Student Highlight: Michael Yamaguchi

Shy Yamasaki, Staff Writer

Student-athletes here on campus play a high role in bringing other students together. Due to the circumstances, many different athletic events have been live-streamed to keep everyone in the loop. The seasons for many of the spring sports will be ending very soon. The teams keep the students updated by either posting game dates and times on social media pages or the SMU Saints athletics page. Sports have changed due to COVID-19, but all the teams have made it work by taking mandatory COVID-19 tests, practicing in small groups and traveling under safety precautions. Balancing school and sports can be difficult, tiring and hard to handle sometimes, but athletes here on campus know how to manage it.

One such student-athlete is baseball player Michael Yamaguchi, who is a first-year coming from Iolani School in Honolulu Hawaiʻi. One thing that Michael likes about being a student-athlete is being able to form a deep bond with people on his team because it is truly something special. Bonding with one’s team is very important since it creates memories that you will never forget. Especially during this season of COVID-19, team bonds are crucial since teams are practicing in small groups and traveling with different people. Yamaguchi said, “Balancing school with baseball is stressful and tiring at some points. You just have to find a way through it so that you’re able to enjoy playing on the field.”

Some highlights that Yamaguchi has experienced from baseball are traveling on the road for the first time and his time spent on the field with his fellow players. A perk that Yamaguchi says  Saint Martin’s has is that the campus is a beautiful place to attend college. “The people here are extremely nice and the campus is amazing. The presence of sports teams really brings the community together even though it’s quite difficult with COVID-19,” he said. Yamaguchi also shared that he is extremely grateful for the opportunity to play at the collegiate level, and that the most memorable event that happened to him was getting his first collegiate hit during a game. 

SMU Sports Update

Ryne Oshiro, Staff Writer

As spring sports are in full swing, complete updates around each current sport are a must. The COVID-19 pandemic altered the timing of the season’s sports, such as volleyball and soccer now being considered spring sports for the 2021 season. In a time where so much negativity has been thrown around, it is refreshing to see Saint Martin’s University sports back in action. 

The SMU Golf teams are off to a hot start as both the men’s and women’s are currently finished with their second invitational in two months. The women are led by Jada French, who started the year off strong by shooting a career-low 78. The entire team went on to place 6th overall in the Northwest Nazarene Invitational. In the first week of April, the Saints struggled on a tough course as they placed 15th overall in the West Texas A&M Desert invite. As for the men’s side, Tyler Fitchett continues to help the Saints as best as he can after he posted yet another top-10 overall finish, in Arizona. Fitchett tied for 7th overall as an individual as he led the Saints after shooting 70-72-70 in the three rounds. Although finishing 8th overall in the tournament, the Saints were only one stroke behind Western Washington and Colorado Mesa. The women have one final tournament before the GNAC conference tournament, and the men have two more before preparing for their playoffs. 

Michael Russell continues to emerge as one of the Saints’ best sprinters after he finished second twice in both the 100m and 200m dash. Russell ran his season-best 22.31 in the 200m and placed at the top for competitors in the division 2 level. The same happened when he finished his second race of the day in the 100m dash and again finished first for the division 2 runners and second overall. As for the women’s side, Cassidy Walchak-Sloan finished second overall in her 1500m event, with a time of 4:54.25 minutes. The Saints have three more invitationals before their GNAC Championship campaign, and if the past two invitationals have indicated anything, it would be that they are headed in the right direction. 

Volleyball is sitting on a 1-3 record after beating Seattle Pacific University to start their year. Following the historic win against SPU, the Saints saw two players tabbed with GNAC offense and defensive players of the week. Kylie Coon provided the offense after achieving 13 kills in 35 swings and Giselle Benetti collected 11 digs in the first game of the week and then a team-high 23 digs in the second match. The lady Saints will look to regain their momentum as they look to get back to their winning ways. As of right now, there are currently nine scheduled games left on the calendar.

Softball is currently sitting at 10-12 overall on the year and 2-6 in conference play. The Saints offense is led by freshman third baseman Britney Patrick who as of April 5, 2021, holds a team-high .310 batting average and a team-high eight stolen bases in eight chances. Helping with the offense is redshirt junior Julia Lucas who leads the team with 13 runs batted in (RBI) and .400 on-base percentage (OBP). Lucas and Patrick look to provide the Saints with momentum as they head back into conference play against tough opponent Western Washington on April 10.

This article reflects statistics that were accurate as of 4/8 and some may have changed since the article was written.  

March Sadness for some, March Happiness for others

Ryne Oshiro, Staff Writer

Coming into the 2021 NCAA tournament, the men’s and women’s had two clear favorites: the lady UConn Huskies led by stud freshman Paige Bueckers and the undefeated Gonzaga Bulldogs. Unfortunately for both of these teams, neither got to hoist the championship trophy when the final buzzer went off. UConn lost the semi-final game that would have sent them to the championship game in Arizona. 

As for Gonzaga, they made it to the championship but lost to the Baylor Bears. Gonzaga entered the tournament as the number one overall seed after going undefeated in their regular season. Dominating through the first three games, the Bulldogs did not get challenged until the Final Four. Facing an 11-seeded UCLA team, the Bulldogs had to pull off a buzzer-beater in overtime to take down the Bruins. Heading into the championship game, the Bulldogs had previously beaten the Baylor Bears, but what they got on Monday night was far from a storybook ending. The Bulldogs came out of the gates slow, trailing by double digits from nearly the first 10 minutes and eventually losing by a score of 86-70. The Bulldogs were the highest ranked offense after averaging 90 points per game but fell way short of a productive night when it mattered most. The Bears came out of the gates on fire, and playing with heart, the ball seemingly bouncing their way all night. The defense of the Bears was stingy as Gonzaga star players Jalen Suggs and Drew Timme could not get their team in the right rhythm. Had the Bulldogs won the final game, it would have been the first time since the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers for a team to complete a full season undefeated. 

The overall ratings around the championship game for the men’s side also took a hit as views for the game declined by 14%. Considering the current state of the pandemic and the game being held in Indiana, this game was the least-watched championship since CBS started broadcasting the game back in 1992. On the other hand, the women’s championship game was the most-watched game since 2014 and had a peak viewership of nearly 6 million people. It was also reported that the women’s final four was also the most-watched since 2012, and all indications pointed to it trending upwards as it was an all PAC-12 rivalry matchup in the national championship game. 

As for the UConn Huskies, they spent the night watching the championship game as they witnessed the Stanford Cardinal win a national championship for the first time since 1992. Coach Tara VanDerveer finally hoisted the trophy after almost a three-decade drought. Despite pouring in a game-high 22 points and 38 minutes played, Arizona’s Aari McDonald gave her team a chance to win the game at the buzzer. McDonald raced down the court for a final shot but as three Cardinal surrounded her, she came up short and the Cardinal were crowned champions. Haley Jones led the way for the Cardinal as she scored 17 points and added eight rebounds, while her teammate, Lexie Hull added a double-double after scoring ten points and collecting ten rebounds. 

As for both the men’s and women’s basketball teams, who knows what is in store for the next year to come. As time goes on, the possibility of more fans being regulated to watch the games seems like a realistic opportunity, and March Madness can proceed back to its normal chaos. As for the Baylor Bears and Stanford Cardinal, both teams will look to defend their titles in 2022.

ASSMU Elections

Tinsae Shifreaw, Staff Writer

With the end of the school year coming in just a few more weeks, we must prepare for the new changes that will lead to the 2021-2022 school year. With that in mind, we recently had the elections for The Associated Students of Saint Martin’s University (ASSMU), which began on April 9 with the results sent out on the 16th. All positions were open and there was a diverse set of candidates, ranging from current freshmen to upcoming seniors. The positions we voted on as a community were president, vice president, executive secretary, executive treasurer, the executive club representative, and the 12 senators that represent the majors and affiliation communities on our campus. Let us meet the people who are going to represent the students.

Our president is Katherine Jamerson. Her goals as president is to help enrich the college experience, continuing the foundations set by ASSMU in previous years in upgrading the student union building, and to help make heard the voices that are often left unheard in the community. She wants to help Saint Martin’s have a brighter future and to help the community grow. 

Our vice president is Andrew Oslin, who is a current junior. He has previous experience in ASSMU, acting as the Senator of Athletics for two years, and has acquired a deep understanding of how the council works and how to work hard and collaborate with different people. 

The executive secretary and executive treasurer are appointed by the incoming president and vice president. Running for the executive secretary position is Elizabeth Miller, and running for executive treasurer is Cheyenne Yap. Miller has many attributes that are conducive to the role of secretary, such as organizational skills, the ability to transcribe for meetings and communication skills to help communicate with the senators while helping to boost the social media presence for ASSMU. Yap’s goals if appointed as Executive Treasurer is to make sure all clubs have the funds for their activities and help fulfill financial requirements and responsibilities. 

The senators are up next, with there being senators for the arts and sciences, athletics, business and more. The senators also represent the commuter, international, non-traditional and military-affiliated students. The incoming senator of arts and sciences is Yuan Angelo Fernandez, who is a first-year psychology student. His goals for this position are having everyone in the community succeed by guiding the community to show their potential to build bridges and connecting them together so we as a community can evolve. He has leadership experience being an event coordinator for the Campus Activity Board, president for the NAMI Club here on campus and is an Act Six Scholar. 

For senator of non-traditional Students, Marissa Grab is the nominee. She is 33 years old as well as a single mom who knows what it means to work hard, working long hours her first two years of college to reach her goals. She aims through her position to inspire those who are at different points in their lives to continue with their schooling and also bridge the big gap between the nontraditional and the traditional students. 

Asma Ibrahim is the incoming senator of cultural diversity once again, and her goals are to advocate for the clubs running here on campus and have many ideas and events planned for the upcoming semester. With the new array of representatives in the different positions, many with promising and diverse ideas, the senate of 2021-2022 is set up to do a wonderful job representing the students of Saint Martin’s. 

What to do on a Rainy Day

Ailina Cunningham, Staff Writer 

As the saying goes, “Spring showers bring May flowers”. While that might be true, that leaves the question of what to do during those Spring showers.  How do you make the best of a rainy day that may leave you stuck inside? For students who are looking for ideas on what to do during the rainy days to come, here is a fun and helpful list to follow. 

Go outside. Although it seems counterproductive, going outside could be the perfect remedy for those dreary day blues. Trends on the popular video app Tik Tok include photoshoots with your friends in the rain or going on a wet hike. Hiking can include warm fuzzy blankets and hot cocoa afterward to warm up. Of course, there is the ever-present option of putting on your best rain boots and going to splash in all the puddles that you can find. Go outside and find something that you enjoy, then come back inside to warm up with a hot drink and tell your friends all about it, or even bring them with you. 

Have a movie night. Another popular option in the new age of streaming is to boot up Netflix, Disney+, Hulu or even Amazon Prime and binge-watch your favorite series. Rainy days are the perfect excuse to stay inside and create a cozy little space with blankets and pillows and spend all day watching your favorite episodes and movies. Maybe it’s a good time to watch your old Disney favorites or catch up on a new series that you’ve been waiting to binge on. The best options are always to find a show that you enjoy and spend a couple of hours watching it. Then maybe go online and make a post about everything that you took away from the episodes and possibly recommend the show to others. You can even set up your little movie theater inside your room and surround yourself with fun snacks and cute recipes. Doing this would lead you to your third rainy day option.

Make some fun treats. When it’s cold and wet outside, that is the perfect opportunity to try out the recipes that you’ve always wanted to try but have never been able to get around to. Maybe it’s a fun popcorn idea that you saw on Pinterest. Or maybe you want to try those food hacks that are always going around the Internet. Maybe you just want to try a new recipe that you found. No matter what the case, a rainy day is a perfect opportunity to bring out those oven mitts and spatula and give it a try. Even if you have a baking fail, you can always adjust the recipe and try again. Or upload the fail for some laughs!

Try a new hobby. Rainy days are a great time to try out something new that you’ve been looking forward to for a while. Whether that is learning how to stitch and embroider so that you can learn how to create clothes, maybe work on a cosplay outfit, or even alter your clothes to be a better fit. Perhaps it’s time to learn how to play the guitar or enjoy an afternoon reading a book. 

No matter what you choose to do on the next rainy day, enjoy your day and use it as an opportunity to destress!

What Music Do SMU Students Listen to?

Sunya Chay, Staff Writer

With so many different genres and artists, there is music that can suit everyone’s personality and lifestyle. There are many students at Saint Martin’s University, so a variety of music can be expected. For some students, listening to music while they are studying, hanging out with friends, doing some laundry, or just while relaxing can be a common occurrence.

Haley Turner listens to music when she is either studying or driving. “I normally listen to music while driving, studying, or showering,” she said. “Most often I listen to music while driving because that is where I am the most. For studying I sometimes cannot focus so I have to have no noise.” According to an article by Healthline, listening to music while studying can improve focus, but can also be distracting to some. “Plenty of people swear by music as a helpful tool for studying and working. Others find it impossible to concentrate with any background noise at all. Music does offer a lot of benefits, including improved mood, increased motivation, improved memory and brain stimulation, and better management of pain and fatigue” it says. 

Since there are so many ways to listen to music, students are able to find their favorite songs on most streaming services. They can also create playlists to organize their songs into different moods or for different activities. For Turner, she uses Spotify to listen to her music. “I generally listen to music through my car stereo, portable speaker, or through my AirPod Pros. For getting music, I use Spotify the most. I find that it is what’s easiest for me. I do have a playlist, multiple actually. I have different playlists for artists, moods, what I’m doing, etc. I also find new music through Spotify and Pandora, but mostly Pandora.”

For other students like MacKayla-Michelle Reyes, a first-year Exercise Science student, she uses YouTube to listen to music. When she wants to find new music, she’ll listen to music that her friends recommend to her. “I listen to music on YouTube and then put it on autoplay,” she said.“I usually find new music when I’m with my friends or when I try to change the music I usually listen to on repeat.”

With so many genres of music, it can be hard to pick just one. An article by Wonder states, “According to the popular music streaming service Spotify, there are over 1,300 music genres in the world.” With so many genres, it can be hard to find a few genres that can be a favorite, much alone a favorite song or artist.. “My favorite genres would have to be R&B and musicals,”Reyes said. “For me, I love listening to Bruno Major and H.E.R. As for a song that I can listen to on repeat, I think mine would have to be ‘Grow as We Go’ by Ben Platt.” 

For Turner, she doesn’t have a favorite genre but does gravitate toward oldies and pop. “I like a lot of popular songs, but I do enjoy the oldies too. Overall though my favorite genre is probably pop. Lately while studying I have enjoyed Power-Haus or Duomo. Both of these groups have songs I can focus on while doing work without feeling like it’s a lullaby.” 

 There are so many songs, artists, and genres, it can be hard to find a new favorite song. However, if you want to listen to some songs suggested by both Haley and MacKayla, as well as myself, I created a Spotify playlist so you can find a new favorite song.

Traditional Events Missed by New Students

Emmanuel Son, Staff Writer

The COVID-19 pandemic has put a restraint on a number of traditional events usually held by Saint Martin’s University. This has caused all freshmen and new students in the 2020-2021 school year to miss out on potential activities. To begin, Director of Campus Life Alexis Nelson stated that the events that had led up to Orientation had been done very differently this school year. AHANA, Orientation, and Incipio had been limited to 50 people per room with each leader only having about 10-15 students. Virtual sessions had also been offered for those who were not able to make it to campus in person, given that a number of students had done remote learning all school year. “It was an art and was very tricky. We had to break it up a lot more,” Nelson said. “We had to have masking, social distancing, and all food had to be boxed and not buffet style. We could not do close contact games or activities. But all that to say, we did it.”  

Nelson said the traditional events that had to be cut this year include Family Weekend, Casino Nights, Winter Ball, and Pack the Pavilion. Family Weekend mainly consisted of current Saint Martin’s students inviting over family members on campus for a weekend to learn about the students’ educational lives and to get to know the Saints community better. Casino Night events typically include a number of table casino games where students can play for raffle tickets to win prizes. Winter Ball is a traditional dance that celebrates the end of the semester, as well as Christmas and the New Year. Pack the Pavilion is the annual tradition of supporting the Saints basketball team. 

Despite the number of large events that had to be canceled this year, the school was still able to host a number of smaller events to help keep students active on campus when not doing schoolwork. Nelson says that some of the most popular events with the most attendees included both virtual and in-person bingos which in total reached over 100 attendees, outdoor movie nights in the fall, and a de-stress event both in the fall and winter. 

While most major traditional events have been canceled, there are a number of events that are still planned to be in-person to close off this unusual school year. Some events that are planned to be in person include the Student Appreciation Awards, Senior Toast, and the Salute to Veterans celebration. “Everything that’s happening around Commencement will happen in-person, ” Nelson said. “There are also still a number of Campus Life and club events that are still anticipated to happen in person. Some of these events include a Murder Mystery Night, the Hui O’ Hawai’i Luau, and an all-day Spring Fest which will include a 5k race limited to 25 people per session in the morning for a total of 125 campus-only community members. Following the race will be performances that will take place throughout the evening. Senior Toast will precede the events that happen throughout the day. 

While the future of COVID-19 restrictions in Thurston County is unpredictable, Campus Life already has an idea of some events they plan to host next school year. Orientation for freshmen and other new students this summer will follow the same protocols as last year with masks and social distancing in place. Saint Martin’s plans to have different orientation sessions depending on what year a student is entering. Sessions for incoming freshmen will be a day long, with another session being for transfer students. Incipio will also be in person. For next school year, the Campus Activities Board (CAB) plans to work on bringing a number of Saint Martin’s traditions in person such as Winter Ball at the Indian Summer Golf and Country Club, Family Weekend, and Pack the Pavilion.                                                                                                                                                                           

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Review

Tinsae Shifreaw, Staff Writer

For those of us who are comic book fans, we are familiar with Marvel, the company who has given us heroes like Iron Man, Captain America, and Black Panther. Marvel is also known for its cinematic universe, the 23 films that all come together in their latest movie Avengers: Endgame which led to many characters leaving the scene by either staying back in time or sacrificing themselves for the greater good. However, Marvel is not stopping at just Endgame. They are still continuing on with movies and TV shows, basing everything on the comics written by the late Stan Lee. 

With that, it leads to the discussion of the new Marvel hit show, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. While there are two episodes left in the series, the show has covered many dark topics, connecting them to real life while continuing on with the plot. The two main characters, Sam (The Falcon) and Bucky (The Winter Soldier) work together to stop the terrorist group the Flag-Smashers. The characters do that while also dealing with their own different situations, which is shown throughout the show and is an important theme of it.

Bucky Barnes was tortured and controlled by HYDRA, ordered to kill those who stood in HYDRA’s way and has now been released from their control. With this plot point, the discussion of mental health is brought up, especially in relation to veterans with PTSD. We get to witness Bucky attending therapy and discussing his past, showing how HYDRA’s torture destroyed his mental health and lasted into his day-to-day life. These scenes give us a new perspective on how harsh war can be on different individuals.

With Sam, the discussion of racism appears and is highlighted in Episode 2, when two police officers were being hostile towards him until they realized he was an Avenger. Race is mainly brought up in the discussion of the super serum and how it was used in the past, along with Sam giving up the shield. Sam cannot accept the shield because he knew that because he was black, he would face backlash for carrying the shield as he does not represent the people, as well as the fact that the government has never protected black people equally. As for the serum, Baron Zemo says that the serum is used by people with supremacist values, using it to continue their agenda. This is an important line because the serum used for the super soldiers in history has only been used for bad, in exception to Steve Rogers, who was a good person, and why he never truly defends the government. 

This show is good to watch because it brings up topics that need to be discussed. Episode 4, however, is the one with the main controversy for the Marvel fans who watched it. The shield of Captain America was used as a brutal weapon for a murder, which hurt many people because the shield was used by Steve Rogers (the original Captain America) as a symbol of hope for the people. With it used as a weapon by John Walker, that image has been ruined and replaced with darkness. 

The series shows how power can be destructive in the wrong hands and how those with the right ideas can turn to violence when many try to stop them. An example of this would be the Flag-Smashers who bring supplies for refugees after the Blip, an event of half the population disappearing for five years. The government views them as a terrorist group because their means of collecting these supplies are violent. The Flag-Smashers are also supplying serum to make super soldiers out of those who are willing, which is another form of defying the government.

Getting Ready for Finals

Ailina Cunningham, Staff Writer 

As every student knows and may be panicking about, finals are soon approaching. This means that learning how to study and getting out your flashcards and favorite BIC pens is more important now than ever. For some, it is time for them to find their favorite methods of studying or favorite spots on campus and soak up all the knowledge they can. For others, it’s time to hit the books to try and cram study for those exams. No matter what your methods are every student has their ways of studying. In this case, seniors were asked what their favorite methods and ways of studying were and how they planned on studying for the upcoming finals.

Responses took a wide range which included things like: “I normally go home and I sit on my bed and try to surround myself with all of my books and open up my laptop so that I can see the study guide while reading the assigned books.”

Other responses were more intense such as, “I normally have my books all covered in highlighter marks and that normally helps me to follow along with exactly what the questions are probably going to be on the exams. I learned a long time ago that if you follow along with the study guide and what it says in the book, including the highlighted parts that were mentioned in class, you can get a pretty good idea of what the exam is going to look like. That includes the questions. So then I try creating what I think the questions will be on these flashcards and I answer them. That normally gives me a pretty good idea of what I’m going to see on the exam  and helps me to get ready for it.” 

Although studying is not the only way that seniors or other classmen can prepare for finals. Part of studying is relaxing, and people’s favorite ways to relax also encompass a wide range. The most popular response to how a student chose to relax before or after a study period was to watch shows on streaming sites. Some other great responses were that students like to hang out with their friends to relax. Conversely, it was also a suggestion that people got their friends together and created a study group if they were studying similar subjects. This is a great opportunity for people to make new friends if they want to create a study group with people from their classes. The best way to study is in groups because of the collective thought process that can occur when bouncing ideas off of each other. If a study group is created, then remember to bring your highlighter pens and lots of paper to take notes. 

Finally, when asked which study methods students would recommend to others, responses were very helpful. “I would recommend paying attention to the study guide if a study guide is offered and always be sure to bring lots of snacks so that you don’t get hungry and distracted when you’re studying.” 

Another student offered a simple response: “Find a method that works for you and stick to it. Don’t fix what isn’t broken.” Several study methods exist. Whatever one works best for you, and whichever one helps you the most, use that and have the best of luck this season of finals!

AHANA Mentor Applications

Hillary Thompson, Staff Writer

Saint Martin’s University is known to have many exciting clubs and programs. Many of these clubs offer students leadership roles as well. If students are interested in a leadership program, they may become an AHANA mentor. 

John Hopkins, Ph.D., who is in charge of the AHANA Mentor applications, gives insight as to what the AHANA club is all about. “The term AHANA is an acronym. It stands for African American/Black, Hispanic/Latinx, Asian-Pacific Islander, and Native American,” he said. “The program is initially designed for incoming BIPOC students. The aim of AHANA is to support student transition and persistence into the Saint Martin’s campus community. Mentors are key. These are second-, third- and fourth-year students of color who help with this transition and persistence. They guide and lead students by sharing their stories of transitioning into Saint Martin’s. Cultural identity, such as race, ethnicity, gender, and class, plays a big role. These students share their experiences as BIPOC students.” 

Dr. Hopkins also tells students how to apply, when applications are due, and where to turn in applications. “Students can receive an application by contacting John Hopkins at jhopkins@stmartin.edu,” he said. The deadline for applications was last Friday, April 9 at 5 PM. 

Dr. Hopkins offers more insight into the mentor role while also listing what is expected and what the programs provide for both mentors and incoming students. He stated, “offered over a three-day period prior to the student orientation, AHANA provides workshops that emphasize college transition and readiness, cultural identity development, and career and major exploration; it allows students to interact with second through fourth-year students of color to learn about the ins and outs of college life and it structures activities that build community with their peers. AHANA embodies the Benedictine value of hospitality and the core theme of community by creating a welcoming and supportive space for our incoming students.”