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How to Date a Journalist

Black Heroes Matter


[See COMIC, page 11]

California State University, Dominguez Hills


April 8, 2021 • VOL. 27, NO. 5

Grounded on Earth, Shooting for the Stars

Graduation Ceremonies Get Brighter By Daniel Tom | Contributing Writer Commencement ceremonies at California State University, Dominguez Hills this spring were set to have a much different look than it has in years past. With COVID-19 vaccinations on the rise and cases beginning to fall, things are looking a little brighter for the Toro Nation. On Tuesday, California State University, Dominguez Hills President Thomas A. Parham announced in a university-wide email that graduating students will be allowed to register up to two guests to attend this year’s ceremonies. This change of course is a result of Los Angeles County’s move into the orange tier under the state’s blueprint for a safer economy. Students must register their intent to participate in commencement no later than

By Chaz Kawamura | Staff Reporter

officer, but he also served on the Health and Safety committee. Lyons was honored in November 2019 by the Division of Administration and Finance for five years of “commitment and support.” President Thomas A. Parham, along with Chief of University Police, Carlos Velez, expressed condolences and honored his service. “As we honor his dedication and service to the DH campus and the State to keep us safe, I ask all members in the TORO NATION to keep him and his family in your prayers,” Parham wrote in a March 27 tweet. “Gone too soon.” “Andrew had been a valued member of our team and will be greatly missed,” Velez wrote in a March 30 email. Amy Bentley-Smith wrote in an April 5 email that Lyons, “was a valued member of our campus community and will be greatly missed by his fellow officers and others he worked

It was a bright Monday morning for junior physics major Jeisson Pulido Calderon. He was working on his homework until he suddenly received an email. Not just any kind of email, an email of acceptance. But not just any acceptance email, it was his ticket into a prestigious solar physics summer internship program. As he looked at it, he was blinded with pure joy. Calderon was accepted into the remote Harvard-Smithsonian Solar Physics Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program, a collaboration between Harvard and NASA that provides students in-depth access and opportunities to truly feel what it is like to work in the field of space exploration and analysis. More precisely, Calderon will participate in cutting-edge research on the sun. The first person he told was his mother, who has been there for him from the beginning. Not just the beginning of his life, but through the multiple hardships he had faced personally and scholastically. “She was the one to see me cry and feel down for the hardships I have faced in my life,” Calderon says. “She was shocked and she felt very blessed to see her son finally getting accepted somewhere, and more for this important internship.” With only six applicants accepted into the program, Calderon said he is honored to be one of the few people who get to work with state-of-theart technology and industry professionals. With this experience, his dream of working with a top space company such as NASA or SpaceX and explore space within the field

[See OBITUARIES, page 3]

[See INTERNSHIP, page 7]

Photo from Smug Mug

From the parking lot to the court, commencement recieved the tennis stadium upgrade for spring graduation. April 16. After the deadline, students will be sent information on how to register their two guests. According to the university’s Ceremonies and Events department, no exceptions will be allowed to the number of guests, guest passes are non transferrable, and only pre-registered guests

will be allowed at the ceremonies. All events will continue to be live-streamed, so loved ones who cannot attend in-person will still be able to tune in and watch from anywhere in the world. These updates precede last week’s announcement that the

venue would be shifted back to its original location, the Tennis Stadium at Dignity Health Sports Park after initially planning to stage ceremonies in Parking Lot 6 with no audience present. To read the full version, see csudhbulletin.com

In Remembrance: Leaving Their Mark at CSUDH By Taylor Helmes | Editor in Chief Over the winter break, we lost five faculty and staff members. In recent weeks, we have lost three more members of the California State University, Dominguez Hills community. Julia Bogany, a Tongva tribe elder, Corporal Andrew Lyons from the University Police Department, and Dr. Edward Robinson Jr., a lecturer for Africana Studies, all passed away last month. Julia Bogany On March 24, Julia Bogany, a Tongva elder, and ambassador for the Tongva tribe who spent 30 years teaching children and adults about her language, culture, and history, passed away. Bogany, who suffered a major stroke on March 7, was an educator, cultural ambassador, Indigenous Native American advocate, artist, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Bogany is featured in one of the murals outside the new Student Housing complex,


titled, “Lessons From Wise Woman.” Jimi Castillo, Tongva Spiritual Leader, has been making “Going Home prayers” for her, according to a March 29 email from Cheryl McKnight, director of the Center for Service Learning, Internships, and Civic Engagement, notifying faculty about her passing. A GoFundMe was created initially to help financially support her after her stroke but has since been updated with her passing. According to the fundraiser information, Bogany will be laid to rest on April 17 at 10 a.m., followed by a burial at 11:15 at Mt. View Mortuary & Cemetery. Due to Covid-19 restrictions and health guidelines, only 65 people are allowed inside the chapel, with family taking priority. Anyone arriving after maximum capacity has been met is welcome to wait outside or by the burial site. Cpl. Andrew Lyons

On March 26, CSUDH Cpl. Lyons, 34, a 14-year veteran of the force, passed. No cause of death has been announced by the university, according to Amy Bentley-Smith, the CSUDH Director of Communications and Public Affairs, at the request of the family. However, the Statewide University Police Association posted to Facebook on April 1 a link to a fundraiser, that states Lyons died from Covid-19 related complications. Yolanda Abundiz, president of the association and creator of the fundraiser, said in an April 6 email to the Bulletin that she based that information on a social media post by the Calipatria Police Department, where Lyons previously served. She said she then verified this information with a “reliable source.” He is survived by his 1-yearold son, his girlfriend, mother, family, close friends, and colleagues. Lyons has been part of the CSUDH community as a police



THURSDAY, April 8, 2021


Banishing Imposter Syndrome and Owning Your Greatness By Andrea Espinoza | Staff Reporter Have you ever felt like you don’t belong or as if you don’t actually deserve the accomplishments and achievements you’ve earned? If so, you may be feeling the effects of imposter syndrome or what psychologists often refer to as “imposter phenomenon.” Imposter syndrome is defined as a psychological condition that is characterized by persistent doubt concerning one’s abilities or accomplishments accompanied by the fear of being exposed as a fraud despite evidence of one’s ongoing success. An estimated 70% of people have experienced these imposter feelings at one point in their lives, but who exactly suffers from it? Dr. Heather Butler, associate professor and department chair for the department of Psychology at CSUDH, pointed out that there are no distinguishing facts that can determine whether women or men suffer from it more. Though women are the ones that report it the most, that doesn’t discount that men can suffer from imposter syndrome as well. “We definitely thought women experienced it more than men, women do report experiencing more than men,” Butler said. “The issue really is about the reporting part of it. So, we really actually think

Obituaries From Page 1

with at CSUDH. The university mourns his loss.” Bentley-Smith and the university did not confirm the cause of death and will not release that information at the request of the family. Abundiz kickstarted a Fund A Hero fundraiser to raise money for Lyons’ family, “to ease the financial burden that comes with losing a loved one,” with the Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC) who will give 100% of the proceeds to the family. Funeral or memorial services have not been publicly announced at this time. Most recently, on March 31, Dr. Edward Robinson Jr., an Africana Studies lecturer at CSUDH since 2013, passed away suddenly at the Coffee Region-

that men and women probably experience it at the same time.” Looking beyond the bigger picture of women and men, imposter syndrome can also be common amongst first-generation college students. These students may already feel out of place as they may be the first in their immediate family to attend college. Alternatively, students can often feel like they have to choose one identity or another because their community may not be accepting of who they are. As a Mexican American, feeling as though I don’t belong to a certain community is an all too familiar feeling. Oftentimes, I felt as though my community looked down on me or as if I was “better than” because my parents worked hard to ensure I was given opportunities they didn’t have at my age. On the other side, I felt like privileged communities looked down on me because of my ethnicity and where I grew up. Growing up in a town that is made up of mainly low-income families, many people judged me immediately when I told them I was from Wilmington. It was hard to figure out where I belonged, and it wasn’t until middle school that I made friends with some girls that grew up in my town that made

me realize it was silly to be ashamed of where I grew up. I also found it was important to lean on my family and friends who knew who I was and never judged me for it. I was always told it was important to work through all those negative feelings by just remembering that I deserved whatever I had accomplished because I worked hard for it. Dr. Yesenia Fernandez, assistant professor of the Teacher Education division program at CSUDH brought up the idea of imposter syndrome as a guest speaker at the “It Takes a Village” racial solidarity event. She also created a first-generation college student seminar called “Paving the Way,” where she can bring awareness to imposter syndrome and microaggressions. “Something that our institution does really well is actually creating support systems. I know students [at CSUDH] for the first and second years have peer mentors that look like them,” Fernandez said. “By creating support systems where students are able to connect with somebody oneon-one that are from different backgrounds like them can help a student feel like they belong.” Creating a safe space with family members and friends where it is ok to speak freely

al Medical Center in Douglas, Ga., leaving behind his mother, siblings, family, friends, and past colleagues and students. Dr. Edward Robinson Jr. Robinson was described as a brother and friend in the “tightknit” department, described by Dr. Donna Nicol in an April 1 email sent on behalf of the Africana Studies department. He represented the LGBTQ+ community, was an active scholar and teacher and will be missed by many. He has taught at CSUDH in both the Africana Studies Department and Humanities Program. In 2017, Robinson was awarded a travel grant from the College of Arts and Humanities, Nicol said in the email. This award helped support a trip to Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz in Germany to present a paper he wrote titled, “Expanding the Power of the Black Lives Matter Movement Beyond American Borders.”

Robinson’s interest in research encompassed the history and culture surrounding Africana studies. He was in the process of proposing his book, “Indignant Dignity: Black Lives Matter in Early Black Writing,” to the University of North Carolina Press at the time of his passing. “His bright smile, kind soul and infectious laugh will be sorely missed but never forgotten,” Dr. Donna Nicol wrote in the email. “Pumzika kwa amani kaka (Rest in Peace Brother).” “He was such a gentle, decent soul who cared about his students and his craft of teaching,” Miguel Domínguez, a professor in the modern languages department, wrote in an email. “The third floor of LCH has another void. I will very much miss his optimism, welcoming personality, and sense of social justice, as well as our conversations interlaced with laughter.” Domínguez added: “I last

Artwork by Andrea Espinoza

Imposter syndrome describes the belief that you’re inadequate despite evidence that you’re quite successful. about how these feelings is key because most people suffering from imposter syndrome are often not able to express it. By leaning on a group of people and cultivating open communication to express these feelings can help normalize the conversations about imposter syndrome.

“It’s important that students understand that when you start feeling like you don’t belong or have those feelings of ‘I’m just going to drop out of college,’” Fernandez said. “You must remind yourself that this is all a manifestation and you just have to push on.”

Photo provided by Africana Studies

Dr. Edward Robinson Jr. is among the most recent to pass saw Edward in March before we went to distance teaching. I should have given him a hug.” Robinson earned his bachelor’s degree in history and sociology from Georgia State University, then continued his education at the University of Utah where he received a master’s degree in American studies in 2011. He topped off his college career at

Claremont Graduate University where he achieved his Ph.D. in cultural studies and specialized in African American literature and media studies. Robinson’s service will be held in Broxton, Ga. on April 3 at 11 a.m. EST. You can virtually attend his live service on McIver’s Funeral Home’s Facebook page.


COPY EDITOR Iracema Navarro A&E EDITOR Destiny Jackson PHOTO EDITOR Nova Blanco-Rico SPORTS CO-EDITORS Matt Barrero Jeremy Gonzalez LIFESTYLE EDITOR Carina Noyola

SENIOR EDITORS Yeymy Garcia Jasmine Nguyen Destiny Torres ASST. SECTION EDITOR Anthony Vasquez REPORTERS Skyler Belmonte Lafie Bradford Daniel Diaz

Andrea Espinoza Benjamin Gomez Brian Hinchion Chaz Kawamura Desiree Lee Jesus Loza Gabriela Medina Benito Morales Jesus Perez Cindy Portillo Xitlaly Ruiz

ADVISER Joel Beers LAYOUT ADVISER Joseph Witrago LAYOUT TEAM Jonathan Ghattas Chris Martinez WEB EDITOR Carlos Martinez

The print and digital version of the CSUDH Bulletin is published bi-weekly and is produced by students in Communications 355, News Production workshop. The views and expressions contained on both do not necessarily reflect that of the Communications Department, or the CSUDH administration. The Bulletin operates within,

and is protected by, the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. Comments, criticism, and story ideas can be emailed to editorial@csudhbulletin.com. We reserve the right to edit any letters for length, grammar and punctuation, and libel.


Commentary: Being an AAPI Student is a Nightmare Right Now By Jasmine Nguyen | Senior Editor Republished from EdSource.org

After attacks against Asian Americans from San Jose to New York over the last couple of months, I have gone from fearing for my parents, who have faced verbal threats, to fearing for my grandparents, who are elderly but continue to shop and run errands in public, to fearing for my personal safety as an Asian woman. Last week’s shooting deaths of six Asian women in Atlanta triggered my own memories and fears of being objectified and sexualized by a fellow student, by strangers on the street, or by someone on a dating app. Once while I stood inside a Southern California mall, a man walked up to me and asked, “What kind of Asian are you?” and tried to touch my face. I was 13. Then there were the numerous times when I’ve been told something akin to, “I’ve never slept with an Asian before.” Was I supposed to fulfill their sick race-based fantasies? The recent assault in San Francisco of a 76-year-old woman of Chinese descent who was punched in the face while waiting at a bus stop has raised fears about my safety, which I didn’t have before. Now, I can’t go out to get boba tea with friends from school without worrying if I’m putting myself or them in harm’s way. Until now, I never worried about being attacked because of my race. Now, suddenly, being an Asian American student in America has become my biggest nightmare. The villainization and victimization of Asian Americans is nothing new, particularly in California. Since the first case of Covid-19 was reported in Wuhan, the Asian American/ Pacific Islander community has faced a fresh wave of hate crimes, a return of anti-Asian rhetoric, and violence that harken back to the days of the “Yellow Peril.” People may believe Asians are protected by the “Model Minority Myth,” which paints us as quiet, studious students who become doctors and engineers. History taught me to never forget the Chinese Exclusion Act nor the Chinese massacre of 1871 nor the Japanese internment camps of the 1940s. Nor will I forgive how in the 1970s the Ku Klux Klan burned Vietnamese immigrants’ fishing boats in order to punish them for “stealing” American jobs. Anti-Asian sentiment has always existed beneath the

surface. The pandemic has just caused it to emerge in violent ways. In the past year, people of Asian American/Pacific Islander descent have been stabbed, spit on and degraded in horrible ways in countless places across the country. In 2020, there was a 150% increase of hate crimes toward Asian Americans, according to The Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino. Who knows how many have not been reported? I live with my paternal grandparents, just 10 minutes away from my maternal grandparents. They helped raise me and my younger sister. What would I do if the police called to say my “ong ngaoi” (grandfather) was in the hospital — or worse? My Vietnamese grandparents fled their homeland on boats in hopes of finding a better future in America. My 71-year-old Thai grandfather came to the U.S. at the age of 17 with only dreams of success. He believes that he should not cower at home, not from viruses or racists. He doesn’t seem to be fazed by the rise of hate crimes against our community. My 66-year-old Laotian grandmother escaped her wartorn homeland alone on foot, traveling to safety when she was just a teenager. None of that matters to the racists who attack Asians, making us feel like “villains” in our own home. Last summer, my father, born and raised in the U.S., was on his way to his office when he was told by a man on the street to go back to his country. My mother owns a Vietnamese restaurant in Louisiana. In August, someone called the restaurant to tell her that setting up social distanced seating was useless since Asians were the ones who brought Covid-19 to America. The logic here is as faulty as it is cruel, accusing my mother of spreading the coronavirus because she is Asian. I have not experienced such blatant racism. But it was excruciating to stomach the former president referring to Covid-19 as the “Chinavirus” and “kung-flu.” These micro-aggressions have consequences and have resulted in my family living in fear. Targeting my community as a scapegoat won’t stop this virus from killing people. I don’t want one of my grandparents to end up in a casket because of ignorance and hate.


THURSDAY, April 8, 2021

Major Decisions


By Raven Brown | Opinion Editor When thinking about getting an education, the path to graduating from college is seldom linear. After high school, some students decide to continue their education while others may choose to enter the workforce and hold off on going to college until they are ready. Those who go to college right away are bombarded with endless amounts of majors to choose from, and the pressure to decide on what to do for the rest of their lives can become a daunting task. When I first graduated high school, I went to El Camino College thinking I wanted to be a fashion major. I quickly realized that I was not where I wanted to be and decided to start taking general education classes until I found a subject that really interested me. Eventually landing on nursing, and then later nutrition, kinesiology, psychology, and finally journalism. I realized that my education represented who I was at different points in my life. I always knew I wanted to help people, but as I went through these majors I saw that there were so many different ways to do that. I never intended to change majors so many times. I knew I was trying to figure out what I really wanted to do and what I was passionate about, even if it meant taking two steps back and one step forward until I got it right. It’s not uncommon to change your major throughout your career as a student; maybe not six times like I did, but about 30% of college students change their major at least once in their undergraduate years. Changing direction is more common than we tend to think. Not everyone knows what they want to do at the age of 18, but our education system forces high school-aged teenagers to choose a path and stick to it. Why do we think teenagers could possibly have their lives figured out as soon as they cross over from childhood to adulthood? While some teens and young adults have a clear idea as to what they want to do during their college years, most don’t. Most adults have no idea what they’re doing half the time, so why are we holding kids to this standard so early? Dr. Brant Burkey, an associate professor in the Communication Department at CSUDH, is no stranger to the process of weeding out majors to find the right one. Starting as a business major with interests in sociology

Infographic by Raven Brown

Students change majors for a variety of reasons and getting a degree is sometimes a process of elimination in order to find a major that is the best fit. and psychology, he eventually found where he belonged in communications. “When you’re thinking of your career, there’s all these things that are going to happen in your life along the way,” Burkey said. “It’s really not this idea that you need to choose this one path. But to realize that all the paths are there in front of you, so choose the one that seems the most interesting and if it ceases to be, then hop on another path.” Amanda Krick, an alumna of CSUDH who majored in sociology and went on to get her teaching credential, originally had plans of graduating with a degree in mathematics. While her focus was always set on becoming a teacher, her educational path changed before transferring from El

Camino College. “I was getting a little bit distracted when I was getting higher up in the math classes,” Krick said. “My schoolwork was taking so long and it just seemed like so much work as a math major to then become a teacher.” Sometimes along the way, reassessing our goals and adjusting our educational plans is necessary to get us where we need to be. There’s nothing wrong with changing majors if you feel as though it will benefit your future and your career. People will tell you to “stick to the plan” and doubt your vision if it is not aligned with theirs. The naysayers will come, but in the end, it is your life that you are building and your passions that needs to be pursued.


THURSDAY, April 8, 2021



CSUDH’S Black Queen Mothers are Powerhouses Regardless of a Pandemic By Gabriela Medina | Staff Reporter On Friday, March 26, the Rose Black Resource Center held its third annual Fannie Lou Hamer Queen Mother Society luncheon for the first time online. It is a non-formal event of a very casual gathering between the Queen Mothers and the California State University, Dominguez Hills community, only this year the meet and greet joined the virtual world. This year, the theme was “Black women leading in the time of change.” The FLH Queen Mothers Society was founded in 1996. The organization consists of women who represent and honor Black icons for their wisdom, vision and innumerable sacrifices in the face of diversity. The society

encourages young people to continue to tackle excellence and pledge to keep civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer’s legacy alive. The Queen Mothers Society’s supports the Africana Studies Department, in developing intellectual, cultural and social programs to highlight public awareness. They serve as mentors to Africana Studies students and are public ambassadors for the university. The RBRC created the Queen Mothers’ Luncheon program to specifically target Black female students. The program director Catherine Jermany said, “there is the Male Success Alliance that targets mostly student males of color and there is the

Women’s Resource Center that mostly targets women, but a lot of the programs that came out targeted more Latinx programming. So there wasn’t anything really specifically for Black women.” Dr. Donna Nicol, Chair of the Africana Studies Department, was the event keynote speaker, she provided a slideshow with factual information on women’s empowerment. Under the circumstances of being in a virtual setting, Jermany allowed guests to be placed into one of three breakout rooms where they were able to interact with two Queens. Noticing that there was not a program for Black female students, the former director of the RBRC decided to reach

Photo by Gabriela Medina

Queen Mothers dominate virtual luncheon out to the Queen Mothers’ to have the luncheon so that Black women can have their own space and have that “intergenerational dialogue.” It became an opportunity for students to build their network and have a chance to

talk about what it means to be a Black woman on campus and in a professional setting. To reach out to any of the members in the Fannie Lou Hamer Queen Mother Society, email Catherine Jermany @cjermany1@csudh.edu.

Campus Bookstore Never Closed, so Where are the Students? By Skyler Belmonte | Staff Reporter After the California State University, Dominguez Hills bookstore surpassed major layoffs and overcame a decline in sales, it continues to be one of the few places on campus that has remained open and operating a year after COVID-19 caused the university to suspend all in-person classes and almost all on-campus operations. The book store, which before the pandemic welcomed approximately 200250 students daily, has now seen those numbers decline month after month. According to Angel Covarrubias, the Course Materials Manager, the shutdown has caused foot traffic to stop completely, something that has bookstore staff eager to have students return to visit the bookstore and to spread the word that they continue to be open for business. According to Covarrubias, the fact that they were one of the only campus entities open, the bookstore resembled a support center. “Any questions students had, they would come in and ask us,” Covarrubias said. “Parents are calling and asking for answers about financial aid, and admissions because they say we are the only people who answer the phone.” But continuing their services did not mean great news, instead “sales rapidly declined,’’ said Rick Dorsey, the bookstore manager. In fact, the vivid pictures of long lines of students in search of purchasing their cap and

gowns that once took over the single-floor store and were visible during this month have now vanished. The central place for all commencement materials and a place where the university continues to recommend all seniors graduating to purchase their caps and gowns months prior to graduation, has now resembled a ghost town. With commencement just months away, the bookstore staff encourage students to purchase all items needed online and pick up at the store during normal business hours. Besides sales, there is another problem that the staff had to face: layoffs. According to Dorsey, 20 employees have been laid off since the start of the pandemic, and only six student employees were asked to return to help with book returns. The thing that has made operating successfully, according to staff, is letting students know they remain open. “The most challenging part we were and continue to face is the lack of communication between the school and the students,” Dorsey said. “No one knew that we were open, and they still do not.” Students received few notices of the campus bookstore remaining open and accepting only online orders. Two emails delivered months apart were the only information students received about the bookstore being open. Staff wondered where the

Photo by Skyler Belmonte

CSUDH campus Bookstore’s limited-contact merchandise display is safe, and ready for shoppers. students were and why they were not visiting the bookstore. The University Communications and Public Affairs Department sent two emails to students informing them with updates regarding the school bookstore, and other campus news. One email was sent on Aug. 14, 2020, stating that the bookstore was not currently open for in-store shopping and all orders were to be made online via the bookstore portal. The second email was sent on Jan. 19, 2021, informing students to visit the Toro Together website for further information about the bookstore’s policies. In order to adhere to health guidelines and to make shopping at the store more convenient, the book-

store implemented strict health guidelines for a safer shopping experience. Students visiting the bookstore and all faculty are required to adhere to the health procedures directed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, local health departments, and Campus Leadership. Masks are required and distance spacing markers are in place to respect the 6-foot distance rule. In addition, merchandise is displayed in a single aisle where customers are welcomed to select the items they want to purchase and an employee will assist them. The website provides details on how to purchase textbooks, college gear and other supplies from the bookstore portal, weekly hours plus pick-up time information and

mandatory health procedures for students who visit the store. The bookstore hours are currently Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. Students are allowed to walk-in and make purchases as staff have created a contact-free shopping experience in the front entrance. Mask wearing and social distancing is required. In an effort to help incoming students, Dorsey encourages new Toros to visit the store and ask questions about the campus and purchase all necessary materials for the new semester. Employees say they miss socializing with their friendly, frequent customers and are hopeful that the school will officially reopen soon.



THURSDAY, April 8, 2021

Uncovering the fundamentals of MSA


Photo courtesy of MSA

In recognition of their academic achievements, MSA members are honored and celebrated, front stage as they are given their sashes upon graduation. By Anthony Vasquez | Assistant Section Editor The Male Success Alliance (MSA) is an organization focused on providing undergraduate men of color with academic resources, mentorships opportunities, and improving retention and graduation rates. With their annual Spring Summit approaching April 9 and 10, the Bulletin took a deep dive to explore what MSA is all about. According to a Daily Breeze article, MSA’s increased growth came after Mardel Baldwin, a former student body president and member of MSA, wrote a letter to the campus’s administration expressing his concerns for low graduation rates. This led Baldwin to join the organization to raise awareness on this issue. Birthed by an idea from seven California State University, Dominguez Hills students in 2009, MSA continues to follow its three core principles; conscious, competent, and committed. This program and its fundamentals were highly effective in the first six years. According to the California State University website, MSA was the first program of its kind in the CSU system. “Reports show that MSA’s first 158 members boasted a combined 90 percent retention and graduation rate from 2009-2015.” Since then, to help increase these high retention rates and practice their ideologies, they extended branches towards specific causes. The Excellence by Design branch is their latest student support initiative tasked to improve retention and graduation rates of first-year Black male students. The program is currently being led by CSUDH alumnae Makonnen Tendaji and Leonidas Sloan, who also serves as the project

coordinator for their Success Expanded through Exposure and Development (MSA S.E.E.D) Program. Their first-ever event was a virtual seminar called “We Lit” which served to educate and raise awareness to their members on Black higher education through teaching and evaluating Black history. The second branch is MSA’s Success Expanded through Exposure and Development (MSA S.E.E.D), intended to advance an alternative method of education centered through a social justice lens. In S.E.E.D, members of the organization serve as mentors for local middle and high schools. They provide mentees with academic guidance and confidence to pursue higher education. Former MSA President and CSUDH alumnus, Frank Rojas, took part in MSA S.E.E.D in a “Freedom Schools Program,” a six-week literacy program rooted in social justice. Rojas was in charge of teaching students and presenting them with literature that embodied their own identities. He saw the fruits of his labor with the connections he built with people over time as a mentor for young adults. “Some of the students I did mentor are now in college and it’s cool to see that growth,” Rojas said. “I have some of their moms on Facebook and they’ll message me in Spanish saying muchas gracias.” Rojas contributed to the organization’s development and the redefining of the space. Through his journey and conversations held in the space, he was able to openly come out as gay to his fellow brothers. One of his contributions was publishing a book called, “Portraits of My Brothers,” where he highlighted some members and showcased their

personal stories underneath their staple suits. The book was distributed to attendees of the 2019 Spring Summit, but some of these stories are available via Instagram. But Rojas admits being part of MSA was not an easy task. “I worked so hard to create these spaces for others to be comfortable in but I wasn’t doing that for myself,” Rojas said. With this in mind, Rojas considered leaving the group after coming out but was embraced and given the opportunity to use his voice and develop allyship for MSA within the LGBTQ+ community. He was able to host the first Queer Men of Color Conference in 2018, as well as workshops teaching members to become allies and inviting off-campus speakers. Now studying at the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, Rojas shared how some of the students are finding it foreign to have these deeper conversations when through MSA he already had them. Today the organization aims to combat some of the cultural forces working against men of color, like the lack of male role models in their lives, the concept that studying isn’t masculine, and serving nearby communities. While the majority of MSA members are men, women have previously served on the executive board and they are open to non-male members. “Any student can join MSA regardless of their gender,” MSA Director Tony Little said. “The very tenets of the MSA organization are to champion social justice and counter systemic racism and prejudice in all forms.” MSA continues to serve its

college students and members outside of the community virtually. Recently, they invited Bobby Seale, co-founder of the Black Panther Party to speak with students over a webinar.. There are many takeaways that MSA members grasp during and after their involvement. As Rojas puts it, MSA, like all of us, have blind spots, but through his experience and involvement in the program, MSA was able to confront some of their own. “Some brothers, they would just wear the suit but not really be about the work and I think you have to do both if not be more about the work and then the suit because then you’re not really what MSA is about you’re using it as clout,” Rojas said. Since the pandemic began and online instruction was put in place, MSA lost a physical space on campus but never lost their commitment to their work. They continue to operate virtually, hosting online events via Zoom and continuing to stay in touch with students to ensure they are receiving help and succeeding academically. If you are interested in reaching out to MSA or gaining more information on becoming a member, they host “Brother2Brother” virtual sessions, where students can speak with a member directly. Each member’s schedule varies in availability. For more information and updates on CSUDH’s Male Success Alliance, follow their social media platforms here: Twitter: @MSA_CSUDH Instagram:@malesuccessalliance Facebook: CSUDH Male Success Alliance

Spring Summit 2021 MSA’s annual Spring Summit returns after its cancellation in 2020. The summit will take place virtually on a two-day basis exceeding the length of previous events. Day one of the summit is on April 9, from 9:30 a.m to 3:30 p.m and day two on April 10, from 9:30 a.m to 2:30 p.m. The last summit was part of the organization’s 10th anniversary in 2019. This year’s event is titled, “Building Bridges of Consciousness: Supporting Male Students of Color,” as it aims to provide resources that students may not have access to because of the pandemic. “This year we are inviting middle school students, high school students, undergraduate students enrolled in a two-year or four-year college, professional and graduate program candidates, administrators, faculty, staff, parents and guardians,” MSA said on their online page. The event will feature guest speakers, 15 workshops, digital food vouchers, and Spanish workshops. As well as two themed events highlighting the “Empowerment through the Arts” and “Cultural Empowerment DJs #CatchTheVibe #YKTV.” One of the named keynote speakers is Shaun King, writer, one of Time Magazine’s 25 Most Influential People on the Internet in 2018, and civil rights activist. As well as Wisdom O. Cole, Interim National Director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Youth and College branch of the NAACP. For those who would like to register for the event click here.


THURSDAY April 8, 2021



“Hello, Cruel Heart” A Disney Book Review By Yeymy Garcia | Senior Editor With “Cruella” arriving in May, “Hello, Cruel Heart” arrives in the midst of live-action remakes of the revival era in Disney filmmaking. But don’t get your hopes too high if you expect this novel to be a direct tie-in to the upcoming film. Author Maureen Johnson introduces us to Estella, a 16-year-old orphan who makes a living off of stealing on the streets in London, 1967. She lives in an abandoned house she calls the Lair with fellow orphans Horace and Jasper, and together barely steals enough money for food. One day, Estella meets rich siblings Magda and Richard Moresby-Plum, who take her in and help Estella realize her dreams of becoming a fashion designer. They help her network amongst their rich friends where she meets a boy in a band and falls in love for the first time. Everything is perfect for her until it all goes south in the last 92 pages of the 336-page book. The novel spends too much time leading up to the moment

that’s supposed to explain why Estella gives in to her “cruel heart” and becomes Cruella to the point that the ending feels rushed. Stealing is her forte in the novel, and we get to see how talented she is at making clothes, but it doesn’t do enough to explain how Cruella becomes someone who kidnaps 101 dalmatians to make a coat out of their fur. However, as a young adult book mostly aimed at 12-18-year-olds, vagueness should be expected when going in to read it. It’s a book I would have enjoyed when I was in middle school back in 2009 when I was first getting into YA and reading “Twilight” for the first time. But as someone in my early twenties who was excited to see what makes Cruella evil, it was a bit disappointing. In the book, the author tries to show readers who, or what, “Cruella” is. It’s her alter-ego, a voice in her head telling her to be “evil” like a fashionable devil on her shoulder. But Cruella’s titular “cruel heart” isn’t exactly portrayed enough, because it constantly shows up

Photo of Courtsey of Disney Publishing

She was born brillant, bad and a little bit mad. Cruella debuts on Disney Plus and in theaters May 28th. to protect her true self, Estella, from being intimidated. In other words, Cruella doesn’t allow Estella to take sh** from anyone who stands in the way of her success. She’s her own hero who stands up to the bullies that shamed her for being

poor because she’s destined to be great and she shouldn’t settle for less. So, where does the murderous animal villain come from? As someone who has seen Cruella go full evil, this novel does not do enough to explain

why she becomes a villain but provides a taste of what is to come from the Disney empire. After all, the film’s description is an exact retelling of the book with different names for her rich friends. My favorite parts, however, were when we got to see Estella’s charismatic self, which closely resembles film adaptations of Cruella. She’s confident, loud, and will kill you with fake kindness. As a standalone, and if you didn’t know who Cruella de Vil is before reading the book, it works because you get to meet Estella before she is Cruella, before she morphs into the manic, dog-thirsty adult we know today. The ending, even though it may be rushed, still leaves you wanting more. Now that she goes by Cruella, what happens next? If you want to find out what really makes Cruella evil, you may need to wait until May to get that answer. “Hello, Cruel Heart” will be available on April 6, 2021. “Cruella” is currently scheduled for release in theaters and Disney+ on May 28.

How To Date A Journalist

Photo by Marci Angeles via Unsplash

If you’re able to catch your wordsmith’s eye here are some things you should know before you take the lead. By Destiny Jackson | Arts & Entertainment Editor As the great emo poet Pete Wentz wrote, “I’m alright in bed, but I’m better with a pen,” I couldn’t help but wonder if all journalists felt like this? Could it be possible that there were journalists who didn’t relate to this at all? Maybe there were some who boasted about being great in bed, but worse with a pen? Or conversely, maybe there are overachievers out there who are just simply good at both sex and writing. I find the latter hard to believe though, who has time for sex when you could be writing? (If you’re a staffer at

Cosmopolitan, please ignore this.) Or who has time for writing when you could be having sex? As a perpetually single 28year old freelancer, I checked in with some other journalists online, and found that dating is hard. But dating a journalist? Even harder. At our best, we are knowledgeable people who can bring up a series of topics at the drop of a hat—even ones you didn’t ask for. At our worst, we respond to your texts a week late or fall asleep on the couch during movie-date night. However, there’s plenty of

successful journalist relationships out there and if you’re one of the brave souls trying to grab a reporter’s attention, here are some things you should probably know. Bring us pictures of Spider-Man. OK. This one is a little personal because I have a soft spot for Peter Parker ... But what I mean is the quickest way to a journalist’s heart is by conversation. We love to talk and most of us overshare to a fault. If you see your friendly, neighborhood journalist out in the wild—which is hard nowadays because the pandemic has claimed our local haunts—find out what our niche is. Does your journo-crush write about climate change and you just saw an article in Politico? Does your sleep-deprived scribe keep track of the hottest shows across all streaming platforms? Bring a conversation to the table, we are so used to talking and pitching our ideas. It would be nice if someone else spoke to us for a change, bonus if it’s something we are also obsessed with. Being knowledgeable is a turn-on. A Kingdom of Isolation (and it looks like messages won’t be seen) We spend hours emailing, texting, slack-ing, reading, watching and checking social media. Basically, if you aren’t an editor or a rejection email

(to which we can respond “no worries, I’ll circle back!!”) the odds of us replying back to you in a timely manner are slim. Some journalists are really good at responding quickly to their friends or checking in on the group chat, but for the rest of us, we are most likely burned out and will reply when we get the bandwidth later. It’s nothing personal, and when we do reply even if it’s with a “lol” just know we do care. Fight Club The first rule of dating a journalist is: be ready to defend your opinion. As journalists, we get paid (hopefully!) to voice our opinion about any number of things. You liked the new Lana Del Rey album? Let’s talk about it. You thought Todd Phillips’ “Joker” deserved to be nominated for the 2020 Oscar season? I’m sorry to hear that. Being vague is also a no-go, you need to be willing to fight for your opinion, (and your life) if you disagree on the latest trending topic. Be confident, be strong and be glad that you have a versatile, well-read partner that is ready to duke things out with you (playfully.) You’ll always be invited to a threesome (sort of.) Yeah, that’s right. Because nothing is kinkier than trying to spice things up in the bedroom by adding a few different partners and a couple of new toys.

Luckily we journalists already know that. To be clear, a bedroom is defined as a cramped, tiny workspace. Toys mentioned here are a laptop ring-light combo for Zoom meetings and interviews. And partners in the plural sense … well you will essentially be dating what feels like a new person when their deadline comes around. We are neurotic people, quadruple checking everything (and still finding mistakes,) overthinking, overworked and over-caffeinated and sleep deprived. We are slaves to our phones, computers and TVs always searching for content and trying to stay relevant. Regardless if it’s a special occasion, we are checking our email. We might have to cancel at the last minute for the sake of an assignment with a tight deadline or turnaround. Rainchecks are imminent. Writing is a lonely occupation that can sometimes feel like getting the cold shoulder, but we need space to brainstorm and conceptualize a piece. We don’t have time to be social and try to put words on a page, but once we are done and fully exhausted from the process, it would be nice if we had a sympathetic and understanding partner that could turn into an endless snack machine, coffee I.V. drip, or memory foam mattress.



THURSDAY, April 8, 2021


CSUDH Alumna Is Ready to Direct

curred due to the pandemic, Parker struggled to find the motivation to stay on course, which became difficult and overwhelming with classes being virtual. “Managing virtual classes was a challenge, but the film, television, and media (FTVM) department was very helpful,” Parker said. Being a full-time student with a total of six classes surprisingly worked out for her. She dedicated school on certain days based on her course schedule, which had given her flexibility to manage other responsibilities such as working for Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) as a special education assistant and being involved in her church’s media team. Unfortunately, her job had been shut down

due to the pandemic, but the extra time had allowed her to work on short films and other projects as an associate producer. She had always looked forward to her graduation day, and even while being in a pandemic, her mindset had never changed. Parker felt even more motivated to graduate considering that she had been in school every year, non-stop for the last 20 years since kindergarten. She realized that it was time to move on and was confident that if she could graduate in the midst of a pandemic, she can really do anything. But like several other students, Parker had her doubts. “I honestly didn’t think I was going to make it,” Parker said.

“This last semester was extremely hard and when I realized I was about to graduate, it felt surreal. To know that this was it and that I was going to be graduating in spite of being in a whole pandemic. On top of being Black in America and processing the police brutality, racial injustices, civil uprisings, and a nerve-wracking election while also managing my own personal woes this was a huge triumph for me and I thank God for it.” When it came to preparing for graduation, the FTVM department has helped her immensely by encouraging her to apply for the Professional Mentorship Program, where students are paired with a working professional in the entertainment industry. By being a member of the program, Parker has formed a relationship with her mentor who has taught her to gain confidence for the various projects she began. “Even though I’ve graduated, I’m thankful for all that I’ve learned in school and I’m excited to merge my knowledge with hands-on experience,” Parker said. “I’m still figuring things out in terms of my future, but I for sure want to produce and direct film and content that highlights factions of life that are often overlooked within film and media.” Parker has her sights on working as a producer for Jubilee Media, and she’s currently freelancing and building up her experience. In December, Parker was working as a production assistant on a project directed by Maya Cryor, a close friend of hers from her church when another director, Melissa Eno Effa, reached out to Parker and asked her to be a part of her team. Together they produced

brother who had to go through many challenges throughout his life,” Calderon said. “I was ultimately thinking about my family, which made me take a step forward into succeeding and doing it for all of them.” With the decision made, Calderon started working on a three page essay outlining experience he had in the field of physics, which was mostly school-related projects, as well as any personal challenges that he had faced while pursuing his education. Then he pressed send and even though he didn’t think he had a shot, he waited. Around a month later, he was accepted for the internship program, joining five others with the opportunity to participate in technologically advanced research on the sun, solar winds,

and the heliosphere. He will work alongside other students, studying the reconstruction of the magnetic flux ropes using the Grad Shafranov Method. The project will include recreating solar winds and their magnetic flux using the program languages Matlab or Python. Those are heady terms that only an aspiring physicist could love, but for Calderon they are the next logical progression for what began as a deep and abiding fascination with space that has captivated him since he was around 10 years old in his country of Columbia. “All I wanted to do was go in the mountains in Columbia and the tallest places and just look at the stars,” he said. “I tried to understand why the

stars were there. I knew about physics as in like astronomy and space, but I did not know that it was called physics until I came to the United States.” Along with his keen interest in space and interest in studying physics, Calderon says he was driven to apply because of the challenges and obstacles he faced as an immigrant coming from Columbia to the U.S., such as financial difficulties and not being able to speak English. “Coming to the U.S. from Columbia was a challenge,” he said. “I never spoke English at first. I had to learn. But my teachers saw potential in me.” Calderon wants to use this opportunity not only for experience but to inspire others like his fraternity brothers in Omega Delta Phi Inc, and minori-

Photo courtesy of Karlynn Parker

Recent CSUDH graduate Karlynn Parker, overlooks the pandemic and has her eye set on being a producer By Gabriela Medina | Staff Reporter The pandemic may have caused many graduating students of CSUDH to feel uncertain about their lives after graduating, but alumna, Karlynn Parker, felt prepared thanks to the support of her friends and of her department. Parker recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in film, television, and media in fall 2020. Her goal is to work in the film industry as a producer, where she would be responsible for materializing the script, searching for locations, putting together props, hiring background actors, and most importantly keeping communication between all of the moving parts. When the news of the switch from on-campus to online learning broke out oc-

Internship From Page 1

is one step closer. Calderon was looking for a summer internship when his physics professor Dr. Ximena Cid emailed her students informing them of research opportunities including the Harvard-Smithsonian REU program. In the beginning, he thought that there was no possible way he was going to be accepted. Quite simply, he didn’t think he was good enough. But he was inspired by his family to keep pushing forward. “There’s a lot of people who have inspired me, like my mom who has put everything to improve our lives, as well as my

“Cherish You,” a short film celebrating the beauty and interdependence of Black love and marriage in the form of dance. Throughout the dance, you see the ups and downs in waves of emotion with one dancer carrying the other, promising to not let each other fall. Parker believes that working with Effa is a great way for her to learn more about the entertainment field. She hopes to continue working with the director as she is grateful for being able to learn from someone she considers a visionary and a builder. It’s been challenging to find a consistent job during the pandemic, but Parker feels blessed to have the opportunity to work on different projects. She thought about how other graduates had struggled to find a job in their fields, even before the pandemic occurred. Although times are more difficult at the moment, she encourages other students to push themselves until they are in the place they want to be. Parker advises current graduating students to create a schedule to balance out their personal and school responsibilities and to not be afraid to reach out to friends and professors. She also says students should take advantage of their department’s opportunities and CSUDH’s Handshake. “In moments where I felt like giving up, my friends and my professors helped push me through,” Parker said. “They are here to help you and they want to help you. For those searching for a job, your professors are still good resources and can help give you some direction. It’s challenging right now but I promise you can make it through.”

ties like the Latinx community. “I would like to inspire the Latino community, to inspire organizations, like Omega Delta Phi Inc and the brotherhood to go out and apply for internships,” Calderon said. “I would like to inspire any minority who is underrepresented (to go)into STEM... and let them know that it is possible for them even though they are a minority.” Calderon says being accepted proved to him that by taking the risk to fail, endless possibilities can open. That is the message that he wants to spread to others. “What I would say is to take a chance to see what happens,” Calderon said. “For chances that you do not take, you will never know how close you were to getting that chance.”



THURSDAY, April 8, 2021


CSUDH Esports Creates International Competition

Photo composite by Darlene Maes

Michael Fogel (left) and Riley Fort (right) are two members of the CSUDH Esports who helped bring the CVL into reality. By Jeremy Gonzalez, Co-Sports Editor | Daniel Diaz, Staff Reporter Imagine a competitive esports league where college students can showcase their skills on the screen and behind the scenes. Similar to a traditional sports league, the esports conference takes place over several months and pits esports teams from different universities in the state and across the country against each other. This resulted in an intense playoff tournament where one team is crowned as the champion. This idea was applied to the PC game Valorant and brought to life as the Collegiate Valorant League by California State University, Dominguez Hills alumnus Riley Fort and graduating senior Michael Fogel, who are both members of the CSUDH Esports program. The league is hosted by The Gamer’s EDU, an organization that advocates for student gamers and gives them a platform to campaign for themselves and each other. Fort graduated last semester with a degree in computer science and became involved with the esports team when he stumbled upon the esports club having a Super Smash

Bros. gaming session in one of the conference rooms on campus. He connected with the club’s academic advisor and general manager, Ruben Caputo, and joined the club, bringing his knowledge of speed running with him. Fogel, a computer science major who will be graduating in May, became involved with the esports team shortly after the pandemic caused the nationwide shutdown last March. He founded the CSUDH Valorant team and now serves as the team’s captain. Although he was happy to be onboard, Fogel said he felt like something was missing in the esports landscape. “Since I was in middle school, I’ve always been in esports, but I saw a hole in college esports,” Fogel said. “Rivalries were not in place like real athletics. I saw the pandemic as an opportunity of keeping all the California State Universities together. I saw it as a way to help kids get into the professional scene.” The first season of the league, which ran from August through December 2020, consisted of various

esports teams from some of the CSU campuses. The instant success from the first season brought attention to the league and other institutions like Oregon State University, Texas A&M University and the University of Houston wanted to join in on the competition. “I always had faith that people would want to play and we would make something happen,” Fogel said. “I had a really good team around me to accomplish that goal. Riley has done amazing production, Ruben has secured great sponsorships. People are reaching out to get in and we felt it was going to spread to more than just California schools.” The new season of the CVL kicked off in February and will run through May 7. It features 40 teams from 30 different campuses across the country, pitting them against each other as they fight to qualify for the finals tournament for their chance to be crowned champions. Due to Valorant being such a new game, released in 2020, different initial bugs and changes affected CVL

streaming. Riot Games, the game’s developer, had yet to even introduce official rules for league play, leaving Fort, Fogel and the CVL to figure it out as they went along. “Trying to keep up with the bugs and compensate for the changes was difficult to do on the fly,” Fort said. One of the bigger problems for Fogel was scheduling and preparing for any changes during the course of the season. “We had a team drop halfway through and we had to fix the schedule for the remainder of the season,” Fogel said. “Now it’s running really well.” As the second season approaches, the CVL looks ahead at what they can do to improve and how far they’ve come. The main focus for season two is to bring in more schools and teams to compete in the league. The ultimate goal of the CVL is to create a place for everyone to be able to play. “We just wanted to bring more schools in,” Fogel said. “We took notes on how to improve our production and we took the offseason to

work on really making our product the best it can be.” Besides participants, the number of employees working on the production of the league has grown exponentially, to the point where they even offer internship opportunities worth college credits. “Last season we were a team of four,” Fort said. “Now, we are offering internships for season 2 in graphic design, content creation, video production and more. They receive credit at their institutions for the internships through the CSU Entertainment Alliance.” The CSU Entertainment Alliance works with 23 campuses, offering grants and internships for career development, networking opportunities, and a “foot in the door” in a competitive field. They also have partnerships with companies like Disney, Netflix, Sony, and Apple, offering other internships and collaboration opportunities. The CVL takes the top talent of the league and offers professional organizations and teams the opportunity to scout some of that top talent, serving as a stepping stone or launching pad between the collegiate and professional levels. Although the second season has been a big success, Fogel and Fort believe there are always ways for the league to be better no matter how far the CVL has come. “Last season we didn’t think of having crazy replays and a 3D model in our introduction,” Fogel said. “There’s always going to be room for improvement. We’re products of the CSU system and it’s cool to put CSUDH and other CSUs on the map.”

Opinion: Tournament of Treatment By Chris Martinez | Layout Assistant After Sedona Price of the Oregon women’s basketball team tweeted out a video of a TikTok she had made showing the equipment offered to the teams and players at the women’s National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament, it sparked outrage and criticism over how women’s basketball is looked at by the NCAA. Following the video being posted to social media, another women’s basketball star added to the issue. Sabrina Ionescu of the New York Liberty tweeted out a photo comparing the men’s NCAA tournament’s weight room to those of the women. To many, this was an eye-opener to just how unfair the two tournaments were to their players.

In wake of these photos surfacing and creating an uproar in both professional basketball leagues NBA and WNBA, as well as at the collegiate level. NCAA vice president of basketball Dan Gavitt apologized to the women’s NCAA tournament teams for giving them a subpar weight facility. In an interview with ESPN, Gavitt said, “I apologize to women’s basketball student-athletes, to the coaches, to the women’s basketball committee for dropping the ball, frankly, on the weight-room issue in San Antonio. We’ll get it fixed as soon as possible.” In the wake of Gavitt’s statement, the NCAA took action into adding more and heavier weights, benches,

bikes and rowing machines, offering the athletes and teams more than a simple weight set and a massage table. This is not the first time the NCAA has downplayed the women’s tournament. Another incident was the budget differences where the men’s tournament is budgeted for $28 million while the women’s tournament is only budgeted for $14.5 million. These amounts are drastically different due to the revenue the men generate which is $864.6 million compared to the women who monetarily lose the NCAA $2.8 million.” The men’s tournament in turn makes the women’s tournament possible to be held. Even though the men’s tournament supplies the funds

Photo by Ben Hershey via Unsplash

Stanford Cardinals won the 2021 NCAA womens Championship 54 - 53 over Arizona. necessary for the women to hold a tournament, that does not mean the women should have less adequate facilities and equipment given to them. The more other athletes and

professionals speak up for their athletic counterparts, the more awareness and equality they would bring to a sport that has always been cast a shadow over.



THURSDAY, April 8, 2021

CSUDH Introduces New Athletic Director

Photo Credit Athletics Department

Dena Freeman-Patton brings her expertise and experience to Carson starting April 12. By Jonathan Ghattas | Layout Assistant After a long and tedious hiring process, the Toros’ athletic program has found their new athletic director, announcing the hiring of Dena Freeman-Patton. California State University, Dominguez Hills has finally filled the hole that had left the athletics program without a permanent director since the firing of previous director Jeff Falkner last fall. Freeman-Patton was also given

the title of associate vice president within the sports department. For Freeman-Patton, this will be her second time in the California State University system, as she previously worked at CSU Bakersfield for six years as the athletic department’s deputy director. “I would like to thank President Thomas Parham, Vice President William Franklin and members of

Central American Week By Benny Morales | Staff Writer In 1980, most of Latinx students were of Mexican descent but after 1980, that number has depleted due to the amount of immigrants from Central American countries like Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Over the years, Central American immigrants have grown by almost 10 times all throughout the U.S. According to the Immigration Policy Institute, nearly half of Central American immigrants in the U.S live in California and cities like Los Angeles, Long Beach and Anaheim take the lead in having 558,000 Central American immigrants residing in these metropolitan areas. California State University, Dominguez Hills is recognizing the amount of Central American students as well as the growing community they represent and is hosting the university’s very first Central America week. The Department of Sociology and the Latinx Cultural Resource Center and Instructional Relative Activities are excited to announce events for Inaugural Central American week “Building Bridges:Central American Diasporic Experiences in the Americas,” taking place from April 11-17. The virtual-event week will have new activities throughout the week. For more information and to RSVP, you can go here.

On Sunday, April 11, from 122p.m., join the Resource center for a Dia de la Familia Centroamericana to build community and kick-off our inaugural Central American Week. On Monday, April 12, from 4 - 6 p.m, join the Latinx Cultural Resource Center & Sociology Department to learn about Garifuna Heritage through a historical context, drumming, & dance. On Tuesday, April 13, from 4- 5:15 p.m. come and learn how to redefine rest and healing in our lives with Dr. Susana Marquez. On Wednesday, April 14, from 5:30 - 6:45 p.m. the Latinx Cultural Resource Center & Sociology Department will be Presenting CSU Central American Scholars: Beatriz Cortez, Ester E. Hernandez, Enrique Ochoa, Steven Osuna, Alejandro Villalpando. On Friday, April 16, from 5- 6:30 p.m. the event will teach about the power of Central American voice and narratives, and will lead into a poetry night with Yesika Salgado. On Saturday, April 17, from 4-6 p.m. the Latinx Cultural Resource Center & Sociology Department will be Building Bridges through Film & Music: Chavela Vargas & Tres Souls Live Performance.

the search committee for entrusting me to help guide the Toros towards the goal of growing CSUDH into a national model urban university. I commit to enhancing the student-athlete experience so that our students graduate as champions and proud alumni of Toro Nation,” Freeman-Patton said. Now as the school looks forward to the fall season, restrictions in the state have

begun to ease, meaning the possibility of live sports returning to CSUDH will be a top priority for the incoming director. While there has been no indication of the return of sports to the university, the addition of a permanent athletic director is the first step needed to begin to create a plan necessary to bring back student-athletes safely. Having previously developed five-year strategic plans and budget proposals, Freeman-Patton faces the task of providing the athletic program with the direction needed to make up for the lost year that saw all sports shut down since the pandemic began. With over 20 years of experience in athletics, including her most recent job at the University of New Orleans, Freeman-Patton also currently heads the NCAA Minority Opportunities and Interests Committee. The committee is committed to promoting diversity and gender equality across all collegiate sports. Freeman-Patton’s dedication to the game of sports has been a long journey that has led her to the various opportunities in which she has succeeded at every turn. “This moment in my


career is a result of the strong foundation of hard work and the value of education from my parents Calvin and Doris Freeman and as a proud alum of Lake Clifton High School (Baltimore), Liberty University and Georgia State University,” Freeman-Patton said. For the university, adding a minority and female director was a step that CSUDH President Parham felt was necessary to reflect the body of students who attend the school. “The elevation of our athletic enterprise is an important factor in aspiring to be a model urban university. Consequently, we’re extremely excited that Dena has accepted our invitation to join the Toro Nation as AVP/Director of Athletics,” Parham said. “Her breadth of experience and proven ability to take athletic departments to new heights will make her an invaluable addition to our university. I feel that we have made a great choice, and have a leader in place who will truly make a difference in the lives of our student-athletes, and the athletic department.” Freeman-Patton will not officially start her duties as athletic director until April 12.

For more upcoming events, like next week’s Community Engagement Symposium and Earth Day Celebration, see Upcoming Events.


THURSDAY, April 8, 2021



Exploring the (De) Construction of Blackness: Linguistic and Cultural Sharing By Andrea Espinoza | Staff Reporter Exploring language and race was the main focus for the “They Spanish, They Ain’t Black! Language and Culture Sharing in the (De) Construction of Blackness,” event supported by The College of Arts and Humanities, the English Department, and The Student Engagement Committee. The event which took place on April 6 via Zoom, encompassed how linguistics communication, specifically Black language and cultural sharing can support the deconstruction of Blackness amongst those who represent different Black identities. The guest speaker for this event was Dr. Aris Clemons who currently serves as director of her own firm, Clem Consulting, but this fall she is slated to start teaching at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville as an assistant professor. Clemons received her doctorate in Spanish Linguistics from the University of Texas, has pursued her teachings through an anti-racist pedagogy. During her virtual visit to CSUDH, she gave a brief overview using her personal research agenda, sample study, and some historical context to give light to the importance of language when it comes to discussing race and ethnicity. The research she conducted and presented at the event taps into the many ways language, race, and identity interfaces can mediate social categories within education and how language works when it comes to communicating within particular groups outside of our own. The inspiration for her research in examining the significance of linguistic profiling dates back to a Black

Photo by Aris Clemons

Guest Speaker Dr. Aris Clemons presented her research on ethno-racial linguistics and how language can deconstruct racial bias History Month celebration in 2016. An argument between a couple of students made Clemons realize not only that there was a lack of education around Black history and identity but that there was also ethnno-racial conflicts and division between students. In the course of the arguments, she realized that some of the students’ perceptions they had of her did not match who she identified with. “The mere fact that [Dominican students] spoke Spanish completely erased any connection to their African descent,” Clemons said. “That one rule had been reconstituted with my Spanish language ability aligned me with another group. Therefore, I was also perceived as an outsider.”

After this event she was able to theorize the ways that language can inform ethno-racial progress amongst a group of students that were representing a variety of conflicting Black communities, like those from said event. It was not long after the event when she developed a study that combined critical race and anthro-political linguistic ethnographics, which allowed for improvement for future programming schools and institutions. Clemons talked about the many ways language facilitates interaction especially within people of color. “The very first lesson that we learned is all language varieties, dialects, and things that are marked as languages are equal,” Clemons said. “They’re able to [help us]

communicate and facilitate human communication.” Clemons also explained that the study of linguistics, one that she has pursued throughout the years, is an observable language, as humans often rely on it and use it non-formally all the time. “I investigated the institutional and peer stances towards Blackness as an identity category for Dominicans Americans, because they are a group with a representative population of individuals who would be marked and identified as Black in the United States,” Clemons said. “Despite possibly holding a particular ideology or explicit pronouncements to the contrary.” Her research agenda also included people who speak multiple languages or who

may have immigrant parents whose first language other than English. By understanding the linguistic frames and understanding race, it is one step closer to deconstruct the racial systems that have marginalized certain communities of color. “Linguistics is not the policing of certain linguistic forms that don’t sound pleasant,” Clemons said. “And lastly, linguistics is not the classification of individual people based on an accent or other linguistic features.” Editors’ Note A previous version of this story was published about an event that took place at a school that is unrelated to Dr. Clemons work. That information has since been verifed and edited on April 9



THURSDAY, April 8, 2021


“Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s...

a Black Superhero?” By Benjamin Gomez | Staff Reporter & Photographer

Black Heroes Matter at this Carson Shop At first glance, Black Star Collectibles seems like a typical store specializing in comics, sports and other pop culture merchandise. Action figures of superheroes. Comic books in a glass display case by the register. A wall of Barbies, another wall of Funko Pop figures. There are T-shirts and toys and enamel pins of various superheroes by the counter. But upon closer inspection, it is clear that this Carson store, which opened in December at the SouthBay Pavilion, has its own vibe. The Funko Pop merch skews more toward Ice Cube and Tupac than Daenerys Targaryen and her dragons. Mace Windu action figures are more prevalent than any Skywalker. You may not see a blonde-haired, blue-eyed Barbie, but you can take home a Rosa Parks Barbie. And while there is no shortage of Black Panther, Luke Cage or Miles Morales sightings in the comics section, the only Captain America has black skin and the only Superman you see is standing toe-to-toe with boxing legend Muhammad Ali. “I’ve always wanted my own toy store for as long as I can remember,” Black Star Collectibles co-owner Feon Cooper said. “[Black Star Collectibles] is its own thing. It’s its own category. It’s a pro-Black pop culture collectible store.” While there are Black-owned bookstores that may sell graphic novels or comics in the greater Los Angeles area, Black Star Collectibles may be the first store in the South Bay, if not all of Los Angeles County, to specialize in Black superheroes and collectibles. And it’s been a dream for Cooper and high school friend, and co-owner, Kareem Burton since they were teenagers. Rabid comic book fans, they’d read anything they could get their hands on. But when they decided to open their own store, they were determined to offer their clientele something hard for them to find while growing

! P A Z as they replenish their stock. He added that it isn’t every store that keeps a Barbie in every shade on hand. Barbies are not the only hot seller. Funko Pops of Marvel’s Miles Morales, a half-Black, half-Puerto Rican Spiderman created for an alternative Marvel universe but who has since been folded into mainstream Marvel continuity, are always being restocked. But though the store specializes in Black pop culture, and celebrates positive Black role models, it’s not a Black-only store. Cooper said it is a welcoming space for everyone to enjoy pop culture comics and collectibles up: Superheroes that looked like them. and take pride in their own The two recall having to bounce around a number of ethnicity. different stores in and around the South Bay to find comics that Which is what Grace featured Black superheroes and other collectibles. It’s not that Chung and her nephew expeother stories didn’t offer them; it’s that historically, like all media, the rienced when they visited the representation of Black and other people of color was rare, and what store in early March. few there were often riddled with stereotypes. “We were walking by and (For a timeline of the evolution of people of color superhe[my nephew] wanted to come roes see our “Putting the Color Back Into Comics,” package in and it’s such a cool store,” online at csudhbulletin.com.) Grace Chung, a customer, Cooper said that the importance of representation is crucial for said. young children in comic books and other mediums that deal with heChung and her nephew roes. And a big part of opening their store was to help younger comic are of Korean descent and fans realize that people who look like them can be heroes as well. although her nephew was Now, Cooper and Burton have created their childhood dream barely old enough to walk, he store packed with collectibles that represent people of color. They was enthralled with the store’s want their store to be everyone’s one-stop shop for everything vibrant colors. representing Black culture in today’s pop culture. “Maybe I could open But though Black superheroes are a definite focus of a Korean store,” Chung WHAM! said with a chuckle. Black Star Collectibles, the store offers more. Because before comic books, there were Saturday morning cartoons. Black Star Col“I loved Saturday morning cartoons,” Cooper said. “Sulectibles, 20700 S perheroes, He-Man, Thundercats, I wanted the toys and then it led to Avalon Blvd, Carson, (562) comic books.” 281-3924. www.blackBut even the non-comic book merchandise is in sync with the starcollecibles.com owners’ desire to promote Black culture. Follow Black Star ColFor instance, no one’s going to confuse a Barbie doll with a sulectibles on social media on perhero. But those are some of the hottest selling items. Burton said Twitter, @Blackstarcollec that the Barbie wall is hard to keep stocked because so many kids and and Instagram, @blackparents scoop up the ones that reflect themselves or their kids as soon starcollectibles.


THURSDAY, April 8, 2021




The first mainstream comic publisher Black superhero was the Black Panther, in 1966. What comic book did he premiere in?

3 Which of these does NOT involve the super heroine Storm?

4 Which of these names from non-comic background have written for comics?

5 Who was DC Comics first Black superhero?

6 What was Marvel’s first Black superhero movie?


The Falcon


Luke Cage


Jungle Action


The Avengers


The Fantastic Four


She premiered in 1975


She married the Black Panther


Her powers are magical


Pulitzer Prize-nominated


Actor Keanu Reeves


Comedian Patton Oswalt


John Stewart AKA Green Lantern








Nick Fury, Agent of Shield


Luke Cage, Hero for Hire




1. C: Luke Cage 2. C: The Fantastic Four 3. C: Her Powers are Magical

The first Black superhero to get his own comic book happened in 1972. Which character was it?

Elucidating Epigrams And Evocative Epistles Engineered to ELECTRIFY** ELECTRIFY


Hail True Believers! As is readily apparent, the Bulletin Bullpen has gone comic crazy! What started as a rather straightforward business profile on a comic book and collectible store that opened in Carson a few months ago (see page 11) has turned into a three-part series that will examine diversity in that most American of art forms: the superhero comic book. “Putting the Color Back in Comic Books” begins today in this e-edition as well as on our website, with a timeline of milestones on the road to diversity in an industry that for its first 55 years or so, had very little. Parts two and three will be online, with the first coming in two weeks, coinciding with our next e-edition It will examine ethnic diversity, and the historic lack thereof. And then in four weeks, the same day as our final issue of the semester, will be part 3: gender and LGBTQ+ representation in comics. Does the issue of diversity still matter in an era when Batman and Superman have, or will have, Black faces? When Wonder Woman, Iceman and, Hercules are bisexual or gay, or were and then weren’t? When Thor is a woman? Do superheroes on the printed page still matter in light of their conquest of the big and small screen? These questions, and many more, shall be addressed. Unless we forget one or two. Oh, and this page? Who doesn’t love a good quiz? We hope you are entertained and enlightened. Now take that quiz and the first to get it right will get their very own No-Prize. And... * EXCELSIOR!

4. B: Actor Keanu Reeves 5. A: John Stewart AKA Green Latern 6. A: Blade

Profile for CSUDH Bulletin

April 8, 2021, Vol. 27, No. 5  

April 8, 2021, Vol. 27, No. 5  


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