Undecided Voters

With the presidential election being three months away, there are voters that are undecided about whom to vote for, while others are not voting at all. In a recent poll conducted by Reuters, 11.1 percent of 1,940 respondents said they were not going to vote at all. Kenneth Gomez, 21, an NMSU graduate, will not be voting this year because he has not been keeping up with the election like he would like to.

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“I have not been able to follow the election as good as I wanted to, to make a decision,” Gomez said. Past elections have also gone down the same road with voters not voting or having undecided voters with the election coming up.

According to Marist Poll, there was a 10 to 15 percent of voters that were undecided leading up to the 2012 election. The poll also stats that voters that were unsure were likely not committed to a party. Ashley Zubia, 22, a UTEP junior majoring in Exercise Science, is unsure if she will be voting because of the way the candidates have been representing themselves.

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“I have been following the election very little due to the fact that I do not like any of the candidates running,” Zubia said. Many undecided voters do not like the candidates running because of what the media says about them.

However, Hilary Clinton has built a strong lead following the national party conventions according to Steven Shepard, a Campaign Editor for Politico. FOX News Poll stats voters under the age of 35 would not vote for either of the two candidates.

In a poll conducted by CBS News polling unit, 54 percent of voters viewed Clinton as unfavorably while the same amount had an unfavorably opinion about Trump. Frank Luntz, a news analyst for CBS News and Fox News Channel, believes undecided voters main concern is that they want a unifier not a divider.

“Undecided are awaiting impatiently to see, hear and feel the one candidate who can demonstrate the capacity to deftly work across the vast chasms that divide us,” Luntz said. He also says undecided voters complain about not having more choices to vote from. Brandee Walton,21, an NMSU senior majoring in Journalism, will be voting this election, but has lost faith in the main party candidates because she feels they are speaking just to speak.

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“I don’t feel like they are really running for the correct purpose or intentions, more to say that they ran and won not actually making a change in America,” Walton said. She has been keeping up with the election because every day there is a new story about either candidate in the media. Zubia, believes the undecided voters will have an impact in this election because there are many voters that are unsure who to vote for just like herself.

When Election Day comes, voters will choose the best candidate in their eyes, but for Gomez that is something he isn’t up to doing.

“It’s like pick your poison and I don’t want to take part in that,” Gomez said.

 

 

Martin Molina

Martin Molina, 21, has been a barber since he was a sophomore at Deming High School has had plenty of success over the years of cutting hair.

Molina began t cutting hair at 15 because it was the only way he could make money to have fun.

“I started cutting hair at my mom’s house when I was in high school. It was a learning experience for myself,” Molina said. Molina admits he hard time adapting to people’s hair and styles of haircuts they wants, but it didn’t affect his confidence of becoming a barber.

After he graduated high school his plan was to move to Las Cruces because there was more opportunities to grow as a barber and make money than in Deming. He had to keep cutting hair at his apartment till he graduated barber school.

“It was a difficult process because you have to learn how to do certain hair cuts and the written part was probably the hardest part,” Molina said. He ended up failing his first attempt, but it didn’t affect his confidence of becoming a licensed barber. The cost of the barber test is close to 250 dollars so it made Molina feel that he had to pass his next attempt.

In 2014, he was finally a licensed barber in New Mexico. He began cutting hair at Milo’s barbershop before moving to where he is now, Zucos Barbershop.

“I was so scared being the new guy at the barbershop because it meant I had to make new clients, but I had to do it to support my family,” Molina said. Molina started to become a go to barber in the shop for the crazy designs he would do on clients, which is called freestyle. One client in particular was Nick Lopez, who has been cutting his hair with Molina for seven months now.

“I think he’s the best barber in town because he is always making you look like a new guy once he is done with your hair,” Lopez said. Lopez has brought in his friends to the barbershop to get a haircut done by Molina, which helps Molina make money for his girlfriend and soon baby. Moving to Zucos has helped Molina learn from Master Barber and shop owner, Boomer.

Molina has since learned how to adapt with busy and slow days considering Zucos is across from NMSU campus. Molina says you have to learn how to spend your money because slow days can make a barber think twice about spending money on things he doesn’t need. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are considered slow days to Molina because it’s the middle of the week.

The change was a surprise for Molina because while he was in Deming he would charge 5 dollars for haircuts.

“I make more money here with the haircuts and tips, I just have to continue to do a good job on people’s hair,” Molina said.

Jonathan Burciaga, 22, an NMSU senior majoring in Criminal Justice, is another client that Molina has made a good relationship. Burciaga believes Molina will become a very good barber if he continues to practice in certain areas.

“Martin is always making you feel and look good when you leave the shop. His haircuts are definitely a confidence booster,” Burciaga said.

Leaving a good impression on clients is a number one goal for Molina since there was a nine percent rise of barber employment in 2014, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics. The rise of employment for barber doesn’t change the way Molina continues to cut hair.

“I have a lot of loyal customers that continue to come back in the shop and get a haircut by me so I’m not worried at all,” Molina said. Burciaga is one of the loyal customers of Molina. He has been getting his haircut by Molina since he moved from Deming to Las Cruces.

“I don’t let any other barber touch my hair because I like Martins’ work and I will continue to cut my hair with him while I’m at NMSU,” Burciaga said.

Molina has a lot of respect for the barbers that are barely starting because he remembers his beginning days when people would hesitant to get a haircut by him. It helped Molina’s self esteem grow to have trust in his work and take it one haircut at a time.

“The only thing I would say to the young barbers is continue practicing even if you suck. People will either love or hate your work, but remember you can’t please them all,” Molina said.

Alex Guerra

Alex Guerra is a junior at New Mexico State that frequently plays video games during his spare time. It has helped him pay bills and receive many awards and recognition.

Guerra has traveled out of New Mexico to play in tournaments. He began playing video games when he was five years old. “I started playing video games on my Nitendo 64 when I was a kid. I still have all my games that I use to play,” said Guerra. The main games he plays now are FIFA 16, Grand Theft Auto 5 and Halo. He also has both main consoles the Playstation 4 and Xbox 1.

“I love to play FIFA with my friends and online,” said Guerra. Playing out of state means playing against the best so he has to make sure he is in top shape for tournaments. “Some people may think it’s too much, but I play FIFA for six hours a day just to make sure I am the best.”

Fans until the end

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The Gadsden Panthers football team lost Friday night to powerhouse Alamogordo Tigers 64-13, but it didn’t stop the home fans from supporting their team.

Family and friends were in attendance wearing maroon shirts with Panther football on them. Many of them played football years ago understanding what it feels like to warm up under the bright lights. Upsetting was on many minds of fans supporting the panthers knowing Alamogordo was ranked 2nd in state.

“Throughout the day in school I felt like they could beat them because anything can happen in sports,” said Mia Garcia, a senior at Gadsden. The home fans began to scream and cheer as they saw the panthers running onto the field. It was a tied game going into the 2nd quarter and the fans were still behind the football team. The hope on beating the tigers began to slip away as they went up 3 touchdowns, they had no answer. Assistant principle Dixon has been in attendance for many Panther football games and says the fans never leave until the game is over.

“No matter what they are always here until the end. We have the best fans because they are supportive,” said Dixon. With the loss to Alamogordo, the Panthers will be back in action this Friday against the Lobos of Chaparral a game that many fans will be back screaming and cheering on the football team.

Social Media Impact

Social media has impacted young relationships in a positive way to bring them closer to their partner, but some disagree and say it has no impact whatsoever according to the PewResearchCenter.

41% of people between the ages of 18-29 have admitted to feeling closer to their partner from having a conversation through social media. 10% of people that are in a relationship say the Internet has had a big impact in their relationship. 72% of adults have said the Internet has no impact in their relationship. Katie Cuevas, 20, a senior at New Mexico State, agrees with the 72% of adults.

“Honestly it doesn’t really impact my relationship. We’re able to keep our relationship separate from social media,” expresses Cuevas who has been with her boy friend for over 11 months. With social media growing it can often become a distraction for those who are in serious relationships around their significant other. 42% have admitted social media has distracted them because they want to see what their friends are doing.

“Yes, I do. Sometimes I just want to see what other people are doing and I’m distracted even though I should be focusing on him,” said Cuevas. The distractions in relationships can cause tension between the two. 18% of adults, who have online accounts, have admitted to arguing with their partner about how much time being spent online. 8% say they have been frustrated from what their partner is doing online which can result to partners checking each other’s profiles. Kenny Gomez, 21, a senior studying Kinesiology at New Mexico State, can relate to checking on his partner from time to time.

“Yes, I do check my girlfriend’s profile. Probably half the time I get on social media, I will check her profile. I don’t know why, I just do. I guess it feels like I have to see what she’s doing when I am not around,” express Gomez. A resolution to checking on each other’s profile that 11% adults have turned to is sharing a profile.

Kenny Gomez checks his Instagram.
Kenny Gomez checks his Instagram.

“I would probably not share a profile with her because I think it’s corny, however, we both know each other’s passwords for our individual accounts,” said Gomez. Many adults in long distance relationships have tuned to social media to keep them updated with what their partner is doing or to communicate. They also use Skype or face time to have live video calls.

“I definitely use social media to keep me updated with what my girlfriend is doing when I am out of town. We face time everyday and I believe it helps us communicate in a positive way,” said Jacob Fernandez, 20, sophomore studying Criminal Justice at New Mexico State. He also believes couples his age share too much information about their relationship online when they should keep it between the two in the relationship.

“I have seen couples fight on Twitter and it’s embarrassing. Stuff like that should be kept behind doors not for everyone to see what’s going on. I  believe that’s why relationships fail.” said Fernandez.

Jacob Fernandez begins his face time call.
Jacob Fernandez begins his face time call.

The Internet, cell phones and social media has impacted 66% of adult relationships for good or bad. A good portion of them use it to help their relationship and others try their best to keep their personal problems off line. At the end of the day, couples will do what is best for their relationship.

Technology has helped couples communicate with their partner and Cuevas believes some would fail if it wasn’t for technology.

“I think more relationships would fail than others, due to the lack of communication technology brings to couples. Without it they can become distant,” she said.

Student Loan Debt

Matthe Le Vey begins to take notes for his class.
Matthe Le Vey begins to take notes for his class.

Student loan debt in America has risen from $260 billion in 2004 to $1.2 trillion in 2014 due to the 2.9% rise of tuition according to College Board.

Debt.org recently covered how loans have impacted many students across the nation after they have graduated. Recent studies have shown that 70% of college graduates leave their respective school with a student debt. Before the average amount a student owed was $18.650, but has since risen to $33,000.

Also, a reason why it has impacted young students is they rely on their peers for information and it can be misinformation that is passed around. An example can be peers telling students that loan debt is good credit, which it isn’t. Another misconception is students saying they will apply for bankruptcy. Federal and private loans are not forgiven by bankruptcy. Students have to check out information and ask questions before applying for loans.

New Mexico State senior, majoring in advertising and marketing, Matthew Le Vey, 23, can relate to the recent rise of the average amount graduates owe. Le Vey says he is in debt around $20,000 and expects to owe more because he has about a year and a half left of school before graduating.

“I do believe I will have to take out more loans to finish school,” Le Vey expresses. He also says that his mistake was not applying for scholarships while in high school, which he regrets now. Le Vey’s older sister also has student loans so he understands how loans work and how important it is to pay them off after graduating. Le Vey’s interview can be watched here.

With the small rise of tuition student borrowing has dropped nine percent, with half of students’ school being paid for with scholarships and grants. High school advisors help students during their senior year to apply for scholarships. Students that graduate from a high school in New Mexico, are granted the New Mexico Lottery Scholarship that helps pay for their tuition as long as they’re a full time student attending a college in New Mexico.

New Mexico State junior, Savanah Hernandez, 18, understands the importance of scholarships and has applied for scholarships which has helped her pay for school, but still needs a loan for $3,00 each semester. She says her dad has motivated her to apply for scholarships.

Savanah Hernandez studies her notes in class.
Savanah Hernandez studies her notes in class.

“My dad definitely puts pressure on me to get scholarships because he doesn’t want to pay for it,” said Hernandez. Hernandez has about 2 years left of school before she graduates and hopes she can find more scholarships to pay for the rest of college. She also explains she doesn’t work so it’s hard for her to help her parents pay off her loans because she is a full time student.

According to a  study released by TransUnion in 2014, shows that student loans make up for 36.8 percent of debt between the ages of 20-29. It has impacted graduates from starting up a new business plus marriages are down 12% from the previous generation. After graduating, students have six months before their first payment is due on their loan. Months before he graduates, Le Vey is already thinking about paying off his loans as soon as he graduates. He explains that he doesn’t want to be in his early 40’s and still paying his loans off.

“By the time I have children, I want to have my school loans paid off so I can focus on helping my children with their own education,” Le Vey said. With so much money owed because of loans, economists predict that it will have a great affect on students buying a home, their choice of job, decision on getting married and having kids. The number of people over the age of 60 that owe money to their student loans tripled to 2.1 million. This groups debt jumped tremendously from $8 billion to $43 billion with at least five percent of this group has their loan payment taken our of their social security check.

The only solution that students can do before applying for their student loan is applying for FAFSA the “Free Application for Student Aid.” It provides students with grants, loans and work-study opportunities. The application determines if you’re eligible for financial aid. Determination if students receive financial aid is if their parents don’t make enough money to help their children pay for school.

About 54% of students live at home while attending school and 80% attend an in-state institution to save some money. The only positive about students graduating is there is more opportunities to get a job with the degree than there is for those who do not have one. They also can expect to make $800,000 more in their lifetime than those who did not receive a degree. At the end of the day student loans is a sacrifice students will have to make to pay if they don’t have any other source to pay for school. Le Vey is determined to finish what he started at any cost.

“I will definitely finish school no matter if I have to loans to pay off,” he said.

Millennials on 9/11

We will never forget what happened when the nation stopped for a few minutes when two hijacked planes crashed into The Twin Towers in New York.

The morning of September 11, 2001 felt like any other day, people getting ready for work and others making sure they have their books for school until you turned on the T.V. and in words, “The United States is under attack.” By that time the first plane had already hit one of the twin towers. News stations scrambling because they had no idea what was going on.

“I was getting home from school and I had no idea what was going on,” said Alex Guerra who is a junior majoring in Biology at NMSU. “I remember walking in the door and seeing my mom watching the news, she had to explain to me what had happened in the morning.” Alex was in the second grade during the time of the attacks. 19 men, using them as missiles to attack buildings around the United States, had hijacked four commercial planes. This was the first attack this generation had seen. The hijackers had targeted the Pentagon in Washington, the Twin Towers in New York, and the White House, but it was never attacked. Around 3,000 people were killed during the attacks.

“I was so scared, the attacks happened so fast it felt like the world was ending,” expressed Jacob Fernandez, a sophomore majoring in Criminal Justice. “I remember seeing the smoke from the towers and all the people screaming and crying. You could see the fear in people’s faces which made it tough to think all that was happening.”

According to a study done by PewResearch Center, 97% of Americans between the ages of 8-19 during 9/11 remember exactly what they were doing during the time of the event. Many of them remember as if it happened yesterday. It brought a different perspective in the millennia’s eyes from that day forward.IMG_1896

“I thought the world was a good place before the attacks and now that I am older I see evil all around. The world is surrounded by negativity which causes more hate than love in the world,” said Guerra. Just like Kennedy’s assassination affected the baby-boomer generation, 9/11 affected every single millennial. In a 2011 survey, 75% felt that 9/11 affected them a great deal. In the same study 45% believe that the United States was doing a good job not letting another attack happen, 22% thinking America was lucky and 23% believing that America is difficult target to attack now.

Alex and Jacob both had similar responses when asked if it affected them as much. They both agreed that seeing the families on T.V. made it difficult because they could only imagine if their only family had to go through the same thing. It opened people’s eyes, made them think twice about traveling to big cities because of fear of another attack happening.

Another reason why this generation will not forget about the attacks is because they grew up with the United States being at war. There has been a year since that the United States wasn’t at war. It took the military 10 years after the attacks to kill Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind the attacks.

Many of us remember this date because it changed our view of the world, brought fear to us about traveling or the mental images of the families that lost someone in the attacks can never be forgotten. No matter how many years pass; the millennial generation will always remember what happened on the day of September 11, 2001.

 

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