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Read the articles below or click here to view the PDF:  FINAL – KINGSMANSFALL2018ISSUE7


Chain of Pipe Bombs Hit NYC

By Allison Rapp, Managing Digital Editor

A former-New Yorker has been arrested in relation to packages containing what appeared to be bomb-like devices sent to prominent opposers of President Trump, with new details still emerging.

Though no official conviction has been made, A Florida man, and former New Yorker, by the name of Cesar Sayoc Jr. has been accused of mailing over a dozen packages to a variety of people and places across the country. Some of those individuals included the Obamas, the Clintons, CNN, Joe Biden, Maxine Waters, and Robert De Niro. Law enforcement are now saying that the suspect had a list of over 100 people he intended to target, including a whole host of other left-leaning organizations, such as The New York Times. When Sayoc’s van was confiscated in Florida, it was discovered to be covered in pro-Trump and conservative stickers. Prior to being arrested, he frequently posted photos of himself at Trump rallies, and other pro-Trump content on social media pages.

NYC mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at a news conference to assure New Yorkers that safety was the number one priority.

“One of the things we emphasize in a moment like this, you’re going to see a lot of police presence,” de Blasio said. “We’re going to make sure there’s an expanded presence as long as needed to show very vividly that New York City takes these [things] seriously.”

Though the bomb contraptions themselves were homemade and not necessarily ready to be set off, the materials were real and were taken as a serious threat by police. However, this led many pro-Trump individuals to argue the bombs were a hoax, set up by the left to take away momentum from the Republican party. With the midterm elections just about a week away, this is a critical moment for both political parties. Trump commented on the mailings, saying that the criminal would be punished.

“We will prosecute them, him, her, whoever it may be, to the fullest extent of the law,” Trump said. “We must never allow political violence to take root in America and I’m committed to doing everything in my power as president to stop it and stop it now.”

This article was originally published on 10/31/18 in Fall 2018 Issue 7.


BC and Flatbush Communities Gather to Remember Victims of Synagogue Shooting

By Ryan Schwach, Managing News Editor

On Tuesday, Oct. 30, the Tanger Hillel in conjunction with other Jewish organizations on campus held a vigil for the people killed in the anti-semitic attack on congregants at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill, Pennsylvania last week.

Nearly 100 people from the Brooklyn College and Flatbush communities, both Jewish and otherwise, crowded into an auditorium on the second floor of the Hillel during common hours to remember the 11 killed when a gunman opened fire during Shabbat services.

Among those in attendance was BC President Michelle Anderson.

“Our hearts open for your pain,” she said. She also stressed the importance of BC’s diverse community as a support for everyone, a sentiment echoed by Hillel Executive Director Nadya Drukker.

“Brooklyn College is coming together in such a painful and difficult time,” said Drukker.

Among the speakers was David Brodsky, head of the Department of Judaic Studies, who gave an emotional speech about the “hard-earned lessons of the Jewish community” throughout history. Brodsky, who used to live in Squirrel Hill, not far from the Tree of Life Synagogue, read a letter from a friend who is the president of a nearby synagogue in Pennsylvania, who discussed a community event where a local Islamic center raised several thousand dollars and offered to stand outside synagogues and to help protect members of the Jewish community.

“May we all learn from our Jewish and Muslim brethren in Pittsburgh,” said Brodsky. “And may we follow their example in rising to the occasion to protect and look out for each other in these difficult times.”

One candle was lit for each victim. Sermons and prayers were given by local Rabbi Moshe Raichik and Hillel Rabbi Reuven Boshnack. The attendance was led in a signing of “Hineh Ma Tov”, an old Hebrew hymn, which in English reads:”Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity.”

Professor Brodsky ended with a quote from George Washington to the oldest synagogue in the United States, which stands as a promise nearly 200 years later:

“The government of the United States gives to bigotry no sanction; and to persecution no assistance.”

This article was originally published on 10/31/18 in Fall 2018 Issue 7.


At #MeToo Speakout, Anderson Silent

By Quiara Vasquez, Editor-In-Chief

Brooklyn College students had plenty to say at a campus “speakout” – but faced with their concerns, President Michelle Anderson remained silent.

On Thursday, Oct. 25, Brooklyn College held a “#MeToo Speakout” during common hours in the Student Center’s Gold Room, as part of the college’s “We Stand Against Hate” initiative. The event was co-hosted by Anderson, Provost Anne Lopes, and Fay Yanofsky, the head of School of General Studies (SGS) Student Government.

The college’s Facebook page described the event as a space where “students, staff, and faculty will share their experiences of sexual violence and harassment in the spirit of the #MeToo movement.”

But the inciting incident for the speakout was an issue much closer to home. President Anderson first announced the event on Oct. 4, after attending a student protest condemning the controversial blog post where BC business professor Mitchell Langbert suggested that sexual assault was a male rite of passage. While Anderson’s official statement only referred to Langbert as “a faculty member,” she explicitly connected the event to the larger student outcry about Langbert’s conduct and called the event an opportunity to “continue the discussion.”

Despite the context for its creation, neither Anderson nor Lopes referred to Langbert by name during the speakout.

Lopes began the event by establishing a set of “ground rules.” Two open mics were present at the front of the room; speakers were encouraged to come up to the microphone when it was available, to respect other speakers by remaining silent during their time at the microphone, and to speak for up to two minutes. She also reminded those in attendance that the concerne aired during this event were confidential; in the process, however, she freed the college from  responsibility to investigate charges brought during the speakout.

“In order to preserve the ability of people to speak freely at these kinds of events,” said Lopes, “If an individual discloses information about misconduct, this event is like a ‘Take Back the Night’ event, and we are under no obligation to start an investigation based on that information.”

Her statement was meant to alleviate student concerns, but they had the opposite effect on an audience of students who have been pressuring the college to take a stronger stance on Langbert. Several students stepped up to the microphone to express their discontent not only with the college’s inaction, but with the format of the event itself.

“I don’t think that this is really a supportive environment,” said Corrinne Greene, a highly vocal student activist with Young Progressives of America (YPA) who was instrumental in the Langbert protest. “I feel really uncomfortable, a lot of other people are feeling really uncomfortable around this. I don’t really think that this is a really empowering setting. I think what’s empowering is when students say what they want and are vocal about what they want and list demands, and when people, specifically women in power, listen to those, and respond, and not just sit here.”

Greene thanked Anderson for her swift condemnation of Langbert’s words, which was one of the protesters’ demands, but she reiterated other demands protesters made that have gone unanswered by administration, including mandatory in-person sexual harassment training for faculty and an investigation into Langbert’s behavior.

Sami Binder, an employee at the on-campus LGBTQ Resource Center, went to the mic to take the college to task on failing to meet one such demand.

“We were advised by people in Business Management that people who are in Langbert’s class currently are allowed to speak to the department and switch to a different section of the class if they no longer feel safe in his class,” Binder said. “However, we know that some students have tried to do this and were given issues and were told they couldn’t do that because it was past the drop period and the switch period, even though this was the exception for it. I think it’s important that the business department make his students aware that this is an option for them, because they’re not aware of it.”

Another hot-button issue that came up during the speakout was a different controversial social media post, this one a Facebook post from computer science professor Rohit Parikh. In the post, Parikh says, “I do believe that everyone who is illegally here should be deported.” His statement inspired a similar protest, carried out by YPA and several Hispanic identity groups. But while Anderson and Lopes were present at the Langbert rally, neither attended the protest for Parikh; Anderson only commented on the situation when protesters marched into Boylan Hall and stood outside her office.

Several students expressed their anger at the disparate response from BC administration to the two protests, which they see as indicative of a larger disregard towards perceived threats towards Latinx students on campus and towards the Puerto Rican and Latino Studies department.

“We’re afraid,” said Carlos Calzadilla Palacio, president of YPA. “It is disturbing, the silence that we’re hearing from Brooklyn College after the Latinx community has been attacked. When it came to Mitchell Langbert, immediately the school reached out […] You publicly condemned… you put out a statement today publicly about support for trans and nonbinary students, which we honor and support.” “But there’s a lot of also undocumented and Latinx nonbinary and trans students who don’t feel heard. Why not the statement for our community?”

Calzadilla choked out his words as he unsuccessfully held back tears.

“I understand that you stand with undocumented students because you’ve said it in the past,” he continued. “But when it’s politically expedient it’s very easy to come out. Now in a moment when Brooklyn College is in question, now is when we need you to make a stand.”

“I think it’s very clear that the student body on this campus is going through a lot right now,” said Isaiah Rivera of the Puerto Rican Alliance (PRA). “We’re dealing with sexist professors, we’re dealing with racist professors. The issues are intersectional, and we need to address these. I’m really concerned with hearing your voices right now, in hearing what your concrete solutions are for the issues that are being presented to you.”

“I do not want to hear people reliving their trauma,” Rivera continued. “I want solutions. It’s infuriating to me that we’re having this discussion and yet you guys are just sitting there.”

He then read a joint statement from various on-campus groups, denouncing Parikh’s statements and reiterating their demands for the administration: that Anderson issue a public and personal statement denouncing “Rohit Parikh’s xenophobic and racist comments against the Latinx community;” that the college begin an investigation into Parikh’s conduct; that students enrolled in Parikh’s classes be allowed to drop and switch sections of his course without financial penalty; that the comp sci depart hire more racial minorities and women; that the college create a center for undocumented students and DACA recipients modeled after the Women’s Center and LGBTQ Resource Center; that all faculty be required to take anti-bias training; and most prominently, that the Puerto Rican and Latino Studies department be given five full-time tenure-track professors.

Rivera received a round of applause from the audience. Anderson and Lopes did not respond to his demands. Nor did they respond to Calzadilla’s emotionally charged speech; Anderson spoke for the first time in half an hour not to address their concerns, but to draw the speakout to a close.

“I feel like I had a different expectation about what this might look like,” Anderson began.

“Stop smiling,” an audience member interrupted.

“This has been hugely helpful to us,” she continued. “In some ways it’s been a listening opportunity for us to hear from you, and you’ve given us a lot to think about and to act on.”

Lopes agreed with Anderson, and encouraged students looking for support to talk to her one-on-one afterwards. She also mentioned an upcoming “teach-in” scheduled for 4 p.m. on Nov. 12.

From the administration’s perspective, the event may have been a learning opportunity, but from the students’ perspective, however, the event was a bust. Several students expressed their discontent with Anderson’s performance after the event. But perhaps the most prominent criticism came during the event from Eytan Galanter, president of CLAS student government.

“It becomes very difficult for me to openly tell students that come to our office to not be afraid to speak, when every time they do speak and show their bravery by speaking, they’re met with zero results,” Galanter said. “I understand the point of this was a forum, I understand the point of this was to speak out. But at some point it becomes difficult for these people to constantly show their bravery and share what happened to them and not get tangible results.”

[EDITOR’S NOTE: During the speakout, several students and faculty gave highly personal accounts of sexual abuse suffered during their time at Brooklyn College. Due to the highly sensitive nature of their complaints, we have chosen to respect their privacy and anonymity by not quoting those students in a journal of public record. However, I would encourage any students who have experienced sexual abuse on campus and are looking for justice to write to The Kingsman; as editor-in-chief, I promise we will investigate these claims to the best of our ability while maintaining your confidentiality.]

This article was originally published on 10/31/18 in Fall 2018 Issue 7.


Professors at John Jay Accused of Sexual Assault

By Jasmine Peralta, Sports Editor

Four professors at John Jay College have been accused of sexual assault allegations amongst accusations of multiple criminal charges.

Ric Curtis, a professor, and ringleader of the supposed sex ring, Anthony Marcus, another professor, Leonardo Dominguez, an adjunct professor and Barry Spunt an associate professor were all allegedly running “the Swamp.” An underground ring where they all allegedly used drugs, sold drugs, and pimped out students who were sexually preyed on.

This news broke in early September after sexual assault complaints were filed by two John Jay graduates, Naomi Harber, 24 and Claudia Cojocaru, 39 after both decided to go public with the accusations on the professors.

Haber, who graduated in January, accused Marcus of violently raping her when she was 21 during a weekend they attended a conference in Washington, D.C. in 2015.

“He put his hands around my throat, choked me with both hands and forced himself inside me without warning,” she wrote in a document outlining her allegations that she gave to investigators hired by the public college. “The only thing I could do was to go numb and detach myself from my body.” Cojocaru, a graduate now an adjunct professor teaching a sex and culture course at John Jay filed complaints with the school’s Title IX office back in May.

Curtis who Haber alleged is the “ringleader,” of “the Swamp” on the seventh floor of the annex building on 54th street. The first time Haber had met Curtis was in 2014 when he played, “a YouTube video of a woman demonstrating how to put a condom on a penis, and one of himself bouncing bare-chested on an exercise ball.” Curtis’ lawyer contended the condom video was part of an educational program,” according to The Post. Haber also claims that Curtis had also encouraged her to have sex with associates.

Marcus had been introduced to Haber through Curtis after he invited her to a party in the sociology department in 2014. In complaints Haber made, she states that Marcus allegedly told her, “You are so sexy . . . I am just so attracted to you” and cornered her, grabbed her face and tried to kiss her in front of his co-workers.

According to The Post, former professor Mike Rowan attended the party and claims to have witnessed Marcus.

“Anthony Marcus drunk and lunging toward Naomi saying he wanted to fuck her . . . he told me,” Rowan said.

In the complaint that Haber filed it also states that Dominguez, “tried to have sex with her and “continuously” harassed her even though I asked him to stop on many occasions. We’d be sitting on Ric’s couch, and [Dominguez] would try and put his hands on my legs and on my butt,” she wrote. “He would also stick his hands down my pants to see what underwear I was wearing and to feel my ‘warm vagina.'”

In a comment made to The Post, “Spunt’s lawyer, Carmen Jack Giordano said his client, “plan on cooperating with their investigation, and he will be vindicated at the conclusion based on the evidence that I’ve seen of the falsity of the allegations made against him.”

When reached out to Curtis, Marcus, and Dominguez to clear up the allegations they did not respond to comment.

Students at the college are still finding it hard to grasp with the fact that this was happening on their campus.

“We’re a school that focuses on criminal justice and fight for justice and for things like this to happen in our school is really surprising,” said senior Mellany Heras, “the accusations are really serious and this was a very serious crime and for something like that to go down makes me question how these professors got hired in the first place.”

“I told myself that I was going to go through this school year with no expectations. But forcible sex, sexual assault, selling drugs, and a prostitution ring would be the last thing on my mind coming to John Jay as a freshman,” said Hanief Dykes, “I’m interested to see where this case goes because it presents a vexing thought. If the professors accused of the crime are acquitted, would that be considered criminal justice? It’s ironic either which way,” My initial reaction was to see the reactions of others and doing so, I noticed that it hasn’t staggered anything on the day to day of John Jay. Money often makes people act in malicious and devious ways. They probably thought they were hiding in plain sight which makes you question security.”

Currently, Curtis, Marcus, Dominguez, and Spunt are on administrative paid leave. In the midst of #MeToo movement, the allegations these professors face has put the universities credibility into question. The college is now under investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office and the state inspector general.

In a recent memo sent out to by the associate of the provost, Allison Pease. She recommends “students to step outside for a moment if they need to take a break,” and to “do your best to create a space where all students feel acknowledged and supported. Before facilitating a conversation about sexual misconduct with students, spend some time reflecting on your own feelings and opinions.”

This article was originally published on 10/31/18 in Fall 2018 Issue 7.


New Opportunities for Film and TVRA Students

By Samantha Castro, Layout Editor

Both film and television/radio students have a chance to collaborate, thanks to a new student club.

New York Film and Television Student Alliance (NYFTSA) is a state-wide organization partnered with the New York Governor’s Office of Motion Picture and Film. The organization helps students transition from college to the film and television industry. They have multiple chapters, including ones at New York University, Fordham University, and now, Brooklyn College.

“I can’t tell you how many times I have panic attacks and freak out because I have no idea what to do when I get out of college with a screenwriting degree,” stated PR Director of NYFTSA, Aleeza DeAlto.

According to DeAlto, the organization offers students different internships and different workshops. It also exposes them to different film festivals that they can send their work to. Overall, NYFTSA helps students with the practicality rather than the craft, which is what they learn in school.

“Now, it’s like, if you don’t know anyone, you’re not going to make it,” said Sultan Ali, the president of NYFTSA. “Your skills are beautiful but they can’t get you that far, sadly. I wanna make sure everyone here, who’s serious about their career in both TV and film, have something to fall back on.”

Ali emphasizes that the events definitely test members’ skills. For instance, a recent pitch workshop focused on practicing pitches in front of people. They broke down how to pitch, timing it, the main details of the story itself, and the punchline. He hopes that through these workshops, members will take what they learn and apply it to the opportunities the club can also offer through its connections with the New York Governor’s Office of Motion Picture and Film.

Before the chapter formed in Brooklyn College, Ali took a year off from college and interned at the New York Governor’s Office of Motion Picture and Film. He heard from the internship about NYFTSA when it first started in 2014 and was interested in it. After a year, he was at a pitch event and ran into the organizers of NYFTSA. He mentioned Brooklyn College to them, and it started rolling from there.

“The moment I started talking about this thing [NYFTSA], everyone jumped on,” said Ali. “People just loved the idea and thought it was different from anything else at school.”

Another difference that DeAlto points out is that this club includes both the film department and the television/radio department. She explains that there’s too much of a separation between the two departments because of the distance between the film department in the West End Building and the TV/radio department in Whitehead Hall.

“There are people who go through this entire [film] department for all four years and never meet anybody who’s TV and radio,” said DeAlto. “It’s ridiculous because the two can help each other out so much.”

Ali and DeAlto hope to see the club develop into something much bigger within the nest year. They hope to have more members, an actual budget, an office space, and ability to host bigger events.

“We want to have good serious industry improving talks and workshops that better people,” stated DeAlto. “But, we also wanna be like ‘hey this is still college’ at the end of the day. We’re just trying to help you put you in the best environment possible to make as many connections as possible.”

Their next event is their annual summit that involves guest speakers from the industry. It takes place on Nov. 9 at the Student Center Penthouse. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased through a link on their Instagram page, @nyftsa_bc.

This article was originally published on 10/31/18 in Fall 2018 Issue 7.


OP-ED: The Massing Horrors

By Noah Daly, Staff Writer

Over the weekend, yet another crazed gunman shook the country to its core. Just before 10:00 a.m. Saturday morning, Robert D. Bowers, 46, laid waste to the Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh. While some 75 people congregated to reflect on their lives and join hands with their fellow man, another man took a total of four guns (a rifle and three pistols) and unleashed them on a congregation of old folks. Before he surrendered to police, Bowers, fortified the office of this house of worship and wounded four police officers. With 11 confirmed dead, Bowers has made history as the most successful Anti-Semitic terrorist in U.S. history. That fact in of itself would make this shooting a historic tragedy to be remembered widely for decades to come. But unfortunately, that is no longer the world we live in. As the headlines of recent memory bare a striking resemblance to this story, we must admit to our own shortcomings.

When it comes to the news, human beings can scarcely remember anything. Our brains are hit with roughly 40,000 signals every second. Of this, we retain about 40. We just don’t retain everything. And, even when something is important to make it to our long term memory, the information retained is general. When we recall 2016,17, and 18 in 2030, we will not pick out every school shooting. Though we agree on the horror and unforgivable sin of these acts on the whole we will always remember the ones that affected us personally the most. Someone in Parkland will remember this time very differently than someone in Charleston, or New York. And because the air is now so saturated by tragedy, it feels as though all we can do is express our grief, contemplate, and then feel its grotesque weight on our minds and bodies.

At 12:37 Eastern Standard Time, the President met with reporters at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland to respond to several questions(CNN). In character, he longingly pondered a world where that Synagogue in a lush, residential community had kept armed personnel on premises. The leader of this country implied that a gun in a church would have kept the peace more effectively. Just like the settlers used to in the Wild West.

Though this incredulous hindsight is no surprise coming from Mr. Trump–a man whom the NRA gave an “A” rating–it does little to broach the issue this country is facing. Violence in the United States is at record smashing levels. In the past three years three different houses of worship have been the sites of devastating mass-shootings. Since the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012, more than 1,600 mass shootings (Gun Violence Archive) have occurred.

Simply put, things are getting worse. There are more attacks on free worship, free speech, and the legitimacy of so many of the hard working people who’ve helped make communities like this one.

I never went to Temple. I did not make a study of the Torah. I never had a Bar mitzvah that would allow me to fully represent the Jewish community. But I am a part of another community here in Flatbush, and injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. As this heavy tide of violence besets the American people, it is now more than ever that we, the educated youth of this country, must speak on our own behalf. This new system runs on a fuel of consolidated hate, violence, and fear, and it must be stopped in its tracks. If we use any of the weapons at our disposal, let them be our organization and our votes. With the most pivotal election of our time just days away, there is a chance for swift justice. For now, we are all able to impact this change.

This article was originally published on 10/31/18 in Fall 2018 Issue 7.


Red Sox Mock Yankees After Winning World Series

By Jasmine Peralta, Sports Editor

The Red Sox win their fourth World Series in 15 years and celebrate by mocking their archrivals, the New York Yankees.

On Sunday night the Red Sox defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers, 5-1 in Game 5 and wasted no time to blast, Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” inside their clubhouse as they sprayed champagne on each other in celebration of their victory.

It isn’t the first time these rivals mock each other this postseason. During Game 2 of the ALDS series, right fielder Aaron Judge blasted the Sinatra song in Fenway Park after the Yankees won the Red Sox, 6-2.

Former Yankee, Alex Rodriguez also took it to Instagram to congratulate the Red Sox’s.

“Amazing job by the Red Sox arguably one of the best teams we’ve seen over the last ten years and it pains me to say this because I do bleed pinstripes. The average age of this team 27, we may be seeing the start of a new dynasty.”

Red Sox, left fielder Steve Pearce shined last night hitting two homers, first off Clayton Kershaw during the first inning and the second off Pedro Baez in the 8th, leading Boston to ultimately defeat Los Angeles.

“You never know where the game will take you,” said Pearce. “And I’ve gone through a lot in my life or in my career to be here, and I couldn’t be more thankful.”

Pearce was named for MVP and now joins Babe Ruth and Ted Kluszewski as the only players 35 or older with multiple-home runs in a World Series.

“This has been the funniest year of my life,” said Pearce. Since his big win, he has been awarded a $50,000 bonus and although he hasn’t signed a contract for next season, he hopes to continue playing in Boston.

“We’re world champions. To be able to be open up next season at Fenway Park with the ring ceremony and everything that goes along with it and to drop the banner for the 2018 world champions, I would love that,” he said.

This article was originally published on 10/31/18 in Fall 2018 Issue 7.

 

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