Volume 35 | Issue 2

Page 1

OCTOBER 8, 2019


· Commuters outnumber residents this year p. 4


· Students’ favorite SPOOKtacular Halloween activites p. 9


· Open position filled in FPU’s Music Department p. 13


· FPU community spotlight p. 15

· Community announcements p.19



Pastor Angulus’ upcoming departure from FPU

Pastor resigns after serving for 12 years

Hannah Hamm | News Co-Editor ngulus Wilson, FPU’s university pastor, has made the decision to leave his position to pursue church building and pastoring full-time. Wilson will be continuing to serve at FPU until his planned departure on December 31, 2019. “Deciding to leave Fresno Pacific University was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make. I love this university and I love serving here as the pastor,” Wilson said. Before coming to FPU, Wilson served at two other universities. During his work in higher education, he planted churches in three cities and five countries, all while working vocationally alongside university students. Wilson


has served at FPU for 12 years and has been working alongside a church that was planted the first week he arrived at the university. “I have had the privilege of watching both of them [FPU and the church] grow in enormous ways,” Wilson said. “This is my life’s work; planting churches, training student missionaries and encouraging pastors on multiple continents. This is the Lord’s call on my life.” After his departure from FPU, Wilson will return to pastoring full-time at Angelos Biblical Institute and planting churches. continued on page 3

Editorial 2

Syrinx Staff Editor-in-Chief Abigail Brown editor@thesyrinx.com Production Manager Shelbi Hayzlett manager@thesyrinx.com News Co-Editors Hannah Hamm Parker Lewis news@thesyrinx.com Opinions Editor Jesus Gomez opinions@thesyrinx.com A&E Editor Robbie Hill arts@thesyrinx.com Features Co-Editors Dani Mercado Nikki Campos features@thesyrinx.com Visual Editor Brittney Banta Social Media Editor Samantha Rhoden Chief Copy Editor Shelbi Hayzlett Copy Co-Editors Nate Van Dyke Francesco Parisi Staff Writers Shyanne Mortimer John Hipskind Michelle Legatova Alex Rivera Faculty Adviser

Finding time for personal relationships


ne of the greatest challenges in life is finding a way to balance personal relationships with other responsibilities. When you’re trying to get assignments done, or trying to manage a job amidst other obligations, it can be easy to let other relationships fall between the cracks. Sometimes it can feel hard to justify going out to dinner with friends, or spending time talking on the phone when you have so many other things to do. But we would like to encourage you to not forget your friends and family in lieu of your busy schedule.

For many, relationships with friends and family serve as one of the core foundations of life. If you let these relationships fall to the wayside, you may begin to feel extra guilt or anxiety. While it’s important to take responsibility for your to-do list, you can’t let it overcome all areas of your life. We would like to encourage students, faculty and staff to spend some time with the relationships that you may have been neglecting. Whether it be going out to dinner, getting coffee, going for a walk or a simple phone call, it’s important to give attention to some of the core people in your life despite your busy schedule.

Outside of those personal relationships, it is also encouraged to focus on the relationship you have with yourself. Make sure your personal health and well-being is put first before anything else. This helps with balancing the relationships you have with others. Not only will this give you a small break from everything you need to do, but it will also give you a chance to decompress through quality time with the people most important to you.

Editor’s Note: Shortly after the release of Issue 1 on September 24th it was brought to our attention that there were multiple mistakes regarding accuracy and spelling within the issue. We have contacted those directly affected by these mistakes and would like to express our sincerest apologies for these discrepancies. It is always our goal to print accurate and reliable information within our newspaper. We would like to thank everyone who brought these mistakes to our attention, as it helps us become a better newspaper. If you have any questions regarding these mistakes, please feel free to email editor@thesyrinx.com. *Correction, Sept. 24, 2019: Pg. 4 This article originally mistated that the swim team has been without a head coach for three consecutive years. The swim team has been without a head coach for two years. *Correction, Sept. 24, 2019: Pg. 7 This article originally misrepresented information, duplicated and misquoted Billie Jean Wiebe. It has been corrected to: Billie Jean Wiebe, Associate Professor, Communication & English & Program Director of Communication who has taught at FPU for 27 years, said that she does feel safe on campus and that crime is not exclusive to one singular area. “Crime is distributed all across Fresno” Wiebe said. She also stated that there is no guarantee when or where a crime will occur. “It is almost impossible to protect against an active shooter but in the next few months Campus Safety will be teaching the community how to defend against attack,” Wiebe said. *Correction, Sept. 24, 2019: Pg. 9 This article originally mispelled Christine Keenan’s name.

Leann Lo


The Syrinx student newspaper is a member of the Associated Collegiate Press.

“The Syrinx” (pronounced sear - inks) is a monthly student newspaper at Fresno Pacific University. The Syrinx name refers to the vocal organ of a bird. Our mission is to foster dialogue about issues, events and ideas within our immediate FPU community and the world at large. We strive to be the voice of the Sunbirds.


The Syrinx encourages readers to write Letters to the Editor. We welcome comments and critcism. Letters should be 400 words or fewer. The Syrinx reserves the right to edit letters and decide whether a letter is appropriate for publication. Anonymous letters will not be accepted. Send letters to letters@thesyrinx.com.



(Pastor Angulus’ upcoming departure cont. from cover)


With the excitement for this new season of his career comes mourning and stress but also eagerness from FPU faculty, offices and students. “Pastor was one of the first people to really welcome me and greet me, he was part of the search committee that brought me here.I have experienced and have felt what a lot of people feel when they meet Pastor; he is warm, he is inviting. When you’re around him, you feel like you matter and that he cares for you,” Vice President of Student Life, Dale Scully said. While Wilson’s presence will be missed on campus, there is also a sense of urgency in filling that position even though nobody can ever really replace Wilson. The Office of Spiritual Formation has recently fallen under the jurisdiction of Student Life and is taking the lead with a team in discovering next steps for this process. “I think we’re [Student Life] going to take a step back and look at the work that we want to do in the future. What do we need to hire? What type of an individual, what roles and responsibilities do we want them to fill? Do we have somebody in house? Do we want to open this up to a nationwide search? These are all of the questions that

are being kicked around right now,” Scully said. Scully stated that there are many questions that come to mind when considering a candidate. Much of the process has to do with finding someone who is the right fit for both the FPU campus and its ministry. “We want to stop for a second and say ‘what’s best for FPU? What’s best for our students? What’s best for the valley?’ Now, let’s go and get that type of person. And hopefully, God is grooming her or him right now for that opportunity,” Scully said. With the news of Wilson’s upcoming departure, Brian Davis, associate pastor for spiritual formation, has been appointed to the position of interim pastor for OSF. “I am the go-to guy for anything involved with spiritual formation and diversity at this point. I think it will be my job to, first of all, continue the work we have been doing, overseeing and providing leadership for this office. This is a time where I, along with Dale, will be able to reimagine what my role will be,” Davis said. Davis has served at FPU for 8 years now. He was initially hired as the Director of Student Ministries and worked under Wilson and in partnership with OSF. Two years ago he was ordained and Wilson wanted to recognize that and felt that it was appro-

priate to change Davis’ title to associate pastor. “I am very excited, I feel very invested in and called to this place. I’ll certainly miss him [Wilson], but I am really excited to continue to work here and be trusted with any measure of leadership of this place,” Davis said. Wilson, while looking forward to the season to come, leaves us with his hopes for FPU after his departure. “Over the 12 years of service at Fresno Pacific, my time has been incredibly fruitful. I have learned many things, shared many things, and experienced the kingdom in all of its diversity. My hopes for Fresno Pacific is that it will continue to be all that God has ordained it to be and that it will always live out the FPU idea,” Wilson said. With all of these changes, Davis wants to be intentional in affirming students to reach out to OSF and other offices on campus, whether that be to start a dialogue or contribute to finding a solution during this season. OSF has an open door policy, and while grace and patience is appreciated as they chart out the future, there is an invitation extended to any and all students. We would like to thank Wilson for his work and fellowship here at FPU and pray that blessings continue to come his way throughout these future seasons.



On-campus population numbers have dropped

Fewer freshman and residents create a different campus atmosphere Hannah Hamm | News Co-Editor Nate Van Dyke | Copy Editor


he commuter population on campus has grown bigger than the resident population this year, which is a big change from the previous years. FPU has remained largely a commuter school for many years, but the numbers of commuters and transfers spiked recently. “This year we saw an increase in transfer residents, typically juniors and seniors, and a decrease in freshmen residents,” Assistant Director of Residence Life, Amanda Wall, said. To be specific, FPU has a total of 373 students living on campus this y e a r. “Our numbers feel down whether they’re not drastically down; but we have a lot of transfers living in our upperclassmen housing,” underclassmen women’s residence director, Rayna Harris said. “Housing is pretty full, which is pretty cool, because typically, underclassmen is what dominates housing, but right now we actually have very full upperclassmen living areas.” Elizabeth Tornero, a senior transfer English major, has been a commuter for her entire collegiate career. Tornero believes that FPU serves her and the other commuters well. Having been at a school where it takes hours to find parking, she was glad to have found a school where that is not an issue. “I’ve always been a commuter. So it’s nothing new for me. What I have noticed is this campus is a lot friendlier towards commuters, we have the commuter lounge and commuter house which has really come in handy, and parking is amazing here,” Tornero said. Commuter life has improved quite significantly


over the last few years with the introduction of the commuter house and more commuter friendly events. While commuter life has appeared to improve recently, some residential students feel the emptiness of the campus more strongly. For one thing, there was a much smaller influx of residents coming onto campus this year in comparison to the last few years. The freshman class this year was much smaller and the number of junior and senior transfers was much higher. For some seniors, they feel the difference on campus. “It’s already a small school but it feels the smallest it’s been in all my years. FPU graduated its largest class and the campus is definitely feeling that. The cafeteria feels empty when it was once the localized area for friendships,” senior water polo

player majoring in history, Nathan Olson said. This change has been felt all over campus with the reduced number of overall residential students, but especially with the loss of the large and influential senior class from last year and the reduced energy from a smaller freshman class. While this new change is one that requires a lot of adaption by both students and staff, many are still feeling hopeful. The FPU community is coming together to adapt to the big changes this year, while also working on new ideas to encourage more growth next year. Wall especially emphasized this hope and cohesiveness. “Many departments on campus are putting their heads together and are coming up with plans to increase our on-campus population, and we hope to have some exciting ideas to reveal soon,” Wall said.



Changes implemented in student government New representatives for different demographics


Parker Lewis I News Co-Editor


resno Pacific’s Student Government underwent recent change in order to stay connected to the student body. Their new policies add more student representative positions and restructures their meetings without club participation. Instead of having two representatives per class, they decided to change to one, but add seven new positions each advocating for the different aspects of the school that they are a part of. Now there are representatives for the School of Business, School of Natural Sciences, School of Humanities, Religion, & Social Sciences, as well as representatives for specific student demographics including: Commuter Students, Resident Students, International Students, and Athletics Students. “We decided to change because we felt like just having a Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior Rep wasn’t representing the student body as well. So that’s why we decided to come up with new positions… that way we could increase communication between different depart-

ments.” FPU’s SGA president, Kelsey Lowrey, said. The new representatives attend events that are important to advocating for change on campus. “Each school representative attends faculty meetings. By participating in these meetings, representatives are able to advocate for student needs and bring information they learn back to SGA and the students they represent.” Student Government Advisor and Director of Student Persistence and Commuter life, Jesse Torres, said. This restructuring also affects how Student Government meetings will be held. Last year, anyone could come in to eat free food and listen, but now these meetings are closed off only including the Student Government and, on occasion, any club members that need to request a budget. “We removed the requirement for club leaders to participate in the SGA meetings. So now, instead of attending meetings to help SGA with administrative tasks, they attend meetings that are specifically designed to help clubs become more effective clubs,” Torres said.

The Student government team rewrote their Constitution and Bylaws, then needed to get approval for these changes. The entire process included getting approval from the SGA executive, the SGA senate, and then the entire student body. This change has been in the works since Christmas break last year, but was proposed to the student body in January, and this will be the first year it takes affect. The Student Government now spends their efforts on keeping the school connected and staying well informed instead of solely planning events. “It’s more focused towards having reps going to meetings and getting information and bringing it back versus having them put on events all the time,” Lowrey said. This Government, which is continuously run and supported by the students, is still developing to meet FPU’s ever changing needs.



New approach to activities in student life New events are intended to be more inclusive Parker Lewis I News Co-Editor

Upcoming Activities: 10/8: Mush Ball 10/11: Diamonds & Dice 10/17: Yosemite Night Hike 10/24-11/14 (every Thursday): Super Smash Bros. Tournaments 10/29: Boo Bash 11/19: Trivia Night 12/8: ‘Twas the Night Before Finals


tudent Life has changed how they plan activities, events, and intramurals. This year, Rayna Harris, Residence Director and Events Coordinator, and Brian Whaley, Residence Director and Intramural Coordinator, are splitting the responsibilities with their student worker teams. Harris handles the student event portion, while Whaley plans the intramurals. They both have separate teams that usually work alone, but can work together on larger events. These events are important to most students, so Student Life takes their job very seriously. “I think they’re huge. They’re a big part of the college experience. I think they definitely affect the community on campus and how people get involved. A shared experience through an event can bring a lot of togetherness and connectedness within students,” Harris said. Harris went on to say that she wants to keep traditional FPU events while still trying to come up with brand new events. “I have a team of students that work student activities too and so we try to think of new things and get ideas from our student body and from each other,” Harris said. This collaboration will hopefully lead to new, inclusive events. Whaley is trying to get the student body involved with organized, recreational sports. These intramurals can be fourweek seasons or one-time-only occurrences. Inclusiveness means adapting to student needs. “I think the direction that we’re going is more of a less committed nature to intramurals, but still having the option available to be able to play and do a wider variety of things,” Whaley said He also went on to say that he wants to have many different games such as ping pong, mushball, and even Super Smash Bros. These also can include athletes who initially couldn’t participate because they were worried that they would be injured. Some of these athletes didn’t participate before because they didn’t want to run the risk of getting hurt and not being able to play in a sport that they have come to FPU for.


“College students form a lot of relationships through casual events like this… some people really like forming a team… but I’m also finding a lot of people like to just show up to an event and be shuffled into teams and meet people like that… Then they get to know these people over a couple of weeks or over the night,” Whaley said. He emphasized the importance of these connections and how it can take students’ minds off of stress. Whaley brings in his own experiences as an FPU alumn to try and understand what students now want, but he is also very eager to hear what the student body wants as well. “It gives that night where you can go out and it’s off campus, so it feels like this unique event. We’re trying to give these unique experiences to the campus and bring something new that people haven’t seen,” Student Engagement intern, Jeremy Daniel said. The way that events are put on at FPU has changed, but Student Life is still working towards keeping its student body involved and making fun, new memories.



Escapism: An innovative solution to hard Creates opportunity for positive self-reflection Jesus Gomez | Opinions Editor


hroughout our time in college, we all face situations where we find ourselves stuck, and it feels as if we’re in our own burrows underground with no way out. Perhaps you’re in debt with student loans, your grades aren’t as great as you’d hoped, or you have done something else that you wish you would have done differently. If you can relate, then it might benefit you to learn about escapism. Escapism is one way to stop spending all those hours thinking about the stressors of life and find a way to escape. Google defines escapism as “the tendency to seek distraction and relief from unpleasant realities, especially by seeking entertainment or engaging in fantasy.” That definition undermines the utility we can make out of the concept of escapism. Escapism isn’t a mere distraction for us to waste our time with; it could be a creative outlet for us to explore parts of ourselves that are yet to be discovered. For each person, the outlet of escape will be different. For some it could be activities such as writing, painting, drawing, performing, or reading. Of course, there are unhealthy forms of escapism that could result in the consumption of drugs, alcohol and other unhealthy methods. However, many forms of escapism can be healthy, and might help you succeed in other areas of your life. I’m not implying that we all escape our current lives and make it be whatever we want, but we should consider that there are appropriate times for us to simply let go of what’s stopping us from living life to our fullest potential. College for many of us is a time


where we grow and realize the many constraints and freedoms we have as adults. While some aspects of growing up can get out of hand and make life feel like either a bane, or monotonous cycle, there are other aspects that help us realize that there’s more to life than those moments. For instance, maybe you’ll consider stepping out of place and exploring new territory. Living through a society that constantly tells many of us who we have to be can be pressuring and very conforming. Stepping out of place might help you escape this constraint and show you an aspect of life that might help you aspire to become something greater than you’ve ever considered yourself to be. Another aspect could include a new sense of joy. Often times joy is neglected because we rely too much

on happiness. Both happiness and joy go in hand; however, the website Psychologies suggests that joy is more internal and personal, while “happiness tends to be externally triggered.” Escapism may be discouraged because it interferes with our reality, but if we use it well, it can be used to find the necessary strength we need to face the truth and manage our own lives. Escapism doesn’t dismiss reality, but rather gives us the opportunity to explore our minds with creativity. These opportunities come from the sense of relief to be able to have some time to do something that we’d like. Relief is an essential element to this concept because ultimately, that’s what we strive for when escaping. We know how it feels to be relieved after knowing that something horrible or concerning

has got resolved, such as when a loved one gets better after being in a bad situation, or when it turns out an assignment gets a deadline extension and you had not started on it. Not being worried about something enables us to have extra space in our mind to think of something else for ourselves. When the world begins to feel smaller, and like we’re secluding ourselves from the million eyes around us, don’t cancel out your good feelings. They’re worth fighting for, and the slightest sense of hope can be the way that leads you towards an escape. Sit or lay down, and relax yourself; think of where you’d want to be anywhere in the world at that moment. Consider what you have to do to face what you are escaping, and after figuring it out come back to the real world and take action on it. Vocabulary.com defines the word escapist as “someone who doesn’t live in the real world, but dreams, wishes, and fantasizes instead.” Now that you’ve learned something about escapism, maybe you’ll consider yourself an escapist. Not because you’re running away from the real world, but because you can make a fantasy your reality. We’re not written manuals, we’re the narrators of our life, and while telling our story, we must not let things get too complicated to the point where we’re the protagonists in peril. Find your way to escape, while also staying grounded in reality. If it’s a dream you’re chasing after, utilize escapism to end the chase and accomplish that dream.

Jesus Gomez is a sophomore political science major and the opinions editor for The Syrinx

Opinions 8

FPU students advocate awareness for various issues Students comment on resolving conflict, overall stress, and academic course load expectancy Jesus Gomez | Opinions Editor


t seems these days that most of us celebrate or emphasize awareness for many issues each month. For instance, there’s National Stalking Awareness Month in January, Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month in February, National Bleeding Disorders Awareness Month in March, and many more in the following months. You may be aware of many of these events, which create strong communities and support for those causes, but even though we already spotlight many issues that we go through, some are yet to get that attention. FPU students shared causes they think our community should be more aware of. Jonathan Brown, a freshman business accounting major, suggested that our community should be more aware of conflict and peacemaking. “Personally, I think we should have more awareness for how to sort out issues when they happen,” Brown said. He described how students should be able to have the resources or some kind of help to know how to properly address issues when they occur. Brown also brought up how it is necessary to increase awareness of this matter so that students and faculty on campus can create a safer environment. “I think it makes it a safe space for students to work in,” Brown said. He explained how if this matter is not addressed as it should, it could poten-

tially put students who might be getting bullied or discriminated by others in a hard situation, and possibly might make their time more difficult in college, instead of making it a healthy learning environment. On a different matter, Andrea Mendoza, a junior psychology major, gave her opinion about awareness on the matter of understanding student stress. “I feel like they don’t really emphasize on how stressed a student is. They say ‘Oh, yeah, I understand,’ but they don’t do anything to try to make it better,” Mendoza said. She suggested that just helping or preventing it is not the case; it is about actually taking action while it is happening. To Mendoza, bringing awareness of this matter could help students who are considerably on the verge of dropping out, or getting too overwhelmed. She gave an example of how there are instances in which this increase of stress can affect the efficiency of work, and result in pointless outcomes. “If it’s one in the morning, and I know I have to do this work and have to get up for my 7:30 class, I’m not going to stay up to do it because I’m not going to do it right, and almost not wake up for my 7:30 class,” Mendoza said. Aarsh Patel, a junior software engineering major, thought we should have awareness for the amount of academic course load expectancy. Patel emphasized the importance


of knowing how much work actually goes into upcoming classes. “Some people are doing jobs, and it gets hard if someone is taking 16 credits per semester with a job that is part time or full time, and they should make people aware or they could cancel out their work,” Patel said. Patel also brought up that it is necessary to be aware of this matter so that it does not cause later psychological problems due to the stress these situations could create. “Maybe the students don’t eat because they’re stressed out, or they can’t sleep and it could cause psychological disorders,” Patel said. These are some of the few matters in our community that we should have more awareness for, and there are many more, because many of us have something in mind that we’d like others to also acknowledge. Some of these students, like Brown, are

being proactive and taking action in attempts to help our school be more aware of ways to resolve conflict. “Today I had a meeting with [Residential Director] Tyjuan, and it’s about working to tell all RAs the kind of procedures they need to do to make it more known who they need to go for issues to get sorted out,” Brown said. Mendoza explains she’s aware of the matters for herself, and that it would be helpful if others were aware as well. As for Patel, he’d like it if someone was there to give him that sense of awareness that he may not acknowledge. If there’s something you feel strongly about, let it be known, and make your opinions matter! At FPU, students are the first to be aware of when something is not right, or when something deserves our community’s attention. Together we can help each other improve our time getting an education.



What makes for a SPOOKtacular night Students around campus express their favorite way to spend Halloween

Shyanne Mortimer | Staff Writer

Andrew “AJ” Wolfert

Sophomore biblical studies major Question: What is your idea of a perfect Halloween night? Answer: My perfect Halloween would involve being with a good group of people and have everyone get into the holiday. It’s not very often you get to spend a holiday with your friends, because most you spend with your family, but Halloween is one holiday you can make it what you want it to be. Q: Favorite movie to watch? A:Anything with superheroes, but mostly the Marvel franchise. Q: Favorite Halloween memory? A: Last Halloween for sure. Last Halloween I had to work in Admission and in order to not get in trouble I wore a jacket, hand gloves and sweatpants with my Spider-Man suit underneath.

Russell Laforteza

Junior history major Question: What is your idea of a perfect Halloween night? Answer:I consider my perfect night to be getting together with my friends because, since we are all so busy with school, Halloween is the perfect day for everyone to destress from work loads we carry on our shoulders. Q: Favorite movie to watch? A: Personally, it’s Happy Death Day. Q: Favorite Halloween memory? A: It was during my freshman year here at Fresno Pacific, and it was my first time trick-or-treating. My friends and I went to Clovis, we went house-to-house trick-or-treating, and then we went to a festival in Downtown Clovis.


Kyana Espinosa

Sophomore criminology major Question: What is your idea of a perfect Halloween night? Answer: My idea of a perfect night would be dressing up, going out with my friends, eating a ton of food and of course eating a lot of candy! Q: Favorite movie to watch? A: My favorite Halloween movie is Hocus Pocus! As a kid I remember watching that movie every Halloween with my family. I also really love the entire cast! Q: Favorite Halloween memory? A: Going trick-or-treating with my family ties into my favorite memory. Being able to trick-or-treat with my cousins every year will always be my favorite memory on Halloween.

Danielle Roznovsky

Senior liberal studies major Question: What is your idea of a perfect Halloween night? Answer: My perfect night would be taking my dog, Coco, trick-or-treating. Ideally, I would like to take her somewhere she is able to get Halloween treats. Q: Favorite movie to watch? A:If I had to pick a movie to watch on Halloween I would choose anything by Tim Burton. My go-to favorite scary movie to watch on Halloween, though, is the Corpse Bride by Tim Burton. Q: Favorite Halloween memory? A: My favorite memory would have to be last year because I did all of the things I enjoy. I went trick-or-treating, then I went in a haunted house, and finished my night by watching horror movies in my mod and binge eating junk food.



Student opinions on FPU Instagram accounts

An insight into communication between Instagram accounts and students Jesus Gomez | Opinions Editor


nstagram is one of the strongest forms of social media communication between people and multiple communities. Many students constantly see follows and notifications from FPU social media accounts. And whether it is an announcement, a reminder, some insightful wellness post or a funny picture, we have to consider if this form of communication is actually effective. Is the right message reaching out to the students? Or do they just mute that connection because it isn’t a benefit to them other than an extra follow? Here’s what some students had to say about that. Joselinn Salcido, a freshman pre-med major, believes that there is some effective communication between FPU social media and the students. “I know I’ve gotten followed by a few different Instagram account. But I feel like at the same time not all people pay attention to them because they really kind of don’t care,” Salcido said. She suggested that to make more effective communication between students, accounts should promote their main purpose more. She explained that exclusivity could make accounts have more content that is unique to them. “People post giveaways and it’s like you have to follow this and you’ll be able to enter it,” Salcido said, describing what she considers an effective way in which some social media accounts interact with students. Dylan Sewell, a sophomore accounting major, thinks that there is not effective communication. Sewell believes that most students follow athletic and event accounts just to see what’s going on, but don’t actively participate with the events. “At least most students I feel like don’t go to the events because we don’t really make time for it,” Sewell said. Sewell believes that one way to make communication between students and Instagram accounts more effective would be to make notifications more


monthly than daily. “It’s good to have a monthly thing. If you just send out an email of what’s going on, or post about what’s happening at the cafeteria,” Sewell said. One social media account that both Salcido and Sewell reacted to was @fpu_rocks. Salcido talked about the creativity of the artwork, and liked the purpose of the account because she suggested it is another way of having the students interact with the social media account and the campus. “I’ve seen the rocks around campus, and I know there’s different ones I’ve noticed,” Salcido said. As for Sewell, he thought the account was unnecessary but thinks that it is something for students to look at and pass the time. “I think that it’s just funny to see the rocks on there,” Sewell said. Another account that both of them reacted to was @fpu_squirrels. Salcido said the account made her feel more aware about the squir-

rels on campus and t hat it was c ute. Sewell’s reaction to the account was that it was cute as well. “I don’t think it’s a necessary thing to have, but I think it’s just a funny way to show how many squirrels are on campus,” Sewell said. @fpu_rocks and @fpu_squirrels are just two out of many other accounts on Instagram that are connected to our FPU community. Both creators for these accounts would like to remain anonymous, but the accounts are currently active and friendly to students. While there are still other forms of social media like Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat, the Instagram community continues to develop with the creativity expressed through different students. Whether it may be an account for the cute squirrels around campus, or the fun hunt for artistic rocks, sunbirds can create different ways for us to engage with FPU through social media.



I know what you did last summer FPU students share what they did over summer vacation

Downtown Pismo Beach: a popular summer vacation spot for Valley natives.


Alex Rivera | Staff Writer


un was in the air this past summer vacation for many Fresno Pacific students with the endless amount of activities or places to see. A few FPU students share some of their favorite memories of this past summer vacation. For some students their summer vacation started later than others. For instance, Jackeline Hernandez, a transfer student from Colorado Christian University, attended summer school. Even though Hernandez’ summer was shorter than most students, it was still filled with a list full of activities. Hernandez then went to Pismo Beach, Disneyland, and Lakewood, Colorado. “I wish I had the opportunity to travel more. I was mostly back at home and I only got to be in Colorado for a week, and I wish I could have visited other states, but it’s just a lot of money,” Hernandez said. While Hernandez was in Colorado she spent her time there visiting the zoo, art museum, and hiking. “There’s a lot of really great hikes like I hiked Hanging L ake and then the Dinos a u r R i d g e h i k e ,” H e r n a n d e z s a i d . For any dinosaur fanatics out there Hernandez explains why Dinosaur Ridge is so popular in Colorado. “It is a hike with a presentation of all the historical

bones and the dinosaurs that they found there. They describe to you what that bone is and what kind of dinosaur was there,” Hernandez said. Some students, like Jacob Toste, did not do many eventful things or travel far, but for Toste it was the perfect summer because he was able to purchase a new companion: his dog. “I spent most of my time training and getting him ready and bonding with him, so once I started school again he was already connected to me,” Toste said. Toste’s summer was filled with family, including his new puppy, or heading to San Jose to attend his family reunion, where most of his family from New Jersey attended. “We had a family reunion. It wasn't big, we just g e t t o g e t h e r a n d s t i c k t o g e t h e r. It’s just a big family gathering,” Toste said. Toste says he wishes he was able to complete one thing over the summer which was to clean his room. “I kind of started to clean my room towards the end, right before school started. I just wanted to do some cleaning and see what things I really needed,” Toste said. For some students this past summer can be a bit scary once it is over because that means change

is near. For Joseph Vasquez change was coming close and he spent his summer getting ready to attend FPU. Vasquez is a freshman from Tulare, California who is also one of FPU presidential scholars. Vasquez spent his summer preparing for life away from home and starting college. “I spent most of my summer relaxing and just staying home because I knew I was going to start college. So I just wanted to stay calm and relaxed,” Vasquez said. Vasquez did more than just relax; he spent most ofhistimeoverthesummergettinginvolvedinhischurch. “I started a music band at my church and I was in charge of it. So it was fun but hard. It was interesting to see how people were learning and progressing in their musical instrument,” Vasquez said. While looking back at his vacation, Vasquez wished he had more free time to catch up with old friends. It seems that the common denominator in all of these students’ summer vacations is that they all wish they had more time to do more activities. Summer always goes by so quickly and hopefully it comes sooner just as quickly as it fades away.

A&E 12

September: a month of memes Students reflect on this month’s best memes

September has been a month filled with memes. Recently, the “Storm Area 51” meme was in full swing on September 20th. What began as an ironic Facebook event turned into an actual gathering of roughly one thousand people. The Kombucha Girl staked her claim on the internet during the month of September and is still a popular meme today. Three FPU students were asked about their favorite September memes and what makes them top-tier. Here are their picks for the best memes of September. Robbie Hill | A&E Editor

“Le Monke”



an Pace, an FPU English major, has chosen the “Le Monke” meme as his favorite meme of September. “It’s a video with this picture of the Orangutan and this guy in the background keeps saying ‘uh oh! Stinky poop.’ It’s comedy gold,” Pace said. The Le Monke meme has been around since 2016 and first began as a post on 4Chan. The post included the picture of an obese Orangutan named Jackie with the simple caption “Le Monke.” From then on, the meme has been passed around on different feeds and threads for years. However, the meme has seen a surge in popularity due to the video Pace mentioned being recirculated. Despite the resurgence in popularity, Pace thinks that the meme is still “definitely underrated.” Pace confidently rated this meme a ten out of ten.

“Say Sike Right Now”

“Gollum Baby”


PU Sophomore Edwardo Cazares chooses “Say Si ke R ig ht Now” as his f avor it e m e m e of S e pt e mb e r. “Have you ever seen a test grade and said to yourself, ‘say sike right now’? This meme encapsulates how I feel on a spiritual level, but it’s underrated. Not a lot of people use it. It’s dying, honestly. Just like Mario Maker 2,” Cazares said. The origin of this meme is completely random. According to Knowyourmeme.com, a Twitter user tweeted a screenshot of the video game Super Mario Maker 2. This tweet received little-to-no recognition until another user cropped the photo and added the caption “say sike right now.” From then on, the meme spread quickly across Twitter and Reddit during the months of August and September. The meme is used to express shock and hopes that certain newly learned information is a joke. Cazares gives this meme a nine out of ten.




PU Senior Marissa Arias’ favorite meme of t h e m o nt h i s a v a r i at i o n o f t he “G ol lum B aby” meme. “My favorite meme of September is one of this little boy crouched on the floor and he has this really anxious face. His face is definitely saying he’s not okay and I get that," Arias said. One of the earliest records of Baby Gollum is a Reddit post from about three years ago. The post is a short GIF of the baby making that . . . face and it is simply titled “Baby Gollum: funny.” Since then, the pictured baby has appeared in a plethora of different memes. Arias believes that this meme deserves more recognition compared to more popular ones. “It’s underrated! I don’t think it’s been seen that much. It should be,” Arias said. Arias gives this meme a score of seven out of ten.



New director of FPU bands Christine Keenan accepts position on campus Robbie Hill | A&E Editor


PU’s music department has undergone a few changes since the Spring S emester. Over the summer, former Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Bands Erik Leung announced his departure from FPU. Since then, faculty in the music department have shifted around. According to a Squawk Box announcement from Ron Herms, Christine Keenan and Chris Janzen haveaccepted new roles to their already existing responsibilities at FPU. “Chris Janzen, M.F.A., has added the role of program director for FPU’s Music Department and that Christine Keenan, D.M.A. (cand.), has accepted the position of assistant professor of music (director of bands) both effective August 15, 2019,” Herms said. Those not involved in FPU’s music department may not be familiar with, or well acquainted with, Professor Keenan. After being recruited by Leung, Keenan has been an adjunct music professor for the last four years and has taught a variety of different music courses. After Leung resigned, Keenan felt that she would be well equipped to fill the position. “My involvement with the university over the past four years has grown. When Erik resigned, and the position opened, I applied for it. This was just sort of a natural transition that I would just take on this additional role,” Keenan said. Despite the difficulties that come with accepting an administrative position, Keenan already felt very comfortable with the students and staff on campus. “It's been good, because I knew a lot of students a l r e a d y. T h a t ' s w h y i t w a s s o r t o f a n e a s y t r a n s i t i o n ,” K e e n a n s a i d . Keenan will continue teaching and conducting at

Professor Keenan directing the Wind Symphony of Clovis in 2017.

FPU along with this new role. While the bulk of her work load is found in this new administrative position, Keenan is truly at home while conducting and working with ensembles. “Well, I really love working with ensembles, that's my main thing: being a conductor. But, I also really enjoy chamber music, so I direct the sax quartet here and I’ve performed in sax quartets a lot throughout my career,” Keenan said. FPU senior Lauren Nichols is a double major in flute performance and studio art. Nichols has worked with Professor Keenan for multiple years and has had a positive experience learning from her. “I have Symphonic Band with Professor Keenan and have known her since I played in her summer band at the Shaghoian ensemble a couple years ago. Professor Keenan is a very clear and expressive conductor. She communicates the music with intentionality and teaches with experience. It has been very enjoyable to play under her baton,” Nichols said. Keenan has also enjoyed teaching and conducting at FPU due to its friendly community. “From the start, what I noticed is just how nice everybody is. There's a much greater sense of collaboration here and consideration and kind-


ness for other people that I don't think is on any other campus that I've ever worked at,” Keenan said. FPU senior Frank Velasco has been heavily involved in the music department during all his four years of college. Because he is a music education major, Frank has taken three of Keenan’s classes in the past making him well acquainted with her teaching style. “I think she’s really straight forward. She’s very clear on what she wants, or what she doesn’t want. If something isn’t happening right, or something isn’t the way she wants it, she has a very clear way of getting to her goal,” Velasco said. Velasco has felt that the music department has been somewhat stagnant during the past few years, and hopes that these new changes continue to send the department down a positive path. “It feels like we’re stuck on that ‘look at everything we’ve done in the last five years’ thing. It’s an amazing feat to go from zero to one, but I think the true challenge is going from one to one hundred," Velasco said. Keenan encourages FPU students to come out and support the music department during their concerts this fall. For more information about dates, times and locations for upcoming FPU Music Department events, visit: https://www.fresno.edu/events/music.

14 A&E

Vikings and Christians share the screen History channel’s “Vikings” sparks healthy religious discourse


Robbie Hill | A&E Editor

“Vikings” logo.


ikings,” created by Michael Hirst, has often been compared to “Game of Thrones” due to its medieval themes, elaborate costumes, and violent battle scenes. Those similarities do hold true, but that is where the comparison stops. As opposed to the shows that focus on spectacle and huge battle scenes, “Vikings” focused on themes of religious clashes, orthodoxy, and spirituality. “Vikings” sets itself apart because of its historically based characters and events. Many of the people in the show did actually exist in the 9th century, such as the main character: King Ragnar Lothbrok. The show also features famous historical events, such as the Siege of Paris (885-886). In shows that are completely based in fantasty, it can be argued that the stakes feel less high. This is not the case for “Vikings.” Aside from immersive visuals and historical accuracy, “Vikings” also deals with questions of theology. Throughout the series, a single question remains constant: who follows the right god? The Vikings are a polytheistic people, believing in many gods such as Thor, Odin, Loki, and so on. Their enemies in the show, the Saxons, are a monotheistic culture that strictly follows the Christian orthodoxy. Both cultures are strongly devoted to their gods and believe they are following the “right” religion. Viewers watch this pointless argument go back and forth for many episodes. Eventually, Ragnar Lothbrok comes to a realization while speaking to a Christian Priest asking about the Norse gods. “I hope that someday our gods can become friends,” Lothbrok said. He does not try to convert the Christian priest, or tell him that he is following the wrong god; nor does he renounce his own faith in favor of Christianity. Ragnar, instead, wants people to listen and understand one another. Dualistic thinking is what causes division among friends, family, and cultures.

Every character in the show is affiliated to some kind of orthodoxy. Both the Vikings and the Christians have a high respect for the spiritual realm; they live and breathe religion. Many shows in 2019 do not make religion a central theme because it is almost taboo. Therefore, it has sparked a healthy discussion in both religious and non-religious groups. According to Bishop Robert Barron, creator of Word on Fire Catholic Ministries, “Vikings” is a must-watch show. “If you’re a bit tired of the dreary secularism that dominates so much of contemporary entertainment and politics, I might invite you to watch a program that makes religion—and Christianity in particular—the central theme,” Barron said. In Barron’s article titled “3 Reasons Why ‘Vikings’ is the Most Religiously Interesting Show on TV,” he reviews and discusses the different religious themes found in the show. While many might think that a Catholic bishop’s opinion of a show like “Vikings” would be negative, he praised the show and its creator for boldly dealing with the topic of religious clashing. “We find all of the confusion, fascination, explosive violence, and truly creative dialogue that we might expect from a real confront a t i o n b e t w e e n f a i t h s ,” B a r r o n s a i d . One thing no one can argue against is that “Vikings” is one of the most unique TV shows currently airing. Its fresh look on spirituality and orthodoxy is a welcomed addition to religious discourse. For those looking for a well-made, historically based television show that offers thought-provoking theological questions, “Vikings” is the show to watch.



Discovering the community behind FPU Former Fresno Pacific College alumn comes back to her roots of music Nikki Campos | Features Co-Editor


ommunity and diversity are two main traits of Fresno Pacific University. The community that makes up FPU is much more than students; many staff members helped establish the community as well. There are professors, a facilities team, librarians, cafeteria staff, and administration assistance, just to name a few of the people who help FPU run on a daily basis. Visual and Performing Art Administrative Assistant Alice Smith is one of those people. On October 3rd, Smith will have celebrated working in this new position for ten months. Smith is no stranger to the FPU campus and environment. She is an alumna of Fresno Pacific College, or FPC. Smith graduated in the class of 1986 with majors in piano performance and business. Smith had nothing but high praises for her time at FPC. “My time at FPC was invaluable for my life experinces,” Smith said.

“Music is part of my soul, always has been, always will be. What better place to nurture what is part of me than in the Music Department at Fresno Pacific University!” -Alice Smith Smith’s roots at FPC no doubt played a role in her wanting to come back and work there one day. However, Smith also valued her college experience so much that it gave her motive to come


and give back to her former college by coming to work the Visual Performing Arts Department. “I wanted to be a part of others’ personal stories and experiences on this campus,” Smith said. Along with wanting to give back to her former college through personal stories, Smith expressed deep passion for music as a reason she wanted to work in the Visual and Performing Arts Department. “Music is part of my soul, always has been, always will be. What better place to nurture what is part of me than in the Music Department at Fresno Pacific University!” Smith said. Smith currently enjoys her daily job due to the

interactions and conversations she has with students and staff members. Smith has not only provided service to FPU, but also accompanied ensembles and choirs prior to her position here. “Many of my accompanying years were with local children’s choirs (Central California Children’s Choir and Bach Children’s Choir), assisting in the training of young voices through the expressive art of music,” Smith said. FPU Visual and Performing Arts Department would not be the same if it had not been for Alice Smith and her diligent service to the department.

16 Features

Ways to relax from college How Sunbirds take a break from the books Nikki Campos | Features Co-Editor


s the fall season begins and midterm break approaches, there may be a need for a way to relax from the stress of college. There are many ways to get a break from school. Some things are as simple as going to a coffee shop with friends, or taking a day trip down to the coast. In the Fresno area there are several things to do, like visiting a local coffee shop, going to the Nickel Arcade, going to watch a movie, or going to the coast or mountains for the day, and those are just to name a few. Sophomore Monica Cortes is a huge lover of coffee and has found that going to a coffee shop with friends on the weekend is a great way to relax. Cortez explained how

“The Revue is a cute local shop that serves coffee and milkshakes with a diverse enviroment.” -Monica Cortes the Revue is a place she loves to go on weekends to enjoy her time. “The Revue is a cute local shop that ser ves coffee and milkshakes


with a diverse environment. It’s a great way to enjoy the company of everyone around while enjoying a cup of coffee,” Cortes said. Another great, inexpensive place to get students’ minds off school is going to the Nickel Arcade in Fresno. Admission only costs $2.95, and games cost only a few nickels to play. Caleb Loving, Fresno Pacific University senior, has enjoyed his experiences at the Nickel Arcade. “The Nickel Arcade can be for everyone. It is very cheap to go there and for those who like the nostalgic feel of old video games, this is the place for them,” Loving said.

A great destination to go enjoy nature with friends is Yosemite National Park, as this early fall weather is one of the best times to be up there. Students can take a drive up there and enjoy a picnic while admiring the beautiful scenery. Students can also go take a day trip down to the coast at places like Pismo Beach, San Luis Obispo, or Monterey. For Example, Pismo has the Oceano Dunes that you can drive your car on and downtown shops where you can grab a cup of clam chowder. There are also tons of shops in Monterey and San Luis Obispo in the downtown area. If going out and being adventurous is not your style, there’s also some-


thing valid in taking time to hang out with your family or pets. Freshman Luz Martinez is one of those people who likes to keep it low-key when it comes to relaxing from school. “I usually like to spend time with my pets as a break or hang out with my friends to relax f rom s cho ol,” Mar t ine z s aid. These are only a few of the things that are offered in the Central Valley to help students decompress and relax from the craziness of school. Next time you feel stressed out, go out and grab a cup of coffee, plan a day trip to the coast or mountains, or even just spend time with friends!



How coffee affects the campus Sunbirds espresso their opinions Michelle Legatova | Staff Writer Nikki Campos | Features Co-Editor


offee has always been a part of some college students’ lives. From their morning to night classes, caffeine is running through their bodies, pushing them throughout the day. Getting a classic iced coffee can sometimes be a great idea, but the coffee bean has many drawbacks as well. According to Hopkinsmedicine. org, there are many benefits to drinking coffee that many don’t think of. Some of those benefits include decreasing the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart failure, protecting your liver enzymes, and preventing against breakage in DNA. These benefits, and many others, are why most people drink coffee each morning and throughout the day. They are making themselves stronger in more ways than one, and while doing so, they are getting energy from the caffeine. Anastassiya Barakhoyeva, a freshman student-athlete, explains how coffee has become a part of her ever yday life. “Coffee is honestly my saving grace. I wouldn’t survive without it in high school and even now, with all that I have going on, I need it. I drink it throughout the day and night to help myself stay awake and get through my studies and my practices or games,” Barakhoyeva said.

She also mentioned that the stress of possibly failing her classes is the main reason why she doesn’t sleep, and therefore needs coffee to do her daily duties. Although many students believe that they need coffee, there are those who do not drink coffee at all due to the health risks. Mikayla Kennedy, a sophomore student-athlete, is one of those who do not drink coffee due to the risks that it entails. Kennedy stated that when she first tried coffee as a freshman in high school, she noticed that she would almost immediately become jittery and anxious. She recalled sitting through classes, unable to focus due to non-stop movements, which eventually affected her play on the volleyball court. “I remember I was unable to focus while I was at practice, I kept doing things out of the ordinary. Yes, I was energized, but it was to a point that I couldn’t control. After that, I knew coffee wasn’t for me,” Kennedy said. Cheryl Nichols, the nurse at Fresno Pacific University, explained how even professionals don’t agree on coffee. “If you look online, there is a list of 25 reasons to drink caffeine, and then at the bottom it listed other articles and it was 25 reasons not to drink caffeine and some of them contradict themselves,” Nichols said. She went on to explain that, for


college students, it makes sense to drink coffee right before a test to be more alert, but there are alternatives to drinking coffee that are much healthier, such as getting a full night of sleep, exercising, and eating well. Nichols stated that doing everything in moderation is key, and that is part of being in college: finding a way to balance all of life’s struggles in a healthy manner. Although coffee is a great way to

get energy to make it through college students’ busy days, there are definitely benefits and downsides to coffee. For some, it’s a necessity to function every day, while for others it has no benefit. There’s also the concept that a good night’s sleep and a healthy diet can give you the energy you need to make it through the day without coffee’s negative side effects. Needless to say, coffee can be beneficial or harmful depending on the person.



Shyanne Mortimer | Staff Writer Nikki Campos | Features Co-Editor

The Syrinx would like to feature freshman athletes as they enter this journey. These athletes share how they feel about their role on a sports team and how they are adjusting to college.


Makena Ogas

Jonathan Brown



akena Ogas is a first-year volleyball player from Clovis, California majoring in liberal studies. She selected Fresno Pacific University because of both the team connection and the coaching staff. “Their [coaches’]first thoughts were, ‘Let’s do a home visit,’ which showed me they cared a lot about where I came from and my background,” Ogas said. Ogas has been playing volleyball since she was in the second grade because she has grown up around volleyball her entire life. Her biggest inspiration is her dad, who played at Stanford and introduced the game of volleyball to his children. Now that Ogas has begun a new chapter in her life, she is learning to readjust to being a college athlete opposed to a high school athlete. “I got so used to being a leader for my high school team, but sometimes I need to step back and understand my coaches and teammates are here to help me,” Ogas said.

Ogas has been most excited about entering the realm of college ball this season and getting to compete against women that are much older than her. “I am hard-driven, and my team knows that they can give me a ball and I’m going to get that point,” Ogas said. Women’s Head Volleyball Coach Shasta Millhollin, like Ogas, is new to the program. Millhollin has no worries when it comes to Ogas fitting in, both on and off the court. “Off the court she’s constantly checking on everyone to see if they’re okay. . . . On the court she is very athletic, competitive, has a lot of power,” Millhollin said. Not only did Millhollin describe Ogas as athletic and competitive, but stated that she brings a lot of experience to the table. Come out and support Ogas and the volleyball team as they take on Academy of Art this Saturday, October 12th at 3:00PM.





very year, FPU sports teams recruit new members. Jonathan Brown, better known amongst peers on campus as JB, is a first-year business accounting student from London, England, who chose to play basketball for Fresno Pacific University because of the coaching staff. “The coach was invested in me as a person rather than just me as a possible player,” Brown said. Brown picked up the sport of basketball when he was 14 years old. His biggest inspiration, he said, is former teammate Kalil Irving. “He built me up as a man on and off the court,” Brown said. Brown is excited to get back on the court with his new teammates and to have a strong start to his freshman season. He is also excited for traveling with the team, especially to Hawaii, where they will


compete against three other schools. Brown is easily adjusting to playing with new teammates, particularly upperclassmen, and feels that the transition has been easy. “In England we played in a Men’s Division, so I was always playing against and with older people,” Brown said. When asked what he hopes to bring to the table with this new team, his answer was immediate. “Going in with a fighter’s mentality,” Brown said. Men’s Head Basketball Coach C.J. Haydock has been impressed by the time and dedication Brown puts into the sport; he believes that Brown is “ready to play right away,” and thinks that he will “have a tremendous career” and “make an immediate impact for us [FPU Men’s Basketball].” Brown and his teammates will have their home opener on November 26th, 2019 at 5:30 PM.

COMMUNITY ANNOUNCEMENTS thesyrinx.com/squares


2 Truths & a Lie: 1. There’s a squirrel on campus who is missing his tail. His name is Stubby. 2. Commuters can eat lunch in the caffeteria on Tuesdays for $1. 3. The pendulum broke last year because someone tried to ride it like a wrecking ball. Answer: #2--Commuter’s can eat kunch in the caffeteria on Tuesday’s for $3.50

Christian pick-up lines 1. “Dang girl, are you the Gospel? Cause I think you’re pretty good news.” 2. “Jesus may have turned water into wine, but he took you and turned you into fine.” 3. “Is it hot in here? Or is that just the Holy Spirit burning inside you?” 4. “You really are a fisher of men, cause girl, you reeled me in.”

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.