Monthly Archives: May 2019

Mental Health Meal

In honor of Mental Awareness Month, fast-food chain Burger King has introduced “Real Meals” to increase understanding about issues surrounding mental well-being.

This recent campaign is not only a collaboration with nonprofit organization Mental Health America (MHA), it is also taking jabs at fast-food chain McDonald’s Happy Meals. Burger King understands that not everyone is happy all the time, and as part of their campaign, they’ve swapped out their “Have It Your Way” slogan to “Feel Your Way.”

In a recent statement on, president and chief executive of MHA Paul Gionfriddo said, “While not everyone would think about pairing fast food and mental health, MHA believes in elevating the conversation in all communities to address mental illness before Stage 4.”

According to MHA’s website, Stage 4 of Mental Health is the combination of extreme, prolonged and persistent symptoms and impairment often resulting in the development of other health conditions and has the potential to turn into a crisis event like unemployment, hospitalization, homelessness or even incarceration.

MHA’s website also states, 50 percent of Americans will meet the criteria for a diagnosable mental health condition sometime in their life, and half those people will develop conditions by the age of 14. MHA’s Before Stage 4 campaign hopes to address mental health issues before anyone reaches that point.

Five limited-edition themed Whopper meal boxes were introduced as the Real Meals. There is the pissed in red, blue for sad, salty in teal, yaaas in purple and “don’t give a f” (DGAF) in black. Since the campaign is relatively new, the Real Meals have only been introduced in a few major cities, including Seattle, New York, Los Angeles, Austin, and Miami.

Burger King has also introduced a 2-minute ad introducing the Real Meals and why Mental Health conditions should be recognized more frequently. Since the ad has aired, it has been deemed controversial as many people have commented on the campaign and its ad either praising or criticizing it.

From a statement on, Doctor Kate Ryan said, “The problem with this campaign is that it doesn’t read as authentic or genuine for the brand. While mental health awareness is an extremely worthy topic that sounded fun and flashy in the room, it was never sense-checked on whether it was true to the brand or of the mental health crisis in America.”

Marketing futurist Tony Chapman on LinkedIn said, “What I can’t stomach is the connection back to sales. If BK had followed one of two paths, 100 percent supporting mental health through their foundation or using their Unhappy Meals as a fun way to poke the McBear, my sentiments would be different.”

Burger King may have its criticizers for the approach they took on mental health awareness, but they also found many individuals who supported the campaign and how Burger King has shined a light on a much-needed issue in America.

Chabot student Mary Awuku said, “Yes, I do support Burger King’s efforts to acknowledge mental awareness because it gives attention to a diverse set of customers, and it is surprising.”

Ashna Narayan, Chabot student, said, “I would definitely get the meal to support the cause. The majority of customers go through a depressive state of mind almost every day, so for them to acknowledge it helps others know they’re not alone.”

Both supporters and critics of the campaign will be awaiting Burger King’s next move with Mental Awareness Month.

Chabot’s Health Clinic

Since January 2019, the new Student Health Center has been operating in Student Life Building 2300 and has taken action toward gathering the attention of fellow Chabot students for accessible health care.

The Student Health Center has always been an asset provided to students, but students are not aware that the Health Center is even here on campus. This was one reason why the Student Health Center had to relocate from its previous spot, in Building 200.

Student Health Clinic Supervisor and Licensed Vocational Nurse Janette Munoz said, “The student life building is the hub of the school, and we are all about access to care. Being where the students are is giving them easier access to the health center.”

This is a significant step toward getting more students to utilize the health clinic. “Currently we are promoting the health clinic,” Munoz said. “Our priority is providing care for all students, whatever their situation may be and we would like more students to stop by and take a look at their new health care center or ask any questions they may have.”

Before students go to register at the beginning of each school semester, they pay a mandatory $20 fee. This allows students access to all services provided by the health center.

“We provide immunizations, physical Exam, birth control methods, over the counter medications, STI testing, laboratory, TB Testing, and seasonal FLU vaccines,” Munoz said.

Some health care products and services are not provided with the mandatory student health fee, but the health center gives the students discounted prices to make it accessible. Nurse Practitioner Angie Girard said, “Health services are provided for free if the student has MediCal, Alameda Alliance, Anthem Blue Cross, or Health Pac.”

During the Summer of 2018, the Chabot Student Health Center was in search of a new health care operator because the contract with Stanford ValleyCare had expired. Chabot College chose not to renew their contract with Stanford ValleyCare and instead partnered up with Tiburcio Vasquez Health Center (TVHC) as their new health care operator.

Since 2006, the Chabot Student Health center has operated with several health care providers, St. Rose Hospital, Valleycare, and then Stanford Health Care consumed Valleycare in 2015 to officially become Stanford Valleycare.

Since 1971, TVHC has been providing care to all members of the community and is dedicated to promoting the health and well-being of the community. Vice President of Student Services Dr. Matt Kritscher said, “We are excited to be partnered up with Tiburcio Vasquez Health Center. With TVHC helping educate the community in health and providing community health, it made perfect sense for us to become partners with them.”

Signing up for the Student Health Center is very simple. Students can call or text (510) 471-5880 to make an appointment or also drop in from Monday through Thursday between the hours of 9 a.m. — 7 p.m.

Munoz said, “We understand that students are under a lot of stress, whatever their situation may be. Our priority is providing care for all students and giving the care they need and helping to them be successful.”

Discrimination Survey

Personal experiences with racial discrimination are common for Black/African-Americans and Doctoral student Leeza Reyburn has shown interest in this area and has designed her own research study on the bias toward Black/African-American women.

According to an article written by senior researcher Monica Anderson on, “roughly eight-in-ten blacks with at least some college experience (81 percent) say they’ve experienced discrimination, including 17 percent who say it happens to them regularly.”

Reyburn has not experienced acts of discrimination and racism herself; however, she wants to bring attention to the issue and how African-American women can process these experiences in their lives.

As an African-American woman, Reyburn has chosen to conduct this research because she has a personal interest in this study of having the same heritage and witnessing the problems African-American women can encounter. This is due to the negative impact that society enacts against them as members of an oppressed group.

Reyburn is a fourth-year student studying clinical psychology at the Wright Institute in Berkeley, California. Her research on this topic consists of scholarly articles from various journals within the field of clinical psychology as well as previous dissertation research conducted by doctoral students of psychology and social sciences as well.

Reyburn said, “For my dissertation research, I am trying to observe two factors, that of post-traumatic growth and racial trauma as they apply to Black/African-American identified women.”

Post-traumatic growth is the idea that a person can experience positive change as a result of a traumatic event. This can mean finding new opportunities through a crisis that weren’t there before, experiencing closer relationships with others that may have suffered traumatic events and also an increase in a person’s emotional strength after suffering through a crisis.

Racial trauma is the effects of racism on an individual’s mental and physical health. Feelings of anxiety, depression, and suicide are all factors from the effects of racism.

There are two parts to the research study, a 21-item questionnaire, and the second part as a phone interview that should take no more than an hour depending on the participants’ experiences and what they wish to share.

The questionnaires and phone interviews consist of asking the participants’ questions related to their lived experiences, such as ranking statements and reflecting on various ways that these experiences may have impacted them.

Reyburn said, “I am looking for at least eight more participants to fulfill my research requirements of studying the life experiences of 10 or more people who have had these experiences, specifically Black/African-American women.”

If interested in participating in this research study, feel free to email the researcher at [email protected]

A Tour of Chabot’s Bathrooms

Before, after, or during class, we all have to use the bathrooms at some time during the day. Is there a preferred restroom for most students? Is there a restroom students avoid? Do the conditions of the restrooms vary so much that we must ask these questions? In no way is this article intended to criticize Chabot staff. It is designed instead to raise awareness of the bathrooms and how their overall condition(s) can be improved.

“Most of the men’s rooms smell like guys are having an “aim for the ground” contest in there. Not only do we need more urinal cakes, but it should be a common thing for a janitor to check on them during college hours,” said Chabot student, LaRoy Fitch.

“The stench in most of the men’s restrooms are unbearable. I haven’t had that problem with the 400 and 700 buildings, which means a solution is available,” said Joan Cortes.

Many people contact security when they have issues with the bathrooms, but if you have an issue to report related to cleanliness or maintenance, it should be reported to someone in building 3000. Maintenance and Operations can be reached between 6 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. at (510) 723-7206.

Researching this article included surveys for most restrooms on campus. The sample days were in December and May. The number of sinks, paper towel dispensers, hand dryers, soap dispensers, ventilation, graffiti, and aroma were collected. Due to the number of bathrooms and limited space in the article, only unusual findings and their locations will be revealed.

In building 2600, the restroom featured 7 urinals and 3 out of 4 sinks were operational. The aroma was horrible, the best way to describe it without getting explicit is “fermented urine.” Conversely, Gina Johnson said, “the women’s restroom in 2600 is my favorite because it’s the cleanest one.” The price of tampons is also higher in 2600 compared to other buildings.

The women’s bathroom near the cafeteria has what appears to be an ongoing message board on at least one of the stalls — mostly in pencil.

A common theme in the women’s bathrooms seems to be poor locks on stalls. Some latch, but then a little wiggle will let the door loose, leaving you no choice but to hold the door closed with your foot while completing your business.

“My favorite bathroom is probably in building 400. I used to go to one in 800, but actually, I think both the women and men’s bathrooms have been closed there over a month, there’s a sign saying there’s been vandalism, I dunno what happened there, I mean how bad was it? I’ve also noticed the women’s bathroom on the back side of the doors will often have writing like “Girl, you’re beautiful” and “Girl power” But that’s positive, so I’m not sure if that’s considered vandalism.” Zeraka Mitchell, Communications studies teacher.

The restrooms in building 500, 1700, 100, and 3900 have horrible odors with students comments ranging from rancid to explicit. The restrooms in buildings 400 and 700 have little to no ventilation and odor problems. Building 700 features administration services while 400 contains many offices for the Chabot faculty.

Only five buildings contain mirrors that are not etched with graffiti, only three do not contain graffiti or erased graffiti remnants on any of the walls. Only two buildings feature men’s restrooms with baby changing stations. On the top floor of 2300, building 1500, and building 3500 contain the only gender-neutral bathrooms. Building 2300 does not feature a mirror.

Building 500 has graffiti of a male’s genitals etched into the bathroom sign on the right of the door, and building 200 features an etched “g-a-y” above “Men” on the sign to the right of the bathroom door. It’s unclear how long that offensive material has been there nor is there information on whom to contact to change this properly or for any other bathroom related incident.

Some initiatives to improve restrooms are underway, lead by students. The Get Woke Stay Woke organization’s push to provide free menstrual products in all bathrooms regardless if its men’s or women’s restroom. “Menstruation is not a choice, and for many its an added cost in life to have to purchase menstrual products,” Stephanie Contreras declared at an equity meeting in early December.

Some of the tiles, walls, and flooring in most of the bathrooms date as far back as the 1970s except for buildings 400, 700, and 1700 as they are newer buildings. The bathrooms need renovating and a method to inform Chabot staff about bathrooms that require attention needs to be implemented.

All we can do now is be more mindful and courteous when leaving the bathroom, since we must all share this resource together. Perhaps our aim can be a little better, as well as our cleanliness. Many people can recall several times this semester, seeing people exit the restroom without even washing their hands.

Facilities Plan

Chabot College is planning a transformation for its campus by introducing the Facilities Master Plan (FMP). The FMP is one of Chabot College’s long-ranging documents that identifies areas of the campus buildings, grounds, parking, and facilities that will be improved in the future.

The purpose of the FMP is to establish a plan for the future campus that will include more lecture spaces to support all Divisions, more indoor and outdoor spaces for student interactions, and more efficient and safer pathways through the campus and its surrounding community.

The prior college FMP was completed in 2012 and has been the planning document used during the past six years. It is traditionally updated every five to seven years to address changes on the campus and identify new program facility needs.

One of the FMP’s top priorities to design is the new Library and Learning Connection Building. It will become the main focal point of Chabot College and will be built at the Grand Court of Chabot College.

At first, the new Building 100 was not a part of the FMP project. Funding was insufficient for this idea to become a reality with Bond Measure B. Once Measure A was funded, the Facilities and Infrastructure Technology (FIT) Committee immediately identified and voted on Building 100 as one of the top priority projects, which was consistent with Measure A.

Chabot Library Dean Amy Mattern said, “Building 100 has long been the focal point of Chabot College. The Library and Learning Connection are hubs of learning, innovation, collaboration, and intellectual curiosity now, and we hope to continue and grow this in the new facility.”

The new building has not yet been fully designed, but tri-chairs of the Building 100 group plans envision a space that better reflects students’ current needs. Outreach and Instruction Librarian Pedro Reynoso said, “This will not be your “traditional” library. The building will have more collaborative spaces, more study group rooms, and also individual study spaces that reflect students’ study habits at Chabot.”

Tri-chairs of Building 100 also plan to make the new building more technology-friendly for students. Reynoso said, “We want to have spaces for students to showcase their work throughout the building, either through interactive displays and/or via electronic technology.”

There is no timetable set for when precisely the new Building 100 will be finished. Reynoso said, “We are in the beginning phase of the building process. We are currently in the middle of the visioning process, which will then take us to the schematic design, followed by the approval of the State Architect Office.”

Mattern said, “We will work with our consultants to get input from various folks around campus, including students about visions and needs for the building. In August, we will have a report on our findings and recommendations on what will be in the building and how everything might be situated.”

Consistent with the original 1960s campus layout the new FMP plans to keep, the new Library and Learning Connection building will be surrounded by the core academic, administrative and student support buildings.

The rest of the project that the FMP plans to accomplish includes removing a total of 15 outdated buildings according to the College and instead are planning to add 10 new state-of-the-art buildings. Some of the new buildings include arts and media, medical and dental, and a college center.

The campus is still in the early stages for Measure A. Top college leadership alongside the district facilities management will determine the budget for the entire FMP project.

Vice Chancellor of Facilities, Bond Programs, and Operations Owen Letcher said, “The District will invest a total of approximately 800,000 dollars to complete the individual Facility Master Plans for Chabot College, Las Positas College, and the District Office. Funding is provided by Bond Measures A and B.”

The new FMP will go into effect when adopted by the board of trustees in June 2019. Draft Documents are uploaded onto the Chabot College website with more information on the entire construction project.

Green Cars for Earth Day

One of the Earth Week events held at Chabot was a green car exhibition. Green cars are considered better for the environment. The car show featured nine green vehicles next to the library on Tuesday, April 23, 2019.

Tesla displayed its fully electric car, the Model 3 and a fully electric SUV, the Model X. Tesla’s display stole the show from the other cars. Tesla set up a table away from the other cars and invited people to sit in their cars to entice people into thinking about buying a Tesla.

Tesla’s all-wheel drive, dual motor performance, Model 3 has a range of 310 miles on one charge. It has a top speed of 162 mph and a zero to 60 in 3.2 seconds.

Tesla also displayed its performance Model X, which has a range of 305 miles on one charge. Despite being an SUV that can seat seven, the performance Model X sports all-wheel drive and a zero to 60 in as little as 2.7 seconds.

“If I could get an electric car, I would get a Tesla. I really like the designs and what the cars can do,” stated Nathan Angelo Balingit, an engineering major at Chabot.

In The Heights

On April 10, 2019, the Chabot College Theater Department presented “In the Heights,” a musical that gives you a feeling of strength, compassion, and mindset to deal with everyday life in the wake of tragedy. If you like dancing, singing, and a fantastic message you are going to love “In The Heights” as much as I did.

Created by Lin Manuel Miranda and directed by Dov Hassan this musical gives you raw emotion and hope. The issues about money, death, and community life touch something special that makes you feel like you’re getting to know new friends and learning some Spanish along the way.

“In The Heights” brings friends, family, and community together in a way like no other. The set was simple, yet everything had its place. The tight-knit community is a real example of “it takes a village to raise children right,” and that’s what you feel when you’re watching this play.

The 26 members in the cast and the ensemble came together as one unit but, it wasn’t just the cast that made this production come to life. The production team, running crew, front of the house, reprographics, technical crew, and the administrative team all put together something that needs to be shown to the world.

Everyone has a place in this magnificent production. The whole cast played a significant part in this production. I believe they all captured their role and captivated the audiences at the same time.   

Chaton Cleveland, a play attendee that has seen two Chabot College theater productions sat in the third-row program in hand with the light in her eyes.

“This is better than the first one I saw. I love Nia Rosario (Ariel McEtchin) and the Priauga guy (Seth Mijares). Whoever did the choreography did an amazing job. It just works, and you have so many things to look at,” Cleveland stated during the 10-minute intermission.

“However, I’m kind of partial because Benny (George Gill) is my brother,” states Cleveland while settling back into her seat for the second half of the play.

A key player in this production was Abuela Claudia (Joanne Lopez). Her role as the community heart was incredible. It caused the crowd to reflect on how strong family bonds can be.

Abuela Claudia was Usnavi’s (Jose Avalos) grandmother and is basically the grandmother of the community because everybody referred to her as Abuela, which means grandma in Spanish.

Door attendant Young Tommy thought the play was very entertaining. The audience felt the same considering they gave a standing ovation.

I would encourage everyone to see the master production like Chabot student Chris Watton. “I want everyone to see this. It’s worth way more than $10,” Watton states while exiting Stage One.

I give this play 10 out of 10 it’s a great production that is full of life lessons.