The Vindicator - November 2021

Page 1


Cleveland State University’s Arts and Culture Magazine

NOV 2021


CPD Citizen Oversight Board Issue 24 PAGE 28

Fighting the Virus:

COVID-19 Misinfromation PAGE 30 THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 1





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Letter from the Editor


Meet Our Contributors

Arts 7

Ranking the Friends Thanksgiving Episodes by LAUREN KOLESZAR


The Disney+ Effect by CARA ROBBINS

CPD Citizen Oversight

Board Issue 24 by RYAN ROLIFF

Culture 11


Navigating Black Hair by CIMIRA CREWS


Black Sororities and Fraternities at Cleveland State by CIMIRA CREWS

Social 16

The Problematic Progressive Field Proposal by CAMERON MAYS




What’s Happening with the Supply Chain? by ABIGAIL PREISZIG


Seven Types of Profile Pictures and What They Say About You by ERIC SEITZ


It’s Time to Ditch Toxic Positivity by SAMRA KARAMUSTAFIC

Fashion + Wellness 32


Mental Health and Social Media




Curated Storefront Turns Over New Fashion



30 THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 3 2



CSU Student Organization



Video. In early October, the CSU student organization Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights gathered at Cleveland Public Square. The purpose of the gathering was to protest Israel’s inhumane imprisonment of Palestinians. by RYAN ROLIFF


Video. “There really should be community oversight and community power to actually set policies around how we stay safe.” Rachel Collyer, Ohio Student Association program director by RYAN ROLIFF

#VindiAsks: What are your plans for the summer?

100% MUSIC



@vindi_csu stay up-to-date with all things Vindi on Instagram




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w h a t’s h a p p e n i n g i n

N OVEM BE R 11/9 Ledisi

4/27 Art Lovers in Cleveland

Cleveland Bucket List Ledisi The Wild Card Tour Ledisi Kenyon Dixon The Event Organizer is requiring all attendees of this event to have received a negative COVID-19 test within 72-hours prior to entering the venue, OR be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Hybrid dating event with cocktails! On Thursday, November 18, at 6:30 pm, Kaiser Gallery is hosting a riveting virtual speeddating event where you can meet up to 10 people.

11/21 Larry June


$36+ HOUSE OF BLUES Larry June Concert

11/19 Midland

Price: $30.00 to $40.00 7:00PM 308 EUCLID AVE.

11/26-27 Orchestra

French Perspective Midland Country Concert Midland Live in Cleveland, Ohio! Midland are back for the Last Resort Tour in 2021. 7:00-10:00 THE AGORA THEATER

Severance is Cleveland’s musical home for symphonic music and other presentations, including Mandel Concert Hall and Reinberger Chamber Hall. 7:30 TICKET PRICES VARY



The Cleveland State Vindicator was founded as a Black student newspaper in January 1970.



indness is one of the first qualities we’re taught as children. The Golden Rule underpins the value of being kind, and kindness wraps its arms around other common teaching points

like sharing, honesty and listening. This semester, I’ve been eating a KIND granola bar every morning (no, this is not an ad), and each time I open the


package, I reflect on what someone recently said to me: “Being kind and being nice are not the same.” That quote always takes my mind back to the viral Tweet from January that claimed West Coasters are nice but not kind, and East Coasters are kind but not nice. Niceness is exchanging pleasantries with someone in the hallway, while kindness is remembering that their dog was sick and asking how it’s doing. Living in Cleveland, we often receive and give the kindness embodied by the East Coast. From helping a neighbor shovel snow to “paying it forward” in the Starbucks drive-thru, Northeast Ohio is brimming with acts of kindness. November is, among other things, the month of kindness. Along with the other warm and fuzzy themes that November represents, society often challenges itself to act kindly this month. In this issue of The Vindicator, kindness bears itself in various ways. In our cover story “The Soul Savers” on page 23, managing editor Megan Mullaly spotlights the issue of the religious protesters who frequent the Student Center Plaza, and she questions their motives, methods, and impact. On our blog, contributor Ryan Roliff highlights the Free Palestine movement through a video piece on a protest that took place in Public Square. In “Fighting the Virus: COVID-19 and Misinformation” on page 30, arts editor Courtney Byrnes discusses facts and myths surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine and how to address those with whom you disagree on the matter. As the month of kindness commences, I encourage you to allow your heart to grow warmer while the weather grows colder. Act kindly to those you know — and even to those you don’t. While being nice is defined by words uttered, kindness is defined by actions made. Aim this November to see the people that surround you, understand them, and challenge yourself with what you can do to make their day a little bit better.





Jillian VanDyke Art Director

Megan Mullaly Managing Editor

Lauren Koleszar Features Editor

Courtney Byrnes Arts Editor

Kristina Markulin Culture Editor

Lynn Nichols Copy Editor

Cara Robbins Social Editor

Samra Karamustafic Fashion & Wellness Editor

Abigail Preiszig Online Content Editor

WRITERS Samra Karamustafic Megan Mullaly Cara Robbins Ryan Roliff Eric Seitz Cimiria Crews

JUNIOR DESIGNERS Lauren Koleszar Abigail Preiszig Kristina Markulin Cameron Mays Jillian VanDyke Courtney Byrnes

Emma Splete Shannon Driscoll Megan Mullaly


Faculty Advisor Julie Burrell Web Specialist Daniel Lenhart Disclaimer The content of the Vindicator does not necessarily represent the opinions of Cleveland State University, its students, faculty, or staff: nor does it represent the 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. Magazine and newspaper theft is a crime; limit one per person. 2121 Euclid Ave, MC 471, Cleveland, OH 44115 216–687–2118 THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 7




Lauren Koleszar


A comprehensive guide to your Friends-giving marathon.


ome of the most memorable moments of

Watch When: You feel like having a friendly argument

Friends come from the Thanksgiving ep-

with that one friend of yours who thinks that they

isodes that the sitcom managed to pro-

were on a break.

duce every year around the beginning of

the holiday season. Among the binge-watching,

8. “The One With the Late Thanksgiving” (Season

nineties-obsessed generation, marathoning the ep-

10, Episode 8)

isodes has become its own holiday ritual, perfect for Thanksgiving get-togethers with friends and family.

No matter how hard they try, the later seasons just

Here, I’ve put together a comprehensive list, ranking

can’t compare to the first few seasons of Friends, but

the episodes using criteria of nostalgia, holiday spir-

knowing this is the gang’s last Thanksgiving together

it, and laughs, as well as included suggestions for the

gets some major nostalgia points. When everyone

perfect time during your Thanksgiving celebration to

ends up late to Monica and Chandler’s Thanksgiving

watch each episode.

dinner, the couple locks everyone out of the apartment (a possible homage to the first Thanksgiving

10. “The One With Rachel’s Other Sister” (Season

episode, where Rachel and Monica lock themselves

9, Episode 8)

out of their apartment). This episode would be a bit low on laughs if it wasn’t for the bit where Joey gets

The title is clever (a play on the previous “The One

his head stuck in the door.

With Rachel’s Sister”), but that’s about where the praise for this episode stops. Rachel’s sister, Amy, is

Watch When: You’re in between better episodes and

somehow supposed to make us laugh when she shows

can play it in the background while your cousins play

up and crashes the gang’s Thanksgiving dinner at

a board game and people are chit-chatting.

Monica’s apartment. The humor takes on a weird tone as Amy asks who will have custody of Ross and

7. “The One Where Chandler Doesn’t Like Dogs”

Rachel’s baby if the both of them were to die, until

(Season 7, Episode 8)

Chandler accidentally drops Monica’s prized wedding dishes and remarks, “Well what do you know,

Chandler reveals that he’s afraid of dogs, Monica

I guess I’ll be the one who dies first.” Weird tone,

sneaks one into the apartment, and Rachel agonizes

weird tensions, overall weird episode.

over when to make a move on her newly single assistant, Tag, who she has invited over for Thanksgiving

Watch When: Everybody is just about to fall into their

dinner. Meanwhile, Ross refuses to eat any of the

post-dinner naps so you can sleep through it.

dinner until he finishes listing all of the fifty states for Chandler’s fifty-state game, Joey proudly announces

9. “The One With the List” (Season 2, Episode 8)

he’s listed fifty-six states, and Phoebe starts listing types of celery instead. There are some good laughs

The only “Thanksgiving” episode to not center

here, though the episode remains a bit forgettable.

around the holiday, this one pales in comparison to the others. Our subplot here is Monica’s “Mockolates,”

Watch When: You’re sitting around with your family

which gets some laughs as she desperately tries to

after dinner. For extra fun, get everybody to play the

make the chocolate alternative, but my major issue

fifty states game—winner gets first dibs on dessert.

with this episode is its titular story: the pros and cons list that Ross makes about Rachel, yet another wildly

6. “The One With All the Thanksgivings” (Season

toxic thing that Ross manages to do only two seasons

5, Episode 8)

into the show. It’s a little too heartbreaking for me. The first thing you’ll see when you search for Friends 8 | VINDICATOR


Thanksgiving episodes is a picture of Monica dancing

Joey’s parents think he has VD, Phoebe’s just along

with a turkey on her head, all thanks to this episode.

for the ride, and Chandler leads the group outside to

Then there’s the flashback portions of the episode,

watch the Underdog balloon fly away—and ultimately

where everyone shares stories about their worst

gets everyone locked out of Monica’s apartment.

Thanksgiving memories. This one isn’t the funniest

There are lots of laughs here, from Chandler’s story

on the list, but it gets major points for holiday spirit

about his parents announcing their divorce to him

and nostalgia.

on Thanksgiving to Monica and Rachel fighting over the inflection of who had “the keys.”

Watch When: Everybody’s in the room so no one misses Monica with a turkey on her head.

Among the binge-watching, nineties-obsessed generation, marathoning the episodes has become its own holiday ritual, perfect for Thanksgiving get-togethers with friends and family.

Watch When: The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has just finished. You know, when you’re all sitting

5. “The One With the Foot-

around in the living room realizing you have nothing

ball” (Season 3, Episode 9)

to do until dinner.

This is one of the most mem-

2. “The One With the Rumor” (Season 8, Episode 9)

orable Friends Thanksgiving episodes for the iconic foot-

More like: The One With Brad Pitt. The turn-of-the-

ball game, ranking high in

century heartthrob guest stars this Thanksgiving,

nostalgia. It also features

playing an old high school friend of Monica’s, who

some of the cutest tomboyish

turns out to be a total a-hole. We learn of his hatred

outfits worn by the girls—

for Rachel, one of his two “greatest enemies” (the

Phoebe’s classic “That Girl”

other being “complex carbohydrates”) and Pitt reveals

shirt and Rachel’s adorable

that he and Ross founded the “I Hate Rachel Green”

braids and baseball cap. A lot

club in high school. Meanwhile, Ross admits there

of rankings list this in their

is truth to a high school rumor that he had a love

top three, but I think it’s just

affair with a 50 year-old librarian, and Joey considers

a little uneventful compared

wearing Phoebe’s maternity clothes when he tries

to the ones we’ll get to in a second.

eating an entire turkey on his own. Bonus points for revealing stories about the gang without making it

Watch When: Dinner is almost ready, and you can

into another flashback episode; docked points for a

vicariously burn off some calories with a nice game

few too many fat jokes.

of football with the gang before stuffing your face. Watch When: You’re about to stuff your face (or after, 4. “The One With Chandler in a Box” (Season 4,

to spite Pitt’s character).

Episode 8) 1. This one’s a classic. Chandler melts our hearts when

“The One Where Ross Got High” (Season 6,

Episode 9)

he falls for Joey’s girlfriend, and laughs abound when Joey makes him stay in a box for six hours as

Sibling rivalry is a staple in the Thanksgiving epi-

punishment. Monica also runs into Richard’s son and

sodes, and this time we find Monica and Ross both

invites him to her Thanksgiving dinner, so there are

picking at each other as each tries to hide something

lots of laughs about confusing relationships here.

from their parents: Monica is living with Chandler,

It’s heartfelt, it’s absurd, and it features one of my

and Ross smoked weed in college. As the story spins

favorite lines from the show when Rachel says, “He’s

into a game of dramatic irony, Rachel tries her best

Richard’s son, Monica. It’s like inviting a Greek trag-

to make a Thanksgiving dessert—accidentally fol-

edy over for dinner.”

lowing a recipe for shepherd’s pie, earning even more laughs as she adds jam, custard, and beef sauteed

Watch When: You need some laughs to break the ice

with onions and peas.

with your friends or family. Watch When: The inevitable arguments are coming 3. “The One Where Underdog Got Away” (Season

out between dinner and dessert, and you need to

1, Episode 9)

ease some tension. Like when your uncle asks for the fourth time in an hour, So what are you planning to do

Seeing the friends together for their first Thanksgiving

after you graduate? Followed by your aunt requesting

earns major nostalgia points. This is a classic every-

a relationship status update because she pretended

thing-goes-wrong story: Rachel misses her flight,

not to hear you the first time when you said you’re

Ross and Monica’s parents makes plans without them,

keeping your options open. THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 9






Cara Robbins

Shannon Driscoll

Disney+ is creating waves that are rippling across the film industry – and their effects could be here to last.


oday in film and TV, streaming is king.

changer in the film industry.

This has been apparent since 2013, with the immense popularity of Netflix’s

The Strategy of Disney+

“Orange is the New Black,” one of the

Disney+ certainly broke the mold when designing

first original series distributed exclu-

their strategy for the platform. In fact, Disney’s

sively through a streaming platform. Since then,

strategy for encouraging new subscriptions, retaining

streaming has held on for nearly a decade as audi-

subscribers, and encouraging consistent watching

ences’ preferred method of watching their favorite shows and movies. The reason is clear — streaming

habits can be broken down into three main approaches: 1. Releasing new episodes weekly

offers an overwhelming amount of options for audi-

This is certainly not a revolutionary change, seeing

ences to watch immediately and from the comfort of

as this was standard for several decades before the rise

their own home, with only a small monthly charge.

of streaming. Nevertheless, releasing new episodes

And with COVID-19 preventing many movie theaters

every week instead of dropping an entire season at

from selling tickets, the popularity of streaming ser-

once has been a way that Disney+ separates itself from

vices has skyrocketed to an all-new high in the past

other platforms. Older streaming platforms, such as

year and a half.

Netflix and HBO notably rely on customers to binge

But much like any other element of the film industry,

their shows, which impacted the story structure of

streaming is always evolving — and the latest big

“bingeable” shows such as “Stranger Things” and

change in streaming is having a rippling effect on

“Game of Thrones.” By changing to a weekly release,

storytelling that cannot be denied. Since its original

Disney+ encourages people to keep their subscription

release in 2019, Disney+ has become the new game

month after month, and also builds a general sense




of anticipation and excitement each week for the next

the series, this features “Nightmare of the Wolf,” a

installation of their favorite show. 2. Treating releases as events

spin-off animated movie featuring Vesemir, a beloved

Similar to the strategy of releasing episodes one

to “Loki” or “WandaVision”). Also coming soon is a

week at a time, Disney+ also has a tendency to not

prequel series called “The Witcher: Blood Origin”

release too many big shows all at one time, unlike

(similar in style to “The Mandalorian” serving as a

Netflix and Hulu. Many Disney+ originals are released

prequel to the more recent Star Wars movies).

one at a time, and social media teams advertise and

And much like Disney+, Netflix is not backing down

tease the series months before they ever hit the

from making “The Witcher” universe into an event to

platform. Because of this, people will be buzzing

be talked about. CD Projekt Red, the creator of “The

with excitement for shows like “WandaVision” or

Witcher” video games, has already announced a free

“The Mandalorian” before they air. This strategy

next-generation remastering of its most popular

makes the release of new shows on Disney+ feel more

game, “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt” in honor of the

like the premiere of a long-awaited movie. In other

second season of the series. Not coincidentally, there

words, each new series becomes an event that builds

are rumors of a fourth Witcher game in the making by

intrigue and excitement in the fan base. 3. Expanding on existing universes

CD Projekt Red due to the increased interest in “The

character from the books and games (similar in style

Witcher” universe after the creation of the series.

Very little of the content on Disney+ features fresh stories in brand-new worlds with completely original

2. Doctor Who

characters. Instead, Disney has used its already ex-

In the coming years, most screenwriters that adapt

isting characters and universes to create series and

their scripts according to the influence of Disney+

movies that it knows its audience will want to see.

will do so quietly. However, this is certainly not

This also provides Disney+ with a certain ability to

the case for the next showrunner of “Doctor Who,”

cut corners with hooking its audience. For example,

Russell T. Davies. Instead, Davies is already excitedly

with the series “Loki,” Disney+ did not have to work

discussing how his vision for the next era of the show

to make the audience con-

will largely be modeled around Disney+, according

Since its original release in

nect with Loki’s character

to The path Davies wants to take is

— they had already done

ambitious —including creating a Doctor Who channel,

2019, Disney+ has become

this in past Marvel mov-

launching as many spin-off series as possible, and

ies. Disney+ did not have

specifically catering to fan wishes by including more

the new game changer in

to work to establish a new

crossover episodes.

world with new rules — the

This is a huge indication that Disney+ is the new

the film industry.

universe of the story has

king in film, seeing as “Doctor Who” is a show that

had its conventions de-

has learned over its nearly 60 years of run time how

signed for years, and most

to remain relevant and maintain viewership. This is

people watching “Lok i”

especially true for Davies, who served as showrunner

would already be familiar with them.

The Impact of Disney+

of “Doctor Who” from 2005–2010, and is solely responsible for the show’s 2005 reboot and subsequent success.

Though many in the film industry have criticized

Considering Davies’ experience, if he believes

Disney+ strategy, the real proof of its success lies in

Disney+ is the key to creating successful streaming

the audience. The commercial success of the platform

content, he’s probably right.

proves that whatever Disney+ is doing is right, according to the fanbase. Because of this, other creators

In Conclusion

in the film industry are taking notes. 1. The Witcher

The film medium is constantly in a state of flux, and

Years before the first season of “The Witcher”

hard to identify — and even harder to track. With

hit Netflix, Andrzej Sapkowski’s eight-book series

that in mind, it has still become clear as day in the

by the same title had already built a well-devel-

past year that Disney+ is the new platform reigning

oped fanbase and inspired a trilogy of video games.

supreme. The next few years will almost certainly

Taking cue from the strategies of Disney+, Netflix

see an influx of series and movies that follow in the

seized on this already massive universe and strove to

footsteps of Disney+. Whether or not audiences will

make it bigger. Over the next few months and years,

appreciate these same tactics coming from companies

Netflix has already announced that mass addition of

other than Disney+, however, remains to be seen.

the influence of different movies and shows are often

content within the Witcher universe will be added to the platform. In addition to a second season of THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 11


Navigating I was old enough to

my identity suddenly felt erased.

Jillian VanDyke


our mom’s legs getting our hair braided, to sitting in a salon chair getting

salon for my a piece of

Cimira Crews

rom stressful nights sitting in between

go to the first relaxer,


A personal story about the complexity of being natural and constantly changing routines that come with it.

So once

our hair chemically straightened, to


the Internet coaching us through hair

care to us Black women getting told that what we know about our hair is completely wrong. Natural hair is already something that sparks debate outside of our community, but the conversations held inside have been heated lately. During my childhood, natural hair wasn’t common, straight hair was the norm. My mom worked full-time, and I was ‘tender-headed’ according to her accounts. So once I was old enough to go to the salon for my first relaxer, a piece of my identity suddenly felt erased. I was just eight years old when I was first introduced to what we call “creamy crack”, or relaxer, and didn’t stop getting the treatments until I refused to keep going to the hairdresser at thirteen. The pain of the chemicals burning my scalp every two weeks was reason enough for me to protest. I was left to figure out this mystery that was my hair. My texture was foreign and how to take care of it was unimaginable. Until YouTube came along. Social Media and Black Hair Imagine never seeing black hair in its natural state for your entire childhood. YouTube felt like utopia for not only me, but plenty of other black women navigating their hair for the first time from all age ranges and backgrounds. To see someone who looked like me, but with a beautiful afro just made my journey even more empowering. For the first time in my life, I had felt connected to my heritage. YouTubers like MiniMarley, Mohogany Curls and Shanique Buntyn were all influencers who grew with me on my natural hair journey. These women would give tips and tricks on



g Black Hair how to grow out your natural hair, recommend but-

had done before. The simplified routine and the way

ters and styling creams for the perfect twist out, help

their hair benefited from the light products drew

you identify your ‘hair type’ and porosity. Methods

them in and they swear by keeping the routine and

like L.O.C. (liquid, oil, cream) and Co-washing (using

are now opting for throwing away the heavy products

conditioner as shampoo in-between weekly washes)

they use to hoard. What I am personally finding is

were introduced and for years, there was nothing to

that these recommendations are geared more toward

oppose these trends. As time went on viewers, in-

women with looser curl patterns and hair that is less

cluding myself, began to question these influencers

dense. As someone with 4B textured hair, I need all

due to the quickly changing routines. Every week was

the moisture and oil I can get to stop the breakage my

a new video, introducing a new product line to imple-

hair is so easily subjected to.

ment into our already complex routines. Wash days

Professional stylists are saying these tactics were

would take a minimum of 5 hours and would typically

always encouraged and aren’t new. From personal

be an all-day event. As natural hair YouTube began to

experience, they aren’t wrong but these tactics were

die down, an opposing community emerged to com-

only known if you had a regular hairstylist that was

bat the methods that influencers introduced us to.

really knowledgeable about hair. What most fail to

Professional Hairstylists vs Influencers

realize is the kinker and thicker the hair, usually cat-

Influencers had no opposing voices when it came

egorized as type 4 hair, the less professionals there

to Black hair, they were relatable and just as un-

are that can help you maintain healthy hair on a sim-

knowing as us and that made the journey much more

ple routine. Access is also an issue; a trip to the salon

personal. Although Black stylists never disappeared,

has to be regular, usually once a week, every week

once the natural hair community on YouTube began

and can cost anywhere between $60 to $150 per trip.

to fade, their voices, opinions and recommendations

For a community that is already statistically strug-

became amplified in the same way influencers once

gling financially, what better tactic is there than to

were. These stylists began to promote routines that

master your own hair and learn it for free in the com-

seemed almost ridiculous to me, I was already so

fort of your own home?

used to my butters, creams and 7-hour long wash days that I couldn’t fathom that the only thing I knew

The Takeaway

was suddenly so wrong. The routines you might ask?

Are the oils, butters and different products ‘bad’

A simple wash, condition, a deep condition if neces-

for your hair? essentially, no. Our hair contains nat-

sary and a very minimal styling product like a light

ural oils and there are certain oils on the market that

gel. For my kinky hair? I couldn’t believe it could

are scientifically meant to penetrate the hair or pro-

just be that simple. No oils, no butters, no creams,-

tect it. Of course there are products that ‘sit on top

no leave-ins, no more co-washing and definitely no

of the hair’, but they can also benefit natural hair

more constantly manipulating my hair.

when it comes to the longevity of a style, especially

I decided to try the minimal routine that pro-

in tighter textured hair.

fessionals were now amplifying for about a month

Whether or not you choose to use oils and butters,

during the height of the pandemic, that way if any-

or use sulfate vs sulfate-free shampoo, or whatever

thing was to go wrong, I was home and nobody would

the Black hair community chooses to debate about

see me if my hair looked crazy. Wash days turned into

today, is completely up to you! Natural hair is com-

2 hour long events, but I wasn’t seeing the benefits

plex on top of already being human so if something

they raved about. My hair was dry, brittle and lacking

works for you, don’t fix it. Not everything is one-size

the bounce it normally had; It felt like I was fighting

fits all, and the opposing experiences show just that.

with my hair all over again as if I was that pre-teen

Our hair is such an integral part of who we are, re-

just doing my natural hair for the first time.

gardless of the texture it comes in. The most import-

Although women were having similar experiences as

ant thing is that your hair is healthy, regardless of

me, there were also plenty of women who felt like

the routine that led you there.

this recommendation was better than anything they THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 13




ternity and a member of the Pi chapter here at Cleve-

Cimira Crews

land State, which is also a city-wide chapter. That

Black Greek Letter Organizations and their presence here at Cleveland State University

means they are affiliated with several other schools in the Greater Cleveland Area. They have nine schools in their charter, making them the biggest footprint within the organization. “Four things that drew my interest to my fraternity are the historical mem-


lack sororities and fraternities have been a meaningful part of not only Black history, but the Black history of Cleveland. Cleveland State University houses six active organiza-

tions out of the “Divine Nine,” better known as the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), and these organizations are looking to gain more traction and acknowledgement on campus. Although not all chapters hold members, they are all looking to add more dynamic students to revive the respective chapters to continue the legacy. The “Divine Nine” is a group of nine Black Greek-lettered organizations. These organizations go beyond college — they are networking agents, providing a lifetime of friendship and working as fully operational businesses behind the fancy colors, calls and strolls. According to Cleveland State University’s Diversity Report & Action Plan for the 2019–2020 school year, Black students made up 16% of the student body in 2017. But estimates from the United States Census Bureau show that 48.8% of the Cleveland population is Black. The representation for the Black student body is small, but through the Black Greek-lettered sororities and fraternities (BGLOs), Black students can find a space where they aren’t the minority. They just need to know where to start and where to go to find these spaces. Members from various NPHC organizations gave their perspectives on the importance of their organizations and how to be a part of them. Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. was the first Black Greek-lettered organization and also the first to be founded at a predominately white institution. Robert Bruce-Bey the 2nd is a Spring 2021 initiate of the fra-


bers that were in Alpha Phi Alpha,” (former members include Black pioneers Martin Luther King Jr., W.E.B. DuBois and Frederick Douglass) “the diversity I found within the organization, even though morals were similar, it was so many different personalities between everyone, the support I received from members within the chapter and the connections that were offered to me,” said Bruce-Bey. He says, “Joining is a lifetime commitment, service and mentorship is going to be needed for life to ensure chapters keep up in quality.” Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. was founded on January 15, 1908, the first Black Greek letter sorority founded on the campus of Howard University. The sorority’s Motto is “By Culture and By Merit.” Mignon Moore, a Spring 2021 initiate of the sorority, represents the Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha, the last single letter chapter in the sorority. “Seeing the service and sisterhood not only within the chapter but the sorority as a whole, Is what made my organization stand out compared to others” Moore says. “My grandmother, who is a Golden Soror of AKA, as well as other members who I’ve been raised around influenced my decision, teachers and peers, to become a member”. The sorority has raised over 2 million dollars for HBCUs this past year on a national level. “Make sure you do your research to understand what we truly are about. It is a lifetime commitment to service, sisterhood, and creating an impact on the world,” said Moore. Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. was founded on the campus of Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. Representing the Alpha Omega chapter here at


Cleveland State is Anthonie Jackson, a Spring 2020

unteering with them often. “Once enough time had

initiate of the chapter, who is also the president of

passed, the members created a safe space for a con-

the NPHC chapter here on campus. The Alpha Ome-

versation regarding my interest to be held,” she said.

ga chapter is a city-wide chapter. Jackson said the

“My advice would be to get to know members outside

four things that caught his eye about the organiza-

of Greek life and for who they are as a person. At-

tion were “strolling, brotherhood, colors, and man-

tend as many social and service events as they are

nerisms.” Some notable figures in the organization

well planned and allow us to interact while uphold-

are Carl Stokes, the first African-American mayor of

ing our principles.” Childress wished more students

Cleveland, and his brother Louis Stokes, who was the

knew the true passion BGLOs had for bettering the

first African-American congressman elected in the

community and that even though we all represent

state of Ohio and the namesake of the Louis Stokes

different orgs, that we operate as a family and have

Medical Center. “My advice that I would give to some

nothing but respect for each other. Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Incorporated

attempting to join my org would be to find a Kappa on the yard, if possible, and attend every event until you are satisfied,” said Jackson. Delta Sigma Theta Sorority

Sigma Gamma Rho was formed on the principles of “Sisterhood, Scholarship, and Service.” Nariah Swails, president of the Theta Rho chapter here

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. was founded by

at CSU, was a Spring 2021 initiate. When asked who

22 collegiate women on the campus of Howard Uni-

influenced her to join her organization, Swails said,

versity. CSU’s Theta Eta chapter has made a tremen-

“Watching my mother and aunt both be true Sig-

dous amount of history here on campus; the chap-

ma women, I always knew Sigma Gamma Rho is for

ter helped book Angela Davis on CSU’s annual book

me and where my heart was. The way they carried

tour in 1974. On a national level, Delta’s first act of

themselves and upheld the values of this illustrious

public service was at the Women’s Suffrage March of

organization, inspired me to do the same.” The chap-

1913. They were the only Black sorority at this historic

ter contributes to their national initiatives through

event. Che’Ron Jackson is a Spring 2021 initiate who

programming such as their Operation Big Book Bag,

joined the sorority for its sisterhood, community ser-

March of Dimes Walk for babies and Swim 1922.

vice, scholarship and the focus on the Black commu-

“Giving back is something I hold near to my heart

nity as a whole. “I knew I wanted to become a mem-

simply because even if we don’t realize it but letting

ber of DST since I was a little girl, but my freshman

those who are less fortunate than us see that we rec-

year of highschool is when I started to take it more

ognize them and we see them, brings joy and happi-

serious,” said Jackson. “ I started doing my research,

ness to them, especially the children and that is what

I read books, I spoke to members of the organization

matters,” Swails added. When it comes to someone

and even looked into the chapters of the schools I

who is interested in her organization, Swails’ advice

was interested in. Once I got to college I started off by

is to do your research because it is a lifelong com-

showing up to as many events as possible and con-

mitment, that discretion (keeping your interest near

tinuously keeping my GPA up.” She offers this advice

to your heart) is key and to get to know people in the

to prospective members: “Treat us like we are nor-

chapter. Iota Phi Theta Fraternity

mal people, say hi when you see us, and show up to events. Also ... we are a scholarship based organiza-

Iota Phi Theta was founded at Morgan State Uni-

tion and the minimum GPA you can have is a 2.75, so

versity. They were the last Black Greek-lettered or-

don’t lose sight of your grades.”

ganization to be initiated into NPHC. Their Five stars,

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority

or principles, are scholarship, leadership, citizen-

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, was founded at Howard

ship, fidelity and brotherhood among men.

University by five undergrad women who wanted

Geovonte Craig represents the Theta Chi chapter at

to get rid of elitism and form a sorority to serve the

Kent State University. Delta Tau is the chapter here


at Cleveland State University, and they are looking to

The Psi Theta chapter has a long history of be-

reactivate and be more present on campus. Iota Phi

ing advocates for Greek life on the campus. Jovanni

Theta was inspired by social activists and organiza-

Childress is a Spring 2021 initiate in the chapter, and

tions such as Malcom X, Stockely Carmichael, Black

the president of the chapter as well. “Zeta is one of

Panthers and the Rainbow Coalition. The organi-

the first organizations to actively seek out chartering

zation had staged protests such as the Northwood

chapters in the south and the first to have a chap-

shopping center that was built across from Morgan

ter in Africa,” according to Childress. “On a chapter

State University in the early 1960s. The theater in-

level, we are responsible for holding many events

tended to segregate the service available at the shop-

that promote school spirit and we work closely with

ping center, which became a problem for students at-

Cleveland Metropolitan School District.” When asked

tending the university across the street; Iotas quickly

how she went about expressing interest, she said that

jumped into action and played an active and critical

she started by getting to know the members and vol-

role during the Civil Rights movement and beyond. THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 15


Craig’s advice on individuals’ interest in Iota? “Just be yourself and research all the orgs before deciding and even after you research, do a double take on it and make sure because the bond and the tradition you have to hold up isn’t just for undergrad, it is for the rest of your life.” Doing your research, making sure your personal values align with the organization you might be interested in and finding your why will help you on your journey to deciding which organization is for you. We all contribute different things to the community but we are all founded on community service, activism and scholarship and becoming a member of these organizations means you are upholding the values and vision of our founders, and continuing to improve your respective organization for a lifetime. It is not an easy journey, but what you gain is beyond what any other organizations offered, can provide for you.

The way they carried themselves and upheld the values of this illustrious organization, inspired me to

do the same.





There is no justification for $202.5 million public dollars going


to a new


ports exist on a wide spectrum of dull

The key words here are “when done right”. Un-

to slightly less dull. My general ratio is

fortunately, there is nothing done right about the

dependent on how many punches are

renovation. Sure, some flashy new signage and im-

thrown in the average time frame of the

proved seating might make going to games a little

activity, thus, boxing is least dull, golf is

more enjoyable. Where’s the long term economic

the most dull, and water polo is somewhere in the

impact? There is no justification for $202.5 million

middle. Needless to say, I am not generally inter-

public dollars going to a new sports bar in the park.

ested in athletic pursuits as either a voyeur or par-

My cousin could open a sports bar for just $1K and

ticipant. I am interested in athletic pursuits should

a dream!

a hot button issue be intrinsically attached to said

pursuit. This brings us to Progressive Field. Half a

whatever, but I do think I have some ideas that could

billion dollars? Public money? Architectural mock-

really turn around the park. Our baseball team has

ups? Like Winslow Homer gazing at coastal Maine, I

had a pretty big problem for a while. It’s a problem

was beguiled by the corner of Carnegie and Ontario.

that has divided fans, hurt feelings and even attract-

The current plan is to spend $435 million to reno-

ed media attention. I don’t want to get too ahead of

vate Progressive Field. Of that, $202.5 million is com-

myself, but I have a plan that will not only resolve

ing from public sources by way of the City of Cleve-

this long standing issue, but also turn Cleveland into

land, Cuyahoga County and the State of Ohio. This is

an economic powerhouse. What’s this plan?

sports bar in the park.

Cameron Mays

I’m no expert at designing stadiums or

no doubt a tough sell to a region that also happens to be one of the most economically depressed large cities in the country. The truth is, sports complexes

Check out the video piece at

can be major economic drivers when done right! THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 17





Abigail Preiszig

Emma Splete

Why is there a shortage of everything, how will it affect the holidays and what can you do instead?


furniture. This phenomenon has led to a 17% increase of incoming ships at the Port of Los Angeles and the deluge shows no signs of slowing down. The United States supply chain was not built to withstand this influx of goods, and the labor shortage has


he global supply chain is a relay race of manufacturers, ports, trains and trucks that distribute items throughout the world. America heavily relies on offshoring and

has benefited from it in the past. Unfortunately, due to several different factors, the global supply chain has taken a large blow, leading to a shortage of everything. As each country dealt with the pandemic differently, manufacturers went in and out of lockdown, leading to a slowdown in production throughout the world. American ports in Long Beach and Los Angeles, where 40% of all U.S. cargo ships enter, went from low traffic to an overwhelming stream of goods. This influx of goods is due to manufacturers playing catch-up and shifts in consumer spending within the United States. Pre-pandemic American spending was 70% travel and leisure. Due to stay-at-home orders and a deadly virus lurking in crowds across the country, spending shifted to home goods. People splurged on home improvement supplies, bicycles, laptops and outdoor


impacted every step along the way. Therefore, ports take three times longer to unload these cargo ships. Trucks and truck drivers are in highest demand. Even before the cargo increase, the United States has suffered a long-time shortage of truck drivers. America is also in a bind for semiconductor chips used in vehicles and computers, making it difficult to build or fix trucks. Many factors contribute to the labor shortage. Parents and grandparents had to leave the workforce to home-school children and tend to sick family members, leading to a surge in early retirement. Poor treatment during the pandemic led many to leave the supply chain work force. Workers became sick, or died, from COVID while others were required to quarantine due to exposure, leaving those who continued working burnt out. Restrictions on gathering and a focus on safety forced cancellations of work training classes, thus prolonging the arrival of new workers. Government aid and a surplus of employers have allowed the unemployed to be more choosy with where they work. Today, cargo ships are waiting for months along


the coast for a spot in the port, shipping containers in

reshore manufacturing and increase domestic sup-

the port sit waiting to be distributed by truck or train,

ply chains.

and shipping containers at warehouses sit waiting to

Before anything gets better, prices will likely rise, and wait time will lengthen. Be sure to have what

be unpacked. With so many full shipping containers, and no way

you need on hand, such as water, toilet paper and

to transport empty ones back to manufacturers, the

medications. Avoid panic-buying because doing so

cost of shipping has dramatically increased. Accord-

will only feed into the cycle.

ing to Freightos, in 2019 the average cost of shipping

As for the holidays, stores may not have every-

was $1,318 — it now costs $16,004.

thing you want or need in stock and online orders

“Fragmented travel rules and restrictions have se-

may take a lot longer to arrive. It is smart to begin

verely impacted the global supply chain and put at

shopping earlier than normal.

risk the health and well being of our international If you can’t access everything you or a loved one

many executives in the transportation industry.

wants try thinking outside the box:

Published in September 2021 by the International

vintage shops and antique malls.

Shop locally and look for gifts at thrift stores, Chamber of Shipping, the letter calls on governments -Freedom of movement for transport workers -Use of protocols endorsed by international bodies

Stick to digital items such as online magazine subscriptions or streaming services. Invest in educational endeavors like music les-

for each sector -Prioritization

Get creative! Draw someone a picture, write them a poem or repurpose items you already have.

to ensure three things:




workers In their letter they recall crew members being unable to leave their ships for up to 18 months, truck drivers being forced to wait weeks before they could complete their journey and restrictions of flights due to inconsistency in border travel restrictions and vaccine requirements.

sons or a language tutor. If they are vaccinated and comfortable with travel, buy an Airbnb or airline gift card. Treat someone to a concert, musical, movie or comedy show tickets. Enjoy each other’s company and just don’t get gifts Celebrate Christmas in July — hopefully this will all be sorted out by then.

The letter also predicts that this ordeal will last well into 2022, and many sources state that the shortage

Pay for them to get their truck driver license and become a part of the solution.

will likely get worse before it gets better. Shortages produce higher demand for products due

PSA: Be nice to retail workers this holiday —

to worry of there not being enough. Manufacturers

stores are understaffed and this is not the employ-

are hesitant to increase production because it will re-

ees’ fault.

duce demand.

school, have multiple jobs, do not get paid enough

Misallocation of resources also plays a part in this shortage. For example, one restaurant buys all the

Most minimum wage workers are in

Prices will most likely be higher, stores may not have everything you want or

transport workforce,” states a joint open letter from

need in stock

and do not deserve the extra stress of rude customers.

peanut butter and another buys all the jelly. Both restaurants need both peanut butter and jelly to make their sandwiches, but they can’t get both products due to the actions of the other. Both supply and demand complications and misallocation of resources are likely to prolong these shortages. The supply chain problem has no easy fix, and it will likely take time. One major player in this shortage is the COVID-19 pandemic — the pandemic needs to end by getting people vaccinated throughout the country and across the world. Reevaluating supply chain operation and increasing production of essential materials in the United States will benefit the country long-term. President Joe Biden is working on this goal with his Build Back Better plan, which will invest billions of dollars to







Eric Seitz

Jillian VanDyke

Breaking down the seven most common profile picture faux pas and the insight they provide to who you are


few weeks ago, I changed my Facebook profile picture for the first time since 2013. Now, I am not a 50-yearold mother of three, so my Facebook screen-time is admittedly limited, but

I had left that little photo of mid-pubescent me with two of my tween friends because Facebook — for some ungodly reason — insists on notifying everyone within a 12-block radius when you change your profile picture. Enduring the agony of people I haven’t spoken to in nearly a decade commenting “Cute! :-)” on the new post was painful, but it was a necessary step if I wanted to shed the stigma behind having an out-of-date profile picture. You may be asking: “What stigma?” Below are seven types of profile pictures and what people think of you when they see them — whether you like it or not. The Out-of-Date Profile pictures are representations of our current selves — not who we were eight years ago when we






went to that wedding in Aspen and looked really hot. Change is part of life, and regardless of whether it’s positive or negative, who you are is who you are. What it says about you:

ly, don’t do it for clout. The Pet If I see a pet in a profile photo, I will 100% assume

Easy — you’re living in the past! Next question!

that your grid is cluttered with strikingly similar pics

Just kidding. Honestly though, it really seems like

of you with it. So, I guess good on you for picking

you think that wedding in Aspen was when you hit

a theme and sticking with it? At least people know

your peak. Have you done ANYTHING in the past

what they’re signing up for when they look at your

eight years? Head to a pumpkin patch. Get a tattoo.

profile picture. Upfrontness is on the list of qualities

Rob a bank.

of a good profile picture. It’s probably last on the list, but still, it’s on there.

The Crop Out From left to right, it went: your bestie Grace, then you, then your former bestie (now arch-nemesis) Melanie. But it was too good of a picture of you, so you just zoomed in on your head. “Who cares that the other people’s shoulders are still in the frame?” you think. Well, no one cares, per say — but everyone notices. What it says about you: You’ve made sure to distinguish yourself from the

What it says about you: You love your pet. *Yawn* I know you think the creature is heavenly and that everyone agrees, but pets are famously unphotogenic. And if you’re in the photo with it, you’re probably all hunched over or lying awkwardly to squeeze in the frame — not your best look. The Headshot I’m sorry, did I get lost and accidentally wander onto

group photo tier by cropping out the OPs in the frame,

LinkedIn? Headshots are obviously cheating, and

but those headless shoulders next to you are subtle

those who use them as their social media profile pic-

reminders that your friends might be good-looking

tures know of their crime, but they do it anyway. I

enough to outshine you.

mean, is that even you? Did they replace you with a wax figure and take a picture of that? Do you even

The Couple Shot You know those Boomer-age couples who have joint

Facebook accounts, and you don’t know which one

Below are

You either want everyone to see that you’re happily

seven types

or you’ve let yourself be shackled by your significant

you’re addressing when you DM them? They are the only ones with a legitimate reason to set a couple photo as their profile picture. What it says about you:

of profile pic-

in love (please hold while I search for the barf emoji), other. In either case, your profile picture represents

own the clothes you were wearing in it? What it says about you: You are the physical embodiment of the color beige. I mean, I think I’d rather see your driver’s license photo than a professional headshot as your profile picture. Who are you trying to impress with that double Windsor tie knot? Surely not that skater kid from chem class you’ve been drooling over all semester. The Baby Wait, is that you as an infant? Or am I looking at your

all that your account is — so unless you and your

offspring? In which case, why is the name on the

bae are each simultaneously putting a finger on that

profile not just the name of your child? Is that thing

“Post” button every time you put a photo up on your

running your account?

people think

account, Bae’s gotta go. From the photo, that is.

What it says about you:

of you when

The Vacay

they see them

lowers green with envy, 2) show off that beach bod

— whether you

previously posted four selfies in a row. All acceptable

tures and what

like it or not.

You’re proving to the world just how fertile you are Vacation photos on the timeline serve to: 1) turn foland 3) draw attention away from the fact that you uses. Using a vacation shot as a PROFILE pic, how-

(you know, just in case there were any doubts). As with the pet-heads described above, your grid is likely to already be littered with your spawn, so does it really need to make a cameo in the profile picture as well?

ever, paints you as a world traveler, and everyone knows that the only traveling you ever do is to that resort in Mexico every February. What it says about you: You’re dying for people to see you as the adventurous type — The type who’s just oozing with that buzz word “wanderlust” that every fifth white girl’s got on her laptop. Chances are, people will think you’re even less adventurous because of it. You wanna seem adventurous? BE adventurous. And more importantTHEVINDI.COM ­­ | 21




Samra Karamustafic Jillian VanDyke Why excessive optimism can be too much of a good thing


ver the years, positive thinking has be-

chology Today, implementing certain positive prac-

come quite the buzzword in health and

tices in your life (like keeping a gratitude journal) can

wellness culture. Head on over to Insta-

even improve your physical health, enhance empa-

gram and you’ll find hundreds of pages

thy, and open the door to more relationships in your

dedicated to posting quotes like “good

life. It’s only when one crosses the line from “posi-

vibes only” and “the only difference between a good

tivity” to “toxic positivity” that it becomes an issue.’re also



day and a bad day is your attitude,” and many more. On the surface level, these quotes sound harmless and uplifting; what, exactly, is so bad about sprinkling a bit of inspiration into someone’s day with a motivational quote? Is there even such a thing as “toxic positivity”?

Toxic positivity is essentially an obsession with positive thinking. According to Healthline, it’s the

The answer to that question is a resounding yes,

assumption that despite whatever difficult situation

even if the term “toxic positivity” itself sounds like

or emotional pain someone may be going through,

an oxymoron. There can always be too much of a good

they should be in high spirits, exuding positive vibes

thing, and toxic positivity falls right into that catego-

at all times.

ry. Now, don’t get me wrong: positive thinking and

By forcing yourself into this form of extreme op-

other positivity practices can certainly provide many

timism, you’re essentially “invalidating real human

benefits in your life. In fact, according to Verywell

experiences,” as licensed psychologist Dr. Amanda

Mind, positive thinking can provide you with stress

Darnley puts it. In a way, it’s a parallel to gaslight-

relief, increased immunity and more. And, per Psy-

ing. Forcing yourself into a state of extreme optimism can manifest itself into a habit of ignoring, downplaying, and dismissing negative emotions in future situations, which becomes a domino effect. Once you begin dismissing any negative feelings that may surface, you’re also dismissing the ability to face those difficult emotions, which could stunt personal growth and stronger resilience. Besides






not-so-positive emotions, engaging in toxic positivity can impact our mental health, overall wellbeing, and relationships in several other ways. Medical Today notes that toxic positivity can wreak havoc on communication and problem-solving in relationships, and lead to low self-esteem and the tendency to undermine any real harm.


the ability to face those difficult emotions..


HOW CAN I DIFFERENTIATE TOXIC POSITIVITY FROM REGULAR POSITIVITY? Toxic positivity can appear in several different forms, both on a personal and interpersonal level.

ty toxic is that it encourages the act of ignoring and dismissing any “negative” emotions someone may be feeling. But, suppressing emotions can be detrimental to both your mental and physical wellbeing;

Picture this: You’ve just come home after a bad

according to TIME, anxiety, depression, headaches

day, and you decide to reach out to a friend or family

and even heart disease can all stem from suppressing

member to talk to them about what happened and

one’s feelings.

how you’re feeling. After you’ve poured your heart out, you’re met with a pat on the knee and a smile,


and then you hear the words, “You need to look on the bright side of things. After all, you could have it so much worse!”

The good news is that there are several ways in which you can avoid engaging in toxic positivity.

This is a classic example of toxic positivity that you

Health websites like Healthline and Medical Today

may have experienced at some point in your life. Al-

outline multiple different strategies that you can im-

though a friend or a family member has good inten-

plement in your own life, some of which are:

tions, hearing them say phrases such as “stay pos-

-Recognizing your negative emotions as a complete-

itive,” or “it could be worse,” can actually do more

ly normal and crucial part of the human experience

harm than good. These phrases come off as shaming

-Remembering that your feelings can coexist

and dismissive, and they “invalidate heavy emotions,

Identifying your emotions instead of trying to mask

leaving us feeling alone and isolated,” according to


licensed psychologist Dr. Allison Davis.

-Trying to avoid having a positive response on-hand

I’ve come to realize that I have had the habit of

whenever someone is venting to you — listening to

saying these kinds of phrases to loved ones think-

them and validating their feelings is supportive al-

ing that I was being supportive. So, if you’ve come


to realize that you, too, do this sometimes, don’t feel bad! There are plenty of other things you can say to


a loved one who might be going through a difficult time to let them know that you’re there to support

In no way, shape, or form is this article an attempt

them, such as, “Is there anything I can do to help?”

at “canceling” positivity. Positivity is a wonderful

or, “I’m sorry that you’re going through this, but I’m

thing to have in life that can provide you with a mul-

here for you and I’m listening.”

titude of benefits, from lower levels of stress to an

Toxic positivity can be self-imposed. If you’ve

increased lifespan, and more! Maintaining a positive

ever found yourself:

mindset during a difficult time can be tremendously

-Feeling guilty or ashamed for your emotions

beneficial — just as long as you aren’t forcing your-

-Brushing off and refusing to experience any emo-

self to suppress your emotions.

tion that you don’t think is positive -Masking your true emotions Then you’ve been stuck in a toxic-positivity cycle with yourself, too.

WAIT, IS GRATITUDE CONSIDERED A FORM OF “TOXIC POSITIVITY”? To put it simply: no, gratitude is not synonymous with toxic positivity. According to the self-improvement website The Emotion Machine, we as humans “rarely experience one singular emotion, but rather a cocktail of different emotions at the same time”. So, feeling sad yet grateful about a situation is certainly possible because gratitude can coexist alongside other feelings! For example, you can feel unhappy about your vacation coming to an end, but at the same time, you can feel grateful and appreciative of the memories that you made on the trip. This is where toxic positivity and gratitude differ. As previously mentioned, what makes toxic positiviTHEVINDI.COM ­­ | 23





Megan Mullaly

An investigation into the Cleveland State evangelists, their First Amendment rights and how they affect campus, and what CSU may be able to do about it.


e’re just here because we love souls,” he told me. It was difficult not to laugh. The man was holding business cards that read, “Who will Jesus destroy?” and

had said, “[Being gay] is an abomination,” just min-

utes before I approached him. On any other day, I would have kept my head down in an attempt to ignore it, but I knew I’d have to ap-

...we’re just here because we love souls, and we are here to preach the


proach one of them if I wanted to write this article effectively. If you’re a student at Cleveland State, chances are you know who I’m talking about — the men that seem to appear out of nowhere, holding signs that read, “If you’re a sinner you are ... on your way to Hell,” and preaching their version of the gospel through a megaphone. They come in groups of two or three, equipped with their “informative” fliers and sandwich board signs. They rotate through their “duties to others’ souls,” which include reciting sermons, passing out fliers, and debating with students. While I remember these men visiting campus a few times during my first semester at Cleveland State, it never felt as intrusive as it has this semester. Whether these men are making up for the year and a half they couldn’t partake in public preaching because of COVID or they enjoy the disturbance they cause on campus, they are visiting Cleveland State more often and with more enthusiasm than ever before. On September 28th, about one month after their first appearance of the semester, I approached one of the men as he finished preaching. While I never got his name, I was able to record our conversation: Me: “Are you ... here together?” (In reference to the other man who was holding a sign that read, “Jesus Died 4 You. He Offers Forgiveness. Love Jesus. Obey Jesus. Jesus=Life.”) Him: “We are.” Me: “Are you from a church or organization?” Him: “Uhh...we do have a church that we attend, but we’re just here because we love souls, and we are here to preach the gospel.” Me: “So you do it in your free time?” Him: “We do it when school is in session. Fall time, spring time ... so we’re just here to share.”

Me: “And do you live around here?” Him: “I’m actually 2 hours from here.” Me: “Do you go to other colleges?” Him: “We do. We live more central Ohio, so about a dozen schools within a two-hour radius from me that I attend, and we go to and we do this — share the gospel.” He seemed hesitant to answer my questions, so I thanked him and walked away. I wasn’t surprised to hear he lived two hours away; he had a slight rural accent that implied he wasn’t from the Cleveland area. I looked over the “Who Will Jesus Destroy?” business card the man had handed me. The front of the card lists twenty categories of people Jesus will “destroy” and the back includes “corroborating” Bible verses, a contact email and a website. I sat down at the nearest table and typed the website’s URL into my computer. Pinpointevangelism. com is reminiscent of MySpace circa 2006, but the site’s design isn’t as horrifying as its overwhelming amount of content. It hosts pages upon pages of resources for open-air preachers, commonly referred to as evangelists. The site features audio files for preachers to recite, instructions on how to debate “sinners,” and a shop to purchase tracts, which are religious fliers and business cards. I was brought back to reality by a man’s voice booming behind me. While I was distracted, two new evangelists had arrived to relieve the others. I had only a few minutes before I had to head to class, but I was left with more questions after visiting PinPoint Evangelism’s website. I gathered my things and approached the newest preacher: Me: “Hi! Can I ask how you ... got involved with this group? I looked up the website.” Him: “I don’t know. What is that, I guess?” Me: “It’s the ... they were handing these out. It’s the ‘What Will Jesus Destroy’ card and it has a website on the back. Just wondering how you guys got involved with that.” Him: “I don’t think that’s our group here. It’s just a tract that somebody sells or something that we buy ... so I’m not sure who that is there. I didn’t pass this out.” Me: “And do you guys have a group that you’re part of?” Him: “We’re just Christians. We love the Lord.



We’re not really, I don’t know, we don’t really have

soul-saving potential for them.

a name I guess ... We just try to obey the Bible —

Evangelists, by definition, spread the teachings of

that’s our heart — is to obey the Scriptures, obey

Jesus Christ in an effort to convert non-Christians to

the Bible, and, not only to live out the gospel —

Christianity. While the accuracy of their message has

live out the scriptures — to try to teach others to

been debated for many years, evangelists are able to

do the same.”

spread the teachings, regardless of accuracy, because of the First Amendment.

nization, like PinPoint Evangelism, that assigned locations for them. But after talking with two of the evangelists, it appeared they had their own group that had evolved from a congregation or Bible study of some kind. At first, I was surprised they would drive four hours round-trip to open-air preach but quickly realized why they would make the trek to universities like Cleveland State. Because the men live in central Ohio, the majority of universities near them are religious or lacking diversity, and most of the students grew up in the area. It is likely that these students have beliefs parallel to the evangelists, so the men don’t view these schools as having high soul-saving potential. On the other hand, universities like Cleveland State are located in more populated areas and have diverse student bodies. Students come from varying backgrounds; they may be outspoken females, subscribe to different religions, or identify as a part of the LGBTQ+ community. While the evangelists need to make a two-hour drive to reach universities like Cleveland State, these schools have a much higher

Freedom of Speech After class, I returned to the Student Center Plaza and joined the group of students that had gathered


near the evangelists. Some were getting tarot card


every student I talked to had the same question: “Are


While the evangelists are not members of the

I talked

“students, student groups, faculty, staff, and employ-

to had

are permitted to preach throughout certain areas of

the same

Plaza, are public property. Because of this, the men


the accuracy of their message is up for debate.

‘Are these

Cleveland State’s “Expressive Activity Policy.” The


to promote the free exchange of ideas on university

allowed to

university.” It goes on to state that free speech is

be here?

with the university” and that “the university recog-

readings, others were holding a pride flag, but almost these men allowed to be here?” campus community, which Cleveland State defines as ees of the university and their invited guests,” they campus. Outdoor areas, such as the Student Center are able to exercise their freedom of speech, even if These men are offered further protection under document opens with, “The purpose of the policy is property and the safe and efficient operation of the

I had assumed the men were part of a larger orga-

permitted, “whether or not [the person is] affiliated nizes the constitutional freedoms of speech, press, and peaceable assembly guaranteed by the United States and Ohio constitutions.” Disrupting Campus Wellbeing I accepted the men’s protection under the First Amendment and Cleveland State’s “Expressive Policy Act.” But knowing that I was not their target audience, I was sensitive to my fellow CSU students and as the preaching persisted, I noticed it became increasingly disruptive. The men targeted women, implying that they should be submissive and follow men’s orders, and that they are going to Hell if they fail to comply. One evangelist told a fellow editor at The Vindicator that he would not speak with her and gave her his wife’s contact information instead. They also targeted women that dress “immodestly,” implying that women are only dressed appropriately if covered from head-to-toe. The men targeted people that practice different religions, implying that they do not practice the “one true religion” and are going to Hell if they fail to convert to Christianity.

Two evangelists debating with a Cleveland State student

The men targeted people that are pro-abortion, holding anti-abortion signs with graphic images,



An evangelist preaching between a counter-protest and a group of students playing soccer

going to Hell. The men targeted LGBTQ+ students, implying that anyone that identifies as LGBTQ+ is going to Hell. When a student asked if it’s okay to be gay, one of the men responded with, “It’s okay to be gay ... anyone can be joyful, and that’s the definition of the word.” He went on to say that “[Being gay] is an abomination.” While the men include a variety of sins in their sermons, identifying as LGBTQ+ appears to be their largest emphasis. Their sermons and tracts directly reference homosexuality, while other sins are often described in less detail. Because I identify as heterosexual and cisgender, I reached out to LGBTQ+ students to get a more accurate representation of the evangelists’ impact. Sam Miller, a social work intern at Cleveland State’s LGBTQ+ Services Center, told me: “Not only have I felt unsafe and threatened by the evangelists on campus, I also have been worried about other LGBTQ+ students at CSU. Many of our students come to our center because it is [a] place where it feels safe to be who they are. Unfor- tunately, they may not feel safe being LGBTQ+ at home or in other aspects of their life. When there are evangelists outside our window yelling and holding signs that imply LGBTQ+ people are sinners who are going to burn in Hell, that makes

it feel less safe and welcoming in our center. While

students may feel comfortable in our space, they know that when they step outside they are going to be insulted and ridiculed for their sexual ori

When there

entation and/or gender identity.”

are evangelists

Lynn Nichols, copy editor of The Vindicator, said:

outside our window yelling and holding

“I was in the plaza on two of the days that ‘open air preachers’ came to campus. More than holding their signs and yelling at a crowd, I saw the group harass individual students. Several female stu

signs that imply

dents were told that they were dressed immod-

LGBTQ+ peo-

preachers insisted that Muslims are going to Hell.

estly — unless they wore [a] hijab, and then the

ple are sinners

One of my friends was told that he spends too

who are going

can go to Hell for dressing too nicely. I remember

to burn in Hell,

much time on his appearance, so apparently, you when one preacher said that everyone should pray or speak to a priest, [but] going to therapy

that makes it

was ungodly ... LGBTQ+ students and allies take

feel less safe

and that sense of community is always comforting.

these visits as an opportunity to rally together,

and welcoming

But I still dread it every time I look out the window

in our center.

of hate speech on campus makes me feel unsafe

implying that those who have had an abortion are

and see a crowd outside, because hearing this kind and unvalued. As a Christian and a bisexual person, I see love and acceptance in my God. I didn’t hear that message from these preachers.”



Even some Christian students and students that


participate in expressive activities felt threatened, as

In Paragraph G1, “Any ... activity that significantly

evangelists with controversial messages may amplify

disrupts the ability of the university to effectively

negative stereotypes of people who partake in their

and peacefully teach students ... is prohibited.”

religion or similar activities.

Even though freedom of speech is protected on

As the evangelists’ presence became increasingly

Cleveland State’s Student Center Plaza, the university

more disturbing, I began to question, “Are these men

may be able to act if students’ wellbeing is signifi-

allowed to be here if they put students in distress?”

cantly impacted. While they must maintain “content neutral,” Cleveland State can prohibit expressive

What Violates The Expressive Activity Policy?

activity that “disrupts the ability of the university

While researching for this article, I discovered the

to effectively and peacefully teach students” and/or

fered “legal assistance to independent journalism” for seven years before pivoting to provide “a range of tools to meet the legal needs of online media.” In their article titled, “Access to Public Property,” Digital Media Law Project states, “Although public school and university buildings are not wholly open to the public, some parts of a campus may be considered a public forum. If a school’s large open quad is accessed from public sidewalks and streets and freely used by the general public with no apparent objection from the school administration, then the quad may be considered ‘dedicated’ to public use, and therefore more like the traditional public forums of the public park and sidewalk ... Remember that because public schools are not entirely public forums, school administrators often have the discretion to restrict the entry of outsiders, particularly while the school is in session.” While not explicitly stating that public universities can restrict public access during school hours, the Digital Media Law Project’s reminder inspired me to revisit Cleveland State’s “Expressive Activities Policy.” Upon revisiting the policy, I was intrigued by the number of points Cleveland State may be able to act upon. The two that are most compelling are:

“meets the definition of harassment.” Taking Action


While interviewing students, faculty and staff for


State faculty and staff members have been gathering


was directed to Interim Dean of Students, Ali Martin

is on the

publishing a list of resources for students to utilize if

horizon, so

the evangelists promote.


President Harlan Sands to ask about whether he was

can feel

action the university may be able to take. He informed

safe and

new Vice President for Campus Engagement, Diversity,


move forward, and also stated that, “CSU is — and

on campus.

possibly can to support our LGBTQ+ communities.”

this article, I discovered that a group of Cleveland resources for students affected by the evangelists. I

Digital Media Law Project, an organization that of-

Scoufield, who informed me that CSU is working on they feel threatened by the messages and stereotypes I also reached out to Cleveland State University aware of the evangelists and to find out about any me that he has been speaking with Cleveland State’s Equity, and Inclusion, Dr. Flapp Cockrell, on how to always will be — committed to doing everything we While it is unclear the exact actions Cleveland State may be able to take, hopefully an agreement is on the horizon, so students can feel safe and welcome on campus.

In Paragraph A2, “The university shall not prohibit

If you feel you have been harassed, please file a com-

any individual from engaging in noncommercial

plaint by emailing Remember that

expressive activity on campus, so long as the indi-

Cleveland State defines harassment as “unwelcome

vidual’s conduct is lawful and does not materially

conduct that is so severe, per vasive and objectively

and substantially disrupt the functioning of the

offensive that it effectively denies an individual equal

university. The university also recognizes the need

access to the individual’s education program or activity.”

to preserve and protect its property, students, guests and employees of the university, and to ensure the effective operation of educational, business and related activities of the university. Expressive activities on the university’s campus may be subject to reasonable regulation with regard to the time, place, and manner of the activities when in the service of a significant university interest if such regulations are viewpoint and content neutral and provide for ample alternative means for expressive activities ... No policy can address every possible activity or situation that may occur on university property, and the university reserves the right to address such situations as circumstances



A student brought out a Rainbow Flag during the counter-protest on September 28th

The front side of the “Who Will Jesus Destroy?” tracts

A group of students counter-protesting on September 28th THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 29




his November, Cleveland voters will have an opportunity to make their voices heard on issue 24. If passed, the issue will strengthen the Civilian Police Review Board, a mayoral-appointed board that investigates alleged misconduct by police. It will also create a Community Police

Commission, which would have final city authority in deciding

Ryan Roliff

There really should be community oversight and community power

the discipline of police officers. In this interview I speak with Rachael Collyer, the program director of the Ohio Student As-

to actually set policies around

sociation, on what issue 24 is and why it matters.

how we stay safe. To watch the full interview, head to







The Vindicator Staff Jillian VanDyke

“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” - Eckhart Tolle We all know that Thanksgiving is in November, but did you know that November is actually National Gratitude Month, too? What better way to celebrate than by curating a playlist filled with songs of gratitude and thanks! For this playlist, our staff contributed their favorite songs that either best expressed giving thanks, or songs that reminded them of a time in which they felt truly happy and content. From “thank u, next” to “Thank You For The Music” and everything in-between, you’re sure to find some new favorites that will have you feeling grateful on the first listen! You can find us on Spotify at @vindi_csu.



The Vindicator @ CSUVi n d



False information about the Covid-19 vaccine has slowed our progress toward achieving herd immunity and put extreme stress on personal relationships. Unpacking this misinformation is now critical to fighting the virus. WRITTEN BY

Courtney Byrnes DESIGNED BY

Emma Splete


n the age of social media, we are flooded with information — some good, some bad — and in this fast-paced environment, we don’t always take the time to slow down and fact-check what

we are reading. This allows misinformation and disinformation to spread like wildfire, and suddenly we get to where we are today. People are refusing to take a life-saving vaccine because they want to do their own research — research which includes conspiratorial Facebook posts about microchips, Bill Gates, 5G satellites and horse dewormer medication. Understanding that this is a frightening time for many people is important. Most of us have never lived through a pandemic requiring us to make major changes in our lives, desperately following the groundbreaking scientific developments of creating a new vaccine. But we must take a step back, look at where we are getting our information and choose to follow the science. First, let’s define a few things. The difference between misinformation and disinformation comes down to intent, according to Both terms describe the spread of false information, but where misinformation is any kind of false information, disinformation is deliberately spreading false information. Both types of false information have infected the public and private spheres in reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine.


We must distinguish between those who are vaccine-hesitant and those who are anti-vax. Vaccine hesitancy may be due to distrust of the medical community following years of institutional racism, or simply wanting to know more about the vaccine and the production before deciding to get vaccinated. Anti-vaxxers refuse to get vaccinated and often disregard any scientific information backing vaccines. “I have two friends who I would say are hesitant … and then I have an uncle who is refusing to get the vaccine,” senior journalism major Tony Pesta said. “They all have varying reasons for it.” Both groups, like all of us, are susceptible to misand disinformation and can contribute to spreading it further, wittingly or unwittingly. If people in your life fall into one of these groups, you likely know how frustrating it can be to hear the impact that false information can have on them. Pesta shared conversations he has had with his friends who are hesitant to receive the vaccine because of misinformation surrounding breakthrough cases, or the belief that the vaccine is unnecessary if you are young and healthy. However, even after explaining that breakthrough cases are rare and vaccines help limit the spread, his friends are still reluctant to get vaccinated. At his cousin’s graduation party, an argument arose between Pesta’s uncle and grandma (the latter of whom is at high-risk) after the vaccinated family members tried to stay separate from the unvaccinated. “We tried to stay separated from everyone else because they’re not vaccinated and that caused a mini argument between him and my grandma. It was very awkward and uncomfortable — so yeah I would say it’s putting a strain on relationships,” Pesta said. In an Instagram story questionnaire asking “How has vaccine misinformation affected the relationships in your life?” Reem Abumeri answered: “It has


changed who I choose to respect and hang out with.”


warn me against getting the COVID-19 vaccine by

The vaccine is only for those at high-risk. Fact:

explaining a false post they saw about a microchip

There are two pathways to herd immunity: vaccine or

in the vaccine that — “and I know this next part

infection. Vaccines help slow the spread for everyone,

sounds crazy,” they said — is connected to the new

so the more shots in arms, the quicker we can reach

5G satellites to control us.

herd immunity. Even if you have had the virus, there

Earlier this year, someone close to me tried to

Hearing the concern in their voice, the recognition

is no telling how long this natural immunity lasts so

that it seemed illogical, yet still believing this theory

it is best to get the vaccine and booster shots when

anyway left me feeling hopeless, that they had fallen

available. Even if you are not high-risk, you could

too far down the rabbit hole of false information.

still spread the virus if you get sick

These stories and more are the personal impact of misinformation. What can be done to combat this? Social media is not going away and neither is the misinformation that lives on these sites so we need to be smarter about the way we use them. The best way to do this is by developing media literacy. Mediawise is a project created by the Poynter Institute to “teach people digital media literacy and fact-checking skills to spot misinformation and disinformation.” They offer online training courses

Myth: The vaccine is experimental. Fact: The vaccines did have a quick turnaround — thanks to decades of scientific developments on mRNA technology. Since the late 1980s, scientists have been working on the creation of mRNA vaccines like Pfizer and Moderna. Developments that led to the vaccines we see today go all the way back to the discovery of mRNA in the 1960s.

and fact-checking of viral stories. So, as you work on developing your media literacy skills, let’s start out by debunking some viral myths about the COVID-19 vaccine.

Myth: The vaccine contains a microchip. Fact: Experts all agree that this is not possible. The technology to create (1) a microchip small enough to fit inside a needle and (2) an accompanying power source able to transmit a signal through muscle, fat

I would say it’s putting a strain on my


and skin simply does not exist. If you are worried Myth:

about government tracking, look no further than

The vaccine is ineffective. Fact:

your smartphone and credit card.

All three approved COVID vaccines are over 90% ef-


fective in reducing the risk of getting sick. — which is great! No vaccine is 100% effective in stopping all spread; , the reason some diseases are eradicated today are thanks to vaccines AND herd immunity.

Ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine can be used to treat or prevent the virus. Fact: Neither medication is FDA approved or authorized

Cases among the vaccinated are rare and are less

for treating COVID-19, whereas the . The Pfizer

likely to contribute to the spread.

vaccine is FDA approved, andwhile Moderna and J&J are authorized by the FDA for emergency use, on the pathway to standard FDA approval. Taking any medication other than for its main purpose and prescribed amount is very dangerous. Myth: The virus is a hoax to deploy 5G satellite towers that track your location through the vaccine. Fact: This conspiracy theory has been proven false and is incredibly insensitive to the approximately five million people who have died worldwide from COVID-19 and their families.





Kristina Markulin

Maria Ponomariova

Navigating the internet while keeping things in perspective


ocial media has always had a contentious

superficial information about mental health and

relationship with mental health. Conver-

mental illness. Most people, neurodivergent or neu-

sations on topics such as burnout, well-

rotypical, receive mental health education from stig-

ness and self-care have exploded on social

matized media and one-inch blurbs in health text-

media over the past couple of years. Pandemic aside,

books. Finding a community online that is not only

society has experienced a large shift in how mental

understanding, but validating, is a powerful thing.

health is framed in our media, and that extends to

These educational resources are not only welcome,

social media. The interest in mental health has sky-

but sometimes necessary.

rocketed as a result of self-isolation. Visibility and

Social media, although not a replacement for ther-

acceptance of mental health struggles and disabilities

apy or mental health treatment, can be valuable in

has increased.

helping people understand themselves and their con-

Visibility is a double-edged sword. On one hand, the

ditions. Finding others who experience similar strug-

increased discussions have brought more informa-

gles creates a sense of comfort that might be denied

tion to those who need it. However, this increased

to people in their offline life. With the pandemic, the

awareness at the same time has increased the poten-

stresses and worries we share as a society have been

tial for harm.

amplified to the nth degree, so the community is

The Good


One thing that social media is good for is find-

The Bad

ing community. On every app there’s a place peo-

However, community can also be weaponized.

ple can go to find people like them and people who

Visibility might have increased, but stereotypes and

share the same struggles. For example, Twitter has

preconceptions haven’t gone away. Preconceived

a community of ADHD advocates who create content

notions still fuel online discourse, and they have re-

about living with ADHD and even share tips on stay-

al-life consequences. Conditions like depression or

ing organized, motivated, organized, etc. Accounts

anxiety, as well as disabilities like autism or ADHD,

like @adhdalien, @blkgirllostkeys, and @danidono-

don’t manifest the same way in every person. Ev-

van produce both educational content well as share

eryone’s unique, and that uniqueness can be used

their personal struggles that arise from living with

to ostracize those who don’t fit the mold.. Common

ADHD. Their content is focused on making life easier

stigmas that set back mental health awareness per-

for ADHDers, and helping others better understand

sist online. Just because there are positive communi-

being neurodivergent. There are similar communities

ties for neurodivergent and disabled people, doesn’t

for other forms of neurodiversity as well, such as au-

mean ableism has been deleted from the internet. So-

tism and DID.

cial media doesn’t care who congregates at its pulpit.

While in recent years mental health education in schools has improved, a majority of people only know


The Really Bad But there’s an elephant in the room: social media


Social media, although not a replacement for therapy or mental health treatment, can be

itself. It’s an open secret that social media use takes

Social media algorithms

a toll on its users. Scrolling through hot take after

work for engagement,

hot take on Twitter, watching mind-numbing Tik-

not accuracy. Twitter’s

Tok after mind-numbing TikTok, gawking at some-

going to make sure you

one else’s seemingly perfect life on Instagram — it

keep doomscrolling until

all does something to us. Social media warps the way

3 a.m. instead of sleep-

we perceive ourselves and the world, gives us unat-

ing (which any mental

tainable beauty standards, makes us think we don’t

health advocate will tell you is a must). Whatever

perform our struggles correctly or just outright lies

keeps you on TikTok longer will populate your For

to us to generate outrage (I’m looking at you, Face-

You page, regardless of whether it’s executive dys-

book). Social media is challenging media literacy, not

function tips or videos of teens claiming they were at

only of adults, but of teens and kids as well. Children

Hogwarts for six months. The dilemma is as unex-

are highly susceptible to media and media messaging

pected as it is infuriating.

and are more inclined to believe what they see on-

The Takeaway

valuable in helping people understand themselves and their conditions.

line. Except this time, instead of the belief that the

Social media, like it or not, is central to modern

Boogeyman will go after them if they don’t forward

life. Social media has many functions, but its main

this email to 20 friends, it’s impossible beauty stan-

focus is not to educate. Educational creators on the

dards, toxic positivity and invasive advertisements.

internet dedicate their online presence to spread-

On Sept. 14, 2021, The Wall Street Journal pub-

ing important information on any topic, including

lished an article entitled “Facebook Knows Insta-

mental health. But social media’s primary function

gram is Toxic for Teen Girls, Company Documents

is to keep you on the site for as long as possible, and

Show.” It’s a bombshell that confirms what many

well-balanced, educated thought does not get as

people already suspected: teen girls are negative-

many clicks as a college student not quite looking

ly affected by being fed manicured images of a false

surprised when his girlfriend shows up unexpectedly.

life. As reported by Georgia Wells, Jeff Horowitz and

Social media, by design, is addictive. With the world

Deepa Seetharaman, internal documents from Face-

we live in, that addiction is usually built on annoying,

book stated that “among teens who reported suicidal

angry or sometimes even tragic ground. Sometimes,

thoughts, 13% of British users and 6% of American

the best thing to do for your mental health is to dig

users traced the desire to kill themselves to Insta-

yourself out of the rabbit hole and take a break.

gram.” Despite this, the public face of Instagram has repeatedly downplayed these effects — it’s hard to

But it could be worse: you could be using Facebook.

champion mental health on a platform that consistently makes it worse. Granted, these issues aren’t unique to Instagram.





Support a storefront containing local streetwear brands and unique vintage and sneakers this coming Small Business Saturday





Campbell decided to roll the dice and open his own store in Canton, Ohio. Curated is a store

that carries vintage clothing and streetwear by local brands, along with new and used sneakers lining the shelves. This venture started in 2015 when Campbell was introduced to the sneakerhead community and got into buying and reselling. He knew after doing this for quite some time on his own that he wanted to create a storefront that showcased all these pieces of streetwear fashion. The store opened on July 30 and is near the Belden Village shopping area in Canton, Ohio, an hour’s drive south of Cleveland. The turnaround time for kick-starting this business was extremely quick. The original plan was to put a store in Kent, Ohio, but Campbell decided in June to open in Canton, Ohio. Location played a significant role in this decision; there was not a store like Curated within 30 miles, so opening it in Canton would give people the ability to shop secondhand and new streetwear locally. Curated values ethical business practices, which is meaningful when shopping on Small Business Saturday.



and trade items in the store. Campbell wanted his


store to help build connections with people in the community, so he made sure to hire people that were

Jillian VanDyke

knowledgeable and have the same desires to grow the store and reach a new audience. Campbell grew his

n the midst of changing fashion trends and

Curated has a handful of employees who buy, sell

shoe collection so that he was able to line his shelves with sneakers. When it came to the vintage side of things, Zachary Jackson curated the vintage clothing Different clothes line the

that takes up the other side of the store. Campbell racks of the store and walls of and Jackson find items that you would love in your closet so that you don’t have to dig for them in-store or online at other places. Along with the sneakers and vintage clothing, in the middle of the store, you’ll find streetwear brands such as Supreme and Eric Emanuel. However, brands made by people in NE Ohio are also included, like Timeless and Tanglewood. Shopping at Curated is an experience that makes one feel like they are included in the fashion world. Much like thrifting, customers can come and search the racks or simply gawk at the wall of sneakers. The experience is like luxurious thrifting and makes shopping for shoes a beautiful experience. In the back corner of the store are a couple of couches and a TV, which encourages customers to sit and visit. Curated’s mission is that people who enter the doors leave with more than just an article of clothing. The TV and PS4 allow customers to play video games or watch a commercial video with the workers or fellow shoppers.

shoes. Smaller accesories like hats can be found to shuffle through as well.


Bailey Campbell is the owner of Curated, and his journey with fashion does not stay within the walls of the store. When I spoke with Cambell, he emphasized that community is integral to how he runs things.

Q&A Tell me about what made you interested in clothes/sneakers. Seeing different sneakers in middle school basketball made me want to have a selection to choose from myself. That got me looking into cooler shoes and I started looking into shoes to wear casually shortly after.

When did you start buying/selling? I started attending trade shows in early 2015. This was the spark that really made me interested in the in a profit/loss aspect.

Describe what led up to your career in fashion. Putting myself around people who I looked up to in their personal tastes as well as people who had similar interests. I was able to put myself around a lot of entrepreneurs growing up and was able to witness some of their experiences in business. After going to Kent State to attain a bachelor’s in Business Administration, I was presented with an opportunity to sign a lease on a store and that is when I realized that this might become a long-term career.

What made you want to open your own store? I’ve always wanted to create an environment that younger me would enjoy and could grow my own personal tastes within. I feel that presenting our hand-picked inventory to our customers can help them expand their tastes in the culture that we exist in.

Describe the process of opening your own store.

My favorite part of having the store is working in a social environment where my customers have similar interests.

buy-sell-trade environment and looking at sneakers

It all started when I was leaving a partnership at a previous store last year. Having


with a partner on what the best options were for inventory,



funds, and differences in our priorities made me

New and old shoes are

realize that it wasn’t going

available on either sides of the

to work out long term.

store, with the ability to try on

From this point on, my

pairs and look at yourself in the grand wall mirror. THEVINDI.COM THEVINDI.COM ­­ | ­­ 37 | 37


co-manager (Zachary Jackson) and I began curating inventory and searching for available places to sign a store lease. On July 1st of this year, I signed the lease and we began making progress into opening the store. With some long days through the month of July, we opened on July 30th.

What has been going well since opening? I’ve been really happy with the reception we have received from our customers and their help with spreading the word about our store. The customers seem to be really happy with the selection and prices. Having Zach pricing all the clothing helps us because we are pricing everything from a long-time consumer’s perspective. The buy/sell/trade aspect has helped us get many customers, who don’t necessarily have the cash liquid to buy shoes, into a new pair by trading in items they don’t wear anymore.

What are the learning curves of running a store? There has definitely been a transition to valuing time off. Before opening, I was still selling shoes but it was at a very slow pace, and I had to put minimal hours into every day. Now I have to make sure I take my time away from the store to make sure I’m not getting burnt out with work. It’s difficult to do because the store is my favorite place to be.

What are your favorite parts of having a store? My favorite part of having the store is working in a social environment where my customers have similar interests. Everyone has their own tastes so it’s refreshing meeting new people and discovering their personal tastes on a day to day basis.

Do you have plans on specials for Black Friday / or Small Business Saturday? We are planning on opening early on Black Friday and having some crazy doorbuster deals, as well as a storewide sale on everything we offer. We will most likely be extending that sale for the whole weekend to celebrate Small Business Saturday as well.


2808 Whipple Ave NW, Canton, OH 44708 IG: @curated.oh (330) 915-8199 Sun-Sat 12-7 Closed Mondays Buying – Selling – Trading





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