Reject Kavanaugh: Students for a Democratic Society Protest


Students on campus rallied to demand Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination be withdrawn

On Oct. 4 from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm. campus group, Students with a Democratic Society, gathered in UW–Parkside’s free speech area to rally in demand that Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination be withdrawn.

The Supreme Court nomination

In the late weeks of September, a heated controversy developed surrounding Brett Kavanaugh’s supreme court nomination. Dr. Christine Baisley Ford came forward with testimony that the nominee had sexually assaulted her when they were both teenagers in the summer of 1982. Debates were sparked as to whether the allegations were credible and whether a person with these allegations against them is fit to be assigned one of the highest roles in the country’s government.

Rallying for change

Aligning with many across the country who believe that the time for men in power to be held accountable for their actions against women’s bodies is now, a group of students at UW–Parkside rallied to demand that Kavanagh’s nomination be removed. This group, Students for a Democratic Society, invited students, staff and faculty to join in the public outcry that Kavanaugh should not hold a place in the Supreme Court.

Protest on campus

Being that the event was organized with a sense of urgency, many students were not aware of the opportunity to join the protest. Those who were in attendance, most of whom are members of the Students for a Democratic Society, held signs that read “#BelieveSurvivors” and “Reject Kavanaugh for Supreme Court Nomination.” During the two hours present, protesters invited people walking by over for conversation on the subject and discussed the importance of public conversation amongst themselves. At one point, a chant led by participants in SDS was shouted, “Hey Hey Ho Ho – Kavanaugh has got to go.”

Legitimize victim’s stories

One protester, Kelly Lutz, a member of SDS, criticized several misogynistic statements and actions of president Trump, considering the ways that allowing Kavanaugh’s nomination to be pushed forward will perpetuate the problem. She also commented that, “It’s important to legitimize a victim’s story. It doesn’t matter what time it happens. We need to legitimize the pain that sexual assault survivors experience as a community.” Another member of SDS, Victor Garcia stated, “This is a nationwide issue, and the fact that we’re still writing [sexual assault] off as ‘not a big deal’ is completely unacceptable.”

On Campus Assault

Bringing the issue of sexual assault itself to the foreground, many participants noted that over the days and weeks this allegation was being publicized on a national scale, the UW–Parkside community received an alert that a sexual assault had occurred on campus. A member of a different group working on a project nearby commented on the rally saying, “Sexual assault something that has to be talked about across campus, because, as the email sent out to students on Sunday stated, someone was assaulted right here, just recently.” Gabriella Stratton, member of SDS shared this sentiment. “There have been and continue to be sexual assaults on campus. I think it’s really important to bring light to the situation and make people more aware that these things do happen especially on college campuses and there are things we can do about it.” The recurring comment from the protest participants, in addition to the demand that Kavanaugh’s nomination be withdrawn, was that sexual assault cannot and will not be tolerated and that those who sexually assault others must be held accountable for their actions.

Moving forward

Students interested in partnering with Students for a Democratic Society or who would like to further the dialogue about this particular issue can find them on Facebook at Students for a Democratic Society UW–Parkside.

“Foxtrot”: controversial, surreal, and heartbreaking


Latest foreign film tackles harsh realities of war

The second pick for UW-Parkside’s Foreign Film Series is not only a thought provoking piece, but also a highly controversial one. “Foxtrot”, an Israeli film depicting the fictional Feldmann family as they real from the loss of their son, tackles aspects of the quagmire of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As fun as that all sounds, the Israeli government was not amused. Culture minister, Miri Regev, repeatedly criticized one specific scene which depicted the military covering up the wrongful deaths of several Palestinian teens. Following the Foxtrot’s success at the Venice Film Festival, Regev posted on Facebook, “When an Israeli film wins an international prize, the heart fills with pride and my natural desire is to strengthen and encourage the Israeli success….This rule has one exception—when the international embrace is the result of self-flagellation and cooperation with the anti-Israel narrative.” In addition to these strong words, the Israeli government boycotted the film’s appearance at a Paris film festival, despite having helped to fund the event.


Ignoring the spoilsports

Despite the government’s outrage, the film was a huge success, taking home eight awards from the Israeli Film Academy, including best film, director, actor, cinematography and sound. The film has won a total of sixteen awards from eight separate academies and festivals all over the world.


The content

As previously established, the film centers on the Feldmann family and their anguish when military soldiers knock on their door and deliver the news that young Jonathan has fallen in the line of duty. The way that the family tears themselves and each other apart is genuinely disturbing to watch, especially when they attempt to contain their sorrow, only to further hurt themselves.

With a limited soundtrack, and little background noise, the film has lengthy stretches of near silence. However, sound effects, such as the buzzing of a doorbell or ringing of a phone, seem to be purposefully louder than is normal in such a dower film. This could be intentional on the part of the filmmakers or dial turned up too high on the part of the theater attendants, but it has a jarring effect in either case. The sudden bursts of sound following suck long moments of quiet mimic the despondent shock of such crushing news and truly help to put the audience in the dazed shoes of our protagonists.


Showing more and more promise

While the series’ opening film, “Hotel Salvation”, dealt with themes of death in an accepting and almost lighthearted way and focused on an old man ready for whatever was to come in death, “Foxtrot” is something of a 180 degree spin. The death in this Israeli film is an untimely tragedy, and not something to be accepted with an open mind, but mourned with a heavy heart. That is not to say that there are no laughs amidst all the drama and tears as, just with real life, we must find some solace in our pain or otherwise go mad.


Another strong addition to UW-Parkside’s 2018 Foreign Film Series, “Foxtrot” has kept the through-provocation-ball rolling and has at least one UW-Parkside student eagerly awaiting the next film showing. Said showing will be of the Italian film, “Call Me By Your Name”, and run from Oct. 11-14.

Focus on Community: Town hall meeting

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Students and community members listen to speakers. Courtesy of Dave Wooten


Substance abuse prevention non-profit host event with speakers from Ellsworth correctional facility

Wednesday Oct. 3, four women prisoners from Ellsworth Correctional Facility in Union Grove spoke to students, faculty and members of the community about their journeys with drug addiction. This event was put on by a substance abuse prevention non-profit organization, Focus on Community, who work out of Racine.

Importance of prevention

Jason Meekma, executive director of Focus on Community, introduced the inmates and sergeant from Ellsworth and spoke about the organization’s mission and goals for helping the community. Meekma described why prevention is critical for avoiding substance abuse in our communities saying that “if we can prevent something from ever being a problem we never have to deal with it.”  

Additionally, Meekma and Focus handed out drug deactivation kits after the event, noting that one of the issues with prevention is the improper disposal of prescription drugs. The kits are able deactivate up to 45 pills at a time, preventing unused prescriptions from falling into the wrong hands.


Stories from inmates

The four speakers from Ellsworth are all part of the Early Release program (ERP), which attempts to rehabilitate inmates and help them prepare for life after being released from prison. Each of the four women spoke about their personal life history and how that played a role in their addictions and, eventually, their incarceration.  

Kelly, 29, spoke of her time as a high schooler, referencing being a violinist, being on honor roll, and her plans to attend college. Kelly also spoke about her past with abuse in her family, speaking of her father: “He was a completely different person sober, I’ve learned that everyone is.” History of abusive relationships and the process of recovery from alcohol and marijuana as well as harder drugs like opiates and heroin, are all patterns shared by these four women.

Speaking to high school and college students about their addictions is a voluntary program for inmates in the ERP. The chance to share their stories is something each of the women felt passionate about, especially getting a chance to prevent others from going down the same path they were once on.

Finishing the program

The Focus on Community collaboration with the ERP aligns with the organization’s mission of preventing substance before it becomes a problem in our society. ERP and Focus resemble each other through the programs they offer, including life skill training, relationship training and counseling. Focus on Community hopes to instill the tools and skills necessary to be successful and avoid substance abuse throughout life, much like the ERP works to rehabilitate and prepare inmates to function within society.


Eurydice: a new spin on an old myth

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via UW-Parkside


UW-Parkside’s soon to be premiered play

Finishing off this season of the UW-Parkside theater department is “Eurydice”. “Eurydice” is a new take on the Greek myth of Orpheus, the man who ventured into the Underworld for his wife and could not resist the temptation of looking back.


This version of the story promises to be more focused on Eurydice, the wife of Orpheus, as she goes through the Underworld and tries to adjust to her new situation. Written by Sarah Rhul, it has been nominated for several awards and was lauded by The New York Times as “a weird and wonderful play”.


Interview with Gabriella Ashlin


The Ranger News got an opportunity to talk to the one of the co-scenic designers of the play, Gabriella Ashlin, about her thoughts on the upcoming production. When asked about what a potential audience could look forward to, she said, “There are definitely some surprises in this set to look forward to, plus […] Jarrod, who is playing the father, says the transition going into the Underworld is an anticipating moment.”


Ashlin also said that some actors to look out for were “The two leads, Christiane Laskowski and Kyle Racas, who are playing Eurydice and Orpheus. They’re very up and coming, and these are both their first leading roles at Parkside. Hopefully you’ll see more of them next year.”



“Eurydice” is a poetic play that re-examines our perspective on different kinds of relationships, love and death. A huge part of the play is the themes, and Ashlin claims that “the scenic designer, Keith Harris, and I really focused our efforts on the theme of ‘messages’ and the efforts we have as humans to communicate with other layers of reality; in this case, the dead. The set details this theme in several aspects, which I look forward to our audience experiencing in this production.”


Ashlin designed and painted the River of Forgetfulness, featured in the play. Be sure to check it out when you see Eurydice next week, premiering April 20th. The show will run April 20-21, 27-29.

Paul Ryan accepts award at Parkside

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Attendees of the 2016 Celebrazione Italiana.


Kenosha representative and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wi., is coming to UW-Parkside on Friday, April 28. He was nominated for the UW-Parkside dinner and fundraiser Celebrazione Italiana’s Excellence in Leadership Award. Additionally, the event’s Lifetime Achievement Award is also being awarded to Domenick and Gina Tirabassi during the event.

A controversial decision

Ryan has represented Kenosha in the House of Representatives since he was first elected in 1998 at the young age of 28, making him one of the youngest members of Congress at that time. He has since been reelected an astonishing eight times, making him a staple of Kenosha’s identity for the last two decades.

Though he has been a prominent and principal member of the community, he represents a controversial political message. After the presidential election last November, wealthy businessman and Republican Donald Trump became President of the United States. His election came as a shock to many who continue to view his policies and rhetoric as nationalist, racist or militaristic.

By associating with Trump and his party, Ryan has subjected himself to the controversy that association entails. It is unknown exactly why Ryan was chosen for the award or how much his politics influenced that decision.

Celebrazione Italiana’s mission

The organization aims to celebrate the Italian-American heritage of Kenosha and raise money for student exchange between UW-Parkside and the Universita Della Calabria in Italy. If you are interested in attending or learning more about the dinner, you can visit their official website at