Reported drug and alcohol incidents at Chapman explode, officials say substance abuse policy needs updating

Almost half of first-year students reported at least one episode of heavy drinking, according to the Alcohol & Drug Crisis Prevention section of the Chapman University website. Photo by Claire Treu.

Despite sharp rises of reported drug and alcohol abuse incidents at Chapman in the last two years, the committee responsible for recording drug and alcohol violations failed to meet half of the recommendations the group set for itself in 2016. The group did not meet once during the last two years, according to the report, which was emailed to the Chapman community in January.

The report also states that the university does not have a comprehensive strategy to support the success of students in recovery, despite a perceived increase of this population in the student body.

The report, known as the Biennial Review of Alcohol and Drug Programs, compared 2017-2018 incidents to those of the 2016-2017 academic year. “Illegal substances” incidents quadrupled, from four to 16 in the earlier report to the one covering 2017-2018. The number of students with two violations almost doubled, from 45 in 2016-2017 to 87 in 2017-2018.

“Deferred violations” showed a stunning increase as well: from 198 to 422 in the latest report. This means the violation is held in abeyance, or suspension, if no other violations of the conduct code occur, the report states.

Increased drug and alcohol incidents are often correlated with a higher incidence of sexual assaults and violence, may indicate growing addictions and can be detrimental to student health, according to a fact sheet from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).

This review is conducted in compliance with the Drug Free Schools and Campuses Act, (DFSCA), which contributes to the university’s ability to receive federal funding. The review board addresses challenges – such as the 2018 legalization of marijuana – in addressing substance use on campus, and set goals for the next biennium.

Eleven university officials serve on the board, but the group did not meet for two years between the compilation of reviews.

“It’s a challenging group of people to find time when we are all free and available,” said Colleen Wood, chair of the Biennial Review Committee.

The committee plans to gather before the next biennial review but as of now no meeting has been scheduled, Wood said.

Eight goals from 2016 are listed in the report. Out of these eight, four were achieved.

“This goal was not met during the biennium” was the status listing for the following objectives set in 2016:

 

1) “Review University policies, including student organization risk management policies, surrounding student organization hosted ‘venue parties.’”

2) “Develop an enhanced communication procedure between Public Safety and the Dean of Students office for medical calls related to drug and alcohol use.”

3) “Create a resource webpage for students and employees where information about local resources is more readily available than the required annual Drug Free Schools and Communities notification.”

4) “Explore creating a taskforce between the University, Orange Police, and the local office of the California Alcoholic Beverage Control to discuss collaborative opportunities between the groups to enhance enforcement of existing laws.

 

The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) conducts periodic program reviews to assess institutional compliance. A fine may be imposed if an institution has failed to certify that DAAPP is in place or if the program fails to address all required subject areas, according to a spokesman.

Will Chapman be fined? “The Department cannot speculate on a specific institution’s compliance without conducting its own review,” the DOE spokesman stated.

Reports must be completed every two years and the DOE periodically assesses compliance with federal regulations, the spokesman said.

“The maximum fine amount is currently $57,317 per violation. While fines are the most common sanction for DFSCA violations, serious violations of the law could result in a termination of an institution’s eligibility to participate in federal education funding programs,” the spokesman stated.

Despite marijuana becoming legal in California for those 21 and older, it is still against the student conduct code to consume the drug on Chapman’s campus, according to Wood. Graphic extracted from Chapman’s most recent Biennial Review.

A student’s first and second violations of the alcohol policy, and first drug violation if only involving marijuana – are generally deferred. This means that if a student has two alcohol incidents, more often than not, they actually have four, according to page four of the review.

These multiplying numbers are said to be a result of “increased training on the student conduct process and the emphasis on correctly entering information into the student conduct database,” according to the report.

Wood attributed the leap in violations to an increase of students living on campus and more robust enforcement by resident directors. The 2018 legalization of marijuana could also be a factor, she said, but these are only theories.

“I’m not positive that (student) substance use has actually increased,” Wood said.

Wood hypothesized that students who have multiple incidents tend to move off campus for their second year. Chapman now requires students to live on campus for two academic years, which could increase the number of citations in the next review.

Dave Sundby, Director of Residence Life and First Year Experience, attributed the dramatic growth of offenses to an increase in students living in university housing.

The university did not add any new residence buildings within the two school years. Chapman Grand was not opened until fall 2018, so it does not apply to the report.

“In my ideal world, I would like to see those numbers drop and go down, but we are bringing in another residence hall in the fall and we are moving to a two-year living requirement. So, I think those numbers are actually going to go up,” Wood said.

Despite rising numbers, the university did show effort in addressing substance use on campus, which can be shown in the four goals which were met. Most notably, the Student Engagement staff has coordinated with Information Systems and Technology to track a student’s campus involvement at the time of their violation. This means the university keeps track of what clubs, athletic teams or campus engagements the student is associated with. They have also collected data from fraternities and sororities concerning alcohol and drug education.

Wood hopes to conduct a campus-wide survey of Chapman student drug and alcohol use in the future.

“We hear a lot of rumors about what substances the students are using, but it would be nice to have some numbers,” Wood said.

Wood said the committee tried to get a comprehensive survey of student drug use approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB), but it was rejected. The IRB is an authoritative board which oversees research of human subjects in accordance with federal regulations, according to the Chapman website. Wood said she hopes to try a different approach to get such a survey  approved within the next few years.

In addition to running the majority of drug and alcohol trainings on campus, Dani Smith, the director of Chapman PEER and Health Education, meets one-on-one with students who have multiple violations. She said that in the past few years, fewer students have been referred to her. The reason for this is unclear.

“Students would generally be referred to me if they had three or four violations,” Smith said. “So I don’t know where all those referrals are going.”

Jerry Price, Dean of Students, was unable to comment by deadline. Sundby said he was unaware that referrals to Smith had declined.

Smith and Wood said Chapman’s drug and alcohol policy needed to be updated. The policy should have more consequences for third and fourth violations, Smith said.

Above are the officials who served on the review committee. Graphic extracted from Chapman’s most recent Biennial Review.

 

With the crossing guards gone, students pose questions about safety and traffic on Walnut Avenue

 

The crosswalk at Grand Street and Walnut Avenue is heavily trafficked during the school year. Though the crossing guards were originally brought in as a temporary addition, some students say crossing guards should be placed at this intersection permenantly. Photo by Jack Kirby.

Since early 2016, the crossing guards on Walnut Avenue and Grand Street were a familiar sight for Chapman students. However, at the start of this school year, they were gone.

The guards were hired to compensate for an inaccessible sidewalk on Center Street during the construction of the Keck Center for Science and Engineering, which was completed by fall 2018, Chapman officials said. But students say that two pedestrian accidents and a tendency of motorists to race down Walnut indicate a necessity for permanent placing of crossing guards at the channel from the dorms to main campus.

Chief of Public Safety Randy Burba said he doesn’t think the crossing guards are necessary.

“Crossing guards are basically for grade school kids who don’t follow directions, who don’t know to look for traffic both ways,” he said. “With the safety features in place, and adults being adults, it should be fairly safe.”

Those safety features at Walnut and Grand include hazard lights lining the crosswalk that are activated when buttons on either side of the street are pressed. Prowl found that the lights stay on for about 20 seconds at a time. At Walnut and Center, crosswalks exist at the stoplight.

The crossing guards, who were paid for by the university, initially worked from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, but soon had their hours extended to 6 p.m., according to a blog post from the university.

Two accidents occurred on Walnut close to the dorms in the spring of last school year.

Sydney Green, now a sophomore broadcast journalism major, believes that she may not have been hit by a pickup truck on Walnut had she crossed with the protection of a crossing guard. At around midday in March 2018, she was walking toward the dorms on Center Street, distracted by her phone, when she was grazed by a pickup truck and rolled her ankle.

Green said she was “very shaken up by it” and that she would like the crossing guards to return. 

“They should have crossing guards – that’s a really hard street to cross. It’s not safe to cross because cars come speeding down Walnut,” Green said. “They definitely made it a lot easier and safer to cross the street. I now drive up Walnut and the (students) struggle to cross the street.”

Green said she understands why the university wouldn’t want to pay for the extra labor, but that college students will cross the street where and when they want to.

Sophomore graphic design major Alice Premeau was hit one month later at the Walnut and Grand intersection when she was walking back from Leatherby Libraries at night.

“I distinctly remember thinking the next morning how terrified I was to cross the street again,” Premeau said. “But having the crossing guards there made me feel safer and reassured.”

Premeau suffered bruising to her ribs and minor whiplash. She said the crosswalk lights were on as she entered the street, but turned off before she reached the other side.

Some students also say that traffic on Walnut has increased.

“The traffic is terrible, especially in between classes, because none of the students stop,” said junior public relations and advertising major Saarini Madhava. “It was far better when they had the crossing guards there because they knew how to facilitate traffic.”

High volumes of pedestrians at Walnut and Grand can cause cars to get backed up for blocks, said junior business administration major Taylor Duncker. Photo by Jack Kirby.

“It’s just awful, kids just go whenever they want. People should know how to cross the street, but they don’t,” said graduate student Jake Ummel.

Burba said with two crosswalks open, the volume of people crossing should be more controlled.   

“I think there are some things, yes, that are out of (the students’) span of control, things that we need to do as an institution to build a safety net,” he said.

Students also brought up the camaraderie between dorm dwellers and the crossing guards, and said that the crossing guards made them feel safe.

“Even before the accident happened, I felt a bit better when they were there,” Premeau said.

Green said the guards would say hello and ask how your day was going, and she liked knowing that they cared about the students.

“It was upsetting when I saw the crossing guards not there anymore,” Madhava said. “They were so friendly.”

UPDATE: 4,000 square-foot fitness center coming to Henley Hall, budget of $1 million

The current gym in the Henley Basement has some cardio equipment and machines for strength training. Photo by Sydnee Valdez

After years of dissatisfaction with the Julianne Argyros Fitness Center, the administration has approved a construction plan to renovate the Henley Hall basement into a 4,000 square-foot fitness center, according to Student Government Association (SGA) President Mitchell Rosenberg. 

SGA has been working to expand Chapman’s gym facilities since 2016, Rosenberg stated in an email to the Chapman community on Tuesday. Construction is anticipated to start at the end of May and be completed by fall 2019.  The project budget is $1 million, according to Associate Vice President of Facilities Management Rick Turner.  

Currently, the university has two fitness centers at its Orange campus: the Julianne Argyros Fitness Center and a small gym with limited equipment in Henley Hall. The main fitness center is often crowded, so many students choose to pay for a gym membership to avoid the campus facilities all together, ChapBook Magazine reported last spring.

After its projected completion, the basement will boast two fitness rooms. One will be a spin studio for indoor cycling sessions, and the second will be used as a multipurpose room for things like Zumba, Yoga, and High Intensity Interval Training (HITT), according to the email.

The facility will also include new fitness equipment and an open space for free weights, stretching, and core workouts, as well as a service desk where students can rent out sports equipment.

“Seeing the email got me really excited. I was also kind of sad because I’ll probably be living in (Chapman) Grand next year. I won’t be able to use it as much, but it will be nice for the freshmen next year who will have a bigger gym,” said freshman undeclared student Katie Brown.

Brown, a resident of Glass Hall, admitted to working out more in the Henley Basement because of its close proximity.  Students say the main gym is flawed and overcrowded – SGA has received many complaints about its inadequacies in the past few years, according to ChapBook.

Using student feedback and survey data expressing concern about the current lack of fitness space available causing an overcrowded fitness center, SGA’s proposal for expanded fitness space was accepted by university administration,” Rosenberg stated in his email. “This result was made possible by countless students using their platform to speak up about their concerns.”

While Rosenberg claimed that all students would have access to Henley Fitness Center as well as Julianne Argyros Fitness Center, it is unknown whether faculty members will receive the same privilege.

The gym expansion will not affect the John Biggs Conference Room, Paul Frizler Media Room, the two music practice rooms, laundry room, and Chapman Radio booth. The four billiard tables, however, will be “removed and re-tasked as needed,” according to Turner. 

“We do come to the basement a lot because it is a big hang out space. We also use the media room a lot for hall events. It would be very unfortunate to lose those areas in order to put in a gym,” said freshman film production major CJ Mitchell.

More updates from SGA and Fitness and Recreation Services will be given throughout this semester, according to Rosenberg. The center will be taking student recommendations for equipment and services at www.chapman.edu/fitness

Starting on Feb. 18, the university will be accepting job applications for students who want to work in the Henley Hall Fitness Center during the 2019-2020 school year, according to the email. 

 

Threat of another shutdown worries Chapman community

Another shutdown could affect future grant applications and award funding to Chapman staff and faculty, said Tom Piechota, Vice President for Research. Photo by Andy Feliciotti on Unsplash.

Three weeks after the longest government shutdown in American history, the students and staff at Chapman are anticipating another shutdown.

On Feb. 15, both chambers of Congress must agree on funding for Homeland Security and Trump’s proposed $5 billion border wall. President Donald Trump has threatened to shutdown the government again if Congress does not appropriate money for the wall.

Various universities have offered assistance to students struggling to pay monthly tuition fees due to the shutdown. Brown University responded by offering short-term loans for students unable to purchase food or school supplies while Rutgers University- Camden provided payment deadline extensions.

Chapman, however, has not explicitly offered financial accommodations to students affected by the shutdown.

“At this time, we have not had currently enrolled students or parents indicate they have been directly impacted by the government shutdown,” David Carnevale, Director of Undergraduate Financial Aid, wrote in an email to Prowl. “It is important to note that the Department of Education remained open during the shutdown.”

Students filing their FAFSAs and the disbursements of federal financial aid packages were not disturbed by the shutdown.

Federal grants, loans, and work-study were also unaffected. “As the situation continues to develop, the Financial Aid Office continues to work closely with senior administration to determine the impact of the shutdown as it directly relates to our students,” Carnevale said.

As for existing research grants, Dr. Tom Piechota, Vice President for Research at Chapman, said “that [Chapman] does not anticipate any direct impacts [from the shutdown].” However, another shutdown “could affect pending grant applications and award funding.”

Although institutions like the National Science Foundation have contingency plans for their own funding in the event of a government shutdown, “the NSF had given direction to continue work if funds have been obligated [to the university] and work does not require the support of federal employees or facilities,” Piechota said.

Over 800,000 federal employees were directly affected by the 35-day partial government shutdown, many of whom were expected to work without immediate pay, according to the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations.

Employees who were not forced to work were furloughed, or temporarily laid off until the government reopened.

The last shutdown “came at a rough time,” said Joy Purpus, Chapman alumni and air traffic controller who now lives in San Diego. Purpus felt  “uncomfortable” without income, and forced to dip into savings for daily expenses.

She and her wife “didn’t have a plan in place, however we got lucky because we had just sold a home recently and had a bit of savings,” Purpus recounted. But the shutdown worried many of her colleagues, who did not have funds on hand to pay their bills, she said.

“I don’t feel confident in the Band-Aid the government put in place and we are expecting another shutdown to happen soon… It really bothers me that I am being used as a pawn for [the president’s] latest scheme,” Purpus said.

Update: Congressional leaders announced Monday night they had reached “an agreement in principle” to prevent a government shutdown, giving President Donald Trump  $1.375 billion of the $5.7 billion he had demanded to build a border wall. Tuesday, the president indicated he was “not happy” with the compromise, but declined to indicate if he would sign the bill or not to forestall another shutdown Friday, according to The New York Times.

Rogue balloon causes OC power outage, 1,700 customers affected

 

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Wednesday’s power outage affected Chapman buildings along Center Street, including the Keck Center for Science and Engineering.  Photo by Sydnee Valdez.

By Samantha Colwell and Sydnee Valdez

 

Chapman’s Orange campus experienced a several minute power outage yesterday as a result of metallic balloon caught in a power line, officials and employees said.

Buildings bordered by Palm Avenue, Walnut Avenue, Center Street and Glassell Street were affected by the blackout, which began around 3 p.m., according to Chief of Public Safety Randy Burba.

About 1,700 Orange County customers lost power, said Sally Jeun, a spokeperson for  Southern California Edison (SCE). Jeun said the outage lasted only a minute, although campus workers said it was at least several minutes. Computer screens went black, and workers and faculty wandered away from their offices to seek guidance as to when power would be restored. An employee at Leatherby Libraries said the lights remained on there, courtesy of a back up generator.

The balloon that caused the outage was caught in a power line west of Citrus Street and south of Almond Avenue. Jeun said that SCE removed the balloon from the powerline at 3:34 p.m., and no repairs were needed.

Outages caused by rogue balloons are not unique; in 2017 SCE saw more than 1000 power outages due to metallic balloons, which affected 1.4 million people, according to Edison International.

The threat of power outages is so severe that it is illegal in California to sell a metallic or foil balloon without a weight attached to it, according to the State Legislature. It’s also illegal to release them.

Public Safety responds to power outages by checking for people in the elevators and surveying building access, according to Burba. He added that outages are infrequent and said there isn’t much officials can do to anticipate or prevent them.

“To guess the likelihood (of another outage) would be pure speculation. Power outages are generally rare,” Burba said.

Balloon outages are different from other power outages because the balloons need to be physically removed from the power line. Metallic balloons are made from Mylar, a conductive material derived from polyester. Because of this, removing a balloon from a line is hazardous for workers and can cause fires, according to Edison International’s website.

Seven Real Stories of Nightmare Roommates You Never Want to Have

Leaving the nest is one of the most exciting things in life for some college students. After years of living under Mom and Dad’s rules, it is time to fly away. However, there is unexpected stress that comes with going to college and living with a complete stranger that may or may not be a crazy person. Some students get lucky and become best friends with their roommates. Others, not so much.

We asked seven Chapman students about some of their nightmare roommate stories and let’s just say, living with your parents might be a better option than any of these.

   1. The Aimless Yacker

“I knew he was really drunk, but then he started belching, and that’s when I knew he was going to yack. I didn’t know he would throw up on my toothbrush though.” ~ Tyler Brook, junior data analytics major.

When you can wash the toothbrush but you can’t wash off the things that happened to the toothbrush.

   2. The One Who Needs Anger Management Therapy

“She and her boyfriend would get in these wildly intense fights, even over the phone. They would throw clothes at each other. One time, she got so mad she threw her phone in the pool and just didn’t retrieve it.” ~ Torian Mylott, junior peace studies major.

When the only way to not hear their yelling is to yell louder than them.

   3. The Pottery Barn Interior Designer

“She forced me to buy a $30 wall decoration because my side of the room wasn’t Pottery Barn enough for her, but when it came in the mail, it was printed on computer paper. She freaked out when I took it down a week later.” ~ Grace Papish, junior vocal and broadcast journalism major.

When you have to assert your status as the dominant roommate. 

   4. The One That Pitched a Tent in the Room

“It was absurd … I knew she was trying to avoid talking to people, but I didn’t think she’d go out and get a tent to avoid us and literally isolate herself. She ghosted us all, and after that, she just left.” ~ Jordan Garth, sophomore health sciences major.

When you don’t want to face your problems so you hide from them. 

   5. The Oblivious Smoker

“I had a cold and a migraine, and she just decided to stand directly in front of me and blow a puff of weed in my face. Then she was confused as to why I was pissed.” ~ Justin B, sophomore strategic and corporate communications major.

When there’s too much breathable air in the room and your roommate takes it upon themself to fumigate. 

   6. The One Who Thinks He’s Doing Well … But He’s Not

“I came back to my dorm and he cleaned the room, which was sweet, but then everything was rearranged and I found out he threw away the remote to my Apple TV. Thanks a lot bro!” ~ Gunner Acevis, senior business major.

When your good intentions just aren’t enough. 

   7. The One Who Can’t Handle Alcohol

“He was so drunk, and all he wanted was a nice peanut butter and jelly sandwich. So I went to go make him one, and I look away for two seconds and he’s falling down. I had to help him get up and he threw up all over me.” ~ Devon Hernandez, senior business administration major.

When you decide it’s someone else’s turn to carry you. 

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.

Chapman Students from LA Discuss the Holidays

Drone photo of the damage in LA. Photo courtesy of Catie Kovelman

More than a month after the deadliest fire in California history, Chapman students affected by the Woolsey Fire are contemplating holidays without homes and neighbors. 

“There were five to ten students who reached out to our office directly requesting help and support,” said Elise Cimino, executive assistant to Dean Price.

The Woolsey Fire started on November 8th near Simi Valley. The fire burnt through more than 153,000 acres and destroyed more than 18,000 structures, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection officials. The deadliest fire in California history is finally said to be 100 percent contained. Although the fire is contained, many students are still grappling with the destruction of their homes; however, they are thankful that their families and friends are safe.

Among those who lost their homes were Chapman students, Jordan and Cameron Krekorian.

Jordan Krekorian, a senior screenwriting major, said that the family spent Thanksgiving at her older sister’s house.

“My sister [Cameron] and I spent the week at our older sister’s house in Eagle Rock with our parents, while we were waiting to move into our rental house for the next year, or however long it’ll take to rebuild our house,” Krekorian said.

The Krekorian’s parents are currently living in a rental home right outside of Bell Canyon, California where they previously lived.

Krekorian said she is not quite sure where they will spend the Christmas holiday.

“I think we’ll either have it at my parents’ new place or at my older sister’s or maybe my older brother’s? Not sure yet, we don’t really plan super far ahead for that,” Krekorian said.

As to when the new house will be finished, she says it could take up to two years.

“We figure [it will take] about a year, two at the longest. We were already in the middle of a remodel and my parents are pretty focus forward for the new house on what they want.” Krekorian said.

She is grateful for tiny acts of kindness that show their experience is not lost on others.

“Someone anonymously put a small pot of white flowers on the driveways of all the houses that completely burned,” Krekorian said.

Losing her home has taught her to appreciate the people in her life.

“I’m glad my parents got out safely and I really have appreciated everyone who’s reached out to me and my family,” she said.

Catie Kovelman, a Chapman student who is also from Bell Canyon was evacuated from her family home. The fire started when her dad was home alone with a bad back. Kovelman  was not able to get to her house because the 101 freeway was closed.

View of the LA fire. Photo by Catie Kovelman.

Her dad evacuated to friends’ homes but those neighbors, too,  were forced to evacuate as the fire galloped closer and closer, , according to Kovelman. He ended up coming to stay with her at her house in Orange.

“[The fire] burned a lot of my street and right through the backyard up to my house, but my house is still standing. We have a decent amount of damage, but we are standing,” said Kovelman, the senior creative producing major and journalism minor.

Her neighbors, she says, are dealing with the effects on their houses and the insurance hassles that accompany claims.

Catie Kovelman’s father driving away from the LA fire as he was evacuated. Photo courtesy of Catie Kovelman.

“Insurance has been big lately everyone is just trying to get their inspector there and their money set up,” Kovelman said.

She plans on returning home for the holidays.

“I feel like the holidays are bitter sweet. I’m so grateful I have a house, but I feel bad for the 30+ neighbors who lost their homes,” Kovelman said, “My community is so burned, and the park went down too, so it’s weird [to be home].”

She says she is feeling lucky to have her home still standing. But is more thankful for the people in her life.

“I’m honestly just grateful I had a house to come home to for the holidays. I didn’t realize how much I valued the traditions that would’ve been lost this year with no house to do them in. But honestly, my family and dogs were safe, and that’s what matters. Stuff can be replaced but they can’t,” Kovelman said.