Chabot Parking Frustrations

A campus safety car drives through Chabot College's parking lot B.

Chabot parking lot monitored by campus safety

Are you late to class again because you couldn’t find parking? The answer to this question for a lot of students at Chabot is yes. Finding a parking spot is especially difficult at the start of the fall semester when most students register for their classes.

But is there a solution to this problem? Some ideas have been mentioned, but as of now, we don’t have a lot of information as to what has happened to those ideas.

One of these ideas was the possibility that a staff parking lot would be removed to make more space for student parking. The other idea was to add additional parking spaces.

Officer Steve Lowry addressed both of these ideas, “Right now the information we have is that it has been delayed or suspended, as of today there is no change in staff parking. There are no additional parking spaces that have been added to my knowledge.”

Another concern is that parking prices have gone up. Officer Lowry told us, “during the summer semester the board of trustees approved a $1 increase.”

But is $1 really that big of a deal? Well taking into account the income of the average college student it might be. As various students prefer to park across the street rather than purchasing a permit. Others prefer riding their bike or using public transportation. There are also students that haven’t even noticed the $1 increase though.

In previous editions of The Spectator, officer Nate Moore said, “Parking permits do not guarantee a parking space; rather, they authorize parking in available spaces.” With this in mind, a possible solution could be not overselling permits and only selling as many permits as there are parking spaces so that it has more value for students.

Michael, a student at Chabot stated, “It depends on the times, in the mornings it’s obviously going to be more difficult to find a spot. When I come for my afternoon class though it seems to be fine. Mainly it’s the first few weeks where people fight over spots and it’s just always full, sometimes I have to park across the street.”

For now, all we can do is play the waiting game and see what is done about this parking issue. Continue reading

BART Retrofit Shaking It Up

BART is already preparing for a possible earthquake with projects underway at both the Coliseum and Fruitvale stations.

The BART communications department stated, “Stage one began in June and is expected to last through the end of the year. Work is taking place under the south end of the BART alignment located near 73rd Avenue, parallel San Leandro Street, this includes the stairwell off San Leandro Street which connects to the pedestrian bridge. This is all part of BART’s systemwide Earthquake Safety Program.”

“The retrofit work will help the columns better withstand damage from future earthquakes” they added “Construction work is being performed on each column that holds up the BART trackway on the north side of 35th Avenue. Work is also being done to the columns and fixtures located inside the Fruitvale station.”

The good news for BART users is that none of this will change the train schedules in any way. The estimated duration of this project is 4 months and will not affect riders.

“In November of 2004, voters in Alameda, Contra Costa, and San Francisco counties approved Regional Measure AA, the BART Earthquake Safety Bond. It has been funding most ($980 million) of our $1.2 billion systemwide projects to strengthen the original BART system, protect public safety and ensure that BART service returns quickly to avoid gridlock following a major earthquake.”

BART said this is what inspired them to start this project to improve their structures and prepare for an earthquake. It’s a good decision on their part since experts believe a major earthquake could hit California in the next 30 years.

Jesus, who is a frequent BART rider told us, “That’s very important, especially for people’s safety, that way we feel more comfortable and secure with BART trying to take the necessary precautions to keep people safe. The safety of the riders should be the most important thing.”

When asked about his usage of BART and the impact it has on him that the train schedules won’t be affected he added, “it’s very important because as everybody knows traffic in the bay area is a nightmare for everyone, you try to go anywhere, and there’s always traffic. BART helps with that, so it’s good that we’ll still be able to use the service without worrying about changes in the schedule.”

“I use BART almost daily, I work in the city, so if I use my car it means it will take 2 or more hours to get there, whereas with BART I can just take an hour and I don’t have to deal with finding parking and sitting in traffic, and all that stuff, it’s just less stressful” added Jesus.

Overall it’s a pretty positive response from people to BART’s project to prepare for a major earthquake. Also, it is true that BART helps a lot of people get from point A to point B without having to worry about the daily traffic issues in the Bay Area.

The End of the 22 Line?

The discontinued 22 line stopping at the Chabot bus stop.

The discontinued 22 line stopping at the Chabot bus stop.

On June 17 the AC Transit 22 Line, a bus route that looped around Chabot College, South Hayward and Hayward BART, ended service, leaving many Chabot students with more busses to catch, higher costs, and a drastic increase in wait time.

“I used to take one bus to school, and now I take five.” Theresa Pedrosa, a Chabot Student Council Representative, stated, “Two to school and three to get home.”

AC Transit offers a $5 day pass to help keep costs low if you are taking more than two busses locally. The day pass can be obtained by asking the bus driver when paying, or it will be automatically applied on the third ride when using your Clipper Card.

The cash fare for a single ride is $2.35, two trips a day would be $4.70, 30 cents cheaper than a day pass. On a tight budget, 30 cents is a lot of money and begins to add up over time.

It takes more busses to get to Chabot. You wait longer for the busses, and as a result, it takes longer to arrive at Chabot

Mrs. Mak, a Chabot student bus rider, states, “The bus 22 change is a really big inconvenience, to try to bring eight grandchildren on the bus, catch three buses to go visit my 75-year-old mom down by the Holiday Bowl.”

According to the AC Transit website ending the service of the 22 line was intended to decrease wait times and increase the number of busses on the street. AC Transit states that its goal is also to make the bus lines simpler and more reliable.

Dee Collins, a student at Chabot College, adds, “Because of the 22 change, and the other bus line changes, service is sporadic. It’s never on time.”

“I used to take the 22 from the Hayward BART to campus,” Davin Benson stated. “The 60 was extended to go to campus, effectively replacing the 22 for anyone coming from Hayward BART, and there’s a stop going toward Chabot right off the street I live on.”

The people most affected by the ending of the 22 line are the students living on Tennyson Road. The residents of Tennyson Road were already worried about the rising costs of public transportation before the service of the 22 line ended. With the change in bus routes, the residents near Tennyson Road have to take more buses to get to their destination.

The increase in wait times has led to people staying out longer during unsafe hours of the night to catch a bus. Even before the change, residents of Tennyson Road were worried about being assaulted and robbed while waiting for what was possibly one bus. Currently, bus riders have increased their risk just to wait for a second bus to get their destination.

If you have strong feelings about the canceling of the 22 line, contact the candidates for the AC Transit district director for Ward Four to express your thoughts on the issue. The AC Transit district director candidates are Nicholas Harvey and Mark Williams.

 

Chabot College Ethnic Studies Indigenous Peoples Week

Guest speaker Dr. LaNada War Jack speaking to a room of students

Guest speaker Dr. LaNada War Jack

On Monday, October 8 Chabot began their Indigenous Peoples week with a speech featuring their keynote speaker Dr. LaNada WarJack. The event was held in the event center by Chabot’s Ethnic studies department.

Dr. LaNada WarJack started off with this strong statement referring to the US history that is taught in our school system. “Get that history, the true history, and learn it. The true history is still never taught.”

The speech largely focused on the recent argument between whether it should be called Columbus day or Indigenous peoples day and Native American culture often being misrepresented. Asking why the US celebrates genocide as a holiday.

Dr. WarJack received a very warm welcome by the crowd as she spoke to applause and cheers. Kelly, a former student of Chabot also spoke at the event and was responsible for introducing Dr. WarJack, before introducing her she stated.

“When I was a student here not long ago, Chabot didn’t offer anything like this so I really appreciate [having Indigenous peoples week now].” I love that Chabot decided not to participate in celebrating the erasure of Native people.”

Dr. WarJack also encouraged students at Chabot to take advantage of this Ethnic Studies program and learn the real history. “Not many colleges have this program so take advantage.”

She continued to encourage people to be aware of their history and always be prepared to be an advocate when need be.

Dr. LaNada WarJack then proceeded to show the inhumane events that Indigenous people had to endure. Having their land stolen, being turned into slaves, being taken away from their families to be put into boarding schools, etc.

When she was done speaking, Dr. WarJack received a positive reaction from the crowd and standing ovation with people cheering and clapping.

The Ethnic studies program offers many degrees and opportunities to students to further expand their knowledge on true history. A testimonial found on their pamphlet given at the speech from former student George J. Benjamin III, “The most important thing about ethnic studies is that it helped me find more of myself and my history, which is information that I can carry with me for life.”

If you are interested in learning more about what the ethnic studies program has to offer students you can contact department chair Kay Fischer, her information can be found on the Chabot college website.

Chabot Sports Preview

Fall Sports is among us at Chabot College, as athletes of Wrestling, Soccer, Football, and Basketball go on their quest to win it all, which is a state championship.

Wrestling coach, Steve Siroy seems thrilled about the upcoming season, saying “I’m excited about the whole team. We have a lot of good talent coming in, a state champ coming back, and about 4 returning sophomores who are one match away from going to state”.

Men’s Soccer Coach, Tony Igwe is passionate to win and believes in the squad he has developed. “I think I have a good team, only if they play to the system I want them to play. We want team players”.

Women’s Soccer Coach, Markus Bathelt feels optimistic to help his team succeed, saying “We are going to face opponents that are stronger than us, but we have to work harder and be more ruthless in front of the goal”.

When speaking to Sophomore Linebacker Ethan Owens and Freshman Defensive Back Darriell Wells, they sai:d “It’s going to be a really good season, I think we are going to come out more intense than last year because the team is more together”. When asking about why the team feels more unified than last year, Ethan Owens replied “Leadership is different this year. We have more sophomores this year and since we were a younger team last year, we didn’t have that image. Now we feel like this is our time to shine and our goal is to go to State.”

Men’s Basketball Coach, Keenan McMiller is entering Chabot College as a first-year head coach. Previously as a Chabot alumnus, Coach McMiller believes he has the tools to make the Chabot Gladiators Basketball Team a winning team. “I have the experience, I’ve had seven winning seasons out of 10 where I came from. I’ve been to the State Final Four two times as a Head Coach and I am relentless when it comes to recruitment”.

Women’s Basketball Coach, Mark Anger is excited about the upcoming season, saying “I have great expectations for this year. We have nine returnees and some really impactful transfers in Freshmen”. The main challenge Coach Anger faces this season is “integrating the new players with the old players and bringing them in as a team”. It was surprising to know that when asking about the players that played last season, Coach Anger answered: “We had all freshmen last year so leadership is a lot better than last year and they’re doing a really good job”.

 

South Hayward City Council Meeting

On September 11th, the Hayward city council members hosted their meeting at Matt Jimenez Community Center, after returning from their summer recess, to talk to the community about the current state of South Hayward, and AC Transit elimination of bus line 22.

Hayward City Councilman Al Mendall expressed his concerns about the current situation of South Hayward. “It is in need and deserves many improvements. It is a great community, the people living there are wonderful but there aren’t enough resources.”

Mendall continued, “There aren’t enough parks, there are no services on Tennyson like banks. The nearest bank is on Mission Blvd. which is badly needed in the community. Crimes have also been an issue, and the city has worked on that…”

Many Hayward residents attended this special meeting.  Many residents expressed their concerns and opinions on the vision plan of the Tennyson Corridor Project during the public speaking segment.

Rosa Salguero, local Hayward resident expressed her concerns on the overall future of Hayward. “I am more concerned about affordable housing, as well as for the residents of South Hayward who won’t get the resources they need.”

One of the most important topics of the meeting was AC Transit shutting down the bus service of bus line 22. Many students and Hayward residents depended on using this line to get to school, work, and Downtown Hayward.

Councilman Mendall did express his opinion on this topic. When asked if the City of Hayward has control of AC Transit Mendall stated “The city does not have control of AC Transit’s decisions. AC Transit is their own agency. The decision was made by them not us.”

Mendall continues, “We heard this complaint many times, and we understand how concerning it is for everyone. I don’t understand why this change was made. It doesn’t seem to be a good change, and I know that myself and the city are actively trying to reach out to AC Transit to talk about that, and see how to restore that service. It is still not a done deal yet.”  

Councilman Mendell also mentioned that a newly improved park is being built on Tennyson, and there are two grocery stores scheduled to open on Mission Blvd.

Michelle Sifontes, Veterinary major, did express her concern about the bus line 22 service. Sifontes states, “I think I speak for many students and adults that have jobs that shutting down bus 22 is a real set back and causes a problem. I live on Mission, and I have taken bus 22 to help me get to school.” Sifontes continues, “Shutting down this bus can prevent people, especially those with no other form of transportation, from getting to where they need to go.”

If you are interested in attending the next City Council meeting it will take place on September 25th at 5:30 pm at Hayward City Hall.

Lane splitting: Legal, But Safe?

California is the only state in the union who has made lane splitting, when a motorcycle straddles two lanes of traffic, officially legal.

“I only lane-split when traffic is stopped or crawling, and I don’t go more than 10, or 15 miles per hour faster than traffic, I’m pretty conservative.” said motorcyclist of 15 years, Danae Zoule. While California has made this legal, in 37 states it is illegal, and the rest have a large grey area on the legality of the practice.

“It’s not really safe for cyclists to crawl along with the rest of the traffic,” Joshua MacAran, motorcyclist for the last 2 years, says, “other drivers don’t seem to understand how fast a motorcycle can brake, and they don’t leave enough room to not crush us during a fast stop.”

“One time I had to bail out when I was on my bike,” said Sean Vansnickel, motorcyclist of 12 years. “The car behind me didn’t allow enough time to stop, so I jumped in the bed of the truck in front of me.”

According to one of the very few studies on motorcycle behavior and safety, lane splitting has been found safe, when traffic is going up to 50 mph, and the motorcyclist does not exceed 65 mph. This UC Berkeley study also found only 17 percent of motorcycle accidents occurred during lane splitting, and less than 2 percent were fatalities.

The California Highway Patrol declined to be interviewed at this time.

“I do get mad at other motorcyclists I see speeding recklessly through traffic at high speeds, they give the rest of us a bad name.” Ms. Zoule said.

All the motorcyclists agreed that the best thing drivers can do for motorcycle safety is to be aware and give them more space than you think they need. The best thing motorcyclists can do is take a motorcycle safety course, wear your protective gear, and be conservative when passing.

Free Google vs. Free Microsoft

Is Microsoft Office better than Google Docs? That depends on what you want to do, and how old you are, since both are now free.

At Chabot College, teachers and students over 30 believe Word and Excel specifically, are important software skills to have before entering the workforce, especially a job in tech or business.

“I would say Microsoft is more professional, but I prefer Google.” Chiffah Dobshi, 19. Most under 30 find Google products easier to use, though their security does seem to be in question, “I’ve always been kinda suspicious of Google programs since they’re all online. I like using Google Docs, but I think in a work environment I’d probably be using Microsoft Word more.” John, 18.

It’s hard to say which product suite will be most used in the future, but it’s a safer bet to know how to use either one with ease. So far, Microsoft and Google put similar effort into the quality of their products, although Google keeps everything online, and technically has the rights to anything you write on their server.

“The security of online software? I assume it’s non-existent,” said Business Teacher, Melissa Patterson, “You don’t even list Microsoft Office on your resume anymore, because they expect you to know the main three, Word, Excel, and Powerpoint, at least a working knowledge.”

In case you want to make sure your Microsoft skills match your Google skills, Chabot and Microsoft have now made it possible for all Chabot students, faculty, and administrators to create an MS Office 365 OneDrive account. This is free to use for the entire time they associated with Chabot College.

Microsoft is offering to match or exceed what Google offers students, with their entire suite (including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint), and online storage, in their OneDrive. You can access the account on multiple systems and it is compatible with Windows, macOS, iOS and Android devices.

 

  • To sign up for your free copy, use your @zonemail.clpccd.edu, @chabotcollege.edu, or @laspositascollege.edu email address at https://products.office.com/en-us/student/office-in-education
  • You will need access to your Zonemail account to sign up.
  • If you haven’t done this before, sign into CLASS-web with your W number and 6-digit pin.If you haven’t created a pin, the default should be your birth date, and will be the same to sign into your zonemail.
  • Click the link: “What is my email address?” to see yours.
  • If you can’t log in with these instructions, there is help available, just email: [email protected]
  • You can access Zonemail through: http://stumail.clpccd.edu or sign in through Google by going to: https://accounts.google.com/ServiceLogin and input your full zonemail address and pin.
  • Remember to log yourself out after using a school computer.

School Wi-Fi Updated

As many can agree, a slow internet connection is one of the most frustrating things to ever exist. This is especially true for anyone trying to use the campus Wi-Fi, as many students know the long history of Chabot’s Wi-Fi signal. After years of poor signal strength and student complaints, the campus Wi-Fi was finally improved over the summer.

Over the summer, 324 wireless access points were installed throughout the campus, including one in every classroom. These access points run 802.11ac and allow internet connection throughout the school to run much faster than it did in in previous years.

The project to improve the campus wireless connection started on July 23 and concluded on August 15, right before the start of the fall semester. Access points were installed in most of the school buildings, including 100, 1400, 1900, 2400, 3100, 3400, 3000, 2500, 2600, 2800, 2900, and 4000. Eventually, more access points will be installed throughout the school to fill in dead spots and to especially improve the internet connection in areas with the biggest need for wireless internet.

One first-semester student, Angel Aguilar, states that she came into Chabot admiring the strength of the campus Wi-Fi as it is. “Where I go, the Wi-Fi is strong,” states Aguilar. “I don’t have any problem at all.” As someone who never experienced the campus Wi-Fi in recent years, first-time students will be greeted with better Wi-Fi speeds and will not have to struggle with connecting their devices to the internet.

A longtime student at Chabot College, Doonie Love, recalls his experience with the slow internet speed of the campus Wi-Fi before this semester. He says “the Wi-Fi has improved slightly, just enough for it to function in the science building, but not enough to download a file or watch an online tutorial.”

Many students and faculty use our Wi-Fi for lectures in class or catching up on online classes, or just to watch Netflix on our laptops. Let’s just see how the current Wi-Fi holds up.

Recognizing Part-Time Faculty

Do part-time faculty get the recognition they deserve? Many think they don’t, whether it is that they are seen as not having enough time to be as involved as full-time faculty or it being dependant on the department they’re in. Whatever the case may be, most agree on giving them more recognition and Chabot is taking suggestions and trying their best to do that.

Chabot College President Dr. Susan Sperling who was also an adjunct before, expressed her opinion on the topic, “From my experience, I felt I didn’t have full benefits and there was a sense I wasn’t completely integrated into the power structure of my department.” President Sperling added that, “We have a great group of teachers who should all get the same recognition as they are all a big part of Chabot College,” she ended by saying “We are planning to change that, I don’t know why it needed to wait that long,” referring to part-time faculty getting equal recognition.

Vice President of Academic Services Dr. Stacy Thompson also understands the situation as she was also a part-time instructor in the past. Dr. Thompson said she “Understands having more full-time instructors that can be more active with students.”

Dr. Thompson stated that she supports “Having as many full-time faculty as the budget allows” however she added, “We could definitely do more as far as part-time faculty appreciation and I’m open to ideas and suggestions for that.”  

English Professor Mr. Darvin Wilson who has been with Chabot College for 35 years told us, “There are certain advantages of being a part-time professor, being an adjunct is a very good situation for me as it allows me to pursue two different careers”. Mr. Wilson ended with, “At the same time I feel I don’t have much time to dedicate to things like committee work and so on, for Chabot, I like that there is a lot of help for adjuncts though.”

For Christie Verarde, adjunct instructor in Academic Services, part-time appreciation depends on the department. When asked about the subject she said, “I think that the level of appreciation depends on the department, in my department, early childhood, I believe that is the case, it’s a strong department and we support each other.”

Eileen Pippins who has taught part-time at Chabot since 2014, told us, “I’ve seen the campus create more opportunities for part-timers.” When asked why she believes part-timers may not get equal recognition, she said, “It might be that we are thought of as always busy, but that isn’t the case for everyone.”

Professor Chad Mark Glen stated, “They’re the unsung heroes, they are deserving of recognition,” when asked about his opinion on adjuncts.

All in all, there is definitely more being done to make adjuncts feel more included at Chabot. Strides are being made to give them the recognition they deserve.