Photo By Calmille Grochowsi

Provider faces labor shortage

Hiring signs have filled windows all throughout the country, due to a labor shortage largely credited to the COVID-19 unemployment relief fund. California Baptist University is not immune to this labor shortage. 

Currently, Provider, the company that manages CBU’s restaurants, is short nearly 200 on-campus employees. Provider employees are working to compensate for this labor shortage, but many lines at dining locations on campus are ranging from 30 minutes to over an hour.

Eric DaCosta, director of Food Services, shared how different the labor is on campus now compared to pre-COVID. On-campus food service issues have stemmed not just from lack of labor, but also the student worker availability.

“When we operate at full capacity, we have about 450 employees,” DaCosta said. “Out of the 450 employees we typically have about 20% that are students. Students usually work on an average of ten hours a week. Currently, we’re at only about 270 employees total and 60% of that are students, so one of the challenges is the availability of students because they have classes during the day.”

Like many other companies throughout the nation, Provider has been offering incentives to gain more applicants. Provider offers perks for both those already on staff and those willing to join.

“We’re holding job fairs, using staffing agencies and we’ve offered referral incentives to current employees,” DaCosta said. “We raised the average wage as much as we can, but we’re still struggling to get applicants through the door and showing up.”

Connor Ryan, sophomore creative writing and journalism and new media double major as well as Brisco’s employee, said that the employees and restaurants are struggling during this time.

“The labor shortage has made it so that several locations are simply unable to open at all,” Ryan said. “For example, The Habit was originally supposed to open on weekdays during the fall semester, but after having a soft opening, they realized that opening The Habit would stretch their manpower too thin and opted to leave it closed. When someone has to call off, it raises a huge issue because there is rarely anybody who is available to pick up someone’s shift.”

Kylie Williams, sophomore environmental science major and El Monte Grill employee, also discussed how the unusual hours have been conflicting with school schedules for her and others. She also shared that, despite what it may look like to a customer, El Monte and other restaurants are doing the best they can.

“The labor shortage has just made hours weird,” Williams said. “I already have a pretty packed class schedule with a lot of homework, but I also work the closing shift four days a week. There are about six of us there at a time, maybe more, serving and doing cash register. This seems like a lot, but there are so many customers we get backed up really easily, even with all hands on deck. While it makes time go faster, it also makes it more stressful and we’re bound to make a few mistakes.”

Although Provider is still short workers, the situation is looking more promising. DaCosta believes that the end of COVID-19 subsidies is going to lead to an increase in applicants and employees.

“Because the government subsidies ended in September, we’re starting to see a little bit more improvement,” DaCosta said. “We’re hoping for an opening for The Habit in October, possibly with limited hours.”

For Provider employment information, please visit https://nowhiring.com/pcfs/.

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Lifestyle Tries: making colorful tie-dye shirts

Tie-dye is a colorful and fun way to add personality to various products. This is a great activity to do alone or with company. There is a vast spectrum of items that can be tie-dyed: socks, shirts, tote bags, bandanas and many other products all have the potential for a tie-dye makeover.

Craft stores and many department stores sell a selection of tie-dye kits, making the process much easier. Some basics that will be needed are bottles for the dye color, tie-dye pigment, rubber bands and gloves. In addition to the tie-dye kit, you will also want plastic bags and a protective surface to work on (we used a large trash bag and taped it to a table to protect any furniture from the dye).

Step 1: Now that all the materials are gathered, the first step is to tape down the trash bag or something similar if you are working on a surface you do not want to stain.

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Step 2: Take the items that you wish to tie-dye and use the rubber bands to strategically (or randomly) scrunch the item. There are various patterns that have online tutorials if you desire a specific tie-dye pattern. We went with a traditional spiral pattern for our shirts.

Step 3: Put the gloves on and take a bottle with the liquid dye and use the sections made by the rubber bands to make your colorful design.

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Step 4: With the gloves still on, place your item in the plastic bag and seal. Let the bagged tie-dye creation rest for at least 24 hours. We put ours outside for sunlight exposure, but this is optional.

Step 5: After at least 24 hours, carefully take your creation out of the bag. Take off the rubber bands and hand-rinse your item. We rinsed our creations in a sink but made sure not to leave any dye in the sink basin to avoid staining.

Step 6: Use a washing machine to thoroughly rinse out the rest of the excess pigment. After the rinse cycle is complete, your craft is ready.

Photo from Unsplash

Regal Cinemas build limited 4DX theaters

4DX technology has begun to appear in more theaters across the country. Developed by CJ 4DPLEX, 4DX is meant to immerse the audience in a film through appealing to multiple senses. It includes motion seats, environmental elements such as scent and other special effects. Regal Cinemas leads the implementation of this technology in U.S. theaters.

4DX first made an appearance in South Korea in 2009. However, as of 2020, only 32 theaters throughout the U.S. have 4DX capabilities. Dr. Melissa Croteau, professor of film studies, said that, although theaters are beginning to install the technology, she has yet to see people begin to favor 4DX as a film viewing option.

“I have not seen that they have been super popular, although they were fairly recent when we went into the lockdown,” Croteau said. “I have not heard anyone walk around saying, ‘I cannot wait until those 4D seats are in there.’”

Croteau said that, in addition to concerns viewers might have about feeling physical effects for the entire length of a film, one of the chief reasons she believes 4DX might not become as popular as some might have thought is that the motion chairs and special effects could distract the audience.

“I think that it can be more distracting from your involvement in the story,” Croteau said. “We go to movies for lots of different reasons, and it is not all based on the story, but the story is extremely important. It is the thread that holds the film together. Watching film is always an embodied experience. You are always in your body, and there is a sort of identification with people on screen. When your own flesh actually feels something, a rumble, a jerk you could be pulled out of the story world rather quickly.”

Croteau also said that if theaters continue to install 4DX technology, they will most likely have to continue offering options such as 2D and 3D experiences to appeal to all viewers.

“Not everyone likes the sensation of 3D technology,” Croteau said. “There are illnesses, specifically illnesses of balance like vertigo, that do not respond well to 3D. Now, looking at 4D, you are looking at the same situation. If studios spend the time and money to program and communicate these films to theaters in order for them to have these experiences, is it going to be worth the money when you have two rows of these 4D seats in the back of some of your theaters?”

Esther Logan, freshman worship arts and ministry major, has seen movies in 4DX. While she enjoyed the experience, she acknowledges downsides and questions how long popularity of 4DX would last.

“It felt like being on an amusement park ride,” Logan said. “It also made you feel like you were a part of the action and inside the movie, which was also super exciting. I think bringing those aspects into film would both draw people in and entertain them immensely, as well as somewhat isolate the group of people whose sensors are easily overloaded. It would give and take to both crowds.”

4DX requires additions to the film production process because the experience must be programmed and communicated to theaters. In addition, it costs about $1 million to install a 200-seat 4DX movie theater. Croteau said there would potentially be insurance and health costs and concerns involved, as well. As a result, 4DX will require a sizable investment from theaters and studios.

“I think it would attract more people to go back to watching movies in theaters, but also would be more expensive,” said Ana Guinto, sophomore studio production major. “I think it has potential to be popular, but it’s going to take some time.”

Audiences will have to embrace 4DX viewing methods to make it economically worthwhile for theaters and studios.

“At this point, do I think it will make a huge impact in changing the film industry?” Croteau said. “No, I don’t. I don’t think there are enough people who want it, but it is an idea that has promise.”

Although Croteau expressed concerns about economic viability, more films are coming out with 4DX versions, including Marvel’s “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.” Films coming out soon in 4DX include “No Time to Die” and “Dune.” Theaters that offer 4DX in southern California include Regal LA Live, Cinépolis Pico Rivera and Regal Irvine.

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CBU athletics featured on ESPN

California Baptist University is in the third year of its four-year transition period to classification as an NCAA Division-I athletics program. Popularizing CBU on the national stage is an essential part of fulfilling the athletics department’s goal of glorifying God through excellence in athletics.

Lancer athletic events will now be distributed to a wider audience, as part of a new broadcast deal that CBU and the Western Athletic Conference have signed with ESPN, the premier sports broadcast network in the country.

“The continued relationship with ESPN is key to our future success in growing CBU into a national brand,” said Tyler Mariucci, director of Athletics, in a press release. “This expanded partnership between the WAC and ESPN will enhance the viewing experience for Lancer Nation and expand the visibility of our programs through the worldwide leader in sports.”

The press release also explained the specifics of the deal as it pertains to CBU athletic events. ESPN will air all home men’s and women’s basketball games, along with releasing more than 70 championship events on ESPN+. CBU Athletics will stream baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, softball and volleyball on ESPN+, as well.

Students across campus are excited to be able to view CBU athletic events on one of the biggest sports broadcasting platforms available.

“The fact that CBU’s athletic events and marketing are primarily being distributed on ESPN is a great move,” said Samuel Nguyen, junior applied theology major. “It demonstrates that CBU is part of the big leagues. This makes me increasingly glad to be a part of such a great school.”

Broadcasting CBU athletic events through ESPN elevates the status of Lancer athletic events. It brings more attention to CBU than ever before and helps with marketing CBU to the local community. Raising awareness is crucial to helping CBU Athletics succeed as an NCAA Division-I school.

“I think it’s a wonderful opportunity for our university since it’ll expose us to a wider audience and it’ll get a lot of people hooked on Lancer athletics,” said Marc Lemieux, first-year graduate student in forensic psychology.

As CBU transitions into Division I, it is working to popularize Lancer athletics not only among the surrounding community but also on a national scale.

“ESPN is on almost every TV I’m near,” Lemieux said. “It’ll make it easier for me to watch CBU games.”

The ESPN deal helps to popularize all WAC schools, including CBU. 

Bringing national attention to the newly expanded WAC will help elevate CBU and all WAC-member schools on the national level. It can also bring attention to new WAC sports, such as football (which CBU does not sponsor).

“The WAC and ESPN have a long history together, and it’s exciting to continue that relationship into the future,” said Jeff Hurd, WAC commissioner, in CBU athletics’ press release. “ESPN remains the gold standard when it comes to sports, and this multi-year agreement will continue to assist in the WAC’s growth nationally.”

Lancer fans can tune in to ESPN to see their favorite CBU sports teams compete for the glory of God and for the betterment of CBU athletics soon.

Details on specific athletic events will be released by CBU athletics when appropriate. Lancer fans can look forward to seeing CBU athletics events on ESPN. 

Photo by David Philip de Jesus

Staying active while in college is important for overall wellness

Roughly 87% of graduate students and 81% of undergraduate students considered their health to be good, great or excellent in 2019, according to the National College Health Assessment Report recorded by the American College Health Association (ACHA).

Despite the students’ strong belief that they were healthy, only 64.3% of college students exercised the recommended 150 minutes a week.

Additionally, only 8% of graduate students and 4% of undergraduate students consumed the five recommended servings of fruits and vegetables daily.

In addition to improving physical health, daily exercise benefits mental health. A study conducted by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health reported that running for 15 minutes a day or walking for an hour a day reduces major depression by 26%.

If exercise provides these boosts to students’ lives, why are they not exercising enough?

Leslie Dooley, fitness coordinator at the Recreation Center, believes one of the reasons why students fail to reach the recommended 150 minutes a week is because their expectations of what exercise should be differ from what it actually is.

“Fitness doesn’t have to just take place inside the rec center,” Dooley said. “It can take place in the dorm, or outside on the Front Lawn; it can take place anywhere.”

However, Dooley said exercise can be intimidating to some students due to the pressure to perform at the level at which others exercise.

“We all start somewhere and everybody has a different fitness level,” Dooley said “Let’s just find what works for you. If that is coming in maybe once a week to the Rec Center, or maybe twice, for 20 or 30 minutes, then let’s start there. We can build from there.”

She also recommends joining intramural sports or the Adventure Club as a way for students to get involved physically and socially at California Baptist University.

Regarding healthy eating, one of the largest problems students have with eating the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables a day is confusion as to what a serving of fruits and vegetables consists of. Online health resource MedlinePlus defines a serving of fruit and vegetables as equivalent to what will fit in the palm of your hand.

Alyssa Hernandez, junior nutrition major, emphasized the significance of healthy eating and the cost of being oblivious to what one eats.

“You only get one body and you need to take care of it,” Hernandez said. “Your body is an investment for your future health. Heart disease is the country’s No. 1 killer; why would we risk adding to that?”

Hernandez said eating healthy is crucial, practical and manageable for students, especially when CBU has many healthy dining options.

“It’s simple to fulfill the needed servings because every dining area always offers fruits and a selection of vegetables to include with meals,” Hernandez said. “Many places like Wanda’s or El Monte allow you to have fun with vegetables by letting you control what you put on your plate.”

However, Ambar Arellanez, junior nutrition major, said she realizes that adjusting one’s diet can be difficult at first.

“I would suggest at least incorporating fruit and veggies in one meal once a day,” Arellanez said. “Getting a green smoothie at Shake Smart is a great alternative.”

Both Hernandez and Arellanez recommend implementing small dietary changes to make a larger impact on one’s personal health. Hernandez’s tips include being careful with late-night eating, choosing water over soft drinks and exercising daily.

Arellanez also listed a few substitutions for unhealthy foods that she personally implements into her own habits.

“Instead of eating chips you could eat bell peppers with hummus,” Arellanez said. “Other examples include eating fruit instead of candy, cheese and crackers instead of frozen snacks and whole grain bread with avocado instead of pastries.”

CBU provides students with many opportunities to exercise and eat healthy. However, it is up to students to us the services offered to implement a healthier life.

Photo by Elijah Hickman | Banner

Cross-country travels across the country

The California Baptist University cross-country teams are continuing their fall campaign by traveling to South Bend, Indiana for an elite invitational competition on Oct 1. The Joe Piane Invitational, hosted by the University of Notre Dame, brings some of the best runners together from across the country to compete.

“We wanted to get, in our last year of transition, a really good simulation of the points-chasing qualifying run like it is on a yearly basis for NCAA cross country nationals,” said Adam Tribble, head coach of the CBU cross country teams. “This year we’re actually going to two of the big meets in the build-up for the conference meet, so obviously we want to go in, compete hard, do the best we can. We want to get a taste of what’s to come in the future.”

The Lancer runners have dominated conference competition for the last three years. The women’s team is undefeated in Western Athletic Conference championships since its entry into the conference, and the men are entering this season as the defending team champions.

As they look to continue their winning trajectory, the CBU cross-country teams are traveling to bigger meets to run against more elite competitors. However, traveling across the country has its challenges.

“The traveling can actually be the difficult part,” Tribble said. “When you’re moving across three different time zones, traveling can be difficult.”

Traveling can cause fatigue and other problems for athletes.

“Traveling, especially to far destinations, makes you tired so you might need some extra resting time,” said Greta Karinauskaite, sophomore member of the CBU women’s cross country team.

Despite the challenges associated with traveling, the Lancer runners focus on the positives of traveling to large competitions.

“Traveling with the CBU team is a great opportunity to get closer to my teammates by living together for a few days,” said Florian Le Pallec, senior business major and member of the men’s cross country team. “We are lucky to travel in good facilities, which allows us to be in the best possible conditions for the race. Besides the race, we have time to go through the city quickly ”

There are challenges associated with traveling for competition, but the CBU cross country teams are ready to race hard at Notre Dame.

“I am going to the Joe Piane Invite to compete against the biggest teams of the country. It will be an opportunity to challenge myself to beat the best.”

The cross-country teams competed on the morning of Oct. 1, at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. 

Photo by Camille Grochowski | Banner

Paths can change in college

From nearly the beginning of our lives, one constant question is asked of us: “What do you want to do with your life?” It starts as an icebreaker question in elementary school. Maybe your answer was to be president, a doctor or something more obscure like a world-famous deep sea animal vet. In the early days, we were encouraged to think big and taught that the future held infinite possibilities.

As we grew older, we were told to think smaller and that our large dreams were simply not realistic. Money became more of an object enforced on our futures. Reality broke through the fog of our naive delusion. 

By the time college rolls around, very few people have a genuine idea of what the future holds. Some may pretend they have a clear path ahead, but roadblocks happen. Life changes and we grow. The cycle of knowing what is happening next tightens, as the focus of getting internships, jobs and starting real life is constantly on students’ minds. Our capitalist society is so ingrained into our brains that choosing labor for money is always at the edge of our present attention.

I am guilty of it too, sacrificing my mental health to pretend I knew what lied ahead. I subconsciously impersonated someone who was comfortable in the environment of being told to know the future, even if the path chosen is known to be a twisting and uncertain one.

Especially as a journalism major, which tends to be lower-paying than many other majors, we need to work twice as hard to secure a career with decent pay. More art-focused majors face this problem more than other major types, as many of us have chosen to follow our passions rather than money. Not to say that other majors aren’t also following passions, but the money isn’t quite there for more art-based majors, as wealth is almost never the main goal. The looming threat of capitalism, not making it in the world, and having art never be seen is existence.

We as a collective student culture need to learn to embrace the unknown with more open, accepting arms. It is okay to explore our true passions later in life and to change on a whim. We’re not locked into one path of life. We need to focus more on the relationships around us, the people and emotions we miss by seeing life in tunnel vision and stop putting pressure on ourselves to know what is happening next.

Who knows? Maybe the trail that one never sees coming could be the best one.

Photo From Unsplash

The end of an era: Zoom stock drops over $15 million in market value

A year and a half ago the world was suddenly thrust into a pandemic. Businesses closed, and people were put into lockdown to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus as much as possible. Work was suspended for some non-essential workers, and others adapted to the change through working or attending school remotely.

Throughout this chaos, a certain company stood out as the place most people were turning to so they could work or attend classes remotely: Zoom. People also turned to other companies in addition to Zoom to support remote working and learning, such as WebEx, Skype and Slack.

Now, as life gradually returns to some form of normalcy, companies are opening in-person offices, and schools are holding classes in person again. California Baptist University is back, in-person and on campus, but what about Zoom?

Now that many companies and classes are returning to having in-person activities, Zoom’s stock has fallen. This is not unexpected. As people begin to do more things in person, they will use Zoom less. When it stabilizes, though, will Zoom recover?

Dr. Adele Harrison, professor of finance, said she thinks Zoom needs to do something to make itself competitive over the other companies that have tried to fill that same role.

“Now what Zoom is being confronted with is they are a single-product company,” Harrison said. “They do virtual interactions. That’s their product that they’re selling. They are totally at the mercy of the demand for that particular product over other products. As you can imagine, especially during COVID, many other competitors came in to try to offer things to meet that space. That is why Zoom is now having trouble. They were where people went first when they were forced to do (remote) interactions, particularly public schools. (But now) businesses are reopening and schools are reopening, so that demand will be reduced.”

However, Youssef Attalla, freshman pre-nursing student, said he thinks people will continue to use Zoom even after the pandemic.

“It will be a better alternative for meetings if people can’t make a meeting (in-person),” Attalla said. “Zoom can be for anything. It doesn’t have to be for school. It could be for meetings, for work purposes or for any big thing.”

While Attalla has hope for Zoom, others think things will return to what they were before the pandemic.

Jada Smith, sophomore pre-nursing student, said she has doubts about Zoom rising in popularity again and that she thinks her education will be better for returning to in-person classes.

“I feel like the popularity isn’t going to come back as hard as it did during the pandemic,” Smith said. “Obviously, it’s nice to stay home but I feel like I lacked engagement. I feel like a lot of my friends did too. (We missed) the interaction with others. My whole first year of college was online and I barely met anyone. (But now) I’ve already met so many people. It’s so crazy because last semester, at this time, I didn’t know anyone. And now I know some people that I can go hang out with and study with.”