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state press magazine VOLUME 17 // ISSUE 4

// FEBRUARY 1, 2017

FROM BINGE-DRINKING TO INNOVATIVE THINKING

A look at ASU’s decade-long transformation


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from the editor

the staff

Welcome back, ASU! I can’t believe this is my last semester at ASU and my last semester as editor-in-chief of this publication. I am having a hard time believing this is my ninth (holy cow) magazine and my eighth (also, holy cow) semester with The State Press. This is my family, and this is my home, and even through ups and downs (this editor’s note was almost titled “A Series of Unfortunate Events” and preceded a blank magazine, but everyone I work with is incredible, and we pulled it off together) I can’t imagine doing anything else. This issue, we look into the history of ASU’s transformation from the number one party school in the nation to the number one in innovation. I talked to Vice President of Educational Outreach and Student Services James Rund, the Princeton Review and ASUPD about the transformation and what we ended up with in this story is pretty interesting! We also have stories about Twitter trolls, dealing with homesickness after coming home from break, an ASU student creating his own company and a coffee guru finding a home in the ASU law school building. We hope you enjoy this issue as much as we enjoyed making it and we’ll see you back in March for our next issue!

EXECUTIVE E DITOR SYDN EY MAKI E DITOR-I N-CH I E F ALEXA D’ANG E LO MANAG I NG E DITOR SAVANAH YAG HSE Z IAN PHOTO E DITORS STE LLA ATZ E NWE I LE R J ESSE STAWNYCZY DE S IG N E R ALEX CZAJA COPY E DITOR J ESSICA SU E RTH DIG ITAL E DITOR AN DR EW N ICLA R E PORTE RS N ICOLE G I M PL LAU R E N I NTR I E R I ATTI E M U R PHY N I NA NORTH MADISON STATE N SU NAI NA TAN DON OWE N BALDN E R LU R ISSA CAR BAJAL HAI LEY M E NSI K RANJANI VENKATAKRISHNAN PHOTOG RAPH E RS E LE NA PE LKEY-LAN DES CE LISSE JON ES

FROM LE FT TO R IG HT: ALEX CZAJA, SYDN EY MAKI, ALEXA D’ANG E LO, SAVAN NAH YAG HSE Z IAN, AN DR EW N ICLA PHOTO BY R E I LLY KN E E DLE R

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contents

VOLUME 17 // ISSUE 4

campus culture 06 MAN M E ETS MACH I N E 08 ASU STU DE NTS ASE N DS TH E ODDS 12 LG BTQASU

business 08 14

16 24 from the cover 16 FROM B I NG E-DR I N KI NG TO I N NOVATIVE TH I N KI NG

student life 22 B EYON D TH E BARS: ASU PR ISON E DUCATION 24 ALONE AWAY FROM HOME 26 I NTE R N ET TROLLS TARG ET YOU NG WOM E N

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14 COFFE E G U R U B R I NGS CAFE DOWNTOWN


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MAN MEETS MACHINE BY SYDNEY MAKI | PHOTOS BY STELLA ATZENWEILER

Surrounded by his robots, Dr. Wenlong Zhang poses for a picture. He laughs looking down at the camera screen through rectangular wire-rimmed lenses and asks to be sent the good ones. In the picture, he rests his arm against its mechanical twin — a towering robotic limb resembling one that might hoist metal into place in car commercials. Nike tennis shoes with wrapped in tubes and battery packs lay on a desk, a two-legged experiment leans against binders and hockey puck robots accumulate near a desktop computer. “There are a lot of labs here that focus on building the robots,” he says. “Our lab focuses on making them smart.” Technology has the potential to create a collaborative world where tech complements humanity, and Zhang is determined to build that link. He is an assistant professor and director for the Arizona State University Robotics and Intelligent Systems Laboratory, leading a crop of innovative student researchers from the Tempe and Polytechnic campuses. As he sits in an office chair, he pivots and gestures toward different contraptions and picture boards throughout the lab. White boards scribbled with equations, algorithms and notes feature different handwritings — different minds, different ideas. Around him, the work of his researchers decorates the lab with half-built quadcopters and wires. A track on the ceiling ends in a curtain of netting — a safety precaution for the humans in the room if a flying robot were to go rogue. The quad6

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copters are shoebox-sized drones with four rotors, similar to what Amazon may one day use to deliver packages in the U.S. The half-Lego, half-spy gear robots are part of a research project aimed at creating a swarm of flying, seeing technology that can operate autonomously, or without human input. Several e-pucks sit grouped together, like green hockey pucks, but with wires, wheels and the ability to communicate. Both the e-puck ground robots and the flying quadcopters are subjects of Zhang’s hope to create collaborative algorithms to allow technology to interact and understand one another. Zhang is fascinated with the concept of technology working together cohesively with humans, making actions more efficient and safer for people. The tall mechanical arm he leaned against before, for example, is like one that would be found on the floor of a factory. If a worker got in its way, it wouldn’t know to avoid him. Now, researchers in the lab are looking for ways to not only allow the arm to sense and avoid harming a person, but to have it cooperate and continue working alongside him as a part of the team. “The way I convince myself this will work is by seeing how well it works for humans,” Zhang explains. Network robotics — sometimes referred to as swarm robotics — is a collaborative way for robots to work together intelligently. In this type of research, a group of robots operate independently from one another, communicating and understanding when actions warrant commands. They

could also be programmed to operate without human control, behaving autonomously, depending on their surroundings and the commands of other robots in their network. If there were an earthquake today, Zhang explains, lives might be put in harm’s way to go into the rubble and begin rescue efforts. But eventually, he sees a swarm of quadcopters flying above the damaged city to count collapsed buildings and construct a map of debris-free streets before rescuers even arrive. Then, the information could be sent to ground robots to move as a unit and turn valves to stop gas and plumbing leaks before they cause fires or floods. Together, both the air and ground robots could sense signs of survivors and notify rescuers of exact GPS locations. In other, less extreme ways, Zhang believes applications of network robotics could be applied to everyday life. “A happy robot is one that is saving energy by being more efficient,” Zhang says. He laughs as he says that would make him happy, too. Zhang’s research spans many fields and ideas, moving as his brain does, from topic to topic as he invents new applications, scenarios and analogies as quickly as he speaks. His clarity in explaining the complexities of systems engineering displays a level of expertise and a knack for teaching. Before delving into the research world of ASU in August 2015, Zhang’s academic drive led him to the completion of four degrees: one Bachelor degree, two Masters and a Ph.D.


Overlapping from his Ph.D. research, is his rethinking of gait analysis and rehabilitation. Zhang has been working to develop a way to reteach people to walk, especially after a stroke, accident or disease. Smart Shoes are tennis shoes modified with coils of air tubes beneath the soles. As a person takes a step, they place pressure on different parts of their foot — which is closely monitored by the air pressure within the tubes. With this specific information, physical therapists can clearly see where abnormalities in movement are being made, and therefore provide apt feedback for patients. In Zhang’s lab at ASU, this research has been taken a step further by Prudhvi Tej Chinimilli, a Ph.D. candidate, who is advancing the technology to track micro-slips in a person’s step. Micro-slips are tiny abnormalities in the way a person’s foot contacts the ground — these small slips have the potential to either result in a fall or be tracked and corrected. When Chinimilli presented his findings to Zhang and the group, he explained how the technology knows what activity the patient is engaging in — whether they are moving up or down stairs, walking, jogging or standing. With this technology, people who already have trouble moving can get through physical therapy from their own homes — without having to travel to a rehabilitation center. Eventually, there is potential for virtual reality to be incorporated into the in-home therapy as well. Zhang’s academic background led him to explore the realms of systems engineering and the math that makes robotics possible. From a young age, he knew that engineering was a field he could grow into, where he could explore and collaborate with many different people. His earliest interests in the tech world ignited with the liftoff of a rocket on TV, and a thought that wanted to be able to make that happen. Zhang was born in Harbin, China, a city near northern Russian border. He says that a massive influx in immigration in the 1920s from many different European countries allowed him to learn and grow in a city where street corners held

history from every culture and religion in their architecture. The city where his family still lives, Zhang says, is a part of how he came to find passion in the science of working together. He received his first degree, a Bachelor of Engineering in Control Science and Engineering, at the Harbin Institute of Technology near his home city. Then, he began emailing universities in the United States. He had never left his native country of China before moving to California around the age of 22. At UC Berkeley, Zhang studied as a graduate student: He graduated with a Master of Arts in Statistics, a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering and, finally, a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering. “I have this strong motivation,” Zhang says. “Some students didn’t like the math, but I knew I had to get through it to do other things and understand them. So, I was happy I was doing it.” After graduating from Berkeley in May 2015, Zhang brought this intuition with him to Arizona. He now directs a group of Ph.D., graduate and undergraduate students to innovate, build and program robots — especially ones that will be able to understand each other, communicate and process information. Miles Mabey, an undergraduate engineering student, is working on his honors thesis, with Zhang as his director. Under Zhang’s guidance, Mabey will experiment and conduct research using a two-legged robot able to move in a human-esque way. “Me and my friend decided it would be a cool idea to pitch our thesis idea early,” Mabey says. “A week later, Professor Zhang

had borrowed a biped robot from another department, and we were starting to figure out which one he would get for our lab.” Zhang says he saw the thesis project as an opportunity to grow the lab and learn alongside his students, bettering himself in areas where he doesn’t have as much experience. He says he is always looking for ways to improve himself and learn from those around him — which is why he surrounds himself with researchers, professors, students and people who like basketball. Coming to a massive University like ASU, Zhang sees opportunities to grow, teach and succeed alongside his students and researchers. The size of the engineering program alone played a role in his decision to teach at the University. He says he is constantly looking for different ways to incorporate other projects into his own, even if the areas seem too different at first. “ASU is a big University,” Zhang says. “I can meet many different researchers. I am always looking into collaborations with other professors — like the robots looking to collaborate with each other.” He smiles at the comparison.


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ASU Student Ascends the Odds BY NICOLE GIMPL PHOTOS BY CELISSE JONES

It’s the start of a new year and that means gyms are going to see an influx of customers trying to burn off holiday weight. For a lot of college students, the need to have the right attire is almost as important as the need to get back to a fighting weight. People walk around in Nike, Adidas and Lululemon which can be intimidating for those on a budget. Seeing people wearing high end clothes that a lot of people — especially college students — can’t afford is a major blow to confidence for some. If this anxiety-fueled image sparks a feeling of recognition, just imagine an athletic wear company whose mission was to provide people — college students in particular — with affordable, high quality products. That’s what Arizona State University senior and biochemistry major TJ Uli is working to achieve with his company Ascension, a high end athletic wear company he launched earlier this year. “I’m a personal trainer on the Tempe campus,” Uli says. “Athletics is one of my passions, one of my main hobbies. I figured it would be a good way to help other people enjoy my passion while also doing something I can enjoy at the same time.” After he graduates with a biochemistry degree this May, Uli will be applying to pharmacy school. He sees the business as something to do on the side, so he wanted to start it now before life gets busier than it already 8

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is for a college student on the verge of graduation. “I think people have a fear of starting something in college because they feel overwhelmed. I’d say ‘Do it now while you have the time before you graduate’,” Uli says. “If I wasn’t a senior and didn’t have some extra time to be working on this, it would be harder than it already is. It’s not easy but if you just sit down and think about it for awhile and figure out how the logistics of it are going to work out before diving right it it makes it a lot easier.” Starting a company while in college may sound daunting, but luckily for him, Uli isn’t doing this all on his own. He’s received words of advice from friends he’s made at ASU. One of these friends is junior and construction management major Peter Mettler. “TJ’s a good guy, smart person. He has a great work ethic and will do almost anything for what he wants,” Mettler says. “I’ve helped him with refining his ideas and being a soundboard for him to voice his ideas to. He has a lot of great ideas and I try to make him see both good and bad sides

of them to make sure what he wants to do is sound.” In the coming weeks, Uli will have representatives don samples of his active wear around ASU’s Tempe campus and the area around it to generate interest in his brand before officially launching his first round of products. Currently, Uli plans to sell tank tops and t-shirts for both men and women. One difference between his product and products like Nike is the price, but that’s not all. “My product is more affordable and I would say more simplistic in it’s design,” Uli says. “It’s more based off of comfort and how you’re going to feel in the gym to make yourself feel more capable of being able to perform better. One of the things I worry about as a personal trainer is, OK, yeah that looks really cool, but are you actually comfortable working out in that?” Down the road, Uli has considered selling his products online on sites like Amazon or Etsy if there is enough demand. “I’ve thought about selling my product on other websites, but it’s just more competition and more efficient


for the local community if I just sell them on my website for now,” Uli says. According to Kim Riggerio, professor of practice in marketing at W.P. Carey School of Business, the key to a successful business is successful marketing. People need to be aware of their market before launching, know the niche they are targeting, and most of all they need to be passionate about their product. “Know your customer. Customer intimacy is important when launching a new brand. What are your differentiators in the marketplace?” Riggerio asks. “Are you going after people who do yoga, running, hiking? The needs for each of these customers are different. If the student has done their market research on what is out there, what niche are they going to fill, then absolutely, yes, launch with your eyes wide open.” Uli’s friends have no doubt that

he will find success no matter what he does. This venture in particular, Mettler believes, will have great success because the U.S. places so much emphasis on fitness. “Even though America is in the top three nations in the world with the highest obesity per capita, I find that there is a huge emphasis on exercising in this nation,” Mettler says. “It’s a crowded market and that means fierce competition but TJ’s the kind of guy that won’t give up on his ideas too easily even if the odds are stacked against him.” Students on the Tempe campus should begin seeing Uli’s representatives soon, and the product soon after. “We’re looking at launching in late January, early February,” Uli says. “I just ordered a bulk for my reps. They’ll be around campus for a bit. They’ll start selling around that time, I don’t have a specific date yet.”

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For more information about his company or to keep an eye out for a time when orders will be accepted, like Ascension Athletic Apparel and Lifestyle on Facebook. Uli’s website is ascensionathleticapparelandlifestyle. mystagingwebsite.com, now accepting orders.

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LG B TQ A S U QUEER LIFE AND VISIBILITY AT ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY BY OWEN BALDNER | PHOTOS BY RILEY KNEEDLER AND AIMEE PLANTE

Sounds of laughter fill the air like the jingle of little bells at Christmas time. Loud and vivacious students celebrate the homecoming of a new year and semester at Arizona State University. Underneath this rancor, there is a culture of students who are celebrating something larger than themselves as loudly as they can: LGBTQ equality, visibility and representation. From Oct. 15-22, while various parts of the ASU student body celebrated homecoming in various ways with varying degrees of exhalation, the LGBTQ community was celebrating Pride Week from Oct. 12-23. While Pride Week may have lasted longer than homecoming, it wasn’t all that noticed. In the 11 days that Pride Week went on, there were panels and events that included every spectrum of the LGBTQ 12

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community. There were poolside celebrations put on through the ASU’s Rainbow Coalition and Sun Devil Fitness Centers, an LGBT Certificate Program informational lunch and sex education, are just trying to seek their place in it. In general, college itself is a place where students come to find their place in the world and the people who fit in that space. As such, college is often labeled as a non-judgment zone where people can live their truth.As the national conversation of speech on campus continuous, LGBTQ voices on campus are still trying to gain volume. For ASU alumna, Alexis Jones who is an openly lesbian woman, that’s exactly what the experience was. “In college, for some reason, you got this sense that everyone was pretty open about everything,” Jones says. “Even if you weren’t open to it, I mean learning and

getting educated and everything, it kind of opened everyone else’s mind. I guess it forced them to be open to it.” From support clubs and special interest groups to sororities and fraternities, ASU includes a plethora of spaces for the LGBTQ community to get involved. It also has no shortage of faculty who have the experience and knowledge to connect students seeking inclusion. “The only reasons I heard of LGBT events was because I was in classes that were about LGBT experiences,” Jones says. “I would have never known that Laverne Cox was going to be speaking at our school had I not been in a class that incorporated LGBT relations.” At a university there can be difficulty finding events that celebrate parts of yourself you expressed openly at college, be that LGBTQ related or not. It is espe-


cially difficult when no one knows about those events. Julia Himberg, an Assistant Professor of Film and Media Studies at ASU, is the advisor to the LGBTQ Support Club and Gamma Rho Lambda Sorority. She teaches a class, LGBTV, which focuses on LGBTQ characters in the media and how their representations impact our society and societal norms. Her research and teachings at ASU primarily focus on the relationships between media and sexuality, gender, consumer culture and advertising. When talking with Himberg about her thoughts on LGBTQ representation and promotion among the ASU community she said that while it has a variety of different ways to be inclusive of the LGBTQ community, it lacks in other areas. “I think ASU has some work to do in terms of increasing that visibility and also kind of embracing a university wide sense of pride,” she says. “I think it can become especially important as we move into this period now with this election.” Queer culture on campuses exists throughout the country and a lot of them

have made great strides to ensure their students feel they are represented in their schools. However, since the legalization of same-sex marriage, there has been a decline in people rallying for LGBTQ issues. An example of this lack of attention is the Orlando massacre in June 2016. After 50 people were killed at a gay club in Orlando, people talked more about LGBTQ issues than they had in a year since same-sex marriage won. Almost six months later, there hadn’t been as much news coverage or talk about LGBTQ rights, until Trump’s recent victory becoming President. There are ways that ASU can improve upon what the nation was slacking at. One of those ways, according to Himberg, is through collaboration among student lead organizations. “I think it’s a large place that makes finding these groups difficult,” Himberg says. “They’re not unified. Gamma Rho Lambda is off doing its thing and the LGBTQ Support Club is off doing its thing, but there isn’t a lot of overlap or collaboration between them. That, I think, that would make the visibility better.”

Even though the presence of the LGBTQ community and openness to it can be felt at ASU, the strides ASU’s made to promote it and include it in the larger student body, has largely been left on the shoulders of the students. “For the most part this has been a student lead effort,” Himberg says “Which means that students are busy and the nature of their lives are such that it is difficult.” While ASU has always been an open and affirming community, if not be held accountable for it’s lack of participation in LGBTQ issues, what sorts of issues will the university face if this continues? “Nothing but good can come out from ASU being more involved,” Jones says.

According to a National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) study...

31% of students

feel their college’s administration thoroughly addresses LGBT issues on campus

14 colleges are “trans-friendly”

4 universities have a LGBT major

29 % of students felt curriculum adequately represents contributions of LGBT individuals


B US I N E SS

COFFE E G U R U B R I NG S CAFE DOWNTOWN BY SUNAINA TANDON PHOTOS BY JESSE STAWNYCZY

The aroma of cinnamon, espresso and homemade cookies fills the air as the elevator doors open to the sixth floor of the Beus Center for Law and Society on the Downtown Phoenix Campus . “Welcome to City Central Coffee,” says the barista with a quirky smile and New York accent. Walking in you can hear the furious click-clack of students pounding out papers on their laptops and the buzz and hum of the espresso maker from behind the counter. You can hear students ordering from their menu of signature drinks in the distance. Damian Serafine, 52, is a self-proclaimed coffee guru and owner of City Central Coffee. He has been working in the coffee industry for over a decade.

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Serafine originally learned to roast coffee in New York. However, drawn in by the sunny weather of Phoenix, he decided to move to Arizona in 1992. This journey led Serafine to become one of the first coffee roasters and coffee shop owners in downtown Phoenix. Serafine left coffee beans behind in 1999 to enter the world of real-estate. However, he decided to come back to his original love, coffee. “The minute I learned to roast in New York, I just thought coffee was amazing,” Serafine says. This love eventually took him to Guatemala. It was amazing to look at a tree and see the way each one was picked by hand, dried out and roasted to bring you different flavors, Serafine says. “No matter what I do, like photography or real-estate, coffee always seems to pull me back,” Serafine says. “There is a passion about coffee.” This passion led to opening to City Central Coffee. Aramark contacted Serafine and proposed the idea of opening of a coffee shop in the Beus Center for Law and Society. “It is interesting because there is a new customer base every semester as new students come in,” Serafine says. “It is not like a normal shop where you see the same people all the time.”

Alyssa Villegas is a junior at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She has been a regular at City Central Coffee since last semester. “The atmosphere makes it a great place for me to do homework or just relax in between classes,” Villegas says. Creating a positive ambiance in his coffee shop is important to Serafine. “School is obviously very stressful so we try to bring them a little bit of happiness and a little bit of a break from the craziness of school,” Serafine says. “Our quality and customer services make our coffee shop different.” Serafine only uses fair-trade organic beans to create different blends for coffee and espresso. “We do not say no to anything,” Serafine says. “It doesn’t matter if it is not on the menu, we will still make it,” Serafine says. Brianna Gauregui, 27, has been working as a barista for Serafine for about six years. “He has given me so much more confidence in being who I am,” Gauregui says. Serafine says he is currently in the process of exploring opening another coffee shop in the Phoenix area. “I love getting up in the morning; I love making customers happy; I love making great drinks for them,” Serafine says.


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FROM

BINGE-DRINKING TO

INNOVATIVE

THINKING BY ALEXA D’ANG E LO PHOTOS BY STE LLA ATZ E NWE I LE R


FROM TH E COVE R

F

or what seemed like ages Arizona State University was synonymous with “party school” with media often portraying the school as one big frat party and the students as if they were all too drunk to care about grades or degrees. But, there’s been a shift in that mentality over the last decade, solidifying the university’s metamorphosis from No. 1 party school to No. 1 in innovation. “It’s a remarkable time in the history of ASU, it’s truly a good place getting better,” says James Rund, senior vice president of educational outreach at ASU. “It is achieving things that I owe a huge debt of gratitude to ASU President Michael Crow for his leadership, his vision and high and unyielding standards for the enhanced performance of the students and faculty.” A State Press Magazine survey recently found that of 225 respondents, 46.2 percent of people thought mostly of “innovation” when asked about ASU while 23.1 percent thought of ASU as a “party school.” 1987 marked the first year ASU became a staple on party school lists culminating in the number one spot in 2002, the same year President Michael Crow and his crew came on board. But for the last four years, ASU has been left off all party school rankings and has instead grown to be the number one school in innovation two years in a row.

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Playboy and the Princeton Review release lists aggregating the top party schools in the nation based on a similar methodology. Playboy explained in an email to the Huffington Post in 2014 that they determined the rankings based on “access to nightlife and musical events, and creativity when planning social gatherings.” The magazine also used information from the National Center for Education Statistics, the NCAA and the U.S. Economic Census. In Playboy’s “Top Party Schools” list, ASU was ninth on the list in 2013; didn’t place in 2012 and was No. 3 in 2011. David Soto, director of content development at the Princeton Review says its rankings come directly from the way students feel about their own university. “We collect data from 381 schools resulting in 165,000 individual survey

responses of college students answerchange on campus,” Soto says. ing questions about their school that THE SHIFT leads to our rankings,” Soto says. “Our list is based on student responses beDr. James Rund, a staple at Arizocause we want to go to the real experts na State University since 1992, attrion the matter, and that is the students.” butes the shift in atmosphere in large Answers to questions involving part to ASU Presinightlife, alcodent Michael Crow hol consumption, who began his work We are really drugs and Greek with the University life on campus rebuilding human the same year it was sult in the rankings, named the top party potential and Soto says. school in the nation. In the history positioning “He felt strongly of the 25 years the about the need for students for Princeton Review the institution to fohas released its Top success, those cus on the individual Party Schools list, colleges and schools,” are the things ASU has only apRund says. “There peared four times: that matter. were very strong, in 2008, 2009, 2010 prominent colleges and 2012. The uniwithin the institution versity hasn’t been James Rund and President Crow present on the list focused on building since 2012. the identity of those schools. It was an “The Top Party Schools list is more important part of the overall enhanceso to help students and parents to help ment of the university in quality and determine the atmosphere of a particuperception that also had a synergistic lar college and doesn’t really determine effect in the pride of students and facfor a lot of people where they should or ulty in the institution and in individual should not go,” Soto says. schools and colleges.” Soto, an ASU alumnus himself, Rund says that ASU went through says while the list doesn’t typically a period of major change when Crow sway people from attending a universicame on, and he attributes ASU shakty, it sometimes happens that a school ing its party school identity to one of makes an effort to curb the party scene the biggest changes that affected stuon campus after being on the list. dents. “It can kind of be an agent of Before 2002, students would come to the University and for two years would only be permitted to take general studies classes. After that period of time, a student would be able to apply to a specific college or school and then for the remaining two years would be a member of that institution. Rund says with Crow’s vision, students would be admitted to ASU in the schools and colleges that fit their desired major. “I think to me, one of the most substantive changes came in the form

THE MAKING OF A PARTY SCHOOL


FROM TH E COVE R of students being admitted to their desired college when they were admitted to the university,” Rund says. “It created an immediate sense of identity and purpose for the students. It’s really something we kind of take for granted now, being admitted to the major in their freshman year and becoming directly connected to the reason they came to the institution in the first place, rather than having to wait for two years.” Crow had several visions when coming to ASU, including the enhancement and transformation of integral schools into renowned research hubs and while those changes were important, Rund says a major shift in the university’s atmosphere. “Upon coming to the institution, students were able to to immediately begin taking coursework that they cared about and that had a profound impact on student’s intention, engagement and achievement, truly more profound than any of the other dynamics on campus,” Rund says. “That direct engagement with their area of inquiry was a very big change.” Rund says while party school lists may draw attention from media and students, the University elects to focus on other accolades. “The lists that are important are the ones that speak to the quality of students and faculty,” Rund says. “International competitions and the other lists are of more value to us in measuring the university. Party school lists are often about selling publications. People have interest.” Rund says another contributing factor to ASU falling off the party school lists is there is a fluidity with the nightlife at the University. “It goes in cycles, there is an ebb and flow with student’s interest and engagement in the school which can deter from other activities,” Rund says. “This generation of students has a level 20

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WHEN I THINK OF ASU I THINK OF...

“Degree Mill”

“Party School”

15.1 %

15.6 %

23.1 %

“Hireable students”

46.2 %

“Innovation” *Information based on 225 responses to a State Press Magazine survey

of engagement and that bodes well for the school and the priorities of the students.” But nothing, Rund says, is more important than student engagement with their schools from the get-go and the engagement of students early on in their collegiate career is what has really helped to morph ASU’s public image. “Involving students in every facet of life at ASU is where the magic is,” Rund says. “Having them involved in research and professional programs and entering the school of their choice from the beginning is huge for students. It’s really a synergistic effect and it’s invigorating for the rest of the staff. We are really building human potential and positioning students for success, those are the things that matter.” A SHOW OF FORCE The University’s placement on the party school lists has historically not determined the actions of the ASU Police Department, according to Lt. Terry Lewis. ASU’s police department has

added personnel and deterrent classes in the last decade, but only because of the growth of the university, Lewis says. Lewis says party-related incidents were much more common before Alpha Drive, colloquially referred to as Frat Row, was torn completely down in 2012. “The number of people attending parties has decreased due to [the addition of ] Adelphi and Alpha Drive frat houses no longer being present,” Lewis says. “With the frat houses, there were larger parties. Now, with more dorm rooms, the parties are just smaller and more numerous at times.” Police officials have always stressed alcohol awareness on campus and have changed their method in the last decade, but not their message. “We have always made classes and information available regarding dangers of underage drinking and drug awareness, as well as patrol officer enforcing a Zero Tolerance policy when it comes to underage drinking and drug possession,” says Crime Prevention Officer Becky Garcia. “Classes


are provided through ASUPD Crime Prevention Unit and are ongoing and available to all departmental staff, students, and faculty.” Garcia says the Crime Prevention unit has taken a more proactive approach in the last 15 years as well. “This includes talking to students about alcohol and drug use prevention at New Student Orientations,” Garcia says. “We also meet with student organizations on all four campuses to make sure they know the ASUPD Crime Prevention Unit appreciates any opportunity to speak with their groups about any issue or topic. We always include personal safety and the dangers of alcohol and drugs. Many students are also very interested in knowing the potential legal consequences that can arise from an arrest, which is a deterrent itself.”

STUDENT FEELINGS Many students say ASU has been miscontrued and have had a positive experience while at the university. “Everyone told me that ASU feels like a party school,” says Ileyna Whitenstein, a painting sophomore. “I think

Nov. 2002 ASU ranked No.1 on Playboy’s Top 25 Party Schools

Oct. 1987 ASU appears on first party school list at number 13

1987

ASUPD officials state that they haven’t seen a drastic change in crime in the years that ASU was put on any party school list. Lewis says the only changes in crime happen when the population increases dramatically at the university. In 2013, the last time ASU appeared on any party school list, alcohol referrals and arrests on the Tempe campus totaled 2,863. In 2015, the same statistic was 2,553. Though lower, there isn’t a stark contrast between the two figures.

2002

July 2002 Michael Crow becomes President of ASU

2002

any school can be a party school, it just depends on if you go to the parties or not.” Whitenstein says that what people told her ASU would be like, and what it has actually been like has been compltely different. She says she’s enjoyed her time here and has nothing but positive sentiments about the University. “When I think of ASU I don’t think of partying, I think of the pretty campus,” she says. Finance freshman Cesar Castro says when he thinks about ASU he automatically thinks about the W.P. Carey School of Business and “amazing weather.” “I think it’s a great school, the people are serious about their studies but also know how to have fun,” Castro says. “No one is super uptight or takes themself too seriously.”

May 2012 First year ASU wasn’t on the Playboy list

2006

May 2006 ASU ranked No. 3 by Playboy

2012

2015

2015 ASU ranked No. 1 in innovation by U.S. News and World Report


STU DE NT LI FE

B E H I N D TH E BARS:

ASU Prison Education

BY MIA ARMSTRONG | PHOTOS COURTESY OF GINA FERAZZI/LOS ANGELES TIMES/TNS

For 40 or so ASU students and professors, going to prison is a regular occurrence. Lesson plans in hand, they make weekly drives to Florence, Arizona, where they pass through security checkpoints and spend a couple of hours in front of classrooms of incarcerated students. These volunteers make up a crucial branch of ASU’s Prison Education Programming (PEP), and together they represent a diverse group of backgrounds and academic interests. This semester, ASU students and faculty are teaching a total of 13 classes in Arizona State Prison Complexes (ASPC) Florence and Eyman. These classes span topics including biology, math, Chinese, philosophy and creative writing. While inmates who participate in these classes don’t receive credit, they’re incredibly eager to explore curriculum that wouldn’t typically be offered in a prison setting, says Dr. Cornelia “Corri” Wells, director of PEP at ASU. Prison education took root at ASU in 2010, after Michelle Ribeiro, who was working with the New Mexico Corrections Department, had an idea to connect inmates in a supermax facili22

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ty in New Mexico with college students who could provide feedback on their writing. This idea gave birth to the Pen Project, which was instituted at ASU by Professor Joe Lockard. Lockard began teaching in prison himself, and the prison education program grew from there. The Pen Project now accepts 25 to 35 students a semester, and Project alumi frequently go on to teach their own courses in one of the prisons. ASU students can enroll in the Pen Project for ENG 484 internship credit. Through the program, students explore the criminal justice system and work on writing exercises to improve their own skills. Most importantly, students receive, edit and respond to poems, plays, short stories, essays and other writing pieces submitted by incarcerated participants from New Mexico and Arizona. In the spring of 2015, Wells became director of PEP – formerly known as the Prison English Program, but expanded after the program’s offerings began to extend beyond English. “I wasn’t particularly interested in prison, I just fell into it,” says Wells. “But then when I started reading about prison issues, I just kept reading and read-

ing and reading. I’d stay up at night, even when I was on vacation, in the bathroom with the light on reading these books. Prison education just became a real purpose for me.” Wells also advises the Prison Education Awareness Club, a student organization founded by former Pen Project interns. The Prison Education Awareness Club (PEAC) connects passionate ASU students and community members interested in reducing incarceration. The club hosts roundtable discussions and speaker series and helps coordinate and supply volunteers for the prison teaching program. According to Brigitte Nicoletti, PEAC president, a number of PEAC members have been formerly incarcerated themselves, and therefore can bring unique perspective to discussions on criminal justice. “We bring together a diverse group of voices,” she says. PEAC also organizes an annual conference, the Prison Education Conference, which will be held on Friday, February 10 at 10:00am in the Memorial Union Turquoise room. The conference is free and open to the public. Beyond her role in PEAC, Nicoletti is actively involved in teaching her own classes in Arizona prisons. Last semester, she taught a gender studies class. In the class, Nicoletti and her students engaged in complex and difficult discussions about gender and sexuality. “I was blown away by how open-minded my students were,” she said. Grace Gao is a biology PhD student who helps organize and teach the ASU biology course offered at Eyman’s maximum security Browning Unit. Gao notes that in the previous two years of the course, inmates were barred in cages around the classroom. This year, students sit at desks with their ankles shackled.


grams, as well as facilitating distance learning programs for some inmates. Lawrence also said that the department is in the finishing steps of installing accredited high schools within all of its ten statewide prison facilities, an initiative which is unique from a national perspective. “Education is the number one way to keep inmates from coming back to prison,” said Lawrence. Even beyond the rates of returning to prison, prison education promises a deeper impact. “I used to think of prison education in terms of recidivism. All education lowers recidivism, so we know it has a numerical impact,” said Wells. “But I’ve decided that every human service is a human service and it’s pointless to talk only in terms of numbers.” Another unique component of PEP at ASU is the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program, where ASU students enroll in a semester long course taught in a classroom inside the Florence prison. According to the program’s website, ASU and incarcerated students “learn about crime and justice together through collaboration and di-

PHOTO BY MIA ARMSTRONG

Gao and her fellow biology teachers strive to make course material relevant to their students, covering topics like vaccinations, the immune system and diabetes. “During the reproductive system lessons, we talked about the HPV vaccine,” said Gao. “One of our students who had daughters asked us for more information about the HPV vaccine, because he wasn’t aware of it and wanted to learn more.” Tim Lawrence, Northern Region Education Director for the Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC), is an avid supporter of the prison education partnership between ASU and the ADC. He said that ASU teachers can serve as role models for their incarcerated students, helping them develop confidence and expand their horizons. Aside from the non-credit courses offered through its partnership with ASU, the ADC operates a number of additional education programs. Lawrence says that the law requires inmates have at least an eighth grade education before their release. Beyond that education requirement, ADC offers GED classes and career and technical pro-

alogue.” Throughout its many different initiatives, collaboration and dialogue are recurring themes of PEP, which prides itself on embodying the value of educational inclusivity outlined in ASU’s charter. “Incarceration shouldn’t be the end of the conversation, it should the beginning of one,” said Nicoletti. Editor’s note: The reporter has participated in the Pen Project internship and prison teaching program.

According to the Rand Corporation:

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics:

The odds of obtaining employment post-release among inmates who participated in correctional education was 13 percent higher than the odds for those who did not participate in correctional education.

The most common educational program offered among all facilities was a secondary education or GED program (77%), followed by literacy training and lower basic adult education (67%), upper basic adult education (66%), and vocational training (52%). More than a third (37%) of all facilities offered special education programs for inmates with learning disabilities. More than a third (35%) of all facilities offered college courses, including 98% of all institutions operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, 86% of facilities in Rhode Island, and 80% in Hawaii.

Inmates who participate in correctional education programs had a 43 percent lower odds of recidivating than those who did not. This translates to a reduction in the risk of recidivating of 13 percentage points.


STU DE NT LI FE

ALONE AWAY FROM HOME BY NINA NORTH | PHOTOS BY ELENA PELKEY-LANDES

College is a time for finding yourself, meeting new people, making memories and, of course, getting an education. But sometimes between finding yourself and making all those memories a strong feeling of homesickness overcomes you. Suddenly you no longer want to go out with your friends or go to class because all you want is to be in the presence of your home — with your family, your old friends and the scent of familiar places. You feel as though you’re all alone, that you’re the only one experiencing this uncontrollable feeling of homesickness but the truth is you are not alone, many other students feel the same way. According to a survey by the UCLA Higher Education Institute, 69 percent of first year college students report feeling homesick. WHAT IS HOMESICKNESS? After spending the past 18 years forming bonds with people and places so when students who leave home and part with those familiar faces and places we tend to experience this emptiness or sense of loss. Aaron Krasnow, Ph. D, associate vice president at ASU Counseling Services and Health Services, says homesickness is a normal experience for everyone. “Often acute feelings of homesick24

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ness can occur right before and/or right after returning to home for a visit. This is when the comparison between home and away is most clear,” Krasnow says. When students go back to school after being home for an extended period of time the transition back may seem more difficult, making home idealized and college can be seen as more negative, Krasnow says. ASU nutrition junior, Rebecca Bender, says she feels the most homesick right after her mother leaves or after she visits home. “The leaving part is always the hardest,” Bender says. “ It’s like getting a piece of my childhood back every time I go home to visit my mom.” According to Warwick Counseling Services website, homesickness is a reminder of our need to respect and pay attention to our physical and emotional needs at a time of stress. Bender says she also tends to feel homesick when she realizes all the responsibilities she has and whenever she realizes the time is just zooming by. When feelings of homesickness are exasperated it can lead to increased feelings of sadness, frustration, loneliness and anxiety, Krasnow says. “Sometimes homesickness can get so bad that it interferes with academic, work

or social performance,” Krasnow says. Warwick Counseling Services website says the effects of homesickness can be quite disabling: PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL SYMPTOMS: Loss of concentration Crying and sadness Difficulties in sleeping or eating Waves of emotion Disrupted menstrual cycle Nausea, headaches or dizziness Trembling, and feeling either too hot or too cold COMMON THOUGHTS: I miss my friends so much I need to get home, or at least phone home as often as I can I want to be with my family I am not coping with looking after myself I hate having to live with people I don’t know I do not know who I am here It’s like prison. I don’t belong here I want to cry especially when I am by myself Everyone else seems fine. Why am I the odd one out?


ASU COUNSELING RECOMMENDATIONS Sometimes students feel homesick right away when they get to college and for others it’s more of a delayed reaction, Krasnow says. When you start to feel homesick, Krasnow recommends to make a list of the parts of home you miss, the parts of home you don’t miss and to do the same thing for college. “Ask yourself the following questions: What do you like about college? What do you miss when you are home?” Krasnow says. Krasnow says when you create these lists you create a balanced perspective. “Balanced perspective is one of the most powerful antidotes to negative feelings. It prevents us from coloring the world as ‘all one way,’ which prevents negative feelings from getting out of control,” Krasnow says. ASU photography junior, Emily Johnston, says she has felt homesick plenty of times.

THE ASU COUNSELING SERVICES AND HEALTH SERVICES ALSO RECOMMEND: 1. Getting social support, wherever you can find it, by sharing your homesickness. Sometimes it seems that no one else is homesick. You’ll be surprised how many people feel the same way. It’s a risk to say it out loud, but many people will join you and give you support. 2. Get enough sleep, eat as healthy as you can, and exercise as often as you can. These are keys to feeling better, which helps you limit the negative impact of loneliness. 3. If homesickness gets in the way to school/work, please ask for help. You can reach out to the Dean of Students office on any campus or to ASU Counseling or ASU Health Services. 4. Check out the resources at wellness.asu.edu

She says even though this is her third year at ASU she still experiences being homesick from time to time. “When I am homesick, it’s usually because I’ve gone days or weeks without talking to my family back home,” Johnston says. Johnston says when she does feel homesick she reminds herself how thankful she is to be going to school somewhere different than where she was raised.

“Experiencing a new culture helps me live in the moment and remember that I am here for a reason,” Johnston says. It’s actually quite simple: Your time at college is what you make it, if you don’t make memories or meet new people you may look back at your four years spent at college and feel they were unfulfilled. College is your time to experience not the time to feel homesick.


STU DE NT LI FE

I NTE R N ET TROLLS TARG ET YOU NG WOM E N BY SAVANAH YAGHSEZIAN

“This planet belongs to the white man, you’re going to the camps!” “You messed up you little feminist. I’m in the process of hacking you as we speak.” “Get cancer you ugly b****.” These are just some of the messages journalist Lauren Duca received after writing an article for Teen Vogue entitled, “Donald Trump Is Gaslighting America.” Duca has since faced harassment from hundreds of strangers online, especially via Twitter and email. In the most extreme case, Martin Shkreli (known for raising the price of a medication used to treat AIDS and cancer patients from $13.50 to $750) began editing photos on his Twitter page to falsely depict he and Duca as a couple, despite the fact they’ve never met. Shkreli was temporarily removed from Twitter after the incident. “Martin Shkreli is engaged in targeted harassment, and absolutely deserves to have his account suspended,” says Duca via email. “It’s unfortunate that the only reason people are paying attention is because he’s relatively high-profile. Trolling seems to be an automatic occupational hazard for female writers who receive any level of professional attention. That’s something Twitter needs to work harder to fix, but obviously the problem runs far deeper. Finally, for any of my personal aggressors reading this: Would I rather you leave me alone? Of course! But know that you will never, ever silence me. Every one of your messages only serves to strengthen my resolve. I promise to never stop fighting.” To add to the issue, conservative women receive violent messages as well. Tomi Lahren, the controversial host of “Final Thoughts with Tomi Lahren,” received a multitude of “threats on (her) life” after she criticized Beyonce’s performance at the 2016 Superbowl. It’s not just high-profile female journalists and celebrities who face harassment from racist, sexist and homophobic often anonymous accounts, but college students as well. Journalism junior, Kat Chapman, says she’s been attacked online for expressing her social and political opinions on Twitter. “I’m pro-choice and there are a lot of people online who are not,” Chapman says. “So as soon as I started talking about it I got attacked from every different point of view that you could think of. 26

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The scary thing about online harassment is they don’t care if you’re right they just care about getting the last word.” Chapman says she’s unsure why men harass women online, but she thinks some of the trolling stems from the need to feel powerful. “If you can make someone feel bad about how they think, then obviously you have the upperhand,” says Chapman. Rachel Reinke, a women and gender studies professor at ASU, says online “trolling” is a multi-dimensional issue. She believes online “trolls” feel empowered by their anonymity to say hateful things to women online. Additionally, women who are more outspoken defy society’s expectations to be quiet and submissive. “When the Internet started people believed gender and race would not exist, but it went the opposite,” Reinke says. “Just the fact that trolling has taken a mind of its own now as society progresses in real life the online community seems to be going backwards.” Reinke currently teaches an online class on “cyberfeminism,” or the study of how feminism has changed and adapted to the online world. “Broadly we look at gender through the lense of the Internet, and the Internet through the lense of gender,” says Reinke. “(We look at) how our identity has changed with the internet.” The class utilizes several online platforms such as Tumblr and YouTube to explore the different ways feminism can be implemented and shared on the internet. However, Reinke says she typically keeps a low-profile when it comes to sharing her views online because she’s faced enough harassment solely based on her profession. Reinke received “hateful” emails and reviews from students after they took her WST 100 class. “Solutions are kindof hard,” says Reinke. “The internet is a huge terrain; one thing shuts down and another comes up. (The solution) is more about changing societal attitudes.” Reinke says the best thing to do if you are facing harassment for expressing your views is to try to distance yourself from the online platform and remember you’re not the only one who’s experienced this. “It’s a societal problem,” Reinke says. “Remember people are capable of changing.”


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