March 2020

First hand travel experience amid COVID-19

The fear and joys of traveling abroad during spring break

Spring break has been known as a time where college students travel to have a fun vacation from school. This spring break we decided to go to Paris, France for a week and embrace the tourist life in Paris! However, this trip we were so excited to go on suddenly got disrupted when President Trump made the announcement that the borders were closing to certain groups traveling from European countries back into the USA.

It was 2 a.m. on Thursday, March 12th in Paris when the announcement was made. Our phones began to blow up with phone calls and texts from people back home. Everyone was telling us to get on the next flight home as soon as possible. Fear began to consume us and the worry of whether we’d be allowed back into the country or if our flights would be cancelled.

We immediately began to pack our suitcases and get ready to head to the airport. After arriving at the airport, we began to look if we could talk to someone and find a way to change our tickets. However, we found out customer service for our airline didn’t open until 4:30 a.m. 

We decided to wait until 4:30 a.m. since it was only about an hour until that time. Once customer service was open we rushed over to talk to them. Unfortunately, they explained that Norwegian Airlines doesn’t have a representative at this airport and that we needed to call their number.

By this point we were frustrated, worried and beyond tired. We decided it would be best to get a hotel near the airport to sleep for a few hours and try to call our airline to try our flights.

We called our airline over and over again and got no answer. We tried to change our flight to another day, but everything was sold out. At this point, it seemed like we would never make it back home. The fear of getting stuck in Paris began to grow more and more. Although we knew we could return to the United States, there was fear that our flight would be canceled or that Paris would go on lockdown. As amazing as Paris was the last thing we wanted was to be stuck in a foreign country.

After trying to sleep for a few hours, we decided to return back to the airport and try to talk to another airline. We had decided that if all else failed we could try to fly into another state in the United States so that at least we wouldn’t be stuck in Paris. 

As we returned back to the airport, we were eventually able to talk to someone who tried to help us find flights back. The problem we faced was that flights back home were over $2,000 each. Even with a credit card, we couldn’t afford to pay that much for a ticket. 

We stuck around the hotel contemplating what we should do. By this point Norwegian Airlines had updated their website with information regarding the travel restrictions. Norwegian Airlines had explained that they did not intend on canceling any flights. At this point, we gained a little bit of peace. However, a lot could change between Thursday morning and Saturday, the day we intended to leave. 

We didn’t know what to do. We had planned to go to Disneyland Paris on Thursday and the Catacombs of Paris on Friday. However, we didn’t even have a desire to go out and explore Paris when all this was happening, but we also had been looking forward to this trip for so long. We decided to go to Disneyland Paris and make the most of the rest of our trip. Although we experienced a period of chaos and fear for about 24 hours, we made the most of our trip and enjoyed our time traveling in Paris. 

Once we returned to LAX, there was so much fear of whether we’d be quarantined or what kind of screening we’d have to undergo. As we got off the plane, we were directed to Customs and then CDC had a separate area for us to go through. As we entered CDC’s area, we had to fill out forms and undergo screening to see if we had symptoms of the COVID-19. After about 3 hours of going through customs and CDC’s screening, we were finally able to drive back home. 

Traveling during our spring break to Paris was very risky and chaotic, but getting this opportunity to travel out of the country was stunning and worth every second of chaos.

Authors:  Nikki Campos & Austin Noronha 

FPU celebrates the publication of its 75th anniversary book

Turning the pages through 75 years of history at FPU

Fresno Pacific University celebrates 75 years of history and memories this school year. On February 24, 2020, a book filled with photos and commentary titled Fresno Pacific University: The First 75 Years was released. The authors of this book were Archivist Hannah Keeney and Library Director Kevin Enns-Rempel. 

The inspiration for creating a book to celebrate the 75 years of this institution came from Rempel and Keeney. They wanted to somehow find a way to encompass the history of FPU into something tangible for people to have. 

Rempel was the archivist before Keeney for 26 years and, having worked with all these photos, he wanted to find a way to encompass pictures and show them off. He also explained how pictures are powerful and that he’s enjoyed interacting with them over the years at FPU.

“The old saying about pictures being worth 1000 words. There’s a lot of truth to that … they tell stories in a very vivid, compelling way,” Rempel said. 

When putting the book together, Rempel and Keeney knew they didn’t want to organize the books by decades, but instead they wanted to put the book into 4 sections. These four sections were related to the four main institution name changes FPU has experienced. 

The four sections are titled Pacific Bible Institute 1944-1960, Pacific College 1960-1976, Fresno Pacific College 1976-1997, and Fresno Pacific University 1997-Present. 

“The thing about the four names, is they really do coincide with some pretty significant shifts in how the institution understood itself. The names didn’t cause it,” Rempel said. 

As the idea of how to divide the book formed, so did the footwork for the psychical book. Keeney explained that she and Rempel began to work on the book in summer of 2019. She explained that a lot of people were surprised when the book came out because they hadn’t heard much about it. 

“I think we just sort of very quickly got so far into the trenches of just doing it that we didn’t really think to, like, tell people until we’re publishing a book,” Keeney said.

Keeney went on to explain how there were certain requirements from the publisher on how to format the book.

“The publisher has a format where you plug images and information, but you have to come up with everything. We went through photo archives and picked photos … put narrative with the photos,” Keeney said. 

The process of picking photos did take Keeney and Rempel many hours due to the fact that they needed to encompass 75 years into a picture book. However, once they picked the photos, Keeney had to scan the photos to the specifications of the publisher. 

Despite the countless hours of scanning photos, Keeney did express that there was something fun in putting the book together. 

“It was actually kind of fun because, I mean, you’re sitting there running the flatbed scanner which is kind of boring, but you get to look at the photos,” Keeney said. 

A copy of this book can be found on Amazon and on Arcadia Publishing’s website.The links can be found below.

Author: Nikki Campos|News Editor

Keep your head up

How to stay positive in trying times

Remaining positive in the midst of a storm is a choice that is not easy or simple to make, but it is important. Currently, people are trying to balance the unpredictable forces that have brought so much change to their lives and navigate through an overwhelming feeling of confusion and surrealism. 

One way to remain positive is to know that we are not alone in this journey. It is not one that we asked for or even thought as a possibility a few weeks ago, but we are here. We can take comfort in knowing that our entire community is going through this together.

Remember, you are not alone in this and grace is a wonderful gift to bestow upon yourself. 

Grace is a key concept that people should keep in mind during this time of trying to remain positive in the midst of uncertainty. Giving oneself grace is extremely empowering. This means allowing yourself to take what you are experiencing during this time of quarantine and feel it. Grace is a safe space. It can be difficult to give yourself that luxury, but it can yield wonderful results. There are going to be times where we may not feel fulfilled in our current situation and that’s okay. Grace is giving yourself the gift of knowing it’s okay not to be okay. If anything comes from keeping your head up, it’s giving yourself grace. 

FPU recognizes that this is far from the ideal community atmosphere and they have made many strides to keep up school pride. They have decided to have a live stream every weekday at noon with various students and faculty doing different things. For example, the other day Hannah Weaver took viewers on a fun-filled “hike” in her own backyard. It’s a great attempt at keeping students engaged within the community and with one another. The Instagram page is FPU Life. 

In terms of things you can do to remain positive I recommend bringing a little happiness to your life, whatever that means for you. For me that’s warming my onesie in the dryer and eating some ice cream. Maybe it can be playing some video games, watching a rom-com or completing a craft. Whatever your preference is, just do something that can bring a little light to your day. It’s the little things that can bring the biggest smiles!

There may not be much to do inside during quarantine but at the end of the day it’s what you make of it. Take this time to be productive and finish those assignments you’ve been putting off. Use it as time to binge watch Disney+ and revisit your childhood. Make this time into something good by using it to your advantage! Remember, you are not alone in this and grace is a wonderful gift to bestow upon yourself. 

Author: Dani Mercado

15 tips for students adjusting to online schooling

Being productive in uncertainty

  1. Take time to adjust. Allow yourself time to make the change. Making the change from one learning style to another is really challenging and it may take a few weeks to make the full transition. During this change, allow yourself to transition slowly and properly, rather than trying to force yourself into a new schedule suddenly. 
  2. Pick a schedule and settle into it. Even if there aren’t any class times or familiar due dates, pick times for yourself to complete assignments. If you need to, find people to keep you accountable to your schedule! Even though you don’t have classes that you are going to everyday that you have to be prepared for, having your time scheduled out will help you to stay on top of due dates. 
  3. On that note, schedule breaks, self-care, and fun excursions. Just because you are online schooling now doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun! In fact, you actually have more flexibility to do the things that you want to do now than you did before! 
  4. Find people to do homework with or just grab coffee (pending a shelter-in-place order)! Even if you are more introverted, people are necessary for avoiding stagnancy. Whether it is just that one person that you like to spend time with or a group of people, seek out those relationships intentionally because they will help you to be more productive! 
  5. Reach out to your professors and other academic resources early and often. Since you won’t have in-person communications with them, it is even more important that you intentionally reach out with any questions that you have. The ASC also offers online tutoring, which will become a huge asset now that in-person classes are cancelled. 
  6. Write down task lists in multiple areas so that nothing gets missed! You won’t have teachers reminding you in class of assignments every day. Maybe even give one of those lists to a friend to keep you accountable!
  7. Once you have your schedule figured out, make sure to allow for some impulsiveness! Randomly decide to study at a park or call someone that you may not normally talk to. It will help to keep things light-hearted and interesting. Plus, now you have flexibility in your schedule to get assignments done early and do something fun!
  8. Develop a playlist! Music will be your best friend, particularly if you suddenly have a lot of alone time. Take some time to find music that you love and play it in the background as a break from monotonous silence. 
  9. Also take moments of silence. These can be times where you contemplate life, who you are, the direction you want to go in, and anything else. Really it is taking time for your deep, pent-up thoughts to be released. Sometimes playing an instrument or doing something artistic can help, because it offers opportunities of release. Learn to meditate if that helps!
  10. Develop a hobby! You now have a lot of time that you aren’t spending in class, so be productive with that time! Think through things that you have always wanted to do and start now that you have all of the extra time. 
  11. “Prune” your computer. Some of the best plants need the best care. The same can be said for your computer, laptop, or tablet that you use for school. So before you shout “Bonzai!” and jump into this online semester, consider how you might best optimize your device so that both you and your electronic ally are more efficient. Some ways to make your computer more streamlined for school might be removing unnecessary files, upgrading to the latest operating system, or simply re-organizing your desktop. Other strategies for helping yourself be more focused while using your device might include moving distracting apps or games to another folder or removing links to Youtube on your browser homepage. Things like this can be especially helpful for those of us who are easily distracted.
  12. Save those moments: Those “A-ha!” moments we sometimes have in class when we grasp a concept or idea will hopefully continue to happen in our online classes. In the interest of being prepared for these moments, we can start by typing or writing down our notes as we would for an in-person class. However, we have even more options available to us for documenting our class material when it comes to online learning, such as taking screenshots or reviewing a recording of the session.
  13. A quick comment about the chat section: The chat window on Zoom and other webcam services can be a big help for communicating in online classes, especially when the instructor needs to post something for everyone to read. In many ways, it can be your best friend, especially when your mic decides not to cooperate. However, get too chummy with the chat box and all of a sudden you might be disrupting class. Although, if you use it just right,  it can be a helpful way to circumnavigate the technical difficulties of online learning. 
  14. Dress to Impress… Kinda. Since your teachers might want to use webcams in your online classes, dressing appropriately for the occasion can be a really useful thing. Not only am I more confident and mentally prepared when I’m dressed and ready to go, but sitting in bed while wearing pajamas wouldn’t be as respectful to the class. Also consider finding a well lit location with as few distractions in the background as possible. The more professional you feel the better. That being said, one of the joys of online classes is that they can be a more chill and relaxing learning environment. 
  15. Classmates —> Friends: One great thing to do with online classes is to talk about that particular class session afterwards with some peers by text or by email. Not only does this help reinforce the material into your memory, but it also allows you to connect with classmates and maybe even make some great friends. 

As cliche as it might sound, we really are all in this together and are all going through these changes. As you figure things out for yourself, share those tips and tricks with each other! There is no standard list of tips that will work for absolutely everyone, so take this list and make it your own.

Authors: Nate Van Dyke & Timothy Myracle

To binge or not to binge?

The advantages of releasing streamed shows weekly

On November 12, 2019, Disney launched their long-awaited streaming app, Disney+. While such a massive and influential company creating their own streaming service may not surprise most, what might have is the way in which its original content was released. The service’s breakout hit, The Mandalorian, was released in a traditional episodic format, with a new episode coming out every week. 

It seems obvious that waiting a week for a new episode builds excitement, the good kind of worry, and a sense of fulfillment when it actually comes out

This is in stark contrast to some of the distinguished competition: Netflix’s big break into the industry involved it releasing every episode of its new shows at once, and it has since gone on to become a household name. Amazon Prime Video, an early competitor, followed the same format and, according to Forbes, averaged 150 million subscribers as of the last quarter of 2019—not far behind Netflix’s 167.1 million as reported by the same site. Binge-watching is now a common, everyday part of our culture.

And why shouldn’t it be? It seems obvious that waiting a week for a new episode builds excitement, the good kind of worry, and a sense of fulfillment when it actually comes out. On the other hand, binge-watching allows for quick satisfaction of those same emotions—but quick satisfaction is not always a good thing. Not wanting to have them on your mind for a whole week can be understandable, but if those emotions are not allowed to mature then the payoff (and the experience as a whole) is lessened.

Shows designed for binge-watching are often compared to exceptionally long movies (at times poorly and obviously cut into episodes), and yet popular movie series themselves are often episodic (Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe come to mind). The theorizing, discussions, and gradually-building feelings of excitement are a great part of the experience, and we tend to view it as bad when we are deprived of that. Why shouldn’t this be encouraged for episodes of a show as well?

Of course, the shows themselves must be good for this to work. Shows made for bingeing can circumvent this to some extent; they are released all at once, before bad press can come in, and viewers can even get through them in one go. A show that is released weekly must be good enough to encourage viewers to come back week after week or it will fail.
Since the weekly-release format appears to encourage better shows and more profitable shows—a bonus for everyone involved—the increasing popularity of this format on streaming services seems to me a good thing. Sure, it can be stressful to wait a whole week for the next tidbit from your favorite show… but if the payoff is all the more with it, can we really complain?

Author: Luke Fredette


Disney + streaming 

While the world continues to face this global pandemic, it has left many of us with an overwhelming amount of fear, anxiety and boredom. Despite this hard time we are facing, a lot of us are self-quarantining which means a lot of free time on our hands. Let’s look on the bright side though: binge watching! With so many streaming services at people’s fingertips it can be hard to decide what to watch. On Disney+ alone there are so many wonderful options. From the classic original films to the modern sci-fi saga, there is truly something for everyone. Below we have listed our top 5 Disney+ categories with a few of our favorite movies from each to help pass the time everyone now has. 

As we try our best to cope with such issues, these movies are one way to occupy your time as well as, allow us a moment to focus on our mental health

Our first category we have chosen is: classic films. For those of you who enjoy a good happy ending or crave the nostalgia of early childhood memories, this is the category for you. A few princess movies we have put into this category are Moana, Frozen, Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid, Princess Diaries and Cinderella. However, the original movies would be 101 Dalmatians, Lilo and Stitch, High School Musical, Cheetah Girls and The Lion King. This is a category that has the ability to send you back to your early childhood years and give you that warm and fuzzy sensation you had years ago.

Moving on from this, we have settled on old Disney Channel shows as our second picked category. In between all of the more modern shows they have added to Disney+, nothing beats the early 2000s TV shows. Some oldie but still goodie shows include Wizards of Waverly Place, That’s So Raven, Boy Meets World, Hannah Montana, Lizzie McGuire and who could forget Suite Life of Zach and Cody/ on Deck. Between the chaos of school, work, and friends we often forget about these classic TV shows that became a part of our childhood. Now with our “break,” it is an excellent time to revisit these classic shows.

Next in line we have the creative and more imaginative side to Disney that we all know and love, Pixar. Throughout our lives Pixar has created 22 heart-warming movies that have continued to stay with us for many years. These animators have created some of our favorite movies with an animation quality that has seemed to grow more life-like throughout the years. Whether you are in a mood for action, nostalgia or a movie more heart-felt, Pixar has the movies for you. With movies like Cars, The Incredibles, Up, Coco, Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc. and Toy Story your time is sure to be occupied. 

On August 31st, 2009 Disney changed the movie industry forever and bought Marvel Entertainment. With this sale they captured the rights to anything part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, pleasing many Marvel fans around the world. While Disney pleased fans 9 years ago with this sale, fans are even more pleased now as those who have Disney+ have access to many shows and movies created by Marvel Entertainment. Having said this, it was only fair that we dedicated an entire category to these cinematic masterpieces. After much consideration we narrowed our top 5 Marvel movies down to the following: Thor Ragnarok, Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2, Captain America Civil War, Avengers Infinity War and Ant Man. With Disney announcing the opening of their Marvel-inspired land, Avengers Campus, on July 18th, now is the perfect time to rewatch or newly watch these epic movies!

Star Wars is another world of film that Disney branched into in 2012. Diehard fans of the franchise were skeptical at first. People wanted to ensure the content of the Star Wars films would remain true to their story and roots. Star Wars has its own category on Disney+ and consists of not only the original films but series and specials as well. I personally have been watching the original Star Wars films for the first time in my life and have been blown away by the story. From the beautiful cinematography to John Williams’ stellar compositions the films are a thing of beauty. When discussing it as a team we agreed that Star Wars Episode 3 was a collective favorite. Aside from the films, Disney+ added its own hit series, The Mandalorian. The show was a resounding success with baby Yoda, or the child, being brought into the Star Wars universe. The Mandalorian is set to release its second season in October of this year. 

Although it is hard being stuck inside, it is a good way for us to protect ourselves and those around us. Now is a great time to escape into another world or reminisce about some past favorites. As we try our best to cope with such issues, these movies are one way to occupy your time as well as, allow us a moment to focus on our mental health. Disney is known for its ability to bring magic to all ages, so (pixie) dust yourself off and enjoy some stories. 

FPU student newspaper receives multiple awards in statewide contest

Winners recognized at the annual California College Media Association banquet

For the fourth year in a row, The Syrinx took home multiple awards at the annual California College Media Association (CCMA) banquet held Feb. 29 in San Francisco.

The Syrinx two awards, including second place for Best Newspaper Inside Page/Spread Design and second place for Best Non-Breaking News Story. The CCMA banquet is held annually in conjunction with the Associated Collegiate Press (ACP) annual midwinter national journalism conference.

FPU competed alongside other California schools including Pepperdine, Biola, Cal Baptist, Loyola Marymount, Chapman and several other universities in the B-division comprised of 4-year schools with under 10,000 students. 

A group of 9 FPU student journalists and Lo also attended the Associated Collegiate Press (ACP) annual midwinter national journalism conference in San Francisco, Feb. 27 – Mar. 1. FPU one among many other college media outlets from across the U.S. and Canada. This year’s convention was held jointly with College Media Business and Advertising Managers (CMBAM).

Editor’s Note

The Syrinx will be making adjustments in publication

In response to the recent changes on our campus due to COVID-19, The Syrinx will be making adjustments in publication. 

The Syrinx will be temporarily suspending the use of print publication and moving to an entirely online platform. We will be producing new and exciting content that will be released multiple times per week. 

We hope that in doing so, we can continue to represent our student body while accommodating members of our community who will not be on campus in the coming weeks.

All stories and content will be posted to our website and updates will be posted on our social media platforms regularly.
For any questions or concerns, please contact or