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Vol. 11 | Issue 4

Summer 2019

Somewhere Over a Waterfall

Limited edition, one-of-a-kind Looptworks Re-Duck fan gear is waiting for you.

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4 | ETHOS | Summer 2019

CONTENTS Vol. 11 Issue 4 | Summer 2019

08 Features

8 | A Summer of a Self-Made 9 to 5 10 | Crossing the Greek Line

14 Focus

14 | Eight Years Later 20 | Somewhere Over a Waterfall 23 | From Financial Strife to Success



28 | Venezuelan Coup

30 Arts

30 | Mythos of the Cowboy 32 | California Love



25 | The Ethicality of Raising a Vegan Child

Summer 2019 | ETHOS | A

EDITOR Letter from the


s my last editors note I felt I felt I should write something inspiring or uplifting that speaks to change or moving on. The train of thought went something like change is invigorating and exciting and keeps us on our toes. While that reads true, change is painful and uncomfortable and can make us insecure and unsure. It carries this notation that you are at the end of the road. But it’s not the end, but a beginning, and that in itself is intrinsic. I am sitting on the side of the road, it’s 90 degrees and my bike engine is overheated. Amidst the heat trapped in my leather jacket, Toni Morrison words come to mind. “As you enter positions of trust and power, dream a little before you think.” I walked into this position with a dream and not a lot of experience on my belt. Without knowing the full weight of trust and power I was easily and quickly inspired by our storytellers. From editing stories while reporting in the Nevada desert to working with writers reporting on Southeast Asia I learned that that trust and power lies in all of our hands and not just mine. From complete story rewrites to dropping stories days before deadline or last minute additions, none of these complications made me doubt the things this magazine does. This summer issue looks at stories of student success, fi nancial hardship, the concept of a cowboy and the Occupy Movement in Eugene. At Ethos, the team seeks to inspire and innovate and through the rigorous reporting and late nights this magazine will continue to produce outstanding journalism.

ELLA T MORGAN Editor in Chief


Managing Editor ZOE CRAIG Copy Editor SYDNEY PADGETT & RYAN NYUGEN Writers Maddie Horn, Sydney Padgett,

Marin Stuart, Alexandra Radifera, Kiki James, Jaime Rehlaender, Dante Peña, Renata Geraldo, Abbie O’Hara, PHOTOGRAPHY

Photo Editor MARIN STUART Asst. Photo Editor MEGHAN JACINTO Photojournalists Payton Bruni, Keven Salazar


Designer Brooke Harman Artists Brenna Fox, Maddy Wignall

Ethos is a nationally recognized, award-winning independent student-run publication. Since its inception as Korean Ducks Magazine in 2005, Ethos has worked hard to share a multicultural spirit with its readership. Ethos recieves support from the ASUO. All content is legal property of Ethos, except when noted. Permission is required to copy, reprint, or use any content in Ethos. All views and opinions expressed are strictly those of the respective author interviewee. Ethos is a publication of the Emerald Media Group.

Summer 2019 | ETHOS | A

“diverse, dynamic, and dangerously impressive women� 8 | ETHOS | Summer 2019

A Summer of a

Self-Made 9 to 5

A girl, a passion, and a coffee-table book created when an internship wasn’t an option.

WORDS | MADDIE HORN PHOTOS | PAYTON BRUNI Tenacity, creativity and boss-ass ladies. These are the facets of a coffee-table book written, designed and published by Jessica Leonard- a senior studying Advertising at the University of Oregon SOJC. Changing her major from Business Administration to Journalism: Advertising after her sophomore year of college completely defi ned her self-acceptance, creative path, and summer of 2018. Seeking solace from a professor after not fi nding a summer internship before senior year, Leonard was directed to a creative headspace conscious of everything she was inspired by: doodling in between the lines and incredible women in the creative world. Deb Morrison, an Advertising professor in the SOJC told her to use a personal project like an internship; an outlet to learn everything from Adobe Creative Suite to what propels her passion. So she decided to craft a coffee-table book about the inspiring women she knew in her life, including family members, past teachers, professors, and creative industry leaders. “I turned a problem into a solution by spending a summer doing what I love: Elevating badass women’s stories in a creative way,” she said. “I illustrated a book about eighteen strong women that have a story to tell, and I dedicated it to my little sister.” Wide pages fi lled with illustrations, interviews and inspiration are the foundation for “Project Ladybone: 18 Strong Women with a Badass Backbone.” This title is derived from the common denominator Leonard found in all of the women she looked up to: a backbone that kept them strong, resilient, and fearlessly persistent. Red, purple, and black saturate bold fonts with interview questions like “What’s your creative process?” and “What does success mean to you?” The women respond with eloquent answers encompassing what their ten-year-old-selves would think of them now to what they have planned for the next ten years, and Leonard gracefully portrays them as the diverse, dynamic, and dangerously impressive.

The creative process behind Project Ladybone came from Leonard’s space of little inspirations. Her home in Eugene has walls in the living room, bedroom, and kitchen that are fi lled with her paintings of women she knows, creates, and illustrates through colorful lines and personality-fi lled shapes. So using the wall above her desk in her hometown bedroom, or “summer office”, as an enormous mood board helped her stay motivated and clarify the who-what-when-where of her project. “I would just shut myself in my room and consider that my 9-5 every day. My family knew when my bedroom door was closed, I was on do-not-disturb mode because I was in the creative zone. I failed a lot, but the cool shit I created outweighed that” Leonard recalls. Leonard’s itch for art direction comes naturally, from childhood days saturated in water colors, paint brushes, and doodling pictures. Yet constructing something with professional intention from the ground up inevitably enhanced her confidence in the field. “I got to get inspired every time I talked to these women, and I could see myself doing these types of passion projects for real, within the industry.” In a competitive creative world, college students and industry-beginners can feel overwhelmed and underrepresented in their worth. Curating personal passions and bringing them to life in innovative ways was all the practice for the professional world that Leonard needed going into her senior year of college. Learning how to organize, illustrate, and bring her random ideas to fruition propelled her ability to tell stories and self-reflect in a productive way. “Empowered women empower women, and inspired people inspire people,” says Leonard. She took this sentiment and ran with it, attributing her resilience and patience to the process to “Fuck it, I’m just going to do my own thing.”

“I wanted to focus on women who are doing their own thing, but for a living,” she said “I just started calling up old girlfriends from high school, moms, and teachers who impacted me. This taught me how to show stories.”

Summer 2019 | ETHOS | A

Crossing the


The challenges multicultural Greek chapters face at UO and the role they play in creating a community of support LLahela Daniels grew up idolizing the Alpha Kappa Alphas in her life. From notorious Black figures like Mae Jemison to the upperclassmen at her North Carolina high school, Daniels knew that wherever she attended college, she wanted to join the National Panhellenic Council, also known as the Divine Nine. The NPHC is made up of nine historically Black sororities and fraternities across the nation, each with rich histories and traditions. Founded in 1930 on the campus of Howard University in response to an increasingly segregated Greek community and a desire to serve and uplift the Black community, the NPHC has blossomed into an international organization with over 300,000 members. When Daniels arrived at the University of Oregon, she was pleased to see a small, though mighty, NPHC community. This often misunderstood and unsung community has persisted in a Greek system with very little racial diversity for almost 75 years. Today, this progress embodies the resilience and the meaning of multicultural Geek life for the members that fight for its recognition. The two NPHC chapters at UO, Delta Sigma Theta and Alpha Kappa Alpha., have worked to establish necessary com10 | ETHOS | Summer 2019

munities of support on a campus and in a state that have historically marginalized minority populations. Although the office of Fraternity and Sorority Life has demonstrated an increased dedication to the chapters’ growth in the last two years, the NPHC members at UO continue to face challenges in one of the whitest states in the United States. NPHC organizations at UO face a troubling racial landscape as well as a history of racism and racial violence. Only 2.3 percent of the university’s 22,760 students are black or African American, according to the UO Office of Institutional Research. This percentage has increased over the last ten years, rising just above the state’s 1.9 percent black or African American population. While UO is actively working to address the university’s historical mistreatment of people of color, the UO FSL department does not keep statistics of the racial diversity of the Greek community, according to Caitlin Roberts, the director of FSL. According to Roberts, while the university as a whole has shown a steady increase in racial diversity, the same increase is not evident in the Greek community, but she hopes that the growth of multicultural organizations like NPHC

will address this racial exclusion. “I’d love to see our population of students become more diverse, and I think the more we grow the opportunities for these students to be connected, the more inclusive our community will be,” Roberts said. Indeed, Alpha Kappa Alpha. and Delta Sigma Theta are significantly smaller than the other Greek organizations on campus. “There are not very many members, just because of the area we are in,” said Daniels. When she joined last year, there were only six other AKA members on campus. Similarly, Gabby Allen, the president of the Delta Sigma Theta Beta Psi chapter, is now the sole member at UO. Like Daniels, Allen joined Delta Sigma Theta because of the shared set of values she aligned with. “I found that a lot of the women I grew up with were a part of this organization and I looked at them as influential women in my life,” Allen said. “When I came to UO, I saw these other organizations, but I didn’t see anybody that necessarily reflected my beliefs or even looked like me. So it was more about fi nding a group that I could connect with on a personal level.”

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When Allen joined her house in 2017, there were 12 members. Now, as the only Delta at UO, Allen also faces the challenge of locating and recruiting members. But what they lack in size, NPHC chapters make up in their impact on the community. According to Marcus Langford, the associate dean in the Office of the Dean of Students at UO, NPHC chapters’ dedication to the community is unparalleled. “There really is a drive to focus on the specific communities they were founded to support and engage,” said Langford, citing his own fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha Inc., which was the fi rst historical African American fraternity founded as a direct result of exclusion from white fraternities. “As these organizations developed, they then extended their work, time, energy and effort into the African American community.” This dedication is encompassed in Delta Sigma Theta’s political and social action. Last year, Allen joined her sisters in the Red Army — a self-designated name based on Delta’s signature color — at Delta Days in Washington D.C., when members lobby for legislative action for the Black community at UO and in Oregon. While the community service NPHC organizations engage with now extends beyond the black community, this initial commitment and set of values still drives their service, and their values as NPHC and community members. “They are really more focused on giving back to the community. With our NPHC groups, they are out there, doing work in the community, giving their time and actually doing service,” Roberts said. Indeed, the presence and proliferation of NPHC at UO is essential for a community that is not sufficiently represented in Oregon. “It’s important that we have organizations and mechanisms that were created with the interest and success of folks of color and folks from marginalized and underrepresented populations, in mind,” Langford said. That said, it can be difficult for NPHC chapters to feel their voices heard. Functioning within FSL and under the guidance of Roberts — who is white — presented an all-too-familiar trend of

12 | ETHOS | Summer 2019

multicultural representation at UO for Daniels. “I had a white woman my freshman year teach me African American history, so that’s kind of like what it is like to be under FSL,” Daniels said. NPHC organizations face a similar lack of recognition in the Greek community as a whole. According to Daniels, another sorority at UO uses the same hand signal as Alpha Kappa Alpha Inc. These signals (AKA’s is made by placing one hand on top of the other with each thumb out) are unique to each house, intimately incorporated into ritual and sisterhood and serve as universal, nonverbal indicators of unity. “Just because there are so little of us,

“they are out there, doing work in the community, giving their time and actually doing service” it’s not going to hurt to learn about us,” Daniels said. “For me, I don’t really care that they don’t know but at the same time, I am tired of the looks. We put in the effort to do that research on them, so it feels like they should do the same for us.” For Allen, this lack of awareness has had detrimental effects on the ability of greek life as whole to enact change. “I think a lack of knowledge has stopped the networks from connecting, but it’s slowly starting to get there,” Allen said. Indeed, FSL has made significant strides in the last year in better supporting the NPHC organizations on campus, including them in annual retreats and events. Working with the FSL administration directly, Allen is optimistic about the future of NPHC organizations at UO.

“I think that FSL is doing a great job of trying to mend and make those relationships. They’ve been including us in everything and they want to grow our chapters just as much as we do,” Allen said. On an administrative level, Langford notes a noticeable change in the ways in which FSL and the university are working to acknowledge and uplift multicultural Greek life. “We are really thinking in terms of how can we best support and engage these organizations and part of that may be that we have to think about how we historically have supported fraternities and sororities, as it relates to NPHC organizations,” Langford said. “We just have to think about doing that in a different way.” NPHC chapters have been at UO since 1945, confronting a racial landscape that has mistreated people of color for centuries. While their numbers are small, their role in the state of Oregon as a whole is unparalleled. “It is what it is. Oregon is not very diverse,” Langford said. “So having these organizations provides a place and a space for those students to celebrate their identity and be a part of something that was created specifically and particularly for them.” And perhaps more notably is the role the chapters play for their members. “Being an AKA means that I am a part of something that is bigger than me,” Daniels said. “I am here for the same reason our founders were 111 years ago and I love that my sisters are too.”

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14 | ETHOS | Summer 2019

Eight Years Later: Occupy Eugene’s Influence

September 17, 2019 marks the eight-year anniversary of the inception of Occupy Wall Street, a national movement for political and social change that spurred smaller movements in many cities around the United States, including Eugene, Oregon. WORDS & PHOTOS | MARIN STUART

Summer 2019 | ETHOS | A

The Occupy Movement

After the inception of Occupy Eugene on Oct. 15, 2011, homeless and student activists alike crowded together to occupy Washington Jefferson Park in the Whiteaker neighborhood, fighting the muddy and cold conditions the nighttime hours brought. Rampant sicknesses plagued the occupiers, who chose to sleep in the park for many nights to protest the numerous issues the Occupy Movement sought to address, such as corporate money in politics and the lack of affordable housing. Their hard work paid off as many important organizations rose out of Occupy, including tiny house villages that look to help provide more affordable housing. One of these activists was Sabra Marcroft. Marcroft, 52, a Eugene resident and community volunteer, not only joined the Occupy Eugene movement but also became active in many organizations that came out of Occupy. While Marcroft never stayed overnight at the occupied Washington Jefferson Park, she often went in the middle of the night when she couldn’t sleep to be part of the movement’s energy and became increasingly enthralled by Occupy’s message. “[The march] went right in front of my house. Here were all these people, these beautiful people, marching, and I had to join them,” said Marcroft. “I was looking around me, and I was seeing the fi rst of what I was clear was going to become a wave of homeless old people, and I had some big ideas about what to do about the situation. I figured these were some people that might listen.” Occupy Wall Street, or the “Occupy Movement,” officially began in New York on Sept. 17, 2011 and was an influential movement for its time despite the somewhat confl icting interests and aims of its participants. While all were united with the common interest of abolishing inequality, particularly between rich corporations/socio-political authority (or “the 1%”) and America’s middle and lower classes (or “the 99%”), it seems the movement also elicited outrage against other forms of inequality. Some of these included homelessness, corporate greed, student debt and access to education, union/labor rights, health care, unemployment, 16 | ETHOS | Summer 2019

and even extending to the environment and women’s rights. Inspired by similar movements but without a resoundingly clear aim or goal, the Occupy Movement became a sort of umbrella movement for inequality and a symbol for Americans’ frustration with a political and economic system still reeling from a major fi nancial crisis just a few years previously. Initiated by over 1,000 protesters gathered in New York City, within a few weeks Occupy had gained traction in Chicago, Oakland and even smaller cities like Eugene, Oregon. Here, the movement began in mid-October 2011 and moved its way through various locations and city parks, fi nally settling in Washington Jefferson Park. Occupy Eugene itself was fairly peaceful, even with more than 2,000 people in attendance, and, according to Marcroft, proved a force to be reckoned with when it came to occupiers who were eager for change. Joining the movement to encourage collaboration around social issues and to share possible solutions to Eugene’s housing crisis, Marcroft was deeply interested in the movement’s aims and worked to help create something lasting. “My primary focus is building resilience. We need strong community to be able to meet the challenges we already are facing and to face the ones that are in front of us,” said Marcroft. “When conditions are really bad and people pull together, if they have the resources to keep supporting each other so they don’t break down, then those can be the best times in the world.”

Occupy Eugene, while influential, was seemingly just as disorganized as Occupy Wall Street due to the sheer number of topics it tried to cover. Marcroft also mentioned the disorderly nature of the general assemblies of protesters, reflecting on fights that ensued and the lack of effective leadership. While there was less police pushback in Eugene than in many other cities, Marcroft recalled police dropping off troublesome people at the Occupy encampment with the idea of driving out many of the occupiers. Eventually, due to disorganiza-

tion, the movement in Eugene began to splinter into separate groups. “I think the real heart, it’s never died,” said Marcroft. “Things that Occupy Eugene sparked and got started are influencing the way things are done all over the country, and other countries, in terms of being helpful and solving problems around homelessness and poverty.” With pressure from the city to leave the parks and riversides following Occupy, the homeless were left with nowhere to go. Shortly after the Occupy encampment was disassembled, the mayor of EuSummer 2019 | ETHOS | A

gene at the time, Kitty Piercy, brought together a task force to fi nd solutions for the housing crisis. Marcroft, joining this task force, began working on a project incited by Occupy: Opportunity Village.

Square One Villages

Sprawling around a small plot of land in industrial West Eugene, bright colors and hand-painted murals characterize the tiny houses and shared facilities of the village. Protected by a gate house, the land and leading gravel road gives way to small homes large enough for a bed and some personal belongings. Residents are able to visit the community yurt, which houses a television, board games, and coffee in the mornings. While it took a few years to get up and running, Opportunity Village, one of three villages owned by Square One Villages, became a functioning tiny house community for people in need of transitional housing. Made up of 29 units, the village can support over 30 residents and puts no time limit on how long they can stay. Each resident or couple has their own bed space, and bathrooms and living spaces are shared by all residents. Welcoming their fi rst residents to Opportunity Village in May 2014, Square One Villages was founded with the idea of creating eco-friendly, self-managed tiny house communities that provide a housing option for low-income residents of Eugene. In addition to Opportunity Village, Square One Villages is in the process of fully developing two other tiny house villages in Oregon: Emerald Village – which is only a mile from Opportunity Village in Eugene – and Cottage Village, their newest endeavor in Cottage Grove. “This is a stepping stone. The way that the housing market here has gotten to be is 18 | ETHOS | Summer 2019

that rent is so high for so many people that we’re experiencing a major homeless problem,” said Raquel Diaz, Village Coordinator. “Affordable housing is becoming a problem in the whole country.” Each week, residents of Opportunity Village participate in a variety of beautification tasks around the property and man the gatehouse to hand out applications and welcome visitors. Because Opportunity Village is not technically considered a shelter by the city, residents can still qualify for assistance such as the Oregon Health Plan and food stamps. The village also receives a weekly donation from Food for Lane County, which helps fi ll the village pantry with nonperishables that residents can sign for and check out when they’re hungry. Opportunity Village runs mainly on donations and by charging residents a $35 program fee that is paid each June. Despite help from other organizations in the community, Diaz says Opportunity Village would benefit from additional support in order to improve the residents’ stay but also further assist them in transitioning to a more permanent housing situation. “I think if there was more funding for resources -- things like behavioral health -- and just having more staff, that would be really beneficial for the villagers and helping them work towards their goals and whatever help they might be needing,” said Diaz. Similar to Opportunity Village, Emerald Village is a more permanent housing situation for those with minimal income. Consisting of 22 tiny homes commissioned by a variety of local architects as well as lush lawns and a community building that is currently under construction, Emerald Village allows residents to be part of a housing cooperative and pay minimal rent fees. Residents of Emerald Village pay anywhere between $250-

$350 per month as a carrying charge and a $50 membership fee every 30 months, said Diaz. Villagers join different committees – titled Membership, Admin, Outreach, and House and Grounds – to assist with the various duties around the community. In addition to Square One Villages’ tiny houses, many other organizations in the Eugene area that came out or grew because of Occupy are still in operation today, including Nightingale Hosted Shelters, which also provides transitional lodgings for the unhoused; Occupy Medical, a free medical clinic geared towards those without health insurance; and Burrito Brigade, a group that hand-delivers free vegan meals to the homeless. With the plethora of organizations that Occupy roused, it’s clear the movement provoked and continues to encourage necessary measures to combat the issues brought forth by the lack of affordable housing. According to City of Eugene data, there were 1,905 homeless individuals in 2012, one year following Occupy, and only 1,451 homeless individuals in 2016, four years following Occupy. While there are other factors that may have had a hand in this dramatic drop, perhaps the most apparent is the emergence of shelters and organizations full of volunteers looking to help out. While homelessness in Eugene is far from being eradicated, it is clear that a movement like Occupy was what the city needed to begin seeking solutions. Eight years following Occupy, the movement demonstrated that the ideas and pressures of a large body of people – even on a local scale – are influential in creating positive change. Despite these victories – which should be celebrated – there’s still a long way to go when it comes to providing more affordable housing.

“We’re going to need a mass movement. We’re going to need every pair of human hands that we can get over the next 50 years,” said Marcroft. “Help each other as we can, learn as we go along.”

Volunteer Information and Opportunities: Summer 2019 | ETHOS | A

Somewhere Over a Waterfall


There are a handful of people that can be named right in the community of the University of Oregon that are recognized for incorporating their passions into their future, Brendan Delaney is one of them. Teaching himself fl ips and parkour tricks at the young age of 14, Delaney has loved high action and extreme sports for as long as he can remember. His home in San José, California, gave him all the outdoor space he could imagine as a beginner who relentlessly pushed himself. He didn’t always have the black spandex leggings and long sleeve shirt, topped with shorts and a red Vyncher shirt, that you would see him jumping off of cliffs in now. Instead, he wore whatever clothes he could move best in, and whichever surface was highest at the moment. As expected, his parents were always kept on their toes looking out for Delaney, but maybe more than the average parent. Delaney lost most of his hearing at a young age and has to be extremely cautious with his head so that he doesn’t lose his hearing completely. He was advised to stray from contact sports, involving tackling, diving, and any other way his head could be hit; to 20 | ETHOS | Summer 2019

live cautiously. But extreme caution is far from Delaney’s world. Despite the risk of losing his hearing forever, Delaney went against advice from doctors to stay away from radical sports. Delaney has a natural passion for exploration, and nothing was going to stop him, not even a potential major head injury. His roof, skate parks, and benches became too familiar - he had mastered them and seeked a greater challenge. And while his friends and family were also well aware of the risks, they were also extremely aware of the happiness that was brought to Delaney by exploring, experimenting, mastering, and sharing what he had done. So as opposed to stopping him, they made sure to support him and make sure he was on the right and safe path to success. Before he ended up as a student of Journalism and Communications at the University of Oregon, he was a business major at a community college in his hometown San Jose, California for one year. He learned this was not the place for him, and moved to Eugene as an undeclared student at Lane Community College for his second year of school, and then eventually applied to the University of Oregon to fi nish his college career.

Spring Summer 2018 2019 | ETHOS | ETHOS | 21 | A


large influence towards Delaney’s immediate interest in journalism is his small company Vyncher. In 2016, Delaney and his friends realized they shared a natural passion for fi lmmaking, for storytelling, and that they had the capabilities to tell their own stories, “so naturally we fi lmed everything we did,” said Delaney. The man behind the camera Jacob Phillips, scout of the locations Andrew Levitt, adventurous soul David Clark and dare-devil Brendan Delaney became a dream team of storytellers and content creators and, thus, Vyncher was born. A large influence towards Delaney’s immediate interest in journalism this small company - an adventure driven media group made up of Delaney and his high school best friends. “I know that in some way shape or form I want to tell stories forever. And in order to tell stories you have to make them, which I think is the perfect situation to be in,” said Delaney. “I love making memories and I believe life is a collection of experiences, so I want to make the most. So as long as I am making memories with the people I love and sharing them, I will be happy.” Their company originally came together when Brendan started teaching himself parkour, an activity where one aims to get from point A to point B with complex steps, around their hometown, San José, California. Vyncher was exciting for the boys and they saw grand potential for it, but to be whole-heartedly invested in the company, the boys had to keep one factor in mind: Brendan’s hearing loss. Delaney took his fi rst big dive off of a 40 foot cliff during his high school senior trip to Kauai, Hawaii, which landed him in the hospital. This was a reality check for Delaney, as it made him realize truly how much he loved the thrill and adventure of high-risk activities. At the same time, he and his friends decided they weren’t going to stop doing what they loved but they had to proceed with extra caution.

With the help and support of his family and friends, Brendan found a way to continue his passions in a safer manner. Brendan and his friends continued to explore and ins-and-outs of San José, and eventually with the help of summer jobs and Vyncher, a lot of the world. “I have always been a believer that the best parts of life are making experiences with people who are important to you,” says Brendan. “Having these experiences are amazing just by itself but then to be able to share them with people makes it even cooler.” x It is all of these passions in his life coming together - adventure, storytelling, media - that led Delaney to his pursuit of journalism, but more so it is the strategic way he had to go about his passions that brought him to this point in his life. Katie Mack is an advertising major and Delaney’s girlfriend of a little over a year. She says Brendan will not quit cliff diving, and that reflects on this personality as well. “He will never stop pushing the limits,” she says. “On everything he does he’s a risk taker and that won’t go away when cliff jumping does.” Delaney’s drive for adventure is a constant in his life. “I think a large part of my adventurous drive that has transferred to my ‘career’ or field of interest is my love to tell stories. I’ve always loved telling stories and sharing them with others,” he says, “whether that be to just simply tell the story or rather to inspire others.” He is a prime example of allowing your drive and passions to influence your future without hesitation. While risking your life may not be the most conventional way to get to a successful career, Delaney’s story shows that taking a quite literal leap of faith can land you in your perfect pool of water.

“So it was the perfect combination and it has been so cool to translate my adventurous personality and storytelling into advertising and tell other people’s stories.”

22 | ETHOS | Summer 2019

From Financial Strife to Success The relentless cycle of student financial insecurity WORDS | KIKI JAMES ART | MADDY WIGNALL

Imagine this: Wake up at 6 a.m., long before the sun is up during winter in Oregon. Hop out of bed and get dressed. Quickly brush your teeth and grab food on your way out of the door. Arrive at the gym to lift weights until about 7:45 a.m. Rush home to take a quick shower before heading to class for the day. After sitting through three courses, grab a quick snack before heading to the track for practice. Run and spring for about two hours before heading home. Take another shower, eat dinner, and then fi nish up all school work. Before you know it, the time is now 10:30 p.m. and it’s time for bed, to have the same routine tomorrow. That is a look into the life of a collegiate studentathlete. But when struggling with fi nancial insecurity, fi nding a job with such a bustling schedule can be very difficult. Financial insecurity is a relentless cycle, as many students in college are all too familiar with. University of Oregon junior Anjola Oladapo found herself struggling to keep up with fi nances this year, with a new tuition increase of $8,910 in the 2016-17 school year, to $9,765 for this past academic year. Although the tuition increase alone was less than $1,000 in three years, that number is substantial to Oladapo and other students who are struggling to keep themselves afloat fi nancially. How does one tackle gaining security and saving money with the constant

stress, work, and extracurriculars that surrounds college? Prior to transferring to the University of Oregon to study accounting, Oladapo was on the track and field team at Lane Community College her freshman year during the 2016-2017 school year. During that time, she was always busy balancing school and training, and due to a lack of availability, she was not able to get a job. Although she was on a fi nancial scholarship, it was difficult to keep up with extra costs and most importantly- rent. This ultimately forced Oladapo to move back home after her fi rst year. “Paying rent and me not working because I was doing a sport was hard for my parents to be able to do all the things they’re paying for and paying for my rent and cost of living,” she said. After living at home and saving up for a year while attending Portland Community College, Oladapo had the opportunity to attend the University of Oregon to fi nish her degree. Most weeks, Oladapo is unable to eat out, as much of her money goes to paying rent and school supplies. The little money left over is used for groceries, though Oladapo generally cannot afford to go shopping more than once a week, with the lack of time and money.

“She juggles jobs between Portland and Eugene. She’s always applying for jobs knowing that our parents are not able to help that much fi nancially. I ask her what she’s doing on the weekends, and she always has shifts, so she often sacrifices her weekends in order to put herself through classes and pay for rent,” Oladapo’s younger brother, Kitan Oladapo, said. However, she recently found a new job to help relieve the burden, but quickly turned to campus resources to aid in other ways. “The Sustainability Center on campus has free toilet paper for students and that was something fundamental that I needed,” Oladapo said about utilizing campus resources. The Student Sustainability Center is one of the many on-campus resources that are available to University of Oregon students that aid with those struggling financially in various ways. Along with giving away free toilet paper, the Student Sustainability Center also aids with food insecurity by providing free produce drops. Every second and fourth Tuesday of every month for a few hours right outside the EMU, the Student Sustainability Center organizes a food pantry in coordination with Food for Lane County. Another resource for those struggling with food insecurity is the Student Food Pantry, located

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at 1329 E 19th Ave. This establishment is focused on feeding college students living in the Eugene-Springfield area who grapple with having enough money to buy groceries.

With volunteers help, free coffee and water, as well as music playing, the pantry provides an inclusive and

Doug Hale, who runs the Student Food Pantry, is the Chaplin for the Episcopal Campus Ministry and has been in charge of the Student Food Pantry for a little over six years. The pantry is located on the ministry’s property. The garage is where the produce and canned food are stored. Money is donated to allow for purchase of food items, but most of the food is provided by Food for Lane County. During fall term of 2012, the pantry opened, and more students started to slowly fi le in each Wednesday and Thursday. By winter, there had been a substantial increase in student attendance, from 40-90 students per week to around 100-150. Hale believes this increase was “based on accessibility,” as well as spreading the word. As of fall 2018, there was around 200 students and community members who came to the pantry weekly, as Northwest Christian students were welcomed with open arms.

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Oladapo has visited the pantry a few times since being in Eugene, as it is a free, fast, and easy way to get produce with her lack of time and money on a weekly basis. Hale says the biggest takeaway from working with the pantry was about just a year after the pantry opened, with an anonymous email. The email thanked Hale and focused on the fact that the pantry was not just about food, but about supporting people. “We support people and food is the mechanism,” Hale said.

welcoming environment. “We try to make this as friendly as possible,” Hale said. Keeping the anonymity is an important part of the pantry, as Hale mentioned that there is often a “stigma” tied to the pantry. Some may view using the pantry as a sign of weakness or need, but this is a great resource that provides some food security.

While working with a group of campaign students in the School of Journalism and Communication on campus, the group was trying to come up with a slogan for the pantry. But this proved to be more difficult than anticipated. Finally, the group came up with the pantry’s current slogan, “Fueling success while fighting hunger.” The pantry is not just about feeding students, but also about providing a source of support. As Oladapo fi nishes out her junior year, her main focus this summer is to work and save up money in hopes that she will have more fi nancial freedom in the near future.

The Ethicality of Raising A Child Vegan WORDS | JAIME REHLAENDER Two years ago when I showed up to the fi rst day of my Writing 123 class and learned that the topic for the entirety of the class was animal rights and factory farming, I swore to myself that I would not let that class forced me to give up my meat-consuming ways. One term, one bad break-up, and two health documentaries later, I had become a vegetarian. The following year, I moved in with one vegetarian and one vegan and realized that the majority of my friends were either starting to sustain plant-based diets or had for a while. Up until this point, I had thought of vegetarianism as a habit I would maintain for as long as it benefitted and convenience me — that is, until I saw a really wellcooked chicken — but suddenly, I began to see it as the cultural shift and enduring lifestyle pattern that it was becoming. Although vegetarianism was, to me, the ethical choice in a variety of circumstances, there was one question that seemed to convolute the moral boundaries: is it ethical to raise children vegan/vegetarianism? Although this question was rooted in vegetarianism, it was the larger theoretical implications of it that kept me stumped. That is if vegetarianism is at its core a practice founded in personal belief (whether it’s of moral, health or environmental causes), then where do we draw the line when imposing personal practices and cultural beliefs onto our children? Why does, often times, the ingestion of food seem to be where this line falls, and not, per say, the act of sitting them down in church every Sunday? Yet I’ll back up here, and start with the defence.

Most people who preach the unethicality of raising vegan/vegetarianism point to health ramifications: children will not get enough protein, fatty acids, essential vitamins and nutrients. They will wither away without animal meat; their milkdeprived bones will splinter at the slightest tumble. In fact, The Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium even published a legal opinion this month asserting that

In fact, Hannah Grace Albers serves as one example of the physical benefits of a vegan lifestyle. Now 23, Hannah was diagnosed with liver cancer at 17 and told that she had 6 months to live. To minimize the toxins fi ltered through her liver, she went vegan overnight. This diet, in combination with other Gerson therapy methods, eventually ridded Hannah of her cancer without undergoing any chemotherapy. In terms of raising a child vegan/vegetarian, Hannah says that “parents should raise their children however they feel is healthiest. I won’t necessarily raise my children strictly vegan but there are obvious critical health and environmental benefits to a vegan lifestyle.” Yet these health facts serve the classic vegan/vegetarian advocacy argument, which I’ve dealt out on a number of occasions, and which I’m not really concerned with here. What I want to evaluate is how the issue of raising children vegan/ vegetarian becomes tricky because vegetarianism, at this point in time, is a personal choice that contradicts dominant culture. When we make this choice for our children without their consent (because it cannot be given), we are removing them from dominant culture. Suddenly they’re the one kid who can’t enjoy chicken nugget day at school: a dietary outcast, a freak of food habits. In this way, the ethical evaluation of vegetarianism is actually largely un-based in the food factors of it all, but rather in the social dynamics that regulate and preserve dominant ideology. For example, although consuming meat comes with all sorts of health and moral concerns, medical professionals have his-

“The ethical evaluation of vegetarianism is actually largely un-based in the food factors of it all, but rather in the social dynamics that regulate and preserve dominant ideology” raising a child vegan was so negligent that it should be considered a criminal offense. Of course, this argument has been debunked a handful of times: it is perfectly healthy to raise a child on a well-balanced vegan or vegetarian diet, and in many ways much healthier, as long term meat and dairy consumption have been proven to lead to hardened arteries, stokes, cancer, heart attacks, and a multitude of other bodily ills.

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torically not advocated for the imprisonment of parents who raise their children on meat. Yet if you search the internet about raising children vegetarian, there are a multitude of articles that decry parents unfit for practicing a plant-based diet. In order to understand this choice from a parental perspective, I talked to Dan Schneiderhan, a parent to two sons and a vegan of seven years. Dan says that if he were to raise his sons again he wouldn’t necessarily raise them vegan, because there shouldn’t be strict requirements surrounding personal eating habits, but he does advocate for choosing a personal diet based on health. “People should just eat what makes them feel good and healthy” he says. So if vegan parents seem to prioritize their children’s health, why is there so much backlack to raising a child vegan/vegetarian? Because I am staying on the theoretical side of things, I’ll only give a short nod to the capitalist incentives of maintaining this ideology. The fact that the meat and dairy industry have all sorts of ties to the government, which further affi liates in intricate, questionable ways to the success of big pharma, is defi nitely something that warrants discussion, yet the point is that certain interests are protected when meat and dairy consumption remain normalized in dominant culture.

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As such, there are a lot of societal barometers that are exposed in this question of raising a child vegan/vegetarian. Firstly, we see how changes in dominant culture are resisted on a structural and legislative level, so much so that parents are being attacked at a legal level by erroneous ‘medical reports.’ What are these ‘medical professionals’ really trying to protect with these fi ndings? Secondly, we see how much fear resides in the concept of the ‘social outcast’: we want our kids to be able to eat with all of the other kids, we don’t want any factor that sets them apart and inhibits their assimilation into the big scary social world. Yet what does this fear of the social deviant mean for people who are outcasted under other distinctions: disability, race, economic class, etc.? Yet the big and serious reveal is what both of these concepts imply when combined, which is that dominant ideology regulates individual behavior through the presumption of “ethicality”: it defi nes what is good and bad, and makes judgement calls based on one’s alignment with this binary. It is bad to raise your child on plant protein, it is good to sign them up for bible study. So what’s the point of all of this? I started by talking about eating vegetables, where the hell are we now? Well, from this platform we can begin to question all evaluations of “ethicality”,

who defi nes good and bad, how this binarical understanding informs our worldview. I have a professor who says that whenever we are given two choices that we must look for a third, and here we have once again ended up at a crossroads. Yet perhaps instead of saying “yes, raising a child vegan/vegetarian is ethical” or “no, it’s not” we can throw out this regressive method of evaluation, take it a step further, and question: should we be letting societal constructions of good/bad, right/ wrong, regulate personal choices, such as diet, at all?


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The Venezualan Coup WORDS | ABBIE O’HARA


n 2017 a Venezuelan opposition party was formed in order to maintain the authority of the National Assembly. The designated figurehead of the opposition, Juan Guaidó, a formerly unknown right-wing politician from Venezuela’s Popular Will Party, has declared himself president amidst internal confl ict over the most recent presidential election by way of an informal power-sharing agreement among the opposition’s political parties. Article 232 of the Venezuelan Constitution grants the National Assembly power to declare a president’s “abandonment” of his position. However, Maduro has done no such thing and only the Supreme Court has the authority to disqualify sitting presidents.1 Although, one must recognize that this very Supreme Court was carefully constructed by the Maduro presidency. This complex situation merits a more in depth look at Venezuelan history in order to better understand its current political climate. The United States has a long history of systemic involvement in Latin American politics that parallels current U.S. actions and rhetoric in present day Venezuela. In 2002, during the Presidency of Hugo Chavez, the Confederación de Tra-

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bajadores de Venezuela, or the National Federation of Trade Unions, opposed the Chavez presidency after his appointment to prominent positions in the Venezuelan National Oil Company. However, this uprising was prominently backed by American interests in Venezuelan oil. De-

“His deep ties to the Dirty Wars also serves as evidence of his willingness to promoto unjust violence...” spite President George W. Bush’s denial of U.S.involvement, The New York Times published a story exposing CIA prior knowledge of the coup, a coup that American media

brazenly supported, just as they are currently in support ofGuaido.2 Furthermore, publications such as The Guardian added that several U.S. senior officials in office during the attempted Chavez coup served as policy makers under the Regan administration during the Dirty Wars of the 70s and 80s when thousands of innocent civilians were murdered, tortured, and kidnapped. One such appointee, Elliot Abrams, a current senior advisor in international policy under the Trump administration, is infamously linked to misinforming the U.S. government in order to prompt violence during the Iran Contra Affairs motivated by his business connections with Dick Cheney. His deep ties to the Dirty Wars also serves as evidence of his willingness to promote unjust violence and military backed coups for economic gain. Likewise, Trump’s open communications with Venezuelan opposition officers was reported by the New York Times in September of 2018, continuing the trend of U.S. involvement in Latin American politics to today.3 Despite the long history of systematic targeting of Venezuela by the U.S., American media uniformly characterizes Venezuela’s suffering as the sole fault of Maduro. It is confusing and

disheartening to see a lack of recognition of U.S. past involvement in Venezuelan politics. The narrative of Maduro as a corrupt dictator is one that must be questioned and further examined as carefully constructed by the American government, even by prominent “liberal” Democrats. It is clear, though, that the threat of violence does not only come from the U.S., but from the Maduro administration itself. No sane communist or socialist would applaud the current state of Venezuela as it is clear a humanitarian crisis is occurring. Due to increasing inflation rates, sharp increases in immigration rates, and a drop in national income, many Venezuelans do not have access to basic necessities such as medicine, food, or toiletries.4 Despite the rapid increase in poverty, Maduro has denied the crisis and claims humanitarian aid serves as a U.S. orchestrated show undermining his presidency. On April 30th Maduro partially opened Venezuela’s border with Colombia after having closed off all of Venezuela’s borders from relief campaigns. Russian allies of Venezuela have accused the U.S. of attempting to arm Venezuelan’s opposition party. The roots of these claim of U.S. involvement and sabotaging of Venezuelan socialism may stem from the rigorous and pointed economic sanctions the Trump administration has imposed on the country. Unrelenting hostility of internal and external adversaries has led to international sanctions and threats of military action. This, coupled with failing oil prices and failure to diversify an economy dependent on petroleum, has greatly contributed to the Venezuelan crisis. The American government has fi nancial stakes invested in Venezuelan oil. John Bolton of Fox news has even stated on air that America would profit from investment in Venezuelan oil. Around the year 2014 the United State began imposing intense sanctions on Venezuelan oil companies and international oil prices plummeted while Venezuela’s oil output also declined significantly. Oil prices in Venezuela, a major foundation of the country’s economy, still have yet to recover to that of their pre-2014

prices. In 2017 the Trump administration imposed new sanctions which prohibited the purchase of bonds issued by the government or PDVSA and forbade the nation’s US-based company CITGO from repatriating profits.5 Due to the malicious intent to cause harm to the Venezuelan economy, many Chavistas saw these sanctions as an act of war. Anyone who points to government incompetence or the natural pitfalls of socialism as the root of the Venezuelan crisis is clearly overlooking a long U.S. history of economic interference. And, in case you were excluding democrats from involvement in this economic warfare, even an executive order under the Obama administration in 2015 directly targeted the Venezuelan economy. Framing this crisis in a global context is important. Chavista activists have been receiving support from China and Russia, sharply contrasting efforts by U.S. officials such as Marco Rubio to rule these activists organizations as terrorists. U.S. intelligence agencies launch as series of cyber attacks to Venezuelan electrical companies in an effort to leave innocent Venezuelans without power and, if accomplished, would serve as justification for U.S. interference in a ‘failing socialist economy’ as has been numerously stated by Trump. However, China offered to help restore Venezuela’s electricity before it evolved into a national crisis.6 All of this is to say that what is happening in Venezuela is revealing because it shows us that the United States and its North Atlantic treaty organization allies failed in isolating Venezuela and are up against the legacy and living infrastructure of the Socialist Bolivarian Republic. Throughout the Dirty Wars of the 70s and 80s, and even previous to those events, we are able to see the U.S. as a dominating figure controlling Latin American politics. This long relationship is now being confronted and fought against with the support of global allies such as Russia and China whose interests are even more complex.

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he English word cowboy derives from the Spanish word “vaquero” which in turn derives from the Spanish word for cow or “vaca.” This derivative timeline of the etymology of the word cowboy is not merely a coincidence. The original cowboys were not in fact wild western white buccaneers as depicted in American classic fi lms, but instead were native Mexicans forced to work on ranches when Spain invaded Mexico in the 16th century. In an article for The Atlantic, Leah Williams notes that “by the 19th century one in three cowboys were Mexican.” Therefore, it is quite curious why the fi rst image that comes to mind for many people when regarding cowboys 30 | ETHOS | Summer 2019

is white American fi lm stars such as John Wayne or Clint Eastwood. The iconography of the cowboy is as ingrained in associations with America as apple pie is. In the past the cowboy has meant many things: a loner, a rancher, a man of few words. Perhaps the cowboy still means all of those things. However, in the past few years the style of the cowboy has been littered all across media. In music, fi lm, television, and art the cowboy has resurged from its dormancy and reclaimed its throne as an American staple of culture. What is more important about this resurgence of the cowboy is who is driving it. It is African-

American musical artists such as Solange and Lil Nas X, queer country singer Orville Peck, and even Japanese-American singer-songwriter Mitski who named her most recent album “Be the Cowboy,” who are furthering this imagery back into the forefront of the general public’s minds. This reconnaissance of the cowboy is a reclamation of power. Everyone thought they knew what a cowboy is (re: tall, white, strong, and male), but these artists have shown a completely different side to the wild west character. The cowboy is no longer just for the John Waynes of the world. It is for everyone. To understand why Lil Nas X’s and Solange’s reappropriation of the cowboy is so intrinsically important, in particular, one fi rst needs to know and consider the history of black cowboys. It is reported that nearly one in four cowboys in America from the 17th to the 19th century were black. This is not widely known of course. When we think of representations of the cowboy on fi lm we are littered with images of a rootin-tootin heavy duty horseback riders with a wicked smirk and anti-hero character arc. When we did see people of color on screen in western fi lms from the 1940s, 50s, and even beyond we saw them as villains. Native Americans were shown as savages and Mexicans were shown as treacherous bandits. However, African-Americans were almost never in any western fi lms. A great majority of cowboys in the south, and Texas, especially were in fact African slaves. It is a lesser known fact that while Texas ranchers fought in the civil war they left their slaves to take care of the ranches and fulfi ll cowboy duties which is noted by Katie Nodjimbadem in an article for the Smithsonian. African slaves were the backbone of ranches in the south, yet they are overshadowed and overlooked for glossy depictions of the self assured white cowboy. Additionally to tending to ranches, African-Americans also became some of the fi rst popular rodeo cowboy stars as seen through the likes of Bill Pickett. It is confounding yet not surprising that although black people played a major proponent in the role and culture of the cowboy in history, they are instead surpassed in popularity by their white counterparts. Even though Solange and Lil Nas X may just be using cowboy imagery as purpose of posturing it is incredibly pertinent to note that their posturing is not simply a rehash of the white cowboy, but instead a defiant defi nitively black one. One of Merriam-Webster’s defi nitions of a cowboy is “one having qualities (such as recklessness, aggressiveness, or independence) popularly associated with cowboys.” This defi nition of course takes into account what the popular depiction of a cowboy is i.e. male, white, and entitled to whatever he damn well pleases. One of the basic understandings of the cowboy is that he is free. This is of course not accurate as many historical cowboys were African slaves or Native Mexicans forced into work by the Spanish. However, this idea of a freewheeling, gun-slinging hero persists. Perhaps it is this depiction of the cowboy as the defi nitive white man that furthers this narrative. Cowboys are more than just straight white men. One genre of music that has always drawn from the heteronormative ideals of the cowboy is of course country music. From the days of Hank Williams Jr. to artists on the current country charts the cowboy and the cowboy hat in particular have always been a mainstay. It is not a mystery that is extremely hard to be openly queer in this music scene. However, over the past year an alternative country artist named Orville Peck has emerged as a signifier of all things gay AND cowboy. Of course the gay cowboy has been shown famously in media in the 2005 Ang Lee fi lm, Brokeback Mountain. However, other than that the association in mainstream media between queer life and the cow-

boy has been limited. Perhaps one recalls the cowboy character from the unabashedly queer band from the 1970s, the Village People. Despite this the cowboy has a sordid history with queer life. There are gay cowboy bars all across America. The cowboy as a gay sex icon has persisted through the likes of artist like Tom of Finland. Yet, while many gay men have subverted what it means to be a cowboy, mainstream media has rarely paid attention to these depictions. Orville Peck is a glowing example of what it means to be both openly gay and a cowboy in the modern sphere. Peck always wears a flamboyant fringed mask as well as queer actualizations of the cowboy costume on stage. In fact no one actually knows who he truly is. He also openly writes about his relationships with men, stories about drag queens, and is unashamed of his idenitity as a gay man in a heteronormative space such as country music. It is also important to note that Peck’s music recalls classic country music such as Loretta Lynn and Johnny Cash. Peck is a masterful pastiche of the cowboy. He is both within and without. By taking control of what it means to be a cowboy, Peck has circumvented the power from the straight white male cowboy right into his undeniably queer gaze. As mentioned earlier Mitski, a spectacular indie rock musician named her most recent record from 2018, “Be the Cowboy.” As a Japanese-American woman Mitski stated that she always felt she has little to no voice or space cultivated for her in society. The cowboy in turn represents exactly what Mitski wishes she could have, the power and freedom to do what she pleases. The cowboy represents macho power so purposefully tied to white male power by popular media that it frankly sickening. In a baffl ing, yet not shocking display of male privilege, fellow indie rocker Mac Demarco recently this year announced and released his latest record “Here Comes the Cowboy.” Demarco claimed he had not heard of Mitski’s record and that his record has nothing to do with hers. I fi nd it hard to believe Demarco had not heard of Mitski’s record from 2018 when it was on countless lists as one of the best albums of the year and even topped NPR’s year end album round up. Additionally I fi nd the wording of Mitski and Demarco’s respective albums interesting. Mitski’s album empowers those who are disenfranchised to seek power and space by a society that has denied them such. Demarco’s album title announces his deft arrival. Here he comes! It’s the privileged white man. Ultimately Mitski and Demarco both laughed this supposed coincidence off. However I do not fi nd it funny. Mitski’s defi nition of the cowboy reveals the power of its imagery. Demarco reveals its privilege. The cowboy has evolved from its John Wayne heydays. The cowboy now belongs to everyone. The cowboy is no longer a lone ranger. The cowboy is you.

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California Love

The pride, love and fear of a UO Chicano student translated into art WORDS | RENATA GERALDO PHOTOS | MARIN STUART

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“Today’s the day.” That was Sergio Sanchez’s fi rst thought when he woke up on February 15, 2019. It was a rainy, gloomy start of a day that would change Sanchez’s future. Starting at 5 p.m., he would have his fi rst gallery opening in the EMU, called “Sergio Sanchez: Santanero y Mexicano.” He’d been preparing for this day for months now. He flew his mother in from Santa Ana, California, and bought fresh new clothes for the opening. But Sanchez had his whole day in front of him. He went to class and worked, and later ironed his clothes in the bathroom behind the Multicultural Center in the EMU. What he wore, he said, communicated his identity as a Chicano: 501 jeans from Levi’s, white and blue Nike Cortez shoes, a white ProClub shirt, a straw hat and a sarape (a loose sweater) across the shoulder with Aztec symbols. The art on the wall of the gallery expressed his identity: his pride of being Chicano, the love he feels for his family and friends, the struggle of being a student of color in a white campus and the fear of failing his dreams. His artistic style, which Sanchez calls the “Sergio style,” is busy art. On a single piece of paper, he expresses his identity through lettering, with sentences or words often written in Spanish, drawings of eyes, Aztec symbols and love letters written to his girlfriend or mother. Though he was scared that no one would show up, his art gallery quickly fi lled up with people. From faculty to coworkers, his mom and his girlfriend, about 100 people, coming and going, fi lled up the room. It poured outside, but inside the gallery, Sanchez was surrounded by the warmth of people and traditional Mexican food. There were conchas, (Mexican sweet bread with sugar or chocolate sprinkled to the format of a seashell on top), flan (a sweet similar to custard), juice and hot beverages. Though UO Catering does not often offer these traditional Mexican dishes, Sanchez says that they did it just for his opening. This was the moment that everything changed for Sanchez: when he saw how much he had evolved as an artist and that he had a future in art. Surrounded by friends, co-workers, faculty, girlfriend and mom, Sanchez stood up on a wooden stool to give a speech and thank everyone 34 | ETHOS | Summer 2019

who was there. He’s not one to show emotions outside his close circle of friends and family, says his girlfriend Vanessa Carrillo, but as he went up to give the speech, his emotions overwhelmed him and his eyes were watery. Sanchez’s art is shaped by his roots coming from Santa Ana, California. According to data from the city website, Hispanics are 78.2% of the population there, followed by 10.4% of Asians and 9.2% of Whites. It’s an area shaped by Chicano culture: lowriders, graffiti and pride. But while he was part of the culture in Santa Ana, Sanchez now stands out in Eugene, where 9.4% of Hispanics or Latinos contrast with 84% of Whites, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. For Sanchez, being a Chicano means being Mexican American. In other words, he has the culture of a Mexican, but inserted in an American socio-political landscape. He’s often dressed in oversized jeans and shirts (sometimes button-ups) and he wears his hair back. Many people see him as a cholo, a Mexican gangster, but in reality, Sanchez says he looks like a normal Chicano. Carrillo says that the way he presents himself and his art is what attracts — and deflects — people. He’s often misinterpreted, she says, and this goes the same for his art. But Carrillo says that this misinterpretation is also what moves him forward. “I think a lot of people misunderstand or misinterpret him,” she says. “People see him and automatically think he’s probably from California, a Chicano, all this stuff, and I think that that’s helped him really make connections with faculty members or students. I think with the most successful people you’ll fi nd that they’ll have the same thing that helps them is the same thing that puts them back sometimes.” In most of Sanchez’s pieces there is an element of brown pride, or pride of being Hispanic. In an older drawing, he wrote, “Orgullosamente Mexicano” (Proudly Mexican). In a more recent piece, he wrote, “Brown Love.” But along with his Chicano pride, he says, he tries to ignore the bad parts of his roots in Santa Ana, like gang violence. He dealt with gangs growing up, though he was never involved in their

activities. Sanchez sees himself as a traditional Chicano, but the gangs around him never liked that he would behave and dress differently from them, as if Sanchez were a threat to their rules. He would keep his style, which, he says, is much influenced by lowriders and traditional Chicano clothing, such as Nike Cortez shoes, 501 Levi’s pants and ProClub shirts. But by doing so, he says he was scared that he would be attacked at any moment. Sanchez says what kept him away from getting in trouble and towards college was art and sports. His art career started earlier. In elementary school, he began imitating his brother’s graffiti art. But art became an obsession for him when he developed his “Sergio style,” which is the same one that was exhibited in the EMU earlier this year. He says he started developing his style when shifting from graffiti to a Chicano-style drawing and lettering related to lowriders and Mexican culture. One of his dreams when he was younger and before the gallery, he says, was to airbrush one of his pieces onto his lowrider. In middle school, however, his art was seen by school officials as slacking off. He was also told that if he got to high school, he should take art classes to learn how to do what they considered to be the “correct,” traditional art. He says he got his Sharpies taken away from him and got suspended for carrying them around in his backpack. But Sanchez carried on, he says, because he would use his art to fl irt with girls. He began doing track and field in high school and heard of the UO as a freshman when a fellow senior student compared him to Steve Prefontaine (“Pre”), UO’s famous track athlete. He was accepted to the UO, but his problems were not over. When he came to Eugene, he didn’t have to deal with gangs anymore. Now,

the threat was bigots. In a warm, dry Wednesday in May at 6:30 p.m., Sanchez and his team played their last intramural soccer game. They were there to have fun, says team captain Hanzel López, because they wouldn’t make it to the playoffs. Called the UO B3ans due to most of the team members being Latinx, it would be the last time in the year that they would wear their white shirts with UO B3ans written in green across chest. They were playing against a fraternity, says López, and the game was peaceful until the latter half of the game. López says that the other team started calling them names and being more aggressive than normal for a soccer game. He remembers being mocked because of his height and being asked if the UO B3ans had drank too much cerveza (“beer,” in Spanish). Tensions started to build up. López said that people from the other team were asking the UO B3ans to hit fi rst so they could call the police. His teammates were, above anything else, confused. They were already losing 3-0, he says, so there was no point in being provoked. López says the referees for the game were not doing anything to stop the tensions. The UO B3ans goalkeeper asked to end the game before the time limit. Instead of fighting, each team went in different directions, López says. His team was still confused as to when and why the tensions started, but the verbal racial aggressions, he says, were common. “I could easily knock that foo out,” Sanchez said about one of the students from the adversary team. “Either he goes down or I go down.” What kept Sanchez from hitting someone, he says, was the fact that, in a white campus, he and his teammates would be the ones to get in trouble, regardless of who would win the fight. Summer 2019 | ETHOS | A

“It took a lot out of me to be, like, you know what? This guy’s not important. This is a soccer game,” he says. “I’m not ‘bout to ruin my education, the education of those people that are playing with me, the other brown people around me because of this piece of shit.” In one of his most recent pieces, Sanchez drew jail bars with a blue pen. It does not take most of the painting compared to a rose and letterings that say “Californiano” and “Florita del alma.” But the drawing of the cage is present in a much smaller scale in the background of the upper left corner.

Carrillo says that his baggy clothes and cool exterior can sometimes be threatening to ignorant people, but Sanchez is sensible inside. In the same painting, Sanchez drew two eyes – one by itself and another in a woman. He also wrote, “It’s in the eyes, chico.” The eyes are one of his favorite things to draw, he says, because “the eyes are the door of a person’s emotions.” He says he is very emotional and “feels more than the average person,” but Sanchez doesn’t let his feelings transpire. For better or for worse, if he let his emotions get the best of him, he might get in trouble.

“He reacts on his emotions a lot,” said Carrilo, “and that might get him in trouble sometimes, but that’s not always bad.” Sanchez’s art depicts a lot of women, either through lettering or drawings. The eyes that he draws are often feminine. When he draws women, they often have long hair and a hat, and in one of his recent drawings, there is a bare-breast woman. He says he feels a lot of connection with women due to being raised by his mother while his father was out working. Because of this connection with his mother, Silvia, he flew her to Eugene to see his gallery. He says he wasn’t sure she would be able to come. She’d just gotten back from Mexico and had missed a few days’ work. But she came nonetheless to spend one of the most important days of Sanchez’s life with him. Yet in one occasion, Sanchez let his feelings get the best of him. He was listening to 2Pac without headphones next to Fenton Hall one day while he was walking out of class, when a female student passed by him and made a comment about his music. “2Pac tends to curse a lot in his music and she said, ‘Oh my God, that music, why is he cursing so much, like, turn it off,’” said Sanchez. “That’s when I said, ‘fuck you, bitch.’ I shouldn’t have said that, but, at the same time, why do people feel so uncomfortable and automatically disrespect or say

36 | ETHOS | Summer 2019

something? I’m just passing by.” That was his fi rst reaction. Looking back, he says he shouldn’t have said “bitch,” but she caught him off guard. The stakes were higher for Sanchez after his gallery, especially for him as a student of color who says people expect him to fail. He says he knows that there are people who would give everything to be in his shoes, so he can’t afford doing things that can threaten his position at the UO. Sanchez says he expects everything from himself: to be happy, successful, to have a career, a family back in California. But his anxiety and impatience are some of his biggest challenges. “At the end of the day, I come from this place where we’re quick to react,” he says, snapping his fi ngers. “I have

so much to give and so much more to lose, and they don’t. For all I know, they got money. For all I know, they don’t care about school. For all I know, if they get kicked out, they’ll go to another one. If I get kicked out, where am I going to go? Back home, back to the same shit I was in. I don’t want that for me.” In one of his most recent pieces, he wrote at the top of the page, “Don’t Put Me Down Cause I’m Brown.” He knows he has much to lose, but also much to gain if he keeps his emotions under control. But coming from an environment of constant vigilance, he could snap at any moment. “It makes my art mean to much more,” he says. He cracked his neck both ways while talking about his experiences dealing with racism at the UO, and said that it’s what he does when he gets tense. But when he started therapy at the UO, he said he learned how to better deal with his anxiety and stress. “I would start tripping, overreacting, it could be the smallest things,” he says. “But then after these therapy things, I’m able to process what I’m feeling.” He says he would be more impulsive, wouldn’t know how to handle or understand his anxiety or frustrations. “It’s easier for me to process things and understand how to communicate that,” he said. Sanchez wants to work with youth, he says, so he can give them better opportunities. He also wants to give back to his family and his community in Santa Ana. The gallery, he said, was when he realized that he could dream big and see how he could succeed not only in art, but in whatever he chose to do, such as working with youth to help them thrive as well. “How am I supposed to give to these kids if I’m going to react like that?” He said. “How am I supposed to help them if I can’t even help myself?” Through his art, Sanchez says he’ll be able to attract kids to talk to him because “art attracts everybody.” And his gallery was the fi rst step towards his success - having a family, giving back to the community, doing art, being proud of his identity and helping youth to have more options and ultimately succeed.

Summer 2019 | ETHOS | A

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Profile for Ethos Magazine

Ethos Magazine Summer 2019  

Ethos Magazine Summer 2019  

Profile for ethosmag