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Read the articles below or click here to view the PDF version: FINAL – KINGSMANSFALL2018ISSUE2

Anne Lopes, New Provost, Excited to Help Others

By Allison Rapp, Managing Digital Editor

While many of us returning students are already back into our school routines, there’s a new kid in town and her name is Anne Lopes. She will be serving as Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs for Brooklyn College.

Lopes, a native of New York City, holds a doctorate in political science from Freie Universität in Berlin, an M.A. in political theory from Goddard College, and a B.A. in political science from Ramapo College. She came to Brooklyn College from John Jay, where she worked for nine years, first as dean of undergraduate studies, and then eventually as interim provost. She spent much of her time focusing on expanding the academic programs beyond merely criminal justice. Before her career at John Jay, she worked as associate dean of Empire State College, and as a chair and professor at Metropolitan College of New York. She now brings her extensive experience to Brooklyn College.

“I was looking to be in a robust, liberal arts environment, that also included professional studies and the sciences,” Lopes told The Kingsman. “I felt that Brooklyn College offered such an opportunity to work in such an institution that offered a broader array of academic programs.”

But what exactly does a provost do? Essentially, the provost is responsible for the success of the academic programs as a whole, and oversees almost everything having to do with each individual academic department. He or she approves budgets, oversees the deans, and even plays a role in the hiring of faculty.

“My concerns are really related to the academic quality of the programs that we offer our students,” said Lopes.

Lopes says there are three main things that she and her team work on the most: the education of students, the promotion and funding of faculty research, and the opportunity for the general public to participate, since Brooklyn College is a public college.

“I’m most looking forward to meeting students and faculty and really getting to know people,” she said, when asked what she’s excited about this school year, “…really feeling like I have my finger on the pulse of the campus.”

This article was originally published on 9/12/18, in Fall 2018 Issue 2. 

Malfunctional Sprinkler Floods Brooklyn College Library

By Quiara Vasquez, Editor-In-Chief

A malfunctioning sprinkler system caused water damage in the Brooklyn College library this past Friday.

According to a statement provided to the Kingsman by a library employee, the fire marshall staff was testing the library’s fire alarm system on Sept. 14 when two sprinkler pipes burst: one on the third floor and one on the second, through a ceiling tile over the stacks of music books.

The Kingsman sent a reporter to investigate. As of 4:10 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18, the loose water on the floor had been completely cleaned up, but dozens of music books were still in plain sight, airing out on a table. Damage to the books was minimal; the library credited this to Marianne LaBatto and Slava Polishchuk from Archives, who assisted Prof. Honora Raphael of the Music Library in collecting and preserving the wet books.

The Facilities Department is investigating the cause of the malfunction.

The Fire Marshall staff tested the Fire Alarm system on Friday, when they filled the sprinkler pipes, one burst in the ceiling above the Systems room on the Third Floor and another burst on the Second Floor on the other sides of the building through a ceiling tile over the Music stacks. Shortly after the test was announced students informed Prof. Raphael that there was water on the floor.   BC Engineering crew and Facilities are investigating and the mess has been cleaned up. The damp books have been dried and returned to the shelves. The Library thanks everyone who helped especially Marianne LaBatto and Slava Polishchuk from Archives for responding immediately and working with Prof. Honora Raphael to salvage the wet books.

This article was originally published on 9/12/18, in Fall 2018 Issue 2.

Nixon, Williams, Visit Brooklyn College Ahead of Primary

By Allison Rapp and Ryan Schwach, Managing Digital Editor/Business Manager

On Tuesday, Sept. 4, gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon visited Brooklyn College. She was joined by Jumaane Williams, a candidate for lieutenant governor candidate and a two-time Brooklyn College graduate, to speak to students and faculty about her plans for office in an event hosted by the Young Progressives of America. Nixon, a former actress perhaps best known for her role as “Miranda” on the TV series “Sex and the City,” also has a long record of local political activism starting in the early 2000s, focusing on public education, women’s rights, and LGBTQ issues.

“When the budgets are tight, our kids and our schools are the first thing on the chopping block,” said Nixon, a long time proponent of equitable funding for public schools. Her speech highlighted her platform, which includes fixing the MTA subway system, an issue she blames largely on her opponent, incumbent Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo.

The week before Nixon came to Brooklyn College, she and Cuomo participated in a live televised debate agreeing on many issues including working towards the legalization of recreational marijuana, and fighting President Trump’s immigration policies in New York City and beyond. Although both Democrats, the two differ on many issues and did have a few back-and-forths during the debate, including Ms. Nixon’s bold insistence that Cuomo “stop lying.”

Nixon spent much of her speech on Tuesday challenging the two-term governor.

“I voted for Andrew Cuomo eight years ago,” said Nixon. “I thought he was the Democrat he said he was, but since he took office he has governed like a Republican, and given more power to the Republican Party.” Nixon also criticized Cuomo and his campaign for his acceptance of corporate donations, claiming to have taken none herself.

Prior to the event, Young Progressives of America had asked students and faculty to e-mail questions to the candidates. But after delivering her remarks, Nixon had only seven minutes to take questions from the audience. She ended up fielding only one question, from Maria Perez y Gonzalez, chair of the Puerto Rican & Latino Studies (PRLS) Department.

“We in PRLS feel like Puerto Rico does in many ways, in that we have outsiders determining our future, because we are understaffed, and this trickles down into all areas,” said Perez. “What will you do to support and strengthen CUNY ethnic studies programs?”

Nixon quickly fired off a response, reiterating her campaign’s plan to reinvest in CUNY and SUNY, and stressing the importance of providing for Black and Latinx students.

After delivering her remarks Nixon had to step out to make another campaign engagement, leaving Jumaane Williams to take over, delivering his own speech and answering a few questions.

Williams attended Brooklyn College, and joked about losing the vote for student government president by two percent of the vote as an undergrad. Now, Williams is the representative for the 45th district of New York’s City Council, the district Brooklyn College falls under. Williams supports many of the same causes as Nixon, and agreed that their campaigns were grounded in the needs of citizens.

“I want to be the eyes and ears of the people of New York,” said Williams, in response to a claim by his opponent, incumbent Kathy Hochul, who described the lieutenant governor’s position as “the eyes and ears of the governor.”

Of course, one of the biggest topics of the afternoon was what the candidates plan to do to help CUNY students. Both Nixon and Williams challenged Cuomo’s policies towards SUNY and CUNY. Williams called the Excelsior Scholarship, which awards free tuition to students under a certain income level, a “sham.” He noted that the program only help two to three percent of students, a point The Kingsman previously reported on last year.

The duo unsurprisingly received an endorsement from the event’s host, Young Progressives of America, which was met with applause and thanks from the candidates. But Nixon and Williams have a steep hill to climb: they are currently 30 points behind Cuomo in the most recent polls ahead of the Democratic primary on Sept. 13.

This article was originally published on 9/12/18, in Fall 2018 Issue 2.

Discussion of Puerto Rico One Year After Hurricane Maria

By Quiara Vasquez, Editor-In-Chief

One year ago, Puerto Rico was ravaged by a Class 4 hurricane, but the island has been and still is under siege from corporate interests.

Such were the claims made by Melissa Mark-Viverito and Brooklyn College’s very own Alan A. Aja of the Puerto Rican and Latino Studies Department at an event held last Thursday, Sept. 13 at the Brooklyn Historical Society. Moderated by Andrea Gonzalez-Ramirez, a reporter for Refinery29 and a recent graduate of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, the discussion touched not only on the impact of Hurricane Maria, but on the economic and political factors that have made recovery so difficult, most prominently, colonialism.

“We cannot overlook the fact that Puerto Rico is a colony of the United States,” said Mark-Viverito, former Speaker of the New York City Council and current president of the Power4PuertoRico coalition.

Professor Aja nodded in agreement as she said this. These issues are a perennial topic in his classes, he explained. “You teach a history of violence: colonialism, slavery, neocolonialism, and now the violence of climate change,” Aja said. He reminisced on the first few classes he taught after Maria hit. He and the students that trickled back, many of whom had family back in Puerto Rico, struggled to deal with the trauma of the event.

All three panelists agreed that the media’s coverage of Maria was inadequate.

“Our experiences are not being reported on from our perspective,” said Mark-Viverito. ‘We still have to this day CNN having panels on Maria with not one Latino, let alone a Puerto Rican, on the panel.”

Gonzalez-Ramirez opined the role journalism has played in obfuscating the reality on the ground in Puerto Rico. She talked about her experience doing “parachute reporting,” where reporters would head to San Juan by airplane, do trivial coverage, and then jet back to the United States.

“There were TV reporters reporting from the disaster zone in heels,” Gonzalez-Ramirez said. Not only was this coverage generally shallow, but it also only focused on San Juan, leaving the other 77 cities on the island behind. Poorer areas in Puerto Rico, which needed help the most, received the least media coverage.

Unsurprisingly, President Trump was put on full blast that evening. Just a few hours before the event, Trump tweeted out that “3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico,” a statement that did not go over well with the panelists.

“For all of us who are sane, not sociopathic, there’s a new level of outrage every day,” said Mark-Viverito. “It’s an affront to the lives lost.” Even though Trump has since doubled down on his remarks, Mark-Viverito and Aja encouraged those in attendance not to fall for the “politics of deflection” and instead focus on the real issues facing the island.

“We can’t leave the central government off the hook,” Mark-Viverito continued. “They’re completely corrupt from the inside out. They’re gonna say, ‘we’re gonna contract everything out, privatize public schools, privatize the electric generators…”

“Neoliberalism is the racialized undercurrent of what’s going on,” said Aja. “It’s a movement conservative and liberal alike, designed to benefit a very small few by looting the public sector.” He mentioned the idea of “disaster economics” postulated by writers like Naomi Klein, where after natural disasters, corporate interests swoop in to steer redevelopment in the private sector’s favor, usually at the expense of the people who need help the most.

“Neoliberal policies of contracting and privatization, selling off the island, that aren’t working anywhere, aren’t going to work in Puerto Rico,” said Mark-Viverito.

Professor Aja suggested several alternate strategies that would help the island’s long-term development. Among these solutions were a jobs guarantee similar to the one proposed by Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, and moving away from oil into a power grid fueled by solar and wind energy. Conspicuously absent from this list of solutions was the notion of Puerto Rican statehood. While many progressives such as Bernie Sanders have pushed for statehood both before and after Maria, Aja and Mark-Viverito weren’t on board with the idea.

“The idea that U.S. statehood – the ultimate absorption by a colonial power – represents decolonialization for Puerto Rico makes no sense,” Aja objected.

“Look at New Orleans after Katrina,” Mark-Viverito agreed. “Look at Flint, Michigan. Statehood is not a magic wand.”

The discussion then opened up to the audience, where a question about education caught Professor Aja’s attention. His department has been very vocal about what it views as mistreatment by CUNY.

“If you look at the numbers, it looks like we’re very tiny,” Aja told The Kingsman. “But if you consider all those bilingual ed students, it makes us larger than many departments that have more full time faculty. We feel that is a racialized response. We feel like it’s invisibilizing us. The same forces of austerity that are causing displacement in Puerto Rico are the same forces that are causing displacement across public education.”

Brooklyn College’s Puerto Rican and Latino Studies Department has seen severe budget cuts since 2013. According to a letter addressed to President Anderson and Provost Lopes and signed by dozens of professors, the PRLS department has been down 40% in the past three years, and now has only three full time staff members. While the PRLS Department has been vocal about the need for a hiring line, the administration has not responded to their claims with meaningful action.

“We follow their requests, many times much to our chagrin, but we’re not rewarded for it,” said Aja.

“It’s as if they see numbers and they don’t see human beings.”

This article was originally published on 9/12/18, in Fall 2018 Issue 2.

Bloomberg L.P. Representatives Search for Potential Interns

By Noah Daly, Staff Writer

During their meet and greet event last Thursday, Sept. 13, Bloomberg L.P. reps met with potential candidates on the fifth floor of the Student Center. What was advertised as a “Picnic in a Box” modeled after their annual company picnic turned out to be several huddles of students in freshly pressed suits and shined shoes, vying for a word with a handful of ambassadors and staff from the nine billion dollar company. “Due to a chance of bad weather,” the official Bloomberg pop-up tent, cornhole boards, and small mounds of blue and pink bean bags were relegated to a deserted corner of the room. Stacks of pizza pies were virtually untouched.

As any business student can tell you, working at Bloomberg is kind of a big deal. With over a thousand full-time employees in New York alone, covering everything from data analytics and stock market speculation to television, Bloomberg L.P. headhunts from campuses across the state. However, they take special notice of students coming from the metropolitan area. And these students know it.

In between having resumes literally shoved at her by ravenous future interns, I caught up with senior campus recruiter Jamilla Smith to ask her what Bloomberg is looking for in an ideal candidate. we turned our sights to one of the most enticing places to work for a college student.

Noah Daly: “What types of students are you looking to connect with today?”

Jamilla Smith: “Well, we appreciate interest from any student looking to get involved in the exciting and fast-paced environment of technology. Ideally, we are looking to recruit seniors and juniors who are ready for a part-time internship or are interested in full-time employment opportunities upon graduation.”

ND: “Are there specific areas of study Bloomberg is most interested in tapping into?”

JS: “Definitely! We are very excited about our new financial products and software engineer internships coming in the summer of 2019, so anyone involved with computer sciences, accounting, or mathematics are strongly encouraged to apply. But we also have Bloomberg Radio, TV, Law, and Opinion (editorials) looking for interns over the coming year, so we are really just looking for any students who are enthusiastic and ready to apply their skills in the real world.”

ND: If someone is looking to get a leg up on the competition, what might you recommend they do to get started?

JS: “Anyone looking into our Market Data or Financial Products programs would need to complete our Bloomberg Market Concepts Online course. It’s an eight hour course that teaches you stock market basics and what data we collect and use with our Bloomberg Terminal. It’s $149 for students, and you can do it at your own pace. But I’d encourage anyone looking to join us at Bloomberg to take this course. You get a certification at the end that you can put on any resume.”

ND: “Why do you offer a meet and greet here at Brooklyn College? Wouldn’t your best recruitment come from NYU Stern or Columbia?”

JS: “While it’s true that we recruit several interns from those schools, we are looking for capable people no matter where they are from. Brooklyn is a town full of innovation and young people looking to make an impact. Bloomberg is a great place to start their careers off with an incredible experience at one of America’s top companies.”

Like any large corporation, Bloomberg offers students the opportunity to develop skills in a wide variety of disciplines. And as any ambitious undergrad can tell you, internships at companies like this are extremely competitive. With the Brooklyn College Career Fair just around the corner, upperclassmen across campus are commencing the search for their first foray into the professional world. As we get into the fall, opportunities like this will begin to crop up all over campus. Keep an ironed shirt on retainer and a weather eye open for such meet and greet events; it might just land you your next job!

This article was originally published on 9/12/18, in Fall 2018 Issue 2.

Cultures From All Over Gather at Diversity Fair

By Samantha Castro, Layout Editor

This past Thursday, Sept. 13, students gathered at SUBO where they ate different kinds of food, watched different kinds of dances, and spoke to different cultures at the Brooklyn College’s annual Diversity Fair.

“I’m super happy that we have a culture fair in the first place,” said Sarali Cohen, a student attendee of the fair. “Seeing all the different dances and all the different cultures is nice and fun!”

All different ethnic clubs, from the NAACP to the Puerto Rican Alliance, came to the fair to represent their cultures. The fair didn’t just allow them to receive more members or to outreach more. It gave them the chance to educate and expose students to their culture.

“The culture fair lets other people fall in love with our culture,” explained Nicole Rojas, a member of Sigma Iota Alpha. Sigma Iota Alpha is the only Latina sorority on campus. Rojas and Gabby Gonzalez, another member of the sorority, performed a traditional Latin dance with big and colorful dresses.

Sigma Iota Alpha weren’t the only ones showing off their traditional dance at the festival. The Caribbean Student Union presented their tradition of Carnival, an event where everyone dances to soca music in the streets as they wear brightly coloured costumes filled with feathers. CSU wanted to give students an authentic experience of the Caribbean culture.

“We’re not just Labor Day,” said Mr. Turn Up, part of Karma Carnival, a company that hosts Carnival celebrations in New York City which collaborated with Caribbean Student Union. “Caribbean culture is expressing freedom and celebrating all the hard work we went through.”

What made this diversity fair different from previous ones was the presence of not just ethnic clubs, but also culturally relevant clubs. For the first time, WBCR Brooklyn College Radio had a table at the fair. Danielle Kogan, News Director of WBCR, explained that they represent the sound of the student body and that they’re the “soundboard of campus.” Thus, she expressed her privilege of being part of a festival with so much cultural fusion.

Selethel Plotkin, another student attendee, summarized the fair when she stated, “There’s good food, good dances, good music. What more can you ask for?”

This article was originally published on 9/12/18, in Fall 2018 Issue 2.

Free College Night at the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum

By Rosy Alvarez, Staff Writer

On Friday Sept. 16th the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum held a free college night for college students. The only requirement was that students bring their ID cards. The cool overcast day was perfect for a trip to the West Side waterfront. As the night progressed, the ex-battleship was filled to the brim with the young faces of students eager to learn about naval history.

The employees served water and snacks to all of the students and hosted a wealth of interactive activities. People were able to sit in a model helicopter, a 1940’s fighter plane and admire the missiles that hung from the ceiling. The exhibit featured a model of the captain’s cabin of a ship that had a dated steering wheel, gear shift and talking tubes (tubes that connected throughout the ship to help facilitate communication). There was a special booth that also showed us Morse Code. The booth featured a key that explained the length of sound needed for every letter A-Z and numbers from one through ten. There was a big red button meant for students to press in order to try the code out for themselves. Connected to the button was a speaker that replicated the sound made when people communicated with Morse Code. The hosts of the exhibit also offered an observatory presentation, educational talks followed by trivia questions.

The exhibit also featured a model of a naval officer’s quarters. The inside was sprawled with maps, mock furniture and vintage photographs. The most fascinating part of this room were the many maps created by sailors titled “Mediterranean Cruise 1959.” Historians say these maps detailed the more exciting places around the Mediterranean the seamen visited during their tours. Although sailors often suffered from homesickness, the ship tried to provide ways to lift their spirits. There were games, movies and music on board the ship but that was never enough to alleviate the pain of being away from family and friends.
There were sections of the exhibit that detailed some of the skill-building tests that servicemen were assigned while on duty. On a well-lit display were small square packets, a survival knife and short rope and thread that were given to every serviceman who went through one of the many rigorous survival tests offered by the military. The men were taken to the wilderness and left to fend for themselves with those few materials. They were also tasked with hunting for their food. One soldier describes two weeks as “being so hungry, we killed a snake and ate it. It didn’t taste good but after a while you realize you’ll eat anything if you’re hungry enough.”

Lastly, there was a wall full of vintage photographs of young women. They were mementos kept by the men to remember their wives and loved ones. I figured that was the perfect way to end the evening and my only disappointment was that we were not allowed to go onto the top deck and watch the sun set across the river.

This article was originally published on 9/12/18, in Fall 2018 Issue 2.

Womens Volleyball on a Winning Streak

By Jasmine Peralta, Sports Editor

The Brooklyn College women’s volleyball team are continuing to celebrate their success after winning Tuesday night’s game 3-0 (25-16, 25-20, 25-17) versus St. Joseph’s College.

The game started off with Bulldogs fierce lineup with setter, Ezri Shor, outside hitter, Michaela Appel, outside hitter/ middle blocker, Megan Ortiz-Mengedoht, setter, Kate Meltsin, outside hitter (left), Yana Shaposhnikova.

Tuesday night’s game between both Brooklyn teams, was based off of strong defense from the very beginning, which led up to Brooklyn College’s victory during all three periods, giving St. Joseph’s a run for their money.

Meltsin started off the game with a strong serve, striking the ball straight towards Shaposhnikova who then killed the ball and scored the first point for the Bulldogs. Two attack errors made by St. Joseph’s middle hitter, Briana Marrazo, would then help BC get their second and third point, leaving the Bulldogs up 3-0 during the first two minutes of the game. Both Meltsin and Shaposhnikova ended the first period with five kills each.

Outside hitter, Eugenia Ossadtchaia subbed in during the first period and served an amazing performance into the second period, helping the Bulldogs achieve a 7-1 start during the second lead. St. Joseph’s regained force and came back almost tying the game to 16-15, but fell short five points when Brooklyn came in, ending the second match 25-20.

Shor, Meltsin, Appel, Ortiz-Mengedoht, and Ossadtchaia had the audience going wild with their great plays, assisting and maintaining the ball in play throughout all of the second period of the game. Shor especially had a few remarkable plays during the third period, remaining cool, calm and collected while executing beautiful plays, adding four kills and eleven assists throughout Tuesday’s game.

While the Bulldogs were on a roll, things did seem a bit questionable during the third period when St. Joseph’s took the lead, 3-2. The Bulldogs let up, coming back on top with a service ace hit by Meltsin, helping Brooklyn advantage 16-9. Appel would then provide the final advantages for Brooklyn, scoring 24-17 after an attack error by St. Joseph’s setter Kayla Ostermann, and a kill right after by Lucy Yazikova ended the game 25-17.

The Bulldogs, who are now 7-1 this season, 2-1 in CUNYAC standings, are continuing to celebrate their winning streak after defeating both the College of Staten Island and The College of Old Westbury in an intense tri-match game this past weekend.

It’s been an especially great week for both Appel and Shor after being named the conference’s Women’s Volleyball Player of the Week and Rookie of the Week by the City University of New York Athletic Conference (CUNYAC) on Monday for their remarkable teamwork, helping the Bulldogs obtain an undefeated 3-0 record against this past week.

According to the CUNYAC website, “Appel helped Brooklyn to a perfect 3-0 week, registering 35 kills in the three matches. She had back-to-back double-doubles in a tri-match against Staten Island (16 kills, 10 digs) and Old Westbury (14 kills, 11 digs) on Saturday.”

Tuesday’s game ended with the Bulldogs leading off with 27 kills, 26 assists, 10 aces, and 43 points against St. Joseph’s which ended with, 18 kills, 17 assists, 3 aces, and 24 points. On Thursday, September 20th you can catch the Bulldogs at home once again, this time facing Lehman College.

This article was originally published on 9/12/18, in Fall 2018 Issue 2.