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The Xavier Herald @xulaherald

February 14, 2017 - March 13, 2017

Xavier University of Louisiana

New Orleans, La.

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February 14, 2017 - March 13, 2017

Xavierites unite in protest of muslim ban by Kaelin Maloid Co-Editor-in-Chief

On February 12, Xavier University’s Muslim Student Association hosted a “We the People” march around Xavier’s campus. The march was in response to President Donald Trump’s travel ban, which was an attempt to prevent immigration in seven, mostly Islamic countries. Because the group of people the ban targets is obvious, people have started to refer to it as the “Muslim Ban.” “It means a lot to me personally,” said MSA member Hana Alkhafaf, who didn’t know what was going on when the controversial ban was first put into effect. Alkhafaf came home from work with her phone flooded from texts from friends and relatives, trying to make sure she was okay. When she did find out what was going on, she was hurt. So she, and

other members of the MSA, came together and planned a march to exercise the First Amendment rights and show people everyone could stand in solidarity. “You guys coming out here and supporting us means the world to us,” Alkhafaf told the crowd at the march. Prior to opening up the floor for people to speak on how the ban affected them personally, she reminded everyone that it was going to be a peaceful march. “The only way we will ever get other people to see eye to eye with us is if we carry ourselves with elegance,” Alkhafaf said. Students, faculty, staff, and community from all walks of life attended the march, which was the intent. They were even given a chance to take the mic and talk about how the ban had affected them personally and also how they felt being at the march.

One student, the preside of the Muslim Student Association at the University of New Orleans, Farah Alkhafaf, attended the march because she not only had friends at Xavier, but also because she felt she needed to make an effort to show up when people are standing in solidarity. “What I’m seeing in front of me is beautiful,” Farah said. “Different colors, different shades coming together in the University Center… I just want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart.” Farah Alkhafaf, an IraqiAmerican Muslim, shared a story about how bans such as this enforce the stigma of Muslims being terrorists. When she was younger, her parents shielded her from 9/11; however, they could not control what she heard from her classmates. She said the students asked her why she hated them.

Photos by: Natese Dockery

“I was shocked. I was like, ‘why would I hate you guys?’” she said. “New Orleans is all I know.” Her story reiterated why it was important for everyone to stand in solidarity at this march. Not only is the ban harmful for traveling, but it also promotes hatred and bigotry. After the last person who wanted to speak had spoken, the protesters walked around campus twice, led by the university police. They held signs that had been made the previous Friday, which had different sayings on them, some of which read, “#NoMuslimBan,” “Unite the States of America,” and “Hate has no Home Here.” Everyone participated in many chants as they walked, saying, “This is what democracy looks like!” in response to the diverse group. After the march, everyone

gathered together for a prayer on the yard of the University Center. The march was important in signifying that Xavierites are one, despite racial background, religious background, or anything else that makes students, faculty, and staff different. As protests happen all over America and federal courts start to appeal the ban, one small school in New Orleans, La. is standing with MSA to enforce, “Hey-hey, ho-ho, the Muslim Ban has got to go!” as protestors chanted. The protest is followed by week-long events titled, “We are One Xavier.”

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February 14, 2017 - March 13, 2017

City Year Provides Students With Gap Year Experiences by Kenya Warren-Hollins Contributing Writer

Two graduating seniors, Cheyenne DeShields and Iesha Gadsden have decided to take a gap year with City Year. City Year is a great opportunity to build career experience, leadership skills, and make a difference in the lives of children. They are currently offering full-time positions to approaching graduates interested in doing a paid, year of service. To learn more, contact recruiter Kenya Hollins at

would have imagined myself going to college and having career goals. I did not know many people who had completed college, and I had no idea what it would take to get this far. I want to be a positive role model to students so that attending college is a desire that they have long before they enter their senior year of high school. I want to emphasize to students the importance of creating good academic habits and maintaining a good work ethic that will sustain them throughout all of their years in school and in life.

want them to understand that they are able to do anything they set their minds to. When I was in high school, volunteers with City Year worked with me. I never imagined myself doing what they did, but I now understand how beneficial it was in my life.

The next application deadline is February 15th! Apply Today at! - 3,000 positions to fill across the country - Serve in your choice of 28 different cities

Iesha Gadsden Cheyenne DeShields Hometown: Newark, Delaware As you approach graduation, in one word how would you describe your college experience at Xavier?  Humbling!  What are your career goals?

Why did you choose City Year as a gap year? I chose City Year as a gap year because I could not pass up the opportunity to help students see a brighter future beyond their current circumstances. Ten years ago, I never

As you approach graduation, in one word how would you describe your college experience at Xavier? Motivating What are your career goals? My career goal after I graduate is to become a mental health clinician. I want to work with people of all ages who are suffering from mental illness. I not only want to help them overcome their illness, but also decrease the stigma that surrounds mental illness. 

- Instantly connected to a 22,500+ alumni network - Over 340 hours of training and professional development - Receive a $5,775 scholarship upon completion - Health insurance and loan forbearance provided for participants

Why did you choose City Year as a gap year? I chose City Year because I believe it would be a rewarding experience for me. City Year works with youth in poverty-stricken areas that may not be aware of the opportunities that surround them. These are some of the youth that statistics say can end up in prison, so I would like to be able to work with them, mentor them and guide them in the right direction. I


I hope to work in the mental health field, specifically with adolescents and young adults. I would also love to experiment with different types of therapy, such as music and pet therapy, to connect with as many people as possible. Good mental health puts young people on the right track towards dealing with the stresses of adult life with resilience and grace.

Hometown: Washington DC

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February 14, 2017 - March 13, 2017


The Stolen Struggle by Jordan DeLoch Staff Writer

Born into a rich and unique culture, brought up by tastes and styles unmatched, Black people are magical, just because of the color of their skin—but with this comes a great deal of adversity from society. In America, there have been numerous instances of hate violence, extreme prejudice, and impositions on basic human rights against Blacks. Although these disparities have been associated with being Black, Black people have been resilient, persistent, and graceful in the face of struggle. In order to find light in harsh situations, Black people have been known to develop certain methods to combat negativity throughout their lives, as well as set themselves apart culturally, from the rest of society. Due to high levels of disappointment, there has always been a constant need for comedy to play a role within the Black community, because at times, there have been moments when Black people have had to laugh to keep from crying. Historically, when

dealing with economic inequalities, Black people have typically been categorized in the middleclass to impoverished social classes, due to lack of opportunity based on their race. One would think that this would discourage Black people in their ways to make a good living for themselves, however this has only enticed a drive for them to find ways to make ends meet, regardless of the circumstances. For instance, instead of going to expensive hair dressers, Black people have constructed various hairstyles that can be done at home, such as afros, braids, or dreads—hairstyles that also match the unique textures of Black hair. To some, the need to improvise is looked down upon, but to Black people, it is a way of life, a life that is sometimes regarded with lesser value. The discussion of Black culture is one that is always met with great disapproval because it is seen as negative when connected to actual Black people. The cultures that Black people have made their own are often described as “ghetto” and “dirty.” However, when seen on White people, the same culture is seen as “urban” and “fashionable.” The distinction between these two

comparisons is evidently skin deep, which is a serious issue in America. Cultural appropriation is when a culture is unrightfully taken and claimed as one’s own. When White people like an aspect of Black culture, it is possible that they will claim it for their own. This is beyond offensive because it is likely that the culture will not be credited to the originator. Whenever this stolen culture becomes popular, it is sometimes capitalized on because it is seen as more attractive when it is connected to a White person. A prime example of this is the Kardashians. Because of their status, the Kardashians have the ability to popularize and take credit for things created by Black people, such as hairstyles and anatomical features. This is unfair to Black people because they are making their livings off of the things that were originated within the Black culture— hence, the stolen struggle. The stolen struggle of Black people is a struggle that has been going on for generations and is very much alive today. The stolen struggle of Black people is not limited to any aspect of the Black culture. The stolen struggle of Black people must end today, and it is up to us to make it happen.

The Xavier Herald Staff Spring 2017

Co-Editor-in-Chief: Kaelin Maloid Co-Editor-in-Chief: Nicholas Davison Managing Editor: Ayanna Robertson Photography Editor: Natese Dockery Web Content Manager: Mark Veals Graphic Design Nicholas Davison

Photographers Natese Dockery Amanda English Kaelin Maloid

Staff Writers Nicholas Davison Ayanna Robertson Jordan DeLoch

Contributing Writers Gia Jennings Kevin Foster

Faculty Adviser: Melinda L. Shelton 504.520.5096,


Herald Office: Email Stories: Advertising:

Xavier South, 112B 504.520.5096 504.520.5096

The Xavier Herald is an award-winning newspaper produced by, for and about students at Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans, La. While The Herald is housed in the Department of Mass Communication, its contents do not necessarily reflect the views of the department or Xavier University. The Herald is a member of the Associated Collegiate Press and as such adheres to the collegiate journalists’ code of ethics. The Herald staff reserves the right to accept, edit, or refuse content.

Tweet Us @xulaherald Instagram: @xulaherald Remaining Editions: March 14 March 23 April 11

February 14, 2017 - March 13, 2017

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Division of Business

by Gia Jennings Contributing Writer

During the spring semester of my sophomore year at Xavier, I applied for a position at the newly opened Costco Wholesale located just blocks from campus. Given that the store had just recently opened, I felt it was an opportune time to get in at the infancy level. I had recently completed Amanda Helm’s Principles of Marketing course, where I did extensive research on Costco’s business marketing strategies, as

a course assignment. Having this knowledge served me well during my initial interview for a position with the company. It afforded me the opportunity to present how I might be able to apply those strategies as a member services representative.

to make an informed decision, with regards to purchasing a membership. My communication skills were honed significantly, thanks to the instruction and support I received in the Business Communication course, also taught by Professor Helm.

The store manager was quite impressed with the degree of knowledge I possessed, specifically relating to Costco marketing and their efforts to expand the business into new markets. After my initial interview, I was contacted within days and offered a position in membership services.

My advice to any student would be to learn all you can in the classroom. Then seriously think about how that knowledge can be applied beyond the borders of the campus and don’t hesitate to use that information when seeking employment. I used much of what I learned during the course of my time at Xavier to strengthen my position with Costco.

Having strong communication skills is also an invaluable asset to have. My ability to effectively express myself, both in written and verbal form also played a major role in my being placed in that department. These skills enabled me to be able to present to the customer all pertinent information needed

Now as I prepare to graduate, along with having two years of experience with Costco Wholesale as a participant in the Student Retention Program, I am poised to be considered for a position in corporate upon graduating this May.

Campus Ministry is having their spring semester retreat March 24-26 at Seashore United Methodist Assembly in Biloxi, MS! This semester’s theme is “Rethink. Renew. Retreat.” Anyone is welcome to join. To sign up, stop by the Campus Ministry office in Admin 201 with your $20 non-refundable fee. Come enjoy a weekend of fun, fellowship, and fundamental growth. Take advantage of this life-changing opportunity to ignite and renew your faith by spending time with peers who share the same goal of getting closer to God. Just as we mature intellectually at Xavier, we should also desire to mature spiritually. In a time when our campus is growing and changing, there is no better time than now to grow stronger in your spiritual journey.

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February 14, 2017 - March 13, 2017

BUKU Fest Offers beaucoup venues, food Plant stage that has its very own exclusive performances. by Kevin Foster For creative types, the Back Contributing Writer Alley has a grown and sexy BUKU isn’t about letting vibe to match its boutique go of yourself, it’s about style stage—and it’s close to a embracing what makes you bar. diverse and different and Besides drinks, the providing an inclusive safe BUKU food vendors highlight space where everyone can local and international cuisine chill together. ranging from authentic Greek Playing on the French gyros to locally crafted New word “Beaucoup,” meaning Orleans classic po-boys. “many,” there are many things These come at an additional to do at BUKU March 10-11. cost, so don’t forget your For instance, The Float Den coins. If you still have time and Ballroom host indoor between shows, it’s good stages where we can get close to check out the art portion to our favorite artists. Think of the Music + Art project. house party, except 21 Savage Everything’s live so you’ll run is actually on the mic. On the into live paintings and graffiti other hand, if you want more showcases on the sides of of a big festival feel, we’ll buildings. There’s also tattoo see you at the Power Plant, and henna artist, and, best of BUKU’s largest, outdoor all, flash mobs and impromptu stage where all the headliners dance parties. hangout. New to Buku is the For those of us feeling Front Porch area where there “Bad and Boujee,” upgrade will be showcases from to a VIP ticket to get on the Saint Heron and Community S.S. BUKU, a boat docked Records along with groups. in perfect view of the Power There are hammocks to chill

in, water bottle refill stations, phone charging stations, plenty of free and affordable merchandise, and re-entry is an option so don’t overthink it—just immerse yourself in the chaos. The hip-hop hitters are heavy this year. You can catch 21 Savage and Travis Scott Friday March 10 on the PowerPlant stage. Also on Friday, catch Lil Yatchy at the Float Den and Sleigh Bells in the Ballroom. March 11, the BUKU Ballroom is the place to be—Vince Staples, Washed Out, and Aminé will be in attendance. On Saturday, you can also see Run the Jewelz and Alina Baraz on the Power Plant, Cashmere Cat in the Float Den, Oshi in the back alley, and Saint Heron at the Front Porch. Don’t worry there’s still time to learn lyrics so you’re not out of place at the concert, but tickets fly fast so get them NOW at

How to BUKU: 1. Since BUKU is an open festival, you’ll need to bring the basics like your ticket, ID, spare cash, water, phone charger, and sanitizer. Don’t bring anything that’ll get you kicked out [find the full list at BUKU’s website]. Bags are searched. 2. There’s a lot of standing at this festival, so don’t bring a bag you can’t comfortably walk through crowds with or one that takes up too much space and gets too heavy. 3. Make sure to bring a jacket or something you can sit on. Chairs fill up fast and unless you’re comfortable sitting on a stranger’s lap or losing your spot on the front row, you’ll probably be sitting on the ground or on rails.

4. Take a jacket or poncho. This will provide a buffer between you and New Orleans phenomena like five-minute rain showers, human-devouring insects, and intoxicated co-festers. BUKU happens rain or shine. Protect your electronics and outfit by bringing something plastic to put valuables in. 5. It’s crowded and someone in your group will get lost. To keep track of everyone, wear something that will light up or flash. Not only will your friends be able to see you from the other side of the festival, you’ll stand out to your favorite artist during performances. 6. Share your BUKU experiences. Tweet us your videos #XulaBuku

February 14, 2017 - March 13, 2017

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National African American History, Culture Museum Takes Visitors On Emotional Journey Through Time home, this exhibit resonates with me highly. Another portion of this concourse that was quite emotional for me was The Jim Crow Era section, which featured photography and memorabilia from such a gruesome time in America.

by Nicholas Davison Co-Editor-in-Chief The National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., is a visual journey that evokes countless emotions in visitors, including me. From the heart-wrenching pain and turmoil of the Transatlantic Slave Trade to the celebration of African Americans’ cultural contributions to American society and ultimately the world, it was an experience in Fall 2016 that I am forever grateful to have had as a young African American man. The architectural team of Freelon Adjaye Bond/SmithGroup designed the visually stunning building located on the U.S. Mall a short distance from the Washington Monument. Its lattice-cut, multi-tiered bronze exterior evokes the image of a large ship and is breathtaking. Fabulous art and décor by African American artists greet visitors as their tour begins in the well-lit Heritage Hall. I and other visitors were directed to the museum’s darkened “basement” level, and from there I began my four-hour journey through time. The museum’s aesthetics made me feel like I was experiencing travel aboard a ship. The first level explores “Slavery and Freedom” and covers slave trade between 1400-1877. Its darkness emphasizes the agony of the Middle Passage, when hundreds of slaves lived and died deep in a ship’s cargo hold. From there, I moved upward to the next concourse, “Defending Freedom, Defining Freedom: The Era of Segregation,” ranging from the years 1876 - 1968. One of the most emotional parts of this concourse to me is the Emmett Till memorial. Being born in Mississippi and having this horrific incident occur in a state I call

The years from 1968 to today are featured in “A Changing America,” which presented various memorabilia from the era most of us in society call our childhood. The Oprah Effect was highlighted in this concourse, featuring Oprah’s signature couch from her self-titled talk show. Growing up watching Oprah Winfrey’s show with my family, this section offered a very nostalgic element to me. After the pensive and introspective experiences of the concourses, a celebration of our culture awaited me and my fellow travelers on the museum’s upper three floors, which feature community and cultural galleries, along with a “Learn More!” exhibit with interactive displays. One of my favorite parts of the upper floors was the cultural galleries, featuring examples of cultural influence we have made to society, such as gestures of dismissal. Throughout the tour, I experienced a wide range of emotions, from sadness, resentment, disgust and anger, to pride, joy, happiness and hope. The history I experienced at the museum is history every citizen of this country should be made aware of, especially today. When I saw in one of the interactive areas a young, white boy wearing a “Make America Great Again” Donald Trump election cap, I knew that while our story has reached many, it still has such a long way to travel. The National Museum of African American History and Culture opened in September 2016 and has received more than 1 million visitors. While tickets are free, it is important to plan ahead and reserve visitors’ passes online at On March 1 at 9 a.m. eastern time, June 2017 passes will be released and individuals can reserve up to six passes. Complete information and a virtual reality tour are online at

Photos by: Nicholas Davison & Melinda Shelton

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February 14, 2017 - March 13, 2017

Being Black in America is Exhausting by Breon Robinson Contributing Writer Being black in America

has always been something that was never easy. With the election of Donald Trump, a man whose campaign targeted minorities as well as praised xenophobia, racism and sexism have resurrected many spirits from the Jim Crow era of America. With many of his executive orders in the first two weeks has administration targeting immigrants and minorities, many have asked if we are going back in time? Recently, I asked a few fellow Xavierites how they feel about being black in America. Jasmine Jones, Freshman “I love being black. It’s exhausting but I wouldn’t trade it for anything else. I love my people but not a lot of people love us. The hashtags are draining, but they are also a reminder that they don’t love us and never cared about us. Black excellence has been a thing and will continue! I know that we’re all destined for greatness.” Najee Booker, Freshman “I feel like I have a lot of

pressure stacked against me. I feel like I’m born into a society where I have 2 strikes for being African American. Each time I step out of my comfort zones, I’m monitored and must act different. But I also feel a strength, one of generations where I know I’m living in empowerment. As society continues to throw obstacles at me, I overcome and add more to the story of being black in America. I feel a sense of pride knowing that I’m continuing my legacy while disproving all of the negativity that surrounds me.” Mya Jacobs, Freshman “It’s very sad to be black in America [right now] because we just watched a man with no credentials, no decency, and no respect for quality of life get elected to the most powerful position in this country by people who hate us as black Americans. I’m not saying that I believed racism was dead, but damn, I thought human decency was enough to prevail over this type of hate. This is like finding out that there is more evil than good in this world, and that’s one of the saddest things I’ve ever experienced in this life.”

Khalil Bobb, Freshman “You think you’re normal as you grow up, but you slowly notice that you are different from the rest. First it’s bliss until the first instance comes up where you aren’t picked because of something inexplicable. First example that I first blamed myself for was I tested to get into a prestigious school here, got a 99 on the test. They didn’t accept me because “my score wasn’t high enough” so I really thought it was my fault. Later on, my mom let me know that my score was a 99 and that I only missed one question but I still wasn’t picked. As well, it also sucks in the treatment you receive, but personally as I get better, it’s empowering. No matter what happens, I wasn’t suppose to make it this far. I’m barely suppose to live past 23, but I’m in school and I’m still here.” With these different answers, it’s easy to say that being black in America, especially now is hard, but throughout the history of of our people, we have always came back up higher than ever.

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February 14, 2017 - March 13, 2017

Student Spotlight: Sierra Blanchard-Hodge, SGA President by Nia Logan Contributing Writer Sierra Blanchard-

Hodge is Xavier University of Louisiana’s busy and focused Student Government Assocation president. “The purpose of SGA is to make sure student concerns are channeled to the right people. We are the liaisons to the students and administrators,” said Blanchard. While attending Xavier, Blanchard had multiple experiences around the campus, which she says prepared her for her leadership position now. During her freshman year she was not too involved; she wanted to make sure she was in the right environment. When she was finally reassured, Blanchard joined XULEADS , which assisted in her becoming active in class and organizations.

Starting with emergent leaders and advanced leaders in the beginning helped make everything easier, such as learning how things work to building relationships with the administration, she said. By her sophomore year, she was elected class president. “It was nice. It gave me the opportunity to lead a class and also be over an executive board; but being junior class senator gave me the money perspective,” said Blanchard. Now, as president of SGA, the duties and responsibilities have increased, as this year is the first year SGA members are sitting on a committee on the board of trustees. Being accountable for almost everything, Blanchard has to make sure to always be on task to plan great things for students while also attending Xavier.

Blanchard has completed many jobs, even the things the students don’t notice, such as accessible handicap transportation. She has made sure, and is still making sure, that all student concerns are visible and heard. Advancements have been made in being receptive to students, knowing the SGA members are being more responsive with concerns and solutions. “Just making sure my

Hack to Health Offers Innovative Health Solutions by Staff Reports Contributing Writer

New Orleans, LA – The Division of Business at Xavier University of Louisiana announced that it will host “Hack to Health,” a healthcare hackathon, on March 25 and March 26. A healthcare hackathon is an innovation marathon. Creative minds from various disciplines, including students, developers, healthcare professionals, entrepreneurs and more come together and work with mentors to learn, build, and share their creations designed to address a health related problem over the course of two days. All that is required is an interest in improving peoples’ health. No tech expertise is required to participate. “New Orleans has experienced an increase in activity in the health care arena and Xavier University is renowned for its academic programs in this industry, so it is a natural fit for Xavier to host an event such as

this,” said Dr. C. Reynold Verret, President of Xavier University. Hack to Health features three tracks: Access to Healthcare; Chronic Diseases; and Behavioral Health. After hearing from speakers in each track, participating teams of innovators and problemsolvers will collaborate to create solutions to specific problems of their choosing. The hackathon concludes with presentations by the teams with prizes being awarded to the winners in each track. Hack to Health will occur in Room 105 at the NCF Science Complex at 8:00am on March 25 and 2:00pm on March 26. It is hosted by LiftOff Health. Sponsors include 3M and the Louisiana Small Business Development Center. Registration is free. Information on registering for or sponsoring Hack to Health is available at http://

administrators and next year’s administrators continue to take student concerns to the right place, that is very important,” Blanchard said. “Also because this [U.S.] election was so unexpected we have to make sure we know where our campus stands and where WE stand in that.” Prioritizing SGA in a daily life is a job itself. Set days for office hours have now turned into an everyday

thing. Blanchard wears many hats: Political Science major, XU Cheer coach, SGA President, and maintaining a personal life. The key to it is her balancing her days, scheduling everything in different categories. The love for the university and students makes the longer days not as bad. Blanchard would never tell people outside the campus she was president. “I don’t like to brag because the reaction,” Blanchard said Her favorite thing as president is being in a position where she can listen to the students. Not for the popularity but to be there for the people. “I run Xavier like a little country.” “Its crazy it’s the second week of February, so I’m realizing my time is almost up,” said Blanchard.

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February - March 17' Issue