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R&B, 90s covers and improv highlight Soulful Saturdays

Noelle Chesnut and Trijean Wilkins perform R&B covers at Soulful Saturdays on Feb. 9. Photo credit: Loren Townsley / Photo Editor

The spring’s first Soulful Saturdays kicked off with some familiar faces including host Jonnae Thompson, and singers Noelle Chesnut and Trijean Wilkins. .

Chesnut took the stage with Wilkins as her backup and began with a couple of covers by R&B; artists Jazmine Sullivan and Frank Ocean and covered popular songs from the 90s. She later invited Wilkins to do a few duets with her in ode to Valentine’s Day.

This was not the couple’s first time working together. They collaborated in the last Noontime Concert in the USU.

Wilkins, 22, who began singing in church when he was only 8-years-old said that it is nice to work with someone on the same page as him.

“Noelle is great. It’s cool because we share the same passion for music,” Wilkins said.

The live band took the stage first, featuring a drummer, guitarist and keyboard player. Thompson opened up with a few improvisation songs to get the crowd warmed up and took ideas from the audience.. Alumni Ytzel Fernandez suggested that Thompson sing about “Chocolate Panties.”

Chesnut, who is a frequent attendee and performer of Soulful Saturdays, recently graduated but was happy to come back as an alumni. She began singing when she was 2-years-old, and performed in the very first Soulful Saturdays.

Before intermission, Wilkins sang to the audience and the women cheered and screamed for more.

Stonefire Grill was served to attendees during the intermission for free. Bread sticks, salad, pasta, tea, and cookies lined the table.

Wilkins took the stage, once again, with Chesnut as his backup, and sang an assortment of covers, beginning with Stevie Wonder’s “Knocks Me Off My Feet.”

“I loved it, it was a lot less nerve-wrecking than something like the showcase would have been. Everyone was rooting for us, it just felt good to be loved,” said Wilkins.

Chesnut and Wilkins’s final song together was a spin off of Miguel’s “Adorn.”

USU Events Assistant for Special Events, Quinesha Summerville, said she was happy with the outcome of the show. About a month’s worth of work went into planning the show, but as this was her third time planning the event it was not too difficult.

The next Soulful Saturday will be on May 4, 2013.

Men’s Volleyball: Matadors achieve second upset in a row

Sophomore setter Travis Magorien (15) sets up senior middle blocker Drew Staker (13) for a kill. Photo credit: Loren Townsley / Photo Editor

Fighting back from a first set loss, 10th-ranked CSUN upset 5th-ranked Pepperdine in a five set victory 16-25, 25-22, 25-20, 27-29, 15-13 Friday night.

Coming into the game 4-1 at home, the Matadors achieved their second upset victory of the week.

“I am real proud of our guys we played well and we played hard,” said head coach Jeff Campbell. “This game always comes down to serving and passing and we served and passed much better this week then the prior week.”

Senior opposite hitter John Baker had another career-high setting night, after a previous one Wednesday. He tallied two aces, 24 kills and a .327 hitting percentage.

“Our middles pulled every block. So I had one up most of the time,” Baker said. “Our passers did a phenomenal job and our setters just put it where it need to be. It was pretty fun and it was a great night.”

In the first set, Northridge never mounted much of a threat to the Waves, and Pepperdine pulled away with a 25-16 win. Getting as close as one, with the score 15-14, CSUN never got closer than four the rest of the set.

Blasting out to a 14-7 lead in the second set, Northridge looked to be in control. A 5-0 run by the Waves lead to a 16-16 tie, and the teams soon found themselves deadlocked again at 20-20. Pepperdine never gave the Matadors much of a cushion, staying within just one point after that. CSUN eventually closed out the set 25-22 on kills by junior outside hitter Brandon Lebrock and senior middle blocker Drew Staker.

Trailing by as many as four in the third set, CSUN was able to overcome the deficit to tie the score at 17-17. Another Lebrock kill gave Northridge the momentum to take control of the set, winning 25-20.

In the third set, CSUN outhit Pepperdine an eye-popping .333 to .091, one of the biggest differentials of the season so far.

Northridge struggled to close out the fourth set as they had four separate chances during crunch time to wrap up the game, but Pepperdine managed to pull through and take the win 27-29.

“We had chances to win and I have to take my hat off to Pepperdine they did whatever they needed to do to win that game,” Campbell said. “They played great at the end and it was a battle that really could have gone either way.”

After Pepperdine forced a fifth set, the Waves earned the first two points before Northridge turned up the heat with a four point run, and never looked back. The Waves would eventually tie the score at 13-13, but the Matadors were able to close out match point, winning 15-13.

The win earlier this week and now this win is huge for us,” Lebrock said, who had 16 kills, seven digs and a .206 hitting percentage.

With two wins in the last three days, — both over higher-ranked teams — Campbell definitely sees his team progressing.

“Overall we definitely improved and we are moving in the right direction,” Campbell said.

 

Men’s Basketball: Second-half comeback powers Matadors over Irvine

Freshman guard/forward Landon Donovan drives hard to the bucket for a layup and is contested by two UC Irvine defenders. Photo credit: Daniel Hoyos / Contributor

Going into their third game without leading scorer sophomore guard Stephan Hicks, the Matadors extended their longest conference winning streak of the season to three on Thursday.

CSUN completed a comeback over visiting UC Irvine 70-61, avenging an earlier season loss against the Anteaters.

Starting out slow, the Matadors did not make a field goal until nearly eight minutes into the game. The Anteaters jumped out to a 17-point lead in the first half, draining the energy out of the crowd.

Northridge shot 27.6 percent, making 8-29 attempts in the first half.

Four of those eight shots were made by redshirt freshman forward Trevone Williams, who came off the bench and provided the Matadors with a spark.

“I thought Trevone Williams was really the best player in the first half for us,” said head coach Bobby Braswell. “By far he had the right energy defensively and offensively had some big shots for us.

The entire bench contributed heavily for Northridge, in contrast to Irvine, outscoring the Anteaters 34-18.

“I just wanted to come in, you know, and get us hyped and get us up to play at a level we need to play at,” Williams said.

The Matadors were able to pull within nine when the first half ended, trailing 33-24. The bench scored 19 of the Matadors 24 points in the first half.

During half time Coach Braswell focused the team and shifted the Matadors’ momentum.

“I just challenged them at half time to not to be satisfied with the fact that we’d won a couple games in a row that we got to get back to doing those things that got us there,” Braswell said. “They really came out and turned the defense up at the second half, which was critical.”

Northridge junior guard Josh Greene took the speech to heart and came on strong. Throughout the second half, Greene found his stride scoring 19 of his 21 points.

CSUN had a scare with Greene getting injured during the second half, taking him out of the game for six minutes. Greene found power from his injury and absence.

“It just fired me up even more,” Greene said.

Continuing their comeback in the second half, the Matadors took their first lead of the game with 11:30 left in the second on a Greene three-pointer 47-46.

The Anteaters would never hold the lead again.

With two minutes left in the game, Greene scored two three-pointers in forty seconds to break a 57-57 tie, and lead the Matadors to victory.

“But defense won the game. I mean we held them to 37 percent shooting in the second half, we out rebounded them plus 9 in the second half,” coach Braswell said, “So that was the thing that really made the difference.”

Greene feels hope for the future with ambitious young players.

“We had guys step up tonight and make plays, and the guys that are supposed to make plays have to be more consistant then they are already,” Greene said. “And we’re playing really well right now and I’m happy we’re with like our young group and we’re showing a lot of toughness right now.”

 

“Romeo and Juliet” cast practice fight scene choreography

 

By Natalie Rivera
February 3rd, 2013
Section: A & E

“Romeo & Juliet” will be the latest production to be presented by the CSUN theatre department, opening on Feb. 15 at 7:30 p.m. According to theatre manager William Taylor, “It’s the most popular romance. It’s about a boy and girl from different families.”

They fall in love with each other, the groups fight and it’s not a happy ending.”The production, which is student performed, will be directed by Shad Willingham, who previously directed last year’s production of “Avenue Q.” This interpretation of “Romeo & Juliet” features a more modern take.”It takes place in New Orleans in 1959, as opposed to the Elizabethan production,” said Taylor.

He went on to say there is also a different take on the masquerade ball where Romeo first meets Juliet. Taylor said the production’s premiere date was not a coincidence.

“It was planned to premiere around Valentine’s Day,” he said. The theatre department will also perform daytime matinees of the production in March for local high schools.

The theatre department’s production of “Romeo & Juilet” will take place at the Experimental Theatre in the Valley Performing Arts Center. General admission is $20, seniors are $17, CSUN employees are $16. Students with ID are $15. Students with ID purchased before opening night are $9.

“Romeo & Juliet” will have eight performances, the last performance will be Febuary 24th. To find the other performance dates visit the CSUN theatre department page.

LA Mayoral candidates face off in debate at VPAC

Story by Megan Diskin
February 7th, 2013
Section: News – Photos

CSUN’s Valley Performing Arts Center in conjunction with the Los Angeles Business Federation and L.A. Daily News hosted the Los Angeles mayoral debate Thursday, which focused on issues such as public safety, budget and transportation.

Former Los Angeles Deputy Mayor Austin Beutner moderated the debate and began by asking the candidates what leadership qualities they bring to the position.

Kevin James said he has a unique perspective of City Hall not only because of his background in the private and public sector, but also from his media background as a broadcaster covering City Hall issues.

Beutner pointed out that it may be difficult for James in the mayoral seat, because he is a republican among a heavily democratic Los Angeles City Hall.

“Part of what it takes to lead is coming in with a lot of respect,” James said. “It’s about representing people in a fair non-partisan way.”

One of the hot issues brought up by Beutner was the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and Bureau of Sanitation allocating $8 million to help open the Children’s Museum in the San Fernando Valley.

Wendy Greuel called the joint venture a poor example of the private and public sector working together. She then noted that the VPAC was a prime example of both sectors working well together.

“This is a jewel, not only for the San Fernando Valley, but the entirety of Los Angeles,” Greuel said.

To read more, click here.

Students can meet the police department’s K-9 unit this Wednesday

The CSUN Police Department will be inviting students, faculty, staff and the community to meet their K-9 Unit, which includes their officers and trained police dogs.

This event will be held at the Department of Police Services, at the corner of Darby Ave. and Prairie Street, in their training room.

Those attending will be able to meet the K-9 Unit’s newest member, Isy (pronounced, “Izzy”), a 4-year-old trained canine. Also new to the department is Officer Anthony Vargas.

Attendees can also collect a police department K-9 Unit baseball trading card as well as purchase a K-9 Unit t-shirt. T-shirts will be $10, which must be paid in cash, and can be picked up at the police department from Capt. Alfredo Fernandez or any one of the K-9 Unit members.

You can RSVP for this event on the Police Department’s Facebook.

Associated Students concerned about new executive order mandating CSU employees to report child sexual abuse or neglect

A.S. President Sydni Powell addresses the senators about the possible effects of CSU Executive Order 1083, which mandates all CSU employees to report any suspected child abuse or neglect. Photo credit: Hansook Oh / Senior Reporter

The Associated Students discussed their concerns about the recent CSU Executive Order 1083, “Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect,” signed by former Chancellor Charles B. Reed.

According to the order, all CSU employees will be required to report any “suspected child abuse or neglect” if the person is 18 years or younger, although volunteers are not required to report.

Members of A.S. were particularly concerned with the language of the order, which is not specific about whether or not students over 18 who work through the university will also need to become mandated reporters.

“If students don’t know this executive order exists then they can be sitting in [the] classroom or Freshman Orientation and talking about things they thought would be in a safe place,” said A.S. President Sydni Powell. “There are freshmen that come in being 17 years old, so being in the classroom can create an environment where anything they say can be reported.”

The memorandum will give direction on how the CSU will implement the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act, which was adjusted by Gov. Jerry Brown September 2012.

Powell said that the idea of having a “safe space” for students to talk about themselves with their peers might change, especially if all students are not informed about the order.

A.S. does not yet have a resolution or strategy to inform the student body of the new policy, as they wait to learn more about the details of how the policy will be implemented.

A.S. also approved a $30,000 increase in funding to AS Ticket Office for Student Transit Subsidy, increasing their current annual budget from $70,000 to $100,000. Constitutions for several clubs, including German Student Association, Game Developer’s Club, Big Buddies and CSUN Table Tennis, were also approved.

Sundial Staff picks for GRAMMYs 2013

Follow CultureClashDS on Twitter for live coverage of the Grammy Awards.

Pride Center welcomes students for Coffee Nights

The atmosphere was lively and inviting at the Pride Center’s LGBTQ Coffee Night gathering, which is a weekly event that gives students a chance to relax, socialize and meet new people.

“It’s a good time for people to connect in an informal setting,” said Sarina Loeb Pride Center coordinator.

Loeb explained that the center decided to hold it every week for Spring 2013 because of students’ enthusiastic interest.The event was held every other week in Fall 2012.

“We have a lot of regulars,” Loeb said. “And as the semester goes on, we get more and more people.”

Coffee, hot chocolate and assorted cookies were set out for guests on a counter under the center’s big screen TV. Comedy Central played on the set while people lounged on the multi-colored chairs and group laughed over a board game in a corner of the room. By 6 p.m. all the couches were full.

Charli Gross, 20, communication studies major, has been to a few of the coffee nights.

“It’s a cool place to hang out. I like interacting with new people,” she said.

Coffee Nights are held every Thursday evening from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Pride Center located across from the Student Recreation Center.

CSUN Men’s Volleyball ends two game skid with win over USC

Bouncing back from back-to-back loses, the 10th-ranked CSUN men’s volleyball team bounced back with a four set victory 25-17, 18-25, 25-21, 25-22 Wednesday over 8th-ranked USC.

Northridge defeated USC for the first time in their last six tries, and hit a season-high .471 as a team.

“We really played well tonight and it was by far our best we have played
this season as a team,” said head coach Jeff Campbell. ” I still we can play better but
I am really proud of our team tonight.”

In the first set, Northridge took a 9-8 lead after an attack error by USC sophomore outside hitter Christian Rivera and never relinquished the lead, winning the set by an eight point margin at 25-17.

The Matadors hit .611 in the opening set, and limited USC to .077.

The second set was all Trojans. USC took an early 3-1 lead after a kill by USC senior outsider hitter Alex Slaught. The Matadors fought back to tie the game at 5-5, but USC responded by going on a 13-6 run, capped by USC junior opposite Tanner Jansen’s kill. The Trojans rode the momentum to a 25-18 set win.

The turning point of the match came in the third set during an intense trading of rallies back and forth. It was finished on a block by CSUN junior outside hitter Brandon Lebrock, putting up Northridge 18-15.

Lebrock finished the game with 18 kills and a season-high .571 attack percentage.

“It was a crazy rally,” Campbell said. “Any time you win that I feel it gives you a sense of momentum and I feel that happened in game three.”

Northridge carried that momentum, and won the set 25-21 on a kill by senior opposite John Baker, who had career-highs in attack percentage with .543 and kills with 22.

The fourth set was another hard fought battle that saw back and forth play continue, as the team’s exchanged five lead changes and 11 ties.

The Trojans took a three point lead at 12-9 after a kill by Trojan opposite Tanner Jansen, but CSUN rallied back. Northridge went on a 6-2 run, punctuated with a kill by sophomore outside hitter Kyle Stevenson. From that point on, Northridge never trailed in the set, winning 25-22.

Baker felt that the serving and passing were keys to the team’s victory.

“We had to serve hard to get them out of their normal offense and our passers did a great job of getting the ball to the net,” Baker said. “When we do that we cannot be stopped.”

Mayoral candidates debate public safety practices and transportation

Los Angeles mayoral candidates debate on city-wide issues at CSUN’s Valley Performing Arts Center on Feb. 7. Photo credit: Loren Townsley / Photo Editor

CSUN’s Valley Performing Arts Center in conjunction with the Los Angeles Business Federation and L.A. Daily News hosted the Los Angeles mayoral debate Thursday, which focused on issues such as public safety, budget and transportation.

Former Los Angeles Deputy Mayor Austin Beutner moderated the debate and began by asking the candidates what leadership qualities they bring to the position.

Kevin James said he has a unique perspective of City Hall not only because of his background in the private and public sector, but also from his media background as a broadcaster covering City Hall issues.

Beutner pointed out that it may be difficult for James in the mayoral seat, because he is a republican among a heavily democratic Los Angeles City Hall.

“Part of what it takes to lead is coming in with a lot of respect,” James said. “It’s about representing people in a fair non-partisan way.”

One of the hot issues brought up by Beutner was the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and Bureau of Sanitation allocating $8 million to help open the Children’s Museum in the San Fernando Valley.

Wendy Greuel called the joint venture a poor example of the private and public sector working together. She then noted that the VPAC was a prime example of both sectors working well together.

“This is a jewel, not only for the San Fernando Valley, but the entirety of Los Angeles,” Greuel said.

The candidates went on to discuss public safety, specifically the practice of banking. Beutner showed in a slide presentation that the LAPD‘s use of banking to accumulate overtime and vacation time has lessened the number of officers on the streets.

“I do believe we are the most underpoliced city in the country,” Greuel said.

James noted more on the financial loss of the practice.

“Part of the complication is when (banking) gets paid out, it gets paid out at a higher rate,” James said. “It’s an accounting trick.”

The other public safety issue had to do with complaints of the fire department’s slow response time. Emanuel Pleitez said that Los Angeles needed to explore blended training options.

“We need to rethink how we think about public safety,” Pleitez said.

The issue that made the audience perk up was the problem of traffic and transportation in Los Angeles.

Buetner noted the 405 and 101 Freeway interchange as one of the most congested areas. James said the city needs to put a rail tunnel in the Sepulveda Pass. He also noted that it would cost $8.9 billion.

“Where would we find that money?” James questioned Buetner.

Greuel, a current resident and native of the San Fernando Valley, said she was quite familiar with that freeway interchange. She also said she knows that many residents of the west side of the San Fernando Valley make that commute to work downtown every weekday.

“We need job creation in the valley so they don’t have to travel that far,” Greuel said.

In his closing statement, Eric Garcetti said that he wanted to make Los Angeles City Hall work with its citizens again.

“We need a true public servant,” Garcetti said. “The most important thing for a leader is to create leaders.”

After the debate, Jan Perry said the most important thing for Los Angeles is its overall economy. She said the city needs to become more business friendly.

“We need to create more taxpayers, not more taxes,” Perry said.

Silly boys, football is for girls too

Illustration by Benjamin Andrews / Social Media Editor
Illustration by Benjamin Andrews / Social Media Editor

It’s a beautiful, crisp Sunday afternoon in the middle of America. Grandpa has the Webber grill sizzling out on the patio, burgers and brats ready to go. Aunts and uncles are gathered in the living room, alternately cheering and screaming at the action on the television set. Us kids zip through the house, grab a snack and head back outside to play. Suddenly, the room erupts in enthusiastic whoops and shouts as The Green Bay Packers’ receiver catches the ball and races for the end zone.

This is what a football game meant to me as a kid. It was more than just players on a field scoring touchdowns and tackling each other. It was a family event. Back then it didn’t matter that I was the one girl in a gaggle of male cousins. I passed and tackled right along with them as we tried to emulate the players we saw on the screen. Imagine my disappointment when I found out I would never be eligible to win a Vince Lombardi trophy.

I got over it. But I’ve never gotten over my enjoyment of the game. As I got older, I started to understand the plays and strategies more. I whooped and hollered along with my mom when it looked like a touchdown was imminent. I shook my head in disbelief when the receiver fumbled a pass.

Then, sometime around the mid-90s, I moved out and discovered that watching a football game outside of my family’s sphere was a whole different experience. When I went to sports bars, guys assumed I was just there with a boyfriend, or worse, that I was there to take their drink order. I couldn’t possibly like the game myself. They gawked in disbelief when I argued about the merits of a play. Then, they usually tried to buy me a drink.

These days, its a lot more common to see women supporting their favorite teams at games and shouting at the TV over a basket of buffalo wings and a bottle of Budweiser. Its now estimated that 45 percent of NFL fans are women, according to NFL consumer products.

Gone are the days when I had to look for a Brett Favre jersey that might fit me in the boys section of a sporting goods store. I can get all kinds of team gear designed for me, in actual team colors (not pink sparkles). A girl likes to feel attractive while jumping up and down wearing her cheese-head hat.

There are a slew of women-run sports blogs out there now and female anchors on ESPN are no longer a novelty. “Girl’s night out” could mean chardonnay at a favorite restaurant or it could be a night out at the local sports bar. We even play fantasy football now.

Women at sporting events are still a novelty to some, but our numbers are growing. We are not just showing up to the game to appease a boyfriend. We are actually deeply invested in our team’s performance.

When I go out to see a game now, I do feel less like a lonely Packer fan lost in Chicago and more like one of the team. Being a fan should be like having a great big, extended family. And after all, watching the game is a family event.