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Immigrant rights activist and Pulitzer Prize winning journalist asks CSUN to define what makes an American

Jose Antonio Vargas gives a speech about his experience as an undocumented worker in America. Photo Credit: Ivanna Valdivia / Contributor

 

Jose Antonio Vargas, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, undocumented immigrant and immigrant rights activist, spoke to hundreds of people on Tuesday as part of an ongoing national tour dubbed “Define American” where he urges dialogue on defining what it is to be American.

Vargas, who has contributed to such publications as the Washington Post, Huffington Post, the New Yorker, Rolling Stone and the San Francisco Chronicle, came out as an undocumented immigrant in a New York Times Magazine article titled “My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant.”

Since writing and speaking about his experience as an undocumented immigrant living in the U.S., Vargas has focused on building a mature and comprehensive debate on immigration reform.

“I don’t really consider myself an activist or an advocate,” he said. “I’m not a leader or an organizer. What I am is a story teller. I’m a filmmaker. I’m a writer. I’ve spent more than a decade as a journalist.”

Vargas traveled across the U.S. to engage in growing an understanding of the undocumented immigration experience.

During his travels, Vargas took notes of certain terms that he thinks should stop being used, such as “illegal” to refer to undocumented immigrants. Specifically, Vargas said, undocumented immigrants that are covered under the president’s deferred action program are not technically illegal.

“They’re not illegal anymore, as the Los Angeles Times still manages to call them,” he said. “Something is terribly wrong when we call them illegal. Actions are illegal, not people, never people.”

Immigration reform was a recurring topic throughout the event. Vargas pointed out the record-number of deportations under President Obama, totaling 1.4 million with estimates that by 2014 will reach 2 million.

“As we debate immigration in this country, the question really is the nature of citizenship: How do we define American?” Vargas said. “So we’re sharing stories. I’ve shared mine. Sometimes I wish that I didn’t, because sometimes it’s really hard. I feel almost naked in front of people, but I’m doing my part because all of us have to do our part. I don’t have any legal form of ID besides a Filipino passport that the Filipino embassy gave me shortly after I disclosed my status.”

He went on to say that the focus has largely been on young people, particularly students, in the immigration reform debate, but it should not stop there.

Both Congress and the president proposed immigration reform packages that focus on reprimanding undocumented immigrants who have entered the country illegally and placing them in “the back of the line,” a term used to refer to the multi-year wait period that many immigrants are on when going through the proper channels.

Chicana/o studies professor Rudy Acuña was acknowledged at the event by Vargas as an inspirational and historic figure for the state of California. CSUN is home to the nation’s first Chicana/o studies department, which was helped in part by Acuña.

“(Vargas) served as a role model for all of the students with a similar experience,” Acuña said.

Jose Rosas, 24, Chicana/o studies and anthropology double major, is also an undocumented student. He is involved with Dreams to be Heard, a CSUN-based undocumented student support group. He co-founded an AB-540 (undocumented students that are legally protected to go to school) support group at East Los Angeles College called Students for Equal Rights.

Rosas is hesitant in backing President Obama’s immigration reform package, considering the high level of deportations under his administration.

“The language they’re using to describe what they’re trying to do is not even going the right way,” he said. “It’s still calling us ‘illegals.’ I don’t see it realistically, those 12 million immigrants, (that they) are going to get that chance. If you have a record, then you are put to the side. Unfortunately, not all of us are going to get covered. Just the few.”

Rosas understands that sometimes people have to be pragmatic.

“So many people are for this immigration reform, not because they really believe what immigration reform is going to bring, but it’s because we need it,” Rosas said.
“It’s an urgent necessity.”

Vargas ended the event with a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., urging people to act.

“History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people,” Vargas said.

From Watts to Harvard, CSUN Pan African Studies professor shares his journey

By Shaleeka Powell
February 26th, 2013
Section: Features – Professor Profiles

Waking up and going to sleep to the sound of gunshots and police sirens was all he knew. He had witnessed gang violence on the streets and liquor stores on almost every corner. At times, he would even go to sleep on an empty stomach.

No one would have ever thought he would become the first African-American from South L.A. to receive a full academic scholarship to both Harvard and Stanford University.

Johnie Scott, a Pan African Studies (PAS) tenured associate professor and director of community and external projects, grew up on the concrete sidewalks of Watts.

“Life in Watts wasn’t about the struggle,” Scott said. “It was about survival.”

Being raised in a single parent household, living in the projects, relying on government assistance and being a black male during a segregated time period was Scott’s life.

The 2010 poverty rate in Watts was 48.9 percent, according to areavibes.com. Watts’ total crime index is 4,563. During the week of Feb. 5, there were seven vehicle thefts, four burglaries, two larcenies, one sex crime, and one assault in Watts according to the crime mapping website.

Scott said in the late 1950s, Watts was completely different than it is today. The city’s population was about 95 percent black, according to the Urban Institute Watts Zone Profile, but today there are a significant number of Latinos/as. In 2007, The Urban Profile reported 65 percent Latino/a residents in Watts and 33 percent African-Americans accounting for the population.

To read more click here.

Neighbors remember Trayvon Martin on the first anniversary of his death

Tisha Marina Bernard waves signs with Trayvon Martin’s picture at Leimert Park to commemorate the one year anniversary of his death.  Photo Credit: Charlie Kaijo / Senior Photographer
Keith James, a supporter of the Revolutionary Communist Party, speaks on the frequency of racial injustice in the judicial system during a press conference held at the event. Photo Credit: Charlie Kaijo / Senior Photographer

 

Neighbors and activists gathered at Leimert Park in downtown L.A. to honor Trayvon Martin on the one year anniversary of his death on Tuesday.

About 60 people attended the gathering, and many held signs with Martin’s picture. Some wore hoodies in remembrance of his attire when he was killed, and others held up a bag of Skittles – what Martin was holding during his confrontation with George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watchman who has been accused of killing Martin. Zimmerman’s trial is set to begin in June.

Olivia Anderson, mother of two boys, attended the event to help spread awareness of Martin’s case and ongoing racial tensions in America. People often do not care until it is their child who is killed and then they become involved, she said.

Speakers held a press conference to comment on Martin’s death and shared personal stories of loved ones lost.

Genevieve Huizar, a speaker at the event, talked about her son Manuel Diaz, who was shot by an Anaheim police officer last July.

“This is very difficult for any mother to have to go through and we don’t want this to happen to any families. We want these killings to stop,” Huizar said.

Ilsie Dixon, a neighbor who attended the event, lost her son in a shooting seven years ago.

“Nothing is going to bring this kid back,” she said. “I want to give that mother support. I know how she feels.”

A young supporter holds a picture of Trayvon Martin during the one year anniversary of his death. Photo Credit: Charlie Kaijo / Senior Photographer
Supporters hold signs commemorating Trayvon Martin on the one year anniversary of his death. Photo Credit: Charlie Kaijo / Senior Photographer

Author and filmmaker talks about his inspirational trek around the world

Author and filmmaker, David Sylvester, told his story to students in Flintridge Hall inside the USU on Tuesday, as part of CSUN’s Black History Month lecture series.

His trip around the world was sparked by the death of his friend, Kevin Bowser, in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Since then, Sylvester has biked on three continents, 21 different countries and 15 states, which has totaled over 20,000 miles.

Sylvester took his friend’s death as an opportunity to seize life and make the most of his time on Earth. He highlights two important aspects of his journey.

“It comes down to two things: friendship and evolving,” Sylvester said.

The Philadelphia native talked about his many travels which included Africa and a cross-country trip that started in Washington and ended back home in Philadelphia.

After the Philadelphia Inquirer did a story on Sylvester, the public reached out and encouraged him to keep pushing on his journey.

Sylvester was approached by ESPN to write a feature story documenting his life and that story sparked his interest in writing his book titled, “Traveling at the Speed of Life.”

He decided to thank everyone by going on a one-man volunteer tour across the country. Some of his volunteer efforts included feeding the homeless in San Diego, helping out a school for blind children in Phoenix, and working at a cancer treatment center in Austin, Texas.

“Each population I saw was very different and in turn they all saw something completely different in me,” Sylvester said.

To close out his lecture, Sylvester offered advice to students in the audience.

“Life is a series of moments and what we do with them. Ask for the world, go after what you want,” said Sylvester. “You guys are the next people to set the world on fire, you just have to find out how to start that fire within yourselves.”

Rev. Tyler takes the field for CSUN

Redshirt sophomore utility softball player Jennifer Tyler is in her first season as a Matador after spending the previous two years at Northwestern University. Photo credit: Loren Townsley / Photo Editor

 

An anthropology major, softball player and ordained minister. That’s something you don’t hear everyday.


Redshirt sophomore utility player Jennifer Tyler remembers the day her sister asked to marry her and her boyfriend after seeing an episode of the Canadian show, “Degrassi,” where a couple was married by their best friend.

“We loved it,” Tyler said. “We thought it was more personal and our family isn’t religious. My sister, being super emotional at the time, asked me to marry her and her boyfriend.”

After an online questionnaire she took through some church she can’t even remember the name of, Tyler is now an ordained minister and has the certificate to prove it.

“It’s kind of been an ongoing joke,” she said. “I can be called a reverend. I can be called a healer. I can be called an educator. My teammates and I are really enjoying it. They call me Rev. Jen or Rev. Tyler and it’s kind of funny.”

But Tyler takes her education and softball very seriously.

Beginning her college career at Northwestern, Tyler originally planned on being an OB/GYN. Difficulty finding the program and getting the credentials ultimately led Tyler down a different path toward biology.

“I was taking all these really intense classes like chemistry, calculus two and French, and I ended up dropping chemistry so I could pass the rest of my classes,” she said. “Grades are really important to me and I’m not OK with a C.”

She started taking some anthropology classes after her adviser recommended doing something beyond the typical biology major to increase her chances of getting into medical school.

Anthropology seemed like the right fit because of its strong biological aspect and involvement in human dynamics. The classes helped her find her passion and connect with her professors, she said. So she eventually changed her major, she said.

Tyler, now a junior at CSUN, has kept her anthropology major.

“I’m doing general anthropology, but I’m specialized in archaeology,” Tyler said. “I love learning about other cultures and learning about different traditions and rituals. I just think it’s amazing how diverse our world is.”

When transferring to CSUN from Northwestern, Tyler said she looked mainly at the demographics and location. She wanted to go somewhere different that had sun almost all year round, but still wanted to stay relatively close to her family.

“Living in Arizona my entire life, traveling to California, vacationing in California, has always been kind of a big bright side and a lot of fun in my mind,” Tyler said. “I also really wanted to help the softball program here and go back to what its traditions were.”

Growing up as the youngest of three girls all one year apart, Tyler was often in the shadow of her sisters. Tyler and her sisters were always involved in team sports; never individual sports.

Around seventh grade, Tyler was pretty serious when it came to playing both club soccer and softball, as were her sisters.

“It got really expensive for both my sisters and I to do that and it was a hectic lifestyle,” she said. “My parents knew that in our generation it was evident that club sports were your ticket into college. I chose softball mostly because my sisters chose softball.”

Softball has led to many memories for Tyler, and holds a special place in her heart because of the bond it created with her family.

 

“Softball is important to me because I played it with my sisters. I would say every memory I have of my childhood, every vacation we had and stuff of that aspect was surrounded with a softball tournament,” Tyler said. “We would go to a week-long tournament in Colorado and have maybe a morning game and the rest of the day was what we’d do as our family vacation. Everybody in the family talks about it, everybody knows about it and that’s why it really touches home and my heart.”

Tyler has not married her sister as of yet but believes it will happen in the next year or two. Besides that, Tyler has no other plans to use her title.

Now she’s taking on being a Lamaze coach for one of her sisters. Tyler was enthralled when her sister came home from her softball season seven months pregnant and needed to start her classes. She loved the idea of learning about the entire process and the development of the class.

“The first class I went to with her, I came straight from softball practice and was a complete mess. I stunk and my sister, of course, is all dolled up,” she said. “It actually helped out, though, when we went to the hospital the day she went into labor because I knew the whole thing about the focal point and her exercises.”

Tyler is set to graduate Fall 2013. She is debating between doubling up on classes and work towards both a masters of science in anthropology and a general masters of business administration. She’s considering a graduate school in Arizona, specializing in administration or human resource management.

Choosing to transfer to Northridge has been an uplifting experience not just for Tyler, but her entire family. The close proximity gives her family the chance to come out, see her play and support the team.

“Even my mom says constantly how much of a change she sees in my happiness,” she said. “I don’t know if it’s just (because it’s) always sunny and I’m not covered in two feet of snow all the time, but I just think what we’re doing out here is really going to translate to this season and I’m really excited to start playing.”

Even with such a passion for anthropology and her goal of getting a master’s degree, Tyler hasn’t lost focus as a softball player.

“I love softball and would be all for playing after college if someone would take me,” she said.

 

Manti Te’o is not the elite linebacker everyone thought he was

Notre Dame inside linebacker Manti Te’o, surrounded by controversy off the field with his hoax dead girlfriend story, had the chance to put that aside and focus on football at the NFL Combine this past weekend.

Needing to show that the BCS National Championship game performance was that of a fluke and not the kind of player he will be in adversity, Te’o disappointed everyone.

Te’o ran a disappointing 4.82 second 40-yard dash, potentially dropping his draft stock even further than the hoax story has, from projected early-first round pick to a middle of the pack second round selection.

That time put him near the end of all linebackers, 20 out of 26, but it wasn’t just the 40-yard dash that was disappointing.

Te’o participated in five of the seven combine drills and failed to rank in the top-5 of any of them. For someone who’s draft stock had been so high just a few months ago, this is a devastating drop.

Maybe it was the American’s public love of such a heart-warming story that allowed Te’o’s abilities to shine brighter, playing in games after his grandmother and “girlfriend” had died. Te’o is definitely an above average linebacker, recording 101 tackles, 1.5 sacks and seven interceptions in 2012, but there are better picks for teams needing to draft a linebacker.

Georgia inside linebacker Alec Ogletree was a monster for Georgia’s defense after missing four games in the beginning of the season due to a failed drug test. In his 2012 season, he recorded 111 tackles, three sacks and an interception, guiding him to the top position for linebackers in the draft.

Kevin Minter, Louisiana State University’s top inside linebacker, is another product of a consistent NFL producing team. Recording 130 tackles, four sacks, an interception and fumble, Minter helped lead a dominating line, and is known for his speed and hard hits.

Te’o will have a NFL career, when and where he is selected in the draft is another story. Though as we have seen throughout the history of the draft, where you are selected is not indicative of potential success, thank you Tom Brady for proving that point.

An American public looking to hang its hat on such an inspirational story of Manti Te’o and all that he overcame throughout the year, made an average player blow up into what many thought was the next great of the NFL. We all got hoaxed, and Te’o has fallen back to Earth with the numbers he has produced at both the Combine and Championship game.

CNBC’s Sue Herera to Speak at the VPAC

Sue Herera, CNBC co-anchor of “Power Lunch” and CSUN alumna, will be speaking at the VPAC Thursday at 7 p.m.

Herera will be sharing her experiences as a broadcast business journalist in the Kurland Lecture Hall of the VPAC as a part of the Commerce of Creativity Distinguished Speaker Series.

Herera graduated from CSUN in 1980 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and later received the University’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2003.

According to the “CNBC” website, Herera was one of the first women to break into the world of business broadcast news. After more than 20 years covering Wall Street and global economies she has earned her name as “The First Lady of Wall Street.”

Herera was one of the founding members of CNBC in 1989 and published her first book, “Women of the Street: Making it on Wall Street- The World’s Toughest Business,” in 1997.

As host of “CNBC’s” international series, including “CNBC in Russia” she earned a first-prize National Headliner Award and with “CNBC in India” she earned top honors in the Business & Consumer Reporting category.

Prior to CNBC, Herera spent seven years with the Financial News Network as a reporter and as an anchor.

The lecture series is free and open to the public. Reservations are recommended. To make reservations go to http://www.c2speakers.com/register/ or contact Jennifer Reifsneider at (818) 677-7038.

Daniel Seddiqui to speak about “50 Jobs in 50 States” at Grand Salon

Daniel Seddiqui, author of “50 Jobs in 50 States: One Man’s Journey of Discovery Across America,” will be speaking to the CSUN community on Wednesday, Feb. 27 at 4 p.m.

Seddiqui will discuss his journey across America in which he held a job for one week in all 50 states.

Seddiqui’s jobs varied greatly from state to state. He held positions such as a rodeo clown in South Dakota, a border patrol agent in Arizona, and a wedding coordinator in Las Vegas.

The USU said that in his lecture, “Living the Map,” Seddiqui reassures students that their career dreams can be realized, even if they have to achieve them by creative means.

According to testimonial on his website, Seddiqui said his goal is to help Americans understand each other’s lives, respect each other’s hard work and stimulate peoples’ curiosity about different lifestyles.

After his lecture, Seddiqui will hold a Q&A; and book signing after his speech in the USU Grand Salon. The first 20 people to attend will receive a free copy of Seddiqui’s book.

From Watts to Harvard, CSUN Pan African Studies professor shares his journey

Professor Johnie Scott of the Pan African studies department has been with CSUN for 29 years. Over the years here he has taught every class in the department, focusing on pro seminars and upper division classes now. Photo Credit: Ken Scarboro / Senior Photographer

Waking up and going to sleep to the sound of gunshots and police sirens was all he knew. He had witnessed gang violence on the streets and liquor stores on almost every corner. At times, he would even go to sleep on an empty stomach.

No one would have ever thought he would become the first African-American from South L.A. to receive a full academic scholarship to both Harvard and Stanford University.

Johnie Scott, a Pan African Studies (PAS) tenured associate professor and director of community and external projects, grew up on the concrete sidewalks of Watts.

“Life in Watts wasn’t about the struggle,” Scott said. “It was about survival.”

Being raised in a single parent household, living in the projects, relying on government assistance and being a black male during a segregated time period was Scott’s life.

The 2010 poverty rate in Watts was 48.9 percent, according to areavibes.com. Watts’ total crime index is 4,563. During the week of Feb. 5, there were seven vehicle thefts, four burglaries, two larcenies, one sex crime, and one assault in Watts according to the crime mapping website.

Scott said in the late 1950s, Watts was completely different than it is today. The city’s population was about 95 percent black, according to the Urban Institute Watts Zone Profile, but today there are a significant number of Latinos/as. In 2007, The Urban Profile reported 65 percent Latino/a residents in Watts and 33 percent African-Americans accounting for the population.

Scott was raised in the Jordan Downs housing projects for most of his life and described Watts as a foreign country within the U.S.

He witnessed policemen crack skulls open, saw gangs chase people for blocks, and saw women get their purses snatched at night if they walked home without a stick in their hand.

“But somehow, out of wanting a place into which I could withdraw, I found a refuge in books,” he said. “I would read and go to the library by myself at 7 years old.”

Scott has always been involved in his academics and was student body president at Edwin Markham Middle School. He then went to David Starr Jordan Senior High.

“There were 47 high schools in L.A. and Jordan was ranked 47th in academics and poverty,” Scott said.

His high school graduation made the LA Times with him as the first black individual out of South L.A. projects to get a full academic scholarship to Harvard University.

Scott said Harvard had a student body of 10,000 and when he was enrolled, but there were only 55 Blacks.

“We felt whenever we were being called on we spoke for Black America,” he said. “If we hiccuped, Black America hiccuped.”

After his first year at Harvard, Scott dropped out due to poor academic standing. He returned home and became a janitor for Disney, working the graveyard shift making $72 a week. Scott said he quit the job after six weeks because he realized he couldn’t get very far on the route he was going. He wanted to move his family out of the projects and further his education.

A year later he returned to school and received a full academic ride to Stanford University. There he received both his bachelor’s degree in creative writing and master’s degree in mass communications.

Scott has had numerous accomplishments. He represented Watts at the 1966 White House Conference, received an Emmy Award for a NBC national special called “The Angry Voices of Watts,” and became a correspondent for different publications, including Time Magazine.

Scott also was one of the founders of Sons of Watts Community Enterprises and the director, writer and producer for his independent film, “Brothers Where are You?,” that CBS used a portion of during its “48 Hours on Gang Street.”

Scott has been teaching at CSUN for 29 years. He said he chose CSUN instead of Stanford, Harvard, Pepperdine, USC and other universities because CSUN is a people’s college, having a large amount of black students compared to other universities.

“(There are) more blacks at CSUN then USC, UCLA, Loyola and Pepperdine combined,” Scott said. “We need more blacks in education, particularly given the black population in L.A. There should be more.”

Scott said his goal as a black man and professor is to inspire students to strive for excellence. On the first day of the semester, Scott presents them with two concepts.

“The first being from Dr. King when he says the content of one’s character should be how we should be judged,” Scott said. “Second, James Baldwin’s comment in ‘The Fire Next Time.’ He writes of young blacks never being expected to aspire to be excellent but instead to settle with being mediocre.”

Scott said life is full of people who work hard, yet never make it. His advice for young students who are now living in a different, but similar world is maintaining a sense of hope despite discouraging notions.

“There are no magic bullets. I wish there was a panacea where I could say if there’s a will there’s a way or if you just work hard you will make it,” Scott said. “But you’ve got to believe in spite of the fact that you are living in what is still a racist society and that everyday gives you reasons to give up and reasons to drop out of the race. You got to hold strong.”

Higher gas prices take a toll on commuter students

Gas prices have been rising in the last few weeks due to factors including the cost of crude oil and refinery shutdowns.

According to a news release from the Automobile Club of Southern California, gas prices have jumped by 57 cents in the last month, one of the biggest jumps in a month. The average price of regular gasoline in the Los Angeles/Long Beach area is $4.316 per gallon, jumping 11.3 cents in a week.

Laura Dunlap, 26, an English graduate student, lives in Ventura County and drives 50 minutes each way in a car she’s had for 10 years.

“It’s a six-cylinder gas guzzler,” Dunlap said. She tries to fill her tank near campus because it is 10 cents less a gallon than in Ventura County.

Several oil refineries are shutting down temporarily to prepare for the switch to summer gasoline, and cost of oil is going up. According to the Energy Information Administration, the cost of a barrel of crude oil was $93.09 on Jan. 4. That price has gone up to $97.51 as of Feb. 12.

“Oil prices move gas prices, and whenever there’s uncertainty in the Middle East prices go up,” said Shirley Svorny, economics professor at CSUN. Svorny went on to say that the United States actually has more oil in shale, rocks containing natural oil, than in Saudi Arabia.

“It’s oil we didn’t know we have. Now’s it’s a matter of how to extract and refine it,” Svorny said.

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a technique used to extract petroleum and natural gas from shale rocks. Fracking is widely protested by some in the United States because the process can contaminate ground water supplies and adds to the atmosphere’s carbon dioxide levels.

Mayra Salazar, 22, junior business management major, has a one-hour commute to school and only comes twice a week.

“I commute with my dad so that helps me save money,” Salazar said. “I’m also taking online classes, so that helps a lot.”

Janet Tsay, 23, senior liberal studies major, commutes to campus from Rosemead, where her boyfriend lives, or her home in Arcadia.

“I drive an SUV and I just filled it up the other day,” Tsay said. “It was 21 point something gallons, but it was $95.”

Two years ago, Tsay got into a car accident and switched to a Mercedes SUV because she thought it would protect her, but the price of gas has made her change her mind.

“It’s pretty much, give or take, $100 a week,” she said. “I don’t want to drive anymore.”

New anti-discrimination order goes into effect for all CSUN clubs

Illustration by Jennifer Luxton / Visual Editor

Last fall, a small but significant change went into effect concerning how student clubs in the CSU function.

Executive order 1068, known as the “all-comers policy,” is an addition to a provision from Jan. 30, 2006 that made the university’s inclusion policies official for all clubs.

The original rule (executive order 969) stated that “…no campus shall recognize any fraternity, sorority, living group, honor society, or other student organization that discriminates on the basis of race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, color, age, gender, marital status, citizenship, sexual orientation, or disability.”

An accommodation was made for fraternities and sororities to accept members based on gender in Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations.

The new anti-discrimination policy addresses who can run for office in CSU student clubs and organizations. It also expands the non-discriminatory policy into an open membership requirement.

“There was still the potential of student organizations to limit membership and who could run for officer positions,” said Ray Murillo, associate director of student programs. “For example, it was open for a student organization to say, ‘We only want students who wear red shirts in our club.’ The All-comers Policy protects everyone, not only protected groups, but everyone.”

The new policy ensures that anyone can become a member or an officer of any club. No one can be excluded, even if they are not a member of a protected class.

Other potential applications would be for political clubs that might require members to register with a party or religious clubs that could have required members attend a particular church. Murillo said there was no particular incident on a CSU campus that prompted the policy clarification.

The all-comers policy was adopted to bring CSU schools more in line with similar policies within the UC system, Murillo said.

He said this addition will protect the university and students from possible litigation. Since both UC and CSU schools receive money from the state of California, it is important that their anti-discrimination rules protect all students.

Murillo said there had been litigation brought against the UC system by students who felt they were excluded from certain clubs in the past, but had no protected status.

Brande Hoofkin, 22, president of the Black Student Union and kinesiology major, was unaware of the updated code from the chancellor.

“I don’t believe these new rules will change our organization in any way. The Black Student Union has always been open to members of all genders, races and sexualities,” Hoofkin said. We have had people of different races become members attend our meetings regularly and even serve on our executive board, so this has never been an issue for us.”

The new provision also includes an update to academic requirements for all members wishing to run for office. Clubs may require that officers maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.0 and be currently enrolled in at least six units per semester.

Alina Sarkissian, 26, president of the Armenian Student Association and business management major, said she had heard about the new provision and that she was looking forward to meeting with the Matador Involvement Center about what it will mean for her club.

“I’m on board with it as long as they’re doing it for the right reasons,” she said. “(They) would be to make sure there’s no fraud going on or that there are no students who aren’t in a good place academically to run a club.”

Murillo said the new addition to the policy would not open clubs up to harassment from those with different political or social views. Every club should have provisions in their constitution regarding behavior, he said. If they do not, student organizations should bring any issues to the office of student affairs.

Eating Disorder Awareness Week inspires students to love their bodies

Story by Cynthia Gomez
February 25th, 2013
Section: News

CSUN students are participating in inspirational, interactive and educational events as part of Eating Disorder Awareness Week.

The national event is a collective effort made up primarily of volunteers who want to raise awareness on the dangers of eating disorders and the need for early intervention and treatment.

This year the national theme is “Everybody Knows Somebody” because eating disorders are spreading nationally, according to their website.

Andrea Elzy, coordinator for Peer to Peer education program at CSUN, said that this year they are aiming to shed light on vanity, health and the overall media message that plays a part in eating disorders.

Joint Advocates on Disordered Eating (JADE) put together several events, such as Mirrorless Monday, where mirrors are covered up and replaced with inspirational quotes. Other events include a speech by sociology professor Melanie Klein, who talked about health and vanity.

“People focus too much on the numbers on the scale rather than the health of the person,” Klein said. Klein also mentioned that it’s important to be aware that the media’s only purpose for what someone’s body should look like is strictly for profit while health purposes are never really considered.

Junior sociology major Charmane Bethune came to the event to learn more about how to avoid media portrayals of body image and construct her own standards of beauty.