GLENDALE COMMUNITY COLLEGE'S OFFICIAL MAGAZINE
A project of the Journalism Department at Glendale Community College
VEGAN DIET AND THE WRONG WAY TO DO IT P. 36
SCHOOL VIOLENCE THE MENTAL, EMOTIONAL,
AND SOCIAL HEALTH CARE RAMIFICATIONS P. 38
ADDERALL ADDICTION ARE COLLEGE STUDENTS HARMING THEMSELVES?
HOMELESSNESS AND HOW IT AFFECTS US
AND MUCH MORE! SUGGESTED DONATION: $8
MAGAZINE STAFF PUBLISHER Reut Cohen Schorr email@example.com (818) 240-1000 ext. 5214 SENIOR DESIGNERS Tatiana Pak Reut Cohen Schorr SENIOR PRODUCTION Eduardo Carreño Tatiana Pak Alin Pasokhian Anahit Sahakyan Yesenia Thomson ILLUSTRATORS Tobias Graves-Morris Anahit Sahakyan Matthew Spencer EDITORIAL STAFF Jenilee Borek Samantha Decker Michael Dumansky Carmen Fernandez Afroditi Kontos Chieko Kubo Saryana Nazarian James Ojano-Simonsson Selena Reyes Samuel Reynolds Hayk Rostomyan Elone Safaryan Marian Sahakyan Eisho Shiroma CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Rajeel Mustansar
El Vaquero is a proud member of Journalism Association of Community Colleges California News Publishers Association
Letter from the Publisher Reut Cohen Schorr When I was first hired as a full-timer at Glendale Community College, I was determined to bring back a magazine, The GCC Insider. In the Summer of 2018 and Fall of 2019, students spent their free time on campus assisting me in production instead of going to the beach to enjoy their last days of summer. That’s because they cared about the project at hand, which was to create a one-of-a-kind magazine to showcase student work from the Journalism Department. Historically, journalism programs teach students how to write for magazines, but instructors have very little time, and bandwidth, to create an actual publication. Training takes up free time, breaks, and weekends. We were committed. On a personal note, the Summer 2018 was also a time that I got very sick and was hospitalized, so when we published our magazine and distributed it around campus that October, it was a personal triumph for my students and for me. In the process of bringing back our magazine, GCC students learned more about design, copyediting, illustration, and editorial decision-making. Our project wasn't a one-time effort. This time around, we wanted to go bigger. Show an even better product! And so we did. I spent much of my personal time and break in between completing a doctoral degree and planning my wedding this past winter to work on this unique project. A showcase like this helps aspiring journalists and producers for the foreseeable future. This magazine is physically larger in terms of size. It has much more varied reporting than ever before. You will also note that the production quality has improved, boasting better graphics and visuals, thanks to the hard work of our students and our commitment to excellence. GCC’s Journalism Program is firmly on the map and producing professional publications. We’re proving that a community college program is capable of producing four-year university quality work and beyond, and students are paying a fraction of the cost to learn these invaluable skills. This magazine is just one important facet of the work we are doing to educate the college and community at large about programs, people, policy, and so much more. We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed thinking about the content, art, and overall themes. We look forward to our next showcase, and thank you for your continued support.
Reut Cohen Schorr Journalism Professor & Publisher
SUGGESTED DONATION: $8
GLENDALE COMMUNITY COLLEGE'S OFFICIAL MAGAZINE
'SLEEPING UNDER THE STARS'
'FLYING WHILE MUSLIM'
'LIAM'S LIFE AND LEGACY'
Marian Sahakyan interviews a GCC student who sleeps in her car and has big dreams p. 5
Rajeel Mustansar writes about what it feels like to be racially profiled p. 14
Anahit Sahakyan interviews parents who lost their child because of a drunk driver p. 17
Photo by Tatiana Pak
Contents A Glendale College Showcase | Volume X
Sleeping Under the Stars, by Marian Sahakyan, p. 5
Liam's Life & Legacy, Anahit Sahakyan, p. 17
"M" is for Mona, by A. Heimer, p. 8
Up in Smoke: Pot is Popular, But Still Illegal, Afroditi Kontos, p. 20
The Contemporary F Word, by Tatiana Pak, p. 11 Flying While Muslim, by Rajeel Mustansar, p. 14 Women in STEAM spotlight: Dominique Butler, Marian Sahakyan, p. 19
Zero Waste, Carmen Fernandez, p. 31 School Violence & the Mental Health Conundrum, Jenilee Borek, p. 38
Adderall Abuse in College Students, by Alin Pasokhian, p. 22
Wine 101, by Chieko Kubo, p. 29
FOOD & DIET
Diet Responsibly, by Elone Safaryan, 36
Staying Active, by Eduardo Carreño, p. 26
Satire: University Legalizes Bribes to Combat Cheating Scandal, by Samantha Decker, p. 33
48 Hours in L.A. on a Budget, by Eisho Shiroma, p. 34
ith a strong presence, she walks across campus, a motorcycle helmet under her arm, backpack in her hand and a smile to conceal her reality. Like a chameleon, she fits right in in any given situation and any environment. It takes a little “getting to know” you, however, to understand that her daily experiences are nothing ordinary. While her optimism prompts her to call it “sleeping under the stars,” standard dictionaries and people would define her situation differently. She is homeless. Her name is Leah Valdivia Bloomfield, a STEAM student at Glendale College. As a first-generation Nicaraguan-American, she falls into just about any societal statistic related to Latin women and their struggle for survival in this country. Her story is marked with toxic familial conditions and unsuccessful romantic relationships, and at one point needing to step it up and support her mother financially and physically. She describes, in harrowing detail, sexual abuse in the workplace. She has seen it all. Two heavy traffic collisions in the short span of two years have left her with nearly
Illustration by Tobias Graves-Morris
$100,000 in medical debt, causing a drop in credit scores, which in its turn strains her already-complicated path. She says that these experiences have contributed to the reality that she no longer has a place to call home. The 20-something-year-old explains that at some point “personal responsibility” led her to leaving these mentally draining situations and enabled her to choose to live “independently,” at least for a while. “You have to pick your battles and for me, I couldn’t handle it anymore. I was hungry for more for myself,” she says. “I knew I can do this.” Leah says that a lot of her experiences and survival would not have been possible without the kindness of others. She says that although situations get tough, “really tough,” she stresses, the most important thing that one can do is to stay grounded and to be okay with talking about it. That’s the only way to break the stigma, she opines. “It felt hopeless for a while, but you can’t blame the world for your problems forever,” she says with a laugh. A study by Temple University and Wisconsin HOPE Lab states that more than a third of college students don’t have enough to eat. GCC
At least 36% say they are “housing insecure,” while another 9% of students report being homeless. Although we have many statistics indicating the student homeless population nationwide or event statewide, community colleges don’t have this information. It’s hard to aggregate and legal issues may factor into the why. One GCC professor, who asked for anonymity for herself and her students, explains that she has had students step up to explain their dire circumstances. “In a given academic year, I will encounter at least two students who confide in me that they don’t have a home,” according to the instructor. “Some of them don’t even understand that living in a motel and then alternating back to a car means that they are homeless. It really amplifies the importance of resources on campus, like the Food Pantry, and awareness campaigns that we do with CalFresh and SNAP. We have so many students who are struggling and they are here to try to better their lives.”
“You have to pick your battles and for me, I couldn’t handle it anymore. I was hungry for more for myself” Access Denied Homelessness isn’t just a threat to safety or health. It comes with a much larger scope of what one cannot do. Things like taking a daily shower, consuming fresh and healthy foods, and sleeping in a clean, comfortable setting are some of the things that homeless individuals struggle with. Leah says that taking care of her personal hygiene is one of her top priorities. It’s part of her “female identity” to feel and look good and presentable. As a result, she often
has to sign up for free trials at gyms and yoga studios, which enables her to use their showers. “I have to be cautious to not sweat, because I never know if I’ll be able to shower that day or the next,” Leah says.What about showering facilities for homeless individuals? Oftentimes, these accommodations don’t meet basic sanitary standards, even for those who are in desperate need. Leah says that she chooses not to use these facilities, as she is too afraid to catch foot fungus and other diseases that are common in these places. The consequences of not having a permanent re-sidency and therefore a home address, can also affect simple things like holding a library card, or signing up for credit cards and paying cell phone bills. In such circumstances, a post office box is simply not enough. Resources? Though the State of California provides its residents in need with multiple food and cash assistance programs. These programs have requirements of eligibility that can be confusing and burdening for most. Being over the age of 25, Leah is only eligible for CalFresh, the state’s food assistance program, which requires that the recipient is either a full-time student, currently enrolled in 12 units at a college, or works a minimum of 20 hours a week, none of which are her circumstances. Having to commute to Glendale from Los Angeles’ inner city everyday, Leah spends much of her time on the road, which results in an unstable schedule. As a result, she doesn’t work too many shifts. For the same reason, she doesn’t have a full-time position at school. With the lack of financial resources and the state of ‘being stuck,’ Leah uses her very-little financial aid from school to pay for living expenses. With the most recent financial aid check, she purchased an old van. It’s the closest thing to a roof over her head that she has. With Glendale not being a sanction city, which means that the city does not support homelessness, Leah cannot park her van near
the college. She even says that city busses collect homeless people from the streets of Glendale to transport them to Los Angeles, which is a ‘sanction’ for those without shelter. In the recent years, the idea of ‘van life’ has become an unconventional dream of the younger generations, causing a lot of conversation and debate. Those who volunteer to put money into living a simplistic lifestyle in their vans may have great things to say about the lifestyle. However, those like Leah, who do this out of despair, have more ‘real’ issues with it. “It gets very cold or very hot in the van, [as] it has no working air conditioning or heat. I battle the elements,” Leah comments. “I have no insurance on the van, which is illegal since it’s not registered ‘in-operational.’” In the state of California, in order to obtain registration on a vehicle, one must provide a proof of insurance, but Leah cannot do either, as she has yet to register the vehicle under her name. In the case that her van gets broken into or impounded, Leah will lose it all, until she gets it registered and insured under her own name. Then there are simple things like daily street sweeps and making sure that she is parked on the right side of the street, to avoid being cited. Though it provides the most basic needs of this student, it seems that the van life is not so dreamy anymore. What’s being done? California state Assemblymember Marc Berman, who represents 24th district, wrote and introduced AB-302. The bill aims to “authorize the governing board of a community college district to grant the use of college facilities or grounds for specified purposes. Existing law requires a community college campus that has shower facilities for student use to grant access, as specified, to those facilities to any homeless student who is enrolled in coursework, has paid enrollment fees, and is in good standing with the community college district, and requires the community college to determine a plan of action to implement this requirement.”
If the bill is passed into a law, this will help ease many of the problems of many students like Leah. Showering facilities, overnight parking and other advantages will be granted to these individuals.That, with other existing campus resources, like the Health Center, the Food for Thought Pantry and easy access to academic and personal counseling offered by the school, will make the educational goals of the less fortunate students on campus a little more bearable. Given that there is only a 13-mile distance between Skid Row and Rodeo Drive, one can only say that the city entails chaotic financial instability and “chronic homelessness.” Leah embodies a student population that is often overlooked and ignored, simply due to lack of representation and stories to tell. Her perseverance and tenacity have helped her form a positive outlook for the future. She hopes to complete college debtfree, after which she plants to become a botanist and a nutritionist. Leah’s case is of better nature than most, though many homeless students, however, have yet to find a platform to share their stories. She thought long and hard about using her name in this piece. In fact, just a few hours before sending our pages to the printer, Leah stopped by our newsroom. She decided to share her story, bravely, name and all. Lovely. In her 20’s. And doesn’t fit the traditional notion of what we think being homeless entails just by looking at her. Indeed, just because we don’t see it doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.
- MARIAN SAHAKYAN
'M' is for Mona Illustration by Anahit Sahakyan
ona Field, Glendale College’s beloved Political Science professor emeritus and prolific textbook author, spoke with El Vaquero about her career at GCC, as a board member and as president of the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD), and her current activities which include her work as copresident of the League of Women Voters (LWV). She is co-author of the textbook used in many California schools, “California Government and Politics Today,” and is a frequent speaker on local and state politics.
"I knew from the age of 15 that my goal in life was to teach at a community college."
A native Angeleno, Field will soon celebrate her 50th high school reunion at Hollywood High School. She has been a lifelong advocate of the community college system saying, “I loved the whole idea, first two years, skills, open to everybody and free! I knew from the age of 15 that my goal in life was to teach at a community college.” When she realized that goal in 1983, “I was in heaven,” she recalled. “My first office was a broom closet, literally.” Field told El Vaquero that she worked very hard to get ready for her tenure interview and was so over-prepared that the chair of the department told her that someone had complained that she must have been given the answers in advance. “I just really prepped,” she said. She retired after teaching Political Science and Sociology at GCC for 25 years and said that her only regret is “I was too busy with classes, faculty Guild meetings and political activism to sponsor a student club, which I would have loved to do.” Her deep understanding of politics and involvement with the dynamics of Guild meetings led to Field successfully running for a position on the board of the LACCD. She served on the board for 16 years, twice as president and now works at the LWV, a nonpartisan organization which helps to inform
people about issues, candidates and elections. El Vaquero got Field’s unique overview on some issues of interest to students: Asked why the school bookstore, cafeteria, and coffee shops are privatized, she explained that they once had been run by the school and in the case of the bookstore, the student government, but the cost of the school paying the wages, insurance and benefits was too much for GCC’s budget and that the cafeteria, for example, had been losing money. It was ultimately decided to privatize those businesses, freeing the school from responsibility and liability. As the coauthor of the textbook on California politics used in Political Science 101, one of the more reasonably-priced textbooks required at GCC, Field is very aware of the perennial student’s complaints about ridiculously over-inflated textbook prices. She explained that there is a law in Calif. that supports open resources and a movement for teachers to use open source, copyright-free material. She also pointed out that used books, e-books and rentals are often available through the bookstore, Amazon or other services online. While Field agreed there haven’t been enough major advancements in algebra from one year to the next to justify requiring a new math textbook, she said political textbooks do need to be periodically updated, and in the case of her textbook, she has no say regarding when that happens. Her publisher decides when to update based on their economic criteria, has the book prepared in India and then printed in the U.S. Explaining that political changes take place every two or three years, she said, “I beg the publisher, please let me update, but it’s not up to me. I’m a slave to a multinational corporation. El Vaquero asked Field why the word socialism has such a bad connotation in the U.S., while it is such a common concept in many European countries. Field said “the demonization of the word is nothing new and has been going on for a hundred years,” recalling the “Red Scare” and the historic Sacco and Vanzetti case from the 1920s. “American capitalism is very defensive about its role,” she said. She also pointed out that Bernie Sanders is a Democratic Socialist. When asked how to better inform voters about unknown candidates for the lesser understood positions most people don’t pay attention to on
the ballot, like judges, she said that one of the functions of the LWV is to provide information about the issues and candidates for all elections, which is available before the elections take place at: http://bit.ly/LWVWebsite El Vaquero asked her opinion of the idea of lifetime judgeships, as in the Supreme Court, Field said that California had one of the best judicial systems, though it has some drawbacks. She explained that the longest a judge can serve in Calif. is on the State Supreme Court, which is by gubernatorial appointment, with a term limit of 12 years before having to face a review. However, she pointed out that the Judicial review committee is only three people and said, “if they get two out of three, they’re a State Supreme Court judge, and you might say, whoa, at least for the U.S. Supreme Court they have to pass the whole Senate.” Field discussed with El Vaquero how young people can become more aware of and be more involved in politics and she suggested some of the ideas that came up when she had her classes brainstorm on the subject: sign or start petitions, participate in postcard parties, join an organization, find like-minded people and talk, join or start a school club, and getting news from reputable news sources instead of social media. She said that even people that are not citizens can participate in protests and mentioned that the multi-cultural center at GCC was also a great resource. Regarding young women who aspire to politics, Field said that there are various organizations such as Ignite (experienceignite.com), which help women to prepare for a political career. She pointed out that “politics is not a family-oriented thing” and that childcare is an issue with many female politicians, especially those who must travel regularly to Sacramento or Washington D.C. She recalled that while on the LACCD board she was lucky to only have to travel to downtown LA and that when faced with the childcare issue with her daughter, had help from her own mother and family. She mentioned another female politician whose husband took care of their children and house work, enabling her to devote herself to a political career. El Vaquero asked Field for her take on the idea
that women are going to decide the 2020 election. While she said it was still too early to opine, she added that in the 2016 election there had been many passive women who had not voted and that how she sees “a lot of energy coming from groups official and unofficial” to mobilize women for the 2020 election. Field explained that while California was a democratic state, the next election would probably be decided in four key states: Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Florida. She said that Arizona and Nevada will also be important and that people interested in political activism could go to those states and volunteer to help the candidates they support. When El Vaquero asked Field if she would run again for political office she said, “no, I’m done”, but spoke about her hopes as an applicant to become a member of the California Redistricting Committee. She explained the extremely complicated procedure which involves weeding the applicants down to 120, selecting 60 for interviews in Sacramento, having them pass a blackball option given to various officials in Sacramento and, after all that, selecting the final names from a hat. Meanwhile, Field continues writing, speaking and working at the LWV, which claims a “99-year legacy defending democracy.” A statement from the LWV’s website reads, “The League of Women Voters, a non-partisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.” - A. HEIMER
y r a r o p m e t n o Th e C w or d F GCC
“Who consider themselves a feminist?” professor Maite Peterson asked her The Woman in American History class at Glendale Community College. After an entire semester of introducing students to all influential women who have contributed to women’s rights, Professor Peterson was surprised to see that the majority wouldn’t raise their hands.“So who knows what feminism is?” but no one knew the answer either. In an interview with Peterson, along with sociology professor Aditi Sapra, there is a discussion concerning the misconception behind what feminism stands for, and what led them to the position to educate not only women, but all genders on the empowerment of being a feminist. In the present day, feminism still carries a stigma that constantly overcomes its main goal. For many, it’s still the imagery of angry hairy women burning their bras, rejecting everything feminine. It’s still the wrong concept that they hate men and everything they do. It’s suddenly another F word. When asked the question of what feminism meant to them, Sapra explained that it's about the right of “everyone to have that equality of choice. If a mother chooses to be a stay-athome mom, she has the choice to do so” and it also applies “if a man wanted the same. It’s equality of choice without judgment.” A man wanting the same choice is what feminism fights for as well. There is a wrongful interpretation often used to explain certain behavior that socially isn’t considered “ladylike.” “People think that it has to do with women’s problems, or it’s only about women; that only women can be feminists, when it’s about equality and access to opportunities for everybody” explained Peterson. In sociology class, students also don’t expect to realize how wrong the definition of gender role is; where biology doesn’t play as much part as social construction does. Sapra brings attention to the concept of “gaslighting” where society holds a psychological power against social behavior, culture and gender of a minority group. It’s manipulating people’s minds by shaming their reaction to inequality. There is a common association between being a feminist and essentially a “man-hater.”
"It’s equality of choice without judgment.”
It’s understandable since the word feminist itself seems to appeal just to females, but this is where understanding history and sociology is fundamental. “It’s not men putting women down; it’s the social norm fitting people to certain mold,” said Peterson. According to Sapra this mold means that “patriarchy is not only limited to men. We are all playing a part in society, and until we disrupt this entire process,” misconceptions will keep on happening. In a positive way, with the rises of movements in social media, like the #MeToo, Time’s Up, HeForShe groups, there is more attention towards feminism. But even though there is good, unfortunately there’s also more access to misinformation building more barriers to break. There’s still criticism towards women for being too feminine or too sexual to be feminists. The reality is that with a healthy intent, how they present themselves to the world is their choice. This mindset is the support that all women are truly seeking for. There are radical groups where women seem to mistake that in order to get equality, they need to attack all men. Twisting words and intentions to make themselves look like victims doesn't set the right example, on the contrary, it turns people around to the opposite unjust assumptions of feminism. Trying to teach society with material that is vengeful, lifts the same wall educated feminists are trying to break. Instead of focusing on a battle of the sexes, there should be changes in people's routines that are often filled with societal gender roles.
Career wise for example, there’s still the “rule” that some professions suit a woman or man best. This is where another goal of what feminism represents is at, “when women are trying to push to be part of a male dominated area, the same goes the other way.” Peterson balanced. People want more than what their gender has settled them for. There’s a process to “de-stigmatize any gender in any industry” for example “when a male nurse walks in, he is more likely to be assumed as the doctor. If a female doctor walks in, she is assumed to be the nurse,” Sapra explained. It’s not much as people making these assumptions on purpose, but it’s resultant of years and years of genders being placed in specific boxes. Understanding the basics of feminism is easy, but how come it's still so hard to process? Both Peterson and Sapra have come to realize that advocating for feminism in class and life, also comes with being open-minded towards society. Meaning, not being a feminist and disagreeing with the whole process doesn’t turn anyone into a bad person. “Sociology constantly shows me that even though someone makes a bad comment, it’s because their opinion is deeply socially constructed. Knowing that makes me not hold anything personally,” Sapra explained. According to Peterson, mean comments and reaction towards feminism have a positive side: people can take that comment and talk about it. Use it to educate and be the origin of newer point of views; because usually opinions within society are formed from someone else’s perspective. By that, being a feminist while teaching feminism in different approaches, both are constantly inspired by students even when there’s resistance from society on accepting changes. Sometimes it can be very depressing to see that there is still so much to fight for, but watching their students taking action, questioning, and changing (as they should), pushes them to keep on teaching. For Sapra, it’s important the practice of cultural relativism, meaning that people should put themselves into situations where their own
culture and norms are not the base points to make any judgment; to take a minute and listen. Peterson can’t emphasize enough when in order to open people’s minds for feminism, it's important to be kind. When there is such behavior on track, it’s much easier to get people on board, and to stop the negativism towards women fighting for their access to everything else. After a few minutes of aligning equality with feminism, Peterson’s class realized they could, should, or already were feminists. It was never about hating men or rejecting their femininity. Many women are able to do a lot today because for the last hundreds of years women have been fighting most odds placed against them. Women weren’t allowed to study, work, vote, let alone have a voice to teach like Peterson and Sapra are rightfully doing so today. So, how come something as easy as equality has been so hard to achieve? Is it really because the word feminism incites actual fear? Or is it because the world has gotten too used to inequality to bring it as an issue now? It is certainly a challenge to look at society through a different lens. It requires reading, having conversations, and especially getting rid of the mold society has encased individuals into. It starts with understanding that speaking up for equality not only is okay, but necessary. There are so many variations and branches that define feminism, but the right ones are never alongside hatred or revenge. Asking for the same right as the person near them is not rebellious, is justifying the contemporary F word. - TATIANA PAK
Flying While Muslim
ere we go again,” I thought as I was rambling with my family to the airport. On my way, I teased my sister that we were going to be chosen for a random search because that’s what happens when you are brown and come from a Muslim background. As I moved through security, making sure to take all objects out of my pockets, I felt someone staring at me. I looked up and saw a TSA agent with a suspicious look on his face. Awkwardly, he tried to initiate a conversation by complimenting my “Knuckle Puck” T-shirt since he was a fan himself. As my family all passed with no interruptions, I started to feel that today was my lucky day. After he told me to enjoy my trip, I walked through the metal detectors. It began to beep. I started to think to myself "God, please save me." I asked the security guard in front of me if my glasses had set off the alarm. "Nope, this is a random search,” he replied. I was brought into a room where everyone could see me. Three men started to rummage through my bag, going through everything while bombarding me with questions. “Are you part of any extremist group? Have you
ever been involved in any secret operations? Have you recently visited the Middle East?” I remained polite as I answered their irrelevant questions. I wanted them to leave me alone since my bag contained nothing of interest to them, just my personal belongings. I thought about standing up for myself but decided to avoid further trouble. What I had to go through that evening was not right. To me, it was a Muslim search. I often wonder why I have less equality when I walk into an airport because I’m brown. My confidence level drops whenever I’m with others since I’m looked at skeptically, not because I am a terrorist, but because I am one of the three million Muslims living in America after Sept. 11, 2001. Racial profiling has been an ongoing issue in U.S law enforcement. The practice of racial profiling by law enforcement agencies began during World War II when people of Japanese descent were targeted by racial profiling after the bombings of pearl harbor. Another event of historical significance is during the late 1970s when President Ronald Reagan declared a "war on drugs." Police officers were accused of pulling over motorists solely based on race,
ethnicity or natural origin rather than on behavior or information leading to the particular individual. The officers would then search their vehicles for illegal substances, violating the 4th amendment. A recent case of racial profiling is Brown v. City of Colorado Springs. In 2015, Ryan and Benjamin Brown were pulled over solely because of their race. The officers forced Benjamin out of the car, pushed him to the ground face down in the snow, searched and cuffed him, all the while at gunpoint, without a warrant or probable cause. The men were not resisting and were being respectful. Noticing that they were being recorded, an officer grabbed Ryan's phone and threw it in the snow, stopping his recording. In an effort to justify their actions, the officer later claimed that the men had been driving through “a high crime area” and that they were just checking for weapons. In fact, the men were stopped a block away from a predominantly white neighborhood and no weapons were found. Brown then filed a complaint against the Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) presenting the video recording that clearly showed the officer's misconduct and use of excessive force. The city of Colorado Springs agreed to pay $212,000 to settle the case and make changes in its procedure. “CSPD has issued over 450 body-worn cameras, which will be able to provide additional information through video footage of patrol officers’ interaction with citizens from initial contact through conclusion.” Had the officers known they were being recorded, they may have acted differently. This is seen by their actions as they threw his phone on the ground, not wanting to be recorded. Body cameras help citizens against racial profiling, excessive force, police fraud, and misconduct, and they also help police in false accusations and lawsuits. After the tragic events of 9/11, the U.S. became very suspicious of Muslims. The FBI took considerable measures in preventing and predicting possible terrorist attacks. In addition, President Bush signed the U.S. Patriot Act into law in an effort to “provide
appropriate tools required to intercept and obstruct terrorism.” The same year, hate crimes against Muslims and people of perceived Arab descent skyrocketed around the country.
"I’m looked at skeptically, not because I am a terrorist, but because I am one of the three million Muslims living in America after Sept. 11, 2001." A case of significant relevance of racial profiling against Muslims is the “Six Imams Case.” On Nov. 20, 2006, six Muslims arrived at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport on their way home to Arizona. They sat at the gate, waiting to board making casual conversation in Arabic, and were seen wearing traditional thawbs and having thick beards. As if they weren’t suspicious enough, they stood up and prayed their evening prayer together. People were now certain that their suspicions were a reality, America was under attack again. One of the imams requested for a seat belt extender. One passenger, overcome with fear, wrote a note to the flight attendant. The flight attendant passed it on to the pilot. The note said “Six suspicious Arabic men on a plane, spread out in their seats. All were together saying ‘Allah … Allah’ cursing U.S. involvement with Saddam. Flight – 1 in the front exit row, another in the first row, first-class, another in 8D, another in 22D, two in 25 E&F.” This caused an upheaval as many otherwise silent passengers yelled “Terrorists! Get off the plane!” and “Go back to your country!” The six imams were forced off the plane, arrested, and subjected to hours of questioning by the FBI and Secret Service agents. The 'Six Imams' case sparked controversy of national security versus civil rights. The six imams filed a lawsuit against the airline, the FBI and Metropolitan Airports Commission, claiming violations of their constitutional rights. The FBI tried justifying the arrest and interrogation by saying there
was probable cause due to their request for seat belt extenders and comments on current events. After a thorough investigation, it was concluded that “The MAC Defendants have produced no evidence of a documented instance in which seatbelt extensions were used as a weapon […] It is difficult to understand what danger a seatbelt extension poses that is not also posed by a sturdy belt with a large buckle.” In addition, the Supreme Court stated that “commenting on current events, and even criticizing governmental policy is protected speech under the First Amendment. It cannot be taken as a crime and should not be used as probable cause for an arrest,” and “looking different, sounding different or practicing a different religion is not suspicious activity.” Two weeks later, Congress introduced the "End Racial Profiling Act" that was signed into law in 2007. Another controversial issue includes random checks that TSA agents conduct. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) states that “62% of people that get Secondary Security Screening Selection (SSSS) stamped on their boarding passes are minorities of mainly Middle Eastern and South Asian descent.” The US Department of Homeland Security established specific criteria for the Secondary Security Screening Selection, which includes traveling alone, paying your ticket in cash, and flying to a ‘high risk’ destination. Although this did slightly raise the rates of other races being checked for security screening, the Middle Eastern/South Asian race is still the highest. This sparks considerable controversy in that although this type of profiling is seen as immoral and wrong, it can also be seen as a necessity in preventing terrorist attacks. Clearly, it is unreasonable to search everybody so it's a compensation between cost, time and hassle. Hence, some would say it is reasonable to conduct extra security checks for people with these appearances rather than white middle-aged women. I believe that profile-driven searches are flawed, the flaw is that the attacker can always
avoid the profile they are trying to detect. “Flying while Muslim” or “Driving while black” has been a constant struggle. As the review of cases has shown, racial profiling is commonly used in law enforcement in claims of “probable cause.” Racial profiling breaks down trust within a community, which in turn makes the existing problems of crime worse. It is also a clear violation of civil rights and due process. It is immoral, unjust, and unconstitutional to treat an entire population or community as criminal and to discriminate against them on the basis of that prejudice. To quote the great mind of master Yoda, “Fear is the path of the dark side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.” There's already a dark cloud forming. The question is how dark can it get? - RAJEEL MUSTANSAR
LIAM'S LIFE & LEGACY F
or a father who has tragically lost a baby son, Marcus Kowal seems energetic and positive. He’s very confident and always knows what to say and when to say it. It only takes a few questions to get to know everything behind his motivation and eagerness to make a change. Marcus’ son, Liam Mikael Kowal was only 15months-old when he was struck and killed by a drunk driver. The driver was a 72-year-old woman, who drove through the intersection where Liam was being pushed in his stroller. His stroller shattered into two pieces while his little frog toy flew across and landed on the side of the street. Liam lost consciousness and after many tests, was pronounced brain dead. Instantly the woman fled the scene, without even stopping to help. It only became evident that she was, in fact, drunk at the time of the accident. A breath test registered her blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at 0.12% at the scene, and
Photo Courtesy: Kowal Family
later a blood test indicated a 0.09% BAC, both were over the legal driving limit of 0.08 %. Despite the magnitude of pain Liam’s parents experienced after the loss of their son, donating their baby’s organs came easy to Marcus and his wife Mishel Eder. With sorrow in his eyes, but optimism in his words, the MMA fighter describes what it was like for them to have to cope with such a loss.“I remember when we got in the car to go home, Mishel said ‘I’m not suicidal, but I don’t see a meaning to life anymore. I thought [she] would never come back,” Marcus recalled, as he remembered how emotionally strained his wife had become as a result of this tragedy. Now almost three years after Liam’s death, the couple has made noticeable progress to heal, and most importantly, to make a difference and speak up for those who cannot. Marcus and Mishel have had two children; Nico, whom Marcus describes as a “spitting image of Liam,” and their newborn baby girl, Luna. Both kids have awoken a sense of pride and hope for the future for their parents. Fighting against depression and devastation internally, the Kowals didn’t allow the death of their son to be “another statistic,” Marcus says when telling the story of how their nonprofit organization came about.
SCAN ME TO OPEN OUR SPECIAL REPORT FROM HAYK ROSTOMYAN Open the Camera app either from the lock screen or tapping on the icon from your home screen. Hold your device steady for 2-3 seconds towards the QR Code you want to scan. Click on the notification to open the content of the QR Code.
Only days after Liam’s death, the couple started meeting with attorneys and friends who directed them in the direction of starting “Liam’s Life,” a nonprofit organization that focuses on organ donations and fights against drunk driving- both associated with Liam’s story. Despite its many goals, the organization has worked with various other associations and individuals, to push for lowering the legal BAC in states across the nation. In California, the nonprofit has reached volumes in terms of supporters, including major public health organizations, prevention groups and even state legislators. Assemblywoman Autumn Burke introduced
and/or mental health issues, hopes to bring the bill to the forefront with Mishel has more to say about that. “[This] is a misleading argument that fails to address what progress would actually be made by lowering the state’s BAC,” Liam’s mother wrote in an op-ed for the Orange County Register, “Lowering the BAC does, in fact, have significant benefits.” “The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) found drivers with BACs of 0.05% - 0.08% are seven times more likely to be in a fatal crash than drivers without alcohol in their system,” she said in support of her argument. The Kowal family has given it their all, in changes that would “save lives,” as they say
Photo Courtesy: Kowal Family
CA Assembly Bill 1713, also known as Liam’s Law, which intends to bring down BAC for impaired driving from 0.08% to 0.05%. A major opponent to the passing of this bill is the American Beverage Institute (ABI), which receives millions of dollars from major alcohol manufacturers and lobbies for the alcohol industry. The ABI often pushes back on the idea that lowering the BAC levels would actually make a difference in the majority of alcohol-related traffic fatalities. While this is a reasonable argument, referring to drivers who suffer from alcohol addiction
it. They’ve actively followed similar movements in other states like Utah, which became the first in the nation to lower its DUI limit to 0.05% New York and Washington are currently looking into passing similar bills. When asked about what he will do if and when the bill is passed to a law, Marcus says that he will not stop there. He says that he will push until he cannot do so anymore. Kowal finished his argument by talking about how country after another- over 100 of them- have proven that lowering BAC will make a difference in the number of fatalities associated with drunkdriving.
- ANAHIT SAHAKYAN 18
To further encourage women’s involvement and interest in the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Architecture, Math) arena, Glendale College’s annual Maker Faire will host a “Women in STEAM” speaker series, during which multiple females will speak of their experiences. Dominique Butler, one of the panelists at the event, is a full-time student, pursuing a career in astronomy and communications. She hopes to one day become a space science communicator within the popular culture. In addition, she is actively involved in educational outreach with numerous organizations and schools. She finds inspiration in the fact that she gets to choose her own path and form a career like no other, bridging the gap between pop culture and sciences. To understand what makes a woman scientist, El Vaquero asked a few questions in regards to Butler’s encounters and participation in the field. Here are her responses: Q: How did you get into your current career? A: I got really lucky, it sort of all fell into place once I went back to college. I changed my major to Astronomy, and decided early on that I wouldn’t be going into research. Most of my friends work in entertainment, so once I realized that I could take what I was learning in Astronomy and communicate it to our culture, my career path became clear. Q: What has been the greatest challenge in your work? What about the greatest triumph? A: The greatest challenge has actually been figuring out how to manage school, an Ambassadorship with NASA, and then finding ways to work and communicate space science to whatever platform I’m given. Creating a career as a space science communicator has been something I’ve had to figure out as I go along, and has constantly surprised me. I’m working towards having a space science children’s show, so each step of the way has
been filled with successes and failures, or lessons learned. To be honest, my biggest triumph is still being on the path to finishing my education and creating my dream career. Every little success along the way is a triumph to me, it hasn't been easy but I feel really lucky to be doing this work. Q: What does the average day look like for you? A: Everyday for me is different. I’m preparing to transfer to Harvard Extension School to finish my degree online this summer, so my schedule is more open to fill with the work I do as a NASA JPL Solar System Ambassador. I go and speak to kids in schools all over Los Angeles about NASA and space exploration. They’re obsessed with black holes and of course, aliens. I recently completed an internship at the Human Rights Watch advocating for children’s rights. Children deserve the best of everything we have, so my work revolves around finding a way to make sure I’m bringing that to light.
Women in STEAM Spotlight: Dominique Butler
Q: Can you give your top three tips for students entering STEM? A: Know that you belong here and your perspective is needed. Don’t let anyone tell you or make you feel otherwise. Get a good tutor. Eat, sleep, drink lots of water and surround yourself with people who support you and believe in you. Q: Is there anything you want us to know about you in particular? A: At this point, I’m refusing to take no for an answer. There is more than one way to get to where you want to be and realizing that my path isn’t going to look like anyone else’s has been liberating. I’ve learned that everything I’ve perceived as a setback has actually always worked to my advantage. I feel really thankful to be able to combine my love for Astronomy, the opportunity to work with children, and my passion for social justice into my education and career. As for something not too many people know about me, if I could come back in another lifetime, I’d be a Quantum Physicist. I can’t think of any job cooler than that. - MARIAN SAHAKYAN
Up in Smoke: Pot is Popular, But Still Illegal
Illustration - Tobias Graves-Morris
hat’s the difference between a cannabis dispensary and a weed dealer? One has to pay tax money and the other, bail money. America is participating in organized crime by violating its very own rules. The federal government still places marijuana in the same category as heroin and cocaine, but you wouldn’t know that unless you were living in a low-income neighborhood, getting arrested for it. The War on Drugs has resulted in the arrest of millions of people, majority of which are people of color. American Civil Liberty Union (ACLU), a non-profit organization geared towards “defending and preserving the individual rights and liberties of every person,” reports that marijuana use is roughly as equal among African Americans and Caucasians, yet African Americans are 3.73 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession. Possessing the slightest amount of marijuana has had dire consequences and has affected people color for decades including eligibility for financial aid, employment opportunities, child
custody litigation, and immigration status. It appears that these disparities reflect a policy that at least goes as far back as the Nixon Administration. According to Dan Baum in his article titled “Legalize It All: How to Win the War on Drugs” published in Harper’s Magazine, John Ehrlichman told Baum in an interview the following: “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.” Bernard Noble, an African American, who was sentenced to 13 years of hard labor for possessing
two marijuana joints, was granted parole in February of 2018, after serving more than 8 years in a Louisiana prison. His sentence was unconstitutionally excessive, overlooking the fact that he was a middle-aged man who supported seven children, was gainfully employed for over twenty years and had no history of violence. Meanwhile, Noble was working penal labor, also known as ‘slave’ labor, which is explicitly allowed under the 13th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Across the country, people living in states like Colorado and Washington were sparking up joints while simultaneously applying for LLCs. Marijuana Business Daily conducted a survey and found that 81 percent of cannabis executives were white, mostly men, while 5.7 percent were Latinx and 4.3 African American. Those that have been most victimized by the War on Drugs, are being shut out of the booming green industry. Cory Booker, a New Jersey Democrat and presidential candidate told VICE News, “At this point it’s too obvious and urgent and unfair that we’re moving something on marijuana on the federal level and it doesn’t do something on restorative justice. I want a bill to have some acknowledgement of the savage injustices that the marijuana prohibition has done to communities.” The City of Oakland introduced a groundbreaking Equity Permit Program, on May 23, 2017, that minimizes barriers to cannabis licensing for Oakland residents who have been most victimized by the war on drugs. Unfortunately, the high costs of setting up legal cannabis operations are holding people of color back while allowing big interest groups to control the industry. The government collected an estimated $4.7 billion in taxes from legal cannabis companies last year on nearly $13 billion in revenue. However, under federal law, marijuana is illegal. Cannabis businesses in the United States still pay federal taxes and are not allowed any deductions or credits for business expenses. Proceeds from marijuana transactions are considered money laundering and banks refuse to hold such money because of the risks involved. These cannabis businesses pay their taxes in cash which in turn is creating havoc for employees working for the IRS.
In spite of all this, under the Controlled Substances Act, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) still considers marijuana a Schedule 1 drug. If one is arrested and charged, they are sent to prison.
As weed becomes trendy, what will we do with those in prison for possession or selling it?
The Federal government is simultaneously collecting billions of taxpayers’ dollars to incarcerate individuals who have been convicted of marijuana charges. According to the Legislative Analyst’s Office of California, it costs an average of about $81,000 per year to incarcerate an inmate in prison in California. The criminal justice system also imposes hefty fines on the inmate.Many states are en route to the decriminalization and legalization of marijuana. As of January 2019, fourteen U.S. states have decriminalized marijuana, but have yet to make the drug legal for recreational use. Decriminalization laws vary from state to state. However, these laws do not ensure that possession of the drug will not be faced with legal penalties. It appears that the federal government has no interest in legalizing marijuana. It circumvents its own laws, turning a blind eye to make a profit off of activities it deems illegal. The cannabis industry is booming, with an estimated trajectory of up to $50 billion in global sales by 2026. However, despite its recent glamorization, individuals, in not so trendy states, are still serving time behind bars for the same thing. All the while, Uncle Sam is funneling in monies, whether it’s from a ‘criminal’ or entrepreneur. This is the way organized crime has operated for years. - AFRODITI KONTOS
ADDERAL ABUSE IN COLLEGE STUDENTS
n March of 2018, Netflix released a documentary called “Take Your Pills,” which focused on the Adderall epidemic that the United States faces. Some time after its release, there was a divided audience of the documentary: some believed that the documentary glorifies Adderall and depicts the drug as a side-effectfree neuroenhancer, whereas others believed that it was a warning to anyone who may want to dry Adderall without a proper diagnosis and prescription. I began wondering if the students of Glendale Community College also use Adderall without any proper prescriptions. In “Take Your Pills,” almost all the subjects who were college students admitted to have used or continue to use Adderall, simply to focus, and pass their classes. The stress of being in a fouryear university was too much to handle, and for them, Adderall presented itself like the pill from “Limitless,” ready to give them all the answers in the world. Given that all subjects in “Take Your Pills” were either at a four-year institution or were already in their respective careers, I decided to investigate and find out if there were any students who used Adderall without being prescribed on campus. Given the stress of keeping up with GPAs, classes, and grades, it was not long before I found students willing to talk about their experiences with Adderall.
The drug “amphetamine” was discovered by Gordon Alles, a biochemist and pharmacologist, while he was looking for a new allergy medication. As a test, he injected himself with 50 milligrams of the new synthesized drug, and feeling the results almost instantly. As his written reports stated, Alles was experiencing “strong feeling of wellbeing.”
Beyond the discovery, the use of amphetamine quickly took off and in a short time, amphetamine became a highly used prescribed medicine.What many do not know about neuroenhancers is that they played a huge role in World War II. The drug known as “Previtin” at the time, was found by British troops and aided in the defeat of the Axis powers. After the war, the drug “Dexedrine” hit the markets as a “general practice antidepressant.” At the time, the drug was known to help weight control, painful menstruation, and overall focus and creativity. Adderall, among other neuroenhancers such as Vyvanse, Ritalin, Focalin, etc. all serve the purpose of managing symptoms of ADHD like a short attention, impulsive behavior, and hyperactivity. Though they are meant to help, they also come with several severe side effects. Adderall and all other ADHD stimulants listed are also considered to be highly addictive, which will leave any average user with withdrawal symptoms ranging from unusual fatigue, nausea and other stomach-related issues. I decided to take some notes from the documentary “Take Your Pills” and interview some students who used Adderall for school purposes. Since most are students who currently attend Glendale Community College, or friends of students, they would like to remain anonymous, for privacy reasons. A third-year GCC student, the first student was never diagnosed with AttentionDeficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). She started using Adderall when she first started at the college. Just before she turned 20, she had already tried it. Her reasoning behind taking the drug was simply to focus. It was also because of the ease of access to the drug, having friends who had been diagnosed with ADHD and had been prescribed Adderall. Her first experience was “pretty positive” as she put it, because the first day she used the drug was when she had two finals and a research paper due. With such a fair amount of work and the necessity of keeping a high GPA, she used the drug, and got results that were somewhat surprising to her. Comparing the depiction of marijuana in the media, and how false it is compared to the actual experience, the experience of Adderall GCC
was exactly what it was advertised as: it suppressed hunger, and helped her focus. “There’s a bit of trickiness to it -- like you have to prioritize what you want to focus on, and make yourself focus on your work,” she said. She has occasionally used Adderall for studying purposes since her first time using it, and says that those experiences have also been positive. Often times, while looking at issues such as abuse of drugs, and more specifically prescription ones, usually the ones being surveyed are the ones using drugs, but never really focus on the person who provides them, and what their thoughts are on the issue. I had the opportunity to talk to a student who attends Tisch School Of the Arts at New York University, distributes Adderall, and has officially been diagnosed with ADHD. “For some people they get anxiety about not being able to focus while studying for an exam and want something to help them, and for other people they’re curious about trying it and want to experiment with something that’s safe and legitimate, so I offer my adderall because I know it hasn’t been cut with anything,” said the student, when asked for her reasoning behind sharing her prescribed medication. Her reasoning behind giving hers away is to make sure her friends get the safe version of what they want to try, because they could be willing to get it from a less trustworthy source. Looking at both angles of this issue, from the college student who uses the Adderall, to the other student who has been diagnosed but provides Adderall to the ones who need it, but haven’t been diagnosed, it’s clear there is a clear attention deficit among us. Is there an attention deficit problem among students due to stress, mass media, etc.? We don’t have any extensive studies on that because we’ve found the easiest solution and that is to medicate. College students, especially now, have several factors that have added to their attention-deficit. Some may think they have ADHD, when they are only experiencing the influx of distractions from mass media, while others may think their mere distractions may be an actual attention deficit disorder. 24
There is only hazy data on why students take Adderall to focus. It could also be students following trained professionals; medicating as the first and only. As of now, the reason behind the abuse of Adderall among college students can have various roots, and must be dissected one by one. There needs to be more research on our modern attention deficits, mental health of college students, and the study of natural neuroenhancers. A great deal of different factors must be addressed before even looking at the Adderall epidemic. All students in college have at least this in common: the hunger for validation and success. The stress to keep our grades afloat while also maintaining other adult duties that are fairly new to us makes us resort to medications that enhance our minds, and make our daily chores easier. - ALIN PASOKHIAN
SPRING 2020 SEMESTER
Journalism 102 (Ticket # 1788) Intro to Journalism focuses on the fundamentals of journalism, as well as the future of this ever-changing industry. Journalism 103 (Ticket # 1739) Want to learn how to write, produce publications, or take photos for newsprint? Journalism 103 seeks to prepare you for an internship or job in the media. Journalism 104 (Ticket #1741) Ready to be an editor? Journalism 104 allows students to take control of podcasting, video, and newsprint, along with social media, to create a robust news presence on campus. Journalism 107 (Ticket #1817) Want to produce a magazine like this one? Journalism 107 prepares you to write or conceptualize production for a major magazine.
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Spencer ew th at M y b s on ti ra Illust
Staying Active T
he average college student who works, on top of their studies, is less likely to have time to socialize, go out and exercise, get regular sleep, and lead a more robust and balanced life, according to figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As a result of these time management issues, many college students don’t have the time to make themselves a well-balanced breakfast or make their lunch ahead of time. This guide will look at ways to combat some of the issues that plague today’s working student. Balanced Meals Students can go to their campus cafeteria and ask for a nice breakfast platter but are still functioning off of four to five hours of sleep. Summer will be here soon. We know you want to get fit but you have to start by
eating properly first. Barnes et al., conducted an experiment where they took a look at 264 incoming college students, between the ages of 18 and 20. This was done so they can distinguish the kind of eating habits that students can develop as they begin their college career. They also took a look at any form of parenting style they were raised with. The experiment concluded with only 44% of students practicing the same habits since before starting college. Parenting style didn’t have much effect on college students compared to parenting a toddler. It’s important to do your research and figure out, then distinguish, what kind of foods you can eat to help you reach your goals for toning up and getting help. Your plate should be mostly fruits and vegetables, according to Harvard’s School of Public
Health. Avoiding fried food, too many carbs, and processed sugars are also linked to better health. A research study was conducted for the Memory and Aging Project. The project was conducted by Rush University that helps them to better understand the relation between the leafy greens we should eat and the hope to prevent aging problems such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Less red meat should also be a staple in anybody’s nutrition. It’s fair to not completely cut out beef, but try minimizing consumption. The death rate increases due to people eating more than two servings of red meat a day, according to a study done by Harvard Medical School. They studied 121,000 men and women for 24 years. The results showed that 12% of men who eat 2 servings of unprocessed meat a day, and 13% of women who eat two servings of unprocessed meat a day are more likely to suffer from high cholesterol or too much sodium. Moderate red meat consumption is crucial for good health, but one way to avoid all those problems is to adopt the Mediterranean Diet. The diet focuses on reducing the consumption of red meats and eating primarily plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, nuts, grains and cooking all your food with healthy fats like canola oil and olive oil. Consider meal prepping the day, night, or week before. It will save you time and a considerable amount of money. A big, important last tip would be to begin every morning with a nice healthy balanced breakfast and give yourself time to prepare and enjoy. Get Out and Exercise Exercise is perhaps the most dreaded part of keeping a healthy lifestyle. However, everybody should make it a priority. The average college student gains 10 pounds during college, according to Chicago Tribune. The percentage of students in the study who became overweight or obese at some point
during college rose from 23 to 41%, an increase of 78%, according to that same report. Exercise has been proven to relieve stress and improve mood, as well as boost brain cell development. It improves memory and improves concentration and focus both in the gym and in class. “Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier, more relaxed and less anxious,” according to Mayo Clinic. It will also boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem according to the same article. A simple 45 minute to an hour run or jog is sufficient enough to get someone into the habit and rhythm of exercise. Cardio is a necessary staple in everybody’s workout because it’s what can help you with reaching your goal, but you shouldn’t completely cut out weight. If the weights work more for you, keep it up. But if not, there are always many other ways, like doing intramural sports, participating on the swim team or playing for your local club or league tournaments.
"The average college student gains 10 pounds during college" As students of Glendale Community College, we are fortunate enough to have facilities that can help us get started on our fitness journey. We have an indoor basketball court, track field, soccer field/football field, and a weight room, as well as a fitness area where there are treadmills and ellipticals for student use. Of course, you must be registered in a class for access, but it’s a very easy one unit class. Sometimes walking can do much for an individual as well. The American Heart Association recommends an average person get 10,000 steps in a day. GCC
Catch Some Z’s Finally, the last thing that every college student habitually avoids: sleep. A good nights rest is what will determine whether or not we will make it through physics or forget to get off at the right bus stop. “Lack of sleep is associated with both physical and emotional health risks,” according to the University of Georgia. To name some of these risks: a lowered immune system, stress overload, lower grades and grade point averages, depression, anxiety, and more. On average, “most adults need somewhere between 6-10 hours of sleep per night,” according to the University Health Center at Georgia University. Students will find themselves sleeping in for 2-5 hours more on weekends, and although you are getting an ideal amount of sleep during weekends, it just means that you aren’t receiving enough sleep throughout the week. To fix that, try aiming for 7-8 hours of sleep on school nights as recommended.
Meditation yoga, 30 minutes before going to bed is one way to promote better sleep. “Over 55% of people who did yoga found that it helped them get better sleep. Over 85% said yoga helped reduce stress,” according to a national survey done by Harvard Medical School. You can also try documenting your sleeping hours or make a sleeping schedule. Nutrition, good sanitation, exercise, focus, and a good night’s sleep will make you an overall healthier person. It is normal for college students to forget the importance of all these things because they are no longer in high school where everything is done ahead of time for them. The more you forget about the 3 top important things for a healthier lifestyle, the more unorganized and unhealthy you’ll feel.
- EDUARDO CARREÑO
Illustrations b y Matthew 28
Wine 101 A
wine and cheese pairing event was held by San Antonio Winery of Los Angeles and drew 80 wine enthusiasts on Oct. 14 who sampled white, red, and dessert wines. Dominic Menton, the manager of the company and Corey Arballo, a Sommelier from Le Velo Voyage, hosted the events. Almost half of the visitors had previously attended the company’s events, which indicated that the company has a following, the hosts demonstratedMany people think of Napa Valley in any association to California wine, but, according to Menton, Napa Valley is not the first winery region in our state. “Los Angeles is the birthplace of California wine,” he said. San Antonio Winery has a history of winemaking and selling since it was founded in 1917. The event started at 1 p.m. and a long line was formed in the wine store to sign up. People had to apply online to participate. A California-style dining room with tall ceilings was reserved for the event, which featured about a dozen roundtables. Menton and Arballo gave PowerPoints to educate about wine and cheese pairings. The pairings started with a glass of white Sauvignon wine. If one finds words “Sauvignon blanc” in a wine, that means it comes in white and is made from green-skinned grapes.
Can fish go well with wine? Yes. The one they served this time was San Simeon Sauvignon Blanc 2017 with a fish taco. “I used to like red wine, but this wine was my favorite because it’s crisp and light,” said Eileen Reed, who enjoyed this wine the most. Since the white wine didn’t have too much toughness and richness, it goes well with light cheese or light food, like certain kinds of fish.
What would be great for holiday dining? “Perfect holiday wine is riesling wine,” said Menton. Riesling, which is characterized by its fruitiness, is a kind of wine derived from white grapes. It has a variety of tastes, from dry to sweet. If people don’t know which one goes well with their meat, they should choose semisweet. It’s well-balanced. It can match well with turkey or ham, so Riesling can be a good choice for Thanksgiving dining.
What does “dry” or “fullbodied” mean? They served three glasses of red wine, and the heaviest one was San Simeon Petite Sirah 2014. When individuals find “Sirah” in a name of a wine, they can expect
Photo: Chieko Kubo and James Ojano-Simonsson
that the wine is a dry and full-bodied red. Since dry and full-bodied wine has basically a higher amount of alcohol than sweet and light ones, it will stick to their throats and literary dry their mouth because of the high alcohol. However, Petite Sirah is different from Sirah. It still has a strong taste because it is descendant of Sirah. Thus, if people want to try Sirah, they ought to begin from Petite Sirah. What is right wine for an everyday dinner? Heavy wine is the one, Arballo said. “The more ingredients in a dish, the heavier, fuller, and bigger wine is better,” he explained. A lighter taste of meat, such as a food complemented by mozzarella cheese or fish, matches a lighter wine. The reason why dessert wine was named as such is that it could be replaced with “desserts.” San Antonio Winery has made number one choice label wine in the California in Stella Rosa for the last 11 years. It has various tastes from red to white. It’s the perfect dessert wine and pairs well with cheesecakes, cookies, fruits, and more. How to enjoy dessert wine Stella Rosa Peach was served as the sixth wine with a peanut butter and 30
sliced cheese sandwiches. It seemed like a too sweet matching, but actually, it worked well. The series of wines are semi-sweet, so it goes well with different types of sweetness levels, like peanut butter. Also, Arballo added, “Sweet goes well with heat.” There are a lot of matches would be great wiith sweet wine. Overall, attendees enjoyed nine glasses of various wines with each small amount of suitable cheese dishes. A live performance of a saxophone player entertained them and brought an amusing atmosphere together. The interactive wine lecture from Menton and Arballo made the event a success, according to attendees. Is wine a choice for a special occasion? No. “You can have everyday food with wine,” said Arballo. Though there are a lot of recommendations from internet or wine professionals, it doesn’t mean everybody must follow what they read. “Don’t miss out after having one bad experience. Try different things to find your epic pair,” Menton suggested. Wine and food pairing is a personal and enjoyable journey, and meant to complement the individuals who experiment with it. Though there are a lot of
recommendations from internet or wine professionals, it doesn’t mean everybody must follow what they read. “Don’t miss out after having one bad experience. Try different things to find your epic pair,” Menton suggested. Wine and food pairing is a personal and enjoyable journey, and meant to complement the individuals who experiment with it. San Antonio Winery offers events of this nature approximately once a month. Check out further information at: https://sanantoniowinery.com or scan the QR code below.
- CHIEKO KUBO
SCAN ME TO OPEN VIDEO 1. Open the Camera app either from the lock screen or tapping on the icon from your home screen. 2. Hold your device steady for 2-3 seconds towards the QR Code you want to scan. 3. Click on the notification to open the content of the QR Code.
ZEROWASTE ITâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S TIME TO REALIZE HOW MUCH
HARMFUL WASTE GOES IN THE OCEAN
Illustration by Carmen Fernandez
magine carrying around four and a half pounds of garbage with you as you go about your day. We may not have to deal with the burden of our waste on our backs, but the Earth certainly does. The average American sends close to four and a half pounds of waste to landfills per day, which is almost two pounds more than any other nation’s average, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency in 2013. Analyzing these numbers may awake the indignation of many, but what is really appalling is picturing the deep and strong bonds we come to create with our daily four and a half pounds of trash throughout the course of our lives ties so fervent that the idea of a life without them shakes the reality of many. With that in mind, it is hard not to question how we got to this point as a society. We have managed to build and accept a culture in which the idea of generating no waste comes across as tedious, unnecessary and close to impossible. A zero-waste lifestyle is often described as a philosophy that intends to redesign resource life cycles with the goal of sending no trash to landfills and incinerators, or producing absolutely no waste. A completely litter-less way of living may sound extreme, but so does the 8,300 tons of trash received daily by Sunshine Canyon Landfill. It is the same one that handles one-third of the waste produced in Los Angeles County, according to the Sunshine Canyon webpage. Existing without harming the environment through excessive amounts of unnecessary plastic and other forms of waste is a challenge in the times of coffee
cups, straws, travel-size toiletries and fast-fashion. Adopting a zero-waste philosophy is about much more than a list product restrictions. It’s more of a guide for connecting with the environment that surrounds us and our actions towards it. ”Every time we negatively impact the system we are jeopardizing our own ability to breath, drink water and consume food,” according to Bonny Bentizin, UCLA Deputy Chief Sustainability Officer. Our days are filled with a series of unconscious behaviors that shifts us away from understanding the impact of our consumption habits. We transport fruits and vegetables in thin plastic bags to the checkout points at the grocery stores, we support a market of single-use plastic water bottles when on average 46,000 pieces of plastic are swirling around in each square mile of our oceans according to The Plastic Bank. There are alternatives, bar shampoo, refillable floss, secondhand shopping, reusable straws, mason jars, making your own makeup out of burnt almonds and beats, bamboo toothbrushes, paperless transactions, cloth napkins, using vinegar and baking soda as cleaning products, reusable cloth bags, containers and water bottles, composting, reusing and recycling are some of the elements often present in a litter-free way of living. Los Angeles counts with various resources for helping those desiring to be more conscious about the trash they are sending to landfill. There are dozens of farmer markets throughout the city, the closest one to Glendale located at Atwater Village, open Sundays from 10a.m. to 2p.m. Offering a colorful variety of local farms
produce fresh eggs, artisan breads and dairy products as well as handmade essentials like bar soaps and candles. The Griffith Park Composting Facilities provides workshops Fridays and Saturdays on disposing of organic waste (egg shells, coffee grounds, paper napkins and towels, tea bags, vegetable peels and kitchen scraps) without the need of a garden. They also offer composting materials at bargain prices providing you with the knowledge and tools for ethically disposing “green waste” even as a citizen of a concrete jungle. The City of Glendale offers a waste management system that categorizes waste into different color containers. Grey containers are exclusively for the recycling elements including: aluminum, tin, metal, food cartons, glass bottles and jars, plastic bottles, tubs and containers, carton and paper. All recycling must be rinsed and/or flatten. Surprisingly, plastic bags, coffee cups and Styrofoam are NOT considered recyclable materials and belong in the burgundy color containers, according to the City’s Guidelines for Automated Recycling and Trash Service. Until legislature catches up with the miles of landfills and the oceans of plastic we can all take a zerowaste lifestyle as a guide in the horizon. We can all chose to take a step one less straw, one less coffee cup or one less produce bag at a time. The saying is that there’s a lot to tell from the contents of one man’s garbage bag. In today’s world, the size and existence of the same bag says a lot more about an individual.
- CARMEN FERNANDEZ
University Combats Cheating Scandals by Legalizing Bribes
n light of the newly exposed college admissions cheating scandal headed by Hollywood's finest, the University of Southern California has decided to make bribes an accepted and valued part of the application process in an effort to sidestep public outrage directed at the Los Angeles-based premiere university’s already tarnished reputation. “We simply cannot stop accepting bribes from affluent people or the whole system would simply collapse. Therefore, in an effort to make things fair for everyone, we will accept bribes from all applicants,” Patrick Pockettliner, Senior Funds Manager at USC, explained when announcing the new policy. Regardless of the size, gifts to the school will now be considered a valid application credential. In addition to the standard application fee of $85, USC hopefuls are now strongly encouraged to add a little extra to grab the attention of the admissions office. This could be in the form of fruit baskets, large donations to the school, presigned blank checks, a large Instagram following with the promise to become an influencer for the school, all-inclusive getaways, or the rights of the student’s first-born son. University officials predict that not only will this expedite the admission process, but that it will
make decisions simple, saving the school a great deal of man-hours. The new policy is set to be put in place by June 20, which is just in time for the next application period. “Anyone can make good grades and test scores, but that doesn’t guarantee their commitment to school spirit,” said Nick Stephanopoulos III, the interim president of the university. “These gifts will represent the seriousness of the student attending the school. This way, students don’t have to keep pretending like they are athletes that can compete at the college level, and we can get back to building winning teams.” Betsy DeVos, the United States Secretary of Education, was quick to express her enthusiasm in a blunt statement that conveyed her support of the new policy. “Despite what the liberals say, college isn’t for everyone. America’s preferred students are the ones who have adequate financial means and should always be a top priority. Bringing this system above-ground is a sure way to separate out the undesired candidates." Her
recent efforts have reinforced her belief that college is a hefty financial investment by pulling the plug the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), which many loan-plagued students deemed a saving grace. “It’s time to stop the coddling,” DeVos said in a later response in an attempt to muffle the inhuman cries of student suffering. USC expects to benefit substantially from this new policy. Plans for renovations and technology updates are already underway with the new budget projections. The university claims this will only better the environment for their students, including the ones who were admitted on academic merit despite the lack of a donation. When asked how the new policy will impact academic honesty within the school, the university insisted it’s a new way to revolutionize higher education. “In the real world, bosses pay a skilled worker to do specialized tasks for them. Paying another student to complete schoolwork is now seen as a delegation skill and shows entrepreneurial potential,” said Copina Cattrell, the department head of Economics and curriculum supervisor for the university. However, applicants are still barred from altering or falsifying certain personal information such as home address, high school attended, citizenship, parental identity or Instagram followers, unless a sizable gift is offered. “Everyone deserves the chance to become a new person when they go to college and leave the past behind,” said Stephanopoulos “We are proud to say this new admissions process makes that achievable.” - SAMANTHA DECKER
IN LA ON A BUDGET
Are any of your friends planning a trip to Los Angeles? L.A. is huge and is renowned as a city of entertainment, food, culture, and more. It may seem expensive to explore the city, but you don’t have to break the bank. There are so many free museums, no-cost to low-cost activities and beautiful beaches to explore in the city. These options guide every traveler how to spend 48 hours in L.A. on a budget, which includes where to go and what to eat. Day 1 OUE Skyspace LA: Skyspace has California’s tallest observation deck, people can see a great 360-degree view of Los Angeles City. It is located about 1,000 feet above the city at the top of the U.S. bank tower in Downtown LA. If it is a first time trip to LA, this is a good option to explore and gaze at the city. General admission to OUE Skyspace LA is $25 per person, and group admission is also available. This place is perfect for all ages. Grand Central Market: This is the best place to find a unique lunch in Downtown, Grand Central Market has nearly 37 vendors. “Eggslut” is one of the most popular shops, serving delicious egg sandwiches and other dishes.Recently, Grand Central Market added a new restaurant, “Knead & Co.,” which serves handmade pasta. Prices depend on how hungry you are. It can be pretty affordable if you are on a budget. The Broad: The broad is a contemporary art museum that has over 2,000 works of art in DTLA. Currently, they have exhibitions including Yayoi Kusama’s “Infinity Mirrored Room,” a mirror-lined installment that houses a sparkling and endless LED light display. General admission is free. Online reservations are highly encouraged to avoid wait times during busy periods. Spitz: In Little Tokyo, stop by Spitz for the best sangria and happy-hour in DTLA. They serve eclectic street food, such as kebabs, fries and craft beer. A recommendation is a “Street Cart Doner Wrap” with the combo. It comes with a small serving of fries and any drink. The price range is $15 to $25. BADMAASH: If you are in the mood for something else, across the street from LAPD headquarters in DTLA, there is the smell of Indian curry drifting in the air. BADMAASH serves Indian traditional dishes, such as dried curry, lamb burgers, chicken samosas, and Chicken Tikka Poutine. There are many options on the menu,
but if you want to try standard Indian food, perhaps enjoy “Butter Chicken Curry with Naan” for under $15. A reservation is recommended to avoid long waits. Day 2 The Butcher’s Daughter: Daytime is beautiful in Venice. The Butcher’s Daughter is a good place to have lunch for anyone looking to soak up some sun along with some delicious food. This trendy vegetarian brunch spot is known for their juices and egg-based dishes. Everyone can appreciate the veggie-friendly menu, which includes standbys like avocado toast and breakfast burritos. There is an indoor-outdoor terrace, and plants are lined up for a table in the beautifully turned-out dining room. Santa Monica Pier: After a late lunch in Venice, you can take an electric scooter or bike, available through the phone apps, and head for Santa Monica Pier. Exploring the pier as you walk along the beach is a lovely experience. There is Pacific Park, which is known as a family friendly place to come and play. It is the West Coast’s only amusement park located on a pier, and each year millions of visitors enjoy rides, games and occasional free concerts. Griffith Observatory: A beautiful view of Los Angeles is on every tourist’s wish list. The Griffith Observatory is a popular spot, especially at night. The Griffith Observatory has fascinating exhibitions and features a planetarium. Admission is free and the Observatory is open from noon to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, with extended hours on weekends. WOOD: As you drive to the Observatory, you may want to stop for dinner. Take your out-oftown guests to WOOD. This restaurant is located on the corner of Sunset and Silver Lake Boulevard in Silver Lake. If you are a fan of Italian food, this restaurant is a must. From pizza, pasta, to salad bowls and grilled steaks, there are a variety of Italian traditional foods on the menu. Pizzas are divided into “Pizza Rosse” and “Pizza Bianche” (with or without red sauce) and cost $12 to $16 for a smallish pie. Of course, this is not an exhaustive list, but it spreads out some sights (and places to eat) quite nicely, over two days. Next time your out-of-town guests come by for the weekend, don’t feel like you have to drive too far to impress them. - EISHO SHIROMA
hey seemed like a lovely couple. They owned a health food store, had a little boy and lived in Belgium. Their lives seemed all fine and happy until their seven-month-old son, Lucas, had died as a result of malnourishment. The infant died weighing 9 pounds which according to CDC experts is at least seven pounds below the normal weight for children his age. Lucas was reportedly fed vegetable milk which consisted of oak, buckwheat, rice and quinoa. It was also reported that Lucas’s organs had shrunk to half their normal size. Lucas was fed insufficient foods like this for one reason. What’s the reason? You guessed it, Veganism. Veganism is the act of avoiding any use of animal products whatsoever, specifically in a diet. People would go on this diet for a variety of reasons. Whether it’s for moral, environmental, or health reasons, veganism seems to be a growing trend that a lot of people are adopting. The problem isn’t so much the vegan diet as it is the unedu36
cated people who just decide to put their kids on the diet. Take the Belgian couple for example, they owned a natural dietary shop and decided to put Lucas on a vegan diet without consulting with any kind of doctor or pediatrician. The couple fed Lucas milk made out of oats, buckwheat, rice, and quinoa for four months. Initially the mother had refused to breastfeed the child and instead gave him an instant milk formula, though the baby refused. Following Lucas’s refusal of the milk formula, the parents then concluded that he was lactose or gluten intolerant therefore feeding him the vegetable milk. Giving an infant only vegetable milk is detrimental to their health as it lacks a lot of vital nutrients that are important to the child’s growth. As Lucas’s condition worsened, the couple decided enough was enough and decided to see a specialist … they went to a homeopathic doctor. The “doctor” then advised the couple to take Lucas to a hospital where he had died due to malnutrition and dehydration. The autopsy also revealed that Lucas'
stomach was completely empty. Further research also shows that it wasn’t Lucas’s frail appearance that made them worry, they thought he had an eating disorder. It was also reported that not a single doctor had a file on Lucas nor did any child protective services know about him. The couple was then given a suspended six-month sentence for failing to take care of their baby. Putting a baby on a vegan diet or even going on it yourself is far from easy and can be harmful if not done right. Lucas is just one of many people to have been affected in a negative way through veganism because of improper research. If not looked at carefully, a vegan diet can do a lot of harm to one’s body. One problem is the risk of consuming too much carbohydrates. Since vegan diets usually lack a lot of protein, people may consume more carbs to make up for it. However, taking in a lot of carbs can be harmful and cause non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, blood sugar dysregulation, and some other symptoms. GCC student and vegan Anahit Sahakyan commented on her diet. “I eat a lot of carbs, I’ve always been a carb fan. I eat a lot of bread and spaghetti; I like a variety of things.” In addition to the carbs, Sahakyan also consumes a lot of fruits, vegetables and gets her protein through veggie burgers and beans.
Sahakyan also added how veganism is not for everyone as people’s bodies have different needs and requirements and some of those needs may not be obtained through a vegan diet. On the other hand, even though trying to maintain a steady diet through veganism is difficult, there are a lot of pros to this lifestyle. Some of those include vegan diets can minimize risk factors that can lead to heart disease. It can also reduce the chances of getting colon and prostate cancer as well as other diseases. Also, being on a vegan diet and consuming foods that are rich in other nutrients and vitamins that may not be obtained if you were on a nonvegan diet. For example, vegan diets provide more antioxidants and plant compounds that are rich in potassium, magnesium, and other nutrients. Another pro of a vegan diet is the ability to shed some unwanted weight. Observational studies have shown that vegans are considerably slimmer compared to non-vegans. Another reason people would want to be a vegan is from a moral standpoint, the abuse animals suffer. The argument can be made that veganism promotes the fair handling as well as the wellbeing of animals. Overall a vegan diet is quite healthy and is beneficial to people and the world, but the problems that arise from being on the diet isn’t so much the diet itself, but once again
the people who just go about it without being aware of it. “I think that a lot of vegans get sick because they’re uneducated” added Sahakyan. She’s right, and straight to the point. A lot of these people who go vegan just decide to make a life changing decision without having the knowledge. Going on a vegan diet improperly can have many bad effects. One of the main ones include lack of vital nutrients that can be obtained by eating animal products. Vitamin B-12 is the biggest one that a lot of people tend to overlook. Not taking a good amount of B-12 can result in fatigue, weakness, memory loss, neurological and psychiatric problems such as depression as well as lethargy. An adult going on such a diet is shown to be harmful, but imagine putting your child on a diet without knowing everything. The Belgian couple’s child died not because of the vegan diet itself but because they were completely ignorant and foolish about it. Not consulting a doctor and feeding him the proper foods is beyond insane and borderline child abuse. At the end of the day a vegan diet is extremely difficult and may not be for everyone, especially for children. Many experts believe putting a baby on a vegan diet is possible, but will need to be planned carefully. - ELONE SAFARYAN
SCHOOL VIOLENCE & THE MENTAL HEALTH CONUNDRUM young boy opens his school locker to show off his new backpack, a young girl shows
off her colorful binders, another boy sits in the library with his high tech headphones, and a different boy runs down the hall in his fresh sneakers. Then, screams can be heard and the chilling sound of “pop, pop, pop” echoes out. As chaos ensues, children continue to show off their new back-to-school items as they flee from a school shooter. Finally, a young girl crouched in a dark bathroom with her feet on the toilet, tears rolling down her cheeks, texts, “I love you mom” on her cell phone and says, “I finally got my own phone to stay in touch with my mom.”The last image is a black screen with the words, “It’s back to school time and you know what that means. School shootings are preventable when you know the signs.” The message is a public service announcement video that Sandy Hook Promise released, a non-profit organization founded and led by family members who lost loved ones in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting on Dec. 14, 2012 in Newtown, Conn. It’s graphic, disturbing, and meant to stir up your emotions to get a message across. We live in a time in America that school shootings have become an alarming reality, and something needs to be done. 38
Why do these shootings happen and what can we possibly do to stop them is what most of us ask ourselves. The conversation then often turns to the topic of gun control and the problem that we have in this country with firearms. What if we also turned the conversation to the problem with bullying and mental health education? The tragic reality of school shootings is one that we have recently been forced to relive over and over again. According to CNN.com, within only 21 weeks of school in 2018, the United States had experienced 23 school shootings that resulted in either injury, loss of life, or both. It would be ignorant and irresponsible to blame all of these shootings on the effects that bullying can have, but it is definitely a huge reason as to why these shootings can happen. Author Marcel Lebrun writes, “Youths who have been bullied, isolated, harassed, threatened, and made to feel secondary have been the majority of the shooters,” in his book “Books, Blackboards, and Bullets: School Shootings and Violence in America.”Bullying is a relatively new topic being studied, but the information out there paints a grim picture. The book “Cyberbullying: Bullying in the Digital Age” by Robin M. Kowalski provides us with some statistical insight.
Starting with age, most studies have found that more children are bullied during elementary grades than higher grades. It’s also found that, “boys are more likely than girls to bully, and a recent metaanalysis of 153 studies since 1970 concluded that boys were more likely than girls to be ‘bullies’ and ‘bully victims’ […].” Kowalski found that “boys are more likely to be physically bullied by their peers and girls are more likely to be bullied through rumorspreading or through sexual comments or gestures.” As for socioeconomic factors, it’s typically thought that bullying is more of a problem in urban schools, but there isn’t research supporting this view. “In fact, bullying has been documented in diverse communities across the U.S. (and around the world),” Kowalski writes. If we want to truly attempt to change some of the results that stem from bullying, addressing mental health education is a good place to start. In the book “Promoting Mental, Emotional, and Social Health: A Whole School Approach,” author Katherine Weare points out a big flaw in our education system. “In education, for example, work on mental, emotional and social healthissues has mostly been focused on pupils of lower abilities, or those seen as troublesome or troubled, rather than being seen as of relevance to the whole school community, to ‘normal’ pupils or to teachers,” Weare writes. Students already have classes like psychology and sociology once they get into high school and college, but aren’t really taught things about mental health before that. Even though grasping those subjects would be too difficult for younger students, we can teach them about common mental illnesses. Therapist Bree Callaham gave El Vaquero insight into what a class like this might entail when she was interviewed. She suggested teaching them what these illnesses look like and teaching them what the warning signs are for depression and suicidality. Other things she said a class like this could teach is: what you do if you or a friend has a panic attack, what it is like to go to therapy, and inform them whether or not their parents would have to sign off for therapy. Some states, like California, don’t need a parental signature for kids who are 12 and over if they say that they have a reason to not tell their parents they are going to therapy. A handbook given out could arm them with resources to give them information like a suicide hotline, names of low-fee clinics, names of private therapists, and places they could go to take part in support groups. Teaching some basic history of mental health would also be valuable so that students could be more informed about the subject overall.Some education could start at the elementary level. Part of what this would incorporate is teaching emotional intelligence and somatic awareness.
Callaham spoke to El Vaquero about the wheel of emotions saying, “If we could teach that to kids. That it’s possible that you are feeling a combination of all of these things right now, or [ask] can you name what you’re feeling right now?” She described teaching somatic awareness as, “teaching awareness of sensation in the body.” An example of this would be a child being able to communicate that their stomach is clenching up because they are stressed out about their test later. This type of focus would also teach kids how to communicate their emotional world more accurately. Schools could also implement a listening hour where kids can come in and just be listened to. They would know that someone is there for them how to really hear each other. It’s one thing to listen, but it’s another thing to actively listen. It may sound absurd to have the idea to teach this, but most adults can’t even actively listen for very long. It would also allow kids to practice communicating how they feel so that it becomes natural and easy. A good template to start with would be something like: “When someone does (blank), I feel (blank),” or “Right now I feel (blank) because of (blank),” says Callaham. “When you start practicing it [communicating your feelings], you start actually paying attention to what the feelings are that are coming up instead of suppressing them,” she said. Empathy could be a focus of the class as well as it doesn’t come inherently to every child, especially if it’s not modeled in the home. The Sandy Hook tragedy still haunts us today, and now many more school and mass shootings have been added to the ever-growing list. While the public service announcement put out by Sandy Hook Promise forces us to focus on the severity of the problem that we face as a society, the real question is, how are we going to take action to prevent these heinous acts? It may be unrealistic to think that we can stop every shooting, but we can start with an entirely new system of educating our youth. The hope is that we can create generations that are mentally healthier than any generation that came before, and that we won’t have to keep sending our children to school with back-to-school gear that would help them to survive a school shooting.
- JENILEE BOREK
With special thanks to:
Associated Students of Glendale Community College
The Journalism Program
The Glendale Foundation
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