Netflix Series: 13 Reasons Why, Brings Awareness to ENMU


By: Cale Bloskas

The new Netflix series, “13 Reasons Why,” has recently started a national controversy on the responsibility the media should take on what they show, and how their viewers react. Many fear that the Netflix series has overstepped the line of what is appropriate to show on television, but others feel it has started a conversation that was long overdue.

“13 Reasons Why” is based off a book with the same name that tells the story of a high school student, Hannah Baker, who commits suicide. Before taking her life, Hannah recorded 13 tapes explaining the 13 things, or reasons, that led to her suicide. The series walks viewers through those tapes and the impact they had on students she went to school with. One of the most controversial scenes in the series is a scene in the last episode that shows Hannah’s suicide in graphic detail.

The series brings awareness to mental health, bullying, and suicide prevention at a time when four students have taken their life on Eastern New Mexico University’s (ENMU) campus in the past two semesters. With only four suicides on campus in the previous 10 years combined, bringing awareness to mental illness and suicide prevention is something that has become an immediate concern of students, faculty and the administration at ENMU.

A few years ago, Cornell University experienced a similar rise in suicides on their campus. Dr. Gregory Eells was the director of Counseling & Psychological Services on Cornell’s campus during that time and said after watching “13 Reasons Why”, there were several damaging aspects to the series that might have an impact on viewers who might be experiencing suicidal thoughts. Eelss said, “My primary concerns about the show is that it romanticizes Hannah’s suicide. I also find it troubling that the counselor is portrayed as disingenuous and not helpful. These messages are problematic given the finality of suicide and the science that counseling is helpful and significantly reduces the risk of suicide.”

Although there are negative aspects of the series, almost everyone agrees that there are important lessons to be learned from. Though the presentation might be controversial, the underlining issues involved have started a conversation and brought awareness to issues like bullying and mental illness.

Junior, elementary education major at ENMU, Ashlynn Idsinga said that “13 Reasons Why” has taught her several valuable lessons about students who might be struggling. Idsinga said, “Everyone has different personalities, and may react differently to even a joking comment. We all need to be cautious with our words and actions. Some people have made comments that the show glorifies the idea of suicide, but from what I have seen it shows the hurt and pain it causes those close to you. I hope it shows people with suicidal thoughts that they are not invisible – that they are valued.”

The series has helped viewers see the impact bullying can have on someone’s emotions, but disregards the mental health issues that were involved with the character who committed suicide. Instead of focusing on mental illness and providing hope to those struggling, the show blames others and glorifies the act of suicide. Mental illness and suicide are things that need to be discussed openly on campus in order for a positive impact to be made.

Director of Counseling and Career Services at ENMU, Susan Larsen, said that one of the main reasons she believes this has become an issue on campus and across the country is because of the negative stigma surrounding mental illness. Larsen said, “There is a negative stigma surround mental illness all over the nation and even here at ENMU… with students coming to college with more mental illness, abuse and addictions than ever, these issues need to be discussed.”

Mental illness is not a problem that is going to go away and is something that many people struggle with silently their whole lives. Several national campaigns are striving to end the stigma surrounding mental illness. One of those organizations, Project Wake Up, aims to end the stigma by recognizing that the first step to change is to start the conversation. President and founder of Project Wake Up, Alex Lindley said it is important to remember that, “Nobody chooses to have a mental illness, but people can choose how they react to it… how we react can have a positive impact on ending the stigma and starting the conversation that helps students.”

Lindley said that one of their most effective initiatives has begun on Missouri University’s campus and is equipping students with proper response training. Often, students are afraid to go to a professional and will reach out to their peers first.

Counseling and Career Services on ENMU campus has a similar training that they give to all resident assistants (RAs) in the dorms. One of these RAs, Andrew Case, said “…Counseling and Career Services has done an excellent job of preparing us for situations where we need to help.” Case stated that RAs are often the first responders to student crisis and the training they receive is intended to help them know what to do when students need immediate help.

Seeking immediate professional help is essential if students know of someone who is struggling with severe depression or suicidal thoughts. When encountering someone who is struggling with these thoughts, it is important to:

  1. Assess for risk of suicide or harm
  2. Listen non-judgmentally (take to a private place if possible)
  3. Give reassurance and information
  4. Encourage appropriate professional help
  5. Encourage self-help and other non-professional support strategies.

Students who are experiencing suicidal thoughts are encouraged to contact ENMU Counseling and Career Service’s 24-hour hotline at 575-607-5689, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, or Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741. Students needing less immediate help can contact Counseling and Career Services at 575-562-2211 or room 232 in the Student Academic Services (SAS) Building.






Finding Inspiration

By: Marissa Tijerina

I’ve been having a hard time finding inspiration for my writing lately. I have not been motivated to sit down and just write. With school, homework, housework, and a five-month old to take care of, I just don’t have the time nor the energy. However, I found inspiration from the least conventional source today.

I was reading my psychology book when a paragraph about creativity peaked my interests. I continued to read and found myself inspired to write. Of course, I couldn’t step away from my homework, so I finished reading before sitting down to write. I never thought that doing homework would inspire me, yet it did.

I used to find inspiration by listening to music or going for walks. That hasn’t been working for me lately. So, I was surprised when I found inspiration out of the blue. That just goes to show that it can strike at any moment. After today, I learned that searching for inspiration doesn’t work. You have to let it find you.

Being in a rut, or being too busy doesn’t mean that you should give up on finding inspiration. Better yet, it doesn’t mean that you should give up on letting inspiration find you.

The best advice that I could give when it comes to finding inspiration is to just relax. Take a step back from whatever it is that you need inspiration for. Whether it be exercising, writing, cleaning, or picking up a new hobby, just walk away for a while. Do something else.

Inspiration will hit you when you least expect it, when you’re not waiting for it. Find something to keep yourself occupied. I have certainly been occupied by a lot of things lately, and that’s when inspiration finally came to me.

I may not be able to write a novel right now, but I have certainly found motivation to sit down and write something that isn’t homework or a shopping list. Now I know that I need to be patient.

If you find yourself in the same predicament, just remember to relax. Inspiration will come.



Do you like swimming? Want to swim, but can’t find a place? Let’s go to the natatorium!

There is an oft-ignored building on campus named the Natatorium Aquatic Center. It’s located across from Golden Library and next to the Science Building. The natatorium has been here at ENMU for decades.

Renovation of the natatorium began several years ago and finished in May of 2009. Gary Carter, director of Intramurals and Recreation (the division responsible for the natatorium and MaxPAC), says, “After the renovation they put new windows and new heating systems in the natatorium.”

The natatorium’s pool is 75 feet long with five lanes. The natatorium is open all weekdays, and its hours have been divided into different categories so that people can go there for different purposes.

Those who are not good at swimming can go to the natatorium during lap-swimming hours. “Many people walk in the water back and forth for fitness,” Carter said. For those who prefer actual swimming, open swim hours are available.

The natatorium is open to both students and community members. “Students are free to go, and people from the community pay a small fee,” said Carter. Community members pay three dollars for a single visit, or can pay a monthly fee for daily use.

The pool is four feet deep at one end and gradually deepens to 12 feet at the other end. With this range of depths the natatorium can satisfy various needs, such as regular swimming and aqua aerobics.

The natatorium provides many classes for ENMU students and the general community. For example, swimming classes for beginners or intermediary swimmers, children’s swimming classes, and morning aqua aerobics. “There are two kinds of classes: credit and non-credit,” said Carter, “and people can choose what they want.”

Jadeline Mulikin, the secretary of the Health and Physical Education Department, said she was surprised to hear students are unfamiliar with the natatorium. Carter refers to swimming as “a good fitness,” and adds that ENMU offers many options for fitness and HPE requirements. “It depends on how they want to use these facilities and resources.

For a full list of natatorium hours and classes, please call 575-562-2713.

Story by Beryl Xu


Campus Blood Drive

The United Blood Services is a non-profit organization providing blood and blood products for local area hospitals throughout the United States. First founded in 1943 as the Salt River Valley Blood Bank in Phoenix, AZ, the organization has grown to serve more than 500 hospitals in 18 states. More than 25 million community members in these states depend on the United Blood Services to provide life-saving blood and byproducts. Each year the UBS collects a safe supply of more than a million units of red blood cells.

Eastern New Mexico University students and faculty had the opportunity to participate in a United Blood Services drive last week. A team of 12 employees came to Portales to run the blood drive. This team primarily commutes through southwestern New Mexico, covering towns from Carlsbad to Clovis. They travel Tuesday through Friday to different universities, high schools, and businesses. The average blood donation is one pint, which is referred to as a unit. This year the UBS collected 43 units at ENMU.

Although the thought of donating blood may not be appealing, there are many reasons it’s an important and beneficial practice. One blood donation can save up to three lives. Every two seconds in the United States, a person is in need of donated blood. According to the American Red Cross, more than 41,000 blood donations are needed every day, for a total of 30 million transfused blood components each year.

When students were asked why they were donating blood, the number one reason was a desire to help others. Some students had more personal reasons, such as sick relatives who inspired them, or even having been a blood recipient in the past. Even severely needle-phobic students donated in the hope that their donation could save a life.

Story by Sarah Navarrette

Who needs machines?

By Jane Hamann

As the days start to get shorter and colder, and the holidays are fast approaching it becomes harder and harder for people to fit exercise into their daily schedule. The main reason people tell me they don’t exercise regularly is they don’t have time. They don’t have time to go to a gym, ninjajanethey don’t want to get up earlier in the morning to go workout, and they are too tired to go when they come home.  What I want to remind people is you do not need to go to a gym to workout. Nor do you have to spend hours and hours working out. You can workout in the comfort and convenience of your own home or office because you have the best and only machine you will ever need, your body and all you need is 20 minutes.

Bodyweight exercises are perfect for everyone. They can be done just about anywhere with no additional equipment required. There are tons of different exercises so you can change up the exercises you do and don’t have to worry about becoming bored with your workouts. Below are several other reasons you should start doing bodyweight exercises and why I enjoy them and incorporate them in my client’s routines.

  1. It is easy to combine strength and cardio exercises
  2. With bodyweight exercises you don’t have to drive to a gym, and once you get there, waste time adjusting machines and loading barbells.
  3. With just 15-20 minutes of moderate to high intensity exercise, your metabolic rate increases which allows your body to burn more calories throughout the day.
  4. People of all ages and level of abilities can do the exercises.
  5. When doing bodyweight exercises, you are engaging all of the muscles of your core, improving core strength and stability.
  6. When doing bodyweight exercises your muscles will go through full range of motion, allowing the joints to stay flexible.
  7. Convenience. You can do bodyweight exercises just about anywhere at anytime.
  8. You will have better balance. When doing bodyweight exercises you use your body to balance yourself by engaging your core muscles.
  9. You can never get bored. There are so many different exercises you can do you can literally do a different workout everyday.
  10. It’s cheap. No need for big clunky equipment No need for gym memberships.


Body weight training is a perfect way for beginning exercisers to get started and become comfortable with movement and their body. It is a great way to challenge yourself without frustration. Twenty minutes of jumping jacks, pushups, squats, lunges, pull-ups, curls, etc. and you will be well on your way to a healthy, strong and toned body. And who doesn’t want that.

So the next time you are looking for a quick and easy workout, look no further than your own home and your own body.

Health and Fitness Tips by Jane

By Jane Hamann

Recently there has been a video shown on television and across the Internet of a female and the 30 seconds it takes to change the average looking woman into a thing of beauty.  The female with the perfect body and face; and although many of us realize the video for what it was, there are many others out there that believe this is what they need to look like to be happy.

ninjajaneLet me put this out there…there is no perfect body EXCEPT the one you wake up in.  Accept what you are now and move forward making the changes you need to get to your perfect body. The thing to realize is to get that “perfect body” and be healthy there is a process, a journey that needs to be taken. It’s your journey and it will not be the same as anyone else.  It takes time, commitment and huge doses of reality along the way. A person also must realize that it is a lifelong journey. You will never arrive at your destination (or perfect body) and be done.

Have you ever compared yourself to others, thinking they are in much better shape then I am? When you look at another person and think they have the “perfect body,” they are just further along on their journey to being healthy and fit.  Let them inspire you to follow your path to beauty, health and fitness, don’t compare yourself; don’t do exactly what they are, you are at a different point on your journey with different ups and downs.  Figure out what works for you and start from there.

When you first start think about one change at a time. Starting to work out twice a week is enough of a change to get you going on your path. Thirty minutes is all you need. I’ve had clients tell me they have never liked exercise, but once they started doing an exercise they enjoyed and was appropriate for them, they love it and miss it when they don’t work out.

Start to make small changes in your nutrition habits.  Remember small steps will lead to big results. Start with eliminating certain items you know you should not eat or drink. And replace them with healthier options. It’s a start and will lead to watching what and how much you eat and drink.

Most important though is to never feel like a failure if you haven’t been able to be consistent when changing your exercise or nutrition habits. Just stay on the path, making progress with what you can do.

As you progress on your journey to your perfect body, the one that is meant for you, you will have ups and downs, there will be bumps and potholes, expect it, deal with it and continue on the journey.  Along the way you will learn a lot about yourself and your body, how to be physically and mentally at your best, and what truly it the perfect body for you.