Author Archives: Lorenzo Caballero

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.”

Advertisements

Women in STEM

Empowered Women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) was a three-part series in celebration of Women’s History Month. The first event of the series was a panel discussion on March 8.

The panel consisted of 3 Chabot faculty members, all women, and all working in STEM fields.

The series was largely organized by Mary Love, an instructional assistant at the STEM center, and Karina Milano, a Chabot student.

Mary Love sharing the importance of the event said, “Women are still severely underrepresented in STEM fields.” Love hopes that the series will, “inspire people to spread the word on why it’s important to add more women to the STEM field.”

Panelist Mera Horne is a lead engineer at the NASA Ames Research Center, and adjunct faculty at Chabot.

When asked why she chose the STEM field, Horne said, “I grew up in Egypt where engineering was not for women, they would say. I followed my heart. If I were to follow the stereotypes, I would be anything else but an engineer. I dared to dream.”

    Chabot student Brenda Marquez said in an interview, “I came to this event because I am a Latina in STEM going to school for medicine. I want to give free surgeries and medical needs to undocumented folks, or those below the poverty line. Discussions like this make women feel like they’re not alone.”

Panelist Brittney Harrison says, “the sciences and your social life, the way we treat people, they’re not separate. Everything is connected.”

Panelist Joanna Coham, a lab analyst, says, “majoring in a STEM field doesn’t limit you to that one thing you’re learning in college. You’re exposed to many different fields and can get a job in a lot of different science fields.”

Harrison says, “we need women in STEM because we have this ability grow life and have such a profound effect on life. How can we not have an affect on the world? We give life. Our perspective is so critical.”

Calculating Counseling

According to the Chabot website, we currently have 20 counselors available to the 13,875 registered students on campus. This number includes adjunct counselors and counselors assistants. Students have had to wait weeks, or longer, to see a counselor. Though satisfaction is reportedly moderate, suggestions for improvement have been made, and the need for additional resources is apparent.

Student Senate SSCC Student Trustee Juliet Garcia says, “I’ve always been in Puente. So I’ve never had to use the counseling in 700. Special program counseling is better because counselors in 700 give a lot of general information, they don’t have the time. Special program counselors really get to know you.”

Chabot’s Office of Institutional Research (OIR) coordinated by Dr. Carolyn Arnold, conducts a student satisfaction survey biannually. The results are based on a sample of our student population, 1,702 “student course enrollments,” providing 3 individual aspects of counseling in 2 different categories.

According to the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office website, cccco.edu, we have 13,875 students enrolled at Chabot College. The OIR survey sample results available online will indicate the opinions of just above 12% of our student population.

One category relevant to counseling was for the facilities. The other category was “experience and satisfaction with student services.” Facilities, “Bldg. 700 upstairs (Counseling, Career/Transfer Center, Special Programs),” collected 1,488 responses, totaling 71% either satisfied or very satisfied, 8% either dissatisfied or very dissatisfied and 21% neither dissatisfied or satisfied.

Within “experience and satisfaction with student services,” students were asked about, “Front Desk Counseling (quick counseling),” and, “Counseling Appointments.”

From the sample of a potential 12% of the student population, 75% were either satisfied or very satisfied, and 25% are not satisfied with their experience with counseling appointments. Out of the 1,679 students who answered this specific part of the survey, 22% have heard of but never been to a counseling appointment.

When asked about his experience with a counselor, Reid Alexander, a returning Chabot student says, “she was good…I didn’t follow her plan, that’s why I’m still here.”

SSCC President Zaheer Ebtikar, conscious of those he represents is aware that, “Many students aren’t able to capitalize on their education early enough because of the lack of counselor availability.”

Ebtikar, Alexander, and Garcia all reference the online option to get an appointment. Unfortunately, following the instructions on chabotcollege.edu to schedule an appointment, when instructed to, “Click on Find Appointments to select a date & time,” selecting “Find Appointments,” a new page loads displaying the message, “Appointments for the current allowable time frame are Filled.”

“We need more counselors, says President Ebtikar during the January 29 SSCC meeting, but with the deficit, there won’t be any money spent on additional counseling faculty for a while.”

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.

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.”

Controversial Board of Trustees Meeting

The board of trustees meeting on October 24, originally scheduled to be at Chabot, was relocated to the District office in Dublin at 6:30 p.m. The announcement of the relocation by Chancellor Jackson citing “safety concerns” was considered by students, faculty, and staff at Chabot to be a blatant act of oppression in an attempt to silence the campus’ demands to become a sanctuary and need for additional instructional faculty.

Making the democratic process difficult is the question as to whether or not Chancellor Jackson can do her duties effectively. “Perceptions matter, as the board of trustees… I just want to remind you of what everybody is thinking, because of the perception and the effect it has on people, currently the perception… is that we don’t matter to you,” says Patrick Mwamba, a Chabot student, addressing the board during the meeting.

Laura Alarcon, counselor and instructor at Chabot said, “5 months … after the May 16 meeting, the discussion of Chabot college as a sanctuary campus has been absent… from the board of trustees meeting agendas.”

Alarcon goes on to say, “Tonight’s agenda item titled, legislative update, California Values Act, should not be a surrogate for the long overdue discussion of the recommendations outlined in the Chabot sanctuary resolution.” Board President Dr. Gin did refer to the California Values Act relating it to DACA and sanctuary, confusing many, which discouraged others to come up and speak during the designated public comments section.

“To dream is not a crime… I feel like we are being policed, we are being treated like criminals by having the presence of the police… If anything, the undocumented students are the ones that need protection,” said Joan Cortez, a Chabot College student.

Jaquelyn Matta another Chabot student says, “as a part of Chabot College and the undocumented community, I believe becoming a sanctuary district is very important. It will provide a safer environment to undocumented students, and a sense of support for their families… Getting an education is something we should all be able to do without fear… Respecting basic human rights is what we want, being able to receive an education without fear. We are students, parents, brothers, and sister, and want to pursue a brighter future surrounded by support, trust and without fear when we go out to our colleges to get an education.

Katie Messina Silva, a counselor at Chabot says, “we have worked to provide… resources and information to students, faculty and staff allies. We have been working hard over the last 3 years to improve our support services at Chabot and make our campus a safe place for undocumented students. I am proud of the work we have done so far, but there is much work yet to be done. We all came here today asking for your support. Students feel nervous, worried, hopeless and extremely uncertain about what the future holds for them. Students are reluctant to come forward and seek out help and take advantage of the resources that do still exist.”

Inviting the entire board to follow the leadership of city and state officials, Alarcon also states, “on June 6, the Hayward city council declared Hayward a sanctuary City.

Gun Regulations

Several things happen following tragedies like the October 1 Las Vegas shooting. People mourn and grieve. Some express their pain, others their frustration. Politicians show their compassion for the victims, flags are lowered, moments of silence are taken, and discussions of gun control begin.

“There are a myriad of reasons why, as a society, we now regularly suffer from the malady of mass shootings. Much of it has to do with the degradation of moral values in our society,” says Yih Chau Chang, the Press Secretary for The Responsible Citizens of California.

A surge of gun control and gun ban discussions flood the news after tragic moments in our country like this. The reasoning makes sense. Guns were used to kill and injure many people. Roughly 33,000 gun deaths occur every year in America, according to the CDC. Two-thirds are due to suicide. The second largest bracket is young men from ages 15 to 34, killed in homicides. They are often gang members, or victims of other street violence. The next striking number is the 1,700 women murdered per year, usually resulting from domestic violence. A small number of all deaths by guns come from mass shootings like that in Las Vegas.

“The more guns we have floating on the market, the greater the danger becomes and the greater the perception that we need more guns. It is a negative feedback loop of fear increasing fear. This also provides justification for the militarization of our police force which in turn disconnects them from the communities they aim to serve,” says counselor and instructor, Juztino Panella.

Large, sweeping gun regulation and bans do not address the expanded issue of gun-related deaths. It inhibits our ability to protect ourselves from threats, any and all, foreign and domestic. “The 2nd Amendment is the one basic, fundamental, and enumerated civil right that guarantees all of the others listed in the Bill of Rights, without it, the government would have a monopoly on violence and tyranny would become the eventual and ultimate result,” says Chang.

Murder is tragic, and gun deaths naturally strike fear in everyone. If we as a society, as a nation are intent on dramatically reducing the number of gun-related deaths, we need to target the larger issue. The Boston Gun Project and Operation Ceasefire of the early 90s targeted high-risk youth with chronic criminal offense. They targeted and prioritized a specific group with high-risk numbers. Police teamed with “youth workers, probation and parole officers, and clergy offered gang members services and other kinds of help.” Mentoring and guidance were offered, a moral value which our society doesn’t seem to prioritize.

Speaking on potential long-term solutions, Panella says there must be, “people working in communities to build networks of solidarity. The culture of fear comes whether we have weapons, or don’t have weapons. We need to change the culture of fear. That’s what needs to happen.”

SSCC DACA Town Hall

During the Sept. 18 Student Senate meeting, representative council members affirmed their dedication to the student body, and solidarity with all students as updated research information on DACA was described in preparation for their panel discussion at the following afternoon’s town hall.

Puente Project Counselor, Sandra Genera, said, “ Wow! Thank you very much, representatives. It’s been very nice to see your leadership grow here at Chabot, and to know how prepared you are by coming and presenting during the Chabot Town Hall.”

Sept. 19 was this school year’s first Student Senate sponsored Town Hall. In a notice to the entire campus via email, SSCC President Zaheer Ebtikar emphasized that the focus for this town hall would be Chabot’s response to the DACA program announcement, updates on SSCC projects, resources and information available on campus, and getting input from the students on current issues.

President Ebtikar kicked it off by updating all in the room on DACA related information at the state level. Ebtikar referenced Governor Brown’s $30 million earmarked for financial aid and legal services, “to help young people brought into this country illegally as children,” in response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s announcement regarding the DACA program.

Ebtikar also compared the DREAM Act to the American HOPE act of 2017, emphasizing the benefits of the Hope act. The American HOPE was introduced by Luis Gutierrez, a Democrat from Illinois, with 116 sponsors. “The DREAM Act requires that Dreamers graduate from or complete two years of a higher education program, complete at least two years of military service, or be employed for at least three years to become lawful permanent residents. The American Hope Act has no such requirement,” says Christian Penichet-Paul, Policy and Advocacy Associate for the National Immigration Forum.

The SSCC with President Ebtikar, followed by members of the representative council including Valeria Diaz, Jeremy Yu, Lesly Avendano, Tatiana Howard, and Kirsten Fraser all showed their commitment, dedication and solidarity with the student body of Chabot College and those affected by immigration reform directly or indirectly. According to the SSCC during their Sept. 18 meeting, there will be a follow up to this in the form of a drafted resolution for Chabot College in response to DACA and the tragedy in Charlottesville. The resolution is said to cover free speech and expression over hate speech and violence, and to declare solidarity with all Chabot students.

Chabot Pop-up Pantry

Every Month, right here on campus, food is provided for free to anyone passing by and willing to sign in. The Food Pantry supplies fresh groceries, fruits, veggies, loaves of bread, canned and packaged goods all lined up with volunteers loading up tote bags provided by the Student Senate for all to take home and enjoy.

“Food insecurity” is the occasional or constant lack of access to the food one needs for a healthy, active life. According to the California Association of Food Banks, the state of “California produces nearly half of the nation’s fruits and vegetables, yet 1 in 8 Californian’s struggle with food insecurity.”

Chabot’s Food Pantry is an initiative started, and primarily managed by the RAGE club. Revolutionaries Advocating for a Greener Ecosystem is one of the most active clubs on campus with their communities health at the forefront of their intent. Vice President of RAGE, Enya Daang says, “our mission is to address food insecurity at Chabot and within the larger community to reduce hunger as a roadblock to educational achievement.”

Dr. Julie Schwartzbard, MD, says, “hunger is a distraction we’ve all had. Many studies show the negative effects that hunger has on school-aged children and young adults. Hunger is tied directly to low blood sugar which quickly leads to fatigue and low energy levels, and all wreak havoc on your ability to focus.” We’ve all experienced being hungry. Many experience hunger beyond anything which could be considered safe. Regardless of which degree you have experienced, we can all recall this state, and inability to focus.

Enya Daang of RAGE says, “it’s really difficult to focus on your classes and other responsibilities if you’re hungry. There are some people who have to choose between getting a ride home or a meal to eat. When there is such an abundance of excess food, no one should face this problem. The Food Pantry is not only a place to get free, fresh food, it’s also a place to get resources to help people in tough situations.”

Jorge Duarte, a Chabot student, when asked about The Food Pantry said he was not aware of this initiative. As a Chabot student, “I feel proud. It brings me joy inside knowing if I were struggling, I would have help. If I were stuck in a hole I would have somewhere to turn.”

The Food Pantry has its food donated and delivered by the Alameda County Food Bank. This giveaway takes place once a month on different days. So, keep your eye open for signs around campus for the next Food Pantry where volunteer opportunities are also available.