Fall 2016 VOLUME 10 - ISSUE 1
TRUTH 22 Locked Up
Exploring the issues with Americaâ€™s justice system
36 All of us Together
a photo series about some encounters with different people from different places
42 What I meant to say
facing oppression and finally finding the voice deep inside
From The Editor
ruth is a concept the human mind deconstructs in many ways. What exactly does it mean to be true? Adhering to facts makes perfect sense, sure. Yet, some truths still remain subjective. For example, what does it mean to be a true American? Colin Kaepernick interprets being American as a chance for equality. Some believe he’s utilized his privileged status in a paramount way; demanding equality for continued social injustice against African Americans in his protest of the National Anthem. Just the other day I read a study about the surprisingly discriminatory patterns within app-based ride services like Uber and Lyft. The National Bureau of Economic Research spent two years in Seattle and Boston analyzing over 1,500 rides — their findings were surprisingly off-putting. By giving subjects both ‘white’ and ‘black’ sounding names to apply for rides, those with ‘black’ sounding names not only experienced wait times that were 35% longer than their white counterparts, but they were even twice as
Davis goicoechea Editor-in-Chief
"The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end there it is" - Winston Churchill likely to be declined by the driver for the fare. Even more disturbing, female subjects were found to be driven for longer time periods than males. Dovetailing with sexual assault that women have faced through apps like Uber (and elsewhere), this prolonged period of contact was hypothesized as drivers “flirting to a captive audience.” It’s things like these that remind us to always question the world around us and wonder, what’s really going on? “Truth,”was an issue where we explored that which is not easy to digest; we analyzed structures that undergird the institutions of our society. Although these truths may not come to us so easily, we are forced to face
them continuously. The future of all can be opened to more when we consider the dark reality of our present. This is my first issue as Editor-inChief of Insight, and it couldn’t have been more fitting. Insight has helped me learn the truth about myself in a way I never would’ve thought — opening my consciousness to new goals and levels of achievement. It’s truly an honor to bring to you these students’ work, and I invite you to join us on this journey of growth. Watch as this magazine continues to reveal the truth about not only our university, but about our most inner-selves.
Nicole Skarlatos Art Director
Katherine Larsen Copy Editor
Claire Peterson Faith Delfin Pedro Rosales Jana Sayson Jenny Swartz Jarrette Werk Kellie Sasso Tori Todd Camille Stuyvesant
about the cover "When I went home to the Philippines over the summer, I immediately noticed how commonplace stray dogs were. So I wondered where they went. Perhaps, they went out to the city, met their friends, and came home at night, wherever that was. Even without a master, these dogs thrived; much like those dogs the truth needs no master." After all, Augustine of Hippo said, 'The truth is like a lion; you don't have to defend it. Let it loose; it will defend itself.' - Jana Sayson
corrections Insight Magazine works to correct any errors. If you find a mistake or misprint, please contact the editor at email@example.com. Insight Magazine is proud to have placed Fifth in the 2016 National Associated Collegiate Press Conference in the category of Feature Magazine.
Pack Profile: Dr. Susan Palwick 6 An English professor looks to bridge the gap between literature and medicine. By Andrea Heerdt
The Birkinstock Invasion 12 Why is the German shoe making a comeback? By Faith Delfin
Misconceptions of Feminism 18 Being a feminist doesn't mean being a crazy man hater. By Andrea Heerdt
Locked UP 22 Exploring the issues with America's justice system. By Ana Hurt
Lifeguarding Expectation Vs reality 28 No, it's not what you think. It's not fabulous at all. By Andrea Heerdt
Book Reviews 32 Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and Me Before You By Camille Stuyvesant
All of Us together 36 A photo series about some encounters with different people from different places. By Jana Sayson
What I meant to Say 42 Facing oppression and finally finding the voice deep inside. By Tori Todd
Sexpectations 48 Chemistry mistaken for connections, and finally making the move. By Tori Todd INSIGHT 4
5 INSIGHT Photo by Kellie Sasso
DR. SUSAN PALWICK BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN LITERATURE AND MEDICINE Words by Andrea Heerdt Photo by Jana Sayson
r. Susan Palwick has been teaching at the University of Nevada, Reno since 1997. As an English Professor, Palwick has taught everything from first year composition, to women in literature, to graduate seminars. Her specialty is creative writing, especially science fiction and fantasy. She is also a published author. She also teaches courses at the universityâ€™s
medical school and plans on earning her masters in social work after her final year of teaching at UNR. Palwickâ€™s love for English began to sprout when she was a young child who loved to read books, and continued through her college education when she majored in English at Princeton. After college Palwick wandered around for some time, trying to figure out what to do with her life. The idea of becoming an English professor hit her, and she decided to attend graduate school at Yale. It was a natural fit for Palwick to teach
Episcopalian. Since 2003, Palwick became heavily involved with work at the church when she was in the process of becoming a deacon, an ordained minister ranking below the priest. Although Palwick never wound up becoming a deacon, in the process she was required to get experience with pastoral care, which included dealing with people in crises to learn how to treat them. “I started a program at St. Mary's which trains people to be chaplains
"It means so much to patients just to have someone to listen to them."
creative writing, considering she herself has always been a natural writer. She has published several science fiction novels including “Mending the Moon,” “The Fate of Mice,” and “Shelter,” along with a collection of short stories and a book of sonnets. With an atypical teaching job in the medical school, Palwick also trains future doctors to become better listeners to patients. It all started around the age of 38, when Palwick had undergone a religious conversion and became an
and to care for people in healthcare settings,” said Palwick. Since then, Palwick discovered a love for being in the emergency room and continued to volunteer at St. Mary’s. Palwick has been volunteering four hours a week at the hospital since 2004, going around and visiting patients. “I became fascinated by patients’ stories, and that led me to narrative medicine which led me to the medical school. I also became fascinated with the intersection between large social systems and individual lives,” said Palwick. At the university medical school she is teaching a two-part elective certificate program. It’s a scholarly concentration in narrative medicine. Basic literature is used to teach medical students to become better listeners to patients, so they’ll become better doctors, according to Palwick. The program consists of first reading books written by patients or doctors about their experience in the hospital. Then, when the students have reached their fourth year in the school, they reflect and write about their own personal experience with patients. Volunteering in the emergency room has also prompted Palwick to become a social worker. After being admitted into the master’s of social work program here at the University of Nevada, Reno, 7 INSIGHT
Palwick will finish teaching her last year of English and begin her program in the Fall of 2017 to work towards her degree in medical social work. “It means so much to patients just to have someone to listen to them. You see a lot of hard situations, and you
for their life. Palwick hopes to be the person who can create new resources after graduation. Yet, she says that often times it’s just being there for people in difficulty that helps the most, so they know they’re not alone.
"WE ALL NEED HELP SOMETIMES. PEOPLE, WE ARE ALL INTERDEPENDENT." want to be able to help more than you can. We get a lot of homeless patients. I’ve seen a lot of victims of domestic violence, victims of child abuse, and that stuff is hard to face. Being with someone after a loved one has died can be hard, and what you’re trying to do is just be there with them through it,” Palwick said on her experience with volunteering. Palwick says that her job at the hospital is strength based. She looks for what strength a person has that’s going to help them get better. Often times she’ll ask patients what they love, and that usually ends up being the key to what helps them heal. Getting people to talk about those things and hooking them up with those resources is very important, according to Palwick. After graduating, Palwick sets out to give people hope and to connect them with resources as a social worker. “It is a huge job, and it is what social work sets out to do while also knowing that it’s impossible [to change the world] because there are these big systems,” said Palwick. According to Palwick, giving people hope can take a very concrete form. From her experience volunteering in the emergency room, part of giving people hope is pointing them towards resources they didn’t know about. Whether it’s giving a person in poverty the phone number of the crisis call center, or pointing people towards a lifeboat to help them stop drowning INSIGHT 8
“We all need help sometimes. People, we are all interdependent,” said Palwick. The areas of social work Palwick hopes to work in are integrated primary care, hospice, and mental health. With integrated primary care it’s easier for the patient to reach out and be provided with short term counseling right at the doctor’s office, rather than having a referral. According to Palwick, patients will often not go to appointments if they have a referral because it’s stigmatizing, but if the resource is right there in front of you, it’s easier to get help. Hospice and mental health are also very important to Palwick as they both utilize social workers quite often. Nevada has a huge need for more of these resources, according to Palwick. There also aren’t enough addiction services for people, and there aren’t enough treatment beds for people to detox, especially if you’re poor. To Palwick, people think it’s an odd juxtaposition between science fiction and social work, but what they have in common is called “person in environment”. It’s when you have very big systems and the individual life within it, and how that individual life is being affected. When you think about it that way, it’s actually a very similar approach, according to Palwick.
Photo by Kellie Sasso
10 Delfin PhotoINSIGHT by Faith
INSIGHT Photo by11Jana Sayson Kellie Sasso Photo by Pedro S. Rosales
Words by Faith Delfin Illustration by Nicole Skarlatos
s a current freshman, I wasn't sure what to expect on my first day of the fall semester. What I did know was that I had a schedule to follow and I had no clue where those classes were. So, as I walked aimlessly around campus like the typical lost freshman that I was…I noticed something…Birkenstocks. Every size, every color, every style. I couldn’t believe how many pairs of feet I saw sporting the German sandals. It seemed as if every other girl I saw was wearing them. I imagined Nevada’s campus transforming into a makeshift runway for the sandals. Then, I looked down at my own feet and remembered I was wearing them as well — Mayari style, antique lace colored Birkenstocks. And suddenly I became fully aware of the phenomenon that is Birkenstocks. Whether you think they’re hideous or the greatest shoes to ever exist, you can’t deny that Birkenstocks have taken over the University. Every pathway, every classroom floor, every staircase on campus has felt their presence. I’m sure other shoe brands have felt their INSIGHT 12
wrath too, as the German shoemakers have crippled the sales of their competitors. Birkenstock doesn’t disclose their profits or revenues, but they have revealed that their sales have nearly doubled in the U.S. in the past year. Whereas their rival company, Teva, has seen sales growing at a rate of only 8% in recent years. Millions of girls are ditching their uncomfortable, sole-less, unsupportive sandals for a more comfortable, supportive, earthy-screamin’ option. Is it comfort that entices their buyers? Or is it the, “I wanna be a hipster” look? Because it’s sure as hell not the price — Birkenstocks sell for over $100 a pair. Freshman Katie Turner says she wears Birkenstocks because of their style, “they go great with just about every outfit you put on.” She adds, “comfort is just a plus.” Amber Fernandez likes both the comfort and style aspects of the shoes as well, stating, “They’re super cute and I like how they can be worn with or without socks.” I’ll admit I LOVE the shoes and I fell victim to every trap that was entailed with the name “Birkenstock.” Yet, when I look around, I realize that I’m definitely not the only one who yielded to the will of the Stocks.
Birkenstocks became popular in the United States not long ago. In the ‘60s, Margot Fraser, a German woman, moved to the U.S. and began selling the shoes from her home. Fraser believed in the brand because the comfortable shoes ended the foot pain that she had experienced for years. Her intent was to sell them because of the comfort they provided, not the style that they’re known for today. At the time, Birkenstocks were associated with a liberal, and more open-minded image. Aware of the fact that a majority of American citizens were conservative, and wouldn’t wear the shoes, Fraser approached people who had less conventional ideals. Health food stores provided a good platform to begin selling the shoes. After that, Birkenstocks exploded in popularity through the ‘70s. In the following decade, their sales declined, but again grew in the ‘90s. From your personal observations, I’m sure you can assume for yourself that the Birkenstock craze is back and bigger than ever. With the comeback of ‘70s fashion and “hippie” themed clothing, Birkenstocks have had a solid foundation to thrive on. So break out the tie dye, the patterned flare pants and bell-bottoms because the ‘70s are back to attack.
"whether you think theyâ€™re hideous or the greatest shoes to ever exist, you can't deny that birkenstocks have taken over the university"
Photos by Faith Delfin 13 INSIGHT
INSIGHT Photo by15Jana Sayson
PROFESSION OR INDUSTRY: ANYTHING THAT WILL KEEP ME FROM STARVING Words by Janessa Holman
-Get paid, obviously. -Make my grandma stop asking whether or not I'll ever amount to anything. -Avoid living with my parents for ever.
-Delicacy Industry-Starbucks-April 2015-Present Beverage replacement, Fielding customer suggestions and feedback, customer service evaluator and processor, and drive-thru communications specialist -Unpaid Intern-Company of my Dreams-July 2016-Present Coffee replacer, copy maker, tech support caller, and the butt of everyone's jokes
-Multi-tasking (I can watch Netflix and write a mediocre essay simultaneously) -Proficiency with Microsoft Word and other programs; learn new technology quickly (I can send 45 Snaps per minute)
-Bachelor's of Undecided (I'll probably just pick the one I end up having the most credits for)2017-University of Nevada, Reno. -I earned this scrap of paper for a grand total of only $45,000+,acquiring only $12,000 in student debt...yeah, I need this. -GPA: C's get degrees, my friend.
-I was the lead Designated Driver for my Bar Crawl, two crawls in a row. Bam. -I successfully led my group to safety from an underaged drinking party bust. No (caught) MICs on my watch.
Broakb@aol.com (Yeah, I made it in middle school)
"I should be doing more." The power of comparison is a powerful thing indeed. How many times have you asked yourself, “Am I doing enough? Everyone else seems to be doing more than I am.” “What is it that I am doing wrong? Professors, classmates, family — everyone seems to think that I should be doing more.” Let's be honest: the resume to the left may be yours. You may not have landed that star internship that your biology partner did, or gotten nominated for those prestigious awards that your guest speaker did-the one that was once “just like you.” The truth is that no two people take the same path to get to a similar place.
Perhaps in the process you realize that while your own path has been riddled with mistakes and drunken bar crawls, rather than networking and applying yourself to your studies, you can still make it. There is still a chance for you. No, your life cannot continue to be defined by this resume forever, but you don’t have to do what everyone else is doing. Just because that star pupil interned at 11 different news organizations across the country, or your best friend spent the summer lobbying in Washington, D.C. does not mean that you have to be them in order to work at your dream job. Yes, achieving goals requires hard
work and determination, but if you are reading this, then this does not have to be the end of your dreams. Sure, it may take you longer than some to achieve them, but don’t fall into the trap of believing that someone is better than you, smarter than you, or more capable than you. Ultimately, don't allow these roadblocks cause you to give up. If you do not try for something, then you will never know what might have come of it. Try. Go for the job. Apply for the internship. Do something with your life, even if it wasn’t what you originally intended.
"...Shouldn't I be doing more?" 17 INSIGHT
Misconceptions of Feminism
Words by Andrea Heerdt
Illustrations by Andrea Heerdt ne of the biggest issues with feminism is that many people don’t understand its meaning. Those who don’t understand what feminists are about will often mistake them for radical, man-hating lesbians. The misconception is that people are mistaking feminists for feminazis, attributing negativity to the subject, rather than the actual ideas of feminism. Let’s be clear here. “Feminazis” are those who do not support equality amongst men and women. Instead, they support the oppression of men and the oppression of women who like men, women who are friends with men, and women who do not go out of their way to hate men. If you’ve ever heard women say that INSIGHT 18
shaving your legs, or doing your hair and makeup is a sign that females are giving in to society's pressure to be attractive to impress men, that would be a feminazi. If you’ve ever seen someone being chastised by another woman because she’s wearing a bra, and somehow that’s a sign of weakness by giving into pressure from men, that’s a feminazi. If someone has ever told you that dating, or being married to a man nowadays is a form of modern slavery, that’s a feminazi. All of these stereotypes are not to be confused with feminism! Feminists support women’s rights. They support equality. They support equality not just among gender, but equality among race, class, ethnicity, sexuality, nationality, and age. Feminists are cool. They aren’t trying to become men, nor are they trying to rid men off of the face of the earth. They are simply trying to become socially, politically, financially,and economically equal to men. Not more powerful; not demeaning to
men, just equal. For me, as a female writer, equality would be having the same opportunities as anyone else. It’s not being looked down upon as just the intern. One of the more prominent questions still lurking today is, “Why is there still a need for feminists? Men and women have equal rights where I live.” Yes, this is quite true in the western world. Here in America we have progressed quite a bit, but disparity still exists in this world. Many developing nations around the world have achieved progress experienced in the United States over 100 years ago, and that’s not good enough. Feminists are still striving to give women in poorer countries the right to receive an education, to drive, or even to report a rape. There is still a need for feminism to advocate change for the women who can’t express their voices themselves — whether it’s in our backyard or not. Those opposed to the idea of feminism also believe that women should just be independent and not play the victim. In a time not too long ago, women did not reserve the right to inherit property, read, or even walk the streets at night alone. Feminists do not believe that they’re the victim simply because they were born women. Rather, they understand that independence is a newfound freedom. It‘s also important to feminists to grant these rights to all classes, races, and genders. It’s also not uncommon for a stayat-home mom or wife to assume that feminists hate them. Although feminism strives to grant women the same rights and freedoms to pursue careers of their own dreams, it doesn’t mean that it’s a requirement to be a feminist. Feminism did challenge the notion of women being traditionally domesticated at one point, but it has also worked to let women pursue their own path and choice in lifestyle, not those of society’s construction. Feminism isn’t chastising women who want to love and raise a family instead of being career oriented. That would be a feminazi! In addition, feminists also challenge the traditional role of men as breadwinners. If a male partner chooses to care for the house and children, he should also be allowed to pursue
this dream without any social pressure. The end goal is to have equality amongst both genders, folks. It’s all about accepting everyone as a human being. It’s not about categorizing them as male or female first, or having their fate determined by this notion. Feminism serves to show us that when you’re capable, hard working, and smart enough to do something, your gender should not determine whether or not you can reach your goals. Your gender shouldn’t have any impact on any social implication. It’s creating a society without discrimination. Feminism is trying to reach equality from both sides; a community where men shouldn’t be judged for their vulnerability, and women are rewarded for their independence.
"Be a hero. pay them equally."
21Kellie INSIGHT Photo byby Pedro Rosales Photo Sasso
LOCKED UP THE MASS INCARCERATION CRISIS
Words by Ana Hurt Photo by Nicole Skarlatos Graphics by Andrea Heerdt
rison. For most Americans, the word brings up grim images of barbed wire, decrepit recreation areas, and orange jumpsuits. But rarely do we look long and hard at those wearing the jumpsuits, and why they’re wearing them. The common assumptions are murder, rape, robbery, and so on. But the fact is that, in our prisons today, the largest number of inmates are being held for nonviolent, drug-related crimes as a result of laws made to target the lowermost part of the population. The “war on drugs” began with a simple phrase, uttered by the most powerful man in the country. On June 17, 1971, Richard Nixon declared, “America’s public enemy number one in the United States is drug abuse.” With those words, he launched the snowball that would roll into the mass INSIGHT 22
incarceration crisis that our country faces today. As lawmakers began to follow Nixon’s lead and act “tough on crime,” the laws became increasingly harsh. Because of this, law enforcement has been forced into the role of a mill worker, feeding poor, uneducated people into the machine the criminal justice system has turned into. Many times, criminal justice officials feel that the laws are simply inevitable, Pamela Everett, former prosecutor and current professor of criminal justice at the University of Nevada, Reno, explains. Every day, judges are forced by law to convict nonviolent offenders with sentences previously reserved only for violent crime. In The House I Live in (2012), a documentary focused on the war on drugs, Iowa judge Mark W. Bennett is forced to do exactly this. He then laments having to put this poor, young African American with a family history of drug abuse in jail. He knows it will just continue the cycle of incarceration. It’s not just judges who are influenced
by the system, either. Law enforcement officers are actually rewarded for the amount of arrests they make, via overtime pay they make filing from arrests, and more readily receiving promotions if their numbers are high. So, an officer arresting low-level drug offenders is, in the eyes of his supervisors, more successful and productive than his counterpart in homicide, who can only make a few arrests a month, due to the nature of the crime. Police chiefs use these statistics to make their departments look better, too, Everett explains. At the end of the month, if arrest numbers are high, the police chief can show the city’s mayor that their station was tough on crime, and this gives them more credibility as a department, therefore justifying further funding for drug busts, overtime, and so on. In The House I Live In, David Simon, former journalist and creator of The Wire, comments that this has destroyed the police deterrent, since people in targeted communities feel that police no longer need or care about probable cause. Now, because of the system that
was created by Nixon and other policymakers’ “War on Drugs”, prisons and jails are completely overrun with nonviolent offenders, who, thanks to mandatory minimums, are serving ridiculously long sentences for low-level crimes. In 2002, the Bureau of Justice Statistics reported that 24.7% of the near 500,000 inmates were being held for drug related offenses, split almost evenly between possession and trafficking. Reno specifically is the 15th “jailingest” state in the U.S. with an imprisonment rate of 712 per 100,000. Louisiana is the 1st “jailingest,” imprisoning 1,082 per 100,000. The U.S. average: 698 per 100,000. The most alarming thing about Reno’s incarceration numbers is not the rate, though. Despite only making up only 9% of Nevada’s general population, African Americans represent more than 29% of the prison population. In response to this statistic, Everett speculates that it may be due to the large amount of minority populations living in poor, crime-susceptible areas of Nevada. “We [law enforcement] scoop up those people because they’re in the
neighborhoods we patrol, and then once they get in the system, it’s over for them,” Everett says. “And, for some of them, that’s the way it should be. For others, it’s minor drug offenses and they’re never gonna get out.” But, according to Everett, the most prominent issue with mass incarcera-
a federal court to release 40,000 inmates, and ended up being able to drop 55,000. However, this was largely due to their moving inmates to private prisons in different states, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The drug laws that have lead to overpopulation, which were meant
“Since it’s start in 1971, the war on drugs has cost more than one trillion dollars.” tion is seen in the overcrowding and subsequent conditions in our neighboring state’s jails and prisons. California has 117,183 people in prison as of the week of Sept 21, 2016, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Due to poor conditions such as lack of health care and effective protection for inmates, the state was ordered by
to clean up the streets and make communities safer, never really did what they were meant to do. Since it’s start in 1971, the War on Drugs has cost more than one trillion dollars and resulted in 45 million arrests, while illegal drug use has not changed, David Simon, former journalist and creator of The Wire, declares in the documentary. 23 INSIGHT
”The criminal justice system is the mental health system in this country.” Let’s look at that statement. Has illegal drug use really not changed at all? Sure, teen drug use has gone down 50% since 2000, according to Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) findings, but there is no proof that tough laws are the cause. There are many other, more comprehensive measures that may have contributed. Education, for one. In 2001, the Drug Abuse Resistance Education, or D.A.R.E., program was categorized as ineffective, and since then education has aimed to provide youth with the knowledge and skill to reconsider illegal drug use, in the hopes that future generations will be less susceptible to illegal drugs. But, for those teens and adults who do end up in the world of drugs, especially those who are part of a minority group, there are a number of factors working against them. These include not being given bail due to socioeconomic status, mandatory minimum sentences, and discriminative laws. Some of these laws are discussed in the documentary This House I Live in (2012), like the laws for “crack cocaine,” or a cheaper, diluted, and smokable form of cocaine. When cocaine first became popular in the ‘80s, it was associated with rich white businessmen and supermodels — those who could afford it. Crack cocaine, on the other hand, was affordable, and so the large part of the African-American population that had been forced into ghettos was able INSIGHT 24
to access a high that distracted from their troubles. When the public realized the effect crack was having on the community, harsh laws came into effect that required crack offenses to be prosecuted at a ratio of 100:1 against cocaine offenses. Which means, explains Everett, that if the sentence for possession of cocaine is one year, the sentence for crack cocaine is life. Since then, the mandatory minimum sentence for crack cocaine as compared to cocaine has been rolled back to 18:1 by the Obama administration, but organizations such as Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM) protest that this still isn’t good enough. Formed in 1991, by Julie Stewart, when her brother was unfairly sentenced for growing marijuana. FAMM states (on their website) they’ve “worked to eliminate mandatory sentencing laws and promote sentencing policies rooted in the fundamental American values of individualized justice, fairness, proportionality, and respect for liberty and due process.”. Essentially, they are aiming for a less standardized, and more individualized, justice system that takes into account the specific issues in each case, such as a rough upbringing or mental illness. For Everett, the mental illness issue is the most concerning. Since the U.S. has moved away from previous efforts to institutionalize and treat mental illness, arguably in order to be more cost efficient, those suffering
from such diseases who act out will almost always up in prison (or killed by police—but that’s another issue). If a mentally ill person acts out, says Everett, you don’t call the psychiatric hospital, you call the police. And once these people end up in prison, there’s little to no rehabilitation or health care available to them, and so they often end up being sent back soon after their release. “The criminal justice system is the mental health system in this country,” Everett says. Historically, drug laws have been used to eliminate the undesirables of society at that time, the documentary argues. In the early 1900’s, opium laws put Chinese immigrants who were “stealing American jobs” in prison. Later, it was the crack cocaine used by poor African Americans in ghettos. Then it was marijuana, thought to be smoked and sold widely by Mexican immigrants. Currently, it’s methamphetamine and heroin, used by poor, “white trash” people (and so on). As you can probably tell, there are a crazy amount of factors that go into the mass incarceration problem. Although the biggest culprit seems to be the War on Drugs, this spirals out into: political motivation to appear tough on crimes, monetary motivation to police officers and corrections officials, implicit bias against specific communities, the lack of progression in laws and solutions for mental illness or drug rehabilitation, and much, much more. It is like a huge, “mass incarceration statue,” says Everett. Elaborating, she points out that you can stand in front of it and see it one way, but when you walk around it you see that it’s an incredibly “multifaceted, tentacled” issue that will take not one single solution, but a complete overhaul of the system. Until we begin to seriously take a look at the crisis we face and why we’re facing it, nothing will change. Prisons will continue to spill over with nonviolent offenders, and those who end up in the system will be stuck forever.
INSIGHT Photo by25Jana Sayson
INSIGHT Photo by27Jana Sayson
EXPECTATION VS REALITY Words by Andrea Heerdt Photos by Andrea Heerdt
f you grew up on the West Coast, you’ve most likely spent your summers in or around a pool. Time is spent here relaxing and hanging out friends and family. The clear, refreshing water is a perfect place for kids to play games with friends, or for adults to tan under the summer sun. At most public facilities you’re more than likely to see lifeguards watching the pool looking buff and tan, wearing cool sunglasses and a high cut red swimsuit. Unfortunately, this is not the reality of being a lifeguard. Yes, there are lifeguards out there who resemble the TV show, Baywatch. They save people from massive currents, look out for sharks on the daily, and still manage to look attractive while doing all of that. In most cases many lifeguards find themselves working at an indoor lap pool cleaning hairballs out of the shower drains after a swim meet. But don’t worry, INSIGHT 28
you’ll get a nice, frumpy grey t-shirt and long red shorts to wear as your sexy lifeguard uniform. The expectation of getting that perfect summer tan and working out while on the job may seem like an achievable idea, but the reality is you’re going to be getting all sorts of awful tan lines. I’m talking about flip flop or sneaker tan lines, a farmer's tan, a one piece swimsuit tan, or worst of all a tan from your sunglasses. Be aware — these will not go away until the start of next summer. Another assumption that people often have is that lifeguards must get paid a lot for being the ones to rescue people in an emergency. Unless you work at a really fancy hotel, you will most likely make minimum wage. You’ll definitely feel like you’re earning it when you’ve been watching the same pool for over eight hours — outside, dripping in sweat. The fun of being a lifeguard also comes with the challenges of dealing with an AFR. What does this mean? Accidental fecal release. Most commonly occurs in the baby pool during
a busy summer day. This is usually the most riveting part of the job. The lifeguard gets to blow his or her whistle and yells at everyone to get out of the pool for an hour. You have been mistaken if you thought lifeguarding was a glamorous summer job because now it’s your job to put on a pair of gloves and fish that thing out of the pool. That’s right, you get paid t lowest possible wage on the hour to scoop human feces out of a pool that you know kids already pee in. Interestingly enough, parents also commonly mistake lifeguards for being personal babysitters. There have been times where I am already watching over 50 people by myself, and some crazy parents even think it’d be a good idea to get wasted, not even watching their children. The reality comes with the challenge of dealing with an AFR. What does this mean? Accidental fecal release. Most commonly occurs in the baby pool during a busy summer day. This is usually the most riveting part of the job. The lifeguard gets to blow his or her whistle and yells at everyone to get out of
the pool for an hour. You have been mistaken if you thought lifeguarding was a glamorous summer job because now it’s your job to put on a pair of gloves and fish that thing out of the pool. That’s right, you get paid the lowest possible wage on the hour to scoop human feces out of a pool that you know kids already pee in. Interestingly enough, parents also commonly mistake lifeguards for being personal babysitters. There have been times where I am already watching over 50 people by myself, and some crazy parents even think it’d be a good idea to get wasted, not even watching their children. The reality is that accidents are rare, but they can still happen to anyone. Many swimmers and patrons think lifeguards actually hold a lot more power than they do. Many people have asked me to change things at the pool when common sense would tell them no; like changing the amount of shade available. For the most part lifeguarding consists of watching swimmers, saving people if something happens, taking out the trash, and cleaning the bathrooms.
People have had outrageous requests in the past. One of my favorites being, “There are a lot of bats in the sky by the parking lot, can you make them go away?” or, “Can you change the pool from chlorine to saltwater?”
“That's right, you get paid the lowest possible wage on the hour to scoop human feces out of a pool.” Although lifeguarding isn’t as glamorous, or at times not as fun as it may seem on TV, it can be very rewarding. Waking up at five in the morning to watch people swim when it’s 45 degrees out has taught me to work hard. The most valuable thing you may learn could be how to kill time doing nothing. It’s a great first job, just not fabulous.
Photo by Jarrette Werk
30 Delfin PhotoINSIGHT by Faith
INSIGHT Photo by 31 Jarrette Werk Photo by Pedro S. Rosales
Book Reviews Words by Camille Stuyvesant
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Ransom Riggs
hen 16-year-old Jacob Portman was young, his grandfather would tell him stories of children with unusual powers who lived in an orphanage run by a woman named Miss Peregrine. After the death of his grandfather, Jacob set out on a journey to Wales to find the orphanage. When he arrives, the orphanage is abandoned, or so he thought. He follows a girl into a mysterious world where the “peculiar children” are alive and the orphanage is no longer in ruins. Jacob soon finds out the children are in danger and it is up to him to save them. The author, Ransom Riggs, puts an unusual
spin on the novel by including vintage pictures he collected in order to add to the description of the characters and the setting. I enjoyed how the author used the pictures to help tell the story; however, I thought Riggs relied on them too much. Instead of making the pictures flow with the story, it seemed as though the story was written around them without a smooth transition from one picture to the next. I would suggest to Riggs to make it into a children’s picture book, not a young-adult novel. I recommend skipping the book and seeing the movie instead.
Me Before You Jojo Moyes
ouisa Clark is a woman who had spent her years living a very simple and happy life. That is, until she met Will Traynor, a person who loved to live big. He welcomed adventure and embraced a fastpaced lifestyle, until he was involved in an accident that left him a quadriplegic. Louisa, desperate for a job, became the caretaker for Will. Me Before You tells the story of how chatty, optimistic Louisa and grumpy, pessimistic Will became the most unlikely of friends. Will, however, is keeping a secret from Louisa that will have detrimental consequences for their relationship, should the secret get out. I finished this book about a week and a half ago, and I still find myself thinkINSIGHT 32
ing about it. This novel left me heartbroken in a way that I didn’t think a romance novel could, and I’ve read my fair share of Nicholas Sparks. Louisa and Will’s contrasting personalities made them the perfect pair because they brought out the best in each other. Louisa showed Will how to appreciate life again and Will taught Louisa to live boldly and without fear. Jojo Moyes wrote this story so poetically that I felt as though I was experiencing everything alongside Louisa and Will. I can honestly say this book is the only one that I got so emotionally involved in that I actually cried. I would definitely recommend reading this book before seeing the movie.
INSIGHT Photo by33Jana Sayson
35 INSIGHT Photo by Pedro S. Rosales
ALL OF US
Photos and Words by Jana Sayson
ur world is like patchwork: each piece of fabric different from another. Some are cut neatly, others torn with ragged edges. Bigger, smaller. A kaleidoscopic tapestry. But in the end, this is what makes us...us. I began this project over the summer initially as a means to practice talking to people (since talking is hard, I guess). I looked to Brandon Stanton’s work in Humans of New York for inspiration, hoping to develop the same skills he acquired. But the more I worked on it, the more I wanted it to be
bigger than that. I want this project to be a testament to the unfathomable scope of human diversity and their ability to live together. To coexist. Because being different isn’t bad, isn’t something to be ashamed of. I realized that now more than ever, we need to embrace our diversity, and see that ultimately, our differences unite us. In fact, this project is about taking pride in the diversity that brings us together. It’s about all of us, together.
ne of the reasons why I attended and organized this vigil with my fellow queer brown folks is because I recognize a need for a space of community, reflection, healing, and it’s a space that we don’t get to have often. I think that not many people recognize the danger that LGBT folk, queer folk, trans folk of color specifically face on a day to day basis and how everyday we wake up we get ourselves put together and we leave and go outside--and
t gives me a little more hope. It gives me that much more courage. Because these tears are mostly not--these tears are for fear for my life and my loved ones’ lives and for everyone else that is involved in whatever identities they’re involved with. It’s mostly for fear. And being here in this circle, being here with these people, these beautiful different walks of life, it just gives me that much more
every time we go outside, we worry for our lives. We are a powerful community. We have seen that throughout the years, from the Stonewall riots to current pride parades to the passing of same-sex marriage. We are a people that come together and embrace each other willingly. You can always rely on community for love. Our community is always here for you, and you should always know that.
courage just to walk down the street as I do--strutting, prancing, voguing, listening to my music, whatever it is that I do when I’m out there. Stay you, stay true, spread the love like butter. Be as loving and kind. Smile to everyone. Be you, the youest you that you can be without harming others or harming yourself because it does nothing but set as all back. We need to continue forward.
’ll be 26 in September, and I work as a hospice aid for Harmony Hospice. I’m a lesbian, that’s my girlfriend there as well—her name is Tanya. I do a bunch of other things as well…I play basketball, soccer, boxing— I'm an athletic person. We all need to stick together to support each other, and not let hate take over and really just not let people bully us for being gay and take our
right away from us. Biggest struggle? Honestly, I can't think of anything right now. I feel like I’ve accepted myself and where I’m at, and I know that my life is—you know, it’s a journey. I’ve just accepted everything where I’m at. I can’t say that I’m struggling. I’m blessed. I’m still alive. I try not to look at the negatives.
INSIGHTSasso Photo by39Kellie
Artist Spotlight: Jacob Rubeck
Photo by Faith Delfin
40 Delfin PhotoINSIGHT by Faith
Photo by Faith Delfin
Photo by 41 Jarrette INSIGHTWerk
What I Meant To Say Words by Tori Todd Illustration by Nicole Skarlatos Photos by Pedro S. Rosales
seemingly unavoidable transition, or progression if you will, occurs when a young, aspiring woman enters a university setting. There is an overwhelming display of emotions that engross her mind, body, and spirit. First comes the sensation of sadness at the thought of leaving her family, friends, and comforts behind in order to pursue her dreams. Next, nerves flood in at the thought of starting an entirely new life on her own, without a hint of predictability in the future. After second-guessing and insecurities subside, she finally experiences a sense of pride and
accomplishment when she realizes she’s conquered a massive feat — one that involves pursuing an education to further her career, opportunities, and character as a whole. Somewhere along this path of selfgrowth and realization, there is a point in which a woman learns of unexpected obstacles that have the potential to wreak havoc on her future. She’s already made substantial friendships, acclimated to her tough academic schedule, and is finally starting
and repulsion pulse throughout her as she recounts the chaos from the night before. “Was it okay for him to touch me? Was this my fault for wearing that skimpy dress and drinking?” And finally, “Do I tell anyone?” She remembered hearing at orientation that 1 in 4 women in college are sexually assaulted, but she seldom believed it could happen to her. Where does one go from here? Never thinking this could be one of the hidden evils of college, she brushed off the situation and kept her mouth shut. After all, she was just a freshman trying to fit in and survive the surmounting pressures of college. Without a whisper regarding that night, a year passes and that same young woman finds herself in an entirely different place in life. She purposefully avoids the pain that accompanies those memories with the help of several distractions. Academics,
"NEVER THINKING THIS COULD BE ONE OF THE HIDDEN EVILS OF COLLEGE, SHE BRUSHED OFF THE SITUATION AND KEPT HER MOUTH SHUT."
to feel at home. Suddenly, a harmless decision to go to a party with some friends becomes one that rips the innocence from her. Thoughts of regret
friends, and the novice experience of having a steady boyfriend became the focal points of her second year at college. As with most things, being in a relationship was great at first, but she slowly noticed a change occurring within herself. She became so dependent on her partner that every thought from the time she woke up in the morning until she went to bed at night was fixated on him. She couldn’t explain the growing feeling of anxiety and isolation that accompanied her thoughts of him. The fear and insecurity that engulfed her caused her
her own voice, and her dreams. She didn’t recognize the person she was becoming — a frail and weak being — that only existed via the will of someone else. She had come upon another unexpected crossroad in her undergraduate journey that involved breaking the chains of oppression. The same two choices that presented themselves a year ago were revealed once again: speak up to gain liberation, or stay silent in order to avoid confrontation. The pain she felt from her previous experience and newfound internal conflict propelled
"SHE HAD COME UPON ANOTHER UNEXPECTED CROSSROAD IN HER UNDERGRADUATE JOURNEY THAT INVOLVED BREAKING THE CHAINS OF OPPRESSION" to behave only in a way he would approve of. The people that had previously known her noticed a change in her bubbly personality, along with her ability to put anything before her newfound obsession. She found herself in a toxic relationship crowded with negative remarks that led her to question
her into a state of worth. Her spirit was worth fighting for, so she broke out of the cage she once called home. Without fully knowing it, she subtly began climbing her way to womanhood with growing strength every step she took. By the time her junior year arrived, she was flourishing in her academic and social life. Never the type to flaunt her achievements, she tried to lay low while studying vigorously and preparing for her graduate school future. Although she worked hard and was doing better than most of her peers, there seemed to be a slight stigma and prejudice against her. She began to notice such judgments when she received stares as she walked into class or condescending comments like, “I didn’t know you were smart.” It was no secret that her area of study was male dominated and her profession even more so. Because women had unequal representation in the university setting up until the 80’s, she decided to ignore as much of the inaccurate stereotypes as she could, and attempt to prove them wrong with her ability rather than her words. This solution worked for her until she started working as an intern to help further her academic experience and resume. The elderly man she worked for seemed nice enough, but there was one problem. He wouldn’t look her in the eye. In fact, he wouldn’t look at her at all. He had no problem speaking directly to her male counterparts, but when she spoke up, he would look at one of her peers as if they were the ones inquiring. The professional’s intentional lack of acknowledgement of her presence launched her back to the night she didn’t report her assault. Two choices. They seemed to haunt her as if they had a cruel vengeance. Let this man silence my intelligence and insult my hard work, or make my presence known. She knew right then and there that she wouldn’t let anyone get in the way of her aspirations, so she respectfully persevered. She began constantly asking questions, moving in front of her male counterparts, and speaking directly to the professional in order to make her intentions very clear — she wasn’t going to be silenced or forgotten without waging a war on the stereotypes that hung over her head for the entirety of her college career.
Yes, she was a woman. On the surface, she was small in stature, had breasts, a pretty face, and hair that curled in every which way. Past encounters attempted to define her based on the superficial aspects of her appearance, but she now knew that yes, she was a woman. She felt emotions deeper than most, she pursued her dreams with a fierce passion, and above all, she had a head on her shoulders worth expressing. Everything that made her ‘her’ didn’t stem from her appearance at all. In actuality, it came from something you couldn’t see — her spirit. Initially starting out as small rays, they eventually stretched out enough to touch her surface. Once at the surface,
"INITIALLY STARTING OUT AS SMALL RAYS, THEY EVENTUALLY STRETCHED OUT ENOUGH TO TOUCH HER SURFACE. ONCE AT THE SURFACE, SHE COULD FINALLY SEE FOR HERSELF WHAT VALUE SHE POSSESSED." she could finally see for herself what value she possessed. Her life now involved elements of directionality and self-acknowledgement that flourished from the strength she gained from her past and ever-growing spirit. She knew that she didn’t want to regress to a time when her ancestors were perceived as thoughtless; only capable of human incubation. She now yearned to speak loud enough so that women who never had the opportunity to do the same could finally be spoken for and represented. So many decades of oppressed voices. She vowed then and there to never become censored in lieu of the women who fought passionately and tirelessly to give her a voice. College was more than just a transition for her. It was a journey to self- realization that evoked pain, tears, and hard work in order for her to blossom into a warrior. Not just any warrior either — a warrior for women and a warrior for herself. She finally said what she meant to say. 45 INSIGHT
INSIGHT Photo by47 Kellie Sasso
Words by Tori Todd Illustration by Nicole Skarlatos
hemistry: that unexplainable electrical current that runs throughout your body when you’re near someone you’re attracted to. It’s almost as if the entirety of your being is pulsating with desire for that particular person, and won’t lay off until it gets what it wants. What does it want, you may ask? Sex. With our biological disposition always screaming at us to reproduce, our bodies can sense when there is a suitable mate for our future offspring. Of course this is a little far fetched for most of us college students who are just trying to survive the hangovers and copious amounts of schoolwork we’re given, but the INSIGHT 48
genetics want what the genetics want. We’ve all experienced that one person that sends chills down our spine at the slightest sight of them, accompanied by an all-consuming desire. Sure, having a love affair from afar is entertaining for a time, but eventually, the fantasy becomes too much to bear and action must be taken. Making the move. There is always slight apprehension when approaching the person you’ve been obsessing over for weeks. Fear, rejection, anxiety, and excitement are all bundled together to form one giant throw-up of emotions. More often than not, the electricity you’ve been experiencing is not only mutual but also reciprocated. Where to go from here? Option 1: Leave the situation as it is, so that you don’t ruin the previously perfect fantasy you’ve already concocted in your
mind. Option 2: Take a risk and pursue the sexual tension that has been haunting you since the semester began. If it were me, there would be no hesitation to scratch the itch we nowadays call horniness. By selecting Option 2, there becomes a whirlwind of expectations that come with this long-awaited hook up. If the chemistry between two people is intoxicating, then the sex has to be amazing…right? Wrong. This wasn’t your first rodeo. You had enough sexual experience to classify you as an expert, but the
sexual encounter with your fantasy partner was nothing short of a
that burned cringe-worthy memories in your mind. What makes bad sex bad? And what makes great sex great, for that matter? Although important, chemistry is not everything. Yes, chemistry allows for two bodies to be mashed together, but does that necessarily mean you’ll achieve that gold medal of an orgasm? Not exactly. An orgasm by definition means achieving feelings of pleasure, but how does one experience pure pleasure? There has to be a level of comfort established. It’s already not an
"CHEMISTRY ALLOWS FOR TWO BODIES TO BE MASHED TOGETHER, BUT DOES THAT NECESSARILY MEAN YOU’LL ACHIEVE THAT GOLD MEDAL OF AN ORGASM? NOT EXACTLY." letdown. How could this happen? They had everything going for them: good looks, an excellent physique, a seemingly charming personality, and intelligence. Despite these attributes, the sex was simply awkward
easy task to be comfortable with a new sexual partner, but add in the pressure from these previously built up feelings, and there’s bound to be missteps. Chemistry shouldn’t be mistaken for connection. The best sex of my life came from long-term boyfriends or fuck buddies — this being because I actually knew who they were — in fact, I even liked who they were. I understand our generation is anti-commitment and pro-unconventional when it comes to relationships, but this doesn’t mean a connection is unattainable. After an awful sexual experience, try getting to know the person a little more before attempting the event again. If you end up finding their mind and ideologies attractive, your lady/man parts will probably follow suit, which could lead to the original great sex you expected. Unlike most media projections, there has never been an initial sexual encounter that was life-changing for me. I found
"THERE'S NO REASON TO SUPPRESS SUCH A BEAUTIFUL THING LIKE SENSUALITY. IT'S HUMAN NATURE. AND HOW YOU EXPRESS IT MAKES YOU UNIQUE AND DESIRABLE." that every person I sacked up with did something I wasn’t used to. The variety of performance among individuals can be distressing at first, which could also lead to an unattainable orgasm. Fast or slow rhythm, positions that are out of the ordinary, intense eye contact, or even unfamiliar dialogue during sex can make the overall environment a weird one. Not to worry though! Just because you aren’t familiar with someone’s preferences the first time doesn’t mean you won't adapt to the situation! Your partner’s quirks may seem the opposite of sexy, but basic communication can easily flip the switch from dry spells to free flowing orgasms. Everyone is different, which means that everyone’s preferences are varied as well. Don’t be afraid to chat about it! There’s no shame here! There are a couple of essentials needed in order to transform average sex to INSIGHT 50
amazing sex — one of the most important being confidence. If you experience insecurity during this magnificent encounter, then you aren’t fully taking in the sexual experience and enjoying yourself to the fullest. Although unavoidable at times, insecurity will do nothing but stunt the growth of your sexuality. Trust me, if you made it this far with someone, they aren’t going to snub you or think you are anything short of a sex god/ goddess in the heat of the moment. So own your sexuality and don’t question it. There’s no reason to suppress such a beautiful thing like sensuality. It’s human nature. And how you express it makes you unique and desirable. Be desirable to yourself first so that others are attracted to that confidence as well. As unfortunate as it is, not all expectations of sex can be met initially. There will be disappointment, moments that make you cringe with horror, and experiences that make you consider asexuality. Instead of shrinking away from such incidences however, consider a cognitive stance on the matter. We are young and fullofcuriosity.Learnfromyourawkward situations and revise from there. Form mental connections instead of sleeping with someone just for their appearance. Build yourself up starting from within. Make sure you are confident in who you are, so that the person you decide to let into your world understands your importance and worth. Finally, don’t shy away from first-time experiences. Trying new things along with new people has the potential to broaden your horizons and clarify your preferences. In fact, it is almost impossible to know what you truly want out of a sexual partner without trying other things first. Sort through the bad and mediocre in order to obtain the great. Don’t settle for anything less than mind-blowing and toe curling. You deserve the gold medal!
This publication is made possible by the Associated Students of the University of Nevada, Reno