Removal of the Theater Arts department at NDNU by Abriana Arzaga

Due to low enrollment and little funding for the Theater Arts Department, President Judith Maxwell Greig, eliminated the department for Fall 2017. Maxwell Greig, sent a seemingly email January 29, 2016 to the faculty, entitled “Results of Spring Program Prioritization Process; Cost Reductions in Administrations” with an attached memo that stated the board already approved Greig’s recommendation to terminate bachelors degree programs in theater arts along with several other concentrations. Greig said that the reasons for all the cuts is that the University suffered last year from declining enrollment and lower then expected revenue from gifts, and has “substantive issues to resolve.” Fixing that “requires sacrifice by all participants and clear alignment with our common objective of serving students with access to an excellent education”.

Due to academic changes, incoming students no longer have the option to pursue a degree in Theater Arts at NDNU. The last class to graduate with a theater arts degree is the students of 2020.

The announcement came as a shock to students in the theater arts.Senior Treci Fields spoke out, “It’s upsetting, because I’ve been involved in this program since freshmen year and it’s a shame that its coming to end. We have a great Theater department here which makes the removal even harder to accept.” Freshman student Tatiana Ochoa stated, “ So far my time in the theater arts department has been a incredible learning experience. The department is full of awesome professors. It’s sad that it’s being removed.” Maxwell Greig, decision on the removal is final.

Are the Warriors Better with Kevin Durant? by John Schrup

Since the signing of superstar Kevin Durant last summer the question’s been stirring around the basketball world, are the Warriors going to be better than they were last year? Last season the Dubs posted the best regular season record in NBA history at 73-9 and were 1 game away from being back to back NBA champions. After their devastating loss in the finals up 3-1 to the Cavs, the Warriors franchise signed arguably the best player in the NBA to assure they would be Champions in the upcoming season.

Without a doubt any NBA team would love to have Kevin Durant but the accusation didn’t come cheap. The Warriors had to release starters Harrison Barnes and Andrew Bogut as well as key role players, Marreese Speights, Leandro Barbosa, Festus Ezeli and Brandon Rush in order to pay Durant the 27 million a season he demanded. The loss of almost half the team that got the Warriors to back to back championship appearances can prove to be problematic when raising the question, are the warriors going to be better with Kevin Durant? The last two seasons the Warriors have made history both individually as players and as a team, “Anyone who’s watched the warriors play over the last two seasons would argue that they were the best team of all time with chemistry both on and off the court . . . you can tell they were a family,” said Junior Mitch Fulfer.

Kevin Durant’s list of achievements are amongst the best who’ve ever played the game. He’s a two time scoring champion, one time league MVP, 4 time all NBA first team, Rookie of the year and the list of accolades go on and on. At almost 7 feet tall Durant’s unique ability to move and shoot like a guard but also play down low in the post makes him a matchup nightmare. With Durant the warriors add another scoring dimension to their already lethal combination with Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. The trio have a chance to become the best “Big 3” the NBA’s ever seen, a feat that’s nearly impossible to achieve but can only be achieved if they win multiple championships together.

45 games into the 2016-2017 seasons they’ve posted a record of 38-7 the best record in the NBA. Last season 45 games in, the Warriors were 43-2 and had won 24 straight games, the most in NBA history. Senior Trey-Shawn King Dunbar believes the difference between the two teams is, “consistency.”. “The highs this year are higher than last season but the lows are also lower”, said Mike Karimu. The warriors may be winning in bigger fashion than last season but they are also losing more often and by a wider margin. No one can argue that adding Kevin Durant an NBA superstar would make a team worse, but changing a lineup that many believed to be in the argument of one of the best all times can prove to be problematic. Only in time will we be able to know if the signing of Durant was a blessing or disaster. 

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The NFL’s Curious Drug Policy: How Painkillers Became An Acceptable Drug By Ryan Malley

If you have a back spasm, pop a pill, if you cannot make your cuts on your sprained ankle, pop a pill, if you are trying to get back to playing after shoulder surgery, maybe pop a few pills. But if you played Sunday night on the West Coast and then are playing Thursday night on the East Coast, and you are struggling to focus, that pill better not be Adderall.

All you have to do is turn on your television on Sundays in the Fall and you get to see the greatest athletes that the world has ever seen don armor that gladiators would be jealous of. Then these athletes run as hard as they can into each other for 60 minutes. There is no doubt football is an extremely physical sport. There is a reason that teams only play once a week. And to keep their bodies free from pain, the use of painkillers is a common occurrence in NFL locker rooms. Recently retired Detroit Lions Wide Receiver Calvin Johnson said, “the team doctors and trainers, they were giving them (pain killers) out like candy.”

If these NFL players continue to abuse to painkillers it can be extremely detrimental to their health. “Abuse can lead to kidney and liver failure, as well as increased risk of heart attack,” said Mindy Dioxy, an Assistant Athletic Trainer for NDNU.

What can be even more damaging is the continued abuse of painkillers by retires NFL players. A scientific study conducted by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis found that retired NFL players misuse opioid pain medications at a rate more than four times that of the general population.

So why does the NFL have such a laissez-faire attitude towards painkillers, but will suspend a player who tests positive for Adderall?

The reason is that the NFL has labeled Adderall, the popular “study drug” for college students, as a performance enhancing drug (PED) as well as a drug of abuse. However, as stated the NFL does allow painkillers to help aid with a player’s ability to play through injury.

As of 2017, the NFL has determined that Adderall is a performance-enhancing drug. This means that by taking Adderall, your performance during games would be higher than if you did not take Adderall at all.  Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association and the NCAA have also enforced the same ruling.

As students, we may have an understanding of the NFL’s judgment on Adderall. The use of non-prescribed Adderall on college campuses can be a very common thing. According to the National Center for Health Research, a study of more than 10,000 college students from across the country found that more than half of students with an Adderall or other ADHD drug prescription were asked to sell the medication to peers and friends.

But if the NFL considers the use of Adderall to be cheating, what effects does Adderall have that would lead them to think this way? Dr Jessica DiVento who works in NDNU’s Health Services said, “For diagnosed patients with Attention Deficit Dissorder, Adderall can help them with their focus when they could otherwise not be able to do so.”

In the end, you can understand the NFL’s problem with the use of Adderall and other similar ADHD medication. Adderall has been seen as the NFL as a PED for its ability to aid in focus, which could give an unfair advantage to a player on the field. However, it brings up the question as to their ultimate motives when possibly harmful drugs like painkillers are encouraged and Adderall is not.

NCAA schools united around one goal by Charlie Esquivel

Academics and community service as the pathway to opportunity.

The NCAA provides college athletes with a pathway to opportunity. Although only 2% of college student athletes that play in NCAA sports make it into a professional sports league it serves as beneficial for the students and community.

The NCAA has eligibility requirements that students must meet in order to be eligible to play. The strict academic guidelines collegiate athletes must follow to participate provides these athletes with a high level of education. There are three divisions in the NCAA, all which vary with different eligibility requirements. Our own, NDNU participates in Division II. NCAA Division II college students must attend their classes, pass an average of 12 units per semester and maintain a 2.2 GPA. Incoming freshman must have a 2.2 GPA, pass 16 Core courses, score an accumulated total of 1,000 on the SAT, score of 19 on ACT composite score. There is an NCAA compliance coordinator for each school that is in charge of monitoring the student’s progress and making sure the student athletes are in compliance with the NCAA eligibility requirements. NDNUs, NCAA compliance coordinator is Tessa Nichols.

Most student athletes receive some type of financial aid, according to Jon Black, the head coach of the NDNU men’s lacrosse. Around 90% of his student athletes receive some sort of financial assistance. 

Being an NCAA college athlete is not only beneficial for the student but also the community. Jon Black mentioned that being an NCAA student athlete serves as beneficial for several different reasons, It forces them to increase time management skills which serves well for their future. After graduation when students are job seeking they are highly rated as candidates for the position because they were not only able to achieve a degree but also balance their well-being, and show commitment to a team. Another reason being a student athlete serves as beneficial is because it increases communication skills, student athletes have to work together to compete at a high level of athletics which leads to the high work ethic needed to for the team to achieve successes. NCAA student athletes also participate in wides varieties of community services and engagements. Jon Black mentions various community organizations the team raises money for that include St. Jude Children’s Hospital, American Cancer Society, Stanford Hospital, Vs. Cancer Foundation and the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. Jon Black said, “The NDNU Lacrosse team’s mission is to use our talents and gifts to inspire others, give back to the community and impact lives in a positive way. Over the last three academic years since arriving at NDNU, I’m pleased to share that the lacrosse team has volunteered just under 3,000 hours and raised over $15,000 for various non-profit organizations in the community and across the nation.  We look forward to continuing this mission and tradition of service for years to come.”

Cold Days at NDNU by Noah Sanchez

The weather in Belmont for the past couple weeks has been no higher than sixty degrees. During this time of cold weather, even the trees on campus became involved. Just last week, on January 12, 2017, a tree behind New Hall fell over. “The tree that fell down was right behind my dorm room, but luckily it was not close enough to fall into the back wall of the dorms. I heard it as it happened and then I had to listen to them throw it in the wood chip which was pretty loud and also set up right next to my room. Thankfully there was no damage to any buildings on campus and that the tree did not fall through the wall of my room,” said Adilene Ruiz.

During this weather, on steep terrain, mudslides and debris flows are possible. With Notre Dame de Namur being built on a hill this was a highly plausible situation that could have happened, but did not. If this happened, a lot of damage could have been caused. The New Hall dorms could have definitely been affected by the possible land slide.

 While the weather may not be too bad for some, others can not wait for it to pass. According to a sophomore who lives in the New Hall dorms on campus, Sandra Aguilar, said, “This weather is too cold for me. I prefer warmer weather because I love to go outside and go on runs around the NDNU campus. Hopefully this cold weather will only be here for a little while longer.”

In the New Hall dorms, there is no air conditioning system, but the tiles in the rooms are able to be heated up. While the heated tiles may sound nice, even in this cold weather, some may not even consider using them. Sophomore, Allyssa Valente, said, “Even though the weather is pretty cold, I still do not like turning the tile heaters on. I’ll admit that it does feel good for a short time, but after a while, the room becomes pretty stuffy. My roommates and I have come to a consensus that we would rather not have the tiles on despite the frigid weather. I try to stay warm in other ways by making sure I stay bundled up twenty-four seven and I am really appreciating hot showers during this time.”

Legalization of Marijuana In The State of California by Micah Tateishi

CA, USA-  As of November 9th, 2016, in the state of California the majority of voters approved Proposition 64, making California the most populous state in the nation to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. Proposition 64 allows Californians who are 21 and older to possess, transport, buy and use up to an ounce of cannabis for recreational purposes and allow individuals to grow as many as six plants. The measure would also allow retail sales of marijuana and impose a 15% tax.

By a margin of about 56% to 44%, voters passed Proposition 64, making California the fifth state to legalize recreational pot, after Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska. Adults cannot smoke or ingest weed in public. The measure only allows non-medical marijuana to be sold by state licensed businesses, and it gives the state until Jan. 1, 2018, to begin issuing sales licenses for recreational retailers. Though Proposition 64 will eventually allow for licensed on-site consumption. Many questions have been asked in regards to using medicainal marijuana and getting behind the wheel of a vehicle. There is no way to measure how much THC (The main ingrendient in Canabis) is in one’s body with a breathalyzer, here is how this situation can be clarified. It is still illegal to do drugs and operate a vehicle, boat, aircraft or any other such vessel, and it will continue to be. The exact protocols for determining if a driver is impaired by marijuana will be set out by the California Highway Patrol. This vote happened 20 years after California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996.

Seeing how Proposition 64 will have a positive or negative impact on all the citizens of the State of California I interviewed  several students and residents of Notre Dame de Namur located in Belmont, California. One student by the name of Matthew DeQuiroz said “I feel that Proposition 64 makes marijuana much more accessible for those who need medication. Since the passing of Proposition 64 I hope people will have a different outlooks on cannabis”. Another student by the name of Andy Sandoval said “I hope after Proposition 64 is passed that people do not take advantage of the law and have California turn into a state overtaken by cannabis”. Not all students and citizens had the same opinions on Proposition 64. One citizen of Belmont said that “Proposition 64 will ruin childhoods. Before you know it they will have dispensaries within walking distance of schools. Exposing youth to cannabis is the last things I want”. With the approval of the ballot measure creates the largest market for marijuana products in the U.S. It comes six years after California voters narrowly rejected a similar measure. Activists said passage would be an important moment in a fight for marijuana legalization across the U.S.

College Students Facing Homelessness by Renae Roque

College students face homelessness because of factors such as high housing costs, tuition, and other bills.

As a NDNU or private school student tuition roughly costs $30,000 dollars per year, according to College Board (collegedata). Although there are financial aid options, most salaries working-students earn isn’t enough. That being said some students end up in debt. According to The Institute for College Access and Success, “Seven in 10 seniors (68%) who graduated from public and nonprofit colleges in 2015 had student loan debt, with an average of $30,100 [dollars] per borrower” (ticas).

Most college students have to juggle school and work, but there are some who struggle with finding a place to stay at the end of the day which can take a toll on a student.

There isn’t a lot of attention on student’s who face home insecurity. According to the LA Times in 2016/17, “The only official clue to the number of homeless college students in the country is the 56,588 who identified as such on their federal financial aid applications — a number that advocates say understates the problem.”

According to Mike Palmieri, former NDNU student retention officer said, “…home insecurity isn’t something asked on a college application, and there’s usually not a standard way for schools to collect that information. Students who are starting college home insecure usually put a return/home address of some kind (relative, etc) so it isn’t known. Once they’re in school, the typical way staff/faculty find out is either if a student discloses it to them at some point because they have built a trusting relationship, or in some cases because the student’s situation is discovered (they’re “caught” living on campus in a friend’s room/apartment, or living in their car on campus).”

However, the problem of student home insecurity can change with proper assistance such as affordable or little to no cost housing options. For example, according to the California Aggie, Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill to help homeless college students in California. Assembly Bill AB 1228 guarantees housing for homeless youth allowing campuses to stay open during the holidays. However this bill is still in the process for the UC system and excludes the private school system, such as NDNU.

But, students such as Micah Tan, Junior and housing desk assistant at NDNU said, “Housing is every expensive and not everyone has the privilege to live with their parents close to the school. Sometimes parents kick their own children out and/or are unwilling to pay for their housing, so they should be able to stay at school.”

However Palmieri said, challenges schools face with giving rooms are, “…some staff will be needed over break to be available for emergencies, etc (RAs, professional on call staff). There’s concern for risk to the university, from a legal standpoint – in terms of liability, if anything happens, or there’s misconduct by the student(s). So, there is a lot of pushback from some of the administration regarding doing something like this.”

Although paying bills such as tuition cannot be completely eliminated, factors such as housing costs can be determined according to the student’s housing and financial situation.