December 19, 2014

Get Your Zen On

By: Aimee Estrada

Staff

Club meetings, guest speakers, lunch, socializing, studying, and special events like karaoke; community hour is jammed with competing events. However, every week a few dozen students take to the mat instead. Yoga Wednesdays are back, and this semester yoga classes are being offered on Thursdays as well.

Rachel Shanken, a counselor in the Counseling Department, teaches Wednesday classes in the combative room (T300).  Jessica Greenfield, a Women’s Center counselor/gender-based violence prevention and Response Advocate, teaches Thursday classes in the dance studio on the C-Level of the T-Building.

So, why yoga? “What AREN’T the benefits of yoga?” Greenfield asked, “There are emotional; decreased anxiety, decreased depression, lowered stress, increased concentration, improved memory, etc, and physical; strength, flexibility, stamina, heart heath, increased lung capacity, etc. benefits.”

According to the American Osteopathic Association, “The relaxation techniques incorporated in yoga can lessen chronic pain, such as lower back pain, arthritis, headaches and carpal tunnel syndrome,” Natalie Nevins, DO, a board-certified osteopathic family physician and certified Kundalini Yoga instructor in Hollywood, California, explained.

Additionally, Dr. Nevins said, “regular yoga practice creates mental clarity and calmness, increases body awareness, relieves chronic stress patterns, relaxes the mind, centers attention, and sharpens concentration.”

“My first impressions were how friendly and welcoming the yoga instructors were as well as the ‘yogis,’” Icaro Soares said, a Sophomore and Forensic Psychology major who is new to yoga, “it was a non-judgmental environment which made me feel comfortable.”

Soares was part of the first class, which had a turnout of about 24 students. According to Shanken, turnout is normally around 30 students, however they were competing with karaoke that day. The students were a mix of beginners and more experiences yogis.

For those new to yoga, they can expect “to focus on breathing, moving your body, stretching, and getting your Zen on,” Shanken said. Her advice is to “wear comfortable clothing and come with and open mind.”

“Yoga was more intense than I expected but at the same time very relaxing and I felt encouraged by the instructor to keep going,” said Soares. “I’ve been going every Wednesday and I don’t plan on missing any class.”

The Women’s Center created the yoga program in the winter of 2012.  According to Greenfield, they thought, “yoga would be a great complimentary support for students dealing with some of the issues that are central to our mission.” However, at the time there were no trained yoga instructors on staff, but Greenfield said, “we were fortunate that we were able to find a registered yoga teacher who was willing to volunteer to come to John Jay and teach the class on a weekly basis.”

In May 2013, Shanken became certified as a yoga teacher and the yoga program became a joint initiative between the Women’s Center and the Counseling Department. Greenfield became certified in May 2014 and this semester classes are offered on Thursdays as well.

“I would definitely recommend friends since yoga is something that anyone can practice and it is free here at John Jay,” Soares said. “it’s been really relaxing and helping me keep focus on my studies.”

Which is the point, as Greenfield said, “Our hope is simply that our classes inspire students to take what they learn about themselves on their mats and bring it with them into their lives.”

Fashion Faux Pas

By: Darren Harris

Staff Writer

Summer is almost over and the season is beginning to change to fall, and along with the change of season, fashion seems to follow right along.

The summer fashions have seen a tremendous outburst of color such as violet tulip, freesia, white, placid blue, sand and dazzling blue in
jeans, shorts, blouses, shoes, and accessories.

So, what are the fashion mistakes to steer clear from when transitioning your wardrobe from summer to fall?

According to womens-fashion.lovetoknow.com, one of the biggest mistakes women make during the fall season is “mixing prints,” where “florals don’t complement plaid, and paisley doesn’t work with polka dots.”

This column is not saying not to wear prints, but instead, ensure that you’re going to wear a solid color that will complement the print blouse of your choice.

Priscilla Sanchez, a John Jay student, said “every girl should have a cute print top, but they shouldn’t overdue it, and that seems to be the issue i have noticed a lot on campus is the print can sometimes overpower the entire outfit.”

Another fashion mistake during the fall season according to www.gurl. com/fashion-mistakes-faus-paux is “not layering properly,” and the importance of layers for the morning, afternoon, and evening outfits.

New Yorkers tend to experience the emotions of the weather changes, and it’s important that they layer properly through the day.

Barrie Nulman, a John Jay student, said “I always try to wear a good amount of layering during the fall season, because I know that the weather can change during the day, and it’s essential that I wear layers that not only complement my style but also the New York weather.”

What about snow or rain boots? Should you bring an extra pair of shoes to change into once you reach your destination? During the fall season, New York City can experience large amounts of rain and snow that can often kill even the most pre- pared fashionista. Rain or snow boots can conflict with the style of an outfit if they aren’t form fitting to add to the appearance. In a recent poll at John Jay, 85 percent of students voted that it is easier to keep their rain or snow boots on throughout the day instead of changing into shoes. Students, such as Denise C. Taylor, hassle with keeping on wet boots. “Although it is easier to just keep the boots on, they become difficult to walk in, and really kill the look on a girl’s outfit,” said Taylor. In this case, looks come over comfort. According to John Jay student Marcela Nash, “style outweighs comfort any day and it’s just a fashion nightmare to wear rain boots that do not compliment someone’s outfit.”

If a person decides to wear rain or snow boots, then try to choose a neutral color that can be worn with multiple outfits. Fashion is always evolving and changing, and it’s important that fashionista’s stay on top of their wardrobe to ensure that they don’t become fashion victims during a season that often demands you to choose between comfort or style. Looking at the trends that are perfect for the fall and winter seasons, such as robe coats and dresses over pants, one must be

careful with these looks as they can make or break an outfit. There are statement making trends this fall season, and if

you’re selective yet fashion forward with your style, you’ll be making heads turn.

Men’s Do’s and Don’ts

By: Jenifer Valmon

Contributing Writer

For those of you who enjoyed the hot days of summer, withdrawals are likely on the way. No need to break out the box of tissues or shed tears for your favorite summer shorts, because fall is around the corner, and I’ve got just the right tips that can help revamp your wardrobe.

Nick Carvell, from the UK GQ magazine, reviewed the fall trends of 2014 in London.

According to Carvell, biker jackets and mankets (yes, mankets) are going to be this fall’s male trend. Mankets are the scarf/cape hybrid worn by Paul Galvin, an Irish soccer player and fashion columnist for the Irish Independent News- paper, as a sort of overcoat.

Corey Stokes, of www.complex.com, noticed trends in New York to be sweater layering and “techy, fleece outer wear.” Both Carvell and Stokes were able to agree that “scarfs that weigh as much as three babies,” also known as mankets, are going to be big for the fall.

But the question is: Who is wearing a manket in the “move or get run over” city of New York? If you need to stop the doors from closing when you’re about to miss your train, mankets can be the perfect accessory for the fashionable subway surfer.

If you live anywhere within the five boroughs and commute to class, biker jackets are the right pick for you. They are versatile and more practical for the active John Jay men.
Biker jackets can be worn as a casual piece with a pair of sneakers,denim pants and a white t-shirt, or it can be used to bring a little edge to a pair of slim trousers and a button down shirt. Either way, little effort is needed to put together a stylish outfit.

Black is always a safe color to choose but if you want go for other colors try to keep it neutral. Look for dark indigos, dustybrowns, and shades of hunter green. These colors will allow you to mix and match when creating the rest of your look. It will also make it easier to find the right layering pieces when the temperature drops.

Leather is ideal for longevity, since it wears very well and usually looks better with time, but nylon or cotton blends will do the job while being gentle to your budget.

Whether John Jay men will wear mankets or biker jackets, only time will tell. Whatever you choose, remember to make it work for you, regardless of your style. Don’t kill yourself to follow the trends and end up fashion road kill.

Souled Out Or Sold Out

By: Ryan Durning

Staff

Jhené Aiko’s debut album “Souled Out” was released on Sept. 9th. The Def Jam signed songbird has slowly brought attention to this project through a mixtape, guest appearances, and last year’s “Sail Out” EP.

Thankfully, Aiko doesn’t disappoint her fans, bringing introspective songwriting to this album in spades.

The West Coast singer is not known for having a particularly strong voice or a wide range of notes she can hit. Instead, she offers interesting takes on R&B’s well-tread subject matter through wordplay to keep listeners engaged.

Aiko usually presents lyrics that differ from the standard mainstream fare; quite often her songs convey a message or take on a deeper meaning.

The song titled “Limbo Limbo Limbo” kicks the album off with an immediate strong start, as it sets the tone for the serious nature of her LP.

“She was born in limbo / With the need to be as simple / As her makers and the made up things she dreamed” describes Jhene’s abstract style.

The distortion effects used in the last verse take away from the track but overall it’s a solid introduction to what she brings to the table as both a songwriter and singer.

The second track is one of the best songs on the album, titled “W.A.Y.S,” which is an acronym for why aren’t you

smiling. The song has an uptempo flow matched with a hypnotic beat and personal lyrics that draw on two of her biggest inspirations, her daughter Namiko and brother Miyagi.

She displays an impressive use of alliteration on the hook, singing “Life can get wild when you’re caught in a whirlwind / Lost in the world when you’re chasing the wind.”
The next couple songs are two of the

three singles released off the album, “To Live and Die” featuring Cocaine 80s and “Spotless Mind.” These songs include some of the strongest production and lyrics on the album as a whole.

The only problem is “Souled Out” doesn’t feature too much variety in terms

of sound. Heartfelt lyrics and solid technique are wonderful to have but when some of the beats start to blend together, it can quickly take away from the enjoy- ability of the song.

As the album marches on, the centerpiece “Wading” is the weakest song. “As good as it gets / I’ll have one regret / You’re something I cannot miss” doesn’t

strike the mind as memorable and Jhene’s vocal range don’t help either.

Some of her music on this album suffers from sequencing, it seems. For exam- ple “Wading” and “Eternal Sunshine” suffer from being placed right before better songs such as “The Pressure.”

“Promises” is a song about her pledges to both her deceased brother, Miyagi and

her adolescent daughter Namiko. Lyrics dedicated to her daughter like “I’ve been coming home late night / I’ve been sleeping past day light /I’m waking up you’re not by my side / Baby that ain’t right” are intimate and touching. A song that is both heartbreaking and profound, Ms. Aiko tugs at the heartstrings one last time.

Closing out the album is “Pretty Bird (Freestyle),” a spoken word/song hybrid with some unflattering vocals. Chicago rapper Common has the last verse and some uplifting wordplay to balance out Jhene’s sulky verses.

Souled Out is an impressive album in the sense that it features almost no other voice except Jhene herself. While this is increasingly rare for a major label debut, it also places all of her strengths and weak- nesses front and center. Thankfully her writing and honest approach overpowers her underpowered voice and occasionally bland beat choice.

Jeezy Spits Fire

By: Ryan Durning

Staff

Jeezy has been through a lot in the music industry in the decade since his first album, including a recent arrest for gun possession after a man was killed backstage at one of his concerts.

On his latest LP, “Seen It All: The Autobiography,” he’s more concerned with his place in the rap game as a pioneer of Atlanta Trap music. Released on Sept. 9th, this is his 7th album, a feat most rappers don’t often reach.

Never a great lyricist, Jeezy gets by through perseverance and an uncanny ability to pick beats that perfectly fit his gruff voice. No one could ever accuse him of making profound, deep music that raises hard questions about the mysteries of life. Jeezy makes anthems that motivate, songs that you can work out to.

On “Seen It All”, it’s not always great that Jeezy balances his newfound need to remind us of his achievements with hisprevious ability to make bangers about drugs, women, and money. “You know I like to turn up at the spot / Act a fool with the money / G told me keep it low-key” from “4 Zones” stands out as something he has said a million times before.

“They say great minds think alike, Know what I’m thinkin? /A great grind will change your life” is an example of Jeezy hitting the right note between the two divisive styles. The title track, “Seen It All” featuring frequent collaborator Jay Z has an hauntingly looped sample and a rich layered instrumental that pairs well with both artists’ reminiscent verses.

Other times, like on “Black Eskimo” and “Beautiful”, Jeezy’s persona just isn’t enough to make up for songs we’ve heard from him 25 times on 6 previous LP’s. “I gota condo up in the sky/‘Fore I fake it, I’d die / Foreign b****, no lie /Man, that b**** beautiful” just doesn’t pass as good music anymore for such an experienced artist.

The album does have a couple bangers though, “1/4th block”, “What You Say”, and “Beez Like” all feature Jeezy at the top of his game. The Atlanta rapper excels when he is trying to push others to new heights, and these songs embody that spirit. Tracks that focus on his seedy past like “Holy Ghost” and “Win Is A Win” excel because he is able to vividly paint pictures that his charisma helps sell.

The album closes on the introspective “How I Did It (Perfection)”, which in the same vein as the title track, shows that Jeezy’s haunting past and drugs to riches

story is much more interesting than when he raps “first to tell you m********* ‘trap or die’ that’s me ok”.

Jeezy’s main problem is telling people how great and novel you are only works when you make music that isn’t generic, which is sometimes the case. Reminding everyone of the trail that he blazed working for Jay Z, when he started worrying about his legacy as he first retired. All it does for Jeezy is sound whiny and that’s the last thing we want to hear from the man who has made millions off motivating the streets.

Know Thy Selfie

By:  Jose Oropeza

Contributor

If you have an Instagram or Facebook account, chances are you’ve seen one. Sometimes with more than one person, and often with a “#” symbol in the caption.

The selfie, a trend that took social media by storm, rose to hashtag status shortly after the introduction of smartphones – specifically the iPhone 4, which was released in 2010 and came with a front-facing camera.

In 2013, “selfie” was made ‘word of the year’ by Oxford Dictionaries, and is defined as “A photograph that one has taken of oneself and…uploaded to a social media website.” Researchers at Oxford found recorded uses of the word “selfie” rose from less than 500 per billion instances in January to more than 5000 per billion instances in October.

Although the concept of the selfie is by no means new, recent events like Ellen DeGeneres’ selfie at the 2014 Oscar’s ceremony caused a record breaking, re-tweeted selfie, that crash Twitter. The 2014 EDM song “Let Me Take A Selfie” has given the term new levels of popularity.

Judith Naeignacio, a John Jay sophomore, shared her outlook about selfie content: “These people do the duck face, their tongues sticking out like Miley Cyrus. Trying to look silly and cute, sucking in their stomachs and pouting. Some people are narcissistic.”

Two years after its first 2002 online appearance in Australia, social media outlets like Tumblr have been using “selfie” as a hashtag. Since then, users having been referring to self-taken pictures as such.

Younger people post more selfies on Instagram than older users. In New York City, the average age of people that post selfies is 25.3, a study conducted by the CUNY Graduate Center found.

The Mental Health Association is buzzing about Selfie addiction dominating places like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Even astronaut Steven R. Swanson got in on the fun. While in orbit, he one-upped his peers by being the first to Instagram a selfie from space.

Selfies are 38% more likely to receive a ‘like,’ and 32% more likely to receive comments when compared to snapshots of places, a Georgia Institute of Technology study found.

Women were found to be more likely to take selfies than men, according to the GIT study. They are also 150% more likely to tilt their head in the selfie.

Women who base their self-worth on their appearance are more likely to post selfies and maintain a large following on social media sites, a SUNY Buffalo study found.

Nikita Shurygin, a freshman at John Jay, doesn’t find the study hard to believe. “I think people who take a lot of selfies are trying to draw attention to themselves.  Maybe they have self-image issues,” he said.

And self-image issues can lead to greater problems. Danny Bowman, a 19-year-old from Britain, spent 10 hours taking selfies on one occasion.  He skipped school, lost his friends, and attempted to take his own life after not being satisfied with the quality of his seflies, The Independent reported.

“People take this selfie stuff way too seriously,” Shurygin said shaking his head. “It seems like selfies on Instagram and the ‘likes’ they receive socially rank people.”

But selfies are not to blame, some experts say.

“Clearly there’s something more going on. Selfies were just a medium [Bowman] was using. It’s not the selfie that’s the problem,” Deborah Miller, a certified school psychologist, said.

“He sounds like he has obsession, and clearly, self esteem issues. His suicide is not connected with selfies, nor are selfies a cause of what occurred.,” Miller said.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a treatment offered to combat this trend of socially handicapped individuals. According to the Beck Institute, CBT “helps people identify their distressing thoughts and evaluate how realistic the thoughts are. Then they learn to change their distorted thinking. When they think more realistically, they feel better. The emphasis is also consistently on solving problems and initiating behavioral change.”

Regardless of emerging statistical evidence concerning selfies, they might be helpful to individuals.

“Young adults in college are typically very concerned with their appearance, and when they can take photos of themselves when they look their very best – that’s important,” Miller said.

Selfies can boost a person’s self-esteem, Miller argues. “Individuals are able to stage how they look, and post photos that they find to be most attractive. It’s a quick fix for issues concerning self-confidence, and self-esteem.”

Well, thank goodness for selfies. #winning 

Marcela Sanchez contributed to this article. 

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The Social Disconnect of Social Media

By: Orobosa Omede

Contributor

How many people do you know in this day and age who do not have a social media account? Everyday a new social media site is created. There are over 2 million social media outlets that currently exist. Whether it’s Facebook or Twitter, it seems like in today’s society, social networking has become a custom, and a distinctive part of regular everyday life.

The social networking audience continues to grow. According to Emarketer.com In 2013, over 1.73 billion people world wide had access to some form of social network site and media outlet. Statistics show that by 2017 the audience will increase drastically to 2.55 billion.

Social network sites like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and LinkedIn, allow you to communicate with just about anyone you please to connect with, this includes friends, family, and coworkers. Through these sites you are able to share thoughts and ideas as well as connect in a social environment online. You can as well conduct research on people of your choice.

Through social media people are able to communicate with one another all around the world, build relationships without actually seeing the person face to face. However, this form of communication may seem convenient, yet it is the leading reason for desensitized relationships.

20-year-old John Jay sophomore, Aisha Sheriff, said, “there’s not a day where I’m not on my phone. I use Facebook to communicate with my family outside of the country. I find it very convenient.”

Social media has expanded over the years. It’s become more accessible through phones and tablets.  People have access to the online world in the palm of their hands.

Through the use of social networks intimacy is essentially lost. People lose face-to-face interactions because their communications are mainly online. Being online isolates you from society by creating false realities in a virtual world.

Sheena Chatoo, John Jay sophomore, said, “sometimes I’ll go online for five minutes to check something and I will end up being on Facebook and Instagram for hours. It’s addictive.”

How safe is it really to meet people online?

More and more people each year are signing up for online dating accounts. People are not always who they say there are, and online is the perfect place where people can fall victim to these instances.  People are more likely to be catfished (being deceived about a relationship or a person’s identity online.) It’s become harder for information  online to be  accurate and trustworthy.

Online friendships give a false sense of communication. The development of long lasting meaningful relationships is diminishing due to social media.  There’s a lack of emotional connections being made. The creation of social networks allows people to practically live on the network.

The need to have face-to-face communication is declining. It’s become vastly easier to have relationships with one another

Chatoo said, “I’ve got upset a few times at friend over text, because I misinterpreted what they are sending me.”

Though social media is great for a world of things, communicating with a vast amount of people, exchanging information, connecting ideas and businesses, the concerning aspect is that what ever you put online never goes away.

Social media and networks target a young demographic.  Who “live in the moment” and they are more likely to have these problems.

Clinical psychologist Dr. Priscilla Ambrose  of  Yonkers, New York, said, “Social media sometimes desensitizes emotions making situations appear different from reality. There are certain walls and barriers that these networks provide when it comes to communication and if it is not fully addressed, it will be a problem for our future generation.”

Dr. Ambrose says, “social media serves many purposes, that include giving us a outlet to express ourselves positively, although it could also be used in the opposite way, the technology advances have stimulated us, as we found a different and unique way to communicate with each other, it doesn’t necessarily have to be traditional.”

According to The Telegraph, the sales of in-home electronics, and mobile devices have grown rapidly since 2000. The spending on these products have increased by 2.5 million in the last 5 years. The online newspaper revealed new research  that suggest since 2007 people have gained an increasing amount of enjoyment from these in-home activities and mobile creations such that these provides socializing via the internet, and using games consoles. Social media and networking has increased people’s views of what they find entertaining by 52% last year.

Sharing information seems beneficial, but when its information sheds light on some ones mistake or a person’s embarrassment then it becomes problematic and difficult to escape once it’s let out. This can become stigmatizing for some because instead of the embarrassment lasting a few moments in person, online it’s always there were people could share it with friends. 

Orlando E. Velez, a John Jay student, said, “Everyone’s experience with social networks are different; you have people who can’t live without it and then you have people who don’t care that much about it. In some way what you do online is a reflection of who you are as a person.”

Velez said, “You have to be very careful what you put online; not everything you post is private. The things you put up follows you, and you never know who will see it in the future, if that’s what’s important to you.”

The ability to create and share all sources of information is beneficial to many if the sources are credible, but with social media it’s quite easy for information to be inaccurate. Such inaccuracy spreads to millions of people all over the world that accessing these sites, leaving them misinformed.

Sheriff said, “Each time period has their thing, and I guess ours is being social. Social networks does change the way we communicate, it enhances and improves it.”

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Th[Ink] About Your Future

By: Rehana Sancho

Contributor

By Aruj Ali

By Aruj Ali

With celebrities like Lil Wayne, Rihanna, and Justin Bieber showing off their body art on places like their necks, arms, and faces, it is easy to see why young adults outside of Hollywood are increasingly turning towards the tattoo culture. However, students may be unaware of the long-term consequences of having a tattoo that may no longer appeal to the future you.

Although tattoos are seen as an artistic expression of one’s self,  should students be aware of the side effects of having a permanent ink on their skin? When a young adult decides to become tattooed, important factors like future career paths, placement of the tattoo, and understanding how the image they wish to portray in their early twenties may affect their future.

Scott Jones, developer of tattooinfo.net, a website that provides information for tattoo newbies/hopefuls, explains tattoos can be priced in various ways. Although some tattoo shops may have an average hourly rate of $80-100, or are based on the size, and placement, may all factor into the price.

Tattoos are expensive and priced at the discretion of the prospective artist. Artists should also have valid tattooing license, a book of previous work and sanitized work tools . Before getting a tattoo, try to be informed of the process and the removal.

Britney Debnam, a recent graduate of Sarah Lawrence University, came to John Jay to interview for a job with Teach for America. Debnam was modestly dressed in black stockings, a white shirt, and a black blazer to mask any visible tattoos. Debnam has five tattoos; three are visible and are about six inches in length. One is placed on her foot, which is why she can’t wear nude stockings.

Debnam says every one of her tattoos are “little photos” of her past, but she does regret a few of her tattoos because they were last minute decisions, based on temporary emotions.

Debnam feels like students who are thinking about getting a tattoo should think about where they will be in next few years and how having tattoos may affect them. Although she regrets a few, she’s still in love with her two white ink tattoos.

The tattoos are a question mark and a comma, a homage to her days as her school’s newspaper editor. Both tattoos  are  mostly invisible until you look closely.

Professor Alexander Long By Aruj Ali

Professor Alexander Long
By Aruj Ali

John Jay Career Counselor, Barbara Young, admits employers will not always ask you about a tattoo, but if they see one it will be noted. Young, a Baruch Alumna, who holds a master in Public Administration, says if you have a tattoo, do research on the company’s personal appearance policy.

Young advises doing research will prepare you for what the company is looking for in an employee. She tells students,”If you’re going for a job at MTV, tattoos aren’t a problem,” but to also be wise and do your research.

Young explains the purpose of an interview is to “assess the image” after reading someone’s resume. So knowing the company will give you a better understanding of what they expect. Young’s advice for tattooed students? Don’t offer information unless asked for information about the tattoo. This way you’re not drawing more attention toward the tattoo than necessary.

Jordy Frias, John Jay junior, feels students get tattoos because of social pressure, family members who have tattoos, friends, and celebrity influences. “Tattoos are a commitment,” Frias said and, “they prevent you from your choice of certain jobs like the State Troopers and NYPD.” According to the NYPD website, they prefer non-visible tattoos, but if you do have a tattoo you have to be prepared to explain their meaning.

If someone is faced with the decision to remove an unwanted tattoo, there are a few options. The safest way to remove a tattoo is through a doctor. One procedure requires surgery, and another is the laser removal, which is the most popular method.

According to WebMD, 50% of all people who get a tattoo will have it removed by the laser method. The laser method sounds like a bug zapper, it beams a laser at the inked area, breaking the color down, which will eventually be absorbed by the skin. Although this method is one of the most effective, not every one’s tattoo will be completely removed, some will just have a faded scar look to them.

CNN featured an article on their website called “How to safely get a tattoo removed.” Expert dermatologist Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank  explains the minimum cost to have a small tattoo laser treatment ranges from 80- 100 dollars, and on average clients will have to have 5-12 treatments, maybe more depending on the coloring of the tattoo. Having a tattoo removed can cost you more than you initially paid to have it drawn on your skin.

By Aruj Ali

By Aruj Ali

An alternative to getting a conventional black or multi-colored tattoo would be to try a white ink tattoo. Debnam has two, a question mark, and a comma on her right hand in between her thumb and index finger. Although still noticeable if you look closely, it can be easily overlooked.

Debnam states that the white ink tattoo feels “more personal” to her because it’s only visible to her most of the time. Along with the white tattoo, she has another that says, “Ain’t I a woman,” a quote from female pioneer Sojourner Truth. Debnam explains that Truth, an abolitionist and activist for women’s rights, was one of her only female role models while she was a young girl, which is why that quote is special to her.

Frias tells students to ask themselves, “What is the meaning of this tattoo and is it my personal choice?” Young’s advice is to first, “Try a temporary tattoo, it can be removed.” This way you can see if a tattoo is right for you.  Debnam warns maybe, “wait until you know who you are before getting a tattoo because  corporate America likes conservative.

Prisons Become “The Grey Area”

By Marckincia Jean

Contributor

Provided by Wikipedia.org

A poster for The Grey Area.

 

On March 6, the documentary film, “The Grey Area: Feminism Behind Bars,” was screened in the Student Council conference room for students and faculty. The film addresses education, mental health, and the sentences of incarcerated women in the United States.

The film, directed by Noga Ashkenazi, s the second out of five that the Women’s Center is screening this semester. It addresses the treatment of women in the criminal justice system.

“The Grey Area” focuses on a maximum-security female prison facility in Mitchellville, Iowa. Female students from Grinnell College  want to create classes for incarcerated women and set up five-week courses for the prison in Mitchellville. Through poetry, dance and women studies, they addressed sexual, physical and psychological abuse in the prison.

The courses did not only educate the inmates, but also gave them a sense of empowerment and understanding of social issues and injustice that pertains to women.

Elizabeth Yukins, director of the Women’s Center and an English professor at John Jay, held the screening at the Women’s Center. Professor Yukins chose this film to represent the United States within the film series.

Yukins heard about this film through a friend, who introduced her to the Women Make Movies distributor. This distributor gives grants and resources to people who are interested in viewing non-mainstream films produced for women by women.

“We claim to have one of the most developed legal systems in the world, and yet, as this film shows, there are many people dis-served by the injustices in our system,” Yukins said. “All too often women’s voices, most specifically the voices of poor women, are left out of the conversation about the merit and the problems of our criminal justice system.”

The film asserts that, although taxpayers fund prisons, they do not know what goes on inside these institutions. Although there are 600 female inmates, there are only two mental health specialists employed.

The film emphasizes that the women must not only be treated as offenders, but also as victims, who are in need of mental health treatment.

According to the film, nearly seven million people in the United States are affected by incarceration and the majority of inmates have a history of sexual abuse. 60 percent of inmates receive treatment for mental illness, depression, substance abuse or anxiety.

The film states the war on drugs is also a war on women. “More research is needed to be done to illuminate how the war on drugs is both a war on women and impoverished communities of color,” said Yukins. “I do consider myself an advocate for justice, largely through the educational work and advocacy work we do at the Women’s Center.”

Symone McLaughlin, a graduate student working in the Women’s Center, attended the screening to learn more about women in the criminal justice system. “I really enjoyed it. I thought it was interesting how little the justice system recognizes trauma, because they do not see them as victims,” McLaughlin said. “I am very excited about attending other films.”

Students listened attentively as the film addressed that inmates who complete a college degree have a 15% relapse rate, whereas those who do not have a 60% likelihood of re-imprisonment.

Many of the inmates come from families that embrace prison culture, where they have been exposed to drugs and violence from a young age. Some inmates have histories of sexual abuse where sound, touch and smell can trigger series of flashbacks that bring anxiety and a sense of vulnerability.

According to thegreyareamovie.com, Yvette Louisell, a 43-year-old inmate, featured in the film, was re-sentenced by the Story County District Court Judge, James Ellefson. Louisell’s life sentence was changed to 25 years. Louisell was convicted of first-degree murder in 1987 at the age of 17 for stabbing Keith Stilwell, a 40-year-old man.

Louisell posed for Stilwell to draw her alone in his home. In the film, Louisell said that when Stilwell locked his bedroom door, telling her that she was not able to leave, she stabbed him out of self-defense because she felt she was at risk for sexual assault.

Louisell is among 37 Iowan women given life sentences as juveniles. Although the Iowa Supreme Court case, Miller v. Alabama in 2012, declared the life sentencing of juvenile murderers without the possibility of parole was unconstitutional. The judge ruled that Louisell will not be paroled due to the time she has already served. Though it was appealed, Judge Ellefson’s ruling could have allowed Louisell to be released on Feb. 10.

Kachatur Arabachian, a senior at John Jay, who also attended the screening, said via email, “After all that they have been through they remained optimistic. I really admired most of the women for this particular characteristic throughout the film.” Arabachian mentioned that prisoners are often looked at as “damaged goods,” but the film shows that they are able to change, grow and heal.

At the conclusion of the film, a discussion was held where students were able to talk to Yukins.

“I think schools, especially ones like John Jay, need to do a better job at improving student activities that will allow them to get involved,” Arabachian went on to say. “Solving major problems like this begins at the smallest level.”

Rap Album Erupts From Seedy Past

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By Ryan Durning

Staff Writer

Top Dawg Entertainment artist Schoolboy Q’s major label debut, OXYmoron, is his most progressive yet frustratingly ignorant record to date. In interviews he has stated that the theme of the album was documenting all the bad he has done in order to support his daughter.

The former Hoover Crip/college football player/Oxycontin pusher has created an album that lives up to it’s clever title. The album is constantly flip-flopping be- tween honestly brutal introspection and brash celebration of his seedy past which is perfectly summed up by the titular track “Prescription/Oxymoron.”

The first half of the song details his addiction to prescription drugs before the beat flips into a menacing piano loop and stuttering drums that Q uses to brag about selling Oxycontin and whose hook turns into “I just stopped selling crack today.”

The long wait for the album, originally announced after the last TDE album “Good kid, M.a.a.D City,” which dropped Oct. 12, 2013, has only served to highlight some of it’s missteps. The album can be bro- ken down into a repeating pattern of three songs with the middle one usually being the weakest.

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The album starts off with the brash “Gangsta.” Q is at the top of his game, spitting about his past. This segues into the underwhelming “Los Awesome” where the slurring of his voice makes the track for- gettable, before the pace is picked up again by the lead single “Collard Greens” thanks to the pulsating hypnotic production and a funny guest verse from Kendrick Lamar.

This happens two more times on the album, most notably in the sequence of “Hoover Street”, which finds Q talking about his uncle, an addict, which is by all means a gritty tale, followed by “Studio,” ruining the mood with it’s uninspired romance. Finishing up the trio is the thesis of the album, “Prescription/Oxymoron.”

After the titular track, Groovy Q hits his stride and finishes out the album with hard hitting rhymes, especially in “The Purge” and “Break The Bank,” while flowing better and generally avoiding the minor mistakes made in the first half.

As a member of TDE, Q has amassed a following as the gangsta rapper whose infectious flow and chants of “yawk-yawk- yawk” help to liven up his well tread sub- ject matter of women and gangbanging.

Without his charisma, he pales in comparison to the lyricism that fellow TDE members’ Ab-Soul and recently Grammy nominated Kendrick Lamar bring to the table. Ultimately, Schoolboy has shown that he can make an album that can be both disarmingly blunt and maddeningly mindless.