issue 8

Read the articles below or click here to view the PDF version: FINAL – KINGSMANSFALL2018ISSUE8

Student Shot Near Brooklyn College

By Allison Rapp, Managing Digital Editor

On Halloween, last Wednesday, a 14 year old male was shot near the corner of Flatbush Avenue and Nostrand Avenue, outside the entrance to a Dallas BBQ.

The incident occurred around 4:30 p.m. and the youth was taken to Maimonides Hospital, where he is expected to make a full recovery from his injuries.

Though NYPD officials arrived on scene within minutes and closed off the area to the public, the attackers were nowhere to be found. The three individuals responsible for the crime reportedly fled in the direction of Brooklyn College.

On Friday, a 15 year old male was arrested in relation to the crime, and is currently being held without bail according to law enforcement. He is facing charges of attempted murder, gun possession, and reckless endangerment. Police have said that the suspect has been arrested before, and is known to carry a gun.

At the time of printing, no comment or statement has been released by Brooklyn College or its public safety department.

This article was originally published on 11/7/18 in Fall 2018 Issue 8. 

New Performing Arts Center Officially Opens Its Doors

By Ryan Schwach, Managing News Editor

After several years of construction and supposed completion dates, the all new Leonard and Claire Tow Center for the Performing Arts officially opened its doors with a ribbon cutting ceremony earlier this month.

The ceremony recognized the Tows themselves, two BC alums who donated ten million dollars for the building’s construction. The building is supposed to be state-of-the-art, with a 225-seat theater as its centerpiece.

The building takes the place of the ailing Whitman Hall, as well provides new rehearsal space for BC’s music students, who have made due with poorly furnished rooms in Roosevelt, when the completion date for the Tow Center was repeatedly delayed, a story the Kingsman reported on last fall.

“The new Leonard and Claire Tow Center for the Performing Arts is a magnificent addition to our beautiful campus” said President Anderson at the event.

This article was originally published on 11/7/18 in Fall 2018 Issue 8. 

BC Young Progressives’ POV of Midterm Elections

By Ryan Schwach, Managing News Editor

Carlos Calzadilla is the president and founder of the Young Progressives of America, which has chapters at a handful of universities.

What do you think is so pivotal about this years midterms?  

This year’s midterm is going to be the most important midterm election of our lifetimes, and many people say it and I say it all the time and it really is true, especially considering what happened in 2016. I think that our country is in a crisis, and our world is in a crisis, we are seeing fascist and far right movements taking power in many countries and in our own government we are seeing an administration that has taken significant steps to attack minorities or attack values that we hold dear, such as equality, protection, and dignity of all groups of people… We believe that these times are the ones where we need to step up as citizens because a democracy is very fragile. It is not a spectator sport.

Which race do you believe is most important to the future?

There are many important elections, one that we are supporting and one I have been personally campaigning for is Christine Pellegrino, that’s in Long Island and is a very important assembly seat. A seat being held by Pellegrino, a progressive democrat but is in a very conservative area…We are also looking at races for congress, if you look at Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, she seems to have a path forward, we endorsed her in the primary, and that has made waves across this country, this really changed the way young people see politics, it is possible to defeat these incumbents, it is possible to have politics where we focus on the people…and where we focus on grassroots organizing and rejecting corporate money and that a  strong motivated group if people and create huge amounts of change.

How did you vote in the race for Governor?

We have to take into account the things that Cuomo has done, he has underfunded CUNY…we did endorse Cynthia Nixon, however it looks like he has a path to win the general. Molinaro hasn’t really been able to create a campaign that many people have been able to see as one that can defeat Cuomo, and at the end of the day he [Molinaro] is a Republican, and Republican Policies are something New York doesn’t need…I will be voting Democrat.  

What are the biggest issues you think we should take into account?

Healthcare, we look at so many people who can’t just afford healthcare they need, that is immoral and that is the top issue in almost every state. Healthcare as well as minimum wage…you cannot have a functioning society where people are sick and dying, people wait to the last minute because they can’t afford to go to the doctor. This is on people’s minds constantly from kids to adults, we cannot have that.

Should we be off for election day?

I think they should, I think it should be a national holiday I think that there should be absolutely no obstacles if we are going to call ourselves a democracy, and one of the biggest obstacles is people have school, and people have work we cannot allow that, we have to make sure we have as much participation as possible to give legitimacy to our democracy.

This article was originally published on 11/7/18 in Fall 2018 Issue 8. 

BC Young Republicans’ POV of Midterm Elections

By Ryan Schwach, Managing News Editor

Isabelle Guillemain is the president of both the Brooklyn College Young Republicans Club and Bulldogs for Israel organizations.

What do you think is so pivotal about this years midterms?  

This midterm election is pivotal because of how close some seats of Congress are in the race between Democrats and Republicans. This is the first midterm election of President Trump’s administration, and I wholeheartedly believe that these elections are of extreme importance. When a party wants to pass a bill, having a majority is pivotal for it to pass. Therefore, when the President’s party is the same as the Senate and House majority party, passing a bill becomes much more possible, given that Congress and the President agree on it.

Which race do you believe is most important to the future?

The race I believe will have the longest impact would be that of Ted Cruz’s race; as a leading Republican senator coming in close to be the GOP’s presidential nominee in 2016, if his seat is elected to someone else, Texas’s leading man would no longer be such a strong political force in our country. He has sponsored countless bills in support of the State of Israel, and speaks out strongly for his beliefs. Electing someone in place of him will change all of this for years to come.

How did you vote in the race for Governor?

In the gubernatorial election, I’ve been a supporter of Marc Molinaro. Watching his debate with Governor Cuomo, I found myself nodding along to many aspects of Molinaro’s beliefs, and found his story convincing. Governor Cuomo continuously cut off Molinaro upon answering a question, lowering my faith in his ability to be a strong leader for New York State.

What are the biggest issues you think we should take into account?

Definitely one would be immigration reform and the discussion of allowing immigrants who came in without proper identification the pathway to citizenship. Also taking into account the intolerances throughout the nation, whether with the LGBTQ+ community, Jewish people , or any other forms of of negativity towards groups of people. With the recent Pittsburgh massacre and so many incidents as of late, listening to what candidates of any party have to say about constructive ways to go about respect in our nation is extremely important,

Should we be off for election day?

I would absolutely love for students and professors to be off for election day. I’m not sure if it would coerce more people to vote, because students and professors may choose to spend the day off doing work or organizing personal activities. I do know, however, that classes take up a lot of time for students and teachers, lowering the chances that they will find time to vote. For others, having the day off would make voting a lot more accessible to fit into their day.

This article was originally published on 11/7/18 in Fall 2018 Issue 8. 

Survey Says: Hawkings IN, Cuomo OUT

By Quiara Vasquez, Editor-In-Chief

The Cuomo hate is real.

  We posted a pair of thoroughly unscientific polls on the “Brooklyn College: In the Know 2” Facebook page, and while the sample size is small, the results are still interesting.

  We asked the student body who they were going to vote for in the gubernatorial election. Five students voted for Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins. Democratic incumbent Andrew Cuomo and Republican challenger got one vote each, as did Libertarian Larry Sharpe. Two of the students polled didn’t place any ballot. (Independent Stephanie Miner, the former mayor of Syracuse whose name was thrown around as a potential Working Families Party candidate, got no votes.)

  Of course, we should stress that only ten commenters responded to the poll – that’s less than .2% percent of the 5,883 (and growing) users with access to the page. But given that Hawkins got about 2% of the vote statewide, it’s pretty safe to say that BC students supported the Green Party ticket at a rate disproportionate to the electorate at large. Whether this is indicative of a larger leftward turn among college-aged voters or a general hatred towards Cuomo among Brooklyn College students who blame him for the college’s decay… well, that’s for you to decide.

This article was originally published on 11/7/18 in Fall 2018 Issue 8. 

BC Socialists Share Thoughts on Midterm Election

By Kevin Limiti, Staff Writer

The Brooklyn College Socialists, which is part of the International Socialist Organization, is no stranger to activism on campus. They protested against Professor Mitchell Langbert’s offensive comments about sexual assault and most recently Professor Rohit Parikh’s comments about Hispanic immigrants. They are heavily involved in building an activist organization and collaborating with other student clubs to create change at CUNY.

With the midterm elections however, considered by many to be a referendum on Trump’s presidency, they are concerned that voting for your favorite candidate may not be enough.

Yasmine Kamel is a member of the Brooklyn College Socialists. Her laptop is covered with stickers referencing de-colonization and anti-fascist slogans.

She was unsure who she was voting for but said, “Since I’ve been a socialist, I haven’t voted for a democratic party ticket because I always know that the Democratic Party failed to challenge the most fundamental injustices of our society.”

Kamel expressed frustration with the two-party system. “There really aren’t any options. You just have to pick between terrible and less terrible. That’s fundamentally undemocratic.”

When asked about  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s victory of Joseph Crowley in the Democratic party, she believed it was a positive step. “She is an indication that there has been a successful movement to the left of working-class people in the city. Her success as a candidate is a reflection of that. Her ability to defeat someone who had such power in the party. . .is an indication of the fact that people want different possibilities that are different than the status quo.”

However, she didn’t think this was necessarily reflective of a shift in establishment Democratic politics. “I think the Democratic party establishment in general just doesn’t recognize that people are looking for left positions. And policies like healthcare for all, free quality K-12 education, higher education, and progressive taxation. . .I think people are looking for these things.”

Emmanuel Perilla, another member of the Brooklyn College Socialists, was adamant that in order for real change to be made, people need to organize in their communities. “Working class people and people in America in general need to be focusing on movements in the country and in their communities whether it be the immigrant justice movement or the movement for workers rights, whether that be a strike or an expansion of unions. Whatever that local movement may be, I feel that is very important. I don’t feel like just voting on November 6th is going to be enough to sustain a strong movement against what’s going in the country right now meaning the far-right.”

Perilla cited local issues such as gentrification and housing as cornerstones that activists can organize around. He emphasized though that he wasn’t saying people shouldn’t vote, but that citizens shouldn’t stop there.

“I don’t think we should use the vote to take away from that responsibility that we have to enrich our communities and enrich the country,” said Perilla.

Both agreed in the importance of organizing around issues important to local communities and not just voting.

“What we’re looking at with the white supremacy, the anti-Semitism, the Islamophobia, the misogyny these are things that are in the fabric of our society in a way that it’s going to take much more than electing the person that says the right things to address,” said Kamel.

This article was originally published on 11/7/18 in Fall 2018 Issue 8. 

OP-ED: When the Jester Becomes King: A Comparison

By Noah Daly, Staff Writer

  It is now nearly two full years into his presidency, and Mr. Trump appears to have elbowed his way into the familiar oil painting that is American Life. Just as Sunday Night Football, fighting like hell over each other’s rights, and the almighty brunch, Twitter rants and other wacky antics are now imprinted in the psyche of the public. This is our president, and there’s nothing you can do about it unless you vote.

  But before my conservative friends rip me limb from limb, I offer a true story of how this larger than life character became so popular. In a recent conversation, my British cousin asked me to explain how someone as audacious as Trump was able to break through the drone of politics, at a time when, to the rest of the west, America was looking better than ever. What I had expected to be a deeply perplexing was easily answered with an analogy.

  In the U.K. there is a show about cars called “Top Gear.” Up until spring of 2015, it was hosted by three funny Brits. All car fanatics, their leader was a tall, turkey-necked man named Jeremy Clarkson. Though he was (and still is) a wonderful presenter and narrator, Clarkson had the nasty habit of offending nearly everyone. And even as the main host of the single most popular program on the BBC worldwide, Clarkson took no issue with jabbing at some groups who were rather sensitive. When he and his crew were doing a special in Argentina, they were literally chased out of several towns and eventually out of the country, for making an allegedly accidental reference to the bloody Falkands conflict between the U.K. and Argentina in 1982. Yet, they stayed as popular as ever for another year, until Clarkson himself was fired for punching one of his producers in the face.

  In spite of who he may be as a person, Donald Trump is a rather accomplished presenter. He’s branded himself as the strong, solid gold New York tycoon, and that mental image has stuck for many millions of Americans. But we’re New Yorkers, and any New Yorker can tell you that scratching that gilded watch from the street vendor may reveal a much cheaper reality. In both cases, we are genuinely amazed and entertained by the provocateur on the screen or stage, but we are then forced to deal with the real-world fallout of such a public persona.

  When your favorite TV host makes a quippy joke about the French, it’s only natural to share that hilarious poke with your friends. And then, when they walk back those words, they have often been forgiven for lapses in judgement. The only differences remaining are the stakes. Mr. Trump is no longer a host lording over a primetime show. He is the man behind the desk. America’s Eagle of justice. When the POTUS encourages violence towards journalists and expelling people who don’t look like him, people will likely imitate that behavior.

  So how do you combat something that has taken root so effectively in our culture? How do you upheave someone who can make such enticing, hedonic appeals? The answer lies somewhere in the tide of ideas sweeping over this country. More progressive candidates, especially more women, are running for office than any time in history. More college students are mobilizing on campuses to get their classmates to go out and vote. Simply put: the only way to take a character out of an oil painting is to paint over it. A million small brush strokes at a time.

This article was originally published on 11/7/18 in Fall 2018 Issue 8. 

Sex, Tortillas, and Videotape with BC Alumna Priscilla Alvarez

By Quiara Vasquez, Editor-In-Chief

 Filmmaker Priscilla Alvarez discovered her love of the camera early in life.

  “It was something I always wanted to do,” Alvarez told me. “I recall being an eight-year-old when my sister and I used to dance to Selena.”

  Inspired by a concert she had just watched, she got out a camcorder and tried to film the two of them, imitating the shots and camera angles she had seen on TV.

  “Prisci,” her sister complained, “they have multiple cameras.”

  Twenty years and one film degree from Brooklyn College later, Alvarez’s accomplishments have totally eclipsed those childhood home movies. Last September, her recent short “Sexo y Tortillas” was one of six student films screened at BAMcinématek, and Alvarez herself was one of two BC alums present at the festival. (The other was Rashan Castro, who was profiled in our Oct. 17, 2018 issue.)

  “Sexo Y Tortillas” focuses on two women – the young American Marcia (Cristina Rabago) and her uptight Tia Cynthia (Celia Garza). Marcia travels down to her aunt’s quaint Mexican village, but while she’s there, she decides to make a little money selling vibrators. Tia Cynthia is not amused.

  It’s a charming and vibrant film set against the backdrop of Guanajuato, Mexico, and the local flavor shines through in every scene; which makes it all the more ironic that Alvarez didn’t intend to shoot her film in Mexico at all.

  “When I wrote the story, a lot of the influence was from my aunts, so I wanted to shoot in Nicaragua. But it was nearly impossible to shoot there.”

  She considered filming in Honduras or Costa Rica, but transporting film equipment to either country was exorbitantly expensive. That was a no-go.

  “I literally worked four jobs to produce my film,” she told me. “We can’t go to mommy and daddy and ask for money.”

  A friend suggested she shoot in Mexico instead, so that’s what she did, filming by day and sleeping in AirBnBs by night. The experience was fantastic – and she’s satisfied with the end product.

  “I like that my film is colorful, educational, funny…” She trailed off for a few seconds. “Did I say colorful?”

  Alvarez’s passion and effort paid off – “Sexo y Tortillas” is a labor of love, and it shows. But she doesn’t credit her success solely to herself. Her line producer and “savior” Carlos Mesquites was a big help, she told me – as were her DP Victor Burgos, Assistant Director Simone Cortes, and her faculty adviser, Robert Tutak.

  “My faculty advisor broke me and put me back together,” she told me. “But without his help and guidance and constructive criticism I wouldn’t be able to make my film.”

  Now that she’s done with “Sexo y Tortillas,” Alvarez can’t wait to get started on another film. She can’t her enthusiasm as she tells me about the projects she wants to tackle next.

  “I’m currently developing two films,” she tells me. She pauses, corrects herself. “I lied, it’s three. One film is gonna be ‘El Caribe’ – the location will be Puerto Rico, and the story is about an African slave on the island who comes across a lake where two native Tainos are swimming, and as they interact they get caught by a Spaniard.”

  “And that’s how it begins,” she said. “Or ends.”

  Also on the frontburner for Alvarez is a film about her aunts’ lives and journey from Nicaragua to America, and a drama called “El, Ella & Kiki” about a med school dropout, a woman trying to leave the confines of her kitchen, and a gay man with children. That one’s going to be filmed in Bogota, or maybe Mexico City – she hasn’t decided yet.

  Even though her films are all set in Latin America, Alvarez chafes at being called a Latina filmmaker.

     “I’m not a Latina, I’m just a human being that happens to be olive-skinned,” Alvarez confessed. “I hate that I am a Latina and a woman and that I have to be a Latina and a woman instead of just a human,” Alvarez told me.

  “That’s all I know,” she added. “I’m sure if I was European I’d have wine and pates and shit in my film. It’s just my upbringing.”

  But even if she’s ghettoized for it, Alvarez still intends to point her camera towards Mexico and beyond, telling me that the time she spent filming in Guanajuato were some of the best days of her life.

  “I wish I could rewind it and do it all again,” she said. “I’m so grateful.”

an actress. Three professional actors, plus one who only did small roles.

Flew over, stayed in AirBNBs where they were shooting. “I wish I could rewind it and do it all again. I’m so grateful.”

This article was originally published on 11/7/18 in Fall 2018 Issue 8. 

Second Fastest Female Runner Sets Records at NYC Marathon

By Jasmine Peralta, Sports Editor

History was made this weekend when the second fastest female runner won for the third time at the annual New York City Marathon.

Mary Keitany from Kenya was the first woman to cross the finish line on Sunday with a time of two hours, twenty-two minutes and 48 seconds (2:22:48)

Keitany, 36, is a long-distance runner and holds a world record after winning a “women-only” 2017 London marathon with a time of two hours, seventeen minutes and one second (02:17:01).

“No reason for her to look behind because even if she did there would be nobody to see,” said ESPN reporter Lewis Johnson as Keitany ran through Central Park moments before crossing the ribbon.

The four-time champion celebrated her triumph saying that she was “very excited and happy for winning.”

Celebrating alongside Keitany was Lelisa Desisa, who came in first place in the men’s race with a time of two hours, five minutes and 59 seconds (02:05:59).

Desisa made the 7,038-mile journey from Ethiopia for his first marathon in the big apple where more than 50,000 people filled the sidelines across five boroughs cheering and chanting on the runners.

“This is my dream,” Desisa, 28, told The Associated Press after the race. “To be a champion.”

Amongst the winners were also, Daniel Romanchuk from Illinois who became the first American to win the men’s wheelchair race with a time of one hour, 36 minutes, and 21 seconds (01:36:21). Manuela Schar of Switzerland also came in first place winning the women’s wheelchair division for the second time, at one hour, 50 seconds, and 27 seconds (1:50:27).

The marathon was one of the most anticipated events this weekend and quickly became a trending topic. @heatheredpearls tweeted, “A little #nycmarathon2018 motivation posting a picture holding a sign saying, “Run if you think Trump is human trash.”

This article was originally published on 11/7/18 in Fall 2018 Issue 8.