All posts by Samuel Favela

Dream On.

Whether it’s reading our article about using the N-word, listening to our End-Of-The-World podcast, or reporting fashion trends on campus, and learning workout routines on Instagram; we want you to know that we’re hustling for you, our multifaceted readers. Enjoy what we have to offer this semester.

Click on the link below to view the beautiful, first Issue of this semester.


XPRESS Magazine, October 2017


Letter From the Editor

When I first started my journalism journey back in 2012, many wondered what the hell I was going to be doing with the path I was on.

This field made no money, print was going extinct, and it seemed to be a dying industry.

But then, good ol’ Mr. Trump came along.

And now whenever I mention I’m a journalism major, it’s followed with a, “Good! We need more people like you, now more than ever.”

The thing is though, there’s always been people like me. Well reported information has always been there for people to absorb. Unfortunately ,it took a rude wake up call for the majority of people to realize how important we are, but hey, we’re here, and there’s no point of putting the blame on anyone now.

What matters is where we go from here.

How we document the truth and how it is delivered is something I’ve been thinking heavily on since I came into this position. So when I gathered my editorial team, I made sure to make it clear to them: we need a voice that’s personable, trustworthy, and relatable.

We’re millennials and so are our readers. We poke fun at how hard it is to find affordable housing while having good paying jobs with benefits, and yet, somehow turn up for march after march, fighting to make a change for future generations. We’re being accused of killing a different failing industry at least once a week, but making everyday changes within ourselves, hoping to positively influence society.

With this in mind, I wanted this issue to be strictly online.

I want to test our readers.

I want to take social media strategies, apply them, and see exactly what we get when our main goal is to not only inform, but to engage with them.

Gathering inspiration from Teen Vogue’s Editor in Chief Elaine Welteroth and Digital Director Phillip Picardi, I’m offering our readers more, too. Our students here at San Francisco State are so diverse.

You deserve more.

Whether it’s reading our article about using the N-word, listening to our End-Of-The-World podcast, or reporting fashion trends on campus, and learning workout routines on Instagram; we want you to know that we’re hustling for you, our multifaceted readers.


Enjoy what we have to offer this semester.

Magical Activism: Providing Protection Against the Trump Administration

In the beginning of the Spring 2017 semester, two fliers went up by two different people to start the same club on SFSU. Satanist, Shea Bile and Occultist, Jacob McAdam had one goal in mind: to start an organization that allowed their own beliefs to mix with others and further their abilities at practicing magic and furthering their spirituality.

Thirty-one-year-old Bile messaged twenty-six-year-old McAdam suggesting that the two should converge, in which they did.

During the same time, the Internet was conversing over the idea of witches around the world putting a curse on Donald Trump.

The height over the conversation took place when singer Lana Del Rey tweeted, “At the stroke of midnight; Feb 24, March 26, April 24, May 23. Ingredients can b found online”

This subliminal tweet had people online buzzing, noticing that these dates were in direct correlation with the dates witches wanted to put the curse.

At SFSU, the Occult Club had a different idea about these curses.

“Magic can manifest in a variety of ways,” says Bile, “Reality is going to find a way to resolve and sometimes it’s not going to resolve in a way you want it to. So putting a curse on them can literally be a death curse, and that would mean Mike Pence would be president, so what is that going to do?”

The Occult Club decided that instead of putting a curse on Donald Trump, they are going to put a protection spell on the minorities Trump’s administration are affecting.

Since the organization was new, and some of the club members were new at practicing magic, they set a date to hold a ritual at the end of April, and in the meantime, hold group exercises.

“It’s gonna be a time for us to connect and strengthen our relationships on a spiritual level,” McAdam says, “For me, that’s really important, to establish that chemisty.”

The group exercises involved meditating together and forming a bond to get to know one another.

San Francisco itself has a history of occult practices.

In 1966, magic practitioner, Anton LaVey started the church of Satanism and owned a house in the Richmond District, where he painted the house completely black and held many rituals there.

LaVey and his circle did a curse on the Hippie Movement in 1968 because they felt it was an expansion of the Christian foundation. At the time, Satanism was against the idea of ultra collectivism and loving everyone because the felt that it was ill-informed. A few weeks after the curse, coincidently, the Manson murders accorded and had a negative effect on the hippie culture because the Manson murders were an extension of the Hippie Movement.

LaVey and his circle put a curse on the movement was April 30, the same day that the Occult Club planned to put a protection spell during the ritual being held.

Because of conflicting schedules, they could not make the April 26 day happen like everyone was discussing online, but the April 30 date was still special for Satanist, Bile.

Opening the ritual was El Verschelden, who would like to keep her full legal name a secret.

Each member read their spells protecting the LGBTQ community, burned them and then held hands, thanking “Ava Luna.”

At the end of the ritual, El Verschelden received a text from her director of a play she was helping direct, stating that he agreed to change a transphobic scene in the play.

After reading the text out loud, the Occult Club grinned and knew that what they were doing is more than themselves and knew they were making a difference in some way.

Stay California

The dystopian scenario everyone loves to fantasize about is here. Factions have been formed, the union has divided, and the protagonist of the situation might actually be the villain.

California might not be far into the storyline yet, but a group focused on separating the Golden State from the United States, is pushing it along.

The ballot measure campaign committee, Yes California, has one goal: to give Californians the opportunity to vote themselves out of the Union, and into its own independent nation. Historically, this hasn’t really worked out, but there’s such a thing as second chances.

Yes California’s popularity has grown increasingly since President Trump’s win. With a mailing list that’s reached about 160,000 people, and a Reuters poll suggesting that about one in three Californians are for a peaceful exit from the United States, Yes California has high hopes on seceding from the rest of the country.

The chance of a successful secession actually happening is nearly impossible, but many said that about Donald Trump becoming president, so ruling out the impossible has to be ruled out in itself. Let’s play with this movie-made scenario.

The Factions:

Unless you’ve gone completely off the grid for the past year, it’s clear that there is a separation in the country. And if you live in a popular area in California, which is most of California, you’re probably thinking most of the country has gone insane.

The nation is now led by Republicans, and our left-leaning Democratic state is ready to do anything it can do stay on its progressive course. So what does California need to do? Well, jumping ship is the first thing not to do.

Listen, I know this seems a little scary, but just because the country is rumored to being ran by self-proclaimed nationalist, Steve Bannon, that doesn’t mean all red states have the same idea of nationalism.

When President Trump says he has the highest ratings, he has to be referring to the highest disapproval rating. CNN reported that fifty-three percent of Americans are unhappy with the way the president is doing his job; that’s higher than any president in United States history. Pew Research reports that only thirty-nine percent approve of how he’s done explaining his plans and policies, and a forty-one percent approve of his high-level appointments.

With ex-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn resigning less than a month into Mr. Trump’s presidency, it doesn’t look like President Trump’s approval rating is going to be getting better anytime soon.

The Divide:

After gathering 585,407 signatures to receive ballot recognition, that ballot measure then passing, and a proposed constitutional amendment, with a two-thirds majority in both the House and Senate, or a two-thirds ratification by the states allowing California to secede. That’s what it will take for our Golden State to get rid of the rest of the country. But first, is it possible for any state to break away from the Union?

We had a war to settle that question,” Justin Peck, a San Francisco State political science teacher explains, “and when the war ended, we came out of the war understanding that it is not a viable,constitutional option to exit oneself.”

After the Civil War, the Supreme Court case Texas v. White decided: “Acts in furtherance or support of rebellion against the United States, or intended to defeat the just rights of citizens, and other acts of like nature, must, in general, be regarded as invalid and void.”

So, no. A state is not allowed to exit the Union.

However, Yes California’s website lists a nine point case in which they provide valid reasons for leaving the Union. Some of the points mention trade and regulation, universal healthcare and immigration, but even after reading through the nine points, Peck isn’t satisfied.

As far as I can see, there is no credible argument…the system is setup such that the people of California get to advocate for their view,” he says.

And if you need any more reassurance that President Trump isn’t going to get himself into a fascist regime, Peck explains, “Donald Trump makes enough Republicans unhappy that if he broke the law, I think there would be people whose loyalty to the constitution is stronger than their loyalty to him or the Republican party.”

The Protagonist, And Possible Villain:

Louis J. Marinelli, the man leading Yes California, does not even live in California himself. Based in Yekaterinberg, Russia, Marinelli teaches English when he’s not leading the first, and only, California embassy.

Normally, a relationship with Russia would be of no concern, however, recent findings suggest that Russia might not be a reliable European superpowers to find guidance from.

To the defense of Marinelli, he is a U.S. citizen, and has openly stated on his site that he has no ties with the Russian government; except for the one time where he was invited to a conference in Russia, that was paid for with help by a grant from the Russian government.

Marinelli told the New York Times, “It’s kind of funny, because if we had secret Russian support, we wouldn’t be open. I live in Russia. I would have to hide that, not promote it. We have nothing to hide. We’re doing some good work here. We’re going to continue to do that.

The Ending:

Yes, California has the sixth largest economy in the world. Yes, California is a donor state, and gives more money to the country than it gets back. Yes, our progressive lifestyle is wrapped with more common sense, and arrogance, than most of the country. But, should our solution consist of ditching the rest of the country?

“Many people that live here are being portrayed as the enemy; the ‘West Coast elites’,” Matthew Fisher, a San Francisco business professor says. “If you’re not really wanted and you don’t really need to stick around, then why stay in an abusive relationship?”

And that’s a valid question to ask. But, what we also have to ask is California really in an abusive relationship, or is it the American people as a whole?

Since President Trump has taken office he’s put up an ban on seven Muslim majority countries, rescinded Obama’s guidance on transgender youth using school bathrooms, and barred news outlets like the New York Times and CNN from a White House press briefing.

California is getting abused, but so is the rest of the country. So why should the state leave everyone else to fight off President Trump on their own? There are systems in place to fight President Trump. The same system that got him in power, is the same system California can use to take it away. Why break a system even more when there’s ways to fix it?