The Addendum 1.2: Fall 2020, Sigma Lambda Gamma v. Tower Yearbook, #LMU20Week

Thursday, April 23, 2020

The Addendum 1.2: Fall 2020, Sigma Lambda Gamma v. Tower Yearbook, and #LMU20Week
By Raven Yamamoto

In our second installment of The Addendum, we talk three main highlights from the previous week. Outgoing ASLMU Senator Phaedra Johnson gives us insider information on the status of summer school and Fall 2020, Briana Ortiz and Isabelle MarĂ­n unpack Sigma Lambda Gamma's ongoing battle with Tower Yearbook, and Hallie Ryan reflects on her four years on the Bluff after having been announced as the class of 2020's valedictorian. 


This. is the Addendum. The postscript to LMU’s week. Every Thursday, we bring the news to you. Wherever you are, you can stay informed about what’s happening on the Bluff. And we’ll do it in 10 minutes or less. Reporting for The Agency— I’m Raven Yamamoto. 

The Addendum | starts | now.


The University’s Student Affairs Committee held a meeting, inviting student leaders, faculty and staff to a forum discussing the University's next steps regarding COVID-19. According to multiple sources, the committee meets once or twice a semester, seeking input from the community. 

Outgoing ASLMU senator Phaedra Johnson was in attendance and shared updates on University plans moving forward now that both Summer Sessions will be online. According to Johnson, the University still plans to charge students at the same rate per credit— but with a reportedly larger amount of financial aid available to students during the summer.
  • PHAEDRA JOHNSON: “Regardless of how whatever Financial Aid has -- like -- done in the past, whether they’ve helped students who demonstrated whatever kind of -- like -- need, I do think that they are trying to get aid to pretty much all students that are not super affluent that are taking summer classes so I think people should just honestly talk to Financial Aid a lot.”

At the time of recording the show, Johnson said that the Lion Emergency Fund has dispersed over $218,000 dollars to 493 students and counting. 

Regarding LMU’s expected $4.7 million payout from the CARES Act, it will be funneled into the Financial Aid office for students to apply for.

  • JOHNSON:  “They said that the Students Affairs is not part of the decision-making body, so they actually will not be in the know until a decision is made about how the funds will be implemented, but they did say that they were apart of the discussion and that LMU wants to have a majority of the funds -- over half -- increasing financial aid for most students.”
As for the status of the Fall 2020 semester— according to Johnson, the University is still deciding whether or not to reopen campus, saying that they will ultimately go with whatever the city of Los Angeles deems safe.

  • JOHNSON: “Dr. Mangione explained that they are just running as a university, just running different scenarios from the best-case scenario, meaning -- residence halls are open, all activities are restored, things like that, from the worst-case scenario, which is remote, no one comes back in the fall, etc. and just kind of laying all their options, but they said that they’re waiting on deposit numbers for admitted students, but also that’ll be in May. They also don't know if people will make different decisions by summer, so they basically just said we’re holding out for as long as we can to make that decision and hope that it is something that's close to the best scenario, but at the end of the day they will follow confirmed decisions by the governor and the mayor.”

Sigma Lambda Gamma v. Tower Yearbook

LMU’s Sigma Lambda Gamma (SLG) chapter spoke out against Tower Yearbook on social media after a preview of their Greek life section was released. The multicultural sorority’s photo was excluded from the spread and their philanthropy was stated incorrectly alongside their fellow sororities and fraternities, all of which were reported correctly, and without issue.

SLG’s marketing chair Briana Ortiz expressed her frustration via their official Instagram account saying “Yes, we are disappointed with not being represented like the other sorority and fraternities on campus; however we are not surprised.” in a story

  • BRIANA ORTIZ:  “It’s not fair to them; it’s not fair to me; it’s not fair to the future students of these organizations, these predominantly students of color organizations. They don't deserve to be treated like lesser than other organizations in the United Greek Council was created from the lack of representation that our founding members saw in the Panhellenic and IFC communities. I know many times we were left on the sidelines to fend for ourselves and, coming from the resilient backgrounds that we do, I feel like we have done an amazing job with the little support that we have had. This tower yearbook thing was just the tip of the iceberg of something so much bigger than that. We’re talking about organizations at LMU that are predominately students of color not getting the recognition— not getting the resources and the treatment that they -- the predominately white Panhellenic and IFC communities— get.” 
We were also able to chat with outgoing SLG President Isabelle Marin about her thoughts on the subject.

  • ISABELLE MARIN:We were upset. We were unsure why this was the case and um we really tried to give the benefit of the doubt to Tower and to whoever put the spread together, but this has happened in the -- the yearbook situation -- either a mistake in the yearbook, something that looks and feels like it’s not giving us the credit we deserve. If my sisters wouldn't have gone and looked in the yearbook initially right after it was sent, we would have never known that we weren’t in there and it would have been printed like that and so making sure Tower yearbook is being held accountable with what they’re doing and what they’re putting out there.”

When asked to comment, Student Media’s Veronica Manz wrote “the Tower student staff was forced to work remotely during the final deadline weekend due to the pandemic and resulting campus closure.”

Marin informed the Yearbook of the errors, to which they “took steps to remedy” in both the pdf and print versions of the book.

Manz also said: “The LMU students who work on the yearbook strive to create a book that celebrates all facets of life at LMU. We realize that the original version of the pdf of the book caused frustration for the members of Sigma Lambda Gamma and have apologized directly to the Chapter President.” 

On Tuesday, the United Greek Council launched the #UGCMatters campaign in response to the incident, where greek organizations will post to social media every day for the rest of the school year to emphasize their contributions to campus according to Ortiz

  • ORTIZ: “Since this isn't the first time that this has happened and just the fact that um UGC has always been on the sidelines when it comes to um sorority and fraternity life compared to Panhellenic and IFC organizations, so this is why we wanted to do this to emphasize why we matter and why we’re just as important and valuable to the sorority and fraternity life on campus and to the greater LMU community.”

LMU Admissions revealed Hallie Ryan as our graduating class’s valedictorian, announcing the honor in an Instagram post. Ryan gave a special address to the incoming class of 2024 during LMU’s first-ever virtual Preview Day, sharing the story of how she chose the Bluff as her home.

  • HALLIE RYAN: “So, the thought of giving a speech to thousands is slightly terrifying, but also kind of exciting. I have met some pretty incredible people in my life and maybe even some people who haven't been so incredible but understanding that each one has brought me to where I am today and I think that’s something that’s shared by every person graduating. We all have people getting us to that stage and through the good and the bad, these people have challenged us and strengthened us. Being honored with this title means giving gratitude to all those people.”

Despite in-person commencement being postponed, Ryan will reportedly still give her speech in some capacity on behalf of her class. 
  • RYAN: “I think this speech is so important because it gives parents and families a chance to see what their kids have been up to in college and students the opportunity to reflect on the past four years. More than that, however, I think this speech is the time for the student to challenge fellow students, professors, and the University in some way and ask ‘How can we be better?’ That’s something especially today that we need to hear before moving into the rest of our lives.”

The University has officially released its agenda for virtual senior programming. #LMU20 Week will go from May 8—May 15, beginning with a prayer service and ending with the traditional Senior Sunset and Graduation Toast usually held on the Bluff.

The university encourages the community to post with the #LMU20 to share their memories of the graduating class on social media


In this week’s roundup of resources— we’d like to remind students that if you are still in the Los Angeles area, you can request to borrow a laptop or Internet hotspot for your academic needs. Unfortunately, the University cannot ship laptops to non-local students, but students in the area can contact Terri Mangione at to make arrangements for these devices.

Now that registration season has hit for Fall 2020, we’d also like to remind students that their respective college advising centers are still available to meet with students virtually with any questions they may have.

Finally, LMU announced its launch of their new, Virtual Student EXPerience with a capital EXP. There, you can access all the virtual resources we mentioned last week and more— including but not limited to Ethnic & Intercultural Services, Student Psychological Services, and other virtual social activities open to all to stay connected.

Simply go to to see what else the University is offering to students as the year comes to an end.

There you have it Lions. Your week, in 10 minutes or less. Reporting for Agency LMU, I’m Raven Yamamoto. Tune in next Thursday for another installment, but until then — this has been the Addendum

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