Outsmarting the Cafeteria by Alexzia Gomez

There it is yet again, the horrendous café line that seemingly never moves. Barely inching its way to the front, students just cannot seem to find a way out. Is patiently waiting worth it? Could there possibly be something THAT great at the end? Students spend precious time waiting in line for a meal that feels just like the meal they had last week.

Just like several other aspects of the school, one begins to learn the tricks and trades of it all. However, learning how to get a great and better yet, different meal at the café is something one cannot pass up.

Stephen Dunn, Junior, has made a bit of a secret menu over the years and has agreed to share his just how he puts a spin on his meals from the café. Dunn has decided to start off with his beverage recommendation. “Try putting Sprite in your juice drinks” says Dunn. “Apple juice and Sprite makes a sort of cider, its great.”

Several times, the grill seems to be the better option and it helps to know just what to order. Dunn suggests the burger sandwich, “order a burger or cheeseburger but make sure to ask for it on sourdough”.

Many students make their way to Martín’s sandwich bar for lunch as the line seems to move much faster than the others. Aside from Martín’s sandwiches being a top choice for its obvious convenience and taste, Dunn has a great recommendation for making it that much better. “Sometimes I make sure to take a piece of grilled chicken and ask Martín to put it in my sandwich.” Adding grilled chicken or any meats from the grill could be a great substitution for the usual cold cuts.

Although a premade salad can be quick, making your own can be fun and rewarding. Just before finishing off your salad, try adding grilled chicken, chefs will even chop it up upon request. Aubrey Mendonca, Junior, also enjoys self-made salads with her meals but finds that thoroughly incorporating the dressing can be a little difficult unless she uses this useful hack. “After putting the dressing over top, I put an additional bowl over my salad bowl and cover it,” says Mendonca, “then I hold the sides and shake it until its all mixed.”

School Involvement, Does it exist here? by Brooke Becton

Is it disinterest or dislike? Notre Dame de Namur University is a college with 22 on campus clubs, six student leadership organizations, 11 sports teams, and yet one important element that is lacking is school involvement. Many events and sporting events are offered on campus, but most are met with limited attendance by the student population. This is a serious issue to those who are trying to engage students to participate more with their resources and time. According to a NDNU survey 67% of students say that there are a variety of on campus activities and 33% agree that there is some involvement, but not a lot.

“School spirit is fairly low here. Our school has cool events, but no one wants to participate,” says NDNU senior, Megan Crenshaw. “I also wish the campus would promote events more, because no one knows about the events ahead of time,” she continued. When asked what events Megan would like on campus she said, “Something different would be fun, like a color run or something unique that no one has heard of.”

NDNU has a reputation among students for lack of school spirit and event participation. This year our school student leaders are trying to do a better job of appealing to our students. Programming Board, a student leader position board, consists of NDNU students whose main goal is to get students involved and to create a fun-filled environment on campus. These board members are given a budget just for planning and hosting events for the students on our campus. Events are happening a few times a week and multiple times a month. Their mission is to create a sense of community and unity at NDNU and that is where school spirit begins to them.

Recently, Programming Board member Lindsay Denton, hosted Karaoke Night. Karaoke night had one of the best turnouts of the year so far with about 75 students in attendance. However, she doesn’t take all of the credit, “Karaoke night in my opinion was a team effort.” According to Denton, “when students come to our events it just fuels our fire.” Because of the success of Karaoke Night, Programming Board is considering hosting this event monthly or bimonthly.

Each month a calendar is put out around campus from the Residence Hall Association. This association consists of resident’s assistants who put on events each week for students living in campus housing. Most recently, Resident Assistant Lesley Morales hosted a cookie decorating night for students. Other events have included Salsa & Salsa, as well as Zumba night.

To encourage wearing school gear, the housing office offers incentive to see students represent their NDNU spirit. Every Friday, students can go to the housing office and win prizes for showing their school spirit by wearing anything NDNU. This takes place Friday mornings at 9:30a.m and prizes are offered to the first three students.

Students who wish to start their own clubs are welcome to stop by the Campus Programs Office for more information. And anyone interested in a student leadership organization are encouraged to learn more about the positions. Club meetings usually occur once a week and new members are always welcome. Sporting events continually take place on and off campus throughout the duration of the school year.

Supplements and Powders by Antoinette Watson

NCAA has a list of banned drugs for student athletes. Steroids are the first thing most people think of when they hear the term performance enhancing drugs, and although steroids are one of them, there are many more substances that fall under the term. Other substances can be detected in protein powders and supplements. A performance enhancing drug is defined as any substance taken by athletes to improve performance. This term is referenced often and typically refers to anabolic steroid use in sports by professional and amateur athletes.

Athletes may not be aware of this because most brand labels want to catch your attention by labeling “High Energy” or “muscle recovery”. According to an informal campus survey about 60 percent of student athletes at NDNU us powders or supplements. “I like to use muscle recovery powders after a workout so the next day isn’t so tough for me. It helps me recover faster than normal” said NDNU athlete Megan Clare.

According to NCAAs 2016-2017 banned drug list, amphetamine, caffeine, cocaine, ephedrine, methamphetamine, methylphenidate, and synephrine are stimulants that are banned. Also listed are anabolic agents such as adrostenedione, biodenon, clenbuterol, and testosterone. Other categories of banned substances can fall under alcohol and beta blockers, diuretics, street drugs, peptide hormones and analogues, anti-estrogens, and beta-2 agonists. NDNU’s first NCAA player meeting was held during the first week in September. Athletic director Josh Doody mentioned that players will be randomly selected for the testing of performance enhancing drugs and other street drugs. “I would be devastated if my test came back positive all because I wasn’t aware of what’s inside my protein powder” stated NDNU athlete Taylor Haynes.

There are consequences if a student athlete tests positive that very from certain schools. NDNU student athlete says that the first offense, if tested positive for performance enhancing drugs is suspensions from practice as well at “x” amount of games that depends on the coach’s rule. All student athletes should be aware of the supplements and powders they intake for the safety of themselves as well as for the assurance they will able eligible to play for their season.

Hispanic Serving by Mario Flores

What is a HSI? AN HSI is a Hispanic Serving Institution ,in which is a institution participating in a federal program designed to assist colleges or universities in the United States that attempt to assist first generation, majority low income Hispanic students. There are over 250 schools that have been designated as an HSI in the United States alone. There are certain qualifications in order for an institution to be considered an HSI and that is to have at least 25% of the student body be Hispanic. In California alone there are 104 universities and colleges that fall under this title. There are many steps in earning this title and as Notre Dame de Namur University is one of the 104 to bear the title of HIS. There are also many benefits that come with an HSI institution being in place. The institution gets more federal grants and funding for just bearing this title.

According to studies theses institutions tend to have a higher retention rate than that of a non HSI institution. Research also states that these universities have a higher percentage rate of graduates who complete their degrees in four year or less. In Southern California there are many institutions that are Hispanic serving which tend to be in the Los Angeles area. There are also many junior colleges that are Hispanic serving, that they focus on getting the Hispanic low income students a chance to make it to a university and be the first generation in their family to earn a college degree. With California being the highest state with Hispanic serving institutions there are some students that are not informed of what their university is actually doing for them to get a better education, the institutions only show that they are Hispanic serving on paper rather than through their actual students.

Citrus College, a community college in southern California is one of the institutions that does not show they have this title through their students but through their paper. Bailey Vena a sophomore at this institution said “I was extremely surprised when I found out that Citrus was Hispanic-serving, the institution does not show how they are helping the Hispanic community better themselves. Myself being a Latina I would like to see this institution progress into showing what a Hispanic serving institution should be doing in order to help students.” This university in fact does offer courses for their first year students in which they help them chose their field of study that they would be most interested in. When asked about Notre Dame de Namur University holding the title of Hispanic serving alumna Nathlie Moutal stated” In my four years at the university I never noticed the title being seen in the school, when in fact there were only two Hispanics in faculty and staff and no offers for the major of Spanish or Latin American studies, the university lacked the actuality of what this title actually means.” In its current year Notre Dame de Namur University only has one Latina professor and two Hispanic directors, yet this institution hold the title of Hispanic Serving.

Athletic Brand Change by Ethan Espiritu

Notre Dame de Namur’s athletics recently signed a contract with Under Armour to use Under Armour apparel and uniforms. Under Armour’s mission statement is to “make all athletes better through passion, design, and the relentless pursuit of innovation”(Under Armour). All teams starting this year have begun using Under Armour with the exception of the men’s golf team who still uses Adidas. This is the first time in several years that almost all of the athletic teams at NDNU will be using the same brand for uniforms and apparel. Many notable teams with some of the “freshest gear” in college sports have Under Armour contracts such as the University of Maryland and Notre Dame. With teams such as soccer and cross-country already starting season, it is apparent that Under Armour is making a mark on the athletics programs at NDNU.

Koret Field, the home of both the men’s and women’s soccer team, as well as the men’s lacrosse team already has the famous UA branding all around the field. Alongside the NCAA posters and banners posted around the field, Under Armour has also given the athletics department custom Notre Dame de Namur and Under Armour collaborated banners that are clearly visible around the field, specifically by the bleachers and entrances. Because soccer season is in full swing, Under Armour soccer banners with “Protect This House” can be seen with every turn of a head. Seeing this, we can expect that Under Armour will do the same for the springtime when men’s lacrosse takes the field. The banners for men’s lacrosse will most likely use Under Armour’s famous “Command Every Moment” saying used for many of their lacrosse sponsored teams and events.

Many of the coaches seem to have a positive outlook on this new deal with Under Armour and the positive effect it could have with their athletes in the future. Coach George Puou of NDNU’s men’s basketball team says, “I don’t know the full extent of the details of contract or agreements with UA, but I feel

it came from a positive budgetary standpoint in mind and brand unity for the overall athletics department. Whatever the reasons, I’m sure it came with the best decision in mind for the athletics department and university”. Although the transition to Under Armour has been a positive one for all of NDNU’s athletics, the transition was not always an easy one for some coaches. Head coach, for both men’s and women’s soccer who is also the director of soccer, BJ Noble states, “ I have been with Nike for the past seventeen years, at the beginning the transition was tough. After a couple months of wearing UA and seeing it on our student-athletes it has grown on me”. Coach Noble also goes on to say, “UA has been very easy to work with”, showing that Under Armour is willing to make the transition over to their brand an easy one for the coaches of all sports.

The future of Under Armour and NDNU athletics looks to be a bright one. Although Under Armour isn’t the “top dog” A.K.A Nike, the brand seems to be coming up big in the world of athletic wear and is marking their territory with contracts with hundreds of universities across the United States and NDNU has become part of their family that will “Protect This House”.

Christmas Events at NDNU by Jessica Beltran

Kwanzaa will be hosted by Black Student Union on December 8th, in the NDNU quad. They are sharing their Christmas traditions with the students and staff of NDNU. Kwanzaa is normally a week-long celebration honoring Africa heritage in African-American culture. It originally starts on December 26- January 1. According to The Official Kwanzaa Website, “It is culminated in a feast and gift-giving. Kwanzaa has sever core principles, Umoji, Kujichagulia, Ujima, Ujamaa, Nia, Kuumba, and Imani. Each of the seven days of Kwanzaa is dedicated to one of the following principles, as follows. Umoji means Unity, to strive for and to maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race. Kujichagulia means Self-Determination, to define and name ourselves, as well as to create and speak for ourselves. Ujima means Collective Work and Responsibility, to build and maintain our community together and make our brothers and sisters problems our problems and solve them together. Ujamaa means Cooperative Economics, to build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together. Nia means Purpose, to make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness. Kuumba means Creativity, to do always as much as we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it. Imani means Faith, to believe with all our hearts in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.”

Black Student Union Treasure Stephen Taylor said,” It is an event to teach unity through a span of African celebrations. It is usually after Christmas, but we are doing it now that all the students are on campus since Christmas break is coming up. Another reason we are sharing our Christmas tradition with our NDNU community is because it is a good way to teach another part of African culture. We will be learning and celebrating all the candles on one day, December 8th. The event will be led by Kemya, but students know her as Sister Kemya. She is teaching us how Kwanzaa symbolizes unity originally used in pan Africanism, but also through all African descendants. Some can see it being similar to Hanukah due to the candles, but the group of candles represent the unity of Africa. The candles are divided into three groups; Red: means the blood and struggle of the people, Green: the hope and future for the people, and Black: the people. It will be a fun and interactive event that will allow other NDNU students to get a look into our culture and traditions.”

Jalen Young Senior at NDNU said, “As an African American student who does not usually participate in BSU events, I will find myself patriating in the Kwanzaa event. It is a way to show our traditions and I am happy that BSU is sharing this event with the entire school. Hopefully a lot of different ethnic students can show up and allow themselves to learn a new culture and different Christmas traditions.”

The Working College Student by Jerileen Ho

Balancing a college education with employment is not always the easiest thing to do. However, many students may need to work in order to pay for their tuition or for spending money that their parents may not want to grant them anymore.

NDNU offers a wide variety of part-time jobs that can assist students in paying off a portion of their tuition. This allows the student to work a minimum of once a week to pay of a portion of their tuition, and still have time to work on their projects or homework. However, some students at NDNU claim that they choose to have a part time job due to the fact that their financial aid is not enough for them. Others claim that  the money earned from their job usually goes towards textbooks and school supplies. A problem that comes from having a job outside of the University is how it could be possibly time consuming and harm how their overall college career result in.

Lesley Morales, a Residence Assistant for NDNU, states that, “It can be a lot of work but it is worth helping my parents pay the tuition. It’s a lot of work but at the end of the day I like what I do.” Morales continued on to explain the difficulties her and her family struggled with in paying her tuition during her freshman year. She concluded the interview by explaining, “I am just very proud of myself and happy that I got the chance to be part of the RA family and help my family. Even though I do not receive the money in check form, it is rewarding enough to not see my family struggle as much as they did my first year”.

Although some students are able to balance their academics along with their job, there are a number of students that believe their grades would improve if they did not need to work. Nia Johnson, a sophomore at NDNU, states that, “Work definitely gets in the way of school because if I’m not at work, I’m at school and vise versa. And the time that I am off is dedicated to school and my studies and breaks are rare”. Nia goes on explaining why she decided to work outside of school by stating, “I think that working for the University has its ups and down. I would rather have a job I enjoy having than working in an office for only once a week. Students who work for the school usually do not get to see their money in hand either. It’s more rewarding to me to choose where my money goes”.

Employment may be beneficial for some college students but it can also be detrimental as well. Working while a student is in college may harm their grades, their dedication, or their overall mental wellness. However, with the high tuition rates that NDNU has, most students have no choice to work during their college career if financial aid is not granted.