From the archives

 

 

Catherine Enos  – Opinions Editor

This archived article is from the October 16, 1968 issue of The Anchor.

It is always interesting to take a look at the student complaints of the past, and the archived Anchor issues are rich in this area. It’s funny to see that the grievances of 50 years ago are the same issues that students have today; for example, the price of textbooks.

Any college student knows that the costs of textbooks, just like the cost of tuition, have exploded in recent years across the nation. Some students skip buying the textbook, but what is the point of paying tuition if you’re going to skip out on the textbook and probably miss half of the curriculum?

The message of this article wasn’t whether students were buying textbooks, though. The message was: RIC students are paying too much money for their textbooks. And in an age before the internet or speedy shipping (if the student special-ordered the book), students faced a monopoly, so capitalism kicked in and boosted the price of the textbooks.

I never thought I would appreciate being able to spend $90 on a textbook instead of $100, but looking back in time can help you appreciate the small things. Next time you buy a textbook at the cheapest price you can find at the click of a button, think of all the students who had to manually investigate these prices and face bookstore boycotts to make “lower” prices a reality.

 

RIC plans to host 5k

Tim Caplan – News Editor

Coach Jay Jones and the Rhode Island College wrestling team are set to hold two different fundraisers on homecoming weekend at the end of September.

On Saturday, Sept. 29, RIC wrestling will hold their annual 5k road race, which will begin at 9 a.m. on the RIC track facility. Participants will run around the campus and end back at the track, while the top finishers will receive cash and gift card prizes.

The top male and female finishers will receive a $50 cash prize while the top RIC alumni, top RIC student, the top finisher over 40, as well as the top finisher over 55 will also receive gift cards to the RIC bookstore. All registered runners will receive a 5k homecoming t-shirt. To register online, go to https://g2racereg.webconnex.com/ric5k2018.

The RIC wrestling team will also be hosting their annual Golf Ball Drop Raffle Extravaganza. Tickets will be sold by members of the wrestling team for $10 and they will be giving away $2,000 in cash and prizes including a $1,000 grand prize, a $500 second place cash prize, and a $250 third place cash prize.

Participants do not need to be present at the golf ball drop to win, balls are assigned randomly with each ticket, and dropped during the homecoming festivities out on the lawn in front of Gaige Hall.

 

Partisan battles waged in Supreme court nominee hearings

Tim Caplan – News Editor

On Tuesday, Sept. 4th the Senate Judiciary Committee began their public hearing of Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s second nominee for the supreme court, less than two years into his first presidential term.

Pandemonium ensued almost immediately once the hearings began, Senators Richard Blumenthal and Kamala Harris immediately motioned to suspend the hearings, claiming that they did not have adequate information on the judicial record of Kavanaugh and that there was an absence of records during his time spent working in the Bush administration. During this time there were outbursts in the courtroom from protestors who object to the nomination of Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, including people dressed in costumes from “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

The first round of questioning began from the senators the next day, and Kavanaugh did not give too many solid answers, he claimed that he did not want to address hypothetical situations that weren’t based on precedent. There were constant procedural objections by democrats throughout the day.

Senators Kamala Harris (D)-CA and Corey Booker (D)-NJ have made it clear that they oppose the nomination of Kavanaugh for several reasons. Harris provided a line of questioning indicating concern for Kavanaugh’s connections to a law firm with potential connections to President Trump, as well as the aforementioned lack of documented information about the candidate. Corey Booker released what he thought were classified documents (which in reality were available to the public before he published them) in an attempt to show the committee his questions about Kavanaugh’s views on “race and the law.”

Protester, Photo courtesy of RT.com

On Thursday, Sept. 14, a document was made public in which an anonymous woman accused Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct and forcing himself upon her in the 1980’s while he was attending boarding school in Bethesda, Maryland. The document came from a woman in California who sent it to her Congressman, Dianne Feinstein (D)-CA. Feinstein referred the document to the Federal Bureau of Investigations, who stated that they would not pursue the case because they found that the claims made by the accuser were unsubstantiated. Kavanaugh completely denies these allegations.

For now, the hearings will continue while cutthroat politics occupy the American political system.

 

Highlights of the Primary Elections

Aaron Isaac – Staff Writer

Rhode Island’s state primaries occurred this past week. Most of the incumbents in office are going to the general election, but some incumbents have lost their primary elections.

Polling Place, Photo courtesy of Kristy Sittinger

Samuel Bell defeated incumbent Paul Jabour, who has been in the District five seat since 2006. Bell ran on “common -sense gun reform” and called out politicians in Rhode Island who took money from the National Rifle Association. He also criticized the legislature for raising property taxes while taxes are being cut for the rich. However, Jab our has requested a recount after losing by 172 votes.

Sam Bell, Photo courtesy of Twitter

Mark McKenney won Senate District 30 by beating progressive Jeanine Calkin who was first elected in 2016. McKenney has supported increased funding for schools and wants to make visits to the Department of Motor Vehicles “a whole lot easier.”

Another loss for incumbents was in House District 13. Ramon Perez lost to 28 year old Mario Mendez. Perez took the seat in 2016 but was engulfed in scandal when he accidentally shared a document with legislatures which showed tabs with pornographic material in their titles; Perez thereafter deleted his Facebook account. Mendez ran on increasing the minimum wage and supports adult education. According to current results, Perez requested a recount after losing by 74 votes.

Some elections were interesting even if the incumbent was not overturned. The House District 3 race between incumbent Moira Walsh and Michael Earnheart sparked interest when the Democratic Party endorsed challenger Earnheart who only joined the party in the summer. The endorsement was withdrawn when the party was criticized for its support of Earnheart over Walsh.

There were no incumbents who lost in the state races, but at least one race was a curiosity in the news. Rocky De La Fuente challenged Robert Flanders in the Republican Primary for RI Senate, But La Fuente, a millionaire businessman, was also running in Vermont, Wyoming, Delaware, Florida, and California. During a speech in Florida, he revealed that he didn’t expect to win, but just wants to let “people know who I am.”

A close state race was the race for Lieutenant Governor. Incumbent Mckee barely squeezed by against challenger Regunburg, current reporting shows McKee won with 51.1 percent of the vote.

Finally, the primary race for governor saw Alan Fung defeat Patricia Morgan and Giovanni Feroce. Fung will face Gina Raimondo who defeated challengers Matt Brown and Spencer Dickinson.

The general election race has already opened up. The Raimondo campaign released an ad which intended to show the “distressed community” in Cranston. However, the ad actually showed stores in Providence.

On that note, this general election should be interesting.

 

A conversation with President Sanchez

Aaron Isaac – Staff Writer

Rhode Island College is great, but no one knows it. This was certainly the sentiment from RIC President Frank D. Sanchez during the Student Community Government meeting on Sept. 13.

“Since I started two years ago one of the biggest challenges that I think the college has is really telling our story of quality, the real value, (and) the innovation that’s happening” Sanchez said.

President Sanchez, Photo courtesy of
Britt Donahue

Sanchez cited the RIC nursing program as “arguably the leading school of nursing in all of New England” citing high national test results. In fact, Rhode Island College students constantly perform better than the state and national average.

RIC’s nursing students and staff have also earned awards for their achievements. RIC Professor of Nursing and Associate Dean Lynn Blanchette was honored as the 2018 Nurse of the Year in an Academic Setting and senior nursing student Laura Ramirez became the first recipient of the Senior Student Nurse of the Year award.

President Sanchez also cited RIC’s relatively low price. RIC, in a ranking of 100 colleges by Best Value Schools, RIC ranked 36th. “The return on investment at Rhode Island College really is extraordinary.”

RIC will team with a consulting firm to rebrand RIC in order to spread the word of RIC successes. Students will be integral to that, Sanchez hoped graphic design student could get involved in RIC’s marketing.

After Sanchez left, SCG focused on how to raise attention and attract members to the organization. That makes sense considering the only people that were in the room were the people who had to be there. However, SCG does perform an important function to the college. They work with administrators and students to solve issues.

One example is to fix faulty lights which, recently, have been going out in the open parking lot. “There have been some nights when the lights were not on at all” Representative Percy said. “When I saw that I felt concerned for the safety of students.”

SCG also handles the budget for school clubs and student organizations and acts as a forum for students to express themselves to the committee. If you would like to contact SCG you can email them at ricscg@ric.edu or call them at (401) 456-8088.

Providence student dies as result of gun violence

Jessica Gauthier – Managing Editor

Shortly before 2 p.m. on Wednesday, police responded to a shooting on Westminster and Fricker St. A student and was shot and killed in front of Providence Career and Technical Academy on the second day of school. The victim and Central High School student was later identified as 15-year-old William Parsons.

According to police, a school resource officer was made aware of a fight right before shots were fired. Witnesses told officers that one of the suspects pulled out a handgun and fired a single shot. Both suspects, described by police as, “two light-skinned Hispanics wearing dark clothing” fled the scene.

Just minutes later, the police responded to another shooting, less than a mile away on Sprague St. The victim was shot in the thigh and taken to Hasbro Children’s Hospital to be treated for non-life threatening injuries. The victim’s name has not yet been released, but Major David Lapatin believes him to be a “person of interest” in the earlier shooting. Police spokeswoman Lindsay Lague confirms that the 16-year-old is not a student at PCTA, Classical, or Central High School.

During the time of the shooting, all three schools were on modified lockdown, meaning that students and teachers could continue normal activities inside, but exits and entries to the schools were restricted. Classes for PCTA and Classical High School were still in session and although Central High School students had already been dismissed, there were still students and teachers inside.

A handgun was found by investigators near Westfield and Fuller streets, although it has not been confirmed that it was the gun used to shoot Parsons.

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza released a statement, “I am heartbroken for the family of the victim and for the students and adults who have been impacted by this terrible tragedy. This type of violence will not be accepted in our city and we will come together as a community to support the victim’s family.”

Providence Superintendent of Schools Chris Maher assures that he will be working closely with police to insure that students remain safe on their way to and from school, as well as offering support services to those affected by the tragedy.

Photo courtesy of ABC6.com

Parsons was described by police as an “innocent bystander.” On Friday, a vigil was held where students, teachers and loved ones released balloons in Parson’s memory.

 

Welcoming the semester with a brand new add/drop policy

Tim Caplan – News Editor

RIC is taking steps to make it easier and more available for students to add and drop classes in the first two weeks of the semester.

According to a press release from RIC.edu, students will be able to add and drop classes without the express written consent of a department chair all throughout the first two weeks of a semester. If students continue to wait after the first two weeks before they add or drop a class they will have to get the permission of the leader of that particular department or the instructor of the class. This comes after much complaining from the student body about the process of registration for classes over the past two years.

“The process is usually so frustrating,” says Stephen Masi, a senior at Rhode Island College studying Pre-Law “(RIC) always makes it so hard to register for classes, between getting approval for classes, meeting with advisors, and the multiple degrees of separation regarding the completion of a major, it makes sense that RIC is going to start making class registration less stressful, and give students time to get themselves situated at the beginning of each semester.”

“Between paying tuition bills, trying to work out a class schedule that fits my own, and   completing the coursework required to attain my degree, RIC is righteous in changing the timetable in which students can register for classes” Erwin Rosario, a senior at RIC told the Anchor on Wednesday, Sept. 5.

Students can register for classes on RIC.edu by logging onto MyRic.edu and going under “enrollment.” All students have a universal advising hold prior to registration for classes and cannot sign up for a course until that hold is lifted by an advisor.  Students who need additional help with classes can make an appointment with an advisor, the Bursar’s office, or financial aid.

Incumbents challenged in Rhode Island

Aaron Isaac – Staff Writer

There may be a change coming to Rhode Island. This upcoming primary is seeing new state and local challengers looking to upset incumbent politicians by appealing to pressing issues.

Numerous state and local issues indicate a Rhode Island progressive wave. Sandra Cano won a special election in Pawtucket and Justine Caldwell in East Greenwich is running against House Representative Anthony Giarrusso.

In Providence, Justice Gaines, running in Providence’s Ward One, is up against incumbent Seth Yurdin. If Gaines wins her election, she would be the first openly transgender person to hold office in Rhode Island.

Gaines claims her policy will be focused on the city’s education system, getting young people involved in the community, and building support for affordable housing in Providence.

Affordable housing is a hot topic in Providence. As people are getting priced out of their neighborhoods, challengers have targeted incumbents over their inaction. Deyanira Garcia, running in Ward eight vows to protect those residents who are being pushed out of their neighborhoods.

Nika Lomazzo, a transgender woman who was running as a state representative but is now campaigning with progressive challengers, is invested in battling the displacement. “I’m seeing both locals being pushed out and a lot of people who went to college and coming back are moving out because they can’t afford to live here,” Lomazzo said.

Nika Lomazzo, Photo courtesy of Britt Donahue

Lomazzo saw a lot of of effort coming from the candidates like Nick Autiello, who’s running for state senate. Autiello has made claims about wanting to invest in housing that was affordable, as well as technical programs and free college.

Concerning the House Speaker race, she preferred Steven Frias over current incumbent Nick Mattiello. She does not like either candidate but prefers Frias because “he’s much more disorganized.”

In terms of the Governor’s race, Lomazzo went back and forth in her support, but ultimately decided to back Raimondo. She was cautious of challenger Matt Brown, criticising him for bankrupting a nonprofit he started and coming “back here out of the blue after seven years and [deciding] to run for office.”

Raimondo is not the perfect candidate for Lomazzo. She was critical of Raimondo’s environmental record and her corporate ties, but liked her push for free education and other issues important to progressives.

Even students can have voice in elections. The primary election is Sept. 12. For information on where you need to go to vote, go to the state’s election website: www.elections.state.ri.us/

 

From the archives

Catherine Enos – Opinions Editor

This archived article is from the October 16, 1968 issue of The Anchor.

In some ways, 1968 was quite similar to 2018. The country was split on divisive issues and it was a time in which young people were using their voices to speak out against matters they felt were important, like the war in Vietnam and Civil Rights. Fifty years later, we are a country divided by politics on issues like gun control and immigration reform — not much has changed.

In addition to divisive issues that split the country, the two years had another thing in common: elections. And although the election of 1968 was a presidential election, the 2018 midterm elections are equally as important and influential over the direction that the country and its leaders will take.

Fifty years have passed since 1968, voters (and non-voters) haven’t changed either. People, like the author of this 1968 editorial, were still debating whether it was worth it to vote. In the end, the author concludes that he’ll probably vote Republican because Nixon “is going to win anyway.” It’s interesting, now, having insight as to how that election ended and, obviously, how Nixon’s presidency ended.

Perhaps in another 50 years, future students will look to this issue for an insight on history, too.

 

The War Over Student Loans

Aaron Isaac – Staff Writer

Three words make a college student’s skin crawl with disgust whenever they are uttered: “student loan debt.” It is no different at Rhode Island College and its students will be haunted by it, both in and out of school.

Student Loan Debt, Photo courtesy of openclipart

The war over student loans began again with the start of the new semester. On Sept. 1 Seth Frotman, who investigates student loan complaints at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, quit, accusing Director Mick Mulvaney of undermining the bureaus ability to help student loan borrowers. The CFPB has returned $750 million to disgruntled borrowers.

In his resignation letter, Frotman accused Mulvaney of suppressing a report made by bureau staff. The report, Frotman claims, pointed at the nation’s largest banks who “were ripping off students on campuses across the country by saddling them with legally dubious account account fees.”

The nation’s student loan crisis has only gotten worse with time. According to the Federal Reserve, this year, outstanding student loans have exceeded $1.5 trillion, a new record. The average student debt owed by students is $32,731.

The struggle concerning student loans and state funded college tuition is just as heated.

Although Governor Gina Raimondo managed to pass a free college plan, it was cut down by lawmakers to leave out RIC and the University of Rhode Island, and did not help those already encumbered with student loans. Raimondo has been campaigning for the upcoming primary promising to expand the free college plan to both RIC and URI.

Rhode Island is not doing much better than the national average. The Institute for College Access and Success reported that Rhode Islanders have an average debt of $31,217 in 2016. RIC had the lowest cost of attendance in the state at $21,231 while Brown University was the most expensive with cost of attendance standing at $65,380.

The Rhode Island Treasury Department has been trying to address the student loan crisis. Treasurer Seth Magaziner has been battling Navient, the nation’s largest student loan servicer, to make sure they are turning borrowers to fair and income based plans. Navient has been in a lawsuit with the CFPB alleging Navient was cheating borrowers out of their right to lower repayments.

For borrowers who cannot handle their debts the option to restructure the debt is open, but the Director of Communications for the Treasury Evan England was hesitant to recommend this as a first option “too often what we’re learning is that servicers will simply put people into deferment.”

Deferring may put borrowers further into debt because even though deferment will temporarily halt the need to repay loans interest will continue to accrue on the loan if the loan is unsubsidized. “We’re getting to a point where we hear anecdotally of people reaching retirement age still having significant student loan bills” England said.

For those with student debt today a promise of free college will still leave them with a debt that may be staying with them for a long time.