Engineering school and new residence hall among goals in university’s strategic plan, Struppa says

The strategic plan states that Chapman will dedicate $202 million for 1,303 additional beds in new student residence projects, including the new residence halls across from Dodge. Graphic provided by Chapman University.

The Fowler School of Engineering and new residence hall will be completed by the fall of 2019 at which a new computer engineering program will become available, President Daniele Struppa announced in his third annual State of the University Address on Friday.

“The Fowler School of Engineering is going to be different than anything you’ve ever seen in the world of academia,” Struppa said, showcasing the architectural design and blueprints of the new infrastructure.

Struppa talked about the 2018-2023 strategic plan in the Musco Center for the arts on Friday. In the next five years, Chapman plans to expand endowment, invest in engineering majors, and finish building student housing, he said.  

The university’s current five-year plan, “Engineering the Future” prioritizes completion of the Fowler School of Engineering, which will open in fall 2019.

The engineering wing of the Keck building is going to be completely open space,” Struppa said.  “There will be no faculty offices, which is a unique feature that distinguishes the building apart from other buildings on-campus. Students can use this space to sit together, form discussions, and do homework,” Struppa said.

Chapman will also be implementing three new engineering programs as part of the strategic plan to expand the school’s research agenda: a minor and B.S in Computer Engineering (fall 2019), B.S in Electrical Engineering (fall 2020), and M.S in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (fall 2022).

Struppa also evinced pleasure at what he said was an increasing diversity of student backgrounds among the student population. According to statistics provided by the university, the largest increase by race/ethnicity was in the Asian and Hispanic/Latino populations, and 42 percent of the student population identifies as a race/ethnicity other than white. Struppa said he expected an increase in first generation students at Chapman University .

“First generation students increased from 19.8 percent of the total population in Fall ‘17 to 20.4 percent this academic year,” said Struppa..

The university has already taken measures to optimize the campus footprint, which is another goal in the 2018 strategic plan. Chapman plans to house 50 percent of its undergraduate students in on-campus housing by the end of this year. The opening of Chapman Grand in the fall of 2018 and the Villa Orchard Park Residence halls being built across from the Dodge College of Media Arts will help to meet that goal, the president said.  The remodeling and expansion of existing campus buildings, new dining and recreation facilities, and the opening of a Brain Institute at the Rinker Health Sciences campus in Irvine, are also underway, he said.

“The new dorms will be extremely beneficial for Dodge students, making it more convenient and time-efficient for them to get to class,” Struppa said.

Projects such as the building of the Fowler School of Engineering and new residence halls require funding from student tuition or endowments from donors. Consequently, the university has adopted a fundraising campaign as its last goal in the strategic plan. That, he said, is going well, with a new $10 million endowment received recently from an anonymous donor.  

The Fowler School of Engineering will open in the fall of 2019. Graphic provided by Chapman University.

“In 2018, Chapman received an endowment of $9,682,000, which is really impressive,” said Struppa, noting the university has almost $400 million in its overall endowment.

According to Chapman University’s website, the comprehensive campaign is a seven to ten year goal of raising $500 million to “expand the endowment, support capital, and academic program enhancements, and increase scholarship support for students,” that should be reached by 2023. The university has set a goal to have a $38 million endowment by 2029.

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.


 

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.

Indigenous People want to Remember the Past by Acting for the Future

Lupe Lopez-Donaghey presents a traditional breastplate to the crowd during her speech. Photo by Marcella Zizzo

Native American speakers, as well as the Cross-Cultural Center staff, stressed the importance of voter engagement during Chapman’s Indigenous Peoples Heritage Month kickoff event to a small group of people.

Only eight people attended the Indigenous Peoples Heritage Month kick-off event in Argyros Forum on November 6th. Festivities included crafts, traditional dancing, and politically charged speeches surrounding American Indian voter rights in the United States.

We were here before anybody,” said Lupe Lopez-Donaghey, a paralegal and American Indian cultural consultant who identifies as Native American.

Donaghey gave the keynote address titled “Culture and Legal Status of American Indians” – a fitting topic, given that the kickoff occurred on the day of midterm elections. The suppression of the Native American vote in North Dakota was a national topic in the run up to the elections.

While there was national outrage over the requirement of “tribal IDs” in North Dakota, Lopez-Donaghey said a lack of voter participation from the Native American community was also a problem.

“There is still a lot of voter apathy,” Lopez-Donaghey said.   

Many native people also have obstacles that prevent them from voting, such as the address requirement, said Victoria Gomez, a graduate student in the leadership development program.

“On the reservation, they don’t even have a P.O. box.,” said Gomez, who assists with Heritage Month Programming for the University and helped set up the event.

The voter registration rate for American Indians and Alaskan Natives in the United States is anywhere from five to 14 percentage points lower than any other racial demographic, according to the National Congress of American Indians.

“American Indians did not become citizens until 1924, but in reality didn’t get the right to vote until, like, the 60s. It’s not that many years that we’ve had voting rights,” Lopez-Donaghey said.

Native Americans were banned from voting until 1965, as those on Indian reservations were not considered natural-born citizens, according to the Native American Voting Rights Coalition.  

Consequently, Lopez-Donaghey has kick-started the California Native Vote Project.

The California Native Vote Project is an organization that encourages Native Americans to vote and participate in politics.

“How many of you guys have ever heard of [California Native Project] before?” Lopez-Donaghey asked of the audience.

After the silence, she affirmed that nobody in the crowd was aware of the organization.

“We’re pushing for that American Indian vote. It is our right. We now have that right, so let’s move forward with it,” Lopez-Donaghey said.

Throughout her talk, Lopez-Donaghey  referenced traditional music or dance from various tribes, including one dance that served as a symbolic healing dance for domestic violence against Native women.

“She dances in a prayer. With Native American women, four out of five will experience violence in their lifetime,” said Lopez-Donaghey

A Native American woman performs a spiritual dance in honor of healing. Photo by Marcella Zizzo

Lopez-Donaghey also addressed other community challenges, such as alcoholism and diabetes.

She blamed these problems on governmental interference, and the adoption of unhealthy  customs for the sake of convenience and assimilation.

Lopez-Donaghey argued that colonization and assimilation were imposed on Native American people, which resulted in the stripping of their values and the emergence of adversity.

“These people have suffered through a lot of things in their culture through colonization. I think it’s really important to recognize that as we go forward,” said Gomez.

It is the second year that the Cross-Cultural Center has celebrated Indigenous Peoples Heritage Month. Since 1995, each president has declared November as National American Indian Heritage Month.

“I hope that people want to come and learn more about who they are, but also about who these people are as well. This [event] is specifically for non-native students to come and learn,” Gomez said.

Poignantly, the issued discussed reached few listeners. Several Chapman students even entered only to grab snacks and refreshments before sneaking out.

But nationally, there was good news, as native people surged to the polls en masse: The North Dakota Secretary of State and local officials reported stunningly high levels of voter turnout on the Standing Rock and Turtle Mountain reservations.

Higher levels of Native American voter turnout will increase the likelihood that Native concerns – especially those involving the environment and education – will be heard,  Lopez-Donaghey said.

 

Polyamory advocate Phoenix Mandel discusses consent and honest communication in polyamorous relationships.

Phoenix Mandel’s biggest poly relationship or ‘poly family’ consisted of five people living under the same roof, sharing a makeshift bed that stretched from wall to wall to accommodate everyone. Photo by Leslie Song.

The core components of polyamory require “consent, honest communication, and agreement between all people involved,” sexuality educator Phoenix Mandel told a crowd in a Nov. 7 speech in Argyros Forum.

As a polyamorist, Mandel speaks to educate others on alternate relationship styles to make polyamory more widely accepted and understood. Mandel, who goes by the pronouns they/them, said that even people who practice monogamy can improve their relationships by incorporating advice applicable to polyamorous relationships.

Mandel has been practicing polyamory since freshman year of college and was at one time in a sexual relationship with four other people. Mandel is currently in a triad – a polyamorous relationship with two other individuals. Mandel has a nesting partner, who they currently live with, in addition to a girlfriend who lives elsewhere.

Polyamory is the practice of having multiple, open relationships at once. These relations can range from sex to meaningful committed relationships, they explained.  

“With romantic love, [monogamous relationships] can be very limiting,” Mandel said.  

In polyamory relationships, physical and emotional needs can be met by being with more people, Mandel said.

Debunking polyamory perceptions was a main focus in Mandel’s presentation.

Polyamorous relationships need to be structured in an ethical way with honesty, fulfillment of the needs of all parties and encouragement of personal growth, Mandel said.

Questions about cheating and jealousy are often raised, said Mandel, but the key to successful polyamory is candor, negotiation, and honesty.

Cheating and polyamory are not synonymous, Mandel said.

“People who cheat usually aren’t the best at polyamory,” because trust and transparency are still needed in polyamorous relationships they said.

Polyamory involves compromise, just as monogamy does, Mandel said. It’s important to remember that these are relationships with complicated human beings and consideration for each party’s feelings and desires must remain a priority, said Mandel. Coming to agreements and outlining expectations is crucial.

“Polyamory is the ability to talk about uncomfortable topics,” Mandel said. “There is no room for assumptions in both polygamous and monogamous relationships.”

Mandel stressed the importance of open, honest communication and consent among all parties. Breaking trust by seeing others or doing acts that were not agreed upon can lead to break-ups and unhealthy relationships, they said.

Jealousy can also afflict polyamorous people and must be addressed, Mandel said. The feeling of jealousy arises from unmet needs, insecurity and cultural programming, they said.

“You are not a jealous person, you have jealous feelings,” Mandel said. The idea of being jealous to show that you care or that you really love someone is “toxic nonsense.”

People who question the validity of polyamory may doubt an individual’s ability to love more than one individual at the time, but love is not a finite commodity, Mandel said. In familial relationships, for example, the amount of love for children does not vary, Mandel said.

“Don’t legislate the exact level of feelings for others,” Mandel said. “Not only is it not possible and not fair, it doesn’t give a relationship room to find its level and to express relationship growth.”

While love has no limits, time certainly does.

“Google Calendar is a poly person’s best friend,” Mandel said.

Mandel also emphasized the importance of an egalitarian approach when practicing polyamory. Though relationships can promote power play with the incorporation of bondage, discipline, sadism, and masochism elements, Mandel believes that negotiations and agreement are key to a functional polyamorous relationship.

“Most heterosexual men think that they’re going to get a harem,” Mandel said.

Instead, polyamorous people can expect to get their needs met in a consensual way through negotiations and a high level of communication. Realizing practicality without having a ‘one true love’ mindset and emotional intimacy are among the many benefits, said Mandel.

Depending on the structure or number of parties involved, a polyamorous relationship can fulfill sexual and emotional needs that are not completely met in a monogamous relationship, Mandel said.

Journalists debate whether Orange County will go red, blue or purple

Democrats hope the “Blue Wave” will flip the House of Representatives. Photo courtesy of Sheila Anne Feeney

The Democrats have the opportunity to flip the house in the upcoming congressional races on Nov. 6th and take back control in Washington D.C., making the districts in and around Orange County decisive players in filling House seats, said a panel of journalists at an election preview event on Oct. 30.

“This is one of the most consequential congressional elections any of us have ever gone through, “said Los Angeles Bureau Chief for the New York Times Adam Nagourney.

Nagourney, Voice of OC founder Norberto Santana Jr. and KPCC Senior Political Editor Mary Plummer discussed how the voting at elections are becoming less about political identity and more focused on particular, divisive policies. Along with this change in voter rationale, attention on higher-level bureaucracy is heightened, leaving decisions for local government behind.

“The congressional races have taken all the air out of the room,” Santana said.

Historically Republican districts such as Orange County are being examined due to a historical shift in which more Orange County voters identify as blue or “no party preference.”

All Republicans aren’t eager to be seen as connected to President Donald Trump. In a lot of Republican ads “Trump isn’t front and center,” said Plummer, a Chapman alumna. 

The private election preview event called “Blue Wave, Red Tide or Purple Haze?” was held at Chapman University. Though many attendees live within the 46th congressional district, it was Congressman Dana Rohrabacher of the 48th Congressional District that brought up much discussion.

Like the event name suggests, many of the questions asked by moderator Kristen Muller, Southern California Public Radio Chief Content Officer, came back to the current political climate of races and propositions.

 The panelists refrained from making predictions or speculating about outcomes. However, they did comment on past behavior and the known Democratic majority in the state of California.

“Trump has 25-35 percent of votes nationally – it’s not enough to win. Support varies district by district,” Nagourney said.

“The big game here is absolutely the congressional race,” Nagourney said. “You’re on ground zero of this fight for Congress,” Nagourney added.

Though Orange County has a history of strong Republican support, the Democrats in Orange County are growing in number and they’ve been outspending, Santana said.   

“[The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC)] is playing in OC more than ever before,” Santana said.  

The DCCC, a political committee that supports Democratic House candidates, has spent thousands of dollars to support the Democrat candidates in Orange County. 

  Among the different social groups, young people and voters of color may contribute to a blue wave,  Santana said.

“In Orange County, there are young voters voting in large numbers,” Plummer said.

Young voters are likely to register as no party preference voters (NPP), Plummer and Santana noted. Their votes are expected to be critical in the outcome Tuesday.

Of the 200 people who attended, many asked questions about Latino and young voter groups that could produce massive policy changes.

One crowd member asked why it’s so important to focus on these groups.

“When we compare us as a whole to other other countries, there’s a lower voting rate. How come we don’t talk about that rather than specific groups?” asked Chapman lecturer Luis Ortiz-Franco.

Santana used this question to urge the importance of support from Latinos in the community.

“With immigration being bashed the way it is, if we saw a little more [support], policies would radically change,” Santana said.

In the 39th congressional district, moderate Republican candidate Young Kim, running against Gil Cisneros, has adopted a careful approach with immigration, according to Plummer.

In order for Republicans to win, California Republicans need to expand their appeals and acknowledge that Democrats have legitimate concerns, according to Nagourney.

“The old Republican playbook has to be changed,” Santana said.

As for propositions, only one garnered attention from the panelists.

Prop 6, which proposes a gas tax to fund road repairs, is a get-out-the vote tactic to get Republicans to the ballot box, according to Nagourney.

As of right now, this plan has not worked across the state.

“The Republican vote is failing,” Nagourney said.

Plummer noted that even in the gubernatorial race Republican John Cox, running against Gavin Newsom “hasn’t gotten the traction either,” Plummer said.

Newsom has nothing to gain by participating in another debate with Cox – he would only be giving a platform for Cox and increase liability for himself by misspeaking, according to Nagourney.

Candidates are increasingly going to the voters directly through social media, Nagourney said. 

Legacy media, “doesn’t have the power – for better or for worse – it once had for campaigns,” Nagourney said.

Candidates are restricting media coverage, Plummer said, noting that in one instance a debate was held in which audio and video recordings were banned, preventing anyone not present from seeing or hearing the candidates in action.  

Santana noted this tactic allows only one side – the politicians – to engage.

“It’s gamed outcomes that we’re seeing. That’s the scariest part,” Santana said. This idea of gaming elections…”There’s almost an intention to have a confused electorate running after shiny objects.”

Spooky Staff Talent at the Panther Pumpkin Pageant

A “bloody” pumpkin on an operating table won the “most original” prize at the ninth annual Panther Pumpkin Pageant yesterday morning in the Attallah Piazza.

26 departments across Chapman University – with many of their members in costume – participated in the pageant, which included Cinderella in her famous pumpkin-shaped carriage and a Miley Cyrus doll on a pumpkin wrecking ball. “Best Chapman Theme” went to Schmid College, which created a pumpkin Keck Center with Chapman President Daniele Struppa and others inside. The Miley Cyrus pumpkin won the “Most Humorous” award.

Costume prizes were also awarded.

Prizes for costumes:

“Most Creative” goes to The Great Gatsby from the Office of the University Registrar

The department brought us all back to the 1920s with their flapper dresses and dazzling headpieces.

Paula Pearl graciously accepts the award. 

 

“Chapman Theme” goes to Coco Familia from Dodge College

Also dedicated to the Mexican holiday, Día de Muertos. They served Día de Muertos inspired pastries as part of their costume.

 

“Most Original” goes to Wilkinson Hall

“The Haunted Memorial Hall” gave everyone a quick trip to Disneyland through their costumes.

 

Prizes for pumpkin carving:

“Most Humorous” was awarded to University Advancement

They came in like a wrecking ball!

 

“Best Chapman Theme” goes to Schmid College

The new Keck Center was the star of this pumpkin display.

They humbly accepted their prize.

 

“Most Original” goes to Crean College

A frightening scene of a poor pumpkin getting carelessly operated on.

The “mad scientists” leaped and cheered with joy when they heard they had won.

 

This year’s pageant was a smashing success!

All photos by Jasmine Liu.

 

 

 

 

Eight Random Holidays You Probably Didn’t Know Are Coming Up

There is a holiday for anything if you dream it. We found these random holidays on Holiday Insights and thought, there is always a reason to celebrate. Check out these eight upcoming holidays and come up with the ultimate excuse to treat yourself.


1: November 3rd – Sandwich Day

Photo courtesy of giphy.com.

Sandwiches are a staple in North America, from a PB&J to the Elvis Presley (peanut butter, bacon, and banana). Celebrate this day by branching out and making a unique sandwich you can call your own. Consider a mac & grilled cheese, B.L.T.A., or adding peanut butter on your burger.


2: November 12 – Chicken Soup for the Soul Day

Photo courtesy of giphy.com.

This is a day to give back to yourself. It’s a celebration of who you are, where you’ve been, and where you’re going. We suggest doing things that make you feel like the best version of yourself, like taking a bubble bath, eating your favorite foods, or spending time alone.


3: November 13th – World Kindness Day

Photo courtesy of giphy.com.

Celebrate this day by donating your time to local charities. We sometimes forget how lucky we are to go to such an amazing school, so let’s put some gratitude in our attitudes and help others in need. Here are some volunteer ideas around Orange: 4Life Animal Rescue, Mary’s Kitchen, Surfrider Foundation, and the Ronald McDonald House.


4: November 16th – Button Day

Photo courtesy of giphy.com.

Buttons can be underrated; they come in all different shapes, colors, textures, and styles. Celebrate this day by jazzing up an old sweater or jacket with some buttons for a fun new look.


5: November 17th – Take A Hike Day

Photo courtesy of giphy.com.

Celebrate this day by literally taking a hike. Go down to Laguna and do the Top Of The World hike or road trip to LA for the day and hike the Hollywood sign. Any way you celebrate, grab some friends and get outside for that perfect Instagram worthy picture.


6: November 23rd – National Espresso Day

Photo courtesy of giphy.com.

Because there’s no such thing as too much caffeine. Go to Starbucks to get your fix, or venture beyond Chapman and explore some of the coffee spots in the Orange Circle. Just make sure not to say “ex-presso.”


7: November 26th – Shopping Reminder Day

Photo courtesy of giphy.com.

You know it’s going to be a good day when someone wants you to shop. This day falls on Cyber Monday, so put this one in your calendar to snatch up all those online steals and deals.


8: November 28th – French Toast Day

Photo courtesy of giphy.com.

Best. Day. Ever. This day gives attention to an often forgotten breakfast food. Celebrate by adding fun ingredients to your french toast to spice it up – consider cocoa pebbles, peanut butter and jelly, Nutella, or sprinkles.


 

Civil rights activist Dolores Huerta speaks on the importance of voting and taking a stance

Dolores Huerta discussing her activist work with President Daniele Struppa at Memorial Hall Monday night. Photo by Leslie Song.

Labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta spoke about her ongoing efforts for social change in a public discussion with President Daniele Struppa Monday night.

Huerta, a co-founder with Cesar Chavez of the organization that became the United Farm Workers, urged the audience to vote in the upcoming midterm election on Nov. 6.

“I always tell people, ‘election day is the most important day of your life,’” Huerta said. “If we don’t step up, then nothing changes.”

In the last election, there were more people who chose not to vote than those that did, she said. Everyone, especially young people, needs to exercise their voting rights in the upcoming election if they want their nation and world to improve.  

Huerta, 88, a mother of 11 and a grandmother of 10, is known for her advocacy of voter participation, her ongoing efforts to help women, children and the poor, and her fight for policy changes to prevent police brutality. She picked up that cause after suffering a life-threatening assault at the hands of police during a protest against Vice President at the time George W. Bush.

The evening took a surprising turn during the period of audience questioning when Brittany Bringuez, a senior integrated educational studies major, questioned Huerta about Chapman’s record regarding labor issues.

“It’s kind of ironic that your life’s work has been around worker’s rights and fairness and justice and I think it’s particularly interesting that Chapman doesn’t allow its staff to unionize,” Bringuez said. “How do you keep going against the big guys when you don’t have power?”

Struppa was quick to cut Bringuez off.

“It’s just not correct,” he said.  

In response to Bringuez, Huerta urged people to be persistent, have care, and not to waste their time.

“We’re empowering people. A lot of people are afraid to get involved,” Huerta said.

During the discussion, Huerta urged educators to broaden their curriculums to include the history of struggles for equality.  

“The way to erase the ignorance is to teach,” Huerta said. “We have to teach the true history of the United States of America. Starting at a young age, children are not taught of the injustices, such as how Native Americans were the original landowners and how, through slavery, African Americans were responsible for building the infrastructure of America.”

A video shown gave information on the Dolores Huerta Foundation (DHF), which demonstrated the lives of community members who received financial, emotional and professional help from the foundation.

Huerta condemned what she described as the continuing bias against minorities in high school. Namely, with Kern High School District, which lost a lawsuit against the DHF for mistreating students of color. She also urged reforms in the criminal justice system, advocating fewer incarcerations for minor misdemeanors and allowing people in prison the right to vote.

Increasing the minimum wage to one that matches the cost of living now and acknowledging unfair labor treatment also needs to happen, she said.

Despite the serious subject matter, Huerta drew laughter from the crowd with her witty remarks.

“Friends don’t let their friends shop at Walmart,” joked Huerta, referencing the giant retailer that has been the subject of many labor rights complaints.

“(Americans) are economic colonizers. We have to change our foreign policy to help other countries develop,” Huerta said.

Drugs, district attorney’s and the dark web: Rahul Gupta and “mystery man” address dangers of the dark web.

Rahul Gupta speaking in Argyros Forum Student Union, “Johnny” spoke from behind the white screen next to him. Photo by Mari Lundin

Chapman brought a special guest speaker to the Argyros Student Union Stage yesterday – a nameless drug smuggler whose face and body were obscured as he detailed ordering molly and other drugs off the dark web for eventual sale.

“Even though Johnny wasn’t on the street corner we still found him, we still arrested him, we still convicted him,” said Rahul Gupta, an Orange County Senior Deputy District Attorney.

Gupta warned an audience of students, concerned parents, and staff members about the false sense of security many students have when ordering drugs off the dark web, believing their transactions to be anonymous and undetectable. His presentation also included warnings about buying cryptocurrencies on the dark web – a practice that is not illegal, but fraught with consumer risk.

“Johnny,” a self-described former finance professional and college graduate from Orange County, spoke from behind a jerry-rigged white screen. His hidden, disembodied voice told the audience how he lost money in risky cryptocurrency investments and wound up arrested for smuggling drugs he ordered over the “dark web,” a shadow internet that allows people to conduct transactions anonymously.

The dark web is data that resides on the internet but requires a special browser to access, such as Tor. Using Tor protects user anonymity and shields IP addresses so web behavior – and web users – can’t be tracked. Because of these shields, Tor is not only popular with investigative journalists who want to protect confidential sources but criminals who wish to escape detection for dealing anything from Ecstasy to child pornography.

While Gupta did not reveal the sentence Johnny received, he acknowledged “consideration” was extended in exchange for Johnny’s willingness to speak in public about his experience.

Johnny said he smoked weed and occasionally did molly and cocaine, but never considered dealing until stumbling on the dark web and concluding it would be easy to purchase large quantities for profit as an anonymous buyer.

His first flirtation was cryptocurrency. He withdrew money from his 401K to invest in cryptocurrency, expecting a fast profit. Instead, his investments tanked, and he turned to drug dealing.

“I went into a side hustle, I wanted to make big money, I wanted to live large,” Johnny said.

He started by ordering and distributing 50 ecstasy pills. That led to thousands more. Soon, he was spending five to six thousand dollars on a single drug order.

“[The expectation of making easy money] can be very enticing,” Gupta said. “It’s a lure when you’re on social media to want to live the fast life, and this is the hard way to make an easy living.”

The prime customers for narcotics imported through the dark web are college-aged students and a majority of people who sell them are around the same age, according to Gupta.

Undercover agents are on the dark web monitoring dealers and engaging transactions with the intention of making busts. Photo by Jefferson Santos on Unsplash.

“This is a relatively new phenomenon that is sweeping not only Orange County but the United States and it’s tremendously affecting young people,” Gupta said.

And it’s abetted by visual social media platforms that motivate young people to desire more materialistic things, Gupta said.

[Dealing] is like [when] you watch those movies where it’s all glamorous at the beginning,” Johnny said. “Then at the end, it’s the mug shot. All the flashing lights and [his fancy life] just ended.”

Before his arrest, Johnny lost around $12,000 in cryptocurrency to scammers who promised to send him drugs but vanished into the recesses of the dark web after he paid them.

“If you’re going to venture onto the dark web, just be aware of what the risks are out there,” Gupta said. “If you think ‘hey I can remain anonymous and maybe I can engage in something illegal, maybe I won’t get caught,’ just know that people do get caught.”

“Nobody thinks they’ll get caught,” Johnny said. “But in the back of my head, I knew I was playing Russian Roulette.”

Johnny’s package was flagged by Customs and Border Protection. When he went to pick it up from the post office law enforcement was waiting for him.

Undercover agents are on the dark web monitoring dealers and engaging transactions with the intention of making busts, Gupta said. And illegal drug orders are regularly intercepted by  U.S. Customs. The lure of dark web drugs “is ruining a lot of lives,” Gupta said. “Both in terms of the people who consume the product and those who are selling the product that get caught.”

Gupta also addressed the risky nature of cryptocurrency investments.

The rising use of cryptocurrency may make financial transactions untraceable – it’s why crypto coins are the currency in ransomware attacks – but that also means consumers are unlikely to recover any money they lose in deals gone bad, Gupta said.

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies can be bought at Crypto ATMs, on the regular web, and at in-person exchanges. There are over 1800 types of cryptocurrencies to choose from, including Ethereum, ZCash, and Monero, Gupta said.

“Cryptocurrency is a whole new area in financial services and none of them, not a single one of these 1800, is backed by any type of government entity or any type of bank,” Gupta explained. “It’s just a risk you need to be aware of.”

Because there’s no central system backing up these currencies, their value fluctuates constantly, and they’re not insured. Yet, more retailers and merchants are beginning to accept bitcoin. In Orange County, a Tesla can be bought with enough Bitcoin, according to Gupta.

Cryptocurrency isn’t tangible but can be stored on phones, paper, and electronic thumb drives. But codes can be stolen, and with them, cryptocurrency.

“Cryptocurrency is legal, using the dark web is legal,” Gupta said. “There are some risks involved when you venture into these new areas of technology.”

Physical threats are also arising, like robberies of people for their cryptocurrencies during set up exchanges, ransomware, and blackmail.