Chabot Student Advocacy

Chabot paid for 14 of our peers to have the opportunity to visit our nation’s capital for the National Student Advocacy Conference hosted by the ASACC (American Student Association of Community Colleges) from March 14 through 21.

SSCC advisors Ellen Corbett, Arnold Paquio, and Ben Nash made the trip possible through their efforts and organization. “The purpose of this conference is to enhance the ability of Chabot College students to effectively advocate on behalf of themselves and their peers, and to share their newfound skills and knowledge with their communities,” reads the application authored by SSCC Vice President Sharon Dang.

Following the return home, Patrick Mwamba says his highlight of the trip was, “finding out how important advocacy at the national level is.”

Nash, former Student Senate President, says, “practicing with students to perfect their presentations for our Members of Congress,” and, “attending the Town Hall event with Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and filmmaker Michael Moore,” were his favorite moments.

The ASACC website describes an intention of the National Advocacy Conference is to get community college students to, “listen, learn and lead.”

“The conference will provide general sessions, keynote speakers, workshops and forums designed to educate the student participants on the major issues that are critical to community colleges,” according to their website.

Keynote speaker Ralph Nader referred to, “the fire in the belly,” speaking to the passion behind advocacy.

“My favorite workshop was the one on free community college,” says Jonathon Ortega.

The SSCC could only approve the budget for the trip because of the students who opted to pay the, “$10 student body fee,” where, “the SSCC gets its entire budget from,” says SSCC Representative at Large Lesly Avendano.

“As someone who loves art and architecture, seeing all the buildings, seeing the history of the country and its founding ideas through art was one of the highlights for me personally,” said Gladwin Sy.

Mwamba adds, “hanging out with everyone, discovering their passions, interests, our similarities, and learning different perspectives,” were a few of his favorite moments.

Mwamba, “especially loved the mac n’ cheese the first night, and all that  great food.”


Spring Around the World

Spring is celebrated in many ways all around the world. It’s recognized by many cultures as a time for new life. We will take a brief look at how spring is celebrated across the world, in America, and what Chabot college students were up to during their spring break.

In America, the most well-known recognition of the coming of spring for a student in all levels of education is the all too short Spring break.

Spring break has a notorious reputation for being accompanied by loud music, loud college students, and liquor, as well as other substances and herbs.

College students weren’t the only ones celebrating in an altered state. Some of the worlds ancient cultures did too, perhaps with more intention.

Some ancient Greek disciplines were known to use psychedelics during their celebration of the spring equinox. According to the Ancient History Encyclopedia website, some ancient Greeks, “would fast, and would then drink a barley and mint beverage called Kykeon.”

In ELEUSIS: Journal of Psychoactive Plants and Compounds, Peter Webster suggests, “the ergot species Claviceps purpurea was the probable source of psychoactive ingredient for the elixir. C. purpurea and related parasitic fungi produce lysergic acid alkaloids (a precursor to LSD), among which are several known psychedelic compounds as well as other important pharmaceuticals.”

The Lunar New Year, commonly called the Chinese New Year, is also known as the Spring Festival. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica website, the Lunar Year is also referred to as the “Chinese Chunjie, Vietnamese Tet, Korean Solnal, and Tibetan Losar.”

These are only some of the many ways that spring is celebrated around the world. So, what were Chabot college students up to during their spring break?

Chabot student Samuel Guerra says, “I used spring break to study a bunch and get caught up.”

Student Body President Zaheer Ebtikar “sent applications into east coast universities and tutored some highschool students for their upcoming June SAT’s.”

Chabot student Patrick Mwamba “didn’t really have a spring break. I still had work for my online classes and their midterms. I was also organizing the gun forum we had April 7 on campus.”

Though it wasn’t all business for some. Former student body president, now Berkeley student Ben Nash, “drove to Santa Barbara, went out with an old friend to celebrate her birthday, hiked in the Marin Headlands, and laid in a hammock to read a good book unaware of time and other responsibilities.”

Ebtikar adds, “I got the chance to go to Thornton beach, Lanark Shelby Park and Tilden Park.”

Mwamba did, “manage a weekend Vegas trip.”

So, professors and parents rest assured, most of us didn’t follow the example of the ancient Greeks and their psychedelic Kykeon beverage and really, “didn’t do too much else besides study,” says Guerra.

Chabot Art Gallery Reopening

Last October the Chabot College Art Gallery had to shut its doors because of lack of operational funding and the community as well as the student body’s outcry did not fall on deaf ears. During the Galleries closure, managerial changes took place with Aaron Deetz, an instructor of photography, taking over for Diane Zuliani a history instructor as the coordinator of the art gallery.

I asked professor Deetz how he felt when the art gallery closed and he said “It was hard for the whole division to lose a space the students use to showcase their work. Nobody was happy about it, but everybody was dedicated to reopening the gallery.” He told me that he was stoked about the art gallery reopening and the new direction of the art gallery will be to have the students run the shows so that they’re just as invested as the faculty.

   Just six months after the doors were closed for what the community thought to be indefinitely the Dean of Arts, Media and Communication Deonne Kunkel had other plans. I talked to her in-between meetings to ask her why reopening the art gallery was so important to her, and she told me “I made it a priority to reopen the art gallery to give the students and our community the opportunity be able to express themselves through art.” I questioned her to where the money came from, and she told me that she with the coordination of Vice President Stacy Thompson and support of the President of Chabot were able to reallocate monies to reopen the gallery. “ I’m excited we have a lot of student showcases coming shortly.”

   The student’s opinions and feelings who were affected the most were heard and swift action taken to reopen the gallery. I asked freshmen art student Roseanne Bengco who recently found out that the gallery will be reopening on a scale of one to ten how excited she was? “Ten, It means a lot as an artist to have a place to showcase your work and take pride in the effort you put into your craft and to receive feedback from people about your work. It makes the process all worth it.”

   The art gallery will be hosting a digital media and photography showcase on April 12 and on the April 26 a foundation studio arts showcase for painting and drawing.

Veterans Succeed at Chabot

Veterans have a long history of utilizing their benefits for education and veterans at Chabot are no exception. Roughly three percent of our student population is veterans, and most of them utilize the benefits at the veterans office.

After World War II veterans were given educational benefits to help return them to the workforce and that tradition continues today. Many student veterans utilize the generous GI bill as they complete their educations.

Student Veterans tend to have a higher success rate than non-veteran students 72 to 42 percent higher depending on how you look at the numbers.

National Veteran Success tracker or NVST is a lobbying group that does have a vested interest in seeing the GI succeed. NVST does have some concern as Congress is rolling back some of the benefits. So they do try to make student veterans look more successful.

“Being a veteran makes you financially set up.” Said Krista a veteran program coordinator, Army veteran, Criminal Justice major, and second-year Chabot student when asked to justify why veterans have a higher success rate than average students.

Michael, a third-year computer science major and army veteran said, “Veterans have a sense of community and are willing to help.”

That being said why 42 percent vs. 72 percent? Their statistics do include 18 percent still attending college. And another 10 percent that got a vocational degree or certificate but may have even flunked out of college. That being said it still does beat the lowest number for civilians at 39 percent most likely due to readily available financial aid.

The typical veteran is a 25-29-year-old Latino or White man, older than most Chabot students. They make up roughly 3 percent of Chabot’s student population while making up 5 percent of degrees or certificates issues in 2016.

If you’re curious about what Chabot veterans center can provide from medical benefits to comfort dogs, please visit room building 2300, 2nd floor, room 2353 (Above the cafeteria). Melissa, the program coordinator, said: “she is happy to give back to veterans.” Chabot welcomes all those who serve, and/or plan to serve our country.

Survive a School Shooter

In the past few years, the United States has unfortunately seen a spike in school shootings. Most recently, on March 20, two students were injured during a shooting at Great Mills High School in Lexington Park, Maryland. This comes just weeks after the tragic shooting in Parkland, Florida when a former student snapped and killed 17 people, including both students and staff.

There have been countless rallies and protest held against the current gun laws. Many parents are expressing concern for the safety of their children, and many students admit to being afraid of the “norm” that this has become.

In an attempt to make students aware and prepared in the case of an emergency, Chabot teamed up with the Hayward Police Department to join in on the ‘Run Hide Fight’ campaign. A campaign designed to teach students how to survive an active shooter.

The video is narrated by Lieutenant Antonio Puente, who walks us through the steps to take in case a shooter is on campus. While Puente speaks, the viewer watches a mock active shooter situation going through the campus of Chabot. The shooter is portrayed by actress/producer Connie Jo Sechrist.

Sechrist, a San Jose native and former Chabot TV employee, admitted she felt “very uncomfortable” while portraying the shooter in the video. “The whole point of making the video is to help save lives, and when we decided to make the shooter a woman, I was for it. But in reality, I had to step outside of my comfort zone to play the role. I don’t want people to be scared of me.” Sechrist hopes that this project sends a message to viewers to “stand up, protect yourself and others, to not let this continue and to fight back.”

I showed the video to a couple of students and got feedback on what they believe would be the best tactic to remain safe during a shooting. “I would run, but I would also try to locate where the shooter is and avoid that area,” a student named Gabriel said to me. His friend, Christian, followed by saying “I would try to find an empty room to hide in.” Both of which are great options to keep in mind.

Sechrist is currently working on a feature film about human trafficking in which she hopes to bring awareness and expose the truth behind the epidemic. To hear more about Sechrist upcoming projects visit her website, This story was originally covered by the Spectator, last year.

Meeting With Our Chancellor: Jannett N. Jackson

The Chancellor of the Chabot-Las Positas Community College District, Jannett N. Jackson, visited our campus on March 1, 2018, for a series of listening sessions following last semesters vote of no confidence submitted by the Faculty Senate.

Student Senator Theresa Pedrosa says, “I was surprised that the chancellors listening sessions weren’t listed on Chabot’s online calendar so students would know about it.”

Student body president Zaheer Ebtikar says, “the chancellor was not there to apologize or make amends, but instead to justify her position to the faculty, classified, administrative, and student’s voice.”

In her opening of the last session in the series, giving some framework for the listening session, Chancellor Jackson says, “I am here to listen, I’m not here to speak.”

Chabot faculty member Andrew Pierson, reading from a note he received under his office door from a concerned colleague, says, “as a classified professional, I’m afraid to voice my concerns for fear of retaliation having heard about the actions of human resource management, which were inappropriate and in poor judgment.”

Pierson, continuing from the letter, “Chancellor Jackson has been asked about her leadership style and perception that the district acts as though the colleges are here to serve it as opposed to the other way around. She has dismissively stated that it is only Chabot and not LPC who has this concern.”

In response, Chancellor Jackson says, “My leadership style has fit this district for the last five years. The only concern has come up in this last year.”

Referencing the, “several issues, not adequately addressed in the public forum,”  Chancellor Jackson says, “face to face conversations are the best way to get to the core of the issue, instead of having a public dialogue where we’re trying to get our point across and aren’t really looking for information.”

As the session becomes more of, “a shouting match,” according to Board secretary Gin, Chabot faculty Ming Ho says, “I feel like I’m arguing with a ninth grader.”

Chancellor Jackson replies, “That goes both ways. I don’t know you, and I don’t think you know me.”

Reflecting on the listening session series, Chabot student Gladwin Sy says, “I came to observe, but didn’t see anything encouraging. There was a lot of tension, and the Chancellor seemed like she didn’t want to be there.”

Student Discounts

Hey, Gladiators! Here’s a list compiled by Spectator staff of stores/website’s that offer student discounts! You’re welcome.

School Supplies


Use your student ID to save 20 – 30 percent off document’s and shipping services


You’re student .edu email will get a six month free trial of prime benefits, then ½ of prime services after the trial


Register with Jo-Ann Student Discount Program and receive 10 percent off on all purchases, plus special coupons to use online and in store

“That’s crazy I go to Chipotle all the time, and school supplies are good to know about, and the AMC theater I know for sure is super expense on the weekends so with a student discount it’ll be cheaper.” – Jefferson, Chabot College

Bookstores / Publications


Order online with your student ID and use code STU81W to receive 40 percent off books, videos, newsletters, and journals


Use code, STUDIOUS and get $10 off every $100 spent on new and used textbooks


Just sign up with your school name and boom! The New York Times at only $1 per week


Another great newspaper and student’s get more than 75 percent off regular rates for print, online and mobile delivery



Sign up with and verify your student .edu email and instantly gain access to exclusive codes for all your favorite brands including BOOHOO Clothing, Lime Crime Makeup, New Balance Footwear, Apple and so, so much more. ( Also find discounts on getaways, home goods, and food goods!)


Flash your student ID at the \participating restaurants to receive free drinks and/or 10 percent off your meal!  



  1. T-MOBILE*
  2. SPRINT*
  3. AT&T *
  5. GEICO **
  7. JIFFY LUBE – Your student ID will get you $10 or 10 percent off at Jiffy

“I didn’t know about any of these.” – Sarah, Chabot College

* Sign up with your student .edu email to see what offers the phone providers currently offer students

** Full Time Students with good grades, receive up to 25 percent off insurance services. Do your research to figure out which service fits you best.

Entertainment and Transportation

  1. AMC THEATER – Visit on Thursday’s to get cheaper admission with a student ID
  2. CINEMARK – Show your ID at the box office for special rates daily
  3. MADAME TUSSAUDS – 15 percent off admission
  4. GREYHOUND & AMTRAK – Sign up for a Student Advantage Discount Card to save 20 percent on Greyhound fares, 15 percent on Amtrak fares and more

“I knew about some of these but definitely not all. These are super useful. Really good to know about.” – George, Chabot College

Also worth mentioning, Chabot’s Bookstore price matches! So make sure to check online for cheaper deals on textbooks before purchasing.

Women in STEM

Empowered Women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) was a three-part series in celebration of Women’s History Month. The first event of the series was a panel discussion on March 8.

The panel consisted of 3 Chabot faculty members, all women, and all working in STEM fields.

The series was largely organized by Mary Love, an instructional assistant at the STEM center, and Karina Milano, a Chabot student.

Mary Love sharing the importance of the event said, “Women are still severely underrepresented in STEM fields.” Love hopes that the series will, “inspire people to spread the word on why it’s important to add more women to the STEM field.”

Panelist Mera Horne is a lead engineer at the NASA Ames Research Center, and adjunct faculty at Chabot.

When asked why she chose the STEM field, Horne said, “I grew up in Egypt where engineering was not for women, they would say. I followed my heart. If I were to follow the stereotypes, I would be anything else but an engineer. I dared to dream.”

    Chabot student Brenda Marquez said in an interview, “I came to this event because I am a Latina in STEM going to school for medicine. I want to give free surgeries and medical needs to undocumented folks, or those below the poverty line. Discussions like this make women feel like they’re not alone.”

Panelist Brittney Harrison says, “the sciences and your social life, the way we treat people, they’re not separate. Everything is connected.”

Panelist Joanna Coham, a lab analyst, says, “majoring in a STEM field doesn’t limit you to that one thing you’re learning in college. You’re exposed to many different fields and can get a job in a lot of different science fields.”

Harrison says, “we need women in STEM because we have this ability grow life and have such a profound effect on life. How can we not have an affect on the world? We give life. Our perspective is so critical.”

Earth Week

Earth Day is a global holiday that many take pride in celebrating each year.

With the holiday being right around the corner there are several things we should do to get prepared for it.

Sidnea Nguyen, a current Chabot student, said, “Earth day is the one day out of the year where everyone should make sure plastic and paper are being put in the right place. Littering is never ok, but at least for the sake of pollution we should all come together and make this day mean something”.

Earth day is important because just picking something up or recycling something can go a long way.

Sara Trevor, stated, “ The work we do on Earth day is cool, but that should be work we do every day. I know not everyone will agree, but I feel like we could all do our parts and try a little better to stop pollution”.

Besides throwing away trash and helping to pick up litter, there are several other things you can do to prepare or participate in Earth day.

One way to save plastic would be using a refillable water bottle on a daily basis so that water bottles aren’t wasted.

An effective way to stop pollution would be carpooling to work instead of driving by yourself. Not only does it save you gas but it could help save the world as well. Switching up your lifestyle or just tweaking the things you already do can create a safer and greener earth for everyone to live in.

Starting on Monday, April 16th, Chabot will be providing activities and information all week long to get as many people aware of how they can save the earth as possible.

Earth Week 2018

From the Jaws of Defeat

The stage was set Friday, 23, 2018, in Quincy, California, for round two of the CCCAA Playoffs as the number seven ranked Chabot Gladiators match up against the number ninth ranked Feather River Golden Eagles. The all-freshmen (18-5) Lady Gladiators arrived at Feather River (17-8) excited about their first postseason playoff game.

Before the start of the game, I was able to talk to Olivia Vezaldenos, one of the guards for the Gladiators and I asked her what has been the hardest part of the season? She replied, “Getting out of my head in key game situations, and I need to stay focus, remember to keep my composure and just try to lead by example.” You could feel the playoff energy in the gym as more and more Golden Eagle fans, hyped and ecstatic with school spirit filed into the gymnasium.

The game went scoreless the first two minutes as both teams, clearly nervous, tried to find their rhythm. Feather River took a twelve point lead that the Lady Gladiators were able to cut down to five by halftime. Right before the start of the second half, I asked center, Mia Finnie, what she could do to make her team better? She replied, “Talk, Talk more, communication is everything, I just have to make sure I keep talking to my team so we can stay on the same page.”

Feather River continued to pour on the pressure going up by as much as thirteen points in the fourth quarter with six minutes left in the game. Gladiators called a timeout to try and stop the bleeding. I asked head coach Mark Anger what he was most proud of this season? He said, “how we have come together as a group to get this far if we stick together hopefully we will get a little further.”

Stick together is exactly what the Lady Gladiators did going a 13-2 run to win the game by seven in amazing fashion. The final score was 85-78 Gladiators advance to round three where they will meet the number one ranked team Sierra College on March 3, 2018, at Sierra College. Lets Go Gladiators!