Monthly Archives: April 2012

by -

Undergraduate interns of CSUN’s Kinesiology Department, who’ve formed the group 100 citizens, are one of 61 community groups taking part in a competition to combat childhood obesity called Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Campaign.

There will be two winning entries selected — a first-place winner will be determined by a panel of health experts the from the Let’s Move Campaign, and the other first-place winner will be chosen as a popular vote through the public. First prize wins a trip to the White House.

Dr.  Steven Loy, a CSUN professor of the kinesiology department and faculty adviser to the 100 Citizens group, said the mission is to fight childhood obesity in underserved and low-income cities in San Fernando Valley.

“Look around, and every other person you see is overweight, obese or doesn’t exercise the minimum recommended amounts to stay healthy,” Loy said. “Physical inactivity increases the risk for obesity and diabetes which occurs highest in those with lower income and the lowest education.”

100 Citizens has partnered with the public parks in the city of San Fernando to offer no cost exercise classes and lectures for the entire community to participate in. The classes are offered on Wednesdays and Fridays, and lasts from 8:15 – 9:15 a.m.

According to Loy, there is usually little to no funding for health programs in poor communities. 100 Citizens will educate the parents and families on exercise and nutrition.

“The partnership between the CSUN Kinesiology Department and the parks is a natural one in providing effective intervention to improve the public’s health,” Loy said. “100 Citizens has the potential to save a big chunk of California’s $45 billion of annual cost treatment for the overweight, obese and diabetic.”

100 Citizens is made up of CSUN’s Kinesiology student interns, who will educate the families in nutrition, anatomy and the physiology of exercise.

Loy said the key is appropriate introduction, education and progression of physical activities to maximize the benefits for the participants.

“This environment represents community-level physical activity at its very best,” Loy said. “Ending childhood obesity starts with family, this is why we are out in the communities. If 100 Citizens can get more people moving, we can save money, get people healthier, and make a difference.”

The two winners will be invited to the Let’s Move event in Washington, D.C., where they will have a special opportunity to showcase their video and will receive an award each of $1000.

In addition, seven honorable mention winners will be selected and invited to Washington, D.C. as well. All the winners will have their videos featured on the Let’s Move website.

“We are called 100 Citizens because we are focused on reaching 100 citizens each week and so far we have been affecting 200 citizens, on a weekly basis to become healthier,” Loy said.

CSUN students and the San Fernando Valley community can vote once a day, everyday, on Facebook. They can also submit their vote at the SRC from Monday to Friday, 5 to 8 p.m., until May 9.

by -
Students stand outside waiting in line outside of Bayramian Hall to register for the Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam yesterday. Photo credit: Andres Aguila / Daily Sundial

Thousands of students lined the walls in Bayramian Hall yesterday trying to register for the Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam, or UDWPE.

The doors opened at 8:30 a.m. but there were students waiting to register for the test as early as 6 a.m.

Patrick Lewis, junior graphic design major, said that his roommates told him to get to Bayramian at 6 a.m. because the lines would be long. Despite the warning, Lewis slept in and got there at 9 a.m. to lines that were already about 500 students strong.

Upon arrival, students were handed a form to fill out for the test then separated into two lines: one for those paying cash or credit and another for those paying with debit.

An equal number of forms to number of spots available were given to students, said Charity Tsechia, testing center director.

John Darakjy, assistant director of cash services, said that today is the third and last registration date available for this year.

“There have been about 1500 to 1700 students on the first day for the other two exams,” Darakjy said. “I’m not sure how many will be here at the end of the day.”

Darakjy said there seemed to be more people today than for the other two exams, and this may be because it is the last exam available for the semester.

There are 2,800 seats available for each exam and the number of seats are based off the number of classrooms available, according to Tsechia.

Gina Arnold, senior child and adolescent development major, was one of many in line today hoping to register for the test.

“I can walk, but I can’t get my diploma,” Arnold said. “Most jobs I’ve spoken to have asked for it as proof.”

Arnold registered for the exam last year but forgot to take it. The last time she registered, she was able to walk up to the teller with no wait.

The UDWPE is required for undergraduate students who have completed a minimum of 56 units and no more than 75 units. If students fail to complete the exam within this time window, a hold will be placed on future registration.

The UDWPE costs $20 and is non-refundable. For Arnold, that meant she had to pay again today.

With so many students crowding Bayramian today, Arnold and Lewis offered some advice.

“My advice is (that) I should have done this earlier,” Arnold said. “Procrastination isn’t key.”

Lewis added some practical advice for the university.

“Print the same number of forms as spots available, have more people registering students and tell students about the requirements sooner,” Lewis said, noting that he was unaware that he would not be able to register for classes for next semester until he registered for the test until his adviser told him last month.

There were five tellers open to help students with the UDWPE, three tellers helping students with issues that were unrelated to the exam and two tellers stations closed.

“Things tend to go smoothly for the first two hours of registration, until tellers have to start taking lunch breaks, which are staggered,” Darakjy said. “The exam tends to fill up by 3 to 4 p.m.”

At 12:15 p.m. the number of spots for the exam were already more than half full, hinting that the exam may close earlier than 3 p.m.

The UDWPE is available eight times a year and students that didn’t get to register yesterday for the May exam can register later for the June exam.

The center is also doing beta testing right now and hopes to have online registration available soon, Tsechia said.

by -
(Left to right) Susan Shelley, Congressman Howard Berman (28th District), Mark Reed and Congressman Brad Sherman (27th district) during the National Congressional Debate at the Valley of Performing Arts Center on Monday. Photo credit: Andres Aguila / Daily Sundial

Amid protestors, promoters and political junkies, the four leading candidates for California’s 30th congressional district seat discussed the debt crisis and the outlook for graduates in the VPAC Monday evening as part one of three of the A.S. Big Politics series.

Moderated by Bill Handel, the debate between Democrat Congressman Howard Berman, Democrat Congressman Brad Sherman, Republican Mark Reed and Republican Susan Shelly focused on how decisions made in Washington are affecting the San Fernando Valley, and more specifically, CSUN students.

Questions raised by faculty moderator and business law professor Michael Sidley and student moderator and political science major Ross Perry included how candidates would fix budget issues and the potential rejection of “Obamacare” by the Supreme Court.

Berman, who previously represented California’s 28th district, cited debt as a fundamental problem.

“We’re hitting on the issue that’s critical to our economic future in this country, which is higher education. If we don’t provide financial support for our institutions, we are going to forfeit not just your future, but our country’s future.”

Susan Shelly, in response to how she would deal with student loan interest, blamed poor job growth for the burden students are facing. She suggested creating a constitutional amendment to lower taxes in order to bring jobs back to America. “What would you do if you could keep 95% of the money you earned?” she asked the crowd, which drew criticism from Handel, who responded by asking if Shelly really meant to impose a tax of only 5%. She opened and closed her presence on stage by promoting her books.

When asked about how he would deal with Obama’s healthcare bill in the case of its unconstitutionality, Sherman suggested switching to a single-payer system, which would pool resources to provide healthcare for everyone as designated by the government. Moderators made a point of emphasizing that students and recent graduates are the ones most likely to benefit from the provision that allows for them to remain on their parent’s insurance until the age of 27.

Reed, who is running against Shelly as a Republican candidate, criticized the bill as being “well-intended, but not well-thought out.” He called for clarification in the underwriting of the bill to bring out the better aspects that would benefit constituents without ambiguity.

Protestors helped set the tone of the event early on. Angered by the exclusion of third-party candidate and former CSUN professor Michael Powelson, audience members began heckling the candidates and moderators within the first five minutes of the event, resulting in the removal of two audience members, one of which was Powelson himself, and the threat to remove a third.

Handel, who used sharp, tongue-in-cheek humor to deal with both the hecklers and the candidates, wasn’t overly enchanted with the event.

“There was a lot the regular stuff that politicians have to disgorge, but I think it’s fair to say that the fight is between Sherman and Berman.”

While the event drew an audience of over 500, there was an obvious absence of CSUN students. Marbella Lupercio, Associated Students lower division senator, hopes for a larger turn out for the following events.

“Since we’re promoting everything as a series, I think we can take tonight’s experience and use it to better organize next year’s debates. What’s happening now probably isn’t going to change, but since a lot of our students are commuters, it’s understandable. We’ll take that into consideration for our next events.”

The senate approved an $18,000 budget for all three events, none of which was spent to bring candidates to campus.

“Everyone agreed to participate without compensation,” said Nicole Corlett, A.S. senator for the College of Business and Economics and production director of the series.

According to their website, A.S. sponsored the events as “a response to a campus call for political engagement.”

“A lot of planning has gone into this,” Corlett said. “We’ve been working on it for a couple of months, but it really opens your eyes to the possibilities.”

    by -

    Tablets are making quite an impression on some people.  Tablets are not quite a smartphone and not quite a laptop, but they are rather a combination of the two.  Are tablets here for the long haul?  Or are they just the newest fad?

    According to a Pearson Foundation Survey, tablets are more than just a trend, particularly among younger generations. The survey notes that tablet ownership among college students and college-bound high school seniors has more than tripled since a year ago, with even more students saying they plan to purchase one within the next six months.

    Of course, tablets are still pretty new to the academic scene but students seem to be interested in them mainly for the ease of use and the fact they are so light compared to actual textbooks.

    “I prefer a tablet over a laptop for portability,” said Cheryl Jordan, a CSUN student studying biology.  “I also use it as an e-reader using the Kindle app.”

    The survey also found that 90 percent of college students who are tablet owners said that tablets are valuable for educational purposes.  Also, more than 60 percent of the students said tablets help them study more efficiently and perform better in their classes.

    Around 60 percent of students that took the survey also believe that tablets will effectively replace textbooks within the next five years.

    “Technology does not eliminate the need for a college store, it simply means that an evolution is taking place,” said Amy Berger, director of the Matador Bookstore, when asked if she thinks tablets will replace books within the next five years.

    Some students, such as Nick Mariduena, a CSUN senior studying bio-chemistry, shares the belief that books will be eliminated altogether in the years to come.
    “Digital copies of everything will take over,”  he said. His prediction stems from the advantages tablets have over laptops. With the ability to easily draw on a tablet screen, tablets have proven to be more versatile, and laptops just don’t compare, Mariduena said.

    A little over 80 percent of students also believe that tablets encourage students to buy digital textbooks instead of print textbooks.

    Layla Najibfard, a CSUN senior studying biology, finds that not only is her iPad great for school work but she also uses it for entertainment purposes as well, mainly reading books.

    “Reading books is a lot easier to read on a tablet,” she said.  “But when taking notes from books I prefer the real thing to highlight and take notes.”

    The Pearson survey found that almost 60 percent of college students prefer a digital format when reading books for fun.  According to the survey, this is a reversal from last year’s study when more students preferred print over digital.

    Abdulaziz Alhekeir, a CSUN freshman studying engineering management, finds that his tablet and his laptop have specific purposes when it comes to his school work.

    “I like the ease of access when it comes to the tablet, so I bring that to school,” he said.  “But for writing papers I find it a lot easier to use my laptop.”

    The Pearson Foundation, an independent non-profit organization which aims to promote literacy and learning, surveyed over 1,400 students nationally about the usage of tablets. The survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive.

    Amongst the students interviewed, most of them seemed to think the iPad was the best out of all of the tablets that are available.

    Willie Lopez, supervisor at Best Buy in Westwood, says that by far the iPad is the most popular tablet on the market.

    “The iPad is the clear leader in tablet popularity,”  Lopez said.  “Every time we get a shipment of the newest iPad we quickly sell out within a day or two.”

    He feels that Apple’s popularity is the reason why iPads seem to sell so much better than say Amazon’s Fire Tablet or Samsung’s Galaxy Tab, even though the latter have a better price point.

    “More publishers are making their textbooks available in an electronic format,” Lopez said.  “As this trend continues I do see tablets replacing books in the next year or two.”

      by -
      CSUN head coach Dr. Marcelo Leonardi talks to his team during a game. Leonardi and his team finished the season winning third place in the Big West Conference Tournament Sunday afternoon. Courtesy of CSUN Athletics.
      CSUN head coach Dr. Marcelo Leonardi talks to his team during a game. Leonardi and his team finished the season winning third place in the Big West Conference Tournament Sunday afternoon. Courtesy of CSUN Athletics.

      Every team’s journey is different. One path could lead them to a title while another could turn out to be a restructuring process.

      For CSUN head coach Dr. Marcelo Leonardi and his squad, it was a little bit of both. Though his team finished this season 19-20, the Matadors played tough opponents in the Big West Conference to win third place in this year’s tournament.

      “This has been by far one of the most enjoyable years for me coaching,” said Leonardi, rounding out his third year as head coach. “We followed the journey and at the end, we were able to accomplish many of the goals that we set out.”

      One of Leonardi’s goals for his team was to improve its  overall gameplay, which took some time at the beginning.

      CSUN got off to a rough start to kick off the season, going 4-11 from Jan. 28 to Feb. 26.

      “If you look at our schedule based on the NCAA RPI, we had the ninth hardest schedule in the country,” Leonardi said.

      As head coach, Leonardi has a say on how he wants to set up his team’s schedule. During his first year, Leonardi’s crew was ranked ninth in the nation and finished with an all-time best 28-8 record, but faced a soft schedule, Leonardi said.

      The coach gave his team a more difficult path in 2012.

      “I picked a hard schedule at the beginning because of how young my team was,” he said. “I figured we’d go through that roller coaster of the season, have our highs and lows in order to peak at the right time, which we did.”

      After a stagnant February, March offered a new start, and Leonardi’s team delivered. His squad tallied 10 wins in 14 games and improved its record to 14-15 before the beginning of Big West play.

      “It was the time of the season where we start fine-tuning, cleaning up the rotation and developing more consistency to prepare to peak at the right time,” Leonardi said.

      Comprised mainly of freshmen and sophomores, Leonardi’s team matured just at the right time to make a push into the Big West Tournament. The Matadors were fortunate to grab the fourth seed in the tournament, with a league record of 1-4. Long Beach State and Pacific also finished with the same record, but CSUN had more goals in conference play.

      Then it was time for the Big West Tournament in Davis.

      Like the beginning of their season, the start of the Big West Tournament was arduous. Northridge faced the 49ers in the quarterfinals Friday, where the teams went back and forth on the offensive end. CSUN looked like it was going to pick up the win within regulation, but Long Beach rallied back to tie the game and send it into overtime.

      But it was the efforts of Marisa Young and Heidi Pettinger in the double-overtime period that gave their team the 7-5 win in the first round.

      Northridge’s victory over Long Beach was due to its execution on power plays, something it struggled to defend against UC Irvine in the semis.

      The Anteaters made five of 12 6-on-5 chances and defeated CSUN 8-3 Saturday afternoon.

      Though CSUN was knocked out of contention for the tournament title, it bounced back and defeated UC Santa Barbara to grab third place the next day.
      “The team and the seniors, and including myself, felt fantastic. It was a great win for us,” Leonardi said.

      Now with 2012 in the books and three seniors (Pettinger, Dana Harvey and Jessica Goforth) leaving the program, Leonardi is looking forward to the year ahead.
      “Technically and tactically, the team has learned the system of play. We’ve learned how to play as a team,” he said. “Even though we do lose three seniors, we’re going to have to fill those gaps with younger players, but our nucleus still returns.”

      by -

      CSUN’s Alpha Xi Delta chapter raised $27,000 in a week-long charity event for Autism Speaks and were given the honor of revealing the total at “Walk Now for Autism Speaks” event.

      Alpha Xi Delta Vice President Hillary Nadler said the honor was a response to the sorority’s $15,401 fundraising contribution to “Walk Now for Autism Speaks,“ in which 256 Xi members participated in a day-long walk.

      “We set our target high this year,” said Taylor Anderson, Xi princess who co-organized the charity week with senior Ari Hernandez. “Xi graduates wanted to make their mark and raise a ton of money to keep the Autism Speaks tradition alive.”

      Autism Speaks is an autism science and advocacy organization dedicated to funding research and treatment for preventing autism. Alpha Xi Delta has worked closely with Autism Speaks since 2009, according to the Alpha Xi Delta website.

      Xi’s charity week, dubbed the “AmaXIng Challenge,” was medieval themed and included participation from 14 CSUN fraternities, who challenged one another for the good graces of the “Xi princesses.”

      Each fraternity nominated a representative to take part in a series of games for the title of “Xi King.” To win the crown, “knights” wooed Xi princesses with their talents, T-shirt designs and Xi spirit.

      In a knighting ceremony that raised $1,700, each fraternity produced a 3-5 minute talent performance and Justin Clark, a Kappa Sigma “knight,” won the title of King. Sigma Phi Epsilon won the evening’s overall best performance.

      Other popular events included a jousting tournament, a silent auction, an intramural volleyball game and a Xi artifacts duel, in which the knights dawned Xi body art and carried Xi regalia for 24 hours to show their support for the sorority.

      “We had a lot of fun with the medieval theme,” Anderson said. “It got a lot of attention from the fraternities and it was really cool to see the CSUN frats out there cheering us on and supporting us.”

      On May 6, Alpha Xi Delta will take part in a celebratory brunch hosted by the L.A. Walk Now Committee, according to an Autism Speaks release.

      “After I become an alumna from my chapter, I want them (the sorority) to continue doing an amazing job of spreading awareness for our philanthropy Autism Speaks, and to continue to go above and beyond to achieve their goals,” Anderson said.

      by -

      This week, The Acting Company, a group of actors from New York that tours the states bringing classics to communities that may not have the chance to see them otherwise, will be on campus for five days, starting tomorrow. They will be presenting “Julius Caesar” May 1-3 and “The Comedy of Errors” May 4-6 at the Plaza del Sol Performance Hall. Tickets range from $25 to $70 and students can receive 40 percent discount with their student ID.

      The Acting Company has been around for almost 40 years and has toured through 48 states and ten countries performing over 130 classics and new plays. The company was founded by Oscar-winning actor/producer/director John Houseman and Margo Harley. The company has received Tony Awards and Los Angeles Critics Circle Awards among other awards.

      The two classics being presented at CSUN are both Shakespearean classics. Many students may already be familiar with “Julius Caesar” from reading it for classes. The company chose this play this year because it’s an election year, and they believe that this play ties into the demand of Americans for transparency from political leaders.

      “The Comedy of Errors” can offer students a night of relaxation and fun. As one of Shakespeare’s comedies, it analyzes identity – with two sets of identical twins tragically separated at birth. The play covers the events of one day and follows a series of mishaps connected to mistaken identities.

      Tickets can be bought at the VPAC.

        by -
        CSUN attacker Melissa Doll goes for a goal in a game. Doll put the Matadors on the scoreboard first as they took third place in the Big West Conference Tournament in a 6-5 victory over UC Santa Barbara Sunday afternoon. Courtesy of CSUN Athletics.
        CSUN attacker Melissa Doll goes for a goal in a game. Doll put the Matadors on the scoreboard first as they took third place in the Big West Conference Tournament in a 6-5 victory over UC Santa Barbara Sunday afternoon. Courtesy of CSUN Athletics.

        After a tough loss against UC Irvine the previous day, the Matadors (19-20) bounced back and grabbed third place in the Big West Conference Tournament with a 6-5 win over UC Santa Barbara Sunday afternoon and Schaal Aquatics Center.

        It was a goal by center Kelcie Ferreira with 3:45 left in the game that put CSUN up by one. The only thing for Northridge to was play defense and run out the clock.

        “We took away (Santa Barbara’s) two-meter game, we neutralized their counter-attack and the shots that they did take were either field blocked or Dana (Harvey) made a save,” Matador head coach Dr. Marcelo Leonardi said.

        CSUN goalkeeper Dana Harvey had a much-improved game from the previous outing and came up with a crucial save with seven seconds left in the game, Leonardi said, and finished the game with nine saves to her name.

        Leonardi and his squad’s defense, especially their 5-on-6 game, was back on track. Though the Gauchos scored five goals, none were scored during a power play opportunity.

        “Our 5-on-6 defense was nails because (UCSB) went 0-for-7,” Leonardi said. “A lot had to do with how we played yesterday’s game and how it carried over. In order to beat a quality team like Santa Barbara, we have to play flawless and I thought we did defensively.”

        Comparing them to the Gauchos, the Matadors scored twice on power play chances, one by attacker Melissa Doll to open the game and the other by fellow attacker Lindsy Nelson in the second period.

        That second quarter of action was one of intensity, with both teams going back-and-forth on the offensive end. Though CSUN outscored Santa Barbara 3-2 that quarter, the Gauchos knotted the scored at 5-5 heading into halftime.

        “Both teams had opportunities to score, but both defenses were stellar,” Leonardi said. “The goalies made saves and nobody wanted to budge.”

        Sunday’s win had meaning for the team. It was the team’s first win on a Sunday in the Big West and all of Leonardi’s seniors had a chance to play in potentially their last game in the collegiate career.

        “I love the fact that all three seniors were in the water in the fourth quarter to help us win that game,” he said. “They’re leaving this program with rich culture and tradition. It set some emotions after the game.”

        by -
        The four leading candidates for the 30th Congressional District seat will face off and take on national issues during a debate taking place tonight.

        The four candidates are: Democratic Congressman Howard Berman, Democratic Congressman Brad Sherman, Republican Mark Reed, and Republican Susan Shelly.

        The debate is part of “Big Politics – The Series,” which is planned, produced and paid for by the Associated Students of CSUN.  According to its website, the event is a response to a campus call for political engagement.

        “Our goal is to educate people on how important the political process is and hopefully help them become more aware and engaged in the issues that affect them,” said A.S. President Amanda Flavin in a news release.  “We also want to underscore the important role the university plays in the region and remind the community that we need to hold our elected officials accountable for their action on issues that affect us.”

        The debate will be moderated by CSUN alumnus and KFI Radio host Bill Handel.

        This will be the first of three debates that will make up “Big Politics.”  Forums in the future will include a town hall meeting with state legislators Thursday, May 3rd at 6:00 p.m. in the Grand Salon. As well as a discussion on Los Angeles’ mayoral race Tuesday, May 15th, at 5:30 p.m. in the Grand Salon.

        According to Berman’s website, he is known for his ability to form bipartisan coalitions.  He helped write a law authorizing embargoes on nations that support terrorism.

        Sherman led the effort to prevent taxpayer dollars from being used for unlimited bailouts to Wall Street giants, according to his website.

        Reed is running for Congress to restore fiscal discipline, according to his website.

        According to candidate Shelley’s website, she is running for Congress so she can offer new ideas and real solutions based on principles in the Constitution that have proven through the centuries to be the foundation of freedom and prosperity.

        To learn more about how these candidates plan to fulfill their stated goals, come to the Valley Performing Arts Center  tonight from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

        by -
        Members of Student for Quality Education announced Friday that they will be participating in a hunger strike and fast until tuition freezes and they roll back executive and administrative salaries.


        The hunger strike will involve 12 students from six CSU’s including Northridge, Dominguez Hills, Fullerton, Long Beach, Sacramento and San Bernardino.


        According to Ashley Luke, member of the Students for Quality Education (SQE), the strike will begin Wednesday, May 2 due to “Chancellor Reed and Chair Linscheid’s failure to address or even meet with students to discuss the concerns and possible solutions to the issues regarding the CSU system.


        According to Sarah Garcia, the board of trustees held a meeting in March where the SQE presented the Chancellor and Chairman a list of demands that they had also emailed to them


        “We asked them to meet with us and discuss these demands, or we would have to escalate our actions.” Garcia said. “We gave them 31 days, which expected April 27th. During the month we received an email from Linscheid basically stating that he believes talking to the student trustees once a year is enough to talk about tuition issues and class issues.”

        Sarah further explained that the Chair would not speak with them because “we were threatening in the previous meeting.”

        The requests made by SQE that were emailed to the Chancellor and Chair are as follows.

        The first is a five year moratorium on student fees; after those five years are up they are not allowed to raise the tuition an exponential amount to make up for the five year moratorium.

        The SQE also demands that CSU’s receive about the same funding as in 1999. According to Garcia they “want the administration’s salaries to revert to the 1999 levels, they’ve collectively received a $6 million pay increase, while the tuition has increased 31 percent since 2002.”

        The SQE also demands that president and chancellor allowances be eliminated. This includes their housing, cars and entertainment.

        The last demand made by the SQE is their request to have all CSU campuses be free speech zones. According to Garcia “some campuses can’t flier and are contained to a square if they want to have events, SQE events, like we do here.”

        Garcia asks that there be support for the hunger strike but Garica explained that “as of now I would not encourage other to hunger strike with us. We’ve had to prepare our bodies for weeks in advance so, health wise; it would not be the best idea. However, one can do a solidarity fast with us. Only fasting for a day or two. One can be involved by helping us out, we need a huge support team.”

        CSUN participants are Sarah Garcia, deaf studies major with a double minor in anthropology and queer studies, 19-year-old Matthew Delgado, 20-year-old Grace Castaneda, a double major in political science and sociology and 18-year-old Raiza Arias, double major in theater and anthropology.

        by -
        Thousands of students attended Friday's Matador Nights at the University Student Union. Photo credit: Aileen Ventura / Contributor

        Matador Nights attracted thousands of students to the CSUN student union in what ended as a peaceful event under increased security measures from previous years, Friday night.

        A joint security effort between university police services, USU staff, and Allied Barton private security kept close tabs on party goers to keep drugs and alcohol out.

        CSUN students had been able to bring one guest in to Matador Nights in previous years, but guests were not allowed this year as part of the added precaution.

        “We got it pretty well handled this time,” said Captain Scott Vanscoy of the CSUN police.  “It’s a very fun event, but there’s no tolerance for anybody who wants to bring in alcohol or controlled substance.”

        Last year the event ended violently when two male students broke into a physical fight on the dance floor.  The party was shut down early and police made two arrests, last April.

        With an Alice in Wonderland theme, this year’s party included attractions like mini-golf, carnival rides, and a casino.  Though, most partygoers agreed that the highlight was the spinning of D.J. Kid Capri.

        “Kid Capri seems to be everyone’s favorite,” said Jessica Fagen, sophomore meeting major, in costume as Alice for the USU.  “Everyone’s dancing and having a good time.”

        The wonderland theme also included neon mushroom decorations and actors in character as the mad hatter, the white rabbit and the queen of hearts.

        The DJ looks over his playlist in the Tweedle Dum room at Alice in Wonderland themed Matador Nights at the University Student Union on Friday. Photo credit: Aileen Ventura / Contributor

        “I had an incredible time,” Kid Capri said, sitting on the stage after the show.  “I didn’t expect it to be this packed.  It was definitely something that was monumental,” he added.

        The crowd reached over 2,000 students according to an estimate by captain Vanscoy, at 11 p.m. Friday.  The party lasted from 9 p.m. and the outside dance floor was packed until the music stopped at 1 a.m.

        “With some encouragement from friends and classmates, I called a babysitter and came out,” said Luke Farnell, junior recreation management major, 32.  “Kid Capri is definitely a highlight for me, because I’m a little older.  I’ve been a fan for a long time.”

        Students had to pass through three checkpoints, including a bag check and metal detectors.  The number of security officers was not given for safety  reasons.

        In addition to their presence on the ground police kept an eye on the party from a third floor window of the Sol Center along with Allied Barton representatives.  The security presence did not stand in the way of a good time, for most students.

        “I love it,” said Luis Lopez, freshman political science major.  “Everyone is gathered together, and I like the music.”

        A few students who authorities believed smelled of alcohol or showed other signs of intoxication  were asked to leave, Vanscoy said.

        “I’m not going to take any chances,” Vanscoy said, adding that student safety was his primary concern.  “It’s student money paying for an awesome student event.”

        One woman, presumed to be a student, was taken by ambulance to Northridge Hospital before 11 p.m. after she was found vomiting in a bathroom by USU staff, according to Vanscoy.

        Her name and age were not available, but police believed she became sick due to overconsumption of alcohol.

        No arrests were made, but names of students who escorted out were collected, and they may face campus disciplinary action, according to Vanscoy.

        That will be up to the campus administrators, he said.  The crowd dispersed peacefully at 1 a.m.