Tag Archives: CSUN

The Future of Women’s Health

A day after the inauguration of Donald Trump, millions of women marched through the streets of Washington D.C. and all around the world in support of women’s rights, and to protect women’s health.

“I personally believe that with our current Administration, I do think that women’s health issues and rights are just under attack at this very moment,” Planned Parenthood intern and CSUN student Mihaela Vincze said. “I can’t really define what the most pressing issue is besides the issue of abortion.”

In his first 100 days, President Trump has signed a bill allowing states to withhold family planning funds from Planned Parenthood. He reinstated the so-called global gag rule prohibiting U.S. funds from going towards nongovernmental organizations that assist women on family planning, including abortion. And Trump has defunded the United Nations Population Fund, an international humanitarian aid organization that helps prevent maternal deaths, unsafe abortions and reproductive health care.

“[Abortion] is our right. It is our constitutional right, and people don’t understand that you are taking our rights away,” Vincze said. “Abortions are going to happen, whether they’re legal or not, and if you care about the life of the woman, you would take that into consideration.”

Still, almost 40 percent of Americans believe that abortion should be illegal, because they believe that life begins at conception, and that women should take into consideration the life they are taking away and choose other options, such as adoption. Many Americans hold groups like Planned Parenthood responsible for what they consider to be the ease of getting an abortion in this country, and they do not want tax dollars going to support Planned Parenthood.

But Planned Parenthood’s 2013-2014 Annual Report reported that only three percent of its services covered abortions. The other 97 percent went for STI/STD testing and treatment, contraception, cancer screening and prevention, and other women’s health services.

“[Planned Parenthood] provides options like counseling as well,” Registered Nurse Practitioner Shirley Navarro said. “So it’s not like, ‘Oh, you’re here at Planned Parenthood? Awesome, sign up for your abortion right now.’ That’s something that would be nice to clarify.”

“A lot of especially low-income women will use Planned Parenthood as their primary health provider,” Vincze said.

“According to CDC guidelines for women between the ages of 21 and 25, they recommend STI/STD screening at least once a year,” Navarro said. “And if you have higher risk, in terms of having multiple partners or not using really good contraception, [that should be] maybe every six months or so.”

The Klotz Student Health Center provides CSUN students with health services such as pap smears, pelvic exams, STD testing, referrals for mammograms, Family PACT services and reproductive health services.

For many women, Planned Parenthood remains an important health resource.

“Before I knew about the Klotz Center, I went to Planned Parenthood,” Vincze said, “because I didn’t have that relationship with my parents where I could be open with them about my reproductive health. So I used this organization to learn and take care of myself, and it was an invaluable resource for a young person. I don’t know where I would be today if it wasn’t for this organization.”

Moderator: Lexi Wilson

Producers: Arianna Takis and Lexi Wilson

Anchor: Arianna Takis

Social Media Editors: Jose Duran, Adam Hajost, Luzita Pineda and Rosa Rodriguez

Reporters: Jose Duran, Adam Hajost, Luzita Pineda, Rosa Rodriguez, Arianna Takis and Lexi Wilson

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Banking on Food

More than 1.5 million Los Angeles residents are suffering from food insecurities. Many of those residents cannot afford to buy food for themselves and their families.

Los Angeles County has one of the largest food insecure populations in the United States. Food insecurity affects not only those who are living below the poverty line. Even families who live above the poverty line deal with the expense of groceries. Hunger can cause people to lose their balance, not function appropriately and effectively, and experience emotional, physical and mental problems.

“Food is an important thing,” M.E.N.D (Meet Each Need with Dignity) Food Bank Director Richard Weinroth said. “[It’s] more than just dinner. When there is no food, life is a struggle. Food is a powerful thing.”

Hunger may threaten nearly 50 percent of college students, and many students report food insecurities. Hunger is a major problem at both two-year and four-year institutions. Nearly 60 percent of food insecure students reported having a job, and almost 40 percent of those students report that they work more than 20 hours or more per week. Researchers from the National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness found that being enrolled in an on-campus meal plan does not eliminate food insecurity.

“You cannot be a successful student if you are hungry,” said Professor Shira Brown, Director of CSUN’s Women’s Research and Resource Center. “It’s really hard to concentrate on doing just about anything when you’re hungry.”

The WRRC’s Food Pantry is open to all students with an ID, and offers food, as well as basic necessities like shampoo and toothpaste. CSUN students also have access to the CSUN Food Pantry at no cost. And food pantries operate in many locations throughout the San Fernando Valley.  Los Angeles County has almost 200 food pantries: the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, World Harvest Food Bank, L.A Works and many more.

“Everybody at some point may need a food pantry,” said Manny Flores, the Community Liaison of North Valley Caring Services. “And in our neighborhood, it could be mostly at the end of the month, when people need to make ends meets. That’s when you see our pantry lines grow substantially. Through our pantry, you can get a well balanced meal. We’re putting about a hundred dollars of food in our baskets every week per household.”

“I’m really lucky,” Weinroth said. “M.E.N.D has been around for nearly 50 years, so we’ve got a lot of neighborhood recognition. We are a volunteer-driven organization. We have so many pans, and so many pots. We have medical, dental and vision. We have education and training on-site as well. We have the food department, we have homeless services, we have our clothing center. We have been collaborating with so many organizations throughout the community for a very long time. We help feed over 20,000 people a month. We all come together as a community, [because] it takes a village.”

Moderator: Trevor Edwards

Producer: Dana Lites

Anchor: Char’Tre Steward

Social Media Editors: Cynthia Marin and Noemi Salcedo

Reporters: Trevor Edwards, Dana Lites, Cynthia Marin, Noemi Salcedo, Char’Tre Steward and Flor Tolentino

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Hidden Changes

One aspect of Greek life on college campuses, often perpetuated by the media and pop culture, is hazing.

California State University, Northridge, has created a very strict “Non-Hazing Agreement” for fraternities and sororities. It reads, in part:

All organizations and clubs must obey the CSU code of conduct which defines hazing as any method of initiation or pre-initiation into a student organization, or student body, which is likely to cause physical harm, personal degradation resulting in physical or mental harm to any former, current, or prospective student.

But CSUN students have differing opinions on whether or not fraternities or sororities follow this agreement.

“…I particularly made sure that no hazing was involved at all [in the fraternity I joined],” said CSUN student Mauricio Romo. “I was at first sketchy when I joined as a brother, but then I noticed … there is no hazing. I don’t understand why they would haze. I never understood the topic. I’d see that other fraternities haze, but I never understood why you have to haze somebody if someone joined for the same purpose you are.”

“…there are communities that say that they don’t haze, but I’ve experienced hazing firsthand,” said CSUN student and sorority alumna Leah Cohen, “and so have people that I’ve talked to, and even most recently I’ve had people coming to me that have complained about those particular issues, so I do not think that the Greek community at CSUN has been adhering to the hazing policy that has been put in place for them.”

Hazing was a problem at CSUN in the past. A 19-year-old student named Armando Villa died as a result of a hazing incident almost three years ago.

“Armando’s death really affected me because we were on the same swim team, so we knew each other,” Romo said.  “I’d known him since middle school. I talked to him in high school. The last semester of senior year we all talked about how we were going to go to CSUN and join a fraternity. When Armando’s death happened, it hit me. I was like, wow, someone I knew passed away for a stupid reason.”

Although not all hazing at CSUN, or other college campuses, ends in tragedy, hazing of any kind can have lasting social or psychological effects on people.

“These organizations are communities of individuals,” CSUN Sociology Professor Ali Akbar Mahdi said, “… young people who have come together, 40 or 50, or an even larger number of them, in one compound, who do not have any blood relationship, and they do not know much about the past of each other… So, they get into very intense relationships with one another, and unfortunately one of the negative aspects of it is that it creates a sense of exclusivity, and also a sense of superiority.”

Another negative aspect can be the peer pressure that it makes it hard to speak out against hazing.

“The people who come to this organization then accept that this is going to be part of the game,” Mahdi said, “and therefore they should accept these things.”

Although Greek life is stereotyped as non-stop partying, drinking, and hazing, even its critics agree some benefits certainly exist.

“I primarily joined because, ultimately, I wanted to do something more for the community, philanthropy-wise,” Cohen said. “The goal was, whichever sorority I ended up in, to contribute to that particular philanthropy, whichever one it would be.”

To help push the positive aspects of sororities and fraternities, and to teach students the correct way to contribute to Greek life, CSUN created Greek 101 and Greek 102 classes that are mandatory for students who want to join these organizations.

“I felt that Greek 101 was very like — it could pretty much touch you, in a sense,” Romo said. “It also touched me because they also talked about Armando. From what I hear, before Armando’s death, Greek 101 was a lot different.”

“I took Greek 101 prior to what happened to Armando Villa, so my experience was that [hazing] wasn’t taken as seriously beforehand,” Cohen said. “When I experienced Greek 102 afterwards, hazing began to become more of a prevalent thing that was being discussed. It was taken a little more seriously in Greek 102, but in Greek 101 at the time it was not.”

Villa’s death has had an effect on the entire campus, and more specifically the Greek community. While hazing may still be going on, the campus has tried to minimize it.

Moderator: Shelby Charlene

Producer: Amber Partida

Anchor: Malcolm Finney

Social Media Editors: Yesenia Burgara and Abril Preciado

Reporters: Yesenia Burgara, Shelby Charlene, Malcolm Finney, Julie Nesbitt, Amber Partida, Curtis Poindexter and Abril Preciado

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Simply Vegan

When people choose to be vegan, they say no to eating and using animal products.

This ranges from not eating meat, to not using skin care products tested on animals.

Vegans avoid any form of exploitation to animals.

“Being very connected to animals, and living with them, and knowing them on a personal level, it really motivated my veganism,” said CSUN Central American Studies professor, and vegan activist Dr. Linda Alvarez.

For many, veganism represents a larger ethical approach.

“Try to suck less in life,” vegan blogger Al Borja said. “Meaning, whatever it is that you are doing, you can be more conscious and aware of what it is you are consuming: animals being one [thing], the products that come from animals are another…[Veganism] is a holistic approach, an awareness of what’s really happening in your lives. Veganism is really just a label, to get people familiar with what [the larger ethical issues are]…”

Other vegans believe veganism is healthier. They say one of the benefits of a meatless diet is increased energy, but vegans say it is also important to be educated when going vegan. A well-planned vegan diet can provide enough protein, iron, calcium, and other key essentials, and this can benefit your health by reducing obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.

“Being vegan is probably the [most nutritious] way to go. But there are so many different levels of that and so many different layers, that it really is a personal choice,” said CSUN’s Klotz Student Health Center dietitian Ellen Bauersfeld. “Diet quality is important, whether you are eating animal products or not, and as a vegan you still have to make good choices.”

“I had really high cholesterol; I was over 200 in cholesterol, and my grandfather was going through pancreatic cancer,” Borja said. “That lead to research, and that was really important, trying to figure out if it really was for me, if it was something I could do. The most important thing for me was doing the research and making sure it fit with who I am and what I want to become. It’s a journey.”

Still misconceptions about protein deficiency in a vegan diet persist.

“You have to be educated, and you have to look at eating and an overall balanced diet,” Bauersfeld said. “But if you are smart about it, it would be very unlikely that you would have a protein deficiency.”

Many experts believe that being a vegan is also good for the environment, although the arguments are complicated and controversial. Avoiding animal products will likely help lower a person’s carbon footprint, while eating in fast food chains can be environmentally harmful, as well as unhealthy.

“You don’t have to be in prison to be on death row,” Borja said, about fast food restaurants lined up on streets of the San Fernando Valley and other communities.

Alvarez suggested getting involved in organizations that help promote animal rights and going vegan or vegetarian.

“We need to have animal advocates out there, discussing the issues that affect animals,” she said, “because there are so many ways that we continue to further oppress animals. Even in our daily talk, someone can say ‘he treated me like a dog’. What does that mean? When we refer to animals, [it’s] something always negative.”

For those looking for healthier diets that are less damaging to the environment and animals, there are many different choices, including veganism and vegetarianism. Many nutritionists advocate pescetarianism, a mostly plant-based diet that includes fish; and flexitarianism, a plant-based diet that includes occasional meat and dairy products.

“Everything is on a continuum,” Bauersfeld said. “And that’s the beauty of this: you get to pick and choose, if you want to make those changes.”

Moderator: Luzita Pineda

Producer: Jose Duran

Anchor: Rosa Rodriguez

Social Media Editors: Adam Hajost, Arianna Takis and Lexi Wilson

Reporters: Jose Duran, Adam Hajost, Luzita Pineda, Rosa Rodriguez, Arianna Takis and Lexi Wilson

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Transforming Pacoima: One Brushstroke at a Time

The Mural Mile is transforming Pacoima. More than 50 murals are in the area surrounding Pacoima City Hall. Most of the artists who display their work are locals, who say it’s their way of giving back to the community.

“I wanted to paint murals, and there’s no doubt my mind that I wanted to bring it to Pacoima with the idea of changing the face of the neighborhood,” mural artist Levi Ponce said. “I know people have always been painting murals in Pacoima, and there’s always been painters, but I was the one who came about and called it a revolution.”

Many people in Pacoima are contributing to the revolution to help beautify the city in many different ways. The environmental non-profit Pacoima Beautiful has been implementing initiatives to clean up the city since 1996.

“Pacoima, unfortunately, has one of the highest asthma rates in the nation,” said Sandra Ramirez, Cultural Arts Director of Pacoima Beautiful. “We are an environmental justice organization of its own in the community, and … we also do a lot of work around just [to create] access to public spaces and green spaces.”

The art revolution is also gaining momentum; many new artists are emerging to show off their talents to the residents of Pacoima.

“My favorite is painting on the public streets of Pacoima,” artist Desi Sanchez said, “and being able to interact with the people passing by. That’s the best part. Sometimes I’ll try to paint slower, so I have to be out there for more days and make my time longer, because once my painting is over, that’s it, my interaction with the community is done, and that piece is up. But the people they love it. They love seeing someone paint.”

The artists who work on the Mural Mile are asked to go through a selection process through city hall, but some artists say they prefer to defy the process and do their own street art, which is illegal and therefore may be whitewashed and painted over.

“I think when you put something that big up in a public space, there are always going to be opinions,” Ponce said. “Every mural is controversy. You have to push forward, and I always said it’s about the bigger picture. It’s not about any individual mural, it’s about my work as a whole.”

Moderator: Cynthia Marin

Producer: Dana Lites

Anchor: Flor Tolentino

Social Media Editors: Dana Lites and Char’Tre Steward

Reporters: Trevor Edwards, Dana Lites, Cynthia Marin, Noemi Salcedo, Char’Tre Steward and Flor Tolentino

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LA Dreamers

Since the Trump Administration entered the White House, the federal government has promised to deport undocumented immigrants from the U.S., sending them back to their birth country. This situation has left many Dreamers afraid of the very real threat of deportation for themselves or their loved ones, despite the reassurance that a sanctuary city, like Los Angeles, has to offer.

“A Dreamer would be somebody who would be eligible for the DACA program, which is Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals,” said Adan Garcia, a representative from Santa Rosa Immigration Services.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, is essentially an immigration benefit program that provides work permits to qualified immigrants.

“The DACA program gives you a work permit if you meet the requirements for it,” Garcia said, “and the requirements are that you have entered the country before your 15th birthday, [and] that you have also entered the country on or before June 2007….[they also] take criminal record into account.”

The program applies only to young people under these very specific circumstances, and ignores many other undocumented family members who are living and working  and going to school in the U.S.

The Dream Center at CSUN, located inside the University Student Union, is a major resource for undocumented students, including the many people who don’t meet the DACA requirements.

One of the most common issues that the Dream Center deals with are “families that have young kids, especially that are born in the U.S.,” said Jesus, a representative from the CSUN Dream Center, who didn’t want his last name to be used.”The fear of [the parents] being deported, and no one being able to take care of their kids, we’ve had a lot of that.”

Many undocumented immigrants who live in LA, and are not protected by DACA, feel fortunate to live in a sanctuary city. Although there is no legal definition, a sanctuary city is considered “essentially whether a city is willing to cooperate with the federal government when it comes to immigration,” Garcia said. But despite the fact that undocumented immigrants with a clean criminal record are generally protected in sanctuary cities, many of them are still living in fear and paranoia.

“Many people fear their immigration status,” said Lady Pineda, a translator at Hermanda Mexicana Transnacional. “They think that any other day ICE might come to their door, knock, and you know, separate their families.”

“I don’t think anybody should be afraid,” Garcia said, “maybe a little cautious, but it doesn’t seem that the deportation rate has gone up.”

But many Californians say they believe that deportation is something that no active member of a society should have to fear.

“The Dreamers are not criminals,” CSUN student and Dreamer Ivan Salinas said. “We are just trying to fit in. We are trying to be Americans.”

Moderator: Abril Preciado

Producer: Yesenia Burgara

Anchor: Amber Partida

Social Media Editors: Malcolm Finney and Julie Nesbitt

Reporters: Shelby Charlene, Yesenia Burgara, Malcolm Finney, Julie Nesbitt, Amber Partida, Curtis Poindexter and Abril Preciado

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Breaking Barriers: The Undocumented Experience

Undocumented immigrants have long caused controversy in this country, but now not only do they face the struggle to assimilate, they must also face the fear of being deported under the Trump administration. 

“[His policy] is going to affect families in big ways, especially undocumented minors who could potentially have a parent who is deported, or if there are mixed status families, such as the child was born here in the U.S., and the parents were not,” CSUN Chicano/Chicana Studies professor Melissa Galvan said. “This could break up families in very important, intangible ways, and it’s quite sad.” 

The United States-Mexico border remains the most active border checkpoint in the world. According to the Department of Homeland Security, the Obama administration deported 2.5 million people, the most in U.S. history. President Trump has proposed deporting all undocumented immigrants in this country, an estimated 11 million people. There were over 75,000 arrests of family units at the Southwest border last year. Immigrants who have been separated from family members by the border often don’t have much interaction with their loved ones. Friendship Park, on the border between San Diego and Tijuana, allows people to interact, but with limited time and touch. The Tijuana side of the park is open all day, but the San Diego side is open only on Saturday and Sunday from 10 A.M. to 2 P.M.

Among those stopped at the border last year were 60,000 unaccompanied minors. Undocumented unaccompanied minors are children who travel to this country without parents or legal guardians. These minors come not only from Mexico, but also from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. They are fleeing from gang recruitment, violence, poverty and prostitution. If they do make it into the U-S, they face problems of assimilation like any immigrant, and most have language barriers that leave them vulnerable. They are fearful due to their disadvantages and their uncertainty about the future. Their fear can keep them from getting legal help. One resource for them in Los Angeles is Casa Libre.

“We provide any source you can imagine,” Casa Libre director Federico Bustamante said. “Not [always] directly, but we have referral sources and partnerships in place to provide any service that you want. It is residential, mental health, legal services, anything you can possibly imagine, but what we really provide, and what really has the most individual impact on these young men, is a surrogate family. These kids have come from some cases of extreme abandonment, abuse, neglect, no consistency in their lives. The root problem is that lack of consistency and unconditional support. Casa Libre becomes that.  Through everything we do, whether providing legal services or educational services, we are providing a surrogate family.”

Casa Libre provides housing and services for children and families who are homeless. This may include storing belongings until a new home is found. Casa Libre also provides life skills that can be used anywhere.  The children are taught how to cook, do laundry, and prepare for careers.  

“Ultimately [we] really allow these kids to become kids again,” Bustamante said. “They are coming from undeclared war zones, wearing little suits of armor. When they get here and become part of the surrogate family, they are able to enjoy that last part of childhood, and benefit from all of the other services that we have at our disposal.” 

Some undocumented immigrants and unaccompanied minors have been able to get permission to stay in this country to study under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. But its future is also uncertain under the Trump administration.

“One of the biggest things that I have noticed that is a concern, is having to graduate and not have certainty in what the future is going to hold for us, and for myself,” CSUN student Maria Aispuro said. “I am a DACA recipient, and I don’t know if that will be taken away, and I’m not sure if I will have a job, and my family is at risk of deportation.”

Bustamante says, across the country, there isn’t enough support to help all the children who need it.

“I hope there will be more allies of undocumented immigrants in the future,” Public Counsel social worker Jose Ortiz said. “People come here for a reason. They don’t come here because they want to be here. They need something that we have.”

Moderator: Jose Duran

Producer: Luzita Pineda

Anchor: Lexi Wilson

Social Media Editors: Adam Hajost and Arianna Takis

Reporters: Jose Duran, Adam Hajost, Luzita Pineda, Rosa Rodriguez, Arianna Takis and Lexi Wilson

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Millennials, It’s on the House!

Many Millennials are finding it difficult to gain full independence and purchase homes. Steadily becoming the most prominent demographic of people in America, they have surpassed the Baby Boomer generation by around 8 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Yet Millennials earn 20 percent less than their parents’ generation. Forty-two percent of people age 18-34, according to the Pew Research Center, are living with their parents, which is the highest level since 1940.

“[It’s] the availability of jobs,” said Craig T. Olwert, CSUN Professor of Urban Studies and Planning. “Most of the millennials haven’t found well-paying jobs to help cover the costs [of home ownership]. I think with the recession finally really recovering on the job side, we’re going to see that start changing.”

California Association of Realtors Research Analyst Azad Amir-Ghassemi said the way residences are changing hands is shifting. “We’re going to go into a European model of homeownership,” he said, “where Baby Boomers have their homes, and then they transfer their homes down to their kids.”

Getting a higher education may lower some millennials’ ability to purchase a home. A survey by Amir-Ghassemi found that as many as 25 percent of millennials said that their student loans are keeping them out of home ownership.

The notoriously high cost of living in Southern California only makes matters more challenging.

“The average price of real estate here in Southern California is $472,000,” Sales Manager of Global Premiere Properties Adam Arteaga said. “And to qualify for a home loan like that, you’re looking at an income of almost $90,000.”

That qualification will be difficult for those without good credit. “Usually the banks like to look for a FICO score of about 650 and above,” Arteaga said.

The cost to rent in the Los Angeles area is also becoming not feasible. Research and analysis firm Axiometrics shows the average monthly rate for a one-bedroom apartment in L.A. County is $2,300, and the Inland Empire, it’s over $1,500.

But Arteaga said the situation is looking less dismal than in years prior. “Forty-five percent of all houses sold last year were [to] first-time homebuyers. For what rents are going for right now, you can almost obtain a home mortgage for that.”

Moderator: Noemi Salcedo

Producer: Dana Lites

Anchor: Flor Tolentino

Social Media Editors: Dana Lites and Char’Tre Steward

Reporters: Trevor Edwards, Dana Lites, Cynthia Marin, Noemi Salcedo, Char’Tre Steward and Flor Tolentino

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The Sounds of the Rainbow

Music is considered to be the universal language. People listen to music for many different reasons, but it makes an impact on most. Musicians have taken that influence into consideration, and many now use their music as a form of activism.

“It is a really powerful way to get that message across,” said Rudy Vasquez, CSUN alumnus and trumpet player for Mariachi Arcoiris de Los Angeles. “….[We have the ability to] to inform people, because they are not only being informed, they feel what you feel.”

Mariachi Arcoiris de Los Angeles is likely the very first openly LGTBQ mariachi in history. Its members are trying to use their music to break barriers in the music world. The group provides a safe haven for mariachi musicians identifying with the LGTBQ community who want to perform traditional Mexican regional music.

Traditionally mariachis are male dominated and considered to have a machismo identity, with male chauvinistic tendencies. Therefore a mariachi is not a place where someone of the LGTBQ community would feel comfortable or free be themselves.

“We needed a place where we were free from bullying, being made fun of, being talked about behind our backs, and [suffering] discrimination,” said Carlos Samaniego, director of Mariachi Arcoiris, “different type of things that all of us, unfortunately, have suffered.”

“The group also has members who are straight and considered allies,” Vasquez said. “It’s great to see they could play comfortably with us, and know that about us and they are not going to feel that their masculinity is being threatened or anything. It’s like helping out or being a part of any other mariachi. They go in there and play with no reservations.”

Females have been a part of the mariachi world since 1903, when the first documented female mariachi musician, Rosa Quirino, played in a mariachi band, but to some it is still uncommon to think of female mariachis. The first all-female group was the Las Adelitas formed in 1948, which was directed by a male. Today only about thirty all-female mariachi perform in the United States.

Mariachi Arcoiris welcomes women, and is proud to have the first transgender female in mariachi history, Natalia Melendez, as their violinist.

“There were a lot of obstacles I had to go through to be comfortable,” Melendez said. “I never was expecting to be in a leadership role to the world, and I’ve been blessed with that; I’ve been given this kind of responsibility through everything that I’ve done.”

In 2015, gay marriage became legal throughout the United States, demonstrating that times are changing for the LGTBQ community.

“Your generation is more flexible, adaptable and open, and not as concerned about rigid boundaries about sexuality and gender,” CSUN Communication Studies Professor Kathryn Sorrells said. “I think those kind of [musical] performances are shifting [perceptions] for people in ways that I think are really helpful. Not everywhere, not all the time, but certain spaces are more open.”

Despite these advances ,the LGTBQ community is uncertain of its future under the Trump administration, and continues to experience discrimination such as harassment, misgendered pronouns, other forms of hate speech, and exclusion from basic public accommodations and many other areas in society.

But with artists and groups such as Mariachi Arcoiris de Los Angeles, who use music as a tool to advocate for a change, many say there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

“Music and protest are going to continue to come together in really powerful and creative ways in the next decade,” Sorrells said.

Moderator: Julie Nesbitt

Producers: Amber Partida and Abril Preciado

Anchor: Shelby Charlene

Social Media Editors: Malcolm Finney and Curtis Poindexter

Reporters: Yesenia Burgara, Shelby Charlene, Malcolm Finney, Julie Nesbitt, Amber Partida, Curtis Poindexter and Abril Preciado

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CSUN Leads the Scene to Keep It Green

While many consider climate change to be the most important issue of our time, not everyone agrees. Although former President Obama took an active role on the international scene to attempt to curb climate change when he signed last year’s Paris Agreement, President Trump’s actions during his first 40 days in office may signal a shift in U.S. policy, both domestically and abroad. And, according to a Gallup poll taken during last year’s elections, climate change failed to rank as a top issue among Democrat and Republican-leaning voters.

Despite this, California has implemented its own plan to combat climate change. The Associated Students at California State University, Northridge have as well. A new campus Sustainability Center is currently under construction and is scheduled to open in May 2017. With the opening of the center, CSUN could be considered a leader in sustainability efforts.

“It’s going to be the most innovative building on our campus, as well as in the CSU at this point,” said CSUN Director of Sustainability and Energy Austin Eriksson. “It’ll be the first building with composting toilets. It has the first grey water system on campus, so water that’s used in sinks will be used outside of the building for irrigation.”

The center will house CSUN’s Institute for Sustainability. Here, students will be able to find studies on sustainability, informational flyers, and even volunteer opportunities. The A.S. Recycling Center will also be located at the new Sustainability Center.

“It was recognized that there’s a lot of different groups on campus, and we all have the same goals to promote sustainability on campus and educate our students,” said Darien Siguenza,  Chair of the Associated Students Committee on Sustainability. “I think it’s going to be really awesome to have everyone under the same roof; and just to be able to have that collaboration and that same space, I think is going to be very beneficial for the future.”

With the new Sustainability Center, Associated Students and CSUN’s Institute for Sustainability hope to expand upon their current educational efforts and resources. However, while they recognize the importance of their recycling programs on campus, and acknowledge they can be improved with better signage, they want others to know this is only a small part of what should be done. They say other things like waste prevention and energy efficiency are more important. The manner in which the Sustainability Center will be powered reflects this belief. Since it will generate all of the energy it will use, it will be a net-zero energy building.

The campus community as a whole has welcomed and supported sustainability efforts at CSUN. Professor Loraine Lundquist, a physics and mathematics lecturer at the CSUN Institute for Sustainability, said this support is in stark contrast to the lack of support among the nation’s current political leaders.

“Over 12,000 papers have been published on the topic, and 97 percent of those papers agree with the consensus that first of all, our globe is getting warmer, and second of all, that we are the ones causing it,” she said. “But that is not the perception in the country right now, and that really does change our politics. There’s a lot of politicians that themselves have that skepticism, and it’s made it very hard to implement solutions, because a lot of the most important solutions are policy solutions.”

Moderator: Rosa Rodriguez

Producer: Arianna Takis

Anchor: Adam Hajost

Social Media Editors: Luzita Pineda and Lexi Wilson

Reporters: Jose Duran, Adam Hajost, Luzita Pineda, Rosa Rodriguez, Arianna Takis and Lexi Wilson

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