Marley historian shares message of peace

By Mary Vogel
Flapjack Chronicle

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Journalism student Tyler Bossio, a KRFH disc jockey, interviews Roger Steffens, a Bob Marley historian.

As some mainstream reggae in Jamaica turns violent, Bob Marley’s legendary band the Wailers, along with Marley historian Roger Steffens, came to HSU on Feb. 1 to promote Marley’s enduring message of peace and redemption.

Steffens is the owner of the largest collection of Marley paraphernalia and unreleased recordings. He is opening for the Wailers on their “Survival Revival Tour” and stopped by HSU’s student-run radio station, KRFH, to share some unreleased recordings with the staff.

“[Bob Marley’s] purpose was to spread the message of Rastafari; to elevate the human consciousness and to call us to be our better selves,” said Steffens. “He lived for others.”

Marley is undoubtedly the most successful reggae artist of all time.

“I’ve never been to any place where they didn’t know about Bob Marley,” said Steffens. “His songs have become anthems sung all over the world.”

Although Marley’s music might have many people believing Jamaica is a peaceful place, the country is ranked as one of the murder capitals of the world according to the Caribbean Media Corporation.

Jamaica has also been considered by Human Rights Watch as “the most homophobic place on earth.” Sexual intercourse between men is punishable by up to 10 years in jail, and members of the LGBT community are frequent targets of mob violence that often includes mutilation and gruesome execution.

Homophobic figures in reggae and dancehall music are prominent in Jamaica. Buju Banton is an artist who has repeatedly called for the “purification” of the nation and through his music explicitly encourages the murder of homosexuals.

Banton is not the only one. This kind of music is known as “Murder Music” and there is a campaign to stop artists like these from promoting hate violence.

In October of last year, Eureka’s Red Fox Tavern cancelled a performance by homophobic reggae artist Capleton due to protests from the gay community. HSU’s own radio station, KRFH, has joined the Stop Murder Music Campaign by not allowing homophobic music to be played at any time on the station.

“[The Wailers] have a very positive message,” said Center Arts director Roy Furshpan. “The student population does not support discriminatory music.”

“The mission of Center Arts is to provide students with entertainment they enjoy,” said Furshpan. “The students decide who we bring to the campus.”

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KRFH disc jockeys pose for a group shot with Steffens.

Dustin Fredricey, 26, studying engineering, said his mother introduced him to Marley’s music at a young age.

“Bob Marley stands for unity of all people regardless of race, color, or creed,” said Fredricey. “I cannot think of any connection between his music and [Murder Music].”

In the face of Murder Music defining mainstream reggae in Jamaica and beyond, Marley’s song of peace and freedom remain beacons of hope.

“As long as there are oppressed people on this planet,” said Steffens, “they will sing Bob’s song of redemption. His songs are immortal.”

Thrift or treasure?

By Hannah Moss
Flapjack Chronicle

Walk down any street in downtown Arcata and you’re sure to pass at least one thrift shop every few blocks. Humboldt students thrift, it is a cheap solution for a small budget, but many students aren’t only thrifting for the low prices.

Laura Hahn, 18, astrophysics major, has been thrifting for much of her teen life.

“It’s like a treasure hunt,” said Hahn. “Second hand clothes are the same as retail store clothes, just maybe a little more worn.”

The Hospice Shop, located on 575 H St., stands out. The Hospice Shop is a nonprofit branch of Hospice of Humboldt in which all proceeds go to Hospice. Originally created in England, Hospice provides end of life care for families in need. If a person chooses not to go to a hospital, Hospice comes to take care of you in the comfort of your own home. This can be costly, but with donation based stores such as the Hospice Shop, prices may be reduced.

Kelly Livingston, Hospice Shop manager, came to Humboldt for school and went on to become creative director for Plaza Design as a buyer and floor decorator. Her experience with small businesses and retail helps keep the Hospice Shop moving smoothly.

Hospice takes donations in Eureka, as well as right at the Hospice Shop. Donations are edited through with care to ensure the best items are on the floor.

“We have a real range [of buyers], lots of students, lots of resalers,” Livingston said. “We keep our prices low so Hospice can make money but other businesses can make money, too.”

Hospice Shop is always looking for volunteers to help out. Jordan Christ, 18, a marine biology major at Humboldt State used to volunteer at St. Vincent De Paul in Roseville, Calif., an organization very similar to the Hospice Shop.

“Most of the work consisted of sorting through donations,” Christ said. “Whatever we would sort through would then get put on the store front.”

Students struggle to represent

By Lizzie Mitchell
Flapjack Chronicle

You have the opportunity to be the voice of all 437,000 California State University System’s students’ needs and wants.

The California State Student Association is looking for a student to serve as a trustee on the California State University Board of Trustees. This student serves a two-year term along with one other student and helps determine new governing policies for the entire CSU system.

“I definitely don’t have time for that!” Robert Barnett said, a 22-year-old biology major at Humboldt State.

Student trustees represent each university’s students and their positions on topics like financial aid, admissions and tuition — to name a few. They learn about student needs through communication with each school’s Associated Students government.

The student trustee position is the highest level of office that a student can hold in the CSU system. Jacob Bloom, one of HSU’s AS student-at-large representatives, said it is a struggle to influence some of the major decisions that these student trustees vote and decide on.

“We’re definitely a very unique area,” Bloom said. “It doesn’t really feel like we’re a part of California, but we’re subjected to the same rules that people in L.A. are. It’s definitely a different school system and a way of life.”

HSU AS president, Ellyn Henderson, also said that HSU’s distance from the rest of the CSUs might be a disadvantage in the policy-making decisions that involve the student trustees.

“I don’t think it’s connected enough,” Henderson said. “Humboldt specifically has a problem with that because we are the most disconnected of all the CSU’s. We don’t have big events or big committee meetings. Plus, LA is where the Chancellor’s office is.”

The Board of Trustees meets six times a year at the CSU Chancellor’s office in Long Beach, Calif. While there, the student trustees communicate with the 23 other board members about different ideas and plans for the CSUs.

In addition to HSU’s distance from the rest of the schools, a lack of student involvement may also affect its weight in the board of trustee’s decision-making.

“People don’t even know what AS is,” Henderson said. “Part of getting all schools included is including the diversity of opinions on the decision making. If we don’t have an input, it hurts the bigger decisions overall.”

Henderson also said the CSSA is considering investing in the appointed students’ tuition who are representing, which would hopefully provide more of an incentive for students to get involved.

Briana Pagdon, a 19-year-old biology major, was interested.

“My tuition would possibly be paid for?” Pagdon said. “Sign me up!”

Bloom also said, in addition to a lack of student involvement, HSU’s AS has a hard time because of how top-down the orders are in their policy-making. There are higher levels of power above each governing body, and the higher-ranking authorities ultimately end up having the most say.

He said that instead of representing the students, he feels that a position like the student trustee is only an opportunity for that student to represent himself or herself.

“It’s a very fine line of being able to qualify for [the position],” Bloom said. “You have to be in good with all the top dogs, so from what I’ve seen, you can’t represent students at all. You represent the people whose asses you have to kiss to get there.”

Bloom said the high status that the position suggests might outweigh the greater interest of the students, because it is so hard to fully represent so many people.

“If I were one of these [student trustees],” Bloom said, “I wouldn’t represent students at all. It’s so painful for AS on campus to know what we want, so much as someone who gets flown down to Long Beach to meet with the governor. I mean, I’d just feel like the shit if I were doing that.”

Experimenting with Synthetic Drugs

By Vivienne St. John

Flapjack Chronicle

The youth today in the United States have great potential to experiment with a seemingly harmless synthetic version of cannabis called Spice, aka ‘K2.’ Recently there have been accounts of nearly fatal reactions after smoking the product. This product is legal and being sold in head shops in Arcata and Eureka as incense or potpourri.  Spice is a synthetic chemical compound used to imitate the feelings cannabis would provide. This substance is sprayed onto dried plants. Countries in Europe, South America and Asia have already banned it. Spice can cause the opposite effects one would desire with cannabis such as anxiety, dependency, and nausea. Some more dangerous reactions include palpitations, increased heart rate and blood pressure as well as delusions and hallucinations.

With cannabis being one of the largest exports in Humboldt County, one would wonder why a resident here would experiment with it. Well, it is legal and isn’t tested for in the majority of drug tests. Though some professional and college sports teams have began testing for it, spice remains a popular product. Some students at the Humboldt State University recall their experiences with spice. According to Jacine Litchell, 19, who has smoked spice three times, the first time was the least scary.

“I was just walking when everything went black,” Litchell said. “I tripped all over the place knocking over CDs and things.” The second time she experienced with spice she had nausea, and the last time Litchell went into a temporary state of paralysis. She recovered once the spice wore off.

Joseph Schimmel, 18, recalls smoking spice with some friends in his hometown, Carmel Valley, when one had a very severe reaction. The police and fire departments were called to the scene.

“Right when I touched him his heart had one rapid beat and then he tensed up,” Schimmel said. “We moved him to ground. He was locked up and trying to swallow his tongue. His arms were stiff and he was having a massive seizure.”

Doctors, retailers and parents are perplexed why their children might be experimenting with this synthetic drug. Some families have strict policies concerning marijuana that can lead a child to experiment with something possibly more harmful. According to former manager of No Hassle Pipe & Tobacco shop and employee at a head shop in Eureka, Daniel Bovee, spice isn’t a regular purchase.

“The majority of customers we get asking for spice are just athletes or students on probation in the case of a random, routine drug test,” Bovee said. “Sometimes it’s high school kids. They’re too young though and wouldn’t know how to properly handle themselves in case of a bad situation.”

The chemical compounds that make up spice are various cannaboid receptors that imitate the sensation of marijuana. These chemicals are fake, man-made and falsely marketed. It is not enough to tell the youth to be aware of the harmful effects, experts caution. If one had a pre-existing medical issues, no matter how small or insignificant the chances of problems to occur is much greater.

Humboldt County produces lots of marijuana that can be used for medical purposes and maintaining the county’s profit.

“Spice doesn’t replace marijuana,” Bovee said. “Especially up here. I’ve never smoked it and I hope I never do.”

Humboldt Hack attacks HSU

By Monica Carranza
Flapjack Chronicle
Students attending Humboldt State University are at high risk for developing chronic coughs. There are numerous accounts of students who have seen their coughs progress into more serious conditions, like bronchitis or asthma. Janette Ramirez, a sophomore at HSU, says her cough evolved into exercise induced asthma throughout the course of her first year.
“I got sick when I first came up, just a common cold and coughing,” she says. “But I got over the cold and the cough stuck for the rest of the year. It was so bad that I would have to excuse myself from class so that I wouldn’t disrupt everyone. I was very self conscious about it.”
Ramirez’s cough has been diagnosed as exercise induced asthma. She now has trouble walking far distances without her inhaler.
“The inhaler really helps,” she says. “I couldn’t exercise before, I would start wheezing just by walking up the stairs.”
Ian Harris, a freshman here at HSU, has had a similar experience. Harris says his cough too started out harmlessly and progressed into something much more serious.
“It started off like a tickle in the back of my throat, but then I started having cough attacks and that constant feeling like I needed to cough,” he says. “At one point, I was coughing up blood and mucus, it was coming from my lungs. After a while it was so intense that my chest was sore. I even had a bruised rib cage from the strain. I was miserable. ”
Harris’s condition seems to have been a lot more severe, despite the fact that he monitored the cough well by attending doctor’s appointments. He has been diagnosed with bronchitis, although the it is not yet known what caused it.
“Now, I pay attention to my breathing and the signs,” says Harris. “Like the tickle in the back of my throat, it’s different than a normal cough or cold. It’s a cough you can’t suppress, and it gets worse if you try to. It got really severe at one point, I’d be wheezing it out, not breathing out.”
Director of Student Health Services Mary Grooms VanCott explains that coughs are often caused by smoking and environmental factors.
“Chronic coughs are predominantly a result of smoking, as well as being exposed to an irritant such as pollen or other allergenic, though in some cities environmental surroundings can make a difference,” says VanCott.
HSU campus is one the most lavishly forested campuses in the state. It is not surprising that students who come from urban hometowns would have some sort of reaction to the change of environment. One should also note that smoking increases the chances of developing a chronic cough. Health experts say students should refrain from doing so in order to avoid these serious and costly medical issues.