The Vindicator - Spring 2017

Page 1

Vindicator Cleveland State University’s Arts and Culture Magazine



SPRING 2 Letter from the Editor 3 Contributors 4 Online 5 Calendar ARTS 7 Film Moving Forward 9 N ational Endowement for the Arts 11 Long Live Rock & Roll CULTURE 13 The Road to Recovery 15 Diet Racism 17 R ight to Love 18 Warm Up 2017 19 T he Benefit and Cost of Higher Education FEATURE 21 Bridging the Gap 23 P romoting Awareness for Child Abuse 25 Autism from the Passenger Seat 29 We’re Screwed, and It’s Our Fault SOCIAL 35 Glaciers 37 T o Fight or Not to Fight: The Immunization Debate 39 The Truth Behind Animal Farming 41 On Taking Breaks & Being Human POETRY 43 Farewell 44 Old Cigarettes 45 Sistah 46 Choices

29 Save the Earth

If we kill our own home, we’re going down with it.




pring: a time to embrace change and renewal. For Clevelanders, the season signals a long-awaited end to winter. But endings are incredibly bittersweet. We say farewell to times past, and welcome what is to come. What you are holding in your hand, our final issue of the 2016-2017 school year, represents a transition, as does the spring.

for the Arts, especially in Cleveland. Alexis Rosen urges us all to prioritize self-care, regardless of how packed our schedules may be.

To celebrate the planet which sustains all life, this month’s cover story, written by Features Editor Alana Whelan, discusses environmental sustainability and advocates for an awareness of the impact human activity has on the Earth.

As I prepare to graduate with my fellow students, I want to take the time to thank you, wonderful reader, for your support. We value your readership of this magazine, as it is the culmination of the time, energy and creativity of our contributors, editorial staff and designers. It has been a pleasure and an honor serving the community of Cleveland State University.

In light of Alcohol Awareness Month, Tyisha Blade courageously uses her experience with alcohol abuse as a framework to advocate for the addicted. Arts Editor Ben Heacox discusses the importance of the National Endowment

For many of us, this time period in our collective history signals one of great change and uncertainty. The power that each of us wields is that of knowledge, of education, and of tolerance.

In Solidarity,



Faculty Advisor Julie Burrell Media Specialist Daniel Lenhart

CONTRIBUTORS Editor-in-Chief Arbela Capas Art Director Nicole Zollos Managing Editor Holly Bland Multimedia Manager Evan Prunty Culture Editor Elisabeth Weems Arts Editor Benjamin Heacox Feature Editor Alana Whelan Online Editor/Junior Designer Michella Dilworth Assistant Art Director Andriana Akrap Junior Designer Alyssa Miller Junior Designer Jessika Riane Poem Designer Mikayla Colston Contributing Writer Greg Elek Contributing Writer Charlotte Morgan Contributing Writer Caitlin Cole Contributing Writer Joe Schmittgen Contributing Writer Tyisha Blade Contributing Writer Chau Tang Contributing Writer Arbela Capas Contributing Writer Caitlin Barry Contributing Writer Alexis Rosen Contributing Writer KC Longley Contributing Writer Holly Bland Contributing Writer Elisabeth Weems Contributing Writer Dorothy Zhao Contributing Writer Alana Whelan Contributing Writer Benjamin Heacox Contributing Poets Chau Tang, Raquel Wilbon, Alyssia Miller, Tyisha Blade The content of the Vindicator does not necessarily represent all of the opinions of Cleveland State University, its students, faculty, or staff: nor does it represent all members of the Vindicator staff or our advisors unless otherwise stated. The editor reserves the right to comment on any issue that affects the student body in general as well as the multicultural community at large. Letters to the editors and other submissions are accepted, however they must have the authors name, address, major if applicable, and telephone number. All submissions become property of the Vindicator and the Vindicator reserves the right to edit submissions as deemed necessary.


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what’s happening in...

SPRING ‘17 1

APRIL A Fugitives Path: Escape on the Underground Railroad



Big Spring at Cleveland Botanical Garden

4 Miles 4 Water

April 1st-8th Explore events and issues leading up to the American Civil War and experience yourself the emotional trials of the Underground Railroad. With this event you’ll put yourself in the fugitive slaves on route to the North to achieve freedom’s shoes. Reservations are required, call 330-6663711 x 1720. Times vary and the program length is about 90 minutes. Students participate for $12!


Community Spaces: Art in the Community Through April 15th SPACES is hosting its 2nd Annual CommunitySPACES– a series of art exhibitions emulating Northeast Ohio locals work of culture, education, and health institutions. Some of the participating organizations are Center for Arts-Inspired Learning, and Beck Center for the Arts. Times vary and admission is free. Call 216-621-2314 for more details.


Until April 23rd Big Spring, Cleveland Botanical Garden’s imaginative celebration of spring, is a family-friendly event welcoming the spring season with tons of indoor activities. A Mad Hatter tea party, indoor garden hedge maze, oversize chess/checkers games just to name a few. Times and dates vary and admission is $12 for adults! Held at the Cleveland Botanical Garden. Center online.




Tequila Fest Cleveland May 5th For Cinco de Mayo this year’s Tequila Fest will have it’s 6th run in Cleveland. Over 30 tequilas, taco, salsa, and guacamole bars too. The fun starts at Lagos Outside Veranda with a DJ and live performance TBA. 5-11pm! $45 admission. 50/50 raffle, margarita competition and more!

1091 WEST 10TH ST, CLEVELAND, OH 44113

March 17-19th In an innovative way to create awareness to preserve fresh water resources and have a positive impact on the global water crisis, 4 Miles 4 Water is a festival, run and walk hosted by the Greater Cleveland Aquarium and Jacobs Nautica Pavilion. Brunch themed food trucks, and a Bloody Mary bar will be present. Register online fo #4M4W2017! 8am-1pm at Jacobs Nautica Pavilion. at $35.



Bob’s Burgers Talent Show at Side Quest May 13th With a Bob’s Burgers themed menu by Wok n Roll Kitchen, join Side Quest for the first ever Bob’s Burgers Talent Show! Performances are preferred to be under 5 minutes and you can submit artwork to be hung for the evening. Sign up through the Facebook event located on Side Quest’s Facebook page. Strictly 21+. 7pm-1am.


FILM IN THE MODERN ERA A look at how the internet is shaping film for the viewer. // Greg Elek


film by Daniels. Seeing this

online film needs to be an experimental

into parts and uploaded onto YouTube as

phrase at the beginning of

masterpiece that shapes films to come,

a series, and maybe even uploaded as the

2016’s Swiss Army Man started

but it would be nice to see a few more, and

original 93 minute cut. No one could say for

making my mind go 100 miles

I sincerely think that time could be right

sure if more people would have more seen

a minute. Is Daniels a person?

around the corner due to more and more

it one way as opposed to another, but it is

Does he/she/them have a large filmogra-

filmmakers that seem content with putting

interesting to think about. They’re proba-

phy? A quick IMDB search search informed

their films on the internet as opposed to a

bly better off financially with a distribution

me that ‘Daniels’ consist of directors, Dan-

more traditional release.

deal from Hulu.

iel Kwan, and Daniel Scheinert. Their career

Making a film just for consumption on

Money is becoming harder, and harder

before Swiss Army Man was full of short

the internet use to be a very bizarre concept

to come by in the filmmaking world. It’s

films and music videos. I started watching.

to me. It always seemed insane to me that

much easier to stay at home and watch a

Everything was just as weird and wonderful

someone could spend so much time and

movie, than it is to go out and pay to see

as I hoped it would be. Then, I got to their

money on a film and not even have any

something in the theater. This is why we’re

2014 short, Possibilia, and I realized just

desire to submit it to any festivals, but I’ll

seeing so many reboots and remakes. It

how much potential the internet has the

admit that thinking might have been a little

isn’t because Hollywood is out of ideas,

change how films are made, and watched.

bit on the misguided side. The main goal

it’s because Hollywood needs to focus on

of filmmaking is for as many people to see

what’s more likely to make them money,

about a couple whose relationship seems to

your product as possible, so who cares if

and even when they aren’t reimagining

be coming to an end. It’s one of the coolest

they’re seeing it in the theater or watch-

an old property they seem to have a very

and maybe even is the best short I’ve ever

ing it on YouTube? It’s hard to say really

specific idea of what they want made. The

seen, and it definitely couldn’t have had

if one has an advantage over the other or

biggest market for watching movies is Chi-

any kind a traditional release. It would be

not. Obviously a film like The Avengers has

na, so this means the less dialogue you have

impossible to watch it on a TV or in the

been seen by more people than a short on

the better, which is why Hollywood loves

theater. It wouldn’t even work on more

YouTube with 500,000 views, but what if

action movies so much. Horror movies are

popular internet sites that you might find

we look at a smaller film like 2016’s indie

also big amongst studios, because they’re

something similar to it, such as Netflix or

comedy, Joshy, directed and written by Jeff

cheap (usually due to how contained they

YouTube. Instead you have to go to Hel-

Baena. With the exception of Sundance

are), and tend to bring in a lot of money. to watch it. Helloeko could play

Joshy wasn’t shown in any theaters, and

Even something like Robert Egger’s 2016

a more pivotal role in filmmaking in years

was picked up by Hulu for a distribution

hit, The Witch only cost a measly $3 million

to come. They’re a website dedicated to

deal. One might question if the film would

to make, and that film was a period piece,

the interactive online experience, and even

have gotten more exposure if it was split

which tends to cost much more than a film

Possibilia is an interactive short film

give out grants to a select group of lucky

set in modern time. So if you want a film to

filmmakers every now and again who have

be released in theaters that isn’t a Marvel

ideas for original interactive content. They aren’t really a household name yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that changed in the near future. It’s no secret that services like Netflix and Amazon Video make it very easy to watch some of our favorite TV shows and Movies with little to no effort from home, but when are we going to start pushing how films made for consumption at home are made? I’m not saying that I think every 7 VINDICATOR | SPRING 2017


movie, or a horror film, you might need to look elsewhere for funding, and the internet has that taken care of as well. Crowdfunding isn’t really that foreign of a concept these days. If you’re on social media you’ve probably seen a family

little strides here and there like vlogger

member post a link to their GoFundMe for

Grace Helbig getting a show on E! that got

next vacation or your musician friend post

canceled after one season, or some bigger

a link to their Kickstarter for their next

YouTubers like Smosh and Shane Dawson

album, but Crowdfunding has helped even

making smaller budget movies that never

some of Hollywood’s heavy hitters get

really end up making a lot of money or get-

movies made like Zach Braff, Duke Johnson,

ting good reviews. Another popular vlogger,

and Charlie Kaufman. Kaufman, and Braff

Casey Neistat, just signed a deal with CNN

are both filmmakers who would’ve had a

for an app, but it’s too soon to tell if that’s

very easy time getting money for movies

going to go anywhere. I don’t know how

ten years ago, but are being affected by the

many YouTuber’s actually want to make

current state of the film industry. The little

the jump. YouTube seems to be changing its

guy can definitely try to crowdfund for a

platform to hit better with the times. Not to

major project for a feature film, but I think

long ago they set up a subscription service

the most interesting and potentially helpful

called YouTube Red where you no longer get

website for the little guy to get funds is

any ad’s and get additional content from

Patreon. Patreon is a website that allows

creators, even feature films. YouTube just

fans of creators to support the creators

also announced plans for a cable service

financially usually for perks like behind

called YouTube TV. This is another devel-

the scenes, early access, google hangouts,

opment that’s really too early to judge, but

and so on. Patreon is unique from websites

could have a big impact on creators of the

like GoFundMe, Indiegogo, and Kickstart-

site moving forward. YouTube developing

er, because you aren’t giving a one-time

with the times is smart, because it’s making

donation for one project, but you’re taking

creators want to stay, we just recently lost

part in funding a creator for as long as

the video making app Vine due to lack of

you decide to keep up with your payment

communication with creators, and little

either per video or monthly. Obviously, you

to no chances for creators on the site to

aren’t going to get much out of this if you

make any money, which is what separates

aren’t consistently making good content

the men from the boys. Give your creators

that people are watching, but if you are

freedom, and the money to do so, and why

it could really help you grow your brand,

would they want to leave?

and improve your projects in the long run.

Director Daniels Watch on Helloeko

The Candidate (2010) Director David Karlak Watch on YouTube

It’s too early to tell if we’re all going

Patreon is allowing not only filmmakers,

to be sitting on our laptops ten years from

but anyone with a talent or hobby can turn

now watching interactive films and longing

that talent or hobby into a career if enough

for the days of old when we went to theater,

people enjoy it.

but the internet is shaping every aspect

Before we’re done here we have to talk

Possibilia (2014)

of our life, and there’s no debating that.

about the video giant, YouTube. We all know

This article might not have been entirely

what the site is, but what about the people

dedicated to what we traditionally think as

on the site? YouTube has all of the potential

films, 100 minutes of moving pictures with

in the world to groom young stars and give

sound that we see in a theater, but what we

them exposure. So has it? Well kind of, but

think of as films could easily be changing.

honestly, not really. There are two nota-

The definition of a film is simply a motion

ble cases of people getting exposure that

picture, and we have a lot of those in this

leads to a heavy involvement in film from

digital age. As someone who makes films

YouTube that come into my head. There’s

and is always looking for unique ways to

the stars of Comedy Central’s Workahol-

approach filmmaking I’m very excited, and

ics old channel called mailordercomedy,

grateful for the internet. If you can be suc-

and a YouTuber by the name of Daxflame

cessful with your craft and gain a follow-

getting roles in movies like 21 Jumpstreet,

ing through the internet you don’t have a

and Project X. Besides this, not many

studio to tell you what you can or can’t do.

people have made the jump off of YouTube

Everything is in the hands of the creator,

to the entertainment industry. We’ve seen

which is always a good thing.

Friend Like Me (2016) Director Sammy Paul Watch on YouTube

Let it Be (2016) Director Bertie Gilbert Watch on YouTube


THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS Established by Congress in 1965, benefits from the United State’s largest investment in the arts may disappear in 2017. // Benjamin Heacox


s a federal government agency, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) cannot engage in advocacy, either directly or indirectly. We will, however,

continue our practice of educating about the NEA’s vital role in serving our nation’s communities,” said Jane Chu, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, in a public statement March 17 responding to reports that President Trump’s budget plans would end the NEA. While the NEA cannot as an ethical Federal Organization advocate for its survival, our local programs are at risk of losing the support of the Federal Government. Cleveland is known nationwide for its strong, well rounded and well-funded arts institutions. Americans from Northeast Ohio benefit when institutions can educate and enrich their communities in the arts. In order to continue the recent CLE renaissance, our city needs the positive influence of the arts and yes, Cleveland needs the NEA. So far in 2017, Cleveland arts and education groups have been granted a total of $370,000 dollars from the NEA – that

Cleveland becomes more organized, more

By providing spaces to express, we create

is half of all NEA funding for the state of

institutions form and seek to enrich their

neighborhood-centric safe zones for young

Ohio. Several community arts organization

communities through arts and education.


receive money from this national grant, in-

“They make creativity normal,” said

Established Cleveland centres such as

cluding most of the arts organizations that

Robert Gatewood, a member of the Board of

University Circle and Playhouse Square have

have been featured in The Vindicator in my

Directors at Northeast Shores - a nonprofit

greatly benefited from large federal grants,

time as Arts Editor.

corporation that facilitates neighborhood

but the work of the NEA is not limited to

development here in Cleveland. “Exposure

large museums and playhouses. With a

sharing their work with their neighbors

increases the likelihood of youth learning

budding local scene, there’s a great need for

can quickly grow into a small playhouse or

about fields closer to interests, and that

funding in order to educate and enrich peo-

studio for lessons. As the local arts scene in

in turn strengthens the neighborhood.

ple’s lives. There are even some communi-

What starts as a small group of artists



SHERROD BROWN 216.522.7272

CALL CONGRESS 1-844-872-0234

SIGN THE PETITION “Preserve the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities”

ties across Ohio whose exposure to arts is solely funded through the Endowment. Lisa Wong, a professor of music at The College of Wooster and Assistant Director

acclaimed play “I Call My Brothers” to

spending. Even some conservative figures

for the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus, shared

Gordon Square, employing local talent and

such as Mike Huckabee have argued in favor

from her experience as a former grant pan-

entertaining west-siders starting at only

of preserving the now endangered funds

elist for the NEA.

$12 dollars a seat compared to the $30 dol-

citing the immense benefits to impover-

lars starting price for nose-bleed balcony

ished communities for a low price tag.

“I was part of a committee that read and evaluated grant proposals in music,

seats at Playhouse Square for less inspiring

and it is safe to say that the NEA regularly


supports and funds numerous undertakings

fiscally responsible, the benefits are clearly

in the arts - in Ohio and nationwide,” said

would existing art be cut back, but poten-

seen in communities across the country,

Wong. “Projects come in every size and

tial community programs will not be given

and on a matter of principle, arts education

scope, and are aimed at children, adults,

an opportunity to flourish. NEA funded

preserves and enhances the world that we

seniors - everyone. I found it particularly

programs like the one in Cleveland Public

all live in.

inspiring to see the impact the NEA can

Theatre and others like it have already ben-

have on rural communities that might

efited the Cleveland community, why limit

Kennedy, “I look forward to an America

otherwise have limited access to large-scale

the potential benefits of future programs?

which will reward achievement in the arts

“There are significant discussions

as we reward achievement in business or

artistic events.”

To quote the late President John F.

about this, because a lot of our upward

statecraft. I look forward to an America

variety of communities that may not oth-

growth depended on nonprofit grant mon-

which will steadily raise the standards of

erwise have access, including some found

ey,” said Gatewood. “I’ve been working to

artistic accomplishment and which will

in Cleveland. Travel to Gordon Square just

open a business in Collinwood that stood to

steadily enlarge cultural opportunities for

west of downtown and you can find a prime

benefit and now is harmed by NEA deci-

all of our citizens. And I look forward to an

example of such a neighborhood. At the

sions. Personally, I think the elimination of

America which commands respect through-

center of Gordon Square is Cleveland Public

NEA funds could drag down progress coun-

out the world not only for its strength but

Theatre - an organization known for help-

trywide. The reality is if the pie shrinks and

for its civilization as well.”

ing both underprivileged Cleveland chil-

there are more people trying to get a slice,

dren and the homeless with after-school

it will be harder to grow.”

The NEA funds local programs in a

programs and job training.

With the future of the endowment

There is no good reason to stop the flow of federal funds to the arts. While the political world goes on arguing about

shrouded in uncertainty, there have been

national security, balanced budgets, human

ty, and has been recognized regionally and

no specific plans laid out to make up for

rights, and the greatness of our American

nationwide as a leader in the support and

the difference left in the wake of defunding.

society, it is so vital that we not forget what

development of new artists,” said Raymond

There’s no “recipe” to fix the problem of a

the purpose of the grand discourse. This

Bobgan, Cleveland Public Theatre’s Execu-

shrinking “pie.”

money belongs to the artists to preserve our

“CPT invests in innovation and diversiPHOTOS BY EVAN PRUNTY & ANDRIANA AKRAP

If the NEA were to disappear, not only

So why end the National Endowment for the Arts at all? Funding seems to be

tive Director.

Advocates for the continuation of NEA

culture and feed the imaginations of our

funding argue that there’s no real savings

youth right here in Cleveland and around

$20,000 dollars from the endowment.

in cutting it out of the federal budget. This

the country.

These funds helped bring the globally

makes sense as the total funding for the

In 2017 alone, CPT has received

arts is a mere 0.02% of total government SPRING 2017 | VINDICATOR 10

LONG LIVE FUNKADELIC The wonderment of Kidd Funkadelic, featuring lead-guitarist Michael Hampton. // Charlotte Morgan


uring the Rock and Roll Hall of

at an after party in the living room of a

in Norman Young had been telling me about

Fame rehearsals in the Cleveland

friends’ house at 3441 E. 119th off Kinsman.

this killer guitar player on the west side,

Renaissance Hotel ballroom that

When asked about that fateful night,

who was just blowing everybody away. And

Tuesday afternoon May 6, 1997

Hampton reminiscences, “My cousin (Lige

this killer guitar player was Mike Hampton.

Curry) played bass. I had showed him the

So I said, ‘Sure I’d love to meet this guy.

chords to ‘Maggot Brain’ and we played it

And my cousin went and picked Mike up

inducted, there stood legendary guitarist Michael Hampton. He had left Cleveland nearly 25 years earlier to join George Clinton’s group. But he was 40 years old now and back home; his eyes affixed on the stage as another Michael rehearsed. The astonishment and reverence on his face for Michael Jackson was clear. One can only wonder what else the legendary guitarist was thinking. Perhaps he thought about what he had gone through in order to earn his place in music history—all the touring, traveling, and recording. Well, it has been 20 years since Michael was inducted into the Hall of Fame this April — since a new class prepares to take their place in music history, — let us look back at one of Cleveland’s most famous guitar heroes. Once upon a time in Cleveland, WMMS 100.7 FM on-air jock Billy Bass would play Funkadelics’ “Maggot Brain” around 1:30 am Sunday morning—it was ritual. The band’s construct during the 1970s was strictly a sublime cosmic slop—meaning it was about the Black Power movement which emerged after the end of the Civil

and brought him to my house and basically, Mike and I started The Elektrik Sparks

The Kidd had returned home, and was now hanaging with other legends.

when Parliament Funkadelic was set to be

Rights era and the death of Martin Luther

Band. It was June 23, 1974, Sparks who had met George Clinton a few years earlier, invited the band back to his house to celebrate his birthday. However, in fact, it was the chance to for Clinton to hear Hampton shred “Maggot Brain.” According to Sparks, “When Eddie Hazel was arrested two weeks later, Gary Shider phoned Cleveland to see if the kid was available. Next, Michael found himself onstage in Maryland performing “Maggot Brain”—the tale of Kidd Funkadelic had begun.” Sparks broke it down as follows: “I did my first show in Landover, Maryland, at this place called the Capital Centre—now it’s a mall—but that was the first place that had closed-circuit TV sync. I looked up and I started off the set—it was sold out and I started off the show with ‘Maggot Brain’—that was all I used to play,” Michael said. Before long, his solo became the high point in a show that was at times like a rock opera that featured costumed musi-

King, Bobby Kennedy, and Malcolm X fea-

in the living room. The band was around

cians, singers, and props. I was a teenager

turing acid-stimulated lyrics that inspired

me. I didn’t know it was Eddie Hazel [gui-

attending a concert on an Easter Sunday

psychedelic wonderment and life beyond

tarist] and [drummer] Tiki Fulwood—it was

when I first saw Kidd Funkadelic perform at

the stars.

the whole band—Gary (Shider) and Boogie

the Allen Theater. With his head down most

(Cordell Mosson). They were all there and

of the time, he merged with his instrument

they heard me play.”

on hits like “Cosmic Slop” and “Mothership

Our story begins in 1974 when Michael Hampton, a baby-faced 17-year-old guitar prodigy from 12837 North Avenue on Cleve-

Another local musician, bass player Ed

land’s West Side, performed a note-for-

Sparks takes credit for the kismet which

note rendition of the psychedelic anthem

landed the teenager in the funk. “My cous-


Connection”—I realized I had never seen nor heard anything like this in Black music. When I began working at Scene Maga-

zine, Parliament-Funkadelic, a two-headed

Hampton recalls, “For the “[Not Just]

it up for the melody. I’m always listening

musical group with distinct personalities—

Knee Deep” solo, I think it was a Fend-

for that resolution. I might wander around

one pyschedelic rock, featuring Michael

er Twin cranked all the way up. They had

in some different modes or scales, but I’m

Hampton’s lead guitar and Parliament,

those microphones that stuck to the glass.

interested in trying to resolve it right on, at

featuring a wall of vocals and funky bass,

But in order to get that sound, they isolated

a time where people should understand it.

keyboards, and drums, accented by sassy

the amp. I was using my Alembic guitar, I

It could be a slow or fast lead, but whatever

horns. “The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein” was

forget what the model was, and there was a

it is should resolve. “Oh, here it comes right

a piece that earned the cover of the publi-

Morley wah and I think they had a Marshall

here. Okay.” And bring it back home.”

cation and starred a toy Kidd Funkadelic in

stack. I was basically right next to the stack

the grasp of Dr. Funkenstein (aka George

when I did that solo. I prefer to be right

place in the Rock Hall. His brother Wade

Clinton). I was scheduled for a feature with

next to it, for feedback and other effects.”

threw a party up the street at the Wynd-

the Kidd, but it never materialized. Instead,

When he was in high school, his teach-

He returned to Cleveland to take his

ham, so when I arrived to rehearsal, Mi-

his old bandmate, Ed Sparks threw a party

er took the whole class to see the sympho-

chael wasn’t there. But as Michael Jackson

and I got to hang out with Michael. As our

ny orchestra. “I was fortunate enough to

began running through his dance moves,

relationship grew, he had to learn to trust

check that out, and something about it just

the room quieted and I turned to see Kidd

me, I was afforded the opportunity to visit

set something off—when I hear certain

Funkadelic and Prince along the back wall

his family’s home on North Avenue to

songs and the way they use the modes. I’m

of the room staring. The Kidd had returned

watch him practice and create songs that I

looking for what it makes me feel like, you

home and was now hanging with other

would later hear on P-funk recordings.

know? Like wonderment. I’m trying to paint

legends. During the induction ceremony,

a feeling of whatever feeling I have,” he

dressed in a suit, took the stage with the


P-Funk mob, his hair long hair braided—he

The walls going up to the second floor were lined with gold and platinum albums that Michael had earned. His guitar solo on

His unique style has often put him in

still had that youthful look I remembered.

“(Not Just) Knee Deep”, “One Nation Under

the same category as a Jimi Hendrix, but

When time for his speech came, he de-

A Groove” have become a part of the black

he still remains unknown to today’s music

clared, “I’m from here. From the west side

music lexicon.

fans. He’s good at incorporating solos, like

of Cleveland and if it wasn’t for “Maggot

how a drummer does a roll. George told him

Brain” I wouldn’t be here.” He looked

to play R&B, he plays a drum roll and sets


Tupac Shakur

Electric Light Orchestra



Nile Rodgers

Award for Musical Excellence



Pearl Jam




Joan Baez




THE ROAD TO RECOVERY A A call for conscious consumption of alcohol, framed by my struggle with abuse. // Tyisha Blade lcohol. What do people tend to

not accept the fact that I had a problem

United States. Thirty-eight percent of

think when they hear about

even though with education, evidence, and

college students ages 18–22 reported binge

cold hard facts, it was proven to be true.

drinking in a recent study.

A getaway from a long work week? For me, what started

out as an unfortunate coping mechanism transformed into a lifestyle, then mani-

fested itself into a full addiction. A bright smiling mask lost in a realm of uncertainty often led to night after night of binge drinking. Numbing pain at dangerous levels of intoxication, I learned to create a shield that protected me from abuse, battling severe depression, and relationships that involved disastrously controlling men. Alcohol, to my ears, rang relief. It wasn’t until I had a gut wrenching self-awakening moment that I had realized what a devastatingly vicious spiral I was heading down. To save myself, I needed to change. I needed to separate myself from the mindset that kept me submissive to depression and alcohol abuse. I needed to detach myself from environments and the rotation of intimate relationships that resulted in mental and physical abuse. I needed to save my life. I needed help.

Alcoholism According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, approximately 17 million adults in the U.S. suffer from “Alcohol Use Disorder,” also known as alcohol dependency. These individuals have an active addiction which includes

I do recall a particular event where

I almost got myself hurt, possibly even

A bright smiling mask lost in a realm of uncertainty often led to night after night of binge drinking.

it? A good time? Relaxation?

Death Rates & Impairments

killed. Mixing prescription anxiety medication and alcohol to cope with internal

triggers was a treacherous mistake. After deviating from my original plan of resting from the medication and Hennessey that I had just ingested, I got behind the wheel of my vehicle at one in the morning. I recall being awakened to the sound of a train headed in my direction. I had fallen asleep behind the wheel of my car halted on the train tracks. How I got there, I couldn’t remember. What I do recall is the sound of that train getting louder and louder before I opened my eyes. It was something like being awake in a dream knowing that someone is trying to wake you out of your slumber. I got back home safely and I simply sat in my driveway not knowing what caused me to leave the house in the first place. Furthermore, I remember the tears. I thought, “Why am I risking my life in such a terrible manner?” I needed answers.

Depression and Anxiety The National Institute of Mental Health defines Depression as a serious mood disorder affecting serotonin in the brain and mood regulation. According to the World Health Organization, depression impacts over 350 million people across the globe. It

an inability to control drinking due to

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse

is a complex psychological state which has

physical, psychological and/or emotional

and Alcoholism also reports that estimat-

physiological effects and interferes with an


ed 88,000 people die from alcohol-related

individual’s routine functioning. Anxiety

causes annually, making alcohol the fourth

disorder is an overwhelming feeling of

leading preventable cause of death in the

worry, along with obsessive thoughts and

I was in a state of denial when I was diagnosed with alcohol dependency. I could 13 VINDICATOR | SPRING 2017

feelings of panic. Some use self-medication, abusing alcohol to mask symptoms


rebuild especially if a sexual encounter

of a mental health issues. Depression and

lead to alcohol abuse. In some situations,

anxiety may be the result of many dif-

the individual benefits from some type of

ferent factors, including an imbalance in

counseling as they may have underlying

brain chemistry, genetic contributors, high

issues that prevent them from developing

stress, trauma, and environmental factors.

satisfying intimate relationships. As the

Alcohol temporarily relieves some of the

counterpart of a person in active addic-

psychological symptoms making substance

tion or recovery, the need to be a support

abuse a popular form of self-medication for

system to help guide the addict through

these disorders.

their turbulence is of utmost impor-

I can remember my first suicide attempt. I was fourteen and I was unhappy. I felt drained and sick to my stomach. My mind was racing. I felt cold and alone. Not knowing what depression was then, I was confused. Vicious self-talk was occurring and I felt worthless. All I wanted to do was take all the medication in the medicine cabinet. So, I did. The rest was a blur. I woke up in my bed the next morning. I never remembered what triggered this and other attempts. I do recall the hallowed feeling of unforgettable emptiness. A weakness within me that grew louder until the only solution in my eyes was death. I grew up not knowing if I would be happy enough to function or sad enough to do the unthinkable. There were bouts of happiness and times shared with peers making teenage life bearable. At age 17, I once again attempted to take my life. Only, this time, I drank bleach. For the next week, nothing but pain and worry. Too scared to go to the hospital, but too ashamed to tell my parents, I lived a nightmare. At this point, I was old enough to know why people con-



were both drinkers. I wanted and needed

people die from alcohol-related causes annually in the US.

the want to stay even stronger. After the


1 in 4

college students report academic consequences from drinking, like missing class, doing poorly on exams and papers, and recieving lower grades overall

sumed alcohol. So, I did.

In my most recent relationship, we change, instead, we drank together; only making my battle with the need to quit and realization that I needed help, I confided in him. In the same hour he bought me a fifth of Hennessy and poured me a cup! With a dire cry for help, my significant other was no support. Even with depression, expressing my deepest most vulnerable details of life, I shared that I needed some support. What did he do? Told me that I was probably better off dead.

Recovery Recovery resources are available for individuals who are seeking sober life. Addiction Recovery Services at University Hospitals, Alcoholics Anonymous, and rehab centers are just a few options for treatment. Some employers offer counseling services for those suffering from alcohol dependency. For me, recovery started with an internal conflict and the realization that

I drank to cope, sneaking small sips

I was becoming someone I said I would

from mom’s liquor cabinet of what seemed

never be. Drinking to cope was not only

like fire going down my throat. After a

hurting myself but others around me. I

while, I noticed how relaxed I would feel,

decided to seek help. Now, I inspire and re-

retiring to my bedroom closing off the

late to people in similar situations offering

world and resting comfortably in my own

support and guidance. Recently, I became a

atmosphere. I continued this until gradu-

Peer Educator with H.Y.P.E. Team (Helping

ation which meant new beginnings and an

You through Peer Education). HYPE Team is

escape from the world that I suffered in.

a student organization at Cleveland State

Small shots here and there subsided and life began as a young adult. Going away to school was one of the best things that life could have ever bestowed upon PHOTO FROM GOOGLE IMAGES

Sexual relationships are most difficult to

me. Then, I made the mistake of returning home reopening healed wounds.�


of college students reported binge drinking in the past month

Relationships Resources are available for family members aiding their loved ones through recovery.

University that educates in sexual health and violence, alcohol and other drugs, general wellness, and suicide prevention. I decided that I wanted to be a resource and help those in similar struggles. April is Alcohol Awareness Month, I am dedicated to the wellbeing of society and the strength of support.

*Stats from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism


DIET RACISM The Subtle Racism Still Prevalent in Society

The racism behind casually ignorant words and actions of any community may have changed from what it was in the past, but “diet racism” today cannot be dismissed by those unaffected by it.. // Dorothy Zhao


o you say sorta racist stuff but

forms of racism are “difficult to detect

bites can also make more harmful impacts

stop short of saying the “n”

and...perceived and interpreted differently.”

on one’s life—examples the video mentions

word?” asks the commercial

To many, racial conflicts are simply due to

are advising a person of color to major in

spoof by CollegeHumor, a

causes other than racism.

something less challenging or unrelated

popular comedy site. “Enjoy

Covert expressions of racism may hurt

to sciences and claiming “self-defense” in

the refreshing taste of Diet Racism: the

more than you’d think. I recently watched

sweet ignorance of regular racism, but with

one of those never-ending Facebook videos

none of the guilt or self-awareness.” The

that discussed racial microaggressions.

microaggression or as ambiguous as

audience is taken aback by the following

This video by Fusion, a media network that

attraction to a specific race is often disre-


helps the youth of today to “cut through the

garded and considered invalid. These two

rhetoric [and] divisiveness to the issues that

videos reminded me of instances where I

guy.” “’re afraid of blacks and Latinos, but you’ll never say that out loud.” Diet Racism is the perfect drink for those who “don’t directly contribute to oppression, but have strong opinions about how other cultures should handle it!” Stop and frisk, persecution of the Irish, and Affirmative Action are subsequent topics mentioned to legitimize enforcing the need for “Diet Racism” in the satirical commercial. CollegeHumor makes a valid point that today’s kind of racism is different than before. Viewers may take offense from certain remarks; some believe that not being physically attracted to someone else is no fault of theirs, but generalizing an entire race as

Regrettably, racism as subtle as a

experienced “diet racism” throughout my childhood to present day.

... the sweet ignorance of regular racism, but with none of the guilt or selfawareness.

“I’m not racist, but I would never date an Asian

shooting a person of color.

In the Eyes of an Asian American I felt for the longest time that I was never as close with certain friends than my other peers were. I couldn’t be as casual with them because I was a more serious, boring person. However, about a month after moving into my dorm, I discovered something. My three roommates consist of one Asian and two Caucasians. We get along fine, but I realized that both white roommates oftentimes talked more formally to me than they did with each other. It wasn’t until I realized that everyone behaved such a manner around me not because I was an “unfun” or unrelatable introvert. It was just because I was different. I am not white. I am

unattractive is as racist as it gets. And while

truly impact the day-to-day lives of this

it is true that the Irish were persecuted,

generation,” compares microaggressions to

that truth does not allow for whitewashing

mosquito bites. The apt metaphor conveys

herently wrong with being closer to one

history and forgetting other marginalized

the fact that if one is “bitten” rarely, then

roommate than another. I understand what

groups’ suffering of bigotry during the

it is no big deal—that is, if one is asked

it’s like to want to approach someone sim-

same time period.

“where are you really from?” every once

ilar to myself instead of someone differ-

in a blue moon, then it isn’t annoying to

ent; I joke more with the Asian roommate

State University assistant professor of

explain that one was born in the U.S. The

than the others. Because I’ve had similarly

counseling psychology Hsin-Ya Liao, et al.

problem is, some are bitten by mosquitos

distant friendships, I don’t see it as much of

in “Perception of Subtle Racism: The Role

more often than others. Another funda-

an issue. I simply have a different relation-

of Group Status and Legitimizing Ideolo-

mental aspect the video discusses is how a

ship with each person, and what is wrong

gies,” subtle racism is “cool, distant, and

reaction to said mosquito bites can be seen

with that? Unfortunately, what is wrong is

indirect.” Examples include racial profiling

as an overreaction to those who are not

what my roommates have said. When one

and negative customer reviews, but these

“bitten” as commonly. These constant bug

white roommate matter-of-factly declared

According to a study by Washington


not like them. I must add that there is nothing in-

all Chinese people should be killed because

my attached earlobes and gawked at my

there were too many people on this Earth, I

nearly non-existent nose bridge, I was

embracing the Chinese culture, but I wish

was floored. She was eating dinner with not

mystified. Was I really that different?

for her to know that she can stop “being”

one, but two Chinese people—her room-

A moment that was most frustrat-

This girl should, by all means, continue

Chinese anytime she wants. It’s certainly

mates! We were sitting right in front of her.

ing for me was when in high school, a girl

impressive she practically knows Chinese

How did she think that was okay to say?

in my graduating class decided to fully

better than I do, but I cannot convince

Months after the result of the November

embrace everything Chinese after taking

myself or anyone else that I am not Chinese.

election, the second roommate complained

Mandarin, despite being white. Everyone

I always will be. I can’t change that part of

about how dumb America was to elect Don-

else in turn adored her for doing so, because

me, like she can, and nor would I want to.

ald Trump, I was shocked. How could she

she embodied only the best parts of Asian

be so blind to her own privilege—to be able

culture yet while still appearing white. How

day are many forms of racism, from blatant

to marvel at someone else’s ignorance yet

ironic it was, that some of my classmates

to “diet.” As I have become more accepting

not was even registered to vote? The people

accepted her but only acknowledged me

of myself, I only want others to accept me

of color in her life could not feel as safe or

when they needed help with homework.

and all other minorities. Doing so appears

blissfully ignorant as she was, so I found it

I realize that cultural appropriation is a

to be an insurmountable obstacle, but the

baffling that she chose to be so politically

controversial topic, but is that not exactly

societal mindset is changing for the better. I


what this girl was doing? She wore a qipao

only hope for future generations that, after

It is a challenge to reconcile such

Ultimately, what remains in society to-

to school dances, captioned her Instagram

our activism, racism will fully, truly be part

seemingly minor racial tensions and our

selfies in Chinese, and even got her senior

of the past.

friendships; I’ve never been courageous

pictures taken at the Asian market. If I were

enough to confront any of my white and/or

to do the same, I would have been ridiculed

more privileged peers and ask for clarifi-


cation on what they’ve said. I myself am privileged, so I must start with myself first. I put away my frustration about their lack of understanding of what I’ve gone through to maintain a peaceful friendship—not rocking the boat in any way—but at what cost? I was an innocent bystander who should have tried harder to help both sides when one roommate relentlessly teased the Asian roommate only because she had an accent. Multiple times, the native speaker (i.e., white roommate) told the non-native speaker to “speak English!” even though my Asian roommate already was, in fact, talking in English. Neither of the two white roommates genuinely took the time to try and understand their other roommate from a non-English-speaking country. I, on the other hand, had the patience to listen to the Asian roommate, but not the patience to teach the two white roommates, so I am not without fault. As an Asian American, I am proud of both my Chinese heritage and my American environment. After all, I survived the struggle of balancing both and not fully belonging to either side of myself. My food,


my clothes, my parents’ accents, my own hint of an accent, my upbringing: these aspects were not always accepted by those around me or even by myself. I was teased for bringing smelly home-cooked meals to school for lunch. I became subconscious of any mere trace of an accent I had while talking. When my classmates marveled at



THE RIGHT TO LOVE Despite the progress made in granting LGBT+ citizens equal rights, the road to equality continues. // Chau Tang about heterosexual sex is not inclusive and

it’s a choice, but it’s biological. You can’t

forcement officers raided

can be dangerous.

help who you fall for. You can blame them

a well-known gay bar,

Some people may say it’s wrong to

and say that it’s wrong and that they should

Stonewall Inn, in Green-

be in a same-sex marriage, because many

wich Village in New York

believe a marriage should be between a man

City. This raid happened

and a woman. Yet, according to a 2015 poll

es shouldn’t be treated differently than

during an era in which homosexuality was

by the Pew Research Center, “72 [percent]

heterosexual couples. Although there are

illegal in all states but Illinois. The streets

of Americans – including half of those who

LGBT+ clubs in colleges, LGBT+ nightclubs,

were filled with protests and violence that

oppose gay marriage – said they saw even-

and many people accepting of the commu-

lasted for six days. The raid resulted in

tual legal recognition of same-sex marriag-

nity, they still face violence and hatred. The

100 men arrested per week because police

es as ‘inevitable.’” Some religious people

Orlando, FL. attack of a gay night club last

squads would raid gay bars and trap gays.

are against these unions, but there’s a way

June resulted in 49 innocent deaths. Society

The Stonewall riot was a turning point

to be religious, love God, and accept same-

doesn’t have to approve of their choices

in modern gay civil rights in the U.S. The

sex couples. With the increasing amount of

but they should be treated as humans and

largest gay population at the time was in

same-sex couples and the LGBT + commu-

with respect. The LGBT+ community has

New York City. This was a time in which the

nity being represented, it’s becoming more

always been among us. People shouldn’t kill

change but they can’t change who they are. Same sex couples and marriag-

American Psychiatric Association treated

others because they might not agree with

homosexuality as a mental disorder, and if

the LGBT+ community. People should be

people engaged in homosexual activities,

able to leave the house and walk into town

they would have to either pay a small fine or face 20 years or life in prison. On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same sex marriages in all 50 states. In the U.S., there has been violence towards the LGBT+ community. In some other countries, legal consequences for homosexuality are harsh. For example, in Uganda, there is an anti-homosexuality bill, so homosexuals receive the death penalty. On May 8, 2012 in Armenia, unidentified people threw bombs at a Yerevan bar where LGBT+ and women’s rights activists visited. There was graffiti that targeted the LGBT+ community. In other countries, there are laws against being homosexual, and they have violent consequences, but the U.S. has laws protecting the LGBT+ citizens. However, this doesn’t stop all violence. According to, in 2014, there was a 6.5 percent increase in FOX’s primetime lesbian, gay or bisexual characters. It had the highest percentage compared to

In other countries, there are laws against being homosexual, and they have violent consequences, but the US has laws protecting LGBT+ citizens.

other networks. Shows include,“Modern

with their loved ones without fearing people being hateful, violent, or making comments that leave them uncomfortable. There was a time in which the American Psychiatric Association treated homosexuality as a mental disorder, and if people engaged in homosexual activities, they would have to either pay a small fine, or face 20 years or life in prison. Since then, progress has been made. On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same sex marriages in 50 states. Even though we have come far as a society to accept and love the LGBT+ community, there are still problems such as violence that are facing this community. The FBI reported that in 2015, 17.7 percent of all hate crime victims were targeted based on a sexual orientation bias. Over the years, activists have been fighting for equality in the LGBT+ community to be recognized and accepted, but there are people in society who don’t treat them as equals. We have made progress by

Family”, “Dr. Ken”, “The Fosters”, “Or-

representing the community in TV se-

ange is the New Black”, “Grey’s Anatomy”

normalized so society knows that people

ries and by legalizing same sex marriage.

and “Sense8” are a few TV series that

in the community are not going anywhere

The hatred toward the LGBT+ community

represents the LGBT+ community. In “The

because they have been here since the be-

should be replaced with love and support as

Fosters,” there is a character who asks why

ginning of time and people will continue to

you’d give anyone else – it shouldn’t be a

schools are not educating people about gay

fight for equality.

lot to ask.

sex since as it also has risks. Only teaching 17 VINDICATOR | SPRING 2017

When people are gay, society may think



n June 28, 1969, law en-


Designing Your Life – Burnett & Evans Wishful Drinking – Carrie Fischer The Revenant – Michael Punke The Hobbitt – J.R.R. Tolkien East of Eden – John Steinbeck

Hessler Street Fair University Circle June 3-4th Edgewater Live Edgewater Park June 9th Waterloo Arts Fest Collinwood, Ohio June 24th Lakewood Arts Fest Lakewood, Ohio August 5th

listen to these

Pride & Prejudice – Jane Austen

go here

read these

warm up 2017 Cigarette Daydreams – Cage the Elephant Little Ashtray in Sun – Cotton Jones Real Love Baby – Father John Misty Am I Wrong – Anderson .Paak Angels (ft. Saba) – Chance the Rapper Walkin’ – Thundercat

1984 – George Orwell

Feast of the Assumption Little Italy August 12-15th

Dark Places – Gillian Flynn

CLE Museum of Art University Circle

Won’t You Come Over – Devendra Banhart

Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë

Whipps Ledges Hinckley, Ohio

Slow Walkin – The Babies

Brain on Fire – Susannah Cahalan

Mason’s Creamery Ohio City

May Seem Macabre – Peter Bjorn and John

It – Alexa Chung

The Cleveland Flea Cleveland

On a Neck, On a Spit – Grizzly Bear

The Moment – Tame Impala

Cleveland Metroparks SPRING 2017 | VINDICATOR 18


American students were asked this question, one might have expect

to hear them respond with reasons such as “To expand my knowledge of my chosen field of study,” or “To contribute positively to society.” We assume that as a society, students’ motivations for attaining higher education center around enhancing their abilities, growing their knowledge-base, and associating with others who hold learning to a high standard of importance.

However, in a 2014 study conducted by New America, a nonpartisan think tank, 91 percent of college-bound students and current freshman, indicated their ultimate deciding factor as “To improve my employment opportunities,” and 90 percent chose “To make more money,” respectively. There is truth in the assertion that those who earn college degrees earn higher incomes on average than their non-college educated counterparts. According to 2013 New York Times article, “Is College Worth it? Clearly, New Data Say,” students in the U.S. who attend four-year colleges and earn degrees earn 98 percent more per hour on average than people who do not have degrees. In addition, the Pew Research Center reported that the median annual income of Millennials with four-year degrees was $45,500 in 2012. That’s nearly double the average of $28,000 among high school graduates. That means that people who participate in the institution of academia have greater economic opportunities and a lower risk of facing poverty. However, the issue with associating 19 VINDICATOR | SPRING 2017

financial wealth with one’s completion

There is truth in the assertion that those who earn college degrees earn higher incomes on average than their non-college educated conterparts.


hy did you decide to

As the price tag on college increases, we must contemplate the value of pursuing higher-education. // Elisabeth Weems

of an academic degree is twofold: First, it results in the normalized commodification of higher learning and the reduction of years of educational experience to a secured salary. In effect, the value of an education is no longer about the tangible truths and insights we gain, nor the personal networks we create. Nor is it about the exploration of fields of study we find fascinating. Rather, it is about how much money one can obtain because of their elevated status, resulting from their degree. The universally accepted motivation for pursuing higher education has become hollow: people go to college to get jobs to make money. During high school, we are primed to believe that success equals money, and that we have exactly three options after we graduate to achieve said success: First, we can pursue at least 2 more years of schooling to secure our spot as middle class citizens. Second, we can pledge our allegiance to the flag and enlist in the military. Finally, we can enter the workforce immediately and earn our keep, working our way up the totem pole. There is simply no exception to pursuing other paths. No volunteering on organic farms, no traveling, no joining the Peace Corps, no “finding oneself.” It has become an expectation to know exactly what one plans to do with their life by the time they graduate high school, which is entirely unreasonable. According to USA Today, 80 percent of college students change their major during the time they’re attending university. We are inundated from a young age with the idea that we must go to college to get a job, and if we don’t, our lives with be full of great disappointment.

As a result, higher education is seen as only a means to an end and thus we take our experiences for granted. The second problem with the assump-

The flawed educational model According to Jacob Ruytenbeek, author of “The Problems (And Solutions) of Higher

tion that one’s primary motivation for

Education,” 4-year degree programs are

attending college should be purely finan-

too long and add to the already outrageous

cial is that material wealth does not equal

price tag of one’s degree. The first half

success. In fact, there is no guarantee that

of one’s college courses effectively be-

pursuing college will directly and uncondi-

come nothing but “an expensive and time

tionally lead to a stable job, as the demands

consuming extension of high school.” Most

of the economy can change within the span

of these general education requirement

of time that one is pursuing a degree.

courses entail taking multiple choice exams

If we focus on the end result of attend-

learned in a more creative or practical way.

eventually), we take for granted the myriad

By understanding and mastering the algo-

opportunities that we have access to while

rithm, students can graduate feeling little

attending college and following gradua-

to no challenge at all. The problem with

tion. Whether we take advantage of those

gen-ed courses is that they give students

opportunities is solely up to the individu-

the most cut-and-dry version of their field

al, but we tend to glaze over the worth of

of study so that they may learn as much as

the years that we actually spend studying.

possible in the shortest period of time. The

The purpose of higher learning should

end goal effectively becomes memorization,

be about spending years expanding one’s

not retention.

consciousness, focusing intent and energy


The Millennial generation currently

upon something specific and deliberate,

struggles from its collective anxiety about

and engaging in thoughtful and reflective

the $1.2 trillion dollar student debt we are

dialogue. It should be about challenging

burdened with. The cycle of going to school

oneself to constantly grow and learn. The

to find a job, accumulating insurmountable

personal growth that results from learning

debt and working for the rest of our lives

in an organized setting can lead to self-ac-

to pay off said debt is neither sustainable

tualization and a greater appreciation for

nor desired. People are forced to find work

art, science and human diversity. Unfortu-

immediately after graduation so that they

nately, what we perceive as the normative


function of a university—to foster learning and critical thinking—does not take place without flaw.


instead of demonstrating what one has

ing college (that is, hopefully getting rich

can earn a living, and too often must settle in an industry or workplace that does not follow suit with what they originally set

out to pursue. The exorbitant amount of


financial stress eventually extinguishes any modicum of passion for their chosen field of study within years of graduation. People settle for financial security instead. It is a tragic cycle that no one signed up for. We have lost the true value of higher education. Universities were initially created for a small percentage of the population who wanted to further their education in specific fields. Now, going to college has become a societal expectation. Money is a barrier for students who do not come from wealthy families to access higher education. If a student can secure financial aid and scholarships, it can be relatively easy to skate along through college, completing the minimum requirements for classes, retaining little information, and not becoming involved with the academic environment at all just to earn a piece of paper that proves your completion of an academic program. My intent is not to discourage intellectuals and curious minds from seeking out higher education. Rather, I argue that we must not glorify the current state of our learning institutions, where students are exploited by high tuition rates and cheated


out of adequate learning experiences. One can take advantage of the system and immerse themselves in the college experience by remaining active within their university, maintaining relationships with professors, engaging with their communities, and fully delving into their studies, reaching beyond the constraints of multiple choice exam answers.



It’s time to look in the mirror in order to learn how to communicate better with those who are different from us. // Joe Schmittgen


an’t we all just get along? We as

in a way where their true message would

the ideologies of different groups as they

humans deal with different con-

never be understood in the best way possi-

actually are on paper, you will find things

cepts underneath the influential

ble because it was corrupted with agitated

that you agree with and you will find

topic of conflict. How do we deal

emotion. What they take away from the

things you disagree with. In my opinion, it

with conflict and find compromises to our

conversation is only the negative per-

is the way these arguments are made and

issues? This whole idea of two sides coming

ception of the other person’s personality

outside influences that lead people astray

together and finding a new equilibrium

rather than a pure matured opinion of their

from arguing the ideologies that is most

at the end is something that has revealed

stance. We get so caught up with the per-


itself all throughout human culture. It all

sonality of others we disagree with to the

starts at a very young age. We witness our

point where we forget what we are arguing

The Loss of Civility in Discourse

parents, guardians or elders argue with

about. It’s important to remain focused on

To begin, I went to a lecture titled, “The

each other. We practice using new con-

the issues and to make sure our messages

Loss of Civility in Public Discourse” at the

flict-resolution abilities and styles when

are being communicated in the best way

Trinity Cathedral given by Harvard Polit-

arguing with siblings or early childhood


ical Philosophy professor Michael Sandel,

friends. How can we bring two sides together

The worst thing that can happen is

who focuses on the philosophy behind

when people resort to stereotyping and

debating. He asserted that the main reason

who seem to disagree on merely every topic

assigning implicit associations to others.

for our issues in public discourse are a

to collaborate and compromise effectively?

This can lead us to discriminate against

result of the emptiness in our arguments.

Perhaps we need to look at our faults first.

others before they even begin to speak. We

“We rarely debate the big moral ethical

must consider all of the different ways in

question,” Sandel said. “We must engage

been given examples of these instances

We are constantly exposed to and have

which we receive/respond to people with

more directly with morals.” He continues

of two sides that can’t seem to get along,

different viewpoints to form sound per-

to discuss this false sense of tolerance that

whether it was Israel and Palestine, China

ceptions of them (especially from what we

we’ve cultivated. Instead of truly accepting

and Taiwan, the U.S. and Russia, Michigan

learn from news media outlets). Personally

others’ views and taking them seriously,

and Ohio State, conservative and progres-

I’ve learned a lot from having lived around

we ignore them. Money has also played

sive, Republican and Democrat. It seems

both Democrats, Republicans, people far

such a role in society to where it has sep-

that these days, we are constantly asked to

left, far right and in the middle. What these

arated us in all facets of life like where we

take sides and to identify with these labels.

popular media sources reveal about these

live, where we work, who we hang around

We almost become part of a brand that

individuals do hold some truths, but there

and what we do. Sendel suggests that one

these sides represent and forget the core

are a lot of things that are left out. It is

of the best methods to create healthier

values upon which we decided to join.

because of this that I urge others not to

public interaction among those with differ-

fully place their beliefs with what the news

ent values is to consistently find opportu-

cycle I felt conflicted at moments but also

shows them, but to find balance through

nities to diversify their social circles. By

proud of my Cleveland State community.

personal social interaction, civil public

doing so, people will learn to coexist and to

From time to time, students would engage

discourse and engagement.

compromise more effectively.

During this past presidential election

each other in civil discourse and debate.

The goal of this article is to share

How did we get here?

I remember seeing students truly con-

different points of view without criticizing

nect with one another on the issues with

the arguments, beliefs or values of these

I then wanted to speak with people who

open minds, leaving the conversation with

groups. Instead, I intend to focus on how

weren’t necessarily far left nor far right to

something to take with forward in their

people of these groups make their argu-

get a fair critique of these parties. I spoke

lives. I also remember students interacting

ments and communicate. When you look at

with Will Gan, CSU graduate pre-medical


student and California transplant. Gan

said. “Ironically, it’s not the moral hill any

argument, but it stands to reason that we

expressed that as certain issues have come

Republican voters care about, so it’s com-

have progressed from that time. Since then

into the spotlight, huge grassroots move-

pletely ineffective.”

we can see that we’ve focused moreso on

ments have transitioned towards Populism

Nash asserted that many Democrats

these moral questions in our arguments,

in both right and left schools of belief and

are very elitist and pompous in their in-

and human society has grown as a whole.

are reaching more extremes. He claimed

teractions. Those who are of the contrary

Through examples like the Civil Rights Era

that what influences the way normal citi-

belief feel a sense of abandonment as a

(even though some individuals lost their

zens interact trickles down from our very

result of this. He said that these elites even

lives or experienced physical abuse) or

own government. Considering the way this

create a separation between themselves

homosexuals gaining the right to mar-

past election went, Gan chalked Democrat-

and typical Democrat voters.

ry. These were two huge conflicts solved,

ic nominee Hillary Clinton’s loss partially

“They use all the same techniques to

because we referred to using our words

to the fashion the Democrats attempted to

shut down conversation as Republicans

and focused on the big moral questions to

play it safe in nominating an establishment

do, and everyone, to be honest,” Nash said.

resolve these issues.

candidate. In conjunction, the Republicans

“But they use different words. Dress it up

were able to thrive off of the momentum

any which way. They’ll discredit people.

impossible for us to find resolution to

from the Populists and channel it into

‘You can’t speak on this [because you aren’t

our conflicts no matter how different our

now-President Donald Trump’s campaign

blank. Check your privilege,’ and they dis-

stances may be. Without a doubt, but with

to victory. Gan explained that now that

credit more conservative news sources.”

time and a pure intentions, progress can be

Trump has been elected, strong reactions

He explained that Democrats spin

We must be cognizant that it isn’t

made. Ultimately it starts with us to create

from the left have been manifested because

facts appealing to emotion, provoking,

the culture in which we can engage one an-

they are being more polarized and are

and then belittle to spark emotion. Nash

other. Tensions seem to rise every day, but

becoming increasingly partisan. It also

expressed that it is important to know that

we must find balance between what many

certainly doesn’t help knowing how one

all politics do this. This is not something

resources say and what we experience to

party controls the executive and legislative

exclusive to Democrats.

create just perceptions before engaging in

branches, hurting opposing parties’ chances to block or pass bills.

“This need to be right is bigger than

debate. Don’t let ego stop you from seeking

the need to be correct, or to be open-mind-

what is true. Be like Nash and embrace the

ed,” Nash said. Even though he stands

flaws in your arguments. Find ways to im-

sides do not try to understand each other

moreso on the conservative side of eco-

prove them. Even though the debates end,

at all,” Gan said. “Instead they end up

nomic ideology, he expressed that he en-

we never stop learning.

demonizing each other, and each side re-

joys debating with people on the complete

acts even more and pushes the other more

opposite side of the ideological spectrum

towards the opposite end.”

(Socialists, specifically). It is somewhat of a

“It’s really a vicious cycle because both

He went on to note how the media also

mutual symbiotic relationship where they

play a role in forming the public’s percep-

find flaws in his arguments and he finds


flaws in theirs. As a result, he is able to

“The foundation of this country was

refine is statements. He sees that this is a

built upon compromise between the many

certain thing that Democrats and Republi-

different groups of people in America,” Gan

cans have stopped doing.

said. “Compromise doesn’t seem to exist anymore. Each party is trying to rule with an iron fist when they are in power.”

Where do we go from here? We, American citizens aren’t necessarily declining completely when it comes to

A Third Party’s Opinion

our interactions. Like what Sandel said,

I also conversed with Cleveland Heights

we must channel the big moral questions

resident Andy Nash. Nash was a third-par-

through our arguments to make them full.

ty voter in this past election and his

The nature of our arguments over time

opinion of Democrats and Republicans is

have changed as our sense of philosophical

noteworthy because he doesn’t specifically

morals and ethics have changed. During

stand with either side. He asserted that he

the earlier days of American politics, it

was pushed to vote for Libertarian Party

was completely normal for fights or duels

candidate Gary Johnson for many reasons,

to break out in the middle of meetings. A

one being that he found both Clinton and

whole war broke out as a result of peo-

Trump to be equally unqualified.

ple not being able to argue the morality

“The Democratic Party to me, it is

that humans are inherently worth more

exactly corrupt as the Republican party,

than property regardless of the pigment

but they lie about it to their constituents so

of their skin. Perhaps there were other

they can claim a moral high ground,” Nash

contributing factors that interfered in this

TIPS FOR CIVIL DISCOURSE 1. Listen You can’t understand the other parties opinion if you don’t actively listen to them.

2. Stay on topic Straying off topic can turn a debate into a messy situation.

3. Be respectful Avoid loaded language and blaming the other party, treat people the way you want to be treated - no matter the issue.

4. Be open-minded You can learn from each other if you try to break away from your one way of thinking.

5. Remain calm Becoming emotional and angry can make it difficult for the conversation to move forward.

PROMOTING AWARENESS FOR CHILD ABUSE The steps America has taken and continues to take in order to prevent violence against children. // KC Longley


pril is the month for Child

child abuse in the US since the mid 1900’s.

of children who die from child abuse are

Abuse Awareness. In reality,

According to CWIG, the first piece of child

under one year and 80% of child fatalities

it is sad that we have a month

abuse prevention work was put into motion.

involve at least one parent. These are just

dedicated to awareness for

The Child Abuse Prevention and Treat-

some of the many statistics that have been

something that seems so sim-

ment Act (CAPTA) was signed in 1974 by

documented nationally in regards to child

ple - not to hurt children in any fashion, be

President Nixon, in response to the mass

abuse and neglect.

it mentally, physically or emotionally.

amount of nation response to violence

But because of the world we live in, it

against children at that time.

In 2015, out of the 74,382,502 children in the US, 3,358,347 were reported to have

is important to spread information about

In 1983, April was proclaimed the

received an investigation or response to

how to stop these acts of violence against

national month for Child Abuse Awareness,

a report of abuse or neglect. These num-

the children in this country.

and government agencies such as CWIG,

bers are from a national report on Child

the Children’s Bureau and the American

Maltreatment in 2015, which was released

formation Gateway (CWIG), “during the

Society for Positive Care of Children (ASP-

publically in 2017, presenting “national

month of April and throughout the year,

CC) have been making actions for decades

data about child abuse and neglect known

communities are encouraged to share child

in honor of the thousands of children in the

to child protective services agencies in the

abuse and neglect prevention awareness

country who are hurt each year.

United States during federal fiscal year

According to the Child Welfare In-

strategies and activities and promote prevention across the country.” It is assumed that most people know

Michael Petit, who was the president of Every Child Matters in 2011, showed

2015.” One act of prevention in place is

passion for the cause of his organization.

Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention

any act of violence against anyone is

Every Child Matters is an activist group

(CBCAP), which was established in 1996

frowned upon, and even that is an un-

dedicated to improving the equality of

by Title II of the CAPTA Amendments. CB-

derstatement. It goes without saying that

children across the country and ensuring

CAP’s purpose, according to the Children’s

hurting children who may not have the

their safety.

Bureau, is to “support community-based

ability to defend themselves is one of the

“Over the past 10 years, more than

efforts to [develop and enhance] activities

worst actions one can take against a child.

20,000 American children are believed

to prevent child abuse and neglect,” as well

However, while we all may know this,

to have been killed in their own homes

as “support the coordination of resourc-

not everyone might know the background

by family members,” Petit said. “That is

es and activities to better strengthen and

of child welfare and the hard work groups

nearly four times the number of US soldiers

support families to reduce the likelihood of

and organizations have put in over the

killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

child abuse and neglect.” In addition, the

years to prevent child abuse in the US. Actions have been taken to prevent


According to ASPCC, 74.8% of child fatalities are under the age of 3, 49.4%

CBCAP’s purpose is “to foster understanding, appreciation and knowledge of diverse

populations in order to effectively prevent

a situation arises is smart. This way, as

it is that it is one anyone can take part in

and treat child abuse and neglect.”

individuals we can get used to the people

from wherever they are.

There are also many programs ded-

around us and keep a watchful eye on oth-

Volunteers can join the movement and

icated to parent education whose entire

ers. Strengthening the sense of community

start getting involved in various projects

purpose is to help parents learn appropri-

around you can only benefit the children,

that ASPCC shares with them. Through

ate behavior as they raise a child.

as they’ll have more people to go to if they

online work and social media, volunteers

P, which gives parents tactical strategies on how to build strong relationships with each other as well as with their children, understand how to aid a child in development and manage their children’s behavior confidently and safely. According to Triple P, they are helping “25 countries and have been shown to work across cultures, socio-economic groups and in many different kinds of family structures.” If anyone ever believes they have an act of child abuse or neglect to report to the authorities, there are a few options to choose from. One option is to contact their local child protective services office. The state number to call when in Ohio is (855) 642-4453. The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline is (800) 422-4453. The CWIG also has an option on their website to search manually as well as search the state guides to see what options are available in the state when it comes to prevention and awareness of child abuse. Indicators of abuse on children are not always visible. Yes, a majority of signs of neglect on children are physical. According to ASPCC, multiple bruises or welts, often in various forms of healing, are often signs of abuse. Fractures, burns and avoidance of adult contact are things to take notice of. These children may withdraw easily, be afraid to go home and sometimes act out in an aggressive manner. If a child is poorly dressed or shows

become the victim of child abuse.

awareness of child abuse and prevention.

It is assumed that most people know any act of violence against anyone is frowned upon. CWIG states that “everyone can get

involved and play a role in preventing child

signs of abandonment and hygiene issues

abuse and neglect and promoting child and

it may be because they have been neglected

family well-being.”

for long periods of time. Because of this,

take part in spreading the word of projects to get involved in, all geared toward the

One of these programs is called Triple

People can know the people in their

This program combines campaigning and activism and is an easy and efficient way for all individuals to do their part in preventing abuse and neglect of children one social media post at a time. Some other things to keep in mind are the vast options out there for individuals who are hesitant about taking on the roles of parents to a child. Maybe someone is having kids earlier than planned or doesn’t feel like they’re personally ready to take on being a parent full-time. Maybe they have their own personal reasons for feeling like they won’t be a fit parent. Whatever the reasoning, there are places to go to and people to talk to in order to find the next best option. Adoption and foster care are just a couple of the options out there for people to consider. AdoptUsKids is a group connected to the Children’s Bureau, who is dedicated to providing “tools and technical assistance to help child welfare systems connect children in foster care with families.” Specialists who can answer any questions about adoption are available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. eastern time and can be reached at (888)-2004005. On their website, they have endless resources for prospective parents to look at when considering fostering, adoption or both. It’s not that doing any of these will be easy. Odds are a lot of research and deliberation will go into them. Reporting

they may stay at school for as long as pos-

neighborhood as well as their children’s

abuse or neglect of a child won’t always

sible, take food when they come across it or

school (whether they’re a parent or guard-

be the easiest thing either, but at the end

have trouble staying awake.

ian). Arrange for neighborhood events,

of the day, the well-being and happiness

make play dates for their children and help

of the child is the most important thing

Awareness Month is “Building Communi-

their community become aware of how ev-

to consider. That should always be the top

ty, Building Hope,” according to CWIG. On

eryone can build a safe and loving commu-


their website, they inform readers on how

nity for the children.

This year, the theme of Child Abuse

to get involved as much as possible. Most

Another way to get involved and help

of us know that an act of violence against a

spread awareness and solutions for child

child is horrible, but many might not know

abuse is through ASPCC’s program titled

exactly what to do in a situation if it comes

the Youth Ambassador Program. Students,


teachers and youth leaders can all sign up So the idea of getting involved before

to be a part of this program. The beauty of



SEAT April is world Autism month, here I share my experience learning how my sister is different, and how families and peers can learn how to be more inclusive and understanding of those with autism. // Arbela Capas



y sister has autism. Or at least

My family realized soon that my sister was

that’s what we think it is. It’s

mentally and physically challenged. She

not something I talk about with

was very small for her age, wasn’t grow-

her. She would talk about about

ing enough and even had trouble focusing.

the Harry Potter series and her

After taking her to a massage therapist,

favorite movie scores. We’re still

we found out she needed physical therapy,

not sure of her diagnosis, be-

otherwise half her body would be paralyzed

cause throughout her 18 years of living,

because of some sort of growth defect.

we have been sent from doctor to doctor,

After this, for a long time in Lithuania

from pediatrician to pediatrician, with no

she was given hormonal shots to help her

clear answers. Granted, our family lived the

grow, (which I now am questioning were

first half of mine and my sister’s lives in

even the right thing to give her) and had

Lithuania, Europe, where the medical pro-

to go to regular physical therapy sessions.

fessionals in charge of physical and mental

Additionally to this, we noticed she got

disability were not as advanced at the time.

distracted easily, and had trouble speaking

cine— which my father firmly refused.

clearly for a while. She had, and still has, a crisp memory and wild imagination, but she also suffered from social awkwardness that affected her ability to make friends. For a while, we didn’t think anything of it, and went on with our lives, and nobody told us otherwise. At a certain point, we started to notice how she was still not catching up. I was in about 4th grade and she was in 1st. By the time I was in 1st grade, I was walking to schools with ease. We all realized that could not be the case with my sister. She had to be watched almost constantly because we knew she got distracted to a point where she could wander off. We

Common Myths About Autistic People Autistic people are on the same spectrum as people with down-syndrome. This is a common misconception that can lead to a lot of harm. Autism and Down Syndrome are two different things. Lumping in people with completely different disabilities is not the way to help either groups.

how to help her whilst also pushing her to be strong and self-sufficient. My mother took her to different doctors and looked up home remedies, but it seemed like nothing gave us sufficient information or results. On the other hand, my father loved my sister and I so fiercely, that he was simply in denial until she was about 16, that she needed more help. It’s very common for parents to not understand what their child needs, especially when there are mixed

Autistic people are completely intellectually disabled Autism can bring with it both mental limitations and exceptional skills. A lot of people have normal, or even higher IQ’s than non-autistic people. “People who are autistic have some great skills. And often they don’t realize it or they don’t identify them as skills,” Casalina says.

10 years old, a family friend of ours suggested she needed medication. When she was in kindergarten in Lithuania, the teachers purposely dumbed down activities to the point where she wasn’t learning anything and just wandering around the classroom. Throughout my sister’s life, it’s been hard to find a balance, between coddling her or being ignorant, and we, as her fam-

People with autism don’t feel emotions. Autistic individuals can, in fact, feel emotions like sadness, happiness and excitement, they just show it in different ways. Just like any unique individual, autistic folks have their own reasons to show emotions, and sometimes the way they express it isn’t the same as others.

was different; I knew she needed help, but I also knew she needed to be accepted and loved. But that’s the thing, my family and I never knew the correct way to raise her. I’m starting to realize now that there really isn’t. We had to just learn as we PHOTO PROVIDED BY ARBELA CAPAS

went along, and it’s a large part because the doctors (both American and Lithuanian) in her early years gave us vague and generalized information that didn’t help

People with autism don’t want friends. Autism doesn’t affect a person’s desire to have friends or not, they just have trouble socializing and getting comfortable with people in group situations. Since society teaches us that there is one certain way to be sociable, they’re assumed to not want to get close with people.

“slow”, or the opposite extreme, they said she needs to go on special medi-

This all tends to tie in with how our society is very ill-informed and ignorant when it comes to the wide spectrum of struggles that disabled people face. I never wanted to think about it like this. I just wanted to think of her as my little sister, who yes, was difficult to deal with at times, but my sister nonetheless. But after a while, I now realize this is a very real part of her that needs to be taken into consideration. The traits that she holds, need to be alone, are just things that make her who she is. The job of her family is to help her cope with the “default” version of society, which unfortunately doesn’t always fits the needs of people with disabilities. For the past 5 years of her life, we’ve been living in a small suburb of Cleveland and we’ve had more help and more opportunities. But it’s still confusing and unclear. We have now been hearing a possible “diagnosis” that she was never is on the autism spectrum, but we don’t know where. She also says my sister has latent cognitive development and ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and has been officially given several counselors at her school who assist her and help plan her future after high school. And only recently did our social security office contact us and basically say “oh crap, you guys need disability benefits”. This led us to a psychiatrist who needed to “evaluate” my benefits. After this evaluation, my mother began to panic because the psychiatrist said my sister could have schizophrenia, of all things. 18 years later and we’re still getting mixed answers. For most of my sister’s life our family just wanted to know how to help her, and to do this, we wanted to define her--figure out what was different about her and what was the specific thing she had. We got so concerned with either convincing ourselves that’s she’s “normal” with just some “problems” or

us with the raising of my sister. Most of them brushed her off and said she’s just

bullying her because she acted differently.

sister’s condition to see if we deserved the

ily were never given a guidebook for this. Ever since I was young I knew my sister

tunities or had children her age who were

given before. Our pediatrician said she

signals and assumptions being made around them. When my sister was around

were either not giving her enough oppor-

whether it’s her short attention span or

started to figure out that my sister was limited in many ways, but we were lost at

Meanwhile, the schools we sent her to

*Facts from

“different” but not that different, that we almost missed who she really is. Luckily, we learned soon enough that it wasn’t a



tragedy that she wasn’t a social butterfly,

lot of people have. And finally, I know that

both school in college to make their learn-

or that the fact that she was struggling in

I will always defend her, when people act

ing experience better. “So much of what we

math wasn’t too far off to how I, myself did

like she is too much of a hassle or that she

do here is transitioning to college, helping

in middle school.

can’t handle certain things. Because I know

them with transition skills and aso advo-

We still don’t know everything for

she can and will do what she needs to do.

cacy,” Casalina emphasizes. It’s extremely

sure about her, but that’s okay. I’m still

The only difference is that she is not like

vital to have advocacy for disabled people,

learning to this day. I don’t know exactly

everyone else and she is a unique individual

no matter what their condition or situation.

what her diagnosis is, and what might be

with unique needs.

Additionally, having a support system at

the best medication or physical therapy

All I know is that she is my sister and

a school that people can go to is very im-

for her. I don’t know about all the prac-

she deserves better, and so does every per-

portant for academic development. Casalina

tices will specifically help her or not help

son like her. I’ve learned that this is a thing

says that the first thing that is important

her. But I am learning and I will continue

that is manifested in different ways, and

to address is how much the individual

to help her as best I can. I’ve realized now,

reflected in our society through the small-

knows about their condition and what their

looking back, that I’ve seen my little sister

est individual interactions, and through

options are. “We have to first learn what

go through bullying, verbal abuse, neglect,

the larger institutional structures — and

are their strengths, what are the areas they

and even discrimination from the system

whichever one it is, it has consequences on

want to improve,” Casalina says. There are

we are living in. Throughout her life, there

the humans it’s affecting.

always different ways in making a person

were always two extremes. There were either the people who ignored her condi-

People like my sister don’t deserve to be coddled or ignored. They deserve to sim-

with autism thrive in the classroom and school work. Things like group work and

It’s been hard to find a balance, between coddling her or being ignorant, and we, as her family, were never given a guidebook for this. tion and just thought “tough love” would

ply be understood and accepted. Especially

oral presentations can become stressful for

help her through. On the other hand there

when they’re choosing big decisions in

a person, so there can always be ways to

there were the people with good intentions

their life like going to college, or getting a

adjust it to their needs--such as professors

who were helping her in the wrong ways,

job. Along with misdiagnoses and miscon-

allowing them to do the presentation with

by coddling her or simply dumbing down

ceptions about autism, a lot of people don’t

less people, or allowing them to videotape

activities for her. To this day, we still don’t

even realize that there are services avail-

their speech.

know everything. We know she is on the

able for them at their Office of Disability

spectrum of autism and that’s about it.

Services at their school.


But here is what I do know. I know that

“They come with unique challenges,

Everyone should feel represented and included in this world, even if they learn and experience things differently.

she is probably the strongest person I know.

but then, so do all of our students. So what

The thing about disabilities is that there

I know that she is tougher than me in every

we’re looking at here is, how are we going

is a wide spectrum that even doctors and

way, and has a huge heart. I know she loves

to embrace them?” says, Cleveland State’s

psychiatrists can’t accurately define all the

movies and actors and can remember all of

Director of Disability Services, Linda Casa-

time. This is why we must keep education

their names with insane accuracy. I know

lina. She says it’s important to focus in on

and awareness going through conversation

now that her disability or diagnosis does

what people with autism thrive on, because

and acceptance of what is not “normal”.

not define her. I know that she lives in her

they are very gifted in a lot of skills, which

Ultimately, we must realize that there isn’t

own world, sometimes alone, and she is

a lot of people don’t realize. Some adjust-

just one way to be alive, there isn’t just one

totally fine with it--that’s a strength not a

ments in the classroom can be made, but in

way to survive and thrive in this world.


AND IT’S OUR FAULT The impact of our environmental footprint, how current government regulations need to be addressed and what we’re doing to make sure the Earth can sustain us in the future. // Alana Whelan

issue. It is a fact. No matter how many times we deny ourselves of this truth, the climate - and therefore, the environment will continue to change and be harmed due mostly to human

causes. With the slashing of government funding to the EPA, and the constant denying that our climate is changing due to human intervention - which scientists have proved countless times - the current political climate has not been proving to show our environment much respect. If it stays this way, the health of the environment may be at even more of a risk than it is at the moment. The environment is one of the most, if not, the most important part of what keeps us alive. Though it may sometimes seem like a minor issue compared to what we experience in our daily lives, the trees and plants - a major part of the environment - are what give us the oxygen simply to let us continue to breathe. Breathing isn’t something most of us

If it stays this way, the health of the environment may be at even more of a risk than it is at the moment.


limate change is not a political

mental protection into the state’s hands, making it the responsibility of local gov-

give much thought to on a daily basis. When

ernment throughout the US to clean up the

we wake up in the morning, we expect to

environment on a more community-based

be able to breathe because it’s merely what

scale. While it is very important for every

we do, and we have much more pressing

community to be keeping the environment

day-to-day issues to focus on. Howev-

clean as best as they can, many of these

er, our right to breathe clean air is being

communities and cities do not have the

threatened because of proposed legislation

funding to be able to start conversations

that will cut funding for the Environmental

and get the citizens involved in doing what

Protection Agency (EPA). This, along with

is best for the environment. Without the

other budget cuts, is being tucked between

federal funding from the US government,

all of the innumerable changes that have

many states will struggle to correctly

taken place since President Donald J. Trump

inform the people about what needs to be

has taken office. Many of us are skimming

done in order to maintain and improve the

over these changes, either because we don’t

environment in which they live.

believe it’s a big deal, or because we aren’t

President Trump originally vowed to

aware of how big a deal it actually is. While

get rid of the EPA in nearly every way pos-

the alleged interference from Russia into

sible. The recent decision to cut its funding

President Trump’s election are important to

would shear its total budget by about 31%,

pay attention to, we’re not seeing that other

putting it at a $5.7 billion budget instead of

measures being taken may be even more

it’s original $8.1 billion. The plan also pro-

important to focus on than something such

poses to reduce subsidies for over 50 of the

as that.

EPA’s programs, including the Chesapeake

Government Budget Cuts to the EPA The Trump administration proposed a plan to cut government funding for the EPA on Thursday, March 16. The plan behind this budget cut is to shift the power of environ-

Bay Cleanup Project and programs that aim to help the health of the Great Lakes. It would also leave 3,200 people jobless, halve the budget of the EPA’s Office of Research and Development and stop funding of Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which regu-


Reducing Waste Composting Food Waste Composting is a process in which organic waste decomposes naturally in oxygen-rich conditions.

Vermi Composting Vermi composting is a process of composting by using worms.

What Can Be Composted Fruit scraps, vegetables, egg shells, cardboard, flowers, weeds, hair, leaves.

Urban Gardening Taking unused land around cities and cultivating them to turn them into gardens.

Reusable Items Items such as water bottles or bags, use reusable options instead of disposable plastic ones .


pounds of waste are created per person per day

1,569 pounds of waste are created per person in a year


tons of waste is created in a person’s lifetime *Information from The Environment Protection Agency

lated emissions of Carbon Dioxide from

ing to climate change and environmental

amount, it certainly adds up throughout

power plants, therefore helping to fight

change on the Earth as a whole, it is more

our lives. According to a study done by the

climate change. With all of these restric-

important than ever to be aware of how we

Center for Sustainability and Commerce

tions, implementation of certain sustain-

are individually taking care of the planet. To

at Duke University, the average American

ability practices will not be allowed, and

spread awareness about this issue, people

produces 4.3 pounds of waste everyday, a

people will suffer within their communities.

are planning to come together all over the

1.6 pound increase from what the average

Whether affected directly by these budget

world on April 22nd for a Science March,

person produced in 1960. If the average life

cuts or not, future generations are going to

similar to the Women’s March on Wash-

expectancy in America is about 78 years

see the impacts on a much larger scale than

ington that happened in early February. On

old, and the amount of waste an individual

we currently do because these decisions are

that day, which also happens to be earth

produces stays consistent every day from

predominantly short-term. Though they

day, people will gather to demonstrate their

will reduce regulation and cut costs right

support of the scientific community.

now, they will do more harm than help in the long-run.

While there are various aspects that cause change in our environment, certain habits and processes we utilize in order

Fighting for the Planet’s Health Because these proposed budget cuts raise concerns for the health and safety of the environment and the people, many groups are advocating against them. When the cuts were first announced, a few national parks tweeted facts that contradicted the views of the Trump administration, who urged them to take the tweets down. However, these tweets were not specifically targeted at President Trump and the majority of them were based on factual research. Another person who is defying the idea that climate change is not real is William Sanford, better known as Bill Nye the Science Guy. Bill Nye has come out with various videos and talks lately that explain why all evidence points to the fact that climate change is real, and that any argument against it is most likely uninformed or simply not true. He has

to use the Earth’s resources cause the most damage to the air we breathe and the habitats in which we live. Emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere have some of the most detrimental effects on the climate. The factors that contribute in the largest ways to this include the burning of fossil fuels, animal agriculture and deforestation. According to NASA, as well as multiple other scientific studies, the Earth’s temperature is predicted to rise between two and six degrees Celsius within the next century. This is 20 times faster than it ever had before the twentieth century. Yet, the government already ordered the EPA to take down it’s web page that breaks down the information on and effects of climate change.

The Impact of Our Waste

highlighted that one of the biggest victims

Life has become so based around conve-

of climate change is our oceans, and we can

nience that so many of us give hardly any

see this because of the rapid rise in sea level

thought, or no thought whatsoever, to how

over the past few decades and the dying off

our daily actions are impacting the world

of large coral reefs.

around us. Even if it seems like the waste

Due to the many factors contribut-

we create as individuals is only a small


birth to death, that person will produce

toxic waste was a big problem. However, so

Municipal Solid Waste

122,421 pounds or 61.2 tons of waste during

much work still needs to be done to ensure

their entire lifespan. Multiply the number

that our waste is not harming the environ-

the common trash Americans throw away on a daily bases, including trash such as food waste, napkins, grass clippings, electronics and packaging.

of people in the United states by how many

ment more than it has to.


Million tons of MSW discarded in 2012.

pounds of waste are produced by each in-

Evidently, there is still so much work

dividual everyday, and the amount of waste

to do when it comes to keeping our envi-

Americans as a whole produce everyday is

ronment clean and safe to live in. Though

equal to the weight of over 12 cruise ships

some progress has been made, many of the

- around 700,480 tons. And this is only

ways we have begun to use resources within

for one day out of the 365 days in the year.

the last 100 years is just not sustainable for

These numbers are the reason the US has

our planet. With recent proposed regula-

over 3,000 functional landfills, and 10,000

tions and a presidential party that does not

disregarded ones. If these landfills continue

believe in climate change, it may be even

to grow at their current rate, we will run

more difficult to ensure that we are breath-

out of space where we are able to dump our

ing clean air, drinking clean water and sim-

waste on the land, and more waste will start

ply living in conditions that aren’t harmful

being pushed into the ocean.

to us and future generations. Small changes

The trash transport industry is re-

within our daily lives may seem tedious, but

sponsible for moving waste to landfills that

they are what will help to spark long-term

have the capacity to hold huge amounts of

change, and though it will be hard, it is not

it. Ohio is one of few states that benefits


economically from this industry because it takes in trash from other states to fill up the many working landfills it is home to. There

Total MSW Generation

are currently 38 licensed Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) facilities in Ohio and about 40% of waste in Ohio landfills comes from


out of state (Ohio Environmental Council). Luckily, because of the Resource Conser-


vation and Recovery Act in 1976, there are


regulations for landfills that make them less


harmful than they were in the past when



Increase in recycling from 1960 to 2012.

0.5 0.0


2025 Projections


Decrease in waste sent to landfills from 1980 to 2012.

Jennifer McMillin

Director of Sustainability at CSU

The Vindicator had the opportunity to

“So many things need to happen - we

interview Jennifer McMillan, who was

need legislation that encourages a transition to

recently appointed the position of Director

renewable energy. There are so many subsidies

of Sustainability here at CSU in September of 2016. Being new to the position, McMillin is still working out the small details of her important role on campus, but as an expert

to the fossil fuel industry that make it hard for renewables to compete - but the fossil fuel industries are seriously powerful and hold a lot

in the field, she is very knowledgeable when

of political clout and so they’re not just going to

it comes to the environment and finding

roll over and let their assets be stranded in the

sustainable ways to live. We asked her

ground so that we can rely on wind and solar,”

questions relating to current government regulations, the EPA and ways to reduce waste. “I think we - unfortunately - are a consumer-driven society,” said McMillin, when posed the question of why the amount of waste we produce in the United States has gone up. McMillin explained that we are largely inclined to believe we need more and more stuff because marketing and advertising tells us so, but in truth, we probably don’t need as much as we think. She went on to describe how “planned obsolescence” is another reason we continue to buy buy buy products and services. Planned obsolescence means that products are specifically designed by manufacturers only to last a certain amount of time, so that when that object breaks, we have to buy a new one. This, the rise of disposable packaging, and convenience items are at most of the fault for why we’re throwing away so much trash everyday. Even though trash is a huge problem that is contributing so much damage to our environment, other problems with the way we burn our energy and use our resources are causing a vast amount of harm as well. McMillin pointed out that though we have conversations about what we can do to keep our environment healthy, we are often held back because we are in the constraints of our society, and changing our lifestyles or habits drastically are not an option for most of us.

While taking small steps and making people aware are important, big shifts are going to have to take place if we truly want to see a difference in the way the environment is being treated because of human-induced problems. However, it is still extremely critical to be aware of our individual impacts on the environment. “I think the small things are important because people need to know that they can take small actions and make a difference,” said McMillin. If every person in the U.S. adopted little practicable habits everyday, we can make progress toward a more sustainable future. McMillin referred to these little practices as “gateway activities,” which will pave the way for people to make progress with the environmentally-beneficial decisions they make. Making environmentally-beneficial decisions is not easy when societal factors are going against us, and because copious restrictions to the EPA are being proposed, it is becoming harder than ever to be green. McMillin agreed with this, and made some very good points about what we, as humans, should have a right to. She said, “I think that ensuring protections for our air and water should not be a partisan issue. I’m pretty sure [the EPA] was established by a republican, so to me this is an issue that everybody should be able to get behind - like regulations for clean water and clean air are in everyone’s best interest.”





magine being in a boat on an ocean by yourself—in one hand, you hold the chain to an anchor, on the other hand, you hold the string to a kite. Your job is to keep the kite from flying away and to

keep the anchor from bringing you all the way down to the bottom of the ocean,”— failing to succeed with these two tasks makes for a rough cruise—and often times, fatal. This is the closest I can describe what living with bipolar disorder is like for me— two sentences that I’ve had etched in my brain since I’ve read them. I wish I could send the author (whose name escapes me) a virtual hug. The first time I realized that my mental illness would create barriers in higher education was when I decided I needed to take


time off from school in the Spring of 2015. I couldn’t seem to make sense of what I was feeling at the time. It wasn’t until months later that I actually became diagnosed with bipolar affective disorder—ironically putting my mind to ease—allowing me to put the pieces of what’s been happening to me together. For years I think my family wrote me

Being in the bipolar boat, college is one of the biggest glaciers. // Holly Bland



off as a moody adolescent to ignore the fact that I’d be facing a chronic mental illness for the rest of my life. But honestly, nothing made more sense than finally having an explanation to my behavior. Mental illnesses are unique—everyone experiences them and their symptoms differently. When I was younger, the most outstanding symptoms I experienced were (obviously mood swings)—but not the “changing moods ev-


ery five seconds” type of mood swings. For days to weeks, I’d fall into deep depressions after being high strung on manic episodes. When I was manic in high school, I actually got things accomplished. Looking back on

it, I was very high-functioning—could go

without even visiting or knowing the cam-

bipolar-typical issue. I also recognize that

days without sleeping, my productivity was

pus, or what I even wanted to major in for

I do not speak for everyone with bipolar

high; I was overwhelmingly social. When I

that matter (cue irrational and impulsive


would plunge head first into depression, I

decision making.)

would fake sick to stay home from school

Since the fall of 2015, it’s been one hell

and sometimes I’d stay home for weeks. My

of a ride. A majority of my time here has

attainable deadlines and goals for myself

senior year I missed over 40 days and was

been filled with supportive friends, class-

that trying to keep up with them leaves

tardy at least 52 from what I can recall.

mates, and professors, but it has been the

me even more unorganized and anxious.

hardest part of my life to say the least (I

This leads to forgetting about due dates

sometimes wonder how I even managed

guess that’s college for everyone though,

and extreme procrastination to the point

to complete anything without knowing

right?) The problem here is that it’s not the

I wait up until the final moments before

my mental illness was the problem I kept

“college” part that’s hard. It’s the waking

something is due and can’t even manage

pretending I didn’t have—putting it on the

up, getting to class, looking presentable,

to complete it because I end up having a

backburner. To make a long story short, I

doing things in a timely manner, and stay-

mental breakdown—and no, not the kind

did awful at the first university I attended—

ing organized part.

of “mental breakdown” most people try to

I started college in high school and I

it was not telling of my educational abilities

In the most unconceited way, I know

describe their 5 minutes of distress over. It

in the slightest. I don’t think the late night

I’m intelligent; I just genuinely can not ap-

is painful, debilitating anxiety and helpless-

study binges and lack of routine did me any

ply myself (a majority of the time). I don’t

ness—which sounds extremely irrational

justice either.

experience full-on depression and mania

but is unfortunately my reality with most

deadlines. I can’t even count the times I’ve used

People are so much more forgiving about having food poisoning than being mentally ill.

Like many people, I decided to go

every excuse in the book on why I’m late or something is incomplete—people are so much more forgiving about having food poisoning than being mentally ill. Then comes the fun part of trying to explain to my professors that it was nearly physically impossible to finish an assignment I’ve known about since the beginning of the semester because I’m too stubborn to have accommodations with disability services or even actively seek a therapist for that matter. I have somehow managed to

all of the time, but I do seem to experience

maintain above a 3.5 GPA but I know a lot

straight to college immediately following

a little bit of both a lot of the time. I sleep

of folks dealing with what I do and worse

high school graduation. By this time I had

at most 4 hours a night—almost always

aren’t as lucky—and it’s unfortunately not

already changed my major three times in

waking up late and have a hard time getting

telling of our educational abilities.

the previous two years of taking classes

out of bed. Not the “ugh my bed is so comfy

while in high school. I soon discovered that

I can’t get up” type of way but a “wow—the

is my inability to flourish in my major. As

indecisiveness and inability to make deci-

world is grey and I just can’t even fathom

a journalism major I was excited to finally

sions (confidently I guess) was a large part

seeing other people today” kind of way.

declare something I enjoyed doing—writ-

of being bipolar for me. Fall 2014, on my fourth major, I failed

If I can finally convince myself to

For me though, the most upsetting part

ing. I could honestly go without the re-

get up, I don’t usually put an effort into

porting part but I love interviewing people

a class that I desperately needed to get

getting ready for the day. I usually don’t

because I like hearing people’s stories and

into the program I wanted to enter—twice.

eat breakfast. I have to give myself a 20

about their lives. I love writing from my

When the Spring approached, I decided

minute-minimum prep talk to get myself to

own perspective in more creative arenas.

that it just wasn’t the right time for me

take a shower, and I usually look to sweat-

But more times than not I can’t actually

and withdrew from all of the courses I was

pants and a bun for everyday attire (hope

produce anything I feel is decent unless I’m

enrolled in on the day the semester was

this is acceptable when I’m 40).

in a manic cycle and feel overly confident

to be paid in full. January to July of that PHOTO BY ALYSSA MILLER

Staying organized is one of the hardest parts. I always tend to set extremely un-

If by this time I’m not running so late

and enthusiastic about taking on a new

year was the worst spiral of cycles I have

that I’ll miss class entirely, I can’t even

project—most of which I never manage to

experienced—but to cut out all the boring

focus when I finally slip into my seat and

finish—like the blog I’ve tried to get up and

details it brought me here to Cleveland

attempt to take notes. I guess this emulates

running for about the 5th time now.

State. On my longest ride of mania to this

more of experiencing college with a mental

date, I woke up one morning and decid-

illness in general, because I know this is

productivity, motivation and creativity to

ed that I needed to be productive if I ever

typically a blanket symptom for a variety

get anything accomplished. Oh, how ex-

wanted to feel better. So, I applied to CSU

of different disorders, and not entirely a

hausting it is.

I always have to wait for the spark of


THE VACCINATION DEBATE An analysis from both sides of the argument. // Caitlin Cole


he quick expansion of science and medicine in the past few decades has saved many lives but it has also brought questions and concerns to light. One con-

troversy that parents are heavily debating is the use of vaccines and the possible side effects they may have. Due to the frightening reality of the way they may affects diseases and viruses, there is a fascination with finding new ways to heal and restore the human body, which is what stemmed the need and creation of the vaccine. The process of finding these methods can be almost as frightening as the disease itself

Myths that Cause People Not to Vaccinate 1. They think too many vaccines too soon will overwhelm a baby's immune system. 2. They believe their child's immune system is immature, so it's safer to delay some vaccines or just get the most important ones.

because of the trial and error process, mixed with the chance that it may not work. Making the decision to vaccinate or not can be stressful. The vaccine’s history in the 1800’s began with an interesting twist, the use of the cowpox disease to protect humans against the smallpox disease. This odd sounding development was the creation of Edward Jenner, an English physician and scientist. Since then, many vaccines have been created for many different frightening and deadly infectious diseases. The rabies vaccine, created by Louis Pasteur, was the next big development and vaccines for diphtheria, tetanus, anthrax, cholera, the plague, typhoid and tuberculosis followed. These diseases are rarely mentioned today, unless within an educational setting. The creation of the vaccine and other medical developments are a cause

(FDA), American Medical Association (AMA) and Department of Health and Human 37 VINDICATOR | SPRING 2017

the well-respected medical organizations, which support the statement that vaccines are safe to use. Vaccines have eliminated smallpox altogether, with the last reported case being in 1977. Vaccines are highly monitored to keep an eye on the effectiveness and safety of it. The organizations that support the use of vaccines, the FDA and CDC are also the organizations that regulate the research on it. In 2012, when the whooping cough outbreak occurred, recommended percentage of the population that should be vaccinated for the disease was 92-94%. The U.S.’s percentage was much less. This

3. They believe vaccines contain toxins, such as mercury, aluminum, formaldehyde, and antifreeze.

resulted in the most prominent infectious

4. T hey don't believe vaccines really work.

makes an outbreak unlikely, thus protect-

5. They feel vaccines seem like a way for pharmaceutical companies and doctors to make a lot of money. 6. T hey consider the side effects of some vaccines seem worse than the actual disease.

for the depletion of these diseases. The Food and Drug Administration

Services (HHS) are only a few examples of

disease outbreak since the year 1955. When a certain percentage of the community is vaccinated against a disease, this is called protecting “the herd”. This is another main benefit of vaccines because it ing the community and those that cannot receive a vaccination. A case happened in 2014 when missionaries returned from the Philippines to Ohio and unknowingly infected the community with measles. The frightening reality is that some of these diseases can live within a person for a long period of time without symptoms, which means there is always a chance of being exposed. Those who travel outside the US can bring back diseases that may not seem relevant anymore and this creates an opportunity for a community to become infected, if it is under the recom-

7. They feel that forcing people to vaccinate is a violation of their rights.

mended vaccine percentage. When this percentage is met, it can help families and the economy save money

in the future. $1.38 trillion has been saved

that creates financial and emotional strain

by vaccinated children between the years

within a family.

1994 and 2014, according to the CDC. This

their backs to sleep. It does bring up the question of just

These potential outcomes tied to not

how many vaccines a child receives. The

is because of less cases of disability due to

vaccinating come with a set of fears of the

recommended list of vaccines includes at

disease and less early deaths that result in

potential outcomes that come with vacci-

least ten vaccines before the age of one


years old.

money from avoiding potential hospital visits, due to infectious diseases that are prevented by vaccines. $3,990 is the average dollar amount that parents spend as a result of flu related hospital trips. This is a devastating number for any family to manage, which could potentially be avoided by a vaccine that is most likely free to receive. The CDC is currently working on The Vaccine Study, which has the goal to “put a dollar figure on visits to doctor’s offices and emergency rooms for the treatment of flu-stricken children..” Cleveland State Student and senior music therapy major, Kat DiPiero is pro vaccine and feels strongly that those

Vaccines are not required by US law but it is required in all states that a child

... the possible link between autism and vaccines is not proven by any studies.

without an autoimmune issue should be vaccinated. She mentions that the possible link between autism and vaccines is not

the loss of productivity. Families also save

has certain vaccinations before attending public school. This creates a controversy for those who wish to have their children in public schools but disagree with giving their children vaccines. The supporting side for the vaccine debate sounds very appealing and it seems to be an easy choice, but this is unfortunately not the case. There are definitely risks and doubts attached to the use of vaccines, and they should not be ignored before making a final decision. For every vaccine, there is always the possibility of an allergic reaction that can lead to death. The CDC says that this happens one in every million children.

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is a

Brain damage, seizures, and comas are all

proved by any studies. “Even if there was a

frightening reality for parents and it is of-

possible side effects from vaccines. Though

correlation between the two, I’d rather have

ten wondered whether vaccines are a cause

it is not proven by research, The Nation-

a child with autism, than my child die of

of this. According to the CDC, there is no

al Vaccine Information Center states that

Polio,” DiPiero said.

link between SIDS and vaccines. The CDC

autism, diabetes and asthma are all possible

states that the SIDS rate went down after

connection to vaccines. The list of possible

research showed babies should be placed on

side effects go on and on.

Missing work can also be another potential factor from flu-ridden children

On October 19th, 2011, Ron Paul gave

CSU on Vaccinations

a detailed opinion about the government intervening with a person’s medical choices. “Freedom over one’s physical person is the most basic freedom of all, and people in a free society should be sovereign over their own bodies,” Paul said. “When we give the government the power to make medical decisions for us, we in essence accept that the state owns our bodies.” The government making vaccines mandatory goes against a person’s religious freedoms, which is outlined in the very First Amendment of the US Constitution. Some vaccines also contain animal products, which also violates some religious and personal beliefs. One of the greatest things about the United States is the freedom that we have,

Have been vaccinated

92% Believe vaccinations are effective

80% Are up to date on their vaccinations

*Sample size of 70 students


when it comes to our bodies. The many sides of this debate can make the decision to vaccinate or not overwhelming but that’s the beauty of freedom. We can educate ourselves about these issues and it’s up to us to make the choice.



ANIMAL FARMING D How the mass-production of animals affects them, and the planet. // Caitlin Barry ue to the recent election of

animal should ever have to face the torture

2016, awareness has been

that mass produced animals are subjected

raised for environmental

to. Baby chicks are ground up alive in a

issues. Many of these issues

blender just soon after they are born, and

are overlooked or regarded as

baby cows are separated from their moth-

unimportant, especially the issue of mass

ers and shoved into a cage where they are

production of animals in factory farms.

unable to move. Rabbits are hung upside

Most people are aware of the cruelty that

down and skinned alive for their fur while

animals face in these conditions, however

they are bleeding to death and screaming

they choose to ignore it. The mass pro-

in pain. This animal slavery needs to end.

duction industry is truly horrific. While

The Earth is not for humans to take and

ethically wrong, it is also destroying the

destroy. Animals have just as much a right

environment. There are many reasons that

to life as humans do. It is time we stop liv-

the mass production industry should be put

ing above animals and instead start living

to an end, however, the demand for meat is

among them.

so high that it continues to thrive. Mass production of animals is ex-


The biggest problem regarding the environment is how oblivious most people are

tremely inhumane. The animals raised

to how badly mass production of animals

in factories are being treated as they are

affects the Earth. According to Kate Good,

products and not actual living beings with

writer for One Green Planet, 12,000 people

feelings. Society has desensitized people to

were asked what they think is biggest con-

think of animals such as cows and pigs as

tributor to climate change. Only 29 percent

food and not as living things. Dogs and cats

of these people considered meat and dairy

are no more deserving of life than pigs,

production as one of the biggest contrib-

cows and chickens. There is no logical rea-

utors to climate change. The reason so

soning behind the divide in people’s minds

many people are oblivious to this issue is

that cats and dogs are not food but cows

a combination of the meat industry trying

and chickens are. All animals are equally

as hard as they possibly can to keep it from

deserving of life. No living and breathing

the public, and consumers desire to avoid

the topic of where meat comes from. Most

contributor to climate change however, it is

people know how these animals are treat-

one of the biggest contributors to climate

ed, however they choose to avoid thinking

change and most people are not aware of

about it so they are able to enjoy their life

how awful it truly is. Things will only get

and eat meat without feeling the burden

worse unless everyone makes a change and

of how cruel eating meat is. Just because

stands against this genocide of animals

one makes the disconnect of a cow and

and assassin of the environment.

the burger they are eating in their mind,

It is extremely important that people

does not change the fact that their food

are aware of where their food comes from.

was once a living, breathing animal that

The meat produced in factory farms is

was just as deserving of life as every other

infested with animal illness. Hundreds of

animal on this earth. Every day, forests

animals are crammed together with hardly

are being destroyed in order to raise more

any room to move. With the amount of

livestock which is having a heinous effect

waste these animals are making, illness

on the environment.

spreads rapidly in these factories. This is

One pound of beef uses about 1840

the meat people are eating, this is where it

gallons of water. Meanwhile, thousands

is coming from. Companies try to disclose

of people in third world countries have

as much information from the public as

no access to clean water and exponential

possible but people deserve to know every

amounts of clean water are being given to

detail about where their food is coming

cows. Cows also consume extreme amounts

from. These animals are beaten unneces-

of corn which could be given to starving

sarily and are forced to live in these terrible

people around the world who are not fortu-

conditions causing them to get extremely

nate enough to have access to food as easily

ill. This has caused great problems re-

as people living in first world countries.

garding foodborne illness. Meat is hard for

Written in “Water Resources: Agricultur-

humans to digest, especially darker meat,

al and Environmental Issues” by David

it contains a lot of fat and slows down the

Pimental et. al, “Animal agriculture water

metabolism. Eating meat plays a big part

consumption ranges from 34-76 trillion

in weight gain. The human body is not de-

gallons annually.” Water is such a necessity

signed to digest such heavy foods. Unfor-


Cleveland Vegan 17112 Detroit Ave, Lakewood

The Root Cafe 15118 Detroit Ave, Lakewood

tunately, we live in a culture that teaches people it is normal and correct that these

All animals are equally deserving of life.

certain animals are food for humans therefore they become slaves to human desire. The environment sustains life on Earth. If humans continue to take advantage of what we have, all the green of the earth will be destroyed. The world will become one mass factory and all the beauty

Johnny Mango 3120 Bridge Ave, Cleveland

of life will vanish. Eventually storms will rage that no living being will be able to overcome. The oceans will rise and eventually all land will be under water, the oceans are already beginning to rise. Instead of trying to live on other planets, it is time

to life and yet so many people lack access

we begin to care for the one in which we

to it. However, so much of our clean water

already live.

is going to animal agriculture. According to

Townhall 1909 W 25th St, Cleveland

It is so important to keep an open

Robert Goodland and Jeff Anhang, writers

mind and realize the horrific things that

for the World Watch Magazine, livestock

are happening in the world. We have the

are also accountable for about 32,000 tons

power to make a change, do not ever feel

of carbon dioxide being released into the

that your actions toward a cause do not

Earth’s atmosphere per year. The topic

matter. You vote with your dollar, by put-

is sadly ignored, but even though people

ting your money toward meat products,

don’t acknowledge it, the fact that cows

you are supporting an awful industry that

Tommy’s Restauraunt

produce over 150 billion gallons of methane

is destroying the earth. There are so many

1824 Coventry Rd, CLE Heights

every single day is still an issue. Animal

reasons that eating meat is wrong. It is

agriculture is not often looked at is a major

time to make a change before it is too late.

Sweet Melissa’s 19337 Detroit Rd, Rocky River


Why Self-Care Matters // Alexis Rosen


hanks for taking time to stop

do you do all of that and make time for

and read this - I know you’re

yourself? I usually ask this at least once a

busy. In addition to being a stu-

day. The answer I’ve found? You don’t. And

described a common perception, explain-

dent, you may work, have family

if you do, that’s selfish. There’s already too

ing,“We view self-care as a reward - and

obligations, a partner, social

little time in a day. Chill out? Umm, yeah

self-care is not a reward. Self-care is some-


thing that is necessary to sustain your day-

plans, and are simply learning and growing as a human.

For ages, I lived in a cycle of constant

In the midst of daily to-do lists, I often

go, crash, repeat. I believed I was stuck with

what self-care means. CSU’s Care Manager, Emily Grady,

to-day activities; your well-being. Self-care is essential”.

struggle to find time for myself. I’m not

the circumstances of being busy. It wasn’t

talking regularly going out for extravagant

until this year that I finally shook myself

entirely understands the overwhelming

meals or spending all day at a spa. I mean

and decided something’s gotta give. Cue:

feelings that come with college, which is

taking five minutes to stop and breathe.

dun dun na na... SELF-CARE.

why she is a total superhero at her job.

The older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve

It started small, and little by little,

Having been a student herself, Grady

As a Care Manager, it is her role to assist

realized that America has created a culture

I learned how to remove the pressure I

students working through academic or per-

that worships work and glorifies go. How

thought was permanent. I let myself read a

sonal stressors and connect them with the

many times have you heard this automated

magazine, walk the dog for awhile, take a

best fitting networks on campus.


relaxing bath or listen to music and just be “How’s it going?” “Good... busy!”

There’s a reason those jumbo sized coffee cups exist in America - to keep us all running full speed ahead. I was once told by an Australian entrepreneur that their company loves to hire Americans because it takes one Yank to do a job that would require three Aussies. There is no denying that America is obsessed with work. As college students, we are bombarded with the message that employers want overachieving, hard-working, driven, multitasking experts. So, how 41 VINDICATOR | SPRING 2017

- guilt free. These simple actions became trans-

“I think that we’ll often view it as ‘okay if I work for thirty more minutes on this assignment then I can go get lunch’.

formative because my mind was no longer

And it’s - ‘no, you really need to eat your

racing, mentally noting all the tasks that

lunch, to take time to sit down and take

demanded my attention. Before, I was in

a break’, she said. “Even things like ‘I’m

such a hurry to check boxes that I rarely

gonna go to the bathroom after I finish this

experienced the present moment. After,

assignment’. It gets so ridiculous that we’re

making time to take care of myself allowed

limiting ourselves and viewing self-care as

me to release anxiety, regain mental clarity

a praise for something, but it’s really just

and focus fully on one thing at a time.

something we should be doing on a day in,

It is more important now than ever

day out basis. I think that we really need to

to develop healthy habits of self-care,

learn to have it be a part of our routine and

especially with the often highly stressful

our everyday reality”.

lifestyles students maintain. Before rendering routines, it’s crucial to truly understand

Rewiring established habits like this is not easy, but it is possible. “I think the first

step is recognizing that you are important.

someone who takes care of themselves -

within. She made changes to care for her

That you are valuable. And that means that

both inside and outside of the classroom”.

whole self, not just her body or mind alone.

you are worth taking care of” Grady said.

Not only does self-care remove anxiety

The results? “It was revolutionary” Mc-

“Once we recognize that - even something

- it also strengthens your brain. Did you

Cormick said, beaming. “The ways in which

as small as eating breakfast - you’re worth

know high stress levels cause your mind

I took care of myself that I hadn’t been

doing that. If we have the mentality that

to function poorly, which literally lowers

doing before were the ways that I came into

we’re important enough to take care of

IQ. According to Psychology Today, the IQ

healing and I got back to 100%. It was an

ourselves, than we can start a process to

decreases 10 to 15 points when the mind

incredible gift. One that I wish I could give

positive change”.

is in overload. “The light goes out in the

to everyone in this room.”

The paths to practicing self-care are

prefrontal cortex, which is our executive

Self care isn’t about finding time for

infinite and look different for everyone. It

functioning and decision making region of

yourself. It’s about making time. There

may be an action that takes five minutes

the brain”.

are always tasks that can cram into every

or five hours. That is the beauty of it - you

It is easy to forget just how connected

corner of your calendar, so it is crucial to

decide based on what you need. Grady

our bodies and minds are. Megan Mc-

schedule yourself in as a priority. This may

suggested different ideas, such as preparing

Cormick, Denison University student and

seem simple to some, but takes practice for

lunches for the week or finally booking your

wellness activist, shared an abundance of

others. Whether you know it already or are

favorite workout class. “Even just telling

insight in a TED talk titled “A Self-Care

learning to believe it like me, YOU MATTER

ourselves to go to bed and know we don’t

Revolution”. She spoke about the experi-

and YOU DESERVE it. So take that break, eat

have to keep working. I think we have to re-

ence she had in her first semester of college

a cookie (or two) and do you how you need

mind ourselves to take breaks because that

when she suddenly became very sick and

to do you.

is self care, too” she said.

couldn’t determine the cause.

This is my personal permission slip to

“When I was hit with fatigue and

you to stop and be still. Hitting play from

exhaustion I thought that it was something

pause doesn’t have to mean picking up

with my body because that’s the way we are

pressure momentarily put down. “I see so

taught to think about health - right? That

many students wound so tightly because

it’s our bodies” McCormick explained. “Af-

they are so overwhelmed dealing with many

ter a few blood tests I realized that wasn’t

very real problems.” Grady explained “I

it - that is was a problem with my holistic

think the first thing you do when you’re

well-being. I struggled just to say that it

stressed out is stop taking care of yourself

was something with my mind because I

because you have so many other people and

think that silence is the connection that our

things to focus on in your life. What I want

minds and our bodies have. We are taught

our students to know is that they’re super

to think of them as separate.”

important to us and that their well-being

With Love, Your Fellow Figuring-It-Out Friend

She decided to take matters into her

is also incredibly important. In order to be

own hands and instead of seeking answers

a good student, part of that is also being

outwardly, she began to discover them




Farewell Written by Chau Tang

An old photograph of you and I sitting on a bench, I found it when I rummaged through boxes I packed for my new house. It’s been what, 15 years since we last spoke? I wonder how you are now, I’ve been doing fine. If I said I haven’t thought of you at least once then that’s a lie. You’ve been on my mind for a while now. I’m halfway across the country with no form of communication to contact you. It’s like you never existed, no profile online when most of society is. It was hard to watch you leave, it was like watching the leaves turn green, waiting a lifetime. I know I probably won’t see you again and we didn’t say a proper goodbye. Last I saw you, I don’t believe I bid thee farewell at all. Maybe one day we will cross paths again. Or maybe I’ll see you in another dimension. Those conversations we’ve had in between before you left, you said, I don’t want forever, That’s what you said. You’d rather pass through my life than stay a while. How could I have been so foolish? Thinking this could be something real Like these scars on my arms Man, I take it seriously. You say you love me, but did you really mean it? I’ve been acting the same but then you go ahead and change the game, no rules, no decisions, no re-admission. You messed with my head, you’ve always liked playing mind games Toying with someone’s emotions is as much fun to you as throwing a ball. No matter where it landed, it’s not like you cared. I guess it is a good thing I no longer see you, for you were a lesson and a story to be told. That photograph I keep in a photo album and stashed it away.

Art by Mikayla Colston

Only time I want to see it is to see how far I’ve come as a human being.


Written By Raquel Wilbon

Am I my sistah’s keeper? Is she valuable? or, is she worthless? Is it easier to sweep her…under the rug? Consider her a drug like cocaine? Or is she like propane? Are you insane? Don’t you know she is sweeter than a candy cane? That can rain and wash away the pain?

Am I my sistah’s keeper? Being her guide to the pride Within the unity of the community of the sisterhood.

Am I my sistah’s keeper? Embracing her with love that fits like a glove? She is not to be shoved away…to stray…among those who prey But she is to be embodied like a dove That flies above…in peace.

Are you your sistah’s keeper?

Art by Mikayla Colston

I am my sister.

OLD CIGARETTES Written by Alyssa Miller

I like to watch the way the smoke curls in the air, much like your tongue inside of my mouth. Twisting, twirling, then it’s gone. As if it were never there. Though something, a smell, a feel, a taste,

Art by Mikayla Colston

l i n g e r s.

Choices Tyisha Blade

Do I choose death or drink? Do I choose to act or to think? Should I choose my death, I’d no longer feel the pain of the past. Choosing the drink, I’m feeling sensational, but how long will it last? Should I now act? Doing so, the ones I hold dearly will feel a pain like no other. A pain that no healing, treatment or drug could smother. Now? Toxic thinking… Thinking is what got me here in the first place. Thinking of the cruelty, the abuse, the attack. But, oh? The escape… Now thinking of the sorrow, the burial, the remorse. And now surely, I’m drunk… how about letting nature take its’s course. But wait… No. Don’t think. No more drink. Don’t act. Don’t die. Internally conflicted, praying for life. I’m hurting. So much fear. So tensed and uneased. I wake up. Finally, I choose to breath.

Do you love your There’s more to

? at


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