Monthly Archives: November 2017

Is This the Death of Community Education?

Front page of 2012 Comm Ed Catalog

Front page of 2012 Comm Ed Catalog

Enrichment courses on campus and online were once provided by Community Education also known as “Community Services” at Chabot College. In previous years this was a program that invited community members to register for classes that offered non-college credit courses at an affordable cost.

Business courses trained individuals in Accounting Fundamentals, Administrative Assistant Fundamentals, Managing in Customer Service and even Principles of Sales Management.

These classes were taught by community members, experts in their field, or Chabot College faculty members. Registering for classes was easy. To register online, all you had to do was go to and then go to “courses.”

Dr. Matt Kritscher, Vice President of Student Services stated, “We tried to respond to the recession, with more workforce training programs to try to make training that was relevant to dislocated workers.”

Also during this time individuals running the workforce training program had access to Dislocated Workers and the funds for that training came with them. Being a dislocated worker means that you are someone who is eligible for or receiving unemployment benefits (or who has exhausted eligibility for unemployment) because he/she lost their job.  

As Dean of Counseling at the time, Dr. Kritscher was asked to take on Community Education. However, the recession had resulted in lower enrollment. According to Dr. Kritscher, “This last year, was one of those years where it went to about $50,000 over budget because there were not enough enrollments. Basically, we had to decide to hold off on producing a schedule and putting it out to the community. Once we do that it’s about $15,000 in printing and mailing, and we had to know if that cost would be covered by people signing up for the classes.”

Kritscher said, “We weren’t getting more than 5-6 people to sign up a class, when we really needed like 10, 15 or 20 for it to pay for itself.” Dr. Kritscher explained that the program itself heavily relied on registration fees to pay for all cost associated with these classes.

Kim Bononcini who had worked as Administrative Assistant II for the program from 2005 to 2015 cherished moments she said, “planning and working in the Kids on Campus program each summer I’ve never worked so hard, before or since, but it was very rewarding, and I miss it a lot.”

Currently, the entire program consists of two courses split between The Arts and Business. One Line Dancing class offered this Fall by instructor Roslie Woergoetter; twice a week for twelve sessions and a few career preparation courses in Business.

Dr. Kritscher is hoping to put out a catalog next Fall where every single thing in there is free and they lead toward college preparation or toward a career development certificate.

Controversial Board of Trustees Meeting

The board of trustees meeting on October 24, originally scheduled to be at Chabot, was relocated to the District office in Dublin at 6:30 p.m. The announcement of the relocation by Chancellor Jackson citing “safety concerns” was considered by students, faculty, and staff at Chabot to be a blatant act of oppression in an attempt to silence the campus’ demands to become a sanctuary and need for additional instructional faculty.

Making the democratic process difficult is the question as to whether or not Chancellor Jackson can do her duties effectively. “Perceptions matter, as the board of trustees… I just want to remind you of what everybody is thinking, because of the perception and the effect it has on people, currently the perception… is that we don’t matter to you,” says Patrick Mwamba, a Chabot student, addressing the board during the meeting.

Laura Alarcon, counselor and instructor at Chabot said, “5 months … after the May 16 meeting, the discussion of Chabot college as a sanctuary campus has been absent… from the board of trustees meeting agendas.”

Alarcon goes on to say, “Tonight’s agenda item titled, legislative update, California Values Act, should not be a surrogate for the long overdue discussion of the recommendations outlined in the Chabot sanctuary resolution.” Board President Dr. Gin did refer to the California Values Act relating it to DACA and sanctuary, confusing many, which discouraged others to come up and speak during the designated public comments section.

“To dream is not a crime… I feel like we are being policed, we are being treated like criminals by having the presence of the police… If anything, the undocumented students are the ones that need protection,” said Joan Cortez, a Chabot College student.

Jaquelyn Matta another Chabot student says, “as a part of Chabot College and the undocumented community, I believe becoming a sanctuary district is very important. It will provide a safer environment to undocumented students, and a sense of support for their families… Getting an education is something we should all be able to do without fear… Respecting basic human rights is what we want, being able to receive an education without fear. We are students, parents, brothers, and sister, and want to pursue a brighter future surrounded by support, trust and without fear when we go out to our colleges to get an education.

Katie Messina Silva, a counselor at Chabot says, “we have worked to provide… resources and information to students, faculty and staff allies. We have been working hard over the last 3 years to improve our support services at Chabot and make our campus a safe place for undocumented students. I am proud of the work we have done so far, but there is much work yet to be done. We all came here today asking for your support. Students feel nervous, worried, hopeless and extremely uncertain about what the future holds for them. Students are reluctant to come forward and seek out help and take advantage of the resources that do still exist.”

Inviting the entire board to follow the leadership of city and state officials, Alarcon also states, “on June 6, the Hayward city council declared Hayward a sanctuary City.

The Great Shakeout

On October 19, The Great Shakeout, a nationwide earthquake drill for every student, staff and faculty member took place. It occurs every year around the anniversary of Loma Prieta the earthquake that happened in 1989. According to NBC News, Loma Prieta caused at least 5 billion dollars worth of damage in homes in the city alone. Northern California has experienced one of the most destructive earthquakes. California is no stranger to earthquakes, especially in San Francisco.

The Bay Area has taken no chances preparing its’ residents for earthquake evacuation and shielding. Starting at 10:19 a.m. at Chabot College the great shakeout began. It all started with the staff informing students on the proper way to shield themselves in their location. Professor Jordan Jurich-Weston shared her thoughts about the Great Shakeout, she stated, “I was alive in ‘89 when the Great Earthquake happened so it’s’ good Chabot is getting prepared.” Minutes after 10:19 stuck, a loud fire alarm sounded. As it turned out, Chabot decided not only to take part in the Great Shakeout but to include a fire drill. Students were escorted throughout campus to the nearest parking lot where professors took attendance.

The reality of the situation is that students do not completely pay attention to things that are happening on campus. The few drills that go on campus come as a surprise. When students in Professor Jordan’s Photo 50 class were asked: “Do you know what the Great Shakeout is for?” No one knew.

Chabot College did an excellent job at evacuating. Our campus police and the Hayward Fire Department all made sure the locations were safe and that we were all in the designated area. Remember to take action not only at Chabot College but in your home as well and see what kits and plans need to be designed in case of an earthquake. Be Safe!

Breast Cancer Awareness

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM). For ten years at Chabot College Nurse Practitioner Tricia Gonsman MSN, FNP. Has hosted the National Breast Cancer Awareness event. The event covers the topic of breast cancer. She educates students about breast cancer, chemotherapy, mammograms, and more.

Nurse Gonsman also works at the Student Health Center located in Building 2300. Nurse Gonsman stated, “I’ve been doing this for ten years. I want to educate people about breast cancer and how very serious it is. I do it to bring awareness, not everybody knows about the symptoms and signs of breast cancer. Both men and women get breast cancer.”

NBCAM was founded in 1985 in October as a partnership between the American Cancer Society and AstraZeneca (the producer of several drugs used for breast cancer treatment). In 1993 Evelyn Lauder founded the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and began using the pink ribbon as their symbol. In 1991 the Susan G Komen Foundation handed out the pink ribbons to the participants in the New York City race for Breast Cancer Survivors.

Rose-Marie Henderson a family member of mine and a breast cancer survivor described what it was like having breast cancer three times. She stated, “In 2006 I had a lump in my left Breast, and it was getting very painful. I went to get a mammogram then my doctor informed me that I had breast cancer. I had a biopsy and took chemotherapy. Because of the chemotherapy, I was sick, weak, and lost my hair. Then in 2013 it came back. The doctor told me my cancer had spread to my sternum bone (Breastbone). I took a chemotherapy capsule that cost over $10,000 for 21 tablets. I’ve been taking it for two years now, my cancer came back and spread to my thighs. It didn’t spread anymore, and now it’s stable.”

According to the Susan G Komen website “Women in the U.S. have a 12 percent lifetime risk of getting breast cancer. This means that for every 8 women in the U.S. 1 will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.”

Breast cancer is always caused by damage to a cell’s DNA. The risk factors are drinking alcohol, and having a family history of breast cancer.

The symptoms of breast cancer for women is a change in how the breast and or nipples feel. There are many breast cancer symptoms that go unnoticed. It is important to get a monthly breast exam, from your physician.

How Do You Hip-hop?

There are so many interpretations of hip-hop. Before we can get into different perspectives, we should first acknowledge where this culture comes from. Yea that’s right, hip-hop is a culture not just a genre of music. Declared as a culture in front of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) by KRS-One and a committee of like-minded individuals who wanted positive change in society in 2001. Before that, hip-hop originated in the Bronx from a combination of different genres; funk, disco, and soul. It quickly became a platform for society to reflect on urban culture. Many became aware of what injustices were going on in the inner city more than ever, and with hip-hop, the people became equipped to inform and advocate for change.

The exact year and date is still a battle between scholars, but it is safe to say hip-hop was born in the mid to late 70s. What is not arguable, are the elements that constitute hip-hop in its truest form; emceeing, graffiti art, Deejaying, and beatboxing. The other 4 elements include street fashion, street entrepreneurialism, street language, and street knowledge. Just like any culture, with time comes change. Many believe mainstream rap is not the same or as rooted in the culture as the first hip-hop songs like “The Message,” by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious 5. If you are looking for culture inside “mainstream,” you are least likely to find it.

Rahman Jamaal, National Executive Director of Hip Hop Congress, declared “I don’t see enough of the elements being brought together as a full representation of the culture all at once, that is in a way bigger than the mainstream capacity to harness all that knowledge. It would completely change the mainstream. The elements can definitely come together in an educational form.” Hip Hop Congress is a nonprofit, international grass roots organization. Its mission is to evolve hip-hop culture by inspiring social action and creativity within the community creating programs within public schools. “The perspective of hip-hop has changed over the years. However, hip-hop does change things, right now it is changing education,” Rahman Jamaal added.

Every culture will have many perspectives, Aubry Williams, an avid listener and Mass Communications student at Chabot says he likes hip-hop because “of the freedom of hip-hop. There’s no specific sound to make a hip-hop record. You can do whatever you want as long as it sounds good.” The musical genre does much more than providing listeners with a good time. It can also inform and empower.

“I like that hip-hop always touches on things that happen in America, there hasn’t been one thing historically that hip-hop hasn’t touched,” asserted Robert Knox III, on-air personality at KCRH 89.9 FM. Hip-hop is a culture that we are a part of and therefore constantly changing. A few of the Spectator staff, voiced their opinions about hip-hop, its origins, innovators and top five artists, on the latest episode of “Behind the Headline” coming soon to

Mt. Tamalpais to Fruitvale Station

“From Mt. Tamalpais to Fruitvale Station” is a social justice hip-hop video experience that was released September 19, at Chabot College. The song was composed by the Justice Arts Collective (JAC), a musical group focusing on advocacy, cultural awareness, and using music for spiritual healing. Inside, building 700 South event center, the banging of drums and harmonizing voices could be heard over the more than 250 students that attended. “From Mt. Tamalpais to Fruitvale Station” is song highlighting injustice in our society but mostly the recent police brutality against people of color. There was a BBQ, performance, and an open mic before as well as after the video release. Charles Reed, a student that attended said, “The open mic portion was creative and inspirational because people had to challenge themselves to go up and speak. The environment was conducive to creativity and let speakers know they will not crash and burn if they made a mistake.” There was no “booing” when someone made a mistake only words of encouragement to help them voice their opinion.

Tommy Reed, a professor, and counselor for Umoja, gave a brief speech leading up to the music video release, “We’ve been planning this for the last few months, we are so excited for you guys to be here and we hope that you vibe with us on this beautiful video.”

After the video premiered, attendees were asked to write on an index card, answering the question, “How did the video make you feel?” Students were encouraged to go up to the mic and express what they wrote on their cards.

“The video should make the viewer feel some level of discomfort, and want to talk about these issues that are in our society,” said Juztino Panella, a leading member of the Justice Arts Collective, professor, and counselor at Chabot College. The JAC is composed of numerous musicians and poets who are mostly Chabot students and two Chabot College counselors.

Joan Cortez, a member of the JAC and student at Chabot, declared “The JAC has taught me to think about helping and advocating for people beyond myself and beyond my community. It also inspired me to write more and be in solidarity with other Chabot students and community members.”

The event was scheduled to end around 9 p.m. but the space that was created, welcomed all to say whatever they felt in a unity circle that enclosed the entire interior of the building until about 10:45 p.m.

Did you miss the video premiere? You can still check it out. The Justice Arts Collective invites all to visit their website

Women’s Basketball

The Chabot College women’s basketball team has been gaining a lot of traction over the last few years by having an all-star defense, and Grade A offense. Our Lady Gladiators, give us something to look forward to when we watch them play. Coming off some great wins last year, the team hopes to start fresh while continuing to have a winning mindset when this season begins. Not only are they receiving recognition from students and faculty, but players from the men’s team support them as well.

Chabot students, Lamont Jackson and Quiana Stevens gave insight on how they currently feel about the team’s chances. Jackson stated, “The girl’s hoop team needs more praise for how hard they play, and they deserve as much support as the boy’s team gets.” Stevens stated, “It’s beyond exciting while watching them in action, and it’s also great to see them balling out.”

Mykal Anderson, from the Chabot men’s basketball team, has high expectations for the women this year. Anderson said, “I never paid attention to girls basketball like that, but once I saw the girls head coach drain six 3’s in a row to win the Chabot 3 point shooting contest, I was tuned in.” Another boys basketball player, Levy Deplush was also impressed with the performance of the women’s coach. He said “She went crazy! I knew if that is their coach then they are definitely in good hands.”

The center for Chabot’s women’s basketball team, Ferrynn Steen, is looking forward to competing for a championship this season. Steen said, “I expect the team to be pretty good, but not the best. We’re a team with all freshman and no returners, so we have our work cut out for us, but we’re going to work hard every time we step on the court.”

Knowing that there is a brand-new group of players shouldn’t bring doubts but, should raise curiosity. There’s no question that our team will give us their all in each game. Our women understand they have big shoes to fill and they plan on doing that and then some. This season should be exciting and gives our school the fresh new look of our Lady Gladiators.