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The stigma behind mental illness


study tips to raise your gpa

the rise of recycled stories + S.T.E.M. syndrome

@ uTD: revisited

A year later AMP follows up with an undocumented student to ask what life is like in the Trump presidency

Editors’ Desk Editors’ Desk Election Season


the student body as a whole does little to indicate that. Their online Election Season Smoke-Free meeting minutes haven’t been published since November of 2016,

overing Student Government elections is very difficult for AMP. Since we send our stories to print at the end of every month, our March issue is finished before candidates overing Student Government is very difficult are for n June 1, 2017, UTD will becomeelections a tobacco-free campus. announced, and our April issue is published after elections AMP. Since we send on ourJanuary stories to print at the end of five every Students were notified 9, 2017, giving them are over. month, Because of this, ourissue involvement has often candidates been minimal. March finished months of our preparation beforeisthe start ofbefore the summer and are Last year,announced, however, weand were able to critique the shortcomings of the our April before issue isthe published elections seven months of preparation start of after the fall seelection through our post-election UnElection campaign, in which are While over. Because of this,may our feel involvement been minimal. mester. some students blindsidedhas byoften this rollout, we at we managed to gather moreable votes in a fakethe election than Student we were to shortcomings the AMPLast viewyear, thishowever, is a positive transition forcritique the university, consistent of with Government did in their actual elections. While campaign, the UnElection was election through our post-election UnElection in which the rest of the UT System, and an important step in the right direction fun managed in its owntoright, it also showcased aa lack ofelection studentthan engagement gather votes in fake for awe university committed tomore the public health of its students. Student and enthusiasm with Student Government. Unfortunately, we have Government did in their actual elections. While the UnElection was Though there are student freedom and choice concerns to be not observed many signs of showcased improvement thisofpast year. engagement fun in its own right, it also a lack student had about this ban, the health benefits to the student body at large the eyes ofwith AMP, an organization committed to promoting andInenthusiasm Student outweigh this concern. Whether it Government. be the harmfulUnfortunately, health effects we of have campus dialogue and facilitating the development ofyear. a shared campus not observed many signs of improvement thisby past secondhand smoke or the public nuisance caused vapors in student culture, most important function of committed Student Government is In places, thetheeyes of AMP, an organization promoting gathering removing smoking from campus will bringtoabout a to serve as a communication bridge between the student body and campus effect dialogue andcampus facilitating the development ofthat’s a shared net positive to the experience. Of course, easycampus to administration. Ideally, Student Government would be in tune culture, the who most function of Student say for students areimportant non-smokers; smoking students,Government faculty, and is with the questions, concerns,bridge problems, and the ideasstudent of a broad serve a communication body and and staffto that nowasfind themselves faced with between quitting in a very limited representative cross-section of the Government student body, and would organize administration. Ideally, Student would be in tune timeframe or leaving campus to continue smoking face compounded and advocate for those ideasproblems, before administration. Conversely, with the questions, concerns, andnotideas broad and stress. However, the university has an obligation onlyof to aindividual public communication fromofStudent Government should provide representative cross-section the student body, and would organizea students but to the well-being of the university community at large, way for students tothose betterideas understand the administrativeConversely, decisionand advocate for before administration. and the right step for improvement of this community is to remove making process at UTD. Student Government can properly fill this publicfrom communication smoking its premises. from Student Government should provide a role only if it regularly communicates and engages with students of way forthe students better understand decisionThough five or to seven month timelinethe mayadministrative seem exceedingly all backgrounds and pursuits. TheGovernment AMP UnElection was just one making process at UTD. Student can properly fi ll this short to some, the timeline seems to strike the happy balance of being example little Student Government has donewith toward this end. onlyof if how it regularly and engages students longrole enough to give studentscommunicates time to prepare but short enough for the of For the average student to get more involved with the Student all backgrounds and affected pursuits.students The AMP UnElection was just immediacy effect to spur to action. A ban with too one Government process, StudentGovernment Governmenthas must take the initiative example of how little Student done toward this long of a rollout period would likely have the effect of discouraging end. to actively with students and encourage themthe to engage. For behavioral the connect averageorstudent to get more involved with immediate therapeutic activity, for it would seem Student However, a cursory search for what Student Government actually Government process, must the initiative too far off in the future to Student motivateGovernment any efforts until thetake deadline doesactively yields connect few results. Thstudents is is by and no means saying that Student to with encourage them to engage. became closer. On the flip side, the time period reflects a much better Government does nothing on what campus; a talk with any Student However, a cursory search for Student Government actually implementation than that of the smoking ban implementation for Government Senator quickly the many initiativesthat they’ve been does yieldspublic few results. Thisinreveals is2015, by no means Student Pennsylvania universities which had saying one day of notice working on. However, their public presence and communication with Government does nothing on campus; a talk with any Student before implementation. Government Senator quickly reveals the many initiatives they’ve been working on. However, their public presence and communication with

making it difficultastoaquickly figurelittle out what Student Government is the student whole does Their online The truebody test of this policy, though, to willindicate be in itsthat. implementation. planning for students. Checking their social media presence also isn’t meeting minutes haven’t November of 2016, The current smoking lawsbeen and published regulationssince on campus are known for much help. Scrolling throughfithe past year primarily yields making it diffi cult to quickly gure outacademic what Student Government is do not being heavily enforced, and a similar enforcement structure will posts on afor resolution concerning the bathroom bill,presence the introduction planning students. Checking their social media also isn’t little to actually fulfill the university’s stated goal of making campus of hammocks to campus, andthe a past few academic advertisements for sponsored much help. Scrolling year primarily yields smoke-free. For thatthrough to happen, the enforcement policy must be strinpolitical events leading up to election week. posts on a resolution concerning the bathroom bill, the introduction gent enough that its effect is felt and known. It is unreasonable to expect to be engagedfor in asponsored dialogue of hammocks to time, campus, and students a of few At the same treatment andadvertisements compassion toward smoking with Student Government when so little information is digitally political up to election week. studentsevents duringleading enforcement will make or break this policy. On a specaccessible. The simpletorebuttal to thesetocriticisms is that students It is unreasonable expect students be engaged in a dialogue trum of disciplinary responses and enforcement strategies, we implore can and shouldGovernment meet with Student Government Senators indigitally person with Student whenviolations so little information that the university treat smoking more akin to isa parking vioto discuss their issues and concerns. However, blaming lack of accessible. simple rebuttalviolation. to theseThis criticisms thatinto students lation thanTha edrug or alcohol will bestistake account engagement on meet students not an eff ective solution. UntilinStudent can and should withisStudent Government person students affected by addiction and those that willSenators need time to change Government effectively demonstrates how it can tangibly assist totheir discuss their issues and concerns. However, blaming lackand of habits. In addition, we ask that the university show particular inform students, students islack a reason to care. engagement on students not an eff ective solution. Until Student compassion toward its smoking students, faculty, and staff that came to A yearly eff testectively of Student Government’s success withassist student Government it can tangibly and this university unaware demonstrates that it was to how become a non-smoking camengagement is the election process. Into recent years, this test has inform students, students lack a reason care. pus; to those smokers with no choice than to live on campus, whether resulted in antest uncontested coronation ceremony, andwith an election A yearly success student physically requiredoforStudent de facto Government’s obligated by financial or transportation whose abysmal turnout spurred us to mock it. Th is year we planned engagement the smokers election that process. In recent test has concerns; to is those are afraid of theyears, stigmathis of attending to help in drum up participation and awareness by running our resulted an uncontested coronation ceremony, an resources election public sessions to quit smoking, especially with onlyand public own presidential candidate, andusjoining init.on the fun.weHowever, whose abysmal turnout spurred to mock Th is year planned being offered by the university so far; to those smokers that, previously ato combination of bylaws that restrict presidential eligibility to helpsmoking drum for up participation and awareness running our using stress alleviation, now face their by stress compounded previous full-term Student Government Senators, and inter-Student own presidential and joining in on but thehaving fun. However, by not only a losscandidate, of a stress coping mechanism to figure out Government politics and relationships made it diffieligibility cult to find ahow combination offrom bylaws restrict to remove it theirthat life or adjust presidential their schedule to fit it in;toand aprevious candidate to place underGovernment our banner. Senators, Regardless of how we end Student to thosefull-term that succeed in quitting but may relapse. and inter-Student up participating this month, the onus is on Student Government Government politics madeforit the diffihealth cult to findstuThe university has and maderelationships the proper choice of its transformtowhat hasunder consistently been Regardless referred to of as how an apathetic atodents candidate place our banner. we end by enacting this policy. However, it is compassion, understanding, student body. Thethis United States presidential election Government and turnout up month, thethat onuswill is ultimately on Student andparticipating empathy in its enforcement determine if this at UTD’s election night party demonstrated that students can be topolicy transform whatfor hasnot consistently been referred to as an apathetic is positive only the campus’s smoking population but the motivated to care about their country. They canelection also careand about their student body. Th e United States presidential turnout integrity and character of the university as a whole. As UTD takes a school. Whatever happens thisdemonstrated election, we hope students to see Student atfirm UTD’s night issue, party stanceelection on a delicate we implore thatthat the universitycan doesbenot Government do more to demonstrate why they are essential totheir our motivated to care about their country. Th ey can also care about foster stigma and prejudice toward its smoking members but instead campus’s future. school. Whatever happens this election, we hope unites the UTD community toward a common see Student Government do more to demonstrate why they are essential to our campus’s future.

Zachary Boullt - Editor-in-Chief

Maisha Razzaque - Marketing Director

Matt Carpenter - Managing Editor

Zachary Boullt - Editor-in-Chief

Maisha Razzaque - Marketing Director

Matt Carpenter - Managing Editor

Nicholas Provenghi - Web Editor

Bryar Bennett - Art Director

Nicholas Provenghi - Web Editor

Bryar Bennett - Art Director




Editor-in-Chief Zachary Boullt

Managing Editor Matt Carpenter


Art Director


Web Editor


Bryar Bennett

Nicholas Provenghi

Marketing Director


Maisha Razzaque


Chiamaka Mgboji Katie Risor










Staff Artists

Morganne Blaylock Danielle Edmonds Joanna Haug Emily Huffman Nada Mageed Marleen Martinez Kayla Romero Sloan Yusra Soomro

Photographer Rabia Fatima

Media Adviser Chad Thomas

Disclaimer Opinions expressed in AMP are those of the editor or of the writer of the article and are not necessarily those of the university administration, the board of Regents of the University of Texas System, or of the operating board of the magazine.

Have an opinion? Think you’re funny? Write for AMP! Contact us at and follow us on social media @AMPatUTD for more information.

d e s i v d A l l I LIFEST YLE

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e in no r a d n a s not aunt e r a uestions. o q J r t u n o u y A r e and d to answ pinions and Aunt Mo ie if l a u q of o ally way actu r, they have a lot This column . Howeve low them l o f o t u to give d e e n ir e want yo h atisfy t aims to s licited advice. unso

My best friend is getting back with her ex and I don’t think it’s a good idea. I want to support her, but I don’t want to support this decision. Help!! -Anxious Amiga Mo: If your best friend doesn’t follow your advice as much as you follow ours, sometimes it can be hard. Jo: I think the most important thing here is being vocal about how you feel. Make sure she knows that you love her and support her no matter what she does, but I also think it’s OK to tell her that, as her friend who loves her, you have your doubts. Mo: I am guilty of asking for advice and not always taking it. Some friends take a tough love approach, but I would caution that. Even if I do not follow the advice of even my closest friends, I still need their support. Maybe more than ever, your friend needs you by her side, regardless of if you support her. Jo: When I was in this situation, I was really worried that my friend was going to stop wanting to be friends with me because I didn’t totally support her relationship. If you have real, legitimate fears about your friend’s safety or well-being, tell her. But also make sure that she knows that you’ll stick with her no matter what. In the end, she’s going to do what she wants to do. All you can do is go on the journey with her. Mo: Regardless of the path forward you choose, Aunt Jo and Aunt Mo will stay by your side.



I’m an avid bruncher. Do y’all have any recommendations for good brunch places near-ish campus? - French toast fanatic Jo: H*CK YEAH WE DO! Mo: As hungry and impulsive millennials, Aunt Jo and I find ourselves at brunch frequently. Jo: Possibly too frequently, according to our bank accounts and mothers. My personal favorite is Coffeehouse Cafe. Mo: I really like Whistle Britches because they have great biscuits and fried chicken. Jo: We went to a place called Ida Claire that had really good southern-style brunch food. Mo: Yeah, but Ida Claire’s cold brew coffee on tap tastes too bitter. Not a great start to your midmorning. Jo: Another new favorite is Breadwinners. They have at least three different kinds of french toast, which is incredibly important in any brunch menu. Mo: Also, they have crabcakes for breakfast, and that’s what I’m about. Jo: I’m so glad this column is providing an outlet for our only real area of expertise. Mo: We will be sure to try some more out and report back to y’all. I came to UTD on academic scholarship. I was a competitive athlete in high school, but UTD doesn’t have a varsity team for my sport. How do I grapple with the loss of something that was such an integral part of my identity for years? How do I build the sense of community I felt when I was on a sports team? -The academic formerly known as athletic Jo: I think one of the hardest things about coming to college is leaving behind the communities you already had. When I was in high school back in New Orleans, I was in drama and choir (that’s the same thing as sports I’m pretty sure). It’s hard because it feels like you’re never going to be able to recreate that feeling when you leave high school. Mo: The only time I played team sports was middle school, and middle school girls are terrible, so I don’t know if I’ve ever felt the sense of community around sports. But I do know I have felt community in other groups. You should find those groups. Jo: Sports are a normalized form of group torture, but I understand the community aspect. I think the key is to recognize how great your experience was, get involved in club sports, and take this opportunity to build new and different communities. I just got a Pap smear and I’m concerned that I might have HPV. What do I do? -Possibly Positive Jo: Thank God for Google! We are now experts on the issue of HPV. Mo: According to our research, about 75% percent of the American population has some form of HPV. HPV can be broken down into low risk and high risk. The lower risk strains are much

more common. Jo: A low risk strain will go away by itself in about two years. Women and men can get an HPV vaccine, such as Gardasil, which protects you against the high risk strain. Mo: It is important to inform your partners, especially because there is no STI test covering HPV for men, who can also carry and be affected by the virus. Jo: If you want to learn more, the CDC and Planned Parenthood have great online resources. Mo: Don’t panic and stay informed. Talk to your doctor about your worries, follow his or her advice, and ask questions when you need to. I’m planning on interning this summer and being abroad in the fall, so I won’t be seeing UTD friends for 7 months. This amount of time is longer than I’ve known a few UTD people who have become some of my closest friends. I feel secure in these relationships, but am still worried about how time apart will change the dynamic. Am I justified in this concern, among others, or am I just being dramatic? -Worry Wart Mo: Email? Text? Facetime? Insta? Facebook? Twitter? Snail mail? Skype? Jo: For me, the thing that is hardest about not being with my friends is not being able to just sit and exist with them and squeeze their cute lil faces. It can feel like you’re not really existing in the same universe and that’s scary. Mo: The most basic step you can take is just being in contact. It may not feel the same, but it helps to establish regular contact with the people you no longer get to see on a weekly basis. Jo: When Aunt Mo and I separate for study abroad, I’m going to make a pillow of her face and hug it while I talk to her on the phone (no seriously, contact me if you want the link for this). Mo: Your future roommates will think you’re crazy. Jo: Worth it. Mo: Your friend dynamics will change while you are gone. Change happens and it is not always bad. You have to trust in the ability of your friendships to be there when you get back. I would funnel your worry into positive forms of communication. Jo: Who knows, you might find yourself while you study abroad and come back a new person! How important are labels in relationships, romantic or otherwise? -#NoLabels Jo: Ugh, we’re millennials, we hate labels! Mo: I know labels can be hard, but I sometimes wish friendships were as explicit as romantic relationships. I want Facebook to make a public setting for acquaintance, friend, and best friend, just to be clearer about my statuses. Jo: Aunt Mo recently made me a “close friend” on Facebook, if that gives you an idea of how she feels about this. Mo: I think I just need the safety net of other people being forward about caring for me, even as a friend.

Jo: To me, the label thing really depends on the people involved. Sometimes, labels of any kind stress me out because it doesn’t allow for much change. Once you slap a label on a relationship, it feels permanent. Mo: I can understand that. In the eighth grade, I refused to hold my boyfriend’s hand because I thought it would make the relationship too official and I wouldn’t be able to break up with him, ever. Jo: Whether the label is important or not really depends on the people and your situation. If it’ll make you both feel more comfortable to label your relationship, go for it. If not, don’t. Make sure you express your needs and remember that the relationship is what’s important, not the label. Is it normal to feel like everybody but me has his or her life together? I don’t know what I’m having for dinner tonight, let alone what career path I want to take. What steps can I take to feel more in control of my future and my current academic pursuits? -Stressed and (Sometimes) Well-Dressed Jo: Ummmm, yeah. Mo: You can be like me and flip your career path on daily basis. I wake up an engineer and by lunch I am a professional agony aunt. Jo: It’s totally normal to feel this way. Mo: It sounds like you have a case of imposter syndrome (and I’d know because between my last statement and this one, I’ve become pre-med). Imposter syndrome refers to the feeling that everyone else but you has it all figured out. It can make you feel like a fraud in your field and undeserving of your accomplishments. Most likely, a lot of your peers feel the same. Jo: I think there are a few things that can help with this. First of all, it’s OK to not know what you’re doing right now. It’s OK to give yourself time to figure it all out. Right now, take a moment and recognize the things that you are good at and everything that you have accomplished. Don’t freak out! You’ve got your whole life ahead of you! Mo: You also don’t have to know your path. Follow your interests and retroactively make your own path. For right now, you can visit the Career Center and participate in career and intern fairs to give you an idea of your professional interests. Jo: Good luck! We believe in you! All you have to do is believe in yourself ! Want to ask us a question? Go to amputd. com and click “Ask Mo and Jo”! Let us know How We Can Help™

MORGANNE BLAYLOCK & JOANNA HAUG sophomores | mech. eng and sociology Mo and Jo are best friends that enjoy long talks and telling their friends what to do.

march 2017



Film studios are foregoing original content for recycled stories, but the current box office success of this approach may be short-lived



by emily huffman | art by chiamaka mgboji


uppose your friends are available, you’ve got some free time, and your wallet isn’t totally empty. I know this scenario only exists in some of our wildest dreams, but humor me for a bit and pretend this is reality. Sounds like ideal conditions to go see a movie, right? So let’s take a look at some of 2017’s summer blockbusters: Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Alien: Covenant, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, The Mummy, Cars 3, Transformers: The Last Knight, Despicable Me 3, Spider-Man: Homecoming, War for the Planet of the Apes, and the list goes on. Are you noticing a trend here? While there are a few other blockbuster releases scheduled over the summer, these are all sequels or reboots to existing film franchises—and that doesn’t even include the rest of the year. So where, you may be asking, is the originality? Long story short, these are the movies we spend money to see. In 2016, eight out of the top 10 highest grossing films of the year were either sequels, reboots, or movie adaptations of existing creative material. And though we may bemoan the abundance of big-budget franchises and their tiresomely predictable installments, Hollywood cares about our money, not our opinions. Even when big releases fall short in the American box office, movie studios can usually rely on the same release overseas making up a good portion of their overall profit. But times are changing, and audience opinions and harsh reviews of sequels are starting to threaten the formulas that Hollywood loves so dearly. By September 2016, around 26 sequels and remakes had been produced that year, while only seven of those made more money for movie studios than their originals. In addition, more sequels were made in 2016 than in 2014 or 2015, which spells bad for Hollywood if this trend continues for the years going forward. However, as mentioned before, only two of the top ten highest grossing films of 2016, Zootopia and The Secret Life of Pets, were based off of original content. Because of this, Hollywood still sees the financial risk associated with funding sequels as worth it. After all, the biggest performers of the year still seem to be associated with franchises or reboots. Does this mean that the problem of unoriginality is being framed the wrong way? Some believe that box office success simply comes down to whether or not a movie is well-made. Positive press and social media buzz is, of course, a huge driving factor that gets people to take the trip to the movie theater rather than waiting for a streaming release (getting people to the theater is huge as ticket sales overall have been dropping over the years as fewer people decide to go to the movies). Others also argue that perhaps, in a frenzy to produce additions to past successes and draw in audiences, studios are rushing out movies too quickly for them to be good. This leads to the greater problem of Hollywood churning out

films on the basis of quantity over quality. Speaking of quantity, so many of these hastily-made productions are simply unnecessary. In 2016, was anyone really clamoring to see Alice Through the Looking Glass? After Johnny Depp’s fall from public favor, isn’t a fifth Pirates installment just overkill at this point? And after Pixar’s first (and so far only) flop with Cars 2, do audiences even care to see a third? In some cases, movie studios just seem to strike upon a winning formula. Disney seems to have done this twofold—Marvel sequels consistently rank among the top of the box office in each year they are released. More recently, every new live-action remake seems to generate more and more online publicity. And while I may not personally understand the appeal of seeing how Disney tries translating anthropomorphic tableware to live action, the allure these movies have with their target audience is undeniable. If studios are after success, they simply need to get better at learning and predicting what moviegoers are interested in. And if each new blockbuster release promises a film worth seeing, do people simply start spending money at the movie theater more often, leading to profit all around for studios? Not exactly — at least not according to big names like Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, who predict a major shift in the film industry. Spielberg believes that blockbusters that don’t earn enough profit (in relation to their ever-expansive budgets) will have to start commanding a higher ticket price, while lower-budget indie films can keep their prices low. Lucas adds that he believes blockbusters may end up like Broadway shows—higher ticket price and a longer duration in the theater itself. I believe it’s very plausible to see rising ticket prices in the coming years, and while I don’t look forward to it, I believe that Spielberg’s prediction could actually spur positive ramifications in the film industry. If costs continue to rise for studios producing sequels and reboots constantly, perhaps we might start to see more truly original screenplays on the big screen. Box office success or otherwise, it is disheartening to me to have to wait until Oscars season every year to treat myself to a well written and produced movie with an original concept. This may seem like a low bar, but it could be awhile before Hollywood cures itself of its “sequel-itis.” But as fewer unoriginal blockbusters prove successful to big name studios, only time will tell if change is on the horizon for the film industry.

EMILY HUFFMAN freshman | computer science Emily is interested in politics, comedy, and music. She has an absurd amount of useless classic rock knowledge.

march 2017





ZaTION Societal attitudes toward mental illness exacerbate student suffering and encourage silence by yusra soomro


magine walking down the hallway toward class. You’ve done this a million times. In fact, you do this every day. Yet for some reason, today is different. You feel on edge and every little thing irritates you. The walls feel too close and the voices around you get louder and harder to understand. You try to step to the side, but the crowd of people shuffling to class traps you. The tension in your chest burns like you’ve swallowed a ball of fire. You’re extremely aware of the gazes around you, boring into your skull, fueling the pounding headache. You find your seat and, finally, release the breath you didn’t know you were holding. Sounds chaotic, doesn’t it? For those of us who experience anxiety, these feelings and sensations are regular occurrences. Sadly, the chaos isn’t even the worst of it. Imagine experiencing this daily hell alone. Not by choice, but out of fear of rejection from peers, friends, and even family. It’s maddening to say the least. On days that you need the most support, you find yourself crawling back into a hole of shame. I’ll be blunt: The stigma around mental illness has crippled our society. We, as humans, millennials, and members of our ever-changing society, have a responsibility to our generation and future generations to

april 2017


do better. I’m willing to bet that each and every one of us has experienced some sort of stigma or loneliness from our interactions with the rest of society. Channel those incidences and work to end it. This may come as a shock to you: Mental illness is a real illness. In fact, about 42.5 million people in the United States alone have a documented mental illness. Look around you. Pick out any four people; any four will do. Statistically, one of those people could be silently suffering with a mental illness. The commonality of this condition, however, has not been able to overpower the strength of stigma, for the negative connotation of “mental illness” has existed for a long time. According to Psychology Today, there are two different types of stigma: social and perceived. Social stigma encompasses the perceptions of ignorant people and the way they choose to act on their opinions through, you guessed it, discrimination. Perceived stigma is more of an internalized fear of judgment, which can be felt without having experienced stigma personally. Social stigma has its roots in the media, culture, and general lack of exposure to people suffering from mental illness. In media, people suffering from anxiety or OCD are often portrayed as “crazy” or someone who has “lost their marbles”. While anxiety and OCD are both conditions where obsession and mania are prevalent, people who suffer from these illnesses seem still relatively “normal” on the surface. Meaning that, most of the time, when someone is feeling the symptoms of their illness, they won’t outwardly show it. This inaccuracy has led people to believe that mental health is something to fear, rather than an entity needing the same attention as physical health. In addition, many tend to deny the existence of mental illness based on cultural values. Certain upbringings can instill a fear of failure and weakness in people. While strength and determination are great qualities to hold, it’s imperative to realize that emotional well-being contributes significantly to a healthy life. Having to deal with a disorder, the shame from having it, or even the denial of its existence can lead to disastrous consequences. Confronting mental illness is an extremely difficult conversation to have. I completely understand that it’s hard to talk about such a taboo idea and admit that you need help all at once. But leaving mental illnesses untreated only allows the symptoms to escalate, contrary to the popular belief that avoidance (the “ignoring until it goes away” technique) and ignorance reduces the problem. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, a lack of treatment increases the risk of having a serious and chronic medical condition. In addition to this, ignoring the severity of mental illness can heighten suicide rates. The National Alliance on Mental Illness states that “Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S., the third leading cause of death for people aged 10–24, and the second leading cause of death for people aged 15–24.” Within my high school alone, there were three suicides while I was a student. Those who were close to those three amazing people all said



the same four words: “We had no idea.” I know that many of us would like to support those who are suffering. Many of us want to help. We cannot allow stigma to continue to hold back those who need to speak out. Make it easier for people accept their mental illnesses and talk about what they’re going through by battling the stigma around it. The best way to educate is through familiarizing oneself with the different illnesses. Mental illness is VERY real. It consumes people every day. Until we work to provide guidance and support, it will continue to do so. If you are suffering from a mental illness, just know that you are not alone. I know that it can feel like it’s just you and your mental illness, but there are always people around you to talk with. UTD offers so many amazing resources for students, free of charge (which is music to every college student’s ears). The Student Success Center is home to a variety of different services, namely the Student Counseling Center. Upon visiting their website, you’ll find a list of different topics concerning mental health. In addition to this, you will find an assortment of online information and tutorials to browse. Although this is amazing material to begin with, I do encourage you to visit the counseling center. It doesn’t matter whether or not you feel you need treatment. The counseling center is open to anyone. All records from the center are completely confidential. If and when you do decide to visit the center, no one will know unless you decide to share. Not even the school will have records of it! Remember that everyone has problems and everyone can use a little guidance, especially in these few critical college years. We are fortunate enough to have these resources at our disposal. I’m not going to lie: Mental health has never been easy for me to talk about. Coming from a pretty traditional upbringing, I didn’t really understand the importance of being mentally healthy or even the scope of mental illnesses. During the moments where I felt down and mentally deteriorating, my lack of resources and understanding made it more difficult to communicate exactly what I was feeling. It wasn’t until recently that I started to really acknowledge the impact of mental health on my daily life. Taking small steps toward a healthier mindset has helped me take charge of my thoughts and allowed me to finally begin enjoying my college life. Don’t allow stigma to keep you from doing the same. If you don’t feel as mentally healthy as you would like, then take initiative and take the steps toward where you want to be.

YUSRA SOOMRO freshman | healthcare studies/pre-pharm. Yusra aims to spread awareness for mental illness as an officer for Active Minds at UTD. She loves helping people and, rumor has it, is a great listener.

depression is not an excuse for laziness anxiety is not a dramatic reaction to stress

anxiety is noT a call for attention

bipolar disorder is not a made up explanation for acting crazy OCD is not being a “neat freak�

PTSD is not a sob story anorexia is not an extreme diet binging and purging is not a lack of control

april 2017





While some believe modern society prevents dynamic leaders from embodying a movement, the unexpected rise of Donald Trump suggests otherwise by kayla romero design by nicholas provenghi photography by ben rosett




ahatma Gandhi. Nelson Mandela. Martin Luther King, Jr. Adolf Hitler. Napoleon Bonaparte. Abraham Lincoln. All of these names immediately evoke images of the great events and portions of history that they effectively personify. Hitler was the Holocaust. Martin Luther King Jr. was the Civil Rights Movement. These people, known for both great and terrible movements, can be classified as “great men” according to Thomas Carlyle, a 19th-century Scottish writer. He believed that “great men” — great leaders — are born with the traits to have an astronomically profound impact on society, and therefore have the ability to shape it. Herbert Spencer, a critic of this claim, argued that “great men” were products of society, rather than innately gifted. Regardless of whether “great men” are products of nature or nurture, the most important thing to note is that they were great leaders of movements that have had a profound impact on much of global society. However, if we look at current movements like Black Lives Matter, the Women’s Movement, or the Tea Party, among others, there are no singular figureheads that can be said to be the true representative of a particular movement. In fact, it has been argued that movements will never again be led by “great men,” in large part because of the way we view the news. However, Donald Trump’s unique and loud relationship with modern media may present a model for the next “great men.” Think about your news consumption — viral videos, YouTube, Facebook News. No matter what modern form or fashion of news you sample to learn about what’s going on in the world, it quickly goes away. Very few characters beyond A-list celebrities have had the ability to stay on the media’s radar for more than their “15 minutes of fame”. However, a “great man” is not someone who has attention only for a moment, but somebody who is remembered for many generations for their cause and leadership, great or devastating. With the way that news is disseminated and forgotten today, will anyone be able to take the mantle and be a central figure for any recent peaceful movement? With the great polarization that we face, will our generation experience another Martin Luther King, Jr.? Is it even possible? I argue yes. Today, it is possible for someone to attract the attention of everyone, no matter how disagreeable what they say is. Why do I argue this? President Donald Trump. While I am certainly not a fan of him or his policies, there is something worth noting in the way he kept himself and his antics relevant

in the minds of a worldwide audience for over two years. After his presidency, it is almost certain he will be remembered for his tactics and policy. While I would not categorize him as the next Mahatma Gandhi or Adolf Hitler, he is the case study to look at for the next person — man or woman — who takes the mantle and becomes more than a person, embodying a movement that brings us together. President Trump, as foolish as he was when he began his campaign, did the impossible in the modern age, and something that we haven’t seen in a while. Charismatic Leadership Theory argues that when someone is charismatic, they tend to create a polarization between individuals and create a devoted following. Many well-known presidents and prime ministers have been characterized as charismatic, such as Winston Churchill, Richard Nixon, and Barack Obama. Why do I mention this theory? President Trump displays classic traits of someone who is high in authoritarian and charismatic leadership characteristics, which creates this great polarization for anyone who listens to him. Either you dislike him intensely or you support him even when presented with evidence of behavior that is not presidential. By looking at what President Trump did, including his inane speaking or distracting hand gestures during speeches, one can observe speaking tactics similar to those seen employed by previous leaders. The wide gesturing and emotive speaking drew in crowds that were almost manic, whether it was in opposition or support. Leaving aside the details of President Trump’s message, he and his radically polarizing rhetoric prove that there can be another figure like Martin Luther King Jr. born in a modern movement. Our society has certainly created the stage for someone to step up and shout their name across the world. The first to do so has been President Donald Trump, but the real question is, who will be the second? I believe that within our generation, there will be someone who does more and leads a greater movement than Donald Trump, someone who will be considered a “great man” (or woman).

KAYLA ROMERO senior | business administration Kayla works as a Talent Acquisition and Immigration Intern at Copart and enjoys reading, writing, and cooking.

april 2017



@utd: Revisited

by Danielle Edmonds & Marleen Martinez | Design by Bryar Bennett |

One of the most important and divisive issues of this last election cycle was immigration policy. Presidential candidate Donald Trump promised to secure our country’s southern border and crack down on undocumented migrants throughout the course of his campaign. Since becoming president, Trump has used his executive powers to expand the authority of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and has begun planning the construction of a wall between Mexico and the United States. Despite the significant actions he has taken, Trump has yet to act on DACA, a 2012 executive action by president Obama that Trump promised to repeal as soon as he took office. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals executive action gives those eligible people who arrived in the country as children the opportunity to receive a renewable two year work permit, and be exempted from deportation during that time. Hundreds of thousands have benefitted from the program, which allows them to be recognized by the government. Now, almost in its fifth year, the program’s future remains uncertain as the Trump administration decides what to do with the over 750,000 DACA recipients. Last year, officers of UTD’s League of United Latin American Citizens interviewed two UTD students enrolled in the DACA program. Now, a year later, they sought to interview the same students once again to discuss how their lives have changed in the last year. Unfortunately, they were only able to obtain an interview from one of the students originally profiled, as Monica declined to be interviewed for personal reasons. The purpose of this interview is to serve as an educational platform for the student body and allow undocumented students to tell their stories. Once again, the name of the student interviewed has been changed to protect their confidentiality.

april 2017


How has your life changed since our last interview? My life has changed a lot. I have grown so much from a leadership standpoint, and also in my values. I have learned a lot about who I am, what my purpose is, why I have ended up here, and where I want to go. I think these changes have a lot to do with a recent opportunity I had during the Winter Break. I was accepted into a program called Dreamers Without Borders in which 100 Mexican DACA students were selected to go back to Mexico, not only to connect with our culture and families, but also to build a bridge between Mexican students and undocumented students in the United States. I saw a different reality. I learned to appreciate a lot of things. If anything, I feel really privileged to be here in the United States. In my state in Mexico I saw a lot of great things and great places I had never visited, but at the same time, I saw no improvement. Mexico looked the same way it did when I left. I was heartbroken and disappointed because I expected that my country would be moving forward, and it is not. Instead, it’s moving backwards. Today they’re considered a developing country, not a first-world country like the United States. There are a lot of problems in the government and a lot of security issues, and there is a lack of trust in government officials. If anything, the morale and pride of being Mexican is low. Last time I was interviewed I told you I wanted to go into public accounting or banking. Today, in light of that experience, I don’t want to do either of those things. They don’t fulfill me. I’m looking for something that is going to make me happier. I’ve noticed that one of the talents that I have is the strength to relate, communicate, and really empathize with people. I find it really rewarding when I give back and change someone’s life rather than just… going into the public accounting industry and filing 10-Ks to creditors and enabling a company to invest more. I don’t find that as rewarding anymore. Do you see yourself as an advocate in the future? I would love to be in D.C. to advocate for every DACA student, the over 750,000 DACA recipients in America today. I want to let Congress and America know that we are educated, we speak the language, we provide to the economy, and we impact our communities positively. So why not give us a chance for residency or citizenship? Two years is not enough. Two years with a temporary work permit is not enough. Two years to not live in fear is not enough. More than ever I feel like I have become a voice for a lot of people. Because I’m not afraid to speak up. I, like a lot of DACA students, have nothing to lose in this country. If anything, I have a lot to gain. If anything, we are being treated unjustly. I hope that one day we can have our own Emancipation Proclamation,



like when the slaves were set free. I hope we can have a similar act that would set every DACA student and every immigrant free from the fear of being deported, or being discriminated against just because we don’t have papers. I believe we have fought and demonstrated evidence of our contributions to the United States. A group of undocumented students went up to the Dean of the School of Management and told him we needed more Hispanic students, and he agreed! He agreed to give us the funds to start a scholarship program to bring more hispanic students to the School of Management and UTD. We were just a group of undocumented students, whom in a lot of cases don’t have the opportunity to be educated. In Georgia [undocumented students] are not allowed to go to college, to any university in Atlanta, Georgia. It means a lot for us to speak up and be proactive. Despite our disadvantage, we are trying to help people so they can have the opportunity to be here, the opportunity to work here, the opportunity to receive financial aid, because I have had that opportunity and I want to make sure other people have that. You mentioned you are still a DACA student, has anything changed in regard to your immigration status since we last spoke? Yes, I am a DACA student. I have had DACA since 2014. A lot has changed. This December will be my second time re-applying for the DACA program. Who knows if by December this program will still exist. I know there has been a lot of commotion and a lot of uncertainty in regard to what is going to happen to this program, but I know that a lot of people are advocating for us. How are you preparing for the future? I’m taking it step by step. I do have a plan. I want to work for an advocacy group for immigrants. I want to use that experience to go into the public sector in the future and be able to create projects in developing countries, like Mexico, and create higher education and healthcare programs. I would be fine doing anything that is in public service. That is my plan right now. The steps I am taking to get there are being really patient and not giving up hope. And while I am working toward achieving my dream I am going to learn about education, and appreciate how education has changed my life. Hopefully along the way I’ll be able to keep networking to find mentors to help me along the way. How do you feel about the president’s order to expand deportations? So I know that Trump has an agenda. During his campaign he said he would deport illegal immigrants that were here and “bad hombres”.

It’s unfortunate that he is president and he has to follow through with that promise, because people voted for him for those reasons. It’s sad to me that they’re going to deport many immigrants who don’t deserve to be deported. To be honest, I’m not scared. I have had conversations with my parents and my uncles and they told me that if they are ever deported that I should keep going. It would mean more to them if I keep going than if I stop and try to help them because there’s not much that I can do right now. I don’t have the means, or the power, or the rights, yet, to be fighting for my parents. If we’re really going to protect ourselves everybody needs to be informed about their rights. We cannot be afraid about what is going to happen. Even if he is threatening us, we shouldn’t stop our lives because of this man. I think we should keep doing what is right. If you are treated unjustly or unfairly, there will be justice and people will fight for you. For example, the girl from Argentina who was about to get deported. She was treated unfairly and people fought for her so she was able to stay. I think right now with our community, more than ever, we have to change the dialogue. I’m tired of my community, my Hispanic community, victimizing ourselves. We’re not victims. We have a voice. We have power. As a community, we are really strong. We are fighting to stay here, but do not be afraid to go back if you have to. The Mexican government is trying to help migrants that are being sent back. Maybe they aren’t prepared to take everybody back, but they are doing certain things to alleviate the trauma of deportation. Is there anything you would like to say to the UTD student body and our community? To any DACA student or immigrant at UTD, I would advise them to not be afraid. There is no need to hide. They already know who we are and where we are. Now, more than ever, it’s time to show them that we are real people and that we have a real impact not only on our families but in the student body at this university. Know that there are many people in our community willing to fight for us. If it got to the point where mass deportations were being implemented we will do what it takes to protect you. President Benson is in support of protecting DACA students and every immigrant at this school. At the same time, we must behave and do what is right. Do not stop fighting. Do not stop moving forward. Do not stop dreaming, because we are the dreamers! And we are the best immigrant group the United States has today. On another note, I am really disappointed in the Hispanic media. They are trying to keep us afraid and creating a lot of terror in our community. They are focusing on specific circumstances where one Hispanic person happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and they

got deported. They’re generalizing these circumstances and creating a lot of fear in the community. It’s counterintuitive. It’s hurting us. I’m really disappointed in them, especially Univision because that is all they talk about. Fear! Fear! Fear! Fear! All day. We’re not going to win with fear. I’m just sick and tired of people seeing the news and only being discouraged. It really saddens me. If we are only receiving negative messages, our outlook is going to remain negative. It’s sad too because in Mexico they are seeing the same thing. A lot of well-educated Mexicans don’t want to look for jobs in the United States because they fear that they will be discriminated against. I try to tell those people that if anything, they should be coming here to prove those people wrong! Both countries need each other. The United States needs Mexico and Mexico needs the United States. Why do you think the Hispanic media is pursuing that narrative? I feel like they’re just trying to bring in ratings or hook people into reading their stories. I’ve talked to people in the media, and every time they’ve asked me [if ] I’m afraid, I’ve always flipped it around on them and said no. I’m not scared. If anything, I’m more courageous right now. I want to face [Trump] and let him know that we’re here to push this country forward, not to be criminals, rapists, or anything like that. During my trip to Mexico [the media] kept pushing us to talk about our negative outlook toward our situation. I think my group did a great job at responding their questions, although at the beginning it was pretty rough. Everyone kept saying “Not my President! Not my President!”, “I hate him”, or “I’m scared!” But then we realized that we were not in the program to scare people. We were there to inspire people and show them a different side of the story. We have to change the dialogue, and it has to start at the top. Hispanic leaders need to start spreading a message of hope. We need to let people know that they are valuable and that they matter.


junior | IPE and public affairs Danielle is co-president of UTD LULAC. In her free time, Danielle enjoys longboarding in the UTD parking garages.

MARLEEN MARTINEZ junior | healthcare studies Marleen is co-president of UTD LULAC. She is interested in immigration and health policy. april 2017





in collaboration with RadioUTD

Can you elaborate on the name of your show?

AMP interviewed The Pickup’s DJ about his show, music exploration history, and the relationship between music, math, and science.

benji lunday

friday, It’s a combination of my love for guitar and also letting my nerd flag fly. The pickup on the guitar is the line or row of those metal dots that you see, so it’s really what brings the sound and what makes a guitar a guitar. It brings the electric element and the distortion, but also there’s a lot of physics behind it. As a physics major, it kind of blended all that together. It really summed up how my show is a hard, alt-rock, guitar-driven show, so it brought everything together. So is the premise of your show bands and songs with hard guitars, then?

It’s really a lot about the instrument and how to use it. I always try to think of a different technique each week and bring music that shows that, highlighting songs that I feel really bring that out. A song doesn’t have to have a guitar to be on the show, but if it does, it’s probably going to be there.

So is the format of your show that you pick a different style of guitar playing and showcase that?

I definitely try to do that. Usually it leans toward the hard rock side of things. But if something else comes up, occasionally I’ll have something like an alt-country song that I feel really works, like showing good finger-picking. But usually it falls into a genre style.

What do you play on your show that you feel captures the different types of hard rock?

I tend to lean toward a more distorted sound. I also lean toward songs that have a good bass element, because as a bass player I’m of course biased toward that. I also tend toward songs that show a good technical element. I do like a bit of punk, but of course if you’re just ramming out the same three chords over and over, that’s not really good technical playing. So I like to bring in songs that show creativity, originality, use of the instrument, and all that.

For someone coming to your show for the first time, what are bands they can expect to hear?

I always play Wavves, some Fidlar, Royal Blood, some Muse every once in a while. I do add a little bit of electronic through Justice. Queens of the Stone Age is a huge influence. It always changes week to week. I love to move around and listen to a lot of different music.

How did you first get into the genre, going into music?

So I played trumpet for five years. I’ve always enjoyed music, but while I was at UNT, I picked up the guitar, because it’s very hard to continue trumpet outside of a rigid orchestra environment because you can’t find trumpet tabs on the internet. So I picked up guitar because I wanted to be musical again; I wanted to have an instrument. From working with that, and looking up how to play different

6-9 p.m.

techniques, I started being pulled to these kinds of harder genres that involve guitar. My playing style kind of went that way, so it was a natural progression toward heavier music.

Your fascination with music comes from the more technical side, then?

Definitely. I almost never listen to the lyrics. I really like lyrics, but I mainly listen to the instrumentals because I like to hear what’s going on underneath and how it works. In a nerdy sense, music is the unison of math and science, because you’ve got your counting, your music theory, all of that working together. There’s also a little bit of physics, and I just love wave physics and how that works in the sound.

So that’s why you like Wavves so much, then? Haha, yeah.

You’re basically the typical UTD student getting into music, then, coming at it from the science edge?

I mean that feeds into it but I also like it from a general artistic standpoint. While I am kind of a hard sciences guy, I really like… I don’t want to say nebulous, but how it allows people to express their emotions in a specific and auditory sense.

Do you have any recommendations for somebody interested in joining RadioUTD, or possible fears you want to alleviate?

I was always worried about talking on air, like what I was going to talk about every week or who would want to listen to me. But I find it to be very cathartic. While you don’t have an in-person audience to respond and react to, it’s very soothing to be able to talk on air about what’s been going on in your week, cool new things you found, and things going on around campus, and just get that out there. So I found it a great way to kind of open up myself and be comfortable talking about what I do as a person.

Is there anything we haven’t covered that you would like potential listeners to know about you or your show?

I’m hoping at some point… I bought an audio interface, and I’m hoping to actually get a guitar and hook it into the mixer and have guitar on-air. I have to get a system admin to work on that. I’m trying to make it a very much more interactive show, one that has an actual physical component. I’m not just playing guitar music for you, anyone can do that, but also a “Here’s what’s going on behind the scenes. When you hear this, this is what’s happening, and this is how you can replicate it.” So maybe trying to bring a more listener-focused outlook where people can say, “Oh, this is what’s going on.”

design by nicholas provenghi april 2017



Food for Thought:



oncept: olives on a burger. Pretty gross right? Wrong. Olives are rad, especially on burgers. Olive is like pickle’s hip cousin who works at a marketing agency or something. She models on the side and has a loft in the city. People put olive in martinis, so you KNOW she’s classy. “But, Bryar,” you’re probably thinking, “you always have a backhanded compliment to give. There’s no way you’re fine with olives on a burger.” Congratulations: You played yourself. I don’t even have a sarcastic, sassy backstory this time. I just want to tell you about a burger covered in freakin’ olives. A blessed burger. Olive Burger is a well-known hidden gem, one of those places everybody has heard of or nobody has heard of. Those who have been only have good things to say, those who haven’t have probably never heard of it. With only two locations in Richardson and Plano, it’s exclusive to North Dallas. So it’s arguably one of few restaurants you can actually brag about being a UTD exclusive. Make sure to use that when talking to out of town friends. Use the word “exclusive” specifically — you’ll sound like you know what you’re talking about. Lord knows I don’t. A friend and I finally stopped in after a study session a few weeks ago. The Richardson location is a tad sketchy-looking at first glance, and we had to make two or three U-turns before we actually saw it. That’s hardly a critique, however, because anyone with a brain knows that the best spots are the ones that aren’t too flashy. Tell your out of town friends that one, too. They’re going to think you run this town. Inside, we did the thing where you stand and look confused for a minute as you try to evaluate if you order yourself or if you have a server. Thankfully, the cashier saw the pure desperation and terror in my eyes and waved me over before we made it to that standing-lookingconfused-for-more-than-30-seconds-and-starting-to-panic phase. Pro tip: You order yourself. Now you can walk in like you own the joint. YOU’RE WELCOME. The menu consists of a handful of house burgers, all customizable, as well as halal chicken and gyro. I love olives, but for whatever reason it never occurred to me that Olive Burger put olives on their burgers. I was so excited that I went way over budget and decided to indulge in some fried pickles and friend mushrooms, too, because olives are always cause for celebration.

The kitchen is open and while I didn’t sit and watch the cooks like a weirdo, I can assure you what I ate was fresh. We both had to sit and wait for our food to cool off before we could eat much of anything, which was absolute torture. Everything looked amazing. The burger was juicy and way bigger than my usual Jr. Mac. The olives took a little getting used to, but they made a great addition to the classic cheeseburger. The mushrooms, pickles, and fries were plentiful and well-seasoned, only improved by the addition of jalapeno ketchup (which was an unexpected, but appreciated surprise). The serving sizes were big enough to leave me with a nice little snack for later that night, and it reheated well enough to warrant passive aggressive to-go box labeling. Food goes missing at my place a lot, so you always have to cover your bases when it comes to leftovers. I ended up using the leftover burger to spice up my eggs the next morning (cause I don’t play by your daddy’s rules), and came to find that Olive Burger actually offers a breakfast menu. I’m not about to go out looking for food before noon, but I figured somebody would find that information useful. As a final note, while I’m by no means an expert when it comes to halal food options, I took the time to do a little research. From what I’ve gathered, Olive Burger is legit. They’ve made cameos in Dallas-based halal food review sites and Google reviews have confirmed that their chicken specifically “is properly cared for, adhering to proper cleanliness, respect to the animal, and a dedication recital to the offering”. In an area with a large Muslim community, I have to tip my hat to them for making life a little bit easier for students and residents alike. Their website encourages anybody with specific questions to pop in and ask away. Olive Burger, like many past restaurant I’ve reviewed, will remain a recurring lunch and dinner spot. And, who knows, maybe I’ll make it in for breakfast. Crazier things have happened.

BRYAR BENNETT senior | EMAC When she’s not designing this specific magazine, she’s stealing your martini olive.

april 2017



S.T.E.M. SYND by maisha razzaque | design by nicholas provenghi

When it comes to up-to-date disease reporting, you can always count on AMP to be the most trusted source on the creepy-crawlies that are infecting you and your classmates. This month, we bring you a special report on a newly classified epidemic. While cases of this disease may have existed long before now, the American Center for Probably Real Diseases (CPRD) has released a disease profile on the recurring (and alarmingly contagious) condition that officials have begun calling S.T.E.M. Syndrome. S.T.E.M. stands for Snobbish Tiresome Egotistical Madman Syndrome, an affliction that has infected thousands of students and college graduates all over the nation. Now, here at AMP, we realize you’re too busy to read a CPRD report to its full and detailed capacity. That’s why we’ve taken the liberty to read it for you, and break it down into a short summary of the horrors of S.T.E.M. Syndrome.



disease profile

DROME Etiology The origins of S.T.E.M. can be traced back to the Brain Drain global pandemic of the early ‘90s, in which countries across the world competed to acquire the best scientific minds. Such endeavors came with an unforeseen cost. More and more American homes and institutions fostered environments where the S.T.E.M. bacteria thrived. Soon, along with a thirst for larger strides in science, technology, engineering, and math, it became a widespread occurrence that permeates every single university — both public and private — in the country. Why should we care? As a public research university with three separate schools dedicated to science/math-related fields, UTD is what is known as a “Red Zone” for the disease.

Symptoms Symptoms of S.T.E.M. syndrome can manifest in children as young as eight years old. They may exhibit signs such as grade boasting, exaggerated affluent tendencies (emphasizing financial status in inappropriate contexts), and an affinity for anti-social behavior (regarding it as a status of intelligence). Symptoms tend to worsen as the afflicted patient ages, and include: allergic reactions to conversations about art, music, or theater, heavy sweating during career aptitude tests, uncontrollable

impulses to talk about one’s own major at social functions, and vomiting at the mention of switching to a liberal arts degree. Affected Population The highest at-risk populations for S.T.E.M. syndrome can be found in the following: highly ranked universities, pharmaceutical companies, research institutes, health professional schools, disheveled high school science teachers (with dreams of getting into higher education dashed by cruel circumstance), and households that emphasize the superiority of science/math/technologyrelated fields to all other subjects. Prognosis The course of the disease may be lifelong without any treatment or intervention. Rapid deterioration of social relationships with friends, family members, and colleagues will soon be followed by crippling embitterment about the disproportionate amount of acquired company or culture. The final stage of the disease usually occurs when the patient finds themselves in a state of unnerving cognitive dissonance while enjoying a movie version of a famous musical. While it may not result in death, this dissonance persists through the entire lifetime of the patient and ruins the ability to enjoy any form of entertainment or

lively conversation. Treatment Not to fear, AMP readers on the edge of your seats, all hope is not lost if you or a loved one have S.T.E.M. syndrome. With early detection, you can take the appropriate steps to eradicate any traces of the disease from your system. A combination of treatments is recommended: one part therapy to deal with an overwhelming superiority complex, one part prolonged exposure to different forms of art (literature, theater, art museums) to develop an appreciation, and one part meditation to chill the hell out. Remember, Comets, you’re exposed to a vast number of terrible contagions everyday. Short of locking yourself in a seal-tight box with filtered oxygen, there’s no way to avoid them. The most enduring way to protect yourself from troubling afflictions like S.T.E.M. syndrome is to stay well-read, self-aware, and alert.

MAISHA RAZZAQUE junior | cognitive science In her spare time Maisha listens to podcasts, writes, and concocts absurd conspiracy theories about celebrity breakups.

april 2017




aymond walked into his third grade classroom much like every morning, and just like every morning, every child conversed among themselves, taking special care to avoid Ramon. Ramon was different. Unlike every other child, who had black eyes, he had pink eyes. Pink eyes were different, and therefore the children thought they were bad. They didn’t know why, they just knew Pink was what their parents hated, and therefore they did as well. “Pink the Stink,” the children would tease Ramon, when the teacher wasn’t around. Everyone hated Ramon, but no one knew why. However, instead of hate toward Ramon, Raymond simply felt curiosity. “Why?” Raymond would ask himself when the others would push and tease Ramon when he tried voting for their weekly line leader.



Looking Past the Hate by sloan | photo by Sean Gorman | design by Bryar Bennett “Why?” he asked himself when the Big Billy, the largest child in class would be free from punishment when he beat up Ramon. “Why?” he asked when the teacher would scold Ramon for simply existing. It was constantly on his mind. Raymond finally assumed it was because Ramon was secretly a bad child who needed to be punished. He continued believing this until, one day, Big Billy had beaten up Ramon to the point where there was more blood on his face than skin. The next day, Ramon came to school with a bandaged face and continually repeated “I’m alright” to anyone who commented. At recess, he walked to an isolated corner of the playground and sat alone. Raymond, feeling a sense of remorse, sought to justify the actions of his group. “You deserved it, y’know,” he told Ramon when he reached him. “Why do you say that?” questioned Ramon. “Because you’re a bad kid and you deserve punishment,” he replied. “Why am I a bad kid, Raymond?” “Because you’re different. Everyone knows that.” “I didn’t know that,” he said while drawing into the ground, “until I started going to this dumb school.” “Hmmm. Do you think,” Raymond rebutted while sitting down, “that God hates you and that’s why he gave you different colored eyes?” Ramon thought about this for a second. He finally replied, “No, because my uncle Mack told me that God doesn’t hate anyone and the good book that my grandma always reads says God only hates sinners and I’m not a sinner, I think, so there.” Raymond responded, “My mom told me that God hates Pink Eyes. Something about Satan and eyeballs.” “Yeah, I’ve heard that a lot, every time we go to church and when me and my mom go grocery shopping and stuff,” Ramon explained. He continued, “I just don’t get it. Because, I mean, I have eyeballs like everyone else. They just happen to be pink. I’ve got arms and legs and such but just different eyeballs.” “Are they magic?” inquired Raymond, “If you had magic eyeballs, that might explain why everyone hates you. Because you have awesome magic eyeballs and they don’t. Are you special?” “No,” Ramon explained, “I’m just a kid. I’m kinda good at cursive, does that make me special?” “Nah, anyone can learn cursive. You can’t learn how to have magic eyeballs,” Raymond replied. “So wait, you’re just a regular kid?” Ramon nodded. “Why don’t you tell everyone then?” “I tried. That’s how I ended up getting beat up so bad. I had enough of Big Billy so I told him he should stop because I’m no different than he is. Then he got angry that I compared myself to him, and he started

hitting me a lot. My mom freaked out when I got home and after the hospital, she called the principal.” Raymond interjected, “Principal Bigot? What did he say?” Ramon looked downtrodden, “He said that my mom should be glad I didn’t get hurt worse and then he hung up.” For the first time in Ramon’s life, someone besides his family felt pity for him; Raymond sat there feeling terrible that nothing had been done. Finally, what pushed him over the edge was wondering, “What if that happened to me?” After pondering this, Raymond ran away from Ramon without warning, whispering something along the lines of “I’m sorry.” The next day, when Raymond walked into class, everyone stopped talking, and stared at him in shock. There was a bandage over his right eye. He quickly explained to everyone that in an effort to prove that black eyes and pink eyes were the same, he had taken a pink sharpie and shoved it in his eye. However, instead of giving him pink eyes like Ramon’s, it gave him an eye injury. Every kid stood there in silence. And then, like a dam built by a lazy beaver giving way to a hardworking river, there was a strong and sudden wave of support for Raymond, the selfless martyr. And for Ramon, there was nothing but third grade hate. The kids blamed him for Raymond’s injury. And it showed. When it came time to vote for weekly line leader, the children didn’t even allow Ramon to be in the room. Big Billy didn’t just beat him up now. He gave him wedgies and wrote “Justice” on the waistband. The teacher now blamed every mistake in class on Ramon. And that’s how it was for many years. For many years, Ramon was hated and Raymond was hailed as a hero. Very quickly, this went to Raymond’s head. So when he grew up, he ran for mayor. Then Senate. Then President. He enacted legislation which discriminated even more against pink eyes, and was praised for his work. After his two terms, Raymond retired to a small city. One day, while shopping for groceries, he ran into Ramon. Ramon had been getting by, living a mediocre life, yet his eyes still shone like pink stars. Raymond and Ramon looked at each other, said nothing, and moved on. However, before Raymond had completely disappeared from Ramon’s sight, and from his life, Ramon noticed that, in Raymond’s right eye, there was a splash of pink.

SLOAN freshman | biochemistry Baby Sloan was kicked by his WWE-loving father into a shelf of poetry, manga, political memoirs, and nudie magazines. His brain damage influenced his writing. april 2017






by nada mageed | art by chiamaka mgboji

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Find the perfect studying space

I heard the library is a good place to start. Aside from the bored-looking students, and being in a quiet, boring environment, I feel like I can make the most out of this. I will look back on this moment when I get a 100 on this organic chemistry exam. It’s cozy enough as well; I can imagine being here for an unhealthy amount of time. The sacrifices I make to maintain a mediocre GPA… It’s been 20 minutes and all I have been doing is focusing on my internal monologue while staring into space… I haven’t even turned on my laptop yet.

Set a study plan

Okay! Concentrate! So, I have to read up on two chapters, as well as attempt a couple hundred practice problems in the textbook, with four days left to spare until the exam. So today, I will focus on one chapter, look over the lecture notes for that, and then move onto practice problems. Tomorrow, I can do the same for the other chapter. Day three, I will only focus on the practice problems that I wasn’t able to finish, and if I get stuck on something, I can visit the professor during his office hours for help. Day four, revise. I mean, this is certainly not my most creative plan, but it’s something. If I follow this, I should do just fine. Time to get st-- oh, it’s only 10:45 a.m. I could wait until 11. You know, to time myself more accurately. And I’ve already taken the time to plan all of this out, so I deserve a small break before I subject myself to studying for hours, right?

Turn off all social media notifications

It’s 11:30 now and I have yet to start looking over my notes. It shouldn’t be this hard. You know what? I’m going to give this subject my full attention now. That means no more Netflix, no more YouTube, and silencing my phone. Alright, nothing can distract me now, I have class in a couple of hours. I think I could get a lot done by then. Radicals undergo two main types of reactions: they react with sigma bonds, and they add to — it’s been two seconds, what if someone called me? What if there’s an emergency — there’s nothing.

Color code your notes

My untouched multicolored Muji pens have been judging me from the opening of my pencil case since the very beginning. I did that; I went out of my way to buy cute pens from Amazon and waited for them as they shipped all the way from Japan… and for what? I thought they would inspire me to write aesthetically pleasing notes, but here we are. It’s 3:30 and I’m starting to feel myself slowly give up.

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Reward yourself

You’re right; I need a mental health break. I think the fact that I’ve subjected myself to a stressful environment for more than five minutes is quite problematic. I’m going to grab myself a drink: Capri Sun. Take a bath: Bath & Body Works. Watch a show: Real Housewives (preferably Atlanta). I deserve to treat myself. I can’t believe I invented self-care at this very moment. Once I am relaxed, everything will fall into place.

Collaboarte with study partners/set up a study group Well, it’s too late for that now. There’s only one day left, and I have no friends.

Test yourself with practice problems

Practice problems? I haven’t even gone over the chapters’ lecture notes yet… F%$#! I only have one day left!

Make flash cards

What was I doing? Where did the past four days go?

Attend lectures

I’m really not in the mood to be mocked right now.

Go to PLTL/SI sessions

I need to focus and think of a solution, quick!

Do not cram all the information the night before Oh, don’t patronize me...

NADA MAGEED sophomore | biology Nada’s favorite hobbies include panicking about the unforeseeable future and becoming overwhelmed when doing the bare minimum.

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Ignore contact with family

Okay, according to the professor’s grade distribution…

Sleep is for the weak

If I ace the rest of my quizzes and get a 100 on the final…

Make sure to regularly down 80 oz. of water every hour to stay hydrated

Then I should be solid for the semester! Piece of cake.

Wallow in self-doubt

…Oh, what’s the point?

This information won’t matter in three years I think it was Albert Einstein who once said “Everybody’s a genius.”

Beyoncé didn’t go to college There’s only an hour left.

What is self-care?

I can’t believe I’m doing this. I can’t believe I am actually walking into an exam knowing nothing about the unit. I can’t believe I invented masochism at this very moment.

Maybe the occasional two-point curve will save you But will it, though… will it?

Stay positive!

Well, there’s always the option to drop your lowest exam grade. Better luck next time, I guess.

april 2017



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