The role of DEI at Cabrini continues to grow
By Pryce Jamison Staff Writer
Dr. Angela Campbell is clear about the work of her office. “Mission and DEIB are inseparable — you can’t have a mission and not have an equitable, inclusive, and racially just environment,” she said. “If you don’t have that environment, you’ve lost the vision of what Mother Cabrini was all about.”
As Vice President for Mission, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Belong ing (DEIB) and Student Engagement at Cabrini University, Campbell was also recently appointed Chief Mission Officer of the school’s DEI advisory council.
As changes continue to occur within positions and departments, she understands she must ensure that all initiatives are integrated with the school’s core values and represent diverse voices.
“There should be DEI and mission goals in every area of the insti tution, and that’s part of my work,” Campbell said. “DEI lives and breathes in every center and every sector.”
The current look
Cabrini’s DEI advisory council has five working groups to help sus tain long term success regarding institutional diversity the Culturally Academic Curriculum and Education Working Group, the Transpar ency and Reporting Working Group, the Policy and Auditing Work ing Group, the Cultivate a Welcoming Campus Climate Working Group, and the Fundraising and Partnerships Working Group.
“What’s really powerful about the council is that it went from a task force to being a council,” said Campbell. The importance of going from a “task force to a council is that it will continue to influence perpetuity in DEI – that it’s not just a one-and-done or a reactionary response.”
The council is composed of student, faculty, staff, alumni, and board, totaling 20 representatives. But students and faculty outside the group may not be aware of its next steps.
“We are engaged in conversations about faculty and staff of color. Recruitment and retention — that is a key priority in the DEI advisory council,” Campbell said. “We’re at almost 50% BIPOC [student] population. We don’t have 50% full-time BIPOC employees, so that’s what the retention initiatives are all about.”
Reporting to Campbell within the current structure of the Office of DEIB, are Director of the Office of DEIB Leila Dunbar, Director of the Wolfington Center Dr. Ray Ward, and Director of Campus Ministry (the position is currently open).
Through the latest restructuring of positions associated with the of fice, Campbell said, “We’re hop ing that these changes in struc ture can support the fiscal health of the institution.”
Plans in motion
In June 2021, Cabrini University joined the Liberal Arts College Ra cial Equity Leadership Alliance. This investment grants Cabrini ac
cess to many recommen dations and approaches from experts in the field. Through actions such as monthly eConvenings, fac ulty and staff may obtain resources to help them provide equitable campus environments.
Training began in February 2022. Campbell also said she will “be doing a spe cial training with the board of trustees coming up; it’s very important because the governing starts at the top.”
Sending out the National Assessment of Collegiate Campus Climate surveys last year to students was also a driving force that al lowed students to give their perspectives. The data is now in for DEIB to examine.
“Out of 1303 students who were invited to participate in the survey in the fall of 2021, 545 students responded to the survey; a response rate of 41.83% percent,” said Campbell. “And we have the actual racial background of the students who took the survey and the de mographic information.”
During the Walking the Talk in DEI event held on Dec. 8, these results will be discussed with students and the comparative data with other institutions. The survey aimed to focus on what can be improved within six NACCC topic areas: appraisals of institutional commitment, impact of external environments, racial learning and literacy, encounters with racial stress, mattering and affirmation, and cross-race engagement.
According to Campbell, the DEI advisory council is also working on a strategic plan for the 2022-23 school year, as well as a racial bias incident reporting system that will be vetted through another
was cut in 2021.
“There were a bunch of history classes that I had to take for the ma jor that taught me the history that I needed, and it won’t be as simple for newer students,” Warren-Robinson said. “They might shy away from those courses because Black history-related courses aren’t explicitly labeled as Black studies courses anymore. They’re sort of just dispersed throughout other majors.”
A department’s curriculum is something DEI can influence in the long run. Students like Warren-Robinson have hopes and suggestions they would love to see put into motion.
“An intro to Black studies course should be mandated in the cur riculum, and we should all learn that type of history, or at least some of it; it’s American history,” Warren-Rob inson said. “It would go a long way toward improving the atmosphere because you can tell that now it’s sort of an ‘out of sight out of mind’ type of place.”
He continued, “If you implement these types of courses that go deep ly into the history of cultures and put it in people’s faces, then they kind of have to confront what’s been missing. Then conversations can be started and that’s how you build.”
Attend the Walking the Talk event on Dec. 8 in the Grace Hall Atrium at 10:30 a.m. to further discuss the data collected and other future initiatives.
THELOQUITUR.COM Vol. LXIIII • Issue 4 Thursday Dec. 1, 2022
working group in the council.
Hopes from a student Naiser Warren-Robinson, senior Black studies major and former president of the Black Student Union, was one of the students with a declared Black studies major before it
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U.S. immigration’s road to nowhere
By Loquitur Editorial Board
Nearly two months after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis sent Venezuelan and Columbian migrants and asylum seekers to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts without any prior accommodations, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott continues the Trump handbook.
Multiple buses carrying migrants from Texas were sent to Philadelphia without any warning. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, city officials and immigrant aid groups were not told the buses were coming, or that promises were made to the migrants to convince them to come here.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported that in October, 230,678 migrants were met at the southwest land border, adding to 2.37 million border encounters in 2022 (surpassing the 1.73 million total in 2021). The mass numbers of Latino migrants not met with logical solutions or policies from bordering states, such as Texas. Vulnerable people are not objects politicians can dump onto others for political gain if they have no sustainable plan of action.
Cities including Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Chicago, and New York City are sanctuary or welcoming cities. The City of Philadelphia avoids the term sanctuary city and calls itself a welcoming city. Philadelphia uses no concrete definition of the term, but says, “We do not allow our city employees, including police officers, to ask about the documentation status of people they encounter.”
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that all the migrants recently sent to the city, many seeking asylum, are allowed to be in the United States. Asylum seekers may stay in the U.S. as long as they work with federal immigration court to be granted asylum.
Sanctuary cities for asylum seekers
The Center for Immigration Studies shows a map of sanctuary cities across the nation. According to the website, these cities, counties, and states providing immigrants with shelter have laws and regulations that prevent ICE from interfering with immigration enforcement and removal.
If immigrants are not sent to sanctuary cities, they can be sent to detention centers such as Berks County Detention Center in Leesport, Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition, PICC, started the Shut Down Berks campaign in 2015 to combat the incarceration of immigrants and to seek the institution’s closure.
Rather than treating immigrants as political sheep to be herded to varying locations, we need to care for and take into account migrants’ trauma and fear as they arrive in the United States. Sending people to Democratic cities deemed sanctuary cities for a cruel joke and to flex political power cannot be tolerated when lives are at stake.
Pennsylvania’s future governor
Recently elected Governor of Pennsylvania Josh Shapiro is on a mission to alleviate this ongoing issue. In a statement to AL DÍA, Shapiro targeted the immigration system and its flaws.
“We need comprehensive immigration reform coming out of Washington. It’s one of the few required actions of our federal elected officials, and yet they have failed in doing so over multiple administrations,” Shapiro said.
Immigration reform is needed in times like this and Shapiro proclaimed that he will advocate for it as governor. Having solid reform in place will assist with immigrants’ well-being and security.
The United States needs a sustainable plan to foster the overwhelming number of migrants arriving at the border. We must also examine
inefficiencies in the use of resources. Rather than shuttling migrants to other cities with no warning, states can work together with the federal government to establish routes of travel, drop people at specific places, and alleviate a concentration of migrants.
We need community now
In July 2022, Philadelphia welcomed over 10,000 Ukrainians and they were sponsored immediately. The different communities in Philadelphia came together to provide food and shelter as part of the Uniting for Ukraine program. Where is that same energy for the migrants from Texas?
Understandably, Philadelphia was not prepared for these Latino migrants; there was no cooperation from Texas officials. The city stated they have been preparing for surprise buses since this past summer, so why wasn’t the welcome as warm?
To donate and help the migrants from Texas, the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Immigrant Affairs and the Mayor’s Fund for Philadelphia have launched the Philadelphia Welcoming Fund.
Greg Abbott tweeted on Nov. 28, “Texas has bussed over 13,500 migrants to sanctuary cities,” and Philadelphia was included in the list. There is still no way of knowing how many more buses can be expected, but local advocates and Philadelphia’s welcoming community are waiting with open arms.
Saint Francis Xavier Cabrini is our school’s namesake and symbolic figure. She is revered for her work in helping immigrants in the United States. As social justice school, we lead by Mother Cabrini’s example.
Although immigration policy is controversial, we still need cooperation, empathy, and compassion. These are people, not objects.
The Loquitur Editors
The Center on Immigration invites students, faculty, and staff to a vigil hosted by the Shut Down Berks Coalition on Dec. 7 at 10 a.m. at the Berks Detention Center. The Center on Immigration is a member of the coalition and stands in solidarity with immigrant women who have been unfairly detained and sent to detention centers. Transportation from Cabrini will be provided.
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Cabrini unaffected by Supreme Court decision
By Brianna Mack
Assistant Perspectives Editor
The Supreme Court heard arguments against the race-conscious admissions policy on Oct. 31. If deemed unconstitutional, all univer sities will be barred from asking prospective students their race on applications.
Kimberly Lewis, Cabrini University’s dean of admissions, financial assistance, and marketing, believes Cabrini’s racial diversity won’t be as affected as other schools.
“Institutions that are more mission focused like Cabrini, or institu tions that are already attracting diverse populations probably won’t see much change as a result of the Supreme Court decision,” Lewis said. She is confident Cabrini’s admissions won’t be negatively af fected by the court’s decision and clarified that Cabrini does not ap ply more weight on any one qualification over another.
The plaintiff in the Supreme Court case argued that Harvard Univer sity’s affirmative action process denies Asian Americans admittance in favor of Black, Hispanic, and Native American students. Schools that practice holistic admissions do not prioritize one student char acteristic over the other.
Carolina case. The plaintiff argued that unfairly focusing on admit ting Black and Hispanic students violated the 14th amendment and UNC’s promise to provide “equal” opportunities to all students de spite race.
A different admissions strategy Cabrini’s “holistic” approach to admissions stems from its mission statement. The university practices its commitment to social justice by giving all students an equal opportunity in the admissions pro cess.
Some Cabrini students worry that racial quotas affect the admissions process. Leah Freeman, first-year pre-med major, understands that race is an important aspect of a student’s character but struggles with allowing it to be the deciding factor.
“Race shouldn’t be the only issue that gets a student into a college,” Freeman said. She worried that racial quotas would prevent some students from gaining admittance. Affirmative action “would help to diversify schools. However, it could also not be an equal opportu nity,” she said. Cabrini does not consider racial quotas during the admissions process.
Grace Hoath, sophomore music major, believes knowing a student’s race is unnecessary in admissions but argued there is value in both holistic review and affirmative action.
Emana Johnson, first-year education graduate student, hopes that holistic admissions prevent racial stereotyping. Johnson believes that a student’s grade point average is considered more important by admissions counselors than their race. Cabrini admissions coun selors are assigned schools by location, so they grow familiar with each school’s academic offerings.
“[Students] understand that we have a population that is reflective of the community that they come from,” she said. The relationships that admissions counselors build with high schools and the depart ment’s mission-focused attitude give them a better overview of pro spective students.
The holistic admissions approach encourages combining students’
academic achievement and experience as measures for their pos sible success within the university. If the Supreme Court decides to remove race-conscious admissions, Cabrini will not suffer as badly as more selective schools.
Equity in college admissions
Some students believe affirmative action is an unbalanced effort to diversify schools. Sydney Kesselman, senior education major, also agrees with Cabrini’s holistic approach.
“Every child deserves an equal chance in education no matter their race,” Kesselman said.
Kesselman agrees that the admissions process should view stu dents fairly. Highly selective schools like Harvard have a larger pro spective student pool, so they’ve streamlined their admissions to make them more effective. Removing race-based affirmative action will decrease the diversity of their admissions.
Schools with a focus on diversifying a student body may use race as the deciding factor for admissions. Since Cabrini does not value one qualification over the other, it matches the message of a student’s qualifications to the university’s mission.
Affirmative action has been debated since President Lyndon B. Johnson established that jobs should use it to provide more opportu nities for racial minorities. Public universities that banned affirmative action in the 1990s saw a 14.3 percent decrease in Black, Hispanic, and Native American students by 2015, according to a 2020 study.
The plaintiffs in the Harvard and UNC case argue that affirmative ac tion creates a “separate but equal” academic admission field which was outlawed by Brown v. Board of Education. Harvard and UNC argued that their process optimally diversifies each incoming class while upholding their selective nature.
Universities like Harvard and UNC use affirmative action to create equitable opportunities for Black, Hispanic, and Native American students. Checkpoints on a prospective student’s race give their admissions workers a better understanding of the student without diving in-depth into their background like Cabrini does.
Cabrini’s image getting a makeover
By Izabella Cipresso Assistant News Editor
Since the resignation of former President Donald Taylor, the Cabrini community has been concerned about the university’s future. Some of the worries were confirmed on Oct. 28 when Cabrini announced its troubling financial status and plan to combat subsequent prob lems.
Cabrini students received an email from Interim President Helen Dri nan about a three-year comprehensive plan aiming to reduce costs and increase profit. The communication assured that continuous decisions will be made to benefit everyone at the university.
Amy Lambert, chair of the board of trustees, said, “It is important to know that in all of our discussions, in all of our thoughts about the plan, our first and foremost focus is always around mission and students. We use those as our guidepost.”
Faculty and staff received extensive information about employment losses and department reorganizations in a separate email. Faculty members looking to discuss the material were invited to a town hall meeting on Nov. 2, or to speak with Drinan directly.
Drinan has been honest about Cabrini’s financial problems, and she continues to voice ideas of partnerships and a brand relaunch as potential solutions.
Creating a fruitful graduate program
A frequent term thrown around since the Cabrini announcement is “merger.” The School of Education has merged with the School of Business and Professional Studies, but what scares the community most is that Cabrini may have to merge with another university.
Drinan said, “What we’re looking to do is more of a partnership. In a partnership, we would try to maintain our independence, our name and legacy, our strengths, our athletics program, and all the things that define Cabrini. But we would do it so that we could reduce the overall cost of operation by sharing resources with another institu tion.”
The collaboration is focused on improving Cabrini’s graduate school.
According to Patricia Bradley, director of institutional communica tions and web strategy, a mere 300 students are enrolled in the graduate program. A prime example is the Educational Leadership Doctorate program, which was launched in August 2022. The pro gram garners a meager 20 students.
Cabrini currently offers a master of accounting, master of arts in criminology and criminal justice, global master of business admin istration, master of education, master of science in data science, master of science in leadership, a doctorate in education leadership (100% online or hybrid), and a doctorate in organization develop ment and change. These programs may be altered with develop ments in the graduate program.
run a small graduate program with so few students, and frankly, I don’t think the student experience is as good when there are too few students in a program.”
The Cabrini brand
Cabrini University does not have a national brand, as the univer sity is not known on a large scale. Drinan hopes to strengthen the Cabrini brand with the help of an outside company, Stream. At the town hall, Drinan announced David Regn, board of trustees member and co-founder of Stream Companies, will provide Stream services pro bono.
However, the president’s office said, “We are at a very early stage with David Regn and his company, Stream Companies, and have not yet finalized or confirmed the engagement or scope of work that will be undertaken.”
The marketing strategy will include a website overhaul, and a deter mination of the University’s target audience and market.
Amy Persichetti, chair of writing and narrative arts, said, “The market in higher education right now is highly complex and rapidly changing … This is going to be a transitional period, and those are no fun, but as students, your main concern should continue to be getting your educations, playing on your teams, and having fun with your friends discovering who you are. This is what you are here to do. We will take care of the rest.”
Cabrini is starting the process of focus group research, interviews, and meeting with different constituencies to find the best approach for their rebranding.
Drinan said, “I can’t be transparent when it has to do with someone’s personal information but short of that, I have to draw a line only with regard to Cabrini’s true safety and security … I think you need to be overtly transparent before you’re going to see any increase of trust. Over time, as the transparency seems authentic then people will trust more.”
Through discussions with Drinan, a partnership may allow for shared services at the graduate level while marketing the undergraduate program to new audiences.
Drinan said, “I think Cabrini has some very solid graduate programs but they are very small in terms of enrollments … It’s expensive to
Bradley said, “For branding, we are looking at first quarter 2023. So, I would say that we will go through the branding process by the end of March.”
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The Effects from Elon Musk buying Twitter
By Jake Cavanaugh Staff Writer
On Oct. 27, Elon Musk purchased Twitter for $44 billion, and he im mediately started making changes, firing its chief executive Parag Agrawal and chief financial officer Ned Segal. Musk said he wants to make Twitter a more “freewheeling place” for all types of com mentary. He also described himself as a “free speech absolutist.”
Elon Musk ranks number one on the Forbes “Richest People in The World” list for 2022. Musk is the founder, CEO and chief engineer at SpaceX, the CEO and product architect of Tesla, the founder of The Boring Company, and co-founded the electronic payment company PayPal.
Musk’s current effect on Twitter Twitter has lost nearly 1.3 million users in the first week since Musk purchased the platform. Usatoday.com’s Natalie Nevsa Alund reported, “The Bot Sentinel, which tracks the behavior on Twitter
by analyzing more than 3.1 million accounts per day, believes more then 877,000 accounts were deactivated and 497,000 were suspended between Oct. 27 and Nov. 1.”
“Twitter is my second most used social media platform. I think Musk buying Twitter is good for the company, he will allow more free speech through the app,” John McCormick, junior business management major, said.
John Ruttman, sophomore exercise science major, said, “I don’t use Twitter that much, I think Musk is ruining the platform. I saw on the news that he fired about half of their workforce. That’s a lot of people without work. How a company of that size can work with half of their workers, it will be interesting to see if they can pull it off.”
Opinions on the effect
Major companies, such as General Motors, Audi, Volkswagen, General Mills, Pfizer, United Airlines, and more have paused their Twitter ad spending. Aerospace company SpaceX recently purchased a larger Twitter ad campaign to help promote its internet service, Starlink. When Musk decided to launch and suspend a program to charge money for a previously free verification logo, a blue check mark. People could purchase the verification mark and pose as fake companies, politicians, or celebrities, and post wrong or misleading information.
“Since Musk bought the platform, it has not really affected if I go on it more or less,” McCormick said. “I use the platform often, even with some of the changes he has already made, it most likely won’t affect how much I use it unless he makes people pay to use the
platform as a whole.”
“Musk buying the platform has affected my use of Twitter a little bit,” Ruttman said. “I still use the platform a good amount. I would say the second most used one behind Instagram. When he an nounced you could buy the verification mark was when I started using the platform less, it kind of ruined the authenticity of it for me, than anyone can act verified and spread information right or wrong.”
Cabrini has no provost. Does it matter?
By Jason Fridge Assistant Podcast Editor
In the early afternoon of Oct. 28, 2022, the Philadelphia Inquirer broke the news that Cabrini would undergo major changes in the wake of a mounting budget deficit. Shortly after this article was re leased, students received an email from Interim President Helen Drinan repeating the message that Cabrini would focus on “cost reductions” in order to get the school in a position for “recovery and then for growth.”
Students had mixed emotions when they received this information, but they also had many more questions than answers. What both Drinan’s email and the Inquirer failed to do were explain to students why the elimination of the university provost is a big deal that they should care about.
A quick trip around campus will tell you everything you need to know about how informed Cabrini students are about their provost.
“It sounds really important,” Genevieve May, sophomore computer science major, said. “Sure, it was surprising. It’s been around for a long time but we as students still don’t really know what [the provost] is.
and found one common theme: a lack of clear definitions and ambi guity about their position.
At Cabrini, the provost position was held by Dr. Chioma Ugochukwu, who was appointed in 2019. Ugochukwu’s job was to head the De partment of Academic Affairs, covering undergraduate, graduate, and professional courses of study. Ugochukwu also had a major role in overseeing the research being conducted by the university.
From this description, the provost is an important part of running a university. Looking at their salary would tell you the same story, as a public record report from 2020 shows Cabrini’s provost as its second highest paid employee.
Clearly, the elimination of this role solves some financial issues. But Cabrini students are still left searching for answers for how this move directly impacts them.
“Sure it was surprising,” Ashley Ea, sophomore computer science major, said. “It seems like we’ve had [the provost role] forever, but I didn’t understand what this meant for my student experience.”
The restructuring plan
What is a university provost?
Many universities have direct information on their websites about the university provost: what their specific jobs are, and the role that they play in a student’s educational career. Cabrini does not have such in-depth information about its provost position.
“It definitely surprised me,” Ethan Miller, freshman business man agement major, said. “I still don’t know much about what a provost is, but I know that it’s helpful and it seemed shocking that they would take that away.”
Michael Bugeja from Inside Higher Ed published a 2018 article with the goal of clarifying a provost’s role. Bugeja looked at different job descriptions from provost offices in universities across the country
With the provost position being eliminated, how exactly will the ad ministrative hierarchy look? The provost was already replaced by a dean of academic affairs. Former Associate Provost Dr. Michelle Filling-Brown was appointed by Drinan to serve in this role.
Filling-Brown’s new role will make her the chief academic officer on campus, accountable for the creation of plans, as well as imple mentation of academic strategies. On top of these responsibilties, she will supervise Cabrini’s schools and academic departments, faculty personnel issues, academic administration, student success, the library, the registrar’s office, institutional research, instructional technology, and online learning. She also cited a role that will have her working on student retention and university diversity, equity, and
inclusion efforts. Reporting to Filling-Brown will be two associate deans, replacing three deans overseeing each of Cabrini’s three schools – Dr. Beverly Bryde, Dr. Tim Mantz, and Dr. Rick Thompson. The two new associate deans will be hired by December 31, and current faculty are invited to apply for these roles.
This restructuring is supposed to bring down the number of depart ment chairs, which previously sat at 18 and with other adjustments and additional upcoming cuts, to save the university should save enough money to be out of a deficit within three years.
While this information seems straightforward, the lack of commu nication with students regarding details of these changes caused concern. Students saw that Cabrini was in debt, and they weren’t effectively briefed on how the moves would set the university up for success.
“I was more shocked because I didn’t realize how much in debt our school was,” Josh Devine, freshman finance major, said. “I didn’t re ally know what the provost thing was, I just heard debt and thought it was really surprising.”
“I feel like they should’ve explained what exactly was going on,” May said. “It was really hard for students to learn and understand what was going to be gone and why.”
Drinan finished her announcement to students with an uplifting note about the work being done at the administrative level. “This is your school,” she said. “And we will continue our work to provide the best experience we can.”
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Student stylists enhance the campus beauty experience
By Eny Martins Staff Writer
Cosmetology is a passion for many Cabrini students. Whether it’s doing hair, makeup, nails, or any other beauty technique, there’s much talent to be found around campus.
Ocasio and her love for nails
Gianni Ocasio, sophomore psychology major, has been decorating nails for about two to three years. It started out as just an interest in doing makeup four years ago, but now she’s branched out, she sees herself making a profit from her hobby.
“It’s very therapeutic, very calming — now that I know what I’m do ing, seeing the other people’s nails is a good feeling,” Ocasio said. “I’ve had some clients, but it’s not super consistent, so I want to do more, like making business cards and giving them out to help me attract more people around campus.”
Like many stylists trying to grow their brand, Ocasio knows the next step to take her love of cosmetology to a higher level.
“I’m going to get my license in the summer, because it’s difficult to do so right now during the college semester, and it’s going to be a nine-week program.” Payment often allows campus cosmetologists to sustain their activity.
“Not only is it my time, but factor in the products and expenses — monomer liquid for nails is like $20 a bottle, powders can be $14, and nail tips can be $10.”
Gaining a license will allow her to start a business alongside being a full-time college student, as she enjoys doing short, medium, and long nail sets, and other nail designs.”
Holloway and her passion for hair
Danielle Holloway, senior education major, is another student who started off working on her own style, then began doing her friends’
hair during freshman year. She then turned her skill into an even bigger interest with which she enjoys serving the community.
“My cousin does hair, and after she stopped doing mine years ago, I started doing my own and then I started to think, “‘I might as well make it a business and grow clients,’” Holloway said.
“The funny thing is that it seems like everyone needs their hair done at the same time. It can get very hectic but that’s what comes with having a business,” Holloway said. “My favorite style is doing natural hair like curls, twists, and braids, and even though it takes longer, I enjoy doing people’s natural hair the most.”
Stokes: hair, sneakers, and business Hair may be the most common route of cosmetology across cam pus. Katirah Benjamin-Stokes, junior business management major, already aspires to run a business that focuses on hairstyling, along with a few other features.
“My business is The Kaytizal Experience, and I do hair, customize sneakers, and I’m starting to get into nails,” Benjamin-Stokes said.
Promotion and branding are key. She is beginning to embrace these principles in order to expand her brand.
“I recently started to promote and post different things and have put up posters around campus so people can know about the type of hair that I do,” Benjamin-Stokes said. “I began doing my mom’s hair and that’s how I really promote — I use her to try out different styles and she goes around giving out cards and taking pictures.”
There are many events at Cabrini that students can use as a plat form to share their endeavors every year. An example of this is the melanin event.
“So, at this event, where small businesses get together and fashion
shows occur, I promote the customizations I do with hair and lashes, and it does very, very well,” Benjamin-Stokes said.
Figuring out pricing while also keeping in mind the financial situation of many college students is also a priority for Benjamin-Stokes.
“A lot of people are doing very expensive hairstyles and I under stand why the prices are so high, but I try to do affordable prices and work with people,” she said. “At the end of the day, I’m just trying to satisfy people.”
There are many students on campus who want to brighten their peers’ day while improving upon their own passions, and they’re keeping Cabrini cosmetology alive.
Social Nexus continues to enhance students skills
By Thomas Ryan Visuals Editor
Does what you learn in the classroom translate to the real world? Dr. Nune Grigoryan, assistant communication professor, had this ques tion in mind when she created Social Nexus in September 2021. The idea was to give her students an opportunity to transfer what they were learning to the professional world.
The concept of the project consists of four hubs, dialogue, research, content creation/curation, and news/information. A year into the con tinually evolving program, Grigoryan and her students agree that the program has been a success.
Although the original vision Grigoryan had for Social Nexus changed, it still seems to have come to fruition.
“The new direction came from seeing how the students worked [to gether], their dynamics, skills and experience,” Grigoryan said.
Grigoryan believes that her hands-on way of teaching has allowed her students to prosper in various ways.
“You learn some of the social media strategies and tech niques in the class and then here [as part of the work] you can ask yourself ‘How do I work with a team or a client, how do I communicate with a client?,’” Gigoryan said.
Like Grigoryan, Amir Ings, se nior digital communications major, agrees that there are obvious benefits to being a part of Social Nexus.
“Being in Social Nexus this past year has really taught me about leadership, time man agement, and what it means to work in the social media field,” Ings said.
“My role is executive team member in charge of TikToks and social media. I make sure the different types of media are up to quality and that we’re fol lowing trends. One of my milestones has been growing the Wolfing ton Center’s social media branding because it had been outsourced before,” Ings said.
“It’s an opportunity to add things to your portfolio if you’re thinking of working in social media or any kind of entertainment because it’s a great way to show people your creativity and how you read analytics because all of that’s important. It helps your resume, your portfolio, and it’s just a great organization to join if you’re a communications major because it really gives you a sense of community with the other team members,” Ings said.
Even though she has only been involved with Social Nexus for a semester, Erica Zebrowski, senior digital communications major, believes that the program provides important experience.
“Each of us take turns on posting for our social media pages. So, each week we rotate who writes a blog, who posts on Twitter or Instagram, and who creates content for Twitter. Each week we also
have a topic of focus to curate our content around. This is a great way to keep our social media active so our followers are more en gaged,” Zebrowski said.
Jemeelah Ries, senior digital communications major, has seen great improvement within the Social Nexus club and is excited for its fu ture.
“It’s been very exciting to see Social Nexus develop from its very beginnings to now so it’s really nice knowing that people within the school are knowledgeable about Social Nexus and the services we do provide to people who potentially want to start their own busi ness,” Ries said.
Making the step from the classroom to the working world can some times be challenging, but Social Nexus provides concrete, hands-on learning experiences that can make the transition seamless.
Lifestyles THELOQUITUR.COM 5
Photo by Dr. Nune Grigoryan.
Photo by Dr. Nune Grigoryan.
Photo by Katirah Benjamin-Stokes.
My Mind and Me: More than just another celebrity documentary
By Samantha Taddei Assistant Sports Editor
After being diagnosed with lupus and bipolar disorder, Selena Go mez explores her challenges with stardom, and medical and mental health in the 2022 documentary “Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me.” The film follows the singer and actress throughout her career, cover ing her life from her mid-20s to the present day, and filmed over a six-year period.
The movie’s first 15 minutes take place in 2016, as a noticeably younger Gomez—then 23—gets ready for a world tour in support of her album “Revival.” “Revival” was released in 2015 and was intend ed to help her transition from Disney star to an independent artist.
In the opening scene, Gomez breaks down in tears backstage at one of her concerts. While crying, she says she desperately wants to shed her childlike image and feels she is a disappointment.
“I have to stop living like this,” Gomez says in the documentary, showing the early stages of her mental health struggles.
Gomez on Disney Channel growing up and listening to her music.
“I thought the documentary was great. It’s not every day a celebrity like Selena allows you to see into their life like she did,” Hoban said. “I’m glad she allowed us to get to know who she is outside of the industry.”
In “My Mind & Me,” Gomez recounts her efforts to destigmatize mental illness and the dread and ultimate relief she felt when finally disclosing that she has bipolar disorder.
Rags to riches
Gomez was immersed in the spotlight at a very young age. She booked her first major Hollywood gig at seven years old on the children’s television show “Barney.” After continued success, she moved to Los Angeles at just 11 years old.
The documentary shines a light on Gomez’s childhood home life, showing her untraditional upbringing. Gomez’s mom gave birth to her when she was a young teenager. Her parents separated when Gomez was five.
Fast forward to 2016: Gomez starred on a hit TV show “Wizards of Waverly Place,” kickstarted a successful music career, and made a name for herself throughout the entertainment industry.
At the height of her stardom, fame began to take its toll. She was diagnosed with anxiety and bipolar depression. Then, she under went a kidney transplant after her long struggle with lupus took a deadly turn.
I didn’t come back? I needed to keep learning about it. I needed to take it day by day,” Gomez says in the film.
Hoban thought the documentary shined a much-needed light on mental health.
To the untrained eye, her crying episodes appear to be a combina tion of weariness and unreadiness. But when viewers learn the tour is suspended and Gomez is taken to a mental hospital, the movie feels like it has just begun.
Maggie Hoban, junior education major, is a lifelong fan of Gomez and was impressed with the documentary. She recalled watching
Gomez’s film is not the first music documentary to show how lonely it can be at the top, but it’s one of the few to highlight that when mental illness is the source, there are no simple solutions.
“When I first got out I didn’t know how I would cope with my diag nosis. What happened if it happened again? What if the next time
“I think this documentary was a huge step for mental health aware ness. Not many celebrities come out and speak up about their men tal health and put on a face for social media,” Hoban said. “People tend to hide away from these emotions, and it was so important for Selena to put out this documentary and let people know it’s okay not to be okay.”
The documentary proves that even the biggest names in entertain ment are just like everyone else at the end of the day. They struggle with self-confidence and also have thoughts of self-doubt.
“This does not make me faulty. This does not make me weak. This does not make me less than. This makes me human,” Selena de clares.
The most poignant aspect of the movie, however, may not be Go mez’s call for greater mental health awareness, but rather her will ingness to share her story in an endeavor to save her own life.
Hoban said, “This documentary was huge for people, as it shows you shouldn’t hide away from these feelings that we may feel aren’t normal.”
How Uber ensures safety for its riders
By Hannah Poggi
Accessing daily transportation can be a struggle for some, or easy for others. Many college students don’t have a car on campus or can get around to different places easily. Luckily, an app like Uber, offers people a ride when and where they choose. But is Ubering a safe way to get around?
But is Ubering a safe way to get around? Questions concerning Uber safety are valid for new or frequent users using the ride share app.
Past issues with safety
Although Uber does a good job at keeping members of its app safe, it hasn’t always been smooth sailing. CNN reported that “In 2020, Uber recorded 141 reports of rape on its platform in the United States.” There were intense investigations surrounding each of these rape reports and Uber handled each case accordingly and continued to strengthen background checks of drivers.
“About 91% of the victims of rape were riders and about 7% of the victims were drivers. Women made up 81% of the victims while men comprised about 15%”, O’Brien wrote.
These statistics from the various reports had alarmed Uber and to alleviate the danger and events like this happening again, they for mulated new technology that would be used for its drivers. It said in the report that this feature has resulted in “more than 80,000 drivers being removed from its platform to date,” O’Brien wrote.
In a public US Safety report from 2019-2020, information was gath ered and confirmed that “only 0.0002% of trips involved a critical safety event, and the rate of sexual assault decreased by over 30% since our last report,” Uber said.
Despite the incidents that prolonged for some time, Uber defends itself and shared that very few crimes existed since their previous collected report.
“Although these incidents are incredibly rare, we recognize that each one represents a devastating experience for the individuals, families, and communities impacted,” Uber said.
Uber doesn’t brush cases like this under the rug but rather takes each one seriously and is conscious of the repercussions it has on those affected.
Uber’s safety protocols and training
Uber is responsible for ensuring that riders will arrive safely. To start,
Uber does a series of background checks to guarantee that those who choose to be Uber drivers are reliable employees. The back ground checks include searching for a criminal record, reviewing their driver’s license, and completing a drug test. The vehicle they drive will also be inspected and it must pass legal requirements.
Next up is training for Uber drivers. Every driver must follow through with a training program on how to properly utilize the app and a great understanding of how to navigating a GPS system.
If the worst occurs, and there is a car accident or injury, Uber insures both drivers and riders through AXA for all trips so that no one will have to panic about coverage.
Mitch Walz, junior marketing and computer information systems ma jor, and Hailey Bond, sophomore nursing major, said they both use Uber often and believe Ubering is relatively safe.
“I use Uber occasionally on the weekends when going out. The only bad experiences I have had with Uber is when there are very few rides available or when the drivers cancel, but that is a rare occur rence,” Walz said.
“I think that Uber can be safe if you make sure you are with another person or friend, if Ubering by yourself, I think it can be unsafe,” Bond said. “I would say I use about four Ubers a week. I did have one bad experience while using Uber. The driver made an uncom fortable and inappropriate comment towards me. Other than that one time, I haven’t really had any bad experiences.”
One useful feature integrated into the app is the rider’s view of their driver’s vehicle, the license plate number, and the driver’s name and past ratings. If a user sees a driver has bad ratings, they can im mediately cancel their ride.
Other helpful features
The app updates the rider’s map location in transit and notes the time that they will arrive at their stop. If a loved one is also on the app, they can access the rider’s location and monitor if the vehicle is moving or has been stopped. This can prevent a rider from being trapped in a risky environment.
Riders can contact Uber 24 hours a day. The app also has a but ton that can be used for an emergency service call. The rider and driver can also receive something called a “Ride Check” notification
to make sure everything is going smoothly.
A rider’s feedback counts after an Uber drive. If a driver receives negative feedback and poor ratings, they could potentially lose their credentials.
The last final perks Uber’s app offers are a driver’s hour limits and a “random picture check.” Drivers must take a six-hour rest after they have been moving for a total of 12 hours. The “random picture check,” requires drivers to take a selfie, eliminating the issue of a driver not being in the correct vehicle.
Is Uber safe to trust?
Uber does its best to establish that all riders feel comfortable and stable with a driver and their vehicle, despite their record in the past of crimes committed.
Just because Uber may be seemingly secure, riders should trust their gut, trust their judgment, and make decisions accordingly to validate their safety. One single Uber drive could lead to a life-long memory.
“I believe Ubering is extremely safe and in many cases much more safe than driving especially when going to and from parties. Also, if you are Ubering with a group of people, it makes it even more safe,” Walz said.
Photo from Apple TV.
Photo by NRK P3 from Creative Commons.
Photo by Hannah Poggi.
Was declaring my major during the end of sophomore year too late?
By Lashay Smith Podcast Editor
In less than six months, I will graduate from college. After four long, stressful years, it will soon be time to put all that I have learned to work. But my journey was not easy, and it was completely different from what I thought it would be.
I knew how important it was to complete these tasks, as I was expected to receive good midterm and final grades. Nonetheless, these were college-level courses and I had to come up with a plan to get back on track. I knew social work was my passion the moment my professor introduced case studies to my class, but my discon nection with reading held me back.
After realizing my grades did not meet the requirements for the so cial work program, I decided to talk to my adviser to explore other options because I was not ready for the social work major.
In the many meetings with my advise, we talked about my interests and inspirations, which led us to the idea of exploring other classes. As a freshman, it was not too late to walk a different path on my college journey.
I knew that I wanted to stay in a major that could help people, so sociology and psychology seemed to fit those values.
and video production courses. I eventually declared communication as my major during sophomore year.
This major allows me to produce multimedia content, create my own podcast episodes, report and write stories for journalism, and to be an executive member of a student-run social media agency.
Advice on choosing a major
I’m currently a senior digital communication and social media ma jor hoping to pursue a career in corporate communications where I manage social media accounts or create and direct instructional videos for employees. The college search website CollegeRaptor says when choosing a major there should be no rush. This decision should be a detailed process because this is the major that may de termine the path you take after college. If switching majors becomes the solution, it’s important to stay in contact with your advisors to stay on track for graduation.
Three years ago, I stepped onto a college campus with a plan that I thought was perfect. I bought textbooks that I eventually did not use and explored four majors: social work, psychology, sociology, and digital communication and social media.
Social work was the first major that I declared as a freshman. I was struggling during my first semester. I was aware of the workload in social work because the majority of my family was in the social work field and human resources. I thought I could handle it. I had one social work lecture a week, which was three hours on Wednesdays. The homework consisted of reading many chapters to participate in class discussions, presentations, and exams.
The sociology and psychology classes were online, so I loved that I was able to lay in bed and complete my work asynchronously. I remember enjoying my psychology and sociology classes in high school, and taking them in college brought me the same passion as I opened my laptop every week for class. As I knew I had a passion for helping people, I still felt unsatisfied.
In conjunction with my psychology, sociology, and social work courses, I also took a few communication courses as part of my communication minor. Before coming to college, I had my own You Tube channel where I would film makeup tutorials, skits, and dance videos. I knew alittle about social media and how to use cameras, but I did not know that there was more to media. After taking an in troductory course, I knew this was the field for me, but where would helping people fit in?
I eventually learned about digital communication and social media. The major requires classes such as multimedia story creation, con sisting of projects about social justice issues, social media courses,
My advice is to declare a major by the end of sophomore year. This is the best decision to make during these four semesters, which will consist of trial and error. Based on your experiences, you’ll be able to declare the best major for you. These four semesters will also leave enough time to make up for credits for the new major.
The timing for declaring a major may vary at different colleges and universities. If you’re truly undecided, do as much research as pos sible on major declaration before enrolling in a college or university.
Some students come to college with a plan and some arrive unde cided. The good thing about finding which major is best is that there are plenty of options to explore.
My journey started with hardship and doubts, but I’m happy to say it ended with me finding a passion for a major that has prepared me for what I love to do best.
Travel is the best form of education
By Victoria Giordano News Editor
For as long as I can remember, I have always valued education. I prefer to focus on my studies and stay out of trouble over going out every night. I also struggled with social anxiety and felt like I didn’t fit in with most of the kids at school.
Culture and languages
Throughout most of our trip, we stayed with family friends who re sided in the German countryside. There, I was introduced to trying new foods, such as spaetzle. I had the privilege of meeting new people, relatives of my family friends, and I got a taste of their style of clothing and friendliness.
Growing up outside of New York City, I have always been used to fast-paced environments. When I toured Germany’s cities, such as Berlin, I was in awe of their relaxedness, the nightlife, and the his torical memorials of past wars. I experienced the same atmosphere in other small German villages, as well as in a coastal village by the Baltic Sea in Sønderborg, Denmark.
Best of all, I learned the basics of the German language. My vaca tion in Germany and Denmark taught me about the variety of peo ple, lifestyles, foods, and a new language. I finally felt like there was a place where I belonged.
Improvising and introspection
After the chaos of COVID-19 finally subsided, my mom and I were beyond excited to go back to Europe. This time, we ventured to Lon don, England, and Normandy and Paris, France.
London and Paris are both known for fashion, so I decided to dress a bit more fashionably than I normally do. I found out that I had a classy, casual style and decided to work towards changing my wardrobe.
My second trip to Europe continued to teach me about the variety of cultures and languages, but also taught me how to step out of my comfort zone and learn to improvise for whatever adventures may across my path. I felt like I belonged somewhere.
New perspectives on life
Traveling to see new places not only taught me about diverse cul tures, languages, and stepping out of my comfort zone, but it also gave me a new perspective on life.
My education at Cabrini has most certainly given me an excellent education and new perspectives, but seeing the world in person has given me new viewpoints on society. The world isn’t as scary as some may think.
Until the summer of 2019, almost a year before the COVID-19 pan demic began, my mom took me on a trip to Germany and Denmark. This trip was my first time traveling across the Atlantic Ocean to Europe.
I didn’t realize it then, but that was a life-changing trip. It opened my eyes to realize there’s so much more to this big, magnificent world than a classroom setting and the metropolitan suburbs I grew up in. This trip inspired me not only to study abroad during my col lege years but also to take advantage of traveling as an educational
Everyone in the United States was still cautious about COVID-19. However, in Europe, they acted as if the illness never existed. I learned how to use trains as a form of public transportation and adjusted to being in public places without practicing social distanc ing or wearing masks.
Something I did not expect during this trip was the lack of sleep. Despite my exhaustion, I was able to tour famous landmarks, such as the Eiffel Tower, Mont Saint-Michel, the London Eye, and the Churchill War Rooms. It made me realize adventures are worth los ing sleep over.
Being taught in a classroom setting and reading books is valuable to me and an essential way to receive an education. But I will be study ing abroad in London because traveling has been the best form of education I have ever gotten. I’ve ventured out of my comfort zone and witnessed some of the unfamiliar beauty the world holds.
If you are interested in studying abroad for a semester, Cabrini of fers programs in London, along with Rome, Italy, Argentina, Western Australia, Northern Ireland, and an onboard at sea experience. You can contact Dr. Paul Wright, Cabrini’s study abroad coordinator, to get more information.
Perspectives THELOQUITUR.COM 7
Photo by Kathryn Miani.
Photo by Karen Giordano.
Photo by Victoria Giordano.
Hannah Dalton becomes Cabrini volleyball’s all-time kill leader
By Paige Bowman Staff Writter
The Cabrini women’s volleyball team has a new career kill leader. Graduate student and outside hitter, Hannah Dalton, broke the re cord in the Atlantic East Conference championship match against Marymount. She ends her career with 1,414 career kills, Making her one of the most decorated players in program history.
When COVID-19 hit and took away our 2020 season, I wanted to do whatever I could to make the most of my career and reach my full potential. Especially coming off of the 2021 season, I knew how great I felt physically,” Dalton said.
Sophomore middle hitter, Amanda Purdy, said, “I’m glad Hannah came back for another year. I look up to her as a player and her leadership on the court will be hard to replace.”
Dalton amassed a total of 499 kills this season. For people who don’t know, a volleyball kill is given to a player when an attack is unreturnable by the other team, or any time the attack causes an error by the opposing team.
A long journey to 1,414 Breaking the record wasn’t always a goal for Dalton. She came into the program as a middle blocker, a position that doesn’t get as many kills as an outside hitter.
“I wasn’t sure if it was possible after only playing the position for two years. Once I transitioned to outside hitter, it became a goal of mine,” Dalton said.
Dalton’s volleyball journey started when her travel softball coaches cut her from the eighth-grade team.
“Without them letting me go, I don’t know how my volleyball career would’ve looked,” she said.
The record-breaking game
Dalton’s record-breaking kill came in her last home game. She went into the game tied with Steph Junkins, who played on the team from 2017-2021. Both athletes had 1,358 kills.
“It was definitely surreal. It was exciting leading up to the game be cause I knew I was going to hit it with my first kill that afternoon,” Dalton said.
Dalton’s career is filled with awards, MVP trophies, and she reached All-American status but she had one last record to break this sea son. The record-breaking kill came in the first set of the match, bringing the Cavaliers back within one point of tying the set. Dalton celebrated by pointing to the crowd but then got right back to focus ing on the championship game.
“I was more focused on the next play of the game. There was a quick moment when I made eye contact with my mom in the stands and I could tell how proud she was of me, so that was really special. Looking back, I’m very proud of myself, and it’s a moment I’ll never forget,” Dalton said.
After becoming the runner-up in the AEC, the volleyball team got a bid into the Eastern College Athletic Conference tournament, where they advanced past Saint Vincent and Penn St.-Behrend in the pre liminary rounds.
One last dance
Last year, in her senior season, Dalton led the entire NCAA across Division I, Division II, and Division III in total kills. She also became the sixth player in program history to receive the American Volleyball Coaches Association All-American recognition.
“Coming back for a fifth year felt like a no-brainer, in all honesty.
Since then, Dalton never looked back and decided to dedicate her time to volleyball. She has worked with a strength coach for the past two years and spent countless hours playing volleyball.
However, she owes her success to the support of her family and friends.
“Their support has been unwavering and more appreciated than they will ever possibly know,” Dalton said.
The team fell to Kean in the tournament final. In her last game in the blue and white, Dalton tied the match high of 14 kills. She ends her career with 1,414 kills (first all-time), 147 aces (fifth), 283 blocks (third), and 3,810 total attacks.
“I would like to thank my teammates and coaches at Cabrini. It was an amazing journey to grow with them on and off the court, and they had a tremendous influence on my transformation since coming into the program at 18 years old,” Dalton said.
The Hidden Opponent sends message of hope
By Chris Perri Staff Writter
With mental health getting more attention as a topic of conversation in recent years, the issue has been examined in how it applies to a variety of different groups.
An organization called The Hidden Opponent is focused on one group in particular: student athletes.
The Hidden Opponent was created in 2019 by Victoria Garrick, who played as a four-year starter on the University of Southern California women’s volleyball team.
According to the organization’s website, the name stems from Gar rick’s 2017 TedxTalk, where she detailed her own experience with depression and anxiety.
Additionally, they have over 800 student athlete ambassadors called “campus captains” on over 500 campuses worldwide.
A hopeful message
Caroline Hassall, a goalkeeper on Cabrini’s women’s soccer team, is a campus captain for the school’s newly created chapter of The Hidden Opponent, serving alongside sophomore digital communica tions and social media major, Kyleigh Brunotte, and junior educa
tional studies major, Oscar Bautz. The creation of the chapter was motivated by a string of student athlete suicides that took place in a short span of time this past spring.
“That became more of a motivation to push it,” Hassall said. “We talked about bringing it to Cabrini last spring, but it didn’t work out. Then we were able to sign up to be campus captains, and we got verified as a club.”
The Hidden Opponent’s main goal is to spread the message to peo ple, athletes and non-athletes, that things like game performances and test scores don’t define who you are as a person.
“The thing we say a lot is ‘you’re a human first, student second, and an athlete last,” Hassall said.
Why it matters
An NCAA study found that 30 percent of the athletes surveyed felt “extremely overwhelmed”, with 25 percent feeling “mentally ex hausted.”
This statistic can be traced back to the fact that student athletes juggle two major commitments, their schoolwork, and a full schedule of team practices and games.
“Assuming [athletes] have both athletic and school things during a day, it can involve more frequent needs to switch tasks. We know that process can be very mentally taxing, and we really can’t do two things at once,” Dr. Christopher Holland, assistant professor in Cabrini’s psychology department, said. “It leads to things like lower attention, difficulty concentrating, and remembering things, and a whole host of cognitive consequences.”
However, there are ways for student athletes to help manage their hectic schedules.
“Having a strong support network in both areas, or someone who can bridge both areas, is very helpful,” Holland said. “They’ve got teammates for athletics, and hopefully a strong major support sys tem for academics, but having someone in both could prove very helpful in helping cope with the stress.”
A bright future ahead Being a new club on campus, The Hidden Opponent is looking to ward hosting events.
“Arcadia [University] is a really good example. They have a lot of different events, they post resources on social media, they’ll have in-person events where their campus captains will talk to student athletes,” Hassall said. “The Hidden Opponent has amazing pre senters, like doctors, and Victoria Garrick, the founder. We’re trying to bring those events to Cabrini.”
The organization is looking for people to get involved.
“Anybody can get involved. They don’t have to be an athlete,” Has sall said. “We’re trying to push for non-athletes to join, because Vic toria Garrick’s message applies to so many people, whether you’re an athlete or student. We would love for students, non-athletes, to get involved.”
Although mental health is widely talked about, there’s still work to be done.
“I think that the more people you have involved in an organization like The Hidden Opponent, the more change will happen, and hope fully change will happen here,” Hassall said. “Things will get better for people, and [prioritizing] mental health will be more accepted.”
8 THELOQUITUR.COM Sports
Photo by Harry Purdy.
Photo by Jeffrey F. Lin from Unsplash.
Photo by Chris Perri.