 12-year-long process of following Keire and Zach— the two main characters—Liu found themes of abuse were common to their stories as well. “There certainly are moments that are difficult to watch in the film, because it does have a lot to do with domestic violence and stuff like that, but it shows us a lot about race and class and masculinity in ways that I think are really helpful,” Clarkson said. Liu tracks the rise to adulthood of his friends, but also the ways in which violence has entangled their lives. “What’s clear to me from doing this project is that violence and its sprawling

web of effects are perpetuated in large part because these issues remain behind closed doors, both literally and figuratively,” Liu said in an artist statement published in a press release. “My hope is that the characters who open doors in Minding the Gap will inspire young people struggling with something similar— that they will survive their situation, live to tell their story and create a meaningful life for themselves.” In addition to being nominated for an Academy Award, the film has won other honors, including an Independent Spirit Awards “Truer than Fiction” prize and high praise from critics. “There haven’t been many better documentaries about sensitive masculinity; there’s a beautiful lack of sentimentality to Bing’s depiction of time passing too quickly for comfort,” Charlie Phillips, head of documentaries for The Guardian, said. Liu will be available for Q&A after the screening on Apr. 19. Attendees can RSVP on Facebook or Eventbrite. Information for this article was gathered from mindingthegapfilm.com.

Commitee search to design mascot costume BY BAILEY TIETSWORTH Tucked away in the crevices of a long lost Google Drive lies the New College Student Alliance (NCSA) Constitution. One of the subsections of an article entitled “Article IX III/IV—Symbols Embraced by the NCSA” states that the NCSA will recognize “[ ]” as the mascot. The two brackets can be seen on various items of New College of Florida (NCF) merchandise, and have also been adopted by a few teams and clubs, like the beach volleyball team and sailing team, that compete in off-campus events. The brackets have received occasional attention throughout the years, but have, until recently, remained unacknowledged. On Monday, Apr. 1, Professor of Classics David Rohrbacher brought the mascot into the limelight. In an email, Rohrbacher addressed students, staff and faculty, announcing that he was putting together a committee of interested parties to help advise and guide the inception of a physical costume for the mascot. Despite some confusion over the name of the mascot, the committee is currently formulating plans for the design of the costume and hopes to see a finished product early next fall. Rohrbacher’s email initially received mixed reactions, especially skeptical ones, as he sent the email out on April Fools Day. However, his intentions were entirely serious, and he stressed that the date of the email was purely coincidental. Whoever wanted to take part in the planning could email Rohrbacher, expressing their interest or suggestions for the project. Rohrbacher also detailed in the email that Production Manager and Technical Director of the Black Box Theatre (BBT) Monica Cross would take on the task of constructing the costume, with suggestions provided by the committee. Rohr-

bacher felt that, with Cross leaving the around 30 members, has exceeded Rohrcollege soon, he should act quickly so bacher’s expectations. He lauded the conthat the school can benefit from Cross’ tributions made by students so far, who expertise while she still works at NCF. comprise about a third of the committee’s “When University of Florida (UF) members. gets someone to make a new gator cos“What’s really interested me and tume, how much do you think that costs?” gotten me excited is that a lot of people Rohrbacher asked. “Probably like thou- have great ideas about social media, about sands and thousands of dollars! Once I how to use the [mascot] that’s engaging got this vague idea, I realized we actual- to students and to prospective students,” ly have a person with a lot of great solid Rohrbacher said. experience in this kind of thing. When The formation of the mascot has that happened, and I talked to Monica, it proven slightly challenging though, turned out that some people in Student mainly concerning the name. The NCSA Affairs and Monica Constitution does had already had this not give a name to general idea and were “We’re proud to be the brackets detailed looking into it. Recin Article IX III/IV, an unusual school. ognizing that, I felt but the name “null confirmed that this We have an unusual set” has been attributwas a good time to get ed to the mascot over mascot that’s not something done.” time. After his email, Rohrbacher did Rohrbacher received especially loved by not initially intend to attention from vartake up the mantle of all, but we have it.” ious students with ringleader and dictate concerns about the what should be done accuracy of the words to the participating committee members, “null set” used in conjunction with the but rather aimed to organize a group of brackets. people with varying backgrounds and ex“When I proposed this, a number perience, who embraced the unorthodox of students from math, computer science nature of NCF, to collaborate on a proj- and philosophy pointed out that in actual ect that ultimately would lead to some- mathematical notation, it’s not the square thing hilarious. brackets but rather the curly brackets that “I joked a little bit in that first email, make up the empty set,” Rohrbacher said. but we’re proud to be an unusual school,” A page dedicated to the mascot on Rohrbacher said. “We have an unusual the NCF website explains the origin of mascot that’s not especially loved by all, the brackets, along with its precursor. In but we have it. Maybe we can do some- the 1970s, the student government draftthing with it to make things better. I just ed the Constitution and named the masreally enjoy where staff and students and cot “Brownie the Dog,” after a friendly faculty and alumni, who are all represent- stray dog that wandered around campus. ed on this committee, work together. The NCSA officers in 1997 added a slew of process is just as important to me as the updates to the overlooked Constituoutcome.” tion, but could not come up with a new The committee, which consists of mascot. They included the brackets as a

placeholder, until a later administration could implement a new mascot. On that webpage, the brackets are incorrectly associated with the null set, presenting an inaccurate representation of the symbols. This confusion provided some setbacks for the committee, as they cannot change the name or brackets in the NCSA Constitution. Rohrbacher expressed to students that, if they feel so inclined, they should propose an amendment to the Constitution that would clarify any inaccuracy or confusion. Despite these obstacles, Rohrbacher hopes to move forward with the conceptual designing of the mascot soon, so that Cross can have ample time to construct the mascot, in whatever form it will take. “It’s my hope that Monica will provide maybe three or four different possible models,” Rohrbacher said. “I suggested that it include both kinds of brackets. I want people to feel comfortable and feel good about what it is. If we do have these sketches, I’m going to see if we can have them on display in a public place so those who aren’t members of the committee can give some feedback.” While the brackets or null set might not appeal to every student or prospective student, Rohrbacher feels that the committee’s shared creativity should help produce a concoction that will minimize any disdain. “If we can raise the cleverness quotient, I have to think that’s going to put off fewer people anyway,” Rohrbacher said. For their future plans, the committee will deliberate on the designs of the potential costume and contact Cross accordingly when a decision has been made. “We are going to give Monica the summer to build the thing, whatever it looks like,” Rohrbacher said. “We need to


CATALYST Four Winds CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 there would be no free drinks until the following week,” Mullins wrote. The lack of urgency by the administration to address the questions raised in the letter led Mullins to take matters into his own hands. A member of the Four Winds Committee and NCSA Co-president Selena Goods guided Mullins to make contact with the Four Winds Committee, opening the conversation to faculty to provide input in the reboot project. The Four Winds Committee started working on a plan to ensure the return of Four Winds as a student-run social space in early February 2019. The committee meetings cover the logistics and strategies the business will have to adopt in the upcoming semester. The Committee is finalizing a business model which will then undergo the

Keshishian CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 said. “I can continue doing the work I’ve always been wanting to do, and hopefully finish the initiatives [the NCSA] has started. I’m also excited about growing next year as a school—in size and in solidarity, which is more important. It hasn’t been the smoothest week when it comes to New College [in terms of] the way we respond to each other. One thing I was concerned about—and why I didn’t respond to the Forum emails, I didn’t want to be a part of that fight—is the dehumanization of the NCSA. We’re eight people you can talk to—let’s not have this online back-and-forth of putting other people down. We have office hours, and we’re students; please come talk to us.” Keshishian also noted his intentions to broaden student government interactions with students. “I’m excited to see new faces,” Keshishian said. “I’m excited to see old faces, I’m excited to see friendly faces, and people that may have not voted for me or supported me. I’m excited about hearing their opinions and working with them, too. This is not politics—this is student government. This is a boat we’re all in, and the boat’s swaying back and forth, but we’re going to keep it on track.” The uncertain state of affairs at the school regarding financial security prompted Keshishian to continue his involvement in student government. “I decided to run again because I didn’t want to leave the NCSA in a position where I felt I would be handing off something worse,” Keshishian said. “I wanted to stick with the job, be able to transition next year strong and continue working on certain aspects, like working on finding new avenues for funding for different departments. The connections are there, and I feel we can grow on them and turn them into something stable so when I do give off the NCSA it’ll be in a good state. We weren’t expecting to be in a financial crisis this year and having to restructure the NCSA and focus more on the funding. We weren’t dealt the best card, but we made it through: it’s the end

Wednesday, April 17, 2019 www.ncfcatalyst.com | @ncfcatalyst

ensuing process of approval. The approval process starts with asking Senior Associate of Student Affairs Mark Stier, Dean of Student Affairs Robin Williamson, Feldman, Vice President of Finance John Martin, the NCSA, Metz Culinary Management and the Foundation to approve the business model. After completing the first round of approval, the Foundation will present the business plan to the Board of Trustees (BOT). Their approval would allow the Foundation to open an account for the Four Winds. The business model created by the Four Winds Committee outlines the hours of operations, the number of employees and the food costs. A prospected menu will be released soon. The Four Winds’ offerings will be limited to smoothies, coffee, other beverages, bagels with choices of spreads and baked goods. “In my opinion, healthy social spaces are the biggest need on this campus,” Mullins wrote in the email. “I cannot think of any current space that serves this purpose. I think it is important to bring this social space back online.” of the year and we’re still here.” Reflecting on the past year and his presidency, Keshishian noted how he’ll miss his cabinet members, which consists of many thesis students, along with the current NCSA Co-president Selena Goods who is dedicating her time to her thesis next year. “I look at this year, and I think it’s a good year,” Keshishian said. “I did the best job I can and the people around me did an amazing job. It was a hard year, but the opposition made all of us stronger. We were challenged, and I think every member of the cabinet took charge in a way that impressed me.” With regards to student government next year, Keshishian has concrete intentions for what actions the NSCA will take to interact more with the student body. “Next year there are going to be more systemic changes to the way we function when it comes to transparency,” Keshishian shared. “There have been a few issues concerning minutes and the issue is being addressed. We tried to get transcription this year, word-by-word verbatim, and it didn’t work for us, but we tried because we wanted the NCSA to be transparent. Still, we’re going to work on mediums to make it more transparent, whether it be having video along with audio in cabinet meetings or having summaries.” Keshishian hopes to expand student news and platforms for discussion away from the online Forum and to something intimate and thoughtfully-presented, potentially with the Catalyst. “One thing I was really looking into is a newsletter that my VPSL recommended for once a month, and hopefully being able to put that on NovoConnect and on the Catalyst and having more direct press contact,” Keshishian said. “We can only shoot out so many emails, and our reach is only so far. I want to end with saying [the NCSA is] not administration: we’re a body presenting ya’ll. We don’t get paid nearly as much as administration; our allegiance is to the students and to the work we believe we can accomplish.” Keshishian noted the difficulty of being on the NCSA, but said it is worth it to him. “Every member of the cabinet has

CONtinued PAGE 7

Null Set

First Court

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 6

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

decide before the end of the school year what plan Monica is going to follow, and then roll it out in the fall, at orientation or something like that.” The committee plans to update the campus population whenever they reach certain steps in their development, so as to not leave anybody in the dark as they create the mascot.

Water damage in rooms is not the only issue that many students have with First Court. Mold is a major concern for students, so much so that it was brought up at the New College Student Alliance (NCSA) presidential debate on Apr. 9. “We get reports of mold from time to time,” Burr said. “A lot of times it is in the bathroom, and it is the result of not cleaning the bathrooms. If you don’t clean the shower once or twice a month, some mildew or mold can develop.” The Physical Plant has not noticed any mold that poses a serious threat to the health of any of the students in any of the rooms currently online. However, the presence of mold has been considered by administration before. “We have this discussion every year,” Stier said. “Every time it’s brought up we bring out an outside consultant to test those areas. Florida’s Florida; you’re going to have some mold and mildew level no matter what. No room on campus, no house, not anywhere [is free of mold].” The consultant, who the school keeps on retainer, tests for mold and if there is shown to be a hazard, Stier assures that the school will take immediate action. If the problem goes beyond what the Physical Plant can address, the school will bring in an outside contractor capable of performing the needed repairs.

People still interested in joining the committee can email Rohrbacher at rohrbacher@ncf.edu.

Information for this article was gathered from ncf.edu and ncfsailing.com. office hours that you can come into, we have appointments you can make, we can come to you if there’s a mobility issue coming to our office,” Keshishian said. “Just contact us directly, communicate with us, join the NCSA, apply to the cabinet next year. At the end of the day, I want to say that everyone in the NCSA is a student: we have classes, we have parttime jobs outside the NCSA. It’s a very demanding job, definitely worth it, and I’m happy to be here; if I weren’t happy I wouldn’t have run again.”

Showing Friday April 19th at 6:30 PM in Sainer, followed by Q&A with Director Bing Liu


CATALYST

Wednesday, April 17, 2019 www.ncfcatalyst.com | @ncfcatalyst

BACK PAGE

PAGE 8

Q&A with alum and filmmaker Nicholas Manting-Brewer BY EILEEN CALUB

On Sunday, Apr. 7, a set of Documentary 1 Shorts was showcased at the Sarasota Film Festival (SFF). Among them was Lumpkin, GA, an independent film which focuses on the Stewart Detention Center, one of America’s largest immigrant detention centers, and the stark reality of poverty in the surrounding rural community. The documentary highlights the stories of town residents and local officials, examining the impact of the massive private prison on town life. Catalyst staff writer Eileen Calub conducted an email interview with the Los Angeles-based director of Lumpkin, GA, New College alumnus Nicholas Manting-Brewer (‘08), to discuss the filmmaking process and his inspiration for the documentary. 1. How did you get started with filmmaking? My mom gave me a camcorder as a gift when I was 10 or 11, and I started making movies with friends—mostly us

rural Georgia, I became interested in the subject. One article in The Marshall Project called it the “black hole of America’s immigration system” and a report mentioned that 6 percent of detainees received legal counsel and 98 percent were deported. Furthermore, there are more than 1,600 people at Stewart Detention Center and approximately 1,000 in the neighboring town of Lumpkin. The county was among the poorest in the country. These facts lingered with me. In my career, I’m mostly an editor, but I have this rule that if something keeps me up all night, it’s a sign that I have something to say about that. It’s essentially my barometer for deciding to direct a film. This was one of those things. Through two New College alums, James Birmingham and Erica Schoon, I became connected to El Refugio, a non-profit that helps detainees and their families with a place to stay in Lumpkin. They were helpful, and I decided to ask a close friend and collaborator, Feixue all photos courtesy of Nicholas Manting-Brewer

Poverty plagues the small southern city of Lumpkin, Georgia.

bouncing on trampolines and being kids. But I realized I wanted to make documentaries after I saw Bowling For Columbine. While at New College, I was fortunate to have supportive mentors and professors, including [Professors of Anthropology] Maria Vesperi, Gabrielle Vail, Erin Dean and Tony Andrews. Each semester I had an opportunity to make a short film. 2. Why did you decide to direct a film about Lumpkin, GA? Why do you feel it’s important to share this story? I spent ages 10 to 17 living in Georgia and it was always the place I called home. In grad school at the University of Southern California, I would spend a lot of my free time reading and catching up on current events. One evening, I read about the federal and county relationships between Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and local law enforcement offices to detain undocumented immigrants—Georgia was one of the first states in the country to adopt this policy. It led me to research more into the next steps after these arrests were made. After reading a little about Stewart Detention Center, a for-profit ICE Detention Center in the middle of

“Fei” Tang, if she’d like to come with me as the cinematographer. I asked another friend and collaborator, Michael Gil, if he’d edit the film. And I asked my friend Emily Grandcolas to produce after catching up with her one day on the phone. They all agreed, and Fei and I flew to Georgia. It all kind of followed from there. 3. What were your expectations going into this project? I thought we were going to be making an experimental micro-short—that’s how I convinced my collaborators to get involved. Instead, we ended up spending about a year going back and forth between Los Angeles, CA and Lumpkin, GA. Fortunately, we’re all still friends and collaborators. 4. How did you prepare for the documentary? What went into planning this film? I think any documentary requires a plan (and I wrote a 40-page treatment for the project) but our plans always had a way of falling through and this created a series of fortunate accidents. One of the film’s subjects helped rescue me from a rather uncomfortable miscommunication and I met another when she gave me directions to the local bank. Happy

Nicholas Manting-Brewer (‘08) studied Anthropology at New College and is now an LA-based filmmaker.

accidents. Most of our filming evolved out of participant observation—we arrived, got to know people and the filming progressed from there. I relied heavily on my background in anthropology that I learned from Vesperi’s ethnography class and visual anthropology tutorials. Fei and I were genuinely curious to learn about the people in Lumpkin and Stewart County—those who lived there and those who were there because of the detention center. 5. What difficulties did you face while filming? Our first major difficulty was access to Stewart Detention Center. We had no cooperation from the Department of Homeland Security or CoreCivic (formerly Corrections Corporation of America) to film inside Stewart Detention Center. Early on, I assumed that would be a hindrance to our story, but in the end I think our lack of access became an asset. In Lumpkin, the people in town tend to view the detention center as a distant thing that people don’t interact with regularly. I think the film captures that. Another difficulty was funding the film. It was incredibly difficult to raise money. Our families and friends helped by donating to our project, but we did not have a major financial backer. It was truly an independent film. I would work for months at a time, save up money, buy plane tickets and stay with friends. We were truly fortunate to have a lot of people who supported our project out of the kindness of their hearts. 6. What do you hope to convey to audiences through Lumpkin, GA? Immigrant detention and poverty are human rights issues in America that are often reduced to headlines and soundbites in our national discourse. These are nuanced and complicated topics that affect us in myriad ways. I hope people coming away from the film sense the urgency of these social issues by seeing them through a more human lens. I hope, in Lumpkin, we can see past the debates and the politics to the real life impact these have on people and communities, our neighbors and fellow citi-

According to U.S. Census Bureau estimates, approximately 1,100 people live in Lumpkin, GA.

zens of the world on the other side. 7. How did your documentary come to be featured by the Sarasota Film Festival? We submitted it last December through FilmFreeway. 8. How was your experience at the film festival and your screening? I loved my time at the festival. It was great to see so many friends from New College and Sarasota. Seeing the film at Sarasota Film Festival was one of the best screenings for a film I’ve worked on that I have personally attended in my (short) career. I hope I can come back. 9. Do you have any future film projects in mind? Emily, Fei, Michael and I have a production company called Standard Deviation Productions. Lumpkin, GA is the first of a few projects we’re working on. We just released a short film, 35 Days, on my Vimeo page about the effects of the partial government shutdown on a small Ohio town. Down the road, we’re hoping to develop a documentary series. 10. What advice would you give to New College students interested in pursuing a career in filmmaking? My time at New College was truly a time of freedom for me to explore my interests. I always seemed to find a way to work with faculty to incorporate filmmaking into their curriculum and all I had to do was ask. I hope it’s still the same. I would advise students to treat their time at New College as a time to explore new ideas and theories. Those are some of the many important things that inspire the stories we tell. Make it a time to have experiences outside of filmmaking, as well. In my case, my background in anthropology plays a fundamental and unique role in the films I make and how I approach them. And finally, please don’t stop. Filmmaking is becoming more democratized, and that’s a really beautiful thing. Each year, the technology seems to become more accessible and we’re hearing more new voices. Be bold with your voice and, most importantly, always be ethical in your craft. C

Profile for ncfcatalyst

Spring 2019 - Issue 9  

Spring 2019 - Issue 9  

Advertisement

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded