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Student mail engulfed in "Wildfire"

Alison Darmetko, Anchor Staff

    Rhode Island College students have received emails that they might not always be particularly inclined to read or engage with. On a daily basis, students receive emails from various departments campus-wide, such as the Office of College Communications, pertaining to what is happening on campus. However, since the start of the month, students have been receiving emails from a new source called “Wildfire.”

    The emails from addresses, “ric@wildfireappalerts.com” and “ric@wfcampusalerts.com,” contain the same message, encouraging students to join the “Wildfire App.” This is a service claiming that their primary focus is to keep RIC students informed about major events on campus, citing crime and “major events” specifically. The first email, which greeted students back from the summer, appears similar to other emails that have been sent out by RIC administration. It also looks like another version of the alert system employed by various colleges to keep students in the loop. The email even offers an example of an alert a student would receive through the system, though it is the same alert in both emails.

    The current emergency alert system that is being used by RIC campus police is called the Rave Communication System. The Office of College Communication also sends out emergency information to students through a text system called RICAlerts, which students can sign up for in their MyRIC account.

    The final line of the email, right above an option to opt out of further emails, reads, “Wildfire is not affiliated with Rhode Island College.” If the company is not actually affiliated with Rhode Island College, then why are students receiving emails citing the app’s helpfulness for RIC students? The Anchor reached out to both Campus Police and the Office of College Communications regarding the emails and Wildfire. Both groups said they were not connected to the company.

    Upon searching for information on the company online, the app is advertised as a general school alert system that students can use to be kept in the loop by their administrators to avoid any crises on campus. When checking the app store, the app is similar to other social media platforms where users can place comments or alerts to warn others about various events occurring in that vicinity, with a focus in the marketing material for colleges.

    RIC students have received phishing emails in the past, as the student body had recently received phishing emails advertising a shopping service and excellent job opportunities. Students are advised to not open the links in the email, and instead report the emails to the I.T. Help desk at helpdesk@ric.edu. 

 

Providence passes city-wide ban of plastic bags

Sean Richer, Asst. News Editor

    As of last Tuesday, the City of Providence passed a legislation banning retail establishments from using single-use plastic bags. In their stead, recyclable paper bags may be used, if they are made from at least 40% recycled material. Bags for certain products are exempt from this law, however. These include produce, meat, and frozen foods. The penalty for not complying with the ordinance will result in a warning, followed by fines of up to $100 for any future violations. 

    According to Clean Water Action R.I., 60 tons of plastic bag material is retrieved from Rhode Island waters each year. This has the potential to create many issues for the native marine life, including asphyxiation, and poisoning from the decomposing toxins left behind. Several large business chains including CVS and Stop and Shop have expressed their willingness to make the change to biodegradable paper bags. 

    Other small businesses have expressed concern over this change, mainly due to cost. Luis Reyes, the owner of Reyes Liquor, told WPRI that he had already bought $6,000 worth of plastic bags for the year. “It has cost me a lot” he said, “And I was only recently aware that this ban was happening.” The state has said that exemptions can be made in order for businesses to deplete their stock of plastic bags, so long as an application is submitted. According to Patricia Sorracas, a city spokesperson for Providence, says four businesses have submitted such applications.

    On the other side of the spectrum, President Sanchez expressed his support for the new law saying, “Reducing the amount of single use plastic bags is one of the simplest and most effective things we can do to protect our environment… I applaud every effort to make the city around us greener. Rhode Island College has switched to many recyclable paper products over the years, including paper straws, cups and food containers.” 

    We may be seeing a lot more paper in place of plastic not only on campus, but in the community around us as well.

 

Amnesty International photographer speaks out against death penalty

Sean Richer, Asst. News Editor

   Of the many topics demanding our attention, the death penalty may not rank very high in terms of importance for some. That cannot be said of Scott Langley, an Amnesty International photographer who has spent his career documenting the practice. 

    Last week, Scott’s work was on display in Gaige Hall, a chronological series of photos describing the controversial execution of Troy Davis in 1991. Scott himself came to Rhode Island College last Wednesday to showcase his work, in an effort to denounce what he and Amnesty Intl. describe as a “cruel, inhuman, and degrading punishment.” 

    After an introduction from Dr. Linde, who hosted the event, Langley took the podium for the presentation. The photos depicted each step of the controversial practice, from sentencing to execution. One photo depicts a gurney fitted with straps, where the prisoner, Mr. Davis, is restrained. He is in front of his grieving family of just moments after the clock struck seven. 

   Many students expressed how moved they were by the presentation. “I thought it was so inspirational and very well put together,” said one student. “It doesn’t make sense that things like suicide are illegal, but yet the government can kill people.” 

    Executions have been declining on the whole for the last 10 years, however it is still practiced. 279 people were executed in Texas alone under the governorship of Rick Perry from 2001-2014, and the state continues to place first in the country. President Trump has also scheduled over 50 federal executions, the first of which is slated for next month. Such an execution would be the first of its kind in 20 years.   

   Despite this, Scott remains optimistic. “Things are getting better!” he exclaimed. “It's pretty much unheard of in the Northeast now. Hopefully, the media can bring even more attention to this issue.” It does not appear that the controversy surrounding the death penalty will dissapate soon, with Scott Langley and Amnesty International continuing to call for its abolishment. 

 

Grand jury does not bring charges in Wyatt confrontation

Abigail Nilsson, News Editor

    The grand jury declined to indict Capt. Thomas Woodworth after he was accused of pepper spraying and driving his truck into protesters at Wyatt Detention Facility on Aug. 14. 

    Videos on social media show protesters sitting down and blocking the road around the Wyatt Detention Facility and then a pickup truck enters the screen, beeping the horn and it appears to drive straight towards the Never Again Action protesters, a group fighting against ICE detention centers. In pictures and videos, you can see clouds rising above the crowds and people moving from the origin of the clouds. Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Neronha said no more than six people needed medical treatment.

    According to some, this was a peaceful protest and that Woodworths actions were uncalled for. One of the protesters, Jared Goldstein said, "The case is very simple. The case, it's a case of innocent, peaceful protesters, who were protesting at the Wyatt when a truck tried to drive them over, and the driver then called his buddies up on the walkie-talkie, and they came out and pushed the protesters out of the way and pepper sprayed them."  

    Before this case was brought in front of a grand jury, Attorney General Neronha asked people to come forward with their picture and video evidence so authorities could examine this case as in depth as possible and from every angle. He felt that there was much more to what happened with the driver of the truck and the pepper spray than some of the videos portrayed.

    "I chose to bring this case to the grand jury because of the breadth of conduct here, the large number of people involved, and the potential need to use compulsory process to gain evidence in this case, the use of the grand jury would ensure the most thorough investigation of this matter," Neronha said.

    Never Again Action said in a statement, “We are greatly disappointed that Mr. Woodworth will not be held accountable for his irresponsible, dangerous, and violent actions against peaceful protesters on August 14, nor will the officers who recklessly deployed pepper spray into the crowd that night. Yet, we are not surprised. Witnesses who testified before the grand jury, including those who were hit by the truck, reported that prosecutors focused only on the supposed 'danger' of unarmed protesters in an effort to justify Woodworth's and his colleagues' self-evidently indefensible actions. This strategy, employed by Attorney General Neronha's prosecutors, is used repeatedly by investigators across the country probing police violence against citizens.”

    The mayor of Central Falls, James Diossa, was unhappy with the ruling of the grand jury and he will continue to change the impact that the Wyatt Detention Facility has on the community.

    While Capt. Thomas Woodworth remains free of charge, the Never Again Action group will continue voicing their concerns regarding Wyatt Detention Facility.  

 

Justin Trudeau narrowly secures second term

Sean Richer, Asst. News Editor

   After a tumultuous month for Canada’s Liberal Party, it’s leader, Justin Trudeau is poised to serve another term in office. However, this victory came at a great cost, with the Liberal party losing 27 seats in parliament, 13 shy of a majority. 

    Trudeau drew the ire of many last month, after several pictures from his youth emerged of him dressed in blackface at various events. This revelation provoked intense criticism across the political spectrum, and has greatly damaged the Prime Minister’s once sparkling reputation.  Previous allegations of corruption within Trudeau’s administration also led to the resignation of Jane Philpott, the former Canadian President of the Treasury, due to allegations of corruption within Trudeau’s administration. This combined with the photos of Trudeau in blackface all worked against him in the most recent race to Parliament Hill. 

    Despite these setbacks, Trudeau’s liberals will be able to form a minority government. This means that they will have to rely on support from the country’s other left-leaning parties in order to pass legislation. 

    The two parties making up most of the remaining left wing seats include the New Democratic Party (NDP), led by Jagmeet Singh and the Bloc Quebecois, led by Yves-François Blanchet. This creates cause for the Liberal Party to give concessions to both rivals, particularly the Bloc, which could stand to gain more independence for the French speaking province of Quebec.

    Trudeau’s main rival, Andrew Scheer of the Conservative Party, was quick to congratulate the returned Prime Minister, but his tone soon changed at a conservative rally afterwards. 

    “Conservatives have put Trudeau on notice.” announced Scheer. “Mr. Trudeau, when your government falls, we conservatives will be ready, and we will win!” Conservatives led the popular vote in the election, and despite not being able to possess the most seats in parliament, it remains unclear who in fact benefited the most from last week’s election. Time will tell which path Canada chooses in the coming years.

 

Four arrested in relation to the murder of 39 people in shipping container

Abigail Nilsson, News Editor

    ENGLAND - Four people have been arrested in connection with the murder of eight female and 31 male Chinese nationals found in a shipping container in the back of a train in Grays, Essex. 

    Mo Robinson, the 25-year-old driver of the truck, remains in custody on suspicion of murder. Following his arrest, a 48-year-old man from Northern Ireland, along with a 38-year-old man and woman from Warrington have also been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to traffic people and on suspicion of 39 counts of manslaughter; the suspects names have not yet been released.

    Authorities believe that the trailer traveled from Zeebrugge, Belgium into Purfleet, England where the container was discovered with the bodies at the Waterglade Industrial Park on Eastern Avenue in Grays. Everyone inside the lorry was pronounced dead at the scene. Investigators are not sure when the people entered the container or how long they were there. This case is being investigated as human trafficking and manslaughter. 

    On Wednesday, Chief Superintendent Andrew Mariner said, "This is a tragic incident where a large number of people have lost their lives. Our enquiries are ongoing to establish what has happened.

We are in the process of identifying the victims, however, I anticipate that this could be a lengthy process.”

   A formal identification process is currently taking place to identify the individuals who lost their lives, why they lost their lives and to fully comprehend the trafficking scheme at large. Deputy Chief Constable Pippa Mills said, “This is a fast-moving investigation involving significant police resources dedicated to finding out the truth about what happened to the 39 people found dead in the lorry on Wednesday.”

    Authorities are asking anyone who has any information that could help their investigation to come forward, especially if they are living illegally. 

 

Opinions

 

Professor appreciation

Kyra Garabedian, Anchor Staff

During the time I have spent at Rhode Island College, I have had a number of professors who consistently go out of their way to ensure the success of their students. As a preservice teacher, I tend to be more observant of how teachers go above and beyond what is required of them to help their students. To me, having a professor who actively articulates their support for students is what helps me connect with a class and improve my overall academic success. With all our professors do for us, what can we as students do to show them how much we appreciate their continuous support and hard work?  
Recently, I was thinking about how my high school dedicated a week to teachers by allowing students and other faculty members to recognize their efforts. Even small gestures from students such as a wall of appreciation consisting of handwritten notes would let teachers know they are valued. This would impact teachers in such a positive way, letting them know that what they are doing makes a difference in the lives of others. These acts of acknowledgment are crucial to the self-efficacy, or personal judgment of one’s actions. After remembering how powerful recognizing teachers was in high school, I began to wonder if RIC had a way of letting teachers know how important they are. 
I started asking both students and professors if they knew of any kind of teacher appreciation activities taking place on campus. I was pleased to find out from a student-athlete that each year, professors are selected by athletes and recognized as a “Most Valuable Professor” during an athletic event. This seems like a wonderful way to let professors know how they have impacted the lives of students. I spoke with a professor who felt extremely honored by the acknowledgment. The only problem? I’m not a student-athlete. I can’t recognize my professors on a large scale such as this because I don’t play a sport for RIC. 
Digging a little deeper, I spoke with one of my professors about ways students currently show their appreciation without being an athlete. He explained how even the simple act of students asking questions at the end of class and showing their engagement during class can show their appreciation. He also reported that students have often left him thank you notes at the end of a semester, or even written letters of appreciation to the Dean of the department. These are all wonderful gestures, but I still feel as though there should be a campus-wide effort to recognize professors for all they do. 
I keep imagining covering a wall in the Student Union or Donovan Dining Hall with small notes of appreciation students write for their professors. There could be a basket with slips of paper students could take a few minutes to fill out. They would be proof-read to make sure they were appropriate and put up on the wall. This would allow students to recognize their professors in a less formal way than writing a note, but also make a powerful gesture like athletes can. 
Our professors work tirelessly to make sure we succeed, the least we can do is let them know how much we appreciate them!

 

Should bibles be passes out around college campuses?

Brynn Terry, Copy Asst.

Cute little green books made their way around campus Thursday morning. These books were pocket-sized copies of the New Testament of the Bible distributed by a few kind older gentleman and women standing outside of the Student Union. I saw them offer a copy to everyone who walked by at least once. Some like me were approached several times, and I found myself unable to say no the first time because they were so kind. I witnessed some people deny the bibles, some take one and walk away laughing, and some people were pleased to be given the small gift.
Although it was a kind gesture, I couldn't help but wonder if they should have been giving away the Bibles at a public college that is not affiliated with any one specific religion. Isn't there some sort of problem with separating church and state, since the give away had in fact  been approved by Rhode Island College?
Well, not necessarily, as this is an example of freedom of religion and freedom of speech, and having a public campus means that pretty much anyone (within reason) can come to campus. In fact, James P. Adams library is a public library that any Rhode Island resident can check books out at. They had the right to be passing out their bibles and were generally respectful of people who declined their offers. 
Giving out copies of Bibles on a college campus is not seclusive to RIC, as I recently watched snapchat stories from a friend at the University of Maine holding the same tiny green Bibles. Yet, should it be allowed if it is not by a member of the campus? We have groups on campus such as Sojourner that consists of students sharing their religion on campus. If they had been offering me a Bible, I likely would not have been as taken aback as I was. 
I grew up Roman Catholic, so I have read the Bible a few times in my life. I think it's an important piece of literature, and it's incredibly important to many people who practice the Christian faith. Yet, I can't help but feel like religion isn't like a flyer to attend an off-campus event or a coupon for pizza. If you are not a student, maybe you shouldn't be on a public college campus for religious reasons. 
If the group had set up a table in Donovan Dining Center and allowed people to voluntarily come get a Bible, I think I would`ve been more comfortable with it. This allows people to go to the table on their own will. It decreases the chance that a person who might not want a copy will feel rude or uncomfortable if just asked like a friendly ambush.
Ultimately, I think it's up to the students to decide what they'd like on campus. The RIC campus should be a place to express yourself, whether a member of Sojourner or the Cat Coalition.

 

The inescapable vortex of technology

Grace Kimmell, Anchor Staff

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: cell phones are a distraction, a neuron-corroding poison and they have no place whatsoever in schools. This all too familiar refrain echoes throughout the halls of modern academia. Colleges, too, are not immune to the panicked pleas from those who would wrench our beloved iPhones from our possession in a desperate attempt to cultivate much needed critical thinking and interpersonal skills. As students, we often ask, “Why do we need to know this?” In this instance, maybe we should be asking, “Do they have a point?”

 After all, how many times have you seen your friend, significant other or family members yanked into the vortex of their phone screen instead of paying attention to your wit, good looks or sparkling banter? Yeah, we have all been there. We’ve certainly seen (or been) the distracted student in an 8 a.m. class ambling through our Instagram and seeing the fifteenth picture this week of Karen apple picking with her new flame (it won’t last) rather than attending to our academic obligations. It would be disingenuous to say that we’re not distracted, that we’re not more distant when we’re lost in the trappings of tech. But I don’t think technology is the problem. I think technology only magnifies who we are and exacerbates our natural predilections. If properly cultivated, our relationship with technology could be a panacea to many of the interpersonal ills that plague us, especially on a college campus. Schools, even and perhaps especially colleges, should not focus on restricting students’ use of technology. Rather, schools should model all of the ways that technology can bring us together and immerse us in an authentic, rich dialogue about the world around us. After all, isn’t that the real point of education? 

Because of technology, I’ve been able to stumble upon like-minded people fighting for many of the same social causes that are important to me. I’ve been able to FaceTime with my grandmother as she treks across the midwestern plains of the US in search of adventure. I’ve even been able to engage in impromptu tutoring with friends on the other side of the country when I need help proofreading things like these articles. Technology can be magic. And that magic comes from facilitating the peerless joy of meaningful human interaction.

This seems especially relevant to a school like RIC, where our population is mostly comprised of commuters. We’re all Anchormen, but what truly anchors us here at RIC isn’t geographic proximity like on many traditional campuses. We’re rooted here at RIC because we have a shared passion, common curiosity and mutual commitment to building a better world. We would be wise to use technology to bring groups together, doing things like having real-life meetings in virtual spaces. Clubs on campus using technology strategically to ultimately bring more people to their meetings despite a lack of proximity would only strengthen the fabric of our RIC community. In using technology to promote social or academic interests that can bring us together on campus, instead of using it to isolate ourselves in suffocatingly selfish bubbles, we’ll have a much more connected student body. 

Technology isn’t going away. Our interpersonal skills don’t have to, either. Use it to your advantage. Ask that cutie you low-key like for their number and then ask them to meet up. Email your professor and follow up with them in person about that question you don’t quite understand. Text that friend that you haven’t talked to in a while and ask to hang out soon. Make a new group/club and use social media to promote it to other students/friends. Every inevitable update to our technology doesn’t have to rollback our humanity.

 

Plastic bags? #NotInProvidence

Alison Macbeth & Alexis Rapoza

Opinion & Asst. Opinions Editor

As of October 22, 2019 plastic bags have been banned from being distributed in Providence stores - and it is about time. According to the City of Providence website, “The ban seeks to reduce the number of plastic checkout bags in the City, curb litter in the streets, protect our waterways and marine environment while reducing greenhouse gas emissions through encouraging the use of reusable bags by prohibiting retailers from offering single-use plastic bags at the checkout counter.” 

Some people might be concerned with the lack of plastic blowing in the wind; however, there are exceptions for produce bags, laundry and dry cleaning bags as well as bags for frozen food and meat. And if you forget your reusable bags, retailers can still offer paper bags for their customers. 

Overall, this seems like a step in the right direction. Eliminating plastic bags will hopefully make a small dent in our climate crisis. Providence, although a small city, has taken a big step as an environmental leader in our nation. 


Here is what Rhode Island College students are saying about the plastic bag ban:


Andres (Political Science, Class of 2020) “As a student who has been trying to reduce their carbon footprint in small ways such as attempting to eliminate single-use plastics as well as meat and dairy consumption in my daily life, I understand that this is not enough. Although individuals hold an incredible amount of power alone, changes to aid the environment during its time of need and recuperation must begin where the damage once did: at the top, at both the corporate and government level. That being said, the ban on single-use plastic bags in Providence is a small but, nevertheless, a good step in the right direction. For some, it will definitely take some time to adjust. However, the attempt to reduce our negative impact on the environment through our egregious use of single-use plastics is the least we can do in our efforts to clean the Earth. Also, I think reusable tote bags are cuter.” 


Genesis (Political Science, Class of 2021) “Although Providence is a small city, I personally think that banning the use of plastic bags could truly make a difference to protect our environment. It could potentially also serve as an example for other places to implement a plastic bag ban.”


Justin (Communications & Public Relations, Class of 2020) “Like all bans, you have to give it a little bit of time to see if people will like it. But I’m all for it!”


Edwin (Undeclared, Class of 2023) “At first I was like ‘it sounds like a good idea’ but I saw a lot of small business owners say they were not going to participate so I do not know if it is going to work.” 


Amanda (Art & Film, Class of 2021) “I think it is a good idea. Everyone should just buy tote bags because they’re cute and reusable.” 


Slade (English and Secondary Education, Class of 2022) “I actually think it will be effective. People are going to be all up in arms about it because who likes change? But, we made the change from paper to plastic in the late 20th century, so I’m sure in the early 21st century we can make the change from plastic back to paper.”  


President Frank Sanchez “Reducing the amount of single-use plastic bags in our environment is one of the simplest and yet most effective things we can do to protect our environment. That’s why Rhode Island College has been leading without sustainability efforts for several years, particularly at Donovan Dining Center. We offer paper bags for carryout, paper straws, compostable paper plates and cups, and corn-based biodegradable cups for fountain drinks. We’ve installed roughly 30 water bottle filling stations around campus, which have prevented half a million single-use plastic bottles from ending up in the trash. Most of our campus is in Providence, so I applaud every effort to make the city around us greener. This is an important step towards reducing the amount of single-use plastic citywide.” 

 

Wyatt Detention Center: are police officers held accountable?

Alison Macbeth, Opinions Editor

Who knew that a driving into a crowd of people would be permissible? This is the shocking reality for Rhode Island protestors as of October 24. The grand jury decided that Captain Thomas Woodworth’s actions on August 14 at the Wyatt Detention Center did not support probable cause for criminal charges. This is reprehensible.
Watching the video footage of Captain Woodworth intentionally driving at a high speed into a parking lot barricaded by yellow-clad Never Again Action protesters is chilling. Some viewers might assume that Woodworth did not see the protestors. However, after he came inches away from the protestors, he paused and then continued driving forward as protestors stood in front of his truck. A few minutes later, other officers came out from the detention center with tear gas and aggressive attitudes. It is clear that the officers were not coming out to maintain peace nor were they concerned with the protestors exercising their first amendment right in opposition to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) presence at the facility.
Any reasonable person who would watch the video footage of this incident would determine that there is probable cause for a criminal charge. This is not saying that Woodworth committed a crime, but rather that the incident constitutes evidence of a crime. If any other person drove into a crowd of protestors somewhere else, most reasonable people would see this as an act of aggression and worthy of further investigation. Several protestors were injured by Woodworth’s actions. Yet, by the decision of the grand jury, the victims are informed that their injuries are not the fault of the individual operating the vehicle. 
The protestors could have not been sitting at the entrance of a state owned parking lot. They could have run away after the truck drove quickly towards them. (Read the comments on The Sun video and you’ll have every reason for the police officer to run down the “lefties”, communists and fascists. One commenter received 95 likes for touting that “Blocking and surrounding people in their vehicles should be considered false imprisonment or kidnapping.”) 
Despite these extreme statements, there are reasonable factors that should be considered for this incident. The protestors were technically on private property (owned by the state) and surrounded the truck. After Woodworth drove quickly towards them, many protestors refused to move and banged on the windows. This certainly did not maintain a peaceful environment, but is understandable in the case of almost being run over by a car.
All in all, the issue comes down to this - a police officer is permitted to use aggressive force on a group of peaceful protestors without repercussions. There is little to no accountability for his actions. Without much thought, there are many other ways Woodworth could still have exercised his right to go to work without wielding personal aggression. He could have asked protestors to move and if they refused, he could have called for backup. Instead he took matters into his own hands and used his authority to assert himself - ultimately, risking the health and safety of the individuals protesting. 
A police officer, of all people, should be setting the example when it comes to keeping the peace and protecting the rights of Americans. Woodworth not only failed to keep the peace but instigated a conflict that has probable cause for criminal indictment. The grand jury’s decision is shocking and causes us to ask, yet again: are police officers held accountable for their actions?

 

Arts & Entertainment

 

Strange Days: This history of Halloween

Gregory A. Williams

   Costumes, jack o' lanterns, trick or treating and monster-themed parties are some of the many traditions that are synonymous with Halloween here in America, but in order to understand how we got here, we must first travel back to Europe over 2000 years ago. Samhain (pronounced sah-win) loosely translates to "summer's end" or possibly "together" in Gaelic, was a festival celebrated on Nov. 1 by Europe's Celtic people. 

   Considered their New Year's Day, this day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the time to prepare for the cold, dark winter that would inevitably come. In preparation for winter, resources were gathered for the long winter months ahead. Cattle were brought back down from the summer pastures and livestock were slaughtered for winter. 

    The Celts believed that on Samhain Eve - our Halloween - the boundary between our world and the next would become weak allowing for the souls of the dead, and other beings, to slip through and wander the Earth. In addition to communing with the dead, the divination rituals were common and animal sacrifices were made to appease their gods. Feasts were held, at which the souls of dead relatives were invited to attend. 

    Because of this practice, it has been likened to a festival of the dead.  Cognizant of the possibility that harmful spirits and creatures could be about, they protected themselves by wearing costumes, made up of animal heads and skins, to confuse the spirits and to possibly prevent them from becoming possessed. This could possibly be where our custom of dressing up for Halloween originates. People would dress up and gather around sacred bonfires and burn crops and tell each other fortunes. 

    An early form of trick or treating was the act of going from door to door, in disguise, asking for food.  Sometimes people wore costumes to perform in plays or skits. Another predecessor to trick or treating was the English tradition of "souling", when poor people would knock on doors on Hallowmas (an archaic term for a Christian feast day now known as All Saints Day, Nov. 1) asking for donations in food (where the term 'soul-cakes' comes from) in exchange for singing songs and offering prayers for the dead. This practice was unsurprisingly taken from the Celtics Samhain festival by the early Church. In the seventh century, 

    Pope Boniface IV decreed Nov. 1 All Saints' Day or All Hallows' Day. The night before this we now know as Halloween, or All Hallows' Eve. We cannot forget to appreciate the European Immigrants that brought Halloween to the United States, especially the Irish immigrants who were fleeing famines during the first half of the nineteenth century. Already known in North America since the colonial days, Halloween was celebrated mostly by children in the middle of the 20th century. Now, to my everlasting delight, Halloween is celebrated by both children and adults and just about every institution. From Strange Days to you, Happy Samhain, Happy All Hallows' Eve and of course, Happy Halloween! 

 
seis manos.jpeg

Netflix. review: Seis Manos

Sh-Ron Almeida, Anchor Staff

 In the sleepy town of 1970s San Simon, Mexico, three orphans train tirelessly in Chinese martial arts under the tutelage of their father figure, Sifu Chiu. After a series of events take place, tragedy strikes, their beloved teacher killed. Now, it is up to the grief-stricken trio, Isabela, Jesus, and Silencio, to track down and dismantle those responsible for his death. With the help of a Houston DEA agent and a local Mexican cop, they soon find themselves in a conspiracy full of occult forces, cartel brutality and corruption. 

  There is a reason why this Netflix original is rated MA and it shows. The martial arts techniques are aggressive, ruthless and very deadly. Graphic gore is sprinkled throughout. Seis Manos is not afraid to display its grindhouse content which sets it apart from other contemporary cartoons. 

  Many will appreciate the authentic Mexican elements that are also mixed with far east themes. It was clear that the writers worked hard to bring it to life. The characters are also likeable with a deep sense of humanity. The most complex and polarizing character in the show is the mute Silencio, whose many decisions can leave viewers speechless, pun intended. 

   However, Seis Manos is not without its flaws, narrative wise. Because it’s only eight episodes, the variety of plot elements feel disconnected from each other, making the investment fade away after reaching its climax. It would have been more watchable to have it be a revenge story if nothing else. 

   Overall, this is a show worth seeing, especially if you want to watch underrepresented, diverse characters kick ass and take names.

 

Rescue spotlight of the week

Brynn Terry, Asst. Copy Editor

Brynn Terry

Asst. Copy Editor

Photos by Brynn Terry

Graphic by Grace Kimmell


Mary Lou, a lovable and independent female black cat, is believed to be two to three years old and is looking for a home. Mary Lou was brought to the Cranston Animal Shelter back in June as a feral cat who did not get along well with people. Since then, Mary Lou has been able to warm up to people, spending her time walking around the office, sitting on counters and stealing seats from the shelter employees. Mary Lou loves head pats, and is vaccinated, spayed, dewormed and has tested negative for both feline HIV/AIDS and leukemia. Mary Lou is looking for the right home where she can be the only cat.


Rocco is a sweet male pitbull mix who is around a year and a half old. Rocco was found by the train tracks in Cranston hungry and afraid. Rocco was brought to Cranston Animal Shelter where he was nursed back to health.He has a lot of energy and loves to play and be given attention. Rocco is a lovable dog, but he needs to be the only dog in the house. He has a lot of energy and loves to play. Rocco is neutered, vaccinated and treated for heartworms and fleas. 


For information about adopting Mary Lou or Rocco, please contact the Cranston Animal Shelter located at 920 Phenix Ave in Cranston at (401)-464-8700.

 

Q&A with Indie film icon

Sophia Guerrier, A&E Editor

   Rhode Island College had the privilege to host Emmy and Oscar winning film producer, Christine Vachon, at Gaige Hall last Thursday to showcase two Todd Haynes directed films and speak to RIC students. 

    Vachon, 56, is no stranger to Providence, having graduated from Brown University in 1983 and then heading on to New York City where she would coincidentally meet fellow Brown alumni and future long time collaborator Todd Haynes at a proofreading job for a cable company. After Haynes’ “Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story” (1987) Vachon realized she wanted to try her hand in the film industry. The rest is history as Vachon would produce almost every Haynes film including multi academy award winning films “Still Alice”, “Carol”, “Boys Don’t Cry” and over 75 feature films. The Anchor was able to speak to the indie film champion and ask her a few questions about her thoughts on the film industry and her work. 


You graduated from Brown University, does it ever feel nostalgic being back in Providence ?

    Of course. I had lunch with a lot of the faculty who all wanted to talk about what Providence used to feel like. When I was at Brown, the students didn't really go into the city, they stayed up on that hill. And now it seems like the downtown is so rejuvenated. I love it, I like it better. 


The average person may not know the exact role of a film producer, as best as you can, how would you describe the profession and the work you do ? 

    The film producer is really the engine on the train. They often will find the material, whether it’s a book or article or true life story, they will then attach a writer and potentially a director; and then start putting together the elements, the actors etc, with a view of getting it financed or setting it up with a studio. Producers originate more of the movies, I know their unsung, when you go see a movie you assume it’s the director’s film and it is. But it’s the director’s film because we gave the director the opportunity to make it their film. 


What made you take a direction of producing mainly LGBTQ themed films ? 

   It was a time when there was virtually nothing if you were LGBTQ. But I mean there wasn’t really anything for you if you were black or latino or if you were asian for that matter either. Movies were pretty mainstream and pretty straight and pretty white. When we made “Poison” it got labeled as a LGBTQ film , this extraordinary thing happened which was the queer audience turned up to see that movie like nobody’s business. It was empowering to realize that if you’re making a movie for an underserved audience, you can make it for the right price and you can make your money back, you didn’t need anyone else to come see it. And that was this revelation. 


Would you say that there’s been strides taken in the film industry when it comes to presenting LGBTQ characters compared to the 80s and 90s when you started producing films ? 


    The real challenge for independent film right now is almost less about representation and more about will it even exist … At some point television, let’s lump all the streaming services and networks into one bin, started to embrace risk a lot more than the movies did. So I think then probably when you were coming of age and you wanted to see yourself represented, you didn’t have to go to the movies. You could probably find a show that spoke to you on one of those services. 


Because of the opportunities that streaming platforms are adding, would you consider it easier to get into content creating than before ? 

    It’s easier in the sense that you could be filming this interview and in a half hour you would have it up on your youtube channel and maybe after an hour have 20,000 views. So that’s easier cause none of that existed. And the other thing that’s easier is filmmaking always seemed like it was a rich kid hobby because film was so expensive, camera rentals were so expensive, and even if you managed to get yourself into film school they didn’t pay for your film, you had to pay for it. … At the beginning we would often commit to something without seeing a short film, because I thought it’s not unfair not everyone can do one. But now you can make a film on that (a phone) and demonstrate that you know how to tell a story, 


Is there any upcoming projects or ideas that you are excited about producing ? 

    We have “Dark Waters” opening on Nov. 22 which is Todd Haynes’ latest movie with Mark Ruffalo and Anne Hathaway. We have two movies that we shot over the summer that are very exciting. One is “Shirley” by Joesephine Decker  with Elizabeth Moss and Michael Stuhlbarg. Then “Zola” directed by Janivcza Bravo.

 

11 Weeks of Pure Heroine: Glory and Gore

Sophia Guerrier, A&E Editor

“Glory and Gore” is the seventh track and fourth single coming from Lorde’s “Pure Heroine”. It was also featured on a commercial for the Hulu show, “Vikings”, where it garnered a mass amount of attention. On this song we revisit for the millionth time Lorde’s disregard for the overwhelming obsessiveness of celebrity culture. But this time in a gladiator style of expression that serves as the darker side of Lorde’s music. 

    Just as in “Team”, Lorde has set us up in another allegory of society where the colosseum is now the setting and the subjects are gladiators. The first instance of this is in the pre chorus, “and the cry goes out, they lose their minds for us, and how it plays out, now we’re in the ring and we’re coming for blood.” Here, Lorde is referencing celebrities as the warriors of the arena and the rest of the world as spectators. “They lose their minds for us” is the close public eye that surveills the lives of celebrities expecting them to fall apart or mess up in their lives of stardom. 

    In a way, celebrities are like gladiators where the audience doesn’t view them as humans but as a means of entertainment, even if it that means a detrimental downfall. “Now we’re in the ring and we’re coming for blood” alludes to their struggle to embrace the adversity of remaining sane and keeping themselves relevant in the colosseum of fame that they were propelled into. It’s safe to say that this can be connected to Lorde’s own feelings to her sudden rise to fame and frustration to understand how to handle it. 

    Her conflict with fame is more overtly revealed when she said, “Wide awake in bed, words in my brain: ‘Secretly you love this, do you even wanna go free?’ let me in the ring, I'll show you what that big word means”. As much as Lorde rejects the superficialism of being famous, deep down she knows she’s in denial. When she said, “let me in the ring …” it’s clear that Lorde yearns to make a statement with her platform whether to come out on top as one of the biggest artists in the world or have a tragically derailed music career. 

    Gladiators enter the arena knowing that death is almost certain yet they still go out and fight and hope to emerge as victorious. The audience applauds the conflict and praises the last one standing of these gory battles. Lorde is implying this is the same concept for celebrities, once they enter the public eye, the arena, they’re immediately faced with scrutiny and calamity; but yet they continue to be a part of it. 

    While Lorde is playing with the idea of celebrities and gladiators, she does go back to including presumably the mindsets of teenagers in this chaotic image as well. “Everyone’s a rager” and “you’ve been drinking like the world was gonna end” specifically mentions the presence of alcohol, a potentially destructive habit of teenagers. Lorde goes on to say, “we gladiate, but I guess we’re only fighting ourselves”, a reference back to a theme of fending off insecurity and societal pressure that teenagers often face. To bring it full circle, Lorde is saying that we all essentially gladiate our way through life. 

    Coincidentally enough, “Still Sane” will be examined next week. 

 

Sports

 

Barcelona F.C. deliver yet anoter disappointing performance in UEFA

Daniel Costa, Asst. Distribution Manager

Another round of the European Champions League, has ended as the elites of European soccer have duked it out in the arena. One team in particular has delivered a disappointing performance for it’s so called “world class” squad. Barcelona F.C. of Spain has one of the most expensive rosters in the soccer world; time and time again they have failed to live up to the price tag. Recent superstar transfer, Antoine Griezmann, whom Barcelona paid 120 million euros for in transfer fees, has yet to score in the European super tournament. Five times Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi has scored one goal against a second rate team from the Czech Republic. 
There is also the painful past two tournaments that are still fresh in the minds of Barca fans. Twice Barcelona won the first of two games in the playoffs by large margins, and twice they were beaten in the second stage by even greater margins in humiliating defeats.
Although Barcelona has yet to lose in the tournament this season, do not let their 2-1-0 record fool you. The Spanish side drew with the German team Borussia Dortmund, in a scoreless game, triumphed over Inter Milan 2-1, and barely squeaked a victory in a 2-1 game over the worst performing team in their group, Slavia Praha. The last of these was Barcelona’s worst game in the tournament, with the game taking place on October 23.
As stated above, Barcelona’s performance against Praha was abysmal. Of the two goals they scored, one was an own goal committed by an error on the Praha side. Playing in Prague, was certainly a factor in this; Praha’s fans made their presence felt, when controversial calls were repeatedly made by the referee. At times, it looked as if the Barcelona squad were intimidated by the echoes of the hooligans. Overall, Barcelona look like a team that didn't care. Their passes were sloppy and often intercepted by the opposing defenders. Possession was nearly even, with Praha holding the ball 48% of the time and Barcelona keeping it the other 52%. In fact, Barcelona even lucked out on multiple occasions. Praha put Barcelona in a chokehold towards the end of the game, having several shots on target but missing out on all of them. In total, Praha had 9 shots on goal compared to Barcelona’s 7.  
Surely, some of the reasons for their lackluster performance can be attributed to confidence in Barcelona’s ability to advance to the next stage of the Champions League. However, if the Barcelona staff wish to shake off the legacy of the last two years, they must wake up and play some real soccer before they are caught sleeping once more.

 

Jaylen Brown from asset to investment

Jake Elmslie, Sports Editor

   Almost immediately after the Boston Celtics drafted Jaylen Brown 3rd overall in the 2016 NBA Draft, the young wing’s name became a constant fixture of trade rumors and speculation regarding the teams future. Would he be flipped as a part of a package for a Paul George, Jimmy Butler, Kawhi Leonard, Bradley Beal or whoever else the disgruntled star of the month was, or would the team opt to buy in on his athleticism and potential and view him as core player on a future contender?

   As of October 21st, the Celtics have seemingly decided to follow the latter path, with Brown, inking a four year $115 million rookie extension to stay in Boston for the foreseeable future. Now Brown can obviously still be traded the same as any other player in the NBA, however, the dynamics surrounding such a move have now shifted radically. No longer is Brown on an affordable, easily, moveable rookie contract, that nearly any team interested in his services could fit on their payroll with little mauvering. This limits the types of trades Brown can be utilized in to ether a swap with another team willing to make the same significant investment the Celtics have in the player or in a worst case scenario a salary dump if Brown should fail to produce to a level in line with his compensation. 

   In essence, this contract signifies Brown’s transition from an asset with the potential to be traded at any moment, should the right circumstances arise to a piece the Celtics and Danny Ainge are now banking on to become comparable to the players they passed on; adding in favor of retaining their former draft pick. Should he not elevate his play to an all-star level in the near future, the Celtics will run the risk of finding themselves in a situation where they squandered what was once a highly valuable asset in favor of complacency.

 

Anchorwomen make a splash

Taylor Green, Anchor Staff

Photo by Taylor Green

The Rhode Island College Women’s Swim Team competed in the Blue Jay Invitation this past Friday, hosted by the University of Saint Joseph. Unscored, this meet ran in Pentathlon format, which means that each swimmer competed in five events: a 100 yard backstroke, 100 yard breaststroke, 100 yard butterfly, 100 yard freestyle, and a 100 yard Individual Medley (IM). Their times are then taken from each and added together and the individual swimmers are then ranked against one another. Six schools were in attendance at this invitational, with a total of 63 women swimming, most in every event. 
The Anchorwomen saw multiple successful individual performances on the day. Freshman Hillevi Esquilin, automatically qualified for the New England Regional Championship in three seperate events, adding to her two qualifying times, from last week’s invitational. While placing fourth overall in the meet, Freshman Abby Dion, placed ninth overall, just under a qualifying time in the 100 fly. Freshman Reegan Camire, held her own in her events, placing in the top half of each event, closely followed in each by Freshman Jasmine Cooper, also top half. 
“Coach has been preparing us for this in practice all week,” Camire explained. 
“He’s been running sets and drills that work each of the strokes.”
Though not added into the girls’ scores, the teams still competed in the 200 yard freestyle relay, 200 yard medley relay, and the 400 yard freestyle relay. The Anchor Women scored third in the 200 freestyle relay, fourth in the 400, and sixth overall in the 200 medley. 
The Anchorwomen set sail to UMass Dartmouth Saturday, November 2nd at 11:00 am for another invitational. Then, Saturday, November 9th, the Anchorwomen swim their first dual meet against Eastern Connecticut State University in their home pool at Bryant University at 1:00 pm.

 
ric exhib.jpeg

Battle for the promise: RIC vs. URI

Lucille Di Naro, Managing Editor

There’s nothing quite like that feeling when family comes together. This past Saturday, the Rhode Island College and the University of Rhode Island men's basketball teams faced off in a pre-season exhibition at the Ryan Center.
The RIC Athletics Department provided transportation to the game for several fans, who appeared as a bright golden beacon in a sea of blue and white inside the Ryan Center. Support was strong for the Rams, as nearly half of the Ryan Center was occupied by friends and family participating in URI’s homecoming weekend events. 
The Anchormen, an NCAA Division III team, were presented with a tough task trying to ward off the Rams Division I might and only sustained one lead the entire match, following a three-pointer by junior Keyshawn Jacobs early in the first half.
Despite the short-lived lead, the Anchormen finished the half trailing behind the Rams 52-23. The Rams dominated the second half, leaving the Anchormen with a 38 point deficit by the end of the match. The Rams outscored the Anchormen, with a final score of 93-55. 
Outstanding performance for the Anchormen goes to senior Benjamin Vezele, who posted a double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds. 
The Anchormen will begin their 2019-2020 season at Eastern Nazarene College on Monday, Nov. 11.