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Volume 56 Issue 16

Thursday, March 14, 2019

On Newsstands Weekly

◆ The Official Student Newspaper of the University of San Diego since 1968 ◆

USD admission bribery

Robert Flaxman pays $315,000 for children’s side-door admission into USD

Senators at odds

Amy Inkrott News Editor

“On or about Oct. 23, 2018, CW-1 called FLAXMAN at the direction of law enforcement agents and told him that KWF was being audited by the IRS. The following is an excerpt from the call which was consensually recorded.” -Department of Justice Amy Inkrott/The USD Vista

Luke Garrett Editor in Chief A Department of Justice investigation released on Tuesday, March 12 accused dozens in a

nefarious college-admission scam. The scam allowed wealthy parents to increase their children’s college-entrance exam scores and created student-athlete profiles for easier admission through bribery.

The federal report includes the University of San Diego along with seven prestigious universities such as Yale, Stanford, and University of Southern California. The report stated that between

2016 and 2017 a USD varsity sports coach, now unaffiliated with the university according to a USD statement, received $110,000 in bribes to assure Robert Flaxman’s

See Flaxman, Page 2

In the days following the Feb. 21 Associated Students (AS) Senate meeting, a debate began over the position of Student Organizations Chair, Charles Young. Referencing his actions regarding the Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER) Coalition, members of the AS Executive Board sought to remove Young from the senate. Other senators disagreed, prompting a large dispute over the rules and constitution of AS. At the Feb. 28 senate meeting, Vice President Christopher Hermes delivered a statement from the AS Executive Board. Hermes explained the Executive Board’s decision to place Charles Young under Executive Review for his behavior the previous week regarding the ANSWER Coalition. Some members of the coalition viewed Young’s presentation on the organization as bigoted and a personal attack on the students and faculty involved. “It was evident that members of the community no longer felt comfortable and safe around this individual,” Hermes said. “It is very unfortunate that this decision had to be made. We want to make it very clear that the manner in which (Young) conducted himself is not reflective of who we are as an organization and has negatively

See AS, Page 3

Toreros make tourney run

USD basketball wins three straight before falling in semifinals Anderson Haigler Sports Editor Given the recent modifications to the West Coast Conference (WCC) Tournament, a difficult path to postseason success awaited the University of San Diego men’s basketball team. Beginning this year, the teams with the worst records in WCC participate in the tournament’s first round, while the conference’s top two teams enjoy a double-bye in the six-day event. As the tournament’s seventh seed out of 10 teams, a trip to the finals for USD (21-14, 7-10 WCC) would have required four victories in five days. A daunting, if not potentially exhausting feat for any team. But the arduous road ahead didn’t faze the Toreros. Not at all. “There’s no room to be tired when it comes to the conference tournament,” redshirt senior guard Isaiah Wright said during one of the

Toreros’ final practices before they shipped off to Las Vegas. “It’s a lot of games, but it allows us to keep on building from each game.” Wright was right. The changes to the tournament didn’t matter to the Toreros when they handily beat 10-seed University of Portland 67-47 in the opening round. They didn’t matter to USD when they cruised to a 62-45 victory over 6-seed Santa Clara University and avenged their uncharacteristic early-season loss to the Broncos. And the WCC Tournament’s frenetic format most certainly did not matter to USD when they steamrolled 3-seed Brigham Young University (BYU) by a score of 80-57 after leading for nearly 40 points for the entirety of the game. The magnitude of the their impressive, if not statistically improbable run was not lost on the Toreros, however. “That’s one down!” Wright

exclaimed to his teammates as they executed their signature midair shoulder bump in the Orleans Arena’s locker room after their firstround win. As an Olin Carter III 3-pointer found its mark versus Santa Clara the following night, sophomore center Jake Gilliam’s wild-eyed, fist pumping celebration with the rest of the San Diego bench became a meme-worthy example of just how much passion the Toreros were playing with.And as USD headed into the tunnel after their rout of the Cougars, redshirt senior forward Isaiah Pineiro just about summed up what his team was feeling after their third consecutive postseason win. “I love winning!” Pineiro yelled to his teammates before letting out a roar of celebration. It was hard to blame San Diego for their enthusiasm. It was March,

A Pi Day celebration

Stressing out

Media Emboldened

Gianni Cicali

See Feature, pages 6-7

See Feature, page 8

See A&C, page 9

See A&C, page 10

Isaiah Wright led the Toreros with an average of 18 points points per game last week. Photo courtesy of Kyle Terada/WCC

OP-ED: Women’s Histroy Month See Opinion, page 4


See Basketball, Page 11


The USD Vista

March 14, 2019


USD caught in admissions scandal William Rick Singer orchestrates college admissions scheme across eight universities nationwide. Flaxman from Page 1

son and daughter’s acceptances into USD. Flaxman is the president and CEO of a Los Angeles real estate firm. According to federal documents, only Flaxman’s son decided to attend the University of San Diego. This scam, according to federal investigators, was orchestrated by William Rick Singer, the founder of The Edge College & Career Network, LLC, a for-profit college counseling business, and The Key Worldwide Foundation (KWF), a purported charity. The Department of Justice documents laid out Singer’s two methods of racketeering, which include tampering with standardized tests and studentathlete recruitment scams. First, investigators said Singer bribed various ACT and SAT staffers to either take the exams in lieu of Singer’s clients or correct the exams to increase Singer’s clients’ scores.

As a second method, according to federal investigators, Singer created false resumes for his clients as student-athletes. Singer is alleged by federal investigators to have racketeered the college admission process from 2011 up until this past month. Both methods were used in order to facilitate the acceptance of Flaxman’s two children.

worked to create an application for Flaxman’s son – an application fit to be accepted as an athletic recruit – despite the fact the son did not play the sport, federal documents stated. The USD Vista was unable to determine the identity or position of the varsity sports coach, or what sport Flaxman’s son was purported to play.

the services, Flaxman paid Singer $250,000 through a purported donation for his son’s acceptance into USD in March of 2016. The USD Vista has confirmed the identity of Flaxman’s son and reached out to the son, who is currently a student at USD. The identification of the son was made by a directory search that finds

“The USD Vista reached out to the son for an interview, but the student denied an interview at this time. The student neither confirmed nor denied the federal investigations when contacted. Because Flaxman’s son is not mentioned by name in the federal investigation, The USD Vista has decided not to release his name at this time.” The Department of Justice complaint closely documented Flaxman’s 2016 participation in the college recruitment scam at USD. The scheme, according to the documents, involved Flaxman, a witness cooperating with the FBI, and a varsity sports coach at the University of San Diego. All

In the federal documents, an email correspondence between Flaxman, his son, and the cooperating witness was reported. The email mentioned the changes made to the son’s application by the cooperating witness in order to solidify his student-athlete status. According to the documents, for

On or around Nov. 16, 2015, FBI cooperating witnessed emailed Flaxman and his son concerning the son’s application. Amy Inkrott/The USD Vista

only one undergraduate with the last name Flaxman. The son’s current year also matches the date of acceptance listed in federal documents. Social media posts with both the son and Flaxman further confirm his identity as Flaxman’s son. The USD Vista reached out to the son for an interview, but the student denied an interview at this time. The student neither confirmed nor denied the federal investigations when contacted. Because Flaxman’s son is not mentioned by name in the federal investigation, The USD Vista has decided not to release his name at this time. According to the federal investigation, eight months after his son’s acceptance, the father began communicating with the FBI cooperative witness again, seeking to increase his daughter’s ACT scores. Investigators say Flaxman’s company wired $75,000 to Singer’s

foundation. According to federal documents, Flaxman’s payment raised his daughter’s scores from 20 to 28. However, his daughter decided not to attend USD. USD’s President, James T. Harris III, P.h.D., released a statement midday Tuesday stating that the university is cooperating with the Department of Justice, no current university employees are involved in the allegations, and the university will be conducting an internal investigation of the matter. In an interview, Harris confirmed that the administration has communicated with Flaxman’s son. “We didn’t know the student until today until we learned the information,” Harris said. “We did reach out to the student. We reached out to see if the student needed any counseling or support. Because we don’t have any idea if the student was involved or not.” President Harris also made a point to distance the university from the racketeering itself. “Racketeering didn’t occur on campus,” Harris said. “The university wasn’t involved. An employee was involved.” Both the Department of Justice and President Harris stated that the investigation is ongoing and more information about the countrywide racketeering case will be made public in the following weeks. For now, university students here on USD’s campus and across the country are left with serious ethical questions concerning the fairness and legitimacy of university admissions.

Campus Update

Feb. 28 AS Senate Meeting New AS senators

College of Arts & Sciences Senator: Leslie Martinez School of Business Senator: Ashley Raines

New student organizations Fraternity and Sorority Multicultural Council MathX Shark Conservation

Frontiers USA College of Arts and Sciences senator Rameen Javadian and senior Megan McDonell discussed the possibility of Frontiers USA being present at the Career Development Center’s Career Fair. The students expressed their concerns about the organization’s anti-Muslim and imperialistic mission. Although the group was withdrawn participation in the Career Fair, Javadian stressed the need for change in the future. The CDev has expressed its intent to host a town hall meeting regarding the issue. The date and time for this event have yet to be released.

Budget updates Finance Chair Stephanie Silvar provided updates on the AS budget. Silvar asked for approval of nearly $20,000 from the AS Senate reserves. This request comes after a series of cuts to spending within the AS Budget Committee. Multiple AS initiatives, including the contract with LYFT, have been reduced as a result of the budgetary

College Readership Program The College Readership Program, which provided on-campus newspapers such as The New York Times and USA Today to students at no cost, were removed at the start of the school year. In Oct. 2018, the AS Senate unanimously voted to hold a referendum election regarding the program. Speaker of the Senate Alexander Plummer confirmed that this referendum will be included on this spring’s ballot.

Volume 56 Issue 16


The USD Vista

Questioning Michael Cohen


Donald Trump’s former lawyer was questioned by the House Oversight Committee on Feb. 27 Amy Inkrott News Editor Every morning, students from across the country stand to say the Pledge of Allegiance. Together, they recite the words, “One nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.” This pledge reflects the sense of loyalty and patriotism held by many Americans. However, recent political events have divided the country across party lines. The election of Donald Trump in 2016 inflamed tensions between members of the Republican and Democratic parties as allegations of Russian collusion and interference have plagued the United States. Sophomore political science major Garrett Paulus is concerned about the recent polarization within American politics and the possibility of Russian collusion. “American democracy is very messy and kind of out of control,” Paulus said. “I think that our democracy is not in the best place right now with Trump in the White House. It is scary to think that our

election was influenced by Russian interference and I think that is a huge threat to our democracy. He has created a situation in which democracy is extremely important to rely on.” Shortly after the 2016 election, Robert Mueller was appointed as special council to investigate claims of Russian interference. Throughout the past two years, the Russia investigation has resulted in over 30 guilty pleas, including those from Russian officials and Trump’s associates. Among those individuals is Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen. In December of 2018, Cohen pled guilty to lying to Congress about Trump’s connection to a Moscow real estate venture during the 2016 elections in his previous testimony. Cohen, however, claims that this attempted deception was at the direction of President Trump. On Feb. 27, Cohen was scheduled to publicly testify before the House Oversight Committee, Congress’s investigative body. Sitting before the panel of congressmen and women, Cohen provided details

about Trump’s business practices and influences within the 2016 election. In his opening statement, Cohen displayed a check from Trump, reimbursing him for the $35,000 of hush money paid to porn star, Stormy Daniels. The check was signed after Trump came to the Office of the Presidency. This issue was covered extensively in the weeks leading up to the 2016 election and the following months. As the hearing continued, Cohen repeatedly highlighted inaccuracies within Trump’s public statements. The former lawyer explained that Trump did know about the 2016 meeting between Donald Trump, Jr. and a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower regarding information on Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton. Cohen also implicated the chief Financial Officer of the Trump Organization, Allen Weisselberg. The former lawyer further commented on Trump’s behavior both in and out of the White House. He referenced various occasions on which Trump made racist and threatening remarks.

However, Cohen’s revelations were not surprising to senior political science major Alberto Rodriguez. “I believe this speaks directly to the issue that news is on a 24hour cycle, and the market is being oversaturated with ‘Get Trump’ media that is becoming exhausting to those who are not that interested,” Rodriguez said. “The news rhetoric is further polarizing both sides of the political spectrum by constantly covering the same news coverage.” The hearing highlighted the intense divide between the two political parties. North Carolina Republican senator Mark Meadows was aggressive in his questioning of Cohen. However, his use of Lynne Patton, a black woman from the Trump Organization, to counteract Cohen’s claims sparked accusations of racism from the left. The Democratic senator from Michigan, Rashida Tlaib, was quick to rebuke Meadows saying the use of Patton as a prop was racist itself. Other senators looked to attack Cohen’s credibility, highlighting his status as a disbarred lawyer.

Considering these tensions, Rodriguez does not anticipate any decrease in polarization in the near future. “It is my belief, that this will not end until either the Democrats are successful in impeaching the President or beating him in 2020,” Rodriguez said. “My biggest fear, however, is that all of this political tension will only cause more suffering to the American people and stunt any productive legislation from being passed.” Since the public hearing, Cohen met privately with the Oversight Committee. However, it is unlikely that the public will learn about the content of these meetings. Democratic members have expressed an interest in questioning other members of the Trump Organization and well as the president’s own family. In the upcoming months, Democratic members of Congress will continue to investigate the Trump Administration for allegations of Russian collusion and crimes committed while in the White House.

Inconsistencies among AS leaders Members of the AS Senate and Executive Board disagree over constitutional interpretations

AS from Page 1

impacted students, faculty, and administrators alike at USD.” This decision was made in accordance with Article V of the AS Review Process Bylaws. According to these laws, the AS Executive Board can remove any member of AS for “performing an act that makes his/her continued presence in Associated Students counterproductive to its mission.” However, Alcalá Vistas senator Rowan Parmenter disagreed with this decision. Parmenter disregarded the board’s decision as a violation of the bylaws. He rebuked AS President Natasha Salgado for the perceived failure to adhere to procedure. “Our president has shown complete disdain for our constitution throughout this whole process,” Parmenter said. “She has knowingly and willingly violated our constitution by holding such a vote without all members of the executive board. This body still has not sworn in an Athletics Chair and was therefore not present at this meeting. As such, the vote to remove (Young) is null and void. I want to stress the precedence that this is causing. If there is a dissenting voice, should the president just be able to kick that person out of senate? This is taking the student’s voice completely away from senate and endangering our process.” These comments prompted a motion for the reinstatement of Young’s voting privileges within the senate. After a vote with a slim margin, the motion passed and Young resumed his duties as Student Orgs Chair. Other members of the senate were unhappy with this result. During the meeting’s final business, Senator Carolina Moreno Armenta further emphasized the hurt felt by members of the

ANSWER Coalition and the value of student voices as she motioned to recall Young’s position. This prompted a discussion among senators and members of the public about Young’s interactions with the ANSWER Coalition. After a brief recess, the senate proceeded to vote on whether to hold a recall election for Young. This vote required two-thirds of the senate’s approval before being sent to the Alcalá Vistas residents. With 13 yeas and eight nays, the motion failed to reach a two-thirds majority. A member of the ANSWER Coalition then stood asking how they could remove Young without the recall vote. Students promised to form a petition of Alcalá Vistas residents in order to prompt an election to remove Young from office. “We are ready,” the member said. “And we continue to be ready until Charlie Young is gone. I will be here every dead hours until he is gone. We’re not going anywhere. The only person that will be going somewhere is Charlie and it’s out of this room. We will not leave here until that occurs.” The students’ petition was spread via social media on Tuesday, March 12. The AS bylines require 20 percent of Vistas residents’ signatures to prompt a recall election. A second petition was formed for non-Vistas residents supporting both the ANSWER Coalition and Young’s removal. However, the discussion surrounding Young’s future with AS did not end with the senate meeting. The next day, AS President Natasha Salgado and Speaker of the Senate Alexander Plummer issued a joint statement to the senate. The statement reaffirmed the argument of the vice president at the previous day’s meeting. “The removal of Charles Young

After a narrow vote, Student Orgs Chair Charles Young was restored his voting rights in the Feb. 28 AS Senate meeting. Zoé Morales/The USD Vista

was under the due process of Article V of the Performance Review Bylaws, which states that ‘every member of the Executive Board must be physically present’ in order to vote to affirm or deny the decision of the AS President to remove an individual from office,” Salgado and Plummer wrote. “In order to affirm the president’s decision, a majority vote is required. Every Executive Board member was present at this meeting. We understand that there was concern yesterday about a vacant seat on the Executive Board being counted as a member, but it would be an invalid argument since there is no member in that role. This differs from someone that holds an Executive Board position not being present for this meeting.” The USD Vista followed up with Plummer after Spring Break. Although he could not name the individual who instigated Young’s removal, Plummer further explained the board’s reasoning. “(Young) failed to act in harmony with an organization that is trying to become a student organization on

campus,” Plummer said. “He did not respond to (ANSWER)... Instead he let the conversation that occurred be a one-way conversation. That was seen as not acting in a spirit of harmony with the organization.” Plummer explained that the board’s decision stands and Young’s votes from the Feb. 28 meeting would not be counted. The USD Vista also reached out to Salgado, but did not receive a response until eight days later. Due to the time constraints surrounding publication, The USD Vista was unable to schedule an interview. Both Young and Parmenter continue to disagree, emphasizing the absence of an Athletics Chair. “As I have clearly stated before, and as the senate agreed via their vote to appeal the decision of the chair at Thursday’s meeting, all members of the executive board must be physically present to hold a performance review meeting,” Young said. “Our constitution differentiates between when only ‘sworn in’ members must be present, such as the constitution,

and when ‘members’ regardless of their status as sworn in, must be present. I resolutely reject the joint statement’s validity, and, as one of this body’s few remaining duly elected senators, will be retaining my office as Alcalá Vistas Residential Senator and Chair of the Student Organizations Committee.” The issue of Young’s removal continues to be a contentious debate as both groups employ their own interpretations of the AS constitution and procedures. “The senate may vote to ratify the decision of the AS President,” Plummer said. “Those are the words that are laid out in the constitution. However, I’m being completely transparent here, we are connecting the dots ourselves between what is stated in the constitution and… what it says in the bylaws for the Immediate Removal by the AS Executive Board.” AS has yet to determine the process by which to resolve this dispute, and will continue to discuss the presence of Charles Young as the Student Orgs Chair.

The USD Vista


March 14, 2019


Womxn’s History Month reimagined A call to action

Kate Burnite Op-Ed Contributor This month, all around the country, people are talking about womxn. March is known in the United States as Womxn’s History Month and includes International Womxn’s Day on March 8. In the contemporary moment, when many believe womxn’s oppression to be the least important axis in liberation, and many others believe liberation has been achieved, Womxn’s History Month provides a unique opportunity for reflection. While the event is technically denoted “Women’s History Month,” I am choosing to use “womxn” to refer to all individuals who identify as women. This spelling is intended to create a more inclusive definition of womanhood; many transgender or gender fluid individuals preferred this spelling because it seeks to recognize the fluidity of gender and the disparate lived experiences of womxn as a collective. Womxn’s History Month was predated by Womxn’s History Week, first declared as a presidential proclamation under President Ronald Reagan in 1982. In 1987, after lobbying by national historical groups, March was first designated as Womxn’s History Month as we experience it today. Each year since, the sitting

president has made a presidential proclamation declaring March Womxn’s History Month. The express purpose of Reagan’s Womxn’s History Week, and the purpose of the Womxn’s History Months since, is to recognize the contributions of womxn to American history. In elementary and secondary education, this recognition often takes the form of biography– introducing students to individual womxn who have influenced different disciplines and policies in the U.S. The womxn profiled during this month are often “firsts;” the current president named the first female to earn a bachelor’s degree and the first female physician in this year’s proclamation. The goal of highlighting impactful womxn is laudable– often, these figures were not recognized or credited sufficiently during their historical moments. Being the first to accomplish anything shows a trajectory for others to follow, and that can serve as a catalyst for more wide-ranging change. But this biographical method of teaching womxn’s history causes damage as well. The biographies of womxn of color, LGBTQ womxn, immigrant womxn, and proletariat womxn are frequently overlooked, denying their experiences respect or recognition. The postcolonial history of womxn is

history around, about, and near womxn, but not “by” womxn– only recently has that ability been reobtained. As Simone de Beauvoir wrote in “The Second Sex” (1953), “Women’s actions have never been more than symbolic agitation; they have only won what men have been willing to concede to them; they have taken nothing; they have received.” Womxn’s history month is a pleasant symbol, but half of the population has been gifted a twelfth of the time otherwise dominated by the other half of the population. This symbol deserves to be engaged with– thus, I advocate for a threefold engagement with Womxn’s History Month: recognize intentionally, question persistently, and demand constantly. Recognize intentionally. As mentioned above, one of the most common critiques of a womxncentric view of history is that it tends to become whitewashed. In recognizing womxn, in focusing on the biographies of impactful individuals in American history, there ought to be intent in selecting which womxn’s stories are to be uplifted. The current political moment gives white womxn plenty of space to speak during every other time of the year; we ought to utilize a time dedicated to a more holistic understanding of womxn’s history

by highlight the stories that we rarely get to hear. Additionally, when we recognize womxn intentionally, we are not simply focused on individual womxn’s successes– we ought to know when womxn have failed. Only by studying the history of failure in conjunction with success are we able to identify the conditions that caused womxn to fail and succeed in the first place. If to look at history is to provide us a better way forward, the value of success is superseded by the value of failure. Question persistently. As previously noted, womxn have only ever received that which men have been willing to concede to us. The material conditions of our oppression remain shrouded by an emphasis on stability, prudence, and consistency. These values, espoused in American political thought at the nation’s conception, teach us to be cautious in challenging the status quo. There is a naturally conservative bent in American politics, where we as a public are taught to find such a value in our own history that we are reluctant to question it too aggressively. We continue to work within structures, systems, and institutions without questioning their foundations and frameworks. To work within the system without fundamentally seeking to understand why it

exists and how its existence affects our work within it, the best we can do is hope to mitigate the factors that contribute to our oppression. Questioning everything is the first step to creating the answers that we want. Demand constantly. For too long, womxn have been conditioned in respectability and politeness, taught that our concern should lie not with ourselves but with others. The rise in political action in recent years demonstrates a surge in womxn’s willingness to engage in political disruption– we ought to demand more in our theoretically focused spaces as well. How impactful is it to dedicate a few weeks to the history of half the population, especially when the time is only what men have conceded to us? Do we receive this symbolic space as our due, sufficient to right a global history of being otherized by virtue of our existence? Or do we continue the reflective project once the time allocated for womxn’s history is over for the year? If womxn can use this month to intentionally engage in the histories of womxn, allow themselves to unequivocally challenge the structures in their lives, and use those as a framework to seize what we have been denied, Womxn’s History Month could take on a new meaning as a reclaimed catalyst to action.

The University of San Diego does not share the views presented within the editorial and op-ed sections. The opinions expressed in this section reflect solely the opinion of the respective writer.

Volume 56 Issue 16


The USD Vista



Dealing with ghosts of actions past Rise of social media brings up questions regarding how much of the past is “fair game” in the present

Ali Ulin Asst. Opinion Editor In an age where actions are immortalized by social media accounts and the content that is posted has little to no limit, younger generations are faced with deciding what is acceptable and how long their posts should be relevant or applicable to their current situations. Starting at a very young age, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook permanently document everything from status updates of people’s everyday thoughts to what show they’re binging on Netflix to pictures and videos of drunken nights out. Now more than ever, the trial and error of one’s life choices and actions are documented forever. The percentage of colleges that actively check social media in regard to admissions decisions has declined in the past five years from 40 percent to 29 percent. According to a Kaplan survey administered in April 2018, 68 percent of colleges agreed that social media is “fair game” for reviewing applicants. Maturing and responsible teens and young adults need to keep this in mind when considering how their profiles might affect their educational future, especially within the realm of higher education. But rather than fearing the effects social media has on undergraduate admissions, the more tangible consequences are found in the post-graduate search for job placement and higher degrees. In college, with more freedom to engage in activities that might not be legal or socially acceptable (drinking, drugs, etc.), aspiring professionals need to be especially conscientious of their posting habits so as to not showcase any questionable choices. Many applicants for professional or educational opportunities report that their interviewer asked to see their social media profile or performed a social media check. Furthermore, in a 2017 survey conducted by CareerBuilder, 70 percent of employers screen a candidate’s social media, up from 60 percent in 2016. This type of permanence and publicity is a fairly new phenomenon and wasn’t around to haunt older generations. Without readily-available evidence from social media, generations of professionals got away with growing up and making irresponsible decisions with little to no repercussions as has been seen in very real and disturbing contexts. Relationships within certain power dynamics often result in little to no justice for those being taken advantage of. One such power dynamic

played out in the confirmation process of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in 2018. Despite Christine Blasey Ford’s public and grievous sexual assault accusation, Kavanaugh was still confirmed to sit on the Supreme Court. Taking a moment to examine the FBI investigation which followed the disturbing confirmation hearings, Justice Kavanaugh’s legal team used a few, very simple defense arguments: denying the occurrence of the assault, claiming that this was an elaborate conspiracy and an attempt by the Democratic Party to derail his confirmation, and questioning the relevance and frequency with which such things happen in high school. Focus in on Kavanaugh’s third argument– the sheer fact that his lawyers claimed that this was a common occurrence and misunderstanding of drunken high school students playing “seven minutes in heaven” alone is repulsive and misconstrued. But, his argument debating the relevance of the actions of a drunken 17-year-old is where a more complex aspect of the argument takes place. Kavanaugh’s argument as to the frequency with which events like these happen should have been considered a form of casual confession, and his lack of remorse should have been reason enough for the claims to be relevant. By allowing these arguments to suffice, Americans allowed his age, the time passed since the alleged assault, and discontent with the “lack of evidence” (a product of the times lacking the tools allotted to modern teenagers: cell phones and social media) supporting Ford’s allegations to justify his actions and excuse his behavior despite the publicizing of them. Neither of these should be acceptable nor treated as tangible evidence to prove or disprove his innocence. Of course, a case like this is an extreme example, but sadly it is all too familiar to women, especially with seemingly untouchable and powerful male counterparts. Anita Hill, in 1991, similarly accused Clarence Thomas, her supervisor and now a Supreme Court Justice, of sexual harassment while they worked together in the Department of Education. Hill, too, was unable to prove the misconduct due to a three-day FBI investigation that resulted in the opinion of the court that “the allegation was unfounded.” The two cases followed eerily similar trajectories. Both cases were extremely high-profile examples of women attempting to serve justice to men, and did not have a platform to document or prove their actions. Both consisted of a short and half-

hearted investigation into the women’s claims against men by the FBI. Both were told their claims were irrelevant and false as they differed from the accounts their perpetrators told. Both ended abruptly with no real justice for the women. Both resolved with the nomination and confirmation of these men to the Supreme Court. Stories like these are frustratingly common with too many examples to count that have resulted in little to no repercussions for a powerful man whose monstrous actions toward women were not caught on tape the way they can be now. It is events like these that make the use of social media a positive influence and tool against discrimination, oppression, and prejudice against minorities and under-represented groups. In February, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s picture in a yearbook during his time in medical school surfaced of him in blackface with a friend dressed in a KKK robe. Northam was elected just last year, and now Virginia is faced with the dilemma of how to deal with a publicly racist governor. The easy answer is to impeach him. With a population that is roughly 20 percent black and living in a society where morals and values of leaders have standards, histories of disregard and disrespect for social and political conditions should not be tolerated. Though these pictures

were taken 23 years ago, Northam was a mature, grown man at the age of 37 and with no contrition for his actions, these indisputable allegations that associate with the evidence presented to the public should be enough to take Northam out of politics and political leadership for good. Northam’s actions were documented in the old-fashioned form of a yearbook; however, with the new powers of social media, catching bigots like him is made all the more possible. Though discouraging incidents and events such as these have occurred, American society has pushed forward with the modern ability to combat oppressors and abusers as has been seen in protests like the Women’s March and movements like #MeToo and Time’s Up that are sweeping across the country, amplified by social media and using social media to promote their cause and hold perpetrators accountable. Nonetheless, society is now faced with the dilemma of deciding how far back into people’s past we should look to determine their values, personal abilities, and professional worth. High school and college students make errors in judgement and lots of mistakes. While not every immature decision should be held against someone for eternity, there is a line. Social media is an extremely persuasive force in today’s society, but with

its new abilities come new rules to consider. In each platform’s terms and conditions, users agree with little knowledge that their content can be used publicly and that their posts are logged forever in user profiles. When posting, users must be wary about the content they want the world to have access to. Social media technically sets standards and regulations for its users to post in the form of age limits and content restrictions. However, social media needs to adjust and change to keep up with the times and decriminalize certain taboo behaviors such as underage drinking, use of certain substances, or otherwise that are common behaviors that are often targeted by politicians and authority to punish people of color and other historically oppressed groups. Although it also must be acknowledged that social media also holds people accountable for their actions and enforces forms of justice toward unacceptable behaviors such as racism, sexual harassment, and misogyny. These actions should and do have realworld consequences, especially within the realm of public opinion. While young generations should have the freedom to make mistakes while growing up, there is a necessity that people be held accountable for their actions. In the era of social media, people must learn what is and is not acceptable behavior.

Audrey Garrett//The USD Vista

The University of San Diego does not share the views presented within the editorial and op-ed sections. The opinions expressed in this section reflect solely the opinion of the respective writer.




MARCH 14, 2019

p p y a H

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Da y

Volume 56 Issue 16




4134210330156616535602473380784302865525722275304999 883701534879300806260180962381516136690334111138653851091936739383522934588832 25508870645 0753947395204396807906708680644509698654880168287434378612645381583 42807530618454859037982179945996811544197425363443996029025100158882721647 4500 682070419376158454712318346007262933955054823955713725684023226821301247679452 26448209102356477527230820810635188991526928891084555711266 0396503439789627825 001611015323516051965590421184494990778999200732947690586857787872098290135295 66139788848605097860859570177312981553149516 8146717695976099421003618355913877 781769845875810446628399880600616229848616935337386578773598336161338413385368 42119789389001852956919678045 5448285848370117096721253533875862158231013310387 766827211572694951817958975469399264219791552338576623167627547570354699414892 90413018638611 9439196283887054367774322427680913236544948536676800000106526248 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002999769841263266502347716728657378579085746646077228341540311441529418804782 54387617707904300015669867767957609 0996693607559496515273634981189641304331166 277471233881740603731743970540670310967676574869535878967003192586625941051053 35843846560233917967 4926784476370847497833365557900738419147319886271352595462 518160434225372996286326749682405806029642114638643686422472488728343417044157 34824 8183330164056695966886676956349141632842641497453334999948000266998758881 59350735781519588990053951208535103572613736403436753471410483601754 6488300407 846416745216737190483109676711344349481926268111073994825060739495073503169019 73185211955263563258433909982249862406703107683184466 0729124874754031617969941 139738776589986855417031884778867592902607004321266617919223520938227878880988 63359911608192353555704646349113208591 8979613279131975649097600013996234445535 014346426860464495862476909434704829329414041114654092398834443515913320107739 44111840741076849810663 4724104823935827401944935665161088463125678529776973468 430306146241803585293315973458303845541033701091676776374276210213701354854450 92630719 0114731848574923318167207213727935567952844392548156091372812840633303 93735624200160456645574145881660521666087387480472433912129558777639069 6903707 882852775389405246075849623157436917113176134783882719416860662572103685132156 64780014767523103935786068961112599602818393095487090590 7386135191459181951029 732787557104972901148717189718004696169777001791391961379141716270701895846921 43436967629274591099400600849835684252019 1559370370101104974733949387788598941 743303178534870760322198297057975119144051099423588303454635349234982688362404 33272674155403016195056806 5418093940998202060999414021689090070821330723089662 119775530665918814119157783627292746156185710372172471009521423696483086410259 28874579993 2237495519122195190342445230753513380685680735446499512720317448719 54039761073080602699062580760202927314552520780799141842906388443734996814 5827 337207266391767020118300464819000241308350884658415214899127610651374153943565 72113903285749187690944137020905170314877734616528798482353 3829726013611098451 484182380812054099612527458088109948697221612852489742555551607637167505489617 30168096138038119143611439921063800508321409 “There are not 8760459930932485102516829446726066 613815174571255975495358023998314698220361338082849935670557552471290274539776 21404931820146580080215665360 6776550878380430413431059180460680083459113664083 488740800574127258670479225831912741573908091438313845642415094084913391809684 02511639919368 enough words to describe 5322555733896695374902662092326131885589158083245557194845387562 87861288590041060060737465014026278240273469625282171749415823317492396835301 my intense love for mathemat3 617865367376064216677813773995100658952887742766263684183068019080460984980946 97636673356622829151323527888061577682781595886691802389403330 7644191240341202 231636857786035727694154177882643523813190502808701857504704631293335375728538 ics but it truly does fill66058889045831114507739429352019943219711716422 my heart with 3500564404297989208159430716701 985746927384865383343614579463417592257389858800169801475742054299580124295810 54565108310462972829375841611625 joy! I never expected to fall in love with 3256251657249807849209989799062003593650993472 158296517413579849104711166079158743698654122234834188772292944633517865385673 19625598520260729 4767407261676714557364981210567771689348491766077170527718760 119990814411305864557791052568430481144026193840232247093924980293355073184589 03 math but I did, and Pi Day quickly became 5539713308844617410795916251171486487446861124760542867343670904667846867027 40918810142497111496578177242793470702166882956108777944050484375 my Valentine’s Day. No matter what size a 2844337510882 826477197854000650970403302186255614733211777117441335028160884035178145254196 43203095760186946490886815452856213469883554445602 4955666843660292219512483091 060537720198021831010327041783866544718126039719068846237085751808003532704718 56594994761242481109992886791589690 circle is, the ratio of its circumference to diame4956394762460842406593094862150769031498702 067353384834955083636601784877106080980426924713241000946401437360326564518456 67924566695510015022 9833079849607994988249706172367449361226222961790814311414 660941234159359309585407913908720832273354957208075716517187659944985693795623 87555 ter will always be pi. Pi’s irrational and transcen1617575438091780528029464200447215396280746360211329425591600257073562812 63873310600589106524570802447493754318414940148211999627645310680066 dental qualities78935285550531733141645705049964438909363084387448478 bring a glimmer to my eyes. How 3118382376 163966318093144467129861552759820145141027560068929750246304017351489194576360 3961684051845273288403234 520247056851646571647713932377551729479512613239822960239454857975458651745878 can one of the simplest shapes77133181387529598094121742273003522965 be defined by this 0808917770506825924882232215493804837145 478164721397682096332050830564792048208592047549985732038887639160199524091893 89455767687497308569559 irrational constant that we can never know—it seems 5801065952650303626615975066222508406742889826590751063 756356996821151094966974458054728869363102036782325018232370845979011154847208 76182124 7781326633041207621658731297081123075815982124863980721240786887811450 16558251361789030708608701989758898074566439551574153631931919810705753 magical to me. Mathematics is the language of the 3663373 803827215279884935039748001589051942087971130805123393322190346624991716915094 85414018710603546037946433790058909577211808044657439628 universe and there is so much beauty in it that it needs 0618671786101715674096 766208029576657705129120990794430463289294730615951043090222143937184956063405 61893425130572682914657832933405246350289 2917547087256484260034962961165413823 007731332729830500160256724014185152041890701154288579920812198449315699905918 20118197335001261877280368 to be celebrated. I’m so glad Pi Day gives me this oppor1248199587707020753240636125931343859554254778196114 293516356122349666152261473539967405158499860355295332924575238881013620234762 46690558164 3896786309762736550472434864307121849437348530060638764456627218666 17012381277156213797461498613287441177145524447089971445228856629424402301 tunity every year to express my love for the subject. I think 8479 120547849857452163469644897389206240194351831008828348024924908540307786387516 59113028739587870981007727182718745290139728366148421428717 it’s important to celebrate not only the Pi constant but 0553179654307650453 432460053636147261818096997693348626407743519992868632383508875668359509726557 48154319401955768504372480010204137498318722 5967738715495839971844490727914196 584593008394263702087563539821696205532480321226749891140267852859967340524203 mathematics in general. I think that math10917978999057188219493913207 often has this 5343170798002373659098537552023891164346718558290 685371189795262623449248339249634244971465684659124891855662958932990903523923 33336474352037 reputation of being boring, “left brained, ” and at odds with 0770101084388003290759834217018554228386161721041760301164591878 05393674474720599850235828918336929223373239994804371084196594731626548257480 9 948250999183300697656936715968936449334886474421350084070066088359723503953234 01795825570360169369909886711321097988970705172807558551912699 the arts—that’s certainly how I once felt about the subject. 3067309925070407 024556850778679069476612629808225163313639952117098452809263037592242674257559 98928927837047444521893632034894155210445972618 I fell in love with math when I realized48481325542009145304103713545329 this was not at all 8380030067761793138139916205806 270165102445886924764924689192461212531027573139084047000714356136231699237169 6620639210547982439212517254013231490274058589 206321758949434548906846399313757091034633271415316223280552297297953801880162 85907357295541627 the case. In order to do math, especially proof-based 8867649827418616421878988574107164906919185116281528548679417 363890665388576422915834250067361245384916067413734017357277995634104332688356 95 0781493137800736235418007061918026732855119194267609122103598746924117283749 31261633950012395992405084543756985079570462226646190001035004901 math, one needs to be creative in the same sense that 8303415354584 283376437811198855631877779253720116671853954183598443830520376281944076159410 68207169703022851522505731260930468984234331527321 an artist needs to be creative. In the abstract world of 3136121658280807521263154773 060442377475350595228717440266638914881717308643611138906942027908814311944879 94171540421034121908470940802540239 3294294549387864023051292711909751353600092 197110541209668311151632870542302847007312065803262641711616595761327235156666 math I see beauty and elegance beyond belief, but25366727189985341998 it 9523688483099930275741991646384142707798870887422927705389 122717248632202889842512528721782603050099451082478357290569198855546788607946 28053 can be hard to express this beauty to non-math 7122704246654319214528176074148240382783582971930101788834567416781139895 47504483393146896307633966572267270433932167454218245570625247972199 7866854279 897799233957905758189062252547358220523642485078340711014498047872669199018643 88229323053823185597328697809222535295910173414073348 people when we are limited in our opportunities 8476100556401824239219269 506208318381454698392366461363989101210217709597670490830508185470419466437131 22996923588953849301363565761861060622 for discussion and celebration. I’m so grateful 98651462533363124505364 2870559942337163102127845744646398973818 856674626087948201864748767272722206267646533809980196688368099415907577685263 0261056960551318381317426118442018908885319635698696279 503673842431301133175330532980201668881748134298868158557781034323175306478498 32106297 that Pi Day gives me the opportunity to cele1842518438553442762012823457071698853051832617964117857960888815032960 22907056144762209150947390359466469162353968092013945781758910889319921 1226007 392814916948161527384273626429809823406320024402449589445612916704950823581248 brate math73917996486411334803247577752197089327722623494860150466 for all the beauty and mystery 5268143987705161531702 669692970492831628550421289814670619533197026950721437823047687528028735412616 63917082459251700107141808548006369232594 that it is. I hope that its celebration 6201900227808740985977192180515853214 739265325155903541020928466592529991435379182531454529059841581763705892790690 98969111643811878094353715 2133226144362531449012745477269573939348154691631162 492887357471882407150399500944673195431619385548520766573882513963916357672315 10055560372 allows others to see the beauty and 6339486720820780865373494244011579966750736071115935133195919712094 89647175530245313647709420946356969822266737752099451684506436238242118535 elegance86629296671796434687600770479995378833878703487180218424373 within, and the oppor3488 798939567318780660610788544000550827657030558744854180577889171920788142335113 4211227394025571769 081960309201824018842705704609262256417837526526335832424066125331152942345796 55695025068100183109004112453790153329661569 tunity to fall in love with 7052237921032570693705109083078947 999900499939532215362274847660361367769797856738658467093667958858378879562594 64648913766521995882869338018 3601193236857855855819555604215625088365020332202 451376215820461810670519533065306060650105488716724537794283133887163139559690 58320834168984 mathematics just like 7606560711834713621812324622725884199028614208728495687963932546 42853430753011052857138296437099903569488852851904029560473461311382638788975 I did!”00053944282039301274816381585303964399254702016727593285743666 5 178856042499874831638280404684861893818959054203988987265069762020199554841265 6164411096256633 730540921951967514832873480895747777527834422109107311135182804603634719818565 55729571447476825528578633493428584231187494400 0322969069775831590385803935352 135886007960034209754739229673331064939560181223781285458431760556173386112673 47807458506760630482294096530411 1830667108189303110887172816751957967534718853Photo 722930961614320400638132246584111115775835858113501856904781536893813771847281 47519983505047812 courtesy of Sarina Haghighat 9771859908470762197460588742325699582889253504193795826061621 184236876851141831606831586799460165205774052942305360178031335726326705479033 84 0125730591233960188013782542192709476733719198728738524805742124892118347087 66296672072723256505651293331260595057777275424712416483128329820 7236175057467 387012820957554430596839555568686118839713552208445285264008125202766555767749 59696266126045652456840861392382657685833846984997

Pi Day, recognized on March 14, is a yearly celebration dedicated to the mysterious numerical constant describ-

ing the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. Though used every day in classrooms across the world, from the introductions of pre-algebra and geometry in middle schools to high-level calculus courses in colleges like USD, the number’s mysterious value still puzzles the world, as the extent of its digits remains unknown.

Not a new mathematical concept, pi was discovered thousands of years ago by Greek mathematician Pythagoras.

Though not technically infinite in value, pi is an irrational number, meaning that the digits it is made up of reach no foreseeable end. To date, calculations of pi have exceeded trillions of digits.

For Pi Day, the USD Math Club is celebrating with free pie and pi-themed games on the lawn between Maher Hall and Serra Hall.

An Ode to Pi by Sarina Haghighat

Spread by Monica Millan/ The USD Vista; Content courtesy of Sarina Haghighat and Cat Silvey/ The USD Vista


The USD Vista

March 14, 2019


Combatting college stress

Students seek support and community in the midst of the stressful college environment Catherine Silvey Feature Editor Stress is on the rise on the American college campus. Once considered a necessary and inevitable component of the higherlevel educational experience, college students are finding themselves embroiled in levels of stress not only unconducive to academic success but also severely debilitating to mental health and overall happiness. According to a 2018 publication of the American Psychological Association, more than one-third of first-year college students worldwide suffer from symptoms of mental health disorders, a large leap from previous studies. Stephanie Lynch, the Director of Health Promotion at the University of San Diego, recognized that a lot of the dynamics unique to the college environment create fertile ground for stress to grow. “We know that college is a time of significant transition around so many variables in a person’s life,” Lynch said. “For many, it’s their first time away from home or a family support system. Students are navigating that sense of loss and major change.” Additionally, the age at which students are entering the

college system and experiencing this immediate switch to full independence is a significant time on the biological clock for inner turmoil. “Young adulthood is a major onset time for psychological concerns,” Lynch said. “Students might be experiencing a panic attack or anxiety for the first time, and they might not even know what it is.” However, new students are not the only ones experiencing mental distress. As first years move on to become sophomores, course loads only intensify, accompanied by the pressure to commit to a major and become involved in related activities. Such pressure can also be intensified if one’s perception is that everyone is successful and happy but them. “That’s how we tend to define success,” Lynch said. “Who is doing the most? Who is the busiest?” To better combat the stressful environment causing this increase of mental health issues, the USD Wellness Center has created a series of group meetings dedicated to erasing the stigma of internalizing stress, providing students with a safe space to open up about their mental health, as well as to connect with other students going through shared experiences.

“It’s a really helpful setting to be surrounded by peers who are going through the same or similar experiences,” Lynch said. “People tend to find information that feels somewhat more personalized to them. Even though it’s a group setting, you’re able to talk through some strategies that you might not necessarily find through a basic Google search.” Additionally, the program seeks to revolutionize the way students consider mental health, and encourages them to continuously take care of themselves and their wellbeing. “The reality is that you learn how to learn your whole life and what works for you can change and shift throughout your life,” Lynch said. “It’s not something you just figure out your first year. It’s a continuous process, and there are resources available to help you throughout it.” The stress wellness groups are held weekly, and remain open to newcomers throughout the entire semester, allowing for students experiencing unexpected struggles to seek help at any point this spring. “It might be mid-semester when you decide to connect with a resource like this,” Lynch said. “A lot of people may not be feeling stressed the first few weeks of school, so it’s nice that you can jump

The Wellness Center provides several programs for students to reach out and get help. Catherine Silvey/The USD Vista

in mid-semester.” Ultimately, the Wellness Center wants students to know the extent of the resources they provide and encourages students to get all the help they need if struggling. “Take advantage of it while you’re here,” Lynch said. “While you’re in college, take advantage of it if you’re experiencing something and have that opportunity to talk to someone while it’s so accessible. It’s easy, it’s on campus, and it’s no cost to students.” The stress-themed wellness

groups are offered every Thursday of this semester at 1 p.m. in Serra Hall 128. The Wellness Center is also holding mental health checkins at the UC Forums on March 20 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. for students to asses their psychological needs with wellness professionals. Additionally, the Wellness Center is open weekdays from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., and the counseling center phone number operates 24/7, with counselors always available to address students’ mental health needs.

Volume 56 Issue 16


The USD Vista



Media Em[Bodied]

USD’s CHWP discusses deconstructing media expectations and building self compassion

The hashtag, #WomenNotObjects stood out during the viewing of a graphic video displaying social activism which was shown to students at the end of the CHWP’s presentation. Photo Courtesy of Flickr

Angelina Dinsmore Asst. A&C Editor For National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, USD’s Center for Health and Wellness Promotion (CHWP) put on the Em[Body] Revolution. On Thursday, Feb. 28, the Executive Assistant for the CHWP, Claire Gosen, led a discussion on appearance ideals in the media. Six female students of all years came to learn how they can dismantle unrealistic expectations that society places on women. Sophomore Alexandra Kracoff shared her thoughts of USD’s culture regarding body image. “Going into USD, I heard that there is one type of girl that everyone wants to look like,” Kracoff said. “Once I got here, I quickly learned that what I heard was true. The girls that fit the image of having the perfect body, hair, and clothes are the ones that get the most attention.” Appearance ideals like Kracoff mentioned are what a particular culture says is the best way to look. Participants were given a worksheet with outlines of the male and female body. They were told to write what is expected of men and women by describing how they “should” look. Responses for men included tall stature, a chiseled torso, big arms, and overall muscular physique. For women, the girls

celebrities, models, influencers, and public figures are often included in these ideals, while minorities and members of the LGBTQ+ community are often excluded. Next, the participants watched BuzzFeed’s video, “Woman’s Ideal Body Types Throughout History,” in order to show how the ideal body type changes through time. It shows 3,000 years of women whose desired body is determined by their individual society’s standard of beauty. This emphasized that there is not a universally correct way to look, but rather a standard determined by other people. Appearance ideals originate from a collection of sources, including family, friends, a significant other, or location. The main source, however, is media broadcasting, advertising, and the Internet. To demonstrate this, the leaders played a video compilation of the objectification of women in media. All the clips came from various music videos from the past 15 years. Women in minimal clothing were portrayed as accessories to men, always at the men’s sides. They were dancing provocatively in order to fulfill the men’s desires. It was a constant circle of women surrounding one man. The students shared their reactions to the video, saying it was incredibly frustrating and triggering to watch. In addi-

“Going into USD, I heard that there is one type of girl that everyone wants to look like...The girls that fit the image of having the perfect body, hair, and clothes are the ones that get the most attention.” - Alexandra Kracoff said perfect hair, a small waist, long legs, and a “slim-thick” figure. They turned to discussing the inclusiveness of these ideals. They found that

tion, they said they never realized how much degradation of women is featured in everyday media. The speakers emphasized that

internalization of these appearance ideals leads to dissatisfaction in one’s own body image. They went on to share statistics of how societal expectations can be truly unrealistic. In the U.S., the average women is 5 foot 4 and weighs

Em[Body] Revolution discussion because she has struggled with body image throughout her life. She likes to have positive reminders and stay involved in discussions like this one. “I decided to come because I wanted to be involved in con-

“I decided to come because I wanted to be involved in conversation about body positivity. It makes me thankful to go to a school like USD that promotes positive ideals like this.” - Stevie Espinosa 158 pounds, while the average man is 5 foot 9 and weighs 195 pounds. On the other hand, the average female model in the U.S. is 5 foot 9 and weighs 120 pounds, while the average male model is 6 feet tall and weighs 167 pounds. All of the statistics and videos invoke the question: why are women portrayed in this way? The answer suggested by the leaders of this group lies in marketing and consumer targeting. Media markets want consumers to believe that they have to look a certain way in order to achieve the appearance ideals for their environment. The media is doing just that, too, as Americans spend $60 billion on dieting products each year, according to Marketdata Enterprises. At the end of the presentation, students were shown a final video on social activism. The hashtag, #WomenNotObjects was prominent throughout the graphic video that included clips of real women being utilized, abused, and degraded. Junior Stevie Espinosa shared her opinion after watching the video. “I never really realized how much crime against women was in the media and news until I watched that,” Espinosa said. Espinosa chose to attend the

versation about body positivity,” Espinosa said. “It makes me thankful to go to a school like USD that promotes positive ideals like this.” USD has many resources for students struggling with body image, including the Women’s Commons, the Counseling Center, the Health Center, and C.A.R.E. Advocates. In addition, the Peer Body Project is

coming to USD mid-March. Students can sign up to discuss with peer leaders their struggles with self-image and learn ways to promote body positivity in themselves and the community around them. There are many small ways to combat what seems to be a growing problem in society. One idea mentioned was starting with positive talk in one’s small, immediate community that can produce a ripple effect. People can start as small as complimenting friends on their best qualities, not just based on physical appearance. Some people refuse to buy products that choose to advertise in ways that objectify women. Most importantly, students can take their knowledge of what they have learned and spread it to those in their community, in order to deconstruct the unrealistic expectations the media places on every member of society.


The USD Vista

March 14, 2019

Gianni Cicali and “Made in Italy” Cicali and his audience embark on a journey from Italy to the United States to USD

Joe Duffy Contributor The Humanities Center was abuzz with voices of students and other visitors in the moments before Professor Gianni Cicali, Ph.D., stepped to the front of the room and began his lecture on Wednesday, Feb. 27. The seats filled up quickly and many students sat on the floor as they waited for the event to begin. Cicali visited USD to give a lecture entitled “Art and Migrations: From Italian Actors to ‘Made in Italy.’” The talk aimed to explore the cultural and artistic history of Italy in order to contextualize the emergence of the “Made in Italy” concept and the branding of Italian goods as unique and luxurious. Cicali currently serves as an associate professor in the Italian Department at Georgetown University. He is the author of two books and specializes in the history of Italian theater, specifically during the Renaissance, Baroque, and 18th-century periods.

through the centuries, presenting the audience with examples of art and literature ranging from the Renaissance-era courtesy and etiquette book “Il Cortegiano” to the peculiar 18th-century paintings of Thomas Patch. Over the course of the hour, Cicali touched on a wide range of unexpected topics and managed to draw a number of connections between American and Italian culture—for instance, the neoclassical influence found in the Supreme Court building, a structure emblematic of American liberty, ideals, and justice. Similar to Roman temples constructed during antiquity, the Court building has a broad staircase leading to a portico of massive Corinthian columns. The lecture added layers to the foreign perception of Italy as a hub for fine art and culture, or the global mecca of luxury cars and designer fashion lines. Cicali expanded on how the idea of Italy spread across the world via emigration and popular culture. Sophomore Isabella

“Italy’s vibrant culture was spread through art, theater, music, and even architecture.” - Isabella Ianora He began the lecture in 13th-century Italy, analyzing the figures and cityscape depicted in Cimabue’s “Volta dei quattro Evangelisti,” or “Vault of the four Evangelists.” From there, he moved

Ianora was in attendance and mentioned how Cicali‘s lecture built upon her studies. “I’ve been studying the Italian language since freshman year,” Ianora said. “I don’t think this

Associate Prof. in the Italian Department at Georgetown University, Cicali lectures on the history of Theatre and the Church in Italy.

lecture altered the way I viewed the Italian culture and art, but I did really enjoy how his lecture reinforced some of the things I have learned. Italy’s vibrant culture was spread through art, theater, music, and even architecture.” Cicali paid particular attention to the role of Italian actors and singers, who traveled abroad extensively and carried ideas of Italian art and culture across international boundaries. After the lecture, Cicali took questions from the audience. He

was upbeat and energetic, often making the audience laugh as his eyes darted from one person to the next. One woman in the front row asked Cicali when and how Italian cuisine became popularized internationally. “Well, I could eat pizza for every meal,” he joked, before thoughtfully explaining that Italian cuisine has only been considered a more refined food in modern times, and became popular in the United States around the 19th century, during

Photo courtesy of Villa Le Balze Blog

a period of mass Italian migration. Even after audience members had apparently run out of questions, he urged them for more, eager to both spark and satisfy the room’s curiosity. By the end of the night, Cicali had articulated the figures, movements, and events that, over many centuries, facilitated the creation of the “Made in Italy” concept. A fitting motto for this night with Cicali might have been the age-old adage: Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Volume 56 Issue 16



The USD Vista


Toreros make deep WCC run

USD basketball wins three straight games in WCC Tournament in stunning conclusion to season

Basketball from Page 1

after all, and in college basketball’s fabled month of madness, the Toreros had hit their stride at precisely the right time after a season full of ups and downs. They were able to ride this wave of enthusiasm all the way to a semifinal matchup against No. 2 seed Saint Mary’s College. But eventually, something had to give. In their fourth game in five days, USD gave a well-rested Gaels team all they could handle, battling for the entirety of the first half before taking the lead multiple times in the second half. They battled until the bitter end, fighting for the lead in a game that was close until its final seconds. But when time expired, USD was on the wrong side of a hard-fought, 69-62 loss to Saint Mary’s, bringing an end to their magical, impressive run that took the Toreros deep into the WCC Tournament. A perhaps slim consolation for the Toreros: The Gaels went on to upset national No. 1 Gonzaga University in the WCC Championship on Tuesday night. Below is an in-depth recap of all four of USD’s conference tournament games this past weekend. FIRST ROUND: USD 67, PORTLAND 47 The long weekend began for the Toreros with a Thursday matchup against the lowly University of Portland Pilots. Though they were without a win in the WCC in the regular season, the Pilots presented a challenge for USD in their most recent previous meeting, testing the Toreros in a hard-fought 63-52 San Diego win on Feb. 21 that featured 10 lead changes. The postseason iteration of the matchup began perhaps similarly, as USD traded the lead back and forth with the Pilots multiple times. The Toreros trailed by as many as five points early on, then took a short-lived five-point lead before Portland made it a one-point, 3130 game with 1:39 to play in the first half. In the final moments of the opening period, however, a fastbreak Finn Sullivan jumper allowed the Toreros to re-establish their five-point advantage by a score of 35-30 as they headed into halftime. When the two teams emerged from the locker room after the intermission, the game took on a drastically different tone. For the first 8:53 of the second half, the San Diego defense did not allow a Portland basket enroute to allowing just six total baskets in the half. In the midst of USD’s staunch defense was a solid effort on offense, with five players notching double-digit points scored after shooting 50 percent from the field in the second half as a team. Sixteen total points from Pineiro, 13 apiece from senior

Finn Sullivan and Isaiah Pineiro celebrate during the Toreros’ 80-57 victory over No. 2 seed BYU. Sullivan scored a career-high 17 points, while Pineiro had a game-high 27. Photo courtesy of Kyle Terada/WCC

guard Olin Carter III and Wright, and 11 each from senior guard Tyler Williams and redshirt junior forward Alex Floresca proved to be a recipe for success, as USD opened up a 16-point lead midway through the second half. After a spectacular one-handed dunk from Pineiro punctuated the Toreros’ late-game surge, a pair of jumpers from Carter III and Wright sealed the win for San Diego, earning them a 20-point, 67-47 victory over the Pilots. In a game against the conference’s worst team, it might’ve been easy for USD to get caught up with looking ahead to the later parts of the bracket. But after the game, USD men’s basketball head coach Sam Scholl emphasized the focus that his team employed to succeed in the game. “After Saturday’s game at BYU… these seniors just stepped up and immediately started talking about the discipline we’re going to have to have, the determination,” Scholl said. “Literally all we talked about since that point on Saturday was today. And now all we’re gonna talk about is tomorrow.” SECOND ROUND: USD 72, SANTA CLARA 45 This in-the-moment mindset appeared to serve USD well as they began their next game against sixth-seeded Santa Clara. Though USD had lost a poorly-

played Jan. 3 game versus the Broncos in their lone meeting this season, they had a few reasons to be optimistic for the rematch. For one, they had Wright in the lineup this time around, who had missed the early January game due to a wrist injury. They also had the benefit of time, as 16 games and 66 days had elapsed since USD’s 68-56 defeat in the Bay Area that opened WCC play. “For us, it’s just understanding that that was a long time ago,” Scholl said. “It seems like ages ago that we played that game. So it’s almost like we’re playing an opponent maybe for the first time.” The Toreros’ performance on Friday night certainly made the previous matchup seem like a distant memory. They took an early lead on a layup in the paint from Pineiro and never looked back. Another layup and a free-throw, this time from Carter III made it a 5-0 ballgame. Then sophomore forward Yauhen Massalski tossed in a layup of his own. Seven-0 Toreros. It would again be their defense, though, that impressed the most early on. For the first 8:29 of play in the game, USD did not allow a single field goal from Santa Clara, holding them to just 28 percent shooting on the night. And despite the Broncos showing a modicum of resiliency in the face of the stifling San Diego defense, climbing to within three points

of the slim Torero lead on two occasions, USD proved to be too much for them as a whole. After a 3 from Tyler Williams expanded the Toreros’ lead to 16-10, it was all USD, all the time for the rest of the game. By halftime they possessed a nine-point, 25-16 advantage. San Diego stayed hot on offense after the break. Wright, who scored just one point on a free throw in the first half, exploded for 22 points in the second period, shooting 8-10 from the field, and 4-5 shooting 3-pointers. Behind Wright’s big half, the Toreros were able to stretch their lead to as large as 23 points with 3:29 to play before settling in for a 17-point, 62-45 victory over Santa Clara. The win marked their most dominant defensive performance of the season thus far, with their 45 points allowed to the Broncos being a season low. Scholl spoke about his team’s performance. “I was just thrilled with our guys’ determination,” Scholl said. “We really wanted to be the aggressors in this game, from the moment the ball was tipped we wanted to be the aggressors. Especially with our defensive effort. It was our best defensive effort of the season for us, it has to be one of the best in a long time in San Diego history.” With two impressive victories under their belts, they advanced to

take on No. 3 seed BYU Saturday, with tip-off set for after 9 p.m. The Cougars represented the Toreros’ most difficult opponent so far in the tournament, as they lost in both regular season matchups, both at home and on the road. As the Toreros had proved in their last two games, however, none of that seemed to matter in the slightest. QUARTERFINALS: USD 80, BYU 57 The quarterfinals began as inconspicuously as any game USD has played this season, with Pineiro opening up the scoring with a layup as he had done the evening before. But then Wright sank a 3-pointer. Then he put in a layup. Then he sank two more 3’s. After just 3:37 of play in the game, the Toreros were out to a stunning 13-0 lead behind 11 quick points from Wright. Minutes later, a layup from McKay Cannon brought the Cougars to within seven, with a score of 15-8 in favor of USD, but BYU would get no closer. In an absolute tour de force on the offensive and defensive fronts, the Toreros dominated the Cougars, dismantling the tournament’s No. 3 seed in all facets of the game. USD shot 49 percent (25 of 51) on the night, and 41 percent (7-17) from three-point range. Behind 15 firsthalf points from Pineiro, 11 from Wright, and seven from first-year guard Finn Sullivan, the Toreros

See Basketball, Page 12


The USD Vista

March 14, 2019

An impressive finish for USD

Toreros take down Portland, Santa Clara, and BYU before falling to Saint Mary’s in WCC semifinal

Basketball from Page 11

had themselves a shocking and decisive 27-point lead at halftime, which marked their second-largest halftime advantage of the season, most points scored in a first half this season, and fifth most in any half they’ve played in this season. However, they did not take their foot off the gas in the second period. Pineiro continued to pour it on, adding 12 more points for a game-high 27 with a game-high 12 rebounds, marking his 17th double-double of the season. Meanwhile, Sullivan proceeded to have the best game of his young career, finishing with 17 points on 5-8 shooting. By the 11:47 mark in the second half, USD had a 44-point, 69-25 lead over the Cougars, who finished tied for second in the conference, and defeated the Toreros by a combined 20 points in the teams’ two regular-season meetings. Just as impressive as San Diego’s offensive effort was their air-tight defense. They held BYU to just 57 points, more than 22 points below their 79.7 average of points scored. Their leading scorers, junior forward Yoeli Childs and junior guard TJ Haws, who enjoyed substantial success against the Toreros in the regular season, were able to score just 14 and 10 points, respectively. Perhaps most impressively, though, USD was able to hold the Cougars to just 31 percent shooting, and six percent (1-17) shooting 3-pointers, which marks a WCC Tournament record for the worst 3-point shooting percentage in tournament history. Scholl discussed his team’s strong performance. “This is a lot of fun to be a part of right now, to watch these guys play,” Scholl said. “The determination that they’re showing on possession after possession, being the aggressors from the moment the ball is tipped, and then how they’re playing for each other is really special.” Scholl noted that his team’s resilient attitude following a nearblowout loss on the road to BYU less than a week prior may have played a part in their win. “It’s amazing, a little over a week ago, we sat in the locker room up in Provo after they beat us pretty good, and instantly these guys said, ‘Hey, here’s our track,’” Scholl said. ‘“Day by day we’re gonna keep getting better, we’re gonna keep playing for each other, and keep being connected, and keep being really determined.’” Pineiro mentioned that their two previous defeats at the hands of the Cougars earlier in the season may have given them some extra motivation to secure the win. “We were in the moment,” Pineiro said. “We just had to keep the lead. When we played them at home we were up by 16 or 20 and lost in overtime. So we knew that we couldn’t let up at all.” Given that a big part of USD not letting up down the stretch was a masterful performance from Sullivan, Scholl offered high praise

Olin Carter III (left), Isaiah Pineiro (center), Tyler Williams (right), and Isaiah Wright (not pictured) were credited by Coach Scholl with changing the face of USD basketball. Photo courtesy of Kyle Terada/WCC

for his first-year guard. “He played a heck of a game,” Scholl said. “He always steps up in the moment.” Sullivan, succinct as always, summed up the biggest game of his career thus far. “I was just trying to win the game,” Sullivan said. “Possession by possession.” The game represented perhaps the culmination of a season filled with hard work and ups and downs for the Toreros. After a year of emphasizing how close they were to “putting it all together,” and how dangerous of a team they would be should they ever be able to do so, they

USD trailing by just five at the break in a 33-28 game. After the intermission, the Toreros seemed to find their step a bit, cutting the Saint Mary’s lead to just three on a jumper from Carter III in the second period’s opening seconds. Three minutes later, a 3-pointer from Wright made it a three-point, 42-39 game. And when Carter III sent up another successful jumper, the Toreros were tied with the Gaels for the first time on the night by a score of 42-42. USD traded points with Saint Mary’s after tying the contest, again evening the score on a 3-pointer, this time from Carter III. They would tie the game

“We had a goal, and we didn’t reach that goal, but I’m proud of our guys and what they did. We had a lot adversity this season, and I thought as a team, I couldn’t be more proud of this team.” -Isaiah Wright finally did it. As was exceedingly obvious to anyone who even glanced at the stat sheet, USD’s win over BYU was by far their most complete game of the season, an assessment that Pineiro agreed with wholeheartedly. “Yeah, I can honestly say that,” Pineiro said. “We don’t want to stop playing for each other, we don’t want our season to end.” When the dust settled on a wildly dominant game for the Toreros, they were 80-57 victors, advancing them to the semifinals, where they would take on No. 2 seed Saint Mary’s College. SEMIFINALS: SAINT MARY’S 69, USD 72 USD’s matchup with Saint Mary’s was the closest game on both sides that they had seen so far in the Tournament. Though the Toreros trailed for the entirety of the first half, they were able to keep things relatively tight, never allowing the Gaels to establish more than a 10-point lead. Twelve first-half points from Pineiro had

one final time at 48 before taking their first lead of the night on a layup from Floresca with 10:53 remaining that made the score 5048 in favor of the Toreros. Throughout the game, USD looked sharp, and played up to the level of the WCC’s secondbest team. In no way did they look overmatched, nor did they appear to be feeling the effects of a brutal tournament schedule. The Toreros’ high level of play was on full display down the stretch, as they either led or kept the score tied until there was just 6:56 left in the game. But when Saint Mary’s forward Malik Fitts hit one of two free throws to give the Gaels a 53-52 lead, USD was unable to close the gap, and trailed for the remainder of the contest. They had their chance at victory after yet another Isaiah Wright 3-pointer made it a one-possession, 62-60 game that was still in favor of Saint Mary’s. But when Pineiro missed a 3-pointer that he had a good look on with just 40 seconds remaining,

the game began to slip away. USD had to resort to fouling the Gaels to keep them from running out the clock, and Saint Mary’s took full advantage, making seven of their final eight free throws to seal a 69-62 win and put a tough end to USD’s lengthy WCC Tournament run. Though it would’ve been easy to blame any number of the Toreros’ shortcomings in the game on such a difficult tournament schedule, Wright emphatically stated that fatigue did not play a part in USD’s loss. “We felt fine,” Wright said. “It didn’t play any factor in it. Our team showed great effort, but the better team won tonight.” In an emotional press conference after the game, Scholl described his gratitude and appreciation for his senior players after what may have been their last game together. “Three or four years ago, (Isaiah Wright) and those three other seniors all bought into wanting to change the way a program is perceived, and the way a program feels,” Scholl said. “They all took chances on us; Olin and Tyler before we had ever coached a game, and Isaiah and Isaiah after we had won nine games. And they decided, ‘You know what, we wanna do something special and change the way a program feels.’ And they’ve accomplished that, that’s gonna be their legacy. We’ll be forever indebted to them.” Scholl offered one final sentiment about his veteran players that went beyond the game of basketball. “They’re gonna be amazing fathers and husbands and basketball players from here on out,” Scholl said. If this does mark the end of USD’s season, it will be a season in which they accomplished a significant amount. With their final record now standing at 21-14 (7-9 WCC), they have achieved the following:

-Won USD’s first WCC Tournament game since 2013 with a 67-47 victory against Portland (March 7). -Secured USD’s second consecutive 20-win season — the first time the Toreros have produced back-to-back 20-win seasons as a Division-I program. -Won three games in the WCC Tournament since the 2007-08 season. -Produced the most wins in a single season (21) since the 200708 season (22). Though playing in a postseason tournament of some sort appears likely for the Toreros, considering that they played in the Tournament (CIT) after losing in the first round of the WCC Tournament last season and finishing with just an 18-13 (9-9 WCC) record before CIT play, Scholl was noncommittal about USD’s potential future postseason plans. “Right now I’m just trying to enjoy these guys, and just reflect on the tremendous fight and will that they showed this weekend, and really just celebrate their careers,” Scholl said after the loss. “That stuff will happen if it happens.” Despite the Toreros’ falling short of their goal of winning the WCC Tournament, Wright stated that he was proud of his team’s performance. “I thought that this weekend we showed great effort,” Wright said. “We had a goal, and we didn’t reach that goal, but I’m proud of our guys and what they did. We had a lot adversity this season, and I thought as a team, I couldn’t be more proud of this team.” If USD is to be selected to the National Invitational Tournament (NIT) or accept an invitation to the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) or CIT, they will likely make an announcement later this week after the NCAA Tournament bracket is released this Sunday, March 17.

Profile for The USD Vista

Volume 56, Issue 15  

Volume 56, Issue 15