Alleged Cancellation of Chapman’s Career Readiness Programs

Photo of the Office of Career and Professional Development. Photo by Katie Whitman

Chapman students are disheartened over the apparent cancellation of the ATLAS, Compass, and Summit career readiness programs offered by the Career Development Center.

“I’m upset because Chapman likes to say it’s a small university that encourages personalized attention but the truth is this place operates like a business which puts big numbers before the individual student it says it serves,” Hailey Shannon, a creative writing major who is a part of the Compass program said.

Sahzeah Babylon, a career educator at the Center who runs ATLAS, a program that caters to undeclared students, and Compass, which helps transfer students was told about the cancellation of the programs during a discussion with a superior.

The programs are being canceled due to low attendance, Babylon said. Babylon said the administration plans to replace the three customized programs with a single, more generalized program. This is the last semester for the specialized programs, which cater to students with specific challenges that they address through a combination of group instruction and labor-intensive, personalized coaching.

It is standard practice for Chapman’s Office of Career and Professional Development to evaluate all of its programs and services at the end of each semester, and the Compass, ATLAS, Summit and Passport programs are among those being reviewed, Jo Etta Bandy, the executive director of the Career and Professional Development Center said via email.

“In the spirit of continuous improvement, we will always have a focus on evolving our work in order to provide the maximum benefit to our students,” Bandy said via email. “No decisions have been relative to any of our programs at this point in time.”

Babylon also runs a program called Passport which assists international students with career development. The Passport program will not be canceled, according to Babylon but she is unsure about what the program will look like.

Hailey Shannon and Sahzeah Babylon at the last Passport session where Babylon facilitated a conversation about culture shock. Photo courtesy of Hailey Shannon

Adrianna Davies, the student assistant for the Career and Professional Development Center, said she was not aware that the programs were being axed. However, “I know this year there was very low attendance and the career center is trying their best to get the word out that these programs are happening. Every year we have to meet a quota and this year we barely met it.”

The attendance for Compass during Fall 2017 was 9 students who completed the program and in Spring 2018, 11 completed the program.

Passport (currently in its 3rd semester): Fall 2017, 8 completed the program / Spring 2018, 13 completed the program.

ATLAS: Fall 2017, 5 completed the program / Spring 2018, 10 completed the program.

“My programs actually ended with higher attendance in every single program (compared to previous semesters,) Babylon said via email.

“There are normally 50 plus students that complete the Summit program, this time there were close to 70 signed up and 30-ish that finished,” Babylon said via email. “This is the first time the numbers have gone down (in the Summit program) and I’m not sure why they did.”

Hailey Shannon and Sahzeah Babylon at the Summit certificate Ceremony. Photo courtesy of Hailey Shannon

Susan Chang, the assistant director of the Career and Professional Development Center, did not respond to three emails and one voicemail requesting comment.

The Summit program, a professional development series, is run by graduate student Maria Khalil.

Khalil did not respond to three emails requesting to comment.

Chapman students say the customized programs have been crucial in preparing them for careers and fill gaps not addressed by classes.

“Sahzeah met with me over multiple weeks and multiple sessions to ensure that every margin, word, and sentence was perfect for my resume,” said Noah Estrada Rand, a psychology major. “She genuinely cared about my success as a student who barely knew what a proper college resume looked like.”

Babylon’s “vast knowledge in all aspects and steps of finding and pursuing a career is what made her stand out from every other staff and faculty member at Chapman,” he added.

Hailey Shannon credited Babylon with winning her an internship.

“I went through the Compass program and she (Babylon) makes you go to an internship EXPO that happens in the fall; I went to the internship EXPO and I found the internship for the Newport Beach festival,” said Shannon. “The only reason I was prepared for the interview for the Newport Beach festival internship was because of Shahzeah’s program; I have learned more from her about how to walk into a professional setting then I have from any of my other classes.”

Andre Kacie, a junior business administration major recently transferred to Chapman this semester and is a part of the Compass program, which he praised for building a sense of community while building participants’ confidence and skills..

“Sahzeah really puts so much time and personal care into making sure that everyone in the program was getting the one-on-one attention they needed,” Kacie said. “Interviewing and resume building is not the most exciting thing to work on, but she made the program so fun and positive that I enjoyed going every week… I would be so sad to see the program go.”

Erin Guy, a junior public relations, and advertising major, polished her elevator pitch, learned how to conduct an informational interview, perfected her resume and practiced his interview and networking skills in the Compass program.

“I feel much more prepared for my after-college years and felt I have made a lasting bond and essential resource in my relationship with Sahzeah, ” Guy said.

Babylon’s warmth, joyful approach and personalized assistance buoyed her spirits and “made made me feel prepared for the future and sure about my decision to transfer.”

The Summit program was created by Dean Price’s office originally through student affairs but was handed over to the Career and Professional Development Center, according to Babylon . It is a professional development series that lasts seven weeks, Babylon said.

Babylon said the personalized, labor-intensive approach will be replaced with a more generalized one-size-fits-all series of seminars. “I think what is going to happen is they are going to have presentations or seminars throughout the semester and students are required to go to one at the beginning of the semester,” Babylon said. “Then they (the students) have to go to four or five sessions to get a certified certificate at the end of the semester for attending all the programs.”

That may sound like a good idea, but there are some fall backs, she said.

“In small programs, the whole idea is that you form a community, you get to know the person your working with and you build this network of people,” Babylon said. “How is that supposed to happen if you are just going to a random seminar presentation sometime during the semester?”

The programs new replacement program will be run by Susan Chang with her Grad assistant Maria Khalil, according to Babylon.

The ATLAS program targets freshman and sophomores that are undeclared and has been going on for the last four years, Babylon said.

The Compass program which was developed last semester was designed to help transfer students who had problems transitioning. “Transfer students were graduating but they weren’t getting involved, they weren’t networking, all the things that are necessary to Chapman,” Babylon said. “The program was created to get a jump start into all those things.”

Students aren’t clear on where to turn for advising at Chapman

Walk-ins for quick questions are available in the Academic Advising Center on Mondays from 8:30 am to 4:20 pm. A 30-minute session can be scheduled by calling (714) 744 – 7959. Photo by Dasha Konovitch

Chapman University offers a cohesive academic advising program, but students don’t know how to use it.

Some Chapman students do not know that their major and minor specific questions need to be addressed by their faculty program advisor and not by the academic advising center. Shannon Baker, Chapman’s one dedicated undeclared advisor, is available for undeclared students to meet within the academic advising center. The four main areas of advising at Chapman are professional advising, program advising, specialized advising, and faculty mentoring advising. The AAC currently has nine advisors, making the AAC advisor to student ratio roughly one to 915.

The four main areas of advising at Chapman are professional advising, program advising, specialized advising, and faculty mentoring advising. Photo by Dasha Konovitch

Despite these resources, some students say they aren’t informed about how to use them and are thus disappointed by the lack of efficiency and personalized guidance by the academic advising center.

Junior strategic and corporate communications major Shoshone Truro-Allee believes there’s a disconnect between general advisors, the registrar, and program advisors.

“After telling me they can’t help me with choosing and signing into classes, the academic advising center redirected me to a program advisor,” Truro-Allee said. “The program advisor told me to go to the registrar and the registrar pointed me in yet another direction. There was a lot of confusion and running around.”

Truro-Allee said she had to figure out how to pick classes herself for SCC and learned what she had to do from experience instead of from one person giving her tangible steps.

“I asked the AAC how I can determine which department I’d best fit into, and they read my program evaluation to me,” Truro-Allee said. “I can do that myself.”

Senior strategic and corporate communications major Molly Silk has the same issue.

“It took me my whole freshman year to figure out what classes to register for and it was difficult not knowing who to talk to,” Silk said. “When I thought I’d finally found someone, I was redirected and redirected again. I wish there was a stronger connection between program advisors and general advisors.”

Director of Academic Advising Roberto Coronel acknowledged the concern and said he wishes to figure out how the AAC can address it.

“Students don’t always necessarily understand our structure, in that they don’t know when to go to the AAC versus a program advisor,” Coronel said. “The AAC is here to help students understand overall degree requirements and any specific questions about major requirements are handled by program advisors.”

All incoming freshmen have the option to go through a mandatory online advising tutorial or attend a summer advising workshop in order to become familiar with the advising system in addition to navigating the student center and understanding the program evaluation, according to Coronel. If a student has additional questions, they can schedule an appointment with a general advisor. Should a student need personalized academic mentoring, help with postgraduate planning, or planning support for interdisciplinary programs and self-designed majors and minors, they should seek out faculty-mentoring, Coronel said.

“While program advisors answer major and minor-specific questions, they won’t get into GE requirements, so normally there would be a referral to come back to our office,” Coronel said. “This could explain the running around.”

Program advisors can be inefficient and at times don’t recognize that they are program advisors, according to some students.

Sophomore political science major Madison Buss said her initially assigned program advisor failed to respond to her emails, so Buss’ mother got involved, and Buss’ new advisor was an assistant head of AAC.

“It wasn’t well explained that you need to find a faculty advisor for your major. I didn’t have one until three weeks ago,” Buss said. “I think program advisors should be systemized into a group, and that if someone is assigned to you, they should reach out to you right away.”  

Coronel agreed that ideally there should be a system in place and an option for a freshman to choose their program advisor, but each department is different and assigns program advisors in a way that works for that particular department.

Coronel said the AAC used to have a better sense of what students’ concerns are when he collaborated with a student representative from SGA, but since the leadership changed, he hasn’t met with one in years.

“I want to hear directly from the students on how we can improve,” Coronel said. “I have not heard direct student complaints since I worked closely with SGA.”

Associate Director for Content Development of the National Academic Advising Association Jennifer Joslin said that Chapman’s issue could be that not every group of advisors has an advising mission statement, so the advisors don’t know if their interactions with students should be transactional or transformational.

“Chapman should transition their system from schedule building to academic advising, by which students can engage with advisors to learn about themselves,” Joslin said. “Having a conversation with a program advisor should reinforce the students’ trust that they are on track, pursuing the right major, and are in the right institution.”

Chapman does not have a specific policy for student arrestees

The women were arrested and taken to the Orange County Police department. Photo was taken on July 1, 2010 by Connor Tarter

There is no specific policy concerning how Chapman should respond to a students’ arrest.

The issue of how the university deals with students who have had a run-in with the law arose after the April 12 arrest of two Chapman student on drug charges at the Pralle-Sodaro dorms.

“Every semester we have students arrested for multiple incidents, including alcohol violations, minor in possession, drunk in public, and narcotics,” said Colleen Wood, director of student conduct. “What we do is (we) go back to the conduct code and look at what the arrest was for,” Wood added. 

Public Safety was called about a possible drug violation on campus on April 12 and turned the investigation over to the Orange Police Department according to Chief of Public Safety, Randy Burba. The women were then transported to the Orange County Police department where they were released on a citation at 9 p.m.

The two women, Carolyn Chang and Hallie Hostetter were charged with misdemeanors for H&S 11350, or an illegal possession of a controlled substance without a valid prescription, according to Police Sergeant Phillip McMullin. Chang was also charged with H&S 11364(a) which is an illegal possession of drug paraphernalia; the law prevents the ownership of  “an opium pipe or any device, contrivance, instrument, or paraphernalia used for unlawfully injecting or smoking a controlled substance,” according to California Law Group. Hostetter was also charged with H&S 1137; the possession of a restricted dangerous drug without a prescription.

What will happen to the students is unclear. “We have a provision in our conduct code that is labeled “under the violation of law” that we look to for certain cases,” said Wood. “What we are really looking at in this scenario is what law was broken.”

Wood declined to elaborate on what consequences the students might face, citing the need to preserve student confidentiality. Sometimes though, students are treated more leniently by police, she suggested.

“Students can be arrested and then released, depending on the violation. Generally, the OPD does not want to put students away,” Wood said.

“There is no protocol when dealing with students, everyone is treated equally, however, officers are allowed to use their own discretion,” said Sergeant McMullin.

The student conduct committee looks at each student and their violation individually, a student’s cumulative conduct history and at the severity of the violation in determining academic repercussions, Wood said.

“As a general rule, we do not expel for conduct issues that frequently. It’s not probable. We have other tools,” said Wood. “Whether that be time away from the university, that being in semester blocks, so students will be taken off of their class schedules for the remaining time in the semester.”

According to Rebecca Moss of the Public Affairs Unit of the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, the two women have not been charged. The office has not received reports from the police department for review, Moss said. 

“What likely happened is they were cited by OPD on suspicion of the above offenses,” said Moss via email, “OPD will send the police reports to our office and the prosecutor later makes a filing decision. For these types of offenses, if a defendant is charged, they will often receive a letter in the mail telling them when to appear in court. Since the case review has not yet taken place and neither of these individuals are in custody, there is no arraignment scheduled and no bail amount yet set.”

Dean of Students Jerry Price confirmed that two students were arrested and released for a drug-related violation.

“The allegations are concerning for both policy and student health reasons, and my office is currently conducting our own investigation as well,” said Price via email.

Contacted for comment by email, Hostetter wrote back, “unfortunately, I am unable to answer any questions.” Chang did not respond to an email request for comment. 

The chief of Public Safety, Randy Burba said because there is an ongoing investigation, he is unable to comment beyond what was provided in the crime log.  


E-Cigarettes Worry the FDA but Not Students


Woman taking a vape. Photo By: Pixabay


The Food and Drug Administration says the risks associated with tobacco products don’t go up in smoke when vapor is involved. Vape-addicted youth, including some Chapman students, disagree.


For the past month, sting operations run by the FDA exposed 40 JUUL retailers as selling tobacco vape products to minors. As a result of their discoveries, the FDA will be investigating JUUL Labs’ marketing strategies and overall appeal to youth. In a statement made Tuesday, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb regarded the popularity of e-cigarettes among youth as a “troubling reality.”


In 2016, e-cigs were used by 6.9% of college students, according to the Monitoring the Future National Survey. While use dropped from 2015 to 2016, only two percent fewer college students vape than smoke cigarettes, according to the survey.  


Most students in California believe vaping is healthier than smoking cigarettes, a 2017 study finds.


The students that believe such have company on Chapman’s campus. They may find solace in the words of freshman screenwriting major Alie Watson, who dubs the health risks of e cigs “fairly minimal.”


She and others use their e-cigs in any setting, from group study sessions to the classroom. According to Watson, it’s easy to hide the aerosols and isn’t frowned upon by peers.


Dani Smith, director of health education at Chapman, says that though e-cigs do not have the tar and carcinogen elements cigarette smoking posesses, there are other dangerous chemicals produced through vaping.


Formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, is one byproduct of the vaping process. Glycerol and propylene glycol, two ingredients very common in the liquids vaporized by e-cigs, combine to form formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing agents when heated.   


As a result, the use of e-cigarettes could increase one’s risk of cancer by as much as 15 times when compared to standard cigarettes, according to one 2015 study.


A study published this year by the EHP revealed that e-cigarettes are a potential source of exposure to toxic metals. The lead, chromium, nickel, zinc and manganese leach from the heating coils of e-cigarettes into the vapor inhaled by smokers, the researchers explained.


JUULs use nichrome coils, according to their website, which researchers in the EPH study say create vapors containing chromium and nickel among other metals. The presence of these highly toxic metals is very concerning according to some physicians.


JUUL Labs responded to Prowl inquiry on the matter, though did not respond to the EPH’s findings.


These chemicals along with nicotine affect more than just the person inhaling them. The vapor from e-cigarettes can transfer nicotine from person-to-person thorough second-hand smoke, reports the CDC.


Formaldehyde is also present in the vaping aerosols, reports a study presented by the New England Journal of Medicine.


Vapes can go where cigarettes cannot, from libraries to lectures, effecting the air quality for all.


Former Starbucks president addresses racially-linked Philadelphia arrests

Former president of Starbucks Coffee Company International Howard Behar sat down with Chapman’s Director of Leadership Studies Mark Maier for a fireside chat Apr. 18. Photo by Ian Craddock


Howard Behar, former president of Starbucks, came to campus Wednesday night intending to speak about servant leadership in the business industry. However, his message was overshadowed by talk of the controversial arrests in a Philadelphia Starbucks last week.

The company has been accused of racial profiling after a manager called the police to remove two black men from the store, who sat inside without ordering anything.

Just minutes into his speech, without pressure or questioning from the audience, Behar broke the silence. He voiced his disappointment in the company and in the handling of the situation.

“It was devastating,” Behar said. “Not because someone made a mistake, but how did we fail? How did we fail as leaders, how could that possibly be?”

He did not take this lightly, because according to Behar, Starbucks is a social company and is all about the people.

“We’re not a coffee business serving people, we’re a people business serving coffee,” he said.

However, he does not blame the individual store manager. Behar believes the top leadership of an organization should take responsibility for mistakes like this.

“We own it. We take responsibility. We take a bullet. It wasn’t that store manager’s fault,” Behar said.

Prior to coming to Chapman, he met with Starbucks Executive Chairman Howard Schultz to discuss how the company would move forward. Behar said that Schultz felt as if everything was crashing down around him. He relayed that Schultz is taking the situation personally, with everything he stands for being questioned, but Behar reassured him they would get past it.

“We agreed that [Starbucks] would survive this. We know who we are and we do what we do,” he said.

He expressed his sympathy for the store manager, Holly Hylton, who has stepped down since the incident.

“I can’t imagine what [Hylton] is going through. No matter what she did, it was wrong, but I don’t know her story. I hold her accountable, but also myself and the other leadership,” Behar said. “She’s going to learn a deep price and a valuable lesson, and I hope she takes it to heart.”

Following his talk, the audience was given the opportunity to ask Behar questions. Patrick Hart asked if he felt that rule-following or reconciliation was more important in this situation.

“Reconciliation is more important and there is no question about it,” Behar said. “It doesn’t mean we don’t have policies when it comes to safety and how you treat your people. But besides that we have almost nothing.”

Regarding the racial-bias training Starbucks announced it would mandate for all its employees nationwide May 29, Matt Barraro asked what challenges would come with this.

“The training is not going to solve the problem. What it does is get everyone’s attention. That’s about what you can expect out of four hours of training,” Behar said. “Now, every officer and every manager that comes through the store will be taught through the same voice and establish the same set of values. My belief is that we’re going to learn some valuable lessons about this. It was a wake-up call that we were complacent.”

Students agree Starbucks Coffee tastes better than social justice

Starbucks on campus.
Photo by Julian Fesman

Chapman students interviewed at the campus Starbucks appeared undisturbed over the arrest of two black men at a Philadelphia Starbucks, which has prompted calls for a boycott of the coffee chain.

“I completely support the boycott,” said Alejandra Cortes, a junior mathematics major drinking a venti iced latte.

“I know I sound like such a hypocrite because I have my Starbucks with me right now, but, the thing is that, I have panther bucks and can only buy things on this campus and I hate Einsteins and I hate Sodexo Coffee,” Cortes said.

A Starbucks manager at a Philadelphia Starbucks called police Thursday after two black men waiting to meet a friend had asked to use the bathroom and declined to purchase anything, according to news reports. Police arrived and arrested the two men, who were detained for nine hours before being released after Starbucks declined to press charges.

According to published reports, Starbucks representatives have said the manager is no longer at that location, though it was not clear whether the person was fired or relocated. In a public statement, Starbucks CEO, Kevin Johnson, said that “all US company stores, located in the United States,” will be closed one afternoon next month for their employees to receive racial-bias education.


Students lined up for their daily dose of caffeine despite what happened in Philadelphia.
Photo by Julian Fesman

Those actions were taken after an explosion of outrage on social media and social protests. Hashtags such as #StarbucksWhileBlack and #BoycottStarbucks emerged and articles citing “black coffee/white fear” bloomed across the internet.

“I would not boycott Starbucks because I’m here every single day and it helps me get through my day,” said Jaylynn Mitchell, a freshman kinesiology major, waiting for her evening coffee.

“If I were to boycott Starbucks, stuff like this happens a lot, so I wouldn’t be able to go anywhere” Kristian Kung a freshman business major after buying two bottles of Perrier.   

Students lined up for coffee and lounged at Starbucks this week in spite of protests elsewhere.

“In two weeks everybody’s gonna forget about it anyways,” said Michelle Gold, a freshman public relations and advertising major.

“I wish that this sort of thing would spark something to actually change, but I don’t know, I guess it won’t,” Gold said.

The supervisor of the busy Chapman Starbucks said he was unlikely to call police for anyone hanging out without purchasing something.

“This Starbucks is at a university, so people come down and not order things all the time” Riccardo Angiolini, a junior computer information systems major and Starbucks supervisor of the on-campus cafe.

Angiolini could see calling the authorities as an appropriate response for someone stealing from the cafe, harassing others, being a public disturbance or inciting physical violence.

“Those are good instances where you would call them. Definitely not someone just sitting minding their own business, doing their own thing,” Angiolini said.  

City of Orange votes to oppose California’s sanctuary law

Citizens and students gather in the Civic Centre for the Orange City Council meeting. Photo by Greta Nagy


The city of Orange will not sue California, but will comply with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, continuing deportations despite state law.  

Orange City Council met on Tuesday to discuss joining the Trump Administration’s impending lawsuit to revoke the California Values Act, SB 54, which prohibits police from turning over suspected undocumented immigrants to agents of deportation.

The city of Orange decided not to join the lawsuit against the state of California regarding SB 54.  

Orange Mayor Mark Murphy speaks about SB 54. Photo by Greta Nagy

However, Mayor Pro Tem, Mark Murphy, and Council member Fred Whitaker, requested a rejection of bill SB 54 for the duration of the lawsuit. The entirely Republican Board of Supervisors voted and approved this motion.

Having a “custody-to-custody transfer” of an individual is a safer option than releasing them from jail in hopes that immigration enforcement authorities can deal with them, according to Whitaker.

Board of Supervisors member, Lisa Bartlett, noted that safety is a substantial concern that needs to be taken into account.

“We have to make sure that we are not providing assistance to undocumented immigrants who have chosen to not follow the rules,” Bartlett said. “We want to ensure public safety for the general public and the homeless.”

Activists protested the decision with signs and chants. Among them was Daniel Espiritu, a Chapman student and resident of Orange.

Council member Fred Whitaker argues against the sanctuary law. Photo by Greta Nagy

“I have seen families get torn about by the immigration system. We have to keep stating that no human being is illegal,” Espiritu said. “What matters most is that we are building a coalition of activists and community leaders.”

Espiritu and many others feel that there is a hold on future advancements due to the party imbalance of the Board of Supervisors.

“While I do wish the city of Orange would adopt sanctuary city status, I understand that we have to accept any progress we can gain when the majority of our City Council is Republican,” Espiritu said.

He believes the immigrant community of Orange, along with activists who stand with them, will not lose hope.

Espiritu said, “It is only through our prolonged commitment that we will achieve our goals of creating an efficient path to citizenship for our immigrant community.”

Chapman alumni accused of stealing ideas for the sci fi thriller “Stranger Things”

Matt and Ross Duffer. Photo by Wikipedia

Chapman alumni Matt and Ross Duffer, the creators of “Stranger Things,” are being sued for allegedly stealing story ideas from another film.

A filmmaker named Charlie Kesslers filed a lawsuit on Monday against the two brothers claiming that they stole script ideas from his 2012 short film “Montauk” and used his ideas to create “Stranger Things,” according to NBC News.

Kessler is suing the Duffer brothers for breach of implied contract and is seeking monetary damages, but has not specified on the compensation, according to NBC News.

Kessler claims he met the Duffer brothers at a party at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2014,  according to NBC News. During this initial meeting, Kessler said he discussed the script and ideas of his 2012 short film titled “Montauk” and the feature film script titled, “The Montauk Project.”

The lawsuit describes instances in which the plot of “Stranger Things,” is very similar to the concepts in “Montauk.” Both films include a sci-fi narrative, both take place in a

town of the same name and both include “the location of various urban legends, and paranormal and conspiracy theories,”  according to NBC News. Both storylines also include the search for a missing boy and the government; “The Montauk Project” focuses on a government run laboratory conducting experiments on kids while the focal point of season one of “Stranger Things” is on government conspiracies. Kessler also claims the Duffer brothers were going to title the show, “The Montauk Project,” but eventually changed the name to “Stranger Things,” according to NBC News.


Stranger Things logo. Photo by Wikimedia Commons


Alex Kohner, the Duffer Brothers’ attorney, stated that the lawsuit is “completely meritless,” according to the Los Angeles Times. Kohner also stated that The Duffer brothers have never seen “Montauk” and Kessler never discussed any information about the film to the Duffer brothers.

“This is just an attempt to profit from other people’s creativity and hard work,” Kohner told the Los Angeles Times.

According to TMZ, The Duffer Brothers have emails proving they did not steal the ideas for the show. The emails include the Duffer brothers stating they were going to create a series called Montauk that would take place in Montauk. The emails, dating back to 2010, about three years before the supposed meeting with Kessler, also state that the show would be a “real, paranormal, gritty eighties show.”

Photo of Eleven; one of the main characters in the show. Photo by Leileiha on Flickr

A Google document from October 4, 2013 describes the plot of the show and defends the “missing boy” aspect of the show. The Google document says, “Benny (renamed Will for the show) leaves his friend Elliot’s house, a bunch of kids are there, eating pizza, dungeons and dragons … Benny leaves on bike, hears voices, goes into strange world, taken by some evil force,” according to TMZ.

Two other emails from February 2014 stated that the show would be set in Long Island and “mentions a location scout in Montauk,” according to TMZ. The Google document and emails are both dated before the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival party.

Netflix declined to comment on the lawsuit, according to NBC News.

The Duffer brothers, who were both Dodge students, graduated from Chapman in 2007 and later created the show “Stranger Things.” The show  won five Emmy Awards at the 2017 Creative Arts Emmys ceremony, according to the Chapman website.


Students Struggle to Find Adequate Housing

The “resort-style” swimming pool at Chapman Grand. Photo by Satvi Sunkara

As this school year comes to a close, students find themselves worrying over where they are going to live in the upcoming year. With the priority filing date for housing applications due on April 8, students have little time to determine which option is best. Rising rental prices and the new addition of Chapman Grand to university-owned accommodation options mean that students must evaluate and compromise on factors such as luxury, pricing, location, and transportation.

Chapman Grand, formerly Katella Grand, is Chapman’s new “luxury” apartment complex located in Anaheim. The university purchased Chapman Grand for $150 million last year and will open the complex for student housing starting fall 2018.

A kitchenette in Chapman Grand. Photo by Satvi Sunkara

Although the apartments boast marble countertops, a rock climbing wall, and fitness center, some students are worried about the high prices of living at Chapman Grand compared to other more affordable housing options.

“I was considering Chapman Grand, but after touring, it is out of my budget,” freshman television writing and production student Carly Jenican said.

Chapman Grand’s prices are a middle ground between other housing options. There are currently no confirmed prices for Chapman Grand, although estimates are given to those who tour the complex. According to the tour fact sheet, the tentative rates per academic year are $13,738 for a single occupancy room and $11,962 for a double occupancy room. Singles and some doubles in Panther Village are pricier than Chapman Grand, while the Davis, Glass, and Harris apartments are less expensive.

The fact sheet given to students on Chapman Grand tours. Photo by Satvi Sunkara

Though Chapman Grand is slightly less expensive than other on-campus options, off-campus apartments and houses are more affordable. According to RentCafé, the average cost of an apartment in Orange is $1,962 per month, a two percent increase from last year. If a student were to split the rent with two roommates, the cost would come out to $654 per month, or $5,886 per academic year, much less than Chapman Grand’s $11,962 minimum.

“Everything is overpriced, but [living off-campus is] cheaper than living at Chapman Grand,” Jenican said.

Though off-campus housing may seem to be the answer for many, transportation seems to be a bigger cause of concern for students. Students without a car or bike must live in an apartment or house within walking distance of Chapman, which may prove to be costlier than options farther away from campus.

Sophomore communication student Brenna Vigil noticed the difference in cost when she and her roommates were looking for a house and one owner raised the rent from $4,500 per month to $5,000 per month. “The house wasn’t that nice, but if you live close to campus, they milk you for everything that you have.”

A layout of the kitchenette area. Photo by Satvi Sunkara

Since the cost of living close to campus is high without transportation, it may be worth it to live at Chapman Grand and Panther Village, which includes the service of university shuttle buses. However, Chapman Grand is located 3.5 miles from Chapman, which is farther than Panther Village; and university shuttles are only expected to pick-up students every 30 minutes.

“My biggest concern right now is transportation since I don’t have a car. If the shuttle system fails me, I’d really have no other way of getting to class,” freshman broadcast journalism and documentary student Satvi Sunkara said.

Jenican agrees. “I need the transportation system to be reliable so I know I will make it to class on time,” she said.

Chapman is purchasing more shuttles and hiring additional drivers to provide additional service to Chapman Grand, according to Sheryl Boyd, assistant director of Parking and Transportation Services.

“We are not pulling shuttles from other routes nor altering any other service we currently provide,” Boyd said. “There are no plans to change our existing service, only add additional service for Chapman Grand Apartments.”

However, according to Panther Village shuttle driver Jewell Morton, the drivers are very understaffed and many of them are working double hours.

Although Boyd said that all of Chapman’s driver positions are filled, Morton said that most of the newer drivers are only temporary contract workers. The transportation solution is “about getting shifts organized and getting more drivers. If we could get a raise, we’ll get more drivers,” Morton said.

Even with an increase in drivers, transportation to Chapman Grand and Panther Village may be difficult. A provisional shuttle route to Chapman Grand may travel from Schmid Gate to Jim Miller Parking Structure, Chapman Grand, and then Panther Village, Morton said. This would mean that if 24 students (the capacity of a shuttle bus) gets on the shuttle at Chapman Grand, everyone at Panther Village will have to wait for the next bus. According to Morton, however, this hasn’t happened yet. She said that she’s never had to leave a student behind at Panther Village even though the shuttle gets quite full.

Chapman Grand’s double bed layout. Photo by Satvi Sunkara

Students who are interested in Chapman Grand may tour the apartments every Tuesday and Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. If students are not interested in university-owned housing, Chapman offers students access to a database with off-campus rental listings. There are also unofficial Facebook groups such as Chapman and Chapman University Housing, Sublets, & Roommates that help students find accommodation.

Remembering Professor Ronald Rotunda

New Zealand Actress and Comedian Stephanie Paul with Chapman University Prof. Ronald Rotunda at a Ted Talk Orange Coast. Photo by:

After a short hospital stay, Professor Ronald Rotunda of Dale E. Fowler School of Law, passed away March 14, battling complications from pneumonia. He was 73.

Rotunda joined Chapman’s faculty in 2008, bringing four decades of experience in Constitutional law and professional responsibility. He previously taught at the University of Illinois and George Mason University, holding honorary positions in both law schools.

Outside of academia, Rotunda served as a legal advisor in Washington, D.C., working with prosecutors during the Watergate and Clinton-Lewinsky scandals.

From 2009 until this year, Rotunda was consistently named among the top lawyers in Southern California by the Best Law Firms magazine. He was recognized for his excellence in ethics and professional responsibility.

Rotunda’s classes recognized and appreciated his prestige in the law community, according to Chapman law student Connor Traut.

“Just weeks ago, our class was laughing at his constant dry humor throughout his lectures. We knew we were in the presence of one of the greatest legal minds in ethics, and we all respected and admired learning from the history that he has been a part of making,” Traut said.

Professor Ronald Rotunda. Photo by:

Traut last saw Rotunda Feb. 19 in his once-a-week professional responsibility course. After the law school’s spring break, the class was scheduled to meet again March 5, but was canceled due to Rotunda’s announced illness. The following week, Rotunda was still out and Professor Anthony Caso filled in for him. Law students then learned, along with the rest of the Chapman community, of his passing March 14 in an email from Provost Glenn Pfeiffer.

“Professor Rotunda was also a constant presence within Kennedy Hall, arriving early in the morning nearly every day and working late in the day. He had an intelligence and humor that endeared him to so many of us,” Pfeiffer wrote.

Those who worked alongside him agreed.

“He was a colleague in the true sense of the word,” Professor Bobby Dexter said. “Just a few weeks ago, I found a section of the Wall Street Journal concerning the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in my mailbox. Ron had placed it there, knowing that I teach and write in the tax arena. It was a simple act of genuine kindness, and I found the gesture heartwarming.”

In a blog post, Professor Denis Binder shared another side of Rotunda’s personality.

“Not everyone understood or appreciated Professor Rotunda. He could be prickly on occasion,” Binder wrote. “He was an irreconcilable, irascible curmudgeon. That was part of his charm.”

With some of his students approaching the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination, a prerequisite to the bar exam, Traut says he and his fellow classmates will use this tragedy as motivation.

“(Rotunda) had been preparing us for this major ethics exam we’ll take in one week from now,” Traut said. “In his memory, we have a fire inside each of us to do even better than he could have hoped for.”

Professor Ronald Rotunda at the Watergate Committee hearing in June 2017. Photo by:

Extending his legacy outside Chapman, Rotunda authored textbooks which have become integrated into the curriculum at law schools around the country, “Legal Ethics – The Lawyer’s Deskbook on Professional Responsibility”, “Problems and Materials on Professional Responsibility” and “Modern Constitutional Law.” In addition, his scholarly works have been referenced in thousands of courtrooms globally.

“His sense of humor showed in many of these writings, as it did in the classroom, and in the private conversations that his friends were privileged to have with him,” Professor Tom Campbell said. “Rotunda brought national and international luster to the Fowler School of Law and to Chapman University.”


This story is an extension of a shorter story posted on March 15, 2018 by the Prowl Staff. 

This story will be updated as it develops.