Coffee consumption reaches historic high, raises ethical concerns

Coffee consumption reaches historic high, raises ethical concerns

Coffee consumption has reached historic records and it's thanks to millennials. 

Millennials, described as ages 19 to 34, drink 44 percent of all coffee consumed globally and American millennials lead the way, according to a Bloomberg study

The study found millennials started drinking coffee at younger ages than their parents and grandparents, with the average millennial beginning around age 14. 

Gary Marquardt, a history professor and the May term coffee class professor, said while he is surprised by the data, it also makes sense. 

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The drive behind van life

The drive behind van life

Though some people frown on the idea of living out of a vehicle, members of the millennial generation at Westminster College said this versatile way of life offers them a sense of achievement and opportunity. 

Vandwelling—living out of a car, van or motorhome as a lifestyle—was popular amongst free-spirited hippies in the '60s, according to VICE News. However, it seemed to have fallen fell out of favor until recently, when the idea of mobility and freedom piqued the interest of some millennials. 

Russel Brouillard, a recent University of Washington graduate, lives in Salt Lake with his van, a few possessions and a drive for adventure. 

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Dirty Diet Coke takes over Utah

Dirty Diet Coke takes over Utah

People around the Salt Lake Valley are lining up for specialty mixed drinks at local soda shops, where popular pops are morphed into crowd favorites like "Dirty Diet Coke." 

Some think the popularity of such shops across Utah could be attributed to the state's large population of religious individuals in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

Straws in Midvale is one of the most accessible stores for Westminster College students like Avery Paul, who said she and her family frequent the shop. 

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Students share Sugar House homeless shelter site opinions

Earlier this year, Salt Lake City determined not to move forward with a site on Simpson Avenue in Sugar House that had been under consideration for a new homeless shelter. Though the conversation about homeless shelters has since moved away from Sugar House, some students said the backlash from residents when the site was under consideration point to larger societal problems in views of individuals experiencing homelessness. Read what they had to say here:

Name: Sterling Johnson
Major: Public Health
Year: Senior

“Residents of Sugarhouse seem to be pretty ignorant and stigmatizing about the homeless population. People are concerned about their kids not having a place to play or that they won’t be able to ride their bike to work, that’s unfair and ignorant and us taking advantage of vulnerable populations. Sugarhouse also has an abundance of resources and putting the shelter here provides access to those resources.”

Name: Warren Cook
Major: History and Honors
Year: Senior

“In our capitalist society we try to pretend that we don’t have homelessness, so residents of affluent communities don’t want to acknowledge that we have plenty of impoverished people living among us. I think that there are probably other confounding factors that people don’t want the shelter in Sugarhouse but I think it’s just denial, and this tendency within our system to deny that there is anything wrong with it.”

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Name: Juan Pablo Lopez
Major: Marketting
Year: Junior

“I’m pretty disappointed that Sugarhouse decided to not have a homeless shelter in the area because we have a brand new building that was built for senior citizens and I feel like this community tries to portray itself as accepting of people’s views and for them to vote to not have a homeless shelter here is very backwards to me.”

Name: Jac'lyn Bera
Major: First-Year
Year: Psychology

“Its definitely an issue that needs to be addressed because the homeless population in Utah keeps growing every year. As for location, I don’t really know enough about the issue to really have a standing beyond that it is a problem that should be addressed both in humanitarian efforts and through our political system.”

Name: Lancee Whetman
Major: Economics
Year: Senior

“I don’t know where else they would put this proposed shelter if it wasn’t in Sugarhouse. I understand that residents have complained however I think they should take into consideration this population in the planning of the shelter in Sugarhouse.”

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Name: Grace Nakamura
Major: Nursing
Year: First-Year 

“I feel like people should treat the homeless shelter like they would their own animals, they are humans too. They shouldn’t say rude things like ‘I don’t want them living next to me’, they have to go somewhere and it doesn’t really matter where they go as long as it’s safe for everybody.”

Name: Palak Jayswal
Major: English and Journalism
Year: First-Year

“The shelter has to go somewhere, and I don’t really think it matters where as long as the people are getting taken care of. If they were to stick it in any part of town, people are going to freak out, so I think as long as we can take care of those that are less fortunate it’s important and I don’t think it should really matter where it is.”

Name: Kaydee Gilson
Major: Marketing Major and Applied Computing Minor
Year: Junior

“It seems hypocritical that people truly want to help the homeless population. People will give money or food and hope that they can find a place off the streets but now there is an opportunity to actually help them have a place to go but people are opposed because it is in their own backyard. If not in Sugarhouse, where?”

Name: Jazmin May
Major: Communication
Year: Sophomore

“I think it’s stupid just for the fact that if they are trying to be as progressive as they say, and they aren’t trying to help out. I think personally, I live 5 minutes away from Gateway and a lot of homeless people live right there so I think it’s really dumb if we are trying to make that change and Sugarhouse is just not.”

Name: Jasmynn Velez
Major: Communication
Year: First-Year

“I don’t see a problem with the shelter in Sugarhouse. I get that people are worried about real estate issues but I think it would be helpful because Salt Lake is very overpopulated with homeless people.”

Name: Calen Smith
Major: Neuroscience
Year: Sophomore

“I think that in Sugarhouse, as well as everywhere in the United States, we have a sense of entitlement and while we all like to feel like we are doing parts for the homeless population, this ‘not in my backyard mentality’ is only furthering the stigma and not helping anybody.”

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Name: Cassandra Yerkes
Major: Art Administration Major and Fine Arts Minor
Year: Junior

“I didn’t realize that the shelter didn’t get approved, I thought they were actually building one and I am shocked to hear that people in the Sugarhouse community are selfish enough to not accept a homeless shelter, which would keep homeless people off the streets and would keep them ‘out of sight’ if that’s really the issue that people have with the homeless population.”

Name: Taylor Gustafson
Major: Elementary Education
Year: Junior

“I don’t think that Sugarhouse has services that cater to the homeless population.”

Name: Claire Bruce
Major: Elementary Education
Year: Senior

“I can see both sides of the argument because I agree that the homeless population needs somewhere but I think that it needs to be somewhere that they can really make something for themselves and have a place to live and have services and grow and I think that Sugarhouse isn’t that.”

International students share their recommendations for authentic restaurants

International students share their recommendations for authentic restaurants

Students from over 26 different countries call Westminster College home. Though some are here to pursue a degree and some are here on cultural exchanges, most of them agree that food is one of the most important parts of any culture—and every country has its own twist on what tastes best. 

Westminster's international students said having the opportunity to eat authentic food in Sugar House can help ease their homesickness. The Forum sat down with some of these students for local restaurant recommendations in the Salt Lake area that serve authentic cultural food from their native countries. 

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Students say American media perpetuates cold war ideologies

Students say American media perpetuates cold war ideologies

When Altynay Kosherbek was preparing to come to America as a high school exchange student from Kazakhstan, she said she was ready for endless partying and gorging on fast food.

After she arrived, Kosherbek said she not only discovered these stereotypes about American culture aren’t true but also had to battle Kazakhstan's stereotypes, which she said the U.S. media has created.

“One major [stereotype] is [the] “Borat” movie,” said Kosherbek, a sophomore business marketing major at Westminster College. “Because of [it], people think we are still riding camels and live in yurts and stuff. It's a big misrepresentation of our country.”

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Community gardens provide Westminster students and community opportunity to reduce carbon footprint

Community gardens provide Westminster students and community opportunity to reduce carbon footprint

Alongside the warm weather, community gardens have sprouted up across Salt Lake City, providing residents with the opportunity to learn about sustainable agriculture and how to reduce their carbon footprint. 

Westminster College's community garden was founded in 2007 and has since offered students with the chance to get their hands dirty during work days, which are every Thursday from 4:30 to 6 p.m. 

Ashleigh Hughes, a biology major and Westminster's garden coordinator, said she encourages everyone on campus to spend a day or two working in the garden. 

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Thousands gathered for the People's Climate march

Thousands gathered for the People's Climate march

April 29 marked President Donald Trump’s 100th day in office, which prompted thousands of people across the world to join together to promote climate protection.

Many Westminster College students attended  Salt Lake City’s People’s Climate March, which gave them the chance to take action and raise their voices over an issue they said they strongly believe in.

“I have lived here for three years, and this is the first time I took action to have my voice heard,” said Jordan Romero, a student at Westminster College. “People need to recognize climate change is happening and change from fossil fuel energy to sustainable energy options.”

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Sugar House Park plans to go forward with dredging project after animals have become sick and died

Sugar House Park plans to go forward with dredging project after animals have become sick and died

Some Sugar House residents said they won't walk their dogs in Sugar House Park anymore after numerous birds have died and dogs have become sick from the pond water.

Now, community members said they hope a $500,000 dredging project, which passed in November 2016 and is expected to move forward at the end of this year, will help improve the park's water quality.

Dredging consists of the removal of sediments and debris at the bottom of a pond or lake. It helps prevent the spread of water contaminants like avian botulism, a toxin that's harmful to people and animals when ingested.

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Water distribution issues across the state impact recreationalists and the environment

Water distribution issues across the state impact recreationalists and the environment

Experts say water distribution issues across Utah—the second-driest state in the country— can have negative impacts on wildlife populations, the environment and recreationalists.

Much of Utah's water isn't accessible to the large community of outdoor enthusiasts who are attracted to the state. Around 40 percent of Utah's fishable water is currently on private land, according to Megan Crehan, a law student at the University of Utah and a former rafting guide.

"The public should have access to rivers and streams," Crehan said. "People are attracted to Utah because of its recreation. Just because you are accessing public lands and water doesn’t mean you are causing harm."

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Music, beer and friends: Westminster community talks about the importance of nightlife

Music, beer and friends: Westminster community talks about the importance of nightlife

Sure, college is about students furthering their academic careers and gaining knowledge. But what’s a college experience without a few late nights and a little tequila?

That's what some Westminster College students think, anyway. From Sugar House Pub to Liquid Joes, the variety of bars and lounges in downtown Salt Lake City and Sugar House attract many students and alumni, who said nightlife is an important aspect of their social lives and campus experience.

“I love meeting up with college friends and having a great time,” said Logan Butzier, a 24-year-old Westminster alumni. “My favorite thing to do is dress up in '80s costumes, get a big group of friends and go have a few drinks at Liquid Joes.”

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Students "Take Back the Night" in march for Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Students "Take Back the Night" in march for Sexual Assault Awareness Month

College students and community supporters in Salt Lake City came together for a "Take Back the Night" march on April 5 to express their support for victims of sexual violence as a part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Westminster College and University of Utah students marched from Utah's President Circle to Westminster's Converse Hall, holding signs and chanting in an effort to reclaim public spaces as safe spaces.

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Students say social media spurs FOMO (fear of missing out)

Students say social media spurs FOMO (fear of missing out)

Looking back on spring break, students who didn't travel for trips home, adventures with friends or solo excursions said they felt a disconnect as social media posts from their peers' break activities began to appear.

“There’s a stigma about spring break,” said Alexys Smith, a sophomore communication major. “I had some friends that weren’t going to do anything and they were like freaking out. Like, ‘But I have to do something. Its spring break; I have to do something.’ I didn’t realize there was such a stereotype about spring break—like you have to do something or you're looked at as a weird kid.”

It's not just spring break that spurs these social comparisons. A study from the Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI) tested the hypothesis that the use of social networking sites (SNS) increases social comparisons and invokes dissatisfaction.

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Local entrepreneur says Westminster education has been instrumental in his success

Local entrepreneur says Westminster education has been instrumental in his success

Though the transition from college to career isn’t always easy for new graduates, Westminster College alumnus Jordan Pryor said his education set him up for success.

“Going through school, I never could figure out what exactly I wanted to do once I was done," Pryor said. "I knew that playing basketball was an option, but at the point of my life that I was in at the time, basketball wasn’t my main focus. I knew it would eventually come to me but not easily as it did.”

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Out-of-state students surprised by quality of Utah tattoos

Out-of-state students surprised by quality of Utah tattoos

Nearly half of Westminster College's student body comes from out of state. Though there cultural surprises often come when moving states, some of these students said one thing they didn't expect was Salt Lake City's tattoo culture, which boasts more than 30 tattoo shops they said have high-quality tattoos for a reasonable price.

Daniel Devore, a sophomore mathematics major, said he got his first tattoo in Pennsylvania before he knew about the quality and price of tattoos in Utah. 

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Student combines degree with tattoo apprenticeship to make her passion reality

Student combines degree with tattoo apprenticeship to make her passion reality

When Saige Salazar asked herself how she could sell her art and still make a living, she said tattooing just fell into place.

Salazar, a sophomore communication major at Westminster College, is also an apprentice at A Wicked Sensation tattoo shop in Murray, Utah. Salazar said though many people think her apprenticeship means she is no longer continuing school, this is not the case.

Matt Kruback, an associate professor of the arts at Westminster, said creative students are typically also creative when it comes to their careers and said education always benefits artists.

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Former Westminster student fights cancer with faith

Former Westminster student fights cancer with faith

Approximately 40 percent of men and women will be diagnosed with some form of cancer during their lifetimes, according to the National Cancer Institute. Former Westminster student Landen Hansen, who was recently diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma, belongs to this group but remains positive through a strong belief in his religious faith.

Hansen attended Westminster from 2014 to 2015, where he played on the men's soccer team and completed his general education classes. Hansen said he likes to tell people he was majoring in soccer until he left for his mission in 2015.

Hansen's mission in Kennewick, Washington was cut short when he was diagnosed with cancer and sent home for treatment.

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Salt Lake Valley, education, art and outdoor communities converge

Salt Lake Valley, education, art and outdoor communities converge

Andrew Pollard, a recent Westminster College graduate, was raised in the aesthetic lands and mountain ranges of the Salt Lake Valley, which provided the foundation for the ideas behind his art as a method for environmental activism.

Pollard said President Donald Trump's new administration and protected lands issues have brought particular attention to the American West and the need to protect the lands that harbor the outdoor and art community.

There are over 15 national parks within a few hours' drive from Salt Lake City, which provide endless influences for eco-centric art. Though art is used for many purpose across the globe, members of the art community in Utah use photography, videography and freehand art skills as a tool—some to shape how people see the environment and others to express themselves and help shape who they are.

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Thrift store clothing becomes a party fashion trend

Thrift store clothing becomes a party fashion trend

It's Thursday night. As you walk into the tiny and crowded house party, you're surrounded by loud music playing from the speakers and students who look like they stepped out of your Grandma Bertha's closet. The partygoers are wearing funky and old-fashioned clothing they found at thrift stores—the newest fashion trend at Westminster College.

“The weirder the article of clothing [and] the more unique you are, the better,” said Cassandra Yerkes, a junior arts and administration major. “How often can you wear red linen overalls and have it be considered cool and fashionable?" Yerkes asked, wearing her very own pair of red linen overalls.

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May Term and the presidential term collide: Westminster professor declines international travel during Trump presidency

May Term and the presidential term collide: Westminster professor declines international travel during Trump presidency

Westminster College’s assistant provost for global learning, Sara Demko, said she hopes President Donald Trump’s administration does not bode badly for this year’s seven May Term Study Experiences.

Demko isn’t the only one who’s troubled. Karlyn Bond, a music professor at Westminster, said she is also concerned about how a Trump presidency will affect May Term. 

Bond was one of the faculty leaders for the trip to France and had been planning the trip with her colleagues since May 2016. However, during a pre-trip meeting with her colleagues, Bond said if Trump “somehow” won the election she would withdraw from the trip.

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