Author Archives: Lupe Hernandez

Social Distance for All

Despite proof that social distance guidelines have been effective with slowing the growth rate of the COVID-19 virus, Americans are protesting for stay at home orders to end.

On April 30, protesters gathered around the state capitol in Michigan after the news that Governor Gretchen Whitmer plans to extend the stay at home order. Protestors also gathered around the Governor’s home right outside her driveway.

Protestors spoke and shared their concerns with their small business and the Governor’s lack of prioritizing them.

FOX News spoke with Charlie Hurt, opinion editor for the Washington Post and FOX News contributor. “The problem comes when you have politicians who appear to be acting in their political best interest.”

Hurt questions Gov. Whitmer’s true intention to extend the stay at home order and believes it’s a tactic for convincing Joe Biden to select her as his Vice President.

A study done at the University of Kentucky (UK) had been released by the Institute for the Study of Free Enterprise suggests that social distancing and stay at home orders are working.

The report was done by professors of Gatton College of Business and Economics at the UK, as well as fellow professors working in the department of economics. 

The report, Did Social-Distancing Measures in Kentucky Help to Flatten the COVID-19 Curve?, takes confirmed cases of COVID-19 in counties of Kentucky, comparing them to neighboring counties, such as counties in Tennessee. 

The report describes the matters of how a region would have been affected by the virus with no official government restriction in place, with only strictly voluntary self-distancing, or if the region was put under restrictions. 

Aaron Yelowitz, one of the Kentucky professors who worked on the report spoke with LEX18 News on May 1. “The social distancing measures, the stay at home orders, the closing of dining at restaurants, dramatically bent the curve and saved lives,” Yelowitz stated in regards to the spread of COVID-19.

The report states that instead of 4,000 confirmed cases of the virus by April 26, it would have been up to 45,000 with an additional 2,000 deaths. 

Yelowitz told LEX18 News that there’s something to learn from neighboring states as Kentucky will begin to reopen business on May 11, “I think it’s too early.” 

On the widely known app TikTok, users are using this outlet to express their frustrations with people not wanting to comply with social distance guidelines. 

Samantha Lee Hager began her video by briefly explaining the Michigan protests, “but that’s not even the part that pisses me off,” the woman goes into listing peaceful protests against social injustice that were all shut down by police and or faced charges. 

Hager ends her video with her frustrations with the fact that Michigan protesters were being aggressive, ignoring social distance guidelines, forcing themselves into the capitol building while carrying firearms. 

“None of them are arrested and if that isn’t discrimination I don’t know what is,” Hager said. 

@lakewoodpapi shared his belief in the selfishness of the people wanting states to reopen, “it was to force everyone else to go back to work, so they (conservatives) could enjoy life again.” The young man also adds that the majority of the people who would be at risk of the reopenings would be people of color. 

The Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) have detailed tips on how to social distance:

  • Follow guidance from authorities where you live.
  • If you need to shop for food or medicine at the grocery store or pharmacy, stay at least 6 feet away from others
  • Use mail-order for medications, if possible.
  • Consider a grocery delivery service.
  • Avoid using any kind of public transportation, ridesharing, or taxis, if possible.

More information on the CDC website:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/social-distancing.html

Link for the full UK report: 

COVID-19 Mobile Tracking

Privacy concerns rise as measures become more desperate to help people through the pandemic. As not everyone is following the social distance guidelines, questions on how to ensure the public health have brought in government surveillance as an option.

In California, there are over 43,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19,  in Los Angeles County alone there are nearly 20,000 confirmed cases. Strict social distance guidelines have been placed to help ensure safety, especially in heavily populated areas.

Governor Greg Abbott of Texas has set the stay at home order to expire on Apr. 30 at midnight. Not all businesses will reopen and those that do won’t be at the normal capacity.

On Apr. 30 protesters gathered around the Michigan State Capitol to end social distancing guidelines. Pictures that were uploaded to the UpNorthLive website show that the protesters were not staying six feet away from each other or wearing any form of face covers. 

USA Today reported on Apr. 28 that Apple and Google would be setting up apps in mid-May to help track who has been infected with the COVID-19 and if you have been in close proximity with a person who has the virus.

However, this leaves a lot of worry for potential users and their private information. People worry about who will have their direct information, and for how long.

Australia has already begun using this technology and about two million people have downloaded the app, COVIDSafe. Philip DeFranco, a popular YouTuber, recently posted a video to his channel discussing the progress Australia has made with digital tracking of the virus.

“Very notably here the app is not mandatory. If you want it you can get it and the Australian Government will not collect location data,” DeFranco stated.

The Australian Government pointed out that because it uses Bluetooth, the information is encrypted into the phone and no one, not even the user, can log into private information. The system will erase all data that’s been collected after 21 days on a repeated cycle.

The COVIDSafe app has no power to enforce isolation, restrictions, or any laws. All information concerning the app itself was given out by the health administrator of Australia and nothing has been set in law. 

“The app is already extremely popular,” DeFranco added as Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison tweeted out on Apr. 27 that over 2 million people have downloaded the app.

DeFranco added the fact that the Australian government stated that in order for the app to become effective in slowing the spread of the virus, 40% of the population need to download the app. The Prime Minister also noted that the more people download the app, the sooner economical restrictions would be lifted.

The country reported that the daily infection growth-rate is less than 1%.

Google and Apple have stated that all apps would be completely voluntary, “Google says access is granted only to public health authorities whose apps have to meet standards for privacy, security and data control,” as reported on USA Today.

The tracking app would work similarly to the COVIDSafe app in Australia, in that it uses Bluetooth. The app would also delete information, or “codes” as it is referred.

All apps will be reviewed before being accessible to the public.

Try TikTok!

Social distancing has allowed for a lot more downtime. TikTok is blowing up with more users and views joining the platform.

TikTok originally came out in 2016. It is an app where users can upload short videos for entertainment.

Musical.ly was a similar app that came out in 2014, the two apps were direct competitors.  Musical.ly was originally the more preferred until TikTok’s creators announced that they had over 500 million users a month in 2017.

The two apps merged under one name, TikTok. In 2018 Musical.ly officially shut down with its content being transferred to TikTok.

When first downloading you may find it a little boring or repetitive. But since you start liking and skipping over what you don’t like, it can become pretty addicting. With a wide variety of content, there’s a little bit of something for everyone. 

Tips for TikTok:

  • Like Posts!: Millions of people may view a video, but only thousands may actually like the post. The app recommends similar videos to the ones you’ve liked under the “For You” page.
  • TikTok highlights its top creators, leaving its smaller creators in the dark. Liking the content of the smaller guys helps them get noticed.
  • If you want to upload videos to TikTok, there really isn’t much work to it. People post videos about everyday things. All that matters is what you want to post.
  • For editing TikToks, many users would recommend using apps or another platform outside of TikTok for the best edits.

Jera Foster-Fell, a social media influencer, uploads tips on how to make TikToks. She shares tips on how to catch more attention and make videos more appealing. Her page is @jera.bean with 238.3k followers.

Many smaller creators have been uploading their talents on the app to show what they’ve been doing since the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Sarah, who goes by @officalhambly is currently at 1.8 million followers and growing. She’s been making short videos on her latest project, Elsa’s dress from Frozen 2

Koalipops is run by @johndenim who makes cake videos. Some of his most famous uploads are of the Baby Yoda cake or the KFC bucket chicken. One of their most recent videos was of a cake modeling the COVID-19 Virus. 

TikTok has created large opportunities for its creators, who are now gaining attention from mainstream media. Charlie D’Amelio is only 15 years old and has acquired over 40 million followers within a year. She has gotten to know big celebrities like Jennifer Lopez and been invited to speak on various talk shows.

D’Amelio had received criticism in February for not crediting a popular dance, the Renegade, to its original creator Jalaiah Harmon. D’Amelio had received enormous amounts of fame for this dance, but Harmon had received her credit after D’Amelio’s backlash.  

Harmon was welcomed onto The Ellen DeGeneres Show and performed the Renegade in front of millions of viewers.

TikTok is simple and fun. While the world is going through this pandemic, there are still little outlets people can look towards for some pass time.

Amazon Strikes!

With growing rates of COVID-19, Amazon employees are demanding the company have stricter regulations regarding the virus. 

Strikes across the US have emerged as workers have said that Amazon hasn’t met their demands:

  • Stricter health regulations
  • Closing facilities with confirmed cases of COVID-19 
  • Expansion in health benefits
  • Clearer transparency on the state of current virus cases 

On March 30, Chris Smalls, an Amazon employee, had led a protest and was fired. This, in turn, led to more strikes emerging. 

Some Amazon corporate employees are planning a walk-out on April 24 to protest against the layoffs of workers who have spoken out on the company’s failure to ensure safety to workers. Amazon has stated that layoffs were due to “internal policies,” as reported by CNBC.

Emily Cunningham was one out of two tech employees for Amazon that was also fired for criticizing the company on how they’ve dealt with COVID-19. Cunningham had stated on Twitter that Amazon has put themselves and the public at risk. 

On April 13, Amazon stated to CNBC that they would begin to allow third parties to ship nonessential materials to their warehouses again. Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is a service that allows third parties to store their products in Amazon warehouses that then would be sent out to consumers.  

Amazon had always allowed nonessential items for sale throughout the pandemic but faced shipment delays in order to get out essential goods first. 

Since the epidemic, Amazon has hired thousands of new employees. The company stated in their COVID-19 update, “We continue to see increased demand as our teams support their communities, and are going to continue to hire, creating an additional 75,000 jobs to help serve customers during this unprecedented time,”

“Now they’re hiring new employees to add. I’m seeing a lot of new faces.” David Rosario, an Amazon warehouse worker from Skokie, Illinois stated.  Rosario went to the Amazon warehouse in Chicago to show support for their protest. 

On April 3, Chicago workers stepped outside chanting, “Clean it up! Shut it down!” Local news, South Side Weekly was on the scene speaking with employees. 

Employee safety concern has also been an increasing factor among the business.

Rosario added that they don’t have masks to work with. Amazon sent out emails to the Skokie warehouse employees that they would have a limited quantity of masks to hand out. 

The Chicago and Skokie employees felt that they didn’t properly receive information on the COVID-19 cases in their facilities. Tomas Uriostegui, an Amazon associate at Skokie stated that he had only heard about the first case of the virus from other workers.  

Amazon associate from the Chicago warehouse Laccoma Scott stated, “How can we be essential workers, but our lives aren’t essential?”

Amazon posts to their blog on how they’re ensuring safety and help to their workers. The last post was made on April 13 stating, “We continue to evaluate all options to ensure the support of our teams during this unprecedented time.”

The company has begun temperature checks on its employees, as well as conducting daily audits of the new health and safety measures, and increasing measures of social distancing within the workplace. 

Workers diagnosed or in close contact with COVID-19 will have time off for 14 days with pay. 

Amazon employees are still encouraging their coworkers for the strike on April 24. 

The Health of Small Businesses: Frodo Joe’s

Small businesses across the country are experiencing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Local San Lorenzo cafe, Frodo Joe’s has also had to readjust.

Frodo Joes is a family-owned cafe, with a second location in Fremont. They offer breakfast, lunch, and dessert. Frodo Joe’s is known for their delicious crepes and the adorable pug on their logo.

Though coffee and tea are advertised on their logo, crepes are the main attraction. From sweet strawberry and banana crepes to a savory chicken pesto crepe, there’s something for everyone to try out.

The San Lorenzo location is the original cafe. Emily, the manager, is the daughter of the owner. Her father opened the location in 1999.

Since the shelter in place regulations have taken into action, Frodo Joe’s can no longer allow dine-in customers. All their food and drinks are available for take out.

Frodo Joe’s in Fremont is temporarily closed. Emily stated that because that location depends heavily on the dine-in customers, they couldn’t remain open. The San Lorenzo location is a smaller location and has a good flow of to-go orders.

“There is not much we can do,” Emily stated, “We do have a  community here who supports us and helps us.” Emily feels really grateful for the customers. 

Unfortunately, employee hours have been cut down due to the smaller revenue. However, the staff tried to remain positive.

Frodo Joe’s is heavily complying with all safety and health regulations. Their employees all have masks and gloves. When first walking into the cafe, you see that there are tables and chairs blocking the counter so customers aren’t anywhere near food preparation.

They even set up a station for signing your receipt. One bin holds sanitized pens, and the other holds the used ones to be cleaned later.

When asked if she was aware of grants that were being given to small businesses in Hayward, Emily replied that she wasn’t aware until after they were distributed. “If you don’t tell me about it, I wouldn’t know about it.” Emily referred to how information about grants and loans is being reached out.

She isn’t too sure about where to look for information, since San Lorenzo is under Alameda County, but borders Hayward.

She also is concerned about whether or not the money is in a grant or a loan. She doesn’t believe small businesses should be looking into loans because there is no guarantee when the business will be at the same revenue it was before the pandemic.

“You’re just digging yourself deeper in the hole.”

Emily stated that the cafe feels lucky they can remain in business and hopes for the day when everything goes back to normal.

Frodo Joe’s location and contact:

17665 Hesperian Blvd.

San Lorenzo, CA 94580

510-481-1844

Classes Taking Step by Step

Chabot College and Las Positas College have moved their classes online. Chabot’s campus will be closed during spring break March 23-27, online classes will resume March 30. 

On March 20, Interim Chancellor Ronald P. Gerhard of the schools had sent an email to the Chabot-Las Positas students regarding online classes. 

He stated in his email that, “your student education is important to us. We want you to continue your classes and achieve your educational goals.” The current plan is to continue all courses online for the rest of the semester. 

Dr. Susan Sperling, President of Chabot stated that lab classes and career technical classes are, “moving wherever possible to distance and remote forms of education our most important job is to support the continuity of your learning, your education.” This was presented in a video sent out by the school and on Chabot’s website. 

Gerhard brought up the importance for students to communicate with their instructors or counselors if feeling overwhelmed or stressed with these new circumstances. Services for students such as the Admissions & Records, Financial Aid, and Counseling are still available through email. Email addresses can be located on the schools’ websites under the faculty directory.

“Campuses are physically closed Spring Break and until further notice,” Gerhard stated leaving the possibility of the campus remaining closed past expected up for question. 

This news is concerning for Lucia Belloso, a music major at Chabot College. 

Belloso expressed she’d feel frustrated if the school remained closed for the rest of the semester, she feels material has been pushed back. “I would have probably preferred if the school was closed for about a month and then extend whatever was missed into the summer.”

Belloso stated that she’s been much more comfortable having classes from home and that it takes away some of the stress that comes with having to get ready and drive to the campus. 

“It feels like a group effort,” stated Belloso referring to the fact that both students and teachers are working together to take the next steps necessary for their online classes. “It doesn’t feel too overwhelming. We go step by step.” 

The biggest cons for Belloso is the face-to-face interactions with other students and instructors. She mentions that her math class would work together in groups and that it was easier getting things done when they were all in the same room than online. 

The biggest shift was how Belloso’s music class has shifted, “ we now have to send recordings of ourselves playing instruments instead of rehearsing as a group.” She hopes it won’t be too overwhelming for the instructors to have to listen to everyone individually. 

Emails continue to be sent out as new details are being settled for the school. Like Gerhard, Dr. Sperling also encouraged her video for students to communicate with faculty for any questions or concerns. 

Admission & Records Office:

email: [email protected] 

For transcript information:

email: [email protected]

Financial Aid Office:

email: [email protected]

Counseling Office:

email: [email protected]

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. 

Teens Are at Risk With the Increase of Social Media

The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA-1998) was set up to ensure internet safety and bans kids under the age of 13 from having social media accounts. 

Instagram can deactivate accounts that belong to underage users, but there are exceptions listed under their help page. 

They state that while a child is under thirteen is not allowed to access account, a parent or a manager can run the account for the child. Instagram states that if they cannot prove that an adult is running the account, then they will go ahead and delete it. 

However, there are no limits for a 16-year-old having communications with a 21-year-old. 

Jaedy Agredano, high school student
Jaedy Agredano, high school student

Bianca Devins 17, from Utica NY, was killed on July 14, 2019. Brandon Clark 22, is now facing 25 years to life in prison. The two met each other online several months prior and later in person. Devins had no romantic feelings for Clark. He was jealous of her interaction with another male and killed her. Police investigated Clark’s phone and computer, and believe he had planned to kill her for some time. 

Clark went as far as to posting images of her dead body online under the account @yesjuliet, which has now been terminated. He left the dates of her birth and death in the biography. Under her pictures, Clark left the quote, “Sorry f**kers, you’re gonna have to find someone else to orbit.” 

Angelina Church 14, Waxahachie TX, went missing on Jan. 27 and was found ten days later. She met up with a 20-year-old man, who she met on Instagram. The man dropped her off at a Whataburger before she went missing. With video footage to back up this claim, the man was released after questioning. 

“You never who’s at the end of the other phone,” Jadey Agredano commented, a 17-years-old who attends high school in San Leandro, CA. Agredano is a bright young girl who hopes to operate her own business. 

She started her own Instagram page dedicated to her nail art, over 300 followers and counting, which she hopes to make a career out of. 

Agredano hasn’t had many encounters with older strangers online. She dismisses anyone that could be worrisome, and thankfully there haven’t been many. However, she can’t do the same thing for her in-person experiences, “It’s really annoying and nasty, it happens to me a lot.” She questions the morals of these older men. 

Agredano stated that these men must have women figures in their personal lives and can’t imagine how they would hurt other women, much less a child. 

Agredano knew two girls who were killed by their abusive boyfriends. The victims won’t be named out of respect and they were miners. Both girls attended the same school as Agredano. One girl who was a senior, killed last year. The other girl was killed when Agredano was in the fourth grade but was a close friend to Adegrano’s family. 

She wanted to point out that the men who killed the girls were ones they met in school, not a stranger on the internet. She understands that no girl is looking for danger, but can’t be so naive to the people they meet online. She stated that teens might be more vulnerable in tough situations.

“The person who you love may not turn out to be someone who they seem.”

Agredano was lucky to have her mother monitor her social media from a young age. Her first account was Facebook in the first grade. Agredano’s mother knew all her passwords and the friends she followed. 

She stated that now she does have more privacy as she’s older, but knows she has someone she trusts if she feels she’s in real danger. “There has to be more talk about this. There’s only so much the internet can protect you from. I wish we would talk more about this in school.”

Love is Respect is an organization that’s, “The ultimate resource to empower youth to prevent and end dating abuse. It is a project of the National Domestic Violence Hotline.” as stated on their website. They provide private chats or calls with real people who are there to listen. The website provides quizzes to test if you’re in a toxic relationship and how to look for signs. 

There is always someone ready to listen 24/7/365

Call: 1.866.331.9474

LOVIES to 22522

Immigrants Being Denied Green Cards

Immigrants in the U.S. who depend on government aid, are now at risk of being denied their green cards. As of Jan. 27, the Supreme Court has given the Trump Administration the ability to deny citizenship. 

El Centro 700S Building
El Centro 700S Building

On Aug. 12, 2019, Ken Cuccinelli, Head of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), spoke at the White House and stated, “Through the public charge rule, President Donald Trump’s administration is reinforcing the ideals of self-sufficiency and personal responsibility.” 

While it has been formally addressed by the USCIS, this is a matter that is targeting immigrants of low income while others have reported that this is a matter of race. 

Professor Juan Pablo Mercado is a history professor here at Chabot. He focuses on Chicano studies, and he earned his Ph.D. from the History Department at UCLA.

Mercado mentions that this news is still shocking despite it not being the first of its kind. He calls it part of an, “anti-Mexican History that we have here in the U.S.” 

There is a quote that is displayed at the Statue of Liberty exhibit, “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore, Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” 

The poem wasn’t added to the statue until 1903. The initial point of the statue was to represent liberty. Once the poem was added, the country believed it represented opportunities for people outside of the U.S., just how the country began. 

Mercado brought up a time during The Great Depression in which the U.S. treated people of Mexican descent wrongfully. “President Hoover was trying to get reelected under those dire economic circumstances.” 

There was an illegal but highly coordinated scheme that blamed Mexicans for using U.S. services. “Not only deny social services but also forcibly deport them. More than half of them were born in the United States.”

Yessica Ramirez has been a Chabot College student for almost four years and a member of the Dreamers Club for a year. She is undocumented, and for her, hearing this ruling was “Heartbreaking and frustrating” as she described it. She fears she may never become a citizen. 

“I think it’s just a cover-up.” Ramirez referred to the reason behind pushing the new rule that the bill isn’t to, “Better ensure that immigrants are able to support themselves,” as Cuccinelli previously started.

She also questioned the present’s knowledge of who the immigrants to this country are. “This is a country of immigrants,” Ramirez stated.

Here at Chabot College, El Centro provides resources for students who need guidance on what steps they need to further their education. They provide connections to counselors, academic services, and help in gaining financial aid. El Centro has fluent Spanish and English speakers to help as many people as possible. 

Ramirez emphasized that within El Centro and the Dreamers Club, there’s a strong supportive community. She understands that many students who are under DACA, like herself, fear that there’s a possibility they could be deported. 

“We’re hardworking. We have more resources than we used to have. We have to take advantage of them.” Ramirez emphasized, “You’re not alone, I relate to you. I really don’t want people to give up.”

Mercado also noticed that within the community of undocumented students, there’s a high level of resiliency. Like Ramirez, Mercado knows that there are fears and worries among these students. “It’s a very tight-knit community that’s continually coming together to share information, and to help support one another.” 

El Centro is located in Building 700S

[email protected] 

Mon, Tues, Thurs | 8:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.

Wed | 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

Fri | 8:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

The Rhythm Section Review

The Rhythm Section is a new thriller directed by Reed Morano, released on Jan. 31. The film stars Blake Lively as the lead, Stephanie Patrick. Stephanie is an ordinary woman, middle class, highly educated, and very close to her family.

Blake Lively at The Rhythm Section movie premiere
Blake Lively at The Rhythm Section movie premiere

After a tragic plane accident kills her parents and two siblings, Stephanie dives into a severe state of depression and addiction. She seeks out revenge when she finds out that her that the plane accident was intentional.

Lively is known throughout her career as a very beautiful woman with high status and typically takes on the role of the woman men want, and women want to be. In the opening scene, we see Stephanie ready to shoot a gun at the back of a man’s head. Then the scene jumps to eight months prior, Stephanie is in bed thinking back to moments with her family before they died.

Stephanie is approached by a journalist who tries to prove to her that the incident on the plane was due to a bomber, and he’s on the loose just miles away from her. When Stephanie tries to take on the bomber herself and fails, the journalist ends up murdered. Frustrated with herself, she seeks out the source where all the information is coming from and asks him to mentor her. She wants to kill everyone who was involved with the bombing.

Jude Law plays the secret source known as B, a heavily trained killer hidden in isolation who has intel on the group responsible for the bomb. Law and Lively’s chemistry, their arguments and banter between the two felt believable. Both are very committed through the fistfights, the snarky remarks, and vulnerable moments. The relationship of B and Stephanie is a complicated one, he could be lying to her, but he’s all she has to help her.

Stephanie is alone and continuously has to choose who to trust and who to kill. Although every choice isn’t the best, she becomes less and less afraid to make the next move.

One of the strongest points of the movie was how it takes away the traditional way we see women leads. We only once see Stephanie dressed up seductively, but it’s not portrayed as a characteristic. The fact that she’s pretty doesn’t make her important. There are many shots where Stephanie is scared, nervous, contemplating whether or not she can go through with things. The shots are filled with the sound of breathing and the beating of her heart. She and her struggles are the center of the film. The focus is not on what dress she is wearing.

The image of Blake Lively that is known to the common public is thrown out the window. Her hair is cut short and is dirty. Stephanie’s body is covered in bruises, and the effects of drugs are apparent on her face. She went from scared, to risk-taker, from using cheap remarks to using her fists. She wants one thing only, to kill the ones responsible for the death of her family. But she also doesn’t want to be like the men who she’s encountered, that don’t care who gets hurt along the way.

The film doesn’t contain as many fight scenes as you would expect. There is a classic car chase scene and a bloody scene where Stephanie has to stitch her own wounds. There are bombs and guns, but there’s more. There are many scenes especially in the beginning where no one is even talking. The emphasis is around Stephanie and how she’s feeling. The film allows Stephanie to develop, without rushing it. At the end of the movie, there’s no definite happy ending, but you believe who Stephanie had to become.