The Vindicator - November 2017

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Vindicator Cleveland State University’s Arts and Culture Magazine

NOV 2017

CLEVELAND’S INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS + life in the US + DACA recipient interview + the american dream

NOV 2 Want More? 3 Staff

5 Letter from the Editor 6 Calendar ARTS 7 Film Going in Cleveland 9 I nspirarion in the City 11 The Pixies Return to CLE CULTURE 13 I Met God, She’s Black 15 Fashion on Campus 17 F *** the Police, or Maybe Not? 19 An Inward Treasure FEATURE 21 S aving Bees, One Hive at a Time 23 Why Aren’t We Helping? 25 V egan Activism: At the Table & In the Streets 29 We the People SOCIAL 37 The Beauty of Our Bodies 39 F eminism in Modern Judaism

POETRY 43 Thirsty 44 Herbal Messages 45 There Are People Praying for You Right Now 46 Playful Dance


AMERICAN DREAM CSU’s international students discuss what it’s like to enter the US in 2017.


41 U rban Playground



#VindiAsks Top five countries of origin on CSU’s campus.


5% 6. HINA C





** Credit: Book of Trends 2016 ** Sample Size: 1,647 students


INTERVIEWS For the month of November, Imani and Samantha hit campus to interview students about their fashion style and what it means to them. Join us as we showcase fashion diversity across gender and race and find out how Cleveland Staters really feel about fashion! READ ABOUT CAMPUS FASHION ON PAGE 15, AND SEE MORE INTERVIEWS ON THE BLOG! NOVEMBER 2017 | VINDICATOR 2

Faculty Advisor Julie Burrell


e heT am Web Specialist Daniel Lenhart


Arbela Capas

Nicole Zollos

Andriana Akrap

Holly Bland

Michella Dilworth


Art Director

Asst. Art Director

Managing Editor

Online Content Editor

Evan Prunty

Alexis Rosen

Alana Whelan

Benjamin Heacox

Dorothy Zhao

Multimedia Manager

Features Editor

Arts Editor

Copy Editor

Junior Editor



Greg Elek

Logan Hammond

Grace Roberson

Jamia Richardson

Loren Shumaker-Chupp Michella Dilworth

Brenda CastaĂąeda

Alana Whelan


Joe Ruzicka

TJ Hayes

Alexis Rosen

Samantha Sanker

Mikayla Colston Paige Bowers

Dorothy Zhao

Imani Stephens

Anna Powaski

Renee Betterson

Hannah Minton

Caitlin Cole

CONTRIBUTING POETS Joy Yayoie McKinney Bernadette M. Wielgus Nick Chmura 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. 2121 Euclid Ave, MC 471, Cleveland, OH 44115 216 687 2118




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s we send this issue to print, we are experiencing a particularly difficult time for our campus, and the Cleveland community in general. The Vindicator staff wants to acknowledge the anti-LGBTQ flier that was posted on school grounds, and has caused extreme pain and offense to students, faculty, and staff. As members of the student media, we make a promise to reaffirm your voices are heard; this publication is dedicated to providing an outlet to uplift your stories and to help bring visibility to issues like this. As a journalistic organization, we are committed to finding the truth and to report the truth in a way that helps prevent these situations from happening, and to hold people and the powers-that-be accountable. Everyone deserves to feel safe on campus, no matter our background, gender or orientation. The Vindicator was created as a form of rebellion, and we continue

to help people stand up for what they believe by sharing the stories of those who are systemically marginalized and oppressed in our society. For the November issue, we wanted to highlight the international community here on campus, and bring to light some of the drawbacks of “the American Dream,”including how there is always room for improvement when it comes to immigration in our country. Brenda Castañeda gives us a revealing interview with a DACA recipient who has experienced the hardships of it firsthand. Alexis Rosen showcases interviews with international students on our campus, and their views of “the American Dream”– both good and bad. Altogether we wanted to convey that America is made stronger by its’ diversity, and we need to continue to celebrate that. However, we must also recognize the smaller ways we are not doing enough.




w h a t’s h a p p e n i n g i n

NOVEMBER 11.4 Panel

Points of View: Homelessness & Culture in Cleveland @ MOCA Hear Christopher Knestrick, Executive Director of Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless, and other panelists speak about the role that art can play in bringing awareness and creating change for homeless people in Cleveland. 2PM, 11400 EUCLID AVE

11.12 Turnover Concert

Turnover w/ Elvis Depressedly Concert @ Agora Ballroom Rock out to some dreamy tunes when Turnover returns to Cleveland with their third album. You won’t want to miss this melodic indie rock quartet who has gained tons of momentum in the music scene since their first full-length release in 2013. Tickets are $17 ADV and $20 DOS.


Design Show


11.21 Free Vegan Thanksgiving

Come support Cleveland State’s AIGA Design Exhibition as they host their second annual show. Titled Love Is... the event features work from students as a designed response to the recent hostility towards marginalized groups on campus. FREE EVENT, 1901 E 13TH STREET, FLOOR 2

11.19 Play

Satisfy your comfort food cravings and eat some delicious vegan food at S.A.V.E. at CSU’s annual vegan thanksgiving dinner. There will be music, information tables and a classic thanksgiving feast, all veganized of course. 5 PM, 2121 EUCLID AVE (STUDENT CENTER BALLROOM)

Watch the compelling story of Anne Frank unfold as it is adapted into a theater production in front of your eyes. Tickets are $25-$85 through Playhouse Square. TIMES TBA, 1407 EUCLID AVE


A look into what makes going to the movies so great in Cleveland. // Gregory Elek


rowing up in a small suburb

room, and snacks are all great, but it’s the

documentaries, cult movie screenings,

of Cleveland, I spent a lot of

audience that really makes it. When The

animated films and anything else you can

my childhood and adult years

Force Awakens came out a few years ago I

think of. We shouldn’t take it for granted.

at the movies. It started as

saw it in theaters four times. The first time

Unless you live in LA or New York it’s not

the only option for killing

was easily the most enjoyable, not just

uncommon to wait for a lot of foreign

time and turned into a passion—nothing

because it was my first time being exposed

and independent movies to get a Blu-Ray

could beat it: Opening the doors and getting

to the film, but because of how into it the

release to watch them, but we don’t have

punched in the face with the smell of

crowd was. The excitement was contagious.

to do that here. Although there are multiple

popcorn, not being able to understand what

Alternatively, seeing how the strangers

theaters in the Cleveland Cinemas that show

the cashier is trying to say through the

around you react can be fascinating. Two

these more niche films, the one that seems

glass window, testing your resilience when

of my favorite movies this year were

to champion these films the most is the

you walk past the concessions, putting in

Mother!, and A Ghost Story. At my initial

Cedar Lee. “My boss, Jon Forman, bought

headphones to avoid the trailers (read our

screening for both of these movies someone

the Cedar Lee Theatre in the late 1970’s and

October issue to learn more about that),

walked out before it ended. I knew almost

started the Cleveland International Film

the feeling you get when the lights dim in

immediately that both movies would be

Festival because of his love of foreign and

the theater. For me, it’s an experience that

polarizing, but actually seeing people leave

independent films. The Cedar Lee is now

can’t be beat.

strengthened that. In 2012 when I saw Les

so identified with these types of films that

Misérables the people sitting around me

people around Cleveland frequently describe

the big screen with an audience. The

were crying at a part that struck me as sad,

them as “Cedar Lee movies.”” Huffman

communal experience of going out to the

but not necessarily tragic. This experience

told me, he also went on about what

movies just can’t be replicated at home,”

helped me reconceptualize this scene, and

makes the Cedar Lee unique saying, “It’s

Dave Huffman, Director of Marketing

still affects how I watch it today.

a part of history and the oldest continually

“Movies were made to be seen on

for Cleveland Cinemas told me when he

Everyone’s going to be looking for

operating movie theatre in Cleveland. We

talked about the film going experience. He

something different when they want to

also were the first theater in the state to

went on to say that “Comedies and horror

go to the movies. We’re exceptionally

serve beer and wine.” Based on my personal

movies are especially critical to see with

lucky to live in the Cleveland area, because

experience the Cedar Lee also seems to be

a crowd because we feed off of the energy

we have it all —Independent films,

the most communal of the bunch. I’ve had

of those around us.” The big screen, dark

blockbusters, horror movies, foreign films,

many in depth conversations with strangers


in the bathroom after our screening got out.

movies. The people you find there love the

It wouldn’t be uncommon for a stranger

craft, and want to appreciate what they’re

to approach me and start talking about

seeing. They also have a film projector,

another movie that was screened at the

which is unfortunately a rarity in Ohio.

theater if they overheard me talking about

With the culmination of Cleveland

it. It’s a community just as much as it is a

Cinemas, and the Cinematheque, the

movie theater.

Cleveland area is a prime location for

It would be impossible to talk about the

viewing cult movies. Films like The Room

film going experience in the Cleveland area

(2003) and The Rocky Horror Picture

without talking about the Cinematheque.

Show (1975) come to mind. If you’ve never

been to one, cult movie screenings are a wild experience. They tend to be very interactive, but it’s not a good way to see

We’re exceptionally lucky to live in the Cleveland area, because we have it all — Independent films, blockbusters, horror movies, foreign films, documentaries, cult movie screenings, animated films and anything else you can think of.

For those who don’t know, a Cinematheque is a theater that specializes in films that are historically important, experimental, avant-garde, and other films similar to that nature. Cinematheques aren’t common in cities like Cleveland, they’re something you’d typically find in cities much bigger. Think of Cinematheques as art museums for

a movie for the first time because they get pretty loud. At screenings of The Room, for example, people throw plastic spoons at the screen, throw rose petals in the air, toss around footballs and have an entire list of responses to scream out loud when the movie delivers some of its iconic bad dialogue. “We have always shown classic and cult films for special screenings and this used to be unique to us,” said Huffman “Now even the national chains are showing some of these films regularly.” If you’re a cinefile, or just a casual fan of going to the movies, Cleveland is the place for you. You’ll always have an option and nothing is excluded. We also host our fair share of film festivals, most notably CIFF (Cleveland International Film Festival, which is Oscar qualifying), so you can even get exposed to smaller and local talent through the Cleveland area as well. When talking to Huffman, he said something that perfectly sums up everything great about going to the movies, and it’s a perfect note to end on: “Years ago, before I worked for the company, I had gone to see a movie but was late so I picked a movie I didn’t know anything about called Kiss or Kill to watch instead. It was great to see something without knowing anything about the movie beforehand and it turned out to be great. I also have to say that our screening of the director’s own print of “Sleepaway Camp” as part of the Melt Bar & Grilled Late Shift was an amazing night. The audience had so much fun and it’s one of my favorite guilty pleasures.”


he art revival in Cleveland continues to flourish with a focus on musicians, writers, filmmakers, and visual artists. Brothers Garrett Komya-

ti (right) and Michael Witlicki (left) are among these creators. Garrett is the lead singer and manager of The Modern Electric, a “cinematic rock” band with a unique lyrical style that draws inspiration from motion pictures. The Modern Electric often accompany their music with short films, which are all conceptualized by Garett. Michael is a hairdresser at Salon Pizzo in Mentor, Ohio, and assists his brother in his many endeavors with the Modern Electric. In our conversation, they shed light on what it was like as artists through various stages in their lives. They also offer us a glimpse into the Cleveland’s art revival as artists themselves. The Brother’s Background

Vindi: We understand that you both had separate childhoods. Can you tell us a bit about your different childhoods and high school years? Michael: My childhood was simple. Single mom, welfare, and a little house in Eastlake. Garrett: You went to North (High School, Eastlake) right? M: I did, yeah. I went to North for awhile. And then I moved to Colorado for a few years. I mean, that’s about it. V: What group of friends were you in with in high school? M: It was kind of weird. My group transcended categories. G: Like Ferris Bueller and how everyone knew him?


IN THE CITY Garrett Komyati and Michael Witlicki offer their unique insight as brothers and artists working in the Cleveland art revival. // Anna Powaski and Hannah Minton


M: Yeah, we were all like Ferris Bueller, actually. But there were no categories. We were bad kids, but the parents loved us. G: [gloating] Me, on the other hand, I was an angel. No bad stuff ever. M: It’s not even a joke. G: It’s not. I was a good kid. I went to South (High School, Willoughby), though, so we are absolute rivals. I grew up in Willoughby and Eastlake. My friends were the kids in bands. I think a lot of the popular kids came to our shows so that was nice – I could pretend I was popular. V: Michael, what did you want to be in high school?

M: Honestly, I wanted to be a hairstylist. I didn’t know it was a real job. I thought it was a glorified waitress job or something.

V: Do you think living in Cleveland and basing your art careers in Cleveland has inspired your work or altered it in some way?

be put on an album. It’s just as physical, if not more because it has a different form of permanency.

V: Garrett, you were in a band in high school. Did you always want to continue with that?

G: You’ve got to be kind of scrappy in Cleveland. You don’t have all the resources at your fingertips like other cities. You have to do things yourself.

G: I thought [Michael’s] was more physical. You just completely switched my perspective on this.

M: It’s kind of where the underdog theme comes in for me because it makes you have to work hard. It’s an accomplishment unto itself. You can be some type of professional in New York, and you’re just one of many. Yet here you get to strive to make a name for yourself. V: Michael, do you consider yourself an artist?

What’s Next V: What is the Modern Electric up to currently?

V: Did your parents do anything to promote artistry? M: I think in both cases, in different ways, both of them do promote creativity. My mom was on a completely liberal arts side. G: Yeah, my dad was in bands so he helped me out with all the music. Our mom just loves anything we do. M: She turned us onto music that I don’t think we would have experienced otherwise. V: Were your parents ever concerned about you pursuing art careers? G: They’ve been pretty supportive of the music thing. They’ve never gone “why don’t you get a real job.” It’s always been, “When’s the next gig?” The Cleveland Art Revival V: What are your favorite aspects of the Cleveland art revival? G: I love it because it feels like an underdog art scene in comparison to LA and New York. Those cities are almost bloated and oversaturated with talent. Everyone is all trying to do the same thing. But Cleveland isn’t really influenced by all that stuff. We are separate from the trends.


M: Which is kind of a good thing I think. Maybe we’re not so commercialized and following the pack. We have so much culture here already. It’s like we are set up to be a miniature version of New York or LA with our orchestra and theaters and museums. There’s a nest here for whatever culture you want. V: It was almost like the revival was destined to be an art revival, versus a business revival. G: Yeah. Exactly. It’s like Cleveland is a city to root for. You don’t root for the people who are in the top and have been there for ever. We haven’t been on top. And now that we are finally getting there, it’s exciting.

M: I do. I think if you look at the technical side of art, I’m working with all the same concepts and doing the same thing. Sculpting, painting, color theory – it’s all there.

It’s almost like the revival was destined to be an art revival...

G: Yeah, absolutely. I always wanted to make music and as soon as I went to college I realized film is just as fun. It soon became my other passion. Where music and movies intersect is the most inspiring thing to me.

V: Would you consider your profession more physical than your brothers? Because although he does physical work with instruments– M: [sarcastically] Have you ever seen him play the piano? V: Yeah. He tends to smash the piano when he’s performing.

G: We’re finishing the new album and are working out the logistics of a possible tour next year. This next album is going to be more electric. Last time was acoustic centered so we’ll be fitting our name with this one. I’m excited. Anyway, I think a tour in 2018 is almost inevitable. We do have the Annual North Coast Christmas Concert coming up on December 23rd, at the Grog Shop. That’s always an extravaganza. V: Michael, what about you? M: It’s kind of top secret, but fuck it. I’m actually branching out and going on my own. I want to focus on the creative side of hair. I don’t want to have to worry about following the rules, or punching in on a time clock. I want to be able to completely explore the artistic side of my job. I need the freedom to come and go as I please, and do what I want with clients. V: It seems both of you are sort of moving on and branching out. G: Yeah we are really excited about the new songs, but songwriting for the Modern Electric are really slow. Everybody knows that about us, we are slow. M: That’s one thing that is similar about us. I do hair really slow too. G: Yeah there we go. We create slowly. Five hour hair dyes, and five year album releases. It seems the common ground between Garrett and Michael is the inspiration they get from Cleveland, their childhoods, and each other that manifests in their work. Both brothers have great insight on the evolving status of art in Cleveland, and take pride in being Cleveland artists. Garrett and Michael both seek to create something

G: With the Modern Electric, our final product is floating in the air. Micheal, yours is floating on someone’s shoulders.

unique; to collaborate, to move forward and

M: There’s thought behind it. Thoughts are always floating around. And yeah, you can see the end result, but your hair grows and color fades. Garrett’s end result can

tion with these two, and could not be more

keeping a positive perspective. We were absolutely delighted to have a conversaexcited for their upcoming work as they continue to grow as artists.


THE PIXIES RETURN TO THE CLE A review of the Pixies show at The Agora and their opener, Sunflower Bean. // Joe Ruzicka


he Pixies have returned to Cleveland and have brought their signature performance, adding the band Sunflower Bean to incorporate a softer sound

to their set. Sunflower Bean rocked the crowd during their set with their soft pop songs and vibrant light production. With Sunflower Bean adding vibrant movements and guitar riffs to the show, an extra sense of life was added. Once the Pixies went on, the crowd roared as they saw their cult hit come on stage ready to rock the night away. They played songs from each of the six albums they’ve released with a focus on their 2016 album, “Head Carrier.” The show was at its peak throughout the night when they had odd moments throughout the set with evil chuckles and muddled guitar solos. Their signature mysterious lo-fi sound was accentuated by these weird accents and added to the atmosphere of the show. Although The Pixies were never record breaking album sales throughout their time as a band, they still serve as an icon within the rock industry and have influenced a plethora of artists with their style of music and approach to everything. The Pixies put on a fairly decent set and surprisingly still attracted a rather young crowd — not just people who were in their prime when The Pixies initially made it. However, there was still a slight disconnect. The disconnect was partially due to their growing age as musicians. Along with this there was definitely something missing with Kim Deal no longer being the co-bassist and vocalist because she left the band in 2013 and was replaced by Paz Lenchantin. As a tribute to Kim Deal, they played “All I Think About is Now,” one of the few songs that Black did not play and Lenchantin helped write. The


Once the Pixies went on, the crowd roared as they saw their cult hit come on stage ready to rock the night away.

song served as a thank you to Deal and also

tended to be more so on the direct and

sort of a way to reminisce on times when

tame side instead of a more lively experi-

her relationship with the band was better.


Although Lenchantin may not have been

Overall, The Pixies put on a fair-

an original member of the band, she still

ly decent show with a spectacular stage

proved to be more lively on stage then the

production, high quality sound, and their

other members, and entertained the crowd

signature mysterious aura that drew every-

throughout the night with occasional

one’s attention the whole night. Although


The Pixies had quality music with a fairly

The crowd that night was extremely

decent setlist, there was still something

laid back, resulting in the show being more

missing at the show. Their robotic move-

focused on nodding your head to the music

ments, and lack of engagement made it feel

and the occasional fist in the air. The laid

like they were just trying to get through

back crowd can most likely be attributed

their set and move on to the next city.

to The Pixies being more calm and mud-

Feeling less connected, and instead just

dled. This though did not seem to take

giving the bare minimum to their dedi-

away from the show for crowd, there was

cated fans. When one goes to a show, they

still extreme excitement throughout the

expect to feel a connection with the band.

set. There were a few times throughout

The Pixies did not do this, and in turn, I

their set that the songs were a bit more

felt that the show was missing something

bass heavy and rougher such as when

from every other good show that I have

they played “Boom Shagga Lagga” which

been. The Pixies have passed their prime,

featured Black yelling into the microphone

and have instead decided to tour as a cash

with a louder, more muddled effect that

grab instead of touring for the experience.

echoed throughout the venue.

I am hoping that this changes in future

Throughout the show, Black never

shows; however, I am not expecting much.

really spoke outside of his songs. Unfortunately, there was not the banter that bands use to engage with their fans throughout


the set. Instead The Pixies decided to get right to business, and fly through their set without any intervals. As a result, the show NOVEMBER 2017 | VINDICATOR 12

I MET GOD, SHE’S BLACK Black women are becoming the new goddesses of music– whether it’s hip hop, soul, pop or alternative, these artists will give you a spiritual experience. // Samantha Sanker


want to begin this piece by stating that this is by no means an exhaustive histo-

Why These Women Are So Diverse And Important

ninity, especially black femininity. Artists like Solange, Shayna, and Santi present

ry of black women in the music industry.

These women present themselves to the

themselves to the world in nontraditional,

My intention is simply to showcase my

media as highly educated, well-rounded,

nonconformist ways. While people can be

favorite black women in the music scene

sensitive, artistic individuals. For example,

quick to confine these women into genres

today and spark further analysis and de-

Azealia Banks may be a New York City club

and labels to better understand them, this

bate. The six most compelling and exciting

chick, but can easily give a comprehensive

should be approached with caution as these

black femme musicians, in my opinion,

dissertation on the history of blackness in

women seem to never fit in any box.

are Santigold, SZA, Junglepussy, Solange,

The United States of America if asked. 25

Noname, and Azealia Banks. While these

year old East New Yorker, Shayna McHale

from a gritty, queenpin sound (Banks, Jun-

women sort of occupy the same space in

– aka Junglepussy, has rapped about her

glepussy), to plucky guitar ballads (SZA), to

the music industry, they are all radically

period and spoken at Yale and Columbia

more poetic spoken word jams (Noname).

different from one another. Their music is

University about living a nutritious lifestyle

If you expect a singular, one-dimension-

a constant in my life, regardless of what

and what that means for your body. Solána

al sound from these showstoppers, you

mood I may be in, and the influence these

Rowe, aka SZA, has made very openly sex-

expected wrong. The expanse of variety

women have on me is forceful. Despite

ual music, and at the same time admits she

in these six artists alone is enough for

people who may view blackness as a

has issues with anxiety and self-esteem

an entire music library. They write about

“profitable costume” like Danielle Bregoli

and rocks baggy clothes. These women

accepting and rejecting the male gaze as

who raps in a “blaccent” or Kylie Jenner

manage to be so impressive and powerful

well as the importance of friendship. Their

who frequently appropriates black style,

while breaking barriers left and right. The

voices definitely need to be heard because

these artists remain unapologetic beacons

complexities and sophistication of these

they have important messages, but the

of strength and energy. They are flawless

women are what I find so highly intrigu-

fact that there are loud, weird, artsy girls

examples of gifted women who persevere

ing. Both Solange Knowles and Santi White

making this amount of sound on stage and

in the face of all that seeks to erase them.

(Santigold) are wives and mothers and I

in studio is what is most important. SZA is

Whether their subject matter is lovers,

think their families influence their art in

bold and unafraid to be sensitive and hon-

money, weed, sex, fear, anger, joy, failures

such a beautiful way. I even saw Santi’s

est when she talks about the unfabulous

or triumph -- trust me, you’re going to

baby boy at the side of the stage at her

struggles of being young and insecure. Her

want to listen to these songs with open

“We Buy Gold” tour. These women never

latest album has themes of needing atten-

ears, a full heart and at maximum volume.

fail to challenge the construct of femi-

tion and validation from others, especially


I look to these artists for everything

men. This tends to be an unspoken struggle

are aware of it or not, the clothes in the

beyond amazing for young black girls to be

that women experience and she’s facing it

store and the music producers are more

a part of.

wholeheartedly while pairing it with beau-

often than not, inspired by black women.

tiful, ethereal beats. She makes art about

Artists like the aforementioned are always

politically charged music about blackness

her life experiences from many perspec-

uncredited trendsetters in music, fashion,

forms a cultural movement behind them.

tives. Her transparency about anxieties and

and culture in general. Just when every-

On “Tina taught me”, Solange records her

doubtfulness are relatable and reveal her

body begins to notice the influence of black

mother saying “What’s irritating is when

vulnerable side.

women, it’s too late, they’re on to setting

somebody says, you know, ‘They’re racist!’

the next trend.

‘That’s reverse racism!’ or ‘They have a

Alicia Keys, Missy Elliott, Erykah Badu and many other artists deserve to be honored for their accomplishments and achievements, but these up-and-coming young ladies are the future of music that we all so desperately need. The past is an invaluable educator and, let’s be honest, no other female hip hop artists would exist without the space that Nicki Minaj created for them. Though when it comes to these women, their beats and lyrics not only represent modern girlhood, but the recent

Black History Month, but we don’t have a

These women never fail to challenge the construct of femininity, especially black femininity.

resurgence of feminism. These women speak on issues that matter to them instead of being silent entertainers. SZA coming

White History Month!’ Well, all we’ve ever

forward about her mental health status can

The decision of whether or not to include

been taught is white history!” SZA also

inspire others to identify their issues and

politics in their discographies is what sets

has voice recordings of her mother on her

accept themselves. Solange croons about

each woman apart. Banks rejects the idea

latest record “CTRL.” Both of their moth-

her mental state on the dreamy hit “Cranes

of putting her social or political ideolo-

er’s words inspire similar emotions and

in the Sky.” Each line tells the tale about a

gies in her art because she asserts that

feelings about blackness in America. There

way she tried to remedy her mental health

she speaks of those things in her person-

is no doubt that these women make art that

with drinking, working, shopping, and

al life and on the internet (If you google

is informed by their black experience. In

relocating – effectively naming the un-

“Azealia Banks”, you’ll find hundreds of

many ways one could argue that the exis-

explainable way that so many women feel

Twitter beefs). Outside of her social media

tence of a women of color is inherently po-

about things like romantic relationships,

outbursts, I credit Azealia Banks for sin-

litical by default. These artists mix positive

children and success.

gle-handedly creating the dialogue about

messages of joy and hope with messages

cultural appropriation that we see today on

that call for the destruction of terrors like

women operate at such elevated levels is

social media and in real life. The legend-

white supremacy and misogyny. Whether

because of something the fictional char-

ary and iconic 47-minute video interview

they use rock, house or soul music to make

acter Rowan Pope from “Scandal” said to

with the radio show HOT 97 in December

their intentions known, they have a posi-

prove a point to his daughter; “You have

2014 saw Banks become emotional and

tive impact on all who listen.

to be twice as good as them to get half of

even teary-eyed when discussing a term

what they have!” – “they” being white

she coined called “cultural smudging.”

people and men. It’s simply not in their

Her words caught fire and black and white

nature to settle or do the bare minimum

media alike began following the seeming-

when it comes to lyricism and beat pro-

ly new phenomenon, but actually age-old

duction. It is hard for a women of color to

narrative that is cultural appropriation.

succeed when white mediocrity is applaud-

More and more artists were being called

ed the same way as black excellence. These

out for their work being appropriative be-

women possess massive artistic integrity

cause of her outspoken honesty. I see great

because their art is genuine, authentic and

intelligence and passion for music within

about the culture – not money or chart

Azealia Banks. While her behavior on her

positions. These women are not necessar-

social media accounts may not always be

Check out the playlist, “I MET GOD, SHE’S BLACK” on Spotify!

ily packing the arenas when they tour in

the best, her music and the discussion she

your city, but they draw sizable crowds of

opens around things like self-exploration

deeply devoted admirers. Whether people

and the music industry are necessary and

I believe part of the reason these


Politics In Music

Why Their New Influence Matters Lady Of Rage, Foxy Brown, Lauryn Hill,

Conversely, Solange’s and Noname’s


Highlights from our video interviews, check out for more! // Imani Stephens & Samantha Sanker


Environmental Science WHO IS A FASHION INSPIRATION TO YOU? FAMILY, FRIENDS, CELEBRITIES? “None of that, None of that. I’m really inspired by Japanese fashion, so I like, like, really, really, really weird shit... just like whatever’s like, completely out of the ordinary is what I do.

WHERE DO MOST OF YOUR CLOTHES COME FROM? “I thrift everything. Everything, yeah. I’m a big thrifter because of environmental reasons, you know?”


AUNNA Environmental Education

“I want to make it more based on ethics, I guess. Because like the reason why, I go to a thrift shop and I found one garment and I revamp the garment in like, five different ways, and I think by doing that, you’re showing that you can pay a dollar for a piece of clothing, whether it's a blazer or something and wear it 20 different ways. At the same time you're not exposing industries and you're not environmentally wasting 5,000 gallons on one garment.”

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE IN ONE WORD? “Shit... like LSD man, I don’t know! It’s a weird fusion”


NICK English

WHO IS A FASHION INSPIRATION TO YOU? “ASAP Rocky or Kanye West, any day I could look more rap influenced I could look more pop, It doesn't matter, I just kind of do my own thing I guess.”

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE? “My personal style is all over the place. My friends put it best, kind of conceitedly, I can wear anything I want because I really do.”

HOW DID YOU DECIDE ON AN OUTFIT FOR TODAY? “My brother actually just gave me these shoes. He sells shoes. I've been seeing people kind of cuff their pants like this. I tried it myself.”

DEANNA Respiratory Therapy

HOW DID YOU DECIDE ON AN OUTFIT FOR TODAY? “I just woke up this morning, and I felt like being colorful. I know that with the weather in Cleveland, of course, you never what it's going to do, so I looked at the forecast.”

WHO IS A FASHION INSPIRATION TO YOU? “It’s funny, but my boyfriend. He's a fashion designer and we modeled together.”


WHAT DO YOU WANT TO TELL THE WORLD WITH YOUR STYLE? “Just be free, wear whatever you want to wear, be bright, not boring.”

HOW HAS YOUR STYLE CHANGED OVER TIME? “My style, I kind of go with the trend. You know, fashion repeats itself, it's never really anything too much new.” MARCH 2017 | VINDICATOR 19

F*** THE POLICE O R M AY B E N OT ? Police departments are utilizing social media marketing to position themselves as innocent in the wake of police brutality while attempting to mend the relationship between themselves and citizens of the communities that they serve. // Jamia Richardson


n Nov. 4, 2014 a 12-year-old

mistrust that minorities have for police

Police Department. (“Law Enforcement

boy named Tamir Rice was

is not uncommon. Especially Blacks and

Management and Administrative Statistics”

shot in a park by a Cleveland

Hispanics who have suffered the most

(PDF). Bureau of Justice Statistics. Retrieved

Police officer. Tamir Rice

from police brutality, but for whites — this

June 19, 2012.) The LAPD is also infamous

was an unarmed African-

is news. Dating back to the Civil Rights

for police corruption, police brutality, and

American teenager playing in a park with a

Era, “Bloody Sunday” or even further to

racism. Bloody Christmas, racial profiling,

toy gun. Shot within two seconds of police

the 13th Amendment. “Neither slavery

the 1962 shooting of 7 unarmed members

arrival and in the wake of the Michael

nor involuntary servitude, except as a

of the Nation of Islam, the LAPD has a

Brown murder in Ferguson, Missouri it

punishment for crime whereof the party

deep rooted history of police brutality. In

was a public relations nightmare. The

shall have been duly convicted, shall exist

need of a public relations makeover how

public relations team for the Cleveland

within the United States, or any place

might they change their image or even get

Police Department quickly spun this into

subject to their jurisdiction.” One could

back to the roots of what a police officer

victim-blaming, aiming all fault to the

even argue that the beating of Rodney King

is supposed to do, “to serve and protect”.

young boy, his family and environment

exposed white America to the realities of

Well it’s no different than the queens of

growing up. “The gun looked too real”

being a minority in America. The reality

reality television the Kardashians do their

the City of Cleveland said. “Too real” to

that four police officers could beat a man

marketing, through social media. Social

follow protocol — not to mention how

senseless on camera and be acquitted of all

media marketing is the future of public

the officer, Timothy Loehmann, failed

charges sparked the thought that maybe

relations and police departments have

his Cuyahoga County written exam, or

we need to take a look at the relationship

hop aboard the train. Through Twitter and

his prior experience as an officer for the

between minorities and police officers.

sharing articles through Facebook police

Independence Police Department resulted in termination after six months because he could not follow simple directions, clearly communicate, and his handgun performance was poor. Nevertheless, the Cleveland Police Department needed to spin this so they wouldn’t be the “bad guys.” Police Brutality Police officers have been struggling with their relationship between citizens of all races for the past couple of years. This 17 VINDICATOR | NOVEMBER 2017

“This is the LAPD. We’re the most hated cops in all the free world. My own mama’s ashamed of me. She tells everybody I’m a drug dealer.” - Chris Tucker, Rush Hour (1998)

Phase 1 The LA Police Department is the thirdlargest municipal police department in the United States, following the New York City Police Department and the Chicago

officers have silently began the stages of this new marketing technique. To put this in perspective let’s take a look into #BlackLivesMatter, a movement that formed after the killing of Mike Brown to combat police brutality. This hashtag went viral along with videos of white police officers playing sports with Black children. Videos of white police officers bringing Black children snacks as well as memes saying “not all cops are bad.” But why are these videos and memes only emerge when

a police officer does something wrong?

minority youth as opposed to youth in the

When someone does something terribly

suburbs? Why do these pictures only surface

wrong, we don’t take a look at all the good

when police officers commit a crime? Let’s

things they’ve done in the past, for your past

play devil’s advocate, maybe police officers

glory does not excuse your presence guilt.

are really trying to mend the relationship between communities of color and they

What is Social Media Marketing?

are starting with the youth. But the timing

By definition, “social media marketing”

of these pictures are suspect, it doesn’t

is the use of social media platforms and

come off as genuine and it appears to be a

websites to promote a product or service.

publicity stunt.

(Felix, R., Rauschnabel, P.A.; Hinsch,

Public relations and marketing is

C. (2016). “Elements of Strategic Social

an industry that will never die. Police

Media Marketing: A Holistic Framework”.

departments are in definite need of crisis

Journal of Business Research.) Now it’s

management but they are struggling


with how they go about it. Pictures of

For Law Enforcement To Improve Public Relations & Trust

relations have their differences. Google’s dictionary describes public relations as the professional maintenance of a favorable public image by a company or other organization or a famous person. Police departments are doing a combination of marketing and public relations. They are promoting their services and promoting their image as police officers. Let’s look at some examples. National Coming Out Day was Oct. 11. The Cleveland Police Department tweeted a picture of a handful of officers walking in a parade and carrying a Pride Flag and the caption was “#NationalComingOutDay: We support you.” Interesting, because on Sept. 10, the Cleveland Browns first game, the Cleveland police union refused to participate in the flag ceremony for the game because of the kneeling protest. It seems that the Cleveland Police Department can stand strong with the LGBTQ community. On the other hand, is against a protest that wants to not only raise awareness, but bring an end to police brutality — brutality that the police department has committed themselves. Comical, and a slap to the face at the same time. Now obviously they don’t have to pick one over the other, but as servants to both the LGBTQ community and

Pictures of smiling Black children don’t make up for the children that are affected by social injustices

important to note that marketing and public

Black community, they should aim to cater to both.


The Cleveland Police Department

smiling Black children don’t make up for

has also been posting other pictures on

the children that are affected by social

their Twitter account. The majority of

injustices. Authenticity, organic apologies,

the pictures are of white police officers

and changed behavior goes a long way and

posing with Black inner city youth. The

is the ultimate way to fix and maintain

same generic pictures that are shared

reputation. As Warren Buffet once said, “It

on Facebook after a police officer kills

takes 20 years to build a great reputation

an unarmed African American. Why do

but it can take 5 minutes to ruin it.” In the

these white police officers tend to spend

Cleveland Police Department’s case, it took

the majority of their time with inner city

under two seconds. is a blog that was created to help students find and research criminal justice degree programs. The author of the blog is Kathryn Loving, a former “peace” officer with the Casper Police Department in Casper, Wyoming. In her blog she breaks down three ways for police officers to improve public relations and trust within the community: 1. Create community immersion. Immerse law enforcement officers into their communities. More than just mending tension that might have already begun to form, but Loving says police officer being involved with community leaders and programs can help. 2. Become more cognizant of background differences and cultural sensitivity. Persons may become culturally encapsulated with no intention of bias, but it comes from being so ingrained in one’s own norms and erudition. Diversity training should not just be taught in corporate America. Police need to cater to cultural differences and social cues. 3. U se more transactional model communication and active listening. Police officers often engage in linear communication due to the nature of their work by giving orders or commands. Being talked at and being talked to are two completely different things. And when you haven’t committed a crime being talked at is a double whammy. NOVEMBER 2017 | VINDICATOR 18



How a strange encounter led me to understanding identity // Renee Betterson



or what seemed like an eternity,

Without spoiling the plot, I can tell you

I’ve always been a bookworm. My mom

that as the story progresses, Jane is thrust

mind trying to create a narrative

always says that ever since I could read,

into a sea storm of obstacles. I read all of

I could make sense of. It was as if

pulling me away from my books has been a

it with bated breath and was struck by the

all she wanted in the whole world

monumental feat. Even now, you’ll find me

courage Jane possessed. Throughout the

was for me tell her that I was her mother,

curled in a blanket on rainy days, with a hot

book, everyone around Jane tries to squeeze

that she’d found me at last; that I loved her.

cup of caramel Macchiato, breathing in the

her into a different box; the social expecta-

But I couldn’t. If only I had known then,

delicious smell of the pages; savoring each

tions of women in her time, her school, and

what I know now. If only I could share with

word like a hearty meal. Reading will always

even her family. She refuses to compromise

her what Jane taught me.

be my favorite pastime. Over the years I’ve

herself to suit the whims of others. She

managed to get my hands on a bit of every-

says later in the book, “I need not sell my

of a challenge for her than it was for me.

thing; books that have both expanded and

soul to buy bliss. I have an inward treasure

It happened several years ago, but the

contracted my mind (a series of science fic-

born with me, which can keep me alive if

details are still fresh in my memory. A little

tion books about kids who could transform

all extraneous delights should be withheld,

into animals stands as proof of the latter).

or offered only at a price I cannot afford to

girl stopped me on my way down the hall. She was absolutely precious with caramel colored skin, and short curly hair that fell in wisps around her tiny face. She couldn’t have been more than 7. She looked up at me with big brown eyes and asked, “Are you my momma?” What did she say? My first thought was that she might have been joking; perhaps a reference to the children’s book of the same name. No, the intent look on her sweet little face told me that this was no joke. For what seemed like an eternity, I replayed her words over and over again in my mind trying to construct a narrative I could make some sense of. It was as if all she wanted in the whole world was for me tell her that I was her mother, that she’d

give.” We all look to the people around us

... never limit yourself to what other people think you should be.

In retrospect, I suppose it was more

as a guide for who we should be. All of us, like Jane, are constantly being pushed and pulled by forces beyond our control. We go on diets, to look like the women in magazines. We hide our tears because “real” men don’t cry. What if we just simply said no? What would happen if we refused to squeeze ourselves into the limits that society puts on our identity? Being confident in who we are, is one of the hardest things any of us will ever have to do. It takes courage to be yourself in world that praises people who fit the mold. We’re told to act this way, and wear that; to do everything in our

found me at last; that I loved her. I couldn’t.

Generally speaking, asking a booklover

power to buy bliss…But at what price? In

I clumsily admitted to the girl that I was

which book is their favorite is akin to asking

my opinion, it’s a price too high for anyone

not her mom and made a graceless attempt

a mother to choose her most favorite child;

to afford. At the risk of sounding like a

at small talk before excusing myself. Later

an impossible task that is almost certain

really cheesy bumper sticker, in the words

I learned that I already knew the girl’s

to result in the end of the friendship. For a

of Oscar Wilde, “Be yourself. Everyone else

family. They were a nice, middle-class,

long time, I was no exception to this rule.

is already taken!” To that darling girl with

white family who had adopted her when she

That was before I was introduced to Jane

the short curly hair that framed her face in

was very young; she never knew her birth

Eyre, a novel written by Charlotte Bronte. A

playful tendrils, I say, Look inside yourself.

parents. I quickly realized that I was likely

book assigned on my high school reading

Find that inward treasure, and never limit

the first person she’d met who looked like

list, I sat down preparing my mind to search

yourself to what other people think you

her. Not that I was the first Black person

for the information I’d need for the book

should be.

she’d ever seen, but she lived in a white

report and test that would come later. Little

neighborhood, went to a majority white

did I know that that book would have such

school, and church. Noone in her immediate

a profound effect on me; one that I believe

life resembled her, so she looked elsewhere.

will stay with me long after I graduate.

She saw herself in me, and in a way, I see


More precious than rubies

I replayed her words over in my

From the moment I began reading

myself in her. I also search outside my tiny

it, Jane Eyre was positively captivating. I

bubble of experience in movies, books, and

loved every little detail of her character and

even the faces of strangers to find a repre-

relished the brilliance of her wit. The story

sentation of myself; someone or something

starts with a young Jane whose mother and

that looks like me. I ask myself; what does

father have died (in the way that all rela-

a young Black woman in America look like?

tives in Victorian novels seem to) leaving

How does she behave? After 18 years of

her an orphan. She lives with her spiteful

searching, I can say definitively, that I’ve

aunt who is always finding excuses to pun-

had little success in finding the perfect

ish her, and reminds Jane constantly that

mold. Thanks to my friend Jane, I found

she doesn’t deserve to live there.

something more valuable, an inner treasure.


one hive at a time A company born out of one CSU student’s passion for saving the bees, Tyler Hobel hopes to educate people about the importance of honeybees in our ecosystem through his clothing line. // Alana Whelan


few days was all it took for CSU

Hobel was used to insects being every-

recent changes to the climate have been far

student Tyler Hobel to decide

where, but now when he goes back home,

too great for them to be able to adapt. This

he wanted to start a clothing

there aren’t nearly as many. “I used to

increase in global temperatures has had a

company for a good cause.

remember seeing bees everywhere and a

significant impact on bees when it comes to

After Hobel saw a van that said

bunch of different insects, and now you

diseases, stress, and normal bee behavior.

“save the bees,” he went home, did some

never see them anymore, which is a part of

However, one of the most common causes

research, and began delving into what it

the problem,” he said. The bee population

of CCD and the dying out of bees in general

would take to start a company that could

has been declining for decades, but it didn’t

is pesticides. Neonicotinoid is one class of

allow him to help bees. Three days after

become a large-scale problem until around

pesticides that is unintentionally killing off

seeing the van, he invested half his savings

2006, when Colony Collapse Disorder, or

honeybees. Though this insecticide is used

CCD, started to become more common. CCD

to kill off other bugs that will harm crops,

through which he donates a portion of the proceeds to the Honeybee Conservancy. After three months, the company is continuing to bloom. The Inspiration On top of long work weeks and piles of homework, Hobel is now running a company that basically sprang up from the ground. Though busy, he feels it has been worth it so far. “I was working 60 hours a week this summer and I was just dying and I was like, ‘I’m 20, I don’t want to do this again - just to be able to float,” he said. Drawing from his experience in high school

The Honeybee Conservancy – where Hobel donates portions of his proceeds – is working diligently to educate the public on why honeybees are an important part of our ecosystem.

helping with organizations like Charity Water – who provide water to people in need

into beginning Bloom Clothing Company

– Hobel took his love of insects and turned

occurs when more than half of the worker

it is toxic to any bug that interacts with

it into a sort of charity himself. “I wanted

bees in a colony disappear and leave the

it, and when widely used it can be harm-

to start something of mine where I can go

queen behind, and it has caused bee pop-

ful to entire colonies of bees. Yet another

where I want to with it and I can lead it,

ulations to dwindle rapidly. This is a major

threat to entire colonies is the Varroa Mite,

and then I thought, ‘I want to put a greater

problem because bees pollinate the flowers

a little bug that can spread disease from

cause with it.’ ” Not long after, Bloom was

of the food we eat, and therefore are an im-

hive to hive and can even impact beekeep-

born. “Literally, when I saw that sticker on

perative part of the earth’s rapidly changing

ers economically. All of these factors are

that van, three days later I dropped half my

ecosystem. Without them, humans and

happening on a wide scale, but despite the

savings into just buying whatever I needed

other animals will suffer.

enormity of them, people are constantly

to - licenses, website, you know, the actual,

Many factors exist that attempt to

looking for ways to combat these prob-

physical stock and stuff like that - so I just

explain why colonies of bees have been

lems. The Honeybee Conservancy – where

kept pouring myself into it,” he said. Now,

increasingly disappearing at such a fast

Hobel donates a portion of his proceeds – is

Hobel says he researches something new to

rate. Climate change, loss of habitat and

working diligently to educate the public

do with honeybees every day.

other human-induced environmental

on why honeybees are a vital part of our

changes have contributed to the dying out


of wild bees. Though bees are usually great

Why Bees? Having grown up surrounded by woods, 21 VINDICATOR | NOVEMBER 2017

at adapting to different environments,

The Honeybee Conservancy’s Work

all key pollinators for the variety of plants

caps, book bags, coats, water bottles, and

A major portion of the money Hobel donates

that we eat. To get the community involved,

even possibly charm necklaces or brace-

from his sales is used to sponsor hives.

the Conservancy does outreach by going

lets. These would all be in addition to the

These are hives that the Conservancy sets

to schools and other community events to

t-shirts, long sleeve shirts, baseball caps,

up as a safe place for bees to go where pes-

educate people about the work that they do.

and bath bombs he sells now. “You want to

ticides and other harmful practices aren’t Goals for the Future of the Company

don’t want to just do the cheap and easy

of every sale to the Conservancy. “Because

Though Hobel doesn’t currently do work to

thing,” said Hobel, “you have to set the

my company is so small, I’m almost break-

the same degree as the Honeybee Con-

attitude from the beginning — that’s what

ing even, but the contributions are very

servancy, he hopes that someday Bloom

I’m trying to do.”

small right now . . . I’m only two months

Clothing Company will expand into an ed-

developed and most companies don’t start

ucational community that brings informa-

bel’s biggest goals are to educate the public

turning a profit anywhere from six months

tion to people everywhere. “I would love to

and change the way bees are perceived.

to two and half years,” said Hobel. While

establish my own non-profit at some point

“People paint [bees] as these evil nasty

Hobel hopes to donate a larger percentage

that does research, and does the same work

hornets no matter what the bee is - but re-

in the future, right now he is leaving most

that [the Honeybee Conservancy] do, and

ally they’re just trying to survive and bring

of the work to the Conservancy.

hopefully on a bigger scale,” said Hobel.

food home to their family,” said Hobel, “I

The Honeybee Conservancy has a few


build a brand solid from the beginning, you

used. Hobel currently donates around 15%

When it comes down to it, Tyler Ho-

Though the company is technically a sole

hope to change that.” With his clothing

main goals which have served as an inspi-

proprietorship now, Hobel eventually wants

line and his passion to advocate for a more

ration for Hobel’s interest in bees. These are

to add more paid employees to the team.

sustainable future, Hobel is doing what he

not limited solely to helping the bees, but

Until then, he has his friends to help market

knows how to do to help the bees. “[I’m]

also incorporate all of the issues and areas

for him and his brother to help promote on

trying to make everything with purpose,”

that bees affect. While bee conservation is

social media. “I would hope to have my own

said Hobel, “that people are going to like,

of course their main goal, others of notable

in-house designers, my own in-house web

they’re going to return for and they’re go-

importance include increasing access to

designers, my own administrative people

ing to get what I’m doing it for.”

sustainable food sources in less fortunate

actually on pay-roll, and then . . . someone

communities, focusing on local and organic

having to do with environmental health,

food options, and educating the public on

anything like that where I can further edu-

the vitality of bees in our world. All of this

cation,” said Hobel.

is done in hopes to reduce world hunger and

Along with educational ambitions,

to keep the variety of foods we are capable

Hobel has goals for the kind of products he

of growing and eating today. Along with

wants to sell and the message he hopes to

honeybees, the Conservancy focuses on

send to customers. A few of the products he

Mason bees and Leafcutter bees which are

wants to add in the future include winter

GET SOME GEAR instagram: bloomclothingcompany facebook: bloom clothing company

WHY AREN’T WE HELPING? O How our response to Puerto Rico’s disaster reflects a bigger issue of the United States not providing help and relief equally. // Logan Hammond n September 20th, Hurricane

Federal Emergency Management Agen-

25 after days of complaining about the

Maria made landfall on the

cy (FEMA) searches buildings across the

NFL when he finally decided to address

small island of Puerto Rico.

island. The number of bodies will increase

the problem and did so poorly by tweeted

Category 4 with winds of 155

as more buildings are searched and rubble

“Texas and Florida doing great but Puerto

miles per hour moved over

cleared, making it all the more disturbing

Rico, which was already suffering from

the island. An island of 3.4 million Amer-

that America’s federal response has been

broken infrastructure & massive debt is in

ican citizens often forgotten and ignored

too weak.

deep trouble.” This shows a complete lack

finds itself facing a startling crisis. The government waited a whole week

of empathy and understanding from the The Federal Government’s Reaction

president – comparing natural disasters

to waive the Jones Act – summarized by

ABC news reports that the National Guard

and how much each one cost the govern-

the Bloomberg News as “a maritime law

has more than 2,500 personnel in Puerto

ment will help solve nothing.

requiring shipments of goods between

Rico and the Department of Defense has

two U.S. ports to be made with Amer-

sent in 5,600 personnel. FEMA director,

a fight with Carmen Yulin Cruz, Mayor of

ican-flagged vessels and manned by

Brock Long, reports that 281 generators

San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Twitter after she

American crews.” The U.S. Virgin Islands

have been brought in and 5% of power

used social media and interviews to ask

are exempt from this law. The Jones Act

has been restored. Politico reports that

for more help. She criticized the Trump

was immediately waived after Texas and

while the Puerto Rican Governor, Ricardo

administration’s weak response to May-

Florida were hit, but it took a week for that

Rossell, is happy with the response, Puerto

or Cruz later appeared on television with

to happen in Puerto Rico – and that waiver

Rico is still waiting on an aid bill from

shirts that read “Help us we are dying” and

lasted only a week, Republicans and Demo-

congress. FEMA reports that as of 9 a.m.

“Nasty” seeking attention for support from

crats have called for an end to the law. The

on October 4th, 92% of hospitals are open

America’s federal government. So far, this

death toll in Puerto Rico at the time this

but on emergency power. So things are

seems to be an on and off spat where any-

article was written was 48; that will rise as

rather bleak and the federal government is

time the mayor is on cable news and speaks

the island begins to rebuild and their gov-

moving slow and with less people sent in

negatively about the Federal response,

ernment has a chance to accurately count

than Texas and Florida – and it gets worse.

Trump reacts. On Oct. 12, Trump tweeted,

that statistic. An article published on Vox

There is another major problem: Twitter-

“we cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the

details numerous bodies being found as the

ing Trump. His first tweet came September

First Responders, who have been amazing


On Sept. 30, President Trump got into

So things are rather bleak and the federal government is moving slow and with less people sent in than Texas and Florida...

(under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!” even though it’s only been 3 weeks. This came after the mayor called him the “Hater in Chief” on Twitter. Moving off Twitter, President Trump managed to put down his phone and visit Puerto Rico on Oct 2. During an opening press conference, the President again began making comparisons between different national disasters instead of offering support. According to The Atlantic, Trump said, “every death is a horror, but if you look at a real catastrophe like Katrina, and you look at the tremendous hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people that died, and you look at what happened here and what is your death count? Sixteen people, versus in the thousands. You can be very


proud. Sixteen versus literally thousands of people.” He then made an appearance at a local church and threw paper towels into the crowd like he was at a sports game and when a member of the church attempted

to explain to him how they were purifying

telethon to raise money for Puerto Rico

water, the President assumed the mem-

and worked with other Latino music artists

ber was trying to sell him something and

for the song “Almost Like Prayer” – a

seemed confused about the water purifi-

song created to benefit the of the people

cation process. Beyond the President’s silly

of Puerto Rico. The song’s lyrics are the

antics, FEMA removed from its website any

names of all 78 towns in Puerto Rico and

statistics that presented a negative picture

whenever somebody buys the song, money

of the situation in Puerto Rico and while

made will go to the Hispanic Federation’s

these numbers can be accessed through

hurricane relief efforts.

the Puerto Rican government website; it’s a mystery why FEMA removed it from their

Latinos Unidos

site. Overall, the crisis in Puerto Rico is one

On Oct. 12, I went to Rhodes Tower 1646 to

where the government has moved slowly

meet with Latinos Unidos (Latinos Unit-

and acted in a bizarre way. The situation is

ed) to get a local Latino perspective on

still unsure.

the government’s response. I spoke with Gesmy L. Diaz, Jenny Ramos, Klarissa

Media and Celebrity response

Zeno, and Brenda Castaneda who act as the

The media was also slow to pick up this

leaders of the group. The leaders are re-

story, likely because they couldn’t send

starting the group after a year off and they

weather reporters into life threatening

plan to have this semester be focused on

situations to attract viewers like with

fundraising for Puerto Rico and other Ca-

Florida and Texas. CNN, MSNBC, Fox and

ribbean islands that were hit. Their motto

the major networks ran small updates and

for the coming semester and year is “Unity

provide snippets of information at first,

and Community.”

but once the media knew it had an excit-

The leaders of Latinos Unidos collec-

ing and dramatic story, they sent as many

tively stated that, “the Government has

reporters as they could to the island to

abandoned the island and is providing

take pictures interview locals and cover

weak excuses.” They expressed shock at

Trump’s previously mentioned feud with

the lack of support from the President and

the mayor of San Juan. The media has

feel like, “he’s not taking this situation

started to bring a major issue to the atten-

seriously and making a mockery of Puerto

tion of millions of Americans, and this will


hopefully help Puerto Rico by encouraging

The group’s leaders also emphasized

people to donate to reputable charities. But,

that the national/global Latino community

of course, it’s not just the news media who

has united to help the people of Puerto Rico

have taken action – celebrities have joined

to recover.

in as well. CNN reports that rapper Pitbull sent his private plane to Puerto Rico to help evacuate cancer patients and take them to mainland hospitals. “Thank God we’re blessed to help. Just doing my part,” Pitbull told the New York Daily news. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban lent the team jet to Puerto Rico native J.J. Barea. Broadway star Lin-Manuel Miranda, whose family comes from the island, has long been an advocate for Puerto Rico. His Twitter has been full of passion for this with Miranda tweeting out links to the Hispanic Federation. Miranda told President Trump that he was, “going straight to hell. Fastest golf cart you ever took.” Miranda said on Oct. 6 on CBS This Morning that, “what we need is a government response commensurate with the spirit of the American people.” He had a late night

HOW YOU CAN HELP PUERTO RICO: Contact these organizations for how you can directly help the relief effort.

Hispanic Federation

Latinos Unidos Cleveland Foundation

Unidos Por Puerto Rico

Americares & 1-203-658-9500

Heart to Heart International & 913-764-5200




ACTIVISM AT THE TABLE & IN THE STREETS In the month of Thanksgiving, coupled with the recent political climate, being a vegan animal rights activist is no easy task. (No animals or their byproducts were used in the making of this Vindi meal!) // Dorothy Zhao


eganism, a movement that has

to protest the traditional holiday food of

deschell and other animal rights activists

grown ever more popular, is


created a street blockade in front of the

both the philosophy of rejecting the current status of ani-

she and the activists were able to leave but

tice of abstaining from the use of animal

ber 22th to 25th, Houdeschell co-hosted an

the animals did not — and ultimately will

products. When Thanksgiving rolls around

animal rights event — the Midwest Animal

never leave the slaughterhouse.

in November, the popular and traditional

Liberation Convergence. Her nonprofit,

non-vegan foods present yet another ob-

Species Revolution, also had a table at the

created a nonprofit organization called

stacle for vegans. What alternatives could be

Chicago VeganMania celebration on Sat-

Species Revolution, which is dedicated to

presented for themselves and others around

urday of that same weekend. After tabling,

achieving total animal liberation through

them? Beyond simply altering one’s diet to

Houdeschell took subsequent action for

anti-speciesism education. Houdeschell

avoid meat and animal products, there is

nonhuman animals by attending vigils at

mentioned how speciesist our everyday

also the activism side of being a vegan. To

slaughterhouses with the Chicago Animal

language is and gave examples of calling

begin with, finding foods, clothes, makeup

Save organization, volunteering at a local

someone a “rat” or “pig” would mean

animal sanctuary called Wedrose Acres

implying a rat or pig is less than a human

or everyday materials that are vegan and cruelty-free while encouraging others to do so is a true lifestyle commitment. Co-founder of Species Revolution, Campus Representative of Peta, and Cleveland State Nonprofit Administration and Philosophy double major, Amanda Houdeschell is not your typical vegan. She is an extraordinarily dedicated animal rights activist, having been arrested three times in the name of civil disobedience to bring a voice to the voiceless. Houdeschell became a vegan three years ago when she, an intersectional feminist, learned about the “connections between veganism and feminism.” (For those unfamiliar with intersectionality, it is a feminist concept that recognizes sexism, racism, classism, and other kinds of oppression — such as speciesism — are interconnected.) After following prominent vegan feminists on social media, Houdeschell also decided she could not morally and ethically continue to consume or use animal products. In just three short years, Houdeschell has achieved many milestones and participated in animal liberation quite actively. She started the Species Revolution nonprofit, was an organizer for National Animal Rights Day, and participated in civil


vivor’s guilt, in which the reality was that

Over a weekend in Chicago, from Septem-

In March, Houdeschell and her partner

and can be exploited. To delve further into a language that, in an animal rights activist’s

When Thanksgiving rolls around in November, the popular and traditional non-vegan foods present yet another obstacle for vegans.

mals as products and the prac-

slaughterhouse. Houdeschell noted her surHoudeschell’s Current Activism

eyes, needs to be updated, Carol J Adams writes in “Why feminist-vegan now?” in the Feminism & Psychology journal several compelling points: “Animals are made absent through language that renames dead bodies [as]...‘meat’ we do not conjure dead, butchered animals, but cuisine.” Essentially, language further contributes to animal absences when “one does not eat meat without the death of an animal.” By making language simply fairer to all animals, nonhuman and human, Species Revolution is doing their part in educating more people. For an example from a paper on nonspeciesist language by Dr. George Jacobs, “slaughterhouse” should be used in a sentence instead of “meat-packing plant” or “processing plant.” We should use the word “slaughterhouse,” because from a nonhuman animal’s perspective, that is exactly what the facility is and does. While encouraging others to be aware of their language results in some pushback and reluctance, it is a very possible, very doable change to implement in our lives. Houdeschell’s Future Goals In the near future, Houdeschell wants to

disobedience; she was arrested twice for

Animal Sanctuary, and giving a presenta-

form a more unified effort by working

protesting Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest

tion on speciesist language with her partner

together with other various vegan organi-

in New York City and once at a Pennsylvania

Abhijit Em. Then, on Monday, Sept. 25,

zations around Cleveland. By meeting and

farm show. Additionally, two high profile

Houdeschell attended the “most powerful”

organizing into a united coalition of activ-

disruptions of Amanda and her activists

event, forming a “human chain inside a

ists, they will be able to work on specific

were when they disrupted former presiden-

slaughterhouse...blocking off cages of birds

campaigns in Ohio to pass new laws and

tial candidate Bernie Sanders at a campaign

to negotiate with the store-owners if they

to bring more awareness to animal rights.

rally, as it brings awareness to ask the most

would save a life and give us [activists] a

Houdeschell feels as though Cleveland is

progressive candidate about animal rights;

chicken [out of the cage].” Unfortunately,

the “most involved” thus far with animals

and when they stood in front of the turkey

no chicken left the slaughterhouse that day.

rights awareness and a vegan lifestyle. A

float at the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade

After walking out of the facility, Hou-

notable example of Cleveland being the


state’s center of veganism and activism

vegan substitutes. Besides attending CSU

I personally have a love of dogs and cats –

is the Cleveland VegFest 2017, which took

SAVE’s Vegan Thanksgiving, Houdeschell

particularly the latter, even if I am allergic

place in June and featured conscious living

also recommends Tofurkey and other

to them – then how are these beloved pets

and compassionate choices with speaker

plant-based meats. Beyond using vegan

or companions any different from the ani-

series, screenings, music, a “Zen Room,”

substitutes for milk and butter in stuffing,

mals raised to be consumed? I am certainly

and food demos.

the traditional holiday sides are more than

not comfortable with causing any kind of

enough, she says. Because Thanksgiving is

suffering of humans, everyday pets, or farm

for the future, she is involved in SAVE, or

such a quintessential tradition in Ameri-

animals, and I admit my own cognitive

“Student Advocates for a Veg Ethic.” SAVE

can history, many who are not vegan are

dissonance with my inconsistent actions

promotes a vegan lifestyle and advocates

only aware of non-vegan dishes. For those

and thoughts of seeing the sense behind

for animals used for food, clothing, enter-

who are intrigued in non-meat, non-dairy

veganism and animals rights activism but

tainment, testing, etc. Primarily focusing on

options during the holidays, such as myself,

ultimately not going vegan. Most helpful-

vegan outreach and lifestyle, the organiza-

consider the benefits: Because a vegan

ly for me and others in similar situations,

tion’s biggest event is the Vegan Thanks-

gains health benefits nutritionally, preven-

however, is a more recent benefit of becom-

giving, coming soon. SAVE has marketed

tion of diseases, such as heart attacks and

ing vegan: Thanks to the internet and its

their organization impressively this semes-

strokes and type 2 diabetes, and physical

vast resources, going vegan is made easy.

ter — from offering free vegan pumpkin

improvements come as subsequent results

With alternative dishes catered specifically

spice lattes in Sept. to cruelty-free makeup

of going vegan. Of course, this point only

to that community, vegan recipes on every

samples in October, they are oftentimes

benefits humans — what about the non-

food recipe website, a “vegan starter kit” on

seen in the Student Center Inner Link at

human animals? The bees, cows, chick-, and always-willing-to-talk

their table. One aspect of what a multitude

ens, and other animals are either eaten or

activists like the amazing Amanda Hou-

of things Houdeschell has envisioned for

farmed to give humans common products

deschell, becoming a vegan is a very attain-

Cleveland State University is an all-vegan

like clothing, entertainment, milk, cheese,

able goal – even during the Thanksgiving

dining section and simply incorporating

eggs, and honey. Viral videos taken by

dinner! I encourage those hesitant about

more vegan options in Viking Marketplace.

activists around the country show how

veganism to go ahead and try to create and/

desolate factory farms are with animals’

or eat a non-meat, non-dairy dish for the

living conditions and cruel deaths. There-

upcoming holidays, because I will as well.

Persisting with the topic of food, with the

fore, Houdeschell provides the argument

After all, there’s nothing stopping me.

million of turkeys being consumed every

that it is not enough just to be vegan to be

Thanksgiving, it is no surprise that Hou-

healthy. One should be vegan and, in order

deschell disagrees with the practice and

not to have a guilty conscience acting so

tradition. Fortunately, there are several

immorally, one should also be an activist. If

Continuing with Houdeschell’s visions

Veganism and Thanksgiving


For inspiration, check out these simple recipes by The Minimalist Baker!









1 large loaf whole-grain bread or 2 small baguettes, cubed & set out to dry overnight (~9 cups loosely packed)

4 ounces (~3/4 one small container) white or cremini mushrooms

3/4 cup uncooked green lentils

2 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp vegan butter, separated

3 Tbsp olive oil or vegan butter (I used a mix of both)

optional: 1 Tbsp minced shallot

1/2 cup white onions, diced

1 cup veggie stock

3/4 cup celery, diced

2 heaping Tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour

Salt & pepper

a pinch of salt, pepper, and dried or fresh thyme, chopped

3 - 3 1/2 cups vegetable broth (+ more for cooking lentils) 1 flax egg (1 Tbsp flaxseed meal + 2 1/2 Tbsp water) 3/4 tsp dried sage, or 1 1/4 tsp fresh sage, chopped

Instructions The night before, cube your bread and set it in a large bowl to dry out - you want it to be the texture of day old bread - noticeably dry but not rock hard. The day of, if you haven’t already cooked your lentils, do so now by thoroughly rinsing 3/4 cup lentils in cold water, then adding to a small saucepan with 1 1/2 cups veggie broth or water. Cook over medium-high heat until a low boil is achieved, and then lower to a simmer and continue cooking uncovered for 20-30 minutes. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and line a 9x13 pan (or comparable sized dish) with foil or spray with nonstick spray. Also prepare flax egg and set aside. Sauté onion and celery in the olive oil or vegan butter and season with a bit of salt and pepper. Cook until fragrant and translucent - about 5 minutes. Set aside. To the bowl of bread, pour most of the broth then add the remaining ingredients (sage, cooked veggies, flax egg, and lentils) and mix with a wooden spoon. The key is to make sure it is about the consistency of a meatloaf. If it’s too dry, add more broth and mix again. If it’s gotten too wet, add more bread. Transfer to the prepared pan and cover with foil. Bake for 45 minutes. Then remove the top layer of foil so the top can brown. Increase heat to 400 degrees F (204 C) and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until the top is well browned and crisp.

5 red skin potatoes, washed and scrubbed 1/3 head cauliflower, chopped

Instructions Cover potatoes with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a low boil and cook until a knife inserted slides off easily. In the meantime, add the cauliflower to a strainer or veggie steamer and place on top of the potatoes in the saucepan to cook at the same time. Cover with a lid to steam. Once both are soft and cooked through, transfer to a bowl and mash with a potato masher, adding salt and pepper and 1 Tbsp of vegan butter to season. Set aside and cover to keep warm. In skillet over medium to medium-high heat, melt the vegan butter. Add the shallot and mushroom and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Cook until the mushrooms are soft and brown, and most of their liquid is evaporated. Stir in the flour with a whisk and reduce heat to medium. Cook for another minute or two. Slowly add veggie broth while whisking to reduce clumps. Then add in the thyme and whisk again. Reduce heat to simmer and continue to stir until it reaches desired thickness – about 5-10 minutes. If it appears too thin, add a touch more flour and whisk. If it’s too thick, add more broth.

Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving. Leftovers reheat well in the microwave or oven, though best when fresh.


WE THE PEOPLE Interviews //Alexis Rosen, Dorothy Zhao, Breñda Castaneda Edited By //Arbela Capas


any symbols of patriotism in

generation immigrants. But “the Ameri-

are there various migratory and residen-

America represent the idea

can dream” has never been perfect and is

tial qualifications, but the DACA recipients

that this country is a place

getting less and less so, as it’s been year

are expected to be students or high school

of welcome. The first words

since the Trump Administration entered the

graduates, along with practically spot-

of the Constitution, or the

office and began to further push anti-im-

less criminal records. Although this may

poem engraved on the Statue of Liberty, the

migrant rhetoric. It started on the cam-

not seem like much to ask, especially in

United States prides itself in being inclu-

paign trail with Donald Trump stating that

exchange for a sense of migratory security,

sive of people from all backgrounds and

Mexican immigrants are bringing “crime”

it is important to understand that DACA

locations. The identity of this country often

and “drugs”, and ending with an official

was flawed from the start. Not only does it

is defined in relation to the multitude of

order to repeal DACA and begin building the

put applicants at risk for deportation if they

different ethnicities and cultures within our

border wall.

are rejected, but it may also put their entire

population. The power of diversity is some-

The truth is, not everyone is comfort-

thing that makes us stronger — that’s what

able with saying “We the People,” but that

rity for those who are not accepted into the

we try to instill in our values. Despite this,

doesn’t mean these people don’t’ exist, and

DACA program has always been an issue,

when we really look at our government,

don’t have real lives they’re trying to lead

and it continues to be currently with its fu-

the nature of our politics and the culture

in this country, despite the obstacles that

ture at risk. The major flaw with DACA that

behind the social attitudes when it comes

are being thrown at them.

most do not think about is that it is not,

to immigrants, there seems to be a much

family on the line. Confidentiality and secu-

and never was, a path to citizenship or legal

darker side to America that isn’t fulfilling

The Hypocrisy of the American Dream

it’s promise of “the melting pot.” Are we

While much of the population is now aware

were expected to keep renewing their DACA

all really being equally represented and

of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood

status every two years, and not have any

welcomed here? What do we mean when we

Arrivals), many might still not understand

benefits beyond a work permit and a pseudo

say “We the people”?

the complexity of it. Enacted in 2012 by the

peace of mind. All this uncertainty results in

Obama administration, the immigration

an emotionally and psychologically draining

try have been sold on the idea of the Ameri-

policy gave young undocumented people, or

limbo for all DREAMers, exacerbated by the

can Dream. The idea that if you come to this

“DREAMers,” hope. It offers a renewable,

decision of the current president to phase

country, work hard, be good to your fellow

two-year deportation action deferral and

out DACA completely. One of these immi-

patrons, you can be successful than you

work permit eligibility to those who entered

grants is Damara Garcia-Garcia, a student

ever were. We see this narrative in movies,

the United States as minors. However, this

at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte,

our history books, and some of us even

chance is not made available to all those

North Carolina.

hear it from our own parents who are first

meeting these basic criteria — not only

For years, people coming to this coun-


residency at all. These young immigrants

on DACA with


GARCIA-garcia Age 21 Senior Psychology Major

What was your reaction when DACA was first made available? I was 16 years old when DACA was first introduced in 2012. I remember being so excited and relieved that I would be able to legally work and drive. While most teens my age were excited about getting their licenses and new cars, I was just looking forward to having a document that validated my existence. I remember being so hopeful that this country was finally taking baby steps towards the right direction.


As a DACAmented immigrant what are some things you would like those unfamiliar with immigrant experiences to know? As a DACAmented immigrant, I want people to know that the immigrant experience is a diverse experience. Undocumented folks come from all walks of life, and not everyone will fit into the “good immigrant” narrative society is obsessed with. I want people to know that immigration is complicated and we have to study our history to understand where we are today. I want people to know that labels can be very dangerous, so while I proudly claim to be “undocumented and unafraid,” I also know that when I call myself a DREAMer, I am excluding my parents or any other person who did not qualify for DACA. My advice to people unfamiliar with the immigrant experience would be to ignore what you see on mainstream media about immigrants, because you'll only get the good/bad immigrant narrative in which they praise DREAMers and criminalize parents. Instead, take time to research stories, attend local discussions, or attend events held

by local activist organizations to get a scope about the holistic immigrant experience. How did you feel/still feel about the recent policy changes that the Trump administration has made in regards to immigrants? I was not shocked by the decision the Trump administration made in regards to rescinding DACA. The moment he initiated his travel ban that clearly targeted Muslim immigrants, I knew that there was no way he would have mercy on undocumented children, despite the mixed messages he kept sending DACA folk. Naturally, as someone who still has to work, drive, and simply survive, there was a hint of me that was disappointed in his decision. However, I had to quickly remind myself that had he decided to keep DACA, perhaps we would be complacent and never truly challenge his administration. Ironically, the rescinding of DACA is a blessing in disguise, as it forces our community to have an open conversation about immigration reform and inclusivity. In fact, we quickly forget that DACA is a bandaid to a much bigger problem. How have these recent formal policy changes and “rise” of anti-immigrant sentiment affected you, your family, others you know? As someone who has experienced first-hand the pain of family separation by deportation, I am aware of the awful effects of dehumanization through criminalization of immigrants. One of the reasons why Trump was so successful in spewing anti-immigrant sentiments in white, low to middle class Americans was because he instilled fear and used immigrants as

scapegoats. This administration’s recent policy changes are rooted in unnecessary fear, hypocrisy, and hate. As a result, we have seen a more efficient and brutal deportation machine. Undocumented immigrants have no room to be flawed or make mistakes, because doing so will label them criminals, and once that occurs, there deportation will be “validated” and they’re deemed unworthy. I have witnessed the way my family hid in the shadows when my brother was deported because of his crime. I have witnessed the way my close friend shed tears when she told me about the deportation of her mom. I have witnessed the way an eighteen year old DACA student from my high school was deported in a matter of weeks, despite desperate calls from the community to give him a second chance. By convincing America that undocumented folks are inherently dangerous and do not deserve to be here, we have violated the human rights of these individuals. What is the best way those who have the privilege of documentation (including naturalized immigrants) can support, help, and spread awareness of immigrant struggles and rights? Folks who are documented have to be at the frontline fighting for us. Many undocumented people fear being arrested in acts of civil disobedience, because doing so will put them at high risk of deportation. Documented people must attend marches and be at the front, literally, and use their voices to advocate for us. If they cannot attend marches, they can donate to organizations that help undocumented people, or call their representatives urging them to pass legislation that protects ALL immigrants. It is not the job of undocumented folk to end the hate towards us because we did not create it. Our allies need to step up and fight the hate that is coming from their own communities, especially from white communities. This could mean checking family members for racist remarks, calling out problematic people in their social media/real life spaces instead of being passive bystanders, and sharing our stories in whatever platform they have available. Most importantly, our allies can learn to listen. Listening to the diverse, complicated, multidimensional community we are as undocumented people is a step forward to transformation and change.



Our International Students In January of 2017, president Trump issued an executive order banning travel from a number of countries in the hopes of protecting the US from terrorists. This order soon became widely known as the “travel ban” or “muslim ban.” This animosity against immigrants, especially those coming from muslim countries, is nothing

Where are you from? Gujarat, India

new in this country’s history– but the new

How long have you been in America?

leaders of America are finally making a

2 years

first, decisive step towards keeping immigrants out. Even though the order is yet to be enforced completely, the confusion and xenophobia that has stemmed from it is already just as harmful. One of the things that it is harming is the enrollment of international students at colleges across the country. “CSU has experienced similar drops, but luckily, we thought we were going to see a downturn in August 2017, and we really did better than we thought we were going to,” says Harlan Smith, director of the Center of International Services at Cleveland. The confusing up and down of the executive order doesn’t help the already complicated process that some international students have to go through in order to get to America just to study. Nevertheless,

What are you studying at CSU? Bachelor’s in Management & Labor Relations What were your hopes on coming to study in America? My hopes on coming to study in America is becoming successful by getting better education, dreaming to twist my family’s life from ordinary existence to something truly meaningful and accomplishing my ultimate dreams.

“We had a Townhall in February that was very well received, but we really haven’t done much for summer and fall semesters partially because the executive orders keep changing,” Smith says.

What do you like most about America? What do you dislike most? As Confucius said, "I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand." I strongly believe that to have a comprehensive understanding of one’s subject, action is important, and learning with practical application is imperative! America is the place where everything is just so practical. People who live in America, freedom to act free, can defend their our own political, cultural, religious, moral views and rights. And’s the thing I like most about America: Freedom. The thing I don’t like most is gun shooters.

Could you see yourself living here long term? Why?

What is your favorite thing about CLE?

I do see myself living here for long time, but I would like to go back to my country(India) with my family.

The favorite thing about Cleveland is Cleveland State University itself and Edgewater Park.

When you hear the term "American dream" what comes to mind? How do you see that in your own life/goals? When I hear the term “American dream”, what comes to my mind is freedom, equality, control

Do you think the United States is on a track to get better or worse?

Cleveland State is trying to bring awareness to this issue and help students coming in.

over one’s destiny and a never-ending pursuit of one’s dream. Also, I think of money, fame, success, love and all that stuff.

I would say totally unexpected looking at current situations.

JOhN KIM What is your name?

My full English name is John J Kim. The J stands for “JooAhn” which is my Korean first name. Where are you from? I was born and raised in Seoul, South Korea but also spent 4 years in Vancouver, Canada as a child. How long have you been in America? This will be my 10th year in the states. What are you studying at CSU? I am studying Psychology and am taking the pre-med track. What were your hopes on coming to study in America? I didn’t have any hopes in particular since I was just following my parents initially. I did want to go to a prestigious university but wasn’t sure what my life would look like beyond that. Could you see yourself living here long term? Why? I can definitely see it happening. I speak and understand the language well, can relate to people living here, and am pursuing a career that can serve a great need in this country. Living in America is something that many South Koreans often dream about and I guess I am in some ways living the dream. That being said, I am not yet sure if I would want to live in America long term. When you hear the term "American dream" what comes to mind? How do you see that in your own life/goals? When I hear the term, I imagine a medium size house with a lawn and backyard, white picket fence, and a garage with a car. Oddly enough, I don’t think about any people in that image. I think this is why I don’t really want the

image of the American Dream that I have. It’s mostly all about what you have and possess and doesn’t describe much about what it looks like to live with the people here. Of course I would like to have a house, a family, and a stable income, but I want to make an impact on the lives of people around me and I doubt I can do that by staying inside my fenced house. What do you like most about America? What do you dislike most? For me, America is a foreign country where there’s a lot to see and do, and I like that it’s big and diverse enough so that there is always something new to experience and people to meet. There are less social barriers that I experience compared to Korea, allowing me to mingle with a stranger pretty easily. I will, however, forever be seen as a foreigner no matter how much I assimilate or contribute to this country. If I have kids that are born here, they will grow up with people perceiving and treating them as foreigner, even though they would be American citizens. For a country that is built on freedom and equality, as well as the labor force of minorities, America sure has a hard time celebrating differences, whether it be gender, race, political affiliation, or religion. As long as this continues, no minority will ever get to live the life that should rightfully be theirs in this country, and that is what I dislike most about America. What is your favorite thing about CLE? I think Cleveland is a great place to make memories. It’s not a bustling big city like LA or New York, and for someone who is more used to seeing tangible signs of busy life and entertainment, it can seem like the city doesn’t have much to offer. Going to one of those big cities is like being handed a painting that already comes with fancy illustrations of the city’s narrative and from there, one simply needs to insert his or her own story into the mold. When asked what it’s like to live in big cities, one simply has to hold up the fancy painting and point to where the individual story fits in. Living in Cleveland, on the other hand, is like

being handed a canvas with some illustrations but with more room and available colors for one to paint his or her own narrative. The various pockets and unique moments in the city allow one to create a story that is unique and relevant, as long as he or she is willing to start painting. I remember the excitement I felt when a friend and I discovered Hofbrauhaus, a German restaurant right off campus next to the police station. Our experience at the restaurant allowed us to sketch in a unique spot on our narratives, adding richness and individuality to our Cleveland canvas. Sure it may not be as fancy as one’s narrative in a big city, but I can confidently call it my own. Do you think the United States is on a track to get better or worse? This is a hard question because people in the states have different opinions about what makes a better America. For me personally, I feel like as long as we disagree on what it means to be great together, America will never progress for the benefit of all its people. Especially with the directions that president Trump is suggesting, America seems to be constantly fighting over what matters the most, and a Democratic country is never on the right track if it doesn’t exist to enhance and protect the lives of its average citizens. I do think that many problems rooted deeply in history have been brought up over the past couple of years. They’ve always been around, affecting the lives of many Americans, but now we are just seeing more of it. What’s sad is that instead of owning up to these issues, America seems to be in denial that there are ugly and uncomfortable parts of its history that still keep many Americans from being entitled to the life that the Constitution promises them : one of “life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness”. I feel like the stories of every American matter, especially those of minorities whose narratives and voice are shut down so often and so easily. They are real, they are relevant, and unless America as a whole is willing to agree and act on that, I fear we will never be on track for the better.



I consider that America is very rich in diversity and is a country where you have the chance to experience different cultures but at the same time maintain your own.


Where are you from? Ecuador


How long have you been in America? Two and a half year What are you studying at CSU? I am in my last semester of Communication Management What were your hopes on coming to study in America? My main hopes were getting my bachelor degree in Communication and create a life from myself in a country that was totally unknown for me. Could you see yourself living here long term? Why? I do see myself living in America for long term. Every year I like more and more of Cleveland,


85,000 refugees and asylum-seekers were admitted to the US IN 2016

5.2% Cuba


5.4% Philippines

6% India

7% China

15% Mexico 1,051,031 Million

2015 Green Card Immigrants

and I see having a life of my own here. Studying in the United States has helped me mature and be an independent person and I am used to living here now. When you hear the term "American dream" what comes to mind? When I hear the term “American dream” I think of all the opportunities that the U.S.A. offers to people from all over the world. Even though everything is more regulated by the government for foreigners I still believe that America is the land of opportunities and that living the American dream means having financial stability and opportunities where you can always grow as a human being. How do you see that in your own life/ goals? For me more than pursuing the American dream I am simply seeking a life in which nobody can stop me accomplishing my professional and personal goals. If the American

non-immigrants came in and out of the US in 2015

53% of international students come from China, India, or Saudi Arabia

dream involves taking opportunities to grow, then pursuing the American dream is indeed in my life goals. What do you like most about America? What do you dislike most? I really like the diversity in cultures that you find in America. I consider that America is very rich in diversity, and is a country where you have the chance to experience different cultures, but at the same time maintain your own. It’s a country that helps you grow as a human being. On the other side, what I dislike is how America’s culture is very individualistic, coming from a collectivistic culture it has been hard to connect with people that are in a competitive mindset where you only have to care about yourself. What do you dislike most? How America’s culture is very individualistic, coming from a collectivistic culture it has been hard to connect with people that are in a com-

petitive mindset where you only have to care about yourself. What is your favorite thing about CLE? My favorite thing about Cleveland is how small, affordable and trendy this city is becoming. I like the different neighborhoods with their own unique culture and there are great places to go for every type of interests. Do you think the United States is on a track to get better or worse? I honestly think that the people make America an awesome place to be but unfortunately, I don’t believe the government is seeking the people’s best interest and it feels that instead of moving forward, America is falling behind compared to other countries. What makes America so beautiful for me is its diversity but if multiculturalism is being oppressed I see America getting worse.


Trump’s Temporary Ban Affects These Refugees


13,000 9,000


3.8k 1.5k 26 1

Where are you from?


your chances of dying in an attack by a foreign-born terrorist

Nigeria, West Africa

where I find myself, my dream should be the same.

How long have you been in America? 21 months

How do you see that in your own life/ goals? What do you dislike most?

What are you studying at CSU? I'm just finishing up a Master of Arts in global interactions and starting another masters in psychology in diversity management.

My life goals have not really changed since I began to understand what it means. So it all lies in the way I follow the path I find myself on. What do you like most about America?


Yes but not too long. I would like to travel to experience other cultures.

I see or discover something new everyday, there is no one thing I like. I like a lot of things because America is made up of different people that bring their uniqueness to everything. But one thing that will stand out for me is the structure. America has structure, things can function effectively even there is no one there to monitor it. [I dislike the] over consciousness and extremity. Sometimes over dependence. There are other things but these stand out for me.


When you hear the term "American dream" what comes to mind?

What is your favorite thing about Cleveland?

I try not to think about it because it has different meanings for different people, for me there is no American dream. I don't think there's anything like an American dream. Our minds make something up just so we can have a structure to follow. It's just like relocating to another location to use the resources available for personal growth and development with the aim and goal of imparting and impacting people one at a time. I would feel the same if I had moved to Canada, for me a dream does not come with a particular location, no matter

The serenity, the chill vibe, the gentle pace, etc.

730,000 people became naturalized immigrants of the US in 2015

before 2010



since 2010

21 Million

Naturalized Immigrants


What were your hopes on coming to study in America? A wholesome curriculum, interactive and practical learning experience. Could you see yourself living here long term? Why?

Do you think the United States is on a track to get better or worse? I cannot say, nobody can really say whether something will be bad, worse or better/good, nobody can predict tomorrow. We can only hope for good and prepare our minds and hearts for when the going gets tough. We can also work on ourselves because the change we really need or want starts from within.

Where are you from? I was born in Vadodara, India. How long have you been in America? I moved to US in 2008 and have been here for past 9 years. What are you studying at CSU? I am studying Health Sciences/Pre-Med What were your hopes on coming to study in America? Since I was young I didn’t have any serious hopes of coming to US at the time, However I did look forward to moving here as in India there is a societal image of US as a better place than India. Knowing I would be going to US made me feel special and unique at the time. Could you see yourself living here long term? Why? Yes, I do plan to stay here long term. This is where most of my friends are and most of the people I really know well. When you hear the term "American dream" what comes to mind? To me when I think about American Dream I think about the idea of having limitless opportunity to succeed and achieve your Dream. How do you see that in your own life/ goals? I think it’s sort of true for me that I am trying to achieve a dream in America but I don’t think the opportunities are limitless, It is still better than most countries however not limitless. I do see the opportunity to attend college and being in Honors program so having the opportunity at affordable price is important for me. I totally believe college is a great class equalizer, so I do appreciate the opportunities provided by the college, community members and alumni. What do you like most about America? One of the things I like about America is how clean it is compared to India and since it is not as densely packed as India it is nice to have more personal space. I also like how much this country cares about research and development, may that be public research or private. What do you dislike most? I do not like the imperial system of numbers, It make no sense to me. I also do not like how



poor are treated in this country, In a sense they are used as political tool yet neither of the party actually helps efficiently. Inability of the people to understand the effects racial segregation is having on this country and how much damage they are doing to themselves by not focusing on the problem and giving it more importance. The blatant theft by corporations, banks and rich. The income inequality is a problem I care deeply about and wished more people understood and cared about the problem. I also dislike the fact people don’t realize how the politicians have stopped representing the general individuals and representing lobbying groups or corporations which is basically a form of bribery.

What is your favorite thing about CLE?

I love how friendly the people are in Cleveland. I love the fact that Cleveland is a growing city and I can be part of that growth. Do you think the United States is on a track to get better or worse? I think a country being better or worst can be hard to define. To me, the U.S. is such a globally integrated country. The better question is, ‘is the WORLD on track to get better or worse’ and my answer would be better. Yes, there are parts that are getting worse, but as sum all the world is headed in the right directions - may that be health care, poverty or human rights . NOVEMBER 2017 | VINDICATOR 36

THE BEAUTY OF OUR BODIES The truth behind the Body Positivity Movement. // Caitlin Cole


ll across the world, within

tions by saying it promotes obesity and tries

purpose. She has expressed her experience

every culture, there are dif-

to make people feel guilty if they are not

with online hatred targeting her for loving

ferent sets of standards that

attracted to a certain body type.

her body and standing up for the respect

are forced upon women and the way they see their bod-

The purpose is to teach women that

her body deserves. Trolls comment that she

they deserve respect regardless of their

needs to lose weight, stop eating and that

ies. Height, weight, skin color, hair color

appearance and to see that their individual-

she isn’t worthy of being loved because of

and everything in between is scrutinized

ism is beautiful. A woman’s body is not up

the way they perceive her body. These nasty

and picked apart. Trying to meet these

for discussion or a rating, but some feel as

comments come from people who have no

“standards” is exhausting and impossible

though they have the right to do that. Many

idea who she is or anything about her life.

because they are constantly changing and

cowards hide behind their computer screens

They assume she is lazy with no motivation

unrealistic. Unfortunately, this discrimina-

and make nasty comments. These cowards

just because she is plus sized.

tion affects every woman. The only way to

who body shame women have been given

change this unhealthy mindset is for wom-

the nickname “online trolls.”

en to band together and demand respect for

Plus sized internet influencers Tess

The internet has become a tool for these people to lash out over things they see and do not understand. Ultimately, it should

every body type. Thus, the Body Positivity

Holliday and Ashley Graham have experi-

be used to teach women to love their bodies

Movement was born. Some people who do

enced these awful online “trolls.” Holliday

and to show “trolls” their discretions.

not understand this movement have made it

has been a fundamental part of the world

Holliday took advantage of the internet’s

their goal to tarnish its purpose and inten-

understanding this movement and its

positive side and started #effyourbeauty-


FOLLOW BODY POSI INFLUENCERS @theashleygraham @bodyposipanda_ @Tess_Holliday @scarrednotscared standards. This hashtag is a way for women to take a stand against “trolls” and negative body images. Instagram and Twitter have exploded with women posting portraits that include Holliday’s hashtag in the caption, and it has helped create an online body positivity community. This victory for the movement has also come with backlash from “trolls,” saying it encourages an unhealthy lifestyle by saying being overweight is acceptable. The body positivity movement isn’t about promoting obesity or an unhealthy their worth is not defined by what other people say or think about them or whether strangers view them as healthy. The world seems to have an obsession with labeling and categorizing women. Body positivity is about bringing women together to celebrate these differences, instead of pitting them against one another. This movement is more than teaching others to respect a woman’s body. The most important part is to change a woman’s negative perceptions about her body so she sees her self worth. The battle isn’t about convincing others to find every woman attractive. Attractiveness and relationships have nothing to do with this movement. This movement was created to show women that whether others decide they fit society’s molds or not, their value and right for respect still remains. Ashley Graham is another leader for the body positivity movement who has worked hard to break barriers in the modeling industry. She is the first plus sized model to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated Magazine, a publication that often only accepts slim fit models and uses an ample amount of photoshop. She has also


been featured on the cover of Vogue, British Vogue, Cosmopolitan, SELF and Maxim which are all admirable accomplishments. Through all of these impressive life events, even Graham has experienced negative comments about her body. Her goals and aspirations have been overlooked and the

focus goes to what her weight is. To combat

standards also features women of varying

this, Graham is also using the internet to

disabilities, declaring love for their bodies.

openly express her struggles and fight back against “trolls”.

Michelle Elman, an online presence for the body positivity movement, speaks out

“When I post a photo from a ‘good

about the importance of showing women

angle,’ and I receive criticism for looking

with scars, disabilities and other unique

smaller and selling out. When I post photos

attributes that they deserve respect too. In

showing my cellulite, stretch marks, and

an interview with Revelist, an online pub-

lication for women, Elman discusses how becoming body positive is a slow journey.

Women are more than their physical appearance.

lifestyle. It’s about showing women that

“Body positivity is an action. You do it every single day. You do it when you stop yourself right before you are about to mention a diet. You do it when you intervene on body shaming. You do it when you look in the mirror and tell yourself how much you love you, even when you don’t want to,” said Elman. The internet is a great accessory to this movement but there is a lot more that has to be done for its success. As Elman said, it’s a daily battle and we have to help one another get through it. Women are more than their physical

rolls, I’m accused of promoting obesity.

appearance. No person has the right to

They cycle of body shaming needs to end.

make assumptions or degrade a woman for

I’m over it,” said Graham in response to

irrelevant standards. For those who see why

criticism on one of her Instagram photos.

this movement is necessary, it’s import-

Holliday and Graham have given wom-

ant to realize that any outspoken word in

en all around the world the encouragement

support of it makes a difference. As Holliday

to stand together and see the beauty in their

said, “All we can hope for is to try and talk

differences but there’s another import-

about our experiences and share them with

ant aspect to the movement’s importance.

other people and hope that in some way,

Women with physical disabilities also need

someone gets it and that changes some-

the encouragement to demand respect for


their bodies. Holliday’s #effyourbeautyNOVEMBER 2017 | VINDICATOR 38

FEMINISM IN MODERN JUDAISM An ancient faith, from a new perspective. ** Disclaimer: The responses here are of the opinions of the individuals interviewed, and do not necessarily reflect my own views, or the views of all practicing the Jewish faith. // TJ Hayes


udaism has been around for almost

women to serve in combat. The opportuni-

Judaism demands the full use of all of our

4,000 years, with a population of

ties are endless in contemporary Judaism.

gifts and talents in serving G-d and the

13-14 million people worldwide

A major example is women as Rabbis. Many

people.” My mom’s response was, “I think

out of the world’s population of

scholars believe the first female Rabbi was

Judaism is more inclusive of women in the

over 7 billion. It is a faith that has

a Kurdish woman named Asenath Barza-

Reform and Conservative movements and

only one country with religious majority.

ni (speculated to have lived from 1590 to

see this advancing with time. I do not see

Since its start with Abraham thousands of

1670). The second female Rabbi wouldn’t be

women being included as much in the Or-

recorded in history until 1935. With the long

thodox and Chabad movement’s.” Consid-

changes and has branched off into many sects. Some of these sects include Hasidic, Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Humanistic - the list goes on. However, contemporary denominations of Judaism have brought the role of women in Judaism into more modern times. Feminist aspects in Conservative and Reform Judaism are very important in modern Judaism and the people I interviewed can attest to this. I interviewed members from many walks of life within CSU and Cleveland’s Jewish community. Susan Stone, a female Rabbi in Cleveland (19th in history), her son Charles who is also one of my best friends and making

ering the very conservative views of more traditional sects of Judaism, introducing

There is more choice and leeway within Judaism for women in the States...

quite an impact in the Jewish community in his own right, Elizabeth Oestreicher, a dear

years ago, Judaism has gone through many

new ideas can cause great controversy. I have had discussions with more traditional Jewish people on subjects such as interfaith marriage, and the conversation has almost turned into a heated debate more than once. While each Jewish person is connected, I have learned that some subjects are best left unsaid in certain conversations. How do you personally feel women are represented in Judaism today? Elizabeth Oestreicher: I feel that it depends on how you see women as being “represented” In traditional Jewish practice, women were represented as matriarchs and ties that bound the nation of Israel as a people together. How-

friend of mine who is doing very important

and scattered history of world religions, the

ever, in the 20th century notion of feminism

work in the Jewish community and just had

idea of a woman as a religious leader in the

and leadership. I feel that women are better

an internship in Israel, and my mother. The

U.S. was unheard of. That until Sally Prie-

represented in positions of power and authority

responses given by my interviewees were

sand came along, who practiced as a Rabbi

within the more liberal movements of Judaism.

quite eye-opening in how I view feminism

for over 30 years and is still alive today. She

In these movements we see women rabbis and

in Conservative and Reform Judaism.

revolutionized how people look at Judaism

women taking on central roles outside of the

in the America. Since her ordination in 1972,

traditional home role.

Having grown up in an interfaith home, Irish Catholic and Conservative Jewish

there have been approximately 36 female

(which I wrote about in The Vindicator last

Rabbis in the U.S. to follow. She has changed

December), I had many opportunities to

Judaism as we know it.

learn about my Jewish heritage through my

The first person I asked was Rabbi

mom, my grandparents, and other family

Susan Stone. A response that the Rabbi gave

members. My mom told me stories about

that particularly stood out to me was when

being raised to be a strong and indepen-

I asked her, “Do you feel that Judaism has

dent Jewish woman from her parents. While

become more inclusive?”” She responded,

on the Birthright trip to Israel, I learned

“Yes, Jewish life continues to grow more

that the Israel Defense Forces was the first

inclusive of women in public roles. It does

military force in the Middle East to allow

so because Jews are demanding it; because


Mrs. Hayes I feel that women are more respected in the Reform and Conservative branches, as they are cantors, rabbis, spiritual leaders more readily available, and willing to serve their congregations and their communities. I don’t think the Orthodox or Chabad branches are ready for this type of progression in women and would prefer to keep things the way they have always been as not to change traditional roles.

Do you think that new ideas in Jewish traditions are welcomed? Why, or why not? Mrs. Hayes: No, I do not think that new ideas are welcomed in ancient Jewish traditions, be they presented by men or women. That being said, I don’t think that older men would challenge the beliefs of their elders for fear of repercussions and possibly being disbarred from the congregation. I can’t see a woman’s point of view being acknowledged in ancient culture no matter how times are changing. Rabbi Susan Stone: We don’t necessarily love new ideas - but what we do is make them old and then we love them. Judaism is a textbased tradition. We search for justifications for the new ideas in the past and then we move forward.

neighborhoods without covering it with a hat.

don’t appear to deal with the negativity and

Otherwise people would stare, jeer, or even

harassment that American women do while in

have children throw rocks. But if you ask any

the service. I believe that the American military

number of young women if they had a bat

can learn from the Israelis in how to fight wars,

mitzvah any would say yes. If you attend a

protect their land and culture, and especially

Conservative shul on any given Saturday you

their women.”

will see women called for alyiahs and many shuls encourage the Jewish tradition of asking questions and having a differing opinion or viewpoint. Some say that this is the essence of Judaism itself. Do you feel that Jewish women are better represented in Israel or in the USA? Elizabeth Oestreicher: I would say women are better religiously represented in the States because they have more freedom and less of a dichotomy of “religious or secular.” There

Elizabeth Oestreicher: I would say it depends

is more choice and leeway within Judaism for

on who you ask. If you were to ask some women

women in the States, although Israel allows

of the Wall participants perhaps they would say

Jewish women to hold high positions in gov-

no. They are constantly berated and degraded

ernment, military life and the public sector.

for trying to practice their Judaism by those who hold more traditional views-men and women alike. When my girlfriend was in Israel she knew not to wear her kippah in certain

Rabbi Susan Stone: It is too varied a picture to make that comparison. We are too different as cultures and countries to have to decide. How do you feel your understanding of feminism in Judaism differs from others since your mother being a Rabbi? Charles Stone: I feel that my understanding of Judaism vastly differs from others. Having grown up with my mom as a Rabbi, a position she [is] so proud of, I know that she has fought a long established status-quo, inherently I know that there [are] so many other women that have suffered defeats in attempting to realize similar goals. I am happy she’s able to be the face in a religion where that has not always

Mrs. Hayes: I am not familiar with the role

been the case. She is the reason I believe that

of women in Israel. However, I do know that

everyone should be given equal opportunity to

women are required by Israeli law to enlist

shine as the person they are, Judaism and in all

in the IDF with their male counterparts and

aspects of life. NOVEMBER 2017 | VINDICATOR 40

URBAN PLAYGROUND Cleveland State’s urban campus allows students to experience the city of Cleveland for themselves // Grace Roberson


t’s not uncommon to hear the bell of

washed over me — there were mountains

the RTA Healthline bus throughout the

everywhere. I’d never seen anything like

of exploring all the more enticing.

day on Euclid Avenue or the occasional

it before, and I couldn’t believe what I’d

growing up having direct access to a city,

cacophony of sirens and roaring engines,

gotten myself into, having self-identified

spending my first half of college in isolated

but it’s second nature to Cleveland State

Hailing from a suburb in Cleveland and

as a city girl for so many years. While I

areas was a big adjustment for me to make.

students. Every year, millions of students

was excited about starting a new chapter

I found it difficult to make friends, and

across the country commit to a universi-

of my life in a foreign place, I couldn’t help

navigating my surroundings with pub-

ty. It’s a momentous decision, and one of

but feel isolated, too. I found out later that

lic transportation required meticulous

the more important, influential factors is

Ithaca was four and a half hours away from

planning. After spending my first year of


New York City by bus.

college in Ithaca, I returned home to Cleve-

In June 2015, I found myself on a Grey-

Ithaca College’s campus sits on top of

land and attended community college for a

hound bus en route to my college orien-

South Hill, with a view of Cayuga Lake and

year before transferring to Cleveland State

tation in a small New York town I’d never

Cornell University. During the icebreak-

to finish my Bachelor’s degree. And, admit-

heard of before. Ithaca. Only having seen

ers and campus tours, I was introduced to

tedly, it’s refreshing to be back in an urban

and experienced New York City, namely

the phrase “Ithaca is gorges!” — a slogan

environment — I feel right at home.

Manhattan, I was surprised to discover

that I would later find on touristy tye-dye

how rural New York State is in actuality.

t-shirts, magnets, water bottles, and hats.

tonio DeJesus, a sophomore Theatre major,

After transferring buses in Buffalo, the

I had no prior knowledge of the fact that

transferred to Cleveland State from Kent

last few hours of my journey were spent in

my college of choice was nestled with-

State University this fall, and commutes

the countryside as the bus rolled through

in the waterfall capital of the Northeast;

from Lakewood.

farming towns and villages. When I finally

one-hundred-fifty waterfalls within a ten-

arrived in Ithaca, a feeling of enchantment

square-mile radius. But this made the idea


Others share this sentiment, too. An-

“I enjoy it because I don’t necessarily feel alone,” DeJesus said, “Being in a city

The RTA is an integral part of Cleveland State – it allows students to explore the city and experience it in their own way...

Regional Transit Authority (RTA) created

is deep-rooted, just like its people. The

a second Bus Rapid Transit service, The

city itself has seen and endured so much

transition from a rural to urban environ-

Cleveland State Line. The RTA’s Cleveland

change since I was a child, and it’s exciting

ment. One of the more obvious benefits of

State Line, also known the 55, has four

to see how vibrant it has become in the

attending college in a city is accessibil-

designated routes — with service starting

past few years, especially after the Cava-

ity — students have more academic and

downtown and going as far as Westgate

liers’ 2016 Championship.

extracurricular opportunities compared to

Transit Center, Lakewood Park, Bay Village,

students in smaller college towns. Being a

and Crocker Park.

Like myself, DeJesus had to make the

Theatre major, DeJesus is able to take ad-

In a 2016 report from the RTA, it was

Since I’ve started college, the most important thing I’ve learned is that there is no right, wrong, or “normal” way to go

vantage of attending classes and perform-

reported that within the first two years of

to college. Anyone’s college experience

ing in Cleveland’s theater district. “The

operation, the Cleveland State Line has ac-

is malleable, and it’s important to make

Theatre department sits on top of the gold

quired a rider increase of 439 percent. The

the most of it while you can. Take me, for

mine that is Playhouse Square… you get to

RTA is an integral part of Cleveland State

example — I went from a private four-year

utilize that professional atmosphere.”

— it allows students to explore the city and

institution to community college, and now

Attending college, no matter how

experience it in their own way, not only for

I’m settled in a public, urban university. I

the sake of going to school.

couldn’t happier to be here, and I’m excited

many miles away from home you may PHOTO BY ANDRIANA AKRAP

forces you into social situations.”

be, is a leap of faith. It’s the chapter of

You can’t compare Cleveland to New

your life where you learn how to be more

York or Chicago because it falls into its

independent. One of the most appealing

own category; Cleveland doesn’t try to be

things about Cleveland State is their strong

like anyone, or rather, anywhere else. Like

emphasis on public transportation use.

any other city, Cleveland is full of sur-

At the end of 2014, the Greater Cleveland

prises and hidden gems, but the genuinity

to see what the city I’ve known for so long has instore for me and other students.



You're searching for some body, any body. I'm waiting to have some one. That's where we split our ways. Done with idiosyncratic fits of rage, Read my fists, turn the page. Not a body to fill my bed, but some one Out of my head. Fantasies woven into flesh and bone, The words of reassurance whispered with a beckoning tone. Come out from beneath, Beat me in hide-and-go-seek. The deeper the burrow, The colder the trench, The greater the fire Needed to surface self consciousness. Your patience has proven to be no consequence To further events. Time can only comply with the sweetness of this wine. Aged in darkness, Enjoyed in the moonlight. Sun dried grapes off the vine Laid before your feet to squander, squish, writhe and refine, Until the perfect glass is poured, Enjoyed by your side. A child, reaches for grape juice. Immature, unable to handle the bitterness, intoxication and sophistication. Quick, painless and quenching, No obligation. It takes a a gentleman of stature, Intelligence, wisdom and ambitiousness, To appreciate the grind, the work, the wait. Blood, blisters, bruises and battles. Nothing comes easy, And if it does? Nothing good shall come of it, As short, short lived as a juice box, Tossed in the trash.



By Bernadette M. Wielgus

Herbal Messages By Joy Yayoie McKiney

The one inspire herbal ways done by smelling or tasting. How people describe


such messages.

There Are People Praying For You Right Now By Nick Chmura

It may not seem like it, but there are people praying for you right now. They’re in dark basements, side chapels and alleys; a person prays for you right now whose name you can’t pronounce, in a country you’ve never heard of. On creaky knees, the hermit, in isolation, prays for you —  Facing East 5 times a day, the Imam and his followers, pray for you —  Cross-legged & fat-bellied, the Buddha prays for you. There are crook’d-neck Catholic widows, praying the rosary, over and over, for you. There’s a monk in Bavaria burning a candle, cleaning the wax and burning another candle for you. And millions “Om” they say, “Shanti” “Om” they pray to Krishna, Shiva, and Vishnu —  for you. When you are strong, they pray for you. Mangy, down and damned, they pray for you. It may not seem like it, but there are people praying for you right now.

Playful Dance By Joy Yayoie McKiney

Having fun As many children do, Playing games Feeling free, But Impressive movements Are recognized By many people. Just being combined For stages Happen naturally As time goes


As fun moments go.

By Stephanie Rice, other CSU Students Design by Master Collective


Vindicator Cleveland State University’s Arts and Culture Magazine