Opinions

Doors or Wheels?

Have you ever wondered if there were more doors or more wheels in the world? The thought seems interesting, as it is something to really think about. This random thought was brought up when a viral post on Twitter was posted by a group of friends who were said to be having a “pointless” debate on whether there were more doors or wheels in the world. The thought sparked a worldwide debate on the Twitter post, leaving  many people to provide their opinions and points as to why they chose doors or wheels. Polls were made and counted votes on what people chose and the explanation behind their choice. While the topic is trending, FPU students and professors were asked the same question on whether they believe there are more doors or  wheels in the world and their explanation for why they chose that answer. Here are some of the responses from students and professors that were interviewed.

Do you believe there are more doors or wheels in the world? Explain why.

Cullin Bates, Sophomore

“There are more wheels because wheels come in bigger quantities than doors. such as the number of roller chairs and they have at least 4 wheels per chair. Also on roller coasters the wheels are used to operate the ride.”

Toby Bartlett, Senior

“I think that there are more wheels than doors. This is the case because the world would cease to function without Wheels, while without doors, not much would change. Based on this fact alone, the world needs more Wheels than doors to keep going.”

Professor Randall Fowler, Communication Studies

“It’s all about how we define a door, Cause if we’re talking about beads when you walk through something or curtains if those count as that would be a whole lot to consider. I don’t know though I honestly might be team wheels as you have four wheels on every car and eight-teen wheels on an with-teen wheeler. So there’s a whole lot there you have to deal with and think about as well. But I think overall I’m going to have to go with team wheels on this one.”

Professor Rick De La Pena, Marketing

“I’m gonna say there’s more wheels than doors as the wheel is a basic component to basic transportation. So I think there’s a lot more objects out there with wheels on them than doors. That’s my rationale as I believe there are more wheels as well. With wheels we aren’t really defining what counts as a wheel.  There’s all kinds of wheels like in cars but there’s also wheels in different kinds of machines and stuff like that. It all depends on how you define a “wheel.” That’s what ultimately comes down too. But I will go with team wheels for sure.”

Written by: Casey Watkins

Graphic by: Casey Watkins

How do you celebrate Easter?

Egg hunts and Easter traditions shared by Fresno Pacific students, A focus on food, family, and faith

The fun of a good Easter egg hunt almost always makes the work of putting on itchy Sunday Church clothes worth it. Whether you are finding shiny, aluminum-wrapped chocolate eggs or dollar bills stuffed in plastic shells, the thrill of rooting around in the grass, searching for Easter treasure is just one aspect of the holiday that makes it so special. Several students share their egg-hunting stories – the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Maddy Ward, a sophomore at Fresno Pacific, shares her family’s version of Easter. “My family religiously color-coded Easter eggs, even themed them to hobbies or favorite animals for each child in the family so everyone had the same number of eggs, but each egg was special. They also hid the older kid’s eggs in much harder places to make the whole hunt more fun,” Ward said.

Michelle Salazar, a freshman (and future teacher), gave voice to the many traditions her family has. “Sometimes my family and I take a trip to the beach and spend Easter there. Then, we usually come home and crack Easter eggs on our heads,” Salazar said. Michelle paused to laugh. “My little brother and I decorate them and fill them with confetti and flour,” Salazar said. However, as the world changed, and family trips across the globe were called off, Michelle’s family traditions endured, going to the beach was not possible, but Easter remained an important celebration of family, food, and fun. 

Candelaria Sanchez also touched on the difficulty of celebrating during COVID. “Because of Coronavirus, I haven’t celebrated Easter with my family in over two years. Typically, we all gather to eat and hide eggs in the park – all of the cousins, grandkids, and anyone brave enough to join, compete to find the golden egg. It can get vicious,” Sanchez said.

This Easter, there is so much to be thankful for, and in honor of the holiday, an appreciation for new beginnings encourages us all to go out and look for the blessings in life. 

Written By: Cailey Lessel | Opinion’s Editor

Graphic By: Cailey Lessel

Go-to Morning Drinks…

What’s yours?

We all have our own way of getting our day started. For some of us, that requires our go-to morning drinks. It is often said that many cannot get their day started without an iced coffee, but that is not the case for everyone. We asked some fellow Sunbirds “What is your go-to drink in the morning?” Below is what they said:

“Protein Shake, one banana, 2 scoops of protein” Jesse Franco said. 

“Water” David Simon said. 

“3 shots of Espresso straight-up” Maesyn Rix said. 

“Um I honestly forget to drink things” Hope Erwin said. 

“Water. I don’t drink coffee” Ayden Merrihew said. 

“Water or Chocolate Milk. That’s my go-to.” Alejandro Mendibles said. 

“If I workout then pre-workout and if not then tea” Anastassiya Barakhoyeva said. 

“Iced chai with soy milk” Mel Munoz said. 

“Water first then an energy drink” Sophie Underwood said. 

“Water” Ciana Rivera said. 

“Water” Amaia Rivera said. 

“Water if I have practice, if not a simple coffee” Tori De Leon said. 

“Water” Vanessa Cochrane said. 

“Water” Nayeli Flores said. 

Based on the majority of their answers, water is the most popular go-to drink to start their day! No one can ever go wrong with a classic cup of water.

Written by: Alicia Garcia | Staff Writer and Julissa Mercado | Staff Writer

Graphic by: Julissa Mercado

The Struggles International Students Face at FPU

A deeper look into the college life of international students

Fresno Pacific University has a large International-Student population. Several international students are athletes, so they come for an opportunity to play their sport all the while receiving an education in America. Many come to California with the anticipation and vision in their head that Fresno, California will be just like what they have seen in the movies. The reality of Fresno is that it is a small town with a lot of surrounding agriculture. Fresno, as many of us local citizens can agree, is not Hollywood, San Francisco, or what you see in the movies. Many international students become disappointed when they realize Fresno and FPU are not what is in the movies, or what they imagined California and college life to be like. However, many of our international students still take this opportunity and attempt to make the most of it. 

Being a senior at FPU, I am close friends with a handful of international students. Through these friendships, I have realized the struggles they face while attending FPU. Many international students experience difficulty  with finding rides off campus for basic needs like doctor appointments or groceries.

 Being a commuter with access to  a car, I can attest to seeing the struggles my international friends face. Most times, I am their main mode of transportation. I offer them rides for basic necessities, like groceries and errands, or social events, like hiking and beach trips.By all means, I provide these experiences and opportunities to my international friends out of the kindness of my heart. However, not every international student at FPU has a friend with a car to provide rides. Another issue that sometimes  arises is availability for rides. I do  work and I have other commitments, so I am not always available to provide rides to my friends. 

The struggles that international students face when coming to FPU and America are real and have not been brought to light. International students make up a large population of FPU’s student body, and the resources given to these students is limited, especially now with COVID-19 protocols. 

When talking to some international students, many of them explained how Campus Safety was the main resource they used for rides off campus. However, with COVID-19, most of those services have been suspended. Below are quotes from international students who thank and appreciate the help that Campus Safety has given them in years past, but still express frustration with this service being currently  suspended.

“Most of the time, I was calling Campus Safety to ask for a ride to the airport, and they were very nice and available to me. Same thing when I asked for being picked up from the airport,” Senior Alice Di Matteo said.

“Campus safety helped me a lot. I sometimes called them to drop me off at Walmart or pick me up when I could not afford Uber. Most of the time they are available, but these past weeks because of Covid, they were not allowed to drive us.” Junior Lea Falentin said.

“Campus Safety used to be able to offer rides to Walmart but there are not doing it anymore so now I feel that FPU doesn’t help in any way,” Junior Alice Marques said.

International students also expressed another struggle. Finding  a vehicle is not their main conflict. They must plan in advance with a friend who has a car to go to the store and buy groceries. For those who do not have a friend who can provide a ride, they must resort to Uber or Lyft. Below are quotes from international students who have experienced this first hand. 

“FPU is far from any of the big groceries’ stores like Walmart for example and every week I need to do groceries and what I do is to ask a friend to drive me there but when I can’t find anyone available to drive me, I have to get an Uber which is expensive, and this is the most challenging part about not having a car,” Junior Alice Marques said.

“It is a real struggle not having transportation here. For example, just the fact to go get groceries is complicated because I have to get an Uber for the way to go and to go back. It costs me a lot of money not having transportation here because I have to spend it on uber.” Junior Lea Falentin said.

“When we want to do groceries, we need to make sure we plan it ahead and find someone that is willing to drive us. If there would be more stores or restaurants around campus it would definitely be easier,” First-year Graduate student Sanne Brull said.

The international students mentioned how COVID-19 restrictions have made transportation much more difficult to access. Brull explained how in years past The International Office used to organize events to help students with transportation. However,  due to COVID-19, those services are not offered. The pandemic has been ongoing for two years, and as a result,  international students are struggling on FPU campus.

Another difficulty international students have come across is the idea of college life and experiencing things outside of campus. From my personal experience with my international friends, I have made it a point to invite my friends off campus to experience new parts of Fresno and California. College is most definitely about education, but students can also have fun with friends. The international students that were interviewed explained how it is difficult to leave campus even if it is only for a day trip or on weekends. Below are quotes from international students who expressed their feelings about not being able to leave campus for fun social activities or trips. 

“It is also complicated to go out of campus because most of the cool stuff is far away, and sometimes I feel like I am stuck here,” Junior Lea Falentin said.

“Sometimes it can be hard to find a way to leave campus, especially on the weekends,” Graduate student Sanne Brull said. 

The struggles that FPU international students encounter are not at the fault of FPU alone. COVID-19, over the last two years, has played a big part in these struggles. I care about the college experience and accessibilities for my international friends and other international students.  Just as I am able to get the full college experience with access to a vehicle for my daily needs, so should international students. The difficulties international students face are legitimate, and as a student on campus who sees the struggle first hand through my friends, I feel obligated to speak on this matter and encourage change to happen for my international friends. 

Due to the many restrictions and difficulties the ongoing pandemic has placed on everyone, I look forward to new opportunities and accessibilities FPU will offer to its international students.

Written by: Nikki Campos | Editor in Chief

Graphic by: Nikki Campos

4 Reasons Why The Zombie Apocalypse Would Not Be Fun!

A short rant inspired by a text conversation!

Recently, I had a conversation with a friend in which she casually mentioned that the zombie apocalypse would be fun. To be specific, she expressed that she would like to have some fun before the end. Besides saying this as if it was a completely normal opinion, she was surprised I did not agree with her. Of course, a zombie apocalypse would be fun! Who would not want to be chased by dead people? Well, in case you need rationale, allow me to explain the many reasons why the zombie apocalypse would rank on the bottom of your “fun things to do this summer” list!

  1. The smell

Ahhh, do you not love the smell of rotting bodies, unwashed people, and bad breath? Oh, you do not? For further explanations, I imagine it would be difficult to keep yourself clean in an event in which people are out to eat you! Specifically, an apocalypse implies the fact that the majority of humanity has been infected. If that were the case, production of all goods would surely come to a screeching halt. Therefore, you can forget your toothpaste, deodorant, and frequent showers!

  1. The lack of food

As stated in the hygiene section, production of all goods would essentially stop. This means you can forget about eating fresh food, if you can find any at all, for the foreseeable future! Of course, any food that is left in stores or houses would be fought over by everyone. Do you remember what happened in the pandemic with toilet paper? Now, imagine if something you absolutely needed to survive was running out! Ooof, good luck not starving to death or getting killed among food scarcity and people fighting over what is left.

  1. The lack of internet 

Let us face it: we can not live without the internet anymore. Whether it provides entertainment, tools, or information, the internet is an essential part of our lives that we can not go without. Admittedly, you might not even have time to be bored when you are running for your life. Despite that, you will surely miss the conveniences that the internet brings. One great example of this would be maps, which many young people, myself included, do not know how to use. Unfortunately, google maps will not be telling you where the best spots to hide are. Instead, you will have to figure everything out on your own, and hope you do not make a mistake that costs you your life!

  1. Running for your life

If you have ever seen a zombie movie, you know that zombies will constantly be hunting you. If you have zero self-defense skills, you can kiss your life goodbye! Even with self-defense skills, however, there will come a point in which you can no longer defend yourself. Whether you are weak due to starvation or old age, there will come a point in which zombies will likely kill you. Now, try living a happy life knowing you can die any day if you do not find food, water, or become too weak to defend yourself!

Written By: Saraleim Mozqueda Saldana | Editor

Graphic by: Liza Larrabee

Athletes Giving Back

Athletes share their experience giving back to the community

Fresno Pacific athletes have shown hard work on the field and on the court. These same athletes have shown hard work in their community as well. Fresno Pacific would like to recognize student athletes who have volunteered with their teams and given back to the community. Some volunteer work from Fresno Pacific athletes include clothing drives, serving food to the less fortunate, and keeping their community clean. The athletes recognized share their experiences below. 

Junior Womens’ Basketball Felicia Dourva, Major: Business

“I enjoyed talking to the elderly of the Community and hearing stories about their experiences in Life. It was very Eye opening to hear some of their thoughts and experiences throughout Life. I also enjoyed volunteering at the foodbank and feeling like I was making a difference in someone’s Life by providing them with food on the table. Exactly what I did was keep some of the residents of Twilight Haven Company (this was in 2019 and 2020 before COVID) and since then I have just been going to the California food bank with the team to pack up food items for families in need. I also Went to a preschool a couple of times and played sports with the kids. I personally enjoyed the conversations with the kids the most.”

“I felt great and fulfilled because I was doing something that mattered to help the Community.”

Sophomore Womens’ Basketball Lindsey Moody, Major: Business

“We did two main things last semester, packing boxes at the local food bank and volunteering at Saturday Sports. It’s easy to enjoy volunteering when your team helps make it fun. When we are at Saturday sports we are playing with elementary aged kids, which is always a good time. And when we are at the food bank the competitiveness of our team really comes out and we are racing to see who can make better boxes and stuff the food in faster. But, I think the thing I enjoyed the most was being able to make an impact on the local community with my team.”

“It feels great being a part of a team that cares about giving back to the community that we are located in. Like I said earlier it’s easy to enjoy volunteering when your team makes it fun. Our team also has a saying to be relentlessly pursuing excellence on the court, in the classroom, and in the community.”

Junior Womens’ Basketball Sara Lundqvist, Major: Business

“We have volunteered in two different events this year with our basketball team. We volunteered for the food bank and for Saturday Sports. Saturday sports is a sporting event for kids in elementary school where we hang out with them and play basketball. I loved both of my experiences. What I enjoyed the most was to see what an impact or change I could make for other people. With the food bank we were able to help pack food packages for families who needed it. With the kids it was to see how happy they all were to have us all there and the interactions I had with all of them.”

“It feels great to be a part of a team that gives back. We want to be relentless on the court, in the classroom, and in the community. It is the least we can do. I know how much it meant to me when I was a kid having college athletes come to talk and play basketball with me. They made a difference in my life, and I hope we do the same for the kids in Saturday Sports.”

Written by: Casey Watkins | Staff Writer

Graphic by: Casey Watkins

Continuing Marjaree’s Story

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Working with Fresno Pacific students to honor the legacy of Marjeree Mason

In November 2021, residents from Strasbourg 3 and Jost 4 had the opportunity to work on a service project for the Marjaree Mason Center in Fresno, California. The idea for this particular service project arose from Danya Gonzalez. She had come home from an event presented by the center that was recognizing successful businesswomen in Fresno. After reading the provided pamphlet and researching the organization, we were inspired to provide women with basic needs – even if it was only in a small way. 

We encouraged residents to create goodie bags with womens’ care products. Inside were deodorants, toothbrushes, pads, hair ties, and tissues. We attached notes of encouragement to the goodie bags, so the women knew that people were thinking about them and praying for their safety in their newfound home at the center. 

This service project was meaningful, because we served Fresno women affected by domestic violence. Marjaree, herself, was a college student who lost her life at the hands of her ex-boyfriend. As women in higher education, we are incredibly thankful for the resources for women from the Marjaree Mason Center. We understand the necessity of having access to these essential products. Through the collaborative event, our residents and ourselves were able to give a small sense of security back to whoever finds themselves at the center. 

If you or anyone you know is a victim of domestic abuse or violence and needs resources from the center, you can call: (559) 233-4357. Or, visit online mmcenter.org. The Marjaree Mason Center has an extensive donation list that is always needing to be resupplied. If you wish to help, please send an email to help@mmcenter.org

Written by: Emily Munoz | Guest Writer

Danya Gonzalez | Guest Writer

Graphic by: Cailey Lessel

SGA Launch Party – A Bloody Good Time

SGA Period Party celebrates women on campus

At the beginning of the month, I attended the Aunt Flow launch party – lovingly nicknamed the “period party” – hosted by the Student Government to celebrate the success of the Aunt Flow program here on campus. 

Aunt Flow advocates for equal access to menstrual care products. At a moment when so many conversations about inclusivity and diversity are happening, it was beyond amazing to have one night where things went right and a small portion of the Fresno Pacific community was able to come together to celebrate.

Vice President Danya Gonzalez, who had a major part in introducing the period equality program at FPU, started the night with a few soft-spoken, but no less, powerful words congratulating her fellow student leaders on their success in introducing the initiative. 

Maddie Ward, a sophomore, attended the night in a fittingly red ensemble.

“It was empowering to celebrate women in a community of loving individuals,” Ward said. 

With Maddie was freshman Lauren Lee, a journalism major and an outspoken supporter of social change on campus, added her own voice to the mix. 

“Growing up in a society that habitually shames and ultimately built a nuance of disgust surrounding periods, has had an effect on each and every one of us…the ability to break through societal constructs is what made the event so exciting,” Lee said.

Overall, the response to the event and the outreach program has been overwhelmingly positive. The karaoke concert, the Aunt Flow company, and the joy of coming together to recognize the hard work of the SGA and the transformative impact students can have on campus reminded me of the power we have as a community.

Author: Cailey Lessel | Opinions Editor

Graphic by: Cailey Lessel

Graduating From the Comfort of Your Home

FPU’S 2nd Virtual Commencement Ceremony

As this semester wraps up, many seniors are looking forward to closing their laptops for the last time in their collegiate journey. But they may need to leave them open a few hours longer if they want to celebrate their graduation. 

Fresno State University and Fresno Unified School District have announced that they are holding in-person graduations for their seniors earlier this month, with modifications to follow in accordance with COVID-19 safety guidelines. Earlier this semester, Fresno Pacific announced that they would be hosting a virtual ceremony for their seniors, even though other universities have been planning for in-person graduations. FPU’s statement reveals that their decision is based on “state and federal recommendations regarding large gatherings due to COVID-19.”

Since FPU has announced this second virtual commencement, many seniors have expressed their frustrations about not having an in-person graduation while others have become disenchanted about graduating. An FPU student, Samantha Diaz, created a petition challenging FPU’s decision about a virtual ceremony. If you would like to participate and sign up for this petition you can find the link at the end of this article. 

When asked about whether FPU should hold an in-person commencement ceremony, FPU graduating senior Maricarmen Mata-Nunez, a first generation student majoring in Criminal Justice stated, “Definitely!! If they need more time to organize, I’m willing to wait.” 

Governor Newsom has outlined California’s next steps in reopening up the economy, which states that the entire state could potentially reopen on June 15, albeit with safety guidelines in place. Therefore, FPU can potentially hold off on hosting a ceremony later on in the summer in order to provide seniors the ceremony they deserve. 

Samantha Diaz, the creator of the aforementioned petition, has similar hopes: “Since California is planning to FULLY reopen on June 15th, I think it would be well worthwhile to reschedule our graduation ceremony a month later for the opportunity to celebrate in-person alongside our friends and professors.”

DJ Maxwell-Garcia, a first generation Kinesiology major, stated that “I think it is good because it allows family members that would have a more difficult time to be a part of commencement. However, it is bad because it just seems lazy” when asked about the virtual ceremony. 

Holding graduations online simultaneously could be something to think about for future ceremonies, at least after COVID restrictions have been lifted, in order to provide family members from far away places the opportunity to view the proceedings. Holding events online has been easier for those who are far away from us,but it still runs the risk of making it impersonal. We are not able to share hugs and take pictures with family members in our graduation caps and gown.

When asked if their family would be watching the virtual ceremony, which will be hosted on the 8th of May, an anonymous first generation graduating senior stated, “Most likely not, as we see no significance in watching something in which my name is only going to be mentioned for a second.” 

Out of the 11 seniors that were interviewed for this article, five confirmed that their family members would not be watching the virtual ceremony. Unfortunately, watching the ceremony online won’t hold as much importance to some family members than it would have with an in-person celebration. 

Matthew Wilfong, a Contemporary Chirstian Ministries and Business Management Major graduating senior, also commented on FPU’s hosting of a virtual commencement: “I think it is the easy way out, but, honestly, I do not care all that much.” 

Has COVID affected the way students are viewing their success of graduating college? Have college celebrations and support affected the way students and families view their success in graduating college? Regardless of what kind of celebration the university holds, we must continue to celebrate and encourage those who will graduate after four years of hard work and obstacles. 

Students who avoided becoming a statistic, and those who overcame the obstacles that being a first generation brings, ought to remember the wonderful memories of their time here and the relationships that they made. We at the Syrinx offer our congratulations to the class of 2021. 

Student-Created Petition Challenging FPU’s Decision about a virtual commencement ceremony: 

CLICK HERE

Author: Sheyla Castillo | A&E Co-Editor

Finishing the Semester Strong

How to stay motivated and avoid burnout

Are you tired of staring at a screen all day, of late night studying and of doing both over and over again? With only a short few weeks left in the semester, it is easy to lose motivation and experience burnout. This may be the most important part of the year, but after giving your 100% all year long, your energy may finally be taking the toll. 

The key to making the most out of your study time is schedule breaks. In my experience, I say to myself, “Oh I’ll do this homework on the weekend. I’ll do homework Friday night, all day Saturday, and some on Sunday too.” Does it all get done? …NO! 

The worst part, which helps contribute to burnout, is seeing the list of tasks you were unable to complete when Monday rolls around. Even if I tell myself I’m going to do homework all weekend, realistically, there is just no way I’m going to find the motivation to do it all. Scheduling breaks into your schedule will give you time to rest your brain and won’t leave you feeling guilty for taking a break. Staying both fresh and clear-minded is the key to successful studying.

Maybe you’re thinking “But I don’t have the time to take breaks!” You work all weekend, go to your sport practices and when you aren’t doing that, you’re doing homework or studying. This can lead to some serious burnout and leave you feeling exhausted just as professors decide to have papers, tests and projects all due the SAME week! 

You’re not the only one who feels this way. Even when it seems like taking breaks is not doable, they will actually boost your productivity. If you don’t have a lot of free time, at least take small 10 minute breaks during your study sessions. 

Sleep is another factor that can greatly impact your energy. I understand that it’s hard to get a good amount of sleep when your to-do list keeps growing and growing, but it will make it easier to stay motivated when you’re well-rested. Try going to bed a little earlier than you normally do and get up earlier. With more time in your morning, you can start getting things done earlier. Or try taking a 20 minute power nap. Naps are not for everyone, but they may work for you if you give them a try. 

I know these last few weeks are going to be the most difficult, but remember that we’re all in the same boat. We each have to dig deep and try to finish the semester strong.

Author: Katarina Quintana | Opinions Editor

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