Pop Crush

Page 1

April 24, 2023


Saba Aamir Layout Designer & Assistant Editor sabaaamir@stfrancis.edu

Noëllie Inard Assistant Layout Designer & Entertainment Editor

Alex Mielcarz Feature Editor alexmielcarz@stfrancis.edu

Hannah Mitchell Commentary Editor hannahmitchell@stfrancis.edu

Mathias Woerner Sports Editor mathiaswoerner@stfrancis.edu

Dr. Scott Marshall Advisor smarshall@stfrancis.edu

Frank Piegari


Valerie Reyes


UNIVERSITY 4 Letter from the Editor NEWS 6 - 7 Campus News 8 - 9 Local News ENTERTAINMENT 12 WCSF Top Ten & Staff Picks 13 Ballin' On A Budget 14 - 15 Boybands Across Time FEATURE 19 Body Neutrality 20 - 21 Nostalgic Trend to Bring Back 22 Networking in the Music Industry on Instagram? COMMENTARY 24- 25 Val's Concert Guide 26 Keshi: Hell & Back Tour SPORTS 28 March Madness 29 Not Your Dad's Sport 30 2023 Fighting Saints Upcoming Schedule Student led, student written.
Golden Layout Contributors
Woerner Editorial Board
Reyes Editor-in-Chief & Advertising valeriereyes@stfrancis.edu
Cover background: www.freepik.com 2 April 24, 2023


The USF Encounter is published by the students of the University of St. Francis, 500 Wilcox Street, Joliet, Illinois, 60435. The newspaper office is located in room S413C of Tower Hall. The USF Encounter phone number is 815.740.3816.

As a member of USF Campus Media, the USF Encounter strives to produce a publication that stresses quality writing and design.By reporting on issues that may be sensitive in nature, the USF Encounter aims to educate, inform and persuade students on topics that affect their lives on and off campus. Editorial pages provide USF Encounter staff with opportunities to express thoughtful views on controversial topics. Letters to the Editor represent the opinion of the author and are not necessarily opinions of the USF Encounter Staff. Publications of letters to the editor are subject to space availability and management discretion. Letters are also subject to editing. Letters to the editor or any other submissions may be dropped off at the USF Encounter office or emailed to encounter@stfrancis.edu. The USF Encounter is printed by RICOH Services on the campus of the University of St. Francis.

As a Catholic university rooted in the liberal arts, we are a welcoming community of learners challenged by Franciscan values and charism, engaged in a continuous pursuit of knowledge, faith, wisdom, and justice, and ever mindful of a tradition that emphasizes reverence for creation, compassion and peacemaking. We strive for academic excellence in all programs, preparing women and men to contribute to the world through service and leadership.


Valerie Reyes Saba Aamir Hannah Mitchell Mathias Woerner Noëllie Inard
usfencounter.stfrancis.edu 3
Alex Mielcarz

Letter From the Editor

Thank you for picking up the April edition of The USF Encounter “Pop Crush." For the last issue of the semester, we wanted to write about stories that we are passionate about, so you’ll find articles like Josh’s March Madness, my concert guide, Frank’s nostalgic trends and much more.

Working on this issue has been bittersweet for me, as it is my last issue as the Editor-inChief and as a student here at St. Francis. I still remember being asked by the previous Editor, Sarah, if I wanted to become the next Editor. I was hesitant at first to take on the leadership role of the University magazine, but I’m very grateful I said yes. I’m leaving the Encounter in great hands; Alex will be the next Editor-in-Chief and hearing his plans makes me excited for you all. I can’t wait to read his first issue as Editor!

I want to give a big thank you to the staff for their articles, design and sharing their ideas with me. I enjoyed seeing them grow as writers and designers. Thank you to our advisor, Dr. Marshall for helping me when I first took on the role as Editor and guiding me when I had questions. I especially couldn’t have done it without Saba and Noëllie. They put in many hours into creating every issue from attending every meeting, picking up more than one article and spending long hours in the office designing each issue.

Over here at Encounter, we encourage everyone to get involved and whether you know how to design or write, we would love for you to join our team! If you have any questions on how to join us, email theusfencounter@stfrancis.edu.

Be sure to keep up with what we’re doing by following us on social media! You can find us on Facebook (USF Encounter), Instagram (@usf_encounter), TikTok (@ usfencounter) and Twitter (@usf_encounter).

Again, thank you for picking up our April issue “Pop Crush," we hope you have a safe and fun summer!

4 April 24, 2023
All the Love, Val Reyes


CMMA Students Inducted in the Lambda Pi Eta National Honor Society

On March 22, the University of St. Francis inducted four Communication and Media Arts students in the Alpha Delta Chi chapter of the Lambda Pi Eta national honor society.

The honor society only inducts students who fulfill the following requirements: completed 60 semester hours in undergraduate credit courses; have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0; have completed the equivalent of at least 12 semester hours in courses in

communication; have a grade point average of at least 3.50 in these courses; be in the upper 35% of their graduating class; be currently enrolled as a full-time student in good standing here at the University of St. Francis.

This year’s inductees included: Saba Aamir, Hannah Mitchell, Joshua Golden and Mathias Woerner.

Congratulations to all inductees!

USF Final Spring 2023 Semester Blood Drive

The University of St. Francis (USF) will be hosting its final American Red Cross Blood Drive of the spring 2023 semester on Tuesday, April 25.

The blood drive will run from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Assembly Hall Gymnasium at the St. Clare campus, located at 1550 Plainfield Road, Joliet IL.

To make an appointment, call 1-800RED CROSS or enter 60453 in the “Find a Blood Drive” search box on the

homepage of www.redcrossblood.org.

You can also donate using RapidPass which will save you 15 minutes. Visit www.redbloodcross.org/rapidpass for more information.

Consider making a Power Red donation if you have a blood type, O, B- or A- donor as red blood cells are the most transfused blood component.

For additional information, please visit www.redbloodcross.org.

Photo: www.cmma.stfrancis.edu Photo: www.stfrancis.edu
6 April 24, 2023

USF Inducts Fifty Students in San Alberto Hurtado Latino Honor Society

The University of St. Francis (USF) San Alberto Hurtado Latino Honor Society (LHS) inducted 44 undergraduate students and six graduate students into the society on March 17, 2023.

The San Alberto Hurtado Latino Honor Society was founded in 2014 to recognize academic achievement of Latino students at USF. The purpose of LHS is to encourage Latino students to promote service to the Latino community, promote academic excellence, and the Latino culture both on and off campus.

“It has been wonderful seeing the great growth LHS has experienced in recent years, now having over 100 active members at USF. This growth has allowed LHS to focus on using such a large group of bright students to have a positive impact on USF and the Joliet community.” says President, Sebastian Mireles.

Taking part in the Latino Honor Society is a great opportunity for members to connect with other Latino students through their mentor program, hosting events on campus to promote the society, volunteering at Joliet’s Spanish

Community Center and more to get members involved in the Latino community.

LHS honored their graduating members during the cords ceremony on Friday, April 21. And will be closing out the semester with a Study Night on Wednesday, April 26 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Moes Room.

For more information about the San Alberto Hurtado Latino Honor Society contact society advisor, Yarely Santillan at ysantillan@stfrancis.edu.

Photo: www.stfrancis.edu
usfencounter.stfrancis.edu 7


Joliet Public Schools District 86 Receives Education Award

Joliet Public Schools District 86 was named Educational Institute of the Year by the Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce & Industry. The district received the award at the Joliet Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner & Celebration of Success event.

District representatives expressed pride in their work towards excellence and credited their teachers, principals, employees, and community members for the achievement.

The Board of School Inspectors President for the

Popus Gourmet Popcorn Wins Grant Award

On April 18, Popus Gourmet Popcorn received a check from the Joliet Chamber in collaboration with the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago’s Community First Accelerate Frants for Small Business.

The program and grants have for purpose to assist the growth of small businesses in Illinois and Wisconsin.

This year, out of the hundreds of businesses that were nominated, only

30 awards were granted.

Popus Gourmet is owned by Walter and Leanne Dean and was opened in October 2017 on 2004 W. Jefferson St. in Joliet.

They will use the grant to purchase a new popcorn machine and ventless hood system for its two locations on Jefferson Street and on Joliet’s West side.

Joliet Public Schools District 86, Erick Deshaun Dorris, said, “I am proud to be a part of a school district that is working towards excellence. This recognition is a result of all the work being done by our teachers, principals, employees, and community members.”

The district, which serves almost 9,800 students in Joliet, Illinois, was one of four organizations nominated for the award and submitted a comprehensive application to be considered.

Photo: www.patch.com
8 April 24, 2023
Photo: www.patch.com

DoorDash Project in Joliet Falls Apart

What used to be Aaron’s Furniture and Appliance is now home to a banquet hall, The Royal Palace Event Centre. The old Aaron’s Furniture and Appliance building was bought last September by John Bays and he is now looking for another tenant to fill the remaining vacancies.

The empty space was to become a DoorDash Essentials location for delivery of food and liquor

products, but no longer came to fruition. Joliet had approved a Class C liquor license for DoorDash back in late September 2022, as part of the company’s plans to expand across the country. Joliet would have been one of several test markets for DoorDash.

The property now displays a window sign advertising that the 8,000 square feet property is available.

El Guero Grocery store to now open in 2024

Four years ago, a redevelopment project in Joliet that was expected to bring economic growth by opening an El Guero grocery store at the former Certified Warehouse property on East Jackson Street did not materialize during Mayor Bob O'Dekirk's second term.

However, during his final month as mayor, the city's economic development committee will meet to discuss extending tax incentives for El Guero. The project was initially announced by Joliet's retired economic

development director, Steve Jones, and the Joliet City Council approved millions of dollars in tax incentives.

Joliet's current economic development director, Cesar Suarez, has requested an update to the tax incentives, with the expectation that El Guero will finally open by April 1, 2024.

Previous tax incentives for El Guero were approved by the Joliet Council in February 2019, but they expired on June 1, 2021, as the project did not proceed.

Photo: www.patch.com Photo: www.patch.com
usfencounter.stfrancis.edu 9

It’s crazy to me that in about a week I will be graduating from St. Francis. I’m sad that this big part of my life is coming to an end, but I’m excited to see what the future holds. As these last couple days of the semester are approaching, I can’t help but look back on the great memories I made here. Although I only attended USF for 2.5 years, I feel that I’ve been here since the start of my college journey. USF brought me many opportunities and experiences that helped me grow as a student and made me confident in my abilities. Most importantly I’m grateful for the people I met and the amazing friendships that were created up here in the Encounter office. I’m proud of everyone that helped me put together and deliver every issue of the Encounter. Especially to Saba and Noëllie who put in hours writing and designing for every issue, I couldn’t have done it without them.

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I can’t believe that I came to USF in 2019, this is kind of crazy to think about. The campus has changed so much, we got through a worldwide pandemic, and here I am, graduating. I am thankful for the things I have learned and the people I have met here. Especially, being a part of the Encounter taught me a lot and I am really proud of all the issues we have put out for this last semester, especially after two of our members graduated last semester. We were a really good team between the Editor-in-Chief, the Layout Designer, and I, and I hoped you enjoyed reading and looking at the Encounter this semester. Finally, even though it felt really long, the time has passed really fast and I am excited to be done with my time at USF and go on with new experiences.

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1. “Hate Me” [Single] SAMWOY

2. "In Place Of Time" [EP] THESE PEOPLE


4. "Continue As A Guest" THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS

5. “See You In The Dark" [EP] SOFTCULT

6. “Voodoo Science" [Single] DEMOB HAPPY

7. “A Fistful Of Peaches" BLACK HONEY

8. “Sofa Kings" [EP] ROYEL OTIS

9. “Fables feat. Beck" [Single] RAHILL

Week Ending April 19, 2023 RORY RICHARDS RORY 4-5 PM Fridays


Spice Girls

What a Feeling

One Direction

I Want You Back

The Jackson 5



Like Crazy


All The Girls You Loved Before Taylor Swift

I Kissed A Girl

Katty Perry

Steal The Show


Listen On

12 April 24, 2023

SHAUN, Jeff Satur


Louis Tomlinson

on the street

j-hope, J.Cole

If you want more USF Encounter discovery

Artwork courtesy of WCSF
10. “Chasing Days" [Single] IZO FITZROY WCSF RADIO 88.7 FM -- WCSF.STREAMON.FM --
Gold Survey
The USF Encounter Staff "Monthly Staff Picks" playlist.

Ballin On A Budget

Cheaper beauty alternatives are getting popular on social media apps largely thanks to TikTok. The term “dupes,” short for du plicates, has become a shopping trend where people are trying to find products that closely resemble the more expensive items at a cheaper price.

According to www.mordernretail.org, on TikTok “videos under #dupe have garnered roughly 1.7 billion views and #makeupdupes have over 490 million views.” Now, the “dupes” trend has been around for a while. It started on Instagram with many influencers posting about affordable makeup products or clothing. The reason why it became an even bigger trend on TikTok is because of its algorithm system. Because once you like one video about a “dupe,” the app will then continue putting more videos on your for you page and that way you fall in the rabbit hole.

I asked University of St. Francis junior, Hannah Micthell, her thoughts on this trend. This is what she had to say:

“The TikTok dupe trend has most definitely been on my for you page. I think that it could be rather helpful at times! A product that I have purchased a dupe for is the Drunk Elephant Bronzing Drops. They normally cost aorund $38 but I found the L’Oreal Lumi Glotion at Target for $13. I found myself very happy with the dupe!”

As this trend continues to take over our for you pages, here are some “dupes” you can buy to ball on a budget and get the same experience as expensive products but at a reasonable price.

Dyson Airwrap vs. Revlon One-step Volumizer

This rounded airbrush allows you to blow dry your hair and get the same voluminous blowout as a Dyson Airwrap may provide. It is easy-to-use with three heat and speed settings and a great option for beginners to use on the go. This is a personal

can even get it for cheaper than $40.

Drugstore Makeup

Not just one product but there are multiple makeup dupes you can find at drugstore. I love a good bargain and what better place to find affordable makeup products than CVS, Walgreens or Target. Using affordable makeup products does not make it less pigmented and long-lasting. In actuality, a lot of the formulas used in these drugstore makeup products are just as good as, if not better than, their counterparts from the luxury market. So, stop listening to brand-obsessed people, listen to your bank account and save some money getting great quality products at an cheaper price.

Yeezy Slides

Stylish footwear is big on TikTok and one of those footwears include Yeezy slides. These slides were a collaboration between Adidas and YEEZY, Kanye West’s shoe brand; however due to the scandal involving the artist, Adidas discontinued this product. But people on TikTok were quick to find an alternative to these comfortable and soft sliders. Most of the alternatives can be found on Amazon with prices lower than $25 compared to the approximate original price of $50.

All in all, not everyone has access to popular brands and ability to purchase overly priced products, so this trend is giving people alternatives to get the same or close experience that people may get with the expensive products. Especially for us college students, who often have additional expenses like loans, gas and other things to pay for, this is a way for us to live a certain aesthetic at a reasonable cost.

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Photo: www.imdb.com, www.people.com, www.classic.motown.com, www.jackson-source.com
BTS (방탄소년단) 2013 usfencounter.stfrancis.edu 15

This Barbie is aHarryStyles Enthusiast .

This Ken is just Frank.

This Ken is deep in thought .

This Barbie is obsessed with matchalatte .

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Photo: lifeforstock on freepik.com, www.barbieselfie.ai





Barbie is afigure skater.
Ken is golden.
This Ken is justhere so he doesn'tgetfined .
Barbie is all about coffee.
usfencounter.stfrancis.edu 17

Student Employment Recognition Luncheon

The Career Success Center hosted the second annual Student Employment Recognition Luncheon on April 12, 2023.

The luncheon was in recognition of National Student Employment Week. During the event, nominees and awardees for Student Employees of the Year & Student Employment Supervisor of the Year were recognized.

Student Employees of the Year

Outstanding Critical Thinking

*Saba Aamir Marketing Services

Nominees: Sarah Deffenbaugh (Career Success Center), Alexander Middleton (Technology Support Center), Josie Graffeo (Technology Support Center)

Outstanding Diversity & Inclusion


*Noellie Inard

International Programs

Outstanding Community Service

*Vanessa Withall Academic Resource Center

Student Employment Supervisor of the Year

*Britto Chacko Technology Support Center

Nominees: Michale Johnson (Residence Education), Jennifer Ethridge (Academic Adivisng/Registrar), Nechawn Johnson (Residence Education/Student Life)

Outstanding Technology & Innovation

*Abdullah Alwohaibi Technology Support Center

Nominees: Josie Graffeo (Technology Support Center), Ishika Pancholi (Career Success Center)

Oustanding Leadership

*Destiny Taylor Marian Desk

Nominees: Josie Graffeo (Technology Support Center), Samantha Raspopovich (Marian Desk), Jerryl Varughese (Career Success Center)

Regional Recognition

*Noellie Inard

International Programs

Regional Winner

Britto Chacko

Technology Support Center

Regional Runner-up

*Winners are highlighted in golden.

Congratulations to all Nominees & Awardees! 18 April 24, 2023


Growing up, we always had magazines laying around the house. The ones that are directly targeted at women with a picture of a skinny white woman on the cover. The ones that had a bold catchy title like “Want to lose weight? We have the perfect diet” or “Get the perfect body before the summer.” The ones that we now know were mostly using photoshop to make the model look even skinnier than she was in real life.

Even in magazines targeted to teenagers with news about their favorite boyband and a poster to cover the walls of their room in it, you can always find articles about a female celebrity’s body in it. Whether it is to mock her body, to compare it or just to shame her while she was on vacation on the beach, it is always there.

Though it can seem harmless, these magazines are a big part of what we call Diet Culture, also defined as the glorification of losing weight at all costs by “encouraging external rules about what, when, and how much to eat,” according to the National Eating Disorder Association.

Most people and especially most women are concerned with diet culture, we are born and raised in it. Only in the last few years, we have seen social movements rising and demystifying diet culture. Movements like body positivity, which is “the assertion that all people deserve to have a positive body image, regardless of how society and popular culture view ideal shape, size and appearance” as explained by Verywell Mind or body neutrality, which is “ neither loving nor hating your body. It’s based on the notions of acceptance and having respect for one’s body rather than love” as described by the Cleveland Clinic.

As women, we all internalize diet culture which makes us unconsciously fatphobic. We are scared of gaining weight as we want to avoid it and we think it is bad to gain weight because we were taught that we are “letting ourselves go.”

Let’s be honest, diet culture is rooted in patriarchy and was just another way for men to control women. Society taught us that we need to be skinny and perfect without hair or cellulite, but for what? To be liked by men. Ah, what would we do without men?

Diet culture is internalized in each one of us and is portrayed through thoughts like “I’m hungry but it’s too late to eat now,” “I can’t eat dessert today because I already ate one,” “I can’t have fries and pizza,” “I need to exercise so I can eat what I want tonight” and it goes on and on. We were taught that gaining weight is bad and makes you less of a woman. I am sorry to tell you but your body is the least interesting thing about you. Every person is on their own journey with their body but there are a few important things to be reminded of.

First, it doesn’t matter if you eat more than your uncle, boyfriend or friend, focus on yourself and what you want. Second, you won’t get an award for not eating breakfast, be conscious of your own diet talk and thoughts around yourself and people. Third, your clothes are supposed to fit you, not the other way around. Changing your body is okay but do it out of love and not out of hate, otherwise, you’ll never like what you see in the mirror. Also, if it is the summer and you have a body, I am happy to tell you that you have a summer body.

Finally, try to see your body for what it is, which is just a piece of skin, muscle and fat, not that big of a deal. As corny as it is, thank your legs for walking you to places, your bloated stomach for digesting the fries dipped in ice cream and your arms for picking up the Encounter issue this month. Though it is a long journey, I wish you to find neutrality, if not positivity, in the way you see your body.

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Photo: memetsaputra on Freepik

dad can look at an old picture of himself with a mustache, mullet and denim jacket and think “Wow what a time to be alive.” Sure old timer, what a time indeed.

A wise man once said that history has a habit of repeating itself and it is no different when it comes to what is popular amongst culture. Due to the rise of shows such as Stranger Things, the fashion and trends of the '80s has seen a resurgence as of late. As this current generation looks to the past and says “Let us give it a go.”

But the '80s is just one decade, so why not delve a little further and see what trends from the '90s and 2000s could make a comeback.

Starting with the '90s let’s take a look at collectables. VHS tapes have been around forever but did you know that those massive bricks actually had the power to play a movie? It was like a streaming service, except it wasn’t instant. And you had to rewind it. And sometimes the tape could get ruined and precious memories such as your parents wedding could be erased in favor of a Power Rangers marathon.

Now I’m not saying that these tapes are going to become the next big thing again for watching films but one look on ebay will show you that select VHS tapes hold a high

them but simply because you want to have them. Not to mention the fact that having a VHS collection, especially an impressive one, is quite the conversation starter.

Another piece of memorabilia from the time would have to be the lava lamp. Now lava lamps have been around forever but watch any show or movie from the '90s and you will see a lava lamp in some way. These things are colorful, bright and timeless. You really can’t go wrong with them and they are sure to add an extra bit of color. Not to mention these things are just relaxing. Watching the colors bounce back and forth. Yes, I understand I am raving about a lava lamp of all things but these things are just really cool.

I refuse to write about the 2000s. This was the era that I grew up in and the fact that there are influencers looking at this era and picking trends from it to replicate now makes me sick to my stomach. I was a child here so things like capri sun, lunchables and playstation two were commonplace. But if there is one trend that I was way too young to appreciate, it would be frosted tipped hair. Can we please bring this back? Maybe just for a day? That would make me a very happy chap indeed.

Photo: www.theengineeringcommons.com, www.thealphastyle.com, www.medium.com usfencounter.stfrancis.edu 21

Music Industry Mento ring Program for Young

This account is for you to connect and learn more about the music industry

A good account to learn



She manages tours for artists. From her picture with singers to the content she shares about the music industry, she is a great resource to have in your feed!

As a fan, you must follow this account to connect with fans around the world!

Global community centered around music that posts content around career resources, artist discovery, and educational conversations around music.

g@ enadmissionord
@ Staceymoral e s
o eug
Photo: www.instagram.com
22 April 24, 2023
ADVERTISE WITH US Local businesses Clubs University events encounter@stfrancis.edu usfencounter.stfrancis.edu theusfencounter@stfrancis.edu usfencounter.stfrancis.edu usfencounter.stfrancis.edu 23

Do you have concerts coming up this summer and have no clue what you’re getting yourself into? I have been going to concerts since I was about eight years old and I’d say I’ve learned a thing or two. Whether you’re attending your first concert or have been to a couple and still don’t know what to expect, I’m going to share my tips with you.

Buying Your Concert Tickets

Before going to a concert, you need your concert ticket. Buying concert tickets can be stressful especially if the artist is popular, so make sure that as soon as they announce a tour you sign up for their artist presale through the ticket sales company they are using. If you’re willing to travel, sign up to receive a code for concerts in nearby states. I recommend signing up for the artist or a ticket selling company’s newsletter because they might send out a presale code. If you don’t receive a presale code don’t lose hope, you still have a chance at getting tickets during the general ticket sales.

As for buying the tickets, I have tried different tricks to make sure there aren’t 1000 plus people ahead of me in the queue. I don’t recommend logging onto the site ten minutes before. So far, I’ve had luck getting tickets by leaving Ticketmaster open on my laptop hours before the sale. Also, by using the Ticketmaster app and entering the queue the exact minute ticket sales begin. I’m still trying to figure this out, but I hope one of these works out for you.

If worse comes to worse and you don’t get your hands on a ticket, you can wait to buy a ticket when it gets closer to the date especially because ticket resellers will lower their prices if their tickets aren’t being sold. The venue might release extra tickets the day of the concert or you can go to the box office as early as you possibly can to buy tickets for face value.

Avoid Getting Scammed

I have never bought tickets from resellers, but here are a few things that I plan on using if I ever buy from a reseller. Always ask the seller for proof of the ticket. It’s better to ask for a screen recording of them showing they have the ticket rather than a screenshot because it can be easy to photoshop a ticket. But also, be aware that the recording could still be faked and edited, so ask for additional proof such as an email confirmation to validate that they purchased the ticket. When it comes to payment send your payment through PayPal Goods and Services because they have a buyer protection that can give you a refund if you never receive your tickets after payment. If you do these two things and are still unsure, ask if you can send half of the payment for the ticket, then send the other half after receiving the ticket. If the seller refuses to send any type of confirmation and refuses to take the payment through PayPal Goods and Services, chances are you are getting scammed.

Venue Rules

Be sure to visit the venues websites to check on their guidelines and rules. You want to do this before your concert because every venue has different rules. Especially when it comes to bags and purses. If you plan on taking a bag I recommend buying a small clear bag or tote bag, depending on the venue they will allow any size as long as it is clear. You will also find any parking information as to what time lots open and how much it cost for parking. Lastly, you can find information on what you can and cannot bring in such as cameras, food, water, chairs, posters and more.

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General Admission vs Seats

If you purchase a General Admission (GA) ticket, you will not have a seat. Your spot in a GA pit is determined by what time you arrive at the venue. So, if you want to get as close as you can to the stage you might want to arrive as early as five hours or camp out the day before the concert. This also depends on how popular the artist is and you might be able to arrive three hours before doors open and still get a good spot. If you want to see how early people are arriving, search up fans’ social media posts from a previous show. I use twitter to search up the hashtag of the show I am going to, to stay updated because fans will post updates. If you do decide to camp out for your concert check out the venue’s guidelines because some allow it and some don’t allow camping. Bring snacks, chairs, blankets, water and anything else you may need to stay fueled and energized. Make friends with the people around you in line because they will most likely be the ones next to you in the pit. If you end up in the back, all I ask is you do not try to push your way to the front because people waited all day for their spot. Most importantly if you camp out stay safe and have fun!

If you have seats for the concert no need to worry about waiting hours in line for a good spot. You can arrive at the venue at the time that works best for you. But keep in mind traffic and parking because you wouldn’t want to miss the start of the show. Either way your seats will be waiting for you when you arrive.

side of the venue go there first because the ones inside will have long lines. You can wait until after the concert, but trust me the lines will be longer than they are before the concert. Also expect merch to range from the cheapest item being $20 to the most expensive being $100. Prices also vary depending on the artist and you can find the merch prices and items on social media to get an idea of what you want to purchase.

Day of the Concert

The day you have been waiting for has finally arrived, so what should you bring? The less you bring the better because you don’t wanting to be hauling around so much stuff. Do bring a small clear bag or no bag. Make sure to take a portable charger or two because you wouldn’t want your phone to die during the concert. Your debit or credit card because many venues went cashless since COVID. If you have a point-and-shoot camera I recommend taking one to get great photos and videos. Posters if the venue allows them. Lastly, bring good vibes and have the best time of your life. Concerts are great experiences and I hope this guide brings you some ease to create a smooth and stressfree concert experience.

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Keshi: Hell Back& Tour

On March 24, I went to my first concert in general admission. If you don’t know, when you go to a concert, you can either get a seated ticket or a general admission ticket, which is when you stand the whole concert but you are closer if you come early enough. Though for huge celebrities it is way cheaper to get a seated ticket because you are further away, because the artist I went to see is not yet that famous (I can’t wait for him to be), it was less expensive to get a general admission ticket.

This was also my first alone concert and I can now say for sure that you don’t need anyone to enjoy a concert. However, I would say that it would have been a better experience to wait in the queue for four hours with someone, especially in the cold. The good thing to do is go with someone so that one of you can leave the queue to go get something hot to drink or move a little. But I was alone so let’s just say it was a long, slightly lonely and really cold experience.

When I arrived and took place in the queue, this girl arrived at the same time and she was alone too. For three hours I thought we were psychologically in it together, alone and cold while everyone else was taking with their friends and drinking something hot. That was until the security guy came and called the people who got the Meet and Greet ticket, the ones where you pay extra to meet with the artist, and she left the queue to follow him. That was my biggest betrayal of the day.

Because I was there around 2 p.m. when the doors were only

opening at 6:00 p.m., I did get a pretty good spot close to the stage. However, be ready to see people in their most primal form when they are running to the stage to get there before their neighbours. I am not going to lie, I ran too. I didn’t wait for four hours to not get a good spot and have people who cut the line come before me.

The artist I went to see was Keshi. After the two artists opening for him, he finally came on the stage. He was incredible and really close. Keshi is an Asian American artist and if you like RnB songs with a chill production and guitar, he is for you. I really can’t articulate enough how amazing he is and how is going to have a huge blow out one day.

Many people passed out during the concert because it got pretty hot and the more the concert was going on, the more the crowd was getting closer to the stage and closer to each other naturally. Though they were passing water, it got pretty wild quickly.

The concert went really well and because I came early and I had heels, I had a really good view of him on stage, which made the whole experience better. Yes, I had heels. I spent twelve hours on heels this day, so nobody can talk to me about pain now. As a final thought, just get the concert ticket, even if you are in the back. Going to a concert is such a good experience, even if you’re alone, so don’t be afraid and go enjoy yourself!

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Another March has passed, another March Madness to look back on. March Madness is the exciting time of year when college basketball is at its peak and everyone is submitting their personal brackets. It seems like every year there is a mind-boggling upset and a different underdog team who upsets a top ranking team. This often results in the utter destruction of everyone’s brackets.

For those who don’t know, the term “brackets” refers to the style in which the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball tournament is presented. These brackets are broken into four separate tournaments based on the region of the top-seeded team. The regions are the East, West, South and Midwest. The tournament consists of 68 teams with 15 teams and a play in game in each regional tournament. The teams who had the most success during their season will rank higher in the tournament and the teams who were not as good will be ranked lower. The matchups between teams take place in bracketed rounds where the winner advances and plays the winner of another round. Once a regional champion is crowned, the top four teams will play in what is named the Final Four. The winners of these two games will compete for the NCAA National Championship.

This style of tournament has been turned into a fun betting/ challenge experience where fans will customize their bracket based on their predictions of the tournament and submit them to the NCAA. The obvious goal is to predict the tournament completely and have a perfect bracket. Too bad there has never been a perfect bracket, meaning nobody has ever won this challenge according to the NCAA.

Despite there being a lack of March Madness winners on the fan side, there have been some incredible winners on the side of the actual players. From the Cinderella stories to the dominant

run of champions, here are some of the tournaments most maddening and iconic moments throughout history.

To start, we all know that Michael Jordan is a pro basketball legend, but some fans may not know his championship legacy has been fruitful long before the prime of his professional career. As a freshman for the University of North Carolina (UNC), Jordan hit the game-winning jump shot to secure his team the title in 1982.

Or how about when Steph Curry lit up the Wisconsin Badgers with 33 points in their Elite Eight matchup. He shot the lights out throughout that entire tournament while playing for a small Division 1 school, Davidson College.

In 2003, Carmelo Anthony led Syracuse to a championship win during his freshman year. In a neck-and-neck game against Kansas, Syracuse player Hakim Warrick blocked a three-point shot that secured them their win. This was Melo’s one-and-done college season that got him selected third overall in the first Round of the National Basketball Association (NBA) Draft.

We can’t forget about the 2016 Villanova and UNC championship game in which Villanova forward Kris Jenkins hit a buzzer-beating, game-winning three-point shot after UNC guard Marcus Paige hit a circus three with less than 5 seconds remaining in the game. They won 77-74 in a tightly contested game. There are so many more iconic moments from March Madness than just these and so many more to come. Maybe someone will finally submit a perfect bracket and find a method to the madness.

28 April 24, 2023
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Not Your Dad’s Sports

As us here at the USF Encounter take a look back at some recent decades for some good nostalgia and wistful yearning for what once was, its time to snap out of the fever dream and make us feel better about the progress we’ve made. In the arena of sports, the meritocracy that seeks out results and production above all, where innovation and progression are not only coveted, but invaluable to the impact on wins and losses, the comparison of how sports are played, treated, and cultivated from decades past to now is worlds apart. Sports moments live indelibly in our minds as if they just happened yesterday, but how soon we are to forget the conditions that athletes, coaches, and staff dealt with and how stark the differences are to the landscape as it exists now.

Nutrition has always been an everchanging and improving industry, with its relation to sports being no different. Over time, as organizations have had to make decisions about their sports programs, their considerations for health and nutrition have been growing, allowing it to become a crucial and highly specialized field to help professional and amateur athletes perform at their best and redefine what their potential could be. Sports nutrition certainly has come a long way from the late Len Dawson burning down a heater at halftime of the Super Bowl.

Going hand in hand with the growth of nutrition in sports, medical biology and technological advancement has paved the way for the concept of SportsScience. Studying the various ways to improve practice, conditioning, workouts, and recovery have made training for an athlete a scrutinized competition off the field of play.

The most obvious way sports have changed for fans over the last 20 or so odd years is the shift from the onus of decision making being on people to the growing movement towards analytics and sabermetrics. These concepts have altered the way we experience sports in the last couple of decades in more observable ways. Leaning into the data has been jumped on across the sports frontier in drastic ways. In baseball, this has resulted in emphasis on the three true outcome approach for hitters, where the goal is to hit a home run, if you can’t get a pitch good enough to do that, you get a walk, and if you fail and strike out, oh well, it’s the same as putting the ball in play. The changes that analytics have brought to baseball got to the point that wholesale changes to the sport are having to be made to make it feel more like the baseball fans are familiar

with. In football, analytics have coincided with offensive leaning rule changes in the NFL to make teams much more aggressive and risky with their play style. This has come up in 4th Down decisions, play call variety, and player versatility. For the sport of basketball, the tide of sabermetrics has homogonized the game and made athletes flock to the threepoint line. In this past NCAA tournament we saw how the Florida Atlantic Owls made it all the way to the Final Four as a nine seed with extreme reliance on the three-point shot.

The treatment of athletes has improved and will continue to improve with the advancements and innovation of nutrition and training. It’s important to remember that these improvements do not necessarily go hand in hand with gameplay quality, aesthetic value, or the experience for the fans. The direction of sports will be dependent these factors adding up to a better product and experience for all.

Photo: www.cbssports.com
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