22 West Magazine - 2022 Community Issue

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Issue 88.06 · Nov 07, 2022 · 22westmedia.com

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ILLUSTRATION BY

COMMUNITY ISSUE 88.06

MAGAZINE STAFF Andres Leon, Editor-in-Chief editorinchief@22westmedia.com

LETTER FROM AN EDITOR

Jensen Puckett, Managing Editor managingeditor@22westmedia.com Natalie Comfort, Lead Copy Editor copyeditor@22westmedia.com Lianna Schieber, Distribution Manager distributionmanager@22westmedia.com Jake Winkle, Art Director artdirector@22westmedia.com

T

his month is November! Now that the Queen’s been dead for 60 days, the birds have begun singing, the grass is greener and I’ve been slowly decaying! It’s been great.

Kacey Acosta, Advertising Manager advertisingmanager@22westmedia.com

Crazy how time flies when you’re constantly being crushed by work, deadlines and school! You would think that fall would be an enjoyable time for baking, cinnamon and yarn. However, I think that it is time for the numbing cold. Cold fear. Loss. Detriment. Illness. The decaying of minds. I can’t remember what I was doing last week, or yesterday for that matter. The sun rises and it sets with a cold apathy toward humanity. Like Sisyphus, we are all doomed to eternal punishment, working toward the peak, awaiting the inevitable fall. But hey, Community issue! Isn’t that nice. We’ve got a nice array of content for you to consume wholefully and thoroughly. Ever feel hungry on campus and feel like there aren’t any options? Are you gluten-free and live in perpetual hunger because of the lack of choices for you? Then you’ll feel reaffirmed by this issue because a couple of our writers have several bones to pick with this lovely campus. I don’t really know what else to write for this note honestly.

COVER DESIGN Carlos Henriquez, Photographer @solrac1231

VOLUNTEER MEETINGS Meetings have concluded for 2022. Contact editorinchief@22westmedia.com or check our bio @22westlb for more information

CONTACT US Email: info@22westmedia.com Mail: 1212 Bellflower Blvd, Suite 108 Long Beach, CA 90815

Do you guys feel that weather change? Pretty crazy. It was hot then it was cold and sometimes hot. Pretty wild how that works. Weather just keeps on weathering. You see that article the Daily 49er put out? How gas prices aren’t that high? That was pretty funny. I’ll add that to the list of favorite articles published by the newspaper, right next to their published letter to the editor, “Thank you, President Trump” written in 2021, where he was thanked for being a pro-life president, not causing the January 6th White House riot, and questioned why progressive students were “so violent.” I love student media.

ANDRES LEON, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Disclaimer and Publication Information: 22 West Magazine is published using ad money and partial funding provided by the Associated Students, Inc. All Editorials are the opinions of their individual authors, not the magazine, ASI nor LBSU. All students are welcome and encouraged to be a part of the staff. All letters to the editor will be considered for publication. However, LBSUstudents will have precedence. Please include name and major for all submissions. They are subject to editing and will not be returned. Letters may or may not be edited for grammar, spelling, punctuation, and length. 22 West Magazine will publish anonymous letters, articles, editorials, and illustrations, but must have your name and information attached for our records. Letters to the editor should be no longer than 500 words. 22 West Magazine assumes no responsibility, nor is it liable, for claims of its advertisers. Grievance procedures are available in the Associated Students business office.

Photo by Fabian Rubio

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OPINION

BY JACOB INGRAM

ANOTHER BARRIER: THE LBSU FOOD DESERT WE’RE HUNGRY, AND ALL WE HAVE ARE FUCKING CRÊPES

D

o you think we live in an era where I can

lation pushing 40,000: Sbarro, Carl’s Jr., Subway, El

successfully pollute the university’s search

Pollo Loco, and the Outpost.

at risk management… “ArE tHeY PerMiTTeD?” Let’s do a quick thought experiment… Do you think

engine optimization by writing headlines

Here’s another issue among these five. Only one of

that a taquero, whose livelihood and survival depends

in a campus magazine that challenge the approved

the five accepts the CalFresh/EBT benefits that they

on selling tacos at volume, will make much of a living if

narratives passed down from Brotman? Let’s test my

help you sign up for downstairs. I will leave this topic

they are getting their clientele sick to their stomach?

little theory with this piece and repeat after me: “The

for a colleague to address more appropriately later in

This is what structural racism smells like by the way.

campus of Long Beach State is a food desert.”

this magazine but it merits mentioning in this context.

Go google the Black Panther Party’s Free Breakfast for School Children Program and get back to me on

Now I know you are going to try and say “Jake, the

But Jake, the food trucks! Have you seen the food

Nugget is finally hiring, chill” or “Jake, if you actually

trucks? Yes, and I read that they weren’t making

graduate and leave campus, you can give it a rest,”

quota.

how to feed a community. A quick review of my informal proposal to include

but to that, I have to disagree for a couple of reasons.

See here’s the thing, it would have helped to know,

street vendors: Determine what you might call the

One, food equity issues are acute and immediate.

as a community, that the trucks had to be making a

“Southern California Street Staples,” we are talking

Two, these issues manifest in a few particular cases

quota of $1,200 per day or else they would be under

taco men, eloteros, paleta carts, fruit carts, you get

of interest that may not readily be apparent. Three,

threat of cancellation. Because maybe then, you

it. Determine those as a sort of standalone category,

we are still missing the mark in terms of meeting the

would see some participation in the processes about

assume five categories. This way no single vendor

needs of core campus demographics. Four, access to

this stuff. What good was the USU Food Survey for?

will overlap with another. Paletas versus fruit carts,

decision-makers has proven insufficient on this one,

everyone gets their preferred munch. Swap paletas

so why not stick it in the magazine?

for tamales as seasons change. Next, determine the

Aside: You see, I got my bachelor’s degree in History from this school, LBSU. They taught me about source-based history, courtesy of an old German dude, Leopold von Ranke. Basically, because I occupy this present moment in time and because I come with all my lovely Jake experiences and the larger institu-

There are five places to actually eat for a population pushing 40,000

tional memory I have been witness to, I can leave little

number of working days in a month. For easy math let’s just assume four weeks of four working days, totaling 16 days in a month. If you have five separate vendor categories, then you can invite a different vendor onto campus once a month until you have a different vendor for every role, every day, once a month. 16 days times five daily vendors would be 80

landmines for some other researcher to unearth, and

An hour long behemoth of a data scrape. Only for us

different small businesses the campus could be build-

you do this with good keyword usage, so while my title

to be approaching November with nothing but Black

ing legitimate ties with. But someone in risk manage-

is witty, it does more damage when I actually mention

Forest ham, queso blanco, and onion rings on the

ment is afraid of a taco? The safety risk excuse is

the “No Barriers” campaign by explicit title. Too meta?

menu. Maybe if you were gonna ask for a $1,200 per

weaker than the Sbarro’s marinara sauce.

C’mon Jake, food stuff on campus. Oh yeah, it’s a

day quota, you could book something a little more

My birdies tell me Sbarro is contracted until 2024

mainstream than a fucking crêpe truck. Are you seri-

and we could already be soliciting ideas for how to

ous?

next approach pizza on campus. Because that’s what

desert, pal. Let’s define a food desert, just in case: Food Desert: A food desert is an area that has limited access to affordable and nutritious food. Wiki-

Because I am serious. When I approached ASI lead-

this is. It fundamentally boils down to who gets the

pedia. omg he can’t do that.

ership about inviting so-called street vendors onto

contract to make pizza on campus. Who as in the indi-

Riveting.

campus, I was given a playbook perfect run-around.

vidual, and who as in the organization. Long Beach

Let me lay this out for you. It affects us here and

Ideas were validated, follow-ups were promised, and

is home to a handful of fabulous pizza places. Simi-

now. There are five places to actually eat for a popu-

then nothing. Only to have a birdie tell me that it died

larly, El Pollo Loco, Subway, and Carl’s Jr. all represent

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ILLUSTRATION BY RJ NIETO

COMMUNITY ISSUE 88.06

mainstream dietary demands that we could service so much better. If we were really being punk rock and radical about this, we haven’t even scratched the surface. The real shit would take the shape of a brandless pizza collective that would teach you how to make dough (plural), sample ingredients and toppings, and teach you how to clean a kitchen. With mention of “do it yourself” work ethic, we arrive at the community garden… I want to understand. I really do. But my frustration is grounded in seeing conflicting execution. Such as the Sustain U and Grow Beach websites being out of date, but the new garden location already being decided, built, soiled, planted, and now watered without much fanfare or announcement. What are we growing? How do we participate? Will 28— yes, I counted— store bought planters really yield much in both ways of serving students and productive garden space? How does the plantable square footage compare to that of the previous garden that was demolished for the new dorms? How was the new space chosen? Yeah, I would hate me too. But someone has to watchdog this crap. Don’t you “newsletter” me about this either, no one likes them. My issue is that the

starter pack. Nevermind that we built it on top of

deemed appropriate for teaching the student body to

garden is the one idea I would’ve liked to have given

concrete, very permaculture chic. Would it truly kill

cook came in with seating for 12 whole people. With

some input on but, y’know, what we do in the shadow.

this campus to go ask Facilities for a piece of grass

around 40,000 campus community members, it will

that they don’t wanna maintain anymore?

take 3,334 classes for everyone to get a shot. Maybe

You know what I wanted to offer to the community garden, instead of giving another shovel load of crap to

Because when ASI and 49er Shops don’t wanna

people I need to be able to work with going forward…

maintain something anymore, they just close it, like

just transfer to culinary school? I am sure your parents would be thrilled.

My input would be that if we are spatially limited

the University Dining Plaza, aka the building at the

So when you’re waiting in line to pay more than

in garden space, then the Grow Beach community

top of the escalator, and insist it needs to be demol-

ever for whatever overpriced and overprocessed

garden would be best utilized as a demonstration

ished while simultaneously they shrug at the idea of

calorie bomb you choose next, just remember, the

garden of sorts with a focus on growing native and

the current generation of students struggling with

campus administration is being very guarded with

heirloom plants to fruit and flower and use it as an

feeding themselves at any price point, let alone one

details about the UDP being closed.

opportunity to get more students interested in whole

they can afford.

Anywho, that’s my article, maybe the Daily 49er (I

cycle ecology (we won’t talk about the dead recy-

It is a weird Catch-22. On one hand, there are

cling center…). Native seeds are not particularly hard

those of us who spend a massive amount of time on

to come by and could easily fill the 28 containers we

campus and are beholden to the options in front of

do have on offer. Native Seeds/SEARCH has them on

us. Conversely, there is nothing to eat on campus if

Radio General Manager Jacob Ingram can be

offer already. They include drought tolerant tepary

you want hot food late at night. Also, we’ve gone this

observed in real life on the first floor of the Univer-

bean varieties, purple and yellow tomatillos, and a

far without making any mention of our friends with

sity Student Union. He is most active in the afternoon

ton more. This is not an ad, but maybe it should be.

dietary restrictions that already deal with reduced

hours on Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday. Please do

Another free ad, Tacos Lionydas. Google it, dorks.

offerings and scant accommodations.

not tap on the glass. He owes the editors an apology

Instead it appears as though we kinda just raided

All the air fryer and Instant Pot giveaways in the

a Lowe’s garden section for the community garden

world cannot fix this problem when the venue ASI

hardly know her!) could look into some of this. Our bosses say we gotta be friends, ok? Bye!

this month. Ignore his Instagram stories @quantum. geography

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FEATURE

BY SOFIA CARLOS

WHY YOUNG PEOPLE A NEED FOR POLITICAL DON’T VOTE EDUCATION

P

olitical campaign and proposition ads are

can only mean one thing: election season is upon us.

ing the youth vote. The lack of voter turnout among

currently flooding every media platform.

The 2022 United States Midterm Election and Califor-

young people in the U.S. is no secret. Younger people

Street poles and front lawns have once again

nia Gubernatorial Election have caused the discussion

have historically voted at lower rates than any other

become lined with candidates’ signs and posters. This

of voter turnout to resurface, specifically surround-

age demographic, and this might happen again during

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ILLUSTRATION BY JENA QUACH

this year’s elections.

COMMUNITY ISSUE 88.06

tute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School found that

elections in comparison to presidential elections. “I

The Public Policy Institute of California found

among a poll of 2,024 18 to 29-year-olds, 42% believe

think it’s just a huge disconnect,” said Aguiar, “People

that among 12,251 adults surveyed, only 23% of 18 to

their votes do not make a difference. Aguiar also feels

have strong public opinions but because of the lack

34-year-olds are likely to vote in the 2022 California

that the education system does not encourage people

of experience in engaging civically they don’t know

Gubernatorial Election even though they make up 32%

to be civically engaged.

when local elections and state elections are.” This is

of the adult population. This is a stark contrast from

Providing better civic education is something that

reflected in the PPIC’s data that predicts only 23% of

47% of voters ages 55 and older being likely to vote

Matthew Mendez Garcia, a Long Beach State polit-

young adults are likely to vote in the California guber-

while they make up 34% of the adult population.

ical science professor, highlighted as a way to raise

natorial election.

Low youth voter turnout is not just a California issue

the youth vote. “To keep people engaged I think

The 2022 midterms are very much up in the air as

either, it is a nationwide problem. According to the

there needs to be better civic education starting in

to whether young people will continue the trend of

United States Census Bureau, 51% of 18 to 24-year-

K through 12,” said Mendez Garcia, “teaching civic

higher-than-average voter turnout. A report by the

olds voted in the 2020 presidential election. While this

values like the importance of voting, how govern-

Ad Council Research Institute and MTV Entertain-

is a spike in youth voter turnout compared to previous

ment works, and giving examples of how politics and

ment detailed that in a survey 59% of young Ameri-

presidential elections, it is still significantly lower than

government impact your daily life is one thing that

cans reported they plan to vote in the 2022 midterm

other age groups. For reference, 71% of 45 to 64-year-

can be done.” Mendez Garcia also noted that polit-

elections. However, both Lesenyie and Mendez Garcia

olds voted in the 2020 Presidential Election. It can be

ical parties could do more to integrate youth voters

noted that the increase in voter turnout in previous

easy to reduce younger people’s lack of involvement

elections was in part due to Donald Trump’s presence.

in voting to the stereotypical millennial and Generation

“The huge turnout was because young folks saw

Z laziness, but the issue is much more complex than that. Dr. Matt Lesenyie, a Long Beach State political science professor, explained that one of the main reasons people vote is their investments in property, such as a home or a car. This requires people to be more invested in politics because they have more to

“While data proves that young people have the lowest voter turnout, there are still youth who regularly vote.”

Trump as a bigger threat to their future,” said Lesenyie, “Moving forward is that trend going to continue? Only if the threat of Trump or someone similar is on the ballot.” Lossing and Aguiar both believe that the youth vote will continue to increase. Lossing said that since the U.S. is in a very polarized state right now, young people

lose property-wise. Older people generally make

will be motivated to vote since they feel the upcom-

more money than younger people, so they are more

ing elections are very important. Aguiar discussed

likely to have property and be homeowners. Lesen-

how the greater amount of political discourse on

yie says that since homeowners cannot move their

into their organizations, such as having more voter

social media leads him to believe that voter turnout

home, they tend to care more about what’s going on

outreach. “Political parties are more likely to contact

will increase. Although it is uncertain which direction

around them. As a result, a gap in voter participation

frequent voters,” said Mendez Garcia, “Young voters

youth voter turnout will take right now, it is still import-

happens. Younger people are also relatively new to

are new voters so they’re less likely to be contacted.”

ant to use your voice in this election and others. To all

navigating the world around them, and this can affect

This is no surprise since, according to the Pew

the young people out there, please vote.

their awareness of politics and voting. “A lot of people

Research Center, younger voters were less likely than

have a hard time seeing the linkage between their

older voters to say they were contacted by political

political activity and political outcomes,” said Lesen-

campaigns through printed mail, email or phone calls

yie, “That’s especially true for young folks.” Lesenyie

throughout the 2020 presidential election season.

expressed how younger people have a lot going on in

Low voter turnout can also be driven by a lack of

their lives, such as school, work, and socialization so

knowledge and experience surrounding politics and

they might not have enough time to become invested

elections. Timothy Lossing, a senior at Long Beach

in politics.

State, is a regular voter who feels that young people

While data proves that young people have the

are not politically engaged enough. He believes that

lowest voter turnout, there are still youth who regu-

this is contributing to them voting at lower rates than

larly vote. Jesse Aguiar, a junior at Long Beach State,

other age groups. “They know about certain issues,

is an avid voter. Aguiar believes that the lack of youth

but they don’t have a fully formed overall political

voting is due to a loss of hope in politics among young

ideology,” said Lossing. Aguiar additionally noted the

people. Data from a 2022 poll conducted by the Insti-

lack of engagement youth have with local and state

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OPINION

BY JENSEN PUCKETT

FOOD OPTIONS ON CAMPUS HOW ARE STUDENTS WITH FOOD ALLERGIES SUPPOSED TO SUSTAIN THEMSELVES?

I

started at Long Beach in the Fall of 2020 and when

campus. Don’t get me wrong, there is the “caffeine

I came to campus, I knew it wouldn’t be as lively as

couldn’t wait to be able to go to places like The Nugget

lab” that sells Starbucks coffee, but it’s like a conve-

when I had toured in 2019, but I told myself it would

and Starbucks in the University Dining Plaza (UDP) in

nience store that sells coffee and not an actual Star-

get better as we reopened. When I lived in the dorms

between classes, and I would love to be able to get

bucks. Of course, I didn’t live here when there were

in the fall of 2020, it was a ghost town and I didn’t

a sandwich, but I’m gluten-free and unfortunately,

better options, but I did some research, asked around

know what restaurants would come back. Later that

Subway has no gluten-free bread. What on campus is

and looked back at what I saw when I toured. Did you

semester, The Outpost reopened. Students were

gluten-free that I can eat? A salad from Subway, some

know that the UDP used to have Panda Express, a real

excited because we could finally go do something

fruit and select bars from the convenience stores, fries

Starbucks, Squeeze Me, OPA! Greek & OLE! Tacos,

on campus. It wasn’t much and honestly, the options

from Carl’s Jr., a smoothie, and a few things from El

The Beach Walk Cafe, and then of course the most

on what to eat were limited, especially since I have a

Pollo Loco. There are not a lot of options for people

renowned Nugget Grill & Pub right next to it? Imagine

gluten allergy, but it was something, I guess.

that have allergies or other dietary restrictions, which

being able to get those food options anytime you want

is outrageous for an “inclusive” campus.

while on campus.

Fall 2021. I finally had classes in person and was told places would start opening up on campus again. I

There were and still are little to no food options on

Also, having a cafe and juice bar provided health-

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ILLUSTRATION BY ELIZABETH DELGADO TOLDEO

“There are promises of change, yet they don’t plan on even starting the changes for a few years.”

enough promotion for when food trucks come. Some

COMMUNITY ISSUE 88.06

again.

people don’t know that they’re on campus. I don’t

We need better food options. We need more vari-

think I would know anything about it if I didn’t work

ety. We need more affordable options. There is so

on the first floor of the USU in the 22 West Offices.

much we could ask for and of course, change does

When we look at what we have currently in the

not just happen overnight, but we do need to see it

USU. We have the Corner Market, Subway, El Pollo

sooner rather than later. I’m tired of hearing all of these

Loco, Carl’s Jr., Sbarro, Robeks, and Coffee Bean.

plans and promises, but statements followed by “in

The USU and the UDP are right next to each other.

five years.” We don’t need everything all at once, but

Our resources have been cut in half. Also, Coffee Bean

the least the school can do is give us the Nugget back.

does not really have actual food options. A bar and ier options if you weren’t in the mood for caffeine and

some yogurt can only get me so far. Why are we paying

tacos. Instead of using the UDP for actual dining, the

so much in tuition to not be heard for what food we

school is using it as a “Beach Kitchen” to teach the

actually want?

occasional “how to eat healthy” class. Most people

Of all the places on campus to get food, including

don’t want to learn how to cook vegan meals, they

the three convenience stores and The Outpost, El

want to be able to grab them easily between classes.

Pollo Loco is the only one that accepts EBT cards.

I feel like all I’ve heard since we have been back on

There are so many students that live off of food

campus are students complaining about how our food

stamps on the LBSU campus, myself included, and

options suck. We make complaints and tell ASI what

only one option to use it. I don’t get why I can use

we want and nothing happens. There are promises

my card at Subways all over the state, but not at the

of change, yet they don’t plan on even starting the

one on campus. Also, when you look online, LBSU

changes for a few years. We want change that will

leads students to think that EBT cards are accepted

affect us now. There is the occasional Mediterranean

at convenience stores on campus with outdated

food truck outside of the USU, but there is not nearly

information on their own website. Long Beach has

“There are so many students that live off of food stamps on the LBSU campus, myself included…”

got to do better. Firstly, I don’t want to eat El Pollo Loco every single day that I’m on campus. Secondly, I want healthier options. Of course, I can pack my own snacks and lunches, but that is using a lot of food I could be using when I am actually home. I’m so busy with classes and working and extra-curricular activities that I don’t really have time to cook and make whole meals before I go to class in the morning. If I could use my EBT card at Subway, it would be nice because at least I could switch things up and get a good, veggie-filled salad every so often. I want to finish this up by talking about what some might call the most iconic part of LBSU. The Nugget Grill and Pub. There isn’t anything I have heard more about than the Nugget. I have heard legendary stories of their food and the energy that comes from the building. I have heard about being able to grab a beer, if you’re 21 or older of course, and listen to some music. It seems like the Nugget Grill and Pub is one thing that unifies so many Long Beach students before us. It is something that could unite our student body once

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GRUNION

BY CAROLINE SMITH

A RECIPE FOR FRIENDSHIP A POWER STRONGER THAN LOVE; ENCHANTED PASTA

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ILLUSTRATION BY MADISON HOIBY AND CAROLINE SMITH

T

COMMUNITY ISSUE 88.06

he semester is flying by, and just to get

work, I would take a bag of pasta with me to my house.

And so, once I returned to Long Beach, I was

through finals you’ll need a few friends to

We would watch movies together, gossip, do karaoke,

determined to make friends with my newfound

accompany you. This dish is the perfect

all the fun stuff. Then the next day at work, we would

pasta abilities. I invited people I knew in passing over,

way to lure some unsuspecting strangers into being

say a sorrowful goodbye as I boiled them for others.

I befriended my pasta, I enchanted so many tomatoes,

your new pals.

But their sacrifice is a noble one, for the pasta that has

I spent a whole day in the LA River looking for lizards.

been your friend is the best tasting of all.

When the evening came I was ready.

I learned how to make pasta from my mother and grandmother. They made pasta with centuries of

We once had a critic come in, who Giuseppe feared

I made the pasta like I had done a thousand times

practice: eyeballing the perfect amount of water, stir-

a bad review from. I took special care to befriend the

before, imbued with magic and love, like my mother

ring the pasta just enough, making sauce with dense

pasta that week. We drove around, saw the sights, got

before me and hers before her. As I played “Autumn

and hand-crafted meatballs. The dish is simple, yet

caught in a lie and bonded as we were on the run. That

Nintendo Music” for these strangers that I was deter-

perfect every time.

pasta was the best I ever made, and the critic loved

mined to befriend, I made the best pasta I have ever

And yet, at some point the little bird must spread its

it. He wrote, “That food was so good. I cried. Once I

done.

wings and fly away, learn its own lessons and find what

finished eating I thought it impossible to ever feel that

When I was done I scooped out servings using the

it’s good at. The little bird has to learn how to make

full again. Giuseppe’s protege is sure to rock the food

spoon from Giuesseppe’s from so long ago. My guests

pasta themselves and add their own twist. The little

world with her witchcraft.” That night, everyone in

took their first bite and were silent. Then their second

bird also has to figure out how to keep the demons

the kitchen tried my signature drink with extra mara-

and third, still silent. I began to worry that Girl’s warn-

inside from winning. The little bird also has to figure

schino cherries on the side, and they all agreed that I

ing might have been this, that the magic would not

out if it is saying “Yippee!” unironically or not. And I

was really smart and really cool.

work on the average person. But I was proven wrong.

was that little bird.

But all good things come to an end. Schmanton

They were silent, they said, because it was so good

I first improved my pasta making skills when I

Schmego gave me an idea that I had to pursue: trying

started working at Giuseppe’s, a five-star, high end

witchcraft on my pasta. On my last day, Giuseppe

And just for time’s sake, now these people are close

restaurant in the Upper West Side. I was there tutor-

gave me a special engraved pasta spoon, and said,

friends of mine. They are actually dependent on my

ing a certain actress on Broadway, teaching her how

“Go now, and make new friends.”

pasta. Like they cannot live without it, so it’s good for

to read. Due to complications, I decided it was time

I found out that the engraving was a secret

for a career change. Down on my luck, I was sitting

message, which took me to a cemetery, which led

at the bar in Giuseppe’s, drinking my go-to, a Shir-

me to a grave, where I had to dig up a map, which led

Here is the recipe:

ley Temple with eight extra maraschino cherries on

me to an ancient witch, with a name so ancient and

Pasta

the side, when the bartender, Luigi, started talking to

cursed that I just called her “Girl.” I also just forgot to

Water

me and told me about a job opening in the kitchen. I

ask her name and then it got too awkward for me to

Sauce

perked up and he brought the one and only Giuseppe

ask again. Girl showed me the ways of witchcraft. I

Boil water

out.

learned how to enchant tomatoes and bring them to

Add pasta

He asked, “Can you cook pasta?”

life so that they too could become friends with the

Drain water

“Yes,” I said and he hired me on the spot.

pasta and unite their flavors. Was one of those flavors

Add sauce

I got to work that night. I could go on about my antics

also lizard legs? Maybe! Would they be health code

Serve

and friends I made in the kitchen. Each of us had our

violations? Absolutely! But you couldn’t argue with

dark pasts, and it took time for us all to open up to

the results.

each other. Of course, there was that time that Antony

My pasta was now to die for. Literally. I might

got into some trouble and he asked me to help scare

have started a war among witch covens. But that’s

some guys off. We spent a lot of money on a suit and

besides the point. I had to leave Girl before I grew too

a big fake wedding, but I was intimidating enough.

powerful. It was awkward giving her a thank you card

Fun times.

where I addressed it to “You Girl!” As I was leaving,

But I also learned much under the mentorship of

she shouted to me some kind of warning about the

Giuseppe. He taught me to understand the pasta.

average mortal and my pasta, and I should have just

Feel what it feels. “Caroline,” he would say, “you got

turned around and asked her to repeat it, but I had my

to treat the pasta as your friend, only then can it be

fist up in the air like the guy in “The Breakfast Club”

a source of friendship.” And so, when I would leave

and I didn’t want to ruin the moment.

“I mig a war cove besid

they had nothing funny to say. I was relieved.

me.

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ART

BY RACHEL LIVINAL

LATE NIGHT MORNING LULLABY I am no perfect girl Born from the crosses of my father’s

Of two women

How to give harmony,

Who,

And how to receive it

Tucked in my dreams

Stitched heart, The wilts never became scars

Tonight, My mother and I,

I put on my headphones,

Through the test of melodic time

Slipped into the bliss,

When I was three years old,

And just before my eyelids flickered

My mother,

We would sing this album,

Into sleep,

Heard the shackles,

And our blood curdling pain-

And dreams

From the boundaries she built.

Would slip out of the car windows,

And that sweet,

Far too late

With our unshaken grief

Fluid, Peace

My screams-

Tonight,

Bloodcurdling as they were,

I laid in a man’s bed,

I sent the album to him,

Described the pain of being torn

Fully clothed,

I said

Little limb by little limb

Truly elated,

His words held me down,

Freely cognizant

This is the album I’d fall asleep to when I was little,

An eternal constraint

Of the love I had for the love

It was the only thing that soothed my

That was laying next to me

Troubled mind at such a young age,

My screams-

It’s been the only rock for me-

They would break into,

And I thought about,

The walls of our beige minivan

That peace

And like a habit,

A feeling

My mother would slip in the disc

I have only felt briefly-

Until I met you I know I’ve run from the peace

A moment paired with fleeting She’d let the guitar strings,

A peace, A harmony,

Strum and play

A peace I’d run for,

Until my screams became muffled to the beat,

But in the past,

She’d rub my foot

It was a dichotomy

Until my tears, Would dry by the sound’s waves

That consolidate rare men like you,

A short-lived unbroken family I’m old enough to realize, That albums like these,

I’m only 20,

Come once in a lifetime

I’ve sat in that backseat, As I grew older,

For 17 years

I sang to the melody

So you listen to the album, Tell me what feelings you find

Yearned to have my mother, In those moments,

Slip in that CD

For I feel it roll off your tongue,

It was

And with my troubled mind,

Into the air that I’d like to

Peace in the backseat,

There weren’t enough times she could play it

Endlessly

It was a soothing yet strong volume,

But I’ve learned now how to push repeat,

Let my tears dry

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ILLUSTRATION BY JAKE WINKLE

COMMUNITY ISSUE 88.06

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ART

BY SIERRA JACKSON

LBSU IS HOME TO MANY ARTISTS, THE FOLLOWING ARE EXCERPTS

Manchego

poem

“She never hears more about war, or Secret tortures, self inflicted and snide. Yet it’s joy we find: but also cheeses galore.” by Marcus Venyette

Epigenetics poem “I’m not religious by any means, But the girl in me Still asks god Why I’m still being punished After My childhood was taken?” by Meztli M. Morales

May’s Final Day Short Story “Silence. Bitter and cold. Same as before, same as it’s always been. The world goes on when the dead descend.”

Untitled

by Sierra Jackson • @sierra_maree

Poem “There’s a place where grey skies soften. Chimed in tune and harmony, where arms relax and white waves dilute, a retreat from breached brine. Across seas and beneath skies stuck between the blues. Distances are chords, one laid on the next, and the other added for more.” by Isaac Wence

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ILLUSTRATION BY HELEN HO

COMMUNITY ISSUE 88.06

FROM CREATIVE WRITING SUBMITTED BY FELLOW STUDENTS.

The Satiation of the World poem

“Gluttony is what eats our Thoughts alive, Ravenous for the world’s Ambitions and dreams” by Julian Delfs • @flupmcdood

Sunsets poem

“You’d let me believe that dragons exist in the ruby and gold of summer sunsets, shaping the clouds into pictures for children.” by Jessica King • @thewhitedovepoet

Keto Diet Short Story “We both know how to create a soft and consumable thing and only call it beautiful when we want to ” by C.E. Oldham • @ c.e.oldham

Faith is Love Short Story “Just your presence. Those days where all you have to offer is your presence is what I needed. What I need. The ministry of presence. I hope to be always present for you in any situation. At any time. All the time. As you have been for me. ” by Havanna Nguyen

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CULTURE

BY ASTRID I. VIERA

OLIVE THEORY, RELATIONSHIPS AND YOU YOU GIVE WHAT YOU GET AND YOU DON’T GET UPSET

ever: sweet girl meets a guy from a different back-

are and unintentionally, they already share the same

ground which then leads to some trials and tribula-

city, town and state. This can also roll into beliefs and

tions just for them to end up together in the end. But

political views.

at the end of the day, who could turn down a good

Having more similarities or differences might affect

W

tearjerker? Nicholas Sparks is just great at what he

relationships or it might not. Either way, relationships

does.

form in ways people might not expect. Whether your

hen you have a favorite thing it’s hard to think that anyone else would not like

There are a lot of reasons that opposites attract.

best friend is the most opposite person could be from

that same thing as you. Your favorite

As individuals we are so used to ourselves, what we

you or so similar you are practically twins, we are all

thing could be someone else’s least favorite thing.

like, what we enjoy doing, how we respond to situa-

more similar than we are different. It makes us who

Maybe this is what makes some of the best relation-

tions, and of course, what we don’t like. When meet-

we are as individuals and as we are in relationships.

ships, both romantic and platonic. Someone enjoying

ing someone new, they might have a completely

Without differences and similarities within relation-

something opposite from you: like the saying “oppo-

different style of clothing than what you wear, or they

ships, we might not have our best dynamic duos or

sites attract.” This opens up the question: “Do oppo-

might be outgoing and adventurous, but you might

even the power couples, *cough cough* Blake Lively

sites really attract?” Are the best pairing two different

be introverted and stick to what you like. This could

and Ryan Reynolds. Maybe the Olive Theory is some-

things or do similarities make a strong duo? Some

be exciting for someone to see or it could seem like

thing to keep in the back of the mind, a fun conversa-

different things are so good together: the peanut

a nightmare. We can find ourselves in situations that

tion starter, or even something you might notice more

butter to the jelly, the apple to the pie and in the fall,

match us with someone, either romantically or platon-

after reading this.

the pumpkin to the spice.

ically, where the question arises: “How are we even

On a lighter note, opposites attracting can be referred to as “The Olive Theory”, a theory that had

friends or together?” Sometimes, opposites just really work together.

been talked about in an episode of the popular tele-

On the other hand, similarities might be the key to

vision show How I Met Your Mother. The two charac-

long-term relationships, whether platonic or roman-

ters, Lily and Marshall had gone on a date to find out

tic. For some people, similarities are something that

Marshall hates olives while Lily loves them. Marshall’s

they seek when meeting people, as it generally helps

friend, Ted, had explained that this would make

in forming relationships if people share something

them the perfect couple because it creates a perfect

in common. Whether it’s music, clothes or food, it

balance. Therefore, creating *drumroll please* “The

provides an easy talking point without thinking too

Olive Theory.” Is it a proper scientific theory that

hard. Similarities might even be beneficial within rela-

Stephen Hawking created? No, but it still applies to

tionships. This can include certain demographics

everyone’s lives.

that someone might be a part of, including beliefs or

This theory applies to real life but it is also seen in

values, cultures, politics, and even location.

movies and TV shows. In the movie Ratatouille, one

These similarities are of high importance in form-

of the main characters, Alfredo Linguini, is a new chef

ing relationships and may lead to a longer-lasting

at the restaurant; he holds a soft-spoken personal-

relationship. Some of these factors could make it or

ity and tries to keep to himself. On the other hand,

break it. In this case, differences might only be good

he ends up meeting Colette Tatou who also works

for surface-level topics. Similarities also do not have

at the restaurant and has a strong personality that

to be something as pointed as politics or beliefs;

packs a punch. In the end, they get together, and even

many people might be attracted to the people in their

though they are opposites, they work. Another exam-

geographical location since it is where they already

ple would probably be every Nicholas Sparks movie

reside or spend their time. It is already where they

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ILLUSTRATION BY KRIZZHA DEE

COMMUNITY ISSUE 88.06

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CULTURE

BY ANONYMOUS

I THINK T H AT ’ S HOW I FEEL, BUT I A M N O T S U R E HOW THE SOCIAL PRESSURE COMMUNITIES WARPED MY

W

hat comes to mind when you hear the word: community? There are

IN RELIGIOUS PERCEPTIONS

climb the wall of your shower. I could not get a fucking grip.

probably positive connotations, a sense of belonging, a secure space

But as I consider it more honestly, more fairly, with a healthy amount of self-crit-

to share your experiences, and a safety net for emotional support,

icism, I realize I often did the same thing. I nodded and smiled and gave a quick

but that is not always the case. Sometimes, instead of a community carving out

remark of agreement with dozens of statements when I was internally screaming.

a spot for people to be their authentic selves, it pressures people to mold them-

Just maybe… no, most likely, I wasn’t the only one who thought, “you know what?

selves to narrow expectations of what is acceptable in that community. Instead of

Fuck it. It’s not worth it anymore. I’m just going to shut up.”

bringing people together while respecting their unique differences of taste, opin-

Here it is: another pleasant side effect, the all too familiar guilt. Why wasn’t

ion, and background, it enforces a code of conformity and removes the chance

I better? Why didn’t I say what I thought? I never could answer that question. I

for true connection.

thought it was because I was afraid. But it wasn’t. It was because there wasn’t

When growing up in a tight-knit religious community, you quickly learn that there are acceptable ways to act, speak, dress and look at the world around you. While

any point in yelling into the void, when not even an echo would come back. I knew the stove was hot and banging my head against a wall was going to hurt.

certain ways of thinking may not be explicitly criticized, those who don’t behave

There was a constant expectation of vulnerability. Being honest about your

or think as expected are often ostracized. As I look back at the structure that I

struggles, your “sins,” was a sign that you were engaged in your faith. Quite frankly,

grew up in, I find that many of the religious communities I was in, from schools to

it felt uncomfortable to be thrown into a random youth group and have people bare

churches to families, coerced me to accept behaviors and relationships that are

their fucking souls. I mean, people you just met. The only thing more uncomfort-

not beneficial to myself in my formative years, only because there weren’t any

able than that was the mounting pressure to share your personal life with these

other options. For years and even to this day, it has led to me to question and dislike

people who you just met and didn’t know if you could trust.

myself, making me out of touch with who I was.

Wait, no I take it back, the only thing more uncomfortable was when you shared

Only now, as I begin to rediscover what I like, how I think, and what I want for

something vulnerable and personal only to be met with an empty rehearsed

myself am I able to put into context how the community I grew up in molded me in

answer. Uncomfortable isn’t the precise word for that though. Insulting, maybe.

ways that were against my nature. As I was growing up, I had a persistent sense

It felt like a slap in the face: to share vulnerable parts of yourself and receive an

of wanting to connect with others around me but found that being stuck in a social

impersonal answer that could have been given to anyone. It was almost as if they

bubble where everyone has similar beliefs made it difficult to find an actual support

didn’t even listen to what you said.

system. Since everyone is brought up being taught the same ideas, it created a surface-level sense of uniformity in personality. Everyone’s edges are smoothed over with an industrial wood buffer until every-

I can remember being told by my youth group leader, a young woman, who was supposed to support the high school and middle school students in their faith that I had no reason to be sad about my grandparent’s death when Jesus had gone

thing becomes smooth and slick. Slippery. Interactions between people were like

through much worse. And that he understood everything I was going through.

a vertical countertop and water. Just slipping, connectionless. It felt like trying to

It’s one thing to tell someone their opinion is wrong, but it’s another thing to tell

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ILLUSTRATION BY CAROLINE BAE

COMMUNITY ISSUE 88.06

someone they don’t have the right to feel the way they do. The idea that being

ered that my opinion and thoughts were valid or maybe even, right. Even now, the

upset, anxious, sad, or angry is wrong encourages a very emotionally unhealthy

nagging feeling that I can’t trust my own judgment persists.

set of coping mechanisms. But of course, feelings are natural, and often impos-

Another intellectually dishonest behavior that never ceased to annoy me: every-

sible to prevent. They are signs that tell you something about yourself. I know

thing the pastor said was right. Even when it was directly contradictory. Even when

that now, but I didn’t know that then. Since I couldn’t get rid of how I felt, I figured

there were genuinely other ways to interpret the text. Other interpretations were

I would just hide it.

branded as only being brought up because of ulterior motives to twist the text

But I didn’t find the community to be invalidating just emotionally and socially,

to match their own beliefs, rather than mold their beliefs to what God was really

but also intellectually. If you had a problem, I could guarantee you the first dozen

saying. If I have to hear someone say to just “trust in his authority,” one more time I will have a brain aneurysm.

people you asked would all give you the same solution. Getting a second

It seemed that all these

opinion? Yeah… that was nonex-

adults I grew up with seemed

istent for the most part. There

so assured of themselves, so

was one opinion. The opinion. In

confident they were right. At

fact, most people wouldn’t even

first, I felt that way too. That

consider it an opinion, they would

what I thought and said was

consider it a fact.

important, but then I wasn’t so sure. Then I wasn’t even so sure

If you happened to have a differ-

of what I thought at all.

ent opinion, expect everybody to look at you like you have four heads

Although I started by

or as if you just told them you torture

describing how my experi-

small woodland creatures for fun. I

ences, my self-awareness

distinctly remember a bible teacher

developed the other way

asking me for my opinion on abor-

around. Beginning to under-

tion because he thought I seemed

stand how these experiences

“very smart,” so he was just curious

affected me was a bit of work-

about what I thought. Of course, I

ing backwards. I started with a

really appreciated that he thought

nagging sense of

I was smart enough to make my

discomfort, a feeling of suffo-

opinion valid, really, I didn’t consider

cation that was persistent and

my opinion to matter before he said

painful. I had a

it did. Anyways, the condescension

continual, inaccurate fear that

continued when I got cut off half-

I couldn’t trust myself: not my

way through my explanation that

opinions, my

personhood is different from life

choices, my perceptions of

with a quip that a fetus was a human

the world, my judgments on

obviously, not an elephant. I mean,

whether others were healthy

case closed. It didn’t bother me as

to include in my life or not. Honestly, that fear has

much as his opinion being wrong or different from mine, just the fact that there was zero intellectual honesty.

not gone away completely, but it has been lessened little by little as I follow my

At least three-quarters of the time, an opinion that was rare in the context of

own instincts and the world doesn’t implode. In fact, sometimes my choices leave

our religious community was met with a straw man argument, shock, disbelief, or

me with good results. Maybe, one day, it won’t be a leap of faith every time I make

some sort of ridicule. Yet, I had all these adults telling me I was “bright” or “intel-

a decision to trust myself.

lectual” yet completely ridiculing my opinions, even if they were the ones asking me to share. You get to a point where you start to think you’re crazy or stupid. The gaslighting was off the charts. Now, these behaviors wouldn’t phase me, but when you are young, you assume

Disclaimer: This is my personal experience; it is not meant to be taken as a widespread indictment of an entire religion or religious/spiritual practices in general. There were some lovely people I grew up with, I’m just describing the general atmosphere of the religious communities in my church and school.

everyone around you is smarter, wiser, and better than you. So, I never consid-

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FEATURE

BY NATALIE COMFORT

EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT: JASON BAUGUESS THE ERA OF BLACK MAGIC CAMERAS IS COMING TO PASS Jason Bauguess, a video producer, talks about his journey in 22 West Media’s video branch, his newest show about mental health struggles, and preparing to take on a bigger role in the department next semester. Natalie Comfort: Tell me about your journey towards being interested in film. Jason Bauguess: I was always making videos, ever since elementary school… just videos of my siblings and stuff. There was a point where I started making gaming videos for like six or seven years. Then, in high school, I kind of just stopped. I bought a camera. I got really into photography. And then that turned out into recording my friends whenever we hung out. We just made vlogs and shit like that. No one would watch them except us. That turned into any school project opportunity… I would make a video for it. And then I was like fuck it, I’ll study film. Now I’m here. NC: When and how did you start working at 22 West Media? JB: I started as a freshman volunteering on the shows they had running at the time. I found [22 West] at Week of Welcome and I’ve been trapped ever since. NC: So, next semester you are going to step into a bigger role as the current executive producer is leaving, what plans do you have? JB: I definitely want it to feel a little more organized. I

as a video producer, I can realize that some of the shit

afterward there was a lot of stuff I didn’t like about it.

like that it is a creative outlet for us as students. But I

I was making wasn’t that good. I should have seen it

Just generally, more quality control. And I’ll only be

just think the content itself can be polished, in terms

sooner but sometimes if you are not having eyes on it,

here for a semester more so really I’m just setting the

of thumbnails, descriptions, just general formatting of

it’s hard to see if your project is flawed. But a lot of the

grounds for the next person to step in and figure shit

videos. There has been a lack of quality control and

time I just got greenlit to post stuff, and I only realized

out. I want to try to bring back a 22 West film compe-

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY CARLOS HENRIQUEZ

tition, I entered it and won. Especially since we are

making short films and being on set.

on campus again, it would be fun to have volunteers

COMMUNITY ISSUE 88.06

JB: Yeah, it’s always hard to get committed to something that’s even longer than eight minutes. Even a

enter that. More cute stuff like that to get volunteers

NC: What’s the main concept behind Help? How did

YouTube video longer than eight minutes, I’m like

involved beyond film shoots.

you come up with it and what is it meant to do?

ehh…

NC: Do you remember any of the shows you first

JB: I wanted to bring back short films to 22 West

NC: Yeah, you’re like ‘do I have time for this?’

worked on?

because it made me fall in love with the company in the first place. In class, I have not made a single short

JB: If it’s three or four minutes, I’m like I have time

JB: Yes, it was “Dear Long Beach”. I liked it because it

film, not one, and I’m a film major. It’s fucking crazy. I

to watch it. But most of [the episodes] are going to

was so unique. It was heavily inspired by Wes Ander-

wanted it to be about something that meant a lot to me

be concise.

son. At the time, I had no idea who that was. So, seeing

and I have my own mental health trauma. It’s good to

this unique style of symmetry and stop motion was

sort that stuff out with a creative outlet. The most fun

NC: Would you say there was a specific moment that

intriguing to me. I had never done that. It was talking

I have on set is working on narrative shorts. So, I just

the concept originated? Or has it been in the back of

about issues on campus. I feel like everyone can relate

wanted to make that. The whole purpose of Help is

your mind for a while?

to that. And then that moved slowly into more comedy

to represent those who have mental health struggles

stuff. I worked on “Local Access” which is a show that

but in a not cringe way. A lot of mental health shorts…

I now brought back. And then I worked for a show called “Glass” which inspired me to make the show

JB: For a good portion of my job here, I was making content I thought I liked but I still felt I wasn’t making

NC: Yeah, a lot of them can be borderline offensive

“Help”, [that is] the one I am mainly invested in right

things I wanted to make. I had that realization towards the end of last year, so I

now.

“No one experiences their depression the same, their anxiety the same, it’s all different.”

NC: Do you think having more responsibilities, having to manage things, will mean you have to cut back on your own shows? JB: I think it is possible for me to still produce shows but I will have to drop one of them. It just makes

dropped one of the shows that I disliked the most. I wanted to make short films, but I needed a niche. It’s better to have a concept and structure, especially for volunteers. So, when I was working on an older show called “Glass” here at 22 West [I really enjoyed it]. That was also a narrative anthology, similar to “Black Mirror”, that talked about social issues. That show inspired me to talk about my own issues.

sense. Having such a larger role in the grand scheme of things, I would probably drop one. But I don’t mind.

for people who go through those struggles; it misrep-

NC: I saw you already have the first episode filmed so

I already talked to some volunteers and interns about

resents.

can you tell me what that is about?

JB: A lot of pieces I watched on body dysmorphia

JB: So, the first episode is about imposter syndrome.

are so poorly done; it probably meant a lot to that

The concept is a student breaking into the exhibit

person so I don’t want to disrespect them. But I think

where their art is supposed to be and trying to sneak-

taking that show or using that show’s slot to create something else. NC: Which show do you plan on keeping?

there [are] better ways to represent mental health and

ily place it because they hadn’t put it in the display yet.

JB: My favorite one is “Help”, it kinda makes sense,

that is what I am trying to do. I also want people who

So, they are hoping no one will notice them because

right? It’s my favorite. I really connect with it. I have

don’t know what it’s like to experience these issues to

they just don’t feel like they’re an artist. In the first half

recently been seeing a psychiatrist so that’s [helped

understand. My main goal is to have each episode be

of the video, you don’t know why they are sneaking

me] realize that mental health is a big thing in my life.

an experience visually and [audio-wise]…. to repre-

around; they are wearing all black, like very stereotyp-

So I’m glad that a lot of people see this show and use

sent people who struggle with mental health.

ical I’m-going-to-steal-something, but then it does

it as an outlet to talk about their own experiences in

like a 180 and you find out he’s breaking into his own

a film. We have recently gotten a lot of scripts being

NC: I think short-form videos are what most people

art gallery. Then he ends up winning. It’s just tack-

worked on and a lot of them are close to being locked:

watch. Not everyone watches movies, but I think

ling the whole idea of imposter syndrome. A lot of

another anxiety one, one about substance abuse and

everyone has time in their schedule to watch a short

people struggle with it, especially in college and as

one about autism. I think all of them are fucking great

film.

an art major. It’s kind of hard to validate what you’re

and I’m really excited to make all of them. I just love

doing because of how risky of a field it is.

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FEATURE

BY NATALIE COMFORT

different. Multiple episodes will have the same topic but through a different lens. Some people are working on other episodes about loneliness, eye contact [and] addiction; there are a lot of concepts and scripts being worked on that I’m excited about. NC: What do you want people to take away from the show? JB: Generally… to be aware and considerate of people’s feelings, people are invisible about [their mental health] so you don’t know if someone is experiencing depression or anxiety… [it’s important] for people to be considerate and understanding.

NC: Yes, when I was watching that episode, at first I

cues, they were on GoPro and we had to connect that

was like what is going on, but seventy percent of the

to a phone so the script supervisor and director can

way through I was like oh, everything makes sense.

see how he’s moving throughout the classroom and stuff. But he can’t really direct them live. So we would

JB: There are some elements that are supposed to

go for a take and then we would come back and there

be comedic to ease the audience in. But it does a 180

would be a buffer period, just giving direction, what

towards the end and is only drama. I think it’s fun and

people should be doing and what the extras should

obviously, it wasn’t done. I think a lot of really feeling

be doing. Then we would go back and it was a bunch

the imposter syndrome vibe will come from sound

of one-takes. It was really interesting. I have never

design. So, hopefully, it will be out by the time this

experienced that before. I think choosing to have

comes out.

it in first-person makes it feel like, to a degree, you are that person. Especially because the actor’s body

NC: How did filming the social anxiety episode end up

language is really good, his hands were shaking and it

going? I know you said you used the GoPro to create

wasn’t over the top but it makes you feel his anxiety;

a first-person point of view.

I’m super excited to see the finished product.

JB: Shooting first-person, the crew is a little bit weird,

NC: What are the future shows you want to

because the audio team, we had to wire it where they

make?

were outside and can still hear the audio and give JB: There are a lot of [ideas] volunteers came up with

“There has been a lack of quality control and as a video producer, I can realize that some of the shit I was making wasn’t that good.”

and were drawn towards. It was really awesome to see people want to be so open about their mental health but also take it to a creative approach. Seeing ideas come to life, in a creative form, [is really cool]. We just had a script done about sensory overload. We have another anxiety episode because I feel it’s important to show multiple perspectives on different issues, since people experience their own mental health in different ways. No one experiences their depression the same, their anxiety the same, it’s all

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ILLUSTRATION BY BEATRIZ DA SILVA & BANNER BY FELICITY DAO

COMMUNITY ISSUE 88.06

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STUDENT LIFE

BY KAMRYN BOUYETT

A HUB FOR STUDENT ENGAGEMENT? AN INTERVIEW WITH @CSULBAFFIRMATIONS

Who is @csulbaffirmations you may ask? I don’t know.

and @csulb.art.building.heat.

The divide between students, faculty and admin-

Through private interviews, I asked some anonymous

Another popular account you may know is @

istration is more than severed. Students are done

accounts their perspective on the power of anonymity

csulbcuriosities, a page where students can submit

on social media. I also asked how they felt about new

photos from campus that they’re ‘curious’ about. @

@Csulbaffirmations is a page of affirmations that

accounts speaking on behalf of the student body of

Csulbcuriosities told me they were unable to commit

LBSU students can relate to. Although their page is

Long Beach, like @csulbtruth, @fundthearts.csulb,

to an interview due to their availability.

considered a meme page, their posts shed a light on

standing back with their complaints.

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ILLUSTRATION BY PHYKE SORIANO

what students really care about. The page validates

COMMUNITY ISSUE 88.06

shared feelings.”

the opinion of students on campus and in return,

The use of social media is controversial but for

AAO: Honestly, I think covid pushed a lot of students

creates a community online. Some affirmations talk

LBSU students it’s easy using social media as a tool

online to the point where that’s how so many people

about the lack of food options on campus, parking

for community outreach and friendships on campus.

engage with the campus community. That’s why I

complaints against other students, and the air conditioning situation on campus.

try to post about current events or hiring or clubs

In a post from @csulbaffirmations, the affirmation

because I know most of us forgot how to do these things. I wish I had somewhere really accessible, like

“there will be AC in all my classes today” was posted in

Kamryn Bouyett: When and why did you start the @

Instagram, where I could just see what’s happening

April of this year. In the comment section of the post,

csulbaffirmations page?

around campus.

years from the school. They agreed with the humor-

Affirmations Account Owner: I started CSULB

KB: Do you think social media has created a whole

ous post and added that some classrooms for the

Affirmations in early fall 2021 because I noticed other

other community aside from LBSU?

Kinesiology Department also felt like “sweat boxes”.

schools had pages and I needed one. I was originally

one user claims to be a former faculty member of 45

The @csulb.art.building.heat account came up

trying

to think of

AAO: I definitely think there is a side to LBSU that

randomly on my recommendations one evening. Its

is entirely online. There was a whole generation of

posts were screenshots of complaints from reddit.

transfer students that entered online and graduated

Their posts erupted. A protest was organized and

online. Switching to Canvas right now doesn’t help

reached the eyes of many. A caption from their

either because literally all people want right now is

last post reads: “Let us all work together to

consistency and we can’t even do that.

find the best solution possible. Keep everyone accountable even if it ‘“stops being

KB: Do you think the administration could learn

hot”’, we can’t ever let them forget it.”

about the concerns students have through

Another popular student body led

social media?

account is @lb_confess. Created in the spur AAO:I definitely think administration could learn

of the moment with a friend, @lb_confess is an account that shares the anonymous

from what students are expressing through my

confessions of supposed students. Submis-

account. I want someone to hear what we’re saying.

sions talk about almost everything, from relation-

I do have some professors who follow me but clearly

ship details to awkward interactions with students to

no one with any power for change. There already is

random stories with absolutely no censor. “People are more likely to speak their truths when left anonymous because it allows them to not be fully

someone

a huge disconnect between faculty and students;

to so they could

social media is such an easy way to bridge that gap,

start it instead but I got impatient and just did it myself.

or at least be incognito in learning about student life on

to tell the idea

judged,’’ they said. “I think it has definitely created a community within this account, and I’d love to think

campus. Especially the ASI and other big accounts. KB: How do you choose submissions for posts?

of this Instagram as almost a safe space.”

There need to be important eyes on those comment sections. A lot of times that’s the only place students

A smaller account is more focused on the missed

AAO: Most of the ideas come out of my brain, but I

know to go to for questions and complaints. And it

connections on campus. @Csulb_missedconnec-

do accept some submissions. I get a lot of submis-

should be taken seriously.

tions receives submissions and posts anonymously

sions that simply, (a) wouldn’t fit the format well or

on their page. The wholesome Instagram account

(b) are wayyyyy too specific. The affirmations need

KB: What is your opinion on the uprising of other LBSU

posts different situations supposed students have

to be funny and short and relatable, and not every-

accounts on Instagram?

experienced on campus.

one executed the vibe perfectly. And I feel bad tell-

“I think by sharing these small moments we can take the opportunity to externalize how we are feeling

ing people their [idea] doesn’t work, so I leave a lot

AAO: I am honored that other students took it upon

“in requests”.

themselves to simply just go for it. I am glad students

and process our emotions in a safe space,” they said.

are finding their niche, whether that’s in a club on

“I think that this is how we connect with people over

KB: Do you think that student engagement is more

social media, mabe not through meeting, but through

online because of social media? Why or why not?

campus or an Instagram account.

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“sorry guys ughhh fucking ran out of content” Andres Leon, Editor in Chief 0ct 31, 2022 · 13:50:30 Illustration by Andre Chris-Sargent

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ILLUSTRATION BY

COMMUNITY ISSUE 88.06

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CONTRIBUTORS LIST Astrid I. Viera, Writer Caroline Smith, Writer & Artist Jacob Ingram, Writer Jude Sampson, Writer Kamryn Bouyett, Writer Rachel Livinal, Writer Sofia Carlos, Writer Sierra Jackson, Writer

Andre Chris-Sargent, Artist Beatriz da Silva, Artist Caroline Bae, Artist Elizabeth Delgado Toledo, Artist Carlos Henriquez, Photographer Fabian Rubio, Photographer Felicity Dao, Artist Jena Quach, Artist Helen Ho, Artist Madison Hoiby, Artist Phyke Soriano, Artist RJ Nieto, Artist

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