The Cougar Chronicle Edition 2

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Prowling For News Since 1999

Wednesday Sept. 29, 2021

Issue #II Volume LIII

Cougar Pantry finds a new home on campus


By kristin bergman


staff writer

The Cougar Pantry moved to a spacious new location on campus at the beginning of the fall semester. The Pantry is now located in Commons 104. The Cougar Pantry is a project led by ASI in effort to combat food insecurity on campus. Every currently enrolled CSUSM student can visit the pantry once a week and pick up groceries free of charge. The pantry offers a wide selection of dry goods, canned goods, produce, milk and toiletries. The pantry’s design was altered to resemble a small supermarket. Shopping carts are provided, however, students are asked to bring their own reusable bags to carry their groceries out. Students are highly encouraged to use this free service. A 2019 evaluation of ASI food programs, funded by the Basic Needs Initiative Faculty Research Funding Award from the Chancellor’s Office, found that the Cougar Pantry greatly benefits the CSUSM community. The research team also evaluated Fresh Market Monday, which usually offers fresh produce once a week. However, during the transitional phase into the new pantry space, ASI will not offer-

read about new marvel movie 'shang chi'

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FEATURES Students Learn about Study Abroad

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Photo by Angelina Parra All CSUSM are eligible to receive food and groceries from the Cougar Pantry.

Fresh Market Monday. At least for the 2021 fall semester. The evaluation was conducted by social sciences professor Dr. Jill Weigt and a team of seven students from CHABSS and CEHSS in spring and fall of 2019. Professor Weigt and her team interviewed a total of 151 students at the Cougar Pantry and got an overwhelmingly positive response. 95.9 percent agreed that the pantry is open often enough and 94 percent said that the opening hours work with their schedule. The majority also felt respected and said that using

the Pantry is private, confidential and hassle free. According to the evaluation report, the students were generally happy with the amount, the quality and the nutritional value of the food they had access to. Most people were also satisfied or very satisfied with the pantry staff. The 72 students interviewed about Fresh Market Monday gave similar responses. Overall, the CSUSM community is highly pleased with both food programs, although the satisfaction with food amount, quality and nutrition was slightly higher

for Fresh Market Monday than the Cougar Pantry. The researchers did not find any significant differences by race, gender, class, transfer status, age, housing insecurity or number of times a student uses the pantry. Furthermore, the evaluation found that student’s emotional states greatly benefit from the food distribution programs. Students reported to be less stressed, less hungry and in a better overall mood. Some students also said that they had an easier time concentrating in class and doing homework and just under a third of the

OPINION students even saw improvements in their mental health. The overall findings of the evaluation determine that the ASI food programs serve everyone well, regardless of racial or social background and that these projects bring great physical and mental benefits to students. Although Fresh Market Monday is being discontinued this fall, the Cougar Pantry is open and ready to serve the campus community. The Pantry is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and for more information visit, https://

Housing welcomes 1,500 residents to the University Village Aparments and the QUAD

By Kinsey canez Staff Writer

COVID-19 left classrooms empty, made students endure awkward zoom meeting exits and left rooms vacant at CSUSM’s UVA and the QUAD as most students opted for a semester at home to complete classes virtually during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. This all changed on Apr. 17 when applications for on-campus housing appeared in student’s email inboxes. According to CSUSM’s housing office, applications filled up at a faster rate than usual as many awaited an opportunity for a tangible change in their transition into college. “We have approximately 1,500 residents at both the UVA and the QUAD,” said Interim Director of Residential Education Allie Serrano in an email.

“We hope that the return to the UVA/QUAD will enhance the students’ co-curricular engagement and sense of community after a challenging year.” said Serrano In a similar vein to the changes CSUSM has put into practice to mitigate the spread of the virus and its multiplying variants, on-campus housing experience for the 2021-2022 academic year brings new challenges that were nonexistent in prior years. Masks are required for all residents in communal areas at all times, from elevators and laundry rooms to passing a fellow resident on the way to either destination. The vaccine or weekly testing policy matches those that are required of the greater CSUSM population. The greatest precaution

Photo by Tania Ortiz Students returned to on-campus housing for the fall semester.

takes form through the campus housing’s guest policy, which is on temporary hold to negate the contraction of COVID-19 within the residential community. As an alternative, residents are recommended to socialize in small groups with other housing residents.

These adjustments are also felt by another group of students: those serving as resident advisors (RA) and residential peer mentors (RPM). As an RPM, planning events and opportunities for students to find social connections through academics is key and the ongoing pan-

demic has essentially caused them to reimagine these events in a space where in person and virtual access can live in unison. For Madison McCarthy, a sophomore and RPM, the barrier between forming a community with peers enrolled in similar curriculum

mask mandate in place to help keep campus safe

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SPORTS q&a with Cross Country's renee laurenzana

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and being cautious of people’s comfortability levels during the ongoing pandemic has been challenging. “You just never know how people are going to feel when it comes to our programs,” said McCarthy . For student residents, and a great deal of anyone navigating life in 2021, the uncertainty that comes in interacting with others whose vaccination status may be unknown is a continuing struggle this school year. But, there is a lot to look forward to. Casual conversations with a neighbor while waiting for a laundry cycle to end, bonding with roommates after a busy week of classes and the comfort that comes with being surrounded by people navigating similar changes. u


News Editor: Marbella Ramirez

The Cougar Chronicle, Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Speech-language pathology research is underway at CSUSM after being awarded grant

Photo by Home Health Speech Therapy on Flickr

Clery report indicates decrease in reported crimes on campus

Photo by Valeria Serna CSUSM’s annual security report became available to students and faculty on Sept. 15.

Associate Professor Alison Scheer-Cohen’s research will be aided by two student assistants.

By Tania Ortiz Editor-In-Chief

By Marbella Ramirez News Editor

Speech-language pathology research by Associate Professor Alison Scheer-Cohen will be underway at CSUSM thanks to a one-year $250,293 grant awarded by the National Science Foundation. The study aims to collect variations of speech data from across the nation from children ages three to 15. The end result is an automatic feedback game that will be able to record what children say as they play the game and promptly be able to give feedback on the child’s pronunciation. “The goal is to help children and families feel comfortable practicing their speech at home, because they’re not trained in speech language pathology, they may not know whether a sound is produced correctly or incorrectly,” said Scheer-Cohen. According to Scheer-Cohen, research shows that the more children and families practice their speech and language at home, the more improvement is seen. This is especially helpful when it comes to assisting children belonging to low-income households and families in which parents’ first language is not English. With this new technology, parents will not have to worry about enrolling their children in paid tutoring, the pathology help becomes more accessible because the application is portable and children will be able to avoid the confusion of having to fix problems due to practicing incorrect pronunciations. Although the grant process took about a year to be finalized, it does not mean that the research had been on hold during the time period. In partnership with local school districts, San Diego Unified and Capistrano Unified, research has already been underway. However, there is an

importance to expanding the study from a local perspective to a national one as it helps with the technology’s recognition of accents. “We all produce sounds differently. And so that’s why this grant is really funding us to get a large number of participants so we have our variety of pronunciations. We need as many as we can get so that the technology is accurate,” said Scheer-Cohen. The possibility of different versions of this application have not been ruled out. As of now, the research is primarily being done on the English language. Participants of the study are encouraged to be from all backgrounds, no matter if they have a speech impairment or not. “The games right now are in English, because this is really our first data set. We’re not restricting it, we take individuals with different accents or dialects. So as long as they’re able to play the game in English, they can use it,” said Scheer-Cohen. Scheer-Cohen isn’t alone in this research, she will be aided by two student assistants who are yet to be chosen. In addition, the team will partner with speech therapy company, Verboso, who according to their mission statement, “improve the speech of children everywhere by harnessing state-of-the-art technology to create speech therapy video games with automated feed back.​” The grant is only funded for a year, therefore the research aims to collect as many participant responses as possible during the year. After that, they are looking to broaden it to other populations such as to children born with a cleft lip and palate. u

CSUSM’s annual security report (ASR) revealed that 2020 showed an overall decrease due to campus closures caused by COVID-19 in reported crimes except for burglary, which showed a slight increase. Reported burglary increased from one reported burglary in 2019 to four reported offenses in 2020. Other slight increases in crimes included motor vehicle theft which has increased by one since 2019. Drug law arrests on campus also increased in 2020, with seven arrests compared to four recorded for 2019. Despite the slight increase in drug law arrests, the report revealed a decrease in drug law referrals in 2020. The annual report, published on Sept. 15, contains statistics from 2018, 2019 and 2020. The Clery report also reveals that no hate crimes were reported in 2020. CSUSM’s annual security report statistics are collected and compiled by the Clery Director and Clery Compliance Team (CCT). The statistics are compiled from the CSUSM Police Department, Dean of Students, Office of Residential Life, Title IX office, Athletics, Office of Human Resources, Faculty Affairs, individuals who are designated “Campus Security Authorities” (CSA) and local law enforcement agencies concurrent with campus jurisdiction over the Clery geography. Geographically, the Clery report statistics reflect the crimes and offenses that occur on campus, public property within or adjacent to the campus and in or on non-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by the university. “The report provides important information about available resources, security procedures, and practices, crime prevention programs, reporting options for victims, and more,” according to Assistant Vice President of

Compliance and Operations and Clery Director Brittani Brown via email. Brown also mentions that the report has been updated since being published on Sept.15 with additional statistics. The annual security report follows the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (the Clery Act) passed in 1990. The Clery Act requires universities to disclose that occur on campus, public property within or immediately adjacent to the campus and in or on non-campus buildings or property the institution owns. In addition to the annual security report, CSUSM published its annual fire safety report. The report reveals an overall decrease in fire-related incidents in the University Village Apartments (UVA) and QUAD residential areas. CSUSM remains one of the safest colleges in the country, according to a 2020 report from The report ranks CSUSM #19 out of 25 college campuses and is one of two California colleges on the list. The annual security report is available at www. and for the fire safety report, please visit www.csusm. edu/housing/documents/ 2021firesafetyreportfinal. pdf.

CSUSM wins top diversity awards for the eighth straight year CSUSM was awarded the 2021 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Awards from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. The HEED award is a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate a commitment to diversity and inclusion. CSUSM will be featured alongside 100 other recipients in the November 2021 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. “Receiving the HEED Award for an eighth straight year is validation for the hard work our university has committed to inclusive excellence, and we will continue to work each day to maintain our focus on diversity, educational equity and social justice,” said President Ellen Neufeldt in a press release. CSUSM is one of only three CSU schools to have received the HEED Award this year. The other CSUs are Fresno and Fullerton. CSUSM launches crowdfunding platform The university launched its new peer-to-peer fundraising platform, Cougar Crowdfunding. The new fundraising platform will help bring groups of donors together to fund special projects during a campaign. CSUSM’s students, faculty, student groups and academic programs are eligible to apply to become a Cougar Crowdfunding project. The platforms are facilitated by the Office of Annual Giving Programs in University Advancement. Cougar Crowdfunding launched its first project in the summer and raised money to fund a memorial bench in honor of Valissa Smith Middleton. Currently, 18 reported COVID-19 cases at CSUSM The CSUSM campus has 18 active COVID cases as of Sept. 26. There have been 180 cumulative COVID-19 cases this year. The data includes cases from students and employees who have tested positive for COVID-19. Additionally, the data shows whether individuals with COVID-19 were on campus or in an off-site campus program. The numbers demonstrated in the current data include the cases only known to CSUSM and are not inclusive of positive cases impacting CSUSM community members off-campus. CSUSM data can be found on The data updates when there is a new case reported to the university. CSUSM biology student named a recipient of prestigious CSU award CSUSM student Ivan Gonzalez was named the university’s recipient of the 2021 Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement. The award is the highest recognition for students in the California State University system. Gonzalez, a senior biology major with a minor in Spanish, has engaged in roles in the Educational Opportunity Program and College Assistance Migrant Program. In addition, he has been involved in research as a biophysiologist focusing on comparative, integrative and evolutionary vertebrate physiology. The award selects students who demonstrate superior academic performance, personal accomplishments, community service and financial need. CSUSM men’s soccer earns first win of the year against San Bernardino CSUSM men’s soccer defeats San Bernardino on Sept. 25 at The Cage, marking their first win of the year. The Cougars won 1-0 against San Bernardino. Defender Tristan Monroe scored the goal with an assist by Corbin Thaete. The game also marked their first win against CSUSB at home since 2008. CSUSM men’s soccer improves to 1-5-0, while CSUSB drops to 2-2-1. CSUSM’s men’s soccer will face Humboldt State at Humboldt on Oct. 1.

The Cougar Chronicle, Wednesday, September 29, 2021

CSUSM’s Theatre Arts Department presents: “The Hatmaker’s Wife” By Natalie Navarro Staff Writer

On Sept. 9, CSUSM’s Theatre Arts Department debuted the first play of the fall semester, “The Hatmaker’s Wife,” a play written by Lauren Yee and directed by CSUSM theatre professor Jason Heil. The performance was extra special because it is the first in-person event since before the pandemic. “The Hatmaker’s Wife” centers around a couple moving into their first apartment. Soon after their last items are brought in, the protagonist is entered into a world that intertwines with the aparment’s past and present. The play is a comedic drama riddled with themes such as family, love, and regrets. The play takes on a metaphysical structure, blending flashbacks and present conversations throughout the plot. The plot is so niched it

can be hard to summarize accurately, the play would bestbe experienced first-hand. “The Hatmaker’s Wife” is also a production that ends with more questions than answers, keeping audiences hooked long after leaving their seats. While the stage setting takes a minimalist approach, both the actors and technical elements shine greatly to audiences. Overall, “The Hatmaker’s Wife” is a charming production; the team worked hard to put it together. Those who missed the chance to see the play, there’s luckily a few more productions coming later in the semester. These include “Way of the Witch: A New Musical” performing October 9-10, “The Thanksgiving Play” performing November 17-20, and “Don’t Dress for Dinner” performing December 9-11.

A&E Editor: Jaelyn Decena


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“The Hatmaker’s Wife” is the first in-person production post-pandemic for the CSUSM Theatre Department.

A&E Editor

This review may contain spoilers. Marvel kicks off the next phase of the Avengers with Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. As one of the first Marvel films to be traditionally released in theatres, the film rose quickly to become the number one film worldwide. Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings follows the story of Shang Chi, played by Simu Liu, a trained assassin under his father’s supervision. Shang Chi’s father, Xu Wenwu, wielded the power of the ten rings for centuries, overthrowing governments and terrorising towns and cities. However, this changes once Wenwu meets Shang Chi’s mother, Ying Li, a goddess from Ta

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Lo, a sacred and magical place of mythical creatures and a form of martial arts taught by the gods. When Ying Li and Wenwu fall in love, the two choose to give up their lives of power in order to grow old together and start a family. The two go on to have two kids, Shang Chi and Xiu Xialing. However, the couple’s happiness comes to an abrupt stop when Wenwu’s past comes back to haunt him. As a distraught young teenager, Shang Chi escapes his father’s supervision and runs away to San Francisco. There, he meets his best friend Katie, played by Awkwafina. After living in peace for a few years, it quickly becomes clear that Shang Chi is running from his past, just as his father did. Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings perfectly

portrays what it’s like to be properly represented in films. As the first Asian-American Marvel superhero, Simu Liu shows that Asian-American men are just as capable of being the muscular hero as anyone else. Representation is not only present in the film’s cast, but also in the music as well. One of the most notable tracks on the film’s soundtrack is “Act Up” by Rich Brian and EARTHGANG. Other Asian-American artists featured on the soundtrack include Jhene Aiko, Audrey Nuna, Anderson .Paak and Saweetie. Furthermore, the character of Xiu Xialing, played by Meng’er Zhang, shows young girls that being strong isn’t something to be afraid of. For many Asian-American girls, seeing an actress who looks like you take

down an army of assassins is empowering; especially regarding the fact that Zhang performed most of the martial art stunts herself and trained with a rope dart outside of work. The film’s director, Destin Daniel Cretton, beautifully portrays a story about family dynamics, loss, love and friendship. While the film is nothing short of an action-packed film, Cretton does not focus solely on action to elevate the film’s appeal. The direction, acting and set design of Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings fully engages the audience and allows them to feel that they are in the world of Shang Chi. For many Asian-Americans, this film helped us feel seen and empowered. u

Editor-in-Chief Tania Ortiz Managing Editor Sasha Anand News Editor Marbella Ramirez A&E Editor Jaelyn Decena Features Editor Magali Castillo Opinion Editor Natalie Navarro Web and Social Eric Hendricks

Assistant Editor Christopher King

Reporters Priscilla Cruz Sayna Nassertorabi Diana Beas-Soto Richard Carpenter Nijiati Maimaitiyiming Cassidy Lovell Julieta Enriquez Kinsey Canez Kristin Bergmann Jaden Whitehead

Photographers Angelina Parra Valeria Serna Video Editor Jose Valdovinos Graphic Designers Mallory Arcena Shea Hauswirth Fernanda Ugarte

Simu Liu stars as Marvel’s first Asian-American superhero in Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

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Marvel’s Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings kickstarts Marvel’s next phase

By Jaelyn Decena



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Photo courtesy of CSUSM Theatre Department


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A & E Editor: Jaelyn Decena

The Cougar Chronicle, Wednesday, September 29, 2021

THE CHRONICLE ENTERTAINMENT RUNDOWN By By Sasha Anand, Marbella Ramirez, Cassidy Lovell | Managing Editor, News Editor, Staff Writer, Staff Writer

TV Show: The D’Amelio Show

Screenshot by Tania Ortiz The D’Amelio Show premiered on Sept. 3 on Hulu.

TikTok stars Dixie and Charli D’Amelio now have their own reality show on Hulu. While the siblings seem like typical social media influencers, the show explores their lives on a deeper level. A very prevalent theme of the show is the negative effects of fame on a person’s mental health. This show does a great job of humanizing the D’Amelio sisters by showing audiences what they go through on a day-to-day basis being some of the top creators on social media, also providing an important message on the power of social media.

Movie: Don’t Breathe 2

Photo from Wikipedia, property of Sony Pictures Don’t Breathe 2 premiered in theaters on Aug. 13.

Album: “STICKER”

Video Game: Life Is Strange: True Colors

Photo from Wikipedia, property of Square Enix “Life is Strange: True Colors” is available to play on Playstation, Xbox consoles and PC.

“Life is Strange: True Colors,” the third installment in the popular “Life is Strange” series, was released Sept. 10. Play as Alex Chen, a 21-year-old girl turned detective as she investigates the sudden and mysterious death of her older brother, Gabe. Although she considers it to be a curse, Alex must make use of her supernatural ability to see, feel, and manipulate the emotions of others. Your in-game choices will determine which ending you’ll play, so choose carefully. This game is currently available to play on Playstation 4 and 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC. A Nintendo Switch release is scheduled for Winter 2021.

Don’t Breathe 2 speaks upon the paternal bond between an adopted child and a surrogate parent. We see from all characters in this film very deep rooted aspects of our society as a whole. Allowing the story to resonate with all who see it in a variety of ways from the protective parent to the vulnerable, yet determined adolescent. Once this film puts its foot on the gas there’s no stopping, you must see it through. Don’t Breathe 2 does take a turn from its original story, but it is both inviting and intriguing.

Photo from Wikipedia, property of SM Entertainment STICKER is the third studio album from Korean subunit NCT 127.

NCT 127, a Korean subunit belonging to global themed boy group NCT, released their longawaited third full-length album STICKER on Sept. 17. The album consists of 11 tracks, including title track “Sticker,’’ which features songwriting by members Taeyong and Mark. The album itself is experimental, each track differs from the former, ranging in genre from a unique EDM based banger to a vocal focused ballad. In addition to the auditory experience, NCT 127 has prepared multiple visual performance videos and teaser track videos to accompany the album. STICKER is out now and available to stream on all major music platforms.

Actress shares her feelings on returning to in-person performances By Richard Carpenter Staff Writer

As we know, the pandemic created a lot of difficulties through this past year.The theatre industry, facehaving to take traditional in-person performances to an online medium thus removing the performer from the stage. As restrictions are lifted, CSUSM’s Theatre Department is able to return to the stage once again. Alyssa Tibador, who plays the lead character in “The Hatmaker’s Wife” shared her experiences and emotions of returning back to the stage after resorting to online performances last year. In preparation for the performance were there any precautions or protocols the cast needed to take? The first week we were doing our first rehearsals and intro to the production on Zoom. The second week the director,the stage manager and the cast were allowed to practice in the Black Box Theater, where we were all

wearing masks and being very careful. Keeping our masks on for every practice until we got word from the campus that cast members wouldn't need to wear masks on while performing. There wasn't really a problem with any of that. We were all wearing masks for so long. It was just nice because there were small issues with projecting. It was just exciting not having to wear them while performing. Plus the whole cast is fully vaccinated. As a performer, was there anything that you needed to adjust with your character creation or building your character? It’s been like two years since we performed and that already was so much. But with everything going on, starting the rehearsals with everyone's mask on and not being able to see everyone's faces, while trying to express yourself was a little hard. Particularly with the director asking for you to project yourself, it was definitely a hard start.

There were also moments of intimacy in the production and trying to accomplish those with the mask was hard. But with approached my character with a mask because breathing at times was difficult. But overall my character was pretty normal. Usually when performing on stage the cast takes cues from the audience,without having to distance and working with protocols. Was there any difficulty or disconnect there? I think with this one, in particular, because it's a comedy it really works off of audience interaction we would have to pause for laughter and such. Leading up to the performances we didn't have anyone else in our rehearsal space. Leading up to the performances we didn't have anybody else in our rehearsal space besides the people involved. But having somebody laugh was a weird change when we finally got to the performances. I don't think that having masks hindered anybody else from laughing. We also can't see the audience very well with the lights on, but we

could hear them so that was actually a really nice feeling to be like “oh, that was funny?,” because you say those lines so many times you just forget. I mean my character in particular wasn't very funny but I almost laughed and almost broke character just hearing other people laugh. Was there anything particular that made this production special either with working with restrictions or within your own personal practices that you've been able to gain experience from this particular production versus previous productions? I think performing for the first time in two years made it super special and I think having the cast members,the stage manager and all the crew made it something really great. Of course, we followed mandates to support that but we still got to know each other and became friends. That usually happens within productions but there's something very different about this production. I think because we're all just ready to perform we were all ready to do theater.

Photo by Jason Heil and CSUSM Theater Arts Alyssa Tibador shares her excitement to return to the stage.

We've done online productions but those just aren't the same. It was just very exciting to do a live production. u

The Cougar Chronicle, Wednesday, September 29, 2021

CSUSM Housing hosts “Party Animalz” event for residents

Features Editor: Magali Castillo


Best study spots at CSUSM

Photo from Pixaby on Pexels CSUSM has plenty of spaces on campus perfect for studying.

By Valeria Serna Staff Writer

Photo by Magali Castillo Photo by Magali Castillo Residents of the UVA and QUAD enjoyed petting animals and creating their own stuffed animals.

Goats were one of the many animals there for students to interact with.

By Magali Castillo Features Editor

CSUSM’s Housing & Residential Education organized “Party Animalz”, an event for residents at the University Village Apartments and the Quad on Sept. 24. Residents arrived early for the event as they were eager to see live animals. A petting zoo booth with live animals included two goats, a pig, ducks, chickens, tortoise, and rabbits were some of the animals in the booth. Residents had to sign a waiver before they could pet the animals. Another booth where residents could create their own stuffed animal was another

activity that residents could join in the fun of building, stuffing and putting on a CSUSM shirt on their stuffed animal. A table full of snacks for residents to make a goody bag to take home with them was provided. Students were able to take a break from their studies by attending the event hosted by CSUSM Housing. CSUSM Housing organizes many activities for residents throughout the academic year where residents are able to connect with others and share new experienes. The events are organized to follow the university’s COVID-19 guidelines to ensure residents’ safety. u

Photo by Magali Castillo Students were able to make their own stuffed animals at this event.

With campus life slowly returning back to normalcy, students are either getting reacquainted with or navigating their way through CSUSM. While the campus isn’t as large as other universities, students make the most of what the campus has to offer. At Cal State San Marcos there are several locations here on campus that are the perfect place for studying, completing assignments and projects. The first and most popular area to study in is the Kellogg’s Library. There are five floors in total, and each level consists of several work spaces and great resources for all students. If you want to work outside with a nice view however, the fifth floor has a terrace consisting of comfortable furniture. There are also many benches and tables located in front of the library’s main entrance, by Starbucks , for use as well. Or, if you want to work with a group of friends. The ideal location is a study room, which can be rented out through the CSUSM app at any time. Another popular choice is in front of the University Student Union. You’ll have a nice view of the campus and easy access to dining services if you’re craving a quick study snack. These are just a few of the many locations at CSUSM that are the ideal spot for completing assignments. Other areas include “The Dome,” outside the University Store, the tables behind the Social Science and Behavioral Building and the Commuter Lounge which is located on the first floor of the University Student Union. Happy studying! u

The Traveling Tukwut Study Abroad Fair gives students a glimpse at international study programs By Valeria Serna

Staff Writer CSUSM’s first study abroad seminar of the semester, the Traveling Tukwut Study Abroad Fair, took place virtually on Sept. 14. After a challenging year of closed down borders worldwide, the idea of traveling abroad seemed out of reach. With the world slowly opening up, CSUSM offers various programs and resources for undergraduates interested in studying, volunteering or internships abroad. The study abroad advisors Tiffany Gabbard and Brooke Cousteau kicked off the virtual fair, explaining the new features CSUSM has to offer. Such as a revamped website for easier access to information for students, student exchange programs and faculty-led programs that are gearing up for travel starting

in January. The new and improved CSUSM Global Program and Services website provides a series of features helpful to undergraduate students looking to travel. Like information on programs offered in the summer, CSU international programs, checklists and FAQs to research. Undergraduate students can now set up info sessions with study abroad advisors starting in October for more information and options catered to their interests. Various study abroad programs were present during the Tukwut Traveling Study Abroad Fair, such as Cultural Experiences Abroad (CEA), American Institute of Foreign Study (AIFS), Academic Programs International (APS) and many more. Each explained their most popular programs and one of the most important factors to students, financing. Students who receive fi-

nancial aid are allowed to use that aid towards most study abroad programs. While other programs heavily encourage students to apply to their scholarship programs. With vaccinations readily available, study abroad programs are making more effort to motivate students to travel overseas. Due to border closures and visa restrictions, the pandemic has forced many programs to close or be put on hold. However, now that many regulations have been lifted, more opportunities have arisen. The Tukwut Travel Study Abroad fair ended with students choosing breakout rooms to join with the study abroad program of their choice to learn more and ask questions about the programs. The ongoing theme throughout the fair was that there is a program out there

for every student. Every student’s circumstances are different and study abroad advisors are here to help. For more information and to set up an info session with Global Programs and Services, visit https://www. u

Screenshot by Diana Beas Soto Students were able to learn about the many options available regarding the chance to study abroad.


Features Editor: Magali Castillo

The Cougar Chronicle, Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Tortilla soup recipe By Cassidy Lovell Staff Writer

As the weather begins to cool and the pumpkin-spice season approaches, warm drinks and hot food are becoming more desirable. Looking for the perfect soup recipe to keep you warm on winter nights? Look no further! This tortilla soup recipe is simple, quick, and delicious. This recipe is family-sized and makes 6 servings. Leftover soup can be stored in the fridge or freezer. Ingredients: For this recipe, you will need two 28-oz cans of diced tomatoes (petite in juice

works best), one bunch of cilantro with 1/3rd of stems removed, one small white onion, one tablespoon of sugar, two cups (or two 8-oz cans) of chicken broth, tortilla chips and Monterey Jack cheese. Directions: First, begin by rinsing your cilantro and onion. Using these ingredients without washing them can expose you to harmful bacteria, so rinse well under cold water. Next, pour your chicken broth into a large pot and set the stove to medium-high heat. Add the cans of tomatoes to the pot of broth. If your diced tomatoes are too

chunky, you may choose to dice them further for a smoother soup. As the broth and tomatoes begin to heat up, dice your onions and cilantro. You can use a food processor to speed up this process. Once you are finished, add the diced onions and diced cilantro into the pot. Then, add the tablespoon of sugar. Bring the pot to a boil, then let it simmer for 20 minutes on low heat. After 20 minutes have elapsed, you’re done! Serve with crushed tortilla chips and top with shredded cheese as desired. u

Photo from Wikimedia Commons Tortilla soup is a great dish to enjoy during the fall season.

Cougar of the Week Do you have a cool job? Run your own business? Participate in greek

life or a school club? We want to feature you as Cougar of the Week!

Inspire your classmates and community by sharing your passions,

hobbies, or just a little bit about yourself!

Whether you’re getting the word out about your school organization, a project

you’ve been working on, or just introducing yourself, Cougar of the Week is open to everyone.

To set up a short interview or recommend a friend, please email cougarchron.fea-

I EVENT CALENDAR Take a little break from your busy schedule with these jokes.

Photo by Tim Mossholder from Pexels

Relax and have a laugh with these jokes Q: What does a nosey pepper do? A: It gets jalapeño business. Q: Why should you never trust stairs? A: They’re always up to something. Q: When does a joke become a ‘dad’ joke? A: When it becomes apparent. Source:


CSU’s Got Talent: Cultural Intelligence: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.

10/1-10/3 Family Weekend: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Virtual USU 2300 Ballroom


Graduate and Professional School Fair: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.



Karaoke Night: 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

USU 2310 Meeting Rooms


Crafty Cougars: 5 p.m. to 7p.m.

USU 2300-B, USU 2300-D


California Clean Air Day Celebration: 6p.m. to 9 p.m.

USU Amphitheater


eSports Association Gamefest Event: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Kellogg Plaza


ASI Cougar Fest: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Forum Plaza, Campus Way Circle, etc.

The Cougar Chronicle, Wednesday, September 29, 2021

First-year student reflects on first CSUSM

week at

Column By Pricilla Cruz Staff Writer

One hundred and five miles, two hours and thirty-three minutes away from not only my hometown but the location of my main supporters and motivation, my family. How could I move away from the source of my happiness? How can I make it in college without them? I moved away from home to become someone my family can be proud of, but with this comes sacrifices. A person has to adjust to a new environment, learn to be independent and the hardest part of all, find a place where they can belong. During my first week here at CSUSM, I felt so out of place and was excited to grow as a person. However, I felt more like an extra puzzle piece that doesn’t fit into the puzzle. I remember on my first day, I called my parents about 20 times before my first class. I didn’t talk much to my roommates, so the only communication I had was over the cell phone and a few quiet words between me and my roommates. When I wasn’t on the phone with my parents or doing my homework, I was miserable. All I wanted was to go home. Being in my room felt lonely and sitting in my dorm living room felt even worse. There were no more hanging photos and uncomfortable throw pillows.

I think I liked to blame it on missing my family, but it was because I was terrified of making a life for myself here. I was so scared of failing. I think a lot of CSUSM students feel like this, scared of being away from home and not having a safety net to fall back on. I felt a lot of first week jitters and fears. Once I overcame them, everything felt easier. I still felt a little out of place, but I started talking to my roommates more. I started to socialize and little-by-little everything started to feel like it was meant to be. I walked around campus and tried to take in all the good that came with attending CSUSM. I started to focus on all the beautiful things that were here. I am being taught by amazing professors who want me to succeed. I wake up to a view where students walk on the CSUSM bridge to go to class, walking towards their future. Emotionally, I’m feeling a lot better about CSUSM and obviously still have a long way to go. When it comes to the actual school part, I think I was pretty much a mess. I was not used to the workload at all and it felt pretty stressful. But, that is what college is all about. I felt stressed but I loved the feeling of knowing that I am learning things that will help shape my future. I didn’t like the idea that

A&E Editor

As we go further into the semester with more students, faculty and staff getting vaccinated, CSUSM’s campus is slowly returning to a sense of normality once again. While there is much unpredictability surrounding transitioning back to fully traditional learning, multiple departments at CSUSM are holding in-person events. One department that has mostly transitioned to holding in-person events being the Theatre Arts department. This decision has allowed for Theatre Arts majors and minors to fully experience performing in front of a live audience. In comparison to

last semester’s Zoom performances, the events are no longer at the discretion of unreliable internet, muting and unmuting microphones and waiting for someone else’s cue. For the Theatre Arts department, the ability to perform in front of a live audience creates opportunities for the audience and performers to connect. This connection between the two was simply unachievable through Zoom performances, as performing for theatre is significantly different than that of a television show. Students can also look forward to in-person events being held by CSUSM, ASI and other student organizations. One of the first events, Welcome Week, allowed for students to bond with one an-


Campus mask mandate keeps the campus community safe from COVID

Photo by Tania Ortiz The campus wide mask mandate helps reduce the spread of COVID-19 within the CSUSM community.

By Brittany Stroffolino Staff Writer

Photo by Angelina Parra The first week of school can be stressful and overwhelming for many first-year students.

more work equals less time talking to my family. It feels so strange having something to do where I don’t even have time to make a phone call. But at the same time, it feels good to be independent. My first week at CSUSM was rather interesting and emotional and I’m pretty sure it was like this for a lot of first-year college students. However, it gets better, and it is always good to remember that we are working for our

futures and to make our families proud. For other students who feel the same way I do, always remember that it will all be worth it and our families will always be there to support us through it all, you are not alone. Everyone is going through the same thing as you are. Be proud of yourself. Stay motivated. Evolve. u

In-person events and learning help create a sense of community at CSUSM By Jaelyn Decena

Opinion Editor: Natalie Navarro

other and created a community environment with food trucks and outdoor games. With more in-person events happening this semester, students can also expect things like drive-in movie nights, game nights, as well as free movie tickets. Of course, CSUSM still attempts to keep students safe by requiring masks at all events. Some events even go hybrid for students who prefer to enjoy the event at home. However, even with events being held in person, there are many subtle benefits to transitioning back to a traditional learning environment. One aspect of a traditional learning environment that creates a sense of community with students would be the simplicity of

studying with peers. Even though the majority of students study with headphones on, not acknowledging anyone else in the room, being able to be in the library sitting amongst other students helps us escape to a sense of normalcy that we haven’t had in over a year. Furthermore, transitioning to traditional learning helps students establish relationships with professors and faculty. Typically with online learning, it’s a bit more challenging to be able to communicate with professors and for professors to genuinely get to know their students. With in-person learning, professors no longer have to stare at a screen of a bunch of names. Traditional learning allows professors to have an

March 2020 was the last time I walked into work without a mask. I remember asking my manager if the mask was necessary, since I did not want to ruin my makeup. I also claimed that it was difficult to breathe in with hopes of being excused from this new mandate. Over a year has passed and I still wear a mask into any place of business despite being fully vaccinated. The initial fear of masks came from the uncertainty of what it meant and how communities would change from these mandates. Knowing that masks help prevent the spread of COVID-19 to others should have diluted any fear or resistance towards wearing them. That has not been the case. There are people who have never worn a mask, nor do they plan on doing so . Arguing with store employees seems more supple than the thought of wearing an important piece of material to some. The vaccination is another outcome of COVID-19 that people are continuously pushing back against. The shot takes less than a minute and the side effects vary but it all leads to one outcome,

understanding of who their students are, their personalities, what interests them and what students need to succeed in their classes. Yes, hybrid courses are keeping students safe, but a traditional learning environment proves to have many benefits to it. Even with these limitations of online learning, students and faculty are trying their best to make it work. Being able to really bond with professors, faculty and peers is exactly what makes

protecting society from the virus. CSUSM instituting a mask mandate despite vaccination status brings protection to students all over campus. If the campus officials were to implement the honor system and allow only vaccinated students to go maskless, there would be fewer masks and the possibility of COVID-19 spreading on campus would increase. Allowing students to vote on a mandate that has been in place all across California for over a year would be tedious and unnecessary. The topic of masks has become political and was even the basis for the recent recall election on our Governor. A decision like this is something that should not be up for debate. Students deserve to be safe on their campus. They should be able to entrust that the administration is looking out for their best interest while they pursue their dreams at CSUSM. Students like myself are focused on creating a life past the pandemic and see nothing wrong with the mask mandate on campus. Students work hard to achieve their degree, something as miniscule as wearing a mask would not and should not stop them from continuing their education. u

us proud to be Cougars. u


Opinion Editor: Natalie Navarro

The Cougar Chronicle, Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Athlete Spotlight: Q&A with Ally and Megan Tomasetti By Tania Ortiz Editor-In-Chief

Twin sisters Ally and Megan Tomasetti are midfielders for the women’s soccer team. Both sisters are kinesiology majors and are just starting their journey at CSUSM this fall. The Tomasetti sisters are eager to gain more knowledge of the sport and grow as individuals throughout their time at CSUSM. What made you want to attend CSUSM and play soccer here? A: We always knew we wanted to play soccer in college. We’ve been playing since we were kids. It’s always been a goal and I have pushed myself and worked hard to get there. San Marcos wasn’t really on our radar, but the coach [Bobby Renneisen] reached out to us at one tournament and was like, “we need two center mids and we’d love to have you on the team.” We looked at the school because it was during COVID, we talked to the coach, and it seemed like a perfect fit for us.

M: We always grew up doing everything together, so we always knew we wanted to play soccer in college. What has the transition been like from high school sports to playing at a collegiate level? A: It’s definitely a different level. You have to be on top of your game and your priorities. You have to be committed to your team, too; everyone relies on one another to do their best. It’s honestly really nice. This team is so much more involved in our lives; they care so much more. If we need help with anything or a nice group to talk to, they’re there for you. Compared to high school, it’s serious. M: It’s more competitive. In high school, you just come, have fun and kick the ball around. In college, you have a goal. You’re a part of a team. Your impact is important. How does it feel to get to play following the pandemic? A: During the pandemic, we couldn’t travel a lot to soccer tournaments. We’d

practice a little bit. It was kind of hard because it was kind of like, “I want to play.” That’s why I’m going to practice, getting more exposure in soccer, since I wanted to get recruited. It was stressful. During that time, we were like, “this is our time to get ready and be fit.” So, when the moment comes, we’ll do well. M: We just had to stay positive. Our soccer club was telling us, “We’ve got this,” and even though we can’t have games, that’s okay. Practice is just going to get you better. Everyone took that and treated it like a game. It helped and our mindset changed, giving our all at practice. It makes the process much more fun for me. What goals do you have for yourself this season, and what do you expect to gain? A: I just really want the experience of playing soccer at the college level. It’s a different experience, and I want to become a better athlete. I want to become more knowledgeable about the game. Sports have helped me

Photo Courtesy of CSUSM Athletics The Tomasetti sisters are eager to grow in their sport while playing at CSUSM. Megan Tomasetti is #3 and Ally Tomasetti is #9.

in my everyday life, like with my career. Just being in that atmosphere keeps me determined and responsible. M: My goal is to learn something that I can take into the real world because you learn so many things through the sport. I’ve learned so many different things already. During college, you just learn so much and you don’t even realize it. The people you meet, everyone comes from so many different areas, so you’re learning even more.

How was it like to adjust to the established team environment?

the process. The chemistry is really good on this team. u

M: At first, it was a little hard because we had only met through Zoom. We hadn’t practiced with them before I committed, so I was a little nervous. When I first met them, it was exactly how it was on Zoom. They were so friendly; I was so happy. A: I think because of COVID, everyone was ready to be back on the field. This is a younger team, so everyone is new to the process and that helped too. We can all help each other navigate through

Athlete Spotlight: Q&A with Renee Laurenzana By Nijat Mamtimen Staff Writer

Renee Laurenzana is a redshirt junior on the women’s track and field and cross-country teams, majoring in biological sciences-physiology. Laurenzana says the team is a motivation for her to train and to improve. She was named Runner of the Week by the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) on Sept. 6. Laurenzanna dedicates herself to the sport of running and improving her skills to achieve victories and is happy to train with her team. How do you feel about getting to play this season after the pandemic? I am happy to finally compete and have a team alongside me. These past three and half years, throughout the whole shutdown, I trained mostly alone and could barely keep myself motivated. I met with my coach to talk about the training on Zoom. Nevertheless, I needed to get up and train by myself. I also kept

Photo courtesy of CSUSM Athletics

Laurenzana dedicates herself to cross country and improving on her skills.

myself motivated despite not having competitions or races. Now, it feels nice to have people to train with and see everyone face-to-face instead of on the screen. What goals do you have for yourself this season? Now, I know I am improving and hope to keep moving on because this is all I want: running faster. Staying healthy -physically and mentally- is important because the stress

from school and life gives me pressure. Yet, I hope to get to know my teammates more because some of them I only know from Zoom, so I want to meet those I did not meet in person before. Competition-wise, I want to do well in conferences and regionals and make internationals one day, hopefully as a team. The women’s team missed by one spot last time, so I hope we can do that this year. How is the team dynamic now that everyone is back?

As a team, we are all very happy and grateful to get together. All of us, as I said, were struggling with motivating ourselves. Now, the team is very positive. I had noticed it before, but now I am grateful that we are back and training with the whole team instead of by ourselves every day. The coach is with us, so we are overjoyed to be together. What’s the best part of

being a part of the CSUSM cross country team? I will say it’s the people. Everyone is happy to be there. We all have tough days, but I think that although we are all different people and come from different places, we all come together for a common goal and help each other out: we all want to do well and push each other to be our best. I can think of my coach and my teammates that they are nice and

they are good. I am glad that I have poeple around me to motivate me to be my best. u