Monthly Archives: October 2017

Napa Fire Covers the Bay in Smoke

On October 8, the Atlas wildfire in Napa County had grown in size and became dangerous to many homes and businesses near it.

Unfortunately, winds carrying the smoke across the Bay Area, left many to face the clouds of smoke.

The brown haze of heavy smoke from the wildfires in the North Bay brought about many air quality warnings from the Bay Area Air Quality Management. Their report on October 9 warned the public to stay indoors and to avoid unnecessary exposure and to reduce the amount of smoky air indoors by keeping the windows and doors closed.

By Wednesday, October 11, the harmful smoke had made its way to Hayward, creating a layer of toxic air. It prompted many at Chabot College to get face-masks from the Health Center to protect them from the smoke.

Chabot student Lisette Donaire recalled the day after, on October 12, when the air quality was still bad, “I was on campus October 12. I have asthma, like severe asthma to the point where I frequently have to go to the doctor. I used my inhaler about five times that day.”

Beatriz Saravia, a worker at Grocery Outlet in Oakland, was one of many people who had to evacuate as the fire neared her home in Solano County. “I heard about the fire on the TV news. We were told to evacuate Monday night (October 9) around 11 p.m.” She evacuated to her mother’s home in San Pablo.

By October 11, over 100 people had died, leaving many injured.

As of Thursday, October 12, smoke could still be seen to the north of Hayward, and the layer of smoke had moved south, affecting Fremont and San Jose.

Meanwhile, the Santa Rosa Fire destroyed 3,000 homes, including the home of Peanuts creator Charles Schulz, and killed 15 people with hundreds still missing. PG&E has worked on trying to restore power for many customers affected by the wildfire.

The fire raged into the weekend of October 13, with daily efforts to put out the fire. It looked like it would be a while until the fire would end. On October 16, it rained over the area where the fire was and brought some relief to the fight.

By October 20, once the fire had died down, residents were allowed back into their homes.

Many buildings were destroyed, and many people are still missing. With relief efforts underway, the community hopes to rebuild as soon as possible.

Saturday Cafeteria Grand Opening a Non-starter

The Saturday Café will not be open as announced from 7:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. due to a lack of attendance during the pilot program which opened on Oct 21, 2017. The grand opening did not result in enough revenue for a successful outcome.

There are various reasons for the low attendance. A cafeteria worker commented that on that Saturday, “there were few in attendance… and no advertisement.” The local Flea Market was also active at this time, located in the Student Parking Lot G. This may have drawn people away who otherwise would have used the cafeteria.

Students on Saturday usually are attending classes on the opposite end of the campus. This may have been another reason for the limited attendance.

The main entrance doors to the cafeteria were not opened and the automatic sliding doors from the rear were the only entrance that Saturday.

More advertisement and better attendance will be needed for this program to continue.

Sanctuary Cities Raided

Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., immigrants in these Sanctuary cities have become targets for ICE, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency. From September 26 through September 30, “Operation Safe City” was an attack on cities with “sanctuary” policies. ICE claims sanctuary cities allow violent criminals to prosper under the legitimate safety. Sanctuary is a term used by city officials, police, and institutions with civil records that will not help or provide any information toward the persecution of any undocumented individuals. It has been adopted by many campuses, cities, counties, and states who stand in solidarity with those affected by Trump’s deportation crackdown and more recently, the phasing out of DACA. Chabot College is eagerly awaiting the approval by the Chabot College/Las Positas College District Board of Trustees for Chabot to stand as a sanctuary campus.

Tom Homan, the acting director of ICE, accused the cities of protecting criminal aliens from appropriate prosecution claiming, “ICE is forced to dedicate more resources to conduct at-large arrests in these communities.” One hundred and sixty seven people were arrested in and around Los Angeles, 21 in the Santa Clara County, 6 in San Francisco with a total of 498 arrests nationwide. Federal authorities said the ICE operation this week focused on those with criminal convictions, gang members, and immigration fugitives. They added, people protected under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, were not targeted.

However, “Trust within immigrant communities shall not erode,” Malena Mayorga says “Trump’s Administration is working hard but so are the communities by educating themselves in legal defense and awareness.” Malena works for Mujeres Unidas y Activas a grass roots organization that promotes personal transformation and building community power for social and economic justice.

She states, “There are three main components for individuals to defend themselves. First, we must educate ourselves, encounters with ICE can be tricky, and if we don’t know our rights, ICE will have the upper hand. Second, there are legal services available, and ready to help against detention and deportation by providing representation and consultation. Third, at any sight of an ICE enforcement, please call the Rapid Response network hotline at (510) 241-4011. They will dispatch trained volunteer legal observers to document the encounter, track ICE’s strategies and connect to legal services immediately.”

There are support organizations such as Alameda County Immigration Legal Education Partnership (ACILEP) and Alameda County United in Defense Immigration Rights (ACUDIR). ACILEP specializes in connecting folks with “Know Your Rights” workshops and training for legal observers. ACUDIR takes action against the Sheriff’s cooperation with ICE and packs courts to support immigration cases. For any immigration defense questions email [email protected].

Throughout the nation, many city-officials conclude the ICE raids are a result of the cities noncooperation with the Trump administration’s executive plans. This series of raids occurred just as California Gov. Jerry Brown is expected to sign SB54, which would prevent police from arresting people for immigration violations without a warrant, among other prohibitions. Our community will continue to stand in solidarity against this type of oppression, Trump’s administration’s actions will test us.

25th Anniversary of “A League of Their Own”

This year marks the 25th anniversary of “A League of their Own” starring Geena Davis, Madonna and Chabot College’s very own Tom Hanks. The movie takes place during World War II.

The movie is loosely based on the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) active from 1943-1954. The Rockford Peaches, Kalamazoo Lassies, and the Racine Belles are some of the famous teams in this film.

The movie tackled the issue of sexism in sports. During and after this league’s existence it did not get a lot of attention coverage like the MLB (Major League Baseball) did, because they were women.

The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) is another example of sexism in sports. The WNBA doesn’t get as many viewers or attendees as the National Basketball Association (NBA). In 2015 the average attendance for WNBA games was 7,318.

The average viewership of an NBA game is 1.5 million, and the number gets higher (over 3.5 million) during the playoffs and the finals. “I don’t necessarily have a preference I think both of the WNBA & NBA are just as athletic as the other. People don’t watch the WNBA because they don’t like to watch girls play basketball. We need more recognition for how hard the woman players go out there and play. I played basketball in High School so from my perspective girls are just as good as guys.” says Chabot student Jada Moses.

According to The Washington Post, about 40 percent of American athletes are female, but media coverage of female athletics makes up only 4 percent. “The WNBA doesn’t get a lot of attention like the NBA does which I understand because the media focus more on men than women. Nobody that I know watches the WNBA” says Chabot student Shavonee Porter.

Female athletes are only paid a fraction of what male athletes are getting paid. For example, the US Women’s soccer team split $2 million for winning the World Cup. Last year the US Men’s soccer team only split $8 million for losing. The average salary for a WNBA player is $72,000, while the medium for an average NBA player is 2.2 million. Same goes for the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of that season. Sylvia Fowles the Center for the Minnesota Lynx, and 2017 WNBA MVP. Is only being paid $109,200. While Russell Westbrook 2017 NBA MVP plays Point Guard for Oklahoma City Thunder is being paid $26.54 million.

Vegas Shooting

On October 1, in Las Vegas, NV, a mass shooting took place killing at least 59 people and wounding up to 500. The shooting took place on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino carried out by the shooter Stephen Paddock. It is currently unknown what drove him to commit such an action. The mass shooting has raised the need for security as well as raising personal alertness.

The season for concerts and outdoor events is coming to an end, but the need for security is still at an extreme high. Events such as Rolling Loud, a hip-hop music festival, made sure to amp up on security and stay on high alert. Chabot students that attended Rolling Loud expressed concern for their safety, Christopher Trumpler, stated: “It’s extremely unfortunate what happened to the people in Vegas, but all we can do is hope nobody gets stupid.”

Events such as Rolling Loud, Coachella, and regular concert events list on their sites what is prohibited (such as alcohol, knives, and guns) all in hopes of limiting the desire of chaos.

On October 28, Chabot College is celebrating its’ school spirit and organizing a homecoming event. This event included a carnival, football game, and even a beer garden, which could mean a crowd of intoxicated college students in a crowd. Chabot campus security officer Michael Cook states, “There will be at least 2 Hayward Police officers at the event, especially the carnival as well as campus police.”

If you are deciding to attend large events, use the buddy system, especially if you plan on drinking. Have an escape route put in place in case anything does happen and let someone know where you are. Students are advised to watch out for any suspicious activity. If you do see any suspicious activity alert the security on hand. It’s not about feeling afraid anytime you’re in a large crowd, just be mindful and have fun!

Gun Regulations

Several things happen following tragedies like the October 1 Las Vegas shooting. People mourn and grieve. Some express their pain, others their frustration. Politicians show their compassion for the victims, flags are lowered, moments of silence are taken, and discussions of gun control begin.

“There are a myriad of reasons why, as a society, we now regularly suffer from the malady of mass shootings. Much of it has to do with the degradation of moral values in our society,” says Yih Chau Chang, the Press Secretary for The Responsible Citizens of California.

A surge of gun control and gun ban discussions flood the news after tragic moments in our country like this. The reasoning makes sense. Guns were used to kill and injure many people. Roughly 33,000 gun deaths occur every year in America, according to the CDC. Two-thirds are due to suicide. The second largest bracket is young men from ages 15 to 34, killed in homicides. They are often gang members, or victims of other street violence. The next striking number is the 1,700 women murdered per year, usually resulting from domestic violence. A small number of all deaths by guns come from mass shootings like that in Las Vegas.

“The more guns we have floating on the market, the greater the danger becomes and the greater the perception that we need more guns. It is a negative feedback loop of fear increasing fear. This also provides justification for the militarization of our police force which in turn disconnects them from the communities they aim to serve,” says counselor and instructor, Juztino Panella.

Large, sweeping gun regulation and bans do not address the expanded issue of gun-related deaths. It inhibits our ability to protect ourselves from threats, any and all, foreign and domestic. “The 2nd Amendment is the one basic, fundamental, and enumerated civil right that guarantees all of the others listed in the Bill of Rights, without it, the government would have a monopoly on violence and tyranny would become the eventual and ultimate result,” says Chang.

Murder is tragic, and gun deaths naturally strike fear in everyone. If we as a society, as a nation are intent on dramatically reducing the number of gun-related deaths, we need to target the larger issue. The Boston Gun Project and Operation Ceasefire of the early 90s targeted high-risk youth with chronic criminal offense. They targeted and prioritized a specific group with high-risk numbers. Police teamed with “youth workers, probation and parole officers, and clergy offered gang members services and other kinds of help.” Mentoring and guidance were offered, a moral value which our society doesn’t seem to prioritize.

Speaking on potential long-term solutions, Panella says there must be, “people working in communities to build networks of solidarity. The culture of fear comes whether we have weapons, or don’t have weapons. We need to change the culture of fear. That’s what needs to happen.”

Corgis Swarm Ocean Beach for Corgi Con

On October 21 of this year, 638 Corgis swarmed Ocean Beach in San Francisco, CA. This is a semiannual meetup of corgis where the pups can get a chance to socialize with other dogs in the form of licks and butt sniffs, as well as an opportunity for their owners to meet fellow corgi enthusiasts and other owners. All this while competing in games, obstacle courses, an “attempt” at a group photo, all this in the sand clad in costumes, sunglasses, pirate hats, and fancy outfits.

The event kickoff started at 10 a.m. with a sign in, and an attempt at a group photo with all the owners and their dogs. This group photo, along with the sign in, helps the event organizers get a head count on the number of owners with their corgis at this year’s fall event. According to Corgi Con’s website, over 600 corgis showed up this time, with over 1,500 corgi enthusiasts and fans alike. The amount this fall, however, did not break any records, with this year’s summer Corgi Con in June having over 938 show up, making it the largest ever Corgi Con to date.

With corgis of all different shapes, sizes, and colors, there were many activities for the dogs themselves. The event featured an agility course, in its form of corgi ninja warrior. The owners themselves attempt to guide their little loaves of fur through hoops, over hurdles, and into tunnels in a mini obstacle course. The crowd around them cheered with “awwws” and laughs everywhere as the corgis stubbornly made their way through.

The Corgi Con not only featured a full-length obstacle course but also had many different vendors present selling everything corgi related, from corgi pins, corgi plushies, corgi blankets, to corgi butt pillows, merchandised to the corgi fan’s. It also included an adoption center by Queen’s Best Stumpy Dog Rescue which allowed you to rescue special needs corgi dogs and corgi mixes.

At 1 p.m. the convention finally wrapped things up with a costume contest and a mini race, featuring the hottest pups all around, which not only included corgis but other dogs as well. The costume race featured dogs in various outfits. The outfits included sushi, a dinosaur, a Chinese dragon, Thor, Superman, and a Sailor Moon.

The race featured the fastest and the most agile of the group of corgis, as they quickly waddled across the sandy straightaway, with some stubbornly staying next to their owners, some running in circles, and others running in many different directions.

“I thought it was a good thing because it was a positive environment for everyone, both the dogs and the people surrounding them,” a student of SFSU, an attendee of Corgi Con, and a dog enthusiast herself, Daisy Araiza stated. “It was a very welcoming and wholesome environment for their families and a great way for dogs to socialize with other dogs and release their energy.”

Art Gallery Closure

The art gallery at Chabot opened twelve years ago, and now it’s closing the doors. According to the art history professor Diane Zuliani, there was no coordination funding and an annual operating budget of zero. Professor Zuliani invested her time in the gallery for twelve years and was never able to institutionalize a funding source. Professor Zuliani stated, “this was an ongoing and protracted shortfall not in anyway related to our new Dean, Deonne Kunkel Wu. It needs to be clear that Deonne bears no fault for this turn of events.”

According to Professor Zuliani the gallery was created  with a grant of $23,000 from Partnership for Excellence, a nonprofit organization. The grant allowed her to convert a classroom into an art gallery. In 2003 she received the grant, and the gallery held its first exhibit in 2005.

The gallery has held over 30 exhibits in the past twelve years. Dean of Arts, Media and Communication Deonne Kunkel Wu recalled her favorite moment was “a poem a student had produced, about how she was in the arts and needed to take an astronomy class. And when she got the class it was just so inspiring to her. It just changed her life and the way she related to the universe.”

Through the art gallery, Diane brought the community together in ways that strengthened us. The gallery has attracted the faculty, students, and the community to see new artwork. It was a place where students could express their feelings through art and the audience could look and relate to the artists. While the art gallery was open the impact that it had on students was motivation. It was the place where hundreds of Chabot students first exhibited their artwork publicly, according to Professor Zuliani.

Katelin Kaiiag, a former art student, said, “art is meant for self-expression and exploration. Not to please others… It’s an important aspect of art that one piece of art could mean more to me than you and vice-versa.”

In addition to the inspirational impact on students, it had a significant impact on the National Association of School of Arts and Design (NASAD) accreditation team. NASAD had this statement about the gallery, “The Chabot Art Gallery exhibition program appears to be ambitious and varied in theme, ranging from student and faculty exhibitions to visiting artists’ work from an impressive variety of media and geographic locations-from local to international.

The gallery has made a tremendous mark in the lives of students, faculty and the community. With the closing of the gallery, it will have a negative impact on the students and faculty. Dean Kunkel Wu added “not having a place to go that draws me to a higher purpose, or elicits an emotional response, that brings healing and connection is a loss to me personally. It is a loss to all students across campus because we are here for students, we are here to help them build their voice. Now, we don’t have that for our community, students or faculty.”

Professor Williams, instructor of Economics, in a campus-wide email stated, “I would like to add that since this program is so fundamental to any school that lays claim to support of the humanities, I have to wonder if there is some unseen strategy on the part of those who allowed this suspension to happen. It seems somehow akin to the idea that all education should be online. I would like to urge all the faculty to not let this issue pass without a fight. Chabot has many small mistakes in the past. This is not a small mistake.”

Erica Mones, a former student who took Zuliani’s museum studies classes, went on to get an MA in Museum Studies and was teaching our gallery classes. She had this to say “In regards to the gallery, I do not blame (Diane). It’s very unfortunate that there has been no support for such an important space the entire time it existed. On behalf of all of the students who took the classes over the years, thank you. Thank you for dedicating countless hours to make that gallery look the absolute best it could…. I have many fond memories there both as a student as well as a teacher. Seriously, from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU Diane”

2017 Chabot Homecoming

As Chabot college’s Homecoming football game approaches, October 21, the anticipation is all over the faces of the players as well as the coaching staff. Rumors have surfaced around campus that there will be a homecoming dance and a beer garden!

I couldn’t believe it, so I asked around the school to see if others knew or have heard about these ideas. I had conversations with some players from the team and also some students who seemed interested in the rumors or were excited about homecoming.

Jocquil Veazey, an incoming freshman on campus, is ecstatic to participate in this seasons football games in general. He stated, “I feel good about homecoming. I feel like it’s gonna be a good year.” Veazey also said, “ I haven’t heard anything about a dance or beer garden happening, but I hope one does!”.

Current right guard for the team, Andre Johnson is finishing his second year at Chabot and is prepared to give his all in every game he gets a chance to play. Andre, can’t explain how prepared he is to get back on our home field and not only play but win this year’s homecoming game. He stated, “I honestly feel bad for the team we’re going to face because we’re mentally and physically prepared to defeat them by any means necessary. I can’t wait for the homecoming game because this is the first time I’ll be able to compete in one so I’m really excited.”

It seems that the allegations for the dance and possible beer garden seem far-fetched to most people on campus. Chabot is known to have a very low tolerance for alcohol on campus let alone anywhere near it, so having an event with alcohol seems more like a dream than reality.

I got an interesting perspective on the homecoming rumors from a former student, Kala’i Pokini, who also played for the team. He said “I can’t believe I’m not going to be able to play with the school this year, Chabot was my second home, and I wish luck upon all my brothers while they fight to win every game. I find it funny how they even want to throw ideas out in the open about a party and alcohol once I leave. I hope neither of the rumors happen so that way I won’t feel so left out.”

Another former student from Chabot, Raniyah Stengel, who doesn’t participate in any on-campus activities, said she had no idea we even had a homecoming game, to begin with. Bullock stated, “ It doesn’t matter what they do before or after the game to me because I probably won’t go anyway. I don’t want to hate on the team or the activities that might take place because they do sound fun, but personally, I probably wouldn’t attend them.”

To put all rumors to rest I was able to get in contact with Sharon Deng, the Student Senate VP. Deng stated, “Yes, we are doing homecoming this year. There will be a beer garden but not a dance.” Homecoming raised a lot of hopes and brought up a lot of what if’s. Although we will not be having a dance, we will have a beer garden, and we’ll also have an exciting game to look forward too. It’s only fitting that we put our focus back on the importance of cheering on our fellow Gladiators to lead our school to another victory!

El Centro: Grand Opening

On September 14, I attended the grand opening of the new El Centro building located in building 700, right across from the Financial Aid and Admissions. CARNAL (Creating Academic Readiness Network for Aspiring Latinos) and CLEA (Chicano Latino Education Association) decided to create a new environment for students to seek advice about FAFSA, applying for college, counseling support and a place to lounge in between classes.

El Centro will have events and festivals throughout the semester, celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month and Raza College Day. El Centro is not only for our Latino students, other students on campus are more than welcome to come and join.

The grand opening consisted of an array of Mexican foods such as nachos, rice, and beans. Before seeing a festival, a huge crowd gathered around the local Mariachi band and two women in extravagant and colorful dresses.

The women explained that their particular style of dance was commonly seen in Mexico and is preformed mostly with Mariachi bands. I got a chance to also observe the inside of El Centro. Inside held booths for people to talk about financial aid and counseling.

El Centro will be open from 7 p.m. — 9 p.m. Monday through Thursdays and Fridays 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. They can help students having trouble learning Spanish and English and are also open during the summer (9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday).

Feel free to check out El Centro’s links on the Chabot College website for more updates and upcoming events during the semester and summer.