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SDSU gives flag of solidarity to France P2

Aztecs react to Paris terror Aztecs abroad respond to the Paris terror attacks, and at home they present a handmade flag in a display of solidarity. MEGHAN MCCARRON, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Column: MW needs a better tiebreaker P4


M.E.Ch.A fights for higher education P10


Theatre and dance light the lights P11 The Daily Aztec publishes its printed weekly edition on Wednesdays and serves the students, faculty and community of San Diego State University.

TORREY BAILEY ASST. NEWS EDITOR ____________________________ Despite the attacks in Paris that killed more than 130 people on Friday, Nov. 13, San Diego State students in France have opted to finish the remainder of their study abroad programs. Of the 34 students currently studying in France, none of them asked to leave early, International Student Center Director Noah Hansen said. Several SDSU students were visiting other countries the night of the attacks, but some found themselves face to face with the city’s instability. International business senior Martin Pawluszek exited the metro that night just minutes after the first shooting and only feet from where it occurred. Stepping out of the station, he and his friends stepped into chaos. “They told us a few crazy guys started shooting in a restaurant, but we didn’t really believe them so we went to see,” he said. “We saw the ambulances and the whole chaos, but not at any point did we think it was a terrorist attack.” Police ushered him and his friends into a nearby Irish bar. “There were people seriously freaking out in there,” he said. “A cop in the door would not let us leave ‘cause they wanted



people off the street. They even let us smoke inside the bar so that we wouldn’t leave.” When they were finally released, two locals welcomed Pawluszek to spend the night in their apartment since the subways were closed. He passed the night reassuring friends and family of his safety. Since the attacks, most students have stayed away from Paris, where the city’s atmosphere has completely shifted. “It’s much more tense,” international business senior Levi Imbuzan said. “You walk through the city more conscious of the people around you, you watch them more, you study them, watch what they’re doing, how their acting, you always think about how you’re going to get out of a situation, what you can do if it happens again.” Before the attacks French soldiers were usually only found guarding the capital’s popular monuments. They now line the streets and are a constant reminder of the tragedy. “Every street you walk down, you see fully armed soldiers wearing body armor at some corner, you see armed police patrolling all over,” Imbuzan said. “You get in the metro and you see a group of 20 soldiers taking it to get to their next stop. You walk down the street and see a van of them pass by.”

However, international business junior Larissa Tursellino said there is a large disparity in the way the French have reacted compared to the international students. While the international students have become much more cautious, many of the French refuse to allow fear to control their daily routine. “The French want to go out more because of this, and to me it seems like they really want to do it as a big ‘F’ you to the world,” Tursellino said. “My Australian and British friends don’t want to go into Paris for a while.” Some of her friends who are also studying abroad have quit their jobs in Paris or decided against moving to the city. However, Pawluszek, Imbuzan and Tursellino all said the attacks didn’t tempt them to return home at a sooner date. Rather, Tursellino still plans to stay as long as possible, which in her case is the day before school starts back up at SDSU for the spring semester. Currently, there is a worldwide travel alert issued by the U.S. Department of State. But unless the alert intensifies to a travel warning, all abroad programs in Europe will continue as planned next semester, Hansen said. In order to monitor the

potential danger, the university relies heavily on these alerts, as well as daily news and updates from international university partners. Edith Benkov, academic director of the College of Extended Studies’ Spring Semester in Paris program, said these attacks haven’t changed her mind about visiting Paris in the coming months, and students aren’t letting the attacks alter their plans either. “I don’t think anything bad is going to happen while I’m over there, and I really have wanted to go since high school,” said Joan Brambila, a French senior who is registered for the spring semester program. “It’s my dream so I don’t want to give up so easily.” Not only has Brambila dreamt of visiting the City of Lights for years, but she also needs the trip to complete her graduation requirements on time. If there was another attack, she said would still go, but by then it might not be her decision anymore. “I wouldn’t do that to my parents,” Brambila said. “They are going to be really worried about me the whole time, so it’s just too much for them.” Although shaken, the French and their visitors alike have not allowed terror to cloud their right to live freely.

P3 Aztecs in Turkey try to help refugees





Art school reaches out to France NATALIA XIBILLE CONTRIBUTOR ____________________________ San Diego State’s School of Art and Design presented a French flag with students’ signatures and condolences to a university in France on Tuesday as a symbol of solidarity following the Paris terror attacks. The interior design director of SDSU’s art school, Kotaro Nakamura, and his wife were watching TV in their living room on Friday, Nov. 13, when they heard the capital city was under attack. As new information was released and the death toll escalated, they felt the need to do something to help. “Seeing what was unfolding in Paris, we had to do something about it,” Nakamura said. “So that’s how we started.” Nakamura said he rushed to the store and bought the red, white and blue cloth, and then his wife began constructing a French flag. Nakamura contacted SDSU Director of International Programs Giancarlo Taylor to establish contact with a university in France.

Taylor agreed with the project and started calling universities. “It’s kind of parallel to what the U.S. went through on 9/11,” Taylor said. “We wanted to make sure we show support.” Taylor reached the Institute for American Universities College, which has a campus in Aix-en-Provence, France, where SDSU students can study. They arranged for college officials to come to SDSU and be presented with Nakamura’s French flag in person. The 6-by-12-foot flag was hung from a balcony of the art building that overlooked Interstate 8 for three days. It was then put on display Thursday, Nov. 19 and Monday, Nov. 23 to be signed by students. Among these students was mechanical engineering junior Donato Moran. “It was a horrible event,” Moran said. “I think it’s pretty cool that we are reaching out to another part of the world to show that we care about them.” The flag was covered with comments about unity and peace that were written in all different kinds of languages. “I think it’s good to just show unity,” liberal studies senior

Enscribed on the flag are signatures and kind messages for the students impacted by the Paris tragedy. NATALIA XIBILLE, CONTRIBUTOR

Mariam Noureddine said. “It doesn’t matter where we’re from.” Similar acts of solidarity on social media, such as Facebook’s profile picture filter and the wide-spread posting of the Paris peace symbol, have been criticized by some as being pointless and not helping the cause, but Nakamura disagrees. As a specialist in disaster recovery, Nakamura has helped

people recover from devastating events like the one that occurred in Paris. Based on his research he believes giving support to victims of disasters through acts of solidarity gives them strength to rebuild and move on with their lives. “Little things like (social media) accumulate and build a bigger community,” Nakamura said. “The bigger and stronger the community, the faster and

better they will recover.” He hopes acts like this will help with the recovery in France and build a bridge between SDSU students and students in France. “I feel like I haven’t done anything, and I really can’t do anything,” graphic design senior Stacey Cresencia said. “This is something really small, but it’s still a nice gesture and a way of giving hope.”




Hundreds of thousands of refugees have flooded the city of Istanbul where San Diego State students are studying and trying to help those in need. JAMIE BALLARD, STAFF WRITER

Aztecs abroad try to help refugees JAMIE BALLARD STAFF WRITER ____________________________________ A young girl in a dirty, pink sweater walks up to a young couple, her hands cupped and her big brown eyes already teary. The couple avoids looking at her, as they hold large drinks from the nearby Starbucks. She waits there for a few long moments, still begging in her soft voice before giving up and walking to an older man sitting on the steps. He glances at her and shakes his head as he slowly fingers the beads of his tespih, a Muslim rosary of sorts. She doesn’t speak English, and I don’t speak Arabic. Both of us speak a few words of Turkish, but not enough to hold a real conversation. I want to ask her her name, where she’s from, if she’s OK. Instead, I hand her the change from my pocket, 4 lira, which amounts to barely $1. Still, she says “Tesekkür,” (Turkish for thanks) and darts away. The girl’s cheeks and hair are smudged with dirt from too many nights spent on the street. Upon closer inspection, there’s a hole in one of her sneakers, near her left pinky toe. Tired of being turned away all night, she pulls a small, cheap flute from her pocket and begins to play a simple tune, dancing erratically in the center of the square. She lays out a flimsy piece of cardboard for people to toss coins onto. A few smile and give her their change, but most sidestep the dancing girl in the pink sweater, pretending not to see her. She might as well be invisible. She’s most likely one of the approximately 366,000 Syrian refugees in Istanbul. As young as she appears, most of her life has been spent in the shadow of the Syrian Civil War, where intense fighting between several different groups (primarily Sunnis, Shiites and jihadists) has been escalating since 2011. According to the International Rescue Committee, there are more Syrian refugees in Istanbul than in the rest of Europe altogether. It’s hard to nail down an exact number, as many refugees are smuggled in and aren’t registered with the government. Turkey currently has 22 refugee camps and is in the process of

constructing two more, according to the United Nations High Commission on Refugees. Many Syrians believe they’re better off living in the city looking for work instead of waiting in the camps. There are a number of volunteer organizations in Istanbul devoted to helping refugees. Some organizations focus on meeting the basic needs of Syrians looking to rebuild a life while others focus on education and mental health. AD.DAR, an organization that helps displaced Syrian and SyrianPalestinian refugees rebuild their lives, is a well-known nonprofit in Istanbul, and several SDSU students studying abroad visited it. Carol Miotto, an SDSU student studying interior design at Bahcesehir University in Istanbul, had a strong interest in volunteering during her semester abroad. “Some organizations didn’t even get back to me, I think because they already have so many people,” she said. “AD.DAR did get back to me, and they were open to volunteers, but they wanted us to have very specific plans. I could teach yoga or give English lessons, or do arts and crafts with them, but they already had people doing all those things.” Even though AD.DAR didn’t need her help, Miotto frequented the organization to learn more about its efforts and to play with the kids. Other students encountered similar obstacles in trying to volunteer during the semester. The language barrier proved difficult, as many organizations need volunteers who speak Arabic or Turkish. Though some students are learning Turkish during their semester, many organizations require a high level of fluency. “What I wanted to do was help with teaching or something, and I was told I couldn’t do that from a few organizations,” said Grace Diaz, an SDSU communication student studying in Istanbul. “It was the first time I’d ever been told that I couldn’t help from a volunteer organization.” Though both Diaz and Miotto intended to volunteer before arriving in Istanbul, their desire intensified once

they were in the city. “Seeing the refugees when I walk down the street made it more of a real thing,” Diaz said. “In America you can hear and read about the refugees, but when you’re living in it, it makes it come to life more.” Living in Turkey and experiencing the tragedy of the refugee crisis on the streets of Istanbul motivated the two students to learn more about the crisis and offer up the help they could. “There are some days that I see a mother holding her baby on the street and I feel horrible, because I’m having a great day,” Miotto said. “I just had some food, and she’s out here on the streets where it’s cold with her baby, and she has nothing. So I give her some change, and then I walk 100 meters and here is another one and then more and more. It’s not like what you see on the news.” Soon, the SDSU students studying in Turkey will return to the U.S. President Obama has announced plans to grant entry to 10,000 Syrian refugees in the next year while at least 28 governors said they refuse to allow Syrian refugees in their states. San Diego Congressman Scott Peters supported a GOP-authored bill earlier

this month that would apply additional measures to the refugee screening process. “I can’t (agree with the idea to) turn away people,” Diaz said. “It’s sad that that’s a lot of their life, having to leave their countries and figure out how to make homes in a totally new place.” Miotto said she understood the governors’ concerns. “I definitely don’t agree with saying no to refugees, but maybe have a better way of checking their backgrounds, if they’re involved with any radicalism,” she said. Both agreed they would consider volunteering or donating to refugeebased organizations once they returned to the U.S. The IRC has several programs in San Diego. The UN Refugee Agency is currently seeking donations for their efforts in Syria. Editor’s note: This story concludes our three-part series from Istanbul, Turkey. Over the past months, we’ve looked through the eyes of SDSU students living and studying on the forefront of a region hammered by violence and political unrest. For more go to thedailyaztec. com.

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MW needs better tiebreaker

San Diego State football finished with an 8-0 mark in the Mountain West. CHADD CADY, SENIOR STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

KRIS KEEHL SENIOR STAFF COLUMNIST ____________________________ When the San Diego State football team put the finishing touches on a 31-14 victory over University of Nevada on Saturday night, it was the first time since 1974 that SDSU finished conference play undefeated. The game had more meaning, though. The Aztecs needed the win and also needed Air Force Academy to lose to University to New Mexico. An SDSU win and an Air Force loss would most likely move SDSU ahead of Air Force in composite rankings, which would make SDSU the host of the 2015 Mountain West Championship game. But there was always this “What if?” factor. What if SDSU, an undefeated team, would have to travel to Air Force, a two-loss team, to play a championship game because that’s what four computers decided? The “What if?” factor dissipated on Sunday morning when the MW announced SDSU was ahead of Air Force in composite rankings after its win and Air Force’s 47-35 loss to New Mexico, and would therefore host the conference

championship game. This is what most people call failing forward. The MW failed to have a legitimate means to determine the host of the conference championship game when it decided computers were better than traditional methods. Time-tested traditional methods include: overall record, head-to-head record, conference record, record versus like-opponents, points scored and points against. The Aztecs held the edge in overall record, conference record, record versus likeopponents and points against. Neither team played each other and Air Force held a 2.6 points-per-game average over the Aztecs. The MW was fortunate that New Mexico beat Air Force 4735, which caused the Falcons to drop dramatically in the composite rankings. The team that should be hosting the MW championship game will host the championship game, but all of this is in spite of the MW. The purpose of using composite rankings is pure. The MW wanted to ensure that any team ranked by the College Football Playoff committee would host the conference championship, and if neither

division winner was ranked in CFP top 25, the next highest ranked team would host. It just seems so nonsensical that somewhere along the line the league never accounted for a team going undefeated and holding a lesser composite ranking in polls where no one, except the creators of the polls, is entirely sure how they are determined. This whole controversy could have never existed, though. In a world where the have-nots — Group of Five conferences — want everything the Power Five conferences have, it would make sense for Group of Five conferences to try their best to emulate the way Power Five conferences conducted conference championships. Power Five conferences don’t allow home-field advantage in a conference championship. All conference championships are played at a neutral site that’s determined long before the last week of the season, and in a city that’s not home to a conference team. The challenge with finding a neutral site for the MW Championship is trying to find a venue that’s not too big while also finding a destination that would attract those fans that are on the fence about going to

the game. Unsurprisingly, MW fan bases aren’t known to travel in large masses to follow their team. Natural suggestions would be Hawaii or California as a destination, but only four of the 12 MW teams come from this geographic area. One suggestion for future championship games would be holding the game at Folsom Field, the home field for University of Colorado. The field is located in Boulder, Colorado, which is approximately 45 minutes from Denver. The field holds 50,183 fans and also has luxury boxes, which could earn more money for the MW. Another potential site for the championship is LaVell Edwards Stadium on the campus of BYU in Provo, Utah. Like Folsom Field, LaVell Edwards Stadium has luxury boxes and is only 45 minutes away from Salt Lake City, Utah. This stadium is holds 63,725 fans. The MW needs to count its blessings that a catastrophe didn’t take place as a result of its policies. It’s time to put this conversation to bed and take positive steps toward a neutral site.

This week in SDSU sports history DEC. 4, 1999 To say things weren’t great for San Diego State men’s basketball in Steve Fisher’s first season as head coach might be the understatement of the year. In his third game at the

VOLUNTEER WRITERS Kris Keehl Anthony Reclusado Denise Chang Joe Gilmore Alek Sanchez Christine Whitman Natalia Xibille Jamie Ballard Sarah Tanori VOLUNTEER PHOTOGRAPHERS Chadd Cady Meghan McCarron _____________________________ ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Radbeh Ravaz SALES MANAGER AJ Swamy ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Alexis Evans-Bendel Alex Gamboa Christopher Garcia Kamisha McKnight Keon Siavoshani Kelsey Silver Camilla Vesterløkke Matthew Volk John Weil ACCOUNTING & CONTRACTS Alfonso Barajas Kalie Christensen _____________________________ GENERAL MANAGER Jay Harn GRAPHICS SPECIALIST Chris Blakemore _____________________________ ADVERTISING 619.594.6977 advertising@thedailyaztec.com EDITORIAL 619.594.4190 editor@thedailyaztec.com PRINT The Daily Aztec publishes 5,000 copies of its weekly print edition on Wednesdays. WEB Daily content is available at www.thedailyaztec.com MOBILE The Aztec App


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PRODUCTION DESIGNERS Kaylee Andrews Hannah Lingle-Veale

helm, the Aztecs were handed a 28-point loss to cross-town rival University of San Diego, 73-45. The team shot an abysmal 29 percent from the field and 17 percent from beyond the arc with sophomore guard David Abramowitz notching a teamhigh 11 points. Fisher wasn’t deterred, though, almost as if he had

one eye in the future, able to glimpse the greatness that was to come. “It might sound crazy but we’re going to take this team and we’re going to get better and a month from now you’re going to say, ‘Man, remember when they got beat by 30 at (USD) and how much better they are playing now?’”he said back then.

That doesn’t sound crazy at all, coach. The Aztecs stumbled to a 5-23 record that season, but Fisher hasn’t lost a game to the Toreros since the 2005-06 season. He’s also managed to lead the team to the NCAA tournament eight times in his tenure, including six straight appearances.

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Falcons stand in Aztecs’ way

Redshirt-freshman quarterback Christian Chapman will start on Saturday. CHADD CADY, SENIOR STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

ANTHONY RECLUSADO SENIOR STAFF WRITER ____________________________ There was only one question heading into the final week of Mountain West football action: Will San Diego State or Air Force Academy host the championship game? With an Aztec win and a Falcon loss in their respective regular-season finales, SDSU will host the championship game this Saturday at 4:30 p.m. on ESPN2 With the logistics of the game settled, the attention now can be turned to the matchup of the division champions. SDSU (9-3, 8-0 MW) and Air Force (8-4, 6-2 MW) are no strangers, with both teams playing each other the past 17 seasons and SDSU coming out victorious in the last five meetings. In their four victories under head coach Rocky Long, the Aztecs have dispatched the Falcons by a two-touchdown margin on average. Aside from the recent one-sided success in this matchup, the Falcons will also have to overcome their road woes, with all four of their losses this season on the road. The largest indicator of those losses has been the Falcons’ inability to run the ball within their triple-option offense. In their eight victories they’ve averaged 363 yards on the ground, but that number nosedives to 243.5 yards in their four losses. It will then be a large task for dual-threat senior quarterback Karson Roberts and leading rusher junior Jacobi Owens to crack the nation’s No. 4 rushing defense. The Aztecs have held opponents to 95 rushing yards per game on the ground this season and only 73 yards during their eight-game winning streak. Regardless, the Falcons’ ground game poses a large threat as head coach Troy Calhoun has an array of offensive weapons at his disposal. Heading into Saturday the Falcons have seven players with at least 300 rushing yards this season. The heavy reliance, and success, on the run game is not to say the Falcons are afraid to air the ball out. Facing eightand nine-man fronts, Air Force takes advantage of the play-action and trusts receivers to beat man-to-man coverage for

big plays. Roberts has averaged 21.7 yards per completion, throwing for 1,411 yards and nine touchdowns, but also 10 interceptions. Junior wide receiver Jalen Robinette has proven to be Roberts’ home run receiver as he is second on the team in receptions and averages 27.2 yards per catch. Long will also have to game plan for Falcon sophomore running back Timothy McVey, who has only recently begun to contribute to this Falcon offense. McVey has caught seven of his eight targets in the last two games and has 224 yards and three touchdowns. He’s also been a force on the ground with 20 carries for 179 yards and three touchdowns in the final two weeks. But Air Force did not earn a spot in the MW Championship game based solely on offense. The Falcon defense has played just as large a role in this team’s success. The No. 19 defense in the country is led by senior defensive tackle Alex Hansen and junior defensive back Weston Steelhammer — whose name deserves an award. With a team-high 14.5 tackles-for-loss and 7.5 sacks, Hansen anchors the Falcon front seven that has limited opponents to 139.5 rushing yards per game. Steelhammer has been the Falcons’ Swiss Army knife on defense, as he leads the team with 72 tackles and five interceptions, and has 10 tackles-for-loss, including one sack. The season-ending knee injury to SDSU’s graduate-transfer quarterback Maxwell Smith, and backup redshirtfreshman Christian Chapman’s inexperience, will tempt the Falcons to stack the box early and test the young quarterback. “I would say that Air Force is going to stack the line of scrimmage and say, ‘Christian, can you throw it or can you not throw it?’” Long said after Saturday’s win. “‘Let’s find out if you can throw it because we’re not going to let you run it.’” However, countless teams tried to stack the line and no one has had success to stop the junior Donnel Pumphrey and senior Chase Price-led rushing attack.




SDSU 48-14 Utah State It was a battle of the Mountain Wests’s unbeatens. SDSU used a comprehensive performance to dominate the Aggies, with 275 rushing yards and three touchdowns coming from junior running back Donnel Pumphrey and senior running back Chase Price.

SDSU 21-7 Fresno State

In perhaps the low point of the season, the Aztecs lost to University of South Alabama after having a late lead. The top highlight was a trick-play touchdown pass from junior wideout Lloyd Mills to senior quarterback Maxwell Smith as Mills was tackled in the backfield.

The Old Oil Can finally made it back to San Diego after the Aztecs swept aside Fresno State, whose only touchdown came courtesy of a short field after an SDSU turnover. The Aztec defense held the Bulldogs to just 89 yards of offense.

Sept. 26, 2015

South Alabama 34-27 SDSU (OT)

Nov. 21, 2015

In a game that head coach Rocky Long didn’t necessarily want to play, his Aztecs flicked aside University of San Diego in the season-opener. The offense struggled, but the defense didn’t, forcing six turnovers from the overmatched Toreros.

Sept. 19, 2015


Oct. 3, 2015

Oct. 23, 2015

Sept. 5, 2015

How SDSU got to the title game Penn State 37-21 SDSU San Diego State managed to stop Penn State’s twoheaded rushing attack, but was undone by three turnovers that the Nittany Lions turned into touchdowns each time, culminating with a 71-yard fumble return for touchdown by PSU senior defensive end Austin Johnson.

SDSU 52-14 UNLV The Aztecs had already clinched the MW West Division title after University of Nevada lost earlier in the day. SDSU cruised past the Rebels anyway with five rushing touchdowns and 287 yards on the ground.





Students take on poetry projects ALEK SANCHEZ STAFF WRITER ____________________________________ For almost two decades, Poetry International has placed a spotlight on world class literature. Centered in San Diego but with a global appeal, Poetry International caters to an international community of poets. Founded in 1997, Poetry International has published a wide range of voices, including Kim Addonizio, Robert Bly, Billy Collins, Wanda Coleman, Seamus Heaney, Edward Hirsch, Yusef Komunyakaa and Derek Walcott, among many others. After a three-year hiatus, SDSU’s Poetry International returns to entertain readers with a special double issue with Issues 20 and 21. This year’s issues feature 400 pages of finely curated pieces, from a wide range

of talented poets’ works to contemporary book reviews and interviews with industry artists. It even includes an international spotlight featuring translated works from underrepresented countries such as Cuba, Iraq and Vietnam. For SDSU graduate assistant and master of fine arts student Janel Spencer, Poetry International represents a culmination of some of the world’s most talented modern poets. “I love the opportunity it affords to make fantastic connections, at San Diego State University and with writers around the world,” Spencer said. By working with Poetry International, Spencer is able to be a part of something she sees as bringing good poetry and good people together. While its work reaches across the globe, Poetry International also resonates closer to home at SDSU. Spencer’s favorite project has been

San Diego State’s Poetry International is returning this year after a three-year hiatus with a special issue. COURTESY OF JANEL SPENCER

a broadside collaboration between the Poetry International interns and SDSU Typography II art students. The project includes poems from the journal, as well as student poems, to create beautiful works of art. Through their work at Poetry International, members are able to bring a curated selection of poetry to a global audience. Poetry International also run a dynamic blog that includes translated pieces, interviews and poetry book reviews. “Readers can expect to read carefully and beautifully crafted pieces of poetry,” SDSU master of fine arts graduate student Karen Marrujo said. “We love to publish poems from around the world, poems that reflect the diversity of poetic voices currently shaping our world. We want to share something in which our readers will find something they can take into themselves — something that not

only brings them enjoyment, but also comfort and a sense of company.” In addition to the literary journal, Poetry International has also focused on its hometown of San Diego through the creation of nonprofit organization Poetic Youth. The organization works to close the knowledge gap hindering underserved communities through providing free poetry and writing workshops with the help of SDSU graduate students and faculty. According to the official Poetic Youth website, “Poetic Youth workshops focus on self-expression, imagination and character development, providing a transformative experience for everyone involved.” “We admire the poets we get to publish,” Marrujo said. “We admire what they offer the world, and we are delighted to be able to create a way to make it accessible to others.”

Poetry International is centered in San Diego. COURTESY OF JANEL SPENCER




M.E.Ch.A fights for higher education

M.E.Ch.A hosted its 45th annual high school conference at the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union on Saturday, Nov. 21. SARAH TANORI, SENIOR STAFF WRITER

SARAH TANORI SENIOR STAFF WRITER ____________________________ As one of the oldest organizations at San Diego State, Movimiento Estudianil Chican@ de Aztlan (Chicano Student Movement of Aztlan) aims to unify and gain self-determination for marginalized groups through activism and higher education. M.E.Ch.A is first and foremost a familia (family). The organization is a safe and open space for Chicano

students on campus and it empowers underrepresented groups by promoting higher education through political consciousness, cultural awareness and community involvement. In the 1960s, there was a surge of social and political action within the Chicano community rejecting colonization and racism. Dismantling these oppressive power structures was the impetus for founding M.E.Ch.A on college campuses, a place where Chicanos could come

together with the fundamental goal of seeking liberation through knowledge. Five decades later, the members of M.E.Ch.A SDSU continue to do the work of their predecessors. On Saturday, Nov. 21, M.E.Ch.A hosted its 45th annual high school conference at the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union. This year’s theme was “Our Bronze Struggle: Revolutionizing Education with Our Stories.” For this year’s conference,

high school students and parents around San Diego County were invited to participate in the event that featured speakers, workshops and more. With more than 700 people in attendance, the walls of the student union theater buzzed with elation from adults and adolescents alike. “The high school conference we put on every year is really important to us because it accomplishes one of our missions, which is to promote higher education to students or youth who don’t really have the privilege to be motivated to go to college or they come from very underrepresented areas,” liberal arts and sciences graduate student Christian Benavides said. “The conference is a chance for them to meet college students who were in their positions and to tell them, ‘See us? You can be in our position, as well.’” Some students may recognize the members of M.E.Ch.A from their Krispy Kreme fundraisers during fall semester. Yet, most don’t know the raised funds go toward a

scholarship given out during the high school conference. The scholarship is awarded to one undocumented high school student, and this year’s recipient was Diana Olea Millan. Millan’s narrative is one that many Chicanos have and continue to endure — a struggle of borders as a Mexican immigrant and an American student. M.E.Ch.A is an educational revolution for a culture that’s otherwise defined as uneducated and unmotivated by mainstream society. The organization creates a more inclusive campus climate for Chicano students and beyond. “We have our core values that we fight for and they’re ingrained in every single one of our members’ hearts,” M.E.Ch.A Co-chair Itzelt Santos said. “If you’re looking for a familia, if you’re looking to not just be involved in SDSU but the greater San Diego community and if you’re passionate about helping underrepresented people to get empowered and you’re interested in empowering yourself, M.E.Ch.A is the place for you.”





Theatre and dance unite in play DENISE CHANG STAFF WRITER ____________________________________ San Diego State’s University Dance Company is collaborating with the School of Theatre, Television and Film and the School of Art and Design for the first time in this winter’s production of “Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights.” The production of the famous

phones. They take seven minutes to go from standing to lying down. You really have to slow down with every cell of your body.” The University Dance Company is a class required for all dance majors. The final concert in the spring is the product of the class, but Humphrey said the dancers are graded on the quality of attention. “It’s not only (if ) you show up, but how you show up,” she said.


- Jessica Humphrey, University Dance Company choreographer

Gertrude Stein play brings together elements of dance, music, film, art, and theater. The collaboration is also in conjunction with SDSU Common Experience and its 2015 theme of energy. Typically, each of the four choreographers within the University Dance Company forms his or her cast from auditions held early in the fall, and then practice all year long for a concert in the spring. “There’s a section in the piece that we call ‘Slow Fall,’” choreographer Jessica Humphrey said. “It’s dark and (the dancers’) faces are lit only by their

In the sense of an academic discipline, Humphrey described dance to be embodied knowledge. The piece for “Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights” is an example of the value system the company prioritizes. “A big part of what we’re doing with dance here is being in the world, making structures around listening, paying attention and responding in real time to one another as human beings,” Humphrey said. “And we’re taking those structures and putting them on stage.” Dance senior Aubrehe Yruretagoyena explained embodiment as the relationship between the mind


ACROSS 1 “Mamma Mia!” group 5 Tunes 10 Fundamentals 14 Talking iPhone feature 15 Destroyer destroyer 16 Messy stuff 17 __ smasher 18 “I’m innocent!” 19 Hindu deity 20 High-speed war plane maneuver 22 Hunter’s device 23 Gets close to 24 Cheat, in a way 25 Seasonal malady 27 Find work 30 Shakespearean fairy queen 33 Large-leafed tree 35 Batman portrayer Kilmer

36 Skating commentator Lipinski 37 Passionate 38 Dishes for company 40 Eagerly excited 41 Golfer Ballesteros 42 Furrow maker 43 Ruling period 45 Charlemagne’s realm: Abbr. 46 Avant-garde 48 Low or no follower 49 Insert for a 6-Down 51 Shoot well under par, in golf lingo 53 Syria’s Bashar al-__ 55 Focuses even harder ... and a hint to the starts of the answers to starred

San Diego State’s University Dance Company students will perform in “Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights.” COURTESY OF RON HUMPHREY

and the body, rather than a separation of the two. “The two create a whole,” Yruretagoyena said. “Embodiment is inside-out versus outside-in, and we activate it through awareness by simply, or not so simply, paying attention to what is within.” One exercise in Humphrey’s class preparation for the production was a literal and physical translation of words from the text into dance choreography. “You get to see what people’s relationships are with words and to see how much that can vary,” Humphrey

said. Yruretagoyena strives for a constantly evolving relationship with her body instead of being a tyrant of her body. “I am happily reminded over and over in our dance program here at SDSU that we as humans, when working together, combine to create a greater sum of our parts,” she said. “When I apply the concept of synergy to my body and mind, I become greater than the sum of my parts and thus have a greater availability for expression, interaction and presence.”


clues 59 Letters after phis 60 “The Planets” composer 61 Texter’s “If you ask me” 62 Adorable 63 Wipe off 64 Dismissed, with “off” 65 “Until next time,” in texts 66 Oscar’s roommate 67 Tolkien’s Treebeard et al. DOWN 1 PDQ 2 __-Honey 3 *Rhode Island school 4 Pop singer Mann 5 *Like Southern California beaches 6 Duck player in

“Peter and the Wolf” 7 Punishment with a grounding 8 Risk, e.g. 9 Canonized Mlle. 10 Feel the same way 11 *Title female “trying to make a devil out of me,” in a Santana hit 12 “¿__ está?” 13 Fix, as a pet 21 Blow one’s top 22 Cotillion honoree 24 *One of two cold atmospheric cyclones 25 Jiffy 26 Iron-rich meat 28 Miller’s “__ From the Bridge” 29 First calendar pg. 31 Food court attraction 32 Something to pick lox for 34 ‘50s political monogram 36 Label 39 “__ so?” 44 Fish caught in pots 46 Author Buntline 47 Tennis great Andre 50 Studio piece 52 “Swan Lake” swan 53 Customer holding: Abbr. 54 Closed 55 Produced, as fruit 56 Tel Aviv airline 57 Smidgen 58 Quiet yeses 60 Celeb with a mansion


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Does parking ever really not suck? CHRISTINE WHITMAN SENIOR STAFF WRITER ____________________________________


an Diego State parking seems to be a widely discussed issue lately. Due to the increasing amount of students continuing to whine about parking, I think I’ve heard just about every single argument — both positive and negative. But let me expand the subject of parking past our beloved institution to the entire San Diego area. I hope to change the discussion with one simple idea: Parking sucks everywhere. Just last night, my best friend and I decided to adventure out beyond our universities into the surrounding San Diego area for an impromptu study date. College is hard and sometimes you just need to leave your house to gain a new perspective on that 10-page paper that you have yet to start. Our impromptu study date led us to a variety of locations, solely because parking was an issue everywhere we went. The first location and our go-to study spot, Living Room Cafe on El Cajon Boulevard, yielded disappointing results at 7 p.m. on a Thursday night. It was practically the weekend for several students, especially those without Friday classes. There should not have been that many people studying. It was only the end of week nine and it’s not like any

of us still had midterms or papers to complete. Even though the Living Room Cafe offers a parking lot, it’s tiny. Street parking in the surrounding area is dismal, causing me and my confidant to choose another late-night study location. After much discussion, we decided to endure the six-mile drive to Lestat’s on Park Avenue in Normal Heights, singing throwback rap songs and discussing the arrival of the new Adele album during the trip. When we first arrived at the 24-hour coffee spot, which inconveniently does not offer a parking lot like every other popular place in San Diego, we had to drive up and down side streets to scavenge for parking spots. It’s unfortunate that our trek ended in vain. If we did see a spot in the distance, it was either swooped up by another vulture or our teeny, tiny economy car was too large to parallel park, which is absolutely ridiculous. After searching for spots for more than 15 minutes, it was time to come up with a new plan of attack. Just then, my study buddy had an epiphany. “There’s another Lestat’s on Adams Avenue,” she said triumphantly. After the new location was put into the GPS, we were on our way again. But trying not to be overcome with the sorrow of not finding a parking space at two different places was overwhelmingly



difficult. Finally, after driving an entire 1.3 miles, we arrived once again at Lestat’s. But again, we were met with immediate disappointment, after almost an hour of search for parking places at the previous two establishments. We drove round and round the surrounding neighborhoods, beginning to lose all hope, but then, in the distance, there it was. A parking space.

Parking is not only an issue with late-night study spots. Parking can be an issue no matter what time of day or where you’re going — whether it’s beaches, restaurants or anything. Therefore, let’s refocus our frustrations away from SDSU and onto the entire concept of parking in the San Diego area, because if you can find a parking spot in less than an hour — oh wait, you can’t.

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IT'S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR XXXXX San Diego State basketball season is officially underway. Photo Editor Xxxxxxxxxx Megan Wood took this photo at a recent men's basketball game.

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Volume 102, Issue 17


Volume 102, Issue 17