Archive for October 29th, 2011

October 29, 2011

Haunted asylum brings the scares

By Krista Brooks

Published Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011 – The Daily 49er

In a low groaning voice, a mysterious creature in a robe with a candle in hand invited frightened groups through the Psychology building elevator to the asylum waiting room to anticipate the dark, narrow maze.

Cal State Long Beach’s Psychology Student Association (PSA) and International Honor Society in Psychology (Psi Chi) created a haunted asylum fundraiser in the campus Psychology building Wednesday, with $3 minimum donations going to “4 Paws for Ability,” an organization that provides service dogs for the disabled.

Psi Chi President Kaitlyn House, a senior psychology major, started CSULB’s asylum with influences from other Psi Chi organizations in different states.

“Basically, the idea of the haunted house is that it is an insane asylum,” House said. “There’s a maze with different rooms with different aspects of old-time insane asylums.”

The adventure began in a waiting room, where the brave participants signed in and sat to watch a series of documentaries on psychiatry as an industry of death.

After the educational and frightening video, the anxiety grew as guests were directed down the hall to Room 332.

Welcomed by a student dressed as a doctor, guests entered in small groups.

The maze began with patients behind bars in solitary confinement, spooking and reaching out to guests for help.

The asylum then transitioned into a shock therapy room where a doctor encouraged participants to push a button to cure the patient in the chair.

The button triggered an electric shock, and illuminated the small room as the patient squirmed and screamed in agony.

The third room was designed to be an examination room that invited guests to actually become patients, as well.

Guests transitioned to the “chain room,” in which patients were held down on tables and beds by doctors and chains.

With a stellar strobe light and severe screams, guests were convinced this was the end — until the chainsaw’s engine revved.

The masked deranged doctor chased guests out of the asylum and screams filled the halls.

“The maze was so great,” said Jessica Garcia, a theatre arts major. “But I’m glad it’s over. I get frightened very easily.”

The haunted asylum scared guests from 5 to 10 p.m

October 29, 2011

Psych Asylum Preview

By Krista Brooks

Published on Monday, Oct. 24, 2011 – The Daily 49er

The Psychology building will transform into a haunted scare zone with an asylum-themed haunted house on the third floor on Wednesday.

Cal State Long Beach’s Psychology Student Association (PSA) and International Honor Society in Psychology (Psi Chi) collaborated to display the school’s first charitable Psych Asylum on Oct. 26, from 5 to 10 p.m.

The asylum will be in Room 332, beginning as a haunted maze that directs participants in and out of various rooms and hideaways.

With spooks and horror, the faux-asylum will set the mood for the upcoming Halloween and Dia de los Muertos holidays.

The attraction is open to anyone with a minimum $3 donation to 4 Paws for Ability, a nonprofit agency that provides assistance dogs to people with disabilities.

Psi Chi President Kaitlyn House said the event would be scary, as well as a lot of fun.

“Depending on the outcome, we hope to make this event annual to have a yearly event in the fall,” House said.

The PSA and Psi Chi have held an annual Psych Day in the spring for almost 40 years.

As a warning to any students attending class at this time, House said the Psychology building quad will be swarming with ghouls and creatures ready to scare.

October 29, 2011

New law expands GI bill for veteran students

By Krista Brooks

Published Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2011 – The Daily 49er

Legislation that will expand a post-9/11 GI bill to accommodate veterans in pursuit of vocational training and other non-degree job training programs passed this month.

Dubbed “The Bill of all Trades,” this new measure helps veterans pay for schooling and housing, even allowing them to transfer its benefits to an immediate family member if they are injured on duty

For Karen Le, a first-year bio-chemistry major, the bill will help ease her stress.

“The GI Bill will help pay for my rent and allow me to focus more on school, rather than looking for a job,” Le said. “I went to boot camp directly out of high school and I haven’t been in school for three years. I need as much time to study for my major as I can get.”

The post-9/11 GI Bill has provided benefits to more than 558,000 veterans and family members, including tax credits for business, ranging from $5,600- $9,600, in order to encourage hiring of unemployed veterans.

The bill also helps support students financially as they transitions from military training to higher education or job training.

A major change to the bill was the amount of money issued to veterans.

The policy previously varied between states but is now capped at $17,500.

The GI Bill is also now a “final pay” source for veterans. That means if a veteran receives money from other scholarships or the state, those will be used before money from the GI Bill.

The Veteran Affairs Service on campus will determine when GI Bill money is used to pay a veteran’s tuition.

Cal State Long Beach Veteran Affairs Service Director Marshall W. Thomas applauds the new changes.

Thomas believes allowing the campus’ Veterans Affairs Services office to calculate when veteran’s need to use GI Bill money will lead to more accuracy.

Thomas will hold a Vet Net Ally Program for faculty and staff on Friday to educate those interested about veterans’ life.

October 29, 2011

LA court backs SLO president’s salary

By Krista Brooks

Published Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2011 – The Daily 49er – Top Story

The Los Angeles Superior Court ruled in favor of the California State University Board of Trustees yesterday, saying the board did not violate a California law mandating open public meetings when it awarded Cal State Poly San Luis Obispo President Jeffrey Armstrong a $350,000 salary.

The lawsuit was brought against the board by the California Faculty Association and asked for the removal of the newly hired Cal Poly president.

The court denied this request Tuesday, saying CFA President Lillian Taiz cited “no authority” when saying that Armstrong’s $350,000 salary was accompanied with a raise in presidential pay scales.

Taiz claimed the Board did not provide a public notice for a meeting that approved a resolution to award Armstrong’s salary, which technically increased the presidential salary scale by $20,000 — from about $330,000 to $350,000.

However, the court explained that evidence shows the CSU did not set presidential pay scales but considered and approved “the starting salary and any compensation increases for CSU presidents on an individual basis.”

The court ruling pointed to this error in Taiz’s claim, and acknowledged that the CSU did not make any move to increase current presidential salaries as a group.

“The court’s ruling confirms that the case brought by Taiz had very little merit,” said Erik Fallis, a CSU spokesman. “The CSU has demonstrated, once again, its commitment to transparency in accordance with law, policy and university practice.”

The court negated Taiz’s request further by defending the CSU’s executive compensation process and Armstrong’s relocation fees, vehicle allowance, and other benefits that are included in the presidential position.

“Additionally, Taiz and the faculty union continue to make a mistaken claim that there is general change in presidential compensation,” Fallis said. “No sitting president has received a raise since 2007.”

Taiz highlighted her concern on the CFA website yesterday.

“The floodgates at the top were opened without even letting the public know,” Taiz said in a CFA press release. “And it happened at the exact time the chancellor has been cutting back on class offerings, laying off teachers, turning away students and slamming students with steep fee hikes.”

October 29, 2011

Student wins MTV award for work with Katy Perry

By Krista Brooks

Published Sunday, Oct. 2, 2011 – The Daily 49er

A student trying to start a film club on campus received a surprising phone call last summer notifying him that his company won an MTV Video Music Award at the cable channel’s yearly award show.

Cal State Long Beach student Alexander Valentine, a junior communications major, works for Dot & Effects, a special effects company that won a VMA for best special effects on Aug. 28 at the MTV Video Music Awards.

Valentine and his boss, Jeff Dotson, along with 13 others, produced the special effects for “E.T.,” a Katy Perry single featuring Kanye West, in less than a month.

“E.T.” was placed in the “professional categories” online, and was up against Chromeo’s “Don’t Turn The Lights On,” Kanye West’s “Power,” Linkin Park’s “Waiting For The End” and Manchester Orchestra’s “Simple Math.”

Valentine worked as producer of visual effects for the “E.T.” video, but that isn’t the only high-profile job he’s had.

“If you make enough connections, work will come to you,” he said. “I encourage everyone to give it a shot, with or without any experience.”

Valentine worked with Capitol Records and Bonch Editorial, which created Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” and Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” videos.

Valentine has extended his passion for film and is now on his way to install a new club on campus, called Film & Photo Society Production.

There are four other chapters of FPS Production, including ones at the University of California, Los Angeles, UC Riverside, Cal State San Bernardino and Singapore Media Academy.

The clubs have anywhere from 40 to 50 members, including scriptwriters, sound technicians, editors and directors.

UCLA’s chapter combines educational lectures and workshops with productions and photoshoots to offer members hands-on experience, while providing a forum for networking, according to the official website.

“It is a club for people that aren’t necessarily film makers, but can find their creative voice through film making,” Valentine said.

Valentine said he encourages anyone interested in film or networking to look into FPS Productions.

The club will be working with the other college campuses and members will get the chance to make connections and be part of other projects as well as their own.

The recent VMA winner is focused on making CSULB the fifth addition to the club charter and plans to have meetings as early as next year.


October 29, 2011

Rap war, dance-off entertain at ‘Battle of the Beats’

By Krista Brooks

Published Sunday, Sept. 25, 2011 – The Daily 49er

After a three-hour rap battle and interactive show on Sept. 22, Battle of the Beats contestant Phillip “Sharp Skills” Jacobs, 26, was deemed winner, receiving the grand prize trophy and three hours of recording time in the KBEACH studio — in addition to a year’s worth of bragging rights.

Jacobs advanced through each round, and finally won the winning title after a double tie-breaking battle with runner-up MC Mayhem One.

Jacobs said he plans to record some of his lyrics in the studio, and finish his upcoming album “Anno Rebelio,” which will be released in March 2012. He said the album will have a “big music” feel, with classical music and instrumentals.

“I am what God made me to be,” Jacobs said. “‘Anno Rebelio’ is about what I’ve been through, and the struggles I’ve endured.”

The Battle of the Beats was created in 2004, after students attended the Poet’s Lounge and proposed the idea of having a musical competition to the Program Council.

After its debut, the competition wasn’t held again until 2009 and, now, 2011. The event was open to the public to compete and watch, free with CSULB ID and $5 for each non-student guest.

Under a single spotlight, each of the MCs spit their rhymes for 30 seconds. Each round progressed with eliminations, based on the scoring of the three judges.

The scores were averaged from the following categories: Originality, personality and stage approach, style and flow, time fill, and obscure gestures and foul language.

The judge’s table included a student, a professor and a guest judge, DJ Basicali.

The turntables were set in the middle of the stage for DJ Royal One, who mixed the beats for the freestyle competitors, set with a microphone stand on either side of the stage.

The tournament was set with an array of different competitors — although only one was a female competitor.

“The Battle of the Beats is great, it brings a diverse crowd and a lot of people you don’t expect to compete,” USU Program Council Coordinator Keya Allen-Littleton said. “This event takes on a life of its own.”

Formerly held in the Soroptimist House, the event attracted a larger audience, which led to the switch to the University Student Union.

The Student Union ballroom’s chairs were nearly filled as the rap battle began.

Members from the audience were chosen at random to compete for prizes.

The competitions included a “Dougie” dance-off, an alphabet rap battle (one-letter flow), a “too much booty in the pants” dance-off, and a “woo-hoo” battle that Host Corion Lucas conducted. The winners were chosen by the audience’s cheers.

In addition, between rounds, Basicali performed a few of his own songs, as well as some classic ’90s hip-hop for the audience to sing along. The crowd swayed their arms in the air, singing “Back in the Day” as the final round approached.

The winners of the mini-competitions were awarded with giveaways, including the “I love hip-hop” shirts that were on sale at the event for $7. Basicali gave away some goodies from and IMKING clothing to a couple of lucky winners.

October 29, 2011

Annual student services festival offers free lunch, information

By Krista Brooks

Published Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2011 – The Daily 49er

The first 200 students at the Central Quad today from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. may enjoy a free lunch at the annual Student Services Festival.

All students are welcome to attend the festival, which is put on by Cal State Long Beach’s Student Transition and Retention Services and Student Orientation and Registration.

Tables and booths for more than 30 student services, such as Disabled Student Services, Counseling and Psychological Services, and Associated Students Inc. will be available.

Everyone is encouraged to fill out a short survey about the festival, and the first 200 to complete it will be rewarded with a free lunch, including a sandwich, chips, cookies and a drink.

“The Student Services Festival is a follow-up to the SOAR orientation, which focuses on the academics,” STARS/SOAR assistant director DeAnn Martz said. “This festival is a reminder of the additional services available to students.”

Student resources and members of the department will be available to answer questions and help direct students to the help he or she needs.

“The Student Service Festival is great for students because it allows them to find out about services they may need, but didn’t know existed,” said Zach McAnany, sophomore business major.

The festival was formerly bi-annual, one in fall and spring, but was reduced due to budget cuts.

Next on the STARS/SOAR agenda is the President’s Scholars High School Visit Orientation Workshop at 10:30 a.m. on Sept. 23, as well as the CSULB Transfer Admission Workshop at 2 p.m.

For more information about the student services on campus, visit Brotman Hall, Room 337, or go online to

October 29, 2011

Holocaust exhibit opens in University Library

By Krista Brooks

Published Sunday, Sept. 18, 2011 – The Daily 49er

After 20 years of traveling the world, “The Courage to Remember” Holocaust exhibit has returned to California, and will make a special debut in the Cal State Long Beach University Library today at 3 p.m.

Funded by the Foundation for California, the third floor will have a free public display of more than 200 original photographs from 1933-45.

The exhibit is from the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, and it shows a series of 10 stories that have been viewed by more than 20 million people in more than 35 different countries.

There will be speakers from the community at the opening, including Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster, Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Rabbi Adlerstein and Holocaust survivor Gerda Seifer.

The 42 panels were chosen to be in the school library rather than at the art museum on campus, so that the displays were more interactive with the public — not just pictures on the wall.

“The message is still very timely, hate crimes are still happening today,” Foundation President Rod Wilson said.

In addition to the full-color visual series of “The Courage to Remember” exhibit, three identical series will be traveling the state for the next 12 months.

The stories told will be focused on four major themes: Nazi Germany (1933-38), moving toward the “final solution” (1939-45), annihilation in Nazi-occupied Europe (1941-45) and liberation — building new lives.

“This exhibit serves as a reminder that the power is in all of us to make a difference in our community, school and city,” Wilson said.

The exhibit is free of charge and will be on display until Oct. 16.

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