Page 1

6

FEATURES

THE PANTHER

Photo illustration by BONNIE CASH Photo Editor Juuls are designed as a cigarette replacement for people who are trying to quit smoking, and are not designed for non-smokers, according to JUUL Labs.

Students say it’s cool to Juul, others talk harmful effects E-cigarette use among younger generations is on the rise, but some health professionals believe Juuls cause more harm than good. Yuki Klotz-Burwell | Staff Writer When sophomore Tiffany Yang vaped half of her Juul pod in one day, she threw up from the high amounts of nicotine. Since then, she’s vomited twice more from overusing the device, but she, and many other Chapman students, continue to use Juuls. A Juul is an e-cigarette that provides users with a strong dose of nicotine, and it has gained popularity among younger generations. Although Juul’s website claims that the product is not meant for minors, the company recognizes that underage use of its products is an issue. In 2016, Chapman became a smoke-free campus, including vaping and using e-cigarettes, but many students continue to Juul and vape on campus. “When I walk to class, I see people Juuling all over the place,” said Chiara Squillantini, a sophomore business administration major. “It’s very common at Chapman. If you go to Starbucks and you’re sitting outside, you’ll see a lot of people Juuling in the corner.” The e-cigarette device was designed to help those struggling to quit smoking regular cigarettes, and it’s not intended for people who haven’t smoked before, according to JUUL Labs. Still, its sleek appearance can attract college students and other young people, something the company calls “a persistent problem.” “(People) assume you’re cool if you’re Juuling. It’s a statement,” Yang said. “Everyone wants a Juul because it’s recognizable, attractive and cool. It’s small and you can only charge it through a USB, so in that sense, it really is targeted for our generation.” For Squillantini, using her Juul is less about getting the nicotine headrush, and more about having something to do, similar to the purpose of a fidget spinner. She said she Juuls before and after class, before she goes to bed, and first thing in the morning. “I’m not sure I would say that I’m

.

addicted, but it’s just so easy that, if it’s in front of me, I’ll do it,” she said. “If I had something that was similar with no nicotine, I’d still use it. At this point, I don’t get a headrush every time. It’s a gadget that gives me something to do.” Marketing the product as a cigarette replacement can be dangerous for younger generations who have never smoked, said Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, a pediatrics professor at Stanford University. “A lot of younger people were not smoking cigarettes in the first place, so it’s being used as a brand new product,” Halpern-Felsher told The Panther. “That’s scary. There’s a lot of harm in doing that.” Each Juul pod contains 59 milligrams of nicotine, which is the equivalent of one pack of cigarettes, according to the Juul website. Although the Juul hasn’t been on the market long enough for its long-term effects to be studied, Halpern-Felsher said that researchers believe it will follow the same effects as other vaping devices, as well as the general effects of nicotine, such as addiction and difficulty exerting energy and breathing. The pods’ flavor options, like creme

BONNIE CASH Photo Editor Chapman became a smoke-free campus in 2016, but some students still smoke on campus.

Photo courtesy of Chiara Squillantini Juuls’ compact designs and variety of flavor options contribute to their popularity.

brulee and mango, also contribute to Juul’s popularity among younger crowds. “They actually taste good, which is appealing,” Squillantini said. “I’ll be shopping and think that I want to try a new flavor, and then I want to try another, so I keep buying them and using them.” Yang’s tolerance to the nicotine headrush has also increased, but she uses her Juul because it’s convenient and trendy – and its small size makes it easy for people to use in class without anyone noticing. “Most of the time, I don’t even get a headrush anymore,” she said. “I still hit my Juul because I like the vape coming out and it gives me something to play

with. Our society is always into something, and Juuls are the next big thing. Everyone wants one.” Yang believes that Juul’s marketing is effective, as it makes the device seem harmless and trendy. “Cigarettes are known to hurt people, and we’ve seen the scary commercials and have heard what they do to people, but Juuls are used by cool people like YouTubers and people who are considered popular,” she said. “It doesn’t seem risky. Even on their Instagram, Juul uses people who look young and trendy in their pictures with their products. You’re not dirty if you Juul; you’re cool.”


10

FEATURES

THE PANTHER

Cross-Cultural Center, one year later Yuki Klotz-Burkwell | Staff Writer

A year after the Cross-Cultural Center opened, ‘17 alumna Annabell Liao, who said she has been the only woman of color to serve as student government president, spoke to visitors at the center’s anniversary celebration about its impact on campus. “It’s such an honor to be here today to speak at the one-year anniversary of the Cross-Cultural Center. But you know what the bigger honor is? Being surrounded by so many women of color right now,” Liao said in her speech. “You all are taking up space in a predominantly white space, and that’s radical.” For years, students had pushed for a space on campus that welcomed diversity and multiculturalism. However, President Emeritus Jim Doti opposed a potential multicultural center, saying that it would “ghettoize” the campus. Though he later clarified his statement, saying that the school should invest more in fostering campus-wide cultural conversations, he said that a multicultural center would not happen as long as he was president. Developing the Cross-Cultural Center (CCC) became a high priority for President Daniele Struppa after his inauguration in 2016. It officially opened five months after he took office, and it celebrated its first year on campus Feb. 26. “The CCC used to be a name that not many knew when I would mention it to them, but now it’s become a ‘Chapman term’ that everyone knows about, which is pretty cool,” said sophomore Beatrice Lam, president

LAYCIE DRESSLER Staff Photographer Students, faculty and alumni gathered in the Cross-Cultural Center Feb. 26 to celebrate the center’s one-year anniversary. Attendees spoke of the importance the center has on campus diversity and inclusion.

of the Korean Student Association. “The fact that it has reached its goal of providing a space for people to explore their identities is an observation I make every day.” For Lam, the center is a space in which she feels comfortable about her own identity, and can also engage in dialogue with others. “Regardless of the day I’ve had, the CCC is a place that I know will always be there to provide a safe, yet challenging, place to present and explore my identity,” said Lam, a communication studies major. Farrah Su, a ‘17 alumna who served on the advisory board for the center and was a board member for Chapman’s Asian Pacific Student Asso-

ciation (APSA), said multicultural organizations made her feel like she belonged on campus. “As a Taiwanese-American first-generation college student raised in New York, I felt really lost coming out to California for college,” Su said at the center’s one-year celebration. “In my classes, it was hard to find people who looked like me, and faculty and staff that would relate to me.” Su said she felt disconnected from her peers freshman year. The Randall Dining Commons had “racist imagery” above the Chinese and Italian food stations, and in 2013, someone submitted a comment in a suggestion box in Argyros Forum saying that

there should be fewer minorities on campus, Su said. “All of these (experiences) made me feel like I shouldn’t belong here,” she said. “I joined APSA the second year of my college experience, and I felt most welcome there. I was able to meet friends who shared similar experiences.” The Cross-Cultural Center was created to provide a space for students to find a sense of belonging, and also to host dialogues, programs and conversations, according to the organization’s website. “We really want to develop a sense of identity, empathy and community among Chapman students,” said Negeen Lotfi, program coordinator for Student Engagement. “I think the goal for the CCC was to really cultivate that through various programs, resources and services.” For the future, Lotfi and the rest of the Cross-Cultural Center programming team plan to evaluate how the center is being used, as well as reach out to students who don’t currently use it. “We want to engage students who maybe don’t feel like they have a space, or don’t recognize the value they can get from engaging in what we have to offer,” Lotfi said. Lotfi, who graduated in 2016, wishes the center had been around when she was a Chapman student. “I just know how that would have meant to me to walk into a space, and honestly, just to see people who look like me,” Lotfi said. “It makes a difference. For me, I see moments where students feel clearly empowered by their conversations with others.”

Dealing with Disney: working at the ‘happiest place on earth’ Yuki Klotz-Burkwell | Staff Writer From Mickey Mouse-themed study rooms to the nightly booms of fireworks in the distance, Disneyland’s connection to Chapman is a major draw for some students. But while some can’t get enough, others have a hard time getting away. “I often say that Disneyland stole my life in a sense,” said David Mandel, a senior business administration major. Mandel, who works 30 to 40 hours a week at the park, has had to make sacrifices to balance his job at Disney, school and social life. Mandel balances his shifts between working as a new member training class facilitator, a shift scheduler and a Paradise Pier attractions lead. In late February, a group of 11 Disneyland unions pushed for an increase in wages for park workers, according to the Orange County Register. A survey of 5,000 Disneyland Resort employees found more than 10 percent had struggled with homelessness in the last two years while working at the park. Though student Disneyland employees might not have to worry about making ends meet, the pressure to work extended hours can get in the way of school and social lives. “A lot of my fellow cast members have to work two jobs because they can’t support themselves just on minimum wage,” said Lily Mooney, a junior creative writing major and Disneyland employee. Another concern is getting preferred scheduling requests. Employees who have been with the company longer are more likely to get their requested days off, Mandel said. “At first, I often had to pick my classes based on days that I knew I could get off,” he said. “Now that I’ve-

Photo courtesy of David Mandel In the future, Mandel said he would need “a couple years” away from Disney before working there again.

been here for three years, it’s not too much of a problem, but I still have to consider that I might not be able to get all the days I want off.” As the park is often full during the holiday season, employees must work during those peak periods. Requesting them off is possible, but like to day-to-day scheduling, it also goes in order of seniority, said Mandel. Elise May, a sophomore business administration and data analytics major, had to work on Thanksgiving, New Year’s Eve and Easter, despite requesting them all off. May said that on Thanksgiving, the company tried to make up for the holiday work by providing food. “They gave us a whole Thanksgiving meal to eat later in the night,” May said. “I think they felt bad for making us work, but I understand. It’s such a big company; they can’t

cater to everyone’s needs.” Despite understanding why she had to work on Thanksgiving, May said Disney disregarded her schedule. “They didn’t listen to me half the time for when I wanted to be scheduled,” May said. “I would request specific days off and then they would schedule me only on that one day.” Lily Mooney, a junior creative writing major, had to work on Christmas Day. But despite the demanding schedule, Mooney said the job is worthwhile because of the perks, such as free park access and the ability to bring friends and family, but she only plans to work at Disneyland until she graduates. Holiday shifts aside, May said she had to consistently work evening shifts during the weekdays. Although she was able to balance her hours

with her school work, she said that it was her most time-consuming activity. She worked another parttime job, and the intense schedule often prevented her from seeing her friends, she said. Disney compensates by paying employees an extra 20 minutes at the end of a shift to make up for time spent walking to and from the parking lot, said May. Though it worked for her because she was often able to find a parking spot near her work location, that did not hold true for the majority of Disneyland workers, May said. “Most employees had to take a shuttle from their car to the park, so it took more than 20 minutes for them,” May said. “It was definitely not enough time and not worth it for them.” For Mandel, the job is a constructive work environment, but he plans to move on to other positions outside of Disney after he graduates. “I think the experience is worth it, but if I were 10 years older in the same position making the same amount of money, I think I’d say differently,” he said. “I think that it would be healthy for me to take a couple years outside the company.” Employees can benefit in small ways from the daily interactions with park guests. Sometimes, brightening a customer’s day by writing their name on a button or giving them a free food item because they had forgotten to order it, makes the job worth it, May said. “You can make or break their vacation, so by being able to make magic for them and change the way they view their vacation is super rewarding for me,” Mooney said. Disney did not respond to multiple requests for comment.


6

FEATURES

THE PANTHER

Zambian-raised alumna nominated for Emmy Yuki Klotz-Burkwell | Staff Writer

Q: What are you working on now?

Chapman alumna Shamola Kharkar started off her entertainment journey telling stories by the light of a bonfire when the electricity would shut off in her home in Zambia, Africa. After spending seven years at Chapman to receive her master’s degree in business administration degree and master of fine arts in film production, she was nominated for an Emmy for a film she worked on in association with the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts. Inspired by her love for storytelling and her experiences growing up on her family’s rose farm in Zambia, she balances her time between freelance producing, creating a virtual reality startup and entering her thesis film into festivals across the country.

A: I’m producing screen actors’ and theater students’ thesis films. I’m not doing it to get paid for it, but I’m doing my service to the school. I am also working on a startup in (virtual and augmented reality) entertainment. We are creating this package product where we combine VR technology in our film, so it’s basically an animated, 360-degree image that tells a story.

Q: You were recently nominated for an Emmy. What’s the premise of your nominated film? A: In spring 2016, I produced a short film in association with Dodge called “The Monkey King is in Town.” It’s a nine-minute story about this young Chinese-American boy who has to dress up for a Halloween party, and all of his friends dress up as superheroes. He wants to be Superman, but (his friends) tell him he can’t because he doesn’t look the part. His mom suggests he looks deeper inside his culture and see what he can find, and he ends up finding the Monkey King. He’s teased at school by a bully but the story is about how you have to look at what is inside you to beat a cultural bias. We use the bully as an external conflict, but inside the conflict is getting over any cultural stereotype and breaking the boundaries that one has in their subconscious mind.

Q: If you went back to Zambia, what would you be working on? Photo courtesy of Shamola Kharkar Emmy-nominated alumna Shamola Kharkar hopes to continue her film career in India and Africa.

Q: What made you choose Chapman? A: I was a very confused child. I wanted to be a pilot. I wanted to be a solar scientist. I wanted to do something where I could combine everything and create different types of movies and content where I can tell someone about science and history. I’m very used to personalized schooling. I went to a small school in Zambia, and I was always used to my teachers knowing my name. That’s what I looked for when selecting schools. I only applied to Chapman. Q: What are some of your favorite Chapman experiences? A: I love seeing how Chapman has transformed. I remember in 2010 walking on a campus where the majority of the people where white. I came from a school with students from over 52 countries. I had never experienced white people on a campus, and that freaked me out. It’s always refreshing to see what’s changing at Chapman. This school is constantly growing, and

it should be. Q: What has it been like being at Chapman for seven years? A: People think I’m crazy when I tell them I’ve been at Chapman for seven years. This is my home. Even though it annoys me that half of this place shuts down by 10 p.m., it’s still been onethird of my life. I’m forever a panther. Q: What was the awards process like for your film? A: We put (the film) into as many festivals as we could. We got into the San Diego International Film Festival. My director said we got nominated to put our film in the College Television Awards, so we applied. We (submitted) it in December 2016, and in March, we found out that we got accepted. It was for best picture, but because the producer accepts the award for best picture, I was Emmy-nominated. We had the awards show last May, and that was one of the most amazing opportunities I could have gotten.

A: If I have to move back to Zambia because I can’t get my US visa, I’m trying to be proactive and come up with a plan of what I can do. I’m trying to set up a film academy to start really pushing film in Zambia. Our president just put in mandates to encourage filmmaking, and people can pick up cameras and film, but there’s no formal teaching or understanding of how to put everything together. Q: What are your goals for the future? A: I want to be a traveling filmmaker. I want to go back to India and experience the Indian filmmaking style, because those are my roots. I want to take that same format and apply it to Africa. My goal is to travel to every single country in Africa (to encourage) filmmaking. Our world is so enveloped by technology. I want original storytelling methods to come back. I grew up every evening listening to stories. We would lose electricity and lights. We would step into our backyard, light a little bonfire and tell stories. That’s something that I know my ancestors have done. I feel like there are so many times on screen that we’re surrounded by Western culture. There’s so much more out there that people need to hear about.

Awards ceremony focuses on female filmmakers Yuki Klotz-Burkwell | Staff Writer Bella Wadhwani, a junior creative producing major, believes the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts supports everyone regardless of gender. Still, she is no stranger to experiencing inequality on set. “I was producing for a film and one of the crew members treated me differently than he treated men on the team,” she said. “I don’t know if he realized it or if it was just his personality, but I had to eventually work for his respect, which is frustrating, because most men have that respect automatically.” While some students may believe the film community at Chapman is gender-inclusive, the behind-thescenes reality is that Hollywood is still an industry filled with inequalities. Women comprised of 18 percent of all directors, writers, producers, editors and cinematographers of the top 250 films in 2017, according to a study by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University. Only 9 percent of the top films that year had a female director, and in the history of the Academy Awards, only one woman has ever won the Academy Award for Best Director, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “None of my male peers have to worry about going into a sexist industry where they have a high chance of being taken advantage of,” said

Panther Archives The conference includes a discussion and Q&A session with a panel of successful females in the film industry, a mixer event and ceremony for the award recipients.

Connie Ticho, a sophomore film production major. “I’ve been on sets at Chapman where boys will say something like, ‘Well, if that girl can do it, then you can.’ Being a women in a male-dominated industry is tough, and we need to teach young filmmakers about feminism in film.” For 19 years, Dodge has hosted the Women in Focus Conference and awards to promote equality in film. But this is the first conference since the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements arose in response to sexual harassment allegations against producer Harvey Weinstein, and other men in the industry. “When Dodge College started the Women in Focus event nearly 20

years ago, the goal was to support a minority in the film industry so our students, the future generation of filmmakers, could aspire to make an impact in their careers,” said Marissa Ellena, a development coordinator for Dodge College. The program provides students with awards for their thesis film projects. Two producing students will receive the Entertainment Partners Excellence in Producing Award, one graduate student will receive the Meredith MacRae Memorial Award and up to four students will be given the Zonta Award. “There are many awards that support different initiatives, students and projects, but it is important to

the organizations that support these awards that they specifically support female filmmakers,” Ellena said. “We, as Dodge College, want to ensure that students are given the opportunity to make the film that they dream about.” Ticho, who applied for a Women in Focus award, believes that the awards are important because the film industry should highlight women and their successes more often. “We come to Dodge to learn and to be inspired by filmmakers, which includes women,” she said. “The film industry has been completely dominated by men. We need to empower and encourage feminism in the industry.” Wadhwani applied for the awards because of the overall movement it supports, and to get funding for her thesis film, she said. “The Women in Focus Awards, and having more female representation in the film industry, are steps in the right direction not only for Dodge and Chapman, but also for the industry” Wadhwani said. Wadhwani produced a short film that was recently accepted into the Cannes Film Festival in France, which she will attend in May. “The support I’ve received for that has been overwhelming,” she said. “Finding that niche and family has been incredible and that’s what Dodge offers for me.” The Women in Focus Conference will take place April 20 in the Folino Theater at Marion Knott Studios.


6 FEATURES

THE PANTHER

Standing up, speaking out: student activism after Parkland Jade Michaels | Staff Writer After the Parkland shooting Feb. 14, students across the U.S. are demanding change. Young activists, like shooting survivor Emma Gonzales, have sparked an unprecedented call for action on social media, and Chapman students have noticed. In past years, students have organized rallies and protests at Chapman to stand up for what they believe in, and now, following the attack in Florida, they will not rest until something is done. “I am irritated that it took the student activism for us to care about this as a country,” said senior sociology major Kyler Asato. “It wasn’t the fact that a mass shooting happened at their school. It was because of Emma Gonzalez, it was because of the tweets during the shooting. It was because they had to turn their emotions and their suffering into a political debate. They are tired of it. And so am I.” In the days days after the shooting, students have t organized marches and rallies across the country. Sit-ins, tweets and speeches to the president are also at the forefront of student-led activism. “Chapman students can also make a difference by learning more about existing things, because if Emma Gonzalez can create a speech and do the research, so can we,” Asato said. Marches are not enough, and speeches, calls and action will be the only way to enact change, Asato

Illustration by EMMA STESSMAN Art Director The Women’s March Youth EMPOWER movement is organizing a national 17-minute school walkout set for March 14 at 10 a.m., according to the group’s website.

said. Fred Smoller, a political science professor, said that change can only happen once representatives understand that their position is at risk if they continue to allow guns to be so accessible. Sophomore news and documentary major Stephen Ragsdale does not agree that guns are the problem. “The human capacity for evil, as well as mental illness, lead to these shootings. If someone really wants to harm people, he will find a way to do it. Murderous rampages are not unique to the US,” said Ragsdale, an active member of Chapman Republicans.

Instead, Ragsdale believes that Americans should vote to arm teachers, implement containment procedures for an active shooter situation, ban bump stocks (which were used in the Las Vegas shooting) and hold the FBI more accountable when it knows about a threat. He added that the news media should not report the name of the shooter. Olivia Kellett, president of Young Democrats, said that a complex problem like this requires people from all sides to communicate, unify and take action. “Gun violence in (the U.S.) is a multifaceted problem that requires a

multifaceted approach,” said Kellett, a junior vocal performance major. Smoller and Kellett agreed that mental health plays a factor in these events, but it’s less important than the issue of easy access to semiautomatics and poor background checks. To keep the issue relevant and to display unity in a march toward motivating meaningful action from Congress, the Women’s March Network arranged a National School Walkout, a time for classes to take 17 minutes to reflect on the lives lost and decide how to prevent future tragedies. The walkout will take place on March 14 at 10 a.m. “I may participate in the march, as an act of solidarity, but I normally don’t like marches or protests because I don’t think they really accomplish anything because they aren’t strategic enough,” Asato said. “I will definitely try to participate in the walkout though.” Kellett agreed that solidarity needs to be paired with action, but anything that helps keep the issue talked about is essential. “The most powerful thing that you can do to end mass shootings is to demonstrate to your representatives at all levels of government that gun control is a dealbreaker issue for you... (Young Democrats) will definitely be participating in the walk out, and we are currently discussing ways to make as powerful a statement as possible,” Kellett said.

Rights and rifles: Gun-owning students talk gun control Yuki Klotz-Burkwell | Staff Writer For Joy Ellis, guns were a normal part of her childhood. She tagged along on her father and brother’s recreational hunting trips in Washington, and her brother started hunting and shooting when he was in middle school. “When my brother thought Hillary (Clinton) was going to be elected, he went out and spent around $20,000 on firearms because he thought his right was going to be taken away,” said Ellis, a junior public relations and advertising major. After a shooter killed 17 students in Parkland, Florida, Feb. 14, the gun control debate has resurfaced. In California, about 20 percent of residents own a gun, according to a 2015 Columbia University study. Alaska and Arkansas have the highest rates of gun ownership, with 61.7 percent and 57.9 percent, respectively. Though gun ownership isn’t as common in California, some Chapman students are accustomed to being around guns. Ellis is not interested in owning a gun, but she said that her parents encourage her to stay vigilant about gun safety. “I vividly remember (my dad) cleaning (the gun), and my mom saying this is a dangerous object, and it’s not something to be played with,” Ellis said. “That was always made clear as long as I can remember.” Ed Roth, owner of Ed’s Gun Sales in Orange, believes gun owners should be prepared to take on the responsibility of owning a weapon. “Eighteen-year-olds buy Ducati (motorcycles) all the time. People buy all sorts of stuff that isn’t safe,” Roth said. “I kind of relate a fifth of whiskey to a gun – you can have fun or you can end up in a crash in an intersection.”

Courtesy of Beau Barker Thirty four percent of West Coast households own guns, according to the Pew Research Center. Senior business administration major Beau Barker, above, owns four.

Ellis grew up with an understanding of guns in both recreational and professional settings, but she never considered gun control laws until the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting. “When Sandy Hook happened (in 2012), I think I was too young to realize that it was an issue and it was occurring more often,” Ellis said. “I acknowledged that it was happening, but I thought it was a rare occurrence. Recently, I’ve understood that it is a problem and it should be changed.” Ellis believes that the laws against owning a gun should be stricter, within reason. “Right now, if you want a gun to hunt or to protect yourself, then why should you be scared to go through background checks and tests?” Ellis said. “If people really want a gun, and if they don’t pass the qualifications, they obviously shouldn’t have one. You have to be

mentally sane.” Though senior Beau Barker’s father served in the Royal British Marines, which gave him exposure to guns, Barker didn’t feel the need to have one until he moved to the U.S. Now, he owns four. “Being Australian, (having a gun) didn’t seem necessary because gun control works over there, even though we were raised with an understanding of guns,” said Barker, a business administration major. “I got one because it was a right offered to me, and I’d rather have one and never need it, than need it and not have it.” Legislation should focus more on thorough background checks and less on weapon bans, Barker said, and he believes that the push to ban assault rifles is based on uneducated assumptions. “We need to have more checks on the mental health of people, but the laws to comply to California

standards don’t prevent someone from buying a compliant gun and killing people.” To obtain his guns, Barker had to attend a gun laws and safety class and pass a certification. He also had to provide multiple forms of identification, proof of residency, criminal and mental health history, and undergo a background check, he said. “I wouldn’t say that anyone can walk into a gun store and walk out with one. It’s more complicated than that,” Barker said. California requires background checks to purchase firearms, but that doesn’t mean owning a gun is for everyone, Roth said. “I do sell guns, but I don’t think everyone should own a gun,” Roth said. You never really know how you’re going to feel until you’re actually there.” Kali Hoffman contributed to this report.


THE PANTHER

FEATURES

9

The ‘A’ game: Professors, students stress over STEM grades Faculty members work toward solution for lack of grade standardization Yuki Klotz-Burwell | Staff Writer Every week, Vidal Arroyo, a junior biochemistry and molecular biology major, spends an average of 25 hours on homework and lab work. “I feel like I don’t even have weekends,” Arroyo said. “There are certain times when I never know if I’ll be able to fully enjoy some parts of my life because of the coursework.” The amount of studying Arroyo Photo illustration by BONNIE CASH Photo Editor does for each class might not always Fifty-five percent of undergraduate grades given in 2016-17 were As and A-minuses, said Kenneth Murphy, associate provost of academic administration. translate into equivalent grades. Each course is graded differently, instructors because most science students plan to from going somewhere that I want don’t have a uniform grading policy in from different professors, Bisoffi said. “What that means is that it’s probably attend graduate or medical school, said to go,” he said. “We hold ourselves to place, and some grades for classes, like not the students, it’s probably us who Arianna Burtis, a sophomore health a higher standard in just being good organic chemistry, are curved, he said. academically because that’s how we are The lack of grade standardization is a grade differently, and we should not do sciences major. At Harvard Medical that,” Bisoffi said. School, the average undergraduate evaluated.” common topic among staff members, Fifty-five percent of the grades given GPA for accepted students is a 3.9, Because of the inconsistent grading said Marco Bisoffi, a biochemistry and university-wide for undergraduates in according to the school’s website. system, some students choose classmolecular biology professor. 2016-17 were As and A-minuses, said. “Our advisers have told us since the es based on how easy the professors Because of this, the chemistry and Kenneth Murphy, associate provost of beginning that there is not a lot we grade, said junior chemistry major biochemistry faculty members will academic administration. can do with just our bachelor’s deDaniel Chang. attend a meeting during finals week to Those studying in Schmid College gree, ” Burtis said. “We are required to “I don’t think (that) is a good apdiscuss solutions to the issue. of Science and Technology often have do more schooling to have a fulfilling proach,” Chang said. “That choice “These students are going out there to complete more credits to graducareer. Most of us are going into a very should really be based on who you and competing for graduate school ate than students in other majors. A competitive field that requires more think will fit your learning style the and medical school,” he said. “I do degree in biochemistry and molecular education and professional experibest.” have some sleepless nights sometimes biology requires 70-74 credits, whereence.” Bisoffi said that most of his students, thinking about this situation. Are we as public relations and advertising Since his undergraduate academics especially in upper division courses, doing the correct thing?” requires 48. determine a large part of his future, are deserving of As, and those who In sections of the same class, there STEM students have more pressure Burtis feels required to keep his GPA get below that are usually just in the can be a substantial difference in the to perform well academically than high. wrong field. distribution of As and Bs in sections students who pursue other subjects, “I don’t want my GPA to limit me

ADVERTISEMENT

Follow us on social media!

@pantheronline


FEATURES

10

THE PANTHER

Students still ‘like’ Facebook despite data breach Yuki Klotz-Burwell | Staff Writer Up to 87 million Facebook users recently had their data, including birthdays, current cities and page likes, compromised by Cambridge Analytica, a political data firm hired by President Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign. For many, this information was collected through a third-party quiz application connected to Facebook. Users who allowed the app to access their information also shared their Facebook friends’ data with Cambridge Analytica. “One aspect of the data that was leaked from Facebook was personality profile data. There’s a really high number of college students who take those quizzes,” said Timothy Summers, director of innovation, entrepreneurship and engagement at the University of Maryland’s College of Information Studies. “(College students) are absolutely impacted by this.” While younger generations are switching to Instagram and Snapchat as their primary social media platforms, 82 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds use Facebook, according to a Pew Research Center study. Although it’s no longer the peak social hub that it used to be, people use the site to tag their friends in memes or funny posts, and to share photos. It’s not used to share as many personal thoughts as it once was, but students say that, going forward, the data leak teaches a lesson about online privacy. “I feel uncomfortable (using Facebook), but that feeling actually encourages me to be careful about what personal information I put on social media,” said Dylan Wen, a freshman communication studies

major. “I do think I will continue to use Facebook, primarily because it is a platform where I can connect with people on a professional and personal level.” Still, despite the breach of privacy, some students say giving up Facebook is easier said than done. “Any other social media platform will never compare to what Facebook is and the possibilities that Facebook has,” said Kaleo Chang, a sophomore political science and strategic and corporate communications major. “If I had to give up all social media and keep only one, it would be Facebook. It’s so versatile.” A group of users created a campaign called “Faceblock” for users to boycott Facebook on the day of Mark Zuckerberg’s senate hearing, arguing that the site’s users deserve better. But Chang believes that the roots of the boycott are misguided, as the process of a ban is unproductive. “So many people in our generation are so quick to take unnecessary activism,” he said. “Facebook is still going to be around, and ultimately, whether people think it right now or Facebook quizzes are one way political data firm Facebook users. not, they’re going to get over it.” Wen said that, although he believes that the Facebook boycott wasn’t Facebook collects. People should successful, its intention was log in to Facebook to find out what reasonable. it’s “capturing” about them, he said. “Their reasons are well-founded, He also said users should check their but I don’t have much confidence in settings to see what apps are accessing the movement,” Wen said. “I agree their data. that something needs to be done, but I “Social media is eroding don’t think boycotting Facebook is the democracy,” Summers said. “This right idea, and neither is it a kind of psychographic profiling being successful one. Facebook is not only a done on Facebook is absolutely social media giant, but also an damaging to democracy and to the international business.” longevity of our society.” Summers suggests that users take Though Summers said people can’t extra steps to protect their data so expect Facebook to be “good they can understand what information stewards” of user data, Chang

ADVERTISEMENT

Follow us on social media!

@pantheronline

Illustration by Gaby Fantone Cambridge Analytica mined data from

believes that others should focus on hacking and privacy in general, and not just pointing fingers at Facebook. “I don’t think people really understand what happened,” he said. “Major organizations have been hacked before, like the IRS, but because social media is such a new thing and it’s fun, we focus on the bad things when they do happen. It certainly is scary, but you should think that hacking is bad, not Facebook.”


THE PANTHER

FEATURES

7

‘DAMN.’ Students, staff support Kendrick Lamar’s Pulitzer win Yuki Klotz-Burwell | Staff Writer Kendrick Lamar made history when he became the first rapper to win the music Pulitzer Prize for his album “DAMN” April 16. The prize has previously only been awarded to classical and jazz artists, and many are calling his win revolutionary for the rap and hip-hop genre. The album, which has sold more than 3.5 million copies since its release one year ago, reveals the complexity of modern African American life. Lamar raps about both personal and political issues, such as race, faith and the downfalls of success. Topping off a successful year, he also produced the “Black Panther” movie soundtrack and performed at the halftime show during the college football national championships. Rolling Stone called him “the greatest rapper alive” in 2017. “Since Kendrick’s music sheds light on systemic injustice, it was vital for the industry and this generation to have a rap artist win the Pulitzer,” said Megan Doyle, a junior business administration major. Jon Pareles, a pop music critic for The New York Times, said that a hiphop artist winning the music Pulitzer Prize was overdue. But, not everyone believes that Lamar deserved the Pulitzer. Across the internet, commenters are criticized Pulitzer board, in some cases claiming that Lamar didn’t care about the award. “The people who are criticizing this

Photo illustration by BONNIE CASH Photo Editor Kendrick Lamar’s album “DAMN.” sheds light on “systemic injustice” in the U.S.

decision need to recognize that people have different tastes in music,” said Thi Nguyen, a senior business administration major. “Just because Kendrick’s music style is different than that of composers and classically trained artists who have won in the past doesn’t mean he is any less talented or undeserving of this award. The album

is brilliant and that’s all that should matter.” In “XXX.,” Lamar raps, “Donald Trump’s in office / We lost Barack and promised to never doubt him again / But is America honest, or do we bask in sin?” He also fires back at Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera, who said that hip-hop has done more damage to

African Americans than racism has. In “DNA.,” Rivera’s voice plays in the background, to which Lamar says, “(Expletive) your life … My DNA is not for imitation / Your DNA is an abomination.” “He’s here to indict America, himself, his community, and more than anything, human sinfulness,” music reporter Spencer Kornhaber wrote in an album review for The Atlantic April 17. While students are somewhat familiar with the Pulitzer Prize for journalism, the music award isn’t as recognized among younger generations, said Alexander Miller, a music professor in the College of Performing Arts. “During a discussion (last) week, I asked my (songwriting) students how many of them even knew there was a Pulitzer Prize in music,” he said. “In a group of about 15, no one raised their hand.” Junior Megan Doyle believes that Lamar’s win is “extremely relevant” today. “Since Kendrick’s music sheds light on systemic injustice, it was vital for the industry and this generation to have a rap artist win the Pulitzer,” said Doyle, a junior business administration major. Miller believes that, although Lamar’s win is important, his music has “already inspired a generation of artists,” with or without the award. “I’m fully supportive of an award that honors great artists regardless of style. Great music is great music,” she said.

Phones and fans: Some say recording concerts distracts from the moment Jade Michaels | Staff Writer To some, attending the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival isn’t about having fun. It’s about showing others how much fun you’re having. “At Coachella, you see more phones than fans,” said Aimee Demier, a freshman sociology major who attended Coachella last year. “People (take) videos of concerts they might never rewatch. They miss the whole concert because they are making sure they’ve got good Snapchat angles.” Living through a phone prevents people from living in the moment, and it increases their need to feel validated by others, Demier said. Apple is even trying to patent new technology that would use infrared signals to disable recording devices at concerts, according to The Telegraph. Regardless of people’s motivation to document concert experiences, recording live performances is common. Although some artists, like Jack White and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, have spoken out against phone use during performances, other musicians and fans are hesitant about anything that would limit their smartphone freedom. Courtney Connolly, a sophomore television writing and production major, has attended more than 25 concerts and a handful of music festivals. She’s never been to one without seeing someone record the concert on their phone. “Music festivals are another world – that’s why I record videos,” Connolly said. “I want to look back at those memories. I don’t even post them sometimes, but I admit that not everyone is as sentimental about it.” The stereotype of festivals perpetuates the popularity of posting, she said. Though dangerous, a festival’s atmosphere can be ideal for people who are

Panther Archives Some students say recording performances at music festivals like Coachella is a way for people to “flaunt” their experiences.

under the influence of alcohol or drugs because it’s full of stimulants, Connolly said. The loud music, flashing lights and people dancing all make for a “cool” social media post. Marcella Perez-Garnica, a stage manager at the LA County Fair, agreed with Connolly’s statement about Coachella, which she called “the king of SoCal music events.” “Here at the Fairplex, we host bigname concerts every year. We’ve had Iggy Azalea, Pentatonix, you name

it… and there is one thing that I always see from backstage, and that’s phones,” said Perez-Garnica. Younger audiences are influenced by social media platforms like Snapchat and Instagram. The use of phones at concerts or festivals are not just for recording a memory, but instead flaunting an experience, Perez-Garnica said. “It is popular, on social media, to present yourself as someone who goes to cool places and does big things. Especially at our age where

everyone wants validation,” Demier said. And a component of that validation can come from just name-dropping “Coachella.” “Of course, a huge part is all the big artists there, but definitely another reason (people) go is to say they’ve been,” said Huntel Jowel, a freshman political science major. “Coachella is like one giant party, and parties are stereotyped as cool or ‘the college experience.’”


6 FEATURES

THE PANTHER

Queercapella: a queers-only a cappella Jade Michaels | Staff Writer Sophomore Sierra Segal has been performing as a singer for years, but now, her sights are set on something bigger than just entertainment. Queercapella, a new identity-centric a cappella group, is making its debut at Chapman this month at the All A Cappella concert Feb. 22. Formed by Segal, who is a cappella group Simply Vocale’s music director, and the ChapTones’ music director and senior composition major, Avery Roberts, the group unites six queer singers who are each involved in another a cappella group on campus. “I wanted to form this group because I wanted to combine two things that are really important in Photo Courtesy of Sierra Segal my life, which is the way I identify and music,” Segal said. Vocalists in Queercapella sing songs written or performed by people from the LGBTQIA+ community. Members hope to keep people who identify as queer in the public eye, in order to highlight issues, such as hate crimes, Queercapella founders Avery Roberts, left, and Sierra Segal, right. healthcare and marriage equality, that remain for queer people around denominational singing groups,” “We want everyone to appreciate the world, Segal explained. But said Watson, who is a freshman film it. The point of us having this auditions aren’t open to everyone, production major. group, and the point of having and some members of Chapman’s However, others, such as junior Pride, is for everyone to experience other a cappella groups are confused business and film studies major it and support it, but that doesn’t by Queercapella’s exclusive nature. Bailey Jones, don’t see the issue necessarily mean you get to be a part “If you are a straight and ciswith Queercapella’s standards. Jones of it, because you aren’t a part of that gendered person, you cannot join,” believes that exclusivity is normal community,” she said. Segal said. “And I totally understand and has existed on campus for years, She explained that singers take why people would find backlash though it is more commonly based their queer experiences and embody with that. We love everyone and around gender. them in their performances. want everyone to be able to enjoy “There are other groups like Men “It’s because we all have shared our group, but this is for us. We find of Harmony that are exclusive, but experiences that we only had support in each other.” this is the point of the club because because we are queer. We want to Soundcheck member Alie Watson members must meet some sort of show that to the world and make said that the Chapman a cappella requirement in order to participate,” people more accepting,” Segal said. scene is already inclusive and Jones said. And though some may fear that supportive, and she wonders why Exclusivity within the queer limiting membership to queer members felt the need to create an community is not a new topic. students creates more division, exclusive group. For example, the belief that pride Queercapella intends for its music to “If the LGBTQIA+ musicians on parades are not for heterosexual educate and, over time, unify people campus want to exclude themselves and cisgender people can bring of all sexualities. and have a united group, more confusion about “reverse“It is a great way to make people power to them, but they should discrimination”. listen to queerness and queer artists just know that they are more than “No one is saying that you can’t and to get people talking about welcome to audition and make appreciate (our music),” Segal said. things we really care about. Of music with these other, non-

Photo courtesy of Sierra Segal

course, we are here to have fun, but the nature of our group is making a statement,” said Segal. The statement is a reminder that there are still barriers to overcome for the community. As a vocal performance major and queer studies minor, the group’s purpose of keeping queer issues in the spotlight is a priority for Segal. “It’s a lot of people who have experienced oppression and all of the consequences and hardships of being queer coming together, and we hope that everyone loves it as much as we do,” Segal said. This semester, Queercapella will be capping membership at six members to maintain a Pentatonix style of “one voice to a part.” Therefore, future positions will not be available until auditions next year.

Student challenges beauty norms on campus Yuki Klotz-Burwell | Staff Writer During Sravya Cherukuri’s first few months at Chapman, she noticed that trying to live up to conventional beauty standards damaged her selfesteem on a daily basis. “I realized this a couple months ago, when I was looking in the mirror and I thought, ‘Wow, I ridicule myself a lot,’” said Cherukuri, an undeclared freshman. “There has never been a day when I can look at myself and say, ‘I’m beautiful’ with confidence.” There is a substantial amount of pressure on Chapman students to dress up and fit in with ideal beauty norms, Cherukuri said. After writing an English paper about the effects of body perceptions, Cherukuri decided to take action. She’s now working on a video that will highlight five women’s lives on campus and how beauty standards have impacted them. She wants to make others realize that it is necessary to practice selfconfidence. “My goal of the project is to tell people to be happy with how they are right now. Don’t try to change yourself to impress others,” she said. “Everyone has the potential to do

Bonnie Cash Photo Editor Sravya Cherukuri, founder of the beauty norms project, aims to encourage students to celebrate individuality.

something greater and not have their appearance be the sole image of their lives.” In the U.S., girls are starting to worry about their body image at

increasingly younger ages. Some teenagers aged 13-17 first started feeling self-conscious and shameful about their bodies as young as 9 or 10 years old, according to a 2016 Yahoo Health study. “This is international,” said Micol Hebron, a professor in Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. “People believe that aesthetic trends and being cool and looking like everyone else is going to give them cultural agency. In fact, it creates divisiveness and insecurity, and it disempowers women, ultimately.” Chapman was rated as No. 1 for the “hottest” girls two years in a row, according to Niche. com, a college ranking and review site. These rankings and the high number of attractive students can lead to feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt, said junior business administration major Maria Donoso. “I wish there was more diversity at Chapman just so people could see the beauty of all different shapes, sizes and colors,” Donoso said. “I know so many girls who are constantly under pressure to be thinner and prettier because they compare themselves to other girls at our school.”

Cherukuri’s inspiration for the video project also sprouted from her feelings of not fitting in with a variety of standards. “As an Indian-American girl, I have struggled a lot with the battle between Indian and American beauty norms,” she said. “I’ve gotten so frustrated with it, and I realized that I just need to be happy with how I am right now.” The disparity between standards for women and men contributes to a society that imposes oppressive attitudes and ideas about how those who have “louder” voices in society think other people should look and act, Hebron said. “It costs more to be and look ‘female’ in this society,” she said. “It’s compounded because we make less and pay more. It also costs more in time. You have to ask why people are willing to spend time and money to perform a stereotype that oppresses them.” Empowering women is a valuable start to tackling the fundamental issue of beauty norms, Hebron said. “The most radical thing to do is to encourage women to not only support each other, but also to refuse to perpetuate the idea that looking any certain way is better than

Print articles for The Panther  
New
Advertisement