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George Clinton, leader of ParliamentFunkadelic, returns home p. 18 Englishman in New York p. 19
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Redefining eating disorder treatment p. 10
Dorm room turned tattoo parlor p. 20 Comics p. 22
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Part-time faculty union wins healthcare arbitration against The New School p. 8
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Come for candy, stay for the community p. 6
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The Roundup p. 5
Cover by Camila Giraldo
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The Roundup p. 5
Creative Directors Camila Giraldo Chelsea Sarabia
Come for candy, stay for the community p. 6
Print Editor Rachel Potter
Part-time faculty union wins healthcare arbitration against The New School p. 8
News Editor Cassandra Brey Features Editor Danielle Hoppenheim Deputy Features Editor Tamara Kormornick Opinions Editor Valentina Graziosi Audio Editor Katie Pruden
Redefining eating disorder treatment p. 10 Home away from home p. 12 The reach of a war p. 14
Social Media Editor Caroline McKenzie
George Clinton, leader of ParliamentFunkadelic, returns home p. 18
Deputy Social Media Editors Ella Neve Tiana McGee
Englishman in New York p. 19
Engagement Editor Meg Boedeker
Dorm room turned tattoo parlor p. 20
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Spring ‘22 The New School Free Press
Managing Editors Christian Richey Emma Donelly-Higgins
Illustration Editor Caitlin Du Photo Editor Lilly Gorman
Reporters Elena Loffreno Gillani Peets Isabel Morehead Johnny Knollwood Layna M. Williams Mariana De Jesus Szendrey Mareike Nebel Marta Dumancic Oz Yangas Simone Carrillo Summer Safi Sydney Lee Tara Lamorgese Tyler Slaugh Faculty Advisors Allie Griffin Allison Lichter Joseph Sisi Wei Contributors Brittney Allotey Lauren Lee
Comics p. 22
Hey readers! In the spring 2022 issue of The New School Free Press, we focus on the stories of community members from around the globe. We have dedicated this issue to exploring the ways in which The New School, a university with one of the highest percentages of international students in the country, influences and is influenced by the people and events of the wider world. In “The reach of a war,” we investigate how Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has impacted the lives of New School community members with ties to the region. “Finding comfort in new places” gives space to the experiences and struggles of being a college student in a foreign country from the perspective of two international students. In “Englishman in New York,” one of our reporters shares their experience as an outsider in the city. As some of us prepare to graduate and move on to the next chapter in our lives, we hope to reflect upon a tumultuous past few years. Our peers have gone from navigating a pandemic to reintegrating into an in-person learning environment. Through our coverage, we’ve learned about the personal struggles New School students deal with every day, including everything from eating disor-
ders to war to finding community. We’ve listened to faculty members who often deal with issues unseen by students as they work to educate us within the restraints of a large institution. Thank you to all our readers, and to all members of the New School community for your support over this semester. On behalf of our entire team, we present our spring issue of The New School Free Press. Christian Richey & Emma Donelly-Higgins, Managing Editors
Illustration by Caitlin Du
The New School raises tuition 3.8% for the 2022-2023 academic year
OCAFE is out, Café New is open for business
Texas judge blocks Gov. Greg Abbott’s anti-trans directive
By Elena Loffreno
By Caroline McKenzie
By Summer Safi
The New School is raising tuition for all undergraduate and most graduate degree programs during the 2022-2023 academic year by 3.8%, the university announced in an email to the community March 21. For full-time tuition per semester, Parsons School of Design will cost $26,854. Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts, the College of Performing Arts and the dual-degree BA/BFA program will each cost $25,950. “I think the email was really weird because it was kind of buried with a ton of other information,” William Jones, a first-year fashion design student at Parsons, said. “I feel like that’s kind of something that needs to be a little bit more public and known.” According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the increase in tuition for the 2022-2023 school year is 0.9% more than the increase for the 2021-2022 school year, which was 2.9%. The 3.8% raise in tuition is in line with past tuition increases that occurred for a number of years before the pandemic. From 2006-2016, tuition grew by 3.6%, 3.7% and 4.36% annually at Parsons, Lang and CoPA, respectively, The New School Free Press reported in 2018. “It seems super silly to me that the mask policy obviously needs to be there, but they can’t acknowledge that the pandemic has seriously affected so many people financially,” Viv Suhanosky, a second-year at Lang, said. “It’s a little bit degrading.” A document linked within the email lists costs that the university claims are driving up the prices: salaries and employee benefits, medical coverage for faculty and staff, rent and real estate taxes, contractual costs, financial aid and health and safety measures. In addition to the increase in tuition, beginning next semester, The New School will revert the financial aid threshold back to the pre-pandemic amount of $500. This means that, starting in the fall, students will receive a hold on their account if their past-due balance of tuition and fees exceeds $500, and therefore will not be able to register for classes for the following semester. “Even the fact that we’re still wearing masks in school shows that the school is still acknowledging that the pandemic is ongoing,” Jones said. “Yet when it comes to money and the financial situation, they’re kind of saying that it’s done and over with.”
New School President Dwight A. McBride celebrated the opening of Café New at Eugene Lang College of Liberal Art with students on March 24. Located at 65 W. 11th St., Café New will be open to students, faculty and staff from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. It features an array of beverages, such as coffee, tea and hot chocolate, and food such as on-the-go sandwiches, baked goods and fruit. Beverages cost between $2.39 and $5.19, and bakery items range from $1 to $3.29. The prices for additional food items, such as sandwiches and oatmeal cups, were not listed on the menu. Students can pay with cash, credit, debit or with their meal plans. In addition to Café New, New School dining staff added a Farmer’s Fridge vending machine to the space. Here, fresher and healthier meals than those in traditional vending machines are available to students at all times. Options include breakfast bowls, salads, savory bowls, sandwiches, snacks and more. Snacks are between $3.29 and $5.99, while meals are between $5.99 and $10.99. The Lang cafe space was previously occupied by OCAFE, but it shut down when COVID-19 struck in March 2020, like many other spaces in the university. Despite the university’s return to in-person learning in August 2021, the cafe space remained empty until this March, leaving students, staff and faculty without an on-campus food or drink option within the Lang buildings. McBride and The New School mascot, Gnarls, treated students to free food and drinks from Café New to commemorate the reopening. McBride spoke with each student in line for the free treats, while Gnarls took pictures with students throughout the cafe and handed out free fanny packs. The atmosphere was filled with excitement from students, faculty and staff members. “I’m glad it’s open. It’s
On Feb. 22, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ordered the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate gender-affirming treatment for transgender children as “child abuse” via a directive letter. The DFPS was told to investigate parents and guardians of children who are helping their children to receive and access treatment such as puberty and hormone blockers, as well as the facilities that administer them. The directive followed a nonbinding legal opinion from State Attorney General Ken Paxton delivered on Feb. 18 claimed that gender affirming care and surgery are “child abuse.” “I feel like every year something just so destructive happens in Texas that attacks a group of people,” Christian Gentile, an Austin, Texas-native and first-year illustration student at Parsons School of Design, said. “At this point I see it and I’m just filled with rage.” On March 11, Judge Amy Clark Meachum of Travis County temporarily blocked investigations into nine families of trans children, calling Abbott’s actions “unconstitutional” because they encroached on the legislative arm of the government. Meachum stated in the ruling that gender-affirming care is not a reason for the state to investigate families for child abuse, and that her ruling will remain in effect until higher courts hear this case. Texas lawmakers have tried and failed in the past few years to pass legislation that outlaws gender affirming care and surgery for children with gender dysphoria, as well as restricting transgender presence in public spaces. Lawmakers and advocates continue to propose anti-trans legislation across the nation; a bill in Idaho that would have criminalized medical treatments for trans youth was just blocked by the state senate. In response to these bills, Gentile, who is nonbinary, hopes others will give donations for people in need of transition therapies, as well as provide emotional support to those impacted by the laws. “I know a lot of people who have been scared to lose any therapies that they are going through,” Gentile said.
Illustration by Camila Giraldo
a very convenient place to study and get food,” said Blythe Graziano, a third-year communication design and Culture and Media student at Lang and Parsons School of Design, said. “It’s good to have the space again because there are not really a lot of community spaces.” The reopening was delayed by two years due to challenges including supply chain issues, changing regulations and health department protocols, Anne Moriarta, the director of dining at The New School said.
Edited by Cassandra Brey
Come for candy, stay for the Lang students offer support and advice through peer connection program. By Emma Donelly-Higgins
In the middle of the quiet Lang cafe, two students sit at a rectangular table, passing the time completing homework and scrolling on their phones. Though the students’ faces are half covered by face masks, they can be seen in full on the informational placards sitting in front of them, which list their names and areas of study under the bold words “Ask Me About.” As students pass through the cafe, some of them stop at the table, lured in by the bowl of candy or the chance to talk to fellow students. This is Lang Peer-to-Peer Connect, a student-founded program that piloted during the fall 2021 semester and continues to run in the spring. The program was born out of a student’s worries regarding the fall semester. In April 2021, Alyssa Lo, then a fourth-year literary studies student at The New School’s Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts, found herself chatting with a first-year over Zoom. Students were still going to class virtually, as they had been since March 2020 when COVID-19 hit the United States. Lo listened as the newer student shared her concerns about attending college in-person for the first time. “When she comes to New York in the fall, she will have had an entire year at the university, but would have never been on campus,” Lo said. “There aren’t a lot of peer programs on campus, so how do you address this group of second-years who are coming physically to the school for the first time?” Lo foresaw a challenging fall semester for Lang undergraduates. There had been university-wide staffing cuts following the pandemic, and Lo suspected there would be fewer staff in the already overstretched Student Success office, whose advisors serve Lang, Parsons School of Design and the College of Performing Arts students. From personal experience, she knew community building could be difficult at Lang, and the impact of social isolation during COVID-19 lockdowns might exacerbate the issue. Though Lo could not have known the exact conditions in which Lang would be functioning in fall 2021, she took the initiative to get ahead of a potential problem with help from the First Year Working Group and Natasha Rivera, then the associate director of the Lang Office of Civic Engagement and Social Justice. The peer advising program, which ran for the first time from Oct. 20 to Dec. 2, connects speciallytrained, typically third- and fourth-year students with any students passing through the Lang courtyard and cafe. Each of the 16 students who served as peer connectors last semester received a stipend of $250, provided through CESJ funds. Before starting in their roles as peer connectors, the students attended a training session run by Lo and Rivera in which they learned about various university resources they could refer students to and conversational skills such as asking open questions and actively listening. “I definitely feel like it [the training] helped a lot to refresh my memory of how to interact with people that’s not in a ‘your best friend’ type of way,”
Illustration by Caitlin Du
community peer connector Elena Weingart, a fourth-year urban studies student at Lang, said. “Especially because of the pandemic, we forgot how to talk to people.” During scheduled time slots throughout the semester, the peer connectors would sit in pairs at a table in the Lang cafe or courtyard. “Some people just say ‘Hi’ and ‘What’s your name?’ and some people just take candy, and some people have a really long conversation. So it really depends on what the person is feeling,” Weingart said. According to several peer connectors, who estimated chatting with anywhere from no students to 10 students during each hour-long session, the most common topics students asked questions about were picking a major, building community and handling issues with professors. When the fall semester came to an end, peer connectors agreed that the program was a positive addition to Lang, and the university invited more students to apply to be peer connectors during the spring semester as the program runs again. Building community
In pre-pandemic times, New School students struggled with feelings of isolation and lack of community support more than students at other comparable colleges. The 2019 National Survey of Student Engagement labeled this area as an issue prevalent at the university. “For both freshmen and seniors, Supportive Environment is a challenging area — The New School ratings are lower compared with all peer groups or the gaps are more substantial in 2019,” the report states. “Supportive Environment,” a category within “Campus Environment,” is measured by factors such as the opportunities students have to access activities, events and learning support services, and for general social involvement. According to peer connector Michael Endrias, a fourth-year psychology student at Lang, the most common complaint students have about Lang is that it can be difficult to make friends within the college. “You can make friends — it’s possible — but it’s also really hard to have that sense of community or strength when everything feels very sectioned off,” Endrias said. “There’s no real social environment at The New School.” COVID-19 safety protocols have left the college even more devoid of human interaction this semester than before. With the exception of the first two weeks of spring term, students and faculty are almost all on campus, while many staff work remotely. For the majority of the pandemic, residence halls remained closed to anyone who was not currently a New School dorm resident, limiting the spaces in which students could spend time together. The Lang cafe, now known as Café New, only reopened this March after a two-year hiatus. The campus spaces that are open late are often empty, according to Lang first-year Kartik Gupta, who was sitting in the quiet Lang cafe at
8:30 p.m. on a weeknight to avoid going home to his empty apartment at the time of the interview in November. Peer connector Arianna Guerra, a third-year Journalism + Design and theater student at Lang, connected the lack of student life on campus to the impact of the pandemic, saying that it was hard to come back to campus after over a year away. “A lot of the students are still just in and out of the building,” Guerra said. “A lot of people don’t know that you can just hang out there [on campus] or get together with people.” Feelings of a lack of community at The New School may have been increasing even before the pandemic. The average rating freshman undergraduates gave the quality of interactions with fellow New School students fell from 46% to 39% between 2016 and 2019, according to the 2019 NSSE. For students like Gupta, thrown into a new college in a new city after spending months at home, Lang Peer-to-Peer Connect was a muchneeded welcoming environment where they knew they could engage with other students. Gupta approached the Lang Peer-to-Peer Connect table whenever they saw it, talking to several peer connector pairs about all sorts of topics. “I was asking for class recommendations, which professors to stay clear from [and] which professors to stay near to,” Gupta said.“It really did act as a medium to just vent and find comfort in seniors.” Easing strains on advising
In addition to building community, Lang Peer-toPeer Connect also provides a space for students to seek academic advice. This fall semester, many students at Lang continued to feel the impacts of staffing shortages, especially within Student Success. In response to pandemic-induced financial difficulties, The New School furloughed 250 staff members during the summer of 2020, with 68 of those furloughs being extended through the fall semester. In October 2020, an additional 122 staff were laid-off. According to an email response Student Success gave The New School Free Press via the Marketing and Communication department, the number of students assigned to each advisor has increased in recent years, with a peak average of 345 students per advisor across all schools in fall 2021. The NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising 2013 national survey lists 296 as the median number of college students per advisor in the U.S., and The New School Student Success office said it aims to have 250 students assigned to each advisor. Some students have been frustrated by delays in email responses, while others have never felt personally connected to their advisors. “My advisor left and I had no idea who mine was until November,” Samuel Meade, a first year fellow and second-year screen studies student at Lang, said. “I only got one email about it and did not hear from them until registration.”
For students enrolled in the BA/BFA program, turnover within advising left them without an advisor dedicated to their program for almost a year. On Dec. 10, Student Success announced the hiring of two new advisors, one of whom is dedicated to BA/BFA, and the office said it is working to hire more. Student Success advisors worked entirely remotely since spring 2020, sending students advice via email and virtual appointments. The office introduced some in-person appointments this semester. Peer connector and first year fellow Siani Mesa, a third-year studying contemporary music at Lang, and Meade both said that the first-year students they mentored expressed concerns regarding their advisors. “The lack of communication is really throwing them off,” Mesa said. “They’re having hard times with their advisors and they have to wait for emails and people aren’t as consistent with communicating.” By giving students a new set of people who they could talk to about anything and who were also on campus and visible, Lang Peer-to-Peer Connect filled a gap Student Success could not cover. “It’s more like a direct conversation versus waiting for tons of people to respond back through emails and not getting the responses you need in time to make a decision for yourself,” Mesa said. The advice of peer connectors may also have been more relevant and honest than that of advisors. “Some of the most valuable advice that I’ve gotten has been from the upperclassmen that I’ve met in my classes just with major advice, what classes to take and what professors I should take,” Guerra said. For Rivera, peer connectors, who are trained to speak from their own experiences, supplement — rather than replace — the work of advisors. Continuing connections this spring
All students who were peer connectors during the fall and who are living in New York this semester have chosen to participate in the program again, according to Rivera. Guerra and Noor Lima Boudakian, a third-year global studies and economics student at Lang, are serving as co-lead peer connectors this semester. In addition to receiving an increased stipend of $375, this semester’s peer connectors will table for about 15 hours each throughout the semester, five more than those who worked in the fall. Rivera is a proponent for student involvement, and hopes that the program will expand organically as it continues this semester and beyond. “I really do think that’s the beauty of what it means to be a student who is involved and cares about your institution,” Rivera said. “To see it and critique it in a beautiful loving way and to offer it a solution even though students shouldn’t necessarily offer those solutions themselves.”
Edited by Alexandra Nava-Baltimore
Part-time faculty union wins healthcare arbitration against The New School
After taking issue with a new healthcare plan introduced in 2021, The New School part-time faculty union won an arbitration ruling against the university. By Christian Richey
The New School must institute a new healthcare policy for their part-time faculty after a third– party stated it violated the terms of the part-time professors’ union contract when the university changed policies in 2021. The union, ACT-UAW Local 7902, took issue with the university changing their healthcare policy to one they considered inferior, eventually leading to a third–party resolving the matter. Part-time faculty members told The New School
Free Press the policy change left them financially burdened, as they were forced to dig into retirement savings and apply for financial aid to make up new out-of-pocket costs stemming from the policy change. One faculty member said they had to pay six times as much for their medication under the new plan. Because of the third–party’s ruling, the university must institute a healthcare policy comparable to the prior plan and reimburse faculty for any
Illustration by Caitlin Du
additional out-of-pocket costs brought about by the new policy, according to ACT-UAW Local 7902 unit chair Annie Larson. Previously, part-time faculty were under a plan with UnitedHealthcare, though in October 2020 the university announced it would switch providers in January 2021 to Aetna. This was one of a number of cost-saving measures instituted by the university following the COVID-19 pandemic, according to university spokesperson Amy Malsin. The union circulated a petition in early 2021 asking New School President Dwight McBride to reduce part-time faculty healthcare costs. It garnered more than 850 signatures within two months, according to Larson. The union filed a grievance — a formal process through which the union and university attempted to work out the issue through a series of meetings — against The New School in November 2020 after the change was announced, due to concerns over the new healthcare plan. Another grievance was filed in November 2021 when the university said they would continue using the plan in 2022. When the two sides couldn’t resolve the issue, they went into arbitration, in which an arbitrator decides the resolution. When the healthcare change took effect in January 2021, a number of part-time faculty noted deficiencies in the new plan compared to the old one. They noticed hikes in healthcare costs including a rise in out-of-pocket prescription drug prices. They also said some medical procedures were no longer completely covered under the new plan and they faced a 10% coinsurance — in which a percentage of some medical bills were charged to patients, rather than their insurance. The university removed the coinsurance Feb. 22 following the ruling, according to Larson. ACT-UAW Local 7902 guide Alexander Robins said some part-time faculty had to pay more for fewer doses of insulin per prescription. “You were getting less and being charged more under the new policy for something as basic as insulin,” Robins said. Parsons School of Design assistant professor Anna Fridlis said a procedure she had scheduled went from being fully covered under the old plan to costing more than $500 out-of-pocket under the new plan. “I happened to have an appointment for a complex procedure in the first few days of the year when the new insurance kicked in,” Fridlis said. “Based on my experience with the old insurance that procedure would have been covered, so I wasn’t worried about it. … Then I found out that it was going to cost me over $500.” She said the healthcare change coming in the middle of the pandemic made her feel betrayed by The New School.
“It just felt like there were already so many things happening that were out of control with the pandemic and switching to online teaching,” Fridlis said. “For that to happen in the middle of this was just a shock.” One New School professor, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation from the university, said they were in the middle of cancer treatment when healthcare switched over, increasing their treatment costs. Their hospital bill rose to about $3,500 due to the addition of the 10% coinsurance. Prior to this their bill was entirely covered by insurance. “I actually had to apply to the hospital for financial aid to pay that bill,” they said. “That’s basically The New School putting faculty on social services.” A professor at The New School for Social Research, who also asked to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation from the university, said the increased healthcare costs, along with other issues during the pandemic, forced their household to dig into their retirement savings. The medication they required went from $800 to $4,800 out-of-pocket a year under the new plan. “All of a sudden, we’re spending $5,000 more a year,” they said. “I was saving money so I could retire. And that’s gone, and I can’t retire.” The ruling comes against the backdrop of upcoming labor negotiations between the university and the union. The union expects to begin negotiating its next collective bargaining agreement with the school this spring, according to Larson. “It’s really important going into these negotiations to understand the kind of collective power that we have as a union and that when we fight back against the university, we can prevail,” Larson said. The university will not appeal the decision and will work with the union to comply with the ruling, Malsin said in a statement to the Free Press. Professors praised the union and their efforts pushing against the healthcare change. “I am so thrilled with this union, I can’t tell you,” the anonymous professor undergoing cancer treatment said. “They have worked so hard. … I’m really, I’m amazed that [the union] won.” Robins said the ruling has union members feeling confident and united ahead of contract negotiations. “Our members now know that when we stand together, and we push back, we can get results,” he said.
“I actually had to apply to the hospital for financial aid to pay that bill. That’s basically The New School putting faculty on social services.” 9
Edited by Danielle Hoppenheim
Redefining Eating Disorder Treatment BIPOC and people in larger bodies aren’t getting the eating disorder treatment they need. By Tara Lamorgese Content warning: This article contains discussions of eating disorders and disordered behavior that may be triggering to those living with or in recovery from eating disorders.
When Brianna Theus, 26, opened an outpatient eating disorder center in Connecticut, she knew that she wanted it to serve people who had been left behind: People of color, men and those in larger bodies. “I feel the need to really make sure that I create a space for people who feel like they don’t belong in treatment,” Theus said in a phone call with The New School Free Press. She explained that because she is Black herself, her patients feel that she can better understand what they are going through. “For some people, a lot of the time, they may struggle with growing up in a household that doesn’t believe in mental health. Or, they struggle, in a household where, maybe health isn’t always the first priority, which is something I can relate to.” Theus also said that she can relate to the food her patients grew up eating, which she says makes it a safer space. She opened the center, called The Celestial Life, in 2016 after graduating from The University of Saint Joseph with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics. Theus began working in eating disorder treatment centers during her time in school, where she attempted to rekindle clients’ healthy relationships with food. Since opening The Celestial Life, Theus said, several of her clients have told her that they were either disregarded or misdiagnosed by doctors. Black women and girls are less likely to be diagnosed with an eating disorder compared to their white counterparts, even though they are 50% more likely to suffer from bulimia nervosa, according to the National Eating Disorder Association. NEDA collected information from various sources about white and BIPOC women’s disordered eating behaviors. Clinicians identified
Illustration by Caitlin Du
“I wasn't their ideal vision, I guess, of someone with an eating disorder.” 44% of white women’s eating behaviors as troublesome, along with 41% of Hispanic women and 17% of Black women who exhibited the same behavior. “It comes from racism, and it also comes from fatphobia,” she said. Unlike the healthcare system, eating disorders do not discriminate. Roughly 30 million Americans have struggled with an eating disorder throughout their lifetime, as reported by U.S. News. There are eight eating disorders specified in the DSM-5, a diagnostic manual published by the American Psychiatric Association, including anorexia nervosa, avoidant restrictive food disorder, binge eating disorder, bulimia nervosa and orthorexia. According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, eating disorders are the deadliest mental illness, followed by opioid overdose. A 2019 study by the University of California San Francisco found that only 21% of individuals recovering from anorexia will fully recover. Several New School students have personally experienced such bias within the healthcare system. Anya Rajagopal, a BIPOC second-year student at Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts, felt that their access to treatment was delayed because they did not fulfill the stereotype of an eating disorder patient. “I wasn’t their ideal vision, I guess, of someone with an eating disorder,” they said in a phone call with the Free Press. “It was bad in my eyes and my friends’ eyes. But to them, unless you’re emaciated and dying, you’re fine.” Rajagopal said that their medical providers’ distorted perception of someone with an eating disorder impacted their view of the severity of their disorder. “When they found out that I’m mixed, they would be like, ‘Oh, now this makes sense because you’re not fully Indian,’” they said. “But, if I had two Indian parents it would be like ‘Indian parents don’t care about mental health.’ So, I guess I am thankful in that sense that I am mixed because that’s really messed up.” Ian Clifton, who volunteers with FEDUP, a virtual collective attempting to combat eating disorders among transgender and gender diverse individuals, is aware of the biases healthcare officials have against patients like Rajagopal. He himself believes that as a Black trans man, he was discriminated against by healthcare professionals, as it took him seven to eight years to be diagnosed. He has worked for FEDUP as a peer support educator for over four months, monitoring support groups for trans people with eating disorders. The experience of being invalidated by doctors is often brought up. “There’s a stigma that only white, cisgender females get eating disorders,” he said in a phone call with the Free Press. Discrimination is not solely seen in the case of diagnosis. Some said they feel victimized in treatment centers.
“Most of the staff and most of the people who put together these treatment centers and the organizations are not BIPOC,” Theus said. “So, because of that, the face of eating disorders has typically been thin, white, young, cisgender [and] female. That is why a lot of the time BIPOC will not get treatment for eating disorders. … When they get into treatment, it’s mostly white people. So, they don’t see themselves when they’re actually in treatment either.” A Lang second-year student who asked to remain anonymous due to ongoing mental health struggles, initially questioned the validity of her eating disorder because she did not fit the mold of a “young, very thin, underweight, pale white girl.” “I didn’t think for a long time that I had an eating disorder, even though I did, just because I wasn’t super underweight,” she said in a phone call with the Free Press. When her disorder was at its worst, she was not only told that she did not have a problem because she fit into a “normal” weight bracket, she was also frequently complimented by friends and teachers. According to a study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, individuals with larger bodies are more likely to develop unhealthy weight control practices compared to those classified as “normal weight” or “underweight.” Over 29% of the surveyors in an “overweight or obese” weight category displayed disordered eating behaviors, such as restricting, binging or purging, compared to 15.8% percent of surveyors in the “normal” weight category. Conversely, people with larger bodies are half as likely to receive an eating disorder diagnosis, compared to their thinner counterparts. “I think to help better ensure that cases don’t fall through the cracks, [doctors should] alter how they go about giving diagnoses for eating disorders,” Brown said. “I think even though there is some change being made, a lot of healthcare professionals — even if they don’t think they do — have an implicit bias surrounding what an eating disorder patient looks like.” Theus says she is doing what she can to help BIPOC and people with larger bodies seek treatment. Her passion for nutrition and overall love for her job makes change easy, she said. “I’m really able to listen to [my clients’] concerns and understand what is going on for them,” Theus said. “I’m able to understand more of where they’re coming from. I feel like [this] makes it a safer space for them.” If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, call the Eating Disorders Association helpline at 800-931-2237.
Edited by Christian Richey
To leave home and travel to New York City is a huge upheaval. As of fall 2021, 34% of New School students — many are far away from home, yearning for some familiarity. The city is daunting, but found anywhere from a friend’s apartment to a coffee shop down the street. Off the 57th street station, Arts first-year Kartik Gupta takes The New School Free Press to their home away from home: an apartthe North American Association of Indian Students, who feel like family to Gupta. In Chelsea, Beatrice student at Lang studying Journalism + Design, takes us to Fabrique Bakery, her favorite Swedish cafe transport her back to her hometown of Stockholm, Sweden. By Summer Safi
Summer Safi: Can you talk a little bit about your
These interviews have been edited for length and clarity.
culture and where you are from? Kartik Gupta: I'm from India, specifically from New Delhi, but I traveled a lot in my country. I think I associate myself a lot with the Indian community [here] and the South Asian community at large. How did this apartment become a home to you? I started coming here often for occasions and weekly dinners — the North American Association of Indian Students has a lot of events taking place here. I am trying to learn how to cook and Sandhya auntie [a friend of Kartik's] is always cooking. I just always had an interest in learning from her, so I'd hang around with her at the kitchen. I get to learn a lot while working with Sudhanshu bhaiji [a term for brother], who is the Executive Director of the North American Association of Indian Students. We share interests in community engagement and electoral politics. I am also interested in photography and Devanshu bhaiji has been engaging in photography for at least eight years now. So, I have interests that I share with each person around here. I think that's how it started to become home away from home for me. How does coming here cure your homesickness? We're in college, we can't always cook meals. It's funny, one time I stopped at this restaurant a few blocks down called the Bengal Tiger. It's a restaurant serving Indian food, and I just went, ‘I'm going to have a solo dinner date with me. Let's do this.’ I did not like the food at all. It felt so bland to me. And then auntie was like, “Why did you go there? Just come home.” And then I had two dinners. What are some specific things that you miss from home that you wish you could find here? I would have loved a space where there was more engagement with the students. And I think we all have to play our part slowly and steadily [so that] we will have that campus for us. Apart from that, I miss the food, the understanding, and I feel there’s a language barrier. Then there are things that aren't replaceable, like parents, siblings. One of the cultural shocks that I did experience was there's more distance between people here emotionally, and on a personal level they don't really engage with each other. Students do not take active interest in student societies in The New School. One of the reasons why I think it's not happening right now is the lack of good tech. We do not have a good model to fund certain societies, even though there are always methods. How difficult was it to find other people and places that you connect with culturally? I think New School staff are trying to help us out when it comes to networking and connecting
with more people. But I think the resources aren’t sent out in a way that is accessible and understandable for everyone. Also, I think there's a lot of prejudice and misjudgment. For example, Tadka [the New School Indian cultural club] is a society that they would think that, (Oh, it's an Indian space) but actually we try to invite people for all our events and we think that anybody who's interested in the Desi culture, or brown, Indian culture should come. So, please join us, have a good time. People tend to miss out on things here on campus. But, now that the student societies have more freedom on campus since spring semester started, I think we'll be able to do that better. Summer Safi: How similar is the New York branch
of Fabrique to the Swedish flagship in Stockholm?
Beatrice Fröjd: The cafe in itself is very
similar, like the interior, also the flowers, it looks exactly the same. And the pastry, when I tried it, it was good, but there was something missing in there. I don't know if it was the bread. The bread was a little bit lighter and the cream as well. What does your culture mean to you? In the foundation of who I am, I am very Swedish. The way I interact with the world I'm more of a reserved person. The Swedish culture, it has this thing that's good and it's bad; you shouldn't believe that you're better than someone else. That creates a very conformist society. In Sweden, you shouldn't stand out and that's a pretty bad thing. But it's a very socialist society; you shouldn't look down on other people. In that way, I tend to be a bit conformist too. I'm very influenceable. Are you able to find aspects of home here? No and yes. It's quite hard, honestly, to find the Swedish part of the home here, but I would say I always tend to find home in smaller things and that I try and make it my home. Usually I discover a cafe that I really like in a place that feels very safe or comfortable and then I tend to go there many times. It makes me feel at ease to have somewhere where I can be and also be alone and feel very comfortable. And that creates a home feeling for me a lot, just finding these small places that I visit regularly. I guess I'm a bit of a habitual person in that sense. For some reason, I get great comfort from finding vintage stores owned by older men that used to work in fashion. They're in their 70’s, and I go to these places regularly and just talk to them and that makes me feel at ease. I don't know if it's because they remind me of my grandparents somehow, but just having
Illustration by Camila Giraldo
students were international that missing comfort can be Eugene Lang College of Liberal ment co-owned by members of Fröjd, a fourth-year exchange in the city, with pastries that
the senior citizens that are just so kind to you, they're always warm, they never question you. That's very much a home feeling for me. What do you miss about Sweden? I miss the food, to be honest, because I am a big foodie and food is everything to me. So, the food I miss, like my grandma's cooking. And I miss just walking around Stockholm. It's a beautiful city. There's a lot of water. It's a different feeling. What does home mean to you? I think home is all the people you surround yourself with. The people that I meet here, for example, in some of them I see my older friends as well. And home is just trying to get certain things out of people, like love and closeness of physical touch and hugs. Something I noticed when I came here first, I realized that I hadn’t hugged someone for three weeks and then I hugged my roommate and it was so nice. These small things, that'shome to me.
from home 13
Edited by Tamara Kormornick
How the war in Ukraine has been impacting students at The New School By Elena Loffreno
As the world focuses on the devastation Ukrainians are facing, New School students with ties to the country are grappling with the effects of the war on their everyday lives. Ihor Andriichuk, a student at The New School for Social Research pursuing a doctorate in politics, is just one of many students impacted by the war. “I get a lot of support from friends,” Andriichuk said. “I can’t count how many are still supporting me, feeding me, bringing me coffee, doing everything. Then there’s faculty and NSSR too, it’s a lot of support.” Andriichuk is from a small town just outside of Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine. He said his father is now displaced after his hometown was demolished. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has resulted in 5,718 civilian casualties in the country and 5,232,014 refugees, according to the United Nations, as of late April. Kai Asia Fritz, a second-year global studies student at Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts, went to high school in Kyiv, where their parents served as diplomats. They are concerned by their professors’ willingness to quickly “move on” from discussing the invasion in classes now that it has been occurring for a few weeks. “I understand that there are valuable things you could learn about politics in the situation, but it’s still ongoing,” Fritz said. “Not treating it like subject material would be nice sometimes, even though there are things that can be valuable about it.” Both Andriichuk and Fritz were disappointed by a university-wide email sent by President Dwight McBride on March 9 titled “Solidarity and Support in Response to the Crisis in Ukraine.” “As the unfolding crisis in Ukraine enters its third week and the path to peaceful resolution remains unclear, the impact — political, economic, and humanitarian — is being felt around the world,” McBride wrote in the email. The students took issue with McBride’s description of the war as a “crisis.”
“Language is important, it shapes how you understand things, and it might feel confrontational to always call it a war, but you have to,” Fritz said. “I feel like it requires action when you always call it a war rather than calling it a crisis, which for some people can be difficult, but it’s also what people need and want.” The email does not contain the words “war” or “invasion,” except in the title of one resource, “The Politics of Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine,” listed at the end. In a statement sent via email from Merrie Snead, Communications and Community Affairs senior manager, the university did not respond to concerns about McBride’s word choice, but did describe the situation as a “war.” “We are aware of the serious impact the war in Ukraine is having on our community, especially those from Ukraine and Russia who are experiencing this conflict in deeply personal ways,” the university said in the email. Artem Shuliak, a third-year studying architecture at Parsons School of Design, is originally from Belarus but spent most of his life — including the semesters online during the pandemic — in Kyiv. His parents, who both managed to get out of Ukraine at the beginning of the invasion, are out of work as a result of the war. Shuliak said he is not sure where he stands financially with the university and is uncertain about his future. “It would be helpful if they had a general information session for people who are impacted by the situation in order for them to connect or to have a meeting so they can talk about what we need,” Shuliak said. “I felt like I needed to reach out in order to figure out what’s going to happen in the next year or for the future.” Some Ukrainian students have found it difficult to focus on their coursework over the past few weeks, and were appreciative of the professors who offered them accommodations, especially during midterms.
Edited by Emma Donelly-Higgins
“It might be confrontational to always call it a war, but you have to.” “A couple of my professors know what I’m going through, so they reached out to me,” Shuliak said. “They told me we can accommodate in some way. But in general, in a lot of my classes, the professors don’t know about the situation or they don’t know what nationality the students are.” According to Snead, the university is supporting students impacted by the war through resources such as International Student & Scholar Services, the Student Emergency Assistance Program, Student Health Services and Student Support & Advocacy. “In addition, ISSS will continue to monitor the immigration information that may affect students from the European region that is impacted by the invasion of Ukraine,” Snead said. ISSS is the only resource listed in the email by Snead that specifically mentions Europe or Ukraine. Ukrainian members of the New School community shared a number of ways for people to show support for those impacted by the war. “You can write to representatives or call representatives,” Fritz said. “For Americans, specifically, showing more support for concrete action would be great.” Shuliak suggested that the email from McBride could have provided more sources on how to help those being affected by the war. “I feel like there could be a little bit of information about if people want to donate for that, they could have services or links,” Shuliak said. “They can have information about what is happening for Ukraine, because there are protests happening in New York City. It would be helpful if they sent an email like that to the whole school community in order for them to participate in the issue.” Andriichuk shared a link to resources that came from an email sent by NSSR. The resources include information on a charity concert, news articles, a podcast and more. He recommended finding local ways to support Ukrainians, rather than trying to donate directly to groups inside the country. “For example, yesterday there was
a concert by Gogol Bordello,” Andriichuk said of a concert held on March 10 at City Winery’s Manhattan location. “The frontman is from Ukraine, so it was a charity concert. They can affiliate it with a local Ukrainian community organization, which coordinates it for basically any Ukrainian community in the state, city wise, state wise and also federal.” Andriichuk and Fritz also shared the Instagram account @ukrainians_in_nyc, which often posts about rallies and fundraisers. The NSSR Transregional Center for Democratic Studies, which is housed within NSSR, is publishing essays about the war on their website, and encourages community members to submit their own. The New University Consortium, a global initiative that is housed at the New School and is a part of a group of over 40 universities, is actively working to assist Ukrainian scholars and students who have fled the country. “We are working to place Ukrainian academics and will be working with Ukrainian students to find them temporary academic placements in Europe and the United States,” Arien Mack, founding director of the consortium and NSSR professor of psychology, said. “We are also working to raise grant funds to assist Ukrainian students and academics to continue their studies and to bring a group to the New School.”
Photo illustration by Chelsea Sarabia
By Johnny Knollwood
Photo illustration by Camila Giraldo
It’s been a milestone year for George Clinton. In 2021, the Godfather of Funk celebrated his 80th birthday and 50 years since the release of Funkadelic’s seminal masterpiece, “Maggot Brain.” The progenitor of all things funky returned to the stage for a select number of dates across the country and ventured into the world of painting. George Clinton is indisputably one of the most prolific and influential artists of our time. On March 17, Clinton, who founded the Parliaments on Avon Avenue Elementary’s playground when he was a student there in the 1950’s, was honored by the school for his contributions to the world of music and art. “I ain’t never been nervous in my life,” Clinton told the crowd of students and faculty at Avon Avenue Elementary School in Newark, NJ. “But looking at you guys … I realize how small I must’ve been when we started Parliament-Funkadelic. I didn’t realize we were this young, but this is where we started.” A sense of unity seems to follow Clinton wherever he goes. The funk is universal. Wherever there is George Clinton,.. there is a nation not far.. behind him, grooving.. “I try to be cool, but hell yeah you got to like that,” the funk legend told The New School Free Press. “Especially coming back to Newark, I used to walk. around in a daze, singing Parliament to myself when no one was around, to hear what it sounded like. We used to practice in the playground, and we had sweaters from Phil’s Sporting Goods with Parliament written on them. We were 15 years old.” Two floors below the auditorium, the school’s administration unveiled a mural of Clinton in the institution’s music room, now named in honor of the funkateer. There he reminisced about his time in Brick City. “Up and down Avon Avenue, Seymour Avenue, Chadwick Avenue, all the way down to Hunterdon Street, we were singing in the evening under streetlights just to hear the harmony ring out through different places,” Clinton recalled to a room full of reporters. “When I look at the streets I remember rehearsing here, or singing there. I remember walking through the alleyways and we would be singing all the time. It was that doo-wop era, right when rock and roll was just getting started.” A few miles away and a couple of hours later, the city of Plainfield held a ceremony at the Plainfield Youth Center in Clinton’s honor where they unveiled Parliament-Funkadelic Way, a street named in recognition of the group that cut its teeth at the Silk Palace, a barber shop that Clinton owned and operated at 216 Plainfield Ave.
It was an eventful day for the progenitor of funk, but as the old saying goes, “There ain’t no party like a P-Funk party cos’ a P-Funk party don’t stop!” On March 18, in celebration of his 80th birthday, Clinton performed for two hours with Parliament-Funkadelic at NJPAC. Guests were treated to performances of P-Funk classics like “Atomic Dog,” more recent material that highlights contributions from the group’s youngest members including “Pole Power,” and fan favorites like “Red Hot Mama,” “Make My Funk the P-Funk” and “Mothership Connection.” A P-Funk show encompasses a myriad of different musical styles that include rock, soul and hip-hop, but how does the group conjure up their set list each night? “It’s when I see the audience.” Clinton said to the Free Press. “Our audience varies. We have fans my age, and we have fans because we worked with Kendrick Lamar, fans because we worked with Red Hot Chili Peppers, fans of hip-hop from all over the place, Dre, Cube, Snoop, so I have to look out into the audience and say, ‘Which one of our fans is here tonight?’ We can play on both sides of town. I have to go out there and see who’s dominating, that way I can call the list out. I don’t ever call the list out until I get on stage and see who’s out there.” At one point most of the band left the stage, leaving only keyboardist Danny Bedrosian and guitarists Michael Hampton and Gods Weapon alongside Clinton. The Godfather of Funk proceeded to drop slices of uncanny wisdom and key lines from Funkadelic’s early days on the nearly sold-out audience at NJPAC. “If you will suck my soul, I will lick your .funky emotion,” ..Clinton ..proclaimed. “Free your mind and your ass will follow! Mother Earth is pregnant for the third time, for y’all have knocked her up,” Clinton said, the words ringing as true today as they did 50 years ago. “I have tasted the maggots in the mind of the universe. I was not offended, for I knew I had to rise above it all or drown in my own shit.” The audience’s spirits (and probably a good deal of the audience members themselves) were high, often abandoning their seats to dance, an unavoidable side effect of funk. For a few hours, it was as if all was right in the world. If you take a moment to look back at Clinton’s career, you’ll find a fruitful and influential body of work that crosses lines and removes boundaries. When Clinton broke down barriers between musical genres, he broke down the barriers that separated people within those communities, and this was more apparent than ever Friday night, as a wildly diverse crowd took in the sounds of Parliament-Funkadelic. Under George Clinton, we are One Nation, Under a Groove.
Edited by Christian Richey
Englishman in New York
An ode to the misunderstood in NYC By Tamara Kormornick “I'm an alien, I'm a legal alien, I'm an Englishman in New York.” A featured track of my “New York Leaving Party” playlist, Sting’s catchy chorus rang in my ears as I headed downtown on the 1 train a few weeks ago. A smile formed under my mask. At the London farewell party in January, friends and family who had already visited the United States delighted in telling me that, across the pond, my accent would make me irresistible to New Yorkers. I’d open my mouth to speak and Americans would come flocking, wanting to be my friend, lover or both, they said. I brushed off these remarks in the knowledge that I would be one of over 120,000 Brits living in New York. My arrival would unlikely be novel. My first New York date, Steven, didn’t even bring it up. “I’m thinking of changing how I speak whilst I’m over here,” I said. “Don’t — it’s cute. Everyone thinks it’s sexy — even if they’re not saying so,” he assured me. I have full faith that this was meant as a compliment, though. Alas, our mutual love of Korean chicken wings was not enough to carry us through to a second date. In recent experience, rather than oozing charm, my West London accent and British English have become a daily hindrance. I had not anticipated the frustration of being regularly misunderstood in the U.S. Frustratingly, one of the worst
offenders is ‘water’. The simple life essential trips me up regularly and I reluctantly allow myself to say this one word in a sugary attempt at a Valleygirl accent. The reason? I’m thirsty. These interactions began to prompt an internal dilemma every time I spoke to an American. My initial reaction was to over-process my language. I started to mimic Americanisms and switched “lift” to “elevator,” “loo” to “restroom,” “jumper” to “sweater,” “queue” to “line.” Humans tend to mimic body movements, language and accents unconsciously, researchers have found. This process is known as The Chameleon Effect. The difference here was that I was consciously “chameleon-ing.” This seemed like the quickest way to fit into a new city on a different continent without friends. There are definitive benefits to learning a local dialect. In a February 2022 article for The New Yorker, Rebecca Mead stressed the desire for her American-born son to learn the local London dialect, otherwise known as “Multicultural London English.” Mead described the move from London to New York City as a ‘translation’ and advocated for the social advantages that learning the local dialect offers young people in their formative years. The article prompted me to consider the flipside: What is lost socially by resisting the dialect which surrounds me? Would I sound like I had no interest in assimilating? Was that ignorant? Through changing my language, I was beginning to experience what it was like to fit in here. But this came at a cost: I did not sound like myself. As much as I was beginning to fit in with my university peers, adopting the American dialect
Photo illustration by Camila Giraldo and Chelsea Sarabia
was a facade that was exhausting to upkeep. A couple of weeks into the move, I was offered a selection of sandwich wraps in a cafe. “Tomato. Tah-mah-toe.” Deep breaths. “TUHMAY-TOE. Please.” It was at this moment I gave up and decided to embrace the peculiarity of my accent and British idioms for the rest of the trip. “Lift,” “loo,” “jumper” and “queue” were reinstated. Armed with my newfound confidence, a few weeks ago, after seeing a few up-and-coming comedians test their new material in the West Village, I headed to Joe’s Pizza and ordered a cheese slice, my voice raised above the noise of the shop. “Tamara?” Steven suddenly emerged from behind a wooden pillar, having heard me place my order. While we didn’t hit it off on the date, seeing a friendly face in the city gave me the sense of belonging I had been looking for. The irony that this came at the expense of my distinctive accent was not lost on me. At the end of “Englishman in New York,” Sting croons, “Be yourself, no matter what they say.” For now, I’ll take his advice.
Edited by Valentina Graziosi
Left: Parsons School of Design first-year Liz Potts receives a tooth gem from Parsons first-year Josie Schoen at Stuyvesant Residence Hall on March 7. Photo by Lilly Gorman Right: Parsons School of Design first-year Prithvi Virmani tattoos fellow tattoo artist Declan on March 5. Photo by Lilly Gorman
New School dorms buzz with new, creative businesses By Lilly Gorman
Moving to New York City to go to a university like The New School, you open yourself up for some exciting opportunities. Unexpected things happen all the time, but getting tattooed by an 18-year-old in a dorm room brings a new definition of weird to your college experience. Two freshmen at The New School have started body art businesses in their dorms to help cultivate their creativity. Students have been able to get tattoos and tooth gems — a piece of jewelry glued to a teeth that lasts a month — from their peers between twin XL beds and maple wood closets. Josie Schoen, a first-year student at Parsons School of Design, has been doing her own tooth gems for almost a year. Last fall, Schoen founded a new business to provide sparkly teeth in the halls of the Stuyvesant Park Residence. “I had always kind of had the idea [tooth gems] would be so cool to do as a business because I love doing them and my friends want them, but I am from Wisconsin and way less people want them in Wisconsin than here,” Schoen said. When Schoen moved to New York, her gemmed-up teeth were getting compliments left and right. People started to ask where she got them done, and when she said she had done them herself, they were often impressed, she said. The phrase “I am starting a business” started to slip through her gemstone-covered teeth. Whether they live in the dorms or off-campus,Schoen has a long list of student clients who keep coming back for more. New School COVID19 protocols have impacted Schoen’s business as she resides in the dorms. Up until a few weeks ago, people that were not in the dorms could not get in here, so I [would] have to do them in front of the stoop outside of Stuy,” Schoen said. “I do them at night because of my class [schedule], so I will be out there until 11 p.m. which is kind of funny. I get a lot of weird looks, I kind of love it.” Like Schoen, Prithvi Virmani, a first-year at Parsons, started a business out of his dorm room. Virmani has been tattooing his fellow students since the end of September. Unlike Schoen, who enjoys the experience of people coming in and out of her dorm, Virmani finds working in the 301 Residence Hall to be difficult. Virmani described tattooing in the dorms as “ass.” Apparently, we have to put in a deposit for the dorms and I have lost my deposit because there is ink all over my floor,” Virmani said. “With not
being able to have [outside] guests, I have been doing a lot of house calls.” Virmani’s tattoo alias, ‘Do You Like Drake,’ maintains an edgy and futuristic vibe. His designs are thin, triangular, detailed line drawings that give off dystopian energy. His passion for art comes from his hometown of Melbourne, Australia, he said. “I had been tattooed a lot in Australia, and there are a lot of good artists in Melbourne specifically,” Virmani said. “Just seeing how people can translate their specific vision and how it is unique to each individual. I was like fuck it I will try it out. I think I took what I knew, especially with European tattooers, and tried to give it my own interpretation. I suppose in the beginning it was very bootleg. It is definitely ‘Do You Like Drake.” Virmani tries to separate his business from his schoolwork, while Schoen likes to incorporate her tooth gems into class projects. “I made a book under the idea of imperfect beauty to talk about body ornamentation or covering in terms of imperfect beauty,” Schoen said. “I picked tooth gems and I was able to do a project on it. … [Parsons] has opened a lot of doors for me with that, to meet other creative art students.” Virmani sees tattooing as an art form to pursue alongside his studies at Parsons. “I suppose I could submit my tattoos as shit for projects, but I have my school work and I have my tattoos. I keep them separate,” Virmani said. From tattooing to installing tooth gems, students with small businesses in the dorms are starting to build community and connect students to one another. Those hovering around the University Center with tooth gems have asked one another if they got them from Schoen, as a lot of people will recognize her as the “tooth gem girl.” Collaboration with people is so cool,” Schoen said. “I really want to do photoshoots and stuff with people with tooth gems. That is a goal of mine in the future, to meet other creatives. It is cool to trade things for tooth gems like haircuts and tattoos.” Experience the city like an art student: adding art to the body.
Edited by Danielle Hoppenheim
Modern Spiritual Guidance
By Caitlin Du
By Brittney Allotey
As a girl, I had an affinity for folklore of water creatures. Celtic mythology tells the tale of selkie women, who strip their seal skin to dance among humans for one night a year. It is said that the first mermaid was Atargatis, an Assyrian goddess who took the form of half-woman, half-fish when she sacrificed herself in a lake. Though much of the stories’ origins are rooted in despair, the creatures’ secrecy and freedom sat close with me. I liked to picture myself this way, holding the power to shapeshift, always curious about what lay beneath. At 22, living in New York City is overwhelming-I lack control of the spaces I exist in, the voices I overhear, the eyes I come in contact with for brief moments of time.
Among ducks and mailbox keys: Where I find myself in Central Park By Layna Williams Illustrated by Lauren Lee New York City is ceaseless and beats at all hours. When I dream of something sacred to drown out the sensations, I go to the Central Park Reservoir — a place that feels like I am somewhere else — and someone else — for a moment.
Many days, I long for a body of water to wash the stimulation over me. My apartment is not far from the Central Park Reservoir, where only ducks and turtles are allowed to swim, where I walk around for a change in texture when I find the time. I often stand at the fence, admiring the ducks as they bob under water, convinced that there is more to know. I try to picture how deep it is, and what covers the reservoir’s floor; lost mailbox keys, rejected engagement rings, good luck coins from first dates. There’s an envy, staring at the wind-smudged surface, when I am overwhelmed with the impulse to be under.
I imagine that selkie women are there, flipping around in the water, who cannot hear the incessant ambulances or the impatient taxis. They are calm, suspended in the fluidity. And for a moment I am there too, with a soft, oily fur coat, slipping through the water past the ducks. I imagine swimming up at night to perch on the rocks while no one is around, admiring the lights, looking out at the city instead of in-for once. But by this time, many runners have passed by me on the path below the fence, and I am in the way of someone’s photo-op. So I relinquish my space, turn and carry on, back to the noisey cross walks, back to the over-crowded subways, and resume a mortal life on foot. But only, just only, until the next time I walk by.
Comics section curated by Caitlin Du
Edited by Danielle Hoppenheim
Yay, you’ve reached the end! Whether you grabbed this copy of The New School Free Press to browse, read it cover-to-cover, or just look at some pretty pictures, we thank you. For this semester’s print issue, we worked towards a more thoughtfully designed object that hopefully draw you into our stories even more. This issue wouldn’t have been possible without the help of Managing Editors Emma and Christian, and our Print Editor Rachel, who curated an amazing selection of stories for us to work with, many supplemented with art by Caitlin, our Illustration Editor. We hope you enjoy this issue as much as we did making it.
Camila and Chelsea, Creative Directors
Back cover by Caitlin Du