Monthly Archives: April 2018

Netflix’s Icarus: A Review

Scandals are commonplace in the world today. We hear about them every day on the internet, on news channels, even through word of mouth. Big or small, these scandals affect the population in a negative way. There will be many people jumping in on it on social media, condemning an event or person for what they caused and what was hidden over the years that was brought to light. When it happens to a person we have looked up to for years it’s a punch to the gut and a stab to the heart. What happens when it’s on an international scale?

Icarus is a documentary by Bryan Fogel about the Russian doping scandal uncovered in 2016. The documentary details Bryan Fogel’s journey into the experimental world of doping in sports and how it led him to the largest doping scandal in Olympic history.

For those who are not aware of the scandal, the story was published by The New York Times in 2016. Grigory Rodchenkov’s testimony detailed Russia’s state-sponsored doping program and how it affected past summer and winter Olympic events. Rodchenkov was originally the team’s doctor, working late at night close to the stadium in Sochi. The process of cheating drug tests was detailed by Rodchenkov and led to the Olympic committee temporarily banning Russia from competing in any other Olympic sporting events. He does not regret telling this information, but it does put his life in danger.

The film will keep you intrigued until the very end, wondering what will happen to Fogel and everyone else involved as the scandal breaks. The connections to many other smaller doping scandals, from Lance Armstrong to Barry Bonds, helps put into perspective what Bryan Fogel planned to achieve in this film as well as provide information as to how deep scandals can go.

The film drags in places in which there are slow moments that reflect on the weight of the situation, but those don’t last long as there is always some interesting scenes around the corner. Information is presented in a way so that keeps you interested and glued to the screen for the duration of the movie.

Overall, Icarus is a long, detailed look into the controversial world of doping and how it affects athletes as well as the Olympics. If you want a film to keep you interested and keeps you guessing, this is the movie to watch. With its suspenseful and emotional moments, this is one documentary you don’t want to miss.

The film was nominated for and won Best Documentary at the 2018 Oscars. Icarus is now available for streaming only on Netflix.

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Profile of the Golden State Killer

In an age of television programming like CSI and Forensic Files, it’s hard to imagine a time before DNA sequencing and profiling. On screen, we see lab technicians and detectives rejoice as the computer pings, indicating a match. Their squad cars converge onto a suspect’s house, and they take him away in handcuffs. They always seem to get their man.

The stark reality is that many homicides go unsolved. According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, from 1980 to 2008, law enforcement agencies in California solved only 58 percent of homicides in the state, leaving 33,456 homicide cases cold.

Cold cases involving 12 homicides and 50 rapes that occurred in California from 1976 to 1986 were all crimes committed by one man. Both a lack of communication between police departments and the antiquated case analysis of the time left detectives in disparate departments in the dark that they were dealing with one of the most prolific sadosexual killers in the nation’s history.

Investigators in Sacramento called him the East Area Rapist. Their counterparts in Southern California dubbed him the Original Night Stalker because elements of his crimes were similar to those of Richard Ramirez, a serial killer in Los Angeles commonly referred to as The Night Stalker. Once the crimes were connected through criminal and DNA profiling, he was given the handle of The Golden State Killer, or GSK, by the late journalist and true crime author Michelle McNamara.

For more than 40 years, law enforcement agencies across California have been hunting this serial rapist and murderer. The GSK began offending in the sleepy subdivisions of Sacramento, but his seemingly nomadic lifestyle brought his campaign of violence to the East Bay as he stalked victims in San Ramon, Danville, Concord, and Walnut Creek. As the years passed, he moved hundreds of miles south to commit similar crimes in towns along the Santa Barbara coastline, and his last confirmed murders occurred in small suburban cities outside of Los Angeles.

Memories of the crimes, law enforcement techniques and investigative technologies have all changed in the four decades since the crimes were committed. These changing factors have helped investigations in some ways and hindered them in others. After all the time that has passed, though, detectives have remained persistent and resolved to hunt down the GSK by whatever means necessary.

Profiling is an investigative tool that helps law enforcement agencies to create a composite description of a suspect. These include physical, behavioral/psychological, genetic and geographical profiles. Each of these profiling techniques takes into account different aspects of evidence collected from the scenes of the crimes: witness and victim statements and physical evidence collection as well as data analyses regarding the locations and timings of the crimes.

The physical profile of the GSK is a result of all the victim statements in his early crimes. Before his offenses escalated to murder in Central and Southern California, he left behind living victims and witnesses in over 50 sexual assault crimes in Northern California. The victims describe him as a white man in his mid-20s with a tan complexion. He was between 5’9” and 5’11” with an athletic build and muscular legs, probably placing his weight around 170 pounds. One unique description was that of his manhood: many victims described him as being “under-endowed.” Footwear impressions from many crime scenes were of men’s size nine or nine and a half athletic sneakers. He always wore a ski mask or hood obscuring his face.

The behavioral or psychological profile of the GSK might be equally illuminating to his identity. His actions before, during and after the crimes speak volumes to how he thought and felt. Regarding motive, the GSK seems to have been motivated strictly by sexual violence. He would leave money and other valuables behind, opting instead to ransack the victims’ homes for trinkets and keepsakes. Sometimes he would leave these mementos from previous crimes at the homes of later victims.

    Initially, the GSK went after young women who were home alone. His consistency in this regard revealed the cunning designs that went into his planning of an attack. Victims said he seemed to know his way around the house; he knew family and relatives were gone and when to expect their return.

During a town hall meeting held by Sacramento officials regarding the series of sexual assaults, a local businessman stood up to speak. He said that the rapist was too afraid to attack a household where a man could defend his family. Gauntlet so thrown, the GSK took this as a challenge to his abilities. A few weeks later, that same man’s wife was raped after his wrists and ankles were bound at gunpoint.

The GSK began regularly assaulting victims while they were home with their husbands. The victims would wake in their beds to a blinding flashlight beam. Through clenched teeth, the GSK would order the woman to bind her partner’s hands and feet. He would then stack dishes on the man’s back, saying that if he heard the plates clink and fall, he would murder both them and the rest of their family. He would take the female victim to another room and assault her while her partner lay bound and powerless to stop the violence occurring just yards away.

The GSK would sometimes linger in the house after the sexual assaults. He would raid the fridge, eating leftovers and drinking a few beers. Many victims said he would whisper in their ears that if they moved or made a noise, he would kill them. Then he would slink into the shadows.

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Chabot Student Advocacy

Chabot paid for 14 of our peers to have the opportunity to visit our nation’s capital for the National Student Advocacy Conference hosted by the ASACC (American Student Association of Community Colleges) from March 14 through 21.

SSCC advisors Ellen Corbett, Arnold Paquio, and Ben Nash made the trip possible through their efforts and organization. “The purpose of this conference is to enhance the ability of Chabot College students to effectively advocate on behalf of themselves and their peers, and to share their newfound skills and knowledge with their communities,” reads the application authored by SSCC Vice President Sharon Dang.

Following the return home, Patrick Mwamba says his highlight of the trip was, “finding out how important advocacy at the national level is.”

Nash, former Student Senate President, says, “practicing with students to perfect their presentations for our Members of Congress,” and, “attending the Town Hall event with Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and filmmaker Michael Moore,” were his favorite moments.

The ASACC website describes an intention of the National Advocacy Conference is to get community college students to, “listen, learn and lead.”

“The conference will provide general sessions, keynote speakers, workshops and forums designed to educate the student participants on the major issues that are critical to community colleges,” according to their website.

Keynote speaker Ralph Nader referred to, “the fire in the belly,” speaking to the passion behind advocacy.

“My favorite workshop was the one on free community college,” says Jonathon Ortega.

The SSCC could only approve the budget for the trip because of the students who opted to pay the, “$10 student body fee,” where, “the SSCC gets its entire budget from,” says SSCC Representative at Large Lesly Avendano.

“As someone who loves art and architecture, seeing all the buildings, seeing the history of the country and its founding ideas through art was one of the highlights for me personally,” said Gladwin Sy.

Mwamba adds, “hanging out with everyone, discovering their passions, interests, our similarities, and learning different perspectives,” were a few of his favorite moments.

Mwamba, “especially loved the mac n’ cheese the first night, and all that  great food.”

Spring Around the World

Spring is celebrated in many ways all around the world. It’s recognized by many cultures as a time for new life. We will take a brief look at how spring is celebrated across the world, in America, and what Chabot college students were up to during their spring break.

In America, the most well-known recognition of the coming of spring for a student in all levels of education is the all too short Spring break.

Spring break has a notorious reputation for being accompanied by loud music, loud college students, and liquor, as well as other substances and herbs.

College students weren’t the only ones celebrating in an altered state. Some of the worlds ancient cultures did too, perhaps with more intention.

Some ancient Greek disciplines were known to use psychedelics during their celebration of the spring equinox. According to the Ancient History Encyclopedia website, some ancient Greeks, “would fast, and would then drink a barley and mint beverage called Kykeon.”

In ELEUSIS: Journal of Psychoactive Plants and Compounds, Peter Webster suggests, “the ergot species Claviceps purpurea was the probable source of psychoactive ingredient for the elixir. C. purpurea and related parasitic fungi produce lysergic acid alkaloids (a precursor to LSD), among which are several known psychedelic compounds as well as other important pharmaceuticals.”

The Lunar New Year, commonly called the Chinese New Year, is also known as the Spring Festival. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica website, the Lunar Year is also referred to as the “Chinese Chunjie, Vietnamese Tet, Korean Solnal, and Tibetan Losar.”

These are only some of the many ways that spring is celebrated around the world. So, what were Chabot college students up to during their spring break?

Chabot student Samuel Guerra says, “I used spring break to study a bunch and get caught up.”

Student Body President Zaheer Ebtikar “sent applications into east coast universities and tutored some highschool students for their upcoming June SAT’s.”

Chabot student Patrick Mwamba “didn’t really have a spring break. I still had work for my online classes and their midterms. I was also organizing the gun forum we had April 7 on campus.”

Though it wasn’t all business for some. Former student body president, now Berkeley student Ben Nash, “drove to Santa Barbara, went out with an old friend to celebrate her birthday, hiked in the Marin Headlands, and laid in a hammock to read a good book unaware of time and other responsibilities.”

Ebtikar adds, “I got the chance to go to Thornton beach, Lanark Shelby Park and Tilden Park.”

Mwamba did, “manage a weekend Vegas trip.”

So, professors and parents rest assured, most of us didn’t follow the example of the ancient Greeks and their psychedelic Kykeon beverage and really, “didn’t do too much else besides study,” says Guerra.

Salsa, Spices up the Night

On March 15, 2018, Chabot College Jazz Ensemble performed an amazing Salsa Concert with special guests, vocalist Michelle Talley and the Even Swing Big Band, directed by Jon Palacio Jr. at the Performing Arts Center.

From the very beginning, the audience was encouraged to dance on the dance floor that was provided for them. Individuals of all ages took advantage of it while being serenaded by Michelle Talley and enjoying the rhythms of the Jazz Ensemble.

Michelle Talley, the vocalist of the night, is an upcoming Jazz artist with a passion for the stage. Opening with “Mama Guela” composed by Jon Palacio Jr. really got the crowd moving. Talley has a B.A. in Theater from the University of Santa Cruz. She’s been traveling and singing for about ten years now which led her from The House of Blues in L.A. to the many venues the San Francisco Bay Area has to offer. Be on the lookout for Talley. She’ll surely make a huge impact in the Bay Area jazz scene.

Things ended on a great note with the performance of the Even Swing Big Band. Their momentum didn’t slow down one bit when they performed hit after hit. The crowd’s favorites were “Save the Last Dance for me” and “All The Things You Are” which were composed by Jon Palacio Sr. and Jon Palacio Jr. respectively. There were individuals still dancing the night away, and you could hear the disappointment of the crowd when the band finished their set.

If you haven’t been to the Jazz Ensemble concerts here at Chabot College before, you’re missing out! The next shows are scheduled on May 10, 2018, with The Jazz Combo Concert at the Recital Hall. On May 17, 2018, The Big Band Concert with special guest, Francisco Torres is scheduled at the Performing Arts Center. Support the Arts here at Chabot! You will not be disappointed.

Chabot Art Gallery Reopening

Last October the Chabot College Art Gallery had to shut its doors because of lack of operational funding and the community as well as the student body’s outcry did not fall on deaf ears. During the Galleries closure, managerial changes took place with Aaron Deetz, an instructor of photography, taking over for Diane Zuliani a history instructor as the coordinator of the art gallery.

I asked professor Deetz how he felt when the art gallery closed and he said “It was hard for the whole division to lose a space the students use to showcase their work. Nobody was happy about it, but everybody was dedicated to reopening the gallery.” He told me that he was stoked about the art gallery reopening and the new direction of the art gallery will be to have the students run the shows so that they’re just as invested as the faculty.

   Just six months after the doors were closed for what the community thought to be indefinitely the Dean of Arts, Media and Communication Deonne Kunkel had other plans. I talked to her in-between meetings to ask her why reopening the art gallery was so important to her, and she told me “I made it a priority to reopen the art gallery to give the students and our community the opportunity be able to express themselves through art.” I questioned her to where the money came from, and she told me that she with the coordination of Vice President Stacy Thompson and support of the President of Chabot were able to reallocate monies to reopen the gallery. “ I’m excited we have a lot of student showcases coming shortly.”

   The student’s opinions and feelings who were affected the most were heard and swift action taken to reopen the gallery. I asked freshmen art student Roseanne Bengco who recently found out that the gallery will be reopening on a scale of one to ten how excited she was? “Ten, It means a lot as an artist to have a place to showcase your work and take pride in the effort you put into your craft and to receive feedback from people about your work. It makes the process all worth it.”

   The art gallery will be hosting a digital media and photography showcase on April 12 and on the April 26 a foundation studio arts showcase for painting and drawing.

Veterans Succeed at Chabot

Veterans have a long history of utilizing their benefits for education and veterans at Chabot are no exception. Roughly three percent of our student population is veterans, and most of them utilize the benefits at the veterans office.

After World War II veterans were given educational benefits to help return them to the workforce and that tradition continues today. Many student veterans utilize the generous GI bill as they complete their educations.

Student Veterans tend to have a higher success rate than non-veteran students 72 to 42 percent higher depending on how you look at the numbers.

National Veteran Success tracker or NVST is a lobbying group that does have a vested interest in seeing the GI succeed. NVST does have some concern as Congress is rolling back some of the benefits. So they do try to make student veterans look more successful.

“Being a veteran makes you financially set up.” Said Krista a veteran program coordinator, Army veteran, Criminal Justice major, and second-year Chabot student when asked to justify why veterans have a higher success rate than average students.

Michael, a third-year computer science major and army veteran said, “Veterans have a sense of community and are willing to help.”

That being said why 42 percent vs. 72 percent? Their statistics do include 18 percent still attending college. And another 10 percent that got a vocational degree or certificate but may have even flunked out of college. That being said it still does beat the lowest number for civilians at 39 percent most likely due to readily available financial aid.

The typical veteran is a 25-29-year-old Latino or White man, older than most Chabot students. They make up roughly 3 percent of Chabot’s student population while making up 5 percent of degrees or certificates issues in 2016.

If you’re curious about what Chabot veterans center can provide from medical benefits to comfort dogs, please visit room building 2300, 2nd floor, room 2353 (Above the cafeteria). Melissa, the program coordinator, said: “she is happy to give back to veterans.” Chabot welcomes all those who serve, and/or plan to serve our country.

Survive a School Shooter

In the past few years, the United States has unfortunately seen a spike in school shootings. Most recently, on March 20, two students were injured during a shooting at Great Mills High School in Lexington Park, Maryland. This comes just weeks after the tragic shooting in Parkland, Florida when a former student snapped and killed 17 people, including both students and staff.

There have been countless rallies and protest held against the current gun laws. Many parents are expressing concern for the safety of their children, and many students admit to being afraid of the “norm” that this has become.

In an attempt to make students aware and prepared in the case of an emergency, Chabot teamed up with the Hayward Police Department to join in on the ‘Run Hide Fight’ campaign. A campaign designed to teach students how to survive an active shooter.

The video is narrated by Lieutenant Antonio Puente, who walks us through the steps to take in case a shooter is on campus. While Puente speaks, the viewer watches a mock active shooter situation going through the campus of Chabot. The shooter is portrayed by actress/producer Connie Jo Sechrist.

Sechrist, a San Jose native and former Chabot TV employee, admitted she felt “very uncomfortable” while portraying the shooter in the video. “The whole point of making the video is to help save lives, and when we decided to make the shooter a woman, I was for it. But in reality, I had to step outside of my comfort zone to play the role. I don’t want people to be scared of me.” Sechrist hopes that this project sends a message to viewers to “stand up, protect yourself and others, to not let this continue and to fight back.”

I showed the video to a couple of students and got feedback on what they believe would be the best tactic to remain safe during a shooting. “I would run, but I would also try to locate where the shooter is and avoid that area,” a student named Gabriel said to me. His friend, Christian, followed by saying “I would try to find an empty room to hide in.” Both of which are great options to keep in mind.

Sechrist is currently working on a feature film about human trafficking in which she hopes to bring awareness and expose the truth behind the epidemic. To hear more about Sechrist upcoming projects visit her website, www.ConnieJoSechrist.com. This story was originally covered by the Spectator, last year.

Meeting With Our Chancellor: Jannett N. Jackson

The Chancellor of the Chabot-Las Positas Community College District, Jannett N. Jackson, visited our campus on March 1, 2018, for a series of listening sessions following last semesters vote of no confidence submitted by the Faculty Senate.

Student Senator Theresa Pedrosa says, “I was surprised that the chancellors listening sessions weren’t listed on Chabot’s online calendar so students would know about it.”

Student body president Zaheer Ebtikar says, “the chancellor was not there to apologize or make amends, but instead to justify her position to the faculty, classified, administrative, and student’s voice.”

In her opening of the last session in the series, giving some framework for the listening session, Chancellor Jackson says, “I am here to listen, I’m not here to speak.”

Chabot faculty member Andrew Pierson, reading from a note he received under his office door from a concerned colleague, says, “as a classified professional, I’m afraid to voice my concerns for fear of retaliation having heard about the actions of human resource management, which were inappropriate and in poor judgment.”

Pierson, continuing from the letter, “Chancellor Jackson has been asked about her leadership style and perception that the district acts as though the colleges are here to serve it as opposed to the other way around. She has dismissively stated that it is only Chabot and not LPC who has this concern.”

In response, Chancellor Jackson says, “My leadership style has fit this district for the last five years. The only concern has come up in this last year.”

Referencing the, “several issues, not adequately addressed in the public forum,”  Chancellor Jackson says, “face to face conversations are the best way to get to the core of the issue, instead of having a public dialogue where we’re trying to get our point across and aren’t really looking for information.”

As the session becomes more of, “a shouting match,” according to Board secretary Gin, Chabot faculty Ming Ho says, “I feel like I’m arguing with a ninth grader.”

Chancellor Jackson replies, “That goes both ways. I don’t know you, and I don’t think you know me.”

Reflecting on the listening session series, Chabot student Gladwin Sy says, “I came to observe, but didn’t see anything encouraging. There was a lot of tension, and the Chancellor seemed like she didn’t want to be there.”

Student Discounts

Hey, Gladiators! Here’s a list compiled by Spectator staff of stores/website’s that offer student discounts! You’re welcome.

School Supplies

  • FEDEX OFFICE

Use your student ID to save 20 – 30 percent off document’s and shipping services

  • AMAZON

You’re student .edu email will get a six month free trial of prime benefits, then ½ of prime services after the trial

  • JO-ANN FABRIC

Register with Jo-Ann Student Discount Program and receive 10 percent off on all purchases, plus special coupons to use online and in store

“That’s crazy I go to Chipotle all the time, and school supplies are good to know about, and the AMC theater I know for sure is super expense on the weekends so with a student discount it’ll be cheaper.” – Jefferson, Chabot College

Bookstores / Publications

  • GUILFORD PRESS  

Order online with your student ID and use code STU81W to receive 40 percent off books, videos, newsletters, and journals

  • BARNES AND NOBLE  

Use code, STUDIOUS and get $10 off every $100 spent on new and used textbooks

  • THE NEW YORK TIMES  

Just sign up with your school name and boom! The New York Times at only $1 per week

  • THE WALL STREET JOURNAL  

Another great newspaper and student’s get more than 75 percent off regular rates for print, online and mobile delivery

Clothing/Merchandise

  • MYUNIDAYS.COM

Sign up with and verify your student .edu email and instantly gain access to exclusive codes for all your favorite brands including BOOHOO Clothing, Lime Crime Makeup, New Balance Footwear, Apple and so, so much more. ( Also find discounts on getaways, home goods, and food goods!)

Food

Flash your student ID at the \participating restaurants to receive free drinks and/or 10 percent off your meal!  

  1. CHIPOTLE
  2. WAFFLE HOUSE
  3. CHICK FIL A
  4. BURGER KING
  5. SUBWAY

Services

  1. T-MOBILE*
  2. SPRINT*
  3. AT&T *
  4. STATE FARM INSURANCE **
  5. GEICO **
  6. ALLSTATE INSURANCE **
  7. JIFFY LUBE – Your student ID will get you $10 or 10 percent off at Jiffy

“I didn’t know about any of these.” – Sarah, Chabot College

* Sign up with your student .edu email to see what offers the phone providers currently offer students

** Full Time Students with good grades, receive up to 25 percent off insurance services. Do your research to figure out which service fits you best.

Entertainment and Transportation

  1. AMC THEATER – Visit on Thursday’s to get cheaper admission with a student ID
  2. CINEMARK – Show your ID at the box office for special rates daily
  3. MADAME TUSSAUDS – 15 percent off admission
  4. GREYHOUND & AMTRAK – Sign up for a Student Advantage Discount Card to save 20 percent on Greyhound fares, 15 percent on Amtrak fares and more

“I knew about some of these but definitely not all. These are super useful. Really good to know about.” – George, Chabot College

Also worth mentioning, Chabot’s Bookstore price matches! So make sure to check online for cheaper deals on textbooks before purchasing.