Basketball regular season wrap up

Jake Elmslie -Sports Editor

The regular season came to a close for both of Rhode Island College’s basketball programs Saturday afternoon, with one team gearing up for a playoff run while another has been left on the outside looking in.

The Anchorwomen came into Saturday locked in as the fifth seed in the Little East, however coach Jenna Cosgrove still opted to utilize her full rotation in what resulted in a 63-52 win over the University of Massachusetts Boston Beacons. While the victory has no impact on the seeding of the RIC team it does mean that the Beacons will enter the Little East tournament as the fourth seed and thusly will have a rematch with the Anchorwomen Tuesday evening in Boston in the conference quarterfinals. “We were definitely motivated by the fact that winning meant we got to go up to Boston instead of taking a three hour ride up to Maine, we were pumped about that” explained Coach Cosgrove postgame.

The Anchorwomen will exit the regular season with their first winning record in four years at 17-9. RIC was lead in scoring by Brooke Young who managed to average 9.9 points per game for an Anchorwomen team that averaged 62.3 points per game as a team, good enough for the sixth most in the conference.

Meanwhile, the men’s team came into Saturday already knowing that their season was over long before tip off of what ended in a 80-64 against the Umass Boston team. The Anchormen under head coach Tom Glynn will fall victim to the newly contracted Little East playoff format. 2019 marks the first season that only the top six teams in the conference advanced to the playoffs as opposed to the eight team tournament of yore.

Photos courtesy of Thomas Crudale

The Anchormen entered the month of February in a prime position to advance to the playoffs however three crucial loses over the months first two weeks tanked their chances. To their credit though the team recorded their first winning record since 2015 in what was characterized as a rebuilding year by Coach Glynn prior to the start of the season.

Notable is the fact that the Anchormen entered the game with around half of their roster missing, with many players including team leading scorer Adham Floyd being absent on the court while simultaneously not being listed on the team’s official roster. An anonymous source tells The Anchor that Floyd was among a group of players who quit the team in the last week.

Overall Justin Campbell stands as the lone graduating senior between both the men’s and women’s teams. “It’s bittersweet, I was thinking about it all last night, it’s been keeping me up. It was tough knowing this was my last game and that there aren’t any after it but overall the last four years I can honestly say I enjoyed myself.” Campbell who will conclude his career as the 25th 1000 point scorer in RIC men’s basketball history expositied postgame.

Women’s team on fast track to immortality

Jake Elmslie -Sports Editor

Saturday evening the Rhode Island College women’s track and field team claimed the Little East Conference indoor championship in what was a momentously historic day for both the athletes involved and the program they represent.

Continuing what has been a superlative season for head coach Tim Rudd and his squad, the Anchorwomen saw no less than four school records broken Saturday to go alongside numerous meet and conference records.

These records included Chelsea Yang becoming the programs all-time leader in the weight throw with a 18.51 meter effort; Eleni Grammas setting the RIC mark in the 60 meter dash with a time of 7.89 seconds and Margaret McCaffrey breaking the record she herself established in the mile earlier this season with a time of 5:18.9 minutes.

Another standout for the Anchorwomen was junior Emma Landroche who after never having jumped before this season was able to set the RIC record in the long jump with a 5.69 meter leap. Landroche, who is ranked sixth in the nation in the event was also able to claim a victory for RIC in the 200 meter dash as well as closing out the Anchorwomen’s championship 4×200 and 4×400 relays.

“I’m extremely proud of the ladies and what they accomplished, this is probably the most balanced team athlete and coaching-wise the college has ever seen for the track and field program” Coach Rudd gushed when reached for comment by The Anchor. “Team is primed and ready to continue to improve we had 14 ladies qualified for New Englands, that’s most in programs history and there’s a realistic chance for 6 athletes to qualify for nationals.”

The Anchorwomen and their 14 qualifying athletes will next compete in the New England Division III Championship hosted at Bowdoin College this coming Friday and Saturday.

The Alliance of American Football: The Good, The Bad and The Future

Joseph A. Griswold  – Assistant Sports Editor

Just a week after Super Bowl LIII concluded, The Alliance of American Football (AAF) launched a new professional football league aimed at bringing high quality football, during a normally football-less time of year.

The eight-team league opened its’ inaugural 10 game season averaging 3.25 million viewers. This is an impressive number considering that the league was not heavily publicized. Despite the solid opening weekend figures, founder Charlie Ebersol understands that, “[They] have to remain slow and steady in building things.”

As with most new products the AAF had good and bad aspects, how they receive this information and respond will determine how prosperous their future can be.

The positives for the AAF include an overall faster game that revolves around the on-field product. The average AAF game takes around two and a half hours, roughly 45 minutes less than the average NFL game.

Rule changes have also served to the benefit of the AAF. New rules such as a shorter play clock, no kickoffs and no point-after-touchdown will provide faster, higher scoring games.

Two of the most alluring changes from the AAF are the heavy use of on-field microphones and the use of total transparency regarding referees. In the AAF every important player, coordinator and coach have live-in-game mics that can be heard by the audience. In terms of referee transparency, any time there is a challenge issued the viewer is allowed to see and hear the official’s process showing complete transparency. This innovation allows the fans to see why a call is made and is an innovation the NFL should consider.

Despite the positives for the AAF, there are still some areas that will threaten the future success of the league. Quarterback play is the largest threat to the league considering that the NFL cannot fill out their rosters with quality quarterbacks across the board. Poor quarterback play can turn a league, even one that promotes offense lifeless.

Although many of the rule changes administered by the AAF are positives, one that seems misguided is the non-blitzing rule. AAF defenses are only allowed to have a maximum of five men at the line of scrimmage and cannot blitz any player from the secondary. Although this may seem to promote more offense, it can also lead to quarterbacks sitting in the pocket for far too long. Furthermore, this takes away many of the exciting escapes and scrambles that come from secondary blitzes in the NFL.   Although the idea may seem like it adds to the league, in practicality, it diminishes some of the defensive talent.

The AAF is not the first, or last professional football league that has attempted to run alongside the NFL. However, the future of the AAF may depend upon their cooperation with the NFL. At this point, the AAF shows promise not as a competitor of the NFL, but a developmental spring league that allows fans to watch football all-year-round.

The border wall: not a national emergency, but a constitutional crisis

Catherine Enos – Opinions editor

In this past week, Congress successfully passed a bill which permanently reopened the federal government for the fiscal year. Included in this bill is a portion of the money Donald Trump requested for a border wall. Unfortunately for him, the bill doesn’t have all the money his proposed wall would need. That’s how the government works– this isn’t the first time an initiative failed to gather sufficient funding.

Trump has decided that the allocations for the wall are not enough. As a result, he has planned to declare a national emergency. Technically, he has the authority to declare an emergency. In fact, the first president to declare an emergency was Woodrow Wilson and every president since Jimmy Carter has declared at least two emergencies. Some of those emergencies are still active– 31 to be exact (cnn.com).

But there’s a difference between these emergencies and the border wall. Some examples of past national emergencies include Hurricane Harvey, the Iran hostage crisis, 9/11, and the Swine Flu outbreak. Funding for an ineffective wall is not on par with crises America has experienced in the past.

Additionally, the border wall is not something Americans want– a Gallup poll shows that 60% of Americans are against it. There are actual crises occurring in America. Opioid addiction is ravaging the country. Global warming is irreparably destroying the planet. Guns are in the hands of people that shouldn’t have guns. And the list goes on.

Perhaps the most mind-numbing piece of this story is the fact that Congress, which can revoke the national emergency declaration, might allow this blatant usurpation of power to happen. It seems that this will happen too, since Senator Mitch McConnell expressed his support directly after he announced the president’s plans to Congress.

The most important part of all of this, however, is the ethical implications of what the administration is doing. In his State of the Union speech, Donald Trump dedicated a portion of his time towards demonizing immigrants. And how could one forget the fact that the government separated families and lost track of 1,500 children. There’s the emergency.

What Trump has in mind is not an emergency, but maybe it’s a crisis– a constitutional one.

Being unapologetic: we deserve quality care

Kennedy Ryan – Anchor Staff

When we go to a restaurant, we expect to get the quality meal we pay for. If not, we complain to a waiter and make sure that our problem is fixed. When we go to the salon, we only pay for the highest quality haircuts and treatments. If not, we go to another salon. We demand the service that we know we deserve, because we are paying for it. Why then, are women receiving poor health care and not demanding better treatment?

When I began seeing a gynecologist, I did not receive the attention and treatment I deserved. My doctor did not listen to my concerns, prescribed medication without informing me about the side effects, and gave me an overall horrible experience. Despite this, I kept visiting her office for health concerns. Why did I put up with it?

Graphics courtesy of Tumblr.com

I asked others around me, and many women have experienced the same concerns. Painful side effects of medications, horrible treatment experiences, and rude interactions. We accept these conditions and don’t speak up for ourselves because we don’t realize we deserve better. We are paying for our medical treatments, yet we don’t demand excellent work.

For women, we often don’t speak up about our concerns, because they are not normally discussed in our society. We avoid talking about our painful birth control medications, our unheard problems, and daily challenges because society views them as taboo. Due to this, we continue to take these horrible medications and receive horrible care because we think it’s normal and unavoidable.

There could be several understandable reasons for avoiding a change in healthcare. Despite these challenges, people should speak up for what they want. Women deserve to receive comfortable and positive medical treatments. For me, having the courage to find a new doctor was not challenging. I was able to begin seeing doctors at Rhode Island College who listen to my opinions and give me the care I deserve.

Whatever the reason may be, people need to take a stand for what they deserve.

Why I think gap years rock 

Alexis Rapoza – Anchor Staff

When I told my family and friends that I was going to take a semester off and move to Orlando, Florida to do the Disney College Program, they were happy for me but also confused. “Don’t you want to finish your degree?” they would say. Of course I did, but I was feeling unmotivated and simply bored. If you’re feeling uninspired, maybe you need a semester off.

When I was accepted to participate in the College Program, I jumped at the chance. Before, I would wake up everyday and go to class with the same people and then go to work directly after that. It was everything but liberating. Move to Florida and work at Disney World? Sounds exciting, and it was. It was so much fun that I eventually ended up extending my program and staying down there for almost a full year.

Now I am definitely not recommending that everyone uproot their lives and go work for Mickey Mouse, but I am saying that taking a gap year, whether it be in the middle of college or between college and high school, could be something that benefits you.

There’s a sort of stigma about students not finishing their degree in the designated 4 years when in reality only about 30% of undergraduate students finish their degree on time. So why not do it at your own pace? College will always be there, but the ability to travel the world or move thousands of miles to fulfill childhood dreams is definitely not something that you’ll be able to do when you’re drowning in student loan repayments and have a full-time career.

My year away from school left me feeling more determined than ever to go to school and get good grades. When I came back, I realized I wanted to change my major and go to a different college. I felt exhilarated and had discovered a new independence inside myself that I didn’t know I possessed.

After all, we’ve all spent the majority of our lives sitting in classrooms. Maybe all you need to regenerate your enthusiasm for your education is a change of scenery.  

The Grammy’s 2019: Cardi B had no business winning best rap album

Sophia Guerrier – Anchor Staff

This past weekend Cardi B’s “Invasion of Privacy” won Best Rap Album at the 61st Grammy Awards Show. Yes, you heard me — Cardi B won. The same one who sang “I don’t dance now, I make money moves.” Before I express my utter disappointment for this very sad news in Hip Hop, I am aware that the Grammys has a long history of getting the rap category wrong, but it never fails to amaze me every time that they do.

Drake stole the night with his unforgettable speech after winning Best Rap Song for “God’s Plan,” (which should not have won either), and he stated the bitter truth. He said, “We’re playing in an opinion based sport … it’s up to people that may not understand …” and stated that artists do not need a Grammy to validate their music.

I am not saying that Drake was referring to Cardi B in his speech, but he was referring to the fact that Rap still remains a category that has been repeatedly disrespected by the Recording Academy.

This year the highest honor of music told the music industry and rap fans around the world that “Invasion of Privacy” was better than nominees “Daytona,” “Swimming,” “Victory Lap” and “Astroworld.” This is outrageous considering that “Invasion of Privacy” contained more elements of pop than it did rap or hip-hop.

Rap is a genre of competition. Since the birth of rap, aspects like flow, lyricism, and MC impact during a live performance have always been championed. In 2019, these elements may have been lost along the way, but they are certainly not dead.

I could go on forever about how every other nominated album was better than “Invasion of Privacybut to keep it short, Cardi’s album did not contain any of those elements that were previously mentioned. There was no sophisticated lyricism. No complexity or innovation in production, and versatility in her skills as rapper was non existent. There should be an investigation on who is actually voting in the category because Cardi’s album does not reflect the true essence of rap.

Cardi B is the first female rapper to win Best Rap Album which is also a tragedy to many female rappers now and before.

“Room 21” by NoName was the highest critically acclaimed rap album of 2018, female or male, and she received no nominations. Rappers before Cardi B like Eve, Foxy Brown and Lady of Rage were all more deserving to be the first female to win the Best Rap Album accolade in their era.

It is a true shame that the Grammys continue to not acknowledge how significant the rap categories are, and need to revise the criteria for voting in them. If not, the Rap category will never reflect its original culture of high quality, unapologetic, black, substance-filled music.

Palentine’s Day at Rhode Island College

Abigail Nilsson – Anchor Staff

For Valentine’s Day, the Programming Event Board, Sojourn Collegiate Ministry, and Residential Student Association at RIC joined forces and threw an event in the Student Union Ballroom. There was not much advertisement for this event, so I decided to do some investigating to check out was labeled a “Palentine’s Day Event.”

The Ballroom had pink and red decor for Valentine’s Day, several activity stations, and a dessert table complete with hot chocolate and whipped cream. The activities were simple, creative and fun, and you got splendid take-home treats.

The first table taught you how to make your own essential oil sugar scrub. The scents included vanilla, lavender, mint, eucalyptus, and more. You could mix and match to make your own aromatherapy scrub to relieve stress from the first round of exams of the semester.

One of the most popular crafts was a build-a-stuffed animal station. You could choose from either a rainbow teddy or a zebra to assemble and dress in its own Programming Event Board t-shirt. After your stuffed animal was complete and ready to go home, you could slide down to the next station which was a create your own button. Next, there was a card making station followed by bouquet crafting. The main attraction was the psychics in the back to predict your future.

This event was super laid-back, fun, and a nice escape from the stress of exams, projects, and other life pressures. Everyone was mingling with each other, enjoying themselves and making crafts. When life seems to be spiraling out of control, it is nice to take a step back and have a fun, pressure-free activity to fall back onto.

The Programming Event Board hosts an event almost every week. The next event is Open Mic Night in the Student Union Café Thursday, Feb. 21 at 8 p.m.

Netflix’s Kakegurui: the dark sides of gambling

Sh-Ron Almeida – Anchor Contributor

Enter Hyakkao Private Academy of the anime “Kakegurui,” a high school where the wealthiest of boys and girls hone their skills in reading their enemies through gambling. The academy runs on a “survival of the fittest” system, where the winners live it up like royalty and the losers are treated as low class nobodies and slaves.

The show’s main character is Yumeko Jabami, a new student who shakes things up and raises some hell like the high-stake compulsive gambler she is. Despite lacking character development in the first season, Yumeko carried an air of charisma and intrigue from the first episode alone, and I am looking forward to seeing more of what she can bring to the table once season two arrives.

Graphic courtesy of My Hot Posters

I recently got into Netflix this past November, and “Kakegurui” was the first anime I watched. While the animation is decent enough, what really stood out to me were the seriously creepy facial expressions during the gambling showdowns. I couldn’t help but shrink back in fear a few times because of these characters. In this psychological thriller, gambling is displayed in two ways: a sensationally pleasurable experience and a dark spiral of destruction, which showcases both extremes of the characters.

The first season is unsettling, aggressive, absurd, and cringe-worthy in a few places, but overall, “Kakegurui” entertains its viewers.

Kakegurui is currently streaming on Netflix, with subtitles and an English dub. The second season titled “Kakegurui XX” is currently airing in Japan.

Activision: a gaming titan that can’t escape controversy

Alison Darmetko – Anchor Contributor

In spite of its current performance on the market, the gaming company Activision Blizzard continues to stir up more and more controversy with each day. In recent years, the company has been responsible for big titles such as “Call of Duty,” “Diablo, and “Overwatch.” However, the company has been facing its fair share of criticisms despite how well its games have generally been performing.

These criticisms range from the questionable choice of remastering the popular game, “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare,” yet making it only accessible through purchasing the newer installment, to the company’s decision to shut down the entire E-sports league for the Blizzard title “Heroes of the Storm.”

Activision’s newest controversy deals with how the company has been working to streamline and reduce costs and increase profits. Their solution: microtransactions and reducing the number of active employees for both companies. Microtransactions are the practice of adding additional content to games that can be purchased with real world money or in-game currency. They are nothing new to the gaming world or Activision, but the extent that they are being used has become questionable.

The issue that caught most people’s attention was Activision Blizzard’s decision this past Tuesday, to reduce their workforce of approximately 9,600 employees by eight percent. That number, which comes to roughly 800 employees, is not an insignificant figure. Among those leaving the company were some junior employees, who were recent hires by the publisher, with others being veteran members of either company for the past 15 years or longer.

This decision, which was made by the company’s chief executive officer Bobby Kotick, comes following the release of the company’s performance report of the 2018 fiscal year. The company, in its fourth-quarter earnings report, made $7.6 billion in sales, be it digital or physical, compared to the $7.16 billion made in 2017. However, according to Kotick, this did not reach the company’s expectations for the fiscal year despite being noted as the company’s most profitable year in its history.

On the subject with investors, Kotick said “while our financial results for 2018 were the best in our history, we didn’t realize our full potential.” Despite the concerns of not meeting expectations and reducing the workforce, the company reported that it has plans to improve the development teams on the company’s key games such as “Call of Duty” and “Overwatch” by 20 percent. The funding for such expansions will reportedly come from reducing non-administrative and non-development costs across the entire company while eliminating “non-core positions” to free up resources.

Given that the company reportedly gave its newest chief financial officer, Dennis Durkin, a sign-on bonus of $15 million in stock and funds in addition to his already substantial $900,000 salary, some people watching the company’s actions are skeptical that reducing the workforce will make a dent in spending compared to what they offered their new CFO.