Tag Archives: Breanna Burnette

Wealthier Is Healthier

Moderator: Breanna Burnette

Producer: Nathan Hoffman

Anchor: Star Harvey

Social Media Editors: Shuandy Herrera and Maxwell Goen

Reporters: Breanna Burnette, Max Goen, Star Harvey, Shuandy Herrera, Nathan Hoffman, Tephanie Martinez and Jennifer Montiel


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Mental Health Matters

Depression is the number one reason students drop out of school, and it may lead to other mental illnesses or even to suicide.

“There’s so many statistics on it,” said Steven Wang, from CSUN Counseling Services and the coordinator of the campus’ Blues Project. “One of four students are more likely to have depression, and it’s not treated. Stress would be on that spectrum, as well.”

Many people still hold negative stereotypes of mental illness as dangerous or a sign of weakness, and those stereotypes may keep people from getting help.

“I think the stigma comes from people not being familiar or just not knowing what the behaviors are,” said Ebony Harper, an advisor to students in CSUN Student Housing. “So it can be seen as acting out, or you have behavior problems, so you get this thing that people don’t want to be around you.”

Organizations such as the National Alliance on Mental Health have been emphasizing the importance of recognizing and treating mental illness, but mental health is often not talked about within families.

NAMI board member Michelle Thomas said there is a lack of knowledge, but that most people with mental illnesses lead normal lives if they get treatment. “Most of the time you don’t even know people have mental illness, unless their symptoms are active,” she said.

NAMI and the University Counseling Services offer support and treatment options that may help students feel free to talk about mental illness and seeking care.

“Using proper language, and being able to address it properly, as well as sharing your story, I think helps,” Wang said.

Moderator: Tephanie Martinez

Producer: Nathan Hoffman

Anchor: Max Goen

Social Media Editors: Star Harvey and Jennifer Montiel

Reporters: Breanna Burnette, Max Goen, Star Harvey, Shuandy Herrera, Nathan Hoffman, Tephanie Martinez and Jennifer Montiel

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They Shoot, They Score, But Do They Pass?

CSUN’s student athletes are still recovering from the NCAA penalization of their men’s basketball team, after the former director of basketball operations allegedly committed academic fraud. The NCAA found that the director, Lior Schwartzberg, was doing online classwork for some of the players.

The incident highlights the challenges for student athletes, and many would agree that, at times, academics take a back seat when it comes to student athletes. This can lead to conflict between faculty members and athletic departments. That’s where Ed Jackiewicz, CSUN’s NCAA Faculty Representative, comes in to ease the conflict.

“A lot of faculty think [athletic] students are on a free ride and getting all these benefits, when, in fact, a lot of them don’t get any money, or much money, at all,” Jackiewicz said.

This assumption is only one of the stigmas athletes face; others are that their lives are easy because they get special privileges as athletes, that they’re not graded as hard as other students so they don’t have to try as hard in class, or that they’re lazy when it comes to their schoolwork in general.

“The myth is that student athletes aren’t good students, when, in fact, there are a lot of successful [athletic] students,” Jackiewicz said.

CSUN’s Athletic Director Dr. Brandon Martin said a lot of misunderstanding exists about the day-to-day life of student athletes.

“I mean, they essentially have two jobs,” Martin said. “They have to be students and athletes.”

In order to keep this balance, student athletes have to be good time-managers.

“Unlike a non-athlete, they have schedules that they have to follow, and they have to have an inordinate amount of discipline to follow that schedule,” Martin said. “That schedule really propels them to the success that we want them to have, both academically and athletically.”

Another pressure on student athletes is being the face of their universities.

“I feel like there’s more expectation for us, being student athletes,” said Carl Brown, a member of CSUN’s men’s basketball team. “We represent the program. We have to represent ourselves in a good way, on and off the court, because we’re representing not just ourselves, but the school too.”

Some student athletes have  commitments besides their sport and their school work. Track & Cross Country runner Manny Vargas is not only a student athlete. He also works part-time, and is in a fraternity. “It’s been a very tough process … [to be]… a student athlete; you’re working and in a fraternity; it’s a lot sometimes,” Vargas said.

CSUN has been working on providing resources to ease the busy lives of student athletes, and prevent another penalization.

“It was a chance for us to create a place, the Matador Achievement Center,” Martin said, “a place where our student athletes could really feel like [they] get the love and support and encouragement that they need to be successful.”

With these resources, and better relationships between faculty and the athletic department, student athletes are starting to prove the stigmas wrong.

Moderator: Star Harvey

Producer: Nathan Hoffman

Anchor: Shuandy Herrera

Social Media Editor: Tephanie Martinez

Reporters: Breanna Burnette, Max Goen, Star Harvey, Shuandy Herrera, Nathan Hoffman, Tephanie Martinez and Jennifer Montiel

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CSI: California Syphilis Investigators

Syphilis rates grew more than 18 percent from 2015 to 2016, and 2016 saw the highest number of cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis ever.

“In the last 20 years, we have seen an increase, especially in the LBGT community,” said Johnny Cross, a syphilis expert from the Los Angeles LGBT Center. “In 2000, there were under one hundred cases, and since then it’s been rising steadily. As to why? We don’t really have an answer for why.”

Programs promoting STD awareness, prevention and education have made steps in the right direction for the last few decades, but sex education can still be a very controversial topic in public schools.

“We need more education to youth,” Cross said. “We do a lot of educating at the Center, and the main focus is keeping people healthy, and a big part of that is prevention and education. I strongly advocate for education for the youth.”

Syphilis is dangerous because it can transform into more serious conditions like neurosyphilis, which can lead to blindness, severe memory loss and in some cases, death. Neurosyphilis usually takes ten years to develop, and affects around 30 percent of people with syphilis who don’t get treated in time. “There is latency for a while, and [syphilis] usually doesn’t come back,” Cross said, “but if it becomes neurosyphilis, it gets into your spine, your brain and starts doing major damage. It causes dementia, blindness and even death. Which is why it’s so important to do what we do.”

The Los Angeles LGBT Center and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation provide health care options and resources, and they also alert potential contractors of the disease through social media or phone calls.

“We can find people through Facebook,” Cross said,  “and try to match up networks, and friends, and find partners as well.”  The more efficient these centers are at flagging down potential contractors, the quicker they can stop STDs from spreading through networks of sexual partners, but the initial contact can be difficult.

“You might have people who feel it’s a sales call or a prank call,” said Disease Intervention Specialist Keyari Badon, from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “But I really try to be assertive, because if I’m calling, I want to be friendly and provide good customer service to you, but at the same time I am calling about a serious issue.”

Because of the stigma around sexually transmitted diseases and infections, sometimes people do not want to get tested. But with the emergence of this potentially deadly disease, the best thing to do is get tested if any symptoms appear.

“No one wants an STD,” Cross said, “but it comes with the territory, and really the best thing is to be tested and move on from it. The stigma attached does a lot of harm, and if we can find a way to remove that we can get more people tested.”

Moderator: Nathan Hoffman

Producers: Breanna Burnette and Star Harvey

Anchor: Shuandy Herrera

Social Media Editors: Tephanie Martinez and Jennifer Montiel

Reporters: Breanna Burnette, Max Goen, Star Harvey, Shuandy Herrera, Nathan Hoffman, Tephanie Martinez and Jennifer Montiel

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