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Wellness center to open

>>>CORRECTION: The Wellness Center will be located where the former CSUN fitness center was near the Games Room not below the Grand Salon and Sunny Days camp is located below the USU computer lab in Activities rooms 1, 2,3 not below the Grand Salon.

The University Student Union board of directors approved the construction of a new on-campus “wellness center” that is scheduled to begin during the Spring 2013 semester.

The board met Oct. 22 to discuss the costs and planning of the proposed center, which will be located in the former fitness center near the Games room.

Debra Hammond, executive director of the USU, said the union looked at survey data over the last year and found that students’ academic performances have been affected by sleep deprivation and lack of stress management.

“We feel this facility could address all of that, and our job is to give students tools to manage stress better,” Hammond said. “This will be set up for students to really relax and rejuvenate and get centered and balanced before they go back into the classroom or work environment.”

Since the wellness center was only approved for planning, all services and budgets are currently tentative. The USU has a placeholder of $2 million for the 2013 and 2014 budgets until they are quoted specific numbers from an architect in January.

The $2 million budget includes costs like construction, landscaping and fixtures and would be spent before the opening of the center, according to Joe Illuminate, the associate director of USU finance and business services.

“We do a financial plan and project about six or seven years from the current year to make sure we are on top of our finances and in line with long-term goals,” Illuminate said. “(The wellness center) is being financed with our cash on hand, so we are not borrowing money. It will be paid for with cash.”

The budget includes a possible elevator installation, an item that was discussed during the October board meeting.

“The stairwell there now is inefficient and cannot accommodate what we want for the center,” Hammond said of the possible elevator. “Plus, the railing for the ramp we have is not ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant.”

Hammond added the redesigning of the current ramp and stairwell will involve “a lot of excavation,” and if an elevator is less expensive, the USU will do what is most cost effective.

The services that may be offered at the wellness center include guided meditation, acupuncture, massage therapy, and even sleep pods where students can take short naps, Hammond said.

Although the services that will be offered at the wellness center have not been finalized, the overlapping of services offered at the Klotz Health Center to the new wellness center is likely, according to Marianne Link, associate director of health promotion at the Klotz Health Center and USU board member.  She said it is possible that some services will be offered at both centers.

“In either case, the result will be no loss of services for students,” Link said. “In fact, if the wellness center has extended hours, it is possible that the current level of some services might be increased.”

Link added the services would include what the students “want and need to increase health and wellness, reduce stress and achieve academic goals.”

Hammond does not expect the wellness center to open until May 2014.

CSUN students and faculty create a documentary giving insight to effect of Arizona ethnic studies ban

Illustration by Jennifer Luxton / Assistant Visual Editor

When Arizona outlawed Mexican-American studies last year, CSUN students and faculty participated in protests and captured the struggle of schools and communities in the documentary “Outlawing Shakespeare: The Battle for the Tucson Mind.”

After 13 years, the Mexican-American studies programs have been axed because they violated Arizona’s House Bill 15-112. This prohibited courses from promoting resentment towards a race or class of people.  Several books were also banned in this movement, including William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” because of a negative depiction of a Jewish character, lending to the play being viewed as racist.

In 2010, the Arizona House Bill 2281 was signed into law and is viewed as controversial. This new law prohibited the teaching of classes that would “promote the overthrow of the federal government, promote the resentment towards a race or class of people, that are primarily designed for a particular ethnic group or that promotes ethnic solidarity.”

The CSUN Chapter of the California Faculty Association offered financial support to the creation of the documentary and Antonio Gallo, Chicano/a studies professor, assisted the development of the documentary, said Gabriel Buelna, Chicano/a studies professor at CSUN and the documentaries executive director.

“I think the most active thing we can do is to get people informed of what’s going on and what’s been happening in Tucson and how the situation regarding ethnic studies does not simply have only implications for Tucson or the state of Arizona,” said Bryant Partida, 24, a third year master’s student in Chicano/a studies. “I believe what’s going on really reflects what could happen on a national scale. I don’t think there’s much conversation that takes place about supporting the fight for ethnic studies or the fight for Mexican-American studies in Tucson.”

The group began filming the documentary in February and participated in protests that occurred in Tucson.

“There were several trips to Arizona and they took place in February, April and August,” said Buelna. “The first trip that we took, we had 60 students from CSUN and five faculty members from different departments attended as well.”

Two ideas that are fueling the push for the end of ethnic studies courses in the Tucson School District (TUSD) are that Mexican-American students are seeking Aztlan and that Latino/a minorities are being oppressed by having these courses removed from the schools’ programs, resulting in their defiant and hostile behavior.

Aztlan is the belief, idea or a place where people can find their home or promise land, and it can be a state of mind or being, according to the documentary. However, that idea is being taken too literally, and the fear of Arizona being returned to Mexico is the fuel for this political conflict.

“I think it has to do a lot with the anti-Mexican and anti-immigrant rhetoric that’s being used by the conservatives involved in the politics of Arizona,” said Partida.

The documentary suggests that proponents of the law are believed to use this idea of Aztlan to their benefit and use it to strike fear within the communities. The teachers who are involved in these courses are also influencing their behavior, which will lead to the creation of solidarity among Latino/a students and the quest to return Arizona to Mexico.

“Just because we’re Latino, doesn’t mean that we just care about immigration. Immigration is at the top. But education is essential,” said Buelna. “That’s a big part of what we’re fighting for and making sure that there is literature that looks like you and there is art that looks like you in use.”

Recently, Willis Hawley, a court authority from the federal government, recommended that a majority of the Mexican-American programs that were dismantled be reinstated into the TUSD’s curriculum.

“Should Latino students be reading about Asian literature, Jewish literature, African-American culture or learning about different religions? Absolutely,” Buelna said. “This is about making sure Latinos are represented equally in everything. Not less, but equally.”

According to developments with the issue, there will be a public commentary next month and that is when a judge will decide what happens in Tucson as far as the law goes.

“There’s a lot of initiative and there’s a lot of people around the nation who have done the work, like reading and supporting the literature books that have been banned. For example, the documentary pointed out that “The Tempest” has been banned in this ethnic studies battle in Tucson,” said Partida. “So people are reading, teaching and outreaching by raising funds for the ethnic studies in Tucson. I think those are points for people to get involved and start supporting what’s important to them.”

The documentary is a tool of creating awareness of this situation and it comes out in a timely manner, said Buelna. Latinos and African-Americans voted in significant numbers in the 2012 national election. This shows the important role that minorities play and reflect in regards to the government and the decisions that they allow the officials to make on their behalf.

Buelna plans to explore the finer details of this topic in a book that he is planning to write as a result of CSUN’s involvement in Tucson’s battle.

“There was a report that came out which basically shows that students who attended (ethnic studies) classes in Arizona, had better graduation rates. And it was better because when your self-esteem is improved, you can do anything. This comes from seeing more of yourself in what you study,” said Buelna. “So this issue in Arizona, ultimately, is a national issue, not just a local issue.”

The girl who never gives up

Written by Karla Henry

 

Chabelita Moreno is an 11-year-old who just started sixth grade. Like most sixth graders, she is full of energy, curiosity and loves making new friends. However, she is not an ordinary sixth grader. Chabelita was diagnosed with a rare deficiency called Succinic Semialdehyde Dehydrogenase when she was 18 months old.

SSD deficiency is a rare inborn disorder that can cause a variety of neurological problems. Children with this condition typically have developmental delay, especially involving speech development, intellectual disability and decreased muscle tone soon after birth. According to the National Institute of Health, only 350 cases have been reported worldwide. There is no cure for this rare deficiency.

Chabelita started having seizures when she was 9 months old and more followed after that. Her weak muscle tone did not allow her to start walking until she was 2 years old. Her speech delay still has not completely developed but with speech therapy classes, she has been able to communicate much more.

Her parents have struggled to provide what is necessary to improve her mental development so she can gain a normal life. She still struggles to do many daily activities, like brushing her hair, tying her shoes, brushing her teeth and getting dressed.

Despite her disabilities, her hyperactive personality exceeds everything else. Chabelita is very talkative, loves meeting new people and is very outgoing. Dressing up is one of her favorite activities and singing and dancing brings out her inner diva.

Even though Chabelita has a long way to go, she is a lovely girl, who loves to sing, dance and go to school. With the help and persistence of her parents, she has been able to walk, communicate better and in the near future, speak.

One of the symptoms of SSDD is language delay. Chabelita Moreno communicates with sign language when her verbal communication fails for family members to understand her. Photo credit: Karla Henry / Contributor

 

Chabelita is very alert and active, but because of her delay in general development, she still needs help from her mother on daily task like dressing and undressing after school. Photo credit: Karla Henry / Contributor

 

Personal hygiene like taking showers is difficult for Chabelita to do. Her mother aids her to learn and hopes someday she will eventually do it herself. Photo credit: Karla Henry / Contributor

 

Chabelita loves colorful beads and her mother makes it a learning activity, so Chabelita can learn and play at the same time. Photo credit: Karla Henry / Contributor

 

Chabelita tries to write her name but the weakness in her hand prevents her from accomplishing it. Over the years it has become easier and easier for her to write her name, but still struggles to make it clear. Photo credit: Karla Henry / Contributor

Kim Jong Un gives Red Dawn review; takes over CSUN

Supreme Leader, Kim Jong Un

 

Illustration by Gabriel Ivan Orendain-Necochea

 

 

Everyday you go about your lives. Unaware of the forces. That threaten your freedom. 

If you are reading this writing in this so-called “newspaper,” you are in a part of the university no longer controlled by the government of the United States.

Hail North Korea! Behold, it is your Supreme Leader and 2012’s sexiest man alive, Kim Jong Un. Submit to my devastatingly handsome, round face, boyish charm and strong, sturdy frame!

While you “Matadors” were fattening up your nutritionally well-maintained bodies with what you call “turkey” and “mashed potatoes,” we North Koreans finally executed our long-overdue, most grand scheme to invade the precious land called Northridge, Calif. We have gained control of your country, despite your seemingly well-stocked nuclear weapons armory, bloated military budget and constantly vigilant National Guard.

You may think I am just trying to scare you with the storyline from the moving-picture, Red Dawn, released in theatres on Nov. 21. You may have asked yourself after you watched the moving-picture, how can a country whose 23 million people are mostly starving, trapped in labor-concentration-camps and tortured daily successfully invade the United States? Why are there no Asian Americans in the movie who are fighting against the invaders? Why did I spend my money on such crap?

We North Koreans have many angers toward “Hollywood,” because that moving-picture was a remake of our remake of the 1984 North Korean Oscar-nominated documentary. The original documentary showed how the Soviet Union, Cubans and Nicaraguans bravely invaded Colorado, but were beaten by high school students. That is why we cower at the sight of any American teenagers, for they are unusually witty and have access to so many guns and bombs!

Our version, which was to be used as truth propaganda for our starving masses, leaked a few years ago and director Dan Bradley stole all our footage to create more false American patriotism. How dare they remove my favorite scene of the stereotype-affirming dog feast and then end the movie with the Americans as victorious! He even used American-fed Asian-American extras to fill in for the soldiers, as our soldiers look much too gaunt! And where in the red star’s blessed kingdom is Spokane, Wa.? We would never want to invade such a boring, suburban land where warriors like Thor and Peeta Mellark abound!

My father, our Dear Leader who loved to look at things, was most fascinated by Northridge and your school. You have many eateries such as Chipotle, Lum Ka Naad and Mandarin Deli – offering such different foods to our daily diet of tree bark and our people’s tears. Your school has plenty of vicious squirrels that we would love to harness as attack animals. But most of all, you have the best college gymnasium in all of Southern California, the Student Recreation Center! 

Our army of one million soldiers can use your facilities to train, as ours in the home country cannot sustain all of our military, the fourth largest in the world. We do not even have to redecorate, as it is already red. And as we recruit college students, we will be able to rise like the red sun into the first world.

Do not try to resist domination, for your mind has already been compromised. Our invasion started earlier this year when we realized the far-reaching powers of YouTube. You have all been brainwashed by my brother in disguise, Kim Jong-Psy!

That is right, “Gangnam Style” was an intelligence move to capture the hearts and minds of the world. Do you really think that the song became so popular because of its quality or lyrics? You don’t even know what the song is saying, yet you listen! Play the song backwards, and you will hear my beautiful guttural voice exclaiming, “Heyyyy you Americans – North-north-north-north-north, North Korea Style.”

In fact, all of K-pop is direct subliminal messaging to your empty American minds. How else could a bad copy of American hip-hop and pop music become known around the globe? The female bands like the Wondergirls and Girls Generation which debuted in America this year are actually full of my many wives, you fools.

We will make our way into University Hall tomorrow, as I will sit in the glorious throne-office of the CSUN president. Every morning we will do the North Korean pledge of allegiance, which is horse-dancing to the chorus of Gangnam Style. Your slightly-effeminate Matador statue will be torn down and we will erect a statue of myself in its place. The Oviatt library will always be staffed with Asians screaming “ching chong, ling-long, ting-tong.” We will never adopt American manners.

Prepare yourself for a very yellow dawn.

 

– Hansook Oh takes responsibility for all this nonsense. North Korea is not invading Northridge. No North Koreans were harmed in the authorship of this satire.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Column: From Linsanity to Lineffective

>>>CORRECTION: Lin was born in California.

Last season’s emergence of Jeremy Lin had most people believing the 6-foot-3, Taiwanese Harvard grad could actually ball with the best.

Lin averaged 21.5 points and 10.6 assists per game on 49.6 shooting last season during an eight-game stretch for the Knicks and sparked a global phenomenon dubbed “Linsanity” by the masses which cemented his status as a faux-superstar. He even had a game where he lit up Kobe Bryant and the Lakers for a career-high 38 points in a 92-85 victory.

However, as I predicted in a previous column, those numbers fell back down to Earth once Carmelo Anthony returned to the Knicks lineup and Lin was forced to share the ball. He finished his 2012 campaign missing the last 17 games due to a knee injury and finished the season averaging 14.6 points per game to go along with 6.2 assists.

But I couldn’t predict what would happen next.

After the offseason madness cleared and the Knicks refused to match the Rockets’ backloaded offer designed to ruin their salary cap, it seemed as if Houston landed a budding star for the next four years. Lin, who was once cut from the Rockets before blossoming on the Knicks, received a 3-year, $25.1 million contract to return as their starting point guard.  Lin said it was “God’s plan” for him to come back to the team.

Unfortunately for Houston, it seems as if God’s plan is for them to lose because Lin’s production so far has been woeful at best.

Through 12 games so far, Lin is putting up 10.2 points per game on an abysmal 34.8 percent shooting and is taking a major backseat to both James Harden and Chandler Parsons on the offensive end.

So what’s going on? Well, it’s simple: Lin is being exposed and is playing like the third string point guard he came into the league as. He’s shown an inability play without the ball in his hands, turns the ball over nearly three times per game, and he’s proven himself to be both a below-average defender and shooter as he’s only hitting 24 percent of his shots from beyond the arc.

Lin’s play is nowhere near worth the money he’s getting. He has a long way to go to earn his paycheck and the only reason he got such a large contract is because fans and media alike prematurely dubbed him a superstar. He was a fluke.

Don’t believe me? Lin even said it himself:

“I’ve been exposed a lot early on in the season and have a lot to work on,’’ Lin said in an interview with the New York Post. “I’m young. I’ve started 30-something games my entire career. It’s something I have to keep in mind. I’ve felt better before but it’s just a process.”

Could his recent play be chalked up to being a learning process for a young and upcoming player? Or could it be attributed to his inability to share the ball with superstar-caliber players?

Either way, two things are for sure: the Knicks made the right call this offeseason by opting to bring in Raymond Felton to start as their point guard, while the Rockets are probably kicking themselves for passing on the chance to sign Goran Dragic, who’s averaging a career-best 16 points and 7 assists per game, instead of signing Lin.

Men’s Basketball: CSUN freshmen key in upset hopes over UCLA

CSUN is coming off one of its greatest starts in school history, beginning the season with six straight wins. But after suffering its first loss of the year, Northridge (6-1) will travel to the newly-renovated Pauley Pavilion to take on No. 24 UCLA (4-2) in Westwood Wednesday night at 9 p.m.After dropping its first game of the 2012 campaign to Brigham Young on Nov. 24, 87-75, the new-look Matadors will attempt to get another winning streak started against a more than worthy opponent.

Freshman center Tre Hale-Edmerson drives to the basket against Pepperdine on Nov. 9. Hale-Edmerson will have to play a crucial role if CSUN wants to upend UCLA Wednesday night in Westwood. Jonathan Andrade / Sports Editor

CSUN has three players averaging over 10 points a game but in order for CSUN to have a chance to pull off the upset, the freshmen center duo of Tre Hale-Edmerson and Brandon Perry will be the deciding factor in Wednesday’s outcome.

The two newcomers have combined for an average of 13 points, 8 rebounds and 2 steals a game in 36 minutes while splitting time at center.

As the least experienced team in the nation, according to a survey done by the Naval Academy media relations office, the Matadors had yet to find their identity during a pitiful season last year, but look to have found a support system in the freshmen.

Even with the youngsters chipping in, the sophomores of CSUN are still carrying the team.

Sophomore guard Stephan Hicks is leading all scorers with 18.4 points in nearly 30 minutes per game while sophomore forward Stephen Maxwell has chipped in 14.1 points and seven rebounds in his 27 minutes a game.

Fellow sophomore Josh Greene is on the verge of etching his name in the CSUN record books with solid shooting from the charity stripe. Greene has knocked down 31 straight free-throws , one away from tying CSUN alumni Markus Carr’s streak during the 2000-2001 season.

Greene has been effective at guard for the Matadors tallying nearly 14 points, five assists, and two steals through seven starts while averaging 29.3 minutes per contest.

CSUN’s offense is putting up nearly 80 points a game via 14 assists per game while dominating under the boards and on the defensive end, snagging an average of 39 boards and taking nearly 10 steals a game.

Northridge will have to take its best effort down the 405 freeway to UCLA if it expects to hand the Bruins their second loss in a row.

UCLA is coming off a fresh defeat at the hands CSUN’s Big West Conference foe Cal Poly on Nov. 25, in which the Mustangs outplayed the then No. 11 Bruins down the stretch to complete the 70-68 upset.

The loss knocked UCLA out of the AP Top 25 polls but the Bruins are still hanging around the USA Today Coaches polls at No. 24.

The Bruins are averaging 77.3 points per game and have shot an average of 45.4 percent but have had a few close calls before their major upset.

Everyone will be watching UCLA freshman standout Shabazz Muhammad, who has led the Bruins in scoring in two of the three games that he’s appeared in after being reinstated by the NCAA.

Including Muhammad, the Bruins have five players that average double digits but freshman Jordan Adams leads all scorers with 18.5 points in just 24.5 minutes despite having yet to start in a game.

Under the boards, CSUN has twin brothers Travis and David Wear that have combined for 22 points and 12.8 rebounds a game.

Northridge’s “Tremendous Trio” will put their points on the board but second chance opportunities and the slowing of any UCLA offensive schemes must start and finish in the paint and under the boards.

Students learn about depression in children

The Depression in Children and Adolescents workshop raised awareness of depression and suicide that affects people as well as the warning signs for the Beat the Blues Week on Tuesday.

“We want to draw attention and equip students with this information,” said Vaheh Hartoonian, assistant coordinator for peer programs and co-facilitator for the Blues Project.

Approximately 40 percent of children and adolescents who have experienced depression are more likely to have recurring depression said Marta Gonzalez, University Counseling Services pre-doctoral psychology intern. Three to 4 percent of the 40 percent will die of suicide.

“It is important to know about suicide in all ages so (students) are aware of the warning signs and the resources available,” said Hartoonian.

The causes of depression are a combination of genetic, chemical, biological, psychological, social and environmental factors, according to American Psychological Association.

Symptoms of depression are loss of interest and pleasure in activities, significant weight loss or gain and insomnia, said Gonzalez.

“Adolescents will (show signs of) sadness and children will be irritable,” said Gonzalez.

Some treatment options would be psychotherapy, medication or a combination of both, said Gonzalez.

Gonzalez hoped that students would gain knowledge about recognizing the warning signs and advocating it in whatever setting they are working in with children and adolescents.

Students like Gabriela Carrera, senior child and adolescent development major, found the workshop to be helpful. Carrera is part of the Child Adolescent Development Association (CADA) club and is interested in adolescent and child depression.

“The resources are very helpful because I want to be a school psychologist,” said Carrera. “They can’t diagnose children but it’s a great help to be award of the warning signs and seek help.”

Benjamin Campos, senior psychology major, felt the workshop was helpful to take away the stigma about talking about depression and suicide.

“I really think when someone comes up to you to talk about suicide people try to avoid it,” said Campos. “With this information it will help to catch warning signs and try to help the person or refer them to someone else.”

Oviatt Library to undergo some renovations for next fall

CSUN students can expect a lot of changes in the Oviatt Library next fall with the addition of a new learning commons.

The facility will provide students, faculty and staff with more laptops, tablet checkout, wireless printing, improved instructional spaces, group study rooms, a multimedia lab with optional video, digital cameras, and microphone checkout.

Lynn Lampert, CSUN coordinator of Library Instruction and Information Competence, said the learning commons is being designed to help the school community with their academics.

“The mission of the Oviatt Learning Commons will be to provide a comfortable, collaborative and accessible learning area within the library that integrates technology, information technology, research assistance services and instructional expertise in order to strengthen learning, research and teaching opportunities for CSUN students and faculty,” she said. “The new approach is to integrate and blend services that students can have in one central location in the learning commons.”

In planning for the new learning commons, Lampert said the library is partnering with the Information Technology division and Learning Resource Center (LRC). She mentioned the new project will bring campus partners together to “support learning initiatives.”

Lampert said the LRC will be moving into the Oviatt as part of the new design and the University Corporation will also partner with the library to bring a permanent Freudian Sip location to the lobby, which will include comfortable seating and provide a place for students to meet.

Lampert said the current study space configurations were insufficient to foster peer learning and computing options.

“The goal is to offer students a more comfortable environment to explore, learn, create, and share within our academic library setting,” she said. “With the increase of computing, both portable and mobile, students need new space configurations to allow them to comfortably work on their research and coursework within the library.”

The new learning commons will be located on the first floor of the library and will provide a large learning area for small and large groups.

Dr. Mark Stover, CSUN’s library dean, said the new learning commons will cost $900,000.

“$600,000 will come from deferred maintenance funding, which are ‘earmarked’ funds designated to pay for the new library commons and $300,000 will come from the campus quality fee,” Stover said.

Stover said discussions regarding a new learning commons began in Fall 2011.

“Part of the impetus for this was the recognition on the part of the library faculty and administration that libraries have changed in many ways over the past few years, not just in regard to electronic journals and databases but also in terms of how students study and learn within the library environment,” he said.

Stover also mentioned the LRC, currently housed in Bayramian Hall, will be moving into the third floor of the library sometime in the next two years.

“The new learning commons will reflect the move of some of our desktop computers for students from the third floor to the first floor,” Stover said. “The learning commons will also be adding more laptop computers that students can check out from the library.”

Colin Donahue, associate vice president of facilities development and operations, said the maintenance is long overdue.

“Deferred maintenance occurs when regular repair and equipment replacement schedules for facilities are delayed to subsequent years due to lack of funding,” he said.

Donahue said the CSU has also used deferred maintenance to describe building systems that have exceeded their useful life, but still remain in service. He said each year, the campus initiates several projects in order to reduce CSUN’s growing deferred maintenance backlog.

Donahue added the facilities development and operations department will commence design for the new library commons this month.

“Design, plan check and bidding will take us through Spring 2013 and we are currently planning to start construction June 2013,” he said.

Dr. William Watkins, vice president of student affairs said the library requested campus quality fee support for the library commons-to place text books on reserve and to provide  students with more digitally accessible material.

“The campus quality fee is a campus-based fee paid by students to provide additional resources to enhance their experiences on campus. Some of these dollars offset course fees, which students no longer have to pay for,” he said. “These fees also supports academic support programs and improvements in the use of technology, such as wireless infrastructure to support mobile devices students use.”

The new learning commons will be open to the CSUN community both in person and online.

Stover said renovations on the first floor will most likely be finished by Fall 2013.

Fraternity gives back by hosting blood drive

Nu Alpha Kappa Fraternity and the Red Cross teamed up for the Red Cross Blood Drive on Tuesday as part of the fraternity’s philanthropy efforts.

Luis Ponce, president of the fraternity and senior sociology major, looked calm while lying on the beds ready to donate blood. After a series of questions by the nurse, he was ready for what was to come.

“This changes lives and gives back to the community,” Ponce said about giving blood. “I’m a type O negative, that means it’s universal. My mom had a blood transfusion after I was born, and thanks to a blood donor (with a type O negative blood type), my mom was able to give birth not only to myself but to my two brothers and be healthy.”

In addition to giving blood, students could also donate bone marrow as part of the Red Cross’ Bone Marrow Registry Drive, hosted by Sara Arroyo. With an application and cheek swab, Arroyo said it is vital for college students to consider donating due to doctors only accepting donors between the ages of 18 and 44.

She added that once one is registered, patients have a better opportunity in finding a match.

As a few students were waiting to get their blood drawn, Samantha Hernandez, a freshman criminology student was the only student drinking water and recuperating after giving blood.

“I was terrified,” Hernandez said. “I needed to do this (before getting) the tattoo (and) I’m getting it this week, and I know this will go to a good cause.”

Kelly Sander, an undecided sophomore, said this would be her fourth time trying to donate.

“Every other time they said I was anemic, but I feel I am healthy enough now to give blood,” she said.

The idea of helping people seemed to be the main reason many of these students desire to donate blood.

Kyle Ramstad, senior mathematics major, said he does it for more than that alone.

“My mom’s a nurse, and I know how important it is. My grandmother, when she was alive, needed several blood transfusions and people who gave blood prolonged her life,” he said. “The first time I gave blood was 8 years ago, and I’ve been doing it ever since.”

Sunday plane crash rattles CSUN students

 A day after a single-engine Cessna plane crashed into CSUN’s East Field near Zelzah Avenue and Plummer Street, students and local emergency personnel continued to react to the scene.

“I didn’t think it was real, it was a shock,’” said Erick Rodriguez, a 20-year-old Pierce College student who said he saw the plane go down while he was driving northbound on Zelzah on his way home from church.

“I threw the car in park and grabbed my friend and we ran over as fast as we could,” Rodriguez said.

The plane’s occupants, a man and woman who were both believed to be in their 60s, were headed towards the Van Nuys airport for an emergency landing due to engine failure, according to Ian Gregor, a spokesman from the Federal Aviation Administration.

They were transported to Northridge Hospital as a precaution, according to firefighter Rick Tanguay, who was among the first-responders with Battalion 70 of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

“They were really lucky,” Tanguay said. “The pilot gets to chalk that up to a good landing, I guess.”

The identities of the plane’s occupants were not released by officials investigating the crash, but the plane was found to be registered to a corporation called Clipper 29 Uniform LLC which is based in Newport Beach.

The plane was leaking fuel and there were a small amount of flames, Rodriguez said. The flames died down quickly, prompting Rodriguez and his friend to run over to the crash site.

The woman was described as having no visible wounds, although she seemed “discombobulated,” according to Rodriguez. The male occupant, who was thought to be the pilot, was bleeding profusely from his face, but he seemed to be more concerned with the health of his female passenger, Rodriguez said.

Student Recreation Center lifeguard William Vaughn, a CTVA senior, was shocked by the plane descending down over the SRC.

“I just heard my co-worker go ‘What?’ and as I looked up, the plane passed directly over our heads,” Vaughn said.  “The propeller had stopped, so I didn’t hear anything, it was completely silent.  It was super low and we didn’t hear a crash, but a really loud thud.”

Vaughn jumped onto a wall that separates the SRC swimming pool and the athletic fields only to see a mangled plane upside-down.  Soon after, the lifeguard radioed the administration office who notified authorities.

CSUN police chief Anne Glavin said the first call came in at 3:11 p.m. and two officers were dispatched to the scene where initial reports were unsure of what exactly had crashed onto the school’s East Field, where sports teams sometime practice.

“The officers’ first attention was to the pilot and his wife,” Glavin said.

Cpt. Larry Jackson of LAFD Station 70 said his station’s radio traffic was relaying information from the Van Nuys airport tower where the plane had been trying to land.

“We share a radio and talk with CSUN dispatch,” Jackson said.  “There was no fire but a lot of smoke from the airplane.”

Sgt. Andy Whitman, public information officer with the LAPD Devonshire division, said police assisted by setting up barriers on the perimeter of the scene to keep out spectators.

“We respond as an act of mutual aid,” Whitman said of how LAPD can get involved with CSUN-related cases.

Vaughn was surprised at how some students reacted with the plane falling overhead.

“There was someone sitting right behind me poolside that had no reaction at all, like he sees planes fall out of the sky everyday,” Vaughn said.

The plane was heading from Novato to John Wayne Airport in Orange County, according to Fire Chief Mark Saxelby of Battalion 70.

The cause of the crash is under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Bureau, Saxelby said.

Even a day later, Rodriguez still couldn’t forget the image of the plane falling out of the sky.  “I can’t get the picture out of my head,” he said. “I see the man and woman’s faces.”

Prostitution should not be legalized

Illustration by Luis Rivas/Features Editor

Originally born 40 years ago in El Salvador, Amber, whose name has been changed at her request, has lived in the United States for the majority of her life. Petite and strawberry blonde, I first met her two years ago while working a night shift at an adult bookstore. Amber was a former prostitute.

Intrigued by the fact that she used to have sex with men for money (no female customers had approached her), we became friends, bonding over our mutual crush on William Levy, a gorgeous and untalented telenovela actor. For the year I worked there, she would disappear for months and return with a new hair color or make-up scheme. She was a woman who loved color in all facets of her life, even if others (like I) did not think it was age appropriate at times.

“When I first started,” Amber said, “I didn’t do anal (sex) and the guys would pay me extra to do it. Then the pinche (damn) Internet happened.”

Amber discussed how somewhere in the mid to late 1990s, during the Internet boom, being a prostitute suddenly became competitive and self-respect turned into a luxury.

“Podia cobrar (I could charge) $100 for a normal session and an extra $150 if they wanted to go a little deeper,” Amber said.

She met women and men who would charge $50 or a warm place to sleep for the night in order to provide such a service. Suddenly Amber wasn’t so much sought after and was seen as overcharging clients and being conservative compared to pornography on the Internet.

The Oxford Dictionary defines prostitution as an individual engaging in sexual activity for payment, a profession whose history can be traced to the 18th century B.C. on the Babylonian tablet, the Code of Hammurabi. It’s a profession that survived long before Jesus Christ, Craigslist or Gloria Allred could praise or condemn it.

I originally intended to write in defense of legalizing prostitution, but hindsight has made me realize that I can not defend a profession that dehumanizes its workers. Prostitution is a job few want and often a last resort for those systemically disenfranchised by society: women and minorities, and this is a norm in the profession I am totally against.

Granted, there are benefits in legalizing prostitution such as tax revenue for states and an increase in job safety for the women and men willing to provide sexual favors in exchange for money or other services.

Legalizing prostitution would create undeniable economical benefits, a sorely needed change in an economy that offers less legal job options to the general populace. Have safe sex, get paid for doing it well and a possible health plan? Many would say “yes, please.”

Such a turn in national policy might even erase the tired “dead hooker” plot device in CSI or Law & Order, forcing male TV writers to be creative for once.

But no amount of hallucinogenic drug consumption will make what I previously mentioned a reality.

Several scholarly articles have covered the topic, such as “Women in Street Prostitution” by Jacquelyn Monroe (2005) and “Prostitution in Five Countries: Violence and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder” by Melissa Farley (1998), discussing how those at the bottom of the social totem pole often resort to the profession.

A combination of male favoritism in hiring practices (proven in multiple job and scientific fields), economic nose dives on the national scale, uneven wages and the social pressure on women to take on the role of child caretaker as default have pinned women in a spot where unprofessional behavior, like flirting, is now being encouraged in order for them to advance in business transactions and the workplace, according to a recent UC Berkeley study called “Feminine Charm: An Experimental Analysis of its Costs and Benefits in Negotiations.”

Socio-economically disadvantaged men also resort to prostitution. While standing outside a Home Depot, waiting for work, can be equivalent to prostitution for men and women, reports show unprotected migrant workers are beginning to resort to sexual prostitution in these areas. No longer is Mr. Doe pulling up to hire Pedro or Mario to paint his house or trim his lawn, but is instead paying them a days work for skin action.

When poverty strikes and you do not have resources or opportunities, what can people turn to for income? The unemployment office takes weeks to respond and sometimes one must jump through a thousand hoops in order to receive a check.

“For about a shitty six months,” said 23-year-old Carina, a nursing student at Los Angeles Pierce College, whose name has also been changed, “I was let go from my job at a child daycare center and my mom’s breast cancer returned.”

Working as a web-cam girl in order to pay the bills, Carina doesn’t remember her months fondly but she does remember the few clients who were pleasant while she entertained them.

“A few wanted to talk because they were lonely,” she said, “some guys really liked me because I was curvy.”
The worst, for Carina, were the ones who would pick on her for her weight despite them paying minutes to see her alone. Others would perform sexual acts in front of the web camera that would make it difficult for Carina to remain pleasant.

“I would go to this studio in Van Nuys [Calif.],” she said,” and I would sit on these funky stained sheets in front of the camera… and sometimes I was surprised, during a performance, that this was legal.”
Carina remembers the moistness of the sheets and mattress she performed on and how the employers ignored her requests for cleaner conditions.

Legalization isn’t going to automatically ensure a prostitute’s safety or better her world. It might stop them from consuming drugs on the job, much how Nevada’s prostitution laws work, but it won’t protect them from the next coked-up client from freaking out during a session.

“Crackheads are the worst,” Amber said, “You have to soothe them into believing that you aren’t going to rob them. They’re paranoid as fuck. And when they can’t get ‘it’ up, because of the crack, they start a bitch fit even if they trust you.”

Legalization will not remove the stigma of being a sex worker or the unnecessary risks the job brings. It will not get rid of the barriers many minorities and women face when trying to succeed in the workplace. The government will merely provide the illusion of safety and tax individuals who they’ve mostly neglected.

Santa Susana Hall undergoes major repairs

A crane stands by to help install a structural cover for Santa Susana Hall. The cover is intended to offer an additional layer of protection over the building’s maintenance well.

Replacement of Santa Susana Hall’s roof is expected to finish this month, the only task remaining of the project that began in August is a structural cover for the building’s maintenance well. The deferred maintenance project is meant to address persistent water leakage within the building at a cost of about $550,000.

Leaks, however, are just one of a variety of Santa Susana’s problems, including a bipolar heating and cooling system, which current faculty says affects both physical and working climates and have persisted since the building was erected.

Herman Debose, chair of sociology, said the leaks were common when he first got into the building in 1997. His office is one of the first affected by the sometimes-severe leaks, the remnants of which have stained the interior walls of the department office.

“Herman’s office, in particular, is sitting right under the mechanical well and all the equipment is packed right over the top of Herman,” said Ken Rosenthal, manager of construction services for CSUN’s Facilities and Planning department.

Rosenthal explained that the building’s poor design made it physically impossible to access certain areas to address leaks until the current project removed structural barriers.

Rosenthal’s business card is one in a collection Debose keeps around because of the building’s many issues. Debose said Santa Susana’s design flaws do not just affect the comfort of faculty, but also their ability to meet with students.

“If you’re a student and came to see a faculty member, and you had to sit out here – if it’s cold you’re sitting in the cold cause we don’t have any place else to put you unless you sit by the elevators,” Debose said. “But then if you sit by the elevators when the faculty member is free, if their office is way over there, how do you know?

“It’s not a good building, it’s poorly designed, and I don’t think that it has served the best interests of the students but – I mean – I don’t have any power to move faculty anywhere so we’re stuck,” he added.

Last year CSUN replaced the heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system (HVAC) on the fourth floor of Santa Susana with a more energy-efficient system, a total cost of about $627,800. Rosenthal estimates the savings for the one floor should be significant considering that the HVAC system for the remaining floors runs constantly, even when unoccupied.

“The air and the heating has been, actually, ridiculous,” said Rick Talbott, chair of religious studies.
Talbott remembers an instance during a cold snap when he walked into his office to find that the air conditioning had been on all night.

The fourth floor’s offices, which now have occupancy sensors, were replaced as a precursor for the current project because the old HVAC handling units for the floor used to sit on top of the roof. Rosenthal said the school looked into replacing the HVAC system for the rest of the building, but lacked the funding to follow through.

“We have many buildings on campus that have priorities, and you have to deal with the resources at hand… in the order at which they occur,” said Rosenthal. “Santa Susana in particular has a lot of engineering and construction problems that are difficult to overcome.”

Rosenthal says that because the current work has essentially cleared the roof of impeding structures, previously inaccessible areas like the maintenance well have uncovered HVAC leaks in the ductwork, which have promptly been fixed.

Then as now

From above, the 27,000-square-foot building resembles a figure eight with two towers each enclosing an atrium, and connected by a core area that currently houses five departments on four floors. Because many of the building’s 100 offices face a courtyard exposed to the elements, its occupants often have to keep their doors closed.

The figure eight could also be a metaphor for the building’s perceived life cycle: infinite problems.

Even after approval in 1975, a weak economy in the early 1980s meant Gov. Jerry Brown, at the end of his first run as governor, would put a halt to non-essential spending.

Twenty-eight years later, Brown is again governor of a state facing huge fiscal shortfalls, construction is once again put on hold, and Santa Susana still faces the same problems it had since its initial completion.

“We’d all like to replace Santa Susana Hall and it’s a frustration that we can’t at the moment,” said Harry Hellenbrand, provost and vice president of Academic Affairs.

The original design called for a 38,000-square-foot building with 140 offices, but was reduced by 40 offices due to a 40 percent inflation increase, short of the 139 offices the building was meant to replace. In addition, cheaper materials, namely clay brick, replaced the more expensive cement material that was in the building’s original design, said Michael Nakamoto, former assistant director of facilities planning in a January 1983 edition of the Sundial.

By December 1984 Charles Manley, former director of facilities, said to the Sundial that construction for the building once again exceeded the allotted budget by $600,000. The overspending forced designers to omit features including operable windows and a sprinkler system—a fact that meant the building did not initially meet fire regulations. It was then retrofitted with standpipes on the outsides of the structure.

The faculty offices officially opened October 1984 and it only took a change of seasons to reveal the many problems that afflicted it. Rain soon revealed that the stairwells were canted the wrong way, creating puddles of water at entryways, which then required piping and drains.

The cost-saving clay brick essentially made the building a large kiln with windows that no longer opened, quick to gain heat in the San Fernando Valley summer, but unable to retain it during the winter. Additionally, the HVAC in the offices had an insufficient amount of dampers in the air ducts. As a result, airflow in the building is poor and has persisted to this day.

Like the present, wet conditions led previous faculty to report dampness in the interior of certain offices as well as leaks in others.

“The northwest corner office has fungus that grows on the wall each winter,” said former faculty member Audrey Vanderwier in a 1988 edition of the Sundial.

By September 1987, the school was reaching a settlement with architect Howard R. Lane on the many defects of the building, however, renovations to remedy the issues did not begin until the summer of 1988 and ultimately would not fix the problems. Lane would die of a heart attack several months later, and his firm would go on to sue the company in charge of implementing the summer renovations.

According to a current faculty member who wanted to remain anonymous, the only redeeming quality about Santa Susana is that it endured the 1994 Northridge earthquake, but the university’s 1998 master plan noted that every building on the campus suffered some sort of damage.

The future for Santa Susana

When CSUN released its ambitious “Envision 2035” master plan in 2005, it referred to Santa Susana as “near the end of its useful life” along with Sierra, Cypress, Nordhoff, Live Oak, and Eucalyptus Halls. Nordhoff has recently received a new roof and both Cypress and Eucalyptus Halls are on a deferred maintenance list, according to Rosenthal.

Hellenbrand said that replacing Santa Susana’s roof wasn’t planned, something he calls a “major irony.”

“These capital projects, when they’re postponed, save you money in one area, but lose you money in another area because you’re using an amount of capital to constantly repair the building, and at some point in time those repairs end up costing you more than if you had just knocked the thing down and built something new,” said Hellenbrand.

The “envision” plan does call for an eventual replacement for Santa Susana and many other buildings, and Hellenbrand acknowledges that the plans for a future building have not changed even though the time period for such projects has.

Both Hellenbrand and Rosenthal point to California’s budget situation, noting that recent “envision” projects such as the Valley Performing Arts Center, Chaparral Hall, the Student Recreation Center, and the Transit Station were all or partially funded locally.

In the meantime, Debose and Santa Susana’s other occupants have been assured that the roofing will remedy the leaks but whether this latest project solves the building’s problems depends on the weather.

“The proof of the pudding will be when it rains and when it gets cold,” said Debose. “I always have a jacket in this office.”