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News

September 30, 2019
Volume 93, Issue 5

 

A legal battle of the vapes reaches New England 

Samantha Scetta, Editor-in-Chief

  Governors of Massachusetts and Rhode Island have almost simultaneously decided to control and regulate the sales of vape products in their respective New England states. Gov. Charlie Baker of our neighboring state issued a four-month long ban on all vaporizing products last Tuesday, including but not limited to vape cartridges, the infamous Juul products and the lesser known SOL vapor products. Gov. Gina Raimondo issued a similar order, halting the sales of all flavored e-cigarette products. Last Thursday Raimondo signed an order directly to the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) to enact emergency rules and regulations regarding the sale of flavored e-cigarettes in a response to the recent nation-wide spike in vape related illnesses such as seizures and lung disease. 

    Why only ban the flavored products? Well, the answer is simple. Many reputable scientific studies and legal analyst surveyists have determined that by making flavors such as “strawberry milk” and “cappuccino”, Juul is directly targeting a younger population, hooking them on nicotine by the use of friendly and interesting flavors. 

    As of yet, there has been no official legal action taken against e-cigarette companies directly regarding vape related illnesses. Raimondo claims that vaping has become a public health crisis, and she has gathered from parents, teachers, coaches and her own personal experience as a mother that it is a rising problem among RI youth.

    There are currently many conflicting opinions on the bans made by New York, Mass. and now Rhode Island. Some public health experts fear that the increase on vape bans by government officials will be deleterious to the population of individuals using these products to wean off of cigarettes, and some praise the bans on products as it will give scientists and medical professionals more time to determine the effects of chronic vaping on the human body and the impact that the ban of these sales will have on the younger population. 

    RIC freshman and former habitual Juul user Garet Reilly has used e-cigarettes for the past two years. When asked what he thinks of the ban, he stated that he believes the Juul has been a gateway to cigarette usage the entire time they have been circulated. “The reason as to why they would be banned with such little evidence is because the big tobacco companies know they’re losing money and customers. Once the ban passes in its entirety, these people are left with two choices-- quitting cold turkey, or using tobacco products.” 

Currently, there have been nine deaths and 530 illnesses attributed to vaping. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are still unsure of what exactly causes these illnesses, but according to the RIDOH spokesman Joseph Wendelken, “a significant number of them involve vaping cartridges with THC,” the active component in marijuana.

     The emergency health regulations regarding vaping are currently still being drafted by RIDOH. 

 

Patrolling RIC Night Out

Jessica Martineau, Asst. Layout Editor

Photo by Thomas Crudale

    Confused as to why there were horses, free food, therapy dogs and a rotating car on the quad this past Tuesday evening? You weren’t alone. These bizarre sights and activities were brought to Rhode Island College’s campus as part of a “RIC Night Out” event, hosted by campus police with the intention of strengthening the relationship between officers and members of the RIC community. 

    Representatives from the North Providence Police Department, Cranston Police Department, Rhode Island State Police and Rhode Island Army National Guard were volunteering and facilitating demonstrations and activities on the quad.  Cranston PD brought their K-9 therapy team, trained to support to a person who experiences trauma. 

    North Providence PD had their motorcycle unit present along with their mounted [horseback] unit. A rock-climbing wall, dunk tank, rollover simulator, del's lemonade and catered food from Donovan Dining Center.

    When asked about the purpose of the event Chief Mendonca said, “seeing us dressed casually and in a different environment makes it easier for us to have a conversation. What we are trying to do is build trust and communication between the police and students in order to work together as one community instead of isolated groups. I think communication can always be improved and that perceptions can be changed. I think the community needs to know that we are here for them. The campus police are a part of the educational process too.” 

   Mendonca and the campus police are working to build an open line of communication and trust between students and law enforcement. “I want everyone to feel safe on campus because that will make people have one less thing to worry about. Everyone has to concentrate on so many other things. A lot of students here are commuter students; they have homework they have to do, jobs and family commitments. RIC students would have one less stressor in their lives by feeling like they are safe on campus.”

 

Elizabeth Warren: Preparing for the primary

Abigail Nilsson, News Editor

    New Hampshire is the first state in the primary elections to nominate candidates for the Democratic and Republican Parties, and was host to Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren’s public town hall meetings this past week.

    Students and community members who attended the Keene State College town hall were eager to hear what Warren had to say.

    Maggie Phillips, a sophomore at Keene State College said she was “looking forward to hearing her speak, and hear her take on medicare for all and her plan for ending big money in politics.”

    Erin McNemar, a senior and the news editor for the Equinox, the student newspaper, said she “has had her eye on [Warren] for many years and has been following her since she first ran for senate.” She is especially supportive of Warren’s “ultra millionaire tax policy and how she plans to impact student loan debt.”

    Warren touched upon many topics including free health care, getting rid of 95% of student debt and taxing millionaires. “When you make it big, and I mean really big, pitch in $0.02 [those who make over $50 million] so everyone else has a chance to make it” said Warren. She believes that by taxing “ultra millionaires” she will be able to “invest in young people.”

    Her campaign was inspired by her middle class upbringing, going to college and having to pay out of pocket and her experience as a special needs teacher. She told audience members her struggles of becoming pregnant while in school. “Back then, a family of three could survive on minimum wage” stated Warren.

    Warren feels that her background in bankruptcy law, teaching and being a senator for the United States makes her a trustworthy and the best Democratic candidate to be the next president.  According to the Monomouth (New Hampshire poll), as of Sept. 21, Warren is leading at 27%, Joe Biden follows at 25% and then Bernie Sanders at 12%. The New Hampshire primary elections will be held on Feb. 11, 2020. There are still other candidates to watch in the upcoming months, Senator Elizabeth Warren had a few hundred followers in Keene, NH on Wednesday.   

 

Mattel releases the world’s first line of gender-neutral dolls 

Alexis Rapoza, Asst. Opinions Editor

    In 1959, Mattel released the Barbie doll. Standing at just 11.5 inches tall Barbie has since become a symbol of American culture. Barbie has been criticized for encouraging unrealistic body standards and enforcing gender roles on young girls, but now 60 years after Barbie’s initial release Mattel is taking a stand. 

    On Sept. 25, in a Times Magazine exclusive, Mattel announced the launch of the world’s first ever gender neutral dolls. Barbie’s thin waist and long blonde hair have been reimagined with six new dolls in a line called Creatable World™. This new line features six dolls all ranging in skin tone and marketed as “gender-neutral”, meaning that the dolls are not marketed towards a specific sex.

    The cost of a Creatable World™ doll rings up at $29.99 and unlike its predecessor, each doll comes with a kit of clothing and hairstyles designed to let the dolls be anywhere on the gender spectrum. Instead of just selling pink dresses and high heels, these dolls come with hoodies, graphic tees, sneakers and also traditional dresses and skirts in order to let the children who play with them decide who their doll is. Mattel has decided to strip away the confines of the gender binary, a system that only recognizes male and female genders. 

    The idea is that this can allow kids to express themselves the way the want to. On their website, Mattel states, “In our world, dolls are as limitless as the kids who play with them. Introducing Creatable World™, a doll line designed to keep labels out and invite everyone in—giving kids the freedom to create their own customizable characters again and again.” The launch of this line mirrors the push back toy companies and department stores have had against gender roles in recent years. In 2015, Target made all of its toy sections gender neutral and Disney began removing the gender specific labels from its princess and superhero costumes. Mattel has followed in suit.

    Creatable World™ has been met with almost universal acceptance among the children in its testing groups but parents, however, were not as delighted. Parents in the testing groups accused Mattel of pushing a specific political agenda and refused to allow their sons to play with toys. In a statement to Time magazine, Mattel’s president Richard Dickson said “We’re not in the business of politics and we respect the decision any parent makes around how they raise their kids. Our job is to stimulate imaginations. Our toys are ultimately canvases for cultural conversation, but it’s your conversation, not ours; your opinion, not ours.” 

    The number of children and teenagers identifying as gender-nonconforming has been growing. A recent study done by the Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angles found that almost 27% of California teens identify as gender-nonconforming or nonbinary. Mattel feels that because of their role in defining gender roles in previous generations they need to grow with their target audience and they hope to do that with their Creatable World line. 

 

RIC continues to go green

Sean Richer, Asst. News Editor

Photo by Mark Medeiros

    Rhode Island College has sought to style itself as a model campus in terms of sustainable and renewable energy by initiating multiple projects throughout the years in order to meet that goal. The latest of which was the installation of several solar panels on the roof of Donovan. James Murphy, the Sustainability Coordinator for RIC, has since made these changes known, and has begun to lay plans for the future.

    When asked about the amount of energy the panels produce for the dining center, Mr. Murphy answered, "Currently, it is a small amount, about 4-6 % or so, but we plan on increasing that number with new panels and through energy conservation." A large part of the sustainability projects are brought about through partnerships with other companies. These include, The Aperion Institute of Sustainable Living, as well as the Goodwill Industries of Rhode Island, and the RI Beekeepers Association. 

    The bee hives at RIC have been a staple of the Green Initiatives Department. "The bee hives provide a great deal to the campus." Murphy explained. "They provide a great deal of subject matter for professors." The bee apiary also produces honey that is sometimes used at the dining center. Questions have been raised over the bees' health and and a lack of honey production. When asked about this phenomenon, Mr. Murphy responded, "This could come from any manner of things, from sprays like pesticides to climate...It's still too soon to know for sure." 

    The Green Initiatives at RIC seemed eager to continue the expansion on campus, despite a number of other changes, such as the expansion of the administration and Donovan Dining Center. It remains to be seen how much these changes to campus energy will improve life at the college, but James Murphy and the Green Initiatives at RIC are determined to keep on the work and explore new possibilities in renewable energy at RIC.

 

SCG explores potential changes to RIC 

Sean Richer, Asst. News Editor

Photo by Thomas Crudale

     Student Parliament continues to receive official feedback from students regarding the issues of Donovan Dining Center. Dr. Tamika Wordlow-Williams is lobbying for surveys to be sent out to students through email, although the method of how to send them out remains unclear. “Just an email is not enough” said Joshua Percy, president of SCG. “Four years of failing it's about time to change how we do things.” After a review of the events at the town hall meeting, President Percy went on to say, “I am very pleased with how the town hall went… while the turnout was small, I think it was a positive step in forwarding the Donovan discussion.” 

    Parliament then turned its attention outside of Donovan, with three new members of SCG being introduced. Isaiah Hopper, a Music and Dance Rep., Aimee Louzon representing Willard Hall and Julia McAdams, a Resident at Large Rep. However, many positions in parliament remain unfilled; a problem SCG hopes to remedy in the next round of class elections. Several members encouraged those in attendance to ask their friends to consider running. Parliament secretary Taylor Vutech voiced her concerns towards this matter saying, “Make sure to talk to people and get them involved… get people you know are dedicated and ask them to run or at least consider it.”  

    The final matter on the docket for SCG was the rapidly approaching RICFest. Suzanna Alba, Director of Alumni and College relations discussed several changes that have been made in order to widen the event. This includes coupling it with RIC’s Family Night, which has reportedly seen over 6,000 invites to individuals within the families of RIC students. There will also be a new internship ice cream social catered by Newport Creamery, and “Live-Band Karaoke”.  “This is a brand new population for us,” Ms. Alba explained. “We really want students to get excited about this and get everyone involved.” 

    With students still voicing their grievances about the dining center, and gaps within SCG, the governing body is still working to bring change to campus. Time will tell which of these changes will stick and which will not.

 

Arts & Entertainment

 

Strange Days: The legend of Mercy Brown

Gregory Williams, Anchor Staff

Photo by Gregory Williams

Sink your fangs into this: the New England vampire panic engulfed the region throughout the 18th and 19th century, and the most publicized case by far was that of Mercy Lena Brown of Exeter, Rhode Island.  
The English word “vampire” comes from the French, vampire, or the German, vampir, in the early 18th century.  The word is of Slavic origin, which can be dated as far back as the 10th or 11th century, and is perhaps related to the Turkish word “uber” for witch or the Russian word “upyr” for vampire. 
Brown first lost her mother, Mary Eliza Brown, to tuberculosis (TB), which at the time was popularly known as “consumption.” Six months later, it took her twenty-year-old sister, Mary Olive Brown. Sure enough, several years later, the disease came for Brown. TB was the leading cause of mortality throughout the Northeast in the 1800’s and was estimated to be responsible for a quarter of all deaths. 
Though the tuberculosis bacterium was identified by Robert Koch in 1882, news of this discovery wouldn’t have reached rural areas in time for prevention. Even if it had, drug treatments wouldn’t become available until the 1940’s. A few years following Brown's death, her brother Edwin fell ill with the disease and since all previous attempts at remedying the sickness had fallen short, George Brown, the children’s father, was approached by his fearful neighbors with an alternative take on what was plaguing their village. 
In their minds, the true culprit responsible for these untimely and unsavory deaths was in fact the work of one of the deceased rising from the grave. It is important to note that some newspapers at the time did use the term “vampire” but the locals did not.  A “demon” or “the undead” was feasting on the living and so in order to pacify his neighbors, George reluctantly gave his permission for a party of men to exhume the bodies of his wife and two daughters. 
Brown’s mother and sister had already been dead for almost a decade, and when exhumed only bones remained. Brown herself was still very well persevered, aided by the fact it was wintertime and she had been dead for only a few months. In addition to the well preserved state of her corpse, blood could be found in her body. 
This seemed to only confirm their suspicions, and so the party of men and the family’s doctor went on to remove her heart and liver and burn it on a nearby rock, feeding the ashes to Edwin in the hope of curing his sickness. He died less than two months later. This and other stories caused Rhode Island to become known at the time as the “vampire capital of America.” 
I suppose we can add it to the list of other quirks and oddities our strange little state is known for. Just don’t forget to pick up some garlic the next time you’re at the grocery store. I hope you finally found peace, Mercy Brown.

 

Emmys 2019 recap

Sophia Guerrier, A&E Editor

The 71st Primetime Emmy Awards kicked off last Sunday to the ceremony’s first ever hostless show and a night where British comedy series, “Fleabag”, won big. 
Emmy underdog “Fleabag” took home “Outstanding Comedy Series” beating out notable comedies “The Good Place”, “Veep” and “Barry” for the prize. Phoebe Waller-Bridge won “Outstanding Comedy Actress” for “Fleabag” and the series added two more prolific awards including “Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series” as well as “Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series”. 
Homer Simpson made a special appearance to open up the show and welcome viewers to the event but was cut extremely short after an unexpected piano fell on him, marking his death. A segment of Anthony Anderson stealing Emmys proceeded after that which led to Bryan Cranston, from “Breaking Bad”, to embark on the importance of television and its impact on society. 
The lack of a host made plenty of room for monologues like Cranston’s and mini comedy portions throughout the show, one being from late night spectacles, Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel. Despite these ways of attempting to fill up space, the show was noticeably running short and experienced technical difficulties as a result of having to adjust to the hostless format. 
HBO’s “Game of Thrones” received 32 Emmy nominations which marked the most Emmy nods for any season of a television show in history. Game of Thrones grabbed 10 wins at the Creative Emmys, a ceremony that honors elements of TV production like editing, visual effects, and other technicalities, and won two Emmys including “Outstanding Drama Series” and Peter Dinklage winning “Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series”. 
This is the fourth time “Game of Thrones” has won “Outstanding Drama Series”, previously given to critically-acclaimed “Mad Men” and “The West Side Wing”. “Game of Thrones” also placed itself as second in all time Emmy wins. Although “Game of Thrones” final season endured a vast amount of controversy, the cast waved goodbye and was honored along with “Veep” who joined “Game of Thrones” in ending its series. Unlike its HBO peer, “Veep” was shutout at the ceremony with no wins. 
Billy Porter made history by becoming the first openly gay black man to win “Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series” for FX show “Pose”.“Saturday Night Live” was the only broadcast tv show to receive an honor, “Outstanding Variety Sketch Series”, indicating the overwhelming presence that streaming giants have on not only consumers but also tv production. HBO had a record breaking 137 nominations and took home 34 of them, while Netflix had 117 but 27 wins. Amazon came in third with 15 wins. 
A lot of honors were given out at the 2019 Emmys but the awards show itself may have been the biggest loser. This year’s Emmys hit a record low in ratings dropping 33% from last year. Relying on a hostless night can be a speculation for this turnout.

 

Anime: Promare film review

Sh-Ron Almedia, Anchor Staff

From the creators of “Kill La Kill” and “Gurren Lagann”, comes their first full length film bursting with a burning soul, “Promare”. Since this movie’s announcement the 2017 Anime Expo, fans have waited patiently for “Promare” to finally come to theatres. Having watched the film in its entirety, I can say with certainty that it doesn’t disappoint in the slightest.
The film begins three decades prior where a catastrophic occurrence fire has destroyed half of the world. This fire caused a mutation that created a new race of people who can manipulate fire called the Burnish. Naturally, the abilities of these mutants can be dangerous, so it is the duty of the Burning Rescue Fire Department to put out the Burnish’s flames and ensure the safety of the city.
As expected from director Hiroyuki Imaishi, this anime film has everything: hyperkinetic, dizzying action, colorful characters, hot blooded energy and bombastic, over the top dramatic flair. Everything a diehard fan fell in love with in previous Imaishi works. The movie’s greatest strengths by far are the art and animation. Characters are mostly hand drawn, while the backgrounds and mecha suits are entirely 3D. It blends perfectly well with the environments and the accompanying action scenes. 
Another selling point was the epic soundtrack, provided by composer Hiroyuki Sawano who is best known for scoring “Attack on Titan” and “Kill La Kill”. There aren’t many movies out there that can replicate the sugar rush energy and pacing of “Promare”.
The only gripe about this movie is that it is better suited for television series instead. There is a serious lack of character development in the film, and the quirky teammates of the Rescue Team would have benefitted from a more thorough backstory.
Whether you are an anime nerd, a casual viewer or a fan of Studio Trigger, “Promare” is just the film to blow you away and more.

 

11 weeks of Pure Heroine: Ribs

Sophia Guerrier, A&E Editor

We are five weeks deep in this series, which brings us to the song “Ribs”. This is a fairly repetitive track which encompasses Lorde’s frantic anxieties on growing up and her desire to remain young. Lorde’s inspiration behind “Ribs” is from the memory of her throwing a large house party at her home for the first time when her parents went away. At a concert, Lorde went into further explanation about “Ribs”, and would later state in an interview with MTV that this is her favorite song that she has written. 
“I wrote this song on a Monday in February last year. And I wrote it following this weekend where me and my sister and our best friend threw this huge house party at my place. Like the kind of house party where people eating all the shit out of your fridge and freezer, like, defrosting things in your microwave… And at the end, everyone just crashed at my house, on the floor of every room. And there was one guy who came around after lights out… and he crashed with me and my best friend in my bed. And I couldn’t sleep. And he’s like ‘What is it?’ and I was like ‘What we just did is cool. It’s cool. You know, doing this thing, throwing this house party, it’s adult. And there’s something scary about doing something that is in a different world than the one you know. My whole life I’ve been doing the things that kids do, you know, fucking around and not having any responsibility. It scared me to think of having one foot in that adult world because who says that we can go back? Like, can you be a kid and still do adult things? Do you have to leave that world behind? And this is the thought that keeps me up at night, all the time,” Lorde said during the interview with MTV.
The opening lines which are later repeated in the chorus, “The drink you spilt all over me, 'Lover's Spit' left on repeat, My mom and dad let me stay home, It drives you crazy, getting old” positions us right in the middle of Lorde’s tipsy conscious as the party unwinds. Even though Lorde is speaking in the second person and saying the word “you,” she reveals that she is speaking to herself with the line, “it drives you crazy, getting old.”
“Lover’s Spit” is a song by Broken Social Scene that captures a person’s desire for belonging and love and interestingly enough carries the lyrics, “You know it's time, That we grow old and do some shit”. “Lover’s Spit” being on repeat not only signifies the ending of the party since noone has changed the song, but the lyrics of “Lover’s Spit” previously stated could be a metaphor for their youth slowly coming to an end as the party does. 
Lorde’s obsession with maturing and temporary adolescence illustrated from her own words regarding the song and from the previous track, “400 lux”, it would only make sense that she is referring to her own angst about growing up. It’s also very common for a drunk teenager to spill their drink all over themselves.
The next lines of the song “We can talk it so good, we can make it so divine, we can talk it good, how you wish it would be all the time” is simply relating back to conversations of delight and nostalgia that Lorde may have had with her best friend. A conversation that might’ve led up to the idea of the party that was thrown. 
As these lines transition to the chorus, the calm, softness of Lorde’s singing dramatically changes into a more hurried, loud and distressed tone. This changeover represents Lorde’s admitted fear to grow older as her pitch rises to that of almost like a scared child trying to explain themselves. 
“This dream isn't feeling sweet, We're reeling through the midnight streets, And I've never felt more alone, It feels so scary, getting old” is the second verse that pertains directly to Lorde’s connection of throwing a party to adulthood in her words at the concert. The bridge, “I want em back, the minds we had ....” is a direct wish to become a child again where Lorde has forgotten how it feels, just like how an adult may forget how it feels to be a teenager. 
Lorde finally confesses that she has already lost the majority of her innocence and is having nostalgic flashbacks that then leads into the short outro. An interpolation, a melody from a previously recorded song, of “Paramour” by Cyrus, “You're the only friend I need, sharing beds like little kids, laughing 'til our ribs get tough, But that will never be enough.” 
Next week, “Buzzcut Season” will be analyzed.

 

Opinions

 

Influending beautiful change

Kennedy Ryan, Anchor Staff

Imagine walking into your local Sephora store. You walk through rows of brightly colored products, scanning items with your smartphone to read reviews on each. Among them are brands that are cruelty free, vegan and more. There are endless options to choose from to find the perfect product for you. This purchasing experience is possible due to the influence of those who are part of Generation Z. 
While the beauty industry has always adjusted to trends of society, the upcoming influence of Generation Z is making a big impact. Gen Z, those born after 1997, are consumers that are starting to share their opinions with the world. Known for being active on social media and being raised in a digital age, Gen Z are always on top of trends and current events. Due to this, they not only are highly opinionated, but know exactly what they want. As a result, Gen Z has made a tremendous impact on the beauty industry.
In the past, many people maintained a similar beauty routine because there weren’t as many options. The only options for beauty included items at drugstores and popular beauty counters like those at Macy’s. These products were often strongly scented, included many harmful chemicals and had limited representation of different skin types.
Now, not only do brands promote products that are created for the needs of different skin types, but they also are influenced by social causes that are important to people. For example, many brands have started to become cruelty free. CoverGirl, a prominent drugstore makeup brand, has transitioned to completely cruelty free, as cruelty free products are important to their customer’s body and skin. 
While many older age groups may have different opinions on younger generations, people who are Gen Z are using their voices to make a difference. Their dedication to social change, demand for high quality products and desire for unique items makes Gen Z an unstoppable influence that the industry will continue to be affected by.

 

Popping a chill pill

Grace Kimmell, Anchor Staff

Addiction runs in my family. Given this, I know that I have to avoid substances all together to avoid addiction, to avoid becoming an addict. More and more, people I love are becoming hooked on opioids, recreational drugs and alcohol each passing day. I know all too well the seemingly inescapable craving, burning and screaming at a molecular level. But I also know I’m not alone.
According to the American Addiction Centers, one in every seven young adults (age 18-25) suffer from a substance abuse issue. Those young people? That’s us. And that number is scary. You don’t only have to come from a lineage of addiction to get hooked, but you are especially predispositioned to if that runs in your family. Drug abuse can touch anyone. The news is strewn with headlines announcing that the opioid crisis has hit an all-time high; which reasonably begs the question everyone is asking: what drives young people to try drugs, start using them regularly, and ultimately even kill themselves for the high? 
Well, at least part of the sinister equation that can result in substance abuse is squarely centered around stress. For college-age students’ stress levels are at an all-time high, and many students are unsure how they are going to balance work, school, social life, mental health and a litany of other things, all while looking good doing it. This dangerous mix further entices us to try different substances to alleviate the stress. Alcohol, Adderall and marijuana are common gateways to slip into oblivion if we so choose. The inescapable reality is that we all sometimes feel overwhelmed, forgotten, stressed and down on our luck in life. For at least one in seven of us, drugs are the chosen way to cope. 
It’s not the only way, though, and obviously not the most desirable way either. This mechanism has damaging, life-long consequences and many of which can ruin your personality, mental health, family and job security. We have so many more alternative coping mechanisms available to us, especially as college students. Counseling and Health Services on campus are always a resource for students who are struggling with any sort of problem, and they can point students that are potentially struggling with addiction in the right direction. During finals week, there are often activities to give students a break from the stress of it all (such as yoga on campus). Perhaps our college should place more emphasis on these types of events year-round, especially since stress during finals is typically the accumulated stress that we’ve all been trying to ignore all semester.
For students who need someone to talk to, there is the counseling services hotline, which is referred to as the RIC Hope Line. If you call the number 401-456-HOPE (4673), you can speak with someone if you cannot speak with those in counseling services (such as late at night).These resources are free to you as a RIC student. No matter how bleak your situation may feel, there are people here to help you cope in healthy, productive ways.
You could be an addict, too. Don’t become a part of the statistic. And as long as you’re here at RIC, you’ll never be alone.  You have the resources to cope properly and healthily. We’re here to help, all you have to do is ask and be smart about making the right choices for your present life and future self.

 

Steps towards campus involvement

Kyra Garabedian, Anchor Staff

Whether it is your first semester at Rhode Island College (RIC) or you are graduating in the spring, you have probably been encouraged to become involved on campus in one way or another. RIC has a wide variety of organizations and activities for students to explore. It just seems as though students are deterred from being involved in more activities than just going to class. 
During my first two years at RIC, I simply attended my classes and left campus. I never thought of joining a club or organization would be something for me because I was so busy. I didn’t enjoy spending free time on campus, so I never did. Now, I am part of three different organizations and have so many positive reasons to spend more time on campus. Most importantly, I have formed strong relationships with others I have similar interests with. This makes me feel like I’m not alone when I spend free time on campus.
Being a part of a club or organization can be an important way for students to meet others with similar interests. Especially with RIC being mostly a commuter school, this can be an important social aspect of college life for students. 
At the beginning of the semester, RIC holds an event during welcome week to allow students the opportunity to browse some of the student activities on campus. This is a great way for students to learn what they can be involved in, however, the only problem is the timing of this event. It takes students a few weeks to get used to their new schedules and settle into routine. The last thing they are thinking about is what extra elements they can add to their already busy schedules. 
If RIC were to hold more events like this throughout the semester, students would have more opportunity to explore their options. When students feel more comfortable with their new schedules they might feel motivated to try something new. 
Student organizations and clubs could decide to participate in such events where they could have a table set up with information. Students can browse the different options while they are passing through which can spark their interest. Just having students together promoting campus involvement can help express the benefits of student organizations. 
I’m not saying every student needs to join three clubs like I did. However, I do think it is important for college students to explore what is available to them. It might seem like a big commitment to join an organization at first, but it doesn’t hurt to take the first step.

 

Here's our plea: Make RIC tobacco free!

Katherine Haley & Erin Marcet

Rhode Island College Senior Nursing Students

According to the American Cancer Society, “Over 1 million out of 20 million college students are projected to die prematurely from cigarette smoking.” Currently, Rhode Island College has an outdated smoking policy, which does not include other forms of tobacco like e-cigarettes, vapor, hookah and chewing tobacco. The policy also states that smoking is allowed, as long as it is outdoors, and 50 feet away from buildings. The American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation reported that 1,975 college campuses nationwide currently have tobacco free policies, including neighboring Johnson & Wales University. As cigarette smoking causes nearly one in five deaths in the United States, it is imperative that the Rhode Island College policy is modified to better suit the health needs of students, faculty, staff, children, and community members.
As part of our public policy project for our Public & Community Public Health Nursing course, we conducted some key informant interviews. As a step towards the goal of a healthier campus, Rhode Island College President Frank Sanchez, stated, “I realize we could be doing more to make our existing policies work.” In addition, we interviewed Assistant Vice President for Administration and Finance, Jeffrey Martin. He remarked that he was willing to help ensure that the campus remains in compliance with the current policy. He also believes that it would be beneficial to modify the current policy to ban the use of tobacco products on campus, saying, “I would love to see a ban.” 
In order to remain compliant with the current policy, all cigarette receptacles must be moved 50 feet away from all Rhode Island College facilities. While the current policy does include this requirement, it does not take into account the impact that cigarette butt litter has on the environment. Per the World Health Organization, trillions of cigarette filters, are discarded annually, leading to an additional 175-200 tons of non-biodegradable waste. Christie Rishworth, Interim Director Rhode Island College Health Services, stated that, “As a department, you have our support in making RIC tobacco free.” In order to implement this initiative, the Rhode Island College Health Services office has offered to include tobacco screening with annual physicals and cessation services as a part of their regular services. 
The offering of tobacco cessation assistance is included as a recommendation from the Rhode Island Department of Health Tobacco Free Campus Initiative. The initiative has the goal to reduce exposure to secondhand smoke on college campuses in the State of Rhode Island. The University of Rhode Island (URI) has also worked alongside the Department of Health to push for a tobacco free campus. URI Director of Health Services, Ellen Reynolds, states that, “We have a responsibility to do this.” As a community, every member of the Rhode Island College campus is impacted by tobacco exposure. Smoke exposure puts people at an increased risk for numerous disease states, and accounts for approximately 5.4 million deaths worldwide each year. 
According to the Centers for Disease Control, this number is expected to grow to 8 million deaths per year by 2030. To address this growing issue, our clinical group is proposing a policy revision to update the current fifteen year old policy to become a tobacco-free campus. The Rhode Island College (RIC) community is a diverse group of people, including children as young as three years old who are on campus on a regular basis. The impact of tobacco use extends to all members of the RIC community. Requiring a tobacco-free campus would allow for additional resources to be available to current tobacco users, improve campus environmental quality, decrease exposure to tobacco products, and help to move the Rhode Island College community towards a healthier, tobacco-free environment. If you, or someone you know, needs help to quit tobacco use, please call the Rhode Island Department of Health Quit Now Hotline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or 1-800-784-8669 or visit the RIC Health Services office for assistance.

 

Sports

 

Out of leftfield: the sudden struggles of the Boston Red Sox

Jake Elmslie, Sports Editor

11 months ago, the Boston Red Sox were riding high into the playoffs, having just completed a 108 win regular season, the best in franchise history. That team of course went on to win the 2018 World Series with relative ease and looked poised to be a contender for the foreseeable future. As of Sept. 21st, 2019, The Red Sox have been eliminated from the playoffs. They do not currently have a team president and the future of their best player, best pitcher and possibly best hitter are murkier than they have ever been.

   What exactly caused this sudden collapse is not totally clear, although it would be foolhardy to try and pin it on any one singularity. The bullpen could have and should have been reinforced. However, that does not excuse regression from nearly every player offensively, save for Xander Boegarts and Rafael Devers. The bats may of cooled off relative to last season but that does not excuse nearly every starting pitcher falling short of their 2018 performance. 

   Overall, the Boston Red Sox fielded a team with World Series caliber talent and yet will finish the season with a record barley above .500. Whether their failings were due to a World Series hangover, overconfidence from players and management or a shift in training regimens for the pitching staff, the organization now enters an offseason that will almost certainly serve as some sort of reset.

   The first order of business will be cutting down their league high 229 million dollar payroll in order to avoid incurring the repeat offender luxury tax. After that, the Red Sox futures of both 2018 MVP Mookie Betts and team home run leader, J.D. Martinez, will come front and center. Betts will be entering the final year of his rookie contract and now it is the time for the Red Sox to decide whether he is a player they want to invest in a superstar level contract in or, if they are unsure of his future potential or willingness to stay in Boston, pull the trigger on trading Betts to reload the barren farm system. Meanwhile, Martinez  will have the ability to opt out of the final three years of his contract this offseason and if he chooses to do so, Boston will have to decide if the 32-year-old is a player they want to invest more than the 20 million per year he is currently slated to make. 

   Even if the team is able to find a satisfactory solution to both of these conundrums, the organization will still have a long way to go in answering the plethora of questions up and down the pitching staff, positional players, farm system and the front office. With all that in mind, Red Sox fans should look to the 2020 season with adjusted expectations and patience.

 

The fourth line: thing to watch as the puck drops on the Bruins Season

Joseph Griswold, Asst. Sports Editor

   The Bruins were just 60 minutes away from hoisting the Stanley Cup last year. However, rather than hoisting the cup in glorious victory they had to watch as the St. Louis Blues celebrate on TD Garden Ice. With the puck set to drop on Thursday, against the Dallas Stars here are four storylines to focus on as the Bruins look for redemption in the upcoming season. 

   First Line: The first storyline is aptly focused around the first line of the Bruins. Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand are arguably one of the best lines in all of hockey. However, over the last two postseason, this line has disappeared when it matters most. The start to the season will give a glimpse into the possibility of shuffling one of the most dominant regular season lines in hopes of developing new chemistry that can be sustained in the playoffs. One of the possibilities is moving Pastrnak down a line to play with David Krejci and Charlie Coyle which could provide speed, skill and size that could provide mismatches across the league. 

   Second Line: New England teams are best known not for their stars, but for their next-man-up mentality.  The Bruins success last year was due in large part to contributing young players that rose to the occasion when asked. This season, the relatively no-name players are now known, and are expected to prove even more. Young defensemen like Connor Clifton and Matt Grzelcyk will be expected to continue their fast rise and provide speed and skill to the blue line. Newcomers like Jared Studnicka will look to be able to produce when called upon. The NHL is trending towards a game of speed and skill. Therefore, if the Bruins want to compete again, they will have to lean on their young players. 

   Third Line: Part of the immediate need for production of younger talent is the loss of some veteran players this offseason. One of the most dominant players last postseason was forward Marcus Johannsson. However, with his exit to New Jersey, the Bruins will need to find a competent third line center. Rhode Island native and fourth-line-grinder, Noel Acciari, also left heading to Florida. There are questions on the fourth line which was one of the Bruins’ most significant advantages last season. With some talent going out and no big name free agent acquisitions the Bruins will have to rely on the talent within the organization to drive them back to a title shot. 

   Fourth Line: Perhaps the biggest storyline going into the season is Tuukka Rask. By far, Rask played  his most dominant postseason as a Bruins goalie, but still fell short in game 7 allowing 2 goals on the first 4 shots. Despite having his highest career playoff save percentage, the “big game” doubts still surround Rask and it will be interesting to see how he responds to the heartbreak of a game 7 home loss. 

    The Bruins have the talent and the drive to contend for the Stanley Cup this year. However, there is no doubt that they were the beneficiaries of some lucky eliminations last season. This is a virtual must win season for the Bruins. With an aging core and goaltender, the Bruins’ chance at hoisting the Stanley Cup is becoming slimmer every year. If the Bruins do not want to feel the emptiness of a cup loss again they must play with the understanding that this may be their last shot.

 
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Anchorwomen out gunned by Colonels

Taylor Green, Anchor Contributor

Photo by Thomas Crudale

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