The State Hornet

This is the fifth year that The State Hornet has conducted our “Best of Sac State” poll, where we reached out to our audience to find out what some of their favorite aspects of Sac State are, what they missed the most about not being on campus and the best of pop culture from the last year.

Students have been on Zoom for over a year, our campus has become a ghost town other than the vaccination center and another year of graduates will have to go without a large in-person celebration. But that is what Best of Sac State is all about - celebration.

As we look forward to campus reopening and studying under the trees with friends and a coffee and a bagel, we look back at what we have missed and what we have loved about Sac State and our student community over the last year. Click the menu categories to see the results and to get some of The State Hornet’s best reporters thoughts' on the winners of Best of Sac State.

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Best College: Arts & Letters

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The College of Arts & Letters took the title of “Best College” again this year. The college houses ten departments, including arts, communication studies, design, English, history, humanities & religious studies, music, philosophy, theater & dance and world languages & literature.

Below you will find some of our favorite stories from the State Hornet featuring subjects from the College of Arts & Letters.

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Best Major: Communication Studies

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For the third year in a row, communication studies was voted “Best Major” at Sac State. Regardless of "The Simpson’s" classic burn about communications being a "phony major,” students voted in droves to break the tie on social media with biological sciences.

It was clearly communicated with The State Hornet that once again, students feel communication studies is the best major.

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Best Club: Women in STEM

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Women in STEM was voted “Best Campus Club” in The State Hornet’s fifth annual Best of Sac State poll.

“It’s so surreal, I’m really happy for the club,” said club vice president Brittney Saverimuttu, 22, who is a kinesiology major minoring in biological science.

Women in STEM is a fairly new club, founded two years ago during the spring 2019 semester.

“It was just so nice to meet so many other women who are in the STEM field and see how excited they were to come together and just hang out and support one another and share their experiences,” said 24-year-old Mikayla Mallow, a biological science major with an emphasis in clinical lab science and newly appointed president of the club.

Read the full story about the club's importance to its members and how they felt about being voted best club here.

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Best Male Athlete: Arath Chavez

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Sacramento State soccer player Arath Chavez’s impact continues to be felt in the Sac State community after friends and family lost a man whose talent and hard work spoke volumes on the field, but whose kindness, joy and personality also spoke loudly off the field.

“He always wanted to make sure that people had a smile,” said Daniel Chavez, Arath’s older brother. “He was kind of loud, but that good loud that brought you joy, you know?”

Arath died in a motorcycle accident in January at the age of 20 and was voted as the Best Male Athlete by State Hornet readers.

Read more about what his family and teammates said made him so special here.

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Best Male Athlete: Matt Smith

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Matt Smith received the second most votes in the 2021 Best of Sac State poll after soccer player Arath Chavez was posthumously given the most votes by our audience.

Smith is a sixth-year senior outfielder who returned to Sac State following COVID-19 interrupted 2020 season. The extra year has paid off as Smith has become the all-time Sac State baseball leader in both hits (262) and runs batted in (153).

Smith, who is a native of Placerville, leads the Western Athletic Conference with a .388 batting average and has 7 home runs and 39 runs batted in at the time of this publication and has helped the Hornets to a 28-18 overall record so far in 2021. In March he earned the WAC hitter of the week award going 8-17 with a couple of home runs. He recieved that honor again on Monday.

Read our recent profile of Smith and fellow senior Ryan Walstad by baseball beat writer Dylan McNeill here.

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Best Female Athlete: Alondra Mejia

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Junior first baseman Alondra Mejia has been a powerhouse during her softball career at Sac State. Mejia, who hails from Corona, California, was named Big Sky field player of the week during the 2019 season and she had the fourth most RBIs in the Big Sky Conference in the 2020 season as of Monday.

Throughout her last three seasons, Mejia has played in 91 games and she has accumulated 38 RBIs, 17 runs and nine home runs.

During the 2021 softball season, Mejia has made 112 plate appearances where she has had 33 hits, 12 RBI, nine runs and six home runs. In the third game of the series matchup against Montana State University, Mejia made history by becoming the first player in program history to hit three home runs in a single game.

Mejia leads the team with 201 put outs for the season and she has the second highest batting average on the team at .311.

Check out the video of her three home run performance below and listen to a full podcast with Mejia for our State Hornet Sports Spotlight series here.

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Album of the Year: After Hours

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Sac State students voted for “After Hours” by The Weeknd as the best album of the past year in The State Hornet’s annual Best of Sac State poll.

This choice should come as a shock to nobody as “After Hours” was one of the biggest and most well-received albums of 2020.

The album sold 444,000 album equivalent units in its first week, which is a personal best for the candadian pop sensation, topping the first week sales of his 2015 album “Beauty Behind the Madness.”

Read Arts and Entertainment Editor Nijzel Dotson's thoughts on The Weeknd's critical success and his win in Best of Sac State in a full story here.

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Best Movie: Soul

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For this year’s Best of Sac State, Sacramento State students decided on “Soul” as the best film of 2020.

Joe Gardner, voiced by Jamie Foxx, is a middle school band teacher with a love for all things jazz. When Joe finds himself with the opportunity of a lifetime, he also finds himself as a soul separated from his own body. Joining up with the difficult soul 22, voiced by Tina Fey, Joe must find a way back to his body or miss the chance of achieving his purpose in the jazz world.

Read more from our film and television writer Bradley Hinkson in his review and reaction to "Soul" winning Best of Sac State here.

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Best 2020 TV Show: Bridgerton

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Netflix has seen better days with its recent lackluster original content, but “Bridgerton” might’ve saved them from this pitiful fall and it was rewarded with our "Best TV Show."

The show is narrated through the anonymous and elegant voice of Lady Whistledown, played by the beloved Julie Andrews, who takes you through the debutante season for arranged marriages of the elite families of London society. You intimately watch as every family in town scrambles to get their daughters in line to essentially be sold to the highest bidder, all while trying to keep their dirty secrets from being the next morning stroll conversation.

This show has everything you need and more.

Read opinion editor Magaly Muñoz's review and reaction "Bridgerton's" win and why you won't be able to stop speaking with a British accent after you watch here.

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Best Quarantine Activity: Sleeping

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There are some benefits to always being at home. Not having to commute, not having to find and pay for parking and more time for sleeping, which is something Americans are famous for not getting enough of.

That may be why sleeping was voted “Best Quarantine Activity.” There are many benefits to sleep especially when it comes to mental health. Lack of sleep is tied to a higher prevalence in many mental health disorders according to Harvard Medical School, so in a year where mental health has hit a flashpoint in society a little extra sleep may not be so bad.

So power through finals, enjoy CARmencement if you are graduating and then get back to some more of that well earned quarantine activity - sleep.

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Best Place You Miss on Campus: Library

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In the middle of campus, filled with multiple quiet floors of books, desks and computers, bordered by the Grumpy Mule coffee shop, is this year’s “Best place you miss on campus” - the library.

Who would have thought students would miss a university library that much, but it makes sense after a year of isolation and being surrounded by the same people day after day. Who doesn’t long to sit in a large, quiet room, studying, while being surrounded by a bunch of other students whom you don’t have to interact with? It’s the exact opposite of the lives we have all been living for the last year.

But don't worry, in just a few months you'll be able to get back to the smell of old books and the soothing sounds of dozens of hands quietly but furiously typing on laptops and muffled tunes playing out of dozens AirPods.

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Best Food You Miss on Campus: The Bagel Place

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The Bagel Place got good news for future business as it won for the food students most miss on campus.

It's hard to argue with a bagel. They are a blank canvas of rich pillowy deliciousness. Whether you go standard with some plain smear, breakfast sandwich with some egg and bacon, or full blown turkey sandwich for a filling lunch in between classes, the bagel place was always ready to satisfy a craving before the pandemic.

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Best Pandemic Outfit: Sweatpants/Sweatsuit

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Not even a pandemic can silence sweatpants. They are cute, comfortable, trendy and they never go out of style. They are by far the best loungewear you could choose to wear everyday in quarantine.

Sweatpants are a game changer because you can dress them up and down. Wear them with a matching hoodie for that cute athleisure look, or put a nicer top and leather jacket on with them to dress it up.

After a long and tiring day, putting on sweats makes you feel like a million bucks. This casual couch wear clothing has turned into a fashionable statement piece.

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