Party On?: Chapman fraternities underestimate the effect of NIC’s alcohol ban

Official fraternity sponsored events, such as Pi Kappa Alpha’s Heaven and Hell event, serve alcohol through a third party vendor, which complies with the NIC’s new rules. Photo by Evan Hammerman.

In August, the North American Fraternity Council (NIC) adopted a policy that decreed “Each NIC member fraternity will adopt and implement a policy by September 1, 2019, that prohibits the presence of alcohol products above 15 percent ABV in any chapter facility or at any chapter event, except when served by a licensed third-party vendor.”

Chapman fraternities believe they will not be affected by the hard alcohol ban because they lack Greek housing and the parties held at fraternity members’ residences are not officially endorsed by the fraternity. This interpretation may not hold up under the law, according to at least one legal expert.

“Speaking to the rules that the NIC passed, it really doesn’t apply to Chapman because the ban was placed on fraternities with housing,” said Trystan Davis, Interfraternity Council President.

Though students consider homes that fraternity members rent together and host parties at to be frat houses, they are not official in the eyes of NIC, according to Davis.

“It’s affiliated student talk wise, but on paper, it’s not,” Davis said. “It’s kind of hard to pin a house that’s being rented by students as a Greek house.”

Doug Fierberg, an attorney that specializes in school law, hazing, sexual assault, and related topics, says that there are a number of legal theories under state law that enable victims to hold fraternities (national and chapters) and their members responsible.

Fierberg warned that Davis should proceed at his own risk.

“If they throw an event and someone gets hurt or killed I’ll be the first one to hold them responsible,” he said.

Chapters are self-managed by their members. Supervision is put in the hands of  “18, 19, 20-year-olds who are often grossly intoxicated, poorly trained and completely unaware of the risks,” said Fierberg.

“They [fraternities] are not to be entrusted with that kind of supervisor responsibility because for decades its been proven they aren’t capable of doing things safely,” said Fierberg.

Fierberg has resolved dozens of cases nationally regarding hazing, wrongful death, and negligence by fraternities.

“We have argued that that management system itself, which is basically controlled by the national [fraternity], is dangerous,” said Fierberg.

Fierberg also argues that the members can be considered legal agents of the national fraternity. This can hold the national fraternity responsible for the misconduct of its agents.

Four alcohol-related fraternity deaths in 2017 prompted the North American Interfraternity Conference to order a ban on frats serving hard alcohol – unless the bartender is a licensed third-party vendor.

Even with a third-party vendor, fraternities can be held legally responsible depending on circumstance, according to Fierberg.

A wrongful-death lawsuit was filed against the Sigma Alpha Epsilon National Chapter in 2012 after an Arizona State University pledge, Jack Culolias drowned. Culolias was kicked out of a Tempe bar at a fraternity event for being too drunk. At least two fraternity members knew he was kicked out, which Culolias’ mother Grace Culolias claimed as gross negligence. His body was discovered weeks later in the Tempe Town Lake with the blood-alcohol content of 0.28 percent.

“Nearly all hazing and over-consumption deaths in the past two years have involved students consuming high-percentage alcohol beverages,” read a statement on the NIC’s website.

Some Chapman fraternity members claim they realize liability if someone drinks themselves into critical health and gets injured.

With the existence of the fraternity at stake, should there be an accident, senior finance major Wesley Hertel stated Delta Sigma Phi has decided not to serve hard liquor at their parties. He acknowledged that completely blocking out hard alcohol from events is beyond their control.

“People that go to events can bring it themselves if they really want it and they are responsible for their own actions,” said Hertel.

Fierberg emphasized that fraternity members are responsible to tell people to stop drinking or ensure the safety of guests, pledges and members of the chapter.

“Good luck is what I’ll say to the fraternity,” Fierberg said. “They’re all incredibly inexperienced and poorly trained to deal with these situations.”

President Struppa gives update on financial budgets, academic achievements, and the expansion crisis

“Everything you’ll hear today is positive news,” Struppa said as he spoke to an open forum on Dec 5. Photo by Leslie Song.

President Daniele Struppa said this week that Chapman plans to spend over $20 million to fulfill the objectives of the second year in the comprehensive five-year board-approved plan.

Struppa spoke to an open forum on Dec. 5, updating Chapman’s efforts towards initiatives included in the Strategic Plan for Diversity and Inclusion as well as a summary of the pending financial budget for 2019-2020.

Several goals such as decreasing the total number of accepted students, growing the population of first-generation and underrepresented students, offering resources for these students to succeed, providing more on-campus housing, and increasing the endowment are some of the major goals for the upcoming year, said Struppa.

Although the university is in a stable position with its finances and goal achievements, the administration is still looking for ways to grow, Struppa said.

“We need to keep being watchful. Even though we are doing well, we need to be careful of where we are,” Struppa said. “We want to create an environment where we can ensure that students succeed.”

In the past year, the university has created a Latinx and Latin American Studies minor, made progress with current construction for on-campus housing and accepted a smaller incoming class than the previous year for fall 2018, Struppa said.

The 2019-2020 budget propositions totaling over $20 million includes the largest expenditure of $8.65 million towards efforts to make Rinker campus more inclusive to the main campus, adding to the landscape plan, purchasing equipment and adjusting faculty salaries and operations.

Following that is $7.05 million towards the Fowler School of Engineering, $3.2 million towards the Chapman experience which includes adding positions to HR, IT and other departments to create a more satisfying experience for students and staff, $1.2 million towards comprehensive campaigns that deal with outreach marketing and operations funding, $350,000 towards changing student profiles by increasing financial aid for first-generation students and $293,000 towards research funding, according to Struppa.  

Chapman’s diversity project model contains five goals which include curriculum, recruitment, climate, community, and institutional prioritization.

The university wants to focus more on internal improvement beginning with staff and faculty satisfaction, said Struppa.

Wanting to create a place for faculty members that will offer excitement every day and improve their overall Chapman experience – which is the satisfaction they feel about the community and their encounters – even Struppa admits that he could see improvement in his life at Chapman.

“I don’t feel [excitement] every day. I feel it more often than I don’t, but I don’t feel it every day,” Struppa said.

The university’s budget has been approved by the Finances and Budget Committee but will be voted by the Board on Dec 10. Administrators are confident that the proposed initiatives will pass without challenge, according to Struppa.

Undergraduate tuition will see a 4.2 percent increase which is the same as last year and there will be an increase in institutional financial aid of $9.4 million, Struppa said. Increasing the endowment to support students, particularly those that are first-generation and come from disadvantaged backgrounds, remains a priority, said Struppa. The university plans on doing this by diversifying its investments to increase funds.

As of 2017, the endowment was $352,616,000. The goal is to reach half a billion dollars and the university aims for 80 percent of the endowment to go towards tuition funding, Struppa said.

“We are really committed to that long-term problem,” Struppa said.

Expansion was another topic of concern.

With a goal to house at least 50 percent of students on university property, construction is being done across from the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at the Villa Park Orchards residence hall. The anticipated completion date is fall 2019 and the structure will house 400 beds, Struppa said.

“Space is a tremendous premium,” Struppa said.

The Hilbert Museum, an art exhibition at Chapman, will also expand into downtown Orange to create an art zone for the entire city. This will also create more space for a dance studio, according to Struppa.

Plans to renovate the Davis apartments to house 600 beds, compared to the current 150, in addition to creating a parking structure away from the main campus are being discussed.

However, due to the lack of financing, these construction projects will be revisited at another time, Struppa said.

Who let the dogs IN . . . my classroom?

Chapman students and faculty are bringing non-service dogs to class, which may pose a distraction.

Sammy Keane asked her professors if she would be allowed to bring a dog to class before purchasing her golden retriever puppy, Noodle. Photo courtesy of Sammy Keane.

Sammy Keane, junior studio art major, doesn’t attend class alone. Keane, like other Chapman students and professors, brings a furry companion.

Chapman has no policy against dogs in the classroom, according to Equal Opportunity and Employee Relations Specialist Rick Zeiger. Students and faculty have taken advantage of this by bringing their non- service animals to class. Some bring their dogs as a registered emotional support animal. Others just bring their dog to socialize and not be left alone at home. While the owners describe their pets as well behaved, dogs can disrupt the learning environment by running around, barking and whining, or making a mess of the classroom. Dog owners request permission from professors and students before bringing their dogs into the classroom and ensure their dog is a minimal distraction. Some students find dogs distracting and would prefer them to be left at home.

Keane was granted permission to bring a dog to class before she purchased her Labrador and golden retriever mixed puppy, Noodle.

“I bring her because no one is home to watch her and my roommates and I want her to be more social,” Keane said.

Keane says she brings Noodle to class for convenience and to make her more social.

There are a number of faculty members that bring their furry friends to school as well for similar reasons. Keane says she has had four professors who have brought their dogs to class, and sophomore dance major Raea Palmieri has seen five professors with dogs around campus.

More professors in the art department bring their dogs, compared to other subjects, according to Keane and Palmieri.

“Especially as an art major, we have a different type of learning atmosphere,” Keane said.

The laid back and expressive ambiance of art classes is a welcoming environment for dogs, Keane said.

Palmieri chooses not to bring her dog to her math lecture because the environment is more concentration.

“Math is a more complex subject and I don’t want to distract people,” Palmieri said.

Freshman journalism major, McKenna Sulick, has feared dogs since she was young. The presence of dogs distracts her and makes her feel nervous. She is afraid to tell dog owners that she feels uncomfortable because so many people are dog lovers, Sulick said.

“People can get offended that you wouldn’t want to have their dog around,” she said. “I usually just deal with it.”

“If I was more confident in myself, I would ask (students and professors) to leave their dogs at home,” Sulick said.

Palmieri considers that her French Bulldog, Gypsy might be a distraction in her classes. however, she has asked for permission and no one has complained –  to her, at least.

“While I know that not everyone is a dog person, most people don’t mind having her in class and a lot of people actually enjoy it,” Palmieri said.

Gypsy doesn’t bark or bite according to Palmieri, but she has gotten sick in class.

“The worst thing Gypsy ever did in class was projectile vomit,” said Palmieri. “She had a stomach bug and someone picked her up with her mouth facing outwards and she projectile vomited at the front of the class… It was really gross.”

Palmieri cleaned up the mess with the help of two classmates before resuming class, she said.

Facilities did not respond to whether pet waste is an issue in the classrooms.

Despite this messy incident, Palmieri continues to bring her emotional support animal to class.

Unlike service animals, emotional support animals do not require specific training but are required to behave in all settings, according to a website that registers emotional support animals.

As emotional support animal phenomena grows in popularity, researchers question the effectiveness of emotional support animals on personal mental health.

“Isolating the effect of a pet in the context of all the other factors that influence a person’s mental health is so hard, so the evidence there is really, really mixed,” said Molly Crossman, a psychology researcher at Yale.

Emotional support animals and service animals are permitted on campus and in residence halls according to the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Yet the process of registering a dog as an emotional support animal is as simple as a Google search and a small fee.

“I have told professors that I am bringing my emotional support animal, rather than asking them if it is okay,” said sophomore Raea Palmieri. “I know my rights to an emotional support animal in a collegiate setting.” Photo courtesy of Raea Palmieri.

Gypsy is a registered service dog and Palmieri feels less anxious in class because she can put some of her energy into paying attention to her dog.

“Having my dog in class, surprisingly makes me focus more because I have no additional time to go on my computer and be distracted from the lecture,” Palmieri said.

Professor CK Magliola said she sees no harm in bringing emotional support animals and pets to class. Magliola brings her dog, Ginger, which she describes as small and harmless, to her women’s studies classes. She allows students to bring their pets as well.

“Most folks who ever bring their dogs to class have a dog whose temperament is well-suited for it, or else their owners wouldn’t bring them,” Magliola said. “If there were a dog not well-suited for this kind of public environment (and barked or whatever) or if anyone felt intimidated, I wouldn’t allow it,”

Out of the four of five classes Magliola teaches, she says only one or two students will regularly bring dogs.

“If the school was a crazy zoo and any untoward incidents happened then there would be cause to regulate the matter, but there seems to be no evidence or just cause for this as far as I know,” Magliola said.

The Five Types of People at the Gym

You head to the gym to burn off that muffin top, get that six-pack, or squat your body weight until your thighs fall off, but there is always someone there to ruin your workout groove. Look at the bright side: your eyeballs will get a great workout from all of that rolling!

Prowl recreated five types of gym rats that no one wants as a workout buddy, but do make for some great entertainment to distract you from the burn.


1. The Narcissist

You can usually catch this person staring at themselves in the mirror. That leg press you wanted? Sorry! The leg press – and every other piece of equipment – is required as a prop for The Narcissist’s selfies. If The Narcissist is not on the bench snapping pics, he’s sitting on it while posting the pics on social media to show off to an imagined audience. “Hey, everybody: I’m at the GYM!”


2. The Loud One

This is the person who belts out a gladiatorial scream at the top of their lungs while lifting. When they drop their weights, you stop, drop and cover thinking the giant earthquake has finally arrived. The last thing you want to do is ask them to be quiet in fear that you may be the next weight they slam on the ground.


3. The Slob

You will never catch this person wiping down the equipment after they’re done using it. Everybody gets sweaty at the gym and nothing can change that. The gym provides free towels – but “The Slob” never uses them. This person may also leave weights on the equipment after they’re done. Obviously, putting them away is someone else’s job.


4. The Know-It-All

This is often the weakest person in the gym. You will usually find them critiquing someone else’s form when they don’t even know enough to wear closed-toe shoes in the gym. Their favorite hobbies include researching workouts, but never actually doing them.


5. The Clueless One

There is nothing wrong with being a beginner; everyone has to start from somewhere. With that being said, sometimes it looks like these people don’t even know what exercise even is. These people usually look like they’re at a playground rather than a public gym. Oh really, you think riding that elliptical machine like a rocking horse is how it works?


All GIFs created by Ethan Williams and Mitchell Melby.

The new ban on e-cigarette flavors is creating restrictions that reach beyond kids

“I tried (vaping) and I was like this is like smoking a cigarette. But I’m not waking up with phlegm in my throat, my clothes aren’t reeking, and it’s cheaper,” said Alex Hallerman, a junior communications major. Photo by Wikimedia Commons.

Use of e-cigarettes by high school students has jumped 78 percent since last year while middle schoolers saw a 48 percent increase, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

Vaping and e-cigarettes have become such a dangerous trend among youth, that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) believes it to have reached epidemic proportions according to FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb.

There is evidence that nicotine, a highly addictive substance found in cigarettes and vapes, can harm the brain development of teenagers. Studies have also shown that vaping in earlier years has a stronger link to later use of regular cigarettes and other tobacco products, according to the American Cancer Society.

“This troubling reality is prompting us to take even more forceful action” – such as ending the sales of flavored e-cigarettes, banning flavors in cigars, banning the market of e-cigarette products to children and finally, banning menthol flavor for cigarettes and cigars – “to stem this dangerous trend,” Gottlieb said.  

This new ban will restrict flavors that appeal to kids, such as cherry and vanilla, from being sold in retail stores and some online manufacturers. Following the proposals, the FDA took action in September 2018 to begin the process by issuing out warning letters and fines to retailers who illegally sold e-cigarette products to minors, according to the American Cancer Society. Still, some Chapman students believe that this proposal won’t have much of an impact on the vaping habits for young people.

Juul user Alyssa Houston, 20, is below California’s 21+ legal age to buy any tobacco-related products. But Houston either has her older friends buy Juul pods for her or she goes to select gas stations where she knows that she won’t get carded, she said.

“Personally, I only like mint so I’m not affected by [the ban] but I feel like people [who are affected] will still find a way to get the flavors they like,” said the junior communications major.

Though the proposal was made to deter recreational use by kids, limiting flavors and methods in which students get their e-cigarette supplies appears to be insufficient to curb existing addictions for some.

After being introduced to a Juul through a friend during her senior year of high school, Houston said she has been hooked ever since.

Smoking her Juul has become more about the habit and less about the sensation, she said. While the Juul gives her the occasional head rush, “after hitting it all day long, it eventually doesn’t faze you,” Houston said.

Then, there’s the habit: “There’s just a feeling of having (a Juul pen) – it’s like having your cell phone on you,” Houston said.

Raising the age restriction from 18 to 21 for California back in 2016 was the first attempt to impede the rising popularity of e-cigarettes among youth. However, age laws are becoming futile as students have found ways to bypass the rules.

Houston agrees that e-cigarette usage and kids are not a good combination. “I know people who will do it in the movie theaters and stuff but it’s like, have respect for other people. Also, when there are kids around I feel bad so I don’t do it around them,”  Houston said.

While Houston restricts her Juul use around kids, she thinks Juuling is just a new trend in society, she said.

“It’s sad that little kids are doing it but I also think that there’s always something new that comes out that’s not good for kids and it’s better that it’s this than something worse,” Houston said.

The most important thing when it comes to vaping is finding the right merchant, said Tori Erikson, a freshman biology major.

Erikson began vaping with a mod (a bigger type of e-cigarette) when she was 17-years-old.  

“Once the law passed [that changed the age restriction], a lot of shop owners would still sell to their past customers,” Erikson said.

Erikson was able to get e-cigarette juice through friends who had forged relationships with a merchant or supplier while they were still underage.

But some argue that vaping is a less harmful way to ingest a substance – nicotine – to which they have long been addicted.

Since smoking a pack of cigarettes a day since he was 17-years-old, Alex Hallerman was able to quit his two-year-long relationship with tobacco by switching to vapes, said the junior communications major.

The FDA’s proposition could prevent other students who are in similar situations, Hallerman said.

Before making the switch, he tried nicotine gum, the patch, and even Chantix, a smoking cessation aid that can help people quit smoking, he said.

“That’s what my parents pushed me towards but I was like, ‘no you don’t understand. I need the hand-to-mouth thing,’” Hallerman said.

David Daleo, the owner of Dr. Vapor, the Old Towne Vape shop in the circle, is concerned that the ban will keep more people smoking cigarettes.

“When you vape something that tastes completely different than tobacco, you enjoy it. I know that their concern is that we’re going after kids, but adults like flavor too,” Daleo said.

After targeting larger companies such as Juul Labs, the mounting pressure from the FDA has made the company suspend sales of their flavored pods at their stores. But gas stations, convenience stores, and other outlets are still able to sell Juul products.

As of right now, Daleo isn’t worried about his two vape stores. He believes much more robust legislation will need to occur before his storefronts will lose sales.

“I see the concern but until they start focusing on California I’m not worried. Once they do, it’ll be the death of our industry,” he said. “We pride ourselves in having a variety and I have hundreds of flavors here.”

First-generation student is first Chapman Rhodes scholar

Chapman’s first Rhodes Scholar, senior biochemistry and molecular biology major Vidal Arroyo. Photo courtesy of Vidal Arroyo.

Vidal Arroyo was the first member of his family to go to college and is now Chapman’s first student to receive the Rhodes Scholarship. He was one of 32 students chosen for the scholarship from a pool of over 2,500 applications nationwide, according to Rhodes Trust.

Chapman joined the more than 320 American institutions who have had applicants accepted into the highly selective program. Arroyo, a biochemistry and molecular biology major, was one of two winners from District 16, the Los Angeles District, that was compiled of students from top schools such as Stanford and Berkely.

The scholarship covers full expenses for students to study at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom for up to four years, relieving financial issues Arroyo has considered a barrier between himself and academics throughout his academic career.

“It’s a blessing, I think it will be the first time I’ll be in an environment where I’m not battling against some barrier,” he said. “I’ll actually be on an equal playing field and feel what that feels like for the first time.”

The Rhodes Scholarship wasn’t even on Arroyo’s radar last spring when he was planning to study in Israel through the Fulbright Program, a U.S. student exchange program that provides individually designed grants. But he was encouraged to apply to other programs in the UK by Julye Bidmead, the Director of the Office of Fellowships and Scholar Programs.

Bidmead helps students with scholarships she believes are a good fit for them and the application processes but recommends the Rhodes Scholarship to a select few students, she said.

“It’s a really competitive scholarship,” she said. “I won’t encourage it if they don’t have the credentials.”

Bidmead has been working with Arroyo since his sophomore year and has helped him apply to seven or eight scholarships. Only two or three students from Chapman apply to the Rhodes Scholarship each year, she said.

“He’s a hard worker, self-motivated, and follows through,” Bidmead said about Arroyo. “He has a desire to help other people.”

At Oxford, Arroyo said he will be studying statistics and partnering with faculty in the department who work with genetics through machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms, he said.

The past two summers Arroyo spent away from his home in Rancho Santa Margarita researching pediatric cancer at Baylor College of Medicine through funding received from the National Cancer Institute. Arroyo and his team discovered current statistical methods don’t work well with small data sets that are used for analyzing rare diseases, an issue that inspired him to pursue studying the area, he said.

“We worked designing new ways to analyze data so that we can bring the reality of personalized data not just to really common diseases, but also to rare diseases where there’s not as much data to deal with,” Arroyo explained.

After Oxford, he wants to continue pursuing his education with an M.D./Ph.D.

While Arroyo will be studying algorithms, genetics, and statistics, Rhodes scholar Jin Kyu Park plans to use the opportunity to study at Oxford to explore citizenship and membership in American society, he said in an interview with CNN.

Park, a senior at Harvard, is the first undocumented immigrant to receive the Rhodes scholarship, according to Rhodes Trust. Park’s immigration is covered by Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the first year DACA recipients were eligible for the scholarship.

President Donald Trump ordered an end to DACA, first reported by The New York Timesand said he’d phase the program’s protections out on Sept. 5, 2018.

As one of the approximate 700,000 young adults who were brought to the United States illegally as children who qualify for DACA, Park is concerned about getting back into the U.S. after traveling to Oxford, he said in an interview with PRI.

“Like everybody else, he’s very deserving of the award,” Arroyo said about Park. “[The program] is going to have to work it out at some level for him.”

Almost half of this year’s winners are immigrants or first-generation Americans, and the majority of the scholars are minorities. In addition, the 21 women who received the scholarship makeup the greatest number of female recipients in a year, according to Rhodes Trust.

The other scholar selected from District 16, in addition to Arroyo, is one of those women: Madison L. Tung in the Air Force Academy. Tung is an acquaintance of Arroyo’s from high school, the two connected through wrestling.

In high school, Arroyo didn’t always have dreams of going to college, but it paid off.

“I’m thankful to have come to Chapman,” Arroyo said. “This was definitely the place for me to be.”

New DeVos policies could give credibility to those accused of sexual misconduct

New policies from Betsy DeVos provide more protections to those accused of sexual assault. Photo by Mari Lundin. 

United States Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is trying to change the policies that outline what an American university –  like Chapman – is required to do upon receiving claims of sexual misconduct, leaving each institution questioning what constitutes a clear example of harassment or assault and amplifying protection of accused students.

DeVos has proposed to rework the precise definition of sexual harassment to “unwelcome conduct on the basis of sex that is so severe, pervasive and objectively offensive that it denies a person access to the school’s education program or activity.” In addition, the rules on how colleges handle cases withdraw from Obama-era guidelines and advocate for a policy that would make it more difficult for victims to file a legitimate claim.  

The proposed guidelines contradict the previous secretary’s definition of sexual violence, in which anything “perpetrated against a person’s will” or without a person’s consent is deemed legitimate.

Her proposal, first leaked by the New York Times in August, give more protection to students accused of sexual harassment or assault by narrowing the definition and they also relieve colleges of responsibility for incidences that take place off campus and limit the liability of institutions that abide by Title IX procedures when it comes to matters of sexual misconduct.

Allegations could now require “clear and convincing evidence” rather than the current “preponderance of evidence” the Obama era has implemented.

“Students will feel less inclined to report harassment if these policies get approved,” said Kiley Snow, a junior biochemistry major. “I don’t think these changes will benefit students, especially victims, at all.”

In addition to following standard Title IX procedures, Chapman abides by state and federal laws regarding sexual harassment and misconduct policies. This means if the federal laws change, the policies that Chapman follows will, as well.

Should the proposals be implemented, victims of sexual assault and harassment will be even more reluctant to report crimes than they are now, said Dani Smith, Rape Crisis Counselor and Health Education Director.

Over 90 percent of women who experience sexual assault on-campus do not report it, according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.

“People who are violated minimize what happened,” Smith explained.

The definition of assault and harassment could also be weakened with the implementation of the new rules, making it more difficult for campus administrators to discipline those accused, Smith said.

Smith is also the leader of P.E.E.R. (Proactive Education Encouraging Responsibility) and C.A.R.E.S. (Creating a Rape-Free Environment for Students), which stand as Chapman resources that extend a shoulder for student victims of sexual misconduct.

Because her department is not in charge of investigations, Smith says all she and those involved in campus programs can do as counselors is act as confidential bodies of support for Chapman victims.

While Smith attempts to prevent harassment and assault through education, DeAnn Gaffney, the Lead Title IX Coordinator at Chapman, along with a team of university investigators, is in charge of the actual investigation process.

“Our Title IX investigation process is impartial and neutral so investigators hear from all parties,” Gaffney said.

Because the Department of Education hasn’t come out with an official proposal yet, Gaffney said the effect the changes have or don’t have will depend on how the policies are worded and structured.

Regardless, Chapman is required to follow local, state, and federal laws, she explained.

The new proposals from DeVos are “a step backward,” said senior kinesiology major and C.A.R.E.S. member Jess Quimpo, of the new policy. “It’s already hard enough for survivors to even go through such a process.”

Quimpo believes that narrowing the definition will further harm survivors.

“There is a problem of finding the right needs for survivors and/or the person who is being accused of sexual assault,” Quimpo said.

For immediate assistance on campus, students often turn to Public Safety. But, Public Safety does not respond to assaults alleged to have occurred off campus.

Should a student be assaulted or harassed, they can report to both the police and the university. But, each institution handles the situation separately, according to Gaffney.

Chief of Public Safety Randy Burba said that Chapman officials are designated to report any sexual misconduct allegation under Title IX that occurs on campus.

However, since the reporting policy only applies to instances that occur on Chapman grounds, if something happens off off campus, Public Safety typically turns over those cases to law enforcement, according to Burba.  

“The umbrella of [these instances] is a hostile environment,” Gaffney said. “Events off campus can create a hostile environment on campus so you have to analyze that very seriously, I mean I don’t know how you can exclude that.”

As of now, Public Safety complies with the federal definition of sexual misconduct. Thus, their response to each report may vary as the law does, as well.

The New Pass/No Pass Deadline has Students feeling Cheated

The Academic Advising Center moved locations in Beckman Hall. Photo by Marcella Zizzo.

Some students say the new, shortened pass/no pass policy has reduced their willingness to sign up for classes they fear they won’t ace.

Chapman’s revision of the pass/no pass policy this fall includes lowering all passing grades to meet a minimum of “C-” rather than the previous “C” standard, as well as limiting the allotted amount of pass/no pass credits to six per academic year–which is considered the terms of Fall through the end of Summer. It does not include courses that are only offered as pass/no pass.

Students are usually not allowed to register a major or minor course as pass/no pass unless they receive permission from their department chair.

But the least popular aspect of the changes is its shortened deadline to register a course as pass/no pass.

For the 2018/19 year, the Faculty Undergraduate Academic Council sliced the timeframe in which a student could change a course from graded to pass/no pass in half – from 10 weeks to five.

The short deadline is “annoying” and “rude,” said junior PR & advertising student Nora Viarnes.

Five weeks isn’t enough time to fully decide if a student will perform well in a class, according to Viarnes.

“It’s unfair because you don’t really know that you’re going to struggle that hard. It’s hard to tell [how you’ll do in a class] that early,” Viarnes said.

Some students say they now have too little time to determine whether or not they need to switch to pass/no pass to preserve their grade point average.  

A benefit that some students see to the pass/no pass option is that there is no reflection on their transcript of any lost points, should they not pass. A student who opts into pass/no pass would just not receive credit, if they did not pass, and would have to repeat the course again if they needed to pass for their degree.

At Chapman, if a student chooses to pass/no pass their course, they will receive a grade of “P” or “NP,” rather than a letter grade on their transcripts.

Thus, their GPA won’t change, either positively or negatively. Pass/no pass only tracks whether or not a student passed the course.

Some students feel as if they don’t have enough time to determine whether or not they will do well in a class, especially since some professors don’t post grades until later in the semester.

Faculty Undergraduate Academic Council was “concerned that the 10-week period to change the grading method was too lax,” according to Vice President for Undergraduate Education Nina LeNoir, when asked why Chapman made the changes.

LeNoir said that having a pass/no pass option is set in place “to encourage students to take classes outside their major discipline that they may find challenging but have an interest in.”

The deadline was halved to put Chapman in line with other universities’ standards, said LeNoir, noting, “most schools have much shorter P/F or P/NP decision times.”

But, some students find that the shortened timestamp on declaring a class as pass/no discourages students from taking risks or registering from classes that are an academic stretch.

The new deadline made sophomore peace studies major Preetha Raj, regret trying new classes.

Raj was considering switching to a different major and decided to take a course in that subject to see if it would be a good fit. After the first few weeks of school, she was unable to tell how she was doing because she didn’t have any grades yet.

“I wasn’t able to really gauge how I was doing in the class until after that five-week deadline,” Raj said.

After finding out she wasn’t doing well in the class, Raj was stuck in the course with no way to protect her transcript, as the pass/no pass deadline had run out.

The pass/no pass deadline plays “a huge role in how you’re planning out your next four years,” Raj said.  

“At five weeks in, you don’t even know what your projected grade could be in the class,” and that moving up the deadline only impedes the process of deciding whether or not one actually needs the option of pass/no pass.

“If anything it just stresses students out,” Raj said.

The updated policy prevents students from experimenting with new courses, according to Viarnes.

“The [general education courses] here vary so outrageously from, like, super easy to ridiculously hard for no reason,” Viarnes said.

LeNoir said that she does not view the pass/no pass option as simply a grade-saver.

“It is meant to encourage intellectual curiosity, not to save a GPA,” said LeNoir.

“A student should have the ability to evaluate whether or not the class is at the level at which they wish to take it for a letter grade or pass/fail upon reading the syllabus, and through several class meetings,” according to LeNoir.

LeNoir said she is unable to release the number of students who have dropped out of a course until the end of the current term.

Nearly two percent of courses were changed to pass/no pass per semester within the last academic year, with the most common pass/no pass courses being foreign languages and mathematics, according to LeNoir.

Still, some students don’t believe the pass/no pass option is the best academic move.

“I just always felt like I could just get the grade I’m going to get than pass/no pass it and then have that show up on my transcript,” said Bailee Cochran, a junior business major.

By moving up the deadline to switch to pass/no pass, the university is leaving students with little option to shield their GPAs from a bad mark, Cochran said.

“Not everyone is just trying to get out of working hard in their class. Some people really do need [the option of pass/no pass].”

Double the work, double the pain, what’s the gain?

Student, Jillie Herrold, studying in Leatherby Libraries. Photo by Madison Taber.

Senior screenwriting and history double-major Jake Naturman decided sophomore year that he wanted to graduate a year early.

In order to achieve this, he took two required pre-thesis classes for history, as well as intensive screenwriting classes and other projects he was already working on outside of class. Naturman carried 18 credits last spring.

“[That semester] I would come home from class every single day, plop down on my bed, and scream into my pillow before dragging myself up and getting to work on whatever I needed to do,” Naturman said.

Naturman is among the 7.6 percent of undergraduate students at Chapman currently pursuing double majors, according to the Assistant Director of Chapman’s Institutional Research Office, Robert Pankey.

Pankey described this percentage as “pretty steady,” inching up less than one percent in four years.

Many students believe that double majoring will give them a leg up in the job search after they graduate and enter the workforce. But is the extra work worth it?

Naturman double-majored to be better prepared to meet his objectives –  writing historically accurate films.

“Being a historian has made my writing process even better, especially with regards to research,” Naturman said. “[That] gives me a slight edge over people who might not have that experience.”

Even with two majors, Naturman has completed a summer screenwriting internship at Impact Pictures and is on track to graduate a year early, this spring.

It turns out that double majoring may, in fact, yield financial benefits.

Christos A. Makridis, a Ph.D. Candidate in Labor and Public Economics at Stanford University, conducted his own analysis that assessed more than two million full-time workers between the ages of 20 and 65. His research showed that those who double-majored in various subject combinations earned between 3.4 and 9.5 percent more than those with one major depending on their field of study.

Research that was conducted prior to Makridis’ did not show results as clear as Makridis’ and was constructed from smaller groups of individuals.

Alex Neff, a senior communications and psychology double major, believes she had the upper hand against other applicants in a past job interview because of her double-major.

“They were communication majors while I was that plus psychology,” Neff said. “My now new boss was very impressed and thought my majors were applicable in the business world.”

Neff hopes her double major will help her in the competitive job market.

“So far [being a double-major] has shown me that with dedication I can honestly do anything because it sounded like a lot but here I am doing it,” she said.

Double-majors may have an extra additive to their resume, but at least two employers said double-majoring paled when compared to what they truly value: relevant work experience.

“While a double-major may speak to a candidate’s academic commitment and work ethic, it would not automatically trump an applicant who had only one major,” said, Karl Kreutziger, president of  C.W. Driver Companies.

“The most competitive applicants in our field have a combination of academic studies,  work or internship experience, and student extra-curricular activities such as student clubs or members of academic competitions,” Kreutziger said.

Kreutziger emphasized the importance of students having hands-on experience.

“The applied part of their studies is where we really see the differentiators among applicants. Ideally, we try to hire college applicants who have at least two or more industry internships over their college career,” Kreutziger said.

“Experience is more important: That candidate would be preferred,” said Rosemaria Altieri, senior director of human resources for Southern California News Group. “[Multiple majors] does not automatically trump another applicant.”

The common belief among students that being a double major would impress their future employers is logical, but cramming two majors’ course loads into four years is not always wise said Eva Scalzo, founder of Key Academic Advising.

“They feel that they are better rounded, but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend double majoring for anybody unless they really want to do that much work. A solution is doing a major and minor,” Scalzo said.

Scalzo advises students individually with the college application process and decisions on majors.

“A lot of my students will do a major and a minor. That way it’s allowing them to focus on two areas of interest. The major being what they are pursuing as a field of study but the minor being something that they also have interest in,” Scalzo said. “It is more work, but I don’t think you are taking away from learning other subjects.”

Some students realize they are interested in two subjects equally once they begin attending college classes, which may result in the pursuit of two majors, Scalzo said.

“If they are going to double major I think it is intelligent to do it in the same field or discipline. If you create enough crossover then you won’t have an issue with overwhelming work,” she said.

While these employers value experience over education, the benefits of being a double-major still prevail in the workforce as shown by Makridis’ study. The tug-of-war remains between students with a diverse academic skill set and students with pertinent experience in a given field.

Tinder Barely Passes with Tinder U

Tinder U is a way for students to meet with one another from different universities. Photo by Tumisu on pixabay.

Students don’t give Tinder’s new dating platform very high marks. The much-heralded update restricts their dating options down to other college students but it turns out Chapman users prefer a wider field of selections.

“Tinder U,” launched in August, allows users to filter their dating searches down to other users who also share a university-affiliated email address.

But, students who have given the new service a whirl complain that it’s flawed—sometimes matching them with students far away at other universities and that they don’t necessarily want to be matched with someone they may have already met in their math class.

“Chapman is already small enough,” said Jamie Garcia, a senior psychology and integrated education studies major.

Because Tinder U narrows in on college students, it would make meeting people on campus through Tinder very “awkward,” Garcia said.

Since most Tinder users are of 18-24 years old, the app wants to craft an experience “specifically for them,” said Lauren Probyn, Director of Global Marketing & Events for Tinder.

The feature is meant to connect students to more of their peers and make it easier for users to match with those closer in their area, according to Probyn.

But, sophomore screen acting major Luca Rorh has found that, upon signing in with Tinder U, his feed is flooded with students who are well outside his set radius.

“My range is currently set for 9 miles, and yet the first person that popped up is someone from Azusa Pacific, 15 miles away,” Rorh said.

Rorh initially signed on to Tinder U to meet more Chapman students but views the newest update as a roadblock.

“I can’t just switch back to just Chapman. I don’t want to match with people from USC,” said Rorh.  

Rather than prioritizing geographic location, Rorh has found that the Tinder U feature places student profiles from far away universities before non-student users that may be closer to him.

He believes this takes the convenience out of online dating, and he’s not alone.

Junior computer science major Charlie Story confesses to being as disappointed with the mechanics of the app as Rorh.

“It actually confuses me because sometimes I’ll match with people farther out of my 15 miles that I put. Then, I’m like ‘she’s like 79 miles away’,” Story said.

In response to such complaints, Tinder U maintains that location preferences are still up to each user’s discretion.

“If someone is using Tinder U at NYU and their radius is set at 50 miles, they will see students at Hunter College, Columbia, Barnard, etc.,” said Gabrielle Aboodi, Senior Accountant Executive for Tinder.  

Per Tinder protocol, students are able to enter their location and set up a personalized radius for potential matches. But, once a user signs in as a student, the app then allows users to swipe on other students at their own college, as well as nearby schools, according to its website.

Tinder also states that a student may turn the Tinder U filter off at any time.

Tinder U is only available for students at “4-year, accredited, not-for-profit schools in the U.S. that deliver courses in traditional face-to-face learning format,” Probyn said.

If a user is not connected with Tinder U, but they have a regular Tinder account, they’ll still show up on the app of a Tinder U user, though presented much later.

Tinder has stated that they are “unable” to disclose any numbers regarding how many students are actually taking advantage of the Tinder U feature.

The overall Chapman consensus on Tinder, as a whole, is varied. Some students’ original goals for joining the online dating pool are unclear.

“Honestly, your guess is as good as mine,” said Kyler Hannah, a senior psychology and strategic & corporate communications major.

Hannah tried Tinder U, but ultimately reverted back to classic Tinder.

“I didn’t like [Tinder U]. I just feel like I don’t always want to date in the [college] community,” Hannah said.

Hannah views the basic version of Tinder as her “way to get out of” the typical circles she runs in on campus, making Tinder U inattentive to her specific needs within the app.

Junior psychology major Samantha Scherba finds Tinder U appealing, as someone who “wants to date a guy who’s well educated.” Scherba only sees  benefits in “having [Tinder] on a university level.”

Tinder U advertises these changes as a chance to organize study sessions, coffee dates, and meet new faces. However, some students disagree with what the app actually stands for and how they are using it.

Tinder U “is window shopping,” according to Story.

Contrary to what Tinder U advertises, Story believes the site promotes hookup culture and short-term flings.