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Samantha Mercado

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With the coming of fall, back to school and Halloween on our heels, it’s easy to overlook Latino Heritage Month, which starts in the middle of September and ends in the middle of October. How could one possibly celebrate when more important things are at stake like pumpkin spice lattes and apple picking?If you’re thinking, “Well I went to a Taco Tequila Tuesday last week–does that count?” No it does not, but we appreciate the effort. Truthfully, there’s no need to crack open a fresh Google search to find Latino influence around us, it is more prevalent today than ever before. From food to music to style, Latino and Caribbean influence is dominating mainstream pop culture. Given that Latinos make up roughly 17 percent of the U.S. population, according to Pew Research, it makes sense that their cultural influence would bleed far into the mainstream. But Latino Heritage Month is…

College is a wonderland full of opportunity, adventure and new people to piss off. What better way to start this new chapter in your life than by aggravating your roommate! 1. Assume the room is yours! If they wanted personal space they would’ve paid for a single, right? So just assume that no part of the room is off limits! Borders and boundaries are for amateurs, so just plop your things wherever you see fit (ignore the stickers; they’re purely decorative). 2. Give your roommate a warm welcoming! What better way to help your roommate relieve stress after a long day of classes than with a warm welcome into the room? Be sure to blast the loudest songs you have and sing along! Your roommate should be able to feel the love, and the bass, from the hallway. 3. Assume they have no friends! College is tough and not everyone is…

Post-college is always a scary thought for many graduates, but not many can say they’ll be jump-starting this new chapter of their lives in Mexico. For Hanaa’ Tameez, her journalism career will start in Mexico City this July as she enters a three month fellowship with The Wall Street Journal. As a journalism student at Stony Brook, getting the opportunity to write for a big name publication like The Wall Street Journal is a big deal. “At first I was like ‘Holy Shit,’ and then I thought, ‘okay how do I tell my parents?’ and then my third thought was like ‘Holy Shit,’” Hanaa’ said. As the current Editor-in-Chief of The Statesman, a journalism advisory board member and mentor, Hanaa’s time at Stony Brook has revolved around journalism. “I think because I’ve been able to do a lot of different things and because I’ve had different experiences in the school…

Parents send their children to colleges and universities for a safe and contained educational experience, but college campuses are rapidly becoming hunting grounds for sexual assaults. SUNY campuses especially have faced rising sexual assault reports within the past five years, according to New York State’s campus crime website. Incidents such as the recent ‘forcible touching’ assault, where an unknown male entered an all women’s bathroom in the SBS building and attempted to ‘forcibly touch’ a graduate student, are raising fear and a need for increased actions. With the numbers rising against them, many Universities, including Stony Brook, are making an intense effort to promote awareness and prevention of sexual assault. It’s hard to pinpoint one reason behind the climb in sexual assault numbers. Center for Prevention and Outreach intern Michelle Milner says the blame is on a culmination of things. “Rape culture is a major issue, just in the world.…

We’ve heard it before: the classic college kid-turned-musician story; from lecture halls to music halls. The story of Naveed Ahmed and his quest for that “big break” sounds something like that with a twist; Ahmed and his band are doing this all on their own and making sacrifices along the way, one being the relationship Ahmed has with his family.   “I do think a lot, why can I share this success with my friends, why not with my own parents?” Ahmed said. Ahmed is a junior at Stony Brook University majoring in engineering science. As if his demanding major wasn’t enough, Ahmed is also the lead singer of an up-and-coming pop-punk band named In Loving Memory. The band  formed only a year ago but is making headway on YouTube with over 5,000 subscribers. The band even opened for this year’s Back to the Brook concert at SBU, which was…

“Ibeyi! Ibeyi,” the crowd chanted louder and louder, feeding off of their entrance. The sisters faced one another with a microphone in between them and locked eyes. The crowd didn’t go silent, but a slight lull gave the duo enough peace to hit their starting note and hush the crowd for good. Ibeyi is the name of the French/Cuban duo that I had the pleasure of seeing perform recently in Webster Hall. The group is on its way to break through the Indie scene.. Ibeyi is made up of twin sisters Lisa Kaindé and Naomi Diaz. Having native Cuban parents and being raised between their homes in both France and Cuba gave the girls their creative edge. The duo explained, “We lived between Paris and Cuba, between two different cultures and ways of thinking… we are a mix of culture. That is what we are, so that is what you…

Some of the first words that we hear after emerging from the womb are “It’s a girl!” or “It’s a boy!” This inevitably leads to blue or pink blankets, bibs, nursery rooms. But what does the assignment of a male gender mean? 40 or 50 years ago, the answer was much simpler; it meant dominance, strength and power. Now, the definition has changed to mean much more. We live in a time where equality on all levels is the new frontier to be reached, specifically gender equality. This progression toward equality spits out different versions of masculinity, and caught in the crossfire are young boys. Stony Brook has begun to explore this progression with the new introduction of the Center for Men and Masculinities, which now offers students a masters degree in masculinities studies. Markus Gerke, a doctoral student in the masculinities department, explained that there are so many different…

President Samuel Stanley gave his State of the University Address yesterday at the Staller Center, where he focused most of it on new and distinguished faculty and campus renovation projects.   Stony Brook received more than 34,000 applicants and enrolled 25,272 students this semester, “our biggest enrollment we’ve ever had,” Stanley said. “Yet the quality is the highest it’s ever been among our undergraduates, both in terms of their SAT and their GPA.” At the core of his speech was the fact that  Stony Brook students work incredibly hard and need proper facilities to succeed. The new computer science building was his first example of the steps the University is taking to build a more conducive work environment. For buildings like the Student Union, the University has received 19 million dollars to begin renovations.  Stanley also mentioned the new housing complex that is currently being built on Toll drive.“Tthe building…