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Construction of new freshmen suites in progress

Director Shelley Ruelas commented on the new freshmen suites that CSUN is planning to build next year. Photo credit: Won Choi / Daily Sundial

CSUN’s USU Board of Directors (BOD) and student attendees discussed the construction of two new buildings containing 400 freshman suites that will take place next year.

The hour-long BOD meeting, held in the Grand Salon in the USU, touched on topics such as the freshmen suites’ second phase of construction.

This semester approximately 4,000 students moved into student housing. After construction is complete, students will be welcomed to the new buildings.

Paulina Galarza, senior public health major, sat in during the BOD meeting and is looking forward to upgraded facilities that the school is building in coming years.

“It’s nice to see that the school is expanding and growing,” Galarza said. “(I’m) graduating soon and hopefully when (I) come back we’ll get to see a whole different school.”

Attendees were also given time to share any announcements they wanted the BOD and other audience members to hear.

Matt Eickhoff, training and development coordinator at the USU, informed the board and audience about the upcoming “Work for the USU” informational session meetings. The three informational sessions will be available to students this week on Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. and 5 p.m., and Thursday at 5 p.m. All sessions will be held in the Flintridge Room, across the USU Computer Lab.

“This is a Human Resource opportunity to reach out to all students to let them know some ‘insider tips’ about applying and interviewing,” Eickhoff said. “We’re refocusing our hiring efforts into hiring one-time per semester. This are all of positions that will be opening January 2014. We need to get the hiring process starting early.”

Political cartoonist draws about world problems

Stephanie McMillan, political cartoonist and activist, greeted guests at her opening reception at CSUN's West Gallery Monday night. Photo credit: Luis Rivas / Opinion Editor
Stephanie McMillan, political cartoonist and activist, greeted guests at her opening reception at CSUN’s West Gallery Monday night. Photo credit: Luis Rivas / Opinion Editor

Stephanie McMillan, a political cartoonist, is displaying her political art in the West Gallery at the Art and Design Center until Thursday.

She wants people to be aware of the global environment, garment industry, and capitalism.

“My whole purpose is to build organizations to become strong enough to challenge, weaken, and ultimately get rid of this horribly, destructive, omnicidal system of capitalism and to build a future that is sustainable and without class division,” said McMillan.

McMillan's art focuses on environmentalism, the destructive role of capitalism and other social justice issues. Photo credit: Luis Rivas / Opinion Editor
McMillan’s art focuses on environmentalism, the destructive role of capitalism and other social justice issues. Photo credit: Luis Rivas / Opinion Editor

One of her cartoons, Inter-Capitalist Conflict, portrays two wealthy executives on top of the world with bloody mouths and hands like vampires dripping on the earth fighting for land.

“Her art is politically bold by portraying the problems of the world,” said Veronica Ramos, a junior liberal studies major. “It gives great, simple, truthful information about the environment and economic injustice.”

With her art and ideas, McMillan tries to encourage people to be bold and to organize and fight injustice and capitalism. For those who want to create change, she suggests creating or joining organizations to become a strong, social force against the capitalist’s lies and wealth.

McMillan, political cartoonist and activist, greeted guests and gave her autograph at her opening reception at CSUN’s West Gallery on Monday. Photo credit: Luis Rivas / Opinion Editor

“Capitalism is a form of a class divided society where production is geared for profit. It’s not for what people need; it’s for a minority to make money,” said McMillan. “The minority exploits people and destroys the planet for profit. It’s for the accumulation of wealth.”

McMillan will be speaking at the Campus Sustainability Day on Tuesday at 2 p.m. in the USU Northridge Center. The award-winning cartoonist will discuss the topic “Capitalism Must Die! Our Planet is not Expendable.”

Apps you didn’t know you needed: midterms (or exams) edition

It’s midterm season, and while some students have already taken their tests, many are preparing for — maybe even dreading — days of studying.

But students needn’t worry too much because there are several apps available that can facilitate efficient studying, help calm nerves and aid in concentration. For example, studies have shown ambient noise can aid in concentration and stress relief.

Here are some recommendations that could help ease midterm stress.

Flashy cards

app1For those who are visual learners and love using flashcards, Brainscape is a solid choice in studying software. The app lets users create their own flashcards by creating a subject — i.e. Biology, English, etc. — then making a deck. Inside the deck, the user can type in both the questions and answers to what they’re studying and make as many cards as they wish.

As a student goes through each flash card, they can choose from one of five colors indicating how comfortable they feel about their knowledge of a particular card, ranging from red (not at all) to blue (perfectly). Based on what color they chose, the app determines how soon a card will show up again.

Brainscape keeps track of the user’s progress with a percentage of overall mastery of their chosen subject along with a “confidence breakdown,” a pie chart that indicates the user’s confidence level in each individual subject, as well as the entire library of flashcards.

If a student chooses, they can create an account that lets them sync their flash cards with other iOS devices.

Users can buy other pre-made flashcards by visiting the “Brainscape marketplace” within the app, where additional subject flashcards are available for purchase.

Brainscape is free, with additional content starting at 99 cents. It is only available for the iPhone, iPad and Mac computers.

Take the coffee shop with you

app2Coffitivity attempts to recreate the ambience of a coffee shop, a frequent studying spot for students. Users can choose from three pre-recorded soundtracks named “Morning Murmur,” “Lunchtime Lounge” and “University Undertones.”

Users are also able to send in audio of their own favorite coffee shop sounds for possible inclusion to the app’s website and mobile app.

A feature that may be appealing to students is the ability to play music from iTunes while listening to the recordings on the app. A user can balance volume levels and decide how loud they want their music or the ambient sounds.

Coffitivity’s website can be accessed for free. For on-the-go users, the Coffitivity app costs $1.99 and is available for iPod, iPad and Mac computers.

‘Tis the season for studying

app3Relax Melodies Seasons is another application that provides ambient sounds.

The difference: users can put themselves in the sounds of summer or the ambience of autumn with time-of-the-year-specific recordings.

The app features a total of 32 ambient sounds, with 24 corresponding to the four seasons in a year. Some examples of non-melodic choices are “Fireplace” or “Family at the Beach,” while others such as “Aurora” and “Dream” feel more like an instrumental song.

Two of the sounds which are not season-centric are “Concentration” and “Pre-Sleep,” recordings designed to have positive effects on brainwaves.

Lending credence to the “seasons” part of the app’s name, Relax Melodies Seasons offers eight classic Christmas songs such as “Carol of the Bells,” “Deck the Halls” and “Jingle Bells.”

Users can mix and match any of the 32 sounds, giving them the freedom to create their own ambience and can choose from five pre-made combinations of sounds in its “Favorite” section.

There is a free and paid version of Relax Melodies Seasons which is available for iPod, iPad and Mac computers. Other Relax Melodies apps are available for Android devices.

Sounds to study to

app4Study is an app designed to increase a user’s productivity. It involves a 45-minute track that includes nature sounds — mainly birds — and slow, short melodic phrases.

According to the app’s iTunes page, it is generally recommended to take a break after 45 minutes, hence the track’s length. The ambient sounds can be put on repeat with a simple swipe of a button.

The app’s “Info” page says the user is meant to experience a “body-relaxed, mind-alert state that’s ideal for studying.”

Study is free and is available for any iOS device.


app5For students who are looking for to relax or relieve stress before or after a big test, yoga can be the perfect solution.

Simply Yoga is a beginner’s yoga app with three workouts of 20, 40 or 60 minutes and includes over 30 poses and three pre-made routines. The app offers instructional videos for each pose.

Simply Yoga has both a free and paid version — which allows users to create their own routines and is ad-free  —  and is available for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

Helping others ultimately helps you

Illustration by: Jasmine Mochizuki / Visual Editor
Illustration by: Jasmine Mochizuki / Visual Editor

Nine years ago, what appeared to be an average summer night soon shifted serendipitously and eventually changed my life forever.

My experience began with me turning the dial on the TV set, aimlessly searching for some sort of entertainment that would save me from a melancholic evening. Suddenly, I stumbled upon a channel that had a program advocating for philanthropy. Quite frankly, I had seen these types of altruistic commercials a plethora of times; however, for some unknown reason, I was immediately captivated by what laid before my eyes.

Being the sensitive young man I am, it comes with no surprise that the sight of starving children broke my 12-year-old heart. At that moment, I made myself a promise: I would serve the children in need of help.

Personally, coming from impoverishment at the time, I was able to relate to the suffering of the homeless children. Shortly thereafter, I had a eureka moment: It is my purpose – perhaps even the purpose of everybody else who is privileged and capable – to alleviate the suffering of our world, particularly those of innocent children. Feeling utterly blissful and purposeful, I made it a priority to one day visit a third world country and provide my services.

Eight years later, my dream became a reality. During the spring semester of 2012, I was fortunate enough to kick-start a non-profit project, “I will BE light.” The theme of this movement was to inspire the CSUN community to rise above the everyday mediocrity of our lives, elevating ourselves to a higher level of consciousness. With this shift taking place, the movement was able to raise incredible awareness for the children of our world who desperately needed our help. Miraculously, the idea of self-development served as a catalyst to raising over $1,000 dollars for an orphanage located in Kathmandu, Nepal.

I ventured to a small village in Nepal in June 2012 carrying with me the momentum and encouragement of hundreds of supporters. Upon arrival, I was greeted by an entire community of people —students, parents, orphaned children and other humanitarians, all of whom urgently needed my assistance. With the funds that were raised, I was able to provide housing, education, food and bare essentials for living. However, though the money certainly created immense change, I soon learned it was the intangible that truly manifested healing: love.

Those of you whom have neglected philanthropic work due to the lack of funds, I challenge you to re-evaluate your hesitance. Rest assured; I’m not ignorant enough to believe that money does not play a vital role in our lives, yet during my stay, it wasn’t currency that crafted ineradicable transformation. Rather, it was my time and energy. The beauty of devoting one’s vigor toward a cause is that once accessed, it becomes evident that it is inexhaustible and can be selflessly used.

Day after day, for an entire month, I summoned every ounce of energy I had and used it to display sheer affection and compassion toward the children. What I received in return has been the greatest gift ever given to me –more fulfilling than any form of validation I could possibly seek after.

Despite the language barrier present, the children were able to communicate absolute gratitude and appreciation. I learned that all the children really yearned for was some sort of acknowledgment: to know that at least one person cared for them. After all, don’t we all desire this as human beings? With tears welled up in my eyes and warmth in my heart, I was baffled to witness how such a seemingly trivial act create so much happiness for another person. Unfortunately, to experience unconditional love was a strange occurrence for these children, causing them to slowly lose hope in humanity.

This is when I realized it is our responsibility to restore the lost faith in these children.

Traveling from village to village, what I saw was quite overwhelming. There were entire families trying to survive with less than one dollar a day. I saw young children forced into inhumane, arduous work, having to provide for their homes. I saw homeless, disabled individuals begging for food. And, most disheartening, I witnessed abandoned children living in disease-ridden slums.

Within a matter of moments, the inevitable question came to mind: how could we allow this to happen to our fellow brothers and sisters?

While I was planning my trip, many people would raise the argument that there are plenty of humanitarian causes we must first tackle here in the U.S prior to extending ourselves abroad. I agree. I am not oblivious to the work that needs to be done in our own backyard.

However, the stark difference between the United States and underdeveloped countries is that here in the states, those in need have the resources available to guide them along. In Nepal, for instance, those plagued by poverty do not have any alternate options. Homelessness is their reality and they are forced to rely on people outside of their community for help.

Perhaps one day you too will expand your horizons and experience what I have been blessed to witness. The truth is, whether you do it or not, life will continue. But if you take that leap of faith, I promise that life will become more enriched than you ever possibly imagined.

A.S. informed of future Wellness Center

Associated Students (A.S.) held their weekly meeting at the Northridge Center on Monday. A.S. discussed the proposed wellness center for the Student Recreational Center. Photo credit: John Saringo-Rodriguez / Photo Editor
Associated Students (A.S.) held their weekly meeting at the Northridge Center on Monday. A.S. discussed the proposed wellness center for the Student Recreational Center. Photo credit: John Saringo-Rodriguez / Photo Editor

>>>CORRECTION: Kingson Leung is the coordinator of special initiatives for the USU, not the SRC.

Plans for the new $4.1 million CSUN Wellness Center were presented to the Associated Students (A.S.) Monday.

Both Jimmy Francis, director of the Student Recreation Center (SRC), and Kingson Leung, the coordinator of special initiatives at the SRC, attended the meeting to explain the proposed layout for the Wellness Center.

“It’s hard to find a wellness center better than the one being built at CSUN,” Leung said.

The new wellness center will help students get through the stress and pressures they face in classes and in everyday obstacles.

The center will provide relaxation rooms where students can take naps so they can clear their minds and be able to focus more on their classes. A yoga studio and massage therapy will be made available to students as well.

The university has allocated $4.1 million from its savings account for this project, according to Francis. He also reassured A.S. that no additional money would be used on this project.

“We really want to build something that is one of a kind,” Leung said.

Construction for the Wellness Center will begin December 2014 and won’t be open until fall 2015. The 5,814-square-foot center will be located on the bottom level of the USU.

“It could be a place to just chill, relax and hopefully relieve some stress a little bit,” Francis said.

Several studies have been conducted analyzing student stress and sleep deprivation in the nation. Leung presented statistics indicating that student stress was at a 31.5 percent increase in the last 10 years and sleep deprivation was at a 21.3 percent increase. CSUN is at a higher percentage than the rest of the nation, according to Leung.

The SRC and the wellness center will be working together to provide services to help keep student healthy. Francis described the SRC as being a place of light, group, drama, loudness and using a lot of use of technology while exercising. He explained that the difference between the SRC and the new wellness center is best described as having shade, individual time, retreat, quiet, and being unplugged and without technology.

“In fact we will probably be asking students to turn their phones off before entering (the wellness center),” Francis said.

There was no mention of Senator Joseph Zapantis, former business senator, unexpected resignation last week. A.S. Vice President Talar Alexanian explained that even though a replacement hasn’t been found yet, they have received a large amount of applications and plan to start interviewing for the position in a couple of weeks.

“We have to wait until the 2 week mandatory period is up before we start replying to applications,” Alexanian said.

Oboist crafts his own sound

Jason Kennedy, 20, a junior wind performance major, is one of the few performing Oboist at CSUN. Aside from practicing his Oboe, Kennedy makes his own reeds almost every day. Photo credit: Trevor Stamp / Daily Sundial
Jason Kennedy, 20, a junior wind performance major, is one of the few performing oboist at CSUN. Aside from practicing his oboe, Kennedy makes his own reeds almost every day. Photo credit: Trevor Stamp / Daily Sundial

The sound from his oboe is too bright, Jason Kennedy, 20, determines after testing a reed he just made. He makes some final adjustments, and places the reed back into his oboe. Kennedy stands up and tests the reed by playing a short melody. The sound is crisp and dark. It leaves a warm sound in the classroom he enclosed himself in on a Saturday afternoon in late September.

“Nice, this will be a good reed,” he said with a warm smile on his face.

Kennedy, a wind performance major in his junior year at CSUN, is one of the few performing oboists on campus. However, when he started college, he intended to get into the Jazz studies program and play piano.

“That didn’t happen because I was practicing oboe more than I was jazz studies,” Kennedy said. “For some reason my mind was more attracted to doing work for oboe.”

He started playing music in elementary school with the clarinet, but he wasn’t very interested in music at first.

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Kennedy trains classmate Shaniee Parker, 21, a Clarinetist and junior wind performance and music education major, on how to play the oboe. Photo credit: Trevor Stamp / Daily Sundial

“I goofed around in class,” Kennedy said. “He [Kennedy’s teacher] had me play my part in front of everybody, and I couldn’t do it.” Kennedy felt embarrassed, and went home and practiced. He ended being the best kid in class.

Kennedy chose the oboe because he heard people talking about the instrument.

“My interest built up over time through hearing about it,” he said. “I can’t get over the sound.”

photo essay 6
Kennedy uses a razor blade to shape the cane, which is shipped from southern France, into an oboe reed. Photo credit: Trevor Stamp / Daily Sundial

Kennedy makes his own reeds from cane, which is grown in southern France. After getting the cane, Kennedy shapes it with various tools to get the sound he needs. He then ties the reed to make sure no air passes through it as he plays.

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Kennedy ties his reed together with string after he shapes it. The string keeps air from leaking out of the reed as he plays. Photo credit: Trevor Stamp / Daily Sundial

Not every reed is the same, so Kennedy is constantly working to craft his sound after every reed he makes.

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Kennedy said he’s made over one hundred oboe reeds while at CSUN. He makes his own reeds in order to craft his desired sound for his oboe. Photo credit: Trevor Stamp / Daily Sundial

“It’s the whole, ‘life is a box of chocolates,’” Kennedy said. “My life is full of reeds that haven’t been made yet, and don’t know which one is going to be good and which one is going to be bad.”

photo essay 3
Kennedy presents two reeds he recently made for his oboe. The 20-year-old oboist makes his own reeds in order to achieve his desired sound for his instrument. Photo credit: Trevor Stamp / Daily Sundial

Kennedy is clearly pleased with the reed he just made. The sound rings out through the classroom, ready to burst through the second floor of Cypress Hall where Kennedy spends most of his time.  It’s a moment that brings a smile to his face, because he found a good reed.

Kennedy rehearses with the CSUN wind ensemble on Sept. 26 in Cypress Hall. Photo credit: Trevor Stamp / Daily Sundial
Kennedy rehearses with the CSUN wind ensemble on Sept. 26 in Cypress Hall. Photo credit: Trevor Stamp / Daily Sundial

He slides the reed into a special case for good reeds.

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In between his music practices, Kennedy makes reeds for his oboe and attends classes and rehearsals. Photo credit: Trevor Stamp / Daily Sundial

“Now I got to put this baby away,” Kennedy said casually.

photo essay 9
Kennedy often practices from the Vade Mecum of the oboist book. The book is a collection of technical studies and exercises for oboe players. Photo credit: Trevor Stamp / Daily Sundial

He then gets to work on his next reed. Rinse and repeat. Whatever it takes to craft his sound.

photo essay 10
Kennedy hopes to continue his music career by engaging audiences with his oboe either in a professional orchestra, or a military band. Photo credit: Trevor Stamp / Daily Sundial

Oboist and music major develops his own unique sound

Jason Kennedy, 20, junior wind performance major, is one of the few performing oboists at CSUN. Aside from practicing, Kennedy makes his own reeds in order to craft his desired sound for his oboe.

Get to Know: Cieana Stinson

Photo credit: John Saringo-Rodriguez / Photo Editor
Sophomore middle blocker Cieana Stinson has emerged as a leader for the women’s volleyball team this season. Stinson has 13 kills over the past two games. Photo credit: John Saringo-Rodriguez / Photo Editor

Major: Psychology



Food: Mexican food

Band: TGT

Athlete: Michael Jordan

Sports Team: LA Lakers



Hardest part about being a student athlete: Balancing volleyball and my schoolwork evenly and finding time to sleep

Greatest Accomplishment: Receiving the Most Outstanding Female Athlete award at my high school

Hobbies: Cooking



Best part of my game: The feeling you get when your team makes an awesome play

Part of my game that needs improvement: Focusing on blocking and zone in on the hitter so I am in the right spot when blocking them.

Best player I’ve played against: Falyn Fonoimoana when I was in club volleyball

Player I model my game after: I admire Michael Jordan’s work ethic and mentality

Pre-game rituals: Listening to music in the locker room with my teammates and curling my hair

Difference between this year’s women’s volleyball team and previous ones: Everyone gets along with everyone and the chemistry is very strong on the court



Team: To make it to the NCAA tournament

Personal: To become a better all-around volleyball player



Other sports played: Basketball, Soccer, Track and Field, and Competitive Cheerleading

What I started playing volleyball: When I was 15

How I stay in shape during off-season: Following the work out plans and regiments my weight coach gives me

Person I’d like to meet: Barack Obama

Life after CSUN:I plan to take my volleyball career overseas for 2 to 3 years

Where I imagine myself in 10 years: Married with a family and working as a social worker or something along those lines


‘More Like You than Not’ event teaches CSUN community about autism

Larry Bissonnette, Tracy Thresher, Harvey Lavoy, and Pascal Cheng communicate with the audience at the “More Like You than Not” event to raise awareness about autism. Photo credit by Mercedes Ortiz / Daily Sundial

The similarities between autistic and non-autistic students far outweigh the differences as discussed at the “More Like You than Not” event hosted by the National Student Speech-Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA) Saturday night. More than 230 attendees had the opportunity to learn about autism and how people with this disability learn to communicate.

“With this event we really wanted to change people’s perspectives (by) not assuming unintelligence but assuming intelligence regardless of their (autistic people’s) label or their diagnosis,” said Sheelah Peterson, event coordinator and communication disorders and sciences major.

The event took place at the  Northridge Center, bringing together families and community members from all over the San Fernando Valley and Santa Clarita Valley.

Peterson said she was very happy that the event accomplished its initial goal and dispelled the myths that people with disabilities such as autism are not as intelligent as non-autistic people.

“They are trying to change people’s perspective because a lot of times there are assumptions, especially with the non-verbal population who have autism, and a lot of times what we assume is lower intelligence when people cannot verbally communicate the way we expect them to,” Peterson said.

Tracy Thresher, 42, and Larry Bissonnette, 52, both autistic guest speakers, talked about their award-winning documentary called “Wretches & Jabberers” and the struggles they have experienced with this particular disability. The documentary was meant to raise awareness to the general public about the speech-language pathology and audiology communities.

The guest speakers at the “More Like You than Not” event thank coordinators and attendees for their support by typing their expressions of gratitude into an iPad that then projected their thoughts onto two screens for the audience to see. Photo by Mercedes Ortiz / Daily Sundial

Within autism spectrum, some autistic people have the ability to communicate verbally while others are non-verbal and as such must make the necessary adjustments needed to communicate with the public.

Christina Cannarella’s son is autistic and she attended the event to learn how to increase effective communication between her and her son.

“We don’t need words to communicate and that’s the beauty of what Larry and Tracy are doing. People that are not able to share a physical voice are showing us other ways of communication, and it’s like we don’t even need words, words get in the way so many times,” Cannarella said.

Those who couldn’t communicate verbally used their iPads to type what they wanted to say. There were two big screens in place behind the speakers which allowed the audience to read what they were saying. A computer generated voice was also reading out loud what the speakers were typing.

Georgina Thomas, who is taking prerequisite classes for the masters program in speech therapy and is also part of the board of NSSLHA said she was very happy about the event’s turnout.

“This is our first campus-wide community event and it’s just great to see a lot of families come out and be part of this autism awareness event so that they can have some hope. Larry and Tracy are both really inspirational and hopefully we are able to impact a lot of people who showed up today,” Thomas said.

Police brutality continues unchecked

Illustration by: Jasmine Mochizuki / Visual Editor
Illustration by: Jasmine Mochizuki / Visual Editor

Dear Miriam Carey, I don’t know who you are or what your motives were, but on behalf of humanity I apologize for what has happened to you.

Recently Carey made headlines on Oct. 3 when she was gunned down by the police in Washington, D.C., after a car chase.

The story goes that Carey was at a checkpoint near the White House, and instead of stopping there, Carey turned her car around and took off, knocking down a policeman in the process. A car chase ensued, with reports saying shots were being fired at Carey’s car. She was eventually cornered and was shot dead. It is unclear whether she was in the car when she was shot dead. She had either stepped out of the car and was shot dead or police fired into her car and she died inside.

Media and police reports write off this incident with little care that a life was taken away by the police. Instead of calling it police brutality, media and police put the blame upon the tense atmosphere of Washington, D.C., after the Naval Yard shooting that happened last month and the government shutdown. A NY Times article writes that Carey had turned “her vehicle into a weapon.”

A weapon. Only two officers were injured. But Carey was killed. Carey didn’t kill anyone with her car so the weapon comment is going too far. Furthermore, that statement displays how the media is portraying the incident: Carey as a potential terrorist and the police as heroes.

But reports say that Carey was unarmed. There was no weapon in her car. When her condominium was searched there were no weapons or anything that could have been used for an act of terrorism. Why Carey had decided to run away from the checkpoint remains unknown.

Now that Carey is dead, it may never be known why she reacted the way she did. But there’s one thing that shouldn’t have happened: the police opening fire upon an unarmed woman.

And yet the media hasn’t picked up on the idea that Carey’s case was an example of the ongoing problem of police using excessive force.

Carey was murdered by the police. Not only that, she had her one-year-old daughter with her in the car. I’m not sure if the police knew her daughter was in the car, but firing upon the car with a child inside? Seriously? And then killing the child’s own mother in front of her face? There’s something wrong with that picture. Actually, there’s something really wrong with the whole story.

What exactly made police fire upon Carey when a report said that it was not known whether or not she was an immediate danger?

Unfortunately, Carey’s case is just the most recently recorded case of police brutality.

In March, Kim Nguyen was in Koreatown and was waiting in a parking lot with two of her friends for their designated driver. Two officers came by to question Nguyen and her friends and then left. However when Nguyen ran across the street, the two officers circled back around and arrested Nguyen for public intoxication.

On the way to the station, somehow Nguyen fell out of the patrol car. She sustained severe injuries from the fall. But the point of the matter is that people aren’t supposed to fly out of cop cars. According Nguyen’s lawsuit, the officers had failed to lock the door or secure her seatbelt and that led to Nguyen being ejected from the car.

The problem is Nguyen doesn’t remember how she had landed outside of the cop car; nor would the two officers speak clearly about how that happened. It is more interesting to point out that out of the hundreds of drunk men that walk around Koreatown, they chose to arrest a woman.

And then there’s Steven Washington, a 27-year-old autistic African-American man who was shot dead by police in Los Angeles in March 2010. According to LA Times’ report, the police felt threatened by Washington and shot him when he didn’t respond to their commands and reached into his waistband.

And let’s not forget about Christopher Dorner. Remember him, the ex-LAPD officer that had LAPD conduct a large-scale manhunt? While I do not support what Dorner had done to get his point across, Dorner’s manifesto explains that he turned on the LAPD after they terminated Dorner for reporting a case of excessive force. He felt that there was too much corruption in the LAPD and so he began his campaign.

What I can’t wrap my head around is how these cases of police brutality go completely unnoticed by the public and media. In 1992, Los Angeles erupted into riots as a response to the acquittal of police officers who were caught on videotape beating Rodney King, among several other issues inflicted on the African-American community. But in 2013, it seems like most people prefer to turn a blind eye. It feels like we have learned nothing from 1992.

The motto of officers is “To Protect and Serve,” right? But who are the police really protecting and serving? Certainly not Miriam Carey, Kim Nguyen, Steven Washington, Rodney King and the hundreds of others who have been brutalized and killed by the police. I’m not just calling out the police for their abuse of power. I’m also calling out the media and the public for turning a blind eye.
We must keep the media and public aware of the use of excessive force by police officers so that we can all hold the police accountable. By doing this, hopefully lives can be saved.

KCSN News Update: An agreement reached between the United States and Japan is the latest step in a global effort to give consumers access to more organic food

The following stories will be covered tonight on KCSN:

  • In California, community based mental health programs are helping people with serious illnesses to transition to independent living.
  • There are significant vulnerabilities in mobile phone technology that could enable hackers to remotely attack 500 million cell phones.
  • An iPad application is available that helps students learn spatial visualization skills.
  • An agreement reached between the United States and Japan is the latest step in a global effort to give consumers access to more organic food.
  • A study suggests that romantic partners should not make decisions about sacrifices when they are feeling stressed.

To listen to these stories, be sure to tune in to KCSN tonight at 6 p.m.


Women’s Soccer: Matadors dropped by Aggies in double OT

The Matadors are still winless in conference play. CSUN is now 5-10-1 overall with three games left in the season. Photo credit:  Carlos Herrera / Contributor

The Matadors (5-10-1, 0-4-1 Big West) needed a win to keep their hopes of a Big West Conference Tournament berth alive but stumbled to the Aggies(4-7-3, 1-2-1 Big West) 1-0 who played in their first two home games in 46 days.

UC Davis midfielder Ashley Edwards scorched the Matadors in the 106th minute of double overtime finding the back of the net and snapping the five game winning streak the Matadors held over the Aggies.

Edwards connected on a cross from teammate Sienna Drizin and buried it near post right past sophomore goalkeeper Cynthia Tafoya at the 105:50 mark.

Desperate for points, the Matadors came out firing recording six of their 12 shots in the first half. However, the inability all season to put the ball in the back of the net plagued the Matadors Sunday at UC Davis.

The Matadors struggled in the second half forcing Tafoya to make all four of her saves after the first half. Tafoya has a 1.41 goals-against average and 53 saves on the year.

The game had a physical style of play as both teams combined for 26 fouls but no cards were handed out.

The Matadors registered 12 shots of their own, but only four were on net. Their best scoring opportunity was in the first half by sophomore forward Kendall Moskal, but her shot ricocheted off the post.

CSUN’s midfielders Hannah Wissler, junior, and Amanda Smith, senior, both had shots on goal in regulation but were unable to break through. Senior defender Chloe McDaniel had the Matadors last chance in overtime by putting a shot on frame but walked away empty.

Opportunities have come, and time and time again they fail to score. Despite out shooting the Aggies 6-1 in the first half, the Matadors walked into halftime with the scoreboard reading 0-0.

The Matadors got no help from their leading goal scorer, junior forward Brittanie Sakajian. She has three goals tying for 11th in the Big West Conference. The conference’s leading scorer has 18 and second place has nine.

The Matadors rank sixth in the Big West with 15 goals scored this season, tied with Hawaii. CSUN has allowed 28 goals this season, 13 more than they have put in the net.

Sitting alone in last place, the Matadors return to Matador Soccer Field this weekend for their final two home matches. On Friday Oct. 25 they will host Long Beach State (8-5-2, 2-1-2 Big West), and on Sunday they will face UC Irvine (8-6, 3-2 Big West) on senior day.