Freshmen weigh in on freshman 15

The “freshman 15” is the 15 pounds freshman are expected to gain – in theory or reality – in college due to stress, dining hall food, drinking and lack of exercise. Students here, however, debate whether it’s really a thing.

In a recent informal survey, 15 freshman were asked to weigh in on it.

Ten said they believe the weight gain is real, two said they do not and three didn’t know. Six of those surveyed said they actually gained 15 pounds freshman year.

Participants cited independence, boredom, stress, party culture, budget constrains and the ULV meal plans as the main reasons for weight gain.

Despite not gaining the 15 pounds himself, freshman computer science major Dylan Villanueva said he still believes the freshman 15 is real.

Isaac Gomez, freshman business administration major, said that although he eats healthy most of the time, he only exercises about one time a week and has gained the freshman 15.

“There’s a lack of nutrition structure that comes with being independent,” freshman psychology major Jamie Finegan said. “The main reason people gain the freshman 15 is because you get to college and you start drinking beer and partying.”

Freshman sociology major Briana Villarreal said the freshman 15 is not inevitable, but rather an excuse to not take care of oneself.

“People … see it as normal to gain 15 pounds, so they eat unhealthy,” Villareal said.

Freshman business administration major Caroline Zanteson does not think she gained weight.

“It depends on the person and whether they know how to control themselves,” Zanteson said. “Some people don’t have self control, so they learn it over time.”

Freshman computer science major Jussy Bi said many students gain the freshman 15 because they eat out of boredom rather than to maintain their health.

“Usually when you have classes all day and there’s a gap where you have nothing to do, you search for food,” Bi said.

Freshman psychology major Alexa Withers said the freshman 15 is caused by college tensions.

“People eat a lot when they’re stressed,” Withers said.

Freshman chemistry major Itzel Jauregui, who commutes to ULV, attributed the freshman 15 to the lack of affordable healthy options off-campus.

“I think it’s because of our budget,” Jauregui said. “Am I going to get a $4.99 salad or a $1.69 bag of chips and an 89 cent drink from Circle K?”

Three students said they believe students who live on campus are more susceptible to the freshman 15.

“I think dormers gain it because they have the meal passes,” freshman kinesiology major Sabrina Hernandez said. “For us commuters, we have what we can make from home.”

In a 2008 study of 131 students who live on campus in at private colleges, the Journal of American College Health found the average weight gain after the first year of college was 2.7 pounds.

Half of students gained weight and 15 percent lost weight with men gaining more than women, the study found.

“(Still) people who dorm can eat all they want, three times a day, every day of the week,” said Freshman business administration major Evan Monterroso. Monterroso, a water polo player, said he eats healthy about half the time, but works out four to five times a week.

“In my experience, the freshman 15 only applies to people who don’t play sports,” Monterroso said.

Jauregui added: “In my spare time or when I’m not studying, I go to the gym and get 30 minutes of cardio. I drink water all day and before I go to bed.”

Other students said that they naturally did not gain weight during their freshman year.

“I’ve seen it happen to other people, but I haven’t gained… It’s just my metabolism,” freshman Karla Lucarelli said.

Freshman math major Taylor Francis said she did not gain the freshman 15 because of her eating habits.

“I actually like healthy food and I enjoy eating it because it makes me feel better,” Francis said.

This story was originally published by The Campus Times.

Cabaret opens up to diverse artists

Strings of light twinkled against black curtains. The sound of hula music and thirty people clapping to the beat filled the room as 7-year-old Lola Sanchez’s hips swayed rhythmically.

Her black and white striped dress made a dizzying blur as she spun and shook.

“I’ve been doing hula maybe two months, I think I’m a great Hawaiian dancer,” Sanchez said.

When Sanchez left the stage, senior psychology major James Trejo walked to the microphone.

Trejo performed a freestyle rap, with only a beat blasting through the speakers to accompany him.

He rapped about being a senior, unsure of his future, and his love for music.

“Music is my food,” Trejo said.

After Trejo performed, freshman international studies and studio art double major Lily “North” Meza brought her guitar decorated with stickers to the microphone.

She performed three original songs, “Desire Line,” “Good Morning,” and a song that remains untitled.

Before she began, Meza apologized for some of the language in her songs, but the crowd seemed unphased by the cussing.

When her raspy, earthy voice didn’t fill the room, her skilled acoustic guitar solos did.

To end the night, senior music major Annie Johnson and sophomore music major Lorali Mossaver-Rahmani, together known as the Companions, took to the microphone.

The pair supplied their own background with banjos and a ukulele.

The Companions wrapped up the night with five songs, including covers and original songs the duo wrote together.

The two sang an original song, in both Spanish and English, that seemed to resonate with the audience, as they received a long applause when it was over.

“This song is inspired by my trip to Peru last summer,” Mossaver-Rahmani said.

She described the song as a story that describes her time with an intriguing guide in Peru.

The performances were a part of Cabaret Student Productions’ event, “The Creativity Thing,” held Tuesday night in the Jane Dibbell Cabaret Theater.

Cabaret invited all kinds of performers, including dancers, singers, guitarists, rappers and artists.

By the end of the night, seven artists performed.

“La Verne isn’t known as a very artistic school, so we are happy to provide this space for that,” sophomore theater major and Cabaret Student Productions President Courtney Clark said.

Aside from the performances, on display was a community art project painted at Cabaret’s last event, “Appreciation not Appropriation.”

When creating the piece, participants painted for 20 minutes and then moved five steps to the right and finished whatever ended up in front of them.

Projected onto a screen was some of Clark’s photography.

The slideshow also included photography by Clark’s sister.

Displayed on tables along the walls were handmade jewelry, models, and paintings.

Freshman theater major Jordan Nelson had some of her paintings on display.

On display was an elaborate canvas painting of a red dragon against a black background.

Nelson said she painted the dragon years ago.

She thought to share the piece when she was asked if she had any art to display at the event by sophomore theater major and Cabaret Student Productions Vice President Ashley Weaver.

Another one of Nelson’s pieces on display was an astronaut floating in space, holding the planets on strings like balloons.

“The astronaut was made at an art acoustic night last semester,” Nelson said.

“They were having performers as well as three easels set up so we could paint live. We had about an hour, and I came up with that.”

Cabaret Student Production’s will be holding Youth Art Night 7:30 p.m. May 9 in the Jane Dibbell Cabaret Theatre as its final event of the semester.

“It’s very important to have our youth have a foundation and know where they could possibly end up one day,” Weaver said.

The crowd snapped in agreement.

“Maybe they could end up be here at this university,” Weaver said.

Cabaret Student Productions has invited local high schools’ art departments to showcase their art and talent.

“We know, and other artists know, it can sometimes be daunting as a high school student to continue your artistic endeavor, and we’re really trying to support that,” Clark said.

This story was originally published by The Campus Times.

photo by Breanna Ulsh

Free tuition plan is positive step

On April 9, New York’s state legislature approved Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to provide free college tuition to New York residents who are full-time students and earn less than $100,000 annually. In 2018, the cap will increase to $110,000 and then $125,000 in 2019.

The plan is projected to help approximately 80 percent of New York families, according to NY.gov. However, the scholarship that was created to make college more accessible to the middle class may exclude the very people it was designed to aid, strict requirements should become more lenient to aid those it currently excludes.

In March, more than 30 members of the state’s Assembly signed a budget letter agreeing that the proposal should focus on the middle-class and suggested the scholarship should be available to students whose household income is $175,000 or less. According to the Assembly, with the current requirements, the project would benefit only 32,000 students, less than 5 percent of undergraduates, once fully implemented in fiscal year 2019-20.

Multiple income families, despite meeting the cut-off, may not be able to afford tuition due to the high cost of living in New York. This is a reality many middle-class Californian families can relate to.

The scholarship also requires students to take 30 units per year. However, this requirement does not take into account students who may work full-time. Also, the scholarship could be lost if a student takes a leave of absence of medical leave. This strict requirement needs to be changed to include students who may need special accommodations to continue their higher learning.

In the United States, 44.2 million Americans have student loan debt, a whopping $1.3 trillion in total. The average student loan borrower will graduate with at least a $26,000 debt. For college graduates ages 20 to 30, the average monthly payment on their student loans is $351, according to federalreserve.gov.

New York has taken a step to provide options for its millions of college students, and as wonderful as that may be, the program should aim higher. Other states should look to New York as an example, an implement a similar program themselves.

This story was originally published by The Campus Times.

A writing and photography portfolio of an aspiring journalist.

%d bloggers like this: