Author Archives: Charlie Elliott Harris

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.

The Great Shakeout

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

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

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

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

Vegas Shooting

On October 1, in Las Vegas, NV, a mass shooting took place killing at least 59 people and wounding up to 500. The shooting took place on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino carried out by the shooter Stephen Paddock. It is currently unknown what drove him to commit such an action. The mass shooting has raised the need for security as well as raising personal alertness.

The season for concerts and outdoor events is coming to an end, but the need for security is still at an extreme high. Events such as Rolling Loud, a hip-hop music festival, made sure to amp up on security and stay on high alert. Chabot students that attended Rolling Loud expressed concern for their safety, Christopher Trumpler, stated: “It’s extremely unfortunate what happened to the people in Vegas, but all we can do is hope nobody gets stupid.”

Events such as Rolling Loud, Coachella, and regular concert events list on their sites what is prohibited (such as alcohol, knives, and guns) all in hopes of limiting the desire of chaos.

On October 28, Chabot College is celebrating its’ school spirit and organizing a homecoming event. This event included a carnival, football game, and even a beer garden, which could mean a crowd of intoxicated college students in a crowd. Chabot campus security officer Michael Cook states, “There will be at least 2 Hayward Police officers at the event, especially the carnival as well as campus police.”

If you are deciding to attend large events, use the buddy system, especially if you plan on drinking. Have an escape route put in place in case anything does happen and let someone know where you are. Students are advised to watch out for any suspicious activity. If you do see any suspicious activity alert the security on hand. It’s not about feeling afraid anytime you’re in a large crowd, just be mindful and have fun!

El Centro: Grand Opening

On September 14, I attended the grand opening of the new El Centro building located in building 700, right across from the Financial Aid and Admissions. CARNAL (Creating Academic Readiness Network for Aspiring Latinos) and CLEA (Chicano Latino Education Association) decided to create a new environment for students to seek advice about FAFSA, applying for college, counseling support and a place to lounge in between classes.

El Centro will have events and festivals throughout the semester, celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month and Raza College Day. El Centro is not only for our Latino students, other students on campus are more than welcome to come and join.

The grand opening consisted of an array of Mexican foods such as nachos, rice, and beans. Before seeing a festival, a huge crowd gathered around the local Mariachi band and two women in extravagant and colorful dresses.

The women explained that their particular style of dance was commonly seen in Mexico and is preformed mostly with Mariachi bands. I got a chance to also observe the inside of El Centro. Inside held booths for people to talk about financial aid and counseling.

El Centro will be open from 7 p.m. — 9 p.m. Monday through Thursdays and Fridays 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. They can help students having trouble learning Spanish and English and are also open during the summer (9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday).

Feel free to check out El Centro’s links on the Chabot College website for more updates and upcoming events during the semester and summer.

Know DACA?

On September 5, news spread of Trump’s newest decision to end DACA. For those who don’t know DACA (Deferred Action for Child Arrivals) grants young adults from other countries the ability to work within the states for a limited time.

Recipients of DACA, unfortunately, will no longer be able to apply for renewal. Chabot College is located within the Bay Area where a wide variety of our residents are of Latin or Asian descent. Many, now have concerns regarding their residency.

But what does this mean for our students here on campus? Andrea Cardenas, a freshman at Chabot, states, “Chabot has promised to protect its’ students and stand true to being a sanctuary campus, meaning no information will be released to any federal organization regarding a DACA student.”

Professor Richard A. Harris who teaches Sociology shared his opinions on what students can do. “Make sense of all of this and try to understand how it affects each group; each group should take steps to be political.”

A source from Visa Inc. Diversity team stated, “Trump’s decision will hinder the growth of the people culturally and in the workforce. Who does he think is going to run this country 20- 30 years from now?”.

As for our students, it is not too late for you to get involved and know that there are people in your defense. On October 19, in building 300, Room 354, there will be a Dreamers Transfer Workshop catered to students that are a part of the DREAM Act. Mission Asset and Weingart Foundation has funded $495 for students to renew their status.

Also, Governor Jerry Brown has committed 7 million dollars to support undocumented families. This issue stretches further than just Chabot. This affects the majority of the Bay Area.

Be sure to research when the next protest or petition signing will be held for you to extend your opinion about the closure of DACA.