Board of Trustees Update

Chabot-Las Positas Community College District held their scheduled Board of Trustees meeting May 15, 6:30 p.m. at Chabot in building 200. Vice President Ron Gerhard was appointed our new District Vice Chancellor of Finance. The Board had also met Chabot’s new head basketball coach, Keenan K. McMiller.

Student Senators and President Zaheer Ebtikar gave an enlightening presentation about their Washington D.C. trip back in March of this year. Visiting museums, monuments, and American Student Association of Community Colleges (ASACC) conference with students from 32 other states, the Student Senate came back inspired.

The Board was engaged by the advocacy done by the students at the national level. Former State Senator Ellen Corbett, former Student Senate President Ben Nash, and Student Life Director Arnold Paguio supported the students on the trip.

The DECA club also reported on a trip to New York with Officer Lowry, Dr. Pinkas, and a few students. Afterward, Faculty Senate President Laurie Dockter presented an award on behalf of the Faculty Senate to President Dr. Charlotte Lofft. She expressed the gratitude of all for Charlotte’s fantastic leadership. Both will be retiring after years of outstanding service.

On Wednesday, May 16, in an email sent to the district from Chancellor Jackson reads, “At last night’s Board of Trustees’ meeting, a majority (5-2) of the Board chose not to renew my contract.  I respect their right to do that. I look forward to another year of working with you and serving the students of CLPCCD. I also look forward to seeing you at commencement!”


Catherine Powell

As spring semester is coming to a close and graduation is approaching for much of the students, we will all be saying farewell to one of our very own Catherine Powell. Powell’s journey started at Chabot College in 1981 when she enrolled as a student and then got a job as a student assistant in the counseling department underneath the supervision of Judy Young. Powell loved her experience in both her classes and work.

Years later after Powell transferred to CSU Hayward and graduated,  she got married, was waiting to join the credential program with the plans to teach elementary school and start her family.  She later on decided that she wanted to work with adult learners. Knowing that she wanted to work with adults, Powell initially looked up jobs at Chabot College, remembering her experience as a student assistant.  

While being an Instructional Assistant at the Valley Campus, and after applying for several jobs at Chabot, Powell was hired in September 1989. She was hired as a full-time instructional assistant for the reading center under the wing of Arlene DeLeon.

Powell was a part of many programs. Her involvement included the Reading and Writing center which ended up evolving into the WRAC Center. With the WRAC Center came along  CAI for ESL classes which then lead to English classes. Powell’s main role was in assisting in classes that met up in the computer rooms, taking oversight of the tutors, the daily drop-in tutoring as well as English 115.

20 years after her involvement in English, she saw a new opportunity to become the Administrative Assistant to what was known before as Arts and Humanities. Powell was very excited about this new role that she was now taking on. Even though she was sad about missing her student’s, little did she know that Arts and Humanities would become a huge part of her life here at Chabot College.

Continue reading

President Susan Sperling

Chabot College has been around since the 1960s and has had endless teachers, administrators, students, and presidents who have come and gone. As of 2012, Susan Sperling was appointed Chabot College’s President. President Sperling has been at the college for almost 30 years. She has worked as a teacher, administrator, and community liaison. Now she is representing and showcasing Chabot College as its President.

Graduating from the University of California Berkeley, Sperling studied anthropology. She wanted to deconstruct racism from the perspective of anthropology, to also look at issues of gender, and inequality. Moreover, to also bring the perspectives, and research in anthropology to help students understand the importance of cultural diversity, respect between individuals, and to educate about the richness of living in a multicultural society.

Sperling came from an immigrant family. Her father came from Berlin, and her mother came from Russia. Because of this, Sperling has always been passionate about the topic of immigration, to recognize them and to show interest in immigrants. “We are a culture of immigrants, and that this is something that has made us an outstanding multicultural society,” Sperling says.

Before Sperling started her term as President, she taught anthropology at many places before settling at Chabot College. At Chabot, Sperling was able to teach anthropology and eventually become the administrator for social sciences. With her social science and anthropology background, Sperling spent many years, researching and publishing in the areas of deconstructing racism. As well as, looking at issues of gender and inequality. “I want to bring the perspectives, and research in anthropology, to help students understand the importance of cultural diversity, respect between individuals, to educate about the richness of living in a multicultural society and to teach the errors and harms done by racial ideas of the past and present.”

Being at Chabot for 30 years Sperling expressed why she stayed at the college for three decades. “I am deeply honored to be a teacher and now a college president. Chabot is an incredible community of creative and committed educators and students. I couldn’t think of a better place to be. I mean that genuinely.” She continues to state that, “Chabot has shaped me as much as I influenced chabot and probably more so. Although I didn’t think I would be here for 30 years, I couldn’t have found a better place in which to exercise my commitments and abilities as an educator.

When asked about how Chabot College students are using their voice, Sperling responds with, “I am very deeply impressed by the ability of Chabot’s student government to open an arena in which all perspectives and all sides could be brought forth by students”, continuing with, “college students and young people are the hope of the future, and I’m very hopeful with the activism that I see around me right here.” Sperling expresses deeply that community colleges are the hope of the future for many many students across the country. Through her time as Chabot’s President, Sperling is happy to see that the students of the college are using their voice in a way that leads to positive changes.

Continue reading

The Fight for Education

A considerable portion of California Community College (CCC) districts are estimated to lose millions of dollars if anything resembling Governor Brown’s proposed 2018-2019 budget is adopted.

Simulations provided by the California Department of Finance based on the formulas provided by the January 10 release showed that some CCC districts “for the most part, the wealthiest ones, will be the ones receiving more funding. This seems to imply some intent,” said Chabot Vice President Matt Kritscher at the May 3 session of the Community College Budget Forums held on campus.

Chabot President Dr. Susan Sperling proposed a question for consideration to those in attendance. “Under the consequences of this new model will Chabot still be able to serve those students who do not fit into it?”

“There are 34 districts that would receive additional funding under this model and 38 districts that would lose significant amounts of funding,” said VP Ronald Gerhard at the April 26 session of the Community College Budget Forum.

“We’re primarily funded based upon Full-Time Equivalent Students (FTES),” said VP Gerhard during the April 26 session.

Gerhard added, “the existing model is almost entirely determined by attendance, by Full-Time Equivalent Students. The proposed model cuts that to 50 percent.”

The January 10 proposal being 50 percent FTES, 25 percent student financial need, and 25 percent success factors.

Under the January 10 proposal, “we are projected to lose nearly $8 million. Other data suggests around a $10 million loss,” said Gerhard as he explained the documentation provided throughout the series of budget forums.

Under Formula Framework, the May 11 revise proposes a “distribution of 60 percent as a base funding allocation, 20 percent as a supplemental funding allocation, and 20 percent as a student success incentive funding allocation.”                    

Chabot professor, and former State Senator, Ellen Corbett posed these questions, “How is a student impacted by this every day on campus? How does this make their lives better? Does it?”    

“If passed in a form anything like the January 10 proposal, it will have significant negative impacts on our funding,” said Dr. Sperling at the May 3 session.

Chabot students and everyone on campus already face the consequences of a “$6 million deficit. Chabot is operating at $1.5 million below our annual budget until the current deficit is resolved,” said Student Life Director Arnold Paguio during an Inter-Club Council meeting.

While creating the 2016 – 2017 budget, it was discovered that Chabot had spent $3 million above what it had received in annual revenue, according to a CLPCCD document entitled Chabot Plan to Rebuild College Ending Fund Balance.

Dr. Sperling left those in attendance at the Budget Forum a couple closing questions. “What we heard during their budget presentation bore no resemblance to anything that we know in our positions here on campus. Why are our voices muted and voices like that of the Lumina Foundation, Gates Foundation, and other think tanks, so loud in those areas, and how do we get the reality of our universe effectively messaged?”

Passion Projects on Display at City Hall

A city thrives when their voices are heard. Some efforts have shown that The City of Hayward wants to “do a better job of understanding who their citizens are and what their citizens want” however, “a lot of citizens feel left out,” Sean McFarland, Advisor of The Student Initiative Center at Chabot College mentioned during an interview. How do we voice the words from the people in our community?

For this proposal, about 100 Chabot students collaborated to create, “Needles in the HayStack,”  a community-inspired art exhibit taking place in Haywards City Hall.

Tennyson Thrives is a collaborative effort between community members, Hayward City staff, and the Chabot College Student Initiative Center to create and implement a dynamic Vision Plan for the neighborhoods along the Tennyson Corridor.

So, what’s the plan? Advisor Sean McFarland admits that the goal is for, “The Mayor and The City Council, to see this in their workspace,  take a second to stop and interact with the art pieces.” The art exhibit will showcase a wide variety of art pieces made from an array of material in efforts to voice the opinions of the community. Some projects displayed are photo albums that open up into singing telegrams and other projects have stretched the artistic imagination by making movies, blankets, and CDs related to Hayward.

Collectively there will be about 70 pieces submitted. This has been the strategy of the community to elevate the truth and the heart of the citizen’s concerns. “We’ve had students go down and talk to citizens of South Hayward. It’s been exciting.” Advisor McFarland feels that through this art show artist will, “tell the stories of the people, rather than an essay, and it’s an epic amount.” One of the pieces also includes a roughly 6 foot long display board vividly illustrating the culture of a citizen from Hayward portrayed by a talented Chabot artist.

Lynn’de Holder, Tania Romero, and Monica Hernandez came together to work on an ambitious piece emulating one of Hayward’s well-known landmarks, the welcome fountain that invites you to South Hayward’s border.

Monica believes that what inspired her to create the project was that, “it’s always been a part of Hayward…but it hasn’t received much attention since the city stopped doing maintenance on it.” Monica Hernandez was the inspirational mind behind the replica of the infamous Hayward fountain that welcomes citizens.

Tania believes that “the idea for the art was to take something that is supposed to represent Hayward in a way, and interpret the lives of the people that make the city what it is.” In a desire to reach out to the Council, Tania Romero, “hopes that this project will give them insight into South Hayward life and help them think of these lives.”

In pursuit of finding the hidden beauties and lost artistry of Tennyson Corridor, the C.B.O’s also known as Community Based Organizations, “are getting a good pulse of the community,” and Sean McFarland also details that “ this work explains what matters to the citizens.”

The students felt honored and pleased to be apart of an ambitious project in hopes to shed light on South Hayward’s concerns. Happily, with the art exhibit, the collaboration of Chabot students will bring light to the “personal views and lives of the South Hayward residents” as mentioned by artist Tania Romero.

The art exhibit in Hayward City Hall will be open from May 21 to May 25. There, you will be able to explore the beauty of “Needles in the HayStack” exhibit which will have its grand opening on Tuesday, May 22, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

What Has Disappeared

If you’ve been to South Hayward recently, you’ve probably noticed the plethora of shutdown business. Whether you’ve fond nostalgic memories of Holiday Bowl or received critical services from the now-closed Kaiser hospital, many residents have felt the impact of disappearing businesses.

Kaiser Hospital once provided emergency medical services to all of Hayward and beyond. Although there are a few emergency care clinics located in South Hayward like St. Francis Urgent Care Center, the options are not as good. As Franchesica  a first-year sociology major put it, “I was born there, and it sucks to see it close.”

Many things that once brought joy to the residents of South Hayward are now gone. The most prominent monument to disappearing businesses is the Holiday Bowl which closed in 2005. It is currently overgrown with vegetation. Plans are in place to tear down the facility and put 72 townhouses in its place. Residents now need to travel to San Ramon or Fremont to go bowling.

Another famous closed business Valle Vista Skating rink which was open from 1950-2003. After it closed down it became a location for migrants and homeless until it burnt down in 2008, no one was harmed. Now residents have to go to the skate park in north Hayward or drive all the way to San Ramon “Golden Skate Rink” to get an authentic skating rink experience.

Over the years many industries have closed down all over Hayward often moving to more affordable states. One of the recent loses is the Gillig Bus manufacturer that took over 850 jobs to Livermore after deciding that it “outgrew” its Hayward location.

“What community,” said a local Hayward resident when interviewed by a student as part of the community outreach project. This proved to be a common trend when Professor McFarland’s class conducted their interviews with South Hayward residents.

One thing’s for certain there’s a growing sense of isolation in South Hayward as many residents perceive the city is continuing to focus on the downtown area. But with new grant money available and the new effort by the city to bring businesses to South Hayward the future may be better.

Complete Streets Initiative

One does not need to look far to see the less than stellar state of Hayward’s streets. The cracked streets are very much apparent and are in need of repair. Thankfully, an initiative is in place to improve the streets and sidewalks of Hayward.

The Complete Streets Initiative aims to improve the streets of Hayward and the Tennyson corridor, as well as to keep pedestrians safe. The initiative also plans to improve biking paths and sidewalks, as well as repaving roads and filling potholes of many streets in Hayward including Tennyson Road. Union City resident Arturo Soto agrees. He’s seen terrible road conditions on Industrial Blvd, as well as Mission Road. Arturo also pointed out that lower income areas generally tend to get less roadwork.

Teaming up with Smart Growth America, an organization whose mission is to advocate for federal policies and programs that support neighborhood development, 1,140 agencies nationwide are adopting the initiative to provide for a better environment for their communities.

The Complete Streets Initiative launched in 2004, planning to “…promotes the implementation of Complete Streets policies and professional practices,” according to the Smart Growth America website. Hayward is also partnering with Bike East Bay for better, protected cycling lanes.

Vision Zero Network, an organization committed to helping communities increase traffic safety, also partnered with the project. The Vision Zero strategy was first successfully implemented in Sweden in the 1990’s and was also proven successful across Europe.

Their approach included preventing traffic deaths while applying normal human faults, while also reworking transportation systems to prevent fatal car crashes, as well as widening roads and sidewalks. Pedestrian safety was a priority, entire intersections were reworked, including bike lanes.

The Complete Streets Initiative also includes the Complete Communities Strategic Initiative. The Complete Communities Initiative aims to improve Hayward so that it may become a better, thriving place to live for people of every citizen, family, and employee.

Transportation Manager, Fred Kelly, explains that these three initiatives work together. Complete Streets, Complete Communities and Tennyson corridor all overlap in certain fields. “There will be efforts to see what we view as a vision of Tennyson road.” The initiative includes protected bike lanes, the number, and width of traffic lanes as well as sidewalks.

The Complete Streets initiative, along with the Tennyson Corridor and the Complete Communities Initiative is one of the most important steps to making the overall Hayward community and the Tennyson corridor a better place.

For more information regarding the Tennyson Corridor, Complete Streets Initiative and Complete Communities Initiative, visit

Public Transportation

One of the challenges that young students face is the accessibility of public transportation. Even when these young students have access to these services, they’re still met with challenges of reaching their destination on time.

In the past, The Passion and Purpose club worked with AC Transit to have the Student Transportation Initiative pass. This would help students by providing discounts through the AC Transit EasyPass Program. This would allow the students to save a tremendous amount of money which had estimated around $1,650 a year. All of this would have been funded through an already existing Chabot Student fee. Based on the number of units a student has, this would be exempted, but students could choose to opt out. Unfortunately, this Initiative didn’t pass, but there is still an effort being made to have this passed.  

Brenda Gomez, who is apart of the YES Program (Youth Enrichment Services) tries to help young students, most of which are in continuation schools. The YES Program provides bus passes for these students for up to $75. Funding for these passes was cut up to $100,000. Even with these passes, the buses are still not reliable when it comes to reaching their schools on time. Another issue is the location. It’s typically not safe during the night which led to some being assaulted and robbed. So public transportation isn’t the only challenge here, it’s the area in which these students live too.

Presley Chang and Isaac Chavez of the Passion and Purpose club had interviewed many of the residents in the South Hayward area. They had discovered that most of the issues concerning public transportation were increasing costs and the congested roads. Multiple trips can leave a massive dent in the wallet, and it is always difficult to arrive at their destination on time. One of their interviewees was Carlos Luntonio, who is the Director of the Devocio Vasquez Health Center. One of the solutions that Luntonio came up with is to have the public transit have their own designated roads like the ones they have in San Leandro.  Hayward would most definitely benefit from this.

Project Based Learning at the Student Initiative Center

It’s not your typical college course. The students don’t meet in an average classroom. The course objectives are sweepingly broad yet intimately personal.

And these unorthodox approaches to learning are precisely why the Passion and Purpose class at Chabot works, says instructor Eric Heltzel. The course description states that students engage in “exploration and discovery of personal passions in the context of social and family relationships, serving the wider community, and analyzing and understanding higher education.”

The class meets in the Student Initiative Center, which is a non-traditional classroom setting. As opposed to a lecture hall, the open space and mixed seating encourage dialogue and interfacing of ideas. This not only helps with student learning but the pedagogic practices of the instructors. “Teaching this class has been a professional development opportunity for the professors involved,” says Heltzel. “It is a participatory process. I’ve become a more agile, creatively driven teacher.”

Students garner more from Project Based Learning than they might in a typical classroom setting. “The concepts of Project Based Learning get students into the community, doing something substantive with what they learn,” says Colleen McHugh, a student, and participant. “The students walk away from these learning experiences with practical, real-world knowledge.”

Through its innovative approach to learning, students in the Passion and Purpose class have developed their ideas into real-world initiatives and change. All of the water bottle filling stations on campus are their thanks to an initiative of the R.A.G.E. club on campus, which stands for Revolutionaries Advocating Greener Ecosystems.

R.A.G.E. is also responsible for the community garden on campus as well as the food pantry that the college hosts. The latter initiative proved an excellent learning experience for the students. “They found out about hunger and food insecurity on campus,” says Heltzel. “They researched these factors and designed a presentation. They went before the student senate and presented at college board meetings.”

Daniella Criollo, a psychology major at Chabot, first took the Passion and Purpose class in 2014. Her passion was education. This somewhat vague starting point led to her pursuing ways in which she could help students learn about the college experience and what it takes to get there.

Criollo saw a need: local Hayward high school students were not enrolling in community college like their counterparts in other school districts. She developed an initiative that put her inside the classroom with these high schoolers, and assessing student needs and showing them how to complete all the forms needed for registration, enrollment, and financial aid. This guerilla matriculation is the perfect example of Passion and Purpose objectives: how an amorphous inkling can develop into a real-world initiative that solves problems and changes lives.

How Hayward Stacks Up

Centered between all the bay area cities, Hayward is known as the heart of the bay. With open hearts, we create a unique environment inviting and welcoming all cultures. Hayward sometimes gets overlooked, but we can’t ignore that Hayward is ranked number 3 in most ethno-racially and linguistically diverse city in America and number one in California!

Cultural diversity allows people to express themselves, feel respected and become more engaged knowing that they and their differences are valued. Our cultures provide a variety of perspectives and experience which can help contribute sustainable and efficient results when looking for solutions on any scale. From a series of studies documented by Scientific American, diversity inspires creativity and enhances innovation.

Our cultural diversity is only one measure of success. How else do we measure the success of Hayward? Crime statistics, average median income, and affordable housing play a role in determining a successful city.

According to the City of Hayward´s website, ¨Hayward saw a 10 percent reduction over 2016 in violent crimes, such as homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assault, while burglary, larceny, vehicle theft, arson and other property-related offenses increased 9 percent.¨ With roughly 300 members in Hayward´s police department and 158,937 population equals a ratio of  1 to 529. In comparison to San Jose with a ratio of 1 to 597 and San Francisco with a ratio of 1 to 311. Safety is always a concern, feeling safe in your own home is a necessity.

According to a study conducted by the office of Kelly McAdoo, City Manager, “57.3 percent Hayward renters experience a housing cost burden, spending more than 30 percent of their income on housing.”

Compared to other bay area cities, Hayward has the most legislation protecting tenants; Mobile Home Rent Stabilization, Control Mediation, Rent Review and Rent Stabilization. Alameda, Berkeley, and Oakland only have Rent Stabilization Control. Fremont and Union City only have Mobile Home Rent Stabilization and Control Mediation. Dublin, Newark, and Livermore do not have protections for tenants.

When it comes to the amount of rent-controlled units, Hayward is lacking with only 1,000 units compared to Alameda with 11,870, Berkeley with 27,000, Oakland with 79,000 and San Francisco with 170,000.

Rent controlled units are built before a particular year and provide protection for rent increases to exceed no higher than a certain amount or percentage. In Hayward, the properties must be built before 1988, and annual rent increases cannot exceed 5 percent each year, except up to 10 percent if the rent was not increased the year prior.

Hayward’s plan of action is, “Improving the city’s role in providing resources, information, and establishing mandatory mediation and rent review.” According to a presentation by Christina Morales, Housing Manager, at March 30 city council meeting, “the city is pushing for an affordable housing requirement equaling 30 percent of total units.”

Median household income for 2016 in Hayward is $68,138, and in Alameda County, it is $79,831 according to City Manager Kelly McAdoo. Average rent in Hayward for a one bedroom apartment is $1,946.

How is the city representing all of its diverse citizens? What is the depth of their connection to the city? Do they live in our city? Speak our languages?

“Several city staff members live in Hayward. However, the majority of the employees live in other cities which could create a disconnect between the city itself and the workers who run the city. Sometimes workers who don’t live in the city don’t understand the community and the challenges they face,” said Chabot Professor Eric Heltzel.

In search of this statistical data, I was not able to locate city employee demographics on the city of Hayward’s official website. It does list 793 total municipal employees. However, during my visit to city hall to request the city staff information, I spoke to five personnel, two at security, city clerk, Human Resources Assistant and Human Resources technician. Visually, each employee´s ethnicity was completely different from the last.

With 793 city employees and a population of 158,937 (United States Census Bureau 2016) roughly equaling a ratio of nearly 200 people per 1 city employee, is there enough assistance to go around? Is there enough information and statistics available for citizens to make a complete and honest judgment of its civil servants?

Before we become too critical of our city employees, we are always welcome to voice our opinions, solutions, and concerns at City Council meetings held every Tuesday at 7 p.m. at City Hall.