Mass Shooting in Las Vegas Shocks Nation
By Julia Cheng
On the evening of Sunday, Oct. 1 a mass shooting took place in Las Vegas, Nevada, killing at least 58 people and injuring more than 500 individuals at the Route 91 Harvest Festival according to an Oct. 7 CNN.com article.
The same CNN.com article also claims a handwritten note with “calculations pertaining to the distance and trajectory” from the window to the concert was found in the shooter’s hotel room. This information, along with 23 various guns and ammunition and 50 pounds of explosives found in the shooter’s car implies the attack was planned in thorough detail.
Bump stocks are one of the reasons this horrific event was so deadly and injured hundreds. In an Oct. 4 article from The New York Times website, “The bump stock is not banned under federal law even though it allows a weapon to fire at nearly the rate of a machine gun without technically converting it to a fully automatic firearm.” This partially explains why this mass shooting injured over 500 people.
While the nation is still hyper-focused on gun violence, some members of Congress are trying to take advantage of this motivation to limit the number of future mass shootings by enacting legislation to further regulate guns. Senator Diane Feinstein, D-CA, introduced the “Automatic Fire Prevention Act” that “would ban bump stocks, trigger cranks or similar devices within six months, with an exception for government or military use,” according to an Oct. 8 article on the USA Today website.
The USA Today article also states that the National Rifle Association opposes banning bump stocks, but that regulation of such devices might be needed.
In a press release from Oct. 5, Senator Feinstein stated: “Legislation would make crystal clear that Congress is banning all devices that allow a weapon to achieve an automatic rate of fire, regardless of how a weapon is altered. Such legislation can and will save lives, and Congress should act immediately.”
Of the many victims of this event, four are known to have lived in Ventura County: Keri Galvan, 31 from Thousand Oaks; Chris Hazencomb, 44 from Camarillo; Susan Smith, 53 from Simi Valley; and Lt. Derrick “Bo” Taylor, 56 from Oxnard, according to an Oct. 4 article from The Los Angeles Times website.
In an email sent out to the entire CI population, President Beck stated: “Our deepest sympathies and condolences are with our fellow Americans who have lost a family member or friend, and we extend positive thoughts for those who will be recovering for many months and years to come.”
Students can make an appointment with a CAPS counselor during their regular business hours, located in Bell Tower East 1867, or speak with a licensed clinician using the 24/7 phone counseling by pressing one after calling (805) 437-2088.
Our hearts go out to those affected by this tragedy.
National Hate Group Sparks Controversy in CI Community
By Ivey Mellem
On Wednesday, Oct. 4, CI police received reports of stickers and fliers that were placed around campus which advocated for a group that calls themselves Identity Evropa. This group has been identified as a white nationalist hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
This hate group is “focused on the preservation of ‘white American identity’ and promoting white European culture,” according to an article from the VC Star on Oct. 12. The article also states that “The group’s membership application includes a question asking if the person is ‘of European, non-Semitic heritage.’”
The fliers and stickers were removed by members of the community as well as Facilities Services staff on the same day that they were posted. So far, there have been no more postings of these stickers and fliers on campus, and all have been removed.
The first response to these postings came from the CI police, as the incident was reported and has now initiated a criminal investigation due to the misdemeanor crime of vandalism. This is a result of the damage caused by the stickers that were placed on CI property. The posting of these stickers and fliers also violates the university’s posting policy, because the hate group did not get authorization to post on campus property.
The investigation is still ongoing as CI police attempt to identify who committed the vandalism, however there have been no suspects identified at this time.
On Friday, Oct. 6, CI’s Dean of Students sent out a campus-wide email in regards to the posters found on campus, stating that: “Colleges and universities across the country are currently targets of various organizations as a platform for promoting their purpose or goals, some of which are grounded in hateful and divisive rhetoric.”
A few days later on Thursday, Oct. 12 President Beck also sent out an email condemning the stickers and fliers, writing that: “Our campus unambiguously denounces racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, and hateful ideologies that diminish liberty for all… We will, however, not tolerate violence in any form and we will not allow outsiders or outliers to undermine our commitment to inclusive intelligence. Our strength lies in our unity and it always will.”
After this incident, some students and faculty members have come together to form Students in Solidarity. This group formed in order to resist this white nationalist group, as well as spread awareness of this hate group and other similar groups throughout the community.
“As students, it’s important to know we’ve got each other’s back,” Students in Solidarity stated. “We come from various diverse backgrounds and we will not stand for any recruitment from hate groups on our campus.”
Remembering… Cause Hanna and Rachel Huff
By Jazzminn Morecraft
On Aug. 28 Cause Hanna, a CI faculty member, passed away from cancer, which he had been battling for the past year. He leaves behind a wife and two young daughters.
Dr. Hanna had been involved here at CI since 2013. He first began as an instructor in the biology program, however in 2014 he was hired on as the research station director. Dr. Hanna was actually the founding director of the Santa Rosa Island Research Station. He oversaw building programs, developing research projects and developing partnerships with other agencies and educational institutions.
He helped to build the culture of undergraduate research here at CI. Hundreds, if not thousands, of students have benefited from the opportunities that he created. He helped these students to not only experience CI but to also experience field research as well. There are now many ongoing projects involving faculty and students from a number of majors as a result of his work.
Under Dr. Hanna’s leadership, this past year the research station received the Human Diversity Award from the Organization of Biological Field Stations. This award recognizes a field or research station that has been a leader in increasing the engagement and involvement of underrepresented groups in the field of science. Harvard Forest, University of California Sagehen Creek Research Station and the Organization for Tropic Studies in Costa Rica are prior recipients of the award.
Dr. Hanna was able to take his ideas and turn them into a reality. Additionally, he was enthusiastic and energetic and made everyone feel at home and included.
Dr. Cause Hanna will be missed.
On Aug. 11 Rachel Huff, a CI employee, passed away from Ewing Sarcoma, which is an extremely rare cancer that most often occurs in and around the bones. There are fewer than 1,000 U.S. cases per year. She leaves behind a husband and two children.
Huff had worked at CI for just about seven years. She was the Crime Prevention & Community Involvement Coordinator for the police department on campus. She was responsible for coordinating the outreach for the department in the community. She was great at meeting people and making connections for the police department, whether it be in the community or on campus.
Huff was also very focused on the students, always wanting the best for them. She would table at events to make sure students were aware of the programs happening. She was also heavily involved with the Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) program, improving the system in regards to people showing up and even going as far as becoming an instructor. Additionally, she was involved with the Active Shooter program, really marketing the program and bringing awareness to it.
This prior calendar year, in 2016, Huff was recognized as employee of the year throughout the public safety department. The public safety department consists of the police, transportation and parking and environmental health and safety.
Huff was a unique individual that cared for students like she cared for her own children. This can be seen through the work she has accomplished. She was active not only as an employee in the CI community but also as a mother and wife.
Rachel Huff will be missed.
Earthquakes and Hurricanes Continue to Cause Havoc
By Rendle Burditt
Last month on the 7th of Sept., an 8.4 earthquake struck off the coast of Mexico. It was “felt powerfully in Mexico City,” according to The Los Angeles Times, and was felt throughout Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. But the earthquakes continued.
An even deadlier earthquake of 7.1 magnitude followed on Sept. 19, which, according to The Associated Press, has had a death toll of 355, along with obliterated infrastructure throughout central Mexico. On Sept. 23, two more earthquakes, a 6.1 and a 4.5, both hit the epicenter of Oaxaca state.
This recent bout of earthquakes has evoked memories of the 1985 Mexico City earthquake, which Nina Lakhani, writing for The Guardian, addresses, since “victims were never publicly identified—one reason why many are skeptical about the official death toll of the recent quake.”
The earthquakes are not the only events happening at the equator, as Puerto Rico is still struggling to recover after being hit by Hurricane Maria. A little more than half the population has drinking water and 85% of residents still lack power.
However, all 78 municipalities have been visited and provided with emergency supplies, three-quarters of ports are open and 51 of 69 hospitals are open (but only nine of them are connected to the electric grid).
Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, Hurricane Irma in Florida, Hurricane Harvey in Texas: these three hurricanes have had disastrous effects on American territory. All coming consecutively, one after the other, all three of these areas have people displaced from the hurricanes.
Chelsea Rueda, a senior and performing arts major with an emphasis in dance here at CI, shared a story about her friend in Houston: “He lost his truck that he just recently bought less than a year ago. It was a pretty huge truck, and, because of the water damage, he had to pawn it—sell it for scraps.”
When it comes to donating to victims, there are many ways to do so. Be aware that the Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster “recommends cash donations,” and be sure to research any charities before making donations to ensure the money will get to those in need.
CI Introduces New News Center
By Mark Westphal
This fall, CI launched an all new web-based news center that can be accessed via the CSUCI website. According to Kristin Steiner, a Communications Specialist here at CI, the News Center was developed to replace the biweekly Wavelength Newsletter since it was “not providing updates in a timely fashion.”
Unlike the former Wavelength Newsletter, the News Center features daily updates in real-time and all kinds of news, which is organized in tags that include News Releases, Faculty and Staff News, Students and Alumni.
You can also view fast facts about CI under the “For News Media” section, previous Wavelength Publications under the “Publications” section, as well as connect with all of CI’s various social media portals in the “Social Stream” section, which allows users to go into the social media directory and connect with programs and clubs around campus.
The News Center will continue to expand in the years to come: “Looking in the future, (the News Center) may evolve into a more specific structure, featuring news that is college specific…with specific filters that would allow users to get directly to the news stories they want to read,” says Steiner. She also says that they would like to incorporate the campus events calendar into the site, but the new events calendar software has yet to be implemented for the campus.
To access CI’s brand new News Center, go to https://www.csuci.edu/news/.