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Monday, November 16, 2020 | Vo l u m e 1 2 5 | I s s u e 1 5
IN MEMORIAM HANNAH COLTON, 1991-2020 Journalism community mourns loss of brilliant news leader By Andrew Gunn @agunnwrites
The tight-knit journalism community in New Mexico lost a luminescent figure on Tuesday. Hannah Colton, the news director at KUNM and a pillar of the press corps in the state, died at the age of 29 on Nov. 10. The sense of loss was tremendous as the news of Colton’s passing was announced on KUNM on Wednesday night. “The KUNM community is heartbroken to say that news director Hannah Colton died earlier this week at age 29,” KUNM reporter and producer Marisa Demarco said. “She has been a brilliant news leader during the pandemic, guiding the team and editing stories about the virus, the calls to stop racist policing and the 2020 election.” An award-winning reporter and radio host with a sharp sense for news geared toward racial justice, equity and compassion, Colton was a staunch advocate for telling the stories of people who were too often overlooked in a society gripped by the vice of late capitalism and oppression. “She well-understood the urgency of this moment, and she gave it her whole heart, working
around the clock to cover equity and education, the dangers of the virus for people who are incarcerated, protests and the pandemic’s impacts on people without shelter,” Demarco said. “She was committed to this region and told me she wanted to stay here, doing this work — even though after this pandemic is over, she could have gone anywhere she wanted as a reporter or newsroom leader.” Colton covered public health during the age of the coronavirus, public education and local politics — among many other beats — for KUNM during a four-year career for the University of New Mexico’s public radio station. She took over as interim news director at KUNM in February 2020, and her passing leaves an immeasurable void in the sphere of New Mexico news. “She had such a way of going after people trying to effect change,” Justin Garcia, the former editorin-chief of the Daily Lobo, said. “It felt like she was just doing her own thing way better than what the rest of us were doing. I don’t think I’ve met anyone who was as fearless a journalist as she was.” Colton was born in 1991 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and began her radio career with KDLG in Bristol Bay, Alaska. She joined KUNM in
KUNM news director Hannah Colton records in her studio. Photo courtesy of KUNM.
2016 as a substitute news host, with stints as a freelance reporter and host for KSFR Santa Fe Public Radio and National Native News before joining KUNM full time in 2018. She was also a volunteer editorial director for
Two Way Street, an independent, community-based street newspaper in Albuquerque. The ties between Colton and the Daily Lobo staff ran deep, as do all connections between journalists covering the same community
and reporting on difficult topics. Bonded by an invisible force, from covering protests and public meetings to community events and social movements, Colton’s
see Hannah Colton page 2
Structural changes needed to prevent tragic deaths like KUNM news director Telling people to ‘reach for help’ doesn’t work
In the wake of KUNM news director Hannah Colton’s death, a common refrain by friends, loved ones and community members circulated: “Check on your friends, and reach out if you need help.” As two people who were very close to Hannah, we hear and appreciate the gesture. Creating communities of care and resilience is important. But checking on Hannah, asking that she reach out, did not solve the underlying
problems that led to her death. Hannah was a journalist who led a chronically understaffed and resource-deprived newsroom, no different than most other newsrooms and many nonprofits. Every day she confronted very real structural violences of a world organized around profit and white supremacy. We must confront and transform these systems that have shaped our world into a place that prioritizes
wealth accumulation over community wellness. Capitalism and white supremacy individualize collective problems, fueling the cultural mindset that each of us individually is solely responsible for our own wellbeing and the well-being of those close to us. They work to weaken and dissolve the collective obligations of care that we have to one another. A world organized around profits at the expense of people is a world full of preventable death and de-
spair. These systems are not based on human needs but on exploitation and extraction that grind humans down for the benefit of a ruling class. Capitalism objectifies human beings into “resources” requiring management, our labor optimized for profit, while white supremacy reinforces the resulting hierarchy as just and natural. Hannah rejected that worldview. She was a powerful advocate for her staff at KUNM, and she recognized
her obligation to collective well-being. When the COVID-19 pandemic reached New Mexico, Hannah was instrumental in a station-wide effort that pushed for everyone, including immunocompromised radio hosts, to be able to work from home. Reaching out to friends, building healthy relationships and weaving networks of support and kinship are all essential for surviving capi-
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approach to reporting resonated with Daily Lobo journalists and their shared passions for Albuquerque and the state of New Mexico. “I had the privilege of covering multiple protests with Hannah,” Liam DeBonis, the Daily Lobo’s photo editor, said. “I would see her with her headphones on and her microphone ready, often standing in the middle of the fray with the (resolve) of a true journalist — committed to seeing her story through to the end. I always took comfort in the sight of her resolve at the most chaotic of times.” Daily Lobo data editor Joe Rull said he met Colton for the first time over the summer during Black Lives Matter protests in Albuquerque following the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis
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police. He described her as a role model for young journalists. “She was always there, always available and always supportive,” Rull said. “A picture of poise, professionalism and compassion even in the most uncertain situations. Hannah, in many ways, represented exactly what many of us at the Daily Lobo have always aspired to become.” Bella Davis, a senior reporter for the Daily Lobo who worked alongside Colton and Rull during the summer, echoed Rull’s picture of Colton as a journalistic professional in every sense. “She was incredibly kind, supportive and dedicated to every story she covered, often staying on the ground for hours and hours to make sure nothing was missed,” Davis said. “She was one of the first
people to make me feel welcome and accepted in the tight-knit, local journalism community.” Remembrances of Colton’s contributions to the world of journalism and her memory were as free-flowing as the grief permeating the New Mexico air on Wednesday. The reverberations from her unexpected passing came in waves as powerful as the stories she wrote during her too-brief tenure in the Albuquerque community. “Hannah was everything I strove to be — calm, thoughtful, skilled and an excellent communicator,” Lissa Knudsen, the news editor at the Daily Lobo and a former colleague of Colton’s at KUNM, said. “She was better than I could ever dream of being, and she fought hard to make the New Mexico journalism community
more equitable.” Colton’s own understanding of trauma and the community’s response to injustice rang especially true in her writing, with her prose reflecting immeasurable creativity and wit. In April 2019, Colton wrote a story for KUNM entitled “Hands-On Therapy Helps Students Rebuild SelfEsteem After Trauma,” in which she spoke passionately about the necessity for healing and the value of human connection in a polarized society. “The older I get and more work I do, the more convinced I am that most or all of us are traumatized to some degree by this messed up, unjust, patriarchal, white supremacist society,” Colton wrote. “Healing is possible, but we cannot heal alone.” Colton is survived by her partner Keegan Kloer, her par-
ents Kathy and Brad Colton, her brother Tim and her niece Anya, according to KUNM. Memorials and celebrations of Colton’s life are planned for a later date.
tions to ask Williams’ parents while he was still in the hospital. Later, the right-leaning daily newspaper Albuquerque Journal published a story that amounted to a public relations piece for a white supremacist militia group, and an NPR reporter attempted to cover the shooting without actually being in the state. Hannah, reporter/producer Marisa Demarco and the KUNM newsroom refused to air the NPR story, opting instead to run an interview with a Native scholar about media coverage of the militia group, along with context about white vigilante violence in New Mexico. Hannah was also an abolitionist. She believed in decolonization, decarceration and dismantling the patriarchy. These are systems of oppression she studied, reported on and took time with family and friends to explain. She understood what it means to be a settler on unceded Tewa land, devoting enormous time and energy to learning about and
uplifting Indigenous-led struggles for sovereignty and liberation. Hannah understood that prisons, jails and detention centers do not promote community well-being. Through principled, dogged reporting, she revealed the abject conditions in these facilities that criminalize and warehouse poor people. Hannah understood that dismantling patriarchy means being a staunch ally for transgender and non-binary people, and she gave her time and money to directly support these targeted populations. Hannah loved and believed in people. She often included humanizing details that more mainstream journalists might leave out, particularly in her reporting on marginalized and targeted populations. She was a gifted and affirming listener who took great pains to center the people whose stories she told. A deeply empathetic person, Hannah was learning and unlearning while still living amidst the horrors and suffering of capitalism,
white supremacy and settler colonialism. Covering these issues every day in her reporting, too often for many unpaid hours, gave meaning to Hannah’s life. But she had no reprieve from the secondary trauma she absorbed in witnessing and listening to the struggles and suffering of people she interviewed and whose stories she helped tell. The more she studied capitalism and white supremacy and understood her place as a white settler woman, the more she projected structural harms onto her individual actions. Facing up to these oppressive systems carved a deep, gnawing void in her. Make no mistake: Hannah was a fierce hunter for truth and justice with a towering moral analysis and unshakable drive to do the right thing. But she carried weight that was never hers to hold alone. We honor Hannah’s life by committing to resist and organize against these systems. Collective care, check-
ing in on loved ones — these are essential. But those actions alone are not enough. Hannah knew that and put it into practice. We should, too.
If you are in crisis, please call the SHAC after-hours crisis lines at (2773136, press option 3) and at AGORA at 277-3013. In addition, you can also contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741. Andrew Gunn is a senior reporter and the copy editor at the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter @agunnwrites
ignores or obscures the structural forces that produce suffering, we end up reinforcing — rather than fundamentally transforming — those systems of harm. As long as capitalism, imperialism and white supremacy rule our lives, we will lose dear ones to self-harm and suicide, no matter how much love and care we express and share together. Hannah was the kind of reporter who did not allow these systems to define her. She was a movement journalist, someone who practices journalism that meets the needs of communities directly affected by injustice, who actively engages in unlearning transactional and extractive interactions and who does away with the myth of objectivity. Her reporting focused on exactly what other media outlets ignored or mischaracterized. After local extremist Stephen Baca shot artist and activist Scott Williams during a June protest in Old Town, Hannah called Austin for advice about what ques-
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-Keegan Kloer and Austin Fisher Here are just some of the local groups doing anti-capitalist, antiimperialist, care-centered work that Hannah supported: Albuquerque Mutual Aid The Red Nation Tewa Women United Pueblo Action Alliance John Brown Breakfast Club Millions for Prisoners New Mexico ABQ SURJ The Albuquerque Anti-War Coalition Southwest Organizing Project Families United for Education
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Students face challenge of overworking themselves to failure By Megan Gleason @fabflutist2716 Millions of students struggle to find a balance between work and academic success in school, providing a challenge for mental health stability. The coronavirus pandemic has changed the world’s outlook on mental health entirely as people cope in a starkly isolated time. Margaret White, a case manager at the University of New Mexico’s Student Health and Counseling, said there are two parts to higher education: actually getting accepted and figuring out how to pay for it. College tuition has increased more than 25% in the last decade according to CNBC, and White said listening to the students’ voice “has fallen to the side.”
Even students who have a stable job or consistent scholarships to pay for school may run into unforeseen financial emergencies, such as a parent getting sick or a car breaking down, and “suddenly they’re stuck for a semester saying ‘oh my gosh, how am I going to weather this storm?’” White said. In 2018, 17% of full-time students worked 23-30 hours a week, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. In addition, 47% of part-time students worked a whopping 35 or more hours a week, just five hours shy of a full-time job. White said having a job doesn’t always have to be stressful and even gives students experience in the workforce that they will use later in the real world, as long as the workload isn’t extreme. Tanner Stegink, a graduate student in UNM’s music department,
said he’s in a unique situation because his graduate assistantship covers his entire tuition. If he hadn’t received an assistantship this year, however, Stegink said he would have transferred to a different university. “Having that dedicated check every month is amazing. I don’t have to go out and worry about ‘am I going to get enough gigs this month to cover gas?’ (and) that kind of thing,” Stegink said. In contrast, last year Stegink paid for school through scholarships and a summer job, which put pressure on him to work enough to fully cover his tuition. Even with the assistantship this year, Stegink said the semester has been difficult due to lack of support systems caused by the social isolation of the pandemic. A study by Harvard showed that the loss of work friendships
Liam DeBonis / Daily Lobo / @LiamDebonis
Papers and textbooks lie scattered across a student’s home desk.
increased feelings of anxiety, loneliness and depression. White said physical exhaustion is another factor when considering one’s ability to focus and perform well in school. “If you worry too much about money, it’s going to distract you to think about your capacity for other things,” White said. In more extreme cases, students face deeper and prolonged poverty while in school, and “poverty-related concerns consume mental resources, leaving less for other tasks,” according to a Harvard research study. White emphasized that it’s not about stress so much as an actual cognitive overload on students in poverty, caused by an excessive fixation on finances. “If you’re really worried about something, can you study for a test? If you’re really worried about paying tuition, is your schoolwork going to be good?” White said. Food is especially important to an individual’s ability to focus, White said. A balanced and healthy diet contributes to an overall healthy lifestyle, but food insecurity remains a serious issue among college students. “If you don't have enough money to buy decent food and you’re living on junk, that nutritional disadvantage is going to, at some point, impact your thinking,” White said. Unemployment assistance is now more available to college students than prior to the pandemic, since the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed with the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefit program in March to expand upon
the list of people able to qualify for unemployment, according to the Century Foundation. While some students may qualify for unemployment benefits that ease the financial burdens they face, some say colleges and universities should do more to help working students. According to an article from The College of St. Scholastica, it’s essential for higher education to make accommodations for working students and provide the support they need. Stegink said the imbalance of power between graduate students and faculty members is why he supports Grad Workers United, an effort to unionize UNM graduate students in order to receive better benefits for their work. Stegink specifically mentioned the section of the faculty handbook that encourages informal resolutions to disputes between graduate students and faculty members. “It’s really hard to come up with a workable solution when there’s someone who can decide whether or not you receive money,” Stegink said, adding that there are no formal avenues to solve a disagreement that could result in loss of financial aid for graduate students at UNM. White encouraged students to access resources the University offers at mentalhealth.unm.edu, which has recently been updated to adapt to stress the pandemic may have caused. Megan Gleason is the culture editor at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at culture@dailylobo. com or on Twitter @fabflutist2716
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Protecting the (dog) pack during pandemic By Daniel Ward @wordsofward34
There's no doubt that this year has thrown us many curveballs. With the amount of stress everyone may be going through, it's important to take a step back and remember something as simple as petting a dog can make all the difference. According to an article shared by the University of New Mexico’s human resources department, “stroking, hugging or otherwise touching a loving animal can rapidly calm and soothe us when we’re stressed or anxious.” The article gives many examples of how trained dogs can help people have a healthy lifestyle. They provide companionship and stress relief while adding structure and routine to the day, which are things that many students could use while living in a dorm during a pandemic. Halfway through the fall semester, four medical students living in the Redondo Village Apartments decided to adopt a dog. After visiting the Eastside Animal Shelter, they brought home a 12-year-old English bulldog named Bones. Sophomore Sameen Jawadi,
co-owner of Bones, said they specifically wanted to get an older dog so that they could make sure the last few years of its life are happy. “He’ll play basketball with us and literally hit the ball with his nose and play with us,” co-owner Aly Aragon said. “He has a lot of energy, so we’ll take him out a lot, and then he’ll come back and snooze for a couple hours while we study.” Aragon said all four roommates plan on living together for the foreseeable future, and even planned out where they see themselves in the next five years to ensure that they could responsibly care for Bones. “If you have the time and responsibility to take care of a pet, I would recommend it because I think emotionally it's just something that mentally helps students,” Jawadi said. “Especially now because we are basically quarantining almost every day and we’re just studying all day, so it’s a nice thing to look forward to.” Sophomore Peter Cabrera, who lives in Santa Clara Hall, doesn’t have a dog in his dorm but said he tries to walk his friend's Australian cattle dog Sasha whenever he has time. “She definitely lowers stress,”
Cabrera said. “Just being around her and petting her automatically puts you in a better mood. She’s full of love, man.” According to UNM Residence Life and Student Housing, approved emotional support animals (ESA) or service dogs are allowed to live in any of the on-campus housing. The only places that allow non-ESA pets on campus are Santa Clara and the Student Residence Center apartments, although they require adherence to certain rules and conditions. “I think it should be more of an option for students to have a pet, especially because college is so much harder than high school,” Aragon said. “We’re lucky because we live in an apartment together, but all the dorm halls are single rooms so all these people are completely alone. Having a pet would definitely make that a lot more enjoyable.” There is a difference between a service dog who has been trained and certified according to the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements and an emotional support animal that is trained to behave and provide happiness and comfort to others, as defined by UNM Policy 2295. According to a message from the director at Student Health
and Counseling (SHAC), “It is understandable to want an adorable, fluffy, warm and cuddly creature who is always thrilled to have us around. There is even some research evidence that petting dogs can decrease nervous system arousal, increase serotonin, epinephrine and oxytocin (all feel-good neurochemicals). But we at SHAC do not prescribe ESAs, and we will not issue letters stating that a student needs one.” SHAC limits the access in the building to only service animals out of respect to people with allergies or trauma related to dogs. Every semester the Southwest Canine Corps of Volunteers (SCCV) would bring trained therapy dogs to “Cuddle a Canine” in the library for students, staff and faculty to play with during finals week. Sherry Mangold, a member of the board of directors for SCCV, and her many different therapy dogs have been bringing joy to people’s lives for over 20 years. Not only do the SCCV dogs visit students on campus, but they also visit a wide variety of places including hospitals, elementary schools, nursing homes and detention centers. Mangold said she has seen countless examples of the
Daniel Ward / Daily Lobo / @wordsofward34
Dusty, a five-year-old shepherd collie mix who lives a few blocks away from Johnson Field. His owner says he is very friendly and makes every day better.
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Nico, two-and-a-half years old, passing through campus with his owners.
We’re only human. If you see something wrong in print, email editorinchief@ dailylobo.com to let us know. Use the subject line “Correction:” so we know it’s important. If it’s a grammar problem we’ll fix ASAP in the online version. If it’s a content problem, the editorial board will determine if a correction, a clarification (printed on page 4) or full retraction is necessary.
Volume 125 Issue 15 Data & Sports Editor Editorial Staff Joe Rull Telephone: (505) 277-7527 Fax: (505) 277-7530 Culture Editor email@example.com Megan Gleason www.dailylobo.com
Daniel Ward is a senior reporter at the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @wordsofward34
On Nov. 9, the article titled “Video of man performing traditional pueblo dance goes viral” incorrectly labeled the dance that Trujillo spontaneously performed as one from the Pueblo of Ohkay Owingeh. The dance was a men’s northern traditional dance not associated with a particular pueblo. We apologize for the error.
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positive impact these dogs have on people. “It’s because they are nonjudgemental,” Mangold said. “It is a scientific fact that the presence and handling of them, if it’s a behaving dog, not a vicious dog, they lower blood pressure, they decrease anxiety and they give people who feel alone or lost a structure to the day.” While therapy dogs haven’t been able to visit hospitals or schools since the pandemic began, SCCV has been trying to find alternative ways to help cheer people up. Volunteers have arranged window visits where dogs greet patients from the outside of their building, as well as scheduled Zoom calls for elementary students to read to the dogs. Mangold added that it’s unfortunate that SCCV can’t visit campus this year but would be willing to do a virtual meet where students can see the dogs on Zoom if the University wanted to arrange it.
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The New Mexico Daily Lobo is an independent student newspaper published on Monday and Thursday except school holidays during the fall and spring semesters and weekly during the summer session. Subscription rate is $75 per academic year. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on subscriptions. The New Mexico Daily Lobo is published by the Board of UNM Student Publications. The editorial opinions expressed in the New Mexico Daily Lobo are those of the respective writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the students, faculty, staff and regents of the University of New Mexico. Inquiries concerning editorial content should be made to the editor-in-chief. All content appearing in the New Mexico Daily Lobo and the Web site dailylobo.com may not be reproduced without the consent of the editor-in-chief. A single copy of the New Mexico Daily Lobo is free from newsstands. Unauthorized removal of multiple copies is considered theft and may be prosecuted. Letter submission policy: The opinions expressed are those of the authors alone. Letters and guest columns must be concisely written, signed by the author and include address and telephone. No names will be withheld.
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Medication assisted treatment faces roadblocks in opioid addiction fight By Shelby Kleinhans @BirdsNotReal99 In light of the decriminalization of hard drugs in Oregon, New Mexicans may finally warm up to medication assisted treatment for substance abuse disorders. A recent study published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment found that “buprenorphine and methadone in particular reduce fatal opioid overdose rates by 50–70%, reduce illicit drug use, increase treatment retention and improve psychosocial outcomes.” While the D.A.R.E. campaign enthusiastically warned students about the dangers of drug use in the late 90’s, “pharmaceutical companies reassured the medical community that patients would not become addicted to prescription opioid pain relievers,” according to the National Institutes of Health. In 2017, almost 1.7 million people in the United States suffered from an opioid use disorder (OUD), and the following year 63% of drug overdose deaths in New Mexico involved opioids. However, the medical community has found a proven solution to help people suffering from addiction in the form of medication assisted treatments. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration states that prescriptions of buprenorphine or methadone “relieve the withdrawal symptoms and psychological cravings that cause
chemical imbalances in the body.” Dr. Valerie Carrejo, an associate professor at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine and program director for the Addiction Medicine Fellowship, said that she couldn’t “speak highly enough of the success (she’s) seen … treating patients with OUD and using medications has been the most successful way to help people.” Carrejo said that on the “neurobiological side of it, drug use changes the makeup of the brain … and medication puts it back in balance, similar to how someone with depression needs to take antidepressants to rebalance their brain chemistry.” Emily Kaltenbach, the senior director of resident states and New Mexico for the Drug Policy Alliance, addressed public concerns about illegal sales of buprenorphine in an interview with the Daily Lobo. She said that buprenorphine is being sold on the streets because people across the state have limited access to the medication and are “pushed to purchase their own treatment from the underground market.” According to Kaltenbach, buprenorphine is one of the most common forms of contraband in jails because people receiving medication assisted treatment are forced to come off their medication and must seek out treatment by other means. “It’s unconscionable that we would not allow someone to continue their medication in a jail based setting,” Kaltenbach said.
Both Kaltenbach and Carrejo likened the prescription of buprenorphine or methadone to prescriptions for other diseases, the latter stating it should be treated “just like diabetes, obesity or heart disease.” Across the pond, Switzerland has taken a more intensive approach to people suffering from OUD. In 1994, the country legalized heroin-assisted treatment (HAT), which allowed the prescription of pharmaceutical-grade heroin. The legalization saw staggering results, with a decline in new heroin users, a drop in drug overdoses by 64% and a drop in HIV infections by 84%. While pharmaceutical-grade heroin was legalized for use in HAT programs in Switzerland, Carrejo pointed out that in the United States, heroin’s classification as a schedule I controlled substance prevents it from being used in therapeutic settings. Another treatment option in the U.S. could soon be the prescription of the narcotic hydromorphone for people with severe OUD, a step already taken by pilot programs in Canada. One such four year program in British Columbia prescribes hydromorphone tablets and provides “wrap-around services, such as peer support, medical care, mental health support and a personal support plan.” In New Mexico, the Drug Policy Alliance is currently trying to launch a hydromorphone pilot program of its own that would implement the prescription use of hydromorphone in clinical set-
Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash.
tings. Kaltenbach said that early research in the U.S. has shown that “hydromorphone works even better than (pharmaceuticalgrade heroin) and doesn’t have the same federal obstacles.” When asked about the public support of such a program, Carrejo was hesitant and said it depends on what part of New Mexico would be considered. “There’s a lot of resistance in parts of our population … that believe that addiction is a matter of willpower,” Carrejo said. Regardless, Kaltenbach remains hopeful that New Mexico can eventually follow the Oregon model, which would lead to “fewer people in jail and prisons who
have a dependency on opiates.” As the scope of treatment options continues to expand, Carrejo left New Mexicans with the humanistic reminder that those suffering from substance abuse deserve empathy and respect as they battle their disease. “Normalizing (people with OUD) goes back to helping that pregnant mom when she’s addicted and treating her like a human as she brings a new human into this society,” Carrejo said. Shelby Kleinhans is a freelance photographer and beat reporter at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter @BirdsNotReal99
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MONDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2020 / PAGE 7
Mindfulness meditation reduces stress, improves wellbeing By Sarah Bodkin @sarahbodkin4 Scholarly articles have suggested that a meditation routine reduces stress, and Michelle DuVal and Tiffany Martinez believe that meditation can be particularly helpful for students with this year’s added stressors. DuVal, a meditation coach at the Mindful Center, said the reason that meditation is effective at reducing stress is because it can slow down your central nervous system. A 2019 study from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association found a connection between stress and poor physical and mental health. Duval elaborated by saying that “moderate” amounts of stress, which leads to central nervous stimulation, can be ac-
tively beneficial, but “extreme” amounts of stress can lead to harmful symptoms, such as disease progression and fatigue. Martinez, a graduate student at the University of New Mexico and manager at Student Health and Counseling, spoke about activities that help her with stress reduction and other resources for UNM students. “I am a graduate student myself, finishing my thesis to graduate in the fall, so my mind always feels like it is going a hundred miles per hour,” Martinez said, going on to say that working out is a meditative activity that helps her stay focused. According to Martinez, meditation’s benefits include reduced stress, improved sleep and a lengthened attention span. DuVal said that meditation has been clinically supported with improving general states of well-being, and people feel less
anxiety and depression specifically when they meditate. DuVal said that meditation can increase connections “within which we can more directly interact with our world,” adding that meditation helps individuals be more present in their relationships with others. A 2020 study published in the journal Current Psychology found that meditation makes a person more likely to have positive experiences within their interpersonal relationships. Martinez discussed a meditation exercise that helps her as a busy graduate student. She practices “grounding exercises,” wherein she chooses an item in the room and focuses on every facet of it, thereby practicing a mindful, active meditation. DuVal also shared meditation tools to help busy people build meditation practices, such as “drop-ins,” an exercise where
one focuses on their body, rather than focusing on any stressful thoughts that might arise. “If you just imagine ... moving your mind into your body, what happens, in just a couple of seconds of doing that is the body ... tends to spontaneously soften,” DuVal said. The insula, according to DuVal, is the part of the brain that detects physical sensations and helps process how the physical body feels. “When we feel into our bodies, you stimulate the part of the brain called the insula, and that’s specifically the part of the brain that gets turned down when we’re in states of stress,” DuVal said. DuVal said that stimulating the insula by focusing on the body is an effective way to give the mind “permission” to relax. “We go from being externally focused to being internally
focused,” DuVal said. She also talked about the concept of a mindful breath, wherein “you move your awareness to the sensations of breath.” DuVal said that taking five mindful breaths five times per day has the same impact on the central nervous system as “drop-ins” do, and neither of them require a large time commitment. Insight Timer, a free meditation app, is another complementary resource for students who want to meditate, according to DuVal. The app features guided meditations of varying lengths posted by meditation instructors from around the world. Sarah Bodkin is a freelance reporter at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @sarahbodkin4
UNM community remains resilient through difficult year By Cameron Ward & William Bowen @xx_cameo_xx @BowenWrites Students at the University of New Mexico, already under a great deal of stress, have become overburdened with the additional stressors of the coronavirus pandemic and remote learning. A study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information found that college students were already in a vulnerable position in terms of their mental health and that, for a vast majority, the pandemic has significantly worsened their stress, anxiety and depression. The increased stressors have led many to seek new or revisit old outlets that may relieve that stress. These outlets can take many forms, from art to crafting to exercise — whatever helps alleviate the pressure. Dr. Stephanie McIver, the director of counseling at Student Health and Counseling, has been helping to provide mental health services to UNM students and staff during the pandemic, such as teletherapy, substance abuse assistance
and crisis intervention. McIver said that there are many different ways of relieving stress, and it’s simply a matter of each person finding the method that works best for them. She cited exercise, meditation, journaling, painting, playing music and gardening as examples of simple activities that can help people cope in stressful times. “Now is the time to carve out a block of time during your day to engage in some kind of relaxation ritual,” McIver said. “Any activity we can engage in that channels our energies, that’s focused, that helps to address anxiety.” An additional study conducted through the National Center for Biotechnology Information has shown that creative outlets can help lead to better health outcomes. Indeed, many members of the UNM community are turning to art to help manage their mental health. Andre Ramos-Woodard, a UNM photography and art studio teaching assistant and graduate student, said he has always used art as a therapeutic escape and often expresses himself through photography. “Art has been a good way to
experience and face my own thoughts,” Ramos-Woodard said. “Getting through those losses of motivation to do any work makes it easier to finish over time.“ Since the pandemic began, with all his time occupied by the responsibilities of being an instructor as well as a graduate student, Ramos-Woodard said he has had a difficult time maintaining his motivation to make time for art. Despite the constraints of virtual learning, Ramos-Woodard has continued to make an effort to keep his and his students’ spirits up, keeping in mind one of his past professors’ (Keith Carter) favorite sayings: “I’m interested in what you’re interested in.” The increased reliance on technology necessitated by the pandemic has led many to feel exhausted with spending so much time on screens as well. RamosWoodard said possible solutions include outdoor activities. “I don’t think we realize how much data we get in our regular day-to-day life all around us … but now we’re relegated to gleaning all of our information from this two-dimensional tiny box,” McIver said. “I believe that that’s what’s so cognitively exhaust-
ing for us. We need to value what technology is permitting us to do, but it’s inadequate for gleaning all the information that we require and like as human beings.” Furthermore, there are ways to connect with loved ones that don’t have to involve a Zoom call. The United States Postal Service reported an increase in letterwriting, according to a survey released in early May. “I think it would be a beautiful thing if we could use this time to get back to letter-writing,” McIver said. “That would connect us in some really terrific ways.” McIver is leading a new campus mental health team, which is gathering data to determine the impacts of the pandemic as well as the “racism pandemic” (a term coined by American Psychological Association president Sandra Shullman) on UNM students and faculty. Congresswoman Deb Haaland held a roundtable in October with medical experts, including McIver, in an effort to raise awareness of how to access the mental and physical health care resources New Mexican families may need. McIver said members of the UNM community who need ser-
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vices should visit mentalhealth. unm.edu and follow Student Health and Counseling on social media platforms. A number of resources are available through the website beyond counseling, including housing, food, health care and parenting resources, as well as a schedule of drop-in groups. While these are certainly difficult times for college students, McIver emphasized her optimism in the resilience of the UNM community. “The majority (of respondents in the mental health task force’s surveys thus far) view themselves as being able to bounce back from hardships,” McIver said. “We’re all in this together to support each other.” Cameron Ward is a freelance reporter at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter @xx_cameo_xx William Bowen is a beat reporter at the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @BowenWrites
PAGE 8 / MONDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2020
NEW MEXICO DAILY LOBO
Agora Crisis Center celebrates 50th anniversary are changing with the pandemic. There’s a lot of stressors from just having schoolwork to (coping with) new environments,” Alyssa Jaramillo, a student outreach coordinator at Agora, said. “We just want to be another helping hand in case there isn’t anyone else to turn to.” Molly Brack, the director of the Agora Crisis Center, has worked at the center since she began volunteering in 1991. Over the years, Agora has expanded and grown from its humble beginnings. “When I took over as director, we had about 10 volunteers, and now we have over 150. Around that same time, we were also taking about 1,200 calls a year, and now we take about 30,000 calls a year,” Brack said. “We were able to start finding money for
By Hannah John @yesitshannahj
The Agora Crisis Center, opened on the University of New Mexico’s campus in the 1970s, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. According to the Agora website, the crisis center was “one of the first crisis centers of its kind,” formed in response to a student who took their own life after unsuccessfully seeking help. The organization’s goal from its inception has been to provide an outlet for anyone who needs to talk to someone, with a focus on providing support to UNM students. “We support students through their daily lives, especially as things
marketing and outreach. As soon as we did that, people became more aware of us and started calling.” According to Brack, Agora was also one of the first universityrun crisis centers to offer online emotional support. “We helped write the national standards for the way chat (support) is done, and we are part of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline network both on chat and phone,” Brack said. Over the last few months, the coronavirus pandemic has forced Agora to make changes to the way it operates, with new restrictions including operating at a limited capacity, wearing a mask and keeping a minimum distance of six feet between individuals. Agora is also running on a limited number of volunteers who
take phone calls at the center’s building, according to Brack. “Many of our volunteers who can’t come into the center are taking chat shifts from home,” Brack said. “We don’t ever have people do phone calls from their house, but (with) chats they can because it’s all done online, and I can supervise that.” Jaramillo said most of the outreach Agora currently does is limited to virtual interactions. However, as the crisis center goes forward, both Brack and Jaramillo hope to make changes that will benefit Agora in the long run. “Agora could improve with working with other student organizations more,” Jaramillo said. “I feel like we could branch out a little more to different ones and offer more workshops or (work) on events together.”
As Agora celebrates 50 years of service, Brack reflected on the work that volunteers and staff have done over the years to keep the center running. “We’re just excited to be having our 50th anniversary — we were hoping to have a big in-person party and a reunion of old volunteers, and we hope to still do that next year,” Brack said. “I’m just very proud of the work the volunteers have continued to do during this time. It’s not been easy, and they’ve provided support and comfort to thousands of people during the pandemic.” Hannah John is a freelance reporter at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter @yesitshannahj
SHAC helps students cope with loss By Prestin Nikolai
when we lose them there is a tremendous physiological disruption. That in part explains why it is so painful,” McIver said. Throughout the workshop, McIver encouraged students to share their experiences and talk extensively about loss as a stress response that demands action. “The loss of something that has stabilized us, created routine or comfort, that's a threat. That’s where that stress reaction comes in,” McIver said. To combat stress and help yourself recover from loss, McIver emphasized forming intentional new positive associations and doing things that feel rewarding. She also recommended being indulgent and kind to yourself during the painful period right after a loss. “I would like everything you choose during that time to be pleasurable,” McIver said. “So, when taking a shower, what is the most beautiful fragrance you can use? What is the best and most comforting temperature you can use? What is the softest and fluffiest towel you can use?” While these self care strategies can help students recover from the immediate pain of loss, achieving a full recovery is not a quick or easy process. It often takes an entire year
@DailyLobo During the COVID-19 pandemic, students at the University of New Mexico have experienced a great deal of loss, whether the loss of a loved one, a relationship, loss of social life or activities, or even the loss of university life when they graduate and move on. In order to help students cope with these losses, Dr. Stephanie McIver, a clinical psychologist and counseling director at UNM’s Student Health and Counseling, recently hosted a workshop called “Coping With Endings.” The workshop aimed to help students understand the myriad of losses and endings they may experience and teach coping strategies to make a healthy transition to the next phase of their lives. “One of the things that we as human beings do most poorly is cope with endings,” McIver said. “There are athletes who have lost full seasons and performers who have lost their stage — there are lots of losses.” McIver explained how the brain’s response to loss affects individuals both emotionally and physically. “Hormones are at play when we are connected to other people, so
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to form new associations without the person or thing that you lost. McIver also made it clear that everyone experiences loss differently and copes in their own ways, but that people should feel free to seek help or talk to a counselor if their
symptoms of grief persist. Student Health and Counseling is offering virtual health and counseling appointments for students at this time, and the Agora Crisis Center is also available to provide support over the phone and online.
Prestin Nikolai is a freelance photographer and reporter at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @DailyLobo
Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash.
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Video games offer escape for stressed, overworked students By Jesus Mata @JesusMataJr99 Video games have become a refuge in many people’s lives during the coronavirus pandemic, and studies show that video games are a ray of light for mental health amid dark times. Video games help people detach from the problems going on in the real world, according to Dakoda Emberlin, the vice president of communication and marketing for the University of New Mexico’s esports team. “It’s a lot of escapism,” Emberlin said. “Whenever you play a video game, you’re not playing yourself. I’m not playing Dakoda in a video game.” This is especially useful in times of global crisis, Emberlin said. “For a moment in time, I get to forget everything that’s going on here,” Emberlin said. “I get to forget COVID, I get to forget that I’ve got student loans out the wazoo, I get to forget all those things. For a moment, I’m somebody else, and I’m doing something cool that I could never do in real life.” UNM professor Chris Holden has research interests in gaming and learning and incorporates video games into his curriculum. “My classes are always designed in some ways as
A controller for Sony’s Play Station 4 next to a Nintendo Switch, one of the biggest consoles and handheld gaming devices, respectively.
refuges from the rest of the world and other people’s problems,” Holden said. Emberlin said playing video games and being a part of the esports club helps him maintain the relationships that are vital for his mental health. “(Playing video games) lets me have somebody I can connect with. Even though it’s
virtual, it really doesn’t matter to me because the feeling is still there,” Emberlin said. “I still have friends I can talk to; I still have people that I can rely on if I’m stressed. There are friendships I’ve made in the club that I would never have made if I was a normal student going about my day not joining anything.” Holden said another positive
trait of video games is that you can always take a step back if needed, unlike the real world. “That’s one of the biggest ways that games can provide safe spaces … If it ever gets to be something you don’t want to do, you can turn it off,” Holden said. However, Holden said video games have the potential to cause harm to a person’s mental
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health despite the positives. “Probably the biggest thing that I would think about is GamerGate. Essentially, the cultural world of games have never been especially friendly to women and people of color and any other kinds of form of difference,” Holden said. UNM student Isaiah Soliz said video games help keep him busy in large spaces of empty time and relax when he’s feeling overwhelmed. “If I’m not in a good mood, I really don’t want to do the things I enjoy, but I think sometimes (video games) can get me out of a funk,” Soliz said. Holden said he wants his classes to be a space where his students can focus on what’s going on in the class and forget about the outside world. “If you’re with a small group of people and you can work on these ideas together, then that’s a small world where things can go all right even if things are tough everywhere else, which for me has been very important for my mental health,” Holden said. Jesus Mata is a freelance reporter at the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter @JesusMataJr99
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ACROSS 1 Corrosive compounds 6 Dog in “The Thin Man” mysteries 10 Pork serving 14 Heath-covered wastelands 15 Fish tempter 16 What the little hand shows 17 Corporate world meal 19 Otherwise 20 Guys-only gathering 21 Lawyer: Abbr. 22 Artificial 24 Took a load off 26 Helps with the holdup 28 Manning of the NFL’s Giants 31 Instruction on a Steinway 36 Four times a day, in an Rx 37 Early Peruvians 38 Continental cash 39 Turn loose 41 Fry cook’s woe 44 Light bulb, in comics 45 Motionless 47 CD-__ 48 Political head 51 Obstinate beast 52 Back of the boat 53 Sky safety org. 55 Historic Spanish fleet 58 Eden dweller 60 Rope source 64 Aretha’s genre 65 “The Maltese Falcon” actor 68 Voice below soprano 69 Defib specialists 70 Disney mermaid 71 Burns or Byron 72 Pair of performers 73 CFO’s monetary report, and a hint to this puzzle’s four longest answers DOWN 1 Bandstand boosters 2 Small water bird
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3 Nebraska neighbor 4 Bottom-of-thebarrel stuff 5 Ukr. or Lith., once 6 Touch the edge of 7 “Oye Como Va” group 8 “__-Tac-Dough”: TV game show 9 Walking obediently, as a dog 10 32 pieces and a game board 11 Havana “Hi!” 12 Force out 13 Chief exec 18 Ancient Romans 23 FedEx assignment: Abbr. 25 Capital of Samoa 27 Ordered (around) 28 Provide with gear 29 Singer Ronstadt 30 Thumb twiddler 32 More in need of a rubdown 33 Kama __: Hindu love guide 34 Tiered cookies 35 Societal expectations
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40 Reacts to being ravenous 42 Like better 43 Big name in razors 46 “No, No” Broadway gal 49 Since Jan. 1, on pay stubs 50 Jumped 54 Now, in Nogales 55 Rush job letters
56 Caramel candy brand 57 Volume-off button 59 Flak jacket, e.g. 61 Whistle-blowing Brockovich 62 Talking TV palomino 63 __-mell: disorderly 66 Outback avian 67 Once around the track
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LOBO LIFEMonday-Sunday, CampusNovember Calendar of Events 16-22, 2020 Current Exhibits Sweet Release: Recent Prints from Tamarind’s Workshop Online Exhibitiom An online exhibition of recent Tamarind lithographs highlighting moments and accounts of release—of energy, expectations, control, or constraint. Included in Sweet Release is a special focus on prints by recipients of the Frederick Hammersley Artist Residency. Go to https://tamarind.unm.edu/ to view. The View From Here: Tamarind at Sixty and Beyond Online Exhibition An online exhibition celebrating Tamarind’s 60th anniversary, including lithographs by various artists who have collaborated at Tamarind Institute during the past sixty years. Tamarind is a division of the College of Fine Arts at UNM. Go to https://tamarind.unm.edu/ to view.
MONDAY Student Groups & Gov. Ignite with Lobo Catholic! 6:30-8:00pm Newman Center
Meetings Survivors Writing Together 2:30-4:00pm Zoom Meeting
A journaling support group for those with a current or past cancer diagnosis. Discover the healing power of writing to express thoughts/feelings. No writing experience needed; spelling and grammar don’t matter. In partnership with Cancer Support Now. Email ACureton@salud.unm. edu to request the invitation.
TUESDAY Campus Events
Rapid HIV Testing 10:00am-2:00pm LGBTQ Resource Center Free and anonymous HIV testing through the New Mexico Department of Health. Results are available twenty minutes after the test.
Lectures & Readings 4th Annual First Gen Celebration Kyle Ethelbah 2:00-3:00pm Zoom Kyle Ethelbah, Director of the Federal TRiO Programs at the University of Utah, will share “A Personal Experience of a TRiO Student and the Transformative Power of Education”. Go to the dailylobo.com “Events Page” for the sign up link. International Careers 101 Workshop 3:30-4:30pm Zoom Meeting Learn about opportunities and
strategies for your international job search in this workshop. This workshop will cover UNM resources and international career paths, including the Foreign Service, governmental and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), interpretation, USAID, global health, and international business. Go to the dailylobo.com “Events Page” for the sign up link.
WEDNESDAY Campus Events
School of Engineering Virtual Open House 10:00am-12:00pm Zoom Find out what the School of Engineering has to offer, including virtual tours of labs and the chance to talk with staff about admissions, scholarships and ﬁnancial aid. Go to the dailylobo.com “Events Page” for the sign up link.
Lectures & Readings 4th Annual First Gen Celebration Michelle Lee 2:00-3:00pm Zoom Michelle Lee, Student Success Manager at UNM-Gallup will present “First Gen – The Value of Smaller Steps”. Go to the dailylobo. com “Events Page” for the sign up link. Distinguished Feminist Research Lecture: Gender Identity and
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Sexual Orientation in U.S. Asylum Law 3:00-5:00pm Zoom Research on LGBTQ and cisgender heterosexual women’s asylum claims illuminates the inherent weakness of gender-based protections for all women. Go to the dailylobo.com “Events Page” for the sign up link.
Student Groups & Gov. Lutheran Campus Ministry Group 5:00-7:00pm Luther House, across from Dane Smith Hall
Meetings Better Together - A Support Group for Stage IV Metastatic Breast Cancer 1:00-2:00pm UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center A supportive environment to your explore feelings and concerns surrounding a diagnosis of Stage IV breast cancer with a group of peers with the same diagnosis. Open to patients and their family and/or friends. Nurse Navigator present for group. Stroke Support Group 4:00-5:00pm UNM Hospital, Fifth Floor, Neurology SAC Unit Conference Room Connect with other stroke survivors and their families to learn more about stroke, share your experiences and become inspired to move forward.
Student Groups & Gov. Sprechtisch 7:30-10:00pm Joe’s, 108 Vassar Dr SE We meet in a friendly atmosphere to practice speaking German.
Want an Event in Lobo Life? 1. Go to www.dailylobo.com 2. Click on the “Events” link near the top of the page. 3. Click on “Submit an Event Listing” on the right side of the page 4. Type in the event information and submit! * Events must be sponsored by a UNM group, organization or department * Classes, class schedules, personal events or solicitations are not eligible. * Events must be of interest to the campus community. * Events must not require pre-registration.
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Daily Lobo 11/16/2020