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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

First-generation student is first Chapman Rhodes scholar

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quimpo believes that narrowing the definition will further harm survivors.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The New Pass/No Pass Deadline has Students feeling Cheated

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tinder Barely Passes with Tinder U

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sleigh the Holiday Season at Your College Home Away From Home

End of semester stress may have you feeling like the Grinch, but don’t let that crush your holiday spirit. You may have gotten into the groove of family traditions leading up to winter holidays in the past, but between finals and Southern California’s less-than-wintery weather, it can be easy to lose the holiday spirit. Here are five ways to celebrate the holiday season in your college home.


1. Deck The Hall

Many students take to decorating the inside of their dorms for the holiday season. Whip out the wrapping paper and the ribbons to include your dorm doors in the holiday spirit.

The welcome area in Argyros Forum has loads of butcher paper for free. Photo courtesy of Veronica Millison.

To make a tree:
  1. Cut about five feet of butcher paper into several small pointed strips.
  2. Fold the strips into a tube and tape the back, leaving the pointed edges on the outside.
  3. Flatten the taped strips and pull the outer point to create a raised effect.
  4. Tape the strips to the door, adding more as you work your way down to the stump.
  5. To create the stump, cut a small piece of butcher paper and put it on the bottom of the tree.
  6. You can also cut out ornaments of your desire or hang real ones using mini Command hooks.
To make a snowman:
  1. Cut enough butcher paper to make three circles of varying sizes, small, medium, and large.
  2. Tape onto the door the smallest circle on the top and largest on the bottom, connecting each one.
  3. Add a cutout hat, scarf and facial features – or draw them directly onto the circles.
  4. Cut small white circles and tape them sporadically on the door to create snow.

2. Make a Holiday Treat

Nothing says “Hello holidays!” like good food. No matter what you’re celebrating, ask for the family recipe to your favorite dish and share it with your roommates and professors. Bake with your friends in the fully stocked Morlan Hall kitchen – just bring your own ingredients and clean up when you are done.

Many students take to coffee to push through finals. Spice it up and treat yourself with a side of a holiday inspired coffee cake. Photo by Alyssa Harrell.

Easy Coffee Cake Recipe – inspired by and courtesy of Kristyn Merkley, from Lil’ Luna.

You will need:
  • A 9×13 inch pan (or proportional)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tsp of baking powder
  • 1 ½ cups of brown sugar
  • 2 tsp of cinnamon
  • 3 cups of flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup oil
  • ½ cup melted butter
  • 1 cup milk
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease the pan and set it aside.
  3. Combine eggs, oil, milk, butter, and vanilla in a mixing bowl.
  4. In a smaller bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  5. Pour the content of the dry bowl into the larger mixing bowl and whisk to create the batter
  6. Pour the batter into the greased pan so that the top is even.
  7. To create the topping, mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon.
  8. Evenly sprinkle the topping over the batter in the pan.
  9. Using a butter knife, create swirls on top of the batter to blend the topping in.
  10. Bake for 30 minutes, let cool for two minutes, and enjoy!

3. Set the Winter Scene in SoCal

Although Southern California is not a winter wonderland, create the ambience yourself and make use of what SoCal has to offer. The fire pit at the dorm pool is open until 9 p.m. – giving you plenty of time to enjoy a night under the string lights roasting chestnuts and making s’mores.

If you don’t mind going off campus, the sand is SoCal’s snow. The beach is a great place to have a bonfire and roast your holiday treats.
Photo by Kimson Doan on Unsplash.


4. Join the Community

Grab your friends and go to the Tree Lighting Ceremony and Candlelight Choir Procession in the Orange Circle. This year, the ceremony will be held on Sunday, Dec. 2, from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Don’t miss the tree lighting and music starting at 5:15 p.m. 

Shops and restaurants will be open for you to grab a bite while you enjoy the event. Photo by Alyssa Harrell.


5. Gather Your Friends For a Gift Exchange

No matter what you celebrate, gift exchanging has been made a large part of the holiday season. Additionally, it’s a great way to get together with your friends before the end of the year.

There are several options to gift-giving, perhaps the most common being Secret Santa and White Elephant. Photo by Alyssa Harrell.


 

Six tips from honors students on how to ace your finals

Prowl interviewed some University Honors Program students with the highest GPAs at Chapman to get some helpful tips on establishing better study habits, such as using the Pomodoro Technique, working with other people to get multiple perspectives on a topic and how to find the best study spot.

 

1. Try the Pomodoro Technique

Would you rather take three hours to get one thing done, or  an hour and 20 minutes to get four things done? The Pomodoro Technique, created by Francesco Cirillo in the 1980s, provides a framework to help you get more done in less time. The main premise behind the Pomodoro Technique is to work in blocks of time, typically 25 minutes long, followed by a five minute break. These intervals are named pomodoros, the English plural of the Italian word “pomodoro,” which translates to  tomato, after the tomato-shaped kitchen timer that Citrillo used as a college student. Each Pomodoro session demands your full attention on one task, and every break requires you to step away from your work to rest.

Here’s how to implement the Pomodoro Technique:

Make a to-do list of the assignments you absolutely need to do that day and set time frames for each task. For example:

  • 25 minutes – HON 498
  • 25 minutes – Portfolio
  • Five minute break
  • 25 minutes – IES 492
  • 25 minutes – Presentation
  • Five minute break

The result is improved productivity and satisfaction with your work, as well as decreased boredom.

Download the “Focus Keeper Free: work & Study Timer” app https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/focus-keeper-free-work-study-timer/id867374917

2. Get a planner

Even if you think that all of your assignments and reminders can be stored in your head, top students find  reminder apps, calendars, and planners to be extremely helpful in getting tasks done and remembering everything that you need to accomplish and when. The apps below allow you to set aside time for studying and set reminders to get your assignments in on time.

Recommended apps: Blackboard, Google Tasks

Photo by Marissa Dunn

 

3. Treat yo self!

As it turns out, giving yourself a small reward after a long study session is a good practice. Treating yourself can be as simple as watching a show or enjoying a nice meal. Try to make it less about expecting a reward and more about doing something to take care of your mind and body after a long day of work. Work-life balance is important, even in college! Of course, it’s also necessary to recognize that even if you didn’t finish reading the entire textbook before bed,you are still allowed to rest. Being kind to yourself and treating yourself  is a good rule of thumb.

4. Know when to work alone versus when to work with people

Working with people or in groups is only a great idea if you are struggling with the content on a conceptual level. Having a fellow student explain their take on a subject rather than a professor  can sometimes be effective and better for memory, as your peers may be able to explain concepts in simplified terms, which is easier to comprehend and remember than the more complex academic versions discussed in class. In the group setting, you get to hear multiple perspectives and work through your confusion with individuals in your group who understand the subject matter more fully. However, when it comes to memorizing and writing, it’s best to go solo. For example, study by yourself for test preparation, and then do a partner or group review the day before a big exam.

Photo by Marissa Dunn

5. Find your work space

Having a set place and time to study can make all the difference. Every honors student suggested establishing a work space far from distractions. Libraries are a good place to study because they are usually filled with people who are also working, reinforcing the notion that you are there to work – not to chit chat or surf the net.

Photo by Hannah Harp

6. Review as you go

Even if a test isn’t on the horizon, the act of reviewing material briefly helps store that information in your long-term memory, so you’ll already have it memorized when the test day arrives. One  activity that helps some students retain information is studying with a friend and verbally reviewing the material. By talking it out, especially the concepts that are the most difficult, some students find that they remember the conversation better on the test day and even find that explaining the information to a friend solidifies their understanding of the information. Plus, you get to hear your friend’s thoughts on the concept as well. It’s a win-win!

These students contributed to tips for this story:

  • Sofya Bochkareva
  • Brittney Bringuez
  • Taylor Killefer
  • Kylie Miller

 

 

 

Discovering adulthood: Schools legally can’t release medical information for students 18 and older without written consent

The most recent picture of the Hogate family taken for Christmas last year with Kevin Hogate (left), before he died of sudden cardiac arrest at college. Photo courtesy of Scott Hogate.

Chapman alumnus Scott Hogate learned the hard way that if a student does not sign a medical directive releasing information to his parents in a medical emergency, his parents won’t be contacted.

Hogate’s son Kevin suffered a cardiac arrest at the Savannah College of Art and Design on April 6 and was taken to a hospital where he was eventually pronounced dead. The Hogates weren’t alerted of the incident until a doctor called to tell them their son was in critical condition.

Kevin’s school could not contact his parents after his cardiac arrest because Kevin did not complete a medical directive form consenting that his parents could obtain information, Hogate said.

Hogate and his wife, Kate, are now on an informational crusade to alert college students and their parents to the importance of signing medical directives, to eliminate the risk of ambiguity in emergency situations.

Many parents and students are unaware that privacy laws such as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act prohibit parents from accessing information about their children in a medical emergency once the children become adults.

If a student over the age of 18 does not sign documents such as a health care directive, a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability (HIPAA) waiver, and durable power of attorney, their parents are not entitled to any of their medical information – even in a dire emergency.

It is not the school’s responsibility or obligation to offer directives said Stacy Sadove, a partner with the Law Firm of Fitzgerald & Sadove.

“They don’t have a duty under the law to have to provide information or to have to get parents to sign these documents,” Sadove said.

Hogate and Sadove believe schools should do a better job informing parents that unless a medical directive form is completed, they will not have the right to obtain information about their student in these types of situations. An ideal time to have this discussion would be when a student is admitted to a college, Hogate said.

The California Advance Health Care Directive is broken into five parts.

Part one requires the student to name “an agent” who will be given the authority to make medical decisions for the student if a doctor decides they are either unable to fully comprehend the ramifications of their medical choices or if the student is unconscious and cannot communicate.

Part two consists of the student’s written requests regarding their preferences in “prolonging” their life.

Part three states the student’s preference on organ donation. Part four designates the student’s preferred physician. And part five completes the directive with the student’s signature and witnesses to ensure the document’s legitimacy.

Information on the directive form is provided for students at events such as Discover Chapman Day, Preview Day, and during Orientation, according to the Director of the Health Center Jacqueline Deats. Health care directives are mentioned but are not as publicly advertised.

Schools must be cautious about what they involve themselves in to an extent, Sadove said. Schools do not want to put themselves in a position where they are liable or break confidentiality, but failing to notify parents about a student in distress could also create a situation in which the school might be sued, Sadove said.

At Chapman, health practitioners can speak with parents directly only if the student provides consent by written form or verbal confirmation, according to Deats.

“An emergency contact is not a legal form, it is a form for them to have on file to have contact information for someone else. Schools don’t have the right to share any information unless there is an active directive on file saying they can,” Sadove said.

“The health center is not looking to keep parents out. They want the patient or the student to have the support of the family, especially when the student is asking,” Deats said.

Schools face each medical situation by gauging the level of liability, Sadove said. This approach ensures schools can release information without breaching privacy laws, erring on the side of caution. In cases where a student’s mental health is questionable, the appropriate course of action which can include continuous involvement of a special needs coordinator, outside counseling and parent involvement, will sometimes be overlooked, Sadove explained.

For non-urgent yet serious issues, Deats will go to the Dean of Students, Jerry Price, to seek advice before making any major decisions, she said.

“Intoxication is something that a lot of students don’t want their parents to find out [about] so I think that’s what’s different for college settings,” Deats said. “Other things, like suicide attempts, are really sensitive,” Deats continued. “Parent support might be helpful but [we] can’t breach that confidentiality,” she added.

Parents are often unaware this medical directive needs to be completed, Deats continued.

“For a lot of parents, it’s not necessarily on their check-off list, until an incident happens. [The consent] form could do nothing under the state of law because that student could sue us for breach of confidentiality. It can’t be a blanket medical form unless it’s the healthcare directive. And that’s just according to [the] law,” Deats said.

Unless a parent specifically inquires about this legal documentation, health professionals at Chapman do not endorse or even advise parents to get health care directives for their child, Deats said.

Despite schools not promoting medical directives forms, some students are finding information on their own.

“My youngest daughter who is now at Harvard came to me because she had read something in the popular press, that said if she were in medical distress that we would not have access to her medical care because she is over the age of 18,” said Susan Paterno, the English Journalism Director and professor at Chapman. “She came to us and said you need to do this. We didn’t believe her, but then I found out she was correct and decided we need to [get the forms completed],” Paterno said.

Paterno utilized her Hyatt Legal plan, a part of her employee benefits at Chapman, to hire an attorney to help draw these medical directives last August. Paterno wanted to ensure that she could help her daughter in a situation where she had to sort through a medical emergency while enrolled at Harvard.

Schools should move beyond merely mentioning medical directives and hold clinics where students can have the chance to learn about medical directives, have direct access to them or be provided with a way to access them through the school’s website, Sadove said.

This would ensure that the forms are signed properly and are provided to the school, she said.

Hogate’s goal is similar. He wants colleges to provide medical directives during enrollment so colleges are legally able to contact parents and guardians should a child have a medical emergency.

Hogate has been working with David Moore, Assistant Vice President of Legacy Planning at Chapman, to bring his story to the rest of campus. His hope is that Chapman can come up with a strategy to implement change by the end of November, he said.

Study: Too much social media use harms your mental health

Students, Olivia Harden (left) and Roanan Keldin (right) check their phones
during a 15-minute break from class. Photo by Madison Taber.

Social media and college students grew up together. They are closely tied and practically inseparable.

But a new study published in the December Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology reveals that excessive social media use and passively scrolling through Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram feeds increases the rates of depression, loneliness and anxiety in young people ages 18 to 22.  

“[Social media] invites downward social comparison (feeling like your life isn’t as good as other people’s) and feeling left out, when you see friends posting about events you weren’t at,” said Melissa G. Hunt, associate director of clinical training in the Department of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and lead author of the “No More FOMO: Limiting Social Media Decreases Loneliness and Depression.”

That’s true, confirmed Logan Kent, a sophomore business major, who confessed to comparing her own life to those of strangers she follows on Instagram. Yet, she can’t stay off the platform.

“I find myself drawn to it every chance I have,” she admitted.

While the amount of time users spent on social media varied, the average was one hour per day, according to Hunt’s study. And there was a direct correlation between increased use and rates of depression, she said.

Many people were using significantly more than [one hour]- up to 2.5 hours a day. And that’s not including other apps like Twitter or dating apps,” Hunt said. “That’s a lot of lost time.”

Spending a large amount of time on social media diminishes an individual’s time spent interacting with people face-to-face, which is a more rewarding use of time, Hunt said.  

“True intimacy involves revealing our vulnerabilities and weaknesses to those who care about us and then supporting them in turn when they reveal their vulnerabilities to us. Social media doesn’t really encourage that, so it may get in the way of true intimacy,” Hunt said.  

Individuals shift their focus from what is happening in reality to what other people want to be perceived as doing, leaving their minds in a flurry of discontentment, Hunt said. Excessive social media use can also exacerbate anxiety, she continued.

“Social media promised to connect us with others – but we usually only see the ‘best’ that people have to offer on carefully curated Instagram feeds or posed photos on Facebook,” Hunt said. Still, social media can be used to spark new relationships if utilized properly, Hunt said.

“Social media is designed to appeal to our preference for novelty,” Hunt said. “Like most things, using it in moderation actually may help you connect with others, talk to your friends, and share things about your lives.”

She explains that the issue develops when individuals use social media too often and in a passive manner to view other people’s posts.

But social media is dangerous because “it’s a bit addictive,” Hunt warned. “Collecting ‘likes’ and ‘streaks’ and ‘views’ can make you feel good about yourself for a split second. That’s enticing, but like other addictive things, what makes you feel good in the moment can make you feel pretty terrible over the long haul.”

Hunt acknowledged that abstaining from social media use entirely is impractical for most young people, but limiting the time they spend on it may help improve their moods.  

“People who used less social media – about 25-30 minutes a day, rather than an hour a day or more – showed improvement in depressive symptoms and loneliness,” she said.  

The study suggests downloading apps such as “Moment” or “Space” that track how much time an individual spends on each app in an effort to raise awareness of how much time is actually spent on social media.

Some students recognize that they spend too much time on social media platforms.

“I stopped using social media because I just found myself obsessing about it every day. I was spending at least an hour a day between Instagram and Snapchat, stressing out and feeling like I wasn’t doing as much as everyone else was,” said Jack Kirby, a sophomore broadcast journalism major.

Kirby decided to cut himself off from all social media platforms at once.

“When I first stopped using it, I realized how much time I was spending on it,” Kirby said. “There were these gaps in my day that I didn’t know how to fill. It was kind of anxiety-inducing. Like, what the hell do I do now? But since then I’ve been able to do so much more. I cook more, go to the gym more, and overall I feel happier.”