November 18, 2019
Volume 93, Issue 10
Deval Patrick tosses his hat into the 2020 presidential race
Sean Richer, Asst. News Editor
To the surprise of many, former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, has announced that he will be joining the already crowded field for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. “I recognize that running for president is a Hail Mary under any circumstances, but this is a Hail Mary from two stadiums over,” announced Patrick at the New Hampshire State House.
This development comes just months away from the first Caucus in Iowa. This will likely mean that Patrick will have to rush in order to communicate his positions to potential voters, in order to out-shine the other, more well-known candidates. Thus far, Patrick has focused on inspiring a sense of unity claiming, “I think that there is a once-in-a-lifetime appetite to bring solutions big enough for the challenges we face, but more than that, we must use those solutions to heal.” This seems to put him in direct opposition to a front-runner, Joseph Biden, who has also called for moderate solutions in order to heal the political divide among Americans.
Biden has just been able to stay ahead in the polls, with a recent study by Fox News giving him a seven point edge in Nevada, against the incumbent Donald Trump. However, with the introduction of Patrick, this could prove to split the moderate vote, and could see Elizabeth Warren, placed in a more favorable position.
Currently, enthusiasm for Mr. Patrick does not seem to have gained much traction. South Carolina Sen. Marlon Kimpson expressed this sentiment: “We are familiar with him, but there does not seem to be much excitement about his potential...I am very, very concerned that he simply will not have enough time to make the case for Democrats here in South Carolina.” It would seem that Patrick will have to fight to secure his nomination, but it is almost certain that his campaign, as well as the shadow of yet another potential candidate, Micheal Bloomberg, will change the upcoming primaries very late in the game.
Tempers burn hot at RIC seminar:
CUFI event regarding Israel and Palestine
Sean Richer, Asst. News Editor
Photos by Thomas Crudale
A deeply divided crowd entered the Fogarty Life Science auditorium last Wednesday to attend a seminar held by retired state police officer, Lt. Col. Joseph Philbin. Sponsored by the RIC chapter of Christians United for Israel (CUFI), it sought to share the Lt. Colonel’s experience and insight into the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine. However, it had its fair share of opponents.
Just before the presentation, nearly 20 students led by RIC faculty member, Dr. Sadhana Bery, posted themselves just outside the auditorium decrying the event and what they perceived as the occupation and oppression of Palestine. When asked to move site to a designated area established by campus police, Bery answered, “No we are going to protest here. We have the right to free speech, and this is facism. What good is protesting over there when we are protesting an event here?”
Joel Reinstein, a member of Jewish Voices for Peace explained their positions stating, “The situation in Palestine is so similar to Apartheid in South Africa. The people of Palestine have been oppressed and denied a place in their own government. Children are thrown in prison with no cause.”
On the opposite side of the issue, Luanne Pezzoulo, a lobbyist for CUFI and a Christian activist cited the Bible in defense of the state of Israel. “In Numbers 24:9, it says whoever blesses Israel will be blessed and whoever curses it will be cursed.” she went on to say that, “We are not a hate group, but Christians and Jews are under attack on all sides.” During the presentation, Lt. Col. Philbin and several CUFI members cited the “Lone Wolf” attacks that occur between Palestinians and Israelis. One protester quickly took offense, “Have members of your family been killed?” she asked. “No, because they’re not killers!” one CUFI member answered.
Last year, Israeli forces killed around 290 Palestinians during protests according to the Human Rights Watch. Likewise Hamas, a Palestinian political organization has launched 100 rockets primaraliy at Jerusalem. These missiles have largely been thwarted by the Israeli Iron Dome Defense System. These attacks have seen roughly 70 Israelis wounded and two killed. This conflict has been ongoing for decades, and as is evident from last week’s showing at RIC, has cut deep into many people.
Abigail Nilsson, News Editor
Somewhere in the many emails that Rhode Island College (RIC) students receive from administration is a letter from the Office of the President with the subject line reading “COMMUNITY FORUMS.” Administration is offering a series of town hall style events to help better inform students as to what is going on with the school, starting with discussing the results of the Climate Survey last week.
Thursday is the first day that RIC Chief Financial Officer Stephen Nedder will be discussing the school’s budget. “The main goal is to be transparent and get information out there,” said Nedder. He will be discussing what goes into the RIC’s budget, where funds are allocated and then will open the meeting to questions.
Students do not have a say as to how the current year’s budget is allocated, nor can they vote on it. This “budget 101,” as Nedder described, is to help students, faculty and staff understand where their tuition money and the state funds have been distributed. A majority of the budget is absorbed by operating expenses, such as instruction, student services and academic support among other services.
Questions about how tuition rates are being determined, meal plans and housing will be addressed. Everyone is encouraged to attend these meetings so they can learn more about budget allocations fluctuate from year to year. There are three-year contracts in effect for faculty wages and benefits, for departments that have higher costs than others (such as the chemistry and biology department who need more up-to-date equipment) and unexpected maintenance expenses, such as a pothole that needs to be filled; all contributing to where finances are distributed. The state partially funds RIC, but the amount varies from year to year based on an evaluation from the previous academic and financial year with projected enrollment, called a feasibility study, or the expense needs. The budget is determined by the Postsecondary Council and board members at RIC, which then must be approved by the Governor and the RI General Assembly. RI voters do not approve the main college budget, but they are able to approve bonds.
The goal of these forums according to the Office of the President is “to share information, garner feedback and elicit ideas and suggestions that can inform our strategic direction.” Being transparent and hearing the concerns of students can help to improve RIC. The budget meetings will be held on Nov. 21 from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 to3:30 p.m. and Dec. 2 from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. in Alger 110.
Sean Richer, Asst. News Editor
Last week, The House of Representatives launched the impeachment investigation against President Donald Trump into the public eye. This came after a complaint from a currently anonymous whistleblower surfaced, criticizing President Trump's dealings with the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky. The controversy began after Trump allegedly coerced Zelensky into investigating the corporate dealings of Hunter Biden, the son of Joseph Biden. The current allegations against Trump describe him potentially withholding military aid for Ukraine, who are still engulfed in a war with Russia, until the deed was done.
The first people to testify in this matter were Bill Taylor, who was the highest ranking member of the United States government in Ukraine, and George Kent, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the State Department. Taylor began his testimony by saying that he overheard Trump discussing the “investigations” with the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union. George Kent later testified in regards to the abrupt dismissal of the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch. “Rudy Giuliani's smear campaign against Yovanovitch was ubiquitous in the spring of 2019 on Fox News and on the internet and Twittersphere," he explained.
The most recent person to testify was Yovanovitch herself. She explained how Trump supposedly described her as “Bad news” in a phone call with the Ukrainian President, and was pressured by his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to dismiss her. Several officials and senators have come out in support of Yovanovitch, in describing her as, “Someone who has never craved the spotlight”; as well as glowing reports regarding her character. Earlier in October, she testified privately despite backlash from the White House, stating that she felt threatened.
“I was removed from my post after a campaign of disinformation,'' she said.
During these hearings, Trump has been active on Twitter, fervently criticizing Yovanovitch over her credibility. “Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad,” the President tweeted. It appears that these hearings will continue for some time before the evidence is presented to the Senate, who will then vote on whether or not the impeachment process will proceed. The wheel will continue to turn as we reach the crossroads of the Trump presidency.
Jake Elmslie, Sports Editor
For the fourth consecutive year Rhode Island College (RIC) students will be facing a tuition increase. On Wednesday night, the Rhode Island Board of Education voted to increase tuition for each of RI’s three public colleges, with RIC seeing the largest hike to in-state prices in both percentage and dollar amount.
Under this proposal with tuition and fees, the total cost of attending RIC full-time for the 2020-2021 school year will be $10,260. This $681 increase represents a 7.1% hike in tuition; a larger increase than any of the previous three years.
The groundwork for any tuition increase begins during the budgeting process. RIC’s administration, after assessing the wants and needs of the college’s various departments, determine whether a tuition increase is necessary to achieve a balanced budget. Following approval from the RIC President Frank Sanchez, who has the final say on all budgeting matters, RIC administration presents the RI Board of Education with a request for either a tuition increase to the state appropriation. This provides close to half of the school’s funding or some combination of the two.
These tuition increases are pending approval by Gov. Gina Raimondo who traditionally releases her budget proposal around January. The budget will then be deliberated over by the state assembly before being passed by the end of the R.I. fiscal year on June 30th, officially allowing the tuition hike to take effect.
Abigail Nilsson, News Editor
Starting on Tuesday four parking spots in K-Lot will be reserved for electric vehicles only. Two additional Electric Vehicle charging stations are being installed on the west side of the island closest to the Student Union.
Being the first in the state to offer EV charging stations, RIC has received a grant through the Office of Energy Resources and National Grid to fund the installation of seven stations and funding the entire
project. There are currently three EV stations on campus, one in the Welcome Center parking lot, D-Lot and I-Lot. Each station has the capability to charge two electric vehicles at a time.
Fine Arts student Vanessa Rundlet says, "The chances of winning the lottery are better than finding parking in the student Union Loop, I don't think we can afford to lose four spots for electric vehicles. The renewable energy funds given to the school could have been used to better light the dimly lit parking lots for the safety of us students, especially since we have to walk a long distance from student parking lots to our classes."
There are some restrictions when it comes to these spots that students, faculty and staff should be aware of. The spots are dedicated for electric or hybrid cars only and drivers can only park their vehicles there for the time it takes to charge their car, three hours. “I never want to see anyone on campus get a ticket,” said sustainability coordinator James Murphy, but students will get tickets if they do not drive an electric vehicle and are parked in a designated EV spot.
These spots will have signs posted and the lines on the ground are a different color to mark the spaces which are considered open parking for electric vehicles only. Two more stations will be installed in the near future in B-Lot next to the Cooperative Preschool.
“This is a fun project with a lot of people [students and faculty] using [EV stations]. J Jerue of the Physical Plant is really the quarterback to the project and great at finding the funding opportunities available,” said Murphy.
The solar panels on top of Donovan Dining Center will contribute to the energy that the K-Lot stations utilize. K-Lot will have a partial closure of eight spaces on the Student Union side of the island so the holes can be bored, and so that the conduit can be installed and connected to the panel inside of Donovan. This should last until roughly 2 p.m. Immediately following the installation the EV stations will be live and ready to charge electric cars.
Arts & Entertainment
Alana Perez, Copy Editor
Warning: some spoilers ahead
Fans have patiently waited for the new season of “Rick and Morty” and the team finally delivered earlier this week on Sunday, Nov. 10th. The premiere episode of season 4 is cleverly titled, “Edge of Tomorty: Rick Die Rickpeat.”
As one tweet by the show tells us, “The family’s back together”. This is a contrast from the family dynamics of season 3 when Beth kicks out Jerry from the house due to marital issues. However, Rick is still drunkenly belching every few words, Morty is still an awkward, stuttering teenaged boy; Summer is still making snarky comments any chance she gets, Beth is still acting like she has everything under control and Jerry is well… still Jerry.
In this episode, Rick and Morty go on an adventure, in which they come upon death crystals. A death crystal shows you the way you will die. It shows you multiple possibilities of death all at once. Rick burps his way through an explanation, “Your future stems from your present, which if you’re living right it keeps changing”. While Morty holds the death crystal he sees a variety of gruesome scenes, but when he moves a certain way the crystal shows him a death where he is old and being coddled by his crush since season one, Jessica.
This vision of his death drives his every move so much so that it results in Rick’s shocking and macabre death. Morty attempts to bring him back to life but the death crystal convinces him into leaving Rick for dead, so he continues on a different route. Rick, being the genius he is, has a backup protocol which allows him to regenerate through clones of himself in other universes. So while Morty is trying to make his own death certain, Rick is constantly coming back to life in clone bodies in other universes, attempting to return to his own.
Upon rewatching, Morty’s behavior starts to become a bit disturbing. The lengths he goes to ensure he will die old with a girl he barely knows is quite scary and telling of what frail masculinity looks like. Halfway through the episode, Morty is barely conscious to real life anymore; repeating the mantra “I will die old [with Jessica]” with a blank stare, and doing whatever violent or sometimes passive act that will keep the death crystal fixated on perfect death. To me, this read as common male obsession with women. Morty’s obsession with dying old with Jessica quickly leads him to a course of delusion and isolation. All the while, he never once interacts with the real Jessica.
In other scenes, Morty is stuttering dramatically through his sentences, trying to find the exact words that will show him the death he longs for. As the viewer, we know what is driving this speech impediment. However, from the outside, Morty appears to be very disturbed and without knowledge of the death crystal he comes off as a boy with severe mental health issues. This episode is a testament to never knowing what is going on through another person’s mind; the things people see in their minds for whatever reason.
The writers and creators of “Rick and Morty” have always done a magnificent job of portraying these types of serious mental issues. Although the show is ridden off as a silly cartoon by some, many episodes including this one can be read as dark commentary on regular mundane life. This episode proved that they are not shying away from this type of dark humor; not even in the slightest.
Two vastly different Korean families are entangled in one symbiotic relationship. The affluent Park family are living it up while the impoverished Kim family are scraping to get by. However, by sheer luck, Ki-Woo Kim is offered a job as an English tutor to the teenage daughter of the Parks.
From then on, the devious Kim family use their cunning to infiltrate themselves into the private positions employed by the rich. And thus, the winner-take-all class war begins. Known for his work in Memories of Murder, The Host, Mother, Okja and Snowpiercer, director and screenwriter Bong Joon Ho has a knack for telling one of a kind stories. The dark comedy thriller, Parasite, is no exception. In fact, this is one of his best work to date. He tells a grounded, hilarious, intelligent and scarily realistic story about human greed and class discrimination. How far people are willing to go in order to climb up the social ladder for wealth is endearing and disturbing to watch.
The cinematography is also a highlight as the audience gets to see the grimy trinkets of the Kim family’s basement like home and the polished tidiness of the Park family’s uptown villa. Not only that, there is no good or evil. The Kim family are likable characters who just want to live a better life and you can’t help but cheer for their success.
While the film has a suspenseful drama atmosphere to it, there are so many colorful layers to it in terms of symbolism, metaphors and messages. It alludes to class division and makes us contemplate the morality of the characters and ourselves. And after the film’s climax, you’ll be wondering to yourself, ‘Who is the real parasite in the movie?’
Sophia Guerrier, A&E Editor
Documenting an era aren’t the exclusive duties of textbooks and victors of war as it may seem. Decade defining moments like Franklin Roosevelt’s death or a young Marilyn Monroe or a segregated classroom full of African-American students learning anatomy can’t be recorded solely through words alone. A photographer named Ed Clark recorded these moments through his lens for the world to visually experience the light-hearted or eye-opening events of the times. Luckily, Rhode Islanders and any curious visitor can vicariously live through Clark’s black and white photographs in Providence at BankRI galleries from Dec. 5 to the end of the month.
Clark was a full time photographer for the widely acclaimed “Life Magazine” which in the mid 1940s and decades after was known as one of the most influential weekly publications in the country. Clark not only worked for one of the most popular publications of the era but assisted in establishing photojournalism as a significant means of telling a story. Unfortunately, Clark passed away in 2000 but his legacy lives on through his photographs. After obtaining Clark’s work from his niece, who is a Providence resident, BankRI Galleries decided to display her inherited photos in an exhibit.
“The photographs are quite simply beautiful,” said Paula Martiesian, BankRI Galleries Exhibition Curator. “The photographs that Ed took focus on vignettes of everyday life and there are places in the photographs that are quietly atmospheric and other places that are clearer and sharper. It's a way of leading the viewer through the photograph as if it were a map of human emotion.”
One of Clark’s most notable photographs is of Navy Chief petty officer, Graham Jackson, playing the accordion in tears as Roosevelt’s hearse passed by, “a matter-of-fact picture of a man grieving for someone he probably never met”.
A variety of era depicting photos of John F. Kennedy sipping coffee in a diner and a 1950s Mercedes Coupe can be found among Clark’s repertoire of intriguing photos that apprehended history as it unfolded. Clark goes from simple actions like a woman hanging up laundry or a busy employee of Jack Daniels checking for leaks in barrels to portrayals of Harry S. Truman on a walk and Dwight Eisenhower’s car riding away after JFK’s inauguration.
For those unfamiliar with BankRI Galleries, it is a public exhibition sponsored by BankRI that prides itself on featuring works of local contemporary artists for just over 20 years. Exhibits rotate monthly and is currently presenting “Transformations in Tape by Ann-Marie Gilett” until Dec. 3.
Although it is not specifically revealed what photos will be exhibited, it’s set in stone that the photos were taken by one of the most prolific photographers of the 20th century. Clark’s nostalgic, striking photos and gicclées, fine digital prints, will also be on display at the Dryden Gallery in Providence.
Brynn Terry, Asst. Copy Editor
Bruno is a five-year-old male American Staffordshire Terrier who was brought to the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals back when he was a one-year-old. His original family was moving and couldn't take him with them. Over the summer, Bruno was adopted, but was brought back after five days because he didn't bond with his adopter’s husband. When Bruno finds someone he gets along with, he is very loving and goody. He is neutered and has his shots, and is best in a home without children, and other dogs are okay as long as he meets them before going home and they get along.
Patsy is a seven year old female cat who has lived at RISPCA since May. Patsy was seized from a hoarding situation with about 35 other cats in the home which were transported to different shelters across the state. Patsy is the only cat still looking for a home. Although shy at first, she is very independent, playful and loving with the heart of a hunter, so don't expect to need to call pest control with her around! Patsy is spayed and negative for feline AIDS. She loves sticking her tongue out and is good with children, other cats, and can be introduced to dogs, so don't be surprised if this goofy kitty steals your heart.
Quintana Roo is a tri-colored female guinea pig who is believed to be about three years old. She was found abandoned by a family that showed her love until their young daughter developed allergies about a month ago. She is very vocal, and will chirp and purr and even kiss to show you how much she loves you. Unlike other piggies, Quintana loves to be cuddled and just wants to be held. Since guinea pigs aren't traditionally spayed, she is best living with another female that she meets before going home.
Alexis Rapoza, Asst. Opinions Editor
Plummeting 14,000 feet out of a helicopter in the middle of Switzerland, with a 200 hundred pound French man that you met a half hour ago strapped to your back will teach you a lot about yourself. When you go skydiving, you freefall for about 45 seconds depending on how high you jump from. Then, your tandem instructor, the person strapped to your back, will pull the lever and your parachute will release. For most tandem skydives this is the reality. There’s only about a 0.0007% chance of dying from a skydive, which is significantly less of a risk than driving a car. So, why do most people automatically assume that those of us who skydive have a death wish?
In today’s world, we have all the information we could possibly need at our fingertips. I spent the entire night before my skydive wide awake in a tent looking up all the possible accidents and mishaps that could happen the next day. News articles and videos of the few accidents that had happened in the past couple of years were available at the click of a button. So at this point, I had pretty much scared my way into thinking that I would be jumping to my death. But to my dismay, I had already paid for the skydive so it was either jump or lose all the money I had spent. Because I am the cheapest person I know, I jumped rather than lose out on money spent.
Skydiving was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my entire life. Free-falling from above the clouds makes you see the world from a different angle, literally and figuratively. You realize how massive the world actually is and how much there is still left to explore. If I had let myself be crippled by the fear that I had imposed on myself by my extensive research, then I would not have been able to have had that experience. In my quest to know everything, I had almost missed out on the opportunity to see the world from a bird’s eye view.
Since my skydive, I have worked to do one thing that scares me every day, which is something that I encourage everyone to try. Now, I’m definitely not implying that everyone should go to Switzerland and jump out of helicopters, but it can be as simple as trying new food or joining a club.
Technology allows us so much access to tragedy and fear that it’s often easy to get lost in the what-ifs and stay confined to our comfort zones; something I am not stranger to. Looking back, the things that I regret are the things that I did not do. Even in the events that didn’t go as planned, there was something to be learned. So, for those of us with the ability and privilege to step out of our comfort zones, I encourage it and I remind you that sometimes you don’t need to know everything.
Knowledge is important but using it to further your fear and miss out on opportunities will only hinder you. Stepping out of your comfort zone will open yourself up to so many experiences and help you begin to replace the “what-ifs” with “I wills”, which I think is way more fulfilling.
Alison Macbeth, Opinions Editor
Rhode Island College (RIC) is treasured by locals as an affordable school - some even say Rhode Island’s best-kept secret. Many students choose RIC for their four-year education because they value minimal educational debt. However, the Post-Secondary Council on Education’s recent vote demonstrates that educational authorities are not fighting for what RIC students appreciate about their institution.
The proposal raises RIC in-state tuition by $681 dollars a year. For officials making this decision, the tuition increase is small. In fact, Governor Gina Raimondo shared hopes that the tuition wouldn’t be raised. However, one reason that tuition is being increased is to meet the Governor’s policy goal to have 70 percent of Rhode Islanders attain a college degree by 2025. This ambitious goal requires additional revenue to support completion rates. “I want the people of Rhode Island to have a chance,” Raimondo said. RIC students should not have to pay for the Governor’s political agenda.
RIC’s in-state tuition sits at $8,206 and the price raise increases tuition by 12 percent. On the other hand, the University of Rhode Island’s yearly in-state tuition is $12,884 and only increased tuition by three percent at $438 a year. The Community College of Rhode Island’s yearly in-state tuition is $4,266 and has raised tuition by 3.7 percent. RIC’s tuition increase, quadruple that of URI, raises eyebrows. According to a memo released by the Governor’s office, RIC’s decreasing enrollment is a factor for the higher percentage of increase.
Tuition increases are tricky - no one is denying that. It takes money to improve a college campus; however, RIC students do not need to pay more so that the Governor makes her policy goal, even if it is an admirable one; especially since RIC is seen has a financially safe choice for many middle class and low income students. Instead, why don’t we invest in the students that are already pursuing a college education? Funding for state-run educational expansion projects should not come from the pockets of the individuals who provide a positive statistic for that initiative. The R.I. government needs to continue to fight for affordable education in this state through common sense measures.
Before the council voted in favor of raising tuition prices, the Governor said, “I’ve worked so hard to bring about the promise program, tuition free at the community college. We have to make college more affordable and more accessible and I hope that they really give it a lot of thought before they increase tuition.” We agree Gina. So let’s stop talking, stop raising tuition and do exactly that - keep college affordable, okay?
Letter to the editor
Charina Herrara (Class of 2020)
A cold, windy day showed a different side of Rhode Island College (RIC) that many people are not aware exists. Eighteen people, myself included, gathered in the lobby of Fogarty Life Science to protest a talk put on by the Christians United for Israel (CUFI) chapter at RIC. UpriseRI writes that the group partnered with the Rhode Island Coalition for Israel (RICI), a local group of right-wing Zionist Christians and Jews, to bring former Rhode Island State Police Lt. Colonel Joseph Philbin on campus to discuss his experiences during his visit to Israel.
The ex-state police officer was sponsored to visit Israel on an anti-terrorsim training program, where he was able to tour Israel’s Police, defense, and security forces. According to the Providence Journal, Philbin retired in late October “in good standing,” in the midst of an internal affairs investigation where a State Trooper allegedly struck a 17-year-old, and where video of the incident "mysteriously" vanished. Why RIC would allow a retired officer under investigation of police brutality against a young black man to come on campus is beyond me.
The main issue at hand is the continuous persecution of Palestinians who have been displaced from their homeland. Over the last 70 years, we have witnessed the increasing seizure and occupation of Palestinian land. As stated on the Jewish Voice for Peace website, the violence between Israelis and Palestinians is often falsely presented as a conflict between two equal sides with irreconcilable claims to one piece of land. In reality, this is a conflict over territory between a nation-state, Israel - with one of the world’s most well armed and well-funded militaries, and an indigenous population of Palestinians that has been occupied, displaced, and exiled for decades.
When I arrived at Fogarty, there was an elderly couple there with a sign from RICI who informed me that he was there for the “anti-protest” protest. Somehow, word of our protest got out. When our group began to grow in numbers, RIC police officers told us that Administration had designated a “specific place” for us to protest. That place was outside of the building in freezing cold weather with wind chills in the one digit numbers. “That’s fascism,” Dr. Sadhana Bery argued back. We were prepared to stand our ground. If the speaker was allowed to be brought on campus through the concept of “free speech,” then we also have the right as RIC students and faculty to practice free speech outside of the room where this event was allowed to occur.
I would like to point out that our student activities fees were used to support an event that had more people in protest of it than those who actually attended; and that most of those who did attend were older people from off-campus with about 4 students (including the organization members). Faculty members of our “beloved” RIC community were also in attendance. So for the most part, fees that we students pay were used to hold an event for barely mostly people who do not even attend the college.
Our group sat in on the ex-cop’s presentation under the threat of being arrested by campus police if we began to chant because, apparently, that would be considered a “violent protest.” How? Is our presence, as mostly students of color, inherently a violent act?
We took the opportunity to ask him questions and his vague answers only led to more questions. His supporters became increasingly hostile. At one point, when discussing the racial aspect of the issue in occupied Israel, the older woman from earlier showed her true colors. In her efforts to explain herself, she referred to Africans she had living on her farm with her in Israel as “primitive,” and not even knowing how to use the toilet. This is representative of deeply racist sentiments and colonial narratives.
Tensions between the speaker and a person in the audience escalated to the point where the ex-cop exclaimed “don’t try me.” A threat heard by everyone in attendance, at which Vice President Tamika Wordlow-Williams stepped in and formally ended the event nearly thirty minutes early.
Despite being threatened and clearly cut short by the administration, at least we can say that we protested against injustice, something that seems to be a foreign concept on this campus.
Charina Herrara (Class of 2020)
Are "likes" unlikable?
Brynn Terry, Asst. Copy Editor
Ding ding! Someone’s liked your picture of you pretending not to know you’re being photographed while sipping an iced coffee. But here's the catch- no one else knows that you’ve been acknowledged by someone you went to summer camp with in 2009. Maybe that's the best thing that's ever happened to social media since MySpace letting you play your favorite song on your page.
On November 5th, as part of their new campaign to stop cyberbullying on the popular platform, Instagram announced that they will be removing the ability to see “like” counts on other people's photos for some users in the U.S. People will still be able to see who's liked their own personal posts, but there will no longer be a number, unless there's a need on the account owner`s side to physically count.
My first reaction, admittedly, was that this was a bad idea. Isn't the whole point of social media to have a following and have people acknowledge you and give you attention? I opened my own Instagram account, finding myself looking at selfies that I thought deserved more likes. I mean, I think I look pretty, why doesn't everyone that follows me think that? Maybe I`m ugly or I don`t post cool enough content? Am I using the wrong filter?
About a third of the way down through scrolling my account, pitying myself, I realized that I used to have so many more posts than the 50-something I have now, meaning I`ve deleted any post that “didn't have enough likes”. But what is enough likes? When will I be satisfied? If I`m being completely honest, the answer is never because nothing can ever sufficiently measure my self-worth.
I started social media when I was about nine, under my dog's name. Until I was 13, the concept of likes didn’t matter to me. I posted whatever I wanted whenever I wanted and didn`t seem to care if people thought what I posted was stupid or cool. Yet, five years later, it actually stressed me out when I first found out that others would no longer know how many people have acknowledged that my dog was dressed as a bumblebee for Halloween.
Instagram has already put the new system into place in seven different countries, starting in Canada and moving into countries such as Australia and Italy. Reality TV show star and influencer Kim Kardashian-West has thrown her support behind the plan: "As far as mental health, I mean it's something that taking the likes away and taking that aspect away from it would be really beneficial for people.” Although I'm not sure how much advice I’d take from Kimmy K, who gets an average of at least one million likes per photo compared to my measly 70 on a good day, I think she might have a point there.
Instagram’s policies require someone to be at least 13 when opening an account, which is around the age where most kids start puberty, something that traditionally comes with a lot of insecurity and anxiety. Given this, and my own personal middle school horror stories, I think the removal of like counts might be beneficial.
Maybe as this system is tested out in the U.S., people will start to use social media for the purpose it was created for - to share and connect with people, rather than competing for the validation of a thoughtless double-tap that takes less than one second to complete.
Rebranding RIC and remembering students
Alison Macbeth & Marisa Lenardson
Opinions Editor & Anchor Staff
You may have seen an email from the Office of College Communications and Marketing last month that asked Rhode Island College (RIC) students to take a “branding survey.” The survey is a way to receive responses from students on new brand concepts for the college. Throughout the survey, several concepts for logos and taglines created by (add)ventures are shown. All of them are disappointing.
According to the Office of Communications, the state-funded budget for the project is $389,500. Rhode Island state regulations require RIC to put the project on bid in order to secure the lowest price. In an email conversation with the Office of Communication, (add)ventures was chosen “from a Request for Proposals based on qualifications, review of similar work and lowest qualifying bid.”
Rebranding RIC is important. Making the school look more appealing with a nice logo, tagline, and creative advertisements is a way to attract prospective students and encourage them to attend. That will ultimately lead to a higher enrollment, which means keeping tuition costs low and having more money to improve the campus. $389,500 is a large budget, especially for a school that has crumbling infrastructure and many other pressing needs. Since rebranding is essential to the future of RIC, that budget must produce quality products that will do just that - promote RIC.
With this substantial budget, the RIC community should have high expectations of (add)ventures rebranding proposals. In turn, the survey revealed drab, lifeless logos that failed to demonstrate Rhode Island’s best kept secret. Not only are the concepts disappointing but they are crude proposals for a well-respected advertising and branding company. The Office of Communications stressed that these are just concepts. Therefore, (add)ventures needs to do more research about the RIC community in order to produce quality, relatable logos and taglines. Their initial concepts reflect bad research and a shoddy job.
Several professors have privately expressed their disappointment in the concepts. Frankly, RIC students could do better and for free. Imagine a RIC student designing the logo? Alumni could be the literal brand of this institution. While it may be impossible to rearrange plans because this is a state-funded project, students must be at the forefront and remain at the helm of this ongoing process. This is just one stage in the development of rebranding. It is time to show RIC as a place that is thriving with the dedicated, hardworking and future leaders of Rhode Island.
Feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org with your opinion. Also, you can email the administration at email@example.com to express their thoughts or leave a note in the comment box at the Be the Brand Cafe in Craig Lee Hall.
“I think that RIC has a lot of potential to do such amazing things. But the way they’ve conveyed this information doesn’t look like they’re getting student’s opinions. Maybe they could have an event where students in the graphic design department come up with concepts. I’m really disappointed.”
Juliana Campellone, Communications & Public Relations (Class of 2020)
“I liked the advertisements, but I wasn’t able to read anything on them so when voting for what pertains to them, it was difficult. I also thought some of the tag lines were cheesy.”
Aimee Louzon, Elementary and Special Education (Class of 2021)
“I think they should have made this an inside project first. They should have sent something to the students beforehand and asked for student submissions.”
Sarah French, Nursing (Class of 2020)
“A student could have come up with much better logos and could have been paid way less.”
Julianne Svoboda, Music Education (Class of 2022)
“As a whole, I think the project needs more student involvement. I think students would be more onboard with trying to design the logo themselves than blindly accepting whatever the administration presents them with. The designs, overall, are weak and do not represent RIC effectively. None of the taglines portray RIC particularly well, but Ignite Your Mind sounds like a good tagline for a college. I’m not sure for RIC, though. The ads are probably the strongest of the three with two out of the four being relatively acceptable/effective with portraying RIC. The two yellow designs are kind of off-putting and are not very clear.”
Isaiah Hopper, Music (Class of 2021)
RIC athlete spotlight: Hillevi Esquilin
Taylor Green, Anchor Staff
Freshman Hillevi Esquilin has been a stand-out new edition to the Rhode Island College Women’s swim team this season. With six championship qualifying times in only four meets, Esquilin is definitely showing the competition what she’s got.
Esquilin has been swimming since she was 7 years old, when her mother told her that “swimming was a life skill [she] needed”. Since then, she’s swam three different club teams, her high school team, and now for the Anchorwomen. She committed to year-round training with only “one or two weeks off” each year. In addition, she practices on her own time, whether putting in extra sets and hours in the pool, or in the weight room.
“This is a competitive sport I’m extremely passionate about. I could never not swim,” Esquilin explained. “And I could never thank my mom enough for that.”
The commitment shows through in her swims. With qualifying times in her 50 yard and 200 yard freestyle, 100 yard and 200 yard Individual Medley (IM), 100 yard butterfly, and 100 yard backstroke, Esquilin showcases her versatility, and her skill in each stroke.
“Freestyle is my best stroke, if only for the amount of time I’ve dropped from those events. But butterfly is my favorite. It just feels so cool to be able to do that.”
This season she has expressed that she’s confident with not only herself, but also her teammates and she’s happy with where she is. She looks forward to committing the next four years to the team and is excited to see how the team will grow with new members and with the members she’s already competing side by side with.
Esquilin will swim alongside her teammates at their next meet on November 22nd against Western New England University Golden Bears at 6:00 pm in their opponents’ pool.
Jake Elmslie, Sports Editor
Photo by Mark Medeiros
The Rhode Island College women’s basketball team gave their home crowd the most dominant performance, in their 99-27 home opener victory over the Elms College Blazers.
From the onset, the Anchorwomen’s defense confounded the Blazers with the Elms team not scoring a single point until over five minutes into the game. The Anchorwomen were able to achieve this in part, due to an early commitment to a full court press, generating a myriad of turnovers before the Blazers had the chance to cross the logo.
The RIC team was able to remain fresh and energized through leaning heavily on it’s depth. 13 players on the team logged 10 or more minutes with 12 recording five or more points. The Anchorwomen frequently deployed lineups, consisting entirely of freshmen with little to no visible downturn in their play. Among these first year players was forward Izabelle Booth, who led the team in scoring with 12 points off of 5-7 shooting.
By the end of the first half, the Anchorwomen had the game well in hand, touting a 51-12 lead before nearly mirroring their scoring output in the second half. By the time the game drew to a close the Blazers had committed more turnovers (42) than they had attempted shots (41).
One of the few negatives for the Anchorwomen came in the form of a head injury to junior guard Sophia Guerrier, late in the second quarter. Guerrier was on a tear up to that point in the game, having recorded 10 points to go alongside five steals and five rebounds in only 10 minutes of play. However, following the game Guerrier told reporters that she had not exhibited any concussion like symptoms and that her availability going forward was not in jeopardy.
With this victory the Anchorwomen improve to 2-0 on the season. Their next home game will come on December 1st in an out of conference matchup against the Roger Williams University Hawks, tipoff for that game is slated for 3pm.
Brynn Terry, Asst. Copy Editor
The anchormen wrestling team has been off to an uncertain and rocky start as they competed for the second time this season at Friday and Saturday’s Invitational hosted by Roger Williams University in Bristol, RI.
The tournament included teams 17 from New England and New York institutions including Bridgewater State University and King's College. Rhode Island College placed 14th overall with a total of 37.5 points. The tournament had 623 bouts in total, with the anchormen dropping off at bout 579.
Zach Ford of Fairhaven, MA helped the anchormen by winning three of his five matches in the 165lb bracket this weekend. Ford’s best match was against Plymouth State, Ford winning 21-7. Ford advanced to bout 543, losing a match against Castleton State College. Ford ended his day one win short of placing.
After a 5:29 sweat-breaking match, anchorman Daniel Sblendorio of Mountainside, NJ was able to win in the 184lb division from Cortland State University. Despite putting up a strong fight and winning three of his five matches of the weekend, Sblendorio lost in a 15-0 match against Southern Maine University.
“As a coach I am really disappointed that we worked so hard and improved so much but didn`t get the results to show for it,” said head coach Jay Jones. The team is a mix of veterans and newcomers with potential, and Jones looks forward to working with his wrestlers to improve their score.
The Anchormen tried to make a comeback at the consi of four with Nate Lackman of Bethlehem, PA and Sam Lindblom of Waterford, CT. Lackman, who is in the 141lb bracket, ultimately succumbed against an opponent from second place team Castleton State College at 4:34 of the match.
Lindblom of the 157lb bracket kicked off his day with a strong performance, winning against nationally ranked wrestler Matt Sacco from The College of New Jersey during his first match of the day. Lindblom ended the team`s day losing the 579th bout of the tournament after a loss in the quarter finals to yet another national ranker, Gianno Silba of Cortland University.
The anchormen will be back at the grind on November 23 at Springfield College for the Doug Parker Invitational as their second tournament of the season. The first match is expected to be at 10 a.m..