Lupe Mendez talks poetry, hosts Q&A
2022 Texas Poet Laureate Lupe Mendez read poems from his book “Why I Am Like Tequila” April 19 and paired it with a Q&A at the end.
The event took place in Patriots’ Casa at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. There were food and refreshments available for all attendees.
Mendez is a writer, educator and activist. He has over 20 years of experience as a performance poet and has dabbled in writing since the age of 12.
“I wrote my first ever poem to a girl I had a crush on in the seventh grade,” Mendez said. “Needless to say it didn’t go that well, but ever since then I never stopped writing. I had developed a passion for it.”
Mendez’s poetry lineup consisted of heartfelt, funny and sad moments that engaged the audience from beginning to end. Taryn Deppe, English graduate student, especially found the event to be a great resource for her as a young poet.
“I find events like these to be an incredible opportunity to hear the stories of others, share in their love for the craft and learn from their contributions to the community,” Deppe said. “Listening to where Lupe started and where he is now, and the way he explained that he’s the only one in his family to have a passion for writing, was so personable and almost tangible – as if I could step into his shoes and be in his position one day.”
After a round of applause, the event came to an end, though the energy continued on. Many audience members formed a line to purchase Mendez’s “Why I Am Like Tequila” and have it signed.
4/20 Event Seeks to educate campus
Got the munchies?
A marijuana education booth hosted by the University Student Counseling Center, University Police, and Alcohol and Drug Prevention Committee was set up April 20 in the CAB courtyard with trivia, brownies and more.
The booth display listed marijuana facts and myths regarding usage.
Myths and Facts:
MYTH: Marijuana is natural and completely harmless
FACT: Plants have been proven to be harmful even when they are “natural.” Marijuana impairs a user’s memory, coordination and decision-making. The main mind-altering chemical is THC (delta-9-tetrahydro-cannabinol) but the plant contains 400+ other chemicals, including 100+ THC-related compounds (cannabinoids) which also affect the brain.
MYTH: Marijuana is not addictive.
FACT: Research has found marijuana to be addictive. Over time, overstimulation of the endocannabinoid system by use can cause changes in the brain that lead to addiction. It affects the brain’s reward system in the same way as all other drugs of addiction.
MYTH: Marijuana is legal where I live.
FACT: Even though it’s legalized by the state, it remains an illegal substance under federal law. It is considered a Schedule 1 drug, meaning it has shown to have a severe psychological or physical dependence.
MYTH: Marijuana doesn’t harm anyone when obtained legally.
FACT: Marijuana harms society by causing losses in business productivity, limiting educational attainment and contributing to injuries and illnesses. This impacts the healthcare system and costs the U.S. billions every year.
The booth also provided informational pamphlets that listed more facts, including tips on how to identify weed and how to spot synthetic marijuana.
Event attendee Iris Castillo, a senior majoring in Child Development and SGA vice president, thinks educational booths like this are beneficial for campus and students.
“I think there’s a lot of myths and facts about weed that needs to be truly delved into, and this kind of stuff gives you a safe space to do it without being looked down upon by asking these questions,” Castillo said.
Castillo also thinks educating the public allows them to make informed choices.
“There are different types of what they call ‘fake weed’ out there that can actually be very dangerous,” Castillo said. “So, I think the more people know about things and the more people are educated on it, they can make better decisions, whether they choose to smoke it or not. That’s not for anyone to judge – make sure you’re making an educated choice of what you’re getting into.”
Campus Resources were also provided, including the Student Counseling Center (210) 784-1331, the SAMHSA National Hotline 1-800-622-HELP (4357), and The 24/7 Crisis Hotline (210) 223-7233.
Headshots help students legitimize themselves in professional world
The Mays Center for Experiential Learning & Community Engagement offers free professional headshots to help students in their job search.
Current students and alumni at Texas A&M University-San Antonio can take part in this service to enhance their resumes or LinkedIn profiles. This service will be located in the Mays Center in Suite 111 of the Science and Technology Building.
Students can schedule an appointment by clicking the Linktree in the center’s Instagram bio — @tamusamays — or the QR code at the lobby’s front desk.
Headshot services are provided year-round.
Headshots are essential and help students “portray yourself as a professional,” said Liandre “Leo” De La Uso, the center’s marketing manager.
De La Uso said students wanting a headshot should wear professional attire, such as a “suit and tie, ladies’ nice blouse, dress or blazer.”
The Mays Center offers a career closet where students can receive a free professional outfit.
“I always tell people to smile,” De La Uso said of posing for a headshot. “This isn’t a mugshot. Whatever comes naturally.”
For more information, visit the Mays Center Instagram @tamusamays or contact De La Uso at Liandre.DeLaUso@tamusa.edu.