Educational Opportunity Program helps first-generation students

By Alexis Parra
Flapjack staff

The Educational Opportunity Program, more commonly known as EOP, at Humboldt State University has been helping educationally and economically disadvantaged students since 1969. The program helps disadvantaged students succeed during and after college. The EOP house can be found on the Humboldt State University campus in Hadley House 56.

EOP Director, Dan Saveliff, has worked with the program for 35 years after he graduated from Humboldt State. He decided that he wanted to work in the EOP office after he saw how much fun some employees were having on the roof of the Hadley House.

“I wasn’t an EOP student so I didn’t know what this house was,” he said. “I saw people sitting on the roof while I was walking to class and they busted out in laughter and I thought to myself that that looks like a fun place to work.”

Saveliff shared how EOP came about and the full purpose of the program. EOP was created by California lawmakers in 1969 much in the response to the Civil Rights movement in California that was happening at the time.

“Protests were breaking out on college campuses, specifically about the lack of access and inequity of access for under-represented people of color getting into the system,” he said. “EOP was created to provide that access.”

Saveliff believes that the true purpose of EOP is to provide access to the CSU for low-income and first-generation students. The key thing about EOP is to give access to a college-education to students who might not have come if it wasn’t through the help of EOP.

To get into EOP, students need to fill out an application and submit with a letter of recommendation.

Tania Maren, Humboldt State Alumni and EOP Admissions and Summer Bridge Coordinator, reviews applications. Maren worked as a student assistant for EOP for five years, then as an admissions assistant for two years, and has now been a coordinator for one year.

Maren believes that EOP plays a big role in students’ transitions into Humboldt State and relates to that because of the fact that she came to school here from Calexico, California. Her EOP mentor and employers were her support system when she needed one and she values that EOP offers this to all of its students.

“I like to see my students grow,” she said. “Sometimes they’ll be complaining that there is nothing to do here, but other times they are also appreciative that there isn’t much of a distraction for them to go out.”

Maren appreciates the fact that classroom sizes at Humboldt State University are small. This allows students to create a one-on-one relationship with their faculty.

Although Maren has so many favorite memories with EOP, she was able to narrow it down to her top one.

“It was an EOP graduation ceremony,” she said. “I was struggling a lot with my science classes…and I was getting to that point where I wanted to go home.” She had the help from her EOP employer Tracy, and graduated as a communications major. During the EOP graduation ceremony they put out a questionnaire and one of the questions was: “What was that ah-ha moment for you?” Her ah-ha moment was when she fell in love with learning all over again.

Each EOP student is given an advisor to help them transition into the college-life. Each student has to meet with their advisor once a month until their second semester of their second year of college then they move onto their faculty advisor. Even thought they no longer have monthly meetings, their EOP advisor is always there for any help the student needs. EOP advisors start calling their students as soon as the summer before their first semester in college to help with class registration, making sure they have housing, and lots more.

Roger Wang, originally from Los Altos, California and a Humboldt State alumnus, is the EOP advisor for students who major in either arts or humanities. Wang has only been working as an EOP advisor for a year and two months.

“My job as an EOP advisor is to help these first-generation students who come from low-income backgrounds, not only get to college but be successful, and plan for what they want to do after they get their degree,” he said.

Wang believes that the biggest thing EOP has to offer is the fact that there is always someone that is looking out for you even beyond their college career at Humboldt State University.

Something that Saveliff, Maren, and Wang all have in common is that if they could change anything about EOP, it would be that they would have more funding to either give out to EOP students in need of it. EOP has a grant that is only prioritized to first-year students and transfer students. Whatever is left over from that is later dispersed to other EOP students who weren’t prioritized. At the moment the most a student will get from the grant is $1,000 and they hope to raise that number along with helping more students.

 

 

HSU students compete for off-campus housing

By Skye Hopkins
Flapjack staff

Finding off campus housing is not an easy task in any college town, especially for freshman whom have never had to go through a process like this one. Most students want to live off campus after their first year, however some are not ready and prefer to stay on campus. Several housing fairs provide useful tools for students looking to move out on their own; but unfortunately some just get luckier than others.

“We saw the post 20 minutes after it was posted, emailed the landlord, went to a showing of the house, and found ourselves signing the lease within five days,” Cheyenne Janger said.

Janger, 19, is a first year student from San Diego who is currently living on campus. Although living on campus is extremely convenient, Janger feels that there are more negatives than positives.

“I had mixed feelings,” Janger said. “It was cool to meet a bunch of new people from different places, but the lack of freedom, privacy, and not knowing how things would turnout with your roommates made things a little stressful.”

Janger didn’t get so lucky with her on campus housing situation, but many would say her off campus housing situation will make up for it. She currently lives in a triple room in one of the eight buildings of HSUs Canyon housing. Being randomly assigned with one or more other students can be exciting and cool until you don’t get along with either of them.

Three students confined to a room smaller than the average one-person bedroom can be very hectic, and for Janger it was. One of her roommates is a slob, and the other does not communicate with her because her sexual preference is not respected. Unfortunately, it has been her yearlong room situation that has put reassurance into her decision about moving on her own next year.

“Growing up!” Janger said. “I am ready to grow up, move off campus, and start the next chapter in my life.”

With plenty of luck, Janger and her three roommates are ready to move into their four bedroom, two bath house this upcoming June. Before looking at places they made sure they covered the grimy details and eventually decided that they all wanted to live together.

Janger and her roommates were very lucky and satisfied with the way things turned out for them. However, this does not happen to everyone. In fact, most students seriously struggle with finding a place to live after their first year. Countless freshman decide to live on campus for another year or end up having to stay on a friends couch until something opens up.

19-year-old Devin Sanders is a freshman majoring in sociology that has decided to live on campus for one more year after having a few discussions with his parents.

“Overall it is just more convenient,” Sanders said. “It is easier for me to get around.”

Living in Humboldt’s freshman housing was not a favorable thing of Sanders but he seemed to have a much better experience than Janger. Although he was lucky enough to only have one roommate whom he never struggled to get along with, he disliked how often he had to share his personal space with so many other students.

“There were so many people,” Sanders said. “And I hated the bathrooms because there was always throw up in them on the weekends.”

With messy bathrooms and problems around hygiene and personal space most would think someone like Sanders preferred off campus housing, but not this year. He is looking back at his freshman living situation as a good experience and a good way to meet new people, but he is definitely ready to move into Humboldt’s upperclassman, more spacious, College Creek Housing.

Both sides of the after first year housing process are reasonable and make sense for different individuals. Not everyone is ready to completely move out on their own, and not everyone wants to move off campus.

Nicki Viso is the Residence Life Coordinator for the Canyon of on campus housing. She overlooks anything and everything that goes on in the Canyon, whether it be good or bad. She has watched several classes transition in and out of on campus housing and plenty of both positive and negative things to say about it.

“The most positive thing I have seen throughout the years,” Viso said. “Is watching all of the students meet new people and broaden their worldviews, especially with everyone being raised differently.”

Although Viso never lived off campus while working at Humboldt State, she has received plenty of information from her colleagues that remain useful for students seeking moving help. She works hands on with plenty of students and after a full school year she is excited to watch those move on into the next part of their life. However, she does believe that there are those few students that may be better off with another year on campus.

“It is just that 5 percent that does whatever they want and they end up wasting their time here along with potentially harming others time here,” Viso said.

Plenty of students stay in on campus housing and even more refuse to do anything but live off campus for the next year.

Although Janger and Sander’s current housing situations differ, they are both fairly fortunate and happy about their homes for next year.

And as far as those still looking for housing or thinking about what they need to do when they look next year, Janger has some advice.

“Remain persistent and keep your eyes open, because most of this process is pure luck,” Janger said.

The HOP to HOOP – Creating On-Campus Orientation for Transfer Students

By Grace Becker
Flapjack staff

After a long year at college, the first week students spend on campus seems a long way in the past. The impact of that first week, however, has the potential to be very influential on the success of a student’s time at HSU.

John Barajas is a transfer student here at HSU. A graduating senior, Barajas has been working over the last two semesters to advocate for and create an on-campus orientation program for transfer students at HSU.

“My experience with orientation wasn’t what I was expecting, and isn’t what I think I or other transfer students need. We don’t know the area just like freshmen don’t know the area, and for most of us it’s our first time at a University too. I think it’s important for transfer students to get the same information when they decide to come here,” Barajas said.

Freshman entering Humboldt State for the first time get a vastly different experience than transfer students. The week before classes start, freshman students get the full HOP experience, exploring the campus with other freshman and learning about the resources available to them during their time at Humboldt State.

Transfer students, on the other hand, don’t get the same level of attention. Over the summer, incoming transfer students do online training with the Humboldt Online Orientation Program (HOOP). It takes a few hours to go through, and while it does provide information about resources and issues at Humboldt State, some transfer students have found issue with the level of attention paid to transfer students.

“You do HOOP over the summer,” Barajas explained. “By the time I was on-campus, three months after I did the online orientation, I had pretty much forgotten everything HOOP told me. And there were some things I wish I knew about that HOOP didn’t even touch.”

Barajas has lived on campus since he arrived in Fall 2014. He was placed in freshman housing, and while he doesn’t regret living there and is still friends with some of the people he met living there, he wishes that he had been able to meet and live with people closer in age to him.

“It would have been nice to have been able to connect with older students, especially other transfer students,” Barajas said. “And I know other transfers feel the same. Having an on-campus orientation for them could really help with that.”

As it turns out, the campus is listening to students like Barajas. The HOP office is currently working to create time and space for transfer students to attend an on-campus orientation like freshman do. Nick Conlin is the Coordinator for Orientation and New Student Programs here at HSU and has been working with Barajas and other students to integrate transfer students into HOP.

“We’re seeing a lot more transfer students enter HSU,” Conlin said. “We’re working to try to provide them the resources they need to be successful here on campus.”

Creating a transfer-specific orientation is a lot of work, something Barajas and fellow transfer student Cat Garibay know very well. Recently they’ve sat down with Conlin to help provide information about what kinds of things transfer students would want and need at an orientation.

“You can’t just give them the same things freshman get,” Garibay explained. “Yeah, info about resources and campus tours could be the same or similar, but transfer students have different things they care about or that pertain to them.”

These things include more career-orientated mentoring, mingling with older students, and attention to detail about mental health and addiction problems.

“It’s going to be a long process,” Barajas said. “But I hope it will really pay off in the end.”

 

 

 

 

 

Survivors ‘Take Back the Night,’ sharing truths of sexualized violence

By Dajonea Robinson
Flapjack Staff

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Ravin Craig, health educator at Humboldt State University, feels that the power of surviving is different for everyone because. Not everyone will feel like a survivor when it comes to sexualized violence. “Survivor” was not a label that Craig used for a long time. It wasn’t until she was much older until she heard that word.

“When I first heard it, I rejected that word completely,” Craig said. “Later the word survivor became to mean a lot to me. I think it’s really powerful to claim that this didn’t beat me, it didn’t stop me from existing it and didn’t stop me from moving on. There’s a lot of power in surviving but it’s not the only way.”

It’s a personal choice to tell one’s truth but if whomever chooses to can it can be incredibly powerful.

Take Back the Night 2017 is a week of events to bring awareness to sexualized violence as it’s meant empower survivors as is dismantles the cycle of abuse among survivors; whether it be female, male, trans or non gender conforming people. Take Back the Night week gives survivors a platform to reclaim self worth as one reclaim control of their life. It allows survivors of sexual assault to feel supported as they stand in solidarity with their allies. Take back the night week is a time where education and deconstruction of internalized culture happens s resistance flourishes.

“The first time I went to Take Back the Night I heard other people talk about things that also happened to me and say them out loud,” Craig said. “It was something that nobody talked about at all, and I couldn’t understand what was happening. I went to Take Back the Night by accident the first time. It is incredibly powerful to be able to have a space where you can say something that you have had your whole life that you couldn’t talk about before. To then have people there to listen and hear you, be compassionate and not judge you based off [your story], for me it was instrumental to my survivorship.”

Craig was not sure why she chose to share her truth at the “Survivor’s Speak Out” of Take Back the Night. 

“ I was so emotional and so heartbroken that I  felt that I was going to explode if I didn’t say something at that point,” Craig said. “The first time I talked at TBTN it was similar and I kind of hoped to help other people who were like me. [I spoke up] so they can know that there is somebody else like them walking around on campus. Now as a staff member who is not a student I really feel that way.”

Craig believes that it is important to have people in faculty and staff positions who are also survivors of sexualized violence. Not saying that people should be survivors but, mainly representation is important.

Craig says she doesn’t know where her courage came from to speak against her injustices during TBTN.

“I don’t know about the word courage because, mostly I’m terrified especially when I’m talking about it,” Craig said. “Maybe it’s courageous to do something even though you’re scared. It’s really hard for me to identify with the word courageous but mostly I try to do what I can. Sometimes things come out wrong and sometimes they come out well. I think for me, my family [is my] point of courage, my community and myself as I get to know myself.”

Craig believes that reclaiming one’s strength can come in many ways. It’s all about education, and doing the work to resist rape culture through changing people’s minds. Craig does this by telling her story out loud as often as she can. She believes that this courageous act can be reclaiming and extremely empowering.

“I think that for survivors it’s okay to have your survivorship be the way that it is,” Craig said. “It doesn’t have to be the way that other people exist. Your story and your experience is your experience and it doesn’t have to be anyone else’s. So don’t let anyone tell you that you have to forgive, and don’t let anybody tell you you have to be angry. You don’t have to be a certain way or at a certain stage. Get help if you need it because there are people who are willing to support you.”

Oceana Madrone, artist for the Arcata Artisans Gallery believes  that it is important to share your story because  when someone keeps a secret they’re isolated and alone. That isolation and that secrecy keeps the alone. when they start to tell their story they realize that they’re not alone. Madrone also has confidence that it is also an important part of the healing process because, it’s the beginning of the healing process.

“I wanted  to offer a ray of hope to other survivors who are at the beginning of their healing journey,” Madrone said. “I could feel the pain and the feeling of being hopeless as though it’s always going to be this way. Because, I’m older I’ve had so many years to work on my healing process and I know that it is possible and it is so worth it. I’ve gone from hating myself to liking myself and everybody should like themselves. (Insert warm chuckle). I’ve gone from feeling unloved and unlovable to being cared for, and that is a feeling that everyone should be able to experience. When you don’t love yourself you don’t really believe that everyone else should love you, even if they do you don’t believe that you should because you don’t love yourself.”

Madrone says that allies must offer support and try not to take over the healing process for somebody else. Allies can offer love and support while they do it for themselves. Madrone resists by telling her story and by going to counseling for many years.

“I found my voice through art by making quilts, gals and beadwork,” Madrone said. “ I found my voice through that and I could share [it] with other people that also can be helped with my healing process.”

Madrone also found her voice  by finding people  who believed her and gave their full support without questioning her.  There’s a lot about victim blaming without actually hearing the victim. Madrone thinks that everyone can end sexualized violence by standing together and  not accepting rape culture as a normal standard. To resist and boycott movies and books that involves sexualized violence. Yet most importantly,

“[We must] hold the people who do [sexualized crimes] accountable, it takes the community to do that. We can’t expect a survivor to do it alone.”

Paula Arrowsmith-Jones, community outreach facilitator and campus advocate for North County Rape Crisis Team, said that the power of surviving can be regaining of some sense of control. This can be done by survivors making their own decisions of how to move forward. It’s also important to have their choices respected because it is their choice.

“Sharing of truth and being believed is important for some people at Take Back The Night,” Arrowsmith-Jones said.” “It can be more private for some people, the thread of it all is being listened to and believed. They do not have to speak out it is their decision. No one asks and no one deserves to be hurt. Survivors are often blamed for their assault. So anyone must not pass any  judgement of any choices the survivor made because, that was the best choice for them at the time. The beauty of working at the Rape Crisis Center is being able to witness the healing of survivors as they manifest their own future because, healing is possible.”

Resources:

North Coast Rape Crisis 24 Hour Hotlines

Del Norte:(707) 465-2851

Humboldt: (707) 445-2881

 

HSU Women’s Resource Center

Office Phone: (707) 826-4216

Email: hsuwomeen@gmail.com

‘What Now?’ Paying respect to David Josiah Lawson

By Casey Barton
Flapjack staff

In the early morning hours on April 16, 19-year-old HSU student David Josiah Lawson was fatally stabbed at a social gathering on Spear Avenue in Arcata, California. Lawson’s passing has continued to stir conversation on-campus since his memorial service.

This event not only saddens community members as a loss of young life, but as a possible case of racial hate crime. Students are concerned with their own safety and campus ideals. After a few days the community was eventually granted details to the event.

According to the Arcata Police Department’s Press Release on April 18, authorities were notified of an altercation at 3:02 am Saturday morning and responded within a minute of the initial call. When officers arrived, they found that Lawson had been stabbed multiple times and was bleeding heavily. His close friend and fellow Brother’s United member, Elijah Chandler, was performing life-saving procedures on Lawson as he moved in an out of consciousness. Authorities detained 23-year-old Mickinleyville resident Kyle Zoellner at the crime scene and proceeded to take Zoellner to the Humboldt County correctional Facility, booked under homicide. David Lawson was taken to Mad River Community Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

On May 5, after four and a half days of testimony, a judge dismissed charges against Zoellner, citing insufficient evidence to connect the suspect with the crime.

Chandler testified in court and also in interviews, describing the event in clear detail once he was able to respond to the stabbing incident. His comments point toward the possibility of Lawson’s attack as racially motivated.

“The only thing I heard – it was monstrous, in my opinion – was the two Caucasian women,” said Chandler. “Now that the police had arrived and were just making sure the assailant was going to be OK and that nobody touched him, the women were saying, ‘I really wish that nigger does die. I really hope that nigger dies.’”

The two women referenced by Chandler had apparently been connected with Zoellner during the initial altercations.

At Lawson’s memorial service held in the campus’ Kate Buchanan Room on Thursday, April 20, his family members and campus Brother’s reminded the community of Lawson’s incredibly successful life.

“Are you gonna allow racial tensions or anything like that matter? To cause you to now stop and throw your hands up and say you can’t continue on,” said Phil Griggs, David Josiah Lawson’s hometown pastor. “If you do, you’ve missed the purpose of Josiah’s life. If you do, you’ve missed the purpose of your life.”

As one who saw Lawson grow into young manhood, these words noticeably comforted the audience.

“All of us are alike ‘cause your eyes are the biggest liar in the world,” said Katauri Thompson another Brother’s United member. “Look past what you see on the outside and know what’s inside, whether it’s knowledge, power, and love. Josiah was all of that.”

“This is the hard part where we ask for the community: What now?”

Lawson will be continually memorialized in the hearts of many throughout the HSU community and especially those who he has met along the way. Even though his presence on campus was halted by this sudden event, Lawson made his time memorable and accomplished many admirable goals including his election as president of the Brother’s United club and succeeding in his Criminal Justice studies.

Many can learn from this event, not only from its unfortunateness or lesson in communal safety, but as a reminder to keep living by the positivity and respect that one would expect for themselves or say, even their own child. Lawson was known to treat others with that respect and it was a shared gift to have him as a part of the Humboldt State University community for as long as we did.

Rest in peace, David Josiah Lawson.