state press magazine VOLUME 17
THE ISSUES ISSUE
ISSUE 3 NOVEMBER 9, 2016
from the editor
Early on in the semester, I dubbed this issue the “issues issue” because I wanted the budding reporters at SPM to get experience writing less "fluffy" stories. I am so incredibly proud of the work they put into this issue and of all their stories, but there is something that struck me in a particularly emotional way. When #NotOkay took over Twitter, I was in awe. Reading so many stories of women, most around my age, being harassed or assaulted was horrifying. When Savanah, our managing editor, approached me with the idea of bringing it to ASU, I couldn’t say no. The story is too important. But what I didn’t really think through was the fact that, at some point, I was going to have to read in detail some of the most awful moments of these women’s lives. I wasn’t prepared. When we got the first couple submissions. I read about three in a row. I went to the bathroom at work and cried. There wasn’t one story that wasn’t heartbreaking and infuriating. I ached for these women. I wanted to say something to make it better, to make it easier, to somehow erase their pain. But all I can do is publish their words in the hopes that, by bringing up this topic again, it sparks some conversation. Thank you to the women who shared their stories with us, and thank you for reading our last issue of the semester. See you back
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 M U LTI M E DIA E DITOR H EATH E R H U DZ I NSKI DE S IG N E DITOR CHAR LI E FRANCIS COPY E DITOR J ESSICA SU E RTH LEAD R E PORTE R AN DR EW N ICLA R E PORTE RS MADISON ALDE R ASH LEY BALLAR D AASH I N I CHOKSI AM B E R FRAN KLI N N ICOLE G I M PL LAU R E N I NTR I E R I AN DR ES G U E R RA LUZ ATTI E M I LLE R N I NA NORTH MADISON STATE N SU NAI NA TAN DON M E LI NA Z U N IGA LEAD PHOTOG RAPH E RS KATI E MALLES WI LLOW G R E E N E SM ITH PHOTOG RAPH E RS JOR DAN N E E L E LE NA PE LKEY-LAN DES CARTOON I ST ADAM ZAN Z UCCH I
H EATH E R H U DZ I NSKI, CHAR LI E FRANCIS, ALEXA D’ANG E LO, SAVANAH YAG HSE Z IAN PHOTO BY R E I LLY KN E E DLE R
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the issues issue
VOLU M E 17 | ISSU E 3
sociocultural 06 #NOTOKAY AT ASU STU DE NTS' STOR I ES OF SEXUAL ASSAU LT
10 DEALING WITH ANXIETY HOW STU DE NTS SE E K H E LP FOR M E NTAL I LLN ESS
12 FIGHTING THE BATTLE G ROU P AT ASU STR IVES TO H E LP THOSE BATTLI NG ADDICTION
14 THE SCIENCE BEHIND DEPRESSION PROTE I N CON N ECTION TO DE PR ESSION COU LD LEAD TO N EW M E DICATIONS
from the cover 16 FROM THE GROUND UP ASU PLANS TO CR EATE A N EW LIVI NG SPACE FOR G R E E K LI FE
campus 24 KEEPING CAMPUS SAFE ASU'S M ISSION TO KE E P STU DE NTS SAFE
26 JOB SCAMS HOW TO SPOT AN D AVOI D SCAMS FOR STU DE NT WOR K
economic 28 FOOD FIGHT HOW ON E ASU CAM PUS IS FIG HTI NG AGAI NST STU DE NT FOOD I NSECU R ITY
TH E STR UGG LE CAN B E R EAL
AROU N D TH E TOWN N OV E M B E R 9
N OV E M B E R 15
N OV E M B E R 23
II Divo @ Comerica Theatre Gogol Bordello @ Marquee Theatre
Phunk Junkeez @ Marquee Theatre Pistoleros @ Crescent Ballroom
N OV E M B E R 16
N OV E M B E R 25
Mac Miller @ Marquee Theatre House of Stairs @ Crescent Ballroom
N OV E M B E R 18
Meat Puppets / Mike Watt & The Secondmen @ Crescent Ballroom Phoenix Suns vs. Minnesota Timberwolves @ Talking Stick Arena
N OV E M B E R 11
The Boxer Rebellion @ Crescent Ballroom
N OV E M B E R 26
Okilly Dokilly @ Crescent Ballroom Julión Álvarez @ Talking Stick Arena
N OV E M B E R 19
STRKR @ Crescent Ballroom Phoenix Suns vs. Detroit Pistons @ Talking Stick Arena
N OV E M B E R 10 Theresa Caputo @ Comerica Theatre Car Seat Headrest @ Crescent Ballroom
N OV E M B E R 12 Lindsey Stirling @ Comerica Theatre Rae Sremmurd @ Marquee Theatre Phoenix Suns vs. Brooklyn Nets @ Talking Stick Arena
N OV E M B E R 13 Ms. Lauryn Hill @ Comerica Theatre
N OV E M B E R 14
Toro y Moi @ Crescent Ballroom
Jesse & Joy @ Marquee Theatre
N OV E M B E R 20 Switchfoot / Relient K @ Marquee Theatre The Suffers @ Crescent Ballroom Cirque Du Soleil Toruk @ Talking Stick Arena
N OV E M B E R 21 Adele @ Talking Stick Arena
Young Thug @ Marquee Theatre No Volcano @ Crescent Ballroom
N OV E M B E R 27 Orkesta Mendoza featuring Salvador Duran @ Crescent Ballroom Phoenix Suns vs. Denver Nuggets @ Talking Stick Arena
N OV E M B E R 28 The Naked and Famous @ Marquee Theatre
N OV E M B E R 3 0 Phoenix Suns vs. Atlanta Hawks @ Talking Stick Arena
BY ADAM ZAN Z UCCH I
Even Sparky has to pay tuition.
send a message
BY RANJAN I VE N KATAKR ISH NAN
Seconds turn to minutes
Write a message on the beach
Turn to hours turn to days,
That the waves erase
And here I stand waiting
And rewrite upon the shores
For a word from you some way.
My feet everyday trace.
Phone gone, now what?
Write a letter, tie it to
I miss you so much.
A smart pigeon’s foot
Send a message in the wind,
So that it may bring to me
Or a method of such.
The words in it you put.
Whisper something to the stars,
Send a message to me
The holy, mystic sight.
Let them carry on your words
Send a message to me.
To my ears tonight.
I long it every day.
SOCIOCU LTU RAL
# NOTOK AY ASU BY SAVANAH YAGHSEZIAN | PHOTOS BY WILLOW GREENE SMITH
ne in five female college undergraduates will report sexual assault, according to a study conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics Research and Development Series. Pretty horrifying, right? Now take into consideration the women who are afraid to speak out and never report their assault. Are you afraid now? I am. Brock Turner, the Stanford rapist, served only three months in prison for brutally attacking a woman behind a nightclub. His sentence was reduced by half for “good behavior.” How a rapist can ever demonstrate “good behavior” is beyond me — yet here we are. Donald Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, openly bragged about touching and kissing women without their consent. He wrote off his comments as “locker room talk,” essentially saying this is how all men speak about women when they’re not around. Nice. When you put it that way, I totally don’t feel like less of a person and more like an object. As I watched these events unfold on my television and computer screens, I grew angrier as people jumped to the defense of these men. Every woman knows a Turner or a Trump. Every woman fears being raped. Every woman has dealt with unwanted gropes or cat calls. It’s disgusting. It’s rape culture. After Trump’s recorded remarks to Access Hollywood host, Billy Bush, became public, Kelly Oxford, a New York Times best-selling author, tweeted the story of her first sexual assault. She encour-
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aged her followers to do the same with the hashtag #NotOkay. In response, thousands of women shared the first time they were touched without consent. I decided it was time to share my story and encourage other ASU students to do the same. I created an online form and encouraged my followers on social media to fill it out or share it, if they felt comfortable enough to do so. Warning: These may be triggering for rape and sexual assault survivors, and includes some offensive language. Here’s the story of the first time I was groped: When I was 16, my best friend at the time introduced me to a male friend of hers. He seemed very sweet and very in love with his girlfriend. Let’s call him Seth. About a month later, I found myself in a bedroom with Seth and two other people. I was laying down on the bed and Seth joined me. He told us he was going to take a nap and we all assumed he had fallen asleep. Ten minutes later, Seth had positioned himself so that he was lying on his side facing my back. I suddenly felt his hands reach around me and grab my breasts. I really hate that I just laid there and let it happen, but I was really confused. He had a girlfriend, he seemed nice, he was friends with my best friend. There’s no way he could ever be capable of doing something so wrong. I just brushed it off and sat up a few minutes later as if nothing had happened. A few months later I heard that an-
other girl had accused him of sexually assaulting her. Again, I was in shock, but then I remembered what he did to me. I believe her. It took me a long time to realize that this wasn’t just a casual thing. Years later, I don’t think I’ve even ever brought it up to my friends or my boyfriend in a serious context. It was just something I’d tucked away in the back of my mind. Now I realize what had happened was wrong, and it could’ve been a lot worse. I don’t want to think about what might have happened had we been alone. Again, I realize my story could be much worse, but I know it’s probably similar to a lot of experiences others have had. If you don’t believe me, here are just some of the stories sent in by my peers. I thank each and every person who took a stand against sexual harassment and assault by submitting their experiences. I also support those who feel they cannot speak out yet. You’re not alone. (Names have been omitted and responses have been edited for clarity.)
I want to preface this by saying how incredibly difficult this is for me to write. As a journalism student, being at a loss for words doesn’t happen to me often. I’m going to adhere to the original #NotOkay tweet and describe what I consider to be my “first,” textbook experience of sexual assault. It’s difficult, however, because I’ve had many experiences where I was on the receiving end of what
I wouldn’t describe as “consensual.” This is far too common for women, and so often we aren’t even able to clarify what is consensual, what it harassment or assault, what is #NotOkay behavior toward us because it is just that pervasive. I was 19 years old, possibly newly 20 (it was around my birthday). I was walking with a friend one evening when I was studying abroad. It was just the two of us in the street, or at least I thought. Before I even saw his face, I felt a man’s hand on my, to quote Mr. Trump, “pussy.” My body kicked into fight or flight mode and I pushed him off, shouting, “Are you fuckking kidding me?” On a typical day when I was studying abroad, I would have to walk several miles to get to school, the local grocery store, etc. As a foreigner and a young woman, in particular, cat calls were to be expected. Since I had to walk everywhere, this meant that cat calls and comments happened everywhere. This doesn’t mean they were or are ever welcome, or ever comfortable, or ever something that I got used to; it just means that they were. On this day in particular, they were really bad, and I was extra fed up. I had met my friend a few hours earlier at a church near her apartment and experienced a creepy lurking/following situation as I waited for her to arrive at the church. That evening, as we walked back to my apartment after I was assaulted, a couple of strange men even tried to get us to get in their car with them. Harassment could be pervasive on any given day, but that day in particular, it was something extra, even before the assault, and I was entirely done with it. As much as I loved my experience abroad, there’s always this side to it that I don’t know how to, or if I should, explain when people ask me how it was. It’s not OK that something that I worked so hard for and should have been the best experience of my life could also be one of the worst. I’m so torn, and it hurts so deeply, and the written word simply can’t do that pain
justice. I’m just lucky that at a moment when I could have frozen completely, which, as someone suffering from anxiety, is my body’s natural response, I was able to push him off, and even manage to reply: “Are you fucking kidding me?” That sentence in and of itself pretty accurately depicts what I had felt that day. It’s #NotOkay, though. It’s #NotOkay what happened, and perhaps what could have happened had I not fought back. What could’ve happened had I frozen up, or had I been alone, or had he pushed further. Had he not ran off. It’s #NotOkay that as a proud feminist who knows that harassment and assault are #NotOkay in any form, and that victim blaming is never OK, that randomly, even a year later, my mind will find ways to make myself think that I was somehow, even for a second, in the wrong (I’m not).
It’s #NotOkay that for this past year, possibly for the rest of my life, I get to be triggered without a moment’s notice. That this is not something that I can just choose to never think about again. That this encounter with a man I had never met probably meant nothing to him. That he didn’t think twice about it. That it’s something I have to remember always. It’s #NotOkay that I am holding back tears and desperately staving off a panic attack as I write this. It’s #NotOkay that I’m the one who gets to be hurt and afraid because of this. It’s not something that I did, it’s something that happened to me, yet I and so many other victims get to pay the ultimate price for assault. It’s #NotOkay that even as I describe what happened to me, I consider myself lucky that I wasn’t raped. Not being raped or assaulted or even harassed are human rights.
21-year-old female I was 15 and still in high school. I was just starting my sophomore year and getting out of my first relationship. I was smitten with a guy in my bio class, only to learn he lived three streets down from my parents. We would casually see each other at football games and at parties. After a party, he asked to hang out and walk me home. I had been drinking; he hadn’t. He convinced me to go swimming in the pool of an abandoned house, which slowly turned into my biggest nightmare. He made multiple passes. I shot down each one. I knew I wasn’t safe, but I knew he could outrun me. I fought him off while he climbed on top of me. I kept fighting and crying, but couldn’t get him off. He called me names everyday at school. “Whore.” “Slut.” He told everyone I begged for him. I was too ashamed to share my story for three years. Upon my arrival at ASU, I heard he had assaulted another young girl, so I finally spoke up. Telling my parents was the hardest conversation I have ever had. I hope no girl ever feels ashamed to have been raped. I wish I hadn’t carried the blame all these years. It was his fault. Not mine.
#NOTOKAY 19-year-old female: I met a guy; he was a friend of a friend. A group of us were hanging out when he insisted that he spend the night, whether I wanted him to or not. While we were in bed, he forced himself on top of me and forced himself into my mouth, regardless of how much I protested. This happened multiple times before he finally left the next morning. I was 18. 20-year-old female: I’ve suffered from seizures for as long as I could remember. When I was 17 on a school trip to New York, I ended up alone, in my hotel room, with a boy who liked me. I started to feel like I was going to have a seizure, so I laid down and told him what would happen and just to get me water for when I woke up. I trusted him to watch that I was safe while I rode out my seizure. Instead, I woke up with him on top of me and was unable to move while he raped my unconscious, unresponsive body. Post-seizure, I could barely move or understand my surroundings, so there was never enough to press charges or investigate because I was not a valid witness. 20-year-old female: Honestly, I’ve been sexually harassed and assaulted so many times that I’ve grown numb to it. Whether it’s a party or a concert, I will get uncomfortably touched without permission, guaranteed. Sometimes guys just grind up behind you randomly, even when you back away. I get catcalled and am sent unsolicited sexual messages and pictures on a regular basis. Once, a guy asked me for my number and grabbed me when I refused. I’ve been followed down the street multiple times, even after politely saying I’m not interested. Guys have stalked and attempted to blackmail me after I reject them, including an Uber driver that kept my number and wouldn’t leave me alone. I even had an instance of a male teacher making inappropriate comments to me in middle school. I was roofied my first week at ASU. This is just off the top of my head the list goes on and most of these things have happened to many of my closest friends. 21-year-old female: I woke up feeling guilty. As if my verbal protests weren’t enough. As if I could’ve done more. As if my small, 21-year-old frame could’ve physically pushed off his muscular body. I woke up feeling ashamed for something I never wanted to do. A few of the handful of people I told said maybe I shouldn’t have drank so much or maybe I shouldn’t have invited him into my home. And well, maybe I shouldn’t have. But a man who keeps going when a woman says no is committing textbook sexual assault. He was an acquaintance, maybe even a friend. I haven’t talked to him since. He may never understand how he made me feel that night and in the weeks after. Violated. Disturbed. Vulnerable. I want him to pay, but I don’t know how. I never reported it. But he needs to know it’s not OK. It’s not OK. 18-year-old female I’ve experienced cat calls from a young age, beginning around 11. But my worst experience happened at 16, when my family and I went on vacation to Egypt. The entire time, I was catcalled, stalked, and yelled at for not complying to their calls. Since then, it’s gotten progressively worse. I cannot even enjoy a night out alongside my boyfriend without getting honked at or catcalled from passing cars. This has been my life for nearly a decade now. It’s awful.
20-year-old female I was 16 when my 35-year-old boss for the restaurant I worked for went too far. He would always hug me too tight and too long, kiss my shoulder and neck, and never stopped talking about my butt until one day he finally grabbed it without permission. He did all of this at the hostess stand in the restaurant. I knew it didn’t feel right but he gave me attention so I developed a crush on him. 20-year-old female I have experienced sexual harassment and assault many times. Unfortunately, sexual harassment has become so common in my life, from cat calls to inappropriate comments, that I don’t think twice about it anymore. My experiences of physical sexual assault, on the other hand, still haunt me. Although I never considered the situations I have been in “rape” because they happened with guys I knew and had sexual relationships with, I was still forced into sexual acts without my consent. Multiple times, guys have used their strength to pin me down and do things to me that I clearly said no to. The first time this happened to me I was 15. Mostly, I have been drunk during these incidents, but a few times I was completely sober. I have often been blamed for putting myself in these situations or told I should expect it because I am a sexual person. It is not OK. 31-year-old female Just last week, I was walking to my parking garage alone when a young guy stopped and asked me if it was “his bucky night.” I said I didn’t know what that was and he said, “It’s like a rape night” and I just stood there. I was shocked and walked away quickly. Hardly anyone was out there because it was so late. I was shaken and felt very threatened. I reported this to campus police, but I was never contacted for follow-up like I was told I would be.
SOCIOCU LTU RAL
A N X I E T Y
BY NINA NORTH | PHOTOS BY WILLOW GREENE SMITH
ake a look around you the next time you walk into the Memorial Union. I bet some students will pass by playing on their phones, others may sit studying for hours at a table and a handful will chat with their friends while waiting to order food in line. At the end of the day, these students will go their different ways. After all, they have different lives, majors, hobbies and interests. But some have one thing in common: a paralyzing fear of the unknown. This fear might make them fidget, have panic attacks and worry about things completely out of their control. They have anxiety, and according to the American College Health Association, one in six college students has it, too. Anxiety disorder is a chronic condition characterized by an excessive and persistent sense of apprehension, according to Medical News Today. A University of Michigan study about the estimated attitude and beliefs concerning treatment for college students found that “most people with mental health disorders still do not receive treatment.” THE CAMPUS SOLUTION
One option for students is campus-based counseling. ASU’s Counseling Services offer confidential, time-limited, counseling services for any student experiencing emotional, mental and physical concerns that affect one’s ability to achieve academic and personal goals. “Anxiety is the most common concern that students report when they come to the counseling center,” says Aaron Krasnow, Ph.D, associate vice president at ASU Counseling Services and Health Services. 10
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Because college students are so focused on their projects, papers and finals, feelings of stress and anxiousness may just become an everyday feeling for them, Krasnow says. Anxiety is a normal experience; almost everyone feels it from time to time, he says. “About one third of all people at some point will experience anxiety that persists long enough or is at a high enough intensity that it interferes with their life,” Krasnow says. One of the most effective ways for treating anxiety is group counseling, Krasnow says. It allows you to learn new things and often challenge the anxiety head-on but with the support of others who are going through the same thing, he says. First appointments at ASU’s Counseling Services are free. Afterwards, appointments to discuss service options or gather more information are also free. Otherwise, all other appointments are a flat rate of $15 per session, but students with financial needs can receive a fee-waiver. Melissa Wallace, early childhood and special education sophomore, says she tends to feel the most stressed and anxious when she has a big assignment due in addition to her internships, work, other classes and spending time with friends and family. “I have never really thought about going to the ASU Counseling Services for the times I am really stressed or anxious,” Wallace says. “I really just lean on those around me to talk to about it.” Wallace says she feels much more comfortable talking to her family and close friends rather than a stranger. It is also normal for a college student to experience test anxiety and feel over-
whelmed while trying to balance other challenges in life. The American College Health Association’s Spring 2014 National College Health Assessment found that 21.8 percent of college students say anxiety has affected their academic performance, and 86.4 percent felt overwhelmed by all they had to do. More than half of the students visiting campus health clinics listed anxiety as a concern, according to a study by Penn’s Center for Collegiate Mental Health.
SYMPTOMS OF ANXIETY EMOTIONAL SYMPTOMS FEELINGS OF DREAD OR APPREHENSION FEELING TENSE AND JUMPY RESTLESSNESS / IRRITABILITY ANTICIPATING THE WORST BEING WATCHFUL FOR SIGNS OF DANGER PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS POUNDING OR RACING HEART SHORTNESS OF BREATH UPSET STOMACH SWEATING, TREMORS & TWITCHES HEADACHES, FATIGUE & INSOMNIA UPSET STOMACH, FREQUENT URINATION OR DIARRHEA *The National Alliance on Mental Illness
“The more students think about what they have to do, the more paralyzed and anxious they become,” writes Jan Hoffman in a blog for The New York Times.
TAKING THE FIRST STEP Nicole Tower, journalism sophomore, was diagnosed with anxiety in November 2015. Although, she did not experience all of the symptoms of anxiety before going on medication, she suffered from panic attacks almost weekly, she says. Krasnow says when students are feeling anxious to a point where these symptoms interfere with their daily routine, it is important for them to first acknowledge what is happening in a non-judgmental way. Tower says it took her a while to realize she had anxiety because of the “if you don’t see it, then it doesn’t exist” mentality. “I didn’t see any need to go to a doctor at first,” Tower says. She says she didn’t want to put chemicals in her body to help her feel “normal.” According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, only
about one in three of those suffering from anxiety actually receives treatment. Tower says she has never used ASU’s Counseling Services, and she admits it was a resource she should have taken advantage of during her first semester in college — but she says she wasn’t fully aware of it. Tower says she wasn’t totally confident in admitting she needed help with her anxiety at that point, which made her uncomfortable in asking around for information about the services provided at ASU. For students like Tower who are not yet comfortable going to the counseling center and admitting they have anxiety, Krasnow says there are other ways to find relief from anxiety. Krasnow recommends exercising, spending time with close friends, reading self-help books, and doing meditation or yoga. These are only a few alternatives to relieve anxiety. “Seeking help and support nearly always leads to a less anxious life,” Krasnow says. “It’s hard to do, especially when you’re anxious, but it works.”
THINK YOU HAVE ANXIETY? ASK YOURSELF THESE QUESTIONS • ARE YOU EXPERIENCING ANXIOUS OR WORRISOME THOUGHTS ON A DAILY BASIS? • ARE YOU PLAGUED BY FEARS OTHERS PERCEIVE AS UNFOUNDED OR IRRATIONAL? • DO YOU AVOID EVERYDAY SOCIAL ACTIVITIES BECAUSE THEY CAUSE YOU ANXIETY? • DO YOU EXPERIENCE SUDDEN, HEART-POUNDING PANIC ATTACKS? • IS YOUR ANXIETY INTERFERING WITH YOUR SCHOOLWORK, SOCIAL LIFE AND FAMILY? *bestcolleges.com
SOCIOCU LTU RAL
fighting the battle BY ANDREW NICLA | PHOTOS BY ELENA PELKEY-LANDES
ndrew Bird sat down in his backyard feeling defeated. He sat there alone, with a bottle of liquor and the other a bloodied fist from continuously punching a wall out of anger in the other. It was at this point he knew he had a drinking problem, and only a day after he promised himself he would remain sober. An hour before that moment, Bird was studying for a test he had in Coor Hall. He was sitting at a computer reviewing, when suddenly the words on the screen began to scramble. The sentences began to have no meaning to him, he was sweating profusely, and his skin was turning pale. Panicked, he bolted out of the building and caught a bus home so he could have a drink. Alcohol was his drug of choice for nearly 10 years. It was alcohol that helped him fit into social circles since the age of 13. But Bird had become dependent on alcohol, drinking multiple times a day, nearly each day. He would show up to classes intoxicated and somehow manage to pay attention. If he wasn’t drinking, he didn’t feel normal. “I felt like if I wasn’t drinking with my friends, I was a ‘square,’” Bird says, holding up air quotes, laughing at his word choice. “I was literally waking up and doing it until I went to sleep or passed out. I would drink and do whatever I needed to do during the day.” Bird got increasingly efficient at fulfilling his fix for a high. He would sneak alcohol into class in unsuspecting containers and had a designated spot on campus to roll and smoke his own cigarettes, which 12
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were dashed with marijuana. As his drug use began to gradually increase, he saw his overall sense of self gradually decline. Not surprisingly, Bird says he failed a handful of his classes due to his drinking habits. His GPA had sunk to a 1.6, and he was put on academic probation, but he couldn’t let his grades slip any lower and lose any more friends than he already had. Bird says he knew he had to get sober and change his life for the better. Today, Bird is 28, holds a Bachelor’s of Science in urban planning from ASU, which he earned in 2014, and owns and operates a business. He is more than five years sober and happier than he ever was before. “I’m not one to count the days, but this ‘birthday’ feels special,” Bird says, in reference to the anniversary of his sobriety. “I usually don’t like keeping a running tally on those things. But five years, man, wow, I’m proud. I definitely wouldn’t believe you if you told me I would be sitting here today five years sober.” The journey to sobriety was not easy for Bird. It took many Alcoholics Anonymous meetings at churches all around Tempe, time spent in rehab, and support from friends and family to become sober again. He insists it was well worth the work and that it’s worth noting he wasn’t alone. Bird is only one of the countless college students who abuse alcohol. According to the National Institutes of Health’s Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 60 percent of college students
aged 18 and older drank alcohol in the past month and two-of-three engaged in binge drinking during that same time period. There are many reasons college-aged people may choose to binge drink and abuse drugs. For some like Bird, they do it to fit in, while others drink to cope with stress from balancing school and a job, or simply out of curiosity of what a certain high will feel like, Bird says. There are warning signs that suggest a student might have a problem including: not attending classes, earning poor grades, or altering their schedule around the consumption of a substance, according to the National Institutes of Health. Luckily, there are resources for ASU students who feel they might have a problem with substance abuse or dependence, such as on-campus counseling. Assistant Clinical Director for ASU Counseling Services Marissa Grimshaw-Clark says she and the rest of the ASU counseling staff are there to provide students with a strictly confidential resource for students to seek help. Clark and the counseling staff work with students individually to help talk out their problems and find ways to help them recover. “We encourage any student who thinks that they may be having difficulties with drugs or alcohol to visit any of our
counseling centers located on each ASU campus,” Clark says. “When the student comes in, we will talk to them about their concerns and find resources and support, whether on campus with our providers or more specialty services off campus when needed.” Clark says she and the staff often recommend the club, Recovery Rising to students who think they have a substance abuse or dependence problem. The club is intended to be a place of gathering for those students, provide them an informal setting for them to express their difficulties with recovery, and be a support group of peers who have or are going through a similar situation. The club meets weekly in a classroom on the second floor at the Sun Devil Fitness Complex on the Tempe campus. It’s a very informal meeting. Students dress casually, share updates on their week and their sobriety, and then schedule club events for the next few weeks. Adam Wheelock, a 24-year-old global studies student, is a member of the growing club. Wheelock says Recovery Rising provides students with a relaxed, inclusive environment that encourages openness and honesty about substance abuse. He says the club also constructs a network of support for those who are recovering, for it’s those friendships that help make the process easier. Members of the club also plan cookouts, tailgates and other fun events for new and returning members to bond and relax. The on-campus club is a small step in helping those who need it the most. There are many consequences to abusing drugs that college students should be aware of. One-in-four college students reports suffering academic consequences due to alcohol and drug abuse, according to data cited from the NIH. “I mean, let’s be honest, we’re in college, everybody is young and nobody
wants to go to an AA meeting,” Wheelock says, smiling and shaking his head. “This club is important to me because I am helping bring awareness to an issue that affects college students. I want people to know that there are other people on campus right now who are struggling with drug addiction or have struggled in the past. It sucks to feel like you’re worthless and alone.” Wheelock is a recovered alcoholic and drug addict and has been sober for 2 years. He proposes that one of the problems causing drug addiction is simply how easy they are to buy. For some drug dealers, the risk of being arrested and charged with felonies for the amount of drugs they sell is worth it for the profit. One thing Wheelock wants every ASU student who feels they may have a drug addiction to know is that they are not alone. “I think one of the biggest misconceptions among addicts is that they think that they’re alone, that they’re struggling alone,” Wheelock says. “There are many other students just like you who could use support as well, that’s why it’s so important that people know about this club.” One factor that makes treating addiction so hard is that the subject itself is taboo. Club President Marissa Rodriguez says that people should instead be honest
and open about sharing their struggles with addiction and that the act of sharing experiences and advice to others is one small effort to help fight the complicated social issue of addiction. “I just feel that nobody ever wants to talk about stuff like this, like we should feel embarrassed to even discuss it,” Rodriguez says. “We need to normalize these kind of meetings and conversations that take place. Nothing needs to be anonymous.” Rodriguez and other club members all know people who have died because they abused a substance. This issue is such a personal one for all of them, and it’s so easy to see the passion and empathy radiate from their expressions and actions when they speak and listen to one another. For Wheelock, the struggle to stay sober is a life-and-death matter. He says if he were to break his sobriety pledge and reintroduce harmful substances into his body, he could be risking the possibility of overdosing. “I can’t possibly explain how much becoming sober has changed my life,” Wheelock says. “My grades are better — school is still hard, though — and I am lucky to have such great friends. It feels good being sober and I feel a lot of gratitude. Why would I want to throw all of that away?”
SOCIOCU LTU RAL
TH E SCI E NCE B E H I N D PROTE I N ADDICTION BY SUNAINA TANDON
he smiles at her family and the illusion of happiness persuades loved ones that everything is OK. However, sad eyes tell a story of a draining battle within. The darkness fights the light until there is nothing but an outline of a girl that once was. Screams are left unheard as the darkness begins to suffocate the future and erase happy memories of the past. All feelings are lost until there is nothing but black emptiness, sorrow and pain. Depression lurks around the corner of approximately 30 million U.S. citizens, according to Deveroux Ferguson, a researcher at the University of Arizona Medical College Phoenix. Thirty million U.S. citizens lay in the darkness while feeling helpless. Depression engulfs every aspect of their life until they become isolated from loved ones. It remains until someone hears their cry for help, for feeling. Deveroux Ferguson’s recent discovery could create a new way to treat this depression. He linked the SIRT1 protein and its impact on certain genes as a key player in major depressive disorders. SIRT1 is a protein that can change the behavior of genes, according to a press release from the U of A College of Medicine Phoenix. It has been found to affect metabolism, development and cancer. This discovery was made in Ferguson’s lab at the University of Arizona Medical College Phoenix, down the road from the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus. He is also part of Arizona State University's neuroscience interdisciplinary faculty. He observed mice behavior in accor-
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dance with SIRT1 levels. Mice with higher levels of SIRT1, even in the short-term, displayed elevated signs of anxiety and despair, Ferguson explains. The increase of SIRT1 has been traced to a distinct region of the brain that influences changes in depression or anxiety. “(The) SIRT1 link to depression is very new and opens the door for the development of novel, more (efficient) antidepressants,” Ferguson says. Currently, antidepressant medications mainly target monoaminergic pathways, which play a role in the body's process of controlling chemicals like dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine, Ferguson says. These chemicals are often associated with mood and are altered via antidepressants. These current treatment approaches for depression are largely ineffective and leave more than 50 percent of patients symptomatic, Ferguson says. Additionally, the U.S. loses about $226 billion annually because of chronic illnesses, like depression, according the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More traditional medications take several weeks to months to display benefits. They also include side effects such as nausea, insomnia, fatigue, drowsiness, increased appetite and weight gain, Ferguson says. “What’s genuinely exciting about the study is that we have identified a potential novel non-monoaminergic signaling path-
way to treat depression,” Ferguson says. “You can do the opposite study where as opposed to increasing SIRT1 activity, you can block SIRT1 activity." Blocking SIRT1 activity results in anti-anxiety and anti-depressive behaviors. This knowledge could be used to create new types of medication to treat depression. Ferguson says the long-term goal is to determine the difference between animals who are resilient and animals who are susceptible to depression. Currently at ASU, students with depression meet with a counselor to assess their needs. A plan is then created with the student, says Aaron Krasnow, associate vice president and director of Arizona State University health and counseling services. “I know that many students have experience with antidepressants prior to college,” Krasnow says. However, each student's plan is different. Ryan Dietzman is a exercise and wellness sophomore who has struggled with depression since middle school. "I do not believe current anti-depressants help with depression. I find exercise to be my medicine," Dietzman says. Emma Natzke is a psychology junior at Arizona State who also battles depression and has never taken anti-depressants. "Anti-depressants did not help my mother," Natzke says. "However I would be open to trying a new type of anti-depressant."
FROM TH E G ROU N D UP BY SAVANAH YAG H S E Z IAN
FROM TH E COVE R
ust swirls through the air of the empty lot. Mounds of dirt are stacked about ten feet high to mark where the construction workers left off. It’s a deserted brown stain on an otherwise lively campus. At Arizona State University, there’s an abandoned graveyard of sorts. It’s a dirt lot just southeast of the Wells Fargo Arena, but just five years ago, it contained the remains of the University’s fraternity row, Alpha Drive. In 2012, the last building was deemed “unsafe” to occupy and the remaining residents moved elsewhere. Now, the ASU Panhellenic Council is seeking to give Greek Row an update with a proposal to build a new and improved Greek community on campus.
WHAT HAPPENED TO ASU’S GREEK ROW? The houses never had the cookie-cutter symmetry of so many typical Greek Rows. There were no blindingly white, multi-story houses with Grecian columns or lush green lawns. In the 1950s, ASU built its first series of Greek Life houses, called Adelphi Drive. By 1961, Greek Life had expanded and fraternity members were in need of additional housing. ASU hired some of the top local architects to build a set of unique buildings for these fraternities, naming the complex Alpha Drive. The two communities served their purpose for about 40 years, but by the end of the 20th year the houses started to fall apart. By early 2004, Adelphi Drive, or “Old Row,” began to foreshadow Alpha Drive’s fate. The houses were all demolished because they were past the point of viable renovations. However, three of the four houses had been standing empty after their chapters were expelled from campus. According to a news release published in 2003, ASU planned to provide housing next to the Adelphi Commons, named Adelphi II, for six fraternities, but it has since been turned into an additional living space for students in the Mary Lou Fulton Teacher’s College. The fraternities did live in Adelphi II for a 18
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time, but they eventually left this space as well. David Jude, who graduated from ASU in 2012, lived in the Pi Kappa Phi house on Alpha Drive while he attended summer classes on campus. “The functionality of the houses were fine, but the integrity of the structures was definitely a question,” says Jude. The state of Alpha Drive only continued to deteriorate after a house fire completely destroyed the interior of two houses. Additionally, frequent partying only added to the houses state of disarray. According to a 2004 article published by the Phoenix New Times, Alpha Drive had the most lax policy of all ASU Greek Life housing when it came to parties. Alcohol was allowed on the premises, but Greek Life advisers required a guest list to be turned in 24 hours prior to a party, guests to be carded upon entering and “drinking” and “non-drinking” sections of a party. Still, things could get out of control. Jude says while the houses were a great way to socialize and bond with the other members of your fraternity, a few people could easily ruin that experience for everybody with reckless behavior. “Obviously, you can’t stop everyone from consuming alcohol and partying,” Jude says. “However, you can give them guidelines to do it safely and navigate the risks.”
In 2003, a proposal was made to demolish and rebuild Alpha Drive. These houses would be built in addition to Adelphi II. Assuming their homes would be redone soon anyways the fraternities made no further repairs on any of the existing homes. Paint chipped, air conditioning ceased to work, fences broke, lawns browned, and one by one, the fraternities were left to find their own off-campus housing in Tempe. “There was a lot of mixed emotions (about the houses being torn down) ... I was a fraternity member and a concerned resident,” says Jude. “I was for it as long as they could come up with some results and replace it. It was probably for the best for where this University is trying to go.” Years passed, and the developers never made a final agreement with the University due to financial disagreements between the fraternities and the University. By 2012, the last fraternity, Sigma Nu, departed Alpha Drive, thus officially eradicating any on-campus housing options for fraternity members.
WHERE IS GREEK LIFE NOW? In the early 2000s, ASU built the Adelphi Commons for 12 sororities on campus across the street from the Barrett
Honors College dorms. Like Alpha Drive, the houses wouldn’t fit in at a typical Greek Row. Instead, they’re designed in a similar fashion to many of the dorms on campus. Security is also managed similarly to dorms on campus. Residents must swipe their ASU Sun Card in order to enter, unless the gates are opened for an event. Metal gates also separate each house from one another. Girls are selected to live in Adelphi either through an application process similar to applying to live in a dorm or, if not all spaces have been filled, are entered into a “lottery” and are chosen to live there for the upcoming school year. Each resident has one roommate and two suitemates to share a bathroom with. After 15 years, the wear and tear of Adelphi has begun to show. Students report problems with bugs and the overall cleanliness of the building. Kelly Dempsey, a sophomore member of Kappa Alpha Theta and resident of Adelphi, says she has to “scrub” her room in order to feel clean. However, in her opinion, the benefits of living in Adelphi outweigh the negatives. “We have to check-in (for events) at Adelphi so it’s very convenient living there,” Dempsey says. “I never really have to leave my room.” Not everyone chooses to live in Adelphi. Isha Parikh, a marketing and supply chain management senior and member of
FROM TH E COVE R
Kappa Alpha Theta, says she thinks Adelphi isn’t the best possible option to provide housing for sorority members. I didn’t live in Adelphi, but I grew up with the idea of Greek Life having big houses with letters ... that Southern style charm,” Prikh says. “I don’t like how we’re separated, but at the same time, I like that we have something for sororities.” Unlike sororities, the fraternities have had no choice but to relocate off campus, if at all. Many of the fraternities don’t have an option for members to live together, those that do rent houses or entire sections of apartment complexes to give members somewhere to call home. However, these “houses” are completely unregulated by the University and are often susceptible to legal offenses. In 2013, just one year after the last
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fraternity left Alpha Drive, The Arizona Republic published an article about a recent spike in crime at these off-campus locations. Citations have been written for underage drinking, illegal partying and physical assaults. However, the fraternities continue to live outside of the University’s supervision.
A NEW ERA OF GREEK LIFE: GREEK VILLAGE
At the intersection of University Drive and Terrance Road lay the remains of the outdated Cholla dorms. In its place will be a revitalized version of Greek housing: the Greek Leadership Village.
Emma Walls, the co-chair of the Greek Housing Committee and president of the Panhellenic Council, says the village will reflect ASU’s status as the most innovative university in the country, voted by U.S. News and World Report. Over the years, housing committees traveled across the country to get inspiration from other college’s Greek houses in order to create a unique living space for ASU students in the Panhellenic community. From this, the village was born. The “townhome” style houses are arranged in a triangle with a community center at one of the points and a row of additional housing splitting the community into two sections. Michael Scott Nickerson, the cochair of the Greek Housing Committee, Greek Housing Ambassador, vice president of the finance inner fraternity council and member of Sigma Phi Epsilon, says the new buildings will give Greek students a new outlet to express pride for their chapters. “(The Greek Village is) definitely something that would also fit in with the general architecture of the residence halls at Arizona State, but with a unique twist to really fit each individual organization living on campus,” says Nickerson. “Those being our insignia and the letters on campus.”
The committee also addressed safety concerns for students who may live in the village. Walls says the security system would be similar to current protections established at Adelphi. Additionally, the houses would have “Greek Ambassadors” that would act as Community Assistants who work closely with the Tempe Police Department to ensure the safety of their residents. As for which fraternities and sororities will be living in the village, Walls says that has yet to be determined. Chapters can submit an application beginning Jan. 1 to see if their organization meets the qualifications to live in the Leadership Village. Walls says the committee is looking for chapters that follow the rules of the Greek community, pay their dues on time, follow the proper judicial procedures and have the appropriate member size to fill a house. If applicants meet these requirements, they will receive a written letter of support from the housing committee and business will progress from there. The price for each member may vary, depending on the size of the house. Luckily, for students who qualify for financial aid, the Greek Village will be considered “on-campus” housing so residents can use their grants, scholarships and/or loans to pay for their stay in the facility. Walls and Nickerson say they’re also prepared for the Greek community at ASU to undergo frequent changes. They’ve both seen an increased interest in Greek Life at ASU, but they also recognize that groups may “come and go.” “The hope is that upon finalizing this application (and) having applicants submit it that (they) intend to fulfill the lease agreement and continue to live in until their lease ends at which point they would re-apply,” Walls says. However, if an organization decides they no longer want to be a part of the Greek Village they can do so, which will leave a spot open for the next, new fraternity or sorority to take their place.
While these new chapters wait to be offered a spot in the Greek Village, they will most likely be stationed in Adelphi. Walls says this will serve as a “training ground” for living in the village. “We’re hoping to have a myriad of options that add to the significance and Greek experience at ASU," says Nickerson. ASU President Michael Crow says the initiative for new and improved Greek housing is primarily student-led, but is “entirely backed by the University.” “They’ve come up with the design, but we are the ones moving on the design,” Crow says. “The most important thing about this project from our perspective is that we didn’t come up with an edict, we didn’t come up with an answer. We said to the students,’ Well what will you design?’ And we think what they came up with is a great design.” “This is a subset of Greek organizations who want their students to be engaged in a way where they’re focused on leadership development,” Crow says. “The hope is that we can provide them a very big cross section of living alternatives for students. So do you want to be in this kind of house or this kind of house or live in the residence halls or live in an apartment or live off campus, live at home, you know, whatever helps you to be successful.” James Rund, senior vice president of outreach at ASU, was the point-person on the project and says that the project was entirely backed by an investor, and the school plans to pay back on the loans with the fees students pay to live there. “There will be a thousand beds or so in the new buildings,” Rund says. “Back in the day, PV main was the place where the Greek Life lived, then they outgrew that and then the leadership wanted something new and that’s how the Adelphi commons came to be.” Rund says the students really drove the design, leaders in Greek Life took a trip over spring break last year to look at
the housing options for Greek life at other universities. “We feel really good about their idea,” Rund says. “They have thought about the issues they could face, and really, the students are better suited to tells us what they need and we go from there.” Rund says the project is set to be complete in the fall of 2018.
GOING GREEK? Thousands of ASU students are involved with a fraternity or sorority. However, obviously not everyone will be able to live in the Greek Leadership Village. Allison Brafanti, a junior in Chi Omega, says she’s excited about the idea of having additional Greek Life housing, even though she won’t be able to live there before she graduates. “I think it could be a positive thing because I know a lot of Panhellenic communities have wanted something like that,” says Brafanti. “I also feel like we need more information about it.” Outside of the Greek community, reactions may be mixed. Dylan Kirkeeng, a freshman actuarial science major, says he is not involved in Greek Life because he sees himself as a more independent person and doesn’t think he fits the mold of a “stereotypical” fraternity member. However, he says he does understand why people enjoy being involved in Greek Life. Kirkeeng believes the friendships people make in their sorority or fraternity are valuable, and their philanthropic efforts are important to the community. Kirkeeng also believes the Greek Village could be beneficial to Greek Life and the University itself. “If sororities and fraternities are gonna live together, they might as well do it on campus,” Kirkeeng says. *PHOTOS COURTESY OF ALPHA SIGMA AND ASU ARCHIVES
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keeping campus safe BY NICOLE GIMPL PHOTOS BY KATIE MALLES
I N A M AT T E R O F 120 M I N UTES, A G U NMAN E N DE D TH E LI V E S O F 3 2 P E O P LE , I N J U R E D 17 OT H E R S AN D CHANG E D TH E C O U N T RY F O R E V E R . The Virginia Tech shooting in 2007 and others like it have struck fear into the hearts of parents of college-aged adults and the young adults themselves. According to a study by Everytown, a gun safety support fund, there were 76 shootings on a college or university campus between 2013 and 2015. In early October 2015, at Northern Arizona University, 20-year-old Colin Brough was shot on campus, supposedly by shooting suspect, 19-year-old Steven Jones. Flagstaff is known as a college town, 24
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with one-fifth of the population made up of students. The college campus is central to its sense of community, so the shooting shook most everyone. “People were pretty shaken up for a while after,” says NAU visual communications sophomore Lindsey Ibarra. “Especially the Greek Life community. All the sororities and fraternities banded together to support each other because the victims were in one of the fraternities on campus. Things changed around campus, too, like extra security at campus events, which made me feel safer but also reminded me what had happened and that freaked me out." Since then, improving security on campuses has become an increasingly important issue in communities across the U.S. — including the communities surrounding Arizona State University. “The ASU Police Department has increased officer and police aide positions
over the past two years,” says John Thompson, ASU Police Department Commander. “We continue to monitor and work with university officials regarding hiring needs.” In the 21st Century, students worry about more than isolated physical threats. In 2015, less than a month after the shooting at NAU, ASU was the target of an internet threat, which officials found to be unsubstantiated. One of the issues facing on-campus security professionals are the multiple entry points to each building on campus. Because these buildings are integral parts of the communities they are in, such asthe University Center at the Downtown Phoenix Campus or Memorial Union in Tempe, it would be difficult to limit entry points and keep the level of community engagement these buildings offer. Community health major Sofia Carreon says she doesn’t feel safe at the Downtown Campus because of the transients that walk through due to the openness of the buildings. “I don’t feel safe on campus,” says Carreon. “I’m in Tempe and Downtown, and in Tempe, you have more of the fraternity and sorority area. I know people do target the sorority area, and I know that area is kind of sketchy. The ASU Police Department sees the problems, too. Despite the feeling an officer gets from a person, they are unable to do anything unless they pose an imminent threat to students and faculty on campus. “We cannot discriminate against people based on how they look, dress or appear,” Thompson says. “A person’s behavior is what draws our attention to them and dictates the appropriate steps to take; ask to leave or arrest.” Walking around any college campus, students can experience moments of paranoia. Some campus buildings have police aides at the front desks while others have
student workers — students like you and me — answering phone calls. “The decision to place a police aide at a desk is based on agreements between the building manager and the ASU Police Department Command Staff,” Thompson says. ASU also offers the LiveSafe application which allows students to report tips to the ASU Police Department, make emergency calls, and perform other functions such as communicating with ASU police in real-time via chat, pictures, audio or video. It's recommended by the ASU Police Department that users take advantage of the app when they feel they are in unsafe situations. The Tempe campus is the most populated of the four, so it follows that it would have the most police personnel. ASU police have certain limits to areas where they have jurisdiction, which, according to Katy Harris, ASU Police Department Media Relations Specialist, is both single and concurrent. “[The] ASU Police Department has concurrent jurisdiction over areas surrounding campuses and some off campus facilities,” Harris says. “For example, McAllister Avenue runs through campus so if a car crash were to occur on McAllister Avenue, ASU police could respond even though the street is considered City of Tempe and Tempe Police Department jurisdiction.” Between Aug. 18 and Oct. 17, there were 461 crimes reported within a 1 mile radius of the Tempe campus, according to LexisNexis, a database which compiles reported crimes. Sixty-five of these were residential burglaries, and 46 were aggravated assaults. ASU Police Department’s 2015 Annual Security Report found 13 aggravated assaults and 103 burglaries either on campus, on off-campus student housing or on public property surrounding campus. There is a large number of crimes very close to student residencies that ASU police don’t have jurisdiction over.
In the same time period (2015), 370 crimes were reported within a 1 mile radius of the Downtown Phoenix Campus. Eighty crimes were aggravated assault, and 72 were residential burglaries. Student paranoia isn’t unjustified based on these statistics. Students are protected while on campus property or within a close proximity to campus, but aren’t when walking back to their off-campus apartments at night. “I do feel safe on the Tempe campus during the day, but at night, to me it feels very dark and desolate,” post-doctorate mechanical engineering student
Blair Johnson says. “I’m not on campus past 6 p.m., but if I were on campus after that time, I would feel nervous walking around.” Thompson made some recommendations for students to stay safe on campus at all hours of the day. “If you see something, say something,” Thompson says. “Unless we see something ourselves, we rely on the public’s reporting incidents to us. There are many ways to do this: calling us, telling an officer you may see in the area, via the LiveSafe App which can text directly with dispatchers, or by sending pictures, video, audio, etc.”
S CA M S
BY ATTIE MILLER PHOTO BY KATIE MALLES
ollege students know all too well that succeeding in school is a job all on its own. While attending classes, studying, applying for internships and networking are time consuming steps toward a career, many students also find it necessary to work at least one part-time job in order to afford the expenses of attending school and living independently. Students looking for employment are often discouraged by the confusion of job searching. Beyond the stress of applying and interviewing for jobs, students may also need to be more careful in researching potential employers and narrowing criteria in job prospects. The average full-time Arizona State University undergraduate student spends an estimated $1,000 per year on books alone, according to ASU’s Standard Cost of Attendance web page. That may not seem like a horrific amount, in general, but with it being one of the several expenses that students encounter, it is an example of the need for income that many students face. Also, the benefits of working during college could be long-term for students. According to ASU’s Student Employment web page, “Studies have shown that students who work do just as well or better academically than non-working students and grades improve as students work more hours per week (up to 20). In addition, working students are more likely to complete a degree program than non-workers.” A 2015 report by Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, titled “Learning While Earn-
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ing: The New Normal,” states “The effects of work and learning also depend on the nature of the work. A job is more powerful as an educational tool when it provides exploratory earning that supplements or complements a student’s field of study.” Students can heighten their chances of successful job experiences by considering factors that could affect their education of potential employers before they commit to a job. “As far as what’s particularly important in making a job work for a student is finding an employer (ASU-affiliated or perhaps otherwise) who respects both your desires and efforts to work, but who also respects the importance of your time outside of class,” says Lori Pruitt, a full-time student in english literature at ASU. On-campus jobs provide options for students to avoid job scams and to work for employers who will be understanding of school schedules. Although students may bring in less monthly income due to limitations of work hours for on-campus student jobs, the downfall of working longer hours could be serious. “I worked retail for three years, and despite having requested only 15 hours a week, I was constantly pushing 40 hours, being called in all the time when I needed to study, and being pressured to put work before school despite the agreement I made upon being hired that school would
come first,” Pruitt says. “The constant pressure took a major toll on my health and my grades, and so I began looking for a student job hoping that I’d find an employer who would understand the importance of my schooling.” She describes her current student job at the ASU Help Center as the best job she’s ever had. “Student jobs are just like regular part-time jobs in that a lot of elements go into whether or not the job will work out for a student, and sometimes, a student job won’t work any better than something else,” Pruitt says. “However, the advantage of taking a student job is that upon going in, you and your employer have that agreement that you are a capable worker and you will give your best to the job, but that they also have the task of putting their best as well in working with your schedule and respecting you as a student just as much as an employee." Rachel Sondgeroth, communications coordinator at Project Humanities says her on-campus job has saved her a lot of time going from work to school as a religious studies major. “I’m based more on campus. I used to work at a daycare center about 20 minutes away, and with traffic and getting to classes, on campus is just a lot more convenient,” Sondgeroth says. However, off-campus jobs are not necessarily more difficult to handle. Les-
lie Alaniz, a business major, previously worked at a swap meet off-campus and says her experience was a positive one. She would only work in five-hour shifts on the weekends, and made connections with people outside of the University. “With my co-workers, we had like a family,” Alaniz says. “We definitely made a connection for a lifetime, not just at work.” Alaniz added that if she did have to work more hours that it probably would have taken a toll on her schoolwork and social life. Students who prefer to work around their own schedules may find interest in various forms of freelance work. Creative talents can be offered as a service on sites such as Fiverr.com and Upwork. Students can also offer tutoring, baby sitting and other services through Care.com or by posting a classified listing or flyer locally. Although “gig” work does not guarantee a reliable income, it can be an ideal choice for students who want to make extra money without committing to a schedule.
Students should be particularly aware when searching for freelance opportunities, as many job scams target “work-fromhome” job searchers. The Federal Trade Commission’s consumer information website warns, “Many work-at- home opportunities are promoted by scam artists. If you pay in, it’s likely that you will spend more than you can earn.” It also lists envelope-stuffing scams and telemarketing resale scams as common risks to look out for. Job scams are potentially harmful obstacles in the paths of students searching for work. Students have access to job listings from various sources, including flyers posted around campus and websites such as Craigslist. Among the many legitimate jobs that can be found through public listings, there are also falsely advertised work opportunities that may attempt to persuade applicants into giving payment or other personal information. Job listings with headlines such as “Easy Student Work” and “Work From Home” should
be evaluated with caution. The Federal Trade Commission’s web page regarding job scams lists a few signs of a potential job scam:“You need to pay to get the job” and “you need to supply your credit card or bank account information.” When in doubt of a job listing’s credibility, students should research employers and search for testimonies written by previous employees. Students can contact ASU’s Student Employment office to ask about job listings that claim to be school-affiliated. Time demands and environment that are often overlooked by students who are hurried to find work. Most full-time students juggle heavy schedules including classes, homework and school events, as well as extracurricular activities. Job searching can be a time-consuming chore that produces less-than-worthy results. Preparation in job searching can make a major difference in identifying ideal jobs and preventing wasted time and unpleasant experiences.
FOOD F I G H T HOW ON E AS U CAM P US I S F IG HTI NG AGAI N ST STU DE NT FO OD I N S ECU R IT Y BY MADISON ALDER | PHOTOS BY HEATHER HUDZINSKI
ach night she was in the ASU undergraduate student government office her sophomore year, Ephraim Infante would watch out the window expectantly, waiting for the same man eating a Cup-O-Noodles to walk by. She found out the older man was a student at Arizona State University. He was taking night classes because that was the only time available to him. Infante, now the Senate President of Undergraduate Student Government on the West Campus, was bothered by the idea that the cheap food the man carried with him might be the only thing he could afford. “He told me all he had to eat was CupO-Noodles, and that was just not right, you feel?” Infante says, as she sits in the lobby of the USGW office she used to see him from. It was that man who inspired Infante to take action. In fall 2016, USGW opened up a food voucher program for students experiencing food insecurity. The program became the first student government organization on all ASU campuses to develop a solution for this problem. Student food insecurity, the inability to pay for food, isn’t a problem unique to ASU. In fact, the number of college campuses creating their own programs to combat food insecurity has grown rapidly in the last several years, a Washington Post article states. Food banks on university campuses went from four in 2008 to 121 in five years, according to the food bank at Michigan State University, one of the first colleges to create a system to combat food insecurity, according to the Post article.
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TH E W E ST CAM P US SOLUTION USG West is making an attempt to strike out college food insecurity — and they’re doing it in a unique way. “The way we’re combating food insecurity is pretty different than you’d think,” Infante says. “You would think we’d do food drives, but we’re not doing that.” In fall 2015, Infante took the issue to the University Affairs Committee, which she chaired, to brainstorm possible solutions. The original idea was to take all of the extra meals left over each week from meal plans and pool them into a bank that students experiencing food insecurity would be able to dip into when they needed it, Infante says. After discovering it would be a logistical nightmare to convert all of the unused meals into a dollar amount and redistribute them, the team began to simplify its plan, she says. Instead of actual meals, USGW program was allocated $10,000 by University Housing to distribute to students as it sees fit, whether that be through M&G or meal swipes, Infante says. If a student wants to use the program, they are directed to go get their voucher — typically for one or two meals — and discuss a long-term solution with a program representative that’s unique to them, Infante says. “When a student goes to the Dean’s office, it opens the door for them to get connected with other resources,” she says. “For example, if a student is struggling with homelessness, the people at the dean’s office will make sure you’re not only fed, …
but that you’re also connected with housing.” The program is also discrete to keep those in vulnerable situations protected and not attract those who might use the program as a “freebie,” Infante says. “We can’t send mass emails because of the sensitivity of the topic, but we are promoting it in (campus) organizations,” she says. In the first two months of the program, seven people obtained vouchers, says Linda Torres, the director of the program. Torres works directly with the students that come in to the dean’s office to talk about their options outside the program. Of the students she has talked to, Torres says some students have needed to look into employment, others ran out of money for the week and just needed money to get by for a few days, and one student had just moved to the area and was “still trying to figure out his way.” A TE M P ORARY F I X A common misconception of the program is that it is a permanent solution, Torres says. While the program will help people with varying degrees of food insecurity, the program is not meant to be used more than once or twice, she says. “It’s only a temporary fix for students who need a temporary fix,” Torres says. “For students who need something more long-term, we look into that.” The program caters itself to students like Sarah Jennings, a senior at the West Campus, who says she would be interested in learning more about the program
for when she gets tight on cash before her next paycheck. In addition to pursuing her degree in biology at West, Jennings works in a lab on the Downtown Phoenix Campus a few days each week. “I mean, it’s good pay,” she says. “But with going to school full time, you can’t work every day.” The weeks Jennings is short on cash, she says she makes lunch or tries to buy the cheapest things possible, sometimes even skipping a meal if she has to. “If I eat breakfast, I don’t have money then, so I have to wait until I go home,” she says.
“If you’re facing food insecurity, a lot of food pantries are few and far between, and students have difficulty accessing them due to lack of transportation,” he says. To De Los Santos, lack of access to food banks and stigmas attached to them are the reasons student food insecurity can go unsolved. The benefit of having a program to combat food insecurity on campus is being able to “literally walk a few steps on campus and find access to food. The probability that you’re going to get food jumps up dramatically,” De Los Santos says.
A G ROW I NG H U NG E R
OT H E R A R I Z O N A SOLUTION S
A 2015 study conducted by Arizona State University and the University of Minnesota found that approximately one-in-three college freshmen experience food insecurity. The study found that 32 percent of college freshmen surveyed reported experiencing food insecurity in the past month, and 37 percent reported experiencing food insecurity in the past three months. But, college campus-based programs are making an impact. Public Policy Manager for The Association of Arizona Food Banks Oscar De Los Santos says that before campus-based solutions, students had limited options.
“I’ve seen that a number of campuses across the state are opening up food pantries on campus,” De Los Santos says. One of those programs is the Campus Pantry at the University of Arizona that has been around for several years. It began in 2012 as a students-helping-students movement, and in a span of just two years it grew into a certified 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, with a permanent location on the UA campus. “It’s all gone fairly seamlessly,” Berkley Harris, director of the UA Campus Pantry, says in reference to the organization’s growth.
Harris says she was part of the original group of students that started the program out of a closet on campus, when it only distributed nonperishable items to students in need. This is an obvious contrast to the Campus Pantry today that serves about 1,000 pounds of perishable and nonperishable food to roughly 100 students each Friday the pantry is open, she says. The success of the UA Campus Pantry has attracted the attention of many in the Arizona community, including a certain rival school in Tempe. Harris says this summer she was asked to come talk to a coalition composed of faith-based organizations and members of United Food Bank in Mesa, which also serves Tempe, to talk about the success of the UA pantry. “There’s definitely been talks about starting something in Tempe,” she says. “They’re trying to figure out the right model (asking questions) like ‘how do we actually start this?'” Although Harris loves the advising aspect of the voucher system USGW has started, she says the temporary nature of the program might not always be the best solution. “Almost all of our students have jobs,” she says. “They all are doing everything they can, really, and sometimes that’s just not enough; they’re still struggling to get food.”
ONLINE CLASSES: THE STRUGGLE IS REAL
BY ANDRES GUERRA LUZ | PHOTOS BY WILLOW GREENE SMITH
nline classes offer convenience, flexibility and accessibility, says Jamie Vermilyea, ASU’s Lake Havasu senior student services coordinator. But they are also easier to fall behind in, require more self discipline, and lack an in-person professor to help students along the way, Vermilyea says. Online classes offer “a little bit more freedom with your schedule,” he says, especially for students working during the day. Vermilyea, who spoke from experience of taking online classes at another university, says what he missed out on most was in-person contact with the professor. “It’s tough because you don’t have that teacher-student relationship,” he says. “It’s just words on the screen.” He says that in a classroom, the teacher is available to give immediate feedback and answer questions. In an online class, students have to email questions to their professors and wait for a response. This makes it easier to “get lost in the shuffle” because you’re learning the material on your own and at a quick pace, he says. And it’s easier to procrastinate.
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ASU students at Lake Havasu with majors based on other campuses often have to take online classes in order to advance in their studies. Cortez Croney, a current business communications sophomore, says being on the Lake Havasu campus and taking classes through W.P. Carey School of Business online — two accounting classes and one information technology class can be overwhelming . He, like Vermilyea, says getting lost in online classes is easy because most of the learning is done independently. “I need someone who’s there to really break things down,” he says. Lake Havasu kinesiology lecturer Vanessa Q. Milkan, Ph.D, taught online classes and says the lack of human contact to an extent lessened the connection she was able to make with her students. Milkan says one of the reasons she became a professor was to help students through course material in a classroom setting. She says she valued being able to meet students in her office and answer any questions they may have, and while she could Skype with online students to simulate
those office meetings, it wasn’t the same as connecting in person. “You get more out of the programs when you can connect with the students,” Milkan says. It’s possible to connect with students through Skype, speak with them via email and respond to questions, but the lack of face-to-face contact makes that connection less immediate, she says. When she taught online classes, Milkan says, she felt like she was “spewing facts” at students rather than getting them engaged in the content. Milkan says she values the “extreme benefit” of online courses for the busy students and graduate students whose schedules may require them to take online classes, even though she still prefers teaching in a traditional classroom setting rather than online. You can reach more students with online classes and make education more accessible to people who may have already graduated and are working full-time jobs. It can help them go back to school and further their careers, she says.
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