The Official Student Newspaper of Eckerd College
Volume 8, Issue II Oct. 14, 2016
PEL program to phase out by spring 2017 By Gwen Everhart Contributing Writer The Program for Experienced Learners (PEL) announced on Sept. 9, that the program is closing after Spring 2017. For 39 years, PEL has helped many adults who have fulltime jobs take classes at an accelerated pace without living on campus. PEL students have had the opportunity to pursue one of six different majors: business management, management, human development, organizational studies, humanities and American studies. Many students have taken a specialized track with their major that helps them in their future or current job and must complete the Writing Portfolio requirement like every other Eckerd student. “The closing of PEL is devastat-
ing,” PEL senior Daryl Osburn said. “Not only to the current students at Eckerd PEL, but to anyone hoping to pursue the Eckerd College experience and gain a liberal arts degree. Adults have been coming here for years to gain knowledge and be involved in a hands-on classroom experience.” There are a couple different factors as to why PEL is closing. One is that Eckerd now has to compete with neighboring colleges, such as Saint Petersburg College, University of Southern Florida and University of Central Florida. PEL has also seen its enrollment fall in the past five years. “Online education is becoming a bigger factor in the way adults think about returning to college,” PEL Executive Director Amanda Hagood said. According to Hagood, there has
been a culture shift when it comes to education for adults. There are not as many majors offered in PEL, and adults nowadays feel the need to pursue a major that directly relates to their job. To some, it seems like Eckerd’s majors are not workforce-oriented, which discourages applicants. Osburn expressed the importance of the way Eckerd faculty teach: in a group setting that closely resembles a workplace environment. She argues that this group setting is unique to Eckerd and that the loss of PEL is unfair to current and potential PEL students. PEL students had the same responsibility as residential students, but they completed coursework at an accelerated pace because they only met once a week with their professors. Evening class times were made to fit the busy lifestyle of
working adults. “Employers recognize the value of an Eckerd education, particularly with its emphasis on writing and communication skills,” Hagood said. “Graduates are often known in their workplaces for strong writing and critical thinking abilities.” Hagood and PEL Associate Dean Margaret Skaftadottir have a goal of ensuring that all seniors and advanced juniors are able to graduate from this program. For students who cannot complete their degrees within the academic year, Eckerd is finalizing Teach Out agreements, which will enable PEL students to easily transfer to other local colleges. They want to make sure that no student is left behind. “[The program] will work with the seniors through Dec. 2017 to provide them with additional courses they need to graduate through a
mixture of summer courses, residential courses and directed studies,” Hagood said. Hagood also stated that the Saint Petersburg Chief of Police, the Pinellas County Sheriff and multiple City Council members are among PEL’s notable alumni and have an important impact on the local community. She noted that PEL alumni have served in the local military community, with a student population of roughly 15 percent veterans. “The residential students that attend Eckerd go out into the world and make changes, while the students of the PEL program make a change right here, in our very own community,” Skaftadottir said. photo by James Carter Visiting Professor of Management James Welch instructes Cultivating an Entrepreneurial Mindset.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Compiled by Cortney Lesovoy and Brianna Spieldenner News Editor and Managing Editor
CAMPUS Ektoberfest is coming
Hold onto your hats because Eckerd is doing its own spin on Octoberfest. Oct. 27 at 9 p.m. outside Palmetto Cafe, there will be a live Polka band and games for prizes. Be sure to bring your ID, because food and beverage service will be present for Ektoberfest. The first 150 people to show up get a free Ektoberfest stein!
Studying abroad for Spring Semester
Applications to study abroad for the Spring Semester are now available in the Office of International Education. There will be a trip to London led by Assistant Professor of Creative Writing K.C. Wolfe. He will be teaching a course satisfying the Environmental perspective. There will also be a trip to Xiamen, China, which Professor of Decision Sciences Edward Grasso will be hosting. Applications are due by Friday, Oct. 14, and should be turned in to the Office of International Education.
Halloween Ball and Howl-O-Scream
The Halloween Ball is coming soon. Tickets go on sale Oct. 19 and are priced at 10 dollars. There will be food, costumes and transportation. The theme is based off the television series “Stranger Things.” Howl-O-Scream tickets are also on sale now for 50 dollars for residential students. Reserve your tickets by 5 p.m. on Oct. 11. Availability is very limited. Go to Campus Activities to reserve your ticket with a 20 dollar deposit.
Get out your calendar because election day is Nov. 8, but remember that early voting starts Oct. 24 and lasts until Nov 6. Make sure your voice is heard, and don’t forget a government-issued photo ID.
Hurricane Matthew hits tourism industry
According to ABC News, Hurricane Matthew washed sand dunes all over beaches in Florida into the ocean. Beaches are vital to Florida’s tourism industry, and the restoration of these beaches will cost millions of dollars. These beaches also protect against erosion.
Flesh-eating screwworms found
Screwworms are pests that infect live animals and burrow inside their open wounds. On Oct. 3, the United States Department of Agriculture announced that screwworms were recently found in animals around Florida, despite being eradicated in 1982. Currently, they are working on strategies to destroy completely again, according to Mic.
Clinton leads in Florida
According to a new poll by the University of North Florida, Hillary Clinton is currently leading in Florida for President. She has a three-point lead against Donald Trump (41-38), however it has also been revealed that third-party candidates Gary Johnson and Jill Stein are hurting her chances more than they are Trump’s. In Florida, Johnson has 7 percent support and Stein has 3 percent.
Power outages across Florida
After Hurricane Matthew, 560,000 people in Florida were left without power, according to the Orlando Sentinel. This includes 47,907 people in Flagler County, 155,000 in Volusia County, 66,000 in Brevard County, 7,000 in Orange County, 15,000 in Seminole County and 2,600 in Lake County.
Clinton, Trump debate second time
The second presidential debate took place on Oct. 9. It was characterized by false accusations, dodging questions and disagreeing about issues the candidates, in fact, largely agreed upon. Many online opinion polls differ on who won the debate. A Fox News poll has Trump winning with a 79 percent majority, while CNN has Clinton winning with a 57 percent majority. Clinton attacked Trump about recently exposed offensive comments he made toward women, and Trump countered with claims against her husband regarding sexual assault.
Armed clowns sighted around US
South Carolina, Texas, Kentucky, California, Ohio, Virginia and Georgia — these are just a few of the states “evil” clowns have been spotted in, according to CNN. Luring children into the forest, wandering around armed with machetes or
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just invoking fear in the hearts of Americans, clowns have been reported engaging in sinister activities across the country. Viral videos show the clowns chasing cars, standing in the street and scaring bystanders. Most of the sightings have been deemed hoaxes by local law enforcement.
INTERNATIONAL Hurricane Matthew takes Eastern seaboard by storm The death toll in Haiti has risen to over 1000, according to Reuters. There are over 1500 stranded in North Carolina, as well as at least 21 reported deaths, according to CNN. The storm touched down just north of West Palm Beach, Florida, took to the ocean just south of Jacksonville, and hit the country again around Savannah, Georgia, hugging the coast all the way up to North Carolina where it caused severe flooding. Although at one point slated to, Hurricane Matthew did not affect the western side of Florida much, only causing light wind and rain in some areas.
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The U.S. officially blamed Russia for the hacking of emails concerning the U.S. election with intentions to interfere. The Department of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence said in a statement that Russia has done this in the past in Europe and Eurasia to influence public opinion. Russia has denounced these claims, according to CNN.
US accuses Russia of hacking emails
Asst. Science Editor
Rachel Borch Mereysa Taylor
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The Pakistan houses of parliament passed legislation on Oct. 6 that outlaws “honor killings,” even if their family pardons them, according to CNN. Honor killings became a point of contention after the death of Qandeel Baloch, who had a strong media presence and wanted to stand up for women who were treated badly by society. Honor killings are murders committed against women in families that “dishonor” their family. Almost 300 women were murdered as a part of this during the first half of 2016.
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Pakistan outlaws ‘honor killings’
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The storm has since been downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone and is offshore.
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Oct. 14, 2016
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Nate Gozlan Cypress Hansen
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Faculty Adviser K.C. Wolfe The Current is a free biweekly student newspaper at Eckerd College. Offices are located upstairs in Cobb at 4200 54th Ave S, St. Petersburg, FL, 33711. Opinions expressed in this publication are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect those of EC students, staff, faculty and administration. The Current welcomes letters to the editor. Submissions should be typed and cannot exceed 400 words. Writers must include their full name, graduation year and contact number. All submissions are subject to editing for the purposes of clarity, style or length. The Current holds the right to reject any letters deemed inappropriate.
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Oct. 14, 2016
6:20 p.m ASPEC Film Series, Lewis House 6:30 p.m. Kayak Glow 7-9 p.m. CPS: Relay for Life kickoff, Miller Aud.
20 6 p.m. CPS: Environmental Justice for All, Fox Hall
Volleyball vs. Florida Tech
2:30 p.m. Volleyball South Region Cross over, Orlando Howl-O-Scream
4:30 p.m. Pitchers with professors, The Pub 7-9p.m. CPS: Film - Wood Job, Miller Aud.
Men’s Soccer vs. Lynn University, away 7 p.m. Women’s Soccer vs. Lynn
7 p.m. Men’s Soccer vs. Nova Southeastern, away 7 p.m. Women’s Soccer vs. Nova Southeastern
7 p.m. Women’s golf vs. Saint Leo invitational, Lake Jovita Gold Coast
TBD Women’s Golf vs. Flagler Fall Slam, Marsh Creek Golf Coast
7 pm Men’s Soccer vs. Florida Tech 7 pm Women’s Golf invitational cont.
7 p.m. Volleyball vs. University of Tampa, away 7 p.m. CPS: Queer and Pleasant Danger, Miller Aud.
7 p.m Women’s Soccer vs. Florida Southern, away Halloween Ball tickets go on sale ($10)
7 p.m. Men’s Soccer vs. Rollins College, away 7 p.m. Men’s Basketball Exhibition, Jacksonville Florida
Attention readers! The Current has a brand new website filled with exclusive online content. Log onto theonlinecurrent.com to see our award-winning news show “The Current Minute,” our live debate podcast “Friendly Fire Live” and exclusive articles published only online. Online exclusives for Issue 2 feature diversity on campus, the latest music reviews and student research on campus.
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Quest for Meaning leads to Imagining Justice By Nicole Decker Asst. News Edtitor Starting this semester, the senior capstone class has transformed from Quest for Meaning (QFM) into Imagining Justice. Imagining Justice is a course designed to help students identify their own assumptions and ideas about justice in today’s world. “The overall notion perhaps is somewhat the same in Imagining Justice, in that the course is an opportunity for seniors to reflect on issues that are going to be significant as they move out of their college experience into the world,” Associate Professor of Rhetoric William Kelly said. Although the courses have some aspects in common, there have been a few changes implemented with the introduction of Imagining Justice. “QFM was structurally different, thematically different in a variety of ways,” Kelly said. “The general organization was based on the general education categories of requirements. In QFM, we had about six or seven focuses. Now the course is a focus on the theme of justice. Everything we are reading is intended to make us think about some aspect of justice.” In addition to the overall structure of the course, the service-learning element of QFM has been eliminated. Students are no longer required to complete their 40 hours of service during the course, but are to do so before their senior year. “The elimination of the service-learning requirement is beneficial because a lot of courses within our majors require service-learning within them,” senior Matt Beneduci said. “For instance, I have already completed my forty hours with Principles of Management and Leadership and with a class I am in now.” By changing the service-learning requirement, students have more leeway to spend their semester doing other extracurricular activities or beginning to focus on their job search after college. By giving students more time to complete their hours, they do
not feel stressed and bogged down by the requirement during their one semester of Imagining Justice. “An additional 40-hour requirement was hard for seniors,” Beneduci said. “If the students want to be doing extracurricular activities or something they enjoy, they might be discouraged from doing that because of the requirement.” Like QFM, in some cases, the course also brings students back together with their Human Experience class to reflect on how much one another have grown in their time apart. “I like the fact that it is coming back full circle from Autumn Term freshman year,” senior Carly Gilmore said. Students and professors alike appreciate the opportunity to reconnect with one another in a classroom setting, which is a unique element of Eckerd’s four-year academic plan. “Because my discipline, Rhetoric, doesn’t have a major, I don’t have the opportunity other than something like this to really see students develop over a period of time, and that is one of the great joys of teaching,”
Kelly said. “I get to know them well over their entire freshman year, and I get to see where they are now.” The launching of Imagining Justice has brought positive student feedback thus far, and it seems that the topics in class are more relevant to the world Eckerd students live in today. “I think this course represents a lot about what Eckerd is,” Gilmore said. “In some ways, it may go a little too far with how idealistic it is. Overall, however, I think it is a good Many of the Imagining Justice classes are centered around student-led discussions. idea.”
photos by Cypress Hansen
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Oct. 14, 2016
Stephanie K. will brighten your day By Nicole Ellis Sports Editor With a strong can-do attitude, Stephanie Karlovics is ready to take on her junior year at Eckerd. On and off the volleyball court, Karlovics is known for her upbeat personality and bright smile. “She’s super nice, always happy and just a genuinely nice person,” Karlovics’s roommate, Brooke Silvest, said. “She’s very positive. She always picks me up.” Originally from Gurnee, Illinois, Karlovics came to Eckerd for the sunny weather, academics and volleyball. The decision came easily for her, especially because of how close the team is. “Playing so far from home, you want to be in a family environment, and I found that here,” Karlovics said. Karlovics is a middle blocker on the volleyball team and has been playing for around ten years, although she did not get serious about it until high school. “We’re very lucky to have her on the team,” Michelle Piantadosi, head volleyball coach and senior women’s administrator, said. “She always has a good attitude; she has fun in practice which makes you have fun. She is going to work hard, but then crack a joke in the middle of it.” Karlovics’ favorite part of volleyball is making memories.
“Even if it’s something silly, or celebrating a big win, those are probably the things you remember the most,” Karlovics said. Her favorite memory took place last year. “I was out most of the season with an injury, but I got to come back and play maybe eight or so games, and we got on this win streak that took us to the NCAA tournament,” Karlovics said. “And I think finding out last year that we made it to the tournament, like working so hard those last couple games was really cool.” Off the court, Karlovics loves reading. She is an English literature major and is often reading large books. “[I like reading] lot of Shakespeare. I like romance novels, too. I’m a sucker for those, like Nicholas Sparks,” she said. Karlovics adores her teammates and strives to be a positive force in their lives. “She cares about school, she cares about her family, she cares about her team, she cares about her coaches,” Piantadosi said. “She is someone who is fully invested in everything that she does.” Her passion for those around her is apparent. “I am one to really support my teammates. If they’re having a rough day I want to be the first person to cheer them up and know they’re okay. There’s more to yourself than just volleyball,” Karlovics said.
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9/23 Palm Beach Atlantic University Loss (3-0) 9/24 Nova Southeastern University Win (3-2) 9/27 Saint Leo University Win (3-0) 9/30 Lynn University Win (3-2) 10/1 Barry University Win (3-2)
9/21 Florida Southern College Loss (0-1) 9/24 Embry-Riddle University Loss (0-3) 10/1 Rollins College Tie (1-1)
9/21 Florida Southern College Tie (1-1) 9/24 Embry-Riddle University Tie (1-1)
9/24 South Points #3 3rd/4th/12th of 14 9/24 St. Mary’s Intersectional 14th of 18
photo by James Carter Even though the pressures of being a full-time student and athlete are high, every mention of Karlovics’ team and studies brings an assured smile to her face.
9/24 - 9/25 UNC-Pembroke Invitational 18th of 18
A Day in the Life:
The man behind the grill
photo by Caley Hanse Cafe worker Kevin Johns plans on leaving Eckerd and cooking behind and going to Connecticut School of Broadcasting in Tampa. He hopes to become a professional DJ.
By Angelique Herring Contributing Writer If you have ever been in the main cafe, it’s likely you’ve seen him before, either manning the burger station or dicing vegetables — red hair, straight face, doing what he’s done best for the past 24 years — cooking. Though many are familiar with his face, most aren’t familiar with his story. His interests, abilities and goals extend far beyond the kitchen. Kevin Johns has been cooking since 1992. Before Eckerd, he held kitchen jobs all over Florida. A corporate trainer for Applebee’s and a trainer at the Courtside Grill, he’s trained and retrained chefs all across Florida. More than qualified for the task, he spent three semesters at the Florida Culinary Institute in West Palm Beach with a 3.8 GPA during his time. Johns then took his extensive experience and brought it to Eckerd’s main cafeteria. Now, long before students arrive, he’s behind the counter prepping food. Anywhere from 6:00-8:00 in the morning, Johns begins his hour-long commute to the Eckerd main cafe. Behind the scenes, he’s usually working on the sweet potatoes, french fries and vegetables, cooking three pans of sweet potatoes and three pans of vegetables each shift. Cooking vegetables is arguably Johns’ favorite element of cooking. Fast with his knife, he enjoys the slicing and chopping, and usually there’s much more demand for fries. “You guys go through fries like no tomorrow,” Johns said. “Every shift I work a case of fries. There are six bags of
Oct. 14, 2016 fries in a case, sometimes an extra bag or two after that.” With the freedom to cook whatever he wanted, a meal typical of Johns would look a little more like this: sugar snap peas with sun dried tomatoes, roasted pine nuts covered in garlic, olive oil and butter served alongside parsnip red skin mashed potatoes and pork tenderloin with whiskey, rum, mango and a little lime drizzled on top. If your mouth is watering, you can probably imagine the impact this dish had on the judges of the cooking competition Johns participated in just a few years ago. Although he didn’t win, Johns said, “the dude that tasted my food didn’t move for twenty minutes.” After only a year working at Eckerd, “interesting” is the best word he can use to sum up the college. Still, things aren’t perfect. In an ideal world, Johns would work from 9-5, sugar snap peas would be cut correctly and students would move down the line after ordering their burgers. He doesn’t mind them standing there, but he wishes students would slide down after they order; a simple request he’s been voicing of late. “I tell em’ now, ‘If you’ve already ordered, slide so I can get everyone else’s order going,” he said. With all that worked out, a perfect work day would conclude with a drink, a few hours at the beach, a little fishing and then some quality time taking care of his Kia Spectra. As many students have come to learn through conversations with the chef, Johns has a passion for music. While his love for music runs deep, Johns says the music at the soda machine isn’t his
doing. That being said, music has become a part of his everyday life for quite some time now. Junior Chelsea Gaines has heard about Johns’ passion for music on numerous occasions. “Not only is he beautifully gifted at making omelets, but I’ve heard he’s a pretty legit DJ,” Gaines said. “A lot of people don’t know that there is more to him than his cafe uniform.” DJ-ing and practicing whenever he can find the time, recently, Johns has been talking to a promoter in Orlando and plans to start performing in shows there as well. His personal collection of 120 records in everything from electro to hip hop to classic rock, he’s often been asked to DJ for Eckerd parties. “If it was set up through the chains, yeah, I could do it, but if it’s just you guys having a party, and you want me to come DJ, that probably wouldn’t work,” Johns said. Sometimes working on a college campus is a challenge, but Johns is no stranger to diligence. He describes himself as a hard worker and at some of the places he worked before, he clocked close to 80 hours a week. He doesn’t think too much on the old days, though. Looking toward the future is something Johns does well. He dreams of going to the Connecticut School of Broadcasting for advanced audio and video recording. One thing is for certain, after the work day is done, Johns will always come back to food, music and the tenacious attitude that drives him toward the future. For now, you can see Johns at the burger bar, but stay tuned because soon you might hear him through your speakers.
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Oct. 14, 2016
Assistant Professor of Physics David Mertens explains the details of velocity to a class during his 8 a.m. physics lecture.
photo by Lauren Fariss
New physics professor promotes hands-on learning By Fiona Maguire Science Editor Eckerd has recruited several new faculty members this semester in response to student population growth. In the physics discipline, Assistant Professor of Physics David Mertens from St. Louis, Missouri, is the newest to join the team. He moved to Florida from his previous teaching position at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Eckerd usually graduates about four students each year with a major in physics. In 2016, just three students with physics majors graduated, according to Eckerd Commencement Archives. Fortunately, a select few
students will have the opportunity to work with Mertens in the coming years. “I like that Eckerd has this idea of openness towards new teaching styles,” Mertens said. “And then, I also like that it’s a setting where I’ll have lots of opportunities for one-onone research with students.” As an undergrad student at the University of Missouri, Mertens competitively ran track and field, which he still considers to be an important part of his life. After completing his double major in physics and math, he went on to receive his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Illinois. His research has mainly dealt with collective phenomena. According to Mertens, studying collective phenom-
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ena entails looking at a greater result caused by many tiny interactions. For example, how numerous neurons firing in the brain create synchronized patterns, which lead to coherent thought. “The idea is you have a whole bunch of things that are interacting, that are almost identical and you get some sort of collective behavior out of it,” Mertens said. Mertens is currently looking into the collective phenomena of electronic oscillators and increasing the scale of his experiments. “The physics majors aren’t huge, but if I get a chance to work with one or two students a year, that’s the perfect number for the kind of stuff I’m doing [...] so it really fits with where I
want to be,” Mertens said. In addition to working on his research, Mertens will also be teaching Fundamentals of Physics (I) this semester, and adding Modern Physics to his schedule in the spring. Fundamentals of Physics is a course which introduces students to the basics of physics and is required for various majors including biology and marine science. Mertens is working closely with Professor of Physics Anne Cox to make the course a more hands-on learning experience. According to Mertens the highlight of the first few weeks has been synthesizing material with Cox. Junior Robert Trimble, a student
in Fundamentals of Physics, expected the class to be lecture heavy but found it was similar to having another lab. According to Trimble, the beginning of class is used to explain the assignment and the remaining time is spent working on activities that demonstrate those concepts. “I think hands-on learning is a good idea for physics because it’s about how the world around you reacts to different forces and in different situations, so actually seeing it and measuring it ourselves helps cement the ideas,” Trimble said. Mertens is looking forward to working in the interactive environment that Eckerd provides an opportunity for.
FEATURES Netflix Original: Page 8
Oct. 14, 2016
revives ‘80s nostalgia By Bobbie Wright Copy Editor The Netflix original series “Stranger Things” has populated social media with its nostalgic 1980s sci-fi plot line, becoming the focal point for themed parties, potential Halloween costumes and comical memes. It can be compared to throwbacks like “E.T.” and “The X-files” for its homage to the conspiracy theory narrative and Spielberg films. The show was named the most popular digital original series in the U.S. from the week of July 17 to 23, according to Parrot Analytics — a data company that measures the demand of TV series. Parrot Analytics also found that, in just the first week after its July 15 release, the new Netflix original scifi show became more popular than “Orange is the New Black,” with over three times the demand. The show itself is based in a small Indiana town in 1983 and follows a young boy’s friends and families’ investigation into his untimely disappearance. His mother Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder), with the help of local authorities, searches for answers among the presence of supernatural occurrences in her own home. To an outsider, it appears as if she’s fallen off the wagon, claiming that her son Will (Noah Schnapp) has found ways to reach out to her without physically being there. Yet, in the same spot Will was last seen, his friends discover a young, mute girl donning a shaved head named “Eleven” (Millie Bobby Brown), suggesting his disappearance goes beyond a simple murder mystery. Immediately upon beginning this show, those viewers not familiar with
the popular ‘80s game “Dungeons and Dragons” can find themselves feeling a little left out. Terms like: troglodytes, demogorgon, fireballs and protection spells are tossed out for the audience to decipher. But heavy foreshadowing of Will’s disappearance right after the death of an unnamed scientist at “Hawkins National Laboratory” keeps viewers engaged, wondering what possible monster lurks in the dark. The popularity of this show goes back to its subgenre. Those who grew up during that time can probably recall staying up late playing similar games, or putting the pedal to the metal when the street lights came on past curfew. In other words, this show not only explores a supernatural fantasy that was perfected decades ago, but draws on a narrative that many viewers didn’t know they were craving. Those who aren’t 80s babies can still be enthralled by the simplistic mystery plot combined with modern CGI enhancements. This show also plays into the ever growing popularity of strong female leads. Eleven may start out a mute government science experiment, but she soon ends up doing whatever it takes to help her new-found friends, i.e. she saves the day multiple times with her supernatural powers, while her male counterparts play supporting roles — mostly sketching out plans and becoming argumentative when all goes down hill. The season in its entirety leaves off on a worrisome note, letting audiences know to expect more. The cliffhanger in itself was a tad predictable, but that doesn’t tame the anticipation. Hopes are high for a satisfying season two, coming in 2017.
Ty Dolla $ign joins presidential race with “Campaign” By Dorothy-Mae Eldemire Culture Editor Tyrone William Griffin Jr., known to the public as Ty Dolla $ign, released his second studio album, “Campaign” on Sept. 23. While the 2016 election creeps up quickly, Dolla $ign gives listeners a soundtrack to carry them through. Yet, the album is unapologetically pro-Clinton and anti-Trump. According to Complex Media, Dolla $ign originally planned for the project to be the soundtrack of the summer, but explained that the timing didn’t work out, so he decided to make it the soundtrack to the campaign. The album, starting with a voiceover similar to one found on propaganda states, “I’m Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton or is that one and the same?” The voice-over questions police violence, street violence and elections in general, making a statement with its ending as it says “It’s election season, we all got names ... But if we ain’t voting, we all got blame.” Despite being electoral heavy, the album stays true to Dolla $ign’s signature trap style. On the track “R&B,” he talks about how he wants to go back to old time R&B music and love as he raps, “I made a playlist of all your favorites, let’s wake up the neighbors.” The album is also filled with clear radio-made ready tracks like “Campaign” featuring Future that caters to the Atlanta and Oakland trap scene
as he raps, “Check out my campaign.” While tracks like “??? (Where)” featuring Migos and “Stealing” make it clear that while Dolla $ign definitely won’t be running for presidency anytime soon as he croons, “Momma, please don’t judge me, cuz I’m a criminal,” he has advanced as a writer and rapper. His lyrics, especially here on an album that seems almost experimental in its makeup, works. But this trap-heavy album leads into a song that is hands down the hardest hitting, politically-themed song on the album, “No Justice” where he sings, “They say that we are all created equal, but ain’t nothing about us equal.” He continues into the chorus, “You know that there can never be no justice when killing us is legal.” “No Justice,” which features Dolla $ign’s brother TC who was incarcerated for a murder he did not commit ends on a note that can only be called eye opening. Dolla $ign and TC criticize Clinton and her husband’s role in imprisoning minorities as much as he talks about Trump’s ideas on minorities. He bluntly states, “I would rather hide emails, than ban immigration based on religion or race ... I hate liars, but most of all I hate racists. ‘Make America Great Again’ is really just make America white again.” The four-minute song touches on police brutality more than the presidential candidates have as TC raps, “I keep my hands where they can see
‘em, I know this could be the end of me.” Dolla $ign’s politically-charged music follows a growing increase in songs highlighting police brutality in America, especially from the rap genre that typically focuses on sex, money and drugs. The discourse is changing and rappers like T.I., Jay-Z and J. Cole are changing their music accordingly. The only thing that could take away from the song “No Justice” is the fact that it’s placed between two trap-heavy, sexually-charged songs. But, that does not change the message Dolla $ign is trying to get across. Like many topics, police brutality is often covered up by celebrity news. A example of this was the large coverage of the Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie break-up the day Terrence Crutcher was killed by police. Very few outlets covered the story, focusing on the celebrity drama. In similar style, Dolla $ign hides the message between songs. It’s almost genius the way the album is structured. “Campaign” while trap-heavy, is Dolla $ign’s best to date. His improvement as a rapper is clear on every track. His awareness and desire to make listeners interested in the political campaign and the issues in the country only adds to the music. Audiences can only hope that more rappers take note and keep the conversation going. Promotional photo
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Oct. 14, 2016
Recycling program proud of improved recycling methods By elaine newbern Asst. Science Editor Eckerd’s Recycling Program has made leaps and bounds in recent
years. The biggest improvements include: Increased communication among members, recycling facility beautification and greater recycling education efforts toward the student body.
photos by Lauren Fariss Sophomore Courtney Rhen is a work study member of the recycling program. Her roommate, who participated in recycling last year, recommended the program to her and Rhen is glad she chose the job. “It’s nice to know you’re making a difference,” Rhen said.
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According to junior Dane Hritz, who has worked with the program since fall semester of his freshman year, a large portion of these improvements are credited to 2011 alumnus Evan Bollier taking over the program. “It’s definitely not the prettiest job or what some people would think is the best, but there’s definitely a good core group of people, and it’s a lot of fun to be a part of,” Hritz said. Recycling began as a student-based club in the early 2000s where students volunteered to pick up recycling and sort it into the designated dumpsters on campus. In 2007, it became a part of the Office of Service-Learning under two leading interns. However, the office was no longer able to fund two full-time internship positions in 2012. In July of 2012, the program was handed to Bollier who took over under the Office of Sustainability, where it has been run out of ever since. Marine science major and senior Julia Streett is a shift coordinator who has worked for the recycling program since her freshman year. Streett helps lead efforts on a beautification program, a native plant garden and en-
vironmental promotion. Every year approximately 20 to 25 students are hired for work study positions as recyclers. Their responsibilities include collecting recycling from the academic, administrative and residential sides of campus during two or more shifts Monday through Friday. But, work study students are not the only ones dedicating their time to making sure our recyclables are sorted. According to Bollier, volunteers make up roughly half of the work force for each collection shift. Even with all of the help, the program still faces challenges. Streett feels that the largest remaining obstacle is informing people around campus of what you can and cannot recycle. Many people accidentally recycle Styrofoam or the parts of pizza boxes covered in grease and cheese. “People just think everything is a trash can,” Streett said. Although there is room for improvement, the recycling program has already made a noticeable amount. Communication between recyclers, administration and Eckerd’s janitorial staff have become key
in the advancements of the recycling program. This continues to prove true with students working together to finish a shift early. Recyclers have also been working with administration to note when and where to pick up recyclables in order to avoid cleaning services throwing them away during important events or tours. “It used to be terrible, we used to have so many puke bins and just trash in the bins [...] but every year they seem to be getting better, especially as the year goes on from beginning to end because we get so many people that filter through the program,” Bollier said. According to Bollier, in addition to continuing education on recyclables, the program is now taking aim to clean up the recycling center and keep up with maintenance. The goal is to create a stronger sense of pride in where they work. “I guess I’m given hope by seeing that the students really do care for the environment and making where they live a priority,” he said.
Oct. 14, 2016
Winter Term: Prior planning leads to priceless experience By Rachel Borch Co-Opinion Editor
In addition to offering students the option of studying abroad for a semester or a full academic year, Eckerd is unique in that it provides students with the opportunity to meet graduation requirements by traveling during Winter Term. Winter Term trips are a privilege. Although they may require more advanced planning and accumulation of funds than on-campus classes, the enrichment they contribute to one’s overall college experience cannot be understated. And while many students still choose to stay at Eckerd through January and take one of a variety of intensive courses offered on campus, traveling abroad over Winter Term seems to be an ever-popular venture. In past years, the number of Winter Term trip offerings has hovered around 20 or 21. During the 20162017 school year, the number of Winter Term courses abroad comes to a record 25. This is the largest number of trips that has ever been offered in a single year, according to Director of International Education Diane Ferris. “I’m particularly excited about the [number] of Global Perspectives and Environmental Perspectives courses that are offered, because it seems like that is the Gen-Ed designation that most students need, and it’s just a really good way to be able to take care of it,” Ferris said. The selection of Winter Term trip offerings varies from year to year, depending on the faculty that volunteer to lead them. Some trips have been offered for years, demonstrating the deep commitment of the senior faculty to the program. “Any of those people who would choose to leave their families and their homes, even if they’re still teaching in January, it is a mammoth responsibility,” Ferris said. “I think [students]
photo courtesy of Eckerd College Eckerd and Cuban students pose with Professor of Marine Science and Geosciences Gregg Brooks for a Winter Term thank-you photo on the Island of Youth, Cuba during their two-week stay in January 2016.
need to know what a commitment it is… we don’t just talk about it, and the administration don’t just give lip service, they stand behind it.” As an increasing variety of options become available for students interested in traveling for Winter Term, the factor of cost is inevitably called into question, as the amount of scholarship funding available remains limited in spite of an ever-growing number of trips. Scholarship awards are determined by a number of factors, but three main considerations that are taken into account are seniority, financial need and whether or not the applicant has had the opportunity to study abroad in the past. Though some students will inevitably be disappointed with the outcome, Ferris and the International Education department strive to make the allocation of these funds as fair and transparent as possible.
Ferris encourages students to apply for need-based aid and works tirelessly to provide Winter Term trip opportunities to as many students as possible, but also emphasizes the importance of planning ahead. “It’s difficult, I think, for some to plan without knowing what’s being offered, but if they want to have an experience they need to plan ahead now, and do whatever they can… I know so many people work to even support being on campus, much less traveling abroad,” Ferris said. While scholarships are available for international Winter Term courses, some students may be disappointed to learn that is not the case for Winter Term trip offerings that remain inside the U.S., such as the six different courses being offered this year at Abiquiqui Ghost Ranch in New Mexico. Ferris chalks this discrepancy up to contractual obligations, as most of the scholarship funding for the International Educa-
tion office is contractually required to use for just that — International Education — making domestic trips ineligible for scholarships by donors. For both domestic and international Winter Term trips, however, the relative expense and additional application process should not deter students from pursuing such opportunities. As many students who have been abroad for Winter Term will tell you, the experience is priceless, and the learning opportunity it presents outweighs the initial cost by a wide margin. “I absolutely loved my trip and had some of the best experiences while there, along with forming close relationships that I keep to this day,” senior Sarah Feehan said of the Art and Magic in Peru trip she embarked on for Winter Term last year, led by Professor of Visual Arts Brian Ransom. For Feehan, the application pro-
cess was relatively straightforward, and the amount she was awarded in scholarship funding exceeded her expectations. “I think I got very lucky with my whole experience,” Feehan said. Ferris echoes these sentiments, hoping that students will come to view study abroad experiences not just as opportunities to travel and have fun with their classmates, but as real investments in their future, providing invaluable context for the global worldview already emphasized heavily in Eckerd’s curriculum. “It’s an incredibly valuable experience,” Ferris said. “Any employer who looks at somebody’s transcript or resume and sees that someone has done that, [sees] that these are not just people who happen to have a degree… it demonstrates people’s interest in the world around them, [and] when you come from a liberal arts college, it just really underscores the kind of education that you get here.”
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Oct. 14, 2016
Kaepernick takes a knee, stands up for black community
By Samuel Martinez Contributing Writer Colin Kaepernick, quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, has the right to protest — whether or not one agrees with the means, time or place of the protest is another matter. He is now one of the most talked about players in the NFL, and his simple refusal has generated national attention and a wide range of responses. I personally stand for the national anthem. I do this not because I believe in everything that this country is, but in everything that it can be. In the same regard, if Kaepernick feels that there is an injustice being done, then there isn’t a “right time” or “proper place” to air these concerns, only now. Eckerd Assistant Coordinator for Multicultural Affairs Topaz Hooper led a discussion on Thursday, Sept. 22, about Kaepernick’s protest and the sense of patriotism waning in our country. “I think if people are really disturbed by this and they want some resolution, I think people need to read up on what’s going on in the world; and if they’re not angry about what’s going on,then there’s something wrong,” Hooper said. The NFL player’s form of protest has also revealed another matter which society has failed to address fully; ultimately, Kaepernick’s focus on recent events of police brutality sparks a widespread conversation on racial injustice. These killings may not equally affect every American, but they do transcend all racial and socioeconomic divides in our society. And whether one agrees with Kaepernick’s assessment or not, a national dialogue about the killings that have taken place must happen. People of all ethnicities and cultural backgrounds are killed by police across the nation.
This has to stop, whether these individuals are innocent or guilty. Even the guilty have the right to a fair trial by a jury of their peers. “This is not something that I am going to run by anybody,” Kaepernick said to an NFL reporter in August. “I am not looking for approval. I have to stand up for people that are oppressed ... If they take football away, my endorsements from me, I know that I stood up for what is right.” Still, this is not a nation that likes to hear about its faults; this is a nation whose plaudits may be sung all day and well into the night, but dissension is never met with widespread acclaim. Whether or not Kaepernick is patriotic or justified in his choice of action, the topic he has called to America’s attention is one worth discussing. Yet, the manner in which Kaepernick chose to speak out has stolen much of the attention which should have been focused on the cause at hand — ending police brutality altogether. In this respect, Hooper agrees. “If people focus on Kaepernick, they are missing the point,” Hooper said. Freshman Ally Koval expressed that she did not like the example Kaepernick was setting for young kids to not stand up for the national anthem. However, Koval points out that Kaepernick’s protest has not been by any means extreme. “[Kaepernick’s] protest is more mature than the one in Charlotte because he’s not harming anyone physically,” Koval said. This is an overlooked point in regards to Kaepernick’s protest; he could have done something very disrespectful or boisterous, but instead he chose to take a knee, which could almost be looked upon as a sign of respect. “I think it’s time, and I think it’s coming. And I think, whether or not people are ready for change, I think it’s coming,” Hooper said.
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OPINION Racial awareness lacks ‘One Drop of Love’
By Mereysa Taylor Co-Opinion Editor Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni graced Eckerd with her one-woman performance about how race was constructed in the U.S. and the ways in which it affects our most intimate relationships on Sept. 15. “People lived with the rule, that one drop of black blood, deemed you black in a national census,” she said, remarking on the history of our national census and the notorious “one drop rule.” Her performance, called “One Drop of Love,” barely filled Miller Auditorium; more senior citizens of the surrounding St. Petersburg area attended than Eckerd students did. Shame on us. Cox DiGiovanni tours around the country, performing her wildly entertaining, educational and autobiographical piece on race, justice, truth and love. A mixed race woman herself, she found her passion in acting and storytelling, and what began as a thesis project for her Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in 2013 bore an influential piece of performance art. She has since then used her platform and creative license to educate and empathize with the plight of racial minorities in this country, including those of mixed race. At this school, this is a particular conversation that nobody really wants to have — it’s too awkward, too uncomfortable to face the fact that there may be something wrong with the way race is handled at Eckerd — whether that be in the classroom, on tours or with Eckerd brochures that like to depict a rainbow of color in our predominantly white student body. And it is not a problem of what Eckerd can do to attract a racially diverse student population. That is a slow moving process that has seen improvement over time, so expecting a historically white college to show 50 percent diversity overnight is highly unrealistic. The problem herein lies with how racially diverse students already at Eckerd are being treated. On the one hand, many Eckerd students are aware and diligently address their privilege because they realize they
have a platform to do so. Clubs and organizations like the Afro-American Society and Latinos Unidos have surfaced to celebrate those of ethnic minorities. On the other hand, those same minorities are often fetishized and commodified, with things like our infamous “Cowboys and Indians” party or just simply connoting an entire group of people with one athletic team. In the same regard, when it comes to mixed race students, some ethnic groups have remained just as ignorant. The blame isn’t solely on the white population. Junior Yumiko Post, of both black and Japanese heritage, has felt the disconnect between both groups. “I’m not black passing, meaning I don’t have features that make someone automatically think I’m black. It’s hard for me to make an entrance into those [black] communities because I’m not initially seen as black,” Post said. Moreover, being mixed is often used to invalidate the opinions of the individual — as if being of both races somehow makes you inept in answering to a problem or situation specific to that race. “It feels like I’m not in charge of my own ethnic identity [...] it’s that everyone who I meet feels like they have a say in what I am and how I should identify,” Post said. It’s time to stop allowing the phrase “Oh, well you’re mixed,” into the larger narrative when we talk about race. For those who do not and will not know what it is to be an ethnic minority, it is time to put an end to the assumptions and delegations of race to anyone but yourself. The problem is we’ve been fooled into categorizing people by a history of racial oppression and segregation. I am Afro-Latina: someone of Hispanic heritage who has darker skin. That being said, even I have come to feel I cannot sit with a group of Hispanic/Latino students, the ones with paler skin and long dark hair. Because even though we share the same tongue, and despite my Dominican heritage, I am not aesthetically fitting to the group. So I stay where I look like I belong. It’s the turnings of a vicious cycle that we have done nothing but propagate. “Especially being mixed race, there’s
a constant idea that you have to choose one race or the other, and you can’t identify or be proud of both. I can be equally proud of my black heritage and my Japanese heritage, regardless of if I identify more as black or not,” Post said. The good news is: We can combat this disparity. White students can more openly identify their privilege. Eckerd can implement new courses to teach all students (in this case, more specifically white students) how to tactfully navigate racial relations. “Having a class on whiteness or white privilege would be wondrous. When they [those who are identified as white] realize the history behind the word ‘white’, and the concept of ‘white’, they really see it,” Cox DiGiovanni said. Education is our most trusted weapon against ignorance and naïveté. If we are not prepared to be educated in not only the history of our own race but that of the races of others, we will never move forward as a community. “We all need somebody to help reflect back to us, [we] need to be reminded of the way that we’re moving in the world that can actually make things worse,” Cox DiGiovanni said. Be aware of the different cultures of your peers. Colorblindness is not an option. Saying you are colorblind is deliberately choosing to erase a person’s ancestry. “It’s part of my identity, I want you to see my color. I want you to know what I’ve been through, and my history and my culture,” Post said. Cox DiGiovanni reminds us with ‘One Drop of Love’ that we are worthy of acceptance from all groups, that being mixed or even of just one ethnic minority does not designate your place in the world. It does not dictate who you are, even though it is part of who you are. The mantra is “truth, justice, then love.” In that order. Eckerd is just a small community in a country where the conversation of race is much larger. But as students, we have to start somewhere. Here seems as good a place as any.
Oct. 14, 2016
photo courtesy of Jeff Lorch
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