Read the articles below or click here for the PDF version: FINAL – KINGSMANSFALL2018ISSUE11

Brooklyn College Toy Drive

The Office of Human Resource Services is hosting a Holiday Toy Drive to benefit the pediatric units of The Brooklyn Hospital Center. Since 1845, The Brooklyn Hospital Center has provided outstanding health services, education and research to our Brooklyn community.

In our efforts to spread holiday cheer the toy drive will be held from Monday, November 26th– Monday, December 17th.

If you would like to donate, please bring a new and unwrapped toy to Human Resources, Room 1219 Boylan Hall. They are most in need of toys for infants and adolescent age groups along with culturally diverse toys. All toys will help create a memory that lasts forever.

If you have questions, please contact Jennifer DePalma-Juno at

Happy Holidays!  

Thank You

The Kingsman would like to congratulate Media Relations Manager Ernesto Mora on his retirement from Brooklyn College after 11 years of service to the Brooklyn College journalism community.

  • Kingsman Staff

Brooklyn College Connects: A New Way BC Students Can Stay in The Loop

By Allison Rapp, Managing Digital Editor

A new facebook page from the college is being rolled out that allows BC students to keep up with all of their various deadlines and dates.  

  When it comes to sorting out paperwork on campus, students have a lot to handle. With offices on different ends of the school, and deadlines due at multiple times, it can often be difficult for Brooklyn College students to know which way to turn or who to ask for assistance. That’s why “Brooklyn College Connects” was created, a live facebook page made by faculty dedicated to answering the multitude of questions that students have, especially when graduation approaches.

  “Brooklyn College Connects was created so that students can find all their important deadlines and information in one place,” said Yasmin Ali, the executive director of student financial services. “By following and viewing our posts, students will reduce their time spent researching online, calling, or coming in, in turn, reducing wait times at the Enrollment Services Center and on the phone.”

  Students must “request” to join the group on Facebook, though this process usually only takes a day or two. The page describes itself as a resource to “find important reminders regarding registration, academics, financial aid, and payment options to help you on your road to graduation.” Contact numbers are listed for many of the frequently visited offices on campus, such as Financial Aid, Academic Advisement, and Registration. These offices are notorious for being frequent headaches for BC students, but Brooklyn College Connects aims to change that.

  “We find that in some cases when a student has an account issue, it may be something that could have been avoided if the student had the information sooner or had received our communications, “ said Ali. “We hope that through this new undertaking, our students will have a smoother transition from college student to college graduate.

  Students looking for answers can comment on any of the posts on the page or send a direct message. While the page is still new, the idea seems to be going over well with users.

 “In the past week alone, we have accumulated over 250 new followers from our campus community!” said Ali. “As we begin to run a marketing campaign on campus, we expect these numbers to grow and for Brooklyn College Connects to become a resource for every student.”

This article was originally published on 12/5/18 in the Fall 2018 Issue 11. 

Who’s In Charge of the Koi Fish?

By Ryan Schwach, Managing News Editor

Brooklyn College faculty and staff are not on the same wavelength when it comes to the future of 14 koi fish currently residing in BC’s Lily Pond.

The Lily Pond adjacent to the library has long been a shining jewel of the campus. Usually cooler and usually quieter, it is a sanctuary for students to go to study, work, or relax. It is also the home of a micro-ecosystem of squirrels, turtles, goldfish, and koi who live in and around the area.

The story was brought to The Kingsman by a Brooklyn College carpenter, Marty, who helped his father-in-law, a koi fish breeder who had gotten too old to take care of them, bring the fish to Brooklyn College last summer, although there was no official arrangement between Marty and anyone from Brooklyn College.   

Marty claimed that the Lily Pond (which some people do call the Koi Pond) was “not sufficient” enough for the larger koi that he had brought to survive a cold winter. According to him, an AREAC member told him the pond was insufficient for the koi one to two months after they were brought to the college, although he declined to give that person’s name.

Koi fish are a variation of carp, mostly indigenous to Eastern Asia and specifically Japan. They’ve become a staple of fresh water ponds elsewhere, and an expensive hobby for those interested in aquatics, due to the their size and needs.

According to PETCO, koi fish require a habitat at least a meter deep in order to hibernate during the winter by dipping beneath where the water freezes and more or less embedding themselves in the mush at the bottom. The depth of the Lily Pond, as confirmed by The Kingsman, is closer to 22 inches, not nearly what is said to be required. Marty says he went to the Facilities department, as well as Brooklyn College’s aquatic research center, AREAC, for help. Neither Facilities nor AREAC did.

So last winter, Marty decided to take care of the situation on his own, retrieving the koi from the pond with help from a student from Professor Frank Grasso’s class. Grasso is a member of the psychology department but also studies animal behavior with AREAC. Marty approached Grasso asking for help.

“He’s [Marty] done a lot of nice things for me, so I said sure, I’ll do what I can,” Grasso told The Kingsman.

With his own money, Marty built and operated an ecosystem in the basement of Roosevelt Hall, housing the fish all winter.

“It was quite an ordeal for one man to do on his own,” he said.

For this winter, Marty was unable to do this again, and he says it is too late now to set up the ecosystem. So, he was looking for a way to manage the fish this winter. Although, he has run into issues, and as it turns out there is another debate going on as to whose responsibility these fish are.

The pond itself, and the surrounding area, are under the jurisdiction of the Facilities department, and are maintained by a single man who goes by Rob. The Kingsman has been told that the live inhabitants are not Facilities’ responsibility, and Rob himself has said that he only takes care of the surrounding area, and occasionally treats the water, but never does anything regarding the fish or turtles. No one from Facilities was available for comment.

The other group some might assume would have responsibility over the inhabitants of the Lily Pond would be AREAC. They also allegedly declined to help Marty last semester.

“I don’t think so,” said AREAC director John Marra via e-mail when asked whether or not Marty spoke to them.

Another AREAC member, Robert Dickie, who serves as the lab manager, feels differently about the fate of the fish. Dickie told The Kingsman that while he cannot claim that all the fish will live, due to all the variables that go into the survival of a living species, he believes some of the fish will manage to survive, particularly with the help of two ring-shaped heaters by the south end of the pond, which will allow oxygen to get in and carbon dioxide to escape, allowing the fish to survive the winter.

Dickie believes the real problem is “people releasing their pets into the pond without any authorization or consultation or following of any protocols and then expecting others to remedy the problem.”

This is a not a new story at Brooklyn College. In March 2017, the Kingsman reported that the red-eared slider turtles inhabiting the pond were an invasive species which had in fact eaten the lilies the pond was named for. At the time, Marra told The Kingsman that the turtles were probably brought by “pet owners who no longer want to care for their pet turtles, and so they abandon them to the pond.”

As previously stated, there was no formal agreement between Marty and anyone from Brooklyn College. Marty went to AREAC, Facilities, Property Management, and a few other groups on campus when he wanted to donate the fish initially last year.

“Everyone pretty much juggled it around,” said Marty. “No one wanted to just give the OK. Everyone just shrugged their shoulders and said ‘doesn’t matter.’” Some, like Robert Dickie, question why the fish were put in there anyway.

It is too soon to know if the winter of 2018-2019 will be harsh enough to cause any problems for the fish. Marty believes there is a “good possibility” that many of the fish will die. Others like Robert Dickie believe there are precautions to stave off any larger mortality rate. As it currently stands, no one is officially responsible for the animals in the Lily Pond.

This article was originally published on 12/5/18 in the Fall 2018 Issue 11. 

OPINION: Amazon in NYC: Great in Theory, Bad in Practice

By Allison Rapp, Managing Digital Editor

It’s official: Amazon is coming to New York City. A second headquarters location will be put in place in Long Island City, in addition to the first headquarters in Seattle. With both the city and state offering Amazon 1.5 billion dollars in tax breaks to build in that location, it’s easy to see why the company jumped at the opportunity. Make way for Jeff Bezos everyone.

Supposedly, this new headquarters will create 25,000 jobs, and the annual salary for each employee will be over $150,000. That sounds great doesn’t it? This is a similar narrative that was told to citizens of Seattle in 2015. A good idea in theory, turned into a horrible reality, when the introduction of the company led to skyrocketing rent prices. This, in turn, drove many people out of ethnic and cultural neighborhoods that they had lived in for decades. If this process sounds familiar to you, you’re spot on: if there’s one thing New Yorkers have come to be able to recognize in the last few years, it’s gentrification.

By placing their headquarters in Long Island City, many argue that the gentrification process could actually be a bit of a good thing. What is currently a less popular area of NYC to live, could become prominent and accessible to many more individuals. Again, a great idea in theory, but not in practice. If history has shown us anything, we know that rent prices will increase dramatically, and force people to move from their homes. Only the wealthiest individuals will be able to afford to live, work, and raise their children next to a multi-billion dollar company like Amazon.

And what about that 1.5 billion dollar tax break? Where is that money going? New Yorkers have been begging and pleading with de Blasio and former mayors to put more money into the subway, and to finally fix the system once and for all. Many residents have only the subway to get them to and from school or work, and it continuously fails us. That 1.5 billion dollars could mean a world of difference for the MTA and the people who use it, but instead, one of the richest men in America will absorb it. There is even a possibility the breaks will be as high as three billion dollars. According to The New Yorker, that’s the equivalent of every NYC resident sending Jeff Bezos, a man who certainly does not need to profit more, $348. If New York wants to handle its gentrification crisis appropriately, it will first need to handle Amazon appropriately.

This article was originally published on 12/5/18 in the Fall 2018 Issue 11. 

Letter from the Editor: A Tale of Two Cindys

By Quiara Vasquez, Editor-In-Chief

Who’s repping for the state Mississippi?Smiling at the Confederacy?
Who’s reaching out to folks at a lynching?
Everyone knows, it’s Ciiin-dyyy!

 I refer, of course, to Cindy Hyde-Smith, the recently elected Mississippi senator. If you haven’t been paying attention to national news as of late (and who could blame you?), Hyde-Smith first gained national infamy for making a joke about public hanging, which escalated when a Facebook photo surfaced of her dressed in Confederate regalia.

  (In case you didn’t guess, her opponent in the race, Mike Espy, was a black man.)

  Less covered, but equally important, is her history with school segregation. As a teenager, Hyde-Smith attended Lawrence County Academy, a private school set up in 1970 for white parents who didn’t want their children to attend integrated public schools after Brown v. Board of Education forced their hand. And as an adult, she sent her daughter to another so-called “segregation academy” – just last year, Hyde-Smith’s daughter graduated from Brookhaven Academy, a school in a majority-minority neighborhood that nonetheless admitted only one black student in 2015.

  No one at Brooklyn College supported Cindy Hyde-Smith, of course, let alone voted for her. But I suspect a large percentage of Brooklyn College students voted for a different Cindy this year. I’m referring of course to Cynthia Nixon, who ran to Andrew Cuomo’s left in this year’s Democratic primary. With no government experience to speak of, Nixon ran instead on her platform as a proud public school parent and education activist, denouncing charter schools and championing free tuition for public college.

  This is all well and good. Or it would be, if Nixon’s track record supported her claims.

  Nixon attended Hunter College High School – which, despite Nixon’s repeated claims of being a proud public school graduate, is not actually a public school. It’s a private institution, albeit one funded with public money. This might come as a surprise, given Nixon vehemently opposed charter schools for being privately run but publicly funded.

  But there’s a key difference between Hunter College High School and the likes of Success Academy. The overwhelming majority of students at charters are black or Hispanic, mostly from low-income families. Only 8.5% percent of students at Hunter are black or Hispanic; unlike specialized high schools, which have similarly low numbers but largely service lower-class Asian immigrant families, only about 10% of Hunter students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch (read: are poor).

  The message behind the disparity is clear: public funding for private schools is wrong, unless it benefits middle- and upper-class whites.

  More alarming than where Nixon went to school is where she sent her daughter: The Center School in the Upper West Side. As you may recall, this year the city proposed a plan that would set aside a quarter of all seats in UWS public schools for underperforming students. The reaction was swift and negative. Maybe you saw the viral video of white parents complaining their kids wouldn’t be guaranteed a spot at these schools, the one DOE Chancellor Richard Carranza retweeted? Anyway, The Center School was initially left out of this proposal, because it admits students a year early, in a process separate from regular middle school applications. In May, Councilman Ritchie Torres called for a probe into the school’s opaque admission processes, explicitly calling out Nixon as one of the wealthy white parents who benefits from school segregation in this city.

  “Segregation is a deep rot at the core of New York City, and a segregated school system that favors politically connected celebrities like Cynthia Nixon and Louis CK at the expense of poor children of color is a blatant betrayal of Brown vs Board of Education,” Torres told the New York Post. “The admission practices of the Center School represent the triumph of power and privilege over civil rights.”

  It might seem a little facetious of me to make some sort of political comparison or moral equivalency between these two women in this “tale of two Cindys” – Cynthia Nixon sure as hell ain’t posing with a bayonet anytime soon. But it’s a troubling reminder of how insidious racism is that two politicians running on the furthest extremes the Overton window permits can be compared in this fashion.

  When racism seeps into our national discourse, us liberal New Yorkers are all too quick to think of it as a Southern thing, or a Republican thing, or a Trump thing. We’re the good guys, after all. We’re too enlightened, too cosmopolitan, too awash in diversity to act like “those” people.

  Here are two women who prove otherwise.

This article was originally published on 12/5/18 in the Fall 2018 Issue 11.

BC Men’s Basketball Wins Conference Opener

By Jasmine Peralta, Sports Editor

The Brooklyn College Men’s basketball team wins the conference opener back-to-back against York College, 40-36 and 88-78.

        Friday night came alive as hundreds filled up the seats in the West Quad gym to watch Brooklyn’s first double-header. Leading the York Cardinals was, Taishaun Forehand-Jenkins who came in with 4-6 from the field, Darin Dove 2-8 , and Devine Chisholm with 3-6 resulting in Yorks 40% FGM-FGA average for game one. For the Bulldogs the leader Anthony McClean who came in for the Bulldogs with  3-10 FGM-FGA, and Jade Spencer with 5-8 FGM-FGA averaging the team’s percentage to a 40.5% FGM-FGA.

        Brooklyn would dominate York with 8-6 turnovers, 5-2 second chance points, 9-8 bench points, and 18-16 points in paint during the first half of the double-header leading Brooklyn ahead, winning game one 40-36 leaving the stakes high for game two.

        Game two would begin with guard, Jordan Wright leading the Bulldogs scoring a game-high 23 points on 9-11 from the field including 4-6 from behind the arc. Junior guard,  added 17 points, grabbed five rebounds, and whipped out five assists. Michael Tesoriero finished with game with 15 points, five assists, and game-high four steals.

Leading the Cardinals was again was Forehand-Jenkins who matched game-high scoring honors with 23 points and Chisholm who added 12 points. Akil Vaughn came out from the bench in time to grab a game-high 14 rebounds.

Although York turned around with 10-6 second chance points, 26-10 points in paint, and 8-2 bench points during game two Brooklyn remained on top with 13-9 turnovers, ending game two 88-78.

The Bulldogs success continues as they advance to 6-1 in CUNYAC standings. On Thursday, December 6, Brooklyn will face the College of New Rochelle at 7PM at home.

This article was originally published on 12/5/18 in the Fall 2018 Issue 11.