Abigail Brown

Editor in chief

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).

JeffreeStar x ShaneDawson Conspiracy Collection surpasses records

In less than a week over 1.1 million palettes sold amid technical difficulties, release-day drama 

On October 1st, Shane Dawson once again took to YouTube to create yet another series with Jeffree Star. With past series including features of other pop culture figures like Tana Mongeau and Jake Paul, this series, entitled “The Beautiful World of Jeffree Star,” set out to highlight elements of the beauty/makeup community that have been kept under wraps from consumers.

Including topics like cost of production, upcharging, and the ways big companies have taken advantage of consumers and collaborators, it was evident after the first episode that this series would be far different than Dawson’s previous work. While elements of Star’s life and career had been present in the series, the focus became more about what goes into making and selling makeup and what the consumer doesn’t always see.

On November 6th, Star announced on Instagram that, to date, over 1.1 million palettes had been sold.

Dawson, an individual with little to no experience with makeup or the community around it, set out for a large task: to learn the ins and outs of the beauty community by producing his own makeup line in collaboration with Star’s cosmetic company, Jeffree Star Cosmetics. 

The seven-part series (and counting), which was pre-filmed over the course of a year, covers everything from the first pitch meeting of Dawson’s collection to design elements, creation of colors, color names, merchandise, etc. 

Although the series was well received by fans, moving to the #1 trending video on YouTube after every release of an episode, no one was prepared for the pandemonium that ensued on November 1st, the day the “Conspiracy Collection” was released worldwide. The palette was set to be available at select locations including Morphe stores across the country, and select websites including jeffreestarcosmetics.com and beautybay.com. 

Those who opted to purchase online were faced with a series of technical difficulties upon the collection’s release at 10am. Before a minute had passed, the entire website crashed and most fans were at a standstill, unable to even get to the products page. For those who were able to view the products, the products couldn’t be moved into the cart and checkout couldn’t be completed.

After these technical difficulties became the number-one trending topic, Star took to Twitter and Instagram to update frustrated fans about what exactly was causing the website to glitch so significantly. “You guys CRASHED the site! … Working on getting everything back up!!!” Star wrote. 

He later took to Instagram stories, saying, “Thousands of people are being checked out every 30 seconds, but it still isn’t fast enough to accommodate everyone.”

Due to the amount of traffic on the site, some products weren’t able to post with the other products at 10am, and weren’t posted until later that afternoon. Despite the technical difficulties, every unit of the Conspiracy Collection sold out online in under five hours (this includes the time the website was down and purchases were unable to be completed).

Meanwhile, on store fronts, the chaos was exactly what you would expect. Fans took to Twitter and Instagram to share posts of the lines at Morphe stores all throughout the United States. In some cases, these lines were miles long. Knowing the product was in such high demand led many to camp out overnight in front of stores, waiting as little as two hours or as long as 14.

The Fresno Morphe store experienced the same amount of chaos. Beginning at the Ulta, the line went past multiple store fronts, extending for roughly half of a mile. This led to the arrival of many mall security officers, who rushed outside to manage and maintain the lines in an attempt to avoid fire hazards.

By 2pm, the collection in its entirety had sold out. Dawson took to Instagram, saying, “I can’t believe it. Everything in the Conspiracy Collection sold out. I can’t believe how supportive you guys have been through this. I genuinely can’t put into words how overwhelmed I’m feeling. We’re internet dinosaurs and the fact that you guys are still there for us is insane.”

On November 6th, Star announced on Instagram that, to date, over 1.1 million palettes had been sold. Star and Dawson plan to continue this collaboration as a permanent collection with Jeffree Star Cosmetics. And for those who were unable to buy products from the collection before they sold out, no need to worry! The pair has made an official announcement that upcoming restocks are planned for release in early 2020. 

The series will continue on Dawson’s YouTube channel, with upcoming episodes covering release-day drama and more information about the future of this collaboration.

Abigail Brown | Editor-in-Chief

Shyanne Mortimer | Staff Writer

“The Hate U Give” does not sugar coat police brutality

Movie sparks conversation about the realities of being an African-American in current society

Focused on an African American teen as she struggles with her identity, crosses cultural boundaries and faces the loss of a friend to a police officer, “The Hate U Give” shows the realities of systematic racism. In a time where diversity is a hot-button topic, “The Hate U Give” portrays a riveting yet heartbreaking representation of the realities many African Americans face in current society.

This isn’t a relaxing movie by any means; certain scenes may trigger intense emotion or anxiety. These emotions, however, are important. The topics of police brutality and discrimination are never what anyone wants to hear about, let alone to visually observe in a movie. But this film serves as a harsh reminder of what so many African Americans face. Although it is fairly graphic in some scenes, especially when the police brutality is exemplified, I believe that this was a purposeful move by the directors. The topic of police brutality has become so overlooked and generalized that those of us who have never experienced it have no idea what it actually looks like.

As for the cast, Amandla Stenburg (Starr Carter) could not have been more perfectly cast for her role. Known most popularly for her previous roles in The Hunger Games (Rue) and Everything Everything (Maddy), Stenburg is now gaining critical acclaim for her part in this film. She played Starr effortlessly, and although she has less experience than most big-screen actors she showed no on-screen awkwardness and seemed to really connect with the character.

KG Opa (Chris) and Sabrina Carpenter (Hailey) also played well as the characters who are somewhat unaware of their white privilege. However, Carpenter’s portrayal of Hailey seemed awkward, forced and overall like she was trying too hard to portray the “privileged white girl” stereotype. Since her role is (somewhat) significant in exemplifying unintentional racism and privilege, her lack of on-screen comfort made key scenes in the film feel cringe-worthy and disconnected.

Russell Hornsby (Maverick) and Regina Hall (Lisa) could not have been a more perfect selection to fill the roles of Starr’s parents. They showed amazing on-screen chemistry, serving as two characters who are able to lighten the mood while also addressing the larger, more difficult topics (like Starr struggling to find her voice as a witness).

“The Hate U Give” is one of the few movies of its kind where police brutality and the oppression of African Americans in current society is portrayed.

“The Hate U Give” is one of the few movies of its kind where police brutality and the oppression of African Americans in current society is portrayed. What this film delivers is something many people try to ignore, instead choosing to believe that certain oppressions are no longer relevant. It serves as a gruesome reminder, however, that these issues are ever-prevalent in our society.

Q&A: FPU alumn publishes Christian romance novel

Get to know Sarah Beth Williams

Sarah Beth Williams is an FPU alumnus and former staff writer and editor for the Syrinx. Williams released her first novel, “When Hearts Collide”, on September and shares that the FPU experience helped her find inspiration for her novel. After graduating from FPU Williams returned to her hometown of Sacramento, California, where she now lives with her husband and two daughters. When she’s not focused on writing, she enjoys teaching children, playing guitar, reading and spending time with her family. “When Hearts Collide” is available for purchase on Amazon www.amazon.com/author/sarabethwilliams

How would you describe When Hearts Collide?
When Hearts Collide is a contemporary Christian romance about second chances, redemption and forgiveness. When a young ex-con discovers that his past is connected to the woman he’s falling in love with, he grapples with the decision of whether to break her heart with the knowledge of who he is or live a lie.

When did you discover your love for writing, and when did you decide to write a book?
I’ve loved writing from a young age. I wrote a lot of story drafts and poetry in high school. In 2004, I had begun sketching the early beginnings of what would become When Hearts Collide, but I didn’t know which genre I wanted to pursue. In 2007, while attending FPU, my flash drive with all of my writing on it burned out, erasing everything. That left me discouraged, so I focused on other things for a while. In 2013, I began to read a lot of Christian fiction and fell in love with all of it. That’s when I began to research what it takes to become published.

How did FPU inspire portions of your book?
The overall campus life of students, both academic and recreational, and the freedoms that college students experience as young adults, the living situations, those kinds of things influenced my story. One of the main settings in the story is a coffee shop, much like the coffee shop on campus at FPU when I attended.

What has the process of publishing a book been like for you?
It’s been a long process. It took 3 and a half years, 4 written rejection e-mails and a handful of ‘no replies’ before someone finally read through my manuscript and offered me a book contract. I debated whether or not to self-publish and I’m glad I waited to seek traditional publishing.  My goal was to produce high-quality Christian fiction to show the world that Christian fiction isn’t lame, bland or boring, so I was glad to endure a thorough editing process.

What was your major when you were a student at FPU?
I graduated with a Liberal Studies/elementary education major, with an emphasis in theater. I wanted to do a full theater major but they didn’t have one at that time.

You were a previous editor and staff writer for The Syrinx, what is something you remember about your experience?
I’d written a lot of poetry and fiction beforehand, so it was different to learn how to write for a newspaper. It was a new challenge and I picked it up quickly. As I said, I lost all my writing projects, so I wanted that new challenge. I made good friends and found a place where I could contribute my ideas and use my talents in a worth-while manner.

What was your favorite part about being a student at FPU?
I like the small-school atmosphere. I enjoyed intramurals. There is probably double the number of student attendance now, but it’s still relatively small compared to other universities. Things I enjoyed: helping backstage during Fiddler on the Roof; the game room; playing soccer and this ninja game on the Green at midnight; playing Mennonite Madness; playing on this gigantic teeter-totter. Some of you reading might not get any of those references. It’s been a while since I’ve graduated.

Did you have a favorite professor or class while a student at FPU?
There were so many fun classes and professors. It’s been a while but the ones that stand out are my theater classes.

Do you have any advice for students looking to become writers/publish their own works?
Research everything. Christian writing contests, writing conferences, agents, editors, publishers, Christian authors IN your genre. I cannot stress this enough. That means you need to decide on a genre. What stories are being written and sold? Which ones are popular? What authors do other people love? Why do they love those authors? What makes those authors so great? What stories are not being told that you want to tell? It takes a while to find your own voice. Majoring in English isn’t a must, but it’s a strong step to take. I’d go back and major in English if I could. Lastly, read a LOT in the genre you want to write in.

What do you want students to take away from When Hearts Collide?
This is a story about forgiveness and how it is possible, even under the most difficult circumstances. It’s also a story about second chances, not just in romance, but in life in general.

FPU professor featured at the Fig Tree Gallery

Chris Janzen’s work focuses specifically on human experience

FPU’s very own Chris Janzen is set to be featured at the Fig Tree Gallery for the entire month of October. The Fig Tree Gallery is considered a prestigious opportunity for local artists in the Central Valley. However, for Janzen, this is nothing new.

“This will be the fourth show that I’ve had at the Fig Tree Gallery,” Janzen said.

Although he has been featured previously, this particular body of work is different from anything Janzen has created before.

“I never know what’s going to come in the end product, but the source material has changed over the course of 10 years since grad school… My perspective and the stuff I’m encountering is different,” Janzen said.

Specifically, Janzen’s experience as a parent of two daughters has given him a new outlook on his material.

“As an artist I think that’s what all of us are doing all the time, we’re trying to remember how to be kids again, and try to remember that whatever that random thing is that’s sitting in your studio might be designed to be used one way, but you can use it in a completely different way,” Janzen said.

“As an artist I think that’s what all of us are doing all the time, we’re trying to remember how to be kids again . . .”

This ties into the overarching theme of the exhibit: human experience and the nuances of people’s day-to-day lives. In his mixed-media oil-painting entitled “Sick Kid”, Janzen depicts the “fevered-dream state”  of his eldest daughter who suffered a high fever over the summer.

“Each artwork is simultaneously a meditation on personal daily experience and a way of addressing the challenges we all face as members of society. The paintings and drawings contain symbolic subjects representing thoughts, joys, fears, experiences and experiments from my daily life as a means of seeking truth in unexpected ways,” Janzen said.

Outside of portraying real life experiences, Janzen also hopes to present art that is a “fun and exciting visual representations”.

For student artists at FPU, seeing a professor with such accomplishments in the community is encouraging. Carolee Rowe, a current student in Janzen’s sculpture class, says: “I think that any student who is interested in taking art here should be excited to learn from someone who’s established in the community and does regular art shows and is an actual working artist.”

Even students who are not taking classes from Janzen are excited about the progression he’s making as an artist. Alexis Lopez says: “I feel that seeing a professor reach out into the community is not only a good representation of our campus, but also something worthwhile and awesome.”

Janzen’s exhibit will be at the Fig Tree Gallery until the closing ceremony on October 27.

Marcos Dorado’s “Immigrant Me” exhibit installed on campus

Dorado hopes to captivate students with a positive depiction of immigrants

The first day of school brought many new changes for students; among them was the artwork lining the walls inside McDonald Hall. Marcos Dorado’s recent exhibit, entitled “Immigrant Me”, contains compelling pencil-drawn por­traits.

These portraits highlight the sto­ries of immigrants from various coun­tries. On his blog, Dorado spoke about his project.: “I share the personal stories of those who came to this country,” he writes, “You’ll find out how immigrants arrived, what made them come, how they’ve adjusted and how they identify as new Americans, among other details that make up the rich immigrant story of this county.”

Although the title of the exhibit may appear relatively simple, its meaning is three-fold and holds a greater purpose. “I am an immigrant and growing up I was terrified of people knowing that now I am proud of who I am, and I want to promote my immigrant story. The title ‘Immigrant Me’ also describes every single person who models for the project and when the reader reads the title it puts them in first person as if they were the immigrant. They have to say ‘Immigrant Me’ even if they are not an immigrant,” Dorado said.

In a time where immigration is a hot topic, and is oftentimes portrayed in a negative light, Dorado hopes to bring positivity. “What I can do, as an artist, is speak the language of art and convey these stories and convey this positivism that is not always portrayed by the media,” Dorado said.

Chris Janzen, the assistant professor of art, who is a close personal friend and supporter of Dorado’s work, was key in getting the exhibit installed on campus and hopes it will have an impact on students. “[Marcos’ work] allows us to think about a relevant, contemporary, social issue and it does so in a really pro­ductive, constructive way,” Janzen said.

“What I can do, as an artist, is speak the language of art and convey these stories and convey this positivism that is not always portrayed by the media.”

Even after the exhibit has conclud­ed, Dorado wants to make sure that the stories of immigrants from all over the country continue to be told. It is for this reason that he has decided to begin releasing photographs on his blog. Be­cause the photographs are less time con­suming to produce, Dorado is hoping to release new photographs and stories more often. Melinda Salerno, Dorado’s close friend and one of the models for the next section of the project, says that it has been a great honor and is very important to her. “All of us came from somewhere, we need to spread more positive news about all immigrants,” Salerno said.

Dorado will be on campus giving a speech to students on September 18th, at 12:40 pm, and encourages students to stop by. He will be answering questions and talking to students after his speech.

To all the rom-coms we’ve loved before

We still can’t get enough!

After the 2014 novel “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before”, written by Jenny Han, garnered critical acclaim, the beloved young adult fiction book scored a deal with Netflix to hit the big screen.

Fans of the book quickly flocked to Netflix, and within 24 hours the movie was rated at 5 stars and was quickly becoming a hot topic on social media platforms, getting rave reviews from critics.

Both Lana Condor (Lara Jean) and Noah Centineo (Peter Kavinsky) effortlessly filled their roles and had amazing chemistry on screen. From their butterfly-in-the-stomach small talks to their steamy hot-tub scene, Lana and Noah won the hearts of fans and became their new OTP.

However, some of the smaller roles had some hiccups and on-screen awkwardness towards the beginning of the movie. Specifically, “Pretty Little Liars”’ Janel Parrish (Margot), and Anna Cathcart’s (Kitty) performances felt forced and awkward. Thankfully this dissipated about 20 minutes into the film.

The movie falls into another generic teeny-bopper high school rom-com, but there’s something different about this Susan Johnson adaptation than other movies in this category. The movie perfectly encapsulates the relationship between siblings, but also the relationship between a single parent and their child. It portrays a very realistic coming-of-age story where Lara Jean fights with her inner desire to be invisible, but also her desire to be heard and a part of the crowd.

Because of this, the movie does not have any flat plotlines or surface-level character tropes. These are real life things that happen to people during their high school journeys, even if their personal letters don’t get sent out to their hardcore crushes. And all of these facets of life can intersect and affect how a person approaches the complexities of the high school hierarchy.

Even though the movie slightly differs from the book, the changes were made so gracefully that readers and new fans alike thoroughly enjoyed the movie. Even though the changes were noticeable (especially for avid readers of the book), they smoothly fit into the film and added a new comedic edge that was more fitting for a cinematic interpretation of the novel.

If you’re looking for a getaway to take the edge off an already stressful semester, “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” is the perfect binge-worthy flashback to the golden days of highschool when things were a lot more simple and innocent.

Teeter-totter removed for repairs

Damage puts the wooden teeter in hiatus


Closing the Spring 2018 semester, a wonderful surprise appeared as the centerpiece of our Forest. A large wooden teeter-totter gave students and faculty alike a childhood joy away from the stresses of tests, papers, and grading. However, it was suddenly nowhere to be seen. It became lost to our presence but not to our hearts.

The history of the teeter-totter began with the Office of Spiritual Formation. According to Pastor Angulus Wilson, OSF had purchased it a few years ago. Although OSF lent it out, they were not the ones responsible for placing it for open enjoyment.

Upon its arrival, the teeter-totter received great attention. However, it could only withstand so much student play before it was damaged. Though Facilities had originally brought it out, they were ultimately the one who chose to remove the piece from The Forest.

Deseri Garza, the facilities office manager, commented that the removal happened during the summer because it needed repair; one of the seats had begun to splinter from wear and tear.

Garza stated, the teeter totter was placed in The Forest primarily to offer some fun to the students of FPU. Megan Kroeker, a sophomore on campus, greatly enjoyed the teeter-totter and found herself to be disappointed upon seeing it gone.

“I looked out there and it was empty. People were just studying and there was no teeter-totter. It was really sad.” Kroeker went on to tell how she and her friends would race to the totter to try to fit as many people on it as possible. “It was the spot that everyone would gravitate to and you would always see it on people’s Snapchat stories because it was so much fun.”

There is still a possibility that Facilities will have time to attend to the totter so that it can be repaired and returned to The Forest. Brian Bonner, a senior, expressed disappointment to the sudden removal as well. His memory with the teeter-totter was getting stuck on top and having to find his way down. Brian longs for its return and that “everyone treats it with respect so that [Facilities] can keep it.”

Fresno Pacific welcomes a new Theater Director

Mark Tyler Miller plans to engage students with a unique, hands-on teaching style

In the Spring 2018 semester, students and faculty were heartbroken to hear that the Theater Program was at risk of being cut. After outcry from supporters within the community both on and off campus, Fresno Pacific was able to save the program and hire a new Theater Director to help cultivate and broaden it.

Mark Tyler Miller, a recent graduate from the University of Illinois, says that he has always had a passion for theater and acting. From humble beginnings as “the color yellow” in a church play at age 5, he now takes on an entire program with one major goal in mind: to provide an interactive classroom that students won’t forget. “When students take a class in the theater department I want it to be something that they don’t forget that they did. So I’m going to be challenging them with some very personal, vulnerable, and very fun activities in class and altogether give students a totally unique learning experience,” Miller said.

Although Miller has only been on campus for a short period, he’s already making an impact on his students with his charismatic, hands-on teaching style. Transfer student Alyssa Gaynor who is currently enrolled in Millers Theater 350 class is already enjoying Miller’s methods. “He’s very upbeat and fun. He definitely brings his great sense of humor to the classroom and makes students feel at ease with what they’re working on. He also has an MFA in theater so he also brings great experience to the classroom” Gaynor said.

Robbie Hill, another student in Miller’s class, has also had a positive experience with Miller. “He is one of the most energetic people I have ever met on this campus. He is on fire for this job and he is already doing as much as he can to expand our theatre department into other facets within Fresno,” Hill said.

Outside of reaching students who are already on campus, Miller is also working towards expanding the theater program altogether by participating in outreach to recruit both high school students in the area, and students in other states. “I’m offering workshops to students and teaching some different things like stage combat, viewpointing, scene work, and audition coaching,” Miller said. Faculty from the admissions office also accompany these trips to high schools around the area so that students can enjoy the workshop and get connected with information about what it’s like to be a Sunbird.

Although Miller does hope to gain more students who are interested in the theater major, he also encourages students of all interests to take theater classes or to simply get involved in productions. “There’s no rule that says you have to have prior experience or even know what you’re doing at all,” Miller said.