November 2019

Discovering the community behind FPU

Creating accessibility for those with disabilities

Fresno Pacific University prides itself on creating accessibility for members of the community who have disabilities. Although a campus can advertise their policies and the department where disability services are provided, students may not feel welcome unless the person they face is welcoming themselves, and that is the case here with Melinda Gunning. 

Melinda Gunning is the director of disability access and education. She has been working at Fresno Pacific University for over 25 years and has lived in the Central Valley her entire life. 

Gunning believes that empathy is the key to success in helping others.

Dani mercado

Gunning attended Fresno State University, where she obtained her bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in English literature. Gunning began working at FPU as part of the adjunct English faculty. After some time, she was in charge of disability services and made the suggestion for a writing center, and thus a quest began. 

“I also told them, well, you don’t have a writing center/tutoring center and you need one and I’ll make one for you,” Gunning said. 

Gunning worked with faculty and staff in order to work with what FPU already had in regard to a writing center and tutorial services, and used that as a foundation for what is now the Academic Success Center, or ASC. Up until last summer Gunning was handling both the ASC and disability services, but she handed off the program to the group who had been working there since the start so she could focus solely on disabilities services. 

“But what I loved about tutoring, and what I love about my job now, is getting to interact with students one-on-one; it’s really where my heart is,” Gunning said. 

Gunning’s passion is helping students, and by being appointed director for disability services, she is able to serve students and faculty in a way that helps them achieve their goals and know that they are not alone. Gunning believes that empathy is the key to success in helping others. 

“And when you’re working with disabilities, you absolutely have to have empathy. Right?” Gunning said. 

Gunning’s role within the ASC and disability services benefit from her creativity, empathy, and drive to help others. Gunning is excited to take on disabilities services alone and be a safe space for students and faculty alike to share their struggles. 

The disabilities office is located in Marpeck 114 and the ASC is located in Marpeck 112.

Black Friday is more popular among students than Cyber Monday

Black Friday is more popular among students than Cyber Monday

For some students, Thanksgiving is a great time to gather with family and catch up, but once that is over many students start thinking about shopping on Black Friday. Black Friday seems to be happening earlier and earlier each year. But is it really worth it to end your Thanksgiving early to go wait in those long lines to save money, or is it better to wait until Cyber Monday and just purchase those items online from the comfort of your own home at your convenience?

Leslie Higareda, a sophomore at Fresno Pacific University, shared her thoughts on what students should consider when shopping during these national savings events. 

In a generation where E-commerce is so high, it is surprising that many students still prefer to go shopping on Black Friday rather than Cyber Monday

Alex Rivera

“Black Friday certainly has some perks over Cyber Monday, especially when it comes to shopping for clothes and being able to see what each store offers, rather than competing with dozens of people online to buy a certain item that may even be out of stock,” Higareda said. 

Higareda also prefers being able to visit physical locations, and shared her personal favorite stores that she goes to during Black Friday. 

“I like to go to the Nike store and the Vans store and seeing all the different sales they have. What’s good about it is that you can actually try it on before you get it . . . Online you have to go through the hassle of returning it,” Higareda said. 

A lot of Black Friday shoppers go with the mindset that they’re planning on spending money, whether it be for personal reasons or even getting a head start on Christmas shopping. But as college students, is it worth it to spend a lot of money these days, especially with winter break being short and the spring semester approaching quickly? With a new semester approaching, that money could be wisely spent on books for the upcoming semester. But it turns out some students are savvy shoppers and don’t spend too much. 

“The most I’ve spent is like 100 dollars,” Higareda said.

Emma Montoya, a junior here at FPU, also prefers Black Friday as her shopping choice.

“I probably prefer Black Friday shopping. I remember good memories about walking around with my family and shopping,” Montoya said. 

Montoya, who likes to go for the experience of Black Friday, also shares that she spends typically 100 dollars.

Matt Wilfong, a junior at FPU, also believes Black Friday is the best shopping method. 

“Probably Black Friday for the experiences like having friends come with you.  Just being able to have a few people that you can go out with, it can be kinda fun,” Wilfong said. 

Some of the items and stores that Wilfong and his friends go to are ones that usually advertise the biggest sales on Black Friday.

“I hit up Best Buy a lot just because sometimes you get good stuff. I like looking at the video games and things, but more so now probably I would look for some shoes, jeans and stuff like that,” Wilfong said. 

Wilfong, even though he prefers Black Friday shopping, also does a little bit of shopping online on Black Friday, trying to get ahead of some of the deals in store. 

“The cool thing to Cyber Monday versus Black Friday is that even a lot of the online sites do deals on Black Friday as well,” Wilfong said 

But even though Wilfong looks for electronic items and clothes, he still tries to stay within his budget while shopping.

“I try not to spend more than 100 bucks at one time just because I don’t want to feel guilty,” Wilfong said. 

It may be tempting to shop on these money saving days, so it’ll seem to be that everyone still works with a budget of one hundred dollars. In a generation where E-commerce is so high, it is surprising that many students still prefer to go shopping on Black Friday rather than Cyber Monday. The convenience that online shopping has become over the past few years can’t surpass the idea that many students still love to experience the shopping extravaganza. 

Student-led journal provides outlet for creativity

FPU’s Green Light accepting creative writing submissions

FPU is home to a wide array of clubs, ranging from the Anime Club to the Shalom Club. For students who are looking to express their creativity in a new way, the Green Light may be the club for you. The Green Light is a short literary journal that is published on a yearly basis. Dr. Daniel Larson, associate professor of English and faculty adviser for the Green Light, has had the pleasure of watching the club grow and change in a positive way over the years. Larson became involved with the Green Light after students struggled to get the club off the ground on their own during its early stages.

“Larson was aware that people on campus had a desire to publish their creative writing, but did not have a lot of opportunities to do so.”

Robbie Hill

“They worked on it for a while, but there was no place to put it. They didn’t have any kind of institutional housing for it,” Larson said.

Larson was aware that people on campus had a desire to publish their creative writing, but did not have a lot of opportunities to do so. Former Communication Professor and Faculty Adviser for the Syrinx, Adam Schrag, approached Larson about overseeing the club, because the Green Light was attached to the Syrinx during its formation.

“He [Schrag] said, ‘Hey, we need someone to do this, would you be interested?’ Since I was teaching creative writing, I noticed that there were a lot of people who were writing on campus and are interested in that kind of stuff, but there was no outlet for them. Now, we also had this journal that needed some sort of shepherding. So I figured, let’s put those two things together and see what we can do with it,” Larson said.

FPU alumn Laurel Samuelson was one of the founding members of the Green Light. Although Samuelson played a major role in helping the journal grow, she does not credit herself as the one who came up with the idea for an undergraduate literary journal.

“I was hanging out with a freshman English major named Brenden Nielsen. He was fired up about all the things he wanted to happen in the English major, and he really wanted to start a literary journal on campus. I happened to be sitting with him one day when Adam Schrag came over to approach him about starting the journal and he assumed I was involved too, but it was all Brenden’s idea first,” Samuelson said.

For the first volume of the Green Light, Nielsen and Samuelson served as co-editors. Shortly after the first volume was released in Spring 2016, Nielson transferred to a different school, leaving Samuelson as the Editor in Chief. At first, this was difficult for Samuelson, because the journal suddenly became her responsibility.

“After Brenden left, I didn’t really ‘want’ to be a part of the thing, because it wasn’t my idea. But, he poured so much care into it that I didn’t want it to go away after all that effort we put in,” said Samuelson.

After 2017, the club found their rhythm and produced the 2nd volume of the Green Light with great success. A major change in the production process from the first volume was the exclusion of faculty from the readership board.

“We decided that the readership board wasn’t going to be a mix of faculty and students anymore, since we were focusing on ‘student’ publication. Because of that, I got to meet a lot of cool underclassmen and make friendships that would not have been possible. It turned us back towards our original purpose of publishing works for people who are scared to publish and need a reason to try it,” Samuelson said.

The Green Light staff are currently hard at work to produce the 4th volume of the journal. Junior English Major Taylor Benton is the Green Light’s format editor and is in charge of structuring the entire journal. Despite the large workload, Benton loves being a member of the Green Light staff because of the sense of accomplishment that comes after producing a new volume.

“I really enjoyed having the experience of editing a journal. It’s just nice to be a part of it. At first, I thought I would be really bored with just editing structure. But, then I realized I was a part of this journal that is now going to be published into a little book that I get to take home. It’s awesome,” Benton said.

The Green Light is still accepting submissions to the journal until December 31st of this year. Benton, Samuelson, and Larson all encourage students to try their hands at creative writing and submit something for the upcoming volume. All short fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, scripts, and more can be submitted to