Inside Fullerton Fall 2019

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NERDS RECLAIM THEIR IDENTITY From obscurity to resurgence through comic shops and arcades

NI DE AQUĂ?, NI DE ALLA Navigating dual identity

WHO'S HUNGRY? Check out some of the best dishes in OC that you may not know


STAFF Editor-in-Chief


Joshua Villafranco

Graphic Designer Elise Galbraith

Photographers Jon Buzdar Ian Barr Marcus Cota Kimberly Correa Logan Martinez

Jessica Langlois

Staff Writers Viviane Anthony Ana Aragon Nicholas Arriaga Michael Echavarria S.A. Falcon Marianna Frias Laura Hernandez Otis McReah Sam Serrano

Special thanks to journalism department coordinator Jay Seidel and graphic design professor Stephen Klippenstein for their assistance.

Inside Fullerton is produced every semester by Fullerton College’s magazine production class, Journalism 132, under the guidance of student editors and advisement of Jessica Langlois. Editorial and advertising content herein, including any opinions expressed, are the sole responsibility of the students in the class. Information published herein does not represent the position of the North Orange County Community College District, Fullerton College or any other officer or employee within. Inside Fullerton 321 E. Chapman Ave. Fullerton, CA 92832


@insidefullerton Twitter / Instagram

For advertising, business or course enrollment questions:

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EDITOR’S NOTE Dear Inside Fullerton readers, Thank you for picking up our Fall 2019 issue. This issue took our staff hours upon hours of work to get done, but it’s here now, for you. We are thankful for everyone on staff and contributors that worked on getting this issue out, especially our new advisor Jessica Langlois, and designer Elise Galbraith. This couldn’t be done without everyone’s hard work and dedication. Our staff sought out stories that our readers would relate to. We wanted to shine a light on some of the challenges our community faces: from Laura Hernandez’s deep dive into students dealing with food insecurity to Ana Aragon’s close look at homeless women’s struggle to afford menstrual products.

Joshua Villafranco

But we also wanted to celebrate all that the city of Fullerton has to offer. Our cover story on local nerd culture — by Sam Serrano— highlights a few of the local comic shops and arcades and gives a look into the world of these places and the reasons they are so popular. And Salina Falcon’s story on the mental health benefits of poetry takes us inside some of our favorite local bookshops and open mic nights. If you have tips for future stories or want to join our staff as a writer or photographer next semester, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We hope you enjoy the magazine!

6 10 14

From the Rink to the Classroom by Marianna Frias

A Wicked Connection by Viviane Anthony

Ni de aquí, Ni de alla by Ana Aragon



Nerds Reclaim Their Identity

24 28

The Local Fighting Game Scene

by Sam Serrano

by Nicholas Arriaga

Finding Your Prose by S.A. Falcon


30 32 36 38

The New Generation of Environmental Activists


Making a Statement with Fashion

by Vivane Anthony

Studying on an Empty Stomach by Laura Hernandez

The Bloody Truth by Ana Aragon

After Your Duty is Served by Otis McReah

by S.A. Falcon


43 44

What We Listen To by Michael Echavarria

Who’s Hungry? by Sam Serrano





By Marianna Frias

The door opens and the first thing you notice is her wearing a tied up pastel pink top that says “Madre Por Vida” and a fedora hat that gives her outfit a finishing touch. This is all part of Rachel Nevarez’s unique style. It’s what makes her, her. Nevarez is a new fashion professor at Fullerton College. This new job marks her journey from playing roller derby and creating designs for teams, creating clothes for toddlers and their mothers, to now becoming the newest face in the fashion department at Fullerton College.




Photos by: Logan Martinez Courtesy of Rachel Nevarez

Q: How have your first couple of weeks as a first-time teacher been? A: I have never taught in a classroom before. For almost a decade I coached roller derby, and it was basically

teaching women ages 8 through 50. I would have to teach them how to skate, teach them the rules of the game, strategies, formulate drills that we would execute in practice and then come game time I was running the line ups on the bench. I brought all of that to the table here. It has all been going well because it is something that I’m so passionate about—not just runways and glamour, but how fashion influences society and how society influences fashion.



I’m so passionate about not just runways and glamour, but how fashion influences society and how society influences fashion.

Q: Tell me about your roller derby days.

Q: How did you start designing for the team?

A: I’ve sewn my entire life. My mom taught me when I


was 7 years old. My first job was in a fabric store, and my second job was in a bridal shop right after high school. I was kind of afraid to only have that fashion degree. I was like, “What if I ended up with only this fashion degree? What do I have to fall back on?” So I went to the University of Pittsburgh and got my Bachelor in Fine Arts. While I was there, I really longed for sewing so I joined that theater department, and I did a lot of the costumes for the productions. It was probably halfway through when I realized I really wanted to do fashion. So, after I graduated I moved to California in 2004 to go to fashion school. At FIDM, everyone was straight out of high school, and I feel like a lot of them weren’t taking it seriously. I was really struggling to make friends and I didn’t fit in. I met a girl who played roller derby, and she was talking it up about how much she loved it. I was like, I don’t know how to skate and I don’t have a car. She said, girl I got you, and she drove me to practice in the Valley. My first practice I actually put on my wrist guards backwards, and I could not skate, so I ate shit, and I thought I broke my wrist. I was totally hooked. I skated for eight years, then I had my first daughter in 2012 and switched to coaching. I’ve been coaching on and off for the last seven years.


I met up with the designer to go over designs, and she was just talking about how overwhelmed she was and busy. She hired me right away. Uniforms were catered to high school students, so it was a very different fit for everyone else. A high school student is going to wear a different fit than a 30-year-old woman who has maybe had kids already. So people started to ask me to make uniforms, and that resulted in me launching my own business. I ran Iron Doll Roller Derby for almost eight years while I was skating. I ended up outfitting over 800 teams in over eight countries. I never went to business school, so this all happened by accident. There wasn’t something catered especially towards these skaters, and the community itself was growing. By this time there were three leagues when I joined and now there’s thousands all over the world. So that’s where all the roller derby fits in, and that’s the tremendous impact it’s had on me. There were a lot of things that I had to learn the hard way. For example, selling, marketing, promoting and websites was sort of self-taught. This was the start for Facebook and Instagram, so trying to figure out how to navigate these platforms was hard since nobody knew how to use them back then.


Q: Why did you close Iron Doll? A: I had a family, two daughters, and my husband was working. It was just all too much. I wasn’t skating anymore. My heart wasn’t really in it anymore, and competition had started. I kind of wanted to go back to being handed a paycheck instead of wondering where my next paycheck was coming from. I got a part-time job designing while I was closing down Iron Doll. I was kinda trying to figure out who I was now because I had this identity with roller derby. My skate name was Iron Maiven for so long and I was just trying to figure out who I was. In 2019, my whole goal was finding a new job and I did. I found this teaching position. I was just Googling fashion jobs near Chino and fashion instructor at Fullerton came up. I said, well, I don’t have a master’s degree, I can’t teach and that was my immediate reaction. I looked at the job and the minimal requirement was a bachelor’s. At my first interview I talked about everything that I did and when I got called back for that second interview, I almost fell over. And now I’m here.




Autumn Krause started her writing journey by working in a high-end bridal salon in Beverly Hills. Krause grew up in a blue-collar family in Harbor City, in a racially and economically diverse neighborhood, so being surrounded by that kind of wealth was new to her. That’s when the story of a working-class girl competing at an iconic fashion house came to life. Last August Krause released her debut young adult novel, “A Dress for the Wicked,” a story about an 18th century country girl who got the opportunity of a lifetime when she started competing in one of the biggest fashion houses of her country. Just like Krause, Emmy, the lead character in the novel, got “thrust into this really glittering, beautiful, glamourous world.” But wealth comes with a price, and the book exposes a world of sabotage, elitism and drama. Her novel mirrors the real-world fashion industry that she chose to expose in her book. For Krause, young adult novel writing is a way to be imaginative. It’s a way to create fantasy and made-up worlds that you sometimes can’t have with other genres. “You can be a little more extreme than you can in other genres,” she says. Young adult fiction features adolescents beginning to transform into adults, working through personal problems, and learning to take responsibility for their actions.


“There’s something about this coming-of-age story that’s so universal,” Krause says. “A Dress for the Wicked” takes place in the fictional city of Avon-upon-Kynt, where fashion is omnipresent. When Madam Jolene, the matron of the only fashion house of the city, is forced to include “country girls” in her competition, Emmy sees her chance to get out of her little country town. She competes against other girls in order to win money, clothes and a contract as a fashion designer. Emmy enters the competition without really knowing that, despite her talent, Madam Jolene would never let her win because of her “poor” background. “I set it in the Victorian period because I really liked the structured etiquette, the sensibility for beauty at the time,” Krause says. The Victorian society was divided into upper-class, middle-class and the working-class. These restrictive class systems make a good setting for her book as she highlights the separation between the working-class girl Emmy and the upper-class fashion house of madam Jolene. Even though Krause likes the style of the Victorian era, she felt that it was important to modernize it.





Photo by: Marcus Cota

“The way fashion works in the novel is that I took the way a modern fashion house would work and I put it in the Victorian time,” Krause explains. For instance a historically accurate fashion house wouldn’t have a creative director, which is a modern position. In the novel Emmy’s life is basically a mirror of Krause’s but only “way more exaggerated,” as she put it. However, in terms of personality and style, Krause says she has more in common with another character – one of Emmy’s roommates and her competitor as a designer. “As far as fashion, sensibility and style goes I’m way more like Sophie.” Indeed, Krause and Sophie have a style that stands out: a dark, dramatic, goth kind of look that includes lace and tulle.On a recent Wednesday in September, Krause arrived at Pilgrims Cafe in downtown Fullerton in a black dress, black purse and shoes and dark sunglasses. She had her signature burgundy lipstick and dark nail polish.


Even though fashion is omnipresent in her novel, Krause hopes that her readers can learn more about the creative process and why creating is important to humans. “When you create, it is a natural expression of your soul, and the book overall is an homage to that and an exploration on that process,” she says. According to Krause, every stage of writing has its difficulty, whether it’s the drafting, revising or the promotion once the book is out. She sometimes asks herself if it makes any sense. Despite the difficulties Krause’s book got published not long after she finished graduate school and sold out very quickly. “The book was basically my thesis for my MFA program,” she explains. “Then, I revised with an agent for quite a bit of time, about two years, and then it sold!” she said enthusiastically.


One thing that’s difficult for her might be that her sensitive personality makes it hard to handle bad or rude reviews. But the upside of novel writing is that she gets to see her readers face to face and see the people who really enjoyed her work. “One very sweet reader told me that she was so stressed during the story that she snapped at her husband, which I found very funny because I’ve totally done that too when immersed in a good book,” she says. While the contrast of her life growing up in Harbor City and her working in Beverly Hills was the inspiration for this book, Krause now lives in Fullerton, where she’s been for the past five years. Other than being busy with her book release, Krause enjoys the downtown Fullerton life. “Where I grew up there wasn’t a designated downtown area,” she says. “I never had a charming place with such cool privately-owned coffee shops and such beautiful stores and lovely people.” Part of her novel was written in one of the many offices a writer can have: a café. In this case, it was the Night Owl in downtown Fullerton. “I just like the moody vibe there. It feels gritty but in a very cool way,” she explains. These days, Krause spends her time promoting her book and working on two other novels which are both very different from “A Dress for the Wicked.” But she still keeps her love for fashion in her writing, as she has included unique clothing that are part of the narratives.

When you create, it is a natural expression of your soul... 13


Ni de aquí, ni de alla. Not from here, not from there. It’s a phrase most people of multiple ethnicities have heard and related to.


By Ana Aragon 14


“I’m not American and I’m not Mexican. I’m marginalized by both groups yet I have to prove to both groups that I’m more Mexican and more American than them,” says Alejandro Plascencia, a native to the United States with cultural roots to Mexico. Plascencia was born in Santa Ana, California and moved to Mexico at just 3 years old. Even though he is of Mexican descent, he faced identity issues from the very beginning. The people around him would call him güero because of his fair complexion, even though he spoke Spanish and did not know a hint of English. Growing up he was always associated with the U.S. even though he didn’t know anything about the way people lived here. At 12 years old, Plascencia came back to the United States. He was ecstatic when he learned that he and his family were going to make the move back to his native land. He believed he was finally going to be told who he was and accepted by everyone around him. But he did not receive the welcome he had envisioned. “Come here, I find out I’m not accepted either. I’m a beaner. I’m paisa. Even though I’m light.” Racism and marginalization isn’t something new that has just popped up in recent years. Though we hear more about dual identities now, there was still just as much struggle in previous years. Abraham Quintanillo, portrayed by Edward James Olmos, said it best in the movie Selena, Mexican Americans have to work twice as hard to be perfect: “We gotta be more Mexican than the Mexicans and more American than the Americans; both at the same time.” In school back in the U.S., Plascencia would get bullied and be marginalized for not being able to speak English. The language barrier also brought him problems because he would ask “¿Qué estan diciendo?” “¿Qué dijo?” when he didn’t understand what someone was saying, but no one would tell him. The language was a way to poke at him, which brought him a lot of frustrations. He would pick fights with the kids bullying him about his language, but then he’d be the one getting reprimanded for starting a fight in the first place. The bullies always got away and said that teachers wouldn’t side with him because not being able to understand English wasn’t a valid excuse. This sense of isolation pushed him to become involved with gangs at his school. They included him in their group and didn’t make him feel marginalized. He says, “I remember I would make friends with people that were literally in gangs and they would treat me nice and talk to me. I didn’t really have a choice to pick my friends. I just picked whoever was there.”



Doesn’t matter if you speak English or not, doesn’t matter if you speak Spanish or not;

I will speak it.

Plascencia also found comfort in people who also spoke a different language, even if it wasn’t Spanish. He found himself leaning towards those with similar stories to his because they could relate to each other. “Hanging out with people that spoke a different language, whether it’s Korean or Tagalog, and Spanish obviously,” says Plascencia, “connected me with them because we were able to interact in a way that we could learn from each other.” The problem was, these groups were often also part of gangs--drawn to them for the same reasons Plascencia was. He couldn’t escape it. When asked how he identifies in government documents, Plascencia says he just checks the Hispanic box because it’s the only one that identifies his group, his ethnicity. He wants to identify as Mexican as well as American because he has lived half his life here and half his life in Mexico. But, because both groups shunned him, he feels he is neither Mexican nor American. “So, not here, not there. Unless they have that box now that says ‘not from here not from there’ then I’ll fill that one out. But until then I’ll just do Hispanic.”


The more he tried to embrace both identities, the more polarized they seemed. He started meeting people that would only embrace their Mexican heritage and proudly speak Spanish. He also found people that would embrace their American identity and refuse to speak Spanish. Plascencia ended up speaking both languages at the same time, which is known as Spanglish. He started speaking Spanglish on purpose to make sure he wasn’t repeating the past by being excluded from both sides. It’s his way of merging his dual identities. He mentions that people still ask him why he speaks Spanish so much. His response: “Why not? It’s part of me. If I want to speak Spanish, I’ll speak Spanish. If I want to speak English, I’ll speak English. Doesn’t matter if you speak English or not, doesn’t matter if you speak Spanish or not; I will speak it. And if you don’t understand it, you can ask. That’s where I started being a little hard headed. I’m not from here or there, so then everybody’s going to fit in to what I am. If they don’t want to they can leave. So I kind of made my own identity in a way.”


Photo by: Kimberly Correa





IDENTITY By Sam Serrano

It’s a cool morning in front of the Comic Book Hideout Inc. Glynnes Speak, the owner of the Hideout, opens the door without stepping out from behind the counter. The store isn’t open yet, and only a few essential lamps are on. There are the shapes of long boxes all stacked neatly in their own displays. Keychains and artwork adorn every square inch of the front counter. This isn’t just a comic shop, it’s a museum, a celebration of the things we find nerdy or geeky. Geeks, as defined by Marissa Mayer, former CEO of Yahoo!, “are people who love something so much that all the details matter.” Less than a decade ago, these were insults meant to poke fun at the comic book loving, video game playing, and movie passionate individuals. Words like dweeb, dork, four eyes, trekkie, and indoor kids were all used to describe the personalities and appearance of people that were perceived as being nerdy. Even to this day, you can hear people shouting “NEERRD!” in the streets.



Mindi Cartwright shows off her uniquely painted sneakers Photo by: Logan Martinez



A group of cosplayers dressed up as the Ghostbusters at Comic Book Hideout’s 7th anniversary event posed with Glynnes Speak

Now, we see nerd culture step into the spotlight with the spectacular success of superhero movies such as “Avengers: Endgame,” which earned $2.5 billion in just 20 days. According to Comicchron, comic book sales hit an all time high in 2018 with sales reaching $1.095 billion, which was a 7% increase from the year before and a 26.5% increase from 2012, when the first Avengers movie premiered.

for business. With the lights on now, it’s easier to make out the comics wrapping the walls and displays of action figures that are peppered throughout the store. There are a few people browsing the store talking about Magic the Gathering as they wait for the shop to begin the tournament, and Speak is at the front talking to a mother and her two kids about some “bad ass comics for 8-year-old girls.”

Video games have also seen an explosion over the past two decades. A recent study conducted by the Electronic Software Association found that approximately 65% of American adults play video games. Gaming’s new popularity has helped cultivate a competitive scene known as e-sports that has since taken off with 84 million viewers and made $1.1 billion in 2019 so far. The normalization of gaming has created communities online via streaming platforms such as Twitch, which sees more than 15 million active users a day.

Comic book shops have always been the place to meet your nerdy friends. Even with the internet keeping people connected and comic books being delivered digitally to your phone, shops have always been a center for the geeky.

You can see those changes taking place here in Southern California. Take a stroll down Commonwealth Avenue and you’ll see that amongst all the downtown bars and eateries there are these nerdy gems opening in the community. It’s the afternoon now, and the Comic Book Hideout is open


Established back in 2012, the Hideout has always been a hub for anyone with “geeky inclination,” says Speak. “I don’t usually read comics since Spawn #1-13, but I have been going to the shop here and there since close to Glynnes opening the store,” says customer Michael Mastros. Originally located near the AMC theatre on Lemon Avenue, Speak moved her shop to the heart of downtown Fullerton eight months after opening in order to attract more foot traffic as downtown was being revitalized.


Photo by: Logan Martinez

With the bigger space, she decided that she wanted to do more than just sell comic books. Speak wants her shop to be a defined community center/art gallery/music studio/gaming hall/comic book shop. With their grand re-opening in 2013, the Hideout also started offering classes to anyone in the community who wanted to learn “how to be creative.” In 2017, Speak built a studio within the comic shop to offer music lessons taught by her old friends Brittany Lark and John Lovero. She was in a position as an entrepreneur to “gift opportunities” to local creatives who needed an outlet for their craft. One way was to start offering consignments for local artists to sell their work there. “You can always buy a Deadpool keychain at Walmart that’s been mass produced hundreds of times,” says Speak, “or you can walk into the Hideout and find something unique made by someone local.” “I’m really appreciative of Glynnes for the opportunity to teach classes in her shop,” says Lark, “It’s helped me to be more independent and feel confident in my career.”

The Hideout isn’t the only shop in town that’s offering a new spin on the comic book store. Enrique Munoz’s shop, Comic Hero University, has been a staple in Fullerton since late 2012. Originally located by the train tracks on Santa Fe Avenue for the past seven years, they have relocated the shop into a new, bigger space at 1001 Lemon St. near the AMC theater. Although it’s a comic shop, if you walk into the back room you’ll find the University’s retro arcade, which houses new and classic arcade games as well as an impressive pinball collection. From time to time, the shop will host gaming tournaments where players have a chance to win comic books, special edition figurines, and even cash prizes. Out of all the products up for sale at the University, the arcade is what keeps people coming back week after week, according to Munoz. Arcades aren’t a new trend and have been around since the late ’70s, but really took off in the ’80s with games like Pac-Man, Asteroids and Defender. Arcades saw a resurgence in the ’90s after the release of Street Fighter II, which went onto popularize competitive fighting games. Like comic shops, arcades were places where you met your nerdy friends to hang out and pass the time playing video games.


INSIDE FULLERTON “There is a very nostalgic crowd who were around in the ’80s and remember those classic arcade games,” explains Munoz. Munoz and a close friend have a rotating roster of new and classic pinball games that have helped them to build a strong bond with their pinball players. “Pinheads,” as Munoz calls them, come into the store often to put in some practice on the newer machines. After they’ve gotten familiar with the machines they record their scores to be submitted into scoring contests for that specific machine. That’s why they keep switching out the machines, but Munoz believes in keeping a few old favorites like Monster bash on hand in case anyone gets bored of the newer games. The pinball machine is considered to be one of the earliest arcade games to date, tracing its origins back to the early 16th century in Europe. As time went on, the machines were modified with spring launchers, coin-operations and flippers to make up the arcade games that we know today. Pinball was really popular in arcades in the ’80s, which even saw some cabinets themed after different figures in pop culture like KISS, The Terminator and Jurassic Park. “We like to keep a mixture of new and classic pinball machines so that the pinheads have something familiar to go back to,” says Munoz. In their new space, the University will feature 16 new and classic arcade machines and 22,000 comics on the sales floor. The University is a great spot to hang out if you’re waiting for a movie, but if you’re in the heart of downtown Fullerton then the Lost Levels arcade is your best choice for classic arcade games. Located on North Harbor Boulevard, Lost Levels arcade is the newest addition to the downtown geek community. Matt Vazquez and Steven Torres opened the shop in 2016 with the goal of emulating the arcades of the past while also embracing the future of gaming. The arcade’s rotating roster of games features a mixture of classic arcade cabinets like Ms. Pac-Man and Galaga to newer games like Guitar Hero and Dance Dance Revolution. The arcade also boasts

a few cult classics like the original Killer Instinct, Metal Slug, and a class NeoGeo Machine. The Lost Levels even provides multiple consoles set up throughout the arcade for anyone interested in playing some of their favorite childhood consoles like the Nintendo 64, Gamecube as well as a Playstation 2. The shop isn’t just an arcade. There are displays with new and used console games from the Xbox 360 to the original Nintendo Entertainment System and every generation in between. There’s also merchandise ranging from hats and wallets to board game versions of some choice video games like the Fallout board game and Monopoly: Fallout Collector’s Edition. The arcade also acts as a repair shop, selling different parts and accessories for your video gaming needs. Amidst the bars and coffee shops the downtown area is known for, these citadels of geekdom have done more than just survive. Lost Levels, the Hideout and the University all thrive on the downtown foot traffic and word of mouth of their geeky clientele. All of these shops can be found online either through Facebook, Instagram or even Youtube, but nothing beats the community of small business owners. Just like with every other community, people try to help one another out through word of mouth. “People come in all the time on their lunch break or if they’re walking by,” explains Vazquez. “There’s a good community that want to help each other out in downtown.” “Nerd used to be a bad word,’’ says Speak. It was an insult for individuals who were intelligent or showed any interest in fantasy or sci-fi. Now, “nerds have reclaimed the word for themselves,” says Speak, and all those with a “geeky inclination” have come together to wear the term as a badge of honor.

Right: Bryce Rankins creates a mural at Comic Book Hideout’s anniversary event, for customers to pose with Below: Customer browses at Comic Hero University Photo by: Ian Barr



Photo by: Logan Martinez


INSIDE FULLERTON The atmosphere is calm but you can feel the tension building in the air. Lights flash and blaring sounds clog the walls of the building. The monitors are lined up like soldiers ready for war. Your palms begin to clam up when the game isn’t going your way. Soon, you feel the euphoria of pride yet humbleness for the victory you have received. You shake hands with your opponent. Win or lose, you learn. Welcome to fighting games.

Local tournament at PLAYLive

THE LOCAL FIGH GAME SCENE 24 By Nicholas Arriaga

LOCAL TRENDS Fighting games themselves take place in the virtual world of high-tech computers, fast or even at times laggy internet. But, they’ve increasingly become a way for people to build communities in real life. This year there have been more than six local tournaments in Fullerton with some that are monthly or bi-weekly. So there is quite a variety of competition. For the fighting game community—known as FGC by those who are a part of it—local tournaments are one of the best places to connect and build relationships and skills. The bonds grow out of a shared dedication to an extremely complex hobby. Players put in so much time and effort executing combos and the number of frames needed for specific moves that they can appreciate when other people are able to accomplish the same feats. “As a commentator, I would generally get better players to show the fundamentals to newer players,” says Quinlan Cantrell, manager of PLAYLive, a gaming and virtual reality venue in Fullerton that hosts many local tournaments. The way the local tournaments work is very simple. You walk to the location, buy your spot in the bracket or even just walk straight in and play. Then there are times where the brackets are uneven so at the moment the tournament organizers figure out the optimal way the tournament should be held.

GAMING TERMS Esports - an organized form of competitive gaming using multiplayer video games HP - hit points, the measurement of life a given character has before being considered knocked out Meta - most effective tactics available;

calling something “meta” means that it’s an effective way to achieve the goal of the game, whether it’s to beat other players or beat the game itself.

Pop-off - celebrating after a win Bodied - just completely losing OP - over-powered Specials - a character’s cinematic

signature move

Spamming - using the same move in

rapid succession

Ultimate/SSBU - short for

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Perfect/Flawless - when you win without taking damage

Gamers - video game players


INSIDE FULLERTON Since the unevenness of the tournament, the same can go for the prize pool. If you go to Frank and Son’s, the pot is $1,000 and is distributed to the top eight players. It is distributed by how you place. Another case would be in PLAYLive, a group called DangerTime occasionally gives prizes to people who place top three -- they will then also have a spot in a major tournament. “I like how the community has made a game that was not competitive into one,” says Juan Chavez, a participant at the Smash Ultimate tournament. He explains how the games prior were not competitively friendly, but the community made it one.


Even though tournaments are highly competitive, players also like to encourage others to get into the scene. This is what makes the FGC a very tightknit group. But you still tend to get a couple of bad apples. Just by going to YouTube you can find players being disrespectful through compilations or just small clips through Twitter. This seems to divide the community with players being more orthodox to the whole competitive nature and don’t branch to newer players. People also play fighting games for the thrill. “The scene is energetic. You enter the tournament and it just wakes you up,” says Ivan Canteria, a participant in the Smash Bros. Ultimate tournament at PLAYLive.

LOCAL TRENDS Some people come just to watch the matches and spend time with their friends at PLAYLive. The people who come to watch are the people who just love the game for what it is, not what you can become out of it. Some bigger tournaments like SoCal Chronicles have a spectator pass for $5-10, while local tournaments are free for spectators. For some, local tournaments aren’t just for bonding, but they’re good practice ground for major tournaments. To see the prospect of growth in the FGC we can see the prize pools for major tournaments like Evolution. As of 2019, Smash Ultimate was the biggest prize pool mainly for the significance of participants at the tournament -- the bigger the tournament the bigger the prize pool. “Usually we get more people that enter local tournaments when there is a big tournament coming,” says Cantrell. In Evolution 2019, one of the biggest global E-sports championships, the Pakistani players beat the best players in the world in the game Tekken 7. This was because the players in Pakistan couldn’t go to other countries to compete in major tournaments because of travel restrictions— something that worked to their advantage, according to the Washington Post. By playing only in local tournaments, they developed a different play style from what was originally thought to be the standard in professional tournaments.

The way the local scene affects Pakistan is the same way it affects Fullerton’s FGC community. The local scene gives all fighting game players in every country an opportunity to gain an elite level at the game through the tournaments held in their community. These local tournaments allow players to develop their own style of play as well as good competition from other players and their different play styles. Players differentiate themselves and their unique play styles with their controllers, known as fighting sticks, which they often bring in themselves. Fighting sticks are different depending on who you talk to with prices ranging from $36 to $350. Many players choose to make their own fighting stick, which is cheaper and offers them more variety. These homemade ones are often better quality than the cheapest ones on the market. The local scene is an intriguing experience as it allows all types of skilled people in your area to learn and connect. But, in the end, it’s mostly just about having a good time.



FINDING YOUR PROSE Photo by: Nicholas Arriaga

Ryan Aguayo browses at Half Off Books

Surrounded by books on shelves and seating that is almost church-like, a microphone stands right in front, waiting for its first poet. The room is filled with commotion as people welcome each other, but the loudness of the audience comes to a halt as Heather Pease approaches the microphone and begins to recite a verse.

Hardimon explains that having any outlet that lets an individual express their emotional state of mind is beneficial. With an outlet like poetry, a person can sit and have a conversation between just them and the paper. It’s a safe zone, where a person can reflect on themselves as well as the environment around them.

The audience listens in depth, and a few heads nod up and down as if agreeing with the poet’s words. A loud clap startles the audience, one person’s need to let others know they related to that line. After Pease starts the night with her poem, people began going up in turn to present their worded art.

Hardimon says studies show that mind and body connections are essential for daily life and can be beneficial to those experiencing anything from depression, to severe mental health issues, such as developmental or neurological issues.

Poetry therapy is a form of writing that specialists use to treat a range of mental health issues. Therapists note that poetry is a form of writing that helps a person express their deepest subconscious mind in a coded matter. It is a way someone can say something without being direct. Poetry therapy is the gateway to healing for some people who use it during testing times. “I can say that for my clients where I have prescribed poetry or read poetry in my sessions, they’ve all noted improved benefits in their mood and stress levels,” says bibliotherapist and psychodynamic counselor Bijal Shah. Shah has prescribed poetry to about 22 clients, and with positive response rate of 80% she is planning to introduce more clients to this type of therapy due to the support it has offered clients.


By S.A. Falcon

“Anything that pauses for reflection and explanation is always helpful to get people from that place of feeling hopeless to being able to see that times can change,” says psychologist Lynn Hardimon.

“Being able to make that mind and body connection, the better it is for conceptualizing the world around them as well as interacting with the interface of daily activities.” Vulnerability can be overwhelming as you sit down in front of a loud blank piece of paper. “Write the thing you’re scared to say and write for the child within,” recites Pease, the coordinador for the poetry open mic night at Half Off Books in Fullerton. A poet’s hand conducts almost music-like from left to right, preparing a story so personal it starts as a lump in their throat. However, through all the emotions, they begin to write due to the helpfulness they experience while writing poetry. “Words express how I am feeling,” says Melissa Contreras, another reader who performed at Half Off Books. She explains when all other outlets fail, words don’t. “They help during difficult times.”


I write to feel less alone Contreras kept a journal to direct her thoughts about her mother’s illness, and those writings lead to a poem. She says talking about her mother’s illness is difficult, so writing is her outlet. “Through poetry I can do more than acknowledge my challenges. I can also remind myself and others of how strong we can be,” she says. Poetry is something sacred to those who practice it; for a person to spill their deepest thoughts or desires takes such strength. Fullerton College creative writing professor Cynthia Guardado puts it: “Poetry can express past trauma.” Guardado expresses her emotions through her poetry in her book, “Endeavor.” She uses poetry as a way to process family trauma she has experienced. Similarly, Ryan Aguayo wrote his poetry collection “The Mental Storm,” about events that happened to him. His writing was a form of self care, a way of letting go of the bad to make room for the new. “I started writing poetry as a form of self therapy. It’s the freedom to say what you want without being judged,” says Aguayo. Poetry has mental health benefits not just for those who write it, but also those who read or listen to it. People can be moved by a poem, and in some ways relate to it or have a connection with another’s words. Joe Rosati, owner of The Night Owl in downtown Fullerton, makes it a point for poets to be heard by hosting open mic poetry nights. “We all need a place to feel important, calm,” he says. “With social media in hand, it’s important to step away for a while to shape ideas, thoughts and all the other things that make us human.” Open mic poetry nights are like a concert where words are the music. Live performance makes poetry come to life in a different way; it becomes a soundtrack to empathy, inspiration, and healing. Back at Half Off Books, the microphone again stands without a poet as the church rowed seats sit emptied, waiting to hear another. The night’s readings are over, but the remembrance of one poem is engraved on the space. It’s the words of a poet who goes by Humanoid that express a poet’s desire: “I write to feel less alone.”

Detail of a painting by artist Jeff Stone on display at The Night Owl in Fullerton, which hosts regular open mic nights Photo by: Michael Echavarria




Courtesy of SES Chad Becker (right) and Emily Dewell (second from right) with other protesters at the Climate Strike in downtown L.A.

Last September, millions of people all over the world took to the streets armed with banners and signs decorated with slogans and drawings about a problem that is affecting us all: climate change. The most noticeable face of this movement was Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish activist whose impassioned address at the United Nations lit up social media. Thunberg was joined by millions of students about her age, protesting from all corners of the world.



Some of those students are right here at Fullerton College. Advised by Professor Aline Gregorio, Students for Equitable Sustainability (SES) started three years ago with Audrey Waight, a Fullerton College student and environment enthusiast. Equitable sustainability from the group name means sustainability for all. “Equity allows everyone fair access to the same necessities and human rights, not based on any sort of societal construct,” explains Emily Dewell, the secretary of the group. “For me it shows what we’re all about: fighting for those who are facing social or environmental injustices.” Most members of the group are in their late teens and early twenties, which mirrors the involvement of the younger generation in the climate issue. “It’s definitely a youth movement. We are recognizing the position that we’re in and how it’s going to affect us and our children and the rest of humanity,” says Chad Becker, the president of the group. The SES group participated in the climate strike that took place in Los Angeles last September. “It was very empowering,” says Dewell. She explains that they met thousands of people that shared the same mindset as them. They marched down to City Hall where Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti came out. “It was really moving being there. You could literally feel the energy,” says Dewell. Around the time of the climate strike, 170 news outlets, such as CBS News and The New York Times dedicated a week of coverage to climate change stories and the climate strike. According to the NASA website, the global temperature has increased 1.9 degrees Fahrenheit since the 1880s, with 2016 recorded as the hottest year yet. Sea levels are also rising about 3.3 millimeters a year. “There is no time in human history that climate change has been on the forefront of news as it is today, so it was pretty impactful,” explains Becker when asked if they thought the strike made an impact.

On the afternoon of Oct. 10, the SES group met under a tree on the grass of Fullerton College’s quad. They were talking about plans to participate in other climate strikes, and Dewell suggested doing one on Earth Day, April 22, when more people that aren’t as passionate about the climate will be paying attention. Beyond attending protests, the SES members spend time organizing planting days or getting rid of invasive plant species in our local area. They also did chalk art in the quad for the climate strike. Some of the art included a big butterfly surrounded by quotes and phrases about climate change like “wake up” or “this is not a drill” and “I’m with Greta.” That’s been a way for them to bring the slogans they saw at the strike back to Fullerton. Thunberg isn’t the group’s only inspiration. When asked which activist influenced their group they said Ed Winters aka Earthling Ed, a vegan educator and public speaker; the nature poet Henry David Thoreau; Rachel Carson, the writer of “Silent Spring,” an investigation into the damaging effects of pesticides; and the water protectors from Standing Rock, North Dakota. “People are really fighting for their basic necessity, their main water source, that shouldn’t be a fight that has to happen,” said Jade Dalrymple, another active member of SES. While the group members are well aware of the activists who came before them, they feel the current moment for climate activists is significant. “We’re the first generation to know how impactful we are in terms of destroying the environment, and we might be the last generation that has the chance to do something about it,” said Becker.




Fullerton College’s food bank is now open Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons

Mia Gage, who is in her first year at Fullerton College, struggles to get enough to eat. “Sometimes I just have to like —I don’t know— try to find a snack to bring to school. It costs too much here, the food,” Gage says. “So I go to the food bank. It was two weeks ago, the last time I went there. Food just costs too much in general.” The reason why college students struggle to meet even the most basic necessities, such as food security, is mainly financial. According to a survey of 900 Fullerton College students, conducted by the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice at Temple University, about 50% of students have experienced food insecurity within the past month. Fullerton College has taken steps to address this by expanding access to the campus food bank, which has been open since 2012. Previously, the Chris Lamm & Toni Dubois-Walker Memorial Food Bank was only open on Wednesdays, but now they are open every Tuesday and Wednesday from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The additional hours are intended to serve students who are on campus different days of the week.



PTY STOMACH By Laura Hernandez Despite changes like these, food insecurity among the general student population continues to be more common than people may realize.

Inside Fullerton conducted a poll of 35 randomly selected Fullerton College students, which found that 10 out of the 35 participants struggled or currently struggle with some form of food insecurity. Of those 10, eight say they have either visited Fullerton College’s campus food bank or other outside food banks or pantries. “It makes me really happy to see students use the food bank and get the things that they need,” says Jose Verdin, a Fullerton College student and volunteer at the campus food bank. He says he also makes use of the food bank from time to time. “I’ve never had that when I was younger, having these kinds of resources.” The numbers at Fullerton College mirror a national trend. A 2019 study by the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition found that the percentage of people facing food insecurity, particularly college students, has greatly increased in comparison to the previous three years. About 32.9% to 50.9% of college students in the U.S experience food insecurity in comparison to the previous 2016 U.S estimates, that revealed 12.3% of Americans have struggled with food insecurity. Students in general seem to be one of the groups most susceptible to food insecurity as opposed to the average adult. Endlessly worrying about their next meal can affect a student’s ability to thrive in their academic career as well as cause a great deal of emotional, physical, and mental stress. Being food insecure can have many negative impacts on a person, such as lower academic performance from decreased ability to focus, very low energy levels, and the deterioration of mental health and physical health from lack of nutrition.

Most students who experience food insecurities are in fact classified as low-income, although it also depends on the person and their circumstances. Some students may come from economically stable families, but for whatever reason they themselves may not be a reflection of their parents' or family’s financial status. This was the case for fourth-year Fullerton College student Manal Bentchich. “I would say I’ve had to deal with food insecurity pretty recently, because of change in income again. Right now I just have to buy food that is less expensive and things that can last a longer period of time,” says Bentchich. She is only one among many that wouldn’t normally be classified as exactly ‘low-income,’ but still struggle on occasion to eat three square meals every day. It doesn’t help that California has an increasingly high living cost. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, California has the second highest cost of housing in the country. The average minimum wage worker would have to work 116 hours a week to afford a two-bedroom rental home. That’s nearly three times more than a full-time 40-hour work week.



THINGS YOU CAN FIND AT THE FOOD PANTRY: Dairy products Canned goods Feminine products Hygiene products Fresh produce and foods such as: Lemons Tomatoes Onions Chili peppers Grapes

Apples Sandwiches Pasta Bread Cereals

Pastries Peanut butter Crackers Cookies

POLL TAKEN ON CAMPUS * Photo by: Jon Buzdar

Stuggled with food insecurity YES - 10 NO - 25 5 3 27

Visited campus food bank Visited other food bank Not visited a food bank

Know about campus food bank NO - 3 YES - 32 *Conducted by Inside Fullerton “I did struggle before, when I lived by myself about four months ago,” says Valerie Coda, a first-year student at Fullerton College. “When you’re a college student you get into hard situations and stuff. I kind of kept a budget, I tried to keep a tight hold of my wallet and not spend so much. I was very frugal.” Many students—particularly at community colleges—attend school while juggling a part-time or full-time job. They burn the candle at both ends, not just to feed themselves, but to help their families. “My parents work a lot of hours, but sometimes that isn’t enough,” says first-year Fullerton College student Ruby Sterdia. “We see if we have enough money to contribute. So, if I have some money and my other sisters have money, we put it all together and then we go and buy our food.”



Sterdia and her family have had to use outside food pantries to help make ends meet, and Sterdia relies on Fullerton College’s food bank. On her most recent visit to the campus food bank, she picked up fresh vegetables, fruit, and dried and canned goods. She goes about every two weeks. The campus food bank acknowledges that while lowincome students probably visit most often, they would never turn away any students. They offer all students food and any other services they have. The only requirement is being enrolled in 3 units at Fullerton College, which usually translates to one class. “Food-wise we do have a very wide range. We do have very fresh produce,” Verdin explains. “It does depend on what shipment we get, but it’s a wider range, like what you would normally see at a grocery store.” Verdin says the food bank often offers students everything from dairy products, canned goods, fruits, feminine products, hygiene products, to dried goods and other staples. In the last week of September, the campus food bank had received about three large shipments of food. They included fresh produce such as potatoes, lemons, tomatoes, onions, chili peppers, grapes, apples, and more. They also offered milk, ready-made pastries and sandwiches, cheese, pasta, canned vegetables, bread, cereals, peanut butter, crackers or cookies.

Beyond campus, there are many food pantries and nonprofit organizations in Fullerton that give assistance to those who need it. Caring Hands Ministry, a nonprofit that was started in 2002 by the First Lutheran Church, provides dried or canned goods, produce and other food and non-food products available for everyone who visits their food pantry. This includes low-income families, college students, and many other individuals. Anyone interested can visit the church for a free meal Tuesdays at 6 p.m. or Sundays at 12 p.m. Groceries are distributed on Wednesdays at 9 a.m., including free coffee and pastries. We know there are a percentage of college students who are struggling with food insecurity, and we are exploring ways we might be able to serve them better,” says church administrator Deenna Eley. In the meantime, she strongly encourages students to come in. “We have food for you, you are welcome! We long to serve the students who are working to make it,” she says. Verdin emphasizes that students shouldn’t be hesitant in asking for the help that will allow them to thrive. “We offer students food that need it, that want to come and get food,” he says. “It doesn’t matter what financial status you are. We want to provide this food to anyone that needs it and if you come in we will give it to you.”

The North Orange County Community College District launched a new partnership with Pathways of Hope on July 1, 2019, to better serve food and housing insecure students, funded by the State Hunger-Free Campus initiative. Verdin explains how Pathways of Hope has been instrumental in supplying the campus food bank with much larger shipments of food. Before the expansion of the food bank, when they had to rely more heavily on donations, they were forced to ration what they could give out to students.



The Bloody T Many homeless women lack access to menstrual products

By Ana Aragon Imagine you’re a woman living unsheltered and you only have $4 left in your pocket. You’re tired, cold, and hungry. Suddenly you get cramps and you feel something wet trickling down your leg. You have one choice: Do you choose to eat your only meal of the day or do you choose to buy a box of tampons?

In some cities, the homeless count has doubled within just one year. These numbers come from the latest Point In Time count that was used to determine how much funding Orange County needs to address homelessness. According to Wise Place, a homeless shelter in Santa Ana, 1 in 4 homeless adults is a woman.

A topic pertaining to the homelessness crisis in the United States that is not widely spoken about is women not having clean, hygienic items during their monthly period. A study in 2018 showed that over 552,000 people are without shelter on any given night and 39.7% are women, many of whom do not have access to feminine hygiene products.

Almost all states still consider female sanitary products to be luxury items, not tax-exempt necessities. Sales tax is the power of the states and according to Period Equity, only six states have successfully gotten rid of the tampon tax. California is one of the 35 states that still considers sanitary products to be “luxury items" and still carries out the tampon tax. Back in 2016, the California legislature passed a bill to end the tampon tax, but Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed it, stating that it should have been addressed within the state’s budget.

Girls Helping Girls. Period. is a non-profit organization that specializes in helping women who are not able to access sanitary products, which impedes their ability to do everyday things. Elise Joy, the executive director says, “Five years ago it seemed that every single person we told about the issue was shocked to hear it and wanted to help.” A 2019 White House report on the state of homelessness in America shows that California holds the highest population of homeless residents in the United States: 130,000 followed by New York at 91,000. A 2019 census of Orange County showed that nearly 7,000 people are living on the streets or shelters throughout the county.


These necessary products are also not covered by any welfare program, which makes it almost impossible for homeless women to maintain basic menstrual hygiene. “We learned that menstrual products are not covered by SNAP benefits and that many women and girls go without, impacting their ability to work and go to school,” says Joy.




907 Bradford Ave, Placentia, CA 92871 Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Mercy House (by mail only) Girls Helping Girls. Period. reported that some women who receive food stamps exchange them for money because they can’t buy these “luxury items” with food stamps. Type Investigations also did a report on the exchange of food stamps for money and reported that there have been multiple cases of women trading them due to lack of work and money. According to the USDA, selling food stamps is illegal, which violates the Food Stamp Act. In order to get these necessary items, many women must break the law and risk going to jail to keep themselves clean. Many homeless women resort to using and reusing socks, rolled-up shirts, bunched up napkins, plastic bags, or anything that would be able to stop leakage. Others just “free-ball” it and have to endure the weeklong tread of bleeding out. “It is a common practice for girls and women to have to improvise if they do not have the products they need. More often we hear stories of girls simply skipping school when they don’t have resources... and that is tragic,” says Joy. The way some of these women are trying to keep themselves clean is a cause for concern because it carries implications for public health and infection.“It is very safe to say that infection, poor hygiene, poor self-esteem are some of the negative effects of not having proper menstrual care,” says Joy. She also mentioned that Always reported that one in five girls did not have access to sanitary products, forcing them to miss school and at times forced to leave because they “simply could not afford what was needed to manage a natural bodily process.” Maria Mencos Puche, program director at HIS House in Placentia, California, says, “There are so many risks to not having access to these items, UTIs and yeast infections as well as toxic shock from not having access to enough tampons and not being able to change them out enough.” She adds that the women they work with also face risk of infection when they have to create their own tampons or pads in ways that aren’t always sanitary.

P.O. Box 1905 Santa Ana, CA 92702 Phone: 714-836-7188

Orange County Rescue Mission 1 Hope Dr., Tustin, CA 92782

Wise Place - Santa Ana 1411 N. Broadway, Santa Ana, CA 92706

Midnight Mission - Los Angeles

601 South San Pedro Street Los Angeles, CA 90014 volunteer/ GRAB YOUR FRIENDS, FAMILY OR CO-WORKERS TO HOST A HYGIENE KIT DRIVE!

Though big brand companies give donations to organizations helping the homeless, small individual donations are also a huge help. Whether it be $5 or a small box of tampons, each donation is appreciated from people that want to help in whatever way they can. “The simple fact is that this issue is so easy to tackle... it is so easy to make a tangible difference in the life of someone else. A small donation really does make things better and we see the results everyday,” states Joy.



After Your Duty is Served By Otis McReah

When I left the military I was eager to embrace the world. I put the blinders on and charged fearlessly toward goals I didn’t even have. But I kept wondering why I was ending up back at my starting point. Then I thought there must be something more serious going on. My nerves were shot. When I was enlisted and not feeling well, I went on sick call to the ship’s doctor. Now, the Department of Veterans Affairs was the new Doc. When I went to the VA’s mental health clinic, they told me that I was somewhere between bi-polar and schizo-affective, so I did what I did when Doc would tell me what was wrong—I took their word for it and went back to what I was doing. The problem here was that I was no longer in a world that spanned all of 509 feet with nothing to do but work, sleep and read.


Going about your business when you are not doing well is a band-aid we are constantly applying and reapplying in the military. But if the wound is deep and infected that wound won’t heal and you need to get real help. For me, all those wounds that I kept putting band-aids on really started to fester when I left. Self-medicating every time you hit a port is a practice you learn on deployment. Then I learned it doesn’t work so well when you get out and you are permanently in port. If any of my situation sounds familiar to the reader, the best advice I can give you is not to let your pride guide you. Don’t allow yourself to neglect resources and don’t be too proud to seek them out. Ask other veterans. Look for vets that are doing well and moving forward and ask them if they’ll share their stories and advice with you. If the services at the VA aren’t doing enough for you, there are other resources available.


American Legion

Photos by: Ian Barr

Operation Comfort Warrior is a program started by the American Legion to provide disabled veterans with comfort items. The VA’s budget doesn’t cover certain items can play a vital role in therapy for vets coping with injuries and wounds sustained in service to their country. The program is donation based and provides items necessary for occupational therapy and rehabilitation. If you think you might qualify for this program you can apply through the American Legion’s website. The Worth Saving Task Force is another of the American Legion’s programs and it is intended to help women veterans get access to gender-specific healthcare and connect them with additional resources, such as childcare and counseling for trauma related to sexual assault experienced in the military.

Vet Centers In 1979, Vet Centers were established by Congress with the goal of helping the many veterans that were struggling in the readjustment process. They provide individual and group counseling, bereavement counseling, and screening for mental illness and traumatic brain injury. They can also aid vets who struggle with navigating benefits available to us. The Garden Grove Vet Center has a unique way of helping Veterans in crisis. Standard practice at the VA is to call the police when someone is in crisis mode so they won’t hurt themselves or others. Sometimes this makes things worse, and the Vet Center in Garden Grove recognizes this. Instead of automatically calling the police, the Vet Center employs a Marine Corps veteran who is trained to help vets in crisis.

Mission Continues

Warrior Scholar Project

Mission Continues operates on the idea that there are vets (and non-vets) who want to help, and there are communities out there that need the help. They send out teams to perform such tasks as renovating schools, cleaning up parks and community areas and building playgrounds. It fosters camaraderie among veterans and is also a great way for civilians to contribute to the veteran community.

In the military, we learn a form of discipline that doesn’t translate directly to an academic environment for everyone. If you fall into the latter category, as I did, going to school may come with it’s struggles.

Above: The USMC Color Guard waiting to parade the colors at the Fullerton College Veteran’s Week opening ceremony

The program is 100% free and includes lodging and meals. The only thing you need to provide is the transportation, and the school you are already attending be able to foot the bill for that.

Left: A temporary wall erected on the Fullerton College Campus memorializes the veterans of the Global War On Terror that did not survive the adjustment to civilian life

Warrior Scholar Project was founded by three Yale classmates to aid veterans in the transition from military to student life. It brings veterans to Ivy League schools such as Harvard, Yale and Cornell for a couple of weeks and offers programs in Humanities, STEM (Science and Mathematics) and markets/business ventures.


INSIDE FULLERTON The stark black words stand out against the yellow background on the mannequin. Looking at the figure gives an impression of forbiddenness, and trying to fathom the meaning behind such a unique piece of fashion is baffling. This dress, that was on display in the fashion department at Fullerton College, is not made out of traditional fabric, but recycled crime scene tape. “It is a crime for young ladies not to become models if they don’t look like what society says is normal,” says creator of the dress Patricia Helmick, a student in the fashion department. This is an example of what some women face in the fashion industry. However, change is on the horizon. People in the fashion industry are raising their voices through their designs to call for change for many different causes in society. Fashion is now becoming a new trend on how people raise their picket signs. Fashion has voiced a lot of social movements throughout history. However, it’s only getting stronger as people are using it as a way to speak up about about gender, the environment and mental health.




FASHION By S.A. Falcon

Political Fashion has been a part of our culture for decades. It’s a way groups of people come together to address a social issue. An early political fashion movement was in 1903 with the suffragettes campaign when women marched dressed in white to demand their right to vote. Hillary Clinton dressed in a white pant suit in 2017 as she showed support for in coming President, Donald Trump. She appeared in white at Trump’s inauguration as a statement to show support for women, with representation of purity and protection for women in society. Political fashion continues to play an important part in society, in early 2019, Democratic women dressed in white protested President Trump’s State of the Union address. “Congresswoman Elizabeth Warren creates her own statement; she is well known to roll her sleeves up. She wears three-quarter sleeves, bright, strong and bold colors that work for her position as a strong woman with goals and an agenda,” says Gigi McMillan, founder of Purple Runway, an organization that advocates for survivors of domestic violence. Political fashion is taking the world by storm, and the fashion industry is bringing back the trend in full force, with fashion designs that pertain to social and political movements.



SOCIAL JUSTICE For Helmick, creator of the crime scene tape dress, the political cause is body image. Her dress symbolizes how the bodies of women are being portrayed much like a crime in society. Women should instead be unapologetic about their bodies. They should be celebrated, says Helmick. “Wear what you feel comfortable in,” she says. “Who has the right to dictate to women what we should wear?” Body image issues within the fashion industry is a subject that is constantly talked about. “It takes decades for things to finally be accepted across an entire society,” says Rachel Nevarez, a fashion professor at Fullerton College. ”To speed it up you need Patricia, and more people like her.” The market is reflecting these shifts in attitude. The sales in the plus size market grew from 17.4 billion in 2013 to 20.4 billion from 2016, according to a survey published by Bloomberg. That is a 17% increase in just three years. “What gets me excited is going to Target in the lingerie section and seeing images of models all shapes and sizes,” says Nevarez.






Fashion can also give a voice to those who are afraid to speak. The movement called Purple Runway is a fashion show for those who have been affected by domestic violence. “Fashion has maintained its multibillion dollar industry for years,” says McMillan, who believes it’s a great way to get a message out to people without making them feel they’re being preached to. “We help people heal and recover from the inside and then shine the brightest on the outside,” says McMillan. Starting Purple Runway was a way of healing for Gigi, with something she loved which was fashion. It was a way she could help create change in society by using something she enjoyed as a voice to something she had to overcome. She is a Domestic Violence survivor, she started Purple Runway as a “journey of healing,” she said. “I was lost, defenseless, angry, hurt, not happy and I was hurting from untapped healing…I said to myself, when I start over I want to be authentic to myself and to the people…that’s when Purple Runway was born,” she said

The effects of climate change are becoming impossible to ignore, and the fashion industry is taking note. More fashion companies are using recycled materials to create fashionable pieces for consumers to wear. For example, Rothy’s shoewear makes shoes from recycled plastics. Rothy’s reports that 91% of plastic water bottles do not get recycled. They’re trying to change that and have upcycled over 37 million plastic water bottles to make into shoes. Fullerton College is also doing its part, where fashion students work with recycled materials to create one of a kind pieces that make their footprint to support the environment. “The newspaper donated paper so students can create clothes out of recycled newspaper,” says Renee Young, the chair of the fashion department at Fullerton College, describing past projects. Young shows her class examples of how to make clothing from recycled materials, and with each cut and fold a one of a kind piece is made. “Every other year to two years they do a recycled piece, from candy wrappers to Capri sun, and newspapers,” says Young. This gives students a chance to express their creativity through shining a light on environmental change.

In the organization’s fashion shows that are presented, purple is a color that stands out. It is worn for supporting survivors of domestic violence. However, other colors are worn as well. It’s all clothing that represents love, strength and surviving. In addition platform for also offers a affected by and heal.

to using fashion trends as a their message, Purple Runway way for people who have been domestic violence to connect

It’s more than fashion; it’s togetherness. Purple Runway also has an organization called I Thrive Sisterhood, where people can go on retreats, and get involved in workshops. These workshops help survivors grow and reclaim themselves. “We focus every day on women who are very focused on improving their self esteem, their self worth, and overcoming trauma,” says McMillan.

Mario Santiago a fashion student made a dress out of the recycled newspaper with the help of his class partner. He imagined the dress as a Hawaiian style, yet flirty feeling. “I didn’t think I was working with paper,” says Santiago. “I wanted it to feel like a real dress, I would change some things so in my imagination I was working with real fabric.” People in the fashion world continue to look for ways to make clothes more environmentally friendly such as Santiago, who says he would definitely continue creating pieces out of paper and plastics. “If you are into art, you will always find a way to make something from scratch… from trash to fashion, or from trash to treasure,” he says.

Many people have different tastes, especially when it comes to music. Rap, hip hop, pop, R&B, soul, country—these are some of the many genres that the music industry produces. Increasingly, we are seeing music consumers show interest in different genres and not just stick to one. Fullerton College alumnus and former 90.1 FM KBPK Radio DJ, Audie Contreras says he has seen a shift in diversification within genre interest in the radio and music industries, and attributes it to social media: “If an artist does something interesting that will catch the millennial interest, he will gain a new fan, follower, or supporter for anything they do, even if it is creating bad content.” Alexandrea Navaja, a student at Cal State Fullerton working towards her bachelor’s in music, sees this trend of diversified music interests in her own friend group. “Although I’m an old soul, I really love how people aren’t just fixed on one genre anymore. My friends and I love to listen to EDM one day, listen to some soul and R&B the next, and move on to oldies another day,” she says. “I feel as the radio and advertising on television as well as social media, have a huge impact on the diversification of music. People are exposed to different kinds of music whether if it is from a video, ad, post, or vlog.” Inside Fullerton conducted an Instagram poll of 15 individuals on their music interests. Out of the 15, two prefer R&B, two prefer soul/ reggae, two prefer EDM, and four prefer country. The rest say they like classic rock, reggaeton, rap, and hip hop.


STAFF PICKS Joshua Villafranco

Cocoa Butter Kisses by Chance The Rapper No Bus by lophiile Shameless by Buddy

Salina Falcon

Dejate Querer by Lalo, Yero, Sebastian Bad Idea by Ariana Grande I Like Me Better by Lauv

Ian Barr

Tunnel of Love by Dire Straits Po-Jama People by Frank Zappa Lullaby Of London by The Pogues

Viviane Anthony Sweet Sun by Milky Chance The Story of OJ by Jay Z Riptide by Vance Joy

Sam Serrano

Award Tour by A Tribe Called Quest Hostage by Chelsea Grin Workout by Chance the Rapper

According to the Billboard top 100 U.S. artist charts, the top artists represent the diversity of music interests unique to this generation. The top artists of 2018 include Drake, a contemporary R&B and pop-rap music artist; Ed Sheeran, a contemporary folk, pop, and hip hop artist; Taylor Swift, a pop rock and hip hop artist; Imagine Dragons, an alternative rock and indie rock band; BTS, a K-pop and electronic dance music (EDM) band; Bruno Mars, a soul, reggae, contemporary R&B, hip hop artist. Ten years ago, in the Billboard top 100 U.S. artist chart from 2009, we see more hip hop and pop artists such as Beyonce, Lady Gaga, The Black Eyed Peas, Pink, Kelly Clarkson, Jason Mraz, Miley Cyrus, and Kanye West. “There is no limit to my music interest,” says third-year Fullerton College student Giovanni Rojas, who is majoring in music. “I can listen to EDM and switch to rap within a second, then country a little later. I hate when people are so fixed on one genre of music because it takes away the opportunity for people to expand their interest and possibly like something new that they never knew they would enjoy.”

What We Listen To

Michael Echavarria



WHO’S HUN We sent our reporter out to find some of the most delicious but underrated dishes in the diverse cuisines in Orange County.

Bunuelos Bunuelos are the Spanish version of a doughnut or churro—deep-fried dough that is made to be either sweet or savory. The Spanish brought this treat over to the countries it colonized, and with each colony came new indigenous ingredients that put a fresh spin on the bunuelo. In Mexico the locals add anise into the dough before deep frying and then cover it in a syrup of brown sugar, cinnamon, and guava. In the Philippines, they shape their bunuelos as doughnuts, a pancake or a ball and are usually made from glutinous rice, or galapong, instead of flour.

Where to get it:

Amapola 130 Plaza Dr. West Covina CA 91790

Lomo Saltado Lomo saltado is a traditional Peruvian dish that blends Chinese ingredients with Peruvian cuisine in a unique style called Chifa. Chifa is a style that was born in Lima where the first Chinatown in Peru was established in the 19th century. Lomo Saltado simply means stir-fried beef and consists of thin slices of beef that have been marinated with vinegar and soy sauce and then stir-fried in a wok with onions. It’s reminiscent of fajitas at first, but after the first bite the Asianinspired flavors take over.

Where to get it:

The Early Bird 1000b E Bastanchury Rd Fullerton, CA 92835




Photos and story by Sam Serrano



Sopa De Pata Several Hispanic cultures feature their own take on a hearty and comforting soup. In Mexican culture, menudo or pozole is the dish of choice during the colder winter months. In El Salvador the soup of choice is sopa de pata.

Sopa de pata is a common dish in Salvadoran culture that translates to cow feet soup. The soup usually consists of yuca, tripe, hominy, cilantro, bananas and, of course, cow feet. Sopa de pata is a traditional dish that is often praised for its comforting properties and has even been recommended as being a good cure for hangovers.


Where to get it:

El Pulgarcito 1738 W Chapman Ave Orange, CA 92868


Beef Noodle Soup Most cultures have their own variations of a beef soup, but if you’re looking to turn up the heat, why not try the grandfather of all beef soups— Taiwanese beef noodle soup. It’s a hearty bowl of soy sauce–braised beef, veggies and noodles. This popular street food was first made in the late 1940s when mainland Chinese soldiers and their families were relocated to Taiwan and became nostalgic for some homecooking. Using the local Gangshan spices, they made bowls of soy sauce– braised beef and served it with noodles and a red chili paste. The soup can be made with a Sichuan style or consommé broth, which offer different flavors, but usually comes with bok choy, chunks of beef and long stringy noodles that radiate steam when pulled.

Where to get it:

The Old Boys 333 N State College Blvd Fullerton, CA 92831

Where to get it:


Ristorante Italiano 938 S Euclid St, Anaheim, CA 92802

Osso Buco Everyone is familiar with Italian classics like pasta, pizza and calamari, but there is another classic Italian dish that is starting to get more recognition. That dish is osso buco, a veal shank that’s braised to fall right off the bone. Originating in Milan in the 19th century, osso buco was a relatively inexpensive dish that could feed a large family. The shank is coated in a layer of flour and butter before being placed in a pot to brown. In a separate pot, onions are sauteed, followed by vegetables like carrots, tomatoes, and celery, and spices like thyme and oregano. The veggies are doused with white wine,v then the shank is added in and the pot sits on low heat for a couple of hours. The dish is served with pasta, risotto, or even polenta.







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