In Dubious Battle

“In Dubious Battle” a novel written by John Steinbeck, revolves around an activist trying to help abused laborers obtain fair wages and better working conditions.

Steinbeck was a resident from California, and most of his influences on writing came from his personal experiences in his youth. One of them was working on nearby farms with migrant workers and obtaining insight on the conditions in which they work and how they’re treated.

This would give birth to one of Steinbeck’s most notable novels, “Of Mice and Men.”

For the most part, the story of “In Dubious Battle” takes place in the California Valley, following two characters named, Jim Nolan and Mac Mcleod. Their objective was to help the fruit workers organize and strike against their horrible working conditions as well as causing a big enough commotion to promote change for all workers in the field.

Everything plays out perfectly, but most of it was just plain luck. Jim and Mac slowly recruited individuals to the cause that was gradually building in a kind of domino effect. The primary catalyst that sparked the major strike was an old man falling off a ladder in an apple orchard.

There was some controversy when this novel was published. Two of the main characters were “Reds” or what is commonly referred to as Communists. During this time in the United States, there was a “Red Scare” that led its citizens to believe that Communism could have destroyed Capitalism.

Throughout the novel, the individuals that interacted with Jim and Mac were suspicious of them being communists with their, “Radical Beliefs.”

The other main critique of this novel was mostly from detractors. They believed that it really didn’t portray the spirit of labor organizers with philosophical generalizations, despite Steinbeck’s extensive research of party organizers and contemporary strikes.

So why is this novel significant? It’s simple, really. “In Dubious Battle” was published in 1936 and was a perfect platform for social commentaries and keeping the public aware of what goes on in the world. An example of this is “Silent Spring” written by Rachel Carsen. This novel informed the public of how harmful pesticides are to humans as well as life itself. So Steinbeck used writing as a medium to share his philosophies and the injustices to migrant workers.

Juan Martinez, a Chabot student, said, “I’ve actually helped out in some orchards in Sonoma Country. Some of the days were incredibly hot and really long. I couldn’t imagine working out there without having some kind of security. This novel gave me an insight into how things were, and I’m glad they have changed for the better.”

Even though his novel “In Dubious Battle” was entirely overshadowed by his most famous novels such as “Of Mice and Men” and “Grapes of Wrath,” it is still considered to be one of his best works.

The Effects of Factory Farming

Earth Week at Chabot College brings many people, from many organizations, to come to talk to students about the environment. In the event center at Chabot on Tuesday, April 23, 2019, Kiely Smith, the Bay Area Director of Factory Farming Awareness Coalition (FFAC), gave a presentation of the effects of factory farming.

FFAC is a nonprofit organization with the goal of reducing the effect that factory farming has on the planet. The approach that FFAC has chosen to reach their goal is education through presentation.

Factory farming is the system of keeping livestock indoors and under controlled conditions. Factory farming is done to produce as much product as possible for the most profit.

One of the impacts of factory farming on the environment that Smith went over is the amount of resources needed to raise animals. The amount of water required to produce one gallon of milk from cows is intensive. The presentation from FFAC states about 27 gallons of water.

According to FFAC’s presentation, over half the farmland in the US is planted with corn and soy for feeding livestock. FFAC states that if the people ate half as much meat, the farmland used for crops in the US could feed everyone on the planet with an excess of food.

All living beings produce waste, and livestock is no exception. Smith played a segment from the documentary “Spy Drones Expose Smithfield Foods Factory Farms,” which the founder of FFAC, Katie Cantrell, assisted on. The documentary showed an open-air cesspool from a pig farm that was four football fields big.

When the pit gets too full, the way, the farm empties it is to use essentially a giant garden hose and spray the liquid waste into the air. When the waste is sprayed, it is carried down wind into neighboring communities.

“You think it’s raining when they spray animal waste. We don’t open the doors or the windows, but the odor still comes in,” said Elsie Herring, a North Carolina resident living near a Hog Farm, in the documentary.

Can You Control Your Willpower?

How good is your willpower? Professor Walter Mischel wants to find out how your willpower affects you, from childhood to adulthood, and if waiting for rewards can allow us to be more successful adults.

“If I could, I’d want money or treats right away as a kid, I wouldn’t have saved anything. My parents pretty much told me, ‘hey you made $20 bucks save ten of it.’ It wasn’t my first choice, but I’m pretty grateful for it now,” said firefighting student, Zack Andersen.

We asked Comm studies professor Zeraka Mitchell how her attitudes trended. “When I was little I collected pogs, you know those little discs. I did like to save things if I could. Now I budget at the beginning of each month, I lay out all my expenses for rent, my bills, groceries, and savings. Savings first, actually. When those are all paid, I have a little entertainment fund too.”

In 1974, Professor Mischel started testing children in this way; a child is told they may have a marshmallow right away, however, if they wait until the tester returns, they can have double the marshmallows. The tester would then leave the room for about 3 minutes. Mischel started to study how a child’s willpower at 5 to 7 years old could affect their attitudes and lives into adulthood.

Mischel asked, “When you draw a whole picture without breaking your crayon, is that because you were very careful? Or because it was a good crayon?” Or, “when somebody brings you a present, is that because you are a good boy/girl? Or because they like to give people presents?”

Part of the question is not only what a child’s attitude can predict about how they will behave into adulthood, but if they can consider and shape their thought process to become better adults.

“When I was little I was pretty bad with money, I’m trying to be better now, and adult more. I get financial aid, I try to save from my job, I’m also trying to budget because I want to move out on my own soon,” said Chabot student Andres Guzman

“I think they should teach a money management course for college. I budget monthly, I don’t have a longer-term plan yet, but I know it’s going to work. I saved money like crazy when I was little. As a kid, I usually saved things for later, I was a smart kid.” — Vanessa Wells

Some people change their habits as they grow up, but still have to fight impulses regularly. One student said she tries to save, but she also has an expensive shoe habit. Impulses like these are okay, but there’s a risk of getting into debt because of a purchase you made on a whim. It’s better to budget ahead of time for fun things and entertainment.

“As a kid, I usually saved my money, I did collect Yu-gi-oh cards for a little while. I don’t have a full-time job, so I don’t really have a long-term plan for money, but I do try to be economically frugal,” said Chabot student, Nicholas Kwong

Taming these impulses are tied to what Professor Mischel calls “hot” and “cool” systems in the brain. He had another trial study that scanned children’s brains while being shown pictures of food, and asked them to either imagine the delicious food was right in front of them, and the heat and smells — or to imagine the food was far away, and focus on the abstract, such as the color or shape of the food.

When asked to consider the food was close and delicious, the children’s brains had increased “hot” areas in the brain, cravings, appetite, and less activation in the prefrontal cortex. Using far away and abstract “cool” terms created fewer cravings, and when both were given the Marshmallow Test, those who linked food with desire could not wait as long for a treat as children who could focus on the abstract.

Mischel’s studies have shown that a large part of patience and even addictions are related to how we think about something we want. When thinking about the short-term effect, like “it will feel good” or “people will like me” it’s easier to give in to cravings that might lead to bad habits, like overspending, smoking, or eating too many sweets.

“My savings are all right, but I spend too much on food probably, I go out too much,” said Chabot student, Edward Lai.

Food may be the biggest downfall, the easiest thing to spend money on without thinking when we should be planning. If we focus on our longer-term results and goals, it’s easier to distance ourselves from those over-indulgences.

Apu: Should He Stay?

In the iconic show “The Simpsons,” one of the most well-known characters, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, could possibly be written off the show due to criticisms of some members of the Indian-American community.

Comedian Hari Kondabolu made a documentary called “The Problem with Apu” which was released November 19, 2017. It focused on how he perceived the character and came to the conclusion that Apu negatively represented the Indian community regardless of Apu being the only individual to have South Asian heritage to be regularly appearing in mainstream television in the United States, for some time.

Hank Azaria voices Apu, but many individuals do not know that Azaria’s not actually of Indian descent. Kondabolu pointed this out to many people passing him by that were of Indian descent in his documentary. Most of their reactions were quite surprised. Along with Apu, he also voices many other characters on the show such as Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum, The Comic Book Guy, Carl Carlson, and many others.

Azaria expressed his opinions in an interview with Stephen Colbert on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” on April 25, 2018. “You know the idea that anybody — young or old, past or present — was bullied or teased based on the character of Apu, it just really makes me sad.” Azaria continued, “It was certainly not my intention, I wanted to spread laughter and joy with this character. And the idea that it’s brought pain and suffering in any way, that it’s used to marginalize people, it’s upsetting, genuinely.”

So the questions are, should Apu Nahasapeemapetilon be written off the show? Does Apu negatively represent the Indian-American community? One might think he does, based on his appearance, but if they actually know him as a character, they might not think so anymore. If they still do, that’s OK because that’s their own opinion.

Ciara Hipple is a Chabot student and also not too familiar with “The Simpsons” aside from the “Treehouse of Horrors” episodes which are the Halloween specials that are played annually. She stated, “I get where Hari Kondabolu is coming from in that there’s not a lot of representation of nonwhite groups in any form of media, but he’s going about this the wrong way.” She ended with, “He’s literally coming from a place where a character he’s offended by is hand drawn. He should go after films and television so that individuals of Indian descent can be represented even more so.”

Chabot student and a massive fan of “The Simpsons” Dave O’Shea stated, “I find it petty, hypocritical, and ridiculous, honestly. “The Simpsons” is satire. Literally, every character is exaggerated and a stereotype.” O’ Shea would then follow up with, “For one group to insist they don’t like how one character is portrayed because it’s ‘offensive’ to their culture is the epitome of what’s wrong with PC (Political Correctness) culture.”

As O’Shea stated, many characters are exaggerated in the show. For example, there is “The Bumble Bee Man” a recurring character who stars in a comedic novella on Spanish television in the Simpson’s universe. The Bumble Bee Man would always have a string of bad luck and have accidents happen to him while yelling in Spanish. There is also the “Italian Restaurant Guy” who’s mannerisms are exaggerated Italian stereotypes such as making pasta and having a voice that mainly sounds like Nintendo’s “Mario.” There’s also “Chief Wiggum” who is also voiced by Azaria. Wiggum’s character has some piglike features to enforce the stereotype that most cops are fat pigs. These stereotypes are not necessarily true, but the show itself is just commentary on America’s culture itself.

As for Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, he’s a man that immigrated from India, obtained a doctorate in Computer Science, owned his own convenience store the “Kwik-E-Mart,” became the honorary “Fifth member of The Beatles,” a volunteer firefighter, loving husband and father to octuplets, and overall, one of the most well-written and endearing characters on the show. So the only thing offensive about this character is possibly, his voice. At the end of the day, though, he’s a cartoon character. All cartoon characters have funny voices.

Believe it or not, most young boys in animated shows are voiced by women. Even the character “Bart Simpson” is voiced by Nancy Cartwright. There hasn’t been anyone to stir the pot over this. So why Apu? Why single this character out when there are so many others that could be considered offensive based on their voice in “The Simpsons.”

Voice acting is genuinely an art form, and there are many talented actors on “The Simpsons.” Having this particular controversy could perhaps be a good thing. Not for the show, but for people in general. It could help challenge them to think critically and hopefully help them have productive debates as opposed to being at each other throats.

Apu Nahasapeemapetilon could potentially be written off the show, but the show’s creators haven’t confirmed if Apu will be written off or not. Apu is considered one of the most positively portrayed characters in the show. That’s saying a lot, especially being a character on “The Simpsons.” Do yourself a favor and watch the show for yourself. Only then, you’ll answer the question, “Should he stay or should he go?”

Swallows Return

It’s spring, and the weather is starting to warm up, and the South American cliff swallows came back to Chabot College to partake in the beautiful Northern Californian warmth. The small bird weighs in at just under one ounce with a wingspan of one foot making an incredible 14,000-mile trip every year from South America to breed right here on our campus.

Cliff swallows spend the winter months in South America. In early spring they begin a northward overland migration through Central America and Mexico. Arrival dates can vary significantly because of weather conditions. Usually, by early March the first migrants appear in Southern California. Two to three weeks later, they arrive in Northern California.

The swallows make this journey during the day and catch flying insects en route. It’s important to note that the swallows will not penetrate regions unless flying insects are readily available for food. This typically occurs after a few days of warm weather, particularly 70 degrees or warmer.

“Animals have these internals clocks that tell them when it’s time for them to move. We’ve got the weather conducive to what they need to breed and survive,” stated first-year Geography instructor Rachel Cunningham.

Some people find the bird droppings to be a blight around properties and put up nets to try to prevent them from building their nest. Unfortunately for the birds, they get stuck in the netting and die. What people don’t know is that the birds try to return each year to the same house they built a year ago, but if the house is destroyed it makes life difficult for the birds because they have to find a new area to build the nest.

Francisco Zermeno, Spanish instructor of forty-one years said, “They are just precious, and we need to protect them. People don’t understand how to cohabitate with the swallows because of the dislike of the bird droppings, but the swallows’ life deserves to be protected too. I created the Return of the Swallows Festival to create awareness about the birds and how we can share this earth together. Unfortunately, the Festival lost steam, and we haven’t had one since 2016, but I plan on creating a virtual festival that people can look at any time so that the awareness of the swallow stays current.”

All swallows are classified under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 as migratory insectivorous birds and are protected by state and federal regulations. It is illegal for any person to take, possess, transport, sell or purchase them or their parts; such as feathers, nest, or eggs without a permit issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. As a result, certain activities affecting swallows are subject to legal restrictions.

Officer of nine years at Chabot College Rochelle Duran stated, “I haven’t seen or heard of the swallows being a problem around campus they don’t present any security threats.”

So if you happen to notice the birds around campus take the time to enjoy their majestic beauty because if you wait too long, you might have to wait until next year to see the Chabot College Cliff Swallows return.

Medium Flesh

A close-up shot of delicate hands deliberately washing a fresh green apple, a bejeweled ring flaunted on a finger, a grip tightening around a cup of coffee — these are just some examples of hand imagery used by student Lorena Garibay for her film, “Medium: Flesh.”

The inspiration, comes from a specific aesthetic, as Garibay puts it. “I’ve always had a fascination with nice hands, and jewelry,” she explained. “I wanted to explore what fascination and desperation could drive a person to do.”

Without giving too much of the story away, the main character, Emil, also played by Garibay, is tasked by her art professor to create an art piece using hands as the subject. Garibay portrays Emil’s character as a tense person with a cold, quiet exterior that hides a whirlwind of visual and auditory hallucinations that play on her greatest insecurities. Fellow Chabot student, Stu Briggs, plays David, a seemingly close and concerned friend. He also appears in her hallucinations, and thanks to Briggs’ compelling acting, the viewer gains insight into the anxieties and obsessions of Emil.

At roughly 20 minutes, the short film was entered into Chabot’s student film festival, which was held from April 23 — 25. There were five categories for consideration, but unfortunately, “Medium: Flesh” did not take home a single award. Instructor Thomas Lothian of the Mass Communication department, who also had a small role in the film as the art instructor, believed that the film deserved more recognition. He argued that the film should have been awarded the best narrative.

Despite not winning any awards at the festival, the students involved in Garibay’s project were all proud of their work and what they learned. This includes Auburn Jordan, who worked on filming and assisted with the postproduction work. Jordan described his editing process as “piece by piece like a puzzle” because, as he states, “magic happens in production.” This is most evident in a critical scene in the film where Emil, played by Garibay, hallucinates for the first time. In filming, he preferred to let the scene play out in long takes, as he believes “it feels like you’re watching real life, as opposed to a constructed narrative.” He also stressed that he had to take extra care not to clip too much from what was filmed, “when you clip a lot [the editing] shows.”

After viewing the film, several students walked away, feeling impacted by the jarring climax. First-year student Kacie Reed said she “definitely would recommend this to a friend,” noting that she liked the use of sound effects in the hallucination scenes. Another student, Ronwaldo Silverio, was drawn more to the cinematography and storytelling, “my favorite part was the twist ending.” This sentiment appeared to be shared by student Phillip Antwine, who theorized that the main character, Emil, became “overstressed and obsessed by the small obstacle of [drawing] hands.”

While Emil can be cold, obsessive, and self-centered, Garibay herself is bright, sharp-minded, and attentive. When asked how she tried to portray an unbalanced person like Emil, Garibay explained, “I tried to portray her [mental] state by showing her hurting herself and causing herself to bleed.” In postproduction, more effects were added to accentuate that feeling of imbalance and instability, as she further elaborates “We also incorporated some filters that helped distinguish between what was reality and what was her delusion.” Being an amateur actor, Garibay had to draw from personal experiences to accurately portray the character of Emil. Her inspiration came from “times in which I found myself creating another reality in my mind,” which she describes as a way to vent and fantasize about various outcomes in her life.

If you missed the film festival and want to see the twist ending for yourself, you can head on over to YouTube. There, you can search for “Medium: Flesh” or go to the YouTube channel of Chabot College Television to watch the film.

Mental Health Meal

In honor of Mental Awareness Month, fast-food chain Burger King has introduced “Real Meals” to increase understanding about issues surrounding mental well-being.

This recent campaign is not only a collaboration with nonprofit organization Mental Health America (MHA), it is also taking jabs at fast-food chain McDonald’s Happy Meals. Burger King understands that not everyone is happy all the time, and as part of their campaign, they’ve swapped out their “Have It Your Way” slogan to “Feel Your Way.”

In a recent statement on bustle.com, president and chief executive of MHA Paul Gionfriddo said, “While not everyone would think about pairing fast food and mental health, MHA believes in elevating the conversation in all communities to address mental illness before Stage 4.”

According to MHA’s website, Stage 4 of Mental Health is the combination of extreme, prolonged and persistent symptoms and impairment often resulting in the development of other health conditions and has the potential to turn into a crisis event like unemployment, hospitalization, homelessness or even incarceration.

MHA’s website also states, 50 percent of Americans will meet the criteria for a diagnosable mental health condition sometime in their life, and half those people will develop conditions by the age of 14. MHA’s Before Stage 4 campaign hopes to address mental health issues before anyone reaches that point.

Five limited-edition themed Whopper meal boxes were introduced as the Real Meals. There is the pissed in red, blue for sad, salty in teal, yaaas in purple and “don’t give a f” (DGAF) in black. Since the campaign is relatively new, the Real Meals have only been introduced in a few major cities, including Seattle, New York, Los Angeles, Austin, and Miami.

Burger King has also introduced a 2-minute ad introducing the Real Meals and why Mental Health conditions should be recognized more frequently. Since the ad has aired, it has been deemed controversial as many people have commented on the campaign and its ad either praising or criticizing it.

From a statement on campaignlive.com, Doctor Kate Ryan said, “The problem with this campaign is that it doesn’t read as authentic or genuine for the brand. While mental health awareness is an extremely worthy topic that sounded fun and flashy in the room, it was never sense-checked on whether it was true to the brand or of the mental health crisis in America.”

Marketing futurist Tony Chapman on LinkedIn said, “What I can’t stomach is the connection back to sales. If BK had followed one of two paths, 100 percent supporting mental health through their foundation or using their Unhappy Meals as a fun way to poke the McBear, my sentiments would be different.”

Burger King may have its criticizers for the approach they took on mental health awareness, but they also found many individuals who supported the campaign and how Burger King has shined a light on a much-needed issue in America.

Chabot student Mary Awuku said, “Yes, I do support Burger King’s efforts to acknowledge mental awareness because it gives attention to a diverse set of customers, and it is surprising.”

Ashna Narayan, Chabot student, said, “I would definitely get the meal to support the cause. The majority of customers go through a depressive state of mind almost every day, so for them to acknowledge it helps others know they’re not alone.”

Both supporters and critics of the campaign will be awaiting Burger King’s next move with Mental Awareness Month.

Chabot’s Health Clinic

Since January 2019, the new Student Health Center has been operating in Student Life Building 2300 and has taken action toward gathering the attention of fellow Chabot students for accessible health care.

The Student Health Center has always been an asset provided to students, but students are not aware that the Health Center is even here on campus. This was one reason why the Student Health Center had to relocate from its previous spot, in Building 200.

Student Health Clinic Supervisor and Licensed Vocational Nurse Janette Munoz said, “The student life building is the hub of the school, and we are all about access to care. Being where the students are is giving them easier access to the health center.”

This is a significant step toward getting more students to utilize the health clinic. “Currently we are promoting the health clinic,” Munoz said. “Our priority is providing care for all students, whatever their situation may be and we would like more students to stop by and take a look at their new health care center or ask any questions they may have.”

Before students go to register at the beginning of each school semester, they pay a mandatory $20 fee. This allows students access to all services provided by the health center.

“We provide immunizations, physical Exam, birth control methods, over the counter medications, STI testing, laboratory, TB Testing, and seasonal FLU vaccines,” Munoz said.

Some health care products and services are not provided with the mandatory student health fee, but the health center gives the students discounted prices to make it accessible. Nurse Practitioner Angie Girard said, “Health services are provided for free if the student has MediCal, Alameda Alliance, Anthem Blue Cross, or Health Pac.”

During the Summer of 2018, the Chabot Student Health Center was in search of a new health care operator because the contract with Stanford ValleyCare had expired. Chabot College chose not to renew their contract with Stanford ValleyCare and instead partnered up with Tiburcio Vasquez Health Center (TVHC) as their new health care operator.

Since 2006, the Chabot Student Health center has operated with several health care providers, St. Rose Hospital, Valleycare, and then Stanford Health Care consumed Valleycare in 2015 to officially become Stanford Valleycare.

Since 1971, TVHC has been providing care to all members of the community and is dedicated to promoting the health and well-being of the community. Vice President of Student Services Dr. Matt Kritscher said, “We are excited to be partnered up with Tiburcio Vasquez Health Center. With TVHC helping educate the community in health and providing community health, it made perfect sense for us to become partners with them.”

Signing up for the Student Health Center is very simple. Students can call or text (510) 471-5880 to make an appointment or also drop in from Monday through Thursday between the hours of 9 a.m. — 7 p.m.

Munoz said, “We understand that students are under a lot of stress, whatever their situation may be. Our priority is providing care for all students and giving the care they need and helping to them be successful.”

Discrimination Survey

Personal experiences with racial discrimination are common for Black/African-Americans and Doctoral student Leeza Reyburn has shown interest in this area and has designed her own research study on the bias toward Black/African-American women.

According to an article written by senior researcher Monica Anderson on pewresearch.org, “roughly eight-in-ten blacks with at least some college experience (81 percent) say they’ve experienced discrimination, including 17 percent who say it happens to them regularly.”

Reyburn has not experienced acts of discrimination and racism herself; however, she wants to bring attention to the issue and how African-American women can process these experiences in their lives.

As an African-American woman, Reyburn has chosen to conduct this research because she has a personal interest in this study of having the same heritage and witnessing the problems African-American women can encounter. This is due to the negative impact that society enacts against them as members of an oppressed group.

Reyburn is a fourth-year student studying clinical psychology at the Wright Institute in Berkeley, California. Her research on this topic consists of scholarly articles from various journals within the field of clinical psychology as well as previous dissertation research conducted by doctoral students of psychology and social sciences as well.

Reyburn said, “For my dissertation research, I am trying to observe two factors, that of post-traumatic growth and racial trauma as they apply to Black/African-American identified women.”

Post-traumatic growth is the idea that a person can experience positive change as a result of a traumatic event. This can mean finding new opportunities through a crisis that weren’t there before, experiencing closer relationships with others that may have suffered traumatic events and also an increase in a person’s emotional strength after suffering through a crisis.

Racial trauma is the effects of racism on an individual’s mental and physical health. Feelings of anxiety, depression, and suicide are all factors from the effects of racism.

There are two parts to the research study, a 21-item questionnaire, and the second part as a phone interview that should take no more than an hour depending on the participants’ experiences and what they wish to share.

The questionnaires and phone interviews consist of asking the participants’ questions related to their lived experiences, such as ranking statements and reflecting on various ways that these experiences may have impacted them.

Reyburn said, “I am looking for at least eight more participants to fulfill my research requirements of studying the life experiences of 10 or more people who have had these experiences, specifically Black/African-American women.”

If interested in participating in this research study, feel free to email the researcher at [email protected]

A Tour of Chabot’s Bathrooms

Before, after, or during class, we all have to use the bathrooms at some time during the day. Is there a preferred restroom for most students? Is there a restroom students avoid? Do the conditions of the restrooms vary so much that we must ask these questions? In no way is this article intended to criticize Chabot staff. It is designed instead to raise awareness of the bathrooms and how their overall condition(s) can be improved.

“Most of the men’s rooms smell like guys are having an “aim for the ground” contest in there. Not only do we need more urinal cakes, but it should be a common thing for a janitor to check on them during college hours,” said Chabot student, LaRoy Fitch.

“The stench in most of the men’s restrooms are unbearable. I haven’t had that problem with the 400 and 700 buildings, which means a solution is available,” said Joan Cortes.

Many people contact security when they have issues with the bathrooms, but if you have an issue to report related to cleanliness or maintenance, it should be reported to someone in building 3000. Maintenance and Operations can be reached between 6 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. at (510) 723-7206.

Researching this article included surveys for most restrooms on campus. The sample days were in December and May. The number of sinks, paper towel dispensers, hand dryers, soap dispensers, ventilation, graffiti, and aroma were collected. Due to the number of bathrooms and limited space in the article, only unusual findings and their locations will be revealed.

In building 2600, the restroom featured 7 urinals and 3 out of 4 sinks were operational. The aroma was horrible, the best way to describe it without getting explicit is “fermented urine.” Conversely, Gina Johnson said, “the women’s restroom in 2600 is my favorite because it’s the cleanest one.” The price of tampons is also higher in 2600 compared to other buildings.

The women’s bathroom near the cafeteria has what appears to be an ongoing message board on at least one of the stalls — mostly in pencil.

A common theme in the women’s bathrooms seems to be poor locks on stalls. Some latch, but then a little wiggle will let the door loose, leaving you no choice but to hold the door closed with your foot while completing your business.

“My favorite bathroom is probably in building 400. I used to go to one in 800, but actually, I think both the women and men’s bathrooms have been closed there over a month, there’s a sign saying there’s been vandalism, I dunno what happened there, I mean how bad was it? I’ve also noticed the women’s bathroom on the back side of the doors will often have writing like “Girl, you’re beautiful” and “Girl power” But that’s positive, so I’m not sure if that’s considered vandalism.” Zeraka Mitchell, Communications studies teacher.

The restrooms in building 500, 1700, 100, and 3900 have horrible odors with students comments ranging from rancid to explicit. The restrooms in buildings 400 and 700 have little to no ventilation and odor problems. Building 700 features administration services while 400 contains many offices for the Chabot faculty.

Only five buildings contain mirrors that are not etched with graffiti, only three do not contain graffiti or erased graffiti remnants on any of the walls. Only two buildings feature men’s restrooms with baby changing stations. On the top floor of 2300, building 1500, and building 3500 contain the only gender-neutral bathrooms. Building 2300 does not feature a mirror.

Building 500 has graffiti of a male’s genitals etched into the bathroom sign on the right of the door, and building 200 features an etched “g-a-y” above “Men” on the sign to the right of the bathroom door. It’s unclear how long that offensive material has been there nor is there information on whom to contact to change this properly or for any other bathroom related incident.

Some initiatives to improve restrooms are underway, lead by students. The Get Woke Stay Woke organization’s push to provide free menstrual products in all bathrooms regardless if its men’s or women’s restroom. “Menstruation is not a choice, and for many its an added cost in life to have to purchase menstrual products,” Stephanie Contreras declared at an equity meeting in early December.

Some of the tiles, walls, and flooring in most of the bathrooms date as far back as the 1970s except for buildings 400, 700, and 1700 as they are newer buildings. The bathrooms need renovating and a method to inform Chabot staff about bathrooms that require attention needs to be implemented.

All we can do now is be more mindful and courteous when leaving the bathroom, since we must all share this resource together. Perhaps our aim can be a little better, as well as our cleanliness. Many people can recall several times this semester, seeing people exit the restroom without even washing their hands.