Author Archives: Lorenzo Caballero

The Fight for Education

A considerable portion of California Community College (CCC) districts are estimated to lose millions of dollars if anything resembling Governor Brown’s proposed 2018-2019 budget is adopted.

Simulations provided by the California Department of Finance based on the formulas provided by the January 10 release showed that some CCC districts “for the most part, the wealthiest ones, will be the ones receiving more funding. This seems to imply some intent,” said Chabot Vice President Matt Kritscher at the May 3 session of the Community College Budget Forums held on campus.

Chabot President Dr. Susan Sperling proposed a question for consideration to those in attendance. “Under the consequences of this new model will Chabot still be able to serve those students who do not fit into it?”

“There are 34 districts that would receive additional funding under this model and 38 districts that would lose significant amounts of funding,” said VP Ronald Gerhard at the April 26 session of the Community College Budget Forum.

“We’re primarily funded based upon Full-Time Equivalent Students (FTES),” said VP Gerhard during the April 26 session.

Gerhard added, “the existing model is almost entirely determined by attendance, by Full-Time Equivalent Students. The proposed model cuts that to 50 percent.”

The January 10 proposal being 50 percent FTES, 25 percent student financial need, and 25 percent success factors.

Under the January 10 proposal, “we are projected to lose nearly $8 million. Other data suggests around a $10 million loss,” said Gerhard as he explained the documentation provided throughout the series of budget forums.

Under Formula Framework, the May 11 revise proposes a “distribution of 60 percent as a base funding allocation, 20 percent as a supplemental funding allocation, and 20 percent as a student success incentive funding allocation.”                    

Chabot professor, and former State Senator, Ellen Corbett posed these questions, “How is a student impacted by this every day on campus? How does this make their lives better? Does it?”    

“If passed in a form anything like the January 10 proposal, it will have significant negative impacts on our funding,” said Dr. Sperling at the May 3 session.

Chabot students and everyone on campus already face the consequences of a “$6 million deficit. Chabot is operating at $1.5 million below our annual budget until the current deficit is resolved,” said Student Life Director Arnold Paguio during an Inter-Club Council meeting.

While creating the 2016 – 2017 budget, it was discovered that Chabot had spent $3 million above what it had received in annual revenue, according to a CLPCCD document entitled Chabot Plan to Rebuild College Ending Fund Balance.

Dr. Sperling left those in attendance at the Budget Forum a couple closing questions. “What we heard during their budget presentation bore no resemblance to anything that we know in our positions here on campus. Why are our voices muted and voices like that of the Lumina Foundation, Gates Foundation, and other think tanks, so loud in those areas, and how do we get the reality of our universe effectively messaged?”

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Planning in Partnership

South Hayward, or as city officials and workers see it on a map, the Tennyson Corridor has been recognized as “the forgotten stepchild of Hayward.”

The Hayward City Council meeting of June 20, 2017, included a two-year action plan for what the city calls The Tennyson Corridor Strategic Initiative.

The action plan itself, available on the Hayward city website, titled Tennyson Corridor Strategy Two-Year Business Plan (FY 2018 & 2019), states that its goal is to “Work with the community to create a community vision plan for the Tennyson Corridor and catalyst sites to serve as a foundation for long-term planning and policies.”

“Conduct empathy interviews with key stakeholders and a diverse set of community members to prepare for visioning sessions,” is the very first “action/task” listed on this document.

One of the developments of this relatively recent focus on South Hayward is the partnership between the city of Hayward and Chabot college through the Student Initiative Center (SIC), Chabot faculty Sean McFarland, Eric Heltzel, Tom DeWitt and all of the passionate Chabot students of the SIC doing the actual community outreach.

The City Council has acknowledged the voices of many concerned community members of South Hayward driving, walking, and witnessing the investment and development of downtown Hayward over the last decade.

Chabot professor and Hayward City Councilman Francisco Zermeño said, “Six years ago, I formed the Tennyson Community Committee to improve Tennyson road.”

Zermeño goes on, “I decided to push prioritization to Tennyson road because it became the forgotten stepchild of Hayward.”

“On April 11, 2017, City Council did a work session around the idea of focusing more on South Hayward. You’ve seen the big investment downtown for the last couple decades,” said Hayward Management Analyst Mary Thomas.

Thomas continued, “we want to figure out, what are the neighborhoods that people self-identify, and the collective aspirations and hopes for their area. With that, we want to create a vision plan for the City with some action-steps in a timeline.”

“The Tennyson corridor initiative is part of the cities effort to ensure, by forming partnerships, that Tennyson road and their community in South Hayward is not forgotten,” Zermeño adds.

This is where Pepperdine Universities Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership came in.

“The Davenport Institute of Pepperdine University helps local governments with civic engagement. We recognize city workers are expert problem solvers, but they are not trained to facilitate conversations and discussions,” says Executive Director of the Davenport Institute Ashley Trim.

According to their public policy page, the Davenport Institute Public Engagement Grants, “seek to support communities by offering funded-service grants to offset the cost of consultants and outside facilitators in designing and implementing a vibrant civic engagement process.”

For clarification, the grants that the Davenport Institute have provided will help with the resources necessary for the vision plan and community outreach. They are not used for the brick and mortar development and improvement of the city.

Thomas, “called Davenport to ask if they would be willing for us to use the money to hire Chabot College to act as our consultant instead of hiring a more formal business.”

Trim adds, “It’s the first time we’ve seen this done with a college. Chabot and Hayward have already been working together in their communities. We were really excited about the idea of a college and its students working with the city. ”

“People are not always forthcoming with city workers. As a Staff person, people are reasonably a little suspicious as to why you’re asking them questions,” said Thomas.

Zermeño clarifies, “when most of our residents run into a city employee, it’s usually because the employee is there for something negative. The inspector, for example, comes in after someone has reported you for something you may not have done.”

“We think that people are more likely to be candid with students, in particular, students from the neighborhoods themselves.”

Celeste Marucut is a Chabot student and part of the SIC which is partnered with the city of Hayward through Chabot in this initiative.

Marucut says, “We are doing these interviews because we want to build a bridge between the city of Hayward, its organizations, and the community members. Too often, citizens do not know how to communicate what they want with the city of Hayward. Chabot students reaching out to the community helps us, and them, communicate what they’ve been feeling, and what they want to see Hayward become.”

SIC advisor, Sean McFarland, said, “The Davenport Institute at Pepperdine gives three grants a year to different cities around the nation who want to do innovative work to reach out to their citizens. This year, this project looked so cool to Davenport, they took all the grant money and put it to our grant alone.”

“The grant from the Davenport Institute goes directly to Chabot. The funding that would go to hire a consultant went to hire student assistants, and for supplies. The City has a separate contract with Chabot to help fund some of the faculty time in supervising the student assistants,” Thomas clarified.

“We hope to introduce the Council to a different way of presenting information,” said Thomas.

Chabot SIC student Blanca Ochoa, “made a scrapbook because there is so much information. I want to show how the issues in the community are connected. People from different neighborhoods are experiencing the same problems, or want the same things.”

“The art gallery that the students are putting together and displaying in City Hall on May 22 will be a first step where the City Council can see the art the students created from their interviews,” Thomas added.

Marucut is, “very opposed to just giving the city a report. I feel like it would be a waste of our time and all our hard work.”

City Councilman Francisco Zermeno agreed, “It’s about being active, not passive. If you’re passive about it, you read a report, which isn’t very impactful. We need a one on one personal relationship.”

So, where do we go from here?

SIC advisor Eric Heltzel states, “this vision plan ends May 19, 2019. This is a year-long process of reach out and planning.”

Zermeño states, “It’s the City Council that decides what improvements will be made after this year-long process. It’s a matter of where the needs are, based on talking to the business owners and the residents.”

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.

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.”

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.”