Category Archives: Education

Cultural Appropriation in Fashion

Cultural appropriation has been in fashion for decades, yet in the past 10 years, cultural appropriation has been brought to the forefront.

Fashion is a form of art that is interrupted as society sees fit. Throughout the decades, fashion has been a statement that one uses to express love, hate, or even misfortune. Inspiration comes from all over the world and many fashion designers use cultural attire to innovate their fashion lines.

Musical artists like Beyoncé, Katy Perry, Iggy Azalea, and Rihanna all have taken an aspect of another culture for music videos.

Jess Gaertner, Cosmopolitan writer states that culture appropriation “in a nutshell, is when people of one culture start using elements of another culture that’s not their own.”

“It can be seen as a violation when these elements are merely used to make a media or fashion statement, or when they’re taken out of context, becoming offensive – for example, when an item of clothing that has deep meaning to culture is used as a fashion accessory flippantly by someone else,” Gaertner states in article Cultural Appropriation: 10 Times Celebs & Fashion Brands Took Things Too Far.

Vogue, Marc Jacobs, Chanel, Givenchy, Balmain, and Gucci are all luxury designers that have had a controversial issue with appropriating culture from Native American headdresses to Japanese geisha-inspired looks.

Heather Brown, a Native American Chabot student, expresses how she’s not very knowledgeable about her culture, but knows when something is wrong and how fashion is sending out an inaccurate message about the history of her culture.

“If you research the attire of Native Americans, each piece of clothing means something … you put a headdress on a white model in nothing but a bikini, what exactly are you trying to sell?” says Brown.

Brown then goes on to say that “the fashion industry is full of people who don’t understand the history behind the fashion and they should educate themselves.”

Another Chabot student, Darion Jurden, doesn’t follow fashion but knows when something is offensive and is on the lines of cultural appropriation.

“It’s hard to not take something from one culture and brand it out. This day and age people don’t pay attention to the content they put out, just the revenue they bring in. They don’t care about the history or how it might make someone feel,” says Jurden.

There is a fine line between cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation. With social media being this era’s platform to express yourself some might be overly sensitive on how their culture is represented.

Dakari Thomas, a writer for The Guardsman states in the article Cultural Appropriation or Over-Sensitivity? “Among minorities in America, we have become hypersensitive to the idea of our cultures being imitated.”

Even though some might confuse cultural appropriation with appreciation, hypersensitivity can cloud one’s judgment on how someone else chooses to express themselves. 

“However, we have to realize as a society that cultural appropriation is present throughout every culture, and it is not frowned upon,” Thomas states.

Cultural appropriation is and will continue to be controversial in the fashion industry due to the belief that some trends commercialize and tarnish the ancient heritage of cultures. There have been debates on whether designers are acknowledging the history behind the attire they are taking from different cultures.

Stay-in Place New Order Takes Effect for the Bay Area

On March 31 at 11:59 p.m., a new stay-in-place order took effect to reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). The new stay-at-home order will be extended through May 3, 2020, in order to preserve critical hospital capacity. 

Six counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara, as well as the city of Berkeley, have instituted the new order that requires nonessential businesses to remain closed and for residents to stay indoors and only leave home when doing essential activities, such as grocery shopping.

According to Dr. Chris Farnitano, health officer for Contra Costa County in a news release, “extending the stay-at-home order should reduce the number of sick patients seeking care at one time, giving us time to acquire more medical supplies for providers who will be providing care to people sick with COVID-19.” 

In the same news release, Dr. Farnitoano adds that “the extension will allow doctors and nurses to better treat those who do get sick and save countless lives. The new stay-at-home order will supersede the previous order and go into effect immediately.”

The new order defines what essentials business are, what activities are prohibited, and new directives. The use of playgrounds and other similar recreational areas is prohibited and closed for public use. Sports requiring people to share a ball or other equipment, as well as shared public recreational facilities such as golf courses, tennis and basketball courts, etc. are prohibited. 

Funeral homes and cemeteries; moving companies, rental car companies and ride-share services that specifically enable essential activities are still allowed. Essential businesses that continue to operate facilities must scale down operations to their essential component only.

The new order also requires essential businesses to develop a social distancing protocol before April 3. Most construction, residential and commercial has been deemed nonessential and is prohibited. However, the expansion of essential businesses now includes service providers that enable residential transactions (notaries, title companies, realtors, etc.).

Director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health, Dr. Grant Colfax, stated in a recent news release, “what we need now, for the health of all our communities, is for people to stay home. Even though it has been difficult, the Bay Area has really stepped up to the challenge so far, and we need to reaffirm our commitment. We need more time to flatten the curve, to prepare our hospitals for a surge, and to do everything we can to minimize the harm that the virus causes to our Communities.”

Coronavirus (COVID-19), is a virus so new and unique that it has no approved medicines or vaccines and social distancing is the most powerful tool to slow the spread.

Chabot’s New Student Senate

Chabot College announced the following newly elected members of the Chabot Student Senate are Ashanti Robinson as President and La’Roy Fitch Jr. as ICC Chairman for the 2019-2020 academic year. There are five new representatives Navin Bansal, Ranjit Cheema, Chunyan Lin, Alejandro Schimmels, and Yinglin Yu.

All seven were sworn into office September 30, 2019, in the boardroom located in 200 building on Chabot campus surrounded by their fellow senate members.

Robinson’s role as President is to act as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Student Senate here on campus. In this position, Robinson must take action on and enforce all policies and legislation espoused by the Student Senate. In her first senate meeting as President, she did just that with her strong presence and natural-born leadership ability.

Also, Robinson will be the official representative of the Student Senate at an assortment of other college committees and serve as the chairperson in Student Senate meetings.

According to Robinson’s candidate statement, she, “Plan(s) to strengthen the communication between the student body and the Student Senate by directly working with smaller groups on campus to keep the conversation and representation going.”

With several items and policies on the ballot, Robinson has her hands full as this year’s student body president. ICC Chair is the liaison between the clubs on campus and the Student Senate. This seems to suit Fitch’s framework and his affiliation with clubs here on campus, such as but not limited to Change-It-Now (C-I-N), Striving Black Brother Coalition, and the Justice Arts Collective. 

A goal Fitch set during his campaign for ICC Chair was to put himself and the community in a position to take action and be an active resource for the campus. “Build bridges, don’t burn them down,” states Fitch in his 2019 campaign video.

Being the ICC Chair is a job that Fitch has worked hard for, and just like Robinson, Fitch carried himself with dignity, grace, and excellence. From the looks of things, he’s the right man for the job.

That is what this year’s Student Senate of Chabot College (SSCC) is trying to accomplish — getting the job done. Every goal that was set is in the works to be fulfilled by the Senate and the advisers. 

The 2019-20 school year is sure to be a progressive one. There are a fair amount of changes that the Chabot campus will be seeing, and they are all for the betterment of the college.

Discrimination Survey

Personal experiences with racial discrimination are common for Black/African-Americans and Doctoral student Leeza Reyburn has shown interest in this area and has designed her own research study on the bias toward Black/African-American women.

According to an article written by senior researcher Monica Anderson on pewresearch.org, “roughly eight-in-ten blacks with at least some college experience (81 percent) say they’ve experienced discrimination, including 17 percent who say it happens to them regularly.”

Reyburn has not experienced acts of discrimination and racism herself; however, she wants to bring attention to the issue and how African-American women can process these experiences in their lives.

As an African-American woman, Reyburn has chosen to conduct this research because she has a personal interest in this study of having the same heritage and witnessing the problems African-American women can encounter. This is due to the negative impact that society enacts against them as members of an oppressed group.

Reyburn is a fourth-year student studying clinical psychology at the Wright Institute in Berkeley, California. Her research on this topic consists of scholarly articles from various journals within the field of clinical psychology as well as previous dissertation research conducted by doctoral students of psychology and social sciences as well.

Reyburn said, “For my dissertation research, I am trying to observe two factors, that of post-traumatic growth and racial trauma as they apply to Black/African-American identified women.”

Post-traumatic growth is the idea that a person can experience positive change as a result of a traumatic event. This can mean finding new opportunities through a crisis that weren’t there before, experiencing closer relationships with others that may have suffered traumatic events and also an increase in a person’s emotional strength after suffering through a crisis.

Racial trauma is the effects of racism on an individual’s mental and physical health. Feelings of anxiety, depression, and suicide are all factors from the effects of racism.

There are two parts to the research study, a 21-item questionnaire, and the second part as a phone interview that should take no more than an hour depending on the participants’ experiences and what they wish to share.

The questionnaires and phone interviews consist of asking the participants’ questions related to their lived experiences, such as ranking statements and reflecting on various ways that these experiences may have impacted them.

Reyburn said, “I am looking for at least eight more participants to fulfill my research requirements of studying the life experiences of 10 or more people who have had these experiences, specifically Black/African-American women.”

If interested in participating in this research study, feel free to email the researcher at [email protected]

Registration Checklist

Chabot students the time has come to start registering for your Spring 2019 semester classes. Here is some information on what you need to stay on track with your educational goals.

First, it’s important to be aware of when your registration date is, you can quickly check this by just signing into your CLASS-Web. There you will instantly see a message that says “you may register on or after this day.”

If you don’t know how to get into CLASS-Web simply go to the Chabot College website and click “Register @ CLASS-Web.” From there just enter your W number and your pin which should be your date of birth.

Your registration date might also be emailed to you, so make sure you can access your Zonemail. To access your Zonemail go to CLASS-Web and click “what is my email?” your email will then be displayed, the password should be the same as your CLASS-Web unless you changed it.

Remember there is always help on campus.

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School Wi-Fi Updated

As many can agree, a slow internet connection is one of the most frustrating things to ever exist. This is especially true for anyone trying to use the campus Wi-Fi, as many students know the long history of Chabot’s Wi-Fi signal. After years of poor signal strength and student complaints, the campus Wi-Fi was finally improved over the summer.

Over the summer, 324 wireless access points were installed throughout the campus, including one in every classroom. These access points run 802.11ac and allow internet connection throughout the school to run much faster than it did in in previous years.

The project to improve the campus wireless connection started on July 23 and concluded on August 15, right before the start of the fall semester. Access points were installed in most of the school buildings, including 100, 1400, 1900, 2400, 3100, 3400, 3000, 2500, 2600, 2800, 2900, and 4000. Eventually, more access points will be installed throughout the school to fill in dead spots and to especially improve the internet connection in areas with the biggest need for wireless internet.

One first-semester student, Angel Aguilar, states that she came into Chabot admiring the strength of the campus Wi-Fi as it is. “Where I go, the Wi-Fi is strong,” states Aguilar. “I don’t have any problem at all.” As someone who never experienced the campus Wi-Fi in recent years, first-time students will be greeted with better Wi-Fi speeds and will not have to struggle with connecting their devices to the internet.

A longtime student at Chabot College, Doonie Love, recalls his experience with the slow internet speed of the campus Wi-Fi before this semester. He says “the Wi-Fi has improved slightly, just enough for it to function in the science building, but not enough to download a file or watch an online tutorial.”

Many students and faculty use our Wi-Fi for lectures in class or catching up on online classes, or just to watch Netflix on our laptops. Let’s just see how the current Wi-Fi holds up.

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?”