Monthly Archives: September 2011

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    Co-captain Rafael Garcia has missed six games this season due to a meniscus tear suffered during CSUN’s preseason match against Cal State Dominguez Hills on Aug. 20, but the senior midfielder remains optimistic and feels he’ll be back before the end of the month.

    “I should hopefully be back in a week and a half,” Garcia said last week. “It definitely sucks being sidelined.”

    Garcia said he has been making an effort to get back on the pitch as quickly as he can, putting time in the training room, weight room, and recently on the field. The senior is aiming to be back for either the match against Seattle on Sunday or the one versus UC Davis on Sept. 28.

    “I feel fit and strong,” Garcia said. “So I don’t think I should miss a beat when I come back.”

    CSUN’s record stands at 2-3-1 with its last game ending in a 2-2 tie against Cal State Bakersfield. As Garcia watches the team from the sidelines, he can’t help but feel that the team needs something extra to find wins.

    “One of my biggest strengths as a player is my leadership,” he said. “The other guys that have been (filling in my spot) have done a tremendous job, but I feel maybe we lack some leadership. But other than that, I don’t think they miss me too much.”

    Rene Anguiano has been filling in for Garcia, but as he recovers from a surgery himself, the junior midfielder would be more than happy to see his co-captain up and playing.

    “We need him,” Anguiano said. “He’s one of our best players and we need him back on the team as soon as possible.”

    International Experience

    During the summer, forward Edwin Rivas decided to try out for the Guatemalan U-20 national team.

    “It started at a tryout down in Bell Gardens,” said Rivas, who has two goals this season. “They said I was good and wanted me to play during the elimination matches, but I couldn’t go because of school.”

    Though Rivas missed his opportunity to play during the qualifying rounds, he was given another break. Guatemala made it into the U-20 World Cup, and Rivas was asked to join the team.

    “They called me back,” Rivas said.

    Rivas trained for two months and took part in the team’s camp, but was cut.

    “I was out of shape,” Rivas said, “and I didn’t really do much.”

    The Guatemala U-20 team did not make it past the group stage in the World Cup, losing big in its first two matches before defeating Croatia, 1-0 on Aug. 8, in a game of honor.

    As soon as he was cut, Rivas began his summer camp with the Matadors for the 2011 season. And despite his disappointment over not making the national team, he learned a few things from his time with Guatemala.

    “I learned that I need to stay on top of my game,” Rivas said, “because I could be called up at any time.”

    Freshman impact

    When asked about which of the freshmen have been helping the team the most, CSUN head coach Terry Davila pointed to one man: Yarden Azulay.

    The attacking midfielder from Jordan Valley, Israel, who has two goals in 2011, is one of two freshmen Davila has started for the first six games this season.

    Because of Azulay’s quick and aggressive nature on the pitch, he has been able to take on multiple tasks.

    “He’s all over the place,” Davila said. “If he needs to mark a player, he’ll mark a player. He’s a responsible young man.”

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      Six-foot-six BYU outside hitter Jennifer Hamson tips a ball over the Matador blocking frontline in the midst of the Cougars' 3-1 win Saturday at the Matadome. Photo credit: Simon Gambaryan/Daily Sundial

      BYU and its impressive 10-3 record entered the Matadome Saturday afternoon on the back end of a six-game road trip along with a heartbreaking defeat the prior night at Cal State Fullerton.

      All signs pointed towards a weary Cougar team and a solid opportunity for the well-rested Cal State Northridge women’s volleyball team, which hadn’t played since Monday night, to come out of the match with a win.

      However, the Matadors (6-6) didn’t seize the opportunity as they dropped the first two sets en route to a sluggish four-set loss against BYU (15-25, 22-25, 25-16, 17-25). CSUN, which is entering Big-West-Conference play this week, is 0-2 on its home floor.

      Lately, CSUN has had a tendency to start slow, and this match was no different. The Matadors fell behind quickly in a forgettable first set and played catch-up throughout the second as BYU went up 2-0 going into intermission. The third set was a different story.

      Northridge jumped to an early 9-3 lead in the set before the Cougars came roaring back to score the next five points and pull within 9-8, forcing the Matadors to take a timeout. CSUN responded with a run of its own, however, and extended its lead to 21-13 thanks to timely-hitting by freshman Casey Hinger and outside hitter Mahina Haina.

      Haina, who had five kills through two sets, doubled her kill count to 10 by the end of the third.

      “(Haina) took off and hit around .300 (in the third set.) Playing from .000 to (.260), that’s a real good job by her,” Stork said.

      The sophomore outside hitter herself made sure the Matadors took the set as her potent kill gave CSUN the 25-16 third-set win and cut BYU’s lead in half.

      “We served in much better and we played better as a team,” Haina said. “Everything was clicking. When you’re on that roll it’s easy, it was a good (third-set) win in
      that sense.”

      However, it looked as if the Matadors ran out of gas from that point on as their remarkable third set was followed by a 25-17 fourth-set defeat.

      “We may have relaxed a little bit more,” CSUN head coach Jeff Stork said. “You have to give credit to BYU, they’re a good team and they kept us out of rhythm. Our girls played their hearts out and the area we have to adjust had nothing to do with BYU.”

      The giant BYU front-line was bigger and stronger than CSUN’s.

      BYU six-foot-six opposite hitter Jennifer Hamson had an impressive start in the first set with 10 kills and six digs. Kathryn LeCheminant, who hit 1.000 in the first, also continued her accurate hitting with a .857 percentage in the second set.

      “(Hamson)’s a good player, but we are all good players too,” Hinger said. “We can put it down as well as any six-foot-six player can.”

      The Matadors complemented each other throughout the match with a balanced attack that included a team-high 13 kills by Haina. Hinger had eight kills and Natalie Allen had seven while Sydney Gedryn had a game-high 39 assists.

      CSUN opens its Big-West schedule at UC Riverside on Saturday.

      “We tried hard, we’re proud and ready to go to the next match,” Hinger said.

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        Midfielder Rene Anguiano (10) and the Matadors came back to rescue a 2-2 draw against Cal State Bakersfield on Thursday night. Photo credit: Ricky Bassman/CSUB Media Relations

        The Matadors (2-3-1) gave Cal State Bakersfield (2-0-2) a run for their money on Thursday night as they rallied from two goals down to salvage a 2-2 draw.

        With the result, CSUN’s 22-game winning streak over CSUB came to an end. The Matadors now hold a 22-0-1 all-time advantage over the Roadrunners.

        Despite the comeback, CSUN head coach Terry Davila was not all that pleased with his team.

        “I was disappointed with our flat start,” he said. “We have to settle into our rotations and (the players) have to step up.”

        It went back and forth in the late stages of the match at CSUB’s Main Soccer Field. With the teams tied at 2-2 since the 60th minute, both tried to find the game-winning goal desperately.


        Matador forward Yarden Azulay had two attempts, in the 83rd and 86th minutes respectively. His first shot was saved by Roadrunner goalkeeper Shannon while the other went just wide of the net.

        Roadrunner forward Gyasi Zardes, who scored both of the Roadrunners’ goals, had two very close opportunities to win it in the first overtime period. CSUN’s defense, however, was there to make the stops.

        Swarming in with two or more defenders, the Matadors were able to contain Zardes from getting the hat-trick.

        The Roadrunners’ star forward put his team on the board first in the 26th minute with a power-shot from 25 yards out from the left side of CSUN goalkeeper Michael Abalos’s net. He had two defenders on him, but as soon as he had space, he put his head down and took the shot, which made its way to the right side of Abalos.

        Zardes wasn’t done. He came back four minutes later on the left side again and scored with a touch kick into the goal. He was set up by midfielder Kory Kindle.

        The Matadors were able to answer back just before halftime. In the 44th minute, midfielder Carlos Benavides pushed the ball upfield and found Thomas Ramos. The two midfielders then shared a few touches before Ramos finally netted the goal from about eight yards away to cut CSUN’s deficit in half.

        Throughout the entire match, Davila made numerous substitution. He had five in the first half alone.

        CSUN brought its halftime momentum into the second half and tied the game in the 60th minute. A Chris-Smith corner kick found Ramos int the box, and the midfielder got it to forward Brian Behrad, who was five yards away from the CSUB goal and knocked it in.

        In the final 20 minutes of regulation, the Roadrunners were close to breaking the tie. CSUB attempted four shots, two of those came from Zardes.

        Coming off a nine-foul game against New Mexico, the Matadors managed to collect 20 fouls and a yellow card – given to Azulay -against the Roadrunners.

        SMU will be CSUN’s next opponent. They’ll come to Matador Soccer Field on Sept. 23.

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        Gov. Jerry Brown’s California Jobs First bill, SB116, failed in the Senate last Friday after gaining no republican votes, despite Brown’s announcement of a bipartisan agreement the day before.

        The bill revolved around setting California’s corporation-tax apportionment to mandate the use of the Single Sales Factor formula, which measures the ratio of California sales to overall sales.

        California companies with jobs in- and out-of-state could choose between the single sales factor formula or the four factor formula since 2009, allowing businesses to control the amount of taxes they paid.

        “In-state businesses do not have this luxury,” said Assemblyman Cameron Smyth, R-Santa Clarita. “This created a perverse incentive to relocate out of state.”

        Smyth and Assemblyman Nathan Flethcer, R-San Diego, worked with Brown to pass AB40X, the bill that would reach the senate as SB116, in the assembly.
        SB 116 needed a majority vote to pass the senate but only recorded 22-15 in favor of the bill, with three votes not recorded.

        “It’s unbelievable that so many politicians in Sacramento would choose to protect cigarette makers and out-of-state corporations to the detriment of California jobs,” said Brown in a statement on his website.

        The bill was designed to end that corporate tax loophole, said Amy Thoma, deputy chief of staff of Fletcher’s offices.

        Start-up manufacturing companies could have received an almost 4 percent decrease in the state sales and use taxes, encouraging businesses to relocate to in-state, as stated in the bill.

        California Jobs First plan would have raised about $1 billion in annual revenue between 2012 and 2014, according to the bill’s author Sen. Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles.

        This could be a familiar sight to some Golden State residents, because California residents voted on tax-apportion policy in 2009,  said  Sen. Lou Correa, D-Orange County.

        “The policy preserved tax benefits for manufacturing companies,” Correa said. “Why would Brown go and undo it?”

        Correa voted against the bill, because he said it was not the right solution and would hurt his constituents who work out-of-state union jobs.

        Republicans voted down the bill, claiming it was rushed into the last day of the legislative session.

        “Every element of the bill was well vetted and publicly debated,” said Greg Hayes, of de León’s office.  “To claim that it was sprung on anyone is a false claim. The main points were done in January.”

        The republican caucus said it is open to reform, and we hope that’s true so we can pursue it next year, Hayes added.

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        Don Hackman, 58, sits on the curb of Nordhoff Street and Darby Avenue after the white Nissan Altima (behind) crashed into his black Chevrolet truck on Wednesday. Photo Credit: Mariela Molina
        Don Hackman, 58, sits on the curb of Nordhoff Street and Darby Avenue after the white Nissan Altima (behind) crashed into his black Chevrolet truck on Wednesday. Photo Credit: Mariela Molina

        Two motorists were involved in a collision Wednesday afternoon just outside of the CSUN campus.

        No CSUN students were involved in the accident, which occurred at about 4:30 p.m. at the intersection of Darby Avenue and Nordhoff Street.

        Don Hackman, 58, was driving his 1970 black Chevy truck westbound and waiting to turn left onto Darby Avenue when Pierce Collge student Raymond Aladadyen, 18, driving his 2008 white Nissan Altima, struck Hackman as he was turning.

        Both drivers were alone in their cars, which sustained damage to their noses.

        Hackman was taken to Northridge Medical Center for minor cuts and bruises.

        Suzie Napoles, 20, said she stopped to check on the drivers and called 911 after she had noticed Hackman bleeding from his forehead.

        The Los Angeles Fire Department arrived on the scene about 10 minutes later, blocking eastbound traffic on Nordhoff and instead diverting it through Darby Avenue.

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        Student Danny Escalante, who is working on his masters degree in art, admires the installation currently exhibited at the CSUN Art Gallery. Simon Gambaryan / Daily Sundial
        Student Danny Escalante, who is working on his masters degree in art, admires the installation currently exhibited at the CSUN Art Gallery. Simon Gambaryan / Daily Sundial

        CSUN plays host to its newest exhibition, “Tales of Our Time: Two Contemporary Artists From China,” until Oct. 10, which focuses on the relationship between growing urban development in China and its effect on the traditions and people living in the changing landscape.

        “The exhibition, together with related events such as the publication of an exhibition catalog and artist lectures, will provide a great opportunity for various campus communities to experience contemporary Chinese art and culture and to come to a better understanding of what is going on in this rapidly developing country,” said Meiqin Wang, CSUN art history professor and exhibit curator in an email interview. “The exhibition actually addresses the growing interest worldwide in knowing China, its people, and its culture.”

        Artists Chen Quilin and Weng Fen are both featured in the exhibit, altogether contributing a total of about 40 pieces of art.

        Fen was on campus Wednesday and to speak to over 100 students about his investigation into the processes and consequences of what he views as a rapidly developing China. Wang translated for Fen during his lecture.

        After graduating from art school, Fen went back to his home province in Hainan and saw the beginnings of transition.

        “Since 1980’s, and particularly 90’s, things were changing,” Fen said. “People always seem  busy and buildings were all rising up so I intended to use these (his photos) to observe my experience with what was going on around me, everything changing so fast.”

        One of Fen’s first series of photo art began in 2001 when he started focusing on aesthetics of photography while continuing to explore his interest in urbanization. The result is “Sitting on the Wall – Haikou” collection, which highlights year-by-year the quickly growing urban development by placing a high school aged girl sitting atop a wall, staring directly into the change.

        “Walls like that were everywhere in the city,” Fen said. “In Chinese culture, a wall is a symbol – largely a separator of two worlds, past and present.”

        As years pass, the girl, different in each photo, looks out in the distance to an urban landscape that gradually moves closer until there is no wall, only buildings and parking lots directly in front of her.

        The photos are sharp in color, looking so surreal they take on the feel of a painting, forcing viewers to pay attention to every single detail.

        “I love the vivid colors, it stands out,” said Javier Gallardo, a first year CSUN student of Fen’s photos. “It’s really multicultural. I really understand what he’s thinking.”

        Also on display at the exhibit is Quilin’s photos of urban decay and its affect on the humans who live among it.

        In Quilin’s photos, “Solidified Scenery” and “Twilight,” a woman wearing a wedding dress and makeup smeared across her eyes looks away from decrepit, rotting structures that have become part of everyday life for so many citizens of China.

        Though Fen said his intentions in taking photos of the rapid development in China was to record the speed at which it was happening, he also wanted to imply there are many problems and uncertainty facing Chinese citizens.

        In Fen’s photo, “Staring at the Sea” series taken in 2006, five teenage girls stare into a serene body of water from a ledge high above, far from any kind of construction which has run rampant in the cities of China.

        Fen explained his fears about what development might mean for scenes such as this.

        “I took my parents, my wife, my daughter – we were all observing, appreciating this beautiful scenery and now it’s all going to be transformed,” Fen said. “The government has other plans to transform this place into an international tourist site.”

        Still, the high school students Fen interacts with who eventually become the subjects of his photos give him hope regarding the future.

        “They seem to point to a better future,” Fen said. “I know the future is full of excitement and uncertainty but I like to think more positively.”

        Fen plans to continue with his study of the relationship between urbanization and the people who live amidst it.

        “My art is my way to investigate and also make a relationship with this world,” Fen said.

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          Northridge senior forward Heidi Farran (3) has a team-high 21 shot attempts and three goals this season. Photo Credit: Andres Aguila / Daily Sundial
          Northridge senior forward Heidi Farran (3) has a team-high 21 shot attempts and three goals this season. Photo Credit: Andres Aguila / Daily Sundial

          After finding the back of the net only once in the first four games of the season, CSUN (1-5-1) has picked up the pace offensively with five goals the last three games.

          CSUN head coach Keith West doesn’t exactly see it as a scoring explosion, though.

          “We’re starting to score some goals, but it is not a burst,” he said. “The scoring better continue or we’re going to be in for a long season.”

          When CSUN has multiple goals, it usually finds itself on the winning side.  Since 2008, the Matadors are 19-1-1 when they score two or more goals in a game.  This season,  they’re 1-0-1 in the occurrence.

          Senior forward Heidi Farran has been the main contributor to CSUN’s recent scoring increase.  She has half of the six goals the Matadors have scored this season, scoring two of those in the Matadors’ only win of the season so far, against Princeton on Sept. 4.

          Farran recorded her third against Purdue in the Boilermaker Challenge on Friday, but she doesn’t take all the credit for her goals.

          “The goals aren’t a result of individual play, they’re a result of team play,” she said. “I’m happy that I scored and I’m also happy when someone else scores.”

          Farran is tied for sixth in goals and is seventh in goals per game in the Big West Conference. She also leads the Matadors in shot attempts with 21.

          Jacobo nearing records: Junior goalkeeper Cynthia Jacobo continues to make her way up in the Matadors’ record books. Jacobo has the fifth-most saves in school history with 134, nine saves behind all-time leader Leah Elliot (2006-09).

          “It’s just another accomplishment added to the list,” Jacobo said. “It’s something I know I’m getting better at and I’ll just keep getting better.”

          The junior is also approaching the record for most shutouts and wins in school history. Jacobo is second in shutouts with 12 and third in wins with 17, just one behind April Cline (2005-06).

          Long layoff: The Matadors have 12 days off before playing their next game, at Loyola Marymount on Sept. 23. This will be the team’s first week off since the season started a month ago.

          According to West, the break is positive for the Matadors because it’s “time to recover.”

          This is the first time the Matadors will have this long of a break in six years.

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          People wait in line for the Flying Pig Food Truck on Abbot Kinney Blvd, Friday, September 2. Hansook Oh / Daily Sundial
          People wait in line for the Flying Pig Food Truck on Abbot Kinney Blvd, Friday, September 2. Hansook Oh / Daily Sundial

          I don’t understand the craze over most fusion-food trucks, part of the growing “roach-coach” takeover of Los Angeles. With long lines, less-than-exciting attempts at food fusion and deceptively high prices for snack-sized menu items, I’m skeptical of most.

          Pigs don’t fly, and the Flying Pig food truck is no exception.

          Following on the heels (or should I say wheels) of the Kogi taco truck – the extremely popular Korean-Mexican fusion vendor that started it all – the Flying Pig has been featured by major media, such as LA Weekly, NY Times and Oprah. To avoid long lines at the Flying Pig, the food truck’s owner, Chef Joe Kim, opened a brick-and-mortar restaurant in the heart of Little Tokyo in July.

          I waited in line for about 30 minutes to pay more than $14 for four items — one of its famous pork belly buns and three “tacos” — which left my tongue confused and my stomach still growling.

          The pork belly bun, a Chinese Bao bun lightly stuffed with braised pork, red onion escabeche, pickled sesame cucumber and “death sauce,” is about the size of a fist and costs $4. The only deadly thing about this item is the amount of money wasted on not-so-great food.

          The tacos were more satisfying, but at $3 each, I’d rather go to Taco Bell. You can choose from carne asada, spicy pork, tamarind duck, smoked chicken or peanut butter carnitas, but the only item that’s really worth trying is the duck taco, which involves duck confit topped with red beets, toasted almonds, radish sprouts, mandarin orange and tamarind gravy.

          The Flying Pig’s trough does not serve “the perfect blend of Asian & Pacific Rim flavors with French technique,” but it does offer mediocre Asian slop at sky-high prices.


          Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5

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            The Matadors (6-5) will look to close the non-conference part of their schedule Saturday against BYU. Photo Credit: Tessie Navarro / Visual Editor
            The Matadors (6-5) will look to close the non-conference part of their schedule Saturday against BYU. Photo Credit: Tessie Navarro / Visual Editor

            CSUN head coach Jeff Stork saw three teams during the Matadors’ 3-0 Monday loss at No. 6 UCLA: the Bruins, the Matadors and … the Matadors again.

            One CSUN team played up to the level of UCLA, and even beyond. The other didn’t look good enough to make the Bruins’ practice squad.

            “Consistency is always something we’re trying to achieve,” Stork said. “Production of points, and consistency, which means removing some of the errors we’ve been making.”

            An avalanche of errors (19 total) at crucial times prevented the Matadors (6-5) from following through on their remarkable first and third-set jump on UCLA and sent them home with a head-scratching loss.

            It doesn’t get much easier as BYU will be visiting the Matadome Saturday afternoon in what will be CSUN’s last game before Big West Conference play starts.

            Stork said the focus of practice this week would be “high-ball hitting,” aka getting kills.

            During Monday’s loss, the Matadors, who at times looked brilliant only to then break down midway through the sets, ended up hitting only .079.

            “You got to play at a certain level,” Stork said. “I feel we’re capable to make the jump to that type level.”

            Though BYU isn’t in the ranks of the Bruins, it’ll certainly prove to be a formidable challenge. Coming into this weekend, the Cougars (10-2) are riding a nine-game winning streak that includes a sweep of Utah, team the Matadors faced and lost to, 3-0, on Aug. 27.

            Last week’s Big West Player of the Week, CSUN kills’ leader Mahina Haina, would definitely like to close the non-conference season with a confidence-building win.

            “We want to carry momentum into our (conference) season,” she said.

            Haina, a sophomore outside hitter, will square up against a rising star in BYU sophomore Jennifer Hamson, the current West Coast Conference Player of the Week. The Cougar outside hitter is outstanding on both offense and defense and has recorded 41 kills and 29 digs over BYU’s last three games.

            BYU will play at Cal State Fullerton a day before visiting the Matadors.

            Besides “consistency,” Stork feels intensity and homecourt advantage will have a role in how the Matadors finish their non-conference games. He, however, is not putting any extra emphasis in the match only because it’s the pre-conference-season finale.

            “(All the games) are important,” said Stork, whose team will be playing at home for only the second time this season. “I don’t care where it is or when it is. They’re all important.”
            What Stork will likely care about on Saturday, however, is not seeing two different teams wearing Northridge jerseys.

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            Ordinary lectures were transformed into real-world narratives Tuesday when local business professionals became professors for the day in the college of business and economics.

            Over 60 business experts gave students a taste of what to expect after they’ve received their diplomas, said Erin Goldfarb, volunteer and donor relations coordinator and development and alumni relations for the college.

            “It’s not just teaching students out of the book,” Goldfarb said.  “It’s about building one-on-one connections with and knowing people in the business world.”

            When the college created the event four years ago, Goldfarb said the professionals were given a script sheet with general topics they might want to cover in their lectures, ranging from what their first jobs were after college, how they received that job, and how they arrived to where they are today.

            The event is an opportunity for students who would not otherwise have access to CEO’s or key business leaders, Goldfarb said.

            Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, executive vice president and artistic director for OPI, a leading family-owned nail care company in the beauty industry, took center-stage in front of packed Noski Auditorium for one of the final classes of the day.

            “I set the trends, I don’t follow them, and that’s how it’s been for 30 years,” said Weiss-Fischmann, who is also known as the first lady of nails.

            Weiss-Fischmann focused her presentation on marketing, which accounts for 85 percent of their revenue, she said.

            “Having a good public relations agency is priceless,” Weiss-Fischmann said.

            Rameez Ahmed, first year MBA major, said Weiss-Fischmann’s presentation educated him on the many facets of marketing.

            “It’s not a simple endeavor of putting money in a magazine,” Ahmed said.  “It’s the steps you take to make the common uncommon.”

            OPI, which began as a dental supply company and began using polymer technology in their acrylic nail products, has become a beauty icon over the past 30 years, Weiss-Fischmann said.

            A successful brand is more than a product, and the key to success is coming up with something outside of the box that will excite the consumer, said Weiss-Fischmann, who has participated in several other similar college events.

            “I learned that students are really smart and eager to learn,” said Weiss-Fischmann.  She said she will continue to lecture students in events such as the Professors for a Day.

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            CSUN senior Kenyatta L. Gilliam, a liberal studies major and poet, recently published his book "Planet Theory Words of Treasure From Within: Poems", a collection of thoughts, insights, and poetry. Kat Russell / Daily Sundial
            CSUN senior Kenyatta L. Gilliam, a liberal studies major and poet, recently published his book "Planet Theory Words of Treasure From Within: Poems", a collection of thoughts, insights, and poetry. Kat Russell / Daily Sundial

            In a world of websites such as Stumble Upon and Tumblr that encourage fast-paced readership, it is always refreshing to see young authors dedicated to creating a fully developed collection of literature.

            Planet Theory” is CSUN communications student Kenyatta Gilliam’s first book. The self-published poetry collection is a compilation of pieces inspired by Gilliam’s experiences as a CSUN student and downtown Los Angeles bartender.

            The poems in “Planet Theory” have a loose chronological arc, beginning with Gilliam’s move from his native, Tallahassee, Fla., to Los Angeles with “Fast Landing,” and ending with “A Seasonal Passing,” a meditation on life’s ups and downs. The content in between include examinations of self-worth, emotional economy and falling in love.

            Though some of Gilliam’s poems have vivid imagery, many explore topics in such broad terms that they lose relatability. This is to be expected when the author takes on the “Planet,” but the consistent use of buzz words such as “freedom” and “happiness” make the poems read as though they are from a self-help book. The book ends with a summary of the collection, which seems as though it is meant to defend Gilliam’s work instead of serving as an epilogous sign-off.

            Though the scope of “Planet Theory” seeks to reach a large audience, it still seems to be tailored to Gilliam himself. The language is cryptically copious, evident in his description of the book’s contents as “deep thoughts from [his] secret past.” Perhaps the connection to Gilliam’s audience comes in his summary of the book: “Influence and the experience we share from the person we are today.”

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            In order to pay his tuition, Victor Zuniga works two jobs - one as a retail salesman and the other as a freelance graphic artist. He estimates that he works 45 to 60 hours a week to cover his tuition and expenses. Photo Credit: Kat Russell / Daily Sundial
            In order to pay his tuition, Victor Zuniga works two jobs - one as a retail salesman and the other as a freelance graphic artist. He estimates that he works 45 to 60 hours a week to cover his tuition and expenses. Photo Credit: Kat Russell / Daily Sundial

            Students’ wallets, bank accounts and trust funds have felt the tightening grip of tuition costs. Many are scrambling to make ends meet after a 22 percent tuition increase raised CSU’s price tag for the Fall semester. At CSUN, undergraduate students pay $6,488 per year, while graduates pay $7,754.

            SolRuby Mendoza, 23, has felt the burden of rising tuition costs.

            Extra money could have gone to pay for bills and cover the items she needs for school, like textbooks and gas money, Mendoza said.

            She commutes 45 minutes to an hour traveling to and from campus, resulting in an awkward class schedule which she said keeps her from holding a real job.

            Mendoza’s case is not unique, though.

            Ninety-five percent of CSUN students commute to campus, according to a report from CSUN’s Institute for Sustainability. Many of those students must pay rent to live off campus, gas or monthly transit passes on top of school supplies and textbooks.

            To compensate, Mendoza has become, in her words, a jack of all trades. She works an array of domestic gigs, from babysitting to plant sitting, along with tutoring and practicing nail tech.

            Almost 40 percent of workers aged 16-24 are full-time college students, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2010 report.

            The majority of these students work retail or hospitality jobs, as opposed to research assistant or educational jobs, according to the Bureau’s 2011 youth employment survey.

            Despite Mendoza’s struggle, she was attracted to CSUN because it was the most affordable four-year option.

            “You can argue that tuition here isn’t as expensive at other universities, but there’s a reason I’m not at another university,” Mendoza said.

            Mendoza took out a loan to help ease tuition costs, and she’s not the only one.

            Ohannes Atamian, a 27-year-old transfer student, is dealing with the sudden jump in tuition, which is much higher than that of the community college he previously attended.

            “I was able to work and pay for all of my community college,” Atamian said.  “But since transferring, I’ve had to accept the loans I was offered to pay for classes.”

            Like Mendoza, Atamian lives at home and considers himself lucky that he does not have to pay rent.

            But as a commuter, Atamian said purchasing the university’s $180 semester parking pass was also a big price jump from his last school.

            “The community college parking pass is anywhere from $30 to $70 dollars,” he said.  “It is very cheap.”

            Currently unemployed, Atamian applied for and is hoping to earn scholarships.

            CSU scholarships are awarded to small groups of students studying in different areas for research, achievements or above par grades.

            Some of these awards amount up to $6,000, which is slightly more than the average cost of a CSU campus’ tuition, according to a report by California Colleges.

            One year of living off-campus, including tuition, room and board, and materials costs about $21,401, the report noted.

            Not all CSU students qualify for state-funded scholarships, however.

            CSUN is home to a community of AB 540 students, undocumented students who pay in-state tuition and are not eligible to receive federal financial aid.

            Legislators voted 51-21 on Sept. 2 to pass the second half of the California Dream Act, which would allow undocumented students to receive state financial aid, including fee waivers, institutional aid and Cal Grants if funds remain after residents receive their rewards.

            Victor Zúñiga, 22, is an AB 540 student.

            Zúñiga works two jobs for 40 to 50 hours a week to support himself and pay for school.

            Along with his job at the mall selling T-shirts, he is a freelance graphic designer.

            Zúñiga has worked for published authors designing book covers, and created flyers supporting the Dream Act.  He is also contracted to originate art for businesses.

            “The tuition increase has been hard as an AB 540 student and a graphic designer,”  Zúñiga said. “I can’t take any loans from the bank, so I’ve had to work more hours at the mall, and also take as many projects as I can.”

            Since he relies on his graphic-design work to continue to pay for college, Zúñiga must invest in materials, software and computers. He said the $294 increase in tuition was money he could have put toward art equipment.

            In order to lower housing costs, he shares an apartment with three other roommates, as he no longer lives at his parents’ home. Two months ago, Zúñiga was sharing a place with seven roommates to split costs.

            Zúñiga’s courses require him to buy expensive design materials on top of his tuition and textbooks, he said.

            “I can apply to some scholarships, but I don’t put much hope into them,” Zúñiga said.