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Tuesday December 3, 2019

The Student Voice of California State University, Fullerton

Volume 106 Issue 44

Security Christmas celebration spreads measures cheer at Nixon Library at CSUF Recent crimes on campus have the university taking more safety precautions. MELISA RYBALTOWSKI Asst. Editor


A stabbing death, a student accused of possessing a gun at Cal State Fullerton and a rape intially reported to have occurred on campus have all cast light on the issue of campus security, specifically in parking structures and lots. Some students took to social media earlier this semester demanding security improvements. Danny Kim, chief financial officer for CSUF, said at an institution with approximately 40,000 students, crime is expected. “The actual number of incidents, it fluctuates over time. What we’ve experienced this fall was a little out of the ordinary, especially what happened with our staff,” Kim said. The staff incident Kim referred to was the stabbing death of former CSUF administrator and consultant Steven Chan in the College Park parking lot. Chris Chuyen Vo, Chan’s coworker, was arrested on the charge of murder and is currently on trial. SEE CAMERAS


A candlelight evening at the Nixon Library kicked off the holiday season with snow, lights, music, trains, crafting activites and a host of entertainment.


A tree lighting ceremony in Yorba Linda kicked off the holiday festivities. MADELINE GRAY NATHAN NGUYEN Editors

With a sprinkle of snow and an abundance of song, the Richard

Nixon Presidential Library kicked off the holiday season with a candlelight evening event Monday night in Yorba Linda. The night began with a countdown and lighting of an ornately decorated Christmas tree. As holiday hits blasted through the air, artificial snow fell and drew a crowd to gather under the magical foam.

Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus arrived to lead the countdown, much to the delight of all the children in attendance. “We come here for Santa Claus, obviously the kids love Santa Claus and they adore the trains. It kind of creates this nostalgic atmosphere of celebration of the season and it’s a way for us to celebrate it together as a

family,” said Andrew Gonzales, assistant director at the Center for Internships and Community Engagement at CSUF. Gonzales and his family came out to the event because it is a tradition for his family, who have attended for the last three years. SEE LIGHTS


Titans continue Rep. Gil Cisneros holds collecting awards holiday-themed office hours Women’s soccer had four players make the All-West Region teams. ARNULFO GONZALEZ Editor

The Cal State Fullerton women’s soccer team continued to collect awards with four players in the All-West Region Teams.

This marks the first time in program history that four of its own players made the team. Maddie Bennett, Megan Day and Atlanta Primus made the All-West Region First Team, while Delaney Dombek Lindahl was named to the Third Team. SEE AWARDS 8


Maddie Bennett in action against Kansas State on Sept. 8.

The congressman has focused on legislation aimed at aiding veterans. MARIAH SANCHEZ Editor

Congressman Gil Cisneros kicked off the holiday season with a holiday-themed open house party at his Fullerton office on Monday. The gathering, named as his Holiday Office Hours, is not a new concept for the congressman, who hosted one session in the past. “One of the things that we promised when we came into the office was more transparency, more access,” Cisneros said. “This is actually our second set of office hours, and I thought, ‘Why not keep it in the spirit of the holiday season?’” Cisneros held an open house party during the holiday season to connect with the community in a more “relaxed” setting than a town hall, according to Daphne Sigala, director of operations for Cisneros’ Fullerton office. In his address to the crowd, Cisneros encouraged them to enjoy themselves and to approach him for any questions.

Devil’s Advocate: To shop, or not to shop



Rep. Gil Cisneros addresses constituents at his office in Fullerton on Dec. 2.

Many constituents from California’s 39th Congressional District, gathered for the opportunity to speak with the congressman personally. The first part of the event took place

in the courtyard outside Cisneros’ office building, where there were holiday-themed refreshments and music. SEE POLITICS


Movie Review: ‘The Irishman’ is criminally good

Technology allows shoppers to snag deals with ease on Black Friday, however, it also contributes to environmental pollution.

De Niro, Pesci and Pacino team up for Martin Scorsese’s latest film retelling the classic mobster tale of loyalty and tragedy.






2 News


New dean focuses on shaping identities

After 15 years of working at San Diego State University, BeyLing Sha took over as dean of Cal State Fullerton’s College of Communications for the 2019-20 academic year this past July. Sha emigrated from Taiwan when she was two years old, travelling with her mother to join her father in Utah, where he was completing a college degree and had just been offered a job in civil engineering. Three years later, her family moved to Houston, where Sha would go on to spend the next 14 years. “When I first showed up in my kindergarten class, the teacher made me stand up and she was all ‘This is Bey-Ling, and she’s from where it snows,’” Sha said. “Nevermind that I was the only non-white kid in the class, I was from where it snowed and that was cool.” Sha’s research revolves around the intersection of public relations and identity, and what identity means to organizations and how they can do their jobs. “I think what drew me to research identity is being an immigrant … you’re torn between the world of your parents’ culture and this new world they’ve chosen to bring you to,” Sha said. “Identity has always been just something that was of interest to me growing up, so it was cool to be able to make a career out of studying that.” When she left for college, Sha was set to be an English major, but after the harrowing experience of reading “Beowulf,” she realized that her interests lay elsewhere. A parent of a friend, who was also a professor of public relations at the university, told Sha she may

be a good fit for the program. “I was like ‘I’m not into people and I’m actually pretty good at math,’” Sha said. “He was like, ‘No that’s just a stereotype, we need good math people in PR, and you’ll figure out the people thing.’” While she didn’t originally have any plans to pursue a degree in public relations, the chance to study the impact of identity swayed her to a new direction. “Our identities are things that impact all of us all the time, whether we recognize it consciously or not. I was just lucky enough to be in a situation where it turned out to be something I could study,” Sha said. After she graduated with her bachelor’s degree from Purdue University, Sha went on to graduate school at the University of Maryland under the Boren Fellowship, which allowed students to study abroad in exchange for working in a government office the year after graduation. Sha went to work for the U.S. Census Bureau just before the 2000 census, the first census where people could identify as more than one race in their paperwork. “That was a huge deal for the nation in terms of permitting people who’ve felt marginalized to claim all of who they were, and as someone who studies identity it was a fascinating place and time to be,” Sha said. After five years there, Sha realized that her talents could be of more use teaching. Having taught part time at her alma mater for years, she decided to move to San Diego State. “There are so many things that people get wrong about public relations. I got sick of being in meetings explaining to people the difference between public relations and marketing,” Sha said. “That got old and I realized I could make a bigger impact educating the next generation.”

1 In attendance was Samantha Montalvo, American Studies major at Cal State Fullerton, who worked for Cisneros’ campaign. Montalvo said she values events like these because it allows her to be able to stay connected to the congressmen and her community. “I think everything that Gil Cisneros represents is something that I want to be emphasized in my community here in Orange County. So I really have just believed in him as a candidate, and I really just want to support somebody who is trying to push the needs of my community,” Montalvo said. Working on the Cisneros campaign has opened the door for Montalvo. The former intern will be working with Cisneros again in the spring season, but now in Washington D.C. under the Cal State D.C. Scholars program.

Cisneros has recently been focused on legislation to aid veterans, according to Sigala. This past year, the two bills he authored were passed in the House of Representatives. She added that the congressman will end the year by working with the House of Representatives to finish up the budget for next year and work on “impeachment-related matters.” As part of that community engagement, Cisneros participates in three events every quarter which can be town halls, other open houses or discussing with members of Congress in the community. Cisneros has recently attended the La Habra Tamale Festival, and two tree dedications at the Nixon Library, located in Yorba Linda. After completing his first year, Cisneros appreciates what he has been able to do for his community.

Bey-Ling Sha came to lead communications college through deep discussions. NOAH BIESIADA Asst. Editor


Bey-Ling Sha, dean of the college of communications (right), speaks at the opening of the Student Success Center.

Sha received many honors for her work in academics over the next two decades, including the Pathfinder Award from the Institute for Public Relations, a lifetime award recognizing “an individual who has made significant contributions to the field of public relations,” according to its website. Her reason for moving to California was the chance to give a larger opportunity to students coming from underprivileged communities. “You can take somebody who already has a lot of privilege and have them go to Harvard and give them a tiny bit more privilege. Or you can take somebody

who doesn’t have a lot of privilege, be at San Diego State, be at Cal State Fullerton, and really give them life-changing opportunities,” Sha said. Sha moved to CSUF for a chance to work with what she called the “very unique collection” of departments in the CSUF College of Communications. Going forward, Sha hopes to see the college take a look at its own sense of self, another portion of her research on identity in organizations. “Like any organization we have these ongoing reflections of who we are. Like we’re Titans, well what does that mean? So we’re diverse, but what does that mean?”

Sha said. “There are areas clearly where improvements are needed, even though we’re ‘diverse’ so I think that’s been interesting to be able to watch an organization really reexamine its identity.” Sha’s leadership will help define the identity of the college over the coming years, a fact that she takes pride in and hopes to shape positively. “Who we are now is way less important than what we are becoming. We can become anything,” Sha said. “We can choose who we become through a thoughtful, intentional reflective process, and that’s what I hope we do through the next couple years.”

Politics: Cisneros engages with the 39th district CONTINUED FROM

MARIAH SANCHEZ / DAILY TITAN Priya Shah, instructor of women and gender studies at Cal State Fullerton, takes a photo with the congressman.



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News 3


Marriott’s sublease reaches halfway point

Hotel space used to be utilized as a parking space by Cal State Fullerton. LETICIA PEREZ Freelancer


Cal State Fullerton students can park at the Marriott Hotel for a daily fee.

program,” said Jim Donovan, director of athletics at CSUF. The City of Fullerton made a 70-year agreement with the university in 1986. According to the contract, the city sold bonds to help finance 46% of the Sports Complex at the university. These finances included a 10,000-seat football stadium, a track, improvements to the baseball stadium, construction of two softball fields and an installation of lighting to several playing fields and the hotel parking deck. This was all stated in a report between Sal D. Rinella, then-vice president for administration, and

For the Record


On Monday, Dec. 2, 2019, the photo caption on the front page story, “Cal State Fullerton sued after student’s death,” incorrectly states that Chi Sigma Kappa is being sued. Chi Sigma Kappa is not a sorority on campus, and Chi Sigma Phi is the sorority being sued. We at Daily Titan apologize for our error and any confusion it may have caused.

the members of the 1986 Academic Senate. “The campus did not have (a stadium) and borrowed one far from the campus,” Kim wrote in an email. The university would rent multiple fields around Orange County including the Eddie West Field in Santa Ana for home football games. The first season was in 1970 and got disbanded in 1992 due to poor attendance and lack of funding, according to a 1992 Orange County Register article. “The university was at the time providing about between $1 million and $2 million in budget for the football program and they were going through some tough economic times and decided that they could better use the $1 to 2 million they were spending on the football program on other academic things on campus,” Donovan said. Currently, the university’s total budget for the athletics department is $19 million. In addition, Title IX’s guarantee of gender equality would lead to the development of four additional women’s programs to

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match the number of opportunities that a football program would create, Donovan said. Donovan said it would cost about another $4 million a year, “plus about another million dollars in support staff so the total you are looking at is about $12 to $15 million a year,” he added. Starting the football program, plus the three to four women’s programs would be a very substantial increase in the university’s budget, Donovan said.“The current sublease with the Marriott has another 30 years or so left in the term so still very early for a (contract) renewal discussion,” according to Kim’s email. The agreement said CSUF would lease over three acres of land to the city, which would then sublease it to the Marriott Corporation. The objective was to have the over 200 hotel rooms pay rent with the revenues it would earn over time. There is a 7% interest rate accumulating a higher debt for the university. The contract is set to end in 2056. The Marriott’s revenues were

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The hotel was built in 1985 when the campus didn’t have parking space issues ... The current sublease with the Marriott has another 30 years left.

Cal State Fullerton is about to hit the halfway mark of a 70year agreement leasing the city land, which is now occupied by the Marriott Hotel. Prior to the building of the hotel some of the space was being leased as a CSUF parking lot. The hotel is one of over 7,000 properties owned by Marriott International. Cal State Fullerton students can park at the Marriott for a daily fee. “The hotel was built in 1985 when the campus didn’t have parking space issues as we face now,” said Danny Kim, vice president for Administration and Finance and CFO. “Not sure what made CSUF a special market in 1985. I am sure the close proximity to Disneyland was a factor.” The closest hotel at the time was located in Orange. The Fullerton Marriott was the first commercial hotel on a public university campus in California, according to a 1985 Los Angeles Times article. Kim said there are benefits of having a hotel on campus. Guests such as faculty, people interviewing for staff positions and guest lecturers can stay overnight. The university also has access to meeting rooms at the hotel. “I know that some other universities have hotel management programs that are part either of their business college or separate college. Some of them have hotels built on campus as a part of that

DANNY KIM Chief financial officer estimated to be sufficient for the redevelopment agency, later assumed by the city, to regain the capital contribution - plus interest - invested in the stadium, according to Kim’s email. “Unfortunately the revenues did not materialize as planned. There is still roughly 30 years left in the lease term so the city has plenty of opportunities over this period to recover their contribution. No state funds were used,” according to Kim’s email.

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4 News


Fullerton ranked lowest in funding rate by CSU

CSUF gets the least funding per full time equivalent students once again. HOSAM ELATTAR Editor

Once again, Cal State Fullerton receives the lowest funding per full-time equivalent student in the California State Universities— yet CSUF has one of the most enrolled students in the CSUs. Full-time equivalent student enrollment is derived from the sum of total semester or quarter term credit units attempted at a university divided by 15. For the academic year full-time equivalent student enrollments, the sum of the fall and spring semesters are combined and divided by two, according to the CSU. Last year, CSUF received about $7,024 per full-time equivalent student — an amount that has increased slightly this year. For 2019-20 year, CSUF has 29,517 full-time equivalent students, and receives $7,690 per full-time equivalent students. Cal State Northridge and Long Beach State, universities with a similar number of full-time equivalent students, receive $8,878 and $8,174 respectively. “If we were to be funded at the same rate as Northridge, we would have $34 million more than what we have currently,”said Danny Kim, CSUF’s chief financial officer.


If CSUF was funded at the same rate as Long Beach, it would have $14 million dollars more. “That is the ramification of us being at lowest (funding rate) rank,” Kim said. He also said it would benefit the university if CSUF was funded at a similar rate to the other large campuses in the CSU. More funding would mean more resources for the campus. “That includes funding for hiring additional faculty and staff and also offering more programs and services,” Kim said. “What we have a hard time understanding or recognizing is when you compare us with other large campuses the disparity in the funding rate is too great.” Last year, President Fram Virjee said his goal was to

persuade the chancellor’s office to change the amount of money allocated to CSUF. “We have been having conversations, but we have not been able to make significant progress on the outcome of those conversations,” Kim said about negotiating with the CSU. Receiving the least funding per full-time equivalent student has been an issue for at least 10 years, said Alexandro Gradilla, Academic Senate vice chair. Gradilla said Cal State Fullerton was originally supposed to be a smaller campus that serves between 15,000 to 20,000 students, but due to its location, the CSU requested for the campus to take more students. There are currently around 40,000 students enrolled at CSUF. “We swung open the doors and

admitted more students because we were requested to admit more students,” Gradilla said. “Cal State Fullerton serves and admits students from five counties.” He added that despite the increase in enrollment, the CSU never increased the amount of funding per full-time equivalent student. “All of our resources are spread real thin, so it’s like being at the end of your peanut butter jar, everyone is going to get that peanut butter flavor,” Gradilla said. “But, we’re going to spread that peanut butter as thin as possible so everybody gets peanut butter.” Kim said one way to increase CSUF funding would be for the system to change the amount of money distributed to each campus and redirect it to Fullerton,

which he sees as an unlikely solution. “We are currently over enrolled, so it is in our best interest to receive baseline enrollment increases to address our enrollment,” Kim said. Gradilla said CSUF has been able to graduate students and get them jobs with little money. “We’ve got really good at doing a lot with less,” Gradilla said.“I don’t know how sustainable that is overtime to be able to do this and were still getting pressured by our high school partners and our community college partners to take more students.” He said if the university keeps taking more students than the resources they have, the quality of education drops as classroom sizes increase on a campus that is already full. “The Cal State system has always been about access and giving first-generation students access to higher education and affordability. I don’t know how much more students it can take and be able to do that,” Gradilla said. He also said this a larger structural problem that would require help from the CSU and the state. Kim said he does not believe the problem is one that will disappear anytime soon. “We are looking at the results of funding decisions over a decade if not more than a decade,” Kim said. “It’s not our expectation that the problem will be resolved quickly.”

Cameras: Parking will be monitored CONTINUED FROM


Kim said the university has developed a plan to address some of the immediate concerns that have been expressed, ensuring that a plan to implement additional cameras on campus has been created. The plan is set to release in spring 2020. The university has contracted a security consultant in order to assess the current state of the campus, Kim said. “We want to make sure that we’re doing this in a smart way. I don’t think there is a need to spend millions and millions of dollars on camera systems. I think there is a way so that we can continue to improve our safety, at the same time be mindful of our resources,” Kim said. The money allocated to university safety is unique for each Cal State University, meaning the University Police on campus is funded solely by CSUF, not the CSU. University Police was allocated just over $2 million as a baseline budget as of Sept. 30, according to a report published by the Department of Administration and Finance. All funding is drawn from the pool of the university’s operating fund. CSUF’s operating fund is composed mostly of state allocations, also known as general funds, and tuition revenue. The existing safety services provided by campus police include emergency blue phones and campus safety escorts. All the emergency blue phones throughout campus directly connect to the University Police dispatch. By pushing the button on a blue emergency phone any student, faculty or staff member that does not feel safe walking to their destination can receive a safety escort. The safety escort service is available across campus, to personal vehicles or to on-campus residences. “There’s different security type things that we’re doing to add more safety to the campus, like adding more of our Community Service Officers, and getting them more carts or cars that work that can take people on safety escorts,” said University Police Capt. Scot Willey. In an effort to deter theft, a bait bike has been strategically VISIT US AT: DAILYTITAN.COM

placed throughout campus that notifies campus police with its GPS locator when taken by a potential thief. “We’ve arrested a dozen people for trying to take our bait bike,” Willey said. “It’s a really good system and we’ve paid thousands of dollars to get it, but it’s important because of how many bike thefts we get.” Beyond detecting situations of petty theft, other measures of monitoring security include routine patrols of the campus and parking lots, and numerous security cameras located throughout the residential community overseen by University Police 24 hours a day. Along with the existing safety features, there are plans to increase campus parking surveillance with more security cameras. Installation of new cameras will be placed inside and outside elevators, as well as around stairwells of the Nutwood Parking Structure, Willey said. Similarly, the new parking structure next to the existing Eastside Parking Structure will have cameras pointing out from the elevators with corresponding screens just outside the elevators. “If you’re walking up to the elevators and somebody is hiding, hopefully a camera will pick that up and you’ll be able to see it or, if you’re standing, waiting and looking at the door and someone comes up behind you. You’ll see that on the monitor,” Willey said. In addition to existing security measures, Willey said that CSUF has “four or five other projects” underway, which includes the addition of surveillance cameras. While the exact locations of the new cameras could not be disclosed, they would be installed in new buildings, as well as in crime-sensitive areas. These areas include parking structures and areas where cash-handling is involved, Willey said. Willey said that installing security cameras is a complex task due to the design nature of parking structures, it is difficult to find the best vantage points for the cameras. Installing cameras in old parking structures also mean running wires through the concrete. “We don’t have full coverage


The emergency blue phone outside the education classroom building can be used to call for police escorts.

of most of our parking lots. We don’t have cameras inside any parking structures,” Willey said. “You literally have to put 50 to 100 on each floor just to be able to capture all the different areas and people don’t understand that.” Despite newfound support for security cameras, Willey recognizes the cost of manual labor to install the technology, the cost of the cameras themselves and the cost of having people monitor all these cameras may be too much. “It’s an expensive addition to parking structures,” Willey said. “It’s not cheap.” Although the addition of new cameras helps the University Police ensure safety around campus, there are some CSUF community members who do not feel safer with more surveillance. “Even cops get a little leery about cameras,” Willey said. “I think that’s just a natural reaction to having cameras all over the place.” Some university employees also oppose the installation of more security cameras because they feel like it invades their workspace, Willey said. The University Police recognizes the mixed feelings about more security cameras and the possibility of an invasion of privacy, but guarantees the cameras will only be used to benefit members of the CSUF community, Willey said. “There is that angst and we understand it, but I can assure them it’s just not something that we do,” Willey said. “We don’t spy on anybody and we don’t even have the resources to do that. Really what they are, for us, is an investigative tool.”

Since the stabbing and the rape intially reported on campus at the beginning of the semester, Kim has been a big advocate for these new programs to ensure safety for students and other members of the CSUF community. “Danny Kim has been fantastic. He’s been the one that’s pushing all of these projects to move forward,” Willey said. “Our chief meets with us on a weekly basis and then meets with the vice president (Kim), updating them on what we’re doing.” Jarret Lovell, professor of criminal justice, said that although the addition of security cameras will help reduce the possibility of theft in the parking lots, the other options are also important for campus safety. “We live with risk in our lives and unfortunately, we all live with different amounts of risks,” Lovell said. “I think the question is, what do we want to do to reduce the risk? Certainly, cameras are part of that equation, but there is no solution to crime and there is no easy fix.” Aside from the security provided by University Police, CSUF provides violence prevention resources at the WoMen’s Center. Alyssa Avila, a violence prevention educator, works at the center to reduce the number of people who are impacted by crimes of sexual assault, stalking and dating violence. The center provides services like advocacy, support services and education including bystander intervention presentations and awareness month events. Over the past three years,

there have been 15 incidents of dating violence, 12 incidents of rape and 47 incidents of stalking reported on campus, according to the Annual Clery Report released earlier this semester. Avila said one of the main reasons these issues are able to persist is because they’re often shrouded in silence. “By having violence prevention opportunities within our campus community we’re sending a very clear message that this is something that we talk about that we don’t shy away from. We want to get it out in the open,” Avila said. Andrew Flores, a psychology major and intern with Students for Quality Education, also has an opinion about dealing with campus crime. Students for Quality Education is an advocacy organization for “educational justice” in the CSUs that was started by students in 2007. Flores said his class status and interest in psychology has helped him understand that certain crimes like theft are based on survival. Flores said campus safety can mean different things to different students and stressed the importance of collectively listening to survivors of violent crimes. “A lot of this has been personally frustrating just because there is an entire population or community of people who have survived these abuses, and on top of that those people don’t necessarily agree with one another, so I think it would be very useful as a community to have an open dialogue about security and what makes people feel safer and what safety really is,” Flores said.




Opinion 5


Black Friday: To shop or not to shop Cyber sales save shoppers money and time during the holiday season.

Black Friday poses a health risk to the planet and warehouse workers. BERNADETTE STEELE Editor

The post-Thanksgiving shopa-thon known as Black Friday is a stark reminder of the wasteful capitalistic society that Americans find themselves entrenched in. With priorities placed on scoring great deals, many consumers become lost in the sauce, scrambling to buy any product just to boast about the price tag they snagged. There are many reasons to avoid partaking in the Black Friday madness. One reason, for instance, is to avoid getting an elbow to the face while reaching for the last Nintendo Switch on the shelf. But there are two reasons to avoid Black Friday shopping that are much more important: to stand in solidarity with the Amazon warehouse workers who are putting their health on the line to meet their quotas, and to minimize the detrimental impact mass-consumption has on the environment. As millions of consumers click that magic “place your order” button, the true cost of their purchase will most likely not cross their mind. Since Amazon has made a name for itself with its fast delivery times, this speedy expectation has come at the cost of its workers’ health. For instance, Candice Dixon, an Amazon worker in Southern California’s Inland Empire warehouse, had to scan one new item every 11 seconds in order to meet Amazon’s quota, otherwise she would get written up, according to the Atlantic. After working the warehouse position for two months, a doctor determined that Dixon had bulging discs, a back sprain, joint inflammation and chronic pain, which were “100 percent due to her job,” according to the article. Not only are these one-day delivery times detrimental to workers’ health, they take a toll on air quality as well, with air pollution spiking during Black Friday and Cyber Monday due to the excess

number of diesel trucks and ships exporting retail goods. Black Friday and Cyber Monday also promote overconsumption, and sustainability experts have deemed the culture around these sales as harmful for both the planet’s environmental well -being and the well-being of humanity. Wealthy nations already produce a massive carbon footprint, and they grow even larger on these consumer “holidays.” The footprint left by each individual item can be traced to its production, packaging (including what is used in shipping), delivery of the item, and the waste of products that are being replaced. The carbon footprint created by Black Friday and Cyber Monday will most likely outlast the consumption of the items bought. Justifying such a wasteful holiday, regardless of the manner in which one partakes in the holy day of consumerism, comes from a place of selfishness, where one neglects the planet in order to fulfill their own righteousness. This self-righteousness takes place in the form of satisfaction in getting great deals on holiday gifts, or the pleasure felt in patiently waiting all year in order to buy yourself a new phone at a measly 10% discount. Jumping for joy over the cheaper prices slapped onto the latest electronic goods, bargain clothes and general consumer products does not rationalize Americans’ gluttonous consumption during Black Friday weekend. If people continue to partake in this disgusting representation of America’s hard-on for wasteful consumption, the world will quickly run out of its resources, all because “Karen” wanted to get a new blender. This holiday season, leave the stuffing to the turkey and stop overstuffing your pockets and homes with unnecessary products.


It’s Thanksgiving day, and after stuffing one’s face, that happy half-delirious food coma is making it difficult to do just about anything. Thanks to the evolution of Black Friday, no one needs to worry about staying up until 3 a.m. just to be the first in line for that brand new TV. Instead, snuggle in with a blanket and stream corny holiday movies to your heart’s content because the ease and commodity of technology have transformed this consumerism holiday for the better. And with technology taming the insane nature of Black Friday, people can get back to doing what’s important during the holidays — spending time with those who are important. Black Friday doesn’t have the most wholesome of origin stories. The term Black Friday was originally applied to the crash of the U.S. gold market in 1869, caused by the get-rich scheme of two notoriously ruthless men.. The phrase was later used in the 1950s by Philadelphia police to describe chaotic shoppers who stormed the city just before the annual Army-Navy football game. However, retailers in the late 1980s found a way to turn it around, and made Black Friday a time when businesses could finally make a profit while people enjoy themselves by saving some money. Now, it’s become a phrase used for people who are ready to drop that cash on well-deserved splurges. If that’s not poetic justice, then who knows what is. Better yet, the holiday has taken another turn in the last decade, cleaning up on its obvious faults, which may or may not include: raging shoppers, insensitive and rude behavior toward employees, and, quite frankly, an overwhelming sense of selfishness that reminds everyone that humans can be evil. But that’s only behavior noted from my childhood

memories of Black Friday. Online shopping has removed the element of immediacy from Black Friday, relieving some of its chaotic nature. When Cyber Monday was introduced in 2005, it brought with it the idea that Black Friday sales could last more than a single day. As a result, retailers are able to focus more on branding so that sales are extended beyond the holiday itself, providing numerous opportunities to get good deals both in-store and online. According to CNN, people in the U.S. spend $7.4 billion on Black Friday and $4.2 billion on Thanksgiving Day, meaning that the mania of sales continues, but it isn’t more so online than in store. In recent years, big retailers have regained their lost touch and are catering more to the whims of shoppers to better serve their Black Friday experiences. For instance, retailers recognize that shoppers want to still get their things as soon as possible, and are modifying accordingly. To accommodate for their anticipated increase in online orders in 2018, Target offered free two-day shipping for all orders. In 2017, Amazon offered iPhone users the chance to use augmented reality to see how the product would look in their home. The days of waiting all night for retail sales are over. It is time for people to channel their inner Oprah, shop to their heart’s content, and buy gifts for family and friends who have made the last year special. As the winter holidays are fast approaching, don’t spend unnecessary time shopping at the mall or waiting in line to buy gifts. The internet is not going away any time soon, so neither is online shopping. Just open up the computer that’s within arms reach and click away on the Cyber Monday deals that are far too tempting to ignore.



6 Sports


Hardships did not deter cross country star physical education class. Donning shoes that were unfit for running, Huerta stunned her friends and teacher with an under six-minute mile. Huerta can recount the story vividly able to recall the sensations she felt in the moment. “I actually just ran it for P.E. and I remember they were just checkered slip-on like Airwalk or Vans, and I can almost remember the feeling of the burning of my throat too,” Huerta said. Not long after that came Huerta’s initiation into the world of cross-country and track and field in her sophomore year at La Mirada High School. While there was initial resistance from those close to her, Huerta was undeterred, fueled with a hope that running could provide her opportunities that weren’t open before. “When I started running, everyone was like, ‘Are you sure you want to do that? Like, shouldn’t you focus on school.’ And I’m like, ‘Actually, I think this is going to be my way to get into school,’” Huerta said. “My only goal was to find an outlet as a guide to help me get into college.” However, the reality of the situation proved to be much more difficult than Huerta imagined. La Mirada High School didn’t participate in the higher profile races, which meant that fewer eyes would be on her. Despite Huerta’s success in the events she competed in, she was met with only generic recruiting letters that didn’t offer anything meaningful in terms of a scholarship. But, Huerta’s fortunes and outlook changed when she was contacted by CSUF women’s cross-country head coach John

Samantha Huerta’s financial struggles were not a roadblock towards her becoming an athlete. DANIEL BRITO Staff Writer

BILLY HUYNH Asst. Editor

There isn’t much that Samantha Huerta hasn’t accomplished in her time at Cal State Fullerton on the cross-country and track and field team. The senior holds several school records and was the first Titan ever to place first for women’s 1,500 meters at the Big West Track and Field Championship. In 2019, Huerta helped lead women’s cross-country to its first ever conference championship, adding to her impressive resumè. For Huerta, a conference championship was particularly gratifying because of where the program was when she first stepped foot on campus. “Being able to win our first-ever cross-country championship is really exciting and so rewarding because I was with this program when it was trying not to get last in the conference,” Huerta said. However, the CSUF athlete’s journey has not always been filled with triumphs. For much of her childhood, Huerta and her family lived paycheck to paycheck. It was these circumstances that made running an option for Huerta. “I started running kind of like on a whim, you know, because we didn’t have money so sports was never really an option for me,” Huerta said. One of Huerta’s first memorable experiences with running came in middle school in her


Samantha Huerta running during the Big West championship on Nov. 2 in Riverside.

Elders. “I think when I realized that I could actually make something of running was when Elders reached out to me. I didn’t have any personal contact between coaches until he reached out to me,” Huerta said.

It would be a fruitful partnership for both parties one that has seen a conference championship and several individual honors. “I eventually did my official visit here and I realized I want to be here with this school. I want to be with the program that saw


to plan.

Dec 3:

Brass Ensembles

Dec 7:

Men’s Basketball: Sac State vs. CSUF

Dec 13:

Last Day of Classes

Dec 15:

Deck the Hall

Dec 21:

First Day of Winter Session




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Daily Sudoku: Tue 19-Nov-2019

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(c) Daily Sudoku Ltd 2019. All rights reserved.


4 (c) Daily Sudoku Ltd 2019. All rights reserved.


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8 9 1 3 2 4 7 6 5 4 3 6 8 7 5 2 1 9 7 5 2 9 6 1 8 4 3 Daily Sudoku: Tue 19-Nov-2019

(c) Daily Sudoku Ltd 2019. All rights reserved.

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Dreams are one way for your subconscious to send messages to your conscious. Your movement through life is so fast, there’s not much time


what I’m capable of and saw my worth early on before I even started running seriously fast times,” Huerta said. Being at CSUF has also proven to be beneficial for Huerta, who has developed off the track in addition to her prowess on it.

Calling time out occasionally is a perfectly acceptable strategy. Stepping back enables you to reestablish your equilibrium prior to making another pass at justifying your position on an important matter.

Keep an open mind and you might discover a path to your success that was previously overgrown. Your current enthusiasm prompts you to boldly explore the unknown, partly to inspire your fans.

Smooth operations convey the message that you’re traveling on the right path. All is well whenever events flow easily and the expectations of others are clearly understood.

The silliest things can make you smile today. From goofy giggles to belly laughs, sometimes others come up with outrageous ideas too bizarre to be taken seriously.

Cut everyone a bit of slack today and allow others to be on a different page if that’s where they are. Confusion arrives when people do not understand each other’s plans.

Several new influences encourage you to look to the future with a sense of excited anticipation. While your first inclination might be to accomplish a domestic project, think outside the box to get it done. You may be an honorary first responder today, acting spontaneously while others hesitate for various reasons. Someone might seem upset with you, but chances are their resentment stems from their jealousy. Your unwavering sense of hope doesn’t flag in the face of hard facts and bitter truths. In fact, interchanges with coworkers yield a variety of promising projects.

So many ideas, so little time. There’s no shortage of minutes; there are the same number today as there were yesterday. What is changing is how you look at the world. Your astute perceptions add an urgent sense of clarity today, and you know what needs to be done. Harmonious alignments inspire your mindset as you take an appraisal of your finances. Progress happens with one step forward. Caution often makes sense, but taking a chance creates movement where once it was stagnant.

very hard


Sports 7

TUESDAY DECEMBER 3, 2019 “Huerta’s grown up the past four years as a student-athlete handling different situations. I’ve seen her develop as a leader and take the younger girls underneath her wing,” said Marques Barosso, associate head coach of the track and field program. Huerta’s said her story of success despite her upbringing still comes as a surprise to her. “I would never imagine being here where I’m at or at the level that I’m at in like a million years,” Huerta said. It’s a story that her teammates and friends have come to admire. “I see that it’s something kind of inspirational to look at. I mean stories like that help other people who are in similar situations. Seeing that she can come from something like that and still be successful,” said Jacob Smith, cross-country and track and field runner. As her time at CSUF nears its end, the senior has found herself reflecting on her running career

and her plans after college. Just as she is on the track, Huerta is prepared for every possibility, including the prospect of not racing again once her time concludes at CSUF. Huerta said she hopes to pursue a masters in strength and conditioning in kinesiology. Over the summer, she had an internship at the fire authority in Irvine, which opened her eyes to a possible career path helping first responders. If given the opportunity, the senior is more than willing to continue her running career after CSUF. However, she understands that her time at the university can never be replicated. “I know running is not something that’s going to carry me through life. I’m always going to do it for the love of the sport, but it will never be the same as it is now,” Huerta said. “I’m not going to be disappointed if I stop running. I’ve had an amazing experience here and I can’t ask for anything better.”

MATT BROWN / CSF ATHLETICS Sarah Hollis, Trinity Ruelas and Samantha Huerta (from left to right) holding up their awards after the Big West championship.


Identify where Tuffy is in the photo and message any of the Daily Titan’s social media platforms, @thedailytitan, with the location and your full name for a chance to win!

$2 0 Last Week’s WINNER

Where do you think Tuffy is?

Teryanne Nguyen Last Week’s Location: The Gastronome

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Equal parts chill and hype.


-Eliza Green, Photo Editor.




8 Sports


Titans reinforced through 2020 recruits

Cal State Fullerton baseball add eight new recruits on National Signing Day. JOHN CORONA Asst. Editor

Cal State Fullerton baseball officially added eight new faces to the 2020-21 roster this season as recruits signed their National Letters of Intent starting mid-November. Head coach Rick Vanderhook acquired a complete group with two infielders, one outfielder, four pitchers and one two-way threat. Some players were attracted late in the process, but the group is well-decorated, commands a physical presence and has expressed consistent talent as well as half of the class exhibiting exemplary academic achievement. Namely, Jake Vargas and Tristan Gomes were recognized as members of the National Honor Society, Christian Rodriguez maintained a 3.5 GPA in back-toback years, as well as JT Navyac achieving multiple years as an Honor Roll student. “We’ve had JT Navyac, Nathan Nankil, James Wambold and Rodriguez committed for a while so the class was foundationally strong already,” Vanderhook said in a press release. The biggest concern for this group seems to be ensuring they can learn the Titan way and develop. “All eight of these players have the ability to be AllBig West performers. This is a group of talented players that will rank as one of the tops in the Big West conference,” Vanderhook said in the press release. Adding to the defense is Brendan Bobo, the 6-foot2-inch” 200 pound infielder from Harbor High School, who played under Joe Allegri. “Brendan is a left-hand hitting middle infielder with great athleticism and a strong arm. He has the natural actions that will allow him to stay in the middle infield, and possesses big time power and


Coach Rick Vanderhook looking onto the field from the dugout during an 11-4 loss to Pepperdine on April 26.

bat speed. Brendan’s best days are out in front of him. He comes from a baseball family as his dad was a catcher and first baseman in the Angels Organization,” said Assistant Coach Sergio Brown in the press release. Fellow infielder Gomes reflects a similar build, 6-feet-5-inches, 205 pounds, but comes all the way from Millard West High School in Omaha, Nebraska. The three-sport athlete lettered in football as the quarterback and basketball as a forward, as well as being named All-State in baseball and basketball for his academic and athletic efforts two years in a row. Gomez possesses qualities that assistant coach Sergio Brown is excited to see him bring to the field. In Nebraska, Gomez was his high school’s quaterback and in a state that is near freezing Brown said he’s excited to see Gomez’s maximized skills from different sports and leadership qualities. “We can’t wait to see him develop as he commits all his time to baseball next year. There is a

special baseball player waiting to explode and it’s going to happen at Goodwin Field,” Brown said in a press release. Nankil rounds out the defensive side of the ball outside of the pitchers at outfielder. Ranked 40th in the state and 9th outfielder by Perfect Game, Brown noted his abilities. “He’s not only one of the best outfielders in California, but one of the top outfielders in the country. He can really run, possesses a great arm, hits for average and has gap power. We’re excited to see him running down balls in the gaps at Goodwin Field. He can do a lot of things on a baseball field that can help our team win games,” Brown said in the press release. The bullpen acquired right-handed pitchers Vargas, Wambold, Rodriguez and Wyatt Johnson. Johnson is fresh off a CIF Champion season where he was named CIF Player of the Year and Empire League Pitcher of the Year.

“Wyatt is an athletic strike thrower who comes at hitters with a solid three pitch mix. He can really move the ball around to both sides of the plate, and can spin it with above average feel,” Brown said in a press release. “His changeup is advanced and he’s highly competitive. He knows how to win, as he demonstrated this ability by leading Kennedy High School to the 2019 CIF Championship.” But Johnson is not the only incoming player with hardware. Wambold was named 2019 Perfect Game Preseason All-American 2019 WWBA 17u West National Champion, and earned the title 2019 Pitcher of the Year under former Titan All-American Darric Merrell at Temecula Valley High School. Competition is another aspect accounted for, and Rodriguez brings that to the table earning First-Team All Trinity League at Orange Lutheran High School three consecutive years. “Christian has a chance to be a power arm, and has the stuff to be a weekend rotation guy.

Our future on the mound looks bright as Christian will continue to develop into one of the top arms in the country,” Brown said in the press release. Vargas also adds to the young core with three years of First Team All League (Camino Real) and Second Team AllCIF Division 1 honors. Completing the list of newly signed Titans is dual threat Navyac. The right-handed pitcher and shortstop comes from across the Pacific as the No. 9 ranked player in Hawaii. “He’s a live-bodied kid that plays with a lot of energy, and his natural athleticism allows him to easily transition to the mound and epitomize a true pitcher. He’s the same athlete on the mound that commands three pitches with a fastball that sits in the upper 80s and has topped off at 93,” Brown said in a press release. The 2020 Titans Baseball season tickets are currently on sale. The season opener is scheduled in Palo Alto versus Stanford Feb. 14 through Feb.16.

Awards: Four players collected honors


Atlanta Primus celebrating a goal against Northridge in the Big West Tournament final on Nov. 10. CONTINUED FROM


The Titans had the most players achieving All-West Region Team accolades. Hawaii and UC Santa Barbara each had three players make the teams, while Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Cal State Northridge each had one player. The West Region is made up of 38 universities from the Big West, Big Sky, Summit League and Western Athletic VISIT US AT: DAILYTITAN.COM

conferences. Forty-two players were selected for All-West team accolades, 12 of them from the Big West Conference. Day was the only underclassman to make the First Team. Bennett and Primus were tied with goals in the season and led the team with 12. The pair were also in the top three players for assists in the Big West as Primus had the most assists from all Big West players during the regular season with 13, and fellow

Titan Haley Brown was behind her with nine. Bennett rounded out the top three with seven assists, tying with Shaelan Murison from UC Santa Barbara. The production from the Titan offense was crucial to landing on the All-West team. Day’s inclusion in the AllWest team was thanks to her consistency and her part in the Titan defense that only allowed one goal per game all season. Day was named Big West

Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 14 as she allowed one goal in two games the week she won, and scored the game-winning goal against UC Riverside. The freshman defender had two game-winning goals, the one against UCR and in the Big West Tournament Final against CSUN. Day was not the only defender to make an All-West Team as Lindahl joined her as a member of the Third Team because of

her defensive work. The two formed a stout defensive partnership, recording11 shutouts on the season, and allowed a total of four goals in conference play. These players were instrumental in CSUF’s plans as they were able to win the Big West championship this year after ending in last place the season before. It marked the first time a team has ever accomplished such a feat in the conference.





Lifestyle 9



Scorsese’s latest film is criminally immaculate

The highly anticipated film featured famous mob actors such as De Niro and Pesci. KASON CLARK Editor

From Martin Scorsese, the director of great films spanning five decades, including “Taxi Driver,” “Raging Bull,” “Goodfellas” and “The Departed,” comes the epic crime film, “The Irishman.” The film follows real-life gangster Frank Sheeran and his career over the span of several decades. Throughout the movie, audience members see him interact with labor union president Jimmy Hoffa and the Bufalino crime family. Robert De Niro plays Frank Sheeran, the eponymous Irishman, in his first film with Scorsese since 1995’s “Casino.” Another Scorsese regular is Joe Pesci, who is in his first live-action performance since 2010. Al Pacino plays Jimmy Hoffa in his first collaboration with Scorsese. The supporting cast is rounded out by Harvey Keitel, Ray Romano, Bobby Cannavale and Anna Paquin. The length of this film is one of its biggest talking points with a running time of three and a half hours. Even though the film moves at a slow pace and there is not a strong tension in the plot until the last third of it, the film is never boring. Scorsese recreates history to create an immersive world spanning 50 decades. With the costumes and music, it feels as though viewers are transported to that time. While the film mostly earns its gargantuan runtime, that does not mean there is some fat that could be trimmed. There are a couple subplots that feel a little superfluous and some scenes could probably be cut down a few minutes for brevity. While the film may be a journey for some, the destination will be rewarding for everyone as the last third of the film is its most powerful. Everything



comes to a head, both viscerally and emotionally. The film’s most tense sequence occurs as viewers wonder whether a character will go through with actions that viewers don’t want to see them execute. The emotions all come together as we see the character make his decision and see how the ramifications of his choice affect the rest of his life. The final shot of this film is also one of the best of the year and quickly becomes the most heartbreaking as it calls back to a previous scene and character. The film used de-aging technology to make De Niro and Pesci look decades younger in several scenes. At times, the computer-generated imagery on De Niro’s face was noticeable and a little distracting. As the film went along however, audience members get used to it. Also, the film allows the characters to age gradually, so there are few moments where the

difference feels jarring. “The Irishman” is also historically dense and deals with several historical events, touching on the Bay of Pigs Invasion, John F. Kennedy’s election and assassination, and most importantly, strife within the labor unions. If viewers are not up to speed on their history, the storyline may be a little hard to follow at times as the film does not go to great lengths to explain them. Despite the film featuring criminals as characters, it still has a heart and that heart comes in the form of Jimmy Hoffa. Pacino’s performance and the script imbue the character with pathos. Hoffa has an endearing love for ice cream and is Frank’s only associate to make a connection with Frank’s daughter Peggy. He is a charismatic leader who wins the favor of the trucking union and becomes its leader. Hoffa is the most moral of the main characters of the film; he just happens

to associate with the Mafia. Hoffa’s arrival about a third of the way into the film is when “The Irishman” really takes off and we see Frank’s friendship with Hoffa develop. The film uses their relationship to examine the themes of friendship and loyalty. Despite being a criminal, Hoffa trusts Frank and sees him as a friend, developing a bond stronger than any that Frank has in his life. So when friction between Hoffa and some of Frank’s associates begin to develop, Frank’s loyalty is split between his close friend and those that made Frank into the man he is. An associate of Frank’s is Russell Bufalino, played by Pesci. Pesci famously won an Oscar for his performance as the hot-headed Tommy DeVito from “Goodfellas,” but his performance in this film is much more understated. As Tommy DeVito, Pesci was angry and quick to violence as a Mafia underling. In “The

Irishman” however, he plays the Mafia boss Bufalino with more restraint, but he still has an intimidating presence that makes characters not want to cross him. De Niro takes an interesting approach to his portrayal of Frank Sheeran. Through most of the film, De Niro plays it mostly restrained with little emotion. He is not wooden, just unemotional. He does this to embody the sociopathic nature of Frank’s work and lifestyle. Frank does his job killing people with little remorse. When someone tells him to do something, he does it, no questions asked. As the film progresses and he develops his friendship with Hoffa and suffers the consequences of his actions, De Niro shines. He captures the regret and pain that Frank finally feels near the film’s end, giving his character the pathos that he had not had throughout most of the film, cementing this performance as De Niro’s best in years. A complaint that some have thrown at Scorsese’s films such as “Goodfellas,” is that they glorify the gangster lifestyle to make it look cool. Scorsese seems to use “The Irishman” as a response to those critics as this film does anything but glorify that lifestyle. For Frank, being a gangster is not cool, it’s just a job for him. He even compares it to serving in the army. The audience also sees the consequences of Frank’s lifestyle. We see how it alienates his family and causes him to lose valuable friendships. If we were in Frank’s shoes by the film’s end, we would have to ask ourselves, “Was it really worth it?” While this film is not an exact Scorsese’s masterpiece, it is a magnum opus of his, a culmination of his work on mobster films and his work with De Niro and Pesci over the past four decades. “The Irishman” may be a journey, but it is one worth taking to see how far Scorsese has matured as a filmmaker. The film is currently playing in select theaters in Los Angeles and Orange County, but viewers who feel like they will need a bathroom break can watch it at home on Netflix.


10 Lifestyle


Lights: Music and action under the mistletoe


Saxophonist Robert Verdi played a collection of Christmas classics. CONTINUED FROM


Students from Orange Lutheran and Orange High School sang Christmas carols at the candlelight event.


The festivities marked the 50th anniversary of First Lady Patricia Nixon’s opening of the White House for candlelight tours each holiday season. Outside of the museum, six detailed train layouts were on display featuring a space-themed Rocket Railroad in the Christmas model train show, “On Track to the Moon and Back.” Train tracks circled around intricate winter wonderlands that rivaled “Frozen.” Before guests entered the museum to enjoy a host of activities inside, students from the Orange Lutheran and Orange High School choir sang a selection of songs and Christmas carols including “Sleigh Ride.” Toddlers and their families lined up to meet old Saint Nick in the Oval Office to pose for photos and confess their Christmas wishes as a cappella carolers entertained people awaiting their appointments with Santa Claus. Cal State Fullerton alumna Pamela Harrell took on the role of Mrs. Claus for the first time on Monday night. When Harrell isn’t at the North Pole, she acts as a docent for several historical sites across Orange County, such as the Brea Olinda Oil Museum. Between greeting families and admiring Patricia Nixon’s gingerbread house on display, Harrell read “Twas the Night Before Christmas” to families in attendance inside the Cabinet Room. The technical theater and acting graduate noticed the positive response from not only younger listeners, but their parents as well. “There are adults in there and they really enjoy it too, we always have the big kid inside of us,” Harrell said. As children partook in activities in the East Room, including crafting ornaments, sugar cookies and writing appreciation cards for servicemen and women, adults gathered in the dining room to feast on the makings of a charcuterie board with cheese, crackers, grapes,


Children and their parents lined up at the Nixon Library’s Oval Office to take pictures with Santa Claus and ask him what they wanted for Christmas.

cold cuts and wine. Musician Robert Verdi jazzed up the night with his solo saxophone performance that included famed Christmas tunes like “Christmas Time is Here” and “Blue Christmas.” In addition to all the activities, guests could take a walk through the Nixon Library’s multiple exhibits, which detailed historical events that took place during the Nixon administration including the Vietnam War, “Apollo 11: One Giant Leap for Mankind” and “Pat Nixon: A Life of Service.” “Christmas is primarily a reminder of the gift we have that comes from God, the gift of love, the gift of hope that permeates the darkness of all of our lives, and it’s a way to celebrate it through tradition, through festival, through various kinds of celebration. It reminds us that there are good things in the world,” Gonzales said. Lynne and Gary Forkle, who are members of the Richard


One of the many activities at the candlelight event was writing appreciation cards to servicemen and women.

Nixon Library and have lived in Yorba Linda for over 35 years, came to the event for the first time Monday.

To Lynne, Christmas is “all about family and coming together, putting differences aside, hope, peace and joy.”

The next candlelight evening will be held next Thursday, Dec. 12 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Nixon Library.

Success. Starts. Here.

Winter session begins January 6



Lifestyle 11




We all scream for Disney’s ice queen Though there is no more snow, this film is not something to let go. KIM PHAM JESSICA BENDA Editors

Six years ago, Disney’s “Frozen” took the world by storm. This year, Anna and Elsa have returned to break box office records once more, though sequels have a reputation to disappoint, “Frozen 2” lives up to the legacy of its predecessor. Set three years after the events of the first film, the story’s fictional town of Arendelle is thriving, but is sent into chaos when Elsa is enticed by a haunting voice that calls to her. She and her sister Anna, with the addition of love interest Kristoff, comedic relief Olaf and reindeer Sven, seek its source in the Enchanted Forest, where they unravel the past and discover themselves in the process. Anna, voiced by Kristen Bell, and Elsa, voiced by Idina Menzel, are the happy sister duo who are a sight for sore eyes. After overcoming Elsa’s trauma with her power in the previous movie, they became closer than ever and fans expected nothing less. Little did Anna know that she would have to fight for Elsa’s companionship once more as they go on to face trials they never saw coming. One of the movie’s smartest moves is the choice to grow with its audience. Though the first film was clearly geared toward younger audiences, its sequel takes a darker turn to match its aging viewers. As Olaf, voiced by Josh Gad, sings in the film, “And you all look a little bit older.” “Frozen 2” does exceptionally well at keeping the magic and whimsicality of the original while sprinkling in more mature themes. It pushes its characters to the brink, exploring grief and


hopelessness. In one particular scene, a character sings a devastating ballad after being pushed to her lowest point — a number that’s sure to hit home for anyone who has suffered loss. A Disney movie wouldn’t be the same without music. The original film is famous for its songs, written by married musical geniuses Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, who returned to compose for the sequel — as did composer Christophe Beck, who crafted the score for this film as well. The film is brimming with memorable numbers like Elsa’s thrilling “Into the Unknown” and Olaf’s comedic “When I Am Older.” At the chilling climax of the film, Elsa sings “Show Yourself.” It’s a power ballad that rivals the iconic “Let it Go,” which has been the anthem for “Frozen” fans around the globe. A highlight of “Frozen 2” is how it flips the tables on Disney’s traditional gender roles with the character of Kristoff, voiced by Jonathan Groff. Unlike the princesses of the past who pine over their lovers,

Kristoff is the one chasing after Anna throughout the film. His storyline consists of him trying to find the perfect time to propose and talking about his feelings — a plot that’s normally reserved for female love interests. His starring number, “Lost in the Woods,” is about his love for Anna and whether it’s reciprocated. Kristoff is an exceptional role model for young boys. He talks about his feelings, tells Anna “My love is not fragile,” and acts as a helping hand instead of a rescuer. It’s a far cry from the normal mold of Disney princes. Continuing from similar themes in the first film, “Frozen 2” allows Kristoff to show both kids and adults that being emotional and empathetic doesn’t cancel out masculinity and strength, they go hand in hand. If there was anything to take away from his role, it’s that boys don’t have to be afraid to break out in song if that meant being more honest and comfortable with their emotions. At the heart of “Frozen 2” are its characters and their


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relationships. Anna and Elsa’s love for each other as sisters is once again at the forefront of the film, but unlike the first one where they are separated for the majority of the movie, audiences get to see them interact in daily life. From a normal activity like playing charades to saving Arendelle from going undersea, Anna and Elsa’s bond never wavers. While they never see eyeto-eye, their love for each other is what drives the film’s plot. Even Kristoff is to be jealous of how much Anna is willing to do for her sister. Anna and Elsa’s relationship still isn’t perfect, but that’s what makes it so appealing. As they’re thrown into obstacles, they fight just as real sisters would. Though Anna’s fierce love and loyalty to Elsa is unmatched, she still becomes upset with her when Elsa tries to protect her. It’s the imperfections of their sisterhood that makes it such a human one. The most heart-wrenching parts of the film must be attributed to Elsa and Anna’s discovery of how and why their

parents had passed. Upon finding their parent’s wrecked ship, the sisters learn of the truths behind their parents’ mission at sea. At this point, not only were Anna and Elsa devastated, but so were the fans who had theories that “Frozen” had a connection to “Tarzan.” Another unforgettable and heart-breaking scene has to go to Anna’s hopelessness after losing Olaf. As if Olaf’s dissipation didn’t cause enough suffering, Anna was now alone, cold, trapped and no longer had her sister by her side. Even so, her resilience shone through as she moved forward, determined to do “The Next Right Thing,” a lesson every viewer can learn from her. The plot of “Frozen 2” did a great job at sticking with a theme — water holds memories. As Elsa arrived closer to the voice singing to her, answers about her powers and her parents were revealed through ice sculptures acting out memories from the past. This kept the audience on the edge of the seat as they pieced together the fragments with every discovery the sisters made. Not only did “Frozen 2” have a storyline that filled plot holes from the previous film, the animation team made noticeable improvements to the visuals as well. Elsa’s solo moments, whether it was her running into the sea or being surrounded by the elements, were sights to admire. Even the change in her physical appearance was reason for excitement as fans are already aware that when Elsa changes her hair, the climax begins. “Frozen 2” gave viewers everything they wanted and more. The queen of ice became the queen of all, and the once naive little girl stepped into the throne that was once her mother’s. Though the snow had stopped falling in Arendelle, everything else fell into place for Anna and Elsa as they continue to protect their family, kingdom and the land beyond them.

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