Page 1

Vindicator Cleveland State University’s Arts and Culture Magazine






23 what’s in this issue? 3

Check Us Out Online




Letter from the Editor


Meet Our Contributors

Arts 7

Q+A with Mary Jo Young by SAMRA KARAMUSTAFIC


Supporting Theater and the Arts, Virtually by LYNN NICHOLS

Culture 13

Remembering Rwanda by MEGAN BARANUK



Earth Day Around the Earth by MEGAN BARANUK


Beauty + Wellness 27

Thank You Healthcare Workers: A World Health Day Celebration by ABIGAIL PREISZIG


Easy Ways to Live Sustainably by MEGAN BARANUK

Social 31

Top 5 Hiking Trails In Cuyhoga County to Explore This Spring by ABIGAIL PREISZIG









Conversations with A Camoflauge Mimic Moth by ERIKA GIFFORD

Venus of Willendorf Part 2 by ANNABEL BACH





“Nigerian youth accused the police force of unconstitutional harassment, mirroring the very gangs they were instructed to protect citizens from. ” — CLAUDIA UGBANA



Domestic Abuse “Domestic abuse happens more often

Graduation - A Culmination of College. “It’s genuinely stressful, thinking of being an out-of-college adult and knowing I’ll have to handle my responsibilities on a scale like never before.” — DOROTHY ZHAO

than you would think. Having safe effective resources to get help is incredibly crucial for victims, especially in the age of COVID-19.”— VANESSA MURPHY

#VindiAsks: What are your plans for the summer?


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


38% TRAVEL Follow us on social media to participate in our next poll! @VINDI_CSU


w h a t’s h a p p e n i n g i n

S P R I N G 4/15 Design Night

Would you like to unwind and relax on a Thursday evening? Join us for Design Night and have fun making! There are no restrictions—you are welcome to use whatever design medium your heart desires. AIGA Cleveland 6PM-8PM, VIRTUAL, FREE

4/16 78th Street Studios April Art Walk

78th Street Studios April THIRD FRIDAY Art Walk. Many of our resident artist studios and galleries will be open for you to explore, presenting dynamic new exhibits and artwork. You can also join us virtually via Facebook Live between 7 and 8 PM for pre-recorded and live clips of our open businesses and our event.

5PM–8PM, 1305 W 80TH ST, CLEVELAND, $5

5/1 - 5/31 Portfolio Review

5/17 - 5/23 Taco Week

The 2021 AIGA Cleveland Virtual Portfolio Review has the same goal it always has: connect students with industry professionals to grow through shared advice and constructive feedback. However, this year the format is slightly different; it's still online, but it's on your time throughout the month of May.

The second annual Cleveland Taco Week returns to Cleveland this May. "We're bringing you $2 tacos from some of Cleveland's most popular taco joints. Each participating Cleveland Taco Week restaurant will be offering their own unique tacos." The Cleveland Scene Magazine




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



his issue is officially our last publication for the 2020-2021 academic year. The time has absolutely flown by, and I’ve been so honored to serve as Editor in Chief this issue. Working with

an amazing editorial team and design staff to create this year’s issues has been a pleasure, and I’m excited to read along as a reader next year! I have every confidence that

The Vindicator will keep amplifying marginalized voices, and creating compelling reads. Finally, I am so thankful for The Vindicator as a publication, Brenda, Tyisha, and all past Editor in Chiefs for keeping this publication relevant and beautiful. I will forever be grateful to everyone who encouraged me first as a writer, then an editor, and finally Editor in Chief. This journey has been incredible, and though the pandemic made publication difficult, I’m so proud of the writers, editors, and designers who persevered to create amazing issue after issue despite the challenges that we faced.

So long, good luck to graduating seniors, and we’re excited to publish next year!




Faculty Advisor Julie Burrell Web Specialist Daniel Lenhart


CONTRIBUTORS STAFF HEADS Megan Baranuk Editor–in–Chief

Megan Mullaly Managing Editor

Eric Seitz Copy Editor

Lauren Koleszar Features Editor

Courtney Byrnes Arts Editor

Lynn Nichols Culture Editor

Megann Rosecrans Online Content Editor

WRITERS Megan Baranuk Lynn Nichols Samra Karamustafic

Jillian VanDyke Asst. Art Director

Samra Karamustafic Beauty Editor

Claudia Ugbana Social Editor

Max Torres Multimedia Manager

JUNIOR DESIGNERS Lauren Koleszar Mikalya Gary Abigail Preiszig

POETS Annbel Bach

Asha McClendon Art Director

Devin Benko Stefany Belasic Hannah Mosley

Emma Splete Jillian VanDyke Emily Williams


Mikayla Gary

Abigail Preiszig

Disclaimer The content of the Vindicator does not necessarily represent the opinions of Cleveland State University, its students, faculty, or staff: nor does it represent the members of the Vindicator staff or our advisors unless otherwise stated. The editor reserves the right to comment on any issue that affects the student body in general as well as the multicultural community at large. Letters to the editors and other submissions are accepted, however they must have the authors name, address, major if applicable, and telephone number. All submissions become property of the Vindicator and the Vindicator reserves the right to edit submissions as deemed necessary. Magazine and newspaper theft is a crime; limit one per person. 2121 Euclid Ave, MC 471, Cleveland, OH 44115 216–687–2118 THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 6




YOUNG @m ar


a @m


yo j o.

g un

y jo.y

o u ng



Samra Karamustafic The American Idol contestant tells us what it was like to sing in front of three superstars, her yodeling experience, and more in this fun Q+A.

I only had three days to learn how to do it for another school talent show. I didn’t make it, but I think that triggered it a little bit. Even though it’s not singing, it still contributed to my stage fright. Plus, when I


moved to Ohio [from Tennessee], it was like “Oh,

pparently, stepping onto the American Idol stage feels a little bit like entering heaven thanks to the bright studio lighting — according to Mary Jo Young, that is.

nobody knows I sing, so this is perfect!” I think my confidence went down as I got older because with little kids you have to tell them that they’re good. What do you love most about singing? M A R Y J O I like that I get to do my own thing and

That’s the first thing that the American Idol judges

be my own person doing it. I don’t have to “copycat”

and viewers at home heard her say as she introduced

anyone and I can have fun finding my own style.

herself on the show.

Plus, I get to find my own voice within everything

The 19-year-old former real estate sales associate

and learn more about my singing and what I can do

is a contestant on the national singing competition

with my voice.

show this season, appearing in an episode that first aired back in late February. Quick spoiler alert: after blowing the judges away with her rendition of “You Broke Me First” by Tate McRae, Mary Jo secured the golden ticket and is on her way to Hollywood! The Cleveland native and former Cleveland State University student has come a long way from her elementary school yodeling days. What began as simply posting singing videos to Twitter and TikTok has turned into the opportunity of a lifetime for the young singer. I got the chance to sit down and chat with Mary Jo over the phone about her American Idol experience, what it’s like to be TikTok famous, and what’s next

How did you end up auditioning for American Idol? M A R Y J O Originally, I was kind of terrified of the idea, but I started posting videos on TikTok, and people kept commenting and telling me to [audition]. Then some of the people from the casting team at American Idol actually reached out to me and I talked to them. I just thought, “Okay, what better way to break the ice?” So then I just went ahead and auditioned! Speaking of TikTok: you’ve grown quite a following on the app — what made you decide to start posting your singing videos on there? M A R Y J O Well, my friends had all of these inside

for the singer.

jokes about TikTok and I felt left out, so I thought,

M A R Y J O YO U N G Life is treating me pretty well! I’m taking it all in and overall it’s pretty good! What got you into music and singing? M A R Y J O My whole family has been pretty musical. Everyone in my family is involved with music in some way: my dad has a crazy good voice and my mom sings too. I sang when I was younger, but as I grew up, I became more secretive about it. Was there something that triggered you to become more secretive about your singing? M A R Y J O The only singing I had done was in the school talent show in the first grade with my sister. After that, I hadn’t really done anything until I tried learning how to yodel — I was really bad at it because

“Okay, I’m going to get TikTok!” I started posting singing videos on Twitter first and so my thought was “Let’s just drag them over to TikTok,” since all of these other people were doing really well with their music on there. At that point, it just started to take off!


First of all, how’s life treating you so far?



What was it like when you first walked up to sing in front of Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan on the show? How did you feel? M A RY JO Oh my gosh, I was TERRIFIED! I was super excited because I was like “Wow, look at these guys!

@m ar

They look just like they do in the pictures!” I felt

y jo.y

o u ng

excited to meet them but nervous to sing in front of them, so I had two different feelings about the entire situation.

they decided to bring your mom out so that you could sing to her. What was that like, considering that they pulled that out of nowhere? M A R Y J O It was — eh, I don’t know. I really don’t know. I was nervous to sing in front of my mom but at the same time, it almost felt more comfortable. I think that if I was singing in front of my mom alone, I would’ve felt even more nervous. But having the judges give a good reaction to the first song I’d sung made me feel more confident to sing in front of my mom. What advice would you give to someone who loves singing and who would love to showcase their talent on a show like American Idol, but who’s too nervous and afraid to do so?




your mom had never heard you sing before. That’s when

During your audition, you revealed to the judges that


M A RY JO Go about it in whichever way you feel most comfortable with, whether that’s posting videos on social media or going out and auditioning for a show. Just make sure that you’re comfortable and happy doing it, then go with it and have fun! What has been the biggest “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe this is happening right now!” moment for you so far during all of this? M A R Y J O I think it was when Luke [Bryan] was talking to me because he was just being so supportive and complimenting [my singing]. When he was talking about everything after I sang, it just opened my eyes a little bit more because then my mom looked at me and I think that was when I thought, “Oh wow, this

Mary Jo’s original song Carpet out now!

is really happening!” The episode that featured your audition aired on Feb. 28. Did you do anything fun to celebrate? M A RY JO I got together with my family and my closest friends safely — with masks and socially-distanced, of course — and we watched it together! What’s the next step for you in regards to your singing, your career — all that fun stuff? What aspirations do you have in mind? M A R Y J O No matter what happens with American Idol, I’m thankful for it and I’m going to keep enjoying it and having fun with it. But I’m really excited to see what’s going to come out of this experience, like touring and concerts and everything like that. I think that would be really fun. I’m most excited to see what’s to come while having this experience with American Idol and enjoying it. Things certainly aren’t slowing down for Mary Jo. Since our chat, she’s released her very first single, “Carpet”, she’s gotten a bunch of Twitter shoutouts from judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan, and she’s featured in the March 21 episode of American Idol. No matter what happens with American Idol, one thing’s for sure: this certainly won’t be the last time we hear about Mary Jo!








Emma Splete

Upcoming online events hosted by theaters and stage companies


leveland is home to a rich culture and

to wider audiences and more accessible to disabled patrons, whose accommodations in a physical venue are often limited. Below are seven virtual programs to enjoy this spring, from organizations in Cleveland and across the country.

a vibrant live theater scene. The city is well-known for the companies and tours hosted by Playhouse Square, the second-largest theater complex in the

country (second only to Lincoln Center on Broadway). But as professionals, students and theatergoers are painfully aware, the ongoing pandemic has placed live theater on pause. Before March 2020, patrons in Playhouse Square’s intimate Hanna Theatre nearly always found themselves elbow-to-elbow with a stranger, while performances at the historic Connor Palace would easily sell out all 2,800 seats. With safety in mind, Playhouse Square venues remain dark today. In-person performances with social distancing and mask precautions are scheduled starting in June, with plans for the return of the Broadway series in fall 2021. We can look forward to the return of the atmosphere and experience that only comes from live performances, and do our part to make that return as soon as possible by practicing social distancing and wearing masks. But even as most curtains remain down, the show must go on through virtual productions which audiences can attend from home. Not only does this make it possible for us to appreciate something close to live theater, but the shift to online programming makes theater more affordable


AREA EVENTS “BARS,” Playhouse Square and Baldwin Wallace University (April 9–11) The 14th annual collaboration between Playhouse Square and the Baldwin Wallace Music Theatre program will be “BARS” — which stands for Beatboxing, Acting, Rapping, Singing. Student performers will improvise comedy and musical acts which blend classic and modern styles, creating a unique virtual experience for audiences every night of the show. Tickets start at $20 for performances Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 5 and 8:30 p.m., and Sunday at 7 p.m. For further details and to purchase tickets, visit the Playhouse Square website at playhousesquare. org/events/detail/bars. “National Geographic Live: Women and Migration,” Playhouse Square (April 13) As part of the Nat Geo Live series of documentary and speaking events, “Women and Migration” will showcase content and conversations exploring the gendered experience of migration. The program will feature discussion by photographers Danielle Villasana, Miora Rajaonary and Saiyna Bashir, as well as photo editor Jennifer Samuel, who have all worked


to document stories of women’s migration around 7 p.m. on April 13, with tickets available at $20. For

“Tell The Story: Celebrating Stephen Sondheim & John Weidman’s ‘Assassins,’” Classic Stage Company (April 15)

more information, visit playhousesquare.org/events/

Classic Stage Company is among the many Off-Broad-


way theaters that had to cancel long-anticipated

the world. “Women and Migration” will stream at

“The Moors,” Cleveland State University (April 15–17) The CSU Department of Theatre & Dance will produce “The Moors,” the contemporary play by Jen Silverman. As the director, Professor Toby Vera Bercovici spoke on the script’s feminist content, including the strong women integral to the story in its focus on morality and personal agency. The filming and style will “both take advantage of our new magics (green screens, live video editing) and also subvert them by exposing the reality underneath,” Bercovici said. The show was choreographed by performance artist Annalise Nielson. “The Moors” runs from Thursday, April 15 through Saturday, April 17. For further details, visit class. csuohio.edu/theatre-dance/moors.

in-person shows because of COVID-19. In April 2020, CSC had planned to produce “Assassins,” the Tony Award-winning musical with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. This event will commemorate “Assassins” and all the creatives involved in its thirty-year life on stage with a selection of performances and conversations, including a conversation between Sondheim and John Weidman, the show creators. The free event will also include appearances by André de Shields, Audra McDonald, George Takei and many more. “Tell the Story” will stream at 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 15. For the full list of participants and to register, visit classicstage.org/tellthestory. BlkFrsTv and Live @ Blackfriars, American Shakespeare Center (on demand and April 25) William Shakespeare’s birthday is celebrated around

“She Kills Monsters,” Baldwin Wallace University (April 29–May 3)

the world on April 23 every year. The streaming events

Professor Keira McDonald will direct the Baldwin

in Virginia, offer a great opportunity to celebrate his

Wallace Theatre production of “She Kills Monsters,” a play which explores grief, identity and self-discovery through the protagonist’s experience playing Dungeons & Dragons. The playwright, Qui Nguyen, is also known for his work as a screenwriter for Disney’s “Raya and the Last Dragon.” The original Off-Off-Broadway production was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award in 2012 for the portrayal of lesbian identity, and also received recognition for its innovative costume and sound design. A recorded performance of “She Kills Monsters” will stream at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, and 7:30 p.m. Monday. For more information, visit bw.edu/events/2021/04-29-theatre-she-kills-

hosted by the American Shakespeare Center, based work. The organization offers recordings of productions staged in the Blackfriars Playhouse through an on-demand video program called BlkFrsTv, which has been praised by The Wall Street Journal. Plays streaming through BlkFrsTv include “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Othello’’ and “Twelfth Night.” Week-long video access is available at $15 per individual play, with access to multi-play bundles starting at $25. The ASC will also stream a live acoustic music showcase for free on April 25 at 7:30 p.m. For more information on upcoming events and the ASC, visit americanshakespearecenter.com.

monsters. NATIONAL EVENTS “Prometheus Bound,” The Tank (March 24–April 11) New York City-based nonprofit The Tank has been recognized by The New York Times for expressive, experimental performances. This spring, The Tank produces “Prometheus Bound,” adapted by Howard Rubenstein from Aeschylus’ Greek tragedy and directed by Ran Xia. Brenda Crawley stars as Prometheus as part of a diverse cast in a play which critiques themes of injustice and power. “Prometheus Bound” runs from March 24 through April 11 with performances Wednesday through Sunday. Tickets are available starting at $25 for showtimes at 8 p.m. weekdays, 8 and 10 p.m. on Saturdays, and 5 and 8 p.m. on Sundays. For more information, visit

But even as most curtains remain down, the show must go on through virtual productions which audiences can attend from home.

The Tank at thetanknyc.org/prometheusbound. THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 12



Megan Baranuk This month, we remember the more than 800,000 people who were killed in the span of 100 days by extremists in Rwanda.


n 1994, the Rwanda genocide was carried out in the span of 100 days. Hutu extremists were responsible for the extreme violence and massive tory of this genocide, and remember the count-

less individuals lost to senseless violence. The two main ethnic groups that made up Rwanda were the Tutsis and the Hutus. Though the majority of the country consisted of Hutus, the Tutsis ruled Rwanda. The Hutus overthrew the Tutsis, causing the Tutsis to flee and reside in neighborhoods (and some to Uganda). On April 6, 1994, a plane carrying the Hutu president was shot down, and everyone on board died. Hutu extremists blamed the Tutsis, specifically a radical group called the Rwandan Patriotic Front. The genocide happened very quickly after the Hutu extremists blamed the Tutsis. Immediately, Hutu extremists supplied militias with lists of government officials, and the militia sought them out and killed them and their families. The Hutus slaughtered Tutsis, and some perished at the hands of their own families or neighbors. The Hutus commonly used machetes in the slaughter of the Tutsis, as Rwandans often had machetes in households. Women captured by the Hutus were kept and put into sex slavery. Contributing further to the massive genocide of the Tutsi people were not only the hit lists, but hate propoganda on their own radio station, in which


the Hutus encouraged people to kill all the Tutsis,

Aftereffects from the genocide continue to haunt Rwandans

loss of life. Let’s take a look at the facts and his-

to this day.

reading out a list of people to be killed. This radio station was called Radio Television Libre des Mille Collines. Translated, this reads “Free Radio and Television of the Thousand Hills”. During the broadcast, Tutsis were referred to as “cockroaches,” and the Hutus deployed many violent sentiments against the Tutsis. The radio station itself became instrumental in inciting the Rwandan genocide. One of the most disturbing aspects of this genocide was the fact that the U.N. and Belgium both had forces in Rwanda, yet did nothing to stop the brutality of the genocide. The U.N. actively had peacekeepers stationed in the area, though they turned a blind eye as thousands were massacred. As historians look back upon the events, the warning signs of a genocide became glaringly obvious, giving international powers plenty of time to step in and prevent a massive loss of life. The head of the U.N. Assistance Mission for Rwanda had made contact with New York, stating his concerns on the mounting tensions and violence present in the country. The Belgian government similarly knew of


the impending threat, and implored the U.S. and the U.K. to get involved. Both countries refused to assist

an incomplete grieving process and little closure.

in the critical moment.

trafficking and sex slavery, and the continued trauma

Rwanda’s genocide was not covered extensively by

from these experiences for survivors is yet another

the media, therefore sparking little outrage from the

instance of injustice among the Rwandan genocide.

public. To this day, Rwanda’s genocide is not widely

The instigators for many deaths and related crimes

talked about, and the injustices are not common

are still at large throughout Rwanda.

knowledge. Bill Clinton, president of the United States

Spreading awareness and reflecting upon the

at the time, referred to the genocide as a “tribal war”

atrocities of the Rwandan genocide is imperative in

and refused to provide aid. By downplaying the nature

making sure that we as a people never make the same

of the genocide, Clinton could be considered complicit

mistakes and fail to protect the innocence. Holding

in the massive loss of life sustained in Rwanda as a

ourselves accountable in educating ourselves and

direct result of his dismissal.

others, and holding others accountable for action (or

The former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan

the lack thereof) is essential in preventing tragedies

put out a statement on the tenth anniversary, ex-

like the Rwandan genocide.

the loss of life in Rwanda, and described the U.N.’s inaction as a failure to protect the defenseless. The U.N. now observes an official Day of Reflection for Rwanda’s genocides. This Day of Reflection ensures


that we as a people are tak ing into account the atrocities that occurred in Rwanda, reflecting upon the widespread failure to protect the innocent, and ensuring that a preventable tragedy such as this may never happen again. Aftereffects from the genocide continue to haunt Rwandans to this day. Because of the sheer volume of death, most victims were disposed of in mass graves, leaving surviving family members and friends with

This Day of Reflection ensures that we as a people are taking into account the atrocities that occurred in Rwanda…

pressing his regret in the U.N’.s failure to minimize

Women throughout Rwanda were sold into human





Megan Baranuk Let’s examine Earth Day’s history, and its celebrations in different cultures and countries across the globe.



arth Day is once again upon us, and we’ll

habitants to begin restoring the planet. Sustainability,

be celebrating accordingly. Though we

gardening and respecting the planet is imperative

may be in a pandemic, different cultures

in achieving this goal. Think of it as a new year’s

around the world have been celebrating

resolution, but for Mother Earth! Planting even just

this holiday in unique ways for decades.

a tree in your backyard, planting wildflowers and

In this article, we’re going to explore some of the cel-

supporting the Earth’s natural beauty and wonder

ebrations that occur around the world.

can help contribute to this goal. Supporting bees can

Traditionally, Earth Day has a yearly theme in re-

have a huge effect on the environment as well.

spect to our planet. This year, the theme is “Restoring

In America, the first official Earth Day celebra-

our Earth.” This is an especially relevant focus in the

tion took place in 1970 (making 2020 Earth Day’s

midst of the pandemic, which encourages Earth’s in-

50th anniversary), and surpassed all expectations.


Twenty-million Americans took part in this holi-

Brisbane, Australia, an event taking place on April

day, which today is one of the largest secular hol-

17 will plant 500 trees, thanks to Springfield Lakes

idays garnering about 500-million people across

Nature Center. These trees aim to help revive a wild-

the planet who celebrate.

life corridor and help restore threatened species who

However, Earth Day did not begin as the holiday

reside in the area.

we know it to be today, as the first Earth Day was a

Tok yo of ten host s a n e vent at Yoyog i Pa rk

national protest against dirty water conditions, pol-

that garners over 100,000 people to learn how

luted air and a rapidly declining environment. Leading

t o l i ve m or e s u s t a i n a bl y a n d e t h i c a l l y. T h e

up to the first Earth Day, many red flags arose that

highlight of the celebration is often the Tokyo Veg-

citizens and politicians were becoming aware of and

etarian Festival, exposing the masses to delicious

concerned about. In 1969, the Cuyahoga River caught

and eco-friendly foods.

on fire, a major sign that reform around respecting

In Taiwan, an Exchange Photo Club will be call-

the Earth needed to happen as soon as possible.

ing attention to the action that is needed to save

Earth Day has notably been able to connect peo-

our planet from crisis. This club will be show-

ple regardless of their political background, belief,

ing a virtual exhibition that highlights nature’s

United States Environmental Protection Agency was formed, as were the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. The Clean Air Act addresses air pollution and carbon emissions, cutting down on the polluted air and increasing a better quality of air for all. The Clean Water Act sought to clean up bodies of water, as in the 1960s and 1970s most bodies of water were very polluted and filled with trash. The Endangered Species Act is one of the very few acts that places value on life that is not human, a central pillar in honoring Earth Day. This act prevents further harm


or death as much as possible, and protects animals

race or gender. As a direct result of Earth Day, the

facing possible extinction.

beaut y and inherent v ulnerabi lit y. This event

This year, Earth Day is calling for organizations

will also educate viewers on what they can do to

to join their three-day climate action summit. These

reduce their carbon footprint.

summits will take place throughout Earth Week, focus

Throughout March and April in India, a central

on climate literacy and environmental justice, and

focus on reusing, refusing, and recycling is being

offer a variety of youth-led climate issues. EARTH-

stressed. Citizens are encouraged to swap, barter,

DAY.ORG will be hosting its second Earth Day Live

exchange and buy second-hand. Buying new items is

on Earth Day this year, connecting a large network

discouraged, as the trash often ends up in landfills.

of relevant partners.

In Vancouver’s “Party for the Planet” will commence on April 18. This party will host live mu-


sic and performances. The event is outdoors, and

New York City is offering a five-kilometer eco-friendly

the performances will include poets, speakers,

walking tour, with the botanical gardens hosting

and musical guests.

performances, parades and tours that highlight

An event in Nigeria will bring artists together to

protecting our Earth and species that are endangered.

celebrate Earth Day. This event aims to create aware-

London’s Neoclassical Somerset House has a plethora

ness surrounding climate change and sustainability,

of events. The House is offering a two-week event

and participants take part in tree-planting, webinars,

that includes interactive programs and large-scale

social media activities and parachute decorations.

art installations. The event will also offer educational

These are just a few notable events going on

programs that will teach families how to be more

throughout the world. For more events anywhere in the

eco-friendly and conscious.

world, visit earthday.org and browse their interactive

Sydney, Australia, will be celebrating Earth Day

map, filled with activities and events that highlight

by bringing in educational speakers to educate

Earth Day this year!

audiences on clean energy, and further discuss how technology and big companies affect the planet. In




50 and Sisterhood

Years of Service



Mikayla Gary and Gayle D

Last fall, Mikayla Gary was initiated as the first Black NPHC Member of Order of Omega, and she writes about the meaningful history of her Sorority Chapter, Theta Eta, which is celebrating 50 years of challenging the status quo on CSU’s campus.

For us, sisterhood is a bond between women who

Opening Letter to the Ladies of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Theta Eta Chapter



share common beliefs or goals and join together to

isterhood is one of the many beau-

advance the missions of empowerment and social

ties that thrives throughout Theta Eta.

change. This connection is forged in love, wisdom,

During my year within the working

loyalty and acceptance. As a result of this connection

chapter, I have found myself amazed by

that recognizes each woman’s uniqueness, we can

how sisterhood can cause a domino ef-

work together toward reaching our full potentials.

fect on my life. Growing up as the older sister of two

Over the past year, due to being a member of Theta

brothers, I never knew the impact of sisterhood. So

Eta, I’ve grown to see the importance of Black wom-

as a result, in joining Theta Eta, I was thrilled to have

anhood through the lens of sisterhood. As a result of

the privilege to not only serve the chapter but gain

joining, I gained several relationships and lifelong

meaningful relationships with members from Theta

lessons that I will always cherish. I gained a family.

Eta in the form of lifelong sisterhood. Overtime, The-

The constant support and love from my sisters have

ta Eta has taught me that sisterhood is a sacred bond

impacted my life in several ways. The Ladies of

and experience that all women should experience.

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Theta Eta Chapter,

Intitates from Spr 10’ & Spr 13’ at the Annual Labor Day Parade with Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge. Sep 2013


has helped groom me into the servant-leader I am

engagement, these collegiate members also hosted

today. Even during trying times, my sisters in Theta

social events such as dances to raise funds for the

Eta have always made sure to provide me with love

chapter’s operations for CSU students. These social

and wisdom to face the many obstacles that come

gatherings allowed members to build relationships

up in life. My chapter sisters continuously push

wit h several other Black Greek organizations and

me to grow as a leader and step out of my comfort

unify the Black community at CSU.

zone, encouraging me to try new things and pur-

Professional development and advancing wom-

sue my dreams. These lifelong relationships have

anhood were constant goals that the members of

granted me the opportunity to feel the true love

Theta Eta focused on instilling in their new collegiate

and support of sisterhood.

members and the CSU community. Willis, along with

I am honored to be a part of a chapter where many

her sorority sisters, attended the Sorority’s 32nd

of the members have served the Greater Cleveland

National Convention in Atlanta, GA in April 1973.

area as educators, entrepreneurs, prominent civ-

They stated, “All you saw was Delta Red, street after

il leaders, and much more. I thank Theta Eta for

street, and being a part of that was exciting for us. I

the many stories, poems and songs that help me

give credit to Lavonia Vander, who exposed us to the

combat the issues I face in life and the legacy the

importance of womanhood and played a key part of

many trailblazing members have left for us. Fifty

grooming us into womanhood.” As a result of that

years of sisterhood is a rewarding and exciting

experience, these collegiate women were able to

milestone to reach!

experience sisterhood on a national level, and came back to Cleveland ready to work with Omega chapter

Small But Mighty: The Beginning of a New Era

to ensure that they had a strong campus presence

Theta Eta’s constant strive for greatness is reflected

and that their members were always ready to answer

throughout the chapter’s history. Since its inception,

the call to action.

the dynamic women of this chapter have focused on the betterment of not only its members, but the


community as a whole. During the early 1970s, the sorority and its members championed several efforts in advocating for their respective communities. At the height of the Black


Notre Dame College

Power Movement, Delta’s focus was combatting the


Ursuline College

the sorority’s priorities focused on the equity of Black


Baldwin Wallace University

individuals, Sorority members in Cleveland were hard


Cleveland Institute of Art


Cleveland Institute of Music


Case Western Reserve University


Cleveland State University


John Carroll University

racial tension sparked under Nixon’s presidency. As

at work advancing these efforts in both graduate and undergraduate chapters. Barbra Lockhart Willis was the first collegiate member inducted into the sorority through the Omega Chapter (now the Greater Cleveland Alumnae Chapter, formerly chartered at Western Reserve College), followed by Renee Brooks, Royce Collins, Cecilia Robinson, Rose Robinson and Ruby Tufts. On April 3, 1971, these seven collegiate members answered their civic call. With the help of the Alumnae members in the Omega chapter, chartered the Theta Eta Chapter at Cleveland State University. After establishing the chapter, the women of Theta Eta were extremely active in campus life and activities. In 1971, Willis was the first Black woman to sit on CSU’s Student Judiciary Board. The board assisted with campus issues that affect students. In this position, Willis was able to combat African American students’ issues and be a voice for the Black community. The members also used thier voices to speak out against the Apartheid, advocate for a Black studies program at CSU, and advocate for the Black student body’s general needs at CSU. Sorority members also participated at different rallies and marches to advocate for the Black community. Besides their civic

Building a Legacy One of Theta Eta’s significant components is the various thoughtful programming and events that chapter members held over the years. In the beginning, the campus community had a primary focus to continue to advocate against racism and social injustice within Cleveland. During the charter members’ time at CSU (1971–1975), the ladies from the Theta Eta Chapter helped to book activist Angela Davis as the speaker for one of the lecture series that CSU gave each year (1974). According to chapter members, “She was phenomenal and encouraged us to continue the fight for injustices against our people.” Not only was the chapter focused on the advocacy for equal rights at CSU, but also consciously worked on ways to provide THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 18

Magnificent Six with DOP Charter member Royce Collins.

Lillian Pierce Benbow 15th National President with Theta Eta pyramids hosting Founders day with Omega Chapter now GCAC

Intiates from Spr 18’ & Fall 18’ participating in the chapters annual highway pickup event.

In 2016 Monica Wharton (Theta Eta 77’) Recieved an award through #OrderOfOmegaHonorSociety #ApplePolishingAward for her role as campus advisor to our collegiate Sorors of for #ThetaEta chapter.


service to the residents of the Greater Cleveland area. For example, starting in the mid 1970s, Theta Eta chapter held an annual Sweetheart Ball at the Host House to provide scholarships for rising seniors in the Cleveland Public School system. These awards provided assistance toward various tuition- or book-related expenses. Over the years, the chapter never lost its drive to continue advocating for the needs of the Black community. In the early 1990s, chapter members continued these practices to assist the Black community by hosting a series of events that catered to current social issues and trends within the Black community. For example, on Saturday, December 18, 1993, the Theta Eta chapter was the first Black Greek organization to have a formal scholarship dance “Nite Under the Stars” in the UC Cage (currently known as the Student Center). Not only did these events serve Black and underprivileged students fiscally and civically, but the chapter made sure that their programming highlighted certain

Build a Brick project In 1994, the Ladies of the Theta Eta Chapter Sponsored Buy-A-Brick Project, during the chapter’s Habitat Week. During this event, students donated bricks to

As a result


of this

Jabberwock was one national activity that the chapter

connection recognizes each woman’s

Fat Albert Film Fest/Film festivals:

“We showed episodes of the Fat Albert cartoon in the Keeva. We also had a 1970s film fest back when I was in the chapter; highlighting Black films from that time period. We had attendees dress in 1970s attire and showed various movies from that era. For the Fat Albert event we had a large banner in the UC Cage advertising the event. Another CSU student artist named Jomo drew the large banner that had characters from Fat Albert. Back then, organizations would put banners in the Old UC Cage to advertise events.” 21 | VINDICATOR

together toward reaching our full potentials.

from the 1970s. According to Melissa Keith,

Theta Eta was the only sorority with a presence in the city that was based on community service.” Closing Remarks

we can work

the Arts and pay homage to popular cartoon shows

an event where sorority members invited talented “From what I could see in comparing organizations,

aspects of arts and culture.

chapter hosted a series of Film festivals to celebrate

has adopted into their programming. Jabberwock was high-schoolers to perform to win various scholarships.



On May 27, 1994, The members of the Theta Eta

help build different Habitat houses.

With the many accomplishments that chapter has made for over the past fifty years, collegiate members are still making history for their chapter today. With the chapter functioning with two members, Mikayla Gary (FA 19’) and Jha’Tier Robinson (FA 19’), chapter members have continued their efforts to keep chapter operations going. During the summer and fall, collegiate members were actively engaged with both COVID-19 community check-in events with the Greater Cleveland Alumnae Chapter and the series of protests that occurred during the summer of 2020. President Jha’Tier Robinson was awarded Collegiate Midwest Jewel of the month for the Mighty Midwest Region in the Fall of 2020. Theta Eta’s legacy has left a strong impact on Cleveland State’s campus and students. The women of this chapter have paved a way for me to be able to succeed and excel in any endeavour. I am proud to say that I am a part of a chapter that fosters both love and compassion to its members and to the community.











Lauren Koleszar

Film Students and Department

Despite the restriction imposed by safety guidelines, film students continue to safely produce top-notch films this semester.



ilm & Media Arts is one of the most handson majors at Cleveland State. It relies on massive




filming that normally requires between ten and thirty cast and crew members for

upperclassmen producing junior- and senior-level professional content. New COVID-19 guidelines require a “Safe Sets” certification, and students have been limited to crews of ten people or less on a set at one time. Camera departments that normally run on four to five students are being managed by two if they’re lucky — more often just one person. Students are choosing to produce scripts that need only a few actors and can be filmed at safe, easily acces-






sible locations. Students are desperately working on pre-production and editing from home; and when on set, they’re filling multiple crew positions to make up for the absence of the much larger number of students who are normally able to work on one set together. In spite of these challenges, film students at CSU are producing impressive creative content and becoming multi-faceted filmmakers as they take on many new responsibilities that, though extremely challenging, are ultimately shaping them into better equipped professionals who will have a wide range of skills and experience gained from having to step into so many new roles. We talked to film major Davis Chu, whose freshman year at CSU coincided with the opening of the university’s new film school in the fall of 2018. The initial lockdown hit during Davis’s second sophomore semester, and he took us through his personal experience and observation of the evolution of student filmmaking at CSU over the course of the last year.




LAUREN KOLESZAR: Elevator pitch. Who are you, what do you do and what interests you?

LK: Film is so hands-on, and most classes changed dramatically with the switch to Zoom. Describe the impact of the March 2020 lockdown on your film classes and projects. What kinds of things unique to film students had to change?

DAVIS CHU: Hello there, my name is Davis. You can call me Vis for short. That’s a pretty badass name honestly. I’m a third year film major, concentration

DC: The period of January to March was a very slow,

in post production, with a minor in graphic design. I am also in the Honors college. My passions include (but are not limited to): writing, comedy, animation, editing, music, screenwriting, acting, and television. To clarify, when I say “television,” I mean watching it. Although I’m also working on an original pilot for school.

then exponential realization that the world was falling apart. Like I said, I’m a post major, and I was

supposed to edit a student short by The One True Brian Lachowski. My assistant editor was my dear friend Alex Maytin (who is currently studying hard for the MCAT because he is amazing). They were

We were

DC: I think if life is a circus, then studying film is a trampoline. It may not have the safety net of other more stable fields, but it’s a great launching pad for someone who wants to pursue the arts. I’m still trying to figure out exactly what I want to be when I grow up, but I know I want to do something related to the arts. I’m a film major, but I don’t consume as much film as I do comedy and TV. My comedy influences include the Marx Brothers, Monty Python, Mel Brooks, Larry David, Dave Chappelle, Ricky Gervais, Dana Carvey, Marc Maron, Conan O’Brien, John Mulaney, Sarah Silverman, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Pete Holms, Jake and Amir, Middleditch and Shwartz, Bill Burr, Tina Fey, Julia-Louis Dreyfous, Emo Phillips, Fred Armisen, David Sedaris, Bill Hader, Maya Rudolph — and I’m sure there are others. For TV shows: VEEP, Barry, Fleabag, Atlanta, Master of None, Crashing (the Pete Holms one), Crashing (the

yet to shoot, but the production was underway and Alex and I were preparing to tackle the footage. We

ready to

had, like, footage bins set up in the editing software

take on

and everything. It was an ambitious project and it


take on anything. Like, “this fucking matters”-type

Like, “this

dwarf our problems completely.


what I mean: When school announced it was going


remote workflow. He was gonna merge and organize


we really thought the production was still happening.


honestly seemed monumental. We were ready to attitude. Little did we know that the lockdown would When I say my realization was exponential this is virtual, Alex and I started brainstorming a potential

LK: Why are you studying film, and what are some of your favorite films, creatives or influences?

the footage, mail it on a USB and I would edit. Like, Needless to say, it didn’t. Film is collaborative, and Miss Rona ripped that collaboration away from us. The profs responded with creative opportunity. Everyone in the school had to take on their own projects and oversee it from start to finish. People chose to make documentaries, short narrative films, I decided to make a small series of

Phoebe Waller-Bridge one), Curb Your Enthusiasm,

sketches titled Under Quarantine.

Arrested Development, Succession, Girls, Seinfeld, Raised By Wolves, The Comeback, DEVS, Nathan for

LK: What has filmmaking been like in the era of COVID-19?

You, DARK, The Boys, Game of Thrones, Rick and Morty, and, again, I’m sure there are others.






120 THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 24









the transition was rather smooth. If I’m taking an

remembers that Tom Cruise audio from a while ago. I

animation class, and we’re all using our computers

think the lasting impact on the film industry will be

anyway, and we don’t really have to be in the same

of streaming services. But I think the presence of COVID-19 has accelerated the process. Furthermore, as more and more movies debut on streaming services such as HBO or Amazon Prime, perhaps the type of content will change. My prediction is that studios and creatives will probably lean away from film and into miniseries. I don’t really mind that. Storytelling is storytelling, whether it’s a 120-minute movie or a three-episode hour-long miniseries, ya know? LK: How has your personal approach to creating and studying changed over the past year? DC: I’m definitely not alone in saying I’ve grown a lot in the past year. What has changed the most is my approach to learning and creating. I’ve come to So if you want to get good at something, all you have to do is take the time to do it. Last semester, I had a lot more time I could dedicate to my school work (just by removing the time it takes to walk to and from class). And as a result, I made some stuff I was really proud of. And through that experience, I found a love for animation. I think I have more patience for overcoming learning curves now. LK: What has changed for the better? For the worse?

you look close enough. One of them is the accessibility and flexibility of education. Obviously, nothing is perfect. But the idea that you can attend college online from your parents’ house (and not pay for housing) is pretty epic. Every class is different, and some classes kinda flopped when they transitioned to remote. But for most of the classes I was taking, 25 | VINDICATOR

days. That would SUCK.

the very least, the option of attending class virtually may be a lasting effect that might be nice for future

[…] almost is learnable. So if you

college attendees. Not so much for high-schoolers t hough… God, imag i ne life w it hout snow

LK: How have other film students responded? What’s collaborating like? How are you able to persevere and still work on sets? DC: Other film students have been understandably

want to get

upset. Again, I’m lucky enough to be in a position

good at

setting. On my end, collaboration is a lot of dropping


cause of COVID-19) I’ve come to realize that I prefer

all you have

ple’s. I have so much more fun writing/animating/

to do is take

cutting someone else’s. As for working on sets, I

the time

I wrap myself in blankets, sip coffee, strap on my

to do it.

and click-clack away at my keyboard. Not a bad life.

where my classes were still manageable in a remote off/picking up flash drives. However, (perhaps beworking on my own projects rather than other peoediting a project of my own making rather than just couldn’t tell you. My set is this: a dark room, where blue light glasses, hunch over my desk like a goblin,

LK: How has the transition been for professors and faculty? In what ways have they helped make accommodations for students? DC: The professors have been incredibly accommodating. Earlier this semester, I tested positive for COVID and [it] wiped me out. I was okay, and thankfully nothing awful happened, but it was still a struggle. I emailed all of my teachers and within a day, every one of them responded with empathy and


DC: There are a couple super small silver linings if

every skill

great technology we have and just meet virtually? At


the conclusion that almost every skill is learnable.

room together, why don’t we take advantage of this

distribution. We were already moving in the direction


DC: Strange. And slow. And tense. I’m sure everyone








get-well wishes. Through extensions and exemptions,


cool that the faculty are conscious enough that not everyone has access to the same level of technology. For my post III class, we only meet once a week, and the remaining class time is reserved for if anyone in


I was able to catch up and now I’m back! It’s also

Control what you can, set a

the class needs to use the FMA editing labs.

good example for others, and

LK: Has there been anything you’ve learned or had the opportunity to experience because of the impact of COVID-19? Personal or film-related?




let go of the rest.

DC: I don’t know how much of this is related to COVID-19 but I have been pretty introspective lately. Particularly, I’ve been slowly coming to terms with the Asian-American experience and how race (and unfortunately racism) has affected me. With this topic in mind, I started writing a TV pilot for my class. I


Be it COVID-19 or racism or any problem, we have the


guess that is one of the benefits of being an arts major. luxury of being forced to process our emotions. Also


I should note this was before the tragic Atlanta spa shootings. However, with Asian Americans suddenly being the talk of the town, this definitely feels like the climax to my introspective realization. Also, my grandfather just got out of the hospital from having COVID. He’s starting his recovery now so that has been a whirlwind. LK: Finally, what inspires you and how do you work to overcome the weight of the pandemic on your college and creative experience?

to remember that so long as I’m doing my part to keep other people safe, that’s all that really matters.



Control what you can, set a good example for others, and let go of the rest. And creatively, so long as I have access to tools I can use to make stuff, I’m satisfied.



DC: I take everything one step at a time. And I try




Abigail Preiszig

Devin Benko

A summary of World Health Day, its origins, this year’s theme, what it means, and how to celebrate.


orld Health Day is a global holiday backed by the World Health Organization (WHO). It takes place each year on April 7 to draw atten-

tion to global health. This day of health awareness shines a light on physical, mental, and emotional health, as well as the importance of access to healthcare around the world. World Health Day also marks the foundation of the World Health Organization (WHO). WHO was proposed by officials of Brazil and China in 1945. They desired an international health organization that is inclusive and free from government powers. On April 7, 1948, 61 other countries signed on to be a part of the World Health Organization. The celebration of this day began in 1950. Each World Health Day honors a theme chosen by the WHO director-general. Some prior themes include “Hunger = Disease of Millions” (1963), “Immunize and Protect Your Child” (1977), “Smoking or Health: Choice is Yours” (1980), “Handle Life with Care: Prevent Violence and Negligence” (1993), “Move for Health” (2002), “Depression – Let’s Talk” (2017) and “Support Nurses and Midwives” (2020). Each theme is meant to focus worldwide attention to an important aspect of global health. In 2021, the WHO is launching a year-long campaign titled the “Year of Health and Care Workers,” under the theme “Protect. Invest. Together.” This has been chosen by WHO director-general Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. This year’s campaign shares in WHO’s top priority of Health For All. WHO believes that when people are healthy, then their families, communities and countries benefit. Therefore, WHO’s top priority is to support and encourage national health authorities to enact policies aimed to ensure equitable and affordable healthcare for all.


It is also an attempt at building a fairer and healthier world, too. WHO recognizes how unequal and unfair the world we live in is, and the onset of COVID-19 has further highlighted this. This past year has affected every single country in the world, but its impact has been harshest on those communities which were already vulnerable to begin with. The pandemic made it prominent that some have better access to health services simply due to the conditions into which they were born. With this campaign, WHO is calling upon leaders everywhere to monitor health inequities, ensure all people quality health service when and where they need them, and monitor living and working conditions to be sure they are conducive to health. To do this, we need our leaders to work together, collect reliable data, tackle inequities and act beyond borders.

OTHER CAMPAIGN OBJECTIVES as detailed on WHO’s website

Ensure the world’s healthcare workers are prioritized for the COVID-19 vaccine in the first 100 days of 2021. Recognize and commemorate all healthcare workers who have lost their lives during the pandemic. Mobilize commitments from member states, international financing institutions, bilateral and philanthropic partners to protect and invest in healthcare workers to accelerate the attainment of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and COVID-19 recovery. Engage member states and all relevant stakeholders in dialogue on a care compact to protect health and care workers’ rights, decent work and practice environments. Bring together communities, influencers, and political and social support in solidarity and advocacy for healthcare workers. How does this year’s theme “Protect. Invest. Together.”connect to the campaign?

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare workers have protected the world.


A World Health Day Celebration


Protect. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare


workers have protected the world. Now, our moral

Posting on social media using

obligation is to protect them.


In a video addressing this year’s theme, Dr. Ghebreyesus says, “Health and care workers have been on the frontlines of the pandemic but are often under-protected and over-exposed. They need vaccines now.” He recalled the early days of the pandemic when healthcare workers were applauded from balconies in a display of love and appreciation. He wants this

Reaching out to or doing something nice for a healthcare worker you know personally. Sending a thank-you card. Many hospitals, including the Cleveland Clinic, allow you to send a virtual thank-you to a healthcare worker. Donating money to local hospitals such as Uni-

gratitude to continue into 2021 by making sure our

versity Hospital and the Cleveland Clinic.

healthcare workers throughout the world are given

Sharing campaign material by hanging posters

a chance to be vaccinated.

around your campus or town and posting on

Invest. According to the WHO, we suffer from a global shortage of healthcare workers. Therefore, the world must invest in “education, jobs and decent work to protect the world from disease and achieve universal health

social media. GIFs and campaign posters can be found on the WHO’s website. Getting your local leaders involved. Write, email, call or tweet at politicians about policies that can make a difference for healthcare workers around

coverage.” The largest shortages are in Southeast

the world and in your community.

Asia and Africa.

Contacting local Facebook groups, television or

W HO est i mates t hat t he world w i l l need a n

radio hosts, prominent influencers, and others to

add it iona l 9 m i l l ion nurses a nd m idw ives by

encourage them to commemorate World Health

the year 2030.

Day and the “Year of Health and Care Workers.”

WHO is also calling for an investment in gender equality. Women make up 70% of the world’s health and social workforce, yet on average women are paid 28% less than men.

Educating yourself by reading about previous campaig ns on the WHO’s website. You can find resources on topics ranging from gender equity and universal health coverage


to COVID-19 and more.

“Together, we can make it happen.”

Signing WHO’s “Vaccine Equity Declaration”

How can you help to “make it happen”?

and spreading the word by telling a friend using

Be sure to thank your local healthcare workers!

the hashtags #ACTogether and #VaccinEquity

Let them know that they are vital to the community

on social media.

and that you appreciate how hard they have worked over the past year.




Megan Baranuk

Let’s talk about another plastic item that we’ve all been culprits of using and abusing — the plastic water

Do you want to live sustainably, but just don’t know where to start? This article will point you in the right direction!


ustainable living may seem like an ideal lifestyle for rich people with oodles of time and money, but in reality, everyone can make small changes to dramatically decrease their own carbon footprint.

Oftentimes, sustainable living will actually save you

bottle. Though these bottles might be convenient, a reusable water bottle can carry more water and actively prevent plastic consumption, thus increasing your sustainability efforts! Personally, I love my Hydro Flask! The bottle can be customized, with a plethora of colorful options, and you can decorate it with paint or stickers to really make it your own. If you aren’t ready to commit to a reusable water bottle yet, try forgoing plastic straws when you go out to eat!

money and make your life easier in so many ways. CLOTHING CONSCIOUSNESS REUSING

Being conscious of how much clothing you buy can

The first way to make your life a bit more sustain-

hugely impact on the environment and increase your

able is by focusing on what you can reuse. Instead of

sustainability efforts. Thrifting is a great option to

throwing away a milk jug, wine bottle or coffee grounds

find new styles and pieces while saving a TON of

container, why not convert them into planters? Just

money (not to mention actively rejecting the con-

pot your favorite plants into these fun containers,

sumerist culture we live in!). When we buy into fast

and you can even decorate the new pots with acrylic

fashion — or buying what’s trendu only to throw

paints. Not only will the planters be sustainable, but

it away the next season — we are wasting money,

they’ll be one-of-a-kind!

filling landfills and (in many cases) supporting child

In a similar vein of reusing goods, carrying a re-

labor and poor working conditions. Rather, thrifting

usable tote bag for groceries, shopping and any other goods you might gather on your various voyages is a painless way to eliminate a massive amount of plastic consumption — this will cut out plastic bags from your carbon footprint almost entirely! 29 | VINDICATOR

is an alternative that reuses clothing, keeps clothes out of the landfill, saves you money, and can be a fun activity to do with friends! Finding new pieces is so exciting, and you never know what you’ll find!



natural gas, reducing carbon monoxide emissions by

An important part of living sustainably is minimizing

49,200 tons per year. As far as transportation, CSU

energy consumption. Luckily, this step is super easy!

offers students U-Pass RTA passes on their student

Turn off lights when they’re not in use, and open your

IDs, which allow for a more sustainable mode of trans-

blinds or curtains during the times of natural daylight

portation. Students who carpool are also doing the

— this should become even easier as the days become

environment a favor by cutting carbon emissions in

longer throughout the summer. Make sure to unplug

half! Recycling bins are available throughout campus,

your chargers and electrical appliances when they’re

and students and staff are encouraged to make use

not in use, too. Taking shorter showers (the length of

of these facilities. You can be sure that CSU is truly

three songs, or about five minutes) can dramatically

recycling, as the bags are color-coded — check it out

decrease your water consumption, especially if you

for yourself the next time you’re on campus! CSU also

find yourself taking extra long showers. These tips

offers compostable items with orders through CSU

will also help you lower your bills at the end of the

Dining. Another green initiative that CSU has taken

month, too! Being sustainable pays!

on is water bottle refill stations throughout campus. These stations make it easy for students to bring and


refill water bottles on campus.

A creative way to rid yourself of trash is by building eco-bricks. Eco-bricks are made by packing trash

We hope you’ll keep these tips in mind for beginning

very tightly into a two-liter pop bottle. You can

a sustainable way of living, and we would love to hear

continue to compress these with each piece of trash

your sustainability tips as well! Email us (submit.

until it is a tightly compacted brick. This eco-brick

vindi@gmail.com) and we’ll feature your tips on

is then sent to third-world countries, where it can be

our social media!

used to build homes and other appliances, all made completely from material that would have otherwise been thrown into a landfill. FOOD WASTE & ALTERNATIVES Food is a major part of the sustainability equation, and we can cut down on our waste in many ways without going completely vegan, as that’s not often an option for certain people. If you do feel that you could go vegan, that would definitely contribute to abstaining from the energy demands of slaughterhouses (not to mention the inhumanity and violence, but that’s an article for another time!). Eating natural food is also extremely beneficial to your health and body. Abstaining from takeout cuts down on waste, as the disposable packaging is often thrown out and does not decompose easily in most cases. Some takeout packaging is actually very sturdy and can be washed and reused for leftovers. Take advantage of these when taking leftover food from restaurants home! Eating consciously is another important part of increasing sustainability. Being conscious of how much food you eat and saving leftovers can contribute to less

This office creates and promotes efforts to keep our campus green and conscious of

waste and will save you money on grocery shopping.




ability! This office creates and promotes efforts to keep our campus green and conscious of sustainability efforts. In terms of energy, CSU has solar panels on the South Garage. The solar panels reduce emissions by 73 tons each year! CSU is heated through an energy

Here at Cleveland State, we have an Office of Sustain-

plant that recently transitioned from using coal to






Five hiking trails in Cuyahoga County that are perfect for exploring this spring.

Abigail Preiszig PHOTOS BY

Abigail Preiszig

After almost a year of staying home, many are feeling bored in their surroundings. Luckily, spring is inviting us all back outside! This year, explore someplace new without going too far. Here are five hiking trails in Cuyahoga County you should visit this spring:


BEDFORD Bedford Reservation Tinker's Creek Gorge Overlook - Bedford Bedford Reservation spans 2,200 acres, offering over 34 miles of biking, hiking and bridle trails. The paved pathways throughout the park are perfect for a relaxing stroll, or — if you are feeling adventurous — the woods have approximately five dirt hiking paths. My favorite place to start or end any hike is at Tinker’s Creek Gorge Overlook, a natural landmark with an expansive view of the budding forest and Tinker’s Creek Gorge. Tinker’s Creek Gorge was declared a national natural landmark by the Secretary of the Interior in 1967. This declaration is due to the gorge’s “illustrative character, rarity, diversity, and value to science and education.” The overlook has parking right next to it and is wheelchair-accessible.


Big Creek Reservation Lake to Lake Trail - Berea/ Middleburg Heights The Lake to Lake Trail is a 2.4-mile paved towpath connecting Lake Abram to Lake Isaac, joining the two largest glacial wetlands in Cuyahoga County. Despite being so close to a busy road and hospital, this is a very relaxing walk. The best part about this trail is the boardwalk going across Lake Abram Marsh — the wetlands look neverendingly beautiful. On the boardwalk, free binoculars are available to provide a closer look across the wetlands; try to spot birds such as the American Woodcock, wild turkey and plenty of waterfowl. At the top of the boardwalk is the coolest playground and dig site, containing a fake Mastodon skeleton, swing sets and slides. When you reach Lake Isaac, there is a short trail loop along the lake. This tree-covered trail is beautiful during any season. In the spring, you will be surrounded by a chorus of spring peepers; and during the summer, the blare of bullfrogs is unmistakable.


Rd., and find the trail to your left. On the south end, park under I-90 right across from the Cleveland sign in Tremont and you will find the path right in front of you. The towpath leads you under Hope Memorial



West Creek Reservation - Parma West Creek Reservation offers 326 acres of forest, uplands, wetlands, creeks and abandoned quarries

Bridge and I-90, along the canal, and throughout the Flats. The fishy smell is not the best, but a beautiful view of the Cleveland skyline makes up for it. The sound of seagulls is unmistakable, and you are sure to see plenty of ducks and geese in the water. This paved towpath is wheelchair-accessible and very popular among runners. It is also a great location to take photos of the city.

— perfect for bikers, hikers, birdwatchers and more. West Creek is a watershed that naturally drains the surrounding cities of Parma, Seven Hills, Brooklyn Heights, Independence, North Royalton and Broadview Heights into the Cuyahoga River. You can learn about the watershed and watershed stewardship techniques at the Watershed Stewardship Center located on the reservation. The Watershed Stewardship Center is dedicated to scientific research and promoting sustainable action. It is the first center of its kind in the Cleveland Metroparks. The Watershed Stewardship Center offers a plethora of programs and events for grade-school students throughout the summer as well as free interactive, educational exhibits for anyone to experience at any time. Get lost exploring the multitude of terrain available at the reservation and disconnect in a peacefully remote forest! Wheelchair-accessible, paved trails accompany one-way mountain bike trails and dirt pathways. Picnic tables are scattered throughout the park in addition to covered pavilions at Monarch Bluff and Keystone Shelter. Bluebird Point is one of the most interesting aspects of this reservation. It is a beautiful meadow serving as a breeding ground for bluebirds, tree swallows, and other cavity-nesting birds. Prior to its restoration, Bluebird Point was a landfill.

BAY VILLAGE Huntington Reservation Porter Creek Trail - Bay Village Huntington Reservation offers a variety of habitats to explore such as creeks, forests and meadows. At this reservation, enjoy three miles of hiking, spanning over seven trails. It is home to the Lake Erie Nature and Science Center, a great place to learn about the nature that surrounds us. The Lake Erie Nature and Science Center is home to Muddy Boots preschool, a wildlife rehabilitation program, and a planetarium. They offer many free and paid events for all ages. General admission to the center is free and if you happen to find injured wildlife, or are unsure of how to approach a wildlife situation The Lake Erie Nature and Science Center is the place to contact. For hiking, Porter Creek Trail is elite. This trail goes along Porter Creek and ends at the entrance to Huntington Beach. At Huntington Beach, you can find access to Lake Erie swimming and kayaking, picturesque picnic locations, and lots of wildlife. Huntington Beach is one of the best places in Cuyahoga County to watch the sun rise or set. This spring, let’s make daily walks an annual tradition,

CLEVELAND Cleveland Foundation Centennial Lake Link Trail - Cleveland/ Tremont This 1.3-mile towpath will allow you to see Cleveland

not just something we do during a lockdown. Take advantage of the natural versatility the Cleveland Metroparks has to offer in just one county, then explore beyond that! The information used in this article was gathered from https://www.clevelandmetroparks.com/parks

from a new perspective; however, parking can be intimidating! On the north end of the trail park at Merwin’s Wharf, walk across the bridge on Columbus THEVINDI.COM ­­ | 32



What had happened to him


in a past life?

in a past life?

Annabel Bach

Prelude or prelim.

That made him wince at the sirens.

What had happened to him

Primmed up in 05’ rollin’ snake eyes on a black die. Hearing sirens roll-by scared to shit, focused on a prize. “I would advise, you boys to keep moving.” Refrain from goofin’ or improvin’. “It’s late past curfew.” A profile constructed from rear-view. “You match the description.” Depiction turn infliction. The way his attention hits the corners of his pupils, and the back of a baton. The way it plays out like a ritual, ode to a Black swan. The removal and renewal of another soul. Youthful yet brutal, symptom of the patrol. Pig dice, skunk, and beetle. When murder turns legal. Take the power from the people. More funeral chords ring out of the cathedral. Corrupt courts and lords make death look regal. Red blood on the steeple, and a blind eagle flies overhead. MLK once said, “If you can’t fly, then run”. It’s funny. He musta’ not been on the peering side of a gun. Behind a badge and a number. Heartbeat like drum. Neighborhood like slum. Torment like numb. Gravestone like son.


That turned his anger into silence. What made him cut his hair, and afraid to repair. What had happened to him in a past life?


conversations with a


MIMIC MOTH He touches her wings and says “girlll, why you gotta be like this?” The velveted moth’s vague reply is about burning flames, so he says “honey-b, don’t dwell on harmful light.” But she shakes her powdery wings, wounded from his touch, and admits to herself she’s more scared of the darkness between the light. “You don’t know what the darkness was like to make me wish for the searing pain of flames, or bruised head against the burning light,” she croons with compound eye trained on him, three hundred shifting faces magnified in her eyes are all him, looming in all she can see, blocking out the light. He smiles and says, “darling dearest, what do you know about the dark?”


Erika Gifford



marbled view depict pear shaped women draped ribbons swathed and tightened cloths band, bite, and devour rips around her waist cut, copy, and paste lullaby for crescent moons purify wordly perfumes back brace lined with bows plucked, pull, and dispose wear a corset for liberation torrid fragrant flirtation plaster turn floral cherry scented aural ballerina lace canopy blurring gaze vanity earth mother in alignment birth wonder, she is vibrant summer, sea, and earth soft hymns covet mirth the rebel that made the ground swell the maiden, the mother, and crone the lover, white vulture, and holm




Annabel Bach

Devin Benko




ASST. ART DIRECTOR? The Vindicator Magazine needs an Assistant Art Director for Fall 2021! Our team is looking for someone with great design skills, a passion for social justice, cultural topics, and is eager to help our publication grow! Could that be you?



Assisting Art Director in print-related duties

Cumulative GPA of at least 2.5

Creating spreads each month

Enrolled in at least 12 credit hours/semester

Working with writers

Excellent InDesign skills

Attending meetings

Basic knowledge of Illustrator and Photoshop

Meeting deadlines

Experience working in print or editorial design

SO, ARE YOU INTERESTED? Email us at editor.vindi@gmail.com. Please include samples of relevant work & include a short statement saying how you could contribute to the magazine.

VISIT MC 471 SUBMIT submit.vindi@gmail.com INQUIRE editor.vindi@gmail.com READ ONLINE thevindi.com issuu.com/thevindicator ADVERTISERS Details on our website: thevindi.com ANY STUDENT CAN SUBMIT, EVEN YOU!


Vindicator Cleveland State University’s Arts and Culture Magazine




Art Pieces

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3D Design



Opposing Views Poetry



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MC 470

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The Vindicator- Spring 2021  


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