Vol 109 | Issue 4 | Nov. 12, 2020 | San Antonio, Texas
Law professor sues university for alleged misuse of donation POLINA PROTOZANOVA NEWS EDITOR
St. Mary’s Law School professor, Laura Burney, has filed a lawsuit against the university under the breach of fiduciary duty and fraud on Sept 20. Burney is accusing the a d m i n ist r at i on of acting for personal gain in a mutual legal agreement. In 1984 and 1985, Frank J. Scanio, Jr. donated an overall sum of $200,000 to the university in order to establish James N. Castleberry, Jr. Professorship in Oil and Gas Law at the St. Mary’s School of Law. The name derives from the former faculty member James Castleberry who served as a Law School Dean from 1978 to 1989. The professorship created an a c a d e m i c award that the university would bestow on the most respected and qualified professor in the field on campus. In 2003 Scanio, Jr. contributed an additional $73,000 to the award fund. Along with the first donations Scanio, Jr. sent a letter to the administration stating that the “... annual income [from the donation] shall be devoted solely and exclusively for
the purpose of paying to a senior professor teaching oil and gas law … a supplemental salary over and above, and, in addition to, the salary normally budgeted to be paid to such professor.” The position of the Castleberry Chair was granted to Burney for the years 2019
she did not receive the distribution from the Castleberry professorship in full, while the administration was using the funds for the operating budget. In the lawsuit, Burney is alleging that the university has been withholding up to 50% of the Castleberry funds meant to go towards
to 2021. Burney has been the head of the Texas Bar’s Oil, Gas, and Energy Resources Law Council and argued several cases before the Texas Supreme Court, making her the “senior professor” who would receive a supplemental salary from the donation. However, according to Burney,
her additional salary, and using it for other purposes in conflict with the donor’s wish. Burney’s legal argument illustrates that St. Mary’s existing policy towards donation distribution contradicts Scanio’s request. While the policy reads that “at least 50% from endowed funding [must go] for existing
salary and benefit,” the donor’s request asks for full payment from the generated professorship income. From Burney’s legal perspective, the issue in question is whether the university should follow an existing policy or a donor’s request. President Thomas Mengler is yet to comment on the case, however, the university’s legal team has brought up several arguments against Burney’s accusations. R o b e r t N e w m a n , an attorney representing St. Mary’s in court, believes that the claims against the university are baseless. “ O u r principle argument is she [Burney] is not entitled to all of the income [from the Castleberry C h a i r Endowment] b e c a u s e ‘income’ means that we have the discretion Photo by Demi Bestor to spend up to a set percentage of the corpus [endowment], and she disagrees with that’s what the law is, but there is a state statute directly on point,” said Newman. At this point in time, both parties agree on the facts of the case and are waiting on CONTINUED ON PG. 2
Students seek higher printing allowance
End of the semester brings travel concerns
New album releases from October
Students’ viewpoints on mask-wearing
EDITOR: POLINA PROTOZANOVA | @STMURATTLERNEWS | NOV. 12, 2020 FROM “LAWSUIT”
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the court to decide what the law says about the dispute. Newman is unsure about the forthcoming timeline of the lawsuit, though he mentioned that he wishes there had been wholesome and productive discussions in order to avoid the lawsuit in the first place. “The case, hopefully, will not proceed for months or years... it is hopeful that after the court rules on some of the pending motions that will redefine the focus of the case and allow us to move through it quickly,” he said. As a result of the nation-wide economic crisis, many small, liberal arts institutions are struggling financially; this lawsuit may add to some of the existing pandemicinflicted problems St. Mary’s might have had. Earlier, this year the university took an expected $10 million hit to the 2021
budget and decline in enrollment due to the coronavirus pandemic. Over the summer, the human resources department had to lay off 24 staff members and furlough 52 employees for one or two months. Additionally, many faculty members took pay cuts ranging from six to 20% depending on the initial salary size. Regardless of the question of whether the university is right or wrong in the case, a lawsuit related to donation funds spending by the administration may raise questions among the current donors to the university. The lawsuit does not have a set resolution date and could unfold for some time, unveiling new facts about the dispute. It is uncommon for a small liberal arts institution to find itself amid a public legal argument. The ways in which this affects the public standing of the university or its internal policies is unclear.
Photo courtesy of LinkedIn
Bexar County breaks its record in voter turnout numbers “Seeing so many people wanting to register and wanting to vote made me so happy,” Munoz said. “It [showed] how many people care for the future of this country. Seeing people get the guts to go vote during On Nov. 3, the United States saw a pandemic demonstrates much more groundbreaking voter turnout numbers than just hope for a better future but also all across the nation with over 160 grievance for the sacrifices and lives lost in million people casting their ballots for the the past year alone.” presidential election. In comparison, the Allie Grijalva, senior political science number only hit 138 million in 2016. Texas major, experienced similar emotions during became one of the biggest contributors to her first presidential election as a voter. this historic number with a 66% turnout Grijalva voted at the Memorial Library, the or 17 million registered voters casting closest polling location to the university, on their ballot. election day and had According a short wait time of to the Texas five minutes. Tribune data, “I voted at Bexar county Memorial Library, reached an across the street all-time high from St. Mary’s, as turnout since part of Community 1992 with 63.6% E n g a g e m e n t ’s or 1.2 million Party to the Polls registered program,” Grijalva v o t e r s said. “It [was] really p ar t i c ip at i ng powerful for me in the election to see how many - that is 7.2% people went out points higher and voted in this than in 2016. election, specifically Over 55% cast how many young their ballot people went to during the the polls and used early voting their voices.” period, while Grijalva works the rest voted as a programming on election intern at the day. As for the u n i v e r s i t y ’s presidential c o m m u n i t y e l e c t i o n Line outside at the Great Northwest Library polling location on election day.| Photo by Samantha Ruvalcaba engagement office. results, despite The office hosted some speculations in the media, organizations like MOVE Texas or Sunrise several events throughout the semester Texas did not flip to support the Movement registered thousands of newly to both encourage and inform students Democratic party. eligible voters. According to Pew Research about voting. Grijalva said that for one of Overall, presidential incumbent Donald Center data, together, millenials and Gen Z the events, the Voter Registration Drive, Trump received 52.2% of the state’s vote, made up 47% of all voters this election year - the office registered an estimated 50 while now president-elect Joe Biden trailed the largest voting group in the country. students on campus. with 46.4%. Bexar County, a historically For Yamilet Munoz, junior international “Many of these students were first-time majority Hispanic community, voted and global studies and Spanish double voters which was exciting to help them differently from the state-level with 58.3% of major, this presidential election was the first register and learn a little bit about the the voters supporting Biden, and 40.2% for she was eligible to vote in. Munoz voted at voting process,” Gijalva said. “Our Party Trump. At the Congressional level, Texans the AT&T center, a new polling location for to the Polls event was also exciting to be re-elected Republican Senator John Cornyn, Bexar County voters this year, and said the with students who were first-time voters with 49% support, and 38% for Democratic process was easy but heart-racing. While and support them at the polls. It can be candidate M.J. Hegar. Munoz didn’t experience waiting in a long intimidating to go and vote by yourself, so San Antonians also re-elected the line like other polling locations in San our program was aimed at calming those incumbent U.S. Rep. Joaquín Castro Antonio, she said that seeing the increased nerves and building community in a small but powerful way,” Grijalva added. (D-San Antonio) with 64.7% in support for voter turnout was a good feeling. POLINA PROTOZANOVA/ SAMANTHA RUVALCABA NEWS EDITOR/ EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Castro. Due to former U.S. Rep. Will Hurd (R-Helotes) retiring, Hurd’s seat opened for a new candidate. During this election, Tony Gonzalez quickly took a lead over democratic nominee Gina Ortiz Jones and won the election with 50.7%. Despite Texas’s strict regulations for voting-by-mail, a record number of people cast an absentee ballot in 2020 - over 7.2% of all registered voters. Traditionally, millenial and Gen Z voters have the lowest turnout rate amongst various voter blocks, however, this election cycle broke another record. Non-profit
NOV. 12, 2020 | STMURATTLERNEWS.COM
University changes Honors and Greehey scholarships for incoming students GERARDO NINO POZOS LIFESTYLE EDITOR
The university has moved forward with two financial changes to its Greehey Scholars grant and Honors Program, substituting the additional $2,000 Honors Program scholarship with proposed funding for research and travel for honors students beginning fall 2021, and discontinuing covering room and board for the scholars. Current honors and Greehey students will not be affected. In a statement by Rosalind Alderman, Ph.D, vice provost for enrollment management, the university addressed the circumstances prompting these changes. “St. Mary’s University has been committed to providing access to an excellent education to those in need since its founding. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic began affecting the personal finances of our students and their families, 40% of undergraduates at St. Mary’s in 2019 were Pell eligible — an indicator of exceptional financial need,” said Alderman. Based on a study done by the National Center for Education Statistics in the U.S. Department of Education, St. Mary’s students demonstrated exceptional financial need in comparison to 5,689 other institutions. In the 2018-2019 academic year, 34% of undergraduates on campus received Pell grants – an indicator of financial need. Every year, the university has increased its merit-based scholarships to offset rising tuition. The maximum merit scholarship was $22,000 in 2016 compared to this year’s maximum of $26,000. “The changes will not affect Greehey Scholars previously in the program. This program continues to cover full tuition for the small number of students accepted into
the program each year. It no longer covers room and board for those who choose to live on campus,” Alderman said. “Greehey Scholars who qualify for need-based aid, such as a Pell Grant, still receive that additional funding to cover their room and board if they decide to live on campus” The Greehey Scholars program is made possible by alumnus Bill Greehey, for whom the business school is named in honor of his generous gifts to the department. The Greehey Scholars program is renewable for four years, on pace with most student’s graduation track. Additionally, stipends are available for study abroad and business-related travel. As a response to the pandemic, acceptance into the program would be test-optional for fall 2021 applicants. “Instead of applying an automatic $2,000 scholarship, under a proposed restructuring that may take effect in fall 2021, honors students would be able to apply for funding to pursue high-impact educational activities, such as research and travel. This change would encourage honors students to take advantage of the many opportunities for experiential learning offered at St. Mary’s,” said Alderman. Likewise, the Honors Program opted for test-optional applications for fall 2021. Currently underway is a proposed restructuring of the Honors Program that could take effect fall 2021. Under this proposed reconstruction, honors students would be eligible to apply for funding to pursue high-impact educational activities, such as research and travel. This added incentive would serve to encourage honors students to take advantage of the many opportunities for experiential learning offered at St. Mary’s. “I have enjoyed every class and
every single honors professor truly cares about us as people and students. I also have made lifelong friends in this program,” said Karina Nanez, senior communications major. Nanez has been a member of the Honors Program since fall 2017 of Nanez’s freshman year. According to Nanez, the benefits of the Honors Program are holistic, offering stronger connections between students and professors as well as between students. Nanez’s statement is indicative of the importance of both respective programs. “It was a definite plus,” said Nanez about the $2,000 scholarship. “Without the scholarship I probably would have thought about [applying] longer, but I would still want to be part of the program.”
It is worth noting that most universities don’t provide any scholarships for students in their Honor’s College. University of Texas in San Antonio and Saint Edwards’ University students actually pay to be in their respective programs. Though the loss of additional funding provided by the honors scholarship and Greehey Scholars full-tuition, room and board are unfortunate, the university is committed to continuing to support its students. In July of this year, through the tripartite approach of the St. Mary’s Alumni Association, President Thomas M. Mengler and his wife, Mona Mengler, and university funds, St. Mary’s offered the Rattler Impact Scholarship to students affected by the pandemic. Total Rattler Impact Scholarship awards amounted to more than $1.2 million in support of nearly 1,000 students.
Office of Financial Assistance located on the third floor of St. Louis Hall.| Photo by Polina Protozanova
Interim provost Buhrman gives an update on the new core courses program SAMANTHA RUVALCABA EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Changes to the St. Mary’s Core Curriculum are underway after receiving support from the university’s Board of Trustees. The latest change to the core is that it will no longer include the SMC Civic Engagement course.
[The new core] remains as focused on the liberal arts as it was before, but it’s taking out the uniformity where what was hoped would be uniformity in the SMCs.”
Bill Buhrman provost of academic affairs
Bill Buhrman, provost of academic affairs, said the process officially began two years ago after a core curriculum committee was formed to evaluate the ten-year-old curriculum. One of the committee’s concerns was the number of exceptions being made so that students would no longer need to take certain SMC courses. “We were becoming increasingly concerned that we had a core but it was being completed with all sorts of exceptions that didn’t match its original intent,” Buhrman said. Buhrman added that the committee
also looked at what dual credit options engagement course. surrounding colleges, such as the Alamo “There is a faculty and staff Colleges, were offering their students, and committee, that includes some what transfer credits incoming students students, that is looking into how we usually bring in. can bring community engagement Where it stands, the university accepts into the academic majors, rather a maximum of 66 transfer credits from than having it [in a] SMC class the Alamo Colleges in the 1000 and 2000 only for community engagement,” level general education and specific field Buhrman said. of study courses. The determination of Buhrman continued that courses in which transfer credits the new core are accepted by the will have a university registrar parallel SMC varies by major and that each degree programs. department will “We wanted to need to design. be attentive to our For example, external environment,” the foundations Buhrman said. “Our of civilization students were coming SMC course in with more dual that is taught credit courses that by the history we wanted to be department will sure applied to their now have to degree program.” design a history The committee requirement is still working on to replace the approving the new course. The Graphic by Sara G. Regassa course changes next step in and estimates it the revision will have a clearer process is for picture of what the new core curriculum faculty members to identify and design will look like in January. According to the new curriculum of each course, Buhrman, what is certain is that the new Buhrman stated. core will no longer have an SMC civic “For nearly all of the SMC courses,
We’ll know more in the spring semester--towards the start of the spring semester, I hope-about how current students and new students are going to adapt to the new court.”
Bill Buhrman provost of academic affairs
there is now a requirement for a course in that area,” Buhrman said. “[The new core] remains as focused on the liberal arts as it was before, but it’s taking out the uniformity where what was hoped would be uniformity in the SMCs. So rather than everybody taking a single nature course, people will get to choose between a science class.” The new core changes will apply to the degree plans of incoming freshmen for fall 2021, and the committee is yet to decide if the change will affect existing students. “We’ll know more in the spring semester--towards the start of the spring semester, I hope--about how current students and new students are going to adapt to the new court. Those are also decisions that have to be made. And they need to be made in consultation with the deans and the faculty members in the schools,” Buhrman said.
The Deanâ€™s List for Spring 2020 Published: Fall 2020
College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Leona Pallansch, Ph.D., Interim Dean HIGHEST HONORS
Aaron Antonio Acevedo Greyson Lee Addicott Natalie Aguilar Maya Leonor Aguirre Jazlynn N. Aiel Amal Albarrak Sofia Yamel Almanzan Armando A. Amador Paola Dahe Arellano Luis Fernando Arroyos Jonathan B. Balderas Seana Maria Barclay Caroline Clarene Barnes Jared Wayne Barry Marie N. Baumgartner Frances Marie Bendele Floridell Cachuela Berry Camryn Lee Blackmon Nicole Bongiormo Araceli Milan Bononcini Angie C. Bravo Zoe A. Brigman Sequoia N. Callahan Amilynn Nicole Campa Rebecca J. Campos Brittney Lauren Carden Indira C. Cardenas Abigale Louise Carney Summer Rae Caserez Lauren Rene Casillas Vanessa Marie Castanon Stephanie Aglaee Cerda Jose Francisco Chaman Brandi Cheung Saul Conteras Martin Sierra Monique Coronado Aleea M. Costilla Mariah Katheryn Cox Francisco G. Cruzando Azucena Cuevas Tawny E. Davis Victoria Isabella Davis Ezequiel De La Fuente Regina De la Parra Mario A. De Leon Rory D. De Los Santos Sarah Daniela Diaz Alexis M. Dillon Haley Allison Duplessis Norma G. Espinoza Maria Dolores Esquivel Diamond D. Estrada Sabrina I. Evans Natalia Flores Catherine M. Flores Cian Foley Thomas Daniel Fraire Serena Marisa Frank Grace Catherine Frey Kacey Y. Fujino Eva Fernanda Garcia Paul Anthony Garza Gabriella Gonzalez Ana Paula Gonzalez Eric Jordan Grant Elizabeth A. Guardiola Sydney Paige Hardeman Mikaela R. Hartmann Cassie Elizabeth Hawley Ariel Celeste Hernandez Yamel Claryssa Herrera Christopher L. Hohman Yuhui Huang
Daija Raelynn Vanegas Isabela Octavia Vazquez Angel Gabriel Velarde Shalini Venkat Erin Victoria Vento Maya Elyse Weaver
Elijah A. Wheeler Benjamin Thomas Wittmaier Thiffany Lilian Yeupell Miranda Leigh Yzaguirre Aneesa Manar Zubair
HIGH HONORS Rachel M. Huron Arsema Abera Pablo D. Medina Emily Teresa Jensen Chelsea Ariana Alvarez Adrianna Eliza Mirabal Kathleen Jane Karp Andrew Arizola Jonathan T. Mitchener Lindsey M. Kaufman Omar Zachariah Baki Rosario F. Ann Moreno Arianna Billy-holyday Kennet Michaelangelo A. Betancourt Matthew Arturo Muniz Cameron Ann Koerner Haley Nicole Bradfute Davis Nickle Hannah R. Kristynik Rhiannon E. Broussard Auroara-Juhl Nikkels Samantha Renee Lara Danyelle Arianna Bryant Maria D. Obregon Enrique Valentin Lozano Veronica Farrell Burns Maria Isabela Onofre Sarah Elizabeth Lugo Cristian Jaime Campos Isaai Ortega Allison Lee Magera Alexandra Naomi Cantu Eriq Matthew Padilla Brittany Nicole Mares Alexa Casares Kayla Nicole Patton Sarah Ashlea Mares Alexander James Chapa Tyanne Alisha Pearcy Andrea Nunez De Arce Joshua Arlin Collins Marcus S. Plataniotis Byron A. Martinez Deni Jose Lima Cresto Laura Sofia Ponce Anthony H. Martinez Abigail Grace Csengery Adam Luis Portillo Victoria Ann Martinez Karina Olivia Davis Sofia Puente Lesley Michelle Martinez Anissa Yvette De La Luz Alegria Quesada Amara Maritza Martinez Isabella Pilar De Paolo Wilzave Quiles Guzman Sharriah E. Martinez Julia Reda Deais Nydia Gabriela Ramirez Eryn Jimmy Mejorado Joshua Tomas Duran Sofia Puente Alejandra Mendez John N. Estrada Alegria Quesada Claryse Alexa Mendoza Alyssa Jade Flores Wilzave Quiles Guzman Karol Viviana Miranda Joseph Richard Furman Nydia Gabriela Ramirez Robert James Moncada Maria Victoria Garcia Citlalli Rivera Luis A. Morales Alexis Monique Garcia Amanda A. Rivera-Delgado Alison Morales-Aguilar Crystal Garza Rosa I. Robledo Martinez Marisol G. Moreno Karina Mercedes Garza Marina Rodriguez Andrea Moreno Larry E. Rodriguez-Shea Christopher Daniel Mullenax Samantha Garza Patrick John Gruber Samuel Jacob Ruiz Rebecca K. Muller Francesca L. Guglielmo Victoria Anais Salazar Miranda Hoyt Narvaez Kassandra R. Guillen Jennifer Saldana Jimenez Angely J. Noriega Baron Geoffrey Gutierrez Evian-loren L. Salgado Timothy Brian Oâ€™Dekirk Elizabeth M. Hernandez Kelsey A. Sanchez Laura Lee Olivarez Omar Herrera-Miramontes Irene Rene Sandoval Nicole Monserrat Ortiz Justin D. Holden Olivia Celeste Santiago Natalie Padilla Markques D. Houston Jacob Mark Sayle Renee Nicole Padilla Rebekah A. Hubacek Gilberto Silva Abigail Kurtis Page Brandon Ichavez Eaton Jared Simpliciano Julia Bailey Patrick Gabriella Ioannou Stephen Andrew Talik Courtney Jean Pena Staci Nicole Johns Nicholas Ivan Tapia Jose Victor Peralta Cherice Ilana Leach Joshua Matthew Tinajero Angela Perez James Michael Leal Aimee A. Trevino Celeste A. Perez Gonzalez Saira Michelle Locke Sarah Daniela Uhlig Victoria Permillion Brandi Nicole Loving Carlos Roberto Vazquez William Joseph Pettis Heather A. Lucente Giuliana A. Villanueva Jean Kallisto Price Luis Gregorio Magana Riley J. Wincheski Vanessa Quetzeri Brianna Lee Malone John Douglas Wittenberg Miguel Angel Ramirez Kenedy Jade Martinez Mitchell Reese Yocham Alicia Samantha Ramos Justin Angel Martinez Natalia Zuniga Madeleine L. Reeves Odette J. Medina Jamira G. Richardson Noah Steven Riehle HONORS Valeria Edith Rivera Yuliana Y. Aguilera Lianka V. De La Parra Adriana Mariel Robles Savannah A. Alcazar Frida L. De Paolo Emily Marie Rodriguez Victoria K. Aldridge Analina P. Devora Ysenia Adria Rodriguez Allison N. Alvarez Tyler Dewayne Dick Ana Citlalli Rojas Carlos A. Alvear Phoebe B. Dickinson-Land Sofia Natalia Ruescas Maxx A. Arizmendi Mark A. Dominguez Madelynn R. Salinas Juan Eduardo N. Avalos Christopher F. Dunn Ana Paula Saravia Matthew Avila Alyssa Brianne Estrada Samantha Geree Schulte Bailey A. Babineaux Michelle R. Falcon Madison Rozelle Schultz Ivan L. Briones Kristy Rose Feather Gabriela Verenis Serrato Caroline Madison Bush Scott Nicholas Figueroa Rachael Marie Sigmond Mauro L. Bustamante Breanna C. Flores Angeles Ivonne Silva Blanca L. Cardenas Lyzette Flores Jasmine Rose Sims Angelina D. Casiano Shanita A. Frazier Destinee A. Smith Robert Colorado Annelise Nicole Gaitan Hanadi Sonouper Raul Antonio Colunga Thalia Galindo Isabella Adonia Torres Megan M. Copeland Elizabeth Garcia Alexia Torres Guadalupe N. Corpus-Sanchez Arieana Monique Garcia Cristianna Alexis Tovar Micaela Stefani Cruz Vanessa Nicole Garza Christopher D. Dancy
Delmar J. Garza
Grayson James Ginder Willie Gonzales Jonathan Gonzalez Pedro Gonzalez Aboyte Dominique E. Guadiana Zeresh Nicole Haman Johnny Ray Hernandez Aylin Romelia Hernandez Karina L. Hernandez Michael Scott Hinojosa Antonio B. Holverstott Jason Cody Hoosier Bridget Marie Horta Isabella Lorraine Hughes Galilea Ibarra Luis C. Jaen Jeremiah Tyler Jensen Donte T. Joseph Mostafa Thamer Kamal Emily Katherine Kelly Rhys Aaron Kennedy Anthony Bryan Klutho Jordan Cecile Kupczynski Michael R. Lazcano Jr Teresa Aliyah Lee Jorge J. Lopez Rodriguez Margaret P. Maguire Angelique H. Maldonado Maria Aurora Mancha Sarah Danielle Martin Erick Paul Martinez Avery Hunter Mascorro Ernest M. Medrano Ariana Nicole Melendez Martin A. Moctezuma Kaitlynn R. Moody Connor Sean Moore Ainara Eliza Mora Maria Del Rocio Munoz Karina Isabel Nanez Annissa M. Noblejas Wendy C. Ornelas Andrea P. Paipa Johnny Ryan Panatex Jesus E. Parker Jazmin R. Pizana
Ashley Ramon Maria B Navarro Kierstin N. Sifuentes Brandi Ann Revillas Alejandra Novoa Lance Christopher Siler Joel A. Reyna Zachary A. Owens Christopher Sullivan Manuel D. Rodriguez Kirsten Kay Payne Ryan M. Smith Alexandra Nichole Rodriguez Natalie J Pena Zane Chritstian Smith Esperanza Illia Rojas Emily C. Pierson Mauricio Soto Denzel G. Rubio Gomez Angelica Renee Rabago Miguel A. Terrazas Ramirez Maria Paula Ruda Ruben G. Ramon Arianna Michelle Thielen Karla D. Salazar Perla Belen Del Carmen Cordero Jett Torres Aranza Renee Salcido Reyna Mendoza Andrew J. Townsend Maria Del Rocio Munoz Katherine M. Rodriguez Cecilio Trevino Karina Isabel Nanez Isaac Shay Rodriguez Amanda N. Uribe Annissa Marcelino Noblejas William E. Rybicki Alex Valdez Wendy C. Ornelas Jeremiah J. Sanchez Christopher M. Vasquez Andrea P. Paipa Eloisa Sanchez Urrea Marina Vigil Celorio Johnny Ryan Panatex Enrrique Santa Cruz Cordelia V. de la Garza Evia Jesus E. Parker Edith Santos Sevilla Gerardo Villarreal Jazmin R. Pizana Chicago Joe Schuller Kylie Rose VonHolle Ashley Ramon Enrique B. Segovia Bradley Jacob Wicker Brandi Ann Revillas HIGH HONORS Joel A. Reyna Diego Aguilera Avery Faith Heimer Manuel D. Rodriguez Alexa Gabrielle Baca Bianca M. Hernandez Alexandra N. Rodriguez Luisa X. Barbagelatta Grau Daniel E. Infante Esperanza Illia Rojas Estelle Beck Colten J. Kraus Denzel Gustavo Rubio Gomez David Andre Bogran Noah W. Laing Maria Paula Ruda Catherine M. Cano Doan Mai Karla D. Salazar Nadia Dezena Carrasco Alexandria R. Martinez Aranza Renee Salcido Vanessa Noelle Chavez Eric I. Ortega Rodriguez Aracelli Sanchez Allison M. Dauphine Ashley Marie Penshorn Aaron Jesse Sandoval Luis F. De La Fuente Taylor Elizabeth Rech Ernie D. Sano Alejandro Manuel Farias Alessandra Rivera Lilia P. Seijas Olivia J Faulkner Kaitlyne Ruby Roberson Jacob Vincent Silva Marlon Joel Flores Jose A. Rodriguez Danielle S. Slaughter Robert D. Garcia Vaca Luis A. Rodriguez Puerto Nathalia Airam Sorto Danika Petryce Garza Alejandro Jr. Santibanez Mia Anastasia Stahl Alexander Randall Gee Kimberly Nicole Simmons Kaila C. Sto. Domingo Garrett Joseph Gombas Alberto David Stadthagen Haley Jovah Ticas Emilio G. Ramirez Matthew Joseph Swartz Alissa N. Tolbert Jose R. Guerrero Michel Trad Brandon J. Trujillo Colby A. Nicholas Guillory Andrew Khoa Tran Samantha Judith Valverde Jonier G. Arellano Anthony Veloz Stefen A. Villanueva HONORS Ian Marshall Warner Manuel Anthony Aguilera Francis C. J. Lopez Isabella Young Arlayah Re-len Alderete Georgina Maass Jaime Zaragoza Maria Jose Alvarez Michael Alejandro Mandujano
Juan Antonio Arceo Orianna A. Bardales Medina Timothy Payne Benavides Tonia Bilic Sami Bouls Karen Y. Camacho Rendon HIGHEST HONORS Juan Aguilar Victoria Garcia Said Castaneda Mauricio Albo Alexia Garcia-Aspe Alicia Beatrice Castellanos Jennifer Lara Alvarez Callan Joseph Gawlik Juliana Castula Cerda Jocelyn Alvarez Bibian Daniel Christopher Gill Ryann I. Cervantes Fernando A, Amans Danielle Isabel Gomez Bryann E. Cervantes Bianca Anchondo Aijalyn Arianna Gonzales Bar Del Christian Olivia Ryan Bachelet Jennifer Lyanne Gutierrez Danielle Renee Costly Steven R. Blancas Diana I. Gutierrez Villasenor Zachary G. De La Garza Madeline Ann Blevins Maroun J. Harb Destinee A. Delgado John Paul Bogran Marisa Sanchez Ibarra Gabriel Jose Espada Joshua Cameron Breard Randi K. Kelly Jessica Pauline Flores Isabel F. Cantu Rylie Jean Kieny Eduardo Andre Foster Ethan M. Carlson Anabel Faith Korrodi Lauren Rae Franco Marco Casanova Avery Bay Looney Maria Andrea Garcia Ana Cravioto Herrero Gabriel E. Lopez Kayla Anahi Garcia Charli D. Delmonico Marc Anthony Maciel Katarina Grace Garza Laura Dicun Shelina Markose Aric Olea Garza Bethany I. Duffy Rudy J.a. Martinez Taylor Nicole Germain Daniela M. Duran Ava Danielle Martinez Brianda Alejandra Gomez Mikayla A. Annelle Durham Gerry Jeremiah Medlin Victoria N. Helmers Pierre Elbayeh Camila Sofia Mencia Nikkolette V. Hernandez Janette Marie Emery Vanessa M. Montalvo Nathalie E. Herrera Jakob E. Espinoza Aylin A. Montes de Oca Zainab Ali Huwaidi Jose R. Fernandez Marco A. Montes de Oca Lauryn N. Hyde Marco Antonio Flores Adan A. Morales Rinnu Joy Sarah Anne Foguth Emmanuel Moreno Maryam Shirin Khezri Pedro Angel Fuentes Adan A. Morales Jose Maria Llano Aranalde Emily Ann Gallegos Emmanuel Moreno Luke Michael Lopez
Greehey School of Business
Stephanie G. Ward, D.B.A.,
Juan Jose Martel Lauren Nicole Martinez Leopoldo Martinez-Milland Keaton Gene Milford Daniela Haydee Morales Maria G. Morales Nadia S. Jean Morrow Raymond Nash Munoz Anthony Jesse Naranjo Juan Manuel Ochoa Allison R. Picon Erik Posada Maria F. Quintero Orozco Azucena Rangel Olvera Pedro Rivera Natasha Rodriguez Steven N. Ruiz Yulissa A. Salazar Kelley A. Salinas Isaiah R. Sanchez Orozco Fernanda I. Sandoval Mendoza Dylan T. Schmoker Zyania Sofia Seijas Christopher S. Clay Short Jake Mitchell Sims Andrew Seguin Tague Isabella Tamez Stephany Tavera Karen Torres Cristopher Fertitta Valdez Mark Joseph Vaporean Sierra Isabella Vera Lesli Vidal Steven M. Wynn
School of Science, Engineering and Technology Winston Erevelles, Ph.D., Dean HIGHEST
Mujeeb Asabi Adelekan Adam Al-Rafati Andrea Maresa Aldaz Jessie J. Alfaro John M. Allen Clarissa Alvarez Maggie Amador Komron Aminian Faris Adrian Andonie Jose M. Antelo Moses Joshua Arredondo Gabriela Marie Benavides Savannah Elaine Berger Isabelle Beatrice Bergman Richard Hoang Bui Andrea V. Cabrera Belia G. Camarena Timothy M. Carrum Steven A. Rudy Castillo Rodrigo Jesus Castillo Taylor N. Cedillo Ankita Chabra Lydia Contreras Adrianna Christi Cruz Anuar J. Daccarett Perdomo Kaylyn Michelle Daniel Jada Marie Dauphine Hoang Hai Dinh Ryan James Dixon Ana Elise Dornbusch Kathryn Clare Drees Justin T. Dylla Paul P. Elbayeh Roberto Enriquez Vargas Alissa Corinne Essex Jade Gisele Evenstad David Abraham Feagins Sheynna Lilian Felix Amanda Figueroa Nathalie M. Figueroa Soto James Flynn Ragan Jackson Forrest Cole Weston Frazier
Naomi M. Narro Jack Kingsley Francis Nunnington Jack Elias Ojile Brayan A. Olmos HONORS Adrian Ornelas Bryan E. Galeas Luis E. Oyervides Tori Nichole Gardner Antonio Rodriguez Garza Nixon R. Pastor Guzman Andrew David Perez Reagan Wilson Gately Barbara R. Perez Granick Enrique A. Gavia Juan Luis Pinedo Kenneth P. Gilley Joshua Paul Pridemore Jake Andrew. Gleinser Andrea I. Quijano Kraljevic Juan R. Gomez Claudio Gomez Ascencio Ratna Hamsini Ramaraju Lorelie Hope Gonzalez Cristina Abigail Ramos Ramsey L. Ramos Nicole Erin Gramm Brianna Alexis Guillen Arthur Isaac Rendon Alicia Reyes John August Hannan Carmela Nadine Hartness Xena Victoria Rixter Carlos A. Rosales Moran Tanya Helbig Hannah Marie Hennon Gabriela S. Rubannelsonkumar Cherubina S. Rubannelsonkumar Valeria Hernandez Annabelle N. Arkowua Sackey Janae Hughes Christine N. Serwaa Sackey Octaviano Z. Huron Alexis Salazar Vinh Kiem Huynh Adamari Yasmin Sanchez Sydney E. Jara-Barrio Gabriela P. Santos Bolanos Evelin Saji Joseph Megan Alexandra Sells Pragyan K C Benjamin Olesco Kibler Nida Siddiqui Anna Lisa Lee Victoria Anne Leh Savannah Marie Lopez David Andres Lopez Luis Angel Magana Alexander Manibusan Rama Mohamed Mardini Oscar Jaime S. Martinez Sonora Dawn Mata Alexandra L. Mclennan Kenya V. Medina Makayla R. Medrano Robert Mendoza Kenya V. Medina Makayla R. Medrano Robert Mendoza Antonia M. Merta Aleacia T. Maude Messiah Diana Moreno-Gutierrez
Scott Wayne Siler Paul Charles Smith Adriana Smith Elysandra M. Solis Hailey Elise Stewart Eduardo Torres Arpi Pous Sergio A. Torres Valenzuela Timothy M. Tran Khoa D. Tran Amanda Huong Tran Joel Eberto. Trejo Samman Tyata Jesus Alberto Valenzuela Durlin Uridan Valle Thomas Sam Varghese Antonio Daniel Vasquez Emily Ann Velazquez Natalie E. Villarreal Evelin Villegas Vivian Thai Vu James Charl Weatherhead Ian James Wells Hannah Phyllis Wilson Allison Taylor Woods Jordyn Anne Wray Ting King Julia Jesus Yong Chu Marcelo A. Zamora
Karina Alagoa Jeffrey H. Annabi Adrian Richard Ballesteros Andrea Milenia Benavides Walerie G. Bertrand-Flores Alin C. Bocardo Felix Saira Castellanos Sebastian J. Castro Ramos Cerise Lily Cisneros Madison Faye Downing Nicola Ray Fabbri Daniela Frausto Alejandra A. Garcia Adriana Garnica Cynthia I. Garza-Herrera Madelyn Elizabeth Hall Martin E. Ibarreche Chavez Ty Anthony Jungman
Saisaurav Konakanchi Gissella Fernda Lara Nathaniel Steven Liendo Kristyna A. Lopez Gabriel Lopez Aaron J. Lozano Breanne Balingit Ludovice Luke David Lussier Suzanna Louise Marbach David Matthew Mares Jake Anthony Mares Ethan McDonald Katerina Lane Mclennan Nathan Glenn Mills Ana Lucia Molina Gianna Marie Morales Teresa Tina Mai Nguyen Sarah A. Nguyen
Samantha Perez Briley Skye Perkins Daniel Rene Ramirez Mariah Carol Ramos Preston James Robbins Roberto Rodriguez Jolynn Rodriguez Salvador Rodriguez Gomez Elijah M. Romero Vanessa Lizeth Ruiz Robles Clinton Sherdon Schaar Jessica Marie Shelton
Cydney Patricia Stephens Haven G. Tillmon Van Ngoc Tran Vu Amelia I. Tristan Kimberly H. Tse Sarana L. Tse Thomas Scott Tudor Angela Vallejo Derek Villalobos Amanda Villarreal Bryan B. Zarate
Sanaa Abid Omar Aboulhosn Mia Angelica Aguilar Emily Daniela Alanis Carlos Samuel Apodaca Omar Alejandro Arroyo Kenia A. Artola Sebastian Azcui Cresencia R. Barrera Adilene Janeth Barrios Emily M. Bartlett Samantha Nicole Beltran Bianca N. Benavidez Emma E. Bodisch Tea D. Boone Charles Lee Brodell Michael Vincent Burger Vilma Sofia Caballero Marco Esteban Cabello Pamela E. Callahan Arturo Canchola Brisa Karely Cardenas David Castaneda Picon Maria Grazia Cossio Kimberly J. Cuellar Alejandro Dardon Giovanni Etienne Doria Sabrina F. Doyon Shafqat Fahmid Ehsan Roberto A. Figueroa Soto Midori Rae Flores Ryan Anthony Flores Sarah Michelle Flores Mireya Galindo Nathan David Hudson
Michaela Leigh Jeanis Karlo A. Kalifa Lauren Victoria Keller Ashley Grace Leonard Sofhia Cristina Lopez Jorge H. Martinez Jessica Itzel Martinez Marina E. McDonald Ryan Parker McGowen Noel A. Melendrez Valle Alejandra M. Romero Edgar E. Moreno Molly Nicole Moser Mariana L. Mosqueda Reyes Angelina Rose Negron Janson Nguyen Vy Xuan Nguyen Chika Amy Onwuzurike Brian O. Ortiz Crystalrose Quintero Miguel A. Quiroga Natalia Sofia Ramirez Kimberly Rae Ramirez Natalie Michelle Rankin Justene Renae Reyes Alondra L. Rodriguez Sanchez Nicolas Alberto Romero John Robert Sanchez Gabriela G. Sandoval Tara Nicole Sellers Erik A. D’sean Shannon Abigail Marie Slaughter Gabriel Eduardo Tome Josephine Y. Tran Kaitlyn E. Tuzzio
Audrey-Carelle N. Wandji Ruby Elizabeth Wynn
Jared Matthew Zordilla Cecilia Zurchin
College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Nicole M. Acosta Shelby Suzanne Adelsen Suzanna Lydia Anthony Elizabeth Cordoba Bowlin Chantal Carrera Micah Chapman Stephanie Leigh Ann Cowan Julia N. Cruz Zelda Elizondo Erica Danielle Esparza Yadira P. Flores Sebryna G. Flugrath Brianna Ashly Garcia Rebecca L. Gerstner Kinzee Jo Goehring Joseph Gottsch Jarmila Gupta Madison Habet Nicole Denise Harris Daniel Michael Jernigan Raju Jeron Madeline Rae Johnson
Shaima Khalaf Ryan Kierman Carolyn Leigh King Kimberly Vaio Knopf Rachel Lyles Nina Isabelle Martinez Maria Luisa Martinez Santos Rosemarie Mayhan Grant Scott Mobley Amanda Nicole Mouton Anil George Palakkal Samantha Jo Pearson Lane Riggs Cynthia Rodriguez Kristal Danielle Salinas Rita Stearns Crystal Thomas Sales Vettiyazheeckal Pathrose Carrie Ruth Villarreal Theodore Adrian Villasenorloya Ronnie Wilson Darien Joseph Wolliston
Greehey School of Business Janet Armitage Cynthia Lucia Avila Mariana Christina Cortinas Rick Guadalupe Cuellar Kristen Elena Cuellar Vilimira N. Delcheva Prieto Maria Regina Gonzalez
Leon M. Hein Dylan John Latimer Judith Marissa Molina Natalie Moreno Geetu Rajpal Marissa Beth Rodriguez
Manar Mohammad Abouhenidi Daphne Neya Alex Anburaj Nathalie Ayala Santana Salome Andres Briseno David C. Culbreth Dhananjaya Kumar Kosuri Jose Angel Molina
Ronald Jerit Perkins Abhinav Ramachandran Gerardo Salgado Megan E. Uhlig Yike Zhang
School of Science, Engineering and Technology
Believing What is Possible AT ST. MARY’S UNIVERSIT Y
In life, one small change has the power to impact tomorrow. At St. Mary’s, this starts with the idea of ONE. It takes one degree of difference to spark passion and purpose. One learner to seek the truth. One act to make a better world. It’s one degree that changes everything, inspiring us to believe what is possible. The Catholic and Marianist University
EDITOR: SEANA BARCLAY | @STMURATTLERNEWS | NOV. 12, 2020
Pass/Fail option should also be available to students this current semester HALEY BRADFUTE CONTRIBUTING WRITER
The COVID-19 crisis caused the spring 2020 semester to come to an unusual end, as students were dismissed back home at the beginning of March. Classes were moved to an online setting for the remainder of the semester and students were able to utilize the pass or fail option if they wished. Although the university changes for this semester involved more planning than this past spring, the need for a pass or fail option has not wavered among students.
Having the [pass or fail] option would hold students responsible for the possible consequences of their decision and St. Mary’s should not make that choice for students during this time.”
for classes this fall. Students are facing a new learning environment, a lack of typical social interaction, an earlier ending to the current semester and the blatant stress of managing school and a personal life during a pandemic. Eduardo Lopez, junior industrial engineering major made the decision to remain at his home in St. Louis, Missouri in order for complete remote learning for the fall. Lopez reached out to the administration earlier this fall about the pass or fail option in order to gain an
Eduardo Lopez junior industrial engineering major
This fall semester a large number of students chose not to return to campus and a majority of the classes offered at St. Mary’s became solely available online through Zoom and Canvas. All fall sports have been postponed to the spring, with the exception of the esports team, and most in-person events have been canceled. For the first time, the semester is ending before Thanksgiving, and with the stress of finals on the horizon and the adjustments from the changes of the semester, students are asking why there is no pass/fail option
understanding behind ap Gr w h y it was not being offered again this semester. According to Lopez, the answer he received was that a pass or fail on transcripts would not look well to graduate programs and St. Mary’s simply wants for their students to succeed in their future endeavors. “Having the [pass or fail] option would
hold students responsible for the possible consequences of their decision and St. Mary’s should not make that choice for students during this time,” Lopez said. Lopez added that he has been impacted negatively by the transition to online classes because he considers himself to be an in-person learner with the challenge of succeeding in an online academic environment. Bryce Laursen, junior
finance and risk management m a j o r , emphasized that added stress has been placed on himself and other students this semester. He believes that the pass or fail option would be the fairest way to approach grading during the pandemic due to many ongoing challenges for students and faculty alike. Laursen returned to the St. Mary’s campus this fall but does not have any in-person classes and is learning strictly online. He brought up the point that this different way of learning has brought up a lot difficulties for those that struggle with
distractions and time management. “[Not having the pass or fail option] is a poor way to handle one of the most problematic times in American history,” Gabriela Sandoval, junior computer engineering major, said. Sandoval went on to say that she would not use the option this semester, but that other St. Mary’s students might find it to be the better option when taking into account their mental health and personal situations when they receive their grades at the end of the semester. Alissa Tolbert, junior biology major explained that she feels as if the university is attempting to uphold the expectations and standards of students as if the university were still operating during a normal academic year by not allowing for the pass or fail option again. “Not every student has the same situation and it is unfair to expect every student to do well and perform the same as if we were not in a pandemic,” Tolbert said. The majority of students here at St. Mary’s seem to be in agreement that the university should have kept the pass or fail option in place for this semester like the university had done this past spring. Keeping the pass or fail option would have allowed students to make their own informed decision regarding their grades, and have a safety net to take off some of the stress that has been weighing down over students during a semester unlike any other in St. Mary’s history.
Turning cameras on during online classes could boost student engagement MONSERRAT GARCIA STAFF WRITER
March 11 was a day that set the precedent of what the future would look like for the following months. It was the day that the World’s Health Organization declared COVID-19 as a pandemic. That day has single-handedly disrupted the way most people interact with each other, especially in the education realm. Schools and universities all around the world had to abruptly transition and adjust to this new method of learning. St. Mary’s was among those schools that switched to online learning for the health and wellbeing of their faculty and students. While many professors had to learn how to function Zoom, students had to learn to deal with the idea that they were robbed of their college experience. In both cases, both professors and students had to cope to accept and acknowledge the present reality that they were living. In the summer, St. Mary’s concluded that there would be three main types of classes offered: online, virtual, and in-person virtual. Some students had difficulty moving on campus due to traveling, COVID-19 restrictions and the limited number of inperson classes, so they opted to take virtual courses via Zoom. This prompted the question of whether the connections and interactions between the professors and the students would erode with the online learning environment. The mere reality is that without that sense of community and comfort, students will most likely not turn on their
cameras and engage with their peers and professors. Associate professor and chair of the international and global studies department, Aaron Moreno, Ph.D has never mandated his students to turn on their cameras in class, but said he understands the concern of lacking student connection when the cameras are off. “St. Mary’s has a pretty clear policy of that not being allowed. Professors can ask politely but not require,” Moreno said. “The biggest concern is that a big part of college is comradery that can come from having connections with people, and one of the easiest ways to feel a sense of community is to actually see people; but, if someone’s camera is off all you are left with is sounds and at the very least a picture so it still is challenging.”
Graphic by Ivan Briones
Moreno continued to say that seeing the students actively engaged in the lectures is helpful for him as a professor. “It is easier for me to find the energy if I see that people are engaged,” Moreno said. “Someone who doesn’t speak up or participate is the equivalent of having students in class who are on their phones or daydreaming. I’ll have PowerPoints or guest speakers so that there’s always something to look at so that really helps with maintaining the students’ attention.” Philosophy and international and global studies major Roberto Macias-Marin’s first year at St. Mary’s was quite unorthodox, having to take three virtual classes and not being able to see his peers’ faces when in class due to COVID-19 regulations and having to wear facemasks. “St. Mary’s University has done an
excellent job in creating activities, lectures and seminars that are engaging and keep the Rattler community together despite the fact that a good number of students are unable to travel and be on campus because of this current pandemic,” Macias-Marin said. It’s no surprise then that Macias-Marin usually turns on his camera in his virtual classes except “When it comes to a long lecture class, since we don’t interact with the professor a lot,” he added. Macias-Marin adds that the decision to turn one’s camera on is ultimately is left to the student and their comfort with doing so. “Professors can only do so much when it comes to encouraging students to turn their cameras on. We can’t forget that this whole situation with virtual classes is also new to many professors and I think we have to be considerate with that reality as well,” Macias-Marin said. All in all, this new learning format has had a substantial impact on daily life but St. Mary’s has done an optimal job adapting to protect its faculty and students. “A Marianist community is more about adaptation and change and offering new methods. It means we are constantly evaluating and reevaluating how we’re doing and think of new ways on how we can do better,” Moreno said. It appears that St. Mary’s will never stop to rest until they achieve their goals and continue to educate in the family spirit even if it is through a camera.
NOV. 12, 2020 | STMURATTLERNEWS.COM
Students want more funds allocated towards the campus printing services SEANA BARCLAY OPINION EDITOR
During the season of finals, the only thing more valuable to students than a full night’s sleep is a functioning printer. While physical papers and assignments aren’t a major part of this semester that doesn’t mean they won’t continue to be as the pandemic comes to pass. Thankfully, St. Mary’s University is accommodating to the needs of overworked and over-caffeinated students and allows each student an allotted amount of money to be used at the communal printers around campus. But like all good things, they must come at a price and most students, especially those living on campus, are likely to run out of their allotted printing money as the semester progresses. While the money can be refilled by the students themselves, some students simply might not be able to do so especially if they are struggling financially. This can understandably be a source of great frustration to students who need to use the printers and can’t afford to spend more outside of the university’s printing allowance, especially if this is a student’s only option for printing. Senior criminal justice major Bobby Freise talked about the pros of allowing students more printing money saying, “[Students] would not have to worry about buying as much ink or paper themselves.” While Freise focused on students with their own printers saving money, he did briefly discuss how much more convenient it would be for students without their own
EDITORIAL STAFF Editor-in-Chief Samantha Ruvalcaba Managing Editor Demi Bestor Copy Editor Victoria Saldana Layout and Design Sara Regassa Advertising Manager Michael Lazcano Photo Editor Ivan Briones Web Editor Briana Bailey News Editor Polina Protozanova Lifestyle Editor Gerardo Niño Pozos Opinion Editor Seana Barclay Entertainment Editor Jacob A. Henson Health Editor Larry Rodriguez-Shea Faculty Adviser Ana Bendaña
LETTER TO THE EDITOR POLICY The Rattler welcomes letters to the editor. Letters should not exceed 500 words and must include writer’s name, classification, major and telephone number. Editors reserve the right to edit submissions for length, grammar, spelling and content. For more information, call the newsroom at (210) 436-3401 or email email@example.com.
printers to be able to use the campus printers with a decreased expense to them. Outside of direct financial benefits, having an increased amount of printing allowance for students could easily benefit students’ grades allowing them to print their resources as well as final projects, especially when finals approach at the end of the semester. This could give students who don’t have or know other students with printers more peace of mind during the semester especially during midterms and finals.
Students with more financial aid need more resources and more printing money for them would be insanely helpful.”
Bobby Freise senior criminal justice major
Freise explained that the main downside to students receiving and utilizing increased printer funds is that they would have to go a longer distance to get things printed on campus in comparison to if they owned a printer themselves. Even then, Freise believes the financial benefits far outweigh that of an increased walking distance. Junior political science and criminal justice major Isac Perez, however, said the main concern with increasing printing money would be “the overuse of printing for non-academic reasons [like]
decorating and seasonal activities.” Second-year law student Bailey Rider also expressed concerns about the environmental impact of increasing the printing allowance. “Students might waste more paper [with the increase], which hurts the environment,” Rider said. While the amount of papers and assignments a student ends up printing varies between different majors and classes, there are still plenty of benefits if students have more money for printing the materials they need. Rider and Perez both talked about adjusting the printing allowance according to students’ majors. “Law and grad [students] should get more money than undergrad because they have more assignments,” Rider said. Perez expressed similar sentiment saying that those in writing-intensive courses and majors should be allowed more printing money to offset the workload they have to handle. Perez continued by saying it’s a waste to not handle the printing allowance in that fashion especially since students don’t receive the unused balance at the end of the semester. For students who need financial aid, granting them more printing money can allow them more opportunities for academic success in their college careers and keep them from feeling any more unnecessary financial burdens. “I also think that students with more financial aid need more resources and more printing money for them would be insanely helpful,” Freise said.
While the printers on campus certainly haven’t been used nearly as much this semester, they are still an essential part of the university’s student life and a wonderful resource altogether. When the time comes for papers and physical assignments to be received in person again, it’s only right that the university’s system for on-campus printing be updated to fit the needs of students, especially those who need and depend on the resource throughout their college career.
Teresa Nguyen utilizes printing service available upstairs in Blume library.| Photo by Demi Bestor
Newly altered spring schedule adds to student concerns DIDIER CADENA STAFF WRITER
for rest and relaxation from all that is going on in the semester. But by taking it away, students will have to find a new, quicker way to try and relax. Giving the students one day over the four months is not the same thing.
As this fall semester begins to come to a close, St. Mary’s has started to send out some information about adjustments to this upcoming spring semester. Some adjustments from the email sent out by the office of the president on Oct. 22 about the revised Spring semester calendar have raised some concerns for many students, adding to the list of other worries about the new semester. The first big thing to come out of the announcement is the rescheduled start of the semester. The spring semester is set to begin on Jan. 20, a week later than the original start date of Jan. 13. This seems to be a welcomed change to the semester, with the later start date giving students more time to rest during the upcoming winter break. The extended break will give students much more time to recover from this rough and unusual fall semester that has troubled many students. Graphic by Ivan Briones The next and more controversial “It’s definitely not the same thing. announcement to come out of this email is the declaration that spring break will be While the days are a good idea, they do canceled this spring semester. Instead of the not have the same value. Having one day week-long break, there will be three “spring nearly every month is just not the same as refresh days” that will replace the break. a week,” senior accounting major Ryann This idea of “refresh days” is an unfamiliar Cervantes said. The reasoning behind this shift in the concept to students here at St. Mary’s. While plans for spring break could have to do the concept is understandable, the planned execution of it is not what students would with the fact that the university doesn’t want the COVID-19 cases for the campus have expected. Many students look forward to the break to increase. And while that would be a
good reason behind this new spring plan, there still could have been a better way to plan this out and possibly phrase it better as well. It is still heartbreaking to see a break that many students look forward to go away. Another highlight for next semester is the planned date for Oyster Bake, an event many students were not expecting to see. Having such a big event on campus, even with safety precautions and protocols, is still concerning for those who plan to remain on campus next semester. With Oyster Bake bringing in as many people as it normally does, how many COVID precautions will be put in place if the event continues to takes place? There is still the chance that the university might not as effectively enforce new protocols during Oyster Bake especially with the current challenges associated with enforcing safety protocols on campus with students. Many feel that this will not be beneficial to campus safety and that makes students worry for themselves and their fellow students on campus. It looks like the best option is to hope for the best and pray that the university has a plan that will prioritize the safety of students and staff on campus. However, precautions will remain uncertain until the continuation of Oyster Bake is determined.
With a year that gave us an unprecedented economic challenges, more awareness on presidential election, it’s important to reflect o this heavy year. Students share who a
“Historic voter turnout!” - @ivan_lbriones
“The friends and professors I’ve Photo by Samant
“Being able to sleep more.” - @m_h37_able
“My new (and first) dog!” - @dxndvl “The opportunity to continue learning what
“My boyfriend and our cat family.” - @kth
Courtesy of @
“Having a supportive group of people aroun
“For my fam
“Thankful for having my family and friend
Courtesy of @sop
d global pandemic, a new learning platform, n racial conflict in American and a divisive on the things that bring us love and joy during and what they are thankful for in 2020.
e met at St. Mary’s.” - @monserratgarciardz
Courtesy of @m
“Family and friends!” - @oohhcelizeth
I’m passionate about at stmu.” - @mia.cg__
hxbri “My health.” - @yesiodishow
nd me.” - @viictoriaeliise
Courtesy of @ooh
mily’s and friends’ health.” - @dan.whisper
ds.” - @sophiarod721
eason 2.” - @omar_herrera_miramontestx
Photo by Saman
Editor: Samantha Ruvalcaba
EDITOR: GERARDO NINO POZOS | @STMURATTLERNEWS | NOV. 12, 2020
Ways to spot and address symptoms of seasonal depression GERARDO NINO POZOS LIFEESTYLE EDITOR
Seasonal affective disorder typically affects people in the late fall and early winter seasons. College students are especially vulnerable during this time as many find it strenuous to keep their spirits up. As the pressure of final exams looms in the background, academic responsibilities make students wish they could fast-forward to the relaxing respite of winter break. Appropriately labeled SAD is commonly referred to as seasonal or winter depression. The National Institute of Mental Health loosely defines SAD as changes in behavior and mood caused by the changing of the seasons.
“When I think of spring and summer, I think of spring break, summer break, hanging out with friends, spending time outside… when I think of the colder months, I’m inside, cooped up, you just feel a lot less social, a little bit more lonely,”
Alvaro Garza environmental science major
Relative to students at St. Mary’s, upheavals in normal behavior and mood can have substantial effects on the mental and emotional wellbeing of students that translates into reclusive behavior and concurrently, poor academic performance. Social distancing is exacerbating the situation by keeping people separated,
therefore making people susceptible to SAD as they are often alone. Nevertheless, there are key symptoms to take note and healthy steps to take to reduce the undue burden caused by seasonal depression. NIH cites decreased serotonin levels connected to fewer hours of sunlight during the Vernal Equinox as a probable cause of SAD. Similarly, the overproduction of melatonin, a hormone crucial in maintaining the sleep-wake cycle, is also suspected as a likely cause. Common symptoms of SAD are periods of low energy, difficulty concentrating and feeling depressed. Habitually sleeping or not sleeping enough, undereating or overeating accompany these symptoms. Symptoms often do not overlap and vary wildly. Students should take note of these symptoms if exhibited by their friends or in themselves. Alvaro Garza, freshman environmental science major, began his first year of college at St. Mary’s virtually. Garza said virtual class has had a cascading effect on his social life, causing him to miss out on the traditional college experience. “I definitely do feel different when the weather changes. Gloomy days and cold weather do have an effect on how you feel,” Garza commented. Garza admits he is not typically afflicted by seasonal depression but notes the changes in mindset that come with each season. “When I think of spring and summer, I think of spring break, summer break, hanging out with friends, spending time outside… when I think of the colder months, I’m inside, cooped up, you just feel a lot less social, a little bit more lonely,” Garza said.
Two crucial activities for counteracting seasonal depression are being outdoors during the daylight and interacting with people whenever possible. Sunlight is not only beneficial for the energy and warmth the sun provides the Earth; sunlight is rich in vitamin D. Vitamin D stimulates the production of serotonin, as decreased serotonin levels are believed to cause winter depression. In addition, spending time with friends and family in a safe and socially distanced manner also produces beneficial hormones. “Although it’s not as pleasant outdoors, try to spend time out there [outside], whether that be mild exercise or just a stroll in the neighborhood. Those are some things that help me and help a lot of other people too,” concluded Garza. Expressing one’s feelings to friends or family can be monumentally frightening out of fear of being judged. As such, students can visit the student counseling center adjacent to Alkek Plaza. Counselors must maintain confidentiality so students can put trust in their freedom of expressing private thoughts without the fear of judgement. However, the rules of confidentiality are not a blanket statement. Counselors are available for one on one appointments through Zoom and
Graphic by Ivan Briones
recommend certain treatment. Please note that the information provided regarding seasonal depression is meant as helpful suggestions but not as professional mental health guidance. Should a student feel that their mental or emotional health is at risk beyond that of normal seasonal depression, they should consult a medical professional or counselor right away. Lastly, spending
friends and family is vital towards offsetting any negative feelings associated with the cold and brief days of fall and winter.
A Rattler’s guide to spreading joy during the holiday season MORGAN KUCHTA STAFF WRITER
While the act of giving isn’t exclusive to holidays, the holidays certainly enhance the giving spirit. It should also be said that giving isn’t limited to material items, it is any act of thoughtfulness that counts. Thanksgiving inspires gratitude; Christmas is full of surprises. The holidays overall are full of togetherness and care. In the name of the holiday spirit, there are several ways students can give back, especially with a long break just around the corner. Assemble care packages Care packages and baskets, a collection of personalized or themed items, are a wonderful gift to pass along. Typical care packages consist of snacks, nice notes, stuffed animals, fun pictures -virtually anything can be included. Brissa Campos, freshman international and global studies major, continued this tradition both personally and within her social groups at school. “We have a tradition [called], Amigo Secreto and we give gifts and care packages! I did it in high school for friends and school groups. This last year, I did a big box and packaging and lots of photos. I hope to do so again this year,” said Campos. Write friends and family nice cards and notes Delivering kindness through words is another simple but heartwarming act. “[Sending and receiving] notes has brought me a lot of happiness and
Campos giving gifts with friends at Casa Hogar Para Madres Adolescentes.| Photo by Brissa Campos
excitement,” said Campos. Another great option is doing this habitually with a pen pal. A surprising number of things can fit inside an envelope: a list of recommendations of movies and shows, a personal playlist, fun stickers, pressed flowers, tea bags and cards creating plenty of joy. Make donations By donating items, those items are given an extended life and can help someone in need. Dropping off items at the nearest Goodwill is a possibility but researching local centers and smaller organizations is also a worthwhile choice. The sharing of previously loved things is a great way to
spread joy in one’s local community and follow one of the best values of the holiday season – charity. Donating food items is another significant way to improve the wellbeing of the community and stay true to the spirit of the holidays. Thanksgiving typically draws to mind a full table, but the sad truth is that this is not the reality for everyone. In fact, according to Feeding America, statistics are shifting more than ever. It is estimated that one in six Americans could face hunger as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Volunteer time Volunteering is another charitable way to give back, and it can still be done remotely.
Campos is heavily involved in both the St. Mary’s community and her local community in Lima, Peru. For Campos, compassion is key no matter the season and agrees that volunteering time aligns completely with the season’s giving spirit. Campos is currently involved in Raise the Voices and finds that assisting and informing others is a great way to continue making a positive impact. “Raise the Voices is an organization made by volunteers around the world who want to raise the voices of those with civil rights being harmed. Here in Peru, we are bringing attention to disappearances and assaults... We are finding people to interview, doing so through the computer, so[that] their testimonials inform others,” Campos said. Spend time together Of all the possible recommendations, spending quality time with loved ones is tremendously important, no matter the time of year. Giving the gift of sharing an experience is perhaps one of the greatest things people can do. Making hot chocolate, decorating the Christmas tree, cozying up by the fire, crafting ornaments, baking and delivering goodies, watching films and singing along to holiday tunes create lasting memories. It’s now more important than ever to cherish friends and family. In a world that has become increasingly uncertain, students should create as many memories that they can hold dear for years to come. Happy holidays, fellow Rattlers!
NOV. 12, 2020 | STMURATTLERNEWS.COM
How students can take advantage of a longer winter break COURTNEY PENA STAFF WRITER
Compared to previous semesters, this semester has both looked and functioned differently. A prime example of these changes is that Labor Day was the only day off for students, without a mid-semester break to relax and unwind. Additionally, students will not meet after Thanksgiving for final exams, rather final exams will end the day before Thanksgiving. Thus, winter break will be longer than normal. In total, winter break will span 55 days with classes resuming on Jan. 20. With that in mind, here are some plans students can make to take advantage of the long academic hiatus. 1. Apply for a Job The holidays are a time when department stores hire additional help due to the larger shopping crowd. It is a good opportunity to get paid and save money for future expenses like holiday gifts or plans after graduation. Noteworthy companies that are hiring for the holidays include Best Buy, Gap, Hobby Lobby, Kohl’s and more. To look for job openings in a specific location, go to https:// www.indeed.com/, or look for “Now Hiring” or “Help Wanted” signs. 2. Apply for internships Students at St. Mary’s are not required to complete an internship for their university core, but the experience greatly complements a resume. Professors have sent emails with links about prospective internships throughout the semester. Before embarking
on break, students should glance back at important to apply for scholarships. Search their emails and filter through internships for local, state, and national scholarships to they might be interested in. Alternatively, complete during the long break. Chegg and Handshake is another great resource for Niche are popular websites to find a suitable finding appealing internships. Once found, scholarship, but be wary of scams before be sure to apply. applying. Lastly, this is a great time to 3. Take a Wintermester Course complete the FAFSA (Free Application For students that want to for Federal Student Aid) get ahead, fill their time or before the March 20 take the short version of priority deadline to a full semester course, ensure the maximum a Wintermester class amount of funding is the right choice. is received. Students can take a 5. Volunteer variety of St. Mary’s A great way to core classes such as: give back during the nature, God, ethics, holiday season is to civic engagement aid the community and social action, by volunteering. In fine arts and creative San Antonio, one process, literature, volunteer opportunity and capstone to consider is Meals seminar: prospect on Wheels where for community volunteers deliver & civilization. food to senior citizens Additional classes in a safe environment. are being offered For more information, in subjects such as visit https://www. Graphic by Sara G. Regassa communication studies, m ow s at x . or g / v o lu nt e e r. finance, management, and more for Other volunteer opportunities may be fulfilling requirements. Similarly, there are available virtually for students who prefer to courses offered on edX, an online platform remain at home. created by Harvard and MIT, that students 6. Sharpen Computer Skills can select to take for free. As people have transitioned to working 4. Apply for scholarships remotely for work or school, the role of College can be very expensive, so it is computers in completing tasks has become
more prominent. Many continue to sharpen their skills to work productively from home. Microsoft Excel, Word and Powerpoint are common applications utilized by a majority of people. However, students can extend their skills by watching tutorials in Adobe InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator, diversifying themselves further. 6. Pick up a hobby Self-isolating at home can easily get tedious and boring, but this opens the doors to learning a new trick or hobby. One idea is learning to cook. This can be a great opportunity to practice cooking holiday dishes. Another idea is exercising by walking around the neighborhood or following an at-home online workout. Similarly, there are online workshops in learning skills like coding and design. 7. Relax With only one day allocated for break this semester, it is safe to say that students deserve to have time off to relax and enjoy the holidays with loved ones. It is highly recommended for students that live on campus to self-quarantine in their dorms two weeks early before returning home for break. With many options to choose from, the pressure to do something seen as productive is high. Students should remember that the most important thing is to enjoy the break before it ends and avoid feeling guilty for taking time for one’s peace of mind. Jan. 20 is going to come quickly, so it’s best to spend that time to one’s liking.
International and out of state students face travel dilemma GERARDO NINO POZOS LIFESTYLE EDITOR
As expected, the reality of students traveling back home for the holidays has a more complicated dynamic this year. Now, students are forced to consider the implications behind public transportation and their hometown situations regarding COVID-19. The most impacted are St. Mary’s international students and out-ofstate students who face tough decisions on traveling. Some of whom opted to stay home for the fall semester. “I live in East Yorkshire, England. I decided to stay at home because of COVID-19. My family and I thought it would be safer to stay at home rather than having to travel all the way to San Antonio,” said Alice Thane, junior communication studies major.
“I live in East Yorkshire, England. I decided to stay at home because of COVID-19. My family and I thought it would be safer to stay at home rather than having to travel all the way to San Antonio,”
Alice Thane junior communication studies major
Thane spent her first semester of junior year at home. As a native of England, Thane is not sheltered from the pandemic as England continues to face its own issues in containing the spread of COVID-19; as a result, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a month-long lockdown of the country effective until Dec. 2. For Thane, transitioning to online has been fairly
maintain low COVID-19 cases is perhaps make them feel in presence of God and keep encouraging students to return to campus hope and faith in times of pandemic.” and capitalize on receiving a traditional college experience. “I will be going home for the “I will be going home for the winter break, winter break, however, that is however, that is not something I was hoping to do because of my concerns regarding not something I was hoping COVID-19,” said Isac Perez, junior political to do because of my concerns science and criminal justice major. regarding COVID-19,” Perez is among the students on Isac Perez campus where the number of COVID-19 junior political science and criminal cases back home has made them justice major uncomfortable in returning. According to the aforementioned New York Times map, Velarde plans to stay in San Antonio El Paso is a hotspot of COVID-19 cases following graduation from St. Mary’s. His relative to Texas. “I will be driving straight from San family has been very motivating for him to Antonio to El Paso in one day with only finish his semester at St. Mary’s and remain in one stop for gas and I will quarantine, just San Antonio to benefit his career. However, in case, for the safety and [concern] of my Velarde noted the difficulties that his fellow family,” said Perez. international students must face. Students returning home “It is a very hard decision should exercise extra for international students-precaution, especially if their hometown is having to decide between seeing sharp spikes their education or in COVID-19 safety. I was fortunate cases. Perez enough to have said he’d go to people who helped great lengths to protect himself me and kept me safe,” and his family. added Velarde. Other students face As students similar predicaments. weigh the risks associated “My home is Lima, with traveling and possibly Peru. I decided to stay because, at home, I do not spreading the virus to the most have the means to study at Graphic by Sara G. Regassa vulnerable in their families, one home,” said Angel Velarde, wonders whether next semester senior psychology and Spanish major. “Plus, I had a duty as a peer minister will be any different and whether students with the St. Mary’s residents, and that is will regain a sense of stability in their lives.
Velarde posing in Peru.| Photo by Angel Velarde
smooth. However, as a member of the tennis team and with the NCAA Division II league expected to resume in the spring, Thane expects to return to campus next spring. “My family and I have thought about it, but tennis season is [starting] next semester so I want to get back and play for the team and see all my friends again,” said Thane. Overall, the U.S. is also experiencing surges of COVID-19 cases. According to a COVID-19 map updated by the New York Times, San Antonio reflects average numbers, and is no longer a COVID hotspot. The relatively lower number of cases in San Antonio coupled with low numbers of reported cases on campus has given the university confidence to finish out the semester without sending students home and continuing plans for spring 2021. The relative success of St. Mary’s to
EDITOR: JACOB A. HENSON | @STMURATTLERNEWS | NOV. 12, 2020
Upcoming cyber madness: eight great tech finds on Amazon Amazon is well-known for having inexpensive, easy to access tech gadgets. As the holidays are approaching with giftgiving season around the corner, it may be time to start looking at gifts for friends, family or even for one’s self. Here are eight great technology finds that can be found during this upcoming cyber madness. 1. Lavince Sleep Headphones Bluetooth Sports Headband With a completely wireless and comfortable fit, these headphones are great for relaxing or working out and they can be found on Amazon for $18.89. The Lavince Headphones connect to any Bluetooth compatible device and fit comfortably over the ear, wrapping around the head for a secure fit. Designed as a headband, they can be worn during meditation, yoga and even sleep — especially helpful for those who struggle with insomnia. 2. Amazon Echo Dot (third generation) The popular Amazon Echo Dot smart speaker is currently available just in time for the holidays at $18.99 preorder, whereas the
fourth generation is $49.99. This release will make the perfect tech gift for any home. 3. Amazon Fire 7 Tablet The Amazon Fire 7 Tablet can be purchased for $49.99, making it one of the most affordable tablets on the market. This tablet has 16 GB of storage, a front and rearfacing camera, and can be used with Amazon’s Alexa;
currently available for only $59.49, and is one of the most affordable options when looking at projectors. This LED projector connects via HDMI and USB and includes a remote. It makes a great gift for movie lovers or the perfect addition for a holiday movie marathon. 5. Mpow Noise-Canceling Headphones
an ideal gift for those in search of their first tablet. 4. PVO Mini Projector Looking for a way to mix up movie night? This mini projector is compact and
Sometimes it’s nice to tune out the world and tune into your favorite jams, and these noise-canceling headphones can help do just that. Available for $49.99, these headphones connect via Bluetooth and have
Graphic by Jacob A. Henson
ELIZABETH PEREZ STAFF WRITER
deep bass and HD sound. 6. Crosstour Digital Picture Frame Photos are a great way to remember moments with friends and family, and since many students are spending a lot of time separated, this digital picture frame can help bring friends and family closer by displaying favorite memories in a slideshow. Available for $49.99 this digital picture frame is compatible with SD cards, USB drives and also includes a remote. 7. EasyAcc Wireless Charger Desk Organizer This desk organizer also functions as a charging station for both Apple and Samsung products. It is available for $28.99 and comes with three multiuse pockets for desk supply storage, and can charge through phone cases . 8. Rocketbook Wave Smart Notebook This eco-friendly electronic notebook mimics real paper and stores all notes in the cloud before erasing. It can be used with normal pens, markers and highlighters but also includes a pen with purchase. The Rocketbook Smart Notebook is available for $22.01 and is perfect for all students who take notes in class or read on the go.
Explore Fiesta couture “Behind the Seams” at the Witte Museum ELIZABETH PEREZ STAFF WRITER
Fiesta San Antonio is a big part of the university’s traditions, especially when it comes to Oyster Bake. Oyster Bake began in 1916 when a group of St. Mary’s alumni gathered on the banks of the San Antonio river downtown. The annual Fiesta San Antonio event has grown to having over 70,000 attendees and more than 7,000 volunteers at the festival. A two-day event filled with live music, food and fun, Oyster Bake is a staple of the St. Mary’s tradition, and marketed as “a party with a purpose” because all of the festival’s proceeds go directly to students at St. Mary’s University. With the unfortunate cancellation of Oyster Bake and Fiesta San Antonio, which had been originally rescheduled in the fall because of the coronavirus pandemic, many San Antonians and St. Mary’s students feel saddened that these iconic events are no longer taking place this year. Oyster Bake
is scheduled to return on April 16, 2021, but until then, Witte Museum visitors can still experience a bit of the canceled 2020 Fiesta tradition. The Witte Museum is hosting its Fiesta Couture exhibit through Nov. 29. Titled ‘Fiesta Couture: Behind the Seams,’ the exhibit will explore the world of the skilled artisans who create the spectacular coronation robes for the Order of the Alamo. Visitors will be able to catch a glimpse behind the scenes of the design process and learn about the craftsmanship that helps make the coronation of the Queen of the Order of the Alamo the wonderful spectacle that it is. Fiesta San Antonio describes the event “Founded by San Antonio businessmen and community leaders in 1909. The Order of the Alamo celebrates Texas’ heroic struggle for independence from Mexico. … With a spectacularly set stage, the symphony orchestra performs the accompaniment as visiting and in-town Duchesses make their full-court bows, followed by the presentation of Her Royal
Highness the Princess and the Coronation of Her Gracious Majesty, the Queen,” the Witte Museum website states. As an important part of Fiesta San Antonio, each coronation is organized around a theme which, according to the Witte Museum’s exhibit description, is selected two years in advance. After the theme is selected, the Mistress of the Robes, the court artist, and the dressmakers start the process of bringing it to life in the coronation robes for the Queen and her court. ‘Fiesta Couture: Behind the Seams’ will give visitors a look into this unique art of storytelling through clothing that makes the Order of the Alamo such a well-loved part of Fiesta San Antonio. All coronation robes are fashioned using vibrant fabrics, colorful embroidery, and intricate designs made with sequins, beads, and rhinestones. These robes are truly a staple of the Fiesta San Antonio celebration and an experience that many San Antonians have truly missed this past Fiesta season.
With the opening of the new exhibit, the Witte Museum offers visitors a chance to experience the breathtaking gowns once again and learn about their history and design process. For those looking to catch a glimpse of the Fiesta couture’s beautiful art, admission to the Witte Museum can be purchased at $14 for adults; tickets are available both in person and online. The museum is open every day of the week and will offer additional discounts through programs like ‘Museums for All,’ offering $3 off general admission and ‘Museums on Us,’ which offers free admission to Bank of America card holders. Additionally, a $1 discount will be offered to active duty or retired military and their family. For those interested in attending, complete details on admission costs, hours and ticket information can be found on the Witte Museum’s website at www. wittemuseum.org. As with any outing these days, if planning to visit the Witte Museum, be sure to social distance, wear a mask and sanitize frequently.
Photos courtesy of @wittemuseum
NOV. 12, 2020 | STMURATTLERNEWS.COM
the sounds of october review LARRY RODRIGUEZ SHEA HEALTH EDITOR
The month of October was packed with several new album releases. The slate of new music first began with 21 Savage and Metro Boomin’s “Savage Mode II” and rounded out with Ariana Grande’s “Positions.” Here are just six of the albums that came out this month that are worth a listen. (All photos are courtesy of respective album record labels.)
21 Savage and Metro Boomin “Savage Mode II” 6.5/10 21 Savage and Metro Boomin deliver a soso sequel to their hit album “Savage Mode.” Much of this album is expected from the artists, with 21 Savage delivering his usual, aggressive style of rap paired with familiar 808s (electronic drum machine beats) and beats by Metro. However, that familiarity struggles to make an impact or leave the listener with any memorable tracks. Drake and Savage team up for a rhythm and blues inspired track that could easily be on any other Drake and Savage album. One of the better parts of the album comes from Morgan Freeman’s excellent narration and interludes. “Snitches & Rats” utilized Freeman’s voice to perfection: “A regular citizen who reports seeing a crime isn’t a ‘snitch’ or a ‘rat’/ The criminals were just sloppy/ Snitches and rats are not the same thing.” In what was supposed to be a highly anticipated sequel of two powerhouses, instead turned out just okay.
Westside Gunn “Who Made the Sunshine” 8/10 Griselda Records was on fire this year, dropping album after album. The Gunn and the Griselda family should be praised for their work ethic, as “Who Made the Sunshine” is Gunn’s third successful album of the year. This might be his best project yet. Jam-packed with a talented cast of features, this album curates a musical experience with its experimental beats and sharp bars. The blend of old school New York hip-hop and modern sound that Griselda Records is known for is perhaps best realized on “Good Night” and “Ocean Prime” where Slick Rick and Gunn trade bars, with Busta Rhymes
also making an appearance. Although at times Gunn’s experimental beats might not land for everyone, and “Frank Murphy” is an example of one of those tracks. Bar for bar, the song holds its own against the album. The beat certainly isn’t a land for everyone; at times sounding like a mess, but when it does click the haunting bells and shrills are easy to get lost in among the ensemble of voices. The pinnacle of the record comes from “98 Sabres” where Just Blaze delivers another classic beat, which the Griselda family runs away with: “RIP to rappers I buried, left the trap and then married/ I won a ring for every team I was on, like Vinatieri.” What the listener is left with is another hit for Griselda and more reason for the hip-hop world to be on notice.
Benny the Butcher “Burden of Proof ” 10/10 Griselda Records is also known for its heavy tracks, packed ad-libs, wrestling references and eerily experimental beats. In a refreshing break from the atypical hip-hop album, Benny the Butcher and acclaimed beat maker Hit-Boy tactfully blend the wit of the greatest lyricists with experimental beats that perfectly blend classic hip-hop with modern sounds. Paired with great rappers such as Lil Wayne and Rick Ross, Benny outshines them on every bar. As he says himself on “Legend”: “Ever since they said I’m goin’ pro,/ they said I’m the next so-and-so.” In “Sly Green” Benny conjures a style that boasts and proves he is next big thing: “… Griselda’s the factory/ You need a million dollars and an army tank just to match me (what’s poppin’).” What sets “Burden of Proof ” apart is the blending of classic and modern sounds. Referencing legends B.I.G. and 2Pac throughout, Benny also evokes their style as such: “Got them haters disappointed like when the soda overcooked/ More money, more problems, jealous [expletive] throwin’ looks” calling on the themes of “Juicy” and “Mo Money Mo Problems” on “Trade it All.” Homage to the greats is also done in perfection, calling on 2Pac in the next immediate track, “Thank God I Made it,” reminding the listener of “Dear Mama” and “Keep Ya Head Up”: “You made me the man I am today, I never told you/ Dressed me in hand me down ‘cause you couldn’t afford Polo/ How it feel to see your two oldest boys’ names on logos?” Although it’s hard to say definitively what the best track off the record is, “Thank God I made it” makes a convincing case with powerful lyrics across the whole track where he thanks God for his success and reflects on the loss of his brother. Finally, The Griselda family rounds out the album with their familiar style on “War Paint” and closes with the daring “Legend.”
In its last song, this album is not afraid to speak its legacy: “They tried tell me I’ma be a legend soon though/ I’m a legend now.” It’s no wonder this album has established itself as a strong contender for album of the year; brining Griselda Records closer into the spotlight.
Ty Dolla $ign “Featuring Ty Dolla $ign” 6/10 Ty Dolla $ign pokes fun at his common role as a feature artist on this album “Featuring Ty Dolla $ign.” What ensues is a lot of just okay songs where Ty seemingly calls in every feature he’s owed. The songs are expertly mixed together with each song flowing into the next. This is due to strong mastering and tired repetitive beats that dominate the genre today. However, these beats are better than the average R&B and hip-hop songs because they feature a sense of maturity. There aren’t many memorable tracks but a host of memorable bars like on “Your Turn” and “Track 6:” “Nobody is truly yours/ It’s just your turn,” and “Enough of the long talks, send you on a long walk/ I got a lot on my mind, things that I’m goin’ through” (Track 6). These bars represent the story being told throughout the album. Whether it’s getting over an ex or moving on from past loves — or moving on to new ones — the album grapples with tricky feelings and represents a mature and hopeful change of pace for Ty. This is best exemplified on “Status:” “I told Ye to run for president/ He said, ‘Dolla, you too good to put your voice on that generic [expletive].” Moving forward Ty may rebrand his style and embrace his maturity, but he could just as easily stick to what he’s comfortable with, and this album leaves him in a position to do either.
Sam Smith “Love Goes” 7/10 (Note: Smith’s preferred pronouns are they/them.) Smith plays it safe on their album “Love Goes.” What is delivered is not a far departure from sounds that the artist has delivered in the past. The selection of songs evokes feelings of a different type of intimacy. One where the listener is let into the artist’s pain, because they invite the listener to feel that
same pain: “Put your hands in the air if you sometimes ever get sad like me/ Put your fingers on your chest and your body and breathe, let it be,” (“So Serious”). Where other artists explore love, Smith explores the realm of heartbreak and shortlived, unrealized relationships like on “Another One”: “But oh congratulations, you found the one, you found the one/ I think I can finally face that I’m not the one, never was the one.” Sam’s powerful voice is haunting, moving and balanced against a sense of familiarity in the pop style beats and the occasional grandiose measures. Marketed as a heartbreak album, Smith delivers strong emotions stirred throughout this album; it is difficult not to be moved: “You’re broken, I know this/ And if you knew it/ You would love me a whole different way,” (“Love Goes”). While the album is nothing new, it is hard-pressing to resist humming some of these tracks weeks after listening to them, like “Dancing with a Stranger” and “How do You Sleep,” which capture familiar and memorable pop hits.
Ariana Grande “Positions” 8.5/10 From “Sweetener” to “thank u next” Grande has challenged the conventional notion of what it means to be a pop artist. “Positions” brings the same boldness that has allowed Grande to be successful and tries to rebrand it. Coupling airy pop beats with R&B and hip-hop undertones, and the occasional impressive instrumentals, the audience joins Grande in a playful and deeply intimate journey through a budding but uncertain romance. Opening with the soft and light “shut up” Grande tells critics exactly what she thinks and sets the tone and theme of the album: “All them demons helped me see [expletive] differently/ So don’t be sad for me.” What follows is a journey of passion and romance, processing those demons she struggles with. Songs like “34+35” balance passionate and romantically charged lyrics against a playfully whimsical and brazen beat, a theme that repeats through the album. On “just like magic” she goes through an average day with confidence but doesn’t hesitate to remind us of prior trauma with former boyfriend Mac Miller: “Manifest it, I finessed it (I finessed it)/ Take my pen and write some love letters to heaven.” Listeners float on Grande’s voice through the album hearing the playfulness of “34+35,” flutter on heavier songs like “love language,” and nod to the pure rhythms in “my hair.” Although not as bold as past projects and certainly missing daring tracks like “God is Woman” and “thank u next,” this album invites the listener into Grande’s mind and relationships filled with tongue in cheek romance — challenging the audience to see things from different ‘positions.’
14 EN ESPAÑOL
EDITORA: SAMANTHA RUVALCABA |@STMURATTLERNEWS | NOV. 12, 2020
Profesora de derecho demanda a la universidad por mal uso de fondos donados POLINA PROTOZANOVA/ JOSÉ CHAMAN EDITORA DE NOTICIAS/ ESCRITOR DEL PERSONAL
La profesora de la escuela de derecho de St. Mary’s, Laura Burney, ha presentado una demanda contra la universidad por incumplimiento del deber fiduciario y fraude en septiembre 20. Burney acusa a la administración por actuar en beneficio personal en un acuerdo legal mutuo. En 1984 y 1985, Frank J. Scanio, Jr. donó una suma total de $200,000 a la universidad para establecer el Profesorado en Leyes sobre Petróleo y Gas en la escuela de derecho de St. Mary’s. El nombre deriva del anterior miembro de facultad James Castleberry quien sirvió como Decano de la Facultad de Derecho de 1978 a 1989. El profesorado creó un premio académico que la universidad otorgaría al más respetado y calificado docente en el campo. En 2003 Scanio Jr. contribuyó un adicional de $73,000 al fondo del galardón. Junto con las primeras donaciones Scanio, Jr. envió una carta a la administración indicando que “…el ingreso anual [de la donación] será dedicado sola y exclusivamente para el propósito de pagar a un profesor senior enseñando leyes sobre gas y petróleo… un salario suplementario encima de, y, en conjunto con, el salario normalmente presupuestado para el pago de dicho profesor.” La posición de Castleberry Chair fue entragada a Burney en los años 2019 a 2021. Burney ha sido la cabeza del Consejo de Ley de Texas Bar sobre Petróleo, Gas y Recursos Energéticos y argumentó varios casos frente a la Corte Suprema de Texas, convirtiéndola en la “profesora senior” que recibiría el salario suplementario de la donación. Sin embargo, según Burney, ella no recibió la distribución del Profesorado Castleberry en su totalidad, mientras la administración
usaba los fondos del presupuesto operativo. En la demanda, Burney alega que la universidad ha estado reteniendo hasta el 50% de los fondos Castleberry destinados a su salario adicional, y usándolos para otros propósitos que conflictúan con el deseo del donante. El argumento legal de Burney ilustra que
está por comentar sobre el caso, no obstante, el equipo legal de la universidad trajo varios argumentos en contra de las acusaciones de Burney. Robert Newman, un abogado representando a St. Mary’s en la corte, cree que los reclamos en contra de la universidad carecen de base alguna.
Edificio administrativo principal St. Louis Hall ubicado en Camino Santa Maria.| Foto por Demi Bestor
las políticas existentes de St. Mary’s hacia la distribución de la donación contradice la petición de Scanio. Mientras que en la política se lee que “al menos el 50% de la financiación dotada [debe ir] hacia el salario y beneficio existente,” el requerimiento del donante pide por el pago total del ingreso de la cátedra generado. Desde la perspectiva legal de Burney, el problema en cuestión es que la universidad debería seguir una política existente o el pedido requerido por el donante. El presidente Thomas Mengler todavía
“Nuestro argumento principal es – ella [Burney] no tiene derecho a todo el ingreso [de la dotación de Castleberry Chair] porque “ingresos” significa que tenemos la discreción de gastar hasta un porcentaje determinado del corpus [dotación], y ella no está de acuerdo con la ley, pero hay un estatuto estatal directamente en punto,” dijo Newman. En este momento, ambos lados concuerdan en los hechos del caso y esperan a la corte para decidir qué es lo que indica la ley sobre la disputa. Newman no está
totalmente seguro sobre la próxima línea de tiempo de la demanda, aunque mencionó que desea que hubiese habido conversaciones holísticas y productivas antes de presentar la demanda en primer lugar. “El caso, ojalá, no continuará por meses o años… es probable que después que la corte dictamine sobre algunas mociones pendientes que se redefina el foco del caso y nos permita avanzar a través de este más rápido,” él dijo. Como resultado de la crisis económica nacional, muchas pequeñas instituciones de artes liberales están luchando financieramente; esta demanda podría añadirse a los problemas de St. Mary’s que hayan podido ser infligidos por la pandemia. Anteriormente, este año la universidad tomó un golpe esperado de $10 millones al presupuesto de 2021 y una disminución en las matrículas debido a la pandemia de coronavirus. Durante el verano, el departamento de recursos humanos tuvo que despedir a 24 personas del staff y dar licencia a 52 empleados por uno o dos meses. Adicionalmente, muchos miembros de la facultad recibieron recortes de sueldo desde el 6% hasta el 20% dependiendo del tamaño del salario inicial. A pesar de la pregunta de si la universidad está bien o mal con respecto al caso, una demanda relacionada con el gasto del fondo de donaciones por la administración podría traer preguntas entre los donantes actuales de la universidad. Esta demanda no tiene fecha fija de resolución y podría desplegarse por algún tiempo, revelando nuevos hechos sobre la disputa. Es poco común que una pequeña escuela de artes liberales se encuentre en medio de un argumento legal público. Las formas en que esto afecta la posición pública de la universidad o sus políticas internas son aún indefinidas.
El rector Buhrman ofrece una actualización sobre los nuevos cursos básicos SAMANTHA RUVALCABA/ JONATHAN HERNANDEZ EDITORA DIRECTORA/ TRADUCTOR CONTRIBUYENTE
Cambios al currículo básico de St. Mary’s están en camino después de recibir el apoyo de la junta directiva de la universidad. El cambio más reciente al currículo básico será que ya no incluirá el curso SMC Civic Engagement (Participación Cívica).
Nos preocupaba cada vez más que teníamos un currículo básico, pero estaba siendo completado con todo tipo de excepciones que no coincidían con su propósito original.”
Bill Buhrman rector de asuntos académicos
Bill Buhrman, rector de asuntos académicos, dijo que el proceso oficialmente comenzó hace dos años después de que el comité de currículo básico fue formado para evaluar el currículo de diez años. Una de las preocupaciones del comité es el número de excepciones que se estaban haciendo al favor de los estudiantes para que no tuvieran que tomar los cursos de SMC. “Nos preocupaba cada vez más que teníamos un currículo básico, pero estaba
siendo completado con todo tipo de en enero. Según Buhrman, lo que es certero excepciones que no coincidían con su es que el nuevo currículo ya no tendrá un propósito original,” dijo Buhrman. curso de participación cívica. Buhrman añadió que el comité también “Hay un comité de profesores y personal, analizo que opciones de crédito dual de el cual incluye algunos estudiantes, quienes las universidades cercanas, como las del están investigando como podemos incluir Alamo College, estaban ofreciendo a sus la participación cívica las especializaciones estudiantes, y que créditos de transferencia académicas, en lugar de tenerla en una sola los estudiantes entrantes traen con ellos. clase SMC,” dijo Buhrman. En la situación actual, Buhrman continuó la universidad acepta un y dijo que los cursos máximo de 66 créditos en el nuevo currículo de transferencia de tendrán un curso Alamo College en los paralelo SMC que niveles 1000 y 2000 cada departamento de educación general y tendrá que diseñar. cursos de estudios en Por ejemplo, el curso campos específicos. SMC Foundations Los términos en la of Civilization que los créditos de (Fundamentos de transferencia son la Civilización) que aceptados varía según los es enseñado por programas de estudios y el departamento especializaciones. de historia ahora Gráfica por Sara Regassa tendrá que diseñar un “Queremos ser atentos con nuestro entorno externo,” dijo requerimiento de historia para reemplazar Buhrman. “Nuestros estudiantes llegaban el curso. El siguiente paso en el proceso de con más crédito dual que queríamos aplicar revisión será que los profesores identifiquen a sus programas de estudios.” y diseñen el nuevo currículo por cada curso, El comité todavía está trabajando en dijo Buhrman. aprobar los nuevos cambios de cursos y “Para casi todos los cursos SMC, ahora estiman que tendrá una imagen más clara existe un requisito para un curso en esa de cómo el nuevo currículo básico se verá área,” dijo Buhrman. “[El nuevo currículo]
Sabremos más en el semestre de primavera—hacia el principio del semestre de primavera, espero—sobre como los estudiantes actuales y entrantes se adaptarán al nuevo currículo...”
Bill Buhrman rector de asuntos académicos permanece tan enfocado en las artes liberales cómo estaba antes, pero elimina la uniformidad donde se esperaba que hubiera uniformidad en los cursos SMC. Entonces, en lugar de que todos tomen un solo curso de naturaleza, la gente tendrá que escoger entre una clase de ciencia. Los nuevos cambios de currículo se aplicarán a los planes de estudio a todos los estudiantes de nuevo ingreso de primer año en el otoño de 2021, y el comité aun no decide si los cambios afectaran a los estudiantes existentes. “Sabremos más en el semestre de primavera—hacia el principio del semestre de primavera, espero—sobre como los estudiantes actuales y entrantes se adaptarán al nuevo currículo. Esas también son las decisiones que tendrán que hacerse. Y tienen que hacerse con consultaciones de los decanos y profesores en las escuelas,” dijo Buhrman.
EN ESPAÑOL 15
NOV. 12, 2020 | STMURATTLERNEWS.COM
Opinión: La reelección del presidente conducirá a mejores políticas exteriores JOSÉ CHAMAN ESCRITOR DEL PERSONAL
Las elecciones presidenciales en Estados Unidos son de gran importancia no solo para los ciudadanos americanos, sino para toda la comunidad internacional. Estas elecciones significan más que tan solo elegir qué candidato representa mejor los intereses de las personas, sino de todo el orden mundial. Estados Unidos tiene una larga historia en la que ha asumido el rol de líder de la hegemonía global, liderando y ayudando a países a alcanzar el desarrollo y la paz. No obstante, en los últimos cuatro años, disturbios sociales e increíbles—y a veces irracionales—políticas socioeconómicas del que una vez fue líder global, han sacudido al orden mundial. El presidente de los Estados Unidos, Donald Trump, ha probado ser un tomador de decisiones agresivo, atrevido y despiadado que busca crear el resultado más descomunal sin considerar los daños colaterales. El mundo nunca había visto este nivel de inestabilidad política, ni el abandono de los Estados Unidos de su interés por la sociedad internacional. Como estudiante internacional he visto los resultados de cómo aquellas “pequeñas” e “inofensivas” decisiones políticas pueden causar, llevando a miles a la pobreza,
hambruna y exclusión social. La creciente agitación relacionada con el nacionalismo y aislamiento político-económico de Donald Trump nos ha llevado a un orden sin cabeza donde el Dragón Rojo tiene como objetivo tomar el rol principal. Acciones t o m a d a s por Donald Trump que han afectado al orden mundial son: retirar a Estados Unidos del Acuerdo Transpacífico de Cooperación Económica, anulando la efectividad de este. Declaró a La Organización del Tratado del Atlántico Norte como obsoleta, y después de reunirse con el Director General de la OTAN dijo que ya no era obsoleta. Sacó a Estados Unidos del Acuerdo de Paris sobre el cambio climático. Lanzó 59 misiles a una base siria de donde habían salido jets para combatir a rebeldes. Estas son unas de las más representativas políticas tomadas
por Trump. De este modo, estas elecciones son un rayo de luz, una oportunidad, incluso la esperanza misma por la restauración no solo de la democracia estadounidense dentro de sus fronteras, sino como país líder. Como muchos p olít icos economistas internacionales señalan, estamos parados al borde del precipicio. Así, si los estadounidenses no votan por un líder capaz de darse cuenta del verdadero prof u nd o significado de su trabajo, el orden Gráfica por Ivan Briones mundial caerá en una interminable espiral de decadencia. Si yo pudiese votar en los Estados Unidos, definitivamente lo haría por un líder que escucha a la comunidad epistémica, un líder que cree en los terribles resultados que la globalización y las políticas nacionalistas pueden causar: un líder que sirve y se preocupa por su comunidad y el mundo.
El proceso electoral en Estados Unidos es muy distinto al proceso en Perú. En muchos países Latinoamericanos, votar es obligatorio y gana el candidato que haya recibido mayor porcentaje del voto popular. Es un proceso mucho más simple y rápido que el de los Estados Unidos, ya que no existe un Colegio Electoral. Me sorprende que los Estados Unidos, uno de los exponentes de la libertad, aún se apoye en una sola institución como el Colegio Electoral para escoger al presidente. Las elecciones de este año han sido largas e incluso desesperantes para algunos, el mundo sostuvo el aliento durante los días de la elección, esperando los resultados. La elección de Joe Biden como presidente son buenas noticias no solo para el país, sino para el mundo. Bajo la ultima administración los Estados Unidos regresaron a una política de aislamiento y aceptación de un mundo que trata pobremente a las personas. Sin embargo, yo y muchos otros estudiantes internacionales, migrantes, personas en busca de asilo y quien quiera que haya sufrido los resultados de estas políticas, tienen esperanza por un nuevo líder global que se preocupe por los olvidados. Esperamos que no haya más violaciones a los Derechos Humanos, no más violación de la democracia, y tenemos esperanza por un mundo mejor, unidos como uno.
Vea la costura de Fiesta con exhibición “Behind the Seams” en el Witte Museum JACOB HENSON/MONSERRAT GARCIA EDITOR DE ENTRETENIMIENTO/ TRADUCTORA CONTRIBUYENTE
Fiesta San Antonio es una gran parte de las tradiciones de St.Mary ‘s, especialmente cuando se trata de Oyster Bake. Oyster Blake empezó en 1916 cuando un grupo de estudiantes graduados de St.Mary ‘s se juntaron en el centro de San Antonio al lado del río. El evento anual de Fiesta San Antonio ha llegado a crecer tanto que recibí más de 70,000 personas y más de 7,000 voluntarios en el festival. El evento de dos días que está lleno de música en vivo, comida, y alegría, Oyster Bake es una de las marcas fundamentales para la tradición de St. Mary ‘s, que se lleva a cabo “una fiesta con propósito” por que todos los recursos contribuidos van directamente a los estudiantes de la Universidad de St. Mary’s.
Con la desafortunada cancelación de Oyster Bake y Fiesta San Antonio, que originalmente se pospusieron a Otoño por la pandemia de coronavirus, San Antonio y los estudiantes de St. Mary’s se entristecieron con la noticia de que estos eventos icónicos no sucederán este año. Oyster Bake está programado a realizarse el 16 de Abril de 2021, pero hasta entonces, los visitantes del Museo de Witte pueden seguir teniendo un poco de la experiencia de las tradiciones de Fiesta San Antonio. El Museo de Witte estará alojando una exhibición, nombrada ‘Fiesta Couture: Detrás de las Costuras.’ La exhibición explorara el mundo de los expertos artesanos que crean vestidos espectacular para la coronación del Orden del Alamo. Los visitantes podrán ver el proceso del diseño y aprender de las artesanías que contribuyen a la coronación de la Reina del Orden del Álamo y el maravilloso
espectáculo que es. Fiesta San Antonio describe el evento como “Fundado por los empresarios y líderes de San Antonio en 1909. El Orden del Álamo celebra la lucha heroica de Texas cuando se independizó de México.” Como parte importante de la Fiesta San Antonio, cada coronación está organizada a base de un tema, según la descripción de la exhibición del Museo de Witte, que es elegido dos años de antemano. Después que el tema sea elegido, la amante de las túnicas, la artista de la corte, y la modista empiezan el proceso de traer la vida a los vestidos de la coronación de la reina y su corte. ‘Fiesta Couture: Detrás de las Costuras’ le dará a los visitantes una oportunidad de ver el tipo de arte en que la historia está retratada en costuras de los atuendos que hace el Orden del Álamo, una amada parte de la Fiesta San Antonio. Todos los atuendos de la coronación utilizan telas llamativas,
bordados coloridos, y un intrincado diseño hecho con lentejuelas, perlas, y pedrería. Los atuendos en verdad son fundamentales de la celebración de Fiesta San Antonio y una experiencia que muchos ciudadanos de San Antonio han extrañado. Con la nueva exhibición, el Museo de Witte le ofrece a sus visitantes una oportunidad de ser parte de la impresionante experiencia de ver los vestidos otra vez y aprender de la historia del diseño y su proceso. Para aquellos que quieren ver un poco del hermoso arte de Fiesta Couture, la admisión al Museo de Witte puede ser comprada a $14 dólares para adultos; los boletos están disponibles en persona y en línea. El museo está abierto todos los días de la semana y ofrece descuento a programas como ‘Museos para Todos,’ ofreciendo $3 dólares menos en la entrada.
EDITOR: LARRY RODRIGUEZ SHEA | @STMURATTLERNEWS | NOV 12 , 2020
Graphic by Ivan Briones
Different perspectives on mask wearing shared by students LARRY RODRIGUEZ SHEA HEALTH EDITOR
Masks have been one of the biggest changes to people’s way of life since the start of the pandemic. Some have come to see mask wearing as burdensome or something that is only done while a pandemic is happening. But people’s perceptions, concerning masks and mask wearing, might not grasp the additional health benefits of mask wearing and reasons to mask up. In other parts of the world such as Asia, masks are worn year-round, especially in countries like Japan and China. Sometimes masks are worn to avoid diseases, like the flu or even a common cold. Other times they are worn due to a general health advisory order. This could be due to pollution or other air quality warnings. Enrique Castro, sophomore computer science major, grew up in Japan. He shared that throughout the year the country would issue mask orders and recommendations based on the quality of the air. He shared one of the major reasons why he believes that in countries like Japan, masks are more common and usually worn of one’s own volition. “Masks in Japan are not mandatory unless the government issues out an order
like that,” Castro said. “They are typically worn by the people’s own choice. It is done primarily out of respect - respect for the health and safety of those around us.” The New York Times reported in 2019 that the U.S. ranked 10th in air quality and although it has been trending cleaner in certain parts of the country, air quality has been below the national standards. If these trends continue, the air could pose genuine health concerns throughout the year. In that case, the use of masks could prevent health problems caused by poor air quality. However, not every mask is the same. Research published by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, highlights that masks need to be worn above the nose and that certain masks are better than others. The highest standard is of course the N95 respirators and other medical standard masks. These types of masks are reserved primarily for medical professionals that need them, rather than the everyday citizen. Some people use the same mask every day or don’t regularly maintain them. Research also recommends cycling masks out every week or so. UNC recommends
keeping masks in plastic bags for one week offers a different take. He understands the and reusing them weekly. They also urge importance of wearing masks now due caution for homemade masks to the lack of a vaccine or since not every material is rated effective treatment regime to be breathed in regularly but doesn’t think that and that masks should be masks will become a made of “high threadstaple in everyday life count bedsheet, not the once those measures material of a sweater or are found. any loose-knit.” The effectiveness of “During these masks is unquestionable, times I completely with a lot of research understand why supporting the health masks are needed benefits of wearing masks for because they help neutralize not only medical reasons but at the spread of COVID-19,” other times as well. Photos by Larry Rodriguez Shea Rojas said, “However, if a Nathan Castillo, freshman vaccine were to be found I mathematics major, was born with asthma and recognized the danger that COVID-19 don’t think masks should be required. With poses not only to him, but others. He a vaccine [the virus] can be treated if you believes that masks are here to stay and were to contract it, so we shouldn’t have to expects them to become a part of regular life continue to wear masks since it would be moving forward, not only for like every other virus.” his family’s sake, but also Whether masks are here to for the sake of others. stay is still too early to tell, “I would be okay but the health benefits are with masks still unquestionable for multiple being a policy reasons. There is still much throughout our c o m m u n i t y ,” uncertainty about whether Castillo said. a vaccine will be discovered “ U n f o r t u n a t e l y, soon or in a few years and we’re most likely research is divided on two going to have to different areas in finding an accept masks as our effective treatment regime and new normal, and though potential vaccinations. When either will be it stinks, we have the ability to get through this together, if we all put in successful is still unknown to the public. The same is still to be seen when it comes to how the same effort.” Brandon Rojas, junior psychology major, people perceive mask wearing.