Student Community Government takes steps to improve inclusiveness on campus – Taylor Dame

Student Community Government takes steps to improve inclusiveness on campus

Taylor Dame

News Editor

 

Student Community Government took steps last Wednesday to increase inclusivity in the Rhode Island College community by approving the constitutions of two new organizations that aim to support underrepresented groups on campus.

The first group approved by the parliament was the Student Parent Association. The organization aims to serve as a platform for students who are parents. They plan on providing visibility and support for student parents, however anyone can join the organization.

The other new group that was approved called RICovery. The group’s mission is to support those in the RIC community who are in recovery or are affected by recovery in some way. The group will not function like an Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous meeting, but instead, it is meant to be a place to get peer support.

In addition to approving the constitutions, President Jose Rosario laid out his three major goals for the year that all dealt with inclusiveness on campus.

The first goal is to form a Basis Response Task Force to deal with community complaints of basis on campus. The taskforce, which would be made up of administration, students, faculty and staff, will be formed to provide for a safe and confidential way to deal with issues of basis.

The next goal was to look at Title IX sexual harassment policies and make them clearer to students and expand upon them when needed. Day One, an organization that deals with issues of sexual assault, has agreed to draft a “unique training opportunity” for the RIC community.

The third goal was brought up after three freshmen students and some parents asked about LGBTQ safe spaces on campus. RIC does not currently have a designated safe space on campus. Rosario says that “physical space on campus is difficult to come across and it is not feasible to develop a safe space at the moment, but we do need to do something.” The goal is to provide safe space training for students, faculty and staff to become a peer advocate. Rosario also wants an LGBTQ coordinator on campus whose job would be to work on issues pertaining to the LGBTQ community.

The next SCG parliament meeting is on Oct. 12 at 7:15 p.m. in Student Union room 307. Students are invited to attend and speak at the open forum section of the meeting.

The death of Radio Raheem – Mike Dwyer

The death of Radio Raheem

Mike Dwyer

Assistant News Editor

 

This past week, actor Bill Nunn died at the age of 63 after an exhausting battle with cancer. Nunn was best known for his role in Spike Lee’s 1989 film “Do the Right Thing,” where he played the character of Radio Raheem. A towering neighborhood personality, oft seen sporting a boombox the width of his torso, the character was imagined as one of our nation’s “misunderstood black youth.” In the climax of the film, Raheem is choked to death by a police officer, sparking a riot.

Lee’s iconic film ends with a dedication to several black New Yorkers who had been killed during encounters with the police in the preceding decade. In his production journal, Lee wrote, “If a riot is the climax of the film, what will cause the riot? Take your pick: an unarmed black child shot, the cops say he was reaching for a gun; a grandmother shot to death by cops with a shotgun; a young woman, charged with nothing but a parking violation, dies in police custody.”

The character of Radio Raheem has been evoked recently on several occasions in the aftermath of high profile encounters between police and members of the black community. Speaking to NBC news in 2014, Nunn recalled filming the scene that would define his breakout role. “I felt an electricity in the air… it was palpable throughout the whole neighborhood. I felt a responsibility to the story.”

The film’s 25th anniversary fell in the same year as the 2014 death of Eric Garner, a black man killed during a police takedown in strikingly similar fashion. The chilling parallels prompted Spike Lee to release a video in which he intercut scenes from his film with footage of Garner’s death, highlighting how closely his art still mimics our reality.

The film timelessly captured the sweltering racial tensions of American cities, and the confusion and rapidity of violent police encounters in black communities. However, perhaps what is most significant and unchanged in the last quarter century are the events that would have transpired after the credits are done rolling.

Neon Newswire

Recalls for days

Samantha Scetta

Anchor Editor

The mistakes made by machines and human hands alike make food recalls unavoidable. Just this past week, the public was prompted to steer clear of four different kinds of foods. Bison, veal and beef products purchased from Adams Farm Slaughterhouse have been recalled due to the presence of E.Coli bacteria. The meat was packaged between July 21 and Sept. 22 in Athol, Massachusetts and sent to stores, restaurants and farmers markets in Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York. The meat could have potentially been shipped to other neighboring states, such as Rhode Island.

Approximately 195,000 pounds of P.F Chang’s frozen chicken and beef products are being pulled from shelves due to a high possibility of metal contamination. The manufacturer, ConAgra Foods, released a statement saying that metal fragments may be embedded in the sauce of “P.F Chang’s Home Menu” entrée products. The metal pieces range in size from two to nine millimeters and are curled and shiny. The contaminated items were produced between May 31 and June 22, including Spicy Chicken, Mongolian Style Beef and Dan Dan Noodles.

Meat products are certainly not the only commodity that are prompted for recall. Kellog Co. is recalling over 10,000 cases of its Eggo Nutri-Grain Whole Wheat Waffles in 25 states for possible listeria contamination, a bacteria that can cause fatal infections. Even Little Bites snacks are being recalled, thanks to a potential helping of plastic shards from within. The announcement was made in early September, and the miniature muffins were distributed to stores in the first two weeks of the month.

More information on exact states, UPC codes and “best by” dates can be found online.

 

Man lost at sea suspect in grand-patricide

Samantha Scetta

Anchor Editor

 

After setting sail from Point Judith, Rhode Island for a fishing trip on Sept. 17, Linda Carman is presumed dead. Her son, Nathan, was rescued from a life raft off the coast of Massachusetts on Sunday, Sept. 25 after spending seven days at sea. Deepening the case of his missing mother, Nathan was a suspect in the homicide of his grandfather 2013. Carman was the last known person to see his grandfather, John Chakalos. Carman had dinner with his 87-year-old grandfather on Dec. 20, 2013, and Chakalos was found dead the next morning with three gunshot wounds. Carman was never charged with the murder of his grandfather.

After his rescue, Carman told the Coast Guard in an interview that his 31-foot long aluminum fishing boat sank after he heard a “funny noise” coming from the boat’s engine. “When I saw the life raft, I did not see my mom. Have you found her?” Nathan Carman spent seven days in an inflatable life raft with only enough food and water to survive. Linda Carman has still not been found and is presumed dead.

Many questions still remain surrounding the presumed death of Linda Carman, and how the aluminum fishing boat sank. Windsor police Captain Thomas Lepore said that the investigation into the murder of John Chakalos remains open. According to Lepore, police interviewed a few of Chakalos’s relatives, including Nathan and Linda Carman.

 

Rhode Island wants millennials to vote

Taylor Dame

News Editor

 

Rhode Island launched a new website designed to get people, specifically young people, to register to vote.

Secretary of State, Nellie Gorbea says that many young people are disengaged from the political process and that the website is designed to encourage them to vote.

The website is optimized for use on smartphones and tablets. The website asks the question, “Are you going to vote?” and gives two options to pick from, yes and don’t know.

Those who pick yes are given a way to register online if they haven’t already. While those who picked don’t know are directed to a list of commonly given excuses on why people do not vote.

Each excuse gives information on what to do to overcome the issue. There are also several videos that explain why your vote matters.

RIvotes.org was launched on September 27 to coincide with National Voter Registration Day.

The last day to register to vote for the November election is October 9.

 

Department of Justice says URI mismanaged federal grants

 

An audit released by the US Department of Justice says that three federal grants were mismanaged by the University of Rhode Island.

The three grants totaled $1.2 million and were from the DOJ’s Office of Justice Programs.

The DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz said that the grants from 2009, 2011, and 2012 were not adequately managed. According to Horowitz the university achieved the goals and objectives of the grant, but the audit found “non-compliance or discrepancies in several areas.”

The grants were intended to develop software to aid law enforcement in stopping child pornography and assist in investigations involving internet data.

URI has disagreed with most of the Inspector General’s findings in the audit.

Liar liar – Shane Inman

Liar liar

Shane Inman

Managing Editor

 

The first presidential debate saw a lot of big claims thrown around. Here’s a quick run-down of what you should and shouldn’t believe.

 

Trump started his career being sued for racial discrimination:

True. Trump and his father were accused of violating part of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 for discriminating against non-white housing tenants.

 

Clinton advisors perpetuated the “birther” myth:

False. There is no evidence to support this claim.

 

Trump’s economic plan would result in 3.5 million lost jobs:

Half true. While it is true that an independent economist predicted this, such predictions are dubiously accurate at best, and it is difficult to rule out bias on the part of the expert.

 

Trump did not support the war in Iraq:

False. While his initial support was half-hearted, Trump did not openly oppose the Iraq war until over a year after the conflict began.

 

Clinton referred to young African American men as “superpredators”:

Mostly true. In 1994, Clinton did use this term to refer to kids in gangs, and the context of her remark suggested she was referring specifically to African Americans.

 

Trump doesn’t pay federal income taxes:

Mostly false. Released records from 1975-1979 show that Trump did pay federal taxes in three of the five years released.

 

“Stop-and-frisk” was ruled unconstitutional:

Half true. While the law itself was not deemed unconstitutional, the way in which the practice was being carried out by officers was determined to be in violation of the constitution.

 

Trump has publicly called women pigs and dogs:

True. Trump has said these exact words and more along similar lines.

Governor highlights new textbook initiative – Patrick Hurd, Taylor Dame

Governor highlights new textbook initiative

Patrick Hurd

Anchor Editor

Taylor Dame

News Editor

 

College students pay an average $1,200 a year on textbooks, and Rhode Island is leading the charge to cut down on those costs. Governor Gina Raimondo visited Rhode Island College again last week to discuss a new program that is designed to reduce the expense of textbooks for the state’s college student population.

The Rhode Island Open Textbook Initiative started this year at RIC with an open licensed biology textbook. According to College President Frank Sánchez, the students each saved $150, and altogether saved $100,000 by using the open textbook rather than purchasing a traditional one,

Administration and faculty  members from RIC, URI, CCRI, Bryant, New England Tech, Roger Williams University, and Brown were all on hand to listen to the governor and the state’s innovation officer, Richard Culatta. All of these colleges have pledged to support the new program.

The initiative will raise awareness on how much textbooks cost and will encourage faculty to meet with librarians to choose open texts. Culatta says that he wants the initiative to be “an example to the rest of the country” and that “we are going to be watched on this one.”

The roundtable discussion of faculty, students, and administration from the various colleges brought forth many complaints about the current state of affairs when it comes to textbooks. One participant noted that “they change three sentences per version,” while others lamented copyright issues and how they affect student learning.

One of the student participants, Justin Sularz, noted how one of his professors decided not to use a textbook and instead “embrace technology” by encouraging the use of youtube videos and the free Khan Academy website. He also noted that it costs schools money to order textbooks and that this money can be used elsewhere.

When asked if the knowledge that a class was using open textbook might have an influence in course selection, Sularz answered that he would give it “a good amount of credence.”

College hosting flu clinic – Taylor Dame

College hosting flu clinic

Taylor Dame

News Editor

 

Rhode Island College is hosting a flu clinic in order for students to get their seasonal flu shots. Students can go to the Student Union Ballroom on Oct. 5 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to get a vaccine.

If you are insured under BCBS, Medicare Part B, UnitedHealthcare, Neighborhood Health or Tufts, your inoculation will be free.

If you have a different insurance plan or are not insured, then the shot will cost $25. However, you may qualify for a free vaccine from RIC Health Service if you are a Rhode Island resident.

Call 456-8055 after Oct. 5 for information.

To register go to www.thewellcomp.com and use the login: ricoll.

Cross country runners win LEC awards – Marissa Marsella

Cross country runners win LEC awards

Marissa Marsella

Anchor Staff

 

During the Pop Crowell Invitational hosted by Gordon College last week, the Rhode Island College Men’s Cross Country team had three of their runners place in the top 50 of 106 competitors. Although RIC did not compete as a team this week, junior athlete Jonathan Carney finished in 18th place with a racing time of 28:57 for the 8k course. Rhode Island College freshman athlete Helder Gomes placed 24th with a time of 29:22, earning the title of LEC Men’s Cross Country Rookie of the Week, and Rhode Island College sophomore Jeff Garson placed 47th with a timed run of 31:07.

As for the women, Rhode Island College sophomore Margaret McCaffrey was named Little East Conference Women’s Cross Country Runner of the Week after recording a personal best time of 20:49 and finishing in 20th place out of 120 runners during the Pop Crowell Invitational. Following McCaffrey’s victory, her teammates performed accordingly with RIC freshman Cassidy Bissitt finishing in 21st place with a personal record of 20:50, junior Briana Lenihan placing 23rd with a time of 20:59, senior Allison Lomas placing 52nd at 22:21, and sophomore Veronica Northup finishing in 61st place with a time of 23:17.

In 65th place for the Anchorwomen came senior Abigail Dandurand (23:29), in 66th place was junior Lissa Almanzar (23:31), 69th place was owned by freshman Sarah Basler (23:44), and in 86th place came junior Tess Rhoat with a timed run of 26:07.

Catch the Cross Country teams on Saturday, Oct 8th at 11 a.m. during the James Earley Invitational next week for more action.

The questions of question two – Derrik Trombley

The questions of question two

Derrik Trombley

Anchor Staff

 

With the election only a few short weeks away Rhode Islanders will soon be going to the polls to pick who their representatives at the local and national level will be. But also on the ballot are a series of ballot questions put to the people of Rhode Island to determine public policy in a referendum.

Typically these ballot questions are to determine financial decisions such as bonds for state projects and others can be used for so called “feel good” proposals such as removing the words “Providence Plantations” from the official state name, as was proposed a few years ago.

But this year another kind of question is on the ballot, a question of administrative oversight on our elected officials.

Question 2 asks the people of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations whether or not they wish to see the power of the ethics commission restored. The ethics commission in Rhode Island has the responsibility to investigate and police state legislators for corruption and other illegal or unethical activity.

However, the power of this commission has been largely curtailed by the Rhode Island Supreme Court case Irons v. RI Ethics Commission (2009), which took away the commission’s authority over state legislators due to the speech in debate clause.

Regardless, a campaign has been put together with financing by Alan Hassenfeld, Common Cause Rhode Island, Operation Clean Government, the League of Women Voters and CleanRI in order to restore this power.

Beyond that, this has to be the perfect time for such a campaign, due in part to the multiple instances of corruption in recent years, including Representatives John Carnevale and Ray Gallison, not to mention the conviction of former Speaker of the House Gordon Fox. In addition, the outpouring of support against incumbent politicians must, in some way, be related to the people losing trust in their elected representatives to act in ethical and appropriate ways.

These conditions, in tandem with the financial support from open government groups, factor into the results of a recently conducted poll by Fleming & Associates on behalf of the Rhode Island Coalition for Ethics Reform.

Their poll found that 78% of Rhode Island voters say they would vote to approve Question 2 in November, an almost insurmountable advantage. This poll of 400 likely voters was conducted from Sept. 6 to Sept. 8 by landline and cell phones, with a margin of error at 4.9% indicating its accuracy.

However, time still remains, and although few have come out against this referendum, only time shall tell how the people will vote on Election Day.

Campaign 2016: the first debate – Derrik Trombley, Taylor Dame

Campaign 2016: the first debate

Derrik Trombley

Anchor Staff

 

Taylor Dame

News Editor

 

The next presidential election is coming up fast, and we have hit a key milestone in the campaign: the first debate. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump squared off last Monday night, contesting each other in a challenge to swing voters into their respective camps, but also to motivate their own supporters to get out and vote.

Remarkably, in this time of massive dissatisfaction with the two candidates, this debate was the highest watched television debate in the history of presidential elections. Nielsen’s has said that 84 million people watched the debate on the 13 channels that were broadcasting it. That number does not include those watching it in a group or those who tuned in to C-Span.

Rhode Island College contributed to that total by hosting a great event promoting civic engagement. The RIC Café hosted the American Democracy Project’s Debate Watch that night, offering the politically engaged an opportunity to share the historic event with others. The Debate Café was done in conjunction with NBC10. Reporters Brian Crandall and Bill Rappleye were on the scene interviewing participants for the evening’s news broadcast.

The general public’s assumption of college students nationwide is that, after Bernie Sanders conceded the Democratic Primary to Clinton, they have become disengaged and uninterested. To those who attended the Debate Watch, nothing could be further from the truth. There were, perhaps, nearly 50 engaged young citizens, most of them RIC students, who cheered, booed and hung on every turn of phrase used that night.

Some students from Dr. Valerie Endress’ Political Communication class moderated focus groups that gauged what people thought about the candidate’s performance and the format of the debate. The information gathered by the students will be used in a study that began in 2004.

Homecoming carnival – Louisa D’Ovidio

Homecoming carnival

Louisa D’Ovidio

Editor In Chief

 

The 2016 Homecoming weekend began with Student Community Government Inc’s Carnival, filled with food and fun for alumni, students and staff.

“The event was a huge success and I loved to see all the student organizations come together. There was a great sense of community between everyone and I hope to make this event a tradition!” says Maria Zapasnik, Vice President of SCG Inc, the organizer of the event.

Alongside rock walls and fried dough, a dozen or so student organizations set up booths for carnival games where you could win prizes from various clubs as well as enter into the raffle being drawn by participating in all the games.