Monthly Archives: March 2020

Elected Officials Host Coronavirus Town Halls

On the evening of March 19, U.S. Representatives Barbara Lee and Eric Swalwell each hosted town halls over the telephone to talk about how Alameda County and the federal government are working on the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Lee’s guest speakers included representatives from the Alameda County Public Health Department, Alameda County Community Food Bank, Alameda County Schools, and Oakland Unified School District. 

Swalwell spoke with faculty from the UC Berkeley School of Public Health and the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital.

Congresswoman Lee clarified that the official order ‘shelter in place’ means that staying at home is critical, but people can go outside to get food or medicine, see the doctor, exercise, or other ‘essential activities.’ When outside, people need to practice ‘social distancing’ by keeping physical space between each other.

Schools throughout Alameda County have set up distance learning programs online, and a few in the form of paper packets. 

The main focus is to acquire more computers for students while partnering with internet providers to offer free Wi-Fi until the school year returns to normal. The schools are hiring additional personnel to distribute food to children who depend on school meals for their food security.

Alameda County Food Bank has shifted to pre-packing bags of groceries for recipients. They also want to raise awareness of how many people are eligible for the CalFresh program and don’t use it or even know they are eligible. There are no predictions of shortages in the national food supply. The best way to help the Food Bank right now is to donate money.

Congressman Swalwell mentioned companies in the East Bay that will begin to mass-produce “hundreds if not thousands” of coronavirus testing kits. Local science facilities can analyze the results of 300 to 800 tests within a 24 hour period. He stressed the importance these kits have in stopping the virus because “the more we know, the better we can contain it.”

COVID-19 is a disease caused by the novel (new) coronavirus, whose common symptoms are fever, cough, and shortness of breath, similar to the flu. The virus is spread mostly through coughing, but sometimes through touching infected surfaces.

This coronavirus is believed to have originated in bats before it spread to humans, according to Dr. Arthur Reingold. The virus started in China, but it is misleading to call it the “Chinese virus” because people of any nationality can be infected.

Swalwell sees the situation as two different crises: health and financial. The health crisis will be over for good when a vaccine is ready in twelve to eighteen months, but taking this special action will shorten the time and let the economy recover sooner.

The Bay Area has to shelter in place until most of the country follows so that the spread doesn’t start all over when someone comes in contact with a community that didn’t have a shelter in place order.

Swalwell will host an additional town hall on March 26 over Facebook Live.

Grab-and-Go Meals

Countless students rely on free or reduced-price lunches during the school year; but with the current pandemic, those options are now heavily restricted. Fortunately, several school districts and franchises are helping feed those children in different ways. Here are several resources that may help you.

Schools Serving Food:


Served from Mar. 17-27, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., Monday-Friday. Must be under 18, no ID required.

Cherryland Elementary456 Laurel Ave.
Fairview Elementary23515 Maud Ave.
Longwood Elementary850 Longwood Ave.
Park Elementary411 Larchmont St.
Schafer Park Elementary26268 Flamingo Ave
Treeview Elementary30565 Treeview St.
Tyrrell Elementary27000 Tyrrell Ave.
Hayward High School1633 East Ave.
Tennyson High School27035 Whitman St.
Mt. Eden High School2300 Panama St.


Served from 8 a.m.-12 p.m., Monday and Thursday. Must be under 18. Please bring a bag to take home food.

Sanfoka Academy581 61st St.
West Oakland Middle School991 14th St.
Hoover Elementary890 Brockhurst St.
Oakland High School1023 MacArthur Blvd.
Garfield Elementary1640 22nd Ave.
Bret Harte Middle School3700 Coolidge Ave.
Life Academy/United for Success Academy2101 35th Ave.
Coliseum College Prep Academy1390 66th Ave.
Madison Park Academy, Upper400 Capistrano Dr.
Fremont High School4610 Foothill Blvd.
Elmhurst United Middle School1800 98th Ave.
Castlemont High School8601 MacArthur Blvd.

Castro Valley

Served Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 11 a.m. -12:30 p.m. depending on location. Must be under 18.

Creekside Middle School (11-12:30)19722 Center St
Castro Valley Elementary (11:30-12:30)20185 San Miguel Ave
Stanton Elementary (11:30-12:30)2644 Somerset Ave

Nothing near you? This map was developed by Stanford students to help Bay Area families find lunch nearby.

Bay Area School Meal Pick ups

Burger King is also offering 2 free kid’s meals with every adult meal purchased. (Mar. 23-Apr. 6, or as long as supplies last). The coupon is only available online or in the Burger King app, and cannot be used for delivery, only pickup. 

In addition to this, several chains have offered free delivery (such as Chipotle and Popeye’s), and food delivery services like GrubHub and UberEats are waiving select delivery fees as well.

FRESH Plans During Pandemic

With the Bay Area officially ordered to shelter in place one concern on everyone’s mind is food. 

“We will most likely be resuming operations with a grab and go distribution model after and-or if the shelter in place is removed” Said FRESH coordinator Sofia Sanchez-Pillot. “However, nothing is sure as we are waiting for approval from the administration.”

The FRESH food bank hopes to resume activity once the shelter in place is lifted and plans on using a new form of distribution for the month of April. All of their events planned for the month of March have been canceled due to COVID-19.

The FRESH food bank on campus is not the only one in the area there is still the Alameda County food bank. Due to the outbreak, they have said that their sites and times are subject to change and that it is best to call them to get the most up to date information. You can call them at this number 1-800-870-FOOD.

There are various other food banks all throughout Hayward you can find a list of them here, but due to the outbreak information can be inconsistent so it would be best to call them. All of their addresses and phone numbers are listed in the link above.

Covid-19 Cancellations

With the classification of COVID-19 as a worldwide pandemic, tons of major events and sports seasons have been canceled or suspended.

One of the first big suspensions was the NBA (National Basketball Association) season. March Madness has been canceled as the NBA announced at least a month-long suspension for all games. 

Shortly after the NHL (National Hockey League) and the MLB (Major League Baseball) followed the example of the NBA and suspended both of their seasons to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Major sports weren’t the only ones to cancel their events as the annual video game show E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo), announced they would be canceling this year’s show due to concerns of COVID-19 spreading. In an official statement from E3, they said “ … We have made the difficult decision to cancel E3 2020, scheduled for June 9 — 11 in Los Angeles.”

A Quiet Place Director John Krasinski went to Twitter to announce the indefinite postponing of his latest movie, A Quiet Place Part 2. “As insanely excited as we are for all of you to see the movie … I’m gonna wait to release the film till we CAN all see it together.”

Movie premieres such as A Quiet Place part 2, Black Widow, Mulan and No Time To Die have all been postponed some with later dates and others with no foreseeable release date. 

Most major movie theater chains have closed down in accordance with quarantines. Along with bars and bowling alleys. Almost all extra entertainment events and establishments have closed down to help slow the spreading of the virus.

Various other events and gatherings have been canceled, postponed or suspended in fear of spreading COVID-19. To keep track of major event cancellations check

The Invisible Man Review

The Invisible Man is a rated-R Scooby-Doo episode with poor CGI.

This was an entertaining movie if you don’t think about it too much. The closest thing I can compare it to is Scooby-Doo with its use of plot twists and shock factor.

The movie starts off at an awkward spot where the main character Cecilia Kass(Elisabeth Moss) is running away from her boyfriend? Husband? Adrian Griffin(Oliver Jackson-Cohen).Cecilia is shown sneaking around the house and messing with Adrian’s drink while he is asleep then she runs off into the woods to get picked up by her sister Emily.

Adrian is immediately said to be this super smart guy who started up his own tech company and apparently makes enough money to have anything and anyone he wants. It is also quickly established that he was super manipulative and abusive towards Cecilia to the point where she ran away.

Two weeks after she runs away it is reported that Adrian committed suicide and has left a lot of money for Cecilia. Cecilia was terrified of this guy to the point where she refuses to step outside and goes to stay with her sister’s friend? Boyfriend? I guess their relationship wasn’t relevant enough to tell the audience.

Now there was no real establishment of Adrian’s genius, just mentions of how he is a prominent figure in the tech world. It is just meant to be assumed by the massive seaside home with the super high tech lab underground, and a shot of a wall filled with certificates and degrees.

Throughout the film, Adrian is running about in his invisible suit ruining Cecilia’s life and haunting her at the same time. 

The biggest issue with this movie is the inconsistency throughout the film. One of the things used as evidence against Cecilia was security footage of her running away from seemingly nothing. 

Later on, when Cecilia is blamed for killing her sister in the middle of a high-end restaurant the idea of checking security tapes is never even mentioned because if they did they would see the floating knife. 

Shortly after the incident at the restaurant Cecilia is arrested and Institutionalized for her sisters murder. It is now when she finds out Adrian was only pretending to be ignorant to the fact that Cecilia was taking birth control pills. In reality he knew the whole time and was switching them out and now Cecilia is told that she is pregnant and she knows the father is Adrian.

This is where Adrian’s brother steps in again to talk with Cecilia about her finances as her “lawyer” in reality he is just there to confirm the audience’s hunch that he was working with his big bro the whole time.

While in her room Cecilia comes up with this plan to pretend to kill herself so that she could confirm Adrian’s presence. Lo and behold as soon as she stabs her wrist the invisible man tries to forcibly stop her. Cecilia Manages to stab him a few times with the pen she stole from the bother making the suit malfunction revealing his presence. 

Now this next part is the one part I thought was super cool. Guards come rushing to all the commotion and to briefly see the malfunctioning suit and this short sequence of the invisible man taking out all these guards starts. The choreography for this part was pretty well done and the fights were dope. Just seeing the fear the officers face when his own firearm is turned on him, is great. 

The invisible man then escapes the facility with Cecilia following because he had threatened one of her friend’s children. Cecilia just barely makes it intime to stop him from completely killing the kid. She uses a fire extinguisher to mark him and then proceeds to put several bullets into him effectively killing him.

Now this is where it gets super Scooby-Doo. As she goes to take off the mask, guess who, it’s the little brother and not Adrian. 

Then to the public Adrian is found hidden behind a wall in the basement of his mansion. He claims his little brother was his abuser who manipulated him his whole life. 

Cecelia determined that this was all just set up and that Adrian was and is the invisible man who has been tormenting her these last weeks. She tries to share this with the officers and her friend who still doesn’t believe her.

Cecilia now sees that no one is going to help her so she needs to end it herself. She pretends to go back to Adrian for a dinner date when in reality all she is trying to do is get a confession from him. He knows she’s wired so he says the one thing that will confirm it for her but wont hold in court. With that Cecilia steps off to the restroom. 

Once Adrian begins to grow tiresome waiting for her his throat is slit. Cecilia had gone back to their mansion earlier on in the movie and discovered another suit and hid it in the house. So now she went and used the suit to kill adrian. 

The movie ends with Cecilia carrying the second suit in a bag that is not closed and her cop friend noticing it but for whatever reason he lets her keep it and pretends he doesn’t know that she just killed Adrian.

In short this movie was fun to watch if you turn off your brain and go for the ride.

Chabot Film Festival

Chabot is holding its 2nd annual Film and Animation Festival this April 29. 

Last year was the first film festival held by the Digital Media Arts program. They planned on making it an annual event.

The Festival is put together by Professor Ismail Mumtaj, who has been teaching Film at Chabot for three years now. The first semester she taught here, there were no film courses, and they were introduced later in the Spring of 2018 along with Animation courses.

In an interview with Mumtaj, she said: “We are trying to build a community here so that people can come and meet other people involved in film and talk about it.”

The event is going to be three-days running Wednesday, April 29, to Friday, May 1. Although the week before, they are going to have a series of guest speakers at the Gallery in building 1000.

On the first day of the festival, they are going to be screening documentaries at Stage One in building 1200. On the second day, there will be a guest visitor, who is an animator from Los Angeles, talking in the Gallery. They will be showing the films that were chosen to be a part of the show Friday evening with a reception to follow. 

Lastly, Professor Mumtaj had wanted to leave the community with these words “come to get involved, submit your content even if you’re not involved with our film program. You could even be a student at another institution.”

The last day for early submission is March 5, and the last day for late submission is March 19.

New Home for the Fresh Food & Life Pantry

Fresh is a volunteer ran food pantry that has now officially got a permanent home on the Chabot campus. They have been allowed to set up shop in the portable 3300 building. 

After operating as a pop-up for about two years, the school finally come to the realization that it would be beneficial for both the campus and the community for Fresh to get a permanent location on campus.

The push to claim a home on campus has been one that was brought up in recent months. Still, they have known since the beginning that they wanted to establish a spot on campus where community members could get free food. “In the last few months, we have been trying to secure a space on campus,” said Fresh Lead, Sofia Sanchez-Pillot.

The pop-up pantry acted as sort of a test to see the need in the community. They would occur twice a month as a “farmers market” style pantry. All the food at these pantries is for students, community members, and faculty members.

“We get all of the food from the local food bank, the Alameda County community food bank,” says Sanchez-Pillot. They have established a sort of mediator role between the Chabot community and the Alameda County food bank.

The main point that Fresh member Jenny Marenco wants the readers to take away from this article is that “you don’t need anything, it’s free, for everyone.” That’s something that can be super convincing to everyone, all the food is free, and there are no requirements to come and partake.

A key aspect of Fresh is that it was started purely by volunteer work and was student-run. Now they are fortunate enough to hire a lead and six student assistants. Although a lot of effort and work even now is still done by volunteers. 

“We added a question to the sign-up form asking ‘would you like to volunteer in the future,” says Sanchez Pillot-Saavedra. “We usually have a list of 500 people who have shown interest in volunteering to help.” 

The portable they just moved into is still being worked on so that they can make it feel more welcoming and have utilities such as a fridge to store meats and shelving to organize more foods. 

Keep an eye out for Fresh and when they finally open up in their new location.

Chabot Nursing No.1 in California

Chabot College’s nursing program has been ranked #1 in California for 2020 in the 4th Annual Nursing School Program Rankings by Chabot has been in second or third place for the last few years. The California list ranks 126 nursing programs, including those at four-year schools.

Nursing Students in lab
Nursing Students in the lab

The ranking is based on the percentage of students passing the NCLEX-RN exam, an annual test run by the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN). Chabot students who finish the program and take the test, pass the test close to 100% of the time, according to Kevin Kramer, Dean of Health, Kinesiology & Athletics. The state average is 85%.

Nursing is a two-year program at Chabot, with about two years of prerequisite classes selected by the BRN, such as anatomy, physiology, and microbiology. Students gain experience in hospitals, receive an associate degree, and then can take the official state board test to be qualified to work in nursing.

Connie Telles, Director of Chabot’s Nursing Program, explains that jobs may be possible with an associate degree, but cautions that “Most hospitals want graduates now with a bachelor’s degree a lot of places at least want them to be in a bachelor’s program.” Chabot has a ‘bridge’ program with CSU East Bay for students to transfer and earn a bachelor’s degree in one year.

Kramer says the program gauges its success in how well its students do on the state board tests, rather than in comparison to other colleges on rankings. “Are the students passing the test? Are they graduating? If they’re doing that, then that makes us happy.”

The nursing program has three hundred people applying for the 40 spaces in Fall 2020. Applications for the Fall semester closed in January. Fall 2021 applications will open on Nov. 1, 2020.

This spring will see Chabot’s 53rd graduating class since the nursing program began in 1967.

Nursing Students in lab
Nursing Students in lab
Black Scholars pose for a picture

5th Annual Black Scholars Family Night

What is Black Excellence? Black excellence is beautiful, intelligent, resilient, and powerful. Feb. 25, the Black Education Association (BEA) hosted its 5th Annual Black Scholars Family Night to celebrate Black Excellence at Chabot College. 

Brain Augsburger, Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS) counselor and Black Excellence Collective (BEC) Coordinator opened the night with a heartfelt speech on what black excellence is and what it means to the college. It gives students something to celebrate their hard work, receive recognition for keeping a Grade-point average (GPA) of 3.0 or better.      

Following Augsburger’s inspiring welcoming speech, all attendees rose in honor for the Black national anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing” sung by Robyn Jackson. Bringing tears to guest eyes, Jackson sang with the voice of a thousand angels.    

Umoja Program Coordinator and counselor Tommy Reed reassured students that they were there to be honored for all the long hours and late nights. 

“We are here to celebrate you. We are here to hold you up. We are here to celebrate your greatness,” Reed says passionately while seeming to make eye contact with everyone in the crowd. 

The Black Scholars Planning committee and volunteers put their best foot forward to provide a platform for students to be recognized for their hard work and excellence. Several achievement awards were given out in a variety of categories.

Voted for by their peers, Skyler Robinson, a Chabot basketball player and member of the Striving Black Brother Coalition and Tiffany Williams, were crowned Black History Month King and Queen. As a part of being crowned, both Robinson and Williams received a $250 scholarship. 

BHM King & Queen Sykler Robinson and Tiffany Williams
BHM King & Queen Sykler Robinson and Tiffany Williams

Stacy Thompson, Chabot College Vice President of Academic Services, expressed how proud she was of all the scholars in attendance. “We know we can’t do it by ourselves or without the help and guidance from our ancestors.” 

Over 300 black students were honored for their academic achievement for the 2019 Fall semester, and 33 educators were nominated by students to receive the Educator of Excellence Award.

Dr. Kamela Peart, My Sister’s Keeper (MSK) Coordinator, and counselor awarded students with a GPA of 3.0 — 3.99 with the Chabot Black Scholars Honor Student Award. Dr. Jeanne Wilson, Dean of Special Programs and Services, presented the Dean’s Award for Highest Academic Achievement for students with a 4.0 GPA.

Alia Gross, Chabot student, received a Dean’s Award for her 4.0 GPA was nervous and excited, not knowing what to expect. “This is my first award and for it to be a Dean’s Award is just crazy,” Gross said while laughing nervously. “This is an honor.”

Augsburger closed the ceremony by thanking the guests for taking the time to come celebrate Black Excellence as well as the sponsor’s Student Access, Success, and Equity Committee, the Student Senate of Chabot College and BEA.

Come Hear Women Tell Their Stories

Chabot College will be celebrating Women’s History Month with a series of speakers on Tuesday, March 4. Professor Michelle Cruz Gonzalez will be this year’s keynote speaker. Gonzalez will be speaking from 12-12:50 in the 700 south building. 

Michelle Cruz Gonzales reading her book, The Spitboy Rule
Michelle Cruz Gonzales reading her book, The Spitboy Rule

Every year since 2008, Chabot College has put on an event to celebrate and educate the public about Women’s History. This year Chabot welcomes Las Positas English Professor Gonzales. She will be reading from her book “The Spitboy Rule: Tales of a Xicana in a Female Punk Band.”

Her book goes into the details of growing up in a music world that was dominated by white men as well as her disconnect from her white middle-class band members. During the 80s and 90s, she was a member of three bands, Bi*ch Fight, Spitboy, and Instant Girl.

Gonzalez earned her degrees in English and creative writing at Mills College in 2001 and 2003. 

Jane Wolford, a US Women’s History professor at Chabot College, coordinates the event every year. Wolford was first told about Gonzalez by a staff member in Learnings Connection at Chabot, Gonzalez is also known in the English and Puente Community. 

Wolford has yet to meet Gonzalez but is very excited, “Her book talks about owning her identity and being proud of who she is. I think she’ll be very inspirational to people.”

Wolford was hired in 1991 and helped to create the first Women’s History class at Chabot. Her class took about a year to develop and was officially offered in the early 90s.

Up until 2008, there wasn’t a solid, organized tradition. Wolford explained that there would be a faculty member speaking or some form of activity, but she felt that it was important to create a tradition. “It was a one-event thing until 2015. We did more events, we had three events that year. It began to grow.”

Diane Zuliani, an Art History professor, and Mayra De Valle, a spoken word artist, joined Wolford in 2015 speaking at this event. The following year there were six speakers. More people wanted to be a part of this event. 

In 1987, March was declared as Women’s History month when Congress passed Pub. L.100-9 petitioned by the National Women’s History Project. Women’s History month first started as a week. Women’s History Week was the week of March 8 to correspond with International Women’s Day. 

Something that Wolford wants women to understand is that the best way to progress in the world is to work together on their goals. She stated that women have come a tremendous way throughout the decades. Yet, there’s a significant divide between the generations of Women. 

“I think young women now are so much better at knowing what they want, knowing what they won’t put up with, and demanding it,” Wolford stated. She argues that while women may be moving forward in some movements, they’re sadly falling behind in others.

Women’s history has had a number of struggles. A common issue is getting women to support other women in matters that don’t particularly concern them. “You’ll find in the Women’s movement the number one reason why we haven’t done better is that we’re judgmental and divided,” Wolford added. 

There could be so much more for women if they were more united among all kinds of women. It starts with admitting that women have been excluding other women and being willing to compromise. 

At this year’s Women’s History Month event, Gonzalez will tell her story, but that in no way means that people with their own stories, can’t be a part of her message. There will be some food after all the speakers have finished. 

There isn’t solely one event. Throughout March, other groups on campus will be hosting Women’s History events. 

March 12, from 12-1 p.m. in the Event Center, there will be a woman suffrage centennial panel where Wolford will be speaking alongside her colleagues Kay Fischer and Jessica Gallucci. (700 south building)

March 17, Latinas United N’ Academic (LUNA) will be hosting a Real Talk dedicated to human trafficking and domestic violence. A guest speaker will come from Ruby’s Place, a comprehensive wellness-based program that provides shelter and support to victims of human trafficking and domestic abuse. (500 building: 557)

March 19, from 9 — 11 a.m., a student research exhibit will also be held in the Event Center. (700 south building) The display will be dedicated to women of color.