Undocumented – Fear and Mystery Plague the First Weeks of New Trump Era

It’s an uncertain time for many San Francisco State University students, who have a new president that is aggressively working towards fulfilling his election promises to his followers, and fast. For undocumented students enrolled at SF State this time brings out more than just questions and speculations of what the future holds; it is a time filled with actual fear. For studio art major Pamela Ortiz, fear is not an unusual feeling; it has been a constant part of her everyday life since her mid-teenage years. She first felt it when...

Too Much On Your Plate, Or Not Enough?- Food Insecurity at SF State

All-night parties, beer pong, and school work with no end: That’s what many people imagine when thinking about student life. But what about hunger? At least one in five students attending a California State University struggles to pay for nutritious food and regularly skip meals, according to the Serving Displaced and Food Insecure Students study done by the CSU to “shed light on how CSU campuses were meeting the needs of displaced and food insecure students.” San Francisco State University is not there to help — yet. Finding the means...

Who’s Driving You?- SF State Bus Driver Connects With Students in a Disconnected Environment

For John Barry, his job description goes beyond being a bus driver for San Francisco State University. Instead of shutting the doors on students chasing the bus, he opens the doors to let them in. Those who commute during the week may have seen Barry assisting someone who is disabled, or making people laugh on the bus with his charismatic personality. It wasn't until Barry found a job, just across the Bay Bridge that put him in a new position to open up and challenge himself. “I used to be...

Follow Request Accepted — Fashion Enterprisers Market Themselves Using Social Media

  Photographer David Ho (left) talks with make-up artists Sarah Espinoza (right) while stylist Allison Caragena (center) looks at her phone at San Jose State University. Brenna Cruz/Xpress The pop of her cheekbone highlight brightens the intensity in her eyes that holds the vision for this day’s “look book shoot.” Coffee in hand, self taught SF/Bay Area makeup artist, Sarah Espinoza stands alongside wardrobe stylist Allison Cartagena, and model Avalon Peterson, waiting for photographer David Ho to unlock the studio where the magic will happen. After hauling in luggage full...

A Table for Two (or More) — How Eating Together Unifies Our Community

  San Francisco is a city that is socially and economically diverse. To an outsider, this intersection of classes may seem abrupt, but to those who have spent any time in San Francisco, it’s a natural reality. This is something that can be seen in the way the Tenderloin — an area notorious for its homeless population — flows almost seamlessly into the next blocks, where one can suddenly find themselves amid the Hilton hotel, and the bustle of Union Square shops. An average day for a San Franciscan can...

Growing and Knowing — Part 3

The garden is our happy place. Now that your plants have been successfully transplanted and you’ve dealt with the mourning associated with the seedlings that have withered and browned. It is important that when you notice the transplants fade— once the stem has shrunken and lost its vitality — to remove the plant from life support and pluck it. Plucking plants is daunting at first. You feel a connection — you’ve watched them go from seeds in a package to something that is living. But it’s time to let go....

Rare Frequency — Blackness in TV

It’s no secret that Hollywood and entertainment media have a diversity problem. Since its earliest days, Hollywood as an industry has been dominated by mostly white male executives and stars who ultimately dictate what gets made and what sells to the largest audience possible. As of 2016 men retain the overwhelming majority of high level executive positions in entertainment media. According to a study conducted by University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, men in the entertainment industry held 81 percent of Board of Director positions and...

To Catch and To Gather — Filipino Communal Dinners Pop Up Across the Nation

  The idea to do a cross-country, fifty state tour in fifty-two weeks all started three years ago in the dead of winter. Yana Gilbuena was living in a loft in Redhook, Brooklyn. She suddenly had a craving for arroz caldo, a traditional Filipino ginger-spiced chicken porridge. But getting her fix for a typical Filipino dish wasn’t going to be easy because there wasn’t anyone in the city who made it. “I was getting frustrated at the fact that this is New York City and why can't I have my...

Seeking Human Touch — A Look into the Business of Professional Cuddling

  In one corner of the room sits a couch that’s big enough for two, but if more space is desired that can be easily arranged with Yoni Alkan. His studio is soothing, with green plants and beams of light pouring in through the windows overlooking the Richmond District. Now relax, because Alkan’s embrace is here. Through cuddling, Alkan has noticed a concern — it wasn’t just about good times for people, but being touched was transformative for them. With a background in human sexuality and conflict resolution, Alkan knows...

Hold Back The Tears — How Masculinity Keeps Men from Seeking Psychological Help

Thirty-year-old Jose Valenzuela runs his fingers through his scruffy beard as his eyes pierce through teardrop prescription glasses and out the living room window. His unblinking stare isn’t directed at anything outside but into his memory. A melancholic expression takes over his face as he recalls, “I’ve only seen my dad cry two times in my life.” Looking back on his formative years, Valenzuela has come to accept and even admire his dad for trying to shield him from the strains of life. However, he also reaped the consequences of...

The Line Between Free and Hate Speech

Yen Avery, a San Francisco native, poses for a self-portrait that she hopes will portray a positive image of Palestinian culture.   When Yen saw the advertisement pass by her on the side of a San Francisco bus, she felt anger and disgust. The red block letters spelling out “Palestinian Authority Teaches Children to Hate” and “End all U.S. aid to the P.A.” were layered onto three pictures of Palestinian children in gruesome situations. To Yen, the purpose was seemingly to provoke, and that consequent emotion resounded in her. The...

But Where Are The Women? — Representation of Queer and Trans Women in the Bay Area

  Sitting on the back patio of Toad Hall, a gay bar in the Castro District, Jillian Salazar ignores the crowd of men who glance with raised eyebrows at the only two women in the bar. She explains that the Castro has always been a place that catered to queer men, not queer women. “I chose this spot because whenever my gay, guy friends want to go out, a lot of times in the Castro, I’m like ‘All right, well I’m going to carve out a space for myself then.’”...