March 2021

FPU’s Men’s Basketball team has a record-breaking year

Sunbirds overcome covid obstacles for an unbelievable season

During a year in which COVID-19 has limited much of what we can do, the Fresno Pacific men’s basketball team has found a way to overcome this abundance of obstacles. It is safe to say that this season will go down as unforgettable in more ways than one, because between breaking new school records and many players achieving high honor awards, our men’s basketball team played a historic season. 


First team in school history to make the Division II NCAA tournament. 

First league championship since joining Division II.

Aamondae Coleman is the 3rd all time on Fresno Pacific Men’s Basketball scoring list.

Adrian Antunez is the 5th all time on Fresno Pacific Men’s Basketball scoring list.

Tie for most Division II wins in a single season (only playing 15 Division II games in their 20-21 season).

Aamondae Coleman, Adrian Antunez and Nate Kendricks each named to the Pacific West’s Conference NorCal Team.

Norcal Pod Champions.

Perfect 8-0 record in pod play.

Undefeated at home.

Men’s Head Basketball Coach C.J. Haydock opened up about the willingness of his players to sacrifice parts of their life and maintain small social circles in order to keep their teammates safe. He also notes how his team’s sacrifice and discipline in closely-following both NCAA and CDC regulations have made their accomplishments more impressive.

“We really prided ourselves on our level of transparency and communication with our team, in terms of making sure everyone understood the science and burden of responsibility that our health came first. I think our COVID safety makes the accomplishment more impressive, because it requires a different level of toughness, focus and selflessness. If we did all this but had taken any shortcuts on our COVID safety, what’s that worth?” Haydock said.

Although this team and its coaching staff worked incredibly hard to achieve success, such a thing did not come overnight. Having accepted the Head Coach position back in 2016, Haydock has created a program with a group of men who brought about his vision of what the team could become. As many of the team’s players stayed loyal and optimistic from the start, their achievements this season are more than the making of school history, but also serve as a testament to the strength and fight of this team.

“This is a testament to everybody. It’s a testament to the administrators who trusted the path we were going to walk as coaches and the vision we laid out. It’s a testament to our coaching staff that we’re going to hang in there and be true to who we knew we wanted to be. It’s a testament to student athletes, to their faith and perseverance. The biggest reason we’re successful is because we bet on the right people,” Haydock said.

When asked what his favorite memory from this year was, Haydock couldn’t pick just one memory.

“It has to be hearing our name called. To see that reward for the people who invested in us and believed in us was overwhelming. But there’s also other stuff like the party in the locker room after we beat Azusa Pacific on our floor. There’s a ton of moments where individual guys stepped up like Garrett Cook carries us one game, Spencer Heimerdinger carries us one game, Nate Kendricks hits a big and one in one of the Academy of Art games,” Haydock said.

Adrian Antunez, point guard and captain for the men’s Basketball team, has believed in the team’s success from the start. A business management major, Antunez was apart of the first recruitment class in Haydock’s first year at Fresno Pacific. Having waited four years for their hard work to pay off, Antunez touches on what led their team to this point.

“I felt like we had all the right pieces to get there. Jake, Nehemiah and Toby [all former men’s basketball players] all had a big impact, and it’s unfortunate they don’t get to reap all the benefits that we do. We put our faith in coach Haydock and the coaching staff, and believed in them as much as they believed in us. But with the addition of new people overtime and people playing up in their roles, it felt like this year we finally had all the right pieces,” Antunez said.

A Valley native from Clovis West High School, Antunez serves as a huge inspiration for many. Having made his way onto the top 5 scoring list of all time for Fresno Pacific, named to the Pacific West’s Conference NorCal Team, and ranked second in the Pacwest’s total minutes, Antunez was a force to be reckoned with in his senior year. 

“I think people should start looking about going to FPU, if they can go. FPU should be people from the valley’s first option and being undersized shouldn’t defer you from giving up. I hope people see the vision and use my story of being an undersized guard myself as inspiration,” Antunez said.

When asked what gave Antunez motivation during this year, when hope was often hard to find, his answer came easily.

“My family and Erika [his girlfriend] play the biggest role in my basketball career. Without them I’m not playing any basketball. Hearing my parents tell me that my little brother wants to grow up and be like me makes me feel like I’m doing something right. Having siblings who look up to you, family that is happy with who you are and what you’re doing, plus an amazing girlfriend who will support you in whatever you do, is the best cast I had during a very trying year,” Antunez said.

A mere two points shy of going further in the NCAA tournament, it is clear that this team will use their newfound experience, sense of accomplishment and satisfaction as motivation for next season. With each new milestone being broken and record being set, this team’s selflessness will build upon itself and play a large role in the upcoming season. Despite not knowing where the future of their season would lie back in September 2020, both the determination and readiness of players and coaches paid off. This team will certainly go down in FPU history.

Photo Credit: Fresno Pacific University Sunbird Athletics’s albums on Facebook and Matlyn Peden, official photographer for the department of athletics.

The team practicing at Colorado School of Mines in Golden, CO, the day before the NCAA tournament.

Pictured left to right front row: Sean Nealon-Lino, Isaiah Spears, Jason Brooks, C.J. Haydock, Daniel Dyck, Aamondae Coleman, Jeremy Ray, Alejandro Mendibles, A.J. Kirby, Nate Kendricks, Adrian Antunez, Raine McKeython, Garrett Cook, Maurice Holmes, D.J. Searcy, and Nate McClurg.

Back row left to right: Alex Ferguson, Spencer Heimderdinger, Grant Highstreet, Jerry Razo, Zach Wallin, Jamal Briscoe and James Dienes.

Assistant coach Jason Brooks safely guides players in practice as he follows COVID protocols. 

Head coach C.J. Haydock sanitizing the basketball before handing it back to his players. This is one of their most practiced protocols to disinfect for bacteria and protect their players.

Senior Adrian Antunez playing when the Sunbirds took on California Baptist.

Senior Aamondae Coleman with a finger roll for two points against the Academy of Art.

The Sunbirds’ third game of the season, where they played a non-conference game against D1 Santa Clara University. Due to COVID regulations, the game took place in Santa Cruz, CA at the Kaiser Permanente Arena. This arena is home of the Golden State Warriors G-league team, Santa Cruz Warriors.

Pictures from left to right: Adrian Antunez, James Dienes, Nick Damato, Alex Ferguson, Raine McKeython, Zach Wallin, Garrett Cook, Grant Highstreet, Jeremy Ray, Spencer Heimerdinger, Alejandro Mendibles, A.J. Kirby, Aamondae Coleman, Jamal Briscoe and Sean Nealon-Lino.

After Spencer Heimderinger scored a hook shot, he was fouled for a 3 point play. He is here seen in the middle, celebrating alongside fellow teammates Alex Ferguson (left) and A.J. Kirby (right) as they played the Academy of Art.

Senior Raine McKeython headed towards the basket against Fresno State.

Head coach C.J. Haydock speaking to his players during a timeout against Biola at the NCAA tournament. 

Players left to right: A.J. Kirby, Nate Kendricks, Garrett Cook, Spencer Heimderdinger and Adrian Antunez.

Junior Nate Kendricks against the Academy of Art days after he achieved his career high 22 points against this same team.

The Men’s Basketball team received the 6th seed and final spot for the NCAA basketball tournament in Golden, CO. This was their first time having postseason play since becoming a Division II school back in 2013.

The Men’s basketball team were crowned the Norcal pod champions after defeating Dominican University on Friday, February 26th, in a 72-66 victory.

Author: Shyanne Mortimer | A & E Co-Editor

Women’s Appreciation Month

The women you didn’t learn about in history class

Women’s Appreciation Month is a time to celebrate what women have accomplished, but also a time to remember there is still work to be done. In honor of this month, I decided to highlight some women that haven’t been traditionally recognized. We’ve all heard of Rosa Parks, Eleanor Roosevelt and Amelia Earhart; but while these women are extraordinary, I wanted to take some time to appreciate those who have been left in the background for far too long:

1.     Dolores Huerta

If you know the name Caesar Chavez, you should also know the name Dolores Huerta. Unfortunately, most have not. After meeting at the Stockton Community Service Organization (which she co-founded), Chavez and Huerta launched the National Farm Workers Association. Huerta was, and still is, an activist in her own right. She is one of the most influential labor activists of the 20th century as well as a leader of the Chicano civil rights movement. At 90 years old, she still actively fights for the rights of farm workers and many others. She was arrested just last year at a protest in Fresno:

If you would like to learn more about Huerta, or you would like to support her work, here is a link to her foundation page:

2.     Victoria Cruz

Victoria Cruz is the first transgender woman of color to receive the National Crime Victim Service Award. She has worked tirelessly for the LGBTQ+ community and the anti-violence movement. Cruz survived the 1969 Stonewall Riots, a raid on a gay club in New York City that led to days of protests and violent clashes with law enforcement. The Stonewall Riots were a catalyst for the gay rights movement. When Cruz was growing up, there wasn’t a word for transgender. She helped change that. She shares more in the Netflix documentary The Death and Life of Martha P. Johnson. Click here if you would like to support the transgender and anti-violence community in honor of Cruz:

3.     Beulah Henry

Beulah Henry was a highly successful American inventor. In the 1930s, Beulah Henry was dubbed the “Lady Edison.” I personally don’t understand why she would need to be connected to Edison in order for her accomplishments to sound significant, but that may help explain why we have a Women’s Appreciation month and not a Men’s Appreciation month. She earned 49 patents, but the number of her actual inventions total over 110. Her goal was to improve the daily lives of others, and she greatly enjoyed working with machines. Some of her notable inventions include the can opener, hair curler and vacuum ice cream freezer. To learn more about Henry—particularly how we couldn’t eat ice cream like we do now without her—click here:

4.     Amani Al-Khatahtbeh

Amani Al-Khatahtbeh is a Jordanian-American activist and tech entrepreneur. She founded Muslim Women’s Day, held every  year on March 27. She is also the founder of ( She encourages the representation of women in media and believes Muslim women’s concerns need to be equally addressed. They don’t have a wide enough voice, and she tries to offer that through her work. For further reading, click here:

5.     Patsy Matsu Takemoto Mink

Patsy Matsu Takemoto Mink encountered much racial and gender discrimination over the course of her life. She wasn’t admitted into medical school because of her race and gender, so she chose to find a place in politics in order to bring about change. She was the first Japanese American woman as well as the first woman of color to be elected to the United States Congress. She was also the first Japanese American woman to practice law in Hawai’i. Her work has brought about legislative reforms in health care, education, women’s rights, civil rights, conservation, employment and environmental affairs. Most notably, she co-authored the Title IX law, which protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance. To learn more about Mink, click here:

6.     Mary McLeod Bethune

Mary McLeod Bethune was the first African American woman to head a federal agency. She was a special adviser to President Franklin D. Roosevelt on the problems of minority affairs. Her title later changed to Director of the Division of Negro Affairs of the National Youth Administration. She also started a school for African American girls in 1904 with only $1.50. To learn more about her and how her school evolved, click here:

7.     Laura Cornelius Kellogg

Laura Cornelius Kellogg was a Native American activist. She was an Oneida leader and the founder of the Society of American Indians. She was the voice of her people in both national and international forums. She pursued land claims and helped bring Native Americans into 20th century politics. She was also a poet and playwright. To read more about Kellogg, click here: Alternatively, if you would like to read some of her poetry, click here:

These women are extraordinary and it’s frankly amazing to me that I hadn’t heard of any of these women before deciding to do research. I think it’s a lesson worth learning, though. What qualifies someone to be widely recognized? These women certainly fit the bill when it comes to accomplishments, but is there something more behind their obscurity? I leave you with those questions ,and a reminder to recognize women and people in general, even when it’s not popular to do so.

Author: Emily Bogdanov | Staff Writer

The Battle for Tower Theatre

Adventure Church is trying to buy Fresno’s Tower Theatre

In early January, the City of Fresno made it public that Tower Theatre was being put up for sale, according to The Fresno Bee. Fresno-based Adventure Church has been hosting Sunday services at the theater and now seeks to purchase it despite backlash from community members. 

Despite reports of issues with zoning law from councilmembers Esmeralda Soria and Miguel Arias, Adventure Church announced in a press release on January 12 that it “intends to continue to serve the community through the purchase of Tower Theatre. Our plan is to not only keep Tower Theatre as an event venue but make it more accessible to the community by making it financially obtainable for use by non-profit organizations.” However, many members of the community are worried about this impending sale, and others have made their resistance known through protests and petitions. 

Tower Theatre, the historical landmark and namesake of the Tower District, hosts a wide variety of cultural events, sharing Olive Avenue with bars, pubs and tattoo parlors. Most opponents point to Adventure Church’s stance against LGTBQIA+ marriages and worry that events like the annual Reel Pride LGBTQ Film Festival and Gay Pride Parade will be affected or threatened by the church’s ownership, as noted by blogger Michael Martinez of Gay Central Valley. Many community members also feel that if the theater is bought by Adventure Church, the heart of the Tower District will be drastically  altered. 

FPU’s very own Brooke Aiello, adjunct theatre professor, has been heavily involved  in the fight to save Tower Theatre. Aiello noted that this was a multifaceted  issue, with many people upset that the church continued to meet early last year, when the pandemic first began, as businesses next door were closed. Additionally, a rezoning would remove the warm, welcoming and Bohemian atmosphere loved by those who live in the Tower District neighborhood, such as Aiello.

“The entire neighborhood has to change [if Adventure Church buys Tower Theater.]. What happens to Roger Rocka’s that’s across the street? What happens to the clubs down the street? We believe that as a community that nightlife, arts and entertainment are important and worthy of protection,” said Aiello.

Unless Tower Theatre becomes owned by a neutral, secular entity, such as a non-profit or even the city of Fresno itself, its zoning will be forced to change. While having a Christian church would change the neighbourhood tremendously, Aiello and many others are also concerned about what that means for those who are a part of the LGBTQIA+ community. Protesters have reported run-ins with members of The Proud Boys, a white nationalist organization; such encounters, many individuals say, is already changing the neighborhood.

“Tower District is one of the few LGBTQIA+ friendly neighborhoods where you can hold your significant other’s hand and feel safe. We are proud of that. If you look at Adventure Church, their outlook about this community is backwards. Adventure Church has yet to say we condemn the counter protest people who are riling people up,” said Aiello.

Those fighting against the selling of Tower Theatre are concerned with what zoning issues could do to their beloved neighborhood. With a new organization, zoning changes would have to occur, potentially even changing those who are involved in Tower Theatre. Although the theatre is currently shut down due to the pandemic, it’s being sold to another organization has already halted events such as the Rogue Festival.

Judge Rosemary McGuire implemented a temporary restraining order over the sale of the Tower Theater. Judge McGuire stated that the ruling was made with the aim of gathering more information, witness testimonies and contract issues surrounding the sale. Some contract issues were addressed after the Sequoia Brewing Company made accusations against the Tower Theater for violating their right for first refusal, by not informing them about the sale to Adventure Church. The Sequoia Brewing Company resides in that lease of the Tower Theater which the owners claim “requires the owners be notified at least 12 days before the theater and its surrounding structures are up for sale” and that they “should be offered the right of first refusal of the sale and to the purchase their building.” 

However, as of March 18, a Fresno County judge ruled against the temporary restraining order, putting the sale of Tower Theatre back in motion. The sale is projected to close at the end of the month, and many protesters are refocusing their efforts to zoning issues to protect local businesses surrounding Tower Theatre. 

A community letter has been developed to support and stand against the rezoning of the Tower Theater with its sale to Adventure Church. Here is the link to the letter, which includes over 21,000 signatures from businesses, community and government leaders and other community members: Additionally, if you are interested in being added to a supplemental digital signature collection, here is the link. Be warned: it will not be included in letters sent to government officials:

For those who wish to take physical action against the sale of Tower Theatre, you can go every Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on the corner of Olive and Wishan, right across the street from the Tower District, and protest in person. A group puts up signs, posters and flags, and plays live music while protesting. Their mission is to gather the support needed to keep their neighborhood whole.

For those of you who would like to support the Adventure Church and their purchase of the Theater, you can sign their petition and letter to both council members and the mayor of the city of Fresno: Its mission is to support the sale of Tower Theatre to Adventure Church

If you are interested in actively participating in this one-of-a-kind moment, you can sign either petition mentioned above. Remember: no matter your stance, make sure to use your voice.

Authors: Sheyla Castillo, Shayanne Mortimer, & Kassandra Klein | A&E Co-Editors & Copy Editor

The SHARE Blog

A virtual space to listen and be heard

Fresno Pacific University offers its students, staff, faculty and alumni a space to express their thoughts about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) through a blog called SHARE (Seeing, Hearing, And Respecting Everyone): 

We have all heard these terms. For many of us, they may sound interchangeable, but in fact they each cover something different. Diversity includes race, color, ethnicity, nationality, religion, status, education, gender and so many other possible groups. Equity is about guaranteeing fair treatment to all regardless of which groups they belong to. Inclusion is about bringing people that are typically excluded from the process or conversation into it; it is making sure they have a seat at the table.

Our current social climate has fueled feelings of loneliness and fear. SHARE offers a virtual space for individuals to communicate, learn and help each other. Interim Chief Diversity Officer Patty Salinas explained that “The blog was created as part of our diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives to create a space where our FPU community could stay involved and up to date in the work that was happening in these areas.” 

In the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement, many have voiced their desire to educate themselves on the issues it is involved with. Reading the SHARE blog is one way to do just that. They offer articles like “Challenged and Encouraged in Thinking About Racial Reconciliation” by Melinda Gunning, Director of Disability Access and Education. This example reveals Gunning’s encounters with African American works. She says they “challenged and encouraged” her thoughts about race.

Or are you seeking understanding and community during the pandemic? “Reflecting Back on 2020” by Elida Vargas, FPU Student and Junior Class Psychology Major, offers such insight, but also a call to action. She writes that “This issue directly affects members of Fresno Pacific University’s community. At the start of the Black Student Union Club, there was a racist incident that occurred online.” We often don’t realize these instances of hate can happen in our own backyard. Fresno Pacific is not exempt.

Is there an issue on SHARE that you feel isn’t being covered? Is there an opinion related to DEI that you want to express or, dare I say it, SHARE? (Insert winky face here). Well, you have the ability to do so. Anyone that is a part of the FPU community can write a blog for SHARE. It can be a personal reflection, a book/article review, an opinion piece, etc. The main requirement is that it must fall under the topic of DEI. Once an individual has submitted their draft, the SHARE team will edit it with an eye for spelling and grammar. Salinas then will post them weekly, usually on Tuesdays. 

Contact one of SHARE’s representatives listed below, and they will send you some more information about general guidelines:

Patty Salinas (Interim Chief Diversity Officer):

Miguel Montoya (ALAS Student Assistant):

Breanne Wyse (Director of Diversity, Inclusion, and Spiritual Formation):

Martha Fregoso (UDC Co-Chair):

Dr. Melanie Howard (UDC Co-Chair):

Author: Emily Bogdanov | Staff Writer

Should we be concerned with screen time during the pandemic?

A look at how the increase in screen time may affect our in-person interactions in the future.

Just how many hours do you spend on your computer and phone combined? How many hours do you spend watching TV or playing video games? It’s probably a lot more than you think because, believe me, that time adds up quickly. 

If I’m being honest, I think that I spend most of my waking hours looking at a screen (oh, maybe that’s why I get headaches). I’m on my computer for both school and homework, watching TV during meals, and between them I spend my time on my  phone. Even my dance classes are on Zoom nowadays, sheesh! 

I know I’m not the only one who spends too much of their day staring at a screen, but some of it we just can’t help. A whole year has passed since the start of the pandemic and we’re all hungry for in-person interaction. Thankfully, it looks like we will finally receive more of that this year. But will all the screen time during the shutdown affect our face-to-face interactions once we return to them?

Increased screen time has definitely made all of us lazier and more tired, which is why I would encourage you to take more breaks from your devices in your free time. Instead of watching a TV show or playing video games, take a walk, read a book or give your room a quick cleaning. If you give your eyes a rest, you will become more energized and motivated as you return to your online work. 

When we return to  school on campus and other in-person activities, people could act in one of two ways. They will either be super-outgoing and talk to everyone they meet, or be reserved and hesitant to speak. It will be weird the day we finally get to meet all of the people we only saw on a screen for so long. 

Will you push past the awkwardness of the moment and speak to others or be overcome with discomfort and keep to yourself? A little bit of both is probably more realistic. Although screen time has increased in the past year, it shouldn’t be super detrimental to our social skills in the long run. People will be so happy to see each other that it won’t be hard to overcome the first few moments of discomfort. Humans by nature crave interaction, so we’ll most likely be just fine. 

Do yourself a favor and take a break from screens when you have a chance, but don’t worry about it affecting your interactions with others. Your social skills may be rusty, but they will get a boost when we get to see each other again. 

Author: Katarina Quintana | Opinions Editor

Have we become more or less intelligent because of Google?

A look at how Google has made us both smarter and lazier individuals

“Hey Google, how do you make banana bread?” 

“Hey Google, how do you spell pterodactyl?” 

We have all asked Google hundreds of questions, whether it be about a simple recipe or a self-diagnosis of a health concern. Google is the #1 search engine in the world and in return its developers have literally put it at our fingertips. Google, more often than not, quickly directs us to helpful websites, informative videos and educational material that will answer any of our questions. This unlimited access to an abundance of resources has the potential to make us more intelligent individuals. To pose a question the normal way we use this browser, however: “Have we become more intelligent because of Google?” 

I wouldn’t say we are more intelligent. But I do believe that we are more informed and knowledgeable individuals, at least to an extent. Intelligence is a much broader spectrum than simply knowing facts or being an expert speller. Google itself defines intelligence as the ability to not only gain understanding but also the ability to apply the resulting knowledge and skill. If Google has made you a better thinker and learner, then I would argue it has increased your intelligence by their definition. If Google has helped you with definitions and spelling, I would argue it has—by its own standards—increased your knowledge but not your intelligence.

There are also a few ways in which Google has not been very beneficial to us. Take Google Maps, for example. With the help of this GPS service, we know how to get from point A to point B. Do we really know, or do we just know how to follow directions? Before the GPS was invented, you would actually have to look at a physical copy of a map to know where you were going. That takes extra planning, memorization and focus when planning a drive to your destination. You wouldn’t hear “Rerouting…” every time you missed your exit, but would instead have to figure it out yourself. In this case, I believe Google has made us lazy and in fact discouraged us from exercising our natural brain power.

Although Google has proved to be a helpful resource in today’s  world, I would urge you to use it sparingly when you are able to find your answer through a different way. The next time you need to use your GPS, turn off Google Maps and try getting out a physical map. Mark out your route and see how you do the next time you travel to that destination; you will often find that you have a better chance of remembering how to get there than you expect, at least after several trips. Google is great, but let’s not let it stop us from growing our own intelligence.

Author: Katarina Quintana | Opinions Editor

Chris Harrison Leaves “The Bachelor” Amid Comments About Racism

Harrison removes himself after controversial interview

During the current season of “The Bachelor,” racially charged photos spread like wildfire through social media. People from Rachel Kirkconnell’s hometown spoke out, claiming that these accusations are true. On February 9 Rachel Lindsay conducted an interview on “Extra” where she brought then-host Chris Harrison on to speak about the racist actions, comments and posts of current “Bachelor” contestant Rachael Kirkconnell. In the fourteen-minute interview, Harrison appeared to be defending the racist controversy surrounding Kirkconnell.

Lindsay, an African American woman, felt that no topics were off-limits, and made a point of speak about the most important issues that have arisen from Kirkconnell’s controversy. Specifically, she asked about Kirkconnell’s attendance of an Old South antebellum-themed fraternity party when she was a college student. Harrison responded to the topic almost instantly. “Is it [not] a good look in 2018 or is it not a good look in 2021? . . . I’m not defending Rachael, I just know that 50 million people did that in 2018,” Harrison said.

Lindsay responded by pointing out the issues with Harrison’s defensive response towards the situation. “It’s not a good look ever. If I went to that party, who would I represent?” Lindsay asked. As Lindsay began pushing his answers to stray away from being defensive and compassionate of Kirkconnell, Harrison pushed back harder by speaking from his perspective. Each moment Lindsay tried to speak, Harrison would cut her off, talk over her and even speak at, not to, her. 

Harrison continued to emphasize that Kirkconnell is a young woman who doesn’t deserve any of the backlash, bullying and cancel culture that has been thrown her way. He believed that, until she had a chance to publicly explain herself, society should allow her “grace in offering her an opportunity to speak on her behalf” before deciding to cancel her.

Shortly after being released online, the interview spread quickly all over social media. Fans were outraged at Harrison’s words, and within the hour had created various petitions, demanding that Harrison be removed from the franchise immediately and permanently. While there are currently multiple petitions, one from contains nearly 50,000 signatures from people all around the world.

The following day, after receiving such an incredible amount of backlash from fans, Harrison released a statement to his Instagram, apologizing for his remarks in the interview with Lindsay. 

“To my Bachelor Nation family — I will always own a mistake when I make one, so I am here to extend a sincere apology. I have this incredible platform to speak about love, and yesterday, I took a stance on topics about which I should have been better informed. While I do not speak for Rachael Kirkconnell, my intentions were simply to ask for grace in offering her an opportunity to speak on her own behalf. What I now realize I have done is cause harm by wrongly speaking in a manner that perpetuates racism, and for that I am so deeply sorry,” Harrison wrote.

Harrison also added that, while they have already shot the “Women Tell All” episode, he would be stepping away from the franchise for an unknown amount of time, leaving the producers to determine what would happen to the “After The Final Rose” episode set to premiere after the season finale. He also added that he did not want his actions to overshadow this historic season of “The Bachelor,” as Matt James is the first ever African American bachelor. On this note, he announced that ABC, Warner Bros. and himself have all agreed that Harrison will part ways with the show at this time.

Despite his apology, many fans are still extremely upset with his comments and refuse to believe that he will make an effort to educate himself. Rachel Lindsay is among them. The day after, she released an episode on her podcast “Higher Learning,” discussing  a private conversation between herself and Harrison prior to his apology. 

“When I finished that interview with Chris Harrison, he had no problems with it. He was fine . . .  It wasn’t until people start talking, people start demanding and calling for different things that he does that. He then apologized to me, and then apologized publicly,” Lindsay said.

Many fans see Harrison’s apology as little more thana ploy to save his career after the tremendous amount of backlash. Petitions are still being signed, and the producers appear to be listening to their demands. On February 27, ABC announced that author and former NFL player Emmanuel Acho will be the new host for the “After The Final Rose” special premiering on March 8th.

Acho wrote a New York Times bestselling book in 2020 titled “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man,” which covers an array of important topics for those seeking answers and ways to mend the racial divide in our world. Aiming to work towards a world where reconciliation can be had, Acho understands the pressures and significance that lie uniquely within this episode, as mentioned on the Instagram post where he announced his hosting.

 “It’s been a pivotal season, and this episode will hopefully be one of the most storied shows in TV history. Empathy is needed and change is coming. Share the news! I’ll see y’all then!” Acho wrote.

Although it is currently unknown whether Acho will be the permanent new host of the show, both fans and former alums are excited for the conversations he will have in the final episode. As someone who has no prior connection to the show, Acho may be exactly the person needed to facilitate conversations of change in a franchise where diversity is sorely lacking. 

Author: Shyanne Mortimer|A&E Co-Editor

What if humanity learned to love like a child?

Children are the perfect example of love and faith in today’s chaotic world.

Do you remember when you were four, five or even six years old? Do you remember when the only thing you worried about was missing your favorite TV show or forgetting your lunch at home? I definitely remember such good ole days, when life was much simpler; relationships, politics and money were the least of my concerns. It was so easy to love everyone and I never doubted that my parents would love and provide for me all the days of my little life. But, for all that, I was always in a hurry to grow up. How relatable is this?

However, as we grow older, we acquire more and more responsibilities and the outside world gets bigger and bigger. Suddenly, we start to see that the world is not all butterflies and rainbows, but is actually riddled with  hate, danger and chaos. It’s easy to get caught up in political drama, to start to judge and hate those who disagree with us. It’s easy to harbor feelings of jealousy for someone who is more talented or smarter. It’s easy to criticize our neighbor for being of a different faith. We have forgotten what it is like to have a child-like faith and love for one another. Why is it that these characteristics, which come so naturally to children, are so rare to find in teens and adults? 

In chapter 18 of the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus explains that only those who become like children will inherit the kingdom of heaven. What does he mean by this, if children are often seen as naive and insignificant? 

Children have so much faith in their parents or guardians. They have a constant hunger to learn, which is what makes them teachable. When they fall down, their resilience lifts them back onto their feet. They love everyone unconditionally, and are unconcerned with race, religion or political tendencies. Jesus saw such qualities as the most important, but how many of us can actually say that we love everyone? 

Loving and having faith in each other isn’t an easy thing to do in today’s chaotic, scary world. Although we desire to love others, our fear of rejection and pain may keep us from giving it freely. Jesus may call us to love our enemies like our neighbors, but he never says it will be easy. 

Have you ever stopped to think, “What would the world look like if humanity learned to love like a child?” Children may be the innocent in our world, but they know how to love better than any of us who have grown up. I would like to challenge every one of you to start freely loving your neighbor, without the expectation that you will receive it in return. You may not see the fruit of it now, but if we all learned again to love like a child, our world could become a much better place.

Author: Katarina Quintana | Opinions Editor

FPU Sports are Back

An Update on FPU Athletics and Their Return

After a long pause in the action and great worry on the part of our athletes, FPU sports are back. Following the cancellation of the ‘20 spring season, which led itself to another hiatus last fall, the Sunbirds are now allowed to both practice and compete once again. For the first time in our history, all 15 different athletic teams are practicing and competing as fall sports try to make up for their lost seasons. Not only is this an important step forward, but it is also a positive sign that shows the will of our athletic department and its athletes. 

Though our Sunbirds are currently without an Athletic Director, the search for a replacement is still ongoing. We would like to thank former AD Aaron Henderson for his tireless work and for promoting excellence in our athletics on and off the field. His work will not go unnoticed and we wish him well in his future endeavors. We would also like to thank our athletics department itself for continuing to operate throughout the pandemic and ensuring that our teams are able to practice and compete without missing a single beat. 

To get a better grasp on how sports are currently operating, as well as why it was important to get them back, the Syrinx interviewed Associate Athletics Director Jeremiah Wood for insight on sports in these times. 

What sports are currently operating right now? 

“All 15 of our athletics teams are practicing and competing at the same time, something that’s never happened before, due to the pandemic pushing back fall sport seasons.”

How are we keeping our athletes safe? And how are we ensuring their safety on campus, and away from it, during games? 

“The health and well-being of our student-athletes remains our priority and we’ve been able to implement an intricate system of testing and protocols that ensures each team is able to safely compete. This has involved a lot of work behind the scenes from our university administration, our sports medicine staff and our conference office. We conduct both PCR and antigen tests multiple times per week, in addition to regular COVID protocols, and we make sure the universities we’re competing with meet NCAA and PacWest Conference standards.”

How strong have our athletes and staff been throughout all this change, and how has that made sure that they can even have this chance to play?

“I’m proud of the resilience our student-athletes and coaches continue to show in the midst of extra protocols, last-minute travel changes, cancellations and adapting to changing circumstances in the midst of an already challenging time in the world. We’re also extremely proud of the work of our sports medicine staff to keep our student-athletes safe, as well as our gameday operations, events staff, and athletics communications team that have put in so many extra hours behind the scenes.”

It comes as no surprise that both our athletes and staff have incredible hope and faith in these most troubling of times. Losing the spring and fall seasons was a gut punch to many of our student athletes, but the effort Fresno Pacfic has made, and indeed continues to make, has helped them back to their rightful spotlight. We stand with our Athletics Department through thick and thin, and are very happy to see that they are back in action! Hopefully next semester sees both a return of affairs to normalcy and sports back in their designated season, because we are all eager to continue to support and endorse FPU athletics.

Author: Julian Alcaraz|Features Editor