Drug Runs, Famous Singers, and Hidden Knives – Stories from behind the wheel as an Uber/ Lyft driver

Passengers who use Uber and Lyft love to share their “crazy” stories with friends and family. Insane Uber passenger “Story Times” have blown up on YouTube. What passengers might not know is that Uber drivers may have some even crazier stories. Chapman students Michael Khuraibet, Zoe Nixon, and Rudy Juarez-Pinedo have driven for Uber, UberEats, and Lyft. They shared their most exciting stories with Prowl.

 

Michael Khuraibet, junior Broadcast Journalism and Documentary major, got in a car accident, but he’ll still deliver your UberEats. Photo by Maggie Wright

 

Zoe Nixon, senior Communications Studies major, is a “f*cking awesome” Lyft driver. Photo by Maggie Wright

 

RudyJuarez-Pinedo, junior Broadcast Journalism and Documentary major, wants passengers to know that Uber is NOT for drug runs. Photo by Maggie Wright

 

Driving the Getaway Car for a Drug Run

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It was a hot summer day. My phone rang and my next pick-up showed on the screen (Let’s call her Sarah). I saw her picture, but it turned out [that] Sarah was a guy. He got inside and as we were driving he asked, “Can you cancel the ride, and then I’ll pay you in cash?” I thought it seemed a little fishy, but I needed the money. I said, “Okay.” Then he explained to me, “This is my girlfriend’s account. Right now, she doesn’t have any money in her back account, so I don’t want her to be overdrawn, but I have money and I’ll give you cash if you just take me to the location.” So I said, “Sure.”

He gave me $40 in cash and I took him to this liquor store. While I waited for him, I noticed that he was talking to some guy and they did a drug exchange. I started sweating, thinking, “Oh, sh*t – I’m a part of a drug run. I have to play it cool.” I thought, if I get in trouble, that’s it, I’m gonna get arrested. And Lyft wasn’t affiliated, because I canceled the job.

He came back over, sat down, and he asked, “Okay, can you drop me off at my house?” I said, “Yeah, sure.” I played it cool. Then we’re driving and he said, “You don’t mind if I do some in the back seat, do you?” I was freaking out, but I played it cool. I’ve never done drugs, but I told him, “I would be down, but I have other customers after you so I need the backseat clean.” He was like, “No worries man, no worries.” I dropped him off, he gave me an extra tip, and that was it. That was definitely the craziest thing I’ve ever done, and the stupidest. I’ll never do that again.

– Rudy Juarez-Pinedo, Junior, Broadcast Journalism and Documentary Major

 

PSA: Marijuana is NOT an Acceptable Tip

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I had to deliver to somebody who offered me marijuana, which I declined. I thought, “That was weird to offer your driver. How about a tip instead?” I’d rather have cash because I delivered something to you. But, that’s the vibe I get when I deliver UberEats to people who I perceive to be college students.

– Michael Khuraibet, Junior, Broadcast Journalism and Documentary Major

 

UberEats Driver Cancelation options do not include, “I’ve just been hit by a car”

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I was rear-ended [on the way to an] UberEats delivery before and Uber did nothing for me. It was so frustrating. The hit-and-run happened and there were plenty of witnesses, but the guy just drove off. I couldn’t believe someone hit my car at a major intersection, clear as day, and then just drove off. What kind of person has the gaul to do that? I pulled over and was screaming across the street, asking people if they got a video or a license plate or anything. Nothing. Later, I found out that Uber’s liability doesn’t cover whatever I went through. The worst part was that I still had to finish the trip. If you go to report an issue or cancel the order, as a driver, the cancelation list doesn’t include, “I’ve just been hit by car.” I made four dollars off that trip.

– Michael Khuraibet

 

Tips Buy Engagement Rings

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People should be aware that Lyft doesn’t pay well, so give me the tip! Some of the other drivers that I hear have different chargers for phones, candy, and gum – they have everything there to help you have a good day and all they would like is just a couple of bucks in return. Some guy I knew, the only reason he was driving was to save up money to buy a ring for his fiancé. He drove on the weekends and evenings, and he didn’t tell her that he was doing that.

– Rudy Juarez-Pinedo

 

Plot Twist

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One night, I picked up a group of really drunk guys from somewhere in downtown Long Beach. One of them was pretty flirty. His friends were like, “Dude, what are you doing? Why are you hitting on this girl?” During the ride, he asked, “Are you seeing anyone?” I said no and he was like, “Really?” And I said, “No, I don’t really have time.”

At the end of the ride, his friends were getting out, but he said, “Wait, I’m gonna stay here and talk to Zoe for a second.” He turned to me and was like, “You’re not interested in seeing anyone?” I said, “I’m really busy at the moment.” I was thinking, please don’t ask me out, you’re super drunk. Then he said, “When you find someone, I hope he treats you well like the princess that you are because that’s what you deserve. I hope you have a wonderful night.” I was like, “Wow, that ended a lot better than I thought it would.” I said to him, “You’re so sweet, have a good night.” I still think about him, because it was actually kind of nice. I wonder where he is now.

– Zoe Nixon, Senior, Communications Studies Major

 

Not Your Typical Business Card

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I had to pick up this group of really drunk kids from downtown Fullerton. When I got there, I saw there were a lot of them. I drive a Prius, so there are only five seats, but we ended up fitting one more person in. I said, “Maybe I shouldn’t have done that.” But everything was fine. By the end of the ride, one of the guys said, “Here’s this business card, read it out loud.” He handed me a card and it said, “You are f*cking awesome,” on it. I was like, “That’s kind of nice, but also so weird.”

– Zoe Nixon

 

That Moment When a Celebrity is in Your Back Seat

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I was driving in LA, and I recognized [a rider’s] picture. While I was driving, I was like, “I think I know who this is.” By the end of the ride, I asked, “This is really random, but did you open for 5 Seconds of Summer like two years ago?” He said, “Oh, yeah.” I said, “Yeah, I remember you. This is weird, but have a good night. Keep making music.” That’s the most LA thing that’s ever happened to me.

– Zoe Nixon

 

Did Your Mom UberEats You a Happy Meal? In Kindergarten?

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While I was driving for UberEats, I had to deliver to this Catholic elementary school. A parent had ordered a Happy Meal for their student who was in kindergarten. I knocked on the office door and said, “Hi, I’m dropping this off.” They asked, “What’s the name of the student?” I said, “Sonya.” They asked, “Sonya, who?” I said, “I don’t know.” When you say that to a school official, obviously they’re going to be concerned. I showed them my phone and I said, “I think this is the parent that placed the order.” They looked at it and I asked, “Can you take it?” They said, “Yeah, we’ll take it.” I don’t know [if] the food ever got to the child. That’s funny for me to think about: this office worker at a Catholic school who had to be like, “I better check this out, just to make sure it’s safe.”

– Michael Khuribet

 

Chapman Students vs. Other College students

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Chapman students were actually fine. I wasn’t around for Thirsty Thursdays or any greek parties, so the people I drove were great. They were mostly going to hang out with their friends at Disneyland. I’ve had frat guys from Cal State Long Beach in my car once. They got into my car and one of them pretended to have an accent and he told me he was from “Wakanda.” I said, “I’m not dumb, I’ve seen Black Panther.”

– Zoe Nixon

Out with the old, in with the brew? Country Roads may be replaced by another bar-restaurant

 

The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control can hold a hearing when valid protests have been filed against an application and the applicant and protestant are not able to reach any agreements, according to a pdf of the alcoholic beverage license application process. Photo by Claire Treu.

Country Roads, an antique mall off the Orange circle, might be the next old-timey store to fall in favor of a restaurant or bar, further diminishing the identity of the nostalgia-rich Old Towne Orange walking district.

Al Ricci, the owner of the building and local real estate scion, has filed an application for a liquor license for the location and plans to evict half of the antique agora, replacing it with a restaurant or bar when the lease is up.  

“I think that the restaurants that come in to old town have done well, and I think it’s good for the city,” Ricci said.

Resident outrage over the loss of the 26-year-old store has highlighted long-standing tensions between locals who treasure mom and pop stores, and students, whose spending power has enticed commercial property owners to open up restaurants and bars, which can pay higher rents.

Old Towne Orange is listed as the largest National Register Historic District in California, so plans to replace antique stores with new businesses have been sparking outrage among residents.

“The Orange Plaza commercial area and surrounding residents is the largest National Register Historic District in California. It is not the booze capital in the OC!” said Patti Ricci, a long term resident of Orange. Patti Ricci said she is unrelated to Al Ricci.

Distressed residents have started collecting signatures for a petition protesting the license, though no formal complaints had been filed with the state liquor board as of March 13, according to John Carr, Public Information Officer for the California Department of Alcohol Beverage Control. Residents attached to familiar storefronts find themselves fighting two major players in the gentrifying area: Ricci, owner of Ricci Realty, and Chapman University, which draws thousands of students into the area, most of whom are more likely to patronize establishments selling beer, pizza and $20 salads than antique malls offering WWI gas masks, a montage of camera parts and Victorian linens.

Community members had until March 17 to submit written objections to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Santa Ana District in writing “and persons living within 500 feet of the premises have until March 27,”  to do so, Carr said.

If a formal protest is filed, that would trigger a scheduling of an administrative hearing, which could go as far as a California Supreme Court Decision before the issuance of license is determined.

An alcoholic beverage license application must endure a complex process for approval. Courtesy of John Carr, Public Information Officer for the California Department of Alcohol Beverage Control.

Orange residents were collecting signatures for a formal protest for the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. An individual helping promote the petition outside the Country Roads store refused to comment and could not confirm when and to whom the petition will be given.

“Within the Old Towne Orange area there is an excessive amount of business that sell alcoholic beverages. Within a walking distance of the Plaza Square Park there is over 20 businesses that sell alcoholic beverages,” the petition reads.

Ricci said he would move forward to put a food court on his property whether he receives a liquor license or not.

Residents express dismay to Country Roads store owners while signing petitions against Ricci’s plan. Photo by Tiffany Chen.

Residents said they would fight the elimination of yet another classic establishment.

“The simple fact is that we love the Country Roads antique store and we don’t want it to go away,” said Lawrence Butler, whose family has lived in the same house in Old Towne Orange for over a hundred years.

There are already enough bars and restaurants in Old Town, said Butler, who signed the petition.

“How can Orange be a historic district while wanting to become the restaurant capital of the world? You can’t be the best at everything,” Chambers said.

But area restaurants are thriving and the Circle benefits from variety, Ricci said.

Ricci filed for a “type 47” alcohol license on Sep. 21, 2018. A type 47 license is considered “on-sale general eating place,” according to the License Query System Summary for Ricci’s application. This may mean it will be a restaurant with a bar. “It depends on how they want to set up their business,” Carr said.

The application is awaiting approval by the California Department of Alcohol Beverage Control, according to Carr. Applications typically take 45 to 90 days to be reviewed, but may take longer depending on a local process called a conditional use permit.

“They need to get a local business license from the local governing body saying ‘hey, I want to open a restaurant,’ or ‘hey I want to open this business.’ So they might be concurrently flowing through the local process,” Carr said.

Sue Jackson, the owner of Country Roads, was not available for comment. The daughter of Jackson, who works on the premises, said her family would have no comment on their apparent eviction. She advised vendors inside the antique mall and an individual outside of the store getting petitions signed not to give statements to Prowl.

The Country Roads property extends over two properties, owned by two separate landlords. The landlord of the half of the real estate not owned by Ricci was unconfirmed. It is uncertain what would happen to antique vendors that sell on Ricci’s side of the property.

“It’s not like Country Roads is going to go away, they are just probably going to be reduced in size,” Ricci said.

The other landlord can make their own decisions as to whether  to continue renting to Country Roads.

The owner of the other half of the property could not be immediately located.

“I would imagine they would probably take the best vendors and keep them, or maybe adjust the spaces where they have the same amount of people but maybe smaller spaces. I don’t know how she’s [Sue Jackson, owner of Country Roads] going to do it, but that would be her decision not mine,” Ricci said.

Comment from Mary Ricci, Al Ricci’s wife, screenshotted as a reply to a post asking for people to stop and sign the petition on NextDoor.

Not all students support the location becoming a food court. Country roads is a good place for Chapman film majors to find things to use on set, said Kaia Whitney, a freshman broadcast journalism major. Whitney and other film students often go “prop-digging” at antique stores, she said.

“Antique stores sell things that are truly one of a kind. I would be so sad to see them be replaced by other businesses,” Whitney said.

The conversion is a hot topic with residents.

The antique stores are integral to the town’s independent, friendly and charming character, Glover said. But they are being replaced by a profusion of restaurants, according to Elsi Chambers, a retired coach from Orange High School.

“I am really at a conundrum here between private property rights and community obligation,” said Steve Adamson in a comment from the website NextDoor.

Comments from Beth Keezer and Steve Adamson screenshotted as a reply to a post on NextDoor.

Chambers said that she moved to Orange to live in a safe and quiet historic town. An “escape from reality,” as she called it. The increase in restaurants and bars have attracted an abundance of strangers to Orange, making her feel unsafe. The change of use would put additional pressure on parking and increase traffic, she complained.

“I moved to Orange County so that my kids could play in the front and backyards of my house safely,” Chambers said. “Suddenly, with all these strangers in the neighborhood, it’s not as safe. People park in front of my house, and I worry about it.”

Attributing the lack of parking to restaurants and bars is a false analogy, according to Daniel Ortiz, a realtor and resident of Orange for more than 60 years. Increased parking in neighborhoods around the plaza is a result of more tenants, Ortiz said.

“If the negative factors that people bring up [in relation to Al Ricci’s plan] were as bad as they claim, the desirability and marketability of residential properties would not be at an all-time high,” Ortiz said.

For those who enjoy meandering and shopping in antique stores, these shops represent more than just stores that sell old things, but places where the past can be reminisced.

“Country Roads is a place where we can share our past with our little ones…it was offensive to see some people regard it as junk shops,” Chambers said, referring to a comment by Jake Brower on the website NextDoor.

Comment screenshotted as a reply to a post asking for people to stop and sign the petition on NextDoor.

Rejecting new businesses prevents the community from moving forward and adapting to modern changes, Ortiz said.

“It is possible to feel nostalgic and want to preserve the past, while at the same time, adapting to the ever changing dynamics of a community,” Ortiz said.

Ortiz, 58, said the generational divide is evident in his own family. He and his wife love strolling through antique stores. But his daughter, 30, and her friends prefer to dine out and spend their money at establishments selling new items.  

“As a community, we must learn to adapt to the ever-changing business environment and to look toward the future, while not forgetting where you came from in the first place, especially in a community with as much history as ours,” Ortiz said.

Prowl will continue reporting on this issue and update the story as new information becomes available.

SGA Considers New Bike Share Program

Happy with the bike she has, Hannah Richardson, junior political science major, said she wouldn’t use a bike share program. Hoping others can feel the wind in their hair too, Richardson said she still supports the initiative. Photo by Claire Treu.

A survey is underway to measure student interest for a new bike share program at Chapman University, which some researchers say can decrease traffic congestion and improve the health of the pedalers who use it, according to a 2018 a report from Environmental Health Perspectives.

Chapman’s Student Government Association (SGA) drew up the survey in response to student requests and out of a desire to improve campus sustainability, said Ishani Patel, freshman business major and SGA’s Student Organization Senator.

If respondents show enthusiasm about the idea, SGA may bring in a bike share program for students and faculty, as early as next semester, according to Patel, who is heading the initiative. The survey will remain open until Mackenzie Crigger, Sustainability Manager, determines that enough students have participated, Patel said.

As of Feb. 27, “Mackenzie Crigger reached back to me and said that she had not yet pulled up the survey data,” Patel said. “Everything is up in the air, because this is still in the initial planning stages. Our first step is to garner student interest through this survey and go from there.”

While SGA isn’t looking for an exact number of positive responses to implement the program, “we just want approximately above a thousand students,” Patel said.

Patel believes a bikeshare program would not only help students travel between classes, but allow them to run errands or go to the Orange Circle.

“I would hope it would be like Lime, where you would use an app and take a picture to unlock the bike,” Patel said.

For Lime, there is a $1 fee to start the scooter, and an additional 15 cents per minute used. Though Lime is an electric scooter company, Patel said the idea would be similar for bike sharing.

College campuses such as UCLA and Yale initiated bike share programs in 2017. Patel mentioned Pomona College for their efforts in increasing awareness about sustainability.

“One prime example of campus nearby that has a great bike-sharing program would be Pomona College,” Patel said.

This time last year Pomona College partnered with Ofo, a bike share company, to help students get all around campus, according to the Pomona College website. However, the program was short-lived.

“After the program launched in February with a free pilot, there were scattered complaints that the bikes were blocking paths,” according to The Student Life, the newspaper of the Claremont Colleges.

The semester after its implementation, Ofo left the Claremont Colleges. At this same time, the city of Claremont “banned electric sharing services while it studies their effects and works out potential regulations,” according to The Student Life. Most bike sharing systems use wireless electronic communication for bicycle pickup, drop-off and tracking, according to a study in 2013 in Journal of the Transportation Research Board.

Patel attributed Pomona’s failure to an Ofo business crisis. That aside, U.S. bike share use has gone up 25 percent from 2016 to 2017, with 35 million trips taken in 2017, according to the National Association of City Transportation Officials.

If there is enough interest, a program here would be built around the values of sustainability, value for money and health, Patel said.

If the initiative moves forward, SGA would have to consider how to deal with the issues of rider safety and theft.

“A lot of the bike sharing programs we choose, and the companies we look at, have security programs in place to insure vandalism and theft is kept at a minimum, and it’s the students responsibility and obligation to pay,” she said.

It is too soon to know the source of funding for the bikes, Patel said. “Potentially one could use funding from SGA (if the entire senate agrees) or funding from the sustainability’s department,” she said.

Although Patel inferred a price would come with bringing bikes to campus, the Sustainability Department said otherwise. “There is no funding required for the bike shares we have considered,” Crigger said.

Crigger would not disclose which programs have been considered.

Some students might be more willing to use loaners, because there is an “epidemic” of stolen bikes, said Francesca Fangary, junior screenwriting and public relations and advertising major. Though she prefers to walk, Fangary said if she had a bike on campus she would rather rent than risk a bike theft.

Bikes parked illegally at Chapman can be confiscated by the university. The university claims no responsibility for damage done to locks or bicycles during appropriation, according to the Bicycle Rules and Regulations. Photo by Claire Treu.

Chapman’s Public Safety Bicycle Rules and Regulations requires that all bicycle owners register bikes for security. Jocelyn Dawson, a sophomore business major, had her $100 bike stolen on campus. Dawson thinks having a bike sharing program could save students time and money from committing to buying their own bike.

Dawson also believes that implementing this program can ease congestion in Chapman parking lots and aid in reducing the overall CO2 emissions on and off campus. Not to mention, keeping students active, she said.

“This might be a really fun way to bond with friends or get a quick workout in before class,” Dawson said.

If implemented, these bikes would only be available to Chapman students, faculty and staff – at least initially.

“We have not yet reached out to the communities or Orange, but once this bike-sharing platform is approved we will,” Patel said.

Permitting the loaners to be used within a two-mile radius from Chapman would be a good idea, Patel said.

“Architecturally and structurally, Chapman is very flat. So it’s very easy to take the bike around and stuff like that,” Patel said.

The number of students that drive to school from increasingly short distances and refuse to carpool in many ways reflect Chapman’s affluence and how we, as a school, depend on our own convenience, said Jenny Gritton, senior environmental science and policy major.

Gritton chooses biking as her primary mode of transportation. A program would need to contain incentives to work, said Gritton who specializes in transportation planning at IBI Group, a modern city design company.

“At the end of the day if the students are not interested then they will not take advantage of it,” Gritton said.

Chapman’s existing Bike Voucher Program leaves any student, faculty or staff member who is willing to not bring a car to campus for two years eligible for $300-350. The money may be used at a local bike shop to cover the cost of a bike, helmet or to simply upgrade your bike for transportation purposes, according to a pdf on the Chapman website.

“Biking instead of driving not only saves you money but also reduces your fossil fuel emissions, and it improves your physical and mental health cause you’re having a that little squirt of endorphins from the exercise,” Gritton said.

Five Tips to Keep Political Peace at the Holiday Table

As eggnog is poured and rolls are served, a looming topic of debate is likely to come up: politics. Especially with midterm elections recently occurring, students at college are more inclined to form independent political views without family pressures. Holiday gatherings – infamous for family arguments – may very well be the first time students will join in on the political debate and share their differing political opinions.

Dr. Carolyn Brodbeck, associate professor in psychology at Chapman, talked to Prowl about coping mechanisms intended to help prepare students for political disagreements that may await them at home. Here are five tips that stood out.


  1. Before heading to dinner, self-reflect.

As students spend a majority of time with peers and professors in a college setting, their beliefs may change or develop to differ from how they were raised. As a result, “a student may perceive their place in the family as changing,” Brodbeck states, which requires a reflection on one’s own beliefs as a separate entity. In the process, it is useful to reflect on the university experience in shaping ideas, as well as your place in the family and in the world. Ask yourself for example, “How would I describe my current relationship with my family? How has my relationship with my family changed since embarking on my Chapman university experience? What do I see as the most important challenges that my family and community are dealing with?” Brodbeck informs.

Self-reflection is important to creating a sense of awareness of the world around an individual, an essential part of the university experience as we learn to become more independent. Photo by Alyssa Harrell.


  1. De-escalate the debate.

Instead of lashing out at family members for their differing political views, note contrasting opinions and separate them from your relationship with the individual. “Dad, I can see that we have extremely different perspectives on this political issue. It seems like this is really important to you. I just want to let you know that I will always respect you as my father even if we don’t agree on this or other topics,” Brodbeck uses as an example.

Because many discussions occur at the table, it is useful to simmer down a heated debate with compliments about the food. Photo courtesy of Claire Treu.


  1. Use entertainment to divert debate.

Before heading home for the holidays, look to your favorite games to steer the altercation into a friendlier direction. Plan in advance, having games like “Monopoly” or “Life,” to extinguish a brewing or heated political debate. Just maybe don’t suggest Cards Against Humanity…

Games typically require sole concentration, so it is a good way to steer clear of debate either temporarily or permanently. Photo by Alyssa Harrell.


  1. Help out in the kitchen.

Although it is nice to show appreciation directly at the holiday table, a good way to express your gratitude is through helping set, serve, and clean up after the meal. This acts as a good way to escape from argument while earning respect from your family members. “Your grandparent or whoever is heading chef duty will be grateful that you are taking the initiative to help out!” Brodbeck states.

Heading into the kitchen is a good way to contribute help to the table rather than another person to engage in conflict. Photo by Alyssa Harrell.


  1. Engage in family tale-telling.

In a heavy discussion, make light of the situation through compliments of a family member. Perhaps ask how holiday dinners were when older family members were growing up. “Your interest shows respect, especially towards courageous ancestors who have made today possible,” Brodbeck informs.

The telling of familial stories promotes bonding as it steers away from a perhaps less than desirable debate. Photo by Lisa Fotios from Pexels.


 

10 gifts you never thought your pet deserved

7% of pet owners dress their pets on a regular basis, 5% have given their animal a social media account and another 95% of pet owners admitted to having bought a Christmas gift for their pet, according to a recent survey conducted by Rover.com – the nation’s largest network of dog sitters and walkers.  

Make sure your pet isn’t overlooked when the holiday present come out. Here are 10 of the most ridiculous pet gifts we found.


1. Dog High Chair

Say goodbye to setting the table for one. Since the idea of letting your pet be a pet for 20 minutes seems absurd, check out this alternative. This pet high chair keeps your pup from sitting on your lap or at your feet begging for your food when you’re eating. Instead, it can have a chair of its own.

Price: Ranges from $56-$100

Photo Courtesy of Donna Slem.


2. Ceiling Cat Playground

Tired of your house being full of cat toys and scratch pads? Give your cat their own overhead playground to get them out of your hair. Combined with a wall bed to rest, you provide your cat a relaxed retreat.

Price: $102.50

Photo courtesy of Alexandra Botezatu.


3. The Doggy Thong

The Doggy Thong is fashionable and practical. Made of charcoal cloth, designed to neutralize a dog’s anal odors, it will keep Stinky smelling and looking great! We cannot, however, guarantee your dog won’t be bullied.  

Price: $15

Photo courtesy of Imgur.


4. Cat Music

Teyus Music, by musician David Teie from a soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra, has created a playlist specifically for cats. Teie bases his sounds on cats’ physiological traits and instincts. Incorporating feline-centric sounds – like the suckling for milk – can help cats relax, according to Applied Animal Behaviour Science.

Price: $15-$20 per album

Photo courtesy of Imgur.


5. Portable Fishbowl

Need to take your fish on a walk? Of course you do! Check out the stylish backpacks and handbags with built-in fish bowls that allow you and your pet to hit the town.

Price: $25.00

Photos from Michal Shibitali on Flikr.


6. Non-alcoholic wine for your cat

After a long day of work, sometimes you just need to sit down and enjoy a glass of wine. Why drink alone when your furry friend can join you? Infused with salmon oil and organic catnip!

Price: $5 for one bottle

Photos by Steve Heap on Pixabay & @pandabearsermahgerd on Imgur.


7. Petcube Camera – The Pet Equivalent of Skype

The Petcube camera lets you see and hear your pet in an HD wide angle lens when you’re out of the house. The product is also equipped with an interactive laser so you can play with your pet even when Snickers is home and you’re in Minsk.

Price: Ranges from $150-$179

Photo by @iceburg99 on Imgur.


8. Pawdicure Polish Pen

Look good, feel good. This non-toxic polish pen allows you to decorate your dog’s nails in a rainbow of colors. Do you still wonder why dogs bite people?

Price: $7.99

Photo courtesy of @tinyCartoonBeats on Imgur & @AjKaramba on Imgur.


9. Marry your pet

Are you in love with your pet? Well the two of you can share the same living quarters, enjoy tax benefits, and the sanctity of marriage. Just sign the marriage certificate – oh yeah – and pay.

The price: $230.00 for the “biggest” option, which includes an ‘I married my pet’ t-shirt, a certificate and a hand embroidered, personalized wall plaque to always remind you of your special day.

Photo by Amber Lou on Imgur & Michelle Geer on Imgur.


10. Kitty tunnel

Keep your kitty in the holiday spirit by giving him a soft and warm place to cuddle – or hide while being chased away from the Christmas decorations or holiday roast.

Price: $16.99

Photo courtesy of Claire Treu.


From putting your pooch in a high chair to getting married to them, you never know how far some pet owners will go for their pet.

How I Found Out Santa Wasn’t Real

Trigger warning: This article contains content regarding the existence of Santa Claus. This content may cause feelings of betrayal or loss of innocence.

When the beard comes off and the true identity of Santa Claus is revealed, Christmas loses some of its magic. Children usually find out that Santa is a myth around the age of eight, according to a 1980 study performed by Eastern Michigan University researchers.

Here, six Chapman students tell us how they found out the hard truth of Santa Claus.


Santa Quits Through a Letter

Every year Santa would write Davis Anderson, sophomore strategic and corporate communication major, and her sisters letters congratulating them on their accomplishments. Anderson loved getting these letters. She distinctly remembers one year anxiously peeling open Santas letter to read: “Dear Davis, I hate to break it to you, but I’m not real.”  She was crushed.

Anderson still celebrates the holidays despite a crushing childhood memory. Photo by Julianna Franco.


“The Talk” Takes A Turn

Marissa Dunn, junior strategic corporate communication major, was about 11 years old when she got the ‘girl talk.’ Her mother explained that Dunn’s body would be going through a variety of changes soon. It was nice at first, until the mother started to explain the menstrual cycle and what would happen every month.  Dunn burst into tears. Reality seemed so cruel. “Is Santa even real?!” she blurted out.

Sorry, kid.

“I felt I actually became a woman,” in that moment.

Dunn is now able to smile about the devastating day she “became a women.” Photo courtesy of Marissa Dunn.


Investigation Backfires

Santa didn’t add up for Trey Makishima, sophomore TV writing and production major, and his sister. The two started their search by cross referencing wrapping paper and gift tags they had around the house with what Santa had brought. They compared Santa’s penmanship to that of their parents and relatives They brought the evidence of their investigation to their parents – proof that the fat man was a fraud.

Great, said mom and dad: Since you don’t believe in him anymore he won’t bring you anymore gifts.

Makishima decided the truth hurt too much: He faked renewed belief in Santa for the next three years.

Makishima is made into a decorated Christmas ‘Trey’ – ‘tree.’ Pictured: Avery Girion, sophomore, Trey Makishima, sophomore, Graham Byrne sophomore. Photo courtesy of Trey Makishima.


Early Santa Delivery?

Javari Hunt, sophomore public relations and advertising major, was eight years old when she snuck into her mother’s room to check out a pair of high heels she knew would be under her mother’s bed.

Next to to the heels she saw a wrapped present in the shape of a Bratz doll box. What a coincidence! That’s exactly what she had asked for from Santa! And the tag read “From Santa!” But the handwriting on the tag looked just like as her mom’s. Santa must have dropped off her gif early and in a rush and “my mom did him a favor and wrote his name on the tag,” she rationalized.

Christmas morning she opened the same present she spotted under the bed, and her mom looked at her with a big smile. “He dropped that off, fresh this morning, while you were sleeping,” her mother said. It was then she knew the truth.  

Hunt thinks back to how strong her trust in her mother was, before the Santa lie. Photo Courtesy of Javari Hunt.


Grandma Goes Hardcore

Ali Whu, sophomore strategic corporate communication major, was eight years old when her aunt asked her grandma where she bought the play kitchen that Whu loved so much. Grandma explained that Whu’s mom had bought it for her.

“No, Santa bought it for me,” corrected Whu.

Her grandma then looked at her dead in the eye and said, “Well now you know Santa isn’t real.”

Whu remembers the good days before she was exposed to the truth of Santa. Photo courtesy of Ali Whu.


The Text That Changed It All

Cassidy Kaufmann, freshman business administration major, is Jewish. She didn’t realize the significance of Santa until she ruined it for a friend.

“Santa isn’t real,” Kaufmann sent.

Her friend was heartbroken. Kaufmann stole away the magic of Christmas in a matter of seconds. Though they are still friends, Kaufmann knows she is responsible for stealing her friends innocence.

Kaufmann poses with a cookie, although she never put any out for Santa. Photo by Julianna Franco.


 

Five seniors give advice to freshman about what they learned at Chapman

Many students show up for their first day of college wide-eyed and unaware of what will happen during the next four years. Prowl talked to five seniors who have survived the four years of frat parties, horror story roommates, scary professors and the terror of midterms and finals to tell the tale — and give college advice, share experiences and reveal what they wish they had known or done differently.

 

Jonathan Hernandez, senior business administration major, Captain of Chapman Men’s baseball team.

From: San Mateo, California

My one regret is that I never got to study abroad, but as a college athlete I knew I could never do it. I never thought it would be something I wanted to do but after hearing friends experiences I would have loved to immerse myself in a new culture.

College is a learning experience, but not all my lessons came from the classroom. I became more independent learning how to cook, clean and budget money.

I never had a problem getting classes. It helped being a student athlete, and all the teachers were very understanding. So I would find a friend who has the same major and take your classes together so you have a study buddy and keep each other accountable.

I would tell freshman that you can treat these four years as party years and waste your time and be screwed for the real world or you can take classes seriously and be in a position after school to make good money and have fun for the rest of your life. You have to have a balance. If you want, you can find a party pretty much every day of the week, but you don’t need that. Get your work done and have fun on the weekend.

 

Sara Utsugi, communication major, libero on Chapman Women’s Volleyball team.

From: Aiea, Hawaii

I wish I had opened myself up sooner and taken advantage of more opportunities. I was pretty closed off my freshman year, so I wish I had let more people in sooner. I also wish that I stopped using volleyball as an excuse not to do things. I told myself that I was tired and didn’t have time to get involved, but if I had really made time to, I could have done so many more things.

I learned that seasons of life come and go so to not be upset or discouraged when things don’t go to plan because there is always something around the corner. I also learned that friendships — the true, lasting, tough-love friendships — are precious and require care and nurturing. And finally, I learned that it’s okay to be selfish. In fact, it’s necessary to be selfish when it comes to the love you show yourself and time you pour into your own growth because in the end, without self love and self respect it’s really hard to live your version of a full and meaningful life.

One reason I came to a smaller school was to avoid the scramble for classes and teacher attention. I would suggest creating at least two or three class schedule options just in case you can’t get in. Also, in the days leading up to your registration date, it’s a good idea to check back in on classes and see which ones are filling up. As for doing well in classes, my best tip is to show up for class both physically and mentally.

It was tempting to blow off homework and studying for hanging with friends, but I am the type of person who will always get my work done — it just might get done at 2 a.m. Find a balance between saying yes and no to invitations but do say yes. The late night runs to Pizza Press and 3 a.m. dorm room hangouts are the memories that you’ll take with you after college is over.

 

Henry Miller Mein, senior creative writing major

From: San Jose, California

I learned to be more of a people person. A college like Chapman brings with it hundreds of outlets of students and organizations and I was able to build many different connections with diverse students. Whether planning a concert or selling pickles at Picklefest, I managed to influence a lot of people.

Getting to know your professors is always important. This way you can develop a relationship early on. My plan in picking classes has always been to try to be early in registering, but if I’m waitlisted for a class I’ll try to go in and talk to the professor because it is likely you’ll be able to get in.

Try to make a connection with everyone you meet. Some might be small and end up not leading to anything, but a small interaction could also blossom into a long lasting friendship. Knowing a handful of people can help you work through college in times of need.

 

Serena Steele, senior communication studies major

From: Ontario, California

I wasn’t as involved on campus as much as I would’ve liked to, in part due to that I work a lot during the week.

I learned that my worldview is capable of changing every now and then. Classes and people here have challenged the way I think about myself and life. I come from a low-income, single mother household. There are so many different types of people here with a dissimilar background from mine. I’ve learned that I can’t change some people’s conceptions about welfare or low-income areas, but I can take what they taught me and grow from that.

Learning to ask for help when needed really helps. If you’re struggling with mental health or having familial issues, talk to your professors. Most of them will care and try to help. Also, don’t take any classes before 9 a.m.

You will probably never find the perfect balance. Some weeks, you will probably go out and party every night. Sometimes you’ll be stuck in the library for hours, eyes straining and fingers pounding away at your keyboard trying to make that 11:59 p.m. deadline. Don’t punish yourself over going out, because you need a good story to tell years down the line about that crazy thing you did as a freshman.

 

Reed Nakakihara, senior double major in accounting and business administration,

From: Santa Ana, California

I’ve learned a lot in college and one of the biggest is time management. From having to study, to going to basketball practice, to hanging out with friends, to doing laundry and cooking food, there is just so much to do. I’m thankful that I had to struggle with all of these things because it made me appreciate and respect what other people endure in life that have way more going on.

My best advice would be to take the classes that interest you. Don’t be so obsessed with the letter grade, rather, focus on understanding the big concepts and how you can use it to help you in the future.

Balance is a big part of freshmen year. You don’t want to have too much of one or the other. Obviously, your academics are important and should come first. My best advice is to work hard in the classroom and then reward yourself by having a good time with your friends whenever you can. As long as that doesn’t become a priority over academics, you will be just fine.

Breaking Down the Movie Loyalty Programs for Theaters Close to Chapman

Movie tickets can be extremely expensive these days, especially if you’re a broke college student. Thankfully, many theaters and ticketing companies provide various loyalty programs for movie-goers to save on some cash and not to miss out on any of the biggest new releases. Here are five different loyalty programs that work at all the movie theaters within a five-mile radius of Chapman along with some pros and cons of being a member.

 

AMC A-List

AMC A-List may have be the most expensive loyalty program on this list, but it’s packed with benefits! Graphic by Ethan Williams.

Pros:

  • You’re able to see at most 12 movies a month for $20, which is quite the deal!
  • You’re able to see films in the IMAX and Dolby theaters for the same price as you would pay for any a 2D movie
  • Shorter lines at the concession stand
  • You’re able to reserve your seats online
  • You get a free large popcorn and drink on your birthday!

Cons:

  • Dropping $20 a month can be quite spendy depending on your financial situation
  • It’s only valid at one theater near Chapman

Atom Rewards

When using the Atom Tickets app, you’re able to purchase and have access to your tickets through your phone. Graphic by Ethan Williams.

Pros:

  • The program allows you to link other memberships like AMC A-List to your account, giving you the ability to use your three free movies a week from A-List to count towards a fourth free movie on Atom Rewards
  • The program is not subscription-based, so there’s no pressure to get your money’s worth

Cons:

  • You still have to pay for three movie tickets at regular price if you want the fourth ticket free
  • Like AMC A-List, it’s only valid at one theater near Chapman

Cinemark Movie Club

While Cinemark Movie Club may only provide one free ticket a month, it is the cheapest subscription-based loyalty program on this list. Graphic by Ethan Williams.

Pros:

  • $8.99 a month is less than one average movie ticket in Southern California
  • Discounts on expensive concessions definitely come in handy
  • The Century Stadium 25 is the closest theater to Chapman

Cons:

  • Again, this program is only valid at one theater near Chapman
  • You still have to pay extra for premium screening like the XD Theater

Fandango VIP Plus

Much like the Atom Tickets, Fandango allows you to purchase movie tickets through your phone. But this time it can be used for more movie theaters! Graphic by Ethan Williams.

Pros:

  • If you link your Atom Rewards account to AMC A-list, you can use your three free movies a week can count towards a fourth free movie
  • The program is not subscription-based, so there’s no pressure to get your money’s worth
  • It works at multiple theaters near Chapman

Cons:

  • You still have to pay for movie tickets at regular price in order to get discounts and rewards
  • There’s a service charge for buying tickets through Fandango
  • You have to see a lot of movies to in order to gain enough points for some serious discounts

 

MoviePass

MoviePass has had a rough past year in terms of making a profit and its customer service. If you’re considering to finally get a MoviePass, proceed with caution. Graphic by Ethan Williams.

Pros:

  • MoviePass can be used at the most theaters out of all the loyalty programs on this list
  • Three movies a month for around $10 is less than one average movie ticket in Southern California

Cons:

  • You’re only able to watch a select group of films that changes from day to day
  • Due to poor management from the company, the app rarely works these days, restricting you from getting a ticket
  • MoviePass has notoriously bad customer service

 

Overall, if you’re an avid movie fan, AMC A-List is definitely the biggest bang for your buck. If you’re a bit more casual and only tend to see only one film a month, Cinemark Movie Club may be your best option. Atom Rewards and Fandango VIP Plus may not be the best option alone if you want to watch movies for cheap, but they do come in handy when linked to other loyalty programs like AMC A-List. As for Moviepass, recent announcements from the company have revealed changes to their structure, including newer payment tiers that allows subscribers access to more free movies per month. Since these changes won’t be put into effect until January 2019, it’s hard to determine whether this will actually save MoviePass from its poor customer service or dysfunctioning app, but it does look promising.

Seven New Year’s Resolutions to Improve Chapman

Photo by Jennifer Sauceda.

New Year’s resolutions aren’t just for individuals. Institutions that desire self-improvement can also commit to changing for the better. In the spirit of helping our school become even better, we’ve gone ahead and drawn up the resolutions that Chapman should accomplish in 2019. You’re welcome.

1. Save the Panther Bucks

Chapman’s Agora Gift Shop sells a variety of products from Chapman apparel to care packages to school supplies. Photo by Jennifer Sauceda.

At the end of each semester, students’ remaining Panther Bucks expire, making them unusable for the next semester. An expansion of their usage to purchase supplies at the gift shop would result in a decrease in leftover Panther Bucks. Better yet, allowing students the options of transferring Panther Bucks to a friend, carrying them over to the next semester, or giving refunds of unused balances, would give students a more Panther bang for their Panther Bucks.

 

2. Address the Diversity Problem

The Global Citizens Plaza displays 64 flags, which represent the home countries and nations visited by Chapman’s students and staff. Photo by Jennifer Sauceda.

With more than 52 percent of undergraduate students identifying as white, the campus fails to reflect California’s diverse population. For example, only about 1.6 percent of undergraduates are black, a stark contrast to California’s 6.5 percent black demographic. Offering more need-based scholarships for low-income students would help alleviate the underrepresentation of African American students and bring more socio-economic diversity to campus.

 

3. Make it Onto The Princeton Review’s “Guide to 399 Green Colleges”

The Princeton Review’s list takes university policies, programs and conservation efforts into consideration. Photo by PublicDomainPictures on Pixabay.

In case you haven’t heard, Chapman’s portfolio has long included substantial investments in fossil fuels. As a result, the university opts out of participating in The Princeton Review’s rating system for evaluating sustainable colleges. It’s time to face the music and confront our own contribution to global warming. Divesting from fossil fuels to establish a greener investment portfolio would allow us to join other enlightened peers on the Princeton Review list.

 

4. Introduce Menstrual Products in the Men’s Restrooms

Pads and tampons used to cost 25 cents each before the university offered free menstrual products. Photo by Jennifer Sauceda.

Earlier this year, Chapman began providing free menstrual products in some of the women’s and gender-neutral restrooms throughout campus. Yet, there are no menstrual products available in men’s restrooms anywhere. Menstrual products should be available to all Chapman students who experience menstruation. And, while we’re at it, in all bathrooms.

 

5. Fix the Panther Shuttle Schedule 

The first shuttle of the day typically arrives around 7:30 a.m. on weekdays. Photo by Jennifer Sauceda.

With overcrowded shuttles and unreliable arrival/departure times, the simple task of getting to class on time has become a mission for students who live in Chapman Grand or Panther Village. The addition of more shuttles arriving at shorter intervals would ease the worry of missing out on class for those who can’t drive themselves to school.

 

6. Keep Cafeteria Food in the Cafeteria

The Loyal E. Horton Dining Award was presented to Chapman’s dining services in 2017. Photo by Olaf Broeker on Pixabay.

Organizations on campus are not allowed to serve food valued over $50 unless approved by Sodexo, the campus’ food provider. This poses a problem for cultural clubs who organize events that offer homemade dishes or food that exceed a limit of $50 worth of food. By eliminating the limit, organizations would be more inclined to share traditional foods with the Chapman community as opposed to serving Sodexo-prepared meals.

 

7. Make It Easier to Enroll in G.E. Courses

The university’s average class size is 23, but popular classes may easily exceed the average.  Photo by Jennifer Sauceda.

Chapman prides itself in providing small class sizes for an intimate learning experience, but the increasing student population is making it difficult for students to enroll in courses to fulfill their general education requirements. Opening more sections for overcrowded classes would alleviate the stress of being on the waitlist.

 

 

The Christmas Gifts You Never Wanted

We all know the excitement of holding a wrapped present during the holiday season, and then opening that gift and thinking to yourself “Why did they get me this?” It’s either something you’d never use, something you’d never wear, or something that makes you think “wtf grandma.” It’s safe to say most of us have been there before, so here’s what some Chapman students had to say about their bad gift experiences.

 

Photo courtesy of Brett Hayes.

When I was 11 me and a couple of other people went to my friends house during winter break to hang out and she said she had gifts for us. She gave my other friends gift cards and other things you would want for Christmas, but when it was my turn she gave me and one of our other friend hangers. In her defense they were nice hangers, but like who wants hangers as a Christmas gift?

– Brett Hayes ’19

 

Photo courtesy of Dylan Dahle.

When I was 15 my mom gave me condoms for Christmas. It was super awkward because you don’t really want to talk about that stuff with your mom when you’re 15, and especially when it’s Christmas.

– Dylan Dahle ’21

 

Photo by Claire Tafoya.

In my life I’ve been given around seven Bibles and I’m not really religious at all. I usually get them from my Irish side of the family, but I once got one from a friend. I don’t know what to do with them so they just sit on my bookshelf untouched with these cross necklaces I’ve been given over the years.

– Davis Anderson ’20

 

Photo by Claire Tafoya.

When I was really young a family friend got me a really expensive lip pencil but being like 8 years old I was really confused because all I wanted was toys.

– Alya Hijazi ’21

 

Photo Courtesy of Zack Morse.

My family always has Christmas dinners with two of our close family friends, and they always give really bad gifts. About two years ago one of the families gave me and my brother fake lottery tickets. We didn’t even realize they were fake until we thought we won and our dad pointed out that the back said “for entertainment purposes only.”

– Zack Morse ’19

Even though it’s fun to make jokes about how bad some gifts are, it’s important to remember the holidays are about more than just presents. Take the time over break to relax, enjoy life, surround yourself with the people you love, and put the extra mile into your gifts so you don’t end up on a list of worst gift givers.