Vice-presidential candidates go head to head – Taylor Dame

Vice-presidential candidates go head to head

Taylor Dame

News Editor


The vice-presidential debate produced several notable moments, but fewer than half the people who watched the presidential debate tuned in to see the potential Veeps go at it. Republican vice-presidential candidate, Governor Mike Pence of Indiana and Democratic candidate Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia faced off in the first and only debate for the running mates.

One of the major phrases that trended on the internet for days after the debate was when Pence dismissed Kaine’s prodding over Donald Trump’s remarks on Mexicans as “that Mexican thing.” People on social media used the hashtag #thatmexicanthing to show pride in their heritage and culture and dismay in the way Pence dismissed the comments.

One gaffe picked up by the internet was Pence’s extension of thanks towards Norwood University for hosting the debate. The problem with that is that Longwood University hosting the debate; Norwood University does not exist.

Another point picked up by the internet debate watchers was the candidates’ eyebrows. Many commented on Kaine’s expressive eyebrows, while questioning Pence’s apparent lack thereof.

Many viewers took issue with the way Pence and Kaine interrupted and talked over each other. Watchers complained that it was hard to follow either candidat,e due to the near constant distractions. Moderator Elaine Quijano of CBS news admonished both candidates several times, and by the end, they seemed to better understand the rules and format of the debate.

Quijano’s performance as moderator split viewers. Some thought she was biased against Pence, while others praised her for her attempts to keep the candidates on topic and civil.

Overall pundits say Pence won the debate, a victory sorely needed by the Trump campaign after a dismal performance at the first presidential debate. However, many agree that the vice-presidential debate, with its notably low ratings, will not have huge influence on the voters in this campaign.

Trump faces GOP backlash – Shane Inman

Trump faces GOP backlash

Shane Inman

Managing Editor

Yet more uproar has surrounded Donald Trump after a leaked audio clip revealed him making sexually aggressive comments while on the set of “Days of Our Lives” in 2005.

The clip, first released by The Washington Post on Friday, consists of a conversation between Trump and “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush apparently captured on a hot microphone. In it, Trump makes lewd comments about attempting to have sex with an unidentified married woman—“I moved on her like a b*tch. But I couldn’t get there. And she was married”—before going on to make more damning remarks about aggressive behavior with women.

“I’m automatically attracted to beautiful women—I just start kissing them,” Trump tells Bush. “Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it … Grab ‘em by the p*ssy. You can do anything.”

The response to the release of these comments was as swift as it was severe. Hillary Clinton tweeted, “This is horrific. We cannot allow this man to become president,” and Tim Kaine, her running mate, stated that “It makes me sick to my stomach.” The negative reaction did not, however, come exclusively from the Democratic party.

“I am sickened by what I heard today,” said House Speaker Paul Ryan, and went on to state that Trump would no longer be attending an upcoming rally in Ryan’s home state of Wisconsin.

Trump issued a rare apology on Friday night, saying, “I’ve never said I’m a perfect person … Anyone who knows me knows these words don’t reflect who I am.”

Yet this seemed to do little to stem the tide of reproach. More and more Republican leaders have retracted their endorsements of Trump, including former Republican nominee Senator John McCain, who said he would, “write in the name of some good conservative Republican who is qualified to be President,” instead of voting for Trump.

Ohio Governor John Kasich later tweeted that Trump “has forfeited the right to be our party’s nominee.”

Many in the party have called for Trump to drop out of the Presidential race entirely, to which Trump has replied, “I’d never withdraw. I’ve never withdrawn in my life.”

The backlash has many wondering if the damage caused by this leak will spell the end of a campaign which has, in the past, seemed impervious to gaffes. In the meantime, Trump continues to press on, optimistic about the loyalty of his supporters.

Total destruction – Mike Dwyer

Total destruction

Mike Dwyer

Assistant news editor


Addressing the rebel group Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, Staffan de Mistura of the UN Syria Envoy made an emotional appeal for the remaining fighters to leave eastern Aleppo, so that dire humanitarian aid might be taken to the civilians trapped amidst the violence.

“Can you please look at my eyes… If you decide to leave with dignity… I am personally ready to physically accompany you,” Mistura pledged.

The UN has been virtually incapable of delivering aid to the besieged eastern Aleppo, as remaining supply routes have been seized by Syrian government forces. The presence of Jabhat Fateh al-Sham has been justification for the continued assault on the city by Russia and Syria.

Mistura condemned Moscow and Damascus for using the few remaining fighters, numbering approximately 900, as an “easy alibi” for its air campaign besieging nearly 300,000 civilians. Eastern Aleppo’s largest hospital was struck three times in one week, rendering it useless after barrel bombs indiscriminately plunged through its structure, in what UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon has condemned as a “war crime.”

Russia blames the US for its unwillingness to separate moderate rebels from extremists, criticizing the US for its backing of Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, a former Al Qaeda affiliate. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov alleges that the alliance lead to the breakdown of a ceasefire last month.

“The collaboration makes us strong,” said Abo Ali al-Makhtar of the Free Syrian Army, a US backed rebel group in eastern Aleppo. Lavrov has expressed concern for US failures at convincing the FSA and other rebels to sever ties with Jabhat Fateh al-Sham.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has offered safe passage out of eastern Aleppo to any remaining rebels and their families so long as they lay down their weapons. The rebels have refused the proposal out of distrust, anticipating that the offer is merely a government ruse, as the only route they have been given leads into the government-controlled West.

“Russia, and the regime, owe the world more than an explanation about why they keep hitting hospitals and medical facilities and children,” said US secretary of State John Kerry on Friday. His statements follow a US decision to suspend talks with Russia mere hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin’s approval of a decree to suspend cooperation with a nuclear nonproliferation agreement due to “unfriendly acts” from the US.

Going forward, Kerry has expressed doubt as to how the US can achieve its objectives. One thing was certain when Mistura took to the microphone in Geneva: “In a maximum of two months, two-and-half months, the city of eastern Aleppo may be totally destroyed.”


RIC hosts panel of political speechwriters – Louisa D’Ovidio

RIC hosts panel of political speechwriters

Louisa D’Ovidio

Editor in Chief


What does NASA, President Barack Obama and former Presidents of Rhode Island College share in common? They all have professional speechwriters of course!

On Monday, Oct. 17 the American Democracy Project will be hosting a panel on “Political Speechwriters: A Look Behind the Scenes,” in Alger 110 from 2-3:30 p.m. where a panel of speechwriters, including President Obama’s senior speechwriter—Sarada Peri, will speak on the process of producing political dialogue, and all the intricacies of their processes.

Among them, NASA’s senior advisor for thier Office of Communications, Steve Rabin, who was the senior speech writer for Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley as well as press secretary for former Congressman Anthony Weiner, will be in attendance hopefully with plenty of stories.

The accomplished Sarada Peri, Special Assistant and Senior Presidential Speechwriter for President Obama, Principle at a speechwriting and strategy firm, former member of the Democratic Conventions speechwriting team & former adjunct professor at the American University School of Public Affairs, will speak on writing everything from op-eds to communications strategies for CEO’s, non-profit leaders, and our Commander-In-Chief.

Neon News

Former RIC cop calls for diversity

Taylor Dame

News Editor


Lieutenant Charles Wilson has called on Governor Gina Raimondo with hopes of rallying more diverse candidates to fill the top cop job in Rhode Island. Wilson recently retired from the Rhode Island College Campus police and is now the chairman of the National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers.

In his letter, Wilson pointed out that the only non-white police chief in Rhode Island is Mark Porter who is the chief of police for Brown University. A study done for the Providence branch of the NAACP says that 95% of cops above the patrol officer rank are white.

Raimondo has said that ‘Male, female, African American, white. I just want the best person for the job I can find.”

Raimondo had reached out to Karen Pitch who is currently the town administrator for Richmond. Pitch had served as the number three position in the state police and was the highest ranking woman in the state police’s history. Pitch however declined the job and suggested picking a new colonel from within the department.


Truck tolls get approval from the feds

According to the Rhode Island Department of Transportation the first in the nation plan to toll only trucks was approved by the Federal Highway Administration last week. Other states toll larger trucks at a higher rate than cars, but Rhode Island will be the first to toll trucks alone.

The FHA has approved 13 tolling locations throughout the state, along Interstate 95. The tolls are supposed to raise money for the 34 bridges that are in tough shape. Trucks will be charged up to $20.

The truck tolls were passed by the General Assembly and signed by Governor Gina Raimondo in February over the strong opposition from the trucking industry.


Rabies case reported near RIC

Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management said that a raccoon tested positive for rabies in Providence last week.

The raccoon attacked a cat that later had to be put down due to ensuing injuries. Residents are being asked to report any contact they or pets have with raccoons.

The Raccoon was captured on Biltmore Avenue in Mount Pleasant. Every town in Rhode Island, except New Shoreham on Block Island, has reported cases of rabies.

Officials say skunks, raccoons, foxes and bats are the most likely to carry it. They also warn citizens to vaccinate their pets against rabies.


Filmer of Eric Garner’s death sentenced to prison

Mike Dwyer

Assistant News Editor


In July of 2014 Ramsey Orta used his mobile phone to capture chilling footage of Staten Island police officer, Daniel Pantaleo subduing an unarmed black man using a rear chokehold, eventually killing him in the melee. The victim, Eric Garner, was 43 years old at the time, asthmatic and can be heard repeatedly pleading “I can’t breathe” as the officer continued to sink his forearm into Garner’s neck and tighten his hold. Since the video went viral, sparking protests nationwide, Orta claims that he has been the subject of frequent police harassment in retaliation for filming the encounter.

Orta has been arrested on eight occasions in the last two years, however, only two charges lead to convictions. He accepted a plea deal in July on gun and weapons charges, and began a four year prison term this past week. Orta has filed a 10 million dollar suit against New York City for unwarranted arrests by the NYPD, alleging that the heavy scrutiny by law enforcement was an attempt to discredit his footage of Eric Garner’s homicide.

Shortly after Garner’s death Pat Lynch, the President of New York’s largest police union, the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association of the City of New York stated that “…it is criminals like Mr. Orta who carry illegal firearms, who stand to benefit the most by demonizing the good work of police officers.” The officer involved in the incident, Daniel Pantaleo, has recently seen a large pay increase and remains on desk duty while awaiting the outcome of a civil rights probe.


White lives matter designated as hate group


A group of masked protesters stood outside the office of the Anti-Defamation League in Houston, Texas armed with assault rifles and knives to denounce what they perceived as the “genocide” of white Americans through means such as immigration and interracial marriage. Some held up a banner that read #WHITELIVESMATTER and contained the symbol of the Aryan Renaissance Society supremacist group. The protestors were a part of the White Lives Matter movement, which was recently designated as a hate group by The Southern Poverty Law Center.

According to protester Scott Lacy, the organization has no intent or inclination towards violence and disagrees with the SPLC’s categorization. He is displeased with how being “pro-white” is interpreted as being “racist.” Lacy, who has been outed by Texas media as a member of the Aryan Renaissance Society, came to protest that day wearing a blue version of the American flag, which has come to symbolize support for police following the killing of five officers in Dallas.

Some critics have pointed to the pro-police message of the far-right as an explanation for how such groups have inexplicably managed to ally themselves with others. “The problem is that in their culture– black culture– they’re raised to hate the cops and to hate whites, period actually. But we’re pro-police. They are heroes in our society,” Lacy said.

Also on scene that day was a group of counter protesters from various organizations in the region, shouting “Black lives matter” and playing Spanish language music to mock their opponent’s anti-immigration rhetoric. David Michael Smith of the Houston Socialist Movement appealed to citizens by saying “it is absolutely essential for people of different political persuasions– workers, oppressed people, women, other folks– to unite and defeat the rise and return of the far-right.”

Counseling Center starts LGBTQ support group – Taylor Dame

Counseling Center starts LGBTQ support group

Taylor Dame

News Editor


The Counseling Center is cutting the ribbon on a new group for LGBTQ people to talk and get support. This group’s launch has been spearheaded by counselor Julia Kamenetsky to help fill the gaps left by the absence of other LGBTQ groups on campus.

Kamenetsky is new to Rhode Island College, marking her one-year RIC anniversary in April of 2017. She has run a support and empowerment group at another counseling center and says that she has “always enjoyed working with the LGBTQ community.”

When she came to campus, she polled her colleagues and RIC community members about the potential need for such a group, and everyone agreed, especially now that Helping Others Promote Equality (HOPE) is no longer on active on campus.

This confidential support group will meet in the Counseling Center and serve as a “safe space for people to talk about issues related to their identities.”

The group is not open to everyone. Kamenetsky says that it is “specifically for folks who identify as a sexual minority or gender minority.” However, she did say that their was a possibility for others to be included, as long as members of the group to have input.

“The way I am hoping to do it is that any student interested in it; I am going to ask them if they want it to be open to allies as well.”

In order to keep everyone confidential, the group will not be doing LGBTQ advocacy outside of the Counseling Center, but if members wish to do so, they can. Additionally, the Counseling Center supports Student Community Government President Jose Rosario’s goal of getting an LGBTQ coordinator on campus to assist in aiding that community at RIC.

For more information, visit the Counseling Center in Craig-Lee room 130, or call 456-8094 to book an appointment. The Counseling Center also hosts a Meditation and Mindfulness group, which is open to anyone (including students, faculty or staff) who wants a quiet place to practice meditation.

Hurricanes and presidential politics – Taylor Dame

Hurricanes and presidential politics

Taylor Dame

News Editor


While Hurricane Matthew batters the Southeast, something else is also being hurt by the storm: the presidential campaigns. Both the Clinton and Trump camps have been affected by the strong storm, particularly in the all-important battleground state of Florida.

Both campaigns have closed offices and cancelled events to ensure that staff and volunteers in the state are able to get to safety.

The Clinton campaign planned on airing television ads on the Weather Channel during the storm, but backed down after some backlash. Many called the ads “insensitive” and “shameless.” The campaign said that they had asked television stations to wait until after the storm passed to air the ads.

The Trump campaign also pulled some advertisements off the air in Florida.

Both of the campaigns are in the delicate position of balancing politics and campaigning with maintaining sensitivity towards the plight of those in the affected areas. Continuing to campaign and play ads in an area being ravaged by a deadly storm plays well to very few, if any, potential voters.

The Clinton campaign also asked for the voter registration deadline in Florida to be pushed back due to the storm. Governor Rick Scott, an avid Trump supporter, denied the request saying that “everyone has had a lot of time to register.”

This is not the first time a hurricane has affected presidential politics. In 2012, Hurricane Sandy hit New York and New Jersey shortly before the election. Both campaigns suspended their operations to aid those affected by the storm. Many analysts agree that President Obama came away looking good after dealing with the storm; he was even hugged by Republican Governor Chris Christie, who thanked him for his aid.

Natural disasters and the candidates responses to them can make or break a campaign. What effect Matthew has on the outcome of the race is still up in the air.

Colombia-FARC peace deal falls apart – Derrik Trombley

Colombia-FARC peace deal falls apart

Derrik Trombley

Anchor Staff


Important news came out of Colombia this week as a peace deal negotiated between the Colombian Government and the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia), known commonly as FARC, was voted down by the people in a popular referendum.

In a surprising outcome, the people of Colombia rejected the peace deal by a vote of 50.2% against, 49.8% for. This deal, according to its supporters, would have put a permanent end to the decade’s long conflict in regards to the manufacturing and trafficking of cocaine.

Over the years, this conflict has seen both famous and infamous people, including the Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar. When trying to dissect why this peace deal was rejected by the people, it is helpful to talk to Rhode Island College student Michelle Arias.

Michelle has citizenship in both the United States and Colombia and has family currently living in Colombia. Her opinion is that it is a good thing that the deal failed.

When asked why, she responded, “It looks nice on paper to say ‘Peace,’ but this deal was not going to fix anything.” She refers to the specifics of the peace deal, in which members of FARC would be brought to justice for the numerous atrocities committed over the years. However, those who confessed to their crimes would have been given more lenient sentences, thus avoiding any time in conventional prison.

As Michelle puts it, “People have been held at gunpoint and experienced car bombings; my father has experienced both.” Furthermore, this deal would have led to the payment of former FARC fighters in the form of a monthly stipend and, to those wanting to start a business, financial help. It is likely that in order to cover these costs, the government would have needed to increase taxes on the average person.

When asked why she thought that such an arguably bad deal would be agreed to by the government, Michelle said, “They want immediate peace with no focus on long term effects. People had already started looking at the President of Colombia as a possible recipient for the Nobel Peace Prize. The international community needs to stay out of the affairs of Colombia because they are not helping the situation get resolved fairly for all of the hard-working and law abiding people in Colombia. The Indigenous people, the farmers and others. They deserve a government that looks out for them.”

She speaks of the world leaders including UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, who endorsed the peace deal and encouraged the people of Colombia to vote for it before the referendum. When asked what she thought the next step should be after the failed referendum, she simply said “The next step is for renegotiation for a fairer deal.”

A grand ceremony – Shane Inman

A grand ceremony

Shane Inman

Managing Editor


A small crowd gathered Friday to see the grand opening of RIC’s new School of Nursing wing. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held to commemorate the opening at 1 p.m. and was attended by notable guests such as Governor Gina Raimondo, Congressman David Cicilline and House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello.

Rhode Island College President Frank Sanchez began by thanking those present, then went on to talk about the quality of RIC’s nursing program, which he cited as being “#10 in the nation.”Congressman Cicilline reiterated this point, and Governor Raimondo reiterated highlighted the wealth of new technology which has been added to the nursing wing.

Barbara Cottam, the Chair of the Rhode Island Board of Education, described the nursing program as an investment for students, which “provides an opportunity to discover, create, and train.” She went on to say that John Fogarty would be pleased with all that RIC’s nursing program has achieved.

The 9,190-square-foot wing, which cost $6.3 million, houses a simulation lab and a human patient simulator lab, which contains a life-like mannequin designed to mimic a real patient. The lobby also features a spacious lounge in which students can socialize between classes and while studying. During the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Dean of Nursing Jane Williams said the funding dedicated to the wing was “money well spent.”

The harmful effects of coffee – Sophie Costa & Samantha Scetta

The harmful effects of coffee

Sophie Costa & Samantha Scetta

Anchor Staff


Picture this: You wake up in the morning about ten minutes earlier than usual, and you head out on your morning commute. Considering you’re going to be in class from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. today, you figure you will need some extra pep in your step to get you through the day. You hop in line with the rest of the morning commuters at your local Starbucks, and you begin to envision the utter happiness you will be confronted with when holding a cold, overpriced mocha Frappuccino in your hand. After handing the cashier your debit card, you begin to suck down the creamy beverage en route to class.

This is a common tale for many overworked and sleep deprived college students. Instead of chugging a bottle of water in the morning, guzzling a ginormous sugary beverage is the reality. Most of the time, we have no clue what we are actually drinking. How many people could actually recognize the plant that coffee beans are grown from?

When picked apart, some coffee beverages are close in comparison to soda. A Grande (16oz) Mocha Frappe from Starbucks, made with whole milk and topped with whipped cream, contains 410 calories, 15g of fat, 65g of carbohydrates and 61g of sugar. The most concerning fact regarding the nutrition of Frappes is undoubtedly the amount of sugar that is crammed into just one cup. Considering four grams of sugar is equal to one teaspoon, there are about 15.25 teaspoons in a Grande Mocha Frappe. Even when made with a healthier option such as nonfat milk, the amount of sugar is unchanged. According to the American Heart Association, a healthy serving of  sugar should fall between six to nine teaspoons of a day. Most beverages from Starbucks exceed this number by an appallingly large margin.

A coffee from Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks with just a “flavor shot” like caramel or pumpkin may be saving some calories, but it is not necessarily doing your health any favors. There are much healthier alternatives to livening up your mornings. Try switching out your caffeine fix with a healthy and hearty breakfast. This will provide you with even more energy than any gussied up caffeinated drink that you got after a 20 minute wait, complete with your name spelled wrong on the side. Not the best way to start your morning, is it?

Caffeine is not a substitute for food. 400 calories in a Frappuccino is not the same as 400 calories in a bowl of oatmeal with fresh fruit. What you put into your body is exactly what you will get out of it. Just remember that energy, the ability the concentrate and decent health comes from good nutrition, not a venti iced mocha with a turbo shot.