Monthly Archives: December 2017

Los Angeles Times Boycotts Disney

On November 3 Disney decided to stop conducting business with the Los Angeles Times for their “unfair business” reviews in the city of Anaheim, banning the publication from private screenings for the movie Thor Ragnarok.

According to the article published by the Los Angeles Times in September, Disney has not been paying their fair share to the city of Anaheim for Disneyland Park. The city of Anaheim has granted various bonds, rebates and tax shield to the park for years.

Disney supports and funds various aspects of Anaheim, including funding for the local police department. Even so, employees of the Disneyland Resort and the residents of Anaheim share the same concerns that Disney isn’t doing enough for the city.

After the article had been published, Disney stopped contacting the Los Angeles Times and banning them from private screenings of Disney’s recent box office hit, Thor Ragnarok. Despite this, the review was published on time.

Shortly after, many critics came out in support of the Los Angeles Times, including the LA Film Critics, the New York Film Critics Circle, the National Society of Film Critics and Ava DuVernay, who directed A Wrinkle in Time for Disney earlier this year. They all declined private screenings by Disney unless the ban was lifted and removed any Disney films from any of their year-end awards.

On November 7, Disney lifted the ban due to pressure from critics. The Los Angeles Times released a statement in the aftermath of the ban being lifted. “A powerful company punishing a news organization for a story they do not like is meant to have a chilling effect. This is a dangerous precedent and not at all in the public interest.

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Chabot Gladiators reaches 1,000 Degrees

Chabot primarily serves innovative residents of Alameda County in the East Bay Area. Including the district communities of Castro Valley, San Leandro, San Lorenzo and Union City. Making it one of the leading diverse and cultivating institutions in the Bay Area.

Among the students that attend, nearly 1,000 degrees were awarded in the graduation year of 2016-2017. Exactly 998 degrees were awarded. Go Gladiators!

Dedicated to the Mission Statement as cited, “Chabot College is a public comprehensive community college that prepares students to succeed in their education, progress in the workplace, and engage in the civic and cultural life and the community.” And in the progression have shown the leading role in the local community college education.

Chabot College is known for being an institution for the commuting and busy student. Making it a well-appreciated school with thriving enrollment.

The last time this level of success was achieved was in the class year of 1993-1994. Where 1,000 degrees were earned.

As mentioned by Carolyn L. Arnold, Coordinator of Institutional Research, “transfer degrees (AA-T or AS-T) accounted for 45% of the increase, while a resurgence of AA and AS degrees contributed the rest. Either way, more and more students are earning degrees at Chabot.” AA-T being an Associates in Arts for Transfer and AS-T an Associates in Science for Transfer. As well as for AA and AS students who meet the general, major and unit requirements toward their field.

Graduates of the performing year, such as Florito Maniego believe that “a lot more students are more motivated to get better careers or further their education. A lot of students also attend Chabot to transfer, and they increase their chances of admission if they pursue a degree.”

Chabot College is classified as Degree-granting, associate’s and certificates school by Carnegie Classification.

Sanctuary

December 5 marked the victory in a seven-month fight for Chabot to become a sanctuary campus. Chabot’s and LPC’s respective sanctuary campus resolutions were passed with a single amendment to each. A remaining concern is the Chabot Academic Senate’s vote of no confidence with Chancellor Jackson.
 
In response to Chabot vote of no confidence for Chancellor Jackson, the Board presented a “statement of support from the Chabot Los Positas Community College District Board of Trustees.” Secretary Gin continues, “the Chabot Los Positas Board of Trustees wished to express its support of Chancellor Jannett Jackson in light of the recent vote of no confidence for Chabot college. The Board takes the concerns of the Chabot College Academic Senate seriously …”
 
Jennifer Lange, a faculty member at Chabot, had this to say about the Boards statement, “I was actually very disappointed to hear, right before the public comments session, that the board has decided to put out a statement of support for the Chancellor without hearing all of our reasoning for doing the vote in the first place … and coming to talk with us …”
 
Though this concern remains, the highlight of the night is the unanimous passing of agenda item 9.1 making Chabot a sanctuary campus. Before the vote, trustee Vecchiarelli makes clear, “I’m all in favor of the sanctuary resolution. However … we have to have procedures that could protect our students.” Trustee Maduli, after making a motion to amend the resolution by removing support of, “legal council, and tuition assistance,” which was voted on unanimously to be removed, expressed, “ I fully support this resolution.” Trustee Randolph, “I am in favor of this resolution.” During the vote, Trustee Dvorsky shared, “It’s the right thing to do.”
 
Following the adoption of the Sanctuary Campus resolutions by a unanimous vote, Chabot students and faculty members celebrated in song right outside the boardroom, singing Bob Marley’s “One Love,” and what seems to be a campus theme song by Chabot’s own Justice Arts Collective, “Wake Up, Wake Up.” The crowd roars, “wake up, wake up, yo, it’s time to wake up. It ain’t too late, too late. It’s time to wake up!”
 
Thursday, December 7 at three in the afternoon There was a Sanctuary Campus party with live music from the Justice Arts Collective. This served as a fitting way to recognize the way the entire campus came together in unity and solidarity, motivating many people, students, and others, to become involved deeply with their communities for the first time.

Wasting Water

For almost two months now, the area between building 1900 and 2000 is blocked off due to heavy leakage in the piping located below the pathways between the buildings. With over 1,000 gallons a day spilling out and the source is still unknown. “As you guys have seen, the leaks are very ugly right now.” states Walter “Waltz” Blevins, director of Maintenance and Operations in a board meeting in November.

According to Waltz, the leak was 5,000 gallons a day before the excavations, with it patched up after it finally surfaced. Though a pesky leak of over 1,000 gallons still runs loose somewhere on campus.

“Right now the guys are jackhammering through, 4 feet of concrete,” Waltz explains. “Because the leak is encapsulated in concrete, we won’t find it that way.”

The source of the leakage is still a mystery, though it’s suspected it’s in the T-in line that branches off toward the bookstore. This makes it harder to find because of the over 4 feet of concrete above it.

The issue was first brought to light in an email sent out by Charles Bender to the campus on October 10, in which he stated that there was a major leak in the hydronic piping between the 1900 and 2000 buildings. The project now seeks to demolish the pathways to excavate the underlying pipes to inspect them for damages and to repair them if need be.

On Friday, December 1, the water was closed off for half the campus buildings to make repairs, though it is unclear whether it was due in part to the water leaks.

The pipe leak raises concerns at Chabot; the piping affects the AC system on campus and the water flow on campus. The new water bottle stations around campus are affected too, with two stations having to be pulled off the water supply due to the leakage.

“It doesn’t affect me as much, but as a student who frequently goes to the STEM center, it can be quite annoying sometimes having to reroute my direction all because of the construction.” Michael Acholonu, a student who spends lots of his time on campus, says, “It also gets very annoying hearing the machinery from across campus, combined with the jackhammers going off on the other end while they try to remove the support beams, though I’m glad they’re addressing the issue now as opposed to just leaving it there.” He then added, “It’s also an eyesore for anybody visiting our campus, practically seeing the entire place under construction doesn’t help us with first impressions.”

Human Trafficking

Rape culture is defined as, “a society or environment whose prevailing social attitudes have the effect of normalizing or trivializing sexual assault and abuse,” by Oxford dictionary. Documentaries like “Surviving International Boulevard” highlight the all too real problem of human trafficking, including the trafficking of children for sex in the Bay Area, in particular, Oakland, is a hub.

Santa Cruz Police Chief Andy Mills says, “It’s the new crack cocaine.” The FBI identifies the San Francisco Bay Area as one of the highest-intensity child sex trafficking areas in the country. “84 minors were recovered, and 120 traffickers were arrested as part of Operation Cross Country XI, a nationwide effort focusing on underage human trafficking that ran from October 12-15, 2017,” according to FBI officials in the San Francisco media office.

Motivating, Inspiring, Supporting & Serving Sexually Exploited Youth, or MISSY, “has devoted its energy to the heartbreaking epidemic of commercial sexual exploitation by supporting and advocating for youth who are victims of child sex trafficking.”

Survivors Healing, Advising and Dedicated to Empowerment, or the S.H.A.D.E. project is, “an organization that’s all about survivors who are against gender violence, social injustice, and sexual exploitation. S.H.A.D.E is a survivor run consulting project coming together to speak out for survivors and to work with other community groups, agencies, and governmental offices about survivor issues.

Heather Monasky says, “People in prostitution lack basic freedom: freedom over their bodies, freedom to manage their own lives, and freedom to live without fear.” Ashleigh M. Kline, the writer of “The Fallacy of Free Will in Prostitution: Encouraging Prostitution Reform to Prevent the Repeated Victimization of Vulnerable Persons,” explains, “there is no free will or choice in prostitution, and a prostitute is always an object and a victim.”

Resources are available, and survivors are out there looking to provide information and assistance. If you see something, say something.

Resources are available. People, survivors invite anyone looking for information or assistance.

We offer specialized expertise, advice to public sector education, health, human services, and other state, county, and municipal governments business. We provide research, focus groups, training, public speaking, awareness events, peer counseling, program development, advocacy and skill building, survivor leadership.

Board of Trustees Meets at LPC

November 14 the CLPCCD Board of Trustees met for the sixth open session meeting since the three senates of Chabot formally expressed the need to become a sanctuary campus. Las Positas’ response to their solidarity with Chabot came in the form of a resolution of their own. “We started with Chabot Colleges’ resolution…Then we made adjustments to it to fit our needs here at Las Positas,” said Ashley Young, an LPC faculty member involved in drafting their resolution. Students and faculty from both campuses were present, expressing support for a sanctuary district.

Among other agenda items and concerns from both colleges, Chabot faculty members like Carolyn Arnold came to speak, “in support of the vote of no confidence,” for Chancellor Jackson and her office. Directly addressing Chancellor Jackson and Vice Chancellor Johns, Arnold continues, “you’ve brought in a top-down approach to our district that does not fit the culture of our colleges. This management style doesn’t respect the will or the wisdom of our colleges, and instead seeks to control our direction by overriding our decision about our budgets, our programs, our hiring, and in many other areas.”

As Arnold wraps up, going just over the three-minute time limit set by the board, in the middle of her sentence, the microphone suddenly cuts off. Referring to a police officer overseeing the security of the meeting, a member of the public shouts, “he said to turn it off after three minutes.” As members of the public begin to lash out, board chair, President Hal G. Chin states, “keep it on at all times. Don’t turn it off.”

“Some things don’t change,” says longtime Chabot faculty member Adolf Oliver. “I would hope that someday the district can hire administrators who pull us together and don’t tear us apart,” says Oliver.

Referring to the LPC sanctuary resolution, Young says, “Is it perfect? No. We could spend another thousand hours working on this, and still not have it be perfect … it says everything we want it to say in a way that we’re happy with, and more importantly, it doesn’t inadvertently say something that we don’t want it to say. I really want to urge you to act quickly, not rashly, but quickly, as it is better to say almost exactly what you wanted to say at the right time than to say exactly what you want to say when it’s too late.”

Districtwide support for a sanctuary status is undeniable. Las Positas Student Kirsty Burges says, “I’m here in support of the passing of the sanctuary campus resolution … Some people think of this campus as a home … everyone should feel safe at their home.

Angela Vasquez, “a proud DACA student,” at Los Positas comes from the heart of personal experience telling the board to, “put yourself in their shoes. I was nine when I came to the United States,” pausing for a brief moment trying to gather her emotions tears began to be shed, “not knowing what was going to happen to me next…11 years later, getting an education for myself, not only getting the best grades I can, but also being involved in Las Positas student government, I’m also on the speech team and working really hard with the undocu-allie task force for those students that, just like me, want to feel safe. I want to be that voice of those people that really feel ashamed of where they come from…I am proud of where I came from. I want to be safe in this school because I love this school.”

Valerie Liu

Are you an artist? Most of us are and may not even know or at least acknowledge it. Art is not only drawing or painting, but it has a wide array of creative activities such as music, poetry, literature, dance, graphic design and more. Some may even debate that being a bartender or mixologist, and even making a sandwich can be considered art. I’m not here to argue that, however, I do make some mean sandwiches that would teach your taste buds some creativity.

Oxford dictionary defines art as, “the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination.” But, what does it mean to be an established or published artist? How do we take our art to the next level? What does it take? Is it practice, patience and putting yourself out there?

I had the privilege of speaking with artist Valerie Liu, a former Chabot student whose artwork has been featured in previous issues of the Spectator. She also, created the logo for the Bullet Cast, a Spectator-featured podcast that highlights the world of professional wrestling.

“Honestly, it was intimidating initially, to have my artwork as the face of a wrestling podcast (since I know nothing about wrestling) but, since doing the artwork and listening to the podcast a couple of times, I am glad I did it! I love the guys from The Bullet Cast, and I really like doing art for them!” said Valerie.

“I’ve been an artist since childhood; art was something that I just had a knack for since I was a kid. It wasn’t until high school that I realized that I wanted to pursue art seriously,” declared Valerie.

Her Instagram account is filled with expressive and impressive drawings. A few of my personal favorites include portraits of President John F Kennedy and Eleven from the Netflix original series, “Stranger Things.”

“I love sharing my artwork, I am seriously so thankful to The Spectator for giving me the opportunity to have my art in the paper, it is really rewarding to see my art on campus,” Valerie humbly stated. Along with her love for art, Valerie also enrolled in classes at Chabot to strengthen her ability, “My favorite piece I have drawn is a self-portrait in graphite for Art 1A, it really pushed me to do more realistic art, and It was fun to see how well I could render my own face.”

It is never too late to start practicing. With such persistence, Valerie expressed, “I post art daily on my Instagram, but I’ve also been trying my hand at comics. Mostly, I am just working on expanding my audience and working on expanding my skill as well.” She is also, working diligently on her portfolio with hopes to transfer to Art School.

Be on the lookout. You may see her work in the near future! For now, you can check out her artistry on her Instagram account @Valerie.Liu. For all artists, don’t be afraid to put your stuff out there. The only person who can deny your art is yourself.

Diversity Day

On November 13 at 1 p.m. in the Ceasar Chavez Plaza, The Spectator had the opportunity to witness KCRH’s first Diversity Day. Students had the opportunity to learn how diverse Chabot College actually is. Diversity Day was also joined by Chabot College’s library, which provided resources such as books about different cultures for students to further educate themselves.
 
The festival offered students not only the chance to become knowledgeable of different cultures on campus but provide a chance to relax between classes. Many students were not aware of the event, but many were intrigued about what was happening. Activities included an interactive drum circle joined by The Spectator’s own Lorenzo Caballero and Sonny Alvarado as well as fresh fruit for snacking courtesy of “Nesions Unite.”
 
Diversity Day brought out students that happened to see the event and join in with the interactive activities. The event gave a platform to showcase developed clubs such as: Nesions Unite. When asked about what exactly is Nesions Unite, Taufa Setefamo, Nesions Unites’ club leader, stated, “Nesions Unite was created so that all Nesions know that there’s a club that has resources, and build a community.” All members of Nesions Unite made sure to enlighten students on their club information, everything down to the three categories of Pacific Islanders
 
Chabot Student Joan Cortez, a Member of the Justice Art Collective Program, explained the Umoja Organization, “An education community that is aimed toward African American students and African American studies.” This raised the question of “What ethnicity do you identify as?” He explained that he identified as a Latino male but specified that his mother was from a region in Mexico where they had more African roots as well.

Trump’s Twitter

On Thursday, November 2, the President’s Twitter account was deleted by a rogue employee at the company causing President Trump’s account to be down for over 11 minutes.

In a scramble that very night the account was eventually recovered and brought back. The initial thinking was that it might have been a mistake, but it was found that a contract employee on the last day of his job had caused the deletion. This made it even more difficult for the company who regularly relies on contract employees to fill in positions.

The President later tweeted out that day, “My Twitter account was taken down for 11 minutes by a rogue employee. I guess the word must finally be getting out- and having an impact.”

Twitter plans on increasing security and putting more scrutiny on its employees after the incident. In a tweet by Twitter’s government account on the 2nd of November, they conducted a full internal review.

According to The New York Times, often the deletion of accounts are “an easy two- or three-step process, according to current and former Twitter employees. Certain teams at the company — including trust and safety, and operations — have access to all accounts including the highest levels.”

However, “Twitter customer support does not have any access to the accounts of people, nor can they tweet on behalf of other users,” citing that there is very limited access to accounts according to The New York Times.

“I think it’s pretty funny how his account just disappeared like that, it’s almost as if your words have real-world consequences,” says Rico Rodolfo, Chabot Student. “He gets away with saying a lot of things online, but when it catches up to him, I think it’s hilarious.”

It remains unclear as to how the rogue employee was able to delete the president’s account.

Net Neutrality

The internet acts as a utility that connects millions of people. Each internet user is connected through the system which is provided by one’s internet service provider. As it stands, the data flows around and moves freely, and there is no one entity in the United States who controls this massive information current. By paying a fee to internet service providers, (ISPs) such as Comcast, Verizon, or AT&T, users get access to this network. The current system runs off the principle of net neutrality, the idea that ISPs must provide fair access to all the internet at consistent speeds, no matter the content or business ties they may have.

Currently, net neutrality is threatened. On Dec. 14, the FCC will vote on whether or not the Obama Administration rules on the protection of net neutrality should be overturned. There is a high likelihood that the FCC will end net neutrality, because of heavy lobbying from the three major ISPs. Comcast alone spent $1.7 million from 2016-2017 for lobbying on Capitol Hill against net neutrality. Back when the rules protecting net neutrality were put into place, the FCC was controlled by Democrats, but that has since changed with the Trump presidency, which is generally against keeping the internet free.

Without net neutrality, broadband companies would be able to influence their customers’ access to websites by having the right to completely block them, because they are a competitor, or slowing down the streaming speeds of websites so that that company would have to pay more to access higher bandwidth speeds. If companies were allowed to interfere with internet access, they would be able to monetize both the user trying to access the internet and the companies trying to get people to use their service. The Big Three ISPs believe that they should be able to do this because the internet content creator companies, such as Netflix, take up to 30% of the total internet bandwidth and should, therefore, be forced to pay for the upkeep of the infrastructure. This is thought to be fair since the companies are participating in the free market, and the cost of upgrading the system to expand the bandwidth should not be left on the users.

The internet is a massive social and cultural achievement that allows humans unprecedented access to information. Besides giving a small number of companies the power to freely expand the maturing internet system, no net neutrality would also mean that these certain companies could also put speed bumps or roadblocks to the internet where they deem necessary. Allowing private companies that are only interested in increasing their profits to act as gatekeepers, would destroy the current level of freedom that the internet has. With no net neutrality, big ISPs could favor websites they have business ties with, and slow their competitors down. Competition is what keeps any market healthy.

Most Americans don’t have any choice but to deal with these slowed down speeds since the majority of people have access to only one high-speed internet provider. If Comcast or Verizon were able to deter competition, there wouldn’t be anything stopping them from blocking content or messages that they don’t support. The internet would be shaped in a way that is solely beneficial to them. Websites would not be the only thing affected either. In 2012, AT&T slowed bandwidth speeds to people using Apple’s FaceTime. There would be nothing from stopping AT&T from doing something similar again. Such a powerful invention should not be turned into a business model.

California Congressman Eric Swalwell, who represents the majority of Alameda County, is outraged that the FCC wants to, “.. tip the internet’s scales toward the wealthy & powerful.” The protection of net neutrality keeps the playing field fair for both businesses and everyday users. If losing your current internet access outrages you, contact your representative by phone, email, letter, in person, on social media, or through a pigeon messenger. Every single voice does make a difference. Congress cannot make decisions with the FCC, but it can pass bills to intervene with the FCC’s decision.

The freedom to watch as much cat videos as one wants at 3 a.m. is what makes the internet great. Having only a small handful of companies controlling a massive part of data just because they act as the middlemen to the access of this data, does not make sense. The internet has been in control of the masses for all of its existence, and it has grown up just fine without interference. Gatekeeping the internet should never be profit-driven, and whoever does control it, should always have the interests of the people who expand its content in mind.