We have officially reached an important part in the semester: registration period. Signing up for next semester’s classes can be stressful, but in 1969 it was even worse. In that year, Rhode Island College instituted a new policy which made students pay a fee of $5 for every class added or dropped. Students signing up for classes had to be serious about making a final decision, or it would cost them.
It seems that the reason for the fee was because of excessive paperwork at the Registrar’s office, to which students argued that without “being obnoxious, the students’ needs should be paramount.”
But, looking back on this, was the college really unrealistic to set a fee for add/drops? Each student had to register for classes on paper and all of the paperwork had to be processed manually (they obviously didn’t have MyRIC back then). In addition, there are always students who “test drive” an extra class, and don’t really intend on taking all of the classes they sign up for.
Maybe the add/drop fee was for the best, but none of it was really a good situation for the students. So, when you sign up for next semester’s classes with the click of a button, think of the struggles that past RIC students had to go through without the wonders of modern technology.
It is extremely difficult to pinpoint a singular cause or formulate a solution to a systemic issue without properly examining its sphere of influence. Available to students this spring, Liberal Studies 150 runs for a second time and attempts to do just that. LIBS 150 will tackle the ever present Opioid Crisis in America by examining its causes, consequences and possible solutions across different disciplines.
Introduced to the college through the Liberal Studies Program in Spring 2017, Liberal Studies 150 is an interdisciplinary seminar-style course in which multiple Professors offer their analysis of America’s omnipresent opioid crisis. Diverse discourse is expected, as the course was taught by over 30 different Professors across ten sessions last semester.
The brainchild of Dr. Thomas Schmeling, chair of Political Science, Dr. Mikaila Arthur, chair of Sociology and Dr. Praveena Gullapalli, chair of Anthropology, LIBS 150 offers students a holistic learning experience not suffocated by a syllabus. Assisting Professors will address the class in whichever manner they see fit, ensuring a unique experience each class. The course has been made possible with the help and support from Dr. Earl Simson, Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences.
Following a mass survey in which 300 students participated, it was announced that Liberal Studies 150 will serve as a 1-credit elective course, set to meet Tuesdays from 12:30 p.m. to 1:50 p.m. in the Gaige Hall Auditorium. Given five separate choices regarding the course content, the Opioid Crisis prevailed over four other choices, Sex and Sexuality coming in as a close second.
The course is unique in the sense that the topic changes each year. As such, students who took LIBS 150 in the spring of 2017 may repeat the course for credit.
“All of our disciplines can speak to this,” Dr. Schmeling notes. “Real world issues require multiple perspectives. You need the people who can see how the pieces fit together.” In taking the course, Schmeling hopes students will begin to view problem solving through a different lens.
Coursework for LIBS 150 consists of three short responses and active in-class discussion among faculty and peers. Students can expect to explore issues surrounding law enforcement, regulation and treatment options in the wake of the opioid crisis. Despite the controversial nature of the course, Dr. Schmeling states that LIBS 150 is an “academic course. [We’re] not here to bash or praise, but here to understand.”
This evaluative view is the driving force behind the Liberal Studies Major, a fairly new major program at RIC in which students are able to examine a topic of their choice on all academic fronts. Coursework can be customized to include philosophy, political science, physical science or art and film courses. Any student interested in the Liberal Studies Degree Program is encouraged to attend LIBS 150 and speak with Dr. Schmeling for more information.
The course is currently open for enrollment and has 100 seats available. Access to enrollment can be found through the RIC portal.
Food, games, music and, of course, prizes were all available during the Asian Student Association South Korean Fall Festival this past Wednesday. Held in the Student Union Ballroom, this celebration of Asian culture and diversity was open to RIC students, faculty and friends for only three dollars.
An assortment of Korean food was provided by Ichiban, a local favorite that offers authentic Korean and Japanese cuisine. The food was plentiful from vegetable japchae, from glass noodles stir-fried with various vegetables, to beef bulgogi; a stir-fried beef also known as fire meat.
Traditional pastimes such as origami, board games, mask painting and Korean calligraphy were available to try. Those who played at least three games were eligible to enter a raffle and possibly win a bento box or a Rilakkuma plush bear. ASA member Kenny was lucky enough to win the big bear. (Pictured below)
The event was deemed “a big success” according to President of the ASA, Linda Lin, and everyone in the club was excited and dancing throughout the party.
Money raised through the event is to be donated to charity. Lin has yet to decide where the funds should be allocated, either to an animal shelter in Connecticut or a children’s foundation.
“We’re split half and half,” she said, “everyone’s split between pets and children.” Lin mentioned that if the ASA raised enough they may split the money and donate to both charities.
Charity is not the sole reason the ASA holds these festivals. Every Fall semester, the ASA tries to highlight a different Asian country.
Although this Fall Festival was the ASA’s big blowout party for the fall semester, Lin has high hopes for the future. The ASA plans to hold a chalk festival next spring, weather permitting. For now, the ASA anticipates their biggest event of the year, Journey to Asia, which will give students a taste of up to thirteen different Asian countries. The event is set to take place this April, during Asian Heritage Month.
For more information regarding ASA events, feel free to attend their weekly meetings on Wednesday during free period, Horace Mann Rm. 186, or email email@example.com.
Rhode Island College students may have recently noticed a cautionary email from the campus police in which Chief of Campus Police Frederick Ghio warned “students who live in the Elmhurst area near Providence College or frequent that area at college house parties…to be vigilant of unknown strangers trying to crash those parties.”
Ghio then provided a Providence Police report which detailed an incident which occurred in the early morning hours of Sunday, Oct. 15. What proceeds is a formal description of police responding to a “large disturbance” at the Johnson and Wales student housing.
What is concerning is that this report seems to read more like an internal briefing rather than something that should be shared with the public. Besides detailing the events leading up to, during and after the assault, it also provides the names and dates of birth of the victims, one of whom is a minor. It provides the name of the victim who had to be transported to Roger Williams Hospital. It provides the cell phone number of the individual whose phone was stolen during the assault. It gives a broad description of suspects: “several Hispanic males” one of whom was “described as having a teardrop tattoo under his right eye” and says they were not apprehended.
Attempts were made to contact Providence Public Information Officer Lindsay Lague to ask when and to whom is it acceptable to release the names, dates of birth and other identifying information of victims of violent crime (adults and minors) to the public, and whether this information is regularly shared with campus police at Rhode Island College and other colleges, universities and institutions in the area. A phone call was not returned and an email received an auto-reply promising a follow-up the next day, which did not materialize.
When the Office of the President of Rhode Island College was reached for comment and provided with a copy of the email, the Associate Director of Communications Kristy DosReis replied that “the safety of our students is always our first concern” and that “in this case, we were balancing the timely release of information…against conducting a more in-depth review of the police report, which had already been shared with other colleges in the area.”
However, the email to students at Rhode Island College went out eleven days after the incident in question. Furthermore, the fact that this information had already been shared with other colleges in the area does not address the primary issue of whether or not it is appropriate to share the identities of victims of violent crimes with the public to begin with. If the identifying information of victims is not confidential, it could affect the public’s trust in the Providence Police department when reporting crime.
DosReis ended her response by saying “we continue to work on ways to improve our campus communication and notification processes. We can always strengthen our vetting and review of these types of public documents going forward.”
Donovan Dining Center, one of the centerpieces of Rhode Island College’s campus, has already made remarkable, visible progress since last school year. In an attempt to evaluate where student’s dollars are being spent on campus, the Anchor met with the Director and Assistant Director of Donovan Dining Center, Arthur Patrie and Janet Phillips.
Patrie expressed his concern for the student body, noting that their experiences with the Dining Center can help or hurt their mood and therefore their performance, and he intends to make it a positive experience.
Donovan engaged in a cycle of renovations starting in 2015, focused on addressing the concerns of students and faculty. One of these projects was to renovate the Faculty Dining Center to accommodate students displaced from the regular dining area during campus events.
The windows of two sides of the Dining Center were over 30 years old, and thankfully, were replaced over the summer. The windows had previously been observed by students and faculty as being drafty, and letting in water.
Donovan worked directly with Campus Administration to get approval for its renovations, to which Patrie said the Administration was “very receptive.” Donovan’s introduction of new chairs, however aesthetically pleasing, were also intended to make students’ lives easier.
In previous years, Donovan staff noted that students sitting alone at a large table would discourage other students to sit at that table. To combat this, Donovan introduced new chairs on both the upper and lower level that face either a wall or outward, so as to encourage a lone student feeling comfortable while still allowing large groups convenient seating.
Patrie expressed a desire to accommodate the students who spend three to four hours in Donovan at a time, whether to eat and do homework or just spend time with their friends.
Patrie said, “it might be two to three years out, but we want to redo the service area to make it more user friendly.” He also said that he, “felt [his] own suggestions to be aggressive, and appreciated the support of the administration.” He later said the Center is “working hard to continue making improvements based on student input.”
Donovan has replaced its roof, which had been known to leak, and new carpeting has been placed in both of the entrances. The purpose of this renovation was to reduce the dangers posed by winter weather.
Donovan was also aesthetically renovated, receiving a new coat of paint, chair rails and baseboards on both the main floor and upper floor of the Dining Center.
Donovan introduced 98 more outlets, newer and softer lighting, new tray holders, patio umbrellas and a new water bottle filling station in the lower level of Donovan, outside the Unity Center. Donovan has also introduced changing stations for any parent customers, one in each of Donovan’s bathrooms.
Donovan has also begun to play WXIN’s broadcasts both in and now outside of the Dining Center. This is in an effort to promote student organizations and the work that they do.
In the near future, Donovan also intends to implement new, stronger Wifi, four dedicated recycling areas and potentially new solar panels to go atop Donovan’s new roof. They hope to start showcasing student and faculty artwork on the walls of the Dining Area.
The ain’t no party like a WXIN party because a WXIN party don’t stop. Doesn’t stop, that is, until one in the morning, because even college students have to sleep eventually. In typical WXIN fashion, the radio station deejayed their third sponsored event this semester to commemorate All Hallows’ Eve.
Following good turnout at their Back To School Bash and Alumni and Student Outdoor Volleyball Match and Barbeque, Rhode Island College’s radio station, 90.7 WXIN held their “Get Spooky” event at Fete Music Hall. Originally scheduled for Oct. 26, the event was pushed back to Nov. 2, but the Halloween spirit was still alive. The party was open to the public at five dollars admission, but Rhode Island College students were admitted for a mere three dollars.
“Get Spooky” was an intimate gathering of students from the WXIN Radio Station, members of The Anchor Newspaper and their ghastly guests. WXIN’s “spookiest time of the year” allowed students the opportunity to dress up one last time this season as all kinds of frightening creatures. There was a zombie, a pair of jokers, a wrestler and even a whale in attendance.
As the party neared its conclusion, WXIN held its costume contest. The costume contest was open to all and finished with three winners. In third place was the baseball player, in second place was the scarecrow and finally, in first place, was Zorro from the 1998 movie ‘Mask of Zorro.’
It is no surprise that Donovan Dining Center is not a student favorite. What may be a surprise to some, however, is that Donovan has not been popular for a very long time – at least since 1968.
In an article written almost 50 years ago, the Student Senate (which seems to be a predecessor to Rhode Island College’s current student government body, Student Community Government, Inc.) called for a boycott of Donovan Dining Center.
One of the main reasons for the boycott was “the poor quality of the food and service”. Though direct examples of complaints were not given, it is implied that the Donovan Dining Center had been a main target of student complaints for a long time.
An interesting aspect to look at is how the boycott was even possible. As the student body was smaller at that time than it is now, a movement such as this would be nearly impossible with the numbers that RIC has currently. In addition to our current size, residents living on campus are now required to buy a meal plan, making it seem unlikely that they would forfeit their money for a boycott that might not have any beneficial results.
This article raises some questions we may never know the answer to. Why did students decide to end the boycott? And how would the campus dining experience today compare to the dining experience 49 years ago?
Navigating your school lunch menu has become a much larger problem than choosing between lunch A, lunch B or lunch C. As the number of Americans who adhere to vegetarian and vegan diets gradually rises, college campuses have been challenged with providing nutrient-rich and diverse meal options to accommodate for their vegan, gluten free and vegetarian students. In an attempt to become more culturally competent, RIC has expanded their vegetarian and vegan options, but recognizes there is much room for growth.
In a Student Community Government Meeting on Oct. 25, Matthew Schiavo questioned Donovan Dining Services Director Arthur Patrie as to the options which are available to students such as himself who must adhere to a low-carb diet. Patrie responded by acknowledging the fact that “we’ve done a poor job with nutrition,” but referred Schiavo to RIC’s resident nutritionist, Bethany Tucker.
The Anchor met with Tucker, who informed us that any student who has specific dietary needs to be met, be it Celiac, Crohn’s or diabetes, can work with her directly and create a comprehensive and reasonable meal plan. RIC does not shy away from working with alternative products, be it cooking with ghee or purchasing almond and soy milk to be utilized campus wide. Tucker also encouraged students to participate in RIC’s monthly Food Service Advisory meeting, where suggestions can be made regarding any aspect of the campus dining experience. The next Food Service Advisory meeting will be held on Nov. 14, and Tucker can be contacted with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org .
What most RIC Students fail to acknowledge, according to Executive Chef Dean Faiola, is that vegetarian and vegan options at the Donovan Dining Center expand far beyond the vegan dumplings and vegetable sushi at the grab and go kiosk. Most gluten free and vegetarian options are presented as lunch and dinner entree options as opposed to all-day choices.
Faiola also noted that a transition to a simpler menu with less meal rotations has allowed for the college to create a more inclusive and customizable meal time experience. By introducing more bar stations, students are given more control over the type of food they consume. Elena Coccio, a transfer student at RIC who recently celebrated her first year of vegetarianism, has been pleasantly surprised with the options available to her on campus.
“They have plenty of fruit, snack options and on-the-go bars on campus. I never run out of things to try.” Coccio remarked.
For others, vegan and vegetarian dining does not come so easily. One of the pitfalls of the dining experience, acknowledged by students and faculty alike, is the lack of signage in the dining area. Many of the gluten free, vegan and vegetarian options are available but not clearly marked, making compliant meals a hassle to find for the student on the go. Donovan Dining Services plans to increase signage the best they can with the space they have available. Another work in progress for DDS is making the dietary information for all food items available on their website.
Faiola, Patrie and Tucker encourage any student with questions or suggestions to open dialogue with them directly. They can be found throughout the day in their offices on the second floor of the Donovan Dining Center.
One of the most common criticisms of political convention is the extent to which adhering to standard procedures inhibits significant progress. In what was succinctly described as “the longest meeting so far” by Student Community Government President Thomas Lima, SCG members and guest speakers spent nearly three hours discussing topics ranging from available dining options to the efficiency of Robert’s Rules of Order.
Following brief introductions and roll call, Donovan Dining Services Director Arthur Patrie took the floor and addressed the pitfalls of the RIC Dining Services and the actions taken to respond to the evolving needs of RIC students. Donovan Dining Hall has seen several structural changes to transform the space into something more than a mess hall. New outlets, improved wifi and the slow introduction of more soft furniture has made the DDH a study friendly area. Looking forward, Patrie hopes to begin installing solar panels on the roof of the dining hall this spring.
Patrie was quick to acknowledge grievances expressed by the student body, including pricing, variety of products and how the DDH space is utilized. Efforts have been made to reduce pricing of not only standard meals but the Donovan Catering Services as well. To Student Organizations, Patrie says “I want you to do business with us.” Significant price decreases were initiated in order to remain competitive with outside caterers.
DDS has also extended hours for the entree line in order to accommodate to students that are in class until 2 p.m. Students will now have full access to the entree line until 2:30 p.m., however Patrie encourages students to arrive as early as possible in order to ensure that they are served. Patrie informed SCG that a survey will be sent to the student body where they are able to offer suggestions as to how to improve RIC Dining Services, but asked that students “don’t wait for a survey, [as] my door is always open.”
Representative Nate Banks, a RIC Student and member of RIC Pride Alliance, changed the tone of the meeting by openly criticizing the SCG body and their use of Robert’s Rules of Order, claiming that it is “not conducive for a college setting.” Banks was unable to finish his thoughts, having exceeded his two minute invitation to speak.
Once SCG made the motion to transition to an open discussion, Banks reasserted himself and argued that operating within Robert’s Rules of Order inhibits student’s ability to effectively advocate for themselves and the organizations they represent. David Alden Sears, the At Large Representative, acknowledged the truth in Banks’ claims, but asserted that stern rules are in place in order to protect the rights of both majority and minority parties within SCG.
Ultimately, SCG recognized the need for more fluid conversations between the student body and SCG members, and they look to incorporate more Town Hall meetings where students can express their concerns. The hour long debate was a substantive step taken towards creating a more inclusive decision making process. All RIC students are encouraged to participate in future meetings and Town Hall events.
The next Student Community Government meeting will be held on Nov. 15 at 7:15 p.m. in the Student Union, Room 307. Past meetings are available to view on YouTube, courtesy of Anchor TV.
Thousands of American women and men die each year in acts of domestic violence. Many of their stories air on the five o’clock news and are quickly forgotten. With the help of the Silent Witness Vigil national initiative, these stories can be remembered.
On Oct. 18, the Women’s Center held the Silent Witness Vigil in the middle of the RIC quad. With a table to answer questions on domestic abuse, the demonstration also featured cutouts of local victims of domestic violence.
Kristyn Furtado, the graduate assistant for the Women’s Center here at RIC, said that the Silent Witness Vigil is a national demonstration that is focusing on local stories.
One of the plaques located on the quad reads, “Maria was allegedly shot by her husband Antonio V. Rivera in their second floor Norwich Avenue apartment in Providence following an argument. She died later that night at Rhode Island Hospital. Rivera was indicted for murder in 1984, but no further information is available.” 33-year-old Maria Carvahal-Rivera was killed on September 17, 1983.
The vigil began in 1990 when a group of women artists and writers in Minnesota grew upset with the number of women being murdered by their partners or acquaintances. Joining with several other women’s organizations, they set up 26 life-sized, red cutouts representing the 26 women who had lost their lives that year. The national initiative started a few years later in 1994 and has since continued annually.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Rhode Island’s organization against domestic violence will hold events throughout the month including board meetings, candlelight vigils and other activities. To learn more, visit ricadv.org. To find help on campus or if you need someone to talk to, the Women’s Center is always available for students.