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ONLINE EXCLUSIVE Khone Saysamongdy • The Collegian

East Union High School begins their three-mile run at the Fresno State campus on Feb. 11, 2017.

tackle March referendum to include Panelists ‘fake news,’ urge two new senate positions public to fact-check ASI discusses diversity and veterans

By Razmik Cañas @Raz_Canas

Fresno State’s Associated Students, Inc. has approved a referendum for adding two new senate positions for the student body to vote on in the March election. The positions are for senators of veteran and transfer affairs and diversity, equity and inclusion. The positions were approved at the first ASI meeting in the spring semester with a 7-5 vote. But one week later, the Diversity Committee voted to revisit the proposal for the senator for diversity, equity and inclusion position to discuss whether the position was one that was actually needed. The agenda item was for approval of the ballot language for the referendum of both new senate positions. Before the vote, the senators discussed their ideas on the proposed referendum. The committee discussed the pros and cons before a revote that kept the position on the ballot. The pros of keeping the diversity position include allowing a

representative to concentrate on the many diverse student populations. The cons include the fact that each of the current senate positions already represent the diverse student body. News of the revote led many on campus to attend the meeting, giving them the opportunity to address ASI in public comments before the decision was made. Dr. Cristina Herrera, department chair of Chicano and Latin American Studies, urged ASI to keep the referendum intact. “The words diversity, equity and inclusion are not bad words, and yet they become vilified in our society which is unfair,” Herrera said. “A university with the very word diversity in its motto should value such a senator position.” Dr. Amber Crowell, assistant professor in the department of sociology, explained the importance of having someone represent the diversity of the campus. “I believe this position is vital to the mission of our university,” Crowell said. “This is a special

campus because of how many groups are represented in our student body.” Raymond Ray, a senior history major, said the senators’ terms were up at the end of the semester and that leaving the referendum to a student vote could make a difference. “That will be the impact that you guys leave behind,” Ray said. “That’s something to hang your hat on, that you simply put it up to a vote for us, as well as yourselves.” Alex Gallo, senator at-large of academic affairs, who originally proposed the position, explained the need for the senator to become a part of ASI. “Even though ASI is diverse, it does not mean the populations we identify as [diverse] are being represented,” Gallo said. “That is referred to as an illusion of inclusion and that is something a professor recently told me.” The proposed senator would have a number of jobs in advocating for diversity. They were

See ASI, Page 3

By Razmik Cañas @Raz_Canas

It was standing room only at the Alice Peters Auditorium last Thursday for a lecture on “Journalism, Fake News and The First Amendment”. The Leon S. Peters Ethics lecture was part of a series sponsored by the Ethics Center. The event was a panel discussion, individual presentations and audience Q&A. The panel of four individuals consisted of both university professors and local media professionals. Faith Sidlow and Jes Therkelsen represented the department of Media, Communications and Journalism (MCJ) where they serve as professors of Broadcast Journalism and Multimedia. Local media professionals included Jim Boren Executive Editor/ Senior Vice President for the Fresno Bee and Joe Moore Director of Program Content for Valley Public Radio. Each panelist took the time to present on topics pertaining to news, from their media

outlets. Jim Boren spoke about the importance the legacy The Fresno Bee has had on reporting news for over 90 years. He spoke about reporting on issues that impact readers and the community. He shared his experience when he was reporter during the 1976 Chowchilla kidnapping. “Real reporters gather information from the scene and don’t wait for something to pop up on the internet and then write about it,” Boren said. “Our reporters go out of the office, go to the scene of news events, talk to people in person. These are not second hand news sources.” He said that stories looking out for readers creates a better relationship between the publication and audience. Joe Moore shifted the talk to radio, showcasing different stories provided from National Public Radio (NPR) news reporters. The stories were used to show the issues the reporters faced when covering the 2016 election.

See FAKE NEWS, Page 3





Embrace love at every difference By Amber Carpenter @shutupambs

We’ve heard it all before – February 14th is a day celebrated by corporate gluttons selling overpriced candy and flowers and designed only for those lucky enough to be romantically in love with someone. While the day is just a painful reminder of their perpetual singledom, for many dubbed Single Awareness Day, it’s still Valentine’s Day for me. Legend has it that in Rome during third century, Emperor Claudius II discovered single men made better soldiers than those married with children. He outlawed marriage for young men. Saint Valentine, seeing the injustice in this decree, went against Claudius and performed weddings for young men and women in secrecy. On this Valentine’s Day, it’s time to step out into the light and realize how lucky we are to be able to love each other freely for who we truly are. On a campus as diverse as Fresno State’s, we see all kinds of love. It ranges from couples holding hands along the mall, friends laughing and studying in the USU, to family members helping each other with homework in the Henry Madden Library. Political views are divisive, religious views can create tension between belief systems and cultural views may perpetuate stereotypes, but the one thing that can break through almost anything and unify people of all backgrounds is love. Because love manifests itself in so many ways, it’s important to realize and embrace each other literally and figuratively, as long you’re into that kind of thing. All healthy and consensual forms of love are valid and shouldn’t be questioned. Interracial relationships shouldn’t be subjected to prejudice, long-distance relationships

Jessicahtam • Flickr

shouldn’t be thought of as unimportant and same-sex relationships shouldn’t be condemned. Now more than ever, the basic human rights of those around the country are at stake. At the heart of these social justice issues lies a lack of understanding and empathy for the people whose rights could be taken away. The bottom line is students on and off Fresno State’s campus want to feel welcomed and accepted, and it’s the responsibility of the student body and campus

administrators to facilitate an environment that encourages acceptance and love. From empathy stems understanding, and it’s with that attitude that we should approach not only a Hallmark holiday, but our lives. We no longer have to love in secrecy. At least for right now, we have the right to love and accept one another regardless of the things that make us different. The word “soulmate” applies to more than just our romantic partner. We find soulmates at work or at school – people

we can show our true selves to without fear that we will be judged or persecuted. Regardless of whether or not the legend has truth, what Saint Valentine did by going against a powerful leader and performing marriages speaks volumes about the society we should create. It’s not about the candy, cards or money spent, but how we look at others and ourselves. Students and administrators need to create spaces that welcome love and acceptance regardless of how much easier hate or prejudice might seem.

Jordan Bradley • The Collegian

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Professors and news professionals talk ‘fake news’ with the community FAKE NEWS from Page 1 “We seek out news that is confirmation bias and this again is both on the left and right but we seek out outlets that have a particular slant to reinforce our existing thoughts, opinions, beliefs about whatever we have out there,” Moore said. “It's our job as citizens to have an understanding of where these different sources come from where these different outlets have their particular agenda and then objectively weigh them.” Moore said that when reporting on complex issues, it’s best to talk to as many people you can to obtain the best knowledge. Faith Sidlow went into detail about the increase in “Fake News” since the 2016 Election and ways to avoid it. She explained that these false reports gain lots of attention leading to inaccurate perceptions from the public. Sidlow said solutions to “Fake News” include better training for journalists and their media organizations on how to obtain/cover real news stories. Sidlow also said that the media has a responsibility to cover the truth, when fake news starts reporting things that are false. Jes Therkelsen was the final individual presenter before the audience could ask questions. He spoke on behalf of the importance of communication. He said that by the audience being there, and taking action the future of journalism

Khone Saysamongdy • The Collegian

Jim Boren (far left), Joe Moore (left), Jes Therkelsen (right) and Faith Sidlow (far right) speak on fake news in journalism in the Alice Peters Auditorium room on Feb. 9, 2017.

will move forward. He explained that trust in journalism will grow by citizens becoming more civically engaged in supporting their views. Therkelsen said that although fake news had existed prior to recent events, people have not always had an interest in learning about it. “What is new is a renewed public interest in the state of journalism given our country’s current climate,” Therkelsen said. The final portion, a Q&A, let the

audience ask questions to the panelists. The questions varied from how adults should teach their kids about the changing media to how journalism students can move forward with producing quality news. Jim Arthur, who attended the event said the talk really gave him better knowledge about what fake news is. “It opened my eyes up a little bit more because up until fairly recently this whole concept of fake news was totally foreign to me,” Arthur said.

What he found most surprising was how Facebook has different feeds based on your political views. It was discussed that the site will automatically show posts that correlate with your interests. “I thought it was a good presentation, I’m glad they had all the different branches of media represented,” Arthur said, “We have to look at more than one source for our news.” Maria Telesco, a former journalist came to the event because she is glad that the issue is being

discussed. “I’m glad that the subject came up and I’m disappointed that we are living under this condition,” Telesco said. She found it very surprising that members of society have conformed to thinking the fake news stories are true and let that information influence their lives. The talk was filmed by MCJ students and is available to view at . Bineet Kaur contributed to this article.

Proposed senate positions pass hurdles ASI from Page 1


COMMENT: The Collegian is a forum for student expression.



on from March 28-30 during the spring 2017 elections. Discussion was not only focused on the proposed senate position but a position that had been discussed in the past, a senator of sustainability. Many senators explained that given the age of the Fresno State campus and potential projects that could be done, having that position would help another growing issue on campus. Those in favor of that position explained that there has been an established outlet for issues regarding diversity. The issues pertaining to our environment have not yet been expressed at a larger level. Other proposals included that the issue of sustainably would run best as a task force. A group of individuals could come together and work on continuous projects regarding the well-being of the campus climate. Senators also have opportunities to apply for grants that can fund sustainability projects within their colleges.







outlined in Gallo’s proposal including being a liaison to cultural groups and working closely with the Cross Cultural and Gender Center. Gallo said the senator will also “advocate for initiatives that facilitate progress of diversity, challenge practices and policies that hinder ASI’s and the university’s vision for diversity.” Mayra Casillas, senator atlarge for clubs and organizations, serves on the Diversity Committee and said that the group is not against the position, but noted it already has the potential to address students’ needs regarding diversity. “We have a priority as a senate to have diversity and to promote it on our campus, and I think that is exactly the purpose of the Diversity Committee,” Casillas said. “With that being said, this committee has only existed for less than a year. I don’t think we’ve given it the opportunity to flourish and become what it needs to be.” Casillas invited those in the au-

dience who shared their concerns to attend the Diversity Committee’s meetings in order to work together on future projects. “None of this has ever been addressed to our committee, and we would love to hear everything you have to say, so that you can feel included, so we can bring it to the senate meetings for you guys,” Casillas said. Having the senator position would not mean that the committee would be cut. Both the senator and committee would serve students’ needs, Gallo said. The action item was for the approval of the ballot language. It stated that the students would vote for the two new positions under one referendum. A “yes” vote meant the approval of both positions. A “no” would be a disapproval of both. The motion passed with an 8-6 vote. Diversity Committee meetings are open to the public. They are every other Wednesday that offset the ASI meetings at 4 p.m. Ally Zavala, senator at-large of student affairs and enrollment management, is the chair, and Senator Casillas serves as co-chair. The referendum will be voted






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‘Vagina Monologues’: embracing the cunt

Fresno State Students Natalie Casas (left) and Andrew Delinila (right) pose for photos before the Vagina Monologues on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017.

By Eric Zamora @TheCollegian

A sea of emotions emerged from the audience as they dove into the taboo world of rape, pubic hair, and genitalia during “The Vagina Monologues”. Written in 1996 by Eve Ensler, “The Vagina Monologues” is made up of multiple stories, each about a different woman and her experience in life. The stories range from lighthearted and comedic sketches such as “My Angry Vagina” to more serious discussion about rape and female genital mutilation. The production was directed by two Fresno State students, Ashley Juskalian and Nwachukwu Oputa. The show was presented by Women’s Alliance and Gender Programs and Services on Feb. 11 in North Gym Room 118. “I’m president of Fresno State’s Women’s Alliance, and it seemed only natural that the feminist club on campus take

charge of this ‘The Vagina Monologues,’ considering it’s such a feminist production,” said Juskalian, a third-year music education major. Together, the two students assembled a cast of both students and faculty to take part in the play. “I’ve been meaning to try out for ‘The Vagina Monologues’ for years, and I finally walked down the hallways on the right day and remembered, ‘Oh yeah, I should do that,’ and so I tried out and they said OK and they cast me,” said Melissa Knight, a professor and full-time lecturer in the women’s studies department. The cast members began practicing since before the start of the spring semester, and as a result, got close to one another as well. “It’s been really fun. We’ve all come to know each other as a cast,” said Nylah Pehrson, a third-year English education major. “And the best thing about preparing for [it] would be all the effort we’ve all put in and just seeing how it’s become over

time.” Many times throughout the play, audience members were encouraged to interact, such as during “Reclaiming Cunt,” read by Pehrson. By the end of the reading, the audience was encouraged to shout out the word in unison with Pehrson, as a way to reclaim the word which is often considered an expletive. Other stories, such as “Hair,” focused on a woman’s right to do what she wants with her own body. In this case, it was about a woman’s right to not shave her pubic hair. “My monologue spoke to me because it speaks to the idea that your body is yours; it’s not up to any man to tell you what to do even if you’re in a relationship,” said Kaitlynn Webster, a third-year art major. “It’s not up to them to delegate what you do with your body.” While the relatability was appreciated by many attendees, others indicated how the play could help others learn more about both vaginas and feminist movements. “It felt really empowering,” said Emma

Yezmene Fullilove • The Collegian

DenBesten, a mathematics and vocal performance double major. “It’s not something that people talk about, and it was just nice to feel acknowledged.” Associated Students Inc President Tim Ryan was one of those newly enlightened viewers. He liked “Not-So-Happy Fact,” one of the more serious stories from the play which focused on the issue of female genital mutilation around the world, a topic that he had heard about before. “I have a newfound appreciation for vaginas. It may sound funny to say, but it’s true, and I think it’s something that I’ve never given a whole lot of thought to [before] now,” Ryan, a fourth-year political science major, said, “And so I really appreciated this opportunity to open up my mind to something that I hadn’t really been exposed to before.” All of the proceeds of this production benefitted Planned Parenthood Mar Monte in south Fresno and Fresno State’s campus confidential victim advocate program.


‘Are we ever going to have a just food system?’ Dr. Breeze Harper speaks on veganism in the black community

By Hayley Salazar @Hayley_Salazarr

The Food Justice Series at Fresno State continued on Feb. 10 with food scholar Dr. Breeze Harper’s talk on “Anti-Racism in the Ethical Foodscape.” Dr. Dvera Saxton, a professor of anthropology and creator of the Food Justice Series, opened the discussion by identifying the impact food has on a variety of fields. “We have a lot of commercial contracts with outside providers but not a lot of food creativity other than in the ag department,” Saxton said. “There’s a lot of different ways that you can approach food from different disciplines.” The talk centered heavily on the cloaked racism living within Americans. These food prejudices manifest and trickle down into niche groups such as the vegan community. When Harper began her vegan journey

12 years ago due to health issues, she noticed the lack of awareness for the black community’s involvement in veganism. Vegan food items are marketed as “ethical and healthy” and cater to consumers with images of thin, white, fit individuals. “The media still focuses on whiteness in every aspect,” Harper said. “When they’re marketing it – talking about veganism, vegetarian and animal rights, they’re still only showing white spaces and white ways of being. It doesn’t let you know that actually there are these non-white people doing it too.” After noting the single face to veganism, Harper explained her research into the racism within food scapes. She stressed the importance of understanding what it means to be white in society and what it means to be black in society. “The people who are harvesting your food are most likely non-white racialized people in the worst conditions,” Harper

said. “There’s a racist reason for that and that includes vegan cruelty-free foods.” Beyond the systematic racism within the food scape, Harper aims to tackle the illiteracy of race within the United States. “None of these vegans are using the N-word. None of them are saying ‘I’m a racist, I hate black people,’” Harper said. “But I was thinking to myself, if you don’t have the critical race literacy tools to understand what’s going on, especially as a white person who can have those tools and better intervene with other white people who are saying and doing these things, then are we ever going to have a just food system?” Harper said racism in a post-2000 world is not just the “Jim Crow-era” of racism involving Ku Klux Klan members and neo-Nazi affiliates; it’s ignorant comments made day-to-day. Harper said the best way to address these issues is to speak up. “I think the biggest thing is don’t be silent. Those little things are what end up

creating things like Nazi Germany,” Harper said. “If something feels off, even if everyone else says it’s OK, go with your gut. Something is there.” For students like Kayleigh Hanson, a sophomore majoring in recreation, the talk provided a comprehensive perspective on the vegan community. “I never would have put inhumanity with veganism and food,” Hanson said. “There’s obviously unethical things done to the animals for veganism, but not for humans. You never think about who gets the food. I’m not a vegan, but it’s definitely something I would take into account when I think about food consumption and human equality.” The next Food Justice Series event will discuss farmworkers and food justice on Feb. 24 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Kremen Education Building, Room 140.





African student chooses Fresno State to pursue higher education

Courtesy of Fresno State Athletics

Senior Tarryn Rennie swimming the butterfly stroke at Fresno State’s Aquatics Center.

By Judith Saldivar @judithgs__

A Fresno State student is working to prove where one comes from does not determine where one is going. Tarryn Rennie, a senior from Zimbabwe, Africa, is a swimmer on the Fresno State swim team majoring in media, communication and journalism. Rennie is a member of the College of Arts and Humanities honors program and is working on a research paper to compare and analyze American and British media portrayals of Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe. Her ultimate goal: help improve her troubled homeland. Zimbabwe, once known as Rhodesia, has lived under the presidency of Mugabe for

30 years. The nation continues to wrestle with the ramifications of its colonial past. Rennie said she has witnessed a lot of poverty and homelessness and has seen too many children who should have been in school, but weren’t. There were times where she walked into a grocery store that had completely empty shelves. “You picture somewhere like FoodMaxx, and it’s completely empty,” Rennie said. “And we used to sort of park our cars outside the gas station and leave them for three days in the hopes that gas would come by at some point.” Rennie’s boyfriend, Blake Costalupes, a Fresno State student pursuing a graduate degree in sport psychology, said Rennie is proud of where she comes from. “Although Zimbabwe is in economic turmoil and is struggling politically, she sees

the beauty in it and always has faith that things will get better there,” Costalupes said. She began swimming at 6 years old and came to the U.S. on a swimming scholarship to pursue a better life. Since then, Rennie has broken many records at Fresno State. Although swimming is a passion, her journey to Fresno State wasn’t easy. She misses her family and friends, who are more than 8,000 miles away. Kim Rennie, Tarryn’s mother, said it was tough letting her daughter go. “I grieved like I had lost a child, literally,” Kim said. There are times when it gets tough. Sometimes, Tarryn doesn’t feel at home. But despite the hard goodbyes, there are more good times than bad.

Being part of a team with passionate teammates has made Rennie grateful for the opportunity to expand her education. “I’m not the sort of person who likes to just make use of something. I want to expand it as much as possible. I want to get as much use out of it as possible, and I’ve been able to really do that.” Rennie said. “So I think just being able to have that vision and be challenged and stimulated is probably the best thing that’s happened, along with my friends.” Rennie expects to graduate in May and wherever life may take her after graduation, she wants to make a change in her native country. “Ultimately, I think could see myself going back home. But that’s sort of way down the line, a couple of decades I would say,” Rennie said.


Students can score big on Student Night at the Save Mart Center By Jenna Wilson @fsjennawilson

The Fresno State men’s basketball team will be hosting Student Night on Saturday, Feb. 18 at the Save Mart Center as the Bulldogs take on the New Mexico State Lobos. The Bulldogs will wear special all-black uniforms with “Student” on the back in place of their last name to show appreciation for the large population of students at Fresno State who help make athletics possible. Fans are encouraged to wear black to the game in support of students and stu-

dent-athletes alike. Students who attend will have the chance to win a $2,500 scholarship, courtesy of Office Depot, and an Apple watch. In addition, all students will be given a black, special edition Fresno State T-shirt to show their school spirit. The T-shirt says, “Our Students, Our Team, Our Valley.” The first 1,000 students will also receive a free Guadalajara taco at the game. Tip-off is at 3 p.m. The game will be televised by CBS Sports. After the men’s game, fans can watch past Bulldogs take the court again for the Fresno State Men’s Basketball Alumni scrimmage.

Christian Ortuno • The Collegian

Redshirt junior guard Jaron Hopkins (#1) dribbles down the court against Colorado State on Jan. 18, 2017, at the Save Mart Center.

Feb 13, 2017  
Feb 13, 2017