Spring 2023

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pREfeRenCE” our not our


State University’s Arts and Culture

What to Watch This Spring

Releases Making a Splash in Summer 2023 by Sophie

Interview with Soft Blue Shimmer, Softcult at Mahall’s by Amanda Cook

The Last of Us is Adaptation at its Finest by Cara Robbins

Spring Traditions by Halle Elder

Who Truly Shapes Ohio’s Future by Michael Eadie

by Riley


Our Dignity not our Preference by Ben Nichols State of

by Cameron Mays


Phases of Mensturation by Abigail

Tackling Spring Ahh-ah-ah-achoo. Tackling Spring Allergies by Andrea


what’s in this issue?
6 8
10 12
Stolen Destiny
Roliff 14 16
Benefits of Cats
CSU Styles
Abigail Preiszig 26 28 30 32 Summer in Cleveland
by Megan Mullaly
by Emma Smallwood
34 36 38
Ode to Ohio Summers by Celeste Zirm Speech Impediment / Cruising as Film Crew by Cameron Mays
20 24 We Want to Believe we Will be Loved by Anonymous 39


Staff Heads

Cara Robbins Editor-in-Chief

Benvolio Nichols Copy Editor

Megan Mullaly Managing Editor

Abigail Preiszig Online Content Manager

Abigail Jarvis Arts Editor

Sophie Farrar Fashion and Wellness Editor

Riley Roliff Multimedia Manager

Cael Shaw Culture Editor

Emma Smallwood Features Editor

Andrea Brazis Social Editor

Jakob Roberts Art Director

Prathinav Dutta Assistant Art Director


Jakob Roberts

Prathinav Dutta

Gabrielle Wise

Sereen Soki

Gabriella Kollar

Nico Fierro

Michael Durkin

Daria Hordiushyna

Esther Wilson-McNeil

Writers and Editors

Cara Robbins

Emma Smallwood

Andrea Brazis

Megan Mullaly

Benvolio Nichols

Grace Booze

Cael Shaw

Abigail Preiszig

Riley Roliff

Sophie Farrar

Halle Elder

Cameron Mays

Celeste Zirm

Abigail Jarvis

Amanda Cook

Michael Eadie

*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 editor and other submissions are accepted, however they must have the author’s 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.*

Oh the Places You’ll Go

There is absolutely nothing I love more than the smell of spring rain in the air — because it usually marks the return of sweet and beautiful things after a lot of gray monotony.

Cleveland is, after all, such an ugly winter city once the Christmas lights come down in January. So, I typically spend the first three months of the year counting down until the streets are finally dotted with budding trees, blooming flowers, and outdoor patio people-watching once again.

P lus, there is something nice about seeing the campus come back to life in the last month before we all part for the summer. CSU certainly isn’t known for its dazzling campus, but there’s nothing like a good old-fashioned public green space by the Student Center to help rally a sense of community before we say goodbye.

In the spirit of celebrating the CSU community, make sure to check out some of the stand-out articles featured in our final issue of the year. On page 20, Copy Editor Ben Nichols explores the loopholes in CSU’s preferred name policy that consistently puts transgender students at risk. In “Who Truly Shapes the Future of Ohio” on page 16, new contributor Michael Eadie explores how the impact of regressive political movements from Ohio government officials is causing brain drain in young Ohians. And finally, longtime contributor and satirical nuisance Cameron Mays says goodbye in his final article “State of Cinema Studies” on page 24. Make sure to also check out his final blog videos, which you can access on www.thevindi.com

With graduation just around the corner, the Vindicator must also say goodbye to several staff members who are moving on to bigger and better things:

Andrea Brazis (Social Editor) – I know I’m not supposed to play favorites with the magazine sections, but as a former Social Editor, that section will always be special to me. Thank you so much for taking good care of it, Andrea. The Vindicator will certainly lose something without your quickwit writing and constructive editing technique. Make sure to check out her final article, “Tackling Spring Allergies”, on page 28.

Abigail Preszig (Online Content Manager) – Abigail, thank you so much for your bubbly energy and your dedication to spreading the Vindicator on campus via social media. Most of our new readership is thanks to your lovely outreach and interaction online. Make sure to check out her two final articles, “Menstruation Nation” and “CSU Styles” on pages 26 and 32 respectively.

Jakob Roberts (Art Director) – Jakob, we are so going to miss your unique stylistically stunning designs for our magazines! Thank you so much for consistently ensuring that the Vindicator looked as beautiful as it could. Make sure to check out some of his final spreads for the Vindicator. (I’m a bit partial to his design for “‘The Last of Us’ is Adaptation at Its Finest” on page 12 but, well, I’m certainly biased.)

Megan Mullaly (Managing Editor) – It’s safe to say that without Megan, not a single issue of the Vindicator would successfully be published. With two years of Managing Editor experience under your belt, I know that I was always grateful for your perspective and advice. I know for a fact that without your help and intervention, I would’ve gone insane this past year. Make sure to check out her final article “Benefit of Cats” on page 30.

To everyone graduating, we’ll miss you dearly — the entire Vindicator team is in your corner and rooting for you while you pursue new and exciting adventures.

Vindicator Join our official Discord Server! GET CONNECTED WITH THE VINDICATOR COMMUNITY! https://discord.gg/h3WPeMHJps


A comprehensive list of all the best ways to celebrate the season

6 |


Find your fix for boredom this summer!

Summer is the perfect time to find your next favorite thing. From hit blockbusters to songs of the summer, the season has a history of being the prime time for artists to unveil their latest work for fans to fall in love with. Summer 2023 looks just as promising as its predecessors, with plenty of music, movies and shows slated to debut. Keep reading and discover your next obsession!


“The Album” by The Jonas Brothers

Release Date: May 12

Summary: “The Album” has been described by the brothers as having elements of 1970s pop and Americana, with inspiration pulled from the Bee Gees and the Doobie Brothers.

Why you should listen: Jo Bros fans have been waiting for the band’s second album back together for three years since they reunited in 2019 with their comeback album “Happiness Begins.” “The Album” introduces a new sound for the brothers and promises to be full of acoustic songs made for the summer.

“My Soft Machine” by Arlo Parks

Release Date: May 26

Summary: Park’s sophomore album has been described as a deeply personal body of work that centers on the artist’s experiences living through her 20s. Topics touched on include trauma, upbringing and vulnerabilityies, as well as how our worldviews are affected by what we experience.

Why you should listen: Park’s debut album, “Collapsed in Sunbeams,” was critically acclaimed — winning a Mercury Prize, as well as being nominated for multiple Brit Awards. “My Soft Machine” has been highly anticipated in the three years since Park’s previous release and should touch the hearts of the artist’s fellow Generation Z kids.

“Weedkiller” by Ashnikko

Release Date: June 2

Summary: The album’s concept has been described as a commentary on environmental disaster and the rapid evolution of technology, telling the story of “a fae civilization occupied and destroyed by machines that feed on organic matter where the faerie protagonist seeks revenge by becoming part machine,” according to the musician. Why you should listen: Ashnikko’s sophomore album has been long awaited by fans of the artist and her viral hits such as “STUPID” and “Daisy.”

“Weedkiller” will please fans of eclectic music by giving them something that is fun to listen to, while still having a deeper meaning.

“The Show” by Niall Horan

Release Date: June 9

Summary: Horan’s previous albums have been centered around telling a story and coinciding with the vibes of the season they were released in. “The Show” can be expected to consist of music perfect for sitting in the sun and relaxing this summer. Why you should listen: Horan’s return to music has been three years in the making. Following the unfortunate release date of his sophomore album “Heartbreak Weather” on March 13, 2020 at the start of the pandemic, “The Show” promises listeners a well-worked album full of love.


Movies Shows

Release Date: June 2

Summary: Miles Morales and Gwen Stacy travel through the Multiverse to save every universe of Spider-People from a new, foreboding villain. Along the way, they meet the protectors of the Multiverse, the Spider-Force, who Miles disagrees with on how to handle the villain and the threat of disaster he brings along with him.

Why you should watch: The movie’s predecessor, “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” hit home with moviegoers because of the compelling way it introduced Miles Morales to Spider-Man and Marvel fans. Standing out among animated and superhero movies alike due to its unique comic book animation style, the movie quickly became beloved. Fans have been waiting for “Spider-Man: Across the SpiderVerse” to finally be released since its announcement in 2020.


Release Date: June 16

Summary: A fiery young woman, Ember, and a free flowing man, Wade, form an unexpected friendship in a city where fire, water, land and air residents live.

Why you should watch: Disney Pixar’s recent releases such as “Inside Out” and “Soul” have struck an emotional chord with movie viewers. Fans of hopeful movies that tug at your heartstrings will likely enjoy “Elemental.”


Release Date: July 21

Summary: Barbie embarks on a journey to the human world to find true happiness after being banned from Barbieland for being a unperfect doll. Why you should watch: With Greta Gerwig directing and a star-studded cast consisting of Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling and Will Ferrell (just to name a few), “Barbie” is not only highly anticipated by film and Barbie fans alike, but also has the potential to become an instant classic.


Release Date: July 21

Summary: “Oppenheimer” tells the story of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the director of the Los Alamos Laboratory during the Manhattan Project and the creator of the atomic bomb.

Why you should watch: “Oppenheimer” promises to please film fans with Christoper Nolan directing and a cast of talented actors including Cillian Murphy and Florence Pugh starring, among many others.

“Queen of the Universe” Season Two

Release Date: June 2

Summary: Streaming on Paramount+, “Queen of the Universe” is a singing competition series that finds drag queens competing for $250,000 and the title of “Queen of the Universe.” Host Graham Norton is joined by returning judges Trixie Mattel, Michelle Visage and Vanessa Williams, as well as new judge Mel B in season two.

Why you should watch: If you are a fan of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” drag performers and culture in general or simply like reality or competition shows, you will like “Queen of the Universe.” The first season had its share of heartwarming and comedic moments, and the series is meant to bring people together by connecting drag culture from around the world.

“The Eric Andre Show” Season Six

Release Date: June 4

Summary: Eric Andre returns for his sixth season of his surreal sketch comedy series on Adult Swim. The show finds Andre on the set of a talk-show with co-host Hannibal Burress, and consists of a mix of celebrity interviews, comedy sketches, musical performances and more.

Why you should watch: If you like comedy that leans on the darker side or consists of awkward scenarios, you will like “The Eric Andre Show.” If you aren’t a fan of either of those things, the show may not be a good fit for you, or it may just be the perfect opportunity to step outside of your box and find a new favorite comedian!

“The Bear” Season Two

Release Date: June TBA

Summary: Hulu’s “The Bear” is a comedy drama following chef Carmen Berzatto, as he comes home to Chicago and adjusts from the fine dining world he was a part of to the unruly and unkept state of his family’s sandwich shop that he takes over following his older brother’s suicide.

Why you should watch: The first season of “The Bear” was critically acclaimed for its directing and acting, winning Golden Globes and Critics’ Choice awards. Cast standouts include “Shameless” Jeremy Allen White and “Big Mouth” Ayo Edebiri in her breakout role following work in voice acting and comedy writing.

“Echo” Season One

Release Date: Summer TBA

Summary: Streaming on Disney+, “Echo” follows Marvel Comics character, Maya Lopez (Echo), as she returns home and reconciles with her past, Native American roots, family and community.

Why you should watch: “Echo” is essential viewing for fans of “Hawkeye” and for those who are keeping up with the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

“Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse”

Interview with Soft Blue Shimmer, Softcult at Mahall’s

Canadian band Softcult brought their “music for mall goths” to Mahall’s in Lakewood, Ohio on Friday, March 10 as a part of their first North American headlining tour. Along with them came fellow softies Soft Blue Shimmer from Los Angeles.

Before Softcult took the stage, Soft Blue Shimmer started the night off right with their alternative music that’s “here to make you think about stuff. Or forget about stuff.” The three-piece is made up of Charlie Crowley, Kenzo Cardenas and Meredith Ramond. They all had been part of other projects when they bonded over their shared interest in UK and Japanese shoegaze and dream pop bands. As a result, Soft Blue Shimmer was formed in 2018.

The name came from their love of cinema, where Crowley combined movie titles “Blue is the Warmest Color” and “Heat Shimmer Theatre” with a touch of softness. “It needed to evoke a specific enough emotion that still felt abstract and undefinable,” explains Crowley.

Soft Blue Shimmer’s music is all about the ideas of connection, loss and love. They also use their platform to write about what it’s like to struggle with mental health. “Music is such a good vehicle for these themes and conversations,” says Crowley.

Currently the band is working on new music, with hopes of touring more throughout the year.

The headliner of the night, Softcult, is described as a mix of grunge, shoegaze, dreampop and indie. Their music will easily take you from jumping to swaying to maybe even shedding a tear over their emotional lyrics. Between songs, lead singer Mercedes Arn-Horn took the opportunity to speak out about various social justice issues. As she put it, they’re “a band that wants to leave the world a better place than they found it.”

After the show, Arn-Horn stuck around to take pictures with loyal fans. Both the fans’ and the band’s dedication to each other shows that Softcult is accomplishing their mission to make the world a better place. They’re raising awareness about important issues through their music in a way that connects with people. The ability to create a community through music is a beautiful thing, and anyone who can do that is certainly improving our existence.

Softcult was formed in 2020 by twin sisters Mercedes and Phoenix Arn-Horn. Their third EP, “See You in the Dark,” is set to release later this year.

If you’re looking for new music, check out Softcult’s latest song, “Love Song.” It’s perfect for setting a chill vibe. After that, listen to Soft Blue Shimmer’s “Chihiro,” which will bring the energy back up while keeping the mood going.


is Adaptation at its Finest

I wrote this article so I could convince myself playing the game is actually productive

The age of “The Walking Dead”’s nihilism is finally over, and a newer, far more disturbing yet hopeful faux-zombie tale has rightfully taken its place — “The Last of Us”. The pop culture collective image of a stereotypical shambling, rotting corpse has been replaced by the horrifying (and believable) concept of the crazed climate-induced fungal brain infection. With the first season of the hit HBO show coming to a close, fans old and new have been raving over how the series deftly handled the transition from video game to screen, with many saying that it has finally broken the video game adaption curse.

The charm of “The Last of Us” boils down to the fact that it simply knows how to adapt the original content well. The art of adaptation requires a deep and tasteful understanding of a story’s original medium as well as the medium that it is being transferred to, and the creators of “The Last of Us” certainly deliver.

The Art of Video Games

As a medium for storytelling, video games allow for in-depth, immersive experiences. Utilizing the art form of video games is about exploiting this immersion – specifically the fact that the audience will be able to identify with the protagonist far more than in other mediums. Many games, such as “The Witcher III: Wild Hunt”, “Life is Strange”, and “Detroit: Become Human” use this to their advantage by emphasizing the importance of choice. These games consistently push the player between a rock and hard wall, forcing them to make difficult and engaging choices in order to explore thematic consequences and tensions.

The Last of Us doesn’t utilize choice-based structure to build themes in the same way as some other games. It follows a strictly linear narrative path, and the choices that the player makes in Joel and Ellie’s shoes doesn’t affect the outcome of the story at all. But that doesn’t mean the player isn’t forced to make choices— take for example the early-game choice Joel must make to either kill a recently Infected (but not yet turned) man begging to die, or save his precious ammunition. There is a constant moral and psychological pressure on Joel (and the player) to choose who to kill and who to spare. The emotional and thematic impact this creates is palpable– Joel has the autonomy to feel the moral consequences of his choices, but all the while he and Ellie are dragged deeper and deeper into unavoidable peril in the future. Nothing they do can stop what is to come, no matter how hard they try. This stark game mechanism reflects beautifully the cruel dog-eatdog philosophy in The Last of Us— when you have to do horrible things to save the people you love, you feel that you have no other choice left on the table. This backbone to the gameplay also provides a stable foundation for a series adaptation to take place, avoiding the multiple plotline pitfalls that series like “The Witcher” have to deal with.

What Changes

Long-form narrative structure in film and television, on the other hand, is not granted the same automatic immersion in the world. In video games empathy is an automatic given because you have no choice but to see the world through the protagonist’s eyes. A television series has to fight for it— constantly giving the audience a reason to feel strong emotions about the fictional world created and to care about the struggles and goals of the protagonist. “The Last of Us” handles this challenge by heightening the visuals and worldbuilding. Each location featured in the video game is brought to life with more charming and cinematic scenery.

In order to garner more involved empathy for the protagonist, Pedro Pascal (awooga) as Joel is slightly softer than the game’s version. We see him cry, express his fears, and bond with Ellie far more

* This article contains spoilers for both the series and video game “The Last of Us”*

and far earlier than in the game— take a look at the difference between the conversation that Joel has with his brother Tom about taking Ellie without him, featured in episode six, “Kin”. Pascal’s softness doesn’t mean that he can’t encapsulate the cold resolve that makes Joel such a stellar antihero— he can more than deliver on Joel’s worst, most controversial moments.

In addition, the television series format allows for the narrative to wander and follow other stories for a bit. Characters who in the game serve as little more than plot functions and antagonists are far more developed, with ripe personalities, cultures, goals, and ambitions— emblematic in Kathleen, the leader of the Kansas City resistance group featured in episode five, “Endure and Survive”, who was barely more than a killable NPC in the game. Audiences can watch Tess’s gut-wrenching and bittersweet last moments, they can see the first woman to study cordyceps in the early days of the pandemic, and they can learn about Ellie’s birth story and the tragedy that befell her mother.

And of course, any analysis of “The Last of Us” wouldn’t be complete without dedicating some time to the stand-out episode of the series, “Long, Long Time”. Not only are some praising it as what could be the best television writing to come out of the year (an achievement, considering it debuted in February), it also marks the biggest deviation from the original plotline. In the game, Bill’s character serves as little more than a stereotypical mentor plot device— helping Joel and Ellie in his own sardonic way and offering advice on their path forward. In the series, he is dead before Joel and Ellie ever arrive on site. Instead, we get to see the entire post-pandemic lives of Bill and his partner Frank, who in the game was nothing more than a corpse, a note, and a few bitter remarks from Bill.

Nick Offerman embodies the paranoid survivalist Bill perfectly — and his tenderness and intimacy with co-actor Murray Bartlett is absolutely electric. Instead of watching Bill fight hoards of Infected in a demolished town, we see the slice of heaven Bill created for Frank. Their love is sweet, pure, and innocent. In a brutal and demolished world, they achieve the impossible of dying on their own terms: old, peaceful, and next to the person they love most. Audiences know why the Bill of the series chooses to continue every day — in the game, however, he becomes the antithesis of the theme. He has nothing and no one to keep him going. Comparatively, Bill’s character in the game feels weak, disjointed, and only there to serve as a plot necessity. He lacks the human touch that makes Joel and Ellie so easy to love.

What Stays the Same

When it comes to discussing adaptation, it is certainly easier to notice what changes — but the creators

choose to keep the same is infinitely more important. At the core of it, what is absolutely essential to any good adaptation is that the heart of the story is not only preserved, but enhanced. “The Last of Us” delivers on this front. It shows what lengths people will go for the people they love, it explores what we cling to when the world goes dark. It asks the terrifying questions of what defines humanity, what grounds our identity, and if that identity is still intact when we lose control.

The scenes in the series that are closely recreated from the game are done so because they so perfectly encapsulate the heart of the series. The creators certainly knew that any attempt to change these specific sequences, like the fight between Joel and Ellie and the audience-favorite giraffe scene would disrespect the factors that make “The Last of Us” such a moving game in the first place.

In Conclusion…

At its heart, the reason why this adaptation works so well is because every single change made is done to heighten the ideological core of the story. Sam is deaf because it escalates how dependent he is on Henry. Ellie tries to heal Sam because it reflects her need to save the people she cares about. Riley’s story is expanded upon because it amplifies Ellie’s fear of abandonment. Joel admits to his suicide attempt because it shows what he has to lose without a daughter figure in his life.

Essentially, the main reason “The Last of Us” is such a phenomenal adaptation is because the creators clearly had so much love and respect for the original story. It has hopefully become a model in the industry for future adapted series, as expectations on quality have certainly reached an all-time high from audiences following the series’ success. Here’s to hoping that season two will do the same justice to the series with “The Last of Us: Part II”.

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It shows what lengths people will go for those they love, it explores what we cling to when the world goes dark



A view into some of the many spring traditions from around the world and how they share a theme of rebirth, revival and new beginnings.

Spring is arguably the most celebrated season of the year. Saying goodbye to the dark, cold winter days rejuvenates and motivates people to keep moving forward. From activities like spring cleaning, to celebrating with exuberant festivals, the entire world maintains traditions to ring in spring. Within these bountiful traditions, many share the common theme of rebirth, revival and new beginnings. Hopefully you will learn about some new traditions, and see the similarities that they share with your own.


Celebrated each year on the spring equinox (March 21), Nowruz — also known as Persian New Year — is a celebration and tradition of springtime. Nowruz translates from Persian to mean “new day” and in this, it is a celebration of new beginnings. The origins of this celebration come from the Iranian religion of Zoroastrianism, but it is widely celebrated in areas of Persian descent, primarily surrounding Iran. This long-standing celebration has been celebrated for well over 3,000 years, likely first being celebrated in ancient Persia. Today, Nowruz has been awarded and added to the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity through UNESCO. This is in part because it is so widely celebrated by people across the globe, but also because it promotes peace and solidarity. The traditions surrounding this celebration push for generations, families, neighbors and friends to reconnect — and, for those who need it, attempt to reconcile. This tradition celebrates spring, accepting this day as spring’s victory over darkness. In this tradition, you can see how the theme of rebirth and revival is found.


Holi is a celebration of spring celebrated on Purnima (Full Moon Day) on the Hindu calendar on the Monday of Phalguna, which is mid-March on the Gregorian calendar. This celebration originated as a holy day of Hinduism on the subcontinent of India, but today, celebrations of this festival take place all over the world. Otherwise known as The Festival of Colors, The Festival of Spring, or the Festival of Love, this is a celebration not only of a transition into a new season, but a celebration of love and renewal. This festival takes place over one night and one day. The night before the celebration, people gather at bonfires to sing, dance and be together, which is meant to symbolize the triumph of good over evil. This day in the Hindu faith celebrates the divine, eternal love of the gods Radha and Krishna. Because of this, the festival is meant to remind everyone to spread love and appreciate the love that everyone has. On the day of Holi, people head to the streets to douse everyone and anyone around in vibrant colors, each representing their own blessing, though the color symbolism changes from place to place. This shared activity is meant to remind people to forgive all resentments towards one another and celebrate the coming of better times.


Sham el Nessim

Easter Monday each year marks the national festival of Egypt, Sham el Nessim. Sham el Nessim translates to English to mean “smell of the breeze.” Those who celebrate the holiday do so by in fact, smelling the breeze, by joining together to picnic in open green spaces. This tradition comes from wanting to celebrate the return of warmth and sunny days. The origins of this celebration come from the ancient Egyptian festival of Shemu. Shemu was the festival of harvest and ancient Egyptian citizens would provide offerings of traditional foods to their gods to bless them with good harvests. After the Christianization of Egypt, these traditions became associated with Easter and are now nationally recognized on Easter Monday. However, the old traditions did not entirely die out, and often the same traditional food that was offered to the gods long ago is shared among family at these picnics. Another tradition from this celebration is coloring boiled eggs and then giving them to others. Some people even write wishes on the eggs they give away and hope for them to come true. This celebration of the coming of spring shares the same connection to revival and new beginnings as many spring traditions around the world.


On the first of March in Bulgaria, friends, families and loved ones give one another decorated red- and whitestringed bracelets. The ancient tradition comes from the belief that these strings are a symbol of asking for mercy from Baba Marta, a grumpy old lady from myth whose violent mood swings affect the weather. Her mood swings are said to be the reason the weather in March is so unsteady. People believe that wearing these bracelets keeps Baba Marta under control, prompting spring to come early and winter to leave fast. Making these bracelets is a ritual. It is important that they are made with good intentions and always gifted from a loved one to another, and never bought or made for oneself. After March is over, everyone removes their bracelets and ties them to blooming fruit trees to promote fertility and renewal. This tradition brings people together to celebrate the coming spring with hope for better weather and better days.


Songkran is a festival celebrated in Thailand each year on April 13, although it is often celebrated from the 12 until the 15 as people travel home to celebrate with their loved ones. The name Songkran translates to “astrological passage” which is meant to represent transformation or change. People prepare for this festival by cleaning their homes, schools, offices and various public spaces. They also often attend Buddhist temples early on April 13, bringing offerings of food and listening to the monks preach. Water is a central aspect of this festival, part of several traditions that occur on Songkran. At these Buddhist temples, visitors sprinkle water over the heads of Buddha statues, which is said to bring good fortune and purification of the soul. Young members of these communities also sometimes pour water over the hands of their elders to ask for blessings and show respect. However, the most famous aspect of this festival is the community water fights that take place. These water fights are seen as an act of ritual cleansing: the water is said to wash away the previous year so people can have a new beginning going forward.

These are just a few of the many intricate and unique celebrations of spring from around the world. Each has its own identity and origins, but they all share one common theme; that spring is a time of rebirth, revival, and new beginnings. It is no surprise that these ideas are associated with spring as the world wakes up, flowers bloom and nature comes to life. Humanity as a whole recognized these new beginnings and has collectively decided that this is a time of year that should be celebrated. How will you celebrate spring?

Each has its own identity and origins, but they all share one common theme; that spring is a time of rebirth, revival, and new beginnings.

Who TRULY Shapes Ohio’s Future?

How Ohio is quickly becoming the Florida of the Midwest


While Ohio may have a reputation for being inexpensive, its relative affordability is not enough to keep young, educated Ohioans interested in sticking around. The economic powerhouse that is the Great Lakes can only hold so much water, and while Lake Erie doesn't seem to be drying up anytime soon, the brainpower of Ohio’s workforce and cultural foundations certainly could be. That cultural foundation of Ohio is what is at stake, one that the youth would like to shape into something that reflects their experiences and possible futures. Its foundation is being sent straight back to the 1950s, mirroring the archaic changes which are the brainchild of the one and only Florida governor, Ron DeSantis. Ohio's legislature does of course resemble Florida’s, being a Republican supermajority in both its House and Senate, with the governors completing the trifectas. Republicans in both states tout economic freedom stemming from their policies for both college-educated and non-college-educated young adults. While Florida has grown in population over the past decade, Ohio has failed to do the same. These two states tout economic freedom, but this freedom favors those who have already won, rather than those just now entering the game.

Ohio's youth faces a once-purple state that is shifting red at the same pace that population growth has dwindled, and just as fast as right-wing legislation passes. On the surface, a Republican trifecta with a two-chamber supermajority does not remotely represent the political will and interests of the state at large, let alone those under the age of 30. The focus of younger millennials and older Gen Z individuals tends to lean towards cultural and social issues like LGBTQ+ rights, reproductive rights and gun safety laws. The cherry on top is that this age group is more educated than any other in history, and tends to care deeply for representation and educational freedom. All this while the state of Florida has made moves to shelter the minds of students by banning what the government calls “unsavory” books and passing “Don’t Say Gay'' bills. Ohio has yet to delve into as extreme of policies as these, though similar ones have been floated and proposed. What Ohio has passed however, are incredibly relaxed gun laws that include removing background checks and licensing for concealed carry, as well as one of the nation's strictest anti-abortion laws, known as the “Heartbeat Bill.”

We now live in an Ohio that would rather force an 11-year-old to die in childbirth or suffer the consequences of motherhood before middle school. This is not the Ohio that this 11-year-old would choose, and it is not the Ohio that a 15-year-old girl would choose when being forced to submit menstrual cycle

data to the state for inspection. It is not the Ohio that a gifted Black high schooler would choose when they are refused the opportunity to take a course that teaches their history. It is not the Ohio that a transgender child would choose when they're turned down from receiving integral medical care, and not the Ohio a working Black woman would choose when faced with wages that pale in comparison to the rest of the nation. It is an Ohio that ignores its students' calls for real gun safety legislation, and instead makes carrying a concealed pistol infinitely easier while unlicensed, with no background checks. It is an Ohio that could care less for its homeless teenagers, but instead protects lives that don’t yet exist. Do those homeless teens exist? Do their homeless mothers exist? Does our government care? Would our government choose to listen to the voices of the people in the proportions they exist in? They have proven they will redistrict however they please, regardless of binding law.

Where is Ohio's future? On its current trajectory, eerily similar to where Florida is now — and where Florida looks to be headed in its own ignorant future. Both states ignore the voices of millions of their youth in favor of aging, retired populations with zero real stake in the state's future, and little care beyond their inner circle on what happens to ill-affected young Ohioans. Only time will tell if Florida will define Ohio’s future, or if its own youth will take charge to shape it.

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Its foundation is being sent straight back to the 1950s, mirroring the archaic changes which are the brainchild of the one and only Florida governor, Ron DeSantis



Ava felt like she had been punched in the face. Having just learned about Ohio’s proposed Save Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act, which would ban transgender minors like herself from accessing gender-affirming care, all other aspects of her life came to an abrupt halt. Every waking moment was spent pouring through each detail and justification of the SAFE Act. The experience was debilitating.

“I was not able to function for multiple days,” said Ava, who requested to go only by her first name. “I was too busy worrying about what is in this thing and coming to terms with the scary reality that I, in that moment, was not in charge of my own destiny.”

Ava is one of many in the Ohio transgender community worried about the dark implications of the SAFE Act.

A 2022 peer-reviewed study found that genderaffirming care, including puberty blockers and hormone treatment, reduce the odds of depression by 60% and suicidality by 73% in transgender and non-binary youth. The use of gender-affirming

care by transgender minors is also endorsed by a plethora of prominent medical associations, including the American Medical Association, American Psychological Association, American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

“My biggest concern with this bill is, to be blunt, that trans youth will die,” said Micah Mitchell, a policy fellow at ACLU Ohio. “Vast amounts of verifiable research done on this shows that gender-affirming care is life-saving for trans youth.”

If enacted, the bill would forcibly detransition transgender minors who have been receiving genderaffirming care. Conduct that “aids and abets” transgender youth in receiving gender-affirming care in other states, such as Ohio healthcare professionals making referrals for transgender youth experiencing gender dysphoria, would be prohibited. Mental health professionals would be prohibited from diagnosing and treating minors for gender dysphoria without the consent of their parents and without first screening the patient for comorbidities and trauma. In addition, mental health professionals would be required to annually report data on minors they are treating

WRITTEN BY Riley Roliff DESIGNED BY Jakob Roberts
A proposed Ohio bill seeks to ban transgender healthcare for minors

for gender-related conditions. The bill would also prohibit transition services from being covered by Medicaid.

Minna Zelch, the mother of a transgender girl who she says was saved by gender-affirming care, considered getting a cheap apartment in Pennsylvania and establishing residency there after the bill was first proposed.

“It was really counting down the days until her 18th birthday,” said Zelch.

The bill comes at a time of increased legislative attacks on transgender people from conservative state legislatures. The first month and a half of 2023 saw a record-breaking 350 anti-trans bills introduced across the country, more than doubling the amount introduced throughout 2022. Eight states have banned gender-affirming care for transgender minors, and several more are considering doing the same.

The extent of anti-trans bills is expanding at breakneck speed. What started as attempts to ban transgender minors from sports teams and bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity has quickly evolved into attempts to ban genderaffirming care for transgender youth. Some states have proposed going beyond this, including attempting to ban transgender adults from accessing genderaffirming care, allowing parents of a transgender child receiving gender-affirming care to kidnap them from another parent, and Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s 2022 directive for Family and Protective Services to investigate families of minors receiving gender-affirming care for child abuse.

Terry Schilling, the president of the American Principles Project, a far-right organization at the forefront of the anti-trans movement, admitted to The New York Times that his organization’s long-term goal has always been eliminating gender-affirming care for all ages. Schilling said that the initial focus on children was simply a matter of “going where the consensus is.”

“This is a full-fledged war targeting trans people,” said Cassie Steiner, a young transgender woman.

The war on transgender people has featured high amounts of coordination between conservative legislators and far-right Christian organizations. In Ohio, a large role is played by the Center for Christian Virtue (CCV), an affiliate of Christian conservative juggernaut Focus on the Family and a rising star in Ohio politics. Until 2017, CCV was labeled as an anti-LGBTQ hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

CCV has also worked closely with the legal organization Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which is labeled as an anti-LGBTQ hate group by the SPLC. In addition to being deeply involved in the current anti-trans movement in the United States, ADF has also supported attempts to legislate state-

“enforced sterilization of trans people in Europe and attempts to recriminalize gay sex in India. They have argued that LGBTQ people are more likely to engage in pedophilia, and that society and Christianity are at risk of being destroyed by a “homosexual agenda.”

“This bill was shopped to Gary Click originally by the Center for Christian Virtue, and looks like the bills that the Alliance Defending Freedom has shopped all across the nation,” Mitchell said. “This is less about science than — what I would argue — Christian nationalism and pushing a set of values.”

Ohio Rep. Gary Click, whose only exposure to transgender people prior to introducing the bill was through YouTube videos, first introduced the SAFE Act after CCV approached him to do so. The anecdotes Click uses to justify the bill came to him through CCV. CCV has also testified in favor of the bill, coordinated with conservative legislators and prominent right-wing think tanks such as Heritage Action and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in efforts to pass various other pieces of legislation in Ohio. It has made lavish donations to leading Ohio republicans such as Governor Mike Dewine and Attorney General David Yost.

Jeanne Ogden, the head of the advocacy group Trans Allies Ohio, said that transgender people and their families who have attempted to share their stories with Rep. Click have repeatedly been met with harmful questions and comments. Click later claimed that these conversations reinforced his support for the SAFE Act, which made Ogden deeply unsettled.

“That’s rather alarming to think that you could talk about your experiences and instead of having the person say ‘wow, I can see why this is important to you,’ they instead say ‘you’re an example of why I have to pass this bill,’” Ogden said.

My biggest concern with this bill is, to be blunt, that trans youth will die

our not our


pREfeRenCE ”

Trans students on the barriers to a safer CSU

Hi, Professor! I hope that you are well. My name is Benvolio Nichols, and I’m excited to work with you this semester.” Solid start. A little wooden, but maybe that’s because I’m writing this for the two-dozenth time.

“I wanted to notify you in advance that I use CSU’s preferred name policy.” I use the official title, because we don’t have time to explain how it really shouldn’t be “preferred.” My “required, actually” name is already listed in Blackboard. Still, I’m not taking chances.

“I am not sure which name you will see on your course roster, since that varies depending on which roster you use.” My professors tell me my name is correct in CampusNet now. But that wasn’t true in fall 2020, the first time I updated my chosen name. Like I said: no chances.

“But, if you take attendance on our first day of class, I would appreciate it if you could call on me as Benvolio or Ben.” I would appreciate it if you didn’t disclose my legal name to an entire class. I would also appreciate it if I didn’t have to write this email, which amounts to three paragraphs of “I am transgender. Please be nice to me.”

Even when we take excessive precautions, few trans students have avoided being deadnamed in classes. Lee Barden (they/he), a senior English major, used CSU’s chosen name policy from fall 2021 until spring 2022, when they completed their legal name change. He remembered notifying professors of his name during first-day attendance. “It was awkward having to correct them in front of everyone,” Barden said. “But once they knew, there weren’t any problems the rest of the semester.”

Most professors don’t go out of their way to invalidate trans students. But good intentions do not remove the harm — as sophomore psychology major Iris B. Graham (fae/she) reminded me with her story of syllabus-day deadnaming. “My professor didn’t mean anything malicious by it, he was completely clueless as to my chosen name,” she said. “However, in the moment, seeing my deadname on the screen and him calling it out made me want to die for a bit.”

Most professors don’t go out of their way to invalidate trans students — but some do. Senior English major Campbell Pratt (they/them) transferred from Lorain County Community College in spring 2022. They immediately updated their name in CampusNet, and did not have to correct any professors — except for one. “He pulled me aside after class and said, ‘Your name on my class doesn’t match my records. Why?’” The professor interrogated Pratt, demanding to know why he should be expected to use their name in class. The confrontation created a hostile learning environment for Pratt, impacting their course of study. “That professor is why I dropped out of the education program.”

The experience left Pratt disappointed. “He’s a professor of a diversity class. That’s an extra layer of fucked-up that you don’t know how to deal with trans students.” Even if we can’t rely on all faculty to respect our identities, why did a transphobic professor have access to Pratt’s personal information? Pratt confirmed that their previous institution implemented a more robust policy to protect trans students’ privacy. “LCCC was really good about making sure deadnames were under wraps. You shouldn’t even know my legal name.”

Note: The author works as an office assistant for Cleveland State University LGBTQ+ Student Services. This article represents solely the views of the author and interviewees. The content of this article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of LGBTQ+ Student Services.

Systems at CSU leave us vulnerable enough by disclosing our legal names to professors and advisors. But for student workers, who are often required to use CSU-affiliated accounts for communication, our legal names are also visible to the broader campus community. Pratt uses their CSU Outlook email account in their internship at the Michael Schwartz Library. Currently, the sender display name in Outlook can only be updated through a legal name change, and the email address — “[first initial].[middle initial].[last name]@vikes.csuohio.edu” — cannot be updated at all.

“All of my coworkers through the library know my deadname,” Pratt said. “Thankfully I don’t have to interact too much with the student body, because I’m mostly working with librarians. But when I do outreach to student groups, there’s been confusion. People think my deadname and my preferred name are two different people.”

I’ve dealt with similar confusion as a tutor at CSU’s Tutoring & Academic Success Center. Students request tutoring through Starfish, which displays legal names. When I email my students and coworkers, I use Outlook, per TASC policy. Like most trans people in the CSU community, I do what I can to mitigate this confusion by including my chosen name in the subject line, opening paragraph and signature of every email I send — but when my legal name appears in central locations, my chosen name is easily overlooked.

Before updating my name to Benvolio (Ben for short), I used the chosen name Lynn. During my freshman year, a student I tutored asked me why I went by Lynn instead of my legal name, or multiple shortened versions of my legal name, considering it was a perfectly fine name. In a conversation that went on for ten minutes, I felt powerless to advocate for myself. If the student already expected me to justify my chosen name, I anticipated that identifying myself as trans would prompt more invasive questions. I changed the subject as fast as I could so I could get back to doing my job.

I now share in all emails to new students that I am transgender and the name they see is my legal name. My coworkers at TASC adjusted quickly, and I have felt fully supported by a kind, inclusive team. But trans students are forced to rely on kindness. We are pleasantly surprised by the bare minimum. In its current implementation, CSU’s chosen name policy

offers no tangible guarantee that we will receive the same dignity afforded to cisgender students.

In addition to the policy’s limited coverage, nearly all the students I interviewed told me that they felt unsupported while updating their names. Lee Barden and Campbell Pratt both described the name change form available in CampusNet as “simple” and “easy.” This alone represents a welcome change; when I first updated my name in summer/fall 2020, the process consisted of sending an email to CSU’s Office of Institutional Equity and awaiting a response. Still, several students agreed, the process needs to be more accessible. “What I figured out was completely on my own,” Pratt said.

Iris B. Graham was just as frustrated. “I had to do the exact same things over and over again for a chance to get my chosen name updated, and even then, it wasn’t everywhere. I don’t think that queer students should have to jump through tons of hoops to be shown basic human decency.”

LGBTQ+ Student Services has published a resource sheet which explains the steps to using CSU’s chosen name policy, as well as its current limitations. The document is available digitally as “Chosen Names (Student Guide)” at csuohio.edu/lgbtq, and a physical printout is available at the LGBTQ+ Student Services Center office in BH 211. But public knowledge that this resource (or the LGBTQ+ Center itself) even exists on campus often hinges on word of mouth. Further outreach, and further funding, is necessary to ensure that students understand exactly what support they can receive.

“ “
In its current implementation, CSU’s chosen name policy offers no tangible guarantee that we will receive the same dignity afforded to cisgender students

Taliesin Lee (they/them/he), a third-year English major, told me that while he uses his chosen name on Blackboard, he has not yet updated any other systems. Even recalling multiple uncomfortable occasions correcting professors and students in-person, Lee said that safety concerns were a deciding factor to continue using their legal name in CampusNet. “I didn’t know whether it was reflected on mail. Like, is this going to out me?”

students don’t know what faculty know, and it just feels so affirming to see something like that.”

Lieberth has supported the diverse campus members who use the policy — not only trans students, they pointed out, but also staff members, international students and any person who goes by a nickname — while also navigating the difficulties of using a chosen name themself. As the instructor for a history course, Lieberth’s legal name appears on CampusNet’s course schedule, where it is visible to the whole campus community in searches. CSU’s licensed Zoom accounts also display legal names, so Lieberth uses a free Zoom account which reflects their chosen name. This limits the meetings they host to 40 minutes or less, which becomes problematic within Lieberth’s multiple on-campus roles dealing with sensitive situations.

For commuter students like Lee who are closeted to their parents, the current chosen name policy introduces a double-sided threat: first by exposing their legal names to potentially transphobic professors, and second by exposing their chosen names to potentially transphobic family members. This gap in the policy contributed to a traumatic confrontation for senior English major Kevin Leo (he/him) last spring, when a student organization sent invitations by mail to students’ permanent addresses. The envelope, which displayed Leo’s chosen name, was intercepted by his transphobic mother. This close call threatened his financial security and his housing.

“Thankfully,” he said, “I have a unique relationship with my chosen name and was able to explain the situation in a way that made me look cis. Even though I escaped that situation, I still feel uncomfortable that they know I’m going by a different name on campus. There was a safety to them not knowing and now that’s gone forever.” In response to his near-outing, Leo removed his chosen name from CampusNet and considered resetting Blackboard to display his deadname. Ultimately, he decided to keep his chosen name in Blackboard, but the experience left him uneasy. “I’m sure whoever did this had great intentions, but their decision almost ruined my life.”

Dr. Mitch Lieberth (they/them), director of CARE & Student Support and interim director of Disability and Testing Services, has played a role in shaping the chosen name policy for several years. “Phase One was CampusNet. Starfish is on the horizon. The next projects would be email and Zoom. It’s definitely a priority.” Lieberth emphasized the need for visibility. “The policy should be on all course syllabi. Often,

In Lieberth’s previous position as an academic advisor, they updated student’s chosen names in Starfish using the platform’s existing tools. By adding a note dated 2026, for example, to the records of a student graduating in 2024, advisors can ensure that a student’s chosen name is always displayed prominently online. But this workaround does not replace the need to update the system itself. Lieberth hopes these future changes can be created quicker than the changes that have occurred in the past five years.

President Laura Bloomberg has expressed a commitment to closing the gaps in the chosen name policy. Last May, shortly after her presidency was announced, Bloomberg invited a small group of LGBTQ+ students to share our needs in two meetings. As several trans students described our negative experiences with the chosen name policy, Bloomberg was attentive and empathetic. In recent months, the university organized a series of diversity, equity and inclusion-centered focus groups for campus climate, including one geared towards trans, nonbinary and gender nonconforming students.

I remain optimistic that the administration’s drive for positive change is genuine, and I recognize that change takes time. But until these promised changes become a reality, trans students have to go through life knowing that we are not as safe as we deserve to be. Iris B. Graham had one closing thought for CSU leadership: “Listen to the trans students who go to your university. It’s just that simple.” And what do trans students want from CSU? “Do better,” Taliesin Lee said. “Make it easier for us to exist.”

“ “ “ “
I don’t think that queer students should have to jump through tons of hoops to be shown basic human decency.
And what do trans students want from CSU? Do better. Make it easier for us to exist.

Preferred name: A name a person uses in daily life, which is not their legal name. Anyone, cis or trans, can have a preferred name. If your legal name is Christopher and you introduce yourself as Chris, you use a preferred name.

Legal name: The name which appears on a person’s legal documentation, such as driver’s license, passport or financial records.

Chosen name: The name a person has chosen for themself, which may be a preferred or legal name. Anyone can have a chosen name. Many trans and gender nonconforming individuals describe their names as “chosen,” not “preferred,” since “preferred” implies that respecting their names is optional. Given name: The name chosen by a person’s parents, guardians or family members. Generally, the name that appears on a person’s original birth certificate.

Deadname: A name that a trans person no longer uses in their daily life. This is usually a given name, but may include former chosen names. It is also used as a verb: “to deadname” someone is to address them by a name they don’t use. Deadnaming can be accidental or malicious. Some trans people may still answer to their deadname or choose not to correct others who deadname them. Their reasons may include personal safety, fear of conflict or exhaustion from correcting people too much already. Just because the use of a deadname was excused or ignored doesn’t mean that it was acceptable.

Glossary “ THEVINDI.COM | 23 SPRING 2023

A Critique and Solution for Film Studies at Cleveland State

From both a social skills and financial earnings perspective, many students at Cleveland State have made logical choices with their majors. Thus, many students have never taken a film studies course. An illustration of a typical class may illuminate the social skills and financial earnings of a typical film student at Cleveland State.

Regardless of your interest in the topic, the entire class arrives exactly at the start time, ideally later. THough the professor usually comes early, it is expected that the technological challenges associated with turning on a computer will delay the actual start time of the class.

The syllabus is usually constructed from an unpopular WatchMojo list. Professors range from unduly dense in a Trivial Pursuit sort of way to unduly dense in a Scene It? sort of way. By the time you are able to determine which end of the spectrum the professors swing with, they will have figured out how to turn on the computer.

Those excited by the viewing experience offered by a film school with the full financial backing of the Buckeye State shall be sorely disappointed when the professor opens a 240p resolution version of Dziga Vertov’s Man with a Movie Camera.

The illumination of the projector signals to the class it is time to sleep. It is a common complaint amongst students that scheduling film history classes too early in the morning or too late in the night invariably leads to sleeping in class. This is a fallacy. Regardless of what time the class is scheduled, a majority of students will succumb to Hypnos.

The film ends and the class is released for a break. Many CIA torture experts recommend smoking a cigarette to endure long periods of torture, so this brief recess is the perfect time to listen to the experts.

The great risk to your health comes not from inhaling tobacco smoke but from interacting with a film student. Emerging from a vape cloud that smells of spilled soda, a film student will likely complain about one of the screened movies.

“Dr. Kalahari is too silent and too black and white” is perhaps the most frequently lodged complaint. Films free from criticism are generally the ones Johnny Depp likes and remade. This is a good time to return to class.

The professor will likely be sipping a Diet Pepsi that smells the same as their nicotine replacement patch. The floor is opened for discussion. The class is in agreement. The movie sucked. The characters would not adapt well to plush, the multiverse possibilities are too limited, and it would have worked much better as a short. Questions about women directors or films of non-Euro-American origins are redirected to praise of American cinema of the 1990’s. Class eventually loses steam and the students are dismissed early.

Like the German Expressionist films screened in various film classes, the reasons for the current state of film history courses are varied and complex. Also like the German Expressionist films, the suggested future of film history classes are bleak and uncertain.

Currently, pure film history courses at Cleveland State are limited to White Guy Cinema 1 and 2 (History of Film and Contemporary Film), Disposable Media (History of TV, Radio, and Interactive Media), and the Story of Ken Burns (Documentary). The sparseness of the four courses require the classes to offer broad and simplistic film examples, which lends itself well to straight white male voices.


In observation of the environment of the film school, several other reasons could explain why film studies have eroded to their current state. In simplest terms, it comes down to trade school tendencies, quality of content, transgression in cinema, dumbing it down, television school, and industry training. Below is a brief description of each and a possible remedy to each.

Trade School Tendencies - most Film and Media Arts majors intend to work as crew and are not interested in film scholarship.

Quality of Content - films shown in film history courses are typically the epitomized work of a subject.

Transgression in Cinema -

Dumbing it Down -

Television SchoolIndustry Training - the school’s main purpose is to create a workforce for Hollywood productions coming to Cleveland. Instead of showing films that use Cleveland crews, show films that use Cleveland budgets.

Legitimate remedy from the administration is an abstraction. Change must come from a radicalized student body. Lay down your Disney DVD’s! Cancel your subscription services! Demand good movies from marginalized voices! Not bad movies from mainstream voices! If you need a place to start, pick any filmmaker from the following list and watch their complete oeuvre. Or, stay comfortable in a home built on the foundation of conformity.

Engiz Abuladze

Mania Akbari

Chantal Akerman

Roy Andersson

Tran Anh Hung

Dorothy Arzner

Gan Bi

Wang Bing

Lino Brocka

Charles Burnett

Edith Carlmar

Nuri Bilge Ceylon

Yousef Chahine

Vera Chytilova

Souleymane Cisse

Pedro Costa

Byambasuren Davaa

Claire Denis

Maya Deren

Lav Diaz

Mati Diop

Ziad Doveiri

Germaine Dulac

Ildiko Enyedi

Victor Erice

Forough Forrokhzad

Ritwik Ghatak

Bahman Ghobadi

Yilmaz Guney

Alice Guy-Blache

Kazuo Hara

Joanna Hogg

Agnieszka Holland

Pirjo Honkasalo

Hou Hsiao-Hsien

Ann Hui

Shohei Imamura

Miklos Jancso

Derek Jarman

Gaston Kabore

Guru Dutt

Mani Kaul

Aki Kaurismai

Naomi Kawase



Abbas Kiarsostami

Ida Lupino

Majid Majidi

Mohsen Makhmalbaf

Samira Makhmalbaf

Djbril Diop Mambety

Lucrecia Martel

Dariush Mehrjui

Marta Meszaros

Tsai Ming-Liang

Kenji Mizoguchi

Kira Muratova

Mikio Naruse

Yasujiro Ozu

Jafar Panahi

Sergei Parajanov

Mario Peixoto

Satyajit Ray

Lotte Reiniger

Hong Sangsoo

Carlos Saura

Ousamne Sembene

Larisa Shepitko

Hiroshi Shimizu

Yulia Solntseva

Kinuyo Tanaka

Bela Tarr

Athena Rachel Tsangri

Agnes Varda



Lina Wertmuller

Edward Yang

Mai Zetterling



How cycle syncing can help you take control of your period

Ionce saw a meme that truly resonated with me as a period-having individual. It read: “I don’t use a period tracker, I just wait until I’ve started drafting my suicide letter and then I know she’s coming.”

Now, this may be a drastic example of how one may feel before their period, but it resonated with me because — like many people — my emotions tend to intensify at the beginning of my menstrual cycle. I may feel more lethargic, irritated or sad for seemingly no reason, then… there she is: the crimson storm.

Recently, I scrolled upon TikToks from creator @ simplysyncd about the four phases of a menstrual cycle and how they can impact your mood, focus, skin, sleep, social battery, desire to move and more. This turned me on to cycle syncing, or the process of keeping track of the phases of your menstrual cycle and adjusting your lifestyle accordingly.

A menstrual cycle typically lasts an average of 21 to 35 days and is made up of four phases — menstrual, follicular, ovulatory and luteal — that can be compared to the four seasons.

Below we will review what happens during each menstrual cycle, how one may feel, and how to best harness it through activities, food and movement.

Please note that each phase length may vary between individuals and that this is not something period-having people must follow closely. However, some ideas may be helpful.

The Menstrual Phase (days one to five of the menstrual cycle, internal winter)

The science:

This is where it all starts for menstruating individuals: a New Year's Day of sorts. The first menstruation, scientifically termed the menarche — kinda cute, but it also sounds like a supervillain — happens during puberty. This is usually around the age of 12 or 13, but can vary between ages eight and 16.

The menstruation phase is when the individual menstruates, or gets their period. A period is the shedding of the uterine lining that flows through the cervix and out of the vagina. The thick lining, also known as the endometrial lining, consists of blood, mucus, nutrients and some cells. Bleeding from the vagina will typically lasts three to seven days and one can lose an average of two to three tablespoons of blood.

The feelings and emotions:


This is considered the internal winter because, like wintertime, one may want to stay in the comfort of their home curled up in coziness. Hormones levels are at their lowest during this phase, so one may feel lethargic, achey, anti-social and less confident.

How to harness this phase:

The best way to honor this phase is by recharging and relaxing. It is a good time to grant yourself extra grace, take naps when needed, practice self care through journaling and meditation and do some of your favorite solitary activities like cooking a yummy meal, reading a good book or watching a favorite movie.

If you choose to work out during this time, keep it low-impact with deep stretches or a serene walk.

This is a good time to stay away from inflammatory foods like caffeine, refined sugars and alcohol, especially if you experience lower back pain or cramping during menstruation. Instead, try herbal teas with ginger, chamomile, peppermint or raspberry leaf to reduce cramping; leafy greens like kale or spinach that are rich in iron, calcium and vitamins C and K; root vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes

I don’t use a period tracker, I just wait until I’ve started drafting my suicide letter and then I know she’s coming.
“ “

to improve mood; and dark berries or chocolate filled with antioxidants.

The Follicular Phase (days six to 14, internal spring)

The science:

The follicular phase begins when bleeding ends and the endometrium begins to thicken again, to prepare for the possibility of pregnancy thanks to a rise in estrogen.

Follicle-stimulating hormone is also produced, causing follicles in the ovaries to grow and develop into a fully mature egg (or ovum).

The feelings and emotions:

As hormones begin to level out, you may be in a clearer head space, with more energy and a desire to socialize.

How to harness this phase:

Similar to spring, this phase is a great time to start new projects, learn, plan and be creative. It is also a good time to connect with friends and family.

Foods like salmon, yogurt and avocado are good to incorporate during this time because they are filled with B vitamins, K vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids your body is craving.


One may feel more inclined to take on a more intense workout. It is also a good time for cardio like dancing, running or swimming.

The Ovulatory Phase (day 14 to 17, internal summer)

The science:

During ovulation the egg is released from the follicle due to a surge in the luteinizing hormone. Ovulation only lasts for a few hours, but the effects of the phase can be felt for a couple of days. This is when one is most fertile.

The feelings and emotions:

Hormones are at their highest so you may be feeling fun, flirty and confident during this phase. Peaks in estrogen and spikes in testosterone may increase sex drive, so take necessary precautions if you do not want to get pregnant.

How to harness this phase:

The ovulatory phase is a great time to have a “girls night out.” Much like summer, you are feeling yourself, glowing and wanting to socialize. It is also a great time for networking and decision-making.

Fiber-rich foods like Brussels sprouts, broccoli, nuts and seeds are beneficial during this phase along with prebiotics, probiotics and a focus on hydration. With energy and confidence at a high, this is the best time to tackle an intense workout like heavy lifting, kickboxing, spin or HIIT.

The Luteal Phase (days 17 to 28, internal fall)

The science:

Also known as the premenstrual phase, the luteal phase begins after ovulations and can end with three outcomes: menopause, pregnancy or menstruation. Menopause marks the end of going through the menstrual cycle. This typically happens around age 51. Pregnancy occurs with implantation,when the fertilized egg attaches to the uterine wall. Progesterone and estrogen will increase to thicken the uterine lining and prepare for pregnancy. The menstrual cycle will halt until pregnancy is over.

If the body is preparing for the next menstruation, hormones will begin to decrease as the body prepares to shed the thick lining and begin the menstrual cycle again. This will be our focus for this phase.

The feelings and emotions:

As hormone levels decrease, and your body is preparing for its next menstruation, you may begin to feel period symptoms such as PMS, bloating, breast tenderness, food cravings and acne.

How to harness this phase:

The luteal phase is perfect for finishing up projects and cleaning or organizing. Self-care like journaling, sleeping well and being gentle with yourself should also be prioritized. It is a good time to slow down and relax, much like fall.

This is when cravings will be experienced most during your cycle. Because of an increase in metabolism and a dip in blood sugar, you may feel hungrier and crave sweet treats. It is a good time to eat antioxidant-rich foods like berries and chocolate, as well as complex carbs.

This is also a good time for low-impact, strengthbased workouts such as light weights, yoga, barre and pilates.

To begin keeping track of your cycle, simply mark the first day of your period on a calendar and mark each day until you stop bleeding. Then, mark the first day of your next period and count the number of days between each period for an estimate of what phase you will be in during each part of the month.

To learn more, visit:

Foods to support your cycle in each phase

Foods to beat PMS

The menstrual cycle explained Exercise and your menstrual cycle





It’s finally springtime! Your seasonal depression is gone and you’re busting out the jean shorts and flip-flops, ready to conquer the upcoming season. You’ve got on your Sunday best and are about to leave for brunch, but as soon as you open your front door, a brisk spring breeze hits your face, and suddenly you’re sneezing and coughing. What. Is. Happening.

Seasonal allergies typically begin in March and run through the first frost, usually sometime in late September. Truly, I think that seasonal allergies are the worst things to ever exist. They can disrupt your whole day, your whole week, even whole seasons of your life, especially summertime. It’s like having a cold, but with no clear start or end date. According to the CDC, approximately 60 million people around the world suffer from seasonal allergies each year. Recently, seasonal allergies have become more severe, impacting individuals much earlier in the year with a more aggressive gusto.

“The strong link between warmer weather and pollen seasons provides a crystal-clear example of how climate change is already affecting peoples’ health across the U.S.,” said William Anderegg, a contributor of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Pollen, the dustlike grains produced by various plants, contains elements for reproduction. As global temperatures continually rise, plant growth will increase as well, creating larger plants that are producing a greater amount of pollen.

“Carbon dioxide, meanwhile, fuels photosynthesis, so plants may grow larger and produce more pollen,” said Yingxiao Zhang and Allison Steiner, contributors to The Atlantic.

It’s also predicted that pollen production will begin to overlap, creating more hostile allergens. There are three main types of pollen that affect people yearly: tree pollen in the spring (MarchMay), grass pollen in the summer (June-July/August) and ragweed in the late summer/fall (August-early October). Allergy symptoms are wide-ranging from mild to moderate fatigue, sneezing, congestion, coughing and post-nasal drip. The symptoms are very similar to those of the common cold.

Severe cases of allergy symptoms may actually result in a temporary sinus infection. The amount of sinus infections each year has significantly increased over the decades, spreading across grades schools and college campuses, as well as public spaces such as libraries and grocery stores. Sinus

This article pairs well with Allegra and a tissue box WRITTEN BY Andrea Brazis DESIGN BY Michael Durkin

infections can be treated with a variety of prescribed and over-the-counter medications, which are usually taken for 10-14 days before the user’s symptoms are almost completely gone.

Here are a few home remedies and recommended over-the-counter medications, courtesy of me, a fellow “allergy victim”:

Allergy shots: If you truly want to get rid of most or all of your allergy symptoms — for good — shots are about the only way to go. Usually, these shots are completed in multiple sessions by injecting a little bit of pollen into your system each time, building up an immunity in your body. No one likes needles, but trust me when I say the temporary pain in exchange for a lifetime of happiness will be so worth it.

Benadryl: Good ole reliable.

Claritin: Yes, we all use it. While I’m not the biggest fan of artificial antihistamines, Claritin has been one of the few to actually relieve my symptoms. I would also recommend purchasing the non-drowsy version of these medications.

Dehumidifier : This is a popular choice among allergy victims, specifically individuals who suffer from mold and mildew allergies, as dehumidifiers can help dry the air.

Flonase : This product was recommended to me a year ago by the Cleveland State nurses, shortly after I got my seasonal sinus infection. Flonase is a nasal spray that helps relieve symptoms of rhinitis, including watery eyes and runny, stuffy or itchy nose. This has been a lifesaver and it lasts a few months if used properly.

Humidifier : I cannot recommend this enough. Although they’re typically used for “household allergies,” humidifiers can also be used to assist with cold/flu symptoms and, you know, seasonal allergy symptoms. Humidifiers can assist with post nasal drip and other symptoms, often related to sinuses, by clearing the air and adding moisture.

They may also be the superior choice in comparison to purchasing a dehumidifier.

Rinse your sinuses: We’ve all seen those videos on TikTok of people rinsing out their sinuses, causing a disgusting (yet oddly satisfying) amount of fluid to come out. These people are now smelling color and you can too!

Vitamins: Eating more vitamins like A, B, C, D and E can significantly benefit your immune system by bringing good stuff in and pushing bad stuff out. The stronger your immune system is, the lighter your allergy symptoms will be. You’ll also be less likely to contract the flu, COVID-19 or other illnesses — and if you do, the symptoms will be more manageable.

Here are some more preventative measures, if you don’t want to “take” anything:

• Monitor the pollen count frequently and consider staying inside on days labeled as “high pollen level.”

• Avoid mowing and trimming the lawn on dry, windy days. If you have to, consider wearing a mask.

• Remove clothes you’ve worn outside and shower before sitting or laying down. Showering will help remove pollen particles attached to your hair and skin.

• Wash your bedding at least once a week with HOT water to remove attached allergens.

• Keep the air inside your house clean. Run the AC, wipe off countertops frequently and vacuum.

• Begin taking your allergy medications a month or so before “regular allergy season,” probably towards the end of February or beginning of March. This will help prep your body for the upcoming season.

What now? Grab a pack of Claritin and a fresh box of tissues, then go conquer those allergies!


https://www.nifa.usda.gov/about-nifa/impacts/ yes-allergy-seasons-are-getting-worse-blameclimate-change

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2022/03/ climate-change-allergies-pollen/627103/ https://www.cdc.gov/climateandhealth/effects/ allergen.htm



It’s also predicted that pollen production will begin to overlap, creating more hostile allergens. “


How your new furry friend can help improve your mental health


Have you ever watched a cat curl up on your lap and began to feel all warm and fuzzy inside? Now imagine having that to look forward to after a long day of classes. If you are a dog person, you might not understand what us cat people find so appealing about the pet. I will admit, my cat can be a little freak, but that does not change how much happiness she brings me.

For example, I got a cat in October 2020 during the first completely-remote semester of Cleveland State University’s classes. I had moved into an apartment before the fall semester and quickly realized how much I missed my family cat at home. Throughout August and September, I spent most of my time going for walks or doing homework outside. As the weather cooled towards the end of September, I found myself stuck indoors and experiencing those quarantine blues.

I started browsing the Cleveland Animal Protective League (APL)’s website and would obsess over every other cat. While every cat popped out to me, one kitten — Silkworm-9c — stood out the most. She was a tiny 2-month-old black kitten, and one of the only cats with a description.

It said, “Silkworm is a gentle kitten that loves being held. She can be playful and energetic but also quiet and calm once her energy is spent.”

I was in love. I bookmarked her page and could not stop visiting it. If the page stalled while loading, my heart dropped because I was sure she had been adopted. After three days of trying to talk myself out of adopting a cat, an ad popped up on the APL’s website stating that during the next three days, kittens were $50 instead of the normal $125.

I caved. I completed the adoption form, Amazon Prime’d everything I needed and picked her up the next day.

Maybe I should have considered why she was on sale, because this cat was definitely defective.

As soon as she was out of the carrier, she chased her tail until she was so dizzy she ran into the wall, hit her head and laid on her back for the next two minutes, completely out of breath.

Even though she is the dumbest cat I have ever seen, it is amazing how much she has impacted my mental health. With classes remote due to COVID-19, it had gotten boring sitting alone in my room all day. Having a kitten to run around my room during classes or cuddle up with while watching TV provided the companionship I was missing out on during lockdown.

I know the dog people are probably rolling their eyes, but cats are scientifically proven to positively impact a person’s mental health. This became apparent to me after adopting my cat. The feeling of companionship I felt after adopting her was not just me going crazy after months of isolation. In fact, cats provide much more than companionship.

Illness-Healing Purr

Now, I would not count on your cat’s purrs to make your flu go away, but cat purrs have been proven to be therapeutic for humans. A cat’s purr is between 20-140 Hertz, which lowers stress in both the cat and their human. When your stress levels are reduced, your body is able to heal faster, since it is not under additional strain. Many studies show that cats purr not only when they are happy, but also as a way to rejuvenate pain in muscles in joints. This is one reason why cats are able to fall from so high without displaying the signs of pain another animal would. A cat’s residual purring is able to provide a human with the same benefits it provides the cat. So, next time you have a sprained ankle, skip the urgent care and find yourself a cat to purr on it instead.

Comedic Relief

Another benefit of cats is their ability to provide comedic relief. Not all cats have been trained in the art of comedy, but if yours has, you hit the jackpot. There is nothing better than a cat’s antics to brighten your day. According to the Mayo Clinic, laughter provides both short and long-term benefits.

In the short-term, laughter activates and relieves your stress response, soothes tension and stimulates your organs, which improves their ability to function. In the long-term, laughter can improve your immune system, relieve pain, increase personal satisfaction and improve your mood. Next time you’re feeling down, get yourself a snack and sit down with one of YouTube’s finest cat compilations!


In my opinion, the best benefit a cat provides is companionship. When you are having a rough day, your cat gives you something to look forward to when you come home. Looking after an animal provides a feeling of purpose and the love your animal shows for you can boost your mood.

While any pet can provide companionship, I would argue that cats are the best companion because they require so little from you. If you have had a rough day, the last thing you may want to do is take your dog for a walk or play fetch. However, a cat is happy as long as they have food, water and a clean litter box. Cats can provide the same love as a dog, without as much work.

If you are feeling lonely or blue, I would recommend looking into adopting a cat. Obviously, a cat is not going to solve all your problems, but they may be able to relieve some of the unnecessary stress in your life.

If you are interested in bringing a cat into your home, remember — adopt, don’t shop. Browse the Cleveland APL’s website and see if any of their cats jump out to you like my cat did for me.

“ 31 SPRING 2023
Obviously, a cat is not going to solve all your problems, but they may be able to relieve some of the unnecessary stress in your life. “

Alena Murdakhaev

Major - English Education

Where do you get your style inspiration?

Mostly Pinterest.

How would you describe your personal style? Random. One day, I’ll be lazy and wear sweats, and the next day, I’ll wear nice pants and heeled boots.

Ty Brown

Major - Graphic Design

Where do you get your style inspiration? Honestly, other people or online. How would you describe your personal style? It depends on the day, it’s a mix of things.

Exploring self-expression through the lens of fashion. WRITTEN BY Abigail Preiszig
BY R iley Roliff DESIGN BY P rathinav Dutta

Where do you get your style inspiration?

Anywhere, anything western. How would you describe your personal style? Casual and easygoing.

Where do you get your style inspiration?

Egypt [clothing brands] Asili and Stolch

How would you describe your personal style? Vintage street wear.

Where do you get your style inspiration? Instagram or social media. How would you describe your personal style?

I wear a lot of different types of things, but I’d say thrifty.

Where do you get your style inspiration? Magazines.

How would you describe your personal style? Usually, I wear all black, but cozy.

Where do you get your style inspiration?

I just go to the vintage stores and see what catches my eye. How would you describe your personal style?

70s rock.

Muhammad Amr Hossam Cristen Meghan Stanton Major - Creative


It’s the time of the year that all Clevelanders look forward to — the snowy skies clear, the ferocious winds become a soft spring breeze and we see the sun again for the first time in months. With classes ending and the outdoors becoming bearable again, Cleveland residents may be wondering how to spend the bright, sunny summer months before school and fall settle in again. Look no further: we have compiled a list of some of the best summer activities in Cleveland.

Edgewater Beach Park (FREE)

One of the crowning jewels of Cleveland summers, Edgewater Beach Park, is full of fun activities for the summer. Whether you want to just lounge on the beach with a good book, have a picnic on the grassy area overlooking the lake or wade through the waters with a gorgeous view of the skyline, Edgewater is a great place to spend a summer day. Edgewater Beach Park has an upper and lower section with walking paths connecting the two. The upper level of the park has spectacular panoramic views of the skyline, and the entire park is one of the best spots in Cleveland to watch the sunset over the lake. A portion of the beach is dog-friendly, so you can look forward to seeing a few furry friends as well.

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo ($18)

The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is a great, familyfriendly Cleveland spot to spend a summer day. A ticket to the zoo is $18, but on Mondays, the zoo is free for residents of Cuyahoga County or Hinckley County — as long as you bring along a driver’s license, state ID or current utility bill. The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is known for housing one of the largest and most comprehensive collection of primates in the United States and for its fantastic rainforest. The hands-on, educational activities at the zoo are sure to keep visitors engaged for hours. The zoo is about a four to five mile walk in total, making it a great way to get some outdoor exercise. One of the

WRITTEN BY Emma Smallwood DESIGNED BY Nico Fierro Make the most out of your summer in Cleveland.
Cleveland’s natural environment is not celebrated nearly as much as it should, especially over the lovely summer months.

most exciting zoo events over the summer is the Asian Lantern Festival, which will take place from July 6 to Sept. 4 this year.

Enjoy one of Cleveland’s Fantastic Restaurants


Cleveland has been at the top of the food games for years, and summer is one of the best times to experience the culinary expertise of the city. Many of Cleveland’s finest restaurants open their patios during the summer months, offering a chance to enjoy some fantastic food paired with fantastic views. East Fourth Street comes alive during the summer, offering a fun and electric atmosphere. The patios at Collision Bend Brewing Company and Alley Cat Oyster Bar in The Flats offer gorgeous views of Lake Erie and the skyline, along with great food. There are countless other outdoor patios to enhance the dining experience across the Cleveland neighborhoods in the summer.

Outdoor Music (PRICES RANGING)

What is more quintessentially summer than enjoying the warm breezes while listening to some beautiful music? Cleveland certainly has us covered on the outdoor music front. There are plenty of free options when it comes to outdoor music — some of the best include the Simple Summer Nights Concert Series in Chagrin Falls, Square Sounds at Public Square and the Sounds of Summer Concert Series at Cleveland Metroparks. My personal favorite free option is Wade Oval Wednesday, or WOW. This free event hosts a different band every Wednesday at Wade Oval,with food trucks and summer activities to enjoy while listening to fantastic tunes. If you’re willing to spend some money, Jacobs Pavilion in The Flats and Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga

Falls host incredible outdoor concerts. With a large variety of artists performing at these venues, you’re always sure to find someone you love playing in the summer months.

Get Outdoors (FREE)

Last, but certainly not least on our list, involves the beautiful nature and scenery of Cleveland that we only get to make the most out of a few times a year. Cleveland’s natural environment is not celebrated nearly as much as it should, especially over the lovely summer months. If you want to get outside this summer, one of the best options is to visit the Cleveland Metroparks. There are 18 reservations located across Cuyahoga and Hinckley Townships, with events including workshops and classes, archery and outdoor movies on the roster to keep you busy all summer long. Along with the scenic Metroparks, Cuyahoga Valley National Park is within a 25-minute drive of Downtown. CVNP is ripe with gorgeous scenery, amazing hiking trails, and historic routes to follow to experience a full immersion in nature, only a half hour away from the concrete city of Cleveland. If you wanted to stick closer to the city, Cleveland’s bike path stretches 18 miles from Euclid to Lakewood. This path stays along Lake Erie, providing breathtaking views of both the lake and the skyline.

As we finish finals and finally shed our sweaters and winter coats, make the most out of the nicest months that Cleveland has to offer. From music to restaurants to the great outdoors, Cleveland truly comes alive during the summer. Use this list to help explore the beauties and fun of Cleveland summers, and enjoy the summer breeze before classes and fall arrive at our doorstep once more.


Unique and classically Ohio things that make our summers special

Ah, Ohio summers. The days are longer, the sun actually comes out multiple days in a row and the warmer weather makes it bearable to be outside again. This sweet relief from the endless gray skies and relentless winds of winter makes it seem like living here is a good idea. During this time, we’re even so inclined as to love Lake Erie and appreciate being located on its shores, despite it dumping lake effect snow on us all winter. Ohio summers are beautiful, with so many different things to see and do. This list is a brief description of some of the classic Ohio things that make summers here oh-so-sweet.

Cedar Point:

Roller-coaster enthusiasts know that a visit to “America’s Roller Coast,” is sure to induce thrills. Located in Sandusky, Ohio, the park includes 18 worldclass coasters, themed areas, high quality stage shows, rides and attractions for kids. This haven of fun is only open for a few months of the year, but is a staple of summer memories for people from all over.

Hocking Hills State Park:

Located in Logan, Ohio, Hocking Hills includes over 25 miles of hiking trails, recess caves, waterfalls and rock formations. There are several parks all within a few miles of each other, including Old Man’s Cave, Ash Cave, Cedar Falls and Rock House. With recreational

options including canoeing, ziplining and camping, this is a great place to get out and spend time in nature.

Guardians Games:

Baseball is America’s favorite pastime, and for many Clevelanders, the ping of a baseball bat is the soundtrack to our summers. Something about having a dollar dog in hand and watching Shane Bieber pitch while waiting for post-game fireworks screams "summer." The Guardians are supposed to be good this year, so you’ll definitely want to take advantage of this local entertainment.


Did you know that Ohio has islands? Hop aboard the Miller Ferry or the Jet Express to visit this island town on Lake Erie. During the day, Put-in-Bay offers a family-friendly environment with beaches, butterfly houses, restaurants and public parks. History lovers will enjoy exploring Perry’s Monument and taking in breathtaking views of Lake Erie. Put-in-Bay is also known for its exciting night-life, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy here.

Kelley’s Island:

This other notable Lake Erie island has a much more relaxed vibe. Here, riding around the island in a golf cart, hiking on trails, enjoying quiet beaches,

DESIGN BY Prathinav Dutta

and dining on fresh- caught Lake Erie Perch is a day well spent. Naturalists will enjoy the Glacial Grooves Geological Preserve which is limestone bedrock with fossils and indentations from glacial movement around 18,000 years ago.

Local Ice Cream

Ice cream and summer go hand-in-hand, and most of the major cities in Ohio have a well-known local ice cream chain. In fact, ohio.org actually has an “Ice Cream Trail” featuring locations like Mitchell’s in Cleveland, Toft's in Sandusky, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams in Columbus, Graeter’s in Cincinnati, Mason’s Creamery in Cleveland, Dietsch Brothers in Findlay, Milk and Honey in Canton, and Sweet Moses Soda Fountain and Treat Shop in Cleveland.


Ohio actually has a crazy amount of zoos, including: the Toledo Zoo, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens, Akron Zoo, and Columbus Zoo & Aquarium. Most people have memories of being a kid and going to a zoo during the summer, but the fun doesn’t have to stop when you’re a kid. Pick your favorite zoo and go spend the day admiring the wonders of animals.

Marblehead, Ohio

A visit to this small lakeside town will have you celebrating summer in no time. From visiting the oldest operating lighthouse on the American side of the Great Lakes at Marblehead Lighthouse State Park, to dining at Cleats bar and grill, to grabbing a root beer float at Netty’s, days here host quintessential summer fun. This little town offers plenty of opportunities to take advantage of the recreation on Lake Erie and appreciate being a Great Lake state.


Ohio may not be famous for its beaches, but the coast of Lake Erie is lined with public beaches for sweet, sandy escapes. East Harbor State Park, Edgewater Park, Fairport Harbor Lakefront Park, Headlands Beach State Park, Maumee Bay State Park and Nickel Plate Beach are just a few notable ones. Ohio’s beaches are a great way to spend a day trip, pretending you’re in a tropical location without having to go very far.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

National Parks are “America’s best idea” and so is taking time this summer to visit Ohio’s only National Park. A trip to Brandywine Falls will fill you with a sense of wonder that only spending time in nature can provide. With over 125 miles of scenic hiking trails, biking paths, paddling, fishing, birding and horseback riding, there are plenty of outdoor activities for everyone to enjoy.

Blossom Music Center: Located just 29 miles outside of Cleveland, Blossom Music Center— often referred to as just Blossom — hosts a lineup of headlining performers each year at its outdoor amphitheater. Located in Cuyahoga Falls, this concert venue uniquely lets you rock out to your favorite artists while being surrounded by forests. It’s definitely a one-of-akind Ohio stop.

This little town offers plenty of opportunities to take advantage of the recreation on Lake Erie and appreciate being a Great Lake state.

An Alternative to Valedictory Speeches

The most irritating unifier amongst those engaged in public address is a desire to be universally liked. I believe the politician, the comedian, and any other speech giver would be much more happy and therefore much more tolerable if popularity was not a job requisite. The saddest of the bunch is the valedictorian, responsible for a valedictory speech at high school and university graduation ceremonies. Higher education in America is no longer limited to Puritan priests or Trans-Atlantic elites, and the same can be said about the audience at graduation. Thus, a valedictory speech quite literally must appeal to all walks of life. Spend fifteen minutes outside Papa John’s in Berkman Hall and you will realize the impossible task assigned to every valedictorian.

A valedictorian’s desire for the title is pure, in the sense that it is purely so they can put "valedictorian" on a resume. Not a single valedictorian has any interest in addressing the scores of simple-folk unfortunately marked as their peers. Nor should they. Why should such an enlightened being, nourished by the bosom of Athena, be forced to speak to an audience nourished by the tap of Becky’s? It is downright silly. I trust the systems of academic elitism and I would like to satisfy the clandestine desires of the epitomized personification of such a system.

Thus, I am offering a deal to the future valedictorian of Cleveland State University. I will deliver the valedictory address on your behalf. I do not want designation as the valedictorian. Keep it —, you deserve it. I just want to talk uninterrupted for four to five minutes in front of a ton of people and test my theories about public address. Since I doubt the valedictorian-to-be reads the Vindicator (they likely get their news from talking ravens), it is unlikely I will give the valedictory speech. Thus, I made a video of what my speech might look like.

If each nation of the world has its own style of love, the United States’ preferred romance would be the romanticization of the past. The relative newness of this country generally limits the scope of romanticism from sorta racist to really racist. The Rust Belt, with some degree of defiance to this scope, romanticizes the era of the blue collar union job. For older generations, it offers a reminder of their childhood before they adopted car culture racism. To slightly less older generations, it offers a fantasy of when workwear was intended for workers, not hikers. And to me, it offers a time when the poet laureate of the working person was Woody Guthrie, not the Dropkick Murphys.

I believe this to be the main reason why the state of Ohio chose Cleveland State University as the site of its state film school. In Cleveland, our docks are empty but our writers and critics wear Doc Martens. In Cleveland, our union steel jobs are gone, but our non-union microbreweries make an IPA inspired by the Bessemer process. More than creative types, the film industry requires a large, union workforce. Hungry for any sort of organized labor, Cleveland is the logical choice to cultivate such an environment.

The school, both as an academic institution and as a collection of students, forgets that most union jobs prefer apprenticeships and on-site training over a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Film students eagerly fork over $40,000 to an eagerly receptive university to get a job as an assistant dolly grip. I remind both that most crew jobs do not require an intimate knowledge on Loew’s Theaters, rather, Lowe’s Home Improvement. As Cleveland State University much prefers to feed the egos of bullied high schoolers with mirrorless cameras, I offer some tips and tricks for anyone interested in working on crew during their time as a Viking.

Commodifying Sloth on Student Film Sets


Inspired by the song

“Simulation Swarm” by Big Thief

I wanted more than you could give a friend in need we held hands and I could feel them start to bleed

I’ve been told by exes and friends that I want it too much but we all just want to be loved

Hear my breathing our lungs are syncing up I held your face and wished for time to stop

Two-thirds lovelythe rest im not enough

Kiss me softly could you be a lil’ more rough

Never lonely

Look into your eyes so warm

Eat my heart please

I need you to want me more

And now im lonely and left without a word

Cried my eyes out

I can see your getting bored

If I could go back and stop it all before you could hurt me and leave me on the bathroom floor

I had no idea of the mess you’d get me in Watching all your friends sleeping in your bed

If I knew any better I’d go back in time and underneath the guises I’ll hold you by my side

Even then You’re a stranger I’m not young and blonde I saw you staring Faceless- words are calm

Even then Hold me tightly I’m left here in the cold Withering kindlystare into your soul

My thoughts are foolish

I’m waiting for the time All those tarot card readings and the hope you’ll change your mind

Wasting nights and waiting by the phone Evening nights afraid I’ll always be alone and even then I’ll try again.

WRITTEN BY Anonymous

DESIGNED BY Gabrielle Wise

Cleveland State University’s Arts and Culture Magazine VINDICATOR WRITERS Art Pieces Culture Investigative Social Reviews Profiles Think Pieces Reflections Rebuttals Opposing Views Poetry Fiction/Creative Events VISIT: BH 470 ARTISTS Graphic Design Illustration Painting Photography Drawing Lettering Printmaking 3D Design Video INQUIRE & SUBMIT: MAG & BLOG editor.vindi@gmail.com ADVERTISERS Details on our website: issuu.com/thevindicator READ ONLINE issuu.com/thevindicator