Indecision Starts (And Ends)…Here

undeclared logo

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of speaking with Paul Justice in the Division of Undergraduate Studies: Undeclared Students here at SDSU. He shed some light on one of the more misunderstood, but ever important parts of our academic programming and advising.

In our interview, Paul informed me that at any given time there is anywhere from 800-1300 students who fall under his jurisdiction of “undeclared.” Majority of these students are freshmen, however there are instances where students change their mind or fail to meet the requirements for a major and rescind into undeclared. This is far from a negative thing. Paul reiterated that being undeclared opens students up to resources that would not be as readily or easily available to the average student set in their respective departments. He revealed the best tool for undecided students that he developed and updates regularly…an Excel spreadsheet. This sheet cannot be found elsewhere and includes: every department’s unit requirements, advisor contact information, trial courses to take if interested in the major (before having to declare), GPA requirements, and more. This is a living, breathing document that he plans to never perfect, but continuously grow and adapt.

For those who are unaware, San Diego State University offers a degree program that is rather unique and coveted by other universities. This was designed to assist students who are unable to meet course requirements for a particular major, or who have decided upon a major that SDSU does not offer. Interdisciplinary Studies allows students to work with three different major departments to craft a personalized field of study. Paul oversees this program within Undeclared. He understands that students may become discouraged or want to transfer schools when they cannot seem to find a department or major that is right for them, Interdisciplinary Studies is the answer.

Lastly, Paul wanted to make sure that I let everyone know (especially parents of incoming students) that it is okay to be unsure. He insists that not having your mind made up at 18 is far from radical, and his department will offer the tools needed to get you where you (eventually) want to be. More than that, he has started a program for students who were once Undeclared, but found their home at SDSU. These students now have the opportunity to mentor current undecided students. Paul leads workshops with the assistance of these mentors. Each month has a different theme and they are open to all students interested (undeclared, or not). The purpose of these is to build and maintain a sense of comaradarie. or a “cohort” as he likes to call it, where students can develop a connection to each other and the university. Feeling connected to the university is something that, previously, these students were lacking. Sometimes this led them to transfer schools, or have a diminished Aztec experience. The hope is that this program will alleviate both. It is for these reasons that Paul is confident that indecision may start in the Office of Undeclared, but it will end there also.

Sdyle: Madison Santos

Today I was at the library and ran into the lovely Madison Santos. Madison is a Sociology major here at San Diego State, and she for sure dresses with spunk. We had a chat about some of her style inspirations, views on trends and how to dress with a difference by adding your own flavor. This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

Are there any people or profiles that give you inspiration?
I do, I follow a lot of photographers mostly, and then some models who I think have really good fashion sense. This is one one of my favorite profiles: shoptrendyandtipsy. I am actually making a top similar to this at the moment:
via shoptrendyandtipsy's Instagram

Do you often recreate your own clothes? 

Yes, and no. I am really skinny and a lot of clothes don’t fit me the right way. So I sometimes have to redo clothes to make them suit my body type. If I have extra fabric left over, I like to make little tube/tank tops or whatever.

One time I didn’t have any pants so I stole my boyfriend’s jeans, cut them, took them in at the sides, and made them into high waited shorts and they looked really cool.

What are some of your favorite places to shop in San Diego?

I guess there is nothing specific to San Diego, but I mostly shop at Brandy Melville, and when I can afford it, at Urban Outfitters. I also like a lot of boutique stores because I love clothes that people can’t find. I hate it when I buy something from Forever 21 and then see five people wearing the same thing. It’s nice having some individualism. I buy a lot of stuff when I go out of the country, too.

Do you have a favorite brand?

It definitely changes, but I am into things that are cottony, soft and cozy. I am starting to get more into ‘pretty girl grunge’ or ‘hipster girl grunge’ type stuff.

What’s one piece of clothing you have made the biggest splurge on?

There was this one time with my step dad when we were going to a funeral and he was trying to make things seem happier. My sister and mom had also gone away on holiday and I couldn’t go. So we went shopping at Nordstrom and I tried on a dress that he let me get. I get scared to wear it in college though, because I feel like everything we do is very sloppy and I don’t want to damage it. I haven’t had a chance to wear it a lot since I got it [in high school], but I’m sure I can still I can still rock it.

“I don’t really like wearing dresses and skirts… because I like to sit like a guy”

What’s your favorite staple?

I am definitely into skin tight leggings or sweat pants and then just a cozy tiny little tank top— that’s like my go to. I don’t really like wearing dresses and skirts… because I like to sit like a guy.

If you could swap wardrobes with anyone in the world, who would it be?

I can’t think of anyone in specific but definitely some boutique stores— and I would wear every single thing in the whole store.

Do you have anything that you want to share with everyone reading this?

I would say learning to dress to your body type is really important because your clothing is a way of expressing yourself. I take a lot of pride in the individualism that I put into my clothing and outfits. I also notice people who express themselves through clothing, so it’s a good way to connect with people. Everyone can look good; you don’t only need to look like skin and bones– like me– to look good. There are some things that I can’t pull off because I’m not curvy enough. Whatever you have, just flaunt it and be confident! It’s definitely a confidence booster to wear your clothes and feel good in them. You feel comfortable because you are finally being yourself.

I’m all for new trends, but I also like to make them my own. You should make it your individual thing—otherwise that’s just basic.

Check out Madison’s Instagram @ m.a.a.dycity

Get rocked: Behind the scenes of two campus movements

I had the pleasure of interviewing two campus leaders about two major initiatives taking place at SDSU : Sarah Bentley (California State Student Association Advocacy Officer) and Carmel Alon ( Vice-Chair of the External Relations Board of Associated Students). These women shed light on the Aztecs Rock Hunger and Rock the Vote campaigns happening for the duration of October through mid-November. The interviews originally aired on kcrlive.com during the Tuesday morning news show Coffee and Tee.

ROCK THE VOTE

Both Sarah and Carmel are heavily involved in political advocacy efforts for higher education. Regardless of party affiliation, they encourage students to register to vote. Rock the Vote is a segment hosted through the External Relations Board of Associated Students, but their work does not stop after October 24th (the deadline to register) or November 8th (election day). ERB works throughout the year to propose legislation, address campus-wide or CSU-wide issues, and represent the students of San Diego State within local and statewide political spheres. ERB will also be hosting events to increase voter knowledge about measures and propositions within the California ballot. A local plan proposed by the College Area Community Council that is directly applicable to San Diego State Students calls for a raise in the Community Assisted Party Program fine from $1,000 per household resident, plus the landlord, to $10,000 per resident on the lease.  Students have the ability to sit in on these college area meetings, and certainly have the ability to vote on any local legislation that arises. Students can register to vote through the AS website link, or during any one of the tabling events this week.

AZTECS ROCK HUNGER

Sarah is the very literally the voice of the Aztecs Rock Hunger campaign, as it is her voice you hear in this video that was sent to students to kick off the  2016 food drive. From this video, and the ARH website, it was made known that food insecurity is prevalent on this campus. The funds collected will directly benefit the Jacobs and Kushman Food Bank, but 20% will also be allocated to SDSU students in need through the economic crisis team. There are five ways to donate that include cash donations through the Aztecs Rock Hunger venmo account, collections during tabling initiatives, opportunities to donate at all Aztec Market Shops and campus Starbucks, online at the ARH website and physical donations of non-perishable items to the red bins located throughout campus. Aztecs Rock Hunger has a goal of raising 400,000 pounds of food for the local San Diego community, with a one dollar donation equivocating six pounds of food. Election cycles often leaves students feeling discouraged, or motivated to get involved and make a difference in their community. This program, as mentioned by Sarah and Carmel, is a great way to hone in on the latter. Aztecs Rock Hunger will last through mid-November, and more information can be found on their website, or any of their social media pages.

Classic Rock for Dummies

Need a beginning lesson in classic rock and roll? Look no further.

Just as classic books such as Great Expectations and Pride and Prejudice are important to the history of literature and therefore shoved down innocent fifteen year olds throats, there are several artists that are essential to the history of rock and roll and should be shoved down your throat. Before we get to the playlist, here are a few *trigger warnings* for those who may consider themselves enthusiasts of rock:

  • I am anti- Beatles. I don’t really care how much you like Yellow Submarine, I’d prefer to be above ground. There is no denying that the Beatles definitely made an impact on music history, but in my blunt opinion, they suck.
  • The fact that you sang all the words to “Don’t Stop Believing” at a frat party does not make Journey a good rock band.

There are several other artists that could be included in a more extensive playlist (If your curious check out The Beach Boys, The Rolling Stones, Blue Oyster Cult etc.). This playlist was made assuming that the listener has little to no knowledge of classic rock and does not have hours and hours at their disposal for listening.

  1. Back In Black- AC/DC

I’m 99.99999% sure that you have heard this song in some way, shape, or form over the course of your lifetime. AC/DC is the definition of sex, drugs, and good ‘ol rock ‘n roll. They are definitely a great artist to dive right into when beginning to listen to classic rock.

  1. Tom Sawyer- Rush

Rush is that nerdy guy from your high school that has no friends, but eventually becomes your boss. Their innovative sounds were considered weird at first, but then they skyrocketed into rock stardom.

  1. Surrender- Cheap Trick

Surrender is another song that you’ve probably heard before, but may not have known the artist. Remember that early 2000’s Eddie Murphey movie, Daddy Day Care? Surrender was actually played “live” in the movie by Cheap Trick. Cheap Trick has several other rock classics including “I Want You to Want Me” and, in my very important opinion, is one of the most underrated classic rock bands.

  1. Show Me The Way- Peter Frampton

I’ve inserted a photo of the one and only Peter Frampton as the title image, to show you what a 1970’s sex god looked like. Just a little bit different than Zac Efron or Ryan Gosling. No matter what your taste in romantic partner, Peter Frampton is no doubt a rock god. His use of talk box, which is defined by Wikipedia as a “unit that allows musicians to modify the sound of a musical instrument by shaping the frequency content of the sound and to apply speech sounds (in the same way as singing) onto the sounds of the instrument”, is incredibly satisfying.

  1. Life In The Fast Lane- Eagles

Eagles are an American classic if there ever was one. The recent passing of Glen Frey has brought the Eagles old tracks up a bit more. This particular song choice is a good listen if you are feeling rebellious.

  1. Panama- Van Halen

Van Halen underwent lots of changes during their run as a rock band; still they remain a staple to this list.

  1. Achilles Last Stand- Led Zeppelin

One of the longest Led Zeppelin songs (just over 10 minutes), “Achilles Last Stand” includes the one critical element of a truly perfect rock and roll track, an infinitely long guitar sequence.

  1. Mary Jane’s Last Dance- Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

While many will credit Free Fallin’ as Tom Petty’s greatest song, it’s me, so I’ve got to veer off from the typical choice a little bit. That’s where Mary Jane’s Last Dance comes in. This song inspired me to learn how to play harmonica because of the sick (excuse my out dated so cal terminology) use of harmonica. Other than violin, harmonica is my favorite supplemental rock instrument.

  1. Purple Haze- Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix is absolutely one of the most gifted guitarists that ever lived. I gave you a beginner track, but if you catch feelings for Jimi check out his rendition of the star spangled banner live from Woodstock.

  1. More Than a Feeling- Boston

This is by far one of the most well-known classic American rock songs of all time and is most definitely Boston’s most popular track. I have more than a feeling about Boston, if you know what I mean.

 

Whether or not you agree with my choices, there’s no doubt that if you are a rock and roll beginner, these are some pretty solid training wheels.

Follow me on Spotify @kelseydonahue14 to check out this playlist here: https://open.spotify.com/user/kelseydonahue14/playlist/2U3eHujXAQuHUQFHbglnFG

I’m live Mondays from 10-11pm on KCR with The Road Less Traveled!