March 15, 2022

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CAVINDER TWINS TO TRANSFER 1959 Fresno State’s Award-Winning Newspaper

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Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Changes ahead...

Cedar Hall to be demolished, student fees increase. Page 4

Healthy Campus Week

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Photo Courtesy of Athena Clayson

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Swimming into victory




Recruit the 99 Career and Internship Fair at Save Mart Center By Adam Ricardo Solis Reporter

On Wednesday, March 9, at the Save Mart Center (SMC), students were able to develop their resumes and interviewing skills in the Recruit the 99 Career and Internship Fair. Over 125 companies and organizations were there to recruit students looking for different internships or career paths. Students engaged in “mini-interviews” with organizations like Caltrans and the Clovis Police Department, in which they were able to display their interview skills. Chun Fong, a senior majoring in computer science, said he used school resources to prepare for the career fair. He noted that he would refer more students to utilize those free resources. “I went to the Career Development Center website, and then there’s a guide for [us to follow when making] our resume and cover letter,” Fong said. Diego Guillen, a senior majoring in history, said the College of Social Sciences’ Peer Mentor Program, COSS Linked, helped with building his resume and interview skills. The program also aims to get students more engaged and involved with their college through academic and extracurricular activities, according to its website. Another resource that students used to prepare for the career fair was the Clothing Closet, located in the Career Development Center in the Thomas Building, Room 103. There students are able to pick out up to three pieces of professional clothing per person for free.

Julia Espinoza • The Collegian

Over 160 companies and 60 school districts joined the Career and Internship Fair at the Save Mart Center on March 9, 2022.

Items available to students include suits, sweaters, blouses, skirts, blazers and footwear. Guillen said the Clothing Closet helped him out when he was in need of a belt that he wore to the career fair. “That’s really nice to have in case you really didn’t have anything. I [can] still use it if I needed it,” Guillen said. Fong said he spent three to four days working on his resume to prepare for the career fair and to make sure it was adequate for employers. Throughout that time, Fong said he debated on what he would wear. He also made sure he memorized basic descriptions of the companies that were going to be in attendance. Even after days of preparation, when Fong was at the career fair, he said the process of going through the booths and interviewing with the companies still made him nervous. “Oh yeah, [I was] definitely nervous. A lot of companies, they’re not hiring software engineer interns, or like, anything related to my major,” Fong said. “So hopefully if I talk to them, they might give me something.” Agriculture business department chair Srinivasa Konduru attended the career fair. He said having the fair in-person was more effective than the last few years being held virtually. He also noted how events like the fair are great opportunities to jump-start careers. “The instructors are there. We can help them, but they need to find their own [calling]. Which kind of firm? Which kind of sector they are going to be interested in?” Konduru said. “And internships are the right vehicles for that.”

Fresno State updates its indoor mask requirement policy By Manuel Hernandez News Editor

Following California’s lift of the mask mandate in educational settings beginning March 11, Fresno State has announced it will no longer require masks indoors starting March 14. In a campus-wide email sent Thursday morning, Vice President for Administration and Chief Financial Officer Debbie Adishian-Astone said masks will no longer be required indoors, but those who choose to wear face coverings can continue to do so. “While masks will no longer be required, we strongly encourage their use,” Adishian-Astone

said in the email. “We fully support and respect those who wish to continue wearing face coverings.” The mask lift applies to students and employees who have not been in contact with someone with COVID-19 within the past 10 days, and those who have not tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 10 days. According to the email, over 90% of the campus community is vaccinated, and positive COVID-19 cases have been decreasing. Adishian-Astone said that Fresno State is “confident that [it] can continue to maintain a safe and healthy campus environment.” Vaccine exempt individuals are still re-

quired to take mandatory COVID-19 tests, and the university will still offer KN95 and surgical masks. Following Thursday’s announcement to the Fresno State community about lifting mask requirements, faculty received an email from administration the same day about class policies differing from the university’s policy. Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Xuanning Fu, who sent the email, initially said, ”classroom policies may not differ from the university policy” when it comes to mask requirements. However, in a Canvas announcement sent Monday morning to students, Fresno State

reversed its decision and added a new amendment to the new mask policy. The amendment gave “faculty the option of setting up class policies that can require students to wear face coverings during in-person classes.” The extension to the policy is effective immediately, and professors can decide whether or not they are going to enforce masks in the classroom. According to the Canvas update, the decision was made “based on feedback received to the lifting of Fresno State’s mask mandate, and concerns that we need to offer extended protection to students and faculty in in-person classes.”







Cedar Hall to be demolished to make way for low-cost housing By Edward Lopez

and kind of what their needs are each year,” Adishian-Astone said.

Fresno State Academic Student Inc. (ASI) discussed creating new low-cost residence dorms, rising tuition costs and teacher ratings during the March 9 senate meeting.

Teacher Ratings

Senior News Reporter

ment of Finance recently made adjustments for project expenditure priorities affecting the lowcost housing project’s timeline of completion. “We are still optimistic and hopeful that

which is planned to open during the fall 2022 semester. Students will see a fee increase of $149 each semester, raising the total student fees to $538

Assistant professor of French and member of the Academic Senate subcommittee Tara P. Hashemi gave a short presentation on the importance of the student rating system. Hashemi sought to raise awareness about the relatively low participation of students in filling out the questionnaire. “I think it’s very important to have that student perspective… on this committee, because it’s literally called student ratings, not faculty ratings,” Hashemi said. A common sentiment shared by ASI was that the student rating system generally did not benefit the students, as they felt the ratings contributed to little or no changes at the university. Senator for the College of Health and Human Services Alison Garibay recommended that students who want their voices heard go to the Rate My Professor website. “I would go to Rate My Professor because these [ratings] are not going to administration. This [questionnaire] is not going to make a change. That’s what I was told,” Garibay said. Hashemi clarified that in addition to the professor, the chairman of the department, upper administration and the university provost receive a copy of the ratings for the professor and course. Senator of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Karen Carrillo called the student rating system a “waste of time.” Carrillo also questioned the effectiveness of the administration to address issues presented in the ratings. “I’ve heard enough students express how they have gone to upper administration and, during the semester, they discuss the problems they’re having about their professor,” Carrillo said.

our project, if it is not funded this year in the 2021-2022 cycle, will be a high priority for 2022-2023 because it is a three year grant cycle program,” Adishian-Astone said.

per year following the opening of the RSU. The current debt service for the RSU is $3.9 million per year with an estimated operating cost of $2.4 million as well as a $3 inflationary increase per year. ASI received an additional $14 toward operations cost, which originally went towards the ASI financial aid fund, increasing the ASI operational budget to approximately $1 million, according to Adishian-Astone. She acknowledged that the transferring of the $14 fee to ASI operational cost will impact several services across the university. “It will impact their amount and total that they have, but they have looked at their fund balances, the amount they have available

“Whether it is feeling discriminated [against], whether it is feeling belittled, whether it’s anything like that and nothing is getting done.” Hashemi acknowledged that when it comes to tenured professors, very little to nothing can be done due to the protections afforded to them by their tenure status. However, student ratings do affect tenure track professors. “It depends on the rank of the professor. I am not going to deny what you are saying if it is a tenure professor,” Hashemi said. “If it’s a tenure track professor that matters… As far as anything punitive, I don’t think anything could happen.”

Low-Cost Housing Tinnah Medina, associate vice president of facilities management, announced the planning for a new low-cost housing complex with a target completion year of 2025 at an estimated cost of $500 million. Fresno State received a grant that is expected to cover approximately $35 million of the total construction cost. Fresno State student housing will cover the rest. In order to build the project, Cedar Hall, which currently houses 50 students, will have to be demolished to make way for the new facility, as well as the grass fields west and east of Cedar Hall. The new construction is planned to be up to six-stories tall, house 225 students and be modeled after apartment-style units, with each unit having its own kitchen and private bathrooms. The available dorm options are one-bedroom, two-bedroom and four-bedroom shared apartment units. Medina said that no new parking would be created in anticipation of the new housing project, which could impact the availability of the P27 dormitory parking to both students living on and off-campus. Vice President of External Affairs Caroline Alvarez worried that the new construction project would displace students currently living in Cedar Hall, as the project would not be completed until 2025. Vice President for Administration and Chief Financial Officer Deborah Adishian-Astone assured the senate that no student would be displaced until the actual budget and planning for the project is finalized, which is expected to take anywhere from a year to two years. “We don’t know exactly, but we would not demolish that building, until we knew absolutely what the schedule was and make sure that we have everybody accommodated so no one will be displaced,” Adishian-Astone said. The project was initially designed to be part of the 2022-2023 funding cycle, however, the funding cycle has yet to be approved until July 2022. The project is expected to get approval from the board of trustees in November 2022. Adishian-Astone noted that the CSU Depart-

Julia Espinoza • The Collegian

The ASI senate meeting heard a proposal for new student housing and modifications to student rating systems on March 9, 2022.

Changes To Tuition Following the housing project presentation, Adishian-Astone discussed with the senate the increase in mandatory student fees, which were approved the previous school year. The CSU mandatory student fees for Fresno State will increase to $1,209 for the upcoming 2022-2023 semester. It’s alongside the approved fee increase anticipation of the Resnick Student Union (RSU),




Fresno State Student Recreation Center suffers low attendance rate By Annabelle Vang Contributor

Attendance has decreased at the Fresno State Student Recreation Center (REC) since the facility reopened in August 2021. “Before the pandemic, a rough estimate of the average students using the recreational center was 900 to 1,000 students per day, and now it is [averaging] 600,” said Micolette Peña, operation supervisor at the REC Center. As of Monday, masks are no longer required at the REC Center. Sanitizer stations and disinfectant sprays are available on each level of the center in different zones. Staff members also encouraged students to clean the machines after their workouts, and masks are available at the front desk. Every night when the REC Center closes, employees do a deep clean of all the machines, according to Peña. She said the REC Center offers more than “just fitness equipment.” “When people think of a gym, some people are intimidated, but there are other activities available,” Peña said. The REC Center offers a variety of fitness classes, including racquetball, pingpong, cornhole, pickleball and badminton. Four courts are available for basketball, volleyball and badmin-

ton. Locker rooms are available for students to secure their belongings. It also offers intramural sports for students to play on a recreational team with their fellow classmates. Fitness swimming is also being offered at the Fresno State Aquatics Center. Due to COVID-19 safety procedures, some of these activities are modified and limited for social distancing. “I’ve been coming to the REC Center ever since the first day of school,” Luke Flores, an 18-year-old freshman, said. Flores said he enjoyed playing basketball with his friends in between classes and running on the treadmill. Being vaccinated and seeing students wear their masks made him feel comfortable and safe in the REC Center. Basketball activities had been suspended in 2021, but as of Monday, basketball activities are back. Flores said he has been playing basketball at Melody Park during the suspension. “I recommend everyone to come to the REC Center if you’re a student, since it’s so useful and such a great tool to take advantage of,” Flores said. “A great idea for the recreation center to attract more students would be to extend their hours since some students have work or stay

Julia Espinoza • The Collegian

The Fresno State Student Recreation Center is located just west of the Save Mart Center. late from studying at the library,” said Jenny Mao, 26, who is returning to campus for graduate school in the fall after taking a break this semester. The REC Center is open Monday through Thursday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Mondays were recorded to be the busiest day, according to Peña. Right before opening, or before closing is a

good time to come to the gym when there are less people, she also said. The REC Center is working on increasing its social media presence, according to Peña. She said that, besides lifting weights, people can get involved in other activities, socialize and get to know other students safely. “We would love to see more students use the facility. We are here for them, and this is the home of the Bulldogs,” Peña said.

ASI senator says more menstrual products needed on campus By Edward Lopez

Senior News Reporter Fresno State responded to the lack of free menstrual products available provided on campus and announced locations in the university library and Student Health and Counseling Center (SHCC) where they are now. However, Megan Torres, Associated Students Inc. (ASI) senator of operations and resident affairs, said that many of the free menstrual products in the library are still products she has provided herself and not from the university. “I went into some of those bathrooms that could have possibly been those rooms and they didn’t have any products that were there besides the products that ASI bought and I was able to put there,” Torres said. With the passage of California Assembly Bill 367 (AB367) in October 2021, California State Universities are required to stock “an adequate supply of menstrual products, available and accessible, free of cost, at no fewer than one designated and accessible central location on

each campus.” Torres has been in discussion with administration regarding this bill, and she said that the rules set by AB367 do not provide enough guidance for the university. She has since spearheaded a menstrual product initiative within ASI to improve its availability throughout campus since fall of 2021. According to Fresno State public information officer Lisa Boyles Bell, students can find free menstrual products at the library first floor in Rooms 1108 and 1113; second floor Rooms 2106 and 2111; and third floor Room 3110. She also said products are available at the SHCC in Rooms 147 and 148. Upon investigation, The Collegian found that several of the restrooms listed by the university had menstrual products. Additionally, the SHCC does carry menstrual products, but they are not free of charge. Bell also said that the university has posted QR code stickers outlining the locations of gender-neutral bathrooms alongside the four locations that the university says it stocked with free menstrual products.

“We are grateful to ASI [Associated Students Inc.] and to senator [Megan] Torres for their partnership to ensure that Fresno State continues to prioritize the needs of our students. In addition to start-up funding from ASI, annual funding to sustain this effort will be provided by the Student Health and Counseling Center,” Bell said. According to Bell, the university looks forward to supporting the menstrual product initiative led by Torres. “As we work to further support this initiative, we will continue working with ASI, and other stakeholder groups to ensure all students have access to quality and equitable menstrual products throughout campus,” said Bell. Torres said that she is disappointed with the lack of communication by the administration. “I talked to different administrators like the director Michael Lukens and [President Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval] about setting up meetings. They were able to get back to me — both of them — about that, but I was only able to schedule a meeting towards the end of April. With that, that was the invite they sent but they haven’t

updated me on any new findings,” Torres said. “I’m confused about the startup funding because we haven’t talked about donation of ASI products to them.” None of the rooms listed in the QR code’s Google Doc were clearly identified in the library. Room 2106 did not have the QR code sticker denoting it as a location for students to pick up menstrual products. Torres said she had difficulties finding the locations noted on the Google Doc as they were not clearly marked on the wall. “I don’t know why they would put decals up if they weren’t stocking those restrooms. So you know, even if they did, it’s clearly not accessible to all students because it seemed to be a bit confusing,” she said. Torres remains committed to addressing menstrual product inequality at the university and plans to continue providing free daily menstrual products to students in need across the university. “I would just like people to be more aware of the situation,” she said.





Healthy Campus Week events encourage students to pursue wellness By Ashley Flowers A&E Editor

Fresno State’s Student Health and Counseling Center (SHCC) is hosting its fifth annual Healthy Campus Week series of events from March 14-17 to connect students to campus resources. Normally a fall event, wellness services coordinator Kathy Yarmo said they decided to do the event in the spring to coincide with COVID-19 rates dropping and the weather getting warmer. “Healthy Campus Week really is designed to encourage students to participate in different healthful activities. We really try to bring attention to resources on campus,” Yarmo said. This year the series of events, themed “Grow Into Wellness,” began with a pet therapy session on Monday in the library. During the event, attendees were able to connect with SHCC representatives and learn stress reduction tips from posters hung on the wall. “We’re calling this event ‘Mindfulness Monday,’ so we’re really focusing on stress, stress reduction and just taking a break from everything going on and petting some cute dogs,” said Chloe Bockoven, intern with the SHCC and fifth-year psychology major with a minor in public health. “I think it’s really cool for people to find out about different types of therapies,” said firstyear student Caleb Benson after attending the event. Student attendees agreed the pet therapy session, as well as the other coming Healthy Campus Week events, should provide opportunities to relax. “I just thought that it’s really nice to have a little treat, especially during midterm season,” said freshman Erica Castro. A virtual event on “Transformation Tuesday” at 4 p.m. will feature a student sharing their journey to recovery from substance abuse for the first time publicly. The student’s story will immediately be followed with a virtual healing circle, which is a new experience for the SHCC, according to Yarmo. “With the healing circle, it’ll be an opportunity if anything spoke to them. If they had any reactions to what was shared, they can go through a process of healing from that,” Yarmo said. The Youth Leadership Institute will be guiding the healing circle process. The survivor advocate and a therapist from the SHCC will also be available for students at this event.

“Wellness Wednesday” on March 16 will include a fresh fruit break at noon in front of the University Student Union (USU) for students. The campus survivor advocate will be present at this event as well, along with organizations tabling to raise awareness of sexual health. The week of events culminates with Thursday’s St. Patrick’s Day Celebration at the Bulldog Bowl bowling alley in the lower level of the USU. The event will include free bowling and mocktails for students from 7 to 9 p.m. This event is intended to be a fun alternative to going out and drinking on the holiday, according to Bockoven. “[We are] providing a safe space for students to come and bowl and play some pool. We’re going to have board games, and we’re also going to have a DJ,” Bockoven said. While Healthy Campus Week was initially part of a national campaign by the Partnership for a Healthier America, when the organization no longer maintained its college healthy campus initiative program, the SHCC decided to keep it up. Students who attend any of the Healthy Campus Week events and take a selfie during them have an opportunity to win a $25 gift card by filling out a survey for each event attended. Winners will be notified via email Friday,

Jesús Cano • The Collegian

Top: Therapy dogs come to the library for the first Healthy Campus Week event. Bottom: Students were able to pet and take selfies with the dogs. March 18. Yarmo encouraged students to follow the SHCC on social media to learn more about these and future events. During April, which is sexual assault awareness month, the SHCC will have several events

for students to connect with resources. These events, such as the annual Denim Day on the last Wednesday of April to raise awareness and educate others about sexual violence, will be announced on social media accounts for the SHCC.




CineCulture continues to promote cultural awareness virtually By Alexa Barraza Contributor

Fresno State’s CineCulture continues to promote cultural awareness through March’s virtual screening of the French film “Tazzeka.” “Tazzeka,” released in 2018 and directed by Jean-Philippe Gaud, follows Elias, a young boy from the Moroccan village, Tazzeka, who develops a passion for cooking. As he grows older, he moves out of his home village to pursue his culinary endeavors which are conveyed through its cinematography and a talented performance by Mahdi Belemlih as Elias. Fresno State’s French program and the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures sponsored the screenings of “Tazzeka,” a film in French and Arabic with English subtitles. The movie allowed viewers to become immersed in Moroccan and Parisian culture through traditional cuisines. CineCulture is both an academic course offered through the Media, Communications and

Journalism department at Fresno State and a campus club. Though CineCulture once screened films in the Peters Education Center Auditorium, it began virtually screening its films in October 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions. “I’ve never been involved in virtual cinema before,” CineCulture instructor Mary Husain said. “When we first made the transition to virtual, the first time trying to have everyone watch it together did not work out. There have been tremendous bandwidth problems.” The video-sharing website Vimeo is now utilized to stream its movies to audiences at home, and Zoom is used to host post-screening discussions with guest speakers. The CineCulture team, along with Husain, have managed to maintain a weekly schedule for the virtual movie screenings since the fall 2020 semester. One day of the week was dedicated to postfilm virtual discussion, hosting an array of speakers including directors, editors and Fresno State staff.

“I really love the auditorium [and] having that shared experience viewing together, but it wasn’t possible with virtual cinemas,” Husain said. “I was able to have a window of viewing and then have a discussion with the guest speaker, but it’s been presented with a lot of challenges.” Despite virtual challenges, the Fresno State film community from all cultural backgrounds continued to watch movies together. “The fact that there were other people from the community, and they like to hear what the community had to say about the film, that was really amazing,” Fresno State professor and representative for the French Program Rose Marie Kuhn said. According to its website, CineCulture’s primary goal is to, “promote cultural awareness through its film screenings and post-screening discussions,” which continues to be implemented even if the platform is different. “There is a whole world of cinema out there. It’s really [about] expanded horizons and perspective. You could also see the similarities

with people and the issues all over the world,” Husain said. Along with promoting cultural awareness, CineCulture aims to bring togetherness behind the scenes. “We learned friendship, most importantly,” Kuhn said. “When you work with somebody, you can make the impossible happen.” CineCulture hopes to return to in-person screening in the fall. CineCulture will be presenting its next film “Where There Once Was Water” March 13 through 18. During the documentary, director Brittany App, based in San Luis Obispo, “takes a look at the driest of plcaes - California and the Southwest of the United States,” according to CineCulture’s website. The screening is sponsored by the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. A Vimeo link will be available on the CineCulture website, along with Husain’s email to request access to a Zoom link for the post-screening discussion.

Julia Espinoza • The Collegian

CineCulture previously screened films in the Peters Education Center Auditorum, but due to COVID-19 it began to screen virtually instead.




Students present research during 13th annual UCMLA conference

Screenshot captured by Adam Ricardo Solis • The Collegian

Scarleth Cortes presented her research, “The Craft of Tequila Making: A Chicanx Cultural Studies Analysis,” during the “Reclaiming the Narrative” session.

By Adam Ricardo Solis Reporter

The 13th annual Undergraduate Conference on Multiethnic Literatures of the Americas (UCMLA) conference featured research from 12 undergraduate English students focused on the interconnections of multiethnic literature across different cultures. Organized by the department’s graduate students and faculty, the presentation started Friday morning with opening remarks from President Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval and was followed with the afternoon keynote speaker Rajini Srikanth, dean of faculty and professor of English at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Amparo Ortiz, author of “Marvel’s Voices: Comunidades #1” and “Dragonblood Ring,” closed out the conference as the evening’s keynote speaker. The conference is meant to provide a professional venue for undergraduate students to present their research in topics such as dismantling power structures, resisting stereotypes and reclaiming narratives.

The conference aims to give students experience in writing abstract papers and presenting them with a scholarly debate with professors in attendance. During the debates, students and professors discussed the subject of the research that was presented, what it meant to the student conducting the research and how it serves to enhance the curriculum of Fresno State’s English Department. The search for student presenters started last year with the UCMLA accepting research papers through January 2022. Students who graduated within the past year as well as firstyear graduate students were able to submit their abstracts for the possibility of presenting at the UCMLA. Presentations ranged from the cultural identity of lowrider culture to the Chicanx cultural study of tequila making. During a “Reclaiming the Narrative” session, Scarleth Cortes presented her project “The Craft of Tequila Making: A Chicanx Cultural Studies Analysis.” Cortes’ project highlighted how in the past there was an “intricate journey that agave goes

through to become tequila and reach your table,” and focused on how in the present there is a disconnect between the traditional way of making tequila and the way it is being made now. “After tequila was brought to the United States in the mid-1800s, it began to gain popularity rather quickly. Fastforwarding to the present, there is a large range of American tequila which are not authentically or ethically produced,” Cortes said. She said tequila brands such as George Clooney’s Casamigos and Kendall Jenner’s 818 market their tequila through the appropriation of Mexican culture. “For example, Kendall Jenner, who is a white woman, attempts to pass off as a Latina in her marketing of 818. From the clothes to the background of the agave field, her whole campaign is in appropriation of Mexican culture,” Cortes said. As someone who grew up visiting blue agave fields and tequila distilleries, Cortes said seeing the appropriation of Mexican culture brings to mind the hierarchy of cultures within power structures.

Evening keynote speaker Ortiz said that she didn’t read much growing up, but when she did the only time she felt represented was in teen romance stories, with frequent themes of girls falling in love with boys they barely knew. But Ortiz said that representation always made her think of a saying she learned about from Puerto Rico whenever they would be represented in different forms of media: “I’m in this picture, and I don’t like it.” “I was buying into the belief that romantic love was the endgame,” Ortiz said. As an author, Ortiz said she made sure to have different aspects for representation in her books, such as a bisexual girl character and a gay boy character. Ortiz closed the evening with a Q&A session, giving advice to writers at Fresno State. She said they should not limit themselves to the worlds they find from reading fantasy and should use aspects that come from a world that is familiar to both the reader and the writer. “World building is like flirting. When you’re getting to know someone for the first time you need to create or give them symbols that they will associate with you,” Ortiz said.




Vendila Yang • The Collegian

The Student Health and Counseling Center offers various resources for students for counseling and mental health services.

The importance of mental health By Edward Lopez

Senior News Reporter In academia, especially during COVID-19, it is easy to forget the importance of our mental health as we make our way through higher education. Before I even entered Fresno State back in 2015, I was always told by my counselors and mentors back in Clovis East High School that, for every hour of class time, I should be spending two hours studying at home for that class. When I first started at Fresno State, I was an undeclared major, taking four classes (12 units) from 8 a.m to 4 p.m.

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I would have to study roughly 16 hours a day. Had I followed the recommended advice of my mentors, I would have spent eight hours daily studying outside of class, leaving me with no time for myself or even to get a good night’s rest. The pandemic has further exacerbated our mental capacity to function properly due to high levels of stress on top of our already immense responsibilities both at the university and at home. For that reason, I implore you, the reader, to set aside a portion of your day dedicated to your own personal well-being, both mentally

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and physically, in this rather arduous journey of ours. As we grow older it’s important to set boundaries with academia and work because without it, we exhaust ourselves to the point that the only refuge we may have in our daily lives is sleeping. This may be especially difficult during the pandemic, as much of our education was relegated to the online format, leaving much of our time to be spent in our own homes, which is a mixed blessing at best. While we are able to continue our education, and in some cases work from our own homes, the lines in which our public lives and private

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lives separate begin to slowly erode over time. I remember spending hours alone in my room, trying to work on my thesis, staring at a blank page for hours on end and thinking that if I left the room, I wouldn’t be productive and advance my education. This shouldn’t be the case. You shouldn’t feel guilty taking an hour out of the day to simply relax and enjoy hobbies, or even to do nothing more than to sit in your own backyard and observe the nature around you as the cool spring winds blow upon the grass. If you feel particularly down, I strongly urge you to seek help by talking to friends, family or even going over the Fresno State Student Health and Counseling Center. There you can speak to a counselor to help get through your problems and worries one step at a time. As a Latinx male who lives in a predominantly masculine culture, we are often taught to never talk about our problems as a man. We must be made of iron and resilience, and we’re only permitted to cry at the funeral of our parents. For a while, I did just that but it came at a price. As I kept my feelings to myself the sense of dread, anxiety and depression became prevalent in my daily life to the point at which I wouldn’t be unable to enjoy even my own hobbies. After I started seeking mental health counseling, things slowly started to seem a little better as my anxiety slowly began to wither away as I talked with the counselors about how I was feeling. It was refreshing to speak with someone about how I was feeling with honesty, as I never really had that opportunity — not that my parents didn’t try, it’s just that they too grew up in similar situations. As a graduate student about to graduate this semester, trust me when I say mental health is important. You should take time out of your day for just yourself, and don’t be afraid to seek help if you are ever feeling down.

Melina Kazanjian Wyatt Bible Lexee Padrick Hannah Hieber Mackenzie Brazier Carli Medina Teagan Riley Brenda Valdez Richard Marshall Kevin Fries Jan Edwards Timothy Drachlis Betsy Hays

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Athena Clayson: Making a big splash on both sides of the ocean By Estela Anahi Jaramillo Sports Editor

Growing up in Liverpool, England, Athena Clayson had dreams to travel the world, and now she is able to accomplish that dream through her natural talent in swimming. Through Fresno State, she’s been given the opportunity to travel around the U.S. to compete and experience life outside of home. “I don’t have an undying love for the sport, which I’ve always said, but I’m just using swimming to travel the world and to get an education and to still have good fun while I’m at it,” Clayson said. Swimming since she was 5-years-old, Clayson never pictured herself moving to the U.S. for education or swimming. When she began looking at universities, she ran into a crossroad: stay in “rainy” England and train in a “tin can,” or take on the collegiate experience in America so she could experience the world outside of the pool. Clayson came to her decision based on her desire to be part of something that was bigger than herself. She said that in England swimming was an individual sport, but here in the U.S., she has been able to swim as a part of a team. “You’re not just doing it for yourself. …I think that is something that I could have never conjured up in my mind as a young girl. I wouldn’t ever have thought, ‘You’re swimming for more than yourself,’” Clayson said. Fresno State gave her the opportunity to be a part of a team that felt like family. She said she has been able to enjoy swimming much more because she’s not swimming alone.

Melina Kazanjian• The Collegian

Athena Clayson competing in the backstroke at the Chick-Fil-A Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2021. Having a team that felt like a family was the priority for Clayson when she was looking at universities. Fresno State head coach Jeanne Fleck reassured her that Fresno State had what she was looking for. “So I think I just really aimed for and really wanted a close friend group, and that’s exactly what was guaranteed, that all the girls are so close because you go through everything together,” Clayson said. She never imagined herself living in California, taking trips to iconic landmarks all over the Golden State. Clayson was attracted to the outdoor pools. In England, she trained in indoor pools, rarely being able to compete outside, so she emphasized the privilege Fresno has to be able to train outside. Now finishing her junior year, Clayson has been able to meet different people through swimming. She never anticipated winning the prestigious awards or conference titles she’s since claimed when she chose Fresno State, but

Photo courtesy of Athena Clayson

Athena Clayson celebrates her win in the backstroke during her 2020 conference season.

she continues to try to have fun with the sport. “I put so much hard work in during my younger years that now it’s time to reap the benefits,” Clayson said. Moving to another continent was hard for her family, especially for Lisa Clayson, Athena’s mom. Moving to the U.S. was moving to another part of the world, and despite having family in California, it was still difficult to see her daughter move so far. “I totally supported and encouraged her to attend a college in the U.S., but actually found it harder than I wanted to show Athena, but it was a relief to see her settled when I visited in October 2019,” Lisa said. Athena began swimming at a young age when her neighbor in Liverpool told her mother about Clayson’s natural features that primed her to be a swimmer. Once they measured her arm length, they knew at that moment that Athena was going to have a natural talent for swimming. Lisa recalled when Athena was first introduced to swimming, along with her sister Antonia. Both daughters were tall and had an arm width greater than their height, which was a sign of a good swimmer. Her natural talent has landed her multiple awards, and she was able to compete in nationals in 2013 at the age of 12. At 14, she reached the European U.S. Olympic Festival, representing team Great Britain. The next year, after competing in the Olympic Festival, Athena moved to Kelly College in Devon at the age of 16, where she became the national champion in the 100 backstroke. Despite illnesses along the way, most notably when she contracted vasculitis, a complication of streptococcus when she was 17 years old, she continued to strive for success. “These experiences have made her into the confident, balanced individual she has become. She enjoys her sport, both in training with her teammates and competing as an individual, and

as a relay member for the good of the team,” Lisa Clayson said. Of every person Athena Clayson had met in her journey through swimming, her mom remained her constant source of motivation. From driving her to practices and meets and sacrificing time for her to swim, Athena Clayson was never put under pressure to succeed in the sport. “I know it sounds very cliché, but it is hard, because we had to sacrifice a lot, like growing up. There’s a lot that goes into swimming,” she said. Athena Clayson said her mother was her anchor through her success, and allowed her to make her own choices in the swimming world, including whether she wanted to continue on with it. “This has been an amazing journey for us all. Many sacrifices of time, family celebrations and social events over many years in order for Athena to train and compete in the various competitions and training camps have been missed,” her mother said. “I’m just so proud of my little girl.” Through early swim sessions, attending school all day and then going back in the water to train for another two hours after school, Lisa said she was proud of how her daughter continued to persevere through a busy schedule at a young age. “[Athena is a] truly wonderful human being, who deserves the best of what life has to offer. [She is] an individual who is unpretentious, hard working, supportive and friendly towards all her teammates,” Lisa Clayson said. Athena Clayson’s first claim to fame in the local paper was when she swam a mile at 5 years old. Lisa Clayson remembered when her daughter saw a picture of the boys’ junior swim team holding a trophy and said, “I want to win one of those trophies when I’m older,” planting the seed at an early age. Athena has won her third straight Mountain West title in the 200 backstroke. During her freshman and sophomore years, she won the MW title for the 100 backstroke, but fell to second place this season. “Talent and luck can get you so far, but what Athena has achieved is the fruition of many years of hard work, in and out of the pool. We, as her family, are so proud of what she has accomplished, not only here in her home country, but now as Mountain West Champion for the third consecutive year,” Lisa Clayson said. “Who’d have thought a young girl who wanted to win a trophy for her school would reach such heights on both sides of the Atlantic? [It] is truly remarkable.”




Bulldog softball suffers poor start in early season play

Melina Kazanjian• The Collegian

Cassidy West pitching in the game against UCF (left) and Alana Cobb-Adams at bat in the game against UCF (right) on March 9, 2022 at Margie Wright Diamond.

By Aidan Garaygordobil Reporter

It hasn’t been an ideal start for Fresno State softball players this season. They hit a block early into their season, carrying a 5-18 record four weeks in. This is the team’s worst start since the 2018 season, when they got off to a 9-10 start. This record is a considerable drop off in comparison with last year’s team, who headed

into Mountain West play, and who won 10 of their last 11 games before conference for a 12-5 overall record. Wednesday night’s game was a prime example of their performance this season, where the ‘Dogs lost a 10-2 to UCF.The Knights got off to a four-run lead off five hits in the first inning. The Bulldogs failed to make a hit in response. The Bulldogs have lost 11 out of their last 13 games. In seven consecutive losses, the ‘Dogs were outscored 59-0.

“We need to play better defense for our pitchers. We spotted them a few runs in the first inning, and you can’t do that against good teams,” head coach Stacy May-Johnson said. “Offensively, we’ve got to execute. We had multiple opportunities to score and we came away with no runs, when we should be coming away with two or three runs instead of none.” UCF’s first four runs came from five hits given up by pitcher Cassidy West alongside two errors from the ‘Dogs defense. Trailing 4-0 in the bottom of the first and needing to respond quickly, Fresno State’s offense was equally as unimpressive as its defense. Their first two batters led off the inning by grounding out, and despite senior Vanessa Hernandez getting on base by drawing a walk, the inning came to an end with Bailey Williams striking out on a full count. The ‘Dogs defense seemingly found its footing in the second inning, allowing only one baserunner, while not allowing any runs. The team then responded by scoring its first run of the game in the bottom of the second inning. Alesia Denby’s stand-up double drove in Alyssa Orr for the first run of the game, but the inning came to a close shortly after with an Avery Lawley strike out. UCF began the fourth inning with a leadoff single from senior Justene Molina. After two strikeouts by West, the ‘Dogs were in position to end the inning with no damage, but UCF followed up these two at-bats with a pair of singles to finish out the inning, knocking in a run to extend their lead to 5-1. Failing to respond in the bottom of the fourth inning, but shutting out the Knights in the fifth inning, Fresno State gained momentum with a 1-out single from Emery Nielson. Similar to how the ‘Dogs scored their previous run, Nielson was knocked in immediately

after getting on base from an Alana Cobb-Adams triple to right-center field. Now trailing 5-2, the ‘Dogs had their second and third spot batters coming to the plate with only one out. This opportunity ended up as the team’s best chance to get back in the game, however with back-to-back strikeouts. “We’ve got some things we need to execute at a higher level,” May-Johnson said. “I think we have to play at a higher level throughout the game, both the beginning and the end. The score was 5-2 and we were competing. The girls were driving the ball and scoring some runs, and it felt like there were runs to be had. We’ve just got to be better.” Fresno State failed to score a run for the remainder of the game. In the sixth inning, UCF scored two runs off of two hits to extend their lead to 7-2, and then followed up with three more runs in the seventh to secure its 10-2 win. Following the loss, the ‘Dogs then headed to Los Angeles to compete in the Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament. They played four games in two days, taking on both Cal-State Bakersfield and UCLA twice in back-to-back days. Fresno State managed to pick up two wins against Cal-State Bakersfield, winning 9-1 and 8-0, respectively. The ‘Dogs offense exploded in these two matchups against the Roadrunners, finishing with a total 13 hits and 17 combined runs. However they failed to match this success against UCLA, losing 8-2 and 12-0 in their two matchups. In the two games, Fresno State allowed 24 hits and had four errors against the No. 6 Bruins. The ‘Dogs are now 5-18 as they head to Boise State for their first competition in conference play on March 18 to 20.




Social media sensations Cavinder twins enter transfer portal By Jesús Cano

Managing Editor Haley and Hanna Cavinder – some of the main faces of the Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) era – have entered their names into the transfer portal. The duo made the announcement on Twitter on Monday morning. “We have grown so much as people and players at Fresno, making this not an easy decision,” Haley Cavinder posted. “With that being said, we have prayed and talked to our family about what is best for the future. Hanna and I have decided to enter our name into the transfer portal to continue our basketball career somewhere else.” The third-year Fresno State basketball players have 4 million followers on Tik Tok and 71,000 subscribers on YouTube. When the NIL deal became official on July 1, 2021, the twins signed an endorsement deal with Boost Mobile, making them two of the first college athletes to sign a deal. Their faces were featured on billboard advertisements displayed in Times Square in New York City. “Today is a big step in empowering student

athletes like us to take charge of our future and achieve fair recognition for the hard work we put in – both on and off the court,” Haley Cavinder said at the time. “We are excited to partner with Boost in and for their support of this big milestone; not just

for us, but for student athletes across the country – and for years to come.” Opendorse, Fresno State athletics’ marketing partner for student-athlete resources on maximizing NIL rights, projected that the twins could make more than $600,000 per year in

Melina Kazanjian• The Collegian

Hanna Cavinder (left) and Haley Cavinder (right) in the game against Stanislaus State on Nov. 17, 2021 at Save Mart Center.

revenue from Tik Tok, YouTube and branded posts alone, according to The Fresno Bee. The twins spent three seasons at Fresno State. During their freshman year, the Bulldogs won the Mountain West regular season crown, but came short in the tournament. In the 2020-2021 season, the Bulldogs made it to the tournament championship but were upset by the No. 7 seed Wyoming. Fresno State went 11-18 this season, and had a first-round exit in the MW tournament. Haley Cavinder was named MW freshman of the year in 2020 and MW player of the year in 2021. She is the third player in MW history to lead the conference in scoring and rebounding during conference play. She also owns the most 20-point games in the conference play with 10 and 14 games along with league-high eight double-doubles. Hanna Cavinder was named two All-Mountain West teams in her 2020 and 2021 season. Hanna was also 2020 All-Freshman Team along with her sister. This season Hanna hit her career high of 1,000 points in November of 2021. The twins have two years of eligibility left of their collegiate career.

Bulldogs close season play in quarterfinal of MW tournament By Estela Anahi Jaramillo Sports Editor

Fresno State men’s basketball was knocked out of the Mountain West (MW) Tournament with a 53-46 loss to San Diego State last weekend, but its season isn’t over yet. The ‘Dogs have accepted an invitation to play in The Basketball Classic. The Basketball Classic is presented by ERACISM, which will match them up against Eastern Washington this Thursday at Save Mart Center. The Bulldogs entered the MW tournament with an 18-12 overall record. After weeks of conference play, they were the No. 6 seed, with a first-round game against No. 11 seed San Jose State on Wednesday, March 9. Fresno State was second in the MW, ranking third in the nation in scoring defense and leading the MW in rebounding defense. Through games played on March 6, Fresno State ranked 42nd in field goal percentage defense and limited its opponents to fewer than 70 points in 28 of its 30 games during the regular season. Just before the tournament, Orlando Robin-

Wyatt Bible • The Collegian

Fresno State guard Jordan Campbell maneuvers against Nevada on Feb. 5, 2022 at Save Mart Center. son and Anthony Holland earned All-MW recognition in the 2022 MW Media Poll. Robinson and Holland helped the Bulldogs earn a spot in the top six of the MW tournament. Robinson received second-most votes in the All-MW voting, and two of the 11 votes were for

Defensive Player of the Year. The conference announced Robinson would be named to the 2021-22 All-MW first team and defensive team. Throughout this season, Robinson averaged 19.7 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game.

He is the third Bulldog to earn postseason All-MW first honors, and the fourth Bulldog selected to the MW’s Defensive Team since Fresno State joined the conference in 2012. The ‘Dogs won their first round of the tournament against San Jose State in overtime 6967. The leading scorer of the first game was Robinson with his season’s second record high of 31 points. Highlights of the game included Jordan Campbell’s game-winning smooth floater with less than one second left in overtime. The Bulldogs’ win over the Spartans advanced them to the quarterfinal round against San Diego State. The Bulldogs’ 53-46 loss to No. 3 seed San Diego State knocked them out of the MW Tournament. This game featured two of the best defensive teams in the nation, and neither team led by more than eight points. Robinson led the game with 25 points and 11 rebounds for his 26th career double-double, 10-of-20 shooting. He went 3-3 from beyond the arc in the game against the Aztecs.