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News

February 10, 2020
Volume 93, Issue 15

 

SCG Elects new Treasurer ahead of budget hearing process

Abigail Nilsson, Editor in Chief

   Last Wednesday, Rhode Island College Student Community Government held an emergency election to vote on a new student body treasurer. This election was called in response to the surrendering of Treasurer Janelle Gomez, who submitted her resignation the first week of the spring semester. This is the second executive officer of Student Community Government to resign this academic year.

    Gomez states that “[she] left student government because of the toxic workplace. I took a position on parliament, then of treasurer to aid and advocate for the clubs that...were not represented.” Gomez also mentioned “They have a person who called me ‘colored’ as president, and students organizing out of [SCG]. That is when I realized I was not serving my purpose.” These remarks refer to a parliament meeting that took place in March 2018, during which a resolution was proposed to SCG’s Parliamentary body to arm campus police. 

   The election was held amongst 11 of SCG’s voting members. Patrick Gibb, a RIC freshman and treasurer of the class of 2023, was elected as a write-in candidate. Gibb was unopposed and won with eight votes in his favor. 

    As the newly elected SCG treasurer, Gibb will be working personally with each student organization president and treasurer when they need to order products, services and plan events. He will be acting as a liaison, and making sure all the checkbooks are correctly balanced from both ends. Likewise, Gibb will chair SCG’s Finance Commission, which meets bi-weekly to review requests for funding throughout the semester.

   SCG will conduct their annual budget hearings this weekend, where the budgets of all student organizations will be reviewed for approval for the 2020-2021 academic year. This gives Treasurer Gibbs ten days to absorb the duties of treasurer, who presides over the budget hearing process.

   There are currently five members of the finance committee, only three of which are voting members, who will be voting on all of the student organizations budgets. This is over $100 thousand dollars worth of student activities fees that will be allocated to student organizations.

SCG President Joshua Percy declined to comment. 

 

RI lawmakers push to lift ban on healthcare coverage for abortions

Alexis Rapoza, Opinions Editor

    Two Rhode Island lawmakers, in collaboration with The Womxn Project, took to the State House to call for a state-wide lift on the ban blocking Medicaid and State employees from using health insurance to cover abortion services. The legislation, called the Equity in Abortion Coverage Act, was introduced by Sen. Bridget Valverde and Rep. Liana Cassar and would make Rhode Island the 17th state to include abortion services under Medicaid. 

    The Equity in Abortion Coverage Act, was introduced on the 47th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe vs. Wade decision, which declared that a women’s right to choose is protected under the privacy laws enacted in the Fourteenth Amendment. In the subsequent years following Roe Vs. Wade, several states passed laws to prohibit or make it harder to receive abortion services. This included the passing of the Hyde Amendment in 1976 that blocked Federal Medicaid funding and allows states to decide whether to allow their funding to cover abortion services. If passed, the bill would allow RI to provide funding for these services through Medicaid and state employee health plans.

    Rep. Valverde stated: “Abortion is basic health care and should be covered by your health insurance no matter how much money you make or where you work. Right now, we have an unfair, discriminatory system in place here in Rhode Island. State employees and Medicaid patients deserve the same coverage as everyone else, but the law prohibits their insurance from providing it."

    The announcement of this bill follows the passing of the Reproductive Privacy Act (RPA) in June of 2019, which is working to codify Roe vs. Wade into Rhode Island law should it be overturned at the federal level. In a statement following the bill’s signing Gov. Gina Raimondo stated: “When this bill becomes law, women and their families across Rhode Island will be free from the fear that the reproductive health care they need today will be illegal tomorrow. We owe this certainty to every Rhode Island woman - and the bill before me today provides exactly that.”

    Both this new legislation and RPA met strong opposition from both Republicans and some Democrats across the state including Democratic Majority Leader Micheal Caffrey and Majority Whip MaryEllen Goodwin. Despite the opposition, RPA was passed by the Rhode Island General Assembly with a 21-17 vote in the Senate and a 45-29 vote in the House of Representatives. 

   In contrast, Rep. Cassar called the passing of RPA a “great success” and said that the Equity in Abortion Coverage Act is the next step in overturning unconstitutional laws enacted in RI in order to restrict choice and is a step towards restoring women’s reproductive rights. She further went on to state that all Rhode Islanders deserve the right to bodily autonomy including state employees and low-income people.

  It would seem that abortion in America continues to remain a divisive matter within the nation, and one that RI has taken a firm stance on. 

 

Iowa Caucus results still under scrutiny

Sean Richer, News Editor

    Uncertainty continues to plague the Democratic Party as the race to the presidential nomination begins in earnest. After a week of counting, the Associated Press, among several other sources, are still unable to declare a clear-cut winner between the two frontrunners; Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders. 

    According to the New York Times, Buttigieg and Sanders are virtually neck and neck with each other, with Buttigieg just edging out Sanders by a tenth of a percentage point with 26.2% of the vote. Following these two embattled candidates is Elizabeth Warren with 18%, Joe Biden at 15.8%, and Amy Klobuchar with 12.3%. The remaining candidates have yet to drop out from the race despite not receiving any delegates, although Andrew Yang and Tom Steyer were able to draw 1% and 0.3% of the vote, both qualifying for the next Democratic Debate.

    However, these results are not set in stone, with a myriad of errors and malfunctions emerging during the week. The most glaring of these issues was the app developed by Shadow Inc. to track the results. The Iowa Democratic Party commissioned this app to be made less than two months before the caucuses were held. This meant that the app was not properly tested and may have led to several malfunctions including connectivity and login errors. As a result, many caucus chairs chose to forgo the app entirely, causing several discrepancies between them. This combined with Iowa's old form of counting votes (conceived in 1847) in which communities gather in open forums and count votes by hand, has cast a great amount of doubt on the exact results. 

    Despite these setbacks, both Buttigieg and Sanders have declared victory in Iowa. "By all indications we are heading to New Hampshire victorious." declared Buttigieg. Meanwhile, at a rally in New Hampshire, Bernie Sanders exclaimed, "According to the latest precincts, we have won the popular vote in Iowa by a margin of 6,000."

    The spotlight seems to remain fixed on Sanders and Buttigieg as they move on to New Hampshire for the second primary vote. Both the candidates are once again projected to tie in the polls, which may spell a grave sign for the remaining candidates. While these two frontrunners continue onwards, the recent events in Iowa show that the state of the race is still very much in flux.

 

Influenza B outbreak reported on RIC’s campus

Brynn Terry, Asst. News Editor

    Although Punxsutawney Phil has predicted an early Spring, flu season is still upon us. According to the Rhode Island Department of Health, doctor visits for flu-like symptoms are up 3.21 percent from last year. At least five cases of Influenza B have been reported as of Friday to the Rhode Island College Health Services, but more students, staff and faculty are suspected to be infected. 

    Symptoms of the Influenza B strain include a fever of at least 100 degrees, headaches or fatigue and vomiting. According to the Interim Director of Health Services here at RIC, Christie Rishworth, Influenza B is particularly dangerous due to its long-lasting symptoms. For some, symptoms last up to six days, which increases the severity of symptoms and increases the risk of complications. These risks can include dehydration, pneumonia and ear infections. “Influenza B is very widespread throughout the whole state right now,” said Rishworth. As of Jan. 28, the Rhode Island Department of Health reported seven deaths as a result of Influenza B. 

    Rishworth suggested getting a flu shot, because those who have received the influenza vaccination will have less severe symptoms or none at all. “A lot of times it seems the symptoms are reduced” said Rishworth. Health Services, located in Brown Hall, are providing free flu shots for those who would like one.

     Rishworth also suggested going to Health Services or your primary care professional to see about a Tamiflu prescription. According to Rishworth, Tamiflu can be prescribed as symptoms begin, or even before symptoms start if a person has been exposed to the illness.

    Besides getting a flu shot or seeking treatment, campus members are encouraged to increase vigilance in handwashing, touching your face and being in close contact with those who are sick. Health Services are asking that students who are infected call and report their illness and stay off campus until the fever is gone for at least 24 hours. Health Services will be providing excusal notes for classes for those who test positive. 

   Those who live on campus and test positive for the illness are encouraged to stay in their rooms if they are unable to return home for the duration of the illness. They are suggesting students make arrangements for meals to be brought to them from the dining hall and refrain from making contact with others. 

 

Christina Koch spends a record-breaking amount of time in outer space

Brynn Terry, Asst. News Editor

This is your News article. It’s a great

    After 328 days in outer space, National Aeronautics and Space Administration astronaut, Christina Koch, returned to Earth on Feb. 6 along with her colleagues, European Space Agency commander Luca Parmitano and Russian cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov. Koch broke the record for the longest stay in space by a woman, passing retired United States astronaut Peggy Whitson. In addition to being the first woman to spend almost a full year in space, she now holds the record for the second-longest stay by any U.S. astronaut.

    Koch entered space on March 14, 2019, and broke the record for the longest stay by a female astronaut on Dec.28, 2019. This was Koch’s first trip into space after she completed training in the summer of 2015, which included wilderness survival and physiological training. Originally, Koch was not supposed to be in space as long as she was, but mission plans were altered due to reassignment schedules by NASA.

    Koch has two Bachelor of Science degrees in electrical engineering and physics, along with a Master of Science degree in electrical engineering, all from North Carolina State University.  In 2001 Koch graduated from the NASA Academy program at Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. 

    During her time in space, Koch ventured outside of the ship on six different occasions, totaling 42 hours and 15 minutes in space. In Oct. of 2019, Koch made history alongside fellow astronaut Jessica Meir for the first-ever all-woman NASA spacewalk. “There are a lot of people who derive motivation from inspiring stories of people who look like them, and I think it’s an important story to tell,” said Koch in an interview last year regarding the walk. 

    Before taking off for the stars, Koch spent time as a research associate for the US Antarctic Program from 2004 to 2007. During her time with the USAP, Koch lived in the South Pole for a period of time, which she described as both mentally and physically challenging. 

    Now that Koch has completed her nearly year-long voyage into outer space, she will be participating in research as a part of NASA’s program titled “Artemis.” The research conducted will aid in better understanding the effects of long-duration trips into space on women to help create plans for travel deeper into our solar system.“What will I miss?” said Koch in a tweet Wednesday. “The exquisite beauty of both the planet Earth and this marvel that its amazing people created.”

    After the strides made by Koch during her 11 months in space, NASA has plans to send the first woman to the moon by 2024.

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Bloom(berg)ing with support from RI Gov. Raimondo

Abigail Nilsson, Editor in Chief

Photo by Abigail Nilsson

    A couple hundred people crammed together in a small conference room in the Wexford Innovation Center in Providence, where presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg held a community meeting. Gov. Gina Raimondo opened for him announcing that she is endorsing Bloomberg and now co-chair of his presidential campaign. 

    Gov. Raimondo was enthusiastic to share her political admiration of Bloomberg and talked about why she feels he will be the best next Commander in Chief of the United States. 

The crowd did not feel the same commendation as Raimondo. Several anti-Bloomberg supporters were ushered out. One woman was upset that he did not support women’s rights, while another claimed Bloomberg’s friendship with Jeffrey Epstein makes him guilty of sexually assaulting minors. 

    Bloomberg spoke for less than 15 minutes, mainly responding to those attacking his friendship with Epstein with quirky remarks such as, “I felt like I was back in New York City for a moment.” He then spoke of his experience as the mayor of New York City. He feels that because he helped to reunite the people immediately following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and he is a self-made billionaire, makes him the best candidate to defeat Trump in November. 

    Rhode Island resident Cameron Landry said, “It was the first time I saw Bloomberg have real energy. He looked really comfortable, likely because of Gov. Raimondo’s kind words. He was surprisingly funny, and didn’t stick to his traditional rhetoric.” 

    Many members of the crowd feel this endorsement may set Raimondo up for a potential cabinet or vice president position if Bloomberg ends up with the Democratic nomination.  

 

Arts & Entertainment

 

Sophia Guerrier, A&E Editor

    Black history month is here, and the contribution from black artists to the world only continues to grow from one February to the next. One of the countless great achievements gifted from a black artist happened to be released today, Feb. 10, by a transcending rapper known as Kanye West with his debut album “The College Dropout.”

    Despite West’s self-inflicted blow to his reputation by his “slavery was a choice” comments, very unpopular antics of MAGA hat-wearing and random embarrassing twitter rants, there was a time where the Def Jam rapper was a conscious, civil rights advocating musician. That time was documented in 2004 with an album covered by a brown bear slouching on gym bleachers. 

    Mercedes-Benz’s and oversized NFL jerseys sported by gangsters hailing from the inner cities of New York and Atlanta controlled the rap scene during the early 00s, which made West an unlikely candidate of becoming the next rags to riches superstar in Hip Hop. After garnering great applause for his production on Jay Z’s now classic 2001 release “The Blueprint,” West’s recognition as a producer was thought to have stayed as just a producer and only a producer. His middle-class, Chicago suburban background also seemed unmarketable to be a rapper compared to his weapon toting labelmates like Beanie Sigel, the Diplomats and State Property. But after shopping around major labels and inevitably getting rejected, Damon Dash finally signed West to Roc-A-Fella Records, out of fear of losing him as an in-house producer. This was the label he would drop his freshmen album under. 

    Damon Dash took a risk that would launch West’s career and lead to his best-selling album to date. “The College Dropout” not only got stamped with three platinum certifications but also influenced the overall sound of rap albums after it. West’s use of sped-up soul samples combined with comedic, boastful lyrics created a seemingly alternative wave of rap that may have been disregarded if it had been any other artist. Gospel choirs and string instrument supplements on a rap album during the era was a groundbreaking investment to the LP’s value that complimented West’s political commentary on materialism and the social status of blacks in the United States on songs like “Never Let Me Down” and “All Falls Down.” West’s “Jesus Walks,”  a song appealing to the tense topic of religion, transcended the anxieties of label executives and became one of the lead singles off of the album, an extreme outlier in the flashy, violent landscape of rap. “The College Dropout” dared artists to be themselves and tinker with the notion of what a rapper is supposed to sound like, dress like or come from. 

    In the now post “College Dropout” world, rap icons like Kendrick Lamar and Chance the Rapper credit the album for influencing their craft. The grammy-winning album for “Best Rap Album” in 2005, has since been named on the list of  “Best Debut Albums of All Time” by Rolling Stone and among others. Its socially aware content inspired another conscious awakening for rappers in the 00s and convinced radio airwaves that gritty, aggressive rap is not only what listeners want to hear. 

 

Gregory Williams, Asst. A&E Editor

    On Feb. 14, couples of all ages and backgrounds will partake in the commonly celebrated tradition of Valentine’s Day. Originally a liturgical feast day to celebrate a Christian martyr, the exchange of cards, flowers, sweets and other various tokens of affection will abound. Pledges of love and fealty will be made and in some cases, proposals, which is a wildly popular thing to do in the Philippines. 

   Although primarily recognized in the West (many countries oppose the day for political and religious reasons) sales in the United States alone are expected to reach over $20 billion this year. Yet, one cannot ignore the hyper-commercialization this holiday (and the rest, for that matter) carries and the distaste it causes. 

    As unromantic as this is, the origins of the day and how we arrived here far exceeds the bombardment of advertisements and frustration of long lines.

    There are over 30 Saints who go by Valentine or Valentinus, and only three make the list of likely candidates. Of those three, two were executed on Feb. 14  in different years by Emperor Claudius II Gothicus in the third century A.D. The other and first candidate died in Africa, alongside 24 soldiers. Very little information is known about him. 

    The second, Valentinus, a Roman Priest, was arrested and taken into custody by an aristocrat named Asterius. A non-believer, Asterius made Valentinus an offer: if he could cure his daughter’s blindness through the power of God, he and his family would convert. Sure enough, Valentinus restored the young girl’s vision and Asterius and his family were later baptized. When news of this reached Emperor Gothicus, he ordered Valentinus and the recently converted family executed (Valentinus was beheaded).

    Another part of legend says that while imprisoned, Valentinus had befriended Asterius’s daughter and signed a letter “from your Valentine.”  However, no proof of this exists.

    The third Valentinus was a bishop of Terni in the district of Umbria, Italy. His story, according to medieval legend, is remarkably similar to the second. A man had sought help from the good bishop to heal his son of a physical disability. After miraculously curing the son, the family converted to Christianity. Emperor Claudius II discovered this and had him arrested and later beheaded. It is very likely considering the remarkable resemblance of both stories that these two people are one in the same. The unsubstantiated “love letters” legend along with another legend that one of these Saint’s secretly married young couples (marriage was outlawed under Claudius II since he believed married men were less likely to fight in his wars). A final claim made is that Valentinus aided mistreated Christians in escaping Roman prisons. 

    Is it not peculiar that the least likely stories of Valentinus are far more romantic than the more likely ones? There seems to be just as many legends surrounding this venerated figure as there are churches and monasteries in Europe claiming to have bits of bone belonging to a St. Valentinus.  

    Some speculate the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia, celebrated in mid-February, may have been a precursor to the Christian holiday and purposely replaced by Pope Gelasius I in the 5th century. During this pagan fertility festival, men would strip naked and goats and dogs would be sacrificed. Later, women would line up to be whipped by the men with the hides of the sacrificed animals, believing that this would make them more fertile. A matchmaking lottery was included in the festivities, pairing young men and women for the duration of the festival, or, if the match was right, indefinitely. 

    Geoffrey Chaucer, author of “The Canterbury Tales,” was the first to romanticize the holiday in his poem “Parliament of Foules,” in 1375. He writes,“For this was on seynt Volantynys day/ Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make.” The poem is one of the first references to connect the celebration of Valentine’s Day to love and romance. Europeans commonly thought of mid-February as the beginning of the avian mating season, when birds came together to produce eggs and prepare for the arrival of spring. Birds continue to be a symbol of love to this day. 

    The earliest known Valentine sent to a loved one is of a poem written by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while imprisoned in the Tower of London in the 15th century.

    In Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” the doomed Ophelia sings, “To-morrow is Saint Valentine's day/All in the morning betime/And I a maid at your window/To be your Valentine.” 

    In the mid-19th century, the industrial revolution made it easier for people to participate in the holiday with mass produced greeting cards. The first Hershey Kiss was produced in 1907, followed by Hallmark Valentine’s Day cards in 1913. 

     With consumer spending for this holiday only on the rise, Valentine’s Day won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. 

 

Sh-Ron Almeida, Staff Writer

     With February already here, it is inevitable for romance titles to get extra attention, and “Heart of the Woods” is no exception. 

     Two young women, Maddison and Tara, are bloggers who seek out all things supernatural. The levelheaded Maddie acts as the editor and manager for her energetic best friend while the latter is the sleuth behind every case. However, Maddison has grown frustrated with the same old fruitless efforts of ghost hunting and resolves to quit the team after the final case. 

    The blogger duo ventures to Eysenfeld, a small and old-fashioned town harboring a lack of hustle as well as connections to the internet. A peculiar young woman named Morgan has promised them real, substantial evidence of the paranormal when she takes them out to the forest one night. And, on that fateful night, Maddison and Tara’s lives are changed forever. 

     The strongest element of “Heart of the Woods” is in its storytelling. While most LGBT-themed works tend to be over the top on romance and melodrama, “Heart of the Woods” helps the players ease into both the romance and the supernatural themes of the story. 

     Out of the six chapters, the big story elements start to kick in by the third. The first two chapters set up the world and its main characters as they interact with the Eysenfeld townsfolk, pacing the story in a refreshingly simple way. However, it also comes across as being too short. Considering the forest is central to the narrative, there are three different endings, as well as different characters points of view in the course of the visual novel. It would have been interesting to see some “what if” scenarios with more choices that shake up the narrative.  

    Despite that, “Heart of the Woods” is a great game with believable characters, an engaging story, beautiful art and lovely music. Although it’s not entirely the focus, the refreshing portrayal of same sex female relationships was a delight to see as they felt real and organic. Simply put, “Heart of the Woods” is a modern fairytale lesbian romance and it's unquestionably a feel-good experience. If that appeals to you, I highly recommend you give this hidden gem a chance. 

    “ Heart of the Woods” was released on Feb. 15, 2019 for the PC. You can buy it on Steam for $14.99. It will also be coming to the Nintendo Switch sometime in 2020. 

 

Opinions

 

Alexis Rapoza, Opinions Editor

    February 2020 marks the start of one of the most divisive and important elections in modern history. As I write this, I am sitting in a motel in New Hampshire where I am attending rallies for presidential candidates. I can still hear the enthusiastic chants of the Bernie Sanders and Andrew Yang supporters ringing in my ears. And while the enthusiasm of the New Hampshire voters is inspiring, I find it hard to fathom that the turn out of these events and the outcome of the popular vote doesn't matter. 

    During the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote with a lead of nearly 3 million votes. However, Donald Trump took the lead in the Electoral College and was ultimately appointed as the 45th president. In fact, two of our last five presidential elections have been decided by the Electoral College, which is a group of 538 electors or about %0.00000164 percent of the United States population. 

    This archaic system has been in place since the establishment of the Constitution and is supposed to guarantee that widely populated states cannot dominate elections. Instead, it just leads to the systematic misrepresentation of the American public in our modern government. For example, Wyoming, the least populated state in the country, gets one electoral vote for every 195,000 people while California receives one vote for every 712,000 people. 

    The allotment of electoral votes is redetermined every few years based on the results of the Census. However, on average rural and Southern states tend to be more accurately represented. So, while the argument can be made that the Electoral College is doing all it can to keep up with states like California’s ever-growing population, allotting it fewer votes per person than Wyoming creates a racial disparity. Wyoming has a population of 84% white, while California’s population is only about 38% white. This is true for the rest of the United States as well. On average people of color tend to live in more populated areas making their vote count much less than a white person who lives in North Dakota. 

    Disenfranchisement of minority groups isn’t only seen in the allotment vote. Voting laws that prohibit incarcerated felons and parolees from participating in elections or laws that enact strict voter ID restrictions systematically affect people of color and lower-income people more than their peers. Furthermore, states, with “winner takes all” laws, which is all but two, mandate that whoever wins the majority takes all the electoral votes in that state, no matter how close the race is. This disregards a large portion of that state’s population and reiterates that our votes do not matter. Not only is this system undemocratic, it's also unconstitutional. 

    Each state gets to decide how their votes are allocated leaving our local government to dictate whose vote matters when. This is not how a democracy is supposed to function. And while I understand that abolishing the electoral college or making “winner takes all'' allotment illegal is not as simple as it sounds, this system is contributing to the country’s division and discouraging voters from all walks of life. American citizens take pride in the freedom they have to elect their government officials, in fact, voting in your first election is almost a right of passage. So, why do only a few voices matter? 

    The first sentence of our Constitution says: “We the people,” and I think it’s time for America to finally decide to give power to the people and to ensure life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all people, not just those whose voices happen to matter at that moment.

 

David Blais, Staff Writer

   Initially, adjusting to college classes as a freshman at RIC was difficult. In addition to the adjustment period, being in a room for two plus hours at a time was a tough concept for me to accept. As a very anxious person, I learned ways to become comfortable in a classroom and found a way to make those hours productive rather than dreadful. This semester, however, I’ve come across a pattern. A majority of my courses are adapting, which is leading me to dread classes again--tying politics into each and every conversation. 

    I am a communications major, not a political science major. There is a certain degree to which politics should play a role in the media, but it should not be brought up constantly. Every class so far this semester has included discussions about Trump and the impeachment trial. Frankly, I am tired of hearing about it. I come to class to learn and to take a break from troubles going on outside the classroom, not to hear about why Trump should be impeached.

  In addition to my communications courses, my first-year seminar class is also becoming politicized. The name of my first-year seminar class is “equality matters.” In class, we are supposed to discuss topics and issues about our society’s class system and why certain groups of people have an easier life here in the United States based on their socioeconomic status. I believe there is a way to talk about inequality here in America without using politics as an example or segway for discussion.

    This past week I was tempted to walk out of class due to comments being made about political figures and the continuous discussion of politics.  I do not pay for courses to debate Trump and political rivals, and I’m sure I am not the only one who feels this way. As previously noted, politics is relevant to certain media. News outlets such as Fox News, CNN and others thrive on political news and debates. However, communications are so much more than politics. It is used to get news to people, entertain people and to provide a safe haven or barrier from life’s stresses. 

    Personally, I don’t watch videos or read political content every day. I do keep up to date about what is going on with our government but it does not help me in my path to becoming a journalist. That is why I watch interviews and shows like CBS Sunday Morning where journalists write pieces about what they want. That is what the field of communications is about--self-expression.

    If I can’t be happy in a course I’m fascinated by and love to death because of the consistency of political topics being brought up, isn’t that a problem? It makes me sad to know we live in a world where politics are everything and no matter where you go, there is always politics. 

 

Derek Sherlock, Anchor Staff

    I love Marvel Comics. I love the characters, the stories they tell, and the universe itself. Growing up, Marvel Comics helped me escape when I needed to get away from very traumatic points in my childhood. So, when they began the Marvel Cinematic Universe over a decade ago, I was excited to see where it would go and honestly, for a while, I enjoyed what Marvel was producing. 

    However, with the recent removal of Jeph Lobe and Marvel TV being turned into Marvel TV Studios I began to lose some interest in the universe. I will still watch the movies when they come out, but without Marvel TV, the world feels much smaller now. Yes, I know they're going to be putting the shows on Disney+ beginning later this year, but these shows are going to be primarily focusing on the big names of the universe. These shows will all include introductions of newer characters that I hope will get their own shows in the future. 

    As a Marvel fan, what I think they should have done was just keep the TV shows separate from the rest of the world. Adding stories that feature teenagers trying to save the world while living in an abandoned mansion or a guy dressing in red, jumping across the rooftops of Hell’s Kitchen makes the world feel like it's lived in and not just focus on members of the Avengers. 

    However, I will say that ”Daredevil” season 1 was a million times better than Ant-Man and even ”Avengers: Age of Ultron.” My personal favorite is Marvel’s “Runaways.” What I loved most about “Runaway’s” was that they gave us the first LGBTQ+ characters in the Marvel Comics Universe with Nico and Karolina. They were written authentic and held no punches with their queerness. Marvel TV was able to give us authentic depictions of queerness as well as, showing us things such as poverty and the realistic aftermaths of Avengers missions. 

    As a queer person, I found it disrespectful for them to tell their audience after their movie has been sitting on Target shelves that a character was queer. No hints or even just a deleted scene. It seemed like a concept that never made it in the final version. I love watching the Avengers fight intergalactic villains or super-powered villain versions of the title characters, but I need more than just that.

    I want this universe to be fleshed out so it’s not just the same faces on screen over and over. Give us street-level heroes that we can look up to and say, “I can be that person.” Not all of us can be Tony Stark, or Carol Danvers, or T'Challa but we can be Matt Murdock, or Nico Minoru or Luke Cage. They didn’t need a special suit or to gain powers from a flower, they inspire viewers to be kind to one another, and to only use our fists to save our city or community from evil if absolutely necessary.

 

Sports

 

David Blais, Anchor Staff

Photo by Grace Kimmell

   The Rhode Island College Women’s Basketball Team, returning home after a two game road trip, were looking to gain some momentum. While on their road trip RIC lost two straight and were looking to get back on track against the conference opponent University of Southern Maine Huskies. With that in the back of their minds, they did just that. 

   The Anchorwomen came out aggressive and fast. Their defense was remarkable not making it easy for their opponents to gain any open looks. A majority of the shots the Huskies were able to get off were either heavily contested or prayers due to the shot clock running out. Overall, USM shot a mere 15.4% from the field as a team, converting only two field goals.

 On the offensive end the anchor women were scoring consistently from the paint and beyond the arc. Southern Maine was giving up shot after shot. On every offensive play for the Anchorwomen it seemed there was always someone wide open.The Anchorwomen are averaging only 27.9% from beyond the arc this season, but they were 44.4% in the first quarter. At the end of the first the Anchorwomen were up 21-9

   In the second quarter, we saw a repeat of what we saw in the first. The Anchorwomen continued to play aggressive defense and a fast paced offense. Southern Maine was still giving wide open shots, primarily from the wing, and the Anchorwomen continued to dominate. This would be the narrative for the rest of the game. At the end of the half, the anchorwomen were still up big 41-24. 

   In the second half of regulation, Southern Maine struggled while Rhode Island College thrived. Maine still could not slow down or stop their offense. The only difference for the Anchorwomen in the second half versus the first was they were scoring more in the paint taking advantage of the double team on star RIC center Willcia McBorrough. The Anchorwomen continued to be lights out shooting 50% exactly from beyond the arc. In the fourth quarter, RIC only attempted 14 shots and made four of them. Their focus, however, was continuing to play their aggressive brand of defense and to make sure they protected their lead. They were successful clamping up the Huskies and gained a much needed victory, with a final score of 71-55. The Anchorwomen were led by junior guard Sophia Gurrier who tallied 16 points while sophomore Willcia McBorrough dominated in the paint with a 14 point 13 rebound double-double performance. 

   The Anchorwomen were on the road again last Saturday afternoon and earned a 67-52 victory over another Little Eastern Conference opponent, The University of Massachusetts Boston. Senior forward Fataya Larry led the team with 15 points and 13 rebounds, particularly strong in the last two quarters.  Guerrier claimed the title as top scorer once again, accumulating a total of 21 points along with six boards and three assists. With these two victories in hand, the Anchorwomen will improve to 18-4 on the season and will return to the Murray Center Wednesday evening for a match-up against the conference leading Eastern Connecticut State University Warriors, tip off scheduled for 5:30 p.m.

 

RIC athlete spotlight: Keyshaun Jacobs

Jenfrin Rodriguez, Anchor Staff

Photo by Thomas Crudale

   Change is inevitable no matter the profession and sports are no exception. Rhode Island College has been the new home for the transfer Junior guard out of Lynn, MA. Keyshaun Jacobs has arrived.

   When asked about his transition to RIC, Jacobs regarded it as difficult at first due to the unfamiliarity with everyone and the new environment. While he redshirted a year, he credits basketball with the connections he formed. Coach Tom Glynn had been previously recruiting Jacobs since his sophomore year of highschool. So when news arose of Keyshaun’s departure from the Division II Morehouse College, Coach Glynn immediately made sure he brought the sensation to the Anchormen. Due in part to this, his transition was made easier.

   Aside from basketball, Keyshaun has found adapting a challenge. Outside of the lack of credits being transferred and the delayed graduation date, Jacobs finds the classes overall to be great. While he does not find campus activities very interesting, he credits commuters for making his college experience more enjoyable.

   From top to bottom, Keyshaun is a huge fan of everything basketball at Rhode Island College. He finds the coaches to be very passionate and competitive which drives their need and want to win. The trainers are very amazing, reliable and sociable people who are always willing to help. Keyshaun believes everything is going well for him. “Overall, all of the aspects of basketball are pretty good right now.”

   Jacobs sees Stephen Curry in his game as well as Damian Lillard. With the approach to the game, the ability to create plays for his teammates, fearlessness, or his shooting ability, Damian can do it all and Jacobs wants to do the same.

    Aside from basketball Jacobs loves music, entertainment, and a deep desire of his is fueling himself to be nothing short of successful. He wants to give back and support the family that created him, and the one he hopes to create in the future. When looking for motivation, he needs look no further than his family. Keyshaun does everything for his family and can not waste time. “I have a family that I know deserves more, and I feel as if it is my job and my obligation to make that happen.”

   When asked about his play this year, Jacobs expects no less of himself. He credits the numerous years he has on his craft for his improvement, and sees his play this season as the culmination of all that hard work. His perseverance has progressed him to this point, and because he is not where he wants to be, he feels there is more work yet to be done. 

   Lastly, Keyshaun thanks God for all he does for him. He credits him for giving him the abilities to play for the work he has put in. Putting God first has worked so far for him, and he will continue to do so. 

 

Jake Elmslie, Sports Editor

   Welcome to the next installment of our Patriots offseason preview. Last week we took a look at the quarterback situation for the team and more specifically the minuta of Tom Brady’s contract and the unique issues it poses for the team. Since that article was released, new information has emerged regarding Brady’s status. It has been reported that New England is willing to pay Brady somewhere in the $30 million range, while in the meantime Hulu’s latest spokesperson has had moving trucks whisk his possessions away from his family's home in Brookline. All of that being said today is not about Brady or whomever will occupy the position he has manned for the last two decades but rather we will be discussing the weapons that will surround that man, so let’s talk about the skill positions. 

 Unlike at QB the Patriots will have the ability to maintain total consistency at the other backfield positions with every running back and full back from the 2019 roster under contract for the 2020 season. This most likely will preclude the team from making any significant additions at these positions however the team could save $2.9 million by cutting soon to be 30 year old Rex Burkhead, while simultaneously paving the way for 2019 third round pick Damien Harris to contribute in his sophomore season after only appearing in two games in his rookie year. The team will also want more production out of 2018 first round pick Sony Michel who yards per carry average dip from 4.5 to 3.7 in his sophomore season while rushing for less yards in nearly twice as many starts in 2019.

   New England will have plenty of work though at the pass catching positions. The teams wide receivers and tight ends routinely failed to produce consistently throughout the season. The team cycled through a variety of receivers throughout the year but were never quite able to find the right mix. Julian Edelman who led the team in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns in 2019 will be returning barring a possible Brady departure related emotional collapse. Edelman, however will be 34 by the start of the 2020 season and that, combined with the myriad of nagging injuries he dealt with throughout the past season makes relying on him to again carry the bulk of the load in the passing game a risky proposition for New England. The team will also look to get far more production out of 2019 first round pick N’keal Harry. After missing most of training camp and the first nine games of the season with an ankle injury Harry was only able to record a mere 12 receptions. Getting Harry to realize his potential will be a major factor in any 2020 resurgence of the Patriots air game regardless of who is at QB. Also returning is midseason acquisition Mohamad Sanu who fell well short of expectations, only gaining 207 yards in eight games after the team traded a second round pick to Atlanta for his services. Sanu is under contract for the 2020 season, however the team could opt to save $6.5 million on the salary cap by cutting the former Falcon. 

   The free agent market holds a few intriguing options at receiver but there is a lack of truly high end talent outside of Amari Cooper, who could very likely wind up being franchise tagged by Dallas and never see the open market and A.J. Green who missed all of 2019 with a toe injury. Even if they miss out on or opt not to pursue either of these two the Patriots almost certainly will look to add at least one vetran receiver. One potential option is a reunion with former New England playoff hero Danny Amendola who had a fairly productive 2019 season with the Detroit Lions, tallying 62 receptions and 678 yards. This year's draft class is also considered by many to be rich with depth at receiver and the Patriots could look to use one of their selections, specifically one of their three third round picks to get younger at the position. 

   Tight end was a near non factor for New England in 2019 with recent retiree Ben Watson leading the position group with 17 receptions at 39 years of age. Remaining under contract with a combined cap hit of $2.25 million are Matt LaCosse and Ryan Izzo however neither showed themselves to be much more than roster filler last season leaving the team in desperate need of a talent infusion. On the free agent market they could look to add one of the talented but injury prone options in Hunter Henry and Tyler Eifert or to add one of the senior veterans in Jason Witten and Greg Olsen. The team could attempt to pursue Austin Hooper, the top free agent at the position but with plenty of needs up and down the roster he will most likely be well out of the Patriot’s price range. New England could also target a TE like Notre Dame’s Cole Kmet in the first round of the draft where he should be available when the Patriots pick at 23. Finally please do not bring up the idea of Gronk coming out of retirement, it is not happening, let the man enjoy his beach parties. 

   Next week we will be beefing up to take a look at the offensive line, so get low and get ready. 

 

Jake Elmslie, Sports Editor

Photo by Grace Kimmell

The Rhode Island College men’s basketball team broke a four game losing streak Wednesday evening in a 94-80 conference victory over the University of Southern Maine Huskies. With the win the Anchormen avoided falling to .500 in the Little East Conference in the midst of two straight months of conference play.

   RIC was able to get out to an early lead in large part due to three consecutive three pointers by Junior guard Keyshaun Jacobs within the games first six minutes. Jacobs, the Anchormen’s second leading scorer this season missed the previous two games due to a combination of a concussion and illness. 

   While USM never held a lead at any point in the game, the Huskies were able to keep things relatively close during the first half, preventing the RIC lead from reaching double digits for any significant period of time. However by the midway point of the second half the Anchormen were able to pull fully away from their competition, leading by as much as 17 in the games final 10 minutes. 

   The Anchormen were led by freshman Shion Darby who managed to rebound from a disappointing 3-19 shooting performance against Castleton University with a 35 point day. Jacobs meanwhile accumulated 19 points while senior Benjamin Vezele chipped in with an 18 point 14 rebound double-double. 

   Missing from the Anchormen was sophomore Deyshawn Tengbeh who was out due to the same illness that has been plaguing the team for the last few weeks. In his place freshman Jahden Erold was the first player off the bench for RIC, scoring seven points in nine minutes on 2-3 shooting.

   The Anchormen traveled to the University of Massachusetts Boston Saturday afternoon for another Little Eastern Conference match. RIC was able to take the lead in the game’s final two minutes and pull out an 83-80 victory. This win was crucial for playoff seeding and will keep RIC in the mix for the number one seed in the conference come playoff time at the end of this month. This pair of victories will leave the Anchormen with a 15-7 record as they enter the final weeks of the season. Next up for the team will be a Wednesday night home matchup against yet another conference opponent, the Eastern Connecticut State University Warriors, tip off for that game is 7:30.